X Adds Two New Subscription Plans and Other Tech News

X Adds Two New Subscription Plans

On October 27th, X (formerly Twitter) officially announced two new subscription plans that had been widely reported. One, Premium+, costs $16 per month, and adds the benefits of completely removing ads from the timestream and ‘maximizing’ the exposure of content compared to the previously available Premium ($8 per month). The other “Basic” plan costs $3 per month, and does not include the benefits of ad removal, increased exposure, content sharing, and authentication logos, but still includes “most” of the advanced features such as editing tweets, posting long tweets, two-step verification, and interface customization. Both plans are currently only available for purchase through the web version.

Armor Man and Western Digital’s Business Merger Discussions Have Been Discontinued

According to Kyodo News, based on interviews with relevant people, the management merger negotiations between Armor Holdings, formerly Toshiba’s semiconductor business unit, and Western Digital Corporation, which had been in progress, have been suspended. The reason is that the merger has not been approved by South Korea’s SK Hynix, which indirectly contributes to Armor, and the necessary conditions for the merger have not yet been met. According to the source, there is still a possibility of restarting the negotiation, and the situation is still uncertain. The semiconductor memory market is deteriorating due to low demand for products such as smartphones. If Armor and Western Digital merge, the new company is expected to become the world’s largest semiconductor memory maker, on par with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.

The situation is very serious,” the source said in an interview. According to another source, if Armor and Western Digital fail to reach a merger agreement within a month, it will not be possible to do so in the short term due to the need to rebuild the support framework for financial institutions. SK Hynix said on the 26th that it had not yet agreed to the merger and that it had “considered the impact on the value of the assets invested in Armor,” and that it was wary of the birth of a strong competitor since it, like Armor and Western Digital, produces NAND flash memories that store data in cell phones and computers.

Microsoft Announces Surface Integration with Secured core PCs Solution

Microsoft announced on October 26th that all new Surface products integrate Secured core PCs security solutions. Secured core PCs includes layered hardware, firmware, and software defenses. In order to better manage security updates, Microsoft has tailored custom firmware and software for Surface, and said that Surface devices no longer rely on third-party components, enabling full control from chip to software for faster release of critical security patches. In addition, Microsoft says they have also provided excellent Windows 11 security protection for Surface products at the software level, including security tools such as Windows Hello, which is turned on by default, malware protection, and a firewall, which effectively reduces the likelihood of users being subjected to cyberattacks.

Leica Announces the M11-P Camera

On October 26, Leica announced the M11-P camera, which features a high-performance back-illuminated full-frame sensor and triple-resolution technology for up to 60-megapixel output, and 256GB of built-in storage.The display supports 100 percent of the sRGB color space and is touch-enabled. Users can quickly transfer their photos to the Leica FOTOS app via Bluetooth or USB-C. Once paired, the Leica M11-P can also be controlled using apps and photos can be edited directly in Capture One Pro, Adobe Lightroom or Darkroom apps; the M11-P is also Mfi-certified, allowing data to be transferred directly to iPhones and iPads via cable. Leica says the M11-P is also the first camera to support ‘Leica Content Credentials’, which uses standards-compliant encrypted metadata, providing an additional layer of underlying information about the origin of files for image design and modification. In addition each photo will be digitally signed with CAI-compliant credentials at the time of capture, allowing others to verify the authenticity of the photo by visiting a website or the Leica FOTOS app. Leica is also launching the Summicron-M 28 f / 2 ASPH lens, which features nine elements in six groups, a reduced closest focusing distance of 0.4 meters, and a side-axis viewfinder for focusing distances greater than 0.7 meters. The lens will go on sale on November 30th.

Valve Officially Releases SteamVR 2.0

Valve officially launched SteamVR 2.0 on October 26th, in which many of the existing features of Steam and Steam Deck have been integrated into SteamVR, including, but not limited to, dual-cursor input, new language support, emoticons, and themes. This version also integrates Steam’s text and voice chat; and the store has been optimized to feature new and currently popular VR games more prominently. Additionally, users can easily view Steam notifications in version 2.0.

Google Asks developers to step up regulation of AI-generated content

Google plans to implement a new policy early next year that will require developers of Android apps published on the Play Store to add reporting or flagging capabilities for offensive AI-generated content. The new policy will require developers to design flagging and reporting procedures within their apps to filter and censor AI-generated offensive content. The policy change is mainly due to the rapid growth of AI-generated apps, and some app users have been misled into generating inappropriate images. In its announcement, Google reminded developers that all apps, including those that create AI content, must follow its existing developer policies. These policies prohibit content that contains inappropriate content, such as CSAM and other content that could give rise to fraudulent behavior. And Google states that some app permissions will be subject to special scrutiny by the Google Play team, especially those that request access to large amounts of photos and videos. Under the new policy, apps will only be able to access photos and videos if they are directly related to their functionality. If they have a one-time or uncommon need, then apps will need to resort to system-level selectors, such as AI-generating apps that ask users to upload a set of selfies, then they should use the new Android photo selector.

X launches Video and Audio Calling

On October 26, the X platform (formerly Twitter) introduced audio and video calling. Some X users will receive an “Audio and video calls are coming! notification when launching the app, and there’s also an “Enable Audio and Video Calling” switch in the app’s settings. With the switch turned on, users can also limit who can initiate audio and video call requests to people in their address book, people you follow, verified (including Blue subscriptions) users, or a combination of these three categories. To use it, users will need to send a private message through the private messaging interface and select the phone icon in the top right corner of the screen, then select Audio or Video Call to make the call.

Other News

Mark Gurman said that Apple will discontinue the second and third generation AirPods and restructure its product line after the release of the new AirPods products. That’s largely because consumers prefer to buy less expensive products with slightly older styles. As a result, in 2024 Apple is planning to launch two fourth-generation AirPods, both of which will be positioned lower than the AirPods Pro, with similar pricing but significantly different features. The two new AirPods will combine the designs of the third-generation regular model and the Pro, neither of which will feature interchangeable earbuds, though the Pro version will still have the edge in sound quality, and both will feature a USB-C charging case. next year will also see the introduction of a new version of the AirPods, the AirPods Max, which will come with a USB-C connector and a new color scheme, but will also receive fewer other revisions. the new design of the AirPods Pro is expected to be introduced in 2024. A new design for the Pro is expected in 2025, but its exact design details have not yet been revealed.

The PS5’s optional optical drive version will be released in the US this November, with other regional launches to follow in the months after. However, sources say that the model will require an internet connection to activate when first used. This could be a security precaution designed to ensure that the optical drive is legitimate and comes from a third-party device.