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People set 5G cell towers on fire believing it spread Coronavirus

Misinformation as dangerous as the pandemic itself

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

Along with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation related to the disease also saw a dramatic increase. One that’s particularly worrying is the absolutely false claim that 5G is helping spread the virus. Let us reiterate — this absolutely false.

An indicator of the gravity of this misinformation is the recent developments that happened in the UK over the past few days. A report by BBC says three 5G cell towers were set on fire in various parts of the country. Police are still investigating the incident, but arson is the likely culprit for the towers’ fire.

Some are speculating that the burning of the towers were prompted by the false information spreading that 5G is helping spread COVID-19. The series of accidents prompted one cabinet minister to declare the whole conspiracy over 5G and COVID-19 as nonsense and dangerous.

The incident also has a very real downside as frontliners rely on mobile data to communicate with one another and their loved ones.

The rise of  5G conspiracy theories

Most conspiracy theories about 5G and its role in the COVID-19 pandemic are available online on Facebook groups. These theories seem to warn about the 5G’s possible danger to the public. One crazy theory stated that Wuhan is the origin of the pandemic since it was one of the first cities to roll out 5G.

However, scientists have not established a clear connection between 5G and the pandemic. Any of these conspiracy theories also failed to account for the rise of COVID-19 cases in countries without 5G yet. Anyone who encounters news and posts about 5G and its danger to the public must be skeptical of the claims.

Serious fact-checking is important during these times when there’s not only a rise in COVID-19 cases, but also a rise in misinformation and deceiving posts.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

India

realme C11 is a budget phone with MediaTek G35, 5000mAh battery

MediaTek’s latest processor

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realme hasn’t launched a budget phone for quite some time and it’s finally ready with a new offering that houses a very up to date processor. Dubbed the realme C11, the phone aims to offer everything, without burning a hole through your pocket.

Powering the phone is the recently announced MediaTek G35 processor and its fined tuned for balanced performance. The phone also gets a fresh design with a camera setup that looks similar to the Pixel series. The design is fresh and definitely doesn’t look mundane.

On the front is a 6.5-inch HD+ display with a tiny water-drop notch. The octa-core processor is paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It is backed by a 5000mAh battery that supports reverse charging via a USB-C port.

The rear sports a dual-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel portrait lens. For selfies, a 5-megapixel selfie shooter is located on the front.

The phone is available in Rich Green and Rich Grey color options. The phone is priced at INR 7,499 (US$ 100) and shall go on sale from July 22 via Realme’s website and Flipkart. Sales are limited to India at the moment, but other markets are expected to get the phone soon.

realme also announced a new power bank along with the Realme C11. Officially called realme 30W Dart Charge 10000mAh Power Bank, it has a capacity of 10ooomAh and supports 30W fast charging.

In simple terms, it takes just a little more than 1 hour 30 minutes to fully charge it. Supporting multiple standards like Dart, VOOC, Quick Charge, PD, and more, it’s perfect for everyone on the go. It’s priced at INR 1,999 (US$ 27) and goes on sale from July 21.

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Enterprise

Samsung is already working on 6G internet

Expected to peak at 1000Gbps

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Given the ongoing problems with 5G infrastructure around the world, almost no one has tried the next generation of connectivity yet. In fact, 4G is still a disputed technology in some parts of the world. However, amidst all the difficulties, technology doesn’t stop. Even today, the industry is already working on the next, next generation — 6G.

Presented in an official white paper, Samsung has mapped out the future developments in anticipation of 6G adoption, a continuation of its research efforts from last year. What will 6G look like?

Even now, 5G is experiencing troubles in two fronts: infrastructure and compatible devices. The world’s infrastructure isn’t built to broadcast 5G speeds yet. Similarly, not every device out in the market can support 5G connectivity yet.

That said, 6G connectivity will experience the same difficulties, but on a much larger scale. With current technology, 5G peaks out at 20Gbps. According to Samsung, 6G will peak out at an astonishing 1000Gbps. The world will require stronger infrastructure and devices that can actually process data at such a speed.

Besides how the systems of the future will work, Samsung has also envisioned the future users of the 6G technology. Unlike how the world uses 4G and 5G today, the company thinks that mainly machines will use 6G when it comes out.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the rise of terminators yet. Rather, 6G will allow machines to produce ultra-realistic holograms and what Samsung calls XR technology. (XR technology is a future amalgamation of VR, AR, and mixed reality technologies working hand-in-hand.)

So, when will we finally see 6G technology on our phones? According to Samsung, it won’t come anytime soon. Subsequent generations of connectivity often take around ten years to come out. Even then, it’s not a smooth process. Samsung envisions a 2028 rollout for the next, next generation. One can only imagine what the world will look like when it comes out.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s Exynos 880 SoC aims to bring 5G at an affordable price

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Enterprise

UK officially bans Huawei

Effective 2021

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You know about Huawei’s battle with America. For several years, the Trump administration has forced the Chinese company from American businesses with nary a letup. However, for all the company’s troubles in the US, Huawei has faced a more optimistic future in the European continent. Unfortunately, their European respite is coming to an end.

Today, the United Kingdom has officially banned Huawei from its telecommunications industry, according to an official government announcement. However, unlike the US ban, Huawei has a fairly comfortable transition period. The company can remain in business until December 31 this year. Starting January 1, 2021, UK business cannot buy 5G hardware from Huawei anymore.

Additionally, Huawei can still technically stay in the country for several years. However, the company must slowly transition out of the country by 2027.

As noted previously, the UK’s concerns with Huawei stem from national cybersecurity issues brought on by the US. The company is facing similar cybersecurity issues in other territories.

If anything, the generous transition period will likely take up most of 5G’s life cycle before the next generation comes in. Still, Huawei is once again in deep trouble following the latest ban. The company is still experiencing the same hostility in the US.

Of course, Huawei’s consumer products might still make it through the ban. Most of the global bans affect only the company’s 5G hardware. Currently, Huawei is a fairly known brand in the UK as far as consumer devices go.

SEE ALSO: US is calling Huawei, ZTE a national security threat

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