A Soft Touch

Telikin’s new touch-screen desktop computer targets seniors—and runs Linux

4 min read
A Soft Touch

Photo: Telikin
Telikin 18-inch Touch Screen All-in-One Desktop

US $699

Click on image for a larger view.

In 1984, Apple's slogan was "The computer for the rest of us." Twenty-seven years later, people are still trying to build that machine—a computer for folks who really don't want to know about computers. Interestingly, the target market is exactly the same. In 1984, it was your parents, the ones whose VCR clocks forever blinked 12:00. In 2011, it's still your parents. Nowadays, their DVR always shows the right time, but they finally need a computer to keep up with you and the grandkids.

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From WinZips to Cat GIFs, Jacob Ziv’s Algorithms Have Powered Decades of Compression

The lossless-compression pioneer received the 2021 IEEE Medal of Honor

11 min read
Photo of Jacob Ziv
Photo: Rami Shlush

Lossless data compression seems a bit like a magic trick. Its cousin, lossy compression, is easier to comprehend. Lossy algorithms are used to get music into the popular MP3 format and turn a digital image into a standard JPEG file. They do this by selectively removing bits, taking what scientists know about the way we see and hear to determine which bits we'd least miss. But no one can make the case that the resulting file is a perfect replica of the original.

Not so with lossless data compression. Bits do disappear, making the data file dramatically smaller and thus easier to store and transmit. The important difference is that the bits reappear on command. It's as if the bits are rabbits in a magician's act, disappearing and then reappearing from inside a hat at the wave of a wand.

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