Ashamed of being Blue?
#Twitter keeps working on the ability to control everything related to account verification and identity by adding the option to show or hide your blue checkmark on your profile 👀 pic.twitter.com/6uTjBON21N
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) March 21, 2023
Twitter, Elon Musk’s $44 billion escapade, isn’t so hot right now, financially speaking. We don’t know that for sure, and we doubt Musk would tell the world if that were the case, though the company’s recent Twitter Blue push is all the evidence we need to make an educated guess. And, if app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi is correct, Twitter is working on a feature that’ll let Blue subscribers hide their glorified checkmarks.
But… why? Certain circles of the Twitter realm consider a “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue” checkmark a sign that the account holder is open to ridicule. With the current South African pricing going as high as R2,400/year, it’s hard to disagree. And when Twitter’s cleansing of the legacy checkmark owners is complete, all that’ll be left is Blue subscribers.
Alessandro Paluzzi, the researcher that found the “Show or hide your blue checkmark on your profile” continued by saying “Twitter keeps working on the ability to control everything related to account verification.” However, he didn’t delve any deeper into what those settings could look like. When, or even if we’ll see the feature reach the public, Paluzzi didn’t say.
No more Game Pass trials
If you were holding out for Xbox’s R16 Game Pass Ultimate trial for console or PC for payday, that’s unfortunately no longer an option. Xbox has officially removed the ability to buy the month-long trial from its website, unceremoniously leaving the standard pricing behind.
In a statement to The Verge, Xbox head of global communications, Kari Perez said; “We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future.”
It used to be an easy way to try out the service before springing for the full R120/m. What these “different marketing promotions” could look like when they arrive, we have no idea. It’s possible (and likely) that Xbox is gearing up for the larger rollout of the ‘Friends & Family’ tier that was recently tested in South Africa, New Zealand, Hungary, Chile, Israel, and Sweden.
The ‘Family & Friends’ tier currently costs R200/m and offers five different accounts access to Game Pass Ultimate. Our guess is that once the tier makes its way to the global market, a trial offer will appear with it in the hopes of keeping customers subscribed to the most expensive tier.
Source: The Verge
“Supplementing human models”
If we had to pick one job we thought couldn’t be stolen by AI, the modelling profession would be at the top of that list. How wrong we were. Levi’s is partnering with an AI company to “supplement human models,” the fashion brand has announced. Essentially, this means Levi’s is ridding itself of human models, replacing their ad campaigns with AI-generated models. Of course, this is being done in the name of diversity and inclusion as part of the company’s “digital transformation journey.” Nothing says diversity and inclusion better than not using any real members of those groups in ads.
The partnership with digital model studio ‘Lalaland.ai’, whose goal is “to see more representation in the fashion industry” and “create an inclusive, sustainable, and diverse design chain.” The point (besides the massive savings) is to allow customers to view clothing items on realistic models “of every body type, age, size, and skin tone.” As if the idea of diversity and culture is a new idea that AI has brought with it.
Levi’s promises that it isn’t doing away with human modelling entirely. Well, sort of. The company’s exact words were; “AI will likely never fully replace human models for us.” Note the ‘likely’ and ‘for us’ segments – which point to the brand’s possible ambitions of an entirely human-free ad experience in the future. We don’t expect Levi’s to be the last fashion outlet to go in a similar direction – with a general culling of human models on the horizon.
Goodbye Gordon Moore
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel and general Silicon Valley legend, has passed away at the age of 94. Moore’s passing was confirmed by Intel through the publication of a press release on 24 March, documenting the founder’s past with the company.
Moore did more than just co-found (and be CEO of) Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor – which became an ‘incubator’ for other huge companies such as AMD. Sure, his ties to Intel are what he was most well-known for, and rightly so. He ushered in an age of computing, with the benefits of his contributions still being felt widely today.
No, he was also known for thinking up ‘Moore’s law’, a prediction showing off Moore’s belief that processors would (roughly) double their transistor count every year. Ten years later, Moore amended the ‘law’, stating that they would double every two years. Obviously, this is no longer the case in 2023, though Moore was surprisingly right for quite some time.
“Once I made a successful prediction, I avoided making another,” said Moore, when asked about the prediction recently, according to The Gordon and Betty Moore foundation. Moore’s presence is one that won’t be forgotten. Intel is still the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer where revenue is concerned and is still widely regarded as the ‘best’ chip producer in the world.