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Best of CNET Magazine, 2016

ICYMI, here's a look at a few of our favorite stories from CNET Magazine, CNET's printed quarterly.

Four times a year, CNET Magazine looks at technology through the lens of how we live. Since tech touches everything we do, we explore it from every angle: its impact on society, the people and companies working on the next big thing, and the gadgets and services making a difference.

In 2016, our reporters, editors and photographers covered everything from bourbon-making to adventure photography, new designs in airlines' economy class seating to the hyperloop. And every issue featured an in-depth Q&A with tech-culture faves, including "X-Men: Apocalypse" star Olivia Munn and HitRecord's Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Here's a quick look at some of the best of CNET Magazine, 2016.

Spring 2016

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James Martin/CNET

"My Tech is Killing Me"
Your gadgets may be your lifeline, but they might also being hurting you. Jessica Dolcourt explores how all those blinky, flashy, beepy screens can ruin your sleep, forever distract you and give you a sore neck. Be healthy by learning how to cut back and using your devices wisely.

"Science by You"
You may think scientific research only happens in labs by people wearing white coats, but regular folks around the world -- with no formal training -- are contributing to some of today's most exciting discoveries. Even you can join in, right from your living room.

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Scott Blanks listens as his iPhone tells him the bus schedule for a local stop in San Francisco.

James Martin/CNET

"Your Seeing Eye Phone"
Not long ago, the visually impaired had to shell out thousands of dollars for tech to magnify their computer screens, speak navigation directions, identify their money and recognize the color of their clothes. Now the iPhone and a handful of apps and accessories help them get through their physical and online worlds. Shara Tibken explores why advocates for the blind say the iPhone is their mobile device of choice.

"Putting on her game face"
Olivia Munn plays a badass mutant with serious martial-arts skills in "X-Men: Apocalypse." Munn talked to Connie Guglielmo, editor in chief of CNET News, about her love of all things tech, smart homes and why she'd be willing to invest in flying hoverboards. And we have videos.

Summer 2016

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Mark Mann

"Identify Yourself"
By now, the year's high-profile cyberattacks should have convinced you that passwords are so last century. Laura Hautala takes us into the new world of biometrics, where your computer, phones and tablets will know you by the contours of your body and face -- even by reading your brainwaves.

"Capturing the Extreme"
Snapping perfect shots on your vacation takes planning, the right equipment and a whole lot of patience. Andrew Hoyle, one of CNET's top photographers, shares some of his stunning photos from Iceland and tells how he braved the elements to get them.

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Experiment with your angles to find interesting compositions.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET


"What the heck's a hyperloop?"
Elon Musk envisioned a new mode of transportation that could carry passengers at nearly the speed of sound. He even had engineers from Tesla Motors and SpaceX write a 58-page paper so others could deliver on the promise of traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes. Stephen Shankland explains the science behind it.

"A quick shot of bourbon"
Bourbon makers say it takes years to produce a great bourbon. But a new breed of small craft distilleries is using tech to take the years - and the cost -- out of aging. Erin Carson shows how upstarts and traditional Kentucky distilleries produce the taste and finish we expect from quality bourbon.

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Barrels of white oak are flame-charred to add flavor to the bourbon as it ages.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Fall 2016

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Michael Muller

"How the Mille Made Us All Safer"
A race through the backroads and small towns of Italy in vintage cars is more than just a scenic adventure. It's a lesson in how one of the world's most dangerous road races made driving safer. Want an example? Those disc brakes Jaguar developed for the Mille Miglia are now common tech both on and off the track.

"Wanted: A Better Economy Class"
With cramped seats, terrible (or no) food, and drinks you have to buy, economy class is hell. There are plenty of ideas for making the experience better, from radically new cabin designs to top-of-the-line tech, but making those dreams a reality won't be easy. Kent German tells you why.

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Panasonic's Jazz Seat brings a planeload of tech to economy class.

Panasonic Avionics


"The Privacy Debate is On"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone's movie about the NSA contractor who's been applauded and vilified for exposing government surveillance programs. Gordon-Levitt tells CNET's Guglielmo that, at its heart, the story is about "the debate every democracy should have about personal privacy and national security."

"Our doctors, ourselves"
You can find just about anything on the internet -- from the useful to the outright fake. There's so much out there that, when you look up health issues, you can end up with a case of "cyberchondria." That's where you know -- just know! -- your headache is a sure sign of Dengue fever. Terry Collins explains which sites to steer clear of, and which apps can help you feel better.

Winter 2016

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Mark Mann

"When the Genius Bar Can't Help"
Independent computer repair shops haven't had it easy in the age of the Apple Store. But competition also forces change. Dan Ackerman visits a few small New York shops to see how they're providing services the Apple Genius Bar can't.

"Can tech save the rhino?"
Rhinos have been hunted to the edge of extinction for their rhino horn, which can fetch as much as $27,000 a pound on the black market. Michelle Starr looks at how scientists, conservationists and tech companies are finding new ways to stop the killing.

"Play me a story"
Video games have evolved from simple arcade games to interactive stories where plot, character development and self-contained universes keep us coming back for more. Seamus Byrne takes us through that evolution.

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Blizzard's World of Warcraft is known for a rich universe filled with complex characters.

Blizzard Entertainment

For other stories from CNET Magazine stories, click here.