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Federal Communications Commission Votes On Net Neutrality Plan

While you may have been doing a victory lap around your cubicle in the last few hours, not everyone is so enthused about the FCC's decision today. The commission voted to officially classify broadband internet as a Title II public utility, and it's already prepared for lawsuits from service providers. While court proceedings will take time to hash out, a war of words wages on in the immediate aftermath, so we've compiled comments from both sides on the matter.

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Finally, a game where the pricing structure is as clever as its mechanics. A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is an adorable puzzle game about a monster trying to make snowmen, from established puzzle-game designer Alan Hazelden, co-creator Benjamin Davis and composer Ryan Roth. It's charming, cute and surprisingly complex, and it's available for $8 right now, though that number will probably change tomorrow. You see, the game's price directly reflects the celsius temperature in London, Hazelden's and Davis' home base, from now through March 10. After such a rough winter for many people, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build offers a cool reason to be thankful for chilly temperatures.

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What seemed so novel and strange about Kirby: Canvas Curse ​when it came out now seems almost quaint. Only one part of the screen can be touched at a time? There aren't gyroscope controls? What is this, an Android store launch game? Please. Just shy of its tenth birthday, though, Canvas Curse still feels like a pristine lesson in touch-control video game design despite its antiquity. It had the depth and challenge of a classic arcade game as well as a strange but clean, immediately understandable interface. Canvas Curse was a colorful dollop of fun that begged for a follow up. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is finally here, and we're playing it for the very first time today on JXE Streams.

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It's odd to feel excited about the return of something that sounds as awful as "toejam," but here we are. The co-creator of ToeJam & Earl, a cult-hit dungeon crawler that launched on the Sega Genesis in 1991, is developing a brand new entry in the series, subtitled Back in the Groove. That's fairly adorable, considering the franchise involves a bunch of hip hop and funk. Creator Greg Johnson and his new team at Humanature Studios have gone full-on indie, currently seeking $400,000 by March 27 on Kickstarter. As of publication, they're more than a quarter of the way there, so things are looking groovy.

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Leading Video Game Companies Hold News Conferences To Open E3

What do you do after co-founding a studio responsible for myriad massive successes? From Bejeweled, to Peggle, to the massively popular Plants vs. Zombies, former PopCap Games co-founder John Vechey left a wake of breakthrough gaming franchises. After 15 years, he took a brief break. And now, five months after his amicable departure from the studio, Vechey's taking his hit-making talent to a new medium: virtual reality. Today he announced Pluto VR, an augmented-and-virtual reality studio named after our solar system's most (loved) distant planet-like mass.

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It wasn't long ago you needed to buy a set of purpose-made cans if you wanted a pair of gaming headphones. Thanks to how the PlayStation 4's and Xbox One's controllers are designed, though, that isn't the case anymore. For Xbox, all you need to use your favorite pair of headphones with Microsoft's latest console is a $35 adapter. So how does a company known for its high-end gaming headsets like Astro compete?

With the A40 Xbox One Edition. This $200 headset bests its adversaries, but faces stiff competition from an unexpected place: other Astro headphones.

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Despite "Gangnam Style" having over two billion views, hosting countless other viral clips and netting over a billion users per-month, YouTube can't seem to turn a profit. How's that? Well, after paying for the infrastructure that makes Google's video empire possible (and its content partners), The Wall Street Journal says that YouTube didn't contribute to Mountain View's earnings. The culprit, apparently, is that most users arrive at videos via links, rather than daily visits to the YouTube homepage where Google could charge a premium for ads. WSJ also reports that the site's reach isn't very wide either, with one source's estimate that nine percent of viewers account for a whopping 85 percent of online-video views. That makes it a much less appealing audience for advertisers than traditional TV programming, despite the outfit's increasing investment in original content.

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Lytro -- maker of "shoot now, focus later" cameras -- is diving into the virtual reality and video market, following an investment of $50 million led by GSV Capital. The market shift means Lytro will lay off 25 - 50 of its 130 employees, and at the same time hire new folks with expertise in VR and video. Lytro is best known for its tubelike, selective-focus cameras released in 2012, though its newest model, the Illum, is a high-end SLR-style device. The company has been feeling out its target market for a while, and while we thought the new camera was better than its predecessor, VR might turn out to be a better fit for Lytro overall.

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Oculus VR has a challenge for aspiring game and app developers: Create something new and exciting for the Gear VR Innovator Edition, Samsung's Oculus-powered headset, and get a shot at a cash prize from a $1 million pool. The Oculus Mobile VR Jam 2015 kicks off on April 13 and ends on May 11, with sign-ups open now at Challenge Post. The Jam -- and the cash -- is split between two tracks, "Games" and "Apps or Experiences," with Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in each segment. The top Platinum Game gets $200,000, while the Platinum App or Experience snags $100,000. There are multiple winners for each of the remaining ranks, and prizes bottom out at $10,000 for each Bronze victor.

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'Inpsector Gadget' reboot

Netflix isn't slowing down its efforts to win your kids' attention... if anything, it's ramping things up. The streaming service just unveiled five child-friendly shows that will arrive over the course of the next year. The first is a big one -- Netflix will offer a 26-episode reboot of Inspector Gadget. You'll get to revisit the adventures of the half-machine cop starting in March in the US, with other countries coming later. You'll have to be more patient for the rest. The Playmobil-based animated series Super 4 shows up next, in April. The live action series Some Assembly Required is due this summer, while both Bottersnikes & Gumbles (a "community comedy") and a revival of the spy parody Danger Mouse are arriving in spring 2016. The odds are that the remakes won't quite live up to what you remember, but they may well keep your little ones entertained on that next big vacation.

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Google wants to give your peepers a break. Google Chromium Evangelist Francois Beaufort laid out early versions of Reader Mode for Chrome desktop and mobile in a post today on Google Plus (of course). Reader Mode is designed to make on-screen text easier to absorb, by removing unnecessary pictures, boxes, buttons and ads. Safari has long featured a Reader Mode, and extensions such as Readability offer similar services for Chrome, but now Google is getting into the game itself with these Reader-friendly experiments.

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Even though most of us are only just now starting to look at 4K / Ultra HD, YouTube has had support for the high-res video since 2010 (just two years after it started streaming in HD!). With more than four years of experience under its belt the video service has a bigger library of 4K video than you might think, and starting today it's highlighting that with a special label (shown after the break) to point out 4K videos. According to a spokesperson, 4K uploads tripled last year, and searches for 4K video continue to increase. YouTube says that the VP9 codec it showed off last year is helping that video squeeze through connections of all bandwidth sizes, so give those high quality streams a shot.

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Oculus Rift offers some pretty out of this world experiences (punching sharks and becoming a bird immediately come to mind), but getting an up-close and personal with the sun aren't among them. Until now, of course. That, my friends, is what Sunshine Observation Deck is for. If it looks familiar, that's because it's based off of a set from the 2007 Danny Boyle flick, Sunshine -- you know, the one that heavily influenced the original Dead Space and that's by far one of the best sci-fi flicks from the past ten years. Anyhow, the walkthrough lets you explore the movie's solar observation deck and adjoining science lab, witnessing Sol in its fiery majesty. You can't adjust the intensity of the filter brightness, but given that, you don't need to worry about catching a nasty sunburn, either.

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Blizzard may have shut down the Real Money Auction House after contention from the community, but it's opening up a new way to potentially use real money for in-game items. The difference here is that it's doing it in territories that are pretty accustomed to this sort of thing already -- most likely China. On the developer's American and European forums, an employee writes that an upcoming patch will add a new currency ("platinum"), timed experience boosts, cosmetic items, character slots and a tweaked UI to handle all of the above. Basically, the type of microtransactions that are fairly common in free-to-play games. As Gamasutra notes, Blizzard already has a partnership with NetEase (a Chinese internet company that has a web portal and its own massively multiplayer role-playing game), which operates a version of Diablo 3 in the country. All that to say, this makes sense for Blizzard.

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Spike Video Game Awards

Telltale Games has created quite the following with episodic titles like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Now, with the help of Lionsgate, the studio is looking to tackle a televisions series with a similar approach: a game/show hybrid the studio is calling a Super Show. The format includes both scripted and "playable" elements for episodes, so just like the games, viewers will be able to decide the sequence of events. "It's not an interactive series with a show, or a TV show with a game, but a story integrated in a way that only Telltale can do," Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner told Entertainment Weekly. "For us it's a very natural evolution of the interactive story telling expertise we've pioneered."

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