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Coronavirus: Scientists brand 5G claims ‘complete rubbish’

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Conspiracy theories claiming 5G technology helps transmit coronavirus have been condemned by the scientific community.

Videos have been shared on social media showing mobile phone masts on fire in Birmingham and Merseyside – along with the claims.

The posts have been shared on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – including by verified accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.

But scientists say the idea of a connection between Covid-19 and 5G is “complete rubbish” and biologically impossible.

The conspiracy theories have been branded “the worst kind of fake news” by NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis.

Conspiracy theory

Many of those sharing the post are pushing a conspiracy theory falsely claiming that 5G – which is used in mobile phone networks and relies on signals carried by radio waves – is somehow responsible for coronavirus.

These theories appear to have first emerged via Facebook posts in late January, around the same time the first cases were recorded in the US.

They appear to fall broadly in to two camps:

  • One claims 5G can suppress the immune system, thus making people more susceptible to catching the virus.
  • The other suggests the virus can somehow be transmitted through the use of 5G technology.

Both these notions are “complete rubbish,” says Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading.

mobile network
Image captionMasts caught fire in Birmingham and Merseyside, prompting investigations

“The idea that 5G lowers your immune system doesn’t stand up to scrutiny,” Dr Clarke says.

“Your immune system can be dipped by all sorts of thing – by being tired one day, or not having a good diet. Those fluctuations aren’t huge but can make you more susceptible to catching viruses.”

While very strong radio waves can cause heating, 5G is nowhere near strong enough to heat people up enough to have any meaningful effect.

“Radio waves can disrupt your physiology as they heat you up, meaning your immune system can’t function. But [the energy levels from] 5G radio waves are tiny and they are nowhere near strong enough to affect the immune system. There have been lots of studies on this.”

Graphic shows 5G's frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum - within the non-ionising band at the lower end of the scale.

The radio waves involved in 5G and other mobile phone technology sit on the low frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Less powerful than visible light, they are not strong enough to damage cells – unlike radiation at the higher frequency end of the spectrum which includes the sun’s rays and medical x-rays.

It would also be impossible for 5G to transmit the virus, Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, adds.

“The present epidemic is caused by a virus that is passed from one infected person to another. We know this is true. We even have the virus growing in our lab, obtained from a person with the illness. Viruses and electromagnetic waves that make mobile phones and internet connections work are different things. As different as chalk and cheese,” he says.

It’s also important to note another major flaw with the conspiracy theories – coronavirus is spreading in UK cities where 5G has yet to be deployed, and in countries like Iran that have yet to roll out the technology.

There were plenty of scare stories about 5G circulating before the coronavirus outbreak which Reality Check has already looked into, such as this piece: Does 5G pose health risks?

Earlier this year, a long-running study from the watchdog the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) rebutted these claims, saying there was no evidence that mobile networks cause cancer or other illnesses.

Coronavirus: What you need to know graphic featuring three key points: wash your hands for 20 seconds; use a tissue for coughs; avoid touching your face

But if anything, the misinformation seems to have escalated.

Trade body Mobile UK has said false rumours and theories linking 5G and coronavirus were “concerning,” while the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has reiterated there is “absolutely no credible evidence for the link”.

Viruses invade human or animal cells and use them to reproduce, which is what causes infection. Viruses cannot live very long outside a living thing, so they have to find a way in – usually via droplets of liquid from coughs or sneezes.

Genome sequencing of this coronavirus suggests it jumped from animals to humans – and then began to pass from human to human.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/52168096

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Classic Hangouts to Google Chat migration starts in earnest for G Suite

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Last August, Google delayed the classic Hangouts transition for G Suite customers into this year. Starting today, admins can migrate their users to Google Chat in earnest and get access to Gmail integration.

For the past year, Google has been testing the transition within an Accelerated Transition Program. Anyone can now use Chat in Gmail if their G Suite admins select the “Chat preferred” preference.

The Chat preferred setting allows you to migrate all of your users at once for the most effective and seamless transition. If some people use classic Hangouts and others use Chat, it can lead to missed messages and become burdensome for admins. And if you have a remote or distributed workforce, unifying your users onto a single chat network can help everyone communicate successfully.

As the setting implies, Google Chat will “become the default chat application for your organization.” This will disable the classic Hangouts applications for Android and iOS, though hangouts.google.com will remain available. Users are advised to use the Chat mobile apps and chat.google.com, which is now a PWA. Google will also offer a classic Hangouts bot to notify users of unread group messages.

google-chat-gmail
Hangouts Chat for Gmail

Meanwhile, classic Hangouts in the bottom-left corner of Gmail on the web will also be replaced. Google Chat 1:1 and group direct messages will appear instead, along with full-screen rooms. Other features include bot integrations, forward to inbox, emoji reactions, and message edit/delete.

This “Chat preferred” is rolling out now to Admin console and available for all G Suite users. For Google, this marks Phase 3 of the classic Hangouts deprecation timeline. The final step — where classic Hangouts is disabled entirely — will see all enterprise users “upgraded” in “late 2020.”

Source: https://9to5google.com/2020/06/02/classic-hangouts-google-chat/

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Motorola Razr 2 to come with bigger displays

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The second-gen Motorola Razr is expected to arrive in September and while Motorola hasn’t revealed any details about the Razr 2 (unofficial name) yet, new information coming our way reveals the foldable smartphone will sport displays bigger than its predecessor’s.

Motorola Razr 2019
Motorola Razr 2019

 
Motorola Razr 2019

According to Display Supply Chain Consultants’ (DSCC) CEO Ross Young, the Razr 2 will come with a 6.7″ main display, which is 0.5″ larger than the current Razr. Young claims that the secondary external screen on the Razr 2 will also have a larger diagonal, but doesn’t reveal the exact size.

The current Razr comes with a 2.7″ secondary display, and Motorola will be looking to maximize the available area on the cover better this time around.

The Motorola Razr 2 screen size will increase to the same size as the Galaxy Z Flip, 6.7”. The front display will also increase in size.— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) June 3, 2020

The Motorola Razr doesn’t support 5G, but rumors have it that Razr 2 will support the next-gen networks – thanks to the Snapdragon 765 SoC at the helm.

Other rumored specs include 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, Android 10, 48MP main camera, and 20MP selfie camera.

Source: https://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_razr_2_bigger_displays-news-43575.php

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Remember plus codes? Google’s now making them easier to use

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Google Maps is now making it a lot easier to use a feature it gained nearly half a decade ago.

Instead of explaining to friends and couriers where your house is located, you can use a plus code.

The plus code replaces confusing long form addresses by marking an exact spot on a map. It consists of a few letters, possibly numbers too, and, well, a plus symbol.

Google Maps users could find plus codes for places or interests, restaurants and other landmarks in their descriptions within the app. Now users can find the plus code for this own address by finding their place of residence, dropping a pin, tapping on the blue dot, and viewing the code in the respective pop-up.

This options is also available when sharing addresses across apps in Android.

For those who can’t access Google Maps, the plus code is also searchable in Google, making it a nifty and compact alternative to full addresses.

Source; https://memeburn.com/2020/05/google-maps-plus-code/

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