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The FCC did the math on ousting Huawei and ZTE from US carriers. Spoiler – it’s a LOT

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The FCC has done the math on just how much it might cost to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment and services from US carriers, and it’s bad news if you thought it might be as simple and cheap as unplugging a few routers and switches. Last year, the FCC warned carriers getting government funding that they would no longer be able to order network tech from the two Chinese companies.

It followed accusations from the US government that Huawei and ZTE were both potentially allowing spying from the Chinese government through their systems, claims the two firms vehemently deny. President Trump put Huawei on the government’s ban-list, a move which has had broad-reaching implications for its Android devices and more.

Today’s FCC report, however, suggests that it’s not only Huawei and ZTE that are going to experience headaches from this whole process. Back in November 2019, the US Federal Communications Commission barred the use of carriers getting Universal Service Fund (USF) cash from spending it on the two Chinese firms. Come June of this year, they named them “national security threats to the integrity of communications networks.”

That means carriers wanting to continue getting USF funding will need to replace their Huawei and ZTE equipment, and it’s a process that could cost an estimated $1.837 billion, the FCC said today.

The calculation is based on telecoms providers assessing how much ZTE and Huawei equipment and services they have in operation, and calculating an estimated cost for replacing it. Of the $1.8 billion, more than $1.6 billion comes from filers who “appear to initially qualify for reimbursement under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019,” the FCC adds. It also expects that there are other telecoms firms yet to return their numbers, and which could drive the total higher still.

The eligible telecoms firms range from household names to smaller, regional companies. Verizon and CenturyLink are on the list, along with firms like Oklahoma Western Telephone Company, Buffalo Lake Erie Wireless Systems Co., and Copper Valley Telephone Cooperative.

As for who might foot the bill for that replacement process, right now it’s unclear. The initial data gathering only focused on how much it may cost, and now the FCC chief is repeating calls for a government bailout to pay for it all.

“By identifying the presence of insecure equipment and services in our networks, we can now work to ensure that these networks—especially those of small and rural carriers—rely on infrastructure from trusted vendors,” Ajit Lai, FCC Chairman, said in a statement. “I once again strongly urge Congress to appropriate funding to reimburse carriers for replacing any equipment or services determined to be a national security threat so that we can protect our networks and the myriad parts of our economy and society that rely upon them.”

Part of the challenge is that there isn’t, currently, a US telecoms company which provides alternative hardware and software in all the categories for which carriers have turned to Huawei and ZTE. The Chinese firms have been aggressive with their pricing, too, in an attempt to build market-share in the US. That has led to fears that foreign alternatives, such as Ericsson, may be significantly more expensive as US carriers face a time-consuming replacement process – and one which could have a knock-on impact to the further deployment of 5G.

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Realme’s Next Premium Tablet Looks To Have An Unusual Design

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Even though we still have six days before the Realme Pad X launches in China, some of the specs of the Realme Pad X have already been confirmed by Realme’s CMO Xu Qi Chase, GSMArena claims. We know that this mid-range tablet will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. This also means that the Realme Pad X will become the first Realme tablet to feature 5G connectivity. While the CMO did not reveal the rest of the specs, there’s been rumors about the likelihood of the Realme Pad fetting a QHD+ display that could also support a 120 Hz refresh rate.

From the images, it is also evident that the Realme Pad X gets a single rear-facing camera that is situated on an unusually large camera bump. There is a smaller circle below the rear camera with a prominent “AI” logo. The tablet also skips an LED flash for low-light situations.

Designwise, the Realme Pad looks like a contemporary tablet with small bezels and flat sides. One of the invites also showcases the Realme Pad X being used with a stylus. It remains to be seen if this accessory will be part of the retail package or an optional extra. With the launch date for this product a week away, there is a good chance that we could have additional details about the Realme Pad X before the official launch.

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Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Revealed As The Heart Of Your Next Android Flagship Phone

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Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor continues to be based on a 4nm manufacturing process — albeit this time from TSMC. This change has allowed Qualcomm to increase the GPU and CPU clock speeds by up to 7%. The result is that the Prime Cortex X2 is now clocked at 3.2 GHz (as opposed to 3 GHz on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1). Similarly, the 3x Cortex A710 core now clocks at 2.8 GHz (compared to 2.5 GHz earlier).

Then we have the 4x Cortex A-510 efficiency cores that also see a jump from 1.8 GHz to 2 GHz. While Qualcomm is yet to reveal the clock speeds for the Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1, they already claim a 10% higher clock speed in the promotional materials.

The rest of the hardware on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is similar to that of its predecessor — and this includes the X65 integrated modem as well. The new chip continues to support 3200 MHz LPDDR5 RAM, and the ISP used is the same, with support for 200 MP resolution, 8K video capture, and 64 MP burst capture. In terms of encoding, the chip retains support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. A glaring omission, this time around too, is the lack of support for the AV1 codec.

In simpler terms, apart from the faster performance on account of the supposedly better manufacturing process, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 does not add anything over its predecessor in terms of additional features.

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Why Black Holes Slow Down Time As You Get Closer To One

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To understand why time slows down as an object gets closer to a black hole, it is necessary to understand what time dilation is. Live Science explains that Einstein — obsessed with space and time — was the first to realize that time was relative. After more than a decade of work, Einstein published his general theory of relativity in 1915, shocking the Newtonian establishment and revolutionizing science. Einstein argued that while the laws of physics are constant throughout the universe (via The Conversation), speed or motion, space, and time are not constant but relative. Relative to what? To the point of observation or observer.

Einstein often spoke about trains and how people on and off moving trains would perceive time and speed differently. He cited, for example, that a speeding train would move much faster for a person standing on the side of the track than for a person chasing the train on another train running parallel to it. This has fueled a range of wild experiments with clocks and atomic clocks, and the answers proved Einstein was right: time is not constant and it can dilate.

But to be scientifically accurate, time does not change because of where an observer may be; it changes due to changes in gravity. Scientists have proven these changes in time by measuring atomic clocks on top of buildings and on ground levels, or on orbiting satellites and on Earth. So, if gravity can change time, what would happen to time in the presence of the massive gravitational forces of a black hole?

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