Summertime in the tech world has made us eager for some lighter news, which you can find below. But the weightier legal battles in technology continue, as highlighted in our Big Conversation section. And links we think you should see are filed under Curiosities. Have a great weekend, readers.
The World Cup According To Google: As our Aarti Shahani reports, Google is mining its search data from the World Cup games, trying to make factoids that go viral. It's a virtual "newsroom," focused on happy thoughts, not sad ones.
Is a Burrito a Sandwich?: It's complicated. The varying takes on this by different jurisdictions actually make a bigger point related to technology development — regulatory frameworks are too slow to catch up to innovation. Our source at the U.S. Department of Agriculture admits it, and says, "You just gotta sit back and accept it."
Big Mother: A new electronic wristband from LG lets you keep tabs on your preschooler — and even listen in. But as Allie Caren reported, some experts say such devices send the wrong message about the world we live in.
The Big Conversation
Amazon Fights The FTC: After the online retailer failed to agree to a settlement, the Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for allowing millions of unauthorized, in-app purchases by children. (An in-app purchase is buying a new outfit for your gaming avatar, or new levels of Candy Crush, etc.) Is this crackdown going to extend to other app stores, like Google Play? The feds aren't saying.
Aereo Fights On: It shut down after the Supreme Court ruled its business model was violating the U.S. Copyright Act, but the streaming TV service says it's going to fight on, as The Verge reports. The gist of its survival strategy: When SCOTUS found against Aereo, it said Aereo acts like a cable company. So Aereo is responding in a lower court by saying, we should operate as a cable system instead of an equipment provider. The law is fascinating.
The Guardian: Cynk Sunk: Regulators Suspend Trading in Mystery Company
In the course of a few short weeks, Cynk's over-the-counter stock value soared 30,000 percent, putting the company's valuation at more than $5 billion. But there's no evidence the company has any revenue or assets.
Hackers gained access into the agency with personal information of all federal employees.
USA Today: Call Girl Accused Of Killing Google Exec
There is all sorts of mystery and intrigue swirling around the death of Forrest Hayes. Read on.