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Will Twitter start charging all users a subscription fee?

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According to Elon Musk, X has 550 million monthly users generating up to 200m posts a day | Photo: Julian Christ

X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, may introduce a paywall to its content soon.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who bought Twitter in 2022 for $44bn, has recently hinted about upcoming changes for all users. According to the Tesla owner, implementing a paywall to access the platform would reduce the presence of bots and automated accounts, which have become a persistent issue for social media network launched in 2006.

During a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, Elon Musk suggested that X might introduce fees for its current user base. At moment Twitter only charges users for its premium subscription service, X Premium, which offers benefits including a verified account checkmark. The service is currently priced at $11 per month for iPhone users in the United States and £11 for users in the United Kingdom.

Another option for X, which since Elon’s takeover, last October, is battling a decline in advertising, would be to introduce a cheaper X premium (previously Twitter Blue) plan. Musk has said an advertiser boycott, spurred by concerns over his leadership of the platform and its management of inappropriate or hateful content, has caused ad revenue to decline by 60%.

Users didn’t seem thrilled by the prospect of having to pay to use X and used the platform itself to share their views.

“In its current form, it’s simply not worth paying for”, says UK-based Twitter user Tony McDonell, while user Graeme Parr, also based in the United Kingdom, questions: “Doesn’t it cease to become a social medium if it is only open to a restricted ‘club’?”.

A growing number of X users have also shared posts about considering spending their time on Threads, an app for sharing text updates and joining public conversations launched in July by the team behind Instagram. 

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

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Artificial Intelligence to lead Vivatech 2024 in France

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Artificial Intelligence to lead Vivatech 2024 in France
VivaTech will explore three technological challenges of the 21st century such as Artificial Intelligence, sustainable tech, and mobility.

The eighth annual edition of VivaTech, Europe’s biggest event dedicated to startups and tech, will take place 22-25 May in Paris at Expo Porte de Versailles.

The event is expected to gather over 2,500 start-ups and 2,000 international investors. 350 companies and organizations from 25 dynamic sectors, including automotive, healthcare and finance, will also be present. 

A new programme will aim to stimulate growth and innovation among economic decision-makers. This year VivaTech will introduce the Impact Bridge, a space bringing together start-ups, innovations and associations with a responsible tech approach.

VivaTech will explore three technological challenges of the 21st century: Artificial Intelligence, sustainable tech and mobility.

It is no surprising AI be heavily featured during the two-day tech event in France: 37% of VivaTech’s partners currently offers AI solutions.  The event will also will showcase innovations across 25 economic sectors and host discussions on the societal challenges of AI with several worldwide speakers.

According to the VivaTech barometer, business leaders recognise the importance of Sustainable Tech, with 93% of them convinced of its crucial role in meeting future challenges. Investment in this sector is on the rise, with a forecast doubling by 2027 to encourage innovation in the face of climate change. This is illustrated by the success of Sustainable Tech start-ups, which have raised a record $51 billion by 2023.

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How sustainable is 3D printing in 2024?

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3D printing can be used to make eco-friendly products to increase sustainability in business | Photo: Jakub Zerdzicki

3D printing is making manufacturing more flexible, efficient, and adaptable than ever. In addition to its many creative uses, 3D printing is excellent at making eco-friendly products and might lead to sustainable production.

Sustainability means doing more with less. This mindset emphasizes energy and material efficiency and promotes a circular economy where items are reused and rebuilt. 3D printing may be utilized in many sectors and at all phases of manufacturing, from prototype to final product, to promote sustainable development.

Here are five ways 3D printing will make manufacturing greener in 2024.

Waste reduction

Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) helps green production. Traditional manufacturing uses subtractive operations like grinding and cutting to remove raw elements from a bigger piece until a final product is made. As expected, this procedure may create a lot of trash.

Using comprehensive plans, 3D printing places material precisely where it’s required, layer by layer, to create a finished object. trash management benefits immediately, and the process’s precision saves resources and reduces production and trash disposal energy, making manufacturing more ecologically friendly.

Cutting transportation

3D printing is ideal for ordering bespoke things. By just creating things as required, companies may decrease resource waste and overstocking. Home 3D printer users may create personalized items from home, reducing the environmental effect of transporting things vast distances.

According to Rotec, a CNC machining specialist, another key to sustainability is energy conservation. 3D printing simplifies production and eliminates the need for several pieces of equipment and tools, reducing energy usage. 3D printing reduces the number of equipment and machines needed to create a product to one: the printer.

Launching the circular economy

Circular economies reuse, recycle, and repurpose. 3D printing uses recyclable and biodegradable materials without considerable processing, making output more environmentally friendly.

3D printing revolutionizes manufacturing speed, personalization, and environmental care. 3D printing reduces waste, saves energy, and promotes a cycle economy, making it a vital tool for sustainable manufacturing.

Material innovations for sustainability

Combining 3D printing with environment changes manufacturing, and new materials are key. New eco-friendly 3D printing materials are transforming the industry and providing individuals long-term environmental solutions. Sustainable materials in 3D printing and their environmental impact are discussed in this section, utilizing recent advancements.

Eco-friendly 3D printer fibres

With more and more attention being paid to the environment, 3D printing materials should have as little negative effect as possible. A lot of 3D printing has been done with plastics, but recently the 3D sector has come up with several eco-friendly materials, such as Polylactic Acid (PLA), a plant-based plastic that can be recycled. These materials break down on their own, which is better than plastics made from oil. They also lessen the damage that 3D printing does to the earth.

Although the transition to sustainable materials in 3D printing is excellent for the environment, further research, commercial collaboration, and public awareness are still needed to make 3D printing a truly greener option in the long term.

One major issue is the rise of 3D-printed plastic waste, with printing processes like stereolithography (SLA) and digital light projection (DLP) currently employing petroleum-based thermosets, which contribute to increased plastic waste.

However, as technology evolves, we will also learn how to incorporate 3D printing into a sustainable way of manufacturing by developing new eco-friendly materials that cause less of a negative impact on our environment.

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Spanish mobile industry to launch online anti-fraud service

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Reported cases of cybercrime in Spain increased by 72% in 2022 | Photo: Jonas Leupe

Spain’s leading mobile operators Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone have announced the launch of two new services designed to help developers tackle online fraud and protect the digital identities of mobile customers.

As part of the global GSMA Open Gateway initiative, the operators have announced the  launch of two network API (Application Programmable Interface) services focused on improving digital security: Number Verification and SIM Swap. These APIs will allow developer teams and partners to create new intelligent layers of customer authentication, verification, and security within mobile phone networks. This will help businesses, such as financial institutions and online retailers, tackle identity fraud by enhancing user authentication and improving security.

These new services will be available at Mobile World Congress (MWC) taking place in Barcelona, Spain, from 26-29 February.

The latest figures from Spain’s Interior Minister show that reported cases of cybercrime increased by 72% in 2022 compared to 2019, with almost 90% of them being related to online fraud. Cybercrime now accounts for around a fifth of all offences registered in the country.

Juan Reyero Montes, Enterprise Marketing Director, Orange Spain, commented, “the launch of these two new APIs onto the Spanish market, addressing key use cases around fraud, aptly demonstrates the value that Orange and our partner operators can bring, utilising our network capabilities to improve the security of transactions whilst enhancing the user experience for customers through seamless authentication.

Launched one year ago at MWC Barcelona, the GSMA Open Gateway initiative represents a shift in the way the global telecoms industry designs and brings to market new mobile apps, and immersive and digital services. The new Number Verification and SIM Swap services will also make online authentication simpler and faster for online customers, as mobile applications, cloud services and connectivity networks will all be accessible through the APIs.

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