Must Read Bits & Bytes

Net Neutrality passes, FCC classifies internet as utility

Net Neutrality passes, FCC classifies internet as utility

Your broadband Internet is now a utility. Today, the FCC voted to make your broadband Internet a utility, which means providers can be reclassified as a Title II public utility. That also gives the FCC more oversight with regard to your provider, which even reach into mobile broadband. In making their ruling, the FCC also banned ‘paid prioritization’, which was the catalyst for much of the ‘Net Neutrality’ debate. Now, your Internet service will not only remain free and open, but it’ll also be regulated.

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Apple’s March 9 event — more than just a watch?

Apple’s March 9 event — more than just a watch?

Now that we’ve got our invites for the Apple event on March 9 — which is almost assuredly for the Apple Watch — what else might we find at that time? Though it’s entirely possible Apple will do nothing more than discuss the Apple Watch (and all the behind-the-scenes changes they’ve made to go along with it), the company always seem to have ‘one more thing’ up their sleeve. So what could that be? Anyone’s guess is good enough, but we’re wondering when that MacBook Air refresh might pop up.

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FCC’s 3-2 vote brings widespread municipal broadband

FCC’s 3-2 vote brings widespread municipal broadband

Municipal broadband is now available. The FCC today ruled — via a 3-2 vote — that municipalities across the country can build their own broadband Internet service. Keep in mind, broadband was recently reclassified to reflect a 25Mbps download and 10Mbps upload speed. The decision was prompted by the petition of two communities with gigabit Internet service who were prevented from expanding into neighboring areas due to state laws. This is a big step toward better Internet service, but it’s not the grand prize.

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Withings Activité Review – Smart gets Stylish

Withings Activité Review – Smart gets Stylish

Rather than a smartwatch, how about a watch that’s simply smarter? Smartwatches and fitness trackers have long tried to borrow from the traditional horological handbook, but tech usually trumps style; heck, the specter of the Apple Watch may loom over all wearables, but even Cupertino’s wrist-candy needs no second glance to be mistaken for something different from a regular watch. Could salvation come from France by way of Switzerland, and the Withings Activité? With a price tag higher even than Apple’s, and a spec list conspicuously shorter, the Activité needs more than just its coveted “Swiss Made” branding, but after two months of it on my wrist, I've realized it has some unique charms of its own.

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Three videos show HTC One M9 in great detail

Three videos show HTC One M9 in great detail

Anxious for the HTC One M9? We don’t blame you. HTC’s impressive flagship One lineup has its merits, and is viewed by many as the Android handset to beat. With that, we’ve seen our share of HTC leaks lately, showing just enough to keep us excited for what may come at MWC this year. Now, reputed tech info leaker Upleaks has unleashed three new videos, all showing a bit of detail about the new HTC One M9. If you’re into HTC, you’ll love these videos.

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Unseen vintage NASA photos shown in Bloomsbury Auction house

Unseen vintage NASA photos shown in Bloomsbury Auction house

This week the folks at Dreweatts for Bloomsbury Auctions have revealed a collection previously uncirculated NASA photos from space. These photos will go up for auction after being exhibited for a period of time in London at Mallett Antiques. The photos in this collection were sourced from the archives of the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, where many unreleased NASA photos go after a mission is complete. What we're hoping to do today is to show you the largest versions of these photos available and make them widely available so they'll never be shut away again.

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Pebble Time: color smartwatch returns to Kickstarter

Pebble Time: color smartwatch returns to Kickstarter

That's right: the second-generation "Pebble Time" smartwatch will be launched on the same platform as its predecessor: Kickstarter. This unit is reminiscent of its predecessor, working with a subdued physical design and a newly updated Pebble OS software interface. Pebble Time, as it's called, will be available to backers of this Kickstarter by May of 2015 and will be delivered at a price point roughly double that of the original - unless you're talking about the original price - it's the same as the launch price of the original Pebble and that of the newer Pebble Steel.

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YouTube Kids Review: Google thinks of the children

YouTube Kids Review: Google thinks of the children

Today is a turning point for the Google-owned YouTube video environment. Today children are able to use YouTube Kids, an app made specifically for children, made to allow kids access to the ever-growing video environment without risking unwanted sights for young eyes. While Wu-Tang may be for the children, their music videos decidedly are not. The YouTube crew have taken care of this situation by creating this portal - one that's long overdue, as we discussed in brief at rumors of YouTube Kids last week.

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Daytona Rising: Reinventing a NASCAR icon

Daytona Rising: Reinventing a NASCAR icon

NASCAR. That’s just over-powered cars going in a circle for hours, right? As the Daytona 500 reaches its horsepower-heavy crescendo today, it’s the iconic racetrack, the Daytona International Speedway, which is sharing a little more of the spotlight than usual. Coaxing fans out from their living rooms and the surfeit of entertainment options there isn’t a unique problem in sports, but it’s one that sponsor-dependent NASCAR faces more than most. The answer is Daytona Rising, an ambitious program designed not only to renovate the grandstand but to turn the historic track into what Joie Chitwood, President of the Speedway, describes as “the first and only motorsports stadium.” I headed out to Florida to find out how new tech is bringing the race experience up to speed.

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LG G Flex 2 Review – Killer Curves

LG G Flex 2 Review – Killer Curves

First you have to prove you're not a gimmick. Then it's just a matter of proving you're better. LG turned heads with the G Flex last year, an Android smartphone with a banana-like bend to it, only to be stung with criticism that its big idea was actually just too big for the hand. Now, 2015 brings a new curved flagship, the LG G Flex 2, distilling the best of the concept into something altogether more usable. As the SlashGear Smartphone of CES 2015 our expectations of the G Flex 2 were undoubtedly high, but does the reality live up to the promise?

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