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Posts Tagged ‘John Biggs’

JailBreakMe.Com Will Jailbreak iPads 2 And Other iOS Devices

July 6th, 2011 07:20 admin View Comments

Through the mists of time, the elders tell of a website that could jailbreak and iPhone in seconds, allowing users to free their devices from the shackles of Apple’s all-seeing eye. They spoke of a great war between Apple and the warriors of justice and how the warriors, for a time, were vanquished. And the elders told that this website would return, gloriously, bringing peace to iOSia once again.

The elders were right. The site has returned. This site will jailbreak devices running 4.3.3.

Point your iOS device right here and watch as your iPad, iPad 2, or iPhone begins to download and install Cydia. You can then quickly and easily install homebrew warez and, if you’re not careful, open up your iPad to potential mischief. Per usual, please back up before you try this and be prepared to restore from iTunes if every goes pear shaped.


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here, Google Plus him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: JailBreakMe.Com Will Jailbreak iPads 2 And Other iOS Devices

Wingardium Leviosa: This Rotocopter Is Controlled By The Kinect

July 5th, 2011 07:32 admin View Comments

This project is part of a bachelor’s thesis by Armin Ambühl and involves a quadrocopter, a Kinect sensor, and what I assume is dark magic.

To activate the copter the user lifts his arm and to stop it he claps. The rest of the interaction is performed by swinging his arms around to rotate and steer the vehicle. What was it that Arthur C. Clarke said?

via DailyiPhoneBlog


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here, Google Plus him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Wingardium Leviosa: This Rotocopter Is Controlled By The Kinect

It’s A Pretty Big Ship: HP Isn’t After Apple, It’s After The Enterprise

July 1st, 2011 07:45 admin View Comments

Loopinsight has an interview with HP’s developer relations guy, Richard Kerris, where he basically says that WebOS is HP’s enterprise strategy, not their consumer play. He says:

“We think there’s a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs,” said Kerris. “This market is in it’s infancy and there is plenty of room for both of us to grow.”

“We think the world of Apple and have the utmost respect for their products,” said Kerris. “It would be ignorant for us to say that we are going to take it [the market] away from Apple.”

Beneath this scraping and bowing is an important consideration: there is no viable tablet for the enterprise and all signs point to Blackberry fumbling things with their absurd Playbook. Knowledge workers will need (read “want”) tablets and HP is putting itself in place to give them to them.

As flawed as the TouchPad is, it’s not as bad as people let on. It works, it will have a stronger support base than Android on the aggregate, and HP will put its might behind WebOS, bringing it to various desktops and devices as an alternative to Google and Apple. It will end up on devices like printers and probably office “desktop tablets” and other boring stuff, a market that Cisco, also, is trying to grab with their offerings.

It never hurts to be boring in the IT space, and if HP knows anything it’s how to be boring.


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: It’s A Pretty Big Ship: HP Isn’t After Apple, It’s After The Enterprise

It’s A Pretty Big Ship: HP Isn’t After Apple, It’s After The Enterprise

July 1st, 2011 07:45 admin View Comments

Loopinsight has an interview with HP’s developer relations guy, Richard Kerris, where he basically says that WebOS is HP’s enterprise strategy, not their consumer play. He says:

“We think there’s a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs,” said Kerris. “This market is in it’s infancy and there is plenty of room for both of us to grow.”

“We think the world of Apple and have the utmost respect for their products,” said Kerris. “It would be ignorant for us to say that we are going to take it [the market] away from Apple.”

Beneath this scraping and bowing is an important consideration: there is no viable tablet for the enterprise and all signs point to Blackberry fumbling things with their absurd Playbook. Knowledge workers will need (read “want”) tablets and HP is putting itself in place to give them to them.

As flawed as the TouchPad is, it’s not as bad as people let on. It works, it will have a stronger support base than Android on the aggregate, and HP will put its might behind WebOS, bringing it to various desktops and devices as an alternative to Google and Apple. It will end up on devices like printers and probably office “desktop tablets” and other boring stuff, a market that Cisco, also, is trying to grab with their offerings.

It never hurts to be boring in the IT space, and if HP knows anything it’s how to be boring.


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: It’s A Pretty Big Ship: HP Isn’t After Apple, It’s After The Enterprise

Robert Morris, Computer Security Expert, Dead At 78

June 30th, 2011 06:06 admin View Comments

Robert Morris, a security expert and father of Robert Tappan Morris, the creator of the Morris Worm, died near his home in Lebanon, N.H. of complications due to dementia.

Morris spent almost a decade as chief scientist for the National Security Agency and was instrumental in the first cyberattack against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army in 1991. Morris was also worked at building tools and systems for Unix research group at Bell Laboratories and laying the groundwork for the Internet as we know it.

A talented cryptographer and programmer, Robert Morris is also well known for the Morris Series, which first appeared in Cliff Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg.

1 11 21 1211 111221 … what’s the next number?

In honor of Mr. Morris’ passing, I leave the solution as an exercise for the reader.

via NYT
image via Inquirer


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Robert Morris, Computer Security Expert, Dead At 78

Fly Or Die: How Color Became The Ishtar Of iPhone Apps

June 25th, 2011 06:45 admin View Comments

Ever since Color launched its photo sharing app, the $41 million startup has been having a rough time. John Biggs and I reviewed it on Fly or Die back in March, when CEO Bill Nguyen joined us to defend the app ( you can watch that episode below, we both gave it a “die”). The company continues to struggle, so we decided to revisit our assessment in the new episode above.

Things don’t seem to be getting much better for the company. Nobody is using the app. Co-founder Peter Pham left, or was fired, according to CEO Bill Nguyen, who also told the New York Times that the company is going back to the drawing board. It might scrap its photo app altogether in favor of, well, something big and vague. According to the NYT article:

Mr. Nguyen outlined an ambitious plan to compete with Apple, Google and Facebook by tying together group messaging, recommendations and local search, all while making money through advertising.

Okay. Good luck with that.

Their first idea didn’t work. It happens. At least they still have a lot of money left to try something else. We’ve analyzed this from every angle by now. But how many do-overs do they get? Can they overcome such a spectacularly bad launch? Or is Color doomed to become the Ishtar of iPhone apps?

Watch more episodes of Fly or Die here.

Source: Fly Or Die: How Color Became The Ishtar Of iPhone Apps

Father’s Day Weekend Giveaway: An All-In-One PC From Asus Plus Other Gifts For Poppa

June 18th, 2011 06:37 admin View Comments

Poor dad. He’s always getting shafted when it comes to Father’s Day. Usually he gets a tie or a chess set or a fancy prize-winning goat (it was a weird year that year at the Biggs house, let me tell you). But does he ever get a full home gaming/3D video/Blu-Ray playing All-In-One gaming center? With speakers? And fancy lights?

Well now you can send Dad what he really wants. I’m going to run this contest until next Wednesday since it’s a pretty nice price so if you win you can pretend that you meant to send pops his present all along and you can just say you weren’t sure if you could afford it or whatever and then, suddenly, you were like “I love my dad. Dammit: he gets this gear.”

Here’s how to win:

Comment below to enter, describing your favorite moment with dear old dad. Comment only once. Include your email in the Disqus form (NOT IN THE COMMENT PROPER) or login using Facebook or whatever. If I can’t contact you, you can’t win. I will pick a winner at noon next Wednesday, June 22. I will pick one commenter at random.

Here’s what pops can win:
All-in-One PC ET2400XVT
with 3D glasses

23.6″
1920 x 1080 resolution
120Hz 3D Panel
OS Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit
Touch Screen Multi Touch
CPU + Chipset Intel® Core™ i7 -740QM
Intel® HM55 Chipset
Memory DDR3 1333 MHz 2GB SO-DIMM x 4 slot, 8GB max.
HDD 1TB SATA II 7200rpm 3.5″
Optical Drive Tray-in Blue-ray reader
Graphics NVIDIA GTX460M 1.5G(3D)

soundscience rockus Speaker System

Desktop speaker system creates the ultimate personal theater experience & features 3Dsst™ technology
· Anodized aluminum satellites reduce vibration and minimize distortion, resulting in clear mid and sparkling high-range sound
· Active subwoofer with passive radiator technology, delivers an expansive range of bass comparable to larger footprint subwoofers
· 3D-tuned drivers to deliver audio optimized for soundscience’s 3Dsst technology
· Dual-mode operation: 3D mode for enveloping games and movies sounds, and music mode for faithful stereo music playback
· Optical input for playback of digital audio from game consoles (Xbox 360, PS3) and other, similarly equipped devices
· Remote control pod for volume adjustment, 3D/music mode selection, muting and digital/analog input option

soundscience halo 6 LED bias lighting kit™

Subtle white backlight optimizes picture quality and eliminates eye strain to enhance viewing comfort
Remedies eye fatigue by reducing the range of motion in the iris muscles when viewing images in a dark environment
Color and brightness are carefully calibrated to achieve the optimal viewing experience and increase your monitor’s perceived contrast ratio
Eliminating eye strain increases vision endurance and comfort during long viewing sessions
· Fits LCD monitors up to 24” placed against a light colored wall; available USB port or powered USB hub

Thanks to Asus and Soundscience for hooking us up.


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Father’s Day Weekend Giveaway: An All-In-One PC From Asus Plus Other Gifts For Poppa

Mad Magazine Announces Their Own “Official” “Blog”

June 16th, 2011 06:18 admin View Comments

First Facebook, now WordPress? Mad Magazine just announced an update to their official blog, now called The Idiotical, following such greats as the New Yorker and Cracked into the cesspool that is Internet media.

In honor of the launch, Life magazine ran a gallery of some of Mad’s greatest contributors including William Gaines, Nick Meglin, and The Beard, wandering the world, wearing each other’s pants, and generally looking like the travelling cast of Call Me Baron Harkonnen: The Musical. The Pete Best of Mad, Dick DeBartolo, also appears.

Mad has gotten considerably racier in the years since I last read it but there are still plenty of innocuous sight gags and some great parodic writing. I, personally, wanted to become a writer after I met Bill Gaines at Mad’s offices when I was about thirteen. It was all downhill from there.

Here’s hoping Mad is around another few decades and I think a new, energized website is probably the way to go.


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Mad Magazine Announces Their Own “Official” “Blog”

Microsoft Launches Kinect SDK For Windows

June 16th, 2011 06:03 admin View Comments

Microsoft has just announced a new SDK for Windows that allows programmers to take input from the Kinect and use it in their homebrew projects.

This will allow users to create games, UIs, and apps with Kinect’s 3D sensing technology including 3D scanning, audio tracking, and the creation of 3D wireframes in real time.

The three major features include:

Raw sensor streams
Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.

Skeletal tracking
The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.

Advanced audio capabilities
Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.

You can download the SDK here.

Project Page


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Microsoft Launches Kinect SDK For Windows

Review: ThinkGeek iCADE iPad Arcade Cabinet

June 14th, 2011 06:23 admin View Comments

Few things will grab a middle-aged man’s attention like an iPad full of old Atari games and a ball-end joystick. There is something about that specific mix of electronic nostalgia, the promise of adventure, and the experience of sweet limbic release that allows him to relax into the experience at hand, his face slack, his hand jazzing the stick like a rat trained to respond to reward behavior.

That’s why the iCADE from ThinkPad is so great: it makes you think you’re a kid again, slamming quarters into Crystal Castles while waiting for you dad to pick you up from the roller rink. It’s a visceral feeling to see old games finely reproduced inside a little arcade cabinet whose brightly colored decoration reminds you of a simpler, happier time.

The iCADE is basically a little cabinet that holds your iPad. It has a little clip that holds the iPad snug in portrait mode although you can turn it around into landscape (although that’s not recommended). It has a joystick and eight buttons and is currently only compatible with Atari’s Greatest Hits, allowing you to play a number of arcade classics as well as a plethora of arguably terrible Atari 2600 titles (I’m sorry, but that stuff is pretty rough). It connects to the iPad via Bluetooth and, in essence, acts as a Bluetooth keyboard. Presumably game manufacturers could easily retrofit their games for the iCADE and what I wouldn’t give to play Super Mega Worm on this thing.

The iCADE costs $99 and you have to put it together yourself using a few screws. It would make for great cubicle decoration but because it doesn’t charge the iPad it doesn’t make a very good dock. Generally it’s nice for bringing out at a party, playing for a while, and then putting away. I slapped this thing on the dining room table this weekend and saw a number of my house guests stop, stare, and then play for a good half hour until the majesty of Missile Command wore off.

To be clear, this is a novelty akin to the junk you used to buy at Spencer’s Gifts. Until it supports more games you’re basically dealing with a one trick pony. The joystick/buttonpad is also a little cramped because of the iCADE’s small size and and $99 for a denuded keyboard and some particleboard is a little steep. In all you get a little bit of buyers remorse once you realize this thing will be sitting on your dark from now until the end of time.

However, if you’re the kind of guy who buys old pinball machines for the basement and has a bust of Darth Vader on a shelf above the bar, this might be a good addition to your man cave. Otherwise, why not just go to an actual arcade and play a few boards of Pac-Man? It’s cheaper and it will relieve that video game craving far more quickly.

Regardless, it was fun while it lasted and it was amazing seeing grown men become kids again, if only for a fleeting, pixelated second.

Product Page


John Biggs is a Brooklyn-based writer. You can Tweet him here and email him at john at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Review: ThinkGeek iCADE iPad Arcade Cabinet

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