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  • Dec 15, 2018

    Understanding 5G, Automotive Autonomy, and VW Dieselgate | #187


    As we finish our gadget shopping for Christmas we consider the cycle of new consumer electronics. Debuted every year at CES, these products usually don’t hit the market until the end of the year, or later in some cases. One of the prominent new technologies we’re thinking about, looking into 2019, is the roll out of 5G wireless networks, and here to shed a little light on this complicated topic is CNET Executive Editor, Roger Cheng. We discover the benefits and shortcomings of the fledgling wireless standard, and learn how its introduction parallels and differs from that of 4G, over a decade ago. Then, JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, expounds upon the Volvo S90 we first heard about last week – he is very impressed with its sound system, interior, and Level 2 autonomy. Closing the show, we discuss Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ and how it has effectively squashed the momentum of diesel motors in the United States. Don’t miss the latest in mobile and automotive technology.


    ·[00:00:00] The Cycle of Tech, and Tweet Blunders
    ·[00:06:17] What Exactly is 4G LTE?
    ·[00:12:30] The Benefits of 5G Networks
    ·[00:19:51] 5G – Fast Internet, Short Range
    ·[00:28:16] Volvo S90 and Levels of Autonomy
    ·[00:35:51] Did Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ Kill Diesel?


    [00:00:00] The Cycle of Tech, and Tweet Blunders
    At the start of each year, the worldwide tech community gathers in Las Vegas to get a glimpse of ambitious new technologies and products. Some of these gadgets don’t show up on the shelves until the end of the year, while others never make it to market. As we gear up for 2019’s edition of CES, we think about the new wireless standard that will tentatively be hitting the airwaves next year. Also, Mike shares a hilarious tweet blunder made by Samsung’s Nigerian office. Find out why it’s so hard for cellphone reps to stay on the straight-and-narrow.


    [00:06:17] What Exactly is 4G LTE?
    What is the difference between 4G and 4G LTE? In the decade that 4G LTE has been around, a faint mist of confusion has lingered, but CNET Executive Editor, Roger Cheng, is here to dispel it. It turns out, 4G LTE was dubbed due to confusion in the marketplace, as T-Mobile and AT&T decided to call their 3G technology 4G early on. Although the United States was the leader in rolling out 4G LTE technology, we have been slower to maintain and upgrade our domestic networks, while Asian carriers (most notably in South Korea and Hong Kong) have been quicker. Perhaps the biggest point of contention between customers and wireless carriers are the high rates we pay here in the USA, which are some of the highest in the world. Do you loathe or love your wireless carrier?


    [00:12:30] The Benefits of 5G Networks
    The fifth generation of wireless data networks is coming, but why should you care? CNET Executive Editor, Roger Cheng, explains that a speed boost may not even be the most relevant upgrade you will notice in your daily life. The real star of the show is a reduction in latency, or the amount of time it takes for your device to communicate with the network. Also, 5G has the ability to intelligently parcel out data to applications that are more critical. For example, a self-driving car needs a much bigger data pipeline than an array of farming sensors. Speaking of farming sensors, 5G will even be useful for low-data uses like that, in that it will be a much smaller drain on battery life, allowing the sensors to stay active for up to 10 years on a single charge. Before you get too excited, if you’re not located in a major metropolitan area, it could be some time before 5G is available to you. Discover more about the latest in wireless technology.


    [00:19:51] 5G – Fast Internet, Short Range
    As hinted at in the last segment, roll outs in 2019 will likely only be for major metropolitan areas, so when can the rest of us expect the latest and greatest? CNET Executive Editor, Roger Cheng, says that while networks like T-Mobile have committed to a lofty mass market roll out by 2020, small towns have many hurdles to overcome. Due to the nature of 5G and its millimeter waves, it has a much shorter range than 4G LTE. So how do carriers plan to get the signal out to everybody? More antennas! Some towns are quite against this though, and have opted out of hanging antennas 1,000+ feet. Mike wonders how this will affect his bill every month, and thankfully, Roger doesn’t think it will, but he does foresee a notable price hike in devices with 5G modems.


    [00:28:16] Volvo S90 and Levels of Autonomy
    Autonomous cars are here, and they’re becoming more sophisticated every day. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, is driving the new Volvo S90 T6 luxury sedan and is very impressed. A Bowers & Wilkins sound system leaves passengers breathless, and top-tier finish certainly catch the eye, but that’s not the most exciting thing about this vehicle; the Volvo S90 T6 features Level 2 autonomy. Josh explains the difference between the levels of vehicle autonomy, ranging from Level 1 (adaptive cruise control), Level 2 (the ability to stay in a well-painted lane), to Level 5 (fully autonomous, no driver input necessary). As with all radically new technology, some people find it difficult to trust self-driving cars. Find out why Josh is at ease behind the wheel of a Level 2 autonomous car.


    [00:35:51] Did Volkswagen Dieselgate Kill Diesel?
    10 years ago, ‘greasel-diesels’ were all the rage and the public’s outlook on diesel power in general was very positive, so what happened? Mike recently watched an episode “Dirty Money”, a Netflix documentary series, that covered the Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ scandal of recent times, and was appalled by what he saw. Has Volkswagen’s indiscretion (and General Motors it), irreparably tarnished the reputation of diesel for the foreseeable future? JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, thinks that Volkswagen has done a great job recovering, but diesel as a fuel source has taken a black eye that may never heal (aside from pickup trucks). Josh laments this turn of events, because the diesel engine is great piece of mechanical technology which was never intended to run on today’s diesel fuel in the first place. The future seems to be more directed towards electrification, as with Aston Martin’s “Heritage EV” program. Discover more about ‘Dieselgate’ and its impact on the fading fuel source.


    Explore More with Helpful Links:

    ·Special Guest: Roger Cheng | Executive Editor, CNET

    ·Special Guest: Josh Hancock | Hollywood Car Consultant, JoshCAR

    ·Article: 5G is Finally Starting to Feel Real

    ·Vehicle Mention: 2019 Volvo S90




    This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at


    Host: Mike Etchart
    Producer: Cody Castleberry
    Production Asst.: Joanne Bolden
    Audio Engineer: Cody Castleberry
    Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
    Special Guest: Roger Cheng
    Special Guest: Josh Hancock

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  • Popular Technology Radio

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    POPULAR TECHNOLOGY RADIO provides you with the most authoritative insight and information on today’s emerging technologies and products in a fast paced and entertaining one-hour weekly show. Mike Etchart, along with a gang of tech experts and gadget geeks, bring you a wide array of topics including the latest news and information on in-home and hand-held technology, music, photography, entertainment, gaming and more.

    Get expert advice on stereo components, home recording equipment, smartphones, computers, digital imaging, dashboard apps, and exciting new gadgets. Plus, you’ll hear the latest industry buzz, rumors, and cold hard facts. POP TECH RADIO helps you make sense of the barrage of choices available in the marketplace; Mike provides you with vital, comprehensive advice from leading experts. 

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