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Korean telcos use Galaxy S10 pre-orders to compete for initial 5G subscribers



Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

South Korean telcos are going all out to lure their first 5G subscribers, kicking it off with the sale of the Galaxy S10 5G on Friday.

The launch of the smartphone will signal the official beginning of 5G commercialisation in South Korea, the world’s first roll out of 5G networks.

SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus have started pre-orders for Samsung’s 5G offering on Monday with their own respective batches of free gifts.

SK Telecom will give out the Galaxy S10 5G for free to five pre-ordering customers, while also giving a wireless vacuum cleaner to 55 people and free wireless chargers to 555 people.

Those who pre-ordered through the mobile carrier’s online shopping mall, T World Direct, will either get a free wireless charging pad, a secondary battery, or a car rest.

KT is also offering its own set of gifts. It will be giving out a free Samsung TV or Dyson hair set to two people, among pre-ordering customers, every day from April 1-15. It will also be giving E-Mart mobile gift cards to a hundred customers and free chicken certificates to 5,000 people.

It will also invite 50 customers who may each bring a companion with them, of those that applied, to attend an exclusive launch event at On Restaurant. Customers of KT’s On Restaurant will be able to eat anything for free with a charge of 1.98 won for each additional serving after the first one. 

LG Uplus meanwhile will give a free VR headset to every customer that purchases a Galaxy S10 5G by May. Those who buy the smartphone by June through the carrier will get YouTube Premium for free for six months.

Last year, all three telcos agreed to launch 5G services at the same time to avoid unnecessary competition. It was seen as a move to prevent a repeat of the costly marketing campaigns that plagued the 4G LTE launch in 2011.

But competition will remain fierce as it will be a chance for telcos to gain new market share and possibly change the power dynamics among them. For 20 years, SK Telecom has been the largest mobile carrier, with KT coming second, and LG Uplus being a distant third.

Promotion events are also likely to ignite again with the launch of V50 ThinQ 5G on April 19.

LG Uplus gained significant clout during the LTE era and is planning to extend further in 5G by being the first to introduce overseas services. LG Uplus introduced Netflix and is also the only carrier to use equipment by Huawei, despite the global security controversy surrounding the Chinese company.

South Korea initially planned to roll out 5G in March but it was delayed due to industry players not being ready. The government finally accepted data plans from the carriers that include a low-entry 55,000 won per month late last month.

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The Science Behind The Deadly Lake



A buildup of carbon dioxide gas is not uncommon for crater lakes, with many of them occasionally releasing bubbles of it over time. Volcanic activity taking place below the Earth’s surface (and below the lake itself) will cause gasses to seep up through the lakebed and into the water. Something that generally isn’t a concern as deeper, colder water is able to absorb substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, but if the concentration gets too dense it can create bubbles that float up to and burst on the surface of the water.

This in itself is common, and the volume of carbon dioxide usually released in this manner will dissipate into the air quickly. However, it’s theorized that Lake Nyos had been amassing an uncharacteristically large amount of gas due to a combination of factors like location, local climate, overall depth, and water pressure. Once that buildup had been disturbed, it all came rocketing out.

Whether it was due to a rock slide, strong winds, or an unexpected temperature change throwing off the delicate balance is still unknown. But whatever the catalyst was, it caused the lower layer of deep, carbon-infused water to start to rise. Which then began to warm up, reducing its ability to contain the gas. The resulting perpetual cycle of rising waters and gasses creates the type of explosion you might see after opening a carbonated beverage after it’s been shaken vigorously.

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The Super Nintendo’s Secret Weapon



The Super Nintendo featured seven different video rendering modes, each offering a different level of display detail, shown in one to four background layers. Most of the Super Nintendo’s games utilized Mode 1, which could display 16-color sprites and backgrounds on two layers plus a 4-color sprite on a third layer. This little trick was the key to the parallax scrolling effect you’d see in games like “Super Mario World,” where background elements would scroll at different rates from foreground elements.

Mode 7, however, was the only one of these display modes that permitted advanced visual effects. In a nutshell, Mode 7 allows the Super Nintendo to take a 2D image and apply 3D rendering effects to it, such as scrolling, curving, stretching, and more. By switching to Mode 7, games could transform one of their background layers into an independently moving image, which could be used for gameplay modifications and simple spectacle. Plus, with a bit of creative warping, a 2D image could be changed into a pseudo-3D view, having 2D sprites move around in a flat 3D space. It’s kind of like rolling a ball on a treadmill.

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Does Wrapping Your Key Fob In Foil Actually Make It Harder To Steal Your Car?



Car key fobs operate using two pieces of radio-based technology: radio waves and a radio frequency identification system, or RFID. A wireless key fob has its own unique RFID signal paired to your car. This is how your fob is able to send remote commands with button presses, like locking doors and sounding the alarm. However, with the right kind of technology (or, rather, the wrong kind of technology), a bad actor could co-opt your fob’s RFID signal and send an unlock command to your car. Afterward, they can waltz right over, pop the doors open, and go on their merry way.

The tin foil theory banks on a metallic material’s natural ability to block and redirect electromagnetic waves, including radio waves. If you were to wrap your key fob in a few sheets of foil, especially very thick foil, then its RFID signal wouldn’t be able to get out. While that does mean you’d need to take the fob out of the foil every time you want to use it, it also means that a bad actor wouldn’t be able to intercept and co-opt its signal.

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