The World’s Largest Film Festival Is Online

With 80,000 submissions, YouTube’s “Your Film Festival” is 50 times the size of Sundance

2 min read
Illustration of projector and laptop, projecting screen showing 'youtube.'
Illustration: Gluekit

Getting into a film festival today is like getting into college, only harder. Even Ivy League schools have acceptance rates higher than the 2 percent that’s quoted on the Sundance Film Festival’s website.

A new online festival of short films—the Your Film Festival, organized by Google’s YouTube—may not prove less exclusive than Sundance. But it does drastically cut the cost of screening films. And anyone with a broadband connection can attend. Just go to http://www.youtube.com/yourfilmfestival to watch all the YFF-approved entries, and many rejected ones as well.

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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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