Spotify touts future profitability as it announces trading to begin in April

CEO Daniel Ek presents 3 April launch on New York stock exchange as bid to save music business from piracy

The music streaming service Spotify has told investors it can become profitable and fend off bigger rivals such as Apple and Amazon, as it announced its shares will begin trading on the New York stock exchange on 3 April.

Executives of the 12-year-old company said it had a user base of more than 100 million, with a higher percentage of paid subscribers than “freemium” listeners, who get music streamed free with ads, which is helping to drive more revenue to performers and copyright holders.

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Peter Thiel: Europe is cracking down on Silicon Valley out of ‘jealousy’

PayPal co-founder says regulators envy industry’s success in US: ‘There are no successful tech companies in Europe’

European regulators are clamping down on Silicon Valley companies because they are “jealous” of the success of the technology industry in the US, according to PayPal co-founder and investor Peter Thiel.

Speaking about the looming threat of regulation for these companies, Thiel said that the “threat is probably greater in Europe” and there are “good reasons and bad reasons”.

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The Guardian view on air pollution: moral pusillanimity, political ineptitude | Editorial Gove, the environment secretary, has willed the ends to tackle air pollution but he’s unable to will the means

Britain needs to do more to clean up its dirty air as it is a “major public health scandal”. So says the environment secretary Michael Gove. He’s right. The government has been taken to court and lost three times; we finally have a minister committing to a clean air strategy that restricts diesel use “to ensure our air is properly breathable”. These words won’t be easy to walk back from. Neither should they be. The UK has been unlawfully breaching nitrogen dioxide limit values since 2010. Pollution cuts short an estimated 40,000 lives each year, and affects neurodevelopment and foetal growth. Ill-health caused by foul air costs Britain more than £20bn annually. Yet Mr Gove only spoke out after an unprecedented joint inquiry by four parliamentary committees found it was “unacceptable” not to protect the public from poisonous air.

Until Thursday the cabinet minister appeared unwilling to do much about it. Mr Gove was unmoved by the admonitions of the UN when it said Britain was flouting its duty to protect citizens from pollution. Mr Gove, a Brexiter, no doubt did not care that the European Union is preparing legal action against Britain for breaching air-quality laws. It was under the European acquis that the high court said the government’s clean air plan was “unlawful”. In Mr Gove’s view, foreign courts should not hold ministers of the crown to account and their influence should end at our shores. In Brexit Britain it will not be judges but voters, whose lives are being shortened by breathing in filth, who will hold ministers to account.

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Uber offers to share journey data with London city planners

Ride-hailing app bids to prove its fitness to operate by becoming a ‘better partner’

Uber is to share data from journeys made in London, as it bids to be what it terms a “better partner” and reclaim its licence to operate in the capital.

The ride-hailing service said information arising from aggregating millions of journeys would help London planners in their work.

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Amazon’s Japanese headquarters raided by nation’s regulator

JFTC investigating firm over antitrust allegations that it demanded fees from suppliers for discounting products

Amazon’s Japanese headquarters in Tokyo have been raided by the country’s fair trade watchdog on suspicion of violation of antitrust regulations.

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said on Thursday that Amazon Japan was being investigated after allegations that the company improperly asked suppliers to shoulder part of the costs of discounting their products on the retail site. Amazon Japan said Thursday that it was “fully cooperating” with JFTC, but declined to comment on the details of the allegations.

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Spotify is testing its own voice assistant to control your music

Streaming service’s voice recognition system seeks to free it from reliance on Siri and Alexa, paving the way to launch into smart speaker market

Spotify is experimenting with a voice-control interface, looking to free itself from reliance on Siri and Alexa and pave the way for the company’s forthcoming smart speaker.

Users of the service have spotted the new feature hiding in the search bar of Spotify’s iOS app. After tapping the magnifying glass to search for a track or playlist , testers see a microphone icon inside a white bubble, according to the Verge.

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Should I buy a NAS drive to back up my laptop?

Adele wants to improve her backup options and has read that NAS devices are her best bet. It ain’t necessarily so

I use a 1TB USB hard drive – it’s connected to my wifi router – as the main storage for my home laptop and mobile. I don’t have a secondary backup and have read that NAS drives are a better option for this. Would this be OK as backup storage? I also have some documents/pictures on OneDrive. Adele

The most important thing to remember about hard drives is that they fail. In fact, the seven-year-old 2TB USB drive I was using to backup my desktop PC failed on Saturday. That wasn’t a problem because my PC’s hard drive was still fine and I had my 2TB backup backed up to an 8TB USB drive. (The 8TB drive also backs up the backups to two laptops.) On Monday, I replaced the dead drive with a new 4TB USB 3.0 drive, because you can never have too much backup space, and it’s really not worth buying anything smaller.

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