Vodafone Australia’s core upgrade to pave way for VoLTE

first_img Ericsson-Samsung patent deal ends legal disputes Tags HomeAsiaNews Vodafone Australia’s core upgrade to pave way for VoLTE Vodafone Hutchison Australia selected Ericsson to modernise its core network and prepare for the launch of VoLTE trials later this year and a full commercial rollout early next year.The company’s CTO Benoit Hanssen said its current 4G networks focus on supporting faster data services. “But no Australian network offers voice calls on its 4G network, and our new core network will enable us to do that,” he noted.The company aims for its 4G network to cover 95 per cent of the country’s metropolitan population by the end of the year by using its 850MHz spectrum. Its 4G network is now live in selected metro areas in about nine cities.The core network upgrade is part of a five-year, multi-billion-dollar investment aimed at improving service quality to stay competitive as incumbent Telstra continues to gain market share (now at 53 per cent). Vodafone’s share has dropped to 17 per cent from 20 per cent a year ago, according to GSMA Intelligence. A quarter of Vodafone’s and Optus’ connections are 4G while 33 per cent, or 5.4 million, of Telstra’s are 4G.As part of the overall modernisation plan, Vodafone will move to a fully virtualised core network using network functions virtualisation (NFV) technology to boost network agility and flexibility.There has been a flurry of VoLTE activity in the US and Asia in past weeks with AT&T, Bouygues Telecom, HKT, NTT Docomo, SingTel and T-Mobile US each declaring that they have either recently launched commercial VoLTE or are on the verge of doing so.They join South Korea’s three major network operators, and Metro PCS (now part of T-Mobile US), which were first out of the VoLTE traps back in August 2012.Vodafone UK has also successfully tested VoLTE in the lab, but has not committed to a timeframe for commercial launch. 2degrees taps Ericsson for 5G RAN, core equipment Joseph Waring Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he… Read more core networkEricssonVodafone Australiacenter_img Previous ArticleMobile users account for half of Korea’s online bankingNext ArticleAsian consumers take tablets for voice connectivity AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 21 AUG 2014 Author Asia Huawei, ZTE boost global infrastructure market share Relatedlast_img read more

AT&T combats rising device costs with white label deal

first_img Related Smartphone shipments to ride 5G wave Diana Goovaerts Author Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more AT&T tapped device manufacturer Emblem Solutions to produce operator-branded mobile devices as part of a play to put more affordable options on the table for its customers.Under the arrangement, Emblem Solutions will produce AT&T branded smartphones, tablets and feature phones. The first devices are expected to launch by the end of 2019 and will be offered to post paid, prepaid and Cricket Wireless consumers along with AT&T’s business customers.As part of the deal, AT&T made an undisclosed financial investment in the company and secured two seats on Emblem Solutions’ board.Kevin Petersen, AT&T SVP of wireless device and network experiences, said the deal will make it possible for the operator “to offer customers the device features they already know and expect” at a lower price point.This isn’t AT&T’s first foray into branded devices, but the move to expand its options comes as smartphone prices continue to rise, with Apple’s latest iPhones topping out at nearly $1,500. Research company IDC previously predicted the average selling price of smartphones will rise 10.3 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.Verizon similarly offers self-branded devices in its Ellipsis line, as does T-Mobile US under the Revvl name. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Tags AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 25 OCT 2018 center_img Smartphone shipments hit 340M in Q1 Realme pushes low-end 5G with Narzo HomeDevicesNews AT&T combats rising device costs with white label deal Devices Previous ArticleXiaomi ditches notch, bezels in Mi Mix 3Next ArticleLG narrows mobile losses on cost cutting AT&TsmartphoneWhite-labellast_img read more

The Disco Biscuits Close Down PlayStation Theater With Career-Spanning Setlist On NYE [Photos/Full Video]

first_imgLoad remaining images The Disco Biscuits capped off their New Year’s run in spectacular fashion at the PlayStation Theater. All four nights contained stand-out moments, but New Year’s Eve was incredibly special. Billed as their final shows at the theater, the venue became their home in New York City before it officially closed on January 1st.The event was subject to a fair amount of hype and they did not let their fans down. There were no themes or gimmicks. The show was just a well-balanced culmination of their entire career, as the setlist featured songs from every stage of the band’s history, spanning across two and a half decades.It’s pretty obvious that the band and fan base are reinvigorated. The outpouring of creativity in their songwriting and the fans’ reception of their new music is a reflection of that.They opened the night with a standalone version of one of their all-time classics, “Jigsaw Earth”. Right off the bat, their stage presence was through the roof. Each member of the band was feeling every single note.Once they dropped into the first jam, it was off to the races. Keyboardist Aron Magner took them deep into the digital matrix with layers of synth while bassist Marc “Brownie” Brownstein chugged along right behind him. It’s important to note that Jon “Barber” Gutwillig and his guitar tech had his tone dialed in on his Gibson hollow body and his Fender Stratocaster the entire run. He sounded fantastic all night, and it was clear right from the beginning of the show.The drum solo in “Jigsaw” was incredible. Allen Aucoin was playing a new kit and it sounded thunderous. His usage of his entire kit was impressive, from his phrasing on his toms to his cymbals and e-drums. It was nice seeing him get the shine he deserves. Since replacing original drummer Sam Altman after his departure in 2005, he’s contributed a level of tenacious stamina that’s unmatched.Next came one of Barber’s new songs, a ballad titled “Stars in the Sky”. It’s a beautiful song with an emotional arrangement and soulful lyrics. Seeing Gutwillig writing such emboldened songs again inspired the fan base, who are beyond grateful for all of his brilliant contributions over the years. Not only did his Stratocaster sound impeccable, but his voice was also powerful and moved the audience.The jam was airy. It was the musical equivalence of floating through cumulous clouds on a magic carpet ride. All four of them were focused and relaxed. Patient yet continuously pushing forward as they broke out in thumping rock n’ roll. It was the best rendition of the song since they first played it at the Roxian Theater during night one of their winter tour in Pittsburg on November 14th.Magner led the way as they jammed into “Basis for a Day”, switching from one keyboard to the next and stacking sounds like the synth wizard that he is. His ability to fill space is second to none, watching his mind work in real-time never gets old. Once Barber found his place, Allen dropped the backbeat before he built into a massive drop. The venue erupted. They peaked with passion and conviction and slipped back into the end of the song with a fiery fierceness, which made the first set of the night only three songs.That was a good sign of what was to come. Allen cranked the tempo up and Barber followed with a few nasty riffs before they marched into another new fan-favorite, “Anthem”. The song absolutely ripped and gave both Barber and Magner room to express themselves. They both went crazy without stepping on each other’s toes; a difficult task for many. They used it as their countdown song into 2020 and it was perfect. The balloons dropped while they shredded the ending into pieces. It was a glorious moment to witness.One of the highlights of the entire run came next. A colossal “Orch Theme” had the power of the ball drop in Times Square. They dug down into the nuts and bolts of the composition and it got rowdy as they made great use of type 1 improvisation. It’s something that Barber recently mentioned the Grateful Dead doing on his podcast, Touchdowns All Day. They made the Playstation Theater feel like a European arena rave, and it is engraved in the minds of everyone that witnessed it.The jam was extraordinarily hot, like the blue flame of a welder’s blowtorch. Anyone who listens back to the soundboard can confirm that the statement is an objective fact.The transition into “Spacebirdmatingcall” was another prime example of flawless execution. When the Disco Biscuits are locked in it’s hard for them to miss. They brought the crowd from an incredibly blissed-out jam directly into another new song, “4th of July”, which was one of the most skillful feats of the night. Just like “Stars in the Sky”, this was arguably the best rendition of the song since it was debuted earlier this tour. It was majestic and will only continue to grow.With a strong bassline and backbeat, it could be described as space-hop. Barber looked like a teenager that just fell in love with his guitar and it definitely charged the rest of the band up. Allen supplied the backbone and the front three were interlocked as they jammed out of it back into “Spacebird”.  Seeing them nail a sandwich that was made up of a new song and another one of their classics was a thing of beauty.It was now time for the final set of the weekend after a long four nights. “Mindless Dribble” was an awesome choice as it’s pure unadulterated rock n’ roll. Barber’s Stratocaster was singing as Brownie kicked a filthy bassline behind it. The groove was heavy and the jam was snappy. They were looking at each other, nodding their heads in agreement, like “yeah, we’re crushing it”. It went deep into freeform exploration, taking the jazz roots of improvisation and adding their new-age spin to it. It was impossible for fans to stand still.They proceeded to jam into “Helicopters” because it wouldn’t be a new year without the crowd singing, “Happy New Year! Look out below!” They dropped into the jam and Johnny R. Goode cut out the lights perfectly. He provided stellar light shows every night and did so without lasers. Barber used a pedal that made his guitar sound like a synthesizer and it was straight cash. Their capacity to make electronic music with instruments is stunning.Related: Andrew Cass Talks Disco Biscuits, String Cheese Incident, More [Interview]The build into “We Like to Party” was 2.0 Biscuits at their finest. Again, it sounded like a word-class DJ was on stage. Brownie put down his bass and yelled, “New York City, can you hear me!?”, while the crowd went crazy. The contrast between songs like “Mindless Dribble” and “We Like to Party” is what keeps fans coming back for more. With the synth-bass pumping through the speakers and Magner laying chords down, Barber danced all over the fretboard. It was an ’80s dance party of epic proportions.Taking a page out of the Grateful Dead’s book, they flowed into total ambient space before dropping into another one of their “Tractorbeam” segments where they cover an electronic song. They knocked this one out of the park. It was a killer placement and fits perfectly with their trance-fusion sound. They jammed back into the ending of “Helicopters” and ended the final set of the weekend with a bang.All in all, the entire show was a major success for the band and their entire team.But, it wouldn’t be complete without a proper encore, and man oh man, did they provide one. “Frog Legs” > “Run Like Hell” is a classic Biscuits pairing. Everybody grinned from ear to ear. They went deep into the murky waters of Bisco and satisfied the taste of every diehard Biscuits fan that was in the building and watching the stream. You could feel Brownie’s bass line pulsate in your heart.It was an illustrious display of musicianship by one of the best live bands in the world, and the perfect way to cap off one of the most important years in Biscuits history.Well, there’s not much more to say. The Disco Biscuits closed out the Playstation Theater with triumphant performances that spanned across four nights. Fans will unquestionably look back on the underground theater, often referred to as “The Dungeon”, as one of the most important venues in the band’s history.The back half of 2019 brought about their first official tour in ten years and a plethora of new songs. And by the looks of it, they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. So buckle up and enjoy the ride because set-break is officially over.Enjoy a full-show pro-shot video of The Disco Biscuit’s New Year’s Eve performance at PlayStation Theater below.The Disco Biscuits – PlayStation Theater – New York, NY – 12/31/19[Video: The Disco Biscuits]Below, check out a galleries of photos of The Disco Biscuits performing at PlayStation Theater for the last time courtesy of photographers Andrew Blackstein and Dave Vann.Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | PlayStation Theater | New York, NY | 12/31/19Set One: Jigsaw Earth, Stars in the Sky[1] > Basis For A DaySet Two: Run Like Hell > Anthem[2], Orch Theme > Spacebirdmatingcall > 4th of July > SpacebirdmatingcallSet Three: Mindless Dribble > Helicopters[3] > We Like To Party > Tractorbeam Jam[4] > Helicopters[3]Encore: Frog Legs > Run Like HellNotes:[1] Unfinished[2] w/NYE countdown[3] with NYE lyrics[4] Delorean Dynamite/Strandbar (Todd Terje)The Disco Biscuits | PlayStation Theater | New York, NY | 12/31/19 | Photos: Andrew Blackstein The Disco Biscuits | PlayStation Theater | New York, NY | 12/31/19 | Photos: Dave Vanncenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Counterfeit pain pills likely came to Prince illegally

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS | The disclosure that some pills found at Prince’s Paisley Park home and studio were counterfeit and contained the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl strongly suggests the pills came to the superstar musician illegally.But exactly how Prince obtained the drugs is still unknown, four months after he collapsed in an elevator on April 21 and died of an accidental fentanyl overdose. Authorities have so far revealed little about their investigation, saying it’s active and moving forward.Former prosecutors and defense attorneys who are familiar with drug investigations say it’s likely someone will be prosecuted, whether or not Prince knew he was consuming illegal drugs.FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. The disclosure that some pills found at Prince’s Paisley Park home and studio were counterfeit and contained the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl strongly suggests they came to the superstar illegally. Prince died April 21, 2016, of an accidental fentanyl overdose. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)“They will not say it was just Prince’s fault and let it go at that,” said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago now in private practice.An official close to the investigation told The Associated Press on Sunday that some of the pills found at Paisley Park were falsely labeled as a common generic painkiller similar to Vicodin but actually contained fentanyl. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, also said that records show Prince did not have a prescription for any controlled substances in Minnesota in the last 12 months.The only way to get fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin — is through a legal prescription, or illegally from the black market, said Joe Tamburino, a Minnesota defense attorney.“When you have weird stamped pills in aspirin bottles, sometimes things are what they seem, which is illegally obtained controlled substances,” Tamburino said. “How he got them? Who knows.”Fentanyl has been responsible for a surge in overdose deaths in some parts of the country. When made into counterfeit pills, users don’t always know they’re taking fentanyl, increasing the risk of fatal overdose.Tamburino, who is not connected to the Prince case, said investigators will likely talk to those close to Prince, and they’ll also search the computers, phones and communications of Prince and his associates, to see whether the pills were purchased online. Those searches would typically involve examining text messages, Instagram messages and other communications.“This is not to say the people close to him are guilty — we have no idea of that. But that’s where it would start,” Tamburino said. He also added that investigators are probably looking at security footage from Paisley Park, if any exists, to see who might have been going to and from the studio.Gal Pissetzky, a defense attorney in Chicago, said there are many ways Prince could have obtained the drugs: from a close adviser or friend, from a dealer on one of the stops he made as he was on tour, or over the Internet. He added that investigators might also use cellphone data to track Prince’s whereabouts.If someone gave Prince the drug that killed him, that person could face a third-degree murder charge, punishable in the state of Minnesota by more than 12 years in prison, Tamburino said.In addition, any illegal operation that involved making and dealing fentanyl could open many people up to a host of drug charges, from trafficking to conspiracy. Because the sale resulted in Prince’s death, it would increase the chances that someone could get the maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted, Turner said.Turner said he believed there was a good chance someone will eventually be charged. Improved forensics tools, including the ability to use narcotics chemical signatures to narrow down possible manufacturers, also increase the chances of arrests.If China- or Mexico-based producers were involved, American authorities may have to focus on a dealer or doctor in the U.S. who supplied the drugs knowing the substance was illegal, Turner said. But U.S. agents can and do go after suspects based in countries not inclined to closely cooperate with law enforcement here, such as China.The drugs could also be made by people who are not associated with cartels. Enticed by big profits, small-time drug dealers are buying pill presses online and using low-cost fentanyl powder from China to make fake pills, according to a July 2016 Drug Enforcement Administration intelligence brief.Dealers unaffiliated with drug cartels can buy a kilogram of fentanyl powder for a few thousand dollars from a Chinese supplier and turn it into hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills for millions of dollars in profit.But inexperience has a cost. The small-time operators aren’t mixing fentanyl correctly and turning out pills with varying strengths, some containing three times a lethal dose. “Such wide disparity in dosing reveals that the producers were likely new to incorporating fentanyl in pill production, as the fentanyl was not thoroughly mixed with the other powders before binding and pressing into pills,” the DEA brief said.Pissetzky said news of the falsely labeled drugs tells him that the pills did not come from a doctor.“There’s a big, big black market for counterfeit drugs. When people buy these, they don’t personally know, many times, that they are not the real thing, and that’s when you get overdoses,” Pissetzky said.Tarm reported from Chicago. Associated Press writer Carla K. Johnson also contributed to this report from Chicago.last_img read more

Pirates infielder Kang hoping to pave way for other Koreans

first_imgPittsburgh Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang, of Korea, left, and Neil Walker take the field during an informal spring training baseball workout in Bradenton, Fla., Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pirates pitchers and catcher begin official workouts Feb. 19, with the full squad workouts beginning Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – After hitting an $11 million jackpot with the Pittsburgh Pirates, infielder Jung Ho Kang wants to pay it forward with other ballplayers in his native Korea.Kang signed a four-year contract with the Pirates, who in December agreed to pay a $5 million posting fee to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization.The 27-year-old Kang is the first position player to jump from the KBO to Major League Baseball.“I know that if I do well, more Korean players will come here,” Kang said through an interpreter. “So, while I feel pressure (to perform), I’m also very excited about opening the market here for Korean players.”Kang was among three Korean players to be posted over the winter, but he is the only one who signed with an MLB team. The San Diego Padres were unable to work out a contract with pitcher Kwang-hyun Kim. In November, the Kia Tigers rejected a bid for pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang.The Pirates scouted Kang for a couple of years, but kept their interest in him hidden during the posting process.“It was quite a surprise,” Kang said. “I didn’t expect the Pirates to bid on me.”The KBO’s marquee export is pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.“I’m excited to face him again,” said Kang, who homered off the left-hander in Ryu’s final game in the KBO.Two Korean hitters, Shin-Soo Choo and Hee-Seop Choi, found success in MLB. However, both were signed as amateurs and developed in the minor leagues.Over nine seasons in Korea, Kang, batted .298 with an .886 OPS. Last season, he hit .356 with 40 home runs in 117 games.Kang has a strong, accurate throwing arm and played shortstop with Nexen. At 6-feet, 180 pounds, his stocky lower body was not an issue on the artificial turf fields of the KBO.Many scouts, however, believe he’s better suited for third base in the majors.“I have no idea where I’ll play,” Kang said. “That’s decided by (manager) Clint Hurdle. I’ll prepare for all the things they want me to do.”The Pirates have established players at all four infield spots. Shortstop Jordy Mercer batted .255 with 12 homers in 2015, his first full season as a starter. Neil Walker hit a career-best 23 home runs, the highest single-season total for a Pirates second baseman.Josh Harrison, who batted .315 in a breakout season last year, will start at third base. Pedro Alvarez, a former first-round pick who shared the National League home run title in 2013, will move from third to first base this year.Hurdle said Kang will play shortstop for at least the first couple weeks of spring training.“Once he’s built up some time and comfort at shortstop, we’ll move him to third,” Hurdle said. “If those both work well, we might move him to second. We’re just going to have communication with him and get him reps. We want to put our eyes on him, too, in our camp, at this level, with the speed of this game.”After signing Kang, the Pirates allowed him to work out for a couple of weeks in Surprise, Ariz., with his former Nexen teammates. Kang got a few lessons on playing second base from Nexen manager Kyung-yeop Yeom.“It’s been quite a long time since I played second base,” Kang said. “At first, it was a little awkward. But as time went on, I adjusted to it. I feel it’s pretty much the same as any other position.”last_img read more

Get ready to fly the flag

first_imgBy ANEEKA SIMONIS THERE will be five free official Australia Day events for Cardinia Shire residents to enjoy on 26…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Driver in a hurry

first_imgCardinia Highway Patrol members intercepted a driver allegedly travelling 40km/h over the speed limit at Tynong on the morning of…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Nelson Leafs host AGM Wednesday at NDCC

first_img“All parties interested in shaping the future of the hockey club are invited to attend,” said the advertisement on The Nelson Daily.Voting membership is open to everyone who has paid the $10 membership fee. Each membership is good for one year.Topics on the agenda include election of officers, a report from the treasurer on the team’s financial status and discussion from the coaching staff regarding the recent Spring Camp held this past weekend at the NDCC Arena.The camp attracted 40 players and eight netminders for the three-days of action.Some of the players attending are expected to be on the ice when Nelson hosts its training camp in September. There’s a great opportunity for hockey fans in Nelson to influence the direction of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League franchise.The club is hosting its annual general meeting Wednesday (May 20) in the Nelson and District Community Complex meeting room.Meeting begins at 7 p.m.last_img read more

Big Six bullies must not win – their greedy cash grab will wreck Premier League

first_imgThis only occurs because England boasts a semblance of financial balance, unlike other leagues where clubs negotiate their own TV deals.While half of domestic TV cash is distributed by virtue of league finish, overseas rights — where the future growth lies — is divided equally at £40.8million per club per season.10 Foreign fans love the fact that any team can win on the dayCredit: AFPBut that won’t be the case for long if the greed merchants are allowed to trample on the fabric of English football.Venture capitalist Henry says: “Everyone in the (Premier) League knows what the large clubs bring to the value of foreign rights, but the large clubs do not have the votes to change something that should have changed as media rights changed over the past 25 years. It’s hard to imagine this continuing much longer.”So, a clarion call from Liverpool’s owner for the rich to get richer. It’s not exactly the spirit of Shankly.Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge reveals he bought a phone to return it to owner while on US break Henry’s sabre-rattling takes place with the backdrop of a potential breakaway European super league — the implied long-term threat designed to make those outside of the elite vote like turkeys for Christmas.Four clubs outside the Dirty Half Dozen had already been convinced to vote against their own interests and with only six top-flight clubs now British-owned, there is an increasing danger of a carve-up which would impact on the finances of Football League clubs.10 Reduced money for smaller clubs would widen the gap to the top sixCredit: REUTERSIt is not as simple as ‘British owners good, foreigners bad’. Mike Ashley could not a give a flying fig about English football as a whole, either.But sure as hell, Henry, the Glazers, Stan Kroenke and the Abu Dhabi sheikhs are not going to make a stand to keep English football competitive.Caught in the crosshairs of Henry and his allies is the issue of parachute payments, made to clubs relegated to the Championship.Latest Liverpool newsfull houseIrish housing market ‘back to normal’ after ‘big wobble’ due to Covid pandemicGRAND PRIZESee inside Irish cottage that could be yours for €10 in Covid frontline raffleHOUSE OF HORRORStunned homeowner finds new €149k bungalow is filled with mountains of junkhousing on trackLiving near Dublin rail station can add up to €180k to home’s valuetied up in knotweedHow to stop spread of Japanese Knotweed causing havoc around IrelandPERV AGENT HELLDublin mum tells how predatory estate agent sexually harassed herThere has been a smear campaign against this practice, making it out to be a lucrative reward for failure.In fact it is the existence of this safety net which allows smaller Premier League clubs to spend and compete without the threat of complete financial ruin should they go down.The Championship, the fourth best-supported league in the world, is a wonderful and utterly unique competition, a perfect breeding ground for the Premier League, while Leagues One, Two and the non-league pyramid also attract crowds considered extraordinary elsewhere.But the drip-down effect of Henry’s ideas, if ever implemented, would impact seriously on all of this.It is why the American and his cronies must never be allowed to succeed.PETE, I FORGOT TO SAY…10 RIP my first boss Peter ButcherTHIS week I attended the funeral of my first boss, Peter Butcher, the long-serving sports editor of the Romford Recorder, who died last month aged 67.An Oxford University graduate with the brain the size of a planet, Pete simply adored local sport — especially non-league football — and had no ambitions to gain a wider audience.He was an eccentric, who managed to simultaneously channel the spirit of Tommy Cooper and the Bond villain Jaws.  Pete was wonderfully adept at chain-smoking, furiously typing and growling into a telephone all at once.He chronicled the sporting scene in his corner of Essex with extraordinary thoroughness and passion and so it was little surprise his funeral was packed.One friend told how Pete had recently opened the bowling at Havering Cricket Club, wearing socks and sandals and with a Benson & Hedges in his mouth.They made him redundant ten years ago, deciding his modest salary was too expensive. And he never worked full-time again, although he became club secretary at AFC Hornchurch.Men like Pete are enormously valuable cultivators of grass-roots sport and they deserve to be cherished. I only wish I’d told him that while he was still with us.YAYA IS NO-NO10 Yaya Toure’s pop at Pep Guardiola does him no favoursCredit: ReutersBY all accounts Yaya Toure has been bitching about Pep Guardiola behind his back for some time.But he’s brought his gripes spectacularly out into the open by accusing the Manchester City boss of ‘having problems with African players’.Toure has long since believed he has not received sufficient credit for his major role in City’s first two Premier League title campaigns.And outside of City this may be true. All City players are routinely under-appreciated, with none having won a major individual award for almost half a century.But inside City, Toure was idolised by supporters and valued by staff. This outburst has jeopardised all of that and does Toure no favours.YOU AND I, UNAI10 Unai Emery wants his former Sevilla man Steven NZonzi to join him at ArsenalCredit: PA:Press AssociationNEWS that boss Unai Emery has persuaded the Arsenal hierarchy to bid for Steven Nzonzi from his old club Sevilla is welcome.Firstly, it suggests the new ‘head coach’ will have some clout over recruitment.Second, the midfield strongman is exactly the sort of player Arsene Wenger should have signed years ago.BROAD SIDED10 Stuart Broad has been called out by Michael VaughanCredit: PA:Press AssociationTEST reflections…Great to hear the Stuart Broad-Michael Vaughan ding-dong after the ex-England captain claimed the bowler should have been axed. The relationship between England and the broadcast media has been far too cosy for years.Jos Buttler’s recall. Some claimed he was a white-ball specialist who couldn’t play Tests as he rarely played red-ball cricket.Colour is irrelevant when Buttler is launching it out of the ground.If you know you’re getting old when policeman start looking young, how do you feel when two members of England’s  attack — Dom Bess and Sam Curran — look like mascots?Two-Test series are a joke. At 1-1, it was begging for a decider.BAR NONE10 Joey Barton reckons all eyes are on him at Fleetwood TownCredit: PA:Press AssociationJOEY BARTON claims 35 million people want him to fail as manager of Fleetwood Town.Mate, don’t kid yourself that anything like that number could care less. THE Big Six always tend to flex their muscles at this time of year.But this summer, they are increasingly confident they can bully and frighten the rest of the Premier League into handing over more TV cash.10 Liverpool owner John W. Henry is leading the Big Six in calls for more Premier League cashCredit: Getty ImagesWith Liverpool owner John ‘Dubya’ Henry to the fore, all filthy rich and claptrap, they are talking up the possibility of mustering the 14 out of 20 votes required to grant themselves an unequal share of foreign TV cash at Thursday’s league AGM.If this sounds like a squabble over cash between men in suits with little impact on the actual football, think again.Of course, Henry — who is only saying what both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are also thinking — wants to rake in more cash in the short term.But the American is seemingly unaware that he would be strangling the goose that lays the golden egg.10 Owners of the country’s elite clubs – like the Glazers at Manchester United – want even more of the foreign TV moneyCredit: Mark Robinson – The SunBecause the competitive depth of English football is what makes the Premier League such a phenomenal global cash machine.It is not the best league in the world — how can it be described as such when Spanish clubs have won nine of the last ten European trophies?FRED THE RED Man Utd confirm done deal for Brazil star FredIt does not attract the greatest talent on the planet. Despite all its wealth, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar are staying steadfastly on mainland Europe.What makes the Premier League such a gripping weekly soap opera is the fact that ‘no easy games’ is not a cliche, but a potential advertising slogan.10 More money for the Big Six would be disastrous for the leagueCredit: Getty ImagesWhen Henry’s Liverpool take on the Glazer family’s Manchester United in ‘Super Sundays’ and ‘Red Mondays’, they usually leave the world yawning.More often than not it is classic matches between the little guys and the elite which make the league a thrill-seeker’s paradise.Most read in sportWHAT THE REFMMA fighter gets DQ’d in Abu Dhabi and tries to fight Brit ref Marc GoddardLIL ISSUEBoris Becker’s estranged wife begs his new girlfriend to ‘step away from my son’RETRACING STEPSJack Charlton’s granddaughter Emma Wilkinson ‘would love’ to visit IrelandROY RAGEFurious Roy Keane launched foul-mouthed rant at Pique over Fabregas friendshipPicturedTOP FORMBrazil icon Ronaldo soaks up sun with partner Celina Locks on yacht in FormenteraCHOPPER BOTHERJohn Terry ignores hol advice & travels to ‘off-limits’ Portugal by chopperDream Team World Cup – Sign up to win £100kEnter for FREE£50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournamentPlay to win £100k top price and a share of £175k prizepotSIGN UP FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOWlast_img read more