In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from the biggest Black Friday deals to lab-engineered shrimp — it’s all here.
Calling Black Friday the Super Bowl of commerce would be an understatement on the level of saying the sun is hot. Even with last year’s Black Friday weekend experiencing an 11-percent decline, the holiday weekend still attracted over $50 billion in sales. This year, retailers are slashing so many prices, the pre-Black Friday deals could warrant the weeks prior to being its own holiday. But, do not narrow your choices to the $5 Skylanders Friends 3D Backpack or that 1 cent stack of paper because you were overwhelmed by the savings. Let Digital Trends’ annual Black Friday help you sift through the vast array of deals and discover the best ones.
Selfie sticks can be awkward to use, and have even been banned in some areas. For those who feel the need to post and share their face with the world, there’s a new product in development. Smart Ltd. announced its plans to take its prototype Selfie Mirror to the open crowdfunding market in an effort to release what it is proclaiming to be the world’s first smart mirror; one designed specifically with hands-free selfies in mind.
Apple has changed its mind about the popular screen brightness management tool F.lux. Apparently, the company claims F.lux’s developers weren’t allowed to use Xcode or the iOS standard developer kit to sideload the app. For those who don’t know, F.lux’s app limits the brightness of devices and cuts down on blue light. Scientists state that limiting exposure to blue light before sleep is key to a good night’s rest. Some sources suggest that Apple may have banned the app for selfish reasons. The iPhone maker may be working on a similar feature for its next iOS devices.
With its tiny footprint and even tinier engine, the Mitsubishi Mirage may seem like a throwback to the bad old days of tinny econoboxes. But the Mirage has been something of a sales surprise for Mitsubishi, so much so that the Japanese carmaker is investing in a noteworthy update that includes fresh styling, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
In what is surely the single most insidious case of excellent customer service, a new report from NBC News revealed the existence of a 24/7 Jihadi Help Desk, meant to spread ISIS’ extremist propaganda via the Internet worldwide. The terror organization, which has already become alarmingly adept in terms of its social media targeting and advertising tactics, is so intent on spreading its message of hate that it has even established this all-hours online service, which is operated by six senior members of the organization. The “express purpose” of the Jihadi Help Desk is reportedly aiding “would-be jihadists use encryption and other secure communications in order to evade detection by law enforcement and intelligence authorities.”
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week