Tech Digest daily roundup: Instagram and Facebook to offer blue tick verification


Instagram and Facebook users
will now be able to pay for a blue tick verification, parent company Meta has announced. Meta Verified will cost $11.99 (£9.96) a month on web, or $14.99 for iPhone users. It will be available in Australia and New Zealand this week. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta chief executive, said the move will improve security and authenticity on the social media apps. The move comes after Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, implemented the premium Twitter Blue subscription in November 2022. Meta’s paid subscription service is not yet available for businesses, but any individual can pay for verification. BBC 

Concerns are starting to stack up for the Microsoft Bing artificially intelligent chatbot, as the AI has threatened to steal nuclear codes, unleash a virus, told a reporter to leave his wife and now standing up to threats of being shut down. No, this is not the fictional HAL 9000 from Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey that practically boycotts being shut down by an astronaut – but it is close. Toby Ord, a research fellow at Oxford University, tweeted a series of posts showing how “shocked” he’s been about the Bing AI assistant going “off the rails.”  Yahoo!

The OnePlus 11 is a powerful phone, but the design isn’t what you’d call thrilling. Now, the company has teased a version called the OnePlus 11 Concept designed to counteract that narrative with… lots of LED lights. The “flowing back” has meandering stream-type LED lighting pattern with a ring around the camera module, along with a unibody glass design. It will be revealed on February 27th at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 in Barcelona, OnePlus announced. With the design, OnePlus is adopting a gaming PC-type approach with the use of LED lighting. Engadget

WhatsApp is rolling out a picture-in-picture feature for its iOS app with its latest update. This allows users to access WhatsApp or other apps without shutting out the video feed on the call. The company rolled out this feature with the 23.3.77 version of its iOS app. Until now, if you switched to another app on your iPhone while you were on a WhatsApp video call, the other person stopped seeing your video feed. The new feature allows you to respond to a message or look for some information on your phone without interrupting the call. TechCrunch 

Last year, Sony AI and Polyphony Digital, the developers of Gran Turismo, developed a new AI agent that is able to race at a world-class level. At the time, the experiment was described in a paper in Nature, where the researchers showed that this AI was not only capable of driving very fast—something other AI have done in the past—but also learned tactics, strategy, and even racing etiquette. At the time, GT Sophy—the name of the AI—wasn’t quite ready for prime time. But in the intervening year, Sony AI and Polyphony Digital have been working on GT Sophy, and tomorrow (February 21), GT Sophy rolls out to Gran Turismo 7 as part of update 1.29. Ars Technica 

Phones tend to hold their value better than most other phones but this latest example is one for the history books. A factory sealed first-generation Apple iPhone from 2007 sold for $63,356 at an auction over the weekend.

The $63,000 iPhone in its original packaging The $63,000 iPhone in its original packaging
The $63,000 iPhone in its original packaging

The device in question is an 8GB Apple iPhone and had an MSRP of $599 back in June of 2007. The auction ran from February 2 with a starting bid of $2,500 which ballooned past the $60,000 mark over the weekend. GSM Arena 

Chris Price
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