The 20 most-read tales on Ars Technica in 2022

The 20 most-read stories on Ars Technica in 2022

Aurich Lawson | Getty Pictures

When 2022 dawned, there have been a couple of issues we knew we’d be writing about: The worldwide pandemic, no matter cool issues Apple and Google did, rocket launches, and funky synthetic intelligence stuff. However yearly affords surprises, and 2022 was no exception.

Sure, we figured there could be loads of articles about Elon Musk on Ars Technica this 12 months. In spite of everything, he runs SpaceX and Tesla, two firms we ceaselessly cowl. But when somebody informed me Musk would turn out to be “Chief Twit” and find yourself everywhere in the entrance web page of Ars attributable to his impulse buy of Twitter and the… fascinating choices he is made since taking management of the corporate, I’d’ve requested them to move the dutchie on the left-hand facet.

2022 has been an extended, unusual journey. And it is virtually over.

So let’s look again at what you, our readers, discovered probably the most fascinating on Ars this 12 months.

This was not a real slide from Google I/O 2022, but it could have been.
Enlarge / This was not an actual slide from Google I/O 2022, nevertheless it might have been.

Google / Ron Amadeo

Google is arguably identified for 3 issues: completely dominating the Web promoting market, completely dominating the Web browser market, and completely dominating the killing-your-own-products market. At Google I/O 2022, the corporate determined to have interaction in a little bit of machine necromancy. Living proof: Android tablets.

The head of Google’s Android pill growth was in 2011, once we noticed the discharge of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. I am going to let Ron Amadeo take it from right here:

“[E]very subsequent Android launch and Google app replace watered down the pill interface till it disappeared. App builders took Google’s neglect as an indication that they need to cease making Android tablets, too, and the ecosystem fell aside.

“After the 2015 Pixel C launch, Google stop the pill marketplace for three years, then launched the Pixel Slate Chrome-OS pill. It then stop the pill marketplace for one other three years. Now it is again. Will the corporate’s new plans produce one other one-year marvel just like the Pixel Slate?”

Ron went deep into Google’s 2022 product technique, and he’ll you should definitely report on when the brand new and resurrected merchandise are killed sooner or later.

In February, Russia illegally invaded Ukraine, unleashing hell on its neighbor. Along with slinging bullets, rockets, artillery shells, and different munitions at each other, Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in bouts of cyberwarfare in opposition to each other.

Ukraine—or a bunch sympathetic to the nation—unleashed some never-before-seen malware on Russian courts and mayors’ workplaces throughout the nation. Dubbed CryWiper, the malware completely annihilates information on contaminated programs.

“After analyzing a pattern of malware, we discovered that this Trojan, though it masquerades as a ransomware and extorts cash from the sufferer for ‘decrypting’ information, doesn’t really encrypt, however purposefully destroys information within the affected system,” based on evaluation by safety firm Kaspersky. “Furthermore, an evaluation of the Trojan’s program code confirmed that this was not a developer’s mistake, however his unique intention.”

As Dan Goodin put it, “Given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and different geopolitical conflicts raging across the globe, the tempo of wiper malware isn’t prone to gradual within the coming months.”

Be sure you preserve your whole networks and units locked down tight… simply because that is the good option to do it.

Talking of locking down your stuff, one bit of excellent information in 2022 was the arrival of passwordless authentication. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and another tech corporations are all on board with it. Better of all, it is much less painful than repeatedly altering your password or utilizing multifactor authentication. Customers can retailer a single token that can authenticate them on any service from the Large Three, plus each different firm that helps it.

This is the way it works:

“The linchpin to this scheme is one thing referred to as ‘multi-device credentials’ or, extra colloquially, ‘passkeys,’ launched in updates to the present FIDO, WebAuthn, and CTAP requirements for authentication. Because the identify suggests, the credential works throughout all units, whether or not you are working iOS, Android, or Home windows, and throughout all Apple, Google, or Microsoft providers.

“To make passkey authentications proof against phishing and different frequent types of credential theft, the cellphone or different machine storing the credential have to be in proximity to the machine the person is utilizing to log in. A Bluetooth connection permits the 2 units to trade info that ensures the machine logging in is close to the tip person quite than a distant risk actor. It additionally permits the authenticating machine to make sure that the machine logging in is linked to the authentic URL quite than an imposter trying to achieve unauthorized entry.”

For the complete story on the way it all works, try Dan’s wonderful and in-depth write-up.

Wagner et al. 2022

The world’s oldest pants belonged to a warrior now referred to as Turfan Man. He lived in China between 1200 and 1000 BCE, and he paired his pants with a poncho that belted across the waist, an adorned wool headband, and ankle-high boots. The opposite grave items discovered at his burial website point out that he most likely was a horseback-mounted warrior. However again to the pants—what’s so wonderful about them is not that they survived, however how they had been made:

“The Turfan trousers are an especially purposeful design, however they’re additionally fairly rattling fancy. Because the weaver was engaged on that stretchy, roomy crotch piece, they alternated totally different colours of weft threads to create pairs of brown stripes on an off-white background. Zigzag stripes adorn the ankles and calves of the pants, together with a design just like a step pyramid. That sample led Wagner and her colleagues to take a position that Turfan Man’s tradition may need had some contact with folks in Mesopotamia, main them to incorporate ziggurats in a woven motif.”