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TBTF for 1995-05-30: Wavelet compression and 3D fax

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Tue, 30 May 1995 08:08:51 -0400



>>From Edupage:


[Two new ways to compress.]

NEW WAVE IN COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY
The Houston Advanced Research Center is using digital wavelet theory to
bring lifelike video to PCs. Most currently available technology runs about
eight frames a second, but the new HARC software uses wavelets to describe
an image, coding its attributes, and remembering how to reassemble it when
the picture is returned to full size, resulting in an almost lifelike 38
frames a second moving image. HARC-C, as the software is called, can
compress an image to about 1/100th of its original size and restore it with
no noticeable loss of clarity. Supporters of the software say they can
avoid a conflict with international video compression standards by
transmitting the software needed to view the image with the video itself.
Says project coordinator Thomas Lineham, "The important thing is for us to
get the highest quality image with the deepest compression and greatest user
access. Then we can freely communicate with pictures." (Wall Street
Journal 1995-05-25 B12)

[How fast is the compression step? The decompression? Most such schemes com-
promise time on one end or the other, or both, to achieve high compression
and/or high fidelity.]

SUPER-SPEEDY FAX SOFTWARE
New PC software called 3D Fax can compress a 30-page document into a format
that zips across a telephone line in 60 seconds or less. A similarly
equipped computer on the other end can decompress the document and print it
out. If the document is sent to a standard fax machine, the resulting page
appears as an unreadable, black-and-white rectangle which can then be
scanned into a computer where 3D software restores it to its original
format. Color pictures can also be compressed, sent over the phone line,
printed in black-and-white on a sheet of paper, and converted back to a
color picture using the software. (Investor's Business Daily 1995-05-25 A8)

[3D Fax has been advertising in Wired for two months now. Somehow it's easier
to believe their claims when printed in the sober IBD than when seen it day-
glo Wired ads.]

ROYALTY PAYMENTS FOR WORK SOLD ONLINE
The Author's Guild has developed a new accounting system for paying
royalties for work reproduced and sold online. The system allows publishers
to send the Guild a single check along with a distribution list of authors
who should receive the royalty. (New York Times 1995-05-24 B5)

ENGLISH DOMINANCE ON THE INFO-HIGHWAY
The former chair of the Conseil de la langue francaise urged Quebec's
French-language charter be changed to address the dominance of English on
the info-highway. (Toronto Globe & Mail 1995-05-24 A5A)

[Unusually vague for an Edupage item. Does the former chair mean to tighten
the charter to assure equal usage of French on the Net? Or loosen it to recog-
nize the defacto domination of English?]

NEWSWEEK WEIGHS IN WITH MAGAZINE ON CYBERCULTURE Newsweek will launch a
print quarterly magazine called Virtual City that's being billed as a cross
between TV Guide and People magazine. Planned for a September debut,
Virtual City will include features about how people work and play using
electronic communications and high-tech gear. (Miami Herald 1995-05-24 C3)


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______________________________________________________
Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.