iCandy: Better Robot Bartenders and More Tipsy Tech

Also featuring a bordeaux battery, autonomous brewmasters and cork-less wine pours

1 min read
iCandy: Better Robot Bartenders and More Tipsy Tech
Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters
You’d be surprised how much fakery there is in the world of wines, with scammers trying to pass off new wine as highly prized older vintages. But one of the latest countermeasures for ferreting out the fakes is a test of the age of a wine’s glass bottle. This researcher at the Nuclear Research Center of Bordeaux, in France, uses a machine that shoots ion beams at the bottle. The resulting X-rays emitted by the bottle provide clues to when and where the bottle was produced.

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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
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Photo of Jacob Ziv
Photo: Rami Shlush
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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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