For those who have everything
July 19, 2014

The Float may look like just a fun new way to bob around in the water, says Bless This Stuff. But it may have healing powers, too. Developed in Iceland, a country rich in bathing traditions, the full Float ensemble ($135) pairs a neoprene floating cap with two float straps that attach to your upper legs. The creators claim that the near-weightless state induced by the product amplifies the health benefits of floating: reducing stress; aiding in recovery from injuries; increasing mental clarity; and reducing the effects of insomnia, anxiety, and depression. "Go ahead, enjoy a blissful silence." The Week Staff

shop til you drop
9:57 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In case there weren't already enough easy ways to blow money on the internet, shoppers will soon be able to buy products online without ever leaving a Google search screen, the company's chief business officer announced Wednesday, Re/code reports.

"There’s going to be a buy button," Omid Kordestani said at the Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California. "It's going to be imminent."

When a user searches for a product, the buy button would appear with product ads that already run alongside search results, BBC reports. The Wall Street Journal reported on Google's buy button earlier this month.

Google faces instant-buying competition from Amazon's one-click ordering, as well as Twitter, which started testing a buy button with select groups last September. Julie Kliegman

9:43 a.m. ET

To any soccer fan who has been following the practices of FIFA throughout the past decade, it's no surprise that the world's governing soccer organization is terribly corrupt. It's a little more surprising, however, that FIFA is finally being held accountable — to the tune of $150 million and charges of bribery, fraud, and racketeering.

"On the surface, it's just another white collar crime story: rich, powerful men making themselves richer and more powerful," says Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. "But a closer look suggests that there is a lot of real-world suffering happening as a direct result of FIFA's decisions." Ingraham put together a fascinating chart that maps out the estimated human toll of building the stadiums and facilities necessary to hold the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, and the result is startling:

(The Washington Post)

While Ingraham's graphic is an estimate (he explains how he arrived at this comparison here), this rough approximation of the potentially World Cup-related deaths of migrant workers in Qatar is undoubtedly shocking. Even worse, the Post points out that the International Trade Union Confederation estimates that in addition to 1,200 migrant worker deaths so far, up to 4,000 additional workers could die in Qatar in the run up to the 2022 World Cup.

For a full explanation of how Ingraham arrived at these bleak estimates, head over to The Washington Post. Samantha Rollins

Numbers don't lie
9:37 a.m. ET
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Sandvine, a Canadian bandwidth management company, found that during primetime hours, Netflix streaming accounts for 36.5 percent of downstream internet bandwidth.

Meanwhile, Netflix' competitors combined still don't match that figure. During the same time period, YouTube accounted for 15.6 percent of downstream internet traffic, and just two percent was used for Amazon Instant Video and 1.9 percent for Hulu.

Sandvine measured bandwidth usage during primetime hours in North America in March. Netflix increased its primetime bandwidth usage since Sandvine's fall report, when Netflix video accounted for 34.5 percent of primetime bandwidth. Meghan DeMaria

happy trails
9:22 a.m. ET

For more than 20 years, the marquee for Late Show with David Letterman has dominated a small stretch of midtown Manhattan. The familiar blue-and-yellow awning atop the Ed Sullivan has greeted every person who entered the studio for a taping, and been the subject of countless tourist selfies.

And now it's gone. Just a week after the series finale of Late Show with David Letterman, this is what the Ed Sullivan Theater looks like:

Presumably, it'll get a little cozier when Stephen Colbert takes over in September. Scott Meslow

8:44 a.m. ET
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In a speech Thursday published on the Kremlin's website, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the arrests of FIFA officials in Zurich. Putin apparently believes the arrests are the U.S.' way of extending its power into other countries.

In the transcript of Putin's speech, he says the foreign arrest on U.S. charges represents "another blatant attempt by the United States to extend its jurisdiction to other states."

Putin defended FIFA and its president, Sepp Blatter, before discussing former NSA agent Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. "Why have I recalled all this?" Putin said, about Snowden and Assange. "Unfortunately, our American partners use these methods to achieve their selfish goals and persecute people illegally. I don't rule out that this may be the same case with FIFA." Meghan DeMaria

8:43 a.m. ET

Former New York governor George Pataki launched his longest of long-shot bids for the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday via 2015's de rigueur announcement method, a YouTube video. While he throws out some red meat — the video shows him buying a room full of veterans lunch and invoking 9/11 — Pataki mostly talks up his bona fides as a Republican governor in a blue state. In an increasingly crowded field of GOP candidates, can a moderate New York Republican who supports abortion rights win the nomination? Even Pataki himself concedes his candidacy is an "extreme long shot," The New York Times reports.

You can watch his announcement video below: —Nico Lauricella

The Digital Divide
8:01 a.m. ET
Getty Images

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is circulating a plan on Thursday proposing to subsidize high-speed internet access for low-income Americans. The federal government has been helping people pay for telephone service for 30 years, because phones are considered crucial to finding work, getting medical service, and climbing out of poverty. Wheeler's proposal to change the $1.7 billion subsidy program to include broadband reflects the FCC's recognition that high-speed internet service also is now essential. Read more at The New York Times. Harold Maass

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