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,, Audiomonger, and He also runs the HourTime Podcast with Ariel Adams at Born in 1975, he currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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  • Digital Life 2007: SHOWSTOPPERS!!!! In which the boys attend ShowStoppers and find out that there’s more to life than beer and partying — they learn that someone loves them. Read More

  • BlackBerry Curve Review

    Cast your memory back to the dark ages before smartphones. The StarTAC was still in common rotation. Cellphones were bricks. Windows Mobile was just a glimmer in Bill Gates’ eye. Enter the BlackBerry 850, a small QWERTY device that made getting email on the go dead simple. But this was 1998! Why did we need email on our hips? Well, now we know that learning about V1AG7A and P3nni st0cks… Read More

  • Digital Life Quick Beers

    If you’re in town for Digital Life this week, drop us a note in comments with your real email in the comment. The CG guys will be out in force so maybe we can meet up for a quick beer during the show. Read More

  • MTA Planning Cellphone and Wi-Fi in New York Subway, Will Attempt to Decrease Booger/Seat Ratio In Meantime

    Well this is a hot little bit of news. Transit Wireless LCC is working with the MTA to add cell and Wi-Fi connections to 277 subway stations throughout New York, which will bring the system well into the 20th century if not the 21st. This is not free, mind you. Transit Wireless and the construction company will pay the MTA about $46.8 million — a paltry sum — for the pleasure… Read More

  • DigitalLife Press Preview: An Evening of Unmitigated Douchery

    Us tech journalists have it pretty hard. We have to go to parties, look at cool new phones, and drink a lot. But sometimes the complex equation of PR toe-licking and rancid fawning breaks down and event coordinators believe we will go anywhere for a papaya mojito. Take the Digital Life Preview party last night. Held so far west in Manhattan that it might as well have been in Newark, the CG… Read More

  • Dell to Sell In China: Avoid Inhaling Burning Lead Paint Fumes

    Dell is teaming up with a Chinese partner, Gome Group, to sell Dell-branded laptops in China. HP and Lenovo are leading the race in our neighbor to the east and this move has been a long time in coming. Dell’s market share is currently worldwide 16.1 percent, an average percentage, and about 18 percent of China’s PC market. This move should allow the manufacturer to sell directly… Read More

  • An 8-Year-Old and His OLPC

    The One Laptop Per Child project has a noble goal: to digitize the developing world. You can now buy your own OLPC as long as you buy two — one for yourself and one for a needy child. Well, Laptop got their hands on one and they not only reviewed it, they gave it to an 8-year-old who pronounced it “fun.” The device, called the XO, exhibited quite a few problems but was… Read More

  • Good Morning, Starshine: The Best Spam Comment Today

    Our site gets a few hundred comments per day and the overwhelming majority are spam. Well, I just spotted a charming “recommendation” from a spammer inducing us to share our hot business ideas. Go ahead through the list and see which one doesn’t quite fit. Hey, I was wondering if anyone here has a habit of coming up with cool business ideas out of nowhere, but never got around… Read More

  • T-Mobile Releases Blackberry Curve 8320, First Hands On

    <img src='; alt='curve_titanium_side3_1.jpg' Read More

  • Wirenode: Easy Mobile Websites

    From MobileCrunch – Anyone who says that the mobile Web is following the same path as the World Wide Web clearly doesn’t remember the mid-1990s. The Web didn’t launch with massive retailers, interactive forums and powerful search engines. The whole reason for the new vernacular of terms such as “surfing,” was because this was generally uncharted territory filled… Read More

  • XP is Really an Upgrade Path for Vista

    Well here’s an example of satire brushing quite close to reality. Some OEM who order PCs with Vista Business or Ultimate installed can now request XP and have even gone as far as to offer it on disk in each laptop box. Fujitsu and others are offering XP downgrades to customers who request them. Considering most IT shops wouldn’t dream of dropping Vista onto their machines this… Read More

  • Leopard Screenshots and Video Leaked Macgeeks have just reported that there are minor UI improvements in the current developer Leopard build including new icons and iCal now reflects the current date in the icon even when not running — finally. This news isn’t enough to wake your mom up for or anything, but it’s still fairly cool. Read More

  • Film vs. Digital: Are We Really Still Discussing This?

    Dan Havlik, our photo guy, posted a thought-provoking forum question on PDNPulse, a fairly geeky photoblog. His question is simple: How many professional photographers use film on a regular basis? The responses, needless to say, were vociferous and varied. I came into photography after the digital revolution. A buddy of mine in Boston called me about a year ago and asked me which camera to buy. Read More

  • PDF Files Can Steal All Your Base

    GnuCitizen just published an interesting bit of news. PDF files, the lingua franca of online documents, have an exploit that can offer up control of Windows “completely, invisibly, and unwillingly.” All you have to do is open the file. From the site: My advise for you is not to open any PDF files (locally or remotely). Other PDF viewers might be vulnerable too. The issues was… Read More

  • Meizu M8 GUI Screenshots: What Chinese Piracy Problem?

    I’ve said this over and over again in multiple forums, but I’ll repeat it here. Chinese technology companies have to stop intellectual piracy. From the look and feel of the Chinese Facebook to the plethora of Chinese-made Rolex knock-offs on eBay, Chinese design is derivative to the extreme. I don’t know what it is about the mentality — perhaps it’s a… Read More

  • Piracy Costs Industry $5 Trillion, May Have Killed Grandmothers, Kittens, the Unborn

    According to reports by the Canadian Mounties (Motto: Like Police, Only On Horses), the piracy industry cost Canada $30 billion in Canadian currency (USD $45,454). This figure had been bandied about by lobbyists and even the US Ambassador to Canada, ensuring sensationalist headlines much like the one above. The problem, however, is that it isn’t true. Blogger Michael Geist asked the… Read More

  • Meet the New Michael: Erick Schonfeld

    Business 2.0 is one of the few paper magazines that I could ever stand to read — Shaved Sex and Professional Goat Breeder are two others, if that tells you anything about the state of the magazine industry. While I was at TC40, Michael leaned over and whispered something in my ear. An hour and a motel room refund later, I realized I what he had really said was that Erick Schonfeld… Read More

  • MediaDefender's Software Undefended

    MediaDefender, the sword and shield of the media industry, was hacked a few days ago, revealing mail files and voicemails integral to the process of throwing feces and FUD into the P2P process. Now hackers have found the company’s complete set of “protective” applications which appear to have been written by a teenager who hangs out in IRC too much. Programs include… Read More

  • 6th Grader Builds Company on Earnings from MMORPG Sales

    This isn’t quite our forte, but it’s insane nonetheless. Arjun Mehta, a 6th-grader in Silicon Valley is creating a company called PlaySpan for buying and selling virtual goods. Fair enough. A little website hosted on Dad’s server in the basement, maybe $500 in sales a month. Cool, right? Well, the kid just raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. What is he going to do with… Read More

  • EA Games Available for Pre-Order on Apple Store

    Reader Steve sent us a tip that some newer EA games — Tiger Woods Golf ’08, Madden NFL ’08 — are now available for pre-order on the Apple Store. They’ll ship in 4 to 6 weeks and they’re on par with EA pricing. Big news? Nah, but it’s nice to know they’re thinking of us. Product Page Read More