Iowa investigating infections linked to McDonald’s salad

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Thursday said it was investigating a rise in Cyclospora infections, likely due to the consumption of a salad served by McDonald’s Corp.

U.S. Justice Dept to appeal approval of AT&T acquisition of Time Warner

The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it would appeal a federal judge’s approval of AT&T Inc’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, raising the prospect barely a month after the deal closed that it could be undone.

Apple’s Mac Shipments Increase in Q2 2018 as PC Market Sees First Growth in 6 Years

Apple’s worldwide Mac shipments grew 3 percent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the year-ago quarter, according to new preliminary PC shipping estimates shared today by Gartner.

During the quarter, Apple shipped an estimated 4.4 million Macs, compared to 4.26 million in the second quarter of 2017. Apple’s market share also saw slight growth, improving from 7 percent in Q2 2017 to 7.1 percent in Q2 2018.

Gartner’s Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q18 (Thousands of Units)


Apple’s improved Mac sales come amid an overall increase in worldwide PC shipments, the first growth that’s been seen in the last six years. Worldwide PC shipments totaled an estimated 62.1 million units in Q2 2018, up from 61.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Though Apple saw sales growth in Q2 2018, the company was ranked the number four PC vendor in the world, coming in behind Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Lenovo was the number one vendor with 13.6 million PCs shipped, followed by HP with just under 13.6 million and Dell with 10.5 million. Acer Group, the number five worldwide PC vendor, shipped 4 million PCs during the quarter.

Lenovo and HP are tied for 21.9 percent market share, followed by Dell at 16.8 percent and Apple, as previously mentioned, at 7.1 percent. All of the top five worldwide PC vendors saw shipment growth in Q2 2018 compared to last year.

“PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behavior, still remains, and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.

Apple saw less growth in the United States, shipping an estimated 1.84 million Macs, up from 1.81 in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 1.7 percent. Apple was also the number four vendor in the U.S., coming in behind HP (#1), Dell (#2), and Lenovo (#3). Apple holds 12.7 percent of the PC market in the United States, compared to 14.9 percent for Lenovo, 28.6 percent for Dell, and 29.3 percent for HP.

Gartner’s Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q18 (Thousands of Units)


Almost all top vendors in the U.S. saw shipment growth, with the exception of HP, which saw shipments fall 0.6 percent. Acer Group had the best quarter in the United states with 25.7 percent growth. Overall U.S. shipments were up 1.7 percent, with a total of 14.5 million PCs shipped during the quarter, compared to 14.3 million in Q2 2017.

Apple’s Market Share Trend: 1Q06–2Q18 (Gartner)


It’s important to note that data from Gartner is preliminary, and that the numbers can shift, sometimes dramatically and sometimes less so. Last year, for example, Gartner estimated Q2 2017 worldwide Mac shipments at 4.236 million when the actual number was 4.266 million.

Apple’s Mac sales could grow significantly next quarter and through the end of 2018. Apple today introduced new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with improved processors, more maximum RAM, higher-capacity SSDs, True Tone displays, and more.

The rest of Apple’s Mac lineup, including iMacs, MacBooks, and the Mac mini, is also expected to get a refresh before the end of 2018.

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Nintendo hid a load-your-own NES emulator inside a GameCube classic

Fans of the early-2000s era GameCube version of the original Animal Crossing likely remember the game including a handful of emulated NES titles that could be played by obtaining in-game items for your house. What players back then didn’t know is that the NES emulator in Animal Crossing can also be used to play any generic NES ROM stored on a GameCube memory card.

Security researcher James Chambers discovered the previously unused and undocumented feature buried in the original Animal Crossing game code and detailed his methodology and findings in a technically oriented Medium post this week.

The key to opening Animal Crossing‘s NES emulator is the game’s generic “NES console” item. Usually, this item simply tells players who try to use it that “I want to play my NES, but I don’t have any software” (separate in-game items are used to play the NES ROMs that are included on the Animal Crossing disc).

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The Department of Justice isn’t done fighting the AT&T-Time Warner merger

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed to appeal a federal judge’s decision to approve AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

Back when he was campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump said his administration would block the deal, and indeed, the DOJ sued to stop the merger, arguing it would hurt competition.

Last month, however, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that the deal could move forward without conditions. He said from the bench, “The court has now spoken. … The defendants have won” — and the deal closed later that week.

In fact, we’re already starting to see some of the fallout, with AT&T’s reported plans for Time Warner-owned HBO leading to a flurry of worried headlines in just the past couple days.

The deal also seemed to set the stage for even more consolidation between telecom and media companies, leading Comcast to challenge Disney for ownership of Fox’s film and TV assets. (TechCrunch was already a very small part of this trend, since we’re owned by Verizon.)

“The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned,” said AT&T General Counsel David McAtee in a statement. “While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances. We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Haiti should make plan to gradually lower fuel subsidies: IMF

The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it expects Haiti to create a revised reform plan that will include a gradual lowering of fuel subsidies, even after four days of protests sparked by double-digit increases of gasoline, diesel and kerosene prices.

Trump says PM May’s soft Brexit deal could ‘kill’ U.S.-UK trade deal: Sun

U.S. President Donald Trump says that a soft Brexit of the type set out by British Prime Minister Theresa May last week would “probably kill” chances of a trade deal between Britain and the United States, the Sun newspaper reported late on Thursday.