Overheard: Word of the Day


April 18, 2012  3:59 PM

Overheard talking about seven-segment display

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Even if you haven’t heard the name ‘seven-segment display’ before, you’ve probably seen quite a few in your lifetime. They appear on pretty much every piece of electronic equipment that needs to display numbers for any reason, like the timer on a microwave oven, the display on a CD player, or the time on your digital wristwatch.” – Dmitry Brant

Today’s WhatIs.om Word of the Day is seven-segment display. I’m old enough to remember the first wristwatches with digital display — big black things whose seven-segment displays used so much power that the owner had to push a button to light up the display before he could see the time.

April 13, 2012  4:04 PM

Overheard talking about profitability analysis

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
quotes and quotations
“I often ask at customer events how many in the audience can tell me who their most profitable customers are and it’s always surprising how few hands go up.” — Jason Nash

Profitability analysis is a component of enterprise resource planning (ERP) that allows administrators to forecast the profitability of a proposal or optimize the profitability of an existing project.

I’m absolutely lost when it comes to any kind of financial analysis.  My eyes glaze over and my head starts to nod whenever I hear the magical words: pivot table.


April 13, 2012  2:48 PM

Overheard talking about mickey and other mouse-related terminology

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Every time the mouse moves a certain distance, a signal (think of a playing card in a bicycle wheel) is sent to the microcontroller and counted. If 100 of these signals or clicks is equivalent to one mouse ball rotation, and the microcontroller has received 100 clicks in the forward direction and 50 clicks in the sideways direction, the computer, with the aid of some simple programming, can understand that the mouse has moved one ball rotation forward and a half rotation sideways.”Office of Naval Research Science & Technology

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the day is mickeya unit of measurement for the smallest detectable movement of a mouse.



April 12, 2012  11:44 AM

Overheard talking about Node.js and JavaScript on the server

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Node is a server-side JavaScript interpreter that changes the notion of how a server should work. Its goal is to enable a programmer to build highly-scalable applications and write code that handles tens of thousands of simultaneous connections on one, and only one, physical machine.” — Michael Abernethy       


 Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Node.jsNode.js is a set of server-side JavaScript libraries that runs within Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model. It is asynchronous, which proponents say leads to good performance and scalability.  The most intruiging thing I’ve read about Node, though, is that if it becomes widely adopted on mobile devices, it has the potential to change the way we think about servers. Again.


April 11, 2012  3:51 PM

Overheard talking about strategic sourcing and ERP

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Another important function for enabling strategic sourcing is contract management, key for negotiating and managing terms with suppliers, including pricing and performance requirements. Contract management for procurement should support advanced negotiation functions, including methods to collect and compare vendor bids, as well as functions for managing contracts, improving spend visibility and data analysis.”Catherine LaCroix

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is strategic sourcingStrategic sourcing differs from conventional purchasing because it places emphasis on the entire life-cycle of a product, not just its initial purchase price.


April 11, 2012  2:55 PM

Overheard talking about a six thinking hats retrospective

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Once everyone is seated introduce the exercise by giving a brief summary of De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats process. Then explain that the group will all put on the same hat and discuss the iteration…and after that they will put on the next hat in the series and so on until the all the hats have been worn.”Rob Bowley

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is six thinking hats retrospective.  I just participated in one here at TechTarget and it may have been one of the smoothest retrospectives I’ve ever been part of.  I don’t recommend it for every single iteration because that could get boring, but it was a nice change-up.  Any kind of structure that moves the discussion along briskly and limits the time people can argue or rant is a good thing. Maybe I’ll try it at the dinner table next family gathering!


April 11, 2012  2:01 PM

Overheard talking about quad-core processors in smartphones

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“You double the number of chips when you evolve from single-core to dual-core and from dual-core to quad-core, but what you’re not doubling are the rest of the resources. All cores still must share a single battery, one pool of memory and so on.” Jessica Dolcourt

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is quad-core processora chip with four independent units called cores that read and execute CPU instructions such as add, move data, and branch. Although it’s tempting to suppose that a quad-core processor would operate twice as fast as a dual-core processor and four times as fast as a single-core processor, things don’t work out that simply. Results vary depending on the habits of the computer user, the nature of the programs being run, and the compatibility of the processor with other hardware in the system as a whole.


April 10, 2012  7:43 PM

Overheard talking about performance and accountability reporting

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“NASA’s Performance and Accountability Report (PAR), is a detailed, annual retrospective of the Agency’s performance toward achieving its annual goals and long-term objectives for its programs, management, and budget. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer produces the PAR in collaboration with program and support offices throughout NASA. While the PAR was created to meet government reporting requirements (including the Government Performance and Results Act, the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, and the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996), it is also a showcase for NASA’s achievements and is written as a public outreach document.” — Office of the Chief Financial Officer

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is PAR, which stands for performance and accountability reporting. In the United States, PARs provide financial and performance information that enables the President, the Congress and the public to assess the performance of an agency relative to its mission and to demonstrate accountability.

In the spirit of government transparency and in accordance with OMB Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements, government agencies may choose either to produce a consolidated Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) or a separate Agency Financial Report (AFR) and Annual Performance Report (APR).


April 10, 2012  12:21 AM

Overheard talking about ambient energy scavenging

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
quotes and quotations “It happens all the time; you forget your cell phone charger at home, and your smartphone battery runs out after hours of email and Angry Birds. But what if you could recharge your cell phone using power you’ve generated simply by walking?” – Harry Kolar

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is ambient energy scavenging. Ambient energy scavenging, also called energy harvesting or power harvesting, is the process of obtaining usable energy from natural and human-made sources that surround us in the everyday environment.


April 9, 2012  6:34 PM

Overheard talking about human capital management

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
quotes and quotations

A company needs to know on a cost level how many employees they have and what it’s costing them, along with turnover rates and analytics to help them make decisions and understand the essential talent that makes the organization successful.” – Paul Hamerman

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is human capital management, an approach to employee staffing that perceives people as assets whose current value can be measured and whose future value can be enhanced through investment.


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