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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.