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Google Rings Super Mario Bros' 30th Birthday With A Cutely Nostalgic Easter Egg

I remember being 6 or 7 years old and anxiously waiting for my cousins to visit us so I could take my shiny Nintendo NES console from its box, hook it to our 14" Sony TV, and play with them a few rounds of Super Mario Bros or Contra. I don't think we ever got past the third or fourth world on one run, but we did use the secret warp pipes to move to later worlds.

Apparently, Super Mario Bros was released the same year that I was (ha!) in 1985, and it celebrated its 30th birthday yesterday, September 13. To wit Google has decided to give all of us a nostalgic easter egg when performing a search for "Super Mario Bros." Whether it's from a mobile or your desktop browser, you'll see a knowledge graph card donned with Mario's signature question mark brick.

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Moto Body Makes Its Way To The Play Store, Provides More Detailed Fitness Stats From Your Moto 360 On Your Phone

Moto 360 owners have been enjoying a Moto Body application on their watch since the Motorola Connect update in November 2014. The app, however, was limited to the confines of the small screen on their wrist, providing daily steps, calories, and activity data, but with no weekly or monthly stats. That changes today with the dedicated Moto Body application that has hit the Play Store.

The app isn't a Motorola exclusive — it is compatible with various brands of Android devices, as long as the phone runs Android 4.3 and up. But it will only install the Wear component on a Moto 360, so you won't be able to use it on other smartwatches.

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[Bonus Round] A Wise Use of Time, MicRogue, Random Fighters, Asciid, Puzzle Coaster, Fat Baby Galaxy, And Nibblers

Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a time-travelling game-book, a mix of roguelikes and board games, a match-three puzzler, an ASCII-inspired platformer, a physics-focused puzzle game, and another Rovio puzzle game. Without further ado:

bonusround

A Wise Use of Time

It's always nice to see a new game-book...

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Huawei Mate 2 And Moto E 2015 CyanogenMod Nightly Builds Are Now Available For Download

The CyanogenMod team continues to develop builds for new phones, and today we get support for two budget-oriented options that are popular with the unlocked crowd. The Moto E 2015, a phone with a relatively small screen and a tiny price, and the Huawei Mate 2, a phone with a relatively enormous screen and a price that's still pretty small, both have CyanogenMod 12.1 (Android 5.1) ROMs waiting for them on the official download site.

The Mate 2 is under the "mt2" codename, currently with three nightly builds available, and the Moto E 2015 is (for no obvious reason) labeled "otus" with two builds available at the time of writing.

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NVIDIA Recalls Some SHIELD Pro Android TV Units For Hard Drive Failures

NVIDIA's customer service department has had a tough time of it recently. After a massive recall of last year's SHIELD Tablet for faulty batteries that posed a possible fire hazard, it's come to light that some SHIELD Android TV units will also need to be recalled. Luckily, this one isn't quite so widespread: the recall only affects the SHIELD Pro model (the one with the 500GB conventional hard drive), and even then, only a small portion of units seem to be affected. Also there's almost no chance of them exploding, which is a good thing.

According to this official post from an NVIDIA Customer Care representative, some SHIELD Pro units have hard drives that are prone to failure, making the system unusable.

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[Deal Alert] Get A Lifetime Subscription To TigerVPN For Just $29, Android Support And Access To Endpoints In 15 Locations Included

Concerns about privacy online are only growing nowadays. You might be interested in avoiding the NSA, advertising agencies, your ISP, hackers, or whatever is going on at that free hotspot you just connected to. A popular and powerful method of doing this is using a VPN, which both changes your visible IP address (like a proxy) and encrypts all your web traffic to keep prying eyes away (unlike a proxy).

TigerVPN in conjunction with StackSocial is now offering a lifetime subscription to their "lite" VPN service for only $29, less than a one-year price for most competitors.

Your money earns you perpetual access to connections in 15 different locations, giving you a variety of options depending on your specific needs.

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[Deal Alert] Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 10400mAh Portable Battery Just $20 After $10 Off Coupon Code

Portable batteries are great for juicing up your gadgets when away from a power outlet. The problem is, most battery powered chargers deliver electrons at a snail's pace. Fortunately, thanks to Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology, there's a new crop of batteries that are both portable and fast. One of the better ones is Aukey's 10,400mAh battery, and right now you can pick one up for $20, a third less than the normal price.

Screenshot 2015-09-12 at 8.27.45 PM

Besides QC 2.0 technology, there isn't a lot to be said about the battery. It has one USB port, four LED charge level indicators, and a nice rounded aluminium shell.

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References To 'Nexus Protect' Appear On Hardware Listings In The Google Store

Over the last few days references to something called "Nexus Protect" have appeared in listings on the Google Store. Don't bother looking for it in the tiny type at the bottom of the page - it isn't actually visible unless you dig into the page source. If you do, you'll find the following phrase (which appears to be integrated as a toast-style pop-up text):

You can’t add this phone unless it has the same Nexus Protect choice as other phones in your cart. You can update your choice or purchase this phone in your next order.

We've modified the page a bit to enable the pop-up for the illustration above.

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A Deep Dive Into Google Photos: Not Your Grandma's Photo Album

At Google IO this past June we saw the launch of many new products from Google, including Android M, Android Pay, and Project Brillo. The tech giant also launched Google Photos as its own service, which was previously tied down to Google+. Today we're going to dive into every corner of Google Photos and my experiences with it over the last few months.

Intro & tests

Over the last eight years I have used iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, and Photos on Mac to organize my photos. While each worked for a period of time, I never truly felt like my photos were properly organized.

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Cyanogen CEO Says That Microsoft's Cortana Assistant Will Be 'Deeply Integrated' Into Cyanogen OS

Cyanogen, the company that's grown out of the most popular third-party ROM for Android phones and tablets, is now a partner of Microsoft. CEO Kirt McMaster (who you might remember from some rather colorful statements earlier this year) says that the first fruit of that union will be the integration of Cortana with future versions of the modified Android ROM.

McMaster said so in an interview with International Business Times:

McMaster revealed that Cyanogen is working with Microsoft to deeply integrate Cortana into the next version of Cyanogen OS. This is key to catapulting Cyanogen into the mass market, he asserts: Cortana is currently available as an app on Android, but in order for it to make a real difference, it needs to be able to be integrated at the OS level so that its full potential can be leveraged.

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