June 26th, 2010

Impossible Shots TV Show Now on Saturdays AND Wednesdays

Flanigan Impossible ShotsImpossible Shots, a spin-off of the Shooting USA TV show, is now the most-watched series on the Outdoor Channel’s Wednesday Night line-up of gun-related broadcasts. Reflecting its growing popularity, Impossible Shots will now also air on Saturdays, at these times: 4:30 PM EST, 3:30 CST, 2:30 MT, 1:30 PT. Impossible Shots features amazing trick-shooting challenges performed by six top professionals: Pistoleros Bub Munden, Jerry Miculek, and Gil Guerra, rifleman George Sutton, and archer Byron Ferguson. There are also regular appearances by Team Winchester’s Patrick Flanigan, considered the world’s fastest shotgun shooter. In the video below, Flanigan shoots 12 shells in just 1.442 seconds!

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June 26th, 2010

Warning: New Apple 4th-Gen iPhone May Have Serious Flaws

Many of our readers use iPhones to run ballistics programs and to access travel maps and weather reports. We CAUTION readers who may be planning to purchase a new Apple iPhone 4 (Fourth Generation), first released on June 24th: Wait until the flaws are fixed.

You May Want to Hold Off on Purchasing a iPhone 4
We know many of you guys are anxious to get the latest iPhone 4… but we strongly advise you to wait a week or two at least. Or perhaps wait a few months until an improved version of the new iPhone is available. The reason for this advice is simple — the glass panels on the new iPhone are prone to cracking, and there is a serious reception problem on many of the latest generation of iPhones.

iPhone 4 Major Problems
We suggest readers WAIT before purchasing an iPhone 4, based on issues we observed ourselves, as well as thousands of reports that are flooding in. There are three main problems.

1. Many iPhone 4s have hardware-related reception problems causing dropped calls. This is apparently caused by hand interference with the antenna.

2. The iPhone 4’s front screen and back plate, which are composed of a new, ultra-hard Aluminosilicate glass, are very prone to cracking. We observed this first-hand.

3. Some iPhone 4 users are reporting yellow blotches and other abnormal screen discolorations. This is apparently a manufacturing defect.

iPhone 4GCracked Glass on Faceplate and Backplate
On June 24th, we went to the shooting range. One of our shooters, Katrina, had just acquired a brand new iPhone 4. She carried it in a protective belt holster. After a couple hours of shooting from a sitting position at the bench, she tried to make a call, only to find that the front glass screen had a full-width diagonal crack. This phone was never dropped, tossed, or abused in any way. While the screen needs to be replaced, Katrina’s iPhone is still able to make calls — the first one of which went to Apple customer support.

Many reports are surfacing about broken iPhone 4 glass. Unlike our experience with Katrina’s phone, most of the breakages appear to be on the back plate. You’ll find reports of the breakages in the Apple forums and on major tech websites.

Gizmodo.com reports: “Cases of broken iPhone 4’s backs are already appearing. This hasn’t changed from previous generations…. But the difference is that the iPhone 4 is all glass. If you drop any other phone, you have a 50% chance of breaking its screen. With the iPhone 4, the risk will always be there, no matter how it falls. It’s just more exposed to damage because of the material choice.” Another breakage report.

CNET confirms the cracking glass problem in iPhone 4s, and has already published a do-it-yourself YouTube video showing how to replace the glass rear plate.

Reception and Dropped Call Problem
There is a widespread problem with iPhone 4s losing reception when held in the hand. The video below shows how just picking up the iPhone and holding it normally will cause loss of reception. The problem appears to be hand contact with the iPhone 4’s metal frame, which serves as the antenna.

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An article in Gizmodo.com addresses the issue: “There’s no great fix for the iPhone 4 reception issues right now. We’re also pretty sure—and Apple confirms it—that touching the antenna does affect things—whether or not it has the final result of killing calls or speed of data connection.”

Rubber Bumper Partial Reception Fix?
Here is a further CNET video report confirming the reception issue with multiple iPhone 4 test units. The problem is more acute with some users than others, and CNET did suggest that installing a $30 rubber bumper may help with the problem. Tests by igear360.com show that bumper can raise iPhone 4 downloading speeds, but uploading speeds still suffer substantially. Click here for iPhone bumper tests.

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