Cyber Armageddon

Robert W. Lucky reflects on the latest fashion in end-of-the-world scenarios

3 min read

I ran across one of those the-end-is-near cartoons. A scruffy person holds a sign that says "The World Will End in 2000"—except the "2000" is crossed out and amended to "2012." The many dire predictions about cyberwar feel a lot like that. The word has shown up frequently on magazine newsstands this summer—but, my editor reminds me, it was also on the cover of Time back in August 1995.

I've had the opportunity to listen to lots of smart people about the cyber problem, and to be honest, I don't know what conclusion to draw. My fear is that no one else knows, either. There is no lack of information about how bad the problem is, but there is almost nothing written about what to do about it. In the end, I believe it comes down to intelligent risk management—something we're not often good at.

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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