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Photos from the Scene: Malaysian Airlines MH17 Crash

July 17, 2014

By Cynthia Herbert :: 1:34 PM

As we reported earlier this morning, a Malaysian Airlines 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the eastern Ukraine today.

Via social media, pictures of the crash scene are now beginning to emerge.

Credit: Twitter user Matevz Novak.

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Malaysia Airlines Plane Crashes in Ukraine

July 17, 2014

MH17 Malaysia Airlines Crash

By Paul Thomson :: 11:39 AM

Reports are coming in via news wires and social media that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane has crashed in the Ukraine. Unconfirmed reports say it is flight MH 17.

Among some of the reports are allegations that the plane was shot down by a missile over Russian territory. The flight had departed Amsterdam, and was halfway through its journey, due to land in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning.

An adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, Anton Gerashenko, reported the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile fired from a BUK launcher. The BUK missile system can fire missiles up to an altitude of 72,000 feet.

The eastern part of the Ukraine, where the plane was shot down, had seen intense fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels earlier this week.

Pictures from the scene show a debris trail and smoke rising from the ground, and details are still being gathered.

Malasia Airlines is aware of the crash, but has not released a statement. A government official has said there were 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers, and that all died in the crash.

This story will be updated as news comes in.

Photo below from the crash scene:

MH17 Ukraine Crash Scene

 

Video from the crash scene:

 

Tweet confirming that the airline lost communications with the plane:

Malaysian Airlines Tweet

Flight radar data from just before MH17 disappeared from tracking:

MH17 Radar Data

 

A Cord Cutter’s Strategy for Watching the World Cup on TV

June 13, 2014

Watching World Cup without Cable TV subscription

By Cynthia Herbert :: 1:39 PM

If you’re one of the roughly 7 million households in the U.S. that has cut the cord from cable television over the past couple of years, you probably don’t miss it much. Except for watching live sports. And, if you’re a soccer fan, you’re probably missing that cable cord a whole lot right now.

While it is a bit difficult for non-pay television subscribers to get access to the latest matches from the World Cup in Brazil, it isn’t impossible, and just requires some patience and tolerance for languages other than English.

Although World Cup coverage in widely available across the rest of the globe, here in the United States, the broadcast rights are owned by Disney, as they were in 2010 as well. The company plans to show this year’s matches on ESPN (43 games), ESPN2 (11 games), and ABC (10 games). Without entering a password and authenticating from your pay television provider, watching the live streams via these network websites is not allowed.

However, if you can put up with Spanish speaking announcers instead of English speaking ones, then Univision network might just be your savior.  The Spanish-speaking network also has the Spanish-language broadcasting rights to the World Up games, and will be streaming all of the matches online, without requiring a pay-TV login.

Watching the games on Univision was a popular option during the 2010 matches, as the network had about twice as many viewers as ESPN did during the earlier games.

If watching the games on Univision isn’t your cup of tea, then you may want to consider using a VPN. With a VPN, you can often spoof your location to one that is outside of the US – like in Europe, South America, or Canada. With a different location, you will be more likely to bypass the filters on foreign content websites, and be allowed to watch some of the matches for free. Popular VPN sites include Hola and UnoTelly.

With a little perseverance, cord cutters too will be shouting “GOOOAL” in real time as their teams advance in the matches.

Netflix Streaming Down on Some Devices

June 5, 2014

Netflix streaming down on Apple TV, Chromecast

By Gilbert Falso :: 9:11 PM

Netflix’s streaming video service appears to be down for many users in the U.S. and Canada this evening. Shortly after 9:00 PM Eastern time, users flooded Twitter with complaints that the service was slow or not working at all.

It does not seem to be a widespread outage yet, and judging by many of the Tweets, users most affected appear to be those streaming via a device like Apple TV or Google’s Chromecast.

Users report slow video load times, or videos halting in the middle of playback with an error message stating that the title cannot be played at this time.

Netflix has not responded to the outage complaints yet, and has not verified that there is indeed an issue with their service.

The outage comes on the evening before the long-awaited premier of season 2 of the hit Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. Many users are bemoaning the fact that Netflix’s servers aren’t up to the task of streaming on a Thursday night, let alone ready for the expected crush of traffic tomorrow when the new season debuts.

Massachusetts Plane Crash

June 1, 2014

Hanscom airplane crash

By Gilbert Falso :: 2:39 AM

A private jet carrying seven people veered off the runway on Saturday night at Hanscom Field, a small general aviation airport outside of Boston. It took off briefly before slamming to the ground in an explosive fireball.

All on board the plane were killed in the crash. Their identities have not yet been released, pending notification of their families.

Reports indicate that the aircraft was a Gulfstream IV jet bound for Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was using Runway 11 at the airfield around 9:45 p.m. when the incident occurred.

Witnesses who live near the runway reported seeing thick black smoke and flames shooting out of the wreckage shortly after the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be jointly working on an investigation into the cause behind the accident.

Hanscom airport is immediately adjacent to a U.S. Air Force base of the same name.