Tech Digest daily roundup: Singles Day fails to hit double-digit growth


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Singles Day is known for being the world’s biggest online shopping extravaganza. But this year it has been a more toned down affair as Beijing cracks down on businesses and economic growth slows. Sales for the 11-day event rose at their slowest rate since it was launched in 2009, up 8.5% on last year. However, customer spending still hit a fresh record high of 540.3bn yuan ($84.5bn; £63.2bn). This year marks the first time that sales for Alibaba’s Singles Day, which the company refers to as the “11.11 Global Shopping Festival “, failed to achieve double- digit year-on-year growth. BBC 

The shopping holiday Singles Day, taking place on November 11 and named after the lucky date 11.11 was a huge success, revealed the biggest Chinese online retailer Xiaomi sold the most phones, followed by Apple in second and Honor in third. The Top 3 bestsellers were the vanilla Redmi K40, the iPhone 13, and the ultra-affordable Redmi 9A. Xiaomi’s performance and diversity in portfolio got nine devices into the Top 20 – this includes both Redmi and Mi phones from all price ranges. Fans really do love their Redmi Note versions, as the series was represented by its three most recent generations. GSM Arena 

Christmas is fast approaching and glitter is often used to bring an extra sparkle to your home around the festive period. It is also messy, unsustainable and contributes to plastic pollution, but researchers from Cambridge University believe they have found the solution. Researchers have created sustainable, non-toxic, vegan and biodegradable glitter that still has the same shine as the original and with the added benefit of hues that won’t fade, its creators say. Senior author Professor Silvia Vignolini, from Cambridge University’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, said: “Conventional pigments, like your everyday glitter, are not produced sustainably. They get into the soil, the ocean and contribute to an overall level of pollution.” Sky News 

Microsoft appears to have taken further steps to funnel Windows 11 users towards its web browser Edge, whether they like it or not. Since the latest Windows 11 update (build 22494), users have reported the operating system will no longer allow links associated with Microsoft Edge to be opened in any other browser. For a number of years, Microsoft has used a custom URI scheme to force links opened via its own services (e.g. Windows 11 widgets, the Start menu etc.) to launch in Edge. By using the URL prefix “microsoft-edge:”, the company can direct the OS to open the relevant site in its own-brand browser, even if another is set as the default. Until now, users have been able to rely on a free service called EdgeDeflector to counteract this URI scheme, and rival browsers Firefox and Brave feature similar in-built workarounds. Tech Radar 

Nasa is in final preparations to launch the world’s first planetary defence mission. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (Dart) is scheduled to launch on 23 November and is a joint mission with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Dart is designed to collide with the asteroid Dimorphos and change its orbit as a test for spotting an asteroid on collision course with Earth and deflecting its path. At 160 metres across, Dimorphos is about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is a moon to the larger asteroid Didymos and completes an orbit of its parent rock once every 11.9 hours. In October 2022, Dart will collide with Dimorphos at a speed of 6.6 km/s. This will change the asteroid’s velocity by about 0.4 mm/s, altering its orbital period by about 10 minutes. Guardian 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to