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: Monsieur
Monsieur is a robotic bartender that can mix 300 different cocktails. It’s smart enough to remember which concoctions you like and to make suggestions based on what you’ve previously ordered. It comes with a mobile app that lets you order a drink without getting up from the couch, and it even estimates your blood alcohol level so you don’t overindulge. Speaking of which, Monsieur will adjust the strength of his drinks to match your tolerance, whether you’re what it calls a “lightweight” or a “boss.”

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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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