As threatened for a while, Twitter has begun removing the original blue ticks from users' profiles, which includes the likes of Beyonce, the Pope and yours truly. If the Pope wants his blue tick back, he’ll need to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue. Businesses can receive a gold checkmark without a subscription, while government and multilateral organization accounts can get a gray checkmark. When Elon Musk bought Twitter in 2022, however, he claimed there were too many "corrupt" verified accounts and it was necessary to drop the legacy system. He characterized Blue as a way to democratize checkmarks. That said, it’s pay-for-play now – and many notable figures, like LeBron James and Chrissy Teigan, have stated (on Twitter, hah) they’re unlikely to pay for Twitter Blue.
That said, James still has his ‘tick.’ According to his own tweets, Musk has apparently paid for a few Blue accounts himself – maybe he’s a big basketball fan. Will this blue tick gambit pay off?
– Mat Smith
The biggest stories you might have missed
The magazine presented the transcript as real while adding easy-to-miss disclaimers.
A German tabloid tried passing off AI chat responses as legitimate quotes. Celebrity magazine Die Aktuelle published a cover story in its April 15th issue about a supposed interview with Formula One driver Michael Schumacher; only at the end does it reveal it was a hoax produced entirely by an AI chatbot. Schumacher, who suffered a severe brain injury on a family ski trip in the French Alps in 2013, hasn’t appeared publicly since, as his family guards his privacy. Schumacher’s family told ESPN it plans to take legal action against the gossip rag.
The rocket failed to separate from its booster.
SpaceX has completed its first fully integrated Starship flight test after months of delays. The combination of Starship and a Super Heavy booster lifted off from SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas, facility at 9:34 AM ET after a brief hold, but it failed to separate and tumbled down in a botched flip maneuver before exploding. Success with the next test is vital given the timing for both SpaceX's own plans and NASA's exploration efforts. SpaceX is counting on Starship for lunar tourism and other commercial flights, while NASA's Artemis Moon landings are to start in December 2025.
Overpowered and oversized.
The Blade 18 is a beast, both physically and specification-wise. It supports the fastest components you can get on a laptop today along with a super-fast 240Hz expansive 18-inch display and excellent build quality. But with the base model starting at $2,900, it's also extremely expensive. You can get rival laptops, like the ASUS M16 with an i9 CPU and an RTX 4090 for $1,000 less than Razer’s latest laptop.
Some movies won't be available for a while.
Disney+ is finally doing more to patch the Spider-Man-sized hole in its Marvel movie lineup. The streaming service is adding the first wave of Spidey movies to its US catalog in the next few weeks. Sam Raimi's trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man are available from today, while Homecoming and Venom arrive May 12th.