Top 5

Sci-fi inventions you don't really want

We are insanely lucky to live in a time where technology once thought impossible, is now commonplace. Microwaves, smartphones, video chats, and tablets were the stuff of science fiction just a few generations ago.

And though we live in amazing times, it's human nature to wonder why we don't have more of the fantastic gadgets dreamed up by science fiction futurists. Where are the flying cars? The jetpacks? The Jetsons' floating dome home?

The truth is, we're better off without a lot of that stuff. In fact, most of the sci-fi tech we think we want would … Read more

Simple smart home upgrades

You've been hearing a lot about the "connected home" and the "Internet of Things" this year, and the buzz is only going to get more intense. With the growth of smartphone and tablet sales slowing, manufacturers are making a big push to get people to turn their old home into a smart home.

Fortunately, there are some great products already on the market that make it easy to seize the benefits of a smarter home. In this week's Top 5, I'll count down some of the simplest ways to give your home a … Read more

2014 tech predictions

There's something sinister and reckless about these prediction pieces we produce every year.

At best, we (enlightened) tech experts are guilty of spoiling the surprise of what's in store for you this year. At worst, our predictions are completely wrong. For example, I think we were all certain that the rumored all-in-one Apple HDTV would debut in 2013. So to those of you who delayed your 2013 TV purchase based on that overly optimistic prediction, you have my sincere apology.

So this year I'm playing it safe, even at the risk of being boring and predictable (at … Read more

Reasons you may not want an iPad Air

I know this will be a controversial topic, so let me say off the top that the iPad Air is a great tablet. We as a species of relatively evolved primates should count ourselves as blessed to have such a clearly miraculous technology at our disposal. To think that its existence is the end product of our collective human knowledge, and not an artifact from an advanced alien civilization, is beyond me to comprehend.

And yet, I'm not going to buy one.

My reasons for resisting the iPad Air's allure are documented in the above Top 5 video. … Read more

Top 5 worst smartphone fads

Today's smartphones are a mature technology. For better or worse, most of the phones out there have gravitated towards a common size, price, and feature set.

But the smartphone scene just a few years ago was a very different place. Disrupted by the iPhone, manufacturers were flailing around trying to come up with the next big thing, or even just a momentary gimmick.

So, just like when mom takes out the yearbook to remind you of your "awkward phase", in this week's Top 5 CNET's Jessica Dolcourt helped me flip through some of the most … Read more

Top 5 spookiest games

I have to admit that I no longer play scary games before heading to bed. It's unfair to my wife, who has to put up with the shrieking nightmares they provoke in me, and also live with the knowledge that her husband's a total wimp.

It was a tough habit to break. If you get a thrill from thinking about things that go bump in the night, there are few experiences that tap that better than turning out the lights and decapitating zombies from the comfort of your couch.

So, for those of you with the freedom to … Read more

Gadgets ahead of their time

Last week I made the case for my theory that we are in a year filled with gadget fads. But really, I think it's equally true that we are living with a great number of mature technologies -- gadgets that have paid their dues, and may even be on the decline.

But before these staples of technology became inextricably woven into the fabric of our lives, they all started out as crazy, laughable ideas. Everything from the laptop to smartphone was once considered science fiction.

So to honor those pioneering gadgets that paved the way for the mundane, yet … Read more

Failed tech fads

I can't help thinking that we are in the middle of a lot of overinflated, much-hyped tech fads right now. Smart watches, Google Glass, 4k TVs, and all manner of electronic novelties are poised to fill the silence as the party winds down with the maturing technologies of tablets and smartphones.

But as I can't say for certain which of these current trends will flop and which ones will stick around, I figured I'd take a look back at some of the biggest tech fads in recent history. These were the huge trends that seemed to point … Read more

Top 5 most-breakable gadgets

As someone who spent five years carefully reviewing, testing and preserving gadgets here at CNET, it brings me no small amount of cathartic joy to watch them get casually destroyed every week by Molly Wood.

In each episode of her show, Always On, Molly and her team subject a new, popular product to a series of brutal torture tests. Only the best of them survive the blistering heat, freezing cold, drops, and spills that Molly can dish out. To honor those high-endurance, herculean gadgets, Molly dedicated a video to chronicle them.

But as I am one of those glass-half-empty sorts, … Read more

Top 10 videos of the week

Before you head out on your Labor Day weekend adventures, you'll want to check out this week's top video roundup.

In an all-new episode of CNET on Cars, we take you out on a car photo shoot with renowned auto photographer Michael Alan Ross and uncover the secrets behind taking great car images. And did you know that many car wrecks are actually bogus? We share some telltale signs that the accident you just had could be a scam.

We also tour Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., campus and learn more about the rationale behind its deluxe employee … Read more