Google wants to make JPEGs smaller so sites can load faster, use less bandwidth

nfc smart unlock
bennymarty/123RF
Google has unveiled a new open source algorithm that can dramatically reduce the size of JPEG images. Guetzil — named for the Swiss German term for a cookie — is a JPEG encoder that can reportedly produce high quality images with file sizes that are 35 percent smaller than the norm.

Like Google’s Zopfli algorithm for PNG and gzip files, Guetzil offers smaller file sizes without sacrificing compatibility with existing web browsers, image processing applications, or the JPEG standard. This sets the algorithm apart from other methods of reducing JPEG file sizes, like RNN-based image compression, RAISR, and WebP.

Guetzil works by focusing on the quantization stage of the compression process. It uses an advanced psychovisual model that attempts to strike a balance between small file sizes and image fidelity by honing in on the kind of details that the human eye is drawn to, according to a post published to the Google Research Blog.

The downside to this methodology is that compression takes significantly longer than currently available methods. However, tests have found that people preferred images compressed using Guetzil to those encoded with libjpeg, even when the latter images were slightly larger. Google describes the slower compression process as a “worthy tradeoff.”

If Guetzil is broadly implemented, users could be able to enjoy a smoother, more responsive experience while browsing the internet. The smaller image sizes would help pages load faster, and could even allow users on a data plan to use less of their allocation loading images.

The researchers behind the project hope to see webmasters and graphic designers adopt the open-source algorithm. The team also suggests that the psychovisual approach adopted by the project will inspire further research into the way our eyes perceive compressed images and video.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Emerging Tech

Don’t get burned! How to back crowdfunding projects the smart way

In the world of crowdfunding, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. There's a million reasons why a project might fail. But with this handy guide, you'll be able to spot the signs of a sketchy project and decrease your chances of getting…
Mobile

The first Android Q beta is available. Here's what we know about it

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system, and now it's available for beta testing.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.
Computing

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…
Cars

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.
Photography

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Computing

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Buying Guides

Apple has powered up its iMac lineup, but which one should you opt for?

With new processors and graphics cards for both the 4K and 5K models, the iMac feels like a good option for creatives again. But which should you buy? Here's our guide to choosing the right Apple all-in-one for your needs.