Computing

9 Great Reads From CNET This Week: Google I/O, iPods, Black Holes and More

Take a closer look at what Google is unleashing, plus how we got a groundbreaking image of a black hole, how the iPod lasted as long as it did, and other good stuff.

The Met Gala they're not, but tech events like Google I/O have an appeal to folks beyond the developers in the audience. They offer a peek at the tech that'll soon be in our hands and our homes.

This year's Google I/O brought us more than software updates, like Android 13, tweaks to Google Maps and the shift to the Monk skin tone scale. Google went big on hardware as well, talking up, among other things, the Pixel 6A and Pixel 7 phones, the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds and the Pixel Watch, its first smartwatch. Be sure to check out our complete Google I/O coverage.

Those stories are part and parcel with 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.

No Joke: Google's AI Is Smart Enough to Understand Your Humor

Google's language algorithm can handle your dad jokes. Here's why that matters.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on stage with a large screen detailing AI and joke explanation
Screenshot by Imad Khan/CNET

Breaking Down the Mind-Bending Milky Way Black Hole Image

Here's why the first black hole images look like fiery doughnuts. 

Two black hole photos, side by side
EHT Collaboration

Here's How Apple's iPod Lasted for 20 Years

Commentary: The gadget survived music streaming, rival players and the iPhone.  

Illustration of the original iPod if it was made from marble
Collin Buenerkemper/CNET

Facebook Accused of Deliberately Causing Havoc in Australia Over News Law -- Read the Whistleblower Files

Facebook said last year that it mistakenly took down pages of the Australian government and emergency services. Whistleblowers say it was intentional.

Facebook logo on a phone screen
Sarah Tew/CNET

Google's Promise to Simplify Tech Puts Its Devices Everywhere

Commentary: Google wants to make technology less obtrusive. But to do so, its devices need to be everywhere.   

Google Pixel Family products
Google; composited by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Productivity Hack That's Taking Over TikTok

Body doubling can be a total game changer for people who struggle to retain focus. 

A couple sits together on a couch, both reading.
Getty Images

iPod Creator Tony Fadell Isn't Buying the Metaverse Hype

We need to fix the problems that already exist on today's social platforms, he says. 

Tony Fadell in a V-neck sweater

Tony Fadell

Williamson Adams

Luna Cryptocurrency Collapse: How UST Broke and Why It Matters  

Last week, a luna coin was worth $85. Now it's worth a penny. Here's why that matters. 

Terra logo on a phone screen, plus a couple of coins
Getty Images

Immersive Theater Is Back, But It's Hard to Leave Real Life at the Door  

The Burnt City proves that Punchdrunk can still create fantastical new worlds, but exploring them brings new discomfort.  

A masked audience member watches a performer in The Burnt City
Punchdrunk