Monday’s top tech news: (Twitter) Blue Monday

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Plus, Orion splashes back down to earth and Returnal’s PC RAM requirements are surprisingly high.

24 updates since Dec 10, 2022, 10:08 PM UTC

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Ok, let’s try this again. Elon Musk’s Twitter will attempt to relaunch its premium Blue subscription today, allowing users to pay $8 a month ($11 if you subscribe on iOS) for early access to new features and, of course, a blue checkmark. The social media network had attempted to roll out the new subscription offering last month, but pulled it after a wave of fake-yet-verified accounts flooded the platform.

Elsewhere, NASA’s Orion spacecraft successfully returned to Earth over the weekend, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday. Although this Artemis I mission was uncrewed, NASA hopes that will change with an upcoming 2024 flight that’ll send a group of astronauts around the Moon.

Finally, although 16GB has long served as the default amount of RAM recommended for most PC games, Returnal’s upcoming port looks set to buck the trend if its Steam listing is to be believed. The listing lists 32GB of RAM as the recommended amount for decent performance, though you should be able to scrape by with 16GB as a minimum.

And now, here’s a silly tweet:

  • Your iPhone 14 can now make your Sonos speakers sound better.

    If you’ve ever used Sonos’ Trueplay feature to tune your speakers for the best sound quality, you know what a difference it can make. But since the process relies on microphone measurements from supported iPhones, Sonos is often slow to include new models.

    Case in point: the company only just today added Trueplay support for Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup — nearly three months after the phones went on sale. Recent iPad buyers are still out of luck, and the tuning feature remains unavailable on Android altogether. Sometimes the best option is just borrowing a friend’s iPhone.


  • A years-long copyright lawsuit over Taylor Swift’s 2014 hit “Shake It Off” has come to a close.

    In a dispute with two songwriters, Swift argued she’d never heard the song “Playas Gon’ Play” by 3LW, cited in 2015 by a judge dismissing another claim against “Shake It Off” over the same lyrics.

    With a jury trial set to start on January 17th, Variety reports the parties settled and the credits of the song unchanged.

    Compare that to Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams paying Marvin Gaye’s family $7.3 million for “Blurred Lines.” That result, and this episode of Decoder, shows why artists like Olivia Rodrigo have opted to hand out credits instead of fighting in court.


  • Star Wars beats to chill/study to.

    If something is popular, then The Brands will follow, and so it goes for “lo-fi” streaming music, which exploded in popularity during the pandemic.

    The Star Wars YouTube channel is filling out a playlist of selections, and Starkiller Base Holiday is good enough to make the cut on any Bandcamp Friday. Disney isn’t the first media company to make the leap, though, Riot launched a lo-fi League of Legends album last year.


  • External Link
    Stanford University is having a bad time…

    … and it’s not just because of the Bankman-Frieds or Elizabeth Holmes.

    Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the president of Stanford, is also under investigation for scientific misconduct. There are also lawsuits around student deaths and a person who posed as an undergrad on campus for a whole year.


  • New York’s saddest club is T-Mobile.

    T-Mobile’s latest stunt is this “ATM” that gives people free money and looks like it’s the VIP section of the world’s lamest club. It’s almost 10 years since T-Mobile became the “Uncarrier”, which came with some genuinely good ideas about disrupting the mobile industry.

    But its classic silly stunts are only getting sadder as the company slowly becomes the thing it once hated.

    A bright magenta t-mobile ATM

    A bright magenta t-mobile ATM


  • Just thinking about the time Facebook lied to us about its internet drone crashing.

    Meta is shutting down its connectivity division, which tried to give away “free” internet access around the world that zero-rated Facebook and put data caps on competitors. Makes sense, times are tight.

    Anyway, one time Meta invited us to write an entire feature about the Aquila connectivity drone but did not disclose the drone had actually crashed. Memories!


  • Dec 12, 2022, 4:18 PM UTCAlex Cranz

    Not long after Musk made transphobic remarks, he appeared on stage with a comedian who has been repeatedly criticized for his own transphobic remarks.