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It's a conflicting time for Apple. On one hand, it's a joyous occasion for the company because its latest iPhones, which come in larger screen sizes than the last, set new sales records worldwide; but on the other hand, its lineup of iPads just experienced its third straight quarterly decline. Coincidentally, this comes just a week after Apple announced its annual tablet refresh, which includes a thinner and more powerful version of the iPad Air along with a Touch ID-enabled mini with Retina display.

Just because it's down doesn't mean it's out. Giving up on a product category isn't really Apple's style, and last week, it offered up the Air 2 as exhibit A. The company made it clear that making a solid top-of-the-line tablet is on the top of its to-do list, so naturally the new 10-inch device got plenty of upgrades in nearly every aspect of its design. Curiously, it didn't give the mini lineup the same kind of treatment: The mini 3 got so little love this time around that the best news about it is the fact that last year's version is now $100 cheaper. Should the new iPads still get a place in the consumer's backpack? Read on to find out.

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HP is synonymous with mass-market PCs and notebooks, but according to a report from Re/code, HP is trying it proverbial hand at something new. According to the usual slew of unnamed sources, the company (which is currently undergoing some business mitosis) will show off a novel new Windows PC called the Sprout at an event in New York next week. We're not using the word "novel" lightly here, either: the Sprout is comprised of a big flat screen display paired with an expansive surface for touch input and a combination projector/3D scanner that hangs above it.

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Yes, it's true: Our own Sean Buckley rode a real-life hoverboard. But that's not all we have for you on this fine day -- read on for the rest of our news highlights from the last 24 hours, including the Avi-on Bluetooth light switch, an app that solves math problems, and more.


Tesla dealership

If you're hoping to find a Tesla Motors store in Motor City, you may be waiting a long, long time. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed House Bill 5606 into law, explicitly banning Tesla's direct sales model in the state. Snyder contends that the measure only "clarifies" existing legislation. It was already illegal to sell cars outside of franchised dealerships, he argues -- this new law just eliminates any room for confusion.

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The wait is over, people of the interwebs. Right on cue, Fox has launched Simpsons World, the online hub where it will be streaming every Simpsons episode ever broadcasted. Even though the content is free to browse, you do need a cable login to start watching -- it's simple, if you're subscribed to a package that offers FXX, a channel owned by Fox, then you're good to go. In addition to the Simpsons World website, all Simpsons episodes can also be streamed via the FXNow mobile application, which is available on iOS and Android. Sure, it's only Tuesday, but at least now you have a clue of what you'll be doing this weekend.

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Vine channel following on iOS

Vine is full of video creators talented enough to score TV deals, but keeping up with them has usually meant either following them one-by-one or browsing channels for ages. You have a much easier way to catch up on those clips as of today, though: Vine's iOS app now lets you follow channels, which puts featured videos in your feed alongside everything from people you follow. If you're a space buff, for instance, you can add the Science & Tech channel in hopes of seeing some orbital footage.

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May 10, 2011 - Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. - ASHKAN SOLTANI, independent privacy researcher and consultant, JUSTIN BR

The Federal Trade Commission has just appointed Ashkan Soltani, an independent consultant on privacy and security matters, as its new Chief Technologist. Soltani's most recent accomplishments include contributing to the Washington Post's coverage on Edward Snowden and assisting the paper on technology topics. He has also provided insight for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on similar stories. Soltani had already spent time at the FTC as a staff technologist in 2010 and 2011, so this will be his second stint at the agency. This appointment of Soltani, according to the New York Times, could signal a stronger push by the FTC to keep an eye on online privacy and security as concerns about those topics continue to surface.

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There's no doubt about it: the future is mobile, and it looks like Yahoo's finally making the pocket-friendly needle move. The company's quarterly earnings dropped not too long ago, in which CEO Marissa Mayer pointed out that Yahoo's mobile revenue is finally "material," specifically to the tune of $200 million. Not too shabby for a company whose CEO openly admitted it missed the boat on mobile, no? As far as Mayer's concerned, Yahoo isn't really a company that makes webpages any more -- it's "a company that makes mobile apps and monetizes them through native ads."

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ALCS - Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals - Game Four

Tonight, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will begin battling it out for Major League Baseball's biggest prize: the World Series. And to make things better for ballpark attendees, MLB and MasterCard have announced that Kauffman Stadium (Royals) and AT&T Park (Giants) are going to support Apple Pay and other NFC-based payments throughout the series and beyond. Given how MLB usually adopts new technologies quickly, this shouldn't come as a surprise -- both stadiums are the first in sports to do this, and chances are the league will bring the feature to more places soon. While MasterCard and MLB are touting Apple Pay, the Cupertino company's recently launched payment system for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, services like Google Wallet also work with the newly implemented terminals. Don't worry, we know Google Wallet has been a thing for a while.

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Faces on discs randomly connected by arrows

Have you ever heard of Pownce? How about Jaiku? Maybe even something called Yahoo 360?

If you haven't, don't worry. You're probably not alone. These are just a few of the many social networks that have come and gone, most of them vanishing either through acquisition or simply due to lack of audience adoption.

That's surprising, when you think about the sheer volume of social networks that have come our way over the years and the few that remain. Let's face it: There are only a handful of social networks these days that people care about; namely, Facebook, Twitter and, to a certain extent, Google+, even as newcomers like Ello emerge. Some oldies like Myspace and Friendster are still hanging on, but as very different incarnations of themselves. Myspace, for example, is now almost entirely about music discovery, while Friendster currently describes itself as a social gaming site; a far cry from its heyday as one of the "original" social networks.

So what does it take for a social network to resonate with the public? And what makes one succeed where others fail? Here, we examine lessons learned from social networks past and present to see if we can suss out what they should or should not do to prevail in the ever-changing winds of the fickle internet.

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