Overheard: Word of the Day


December 10, 2007  12:02 AM

Overheard: I need to take this call — it’s from my parking meter

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
duncan-meter.gif “Imagine your parking meter being able to send you a warning that it is about to expire – or being able to add time to your parking meter from wherever you are just by calling your cell phone. And wouldn’t it be so much more convenient if you could just slide your credit card through the meter instead of searching for the right coins and inserting them?”

Duncon Solutions, Excuse Me, My Parking Meter Is Calling

Donald F. Duncan Sr. (1892 – 1971) was an interesting guy. In addition to being the parking meter king, he was the co-patent holder for the four-wheel hydraulic automobile brake. He was also the genius behind the ice cream truck, the Good Humor bar (ice cream on a stick), the popularization of the yo-yo and the concept marketers call “premium incentive” — asking customers to collect proof of purchase (box tops) and redeem them for prizes.

December 9, 2007  9:24 PM

Overheard: Sharepoint disaster recovery

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
todd-klindt.jpg There are many disasters that can befall a SharePoint environment. Servers can burst into flames or the CEO can delete a folder full of important documents from his Blackberry.

Todd Klindt, Free Disaster Recovery options for SharePoint 


December 9, 2007  2:59 PM

Overheard: Attention – this is your captain speaking. You may now log on.

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
henry-harteveldt.gif “I think 2008 is the year when we will finally start to see in-flight Internet access become available. In a few years time, if you get on a flight that doesn’t have Internet access, it will be like walking into a hotel room that doesn’t have TV.”

Henry Harteveldt, as quoted in the article Web Access and E-Mail on Flights

Finally! Yee-ha!


December 9, 2007  2:25 PM

Overheard: ‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the datacenter

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/bymmMarHclU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

It was the last work day before Christmas and I put this one together in my lunch hour. My boys were having PJ day at school and I wore mine also.” Etherpimp

This is what happens when you have too much time on your hands. Gotta admit, the guy’s got the moves!


December 8, 2007  11:08 AM

Overheard: Brooks’ law

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
frederick-p-brooks.jpg “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”

Frederick P. Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month

For those of us who need an analogy, Dr. Brooks explained it this way — “The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.”


December 8, 2007  2:01 AM

What’s In and What’s Out – Technology Roundup 2007

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
What’s Out What’s In
a datacenter full of boxes
a datacenter IN a box
nano (too scary)
clean (rhymes with green)
web services SOA
Vista Windows XP
distributed computing anything in a cloud
VoIP unified communications
thin client apps
virtual desktop
social networking social graph
waterfall agile
tape libraries solid state backup
greenwashing green certifications
Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0
humanoid robots roomba
page view pageIQ
office cubicles arm chair computer stations
application service provider software as a service
terabyte terabyte on a key chain
My Space Facebook
In-flight movies
In-flight Internet access
Symbian Android

Read Alexander B. Howard’s take on the top tech trends and tools for 2007.


December 7, 2007  10:01 PM

Words that should be in the dictionary

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

acronymnym – a redundancy created by following an acronym
with the final word of that acronym, like DNS server.

adminisphere - organizational levels on the business side.

alpha geek – the most knowledgeable, technically proficient person
in an office or work group.

analog-retentive – those people who obstinately cling to
outmoded technology.

AlzIMers - forgetting who you’re talking to and typing in the
wrong IM window.

animousity – vigorously clicking your pointer device because
a page is loading too slowly. See also: screen spasm – pages that try to load
simultaneously on your computer screen as a direct result of your animousity.

AOL-WOL – disappearing from an IM conversation without notice.

backronym – an IT term whose letters once had no meaning, but
have since come to stand for something-or-other.

bee break – the act of sneaking off to the bathroom in the middle of
dinner, concert or work to scroll through your BlackBerry.

blamestorming – sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline
was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

Bluetooth fairy – someone who walks around with a blinking Bluetooth
headset permanently affixed to his ear.

blurker - someone who reads a blog or blogs regularly but never
comments or contributes to the discussion.

cache issue - all-purpose explanation for a tech-support problem with no obvious cause

cellphonic appraisal - the activity that occurs when a vibrating cell phone
buzzes, causing everyone in the room to check and see if it’s theirs.

crapplet – a poorly written or totally useless Java applet.

cinderellaware – software (demo or shareware) which becomes
useless after a trial period unless the user pays for and registers it.

cube farm – an office filled with cubicles.

cyberchondriacs – people who continually uses the Internet to
diagnose themselves.

cylences – long gaps in a phone conversation that occur because
one person is also reading e-mail, IMing or cybershopping.

dopeler effect – the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
when they come at you rapidly.

dot gone – pre-Internet bubble bust startup

cellopain – the person who talks loudly and obliviously on a
cellphone in a crowd.

CrackBerry – slang for BlackBerry, often used in the sense
of a “CrackBerry addict,” or one who is always checking and responding to emails
on the handheld device.

deer market – It’s not a bear market, it’s not a bull market. It’s
when VCs are indecisive and act like deer caught in the headlights.

deja moo – The nagging feeling that you’ve heard this bull before

e-dundancy - sending someone an e-mail at the same time you’re
having an IM conversation with them.

egosurf - to search for yourself on Google or another search engine

e-mailsculation – what happens when the IT department abruptly
takes away access to an email account from a worker that’s been fired, including
archives, distribution lists and contacts.

execuglide – to maneuver oneself around the room while seated
in a wheeled office chair.

fam-spam - unsolicited email sent by family members.

faxcess – having access to a fax machine.

faxcination – staring intently at the fax machine because you’re
waiting for a fax to come through.

fonesia – the affliction that strikes when you dial a phone number
and forget whom you were calling just as they answer.

fUtility – a 3rd party utility that won’t install no matter how closely
one follows the instructions.

gadaboutag – the orphan HTML tag that’s messing up your page.

gleemail – inspirational emails forwarded by a friend or coworker that
may or may not bring joy to your inbox.

GMOOT – short for “Get me one of those,” the basic command from
CEOs to CMOs or CMOs to their agencies.

id10t error – help desk log lingo for clueless end-user.

IMdecision – repeatedly erasing an IM text box because you change
your mind about what you want to say.

IMglish – the combination of chat abbreviations and online slang
commonly encountered in instant messages conversations.

multi-asking - communicating with someone through IM, phone
or e-mail at the same time. See also: e-dundancy.

Macrimination - the automatic assumption that whatever is wrong is
caused by the Mac on the network.

negabytes per second (NBps) – a measure of data transfer that seems
so slow it can only be assumed to be flowing backwards.

ohnosecond – that very short moment in time during which you realize
that you have pressed the wrong key and deleted hours, days, or weeks of work.

oxoxomoron – a person who includes symbolic “hugs and kisses” at the
end of their e-mail.

pebcak - help desk lingo for user error (problem exists between chair
and keyboard).

percussive maintenance – the fine art of whacking the crap of of an
electronic device to get it to work again.

phenomenot – the Latest, Greatest, wizz-bang whatever that’s not
what it’s proclaimed to be.

phenomenut – the guy who runs right out and buys phenomenots.

picnic - problem in chair, not in computer

prairiedogged – the feeling of helplessness that overtakes you when
co-workers in neighboring cubicles constantly pop their heads up to ask you stupid questions.

Questfallen – reaction to the realization that your MapQuest
directions have failed you.

random excess memory – memory you were talked into buying in order
to solve some problem that never did get resolved.

reBay – to buy something on eBay and immediately put it back up
for auction.

screenager - an intern in the IT department.

regurgimailer – someone who forwards whatever that lands in his inbox
to everyone he knows .

screensucking – wasting time engaging with any screen, including
computer monitor, video game, television, BlackBerry, Palm, cell phone or iPod

spamouflage – an intentional typo, such as Vikagra, used by spammers
to fool spam filters.

spammified - when an email ends up in the spam folder by mistake.

telamnesia - a condition where an individual is restricted to only talking
to people on speed-dial or his cell phone contact list.

treeware – documents made out of paper, as opposed to electronic documents.

wandal – someone who vandalizes a wiki, participating in “wandalism.”

WAPathy – lack of interest in wireless technology.

wikiality – reality as defined by consensus, rather than analysis of objective fact.
(Coined by Stephen Colbert)

zen mail – an e-mail message that arrives without text in the message body.


December 7, 2007  2:31 PM

Overheard: Celebrity geeks

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
hedy_lamarr.jpg Movie star Hedy Lamarr is generally credited as co-originator of the idea of spread spectrum transmission. She and her pianist were issued a patent for the technique during World War II.

From the whatis.com definition for frequency-hopping spread spectrum

Frequency hopping means broadcasting a signal over a series of radio frequencies, switching from frequency to frequency at split-second intervals. A receiver hopping between the same frequencies in sync with the transmitter can pick up the message, while eavesdroppers hear only random blips. It also is known as frequency- hopping code division multiple access.

Want to lean more about celebrity geeks? Check out Angela Gunn’s article Geek stars: The secret (nerdy) life of celebrities


December 6, 2007  11:36 PM

Quiz: What is IT?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
3.gif 1. What is IT?

Hint: Sun is putting 30 of them in an abandoned Japanese coal mine.

5.gif 2. What is IT?

Hint: Five years ago, this would have taken up a whole room.

6.gif 3. What is IT?

Hint: The union declared it a success.

4.gif 4. What is IT?

Hint: It was developed in Steve’s bedroom, not in a garage.

9.gif 5. What is IT?

Hint: It used to be called the $100 laptop, but the cost went up.

8.gif 6. What is IT?

Hint: That thing in the middle is a robot. It should be painted green.

1.gif 7. What is IT?

Hint: It can’t print Christmas cards, but it CAN print Christmas presents.

2.gif 8. What is IT?

Hint: This device will put five bars in your house.

7.gif 9. What is IT?

Hint: Each dot after the Buffalo represents a new version.

10.gif 10. What is IT?

Hint: It’s in a museum now.


December 5, 2007  8:32 PM

Overheard: Imagine never having to go outside to get a good connection

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
wimax-femtocell.png “If they catch on, femtocells have the potential to save carriers hundreds of millions of dollars in cell-tower costs. In effect, carriers would be shifting the burden of providing complete coverage to their customers — a nifty trick if they can pull it off.”

Bryan Gardiner, Femtocells May Help Improve Cellular Coverage — On Your Dime


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