Tech Digest daily roundup: Twitter Blue Tick move backfires


Twitter’s new verification model appears to have backfired after a number of distasteful posts from the seemingly official accounts of famous figures. Previously, the blue tick symbol was reserved for accounts Twitter had vetted and determined to be genuine. But following his takeover, Elon Musk announced that anyone would be able to purchase a tick for $8.00-per-month in the US, and £6.99 in the UK, as part of the Twitter Blue service. Now the social media site is awash with accounts pretending to be brands, celebrities and politicians. One verified account, purporting to be former US president George W Bush, tweeted: “I miss killing Iraqis”. Sky News

Elon Musk has told Twitter employees that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question” as the social media website struggles with the economic downturn and an exodus of advertisers.  Mr Musk made the suggestion on an all-staff call held on Thursday evening, telling his employees that the company may have a “net negative cash flow of several billion dollars” next year, in remarks reported by The Information. The gloomy predictions by Twitter’s owner suggest that recent changes driven by the SpaceX founder, including 3,700 compulsory redundancies, have damaged its future prospects. Telegraph 

Apple has imposed new limits on the use of its AirDrop wireless file-sharing feature on iPhones in China after it was used by protestors to spread anti-state messages, according to a Bloomberg report. AirDrop allows users to rapidly share and receive information, including photos, documents, and even locations, with Apple devices in close range over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. On Wednesday (November 9), Apple effectively capped the amount of time in which users can receive files from non-contacts at 10 minutes. Yahoo!

Australian police say they have identified the Russian cyber-criminals holding the medical data of millions to ransom. Hackers are demanding a dollar for each of the 9.7m sensitive records stolen from the medical insurer Medibank. The hackers have published sensitive documents online including abortion records in an episode described in parliament as “morally reprehensible”. In a news conference, police warned hackers: “We know who you are”. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters that police believe the hackers are in Russia but did not provide any evidence. BBC 

Volvo showed a teaser image of a small electric SUV (left) next to its new EX90 large electric SUV.

A key to helping Volvo Cars’ EVs achieve price parity with comparable combustion-powered models will be an affordable small SUV the automaker plans to reveal in 2023. Volvo showed a teaser image of the vehicle at the end of its introduction of the new EX90 flagship electric large SUV here Wednesday. The EV will be a “city car aimed at a younger demographic who can subscribe to it and make it their first Volvo,” CEO Jim Rowan told Automotive News Europe

China’s biggest online shopping festival, known as Singles’ Day, is typically an extravagant affair as Chinese e-commerce firms like Alibaba and ramp up marketing campaigns and engage top livestreamers to hawk everything from lipstick to furniture as they race to break sales records of previous years. This year, however, the shopping festival is a much quieter event, with sales numbers expected to grow more slowly as consumers tighten their wallets amid an uncertain economy and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  AP News

Chris Price
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