Sunday, October 27, 2013
It doesn't look as if the term is new, though. The BBC used the term bulk espionage in a piece from 23 Feb 2000, and a student learning English asked the next day what bulk spying meant.
Are there earlier cites? I need different corpora to search through ...
Friday, October 18, 2013
They are not alone in using the term. I found about 500 legitimate hits on Google. As I look through the listings, I'm not sure I can detect a definitive pattern. Here are some examples:
- Pre-assorted tattoo ink. The preassorted variety is not random; they explicitly list the colors they include.
- Pre-assorted cupcakes. Same: a preselected variety.
- Pre-assorted pound of taffy. There might be some randomness to the assortment, but if so, it's constrained: "We pick only the most popular flavors."
- Pre Assorted Nylon headbands x 12. Perhaps this gives us a clue: "No duplicates. You do not get to choose colors." It's an assortment, but we're doing the selecting for you.
- Jacqueline du Pre Pre - Assorted Concerts This is a YouTube playlist.
I actually have access to a kind of subject-matter expert; my daughter works at a store that sells chocolates. I asked her whether they sell "preassorted" collections. No, she said; they use the terms pre-packed or just assorted. Both of which make sense to me.
So I'm still a little unclear on what preassorted conveys that preselected doesn't. Any ideas?
Monday, June 24, 2013
AWS Direct Connect makes it easy to establish a dedicated network connection from your premise to AWS. Using AWS Direct Connect, you can establish private connectivity between AWS and your datacenter, office, or colocation environment [...]Specifically, of course, the observation is that as used in this context, the term should be premises, as per the second definition here:
It seems possible to me that premise in the usage above might be an example of a singular back-formation from what is in effect a mass noun (premises), along the lines of pease > peas > pea. (See also cherry.) Thus, premises in this context is being interpreted as a plural—We visited the company's [many] premises.
If this analysis is true, it seems like the tendency to think of the land-oriented premise as singular might be helped along by the existence of premise as an existing singular, albeit with a different meaning.
Someone else pointed out that the term on-premise has some traction. Assuming that Mr. Google is correctly interpreting my query, that term seems to have been a variant with equal frequency for a while of on-premises:
Thursday, January 17, 2013
On Sunday, Oracle rushed out a fix for a critical bug in Java that had been folded into exploit kits, crimeware made to automate the exploitation of computers via Web browser vulnerabilities.The term malware is well established, of course. But crimeware is a different beast; it's not what the bad guys put on your computer to perform their dirty deeds, but the software that they use to build their exploits in the first place. As the mighty Wikipedia puts it, crimeware is "a class of malware designed specifically to automate cybercrime." Later in the article, Krebs refers to "weaponized versions of the exploit," which gets across the idea also. There's a book:
In the same paragraph, Krebs uses another interesting term that's not that unusual, but that is misrepresented by the font of the article. Let me show you a picture:
A body who's not attuned to the font (and who's reading it at normal size) might read this as oday. But it's 0day (zero-day), with the digit thwarted by the font (Georgia, it looks like). Oday is just leet-y shorthand for zero-day, an adjective meaning "pertaining to a program that exploits a computer security vulnerability before security experts can address it." Indeed, searching for "0day" (mit de zero) directs you to Zero-day attack high in your results. (Searching for oday gets you nothing interesting, in case you were wondering.)
And that's about as much fun as I can extract from this one article today.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
And a little later:
The Techopedia site has a definition for fondleslab that goes like this:
"Highly idiomatic": ya think? Subsequent discussion on that page notes that many people think that the term is "extremely informal and not appropriate for business use" and that it is used in journalism. Indeed, that's where our examples come from, and indeed, The Register seems to be the most avid user of this term. Urban Dictionary, of course, has a definition (essentially the same as this), which somewhat unexpectedly also includes an entry for the term tablet-widow (echoes of, for example, golf widow.)
The, um, informal nature of the term pertains, of course, to fondle. This is technically a neutral term ("touch or stroke tenderly"), but it's used so often in sexual contexts that it seems to lends a certain impropriety to the term's use elsewhere. Like here: it suggests an unseemly attachment to the device. To my mind, anyway.
I can't imagine any context in which fondleslab would be considered a neutral term, let alone a positive one. For example, I would never consider my own devices to be fondleslabs. No, that's something that other people have. :-)
Monday, October 29, 2012
A recent brouhaha about the outing of the notorious troll Violentacrez brought to prominence a term that's been around for a while, but that really got a workout in the last week: doxxing.
Doxxing, sometimes doxing, infinitive to dox, often used passively (to be doxxed), is to publicly identify someone who has an online persona that keeps them otherwise anonymous. In this case, the user "Violentacrez" was doxxed by a reporter for Gawker.com (link here, but is currently unavailable due, I believe, to wrangling between Reddit and Gawker). The incident has set off a huge debate on the Internet that involves overlapping discussions about privacy, free speech, ethical behavior, journalism, and other topics.
But we're not about ethics here, we're about words. Dox definitely has the sense of outing someone. The source is not entirely clear. It's possible that dox comes from docs, i.e., documents, as in, being documented.
If Urban Dictionary is to be believed (ahem), it also refers to intercourse, perhaps not of a variety preferred by one of the participants, with typical metaphoric overtones. (See also: screwed.)
There's this slightly odd sense (from 1998), in reference to a game that's for sale on eBay:
This could mean (I cannot verify) that the game is fully documented, as in, it comes with all the bits that accompanied the new product.
Another sense of doxxed appears in discussion about gaming (a world I know nothing about) and seems to be a specialized and unique shortening of "paradoxed," whatever that might mean:
A thread on the wordorigins.org site reviews these senses and Dave Wilton in that thread writes "I would suggest the first meaning above blended with the 'documents' sense to give the specific meaning of private information being revealed."
Since I have no actual, you know, facts, I'll echo Wilton's belief that doxxing in the "outing" sense seems like it could plausibly derive from documents. Perhaps someone can look into this a bit further. And then, haha, dox it.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The bigger one will have air vents, because again, it's pretty much a laptop. A laptablet. Laptoplet. Tabtlop.They're just funnin', but it does point out that we might end up needing a vocabulary item to cover devices that span computing-device categories that as of today are still relatively clear: phone > tablet > notebook > [desktop] computer. (Roughly.)
We already had the case of the netbook*, a portmanteau word (Internet+notebook) that was needed to describe a new class of computer. That term emerged with force when Asus released its Eee line.** There was nervousness about using the word netbook generically, because Psion claimed a trademark. To get around this, people used terms like subnotebook or (from my work) small notebook PC (could that be more awkward? Sheesh). Or anyway they did till Psion was, um, persuaded to give up its trademark claims. It's not at all obvious (to me, anyway) why netbook should have become the accepted term, since it doesn't explicitly capture the defining characteristic of these devices, namely a small form factor. (And all laptop-class computers have had built-in network access, so that's not a distinguishing feature.)
The term tablet covers the class of computers that are exemplified by the Apple iPad; they differ from notebook/netbook computers in that they do not have a keyboard, which they do not need, of course, because their screens are touch-enabled. (An earlier term for such a device was a slate.) We can reflect on the fact that while iPod has some small traction as a generic term for a digital-music player, Apple has not succeeded in making iPad, or even just pad, the generic term for this class of computer.
Microsoft's new offering combines a touch-enabled screen with a built-in keyboard. It would not have been surprising had Microsoft, following a corporate preference for appropriating generic terms ("Office", "Word", "Windows"), simply named the new computer the Microsoft Tablet. A headscratcher for Microsoft, though, is that the they've already used the word tablet to describe a somewhat different device: the Microsoft Tablet PC, released in 2002, that was a combination of laptop and pen-based computer. i.e., a laptop that had a screen you could write on with a stylus.
Possibly they didn't want to muddy those waters. Yet in using the name Surface, Microsoft in fact reuses a name they used starting in 2007 to refer to a computer where you can interact with a touch screen that's on a tabletop, so to speak. (This has since been renamed to Microsoft PixelSense; you can speculate that the word surface hadn't really become associated strongly enough with that computing platform to cause marketplace confusion, who knows.)
Such digressions. In any event, as the article points out, Microsoft might have given us reason to need a new word that covers the ever-shrinking gap between tablet computers and laptop computers. Or maybe not. As fast as the industry moves, a term will emerge soon enough if it's needed.
* A term that I cannot find in the online OED for some reason.
** I also cannot find a definitive story as to how the term netbook came to be.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The term fail whale has generalized to mean "large-scale failure" (or in the current parlance, "epic fail"). For example, The Huffington Post used the term fail whale in an article headline that recounts various financial setbacks and failures.
The fail whale spawned a new way to present error information, and there is now an entire collection of fail pets. Wikipedia lists the fail pets for a variety of additional websites:
- Tumblr: Tumbeasts (created by Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal)
- Neatorama: Neatokraken
- Ars Technica: Moonshark. (Sometimes two words: Moon Shark)
- Github: Octocat
- Google: Broken robot
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Here's what a knolled store might look like, courtesy of the artist Andreas Gursky:
The infallible Wikipedia relates this origin story:
WP further notes that the sculptor Tom Sachs incorporated the rule "Always Be Knolling" (ABK) into his "10 Bullets" training film. You can see the relevant clip here:
I appreciate knolling for its aesthetic, and I aspire to becoming a knoller, tho this would not be evident from anything like, say, my desk. But at least I know a word for that thing I would like to do.
Monday, May 07, 2012
It's not entirely new, but it's, you know, trending. Here's a sequence:
- Bring your own device to work is finally here (1 Sept 2010)
- Thanks Apple: The B.Y.O.D. Trend (22 Feb 2011)
- What is Bring Your Own Device? (10 Nov 2011)
- Wikipedia article
- Website named byod.us (Jan 2012)
In the few minutes I spent looking, the earliest cite I could find was in 2004, in an academic paper titled simply BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. Significantly, this usage does not refer to the personal-in-corporate-settings usage that's common today. (The paper is about using personal devices to interact with public displays.)
The currently popular usage seems to have emerged in 2010 and broken big in 2011 and it's going way strong right now. If the actual trend it describes really takes hold and becomes mainstream, I suppose that the term might become obsolete, inasmuch as it will be as self-evident as BYOL (bring your own lunch), BYOC (bring your own clothes), and so on.
Update: Meant to add as a personal note that my wife originally got a smartphone precisely so that she could use an app that's helpful for her work. (She's in medicine.) In effect, BYOD was her reason to get the D at all.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Emily Bazelon has been writing an ongoing "recessionitis" series on how the recession is affecting family, work, and life.Other cites are not so cautious; it shows up about 10,000 times in search. Here are a few examples of it used in context in roughly this same sense:
- Continued: Med-tech diagnosis: Recessionitis. Prognosis: Uncertain. [#] Minneapolis Star business section)
- How to Vaccinate Against Recessionitis [#] (U.S. News & World Report careers section)
- Creativity Doesn’t Suffer Recessionitis in Vegas [#]
I wasn't surprised that recessionitis — which still feels more like a play on words rather than a serious attempt at neologoizing — is in no dictionary beyond UrbanDictionary.com.
(Something I will not investigate at the moment, but which seems like a promising line of inquiry, is just how productive the suffix -itis is, specifically in fields like economics and sociology.)
While poking around for this, I found a couple of other terms based on recession. One was recessionist. One definition is that it refers to someone who looks to save money (which seems to semantically overlap, to me anyway, with penny-pincher):
- The Recessionist is a blog that tells the stories of the recently graduated who, despite going to some of the best colleges in the country, are
struggling to find employment. [#]
- Brooklyn Recessionist's Page: A blog about the trials, tribulations, and idiosyncrasies of this Recession
- Recessionist Writing & The Slow Road To Hell [#] (Cranky, tho funny, rant: "If I hear or read one more person say they started writing because they were laid off from their real job and suddenly had all this wonderful time to write, I am stabbing that person in the throat with a fork.")
- Attacks on Indians in Australia: racist or recessionist? [#]
The meanings of recessionist and recessionista overlap slighty; for example, the Brooklyn Recessionist whose blog I listed earlier actually calls herself BrooklynRecessionista in the URL of her site.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch — you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.
The idea that candidates "tack to the extremes during the primaries and then head for the center as the general election looms" (#) is hardly new. But candidates (or their advisors) don't normally say this out loud.
I think that the appeal of this term and its power as a metaphor is actually helping it spread. (Which works against Romney, obviously.) It makes a great headline:
- Santorum camp pounces on Romney adviser's 'Etch a Sketch' comment
- Romney adviser: Campaign is like an Etch A Sketch
- Etch A Sketch Mania Takes Hold of Campaign Conversation
Monday, March 19, 2012
Besides being hard to identify, the Latino vote is not a winner-take-all proposition. That hasn’t stopped any of the candidates from trying to pander to Hispanics—heck, let’s coin a new term here: "Hispandering" — by using their only common denominator: the Spanish language.
It's an obvious enough term, I guess; it also shows up on the Red State Blog, Michelle Malkin's blog, and so on. There are about 53,000 hits on Google.
Monday, February 27, 2012
A couple of terms today that aren't new, or not very. Both represent the verbing of some buildings, but what struck me was that I found them in successive paragraphs in the same article. Here we go (with non-essential text edited out):
Up until March 1, 2012, the data Google collected on you when you used YouTube was carefully cabined away from your other Google products.
The same siloing took place for your search history.
I've heard to silo as a verb about a million times; people at work are always talking about teams being siloed or the like. The most traditional definition for to silo is "to put into or preserve in a silo," the act of using an actual physical silo. Other senses of to silo derive from the metaphor not just of storing things centrally (information, say), but separation. This is how teams can be siloed — for example, a set of teams that cannot, for whatever reason, exchange information and work together. Example: "SEO can’t on its own rescue an online presence, and particularly not if an SEO team is siloed." [#])
And this is the sense in which the article writer uses siloing — information (which is stored in your browser) being kept separate from other information (also stored in your browser), and the two are not to interact. Wikipedia, not surprisingly, has an article on information silo that describes siloing, tho in what I think are more formal terms than what's intended in the cite above.
What surprised me was to see cabin used as a verb. This is apparently not very new or exotic. For example, Vocabulary.com lists one definition for cabin as "confine to a small space, such as a cabin." I could have sworn I'd never heard this verb before. If I have, it certainly hasn't been in the context of data storage.
Of course, the point of the article is that information won't be cabined and siloed any more. Perhaps that's what I should really be worrying about.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Fun as that is, I'm actually interested today in a term I have run across a few times recently that pertains to just two of these, namely create and update. The standard database command for creating a new database entry is Insert. If you need to update an existing entry, you use (logically) the Update command. Sometimes, tho, you have a situation where you want to update-or-insert — that is, update the item if it exists, or create (insert) it if it doesn't.
Turns out there's actually a term for this: Upsert. Like, a legitimate, definitely-in-use term that gets over 100,000 search hits and that has its own Wikipedia entry.
Like CRUD, this isn't apt to warm the hearts of editors. (It's also not yet in general dictionaries, which is more editorial reason to frown about it.) It's handy, tho, at least for the crowd that deals with CRUD-y stuff all day long. The term has been formalized in at least a few programming frameworks as an actual command (salesforce.com, Oracle). It's hard to imagine that the terms would escape into general usage from its current confines in the world of database folks. But you never know.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Then today I was glancing at someone's resume, which said this: "Highly effective external and internal communication from C-level to consumer." Same term, basically, twice within 24 hours. What the heck?
Apparently I've been out of touch with the terms C-suite and C-level. It's all over Google (> 1 million) hits, as if the evidence of seeing it on the cover of a magazine weren't enough evidence that it's widely known. Wikipedia has a nice explanation in its entry for Corporate title:
The highest level executives are usually called "C-level" or part of the "C-suite", referring to the 3-letter initials starting with "C" and ending with "O" (for "Chief __________ Officer"); the traditional offices are Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Chief administrative officer and Chief risk officer positions are often found in banking, insurance, and other financial services companies. Technology companies (including telecom and semi-conductor) tend to have a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), while companies with a strong Information Technology (IT) presence have a Chief Information Officer (CIO). In creative/design companies (such as film studios, a comics company or a web design company), there is sometimes a Chief Creative Officer (CCO), responsible for keeping the overall look and feel of different products, otherwise headed by different teams, constant throughout a brand.
I take a very small comfort that the terms C-level and C-office don't appear (yet) in general-purpose dictionaries (including the OED, as far as I can tell). The Investopedia site has a definition that refers to C-suite as "widely used slang." That seems right.
I'm curious how long the terms have been around; they seem widespread enough to seem pretty established. Paul McFedries finds a citation from 1997 for CxO (Chief [Whatever] Officer), and his entry (tho not the citation) talks about C-suite and C-level.
I tried a Google n-gram search, but the hyphen is treated as a token by itself and I don't know how to get around that just yet.
Anyway, there you go: one of those moments. A term (two terms) that I've apparently been surrounded by for a decade or more and would have sworn I'd never heard before. I suppose it's evidence that I my own self will not soon be achieving any sort of C-level.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
In Seattle, the venerable Alaskan Way Viaduct that runs along the downtown waterfront — a stretch of State Route 99 — has been shut down. This is the first phase of a project in which the old viaduct will be replaced with a tunnel. The viaduct is old (1953) and was damaged during a 2001 earthquake. Everyone feared a repeat of the collapse of the Cypress Street Viaduct in San Francisco, and the state DOT (cleverly?) posted a video that showed a simulation of what might happen to the viaduct in an earthquake.
All this led to a, um, Seattle-style debate about how to replace it, and here we are, a decade later, finally getting around to actually doing something. As of Friday October 21, the viaduct will be shut for 10 days while they do some preliminary work.
The problem is that the viaduct carries about 100,000 cars a day and that the only other major north-south route in Seattle is I-5. Closing off this route is, as with the L.A. closure of I-405, many people's worst traffic nightmare.
Ok! So what to call it? Carmageddon is sort of already claimed.
An early term that the MSM seems to favor is Viaduct Crunch. Adequate, but lacking that certain something.
Let's see what's shaking on Twitter! One hashtag on Twitter that has some traction is #viacondios. Cute, but to my mind a bit of a stretch.
It's looking like people are converging around #viadoom. It's all over Twitter, of course, and the term has gotten enough traction that it's showing up (albeit in quotation marks) in media reports — for example, in a Reuters article.
I do suspect that cute names for this little diversion are going to wear thin very quickly. L.A.'s carmageddon lasted one weekend. Viadoom is going to last 10 days, and there's years' worth of construction still to come. Perhaps when the tunnel boring starts in earnest, we'll get another term for that particular mess.
PS Should you not recognize the title of this entry, have a gander at this video.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
- If anyone is interested in having a cohort party, feel free to suggest some possible ideas. […] On friday, Melanie was saying something about a get together on December 15th, which is the day after we finish our practicum [#]
- Some girls from my Elementary Education cohort decided to have a couples party. [#]
- Each intake is split into cohorts. Each cohort divides into clusters. And each cluster… well, it’s just a cluster. So a lot of socialising happens at the cohort level. Like last night at the Irish pub in Rittenhouse Square, where the INSEAD group crashed a two-cohort party. We were told to ask the cohort of whomever we spoke to before they had a chance to ask ours. If they said “cohort E”, we were to pretend to be from “cohort I”. If they said “cohort I”, we were naturally from “cohort E” [#]
- We have had the chance to meet many members of Cohort 10 as they’ve joined us for classes and speaker series over the past few months […] Now we are all anxiously awaiting the Baltimore Study Group-sponsored cohort party in January. [#]
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
First there was the honey badger, a badger-like creature that's apparently known for its "ferocious defensive abilities." Then there was a nature program (video) that explored the honey badger's appetite for such delicacies as bee larvae and cobras and its apparent indifference to bees and snakebite and venom and pain. And then there
was Randall's alternate narration (video) for that nature documentary, from which all the world learned that "Honey badger don't care. Honey badger don't give a shit."
Like it? Get the t-shirt or the poster.
Right, this isn't news; the Know Your Meme site has a nice piece that recounts the brief history. (It also came up in the TV show "Glee," which is nothing if not culturally au courant.)
What's fun is watching the term honey badger go generic. Earlier this year, Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) tweeted this:
Honey badger don't care about "i.e." and "e.g." (http://youtu.be/4r7wHMg5Yjg), but you should: http://j.mp/m3apUD
That was in May; note that she uses the full phrase and includes a link for the as-then-still uninitiated. But yesterday I found this in a technical article:
Then there are the honey badgers of web development, the notorious Content Management Systems, designed to kill all your hopes and dreams.
No "don't care" here; no link. You either get it or don't.
This is what really interests me; is it possible for the term honey badger to become decoupled from any explicit reference to Randall's video and enter the lexicon as a synonym for, dunno, "indifference" ("aggressive indifference"?). That would be pretty awesome for Randall, and awesome to have seen it happen.
1 As an aside, from an editorial perspective, the article is filled with cultural references and is too clever by half, as people say. Woe onto the non-English-as-first-language speaker (non-American?) who reads this. Entertaining, tho. :-)
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I say "mostly" because although they used a hyphen in the body of the ad, they don't in the subject line of the email where I saw this.
Update: This is an ad for a desk calendar, in case that isn't clear, oops.
I personally have no problem with -izing nouns, but some folks do ("seemingly lazy application of this custom").
Friday, August 12, 2011
It's always bugged me, too, this thing where a person or a company takes pains to tell you what they think their virtues are:
- I'm a classy person.
- I'm an educated person.
- I'm a modest person.
- (Most any reference to "elegant" in a product description.)
Now John Scalzi has coined a term for this: McKean's inversion. He describes it this way:
The adjective a person says they are is frequently the thing they are not.
The name McKean's inversion originates via an indirect route. Erin McKean is a lexicographer (among her other talents) who once stated what's come to be known as McKean's Law: "Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error." Scalzi knows McKean and says he remembers how she once observed that ...
... if someone used the word to describe themselves, it was often quite obvious that they were in fact the opposite.
Thus the inversion. And as noted, McKean's Law was already taken.
It's a little early to tell, but my sense is that this is intended to be used for instances where the person is being a bit clueless. It would therefore not work when they're simply being disingenuous, e.g., "I'm just a humble technical writer." But who knows?
Friday, August 05, 2011
Not a surprising neologism in retrospect, but then again, good ones always seem obvious after the fact:
- Welcome to the first murdochracy
- This is What Murdochracy Looks Like
- The revolt against Murdochracy: a view from Oz
- End days for dead paper and "Murdochracy"?
- Is the Murdochracy tumbling down?
Definition? Well, dunno, something like this:
Murdoch's immense political power , which has had successive Prime Ministers dancing attendance on him, and rushing to confer lucrative favors on his News Corporation.(Thanks to James Galasyn for finding this one.)
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
In contemporary America, we also have people who are — and I am inventing this word here — illegitimists: They believe that the president of the United States is illegitimately elected, or that the country is ruled by a cabal that is in turn controlled by some other sinister force or forces.(She is careful to note that her intent is to be agnostic with respect to political persuasion, by noting that this also described Marxists in an earlier era. Not everyone buys this attempt.)
Just as a word, illegitimist is not unknown. It has no dictionary entry in standard dictionaries (at least, as per Dictionary.com and Vocabulary.com). Even the mighty OED does not have a specific entry for this term. However, there is a precedent or two:
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Let's say you give a kid a carrot," Nooyi [CEO] explained. "And he says, 'I don't want to eat a carrot.' But you say, 'I tell you what, I'll give it to you in a wonderful drinkable form that's still as close to the carrot as possible.' All of a sudden, what have I done? I've drinkified the snack! Or I take a fruit juice and give it to you in a wonderful squeezable form, which is Tropolis. What have I done now? I've snackified the drink.
- reward sensitivity -- a term from psychology (?) referring to how easily people are satisfied. (Something that people who design snacks take into account.) No quotation marks in the article. (34K Google hits.)
- bliss point -- the point at which you achieve satisfaction, same context. In quotation marks. (48K Google hits.)
- sip and spit, e.g. sip and spit rooms -- the technique used for tasting. In quotation marks. (Familiar from wine and coffee tasting, I suppose -- 160K Google hits.)
- blue-can Pepsi -- the traditional/original version of Pepsi. No quotation marks. (8K Google hits.)
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, April 04, 2011
Nothing fancy and of debatable uselessfullness (probably should never be in 4Hi with lockers ON). Maybe some cases in sand dunes or snow, but not much else.
Uselessfulness. Yes that is now a word. A term we are coining for Tuscon artist Nick Georgiou who takes useless trash (pretty much anything print) and creates amazing useful works of art.
Friday, April 01, 2011
12 + "a". A discussion for another time: does boolean get a cap?)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
There is a formal term, actually: it's a feature phone. (2.6 MM hits on Google.)
There are some interesting things here. One is that this is a kind of retronym; the term feature phone is defined primarily by what it's not. What it's not, however, has changed a bit. If Wikipedia is to be believed, a feature phone was originally a phone that had more features than the original set of monochrome, just-talk cellphones. (Cite.) However, these days, since those old-skool phones are pretty much gone, a feature phone is a phone that has fewer features than its successor, namely a smartphone. Or both at once -- this article describes it this way:
Feature phones, [which] are dumb phones that have elements (but not the full connectivity) of smartphones.And here's another wrinkle: the term smartphone itself has had something of a movable definition. Or even a circular one. Here's Wikipedia:
A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone.The article goes on to describe the first smartphone (1992) as having many of the features that people would probably consider smartphone-ish:
[...] it also contained a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, notepad, e-mail, send and receive fax, and games. It had no physical buttons to dial with. Instead customers used a touchscreen to select telephone numbers with a finger or create facsimiles and memos with an optional stylus. Text was entered with a unique on-screen "predictive" keyboard. By today's standards, the Simon would be a fairly low-end product, lacking for example the camera now considered usual.1992? Impressive.
Note that this implicitly says that smartphones today include cameras, i.e., part of the definition (necessary but not sufficient) is that there's a camera. It don't do the trick if it ain't got that click.
But the term smartphone itself is even older than that. Paul McFedries finds a cite that goes back to 1984, where of course it meant something a bit different:
Part of the transparent keyboard facility is the ability to deal with the telephone through the "smartphone" option, which makes it possible to answer the phone (using a headset) with the computer.Not today's definition, I think we can agree. It's tempting to say that smartphone simply means "whatever the newest state of phone technology is," but that isn't supported by actual usage citations. Still, it does lead a body to speculate what we'll call the next generation of phones, which will have the ability to ... golly, what? I can't even imagine. But it's a sure thing that the current generation of iPhones et al. will someday seem quaintly primitive. At that point, it's hard to imagine that we'll still be calling them smartphones. Or what we'll call the new ones.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I got some information DRM'd to me that …
Monday, January 24, 2011
The patriotgasm certainly seems Michael Bay-like.This sent me searching, which yielded the following without much effort:
- Super Bowl stat-gasm
- Moore-gasm (as in, Michael Moore)
- snow gasm (a puerile bit from a comedy site)
- higher ed-gasm
Thursday, January 20, 2011
For a Google search, tho, it's all about page 1; according to one study, "sites surveyed received more than 95% of all their non-branded natural search traffic from page-one results." There's a lively industry around getting a site onto Google's first page. Because if you're not on page 1, you are ... what? "In the wilderness"? "At the back of the pack"?
Links to prominent services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Flickr carry a lot of weight with Google, and can push unwanted content to the Google Ghetto, otherwise known as page two.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
But social media brings a new wrinkle to the game. You might log out of (say) Facebook, but your cyberpresence remains out there for other people to interact with. For most people, that's perfectly fine, and they are happy to come back later, log back in, and see what all their friends (er, Friends) have had to say to them.
For various reasons, however, there are those who want to treat a social-media network like Facebook only as an interactive/synchronous medium. They log on and interact with their friends. But when they're done, they don't just log out. They deactivate their Facebook account entirely, so that others cannot see it at all until it's reactivated.
Turns out there's a name for this: super logout, or variously super logoff.
I first heard about this in a blog post by the social researcher danah boyd:
Mikalah uses Facebook but when she goes to log out, she deactivates her Facebook account. She knows that this doesn’t delete the account – that’s the point. She knows that when she logs back in, she’ll be able to reactivate the account and have all of her friend connections back. But when she’s not logged in, no one can post messages on her wall or send her messages privately or browse her content. But when she’s logged in, they can do all of that. And she can delete anything that she doesn’t like. Michael Ducker calls this practice “super-logoff” when he noticed a group of gay male adults doing the exact same thing.
In a related tweet linked to the blog post, user zephoria says "My students talk abt this call it 'whitewashing' or 'whitewalling.'"
- New York Magazine: Lessons From Teenagers: The Art of the Facebook Super Log-Off
- Lifehacker: Use the "Super-Logoff" Technique to Exercise Tighter Control Over Your Facebook Profile (11/9/10)
- wikiHow: How to Super Logout on Facebook (11/11/10)
- urlesque*: New Facebook Trend - The 'Super-Logoff' (11/11/10)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
... [blah-blah] the number hasn't been zero since early 2006 in my quick boogle.
Seth comments: "Given that it was an MSFT employee, I think he was trying to hint that he's used both major search engines." (One would have to understand that there is a certain informal peer pressure inside Microsoft to a) not use google as a verb and b) use Bing as search engine.)
The reason I say that the term seems obvious is that it's a natural formation that moreover has been claimed already: there is the site booglesearch.com, which searches both engines and presents results side by side.
Beyond that, tho, things get murkier. (To me.) The site boogle.com does a Google search but presents you with a page that displays a quotation and a picture in lieu of the standard Google home page. (Oh.) No tie to Bing that I can deduce. There's Boogle the game, which looks (to me) like a trademark-skirting variant on the game I know as Boggle.
The exceptionally unreliable Urban Dictionary lists one definition of boogle as:
A negative result to having Googled a person; to be shocked or repulsed by what you find out about a person you have just Googled; to Google someone with the intention of finding out something negative about them.
But really, that's as much as I've found in my few moments of poking around. We'll have to keep an ear out.