The Nest Thermostat is only $90 as part of Google’s Black Friday deals

Google’s Nest Thermostat is on sale for just $90 for Black Friday, with a tidy $40 discount. That’s among the lowest prices we’ve seen, and close to the lowest it has gone for so far. Like most smart home devices, the Nest Thermostat grants control via smartphone, tablet, laptop or even a smart display like Amazon’s Echo Show or Google’s Nest Hub (both of which are seeing significant Black Friday deals). 

Since it’s programmable and capable of knowing when you’re home, the thermostat can save energy by not overly heating or cooling an empty house. Google designed it to be easy to install, and most people can do it themselves. Google says 85 percent of systems are compatible, but before you pick one up, you might want to check your HVAC compatibility on Google’s site.  

In addition to remote access and programmability, the Next Thermostat has a Savings Finder option within the Nest app that can suggest tweaks to your heating and cooling schedule to save energy. In some cases, owning a Nest can entitle you to rebates from your utility provider.  

The sale extends to some of Google’s other smart home devices as well. If you’re looking to expand your smart home ecosystem with Nest cameras or doorbells, this might be the time to dive in. The Nest Security Cam Wired is 30 percent off its usual $100 price tag, bringing it down to $70 for Black Friday. 

As the name suggests, this is the wired version of the smart camera, intended for indoor use. Its smart detection features can tell the difference between your pets wandering around and human visitors. It also lets you see, hear and talk to whomever’s in the room and sends alerts and 1080p HDR video to your phone or other devices using the Google Home app. You get three hours of video history without a subscription, or with a $6-per-month subscription, the Nest cam offers 60 days of video history.   

Buy Nest Security Cam Wired at Amazon – $70

Bring a video doorbell into the mix to keep track of packages and people showing up at your door with the Nest Doorbell Battery. It’s down to an all-time low of $120, with a $60 discount. The doorbell installs using your existing doorbell wiring to continuously power the device, or it can run on the built-in rechargeable battery. Like the Nest camera, the Google Home app sends alerts and video feed from the doorbell to your phone, laptop or smart display. You can see, hear and talk to anyone who shows up, and you can even program the option of using pre-recorded messages to tell visitors you’ll be right there or let delivery people know where to leave your package. 

Buy Nest Doorbell Battery at Amazon – $120

Other versions of the cameras and doorbells are also on sale at Amazon right now. If you’d rather shop direct, the Google Store has Black Friday deals on even more Nest smart home devices. 

Shop the Google Nest Black Friday sale at Amazon

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COP27 conference approves historic climate damage fund for developing nations

Following two weeks of negotiations that felt doomed to go nowhere, the COP27 climate conference delivered a breakthrough deal to help developing nations cope with the often catastrophic effects of climate change. The Washington Post reports dignitaries agreed to create a “loss and damage fund” in the early hours of Sunday morning after two extra days of negotiations. The Alliance of Small Island States, an organization that includes countries whose very existence is threatened by climate change, called the agreement “historic.” However, as with the Glasgow Climate Pact that came out of last year’s COP26 conference, the consensus is that COP27 failed to deliver the action that is desperately needed to meet the demands of the current moment.

For one, the conference failed to see nations agree to new and stronger commitments to reduce their carbon emissions. According to The Post, China and Saudi Arabia were strongly against language calling for a phaseout of all fossil fuels, as were many African nations. Alok Sharma, the chair of COP26, said (via Phys.org) a clause on energy was “weakened, in the final minutes.”

The conference also left many of the most important details related to the loss and damage fund to be sorted out by a committee that will need to answer some difficult questions in the coming months. Among the issues that need to be decided on is how much the United States, historically the greatest emitter of greenhouse emissions globally, should pay out to vulnerable countries. The conference also ended without a clear commitment from China to pay into the fund.

The committee now has a year to draft recommendations for next year’s climate meeting in Dubai. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said governments took “an important step towards justice,” but fell short in pushing for the commitments that would ultimately protect the world’s most vulnerable people from the worst effects of climate change. “Our planet is still in the emergency room,” Guterres said. “We need to drastically reduce emissions now and this is an issue this COP did not address.”

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Epic lawsuit claims Google paid Activision Blizzard $360 million to prevent Play Store rival

Google paid Activision Blizzard approximately $360 million to prevent the troubled publisher from competing directly against the Play Store. The deal was one among at least 24 agreements the search giant signed as part of its Project Hug initiative, according to court documents seen by Reuters.

The financial details of Project Hug – later known as the Apps and Games Velocity Program – are at the center of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit between Epic Games and Google. In 2021, the studio alleged Google had spent millions of dollars in incentives to keep big app developers on the Play Store. This week, a newly unredacted version of Epic’s complaint was made public, providing previously unknown details about the scope of the Apps and Games Velocity Program.

According to the court documents, Google also signed deals with Nintendo, Ubisoft and Riot Games. In the case of Riot, Google paid about $30 million to “stop” the League of Legends studio from pushing forward with its own “in-house ‘app store’ efforts,” Epic alleges. Riot Games did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment.

The lawsuit alleges Google knew signing with Activision would prompt the publisher to “abandon its plans to launch a competing app store,” a claim Activision disputes. “Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with Google Play,” an Activision spokesperson told Reuters. “Epic’s allegations are nonsense.”

Google did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. The company previously said it was “looking forward to setting the record straight” on Epic’s “inaccurate” claims.

“The program on which Epic and Match base their claims simply provides incentives for developers to give benefits and early access to Google Play users when they release new or updated content; it does not prevent developers from creating competing app stores, as they allege,” Google told Engadget in October after Epic and Match filed a motion to bring additional charges against the company. “In fact, the program is proof that Google Play competes fairly with numerous rivals for developers, who have a number of choices for operating systems and app stores.”

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