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iPhone 5: Are You Bored or Buying?

A little bit of both, as schadenfruede is the order of the day

1 min read
iPhone 5: Are You Bored or Buying?

"iPhone 5 is out. Obviously. So, are you dying of boredom, or dying to buy one?” we asked our readers. Bored, you answered, nearly unanimously: 

But being bored has never been less boring. Since the release, gleeful headlines denouncing the iPhone 5 have filled the news. As tech lemons go, a dull iPhone is sweet lemonade for journalists and commenters alike. It isn’t that the iPhone 5 is bad, exactly. It’s just expected. “The iPhone 5 Is Completely Amazing and Utterly Boring,” says Wired.

By far our favorite comment from our own readers was this:

Yes, the iPhone 5 is better than the 4S, you collectively agreed. Apple’s “flyover” maps are nifty. LTE, you wrote, is "nice, but nothing extraordinary." It's taller and thinner and lighter, but "that kind of specs would be expected," you wrote, "for last year's iPhone 5 (4S)." As for Lightning, you're "glad for improved noise cancellation," but "now everyone has to buy a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter."

Have we become jaded with Apple's innovativeness (how many times can Apple reinvent telephony)? Or have we become jaded because Android phones have, in some ways, taken the innovation lead?

Even if you're unimpressed with the iPhone 5, Apple’s stock did just fine. Plenty of people are waiting to buy one. But it could be great news for Google, Nokia, and Samsung. "Apple has given its rivals room to bask in their own innovations," says CNET.

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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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