Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords of the Decade

‘Global Study: Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords for 2008

Cloud Computing, Green Washing and Buzzword Compliant

Austin Texas November 20, 2008 — In its third annual Internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com) has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords of 2008 to be cloud computing, green washing, and buzzword compliant followed by resonate, de-duping, and virtualization.  Rounding out the Top Ten were Web 2.0, versioning, word clouds, and petaflop. The most confusing Acronym for 2008 was SaaS (software as a service).

Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, said “The words we use in high technology continue to become even more obtuse even as they move out of the realm of jargon and into the language at large.”

The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2008 with Commentary follow:

· Cloud Computing – Distributing or accessing programs and services across the Internet. (The Internet is represented as a cloud.)

· Green washing – Repositioning your product so that its shortfalls are now positioned as environmental benefits: Not enough power? Just re-position as energy-saving.

· Buzzword Compliant — Including the latest buzzwords in literature about a product or service in order to make it ‘resonate’ with the customer.

· Resonate – Not the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude, but the ability to relate to (or resonate with) a customer’s desires.

· De-duping – shorthand for de-duplication, that is, removing redundant data from a system.

· Virtualization – Around since dinosaurs walked the planet (the late ‘70s) virtualization now applies to everything from infrastructures to I/O.

· Web 2.0 – Now there’s talk of Web 3.0, just when we were finally getting used to Web 2.0.

· Versioning – Creating new revisions (or versions) with fewer bugs and more features.

· Word Clouds – Graphic representations of the words used in a text, the more frequently used, the larger the representation.

· Petaflop – A thousand trillion (or quadrillion) floating point operations per second Often mistaken as a comment on the environmental group.

The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited Acronym for 2008: SaaS — software-as-as-service to be differentiated, of course, from PaaS (platforms as a service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service).

Others words under consideration include the ever popular yet amorphous ‘solution’, 3G and SEO.

In 2007 IPOD, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Cookie lead the list with SOA as the most confusing acronym

In 2005, HTTP, VoIP, Megapixel, Plasma, & WORM were the leading buzzwords.

The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. This analysis was performed earlier this month.

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Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords for 2007

iPod, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Kernel lead list; SOA most confusing acronym

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San Diego, Calif. and Henderson, NV October 16, 2007. In a worldwide internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords in 2007 to be iPOD, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Kernel followed by Megahertz, Cell (cell as in cell phone), Plasma, De-duplication, and Blu-Ray.

To see the Video Announcement, Click on Herr (mega)Hertz.

The study was released earlier today, on the 13th anniversary of the ‘cookie,’ the invention that made the World Wide Web practical for widespread surfing, communication, and e-commerce.

Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor, said “Educational metrics such as the Flesch Test would place a typical paragraph using these words at the Third-grade reading-level.  At the same time, most college graduates, even from the most prestigious engineering schools such as MIT, Stanford, and CalTech would be challenged to precisely define all ten.  Once again, the High Tech industry has failed its basic language proficiency test.”

The analysis was completed using GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet.  The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.  This analysis was performed in earlier this month.

The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2007 with Commentary follow:

1.  iPOD:  We all know the brand, but what exactly is a ‘pod’?  A gathering of marine mammals?  The encasement for peas?  The evacuation module from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

2.  Flash:  As in Flash Memory.  Given it is easier to say than “ I brought the report on my EEPROM chip with a thin oxide layer separating a floating gate and control gate utilizing Fowler-Nordheim electron tunneling”.

3.  Nano:  Widely used to describe any small as in nanotechnology.   Like the word ‘mini’ which originally referred to the red hues in Italian miniature paintings, the word nano- is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek word for dwarf.

4.  Cookie:  Without cookies with their ‘persistent state’ management mechanism the web as we know it, would cease to exist.

5.  Kernel:  The core layer of a computer operating system serving as a connection to the underlying hardware. Ultimately derives from the Old English cyrnel, for corn.

6.  Megahertz MHz):  Named after German physicist Heinrich Hertz, signifying a million cycles per second in computer processor (and not clock) speed.  Next up:  GigaHertz (GHz) and TeraHertz (THz), one billion and one trillion cycles.

7.  Cell (as in Cell Phone):  Operating on the principle of cells, where communicate through low-power transceiver to cellular ‘towers’ up to 6 miles away (which is why you can connect to ground stations from airplanes at 35,000 feet).  The phone connects to the strongest signal which are then passed from tower to tower.

8.  Plasma (as in Plasma Television):  A top word in the last survey still confusing large-screen TV buyers.

9.  De-duplication:  One of the newer buzzwords meaning removing duplicated data from a storage device, as in ‘we’re in the process of de-duping the silo’.  Ouch!

10.  Blu-Ray (vs. HD DVD).  New technology for high capacity DVDs reminiscent of the VHS/Beta wars of the 1980s.

Most

Confusing Acronym:  SOA (Service-oriented Architecture);  IBM had to write a book to explain it!?
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Other terms being tracked included terabyte, memory, core, and head crash.

Now you can watch Global Language Monitor on YouTube.

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Global Study: Top 10 Most Confusing (yet widely used) High Tech Buzzwords:

HTTP, Megapixel, Plasma, WORM and Emoticon Among Leaders

Danville, Calif. March 24, 2005. In a worldwide internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords to be HTTP, Voice Over IP (VoIP), and Megapixel.  Closely following were Plasma, Robust, WORM and Emoticon.  The study was released earlier today.   “The high tech realm remains an incubator of great ideas and, at the same time, mass confusion.  The industry, with rare exception, has never mastered the basics of translating new products and services into everyday language: It is obvious that the High Tech industry has failed in its basic language proficiency test.”

The Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) is a proprietary algorithm that trackswords and phrases in the media and on the Internet.  The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.  This analysis was performed in early March of 2005.

The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words  with Commentary follow:

1.  HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol is used for HTML (HyperText Markup Language) files. Not  to be confused with text on too much Starbucks.  More than 1 billion references to HTTP on the web alone.

2.  Voice Over IP   VoIP, (pronounced voip rhyming with Detroit).  Voice over Internet Protocol. Simply put:  web telephony.

3.  Megapixel A really big pixel.  No, one million pixels (thats a lotta pixels) OK, whats a pixel? Computer-ese for picture element.

4. Plasma As in Plasma TV.  Are we talking Red Cross Drives here?  Rather, a flat, lightweight surface covered with millions of tiny glass bubbles with a digitally controlled electric current flowing through it that causes the plasma inside the tiny bubbles to glow.

5.  Robust No one quite knows what this means, but its good for your product to demonstrate robustness.

6.  WORM A virus, right?  No, a Write Once, Read Many file system used for optical disk technology.

7.  Emoticon   A smiley with an emotional component (from emotional icon).  Now, whats a smiley?

8.  Best of breed   Not to be confused with the Westminster Dog Show.  A personalized  solution made of components from various manufacturers; a sort of high tech mix-and-match.

9.  Viral marketing Marketing that Freezes your computer?  Actually, a high tech marketing fad that theoretically results in a geometric progression of ones marketing message.  Sometimes stealth.   Always irritating.

10.  Data migration   Nothing to do with pre-historic mastodons or, even, global warming.  Its where the data in your present software programs can move to newer (or older) versions of the programs or, better yet, into competitive solutions without causing much of a fuss.  A highly unlikely result.

Other terms being tracked included client/server, solution, Paradigm, hypertext, backward compatible, best of breed, and the STUN protocol.

Read:   Buzzwords alienate a low-tech public (Knight-Ridder)

Read:   Top 10 Confusing Tech Buzzwords (Network World)

Read:   Nerdspeak Mostly Bafflegab (Toronto Globe and Mail)

The Infinity Symbol (the lemniscate)

Mathematical Symbols and Notation:  Earliest  Use

Mathematics as a Language

Computational Linguistics

Computer Language List

Read The WordMan on “How the Zero Was Discovered”

The Great Math Problems of the 20th Century

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The Dustbin of History, or How the Infinity Symbol Came into Existence

By Paul JJ Payack

John Wallis (1616-1703) possessed no knowledge of the mathematical arts at the age of fifteen, yet he later went on to become the Savilian professor of Geometry at Oxford, the friend and teacher of Isaac Newton (he was the first to charge that Leibnitz had stolen his ideas for the calculus), and a charter member of the Royal Society. Yet his place in the history of mathematical thought is, perhaps not unjustly, obscure (and oftentimes, simply, ignored). A list of his major formulations would serve, merely, as an esoteric series of footnotes to the said compilation, which would interest, it should be stated, rather few.

For example, Wallis discovered that, in all such operations, it was mass times velocity (mv) that was conserved and not, as it was widely held, merely velocity (v). However, he fell short of unsecreting the laws of motion (which Newton would later publish). He also, at one time, theorized “that for the purposes of calculation, the earth and moon can be treated as a single body, concentrated at their center of gravity …” but stopped short far short of formulating the basis for the Laws of Universal Gravitation.

It can also be noted that Newton borrowed his system of fluxional notation (in which the fluent of was represented by , and the fluent by and so on) yet this, too, was swept into the dustbin of history when it was later replaced by that system developed by Leibnitz. His significant work still owed a heavy debt to the Greeks and the most notable of these was Arithmatica Infinitorum sive Nova Methodus Inquirendi in Curvilineorum Quadraturam aliague difficilora Matheseosos Problemata (1673), which is more often recalled for its title rather than for the fact that it introduced to mathematics the idea of ‘limit’.

It is often opined that a man might fulfill the secret purpose of his existence in the doing of a seemingly trivial deed such as a word said in passing or, perhaps, an action not acted upon (the significance of which, more often than not, is forever hidden from the doer). In the case of John Wallis it can be said that he, quite possibly, achieved his destiny with the few simple strokes of his quill with which he, in 1656, modified a Roman variation for 1000.   This was to serve him simply as the notation for a very small quantity, but, in centuries to come, was to serve the world as the symbol (and signature) of INFINITY.




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