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InBrief
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YouTube is already disabled on the Fire TV

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The Pixel C has been dropped from the Google Store

Google started selling the Pixel C about two years ago as its flagship tablet. The price was high, but it was a good Android tablet. Well, as good as Android tablets could be. Google's commitment to Android on tablets wasn't strong even then, and now the Pixel C is gone from the Google Store—the listing page redirects you to the Pixelbook. A moment of silence, please.

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Opinion: Google has quietly become one of the world's most important hardware companies

As we say goodbye to 2017, I'd like you to think back to five years ago - specifically, Google five years ago. At that time, if I had told you Google was one of the world's most important consumer electronics manufacturers, you'd probably have laughed at me.

Mentally put yourself in 2012: Google's just announced the fourth Nexus phone, the Nexus 4, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, along with the Nexus 10 tablet. At Google I/O six months prior, it unveiled the Nexus Q - a device intended to be some sort of smart entertainment hub... and proceeded to cancel its public launch.

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Google's new text-to-speech system sounds convincingly human

Get ready for the little person living inside your phone and speaker to sound a lot more life-like. Google believes it has reached a new milestone in the quest to make computer-generated speech indistinguishable from human speech with Tacotron 2, a system that trains neural networks to generate eerily natural-sounding speech from text, and they have the samples to prove it.

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Google Home and Assistant still have some fun Christmas Easter eggs for you

Christmas is over, but if you're anything like us then the holiday spirit is still with you and you refuse to let it go this easily. If that's the case and you're still huddled indoors with family and kids, you might want to wish a Merry Christmas to your Google Home or to Assistant on your phone. The response, as is often the case with Google, will be a little, uhm, Easter egg.

There are a couple of so-so answers like wishing you had a Merry Christmas too and triggering the Santa tracker (screenshots below), but the more interesting ones are more elaborate than that.

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'Smiles of 2017' video collage rolling out in Google Photos

The holidays give us a lot of reasons to smile. With Google Photos, you can even make sure that every one of those happy moments is saved and backed up online. And now you can enjoy looking back at all those happy moments over the last year in a new "Smiles of 2017" movie. 

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Some apps like Words With Friends 2 can break the Pixel 2's 'Now Playing' music recognition

The Pixel 2 has been in and out of the news here for issues both major and minor, and today we have a somewhat humorous one. Apparently, it is possible for installed apps, like Words With Friends 2, to interfere with the "Now Playing" music recognition feature. Google is aware of the issue, though, and thankfully it's not that big a problem. 

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Android 8.0 Oreo rolling out to Moto X4 Android One edition

The Moto X4 was released a few months ago, and there are two different versions of the phone (at least in the United States). The first is an Android One Edition with completely stock Android, and the second has Motorola's standard software changes. The former is now receiving an update to Android 8.0 Oreo, as many owners have confirmed.

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What We Use, 2017 Edition: The stuff Ryan can't live without

I spend my days writing about technology, and I spend much of my remaining time playing with it for fun. Consequently, I have a lot of nerdy stuff that's become integral to my life, and maybe you're interested in what it all is. It's been almost two years since I did a "what we use" post, and a lot has changed. My preferred phones are different, of course, but I've fallen deep down the mechanical keyboard rabbit hole, too. Events have also conspired against me to require that I build a new desktop computer. Here are all the things (mostly keyboards) that I can't live without.

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InBrief
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Eric Schmidt leaving Executive Chairman post at Alphabet to become "technical advisor"

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