LCD display makers to pay $553M in price-fixing conspiracy case

Seven major LCD display makers have agreed to pay more than $553 million for illegally conspiring to fix prices of thin film transistor (LFT) LCD panels used in television, computer and laptop screens. Samsung Electronics, Sharp and Chimei Innolux are paying the largest portion of the proposed multi-state antitrust settlement, which still requires court approval.

Christmas marks record high for Android and iOS activiations, app downloads

Smartphones and tablets have surpassed the luxury phase, and are proliferating the market as every day household items. Though they still haven’t taken over feature phones, which own around 60 percent of the market, smartphones are widely adopted. Because of that adoption, they are being given as gifts left and right, with 2011 being the biggest year for Android and iOS devices as of yet.

Phishing e-mail targets new Apple customers, steals billing information

Cyber criminals are sending around a very official looking e-mail asking Apple users to update billing information, according to Intego, an anti-virus software company focused on Macs. The company says that the phishing scam, or scam that parades itself as a legitimate source and then steals information, targets new Apple users who are just setting up their accounts and may be unfamiliar with the Apple system.

Top 10 hilarious and surprising viral videos of 2011

We decided to cap off the year with a list of 10 viral videos we especially liked. While you’ve probably seen at least half of these, there’s a good chance you haven’t seen them all. In trying to define “viral,” we’ve decided not to count any stunningly made professional videos. No music videos starring the notorious Rebecca Black or mega-popular Katy Perry, no crazy views of Earth from space and no stunning visions of the future are in the mix here.

Bare bones $25 ‘Raspberry’ computer available in January

You might want to hold back on that $600 Mac Mini purchase for just a little bit longer. The Raspberry Pi, the little $25 computer that can run Quake 3 Arena and play HD videos, is scheduled to go into volume production in January. If you want to splurge, you can also pay a $10 premium for the fancy Model B that comes with an ethernet port and 256 – instead of 128 – MByte RAM.

2011 was a great year for gamers

Gamers had plenty of great titles to play this year. As a quick look at Metacritic’s 2011 results will show. The website collects review scores from across the internet and averages out a total score, making for a good way to see what the general consensus is on any given title. In other words, a game needs to receive consistently high scores to maintain a top spot.

The best indie games of 2011

Indie games are officially in style. Amidst all the bundles that have been offered for so very little money all year, it can sometimes be hard to take a step back and gather one’s thoughts about which of the indie games released in 2011 really stood out among the crowd. We have taken the time to rifle through dozens of these games to find the very best, and the following list, presented in no particular order of quality, are the ten we have chosen. Feel free to suggest your own favorites in the comments below, or yell at your monitor for any startling omissions from the list.

2011 holidays: Shopping-by-tablet was popular, but retailers weren’t ready

This was a groundbreaking holiday season for e-commerce. Cyber Monday lived up to its hype – the biggest ever – and online sales held strong throughout the season. While sales figures took the majority of the headlines, this season gave birth to a new trend: “couch commerce” — people using tablets as their preferred device for shopping.