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Using Huawei for 5G is an unnecessary risk, says former spy chief

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Why UK plans to use Huawei tech in 5G networks despite US pressure
A complex set of considerations will have informed the UK’s decision-making around 5G. Read more: https://zd.net/2GVpVWs

Using equipment from Chinese telecoms company Huawei in the UK’s 5G networks could create risks that the country does not need to take, the former chief of MI6 has warned.

Richard Dearlove said, in the forward to a report by the Henry Jackson Society thinktank, the fact that the UK government “now appears to have decided to place the development of some its most sensitive critical infrastructure in the hands of a company from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is deeply worrying”.

Mobile operators are at the early stages of building out the 5G networks that will provide the bandwidth for not just faster smartphone downloads but also, in future, a range of new services from smart cities and the Internet of Things to self-driving cars.

SEE: IT pro’s guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)

It’s because of these new services that security has suddenly become a critical factor. The concern is not simply that hostile powers could snoop on data running over these networks but that they could even stop the services built on top from functioning smoothly.

The US in particular has grown increasingly concerned that a Chinese company would be providing much of the technology for these networks. It banned Huawei from government contracts back in 2014 and has been putting pressure on allies to do the same. But last month a leak from the UK government suggested that the country was going to allow the Chinese networking company to provide at least some 5G infrastructure, on the basis that the risk of using Huawei kit can be managed.

But Dearlove said since China conducts aggressive intelligence gathering operations on a global scale, and since no part of the Chinese state is ultimately able to operate outside of the control of its Communist Party, “Therefore, we must conclude the engagement of Huawei presents a potential security risk to the UK.”

Dealove said that the introduction of 5G networks is a major technology change, which will have far-reaching implications for the UK’s national security and almost every aspect of the country’s civic life.

“The ability to control communications and the data that flows through its channels will be the route to exercise power over societies and other nations,” he said.

He said that to place China in a potentially advantageous exploitative position in the UK’s future telecommunications systems “is a risk, however remote it may seem at the moment, we simply do not need to take.”

He added the UK should also not be influenced by the economic cost of either delaying 5G or having to settle for a less capable and more expensive provider. “If Australia can black ball Huawei as its 5G provider, the UK can certainly do so the same without undue concern about the consequences,” he said.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

The former spy chief was not alone in his criticism. “If we make the wrong decision about allowing hostile agencies access to our critical national infrastructure, history will judge us harshly,” warned MP Julian Lewis, chair of the Defence Select Committee.

A Huawei spokesperson hit back: “We are an independent, employee-owned company which does not take instructions from the Chinese government. In 32 years, there have been no significant cybersecurity issues with our equipment. We hope and expect that any decision on Huawei’s participation in Britain’s build-out of 5G networks will be based on solid evidence, rather than on unfounded speculation and groundless accusations.”

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2021 Hennessey Venom 800 Ford F-150 hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds

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Many Ford fans are looking forward to the 2021 F-150 pickup. The truck is all-new, and the tuners at Hennessey have a special edition for truck buyers wanting sports car performance in their truck. The company says that the Hennessey Venom 800 Supercharged is the most powerful Ford truck it has ever produced.

The Venom 800 Supercharged is also one of the most exclusive Ford trucks the company has ever produced, with only 100 offered for the entire year. Thanks to a supercharger strapped on the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, the truck has 805 BHP and can reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The turnkey vehicle starts with the 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum Super Crew four-door pickup.

The 5.0-liter V-8 is backed with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the truck has four-wheel drive. Upgrades to the truck include an updated fuel pump system, stainless steel exhaust, E 85 flex-fuel sensor, and engine calibration performed on at chassis dyno. The supercharger and tuning double the stock V8 horsepower rating of 400 BHP.

When Hennessey is done, the F-150 has 805 BHP at 6200 RPM and 727 pound-foot of torque at 4100 RPM on E85. Hennessey brags that that is almost 100 horsepower more than the 2021 Ram TRX. The truck is capable of running the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 116 mph.

It also gets an updated BREMBO brake system with six-piston calipers and 15.1-inch rotors to slow the monster down. Wheels are 20-inch custom units with 35-inch all-terrain tires. The truck also gets an off-road suspension system with upgraded shocks and external reservoirs supporting a six-inch lift. The front bumper is upgraded along with the grill, and the truck gets new badges. Pricing for the vehicle is $149,500 plus delivery, including the donor pickup.

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Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne: New hyper EV promises more of everything

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Spanish coachbuilder and EV maker Hispano Suiza has announced the arrival of its newest Carmen-based hyper-luxury EV: Carmen Boulogne. From afar, the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne shares particular design cues with Bugatti’s Chiron supercar.

However, there’s no mistaking those curvaceous rear fenders, a stiff salute to the brand’s pre-war racing cars. According to Hispano Suiza, the Boulogne name dates back to 1921 when the company built a racing version of its H6 Coupe, where it scored three consecutive victories in the George Boilot Cup from 1921 to 1923.

So yes, the newest Carmen Boulogne hyper EV has some racing heritage to its credit. But like the Bugatti Chiron, Hispano Suiza’s latest creation is a proper grand tourer with impressive performance and a welcome dose of luxury.

Similar to a standard Carmen, the Boulogne has two permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors on each rear wheel. However, those four motors are tuned to squeeze out 1,100 horsepower, 95 more horses than a regular Carmen hyper EV. Meanwhile, the torque rating is at a mind-blowing 1,180 pound-feet, accessible from zero to 6,500 rpm.

And whereas Carmen has a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph), Boulogne has longer legs and can reach a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 kph). The sleek and lightweight carbon-fiber body enables Carmen Boulogne to weigh 132 pounds (60 kgs) less than a base Carmen, allowing it to rush from zero to 60 mph in 2.6-seconds.

Having four electric motors in the rear (and a thousand foot-pounds of torque) might sound like a recipe for disaster, but it’s not. Carmen Boulogne has sophisticated torque-vectoring to prevent you from wrapping it to a tree.

Powering those four motors is an 80 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, good for around 248 miles of effective range. Carmen Boulogne can fast-charge at up to 80 kW DC to replenish the batteries in 30 minutes when the juice runs out.

Hispano Suiza is only building 14 units of the standard Carmen, while only five Boulogne models are slated for production, making it more exclusive than a Pininfarina Battista or Lotus Evija.

If you like Carmen Boulogne, prepare your checkbook as base prices start from $2-million (€1.65 million) at current exchange rates. Each of the five cars will take twelve months to build, and the first delivery will happen in 2022.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne Gallery

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2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition has red wheels and a stealthy vibe

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Audi of America has something in store for early reservists of the 2021 R8 RWD sports car. Unique to the North American market and limited to only 30 units, the R8 Panther edition will be the first rear-wheel-drive R8 models to arrive at dealerships this December.

We’ll get to those red wheels in a minute since the 2021 R8 RWD Panther Edition is brimming with likable details, like that Panther Black paint, for example. It has a deep, glossy black finish from afar, but the paint hue transitions from black to deep purple upon closer inspection.

No, we’re not fans of chameleon paint jobs, either, but Audi’s Panther Black paint is a sight to behold. We first saw this bedazzling finish at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show in an Audi RS 5 Panther Edition, but we never thought it’d look so good in the 2021 Audi R8.

Complementing its new Panther Black paint are a bevy of carbon-fiber exterior trim, including the mirror caps, side intakes, and the rear engine cover. Blacked-out Audi badges are standard, too, while 20-inch double-spoke matte black wheels complete the sinister vibe.

And as you can see, those gorgeous wheels have bright red accents. Love it or hate it, those red wheels are here to stay, but standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires will somehow ease the pain.

Meanwhile, the interior is black-and-red like the exterior. Crimson Red leather seats are standard, while the rest of the cabin is covered in black leather with red stitching. On the other hand, the steering wheel, gear shifter, and headliner are swathed in fine Alcantara.

The 2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition remains motivated by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine, good for 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet torque. With this engine, the RS RWD can sprint to 60 mph in 3.6-seconds, while the top speed is at 201 mph.

Additionally, all R8 Panther Edition models get standard sports exhausts along with LED headlights and taillights, dynamic turn signals, illuminated door sills, and a 550-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with 13 speakers.

Audi said its 2021 R8 Panther Edition will arrive at U.S. dealerships this month. Base prices start at around $183,000 before taxes and destination.

2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition Gallery

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