X Removed the Ability To Hide Blue Checks and NASA Revealed Plans for Lunar Cars in This Week’s Tech Roundup

Apple is also finally allowing game emulators on the App Store.

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X seems to make headlines constantly and this past week was no different. The app will now remove the ability for verified users to hide their blue checks, including those who were verified without even signing up. Also in the app sphere, Apple is allowing game emulators onto the App Store after being fined by the EU Commission.

Elsewhere, Spotify has an AI feature that takes text prompts and turns them into playlists. To round off the week, NASA is making headway on its 2029 Artemis V mission and has partnered with three companies to develop lunar vehicles.

Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.

NASA Enlisted 3 Companies To Build Lunar Cars for Its 2029 Artemis V Mission

NASA has inked contracts with three different space companies, who will each build lunar terrain vehicles (LTV) concepts for its upcoming Artemis V mission. Out of prototypes from Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost and Venturi Astrolab, NASA plans to pick one for its astronauts to ride on the Moon’s surface.

The LYV concept will be purchased from the chosen company for a maximum price of $4.6 billion USD ahead of the mission’s planned launch in 2029. An LTV is different from a lunar rover in that it can be operated without a human behind the wheel.

“We look forward to the development of the Artemis generation lunar exploration vehicle to help us advance what we learn at the Moon,” director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston Vanessa Wyche said. “This vehicle will greatly increase our astronauts’ ability to explore and conduct science on the lunar surface while also serving as a science platform between crewed missions.”

Apple Finally Allowed Game Emulators on the App Store

After being fined $2 billion USD by the EU commission for failing to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple has begun to welcome game emulators onto the App Store. Emulators allow developers to simulate the look and feel of gameplay on another video game console, typically revving the retro aesthetic of ‘80s and ‘90s titles.

The DMA protects fair competition online and has been targeting Apple’s reign over the app space. While some of the recent App Store changes are exclusively to the EU, game emulators are now allowed globally.

Spotify’s New AI Feature Transforms Text Prompts Into Playlists

Following its AI DJ feature, Spotify has a new text-to-playlist tool. Simply titled AI Playlist, the feature allows users to input a text prompt, from which it churns out a curated list of songs designed to match a certain feeling or vibe.

Spotify says that the most successful playlists are built off on text prompts making reference to “genres, moods, artists [and] decades.” For example, a user could ask for music along the lines of “an indie folk playlist to give my brain a big warm hug,” “relaxing music to tide me over during allergy season” and “a playlist that makes me feel like the main character.”

For the time being, AI Playlist is currently in beta and is only available in the United Kingdom and Australia.

X Removed the Ability To Hide the Blue Check

X recently began verifying users, whether or not they applied for the feature. Some indeed do pay for the blue check, while others were simply gifted it by Elon Musk himself.

Those who were verified, in either case, had the option to hide the blue check from their profile, an act that’s no longer allowed. X won’t be letting anyone turn off the blue check. Although the feature was rolled out to distinguish human users from bots, many don’t want others to think that they pay for their verification, given there’s no way of differentiating between someone who paid and someone who was given it against their will.

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