9 great reads from CNET this week

With more and more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19, hope is growing that we’ll all start seeing a return to pre-coronavirus normalcy in the coming months. In some parts of the world, where measures including lockdowns, quarantine and contact tracing have been especially effective, the old normal, more or less, is already the new reality.

Australia, for instance, where residents are going to concerts and the movies, and where there hasn’t been a coronavirus-related death since October. In late December, CNET’s Ty Pendlebury traveled there from New York with his family, and he’s written about that experience, from the 22 hours of airline travel to “hotel prison” to maskless encounters Down Under.

That story is among the many in-depth features and thought-provoking commentaries that appeared on CNET this week. So here you go. These are the stories you don’t want to miss:

A 22-hour flight and a two-week hotel quarantine taught me how Australia keeps COVID-19 in check.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have found something to agree on, and it’s an issue that Facebook and Google can’t ignore.

US Capitol building


Commentary: The platform incites feelings of jealousy and inferiority that would be detrimental to young minds. It’s a tough enough battle as an adult.

Kid and smartphone

Getty Images

Commentary: How did people ever raise a baby without apps?


Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

More businesses are selling their wares directly from their websites, cutting out retailers and online marketplaces. But not all of them are getting it right.

Photo illustration by Sara New

Commentary: We’re seeing the results of what happens when loaded terms subtly — or not so subtly — link the Asian American community to the coronavirus.

Two women holding signs saying


Commentary: Capcom finally got the formula just right.

Monster Hunter Rise


A lowly Ziploc bag was the first step. Maybe digital driver’s licenses will mean I’ll have no wallet at all someday.

Ekster Aluminum Cardholder wallet

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Commentary: One year ago, in a world where suddenly nothing was reliable, an island game full of animals arrived.



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