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One of the most hotly-anticipated events in the American sports calendar kicks off today as the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, also known as ‘March Madness’, officially starts.

The three-week contest, which pits 68 of the country's top college basketball teams against each other in a knock-out format, is keenly followed by sports fans around the world, who compare their brackets against friends and co-workers in a bid to predict the ultimate winners.

March Madness starts tonight with the televised Selection Show, which will determine much of the first round draw, with fans set to be glued to the action to find out who their favourites will play.

The matches proper then kick off next week, Tuesday 13th March, with the action continuing up until the final on April 2nd.

Here is our quick and easy guide for how to watch all the March Madness action online from anywhere in the world, without any commercial breaks.

So whether you're in the US, Canada, India, Italy or absolutely anywhere else with an internet connection, we'll help you tune in.

How to watch March Madness online 

This is the best way to watch March Madness online - from absolutely anywhere in the world - without any commercial breaks:

How to watch March Madness in the US

1. Watch online

Good news  - if you are in the US, this will be fairly straightforward, as every single March Madness game will be broadcast on either TBS, TNT, TruTV or CBS, with the action kicking off at 6pm ET.

You can also stream every game on March Madness Live

However if you don't have a US cable account, you'll need to seek an alternative solution - using an another content provider, alongside a VPN.

2. Go to
Several online US-based TV streaming services offer the above channels as part of their bundles and a few of them offer trials and the best one is YoutubeTV, an official Google product. 

The service costs $35 a month, but you can also trial it for 30 days; the ability to record to the cloud and hold up to six accounts per household (and 3 simultaneous streams per membership) are its most alluring selling points. You can watch it on most devices and there are no fees for canceling.

However, you will need a US IP address in order to access all of the above and if you are outside the US, you will need to get an IP address located there by using a VPN.

How to watch March Madness in the UK

If you’re outside the US, it may be a bit trickier to get a stream of the March Madness action, but it is possible using Sling TV, a VPN and a PayPal account.

Sling TV is another subscription-based service which offers live and on-demand programming - including March Madness. Although typically geoblocked outside of the US, Sling TV can be unlocked using a VPN - more on that below.

Once you have set up your account (which can be a 7-day free trial) and established your Sling TV account using a VPN, you will be able to watch March Madness in its entirety.

 1. Download and install a VPN If you don't have easy access (and you don't live in the UK or the US) to watch March Madness online in your country, the best way to watch it for free is to download and install a VPN. We've tested all of the major VPN services and we rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It's compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation. Check out ExpressVPN here  

2. Connect to the appropriate server location

Simply open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location - it doesn't matter which one and it's super easy to do.

Then choose US to watch March Madness via TNT.

3. Where can I watch March Madness using a VPN?

A VPN will enable you to watch March Madness from literally anywhere in the world. So that obviously includes: US, UK, Israel, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Denmark, India, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Belgium, Romania, Mexico, France, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Kenya, Hungary, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, Egypt and more!

Photos courtesy of

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Beta code suggests Android Wear could be in line for a rebrand
Posted by David Nield on 11 March 2018 02:30 PM

It's been rather quiet on the Android Wear front recently, but the beta version of Google Play services suggests that the wearable software could soon be called simply "Wear OS". Could a rebrand give the platform some fresh momentum?

The "Wear OS" name appeared when a user on Reddit came within connecting distance of a wearable device, as Android Police reports. Google Play services handles all kinds of low-level OS work on Android, including managing the way that different apps and devices connect to each other and communicate.

If the accompanying notification is anything to go by, this new Wear OS will get a new logo as well, with a definite Google Assistant feel to it. The Google Assistant is already available on Android Wear devices, but it makes sense for Google to want to push it further.

Watch this space

We don't have anything official from Google yet so don't take the switch as written in stone for the time being. We'll probably hear more about Google's plans for Android Wear or Wear OS at the Google IO developer conference, which this year gets underway on May 8.

Android Wear could certainly use a boost this year – the number of new devices arriving on the market has slowed down to a trickle, and the last major Android Wear 2.0 update arrived last February, so a new one is overdue. If Google engineers are reading, here's what we'd like to see in Android Wear 3.0.

We know that manufacturers such as Huawei have got more Android wearables in the pipeline, but with the likes of Samsung and Fitbit developing wrist-based OSes of their own, the pressure is on for Google to deliver with the next Android Wear update. Maybe a rebrand is just what the software needs.

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Sea of Thieves trailer, release date, news and features
Posted by Emma Boyle on 11 March 2018 01:12 PM

Update: While the open beta for Sea of Thieves is coming to an end this weekend, the pre-release hype is only just beginning. During the first episode of the new Microsoft show, Inside Xbox, it was announced that there's a special Sea of Thieves scavenger hunt about to begin in celebration of the game's release.

Anyone can take part in the hunt and it'll task players to crack up to 15 clues in order to find where X marks the spot. The winner or winners (because you may want to team up for this one) will receive a bunch of 4 golden bananas valued at £20,000 each.

The quest will begin on Monday, March 19 at 12 am PT / 8am GMT / 7pm AEDT when the first riddle will be revealed. It'll then run over a total of three days with the release of a total of 15 riddles. 

On Wednesday March 21 at 1pm PT / 9pm GMT / 7am AEDT (Thursday, March 22) those taking part will have seven hours to input the answers to the riddles at After this there'll be a final riddle to be solved by the top teams from each of the six participating countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and France) and the winner will walk away with the prize.

It's definitely a different kind of pre-launch promotion but it seems to very much capture the spirit and aims of Sea of Thieves itself.

Scroll down to read everything we know about Sea of Thieves' confirmed features and check out our thoughts on the game's potential.

Article continues below...

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a game from Microsoft-owned, UK-based studio Rare that wasn’t Kinect-based. From 2009 to now, the studio has been tasked with Kinect Sports Rivals, a remake of ‘90s fighting game Killer Instinct and the Xbox avatars, but now they’re back to their old tricks with new tools, making the fantastic-looking open world MMO, Sea of Thieves. 

In true Rare fashion the game features a charming art style that embraces the lighter side of the seven seas. This is not a game world that's in any sense dark and realistic, you can fire yourself out of canons to get around quickly, and you eat bananas to restore your health. 

Read on for everything we know so far about Rare's pirate odyssey. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Rare's upcoming open-world Pirate odyssey
  • When's it out? March 20 2018
  • What can I play it on? Xbox One and PC

Sea of Thieves trailers 

The latest trailer to be released from Rare studios gives good insight into the kinds of quests we'll see in Sea of Thieves and what individual player progression will involve in the long term. Much of the player progression system will involve building a reputation at NPC-run Trading Companies.

All of the trading companies will appeal to a different play style and each will offer their own quests for players and their crews to pursue. As your reputation builds with each trading company, the rewards you get from pursuing their quests will become more valuable but the quests themselves will also become more difficult.

If you and your crew are sitting at different reputation levels it will apparently still be possible to play quests together as Mike Chapman has promised "there are no barriers in place preventing players playing together."

At E3 2017 we were presented with another trailer for the game which shows off what we can expect the game to look like on the upcoming Xbox One X.

The trailer highlighted the game's signature Rare visuals and showed off a team of four as they sought to retrieve a chest of treasure to bring it back to their ship. The players explore islands where dangers appear in form of the ghosts of previous player who remain able to attack you, and you'll have to be especially careful while you're busy digging up your treasure, which takes a believably long amount of time. 

You can check out the trailer below. 

News and features

You can become a legendary pirate

The end-game for Sea of Thieves at the moment is to become a legendary pirate. By working hard to get through quests and increase your level, you'll increase your notoriety as a pirate. If you reach the ultimate, you'll become a legendary pirate with your very own ship, hideout, captaincy and outfit (it's up to you whether you wear it or not). You'll also have access to legendary pirate quests which you can choose to pursue on your own or share them with other players. 

After you've achieved this status, Rare says there will be further progression added to the game and you'll be able to customize and enhance the ship you captain. 

There will be no lootboxes, but there will be optional microtransactions

Rare has confirmed that in Sea of Thieves, there won't be any lootboxes or pay-to-win purchases. There will, however, still be items that you can purchase in-game. One of the first things you'll be able to buy, for example, is a pet. 

When we asked executive producer Joe Neate about the game's microtransactions, he told us “everything is optional; it doesn’t affect power or progression, and you’ll know what you’re getting – ie. not loot boxes.”

Instead, his team is aiming to “add more fun and social things that benefit you if you buy [them], but also benefit your crew and lead to everyone having a stronger social experience.”

When we asked for examples of what kind of things we could expect to see in this category, we were told pets is likely to be first on the cards.

“The ability to buy a pet – a monkey or a cat to accompany you. But we want it to benefit everyone and we want it to be a part of the fun social side. So if you’ve got a monkey you'll be like ‘oh I’ll be able to pick it up and hold it!’ But that also means someone can run off with it. It’ll come back, obviously, but that bit of play between people and messing around is key.”

There will be more quests, items and timed events

The first major Sea of Thieves update will come after around three months, after the team has had the chance to listen to player feedback and react accordingly. After this, updates will range between small and large, with new item additions coming at a more regular pace than, say, large world changes.

During a studio visit to Rare we were told that there are plans to add new guilds on top of the three that are already in the world in order to allow for more diverse quests. There will also be new items and timed events. For example, you might find when you sign in one weekend that there's an NPC in a tavern for a couple of days with a quest that's never been available before and perhaps won't be available again.

It'll be this mix of big additions and temporary events that will encourage players to continue to log in and explore the Sea of Thieves. 

No VR or local co-op planned

Though Sea of Thieves is a first-person game with an unobtrusive UI, there won't be a VR version. The reason for this, we've been told, is that sea sickness is very real, even in a virtual world. There also won't be any local co-op in the game. Rare told us that the game's cross-play and low minimum specs means that households with more than one laptop or a combination of laptops and consoles will be more than able to play the game together, without the need to split a screen. 

There will be a Kraken

That's right, a Kraken. Sea of Thieves is a game that embraces the romantic and mythical side of piracy rather than the gritty realism of scurvy and keelhauling. 

Naturally, that means a Kraken will appear in the game. It won't be possible to hunt down the Kraken, and there's predicting when it'll appear. Instead, Rare has said that it will be a sporadic and unpredictable force in the world to make things feel more organic and dynamic. It could appear to make wrangling a storm worse, or it could sneak up on your just as you're finishing a quest and trying to cash in your chests. 

You can play solo or with a crew

Though Sea of Thieves is a game that not-so-gently encourages you to play with others, you can play alone on a small single-man ship. While you're playing solo, you can still come up against ships manned by crews of four and though they can be taken down, it's not easy. Playing solo requires some playstyle adaption and you might find yourself adopting more sneaky tactics (such as sneaking aboard a ship at night to plant explosive kegs) rather than sailing straight into broadside ship-to-ship combat. It's also a good opportunity to form a temporary truce with other single players to work together to take down a larger enemy.

When you're playing with others you have the option of creating a closed crew comprised of only your friends, or an open crew with strangers.  No matter who you're working with, communication will be key. 

About that communication

Sea of Thieves is heavily co-operative, although there are combative elements with other parties, too. You and your crew will have to figure out how to man a ship, with people taking over different jobs, which means that you'll have to communicate if you want to avoid accidentally doubling up on tasks. 

At our hands on session at 2017's E3 conference we found out the dangers of this first hand. Our ship came under attack from enemy pirates, who promptly used their cannons to blow a hole in the hull of our ship. When this happens you'll need crew members to patch up the ship using timber, and others will need to use buckets to get rid of the water flooding the hull. 

Fail to communicate and you'll find everyone switches to dealing with the biggest problem, which lead to our cannons being completely unmanned while everyone ran around with buckets filled with sea water. 

What's interesting about Sea of Thieves is how minimal the UI is. The quests were listed on a piece of parchment that our character held, and looked at, within the game's world, and when we picked a quest the game relied on us literally telling our teammates what were were doing rather than having an immersion-breaking arrow appearing in the environment. 

Then, when you get to the island with the treasure on it, you'll need to read your map alongside your compass to work out where you are since the game gives you no clues as to your location on the map itself. 

This meant our team had enormous difficulty finding the treasure, and eventually we were forced to leave the island empty-handed and in serious need of some rum. 

You have the option to communicate using your microphone or in-game voiceless commands – both work well. If you're looking for an open crew, Sea of Thieves will attempt to match you with players using the same communication method as yourself to make things easier. 

Progression doesn't determine which quests you can do

When playing the game, you'll be able to do quests for three guilds. Which guild you choose determines the nature of the quest: Gold Hoarders will have you hunting treasure, the Merchants Guild will ask you to fetch and return items, while the Order of Souls are more combative bounty hunter missions. You're not locked into any particular guild, but you will get progression points for each one.

These will allow you to level up in the game, unlock higher level quests with better rewards and get closer to becoming a legendary pirate. That said, when you're a lower level pirate you'll still be able to take part in higher level quests. Rare has said that there's no level barrier in Sea of Thieves and as long as higher level players are willing to share their quests, there's nothing stopping new or less committed players taking part and earning their share. 

Naval combat is present

Naval combat is another key element of the game, and in these instances your canons are your best friends. Your team will need to work together to get the cannonballs from beneath the deck into the canons themselves, after which point you'll be able to fire them at enemy ships to try and send them down to Davy Jones' Locker.

If you prefer a hands on approach you can board enemy ships to take on their crew using a combination of swords, muskets, and flintlock pistols. You can either swim aboard other ships, or, if you're feeling brave, you can literally fire yourself out of a canon to get there quicker. 

You can customize your avatar

Though you'll select your avatar from a pre-made lineup, it will be customisable with the ability to change gender, physique, appearance, and outfits, although the game does not have skill trees or character classes. You’ll be able to further customize your character as you play with new, fancier outfits and even prosthesis. 

The world is open and explorable

Sea of Thieves is not a multiplayer game with matches – this is an open world and every ship you come across will be crewed by real players. It's up to them and you whether they're friend or foe. Between quests there will be plenty of opportunities for bonding with your crew and sailing freely. 

Dying is...interesting

And what if you die? Well, in true pirate fashion you’ll be booted to Davy Jones’ Locker, where you can swap stories with fellow ghosts and attempt to board a ferry back to the world of the living by performing quests for the ferryman. Your sunken ship can be plundered in the meantime, so don’t take too long. 

How can I play it?

Sea of Thieves will be available on PC and Xbox One on March 20 2018. It'll be possible to purchase the game outright, or pick up an Xbox Game Pass subscription as the game is included in its entirety through the service. 

If you're not sure whether Sea of Thieves is for you, picking up a Game Pass trial for free and playing the game for a short time through it is a good way to find out.

The game is not a port for PC or Xbox, it works equally on both and supports cross-play. While the console version has locked frame rates of 30fps, the PC version's are unlocked. Mouse, keyboard and controllers are all supported across console and PC. 

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Finding my happy place between driving and autonomy
Posted by John McCann on 11 March 2018 11:00 AM

Self-driving cars don't scare me. I'm all for smart cities and autonomous vehicles making transport, and our lives, more efficient. Bring it on, I say!

What I am worried about though is no longer being able to hit the open road and just drive.

I don't want a world that only consists of self-driving cars, but there's a lot to thank the technology that's driving the autonomous movement forward for, as it's making driving right now even better.

The Jaguar XE R-Sport is just one of the many premium cars on the market that's taking advantage of the developing tech, and after 800 miles behind the wheel I'm extremely happy it's there.

The learning curve

There's a lot of technology inside the XE R-Sport and you'll need to spend some time with the car to get to grips with it all. 

The manual is in the glove box, but I was able to work the majority of it out as it's fairly intuitive for those familiar with in-car systems. It could well be a daunting prospect for novices though, with a couple of sleepless nights reading the manual possible. 

You'll also need to take a moment to ready yourself for the beeping. From parking sensors, to traffic camera warnings to collision alert and more, there is an awful lot of things that go beep here. 

Thankfully you can turn off the ones you don't wish to shrill at you, reducing the in-car cacophony. Spend some time with the technology, and adjust the settings to your liking and it starts to all seamlessly blend together. 

Setting the adaptive cruise control on the motorway to 70mph and then sitting in lane as the car automatically tracks the speed of the car in front, maintains a safe distance and reduces and increases your speed to match is just part of the enhanced experience.

There's also lane assistance, which not only tells you if you're straying too close to the edge of your lane, but gently tugs the steering to re-center you. 

You'll need to keep your hands on the wheel throughout, and your feet over the pedals, but when faced with several hundred motorway miles it reduces the variables you need to consider, reducing stress and concentration and making the journey less tiring.

Coupled with the 2.0 litre Twin Turbocharged Diesel engine and automatic transmission, you can easily eat up motorway miles without noticing. 

Turn off the motorway and front collision alert will notify you if you're approaching the car in front a little too keenly, or if someone has suddenly pulled out in front of you and you've not been giving it your full attention. 

It warns you enough in advance to stamp on the brakes without sliding into the back of a car.

Then there are the automatic lights and wipers, reducing again the amount you have to think about, making the drive more effortless. 

The car is always on the lookout then, attempting to not only make driving easier, but also safer. 

Jaguar XE R-Sport exterior gallery

Passenger fascination

It's not just the driver who gets to benefit from the technological onslaught here, as all four main seats in the XE R-Sport are heated, with the front two also boasting air-conditioning - as there's nothing worse than bare skin on leather on a hot day.

Climate control ensures each passenger sits in a temperate environment that suits them, while Bluetooth music streaming from your phone to the infotainment system makes it easy to pass round the handset so everyone can pick a song.

Then there's the central, 10-inch touchscreen display. It's bright, clear and responsive, ensuring it's easy to use whether you're setting up the satellite navigation, or selecting your favorite radio station.

Jaguar XE R-Sport interior gallery

However, there is a real party piece hidden in this setup too - Jaguar's Dual View display.

Hit the Dual View in the bottom nav bar of the screen and you can choose what your passenger sees on screen, while you - the driver - see something completely different.

It allows you to have a full map view for navigation, while your passenger can opt to see something different such as the now playing screen for the stereo. That's not all though.

Open up the glove box and you'll find a pair of wireless, Jaguar-branded headphones. Turn them on, pop them on the head of your passenger, slide a DVD into the player in the glove box and they can watch a movie as your hurtle down the freeway.

Meanwhile the driver is none-the-wiser, and can listen to music through the car's stereo and continue to view navigation directions on the main screen.

It all works surprisingly well, and while Dual View is a pricey (around £625) optional extra, if you have the money it's a cool addition.

It goes without saying then, that the Jaguar XE R-Sport is jam-packed full of cutting edge technology and we've not even mentioned the front, rear and kerb-side cameras, USB ports, heads-up display and digital dash.

They may not be new technologies for cars, but the inclusion of all this tech makes the XE R-Sport a fantastic ride for any tech enthusiastic.

But for those who still want to have the thrill of actually driving, you can switch off the toys, opt for the paddle shift gearbox, put your foot down and have a lot of fun.

  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars – and the tech inside them – available today. From super-fast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he'll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.

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Fortnite cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One still isn't happening
Posted by David Nield on 11 March 2018 10:30 AM

A couple of days ago we heard that Fortnite was expanding its reach to mobiles with iOS and Android support, and planning to allow opt-in cross-play between mobile devices and consoles. Now we've got a bit more clarification on what that means – and there's good and bad news for gamers.

First of all, Xbox One owners can get in on the action, up to a point. While Microsoft's console wasn't mentioned in the original announcement, an official Fortnite blog post confirms that Xbox One owners will be able to game against their friends on iOS (from next week) and Android (in the coming months).

Less positive is the news that cross-play support between Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 still isn't happening. That was confirmed in a tweet by Nick Chester, PR manager at Fortnite's publisher Epic Games. Xbox One and PS4 users will all be able to battle against players on PC and mobile – but not against each other.

Update rolling out

The new functionality is rolling out in the 3.2 update that started appearing on Thursday, together with the usual collection of extra goodies and bug fixes. There's a new Team of 20 event to make use of and some additional loot on Twitch if currently subscribe to the Amazon Prime service.

As for why we're still not seeing console-to-console cross-play support, your guess is as good as ours – Microsoft has previously gone on the record to say it wants to bring cross-play support to its major titles, while Sony has remained mostly silent on the matter. Of course, Sony sells a lot more consoles than MIcrosoft does, so it doesn't need the extra pools of players quite so much.

Back in September, Xbox One and PS4 players could battle against each other on Fortnite – but that was due to a configuration error that was swiftly fixed. It obviously is technically possible for this to happen, but the parties involved can't come to an agreement for whatever reason.

Via The Verge

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