Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon) Read more

Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon) Read more

Double happiness as China welcomes first giant panda twins of 2016

Two healthy baby giant pandas were born at a Chinese breeding research base on Monday, the first twins of the endangered species born this year, media said.The two females, weighing 144 grams (0.14 kg) and 113 grams, are the first offspring of mother Yali, who gave birth at the Chengdu giant panda breeding research base in southwest China's Sichuan province.The unnamed twins are being kept in an incubator and taken out periodically to be fed, according to state broadcaster CCTV. "The twins are quite healthy, their voices are quite clear, relatively speaking their fur and physical traits are all quite healthy," said one of their feeders, Tang Juwen. Giant pandas have seen their numbers hit by human encroachment on the highlands where they survive almost entirely on a diet of bamboo. But world nature organization WWF said a survey in 2014 found 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild, almost double the number of the late 1970s.While pandas struggle to reproduce in captivity, better knowledge of their needs has seen an increase in births in recent years with seven born at the Chengdu base last year. (Reporting by Reuters TV. Editing by Patrick Johnston and Nick Macfie) Read more

Humans probably caused Fort McMurray wildfire: Canadian police

CALGARY, Alberta The Fort McMurray wildfire in northern Alberta that forced the evacuation of 90,000 residents and shut in more than a million barrels per day of oil output was most likely caused by human activity, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Tuesday.The RCMP appealed for public assistance in determining how the fire started and whether a criminal offense was involved."Wildfire investigators for the province of Alberta have established that the fire was most likely the result of human activity, having ruled out lightning as a probable cause," the RCMP said in a statement.Police said they would like to speak with anyone who was in the popular wilderness area known as the Horse River Trail System between April 29 and May 5. Travis Fairweather, an Alberta Wildfire information officer, said there were a very high number of potential causes of fire linked to human activity, from use of recreational vehicles, to camp fires, industry, power lines, as well as arson."They have not narrowed any of that down but they have ruled out lightning at this point," Fairweather said. The fire was first spotted by an airborne forestry crew 15 kilometers (9 miles) southwest of Fort McMurray on May 1.Within 72 hours the blaze had breached city limits and was raging through some neighborhoods, forcing the entire population to hastily evacuate and eventually destroying around 10 percent of structures in Fort McMurray. Thousands of residents are still displaced and starting the laborious process of rebuilding their homes and businesses. Around a dozen oil sands projects were forced to shut down operations as a precaution and many are still in the process of ramping back up to full production six weeks later. (Editing by David Gregorio and Sandra Maler) Read more

New Harry Potter play enchants fans in first preview

LONDON Dressed in Hogwarts robes and waving wands, eager fans got a first glimpse of the next installment in the Harry Potter saga, giving a new London stage production glowing reviews. "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" brings back to life author J.K. Rowling's magical world of wizards and witches, set 19 years after her last book about the much-loved character and his friends Ron and Hermione. The play, the eighth story in the series, opened for previews on Tuesday night at London's Palace Theater, outside which queues snaked for meters as those who secured the first tickets waited anxiously to get in.The play, split into two parts, follows the three friends into adulthood, with Potter now described as an overworked Ministry of Magic employee, coping with his youngest son Albus' struggles with his famous family's legacy.Little else has been revealed and Rowling, whose books were turned into box office hit movies, has asked that audiences do not spoil the story for others. "I really liked the films but after seeing this, I would say, forget the films," fan Callum Fawcett said. "This is fantastic ... It's got everything.""It was utterly remarkable, just incredible," fellow fan Ollie Southgate added. "It's a whole different version of everything that everyone loves about the books ... The visual effects they've got is like nothing I've ever seen."The play is based on a story written by Rowling, screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. Journalists said audiences were enchanted. "The audience ... cannot be more thrilled or more appreciative or more ready to be caught up in the spirit of the undertaking," wrote the New York Times adding: "The three main characters remained true to their younger selves".Britain's Daily Telegraph wrote: "The audience came wanting magic and they got it in spades ... Has Rowling done it again? The audience was in no doubt." On Twitter, Rowling said the reaction to the first preview was "wonderful"."Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" opens on July 30. (Reporting By Saskia O'Donoghue; Additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Janet Lawrence) Read more

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