Elon Musk says that an ad-free X premium subscription will soon be available

Elon Musk has announced that X, formerly known as Twitter, will soon introduce an ad-free version as part of its X Premium subscription. This option will allow users to pay to enjoy the platform without advertisements.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX revealed that X will offer a “lower cost” version of the Premium subscription, which will include all the subscription’s features but will continue to display ads. Additionally, there will be a more expensive tier that offers an entirely ad-free experience. As of now, specific pricing for these two tiers and the exact launch date have not been confirmed.

X Premium, currently priced at just over €9 (RM35 locally) per month, provides users with a verification badge, the ability to edit posts after sending them, and the option to post longer text and video content.

Following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter last year, the platform experienced a significant drop in revenue as advertisers became concerned about the new owner’s approach to content moderation and free speech.

Recently, the European Union initiated an investigation into X’s handling of disinformation and harmful content related to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

To counter the decline in advertising revenue, X is exploring subscription-based income streams. A trial program has been launched in New Zealand and the Philippines, where new users are asked to pay an annual fee of US$1 (RM4.77) to post and reply to others. Musk had previously hinted at the possibility of all users eventually having to pay to use the platform.

Musk believes that requiring users to pay for posting is an effective way to combat bot and spam accounts, as entering credit card details would deter many bad actors from operating bot networks on the site.

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8 Amazing Pomegranate Health Benefits

Pomegranate is a unique fruit, celebrated for its delightful blend of sweetness and tartness. Within its ruby-hued skin reside an abundance of juicy seeds that can be savored on their own or employed as an enhancement to various dishes, such as salads, oatmeal, and hummus. Pomegranates present a wealth of fiber and antioxidants, ushering in an array of health advantages. These include reduced inflammation, bolstered heart health, and enhanced endurance. This vibrant fruit’s antioxidants contribute to heart protection, while its anti-inflammatory and antitumor attributes reveal promising prospects in the realms of cancer prevention and treatment.

Key Benefits of Pomegranate:

1. Abundant in Antioxidants: Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants, which shield the body’s cells from harm induced by free radicals. Comprising antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds like punicalagin, anthocyanins, and hydrolysable tannins, pomegranates provide a robust defense against ailments and promote overall health.

2. Inflammation Mitigation: Incorporating pomegranates into your diet can help reduce inflammation, a hallmark of various chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. This anti-inflammatory effect is primarily attributed to compounds like punicalagin, which exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, pomegranate juice consumption has been shown to lower specific markers of inflammation.

3. Anticancer Properties: Pomegranate’s composition contains compounds known for their anti-cancer attributes. It has demonstrated the ability to slow the progression of early-stage liver cancer, and pomegranate extract holds promise in prostate cancer management.

4. Heart Health Enhancement: Pomegranates are rich in polyphenolic compounds that offer potential benefits for heart health. Drinking pomegranate juice has been linked to a reduction in both the frequency and intensity of chest pain, along with improvements in biomarkers indicative of heart health protection.

5. Kidney Stone Prevention: Pomegranate extract has displayed a role in reducing the formation of kidney stones by inhibiting mechanisms associated with stone development, particularly in individuals prone to recurrent kidney stones. Additionally, it helps regulate the concentration of oxalates, calcium, and phosphates in the blood, common components of kidney stones.

6. Oral Health Protection: Compounds found in pomegranates combat potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and yeasts. This safeguard against oral germs can lead to improved breath freshness and dental health.

7. Enhanced Exercise Endurance: Pomegranate’s polyphenols have the ability to increase endurance during physical activity. Pomegranate extract has been shown to extend the time to exhaustion and boost performance, benefiting both endurance and muscle recovery, especially in trained cyclists.

8. Brain Health Support: The antioxidants in pomegranates, specifically ellagitannins, contribute to the protection of the brain against conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They reduce oxidative damage and promote the survival of brain cells. Ellagitannins lead to the production of urolithin A in the gut, a compound with the capacity to reduce brain inflammation and delay the onset of cognitive disorders.

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How to use the AirPods Pro’s Conversation Awareness mode by Apple

Interacting with others while wearing your AirPods Pro has always been a breeze: a quick press-and-hold on the earbuds’ stem activates transparency mode, allowing you to easily hear your surroundings. However, Apple is taking communication to the next level with its new feature, Conversation Awareness, introduced this fall for the second-generation AirPods Pro.

When you activate this setting, your AirPods will detect when you start speaking. As you do, the music volume will automatically lower, and the AirPods Pro will “enhance voices in front of you while reducing additional background noise,” as described by Apple. Interestingly, if you’re listening to something like a podcast, it will temporarily pause, ensuring you don’t miss any crucial moments.

This feature differs slightly from the standard transparency mode, which allows all ambient noise. With Conversation Awareness, Apple seems to focus on specific voice frequencies while reducing other distractions. It also offers a more directional approach, enhancing voices in front of you.

Once you stop speaking, the audio through your earbuds returns to normal volume, and if you had noise cancellation mode enabled, your surroundings will gradually fade back in within a few seconds. Apple is not the first to introduce this concept; various headphone manufacturers, from Sony to Samsung and Google, have implemented similar speech detection features. Conversation Awareness may not be suitable for everyone, especially if you tend to talk to yourself, pets, or sing along with your music.

To enable Conversation Awareness, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your second-gen AirPods Pro are paired with your iPhone.
  2. Open Settings on your iPhone and tap on the AirPods section located above Airplane Mode.
  3. Scroll down to the Audio section.
  4. Toggle on the Conversation Awareness setting, which will activate the mode whenever you speak.

Alternatively, you can enable Conversation Awareness through Control Center:

  1. Swipe down from the top right of your iPhone to open Control Center.
  2. Long-press on the volume bar.
  3. Here, you’ll find shortcuts for sound modes, Conversation Awareness, and spatial audio.
  4. Toggle Conversation Awareness on or off according to your preference.
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5 health benefits of the half-moon yoga position, Ardha Chandrasana

Yoga offers numerous benefits for our physical and mental well-being. While some yoga asanas are relatively simple, others require more effort and balance. Ardha Chandrasana, also known as the half moon pose, falls into the category of challenging asanas. This pose challenges your balance as you lower yourself with your standing leg while stabilizing your arm, and simultaneously lift your raised leg and the other arm. Let’s explore the benefits of the half moon pose.

The sun embodies high-energy and passion, while the moon exudes a cooling and calming essence. Ardha Chandrasana, as its name suggests, instills the serenity and tranquility of the moon. According to Dr. Mickey Mehta, a global holistic health guru and corporate life coach, the moon’s energy fosters the development of compassion, empathy, and creativity.

On the health front, prolonged periods of sitting can lead to tight hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteus muscles, potentially resulting in sore hips, back pain, and swollen legs. Thus, individuals who spend extended hours sitting can benefit from practicing the half moon pose.

Health Benefits of the Half Moon Pose:

  1. Strengthens Your Legs: Ardha Chandrasana engages all the leg muscles, particularly the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. This asana helps in building leg strength and enhancing leg flexibility, as noted by Dr. Mehta.
  2. Improves Body Balance: As we age, balance issues may arise, increasing the risk of falls. Practicing the half moon pose on both sides can help maintain coordination and balance.
  3. Provides a Full-Body Stretch: This pose offers a comprehensive stretch that relaxes stiff muscles, elongates the hamstrings, hips, and arms. It also opens up the chest and enhances overall body mobility.
  4. Aids Cellular Regeneration: Most toxins accumulate in our organs, and when we stretch and bend in various directions, it promotes cellular regeneration. Stretching helps our organs receive nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood, facilitating cellular regeneration and organ renewal.
  5. Enhances Concentration: Sustaining the half moon pose for an extended duration can improve concentration, focus, and determination.

Tips for Performing the Half Moon Pose:

Though the half moon pose is relatively simple to execute, it can be quite challenging. Here are the steps:

  • Begin with your legs apart, resembling the trikonasana stance.
  • Raise one leg while attempting to balance on one foot and one arm.
  • Try to hold this pose for as long as you can, then repeat on the other side.

For added support, you can use a block and a chair to perform the half moon pose. Rest your lifted leg on the back of the chair, and consider placing a blanket for extra cushioning. Additionally, you can place your bottom hand on a block under your shoulder.

It’s crucial to focus your attention on the upward movement of your hand, ensuring it remains perpendicular to the ground. Avoid locking your knees to maintain balance and effectively strengthen your legs.

Since this yoga asana involves a lot of stretching, it’s advisable to wear comfortable, stretchable clothing to perform it with ease.

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To make it simpler to explore the web, Google is modifying Chrome’s search bar

Google is implementing several alterations to the operation of the search and address bar, commonly known as the omnibox, in the Chrome browser. While these changes may appear minor individually, they collectively reveal an important and somewhat unexpected trend: Google is simplifying web navigation, reducing the need for frequent Google searches.

Whether you’re using Chrome on desktop or mobile, the browser will now attempt to rectify your URL typos. For example, if you type “thevrege.com” or “ninteendo.com,” you will receive autocomplete suggestions based on the correct website rather than the misspelled domains. The omnibox’s autocomplete feature will also become more intelligent, predicting the site you’re seeking based on keywords instead of simply guessing the URL you’re typing. It will work with non-Google sites as well. Additionally, Chrome can now search within your bookmarks for relevant sites and files based on your input.

These enhancements are driven by your browsing history and bookmarks, making Chrome more personalized. The final change is a web-wide shift that may seem unusual for Google: when you begin typing the name of a popular website, the omnibox will display that site’s URL in the suggestions list, enabling you to select it and navigate directly to the site. This change has already been rolling out and should now be accessible to everyone.

While these are beneficial features for web navigation, they are likely to reduce the number of Google searches conducted. Navigational search, which involves people Googling the name of a website and clicking on the top result, is a fundamental element of the search business. Typos also generate more search queries than you might think. In the past, the Chrome team has shied away from features like these, concerned that they might decrease the volume of daily Google searches.

However, a few recent developments may make Google more open to such features. Google is currently embroiled in a significant antitrust lawsuit, alleging that it operates as a search monopoly and abuses its authority to the detriment of consumers. Furthermore, as Google embraces AI through the Search Generative Experience, each query becomes more costly since it needs to consult its extensive language models for answers. Many of these navigational searches don’t contain advertisements, so Google might actually welcome the opportunity to divert users from its search results page. Ultimately, maintaining Chrome’s dominance, which keeps Google as the primary search engine for most users, may outweigh the minor trade-offs in features.

Alongside these changes, Google is refining the visual layout of the omnibox to enhance readability and loading speed. It appears that Google is subtly downplaying the importance of the search results page in Chrome, while emphasizing the address bar and suggestions dropdown to expedite web navigation. This shift may potentially lead to sponsored autocompletes, but that’s a concern for another day. In numerous ways, the way we search the internet is evolving, and even Google must adapt swiftly to keep pace.

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The Boy and the Heron English Voice Cast Unveiled, and It’s Absolutely Stacked

The English voice cast for “The Boy and the Heron” has been officially unveiled, and it boasts a lineup of top-tier talent. The latest creation from Studio Ghibli, previously rumored to be the last project from the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, features an ensemble including Christian Bale, Florence Pugh, and Mark Hamill, among others.

Here’s the complete list of the cast, revealed earlier today:

  • Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki
  • Dave Bautista as The Parakeet King
  • Gemma Chan as Natsuko
  • Willem Dafoe as Noble Pelican
  • Karen Fukuhara as Lady Himi
  • Mark Hamill as Granduncle
  • Robert Pattinson as The Gray Heron
  • Florence Pugh as Kiriko

Christian Bale takes the lead in the film, portraying protagonist Shoichi Maki, who is the father of young Mahito Maki.

Many of the actors involved in the production have previous experience in voice acting. Christian Bale had a role in “Howl’s Moving Castle” as Howl, and Florence Pugh starred in “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” Mark Hamill, a renowned voice actor, is well-known for his iconic portrayal of the Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series” and numerous other projects.

“The Boy and the Heron” is set in the backdrop of World War II, following Mahito Maki as he embarks on a journey into an alternate world filled with Ghibli’s trademark enchanting imagery. We reviewed the film during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival and praised it as the “ultimate statement” from Miyazaki.

“It’s Studio Ghibli’s most visually complex film to date, while also contemplating the legacy of a legendary filmmaker and the world he is leaving behind. It serves as an ultimate statement from Miyazaki, and the perfect coda to his career,” we wrote.

However, despite “The Boy and the Heron” being heralded as Miyazaki’s final work, it appears the revered master isn’t quite ready to retire just yet. Indeed, it seems like it was another one of his retirement feints, as reports suggest Miyazaki is already working on his next film.

Even if this isn’t his swan song, it’s another promising Ghibli production with an outstanding cast. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on December 8.

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Google releases new tools for Maps, Search, and Assistant that are more accessible

Google has unveiled a series of accessibility updates for Maps, Search, and Assistant, along with expanded availability of certain camera-based features on Pixel devices. A significant focus of these updates is on enhancing wheelchair accessibility. Users on iOS and Android can now request stair-free walking routes on Maps, a feature that benefits travelers with luggage or strollers. This globally available feature is accessible as long as Google has sufficient data for the region.

If you have the wheelchair-accessible option enabled in your transit preferences, it will automatically apply to walking routes. Otherwise, you can access stair-free directions when requesting a walking route by tapping the three dots at the top of the screen and enabling the “wheelchair-accessible” option.

Wheelchair-accessible information will also be incorporated into other Google products, such as Maps for Android Auto and vehicles with Google integrated. When searching for a place, a wheelchair icon will appear if the location offers a step-free entrance, accessible restrooms, parking, or seating.

Additionally, Google aims to make it easier to find and support businesses owned by individuals with disabilities. If a business identifies itself as “disabled-owned,” this information will be displayed in Maps and Search listings, similar to other labels for Asian-owned, Black-owned, Latino-owned, LGBTQ+ owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.

Google is also introducing screen reader capabilities in Lens in Maps (formerly called Search with Live View). This augmented reality tool helps users locate ATMs, restrooms, and restaurants by using the smartphone’s camera. When the screen reader is enabled, users will receive auditory feedback about places around them, including the name and category of the place and its proximity. This feature, designed for the visually impaired and those with low vision, will be available on iOS and later this year on Android.

For Pixel devices, the Magnifier app uses the camera to zoom in on distant real-world details or make text on menus and documents more readable through color filters, brightness, and contrast settings. The app is available for Pixel 5 and newer devices, excluding the Pixel Fold.

Google is also expanding the capabilities of Guided Frame, available on Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. This feature recognizes pets, dishes, and documents, in addition to faces, to assist people who are blind or have low vision in capturing high-quality photos. The Guided Frame update will come to Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 devices later this year.

Furthermore, Google is introducing more customizable Assistant Routines, allowing users to add a Routine to their home screen as a shortcut, customize its size, and personalize it with their own images. This customization is particularly beneficial for individuals with cognitive differences and disabilities.

Lastly, Google has brought the feature to detect typos and suggest websites to the desktop Chrome address bar to Chrome on iOS and Android. This feature aims to assist people with dyslexia, language learners, and those prone to typos in finding what they are looking for.

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Zheng Qinwen joins in impromptu karaoke to celebrate Zhengzhou’s victory

When will the new single be released? Following her victory at the WTA 500 in Zhengzhou, the emerging tennis sensation Zheng Qinwen celebrated a significant win on home soil with an impromptu karaoke session.

In the final on Sunday, she came back from a set down to defeat the 2021 Roland Garros champion, Barbora Krejcikova, with a score of 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, securing her second career title to add to her first win in Palermo on clay in July. Zheng delivered an impressive performance in the match, hitting 10 aces and 30 winners. However, she also hit all the right notes during the post-match trophy presentation, serenading the fans with a Chinese song, as humorously captioned by the WTA’s social media admin.

This musical moment was a fitting tribute as Zheng had previously shared her love for karaoke, along with rollercoasters, as her favorite off-court pastimes. She mentioned, “Mostly I sing Chinese songs, slower songs. I also do some Chinese rap. I maybe only sing three or four English songs. For the most part, it’s Chinese.”

Zheng’s victory marked her as the third Chinese player to win a title at the WTA 500 level or higher. In a historic year for Chinese tennis, she joined Zhu Lin and Wang Xiyu as 2023 became the first year when three Chinese women secured at least one WTA singles title in the same season.

Reflecting on her win, Zheng expressed her happiness, stating, “When I was on the court finishing the last point, I was feeling super happy. All the crowd yelling for me, they supported me in full. In that moment, the feeling was indescribable.”

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Becky G debuts in the top 5 on the regional Mexican album chart with “Esquinas”

Becky G’s latest album, “Esquinas,” has made an impressive debut on various Billboard charts. The album, produced by Edgar Barrera, marks her first appearance on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, coming in at No. 3 on the chart dated September 14. Previously, Becky G had secured placements on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums and Latin Rhythm Albums rankings. Simultaneously, “Esquinas” entered the overall Top Latin Albums chart at No. 7.

“Esquinas” was released on September 28 through Kemosabe/RCA and quickly climbed to the third position on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, amassing 11,000 equivalent album units in the tracking week ending on October 5 in the United States. The majority of the album’s success in its first week can be attributed to streaming, with 10,000 of those units coming from streaming platforms, accumulating an impressive 14.1 million official on-demand streams for the album’s tracks.

This album, Becky G’s third full-length release, marks her debut on the Regional Mexican Albums chart. The album’s title, which translates to “corners,” symbolizes the intersection of her American style with her Mexican heritage. “Esquinas” features collaborations with artists like Peso Pluma, Ivan Cornejo, Gabito Ballesteros, Yahritza y Su Esencia, Chiquis, and DannyLux. Becky G unveiled the album’s cover art on her Instagram account on September 12, expressing her excitement to share it with her fans.

“Esquinas” showcases the 26-year-old artist at a cultural crossroads, reflecting the fusion of her two distinct backgrounds, a theme that has been present throughout her decade-long career on the Billboard charts. With this album, Becky G now boasts two top 10 albums, following her previous release “Mala Santa” (reaching No. 3 on Top Latin Albums and Latin Rhythm Albums in 2019) and “Esquemas” (holding the top spot on Latin Pop Albums for eight weeks in 2022).

In addition to its success on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, “Esquinas” also debuted at No. 7 on the Top Latin Albums chart, following the success of “Esquemas,” which reached No. 5 in May 2022. Furthermore, the album earned Becky G her third appearance on the overall Billboard 200 chart, securing the No. 109 position.

With the release of “Esquinas,” two of its songs made their debut on various Latin charts. “2do Chance,” a pop track featuring Ivan Cornejo, entered the multimetric Hot Latin Songs chart at No. 34, driven by significant streaming activity, accruing 2.7 million clicks in the United States during the same tracking week. Additionally, “Por El Contrario,” a collaboration with siblings Leonardo Aguilar and Angela Aguilar, made its debut at No. 19 on the Latin Digital Songs chart.

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Multiline Insurance: What Is It?

Decades ago, multiline insurance denoted the practice of insurance companies consolidating various insurance types into a single policy.

In the early 1900s, individuals had to procure liability car insurance, collision insurance, and components of comprehensive insurance (like fire and theft coverage) as separate policies, sometimes from different insurers. Before the 1950s, home insurance required separate policies for liability, property, fire, theft, and weather damage.

Today, home and auto insurance policies combine these coverage types into one, which is why the standard car and home insurance policies are occasionally referred to as multiline insurance.

The meaning of multiline insurance has evolved over time. Now, it more commonly describes a situation where one individual holds multiple policies with a single insurer or an insurer that offers different insurance types, including home and business insurance.

So, what exactly is multiline insurance?

Multiline insurance typically means you possess separate insurance policies from the same insurer. If a company offers more than one type of insurance, it is considered a multiline insurance company.

How does multiline insurance function?

Multiline insurance functions by providing compensation for issues covered under each policy. For instance, if you acquire car insurance, home insurance, and small business insurance from the same company, here’s how each policy works:

Car Insurance:

A standard full-coverage car insurance policy encompasses bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, in addition to comprehensive and collision coverage. Liability car insurance covers property damage and injuries caused by accidents you’re at fault for. It also covers your legal defense costs and settlements if you’re sued for an auto accident.

Comprehensive and collision insurance pay for repairs or replacement of your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged due to incidents covered by the policy, including collisions and non-crash events like fire, floods, vandalism, and more.

Home Insurance:

Home insurance policies include dwelling coverage and personal liability coverage, alongside other valuable coverage types.

Dwelling coverage covers the repair or rebuilding of your house if it’s damaged or destroyed due to policy-covered issues.

Liability home insurance addresses accidental injuries and property damage inflicted by you or household members on others. In case of a lawsuit, liability insurance can cover legal expenses, settlements, and judgments up to policy limits.

Small Business Insurance:

A Business Owners Policy (BOP) is a common type of small business insurance that typically includes three types of coverage, with the option to add additional types.

Business interruption insurance helps recover lost income if your business can’t operate due to policy-covered issues.

Commercial property insurance pays for repairing or replacing your business’s physical assets if they’re damaged, lost, or stolen due to policy-covered incidents.

General liability insurance compensates for various claims against you, such as bodily injury, property damage, copyright infringement, and reputational harm.

Is bundling a form of multiline insurance?

As multiline insurance has become commonplace, the term “bundling” now often refers to owning multiple policies from the same insurer. For example, bundling home and auto insurance indicates that you’re buying two separate policies from the same insurer, typically resulting in a discount. While some insurers label this discount as a multiline discount because you’re purchasing multiple types of coverage (or lines of coverage) from them, a more precise term is a multi-policy discount.

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