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GEEK GLOSSARY / TECH TERMS

An Arachniography is the web-based equivalent of a bibliography. Taking things one step further, an annotated Arachniography is the web-based version of an annotated bibliography.

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Steganography refers to hiding encrypted data or information inside of a common or completely innocent looking file such as an image, audio, or video file.

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Stickiness refers to the ability of a website to encourage visitors to stay longer and/or return more often. The more interesting, useful, or fun the content of a website is, the more Stickiness it has.

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A WetPC is a waterproof wearable computer built specifically to withstand high underwater pressure. It allows divers to gather and enter data when conducting underwater studies, then transfer the data to a desktop computer via a serial cable after returning to the surface.

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A War Dialer is a program used to dial phone numbers and test them for a connection to a computer modem. The program then adds the numbers with a successful modem connection to a database.

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Spim is the term for spam that is delivered via instant messenger or chat services. While the volume of Spim is not as bad as the volume of spam can be in our inboxes, it is more annoying in the sense that it displays directly when received, rather than being relegated to a junk or spam folder like it would in our inboxes.

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Sneakernet refers to the transfer of electronic information, data, images, etc. by physically carrying it via a flash drive or other storage medium between different computers or networks.

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User-Generated Content (UGC for short) refers to content such as information, data, news, reviews, blog posts, photos, videos, comments, etc. that an unpaid contributor has uploaded or provided to a website. Occasionally, the website in question will republish, promote, and/or possibly make a profit from User-Generated Content.

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Typosquatting refers to the practice of registering slightly misspelled variants of popular ‘brand name’ URLs as domains. The hope is to catch people who mistype the URL of the official ‘brand name’ website, which then leads them to the ‘false’ one instead.

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A Session Cookie (a.k.a. Transient Cookie) is a temporary cookie that only exists as long as the browser is open. Once the browser has been closed, the Session Cookie is immediately erased and ceases to exist, unlike normal cookies that have a set ‘expiration date’ and remain on a computer after the browser is closed.

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Three Finger Salute is a slang term for the well-known Ctrl-Alt-Delete function that many of us might have used more times than we wanted to over the years.

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A Smoke Test is a very basic level test of a program or new/repaired hardware that serves as an indicator of whether the rudimentary or most crucial functions are working.

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Skinny Linux is an umbrella term that refers to any compact and/or very lightweight distribution of Linux such as Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux for example. These versions of Linux are ideal for older hardware, hardware with limited resources, low-cost devices, etc.

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ROWE (short for Results Only Work Environment) refers to a work environment that focuses on the actual work done rather than the ‘when and where’ it is done.

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RAT (short for Remote Access Trojan) refers to malware that allows an attacker to have remote administrator level control of an infected operating system. Once the malware has compromised a system, the attacker is free to do whatever they please such as: stealing personal/financial information, taking screenshots, stealing/deleting/altering files, accessing the system’s webcam if it has one, installing keyloggers, using the compromised system to infect other computers, etc.

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Pseudocode refers to the use of natural language (instead of programming language) to create a detailed outline of what a particular program or algorithm is supposed to do, just like creating a detailed outline for a major paper or report.

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PUP (short for Potentially Unwanted Program) refers to an unwanted program or piece of software that may be installed along with the program or software that a user actually wants on their system.

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A Quiet Zone refers to the blank areas (margins) on each side of bar codes. The Quiet Zone ‘tells’ barcode readers where a barcode starts and stops, thus preventing the readers from ‘seeing’ other information that is not part of the bar codes, thus avoiding an inaccurate or unreadable scan.

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Pod Slurping (a.k.a. Slurping) refers to the unauthorized download of data and files from a computer using an iPod, other brand of mp3 player, flash drives, etc. The small size of these devices and ease of connection makes this method of data theft a quick and stealthy endeavor.

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POTS is an acronym that many of us may not be familiar with or have heard before, but it does stand for something we all know only too well: Plain Old Telephone System (or Service).

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Shelfware refers to software that a company has bought, but has never used on their computers, thus leaving it to ‘collect dust on a shelf’. Shelfware can also refer to unsold software remaining on a retailer’s or dealer’s shelves.

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Feature Creep (a.k.a. scope creep and requirements creep) refers to the continued addition of new functions and features to a software or information system project during the development phase. The requests for new functions and/or features can come from the client’s desire for a ‘bigger and better’ product, or from the developers’ own desires to improve the product.

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A Masthead is the graphic image, text, and/or navigation links at the top of a web page. A Masthead ‘identifies’ the website, and at times may also ‘identify’ a specific sub-section or subject area (category) of the website in question.

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Infonesia (short for Information Amnesia) refers to the inability to remember where a particular item of information was seen or heard. The temporarily forgotten information can come from a variety of sources such as: mail, e-mail, newspapers, magazines, websites, radio, and/or TV.

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Censorware is software that is set up to filter out and/or block access to websites containing: undesirable web content, age-inappropriate content, sexually explicit content, illegal download websites, social websites in work environments, etc. Parental controls and software that limit the websites children have access to also fall into this category of software.

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