What's in a hashtag? A spark for our passions, in love and in war

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I found love in a hopeless place. Yeah, some would argue that a Twitter hashtag is something terrible. They can be manipulated by bots and trolls (#ReleaseTheMemo). They can be hijacked by angry users (#TellingItLikeItIs). They can be just all around strange (#KanyesAnalPlaylist). 

The hashtag’s intended purpose — what Chris Messina pitched to Twitter in 2007 — was to bring people together. They do, my relationship being a case in point. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but TL;DR TechCrunch’s annual conference uses the hashtag #TCDisrupt and including those 10 characters in a tweet is how I met my friend turned significant other.  Read more…

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Got only $100 for a smartphone? ZTE introduces the Blade Spark, the budget-friendly midranger

ZTE is no stranger to the budget-oriented market as it often sets an aggressive pricing on their phones, putting it well inside the bargain range. Today, the company has announced its newest lower-tier phone — an AT&T exclusive, which will set you back only $100. Is it worth it?

The handset in question is a part of the Blade family and is called ZTE Blade Spark. With its rather light price-tag, its specs are justifiably low-tier — a quad-core, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage (7 GB available to user) expandable via microSD. The display is rather …