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What is Lossless?

Lossless compression reduces a file's size with no loss of quality. This seemingly magical method of reducing file sizes can be applied to both image and audio files. While JPEGs and MP3s use lossy compression, newer compression algorithms, such as JPEG 2000 and Apple Lossless compression, can be used to create lossless compressed files. Lossless compression basically rewrites the data of the original file in a more efficient way. However, because no quality is lost, the resulting files are typically much larger than image ... Read more

What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a set of instructions designed to perform a specific task. This can be a simple process, such as multiplying two numbers, or a complex operation, such as playing a compressed video file. Search engines use proprietary algorithms to display the most relevant results from their search index for specific queries. In computer programming, algorithms are often created as functions. These functions serve as small programs that can be referenced by a larger program. For example, an image viewing application may include a library of functions that each use ... Read more

What is MPEG?

Stands for "Moving Picture Experts Group." MPEG is an organization that develops standards for encoding digital audio and video. It works with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to ensure media compression standards are widely adopted and universally available. The MPEG organization has produced a number of digital media standards since its inception in 1998. Examples include: MPEG-1 – Audio/video standards designed for digital storage media (such as an MP3 file)MPEG-2 – Standards for digital television and DVD videoMPEG-4 – Multimedia standards for the computers, mobile devices, and the webMPEG-7 – ... Read more

What is a Zip?

Zip is a common type of file compression. "Zipping" one or more files creates a compressed archive that takes up less disk space than the uncompressed version. It is useful for backing up files and reducing the size of data transferred over the Internet. An archive compressed with standard Zip compression has a .ZIP file extension — for example, To open the file or files in a Zip archive, you must first "unzip" or decompress the archive. Both Windows and macOS include a built-in file decompression utility that can unzip Zip files. Alternatively, you can use a third-party file ... Read more

What is Spam?

Originating from the name of Hormel's canned meat, "spam" now also refers to junk e-mail or irrelevant postings to a newsgroup or bulletin board. The unsolicited e-mail messages you receive about refinancing your home, reversing aging, and losing those extra pounds are all considered to be spam. Spamming other people is definitely not cool and is one of the most notorious violations of Internet etiquette (or "netiquette"). So if you ever get the urge to let thousands of people know about ... Read more

What is a Font?

A font is a collection of characters with a similar design. These characters include lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols. Changing the font can alter the look and feel of a block of text. Some fonts are designed to be simple and easy to read, while others are designed to add a unique style to the text. For example, Arial has a simple, modern look, while Palatino has an older more traditional appearance. Serif vs Sans-Serif Fonts The two most basic categories of fonts are "serif" and ... Read more

What is AIFF?

Stands for "Audio Interchange File Format." AIFF is a file format designed to store audio data. It was developed by Apple Computer, but is based on Electronic Arts' IFF (Interchange File Format), a container format originally used on Amiga systems. A standard AIFF file contains 2 channels of uncompressed stereo audio with a sample size of 16 bits, recorded at a sampling rate of 44.1 kilohertz. This is also known as "CD-quality audio," since CDs use the same audio specifications. AIFF audio takes up just over 10MB per ... Read more

What is Commercial Software?

Computer software comes in three different flavors: freeware, shareware, and commercial software. Freeware is free to use and does not require any payment from the user. Shareware is also free to use, but typically limits the program's features or the amount of time the software can be used unless the user purchases the software. Commercial software requires payment before it can be used, but includes all the program's features, with no restrictions or time limits. Commercial software programs typically come in a physical box, which is what you ... Read more

What is a Sprite?

A sprite is a bitmap graphic that is designed to be part of a larger scene. It can either be a static image or an animated graphic. Examples of sprites include objects in 2D video games, icons that are part of an application user interface, and small images published on websites. In the 1980s and for most of the 1990s, sprites were the standard way to integrate graphics into video games. Graphic artists created small 2D images that were used to represent characters and other objects. Developers ... Read more
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