|What I do|
Since November 2005, I've been technology editor at The Guardian newspaper in London. I edited the printed Technology supplement, which came out every Thursday; it was discontinued at the end of 2009. (Oh, print, you fickle mistress.) I now edit the overall technology coverage in the Technology section, updated throughout the day. It covers consumer computing technologies such as PCs, smartphones, internet companies, apps, video games, and so on.
I'm currently writing a book for Kogan Page about Apple, Microsoft and Google, with the working title of "The Rivals" which will look at how their businesses have developed since 1997, what makes each one special, what their smart and stupid business decisions have been, and what you can learn from them. Publication is planned for early 2012.
You can find a (very long) list of the stories I've written for The Guardian at my Guardian profile. There are tons of stories there, many of which I'm proud of, but the achievement that I'd point to overall is the Free Our Data campaign, which I created with Mike Cross in March 2006 to persuade the government to make non-personal government data available for free reuse. (One particular focus of the campaign was on the funding model for the UK's mapping agency, Ordnance Survey, which was obliged - under its funding regime - to charge people for the use of maps online). With the very capable help of Tom Watson MP, Jim Knight MP, Michael Wills MP... and Tim Berners-Lee and Gordon Brown... the campaign pretty much succeeded. The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition has committed itself to a transparency agenda that echoes all the aims we had for the Free Our Data campaign. It's a wide-ranging, subtle yet enormously important change in approach and I'm certainly happy about my role in it.
From 1995 to December 2004 I was technology editor at The Independent writing about technology, science and the environment. Major stories covered in depth included the dot-com boom (when a study found me the most sceptical journalist in Fleet Street about dot-coms' prospects - hey, do you think I was right?), the BSE crisis, .... See more stories I've written for The Independent.
After that I freelanced - writing a weekly column for The Independent, and for other outlets too, including The Register and Netimperative. Among the stories that I wrote at The Register were the iPod nano's tendency to show scratches (Friday September 23, prompting other media to pick the story up for the Monday), Dell's closure of its customer services forums because they were too critical (July 2005), the threat of avian flu (June 2005) and the possibilities of fusion (July 2005).
See my CV (resumé to Americans..) or contact me.
It's called "..on anything that comes along" because that's basically what it's about: anything. Technology plays a large part, but then so does my interst in scams, and media, and tennis, and so on.
At the start of 2003, 2004 and 2005 I made some predictions in The Independent about what would happen in technology in those years. Dead on, or just dead wrong?