Read Aly Raisman’s powerful thank you note to the ‘army of survivors’ and everyone who stopped Larry Nassar

“You have all had an overwhelming impact on me and I am proud to stand with you all.”
Aly Raisman knows there is more work ahead and more investigating needed, but the U.S. Olympic medalist took a moment to share Wednesday evening with the women who spoke out against Larry Nassar and everyone who played a part in bringing him to justice.
“Thank you fellow survivors for your courage, strength, and leadership, you have all had an overwhelming impact on me and I am proud to stand with you all,” Raisman wrote in a message shared on Twitter.
Raisman was among the 156 women who shared victim impact statements during the seven-day hearing that concluded with the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor being sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for criminal sexual misconduct. The 23-year-old gymnast, who first publicly shared her account of abuse by Nassar in November 2017, also gave thanks to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the prosecutors in Michigan, and the journalists who helped shed light on the story.
Read Raisman’s full letter:

Thank you. I appreciate you all so much.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman)

Army of survivors who are NOT going anywhere
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman)

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Newport back from the brink and ready to give Spurs a rough ride | Stuart James | Football

The League Two club do things the hard way but Michael Flynn’s passion and Rodney Parade’s rudimentary trappings are ingredients for an FA Cup shock

Newport County in training at the local athletics stadium where the club played in their non-league days.
Photograph: Dimitris Legakis/Guardian

There is a wry smile on Joe Day’s face as he reflects on Newport County’s latest setback, in which a tumble‑dryer caught fire and burned down part of the club’s training base only a few days before they turfed Leeds United out of the FA Cup.
“It’s classic Newport,” says Newport’s goalkeeper, shaking his head. “We always seem to have a bit of bad luck along the way. Half of us have lost our training kit and we can’t get changed there any more. But we just get on with it and make the best of things. You’ve got to laugh it off.”
Life in League Two tends to throw up these challenges from time to time, yet no one at Newport is complaining. In a crowded corridor that doubles as a makeshift kit room at Spytty Park, the local athletics stadium where Newport used to play in their non-league days and now train, there is a buzz of excitement before Tottenham Hotspur’s visit in the fourth round on Saturday as staff and players giddily contemplate the prospect of coming up against Harry Kane, Dele Alli et al.
“It’s the old cliche, the magic of the Cup,” says Day, his eyes lighting up. “For me personally, as a League Two player, it’s a fantastic opportunity to go and show your own ability against Premier League players. How good am I? It’s a chance to say: ‘Can I maybe play at this level?’ Because it is the dream of all of us League Two players to play in the Premier League.”

To put this tie in perspective the last time Newport reached the fourth round was in 1979, the year before Michael Flynn, their manager, was born and a few months before Margaret Thatcher became prime minister. Over the following decade the club badly lost its way – as well as its home – and was wound up with debts of £330,000 in February 1989.
Newport reformed, worked their way up from the bottom of the pyramid, and returned to the Football League a quarter of a century later – only for the storm clouds to gather again last year, when they were minutes away from relegation and potential financial oblivion for a second time. Agony, however, turned to ecstasy when Mark O’Brien scored an 89th-minute winner against Notts County on the final day to complete an amazing act of escapology that enabled Newport, who had been 11 points adrift of safety with 12 matches remaining when Flynn took charge in March, to survive at the expense of Hartlepool.
Flynn looks drained at the very mention of that evening. “All that was going through my head for six minutes [after Hartlepool took the lead] was: ‘These fans don’t deserve this.’ They’d waited for 25 years to get back in the Football League and it looked like it was going to be over, so the sheer emotion when we scored and we held on and we were safe, and seeing what it meant to everybody … it’s making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up now.”

Michael Flynn, Newport’s manager, is looking forward to welcoming Spurs to Rodney Parade: ‘I’ll be straight with you, they’re not going to like it.’ Photograph: Dimitris Legakis/Guardian

Eight months later Newport’s story keeps getting better. They are pushing for a play-off place, Leeds were vanquished at Rodney Parade in the previous round of the FA Cup and the stage is set for Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham. Temporary stands have been erected at either end of the ground, increasing capacity to around 10,000 for a game that is being televised and, according to Gavin Foxall, the club’s chairman, will take Newport’s earnings from the FA Cup this season to between £400,000 and £500,000.
“When you think as a business we turn over £2.2m a year, when you start looking at monies like that, you realise the impact,” Foxall says.
Although Rodney Parade has undergone something of a facelift, Flynn pulls no punches when asked what Spurs are likely to make of the surroundings. “I’ll be straight with you, they’re not going to like it. They’ll be thinking: ‘Let’s get the result and get out of here.’ That’s exactly what will be going through their minds. I can’t blame them – it’s an older stadium, the showers won’t be as good as theirs, the pitch has improved a lot but that won’t be as good as what they’re used to, and there definitely won’t be any of those comfy seats in the dugout. Not unless some fans nick some and put them in there before the game.”
As someone who had four spells with Newport as a player and was born and raised in the city, Flynn knows the club and the area as well as anyone and his passion for the job shines through. Foxall says that when he phoned Flynn to offer him the position “it was almost as if Barcelona were ringing him” because the 37-year-old was so enthusiastic. “I said to him: ‘All we want you to do is put a bit of pride back in the shirt.’ But he didn’t just galvanise the team – he galvanised the city.”

Newport players prepare in the reception area of the stadium where they train. Photograph: Dimitris Legakis/Guardian

With the vastly experienced Lennie Lawrence to lean on for advice and Wayne Hatswell taking much of the training as his assistant, Flynn has surrounded himself with people who complement his infectious personality and drive to succeed. He has also sought to put together a team in the image of the city.
“The people of Newport wear their heart on their sleeve – they’re honest, hardworking people and that’s what I’ve got as players, too,” Flynn says. “I think the fans can relate to that. They see it game in and game out.”
Flynn says he would prefer to wait until he sees the Tottenham teamsheet before deciding what chance there is of another FA Cup upset, but after being inundated with text messages and voicemails since the Leeds victory and struggling to find time to keep up with everything, he has a plan in place should the unthinkable happen. “I’ll be throwing my phone in the river Usk if we beat Spurs,” he says, laughing.

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Who is the NFL’s most disrespectful offensive lineman?

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz has narrowed the field to two finalists for the most disrespectful blocker in 2017. He needs your help to pick the winner.
So first off, I want to thank everyone who has supported, watched, enjoyed, and contributed to Disrespectful Blocks of the Week this season. I couldn’t have done this all on my own. There are too many plays and too many outstanding blocks to view each week, so this project doesn’t happen without y’all.
We spent some time discussing how to do a year end award for this video series, and this is how it’s going down. I need your help in voting for the NFL’s most Disrespectful BLOCKER of the Year!
The two finalists are Kelechi Osemele, left guard for the Oakland Raiders, and Washington right guard Brandon Scherff. Both guys are bad men and they love to finish defenders.
So we need your vote! Watch the video and please vote in the poll below! Also, next week we will have a special Super Bowl edition of Disrespectful Blocks to end the season. Stay tuned.

Check out all of the disrespectful blocks from the 2017 NFL season right here.

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Apple's iOS 11.3 Update DETAILED: New Features & What To Expect

Michael Grothaus

24/01/2018 – 4:20pm

Apple’s next iOS update is going to be MASSIVE!

Today Apple announced that the next major update to iOS is coming much sooner than most people thought While Apple usually updates iOS once a year–in the autumn, it occasionally comes out with big feature updates to the current iOS throughout the year. The next big feature update, we now know, will be iOS 11.3. Apple announced the move today in a press release stating: “This spring, iOS 11.3 will deliver exciting new ways to experience augmented reality on iPhone and iPad, new Animoji on iPhone X and the ability to view health records in the Health app.” But just what are these “exciting new” experiences and features? Let’s take a look.
iOS 11.3: New Battery Features
Yeah, Apple has taken A LOT of slack about the fact that it throttles older iPhones in order to preserve battery life. While this is actually a pretty clever way to allow iPhones to last the whole day, many people thought Apple should have been more transparent with what they were doing. That’s why in iOS 11.3 Apple is introducing a feature to turn this throttling off. As Apple says, “users can now see if the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is on and can choose to turn it off.”
iOS 11.3: More Animoji
The animoji faces available in Messages on the iPhone X have been a big hit with users. Though essentially pointless, they are a lot of fun. In iOS 11.3 Apple will introduce four new animoji including a lion, bear, dragon or skull. these animoji will require the iPhone X and its TrueDepth–sorry older iPhone owners.
iOS 11.3: Business Chat

ARKit was a huge feature of iOS 11. It allowed developers to build revolutionary AR apps. The thing is, users don’t really seem to have adopted these apps en masse–or at least as much as had hoped. From previous comments, we know Tim Cook thinks AR is the future, so that’s perhaps why it’s little surprise iOS 11.3 will be expanding on the OS’s current AR capabilities.
Apple says, “In addition to horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs, ARKit can now recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces like walls and doors, and can more accurately map irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables. Using advanced computer vision techniques to find and recognize the position of 2D images such as signs, posters, and artwork, ARKit can integrate these real-world images into AR experiences such as filling a museum with interactive exhibits or bringing a movie poster to life.”
iOS 11.3: Health Records In Health App

The final big iOS 11.3 update is an expansion of the capabilities of the Health app. The new app will allow users to see their medical records from select hospitals and institutions. Apple says, “Patients from participating medical institutions will have information from various institutions organized into one view and receive regular notifications for their lab results, medications, conditions and more.”
iOS 11.3 is expected to be out this Spring and it will be a free download and run on any iOS device that currently supports iOS 11.

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The invites are out! Samsung Galaxy S9 Unpacked launch date has been confirmed

We’ve known for weeks the Samsung Galaxy S9 would be launching at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February; Samsung’s chief executive DJ Koh confirmed the rumours during CES, possibly hoping to generate even more hype. 
Now we know exactly where and when the grand Samsung Galaxy S9 release will take place after official invites to its 2018 Unpacked event on 25 February landed in journalists’ inboxes.
Like previous Unpacked invites, the Samsung Galaxy S9 one has a black background with the word Samsung in the top left-hand corner and Galaxy in the right. There is a purple “9” in the centre of the invite with the words “The camera” positioned outside the 9 and “Reimagined” positioned inside. 
 It’s unclear, at this point, how much a camera can be reimagined but rumours suggest the Samsung Galaxy S9 will include the variable aperture tech (f/1.5 to f/2.4) seen on the Samsung W2018 flip phone.
In the bottom left-hand corner of the Samsung Galaxy S9 invite is the date and where you can watch the Samsung Galaxy S9 Unpacked event online. The press conference itself will start at 6pm CET. 
Samsung has traditionally used MWC to unveil its latest flagship phones, although technically the launch doesn’t take place at MWC. It takes place in Barcelona at the same time so tech journalists attending the show are in town. However, the tech giant broke with this tradition last year, likely due to the furore surrounding the “exploding” batteries on the Samsung Galaxy S7, and the Galaxy S8 launch was much more muted. 
It appears the company has put this behind it and is going all guns for the Samsung Galaxy S9 release date. There have been leaks and rumours for months and, like previous models before it, we’re expecting to see two major variants of the Samsung Galaxy S9 brand – the S9 and S9+. 
Or to quote the firmware numbers, G960FXXU0AQI5 and G965FXXU0AQI5, along with model numbers for SM-G960 and SM-G965. These are thought to be for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ respectively. 
If previous events are anything to go by, we’re expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy S9 release date set for around 16 March, with preorders opening shortly after the MWC Unpacked event. 
We’ll be at the event, bringing you live coverage so stay tuned. 

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Manfrotto Camera Cages for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras

Manfrotto have developed a series of ground-breaking Camera Cages designed to meet the needs of independent content creators who increasingly rely on high-end mirrorless and DSLR cameras to capture the perfect video content. Available in three different sizes, tThe unique modular design of Manfrotto’s new Camera Cages enables users to attach a broad range of mirrorless and DSLR camera types, whereas other models only support a single model. Manfrotto Camera Cages are available from £289.95.

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JBL Link 10 and 20: Google Home goes mobile – Hardware reviews

The Harman brand JBL has joined Google and introduced the Link series, a series of Wi-Fi speakers compatible with Google Assistant. They might be the perfect alternative to the Google Home speaker-assistant. They are integrated with Google Assistant and thanks to their connection with Bluetooth and rechargeable batteries, they can also be used portably if necessary.


✓IPX7-certified waterproof
✓Several hours of battery operation
✓Multi-room operation with speakers from other manufacturers
✓5 GHz Wi-Fi


✕No stereo or surround sound function
✕Long start time

Release date and price
The JBL Link models, available in black and white, became available in the UK and some other European countries in December 2017. They are expected to hit the US market this summer and the retail prices are yet to be announced. The speakers are currently selling for the following retail prices in the UK, so something similar should be expected once they make it stateside:

JBL Link 10: 149.99 GBP (around $210)
JBL Link 20: 179.99 GBP (around $255)
JBL Link 300: 249.99 GBP (around $355)

A fourth model called the Link 500 will follow soon. To complement the Link 300 ‘kitchen radio speaker’, the Link 500 will be a larger stationary edition with high stereo output and bass reflex. It was presented at CES 2018 and will hit the market quickly. If everything is on schedule, it might be on display at the MWC in February.
Only the JBL Link 20 comes with a charging cable. The Link 10 comes with a one-meter long USB cable.

Design and build quality
After the release event in Berlin, JBL immediately gave us two of the speakers to test out. The small JBL Link 10 has dimensions of 3.39 x 6.65 inches and weighs 1.57 pounds. The larger, but otherwise similarly designed Link 20 measures 3.66 x 8.27 inches and weighs 2.09 pounds.

The size difference between the JBL Link 10 and Link 20 is quite considerable. / © AndroidPIT

Both the JBL Link 10 and Link 20 are perfectly waterproof. A bath can’t do them harm and it’s okay if you leave them overnight in the rain. If they get dirty, you can wash them. When cleaning the speakers, just avoid soap and disconnect the USB cable.

The button on the top center activates Google Assistant. / © AndroidPIT

The speakers can be operated with the buttons on the top, so JBL doesn’t have a touchpad. The Assistant logo is in the middle. This button is dedicated to activating the AI-supported voice assistant. Of course, the button only works when the speaker is connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a smartphone with Google Assistant.
On the back there’s the on/off switch with a five-stage charge indicator. Underneath there’s a microphone button that mutes the two microphones on top. Four status LEDs on the front light up white when the volume is adjusted, when Assistant is turned on, and when Assistant is listening. They light up orange when the microphones are muted.

JBL doesn’t have its own app for the Link series’ smart Wi-Fi speakers. Instead, the Harman subsidiary relies entirely on their cooperation partner Google and its home app. Compared to other multi-room and smart home solutions, Google Home does offer a handful of benefits. You can read about Google Home and its competitors in this separate article:
Setting up the home app from the Play Store is quite easy. The JBL Link connects via the Wi-Fi, makes software updates if necessary and is then available a few minutes later. Music streams can be started on command. You can also give each speaker a name and group them, even with Google Cast speakers from other manufacturers or Chromecast Audio.

Google Home

Google Assistant comes in a hurry if you say OK Google. It understands new voice commands every day and learns to better understand your pronunciation. It gives the weather forecast, reads messages, plays music from most streaming services and can control compatible devices in your smart home. This means you can operate the speaker independently of your smartphone. In short, the JBL Link is a legitimate smart device.
Due to the large software overhead it takes a while to turn on a JBL Link. About a minute goes by before the Assistant reacts. The speakers are designed for continuous operation and go into an energy-saving standby mode when you’re not streaming. At three in the morning the devices searches for updates while you’re asleep, which are then installed without user intervention.

As you might already assume with the standard cylinder format, JBL had to come up with something for good stereo sound. Harman’s home system specialist Jurjen Amsterdam explained to me that the two drivers in the body are oriented in a slight twist toward one another. In the JBL Link 10 I could hear how this detracted from the sound, but in the larger Link 20, the JBL series really comes into its own.
In a direct comparison, the Link 10 seems to be rather center-heavy, which is excellent for voice control. But for true musical enjoyment I would strongly advise paying the extra 45 dollars for the Link 20. You’ll get sound that is audibly richer and stereo quality that otherwise you could only get with two speakers.
Since the Link series can be grouped into a multi-room team thanks to Google Home, you can use several speakers at the same time. In our tests with a Fritzbox 7590, Google Wifi and a Fritzbox 7490, the combination was latency-free. In the previous version of Google Home it still wasn’t possible to turn two identical loudspeakers into a stereo pair. But this could in theory arrive soon with an update.

The battery of the JBL Link 10, like the entire device, is smaller than the Link 20’s and lasts only half as long at around five hours. Thanks to the 2.4 ampere charger that comes with the Link 20, it can charge completely in 4.5 hours, compared to a charging time of 4 hours for the Link 10.
The JBL Link 300 and Link 500 don’t have batteries. It’s a shame because you can’t easily move them to other rooms in your house.

Technical specifications

JBL Link 10/20

Link 10
Link 20

2 x 45 mm
2 x 50 mm

Output power
2 x 8 W
2 x 10 W

Frequency response
65 Hz – 20 kHz
65 Hz – 20 kHz

Signal-to-noise ratio
> 80 dB
> 80 dB

4.000 mAh, 5 hours
6.000 mAh, 10 hours

802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)


86 x 169 mm
93 x 210 mm

710 g
950 g

Special features

Final verdict

The JBL Link 10 is a very good product at an affordable price: the sound quality is good and the speaker is loud. It has a battery, is waterproof and can be used as a Bluetooth speaker. If you spend another 45 dollars, which I strongly advise you to do, you will get an even better speaker with the Link 20.
The Link series still isn’t finished. After all, we still haven’t seen the ‘the kitchen radio’ Link 300 and ‘the stereo system’ Link 500, but with the portable Link 10 and 20 we already have the impression that JBL takes multi-room audio seriously and that Google Home offers a more than appropriate platform for it.
What do you think of the Link 10 and 20? Are you excited about what these devices can bring to your smart home? Let us know in the comments!

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Mophie’s Powerstation AC is the only backup battery you’ll ever need

Mophie’s been a solid, consistent maker of external batteries and backup power sources, but its new Powerstation AC just might top them all. The large, 22,000 mAh powerhouse has ample output options – including a crucial one that most backup batteries lack: a standard AC plug, just like you’d find in a wall in your home.
The Powerstation AC also has a 30W USB-C port with power delivery, which can charge your MacBook or Nintendo Switch at normal speeds; and a USB-A 2.4A Quick Charge port for you iPhone, Android or tablet. It features priority passthrough charging, so you can charge it while connected to another device overnight, and it charges via standard USB-C so you can fill it up with the same charger you use to power your MacBook, Android smartphone or Switch, too.
That last bit is a key differentiator: I’ve used big battery backups with AC outlets before, but most of these use a dedicated AC adapter with a non-USB connector to ensure the battery charges back up quickly. Using USB-C PD is a much better option, and one that’s far more practical for when you’re using the Powerstation AC on the road – which is exactly where you need it most.
Other Mophie details are still here, too, including an LED power indicator you can access with the push of a button to figure out how much juice you have left on board, and the company’s attention to design. A fabric-wrapped shell is both durable and comfortable to hold, making this one of the few options in this category that doesn’t look like it would be more at home on a factory floor than in your living room or office.

Of course, a key ingredient for any power brick that can also work with AC gadgets is a lot of capacity. At 22,000 mAh, the Mophie is among the leaders in the space in this regard. It translates to roughly 100 extra hours of smartphone use, or about 15 hours of additional USB-C laptop use, depending on what kind you’re using. And, the 90W output of the AC port means you’ll be charing at full power.
The real advantage of the Mophie here is its versatility. It has every port you need, and then some. The AC plug has saved my bacon at least twice during testing, including when I arrived at a press event with my MacBook Pro at 22 percent, and when I forgot to charge up my Canon 5D’s battery overnight. That’s why this is the be-all and end-all of chargers, and Mophie’s done a great job making it all work with a focus on quality and design, and at $200, a price that’s reasonable for this level of functionality.

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New York governor signs executive order to keep net neutrality rules after the FCC’s repeal

In an announcement today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has signed an executive order that would require internet service providers with state contracts to abide by net neutrality rules, even though the FCC recently voted to repeal those rules.

Contracts after March 1st will include a net neutrality agreement

On Monday, Montana’s governor signed essentially the same order; both require service providers with contracts to abide by the widely agreed upon tenets of net neutrality: no blocking, throttling, or otherwise favoring content. But the more populous New York could now become a key battleground over net neutrality.
According to the order, any service provider receiving or renewing a contract after March 1st in New York will be required to sign an agreement saying they will adhere to net neutrality principles. Major companies, including Verizon and AT&T, have signed contracts with the state.
That, however, doesn’t mean the executive order will stand. When it passed its repeal of net neutrality rules late last year, the FCC specifically included a provision blocking states from passing their own rules. New York, like other states that attempt similar plans, will likely face a legal challenge.
On the federal level, meanwhile, a lawsuit from 22 attorneys general, led by New York, was filed earlier this month. The suit sets the stage for another protracted fight over the FCC’s decision.

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We asked Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and more who would win the Super Bowl. Here are their answers

“Who is winning the Super Bowl?”
Artificial intelligence normally dances around making the tough calls, but Amazon’s Alexa knows precisely who she thinks is going to win the Super Bowl.

Stifling defense? Check. The Eagles were fourth in yards allowed this season.Underdog status? Yep. Seen those dog heads everywhere?E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles? Sure.
It all seems accurate, but after seeing this person get an answer from Alexa I wanted to see what other bots thought:

Siri: Would not decide on the game, instead just saying that the Patriots are favored by 5 points in the odds.

Google Home: “Here are the top stories …” aka, nothing helpful.

Cortana: Brought up the schedule for the game, but would not make a call.

Cfbot: SB Nation’s resident robot friend in Slack …

Only Alexa was brave enough to really go out on a limb. Now we wait to see how smart computers really are.

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