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Another ‘Magic’ Compression Patent: Claims 1.28GB on a Floppy

Posted by Sachin Garg on 26th August 2006 | Permanent Link

Pegasus Web Services Inc. announced that USPTO has granted their patent no 7,096,360.

The patent describes “An “Frequency-Time Based Data Compression Method” supporting the compression, encryption, decompression, and decryption and persistence of many binary digits through frequencies where each frequency represents many bits.”

The patent claims A new digit data compression method providing the means to transport parallel digital data over a serial medium and providing the means of storing parallel data on a serial storage media.

And mentions “Enhanced Quality of Life”, “Energy Savings” and “Counter Terrorism” as some of its applications.

Don’t be surprised if you can’t understand how and what it does or even what it claims, I couldn’t do that either :-)

The real fun is in their press release. Here are some interesting excerpts:

It can be applied to data storage as well (imagine a floppy disk that can store 1.28 GigaBytes of data) or when applied to a 32 bit computer buss effectively creating a 32,000 bit computer buss.

“This invention is expected to significantly change the way we use computers in the future. We will no longer be constrained by the box; i.e. the number of slots in the computer backplane). The network becomes the computer backplane. The total computing power available is the sum of the parts of all computers on the network,” noted Jeff Fries, Vice President - Pegasus Web Services Inc.

And as expected, company doesn’t plans to build any products but only license the technology. What a surprise!!! Duh!

38 Responses to “Another ‘Magic’ Compression Patent: Claims 1.28GB on a Floppy”

  1. Smith Says:

    One look at their website and I can guess how credible the company is.

  2. George Says:

    It is stupid to judge a technology by its website, pregrammers tend to lack asthetics.

    But in this case they claim to provide a website creating service too, and their own website is so crappy that I have to agree with you.

  3. Mark Nelson Says:

    I added these guys to back in 2002 when they first issued this press release. Apparently they did that when they applied for the patent, then when it was granted on August 22, 2006, they popped up with this new press release.

    I always have a hard time reading patents - you really have to work to get anything useful out of them - but a scan of this one barely makes any claims for compression, don’t you think? I mean, he says it provides a method for data compression, but I don’t think the patent describes magic data compression. He needs a press release to do that.

  4. Mark Nelson Says:

    The Million Random Digit Challenge Revisited…

    The world is full of people who make remarkable claims about their ability to compress all sorts of data - including data considered by most to be random, and thereby incompressible. My Million Random Digit Challenge gives those people a chance to put …

  5. Sachin Garg Says:

    Yes and this one is particularly hard to understand because it doesn’t describes anything at all.

    Patent just mentions that it can compress data, but there is no mention of ‘how’. And yes the ‘magical’ claims are all in the press release.

  6. Heliologue Says:

    It’s looks like a textbook hoax site, but the scary thing is I know it’s not. Maybe I should go ahead and file a few magic patents, and then sell them to suckers investors.

  7. Matt Mahoney Says:

    I read the patent. It looks like they patented multilevel pulse code modulation, e.g. using 16 frequency levels to encode 4 bits in a single pulse. They assume somehow that it is possible to store analog signals on a disk or CD. They also claim an encryption method which is basically a Caesar cipher.

    So after 4 years the USPTO couldn’t find prior art?

  8. Dave Therrien Says:

    I spoke with Jeff Fries last week by phone. Give him a call yourself and speak with him. His number’s on his resume at his website. We had a good conversation about the technology and where it could and could not be applied.

  9. Sachin Garg Says:

    What were his opinions on where it can’t be applied? The press release seems to imply it can be used everywhere.

    Did he specified what kind of 1.28 GB data can be stored on a 1.44 MB floppy using his method? Or is the method independent of data source?

    btw, there is a related comp.compression discussion some of you might want to follow.

  10. Stevie G Says:

    yes ok but wheres the software/harware needed?

  11. Sachin Garg Says:

    Jeff intends only to license the technology. He has no plans to implement/market this himself (due to very obvious reasons).

  12. Andrew Polar Says:

    There are very many reasons to obtain the patent apart from ones admitted by patent law. The patent law delegates monopoly for manufacturing and selling an invention during 20 years for a patent holder. Any other reason for patenting is against the law. Those reasons might be but not limited to:
    1. To become famous, to draw the attention
    2. To brainwash the investors that company is on cutting edge technology
    3. To mislead competitors regarding the research
    4. Personal ambitions of high rank employee
    5. To intimidate individual researchers that they can be sued by publishing free software (works with arithmetic encoding as we know)
    6. Setting score with rival corporation by patenting their field of research (some sort of submarine patent, filed by individuals as well)
    The patent law also clearly says that invention must be reduced to practice and abstract ideas are not patented. We know that patents obtained with violation of patent law can be terminated and know the cased when it has been done. But there is one more aspect that people don’t know. Patenting is tax deductible in United States. That means that knowingly obtaining the patent by violating the patent law and claiming tax exemption constitute a felony when deduction exceeds certain limit.

  13. Andrew Polar Says:

    When I read the patent I think I did not pay much attention to its best part. It is fourth object of the invention the encryption that according to inventor will help in counter terrorism. That will certainly work if terrorists can’t read English or don’t have access to Internet. Otherwise they also can use suggested encryption so the fourth object of invention has to be changed into following: “It will help both terrorists and counter terrorists whoever finds the way to reduce the invention to practice”. There is the chance, however, that terrorists believe that USPTO experts are engineers and issue patents in accordance with the patent law. In this case they may try to implement the invention, go bankrupt and loose capability to damage United States of America, by which they make an inventor a national hero. Looks like idea for a movie (Can’t be considered as a trade secret and submitted to Hollywood for compensation because expressed publicly).

  14. Klaus Says:

    Great. Finally someone invented FSK. I just didn’t know that FSK invalidates the Nyquist-Shannon Theorem.

    Must dig out my old FSK modem from thw early 80s. Just a simple bit of overclocking, and it Save Energy, Enhance Quality of Life and, of course, Prevent Terrorism.

    What? You don’t believe the claims? I’ll prove it!

    The 80s, when we used the (now-patented) FSK technology for information interchange, are nowadays regarded by many people as the “good old times”, because we had Less Pollution, No Siginificant Terrorism and, in general, A Much Better Quality of Life. Isn’t that proof enough!

  15. Klaus Says:

    Note that a touch-tone telephone encodes 2 bits per frequency. Is it therefore “prior art”? Nope, since the touch-tone telephone did nothing to Prevent Terrorism!

  16. Daniel Lavieri Says:

    This is a joke. Matemathically talking, any kind of compression algorithm is limited to the basic principle that the number os combinations of a number of, say, n bits, is bigger than the set of n-1 bits.

    For example: for a 3 bits number, we have 2^3, or 8 possibilities. If we intend to compress a number of 3 bits, in this case, the worst case we MUST have a number of 2 bits. The number of combination possibilities is 2^2, or 4 possibilities, which is less than the set of combinations of a number composed by 3 bits. This involves that compression algorithms could compress only SOME bit combinations.

    Daniel Lavieri.

  17. Earl Colby Pottinger Says:

    I also have to ask, why would you want to store 1.28GB on a floppy today when 2-4-8 GB USB dongles are cheaper, smaller, and more durable.

    And yes cheaper. The hardware in present floppy drives is digital only, to support analog recording you are going to need a new floppy drive designed from the ground up. That is going to cost.

  18. Daniel Lavieri Says:

    Earl, if would be possible this kind of compression, it could revolutionize the way we transfer data over web. Imagine if we could download a whole DVD movie in a matter of minutes… but, trust me: this guy who announced such foolishness is a joker. There’s a proof that could uncourage those who think it’s possible to make a “revolutionary” or “magic” algorithm at this link above:

    Download it and see what I’m saying.


  19. Earl Colby Pottinger Says:

    Really, I think you misunderstood the invention. It is not a true compression scheme, it is an encoding one. Basicly, instead of recording pure digital states (ie one bit at a time) the invention records analog signals that that can encode more than one bit at a time. This is how modems greater than 600 bps already operate for years over telephone lines.

    (1) No data compression takes place, thus it still remains the same amount of data - this invention does not speed up transmitions over present systems.

    (2) Floppy disk drives as I already pointed out at digital in their recording. This system will *NOT* work with any present floppy drive system out there. And the hard drive manufacturers already are using their own versions of analog recording to pack more data, they don’t need to pay for some outsider’s design.

    (3) I just picked up a 4GB USB dongle for $19.95 this weekend at Best Buy - It works on all my machines and all my friends machines, why do I want a floppy that does not work anywhere else?

    PS. Search for my name in comp.compression, I known this stuff as garbage for many years.

  20. fornetti Says:

    I do not believe this

  21. Earl Colby Pottinger Says:

    You don’t believe what?

    The compression claims? Or the rebuttal?

  22. angela Says:

    Einen schoenen Artikel hast du hier geschrieben. Dieser Artikel hat mich irgendwie animiert auch wieder mehr zu bloggen, werde mich jetzt gleich mal hinsetzen und einen neuen Artikel schreiben.

  23. alan Says:

    Daniel Lavieri: the counting argument is apparently weak (when you know how to get past it)

    Quote: “Mathemathically talking”

    why be limited by “conventional mathematics”

    “, any kind of compression algorithm”

    a “compression algorithm”- put that in the mirror

    “is limited to the basic principle that the number os combinations of a number of, say, n bits, is bigger than the set of n-1 bits.”

    this is a spectacularly “closed-eyes” perspective (no further clues just here on this )

    “For example: for a 3 bits number, we have 2^3, or 8 possibilities. If we intend to compress a number of 3 bits, in this case, the worst case we MUST have a number of 2 bits. The number of combination possibilities is 2^2, or 4 possibilities, which is less than the set of combinations of a number composed by 3 bits. This involves that compression algorithms could compress only SOME bit combinations.

    If you only knew what you just said

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