John Biggs

John Biggs is a writer, consultant, programmer, and the East Coast Editor for TechCrunch and runs Freemit. 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.

John Biggs is currently East Coast Editor of TechCrunch.com and he 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 New York, N.Y.

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  • Thieves now use “Shimmers” to grab Chip/PIN card data

    Thieves now use “Shimmers” to grab Chip/PIN card data

    Just when you thought it was safe to slip your card in a slot ATM skimmers have gotten just a bit smarter. New devices called Shimmers can now read your card number and, in certain instances, access your card’s chip. While the technique isn’t new – Shimmers began appearing in 2015 – they are still a huge security hole and far more dangerous than standard… Read More

  • Cardlife is yet another SaaSsy management tool

    Cardlife is yet another SaaSsy management tool

    Now that we’ve collectively signed up for billions of dollars of unused SaaS subscriptions it’s time to subscribed to a tool that helps us manage those subscriptions. Enter Cardlife, another player in the exciting world of SaaS management. “SaaS management,” you say. “Isn’t that just for the rich and famous?” No! The company manages over $4.7 million… Read More

  • Netgear exploit could expose passwords for thousands of routers

    Netgear exploit could expose passwords for thousands of routers

    It’s time to update your firmware. An exploit that affects a number of Netgear routers can easily give hackers access to your wireless admin password which could lead to router lock-out or, worse, illicit use of your Internet. The exploit, which Netgear firmly patched, used a bug found in 2014 to expose admin passwords in plain text. A researcher for Trustwave, Simon Kenin, first… Read More

  • Carnegie Mellon creates a poker-playing AI that can beat the pros

    Carnegie Mellon creates a poker-playing AI that can beat the pros

    To be great at poker you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to core dump. That’s only part of the technique a new AI system created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon used to beat four of the “world’s best professional poker players” – Dong Kim, Jimmy Chou, Daniel McAulay and Jason Les. The AI played the… Read More

  • Researchers create a wireless hydration sensor that tracks how thirsty you are

    Researchers create a wireless hydration sensor that tracks how thirsty you are

    A wearable wireless hydration sensor from North Carolina State University will be able to tell how thirsty you are via a chest patch or wrist-worn device. The device is designed to tell you when you might be facing heat stress due to dehydration. “It’s difficult to measure a person’s hydration quantitatively, which is relevant for everyone from military personnel to athletes… Read More

  • The DaVinci IQ is a cyberpunk vaporizer with a nice draw

    The DaVinci IQ is a cyberpunk vaporizer with a nice draw

    The sky above the port may be the color of television, tuned to a dead channel, but in most hacker dens it’s usually all psychedelics and healthy snacks. And what better way to partake in your favorite psychoactive substances than with a true cyberpunk’s vape? The DaVinci IQ is a black slab designed to heat herbs to temperatures between 230 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit. A grid of… Read More

  • Delete your account

    Delete your account

    We love to Tweet. We love to share. It appears to be a strategy for change but it isn’t. And we have to accept that. These are strange times. We are able to reach millions with a single Medium post but each day a new post supplants the last. Today’s impassioned jeremiad – like this one – is tomorrow’s digital fish wrapper. A CEO can Tweet something noble today and… Read More

  • Netgear’s Orbi might be the best Wi-Fi router I’ve ever used

    Netgear’s Orbi might be the best Wi-Fi router I’ve ever used

    I’m rarely this excited about a wi-fi router. I’ve used Apple gear for years now, replacing Airport after Airport until I found I hit a wall. My house is made of wood, brick, and lathe with a little horsehair and metal sheeting thrown in so I was unable to get good Wi-Fi throughout. I ran powerline Ethernet to the attic and added an Airport Express to speed things up but I was… Read More

  • Shutterstock adds an image editor to unstock your stock photos

    Shutterstock adds an image editor to unstock your stock photos

    Stock photo site Shutterstock has been around since 2003 but now the stock photo site gotten an 21s century upgrade. The site now has a built in photo editor that lets you create clever graphics on the fly for social media, sharing, and blogging. The tool is fairly rudimentary – you can add text and images to the photos as well as filters – but it’s fun. The impetus was… Read More

  • States aim to legalize the “Right to Repair” your gear

    States aim to legalize the “Right to Repair” your gear

    “Unofficial” product repair shops may be getting a leg up in Nebraska, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Kansas. These states are working to legalize repair of devices from any manufacturer, including litigious Apple. Why is this necessary? Because Homeland Security raids repair shops on claims of counterfeit repair part importation and most devices are locked down… Read More

  • 11 books to help prepare for our coming post-apocalyptic future

    Post-apocalypses are fun. We prepare for them – here’s looking at, you, Petey! – and we love to watch them unfold on The Walking Dead. But they’re not real and probably never will be. So why do we love them so much? By reading them, we can pretend they really happened and when we’re done we can recall the signs and avoid them. I’ve been writing a… Read More

  • 3D TVs are dead

    3D TVs are dead

    Remember those heady days of yesteryear when everything was going to be 3D? Tangled in 3D! Puss in Boots in 3D! Video games in 3D! Those days are gone, friends, as LG and Sony quietly phase out the 3D features for their latest TVs. Buried in the releases that plagued CES was a notable absence – 3D TV capabilities. Industry experts are saying that 3D – which rose to prominence in… Read More

  • I’ll see you tonight in New York at our Micro-Meetup

    I’ll see you tonight in New York at our Micro-Meetup

    In preparation for Disrupt New York in May I’m going to hold a few pitching workshops in New York for you all. We’ll listen to and critique 10 pitches on January 25 at 6:30pm at the Knotel space at 22 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor. This is an informal pitch-off but the two best teams will get two tickets to Disrupt New York and the undying admiration of millions of people (actually… Read More

  • Voodoo Manufacturing raises $1.4 million to make a factory full of 3D printers

    Voodoo Manufacturing raises $1.4 million to make a factory full of 3D printers

    Max Friefeld, Jonathan Schwartz, and Oliver Ortlieb aren’t just co-founders – they’re roommates. These three former Makerbot employees are working on creating Voodoo Manufacturing, an effort to “combine software and hardware to build a new-age robotic factory.” Say, for example, you wanted to build hundreds of small velociraptors. You could make a mold and create… Read More

  • Cleanshelf teams up with Squrb to clean your SaaS clock

    Cleanshelf teams up with Squrb to clean your SaaS clock

    Cleanshelf wants to get you off the hard stuff. Now run by Slovenian CEO Dusan Omercevic, the app watches and manages your SaaS subscriptions, ensuring you’re not paying for stuff you’re not using and helping you find stuff that you might need. While this might not sound great for companies whose business model is forcing users to pay monthly and then hoping they forgot they signed… Read More

  • Let’s meet this week for a Micro-Meetup in New York

    Let’s meet this week for a Micro-Meetup in New York

    In preparation for Disrupt New York in May I’m going to hold a few pitching workshops in New York for you all. We’ll listen to and critique ten pitches on January 25 at 6:30pm at the Knotel space at 22 West 38th Street, 3rd Floor. This is an informal pitch-off but the two best teams will get two tickets to Disrupt New York and the undying admiration of millions of people (actually… Read More

  • Axon VR promises real haptic feedback for your sojourns into virtual reality

    Axon VR promises real haptic feedback for your sojourns into virtual reality

    Have you ever wanted to feel a dragon breathe on your wrist? A tiny reindeer paw at your palm? A virtual robot skitter up your arm and burrow into your chest? Axon VR is about to let you. IEEE Spectrum’s Evan Ackerman checked out the Axon VR device at CES a few weeks ago and it looks like the sleeper hit of the show given how little it was covered and how amazing it looks. The box, a… Read More

  • Go tell Neil Young that he can use the JustBoom DAC to play back his audio on a Raspberry Pi

    Go tell Neil Young that he can use the JustBoom DAC to play back his audio on a Raspberry Pi

    My, my, hey, hey lossless audio is here to stay thanks to JustBoom, a set of Raspberry Pi “hats” that connect to the mini computer and offer high fidelity audio playback and amplification. The $24 hats include a lossless DAC, a mini-amplifier, and a high-resolution audio output with COAX and optical audio out. If you, like Neil Young, require the utmost fidelity in your music… Read More

  • Maker Bre Pettis talks about the way forward for tech in this new century

    Maker Bre Pettis talks about the way forward for tech in this new century

    On this week’s episode of Technotopia I talked to Bre Pettis, former CEO of Makerbot and the founder of Bre&Co. Pettis has been thinking about new manufacturing chains, the rise of the local maker, what what happens when a country falls into disrepair. Pettis is an optimistic realist. He’s been watching Venezuela with great interest and has a few pieces of advice for tech folks… Read More

  • FishTaco can analyze your microbiome before or after you eat a fish taco

    FishTaco can analyze your microbiome before or after you eat a fish taco

    Our microbiomes: who understands them? Scientists? The bacteria colonizing our guts? The guy who made the Mexican food we just ate? Wrong. It’s our computers. Researchers have tasked them to create a new way to analyze and understand our microbiomes electronically. The service is called “Functional Shifts’ Taxonomic Contributors” or, obviously, FishTaco. The system… Read More