WhatIs.com Word of the Day Archive


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.


April 8, 2012  5:01 PM

What do you call Twitter spam? CAW

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
“You can go on eBay today and type ‘twitter followers’ or ‘buy twitter followers, and you can pump up your number. Those are great examples of completely spam accounts.” – Michael Hussey

This week Twitter went to court this week to shut down five websites that allegedly provide tools for spamming Twitter.  And that got me thinking — why hasn’t anyone come up with a cute little word for spam on Twitter?  Spam is a honking big problem on Twitter.

So ok folks — here’s your chance to invent a new word.  What should we call spam on Twitter?

I’d like to suggest we call it CAW.  Because unlike a bird’s delightful little tweet, the repetitive, annoying sound of a crow’s CAW has no redeeming value.  And neither does spam.

CAW could even be a backronym.  We’d just need to come up with some clever words that begin with “c,” “a,” “w.”

Got suggestions?


April 7, 2012  7:38 PM

Overheard talking about too many meetings

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

I once worked at a place where we had a meeting to discuss how to cut down on the number of meetings. Seriously.


April 6, 2012  1:56 PM

Overheard talking about the Kahn Academy

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
quotes and quotations “Innovation never comes from the established institutions. It’s always a graduate student or a crazy person or somebody with a great vision. Sal is that person in education in my view. He built a platform. If that platform works, that platform could completely change education in America.” — Eric Schmidt

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is the Kahn Academy, a non-profit educational organization that provides free video tutorials and interactive exercises. It’s going to be the next Wikipedia so keep an eye on it.


March 14, 2012  10:54 PM

Overheard talking about Agile

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
When people talk about agile practices, they can sometimes become very religious. —Jurgen Appelo

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Agile, an approach to software development that anticipates the need for flexibility and applies a level of pragmatism into the delivery of the finished product.

Here’s our newest Word-2-Go glossary — it’s got a lot of our Agile vocabulary all in one handy printable page. Take a quiz and see how many you already know!.


March 7, 2012  3:41 PM

Overheard talking about shared services

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
quotes and quotations “Experts agree that the goal of a services-oriented IT environment is to make services readily and easily accessible to end users. That in itself is what will really revolutionize IT.” — Scot Petersen

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is shared servicesthe consolidation of back-end business operations such as finance, HR and IT that are used by multiple divisions within the same organization.


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