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Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future by Chris Bishop, John MacCormick

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7

Data Compression: Something for Nothing

Emma was gratified, and would soon have shewn no want of words, if the sound of Mrs Elton's voice from the sitting-room had not checked her, and made it expedient to compress all her friendly and all her congratulatory sensations into a very, very earnest shake of the hand.

—JANE AUSTEN, Emma

We're all familiar with the idea of compressing physical objects: when you try to fit a lot of clothes into a small suitcase, you can squash the clothes so that they are small enough to fit even though they would overflow the suitcase at their normal size. You have compressed the clothes. Later, you can decompress the clothes after they come out of a suitcase and (hopefully) wear them again in their original size ...

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