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The Weekender: amateur DJs, professional fireworks, and a troubled home renovation

The Weekender: amateur DJs, professional fireworks, and a troubled home renovation


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.

  • Report

    Is Silicon Valley's immigration agenda gutting the tech industry's middle class?

    A common refrain among Silicon Valley’s elite has been that immigration reform is necessary to fill the wealth of available tech jobs. But others have pointed out that there are still Americans with tech skills looking for work — we see if the two positions can be reconciled, or if one is just plain wrong.

  • Review

    DJ Casual: making music with an iPad, an algorithm, and a Traktor Kontrol Z1

    Amateur DJs are invading the game armed with little more than $5 apps. Traktor Kontrol's new Z1 mixer wants to be their next step up — but it might also be the perfect tool for pros just looking to have a good time.

  • Interview

    Siri, make it so: what designers can learn from sci-fi interfaces

    We chatted with Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel, authors of a book on how fictional interfaces reflect and impact the real world, to find out how your favorite sci-fi flick may just have changed the tech you use today.

  • Column

    LED led me astray: the home lighting misadventure that brought me full-circle

    Are LED lightbulbs ready to takeover your home? Maybe not just yet. Chris Ziegler recounts a harrowing weekend of home renovation, and explains why the latest in lighting tech isn't quite there yet.

  • Report

    How do fireworks work?

    Fireworks haven’t changed all that much in over a thousand years, but we’ve gotten pretty good at making them. Here’s how they’re made, how they get such bright colors, and what might be coming next in firework tech.

  • Review

    Razer Blade review (14-inch)

    We didn’t think the day would ever come, but Razer may actually have built a gaming laptop that’s appealing to everyone — non-gamers included. Can the newest Razer Blade really have the versatility of a Macbook and the power of one of Alienware's beasts?

  • Interview

    Google Docs began as a hacked together experiment, says creator

    Almost a decade ago, Google acquired a little startup named Writely and quickly morphed it into the very first version of Google Docs. We caught up with Writely’s founder to talk about Google’s big bet on collaborative editing.

  • Editorial

    Rats in a cage: how games will teach us to love the police state

    Big-budget video games have promised to critique the world around us, but so far that hasn’t exactly happened. Are game makers turning our fears into grabs for cash, or is there really room for an honest cultural critique?

  • Review

    Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

    Sony’s latest tablet is incredibly thin, has the best manufacturer-made Android skin around (if we had to pick), and is even waterproof. But at $500, can even a great Android tablet stand up to the iPad?

  • Interview

    Making 'Man of Steel': a conversation with visual effects supervisor John 'DJ' DesJardin

    Man of Steel uses its incredible effects to make viewers believe that Clark Kent’s superpowers are real. We spoke with the film’s VFX supervisor to learn about how director Zach Snyder wanted it to look, and the complicated camera tech that made it happen.