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The Weekender: stupid fads, snaking robots, and psychedelic animations

The Weekender: stupid fads, snaking robots, and psychedelic animations


The best of the week gone by

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Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Every Saturday, we'll bring you some of the best and most important reads of the past seven days, from original reports, to in-depth features, to reviews and interviews. Think of it as a collection of some of our favorite pieces that you may have missed — or that you may just want to read again. You can follow along below, or keep up to date on Flipboard.

  • Feature

    Vaccine deniers: inside the dumb, dangerous new fad

    Why has a group of fairly affluent San Francisco parents started choosing not to vaccinate their children? It seems that by going against the grain, they’ve ended up reaping the benefits gained from vaccinations at large.

  • Detours

    Robot city: how the machines are driving Pittsburgh's future

    A future of high-tech robots is almost here, and in Pittsburgh, you can already see them at work in the labs of the researchers building them.

  • Review

    Microsoft Surface 2 review

    Microsoft’s first shot at a tablet was ambitious: it tried to combine everything great about both a tablet and a laptop into one device, though it certainly fell short of its goal. This is take two. The new Surface’s hardware is a lot better, but is it enough to be a great device?

  • Report

    The psychedelic and grotesque proto-GIFs of the 19th century

    Love of short, repeated animations like GIFs is far from a new phenomenon. Small devices have been creating the illusion of animation for centuries, and now one man is collecting them and putting them onto Tumblr in everyone’s favorite format.

  • Report

    Paul Allen and the Machines: Teaching the next generation of artificial intelligence

    Could Siri ever start to learn on her own or to really understand us? Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen wants to see far more advanced AI happen, and his new institute is moving it ever closer to reality.

  • Review

    Nintendo 2DS review

    Nintendo’s 2DS seems like a bizarre proposition: take away the eponymous element of the 3DS — its 3D — to make a slightly less expensive handheld gaming console. The 2DS may not be perfect, but it could be one of the best ways into Nintendo’s gaming library.

  • Report

    Post-traumatic mess? Why crisis counselors still don't know if they're helping or hurting

    "Psychological first aid" was developed to help victims deal with a trauma and avoid developing chronic disorders because of the ordeal. But there’s just one issue with this new type of aid: no one’s sure if it actually works.

  • Feature

    Timeshifting: let's make TV weird again

    Thanks to DVRs, digital downloads, and near-ubiquitous streaming options, watching TV has never been less straightforward. How do you know when it’s safe to talk about a show, and is it so bad to be left out of the conversation when you’re not caught up?

  • Review

    MacBook Pro with Retina display review (15-inch, 2013)

    Apple just updated its top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. It has an amazing display and a sturdy build, but is there any reason you’d want to spend around $2,000 on it? If you want power, you might want to start paying attention.

  • Feature

    Get real: Katy Perry lets go of the teenage dream with 'Prism'

    Katy Perry has all the perfect elements that make up pop star — including the perfect team of pop-star creators to back her up. Here’s what the teenage dreamer sounds like as she moves toward 30.