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9 great reads from CNET this week

How a squiggle changed the course of astrophysics, what a Trump reelection would mean for tech and why Amazon Luna can succeed where Google Stadia failed.

Amazon grabbed the tech spotlight this week, surprising us at its fall product event with a new Luna cloud gaming service. It also showed off updates to its smart home brands, including a Ring flying robot camera and spherical Echo speakers.

Meanwhile, the nation mourned the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her death has spurred a contentious political battle over the filling of her seat as the presidential election quickly approaches. Also memorialized this week were the now more than 200,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19. Globally, almost a million people have died from the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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

The mother of pulsars: Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the squiggle that changed science

While working on her Ph.D., Bell Burnell analyzed over three miles of chart paper of radio signals from the stars. A great discovery was hiding in the ink.

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Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

What a Trump reelection would mean for the tech world

Issues like the pandemic and the Supreme Court hog the election spotlight, but the tech industry faces massive changes if Trump gets a second term.

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Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A year after the Area 51 alien 'raid,' one small town is still cleaning up the mess

Alienstock may be a distant memory, but memes take a long time to die in the desert.

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Erin Carson/CNET

Coronavirus lockdowns made Alexa vital, and Amazon knows it

Amazon introduces a bunch of new gadgets and services to help with videoconferencing, streaming and home security.

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Amazon

Election tech: How crisis and change shaped every tool we use to vote

Voting this year may be hard, but it's not the first time the US has run an election during an emergency.

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Smithsonian Institute

With Xbox Series X, Bethesda and Game Pass, Microsoft is playing a different game

Sony's and Microsoft's paths are beginning to diverge.

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Microsoft

How aesthetic home screens became a trend

Apple's latest iOS update lets your imagination go wild, but making a digital space your own goes way back.

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Hayleigh Murphy

Why Amazon Luna can succeed where Google Stadia failed

Luna has a decent shot at success, but it needs to do things differently.

Amazon Luna Controller
Amazon

Two decades of mountain bike evolution got me riding again

Full suspension, 29-inch wheels and disc brakes have revolutionized fat-tire bikes.

A rough, rocky section on one of my favorite mountain bike rides
Stephen Shankland/CNET