Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

September 24, 2012  2:04 PM

Registry key definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“When analyzing a compromised Windows system, investigators and system administrators can glean enormously useful information about attackers’ actions by looking through the Windows registry, a hierarchical database storing tens of thousands of settings on a Windows box.”Ed Skoudis

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is registry key. In the Windows 98, CE, NT, and 2000 operating systems, a registry key is an organizational unit in the Windows registry. Registry keys are the HKEY folders you see when you run the line command “regedit.”  Treat them with respect.

September 21, 2012  7:23 PM

Tumblr definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“A common critique of Tumblr is its resistance to monetization.” — Delaney Rebernik

Today’s Word of the Day is Tumblr, a microblogging site that claims it retains members better than Twitter. It’s hip, it’s young and it’s something marketers haven’t quite figured out how to use.

September 20, 2012  4:04 PM

Five whys definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
” In ‘five whys,’ you focus on getting to the root cause of an issue by repeatedly asking ‘why’ to drill deeper toward the underlying cause. It’s important to note that this is ‘five whys,’ NOT ‘five whos.’Zach Nies

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is 5 Whys, a team exercise for identifying the root cause of a problem. 5 Whys was originally used in manufacturing to help management identify why equipment failed. It’s used in Six Sigma during DMAIC exercises and in Agile retrospectives.

September 19, 2012  1:19 PM

VMware’s Horizon Mobile Manager definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“VMware said running two separate environments on a mobile phone doesn’t require excess resources and uses up to no more than 1% extra phone battery life.”Bridget Botelho

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is VMware Horizon Mobile Manager, an extension of VMWare App Manager. VMware says it will come in two flavors, one for iOS (with app wrapping) and one for Android (that essentially adds a second ‘desktop’ to the phone). Critics are already complaining that two flavors are impractical.

September 18, 2012  5:38 PM

Interrupt Latency

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Latency is reported in two different ways: interrupt and scheduling…Interrupt latency is the measurement of system’s response-time to an interrupt…Scheduling latency is usually a measure of performance for the RTOS thread scheduler.”Faheem Sheikh and Dan Driscoll

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is interrupt latency.  It’s a term you might have heard vendors quoting when they brag about “zero latency.” Zero latency is more accurately defined as the time added by a realt-time operating system (RTOS) to the regular processing of an interrupt.


September 17, 2012  4:22 PM

DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve control) definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Along the way, I fear we’ve lost sight of the powerful principle that underlies Six Sigma: To improve any process, start by defining a simple standard or benchmark. Then measure variation from the standard and investigate the reason for variation. Apply what we learn to improve the process.” — Niel Nickolaisen

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is DMAIC, the Six Sigma tool for improving a process. DMAIC (pronounced de-may-ick) is often associated with a big problem or a process that —  like a runaway train — has gone off the rails, but it can also be useful for fine-tuning a process that already works reasonably well. The letters in DMAIC stand for define, measure, analyze, improve, control.

September 12, 2012  7:14 PM

Reverse electrovibration (virtual touch) definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Disney researchers have discovered an approach to fool our sense of touch into believing that an object has a texture far different than what it actually is. It relies on reverse electrovibration, a new technique that creates the illusion of a range of textures as the user’s fingers sweep across a surface, without the need for actuators.” — Brian Dodson

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is reverse electrovibration. The most highly anticipated application of reverse electrovibration is one allowing a person to sense the texture of a distant object on the touch screen of a computer or tablet device.

September 11, 2012  6:19 PM

Goobuntu definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Just go get Ubuntu and run it and you’ve got Goobuntu. The only thing we’re adding are special tools to access Google specific resources that our engineers need.” — Thomas Bushnell

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Goobuntu, the default workstation OS that Google employees use.

September 10, 2012  6:52 PM

reference architecture definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“…Building an enterprise cloud based on a reference architecture without considerable work defining business objectives and system requirements would only be an exercise in frustration. ” — Beth Cohen

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is reference architecture.  In project management, it’s a resource comprised of documentation from past projects. The idea is that you can “go shopping” for ideas of how something was built in the past and either copy it, avoid it or adopt it.

Vendors are using the term today to sell their converged infrastructure products, providing potential customers with a “reference architecture” for possible ways to buy/use their products. In a worst-case scenario,  you can simply substitute the words “hypothetical implementation” for the much more real “reference architecture.”

September 7, 2012  1:02 PM

Predictive coding definition

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“Predictive coding is a relatively new approach to electronic discovery and many have been reluctant to utilize the process. The reluctance is due, in part, to the lack of judicial guidance regarding whether predictive coding is an acceptable practice in the electronic discovery arena.”Janet Ayyad

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is predictive coding.  It’s an iterative approach to e-discovery that’s also known as computer-assisted discovery, technology-assisted discovery or less accurately, automated discovery. Coding is to digitally categorize a document as being responsive or unresponsive to a discovery request.

Predictive coding is not exactly new, but it’s causing a big buzz right now because a recent court ruling allowed it and one side tried to require the other side to use predictive coding in another case. And you know what happens when a buzzword gets hot, right?  Vendors add to the confusion by slapping the term on every new product, product enhancement and ad campaign they’ve got coming down the pike.

Here’s what you need to know about predictive coding.  It won’t replace a room full of lawyers combing through boxes of documents.  It’ll just allow them to take less time and it’ll be most useful when there are hundreds of thousands of documents to go through.  You see, the lawyers still have to work with IT to create the “seed set.”  That’s the set of documents that the computer program uses to learn from. Once the seed set has been created, there’s a lot of back and forth as the lawyers and their IT team fine tune the accuracy of what the computer program is returning in its queries.  A LOT of back and forth.  Once the program has established a level of statistical reliability that the lawyers feel they can defend in a court of law, however, the program can be used make predictions for the remaining documents.  It’s still a lot of work.



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