9 great reads from CNET this week

Tech that tracks you in your more private moments, the evolution of virtual reality, Amazon's bout of snark-tweeting and more.

CNET News staff
2 min read

At this point, we're all accustomed to technology that tracks us. Cookies embed on our computers, ads follow us across the web, fitness bands count our steps, cellphones know our exact location wherever we go. So what's one more gadget keeping watch on us, right?

Well, let me introduce you to the new Sleep Sensing feature in Google's second-generation Nest Hub. Like Santa Claus, it knows when you are sleeping, it knows when you're awake -- and it's taking notes. Google offers some reassurances about what exactly its algorithms are noticing, including "your breathing rate and whether there was a cough or a snore," and what conclusions they're reaching: "They are not deducing intimacy," Google says.

You'll have to decide on your own comfort level with that.  

Two stories on that topic presented here are among the 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 week with Sleep Sensing on Google's new Nest Hub

What it's really like to have your smart display sensing your nightly snooze.

Nest Hub 2nd generation
Chris Monroe/CNET

In bed with Google: A new Sleep Sensing feature prompts privacy worries

The search giant already knows what you're doing for much of your waking life.

Google Nest Hub 2nd generation on a bedside table
Chris Monroe/CNET

Oculus Rift, five years on: Things are a lot different now

Facebook's focus on VR is still going strong, but the landscape has changed.

Trying out the Oculus Rift VR headset in 2013
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Amazon on edge: What's behind its snark-tweeting of Sanders and Warren

With labor and regulatory battles ahead, the tech giant tried getting confrontational with lawmakers.

The Amazon logo on an orange wall.
Getty Images

Life during COVID has me wondering about the future of my fractured country

Commentary: The UK seems unable to decide what kind of country it wants to be.

Illustration of the Union Jack and COVID-19 infection
Peter Zelei Images/Getty

WHO-China study offers no definitive answers on coronavirus origins

The full report into the origins of the pandemic, conducted by WHO and China, reiterates a lab leak is "extremely unlikely" but raises more questions than it answers.

WHO-China study team lead Peter Ben Embarek at the Huanan seafood market
Hector Retamal/Getty

Biden promises broadband for all in $2 trillion infrastructure plan

The president's plan calls for $100 billion over eight years to ensure every American has broadband access.

TP Link AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 router
Ry Crist/CNET

If EV rebates subsidize luxury cars, the Biden plan's already a bust

Commentary: There's zero reason to offset the price of a six-figure electric car.

President Joe Biden
Jim Watson/Getty Images

Super Mario All-Stars, NFTs and why artificial scarcity sucks

Commentary: It makes sense, but it also makes no sense at all.

Nintendo Switch controller and screen showing Super Mario 3D All Stars
Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET
Watch this: Google Nest Hub (2nd gen): Sleep sensing from a smart display