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

  • Economist Tyler Cowen talks about the value of despair

    Economist Tyler Cowen talks about the value of despair

    In this episode of Technotopia I talk to Tyler Cowen, a professor of Economics at George Mason University and an editor at one of my favorite sites, MarginalRevolution. Cowen is one of the smartest people I’ve spoken and to and his assessments of the global economic future is at once uplifting – the continued rise of the pleasant suburb – and scary – the unclear position… Read More

  • YouTube is not for kids

    YouTube is not for kids

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this important if long Medium post by James Bridle regarding the nonsensical and potentially damaging kids content on YouTube. In it he moves from video to video, finding stranger and stranger examples. Further, an exodus of advertising is hitting the service as some disgusting comments were found below videos aimed at kids and of kids. Strangers with… Read More

  • Researchers create a light-based key distribution system for quantum encryption

    Researchers create a light-based key distribution system for quantum encryption

    Researchers at Duke University, OSU and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have solved one of the biggest problems with new forms of quantum encryption: quantum key distribution. QKD is the process of distributing keys during a transmission and in a way that will tell both sides of the conversation that someone is eavesdropping. The new system, which uses lasers to transmit multiple bits at once… Read More

  • iOS jailbreak repositories close as user interest wanes

    iOS jailbreak repositories close as user interest wanes

    A few years ago jailbreaking your iPhone was all the rage. The cat-and-mouse game of hackers versus Apple was great fun and some of the open source products available to jailbreakers – namely the Cydia alternative app store – added amazing features and customizability to the iPhone. Some devs even launched only on jailbroken phones, thumbing their noses at Apple’s walled… Read More

  • Find your red-eyed fans

    Find your red-eyed fans

    I’ve been thinking about token sale marketing lately mostly because it’s been so bad. I’ve gotten hundreds of emails asking me to be an ICO advisor or evangelist or influencer primarily because the ICO marketing techniques come to us straight out of the spammiest corners of affiliate marketing. I’ve gotten emails from founders who have been promised “posts on… Read More

  • 13 great board games to play with family and friends

    Board games are a blast. They’re cheap to buy, fun to give, and amazing to play. We’ve chosen twelve of our favorites that you can add to your stack of games this Holiday Season. Some pit you against each other; others have you working together to save the world. Order in, crack a few beers (or seltzers) and have a blast! Read More

  • This DIY project lets you catch a falling muon

    This DIY project lets you catch a falling muon

    Physicists at MIT have developed and released a $100 muon detector that you can build at home, allowing you to sense deep space bombardment on something that looks like a TV remote. The CosmicWatch is basically a little box that can detect high-energy cosmic rays as they hit the Earth’s atmosphere and decay into muons. Muons hit the Earth in a “light drizzle” say the… Read More

  • Company raises $347K ICO, vanishes

    Company raises $347K ICO, vanishes

    A company called Confido raised a small ICO by selling special CFD designed to allow “safe and trustless cryptocurrency payments. According to ICODrops they raised their goal of about $400,000 and quickly disappeared, taking the cash with it. The site is currently a parked web server that points to nothing. The apparent founder and former eBay employee, Joost van Doorn, posted a message to… Read More

  • How to talk about cryptocurrency at the holiday dinner table

    How to talk about cryptocurrency at the holiday dinner table

    You’re sitting down to a nice meal and your aunt, always one step ahead, mentions she wants to start investing in Bitcoin. You freeze, a drip of gravy plopping off the ladle. It’s your time to shine. You got this. First, you know that the state of crypto is very, very good. This has been a banner year for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin rose from $738 a year ago to $8220 as of this year. Read More

  • Swiss watchmaker Omega joins the ecommerce bandwagon

    Swiss watchmaker Omega joins the ecommerce bandwagon

    Swiss watchmakers have long resisted the siren call of ecommerce. While many of their products sold online – you can find everything from Swatch to Breguet on the “grey market” – there were no official online channels for many brands. Until now. Omega, a Swiss watchmaker whose wares now grace the wrist of James Bond, just started selling online, joining Panerai and… Read More

  • Tap tap tap

    Tap tap tap

    We are now walking through a media desert. While access to content is astronomically high, the content that we read is dead, lifeless, and derivative. Yes, I see the irony in posting my criticism of the state of online media on, well, online media, but I want to explore how we got here and what we can do about it. Read More

  • Romain-Jerome builds a Batman watch that tells you your time is up, bat

    Romain-Jerome builds a Batman watch that tells you your time is up, bat

    Watchmaker Romain-Jerome has announced a new Batman-themed watch that looks like something Bruce Wayne would wear to the club. The watch, which is based on R-J’s Skylab design, features a meticulous reproduction of a map of Gotham City cut into the rear sapphire glass and a glowing Bat Signal that lights up in the dark and/or in times of danger. R-J is famous for making high-end watches… Read More

  • Tortuga Logic raises $2 million to build chip-level security systems

    Tortuga Logic raises $2 million to build chip-level security systems

    Tortuga Logic has raised $2 million in seed funding from Eclipse Ventures to help in their effort to maintain chip-level system security. Based in Palo Alto, the company plans to use the cash to build products that will find “lurking vulnerabilities” on computer hardware. The founders, Dr. Jason Oberg, Dr. Jonathan Valamehr, Professor Ryan Kastner of UC San Diego, and Professor… Read More

  • MasterCard has filed a patent on its own blockchain-based money transfer solution

    MasterCard has filed a patent on its own blockchain-based money transfer solution

    In about 2014, most bitcoin companies quickly pivoted to the “next big thing:” blockchain. Among them were the financial and fintech houses that were eager to avoid SEC scrutiny of their cryptocurrency holdings but were happy to use blockchain technology to speed up transaction times. Many of those early efforts are now apparently bearing fruit. Read More

  • ScanMyPhoto’s Mitch Goldstone talks about the ephemerality of media

    ScanMyPhoto’s Mitch Goldstone talks about the ephemerality of media

    In this episode of Technotopia I talk with Mitch Goldstone, the founder of ScanMyPhotos. Mitch started his company with a mission to scan the millions of photos that clog our dresser drawers and closets and he is now scanning hundreds of thousands of photos a day. During the recent California wild fires Goldstone and his team worked tirelessly to help homeowners who lost their photos and… Read More

  • SnapType makes it easy for kids with learning disabilities to do their homework

    SnapType makes it easy for kids with learning disabilities to do their homework

    Sometimes the simplest ideas make the biggest difference. Take SnapType, for example. Created by a husband and wife team – Ben and Amberlynn Slavin – this app lets kids take pictures of their homework and simply type in answers instead of having to hand-write them. Amberlynn, a pediatric occupational therapist, works with kids with ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, and dyslexia. Many… Read More

  • Polish startup Displate raises raises 2 million Euro to decorate your abode

    Polish startup Displate raises raises 2 million Euro to decorate your abode

    Noted futurists like Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan got a lot of things right when they predicted things like genetic splicing, transatlantic communications, the Internet. But what these eggheads didn’t predict was the burgeoning market for metallic posters. That’s where the wizards at Displate got it right. Displate is a Polish company with almost $10 million in worldwide sales. Read More

  • The Muscat micromeetup has been modified

    The Muscat micromeetup has been modified

    I had originally planned to run a pitch-off in Muscat today from 3pm to 6pm but it looks like that is cancelled. I only received 12 requests to pitch and of that group only two companies confirmed they would attend (thanks Nabnee and SnapType). That’s very disappointing and it’s clear that there’s a lot of work to be done here in the Omani ecosystem. Sadly I’m… Read More

  • Pronoun, an ebook service for writers, shuts down

    Pronoun, an ebook service for writers, shuts down

    Pronoun, a self-publishing service for authors, is shutting down after promising free ebook distribution for authors. The company, which raised millions in funding and ended up being sold to Macmillan announced the shutdown in an email to authors and on its website. Two years ago Pronoun set out to create a one-of-a-kind publishing tool that truly put authors first. We believed that the power… Read More

  • AI pioneer Chris Boos talks about the future of machine learning

    AI pioneer Chris Boos talks about the future of machine learning

    This week on Technotopia I talk to Chris Boos, the creator of a bot that can play FreeCiv, a Civilization clone. His solution demonstrates the power of machine learning and, wildly, has beaten multiple humans at the game. Boos’ company, Arago, specializes in building tools that build themselves. Humans can show his bots how to do something – manage a piece of software, for… Read More