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Newcastle confirm departures

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first_imgNewcastle have confirmed that their new head coach will recruit his own staff after paying tribute to departing pair John Carver and Steve Stone.Managing director Lee Charnley has placed on record his thanks to 50-year-old Carver after it emerged on Tuesday that he and Stone would be leaving the club.Charnley said: “After discussions with John, it was mutually agreed that in the best interests of the club moving forward, and to enable the new head coach to build his own coaching team, we would go our separate ways.”He added: “John loves Newcastle United and no-one could have worked with more passion and enthusiasm than he did.“John’s connection with the club dates back to 1979, when he joined as an apprentice. John has always put the club first and the recent discussions we had only re-affirmed this.“He is a man of great character and dignity and will always be welcome at Newcastle United. We wish him every success in the future.”Carver had hoped to persuade Charnley and owner Mike Ashley that he was the man for the job long term, but a run of only three victories in the 19 Barclays Premier League games for which he was in charge left the Magpies in a grim fight against relegation.He had been appointed until the end of the season in January after then Derby boss Steve McClaren had turned down the opportunity to succeed Alan Pardew at St James’ Park.However, McClaren, who was due back in the country following a family holiday on Wednesday, remains the man in pole position, and the club will now look to tie up the formalities as quickly as possible.For Carver, the task is now to find a new challenge after a desperately difficult few months at the helm of his home-town club.He said: “It has been a privilege to serve as head coach of this great football club. The fans and the region deserve a successful team and both myself and my support staff worked very hard with the squad that was available to us.“I would like to thank all of the staff at the club for their dedication, including Steve Stone in particular. I am also grateful to the owner and to Lee Charnley for their support during my tenure.“I wish the club every success for the future and steeled with the experience of the last six months, I am eager and ready for the next challenge.”Former England international Stone has also left the club, although goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman remains in post and Dave Watson, who stepped up from his role as Academy Under-18s coach following Pardew’s departure, will return to his previous role.Charnley said: “I would like to place on record our thanks and appreciation to Steve Stone for his contribution to the club.“Steve joined us as Academy coach in 2009 before being appointed reserve team assistant manager in July 2010. Steve was subsequently promoted to first team coach under Alan Pardew and latterly, John Carver, for whom he provided tremendous support.” 1last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: A Note worth taking

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first_imgSamsung’s flagship phones are among the most anticipated gadgets to come out every year. But with leaks revealing almost everything about them weeks ahead of launch, we’re kind of left unexcited by the time these devices are officially announced. That’s never been truer than with the Galaxy Note 9. When unveiled on August 9, it turned out to be everything we had heard weeks and months before its launch. The new Note is an iterative update that looks and feels like the Galaxy Note 8 from last year.That is where similarities with the Note 8 end. While the design largely remains the same, the hardware has been upgraded to bring the best of 2018 and the stylus, that is the S Pen, gets a makeover as well. It won’t be wrong to call the Galaxy Note 9 a mix of the Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy S9+, which is interesting to see considering Samsung could very well bring these two lines together someday. Maybe it starts with the Galaxy Note 9. And after using the device for nearly a week I can say that it beginning on a right, ahem, note.Design and displayIf you think the Galaxy Note 9 looks exactly like the Galaxy Note 8, you are right. Mostly. It ticks all the boxes that make up a Note device – a large, squarish frame, a tall Infinity Display with curved edges and Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, the S Pen and that professional feel. But if you look closer, you do notice some subtle changes compared to its predecessor. The display is now slightly bigger – 6.4-inch compared to 6.3-inch in Note 8 – and that means Samsung has reduced the bezels on the top and bottom ever so slightly while maintaining the old footprint.advertisement On the back, the Galaxy Note 9 sports a familiar dual camera setup. The fingerprint sensor is now placed below the cameras rather than on the side as on the Galaxy Note 8, which is the biggest design change here. This does make it easier to reach the sensor and also prevents unnecessary lens smudging as well. Depending on how small or big your hand is, you can either reach the sensor comfortably or you’ll have to adjust your positioning a little.The same goes for the buttons on the sides that manage volume, power and Bixby. My hands aren’t really big so reaching for the power and volume buttons required some adjustment. Funnily enough, I found the Bixby button to have the best placement, but it’s also the button that I’m least going to use just because Bixby is disappointing. But more on that later. The frame is a solid metal alloy and on the bottom you’ll find a speaker grille, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port and the S Pen dock. The earpiece also doubles up as a speaker so you get a stereo sound effect tuned by AKG which gets pretty loud and clear. A hybrid dual SIM slot can be seen on the top and the device along with the S Pen are water resistant with an IP68 rating.In a year full of notched phones, the Galaxy Note 9 looks classic now, and I reckon there are quite a few takers for thatThe curves on the front and back and a squarish frame make it easier to hold what is a pretty large phone. It’s slightly wider than the Note 8 and it’s also roughly 5 grams heavier, but that’s expected since it houses a bigger battery now.The Note 9 is really all about that tall 6.4-inch QHD+ display which is the biggest yet on the top Note device. The SuperAMOLED display in the phone is more vibrant and crisp than ever. Colours on screen look bright and deep, especially the blacks, reds and blues with a fair bit of oversaturation. Brightness levels are great as well and so are the viewing angles.The display’s white balance and contrast are on point and this makes for an extremely pleasurable viewing experience. Videos on YouTube or streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime Video on 1080p or higher look crispy and sharp. There’s also a Video Enhancer option, which can turn up brightness and vividness of videos in supported apps like YouTube and Netflix. Backed by a pretty loud and clear stereo sound, the experience is quite immersive. In a year full of notched phones, the Galaxy Note 9 looks classic now, and I reckon there are quite a few takers for that.A new S Pen that you might just useArguably the biggest change to the Galaxy Note 9 is the new S Pen. Up until now, the S Pen has been used to perform basic tasks like opening or scrolling through apps, tapping on images, take screenshots and making notes and sketches. And its functionality hasn’t changed much over the years, which is odd considering the S Pen is one of the biggest reasons to buy a Note phone.advertisementBut nine generations later, the S Pen finally gets more useful thanks to Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) support. It’s a very logical step forward for the S Pen and opens the doors to a lot more creative uses for the stylus. With Bluetooth support, the S Pen can now act as a remote. You will be able to long pressing the button on the stylus to open a certain app like say the camera, double press the button to switch the camera, and single press to take a picture, all without having to touch the Note 9. I can see this come in handy especially when you want to take a group selfie from a distance. You can map the button to any app that you would like to see open remotely by heading into the S Pen Remote option within Settings. There are a few apps like Camera, Powerpoint, Gallery, Media and Chrome that support contextual remote functionalities. So you can breeze through photos in the Gallery or change slides in a PPT presentation all by simply tapping the button on the stylus. I particularly liked the ability to pause and skip songs and it’s probably my most popular usage of the stylus. Samsung hopes more third-party app developers bring in S Pen support in the future as well.To support Bluetooth connectivity, the S Pen also houses a supercapacitor that allows users keep the stylus detached for about 30 minutes before it drains out. That won’t be a problem though because the pen charges up extremely fast – like 100 per cent in 40 seconds. I feel adding Bluetooth support makes a lot of sense and is going to make owners use the S Pen a lot more than before, and I’m optimistic that Samsung will add more functionalities in the years to come.Performance and softwareThe Galaxy Note 9 in India gets the Exynos 9810 chipset and the unit I am reviewing has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for the base variant. But if you’re feeling a need to spend a little more cash you can get the top-end variant with 512GB storage (that is 4X more than the size of hard disk in 13-inch MacBook Air). Combine this with a 512GB microSD card and you’re looking at 1TB of total storage in a smartphone. Ridiculous, right! In addition to that, it also comes with 8GB of RAM. The Note 9 comes with arguably the best hardware you’ll see in a 2018 Android flagship.But does the hardware make the Note 9 a speedy phone? Yes, it does. The Note 9 handles multitasking expertly and runs swiftly almost always. While the Note series has been seen as a productivity-focused device, Samsung is also touting Note 9 as a gaming phone: Use it to play Fortnite or PUBG and marvel at the vivid and immersive display and lag-free performance. I played PUBG at its default max graphics settings for a good half an hour and I did not notice any drops in frame rate or lags. It was smooth and consistently fast, which I believe is also because of the new water-carbon cooling system inside that makes sure the device doesn’t overheat, something that can affect performance.advertisement The Galaxy Note 9 runs Android Oreo out-of-the-box which is a bit of a bummer considering Android 9 Pie is now out, but I won’t say I’m surprised. It would have been truly shocking if Samsung managed to ship with the latest Android software. While Samsung does take its time to push out new updates, Galaxy phones running Oreo are compatible with Project Treble so the Note 9 could get Android 9 Pie sooner than expected.The software itself has Samsung’s Experience UI on top which anyone familiar with Samsung will feel right at home. It does bring a few preloaded apps like Microsoft’s productivity suite, Facebook and some custom apps like Samsung’s own web browser. It’s not as bloated and heavy as some of the other skins I have seen – software in Chinese phones, for example – and there’s plenty of storage that you’ll still be left with.The Note 9 comes with some of the best hardware you’ll see in a 2018 Android phoneThe Note 9 not only offers a fingerprint sensor, but also gets facial recognition and iris scanning as well. The iris scanner is supposed to kick in when you’re in low-light conditions, but I’ve found it to be quite unreliable. In poor lighting, the biometric just wouldn’t work properly. Thankfully, the fingerprint sensor is pretty quick and accurate.My other gripe with the device is that it doesn’t allow you to customise the Bixby button. The button is ideally located to act as a power button or for some action you’re likely to use a lot more than Bixby, but Samsung just won’t have it that way. It’s either Bixby or it isn’t. And Bixby isn’t my first choice for a digital assistant, largely because it just doesn’t get me. It would often mishear what I say, like hearing Yahoo (!!!) when I actually said Rahul. Even basic functions like setting an alarm becomes a messy task at times. Bixby just isn’t there yet and it seems like a pretty big waste of a good button.CamerasSamsung’s cameras have usually been pretty solid over the years which is why the company doesn’t feel the need to tweak things too much. So the Galaxy Note 9 brings cameras that are similar what users get in Galaxy S9+. This includes a dual camera system with one wide-angle and one telephoto lens. The biggest change that the Galaxy S9+ brought this year was a variable aperture feature that switches the aperture of the lens from f./1.5 to f/2.4 depending on the light. A game changing feature like this just had to come to the Galaxy Note 9 as well. The dual 12-megapixel cameras on the back capture some of the best-looking photos possible on mobile phone. Stills in bright light look vivid and sharp with a good amount of exposure and dynamic range no noticeable noise. Autofocus is one of the fastest I’ve seen and shutter speed is quick as well, making sure you get blur-free shots most of the times.Samsung has focused a little more on AI this time around. So, the cameras can now detect certain scenes and objects and will adjust the setting accordingly to give you the best shot. If you point the camera at food, it will try to detect it and turn up the saturation so the colours look deep and punchy. If you’re taking a photo of a flower, the camera will recognise it and turn up the details so that those pollen grains look lovely. The difference between AI and non-AI captures are subtle but noticeable.Low-light photography is impressive thanks to the variable aperture feature and I can’t stress this enough. Barring the Pixel, no other phone comes close to the Note 9 in low-light photography. The f/1.5 aperture opens up to let in a crazy amount of light even in the dead of night. Photos not only look bright, but they also barely show any significant noise. They will lose some detail, but that’s expected.IMAGE SAMPLESThe camera comes with modes like Live Focus, Pro mode, Super Slow-Mo, AR Emoji and Hyperlapse. Bokehs from the rear cameras do well in keeping the subject in the foreground. There will be occasions when you notice some blurriness around the edges of the subject or patches that are not blurred at all, but you’ll largely come out with workable portrait shots. The cameras also manage to retain detail when taking zoom shots by up to 3x, beyond which things get rough.With dual OIS support, videos are extremely steady and detailed as well. The 8MP front camera with f/1.7 aperture, selfies taken manage to look bright and colours were also close to the real deal. But it does overexpose the background if its brighter than the foreground.BatteryWe now get down to what is perhaps the most pressing question about the Galaxy Note 9 – is the battery life any good. Note phones are massive and consume a lot of juice to keep going which is why it needs a battery big enough to see it through. That wasn’t the case last year, understandably so because Samsung was trying to play things safe following the Galaxy Note 7 fires. But it’s two years since then and Samsung is more confident about its batteries now. So, the Galaxy Note 9 gets a big 4,000mAh capacity. This is the biggest battery inside a Samsung phone yet and bigger than what you get in most top-end flagships in the market right now. That’s a whole 700mAh more than what is inside the Galaxy Note 8, and this does make a difference. The Galaxy Note 9 will last a full day and maybe a little more depending on your usage. This is also at least a few hours more than what the Note 8 or the Galaxy S9+ can manage. I spent a typical day messaging frequently, watching a few videos on YouTube, browsing social media apps, streaming music and I was still left with around 25 per cent before bed. I managed a good 5-6 hours of screen on time, which is pretty great. The Note 9 supports fast charging and will juice up the phone in about 2 hours.Should you buy the Galaxy Note 9?The Galaxy Note 9 is everything that you expect from the top Samsung phone. It comes with a stunning display that’s the biggest yet for the series, blazing fast performance, generous amount of memory and storage, some of the best cameras you’ll see on a 2018 flagship phone, and a battery that finally matches its size. The new stylus is also something I can get on board with. It’s almost the perfect smartphone barring for that design that is unexciting and is getting quite old considering Samsung is using it for several years now.I feel despite everything the Galaxy Note 9 has to offer, it may not appeal to everyone. For one thing, 6.4-inch displays have now become pretty common thanks to phones getting more bezel-less by adopting the notch. These phones are also getting more compact this way, while the Galaxy Note 9 stays big and heavy, which does not make it the easiest to handle for people with small hands. And second, the software is based on Oreo and we don’t know yet when Android 9 Pie is going to come on the Note 9. But if design, big and bold, is something you don’t mind much and you are not in a hurry to taste Android 9 Pie, the Note 9 is one the best phones you can buy in the market right now. It is even unique, with its S Pen and DeX, a feature that will let users turn it into a computer by connecting the Note 9 to a big screen. You don’t get these features in any other phone.Then there is the price, which I feel is quite good in India. The Galaxy Note 9 has an iPhone X-like $1,000 price tag in the US, but the company has launched the flagship in India much more aggressively, especially the 6GB + 128GB variant, which I think is sufficient for most people at an MRP of Rs 67,990. Samsung has admitted the Galaxy S9 has not sold so well, which is why it’s pinning its hopes on the Note 9 to take it though the year, and from what I have found, it’s a pretty great phone to place your bets on.Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review8.5/10Good stuffStunning AMOLED displaySuperior performanceStellar camerasBad stuffBixby still unusableBixby button not customisableTop-end model priceylast_img read more

Changes on horizon for FCD

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first_imgMLS Big changes coming for FC Dallas, but pain of missing playoffs the strongest emotion Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 08:47 10/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Michael Barrios Kellyn Acosta FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj MLS Dallas Dallas v LA Galaxy LA Galaxy Last season’s Supporters’ Shield winners missed the postseason and as a result of this year’s failures will look different in 2018 FRISCO, Texas — What’s next for FC Dallas? After Sunday’s elimination from the playoffs, change is on the horizon. What those changes will be, nobody seemed so sure.What did seem certain is that there will be modifications – not to the team’s overall strategy but certainly at the individual level.”This time, we have had with this group, four seasons, and now we have to sit down and reevaluate,” coach Oscar Pareja said after his team topped the LA Galaxy 5-1 but lost the tiebreaker for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. “It’s a cycle that needs to be reviewed because we all have to stretch out to the max and give our best but many of them need to change as well. Not because we don’t believe in the project. The project is going to move forward but this year has been difficult. We’ll see. What is coming next is we’ll reevaluate what is coming next for the group.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player FCD owner Dan Hunt already has indicated he hopes to see more young players getting significant playing time in the 2018 campaign. FCD’s academy is regarded as one of the strongest in the United States but this season the four teenagers signed to professional deals played infrequently.The season also was marred by transfer rumors, including FCD confirming that it turned down offers for winger Michael Barrios and Maxi Urruti during the summer. Kellyn Acosta and Walker Zimmerman both had their names end up in the rumor mills as European targets, while Carlos Gruezo and Jesse Gonzalez also reportedly have been scouted by teams abroad. There is uncertainty about which veteran names will be back next season. For most of those players, though, the wounds of this season were too fresh to think in the long-term.”I’m thinking in the day-to-day. Right now I’m going to enjoy my family like I always try to. I’m going to become a father in a few months and that’s what makes me happiest,” Urruti said.”I’m really excited about it. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m always thankful to everyone. When this offer came, when the team was interested in me, I always had my mind focused on Dallas. I wanted to give my best and try to get to the playoffs.”It’s not the time to think about anything other than we’re upset we couldn’t qualify and now we’re going to try to think about other things, enjoy family.”Acosta said he didn’t know if he’d be back either, but says: “Right now, it’s just a disappointing season. I’m not really looking to the future right now.”We got the win we needed, but it wasn’t enough.Thank you fans for all your support in 2017! #DTID pic.twitter.com/Acf3qXYDku— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) October 22, 2017Barrios was too busy thinking about what he’d experienced with the current group to focus on anything that might await him going forward.”We’re united, like a family that’s always fighting for each other off the field or on the field. Unfortunately, we’re all hurt by what happened, by not being able to get the last spot, unfortunately, because of a rule change where I think it’s something crazy for the league to have a team eliminated not by goals but by (wins),” winger Michael Barrios said. “Those are the decisions they made, you have to accept it and unfortunately we’re out by a point.”It’s not only the transfer targets who could be on their way out before the team resumes activity with matches in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. There are a number of veterans in the club who may move on, either by their choice or to make room for the younger players who characterize the club’s style.”Of course,” defender Maynor Figueroa said when asked if he’d like to return. “My wish always is to be here and continue here, but we all know how the league is. It’s a league where one day you could be here and the next day you’re there. I’d like to stay here. I’m really very happy here, very thankful here and it’d be welcome if I were able to continue on with this club.”The one common feeling, the known quantity Sunday, had nothing to do with the future and everything to do with the present. No one who was part of FC Dallas’ 2016 or 2017 team expected to be thinking about the future this early in the year. No one expected to be out of the playoffs, resting up or drawing up offseason training plans. Because of that, there will be changes as FCD looks to get back to the level it expects. The evaluation process will take time, but if Pareja gets his wish it will take place and fans will see the results.”I think it’s necessary. The season demanded it,” he said. “I think not getting to the playoffs makes us think we lack things. It could be the coach, it could be the method, it could be the players, it could be investment, it could be a lot of things, and that helps us evaluate things.”last_img read more

Can Barca really go the Liga season unbeaten?

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first_imgBarcelona Can Barcelona really go the Liga season unbeaten? Ben Hayward Spanish Football correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 20:20 1/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(45) Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona Copa del Rey 11012018 LLUIS GENE Barcelona Primera División Real Betis v Barcelona Real Betis Stats Ernesto Valverde’s side have won 17 and drawn three after 20 rounds of the Primera Division. Could they go undefeated for the entire campaign? Something unusual happened last Wednesday. For the first time since double defeat in their Supercopa series against Real Madrid in August, Barcelona lost a game of football. In La Liga, however, normal service was resumed on Sunday and their record remains unblemished after 20 rounds of matches.Wednesday’s night’s narrow loss to Espanyol may yet prove anecdotic as the two teams meet again at Camp Nou on Thursday in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie, when Ernesto Valverde’s men will be big favourites to overturn the 1-0 deficit.”They did well, we congratulate them and we will see them in the return,” Valverde said after the game at Cornella. “We hope that our fans can help us at Camp Nou.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The Barca boss will not be overly concerned. His experimental side still should have won the match and may well have done had Lionel Messi converted from the penalty spot, the Argentine’s spot-kick saved by Diego Lopez prior to Oscar Melendo’s late winner.Valverde will pick stronger sides in the Champions League and La Liga, and in those two competitions, Barca remain unbeaten. The Blaugrana face Chelsea in the last 16 in Europe after four wins and two draws in the group stages, while they top the Primera Division with 17 victories out of 20, having returned to winning ways with an impressive 5-0 victory at Betis on Sunday.In 2012-13, Barca racked up 55 points after 19 rounds of games under Tito Vilanova, winning 18 and drawing the other (2-2 at home to Real Madrid). However, they did go on to lose twice in La Liga that season – a 3-2 loss at Anoeta against Real Sociedad in round 20 and a 2-1 to Los Blancos at Santiago Bernabeu a few weeks later.Despite difficulties as Vilanova took time out for cancer treatment, that season remains Barca’s best in terms of points as the Catalans equalled the record of 100 set by Jose Mourinho’s Madrid in the previous campaign.Like Barca in 2012-13, Madrid also lost two league matches in their best season – a 1-0 defeat at Levante early on and a 3-1 loss at home to Barcelona in the 16th round of matches.Barca lost five league games in Pep Guardiola’s first season as coach (2008-09), although two of those came after the title had been won and as the Catalans rested players ahead of the Champions League final against Manchester United.La Liga table after 20 roundsAnd in 2009-10, there was only one loss for Pep’s side as Barca won with 99 points, the sole defeat coming in a 2-1 reverse away to Atletico Madrid in the 22nd round of matches (in February). There were also 31 wins and six draws en route to what was a record total at the time.In 2010-11, Barca then lost just twice in La Liga, with defeats at home to Hercules in September and away to Real Sociedad in April as the Blaugrana finished with 96 points. So on several occasions, the Catalans have come close to an ‘invincible’ season in the Primera Division, especially in 2009-10.This time, with tough trips to Anoeta (where Barca had not previously won since 2007), Atletico and Real Madrid all safely negotiated, they may never have a better chance of going through a league season undefeated. They are already more than halfway there.last_img read more

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