Tech Digest daily roundup: Philips Hue partners with Spotify to integrate music and lights


If you’ve got a home full of Hue lights, there’s an easy new way to set the mood for your next party. Signify, which makes the Philips Hue line, is partnering with Spotify so that your lightbulbs can automatically sync up with whatever music you have playing, changing color and flashing along to the beat. There are already plenty of ways to sync your lights to music — including Signify’s own Hue Sync app — but those methods typically require letting an app or some external hardware listen in on everything you’re playing. This new partnership avoids that by letting the Hue Bridge tap directly into Spotify to see what’s playing once you’ve linked your accounts. The Verge 

A hacker has returned $336,000 to a British collector after he tricked him into buying a fake NFT advertised through the artist’s official website. A link to an online auction for the NFT was posted on a now-deleted page of The auction ended early after the man offered 90% more than rival bidders. Banksy’s team told the BBC “any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form”. With NFTs, artwork can be “tokenised” to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold. BBC 

England footballer Jesse Lingard has acquired the Rainbow Six Siege competitive gaming team Audacity Esports. The self-confessed gaming fan’s new team is currently competing in the UK and Ireland Nationals under the title of Team JLE, though it will now be rebranded as JLINGZ. Manchester United forward Lingard told Sky News he had high hopes for the e-sports world: “It’s only going to grow further. It’s the right time to get involved. Sky News

Google is once again postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-January, in addition to requiring all employees to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened. The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is driving a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, leading companies to delay or scrap return-to-office plans after nearly two years of people working from home. CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post Tuesday that Google is delaying its global return to offices until Jan. 10. After that, he said the company will let countries and locations determine when to end voluntary work-from-home policies “based on local conditions, which vary greatly across our offices.” AP News 

South Korea’s National Assembly approved legislation on Tuesday that bans app store operators such as Google and Apple from forcing developers to use their in-app payment systems. South Korea is reportedly the first country in the world to pass such a bill, which becomes law when it is signed by the president, whose party has backed the legislation. The tech giants have faced widespread criticism over their practice of requiring app developers to use in-app purchasing systems, for which the companies receive commissions of up to 30%. Independent 

Two private equity firms are racing to snap up a pioneering London-listed robotics company in the latest US raid on a British stock. TPG Capital and Vista Equity Partners are in talks with Warrington-headquartered Blue Prism over a possible takeover of the business, whose clients include the NHS, Coca-Cola and Npower. Although no value was disclosed, shares in the Aim-quoted company jumped by a third to value it at almost £1.1bn. However, major investor Coast Capital Management warned the board not to sell and said the business is still worth far more than its share price suggests. Telegraph


Chris Price
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