Talk Mobile Review: Is This Vodafone-Run Network Any Good?

Richard Goodwin

03/07/2018 – 2:26pm

Is Talk Mobile any good? Should you make the switch? Let’s look at the data, pros and cons…

Talk Mobile is powered by Vodafone, meaning it runs on the Vodafone network.
This is a similar model to what GiffGaff does, with the idea being you can charge customers less for their data and contracts.
Talk Mobile doesn’t invest in infrastructure, so it has lower costs and can therefore charge less. Or, at least, that’s the theory.
So how to does it measure up the UK’s biggest network EE?
Let’s take a look at the data to find out more…
Talk Mobile Network Coverage
Talk Mobile’s coverage is pretty decent for 2G and 3G, though it does not have 4G in place yet – so if that’s important to you, and it should be, you’re better off elsewhere.
Talk Mobile has 98% coverage for 2G and 3G.
Talk Mobile 4G Coverage
Talk Mobile does not yet have 4G services in place. However, once it does – it’ll use Vodafone’s – it should be pretty decent.
Vodafone’s 4G network has 99% coverage for 2G, 3G, and 98% for 4G across the UK.
Vodafone’s 4G is available in over 1000 towns and cities in the UK, and this will apply to all Talk Mobile users too:
Basingstoke, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Coventry, Dudley, Edinburgh, Epsom, Ewell, Folkestone, Gateshead, Glasgow, Hatfield , Hove and Hastings, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Jarrow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Maidstone, Newbury, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oldham, Pontefract, Portsmouth, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Staines, Stourbridge, Swinton, Southampton, Tunbridge, Wakefield, Walsall, Watford, Wells and West Bromwich.
Talk Mobile 4G Download Speeds
According to OpenSignal data, Vodafone has the third lowest 4G speeds, ranking just one from the bottom with just 20.07Mbps.
EE, meanwhile, boasts 29.02Mbps
Talk Mobile also limits ALL its contracts to 4GB of data a month.
Verdict? Avoid.

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GameCube Classic Mini release Date: Japanese Nintendo discovers three new GameCube console trademarks

For all those born in the mid to late 90s, this could well be the best gaming-related news you’ve ever heard. Japanese Nintendo, a site that seems to do nothing other than sift through trademark filings, has discovered three brand-new GameCube trademark applications by Nintendo.
These aren’t just general merchandising trademarks, either. One application’s purpose is listed as “video game program” and another is described as a “video game machine”, which points towards a brand-new playable GameCube console. We’ve already had a SNES Classic Mini and NES Classic Mini from Nintendo, both of which were first revealed via trademark listings, so it’s a safe bet the GameCube will follow the same path.
Read on for everything we know so far about the GameCube Classic Mini, the as-of-yet unconfirmed relaunch of Nintendo’s iconic successor to the legendary N64.

READ NEXT: N64 Classic Mini release date

GameCube Classic Mini: Everything you need to know

GameCube Classic Mini release date: When’s it coming out in the UK?
Nintendo hasn’t even confirmed that it’s making the GameCube Classic Mini yet, so it would be folly to predict a release date at this stage. We expect the N64 Classic Mini to come out first because the recent N64 trademarks (also discovered by Japanese Nintendo) were filed earlier in the year.
It seems as though Nintendo is launching its Classic Mini consoles in chronological order based on their original release dates, in which case the N64 Classic Mini will be third and the GameCube Classic Mini will be fourth. It’s also possible that Nintendo is gauging the interest in a GameCube Mini, and may only launch it if the N64 Classic Mini sells well. Considering how popular the SNES and NES Classic Mini consoles have been, we’d say it’s a given that the N64 – and, subsequently, the GameCube Classic Mini – will sell like hotcakes.
GameCube Classic Mini games: What can we expect to play on it?
Back in 2002, the GameCube launched with all-time classics such as Super Monkey Ball, Pikmin, Crazy Taxi, SSX Tricky and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader – and what fond memories we have! Then there were timeless titles like Metroid Prime, Luigi’s Mansion, and TimeSplitters 2 to contend with, plus dozens of other incredible games. We can only hope that the GameCube Classic Mini has them all.
The other Classic Mini consoles have been released with 21 titles from the original console built in, so it’s reasonable to expect that the GameCube will have the same. We know it’s a long shot, but could we also see the triumphant return of Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, the most underrated Star Wars video game of all time? Place your Fetts, folks…
GameCube Classic Mini price: How much will it cost?
The SNES and NES Classic Mini consoles were both launched around the £60-£70 mark, but their price does depend on where you buy them from. The original GameCube launched at £129 in the UK back in 2002, but the other relaunched consoles have been cheaper than their first iterations, so the GameCube probably won’t cost that much.
Sixteen years’ worth of inflation sort of make that figure redundant, anyway. To be safe, we’re saying £70, although we’ll have to wait until the official launch to find out for sure.
But whatever it costs, we know it will be worth it for the nostalgia kick alone.

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Itching to play Fortnite on Android? You’ll need one of these phones

When will we have Fortnite available to play on our Android smartphone? The rumors have been going on for months, but the truth is that we still don’t know the exact date of its release. At the moment, we can check if our device will be compatible. You’ll need more than a pocket calculator to run this beautiful battle royale.

I have heard of CERBER.
You too?

After succeeding in the world of video game consoles such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, Epic Games surprised many by announcing that Fortnite was making the leap to smartphones.
At the moment it is only available on iOS, and if anyone doubted whether this game would be a success, just look at the numbers. In the first month, Fortnite made an incredible $25 million! To give you an idea, it took another successful game like Super Mario Run half a year to get the same amount of money…
And for Android users, all that’s left to do is wait. Epic Games does not release a pledge on the official release date, but at least we already know which devices will be compatible with Fortnite. The list naturally includes flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the Google Pixel 2 XL, but also more modest smartphones such as the Galaxy A5 (2017) or the Huawei P8 Lite (2017).
Smartphones Android compatible with Fortnite Battle Royale

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL


Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Lite
Huawei Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro
Huawei P10, P10 Plus and P10 Lite
Huawei P9 and P9 Lite
Huawei P8 Lite (2017)


LG V30 and V30 Plus


Motorola Moto E4 Plus
Motorola Moto G5, G5 Plus and G5S
Motorola Moto Z2 Play


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime, J7 Pro and J7 2017
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016)
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus


Sony Xperia XA, XA1 Ultra and XA1 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ, XZS and XZ1

Can’t wait to try Fortnite on Android? Is your smartphone compatible?

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Weekly Roundup: July 21 – TechCrunch

Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, Blue Origin, performed its most critical test to date, Prime Day had some ups and downs but ultimately broke records and major tech companies are uniting to help you move data across apps.
Here’s your weekly roundup of the top stories from the tech world: 
1. Blue Origin successfully lands both booster and crew capsule after test launch
Blue Origin crossed a major milestone on Wednesday as it successfully executed a live separation test. This sent the rocket’s crew capsule higher than it’s ever gone before, while the rocket’s booster coasted back down to earth unscathed. The critical achievement marks a big win for Jeff Bezos’ company and the prospect of commercial space flights.
2. What Amazon lost (and made) on Prime Day 

Widespread glitches on Amazon’s site during the first two hours of Prime Day are estimated to have cost the e-commerce giant $1.2 million per minute. The total loss is difficult to nail down, in part because the exact span of the outage varied; however, multiple reports put the loss in the $90 million range. And yet, these setbacks didn’t dampen the day. Prime Day broke a number of records, making it the biggest sales day in Amazon history, beating out Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the previous Prime Day in 2017.
3. Google gets slapped with $5 billion EU fine for Android antitrust abuse

Google has been fined a record-breaking €4.34 billion (~$5 billion) by European antitrust regulators for abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system. The European Commission is arguing the tech giant dominates markets for general internet search services, licensable smart mobile operating systems and app stores for the Android mobile operating system. Google responded stating it will appeal the fine and argued Android brings more choice to the market, not less.
4. Living with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro 

After spending some quality time with the latest MacBook Pro, it’s obvious  Apple is tipping its cap to its core user base of creative professionals. The 2018 model is the most substantial upgrade (at least regarding performance) since the introduction of quad-core processors in the 2011 MacBook Pro.
5. Midwest rising 

Emerging venture capital firms in smaller American cities are increasingly attracting larger funding as investors see opportunities for returns beyond the coasts. But the Midwestern investment scene isn’t just defined by Valley transplants, and many success stories are home-grown.
6.Facebook, Google and more unite to let you transfer data between apps 

The Data Transfer Project is a new team-up between tech giants to let you move your content, contacts and more across apps. Founded by Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft, the DTP today revealed its plans for an open source data portability platform any online service can join. Creating an industry standard for data portability could force companies to compete on utility instead of being protected by data lock-in that traps users because it’s tough to switch services.
7. Microsoft caps off a fine fiscal year seemingly without any major missteps in its last quarter 

In the past year, Microsoft’s stock has gone up more than 40 percent. In the past two years, it’s nearly doubled. In addition, Microsoft passed $100 billion in revenue for a fiscal year. That Microsoft is even in the discussion of being one of the companies chasing a $1 trillion market cap is likely something we wouldn’t have been talking about just three or four years ago.

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Facebook is developing an internet satellite after shutting down drone project

Facebook is continuing its initiative to develop hardware that beams down high-speed internet, though its moving the effort to space. According to documents obtained by Wired through Freedom of Information Act requests, the social network is working on an internet satellite that would “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” according to an application filed with the FCC under the name PointView Tech LLC. Facebook has confirmed to Wired that it is indeed the company behind the application, and that the working title for the satellite is Athena.
This news comes just weeks after Facebook announced a shutdown of its internet drone efforts under the Aquila project. The company said it would no longer develop its own autonomous high-flying drones, which were partly powered by solar energy and designed to fly for long periods of time and beam internet to remote parts of Earth and underserved developing countries.

Earlier this year, Facebook shut down its solar-powered drone effort

Instead, Facebook said Aquila would focus its efforts on developing the onboard software systems that guide internet aircraft. Google parent company Alphabet did the same in January of last year, shutting down its solar-powered drone project in favor of its air balloon Wi-Fi initiative Project Loon and strategic investments in third-party satellite internet companies.
Now, it sounds like Facebook will continue to try and develop its own hardware, just a different variety this time. According to a September 2017 report on broadband development, more than half of Earth is still not online, and that the only way to do so would be to use low Earth orbit satellites that sit in space about 100 to 1,250 miles above the surface. There’s already a booming industry around satellite internet, with key players like SpaceX investing heavily in the space to become the new internet service providers of an untapped market. SpaceX launched its first satellites back in February.
“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson told Wired in a statement.
For Facebook, being the internet provider for all-new markets around the globe raises the possibility that those new internet users will become members of its social network, which in turn expands its global reach and further solidifies its online advertising empire.
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Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens

The Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR is the first super-fast F2 telephoto lens for the mirrorless X Series system. It boasts ultra-high image quality and pairs perfectly with new 1.4x XF teleconverter.
The Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR will be available from late October 2018 priced at £5399
Fujifilm UK Press Release
Announcing the New FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR Telephoto Lens and FUJINON XF1.4X TC F2 WR Teleconverter Kit
First super-fast F2 telephoto lens for the mirrorless X Series system boasts ultra-high image quality and pairs perfectly with new XF teleconverter
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) has announced that it will release the super-fast FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR telephoto lens and FUJINON XF1.4X TC F2 WR teleconverter kit in late October 2018. The XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR is the first super-fast telephoto lens in the XF lens lineup, offering a fast maximum f-stop of 2.0 and a focal length equivalent to 305mm in 35mm film format. Taking advantage of technologies synonymous with FUJINON lenses, this new telephoto lens boasts exceptional image clarity with the ability to produce beautiful bokeh, making it the perfect choice for shooting sports and wildlife.
The XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR lens will be available as a kit, paired with the high performance FUJINON XF1.4X F2 TC WR teleconverter, which extends the focal length of the lens by 1.4 times. The teleconverter allows the lens to cover a focal length equivalent to 427mm at F2.8.
The FUJINON XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR is a fast telephoto lens which is able to utilize the full capability of FUJIFILM’s X-TransTM CMOS sensor to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness even when the aperture is wide open. It faithfully captures the atmosphere of each scene, thanks to its outstanding performance and ability to produce beautiful bokeh. Furthermore, the lens features a new Focus Preset function, allowing photographers to quickly change the focus to a preset position to capture subjects with ease. The lens barrel is made of magnesium alloy which makes it both lightweight yet very durable. The lens is also resistant to dust, moisture and low temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for use by professional photographers in challenging conditions.
The XF1.4X TC F2 WR is a high-performance teleconverter that is fitted between a camera and a lens to extend the lens’ focal length by 1.4 times. When combined with the XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR, the teleconverter provides the focal length equivalent to 427mm in the 35mm film format. It is designed to minimize any aberrations to ensure high image quality even when the maximum aperture of F2 is used.
Expanding the total current lens lineup of the X Series system to 31 lenses, including the simultaneously released XF8-16mmF2.8 R LM WR, FUJINON XF lenses cover an impressive array of focal lengths, enabling shooting opportunities from far away to close-up.
Main Features
(1)  Offering outstanding performance and beautiful bokeh
The lens is made of 19 elements in 14 groups, including one large-diameter super ED lens element and two large-diameter ED lens elements to minimize chromatic aberration.  High-precision polishing technology, developed for broadcast lenses, has been used to prepare the large-diameter lens elements to achieve outstanding image-resolving performance and creamy bokeh. This element is produced with an accuracy of less than 0.1μm. High-speed AF is made possible thanks to the lightweight focus lens group and the use of linear motors.
(2)  Powerful image stabilization performance
The lens offers 5.0-stop image stabilization performance in accordance with CIPA. The lens recognizes shooting conditions, e.g. panning or on tripod, and automatically applies optimum image stabilization control.
(3) Easy AF operation
・Focus Preset Function*1 instantaneously changes the focus to a preset position to capture your main subject with ease without having to make focal readjustments.
・Focus Range Selector switch limits the shooting distance range for autofocusing. Activating this function narrows down the range of shooting distance and delivers high-speed AF when shooting a subject at the distance of 5 meters or greater.
・The Focus Control button*1 is positioned at the tip of the lens barrel. Use the Focus Select switch to assign a function of your choice, such as Focus Preset, AF-ON and Focus Lock.
*1 The camera body’s firmware must be updated to activate the Focus Preset function and Focus Control button. Updated firmware is due to be released at the same time as the lens.
(4) Fast, silent, and highly accurate autofocus
The lens uses linear motors to achieve fast, silent, and high-precision AF performance.
There is also a new mechanism that fixes the focus motor group when the camera is not in use, which reduces any vibrations that may occur from the linear motors’ magnets being disengaged.
(5) Advanced durability able to withstand various shooting conditions
The lens is lightweight yet robust, thanks to its magnesium alloy construction.  The barrel is sealed at 17 places to make the lens resistant to dust, moisture, and low temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. The front lens element is coated with fluorine to repel water and dirt, adding extra durability so that the lens can be used outdoors with peace of mind. The matte silver color reduces the risk of the lens overheating under intense summer temperatures. The paintwork is designed to diffuse light which prevents the lens from generating strong light reflections.
(6) Arca-Swiss compatible tripod mount 
 The tripod mount features an Arca-Swiss compatible dovetail groove and also supports both ¼-inch and 3/8-inch tripod screws.
(7) Packaged with the high-performance XF1.4X TC F2 WR teleconverter
This high-performance teleconverter extends the focal length by 1.4 times while controlling aberrations when used wide open at an aperture of F2.0. When combined with the XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR, the teleconverter provides the focal length equivalent to 427mm in the 35mm film format.
(8) Accessories
Also simultaneously released will be the PRF-105 protective filter and the FLCP-105 front lens cap.
*1  Please see the Fujifilm website ( to check memory card compatibility.
*2  Exif 2.3 is a digital camera file format that contains a variety of shooting information for optimal printing.
*3  The Electronic Shutter may not be suitable for fast-moving objects. Flash can not be used.
*4  Approximate number of frames that can be taken with a fully-charged battery based on CIPA standard.
Main Specification
Lens configuration 19 elements 14 groups
(includes 2ED elements,1super ED element)
Focal length (35mm format equivalent) f=200mm (305mm)
Angle of view 8.1°
Max. aperture F2
Min. aperture F22
Aperture control
Number of blades
Stop size
9(rounded diaphragm opening)
1/3EV (22 steps)
Focus range 1.8m~∞ 
Max. magnification 0.12x 
External dimensions: Diameter x Length (approx.)
(distance from camera lens mount flange) Φ122mm x 205.5mm 
Weight (approx.) 
(including tripod collar foot, excluding caps and hood ) 2,265g  
Filter size Φ105mm
Accessories included Lens cap FLCP-105
Lens rear cap RLCP-001
Lens hood
Shoulder strap
Lens case
Type FUJINON XF1.4X TC F2 WR Teleconverter
Lens configuration 7 elements 4 groups
(includes 1 aspherical element)
Focal length (35mm format equivalent) 1.4x that of original lens
Max. aperture 1 additional stop
Min. aperture 1 additional stop
Focus range Approx. same as that of original lens
Max. magnification 1.4x that of original lens
External dimensions: Diameter x Length (approx.)
(distance between lens mount and camera mount) Φ58mm x 15mm (excluding protrusion)
Weight (approx.) 
(excluding caps ) 130g  
Accessories included Lens front cap
Lens rear cap RLCP-001
Lens pouch
The FUJIFILM XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR will be available from late October 2018 priced at £5399
For UK CONSUMER ENQUIRIES please contact:
FUJIFILM UK Camera Service Tel: 0344 553 2321
About Fujifilm UK
Fujifilm UK, established in the UK since 1976, is a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation and consists of six business divisions. The Photo Imaging division provides commercial photographic businesses with photo printing equipment, kiosk and software solutions along with a range of photo papers for both dry and wet labs, wide format media and inks, photo chemistry, film, and single-use cameras. Photo Imaging is also the home of the best-selling Instax instant camera and accessories. The Electronic Imaging division markets an award-winning range of digital cameras suited to professionals and enthusiasts alike, including the FinePix, X Series and GFX medium format ranges. The Medical Systems division delivers a range of diagnostic imaging systems, medical informatics solutions and clinical chemistry analysers, helping healthcare professionals to deliver excellent care to patients. The Graphic Systems division supplies industry-leading digital, offset, inkjet and plate products and services to deliver superb, high-quality print. The Recording Media division is one of the leading manufacturers of high performance storage media, producing the latest in high capacity data tape storage technology solutions and services. Lastly, the Optical Devices division develops and manufactures FUJINON high-precision lenses for the TV broadcast, cinema, videography, closed circuit television and industrial markets, as well as all of the lenses for the X and GFX series of cameras.
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, was founded in 1934 as a producer of photographic film under the name Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd. By leveraging the technologies originally developed for the photography industry and continuously and proactively pursuing advanced R&D, Fujifilm strives to push the boundaries of innovation to help make the world a better, healthier, and more interesting place. In-house research promotes growth in existing fields, while exploring new possibilities in areas including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, energy and highly functional materials. For the year ended March 31, 2018, the company had global revenues of $23.0 billion, at an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar.
For more information on Fujifilm UK visit us on social media at @Fujifilm_UK on Twitter, Fujifilm_UK on Instagram, on Facebook at or on LinkedIn at

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New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Celebrates Mickey Mouse – Game Rant

About a month ago, Kingdom Hearts 3 director Tetsuya Nomura admitted he believes that the sequel was announced too early, even though Square Enix did so in order to prevent leaks and rumors from happening. Nevertheless, Nomura also said that development for the the forthcoming action-RPG is now moving along well, and as a means of paying homage to the character that has helped facilitate the KH series, the sequel has now released a new promotional trailer celebrating 90 years of Disney’s mascot Mickey Mouse.

As seen in the trailer below, Kingdom Hearts 3 fans are taken on a trip throughout the life of Mickey Mouse, and his evolution that has occurred within Square Enix’s popular action-RPG franchise. Considering the fact that the character debuted as a hand drawn black and white rodent in Walt Disney’s 1928 American animated short film Steamboat Willie and has now transitioned into an international icon is definitely remarkable to say the least.

As of now, Square Enix hasn’t released too much in the way of promotional wares that detail how Mickey Mouse will fit into the overall narrative of Kingdom Hearts 3, but it is known that Mickey and Riku traveled into the World of Darkness to try and rescue Aqua from Master Xehanort’s control, but were too late. For those who want to see the scene in action, they would do well to dig into the Frozen world trailer released last month during E3 2018.

Mickey’s role in Kingdom Hearts 3 aside, it’s safe to say that plenty of fans are still waiting for Square Enix to offer up even more details about the sequel as a whole, especially since Tetsuya Nomura recently suggested that footage of the Big Hero 6 world could be coming soon. Of course, with KH3 currently slated for release early next year, the publisher and developer still has plenty of time to fill fans in on all that’s to come.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is set for release on January 29, 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Breanna Stewart, the Sun and Storm made this 12-year-old’s first WNBA game so special

What an awesome day for a young fan.
Two weeks ago, Caroline Hartley, a 12-year-old fan in Maine got her first-ever WNBA tickets for her birthday, and she was completely overwhelmed. Her mom filmed the moment that went viral on Twitter as Caroline broke into tears knowing that she’d be seeing the Connecticut Sun play the Seattle Storm at Mohegan Sun Arena — A matchup between her favorite team, the Sun, and her favorite player, Breanna Stewart.

Hey -you have a huge fan in Maine. Check out our daughter’s reaction to WNBA tix for her 12th birthday. 7/20 game vs . Her first WNBA game.
— Maribeth Hartley (@mbhart2)

On Friday night, Caroline went to the game, and both team’s stars made sure she had the most amazing time.
Her favorite player, superstar Stewart of the Storm, met her before the game and gave her a t-shirt:

TFW you go to your first game and meet your favorite player
— espnW (@espnW)

Then after the game, Stewart signed a pair of shoes for her:

. made sure Caroline Hartley left her first WNBA game with something extra special
— espnW (@espnW)

Caroline got shots up with Jewell Loyd before the game:

Caroline Hartley from Scarborough, Maine gets some shots up with all-star Jewell Loyd before game
— Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller)

The Sun gave her a Happy Birthday shoutout video on the big screen:

Remember Caroline from the surprise birthday ticket video? THIS is why the matters. and went above and beyond for her. We will be speaking with her during halftime!
— High Post Hoops (@HighPostHoops)

And the Sun gave her a customized jersey signed by the team:

This is what it’s all about. Hope you had a great time Caroline!!!
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun)

“She represents everything that we play for, everything that we stand for, everything that’s special about our game,” Sun All-Star Chiney Ogwumike said, according to ESPN’s Matt Eisenberg. “Her enthusiasm was amazing. I think she had the time of the life.”
It’s safe to say this is a birthday Caroline will remember, and the WNBA turned a huge fan into a lifetime one.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. What an amazing experience.
— Maribeth Hartley (@mbhart2)

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The Open 2018: third round: birdies fly in on moving day – live! | Sport

2.16pm EDT14:16

Tommy Fleetwood responds to his latest setback by firing his second at 17 straight at the stick. He’ll have a look at birdie. On the 18th tee, Rory McIlroy drives into sand on the right, while Xander Schauffele bangs one up the middle. Up on the green, a birdie for Erik van Rooyen, and a level-par 71: he’s -4. Par for his playing partner Matt Kuchar: he signs for a 70 and ends the day at -5.

2.14pm EDT14:14

Neither Xander Schauffele nor Rory McIlroy can find the 17th green in regulation. It costs the former, whose chip comes up eight feet short; it doesn’t cost the latter, who bumps his six feet past the hole but makes the putt coming back. McIlroy stays at -6; Schauffele falls out of the lead and drops to -8. Back on 16, Tommy Fleetwood misses another short putt and slips to -4. Momentum is not his friend today.

2.10pm EDT14:10

It’s been an up-and-down day for Tony Finau. He started off at -4, and that’s where he’s finished, having shot 71. But he’s made three bogeys, three birdies, a double bogey and an eagle along the way. Plus, having smacked his second at the last to four feet, he missed the short one. The mild-mannered Utah saint won’t win this Open, but another top-ten finish in the majors, after high finishes at the Masters and US Open, isn’t out of the question.

2.05pm EDT14:05

Here’s a lovely stat: Zander Lombard’s eagle at 18 was the first-ever at that hole in Open Championship competition. He’s thrown his ball into the stand; that’ll make a lovely souvenir for someone, a little piece of Carnoustie history.

2.03pm EDT14:03

Here’s someone who will always go down swinging: Tommy Fleetwood. His Open bid looked to be heading south after that double on 12 and bogey at 13. But here’s his response: birdies at 14 and 15! He’s back in the mix at -5!
-9: Spieth (F), Schauffele (16), Kisner (14)-7: Chappell (F)-6: Molinari (F), McIlroy (16), Z Johnson (14)-5: Woods (F), Simpson (F), Noren (F), Kuchar (17), Fleetwood (15)

1.59pm EDT13:59

Golf: a study in frustration and exhilaration. Zander Lombard has just bogeyed 17. So from the centre of the 18th fairway, the 23-year-old South African sends his second scampering towards the flag … and into the cup for a closing eagle! It’s been a difficult day for the young man, who will chalk it up to experience, but he allows himself a huge smile as he raises both arms in triumph and soaks up the applause from the elated gallery. He’s signing for a level-par 71; he’s -4.

1.56pm EDT13:56

Schauffele’s tee shot at the long par-three 16th nearly finds the greenside bunker front right … but teeters on the top. He clips a delicate chip to four feet, setting up a brilliant par save. McIlroy’s tee shot dribbles down the swale to the right. He putts up, but weakly, and the six-footer he leaves himself dies off to the right. He drops back to -6. Momentum’s a slippery bugger. Birdies meanwhile for Kisner and Johnson on 14: the former joins the leaders at -9, while the latter starts the climb back up the leaderboard at -6.

1.52pm EDT13:52

Two putts from distance for Jordan Spieth, and the defending champion posts a 65! He sits atop the pile at -9, alongside Xander Schauffele. His playing partner Kevin Chappell isn’t to be totally outdone: he birdies, the reward for a splendid approach to five feet. He cards 67. He’s -7, having come home in 32 strokes.

1.49pm EDT13:49

Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele make their birdie putts on 15. That’s given the leaderboard a good old shoogle! As for the Kuuuuuuuuuch thing … Matt Kuchar’s just bumped in a chip from the bottom of a swale to the side of 16. It’s his third birdie since the turn! He’s on this leader board too!
-9: Spieth (17), Schauffele (15)-8: Kisner (13)-7: McIlroy (15)-6: Molinari (F), Chappell (17)-5: Woods (F), Simpson (F), Noren (F), Kuchar (16), Z Johnson (13)

1.45pm EDT13:45

McIlroy sends his second at 15 pin high to ten feet. It’s a marvellous shot … though Schauffele betters it by landing one four feet behind the flag. Up on 18, Spieth sends his drive into thick rough down the left. He’s about to take his second when bedlam erupts elsewhere, and there’s a chorus of Kuuuuuuuch. We’ll see what that’s all about soon enough. Spieth steps back, goes again, and lashes his second onto the green. What a shot that was! We’ve seen players hoick balls out of bounds and into the Barry Burn from there. But the reigning champion lands his ball bang slap in the middle of the green!

1.42pm EDT13:42

Schauffele’s eagle putt stops one turn short of the cup. Rory’s misses on the left. Both tap in for slightly disappointing birdies, but you take what you can around Carnoustie, even on a benign day like this. Schauffele is a shot off the lead at -8; McIlroy rises to -6. Par meanwhile for Spieth on 17. And a word on his partner Kevin Chappell, who has responded well after dropping those shots at 6 and 9: birdies at 12 and 14 ensures the 32-year-old Californian – who has just the one PGA Tour victory to his name, last year’s Valero Texas Open – is still very much in the mix.
-9: Spieth (17)-8: Schauffele (14), Kisner (12)-6: Molinari (F), Chappell (17), McIlroy (14)

1.36pm EDT13:36

A birdie at the last for Danny Willett. The 2016 Masters champion isn’t going to win this Open Championship, but after a couple of lean years he’s on his way back, which is wonderful to see. His round of 70 today goes with two other solid rounds of 69 and 71, and he’s -3 for the tournament.

1.35pm EDT13:35

Zach Johnson doesn’t take advantage of his break. Two putts would have limited the damage to bogey … but he misses a short one, and the double means that’s three shots gone in two holes. He’s -5. Kevin Kisner pars calmly, and he’s now three ahead of his playing partner at -8, but one behind the leader Spieth.

1.32pm EDT13:32

A huge break for Zach Johnson. His ball has landed the other side of a gorse bush, and there’s a route to the green! He can lash his ball into the heart of the putting surface … and that’s exactly what he does. Some good fortune for Xander Schauffele too: a drive at 14 that looked like dropping into a bunker stays out, and he can go for the green. He nearly hits the flag with his second! His partner McIlroy sends a drive over 400 yards down the track, and lifts a gentle wedge to eight feet. Meanwhile another bogey for Tommy Fleetwood: a second short putt missed in two holes, this time at 13, and he’s falling out of contention quicksmart. He’s -3.

1.29pm EDT13:29

Jordan Spieth makes his birdie putt on 16! He takes sole ownership of the lead, no more than that stunning tee shot deserved! Meanwhile back on the par-five 14th, Matt Kuchar and Erik van Rooyen pepper the flag with their second shots, but the hole repels both eagle putts. Not sure how Kuchar’s in particular stayed out; half of it disappeared at one point! They move to -4 and -5 respectively.
-9: Spieth (16)-8: Kisner (11)-7: Schauffele (13), Z Johnson (11)

1.25pm EDT13:25

From the rough down the left of 12, Zach Johnson snap-hooks his ball into terrible trouble. It smacks into the big video screen – I hope the R&A have a good accidental breakage clause in their contents policy – and away towards some gorse. God speed, little ball. Meanwhile up on 18, Alex Noren wedges from the dropzone to five feet, and escapes with an outrageous bogey, having found the Barry Burn twice, but bounced out of it once. He’s earned that luck, though, Gary Player style, because despite the final-hole bogey he’s round in 67. He’s -5 and right in the mix!

1.21pm EDT13:21

Jordan Spieth is a sensational player. Like that’s breaking news! Still, his tee shot on the lengthy par-three 16th is nothing short of outrageous, a long iron whipped straight at the flag, holding the small portion of the green near the flag and stopping softly. He’ll have a ten-footer for a birdie, on a hole most players struggle to make par. To illustrate its difficulty: Tom Watson had five goes when he won here in 1975, failing every time. Even if he misses his birdie putt, he’ll be gaining on plenty in the field with par!

1.18pm EDT13:18

Jordan Spieth misreads his short birdie effort at 15. The ball was always going off to the right. He remains at -8, tied with Kevin Kisner. A double bogey for Tommy Fleetwood on 12, and the European number one really is out of sorts today. He’s -4.

1.16pm EDT13:16

Spieth lags his long eagle effort at 14 holeside, then knocks in what’s left for birdie. He joins Kevin Kisner at -8 … but Zach Johnson’s no longer there, because he lets a short one slip by at 11. Then at 15 he fires his second straight at the flag. He’ll have a 12-footer for the outright lead! Meanwhile the komik kutz kontinue for Alex Noren on 18: having taken his drop, he carves his third towards the Barry Burn further up the hole. The ball twangs off the far face of the creek, rebounds backwards, onto the grandstand on the right, and back into filth. Strong shades of Jean van de Velde.

1.11pm EDT13:11

Alex Noren had stormed up the leader board … but he’s sent his tee shot at 18 to the right and into the Barry Burn. More European pain in 12, where Rory yips a tiddler for par and drops back to -5. And trouble for Erik van Rooyen at the par-three 13th. He sends his tee shot into sand – the pin’s tucked behind a bunker, and it was a very aggressive line. Nearly, but not quite. He’s right up against the face without much green to play with. He quits on the splash, and he’s left in the trap. He nearly holes the second effort, but that’s another shot gone. Twenty holes without a bogey, then two come along at once. It’s not often you can use the old London Buses quip about bogeys at Carnoustie, but there you go, fill your boots.

1.03pm EDT13:03

A huge break for Jordan Spieth on the par-five 14th. His drive looks like it’s going to be swallowed by a big bunker down the left. If it goes in, he’ll have to chip out sideways. But it somehow stays up on the left, allowing him to smash his second into the heart of the green. He’ll have a look at eagle from 30 feet or so. Meanwhile birdie for Tommy Fleetwood on 11, and after a frustrating run of pars, it’s finally happening again for Southport’s finest! He’s -6.

1.01pm EDT13:01

Thorbjorn Olesen has been thoroughly refreshed by that eagle on 14. He fires an iron from 200 yards straight at the flag. It looks for all the world like it’s going to trundle slowly into the hole, but somehow lips out. He’ll knock what’s left in for birdie that takes him to -4. Suddenly, he’s back in contention! Up on 17, Alex Noren rolls in a birdie putt from off the green, and he’s -6. But it’s Erik van Rooyen’s first bogey in 20 holes, the punishment for failing to hit a ten-foot putt on 12 by one inch. Harsh. He’s -5.

1.46pm EDT13:46

Rickie Fowler’s day started to turn sour with that out-of-bounds triple-bogey on 6. Another dropped shot at 8. Another bogey at 12. But he’s rekindled his now-much-slimmer chances with eagle at 14. He’s -2. Eagle for his playing partner Thorbjorn Olesen, as well. He’d been heading in the wrong direction also, so that keeps his hopes alive: -3. Meanwhile Xander Schauffele passes up a golden chance for birdie at 11, but his partner Rory McIlroy makes no mistake from 12 feet. A third birdie of the day, and after a terribly sluggish start, the 2014 champion is beginning to regain some momentum.
-8: Kisner (9), Z Johnson (9)-7: Spieth (13), Schauffele (11)-6: Molinari (F), van Rooyen (11), McIlroy (11)-5: Woods (F), Simpson (F), Noren (16), Chappell (13), Lombard (12), Perez (10), Fleetwood (10)-4: Rose (F), Cook (F), Scott (17), Hoffman (16)

Spectators hold up television cables so that US golfer Rickie Fowler can play onto the 6th green Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

at 1.46pm EDT

12.49pm EDT12:49

Kevin Kisner sends a delightful second into 9. He’s left with an eight footer for another birdie, but his putt lips out on the right. He turns in 34 and smacks the head of his putter in frustration. Don’t be too hard on yourself: you’re still co-leader of this famous old tournament. Par for Zach Johnson too. They’re -8. Adam Scott rattles a long birdie putt across 16 and into the cup. He’s -4.

1.28pm EDT13:28

Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele both set up good birdie chances on 10 with big drives and gentle wedges. Both give them up with distinctly average putts. They remain at -5 and -7 respectively. On 18, Webb Simpson nearly holes out from a greenside bunker, but the up and down saves his par, and he signs for a 67. He ends the day at -5, and his impressive 2018 continues apace.

Xander Schauffele of the United States tees off at the 4th. Photograph: Warren Little/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

at 1.28pm EDT

12.42pm EDT12:42

Two poor shots by Jordan Spieth up 12, and he’s in a deep bunker well short of the green. He’s faced with a long sand shot … and caresses a stunning effort to five feet. He tidies up to remain at -7. That’s a superb save. His partner Kevin Chappell, having done much to negate that triple-birdie start with bogeys at 6 and 9, races in a long one to move back to -5. And Pat Perez nearly salvages a par on 9 with a 25-foot left-to-right slider, but it horseshoes out: he drops back to -5.

12.37pm EDT12:37

Matt Kuchar, vanquished last year at Birkdale by the absurd brilliance of Jordan Spieth, will be dreaming of another tilt at the title. It wasn’t looking great for a while: bogeys at 4, 5 and 8 sent him clattering down the leaderboard, but a birdie at 10 brings him back to -3. And yes, of course he’s been smiling all the way through, whatever. Another birdie for his partner Erik van Rooyen, too, his second of the day. He’s -6.

12.34pm EDT12:34

A smidgen of disappointment at the end of Francesco Molinari’s round. He whip-cracks his second at 18 straight at the flag, the ball stopping six feet short. But he tugs the birdie putt. Still, he’s tapping in for a sensational 65: out in 33, back in 32. He’s -6, and the runner-up in last year’s PGA will be hoping to go one better in this particular major tomorrow. He’s in a seriously rich vein of form, and he’s got a chance!

12.32pm EDT12:32

Zach Johnson rattles in another biggie with the flat stick. Just 30 feet or so this time, but the birdie at 7 brings him level with Kevin Kisner, who pars, at the top: -8. Back-to-back birdies for Alex Noren at 13 and 14. He’s -5. And a birdie for Jordan Spieth at 11, the reward for knocking his second to six feet: he’s a shot off Johnson and Kisner at -7.

12.28pm EDT12:28

Tiger talks to Sky! “It seemed like everybody was shooting six, seven under par. I figured I needed to do the same. There were quite a few guys five or six under par after 12 holes. The pins were definitely gettable, they were quite friendly to us, so I had to attack. The up and down at 18 kept me in the fight. Some guys will get to -10 today, and five shots are achievable. I didn’t want to drop that last shot. Today’s was one of the better rounds I’ve played, I had control of my ball, which is not easy to do on a links course.”

12.23pm EDT12:23

You may have noticed Pat Perez creeping further up the standings. That’s because he’s just drained a 50-footer across 7 for his third birdie in four holes! Brilliant from the late-bloomer from Phoenix, Arizona. The 42-year-old won the CIMB Classic this year, only his third Tour title in a long career, but his second in the last two years. Don’t rule him out, because he’s playing as though he doesn’t give a solitary flying one. Just for the love of the game. He’s freewheeling around Carnousite and it’s great to watch!

12.19pm EDT12:19

MONSTER PUTT ALERT! Scrub that leader board! Stop the clocks! Nothing’s happened for Zach Johnson today yet. Apart from that bogey on 4. And he’s only on the front of the huge green at the par-five 6th. The best part of 100 feet from the hole, uphill, over a couple of mounds, with a right-to-left swing thrown in. And in it rattles! The crowd go wild! The 2015 champ doesn’t know what to do, so just pulls his hat over his eyes and smiles in disbelief. Did that really happen?! He’s the new co-leader … for about a minute, because his partner Kisner takes a more realistic two putts from distance for his birdie, and he’s now top on his own.
-8: Kisner (6)-7: Schauffele (7), Z Johnson (6)-6: Molinari (17), Spieth (10), Perez (7)-5: Woods (F), Simpson (16), Lombard (9), van Rooyen (8), McIlroy (8), Fleetwood (7)

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Tiger Woods has a realistic chance to win his 15th major. Get ready.

Tiger Woods may not win on Sunday, but a fantastic Saturday charge that ignited the Open at least gives him a chance.
The last decade of Tiger Woods’ career has been a constant shift in expectations. There have been dramatic swing changes, personal scandals and embarrassments, Player of the Year seasons, grotesque play, and career-threatening injuries.
This time last year, it seemed unlikely he would ever play competitive professional golf again. Woods was at home, just a couple months removed from spinal fusion surgery, his fourth in three years. He was firing off an extremely random tweet about the new Oakland Raiders felt on his pool table. Exactly one year later, he was lighting up the British Open to pull into a tie for a weekend lead at a major for the first time in five years.
The few times we’ve seen Tiger play in the majors since 2013, he was, to put it bluntly, embarrassing himself. He was in pain and hopeless and then he was completely gone from competitive golf. This is the third major start in this successful return season, the one that felt like the last comeback attempt. Tiger has been a surprisingly competitive golfer all season after a steady four-year run of ignominy and injury. His world ranking may not corroborate it, but he’s effectively been a top 20 player in the world all season. He’s making almost every cut, getting some reps in contention, and, as far as we can tell, staying healthy.
The majors were a different story, however, and Tiger had really not put a scare into the leaderboards of the most important events. This was the first non-Masters major cut he made since the 2014 Open. Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher finished in the top 15 that year. In the two cuts he did make at the Masters, he never realllllly had a chance to win, playing out the string on the weekend as younger, more talented, and healthier pros ran away.
This weekend round was different. Tiger tied the lead during an almost flawless Saturday 66 that featured much more aggressive play, improved putting, and the typically arousing ballstriking display that’s been the one constant this season.

. holes his fourth birdie of the day after this amazing approach at the 10th.
— The Open (@TheOpen)

I wrote many words recently about Tiger’s golf mind, maybe the most brilliant in the history of the game, and how that is such an asset for links golf. The Open demands creativity, strategy, and decision-making that’s simply absent from most tournaments on USA courses. Tiger has said as much himself, over his two decades coming to Scotland and again this week. Here he is after Thursday’s first round:

I’ve always loved playing this championship. I’ve been able to win it a few times. I’ve just always enjoyed — this is how the game should be played. It should be creative. It should be played on the ground. You can utilize the ground as an ally. When we play home in the States, that’s not the case. Everything is going straight up in the air, but this is very different. It’s amazing the shot — the creativity. I mean, you can roll the ball 100 yards if you wanted to, or you can throw it straight up in the air. I like having those shot options.

That comment came after he decided to plot his way through the first round in a conservative way, hanging back off the tee with lesser clubs and letting them roll out where they might. That’s also how he won his last Claret Jug in 2006, keeping driver in the bag and strategically choosing to play a course dramatically longer than everyone else. About that strategy, Padraig Harrington said this week, “The way he played in 2006 at Hoylake, nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did. Nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now.”
Some of the bigger hitters, including Rory McIlroy, decided to blast driver the first two days while Tiger kept hanging back. On Saturday, Tiger’s links mind went to work on a course that’s somewhere in between those burnt-out fiery conditions from Thursday and the damper conditions on Friday. So he crafted a strategy and decided to pick some spots to go big and get aggressive with the driver, his most unreliable club (more on this strategy change here). This season, when Tiger pulls driver, you’re still watching the swing peeking through your covered face, scared about whether the ball will stay on the property.
Woods’ round really went into overdrive when he started ripping driver at the turn. He nuked the ball on 9, 10, and 11 and made birdies on all three to jump to the top of the leaderboard. The drives at 10 and 11 were right down the gut. He was wild at the 9th, but the distance advantage set up at least a chance at birdie and his putter put this extra gravy on the scorecard. You don’t expect to make these but you’ll take them and keep moving up the board.

Making the turn with a Tiger fist pump!
He’s 3 back.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel)

At the 14th, he’d officially tie the lead at a real, competitive major championship. One of the great things about The Open is how they keep the players on pace. The weekend rounds rarely go over four hours and Tiger’s game came in right around 3:50. So if you stepped away for an hour or so on Saturday, you left with Tiger just kind of middling down the leaderboard and came back to one that felt like you were looking at a replay from a decade ago. It happened fast, but Tiger was on the weekend lead at a major.
And here’s where we get back into the constantly shifting universe of expectations. Tiger held the lead but he is certainly not going to be in the lead at the start of Sunday. There are still those talented, younger, and probably more healthy players coming in behind him and pushing the pace. Tiger holding a weekend lead does not mean Tiger is going to win or Tiger of 2005 is back.
Tiger surmised the lead would be around 10-under given the way the course is playing. That would put him a good five shots back. He started Saturday six shots back. Temper your expectations from the “Tiger’s tied for the lead” freakout moment on Saturday. That was fun and cool and it happened, which is remarkable in its own right. Sunday will be, too. He’s probably not going to win. But he could, and that’s a long way from struggling to stand upright while playing pool on your new Raiders felt.

Here’s your leaderboard:

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