9 great reads from CNET this week: Zach King, dying songbirds, Google's motto and more

We go behind the scenes of King's video wizardry, dig into mysterious deaths and examine why Google's "don't be evil" mantra is back in the news.

CNET News staff
2 min read

Zach King leaves a house and hops into a car, then crashes that car into that house -- which falls instantly to pieces. It looks real but it's all video trickery and jaw-dropping wonderment, which is what King is all about. Just ask the millions of people who can't get enough of his videos on Instagram and TikTok.

CNET's Abrar Al-Heeti went behind the scenes with King to learn the secrets of his video spectacles and how they grew from a hobby into a thriving enterprise. Those clever stunts are all about careful prep, well-placed props and precise timing, as you'll see in her story and the accompanying video.

They're 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.

How video illusionist Zach King enchants millions on TikTok and Instagram

King's seemingly magical editing tricks have captivated audiences for nearly a decade. CNET gets a behind-the-scenes look at how he creates his mind-bending content. 

Zach King
Nate Norell

America's songbirds are dropping dead. Scientists don't know why

Common birds, like the blue jay, are turning up sick or dead. What's killing them?  

Songbird markup
Collin Buenerkemper

'Don't be evil': Google's mantra comes into question at labor trial

The ethos has set Google apart from other companies for decades. It's under the spotlight again. 

Google employee protest with "Don't be evil" sign
James Martin/CNET

Shop now or shipping delays could ruin your holidays

Supply chains are a mess thanks to COVID, storms and a shortage of key materials. All that means Black Friday might be too late to shop for some products.

A cargo ship at the Meidong Container Terminal at the Ningbo Zhoushan port in China
Getty Images

The many moods of Moog

The high-end synthesizers are hand-assembled in the music mecca of Asheville, North Carolina.

The Moog synthesizer factory in Asheville, North Carolina
Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's under unprecedented pressure as it launches iPhone 13  

The tech giant is fighting regulation in South Korea, a courtroom case in California and employee revolts -- and it's all tied to social media, Slack and the App Store.  

Apple logo
James Martin/CNET

VR is useless when you have a baby

Commentary: Virtual reality is no longer compatible with my version of the real world.  

Beat Games/PlayStation

Apple, long a champion of consumer privacy, sits at a crossroads

Some experts question whether the iPhone maker needs to do more to protect its users.  

Padlock and smartphone
Angela Lang/CNET

It's time to bring back werewolf movies, you cowards

Commentary: Folks, it's time to get hairy.   

An American Werewolf in London
Universal Pictures
Watch this: How Zach King creates his mind-bending illusions on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram