An anonymous reader writes "Google has released WebP, a lossy image format based on the image encoding used by VP8 (the video codec used in Google's WebM video format) to compress keyframes. According to the FAQ, WebP achieves an average 39% more compression than JPEG and JPEG 2000 while maintaining image quality. A gallery on the WebP homepage has a selection of images which compare the original JPEG image with the WebP encoded image shown as a PNG. There's no information available yet on which browsers will support the WebP image format, but I imagine it will be all the browsers which currently have native WebM support — Firefox, Chrome, and Opera." Independent analysis of WebP is available from a few different sources.
I went to the NSA museum in 2008, and they had *two* working enigmas, out, that you could use to send messages one to the other. So yes, yes they do let you play with them.
The Bad Astronomer is one of many readers who wrote to tell us about NASA's release of high-res photos showing the Apollo landing sites. The photos were taken from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and show the traces of earlier visits to the Moon. "The satellite reached lunar orbit June 23 and captured the Apollo sites between July 11 and 15. Though it had been expected that LRO would be able to resolve the remnants of the Apollo mission, these first images came before the spacecraft reached its final mapping orbit. Future LROC images from these sites will have two to three times greater resolution."
Oracle Goddess writes "In a story just dripping with irony, Amazon Kindle owners awoke this morning to discover that 1984 and Animal Farm had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for, and thought they owned. Apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by George Orwell from people's Kindles and credited their accounts for the price. Amazon customer service may or may not have responded to queries by stating, 'We've always been at war with Eastasia.'"
mcgrew writes "New Scientist is reporting that creativity may be linked to schizophrenia via a common gene. Szabolcs Kéri, a researcher at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, carried a study of creative people. 'Kéri examined a gene involved in brain development called neuregulin 1, which previous studies have linked to a slightly increased risk of schizophrenia. Moreover, a single DNA letter mutation that affects how much of the neuregulin 1 protein is made in the brain has been linked to psychosis, poor memory and sensitivity to criticism. About 50 per cent of healthy Europeans have one copy of this mutation, while 15 per cent possess two copies. People with two copies of the neuregulin 1 mutation — about 12 per cent of the study participants — tended to score notably higher on these measures of creativity, compared with other volunteers with one or no copy of the mutation. Those with one copy were also judged to be more creative, on average, than volunteers without the mutation.' They hypothesize that people with this gene with high IQs are creative, while those with lower IQs are simply prone to the hallucinations that characterize the disease."
His website is not blank. Have a look at the source (accessed at 11:20PM EST on 17 Aug 2007):
A quick look at whois reveals that vidbeam.com is registered to Mr. Phillips as well. Oh, and there's a phone number and mailing address in that DNS info too. Very interesting - why does he have such a page?<!-- Who are You -->
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