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Google’s Android Things platform will shut down in a little over a year

Google has revealed that the Internet-of-Things platform is joining its ever growing pile of retired products in an FAQ page for developers. The tech giant originally launched Android Things as an operating system for all kinds of IoT devices until it decided to change the platform’s focus and make it a dedicated OS for speakers and displays OEMs can use for their products last year. “Following in line with those updates,” Google wrote in the FAQ page, “we are turning down the Android Things Console for non-commercial use.”

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As Ars Technica notes, Android Things pretty much failed to conquer the IoT space, and Google itself didn’t even build a device based on the OS. Its own displays and speakers use a modified version of the Google Cast platform instead. Google has written detailed answers for some common questions developers may have in the FAQ page, such as if the console will still receive updates — the company may roll out some bug fixes — and what will happen to their current projects.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/google-reveals-timeline-android-things-shutdown-120504721.html

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LG’s 55-inch CX OLED TV is $650 off at Amazon and Best Buy

Save big on LG’s 2020 CX OLED smart TVs. Amazon has a deal that knocks the 55-inch LG CX OLED smart TV down to $1,350.

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All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

LG’s OLED smart TVs are some of the best you can get, but you’ll have to shell out quite a bit of money for one. While the company will begin rolling out its 2021 OLED TV sets later this quarter, a solid 2020 model is hundreds off at Amazon. Now you can get the 55-inch LG CX OLED smart TV for $1,350 — that’s $650 off and close to the lowest price we’ve seen it. Amazon’s default sale price is $1,396, but there’s a coupon on the product page you can clip for an extra $47 off, bringing the final cost down to $1,350. If you’re a My Best Buy member (it’s free to sign up), you can get the same price there, too.

Buy 55-inch LG CX OLED at Amazon – $1,350 Buy 55-inch LG CX OLED at Best Buy – $1,350

The CX TVs are part of LG’s midrange OLED collection and they feature the company’s a9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K, 120Hz refresh rates and support for NVIDIA G-SYNC, AMD FreeSync, Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos and more. They run webOS and come with a “magic remote” that supports voice commands, but if you have an Alexa or Google Assistant device in your home, you can control the TV with either of those virtual helpers, too. And being OLED sets, these TVs have some of the best color reproduction and blackest blacks you’ll find.

But as mentioned at the top, LG’s latest OLED sets will be coming out soon and they do have a number of new features that the CX line doesn’t have. The new C1 series, the new version of the CX family, will have a Gen 4 processor, updated LG Sound Pro, a new version of webOS with enhanced ThinkQ AI and a new Game Optimizer that promises 1 millisecond response times, low input lag and HDMI 2.1 support.

If you’re serious about getting the best OLED set possible that also has all of the latest gaming technology, you may want to wait for the 2021 models to come out. US pricing is unclear right now, but we do know that a 55-inch C1 set will run €2000 in Europe (which converts to $2,420 in the US, but we expect the starting price to be a bit lower than that). But if the 2020 CX OLED sets have all of the features you were looking for in a new TV, now’s a good opportunity to grab one at a great sale price.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

But as mentioned at the top, LG’s latest OLED sets will be coming out soon and they do have a number of new features that the CX line doesn’t have. The new C1 series, the new version of the CX family, will have a Gen 4 processor, updated LG Sound Pro, a new version of webOS with enhanced ThinkQ AI and a new Game Optimizer that promises 1 millisecond response times, low input lag and HDMI 2.1 support.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/lg-55-inch-cx-oled-smart-tv-sale-amazon-best-buy-135635265.html

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SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites but failed to stick the landing

SpaceX successfully launched another 60 Starlink internet satellites today, but the first stage missed its drone ship landing.

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SpaceX successfully launched another 60 Starlink internet satellites today for 1,145 in total, bringing it close to its initial goal of 1,440. However, in a rare miss, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster failed to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship, presumably falling into the ocean instead. “It is unfortunate that we did not recover this booster but our second stage is still on a nominal trajectory,” said SpaceX engineer Jessica Anderson.

SpaceX has yet to say what happened to the booster (B1059, RIP), but it appeared to encounter an issue near the end of its landing burn. It had already flown two ISS resupply missions, launched a US spy satellite and Argentina’s Earth-observing satellite, and boosted another Starlink mission. While B1059 failed to come home for its sixth mission, SpaceX has always said that the primary launch mission is key and the landings are more or less a bonus.

Despite the failure, SpaceX may launch another 60 Starlink satellites as early as this Wednesday. Elon Musk said that around 500-800 satellites would need to be in orbit before its internet service could roll out. While the initial goal was around 1,440 satellites, SpaceX eventually plans to launch 12,000 in total.

Public beta tests for Starlink internet began in late 2020 for people in the US, Canada and the UK, with more than 10,000 customers already using the service in the span of three months, according to a SpaceX FCC filing. SpaceX has started taking $99 deposits for the service and recently told the Australian government that it would be able to cover the main continent in early 2021 and external territories by 2022.

Despite the failure, SpaceX may launch another 60 Starlink satellites as early as this Wednesday. Elon Musk said that around 500-800 satellites would need to be in orbit before its internet service could roll out. While the initial goal was around 1,440 satellites, SpaceX eventually plans to launch 12,000 in total.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/spacex-60-starlink-satellites-failed-landing-093333201.html

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Hubble researchers find a gaggle of small black holes

Hubble telescope researchers have found a concentration of small black holes — the first studied in significant detail.

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Larger black holes may be the usual attention-getters, but the smaller ones may be at least as important. A team using the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a concentration of small black holes in the NGC 6397 globular star cluster (pictured above) 7,800 light-years away — the first to have its mass and extent recorded. While the researchers had hoped to find an elusive intermediate-mass black hole, this represents a breakthrough of its own.

Part of the challenge came from determining the mass. Scientists used the velocities of stars in the cluster, gathered over several years from both Hubble and the ESA’s Gaia observatory, to find the masses of the black holes. The normally invisible bodies tugged stars around in “close to random” orbits rather than the neatly circular or elongated paths you’d normally see with black holes.

The group likely formed as the black holes fell toward the cluster’s center through gravitational interactions with smaller stars. Heavier stars tend to gravitate toward the middle even when they haven’t collapsed into black holes.

The findings could expand humanity’s understanding of black holes and the phenomena they create. A bunch like this may be a key source of gravitational waves, for instance. So long as researchers can collect more data, this surprise discovery might pay plenty of dividends.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/hubble-concentration-of-black-holes-215420800.html

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