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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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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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Lilium's flying taxi is finally here. But the war for the skies is fierce

A sleek aircraft rises from the ground — wobbling at first but then confidently hovering in the air above the launch pad — before gently returning to the tarmac. A room packed with engineers erupts in cheers — this is the first flight for the Lilium Jet, a five-seater flying taxi unveiled today. The Lilium Jet, which was tested outside Munich earlier this month, is an eVTOL — an electric vertical take off and landing vehicle.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The sky-high future of the Airlander's remarkable flying bum

The world's largest aircraft has been grounded, but not for long. The blimp-like Airlander 10 will next take to the skies not as a prototype but as a production model – and don't worry, it'll still look like a giant, flying bum. Built by Hybrid Air Vehicles, the 92-metre-long Airlander 10 pulls ideas from helicopters, planes and blimps for a unique aircraft that's low carbon and can fly for five days at a time, making it useful for aid deliveries to remote areas or unique airborne cruise ships for wealthy tourists.
Wired UK Link to Story
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No, driverless cars will not be racing around UK roads this year

Driverless cars are overhyped, and their progress reported in a nonsensical way. Want proof? Yesterday, The Times ran a story on its front page under the headline, "Driverless cars on UK roads by end of the year", claiming that the government was progressing to allow fully automated cars to be tested without safety drivers onboard this year.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Digital doping: Are big data, AI and virtual reality creating an uneven playing field?

Watching elite athletes run, leap and score, it’s hard to imagine there’s much room for improvement, but the Internet of Things, Big Data and virtual reality are shaving milliseconds from sprinters, extending the jumps of Olympians – and helping your favourite striker put the ball in the net. That’s before bionics change sports forever, with predictions that the sprinters at the next summer Olympics could be outperformed by an athlete at the Paralympics.
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The slow self-driving cars of Greenwich

Shuffling home a bit tipsy along the river in Greenwich, the woman probably didn’t expect to see an automated pod following her every stumble. As if holding back due to awkward good manners, the self-driving vehicle trailed her down the bike path, unable to get around without coming too close. Contrary to most of our assumptions about driverless cars – perhaps skewed by recent American trials – that’s exactly how carefully, slowly and deliberately the automated pods in this particular trial move as they run along the river near the O2 Arena.
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The future of train travel: Biometric tickets, sensors and drone repairs could spell the end of delays and strikes

Forget the strikes and delays of British train travel. Instead, distract yourself with a dream of an innovative transport utopia. That’s what the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has done. The organisation representing Britain’s 23 train companies has set out a blueprint for railways in the digital age, envisaging smart carriages that chat to each other to cut delays, drones hovering over tracks to assist with maintenance, and biometric, fingerprint-based ticketing.
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How did driverless cars cope in last week’s London’s snow?

There’s one London driver that didn’t react badly to last week’s snow: Greenwich’s driverless pod. The GATEway project runs a pod – the same vehicle used at Heathrow to ferry drivers from the parking lot to the terminals – around a 3.4km route on the Greenwich peninsula. The aim isn’t currently to test the automated technology, but to understand public perception to driverless vehicles.
Citymetric Link to Story
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Is Hyperloop overhyped and underlooped?

London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes. Global mass transport that’s as fast as planes without chewing up fossil fuels and spewing out emissions. And all backed by the billionaire enthusiast who pushed electric cars to the forefront and wants to take humans to Mars. But is Hyperloop actually possible?
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The startup that wants to send you to space

Do you want to be an astronaut? Of course you do – you’re not boring. If the six-year-old you dreamed of going to space, but as an adult failed to get the experience as a pilot, physicist or other highly skilled technician required to hop a flight to the stars, it’s not too late. That’s according to Space Nation, which wants to train everybody as astronauts and send them one by one into space.
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Destination: The Future - how tech is changing travel

Move over space planes and drone cruises, it's the smaller innovations that are truly changing tourism for the better

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