Tech Digest daily roundup: Twitter blue tick verification relaunches


Twitter’s paid-for verification feature is rolling out once again on Monday. It was paused last month after being swamped by impersonators. It is still $8 per month – but there is now an increased fee of $11 for those using the Twitter app on Apple devices. Twitter’s owner Elon Musk has previously said in tweets that he resents the commission fee Apple charges on in-app purchases. Twitter Blue’s additional features include an edit button. This has long been a feature requested by many Twitter users, although there are others who argue that it increases the potential for the spread of disinformation, if a tweet is altered after being widely shared. BBC

WhatsApp is threatened with a shutdown in Britain as ministers press ahead with plans to require easier access to messages for police and MI5, the messaging app has warned. Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, which also owns Facebook and Instagram, told The Telegraph he was prepared to see the app blocked for British smartphone users rather than weaken its security. The Online Safety Bill currently making its way through Parliament, includes powers to enable law enforcement to access encrypted messages on services such as WhatsApp.  Although WhatsApp has never proactively withdrawn its service from a country, Mr Cathcart said the company would not weaken its security in response to a demand from Britain alone. Telegraph 

Passkeys, the latest biometric authentication standard looking to replace passwords, is now available across stable versions of Google Chrome on desktop and Android devices. Announcing the release in a Chromium blog post(opens in new tab), Google reasserted the common belief in tech circles that passwords are vulnerable to data leaks, phishing attacks, and simple passwords seeing heavy reuse in lieu of storing strong generated passwords in a password manager. Going forward, passkeys in Chrome on Android will be synced via Google Password Manager, or other password managers that support them. Tech Radar 

We already know a lot about the Samsung Galaxy S23 series thanks to leaks and certification listings. Now, another listing may have given us a comprehensive look at the Galaxy S23 Ultra. MyFixGuide spotted a listing for the Galaxy S23 Ultra on China’s TENAA regulatory body, and we can indeed confirm the filing. The listing for the device (model number SM-S9180) doesn’t give us any images but does dish out plenty of apparent specs. The listing points to a 6.8-inch 3,088 x 1,440 display, a 4,855mAh battery (likely rated for 5,000mAh typical capacity), 8GB to 12GB of RAM, and 256GB/512GB/1TB of storage. The storage figures in particular would mean double the base storage compared to the S22 Ultra, which started at 128GB. Android Authority 

In the latest war of words over its proposed acquisition of Activision BlizzardMicrosoft‘s Gaming CEO has claimed that Sony‘s plan for growth is to “make Xbox smaller.” Phil Spencer made the comments during an interview with the Second Request podcast, where the exec claimed that Sony was the “one major opposer to the [Microsoft Activision] deal. Sony is trying to protect its dominance on the console. The way they grow is by making Xbox smaller,” Spencer said. “[Sony] has a very different view of the industry than we do. They don’t ship their games day and date on PC, they do not put their games into their subscription when they launch their games.” VGC

Chris Price
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