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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  • Gas pump card skimmer now phones home

    Gas pump card skimmer now phones home

    In an unsurprising move by credit card thieves, police have found a new credit card skimmer that sends stolen data via SMS. By tearing apart cheap phones, crooks are able to send credit card information to their location instantly without having to access the skimmer physically or rely on an open Bluetooth connection. Brian Krebs received images of the skimmer from an unnamed source. They… Read More

  • Foxconn’s long con

    Foxconn’s long con

    The political press ate it up, alternatively excoriating the program for costing too much in tax breaks and crowing a win for Wisconsin’s conservative governor, Scott Walker. I wouldn’t encourage either party to hold their breath. Gou is in the habit of promising big and rarely delivering. Four years ago business journals crowed about a plan to bring a Foxconn flat screen… Read More

  • Sandsifter checks your processor for secrets

    Sandsifter checks your processor for secrets

    Are you sufficiently paranoid? If you’re not, there’s now Sandsifter. This project, just announced at Defcon 2017, tests your x86 processor for hidden instructions and bugs. “Sandsifter has uncovered secret processor instructions from every major vendor; ubiquitous software bugs in disassemblers, assemblers, and emulators; flaws in enterprise hypervisors; and both benign… Read More

  • The OOOI Analog is the best of both horological worlds

    The OOOI Analog is the best of both horological worlds

    Butler Watch is run by pilot Corey Butler. It is a labor of love for Butler and his watches are aimed directly at pilots and pilots-to-be. Take the OOOI Analog, for example. This new crowdfunded watch features a digital readout with quartz analog movement. The piece costs $459 for early birds. The movement, an ETA 988.333, has a pair of analog hands for the hour and minutes as well as two… Read More

  • CEO controversy mars Arduino’s open future

    CEO controversy mars Arduino’s open future

    Things in the normally placid world of open source hardware are heating up as major figures in the Maker movement have begun speaking out against the current managing director of Arduino AG, Frederico Musto. The Italian engineer became a part owner in the company after buying out one of the original five founders and ultimately came to run Arduino AG, a holding company that owns the trademark… Read More

  • Hungarian hacker arrested for pressing F12

    Hungarian hacker arrested for pressing F12

    The Budapest Transport Authority (BKK, in Hungarian) recently launched an online payment system with the help of a T-Systems Hungary, Deutsche Telekom’s consulting arm. The system, which took three months to build, was supposed to be installed in time for the FINA world championships in Budapest. The software, not unexpectedly for such a project, was full of bugs including the discovery… Read More

  • Former Voodoo PC head Rahul Sood talks about the road to real token sales

    Former Voodoo PC head Rahul Sood talks about the road to real token sales

    This week on Technotopia I interview Rahul Sood, former founder of Voodoo PC and the current CEO of Unikrn, an e-sports betting service. Sood, who spent a number of years at Microsoft Ventures, started Unikrn because he saw the e-sports space was exploding in popularity. His company allows people to bet on gaming events and even bet on themselves as they get better at games. Sood’s… Read More

  • The dream of Polish tech entrepreneurship is almost over

    The dream of Polish tech entrepreneurship is almost over

    Poland has worked diligently over the past decade to become an entrepreneurial powerhouse. Once home to businesses focused primarily on app design and outsourcing, social, societal, and economic pressures forced the country’s brightest to start building for themselves. And they did. I’ve covered Polish startups for almost a decade, first on TechCrunch and then on a new blog I… Read More

  • Stox to launch token sale for its new prediction market

    Stox to launch token sale for its new prediction market

    Stox.com is Invest.com’s prediction market product and it’s getting a little boost through a newly-opened token sale using Bancor’s smart token protocol. This announcement, while full of jargon, means that Stox will be able to raise money to develop infrastructure and increase its marketing and sales groups. Stox is a spin-off of Invest.com, an established player in the… Read More

  • Jakub Krzych sees a world where computers help us do more than we can imagine

    Jakub Krzych sees a world where computers help us do more than we can imagine

    Founder of Estimote, Jakub Krzych, expects the world to be a far kinder place. His beacons are already appearing in museums, stores, and public places and helping folks find their way around indoor spaces. Now he expects them to help us by sending us the data we need where we need it. Estimote is a Polish success story, one of the few businesses to build global reach in Central Europe. I spoke… Read More

  • Okoli connects you with tour guides around the world

    Okoli connects you with tour guides around the world

    Okoli is a new service by developer Jack Deneut that aims to replace those ugly little cards you find in tourist hotels. The web app, which currently works in Prague, Budapest, Berlin and Paris, lets you reserve a nearly private tour with a professional guide and you’re guaranteed groups of no bigger than eight people. It is live now. Read More

  • Vertu is dead

    Vertu is dead

    It’s been a long, downward slide for cellphone maker Vertu. The company, founded by Nokia in 1998, was supposed to be a luxury phone provider to the stars and, to a degree, it delivered. They sold the $11,000 phones like expensive watches in boutique stores in tony neighborhoods. Vertu, with its precious metals and fine, hand-cut leather was supposed to maintain its luxury lead for… Read More

  • There is no hacker called ‘Jayden K. Smith’

    There is no hacker called ‘Jayden K. Smith’

    As a public service I’m putting up this post so when your parents message you with a warning about a hacker named “Jayden K. Smith” who “has the system connected to your Facebook account” you can easily retort with a well-argued piece of journalism. The Jayden K. Smith message is a hoax. No hacker “has the system” connected to your Facebook account and… Read More

  • Finding Andy Cunningham

    Finding Andy Cunningham

    A few weeks ago I stopped at a garage sale in Brooklyn and found a stack of Nintendo Power magazines. Nintendo Power, for the non-80s kids, was a magazine produced by Nintendo from 1988 to 2012. It was full of tips and tricks and even had walkthroughs of popular games. If you had an NES it was required reading and, boy, did I read it. Opening the pages of Nintendo Power, almost three… Read More

  • See you tomorrow in Prague

    See you tomorrow in Prague

    Just a reminder that PragueCrunch V is tomorrow and it will be a blast. We’re holding PragueCrunch V tomorrow, July 13, 2017, at Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden. We start at 6pm. You can RSVP here. We’ll have free Kozel and Gambrinus beer all night and traditional Czech pub food for purchase at the venue. Startups will have 90 seconds to pitch with about 90 seconds of questions from judges. Read More

  • The Caliper Slide Rule Watch will help you multiply and divide in the coming end times

    The Caliper Slide Rule Watch will help you multiply and divide in the coming end times

    When the apocalypse finally arrives, those with the booksmarts will be the upperymen. Maybe somebody you know will be the readerwriter and maybe somebody you know will learn how to make the brandywine and maybe you’ll have a bakerman among you but who will be the mather? The mather will be the one with the Slide Rule watch from Caliper, and friends, the mather can be you. This… Read More

  • How Bassem Hamdy aims to disrupt the construction industry

    How Bassem Hamdy aims to disrupt the construction industry

    Construction – the actual process of putting brick on brick to build something – is still in the dark ages. While there is plenty of technology out there to help plan massive projects few people are thinking hard about what it takes to actually build. Luckily Bassem Hamdy is one the case. Hamdy works for Procore Technologies where he and his team build products to help… Read More

  • CMU researchers create a huge dome that can read body language

    CMU researchers create a huge dome that can read body language

    The Panoptic Studio is a new body scanner created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that will be used to understand body language in real situations. The scanner, which looks like something Doc Brown would stick Marty in to prevent him from committing fratricide, creates hundreds of videos of participants inside the massive dome interacting, talking, and arguing. The team has… Read More

  • Time 4 Machine promises to bring us back to an age of metal and clockwork

    Time 4 Machine promises to bring us back to an age of metal and clockwork

    The tinging of tiny hammers from the heart of Dwarf Mountains may now be lost to the mists of time but you, my friend, can still make magically complex metallic contrivances in the comfort of your own barrow/home. I point to Time 4 Machine, a selection of metal models made the creator of the wooden uGears, Denis Okhrimenko. The models range from a table hockey set with moving players to a… Read More

  • New game simulates the old grind

    New game simulates the old grind

    Pippin Barr, Assistant Professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montréal, has released a game that I’m sure you’re all going to enjoy. It’s called It is as if you were doing work and it simulates the day-to-day activities of the average knowledge worker. Need to write a document? Close a bunch of notifications first. Finished with… Read More

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