When you embed any static image onto Twitter, it tries to compress it down as a JPEG to save bandwidth. For photos, that's usually fine; JPEG was designed for photos. But digital art, infographics and screenshots usually look their best in the PNG image format. If you upload those as PNGs, Twitter will still compress them into JPEGs and they might come out crappy. Here's how to fix that.
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Despite many alternatives offering their services, the JPEG image format remains king. Seeing as it's unlikely to be supplanted anytime soon, companies such as Google and Dropbox have been working hard to squeeze every last byte out of its compression abilities. For Dropbox, the solution was Lepton, delivering images 22 per cent smaller with no quality loss. Now Google has its own option -- Guetzli. And you can try it yourself right now.
Gruntier video cards. More powerful CPUs. Higher resolution displays. All this stuff is really important when it comes to enjoying quality 3D experiences, be it video games or virtual reality. But none of it matters if it takes 400 years to download those experiences. Hence why companies such as Google spend a lot of time researching new ways to compress data. Now Google has a new compression library for 3D models -- called "Draco" -- and it looks very promising.
You don't need a Weissman score to know that today's video encoders are incredibly good at what they do and will continue to get better as hardware power increases. So how exactly does an encoder, such as H.264, compress gigabytes of video into megabytes? It's complex, sure, but very explainable.
If Google is obsessed with compression, you can count on the likes of Dropbox having a thing for it too. Driven by the need to store petabytes of user data in the most efficient way possible, the cloud storage company has come up with its own lossless JPEG compressor that can shave over 20 per cent off file sizes.
Your average user doesn't pay much attention to security vulnerabilities in software, but when they affect something like 7-Zip, one of the most popular compression tools available, it has a way of cornering the raised eyebrow market.
Dear Lifehacker, I'm running out of hard drive space because I have an enormous collection of photos. Apart from getting more storage or culling some pictures, the other option I've been thinking about is converting all my images to the WebP file format. It looks like it could compress down to somewhere between 40 to 60 per cent of the original size. Is this a good idea?
As long as you don't mind breaking compatibility with older browsers and have no need for animation, the Portable Network Graphic (PNG) has replaced the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) as the preferred transparency-supporting lossless image format of the internet. Over the next few weeks, we're going to explore the different ways you can optimise the size of PNGs while compromising little on quality.
You can use TrueCrypt or special apps to encrypt your sensitive data stored on Dropbox, but for greater accessibility and reduced bandwidth consumption, another alternative is to use a password-protected, encrypted zip file in Dropbox.
Windows only: 7-Zip, one of those essential little Windows utilities that always makes our Lifehacker Pack, has updated to version 9.2. The tool still does its basic job well, but now supports some EXE, FLV, and SWF files as well.