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Mobile Time Trackers

Apps like DueTime and TimeTag help you manage—and get paid for—your time

2 min read
Mobile Time Trackers

Within the space of a single generation, office workers have experienced a fundamental shift in how they manage their day. E-mail has turned correspondence from a task conducted to the beat of the mailroom into an unpredictable all-day activity—and turned us all into chronic multitaskers. Our communal attention deficit disorder has been heightened with the advent of mobile devices. Suddenly anyone, anywhere, at any time can feel compelled to be at work, perhaps for just a few minutes.

This interruption-driven style of working has rendered obsolete the simple time sheets many engineers once used to record time devoted to different projects. And even those of us who don’t bill by the hour can benefit from monitoring how we spend our days, if only to see what all those little tasks we’re expected to do in our spare moments add up to. Here are some examples of apps that let users track their hours or minutes with the tap of a finger.

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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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