Countless bargain-shoppers shivered in lines outside big box stores yesterday, forsaking family and feasting in order to wedge themselves into Black Friday sales at four this morning. Luckily for those of us with an Internet connection and a credit card, we can do the same from home. Countless online malls are dropping prices on this first official day of the Holiday Shopping Season. One particular darling to the deal-hunter today is Apple, who shaved prices down on iProducts (not student or military prices, though), as well as licensed resellers of Apple gear who lowered them even more. Sites like Amazon offered the new 2.26GHz 13.3" white MacBook for $884.98 until it sold out, and available rebates from MacConnection bring the price down to $849.99. An exhaustive list of retailers and pricelists for iMacs, MacBooks, iPods and more is available at AppleInsider's spotlight of Black Friday deals from Apple.

Online shoppers have many services to choose from, including Black Friday Ads, which tracks deals at various Web sites. Since there can be no newsworthy day without its own microblogging account, enter @BlackFriday, a real-time Twitter stream that posts deals around the Web, as well as the more amusing developments. Other tools for finding more deals can be found in the Wall Street Journal's Black Friday guide.

This year could be seeing a shift in trends from Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday, to a combination online and brick & mortar big sales Friday. According to the Los Angeles Times, with more broadband connections at home, fewer shoppers are waiting until Monday to use fast office Internet connections to do their shopping. With that in mind, it seems a logical progression to simultaneous deals on Friday.

Relax, dear shoppers, there's no need to brave the local Wal-Mart. You really don't need to get into a fistfight today, anyway.