My guess is that it indicates "Unicode", is it correct?
If so, since when is it available?
You're right, see 3.1.3. Unicode Strings.
It's been the syntax since Python 2.0.
Python 3 made them redundant, as the default string type is Unicode. Versions 3.0 through 3.2 removed them, but they were re-added in 3.3+ for compatibility with Python 2 to aide the 2 to 3 transition.
The u in
u'Some String' means that your string is a Unicode string.
Q: I'm in a terrible, awful hurry and I landed here from Google Search. I'm trying to write this data to a file, I'm getting an error, and I need the dead simplest, probably flawed, solution this second.
A: You should really read Joel's Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) essay on character sets.
Q: sry no time code pls
A: Fine. try
str('Some String') or
'Some String'.encode('ascii', 'ignore'). But you should really read some of the answers and discussion on Converting a Unicode string and this excellent, excellent, primer on character encoding.