Watch the first eight minutes of ‘Stranger Things’ season 4

Netflix is trying to build up hype for Stranger Things season 4 in a not-so-subtle way: by letting you watch a significant chunk of it. The service has shared the first eight minutes of the introductory episode in hopes you’ll tune in for the rest. We won’t spoil the finer points, but we will say that it’s mostly a flashback that sets the stage for what’s to come.

It’s also clear just why the fourth season is split in two — some episodes are exceptionally long. Volume 1, premiering May 27th, includes seven episodes that are conventionally-sized apart from the last, which runs for an hour and 38 minutes. Volume 2, arriving July 1st, is another matter. It consists of just two lengthy episodes, with the last running for nearly two and a half hours. You’re effectively watching a feature film.

There are reasons for the long runtime. The Duffer Brothers previously said they’d planned to finish the story in four or five seasons, and this fourth run is the start of that climax. The story is also far-reaching, with scenes in Hawkins, California, Russia and “elsewhere.” It’s a busy plot, and the creators are apparently determined to tie up every loose end.

Match Group and Google reach an interim compromise over app payments

Match Group, the parent company of dating apps Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid, is getting along better with Google, just by a little bit. On Friday, Match withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order against the company, which it accuses of wielding unfair monopoly power in its mobile app marketplace. Match filed an antitrust lawsuit […]

Salty, subterranean water could relieve world’s lithium shortage

Today’s lithium mines can’t hope to meet skyrocketing demand. Startups like Lilac Solutions and Vulcan Energy Resources have leaped into action with new, more efficient lithium extraction processes.

Amazon’s latest stunt is beaming a new Prime Video sci-fi show into outer space

Amazon tried a novel marketing strategy to get more eyeballs (or eyestalks) on a new Prime Video show: it beamed the first episode of sci-fi series Night Sky out of Earth’s atmosphere. The company pulled off the stunt earlier today for what it’s calling “the first-ever intergalactic premiere for a TV series.”

Satellite services companies SES and Intelsat used their ground stations and geostationary satellites to send the episode beyond the reach of our planet. Prime Video noted in a press release that the transmission won’t be caught by broadcast satellites and sent back to terra firma, as is usually the case. “Theoretically, this makes the broadcast available to anyone open to receiving satellite signals 384,000 kilometers away from Earth and beyond — the equivalent distance from Earth to the Moon,” it said.

Prime Video claims it’s not only the first streaming service to send its content to space, but it marks the “farthest distance that a TV series has been intentionally distributed.” The episode was transmitted using Ku- and C-band frequencies, which are often employed for satellite TV, media distribution and communications. So if there’s anyone or anything out there with the right gear, they’ll be able to catch the first episode of what sounds like an intriguing series.

Night Sky premiered on Prime Video today. It centers around a couple (played by Sissy Spacek and JK Simmons) who’ve been hiding a secret for years: there’s a chamber buried in their backyard that links to a deserted planet. However, everything changes when a young man (who they believe may be an alien) enters their lives.