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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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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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YouTube's carbon footprint is huge, but smarter web design could fix it

YouTube's annual carbon footprint is about 10Mt CO2e (Million Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent), according to researchers — about the output of a city the size of Glasgow. But it doesn't have to be that way, with a few easy design changes easily slashing that footprint by applying Sustainable Interaction Design.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The NHS has a plan for taking on anti-vaxxers: ignore them

Anti-vaxxers abound on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, spewing misinformation about immunisation. Faced with falling vaccination rates, health authorities are fighting back. Their weapon of choice? The humble hashtag. Last month Public Health England (PHE) – a government agency that promotes wellbeing in the UK – ran a social media campaign under #ValueofVaccines while UNICEF went with #VaccinesWork.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Is Russia really using beluga whales to spy on the world?

Beluga whales are undeniably adorable — but less so when they're wearing Russian military equipment. Fishermen in the northern Norwegian town of Inga spotted a friendly, tame whale allegedly wearing a harness labelled with "equipment of St. Petersburg," with a GoPro camera holder. Norwegian marine experts said there was "great reason to believe" the whale was trained by the Russian navy.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Major concerns are being raised about Babylon's impact on the NHS

A controversial London-based healthcare startup shouldn’t be allowed to expand its digital GP business across the UK until its impact on the NHS is fully understood, a Labour MP has said. Andy Slaughter, the MP for Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush, has called for an urgent inquiry into the services run by Babylon Health.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Why Google Maps and Citymapper are terrible for walking directions

Or just… keep walking, for those who can. It’s only 20 minutes via some of London’s prettiest streets. That could be set to change. Researchers are investigating how to model air quality to help pedestrians and runners avoid pollution, while others find ways to assess the beauty of a street or how happy it makes us.
Wired UK Link to Story
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First it was football streams, now Reddit is going after r/piracy

Reddit is trying to clean-up its act – and it's taking on illegal streaming in a big way. The move started with r/soccerstreams but has now moved to r/piracy. A decade of discussion about digital piracy is being methodically erased from the subreddit, sparked by takedown notices on two-year-old posts.
Wired UK Link to Story
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The messy, cautionary tale of how Babylon disrupted the NHS

Babylon was meant to make healthcare easier. For some in the NHS, it has done anything but. Now, as the London-based startup prepares to expand outside of the capital, a number of GPs and officials are expressing concerns about the strain the firm is putting on the health service. To date, the presence of Babylon’s GP surgery in London has forced the NHS to reallocate millions of pounds in funding to mitigate for the disruption it has caused.
Wired UK Link to Story
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Matt Hancock's plan to purge NHS pagers is pretty dumb. Here's why

Health Secretary Matt Hancock wants to ban pagers from the NHS, calling the devices "archaic". The problem? They save lives. And, in this instance, old technology really does work. Just ask Simon Scott-Hayward. He's a GP who volunteers with a local ambulance service in Devon to reach patients in the rural area more quickly.
Wired UK 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

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