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Submission + - Google releases open source 'Guetzli' JPEG encoder (

BrianFagioli writes: Today, Google releases yet another open source project. Called "Guetzli," it is a JPEG encoder that aims to produce even smaller image file sizes. In fact, the search giant claims a whopping 35 percent improvement over existing JPEG compression. If you are wondering why smaller file sizes are important, it is quite simple — the web. If websites can embed smaller images, users can experience faster load times while using less data.

While Google didn't aim to improve JPEG image quality with Guetzli, it seems it has arguably done so. It is subjective, but the search giant surveyed human beings and found they preferred Google's open source offering 75 percent of the time. Smaller file sizes and better image quality? Wow! Google has done something amazing here.

Comment Old joke (Score 1) 233

A bit off topic, but I'm reminded of this old joke:

Two mathematicians were having dinner in a restaurant, arguing about the average mathematical knowledge of the American public. One mathematician claimed that this average was woefully inadequate, the other maintained that it was surprisingly high. "I'll tell you what," said the cynic, "ask that waitress a simple math question. If she gets it right, I'll pick up dinner. If not, you do". He then excused himself to visit the men's room, and the other called the waitress over. "When my friend comes back," he told her, "I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to respond 'one third x cubed.' There's twenty bucks in it for you." She agreed. The cynic returned from the bathroom and called the waitress over. "The food was wonderful, thank you," the mathematician started. "Incidentally, do you know what the integral of x squared is?" The waitress looked pensive; almost pained. She stared at the ceiling for a bit and finally said, "Um, one third x cubed?" So the cynic paid the check. The waitress wheeled around, walked a few paces away, looked back at the two men, and muttered sarcastically, " a constant."


Comment Re:the smell of E-6 in the morning (Score 1) 213

But the moment you go to medium/large format films and cameras, film can give you something that would probably cost the same as a small car if you tried to find a matching digital camera.

About 5 years ago I did a close comparison of Fujichrome Provia 100f in a Pentax 67 (medium format film, "crop factor" = 0.5) with a Panasonic Lumix GH2 (micro four-thirds sensor, "crop factor" = 2), and found the results to be remarkably similar. Particularly regarding resolution. This was an outdoors environmental portrait shoot with nothing too challenging in dynamic range (which is even more of a challenge for slide film than for digital). That was the point at which I stopped arguing in favour of film with anyone. I still put a few rolls of slide film through my Pentax 67 every year, but I admit to myself that it's for the nostalgia and the challenge challenge, and to keep the old skills alive, not a quest for superior quality.


Comment Re:Vultures (Score 4, Insightful) 89

To a adolescent brain

I don't think you understand the business model. These are not "script kiddies" (they don't exist any more). This is organized crime.

I was only 50th percentile.... I hated school. After the first 5 minutes of any given lecture, I could have taught the damn course.

This does not compute. Your professors didn't get where they were by being 50th percentile as undergrads.


Comment The Bletchley Circle (TV series) (Score 2) 120

If you're interested in stories like this, I recommend the TV series "The Bletchley Circle". Four ex-codebreaking women reunite in 1952 to uncover a serial killer, using the same skills they used to break encrypted messages during the war. They rediscover a lost sense of purpose and struggle to obey the Official Secrets act within their family relationships. (For those who don't know, the UK's Official Secrets act is pretty strong stuff.)


Submission + - evidence that lot of published science research is false 1

sittingnut writes: An article in First Things magazine by William A. Wilson accumulates evidence that lot of published science research is demonstrably false. Wilson goes on to argue that "self-correcting mechanisms" inherent in the scientific method no longer function in current environment.

Among others, during Open Science Collaboration's attempt to replicate one hundred published psychology experiments published in three prestigious journals, 65% "failed to show statistical significance on replication". In 2011, researchers at Bayer found they cannot replicate results in "more than 75%" of the 67 project research published ("in Science, Nature, Cell, and the like") on preclinical cancer biology drug discovery.

An article in The Week about First Things article gives more historical context to claims made in that article with many more examples from variety of fields.

Submission + - Google's Angular 2 Being Built With Microsoft's TypeScript (

itwbennett writes: Big news for fans of static typing! Google and Microsoft have partnered to both enhance TypeScript and rebuild Angular in the TypeScript language. TypeScript, Microsoft's attempt at improving on JavaScript development, has been out there for a while without a notable use case. Likewise, Dart, Google's attempt at a language which accomplishes many of the same goals, hasn't seen a lot of traction outside of Google. With Google creating the next version of its popular framework Angular 2 using TypeScript, some weight is being thrown behind a single effort. Of course, Angular has its fair share of haters, and a complete re-write in version 2 that breaks compatibility with previous versions isn't going to help matters.

Comment Re:External Wacom digitizer (Score 1) 101

Really? You can draw on your laptop with a digitizer? What kind of laptop is it?

Dell Inspiron mini 1012 running Xubuntu, with a Wacom Bamboo Pen digitizer plugged into a USB port.

So what's the actual workflow then when people in your office leave their desks to go to a meeting? Undock the Dell and close it, unplug the Bamboo from the dock and carry them and the stylus to the meeting, open the Dell and plug in the Bamboo? Or undock the Dell with the Bamboo plugged into its USB port and carry them both to the meeting while tethered... either one sounds awkward. I'll keep my Surface, thanks, which as an added bonus comes with a handy place to carry my stylus. Or maybe you're talking about a different use case than this subthread is. I'm undocking at least 4 or 5 times a day, typically.


Comment Re:who cares? (Score 5, Interesting) 101

I'm having trouble understanding what the point of this product is. What useful niche does it fill?

In a fully managed enterprise environment, using OneNote to take handwritten notes in meetings - including creating quick To-Dos to send to Outlook, using handwriting to mark up Excel, Word, or PowerPoint files stored on a collaboration server so everyone's changes are synchronized, then go back to your desk and dock it so you have a full keyboard, mouse, external monitors (I have two), auto-switch from corporate WiFi to corporate LAN without losing mapped drives. In the enterprise space its competition is likely a Lenovo Helix model, not a Miix. For home users, it's probably overkill, unless maybe you do a lot of docking-and-undocking at home, but that's likely a niche market.

But if your company, like mine, allows a certain degree of personal use of the corporate device and allows you to take it home evenings and weekends, it's a lot lighter to carry and more fun to use than a traditional laptop. It's my laptop at work and my tablet at home (and yes, I know how to encrypt and back up my personal data in case my job suddenly disappears, and I still have a home PC as a second unit). It's the most satisfying and seamless personal computing experience I've ever had, and I've been in the business since the 1980's. This feels like the computer I've been waiting for all my life.


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