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Nicole Kobie

Journalist

London

Nicole Kobie

Freelance journalist covering tech, transport and science
Contributing editor to Wired UK and Futures editor at PC Pro.
Bylines in New Scientist, Motherboard, the Guardian, Teen Vogue, WebUser, Computer Shopper, Computer Active, Grazia, Big Issue, the Outline, IT Pro, Alphr and more.

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Night trains are brilliant. So why doesn’t the UK have any to Europe?

Ask Michael Guerra about night trains running through the Channel Tunnel and he can’t help but throw his hands up in frustration — it happens dozens of times on our Zoom call. And no wonder: the engineer and founder of London Sleepers has been trying to get an overnight service running between London’s St Pancras and the continent for 18 years. ”It’s really hard to do,” he says, adding that the financials of the business are ”really stupid”.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The big rise in small beer is the beginning of the end for hangovers

Sam McGregor spends his days brewing beer at an industrial park near Blackhorse Road in London, so it should come as no surprise that he also wants to spend his days drinking it. That raises a problem: if he and the rest of the crew at Signature Brew indulged as they liked, the headaches would be brutal.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The Police's Military Tactics Turn Peaceful Protests Violent

The Police's Military Tactics Turn Peaceful Protests Violent. Research shows that calm and negotiation, not excessive force, reduces damage. So why are officers still turning to tear gas? Officers, seen here in riot gear, have escalated use of force in response to protestors, but research shows that these tactics only make matters worse.
Wired Magazine Link to Story
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The pessimist’s guide to the future, from virtual reality to driverless cars

Hype fuels the technology industry. A few years from now, we’ll be shuttled about in driverless cars, lose our jobs to AI and robots, and forget our troubles in virtual worlds. Hyperloop will zip us across countries, chatbots will organise our lives, and drones will deliver our shopping paid for with digital currencies.
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Farmers are fighting back against the fake meat supermarket invasion

Ditching meat doesn’t mean that come BBQ season you’ll be choking down a crumbly mash of beans for your burger — technology is catching up with vegetarians, offering plant-based burgers that “bleed” and promising lab-grown meat without killing animals. Such products are already on menus. Across restaurants in the US, the Impossible Burger uses a mix of wheat and soy hemoglobins to offer a texture similar to beef, including “blood” oozing out of the centre, and rival Beyond Meat has said it hopes to have its pea-protein burgers on store shelves in the UK this year.
Big Issue Link to Story
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How you and your friends can fight back against online trolls

How you and your friends can fight back against online trolls. Tackling trolls with a little help from your friends. A “friendsourcing” tool called Squadbox lets people use their friendship group to filter abusive messages sent to them by online trolls. If someone is being targeted with abuse, Squadbox allows friends, support groups or other trusted parties to access their email account to act as personal moderators.
New Scientist Link to Story
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Is This The Beginning Of The End For Facebook?

Last week's Observer investigation struck at the heart of social media with its revelations, but will it prove the wake-up call needed to regulate the internet? Wired contributor Nicole Kobie reports... A pink-haired whistleblower, hidden-camera confessions and regime- changing propaganda. Data privacy stories aren’t normally plotted like a spy thriller, but this had it all.
Grazia Link to Story
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FBI Webcam Surveillance: What You Should Know

Does an FBI agent sit all day watching you through your webcam? Twitter loves the idea, turning it into a meme about special agents helping surveilled subjects through relationships, advising on selfies, and offering a "bless you" after sneezing. As amusing as it is to imagine some poor wretch has to watch your day-to-day routine — singing along to YouTube, searching for your ex on Instagram, and being depressed about breakups — the suddenly popular meme has origins in real-life privacy invasions.
Teen VOGUE Link to Story
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Masks will soon be mandatory but nobody wants to enforce the rules

Surinder Josan has been dealing with Covid-19 disbelievers in his All Seasons DIY shop in Smethwick, Birmingham, throughout lockdown. “One guy wanted to shake my hand, and I said I really shouldn’t because of the coronavirus – he just walked out muttering, ‘Coronavirus, my ass’,” he says. But now that masks are set to be made mandatory inside shops from July 24 under threat of a £100 fine, Josan has a problem: what to do if someone refuses?
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Boris Johnson’s driverless Tube dream is doomed to fail (again)

Boris Johnson has been pushing for driverless trains on the Underground ever since his term as London mayor. In 2012, he pledged we'd have them in two years. Now, as prime minister, he's trying again: last week, he threatened to withhold future funding from Transport for London (TfL) if it refuses to invest in the technology.
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Shops are open again. Here’s what to expect if you’re heading out

Hellen Stirling-Baker’s toy shop, Small Stuff in Sheffield, is reopening this week. But she has a problem: how do you stop children from picking up toys and playing with them? “We've spent quite a long time trying to figure that part out,” she says. Ahead of non-essential stores officially reopening from June 15, Stirling-Baker has removed the cozy reading corner that previously entertained tots, and reimagined the store as a showroom, with only one of each product on display.
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Plans for coronavirus immunity passports should worry us all

If you’ve had Covid-19, an immunity passport could be your ticket out of lockdown — but even companies designing such systems aren’t sure it’s an idea that will or should ever be widely used. An immunity passport or health certificate is a way of proving to others — your boss, an airline, or a bouncer at a bar — that you have antibodies against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

About

Nicole Kobie

You may have seen my work at PC Pro, where I edit the Futures section, on Wired UK, where I'm a contributing editor, or in WebUser, where I write the news pages. I also regularly contribute to Teen Vogue, The Outline, CityMetric, New Scientist, Alphr, Vice's Motherboard, IT Pro and Cloud Pro, Computer Shopper, and the Telegraph, and have written for Mental Floss, Ars Technica, Trusted Reviews, MacUser, Computer Active, The Calgary Herald, the Guardian, and more.

I’m a creative, hard-working digital and print journalist, currently specialising in technology, science and transport stories, but happy to write about anything -- even Theresa May coughing.

I focus on high-quality news and features stories, explaining complicated topics with clean, precise writing. I work quickly, write accurately and, perhaps most importantly, hit my deadlines.

Aside from writing and editing, I've had training in investigative journalism, data journalism and photojournalism, and used to be a regular on PC Pro's podcast.

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Skills

  • journalism
  • writing
  • editing
  • news
  • features
  • blogging
  • columns
  • photojournalism
  • photography
  • technology
  • spending hours at the pub
  • Being retweeted by Snowden