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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  • Do funny recruiting hacks work? Let’s ask a guy who tried

    Do funny recruiting hacks work? Let’s ask a guy who tried

    Do recruiting “hacks” work? Can you get a big company’s attention through wacky (or not so wacky) antics? One man, John Washam, tried and his story is, at the very least, interesting. Washam wrote about his quest to work for Google on his blog, Googley As Heck. He posted his educational milestones on his way to learning software engineering with the explicit goal of working… Read More

  • Researchers teach a flying robot to perch like a bird

    Researchers teach a flying robot to perch like a bird

    If you’ve ever flown an RC plane or even a quadcopter you’ll know the exciting experience of trying to land the thing and ending up in a pond or a tree. That’s fine when you pay a few hundred for your drone but what if your drone costs $1 million and needs to fly around spying on bad guys? How do you keep it from crashing into a larch? Researchers at the University of Bristol… Read More

  • Shine’s Roi Carthy talks about media and peace

    Shine’s Roi Carthy talks about media and peace

    Roi Carthy has been a mover and a shaker in the Israeli tech scene for years. Most recently he joined as head of marketing for Shine, a smart ad blocker for mobile. This week on Technotopia we talk about the future of media, where revenue comes from and the prospect of peace in the Middle East. It was a far-reaching conversation and one of my favorite chats. You can subscribe to Technotopia… Read More

  • Translation startup pulls off the ultimate pivot… to porn

    Translation startup pulls off the ultimate pivot… to porn

    As you watch your favorite adult films – I particularly enjoy My Dinner With Andre – I suspect you often wonder how foreign porn dialogue (“Yur kumberbund haz gefallent unto minna lutefisk,” for example) is translated, dubbed, or subtitled properly (“Take me now, you hunk of fermented fish,” in this example.) Well now you know. After visiting an adult show… Read More

  • It’s not obvious

    It’s not obvious

    Three stories: An accelerator I talked to the other day offers two things. If you don’t make it into their “real” accelerator – a multi-month program with all the regular perks – you can go into their month-long $5,000 “accelerated” program where they work on your business plan and give you some free AWS credits and a pat on the back. You pay for… Read More

  • Peeqo is a robot that responds entirely in GIFs

    Peeqo is a robot that responds entirely in GIFs

    Abhishek Singh graduated from NYU’s ITP program and clearly he learned a lot about the future of computing. During his tenure there he quickly fell in love with hardware startups and, with a little grit and programming work, he created Peeqo, a robot that responds only in GIFs. That’s right: this is a robot that replies only in animated video clips. God help… Read More

  • What if the iPhone had never arrived?

    What if the iPhone had never arrived?

    Ten years ago the cellphone industry was as teeming with life as a coral reef. Weird, multi-colored Nokias and Samsungs flitted between fronds of seagrass while Sidekicks scuttled in and out of tiny sea caves. Blackberries lumbered through the coral like lions on the hunt, eviscerating all “serious” comers with better software. Apple had released a deeply embarrassing clownfish of… Read More

  • Knocki turns any surface into a switch

    Knocki turns any surface into a switch

    What happens when you mix two software dudes, a little kid, and a light switch? You get the Knocki, a clever little device that connects to a wall or under a table. You can tap the surface to trigger events – turning on a light, muting speakers, etc. – and it is surprisingly small and easily-hidden. The founders are Ohad Nezer and Jake Boshernitzan, both of Houston… Read More

  • The Markforged Metal X prints real metal parts

    The Markforged Metal X prints real metal parts

    The new Markforged Metal X is pretty great. It is a full metal 3D printer that generates real metal parts out of powdered metal which is then hardened under massive heat and allows for amazingly strong and light materials. The printer uses tubes of powered metal bound with plastic. The “extruder” first creates the shapes on a regular build plate and then you bond the material in… Read More

  • LEGO’s new Boost blocks let little kids learn to program

    LEGO has long offered the Mindstorms platform for big kids (and adults) to make cool robotic projects. Now, however, they’ve launched the Boost platform, a robotics and programming system aimed at 7 year olds. The Boost kit comes with everything you need to make five projects including Vernie and Frankie, a funny robot and robotic cat, respectively. The kit includes a battery-powered… Read More

  • US Patent Office’s Michelle Lee shows us that patenting an invention doesn’t have to be expensive, hard

    US Patent Office’s Michelle Lee shows us that patenting an invention doesn’t have to be expensive, hard

    I was lucky to speak with Michelle K. Lee, current director of the US Patent Office and a great proponent of small startups and innovation. Lee said that the patent office has a number of free resources available for entrepreneurs who may find themselves with a cool new invention but aren’t sure what to do with it. Patenting should be proactive, said Lee. “Don’t sell… Read More

  • Hardware Battlefield wildcard ZMorph shows off its new multi-headed, iMac-like 3D printer

    Hardware Battlefield wildcard ZMorph shows off its new multi-headed, iMac-like 3D printer

    While the ZMorph 2.0 SX looks like an alien seed pod but it’s actually a powerful, multi-tool printer for the prosumer market. The company has been around for a bit but this is their latest entrant in the 3D printing world and features multiple tool heads including a standard plastic extruder, a laser, a CNC router, and dual-head extruder for multiple colors. The founder, Przemek… Read More

  • Formlabs adds new ceramic resins and tools for experimenters

    Formlabs adds new ceramic resins and tools for experimenters

    Formlabs makes powerful 3D printers that can make objects that look as solid and smooth as injection-molded parts. Now, however, they’ve added improved materials including a new gray material that is completely matte and reformulated for optimal printing and a ceramic material that can be fired like standard ceramics. Further, they’ve launched Form X, an experimental toolkit for… Read More

  • Enflux captures body motion for fun and rehabilitation

    Enflux captures body motion for fun and rehabilitation

    Enflux makes motion capture clothing that, for better or worse, is surprisingly slimming. These tight-fitting duds contain wired, washable sensors that can show your body position on a phone or screen. Founded by Doug Hoang, Mickey Ferri, Elijah Schuldt and Pamela Lee, the company was YC-funded and is backed by a group of Chinese VR capitalists. They have sold $120,000 in clothing to… Read More

  • Alexa adds DISH support for your DVRing pleasure

    Alexa adds DISH support for your DVRing pleasure

    DISH DVR owners can now connect directly to the Amazon Echo or Dot and tell Alexa to turn on ESPN, find Matt Damon movies, or bring up lots of comedies. The feature will be rolled out in the “first half of the year” according to a DISH press release. “You no longer have to set down your popcorn to change the channel, or spend time searching for what channel the game is on… Read More

  • 10 promises to keep in 2017

    It’s a new year and with that comes the attendant resolutions. Knowing that none of us will ever lose those pounds/kilos and we probably won’t read Moby Dick so here are some promises we can keep for the New Year that will make us healthier, happier, and safer online and off. Read More

  • PixTeller makes designers (almost) obsolete

    PixTeller makes designers (almost) obsolete

    PixTeller is a unique little service. Created by a Romanian web designer, Alexandru Roznovat, it is a sort of instant design studio with plenty of ready-made templates so you can create clever Instagram memes or fun book cover designs in a few seconds. After creating an account you’re presented with dozens of pre-made designs that are fairly innocuous. You can select a Facebook header… Read More

  • Hey, Alexa, are things going to get weird?

    Hey, Alexa, are things going to get weird?

    They say that news is what happens to a writer on his way to the bathroom and I’ve recently discovered something fascinating. Alexa – and, to a degree, Siri and Google’s OK Google solution – have become indispensable additions to our home. The kids tell Alexa to turn on the lights and start Netflix. We ask her how to spell words and do basic math. She tells us which day… Read More

  • Watch this smartphone-assisted robot beat the pants off of humans in air hockey

    Watch this smartphone-assisted robot beat the pants off of humans in air hockey

    It’s the holidays and that means it’s time to watch robots cream humans in bouts of skill. The latest example of robotics winning over a meatbag? This amazing air-hockey robot powered by a smartphone, Arduino board and a plotter-like robotic arm. The system works by watching the puck on the surface of the table and moving to where the puck is going. It actively blocks attacks on… Read More

  • Oculus engineer Dov Katz arrested in sting after allegedly soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl

    Oculus engineer Dov Katz arrested in sting after allegedly soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl

    Seattle police arrested Oculus’ Head of Computer Vision Dov Katz on December 23rd in a sting operation in which a police officer posed as a 15-year-old girl. Katz allegedly arrived at an Embassy Suites in Tukwila, Washington with $600 after agreeing in texts messages to pay $300 for sex without a condom. Katz told police he was there to rescue the girl. GeekWire has screenshots from… Read More

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