Category Archives: arstechnica

The Raspberry Pi 4 launch site runs on a Pi 4 cluster

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B has launched. It’s a pretty big upgrade from the Raspberry Pi 3, with the company claiming that the device can provide “desktop performance comparable to entry-level x86 PC systems.”

OK… but how does it perform as a server? Individually, the answer is just about what you’d expect. While the Pi 4B is an enormous all-around upgrade from the 3B+, it’s still a Raspberry Pi at its heart. The former model’s DDR2 RAM has been upgraded to DDR4, the new Cortex A72 CPU is anywhere from double to quadruple the speed of the older A53, and the gigabit Ethernet adapter isn’t hamstrung by a USB 2.0 bus anymore, so it can actually push a gigabit worth of traffic. This is fantastic for a starting-at-$35, passively-cooled bittybox… but it’s still very anemic compared to, for example, a humble i3-8100T.

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Review: Jessica Jones S3 is flawed but packs a powerful payoff in the end

Last Defender standing: Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) ponders what it means to be a hero in the final season.

Enlarge / Last Defender standing: Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) ponders what it means to be a hero in the final season. (credit: YouTube/Netflix)

Jessica Jones makes its final bow with an imperfect but ultimately powerful and thought-provoking third season. The series finale—canceled before it even started streaming, along with the rest of the Marvel/Netflix Defenders series—expertly explored conflicting notions of justice, the possibility of forgiveness and redemption, and what it really means to be a hero through the lens of Jessica’s fractured relationship with her adoptive sister, Trish Walker.

(Spoilers for all three seasons below.)

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Ancient Peruvian engineering could help solve modern water shortages

Photo of ancient canal.

Enlarge / Diversion canals channel water into earth-bottomed infiltration canals like this one, where water can begin to soak into the ground on its way to a pond or basin. (credit: Musuq Briceño, CONDESAN, 2012.)

Rain seldom falls on the desert lowlands of coastal Peru, so people in the area have always depended on the water that flows down from the Andes during the rainy season. But streams in this part of the world come and go quickly, so indigenous people built a system of canals and ponds to channel excess rainwater and create groundwater. Now a group of researchers says that a scaled-up version could help improve Peru’s water management.

Ancient engineers (not aliens)

1,400 years ago, Chavin and Wari indigenous communities on the slopes of the Andes Mountains dug systems of stone-lined and earthen canals to channel excess rainwater from streams to areas where the ground could soak up more of the water. From there, the water gradually trickled through sediment and cracks in the rock until it reached springs downslope. “Water is stored in the soils and travels much slower beneath the surface than it would as overland flow,” Boris Ochoa-Tocachi, a civil engineer at Imperial College London, told Ars Technica. Water that would otherwise have been lost to flooding feeds springs that remain active even into the dry season.

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The Raspberry Pi 4 brings faster CPU, up to 4GB of RAM

Today, Raspberry Pi is introducing a new version of its popular line of single-board computer. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is the fastest Raspberry Pi ever, with the company promising “desktop performance comparable to entry-level x86 PC systems.”

The new model is built around a Broadcom BCM2711 SoC, which, with four 1.5GHz Cortex A72 CPU cores, should be a big upgrade over the quad core Cortex A53 CPU in the Raspberry Pi 3. The RAM options are the even bigger upgrade though, with options for 1GB, 2GB, and even 4GB of DDR4. The Pi 3 was limited to 1GB of RAM, which really stung for desktop-class use cases.

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Review: Teenagers must ward off mischievous supernatural beings in Jinn

Supernatural creatures threaten a group of high school students in the new Netflix series Jinn.

A high school field trip to the ancient archaeological site of Petra turns tragic, and supernatural creatures are unleashed to prey on the living in Jinn, the first Arabic language original series from Netflix. Forget the Westernized concept of genies found in our popular culture, like Aladdin or I Dream of Jeannie. This series draws on more traditional Arabian/Islamic mythology for its portrayal of the jinn, and it’s all the richer for it.

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