5 Things You Missed This Week at IEEE Spectrum: A Primer on 5G, Can MOOCs Lower College Tuition, and more

1. Everything You Need to Know About 5G

The next generation of wireless networks—5G—promises to make our electronic gadgets capable of a host of amazing things. For example, a cellular handset on a 5G network should be able to download a high-definition film in under a second (a task that could take 10 minutes on 4G LTE). 5G will also boost the development of other new technologies, too, such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. At the moment, it’s not yet clear which technologies will do the most for 5G in the long run, but a few early favorites have emerged. The front-runners include millimeter waves, small cells, massive MIMO, full duplex, and beamforming. To help you understand how 5G will differ from today’s 4G networks, we’ve put together a quick primer on these five technologies and what each will mean for wireless users.


2. Can MOOCs Cure the Tuition Epidemic?

These online courses’ economies of scale can dramatically reduce a college’s cost per student. But it’s still too early to tell whether MOOC-based university instruction, at least as a tuition-reduction experiment, will work. Why? There’s been a shift from treating a college education as an essential element of civil society to looking at it as a commodity whose acquisition is assumed to be the sole responsibility of students and their families.


3. Profile: FBI Special Agent Mitchell Thompson Fights Cybercrime

What does it take to be a government cybersleuth?


4. What Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Can Teach Engineers

Designing technology with the best intentions can still lead to disaster.


5. Elon Musk Says Tesla Aims to Cut Crashes by 90 Percent

New hardware, coupled with enhanced self-driving car software, should begin to improve on the 40 percent crash reduction that earlier versions achieved.



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