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Huawei Celebrates The Year Of The Goat By Offering A Free Bluetooth Speaker Or $30 Discount On A Mate 2, Also Includes A Free Month Of Net10 Service

If you're into huge phones and low costs, the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 might be the phone for you. While it's not the most powerful device on the planet, this 6.1-inch beasty is packing some pretty reasonable hardware under its hood for just $299:

Specs

Display 6.1-inch 1280x720 LCD
CPU 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
RAM 2GB
Cameras 13MP rear, 5MP front
Storage 16GB, microSD card slot
Battery 3,900 mAh
OS Android 4.3 (will be updated to Lollipop)
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Google Talk For Windows Will Die February 23, But Compatible Third-Party Clients Will Still Work

For Google Talk users, Product Manager Mayur Kamat has some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the chat service's desktop client for Windows will be deprecated on February 23, 2015 as the team continues to focus on making Hangouts better.

Of course that leaves the question of third-party clients like Pidgin, Trillian, etc. The good news is, as Kamat notes, that compatible apps will still continue to work.

If you’re not ready to make the switch to Hangouts quite yet, you can continue using Google Talk on Windows with a range of compatible third-party chat apps (http://goo.gl/FSbCX5).

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InBrief
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Midnight Blue 64GB Nexus 6 In Stock On Google Play And Motorola Right Now

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[Deal Alert] HTC Hot Deals Is Offering The One M8 For $499 ($150 Off), RE Camera For $149 ($50 Off), And Select M8 Cases For 50% Off, This Weekend Only

It's no mystery HTC is preparing to announce its latest flagship the One M9 in just a couple of weeks. Naturally, it's time to clear out some inventory space to make way for new products, and that means cutting prices. HTC Hot Deals is running a weekend-long sale on the RE Camera, the One M8, and a selection of custom cases.

We've seen some better deals (for $300, and $350) on the One M8 in the last month, but they've been limited to the AT&T model, and only available as refurbs.

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[Deal Alert] Discounted International Nexus 6 And Other Devices Currently At Expansys USA

A 32GB Nexus 6 will run you $649 in the Play Store, while the larger model will set you back $699. Right now Expansys USA is offering the international variants for $20-30 off. The smaller option is marked down to $619, while the latter is priced at $679. Both sizes are available in Cloud White or Midnight Blue.

Screenshot 2015-02-13 at 3.23.37 PM

Let me repeat, these are international versions of the Nexus 6, version XT1100.

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Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910F (International Snapdragon Version) And Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 Getting Lollipop In Some Markets

We've been seeing a handful of Samsung flagships get updated to Lollipop here in the United States, where the lion's share of phones are still sold with shackles firmly attached to the carriers. The standard international model of the Note 4 uses Samsung's own Exynos chipset, but there's also a variant with a Snapdragon 805, model number SM-N910F. Users in Germany can access the official Lollipop update on these phones today via Samsung's Kies program, according to SamMobile.

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Google Helpouts Is Shutting Down In April 2015, Android App Already Removed From The Play Store

Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.

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Google Goes For Record Lack Of Android Mentions In Latest 'Be Together' Ads

When Google kicked off its Be Together, Not The Same campaign, it started off with Androidified characters just being generally adorable. This month, the company has decided it doesn't need to make any references to Android, phones, tablets, or devices of any kind in order to sell its products. Google handles most of our searches, and it knows nothing draws eyeballs like cute animals doing cute animal-y things.

Now it's released another ad that's nearly as absent of tech as the last.

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[Video] Google Japan Set Up 300 Androidify Characters As A Joyful Coordinated Chorus

What would 300 singing Androids sound like? Very cute. Impossibly cute. Like a marshmallow of kawaii wrapped in a cotton-candy of adorable and sprinkled on top of a rainbow of charm. It would also be very cool. Like a groovy logistical nightmare hidden inside a fun technical challenge. But that's what the Google Japan team has managed to produce: a chorus of 300 different but perfectly synchronized, lovable, dancing and singing Androidify characters, each coming alive inside its own phone or tablet to perform a rendition of The Hymn Of Joy, from Beethoven's Symphony No.

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Samsung Blacks Out Retail Employees Vacations For Two Periods Starting On March 22nd And April 19th

A trusted source working at a Samsung retail location in the US has sent us the image below from an official company correspondence. In it, you will see Samsung blacking out employee vacations, leaves of absence, and time offs, for two upcoming periods. The first starts on March 22nd and lasts until March 30th. The second goes from April 19th through April 27th.

samsung-retail-blackout-2015

These blackout periods are usually an accurate indicator of when the company expects a big product launch and wants all hands on deck.

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