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MeMO Pad 7 and 8

A few years ago, tablets were poised to replace laptops as the computing device of choice. That never happened, as we've largely stuck with laptops and phones as our daily drivers, with tablets relegated to a secondary role. If you don't use a tablet that much, it certainly seems wise to avoid dropping a lot of cash on one. But a lower price often means compromises, and too many compromises means you won't be using the tablet at all. To figure out how many corners you can cut when it comes to purchasing a sub-$200 tablet, we've gathered opinions from across the web, from our own reviews to the opinions of other trusted critics. Which cheap tablets balance performance and price to still deliver a good experience? When is it worth spending just a little bit more money? And which deals are too good to be true?

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As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, though, let's say it's worth millions and millions of internet connections. Thanks to John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine which focuses on helping companies locate internet-connected devices, we are getting a pretty detailed look at how the web looks on a map. While Matherly's tweet says the picture shows where "all devices on the internet" were located after he pinged them, that might be a bit of a stretch. Still, the image manages to give us a really good idea of the internet traffic across different parts of the world. And we reckon it's beautiful.

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With event invites floating around and a whopper of a structure apparently in the works, Apple seems intent on making sure September 9 is a doozy of a day. Alas, it seems like one of the most anticipated parts of the show won't actually hit our doorsteps for a while -- according to a new report from Re/code (who, you'll remember was right about the event's date way in advance), Apple's long-rumored wearable won't actually start shipping until some time next year. It's not exactly a surprise for Apple to put months between a device's unveiling its and first appearance on store shelves, but just think of how the already buzzy wearable space will shift and swell before then. After all, IFA will assuredly bring a slew of smartwatches and fitness trackers with it (we've already seen a few), and a better sense of what Apple is up to only means competitors will have more time to try and steal Cupertino's thunder. Will they succeed? That's a completely different story, but one thing seems clear -- the next few months are going to be a hell of a ride.

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Whether you're a budding photojournalist or just want to document the semester with something better than a smartphone camera, we've got some great picks for you. Our most affordable recommendation will set you back less than $200, while you'll find an SLR kit that almost tops $3,000 at the other end of the spectrum. Head to the gallery below to see them all, and don't forget to peruse the rest of our guide!

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After a few years finding itself/getting a heavy-duty industrial makeover, Alienware's well-respected (and, importantly, customizable) desktop gaming PC has returned. The Area-51 isn't small, but it now has a new triangular... hexagonal... something-between-the-two design, intentionally hewn that way to maintain airflow and keep it cool, even when positioned against a wall. It's certainly come a long way since the tower desktop days of 2011. Given its size, two of the corners have handles to lug it around with -- we hope you can bicep-curl 45 pounds though, because that's how much it weights. It also looks nothing like Alienware's incoming Steam Machine. (Ironically, the new Area-51 chassis looks far more "Valve," in a lot of ways.)

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Adobe's Photoshop Mix offering for Apple's slates arrived a few months back alongside its Ink and Slide drawing tools, and it's not letting the app sit too long before adding new features. The latest version adds an undo/redo option that'll help with missteps, swaps background/foreground images by dragging thumbnails and saves full-res JPEG and PNG files to that iPad you're working on. For those of us that don't keep a lot of work files on our tablets, you can now import images from your Dropbox repository to edit or add to Creative Cloud-stored PSDs whilst on-the-go. The update is now available over at iTunes, so if your device hasn't yet alerted you or if you've yet to take the slate-style editing for a spin, have at it.

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Sprint-HQ

There's just enough time to pop off for a far-flung holiday before summer ends, and Sprint's trying to make calling home from Guangzhou a little easier. The canary-hued carrier announced the other day that it's launching free international WiFi calling for a handful of compatible Android smartphones. For better or worse, some older hardware is getting the nod first: Samsung's Spark-friendly Galaxy S 4 will get the update before the ten other devices capable of making WiFi calls. Curiously enough, the name Sprint chose is actually sort of a misnomer. Yes, you can gab with your folks back home over WiFi, but you can fire off messages free of charge too. Just remember that it's only WiFi calls to the US from abroad that don't cost anything -- WiFi calling Bangkok from the States will hit your wallet, as will international Wi-Fi calls to non-US numbers. Got it? Good.

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A pile of US currency, topped with a mobile phone, reminds us that money talks and can be very persuasive!

It doesn't yet have a name, but Ecuador's new government-backed virtual currency is coming. That's the thrust of a new report from the Associated Press, anyway -- the country's Central Bank is said to be gearing up for a launch sometime in December, though the juicy technical details and the mechanics of how citizens can get their metaphorical hands on these things are still shrouded in mystery. What does seem clear at this point is that Ecuador's current cash (in the form of US dollars) isn't going anywhere, and that people will be able to conduct transactions with each other from their mobile phones without big fees eating into them. If everything goes according to plan, this'd be the first time a national government has launched its own official digital currency, though that's not to say some cryptocurrency nuts haven't aimed to affect change on a national scale. Enthusiasts in the Czech Republic launched the CzechCrownCoin a few days ago in a bid to bolster online business in the country, and the Auroracoin folks made the virtual equivalent of $380 available to all the fine folks of Iceland... only to see its value tank over time.

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There aren't more electric cars because there's no infrastructure, but there's no infrastructure because there's no demand. It's this chicken-and-egg problem that Elon Musk is hoping to end, at least in China, after a signing a deal that'll see Tesla open 400 charging stations in the country. The car maker has signed a deal with state-owned mobile network China Unicom, which'll see the latter business providing space at its retail locations for Tesla owners to re-juice at. The pair aim to have stations with two or more charging points up and running in 20 cities by the end of the year, with 100 further cities coming on board in the future. Why would a national phone carrier get involved in the auto industry? Unicom executive Jiang Zhengxin believes that the team-up will allow "effective use of the infrastructure" plus, hey, it's a nice bit of free publicity. Xinhua News, meanwhile, believes that the move will supercharge (pun intended) China's push towards green vehicles as a solution to its pollution problem.

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