computerworld: While harmless to living organisms, a small number of these particles have enough energy to interfere with the operation of the microelectronic circuitry in our personal devices. It's called a single-event upset or SEU. By Magdalena Petrova
'During an SEU, particles alter an individual bit of data stored in a chip's memory. Consequences can be as trivial as altering a single pixel in a photograph or as serious as bringing down a passenger jet.
'An SEU was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003. A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible.'