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Adobe Lightroom and Corel AfterShot Pro

Two programs can help you get your photo house in order

3 min read
Screenshots of the AfterShot pro app.
Image: Sally Wiener Grotta & DanieL Grotta

screenshot of the app.Dual View: Using Lightroom’s side-by-side sorting tool, you can quickly compare images and assign them ratings, flags, and keywords.Image: Sally Wiener Grotta & Daniel Grotta

It used to be an effort to take pictures and get them developed and easy to keep and show them. Today, it’s the other way around—pictures are easy to take, and as a result, we’re swimming in them. Drowning, even. Every time we shoot another thousand or so at a simple birthday party, we’re left with a major task—sorting out the best ones, then editing and sharing them.

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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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