Accounts with a large number of verified followers are receiving free Premium and Premium Plus subscriptions from X, just as Elon Musk stated. Despite without purchasing either of the two premium X subscription tiers, a number of X users reported on Wednesday seeing the recognizable blue "Verified" checkmark next to their handles. Over 2,500 "verified subscriber followers" on X accounts will get a free Premium membership, according to Musk's announcement last week. Over 5,000 accounts will get a free Premium Plus membership.






The verified mark on the Twitter network was typically used to denote public figures such as politicians, journalists, celebrities, and others before Musk took over. Everyone might now receive the label in conjunction with a Premium membership when the platform introduced paid verification. It was eventually added to many accounts with more than a million followers (which also verified accounts for many people who had died or otherwise had not requested it). Previously verified X users who refused to pay lost their checkmark, though Elon Musk personally intervened to push it on people like Stephen King and LeBron.






It seems that some powerful X accounts, who have already amassed substantial followings in the tens or hundreds of thousands (which might potentially result in verified followings surpassing the benchmark), are already, or soon will be, subject to check marking, regardless of their preference. X users who were approved for verification through the most recent program received the following notice, as seen in an image obtained by Business Insider's Peter Kafka.

X's 'Complimentary' Premium Push Grants Free Blue Checks




According to a proposed class action settlement filed on Monday, Google agreed to erase or de-identify billions of records of web browsing data obtained when users were using its private browsing mode, or "Incognito." In addition to requiring more disclosure from the business about how it gathers data while using Incognito mode, the proposed settlement in Brown v.


 Google will place restrictions on the company's ability to collect data in the future. Should a federal judge in California approve the settlement, it may cover 136 million Google users. Google account holders filed the 2020 case, claiming the corporation was improperly using the private browsing tool to track their online activities.




The proposed value of $5 billion was determined by valuing the data that Google has kept and would have to destroy, as well as the data that it would not be allowed to collect. This information was stated in a court filing on Monday. Data gathered in private browsing mode starting in December 2023 would require Google to address.

For any data that cannot be completely removed, de-identification is required. "In the proposed settlement filing, the plaintiffs stated that this settlement guarantees genuine accountability and transparency from the largest data collector globally, and represents a significant advancement toward preserving and enhancing our online privacy rights."




According to a statement from Google's spokesperson José Castañeda, the business is "pleased to settle this lawsuit, which we always believed was meritless." Despite the fact that the plaintiffs initially requested damages in the amount of $5 billion, which they valued the proposed settlement at, Castañeda stated that they are “receiving zero.” Even though individuals can make claims, the settlement does not include damages for the class.


Castañeda went on, "When users use Incognito mode, we never associate data with them." "We are pleased to remove outdated technical data that was never used for personalization purposes and was never linked to an individual." adjustments to Google's disclosure of the limitations of its private browsing services are part of the deal, and the corporation has started implementing these adjustments on Chrome. In order to prevent Google from tracking users on external websites while they are browsing privately, Google also consented to allow users to ban third-party cookies by default in Incognito mode for a period of five years.




Google has started rolling out the adjustments to its private browsing services on Chrome; one aspect of the agreement is how the corporation will now communicate the limitations of these services. Additionally, Google consented to allow users to automatically block third-party cookies in Incognito mode for a period of five years in order to prevent Google from tracking users while they are privately browsing the internet. As per the conditions of the settlement, individuals have the ability to pursue claims for damages in state courts in California. Fifty claims have been lodged thus far.

Google Pledges to Destroy Browsing Data Gathered in Incognito Mode





A text-to-speech platform known as speech Engine, which OpenAI developed, is available to a limited number of users. It can produce a synthetic voice from a 15-second audio clip. Text instructions can be read aloud by the AI-generated voice in many languages or in the same language as the speaker upon command. "Our approach, safety measures, and ideas about how Voice Engine could be used for good across various industries are being informed by these small-scale deployments," OpenAI stated in a blog post.




Some of the companies that have access are: Age of Learning, a visual storytelling platform; Livox, a provider of AI communication apps; Dimagi, a maker of frontline health software; and health system Lifespan.

According to OpenAI, it started working on Voice Engine in late 2022 and has since powered text-to-speech API preset voices as well as ChatGPT's Read Aloud feature. Voice Engine's product team member for OpenAI, Jeff Harris, stated in a TechCrunch interview that the model was trained using "a mix of licensed and publicly available data." Ten developers would be able to use the approach, according to OpenAI, which told the journal.





OpenAI claims that its partners have committed to abiding by its usage regulations, which prohibit using Voice Generation to impersonate individuals or organizations without authorization. In addition, the partners must not develop features that allow individual users to record their own voices, obtain the original speaker's "explicit and informed consent," and notify listeners that the voices are artificial intelligence (AI) creations. In order to track its source and keep an eye on how the audio is being used, OpenAI also watermarked the audio snippets.


In order to reduce the risks associated with tools such as these, OpenAI proposed a number of measures, such as the elimination of voice-based authentication for bank account access, the creation of policies to safeguard the use of human voices in AI, increased awareness of AI deepfakes, and the establishment of tracking systems for AI content.





OpenAI's Breakthrough in Voice Cloning with Just a 15-Second Sample




The concept of a "AI PC" has been promoted by Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, AMD, and Intel for several months now as we approach additional AI-powered capabilities in Windows. While we're still waiting on Microsoft to reveal the specifics of its ambitious plans for artificial intelligence in Windows, Intel has begun disclosing Microsoft's criteria to OEMs looking to develop AI PCs. One of the most important requirements is that the AI PC must have Microsoft's Copilot key.

For its vision of an AI PC, Microsoft wants its OEM partners to supply both hardware and software. This includes access to Copilot, the newest CPUs and GPUs, and a system equipped with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Additionally, it must have the updated Copilot key that Microsoft revealed earlier in the year.




Because of this requirement, certain laptops—such as Asus' recently released ROG Zephyrus—have already been supplied with Intel's new Core Ultra CPUs and, according to Microsoft's stringent regulations, aren't actually AI PCs because they need a Copilot key. However, Intel still considers them to be AI PCs. What OEMs will receive in exchange for following Microsoft's own definition of an AI PC is still unknown, though. When I contacted Microsoft to inquire about its needs, they said they were not yet talking about their intentions for AI PCs. Microsoft did add the AI PC branding to its most recent Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 business devices earlier this month, however it's unclear if laptop stickers or extra marketing funds for OEMs would be included.




In addition to the AI PC specifications, Intel is growing the AI PC acceleration initiative it introduced in October. Its goal is to pique the interest of software developers in AI-powered features for their applications. Now, with the help of an AI PC developer program, it is reaching smaller developers as well. With an emphasis on developers, perhaps a lot more apps will make use of this new NPU hardware. There aren't many apps that do this right now; Microsoft's Windows Studio Effects is the major application that uses the NPU in Windows to blur backdrops during video conversations while maintaining eye contact.




This week, Google made a huge U-turn and released an improved version of Chrome for Windows on Arm, which will significantly enhance the experience for Chrome users on Windows laptops with Qualcomm processors. Additionally, there are rumors that Microsoft will only use Arm for the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 consumer models. On May 20, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will present the company's strategy for AI hardware and software at an event titled "AI and Surface."

The role of the Copilot Key in Microsoft's AI Powered Future




Microsoft is adding spell checking functionality to Windows 11's Notepad application. Testers now have access to Notepad's enhanced spell check functionality, which will be made universally available to Windows 11 users later this year.


Notepad's spell check functions similarly to those of Microsoft Word and the Microsoft Edge web browser. Spelling errors are automatically highlighted in red, and you can correct errors by right-clicking to see suggested corrections. Even autocorrect has been included by Microsoft, so errors are corrected as you type. Not only does Spellcheck in Notepad support different languages, but it also allows you to add terms to a dictionary and omit words found in documents.





According to Dave Grochocki, principal product manager lead for Windows Inbox Apps, "this feature is enabled by default for some file types but is off by default in log files and other file types typically associated with coding." Grochocki made this statement in a blog post. "In the Notepad app settings, you can toggle this setting on or off globally, for specific file types, or temporarily for the current file in the context menu."





Spellcheck in Notepad is the most recent functionality to be added to this integrated Windows 11 software. Microsoft said in December that it would be bringing a character count to Notepad soon. This announcement came just after the software manufacturer introduced a new autosave feature that allows you to exit the program without always seeing a save prompt.


In addition, Microsoft has integrated Copilot AI, added a dark mode to Notepad, added tabs, and even included a virtual fidget spinner.




Enhanced Efficiency: Windows 11 Notepad Introduces Spellcheck Functionality




You should consider switching from your Oculus to a Meta account as soon as possible if you haven't already. According to an email issued to users, the firm will deactivate Oculus accounts on March 29th, 2024. This will make it impossible for you to get your store credits, apps, in-app purchases, and more back. If you don't switch to a Meta account before then, you'll lose your accomplishments, friends list, and any material made using your Oculus experience.





Since 2020, when the business formerly known as Facebook began mandating new users to join up with Facebook accounts instead, Oculus accounts have been discontinued. In 2022, it did, however, allow customers to create a Meta account as an alternative if they chose not to connect their Quest headset to their Facebook account. In January 2023, Meta ceased allowing users to access their Oculus accounts. It's your final chance to switch from an Oculus to a Meta account if you have a Quest collecting dust in a drawer.





Using the same email address you used to register for Oculus, visit their website to create a Meta account and migrate your account. You can then access all of the games, information, and other purchases that have been stored to your Oculus account from that point on.

Most people who had already switched from Oculus to Meta accounts, received the email. It's unclear if Meta accidentally sent these emails or if Meta account holders need to take any further action. After contacting Meta for further details, The Verge did not receive a response right away.


Meta Announces Deletion of All Oculus Accounts by Month's End




In an effort to take on Nvidia's RTX 4070, AMD is launching the Radeon RX 7900 GRE globally today. Although it costs the same $549 as the RTX 4070, this rather new GPU performs better and has 16GB of VRAM as opposed to 12GB.


Originally intended particularly for 1440p gaming, the RX 700 GRE was only available in China. Now, AMD is making it available everywhere in an effort to provide the RTX 4070 with some strong competition. With its 11 percent quicker performance at 1440p compared to the RTX 4070, the RX 7900 GRE is yet another choice to pair with the newest high-speed 1440p OLED monitors that are now available for purchase.





Only a few weeks after Nvidia introduced the $599 RTX 4070 Super, it lowered the price of the RTX 4070 and released the $549 RX 7900 GRE. AMD's RX 7900 GRE even matches Nvidia's RTX 4070 Super in select titles, thus this card will surely drive down the price of both Nvidia's $549 RTX 4070 and AMD's $499 RX 7800 XT.

For the RX 7900 GRE, AMD is relying on its board partner designs. I have been trying the model from XFX, which is based on the reference design from AMD. At 13.2 inches, the card's triple-fan layout is extraordinarily lengthy. Indeed, that exceeds the length of an RTX 4090, so make sure your case can accommodate it.





The Radeon RX 7900 GRE has a total board power of 260 watts, which is 60 watts greater than the RTX 4070 from Nvidia. For this card, AMD suggests a power supply of 700 watts, which is once more more than the 650 watts recommended for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Super.

AMD is likewise remaining true to the tried-and-true eight-pin connectors in this instance. The RX 7900 GRE has two eight-pin connectors, so you don't need to bother about bulky adapters or the newest 12VHPWR power connector.





The 16GB of VRAM on AMD's RX 7900 GRE is among its best hardware features. Compared to the 21Gbps on the RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Super, it runs at a lesser speed of 18Gbps. On the RX 7900 GRE, however, AMD has chosen to use a 256-bit memory bus, meaning that the memory bandwidth is 576GB/s as opposed to 504GB/s on the RTX 4070 / 4070 Super.

Unveiling the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: A $549 Challenger Takes on Nvidia




 After discovering that its Gemini AI was producing erroneous historical photographs, Google has announced that it is suspending the tool's capacity to create images of humans. In an apparent attempt to challenge the gender and racial stereotypes present in generative AI, Gemini has been producing a variety of images, including those of the US Founding Fathers and German soldiers during the Nazi era.


In a statement published on X, Google states, "We're already working to address recent issues with Gemini's image generation feature." "We're going to stop creating people's images while we do this, and we'll re-release an improved version soon."




Within twenty-four hours of admitting that its AI model had produced some inaccurate historical photographs, Google decided to stop creating images of humans in Gemini. Certain Gemini users have been searching for pictures of historical groups or individuals, such as the Founding Fathers, and when they did, they discovered AI-generated non-white persons. This has given rise to internet conspiracies suggesting that Google purposefully avoids showing images of white individuals.




Earlier this month, Google began providing image generation through Gemini (previously Bard), a move aimed at competing with Microsoft's Copilot and OpenAI. The image generation program generates a set of images depending on a text input, just as its competitors.

Google has confirmed that image generation is accessible in English worldwide, but not in the UK, Switzerland, or the European Economic Area. This explains why the UK's testing was unsuccessful.

Google Halts Gemini's AI Image Generation Amid Diversity Concerns




Owners of Wyze smart home devices, such as dashcams and security cameras, are complaining this morning that their gadgets are unavailable to them and that error messages are being displayed by the apps. According to users in the Wyze Discord, the issues started as early as 4 AM ET, and by 6 AM ET, reports of them had spread widely.


Users report that they are unable to connect to their security cameras via the app in Wyze forum discussions regarding the service outage. Users are unable to control their devices using the app, and cameras seem to be going offline. Some report that their gadgets have vanished from their accounts, or that their apps are failing.




A request for comment or information about the root of the issue was not immediately answered by Wyze, but as of 9:31 AM ET, a post on their customer support site shows the firm is aware of the issue and is investigating it.

Although customer support messages often attribute problems to a "partner service," AWS isn't currently reporting any outages.





Although Wyze produces well-liked home security systems, there have been privacy issues in the past. Wyze attributed a web caching problem to user reports in 2023 claiming to be able to view camera feeds from other people's devices. Users said that in that particular instance, their own gadgets vanished and were replaced by others', including streams that revealed private areas of strangers' residences.


Unveiling the Vulnerabilities: How the Wyze Outage Disrupted Home Security Camera Access




 This summer will mark the formal start of Disney's crackdown on password sharing. Disney Plus accounts "suspected of improper sharing" would have the opportunity to subscribe on their own, according to Disney Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston during a Wednesday earnings call.




Disney also announced that account holders will be able to add people from outside their home for a "additional fee," though it did not specify how much that would cost. "With our exceptional content, we aim to reach as wide an audience as we can," stated Johnston. "We're excited to introduce this new feature in order to enhance customer satisfaction in general and increase the number of subscribers."




Disney Plus and Hulu have revised their terms of service this year to prohibit consumers from sharing their memberships with individuals who are not members of their household. starting January 25, the new terms became effective for new subscribers; however, starting March 14, they will also apply to current members. A variant of paid sharing was previously introduced by Netflix last year; users had to pay an additional $7.99 a month to add a person who wasn't at home.


Disney Plus, which released the beta version of its one-app experience with Hulu last year, is set to launch the experience in March. In addition, the company's earnings report showed that Hulu attracted 1.2 million new members, while Disney Plus lost 1.3 million US and Canadian users as a result of price increases last year.




ESPN, a division of Disney, announced on Tuesday that it will be collaborating with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to introduce a new live sports streaming channel. In addition to being accessible to Disney Plus bundle customers with Hulu and ESPN Plus, the as-yet-unnamed service will debut this autumn. In light of dwindling viewership and a contracting ad market, Disney intends to introduce a direct-to-consumer version of ESPN in August 2025, coinciding with the service's announcement.

Disney Plus Summer 2024 Update: Crack Down on Password Sharing