As sweet as it might be to dream of making your own Internet of Things device, there's one big problem: keeping it online at all times. How do you connect that smart sensor in your backyard when it's nowhere near WiFi? Particle (aka Spark) thinks it can help. It just started shipping the Electron, its cellular-equipped tinkerer's board, to its Kickstarter backers. The tiny device not only has the basic components you need to make IoT gadgets, but a modem (a 2G Electron is $39, 3G is $59) and a simplified, if slightly costly, data plan. If you're willing to spend $3 per month for 1MB and 99 cents for every megabyte afterwards, your project gets online in 100 countries around the world -- not trivial, but just fine if you're building a meter or anything else that transmits only a tiny amount of data.