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Following tragic news that Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down in Ukrainian airspace on Thursday morning, details of the incident continue to flood out. The Boeing 777 had 298 people aboard and went down near Torez, located in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region. The airplane was traveling almost 33,000 feet and was at cruising altitude before being struck by a surface-to-air missile.
It's still unknown what type of surface-to-air missile brought the craft down, but there are only limited options. It seems likely that the powerful Buk missile is responsible; a missile that is 16 feet long and weighs about 1,500 pounds, equipped with a 154-pound warhead - and includes a maximum speed of 2,684 mph. Even if it was fired towards MH17 from a distance of 30 miles, it still would make impact within just 40 seconds, military experts note.
Almost 200 bodies have been recovered, but the crash scene is so large, it's unknown how long it will take to recover the remaining victims.
In a day that saw a Malaysia Airlines flight shot down in Ukrainian airspace, and the Israeli military invading Gaza, a "suspicious package" near the White House in Washington, D.C. temporarily prevented President Barack Obama from returning.
The package was located near the North Lawn of the White House's grounds, and was cleared as the Metropolitan Police Department and Secret Service swept the area. The lockdown was originally reported with staff and members of the press told to remain inside and secure - and after Air Force One landed after 10 p.m. EST, with Obama onboard, he remained on the aircraft for at least 30 minutes. Obama was able to return to the White House a little bit after 11:00 p.m., media reports indicate.
This type of news would be broadcast on U.S. media and splashed all over the Internet, but was largely lost in the shuffle after a busy international day of chaos.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down this morning by suspected Ukrainian rebels near the country's border with Russia, according to Ukrainian Interior Ministry official. The flight with 295 passengers took off from Amsterdam and was heading to Kuala Lumpur, flying around 32,000 feet when it disappeared from radar while in Ukrainian airspace.
A pro-Russian group operating in Ukraine claimed they shot down a Ukrainian military plane - though military and aviation experts note the differences between commercial airliners, such as the Boeing 777, and military aircraft are recognizable. There are no indications an air-to-air missile launched from a fighter jet took down MH17, though details are relatively scarce at the moment. It's unknown if the missile was launched from the Ukrainian or Russian side of the border.
Although MH17's flight route is a typical one between the Netherlands and Kuala Lumpur, it seems reckless to fly over a conflict zone in which both sides possess surface-to-air missile technology. Ukrainian officials are scrambling to try to learn more about the incident, as the Prime Minister's office is prepared to launch an immediate inquiry.
Edit: And it's back up!
Original story: I was sitting down at dinner chatting to a few friends over Facebook Messenger a few minutes ago, and noticed that my messages weren't going through. I thought it was just me. I drove home, rebooted my phone and the same thing happened.
Facebook is down. Right now, visiting the mobile site or the desktop site, shows that "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can". There's no ETA right now, but Facebook is down. Hopefully we'll have a reason for this soon, as it's a pretty damn big site and service to all of the sudden go dark.
It has been coming for a while, but Google has just unveiled its new self-driving car that will not feature a steering wheel, or pedals. During the Recode conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced the search giant's self-driving vehicle.
Google's self-driving car is an entirely new design, that is capable of taking two people where they want, without having to drive the car themselves. More details as it happens.
According to sources familiar with the deal, YouTube (which is owned by Google) is buying Twitch for over $1 billion. The acquisition is an all-cash deal, which should be officially announced any minute now.
Considering Google purchased YouTube back in 2006 for $1.65 billion, this is a huge deal for both YouTube and Twitch. For those who aren't familiar with what Twitch does, it is a San Francisco-based company that streams video games online for millions of users. Twitch has a reported 45 million monthly users, with over 1 million members who upload videos each month.
Twitch has deals with Microsoft and Sony for streaming content to its next-gen consoles, as well as distribution partners in CBS Interactive's GameSpot, Joystiq and Destructoid.
It's been a long journey for Kim Dotcom after the New Zealand police and US Government raided and seized his home and assets back in 2012, but today a New Zealand high court has ruled that the former Megaupload owner is to have his assets including property and money returned to him within the next 14 days. Dotcom announced the ruling via his Twitter account earlier this morning.
The property seized includes a car collection valued at more than $6 million, his massive mansion, and more than $10 million in financial assets. In addition, Dotcom's wife, Mona, will see her belongings returned that were seized as well. This ruling is not a sure thing just yet though as the Crown of New Zealand could appeal the decision, and cause Dotcom to enter into yet another court battle.
A year after the Boston Marathon bombings, two unattended bags have been discovered, with the Boston Police Department's bomb squad now on the scene. They are investigating the area after a man "dropped a backpack at the finish line and marched up the street screaming "Boston Strong!", reports news.com.au.
That man has reportedly been detained by the Boston Fire Department. This news comes one year after 264 people were injured, and three people died after backpacks exploded near the finish line of last year's Boston Marathon.
Mozilla's co-founder and CEO, Brendan Eich has come under a lot of fire as of late over a $1000 donation he made to a political group that supported California's Proposition 8, and today he has announced that he will be resigning from the company he helped build. Mozilla says that it takes pride in being held to a different standard, and it knows that it did not live up to that standard over the past week.
"We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves," Mozilla's chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, said on the company's blog. "We didn't act like you'd expect Mozilla to act. We didn't move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We're sorry. We must do better. Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community."
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS!
This morning Tesla Motors announced it is teaming up with Apple to design and release a special edition of Tesla's Model S electric vehicle that matches perfectly, the colored anodized finish of Apple's iPhone 5S smartphone models. This news puts an end to months of speculation surrounding a secret, behind-the-scenes meeting between Elon Musk, Tim Cook and Apple & Tesla executives.
"This partnership signifies both Apple and Tesla Motor's commitment to releasing products that its users demand as well as continuing the cutting edge design that both companies are known for," Tesla said in a statement. "Apple's expertise and assistance with anodizing has been paramount to getting this project off the ground. In late 2014, the first iPhone Gold, Silver, and Space Gray Model S vehicles will roll off the line, thanks to Apple's amazing commitment."
Tesla says that Apple has been hands-on throughout the entire design process, and has helped the team tackle the enormous task of anodizing an entire car with a uniform, blemish-free color coating, just like that on the iPhone 5S models. The surface finish is said to be of the same hardness as an iPhone 5S, leading it to be very resistant to scratches from keys, road debris, and bumps in parking lots. Apple says that it only makes sense to merge qualities from the best iPhone ever made, with the best electric vehicle ever produced, and with both the car and iPhone carrying the model designation of "S," it was destined to be.