When an update is released, notification of that release is displayed at the top administration panels saying WordPress x.x.x is available! Please update now. Not every blog will see that message at the same time. Your blog is programmed to check for updates every 12 hours, but the timing of that check is purely random. So if your blog just checked for updates minutes before an update was released, you won't see the update message until your blog checks for updates 12 hours later.
If you want your blog to check right now for updates, you can delete the update_core option name record in your wp_options table. Note that plugins and themes each have their own check and update cycle, controlled by the records update_plugins and update_themes, in wp_options.
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