Apple to Deliver Thinner, Lighter MacBook Pro Models: Analyst

Today's topics include Apple’s plans to revamp its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, Facebook’s defense of its editorial policies against complaints of political bias, an investment firm's counter offer to Mitel's $1.96 billion bid for Polycom and Cray’s new supercomputing system designed to help enterprises run big data analytics.

Apple is looking at revamping its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop line later this year with thinner and lighter designs, Touch ID support and an OLED display touch bar.

Apple also has a new 13-inch MacBook model in the works. The rumored changes and updates were unveiled in an analyst note from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, who often has information on Apple updates before anyone else, according to a May 23 story by 9to5Mac.

The "dramatically overhauled MacBook Pro" will arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Kuo, with a thinner and lighter design that includes design cues taken from the 12-inch MacBook.

Facebook continues to address allegations that its editors showed political bias by keeping conservative topics out of its trending news section.

On May 23, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch responded to questions from U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and published a blog post about the letter.

Stretch reiterated sentiments shared by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook has protocols in place to prevent bias, and that suppressing views actually would hurt its business model.

"Suppressing political content or preventing people from seeing what matters most to them is directly contrary to our mission and our business objectives and the allegations troubled us deeply," wrote Stretch.

Mitel's plan to buy video conferencing vendor Polycom for $1.96 billion just got a little more complicated.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission May 23, Polycom officials said the company has received a revised offer from an unnamed private equity firm that could be "superior" to Mitel's bid.

In the Form 8-K filing, Polycom officials noted that on May 13, Mitel filed a document with the SEC noting that the private equity firm had a made an offer for Polycom.

Since then, a revised offer had come in from the firm—referred to in the filing as "Sponsor 1"—that "could reasonably be expected to lead to a 'Company Superior Proposal' as defined in Polycom's merger agreement with Mitel." Polycom officials said they intend to talk with Sponsor 1 regarding the revised proposal.

Cray officials are using the company's deep expertise in supercomputing to help enterprises address the challenges of big data analytics.

The high-performance systems vendor on May 24 announced the Urika-GX, a supercomputing system that's preloaded with open enterprise analytics software like Hortonworks Data Platform, which includes Hadoop and Apache Spark, and the OpenStack management suite.

The result is a system that has the performance capabilities to process and analyze the massive amounts of data being generated and the tools that enterprises are accustomed to using.

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