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The 20 most-read tales of 2021 on Ars Technica

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The 20 most-read stories of 2021 on Ars Technica

Aurich Lawson | Getty Pictures

2021 dawned in optimism, with the arriving of a couple of extremely efficient mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 along an incoming presidential management that promised to take the pandemic significantly. Everyone knows how the 12 months went—briefly, 2021 used to be the type of 12 months that had some other folks now not best having a look out for the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse however in truth questioning what used to be taking them see you later to get right here.

As we glance again at the most sensible tales of 2021, let’s simply hope that 2022 is not about to mention “dangle my beer.”

Error Correcting Checksum RAM works by way of including a little bit of additional reminiscence for detecting and correcting mistakes. It may act as an additional layer of coverage in opposition to bit-flipping assaults like Rowhammer. It is all excellent stuff, however you will not in finding ECC out of doors of server-grade programs, and that actually irks Linus Torvalds.

“The arguments in opposition to ECC had been at all times entire and utter rubbish,” Torvalds stated in a rant firstly of the 12 months. “Now even the reminiscence producers are beginning to do ECC internally as a result of they after all owned as much as the truth that they completely need to.”

It is all Intel’s fault, in keeping with Torvalds. “How again and again has a row-hammer-like bit-flip took place simply by natural dangerous good fortune on actual non-attack quite a bit? We will be able to by no means know,” Torvalds stated. “As a result of Intel used to be pushing shit to customers.”

ECC is costlier, which makes it a tricky promote for commodity {hardware}, however motherboard and CPU toughen is missing in no small phase because of Intel’s marketplace segmentation methods. And Torvalds does not adore it one bit.

If there is something we all know for positive concerning the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, it is that they’re each protected and efficient. In spite of this, individuals who had been inoculated in opposition to many different sicknesses are turning up their noses on the COVID-19 vaccines. A few of them “do their very own analysis,” others insist nobody can pressure them to get jabbed, and nonetheless others declare they’re warding off the vaccine over deeply held non-public spiritual convictions.


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One health center in Arkansas had a singular reaction to staffers searching for spiritual exemptions to the health center’s vaccine mandate because of the usage of fetal cellular traces in vaccine construction. Workers who sought after to forego the COVID photographs as a result of their spiritual convictions additionally had to promise to not use every other drugs that used to be evolved the use of fetal cellular traces. That record comprises Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Preparation H, Tums, and a number of alternative over the counter medicines.

Exemption-seeking staff will have to confirm that they “honestly recognize and confirm that my sincerely held spiritual trust is constant and true” and won’t use any medicines at the health center’s record.

One benefit of 2021—and I suppose there used to be multiple—used to be the choice of battery electrical automobiles hitting the marketplace. As you’ll be able to see in our upcoming Easiest Automobiles of 2021 tale, quite a few them had been superb. The standout on the subject of reader passion, alternatively, comes from the similar corporate that still introduced us Dieselgate.

The Volkswagen ID.Four is the primary BEV constructed on VW’s modular EV platform to move the Atlantic. Automobile Editor Jonathan Gitlin spent a weekend with one previous this 12 months and located a lot to respect—and a couple of issues wanting growth. Driving force-assist tech is superb, it gives 250 miles of vary, and it is moderately priced at $40,000 to $45,000 earlier than tax credit. As Jonathan put it, VW is making an attempt to “tempt the electrocurious out of a Tiguan with out scaring them” with the ID.4.

I took the ID.Four for a spin at a rally this summer season, and I will be able to attest that it is a cast access from VW. If I had been out there for a brand new BEV, I would most certainly cross with the Mustang Mach-E over the ID.Four at this day and age, however it is nice to have some actual possible choices within the BEV area. And subsequent 12 months will have to be even higher.

What do you get while you mix the No. 1 state in power manufacturing with a days-long chilly snap? Sadly for Texas citizens remaining February, the solution to this is blackouts. A sequence of iciness storms ended in quite a few energy crops going offline, leaving over 4.five million houses and companies with out energy. That, in flip, ended in water provides shutting down and burst pipes all through the Lone Megastar State.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to begin with pinned the blame on wind generators, however wind generators had been in truth generating considerably extra energy than used to be forecast when the grid close down. The true wrongdoer is a loss of making plans and oversight by way of state regulators mixed with a choice made many years in the past to scale back interconnections with {the electrical} grids of surrounding states.

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