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iCandy: Bionics

Web-enabled electromechanical hands and specially tailored pet paws

0 min read
iCandy: Bionics
Photo: Toby Melville/ Reuters

Photo: Matt Rourke/AP Photo
The Touch Bionics i-Limb Ultra Revolution hands worn by double amputee Jason Koger give him the ability to gradually increase the grip strength of each finger. This allows him to cradle an egg without breaking it or grab the handle of a heavy bag without worrying that it will slip from his grasp. The software-controlled prostheses offer a wide selection of automated grips and gestures. The user manipulates the limbs using the Biosim-i app on a mobile device. The Biosim settings and commands—including user-created gestures—are then sent to the hands via Bluetooth.


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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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