Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
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Hello, CNET readers and members! I hope this column finds you well and enjoying all that the new year has brought you so far. Here I am with another installment of Get to know the CNET family. It's been a while since I've published one of these, but here I am, back in saddle with a special treat.
All the way from our UK office (far for me, but not for all), I have with me Katie Collins -- our UK reporter, an epic world adventurer, who like a Navy SEAL trains on a Woodway Treadmill. She wishes for teleportation powers so she could travel the world and save money on airfare. Now that's a power I'd love, too! (Katie, if you ever get that power, please share it with me!) So without further ado, here's Katie, folks:
Q: What's your job title and what do you do?
A: My job title is Reporter and I write tech news and features for CNET in London.
Q: What's a fun fact about you related to work?
A: I've worked at CNET twice! I had my first full-time job in journalism here as an associate editor, before moving away for a couple of years. When a new reporter role was created I jumped at the chance to rejoin the team.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: Working across multiple time zones with editors all over the world. The other side of that coin is that I now have colleagues I call friends in cities across the globe.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A: My favourite thing about my job is getting out of the office and meeting people who are doing really amazing things -- whether that be visiting the office of a guy in Tokyo who is building companion robots, or getting a chef to demonstrate pioneering techniques in their restaurant.
Q: What was the first tech gadget you owned?
A: A Sony Walkman, which I used pretty much exclusively to listen to the Spice Girls over and over and over.
Q: Besides your phone, what's the most influential tech item in your life?
A: It's not one I own personally, but the Woodway Treadmills at my gym have a pretty big influence on my life right now. They are used by Navy SEALs and are supposed to be easier on your knees (although they haven't stopped me from getting shin splints).
Q: Besides your phone, what's the tech item you can't live without?
A: My Kindle. I studied English literature at university and I'm still a voracious reader. You can never be bored if you have a book with you, and with my Kindle I have a whole library.
Q: When you grow up, what do you want to be?
A: An author, a dog owner and an even better journalist than I am right now.
Q: When you have some alone time, what would you be doing?
A: Playing with my foster cats, plotting my next adventure.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
A: Do things you are afraid of and you will become the person you want to be.
Q: Favorite and most ridiculous app ever downloaded?
A: Nothing is as soothing to me as Monument Valley. Most ridiculous is probably a Sleep Talk Recorder. Turns out I'm not super chatty when I sleep, so that one didn't last long.
Q: If you could have a magic power, what would it be?
A: Definitely teleportation (or in the world of Harry Potter, the ability to apparate). I love to travel and this would save me a lifetime of airfares, as well as allowing me to satisfy my wanderlust at any given moment.
Q: What's your life motto?
A: Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.
Q: What is your favorite quote and why?
A: "To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world." This is by Freya Stark, and I like it because I know exactly what she means.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Cheese -- the stronger the better. I like any type, but don't give me any of that plasticky processed stuff. My guilty pleasure is melted vintage cheddar on crumpets.
Q: What is your favorite sport & team?
A: My favourite sport would have to be skiing, but my favourite team is Manchester United. I'm also a big fan of the US women's gymnastics team.
Q: Who is your favorite Star Wars character and why?
A: R2-D2 because he's sassy and sarcastic
Q: Where do you like to vacation?
A: Where don't I like to vacation, more like?! I've been exploring more and more of the US over the past few years, but Italy, Greece and the French Alps are places I return to time and time again. Africa has my heart, but it's harder and more expensive to get to.
Q: If you had to pick a place right now, where would you want to be?
A: Sitting out on the Piazza del Campo in Siena, drinking wine, eating antipasti and watching the world go by.
Q: What makes you happy?
A: Travelling, animals, writing, reading, my family.
Q: What's on your bucket list?
A: My bucket list is as long as my arm, but I've always wanted to visit the Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe. Next up would be gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Patagonia.
There you have it, folks, the one and only Katie Collins straight out of our UK office. I hope you enjoy Katie's Q&A. If you like adventures, world travels and have a serious case of wanderlust yourself, get chatty with her in the comments section and share your list of next adventures and destinations. Maybe you can even figure out a way to invent a teleportation device together! Good luck and thank you all for tuning in. Until the next one, talk to you all then. Cheers!