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[He's Not Dead, Jim] Samsung Galaxy S II Gets Marshmallow Through CyanogenMod 13 Nightly

The Galaxy S II is an iconic device in Samsung's line-up. It had a big role in changing the public's perception of Samsung's brand and establishing it as a major smartphone player. But in our day and age, at a time when the S7 is about to be announced, the S II is getting long, really looooooooong in the tooth. It's a 5-year old device by now and its specs (dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 4.3" 480x800 display) can hardly be found in the lowest of the low-end Android phones. It does have 1GB of RAM and 16/32GB of storage though, which make it a potential candidate ripe for more modern Android ROMs.

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[Update: Original Source Backpedals] WSJ Report: Amazon Plans To Bring Bookstores Back From The Dead With "Hundreds" Of Amazon-Branded Retail Locations In The US

The information age has not been kind to the humble bookstore. After mega-chains valiantly tried and failed to compete with the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon, only Barnes & Noble is left in the US (and it's quickly becoming a showroom for LEGO and Pop Vinyl toys as much as an actual bookseller). A few indies are surviving thanks to a small resurgence of dead tree reading and some trendy makeovers, but the writing is on the wall.

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[Update: ASUS ZenWatch 2 Too] Google Store Finally Recognizes The Built-In Speaker Of The Huawei Watch — Android Wear Update Imminent?

The saga of speaker support on Android Wear has been a long one. First we spotted the speaker inside the Huawei Watch despite no mention of it in any product documentation, then the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE was released with calling and speaker support only to be quickly canceled by LG, then Google officially announced cellular support on Wear without explaining how the speaker would work in that case, and finally a test build of Wear made it onto a user's device with an activated speaker for calls, alerts, and speech-to-text.

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LG Confirms G5 Announcement For February 21st, Same Day As Galaxy S7

The end of this month is going to be extremely eventful. Samsung announced its Unpacked event (with expected Galaxy S7 reveal) last week, and now LG has confirmed the G5 is being unveiled on the very same day in Barcelona. A previous event invitation didn't confirm the G5, but now it's all out in the open. LG also included this weird GIF on Facebook for some reason.

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The Google Store Stops Selling The Original Moto 360 And Sony SmartWatch 3

There are many ways to go about getting your hands on an Android Wear device, but if your preferred method consists of ordering from the Google Store, there are two fewer options for you to consider. The original Moto 360 and the Sony SmartWatch 3 are no longer showing up for sale on the site.

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[Deal Alert] Google Offering $10 Google Play Credit With All Chromecast Purchases

Google only charges $35 for the Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, which is already a pretty good deal for the functionality. However, they're almost free when you consider all the free stuff Google gives away to Chromecast owners. Case in point, right now you can get $10 in Google Play credit with any Chromecast purchase from the Google Store.

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Acer Predator 8 Gaming Tablet Review: It's Everything That Nobody Wants In A Tablet

My first desktop PC was an Acer many years ago. If I recall correctly, it ran Windows 95, AOL was my ISP, and it was the coolest thing on the planet to me at the time. It was like the Wild West—the rules hadn't yet been established, so the internet was just a huge playground for…whatever. I could get into a nostalgic post about all the stupid stuff I used to do on that computer when I first got the 'net, but that's another story for another day. (Or maybe never.) Either way, those were good times.

Ever since that computer, though, I've had a bit of a soft spot for Acer—oftentimes not unjustified.

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Asus ZenFone Zoom Now Available In The States Exclusively From B&H

Asus announced the ZenFone Zoom over a year ago, but despite how long the phone has taken to arrive stateside (after having long ago launched in other parts of the world), the phone is still a unique piece of hardware. Optical zoom is a rare thing to find in a smartphone camera, as is the dedicated camera button.

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Google Play Music's Podcasts Interface And Functionality Is Live For Some Users

We've known since last October that Google Play Music was getting ready to welcome podcasts into its fold of audio entertainment, but yesterday Sportscaster Bill Simmons broke the news that the feature was going live this month. It turns out that the option is already active for a few Android users through the weird magic of server-side A/B testing.

Our own Cody had already gone through a mini teardown of version 6.3 of Google Play Music that was released last week, and found lots of hints that podcast support was being thoroughly implemented. It seems that the feature was almost ready by then and the switch has been flipped for a few users who have started seeing a Podcasts icon in their app's side menu.

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Unannounced Alcatel Idol 4 And 4S Leak In [Lots Of] Detail On Support Site Ahead Of Launch

It looks like Alcatel's MWC launch plans have been spoiled a bit, based on a couple of leaked support pages on the company's website just tipped to us. The Idol 4 and 4S follow up the rather nice Alcatel Idol 3 with beefed-up specifications all around. Though we don't have much in the way of visuals, we do have a lot of information.

idol4

The Idol 4 and 4S will have 5.2 and 5.5" screens, respectively, with the 4S clearly being the up-market device of the two. It has a brand-new Snapdragon 652 octacore processor, Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 3000mAh battery, and 16MP camera with dual-tone flash and something called an "8MP slow motion sub-camera" - whatever that means (maybe it's referring to front-facing).

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