The October 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

iCandy: As Seen in the Movies

A bendable display, a rocket-powered bicycle, and a gun that fires only for its owner

1 min read
iCandy: As Seen in the Movies
Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters
No one needs to tell you how debilitating jet lag can be. But what if you could hack your body clock so that your internal alertness setting reflected the time zone you’re currently in? The makers of Re-Timer goggles claim that the 500-nanometer green light beamed at the wearer’s eyes can do just that by mimicking the effects of sunlight. The unit sells for about US $280.

If you are viewing this page with an iPad or iPhone, click here to launch the slideshow:

/ns/slideshows/03SS_iCandy2013_iPad1b/index.html

The Conversation (0)

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
Vertical
Photo of Jacob Ziv
Photo: Rami Shlush
Yellow

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.

Keep Reading ↓Show less