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The new Apple TV 4K arrives with HDMI 2.1, Thread wireless tech | Engadget

Keith Chambers

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Richard Lawler



Earlier today Apple introduced a new Apple TV 4K box (and a redesigned Siri remote that should be easier to use), and a close look at the spec sheet reveals a few more details about what it can do. 
Confirming earlier rumors, this box has an HDMI 2.1 video output, however as 9to5Mac notes, despite code leaks that mention support for a 120Hz mode, at launch the device’s “high frame rate HDR” will top out at 60 FPS. That could change with the next version of tvOS — or once 4K TVs aren’t as finicky with their support — but it’s something to keep an eye on.
One other thing to be aware of, as Dan Moren pointed out on Twitter, is that this is the first Apple TV box with Thread built-in. Thread is a low power mesh networking technology for home automation devices with backing from a number of big name companies, and they plan to use it to support Project CHIP (Connected Home over IP) which is an interoperability standard for smart homes. 
Thread support is limited to a few devices so far, but it could make this box a lot more useful as a hub for your future smart home. The HomePod mini also includes Thread technology, however the now-discontinued original HomePod did not, which may be a part of the reason why it got the axe and could feature in upcoming devices.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.

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Resident Evil’s Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine come to ‘Fortnite’ | Engadget

Keith Chambers

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Jon Fingas



Epic Games’ fondness for Capcom continues unabated. The game developer has added legendary Resident Evil characters Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine (aka the “master of unlocking“) to Fortnite, complete with numerous nods to the zombie-slaying franchise. Chris and Jill have alternate costumes that make nods to their appearances in Village and Nemesis, while the Back Bling offers three shades of Resident Evil’s life-sustaining herbs. There are themed pickaxes and even a “brolly stroll” emote making fun of everyone’s least-favorite fictional corporation.
The outfits and equipment are available to buy in separate S.T.A.R.S. Team and S.T.A.R.S. Team Gear bundles. The Resident Evil packs are particularly timely drops given Halloween and the hordes of “Cube Monsters” in the current season, and we won’t be surprised if they lose some of their early luster. Still, this is a Fortnite gaming crossover that makes sense — Chris and Jill are already well-dressed for a bitter fight for survival.

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.

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Astronomers directly observe one of the youngest planets to date | Engadget

Keith Chambers

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Jon Fingas



Astronomers have spotted young planets before, but rarely this young — or with such easy observation. As CBS News says, a University of Hawaii-led team has discovered 2M0437b, one of the youngest planets ever found at ‘just’ several million years old. The baby planet was found in the Taurus Cloud “nursery” and young enough that it’s still emanating lava-like heat from its birth.
Importantly, this is also a very rare chance at directly observing an infant world. Researchers will still need to use special optics to compensate for Earth’s atmosphere, but they won’t have to use the host star or other tricks to study the planet. It helps that 2M0437b is about one hundred times further from its star than Earth is from the Sun, reducing the chances for interference.
The scientists first spotted the planet in 2018 using the Subaru Telescope, but spent the next three years using the Keck Observatory and other Hawaii telescopes to track the planet and confirm it was tied to its host.
Future observations could shed more light on planetary formation. It might not take much longer to glean more details, either. The team hoped the imminent James Webb Space Telescope could help detect atmospheric gases and newly forming moons. As significant as 2M0437b might be now, it could be more important going forward.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.

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Hasbro unveils ‘ultimate’ Nerf version of the Halo Needler gun | Engadget

Keith Chambers

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Jon Fingas



Past attempts at a Nerf version of Halo’s Needler gun have fallen short, but the latest iteration might just live up to (most of) the promises. The Verge reports Hasbro has introduced a Nerf LMTD Halo Needler that looks and acts more like the iconic Covenant weapon. It still won’t shoot homing rounds, unfortunately, but the motorized blaster will shoot 10 darts in a row from a rapid-fire drum. The needles light up when you grab the handle, and they’ll dim one at a time as you unleash foam rounds upon your foes.
There’s a Halo Infinite tie-in, as you might imagine. Hasbro promises a card in the box with a code for in-game Infinite content. While the toymaker didn’t say what you’d get, it won’t be surprising if it’s linked to the Needler.
The blaster will chew through six AA 1.5V batteries at a time. You might not mind so much, however, when there’s a light-up display mode and matching stand to show off your acquisition.
You’ll have to be particularly patient if you want to brandish real-world Halo gear. The Nerf LMTD Halo Needler is available to pre-order from Amazon now for $100, but it’s not slated to ship until December 1st, 2022. Look at it this way, though: this could easily be the most impressive Halo blaster you can buy for a long, long time.

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