X reinstates some free blue ticks, Disney+ cracks down on password sharing

X has caused confusion
by reinstating free blue ticks for some users – a year after it began charging for the service. For years, Twitter blue ticks effectively served as verification badges and were given to celebrities, politicians, journalists, and other influential accounts for free. However, months after Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44bn (£38bn) in October 2022, the platform stripped verification badges from accounts and instead began offering them as part of an $8-a-month premium service. Sky News 

Apple has cut more than 600 jobs after reportedly dropping its self-driving car plans.  The majority of the cuts come from the address of the site which was working on the recently abandoned self-driving car project in California, according to Bloomberg. The state’s employment department was notified on 28 March that 614 staff will be laid off in May, external. Apple has been approached for comment. The tech giant has avoided mass layoffs in recent years, unlike other firms which have cut hundreds of thousands of jobs since the pandemic. BBC 

Samsung’s big One UI 6.1 update is now available to download on older Samsung phones, but several Galaxy S23 users are reporting that the AI-focused upgrade has done more harm to their devices than good. As per recent posts on Reddit and Samsung’s own Community forum, One UI 6.1 has wreaked havoc on the touchscreen functionality of certain Galaxy S23Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra devices. Some users claim that their displays are now “totally unresponsive,” while others say their touchscreen functionality is limited to the S Pen. Tech Radar 

Renault is considering reviving the Espace MPV
, as the flexibility of the company’s electric car platforms enables it to explore and revisit a range of different bodystyles. The Espace is currently a stretched seven-seat version of the Austral hybrid SUV, but Autocar understands the name could be redeployed for an electric people carrier that’s truer to the concept – and design – of the original, launched in 1984. Autocar 

China will attempt to disrupt elections in the US, South Korea and India this year with artificial intelligence-generated content after making a dry run with the presidential poll in Taiwan, Microsoft has warned. The US tech firm said it expected Chinese state-backed cyber groups to target high-profile elections in 2024, with North Korea also involved, according to a report by the company’s threat intelligence team published on Friday…Microsoft said that “at a minimum” China will create and distribute through social media AI-generated content that “benefits their positions in these high-profile elections”. The Guardian 

Disney is to crack down on password sharing
as the Hollywood giant races to boost subscriber growth and turn a profit from its streaming service.  Bob Iger, the company’s chief executive, said it will prevent Disney+ subscribers in some countries from sharing passwords across different households from June. The policy will expand to subscribers in all countries in September.  While the terms of use for Disney+ currently prevent people from impersonating someone else by logging in with their username and password, the company has not been actively enforcing the rules. Telegraph 

A company hoping to launch the first solar farm into space has passed a critical milestone with a prototype on Earth. Oxfordshire-based Space Solar plans to power more than a million homes by the 2030s with mile-wide complex of mirrors and solar panels orbiting 22,000 miles above the planet. But its super-efficient design for harvesting constant sunlight – called CASSIOPeiA – requires the system to rotate towards the sun, whatever its position, while still sending power to a fixed receiver on the ground. Sky News 

Chris Price