Press Association However, Press Association Sport understands that while talks have taken place and are ongoing, they have not progressed to the point where a deal is anywhere near imminent. Indeed, that remains the case with all of the club’s top targets with the likes of QPR striker Charlie Austin, Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost and Aleksandar Mitrovic of Anderlecht remaining tantalisingly out of their grasp. That is not the situation McClaren had envisaged when he arrived at St James’ Park last month looking to play his part in a major overhaul of the squad following owner Mike Ashley’s pledge to address the deficiencies which very nearly led to disaster last season. The remaining members of the playing staff the former England boss inherited were due back for pre-season training on Monday after the bulk returned last Wednesday, and in an ideal world, there would have been several new faces on board by now. But negotiations have proved less than smooth, with Newcastle now targeting proven quality rather than the potential they have sought in recent years, meaning higher fees and greater competition. Charnley, who was handed the responsibility of recruiting McClaren, has also been delegated the task of bringing in new players and the clock is ticking. McClaren will send out his team for the first time at Gateshead on Friday evening before they head across the Atlantic for friendlies against club Atlas, Sacramento Republic and Portland Timbers. The presence of a major signing on that plane would go a long way towards raising spirits, although there will have to be a significant change in stance from at least one of the parties involved for that to become a reality. Meanwhile, sources on Tyneside have reacted to speculation that Liverpool will target France midfielder Moussa Sissoko this summer by insisting that no senior players will be leaving St James’ this summer until the new signings are in place, if at all. Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is keeping his fingers crossed for a transfer breakthrough before he and his players head for the United States at the weekend. Managing director Lee Charnley has endured a frustrating summer to date with the Magpies having failed to land a single target despite making a concerted effort to do so. Reports over the weekend suggested that the club were in advanced talks with PSV Eindhoven over Holland international midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, a man they have been trailing for some time.
After starting the entire season last fall, it seemed generally accepted that Joel Stave would retain his starting quarterback position next season for the Wisconsin football team. Although that might be the logical expectation, that’s not to say that Stave’s job is anywhere near safe. Among those gunning for the starting job is redshirt junior Tanner McEvoy.McEvoy is one of four quarterbacks seeing decent time so far this spring besides Stave, early enrollee DJ Gillins and junior Bart Houston.Although the four quarterbacks may be showcasing their quarterbacking abilities during spring practice, they are also demonstrating their leadership abilities in controlling the offense and commanding the huddle as senior offensive lineman Rob Havenstein explained.“They all know how to get the offense running. It does start with the quarterback. It is his huddle. I like to chime in there every now and then but at the end of the day what he says goes. If I say something, he might kind of brush it off. But if he says something, the whole offense has got to do something,” Havenstein said.The three other quarterbacks have had fairly direct paths to Wisconsin, but McEvoy has taken the route much less traveled. He started his journey off at South Carolina in 2011 and after spending his freshman season and the subsequent spring with the Gamecocks, he elected to transfer to Arizona Western Community College. McEvoy spent a season at Arizona Western and then last spring decided to transfer again to come to Wisconsin after getting recruited by then-new head coach Gary Andersen.After being unable to make it to Wisconsin until the summer, McEvoy was hampered in his ability to become acclimated to the program before jumping headfirst into the quarterback competition during fall camp.“In the summer, it’s a new school transferring in. Obviously, anyone has that kind of [nervous] feeling, but I wouldn’t blame it on that. I didn’t feel that uncomfortable when I was here when I first got here at all. That’s why I came here. It’s an easy group of guys to get along with,” McEvoy said.When Stave earned the starting spot in fall camp last season, McEvoy continued to practice at quarterback during the beginning weeks of the season. Then misfortune struck when McEvoy injured his wrist, adding another obstacle to his path. Unable to take snaps, McEvoy got bumped to wide receiver and saw time in the first game of the season against Massachusetts at wide out.After the results came back from the x-ray on his wrist, McEvoy underwent surgery to repair it and ended up sitting out for several weeks waiting to heal. In the meantime though, McEvoy path again turned as he was asked if we wanted to try safety. After obliging, just weeks later he found himself playing safety at Ohio Stadium against the Buckeyes, certainly not where anyone expected to see him when he originally committed.McEvoy finished the season off at safety, but the whole time knew that come this spring he would be back in the mix for the quarterback job.In just under a year since Wisconsin, those around McEvoy, including Havenstein, have seen some major growth, which should benefit him in the quarterback race.“He’s got a lot more confidence back there calling the play like he means it like he’s been doing it 15 years calling that same play,” he said.“I think he’s got a great understanding of the playbook, the checks and what not. He’s really commanded it so far and kind of getting little details, ins and outs, the niches of the offense and I think it’s helping him out tremendously. He can walk up, make protection checks, get us in the right spot to be able to get him the better throw and if they’re bringing pressure, if we can pick it up, our guys on the outside, Tanner has the ability to get there on time and on point. That creates big plays.”After playing safety most of last season, McEvoy hasn’t had much time to practice with the quarterbacks and didn’t really get a chance to practice with them until the end of the season. But simply being around the Badger program for almost a year now has allowed McEvoy the opportunity to become increasingly familiar with the subtleties of the program and, more importantly, the play book.The confidence Havenstein discussed plays off being around the program for a longer period of time and has contributed into how McEvoy has performed so far this spring, according to offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig.“When he came to us in June last year everything was new going into the whole program for the first time. He started back at quarterback during the bowl preparation period. He was much more relaxed and comfortable in what he was doing and it’s paying off for all of us right now,” Ludwig said.Plenty of time still stands between now and the start of next season, but having the opportunity to participate in spring practice this season gives McEvoy a head start he didn’t have the luxury of this time last year.That factors, coupled with having a year under his belt with Wisconsin, should give the quarterback heralded for his dual threat potential coming into the program last year a quality shot at the starting position come next fall. Only time will tell what the future holds and what path his football career will take next.“All four guys are putting their best foot forward and that’s only going to make us better as a team. One guy steps up and makes a big throw, the rest of them want to step up and make a bigger throw or two bigger throws. It’s really going to help us out in the end,” Havenstein said.
Mac App Store having launch problems? As a child, I molded a Play-Doh wedding cake for my uncle (who was not, at the time, engaged to be married). But that’s nothing compared to the Wi-Fi-enabled mini Macintosh Classic Jannis Hermanns built out of LEGO.Inspired by Apple’s early-’90s PC, Berlin-based Hermanns admits he may have taken things “too far” while building bricks with his son.“After building a 1987 GMC Vandura and an off-road Segway I suddenly had the urge to build one of the first computers I remember using,” he wrote in a blog post. “I went ahead and ordered a 2.7-inch e-paper display … and I immediately started building a little fitting prototype in LEGO.”Early prototype (Jannis Hermanns)Using the free LEGO Digital Designer (LDD)—a basic 3D editor—Hermanns took “the catastrophe that is the colored prototype” and rebuilt it on the computer.Intended as a birthday gift for a friend, the mini Mac project came together quickly, though not without a few glitches.“Being a programmer, of course, I created a model that was off by one: exactly one brick too wide,” the blog said. “No problem, though. LEGO is all about freestyling, and so I did.”The making of (Jannis Hermanns)Hermanns reached another hurdle when connecting the e-paper display to the Raspberry Pi Zero power source. The process was “a little tricky,” he said, lamenting the lack of space—and the launch of a new Wi-Fi-based Raspberry Pi Zero W “right after I purchased the Zero.”With a lot of patience and a little help from the Internet, the engineer managed to build a working (to an extent) fits-in-your-hand LEGO Macintosh Classic computer.In total, Hermanns spent about $160 on LEGO bricks, an e-paper display, a Raspberry Pi, a power supply, cables, tiny retro Mac stickers, and a set of rotary tools.Check out the online photo album with behind-the-scenes images of the original prototype, the building process, and the finished product. Because pictures or it didn’t happen. Stay on target