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Get to know the CNET family: Q&A with Claire Reilly

Meet Claire from Down Under. She has a face of an angel and the voice of Meat Loaf.

James Martin/CNET

Take a look behind the scenes at CNET to get to know some of our staff members better and learn what they do to make our site a success.


Hello, CNET readers and members! Here I am with another Get to know the CNET family installment --this time coming directly to you from Down Under. I have with me Senior Editor Claire Reilly who works out of our Sydney office. Anyone who knows her will tell she is the resident "Simpsons" guru -- I'll bet you can't stump her with any "Simpsons" trivia. She is also a big hair-metal rock enthusiast as well as a blue cheese aficionado. If you want to know what hair metal band she likes to rock to as well as karaoke to, keep singing reading. H-e-e-e-e-e-r-e's Claire!

clairereilly-taipei

 Checking out the view at Taipei 101 (380 metres above Taipei) during Computex this year.

Claire Reilly/CNET

Q: What's your job title and what do you do? 

I'm CNET Senior Editor for the Australian team -- I look after news writing and video for both local and international readers out of the Sydney CNET office.

Q: What's a fun fact about you related to work?

I've travelled to some great places and been able to interview some awesome people, like George Miller, Alfie Allen and Bruce Campbell (who used the phrase "cadaver's hoo-ha" in our interview -- won't forget that any time soon).

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

We're a small team in Australia, so that means I cover a pretty broad range of tech news, rather than a single beat. As a result, I need to be across the ins and outs on a really broad range of tech topics, from all the specs in the latest smartphone down to why the latest innovation is (or isn't) going to change the world. In a given day I could be writing about politics, pop culture, a major hack, telco infrastructure or a massive news story that has ramifications for the tech world. It makes for fascinating work, but you also have to be ready to pivot pretty quickly.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

clairereilly-radio

 Late night radio cross!

Claire Reilly/CNET

See above: I get to write about (and do video on) almost everything! I've written about the history of neon, spoken to refugees in remote detention camps and even gone backstage at Cirque du Soleil. Tech touches all aspects of our lives, and I get to tell people why it matters. Plus, people continue to put me on camera despite the ludicrous array of faces I make. That's a plus. 

Q: Favorite CNET tech tip?

Passwords, passwords, passwords! Everyone has too many, and most of them aren't secure. It's as simple as taking a few basic steps, each a little better than the last.

1. Use unique, good passwords for email and internet banking at the very least.

2. Don't repeat passwords, and try to change them occasionally.

3. Use passphrases. Letters, numbers and !*$% characters don't really matter -- they're all just variations of keystrokes. But every time you add another character to your password, you make it much more difficult to crack.

Q: What's your go-to karaoke song?

Anything by Meat Loaf. Many people will try to tell you it's obnoxious to do an eight-minute song with a three-minute rock opera piano solo, but they don't have the microphone. Plus, I have the deep voice of an out-of-work Vegas lounge singer, so Meat Loaf is ideal.

clairereilly-elvis

Busting out my purple lurex jumpsuit in Elvis' TV room at Graceland. 

Claire Reilly/CNET

Q: What's your favorite TV show?

"The Simpsons." It's a pop cultural touchstone and a perfectly cromulent mix of comedy, satire and wit.

Q: Besides your phone, what's the tech item you can't live without?

My Xbox -- and I'm not even a console gamer (PC master race FTW). I've setup the Kinect to recognise voice commands, so I can control the TV while I'm cooking or heading off to bed. For a major privacy nark, I'm surprised I'm so happy to have Xbox and Google Home microphones constantly listening in my home.

Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?

I speak barely passable French, but my real life goal is to get as many accents under my belt as possible. If you're from rural Minnesota, chances are I'll want to listen to everything you say.

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clairereilly-starwarsburger

 Eating a Star Wars burger, all in the name of CNET research on May the 4th. 

Luke Lancaster/CNET

Q: Who would you most want to be stuck in an elevator with?

Dolly Parton. No explanation necessary.

Q: What is your favorite food?

Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings. Bring them to me until I tell you to stop, and then bring a further two dishes.

Q: If you weren't working at CNET, where would you want to be?

Onstage, at a place with a name like "Johnny Ramone's Tiki Hut," turning out showtunes for the locals, leaving a slick of gin and glitter in my wake.

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

It'll be alright in the end. And if it's not alright, it's not the end. 


Well folks, I hope you enjoyed Claire's Q&A and got know her better. I for one, found out that Claire loves Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings and so am I! If you haven't tasted them yet, you've got to go out and try one -- they are incredibly tasty!

If you're a big fan of Claire, love to rock out on big-hair bands or you fixate on "The Simpsons," you and Claire will be buds in no time. Wanna challenge her on some Homer and Marge trivia? Hit her up in the comments section. I'm sure she'll nail them all! Thank you for reading and thank you, Claire. Take care, folks.