Guy Kewney, Editor of NewsWireless.net, Speaks to SebRT.com!
SebRT.com welcomes GUY KEWNEY. Guy is the editor of NewsWireless.net.
His work in the technology industry spans four decades and has the
distinction of writing for major technology publications like PC Magazine.
Hi Guy! Thanks for fitting this interview in with your busy schedule.
You have a pretty impressive career behind you! In a nutshell, tell me a little about where you have come from.
I was a programmer
in 1965, and I quickly realized that I was no bloody good at it. I
always wanted to be a writer so I went into journalism. I started in
issue no.1 of Personal Computer World and I am still writing for it.
Probably the highest profile journalism I have done was for Thames
Television, called “Database”. I was series consultant and
co-presenter. I did a year with channel 4 with a programme called “4
Computer Buffs”. At the moment I am doing NewsWireless.net and writing
a lot for the Register I am also doing regular columns for publications
like IT Week and PCW.
What are you doing at the moment, aside from being editor on these websites?
I am launching and getting going with “As Far as I Can See” (AFAICS.com).
We are the world’s best central repository for e-publishing and e-book
technology. I am also a sailor, I love sailing. Have a look at my
sailing blog on the register. (Links to Guy’s sailing blog below)
Would you [willingly] call yourself a Geek?
Yeah. Why not? I
wouldn’t be the best person to talk about myself. I am probably the
archetypal dilettante. I am interested in everything. I’m definitely
not a jock. So, Geek, Works.
is going to be reading this interview is waiting for me to ask you
about the incident with the BBC in May of this year.
Tell me a little about what happened?
asked me if I would like to do a piece for BBC News 24. I said sure. I
did some research that weekend and they sent a car for me in the
morning. It was pouring with rain and it was probably because everyone
was rushing and panicking because we were all late. And the small error
occurred. (For those who don’t know, Guy Goma appeared instead of Guy Kewney for the discussion)
I started to get a little concerned while waiting in the green room,
and I went to reception and asked. They thought that I had already been
in and out.
Finally the producer came down and apologized profusely. I
simply rolled on the floor laughing. I genuinely had tears in my eyes.
It was helarious.
I am going to ask you the questions that the BBC was to have asked you, so that we can hear it from you.
—Were you surprised by the verdict (Apple Vs. Beatles)
Karen, I think you have that question back to front in fact it was
Apple Computer Corp.that got the verdict and won, not the Beatles. But
yes I was very surprised. This was the third decision in the long
standing battle between the two of them and was the most clear cut.
Frankly the previous two should have gone to Apple Computer Corp. and
not the Beatles. This one should have gone to the Beatles and not to
Apple. I would expect this to go to appeal and to be very possibly
overturned in the near future.
—With regards to the cost that is involved, do you think that more people will be downloading music online?
a good question Karen, and it relates to who makes the money online.
The crucial thing here is not what happens to the Beatles but what
happens to Apple and Microsoft. There is a battle going on
between Apple and Microsoft to control the download channel. Right now
Apple is way ahead of Microsoft with the iPod and Itunes. If Apple can
sign up a big label like the Beatles they are going to pull even
further ahead. The battle in my mind is with digital rights management.
—This does really seem to be the way that the music industry’s
progressing now, that people want to go online and download music…?
It is one of the
ways the industry is going. It is all about copyright, the internet and
control. And the internet has basically destroyed copyright. For the large music companies to try and regain control of the music. For
a while the music industry owned copyright and they still think that is
the natural order of things. They think they need to find the magic
tool to get that control back again. They are living in a dream world.
to me in one of our pre-interview discussions that you have spent time
trying not to become famous, what do you mean by that?
I meant that being
really famous destroys your life. Being respected by your peers is one
thing. Being known by your market is one thing. Being famous the way
George Clooney, Cocaine Kate, destroys your life. You want to be able to walk down the street and be a private person. When
I was buying a ticket at the tube, the ticket seller used to say “Saw
you on television last night” – that was just a little too close to
being famous for my taste.
before about our dependency on the internet and how it feels when we
are “disconnected” – In your opinion why have we become so dependant?
I would point you
at Vernor Vinge. He wrote a novella called true names. It was so far
ahead of the future at the time, he predicted, pretty much exactly how
a totally connected world would enhance and enlarge out minds.
You are not dependant on the internet. It makes your mind so great, then you suddenly become truncated.
“Why would you not feel trivialised by the loss of such great extra abilities?”
I see that you maintain a technology blog, do you find blogging a useful medium. Why did you start blogging?
I don’t actually
think of myself as a blogger, I just write things that need writing,
because I want to write them and sometimes the blog format seems to be
the only way of doing it. I started blogging because somebody paid me to do it. Rupert Goodwins and I did the first online “blog” called the “Online Diary”
I understand that you have just returned from a sailing trip that you blogged on the Register. Tell me a little about that.
Are you a gadget man yourself? What’s in your pocket (mobile, PDA, pager…etc)
No. I have given
up. I use a mobile phone and I use a pen. I suspect that an e-page toy
will suit me very well. It will be access to the text without the
problems that a computer brings.
You mentioned you don’t listen to podcasts. Is that a conscious decision or just lack of time?
interest me when there’s a serious way of indexing them. I don’t want
to sit through 45 minutes to hear the segment I want to hear. I
am prepared to listen to an audio stream of the “Today Programme”. I
listen to it with the knowledge I will hear things I find mostly
interesting. They have good sources and do a pretty good job of getting
inside the story. I do find podcasting potentially very valuable. Life is too short to listen to a 45 minute podcast for three minutes of information.
Last but not least, the Random Tech Question.
Where do you see WiFi taking us in the next ten years?
The main problem
with Wifi is it’s main advantage. Its license free which means there is
nothing to keep the channels clear and it is the only reason that I
take WiMax seriously as Intel’s vision of WiMax is of a licensed
spectrum. I don’t think there is enough spectrum for everyone to have a
wireless internet connection. Wifi needs a social innovation before it
can progress to a social benefit. It needs us to work out
a way of delegating the channels people use who are in close proximity.
I think that meshing a whole bunch of wireless networks together in the
neighborhood is a way of giving everyone a stake in making it work.
Well thank you Guy, it has been a pleasure having you on SebRT.com and you’re welcome back anytime! ********************************
If you would like to find out more about Guy Kewney and his work, point your browsers to his website at www.newswireless.net
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me – Email Me.