Why do cellphones keep adding new Gs?

Originally published at: Why do cellphones keep adding new Gs? | Boing Boing

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I agree that the phone situation sucks, and avoided updating my old dumb phone (or “feature phone?” It had a physical slide-out keyboard) as long as possible until it was no longer supported by the network. But at least I was able to buy a decent reconditioned Galaxy phone for just $30.

The situation with cars is much more annoying. A bit more hassle is involved with updating them, and some automakers don’t even offer updates when the old wireless standards are no longer supported. It doesn’t affect the base-model 15-year-old Honda I drive now, but I expect that any car I buy in the future will probably come with some sort of wireless connectivity.

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And that’s mostly because I don’t understand what “g’s” even mean, and that’s why I found the SciShow video linked above an incredible resource.

Translated: I have no idea what Im writing about, but here is someone who might – but how I can I truly know because I’m too biased against it to really bother.

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dG/dt ∝ corporate_income; and/or planned obsolescence makes rich folks richer still.

(“one could support right to repair legislation, that might help a bit” …nah, you’re fool’n yerself mate, they own the towers [all encompassing gesture emoji])

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‘G’ stands for 'generation" and simply represents the ever evolving wireless standards that are necessary to take advantage of the higher and higher spectrum of radio frequencies that’s being auctioned off to wireless network providers. The current North American wireless spectrum landscape is massive now that pretty much everything in the world is connected to everything else. 50 billion devices now compete for bandwidth along a rather narrow radio frequency spectrum and it’s only going to increase.

Blame the “Network Effect” for creating insatiable demand for larger bandwidth and faster speeds. Yes, it’s annoying to have to constantly upgrade your hardware every year but it’s not exactly unique to mobile phones - pretty much every modern technology has a similar example.

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It gets worse: I was browsing Aliexpress last night looking for replacement head units for my car (Dear Subaru: your audio systems suck for people with lots of music on USB who like to drive far away from cellular services), and most of the models expressed all the GB quantities as G, so it had 4G memory, 128G storage, in addition to 2/3G cellular (which you don’t want, you want your phone talking to the car)

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Can we still blame Gordon Moore? He’s the guy who made the observation about transistors shrinking, which became a mandate via capitalism. The transistors have shrunk about as much as they can by now, so they’re busy providing increases in data rate which are obtained by gobbling up spectrum previously available to radio astronomers…

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Don’t think of it as your car being downgraded. Think of it as a privacy enhancement! :slight_smile:

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Why does Goku keep adding new Gs?

DBZ4LIFE — Goku's Training starting at 20X Earth's gravity...

DBZ4LIFE — Goku's Training starting at 20X Earth's gravity...

최고 Gravity Training GIF들 | Gfycat

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Mo Gees mo better?

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Not entirely true…nano-transistors are still in development with transistor widths being measured at the atomic scale.

So-called two-dimensional materials, thin sheets just one or a few atoms thick, meet all the requirements for enabling a further leap in miniaturization of transistors, potentially reducing by several times a key parameter called the channel length — from around 5 to 10 nanometers, in current cutting-edge chips, to a subnanometer scale.

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Oh, you know. Purposes.

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Yeah, I’m about as big an opponent of corporate power as you can get, but I’m not sure how any of this is the phone companies’ fault. My smartphone is five years old. I just DON’T fall for every shiny new thing that’s waved in front of me even if I don’t understand it. I don’t see why this is something the rest of us should be concerned about. “I am an impulsive consumer unit” is not a very good social critique.

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Never buy a cellphone based on the connection speed. The hype over new Gs is always dumb and generally takes a few years before its actually useful, get the cellphone you want and avoid plans that want to charge you more to get these speeds.

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I can understand wanting to download something quickly in order to prepare for service outages but the same ads promise reliable coverage of most of the united states. I guess there’s an exception for air travel, but I don’t travel all that much.

This. 5G, in particular, won’t be widely available outside major cities and otherwise very dense areas for a number of years at least because of how the infrastructure works (these frequencies don’t travel far in air, so true 5G can’t use widely spaced towers, they need small base stations, as move as every hundred or few hundred feet).

Also: my wife’s 5G phone constantly tries to prioritize 5G whenever it thinks it has it, even if it doesn’t, to the point that it won’t even use a perfectly good 4G or wifi connection and will just refuse to load things. And by constantly trying to connect to 5G that wasn’t there, it drains her battery in half a day or less. Plus, AT&T hides the option to turn off 5G, so she needed to download the Samsung Band Selection app to turn 5G off. But, if you want the best phone cameras, they’re on the 5G phones, not the non-5G models.

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I just bought a shiny new Pixel 6 Pro because the battery on my perfectly good Galaxy S8 Active swelled and broke the seal making it less waterproof.

My wife’s Galaxy S9 started acting up which I believe is intentional to get her to upgrade.

Our daughter fell for a Verizon promotion that said bring in any phone and get a new a Pixel 6 for free. They lied and wanted a few hundred bucks.

She bought a new Pixel 6 Pro and gave mom the Pixel 4XL.

Att also told me I could get a free S22 for my S8, they also lied.

Point of all of this is it is hard to hang onto a decent phone for more than a few years.

I do like owning my phones outright with no contracts

My crank is that we wouldn’t need to burn through data so much more if more phones allowed for SD cards vs. puny onboard memory+streaming every photo/song/etc. to/fro.

To be fair I bought a Pixel 5, but I’m filling it with music and photos to avoid needing to stream.

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