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9 great reads from CNET this week: Amazon Astro, James Bond, robocalls and more

We wrestle with the future that Amazon's Astro is pointing toward, take the measure of 007 blockbuster No Time to Die, get insights into the FCC's efforts on robocalls and the digital divide, and much much more.

2 min read

Hands down, the attention-grabbing tech of the week was Amazon's Astro, a diminutive rolling robot with cartoon eyes, a camera on a periscope and a mission to follow strangers in the household. The $1,000 smart home gadget will be available at first to just a small coterie of invite-only buyers, but it's already occupying brain space far and wide.

There are lots of ways to think about Astro. It's a convenience and a cool little plaything. It's a privacy and surveillance nightmare waiting to happen. It's Amazon's Trojan horse for getting more and more of its products into your home. Soon enough we'll know if it's a keeper like the Roomba or a flash in the pan like Sony's Aibo.

Our stories on Astro and everything else Amazon announced are 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:   

Amazon's Astro is the ultimate test for whether we really need home robots

Following Amazon's scene-stealing home robot unveiling, the big question is whether it can succeed where others have failed.  

Amazon's Astro robot

Criticizing Amazon might be a losing battle, but it's one worth fighting

Commentary: Amazon understands that it's more important to be popular than to be good. The Astro robot proves it.

Amazon Astro robot

No Time To Die review: Daniel Craig's James Bond goes out with a bang

James Bond finally gets a life in this epic, explosive and emotional farewell to the longest-serving 007.  

Daniel Craig as James Bond

FCC is laser-focused on erasing the digital divide and crushing robocalls

Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel tells CNET she's hopeful that the FCC can solve these big problems.

Acting Federal Communication Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trucking in America: 5 fascinating truths about how your stuff gets to you 

Being a trucker is dangerous, difficult and in demand as e-commerce continues to surge. Trucking is also undergoing major technological changes. 

Tractor trailer trucks
Getty Images

Suicide and self-harm content is scarily easy to find on social media

Instagram and other social media sites are accused of not doing enough to protect the mental health of teens and young adults.

Young person with head bowed down
Getty Images

Horn in the USA: Building better brass instruments, one part at a time

At S.E. Shires, craftspeople work hard to create horns that fit their players exactly right. 

Joseph Alessi, principal trombone player of the New York Philharmonic
Courtesy of S.E. Shires Company

One pair of jeans, 365 days: Why I've worn the same pair of pants for a year straight 

The Indigo Invitational elevated me from a denim fan into a full-time "fader" and connected me to my past -- and the world. 

Amanda Kooser in raw-denim jeans
Waz Abbott

COP26: The biggest climate change conference in the world and why it matters 

Over 190 nations will come together in Glasgow this November to address the climate crisis.   

Protestors march in Dusseldorf, Germany, during the September 2021 climate strike
Lukas Schulze/Getty
Watch this: Amazon's Astro robot is part home helper, part surveillance machine