Technological World for November 10, consumer tech: Twitter Blue's better benefits, bigger pictures with Disney+, tech buyer beware this holiday season

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Twitter Blue gets better as it rolls out in the U.S. and New Zealand, 13 Marvel films get better picture size with Disney+, and NordVPN has some timely warnings about which electronic devices are most vulnerable.

Twitter Blue subscription service rolls out to U.S., NZ

Canadian Twitter users got early access to Twitter Blue, a subscription service from the social media company, and now customers in the U.S. and New Zealand can take advantage of the premium features too.

For a monthly cost of $3.49 CAN, subscribers get access to a time-limited “undo tweet” edit function, bookmark folders, and threaded reading.

With the rollout to the U.S. and New Zealand comes some additional subscriber perks.

Personalization options have been improved, and in addition to being able to change themes and colours you can also customize the navigation links that appear at the bottom of the smartphone app, so if you are using Spaces frequently you can have that more available.

I think the most significant update to Twitter Blue, though, is the ability to read articles from news organizations ad-free.

This comes courtesy of the Scroll acquisition by Twitter earlier this year, and it essentially streams articles from the sources into your Twitter feed.

And a portion of your subscription fee goes to license the content that you are reading, so you can support the journalism for the outlets you like simply by reading articles.

You’ll also get a list of Top Articles that reflects what people in your timeline have been reading in the past 24 hours.

As for Spaces, Twitter has made recording available to hosts so the audio conversations can be saved and shared after the event concludes.

Thirteen Marvel movies get enhanced aspect ratio for Disney+ subscribers

On Friday (November 12), a baker’s dozen of Marvel films will be available to watch with the expanded aspect ratio used in IMAX theatres on Disney+.

That means, according to Disney, up to 26% more picture because the aspect ratio for IMAX theatres these days is 1.90:1, compared to the 1.70:1 (16:9) most streaming services deliver.

The movies being shown with this bigger picture include:

  • Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings
  • Black Widow
  • Iron Man
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Captain Marvel

Disney has designated Friday as Disney+ Day, for what it’s worth.

Be an aware buyer of tech products this holiday season

Even with the supply chain problems and shortage of computer chips, electronics are bound to be on many holiday wish and shopping lists this month.

NordVPN, which provides virtual private network services, has suggestions for us so that we can at least be aware of how the gadgets and gizmos we buy can put us at risk.

More than 90% of Canadians have internet-connected devices in their homes, according to a survey conducted by the company.

These include routers, televisions, lighting and heating controls, game consoles, home security devices, and appliances. Even smart speakers and baby monitors can be vulnerable. The ecosystem of these products is commonly referred to as the “internet of things”.

The company warns that gadgets that are new and without much market competition and devices that store or provide access to sensitive information are particularly worthy of wariness.

As such, NordVPN suggests avoiding “devices that are too new to be have been properly tested” and to “take proper care of your device once you purchase it”.

Most important is to change the default login and password.


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