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GEEK GLOSSARY / TECH TERMS

SCADA, short for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition, refers to large scale industrial computer systems (hardware and software) that control and monitor industrial processes like the examples listed below:

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Dark Fiber refers to optical fiber and supporting infrastructure that is installed or laid in the ground, but is not currently in use. The Dark Fiber may have been set up in anticipation of customer growth and demand in a given area, or for future ‘internal’ use by the company who installed it to connect their own offices.

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The remaining portion or sections of a web page that require scrolling to view are referred to as ‘Below the Fold’.

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A Microsite (a.k.a. Minisite and Sitelet) is a small website that may: contain just a few web pages, focus on a very specific singular topic or subject, serve a very special purpose, or be created for a short term purpose (such as a convention, event, or marketing campaign). The Microsite will have its own unique address that visitors or users will be encouraged to link to directly.

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XaaS is a ‘general purpose’ abbreviation that refers to the terms “Anything as a Service” and “Everything as a Service”. XaaS encompasses services that are provided locally, on-site, and/or via the internet.

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Ravioli Code refers to a type of computer program structure where the program code is written (set up) as independent modules (subsystems) that call on one another as needed.

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Hot Desking is very similar to Hoteling, except focused on desks, cubicles, or work stations. These desks, cubicles, and work stations can be shared by multiple employees across different shifts, employees who are in the office at different times of the day, or simply be available to use as needed on a first come, first served basis without reservations ahead of time.

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Hoteling refers to the use of unassigned seating and/or office space as needed by telecommuters or mobile office workers. Use of the unassigned seating and office space is set up ahead of time via a reservation-based system.

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Big Mother refers to the use of technology by parents to track and monitor their children. At times this can, and does, include monitoring the people who help take care of children such as babysitters, nannies, school officials, etc.

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Data Cleansing (a.k.a. Data Scrubbing) refers to the process of detecting incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate, misspelled, improperly formatted, duplicate, and/or irrelevant data in a database. Once the erroneous data has been found, it is modified, replaced, updated, and/or deleted as necessary in order to make the database as accurate and consistent as possible.

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Careware is software provided to users free of charge, but is licensed to benefit, or encourages the user to donate money to a particular charity of the software creator’s or user’s choice.

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Data Hygiene refers to the condition of data in a database or the processes conducted to ensure the accuracy (cleanliness) of data in a database.

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Road Warrior is a slang term for an individual who is frequently away from their office traveling or on business, and engages in heavy use of their laptop and/or mobile phone while ‘out and about’.

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Retrocomputing refers to the use of older computer hardware and software. For most individuals, Retrocomputing is a recreational hobby, but for others the focus is on collecting rare or valuable hardware and software (sometimes for sentimental reasons).

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Nomophobia refers to the fear or anxiety an individual may feel when unable to obtain a signal from a mobile phone tower, forgetting to bring their mobile phone along, or having the battery run out of power, thus leaving them totally ‘disconnected’. Nomophobia is an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia“.

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Cobweb Site (a.k.a. Cobweb for short) is a slang term that refers to a website that has not been updated for a very long period of time, i.e. it has been unaltered for so long as to have figuratively grown/collected cobwebs from just ‘sitting around’.

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Breadcrumbs (a.k.a Breadcrumb Navigation) refers to the series of navigational steps taken to reach the desired location (information) in a website’s content. Breadcrumbs are also found in file management software such as Windows Explorer, Mac OS Finder, Nautilus, Dolphin, etc.

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Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is a branch of marketing research that focuses on helping websites to appear as high as possible in a search engine’s rankings. The goal, if all goes as planned, is to help a website appear within the first or second page of results provided by a search engine, thus greatly increasing the traffic to, and popularity of, the website in question.

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The term Meta Tag refers to the portion of HTML coding in a web page that provides a basic description about, or identifies the type of content a particular website contains. Two of the most important types of Meta Tags are ‘keywords’ and ‘description’ tags.

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Bounce Rate refers to measuring the number of ‘visitors’ who browse away from, or leave, a web site after having viewed only one page. The lower the Bounce Rate is, the more ‘visitors’ are interacting with a web site once they reach it.

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Ransomware is a type of malware that will lock a computer user out of their computer, encrypt all their files and/or hard-drive, or severely restrict access to the infected system until the user pays the malware author a ‘fee’ to regain access to their files and/or system.

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Scareware refers to software that is used to take advantage of unsuspecting or naive computer users for profit or malicious purposes. The authors of scareware seek to create a sense of panic, shock, or anxiety about a supposed problem or threat to the user’s computer system, when in fact, there is no problem at all.

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Redistributable software is software that anyone is free to redistribute for use by others. Redistributable software generally falls into two categories: free software that may be legally changed or modified as desired by a user, and proprietary software that may not be legally changed or modified by a user (i.e. freeware, shareware, demo/trial versions).

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Freemium refers to a business model where software or online services are offered for free with a limited set of features or capabilities available for use, but can be upgraded to a paid version for access to the full set of features and functionality of the product.

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The HTTP status code 503 is the most frequently seen server-side error code in the HTTP status code canon. 503 stands for “Service Unavailable” and is the code returned when a user requests a web page from a server that is overloaded or down for maintenance. When visiting a link from a popular and heavily trafficked link aggregation site like Reddit or Stumble Upon, it’s not uncommon to find that the deluge of traffic from the larger site had temporarily knocked the smaller web server offline.

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