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America mourns the death of its political parties; printed books are going extinct as ebooks take their place; meanwhile, BlackBerry Messenger plays a significant role in the London riots. These discoveries and more after the jump.

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The iPad was the little tablet that could. Now the rush to crash Apple's party is on. Here's a look at some of the upstarts turning heads at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

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I've come down with a bad case of the shallows. That's technology writer Nicholas Carr's term -- and the title of his new book -- for the invisible, invidious impact of computers on the modern brain.

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The president-elect is a notorious gadget hound who has been known to carry multiple cell phones, but he faces a looming downgrade. Because the public has a right to presidential records, Barack Obama will probably give up his precious Blackberry -- and quit e-mailing altogether. However, he is likely to be the first president with a laptop on his desk.

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John McCain's Tuesday was so filled with gaffes and bad news that no one seemed to notice when one of his top advisers held a BlackBerry aloft and declared "you're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create." That spectacle simply couldn't compete with former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and, more significantly, the very public failure of deregulation.

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There's a reason why it's nicknamed CrackBerry. North American BlackBerry users were dismayed Tuesday night by an overnight shutdown of the company's wireless e-mail service that left them bereft of their fix -- and forced them to communicate in passé ways.

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