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Christmas Cheer Technology

'Twas the Week Before the Week of Black Friday 146

theodp writes: It's almost time for America's answer to the Running of the Bulls (YouTube), kids. So, if you're dreaming of a cheap tech Christmas, it's time to peruse the 2015 Black Friday ads and make your game plan. Get lucky at Best Buy this year, and you could score a $299.99 Dell 15.6" touchscreen laptop (i3, 8GB memory, 1 TB HD), a $399.99 Microsoft 10.8" Surface 3 (Atom x7, 2GB memory, 64GB storage), $899.99 MacBook Pro 13.3" laptop (i5, 4GB memory, 500MB HD), $99 Acer 11.6" Chromebook (Celeron, 2GB memory, 16GB storage), or, for those on a tight budget, a $34.99 7" Amazon Fire tablet. Fight the crowds at Walmart, and you could snag a $199 HP 15.6" laptop (Celeron, 4GB memory, 500GB drive) or $199 iPad mini 2. And for stay-at-home shoppers, Dell's Windows 10 price-breakers include a $149.99 14" laptop (Celeron, 2GB memory, 32GB storage) and a $229 15.6" laptop (i3, 4GB memory, 500MB HD). So, in your experience, has Black Friday been like a claw machine — suckering you with big prizes, but never delivering — or have you actually walked away with a great deal?
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'Twas the Week Before the Week of Black Friday

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wow - this is the future right here guys!

    • What does it matter? Even though it's price comparable they wont shove a small SSD into low end laptops. Step 1 of laptop buying right now is swap in a SSD then do a fresh OS install.

      • Or wipe the partition table and install a linux desktop OS : updates are quick and don't require a reboot, even if you use a HDD.
        Believe me, you don't need an SSD if you don't run a huge Windows Vista-like OS and an antivirus (MS renamed Windows NT 6.4 to 10.0 to cover it up)

        • On a laptop I'll take the SSD if only for power savings.

          Through will say I run several linux desktops and performance is night and day between SSD's and spinning rust once you're using more than some ssh sessions and text editors. Reboot times realy dont factor in my windows laptops simply wake up do their updates and go back to sleep in the wee hours of the night. Outside of that none of them reboot outside of OS installs.

        • If you've ever worked with Eclipse (or MyEclipse) and Java you'll take the SSD. From boot times, to seek (even on the low end it'll be several times faster than a HD) The component single handedly has the biggest impact for performance I've encountered in years. The prices are pretty affordable now, too.
    • by theodp ( 442580 )

      Point taken. GB it is!

  • Good Lord... (Score:5, Informative)

    by morethanapapercert ( 749527 ) on Sunday November 15, 2015 @09:30AM (#50934247)
    This story reads like a pure ad, annoying as all get out. It makes me wish we could down-mod a story in order to save our /. sisters and brothers from exposure to it...
    • Re:Good Lord... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by supremebob ( 574732 ) <themejunky@nOSPaM.geocities.com> on Sunday November 15, 2015 @09:38AM (#50934273) Journal

      If you want to see what happens when users get to choose their own stories that make the front page, check out the technology section of Reddit. A third of the "articles" are just people bitching how much Comcast sucks. No thanks.

    • Slashdot: "Let's talk about something important. Put. That coffee. Down. Coffee's for closers only. You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Dice.com. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Timothy? You call yourself a salesman you son of a bitch?"

      Timothy: "I don't gotta sit here and listen to this shit."

      Slashdot: "You certainly don't pal, 'cause the good news is - you're fired. The bad news is - you've got, all of you've got just one week to

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

      This story reads like a pure ad,

      Reads like? :) It is not even marginally disguised as they usually are. The only difference is that it advertises 3 different manufacturers and some random "deal" website (so it is actually 4 ads rolled into 1).

      I think we need to down-mod the article posters, not just stories.

    • There will be no similar Black Friday stories on Pipedot...

    • Black Friday is extremely relevant to nerds. Lots and lots of electronics on sale. It's worthwhile to have a discussion on /., but a discussion means there has to be a story, and what the heck else is a story suppose to cover?
      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        I thought Cyber Monday was supposed to be the nerd holiday?

        Personally, I do shop both, but only online, at my leisure, and usually just for a few dollars off something I've been planning to get anyway.

  • Fuck you /. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Sunday November 15, 2015 @09:32AM (#50934259)

    Go take your "Black Friday" and shove it up your ass!

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Sunday November 15, 2015 @09:34AM (#50934265) Journal

    Maybe we can have a 'White Friday' where people get together and hack up some really interesting thing you can only make. but not buy buy bye. It just seems like the same shit in a different bucket all the time and just a bit boring. Can we skip christmas this year - but keep the holiday?

    • I love the idea, but marketing it to our consumer society is going to be a bitch.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        I love the idea, but marketing it to our consumer society is going to be a bitch.

        The irony makes my head explode

      • How about a "White Friday" where HackerSpaces/etc have open, free demonstrations for the public?

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        It's only hard if your standard of success is make it a thing that "everyone" is doing. Why not just spread the and if only a few people pick it up, that's OK.

        The thing that's offensive about Black Friday news coverage is the subtle implication that "everyone else" is subjecting themselves to it, so you should too. Well screw that. It's OK to do something that doesn't have the imprimatur of the herd. Every day is a gift you get only once; you should spend it doing something you find rewarding.

        Now some peopl

    • Can we skip christmas this year - but keep the holiday?

      As long as we remember to keep the official symbols of Jeebus on our coffee cups. You know, Snowflakes and snowmen.

    • Maybe we can have a 'White Friday' where people get together and hack up some really interesting thing you can only make. but not buy buy bye. It just seems like the same shit in a different bucket all the time and just a bit boring. Can we skip christmas this year - but keep the holiday?

      You're crazy. That's not long-standing stereotypical enough. New ideas must be crushed before they can rebound into possibility.

      BTW, humor, not insult.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        You're crazy. That's not long-standing stereotypical enough. New ideas must be crushed before they can rebound into possibility.

        Hmmmm, perhaps if we only worked on Christmas day and every other day was a sleep in.

        • You're crazy. That's not long-standing stereotypical enough. New ideas must be crushed before they can rebound into possibility.

          Hmmmm, perhaps if we only worked on Christmas day and every other day was a sleep in.

          Why, when you say that, does the word "Vodka" pop into my head? Oh, my!

    • you kinda need a computer for that, and getting a cheap, high power computer is kinda nice. Especially with VMs and such. I'm eyeing a faster desktop so I can run more VMs and maybe get back into coding for OSX on a hackintosh.
    • Maybe we can have a 'White Friday' where people get together and hack up some really interesting thing you can only make.

      In other words:

      "I'm making you a crappy craft item, and we all have to pretend that because I made it, it's somehow more special than if I'd just gotten you something you wanted..."

      The best gifts (for people who can buy their own stuff) are things they simply would never have known they want/need... It can be quite small and low-cost, and still be a great choice. Just don't expect jumpin

    • Black Friday falls under the general subject heading of "Bullshit." Now of course there are 10,000 Americans born every day who have to separately get bored with or otherwise reject Bullshit, and I'm sure that fact alone is what keeps some people in business, but it is Bullshit nonetheless. There are tons of us who have recognized it as such. If you're exposed to a lot of advertising, and your friends are typical consumers, you might be surprised to learn just how few people give a shit about Black Frida
      • I would shop in a store that had a "regular-tacular" protest ad campaign on black friday. (I mean, I wouldn't shop there on black friday, I'd shop there later. Only crazy people [google.com] go shopping on black friday.)

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      But you styill have to buy the parts to make! ;P

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Brothers and sisters, grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us remember that Thanksgiving was set aside as a holiday to thank the Lord for all of our blessings as a nation. It is a time to be with our families and a time to thank Jesus for all that we have. Let us choose to remain home on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, rejecting the allure of possessions that will never bring the true joy that can only be found through a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time for charity, giv

    • Let us remember that Thanksgiving was set aside as a holiday to thank the Lord for all of our blessings as a nation.

      Except that days of thanksgiving date back to the English Reformation during the 1500s [wikipedia.org] and were actually part of an effort to cut down on the 95 church holidays during the year where people were required to attend church and forgo work. It wasn't so much about thanking God as it was about replacing holidays where work wasn't allowed with ones where it was.

      Thanksgiving started as a way of saying "get off your ass and get to work instead of lounging around in a church pew you lazy fuck." Going shopping so t

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )

        Hard to believe that anyone actually believes this. But a sucker is born every minute.

        American Thanksgiving was specifically to take a day after harvest and thank God for his blessings. Today we can thank him for the many blessings most of us share.

        • Because American Thanksgiving is totally different from the thanksgiving holidays celebrated in other countries before America was founded!

          Tis the season for Christian outrage and jingoism.

    • Maybe its funny to some. Interesting post. Being an AC makes it funny? or just that it is posted on Slashdot.

      Be thankful that you too have to go through a thanksgiving with your family still alive.

      Still, I am getting me a deal somehow. Or save my money and not buy anything.

  • So, in your experience, has Black Friday been like a claw machine â" suckering you with big prizes, but never delivering â" or have you actually walked away with a great deal?

    If you's po and you want a good deal on a flat TV, then there may still be something for you in a store on black friday. IME, though, most of the prices now are pretty lackluster. You are likely to find the same item on sale for the same price or cheaper some other time of year.

    A lot of this crap is just crap anyway. I really want to like the Amazon Fire tablet, but the time when 1GB was enough RAM is past. The fire TV stick is fine for what it is; the Fire tablet ain't. Devices are starting to come with 3

    • ....If you's po and you want a good deal on a flat TV, then there may still be something for you in a store on black friday. IME, though, most of the prices now are pretty lackluster. You are likely to find the same item on sale for the same price or cheaper some other time of year.....

      Aren't they? You can even get deals online now. I never understood the need to have it in stores only; obviously it's to get you in the door to buy more, but isn't that what online vendors are now anyway? All that advertising and crap.. It's a gold mine. Just make sure the bandwidth and server resources are available. Drop prices on a few items whose profit is ridiculously high on anyway, and..... Profit? I figured out the South Park Underpants Gnomes' model finally!

      1. Collect Underpants
      2. Advertise

  • *Yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2015 @09:57AM (#50934323)

    Who actually wastes their time on this shit?

    I'm almost 40 and have never gone shopping on Black Friday. Why? There's never any actual good deals on anything. Hurrah! I can get a shitty broke ass low-spec flat screen for a hundred bucks from a company that nobody has ever heard of that will break in a week! But only if I'm one of the first five people through the door at 4am!

    Yeah, no thanks. Black Friday is only worth it if you're extremely poor . . . (not making light of that -- it is heartbreaking to see the hurdles parents will put themselves through just to try and make sure that their kids grow up and don't have a shitty childhood full of empty holidays to look back on when they are adults . . . which sadly tens to mean buying them lots of shit).... but even then... IT STILL ISN'T WORTH IT, because good quality decent stuff is never on sale on that day . . . and if it is, only in the most minimal quantity so they can advertise it, but not have to provide it to more than the first few people in the door.

    (Also, a tip such parents who feel like they have to go into debt and wake up at 2am on Friday morning just to provide a good holiday for their kids, because they don't want to let them down or feel they shortchanged their kids . . . . . . . as a kid from a super poor family where mom worked way too hard to care for three kids and desperately try to not let them down on the holidays . . . . . YOUR KIDS ARE GOING TO GROW UP TO BE GRATEFUL FOR ANYTHING THEY HAD AS LONG AS YOU WERE THERE WITH THEM. . . . Your kids are going to grow up and feel guilty for how hard you worked to provide extra things for them. You are not going to let them down, no matter what -- so don't kill yourself trying to do something).

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )

      About 20 years ago, I got $2000 worth of stuff for $1000 with $600 in rebates.

      I've gotten a Brother P-Touch labeler for free, an A&D blood pressure monitor free, etc. I still use many of these products all the time.

      So yeah, back then, totally worth it. But every year the deals have gotten worse, to the point where now, it's a completely phony sale and definitely not worth getting up early for.

    • Re:*Yawn* (Score:4, Interesting)

      by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Sunday November 15, 2015 @01:03PM (#50935019) Journal

      Black Friday is only worth it if you're extremely poor . . .

      The lines outside stores on black friday are probably SHORTER than the lines outside stores when the latest iPhone comes out... Who said anything about it being "worth it"?

      good quality decent stuff is never on sale on that day

      Of course it is. I got a Samsung smartphone for half-price (just a month or so after it debuted) in a black friday sale. Of course I only bothered because the deal was good for the whole weekend, so I ordered online and picked it up before closing on Sunday. This year I see a 49" Toshiba TV going for $150 instead of $400. Amazon Fire 7" tablet for 30% off.

      There are certainly savings to be had, just as much on name brands as generic imports. I certainly wouldn't waste my Thanksgiving camping outside a store, but it might not be as much of a loss for others.

    • I've never participated in Black Friday either. I don't see how it is helpful to anybody, poor or otherwise.
  • REI (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'll be buying something from REI this year. Specifically because they're closed on Black Friday. http://www.rei.com/black-friday

    Having worked in retail while in school. I would like to say on behalf of those still stuck in retail hell, "FUCK YOU" to everyone who goes out and shops on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. You're what's wrong with this country. (Nothing against consumerism, but the people who shop on these days are just mindless!)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Answer: It ain't worth it to me.

    Reason: They fail to profit or maybe even lose money on a few deals that people have to resort to low animal behavior to get their hands on. That gets in my way of shopping and stress, like it or not, rubs off. I feel that by the time I get to a store with some awesome deal, there's already a camp-out line or running line of people headed for it like hyenas. Since I'm a passive non-asshole, it's going to be gone (most likely) by the time I get to it. Sure, it's my fault f

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You and all the people you know do not need more shit. Stop buying more shit and pay off your credit card bills.

  • Black Friday is usually full of aggressive jerks, going to get a good deal so they can resell the item and make some cash. Instead, I sleep in on BF, wake up later in the day and check Craigslist, where the thugs are selling their bounty. If you give them $20-$50 more than they paid for it, they are happy because they made a profit. Also, CyberMonday tends to have equal or better deals. The sad fact is that inventory comes over by the container full and it has to go somewhere.

    • > Instead, I sleep in on BF, wake up later in the day and check Craigslist, where the thugs are selling their bounty. I

      Unwelcome or duplicate presents are why I'll check the "refurbished" or "opened" sales items at my local electronics store, a few weeks after Christmas. I've gotten some very nice personal electronics that way, including laptops and high end video cards.

  • It really seems that most people go out that day to buy something for themselves. I guess you can call it a gift to oneself, but that doesn't really seem in line with the idea of the holiday.
  • I made the mistake of going into our local Frys one year on black friday.. I don't know WHAT I was thinking, or if I'd completely lost my mind, but just driving into the parking lot *should* have told me to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE, with the parking lot full and my having to park waaaay out near the freeway... But nooo, stupid me walks all the way in, under that giant slot machine over the door, and terror immediately sets in. If you've ever been in a Frys, you've seen the 40-50 checkout "stalls" they have

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )

      I used to go to Fry's all the time on Black Friday. My team of friends would figure out what we all wanted and spread out to all the departments with tactical precision, got in line before there was a line and were out of there in 30 minutes including shopping time.

      The worst experience I had was a Mexican woman trying to take something literally out of my hand as I was holding it. Fortunately, my grip is stronger than it looks. Oh, and I got double parked once, but the car was a stick and the windows wer

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        This is why I just give people money in a nice envelope and card. That and I really, really suck at shopping.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        My mother brawled with 19 other mothers for a Cabbage Patch doll at a Toy "R" Us store in the early 1980's. Don't remember if she used her brass knuckles that she kept in her purse. We were the first one out of the store and she told my father to floor it when we got into the car. A half-dozen cop cars blared pass us as we got on the street and down the block. Made the local and national news that night.
    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      Found out later from a neighbor the wait to check out was nearly an hour

      Check out was nearly an hour at Fry's?! That's fast! Two to three hours is the norm after the store opens.

    • Which Frys?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    insert a bull into all that shopping and it would make it SO MUCH BETTER

    you dont even need to hurt the bull, altho its recommended since it will slow it down a little, but the whole experience would be so MUCH FUN

    generally speaking, if you insert a bull into anything it will make it instantly better, think red bull, the colour red is nice, but put a bull on it and you can start SELLING IT. How amazing is that

    not only you would have electronics, you would have blacks, all would happen on a friday (allahu akb

  • Not being an American, I use AliExpress, there it's black Friday 356 days a year.

  • My bro wants a shiny new i7 and a good Asus or gigabyte board. I haven't seen any deals were any better than weekly sales.
  • Two days after a terrorist attack we are talking about going to the mall. Why don't we talk about something important like the role of climate change in the unrest in Europe. Or the failure of conventional Economic theory in the West.

    • Hundreds of people I don't know get slaughtered in the middle east pretty much on a weekly basis. I'm used to it. Why should it be any different when hundreds of French people I don't know get slaughtered?

    • The whole world didn't stop after the Russian plane went down either.
  • you can buy a i3 laptop for 299 or less any day of the fucking week at best buy

  • Second, and in the spirit of my frustration, I'll encourage everyone just to hit Amazon or eBay and get better deals than big-box black friday deals. Oh, and on eBay and Amazon you can get them year-round and without having to battle large-muscled, tracksuited, crooked-teethed thugs that are in stores at 12:01 AM scooping up the total four items actually available at the uncompetitive but somehow alluring price that was advertised to millions.

    Black friday is a scam. Also, Best Buy is a scam. Also, Wal-Mart

  • Want you own Black Friday any time of year? Find the thing you want to buy on Amazon, go to CamelCamelCamel.com, set the price you want to pay, and then wait until you get an alert that your price was reached. ....
    Profit?

  • by Morpeth ( 577066 ) on Sunday November 15, 2015 @01:54PM (#50935249)

    The whole 'consumers drive the economy' thing pisses me off. It's like my only value as a person in a capitalist, consumerist society is to buy shit, any shit, just buy stuff. Fuck that. Plus, it's just NOT sustainable, period.

    I tried Black Friday once many years ago, never again. For several reasons, I think blue collar people should have the day off with family friends, not stuck selling crap to the mindless horde. Also, from a purely economic standpoint, I think each year the sales are crappier and crappier (old merchandise that's really not that steeply discounted)

    • It's like my only value as a person in a capitalist, consumerist society is to buy shit, any shit, just buy stuff.

      Capitalist: from the root "capital", i.e. money. Or did you think "capitalist society" is a society other than one which is driven by money?

      • by Morpeth ( 577066 )

        My point is that this is the kind of crap we end up with when we allow our society to be driven by money and mindless consumerism/materialism. People are more than just consumers, period.

        • I agree with you 100%. I'm just pointing out that the aspect that you observe is considered a feature, not a bug, of capitalist society. Whoever managed to market capitalism such that generations of the American people so vigorously defend the concept in name, without examining what it is, did a terrific job,
  • I wait a few hours after the stores are opened to see human nature at its best. My father and I in 2005 arrived at Wal-Mart at 6:30AM to find 16 police cars surrounding the store. A riot broke out over a low-priced HDTV that the store only had three in stock. Things looked pretty normal inside except for the police officers patrolling the store. I'm always amused to find HDTV boxes out in the parking lot, as people buy big ass HDTVs to put into their small ass SUVs and try to figure out how to get them home
  • Funny. The real black Friday, Friday 13th, is two weeks before "Black Friday"

  • Here's an example of how deceiving those ads can be. Best Buy [bestbuy.com] will have a 128GB flash drive for $19.99, discounted from the regular price of $99.99. Great deal, huh? Not really, as Amazon [amazon.com] has the same drive right now for $32.44, and the list price is $52.99. Meaning, Best Buy had marked up their price to make the discount look much better than it actually is.

  • Don't care. Never have. The maniacs can go knock themselves out.

  • bullshit but the whole world has been trying to sell Christmas shit since before Halloween. Also, fuck crowds.

  • It wasn't until Sunday that I realised that the Paris attacks had come on Friday the 13th. Clearly they wanted to add another "day that will live forever in the annals of infamy" to 9/11 (the 2001 one, and the 1973 CIA one in Chile), 7/7, 7/12, 22/11 ...

    So, on that basis, I would not be in the least bit surprised to see "Black Friday" become the date of another terrorist massacre.

    There's a good chance of general purpose gun nuts going on a shooting spree too. If you're in a country that arms it's gun nuts

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