This week in gagagadget:
Despite Firefox 4′s relatively recent release, Mozilla released the beta preview of their Firefox 5 browser last week. Firefox 5 beta preview retains a number of features from Firefox 4, mainly aesthetics, but includes some new functions as well, such as a take on IE9′s Pinned Websites feature, and Chrome’s built-in PDF reader. Of course, these features are subject to change as more information on the public release of the browser becomes available.
After nearly two weeks of PlayStation Network downtime, Sony finally issued a formal apology. Three of the company’s CEOs bowed in traditional Japanese fashion at Sony‘s Toyko headquarters on Sunday. Kazou Hirai, Representative CEO of the company, apologized for the incident, and then explained that the network should be online within the next few weeks. He also announced that Sony would increase security on their network, and offer a number of “Welcome Back” freebies to all PSN members.
According to a blog post on Sony’s PlayStation site, the PlayStation Network is in the final stages of testing. Although the network did not come back online this week, it could be up a early as next week. CEO Howard Stringer released a letter that PSN users would be offered identity theft coverage through insurance firm Debix, Inc., and confirmed that users would be given “Welcome Back” package consisting of a free month of PlayStation Plus membership and “other benefits,” rumored to be free downloads.
Apple refreshed its iMac line. The new all-in-one desktops all come standard with quad-core Intel Sandy Bridge processors, AMD Radeon HD graphics cards, a high speed Thunderbolt port (or two), and Facetime HD (the cameras are now capable of 720p video), and will ship with either a Magic Mouse or, for the first time ever, a Magic Trackpad.
Popular desktop and mobile Twitter application TweetDeck was bought out by Twitter for around $40 or $50 million in cash and stocks. According to an unnamed source, the move was preemptive; Twitter intends to prevent UberMedia – the largest developer of Twitter apps – from becoming more powerful, as Twitter “simply couldn’t allow UberMedia to have so much market share.” The move echoes one from around one year ago, in which Twitter purchased Tweetie, another Twitter client.