9 great reads from CNET this week

How software can help map a wildfire's next move, why $2,000 for a new Samsung phone isn't actually that bad and what Hilary Swank worries about on the set of her new Netflix space drama.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
2 min read

It's September, the month when the tech world typically ushers in a parade of new products. As such, this week we saw the unveiling of folding phones, laser TV projectors, faster graphics cards and more at the Berlin-based IFA show -- the first tech conference IRL since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Also at IFA, Qualcomm announced that it will bring 5G next year to $125 phones from Motorola, Oppo and Xiaomi. 

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the US presidential election, Facebook says it's catching Russian-linked fake accounts much earlier than in 2016. Facebook also said it will limit political ads ahead of November's election. And Twitter flagged two of President Donald Trump's tweets "for encouraging people to potentially vote twice" because the remarks violated the site's rules about civic integrity and elections.

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

Mapping a wildfire's next move is getting easier, thanks to computers

Fire-predicting software can project how a fire could spread -- while it's still burning.

Getty Images

The first battery-free Game Boy wants to power a gaming revolution

Solar energy and mechanical triggers power the Engage, a console at the cutting edge of computer engineering.


'Hunger for human contact': How tech helps people evacuated from homeless shelters

Coronavirus concerns put 14,000 homeless Californians in hotel rooms. To stave off loneliness, some are using Zoom AA meetings, a phone buddy program and online tai chi.

James Martin/CNET

Elon Musk's Neuralink device focused on the computer, but what about the brain?

Commentary: The groundbreaking device is impressive, but where is the data?

Screenshot by CNET

The secret Avengers video game the world never got to play

THQ spent years working on an Avengers video game. This is the story of how it was torn apart.

Robert Rodriguez/CNET

Why Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G's $2,000 price tag isn't actually that bad

The device costs only $20 more than last year's model, and in the US, it comes with 5G and other improvements.


Biggest black hole collision ever detected creates a cosmic monster

Two monster black holes met, danced and fell into each other. Their collision formed a black hole 150 times more massive than the sun.

Mark Myers/ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)

Mulan review: Disney's 2020 live-action remake a timely, moving take

Disney Plus' premium debut of the beloved tale about a legendary warrior takes on a more serious but pertinent tone.


On the set of Netflix space drama Away, Hilary Swank is worried about Earth

"We still have these ingrained, old patterns of thinking," says Swank, who plays Emma Green, the steely commander of the first mission to Mars.

Diyah Pera/Netflix