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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: Coravin/Rex Features/AP Photo
There’s at least one drawback to enjoying a bottle of wine: the cork. Getting it out can be a pain, and once it’s out, the wine begins to lose its character because of oxidation. But the Coravin Wine Access Technology lets oenophiles enjoy a favorite vintage while leaving the cork in place. When you’re ready to pour a glass, push the gadget’s thin, hollow needle through the cork. Pressurized argon gas flows into the bottle, forcing wine out without letting oxygen in. When you’re done, withdraw the needle and the cork will reseal itself.

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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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