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9 great reads from CNET this week

Why we're about to ruin the only good part of lockdown, how China used censorship to hide the coronavirus truth, and a peek into the hidden world of competitive lockpicking.

It was a big week for Big Tech, which was in the hot seat Wednesday for a historic antitrust hearing on Capitol Hill. Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook execs took harsh questions from hostile House subcommittee members about alleged predatory business practices, theft of digital content and aggressive copying and purchasing of competing businesses.

Then, after the hammering, the companies posted big quarterly earnings and revenue. Amazon and Facebook both saw their profit double, while Apple saw a slight increase in iPhone sales despite many of its stores being closed and much of the world locked down. Google posted a revenue and sales decline, but the results were better than Wall Street expected. 

Not to be forgotten, coronavirus deaths surpassed 150,000 in the US on Wednesday. By week's end, there were about 17.3 confirmed cases worldwide and around 674,000 deaths. Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans should consider wearing eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield -- in addition to a face mask -- to further protect themselves from the pandemic. 

Big Tech's antitrust hearing is over. Now the real action starts

Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google had a historic showdown with Congress. What comes next?

Getty Images

How China used censorship to hide the coronavirus truth

Thousands of Chinese nationalists sent death threats to an author for writing a diary documenting the world's first coronavirus lockdown.

Xinhua News Agency/Getty

COVID-19 gave the planet a break. Now's the time to keep up the momentum

The coronavirus pandemic helped reset the planet, giving the environment a chance to recover from the wear and tear of human activity. But that can soon change.

Getty Images

TikTok: For you, it's fun, but lawmakers see a security threat

A Chinese tech company owns TikTok, and US politicians worry that the Chinese government could use the app to spy on people and spread propaganda.

Getty Images

NASA launches next Mars rover: Everything you need to know about Perseverance

NASA will attempt to search for signs of life in an ancient lakebed once believed to hold water and, for the first time, fly a helicopter on another planet.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Those 'underdog' Big Tech companies just reported huge profit

Commentary: It's hard for Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook to keep up the pretense when posting massive profit in the middle of a pandemic-fueled recession.

Brett Pearce/CNET

Inside the hidden world of competitive lockpicking

Despite criminal comparisons and bruised fingers, a community of hobbyist lockpickers is thriving online.

David Sell

Google's web app plans collide with Apple's iPhone, Safari rules

The struggle is over the future of the web.

Apple vs Google on the future of the web
James Martin/CNET

Proteus will be an underwater research lab worthy of a Bond villain

Jacques Cousteau's grandson channels some serious sci-fi vibes for an upcoming underwater research lab.

Yves Béhar and fuseproject