John Biggs

John Biggs
Biggs is the East Coast Editor of TechCrunch. Biggs has written for the New York Times, InSync, USA Weekend, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Money and a number of other outlets on technology and wristwatches. He is the former editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.com and lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. You can Tweet him here and G+ him here. Email him directly at john@techcrunch.com. CrunchBase profile →

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  • A Unique Fingertip Sensor Helps Robots Touch The World Around Them

    A Unique Fingertip Sensor Helps Robots Touch The World Around Them

    Robots need love, too. That’s why MIT researchers have added a touch-force sensor to the robotic Baxter, allowing him to register gentle caresses, tender hand-holding, and the sense the he is loved and in love. Okay, not really. But now Baxter, a robot used in manufacturing and to perform repetitive tasks, can carry out those tasks with a certain gentleness and grace thanks to the… Read More

  • UK Engineers 3D Print Their Own Raspberry Pi Laptop

    UK Engineers 3D Print Their Own Raspberry Pi Laptop

    Is there anything a robotic system for the extrusion of plastic in to solid forms over time can’t do? We present to you today the Pi-Top, a Raspberry Pi-based laptop that is completely 3D-printed and lasts hours on a single charge. The kit, which will launch as a Kickstarter soon, offers a 13.3-inch screen and a little keyboard and trackpad combo for data entry. Viola! A little open… Read More

  • Notion Ink Quietly Releases The Cain Windows Tablet

    Notion Ink Quietly Releases The Cain Windows Tablet

    I place this here not as a recommendation to buy but as a reminder of the great Notion Ink Wars of 2011. At the time, Notion Ink was offering an Android tablet that everyone thought was the second coming and, when the dust settled, it was a fat load of nothing. And now they’re back. Read More

  • Join Us In Hardware Alley At Disrupt London, Won’t You?

    Join Us In Hardware Alley At Disrupt London, Won’t You?

    Disrupt London is fast approaching and I’d love to see you in our amazing Hardware Alley. This even, which runs during the last day of Disrupt, features all of my favorite startups – the hardware ones – in glorious technicolor. What is Hardware Alley? It’s a celebration of hardware startups (and other cool gear makers) that features everything from robotic drones to… Read More

  • Regular Facebook Users Are More Likely To Fall For Phishing Scams

    Regular Facebook Users Are More Likely To Fall For Phishing Scams

    Researchers at SUNY Buffalo have found that habitual Facebook users — those who are on the site more frequently than their peers — were more susceptible to phishing scams. How did they figure this out? By asking them about their habits and then surreptitiously creating a fake friend who then asked them for private information, including their student ID number and date of birth. Read More

  • Screamy Is A Little Box That Screams When Your Drone Is Lost

    Screamy Is A Little Box That Screams When Your Drone Is Lost

    If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where your drone can fly free among the trees and bushes and, more important, you’ve lost your drone in those selfsame trees and bushes, Screamy is for you. It’s a tiny box that connects to your drone via the control module and allows you to signal when the drone is down, a sort of MedicAlert bracelet for your quadcopter. It’s up… Read More

  • Chat Center Goes Freemium As It Passes One Million Downloads

    Chat Center Goes Freemium As It Passes One Million Downloads

    Chat Center, a universal chat application, is taking a page from the social media playbook and now selling premium names on its service. This allows users to create names like “taxi,” “iPhone,” and “folgerscrystalsdontcausecancer…” for a price. The company has collected over 50 million trademarked words and has added them to a list of premium names… Read More

  • Amazon Announces New Fire Tablets, E-Ink Kindles And A Special Fire For Kids

    Amazon Announces New Fire Tablets, E-Ink Kindles And A Special Fire For Kids

    Amazon released six new devices today with an eye on shipping them before the holiday season. The collection, which ranges from a new e-ink tablet called the Voyage to an 8.9-inch tablet that is lighter than the iPad Air and features Fire OS 4.0, an OS based on KitKat, is designed for reading, work and play. There’s also a new Kindle for kids that includes a $25 case and free… Read More

  • If You Want An Android Smartwatch, Get The Moto 360

    If You Want An Android Smartwatch, Get The Moto 360

    Like the serfs on the anarcho-syndicalist commune in Monty Python And The Holy Grail, fans of Android Wear and the $249 Moto 360 have been moaning under the oppressive noise regarding the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch. “You’re biased,” they scream as they swipe desperately at their Google Now cards. “You never cover the real winners.” Well here I am, covering… Read More

  • Researchers Create A Kindle eBook That Can Hack Your Amazon Account

    Researchers Create A Kindle eBook That Can Hack Your Amazon Account

    A fairly nasty flaw – the ability to run a script in the title text of an eBook – could compromise the security of your Amazon account. The flaw, which reappeared recently after being patched in October, allows hackers to embed programs right into an eBook file that run when the book is examined via Amazon’s Kindle tools. It seems to be closed as of this writing but it can… Read More

  • LittleBits Announces BitLab, An App Store For Hardware

    LittleBits Announces BitLab, An App Store For Hardware

    Have you ever wanted to build a banana piano? Or make a robotic cockroach brain out of LEGO? With LittleBits now you (potentially) can. The company has just announced something called the BitLab, a contest merged with a crowd sourced technology system that allows inventors to create new LittleBits blocks, upload them, and have them made and sold by the company. The system also includes a… Read More

  • Seatylock Turns Your Seaty Into A Locky

    Seatylock Turns Your Seaty Into A Locky

    Do you value your bikey? Seatylock wantsy to helpy. This Brooklyn-based Kickstarter aims to help cyclists solve two perennial problems: the lack of solid, heavy-duty bike locks that are also portable and the tendency of snarfers to sniff and even steal bicycle seats. The lock itself folds into the specially designed seat and falls out when you take the seat off. You can then wrap the metal… Read More

  • CEO Of Guess Watches Welcomes Apple To The Fray

    CEO Of Guess Watches Welcomes Apple To The Fray

    In what amounts to a “welcome” turned sputtering softball aimed at Apple’s broad side, the CEO of Guess Watches Cindy Livingston wrote an open letter to Apple while, at the same time, proclaiming her own interest in the smartwatch world. Guess, a fashion brand founded in the 1980s, is best known for dress watches known as “department store styles”: the kind of… Read More

  • Watch This Robotic Cheetah Run Like A Real Animal

    Watch This Robotic Cheetah Run Like A Real Animal

    It’s not every day that you see a robotic electric cheetah traipse merrily on the MIT quad and football field, but here you go: the Cheetah, a robot that will be able to run as fast as 30 miles per hour, is now wandering about untethered like Big Dog’s jumpy younger brother. The Cheetah was made at MIT’s Biomimetics Lab and features a light, powerful collection of electric… Read More

  • Swatch Group Head Nicolas Hayek Jr. Is Putting Smartwatches In The “No Fly Zone”

    Swatch Group Head Nicolas Hayek Jr. Is Putting Smartwatches In The “No Fly Zone”

    A source said that Swatch Group head Nicolas Hayek Jr., son of the late SG CEO Nicolas Hayek, is adamant that the company would not be pursuing smartwatches inside Swatch itself or within any of the many Swatch brands. The source said that Hayek Jr. felt “burned” by a 2004-2005 MSN SPOT watch partnership that fizzled and is avoiding mention of smart watches in… Read More

  • Wikileaks Releases German Spyware That Governments Used To Hack Journalists And Dissidents

    Wikileaks Releases German Spyware That Governments Used To Hack Journalists And Dissidents

    As part of its ongoing Spyfiles series of posts, Wikileaks has released the back and front-end systems used by multiple governments to spy on journalists, dissidents, and others. The files appear to be weaponized Windows malware although the software, called FinFisher, also works on OS X. From the post: ´┐╝FinFisher (formerly part of the UK based Gamma Group International until late 2013) is… Read More

  • John Biggs Tours Hardware Alley

    A Random Walk Down Hardware Alley

    Last week at TC Disrupt I took to the aisles of Hardware Alley armed with a microphone and a full glass of cold brew, highly potent Jittery Joe’s coffee. The result is a series of pratfalls, horrible jokes, and lots and lots of interviews. I welcome you to watch as I make an absolute fool of my self while some amazing entrepreneurs show off their very cool things. Read More

  • Up Close With The Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert,  The Perennial Hiking Watch For Geeks

    Up Close With The Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert, The Perennial Hiking Watch For Geeks

    For years the Tissot T-Touch line has been Switzerland’s unique answer to the quartz hiking watch. While other manufacturers offered analog quartz pieces, Tissot has been the only company that has tried to take on the altimeter-barometer-thermometer uber watches made by Casio, Seiko and Citizen. And they’ve done a great job so far. The latest model is the Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert. Read More

  • Seed Is Creating A Truly Idiot-Proof Internet Of Things

    Seed Is Creating A Truly Idiot-Proof Internet Of Things

    In the vast panoply of potential home networking protocols, there are only a few worth worrying about. Wi-Fi works well but it can go down and ZigBee and the like are sparsely supported. But Bluetooth Smart is local, secure, and easy to use. And that’s what Seed Labs is using to connect our lamps, our blinds, and even our tea kettles. This Polish startup has built a small chip –… Read More

  • The Gold Apple Watch Could Cost As Much As $1,200

    The Gold Apple Watch Could Cost As Much As $1,200

    A jewelry contact familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that the gold, 18-karat version of the Apple Watch could cost around $1,200 retail when it launches in January. This has been corroborated, based on size and weight, by jewelers familiar with the material Apple is using to make its Apple Watch Edition pieces. It should be noted that this is an estimate and the piece could come in… Read More

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