The Particle Debris articles of the week cover the new 5G wireless technology. Controversy and confusion have already set in.
First, the issue of radiation safety from 5G signals has cropped up again. This time, “Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., the director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley” weighs in at the highly respected Scientific American. “We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe.”
5G, in its purest form, uses millimeter wavelengths. And that may be a bio safety issue under some circumstances. Quoting from ths S.A. article:
Millimeter waves are mostly absorbed within a few millimeters of human skin and in the surface layers of the cornea. Short-term exposure can have adverse physiological effects in the peripheral nervous system, the immune system and the cardiovascular system. The research suggests that long-term exposure may pose health risks to the skin (e.g., melanoma), the eyes (e.g., ocular melanoma) and the testes (e.g., sterility).
Also, wide coverage is hard to achieve, and that creates a problem with overly enthusiastic coverage maps. And so, next, I found it interesting that “T-Mobile launches its nationwide 600 MHz 5G network….”
600 MHz is an enormous half meter wavelength, has a long reach and penetrates walls reasonably well. But bandwidth is proportional to frequency, and 600 MHz is well below expected 5G frequencies. So, T-Mobile, at least is playing fast and loose with “5G” tech nomenclature. It’s called “lower band 5G.” ::cough::
T-Mobile pointed out that the other US carriers are focusing on metropolitan areas (since they are using mmWave) and its competitors are charging customers extra to access the 5G network. T-Mobile’s lower band 5G will reach longer range and better reception indoors. T-Mobile says it won’t charge extra for its customers to use the 5G network.
Of course not. The catch? The Verge explains.
T-Mobile doesn’t offer specifics on what kind of speeds you’ll see on the new network, and the actual improvements will vary a lot by location. “In some places, 600 MHz 5G will be a lot faster than LTE. In others, customers won’t see as much difference,” a T-Mobile spokesperson tells The Verge.
I see a big mess coming. Is it live? Or Memorex? Or genuine 5G you’re getting? And if it really is high-speed, millimeter wavelength, how safe is it?
The Week’s News Debris
• Cult of Mac reports: “Apple TV 4K users lose Dolby Vision for Apple TV+ content.”
Titles like The Morning Show and See are still available in standard HDR. But even earlier episodes, which were available with Dolby Vision initially, can no longer be watched in the enhanced format.
Apparently, this is only affecting some viewers. As of December 6, I am not seeing that problem myself.
…others believe there may be an issue with Dolby Vision itself that Apple is ironing out.
It could be a problem with just some 4KTVs. I’ll keep an eye on this one. If you’re seeing this problem, let me know.
• From BGR, a referring to the rumored iPhone SE 2: “Apple’s releasing a new iPhone in just a few months, and now we know what it’s called.” Would you believe? iPhone 9. ::cough::
At least “SE 2” sounds like a move forward for a beloved product of old. “iPhone 9” seems like a step backward, an obviously inferior product. I don’t like this idea.
• Previously we wrote about and discussed an iPhone 11 Location Services issue. Now, Apple has provided a more detailed explanation. “Apple Explains Mysterious iPhone 11 Location Requests.” The lesson here is not to fly off the handle. Eventually, these things get explained.
• Are you ready for a 3 nanometer CPU fabrication process? It’s coming in the 2022 iPhone, according to Cult of Mac.
Achieving smaller numbers of nanometers between transistors is no guarantee of performance boosts. However, it does mean being able to pack more [transistors] on which can greatly improve performance. 3-nanometer chips would be a massive achievement for TSMC at a time when some people worry that Moore’s Law may be coming to an end.
• Finally, some 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are experiencing unexpected shutdowns and Apple has acknowledged the issue. Digital Trends has the story. “MacBook Pro: Apple acknowledges shutdown issue with a 2019 model.”
The article is helpful and presents a possible fix.
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.