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Episode #177 - iPhone 5 Frenzy

Episode #177 of Weekly Tech Update is now available on iTunes and the Zune Marketplace.  This is our weekly podcast that covers the hottest stuff in tech - not only around BCCHardware, but also the world.  Check it out over here - as well as a free download in the iTunes store and the Zune Marketplace.

In this episode we will be discussing the biggest thing since the iPhone - the iPhone 5, Google keeps the social fight alive and everyone needs Bug-A-Salt.   We have those stories and more...

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Google Acquires Snapseed to Take on Instagram

I rather enjoy Instagram.  It's a micro social network that is just images and that's really why we look at Facebook to begin with right?  The problem for G+ users, is that when Facebook bought it, they haven't opened it (and likely will never open it) to Google+.  Google has gone on the offensive and snagged up Snapseed - one of the best and most popular photo editing/sharing apps that has previously been available on iOS.  It will come to Android and put up a fight.  I hope.

Google has already done a nice job providing a safe place for Flickr refugees and other photo enthusiasts by providing high-resolution image uploads and editing features like crop, sharpen, text, and a variety of photo filters inside Google+. Both Facebook and Instagram are notorious for compressing user photos to save server space...


Huge Storage Stack

SSD:

 

Network:

Other:


Google+ Hits 400 Million

Google's social network doesn't have all the hype that Facebook does, but at the same time, it doesn't have the ads, the scams, the inherant issues that comes with the design of the Facebook network.  Still, Google now claims 400 Million total accounts and 100 Million of those are active.  They climed to this number in just a year, and that's not bad at all.

However, there is one area that you can compare Google+ and Facebook in and that is speed of growth. It reportedly took Faceboook 4 years to accumulate 100 million active users. Google+ did this in just one year. So if you’re rooting for Team Google, you do have something to brag about.


 

ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A

ASUS gets it.  They realize that people want great screens on their products - or at least the option to buy a better screen.  The ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A reviewed over at the TechReport has a 1920x1080 IPS panel on a 13" ultrabook.  This is amazing.  While the native resolution will make the font a little small, the ability to cram that much text, video, icons, and more at a screen is great.  Take a look and see how the rest of the unit performed.

This isn't the Windows world's answer to the new MacBook Pro. It's a smaller system with substantially less impressive hardware, and its display density (166 PPI, by my count) pales in comparison to the to the 221 PPI of Apple's flagship. On the flip side, this up-and-comer from Asus has something entirely unattainable for the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro: a reasonable price tag.


Game Release List + Black Mesa!

ShackNews has posted up their weekly game release list and this week we've got a couple of titles that will keep us busy for a few weeks.  Borderlands 2 launches and it looks to be a nice update from the original.

PC

  • Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers
  • Borderlands 2
  • Dogfight 1942 (download - $15)
  • F1 2012
  • Jet Set Radio (download - $10)
  • Torchlight II (download - $20)
  • Train Simulator 2013 (download - $30)

360

  • Borderlands 2
  • City Tuesday (XBLIG - $1)
  • Entropy (XBLIG - $1)
  • F1 2012
  • Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout
  • Jet Set Radio (XBLA - $10)
  • Kinect Nat Geo TV
  • Kinect Sesame Street TV
  • Pixel (XBLIG - $1)
  • RAW - Realms of Ancient War (XBLA)
  • Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection
  • XenoMiner (XBLIG - $1)

PS3

  • Borderlands 2
  • F1 2012
  • Harvest Moon: It's a Wonderful Life Special Edition (PS2 Classic)
  • Jet Set Radio (PSN - $10)
  • River King (PS2 Classic)
  • Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection

Wii

  • Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout
  • La-Mulana (WiiWare - $10)

PSP

  • Feisty Feet (Mini)

NDS

  • Retro Pocket (DSiWare - $5) 

On another note, Black Mesa - a Source Engine fan remake of the original Half-Life is now available.  This is a pretty amazing remake of the original and if you are a fan - go get it.


Bug-A-Salt

Why have I not seen this before?  Shooting flys with a salt-shotgun? YES!


iPhone 5 Line and Benchmarks

It appears that some people are already starting to line up for the iPhone 5 in New York.  These people include unemployed citizens who are on welfare and especially those that are willing to waste their life waiting for a piece of metal and glass.  It's crazy stuff.

Why is it worth lining up for?  According to MacRumors, the phone is indeed wicked fast.  It is about twice as fast as the iPhone 4S and comes clocked in at 1Ghz on a dual-core A6 CPU. 

The total Geekbench 2 score comes in at 1601. Poole notes that the average score for the iPhone 4S is 629 and the average score for the iPad 3 is 766. A comparison chart of previous iOS devices can be viewed at Geekbench. The numbers seem to validate Apple's claim that the A6 processor is twice as fast as the A5 and any previous iOS device.


Case Review Pile

We have a pile of case reviews that have backed up in the inbox, so today is your lucky day.  There are actually some pretty sweet cases in this bunch - so take a look and see what you could stuff your next build into.

TweakTown:

eTeknix:

HiTechLegion:

XtremeComputing:

XSReviews - Lian Li PC-Z60

HardwareSecrets - InWin GRone

Vortez - Fractal Design Define R4


Microsoft Has Finished Windows Phone 8

According to ZDNet, Microsoft has wrapped up Windows Phone 8 OS and has shipped it to manufacturers for installation on their devices.  It's looking like WP8 is all set to roll, but with all the focus in the mobile world on the new iPhone and the other half proudly claiming freedom in the Android camp, I don't think WP8 is going to change or affect to much.  Still, it looks like Microsoft is ready to launch on time, and that is always a good thing.

On September 14, Microsoft's phone team shipped the OS, codenamed "Apollo," according to a couple of my contacts. WPCentral is reporting they are hearing the same. And WMPoweruser has posted pictures via LiveSino.net, of what appear to be Windows Phone team members signing an RTM wall.


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