Editor's Note: These deals have all expired. Check out our current list of best black friday deals.
Welcome to this week’s summary of the hot news. For most of us it’s been a shortened week thanks to the Thanksgiving holidays and the massive, crazy shopping day that followed it.
So grab a drink and a sandwich made of turkey leftovers and join us for a quick rundown of the week that was. Read on!
It’s hard to remember what life was like before we had USB. Sure, we had our parallel, PS/2 and serial ports (and many of us still do on our motherboards, even if they go unused). We had our Zip drives and even more rusty forms of portable storage. But USB has made life better for all computer users.
Now USB is taking the next great leap forward, with version 3.0 officially termed as SuperSpeed USB. The current 2.0 version of USB is Hi-Speed USB, so we’re betting that 4.0 will be LudicrousSpeed USB.
Find out more about SuperSpeed USB here.
Mobile phone news made up a considerable chunk of the wire this week. BlackBerry lovers were likely watching launch of the BlackBerry Storm late last week which, for a phone that carries no fruit logo, garnered quite a big response. One store in Manhattan had over 200 people queuing outside on that morning.
While the BlackBerry Storm is the most “social” of all RIM devices yet, existing BlackBerry users can join in on the party as well through applications. Case in point: more than 400,000 BlackBerry users downloaded the MySpace application in the first week of its release. Users of the app collectively sent and received more than 15 million messages and updated their mood and status over two million times in the first week.
If your BlackBerry is feeling a little archaic on the feature set, make sure you’re running the most current OS version. While it’s been unofficially floating around for a while, RIM has formally announced the availability of the 4.5 OS, which brings HTML emails, downloading and saving of files, and other features.
Other cell phone news of the week include:
T-Mobile’s G1 Android Phone Now in White
Lenovo Unveils SMS Laptop Executions
Second UK iPhone Ad Banned by Advertising Authority
Apple Sued Over iPhone Web Browser
Verizon Fires Obama-breach Employees, Considers Case Closed
Week in Windows
There’s rarely a week that goes by where there hasn’t been some news about Windows. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wasn’t able to dodge the courts as now he’s been ordered to testify in the class action Vista Capable case.
"I was not involved in any of the operational decisions about the Windows Vista Capable program," Ballmer initially said. But Judge Marsha Pechman believes that the Microsoft boss has unique personal knowledge of facts surrounding the case, and so, must face questioning.
So while Windows Vista is tweaking at Ballmer, now users get to tweak Vista. Remember Tweak UI? Some of you may still be using it, but those of us who are Vista Capable have gone without it for all too long. Last week saw the release of a big Vista tweaking utility, called the “Ultimate Vista Tweaker.” Unlike Tweak UI, it’s not a Microsoft project, but it’ll still get the job done.
What won’t be getting the job done is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer development team, at least not until next year. Microsoft plans to release one more test version of IE8 before releasing the final version of the new browser. The next "release candidate" won’t be available until Q1 2009, missing the company’s initial projection that the final product would hit PCs and Macs this year.
With Firefox being our browser of choice, and Google Chrome gaining favor amongst the renegades at our offices, we urge Microsoft to take as much time to make its browser a good one this time.
Time for Games
The holiday season is officially upon us, and that means that all of the video game industry’s heavy hitting software should be on store shelves. With the exception of one or two titles, your holiday game pickings are already here for you to enjoy.Here are this week’s game-related stories:
Tabula Rasa Shutting Down Feb. 2009 Army Investing $50 Million Into Gaming Eidos: No Posting Review Scores of Tomb Raider Underworld Nickelback Frontman: Put Down the Guitar Hero Microsoft Snags "The Guild" Season 2 Gamestop Expects Wii Shortages Nintendo Caves In to Wii Speak Complaints Nintendo Launches Mario DS for Black Friday
Spammers Strike Back
Oh spam, how we hate thee. Earlier in the month, Internet providers pulled the plug on U.S.-based McColo Corp., a company assisting in the distribution of more than half of the junk e-mail Internet users deal with on a daily basis.
Spam volumes dropped a pleasing 80 percent when McColo was taken offline on November 11, but it was too good to last for long. Spam is back on its way up and now the botnets have taken the operations outside the U.S., making it infinitely more difficult for authorities to shut down.
While that may be a little depressing, the war against spam saw a victorious battle. Facebook won over $800 million in a spam suit against Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital for sending trashy messages to users, many with sexually explicit content. Sadly, it’s unlikely that Facebook will see a dime of that.
Your Black Friday Haul
The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. Deals, deals, and more deals are the theme for Black Friday.
Some analysts even thought that Apple would be giving a bigger discount than usual on shiny new MacBooks. Black Friday came and went and sure enough, MacBooks were $101 off at the Apple Store.
Did many of you find any decent deals on Black Friday? Has the recession really impacted retailers’ willingness to cut prices further? Buy anything cool? Please feel free to share in the comments below.