This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the TechSummit Rewind.
Spotify desktop app writes tons of data to storage drives
Over the last few months, Spotify users on both Windows and macOS have notified that the app has been writing massive amounts of data to their storage drives on a daily basis. According to reports in the company’s own forums, Reddit, and Hacker News, tens up to hundreds of gigabytes of data are written on an hourly basis.
Some users also reported that the app would write as much as 50GB of data even when left idle overnight.
Spotify has addressed the problem with desktop version 1.0.42 that’s rolling out now. To force the update, check in the Preferences menu by clicking “About Spotify.”
Facebook to block “ethnic affinity marketing” for housing, employment, credit ads
Facebook is building tools that will automatically detect and disable ethnicity marketing for certain ads, specifically those dealing with housing, credit, or employment.
“We have decided that we can best guard against discrimination by suspending these types of ads. We will continue to explore ways that our ethnic affinity solution can be used to promote inclusion of underrepresented communities, and we will continue to work with stakeholders toward that goal.”
-Erin Egan, Facebook VP of U.S. public policy & chief privacy officer
Facebook will also “offer more clarification and education” by updating its advertising policies to require advertisers to confirm that they won’t discriminate in their Facebook advertising.
Alibaba smashes Singles’ Day sales record
While Nov. 11 is commonly known as Veteran’s Day in the U.S. or Armistices Day in Europe, it’s also Singles’ Day in China – the country’s biggest shopping day. Alibaba cashed in on the holiday, surpassing its sales total from last year’s event hours before it closed.
This year, Alibaba marked the occasion with a four-hour show in Shenzhen with appearances form actress Scarlett Johansson, former English footballer David Beckham, retired NBA player Kobe Bryant, and live music from OneRepublic. Company founder Jack Ma also presented an on-stage magic trick.
On the business side, GMV (the metric to measure the total value of merchandise sold) hit $14.3 billion across Alibaba’s stores last year. That figure was beaten in Chinese Yuan before 3:30 p.m., while the U.S. Dollar metric was beaten before 8 p.m. when GMV reached $14.69 billion.
Facebook buys CrowdTangle
Facebook has purchased CrowdTangle, a tool that publishers use to track how content spreads around the web.
According to Facebook, the company will continue to invest in and operate the service so that more publishers could take advantage of it. CrowdTangle’s small team will continue leading the product’s development.
“Publishers around the world turn to CrowdTangle to surface stories that matter, measure their social performance and identify influencers. We are excited to work with CrowdTangle to deliver these, and more insights to more publishers.”
-Facebook, in a statement
“Thanks to this partnership, our platform is only going to get more powerful. All of our partners can not only expect the same quality of product, level of support, and pace of innovation they have come to expect from us, but they should and can expect even more from us going forward.”
-CrowdTangle’s founders, in a blog post
Microsoft Office for Chromebooks will require a subscription for most devices
Microsoft Office has been on Android and iOS for two years now with edit restrictions on larger devices. Now that Chromebooks are starting to get access to Android apps, questions have popped up on how these restrictions will apply for Google’s laptops. Just like with the iPad Pro, Chromebooks with a screen larger than 10.1 inches won’t be able to freely edit Microsoft Office documents.
Most Chromebooks would be affected by restrictions, with only devices like the ASUS Chromebook Flip barely squeaking by.
“Google Play on Chrome OS is in beta, we are partnering with Google to deliver the best experience for Chromebook users and plan to make the apps available on all compatible devices by general availability. On devices larger than 10.1 inches, and Office 365 subscription is required to unlock the ability to create, edit, or print documents.”
-A Microsoft spokesperson
Amazon ordered to refund parents for kids’ in-app charges
Seattle-based U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ordered Amazon to notify customers affected by the ease of kids to make in-app purchases and refund them.
Russia to ban LinkedIn over data protection concerns
According to the New York Times, Russia is set to ban LinkedIn starting on Monday following a local court’s ruling that the Microsoft-owned professional social network violated the country’s data protection laws.
The Russian government passed new rules last September that required personal data submitted by residents to online services must be stored in data centers within the country.
LinkedIn will have the opportunity to appeal the court’s decision and avoid a ban.