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Amazon’s 15 best deals: Lowest price on Echo, Steam Controller, Bose speakers and headphones, more

Amazon Deals

It's the last week of June, which means Amazon is going to do its best to boost sales and finish of the quarter on a high note. In other words, get ready for some killer bargains this week. Headlining today's best daily deals is a special 24-hour sale on the Amazon Echo that drops it to its lowest price of 2017. Other great deals include savings on the Steam Controller, discounts on Bose wireless headphones and a Bose wireless speaker, a Fitbit Alta for just $70, a wireless N router from Linksys for just $30, and so much more. Check out all of Monday's best bargains below.

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Monster Hunter: World promises “deep, meaty experience on console”


Monster Hunter's trick—and it's a persuasive one—is to deliver us back to a time when giant lizards trod the Earth, while keeping our current enviable status as masters of the food chain intact. In Jurassic Park, when the dinosaurs escaped their pens, humans became frail prey, cowering in toilets, whispering prayers under trucks. Monster Hunter's vision of the Jurassic-flung human is wildly different. In its reality, we are fearless predators, able to fell a T. rex with little more than a pair of leather sandals, a sword, and a satchel full of health-restoring berries.

For most of its history, the Monster Hunter series has played out this vision on handheld devices, allowing clutches of strangers—Japanese, mostly—to gather in public places and team up to make quick work of the megafauna that roam its bucolic scenes. The series' evergreen popularity in Japan, where handhelds are ubiquitous and where playing video games with strangers on the train, in shopping centres, and at the school canteen is more socially acceptable, has been closely tied to the technology.

The move to consoles (and, at some point, Windows PC) with Monster Hunter: World is a daring one, then. Yet what is lost in portability is obviously made up for in spectacle. In its new, roomy home on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC Monster Hunter has space to flex and sprawl.

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Facebook wants to join the party and develop original TV shows

Facebook TV Shows

One of the more high-profile battlegrounds amongst tech giants these days, oddly enough, doesn't even involve technology. On the contrary, a number of tech behemoths have signaled their intention to get into the business of developing original TV programming. Apple's interest in developing original content is of course no big secret, and now comes word that Facebook is also interested in throwing its hat into the mix.

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Botched Sega Forever launch blighted by poor emulation

Enlarge (credit: Sega)

The concept behind Sega Forever is a good one: bring a selection of classic Sega games to iOS and Android, and let people play them for free. Unfortunately, the execution has left something to be desired. Following the launch of Sega Forever last week, players have taken to the App Store and Google Play to complain about choppy frame rates, out-of-sync audio, and input lag, even on high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel. Ars' own testing yielded similarly poor results, with none of the games reaching the required 60FPS of the original Megadrive (Genesis) hardware.

Sega's performance issues stem from the use of a new emulator based in Unity. Older mobile versions of retro Sega games were either direct ports—as in the case of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic CD—or used a native emulator, instead of one passed through Unity. Players that already paid for one of the launch games—Sonic the HedgehogPhantasy Star IIComix ZoneKid Chameleon, and Altered Beastalso suffered from issues, including the inability to remove advertisements from the game.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Sega Networks' chief marketing officer Mike Evans blamed "fragmentation" for the wobbly launch, and defended its use of Unity instead of an alternative emulation method.

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How 7 words unfit for TV fostered an open Internet 20 years ago today

Comedian George Carlin's monologue, "Seven words you can never say on television," opened the door for the American Civil Liberties Union to convince the US Supreme Court to nullify legislation outlawing "indecent" online speech.

Twenty years ago today the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision and unanimously overturned congressional legislation that made it unlawful to transmit "indecent" material on the Internet if that content could be viewed by minors. The justices ruled that the same censorship standards being applied to broadcast radio and television could not be applied to the Internet.

"The record demonstrates that the growth of the Internet has been and continues to be phenomenal," the high court concluded. "As a matter of constitutional tradition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume that government regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it."

(credit: Oyez Project )

The Supreme Court had decided a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued that the section of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) at issue could criminalize too broad a swath of speech. The ACLU maintained that the CDA did not define what "indecent" meant and that the law would dumb-down the Internet in the same manner as the censorship requirements imposed on broadcasters that transmit over public spectrum. The ACLU won its case on June 26, 1997. The decision, in conjunction with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other surviving parts of the CDA, has provided one of the strongest legal tools for crafting today's Internet as we know it.

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