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Samsung likes to get some mileage out of its lofty design themes and plenty of people have gone gaga over the Galaxy Alpha's subtle style, so it's no surprise that the phone's design DNA is being injected into other devices. SamMobile has been reporting for a while now that the Korea electronics giant has been working on a range of phones -- the so-called A series -- that feature some of the Alpha aesthetic, and now they've obtained images of the first one. It's called the Galaxy A5, and if these reports hold true it falls very firmly onto the middle of the road. There's a 5-inch Super AMOLED screen running at 720p up front, paired with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset ticking away within the minimalist frame that may or may not actually be made of metal. Yeah, we know, it's a bummer, but the more modest price tag that'll almost assuredly stick to it might make the change in materials worth it.

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While Triton -- the US Navy's largest unmanned craft -- might have no one in the cockpit, it still requires a hefty ground team to keep it (safely) in the air. Never more so than on a recently completed cross-country flight. Back in March, the Northrop Grumman craft completed initial flight testing, but this 11-hour 3,290 nautical mile flight is the most intensive testing yet -- bringing it ever closer to the estimated 2017 delivery into operational Naval fleets. Triton's route took it from from Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, California base along the southern US border, before a successful landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Triton spends most of its time at around 50,000 feet -- well above domestic flights -- but has sensors that allow it to safely descend through cloud layers for closer observation of enemy ships as needed. Watch Triton pull off its silky smooth landing after the break -- human pilots take note!

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While some people like to listen to their favorite music on a quality sound system with a set of high-end speakers or headphones, most people are just fine listening from a cheap headset or the built-in speakers on their phones. But what if you're somewhere in the middle, and want your music to be portable, but still sound great? Plenty of companies have stepped up to give you just that, releasing speakers that deliver solid highs and clear lows, all in a package that you can fit in a bag. There are too many out there for us to review ourselves here at Engadget, so we've pulled together reviews from sources we trust to help highlight some of the better recent options.

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re:publica 2013 Tag 1 - Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Birgitta Jónsdóttir was sitting in the audience at the Icelandic Digital Freedom Conference when John Perry Barlow, a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation called for Iceland to "become like the Switzerland of bits." Six years later, Jónsdóttir is trying to make that dream a reality. She was elected to parliament in 2009 and has proven to be one of the most tech savvy and outspoken members of Iceland's government. Last year she was one of three members of the Pirate Party elected at a national level, and she is spearheading efforts like the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which focuses on protecting whistle blowers, journalists' sources and ensuring the freedom of information. Some of this work has been done in conjunction with the controversial organization headed by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks. While the implementation of many of these ideas has been far from perfect, the country has made great progress towards becoming a safe haven for data, in the same way that Switzerland has become the defacto repository for wealth -- whether it was gained honestly or through less that noble means. And Jónsdóttir has pledged that she will continue to fight. Especially after discovering that she, herself, was the target of surveillance by the US Department of Justice.

For more on Birgitta Jónsdóttir check out Motherboard's excellent profile here.

Photo courtesy of re:publica 2014/Flickr

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Wouldn't it be great if you could just call up a supercomputer and ask it to do your data-wrangling for you? Actually, scratch that, no-one uses the phone anymore. What'd be really cool is if machines could respond to your queries straight from Twitter. It's a belief that's shared by Wolfram Research, which has just launched the Tweet a Program system to its computational knowledge engine, Wolfram Alpha. In a blog post, founder Stephen Wolfram explains that even complex queries can be executed within the space of 140 characters, including data visualizations. If you fancy giving it a go yourself, you can tweet queries to @wolframtap, but be advised that you'll have to learn the basics of the Wolfram Language Code before it'll give you anything in return.

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Linux users, you've been very, very, very, very, very, very patient. And now, your patience is being rewarded with Netflix support on your OS of choice. For the longest time Netflix relied on Microsoft's would-be flash competitor Silverlight. But, of course, support for the plug in was practically non-existent on the open-source OS. Now, with Silverlight fading, and Netflix embracing the power of HTML5, your wish of watching flicks in your favorite distro (be it Ubuntu, Mint or Arch) may finally come true. Paul Adolf from Netflix posted a message to Ubuntu developers, telling them that, "Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed."

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iCloud Drive

iOS 8 might working its way to iPhones and iPads, but Apple's long-awaited desktop refresh, Yosemite, is still receiving the final tweaks before it launches to the public. One element that features prominently between both platforms is iCloud Drive, Apple's own version of Dropbox. It's now available to mobile users, but Mac users can't enjoy its file-syncing features if they're using older versions of OS X. However, and this doesn't happen often, Windows users can get in on the action before their Mac-toting counterparts. In an updated version of the iCloud for Windows, Apple has added full support for iCloud Drive, letting PC owners interact with their files and documents from the comfort of their desktop. Mac users, of course, will enjoy additional iCloud features when Yosemite launches in the coming weeks, but for now, Windows users with iPhones and iPads can enjoy a very rare period of privileged access.

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Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker review: Can WiFi make cooking easier?Frying, baking, grilling, searing, boiling, roasting -- whatever the method, I love to cook. It's not always easy, and sometimes it's just plain hard work, but at least it's the kind of work I enjoy. Even so, I've never used a slow cooker, and have always been a little jealous of my friends who have one. Put ingredients in and deliciousness comes out. It seems so easy!

Since I hadn't yet run out to my nearest Target to add a slow cooker to my kitchen collection, I jumped at the chance to try the Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but the idea of a slow cooker I could monitor remotely seemed like a definite plus -- using it to check on the things I cook and making adjustments as needed. And in this case, I could do it from my phone, even while riding on the train or walking to my apartment. Convenient!

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I'm a late Wednesday afternoon tweeter. It's not a characteristic I'd necessarily include on any of my dating app profiles, but it accurately sums up my online behavior nonetheless. I'm also a tremendous neurotic (which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well) who embraces self-expression, challenges and change. I'm that personality pie chart you see up above. I'm an open book, or at least my Twitter profile is to IBM.

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You don't need a fancy current-gen console to stream all those Sony classics -- the company announced last night that its Netflix-esque PlayStation Now open beta is finally, well, open to PlayStation 3 owners in the United States and Canada. It's about time, really: PS3 owners have been part of the more selective closed beta program since January, but Sony opened the early access gates to folks with PlayStation 4s first. As always, though, be sure to keep a few things in mind before you take the plunge. You'll get access to some 150 PS3 titles as part of the deal (including forthcoming hits like inFAMOUS and Ultra Street Fighter IV) but rental prices for these games tend to range between $3 and $20. That span isn't awful, but considering you'd be able to pick up physical copies of some of those games for about the same price, you'll have to think about just how valuable picking up new games while immobile on the couch really is.

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