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Modbook, the company behind those aftermarket Apple tablets, just launched a Kickstarter campaign for its latest product, the Modbook Pro X. After paying a pre-order price of $1,999 today, backers will be able to convert their own Retina MacBook Pros into a tablet beginning early next year. The conversion incorporates the laptop's original hardware, with components shifted from the lower half of the computer to just behind the 15.4-inch 2,880 x 1,800-pixel LCD. The Modbook Pro X supports pen input with 2,048 pressure levels, along with tilt and rotate functionality. You can also interact with the device using the rear-mounted shortcut keys or the detachable keyboard stand, both of which will be available for an additional cost. And, since your Apple warranty won't be valid, you can purchase a three-year warranty through Modbook, which provides complete coverage for the first year free of charge. If you'd prefer to avoid supplying your own MacBook, you'll also be able to pre-order a complete device from $3,999 and up, depending on the model.

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LG Unify on Virgin Mobile Custom

In the US, prepaid cellphone service tends to be a like-it-or-leave-it proposition that rarely fits perfectly, especially for families. Virgin Mobile may have a smarter approach in store; it's launching Custom, a prepaid family plan that lets you tailor usage to your liking. You can put as many as five people on plans that start at $7 each ($35 for unlimited talk and text) and scale up depending on individual needs. If Mom is a big fan of streaming music but rarely makes calls, she can pile on the data (or use a $5 Unlimited Music plan) and reduce her voice minutes; a chat-happy kid, meanwhile, can have gobs of messages but only minimal internet access. You can change the plans at any time from mobile apps, and built-in parental controls let you declare certain apps as off-limits during specified hours.

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Square's reader for chip-based cards

There's a good reason you don't usually see Square readers outside of the US: they're built to read payment cards with magnetic stripes, not the more secure chip-and-PIN cards that are common everywhere else. All that's set to change, however. Square has revealed plans for a reader that accepts the chip-based EMV format alongside stripes, letting shops handle credit and debit cards from around the world (and the US, once it catches up). The company will only start taking pre-orders for the payment device later this year, but it could be worthwhile for stores and customers alike. Besides the greater availability, it's much harder to clone a chip card -- you shouldn't have to worry about an unscrupulous clerk (or a clever hacker) stealing your credit card and going on a shopping spree.

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One of Samsung's round smartwatch patents

Motorola might not be the only company making a smartwatch with a circular display in the near future. Samsung has filed for a trio of US design patents for smartwatches that are much more rounded than squarish devices like the Gear Live. The watch faces vary in their curviness, although they all have a similar camera in the band like the early Galaxy Gear; one example (what you see above) also has charging pins in the clasp, rather than on the watch itself. It's clear that Samsung is seriously considering circular wristwear, although whether or not it actually builds any of these gadgets is another matter. All the patents were filed last March, or well before the company saw poor Galaxy Gear sales and revamped its designs -- if these concepts ever translate to real products, there could be a lot of changes.

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While competitors are busy cloning Snapchat in an attempt to replicate its success, Evan Spiegel and co. have continued to forge their own path. The company is already experimenting with new features in an attempt to generate revenue, but it's also apparently talking to some big hitters to ensure it can keep growing until those profits come. According to Bloomberg, Snapchat is currently in talks over a new round of funding with investors, which include Yahoo-backed Alibaba, that if confirmed could value the company at an incredible $10 billion. It's a significant figure, not only because it puts it on par with both Dropbox and Airbnb, but it's around three times the amount Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook is rumored to have offered to acquire the company last year. Not bad for a service that's known mostly for evaporating text and photo messages. Snapchat is understandably keeping quiet about its latest round of talks, and the figures could well change before the funding closes. Regardless of what happens, it appears Snapchat's decision to hold out and grow the service was the right one.

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EA revealed its new Access subscription service for the Xbox One yesterday, which lets you play a bunch of EA titles, take advantage of discounts and get upcoming games early in exchange for a small monthly (or yearly) fee. While it might've looked like a platform-exclusive partnership with Microsoft, Game Informer has learned that Sony actively rejected EA Access for the PlayStation 4. "We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect," Sony said, adding that the success of PS Plus "shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price." And, just in case we hadn't got the message, Sony's statement concluded: "We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."

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Being hip to PR is certainly part of the job description for NASA astronauts, but some are especially social media-savvy. Take fresh ISS resident Gregory "Reid" Wiseman: the man knows he's in a privileged position to take photos and videos, and holy crap has he shared. Via Twitter, Reid has provided nearly 500 stunning images of Earth, the ISS, his fellow astronauts and even a prosaic toilet repair -- sorry, space toilet repair. Wiseman was also the first astronaut to post a Vine in space, and has so far posted subjects like a massive lightning storm over Texas and the sun going around in a circle and never setting. Wiseman isn't quite as chatty as Canadian colleague Chris Hadfield yet, but he's only been aboard for 45 days. Anyway, if we had his view (as shown in the gallery and Vines below), we'd be speechless too.

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Unless you're rich, run a hospital or have medical professionals in the family, it's not likely that you have instant access to a doctor whenever you need. That's why HealthTap is joining the growing field of telemedicine apps that, for a monthly fee, will let you video chat with specialists as and when you require. HealthTap Prime will cost you $100 per month for the first person, with each additional person in the family requiring a $10 monthly surcharge. There doesn't appear to be any limits on how many times you can contact a doctor with the service, but if you didn't stop calling to ask if something looked infected, then expect to land on some sort of blacklist.

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FreedomPop messaging on a Galaxy Tab 3 and an iPad mini

Many people can't really justify buying a cellular-equipped tablet -- why pay for more data when your phone probably does the trick? FreedomPop is undoubtedly aware of that thriftiness, as it just started offering its namesake free service on tablets. Whether you buy one of the carrier's pre-supplied tablets or bring your own, you'll get the same gratis 500MB of LTE data, 500 messages and 200 voice minutes as a phone customer. That may not make sense at first, but FreedomPop reckons that it's important for apps that ask for a phone number. It's much easier to hail an Uber car when you can supply some digits, for example. It could also serve as a backup if your phone's battery dies, or if you're nearing your limits on a capped phone plan.

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Despite the promise of Google's Movidius-equipped Project Tango, there are still no depth-sensing, SLR-stomping smartphones on the market. But Movidius thinks that could change soon, thanks to its brand new chip: the Myriad 2 vision processor unit (VPU). "The Myriad 2 is going to provide more than 20x the power efficiency of the Myriad 1, and enable camera features that were not possible before in mobile devices," CEO Remi El-Ouazzane tells me. If you'll recall, Tango's original tech brought faster focus, improved depth of field, near-optical zooming and higher light sensitivity to smartphone cameras (and now, tablets). It also let researchers scan a room in 3D to provide interior navigation, among other cool tricks.

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