Semiconductor electronics have always been prone to “soft errors” — instances where specific data bit or signal is incorrect, but the problem doesn’t seem to arise from an inherent defect with the system itself. After eliminating many possible causes, researchers finally determined that some of these errors are the result of cosmic rays, high-energy particles that strike Earth from outer space and, occasionally, switch bits in the chips in your computer. Possible solutions include keeping all your high-tech equipment in an underground cave, or rebooting.

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