All The Software Apple Will Introduce In 2018: iPhone, Mac & Apple Watch

Michael Grothaus

08/03/2018 – 3:47pm

Apple has 4 OSes and all will see updates for its iPhone, Mac, Apple and Apple TV devices

Everyone thinks of Apple as a hardware company, but in truth, they are one of the largest software makers in the world. The company has four distinct operating systems that run on a variety of their devices: iOS, tvOS, macOS, and watchOS. Without a doubt, iOS is Apple’s most-used operating system, and given the ubiquity of mobile devices, it’s only of the planets most-used OSes. But the company’s other OSes are just as important to Apple’s ecosystem. The good news is no matter which device you use–and which OS it runs–all of Apple’s operating systems will be getting updates this year. Here’s what we know about each one.
iOS 12
Rumors have it iOS 12 will be massively scaled back in the new features department. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. It’s a bad thing if you like your major iOS releases to have a ton of brand new features. But it’s a good thing if you’re sick of the increasing bugs that have crept into Apple’s new releases. That’s because Apple has reportedly scaled back the new features of iOS 12–moving most of them from iOS 12 to iOS 13–in order to concentrate on bug fixes and stability improvements.

Apple’s next biggest OS is macOS–the operating system that runs on all of Apple’s computers. The big feature of macOS 10.14 is expected to the be aforementioned cross-platform apps. This could potentially be HUGE for the Mac platform as it would make it easy for iOS developers to port their apps to the Mac–potentially giving the Mac tens of thousands of new desktop apps overnight.
Beyond cross-platform apps, macOS 10.14 is rumored to add the “Hey, Siri” voice command feature, as well as having a dedicated TV app (which iOS already has) or a new version of iTunes that will support Apple’s upcoming video streaming service.
watchOS 5

As for the Apple TV, it’s operating system expected this year–tvOS 12–is a mystery. No rumors have leaked out about it yet. Sure, new screensavers are a given, but what other features it could include are unknown. It’s possible tvOS 12 would include an improved TV app and support for Apple’s yet-to-be-announced streaming video service–but we’ll need to wait until June when it is previewed to find out if that’s actually the case.

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Three and Vodafone are being investigated over suspicions of unfair throttling

Net neutrality is a term we’ve heard a lot of over recent months after the FCC voted to repeal the rules that prevent US internet providers from blocking or throttling particular traffic on their networks.
While many of us probably take for granted that we’re unaffected by the landmark decision, telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced it’s investigating whether mobile networks Three and Vodafone have broken similar rules in the UK.
Specifically, the investigation will examine whether Three has slowed down particular types of traffic both in the UK and abroad, as well as whether its tariffs that prevent some customers from tethering their data allowance violate net neutrality rules.
The telecoms watchdog will also investigate whether Three’s practice of selling different data plans for specific devices is in accordance with regulations.
Three said it would “work closely” with Ofcom to understand its worries.
In relation to Vodafone, Ofcom plans to investigate whether the network’s ‘Passes’, which offer unlimited bandwidth for specific network activities – including streaming music and video – lead to unfair throttling of traffic across its network. Vodafone is also being investigated with respect to the transparency of exceptions to its ‘Passes’, where certain functions within apps are not included within an unlimited allowance.
Vodafone said that it was “very disappointed” about the decision to investigate its passes, and said that it doesn’t throttle speeds in the UK or abroad. It did, however, admit to optimising bandwidth for customers using video passes, so that they receive the best possible quality while not impacting on the experience of other customers.
Ofcom said the investigation follows “the assessment of evidence gathered” by one of its own programmes. More specifically, it aims to “assess whether any ISP traffic management practices raise specific concerns” in relation to the EU Open Internet Access Regulation 2015, which ensures that “internet traffic shall be treated without discrimination, blocking, throttling or prioritisation”.
While networks providers are allowed to use “reasonable measures” to manage traffic and ensure the network runs efficiently, they are required to be transparent about such policies, Ofcom explains. Under the above EU regulations, which came into effect on 30 April 2016, internet providers and mobile networks must “treat all internet traffic on their networks equally, and must not give preferential treatment to any particular sites or services.

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New Kit at The Photography Show 2018

Mac users, the all-in-one photo editor Luminar 2018 is out now and available for just $69£64 for new users, with big discounts for upgrading users. We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended“. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10£9 on Luminar.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Windows users, the all-in-one photo editor Luminar 2018 is out now and available for just $69£64 for new users, with big discounts for upgrading users. We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended“. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10£9 on Luminar.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

The Photography Show returns to the NEC, Birmingham from 17 – 20 March with leading exhibitors and manufacturers present on the show floor. 
The Photography Show Press Release
New Kit at The Photography Show 2018
The Photography Show returns to the NEC from 17 – 20 March with leading exhibitors and manufacturers present on the show floor. Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sigma, Sony, Tamron and Zeiss will be showcasing recently launched kit (some for the first time in the UK), offering visitors the opportunity to try new tech and cementing the show as a leading UK event for everyone passionate about photography and moving image.
New releases presented at the show will include the highly anticipated new flagship X-series model from Fujifilm, the X-H1, alongside new entry-level mirrorless, the X-A5 and MK-X Cine lenses which visitors can try for the first time in the UK and won’t be available until June 2018; visitors can get hands-on for the very first time with Canon’s brand-new EOS M50, enabled with 4K video recording, and the new Speedlite 470EX-AI automatic adjustable flashgun.
Sony’s A7 III, their latest mirrorless camera, featuring cutting edge imaging technologies, including 4K Video, along with the HVL-F60RM Flash will be available for visitors to try for the first time in the UK.
Panasonic’s latest compact camera, the TZ200 superzoom will be on display, alongside the GH5S hybrid video mirrorless camera, the high-speed, high end mirrorless G9 and the GX9compact system camera. Ricoh’s Pentax K-1 Mark II, a refreshed version of the original full-frame K-1, will produce higher-resolution photos in low-light, along with 4K video capability.
Those with an interest in lenses will have plenty of choices for recently announced releases, with Sigma showing (by special request) the 105mm F1.4 DG HSM A and the 70mm F2.8 DG Macro Art prime lenses from the highly regarded Art series, both making their UK premiere; visitors will be able to try out the new 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM A lens; Tamron will show their latest superzoom lens (for the first time in the UK) the 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD, while Zeiss will premiere their compact and super wide-angle lens, the Loxia 2.8/21.
The Canon Education Stage is back to give visitors insight into some of the more technical aspects of photography with a Canon, alongside the Canon Live Stage programme, featuring talks from Ambassadors and experts. Canon will also be showcasing (for the very first time) new releases in their junior range of interchangeable-lens cameras, the EOS 4000D and EOS 2000D, while the EOS Training Academy will give bite-sized sessions and answer any questions visitors have on the use of these cameras.
Olympus will showcase the latest PEN release, the E-PL9; with enhanced touch screen operation alongside other new features like Advanced Photo mode, combined Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity, as well as a range of Art filters, ergonomic and aesthetic design features. Visitors can also see the line-up of M.ZUIKO lenses, as well as the entire PRO range, and take advantage of a free check and clean on stand for their Olympus products (we advise visitors to book in early for this).
To view the full range of brands available at The Photography Show this March, please visit: https://www.photographyshow.com/2018-exhibitors
Registration for Pros closes at 23:59 on Wednesday 14th March 2018. From 00:00 on the 15th March, pros will be treated the same as consumers and will need to book tickets via The Ticket Factory.
Entry ticket pricing will change to £18 (adult) and £15 (concession) from 00:00 on the 15th March 2018. These prices will remain throughout the show.

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Poll: Did the Galaxy S9 live up to your expectations?

To say that the Samsung Galaxy S9 was eagerly anticipated would be putting it lightly. After a lot of rumors, hopes and hype, the flagship has made its debut. While some are pleased with the smartphone, others are underwhelmed or even disappointed. In this week’s poll, we want to know what you think of the S9.

When I first laid eyes on the Galaxy S9, it felt like déjà vu. While the device is definitely as stunning as its predecessor, and it is packing some great specs, I didn’t get the rush of excitement I was expecting because not much had changed. I was hoping for a fresher design, more exciting new features and maybe even for the Bixby button to get the axe. Instead, the S9 seems like it’s just an S8 with some iterative innovations which don’t make it worth the upgrade, at least in my opinion. I was surprised to be a bit underwhelmed by the device, and I doubt I’m the only one. 
It seems the latest addition to the Galaxy S series is missing some of the things AndroidPIT readers wanted most from the successor to the S8. About a month ago, before the Galaxy S9 was revealed, we asked our readers what they most wanted to see from the upcoming flagship in a poll. The top response? An in-display fingerprint sensor. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, that certainly didn’t happen. To their credit, the kind folks at Samsung did move the rear fingerprint sensor to a more sensible location. The second most common answer was a more affordable price. When the S8 launched, the best deal you could get was $720, and now you can pre-order the unlocked S9 for the same price from Samsung. I guess we should all just be thankful the price didn’t skyrocket.
Did you get all the features you were hoping for from the S9? Share your thoughts with us in the poll!
Let us know what your first impressions of the S9 were in the comments below!

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This robo-bug can improvise its walk like a real insect

 There are plenty of projects out there attempting to replicate the locomotion of insects, but one thing that computers and logic aren’t so good at is improvising and adapting the way even the smallest, simplest bugs do. This project from Tokyo Tech is a step in that direction, producing gaits on the fly that the researchers never programmed in. Read More
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Samsung Galaxy S9 Review | Digital Trends

Small smartphones tend to not get much love. They often aren’t as feature-packed as their larger counterparts, which is why it was refreshing to see the only differences between the original 2016 Google Pixel and Pixel XL, as well as last year’s Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, were the size and battery.
Unfortunately, trends show things are quickly going back to the norm. The Pixel 2 XL differentiated from the Pixel 2 with a bezel-less design, and the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact doesn’t have wireless charging or the new Dynamic Vibration System found in the larger Xperia XZ2. And with the new Galaxy S9, you won’t find the versatile dual-camera system that’s present in the larger Galaxy S9 Plus. Are the extra features in the Galaxy S9 Plus worth the money, or will you be satisfied with a smaller phone? Let’s take a closer look.
Interested in the Galaxy S9 Plus? Check out our in-depth review.
Small and compact
The Galaxy S9 is the perfect-sized phone. It’s easy to wrap our palms around this smooth 5.8-inch device, and our fingers ergonomically rest on the curved edges along the S9’s frame. The power button on the right edge sits in an easy-to-access position, as does the Bixby button on the left edge. It’s a shame we’ve turned off Bixby’s functionality, so the button remains useless — more on that later.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Despite the small size, the volume rocker on the left edge is still a little too hard to reach, just like it is on the Galaxy S9 Plus. We have to shuffle the phone a little lower to tap it.
On the bottom edge of the phone is a USB-Type C charging port, with a bottom-firing speaker and a headphone jack. You’ll be pleased to learn that Samsung finally uses stereo sound — the top earpiece works with the bottom-firing speaker for AKG-tuned, Dolby Atmos audio. Music is easily room-filling, with rich, clear sound, but weak bass. It’s a step up from Samsung’s previous smartphones, but dual front-facing speakers like those on the Pixel 2 would be an even better addition — we often end up covering the bottom-firing speaker when holding the phone in landscape mode.

The Galaxy S9 is the perfect-sized phone.

The back of the S9 isn’t drastically different from years past. Samsung has essentially flipped its horizontal camera and fingerprint sensor setup vertically, making it easier to place your finger. Sadly, it’s still easy to touch the camera sensor because the fingerprint module isn’t distinguished enough from the camera frame, and both are still too close to each other. Speaking of fingerprints, get ready to carry a microfiber cloth or use a case with the S9 — otherwise you’ll spend countless minutes getting rid of smudges and fingerprints off the glossy, glass back.
Size is the Galaxy S9’s strength here. The S9 is slightly shorter than last year’s S8, but you get the same 5.8-inch screen thanks to the smaller bezels surrounding the display. After going between the S9 Plus and the S9, we much prefer the smaller phone. It’s comfortable and easy to hold, while still being a great entertainment device with a large display and great sound.
Sharp, colorful display, plus speedy performance
It may have been around for a year, but we still can’t stop gazing at Samsung’s Infinity Display. Samsung has taken the effort to mask all the cameras and sensors sitting in the bezel of the phone, making it look like the screen blends in with the edges, which creates a more immersive viewing experience.
The 5.8-inch screen size is the same as the S8, but there are some improvements in the AMOLED panel. Colors are incredibly vibrant, but still accurate, and the screen gets brilliantly bright. The S9 has a Quad HD+ (2,960 x 1,440 pixel) resolution, just like the Galaxy S9 Plus, which means it’s even sharper than its larger brother because it packs more pixels (570 pixels-per-inch to be exact).

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The end result is a beautiful screen that’s perfect for binge-watching the new season of Jessica Jones. The S9 supports HDR10 after all, so apps like Netflix, YouTube, and HBO with HDR10 content look their absolute best on this phone. Sure, the Galaxy S9 Plus has more screen real estate, but we’re happy watching shows and movies on the smaller S9 as well.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are the first phones we’ve tested with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, and we’re happy to announce the new chipset delivers great performance. Apps open quickly, and moving throughout the user interface is mostly smooth. We say mostly because we have encountered the occasional stutter, which reminds us of Samsung’s TouchWiz launcher days.
What impressed us more is gaming performance. The Snapdragon 845 chip boasts bigger graphics improvements, and it shows. Games like Tekken and The Sims: Mobile run without a hitch, and the phone doesn’t get too warm after we were playing for a while.
Here are a few results from benchmark tests:

AnTuTu 3D Bench: 261,876
Geekbench 4 CPU: 377 single-core; 7,982 multi-core
3D Mark Slingshot Extreme: 468 OpenGL; 3,617 Vulkan

The scores are slightly lower than what we received on the Galaxy S9 Plus, and that may be due to the 6GB of RAM in the larger phone — the regular S9 only has 4GB. More RAM is beneficial when you’re doing a lot of multitasking, and it also helps future-proof the phone. Still, 4GB is plenty for most people, and the S9’s scores are way higher than the Pixel 2 and almost all Android flagship smartphones from 2017.
Needless to say, the Galaxy S9 can easily handle multitasking, gaming, and everyday tasks without issues. You’ll be satisfied with performance on this phone.
Who needs a second camera?
The biggest difference between the S9 Plus and the S9, other than size, is the extra camera on the rear of the S9 Plus. Like many other flagship smartphones, the dual-camera system offers features like 2x optical zoom and a Portrait Mode for a blurred background effect, as well as a wide-angle camera on certain devices like the LG V30. You won’t get any of that on the small Galaxy S9, but you do get a killer single 12-megapixel camera with variable aperture.
That doesn’t sound as cool, but you’ll undoubtedly be more than satisfied and impressed with the photos — specifically the low-light photos — the S9 captures. As we’ve explained before, variable aperture is when the camera can switch between two apertures: In the S9’s case, it can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4.
Aperture is the hole in the camera that lets light into the sensor. The S9’s f/1.5 is the widest aperture available on a smartphone currently, and that means it can absorb a lot of light because the hole is larger (the lower the number, the wider the aperture). The problem with having such a wide aperture is that the details in the photograph are not as sharp. So if you compare a daylight photo taken with the f/1.5 aperture versus the f/2.4 aperture, the latter photo will be far more detailed.

You do get a killer single 12-megapixel camera with variable aperture.

Thankfully, you don’t need to think about any of this because Samsung hides all this complicated mechanical machinery away from the user interface. Simply open the camera app, tap the shutter icon, and the S9 will take a great photo. It will default to the f/2.4 aperture most of the time, so your photos remain sharp, but when it detects poor lighting, it will automatically switch to the f/1.5 aperture. These photos are noticeably brighter than the S9’s competitors, and while they may be a little fuzzy, they’re still excellent considering the lighting conditions. You can also manually switch apertures in the camera’s Pro mode.
What’s even more impressive is Samsung’s multi-frame noise-reduction image processing, which may not sound interesting, but is important. We’ve all taken photos at night only to find a lot of grain or “noise” ruining the picture. When you tap the shutter icon on the Galaxy S9, the phone captures 12 photos it then compiles to eliminate as much noise as possible. When you compare low-light photos with the Google Pixel 2, for example, the difference in noise is astounding, and it always makes for a better photo.

There’s also the Super Slow Motion feature, where you can take 720p videos that are 32 times slower than real life. It’s a fun addition into the camera app, though it does take some getting used to when trying to capture fast-moving scenes. Samsung has also taken a page out of Apple’s book with AR Emojis, mimicking Animojis that debuted on the iPhone X. We’re not fans of how AR Emojis look — though some people on our staff think they look great. More importantly, the motion-capture technology used to create and send AR Emoji videos is not good at all. Animojis remain far superior. Like Animojis, however, we expect no one to talk about this feature after a month.

Left: Pixel 2 XL; Right: Galaxy S9 (click images for original resolution). Photos: Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We’re genuinely impressed at the low-light achievements here with Samsung’s “reimagined” camera, and the Super Slow Motion addition is genuinely fun. We do still think the Galaxy S9 Plus’ second camera is worth the extra money, though. We kept trying to use the S9-exclusive 2x optical zoom on the regular S9, only because taking detailed photos of objects further away makes the camera so versatile. Live Focus is also a handy and fun feature to have, and the “Selective Focus” software version feature on the S9 doesn’t compare.
If those two latter features aren’t important to you, then you’ll still be overjoyed with the Galaxy S9’s camera.
Customizable software, but you can’t erase Bixby
The Galaxy S9 runs Android 8.0 Oreo, but it’s layered with the Samsung Experience 9.0 user interface. The software looks far better than Samsung’s old TouchWiz UI, and there’s plenty of customization options to personalize your S9.

Samsung has taken its sweet time to update its devices to the latest version of Android.

For example, you can change the exact color of the clock on the lock screen, not to mention choosing a clock design from a variety of options. The sheer amount of customization options are great, and they don’t feel overwhelming. Most people won’t touch a lot of these settings, but we’re happy to know they are there.
With all this customization, however, you would think Samsung would let people remap the Bixby button. Bixby is Samsung’s artificially intelligent assistant first introduced in the Galaxy S8. It’s meant to be an easy way to perform traditional touch functions on your phone with your voice. It can be handy sometimes, but we’ve generally found the experience to be slower and not as reliable as Google Assistant, which you can access by pressing and holding the home button. Sliding the home screen to the right to open Bixby Home is sluggish, and there never really seems to be any useful information here.
There are a few new additions to Bixby Vision — the camera part of Bixby — including Makeup, Food, and improved instant language translation. The latter two are wonky, and never completely reliable, but we’ve found Makeup to be fun and useful. It leverages technology from a company called ModiFace, and it lets you layer makeup products over your face. If you like the way a product looks on your face, tap the link and you can purchase it from the website. Right now, Makeup has Sephora products, but Samsung said to expect more, like Cover Girl, soon.
While Bixby can be annoying, the biggest disappointment in terms of software is updates. It’s why the Pixel 2 XL remains our top Android phone, because version and security updates are important to us, and Samsung has taken its sweet time to update its devices to the latest version of Android. Android 8.0 Oreo came out back in August 2017, and the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are still on a beta. With Android P’s first developer preview now available, don’t expect to have it on the S9 or S9 Plus until early 2019. If you care about fast software updates, get a Google Pixel.
Daylong battery life
If you’re a power user, don’t expect to get through a day without charging up the Galaxy S9. After using it heavily for watching YouTube videos, taking photos, playing video games, and browsing the web, we reached 7 percent by 6 p.m. That’s not good at all, and you can easily find better battery life with the competition, especially the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.
If you don’t use the phone as much, you’ll obviously see better battery life. You can also head to the device manager settings to optimize the battery and get as much time out of it as possible. On a light day of use, we managed 38 percent by 5 p.m., starting with a full charge at 7:30 a.m.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Compared To

The phone supports fast wireless and wired charging, so you have plenty of ways to charge it back to full strength quickly.
Price, availability, and warranty information
The Galaxy S9 costs $720 from Samsung, or you can purchase it on a monthly payment plan. You can also buy it through carriers and other retailers, and you can check out our buying guide for more details and deals. Pre-orders are available now, and the phone will be in stores on March 16.
Samsung offers a one-year limited warranty that protects the phone from manufacturing defects. You can purchase Samsung Premium Care for an extended warranty, as well as other features.
Our Take
The Galaxy S9 is a comfortable and compact phone that offers a fantastic camera and great performance. We do think the S9 Plus is worth it for the second, versatile camera, but the S9’s perfect size makes it hard to ignore.
Is there a better alternative?
Maybe. The Google Pixel 2 is another small phone with fluid performance and an excellent camera, and you get fast Android version and security updates. The problem is that it doesn’t feature a bezel-less design, so it looks quite dated.
If you don’t care about operating system, there’s always the iPhone X, which is smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, or the iPhone 8. Both are excellent phones with similar strengths as the Google Pixel 2, and the iPhone X has that contemporary, stylish look you want.
The upcoming Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is another phone to keep an eye on, and we’ll have a review up closer to its release date in April or May. Check out our best small phones guide for more.
How long will it last?
Expect the Galaxy S9 to last you three or more years. It’s IP68 water- and dust-resistant, so it will survive dips in the pool, but it’s covered in glass, so you might want to protect it with a case. Samsung issues software updates for two years, so you will start to see performance dips by then, especially since the battery will start to depreciate.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If you don’t care about the extra camera on the Galaxy S9 Plus, the Galaxy S9 is an excellent device with a stellar camera, great performance, and brilliant hardware.

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Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cell-phone-reviews/samsung-galaxy-s9-review/

Seahawks release Richard Sherman, but their teardown might not be over yet

Sherman defined the most successful era in Seahawks history, but moving on is necessary for a team whose Legion of Boom years are in the rearview.
Richard Sherman transformed from fifth-round draft pick to bonafide superstar in seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Now he’ll have to prove he’s still one of the league’s best cornerbacks in a new city. The Seahawks informed the four-time All-Pro on Friday that they would be releasing him, .
It was made official in the afternoon with the team tweeting a statement to bid Sherman farewell:

Seahawks’ statement on the release of Richard Sherman:
— Seattle Seahawks (@seahawksPR)

The move has been expected for a while and reports started ramping up earlier this week, with teammates and even Sherman’s mom hinting about his exit on social media.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson provided some insight on their reasoning:

Richard Sherman tells me that the Seahawks told him, “they are gonna let me explore free agency with the hope that I can return. They just wanted the financial flexibility.” https://t.co/TyswO5K9ov
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson)

It also marks the official end of the Legion of Boom, the Seahawks’ group of defensive backs who have terrorized opposing quarterbacks since Sherman entered the league in 2011.

Through a combination of age, salary, and injuries, the Seattle defense is shedding loyal soldiers left and right this offseason. Sherman’s exit is the latest, but it might not be the last.
How did the relationship between Sherman and the Seahawks come to this?
Sherman’s tenure in Seattle ended on a sour note. The shutdown defender bid a tearful goodbye to the regular season after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon in Week 10. Injuries decimated the Seahawks 2017, leading to a 9-7 campaign and the end of their five-year playoff streak.
He planned on playing this season as the final year of a four-year, $56 million contract inked back in 2015. However, signs Seattle was preparing to move on from the veteran cornerback manifested as early as last year, most notably when the team put him on its trading block during the offseason.
Sherman will now move to another franchise in need of a game-changing corner who talks a big game and then backs it up. Several teams have been linked to the former All-Pro whenever his name has come up as a possible trade target, and a handful of secondary-needy teams stand out in a rich field of suitors.
There’s still a slight chance Sherman returns to Seattle. The impasse between team and player revolved around the $13.2 million the club owed Sherman in 2018. Sherman, who recently underwent Achilles surgery, might have a hard time finding a new home willing to meet his asking price. If so, .
They’ll have to do so while working with the seven-year veteran directly, however; Sherman is working as his own agent this offseason.
What does this mean for the Seahawks?
Release Sherman is a painful step toward Seattle’s rebuild. Injuries have prevented the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom defense from living up to its high standard the past three seasons, leading to a 1-2 playoff record after two straight Super Bowl appearances. As its core members — Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril, Bobby Wagner, and Michael Bennett — got older and more expensive, it became more and more difficult to keep them together and effective.
Months after missing out of the postseason for the first time since 2011, the franchise has been proactive. It started in January, when Pete Carroll fired several of his coaches, including defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
On Wednesday, Seattle shipped Bennett (and a seventh-round pick) to Philadelphia in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
With 17 players set for free agency and limited cap space, the departures of Bennett and Sherman could be just the first in a series of dominoes to drop for the Seahawks. . Thomas is another potential trade candidate (). There are also questions as to whether or not Chancellor or Avril will return after suffering major neck injuries in 2017.
Trading away Bennett sent his $6.65 million deal to Philadelphia while absorbing just $555,000 in salary. Jettisoning Sherman saves another $11 million in salary cap space that can be spent to retain players like Paul Richardson or Sheldon Richardson or chase offensive line help for Russell Wilson on the open market.
The Seahawks of 2018 and beyond will likely look much different. While the defense undergoes its radical makeover, the offense still has Wilson, and it’s clear now more than ever that the team is being built around him.
What can Sherman bring to his next team?
There are two caveats that will hang over who he signs with — the Achilles injury that threatens to sap Sherman’s speed and athleticism and the fact that the cornerback will turn 30 in a few weeks.
Then again, straight-line speed was never a hallmark of his tenure with the Seahawks. He’s used his atypical size (6’3, 195 pounds) and his intelligence to offset his other deficiencies, allowing him to dissect plays and jump routes with little lag due to decision time.
When he’s at the top of his game, there’s no one better in coverage. In seven seasons, he’s knocked away 104 passes while adding 34 interceptions.
He certainly believes he’s still elite:

“Cause ppl talking to me like I’m slowin’ down. Opinions over statistics, of course”
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25)

His inability to restructure his near-expiring contract with Seattle suggests he won’t come cheaply. But if he can return to health, Sherman can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to his new team.
According to Sherman, that team needs to have a “great quarterback” in place.

Asked Richard Sherman what he’s looking for in his next team: “Looking for a great fit. A team that has a great QB. Looking for somewhere I will be comfortable.” Who fits that de>
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Ireland v Scotland: Six Nations – live! | Sport

11.01am EST11:01

74 mins: Scotland push towards the line, but can’t quite make it – when an arm is flung towards the line, carrying the ball, it only succeeds in delivering it to Dan Leavy.

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10.56am EST10:56

Converted! Ireland 28-8 Scotland

71 mins: The Irish celebrate that try with a little extra gusto – the bonus point is in the bag, and England need to score four tries at the Stade de France if they’re to take this into the final weekend. And by way of a bonus, Johnny Sexton slots the conversion between the posts.

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10.55am EST10:55

TRY! Ireland 26-8 Scotland!

70 mins: With everyone preoccupied with the ruck Sean Cronin emerges from the back of it with the ball and flings himself over the line!

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10.53am EST10:53

69 mins: Another penalty for Ireland, and this time they kick for touch.

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10.53am EST10:53

68 mins: Ringrose skips beyond Huw Jones, who clings onto his arm, digs his studs into the turf and refuses to let go, and Ringrose has to turn back.

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10.52am EST10:52

67 mins: No Irish player has made more tackles than Peter O’Mahony’s 10. Meanwhile for Scotland Jonny Gray is on 21, John Barclay on 20, Stuart McInally on 18, Peter Horne on 16 and Grant Gilchrist and Hamish Watson on 13.

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10.49am EST10:49

64 mins: Denton is punished for repeatedly not rolling away, and Ireland are gifted a penalty. Do they go for that fourth try? Nope, Sexton fancies a kick.

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10.45am EST10:45

61 mins: But then the ball isn’t released, Scotland have a penalty, and they boot it away from danger.

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10.44am EST10:44

61 mins: Ireland have the scrum, five yards out. It spins, it flops, but Ireland still have the ball.

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10.43am EST10:43

60 mins: Scotland hold back Ireland’s big push, after fully 18 phases, the ball getting within a foot of the line, but not over it.

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10.42am EST10:42

59 mins: Ireland are pushing again now. Scotland try to hold them back, and all of England wills them on …

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10.37am EST10:37

55 mins: Not again! Hogg bursts forward again, sprints between two green shirts, and when he finally has no choice but to pass he for some reason decides to skip Huw Jones to his right and pick out Kinghorn beyond him – and throws into touch!

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10.34am EST10:34

53 mins: The conversion slides just wide. Still, a try was precisely what Scotland and the game needed.

Toniwater
(@Toniwater)
massive test of both sides mettle. Will Ireland let Scotland back into this or finish them off quickly? Can Scotland channel their inner William Wallace? As a great scotsman once said “squeaky bum time” for both sets of fans!

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10.34am EST10:34

TRY! Ireland 21-8 Scotland!

52 mins: They start with a scrum in front of the posts, and skim the ball back out to the right, where Kinghorn touches down an instant before he’s bundled into touch.

Asus ZenBook UX410UA review: An excellent budget laptop

Asus’ UX300 series laptops have always impressed us with their mix of premium looks and top-quality screens. With the UX410 series, Asus ups the screen size to 14in but retains the rest of the formula – and with similarly top-quality results.
Let’s start with the premium looks. The brushed aluminium lid would be equally at home on a laptop twice the price, and it’s complemented by a sunken touchpad complete with a shiny metal “diamond-cut” edge. To some, the UX410 may veer too far into a Trump-like world of bling, particularly if you choose the Rose Gold finish, but I’m a fan.
READ NEXT: The best laptops you can buy in the UK
Considering the 14in screen, it’s also surprisingly light at 1.4kg. That’s not due to plastic, either, with the frame built from aluminium alloy, and it feels suitably well-built. By trimming the bezels on either side of the screen to 6mm, Asus keeps the width down to 323mm, but by modern standards it isn’t particularly slim: I measured 19mm from top to bottom with the lid closed.
A larger chassis provides more room for ports, though, and the UX410 is well connected. Along with a combo audio jack, there’s a full-sized HDMI connector plus USB 3.1 and USB Type-C ports on the left-hand side. An SD card slot and two further USB 2 ports sit on the right. Asus tucks the speakers under the front lip of the laptop, and they’re worthy of the Harman Kardon branding – loud, clear and detailed.
 
But where Asus truly excels is that screen. For instance, there’s no off-white discolouring that gives away cheaper panels, and as became clear during a sunny train journey, it dynamically adjusts brightness to the ambient conditions.
A resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 makes complete sense on a laptop such as this: there’s enough detail for spreadsheets and zooming into photos, but you aren’t paying for a higher resolution that you may not always want (especially when Windows decides to show system text at the smallest possible size).

Colours look punchy, and my first impressions were backed up by testing back in the lab. Our X-rite i1 Display colorimeter measured an average Delta E of 0.26, and the IPS panel proved capable of reproducing 94.6% of the sRGB gamut while hitting highs of 354cd/m² brightness. I can attest that it’s fine in full sunlight, too.
It’s tougher to get excited about the keyboard. With the exception of the diminutive cursors, the keys are large and easy to hit (including the power key which, annoyingly, occupies the top-right position, right next to the Delete key; you can guess what I kept accidentally hitting). They don’t have much travel, but it’s a competent, backlit offering.
I’m fonder of the touchpad. This is larger than you might expect, which helps when it comes to Windows gestures. You can also press down anywhere on it, which is handy if you want to select a whole paragraph of text: you press down where you want to start your selection and then keep it pressed down as your finger moves down the pad.
You can’t charge via the USB Type-C slot, with Asus relying on a conventional moulded power supply that will add an unsightly bulge to your briefcase if you need to carry it with you. Fortunately, you may not need to. It lasted 10hrs 35mins in our video-rundown tests, which is great for a Windows laptop with a 14in screen.

This battery life result was for the low-end UX410 with a Core i3 processor; the £720 version, with a Core i5, is likely to last around half an hour less. That extra money increases the RAM from 4GB to 8GB and doubles the SSD size from 128GB to 256GB, and it’s this latter upgrade that’s arguably most worthwhile.
Certainly, the UX410 was never slow during everyday duties. It whisked through Windows 10 Home without any judders, and as our benchmarks reflected it was only in memory-intensive duties such as video editing and heavy multitasking that it struggled. A score of 34 is in line with expectations for a Core i3-7100 with 4GB of RAM.
 
Asus ZenBook UX410UA review: Verdict
It adds up to an excellent budget laptop. I’m not a fan of 128GB SSDs, and would be tempted to upgrade to the higher spec version for this reason alone, but if you control what you store on this laptop then it becomes manageable. It’s another impressive offering from Asus, which once again shows its rivals how to build an alluring mid-range laptop without making compromises in the wrong places.

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What to watch on a loaded college basketball Saturday

What’s happening Saturday? Basketball, basketball and more basketball.
Selection Sunday is one day away. But first, college basketball will hand out 13 automatic bids to the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
The day’s includes the title games in the ACC, Big East, Big 12 and Pac-12 tournaments. Meanwhile, the SEC tournament is in the semifinals before Sunday’s title game.
For the latest on the bubble, check out Chris Dobbertean’s latest Bracketology projection. This is what we’re watching.
Early shift

The America East title game tips off before noon. Hell yeah that’s a must watch. Look out for Vermont, who could be a legit NCAA tournament sleeper if they win this game.
Kentucky vs. Alabama is going to be excellent. Collin Sexton is becoming a March Madness hero before our eyes. He’s going to be incredibly jacked up to play John Calipari’s Wildcats.
Cincinnati-Memphis is possibly the last game of the pre-Penny Hardaway era for the Tigers.
Get your fingers loose for the 3 p.m. block. It’s going to require some serious channel flipping. An SEC semifinal between Arkansas and Tennessee tips first, followed by No. 21 Houston vs. No. 11 Wichita State in the ACC semis. Davidson vs. St. Bonaventure could be fun too. The Bonnies have a star-studded backcourt with Jaylen Adams and Mike Mobley, while Davidson has one of the country’s most underrated players in forward Peyton Aldridge.

Late shift

Two sub-.500 teams battling for the SWAC auto-bid? YES, WE’RE IN. Texas Southern’s 5’7 scoring dynamo Demontrae Jefferson will be your new favorite player by the end of this.
Kansas vs. West Virginia round III for the Big 12 title. The Jayhawks have won both games this season.
Bid-stealer alert in San Diego State vs. New Mexico for the Mountain West title after the Aztecs smacked Nevada on Friday night. SDSU has won eight straight.
Villanova vs. Providence for the Big East title. The Friars won the last matchup on Valentine’s Day.
MAC title game! Big Sky title game! Buffalo and Montana each have Cinderella potential, should they win.
UNC vs. Virginia should be good. Not much else to say here.
Marshall vs. Western Kentucky is a lowkey great coaching matchup of Rick Stansbury vs. Dan D’Antoni. Word to Clipse, Stansbury is a legend in two games like Pee Wee Kirkland. D’Antoni (Mike’s brother) went on that great analytics rant last year. Everyone wins here. Well, except for Middle Tennessee.
USC vs. Arizona is truly the conference championship game 2018 deserves.

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