The Best Explanations of the Year



We learned a lot this year; from the origins of liquimetal and toasted thighs to the technical reasoning of ISO and CDMA. Check out the best explanations Gizmodo had to offer in 2010.

The Best Explanations of the Year

1. Why Apple's iPhone 4 Update Won't Fix Your Reception Problem - July 2nd

This graphic shows why some people experience the iPhone 4 signal drop problems while others haven't been able to reproduce it. It also explains why Apple's incoming software update-which promises more accurate signal bars-won't fix the antenna problem.





The Best Explanations of the Year

2. Giz Explains: What Is Liquidmetal? - August 17th

Apple has a new toy. It's a materials company called Liquidmetal, and everybody's talking! Problem is, nobody seems too sure what they're talking about. So, Liquidmetal: What is this stuff? And what does Apple want with it?





The Best Explanations of the Year

3. Giz Explains: Why HTML5 Isn't Going to Save the Internet - February 3rd

The beardier parts of the web-o-sphere have been abuzz about HTML5, the next version of the language that powers our internet. Will it revolutionize web apps? Will it kill Flash video? Will it fix our gimpy iPads? Yes... and no.





The Best Explanations of the Year

4. Giz Explains: Why Everything Wireless is 2.4GHz - September 7th

You live your life at 2.4GHz. Your router, your cordless phone, your Bluetooth earpiece, your baby monitor and your garage opener all love and live on this radio frequency, and no others. Why? The answer is in your kitchen.





The Best Explanations of the Year

5. Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel - February 12th

In 1975, the first digital camera took 23 seconds to record a 100-line black-and-white photo onto cassette tape. Today, a Nikon D3s takes photos with 12 million pixels at 1/8000 of a second. And it can see in the dark.





The Best Explanations of the Year

6. Giz Explains: What's the Strongest Material Known to Man? - October 26th

Adamantite! Rearden Metal! Uru! Durasteel! Dalekanium! Unobtanium! Thousands of fictional characters have fought and died for these equally fictional super-materials. So what is the real-life strongest substance on our puny, sun-warmed planet?





The Best Explanations of the Year

7. Giz Explains: Why You Look Different in Photos Than You Do in the Mirror - October 12th

Yesterday morning, you looked good. Yesterday evening, before you went out, you're pretty sure you looked real good. So who the hell is this schlub in the Facebook album from last night, tagged with your name?





The Best Explanations of the Year

8. What Is Toasted Skin Syndrome? - October 7th

I confess: I used to bring my laptop to the toilet, placing it over my upper legs. Apparently, this is a very bad idea. It can cause Toasted Skin Syndrome-which could lead to skin cancer in some cases.





The Best Explanations of the Year

9. Giz Explains: Why Batteries Die - November 23rd

Inside almost every gadget lurks a ticking time bomb. In two years, or maybe three or four, it will die, rendering your gadget useless. Possibly permanently. So, what are these awful little bastards? They're called batteries.





The Best Explanations of the Year

10. Giz Explains: What's the Difference between GSM and CDMA? - September 14th

America is divided! One faction is powerful and entrenched. The other is respected by the rest of the world, but can't seem to seize power here. I'm talking, obviously, about our cellphones.





Been under a rock? See what else happened this year in our Best of 2010 series.