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Twitter blue checkmark: A symbol of shame?



After receiving a severe backlash from verified users who lost their blue checkmarks from their accounts, Twitter started to provide verification marks to celebrities. But this time, they are unwilling to accept it.

People who refused to have the verification badge include the rapper Lil Nas X, The New York Times, the scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, journalist Kara Swisher, and satire account @dril, among others.

While people who have passed away have also had their verified status restored. Some of those accounts include Bob Saget, Kirstie Alley and Barbara Walters. 

Apparently, Elon Musk’s ignited chaos has largely damaged the honour and authenticity of the blue checkmark at a critical point when he has been eyeing to raise revenue from it. But the attempt proved otherwise as its advertising business witnessed a decline.

A number of high-profile personalities announced that they had been punished with the verification marks of Twitter, CNN reported.

People including actor Chrissy Teigen reported difficulties in attempting to remove the blue checkmark. She also tried to remove it by changing her display name and then ultimately met with success.

She wrote on Twitter: “It attached itself to me. How did it happen so fast? like the movie It Follows.”

The setback from a celebrity shows the gap in the strategy and execution of the plan and also shows how disconnected Elon Musk is from the high-profile Twitter users whose content has long kept the microblogging website afloat.

Cost of blue checkmark higher than revenue

After acquiring the social media giant for $44 billion last year, Musk said that the blue mark will not be only limited to high-profile users but to those who pay $8. 

He also said: “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”

The Twitter’s CEO’s decision to implement his plans were not welcomed. They had consequences such as a threat of spreading fake news via fake accounts made in the name of popular figures.

Similarly, Musk’s decisions have forced him to revert back to the old system where only a few had blue badges.

With the direction Musk has taken, those who have the badges are seen as loyal to the Twitter CEO but others are embarrassed to have badges on their account.

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan noted on Twitter: “So, how do all the Musk fanboys and MAGA folks on this site feel about the fact that your conquering hero said he’d bring ‘equality’ and ‘people power’ to this site and then charged you all for Twitter Blue while giving it to people like me for free? Do you feel… owned?”

Many high-profile users have refused to pay for the badge — such as NYT and actor William Shatner — which paint a bleak picture of how would  Twitter raise its revenue parallel to the egalitarianism which Musk intended to promote.

People who refused to pay included LeBron James, Stephen King and Shatner. In response, Elon Musk said he was paying for their subscriptions.

The accounts that lost the mark were restored including President Joe Biden and Pope Francis with labels as “a government or multilateral organisation account.”

Nevertheless, it is a reminder that social media would not be democratised as Silicon Valley tried to do because there are still people who are to enjoy special privileges even on social media with reference to their status in the real world. 


WATCH: Meta’s AI-fuelled chatbots bring celebrities to your private conversations




Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta Platforms, has just dropped a bombshell of tech innovations set to change the way we interact with AI. 

Among the highlights are smart glasses that redefine connectivity, AI-powered chatbots with celebrity personas, and an updated virtual reality headset.

Personality-infused chatbots

Meta is at the forefront of the chatbot revolution, introducing a series of intelligent virtual assistants. 

These chatbots are not your ordinary digital helpers. They come with distinct personalities and specialisations, offering more personalised and engaging interactions. 

From settling arguments to providing holiday tips and cooking advice, Meta’s chatbots are designed to connect with users on a deeper level.

Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses

Shipping from October 17th at £299, the new generation of Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses is set to redefine how we experience reality. 

These cutting-edge glasses incorporate a Meta AI assistant, enabling users to seamlessly stream their real-world experiences directly to Facebook and Instagram. 

Gone are the days of mere photo capturing. These glasses deliver real-time immersion.

Quest 3: The ultimate mixed-reality experience

Meta’s Quest 3 headset, slated to be available from October 10th, takes mixed reality to new heights. 

With a starting price of £500, it’s positioned as the best value in the VR industry, challenging Apple’s higher-priced Vision Pro headset. 

Wearers can enjoy virtual experiences while maintaining a connection to the real world, thanks to a live video feed.

Generative AI

Meta also introduced generative AI into its arsenal. This AI innovation can generate both text responses and lifelike images, adding an exciting element of creativity to user interactions.

Zuckerberg’s presentation at the Meta Connect conference, the company’s first in-person event since the pandemic, showcased Meta’s commitment to making cutting-edge technology accessible and affordable to everyone. 

By combining celebrity personas with AI chatbots and delivering immersive tech experiences, Meta is forging a path towards a more interactive and entertaining digital future.

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WATCH: Google search engine shows off creative doodle to celebrate 25th anniversary




Over 25 years ago, a unique concept for an internet search engine that would classify and rank web pages was developed by two Stanford University students during a brainstorming session in their dorm.

BackRub, initially a startup, transformed into Google, a globally influential company with products like Gmail and Search used by billions, while its co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin ranked among the world’s richest people.

While Google Inc was incorporated on September 4, for more than a decade the company has celebrated its birthday on September 27 with unique doodles displayed on its search engine.

However, this year, Google Inc decided to take a “walk down memory lane” and showcased a series of creative different doodles, including doodles of previous logos, to mark this special occasion.

This year’s Google Doodle comes with a GIF that shows the term ‘Google’ going through a series of transformations before finally transforming to ‘G25gle’.

The tech giant said that it was using this day as a “time to reflect” while being oriented towards the future.

“Today’s Doodle celebrates Google’s 25th year. And while here at Google we’re oriented towards the future, birthdays can also be a time to reflect. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to learn how we were born 25 years ago,” Google wrote in its blog.

Google was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the late 90s, who met in Stanford University’s computer science program.

They shared a vision to make the World Wide Web more accessible, working tirelessly from their dorm rooms to develop a better search engine prototype.

“As they made meaningful progress on the project, they moved the operation to Google’s first office — a rented garage. On September 27, 1998, Google Inc was officially born,” according to the blog.

Furthermore, the company emphasised that much has changed since 1998, but also said that its mission has remained the same which is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

Thanking users for “evolving with us over the past 25 years,” Google added, “We can’t wait to see where the future takes us, together”.

Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, celebrated the company’s birthday by reflecting on its journey in a note last month.

He looked back on the company’s role in technology transformation, and its future path while thanking users, employees, and partners for their contributions to Google’s success.

He also praised the constant innovation challenge and commended the dedication of past and present Googlers.

In his note, Pichai also noted the importance of innovation and adaptation, acknowledging that the once extraordinary technology quickly became ordinary as the boundaries continued to be pushed, NDTV reported.

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Apple sends iPhone 12 update to French authorities to address radiation concerns




French authorities have received a software update from Apple for its iPhone 12 in response to concerns about radiation levels, according to a source at the French digital ministry. 

The update is currently under review as a potential solution to the radiation issue. France had recently suspended the sale of iPhone 12 devices after tests revealed breaches of radiation exposure limits. 

Apple had initially contested these findings, asserting that the iPhone 12 complied with global standards as certified by multiple international bodies. However, the company later decided to issue a software update to align with the testing methods used in France.

Apple’s decision to provide the software update came after France threatened to seek a product recall if the company did not take action. The update aims to address the specific concerns raised by French authorities regarding radiation levels.

While the World Health Organization has not established adverse health effects caused by mobile phones, the radiation warning in France was based on test results that differed from those conducted in other countries. Industry experts have emphasised that there are no safety risks, as regulatory limits are set well below levels associated with harm.

The software update for the iPhone 12 is a routine measure taken by Apple to address specific issues or improve device performance. It is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to providing software updates for its products. Apple users typically receive notifications for eligible software updates, which they can then install.

French authorities and regulators in other countries are closely monitoring the situation, and Italian authorities are awaiting the outcome of France’s deliberations before making a decision. 

The software update is expected to bring the iPhone 12 into compliance with the radiation exposure limits specified by French testing methods. Apple has not issued an official statement regarding the update at the time of this report.

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