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Airline knew Germanwings co-pilot had 'episode of severe depression'Open in a New Window


The co-pilot of the flight that crashed into the French Alps last week had told Lufthansa's flight school in 2009 that he had suffered from a "previous episode of severe depression," the airline said in a statement Tuesday.

The co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, later completed his training and received a medical certificate confirming his ability to fly, Lufthansa said. Lufthansa is the parent company of the budget airline Germanwings, whose Flight 9525 was destroyed after Lubitz allegedly rammed the plane into a mountainside one week ago.

More about Germany, Spain, Us World, Germanwings, and Germanwings Flight 9525


IBM gets serious about Internet of Things with $3 billion investmentOpen in a New Window


If you're driving home from work and an unexpected storm is headed your way, consider how helpful it would be to get a digital notification pushed to your windshield so you can plan your route accordingly.

Experts believe the next big wave of technology lies within the Internet of Things, which refers to things that connect to the Internet like TVs, refrigerators, garage doors and even cars that collect data about the way we live. And more and more companies are investing big on taking this data and packaging in ways that are meaningful to businesses and ultimately, the average person.

More about Ibm, Internet Of Things, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile


Former military dictator defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria's presidential electionOpen in a New Window


Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari has won Nigeria's presidential election, Reuters reported on Tuesday afternoon, defeating current President Goodluck Jonathan by more than two million votes to become leader of Africa's largest democracy.

His win marks the first time in Nigeria's history that an opposition party has democratically taken control of the country from the ruling party.

Jonathan has yet to comment.

"As for the election, we have won it!" Garba Shehu, Buhari's spokesman, said outside the party's headquarters on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. He added, however, a word of caution: "We are not out of the woods yet, we don't know what tricks the government is going to play." Read more...

More about Us World, Politics, Nigeria, and Muhammadu Buhari


Footage shows every angle of burglars smashing into a mallOpen in a New Window


Two burglars in Australia drove a stolen Subaru Liberty into a shopping center in Canberra, crashing their way into a jewelry store in the early morning on March 30. They raided the store and used crowbars to smash the glass displays. Police are still on the hunt for the suspects.

This surveillance footage, which was uploaded by the ACT police, shows the burglars and their less-than-stealthy operation in all of its glory.

According to ACT police, a similar smash-and-grab occurred early March 31 using a different vehicle in a nearby suburb.

More about Australia, Burglars, Video, Facebook, and Us World


Michael Jackson used to piss off Russell Crowe with constant prank callsOpen in a New Window


A new profile of Russell Crowe reveals that the Aussie actor had a bizarrely antagonistic relationship with the king of pop, Michael Jackson.

Crowe reveals in The Guardian that, for two or three years, Jackson would reach him over the phone, whether he was at home or in a hotel. Celebrities are just like us, you guys.

I never met him, never shook his hand, but he found out the name I stayed in hotels under, so it didn’t matter where I was, he’d ring up do this kind of thing, like you did when you were 10, you know. 'Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what’s holding the roo fup? Ha ha.' You’re supposed to grow out of doing that, right? Read more...

More about Michael Jackson, Celebrities, Pranks, Film, and Watercooler


Google debuts the Chromebit, a Chromebook dongle for under $100Open in a New Window


Google has a new device in its growing Chromebook family, and it's called Chromebit.

The Chromebit looks more like Chromecast than a Chromebook, but the dongle has almost all of the internal components of Google's browser-based laptops crammed into a stick smaller than an iPhone 6. Google revealed the new Chrome OS-based device, which will be available later this year, along with a new lineup of low-cost Chromebooks on Tuesday.

The Asus-made Chromebit has the guts of a standard Chromebook — 2GB of RAM, Rockchip's 3288 processor and 16GB of storage — all stuffed into a dongle that is closer to the size of a Roku Streaming Stick than a laptop. It will cost less than $100 when it goes on sale this summer, though exact pricing and availability aren't yet clear. Read more...

More about Google, Gadgets, Android, Tech, and Google Chrome


Obama submits 'ambitious' global warming planOpen in a New Window


The U.S. formally submitted to the United Nations a commitment to reduce its climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The commitment is aimed in part at spurring other countries to announce their plans ahead of a major round of international climate negotiations in Paris in December.

Commitments from the U.S., Mexico, the E.U. and others now amount to nearly 60% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, according to the White House announcement, which was made in blog post on Medium

Late last week, Mexico committed to peaking its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, and reducing them thereafter Read more...

More about Global Warming, Us World, Us, Climate, and Climate Treaty


Indiana governor: Religious freedom law has a 'perception problem'Open in a New Window


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will clarify a controversial bill that some are calling anti-gay

Pence on Tuesday alluded to the criticism of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, saying it has "been a tough week" in the Hoosier state. "But we are going to move forward," he said during a press conference.

"I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone," said Pence"We want to make it clear that Indiana is open to business." Read more...

More about Lgbt, Us World, Us, Indiana, and Gov. Mike Pence


Hey, Wyoming drivers: Beware the migrating wildlifeOpen in a New Window


Over the next few weeks, motorists in and around Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming should be careful about migrating wildlife, park officials say.

Elk, moose, bison and mule deer are all beginning to move from their winter areas to summer ranges. Wildlife can make for picturesque photographs, but tourists who are eager to spot the animals or get the perfect shot should be cautious about interfering in their natural habitat

Park officials say that with the receding snowpack, elk on the National Elk Refuge have begun to fan out across the sagebrush flats north of the Gros Ventre River. Various other groups of elk can be found scattered across the area. In addition, several moose are roaming the sage flats between the Gros Ventre Junction and Moose Junction. Read more...

More about Travel, Animals, Destinations, National Parks, and Us


Cat and fish take a surprisingly successful bath togetherOpen in a New Window


Cats and fish are not natural friends, but isn't that the appeal of every interspecies friendship?

In the clip above, a surprisingly calm cat hangs out in a bathtub with a large, probably petrified fish. But instead of trying to eat the fish, the cat spends most of its time pawing curiously at his bath mate

These two bring yet another new meaning to the term, "catfish."

More about Youtube, Viral Videos, Animals, Cats, and Cute Animals


Rescued quadruple amputee dog can play fetch again with prosthetic pawsOpen in a New Window


Thanks to prosthetics and the kindness of strangers, Brutus the Rottwelier can walk again

Brutus' paws were frostbitten when he was a puppy after careless breeders left him outside in the freezing cold. Rather than bringing him to medical professionals, they crudely amputated his paws themselves and he couldn't walk without pain


Fortunately, he found a new home with Laura Aquilina, who fostered and eventually adopted the injured pup. Aquilina set up a GoFundMe page called Better Paws for Brutus to help fund his medical care Read more...

More about Dog, Cute Animals, Watercooler, Conversations, and Feel Good


Romantic Wrestlemania proposal ends with 3 wordsOpen in a New Window


What's the most romantic way a guy can propose to his girlfriend? At Wrestlemania, of course.

A guy popped the big question at the wrestling event of the year this weekend at Wrestlemania 31 in San Jose. Her response? An overwhelming "YES, YES, YES!" (The crowd provided some help.)

This is a marriage proposal Daniel Bryan would approve of.

More about Marriage, Proposals, Watercooler, Videos, and Wrestling


Facebook's glamorous new headquarters will make you hate your cubicleOpen in a New Window


The new Facebook headquarters looks like a cross between high-art, 21st century corporate thinking and a child's candy-fueled daydream

Facebook officially moved to a vast 430,000 square foot campus this week, expanding on its old digs nearby in Menlo Park, California. The office complex was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry and includes modern artwork and furniture, stairwells that look like something out of the Guggenheim museum, a 9-acre rooftop park (hate where you work yet?) and at least one meeting room that looks like the multicolored Chuck E. Cheese ball pit.

It also has what CEO Mark Zuckerberg described in a post on his personal Facebook page as "the largest open floor plan in the world," reflecting a trend in tech and other industries to boost collaboration among employees Read more...

More about Facebook, Offices, and Business


Yemenis say: 'Enough war'Open in a New Window


The Yemenis have had enough of war

For six days, a Saudi-led coalition has targeted Shiite rebels with airstrikes, destroying missiles and weapons depots but also killing civilians.

The airstrikes come after months of conflict in Yemen, pitting Shiite rebels against the government in Sana'a

Using the hashtag #Kefayawar (which translates as enough war), Yemenis on Twitter are calling for an end to the violence and instability that has rattled the country in recent weeks

#OurYemen #KefayaWar from #Taiz #ResoluteStorm

— S a l a #Yemen (@Not_Sala) March 31, 2015 Read more...

More about War, Conflict, Yemen, and Us World


Google's April Fools' Day prank turns maps into Pac-Man gamesOpen in a New Window


Google knows no one gives directions better than that hungry yellow blob

So the company turned to our childhood friend, Pac-Man, to help all those lost, foolish souls navigate their way around — just for April 1, that is

As part of its barrage of April Fools' pranks, Google Maps has created a hack that lets users turn any city into the pixelated, classic arcade game, complete with multi-colored ghosts and iconic music. Simply click on the icon on the lower left of the screen to begin playing in your desktop browser.


Image: Google Maps

Google Maps' support page even includes a list of clues to guide you to the best locations to play Pac-Man. You can even play in the Google Maps mobile app, but only in those special locations. Read more...

More about Google, Google Maps, Pac Man, April Fools Day, and Gaming


The last 50 years of Lego, in true Lego formOpen in a New Window


Though the classic brick has not changed since it was patented in 1958, the Lego brand has evolved greatly in the past half-century

The simple building toy has grown into an empire boasting enormous playsets, board games, video games and even an awesome movie (with a sequel on the way)

With sets related to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, The Avengers and more, Lego has basically had your childhood locked down for decades

So what are the most popular playsets from the past 50 years? What gargantuan sets have the most pieces? We could have just given you the answers to these questions in a simple list, but where's the fun in that? Instead, we built an explanation, IRL, using Lego bricks. Read more...

More about Lego, History, Trivia, Infographic, and Facts


9 things America can learn from the UK about electionsOpen in a New Window


LONDON - The election campaign is in full swing.

On May 7, millions of British voters go to the polls to elect 650 Members of Parliament for the House of Commons

Elections in the UK are complicated affairs — but not without charm

Here are 9 things America can learn:

1. Good use of a Queen


The Queen, March 26, 2015.

Image: Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

Unlike the US, the UK is a parliamentary democracy rather than a presidential one, meaning that the prime minister is the head of government but not the head of state

As part of the political process, the prime minister must visit the Queen — who is the head of state — to inform her that parliament has been dissolved. Read more...

More about Uk, Politics, Us World, and Uk Election


MH17 investigators say Buk rocket strike is primary theory in downingOpen in a New Window


KIEV, Ukraine — Nine months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, an international team investigating the incident says its primary theory is that the passenger jet was downed by a sophisticated surface-to-air Buk missile fired from Russia-backed separatist territory

All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed after the airliner was struck and crashed on July 17, 2014.

In a nearly 12-minute Russian-language video released to the public on Monday, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) urges witnesses who saw a Buk missile system being transported through war-wracked eastern Ukraine on July 17 and 18 to come forward. Read more...

More about Russia, Netherlands, Us World, Ukraine, and Mh17


8 hidden features every Samsung Galaxy phone user should knowOpen in a New Window


Instruction manuals? Who reads instruction manuals anymore?

Instructional manuals are for dummies. As high-tech as Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy Note Android phones are, they're victims of feature creep, or features and services added to a product that confuses users to the point of frustration.

Samsung's phones are so bloated that it's not always clear how to do something and what special features it might have. The problem is, most features are tucked away in the Settings app.

Not to worry, we're here to help. Below, you'll find eight hidden features exclusive to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones that we've plucked out from the Settings app's endless list of menus. Read more...

More about Android, Samsung, Tech, Apps Software, and Gadgets


5 experienced crowdfunders share their best campaign adviceOpen in a New Window


Running a successful crowdfunding campaign feels a bit like winning the lottery. The results are all over the board: instant successes, slow and steady fundraisers, unfunded flops, and underdogs that rise to the challenge just in the knick of time. But all of these campaigns have one thing in common: Success or failure, they were learning experiences

Here, five experienced crowdfunders share what they learned from running both successful and unsuccessful campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo

1. Get the word out before the campaign launches

Entrepreneurs should share a product idea soon after inspiration strikes, according to Janielle Denier, COO and head of strategy at Rain Factory. She’s helped Indiegogo campaigns like Jibo raise more than $2 million. Read more...

More about Indiegogo, Fundraising, Crowdfunding, Kickstarter, and Business


Category 5 Super Typhoon Maysak sets record in Western PacificOpen in a New Window


Category 5 Super Typhoon Maysak is packing sustained winds of at least 150 miles per hour as it takes aim at the tiny island of Yap in the Caroline Islands on Tuesday. The typhoon is the third of the year so far, which sets a record for the most typhoons so early in the Western Pacific typhoon season, according to meteorologist Jeff Masters of Weather Underground.

The storm is rarer still when looking only at the record of typhoons that reached an intensity of Category 3 or stronger before April 1. Such typhoons are known as major typhoons.

More about Us World, Climate, Typhoon, Extreme Weather, and El Nino


YouTube megastar Michelle Phan launches new lifestyle networkOpen in a New Window


If launching her own beauty line and record label wasn't enough, YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan announced today that she's partnering with Endemol Beyond USA for their new lifestyle network, ICON.

Phan will be the creative director for Endemol Beyond, which currently boasts 500 million monthly views via its multi-platforms: YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Amazon Fire TV, among others. The 27-year old will mentor other online personalities while cultivating a streamlined vision for the network.

Endemol Beyond, under the Endemol Shine umbrella, currently boasts over 500 million monthly views with its Premium Channel Network available across more than 20 platforms. Endemol Shine is best known for producing shows like American Idol, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Man v. Food and more. Read more...

More about Video, Media, Youtube, Social Media, and Celebrity


Stop what you're doing, because Gonzo is doing 'The Humpty Dance'Open in a New Window


He look funny, but 'cha know he makin' money.

The Great Gonzo stars as Shock G (with his chickens and Muppet pals as back up vocals) in a clever mashup of Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance" from YouTube user isthishowyougoviral, a.k.a. Mylo the Cat.

Mylo has a treasure trove of Muppet-themed hip hop parody videos on YouTube, including a mashup of the Beastie Boys' "So Wha'cha Want" starring The Swedish Chef.

More about Viral Videos, Music, Videos, Parody, and Funny


Here's how Amazon will convert your place into a smart homeOpen in a New Window


For Amazon, a "smart home" scenario isn't a question of if — but rather, when.

The tech giant announced hardware and a cloud-based service on Tuesday, both of which support web-enabled devices in the home.

The physical device, called the Dash button, will be available on Wednesday across the U.S. on an invite-only basis. The free plastic device is slightly larger than your thumb and connects to Wi-Fi; when you press it, the device will automatically order another pack of your shaving cartridges or bottle of your face moisturizer from Amazon Prime. Read more...

More about Amazon, Dash, Internet Of Things, Advertising, and Marketing


Grateful passenger thanks pilots for getting her home safely in handwritten noteOpen in a New Window


LONDON — A passenger on a recent flight handed the pilots a note thanking them for doing their job and landing safely, just one week after the Germanwings plane crash that killed all 150 people on board.

The passenger, known only as Bethanie, wrote that she wanted to reach out a "compassionate hand" to the pilots

"Thank you for taking me home," the letter read. "Thank you for doing so safely. Thank you for allowing me to live the life I do in Spain and split my time with my family in England too."

The note, which was posted to Twitter by Jai Dillon, a colleague of the pilots, comes after a week filled with speculation and reports on the mental health of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who deliberately crashed Flight 9525 into the French Alps last Tuesday, as well as the safety procedures involved in air travel in general. An official memorial service for those on board Flight 9525 will be held on April 17 at Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. Read more...

More about Flights, Watercooler, Conversations, Travel Leisure, and Germanwings


Vin Diesel talks about 'Furious 8' before 'Furious 7' is even outOpen in a New Window


In light of the April 3 release of Furious 7, the film's muscle-bound star/sentient tree alien spoke to Jimmy Kimmel about the making of the film.

Explaining the number of bald muscular men in the film, Diesel joked that there's a quota in his contract. On the topic of Kurt Russell, Diesel jumped the gun and revealed that the actor was signed on for a role in the series' next installment, Furious 8.

In case you're wondering how confident Diesel is about the success of this film, he told Variety that it will win Best Picture. So, there you go.

More about Videos, Vin Diesel, Jimmy Kimmel, Entertainment, and Tv


New York gets its own Vidcon-style streaming eventOpen in a New Window


The Big Apple is getting a digital content convention along the lines of Vidcon, courtesy of New York Comic Con creator LeftField Media and Streamy Awards creator Tubefilter. The first event will be held this fall.

Stream Con NYC will be held at the Javits Center in New York City from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, its creators announced Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: Being a YouTuber Is Now a Real Business

"Stream Con NYC is a reflection of rapidly evolving consumer behavior,” said Greg Topalian, president of LeftField Media. “Industries are all grappling with how best to connect with a new audience, and Stream Con NYC is where these worlds converge and where the engagement begins." Read more...

More about Video, Streaming, Entertainment, and Vidcon


Surface 3 is Microsoft’s lightest, thinnest and cheapest tabletOpen in a New Window


Microsoft is expanding its Surface tablet line in an effort to rope in a new, more price-sensitive audience. The newest Microsoft tablet, the Surface 3, is a $499 the successor to the Surface 2 and the first non-Pro tablet to run an Intel CPU. Thus endeth Microsoft’s ARM/Windows RT experiment.

It’s a smart move and the timing, perhaps, couldn’t be better.

Ever since Microsoft started positioning its Surface tablet as a laptop replacement, it’s started to make sense. The strategic shift coincided with the release of the powerful Surface Pro 3, which, with an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, and optional keyboard, is essentially a laptop in tablet’s clothing. Read more...

More about Microsoft, Tablet, Tablets, Tech, and Mobile


Comedian Hannibal Buress to host the 2015 Webby AwardsOpen in a New Window


Good news, Hannibal Buress fans: the brilliant comedian, actor and writer will celebrate the Internet as host of the 19th annual Webby Awards

Buress joins the long list of celebrities who've stepped up to host the award show, including Lisa Kudrow and Patton Oswalt, who hosted three times between 2012 and 2014. The comedian will open the show, and will enforce the 5-word speech tradition

"The Internet is a huge fan of Hannibal – he isn’t someone who just gets Internet culture – he is literally helping to shape it every day," David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of The Webby Awards said in a press statement. "We are excited to have him bring his funny and brilliant corner of the web to life at this year’s show." Read more...

More about Webby Awards, Comedy, Media, Watercooler, and Hannibal Buress


16 office pranks that will make all of your coworkers hate youOpen in a New Window


Good luck getting work done this WednesdayApril Fools' Day falls in the work week this year, meaning employees are playing practical jokes more effectively than filling out spreadsheets.

From the classic desk plastic wrapping, to the creative goldfish in the office sink, it's safe to say everyone will be on their toes in the workplace.

Here are a few creative prank ideas that are sure to make you the most-hated employee in the office.

BONUS: The king of all office pranks


More about Lists, Humor, Pranks, April Fools Day, and Watercooler