Twitter Buys BackType, Eminem Drives 1M Downloads, Google's 12 New Lobbying Firms

Slim Shady sets a new digital sales record with "Recovery." Google's missing Realtime search. This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

Dirty Dozen. Shortly after learning of an FTC investigation into antitrust law violations, a Google spokesperson says, "We have a strong story to tell about our business and we've sought out the best talent we can find to help tell it." At 12 lobbying firms. Among the diverse clients in their firms' circles? Chevron, Dow Chemical, Monsanto—and that's just Akin, Gump. —TG

Music Industry Rehab. Recovery, the 2010 album from Marshall Mathers, Eminem to you, has sold more than a million digital copies in the U.S.—the first album ever to do so. Meanwhile, his little side project with Royce Da 5'9, Bad Meets Evil landed at No. 1 last week with Hell: The Sequel. See there? Say no to drugs, kids. —TG

—Updated 3:41 p.m. EST

Twitter Buys BackType. Twitter has acquired social analytics company BackType, a startup backed by Y Combinator and True Ventures. Similar to Crimson Hexagon, BackType mines Twitter data to provide companies such as Microsoft and AOL an understanding of the impact and reach of their tweets in real-time.  —AC

—Updated 1:17 p.m. EST      

Italian Cops Grab Anonymous Activists. Italian police have become the latest to arrest suspects connected to hacktivist group Anonymous, in a series of raids that saw three adults and one minor in custody—including what they're calling a "ringleader," nicknamed Frey. —KE

Rare Find: Japan's Rare Earth Discovery. Japan's scientists have discovered up to 100 billion tons of rare earth elements hiding in the Pacific seabed—dense enough that five square kilometers could feed the Earth's current need for the elements, which are crucial to much of modern electronics. It's a huge discovery because China currently controls 97% of the supply, and has recently been posturing about the materials. —KE

—Updated 8:23 a.m. EST

Microsoft Seals Baidu Deal. Where Google has had difficulty treading, at least on its own terms, Microsoft may be poised to make big inroads: It's signed a deal with China's search giant Baidu. Cleverly, the two firms aren't quite competing—MS will be supplying the results for search queries in English, an aspect of its business that Baidu admits it isn't overly hot at. —KE

15 Million iPhone 5s In-Bound. Pegatron, one of Apple's fleet of China-based suppliers, has received orders for 15 million iPhone 5s, according to insiders. Pegatron had been making the iPhone 4 CDMA version for Verizon—possibly because Apple was testing out its reliability. The order, if true, hints the iPhone 5 really is due in September (and possibly earlier than we thought) and the size confirms that Apple is still more confident about the potential sales of this device than even the runaway iPhone 4...with good reason.—KE

Fox News Out-Foxed By Hackers. Forget hacking Sony or the FBI, the global hacker community may have pulled off its biggest coup yet: A tweet from Fox News, on Independence Day, reporting the President's demise. Attackers were able to seize control of both Fox New's email, and thence Twitter, and several more graphic tweets followed—the tweets remained undeleted for many hours, confusing followers. Fox has alerted the Secret Service, due to the subject matter, and a group called Script Kiddies—which aligns itself with the AntiSec movement and Anonymous, has claimed responsibility—KE

Google Loses Realtime Edge. Google's deal with Twitter to supply real time news feeds to bring Google's search system right up to the moment has expired, and as a result if you're Googling for really newsy items, you'll miss Twitter's input. Realtime search will return, Google promises, and will include publicly available feeds from Twitter—though it looks as though no new deal will be struck. Instead Google's surreptitious attack on web services may expand, because it's intimated it will use data from Google+ in the revamped Realtime.—KE

Sony PlayStation Network Is Back. Sony's bringing the PSN fully back to operation in Japan today, officially ending the recent recurring hack debacle that saw 77 million user accounts hacked. There's a plus side—Sony's saying there are zero reports of unauthorized credit card use connected to the attacks, and the company's servers should now be more secure—assuming Sony's learned its lesson. It better had: The hack apparently cost it over $170 million, including rebuilding security, investigating the attacks and compensating users. —KE

—Updated 5:20 a.m. EST

[Image of Anonymous protester: Flickr user irrezolut; Eminem image: Flickr user Sheila Steele]

 

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