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Which war to fight first

  • vi vs emacs
  • tabs vs spaces
  • static vs dynamic typing
  • gui vs text
  • functional vs OOP
  • Light vs Dark theme
  • Other (please specify)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:128 | Votes:165

posted by martyb on Friday January 21, @09:21PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the getting-plugged-in-to-new-technology dept.

Pushing the potential of brain-computer interfaces:

Since they came into use by physicians and researchers, Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) or Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) have provided ways to treat neurological disorders and shed light on how the brain functions. As beneficial as they've been, BCIs have potential to go far beyond the technology's current capabilities. In a collaboration between the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) and Yale School of Medicine, a team of researchers are looking to break through these limitations.

"The goal is to build a class of ultra-low-power devices that are safe for chronic implantation in humans," said Abhishek Bhattacharjee, associate professor of computer science. "Chronic implantation opens the door to a number of clinical uses, ranging from implants to treat epilepsy and movement disorders to designing assistive devices for patients with paralysis, as well as many research uses."

[...] The tricky part about this goal is that these implantable BCIs are limited by how much power they use. Federal and international guidelines state that BCIs must not use more than 15 to 40 milliwatts of power, depending on the depth within the brain tissue that the BCI is implanted. Anything beyond that is unsafe for chronic implantation in humans. Excessive power dissipation causes the devices to overheat, which brings the risk of damaging the cellular tissue of the brain. The SEAS researchers' task, then, is broadening the potential of these devices while staying within a very constrained power limit. They're limiting the power of their own device to 15 milliwatts, which would allow it to be placed deeper into the brain, where power constraints are more stringent.

"So, it's power-constrained, but at the same time, there are some serious computation needs here—you need to be able to read and perform fairly sophisticated signal processing on more and more data from the brain for these devices to be more useful," Bhattacharjee said. "How you do all of this under really tight power budgets of 10 to 15 milliwatts is a wide-open question."

To that end, they've developed HALO (Hardware Architecture for Low-power BCIs), a general-purpose architecture for implantable BCIs. The technology allows for the treatment of various conditions, and records and processes data for studies to advance our understanding of the brain. The technology includes a chip and sensors and allows for a microelectrode array that reads roughly 50 megabits per second from 96 distinct parts of the brain. And unlike other BCIs, which are designed for one specific purpose — treating epilepsy, for example — the HALO technology can support numerous tasks. This is all achieved while operating within the team's strict power budget.

[...] "One of the things that I'm particularly excited about in our research is that it shows that if you build BCIs that can balance specialized hardware with general purpose hardware in a principled way, you can actually be under the power limit, while supporting a much broader class of computational functionalities than what existing devices support," Bhattacharjee said. He also believes that the results point to a broader question beyond BCIs, particularly because the waning of Dennard scaling (the principle that as transistors get smaller, their power stays constant) "poses questions about how best to determine what to build hardware accelerators for, how to integrate these hardware accelerators seamlessly, and how to enable a modular platform that can naturally slot in new accelerators. HALO is an exemplar of these research questions."

Journal Reference:
Shixian Wen, Allen Yin, Tommaso Furlanello, et al. Rapid adaptation of brain–computer interfaces to new neuronal ensembles or participants via generative modelling, Nature Biomedical Engineering (DOI: 10.1038/s41551-021-00811-z)

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday January 21, @06:33PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the so-what-*IS*-it? dept.

U.S. foe or specific weapon not behind sustained, global campaign causing 'Havana Syndrome,' CIA finds

A U.S. adversary is not engaged in a sustained global campaign aimed at harming or collecting intelligence on hundreds of American diplomats serving abroad, according to an interim CIA finding on the so-called Havana Syndrome.

But there remain a significant number of cases that the agency cannot yet attribute to a specific source. The interim finding, described to POLITICO by three intelligence officials, does not rule out the possibility that a foreign actor or a sophisticated weapon is behind a specific, smaller number of mysterious incidents that have stumped U.S. officials for more than five years.

The new CIA-prepared interim finding assesses that the vast majority of reported cases can be explained by medical, environmental or technical factors — including previously undiagnosed illnesses — and that it is "unlikely" that a malicious state actor is inflicting purposeful harm on U.S. diplomats on a far-reaching, worldwide scale. The broader intelligence community has varying levels of confidence in that assessment.

"There's no one explanation" for the large number of reported cases around the world, a senior CIA official said, insisting "we don't see a global campaign by a foreign actor." There are still unresolved cases, the official continued, and the CIA is still open to the notion that a nation-state or specific device is causing symptoms such as headaches and nausea — if the agency finds evidence to that effect.

[...] "We would definitely not rule out the possibility of foreign-actor involvement in some discrete cases," the official said, adding that "we have not identified a causal mechanism, a novel weapon, that's been used at this point" on a worldwide scale, including a long-suspected directed-energy weapon.

FECA Program Issues Guidance on Coverage of 'Havana Syndrome'

The Federal Employees Compensation Act program has issued guidance on coverage of what it calls the "anomalous health incidents" known as Havana Syndrome [...] Federal employees experiencing such symptoms should file a standard claim form "as current understanding of AHIs are that they are specific events that occur over a single day or work shift" and should designate that as the specific cause, it says. Such claims are to be reviewed by a special claims unit which will consider "medical evidence submitted to determine if any medical conditions have been diagnosed in connection with the AHI incident."

Also at NYT.

Previously: "Havana Syndrome": U.S. Baffled After New Cases in Europe

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday January 21, @03:44PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

This actually seem to have started at least early in December. Microsoft (Hotmail) seemed to block all incoming mail from Linode, without alerting the recipient or routing to the spam folder. Looks like the problem is still afflicting Linode customers.

Email Blocklisting: A Christmas Gift From Microsoft That Linode Cant Seem to Return:

"Microsoft appears to have delivered the unwanted Christmas gift of email blocklisting to Linode IP addresses, and two weeks into 2022 the company does not seem ready to relent.

Problems started as large chunks of the world began packing up for the festive period. Complaints cropped up on Linode's support forums when customers began encountering problems sending email to Microsoft 365 accounts from their own email servers.

[...] More recently, the Linode team has offered to swap out affected IPv4 addresses for unaffected ones – or, for a fee, it will add some new ones to users faced with the problem. "While we cannot control how long it takes for Microsoft to address the issues on their end," said Linode, "we do have potential solutions that we can offer in order to help customers avoid the current 'Banned Sender' bounces."

[...] Blocklisting IP addresses to prevent the delivery of unwanted emails is not a particularly complicated concept, although Microsoft has perhaps been a little more enthusiastic about this than is strictly necessary over the years. In 2019, tsoHost's bulk email domain found itself on the naughty step for Outlook and Hotmail addresses and getting itself off again proved a bit of a challenge.

Linode itself is an infrastructure-as-a-service outfit, with data centres spread around the world. One can host one's applications (including email services) and data on its platform as an alternative to the bigger boys. Right up until Microsoft decides to slap the IP addresses one is sending from on to a blocklist.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the keep-'em-happy dept.

Giving project teams more autonomy boosts productivity and customer satisfaction:

The research suggests that organizations that take a hands-off approach to the structure and governance of project teams create an environment of creative flexibility. This built-in flexibility makes teams more responsive to needed changes in the software they're building, boosting performance and customer satisfaction.

"By giving greater autonomy to your teams, you allow them to exercise greater judgment about what would actually work based on their project requirements," said Indranil Bardhan, a professor of information, risk and operations management at UT Austin's McCombs School of Business and co-author of the study. "We show there's no one right way of achieving superior project performance, no one-size-fits-all."

[...] Bardhan and co-author Narayan Ramasubbu of the University of Pittsburgh tested the performance of both agile and traditional project teams over 50 months in a real-world policy experiment at a major software company based in India. The company had 125,000 software developers around the world working on projects that adhered to an ideal operations profile closely monitored through a central unit.

Senior company directors wanted to learn whether greater autonomy for software development teams would hurt or help performance. For the study, they implemented a policy change granting greater autonomy to certain teams and agreeing to provide data on key performance measures -- for both autonomous and nonautonomous teams -- before and after the policy change.

Journal Reference:
Narayan Ramasubbu and Indranil R. Bardhan. Giving project teams more autonomy boosts productivity and customer satisfaction, MIS Quarterly, 2021 [abstract]

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Satellite broadband boost as Intelsat expands fleet, Inmarsat supports IoT:

In the latest examples of satellite companies muscling in on the connectivity arena, operator Intelsat has commissioned Thales Alenia Space to build two software-defined satellites to advance its global fabric of software-defined GEO connectivity as part of its 5G software-defined network, while renewable energy firm RWE is using internet of things (IoT)-over satellite technology provided by Inmarsat at its at its hydroelectric power facilities.

[...] The contract is said to enable the continued advancement of Intelsat's planned global software-defined satellite-based network, adding high-speed, dynamically allocated connectivity across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for commercial and government mobility services and cellular backhaul.

The new craft will be based on the Space Inspire product line, allowing telecommunications mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand, and what is claimed to be superior video-broadcasting performance while maximising the effective use of satellite resources.

[...] The two new craft are scheduled to be in service in 2025 and will join two Airbus-constructed software-defined satellites, Intelsat 42 (IS-42) and 43 (IS-43), announced just over a year ago.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @07:26AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the they-should-have-used-a-VPN.-Oh... dept.

Police take down VPN linked to multiple ransomware hits:

The LabVPN virtual private network (VPN) service has been taken offline and its infrastructure seized in a multinational police operation, having allegedly been employed by cyber criminal gangs to support ransomware campaigns.

The Europol-aided operation on 17 January 2022 spanned 10 countries and involved 12 law enforcement agencies. It was led by the Hanover Police Department in Germany and saw 15 servers seized, with the network's UK-based node taken offline by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The takedown is the result of a two-year investigation prompted by an August 2019 cyber attack on the local administration of Neustadt am Rübenberge, a small town of around 45,000 located near to Hanover.

LabVPN is accused of allowing its service to be used by cyber criminals in both the preparation and execution of ransomware attacks that have caused significant economic damage to many businesses, including in the UK.

The service was set up in 2008 and offered VPN services on the dark web based on OpenVPN technology, backed with 2048-bit encryption for around $60 per annum. This allegedly made it a popular choice for malicious actors.

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @04:48AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

WiFi 7 (802.11be) will support up to 40 Gbps links, real-time applications

I still don't own a WiFi 6 router, but MediaTek has already started to demonstrate WiFi 7 (802.11be) to customers with solutions based on upcoming Filogic 802.11be processors which deliver "super-fast speeds and low latency transmission" and provide a "true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications".

The company goes on to explain that Wi-Fi 7 relies on the same 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz frequencies as WiFi 6/6E, but can still provide 2.4x faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6, even with the same number of antennas, since WiFi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and support 4K QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology.

There's limited information about MediaTek Filogic 802.11be WiFi 7 processors since it will take a few more years before becoming available, but we can find more details in a document entitled "Current Status and Directions of IEEE 802.11be, the Future Wi-Fi 7" from IEEE Xplore.

Also at Notebookcheck.

Related: Researchers Offer Future 6G Network Concept

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @01:56AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Hormone Therapy Treatments May Increase Survival Rate in Prostate Cancer Patients:

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men worldwide, and radiotherapy is one of the common forms of treatment. In a first-of-its kind meta-analysis, published today in The Lancet Oncology, researchers from University Hospitals (UH) and Case Western Reserve University show that there is consistent improvement in overall survival in men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer with the addition of hormone therapy to radiotherapy treatments.

Throughout the past 40 years, randomized trials have been conducted on the impact of adding hormone therapy to prostate cancer treatments. While these trials individually show the benefit of hormone therapy, there are inconsistencies in timing and duration of treatment recommendations.

"Our research team set out to conduct a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive analysis by collecting individual patient data from each and every randomized trial conducted around the world, and performed a meta-analysis of the impact of various treatment intensification strategies using hormone therapy with radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer," said senior author Daniel E. Spratt, MD, Vincent K. Smith Chair in Radiation Oncology at UH Seidman Cancer Center, Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and Member of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Our goal is to better personalize therapy for prostate cancer patients, by providing the most precise and accurate estimates of the benefit of hormone therapy."

In this analysis, the team made three key discoveries:

1) Men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer have an increased survival rate from the addition of hormone therapy to radiotherapy. [...]

2) Survival rate in men with prostate cancer improves with the prolongation of adjuvant hormone therapy to radiotherapy. [...]

3) The prolongation of neoadjuvant hormone therapy before radiotherapy did not benefit men in any outcome measured. [...]

"We now have estimates that show the benefit of adding and prolonging adjuvant hormone therapy for clinically relevant subsets of patients," explained Dr. Spratt. "Our team showed that treating a group of approximately ten to 15 men with hormone therapy or extended adjuvant hormone therapy, for at least 18 months, prevented one man from developing metastatic disease ten years after treatment. This is dependent on patient and tumor specific factors, but gives us a more precise estimate to work with when it comes to recommending treatment options."

Journal Reference:
Amar U Kishan, MD, Yilun Sun, PhD, Holly Hartman, PhD, et al Hormone Therapy Treatments May Increase Survival Rate in Prostate Cancer Patients, , (DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00705-1)

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @11:16PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the sounds-very-fishy dept.

The largest group of nesting fish ever found lives beneath Antarctic ice:

Five hundred meters below the ice covering Antarctica's Weddell Sea sits the world's largest known colony of breeding fish, a new study finds.

An estimated 60 million active nests of a type of icefish stretch across at least 240 square kilometers, nearly the size of Orlando, Fla. Many fish create nests, from freshwater cichlids to artistically inclined pufferfish (SN: 10/13/20). But until now, researchers have encountered only a handful of icefish nests at a time, or perhaps several dozen. Even the most gregarious nest-building fish species were previously known to gather only in the hundreds.

The icefish probably have a substantial and previously unknown influence on Antarctic food webs, researchers report January 13 in Current Biology.

Deep sea biologist Autun Purser of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, and colleagues stumbled across the massive colony in early 2021 while on a research cruise in the Weddell Sea, which is located between the Antarctic Peninsula and the main continent.

[...] The researchers were studying chemical connections between surface waters and the seafloor. Part of the research involved surveying seafloor life by slowly towing a device behind the scientists' icebreaking research vessel. That device recorded video as it glides just above the bottom of the ocean and used sound to map seafloor features.

At one location on the Filchner ice shelf in the Weddell Sea, one of Purser's colleagues was operating the camera tow and noticed that it kept encountering circular Jonah's icefish (Neopagetopsis ionah)[*] nests down below. Icefish, of the family Channichthyidae, are only found in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters and have strange adaptations to the extreme cold such as clear blood full of antifreeze compounds (SN: 9/19/98).

"When I came down half an hour later and just saw nest after nest the whole four hours of the first dive, I thought we were onto something unusual," Purser recounts.

[*] Jonah's icefish entry on Wikipedia.

Journal Reference:
Autun Purser, Laura Hehemann, Lilian Boehringer, et al A vast icefish breeding colony discovered in the Antarctic, (DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.12.022)

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @08:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the fine-art dept.

AI turned a Rembrandt masterpiece into 5.6 terabytes of data:

A high-resolution image of Rembrandt's Nightwatch is now online. 717 gigapixels (yes, giga) to a claimed resolution of .0005-millimeters.

Last week the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam posted an AI-constructed, ultra-high-res image of "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt. The original piece is nearly 15 feet long and more than 12 feet high and has been under intensive restoration since the early 1900s.

They've actually reconstructed some parts that had been destroyed over the ages, based on historical records.

Is a pixel size finer than the hairs on Rembrandt's brush enough detail for you?

(2020-05-23) Revelations About Rembrandt's Masterpiece Captured on Camera

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Thursday January 20, @05:45PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the read-three-more-stories-to-earn-a-virtual-taco!-(redeem-via-IRC) dept.

How 'Gamification' of Everything Is Manipulating You (and How to Recognize It):

“Gamification” is the practice of adding game-like elements to non-game contexts. It isn’t new, nor it is always a negative, but it is being aimed at consumers and employees more and more frequently, whether to keep you addicted to an app, motivated at work, or inclined to spend your money on something.

[...] There’s nothing necessarily wrong with making consuming a product or doing a job “fun,” but when marketers and employers are hacking our pleasure centers in ways we don’t fully recognize, that’s manipulation, and that’s not really a game. Below are some of the tricks of the gamification trade, so you can spot it before it happens to you.

Behaviorists’ studies of rats and humans prove that both species are more motivated by intermittent, unpredictable rewards than anticipated ones. Rats will pull the lever more often if they sometimes get a food pellet than if they always get a food pellet, and gamblers would never play a slot machine that returned 89 cents every time they put in a dollar, even though that’s what will happen over time.

Some of the tricks are: Variable rewards and suspense, Manipulating our desire for progress, and Engagement and “streaks”.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @02:59PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the sls-spice-must-flow dept.

NASA safety panel recommends agency review how it manages human spaceflight programs

[...] The shift to commercial crew transportation has created some specific issues in the last year mentioned in the report. The panel cited a "concerning dissonance" between NASA and SpaceX during preparations for the Crew-1 landing last May. The two organizations "differed in their understanding of the level of risk to be incurred" regarding a nighttime landing of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA initially preferring a daytime landing as the lowest risk option. SpaceX argued that a nighttime landing was acceptable and offered better sea state conditions than the proposed daytime landing. The report stated that "last-minute communications had been necessary to ensure NASA approved the plans for the night landing."

There was also a difference of opinion between NASA and Boeing involving the risk of stuck propulsion valves on the company's CST-100 Starliner that delayed an uncrewed test flight last summer. Boeing evaluated the risk as low, the panel said, while NASA considered it moderate during a flight readiness review. That review, the panel concluded, "revealed NASA and Boeing do not share a common understanding of how to assess and characterize risk."

[...] The panel also took issue with the "disaggregated" way NASA's exploration efforts are organized. That structure treats the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft and Exploration Ground Systems as separate programs, which the panel attributes to the uncertain direction of the agency's exploration programs after the cancellation of the Constellation program more than a decade ago.

Among the panel's recommendations was to create an integrated Artemis program led by a single manager "endowed with authority, responsibility, and accountability" along with a bottoms-up approach to systems engineering and integration as well as risk management. NASA sometimes refers to an "Artemis program" today, the panel noted, but without the formal program architecture that risks "confusing both employees and contractors about who is ultimately responsible and accountable."

It might help NASA if Congress would stop treating it like a jobs program.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday January 20, @12:13PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the no-affiliation-with-Monty-Python dept.

Radian announces plans to build one of the holy grails of spaceflight:

A Washington-state based aerospace company has exited stealth mode by announcing plans to develop one of the holy grails of spaceflight—a single-stage-to-orbit space plane. Radian Aerospace said it is deep into the design of an airplane-like vehicle that could take off from a runway, ignite its rocket engines, spend time in orbit, and then return to Earth and land on a runway.

"We all understand how difficult this is," said Livingston Holder, Radian's co-founder, chief technology officer, and former head of the Future Space Transportation and X-33 program at Boeing.

On Wednesday, Radian announced that it had recently closed a $27.5 million round of seed funding, led by Fine Structure Ventures. To date, Radian has raised about $32 million and has 18 full-time employees at its Renton, Washington, headquarters.

During an interview with Ars, Holder and Radian CEO Richard Humphrey explained that they realized it would require significantly more funding to build such an ambitious orbital space plane. Funding will pace their development efforts. For that reason, Humphrey said he was not comfortable putting a date on the company's first test flights but said that Radian was aiming to have an operational capability well before the end of the 2020s.

The current design of Radian One calls for taking up to five people and 5,000 pounds of cargo into orbit. The vehicle would have a down-mass capability of about 10,000 pounds and be powered by three liquid-fueled engines. The idea would be to get as close to airline operations as possible, by flying, landing, re-fueling, and flying again.

Since its founding in 2016, Radian has focused on the propulsion and structure of a vehicle that must withstand a variety of thermal and pressure environments. Humphrey said the company has built and tested its first "full-scale" engine. At full power, this cryogenic-fueled engine will have a thrust of about 200,000 pounds.

[...] There can be no question that this is a hugely challenging endeavor that many people have tried before. Will Radian find the right stuff, at the right moment in time? We'd like to think so.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday January 20, @09:29AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the yes,-you-read-that-right! dept.

Millionaires ask to pay more tax:

A group of more than 100 of the world's richest people have called on governments to make them pay more tax. The group, named the Patriotic Millionaires, said the ultra-wealthy were not being forced to pay their share towards the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

"As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair," they said in an open letter. The signatories included Disney heiress Abigail Disney and Nick Hanauer. Mr Hanauer is a US entrepreneur and an early investor in online retail giant Amazon.

"Most of us can say that, while the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic - yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes," the signatories said in the letter to the World Economic Forum.

[...] It said globally, $2.52tn could lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty and make enough vaccines for the world.

Gemma McGough, British entrepreneur and founding member of Patriotic Millionaires, UK said: "For all our well-being - rich and poor alike - it's time we right the wrongs of an unequal world. It's time we tax the rich."

Ms McGough added: "At a time when simply living will cost the average household a further £1,200 a year, our government cannot expect to be trusted if it would rather tax working people than wealthy people.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday January 20, @06:42AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the it's-all-up-in-the-air dept.

Emirates President: the 5G Snafu is the Biggest Screwup I've Witnessed in My Career

Emirates president: The 5G snafu is the biggest screwup I've witnessed in my career:

The president of Emirates tells CNN that the airline was not aware of some of the potential 5G rollout issues until yesterday morning, calling the situation "one of the most delinquent, utterly irresponsible" he has seen in his aviation career.

[...] Emirates president Tim Clark said that they were not aware of the issues until yesterday morning "to the extent that it was going to compromise the safety of operation of our aircraft and just about every other 777 operator to and from the United States and within the United States."

Transportation regulators had already been concerned that the version of 5G that was scheduled to be switched on could interfere with some airplane instruments, and many aviation industry groups shared those fears — despite reassurances from federal telecom regulators and wireless carriers.

Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration has been worried that 5G cellular antennas near some airports — not air travelers' mobile devices — could throw off readings from some aircraft equipment designed to tell pilots how far they are from the ground. Those systems, known as radar altimeters, are used throughout a flight and are considered critical equipment. (Radar altimeters differ from standard altimeters, which rely on air pressure readings and do not use radio signals to gauge altitude.)

International Airlines Suspend Some US Flights Over 5G Uncertainty

International airlines suspend some US flights over 5G uncertainty:

Major international airlines are scrambling to modify or cancel flights to the United States amid uncertainty about potential interference between new 5G cell phone services and critical airplane technologies.

Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways all announced changes to some flights, citing the issue.

Emirates said it would suspend flights into nine US airports: Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco and Seattle. It said it would continue flying into New York's John F. Kennedy airport, Los Angeles International and Washington Dulles.

"We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns, and we hope to resume our US services as soon as possible," Emirates said in its statement.

Air India said it would suspend service between Delhi and San Francisco, Chicago and JFK. It will also suspend a Mumbai to Newark flight. It will continue to fly into Washington Dulles.

Both ANA and Japan Airlines said they canceled some flights to the United States scheduled to use Boeing 777 aircraft, but will operate some flights using Boeing 787s instead.

Germany's Lufthansa canceled a flight between Frankfurt and Miami. It said it would swap Boeing 747-8 aircraft for 747-400s on flights from Frankfurt to Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

A spokesperson for British Airways told CNN Business that it "had to make a handful of cancellations" because a decision by telecom operators to delay activating the new 5G service at some locations didn't cover all the airports the airline serves.

Will 5G Mobile Networks in the US Really Interfere with Aircraft Altimeters?

Will 5G Mobile Networks in the US Really Interfere With Aircraft?

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised concerns that 5G telephone networks will interfere with radio altimeters fitted to some aircraft. These are crucial for making landings in poor visibility and for helicopters flying at low altitude. Nonetheless, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorised the roll-out of these networks, including the placement of phone masts near airports.

The radio spectrum is a public resource, and it is both congested and hotly contested in the US. Nothing goes to waste and industries lobby hard to secure their portion. Unfortunately, the part of the spectrum set aside for vital aircraft operations sits very close to that assigned for 5G in the US and raises the chance of interference.

There is no single part of the electromagnetic spectrum that 5G occupies. Some countries are using 600 megahertz to 900 megahertz, which isn’t dissimilar to 4G. Some are placing it between 2.3 gigahertz and 4.7 gigahertz, which boosts data speed somewhat. And others are using 24 gigahertz to 47 gigahertz, which requires more towers but offers even higher data speeds. In many cases a network will use a mix of these. In the US, the frequencies allocated for 5G are closer to those used by aircraft than those allocated by the EU.

Radio altimeters operate in the 4.2 gigahertz to 4.4 gigahertz band, and the US has set aside a portion of the spectrum right up to the lower band of that for 5G. In Europe, the comparable band ends at 4 gigahertz.

[...] Time will tell how the matter is resolved, but, in truth, both the telecoms industry and the airline industry are too profitable for a solution not to be found quickly. It is likely that existing altimeters will be rated as safe eventually, or new ones will be designed that are more robust against 5G interference.

What is your take on this?

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