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5G and the History of Cellular Networks

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There is a conspiracy theory floating around, and being circulated by people who should know better, that 5G causes [insert ailment here].  Some people take this conspiracy so far as to blame 5G for COVID-19.

We need to talk a bit about RF history here.  I've been interested in radio frequencies and technology for most of my life, both personally and professionally.  When I was a teenager, I became interested in radio scanners and found the radio spectrum fascinating, in terms of all of the information that was literally in the air around us, and the different behavior of different frequency bands.  Using my scanner, I could pick up all kinds of signals from police, fire, corporate radio systems, security, and even cordless phones and cellular phones, not that I did so.  This led to obtaining my amateur radio license in 1996.  As an amateur "ham" radio operator I learned to use VHF and UHF repeaters, direction finding, and volunteered with the county Emergency Management …

Normalcy Bias

I want to discuss a topic that is both fascinating and yet concerning to me.  That topic is normalcy bias.  I consider myself to be both logical and data driven - I look at the facts, and the data, and draw conclusions from that data.  I use the best sources that I can for that data, as close to the original sources as possible - taking the media and hearsay out of the equation as much as possible.  I haven't watched traditional news media regularly for years, as they are tend to have their own agendas and often focus on sensationalism and hype.

I have observed a psychologically extreme reaction in some people when I, or others, discuss topics that threaten to disturb their normal routine or world view.  I have seen this when talking about things like the possibility of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), coronal mass ejection (CME), or even coronavirus (COVID-19).  All of these things, and many others, have the potential to disrupt one's normal routines.  Normalcy bias is a tenden…

Coronavirus / COVID-19

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There is a lot of misinformation out there and hype around the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.  Based on my research of this issue, there are many people over-reacting, and also many people under-reacting to this threat.  At this stage, in March of 2020, the virus has effectively spread to such an extent that containment is not possible.  For the latest numbers, check the Johns Hopinks GIS tracking system.  As of right now, the total confirmed cases are 116,000, and just over 4000 deaths.  If we calculate the death rate from the confirmed cases, we come to roughly 3.5%.  That means that based on the confirmed numbers so far, 3.5% of those infected have died.  That said, there are probably more cases than this that have not been confirmed or reported, which means that the death rate could be a bit lower on average - perhaps as low as 2.5%, based on some reports.  But in some countries such as Italy, the death rate is as high as 5% as the heath care system becomes overwhelmed…