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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Sony SmartWatch 2 Only $59.99 On CowBoom With Coupon Code

Now that Android Wear is a thing and watches are coming out that turn Google's take on the concept into a reality, it's time for the more budget-minded among us to turn their eyes over to some of the previous smartwatches that tackled the form factor before it was cool. One such option is the Sony SmartWatch 2, a device that was never mind-blowing but perfectly capable of displaying calls and notifications like the alternatives that have launched since.

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Google Evidently Testing 'Ultra Violet,' A New Hangouts Experience For Chrome

According to Florian Kiersch (who has uncovered many in-progress Google projects including Google Stars), Google is testing a new Hangouts experience for now codenamed Ultra Violet.

Kiersch says (and shows) that Ultra Violet will present significant interface changes for Hangouts, including a new Chrome extension that would introduce a floating, Chat Heads-style icon on the desktop, which users could move around freely.

ultraviolet-11

Once the circle is clicked, Kiersch says, the Hangouts welcome screen would appear to introduce users to the new experience.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (32GB) On Sale For $429.99 On eBay With Free US Shipping

If you've had your eye on Samsung's (really expensive) Note Pro tablets, today is your lucky day. There's a refurbished Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 deal on eBay right now for $429.99. That's more than $200 less than the current retail price of the device, and almost $100 less than other refurb deals out there.

2014-08-13 13_40_31-Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12 2_ Black 32GB Tablet WiFi 1 9 GHz Quad Core 887276965

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[Deal Alert] Buy Two Chromecasts From Best Buy, Get $15 Off

You know what's better than being able to stream Netflix, Hulu, Play Movies, Play Music, and loads of other content to a TV in your house? Having the option to stream it to more than one TV in your house. Sometimes the living room just isn't he place to be, but you're out of luck without a Chromecast in the bedroom. That's a bummer. Thankfully Best Buy is ready to save the day.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Fire TV Temporarily Discounted To $84 (A $15 Savings)

Amazon's flaming media streaming and gaming box is currently marked down to $84. This is a savings of $15 on the original price. The difference here isn't enough to get Fire TV detractors to change their tune, but if you were considering picking up Amazon's little black box, this might just help with the decision.

Screenshot 2014-08-13 at 12.48.10 PM

We've put the Fire TV through its paces in a lengthy review, and to sum things up shortly - it's not a bad box.

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Samsung Finally Announces The Galaxy Alpha, A Mid-Ranger With The Pretentions Of A Flagship

After months of speculations regarding their upcoming high-quality metallic smartphone, Samsung has finally outed the Galaxy Alpha. In many regards, the Alpha is an underwhelming device that fails to stand next to this year's (and even some of last year's) Android flagships, but it does have one redeeming quality: it is the best industrially-designed phone to come out of the South Korean company in years.

While Samsung claims the Galaxy Alpha offers an "entirely new appearance," you would be hard-pressed not to recognize the Galaxy S5's sibling in the Alpha, an illegitimate brother from a one-night stand with a member of the iPhone family.

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Google Updates Platform Distribution Stats - KitKat Still Growing, Jelly Bean Still Shrinking, Gingerbread Gets Surprise 0.1% Bump

It's that time again! Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers, showing the current state of Android version distribution among devices that have recently checked in to the Play Store.

As expected, KitKat has grown a bit more, up to 20.9% now (vs 17.9% last month), while Jelly Bean is down from 56.5 to 54.2%. Still hanging above the 50% mark and encompassing 3 API levels, Jelly Bean is the new Gingerbread.

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Samsung's Virtual Reality Headset Shows Up In A Photo Ahead Of Alleged IFA Unveiling

We've heard rumor after rumor of Samsung's virtual reality headset in recent weeks, and according to the Verge the manufacturer is (as previous rumors suggested) set to unveil the device (codenamed Project Moonlight) at its upcoming Unpacked event in Berlin and New York, where Samsung is also expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4. What's more, the Verge has what appears to be a photo of the headset, next to a Samsung phone and Bluetooth controller.

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[Update: Google Blocks Email With Sneaky Characters] Gmail Users Can Now Communicate With Email Addresses Containing Accented Or Non-Latin Characters

Update: Opening up email to a greater number of characters is a good thing for users, but it's also exciting for spammers. Certain characters - such as ဝ, ૦, ο, and the letter o - look very similar. Too similar, really. So Gmail will now block email addresses attempting to take advantage of this, and it will use the Unicode Consortium's "highly-restricted" specification to do so. Wဝ૦ο!

It may seem to many of us that there are an endless number of email addresses available out there, but if your name contains characters that don't fit somewhere between A-Z, that illusion is shattered pretty quickly.

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Google Classroom Opens Up To All Google Apps For Education Users In 42 Languages

Back in May, Google announced "a new classroom," powered by Google's own tools. Appropriately, the effort was dubbed Google Classroom and previewed to educators around the world. Today, Google Classroom will become available to all Google Apps for Education users in 42 languages, optimized for both desktop and mobile use.

For those unfamiliar, Google Classroom is basically a web platform for managing assignments and projects - educators can assign projects, dispense information (through announcements or real time discussions), and collect assignments using Google's tools to spend "a little less time at the photocopier and a little more time doing what you love—teaching."

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