Back to school with the iPhone 5, new Angry Birds app, Living Social deals and online trends

South Korean rapper Psy’s "Gangnam Style"

South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style”

Totally trending: It’s our Internet and technology roundup

Back to school and realizing that your smart phone is tragically out of date, you don’t know how to get the best local deals, and you need something to do on your study breaks besides the old Angry Birds? Check out the latest news on the iPhone 5 release (and other smart phones that might be up your alley), cool websites for local deals and the latest apps and online trends!

iPhone 5 release

The rumors have been flying for months about Apple’s new device — and even whether or not it would be called the iPhone 5. A conference held on September 12 announced the official release date of September 21. Apple has since announced that the company raked in a record 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, double the 1 million first-day orders recorded last year by the iPhone 4S.

Don’t want to wait for the iPhone 5? A contributor for the Chicago Sun Times in the September 5, 2012 article “Apple a tough act to follow, so others go first,” reported several companies making release announcements before Apple’s September 12 press meeting. “The timing of Motorola, Nokia and Amazon’s announcements probably have as much to do with the holiday buying season as anything else. But it’s also obvious that all attention will be on Apple next week,” the reporter stated.

What devices should you check out?

    • Nokia’s Windows Phone-8 devices, including the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920
    • Motorola’s RAZR M, the RAZR HD, and the RAZR Maxx HD

  • Amazon’s rumored improved Kindles

Local deals with Living Social

Maybe you don’t need a new phone, but you’re in the market for something fun to do with friends — but you don’t want to do it at full price. Enter the daily deal sites. You can seek out deals from a number of well-known sites like Living Social and Groupon. But are you making the best purchases? Here are some sites to try and some info on the big names in daily deals.

  • Living Social has 296 locations in North America, 4 in Asia, 74 in Europe, and 42 in Oceana. There is very likely a Living Social deal near you!
  • Groupon has a presence in 48 countries.
  • Google Offers is still in beta, and has fewer locations, but you can sign up to get an e-mail once they launch in your area.
  • Amazon offers daily deals through Gold Box — even though they also own 29% of Living Social.
  • Woot! has deals in tech, sports, and even t-shirts, as well as other areas.
  • You can find additional nifty here-then-gone shirt designs at TeeFury.

Say you’d rather find a local yard sale to discover used treasures. John Andrews of The Hippo reveals new ways to find yard sales using your computer or mobile device in “High-tech yard sailing.” Andrews recommends two sites, and, but gives the second one the edge, writing, “Where only pulls the exact addresses it finds on Craigslist, makes educated guesses from partial addresses spread throughout the Craigslist ad.” Apps include Yard Sale Treasure Map, Garage Sale Rover, iGarageSale, Yard Sale Mapper, and Yard Sale Hunter.

Angry Birds, move over for Bad Piggies

Roxio, the makers of the Angry Birds app, have realized that Angry Birds can only go so far on their own. Their next anticipated release, set for September 27, is called Bad Piggies. Set at 99 cents (like the first incarnation of Angry Birds), Bad Piggies is all about building, rather than knocking things down. Plus, those loveable villains will keep snorting on screen. What more could you want?

Not an Angry Birds fan? How about trying one of these games?

  • Zynga has just released FarmVille 2 (while still supporting the original FarmVille).
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance, playable only through Facebook, is continuing to release new characters as the film The Avengers gets closer to its Blu Ray and DVD release.
  • Rather try something more literary? Choice of Games features interactive, multiple choice novels — with superheroes, dragons, or zombies – you can play online or on your mobile device.

On Twitter and YouTube

Twitter wants opinions with:

While YouTube is all over South Korean rapper Psy’s absurdly addicting “Gangnam Style”:

Check out these two related videos:

How long before this video follows the “Call Me Maybe” trend, and everyone around the country has a parody or cover video? (The one by Cookie Monster is still my favorite.)

And, finally, memes go back to school with the “Uber Frosh,” a college freshman with headphones that people are captioning willy nilly. Hopefully your semester is off to a better start than his!

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