The Morning After: Netflix's big night at the Oscars

It didn't win everything, though.

David Lee / Netflix

The relevance of the Oscars is increasingly questionable in a year where major cinematic releases have been minimal — but don’t tell Netflix. The streaming service had its best night ever at the Academy Awards, taking seven Oscars out of 31 nominations, including two wins for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and two for Mank. Best Picture, however, went to Disney’s Nomadland.

It didn’t entirely go in Netflix's favor, though, despite the company giving a lot of effort (and money) to fielding its shows and movies at the biggest awards in recent years. It expected to win the Best Actor Oscar for the late Chadwick Boseman's performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, but the surprise winner was Anthony Hopkins in Sony’s The Father.

Next year’s Oscars, with a return (to some degree) to theaters, could still be more of the same. Netflix won’t want to give up the success it found this year.

— Mat Smith

Why Elon Musk's first Loop is, and isn't, as silly as you think

The LVCC project is designed to solve a very specific problem.

The Morning After

The Boring Company’s new project in Las Vegas was divisive pretty much from the outset. Digging mile-long tunnels for cars to shuttle people back and forth seemed like an expensive, wasteful project when there are so many simpler options. But just because it looks silly, doesn’t mean it is. Senior Editor Daniel Cooper explains. Continue reading.

Amazon drops the price of its latest Echo Dot to $30

The clock version is available for $40 in this limited-time sale.

The Morning After

Amazon is running a sale that drops the price of the fourth-generation Echo Dot smart speaker to $30 (down from $50) for the basic model and $40 (down from $60) for its clock-equipped upgrade. This is very nearly a record low price for both and makes them easy picks if you want an entry-level smart speaker. Continue reading.

SpaceX's reused Crew Dragon capsule docks with the ISS

Crew-2 is also the first SpaceX mission with people from three agencies.

The Morning After

SpaceX's Crew Dragon successfully docked with the International Space Station early Saturday morning, making it the firm's first reused crew capsule to reach the orbiting platform and the first crewed mission with a reused Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX already has crewed ISS missions lined up through 2023, including an all-private flight (AX-1) currently scheduled for January 2022. With cheaper launch costs, thanks to the reusable parts, the Crew-2 docking is a big step toward more frequent private spaceflights. Continue reading.

Experiment lets you skip 'Hey, Google' for Assistant voice commands

It's just a test for now.

The Morning After

An experimental Google Assistant feature codenamed Guacamole will give you the power to issue voice commands without having to preface it with "Hey, Google." That is if the tech giant decides to release it. According to 9to5Google, only employees testing the feature should have access to it at the moment, and even the FAQ linked in the option leads to an internal page.

Tapping Guacamole in Settings will lead you to a Voice Shortcuts page, which says if you switch it on, you'll be able to "skip saying 'Hey, Google' for help with quick task." For now, however, you can't toggle it on, even if you see the feature on your device. Continue reading.

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