Author: John Biggs

Zoe Quinn talks about online abuse and her new book, Crash Override

 Zoe Quinn went to the heart of Gamergate and has come back with a new book, Crash Override, a meditation on online communities and making the Internet safer. Quinn spoke with me for a few minutes about her new book and how we can help prevent kids from going down the Gamergate path. Her ultimate solution? Talking to people who harass her. By putting a voice to the name she was able to defuse… Read More

Twitter has a big bot problem

 Twitter bots – robots that interact with humans – have a long history. The Twitter API is fairly easy to use (I made a bot that plays Zork with a friend two years ago) and there is little protection against creating new accounts automatically. This ease of use used to be great for programmers but now Twitter has a huge bot problem. Bots have expanded beyond the traditional tactics.… Read More

Run to the rock

 The past week has been a tough one for lovers of freedom. Slippery slopes have been slid down and a side of the human mind that once remained in shadow has reared its head. Charlottesville is just the first step down a dark road. In real life, on the public square, our support of freedom of speech and public assembly – a freedom that has long helped hater and lover alike – is in… Read More

Rabbi Abe Cooper talks about online hate

 In this episode of Technotopia I talked with Rabbi Abe Cooper, Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Rabbi Cooper’s doesn’t use many online but he knows how to remain human in a time of great digital upheaval and he shared some of the tactics he uses to help online services keep hate groups off of the Internet. He turned this podcast… Read More

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

 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

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