John Biggs

John Biggs is a writer, consultant, programmer, former East Coast Editor and current contributing writer for TechCrunch. He writes mainly about technology, security, gadgets, gear, wristwatches, and the internet. After spending four years as an IT programmer, he switched his profession and became a full-time journalist. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Laptop, PC Upgrade, Surge, Gizmodo, Men’s Health, InSync, Linux Journal, Popular Science, Sync, and he has written a book called Black Hat: Misfits, Criminals, and Scammers in the Internet Age.

He builds products, writes books, and consults with startups to help them make cool things.

John Biggs runs the BWL family of blogs, SlushPile.net, Audiomonger, and WristWatchReview.com. He also runs the HourTime Podcast with Ariel Adams at hourtimeshow.com. Born in 1975, he currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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Latest from John Biggs

  • Virtual telescope company Slooh is ready for the eclipse

    Virtual telescope company Slooh is ready for the eclipse

    Slooh, a Connecticut-based company, makes it easy and now free to look at the night sky through any one of dozens of telescopes around the world. To use the service you simply log in and pick a telescope. If you want to take control you can begin to point the telescope at various spots in space or you can simply go along for the ride while a professional astronomer takes the reins. Slooh… Read More

  • A defense company put a machine gun on a drone

    A defense company put a machine gun on a drone

    Duke Robotics, a military contractor, has produced a video for their unique and uniquely dangerous new tool, TIKAD. This drone platform looks fairly basic – a custom multi-rotor drone with a chassis on the bottom to hold what looks like a stripped down machine gun, sniper rifle, or grenade launcher – but what it suggests about the future of warfare is pretty scary. A gimbal at… Read More

  • Run to the rock

    Run to the rock

    The past week has been a tough one for lovers of freedom. Slippery slopes have been slid down and a side of the human mind that once remained in shadow has reared its head. Charlottesville is just the first step down a dark road. In real life, on the public square, our support of freedom of speech and public assembly – a freedom that has long helped hater and lover alike – is… Read More

  • Ghost, the open source blogging system, is ready for prime time

    Ghost, the open source blogging system, is ready for prime time

    Four long years ago John O’Nolan released a content management system for bloggers that was as elegant as it was spooky. Called Ghost, the original app was a promising Kickstarter product with little pizzazz. Now the app is ready to take on your toughest blogs. O’Nolan just released version 1.0 of the software, a move that updates the tool with the best of modern blogging tools. Read More

  • Rabbi Abe Cooper talks about online hate

    Rabbi Abe Cooper talks about online hate

    In this episode of Technotopia I talked with Rabbi Abe Cooper, Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Rabbi Cooper doesn’t use many online services, but he knows how to remain human in a time of great digital upheaval and he shared some of the tactics he uses to help online services keep hate groups off of the Internet. He turned this… Read More

  • Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap-meet Louie

    Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap-meet Louie

    A wise man once said “The hat mighta had a L V on the back but at the swap meet that ain’t jack,” and now researchers can ensure that the Louis Vuitton or Prada or Coach you bought is the real deal. The system, which essentially learns the difference between real and fake products over time, uses a small microscope connected to a phone. “The underlying principle of… Read More

  • The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom

    The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom

    The Libreboot T400 doesn’t look like much. It’s basically a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad with the traditional Lenovo/IBM pointer nubbin and a small touchpad. It’s a plain black laptop, as familiar as any luggable assigned to a cubicle warrior on the road. But, under the hood, you have a machine that fights for freedom. The T400 runs Libreboot, a free and open BIOS and the… Read More

  • BlackPods brings your AirPods to the dark side

    BlackPods brings your AirPods to the dark side

    This is the story of a guy who found a niche and stuck with it. The guy is a programmer named Nick who was worried about Apple’s wireless AirPods. He thought they looked stupid. “I didn’t have particularly high hopes when Apple first announced AirPods. I figured they would sound like their wired EarPods, which are fine but not particularly impressive. I was blown away when… Read More

  • Former Rhapsody CEO and writer Rob Reid talks about fiction, finding an audience and the future

    Former Rhapsody CEO and writer Rob Reid talks about fiction, finding an audience and the future

    It takes a lot of smarts to move from tech CEO to full-time novelist, but Rob Reid pulled it off. The author of After On, Reid has spent years in the murk and mire of Silicon Valley and is ready to name names and, above all, explore all facets of the coming technological changes facing us all. I spoke to Reid about his new book, as well as the problem of finding an audience online and what… Read More

  • TabBank lets you generate instant guitar tabs

    TabBank lets you generate instant guitar tabs

    In the days before electronic music, musicians used to have to play things called “guitars.” There are very few players left among us with the skills necessary to play this seemingly lost instrument but programmer Chris Ladd hopes to resurrect the so-called “git-fiddle” with modern technology. Ladd, a former programmer for the New York Times, created TabBank, a… Read More

  • 3D-printed fruit will help your real apples taste better

    3D-printed fruit will help your real apples taste better

    There may be a pretender in your next box of fruit, a fake fruit that tracks temperatures, motion and shocks to ensure your plums are sweet and hard and your peaches are pretty as can be. Created by Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, the project involves a 3D-printed apple that hides in with all the real apples and contains a number of sensors. Read More

  • The CJR Commander adds some aviationpunk to your wrist

    The CJR Commander adds some aviationpunk to your wrist

    Another weekend, another mechanical watch. This time we have the Commander from CJR, the company that brought us the Airspeed last year. This unique piece features an unusual curved dial and rotor-like seconds wheel that harkens back to some strange alternate future where airplanes become sentient. Early bird watches cost $449 and come on a thick leather strap. “The aircraft industry is… Read More

  • Your Tweets can help predict crime

    Your Tweets can help predict crime

    University of Virginia Assistant Professor Matthew Gerber has discovered a correlation between Tweets and crime. No, folks aren’t Tweeting that they’re going to knock over a liquor store. Instead, by looking at the GPS coordinates attached to Tweets as well as assessing a heat map of popular locations, police can predict where crime is most likely to happen. “My initial… Read More

  • HelloPlant tells you if your ficus is firsty

    HelloPlant tells you if your ficus is firsty

    Plants, like humans, need food, water, beer, and television. What better way to tell if your plant is hungry or thirsty (or bored) than a little nubbin that sits inside its pot and send you notifications when things are amiss. That’s why you need a HelloPlant. The system lets you name your plants and then watch them as they grow. When the soil is too dry you get a notification and you… Read More

  • ScriptDrop delivers your prescriptions with pizzazz

    ScriptDrop delivers your prescriptions with pizzazz

    Larry Scott and Nick Potts worked at CoverMyMeds, a software solution for pharmacies. After connecting a bunch of pills with a bunch of pharmacists they started ScriptDrop, a service that helps pharmacists deliver those same prescriptions to your door. It’s active in New York now but expanding into other areas soon. The team, who hail from Nashville, settled in Columbus to work for… Read More

  • Eat the suburbs

    Eat the suburbs

    The cicadas rev up as the summer sun bakes the carefully tended lawns of suburban Dublin, Ohio. Houses sit exposed like cattle in the heat, the trees too small to offer a shaded window or cool spot on the driveway so everything is shut tight. The only ones outside for any length of time are the folks cutting grass, fixing awnings, installing cable. The one man walking in the sun is the father… Read More

  • The All Controller controls all your consoles

    The All Controller controls all your consoles

    Remember the third party controller your sibling/cousin/friend made you use when you visited his or her house in the NES days? Remember the pain you felt when the joystick wasn’t quite right and they were hosing you on Mortal Kombat while you were busy trying to figure out why your character kept kicking? Well the All Controller isn’t like that at all. The All Controller is a… Read More

  • Federico Musto is out as Arduino CEO

    Federico Musto is out as Arduino CEO

    Last week Arduino AG, the holding company for the open source Arduino project, announced that CEO Federico Musto stepped down, to be replaced with Massimo Banzi as new Chairman and CTO of Arduino and Dr. Fabio Violante as CEO. The move comes after the maker community found troubling discrepancies in Musto’s educational claims. “This is the beginning of a new era for Arduino in which… Read More

  • Balkan startups offer free housing service after football price-gouging row

    Balkan startups offer free housing service after football price-gouging row

    Football (or soccer) fans wanting to attend UEFA Super Cup 2017 in Skopje last week found that many of their hotel rooms were cancelled and rebooked at astronomical rates – sometimes 500 to 900 GBP for a hotel room that was originally a fraction of that. In order to fight back against a tarnished global image (and because they are cool people), a group in Skopje, WeTalkIT, created a… Read More

  • What should you do before tomorrow’s Bitcoin split?

    What should you do before tomorrow’s Bitcoin split?

    August 1st is almost upon us and the great Bitcoin “hard fork” is about to confuse the heck out of the casual cryptocurrency observer. Here’s what you should know. Quite simply, if you are using an exchange that is explicitly in support of the Bitcoin Cash or you control your own private keys then you are fine. If you are keeping your bitcoin on an exchange, like Coinbase… Read More

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