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NASA has been planning to study the magnetic reconnection between the Earth and the sun for years, and now the agency has revealed how its scientists are going make it happen. Magnetic reconnection is a process that converts magnetic energy to kinetic or thermal energy. It happens all over the universe, but close to home, it occurs during solar flares, coronal mass ejections and when solar winds interact with the Earth's magnetic field, causing aurorae. In order to study and create a 3D map of the mysterious phenomenon, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will send four spacecraft to space, which will position themselves in a pyramid.

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Life can he hard for the armchair particle physicist, forever knowing that other people have their own Large Hadron Collider and you don't. Thankfully, the folks at CERN remember what it was like not to have a LHC of their own, which is why the agency is opening up its data for all of the world to poke at. The CERN Open Data Portal will release the full details of each experiment three years after it was conducted, enabling the professionals to get their fill before everyone else gets a turn. The first set to be made available is from the 2010 collisions, and presumably the data set from 2011 will be along in short order, too. In addition, the outfit has prepared simplified collections from the various arrays for educational use, complete with visualization tools that'll help students taking the International Masterclass in particle physics. Now, of course, all we need is for some rank amateur to casually glance at the reams of data and come up with a world-shattering discovery of their very own.

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There's been a few signs that not all is well in Samsung's mobile division, with the company pledging to make fewer new devices, as well as its chief taking a pay cut. If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, the cause of this unrest is all down to faltering sales of the Galaxy S5, which has apparently sold four million fewer phones than its predecessor. According to the report, the company is still riding high in the US, but saw sales in China drop by 50 percent compared to the Galaxy S4. Considering that Samsung was so confident that the device would be a blockbuster that it increased production by 20 percent, it could now have as many a four million unsold devices sitting in warehouses. The paper's sources believe that the drops will trigger a leadership re-shuffle, with mobile chief JK Shin getting pushed, with his duties handed over to TV & home appliance chief BK Yoon.

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UK Home Secretary Theresa May

The British government isn't letting up on its desire to track internet activity in the name of fighting terrorism. UK Home Secretary Theresa May is proposing a bill that would require internet providers to keep tabs on who's using a given internet protocol (IP) address and hand it over to the police, who could theoretically use it to hunt down suspects. Full details aren't available yet, but there would be some accountability involved. Police would have to get permission before collecting IP address info, and there would be documentation showing both when and why they needed that data.

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Apple has teamed with select app developers on a fundraising initiative for (RED) and World AIDS day (Dec 1st). For the next two weeks there will be a dedicated a section of the App Store where 25 partnering apps will be available with new or exclusive content. Titles taking part include high-profile names such as Angry Birds, FIFA 15, FarmVille and djay. All the sales revenue (including in-app purchases) from this section will go to (RED)'s Global Fund campaign. In addition to the apps, Apple is pledging to contribute a slice of select Black Friday sales, and is donating a portion of all retail sales on December 1 (cyber Monday). Apple has a long history of working with (RED), a charity co-created by Bono -- famously close to Cook's organisation. A relationship that has already seen Apple raise over $65 million for the fight against AIDS -- a figure you get to augment while spreading a little festive cheer this year.

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Living alone is pretty great: everything stays put when you leave and (perhaps, best of all) no one has to know about the guiltiest pleasures hiding in your Plex-bound digital media collection. Except, not everyone has that luxury and has to share their MKV library in addition to their living space. To make sure no one finds out about your secret stash of schlocky horror flicks, Plex is introducing Home, a home sharing system that separates content by user. Apparently switching between them is pretty fast too. And what's more, everyone has access to the respective apps on a given device. You can take care of server management within the web app as well, and Plex is promising super granular control over who sees what -- even down to a photo-by-photo basis. Naturally this is limited to Plex Pass holders, but free users will also get multi-user support. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have some media sorting to do.

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Wearable police camera

The police aren't often fond of publishing body camera and dashcam footage online, but not necessarily for nefarious reasons -- the volume of privacy-focused video editing they require can prove overwhelming. In Seattle, for example, a flood of public disclosure requests from an anonymous programmer (known by his "policevideorequests" handle) risked scuttling a body cam trial run before it got off the ground. However, that one-time antagonist is now coming to the city's rescue. The man has agreed to help Seattle's police department publish video by showing them how to quickly redact clips and get them online. As the unnamed person explains, it should mostly involve ready-made tools; the police will strip audio from clips using free software and lean on YouTube's automatic face blurring to protect identities.

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Samsung's bright idea with the Galaxy S4 Active was simple: Take a Galaxy S4, and shove it in a body that didn't shy away from drops, dust and water. When our Sarah Silbert put the device through its paces, she found that the device was better-looking than your average rugged handset. There was, however, a "but" lurching around the corner, since the device had a weaker battery life, camera and display compared to its older sibling. Still, plenty of you would have taken advantage of AT&T's deal to grab one of these, so why not head over to the forum and tell us what life has been like with this device?

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

It's no secret that the FCC has at least a few links to the communications companies it's policing. Chairman Tom Wheeler is a former lobbyist, and commissioners have taken industry jobs mere months after leaving office. However, Vice News has obtained records showing that the two sides are frequently in direct contact -- and there's a concern that this may be affecting the net neutrality debate. For example, Cisco CEO John Chambers called Wheeler to endorse proposed net neutrality rules earlier this year. To him, they encourage new business models without imposing "onerous regulation." Chief Comcast lobbyist Kathy Zachem, meanwhile, gave the FCC's top lawyer advance notice of Republican objections to the proposal. Wheeler has also spoken with other prominent figures on the topic, including former FCC chair (and now National Cable & Telecommunications Association head) Michael Powell.

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Laptops at Chaos Computer Club 2013

Highly sophisticated malware isn't limited to relatively high-profile sabotage code like Stuxnet -- sometimes, it's designed to fly well under the radar. Symantec has discovered Regin, a very complex trojan that has been spying on everyone from governments to individuals since at least 2008. The malware is highly modular, letting its users customize their attacks depending on whether they need to remote control a system, get screenshots or watch network traffic. More importantly, it's uncannily good at covering its tracks. Regin is encrypted in multiple stages, making it hard to know what's happening unless you capture every stage; it even has tools to fight forensics, and it can use alternative encryption in a pinch. Researchers at Symantec suspect that the trojan is a government-created surveillance tool, since it likely took "months, if not years" to create.

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