iCandy: It’s Electric

A robotic newspaper-storage locker, an electronic fork, and shoes that track your dance moves

1 min read
iCandy: It’s Electric
Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/Press Association/AP Photo

Photo: Hapilabs
Hapilabs’ Hapifork helps to change the habits of people who eat too rapidly. This is important, clinicians say, because eating slowly helps prevent indigestion and overeating. The Hapifork tracks how long it takes to finish a meal, the intervals between forkfuls, and how many forkfuls you take per minute. An LED on the fork lights up and the utensil vibrates if you don’t allow at least 10 seconds between forkfuls. The fork, which will be available this spring for US $99, comes with a smartphone app for checking your progress and a coaching program.

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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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