Five Infamous Arcade-Game Glitches

Classic arcade games provided great entertainment with limited hardware, but not everything always worked as designed

1 min read

For the next few months, we’ll be taking a new look at the classic era of video games. In our series Back to the Arcade, we'll examine how games like Asteroids, PacMan, and Donkey Kong kicked off a revolution that has blossomed into an industry worth US $45 billion per year worldwide.

In our first installment, we examine arcade-game glitches.

Scott Patterson oversees part of the referee team of Twin Galaxies, the official video-game world-record keepers. He's been keeping track of video-game glitches since the early '80s. Here he describes five classic arcade-game glitches and what made each one significant. What are some of your other favorite arcade glitches? Tell us in the comment section below.

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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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