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World Cyber Games Finals

U.S. team beats legendary geeks from 58 other countries in computer and video game Championships

3 min read

10 October 2004--The cameras waited, poised on giraffe-neck poles above the swarm of heads. "When are they supposed to come out?" one correspondent whispered to another. The question turned out to be unnecessary--a swell of applause worthy of the Beatles in their heyday announced Team3D's appearance on the scene. "Is it McCartney? Is it J.Lo?" a newscaster boomed into his mike as the five anointed ones strode into the press tent at the World Cyber Games in San Francisco. "No, it's the 2004 World Cyber Games Counter-Strike gold medalists!"

All the hubbub aside, there was something anticlimactic about Team3D's in-person arrival. The United States' Salvatore Garozzo, Dave Geffon, Ronald Kim, Kyle Miller, and Johnny Quach--all but one too young to toast their victory in champagne--are better known for their take-no-prisoners gaming personas than for their unassuming real-life ones. Like the other competitors at last week's Cyber Games, they are firmly established as formidable in their field. Any player who hopes to be selected for this annual Olympics of the international gaming world must survive a series of regional and national weeding-out competitions.

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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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