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Twitter: Users to pay monthly subscription or lose blue verification badge



(Last Updated On: October 31, 2022)

Twitter will revise its user verification process, Elon Musk said in a tweet on Sunday, just days after he took over one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.

“Whole verification process is being revamped right now”, Musk said in his tweet without giving more details.

Twitter (TWTR.N) is considering charging for the coveted blue check mark verifying the identity of its account holder, technology newsletter Platformer reported on Sunday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Users would have to subscribe to Twitter Blue at $4.99 a month or lose their “verified” badges if the project moves forward, according to the report.

The CEO of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has not made a final decision and the project could still be scrapped but according to Platformer it is likely that verification will become a part of Twitter Blue.

Separately, The Verge reported on Sunday that Twitter will increase the subscription price for Twitter Blue, which also verifies users, from $4.99 a month to $19.99 a month, citing internal correspondence seen by them.

Twitter Blue was launched in June last year as the platform’s first subscription service, which offers “exclusive access to premium features” on a monthly subscription basis including an option to edit tweets.

The feature to edit tweets was also made available earlier this month after Musk launched a Twitter poll in April asking his millions of followers whether they wanted an edit button. Over 70% had said yes.

Musk has also requested that logged out users visiting Twitter’s site be redirected to Explore page which shows trending tweets, according to a separate Vergereport on Sunday citing employees who were familiar with the matter.

Science & Technology

US to launch joint remote sensing satellite with India early next year



(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and NASA plan to launch a joint remote sensing satellite for Earth observation in the first quarter of next year, India’s deputy minister for science and technology Jitendra Singh said in a statement on Tuesday.

Singh met a NASA delegation led by its administrator Bill Nelson in New Delhi, the statement said.

NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) is targeted for launch onboard India’s GSLV.

Data from NISAR will be highly suitable for studying the land ecosystems, deformation of solid earth, mountain and polar cryosphere, sea ice and coastal oceans in regional to global scale, reported.

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Science & Technology

Scientists identify new dinosaur species from footprints in Brazil



(Last Updated On: November 28, 2023)

Brazil’s geological service has announced a new species of dinosaur, a speedy animal that lived in the desert during the early Cretaceous period, Reuters reported.

The new species, called Farlowichnus rapidus, was a small carnivorous animal about the size of a modern-day seriema bird, or about 60-90 cm tall, according to researchers. The discovery was published in scientific journal Cretaceous Research.

“From the large distance between the footprints found, it is possible to deduce that it was a very fast reptile that ran across the ancient dunes,” the geological service said in a statement.

The early Cretaceous period stretched from 100 to 145 million years ago.

The fossilized dinosaur “trackways,” as scientists call them, were first found in the 1980s by Italian priest and paleontologist Giuseppe Leonardi in what today is the city of Araraquara, in Sao Paulo state.

Leonardi donated one of the footprint samples, found in the so-called Botucatu formation, a group of rocks formed by an ancient dune desert, to Brazil’s Museum of Earth Sciences (MCTer) in 1984.

The footprints are different from all other known dinosaur footprints, said MCTer paleontologist Rafael Costa.

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Science & Technology

India warns Facebook, YouTube to enforce rules to deter deepfakes – sources



(Last Updated On: November 27, 2023)

India’s government on Friday warned social media firms including Facebook (META.O) and YouTube to repeatedly remind users that local laws prohibit them from posting deepfakes and content that spreads obscenity or misinformation, two sources told Reuters.

The warning was conveyed by deputy IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a closed-door meeting where he said many companies had not updated their usage terms despite 2022 rules that prohibit content “harmful” to children, obscene or that “impersonates another person”.

It comes amid growing concerns over deepfakes – realistic yet fabricated videos created by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms trained on online footage – which a top minister this week said this week India is drawing up rules to address.

Chandrasekhar said the companies must raise awareness of the rules by reminding users every time they log in that they cannot post such content, or by issuing reminders.

He said otherwise he will issue directions forcing them to do so, said the two sources, who declined to be named as the meeting was private.

The minister described it as a “non-negotiable” demand of the Indian government during the meeting, said one of the sources.

India’s IT ministry said in a press statement all platforms had agreed to align their content guidelines with government rules, Reuters reported.

Facebook and Chandrasekhar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, which owns YouTube, said in a statement it was committed to responsible AI development and has robust policies and systems to identify and remove harmful content across its products and platforms.

The Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have raised concerns over deepfakes in recent days.

During a virtual summit of G20 nations on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi called on global leaders to jointly work towards regulating AI, and raised concerns over the negative impact of deepfakes on society.

Countries across the world are racing to draw up rules to regulate AI. India has been tightening regulations of social media companies, which count the South Asian nation as a top growth market.

Last year, the government privately criticized the companies for not removing what it described as fake news on their sites, which it said had forced it to order content takedowns.

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