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9 great reads from CNET this week

A high-flying escape from communism, the Facebook device no one should buy and why Microsoft's new HoloLens headset is so dang expensive.

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We just closed our first full week of November. In other words, it's officially holiday shopping season, as you could maybe tell from our Black Friday deals posts and gift-buying guides. You might just bite the bullet and buy that special someone a new iPhone -- this week CNET made the iPhone 11 an Editors' Choice.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile is dangling all sorts of incentives, like a $15 plan and free broadband for low-income families, so long as it's able to complete its merger with Sprint. We learned Ring doorbells were leaking Wi-Fi login info. And you can now buy Microsoft's HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset, if you've got $3,500 to spare.

Here are some stories from the week you don't want to miss:

How two families fled communist oppression in East Germany in a homemade hot air balloon

All it took was courage, science and 14,000 square feet of taffeta.

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Courtesy of Günter Wetzel

No one should buy the Facebook Portal TV

In over six years of testing tech, this is a first for me.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

'Climate emergency': Over 11,000 scientists sound thunderous warning

The dire words are a call to action. "Many of us feel like the time is running out for us to act," says the co-author.

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CNET

Microsoft's better quantum computer tech is almost ready

It's redesigning the core element of quantum computing, the qubit.

Microsoft's quantum computing team is working on a technology called topological qubits.
Microsoft

Doctor Sleep's Ewan McGregor had his own super creepy Stephen King moment

The star of the sequel to The Shining also talks about playing a character battling addiction, a horror he knows all too well.

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Warner Bros.

CES may be helping Chinese surveillance companies clean up image, experts warn

Two Chinese companies blacklisted by the US government over human rights violations have won Innovation Awards over the last two years and are listed to return to CES.

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CES

HoloLens 2: Microsoft's augmented reality headset launches today, but it's $3,500

The AR headset is here, but some of its key software tools are still to come. Here's why it's so expensive.

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James Martin/CNET

Scorsese's right about film being in trouble, but Marvel isn't all to blame

Commentary: It doesn't really matter whether the legendary director of The Irishman likes Captain America, but we should listen to his warnings.

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Getty Images

The biggest transportation disruptors of the 2010s

Whether it's electric vehicles, ride-hailing services, e-scooters or self-driving cars, the last 10 years led to massive changes in the ways we get around.

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Tesla