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Over 15% of world population has a headache on any given day, new global estimate finds
Spain Created: 13 Apr 2022
Headaches are among the most common health problems worldwide. According to a comprehensive review of 357 prevalence studies whose findings have been published in The Journal of Headache and Pain, 52% of the world population is affected by a headache disorder every year, and 14% of these disorders are migraines.

The authors, who work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, also estimated that on any given day 15.8% of the world population has had a headache disorder.

The conclusions also confirmed gender-based differences, with all types of headaches more common among women than men. Migraines affected 17% of women compared with 8.6% of men; recurring headaches for 15 or more days out of each month affected 6% of women and 2.9% of men.

However, the researchers also admitted that studies on headache prevalence can vary greatly and that the vast majority of the ones they analyzed, which spanned the years 1961 to 2020, were conducted in high-income countries, which may not reflect the reality of other nations.

Lars Jacob Stovner, the main author of the analysis, said that data collection methods must be improved in order to confidently state whether migraines are on the rise or not. “What is clear is that overall, headache disorders are highly prevalent worldwide and can be a high burden,” he said.

The goal of the analysis was to assess the impact of a condition that is not always measured with great precision, and help determine an adequate public healthcare response. According to the 2019 Global Burden of Disease study, headache disorders are one of the major public health concerns globally. This study shows that migraines are the second cause of disability worldwide and the first for women under 50.
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Source: El Pais, Daniel Mediavilla, 12 Apr 2022

Man claims £10,000 knocked off price of his flat after phone mast put up
United Kingdom Created: 9 Apr 2022
An angry homeowner has claimed a mast was erected outside of his property without notice, depreciating its value.

Brian Swanson, 61, has owned the house in Wolverhampton for 15 years and planned to move into it once he had retired.

He discovered the mast when visiting the property to do maintenance checks, and found it was blocking the view of a nearby park.

‘I was livid to tell you the truth. Nobody wants to see a great big mast with a box at the side,’ he told Bimingham Live.

‘There are plenty of parklands there where it could have been hidden.’

Mr Swanson claims he did not receive a letter from the council notifying him the pole was to be erected, although admits he was told there was a ‘notice put on a lamppost’.

The City of Wolverhampton Council said telecommunication network Three UK was responsible for the mast, adding the council had ‘limited control’ over the installations of such things.

A spokesperson said: ‘We placed site notices at the location on August 3, 2021 inviting comments about the planned mast and also included the proposal on our website. No objections or comments were received in this case.’

Mr Swanson wanted to make the house, which he currently rents out, a permanent home with his partner in the future but that is now hanging in the balance due to a fallout over the pole.

He now faces the option of selling the property for ‘thousands less’ than it is supposedly worth.

‘It has spoilt it now – I’ve considered selling it and think I could lose money. [The mast] has definitely reduced the value,’ he said.

‘I know that I wouldn’t buy a home with a huge mast straight in front of the window. I want to get a valuation but I would say it’s knocked off about £10,000.

‘My partner was going to move into the flat with me but there’s no way she’d live near a mast. She won’t even use a mobile phone, she’s that paranoid.’

He insisted the long-term effects of living close to a mast were unknown, adding it may be possible to ‘get brain damage from the waves’.

There is no strong proof 5G is harmful to health with numerous studies showing this, including from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Public Health England and the UK Health Protection Agency.

Cancer Research UK says there is no good evidence that 5G mobile phones increase cancer risk as ‘they still don’t have enough energy to damage DNA to cause cancer’.

A Three spokesperson said: ‘5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Wolverhampton. We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and this site is critical to making that happen.

‘Masts need to be situated where people will be using the service and, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

‘We carried out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate siting options before applying for planning permission on Patshull Avenue. Wolverhampton City Council granted planning permission in September 2021.’
Click here to view the source article.
Source: METRO, Zaina Alibhai, 08 Apr 2022

French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license
France Created: 8 Apr 2022
France's Conseil d'Etat court is revoking the license [PDF] authorizing Elon Musk's Starlink outfit to use two frequency bands to provide satellite internet in France.

SpaceX reportedly has only one ground station left in France, in Villenave-d'Ornon, Girond. The other two Gateways – which were authorized between July and December 2020 – came up against local opposition. Villagers voiced concerns that the ground network gateways would affect cattle, despite assurances from the country's own ANFR (National Frequency Agency) that it is perfectly safe and far below the regulatory limit value.

According to the decision (handed down yesterday, and translated from French), the associations PRIARTEM and Agir pour l'environnement had requested an annulment of the spectrum use. The rights groups were granted this, the ruling said, because of a lack of public consultation.

The contested decision of ARCEP, which aims to authorize the company Starlink Internet Services Limited... is likely to have a significant impact on the market for the provision of broadband internet access and to affect the interests of end users. Therefore, by taking this decision without having first consulted the public, ARCEP disregarded the provisions of V of Article L. 32-1 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code.

ARCEP is the "independent agency in charge of regulating telecommunications, postal services and print media distribution" in France.

Starlink had offered speeds of up to 150MBps for satellite internet, with services available in France in beta since May 2021. Current speeds are comparable to 4G, although when it launched, SpaceX said connectivity speeds would improve over time. Users are required to order a small dish with tripod to set up in an open area at home.

Ground stations – aka Gateways – and satellites for Musk's constellation, which is meant to provide connectivity for hard-to-reach rural notspots, can be tracked here.

The SpaceX subsidiary is not the only low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite player. The coverage of each spacecraft is a narrow band around the whole world, meaning it faces global competition. One such rival is Amazon's Project Kuiper, which yesterday said it had secured "up to 83 launches" from Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance. The retail and cloud giant said the agreements comprised "the largest commercial procurement of launch vehicles in history, providing heavy-lift capacity for Project Kuiper to deploy majority of its LEO constellation of 3,236 satellites."

Over in France, Starlink faces a local rival in the form of Paris-based Eutelsat. France's biggest telecoms operator, Orange, inked a deal [PDF] with Eutelsat in 2020 under which it bought out all available capacity on Eutelsat's Konnect satellite to cover the entire French territory, saying it would enable even those living in the most isolated areas to benefit from very high-speed fixed broadband via satellite from January 2021.

In October 2021 [PDF], Eutelsat invested an additional $165 million in OneWeb and upped its stake in the satellite broadband provider after giving it a cash injection of over half a billion dollars earlier that year. The outfit was bought out of bankruptcy by the government of the United Kingdom and Indian multinational Bharti Global the year before.

The London-based constellation slinger, in contrast to Starlink, is a wholesale-only proposition.

Just two weeks ago, OneWeb turned to SpaceX after its rocket rides to orbit fell victim to sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. What a tangled web they weave.

We have asked SpaceX for comment. ®
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Register, Jude Karabus, 06 Apr 2022

Not smart but clever? The return of 'dumbphones'
United Kingdom Created: 7 Apr 2022
"If aliens came to earth they'd think that mobile phones are the superior species controlling human beings," he says. "And it's not going to stop, it's only going to get worse. Consumers are realising that something is wrong, and we want to offer an alternative."


Seventeen-year-old Robin West is an anomaly among her peers - she doesn't have a smartphone.

Instead of scrolling through apps like TikTok and Instagram all day, she uses a so-called "dumbphone".

These are basic handsets, or feature phones, with very limited functionality compared to say an iPhone. You can typically only make and receive calls and SMS text messages. And, if you are lucky - listen to radio and take very basic photos, but definitely not connect to the internet or apps.

These devices are similar to some of the first handsets that people bought back in the late 1990s.

Ms West's decision to ditch her former smartphone two years ago was a spur of the moment thing. While looking for a replacement handset in a second-hand shop she was lured by the low price of a "brick phone".

Her current handset, from French firm MobiWire, cost her just £8. And because it has no smartphone functionality she doesn't have an expensive monthly data bill to worry about.

"I didn't notice until I bought a brick phone how much a smartphone was taking over my life," she says. "I had a lot of social media apps on it, and I didn't get as much work done as I was always on my phone."

The Londoner adds that she doesn't think she'll ever buy another smartphone. "I'm happy with my brick - I don't think it limits me. I'm definitely more proactive."

Dumbphones are continuing to enjoy a revival. Google searches for them jumped by 89% between 2018 and 2021, according to a report by software firm SEMrush.

And while sales figures are hard to come by, one report said that global purchases of dumbphones were due to hit one billion units last year, up from 400 million in 2019. This compares to worldwide sales of 1.4 billion smart phones last year, following a 12.5% decline in 2020.

Meanwhile, a 2021 study by accountancy group Deloitte said that one in 10 mobile phone users in the UK had a dumbphone.

"It appears fashion, nostalgia, and them appearing in TikTok videos, have a part to play in the dumbphone revival," says Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at price comparison site Uswitch.com. "Many of us had a dumbphone as our first mobile phone, so it's natural that we feel a sense of nostalgia towards these classic handsets."

Mr Doku says it was the 2017 relaunch of Nokia's 3310 handset - first released in 2000, and one of the biggest-selling mobiles of all time - that really sparked the revival. "Nokia pushed the 3310 as an affordable alternative in a world full of high-spec mobiles."

He adds that while it's true that dumbphones can't compete with the latest premium Apple and Samsung models when it comes to performance or functionality, "they can outshine them in equally important areas such as battery life and durability".

Five years ago, Przemek Olejniczak, a psychologist, swapped his smartphone for a Nokia 3310, initially because of the longer-lasting battery. However, he soon realised that there were other benefits.

"Before I would always be stuck to the phone, checking anything and everything, browsing Facebook or the news, or other facts I didn't need to know," he says.

"Now I have more time for my family and me. A huge benefit is that I'm not addicted to liking, sharing, commenting, or describing my life to other people. Now I have more privacy."

However, Mr Olejniczak, who lives in the Polish city of Lodz, admits that initially the switch was challenging. "Before I'd be checking everything, such as buses and restaurants, on my smartphone [when travelling]. Now that is impossible, so I have learned to do all those things beforehand at home. I got used to it."

One maker of dumbphones is New York company Light Phone. Slightly more clever that the norm for such products, its handsets do allow users to listen to music and podcasts, and link by Bluetooth to headphones. Yet the firm pledges that its phones "will never have social media, clickbait news, email, an internet browser, or any other anxiety-inducing infinite feed".

The company says it recorded its strongest year for financial performance in 2021, with sales up 150% compared with 2020. This is despite its handsets being expensive for dumbphones - prices start at $99 (£75).

Light Phone co-founder, Kaiwei Tang, says the device was initially created to use as a secondary phone for people wanting to take a break from their smartphone for a weekend for example, but now half the firm's customers use it as their primary device.

"If aliens came to earth they'd think that mobile phones are the superior species controlling human beings," he says. "And it's not going to stop, it's only going to get worse. Consumers are realising that something is wrong, and we want to offer an alternative."

Mr Tang adds that, surprisingly, the firm's main customers are aged between 25 and 35. He says he was expecting buyers to be much older.

Tech expert, Prof Sandra Wachter, a senior research fellow in artificial intelligence at Oxford University, says it is understandable that some of us are looking for simpler mobile phones.

"One can reasonably say that nowadays a smart phone's ability to connect calls and send short messages is almost a side feature," she explains. "Your smart phone is your entertainment centre, your news generator, your navigation system, your diary, your dictionary, and your wallet."

She adds that smartphones always "want to grab your attention" with notifications, updates, and breaking news constantly disrupting your day. "This can keep you on edge, might even be agitating. It can be overwhelming."

Prof Wachter adds: "It makes sense that some of us are now looking for simpler technologies and think that dumbphones might offer a return to simpler times. It might leave more time to fully concentrate on a single task and engage with it more purposefully. It might even calm people down. Studies have shown that too much choice can create unhappiness and agitation."

Yet back in London, Robin West says that many people are bewildered by her choice of mobile. "Everyone thinks it's just a temporary thing. They're like: 'So when are you getting a smartphone? Are you getting one this week?'."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC News, Suzanne Bearne, 21 Mar 2022

Strahlung von Mobilfunkmasten kann auch Ferkel krank machen
Germany Created: 6 Apr 2022
In einem Ferkelaufzuchtstall kam es zu hartnäckigen Gesundheitsproblemen, die auf eine Strahlenbelastung der Tiere hindeuteten. Mithilfe der alternativmedizinischen Heilmethode Bioresonanz konnte das Problem entschärft werden.

In einem Ferkelerzeugerbetrieb gab es zunehmend gesundheitliche Probleme bei den Ferkeln im Flatdeck. Die Tiere mussten häufiger antibiotisch behandelt werden, da vor allem Colikeime und Streptokokken vermehrt auftraten. Es kam zu Durchfällen sowie Arthritiden (Gelenkentzündungen) und Störungen des zentralen Nervensystems. Besonders problematisch war, dass die Ferkel dadurch schlecht wuchsen und am Ende der Aufzucht (nach sieben bis acht Wochen im Flatdeck) nur mit durchschnittlich 22 kg in die Mast umgestallt werden konnten.

Schulmedizinisch und fütterungstechnisch waren keine Auslöser für diese Erkrankungen zu finden, sind die erwähnten Erreger doch überall vorhanden. Es stellte sich damit die Frage: Gab es weitere, unbekannte Ursachen für die gehäufte Krankheitsfrequenz beziehungsweise warum kapitulierte das Immunsystem der abgesetzten Ferkel?
Mithilfe der Bioresonanz-Methode Strahlenbelastung nachgewiesen

Neue Wege zu gehen, war also das Motto. Deshalb entschied sich die betreuende Tierarztpraxis, die Methode der Bioresonanz einzusetzen. Die Bioresonanz ist ein bislang schulmedizinisch nicht anerkanntes Verfahren der sogenannten aktiven und passiven Radiästhesie (Strahlenwirkung auf den Organismus).

Hierbei wird sichtbar gemacht, ob das Energieniveau und die Körper- beziehungsweise Organfunktionen energetisch beeinträchtigt sind und was die Gründe dafür sein könnten. Der Test umfasst außer der Gesamtenergie und Energieverteilung auch alle Organsysteme, den Säure-Base-Haushalt, die Nährstoffversorgung sowie Belastungen durch Elektrosmog, hochfrequente Strahlung und geologische Störzonen wie Wasseradern oder Verwerfungen.

In diesem Fall bedeutete das, dass von betroffenen Ferkeln Kotproben mit einem speziellen Gerät (Rayocomp PS10) energetisch untersucht wurden. Das Ergebnis war verblüffend: Die Tiere waren stark belastet durch hochfrequente Strahlung, wie sie zum Beispiel von Mobilfunkmasten ausgeht. Der nächste Funkmast war etwa 1 km entfernt. Das Immunsystem, der Kohlenhydratstoffwechsel und die Bauchspeicheldrüse waren in ihrer Funktion gestört. Es zeigte sich eine Dysbiose (ungünstige Verschiebung der Darmflora) und damit eine beeinträchtigte Dünn- und Dickdarmfunktion.
Tränkewasser mit Bioresonanzgerät „behandelt"

Um die Organsysteme der Tiere zu stärken, vor allem das Immunsystem und den Darm, wurde ein Bioresonanzgerät (PS10 Basic) dauerhaft über eine Bandschelle mit dem metallenen Teil der Hauptwasserleitung verbunden. Das Gerät gab über etwa 10 Stunden täglich regulierende Frequenzspektren an das Trinkwasser der Tiere ab. Mithilfe sogenannter biofeldformender Geräte wurde zudem versucht, die Belastungen der Ferkel auszugleichen.

Welchen Effekt zeigten diese Maßnahmen? Bereits nach einer Woche hatten sich die Tiere stabilisiert. Der Durchfall wurde milder beziehungsweise trat nicht mehr auf, genau wie Gelenkentzündungen und ZNS- Störungen. Im weiteren Verlauf stiegen die Tageszunahmen der Ferkel und damit erhöhten sich auch die Ausstallgewichte. Gleichzeitig ging die Zahl der antibiotischen Behandlungen deutlich zurück.
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Source: Agrarheute, Uwe Bräunig, 28 Feb 2022

Hundreds of objections to plans for 20m 'super-mast' in Clarkston 'thrown out'
United Kingdom Created: 4 Apr 2022
Residents concerns that the new telecomms site will tower over surrounding homes and create an 'industrialised look and feel' to the area have been dismissed by the council.

Hundreds of people have had their objections to plans to erect a 'super' telephone mast in Clarkston 'thrown out'.

The 20-metre high telecommunications pole is set to be positioned on Mearns Road - despite 328 locals signing a petition opposing plans and 50 objections being sent to the local authority.

Residents are worried that the new telecomms site, they describe as a super-mast, will tower over surrounding homes and create an 'industrialised look and feel' to the area.

A petition set up to oppose the plans reads: "The mast itself will be extremely unsightly, with exposed antenna and appliances protruding from the top of the tower.

"Two telecommunication masts have already been erected within a 30-metre radius of this recent application in the last several years, however, these are both much smaller than this new proposal, which will be two and a half times the height of a street lamp.

"This will tower over surrounding homes and further create an industrialised look and feel to this area, which is an important pocket of green space for the surrounding area and local children. Trees at the proposed site may need chopped back to accommodate this mast too. The application also proposes several equipment cabinets, which will almost completely obstruct the narrow pathway here."

One objector wrote: "I walk my dog to this green area regularly and enjoy watching the many birds that visit there. This will affect local wildlife if trees have to be cut back. It doesn't seem fair that we have to live with this towering monstrosity when we already house masts in this particular area.

"It will be placed next to a busy junction, on a main road, on a route that is used frequently by children walking to school. I understand that we need masts but is this really the best option for the residents of Clarkston or just the easiest option for the council."

Locals have described the proposed as a "monstrosity" and a "huge eyesore".

Another commenter said it would "affect the visual character of the area" and that "local residents are being unduly affected".

East Renfrewshire Council has said that the objections were considered when looking at the location for the mast.

A spokesperson said: “In line with the legislative planning framework, planning permission is not required for most mobile phone masts up to a height of 30 metres.

"A prior notification application does need to be submitted to the planning authority though, to allow the location and design of the proposals to be considered. A previous application by this provider was withdrawn given concerns raised about its position.

"This revised location on Mearns Road is considered acceptable and all representations received were considered as part of the assessment. Given the proposed structure is 20 metres in height, the guidance provided outlines that masts of this size should generally be acceptable.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Glasgow Live, Holly Lennon, 28 Mar 2022

Children, screen time and health mandates
Malta Created: 4 Apr 2022
A number of studies show technology having negative effects on children’s health.

In her report called ‘The Impact on Mental Health of Children and Young People During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic’, published in July 2021, Sarah Foster, a UK-based play and creative art therapist, noted that children and young people have had increased exposure to non-ionising radiation as a result of health mandates.

Chris Rowan, a paediatric occupational therapist and biologist, explains: “It’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society ‘wake up’ and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioural health but also on their ability to learn and sustain personal and family relationships.”

Rowan very effectively and diagrammatically portrays the negative impacts of the accelerating intensity and increased duration of screen time through tablet, smartphone and internet use; what he calls virtual futures. These are physically, emotionally and mentally unhealthy lifestyles that are more likely than not to end in failed lives or preventable illness.

On the other hand, Rowan also displays a chart of the proven positive impact of a lifestyle that is not electronically mediated. One based on awareness of internal and external stimuli and emotional bonding experienced when physically with other people and in the natural world. Such a lifestyle contributes to improved strength, coordination, security, body functions, serenity, calm and focus. These are excellent predispositions for optimal development, attentive awareness and learning, ultimately giving us the best chance of having a fulfilling and rewarding life.

It is also known that exposure to wireless technology such as radio frequencies (RFR), microwave radiation (MWR) and electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) may cause harm. Exposure arises from Wi-Fi routers at homes, schools, hospitals, hotspots and the workplace.

This radiation also arises from 3G and 4G masts emitting internet and mobile data, present everywhere.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organisation issued a press release on May 31, 2011 in which it classifies radio frequency electromagnetic (non-ionising) radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans under a 2B classification.

The latter classification is within the second out of four categories that range from “the agent is carcinogenic to humans” to “probably not carcinogenic to humans”. Carcinogenicity is the propensity for an agent, such as RF radiation, to develop cancer in people. This was the conclusion of the IARC Working Group after considering hundreds of scientific articles.

The IARC Working Group did not quantify the risk, however, one IARC reviewed study, of cell phone use since 2004, showed a 40 per cent increased risk for gliomas, a brain cancer, for high category users – 30 minutes exposure per day for 10 years. Jonathan Samet, chairperson of the IARC Working Group indicated that “the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk and, therefore, we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk”.

“Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings,” said IARC director Christopher Wild, “it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting”. This was in 2011.

In spite of its justified concern in 2011, the IARC has not, to my knowledge, in the past 10 years reconsidered its 2B classification for radio frequency electromagnetic radiation as a possible carcinogen, notwithstanding its commitment “to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk”.

The IARC appears to have ignored both the numerous more recent studies and the increase, by many magnitudes, of the radiation that people are today exposed to.

Tom Butler, a professor and former satellite and microwave communications engineer and IT professional, in his 2019 paper confirms his view that microwaves are strong enough to cause biological damage and that the danger they present goes well beyond their thermal (heat) effects that is the industry adopted limit.

A March 2021 report issued by the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (ORSAA) has identified 2,065 studies that investigate the effects of RFR and EMF radiation exposure that does not exceed the industry heat-based standard limits. Sixty-nine per cent of these studies show that there is a biological effect on humans, 22 per cent show no effect and nine per cent show uncertain conclusions. The studies were also analysed by source of funding.

Interestingly there is a strong bias in the industry-funded studies towards ‘no effect’ conclusions.

The Environmental Health Trust warns that there are no studies showing that it is safe for children to be exposed to RF-MW-EMF radiation and no studies to show that continuous exposure from smartphones, phone masts, antennas, radio/TV towers, radar, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers and baby monitors is safe. The EH Trust also points out that, biologically, children are not small adults. Children, due to their rapidly developing body, are more vulnerable to the biological effects of RF-MW-EMF radiation exposure than adults. A 2008 study reported that “the brain tissue of children absorbed about two times more MW radiation than adults’ tissue”.

The health authorities need to be much more aware of the harm caused by non-ionising RF-MW-EMF radiation. We are not asking the digital industry to shut down. We are asking them to hardwire connectivity and make their products and services safe. Health must come before profit.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Times of Malta, David Marinelli, 25 Mar 2022

The 5G dilemma for Israeli Environment Minister
Israel Created: 4 Apr 2022
The planned new broadband cellular standard is one of the least green technologies around and amounts to a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

It has been a while since I last felt the need to add to my blog. The reasons have been many. University life always gets a little hectic once the semester opens. It is “grant season” that moment of the year when we academics must write application after application to various funding agencies in the hope that some of them may see fit to give us some money to keep our labs going. Academic freedom gives way to academic begging at this time of year. So I had many reasons not to write a blog post.

But Tamar Zandberg (Israeli Environment Minister, ed.) and COP26 raised me from my sloth. What a meeting it was! Grand declarations on how we will be zero emissions by 2050. Grander talk of how we can reduce plastic waste. Positively waxing lyrical on renewables! All in all a brighter and better future.

Which is why it is a shame that another of her fellow ministers, Yoaz Hendel, is about to preside over the introduction of the most ungreen of technologies ever. Namely, the rollout of 5G. Even more ironic is that after this monster of a technology is in place, it is Zandberg’s ministry that is responsible for overseeing it! Simply put, 5G, the new generation of cellphone technology, is an unparalleled energy hog that will push up the national electricity requirements by at least 10 percent. That’s a lot of carbon emissions to overcome. About 0.6 tones per person annually or about 5.3 million tones annually, given our current population.

I have written about the energy requirements of 5G before (see my blog) but I think the time is right to rub a politician’s nose in it. It is very easy to talk the talk when it comes to the environment. Much harder to walk the walk. So, Tamar, are you going to sit down and have a chat with Yoaz about this ungodly mess he is going to get you into? Probably not.

I am not the only one sounding the bell. In an eye-opening article by Sally Beare in the magazine Envirotec the same arguments are lain out, including statements by industry itself. For instance, this telling quote from a Huawei analyst: “…Once base stations, data centres and devices are added up, telecommunications could consume over 20% of the world’s electricity by 2025, says Huawei analyst Dr Anders Andrae (compared to approximately 11% currently). Compare that with global aviation’s 2.5% share of GHGs: In a worst-case scenario, 5G could create almost ten times that by 2030.”

I doubt that Zandberg is aware of this. What is for sure is that Yoaz isn’t. He may be politically savvy, but I imagine he is a novice when it comes to the nitty gritty of the communications world. He probably thinks that 5G is just what we need to give us the edge. Most likely because that is what his advisers have told him. But then industry tells you what it wants you to hear… Not all industry, sometimes the truth just slips out unintended, as Sally noted, “5G’s benefits have been exaggerated, according to Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei. ‘Human societies do not have an urgent need for 5G,’ he says. ‘What people need now is broadband, and the main content of 5G is not broadband.’”

What we actually need is fiber optic cables to every house for top line broadband (something that actually is being done today) and a better 4G system. 5G is just a tekkie’s wet dream. A solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

Let’s get to the bone of the matter. 5G is supposed to grant us unparalleled data transmission on our phones and wireless devices. To do so it is going to implement two major changes. First, it will move to higher frequencies than those used for 4G. The current frequencies of transmission are around 700 MHz to 1.9 GHz. Ultimately 5G will work at around 27 to 29 GHz. Without getting too technical this means many more channels of data.

Second, new antenna technology will allow transmissions to be over directed beams from the base station to the user. This means that two people standing next to each other could use the same data channel concurrently, meaning more density of data. However, there is a downside. At those frequencies, signals do not travel so far. They are readily absorbed by the atmosphere, so the estimated range of these new antennas is up to 100 meters, compared to the km range of the current 4G. So that means densification. Many more antennas than at present, over 10 times more. In order to direct the beams to the user (this is the meaning of “MIMO” that appears in 5G blurbs, Multiple Input Multiple Output) you need a lot more power. In fact 3 times more power. As I mentioned in my original blog a typical 5G base station requires input power of 18 kW compared to 6 kW for 4G or the equivalent of the average power of 73 households. We have one example of a fully-fledged working 5G system and that is in China. The power requirements are frightful and this was confirmed by reports that the Chinese close down the network at night to save electricity.

And now for the punchline you never noticed. One imagines that people are going to object when 1000s of base stations are placed all around their towns. They will turn to their councils and their mayors demand to know how these monstrosities got planning permission?! What they will discover is that tucked into the Enabling law of the budget that was just passed is a clause placed there by the Ministry of Communications. That clause (more like a chapter) is a change to the building laws exempting the placement of small cell antennas that have a transmit power up to 6W from building permission. As long as the operator can show that they meet the Ministry regulations they can be placed where the operator wants and you cannot argue against it! Small cell antennas are the ones to serve 5G.

So Tamar, how green are you?

About the Author:
Originally from the UK, I made Aliyah 36 years ago. I am an Academic Staff member of the Physics Department of Ariel University, married with 3 children. I have authored of 80 publications in various fields of Physics and Chemistry. One of the subjects I specialize in is the interaction of Human skin and high frequency radio waves. I am also a scientific advisor for the Environmental Health Trust (www.ehtrust.org)
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Source: Times of Israel blogs, Paul Ben Ishai, 20 Nov 2021

Competition authorities approve sale of Three's masts to Cellnex
United Kingdom Created: 10 Mar 2022
The UK competition watchdog has given its approval to the sale of 6,000 mobile sites owned by Three’s parent company CK Hutchison - provided new owner Cellnex dispenses with 1,000 of its own.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had been holding up the completion of a €10 billion deal covering six European markets, fearing that it would give Cellnex too strong a position in the passive infrastructure market following its purchase of Arqiva’s assets in 2020.

Transactions for CK Hutchison’s masts have already been approved in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Sweden.
Cellnex Three mast sale

Specifically, the CMA feared Cellnex’s position would prevent the creation of an alternative infrastructure provider, strengthening Cellnex’s hand in negotiations with mobile operators. This situation, it argued, and would ultimately lead to higher prices and lower quality mobile service for consumers.

However, the CMA is satisfied that its concerns can be addressed if Cellnex sells any site that geographically overlaps with one it intends to purchase from CK Hutchison. Any buyer would need to be approved by the CMA.

“Our decision today helps protect competition in infrastructure that mobile phone operators rely on,” declared Richard Feasey, Chair of the independent Inquiry Group. “The sale of this significant package of assets will allow a major supplier to compete against Cellnex when mobile networks look to negotiate new contracts in future.

“This, in turn, stops the threat of higher prices or worse terms for the operators and their customers as a result of this deal.”

Cellnex leases out infrastructure such as towers to operators so they can install their active equipment such as antennas to power their services. Using a third-party provider means operators are spared the additional cost and burden of maintenance.

Rival operator BT-EE had also argued the deal would impact competition but Three and Cellnex claimed the merger would actually achieve the opposite effect. In their submission to the CMA, the two companies said the deal was “strongly pro-competitive” and reflected a wider trend in the industry for operators to spin off or sell their passive infrastructure to third parties in order to raise revenues for network construction.

Cellnex added the mobile market will benefit from its ability to offer third parties access to the masts and accelerate the rollout of 5G across the UK from all operators. Meanwhile, CK Hutchison said the deal will unlock vital funds for its own 5G rollout.
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Source: TechRadar, Steve McCaskill, 04 Mar 2022

The “Moscow Signal”: How Russian Directed Microwave Rays Once Caused an International Incident
Russia Created: 10 Mar 2022
Decades ago, the Soviet Union admitted it spent decades blasting the US Embassy in Moscow with "mysterious" beams.

“After more than a decade of U.S. diplomatic protests, the Soviet Union has ceased bombarding the American Embassy here with microwave radiation, an embassy spokesman said Tuesday,” an Associated Press story reported in the spring of 1979.

The news might have been very fitting had it been published today, in an era where incidents involving mysterious neurological symptoms have reportedly beset dozens of U.S. personnel at embassies in several countries now for several years.

“Russians stop embassy rays,” read the headline that appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on Wednesday, May 30, 1979. “The mysterious Soviet beams, first detected in the 1960s, aroused concern about possible health hazards for embassy personnel and proved a long-standing irritant in U.S.-Soviet relations,” read the report by Associated Press writer Barton Reppert.

“The specific purpose of the Soviet radiation was never disclosed,” the report added.

Located in a residential building approximately 109 yards away, it would ultimately be revealed that the source of the microwave beams had been oriented to blast the east side of the U.S. embassy in Moscow between its third and eighth floors. Although the admission wouldn’t come for several more years, their existence had been determined during background radiation testing procedures as early as 1953, prompting the installation of shielding within the embassy.

The revelation would ultimately result in international controversy following the disclosure of what became known thereafter as the “Moscow Signal.” Despite being of a magnitude of just five microwatts per square centimeter, this was “well below the threshold needed to heat things,” noted author Sharon Weinberger in her 2017 book, The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World. “Yet it was also a hundred times more powerful than the Soviets’ maximum exposure standards,” Weinberger wrote, noting that Russia’s cautionary scaling for radiation exposure at the time exceeded even that of the United States.

“That was cause for alarm,” Weinberger adds.

Over the course of the next two decades, ongoing monitoring of the mysterious beams revealed that by the mid-1970s their intensity had increased. While U.S. intelligence officials remained aware of the issue, knowledge of the microwave beams was not publicly disclosed for years, and even many embassy employees had remained unaware of the situation until 1979.

A number of theories were proposed about the reasons for the microwave beams, which ranged from attempts by the Soviets at electronic jamming to the more widely accepted idea that microwave transmissions directed at the embassy had been used to trigger surveillance devices.

As early as the late 1960s, “the intelligence community concluded that the Soviets were using the pulsed radiation to activate listening bugs concealed in the embassy’s walls,” Weinberger notes. Later in the mid-1980s, the NSA’s GUNMAN Project also located surveillance devices implanted within typewriters in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Despite this, some have maintained that the Soviet’s microwave beams might have been capable of causing harm to embassy employees at the time, whether or not that had been the intention behind their use.

In a study published in Reviews on Environmental Health, Jose A. Martínez reviewed epidemiological studies from the late 70s involving possible effects or increased mortality associated with the “Moscow Signal”, which at the time showed “no apparent evidence of increased mortality rates and limited evidence regarding general health status.”

“However, several loose ends still remain with respect to this epidemiological study,” Martínez noted, “as well as the affair as a whole.” Among these include the mysterious deaths U.S. Ambassadors Walter Stoessel, Charles Bohlen, and Llewellyn Thompson, in addition to several other instances where embassy workers had undergone surgeries related to cancer.

Around the same time, an investigation by the U.S. Department of State examined thousands of U.S. personnel and their families who had served at the Moscow Embassy. “In the wake of the microwave disclosures, former embassy employees and their families have recalled suffering strange ailments during their tenure in Moscow,” read a 1976 TIME report, “ranging from eye tics and headaches to heavy menstrual flows.”

“Only in recent weeks has Ambassador Walter Stoessel (who is said to be suffering from anemia and eye hemorrhaging) been briefing embassy staffers on the situation,” TIME reported, adding that “Rumors that the waves can cause leukemia, sterility in males or birth defects are circulating around the embassy.”

The following decade, Stoessel’s death of Leukemia was suggested by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to have been the result of microwave exposure, possibly similar to the several other deaths of embassy staff as a result of the onset of cancer.

“[W]e are trying to keep the thing quiet,” Kissinger is reported to have said in a phone call.

Following the State Department’s 1976 investigation and its published conclusions, some in the scientific community have continued to argue that the results of the study lacked independent review. “The resulting large report has never been published in peer reviewed literature,” wrote J. Mark Elwood in a paper in Environmental Health, although he concluded that the results of the original report were largely supported.

The bizarre circumstances surrounding the “Moscow Signal” of decades ago have an obvious corollary in modern incidents involving Havana Syndrome. Since 2016, several U.S. personnel at embassies in various countries have reported medical symptoms associated with what the U.S. Department of State has characterized as “unexplained health incidents.” The initial cases involving these purported neurological symptoms occurred at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, from which the popular name for the phenomenon, “Havana Syndrome,” draws its name.

Since that time, dozens of employees from the U.S. and Canada have reported incidents involving headaches, disorientation, and a range of other symptoms which sometimes continue to affect the individuals well after their apparent exposure to their purported sources at U.S embassies in countries that include China, India, European countries, and even in Washington.

While the State Department has been reluctant to characterize the events as attacks, CIA director William Burns has openly referred to them as such.

To date, there remains no medical consensus on what the cause behind these health incidents may be. However, in 2020 a committee with members from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that directed pulsed microwaves had been “the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases”, although noting that the variety of symptoms left open the possibility that other potential sources should not yet be ruled out.

According to a report on its findings, the committee members remained “concerned about how best to manage the continuing care of those already affected, and how to strengthen the nation’s commitment to the health and well-being of those who serve the country overseas.”

“Both of these priorities need and deserve additional attention and resources,” the report’s authors stated.
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Source: The Debrief, Micah Hanks, 04 Mar 2022

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