Wired UK

This month saw the re-launch of Wired UK after being absent from our magazine racks for a long time.
I first came across Wired magazine a good few years ago, on holiday in America. For those not familiar with the magazine, it is kind of a commentary on the society that our technology creates as much as it discusses the technology and the science behind it. So although it talks quite a bit about science, computers, and the internet, it’s more about the people behind these sorts of things, and about the society that may result from them.

The UK edition was spun off from the US, ran for a while, and then closed down due to diminishing readership. I’m guessing that the plans to restart a UK edition were made prior to the current financial turmoil, as otherwise it seems like a really bad time to relaunch something that has already failed once.

So what did I make of the first issue? Well, I should admit up-front that I’ve always liked Wired. Although it can get a bit carried away with itself sometimes, I’ve always enjoyed its positivity and enthusiasm for the opportunities that are created by our technology. And I like how it casts its net widely, and covers a broad range of subjects, some of which can be pretty blue sky. The first UK edition contains mainly stuff that is fairly in keeping with the US edition. The article about Elon Musk was interesting, as was the article about a financial formula that is being blamed for the current economic woes of the world. The story of the salvaging of the Cougar Ace has appeared before in the American magazine, but was worth reading again. The predictions of their futurologists is classic Wired – interesting speculation, but fairly lightweight. Even more lightweight was the piece by Alain de Botton about driving a digger – at only two pages including pictures, they didn’t really get their money’s worth from him. The most distinctively British piece was the story of the BBC IPlayer, and the guy behind it.

All in all, I liked it. It told some interesting stories, gave me some things to think about, and at the discounted subscription rate (£2 per issue), it was good value for money.

As a side-note, the Register reviewed the same magazine here. Not unexpectedly, they didn’t like it much, since Wired and the Register are more or less polar opposites in terms of how they view the world.

And if you fancy checking out some of the content, you can have a nosy here.

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