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9 great reads from CNET this week: iPhone 13, SpaceX, moonshine and more

We have some thoughts on Apple's new iPhone 13, pay a visit to a moonshine distillery, watch SpaceX launch its first civilians into space, and much more.

When Apple unveils a new iPhone, the world takes notice -- even if it's only a slightly buffer version of the iPhone that preceded it. This week, we met the iPhone 13, whose big claim to fame sounds like much of the generational upshifting before it: bigger battery, more storage, some new camera tricks, that sort of thing.

We should also point out that Apple showed off a few other product updates -- the Apple Watch 7, a refreshed 10.2-inch iPad and a big upgrade for the iPad Mini -- and teased upcoming shows for Apple TV Plus. Good stuff, but as always, it's the iPhone that really turns heads.

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The stories here about the iPhone 13 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:     

iPhone 13 will likely be popular because Apple makes other phones look boring

It's easy to dismiss Apple's success as driven by its marketing prowess. But there's much more going on.

iPhone 13 in various colors
Apple

I want an iPhone with USB-C. Now there are signs Apple does, too

Commentary: The new iPad Mini and other USB-C-equipped Apple products could help the iPhone ecosystem off Apple's proprietary port.   

iPad Mini USB-C
Screenshot/CNET

Apple's iPhone 13 event just proves that for now, 5G doesn't matter

Commentary: Once a highlighted feature, 5G got reduced to a quick segment before Apple moved on to other core features and upgrades.   

Tim Cook introducing the iPhone 13
Screenshot/CNET

How Ole Smoky Distillery made moonshine's illicit past into a tourist draw  

For one Tennessee business, moonshine's heritage is its selling point.

Chris Monroe/CNET

SpaceX Inspiration4 mission makes history with all-civilian launch to orbit 

The Crew Dragon carrying four "everyday people" punches through the Florida night sky in a historic first.  

SpaceX

Deathloop review: The PlayStation 5's most must-play game  

PS5s are still hard to buy, but Deathloop is the perfect reward for those who do land one of the consoles.   

Deathloop poster
Bethesda

Woolly mammoths could walk the Earth again if CRISPR startup succeeds 

Colossal lands $15 million to restore the woolly mammoth to the Arctic -- and thinks it can birth calves in four to six years.  

woolly mammoth illustration
Getty Images/Orla

Inside Virgin Hyperloop, I caught a glimpse of a high-speed transport future

Virgin Hyperloop promises a future with transport pods zooming through tubes at hundreds of miles per hour. To get there, it's built a prototype in a Nevada desert. 

Virgin Hyperloop's Devloop prototype
Virgin Hyperloop

The awesome Netflix anime that has me obsessed  

Everyone should check out Haikyu!! It rules. 

Hinata Shoyo, the protagonist of Haikyu
Netflix
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