In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and other company executives repeatedly cited the company’s commitment to education, as it unveiled new products and initiatives designed to capture the hearts and minds of students and educators. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
It was reported earlier this year by Reutersthat Google may have been looking to sell Zagat—the restaurant reviews guide/service it picked up for $ 151 million in 2011, if you’re unfamiliar. Those unofficial plans appear to have panned out. The Infatuation, a new restaurant guides and reviews company, has just announced that it’s acquiring the Zagat brand from Google.
Zagat’s adventure through Google is a bit of a sad tale. Back in 2011, Google picked it up after Zagat had tried, unsuccessfully, to sell itself for a few years.
In a rare outing into the rumor world for the 2018 MacBook Air refresh, we have analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities reporting that Apple plans to offer a more affordable 13-inch model at some point during the course this year.
During a recent interview with CNBC, famed investor Warren Buffett practically said that Apple is the one stock worth owning in today’s market. Hardly a surprise, Buffett has been extremely bullish on Apple for quite some time now, even though he comically owns a flip phone and still refuses to upgrade to an iPhone. Just last year, for example, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway nearly quadrupled its stake in Apple when it picked up more than 40 million shares. More recently, Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake in Apple to 165.3 million shares and, in the process, dumped nearly all of its stake in IBM.
In fact, Buffett told CNBC that Berkshire Hathaway “bought more Apple than anything else” over the last 12 months.
As to why Buffett remains so gung-ho on Apple, the Oracle of Omaha explained that the iPhone is a very “sticky product,” which is to say that iPhone owners tend to stick with Apple more often than, say, Samsung owners tend to stick with Samsung.
“Apple has an extraordinary consumer franchise,” Buffett explained. “I see how strong that ecosystem is, to an extraordinary degree. You are very, very, very locked in, at least psychologically and mentally, to the product you are using. ”
In terms of overall value, Apple is now Berkshire Hatahway’s most second valuable holding, ranking slightly behind Wells Fargo and slightly above Bank of America.
Incidentally, and no doubt buoyed by Buffett’s statements, shares of Apple were up significantly on Monday and are currently trading in the $ 179 range. For what it’s worth, Apple’s all-time high is $ 179.39, a threshold Apple may very well eclipse later this week.
A while back, we walked down memory lane to revisit storage milestones on mobile phones. That article focused only on the stand-out devices, today we’re going to take a broader look. We will look at the base storage for all phones added to our database since 2005. We’re only be counting phones with 4GB or more as anything less is basically the same from our current point of view. Last time, we highlighted the Nokia N91, which was the first phone to deliver 8GB of storage (with a micro HDD). However its base version had only 4GB – that’s the metric we’re tracking today, the minimum…
Apple and long-time rival Samsung continue to be the top two buyers of semiconductor chips, according to a Gartner report, with both firms growing their share of the global market year-on-year by increasing the amount they spend, potentially caused in part by flash memory price increases. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Recreating a deceased person or animal’s DNA has required that DNA be extracted from the remains of the individual, but a new study has shown that may not be the only way. The DNA of a man who died nearly 200 years ago has been recreated from his living descendants rather than his physical remains — something that has never been done before.
deCODE Genetics a biopharmaceutical company in Iceland, achieved this feat by taking DNA samples from 182 Icelandic descendants of Hans Jonatan, a man who is quite an icon in Iceland, most well known for having freed himself from slavery in a heroic series of seemingly impossible events.
It was the unique circumstances of Hans Jonatan’s life that made it possible for his DNA to be recreated after his death. For one, Jonatan was the first Icelandic inhabitant with African heritage. Iceland also boasts an extensive and highly detailed collection of genealogical records. The combination of Jonatan’s unique heritage and the country’s record-keeping for inhabitants’ family trees made this remarkable recreation possible.
deCODE used DNA screened from 182 relatives, first reconstructing 38 percent of Jonatan’s mother Emilia’s DNA (which accounted for 19 percent of Jonatan’s). Published in Nature Genetics, this elaborate study began with a whopping 788 of Jonatan’s known descendants, but was able to be narrowed down to 182 through DNA screening against known markers.
While this is truly an amazing feat, according to Robin Allaby of the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, it “seems to be the sort of analysis you could only do under particular circumstances when an immigrant genome is of a very rare type.” Despite these limitations, deCODE believes the technique could have extensive applications.
Kári Stefánsson of deCODE said that “It’s all a question of the amount of data you have. In principle, it could be done anywhere with any ancestors, but what made it easy in Iceland was that there were no other Africans.”
Allaby does believe the results of this study could give us additional avenues to explore the DNA of those who have long since passed. “It’s the sort of study that could, for instance, be used to recover genomes of explorers who had interbred with isolated native communities.”
Theoretically, a technique like this could help researchers create “virtual ancient DNA,” which would allow scientists to recreate the DNA of historical figures. Agnar Helgason of deCODE stated that “Any historic figure born after 1500 who has known descendants could be reconstructed.”
While it’s exciting, there are still major hurdles to overcome in terms of the potential future applications. The quantity, scale, and detail of the DNA from living ancestors required to recreate a person’s DNA make it impractical for use within most families. Additionally, with each new generation identifiable DNA fragments get smaller and more difficult to work with.
To that end, more immediate applications might involve repairing and filling in spaces within family trees. But if it’s honed, it could become a valuable historical tool, giving us an in-depth look at what life was like for historical figures like Jonatan. Scientists could genetically resurrect anyone, providing us with a more thorough understanding of our species both from our own personal familial perspectives and through the more macrocosmic lens of human history.
Many of our readers commented or tweeted to ask if and when Mazda will ever support CarPlay, so we reached out to the company for an update. MacRumors received the following statement from Mazda spokesperson Jacob Brown today ensuring that it still plans to offer CarPlay… eventually.
We remain committed to introducing the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies to our vehicles, designing them to interface with our MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system in a manner that promotes a focus on the driving experience. We cannot provide timing or any additional details at this time.
Mazda made a similar promise a few times last year. Last March, for example, the automaker told Cars.com that CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility was in the works, and noted the software platforms would be available in both new and older-generation vehicles with its Mazda Connect system.
Mazda Connect appears to have debuted in some 2013 model year vehicles, so a wide range of Mazda vehicles should eventually support CarPlay and Android Auto if and when the company finally fulfills its promise. Of note, like Toyota, Mazda has been listed as a committed CarPlay partner on Apple’s website since 2014.
A survey last year indicated that an increasing number of customers consider CarPlay a must-have feature, so like Toyota, it may be worthwhile for Mazda to begin supporting Apple’s software platform sooner rather than later.
CarPlay is already available in hundreds of vehicle makes and models around the world, including Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, MINI, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Volkswagen, Volvo, and many others.
As an update to Toyota’s announcement, a spokesperson said the automaker doesn’t have any plans to support CarPlay in pre-2019 vehicles at this time, even though models like the 2018 Camry and 2018 Sienna have its Entune 3.0 system.