News: The End To Our Compression Woes?

 A Singapore company has just launched what they say is a technology that will change the way which we compress, store and distribute digital content. MatrixView says that, compared to existing compression solutions such as JPEG and MPEG that are based on complex and predictive techniques to eliminate redundant data (JPEG is a widely used format for storing pictures, MPEG for video), its Adaptive Binary Optimisation (ABO) does not eliminate data.  “On the contrary, it achieves significantly higher compression ratios by value-adding to data in such a way as to permit superior speed and security without data degradation.” 
The first product based on the new technology, EchoView, developed by MatrixView, enables ultrasound images to be compressed beyond 30 times compression ratios without any loss of data, meaning doctors can store, retrieve and transmit “diagnostic quality” images to anywhere in the world.

News: Zip It For Me One Last Time

Another somewhat sad chapter in the life of the ZIP file. The guy who designed this excellent way of compressing files, Philip Katz, died tragically and young a few years back. Now the company he left behind, PKWare, is fighting over patents with another company, WinZip, since right now, would you believe, you can’t trade Zip files which have been encrypted with the other guys’ software. Here’s a good take on the situation, by Robert McMillan of IDG News Service.