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Spotify Premium plans are now more expensive in the U.S. Spotify has hiked its prices in the U.S. once again, for a second time... June 8 Tech news round up: Spotify and Twitch subscription prices are increasing, Brave Browser and Search grows rapidly

Spotify Premium plans are now more expensive in the U.S.

Spotify has hiked its prices in the U.S. once again, for a second time in less than 12 months. The streaming service has announced that all subscribers will be notified of the price change within the next month. Spotify had recently increased its prices in the U.K. and Australia.

Spotify Premium plans are now more expensive in the U.S.

The Spotify Premium plan for Individuals now costs $11.99 a month after a $1 price hike from the previous price. The Spotify Duo Plan has gone up by $2, and is now available for $16.99 per month. Even the Spotify Family plan has become costlier, it now costs $19.99 after a $3 increase. Only the Spotify Student Plan remains unaffected by the change. Users have criticized the music streaming service for increasing the cost of the subscriptions, while failing to provide Lossless Audio and other features that have been requested for a long time.

Windows 10 Beta Channel has been reopened a year before the OS is retired

Microsoft has announced that it has reopened the Windows 10 Beta Channel to participants in the Windows Insider Program. The Redmond company says that it opened the Beta Channel again to allow users to test new features in the operating system. This is a rather strange decision, because Microsoft has already confirmed its plans to end support for Windows 10 in October 2025.

Windows 10 Beta Channel has been reopened a year before the OS is retired

It is possible that Microsoft wants to bring some features that are available in Windows 11 to Windows 10. This could help the company test features in the legacy operating system. It may also help convince users to upgrade from Windows 10.

Mac app Bartender has been sold to a third party

macOS app Bartender, which allows you to tweak the Apple Menu Bar, has been sold to a third party. The sale of the app went under the radar, and the process has been questioned by many users. A researcher who investigated the matter discovered that Bartender had been sold over two months ago, without an announcement from the original developer or the new owners. The company in question, has reportedly published low-quality iPad apps on the App Store.

One user pointed out that a recent version of the app contained the Amplitude analytics framework, which collects telemetry data from users. However, the latest version of the app removes the framework, to alleviate concerns from users.

Brave browser and Brave Search have gained millions of new users

Brave browser has gained millions of new users in the previous month. The company’s CEO, Brendan Eich, published some details on X (formerly Twitter), where he mentioned that Brave saw its biggest growth month on record. Brave browser grew from 73.55 million to 78.95 million. Of those, the number of daily active users rose from 27.46M to 28.64M. this also includes mobile versions of the browser. That is incredibly impressive progress in a span of a month, and Eich noted that many new users were from Latin America. Google Chrome is set to disable Manifest V2 extensions as it moves to Manifest V3, and this could cripple ad blockers. Brave, Vivaldi, and Firefox have confirmed that their browsers will continue to support Manifest V2, as well as include ad blockers by default in the applications. This could result in many users migrating from Chrome to other browsers.

Brave Search also saw a rise in its numbers, and hit 843.02 million search queries per month, up from 818.67 M. The search engine had about 617.3M queries per month in the previous year.

U.S. begins antitrust investigations against Nvidia, Microsoft, and OpenAI

The rise of the usage artificial intelligence tools, chatbots has attracted concern from privacy enthusiasts and security experts. And it looks like big brother is also worried about the amount of data that A.I. services collect from users, as well as potentially disrupting jobs and lives of people.

U.S. begins antitrust investigations against Nvidia, Microsoft, and OpenAI

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have reached an agreement to jointly start investigating three companies in the A.I. industry. Microsoft, Nvidia, and OpenAI are the big players whose practices will be scrutinized. The FTC will analyze OpenAI and Microsoft, after the latter invested $13 billion in the former’s ChatGPT tool. OpenAI has also made agreements with other companies, one of which is said to be Apple, which could implement the popular A.I. in iOS 18. The DoJ will focus its efforts to investigate whether Nvidia has violated antitrust laws related to the technologies the GPU maker has implemented in its artificial intelligence chips.

Twitch announces price increase for subscriptions

Streaming services have been increasing their prices too often in recent times, Spotify is not the only one that announced a price adjustment this week. Twitch is also doing the same. The video game streaming platform has announced a price increase for its basic plan. Level 1 subscribers will now need to pay $5.99 per month, instead of $4.99. The prices for Level 2 and Level 3 subscriptions remain unaffected, at $9.99 and $24.99 respectively. The price hike will affect users from 30 Countries.

Twitch announces price increase for subscriptions

Twitch has reassured streamers that they will receive between 50% and 70% of the revenue from their subscriptions, this will correspond to their level in the Plus Program.

Artists are joining Cara after quitting Facebook and Instagram due to concerns about A.I.

While A.I. tools have become popular over the past year, it has also sparked some concerns about user data being used to train language models used by chatbots. Artists who publish their content on social networks have accused Facebook and Instagram for using their creations to train generative AI systems. This has led to a mass exodus of artists from Meta-owned platforms.

The creators are instead flocking towards Cara, a website that filters generative AI images, which aids in making it easier to find artwork created by humans. The service is still in beta, but it has over 650,000 users on the App Store already. Cara announced that it recently saw a spike in its usage, which led to its site crashing. The company also revealed that it managed to surpass Twitter, Discord, Reddit, LinkedIn and Messenger in the U.S., to enter the top 5 apps on the App Store.