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Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot (27 August 1945, Groningen – 11 July 1999 , Nieuwegein) was a Dutch electronics engineer , who in 1995 claimed to have developed a revolutionary data sharing technique, the Sloot Digital Coding System, which could allegedly store a complete movie in 8 kilobytes of data — this is orders of magnitude greater compression than the best currently available technology in the 2010s. He died suddenly on July 11, 1999 of a heart attack, just days before the conclusion of a contract to sell the invention. The full source code was never recovered, and the technique and claim has since never been reproduced or verified.
The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.
Sloot was born the youngest of three children. His father, a school headmaster, left his family quite soon after Sloot's birth. 18 Sloot was enrolled at a Dutch technical school, but dropped out early to work at a radio station. :20 After fulfilling mandatory military service, Sloot settled in Utrecht, Netherlands with his wife. :20 He worked briefly for Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, Netherlands but left this job in 1978 after a year and a half, starting his next job in Groningen at an audio and video store. A few years later he moved to Nieuwegein where he started his own company repairing televisions and stereos.:
Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the eponymous province in the Netherlands. It is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands and has approximately 230,000 inhabitants. The Groningen-Assen metropolitan area has about half a milion inhabitants. Groningen is an old city and was the regional power of the north of the Netherlands, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League. Groningen is a university city, with an estimated 31,000 students at the University of Groningen, and an estimated 29,000 at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
In 1984, Sloot began focusing on computer technology such as the Philips P2000, Commodore 64, IBM PC XT, and AT. Sloot developed the idea of a countrywide repair service network called RepaBase with a database containing details on all repairs carried out. This concept was the motivation to develop alternative data storage techniques that would require significantly less space than traditional methods.
The Philips P2000T home computer was Philips' first real entry in the home computer market, after the Philips Videopac G7000 game system which they already sold to compete with the Atari 2600 and similar game systems. There was also a P2000M version with an additional 80-column card for use with a monochrome monitor. This version shipped with a monitor cabinet also housing a dual 5.25" floppy drive.
The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.
The IBM Personal Computer AT, more commonly known as the IBM AT and also sometimes called the PC AT or PC/AT, was IBM's second-generation PC, designed around the 6 MHz Intel 80286 microprocessor and released in 1984 as System Unit 5170. The name AT stood for "Advanced Technology," and was chosen because the AT offered various technologies that were then new in personal computers; one such advancement was that the 80286 processor supported protected mode. IBM later released an 8 MHz version of the AT.
In 1995, Sloot claimed to have developed a data encoding technique that could store an entire feature film in only 8 kilobytes. For comparison, even with the most modern techniques, a very low-quality video file normally requires 10,000 times more storage space, and a higher quality video file could require 175,000 times more data.
Roel Pieper is quoted as saying (translated from Dutch):
In 1996, Sloot received an investment from colleague Jos van Rossum, a cigarette machine operator. The same year, Sloot and van Rossum were granted a 6-year Dutch patent for the Sloot Encoding System, naming Sloot as inventor and Van Rossum as patent owner.
Despite the apparent impossibility of the encoding system, there were investors who saw potential. In early 1999, Dutch investor Marcel Boekhoorn joined the group. In March 1999, the system was demonstrated to Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips. Pieper resigned from Philips in May 1999 and joined Sloot's company as CEO, which was re-branded as The Fifth Force, Inc.The story—including an account of a believable demonstration of the technology—is told in modest detail in Tom Perkins' 2007 book Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins.
Marcel Boekhoorn is a Dutch entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and owner of investment company Ramphastos Investments. Boekhoorn has a wide array of business interests both within The Netherlands and internationally. With an estimated net worth of €1.9 billion, Boekhoorn is one of the wealthiest individuals in The Netherlands.
Roland "Roel" Pieper is a Dutch IT-entrepreneur.
For the Florida politician see Mayors of Tallahassee, Florida
Perkins, the co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, had agreed to invest in the technology when Sloot died. Perkins and Pieper would have proceeded after Sloot's death, but a key piece of the technology, a compiler stored on a floppy disk, had disappeared and, despite months of searching, was never recovered.
Kleiner Perkins, formerly Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), is an American venture capital firm headquartered on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. Specializing in investments in incubation, early stage and growth companies, since its founding in 1972 the firm has backed entrepreneurs in over 850 ventures, including America Online, Amazon.com, Compaq, Electronic Arts, JD.com, Square, Genentech, Google, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Nest, Synack, Snap, AppDynamics, and Twitter. Kleiner Perkins focuses its global investments in practice areas including technology and life sciences. The Wall Street Journal and other publications have called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms and Dealbook named it "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers." In addition to its Menlo Park headquarters, the company has offices in San Francisco and Shanghai, China.
On July 11, 1999 Sloot was found dead, in his gardenat his home in Nieuwegein of an apparent heart attack. He died one day before an attractive deal was signed with Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips.
Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often present without chest pain and instead have neck pain, arm pain, or feel tired. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest.
The family consented to an autopsy, but no autopsy was performed.[ citation needed ] Sloot left behind his wife and three children.
An audio file format is a file format for storing digital audio data on a computer system. The bit layout of the audio data is called the audio coding format and can be uncompressed, or compressed to reduce the file size, often using lossy compression. The data can be a raw bitstream in an audio coding format, but it is usually embedded in a container format or an audio data format with defined storage layer.
In signal processing, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction involves encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Compression can be either lossy or lossless. Lossless compression reduces bits by identifying and eliminating statistical redundancy. No information is lost in lossless compression. Lossy compression reduces bits by removing unnecessary or less important information.
The Graphics Interchange Format, is a bitmap image format that was developed by a team at the online services provider CompuServe led by American computer scientist Steve Wilhite on June 15, 1987. It has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.
JPEG is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images, particularly for those images produced by digital photography. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.
In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the content. These techniques are used to reduce data size for storing, handling, and transmitting content. The different versions of the photo of the cat to the right show how higher degrees of approximation create coarser images as more details are removed. This is opposed to lossless data compression which does not degrade the data. The amount of data reduction possible using lossy compression is much higher than through lossless techniques.
Lossless compression is a class of data compression algorithms that allows the original data to be perfectly reconstructed from the compressed data. By contrast, lossy compression permits reconstruction only of an approximation of the original data, though usually with improved compression rates.
MP3 is a coding format for digital audio. Originally defined as the third audio format of the MPEG-1 standard, it was retained and further extended—defining additional bit-rates and support for more audio channels—as the third audio format of the subsequent MPEG-2 standard. A third version, known as MPEG 2.5—extended to better support lower bit rates—is commonly implemented, but is not a recognized standard.
MPEG-1 is a standard for lossy compression of video and audio. It is designed to compress VHS-quality raw digital video and CD audio down to 1.5 Mbit/s without excessive quality loss, making video CDs, digital cable/satellite TV and digital audio broadcasting (DAB) possible.
In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc (OD) is a flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data (bits) in the form of pits and lands on a special material on one of its flat surfaces. The encoding material sits atop a thicker substrate which makes up the bulk of the disc and forms a dust defocusing layer. The encoding pattern follows a continuous, spiral path covering the entire disc surface and extending from the innermost track to the outermost track. The data is stored on the disc with a laser or stamping machine, and can be accessed when the data path is illuminated with a laser diode in an optical disc drive which spins the disc at speeds of about 200 to 4,000 RPM or more, depending on the drive type, disc format, and the distance of the read head from the center of the disc. Most optical discs exhibit a characteristic iridescence as a result of the diffraction grating formed by its grooves. This side of the disc contains the actual data and is typically coated with a transparent material, usually lacquer. The reverse side of an optical disc usually has a printed label, sometimes made of paper but often printed or stamped onto the disc itself. Unlike the 3½-inch floppy disk, most optical discs do not have an integrated protective casing and are therefore susceptible to data transfer problems due to scratches, fingerprints, and other environmental problems.
Fractal compression is a lossy compression method for digital images, based on fractals. The method is best suited for textures and natural images, relying on the fact that parts of an image often resemble other parts of the same image. Fractal algorithms convert these parts into mathematical data called "fractal codes" which are used to recreate the encoded image.
Arithmetic coding is a form of entropy encoding used in lossless data compression. Normally, a string of characters such as the words "hello there" is represented using a fixed number of bits per character, as in the ASCII code. When a string is converted to arithmetic encoding, frequently used characters will be stored with fewer bits and not-so-frequently occurring characters will be stored with more bits, resulting in fewer bits used in total. Arithmetic coding differs from other forms of entropy encoding, such as Huffman coding, in that rather than separating the input into component symbols and replacing each with a code, arithmetic coding encodes the entire message into a single number, an arbitrary-precision fraction q where 0.0 ≤ q < 1.0. It represents the current information as a range, defined by two numbers. Recent family of entropy coders called asymmetric numeral systems allows for faster implementations thanks to directly operating on a single natural number representing the current information.
JPEG 2000 (JP2) is an image compression standard and coding system. It was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group committee in 2000 with the intention of superseding their original discrete cosine transform-based JPEG standard with a newly designed, wavelet-based method. The standardized filename extension is .jp2 for ISO/IEC 15444-1 conforming files and .jpx for the extended part-2 specifications, published as ISO/IEC 15444-2. The registered MIME types are defined in. For ISO/IEC 15444-1 it is image/jp2.
Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rate. The confusingly named AAC+ (HE-AAC) does so only at low bit rates and less so at high ones.
Karlheinz Brandenburg is a German electrical engineer and mathematician. Together with Ernst Eberlein, Heinz Gerhäuser, Bernhard Grill, Jürgen Herre and Harald Popp, he developed the widespread MP3 method for audio data compression. He is also known for his elementary work in the field of audio coding, the perception measurement, the wave field synthesis and psychoacoustics. Brandenburg has received numerous national and international research awards, prizes and honors for his work. Since 2000 he is Professor of Electronic Media Technology at the Technical University Ilmenau. Brandenburg was significantly involved in the founding of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) and currently serves as its director.
H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10, Advanced Video Coding is a block-oriented motion-compensation-based video compression standard. As of 2014, it is one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of video content. It supports resolutions up to 8192×4320, including 8K UHD.
Kornelis Antonie "Kees" Schouhamer Immink is a Dutch scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, who pioneered and advanced the era of digital audio, video, and data recording, including popular digital media such as Compact Disc, DVD and Blu-ray Disc. He has been a prolific and influential engineer, who holds more than 1100 U.S. and international patents. A large portion of the commonly used audio and video playback and recording devices use technologies based on his work. His contributions to coding systems assisted the digital video and audio revolution, by enabling reliable data storage at information densities previously unattainable.
VP8 is an open and royalty free video compression format owned by Google and created by On2 Technologies as a successor to VP7.
Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a method used to digitally represent sampled analog signals. It is the standard form of digital audio in computers, compact discs, digital telephony and other digital audio applications. In a PCM stream, the amplitude of the analog signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals, and each sample is quantized to the nearest value within a range of digital steps.
A video coding format is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital video content. Examples of video coding formats include MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264, HEVC, Theora, RealVideo RV40, VP9, and AV1. A specific software or hardware implementation capable of video compression and/or decompression to/from a specific video coding format is called a video codec; an example of a video codec is Xvid, which is one of several different codecs which implements encoding and decoding videos in the MPEG-4 Part 2 video coding format in software.