smurfs and wolfpacks ... oh my! In our never-ending quest to gather terms and
information for Webopedia, we have indeed stumbled
across quite a few acronyms and terms that strike us as being
rather odd. Some acronyms we have found are better off classified as
tongue-twisters, while other terms are words we use in every day
can't figure out for the life of us why the word was chosen to represent
an aspect of
technology - a term like BLOB, for example.
Even though it is April 1st, here at Webopedia we're avoiding
the traditional jokes and pranks and bringing you a fun, but totally
legit, "Did You Know..." article comprised of some of the
acronyms and odd tech terms we've come across while filling the
database. Seriously, we didn't make these up...
In the tech world
not used to describe a green oozing spatter of who-knows-what, it's actually the
abbreviation for binary
large object, a collection of binary data stored
as a single entity in a database management system.
If you've ever seen a picture of a
then I am sure you too are wondering why in 1993 Bruce Schneier
decided to call his symmetric encryption algorithm "Blowfish".
We still haven't found an answer to that one...
for the Acronyms & Tech Terms
Found In This
Do you know
a really odd tech term or weird acronym not in our database?
Send it in!
One can't help but to picture an irate system administrator trying
to choke their router when you see this term.
While we think this should be used in reference anger management
seminars for network administrators, unfortunately the term
choke packet is already taken and being used to describe a
that is used for flow control along a network.
color super-twist nematic
Is nematic even a word? If it is a word, what is it, and how does one super
twist a nematic anyway? I guess we can ask Sharp Electronics to explain this
LCD technology which is seen more commonly in its abbreviated form,
Not only is the term itself odd but so is the definition in the
case of a
For those who download copy protected songs, one day you may come
across Cuckoo Egg yourself. As you sit back to enjoy the tune,
within the first thirty seconds you may hear something other than
the initial song; usually cuckoo clock sound effects or or a series
of random sounds and noises which are free of any copyright
ownerships. Cuckoo on you for not buying the CD in the first
When programmers and administrators are overheard talking about
they really aren't cracking jokes about the newest addition to the staff.
Instead, they most likely are discussing a placeholder. A dummy
variable, for example, is a variable that doesn't contain any useful
data, but it does reserve space that a real variable will use later.
We all know what Google is, but why would you want to whack it
around? Let's face it, even techie folk need a break every now and
is a fun way to take a few minutes out of your wired day to play.
The goal of a Googlewhack is to perform search queries that will
produce only one single search result in the Google search engine.
Imagine &$151; if it catches on in a big way we just might end up with a whole new
Internet sporting event!
When your system administrator is overheard talking about a
they are not referring to the latest Winnie-the-Pooh tale. A honeypot is another name for an
Internet-attached server that acts
as a decoy that lures in potential hackers in order to study
their activities and monitor how they are able to break into a
We all know that drinking copious amounts of coffee and staying up
into the wee hours of the morning fixing a computer problem or
playing shoot 'em up games can cause one to have the jitters. While that is
somewhat of a workable term definition,
buffers (and jitter filters) in tech terminology refer
to a hardware device or software process that eliminates jitter
caused by transmission delays in an Internet telephony (VoIP)
network. We also have
busters, which is a device that aims to
suppress jitters. It brings the age old saying of
"having the jitters" whole new meaning.
Any child will tell you they are cute, blue and only three apples
high, but a system administrator might cower at the mere mention of
the word since a
smurf is actually a very nasty thing! Of course, we are referring to
a smurf as being a type of denial of service attack in which a
network connected to the Internet is swamped with replies to ICMP
echo (PING) requests.
While a tarball may sound like a road paving job gone bad, a
is an archive of files created with the Unix tar utility. While tarballs have been around since the mid 1980's, the actual term tarball did not become commonplace until the late '90s.
I wonder if that has anything to do with UNIX admins not wanting to
have to say that term out loud in the office?
While visions of past editors and people scouring Web sites just
waiting for the chance to e-mail a Webmaster a "typo" note comes to
mind, the definition of
typosquatting is somewhat expected. Typosquatting alludes
to individuals or companies who purchased a domain name that is a
variation on a popular domain name with the expectation that the
site will get traffic off of the original site because of a user's
misspelling of the name. For example,
registering the domain names webapedia.com or yahooo.com in the
hopes that someone making a typo will get to that site unexpectedly.
The fact that I get to write typos that won't get
edited out has nothing to do with it ... honest!
is one of those weird acronym type words &$151; made up of a combination
of abbreviation and acronym. Just when you thought you had VoIP and
Wi-Fi figured out, along comes VoWiFi to make things even more
muddled. VoWiFi is used to reference a Wi-Fi-based VoIP
service. We happen to think that just because you can merge technologies
that doesn't mean you should merge acronyms and abbreviations. None
the less, it is fun to say!
was created by the Wi-Fi Alliance to refer to wireless LAN products
based on the IEEE 802.11a specification that operates in the 5GHz
radio frequency band. The use of the term has been officially
discontinued to avoid confusion. All 802.11-based products, whether
802.11a, 802.11b or otherwise, are now supposed to be generically
referred to as Wi-Fi.
This term definitely falls into the tongue-twister category. We
think the term was discontinued because it was, quite frankly, too
difficult to say more than once per sentence.
While visions of wild, unpredictable, possibly unstable and menacing animals may dance
through your head, a
Wolfpack is also the
codename used for
Microsoft's clustering solution &$151; interesting comparison don't you
was released in September, 1997 as part of Windows NT 4.0,
enterprise Edition. Its official name is Microsoft Cluster Server
While many think the term
is in reference to one of the many 3D PC games out there, a
zombie is actually a bit more serious than that. In the world of
UNIX, a zombie refers to a "child" program that was started by a
"parent" program but then abandoned by the parent. Zombie
is also used to describe a computer that has been implanted with
a daemon that puts it under the control of a malicious hacker
without the knowledge of the computer owner. No matter what
definition you choose for the word zombie, it is still pretty scary
Did You Know...
measurement for the speed and movement direction of a computer
mouse is called a
mickey? One mickey (mouse) is approximately
1/200th of an inch.