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Samsung washing machines cause two houses to catch fire in Australia

Two homes caught fire during the week, with faulty Samsung washing machines to blame. There are over 83,000 additional Samsung-made washing machines in Australia, with homeowners now worried.

 

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Thankfully, some tradespeople that were in the building working were able to extinguish the fire, but another fire took place at 5pm on Wednesday elsewhere in Granville, New South Wales with firefighters putting out the fire. Another blaze occured on Wednesday in Corlette, but in this occasion, resident Jacquie Briskham turned off her mains power, containing the fire with her garden hose until firefighters arrived.

 

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Fire & Rescue NSW fire investigator, station officer Michael Forbes urging anyone who owns a top loader washing machine made by Samsung to check their appliance "as a matter of priority". Forbes added: "These products are typically left unattended while in use, so the risk to people and property if the machine fails is high. If you notice any smoke or smell coming out of the washing machine, turn it off at the power point. If a fire does occur, get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000)".

Continue reading 'Samsung washing machines cause two houses to catch fire in Australia' (full post)

2K Australia shuts its doors, costs of operating Down Under to blame

The studio behind Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has shut down, with 2K Australia closing its doors and blaming the huge cost of developing games Down Under for its closure.

 

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2K Australia told Kotaku: "We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process for 2K Australia in order to better manage ongoing development costs while improving the working proximity of our creative teams. We are very grateful for the team's valuable contributions to numerous 2K projects, and are working with affected staff to explore reassignment opportunities where possible".

 

All staff working at 2K Australia have lost their jobs, with a source close to Kotaku saying "All hands are gone". Kotaku reports that at one stage, the studio thought of moving to Melbourne, which caused multiple high level members of the team to leave the studio, which might have ended up in the total closure of the studio.

One killed, others injured in failed attack against NSA campus

One person was killed and another was injured on Monday morning after attempting to RAM their vehicle through a National Security Agency (NSA) gate at the Fort Meade United States Army Base. Both suspects, dressed as women and driving a stolen Ford Escape, were stopped while trying to accelerate towards a police vehicle.

 

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Initial reports indicate the case isn't related to terrorism, and the crime scene has been contained. There are more than 29,000 civilian employees and 11,000 military personnel located at Fort Meade.

 

"Shortly before 9:00 AM today, a vehicle containing two individuals attempted an unauthorized entry at a National Security Agency gate," said Jonathan Freed, director of strategic communications at the NSA. "The driver failed to obey an NSA Police Officer's routine instructions for safely exiting the secure campus. The vehicle failed to stop and barriers were deployed."

Continue reading 'One killed, others injured in failed attack against NSA campus' (full post)

Major outage affecting all Apple services

Apple is experiencing a massive outage right now, which is affecting any and all services that require users to log-in. The outage has been reported from users on Reddit and Apple's own support forums.

 

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The outage is affecting most Apple services, including the iOS App Store, iCloud, iTunes, Mac App Store, iTunes Connect, TestFlight, iBooks Store and more. The company hasn't commented about the outage just yet, but it has been affecting Apple services for a number of hours now.

Facebook and Instagram experiencing global outage

Update: Lizard Squad are taking responsibility for the hack, taking down various social networks including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, MySpace, Tinder and more. They reportedly didn't take Twitter down as its their only form of communication.

 

You've probably just realized, but some of you might not have: Facebook is down. Right now, it's not loading for me here in Australia, some friends in California and San Francisco, and it's not loading on my smartphone either.

 

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A bit of personal reflection: as a professional, I require Facebook for my everyday life. Professionally, I'm on it virtually every waking minute posting stories up from our main site to our Facebook page, engaging with readers, posting up random images and the like along the way. Personally, I'm addicted to it like most. Constantly checking my News Feed, hanging out on Messenger as long as my eyes are open, posting up images of my day or my travel if I'm away at an event.

 

In times like this, I know it's sad and I know I'm going to get hate mail over it: but I feel, lost. Without Facebook, it feels like half the Internet is down for me. Do you feel the same? Should we get on Kickstarter and start a Facebook Anonymous? Hi, my name's Anthony and I'm addicted to Facebook...

 

We will update this with more news, as it happens.

North Korea offers joint investigation with the US over Sony hack

The US government may have pegged North Korea behind the big hack against Sony Pictures, but now the state news agency KCNA has reported that North Korea has proposed a joint investigation with the United States over the breach.

 

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The FBI has come forward, formally accusing North Korea of the attack on Sony Pictures, where President Barack Obama has said that he would "respond proportionally." North Korea has added that it can prove it had nothing to do with the cyberattack against Sony Pictures, with a statement from the country saying that there would be "grave consequences" if the US government turns down its olive branch over the investigation, and continues to accuse North Korea of wrongdoing.

US officials identify North Korea as the source behind Sony hacks

The Sony hacking scandal continues, with most US theaters pulling the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy from screening when it launches next week. Now, US officials are reportedly set to blame North Korea for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, after identifying the rogue country as the point of origin.

 

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The US government has said that North Korea was "centrally involved" even though the attack may have been launched from another origin. There's no exact word on what we should expect the US government to add here, but it's going to get very interesting. One thought: if North Korea is a backwards as the world thinks it is, this is a damn huge job for them to pull off on their own. Hacking one of the biggest companies in the world, leaving various three-letter authorities completely baffled on who did it for a while there.

 

All of this just makes me want to see the movie more, what about you?

Pro-Russia Ukrainian rebels blamed for downing Malaysia Airlines MH17

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.

 

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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.

Continue reading 'Pro-Russia Ukrainian rebels blamed for downing Malaysia Airlines MH17' (full post)

Suspicious package delayed President Obama's return to White House

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.

 

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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.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 295 people shot down in Ukraine

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.

 

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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.

Continue reading 'Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 295 people shot down in Ukraine' (full post)

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