9 great reads from CNET this week

It was a controversy-filled week in technology, much like in the rest of the world. Actually, some of the tech world drama stems from political tensions across the globe between Hong Kong and China.

Game maker Blizzard this week removed a pro player during a competition after he made a statement in support of the Hong Kong protests. Gamers responded with a #BoycottBlizzard campaign and politicians also called out the company for impeding free speech. Also, Apple removed an app from the App Store that crowdsources the location of police and protesters in Hong Kong, saying it violated the store’s guidelines and local laws. That followed sharp criticism by the Chinese state newspaper, which accused the company of facilitating illegal behavior.

Then Android founder Andy Rubin stirred things up by teasing a phone made by his new company, Essential Products. People seemed just as focused on Rubin’s controversial past as they were on the phone’s oddly thin and colorful design.

Here are some great stories you may’ve missed amid all the wrangling:

He was banned from Facebook after his revelations unleashed the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now Wylie is finding hope in AI.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

We are not powerless.

Protester holding a sign. Activist group Earth Strike NYC

Erik McGregor

The search giant will soon unveil a flagship smartphone with radar technology, marking a significant milestone for the company.


James Martin/CNET

Microsoft’s Surface reputation and the adoption of a once-rival platform gets the software titan back into the mobile game.



“It was about creating the memories we have of Will,” says Weta Digital’s Stuart Adcock, who explains Smith’s digitally de-aged dual role.



Teams start competing Tuesday in the Drone Racing League’s new battle of autonomous drones. Here’s an exclusive first look at the AI-powered flying machine.


This is CNET’s list of the larger-than-life innovators and important influencers of the last 10 years.

Susan Fowler at Women Transforming Technology conference

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Advanced processing can make your smartphone photos shine, even if you’re a crappy photographer.


Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Aaron Paul returns for a Netflix movie reminding us why we love Breaking Bad, even if it doesn’t have much to add.