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9 great reads from CNET this week: Tech fails, NFTs, Marvel and more

Check out our chronicle of the weirdness and whoopsies that descended upon us in 2021, along with excursions into collectible NFTs, car safety, Marvel's TV shows and then some.

Every year has its ups and downs. The ups are a thrill. The downs are often fascinating, for what they reveal about the limits of our ambitions, the challenges of trying to get things right and the escape hatches that might get us out of trouble (or the rabbit holes that take us ever deeper).

Or just because misery loves company. At this time of year, we regularly take a look back at the craziness that unfolded in the world of technology. There were notable slipups and outbreaks of weirdness, which CNET news chief Roger Cheng has chronicled in his wrapup story; I particularly liked his use of the term "an iceberg of terrible" in describing all the trouble that accumulated around Facebook/Meta in 2021.

That story is 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.

The biggest tech fails of 2021, from Facebook to Activision

Commentary: This year included more vaccine misinformation, random internet outages and yet another T-Mobile data breach. 

A grim year in tech
Robert Rodriguez/CNET

NFTs: Why people spend millions on JPEGs

"I could just right click and save that NFT" isn't an argument anymore. 

Richerd NFT
Richerd/OpenSea

Surviving a violent collision gives me new perspective on car safety tech  

Commentary: I'll never again take safety technology for granted.

Front end of a Prius after a collision
Kent German/CNET

Twitter's leadership shakeup comes at a critical moment   

Parag Agrawal, the new CEO, will have his hands full.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal
Twitter

The year Marvel shows took over your TV

Disney Plus became indispensable entertainment this year, with WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If...? and Hawkeye appearing at a steady clip.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Marvel

Instagram and TikTok are failing users with eating disorders

Critics fear new tools to help those struggling with body image are just a drop in the bucket.

A girl uses her phone
Getty Images

Are you being scammed? Here's how to know and what to do

If someone asks for payment in the form of a gift card, just say no.

Gift cards fanned out
Sarah Tew/CNET

How COVID accelerated a shift that could put new cities at the forefront of American life

Our work and our lives may never return to a pre-pandemic normal, and that's caused some major shifts in where people are choosing to live in the US. 

Map of the US showing outmigration from California
CNET

Biden's FCC pick will be instrumental in net neutrality fight 

Gigi Sohn, a longtime consumer advocate and former FCC official, faced Republican opposition at her Senate confirmation hearing.

Gigi Sohn
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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