5G has been in the news a lot lately, with several newphone annoucements and Verizon's wireless TV pitch. 2019 looks to be the year. This in-depth article from ZNet has lots of juicy details about the new network band. Here's what stood out to me:
"the act of cooling 4G LTE equipment alone may contribute as much as 2 percent to the entire global warming problem. ... Global warming is a direct contributor to compound annual increases in wireless [4G] network costs." Somehow this makes consuming an Ireland's worth of energy for Bitcoin mining appear far more benign.
"...telcos may need to create additional revenue generating services such as edge computing and mobile apps hosting, placing them in direct competition with public cloud providers." If this becomes true, it would completely upend the way we think of Internet services and the pipes it runs through. This would put servers (with services on them) in the pipes, kind of like having Amazon AWS as a part of your mobile network.
"5G allows for three service grades that may be tuned to the special requirements of their customers' business models:" Avoiding network service tiers was one of the central arguments for net neutrality laws. It looks like 5G was built with tiers in mind though.
"...installation of extremely high-frequency millimeter-wave (mmWave) antennas throughout the landscape... hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them would be needed to thoroughly service any densely populated downtown area....mmWave antennas would bounce signals off of each other's mirrors, until they eventually reached their intended customer locations". Werner Herzog did a movie about the Internet a few years back; one particular scene featured a clan of people who couldn't tolerate electricity and had moved into the woods. Presuming that electronic sensitivity is a phenomenon, I can only wonder how additional radiowave exposure might impact the health of city dwellers.
A Syrian outfit made a plane detection system to warn about impending bombings. Pretty cool what you can build with a dedicated crew and off the shelf electronics. The dataset that they've collected is fairly valuable, particularly around airstrikes on civilian property: “They have laid the groundwork for the attribution of human rights violations to specific parties and, ultimately, for their accountability.” It'll be interesting to see if anything comes out of this at the UN level.
I ate a pretty delicious cantelope a few weeks back, which led to me wondering if it was possible to make wine from melons. It turns out you can, but the flavor isn't guaranteed to be as good as the original melon.