Apple Drops MacBook, iPod Prices for Black Friday

Apple's Black Friday sale includes $101 off the new 13-inch MacBooks and discounts on iPods, but those looking to walk away with a cheap iPhone might have to wait.

Apple announced Tuesday that it would offer a "special one-day Apple shopping event" the day after Thanksgiving, but provided few other details.

The company unveiled its Sale Website

Friday morning, and the most notable discount is $101 off the new 13-inch MacBook. The 2GHz MacBook usually runs $1,299 but is now available for $1,198. Prices on the 2.4GHz MacBook dropped from $1,599 to $1,498.

Apple also dropped $51 from the price of the white 13-inch MacBook, from $999 to $948, and the iMac 20-inch, with prices now ranging from $1,148 to $2,098.

On the Nano front, Apple is offering an $11 discount on the new, colorful 8GB and 16GB iPod Nanos, and $21 off the silver and black 120GB iPod Classics. The iPod Touch also gets a $21 discount on the 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB versions.

Looking to try out Apple TV? The device is also $21 off – with the 40GB version priced at $208 and the 16GB available for $308.

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HP Launches Multi-touch Consumer Tablet PC

HP has announced the industry's first convertible notebook PC with multi-touch technology designed specifically for consumers.

Building upon the touch innovation HP developed for its TouchSmart desktop PCs, the HP TouchSmart tx2 Notebook PC was developed for people on the go.

The enhanced HP MediaSmart digital entertainment software suite on the tx2 allows users to more naturally select, organize and manipulate digital files such as photos, music, video and web content by simply touching the screen.

"Breezing through websites and enjoying photos or video at the tap, whisk or flick of a finger is an entirely new way to enjoy digital content on a notebook PC," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. "With the introduction of the TouchSmart tx2, HP is providing users an easier, more natural way to interact with their PCs, and furthering touch innovation."

The tx2 recognizes simultaneous input from more than one finger using "capacitive multi-touch technology," which enables the use of gestures such as pinch, rotate, arc, flick, press and drag, and single and double tap.

The convertible design with a twist hinge allows consumers to enjoy the TouchSmart in three modes - PC, display and tablet. With a rechargeable digital ink pen, users can turn the tx2 into a tablet PC to write, sketch, draw, take notes or graph right onto the screen – and then automatically convert handwriting into typed text.

Starting at less than 4.5 pounds, the tx2 has a 12.1-inch diagonal BrightView LED display and an HP Imprint "Reaction" design.

In an effort to provide consumers with rich content through the Internet, HP has expanded its partnership with MTV Networks (MTVN) by offering video content from 10 television channels and online brands within MediaSmart's TV module.

Beginning in December, users can enjoy all the best content from Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central. MTVN also plans to make content from Atom, CMT, GameTrailers, Logo, Spike, The N and VH1 available within MediaSmart's TV module.

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PETA, Majesco's Cooking Mama Disagreement

Not every disagreement in the gaming industry has to be settled in a courtroom and PETA and Majesco prove this by showing some tact and ingenuity. The disagreement in question is that PETA isn't happy with the fact that Majesco's Wii franchise - Cooking Mama World Kitchen - has fewer vegetarian recipes than they'd like. So instead of going the way bigots do these days - taking pot shots at the franchise and/or gaming as a whole, spoiling its already falsely tainted name, PETA goes about it in a rather creative way.

You see, Cooking Mama for the Wii places the gamer in a kitchen, where he/she has to perfect 51 different recipes before the timer runs out. To express their point of view, PETA's developed their own flash version on the game called "Cooking Mama, The Unauthorized PETA Edition: Mama Kills Animals". The 'Thanksgiving' themed game plays a lot like the actual thing, only features a bloody doppelganger of Cooking Mama who seems hell bent on slaying animals in gory ways.

The purpose of PETA's version of the game, is to get gamers to "politely ask" Majesco to add more vegan recipes to the franchise. If you support their cause, you can sign their note for Majesco that reads:

"I love the Cooking Mama series and PETA's new parody of it, but I would love to see Mama make more vegetarian recipes or even a game with just vegetarian recipes."

"There is no doubt that I would play it!"

While I don't support their cause, I have to applaud the civil (and cocky) approach they've taken to make themselves heard by the right people, rather than flailing their arms around to grab attention and misinforming the press like most people have done in the past. The same degree of civility was extended on Majesco's behalf - this is how they replied in a recent press release:

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Virgin Mobile Launches Low-priced 1.3MP Cam Phone

Virgin Mobile has unveiled its vKewl mobile phone with Video Recording capability. The handset is, according to the company the only handset in its price range with a 1.3 mega pixel camera that comes with video recording capability, lifetime incoming validity and a prepaid connection. Other features also include an MP3 player and an FM Radio.

M. A. Madhusudan, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Mobile India said, "The mobile phone is a lifestyle device for youth and has become an extension of their personality and entertainment requirements. Keeping this in mind, we have now made facilities such as video recording and a 1.3 mega pixel camera more affordable for youth so that they can capture and share impromptu moments spent with their friends and family without hurting their pockets".

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Western Digital unveils TV Media Player

Western Digital might be large on hard drives, but that doesn’t mean that they churn out nothing but said peripheral all day long. This time round, we have something for the living room in the form of the WD TV Media Player. What makes this device so special? Well, it allows you to play your digital movies and videos in full High Definition (really, that all depends on what format the media file was saved in, including the resolution, aspect ratio and other metadata) on your HDTV without the need for turning on the computer. Instead, you are able to store those files in a USB flash drive or portable hard drive, connect it to the WD TV Media Player which in turn is hooked up to your HDTV, and you’re good to go.

Couch potatoes will be pleased that the WD TV Media Player comes with a remote control, allowing one to play content straight from the comfort of their couch without having to get up. This device works best with Western Digital’s very own My Passport drives (of course they’re going to tout that - do you think they’d list down a rival’s products instead?), and with those capable of hitting 500GB in storage space these days, it is pretty easy and convenient to build up a library of high definition video files for future viewing.

The on-screen menu is said to offer easy and fast navigation, regardless of whether you’re connected using a USB flash drive or an external hard drive. Photo viewing can be done via filename or thumbnails, making it a snap to locate the desired image you want to parade to everyone else in the room. Interestingly enough, automatic media aggregation makes it a snap for the viewers to see all their media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives.