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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, Teen Vogue, WebUser, Computer Shopper, Computer Active, Grazia, Big Issue, the Outline, IT Pro, Alphr and more.

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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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Brexit Britain's space ambitions are an expensive waste of time

Brexit is officially an astronomical pain in the neck. Because Britain is departing the EU, its access to the continental club's satellite network is changing – and while those pre-existing rules shouldn't have been news to our government, the ensuing disagreement has the UK threatening to launch its very own navigation satellite system.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Why Facebook could become the next Myspace

Facebook is learning that the network effect works in reverse too, as the young desert the site. Facebook is getting a bit desperate for attention – "thirsty", as the internet informs me the kids say, probably while on Snapchat. Figures from eMarketer predict that the number of people under 24 using the site will slide by 700,000 in the UK alone this year; those numbers will be mostly replaced by the over-45 crowd, like a bar that's replaced its drum-and-bass club nights with 80s singalongs.
IT Pro Link to Story
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After the Toronto attack don't explain Incel ideology, ban it

We don't yet know why Alek Minassian allegedly chose to drive a rented van through dozens of people on Toronto's Yonge Street, killing ten people, but a single Facebook post from the accused has driven a wave of coverage in one direction: "incels". The breathless reporting of the online forums where self-dubbed "involuntary celibates" gather to discuss and develop their misogynist beliefs ignores a wider truth, suggesting men who violently hate women is an intriguing, new, internet-only trend.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Artificial Intelligence Isn't Good for Women, But We Can Fix It

Artificial intelligence isn't necessarily good for women, but we can make it better. Because we build and train AI, it reflects our biases and assumptions — and our racism and sexism. That's problematic as AI can be used everywhere: it controls driverless cars and powers voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa, but also helps HR departments sift through resumes, decides who gets parole, and examines medical images.
Teen VOGUE Link to Story
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In following China's iCloud law, has Apple betrayed itself?

Apple's move to store user iCloud data locally in China was inevitable; it's merely following the law. But if the powerful tech leaders of Silicon Valley can't stand up for customers rights in China, who can? Apple yesterday shifted its Chinese iCloud storage to a local company, for the first time hosting the encryption keys for that data in China rather than the US.
Wired UK Link to Story
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It’s time to regulate social media – it’s too powerful

US Senator John Kennedy is afraid of Facebook. At a senate hearing on Russian influence into the 2016 election, he told legal counsels sent by Facebook and Google: “Your power sometimes scares me.”. What an understatement. According to Facebook itself, as many as 270 million of its 1.5 billion accounts are fakes or duplicates, and more than 48 million are “user-misclassified and undesirable accounts”.
IT Pro Link to Story
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Could Uber run the London bus network? It’s complicated

Uber wants to run city bus systems. And, as the UK’s bus coverage hits a 28-year-low, unless government and local authorities invest more in public transport, we may well have to give the taxi firm a shot. Dara Khosrowshahi, the firm’s CEO, says he wants Uber to become a market for transport options from bikes to food delivery and more.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Facebook's suicide alert tool isn't coming to the EU. Here's why

Facebook is scanning posts for suicidal ideation everywhere in the world — except Europe. But despite Facebook's claims we're too sensitive about privacy issues to accept site-wide scanning, there's plenty in our data laws that would allow automated alerts to protect social media users here, too. Everywhere else but here, Facebook will use a pattern-recognition system to watch for troubling comments in users posts and videos, such as "are you ok?"
Wired UK Link to Story
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Reddit can't work out whether to save or destroy net neutrality

Net neutrality is good, the FCC's recent decision to repeal protective rules is bad. On such points, there's little dissent across the web, with one notable exception: Reddit's The_Donald, the web community's most infamous faction. Reddit has long led the battle to save net neutrality, as an organisation and through its many users.
Wired UK Link to Story
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YouTube, kids and Silicon Valley's recurring algorithmic blind spot

Elsa from Frozen with a machine gun. Paw Patrol characters visiting a strip joint. Bleeding children pranked by their parents to win subscribers. Beneath the official Disney and Nickelodeon videos uploaded to entertain and distract children, these are the curios lying in wait, gaming Google's algorithms to play automatically as soon as the last video finishes.
Wired UK Link to Story

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