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Alphabet's Jigsaw Wants To Explain Tech Jargon To You, Launches Sideways Dictionary ( 66

It might sound obvious, but the thing about tech is that sometimes it can get really, well, technical. From a report on CNET: So Alphabet wants to help make nitty-gritty tech jargon simpler to explain to the masses. On Tuesday, Jigsaw, a tech incubator owned by Google's parent company, launched a website called the Sideways Dictionary that takes jargon and puts it into terms normal people would understand. Jigsaw partnered with the Washington Post to build the tool.
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Alphabet's Jigsaw Wants To Explain Tech Jargon To You, Launches Sideways Dictionary

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  • by peetm ( 781139 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @11:07AM (#54037151) Homepage

    What's that?

    • Bought this in school:

      Newton's Telecom Dictionary: Telecommunications, Networking, Information Technologies, The Internet, Wired, Wireless, Satellites and Fiber

      Does what it says on the tin.

    • This dictionary thing may actually be useful.

      Can anyone tell me if it defines the term "moz://a"?

      I saw that term recently, but I'm not sure what it means.

      At first I thought it might be a URL using a cool new protocol, but I've never heard of the "moz" protocol and the hostname of just "a" seems really unusual. That hostname doesn't even resolve for me!

      So maybe it isn't a URL. Should I ignore the strange characters? I'm not sure what a "Moz a" is, though.

      Should I read it as "Moza"? I don't know what that is,

      • That's called a "wordmark" []. It's a logo or brand formed primarily out of stylized letters and symbols. Creative license is sometimes taken with the letterforms.

        Just because it can be typed on a keyboard does not mean it should be taken literally.

        • So basically it's poncy hispter shit.

          • Wordmarks are a form of logo that's been around for hundreds of years.

            • Such as?

              • I'm lazy, so I may not go far enough back, but GE had its first wordmark in 1892. Not every wordmark changes the shapes of its letterforms to slightly non-letter shapes, only the more creative ones - some are subtle enough that you may have never noticed.

                The Twinings tea company's logo is multiple hundreds of years old, but may or may not be considered a wordmark due to the fact that it's usually combined with a symbol.

                The Staples word mark does not contain a letter L. That is a literal staple. This only

  • This is what happens when you have too much money.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ambrose Bierce has prior art.

  • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @11:29AM (#54037333)

    Anyone else thought about The Jargon File []?
    It is not that at all.

    • When they said "tech jargon", I was thinking about such things as "enthalpy", "eutectic alloy", "P-N junction", or "differentiable manifold". Sadly, it's probably going to be the most trivial stuff, probably only related to computing, and just a small part of it at that to boot.
  • This tool provides only a bunch of analogies for tech jargon, but many are not good.

    An API to a turnstile??? Not really at all useful to most people. The "Cinderella" one for 2-factor authentication is better, but still leaves off the most critical requirement that the 2 factors be of different nature. Generally this means two of: Something you know (password), something you have (token), or something you are (biometrics)

    I keep seeing claims for 2-factor that are only having more than one of "something you

    • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:00PM (#54037631) Journal

      Okay, so the idea is that we have these analogies that "regular people" can understand. Then I look at an analogy for "Hackathon"

      It’s like a cosplay convention.

      Okay, let's go look up "cosplay." Nope. Not there.

      So much for "regular people" understanding...

    • It has absolutely dumb algorithm of finding synonyms.

      Asking about LED takes me to "Cryptography."
        "File": "Internet Service Provider"
      "WWW": Domain Name Servers.

      It's beyond useless - it's actively harmful.

  • I have to give technical explanations to business types regularly and in my experience a poor analogy that gives the wrong impression of a technical concept is worse than useless. I've found in my career is if you can express why it is valuable for someone to understand a technical term or concept, they are more than capable of understanding it. People usually don't understand all this technical jargon not because it's hard, but because they can't be bothered.

    I would call these analogies flawed at best. For

  • So far it sucks. (Score:5, Informative)

    by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @11:33AM (#54037371) Homepage Journal

    I went there looking for a geekanese to normie dictionary, instead I find an Urban Dictionary analogy list. I was going to share this with my users, as for now, I think I'll pass.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @11:51AM (#54037543) Homepage Journal


      Ad Blocking:

      "Itâ(TM)s like vandalizing outdoor posters. A legitimate form of protest against adverts that have invaded public space. Or criminal damage to private property."

      "Itâ(TM)s like fare dodging. If one person dodges their bus fare, it wonâ(TM)t have any great effect on the viability of the service. But if everyone does it, the bus company runs out of money and cancels the service."

      "Itâ(TM)s like music piracy. Some people say ad blocking is to brands what music piracy was to music companies. You can see it as an existential threat, or a wake-up call."

      Ironically I had to disable my ad-blocker to see that. Even without it, I can't seem to log in and add my own definition.

      • Well it's good to see that the world's largest pusher of adverts is entirely honest and een handed on the issue.

      • My analogy is:

        It is like having sex when you are unsure if your partner has any STDs, so you wear a condom to protect yourself.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @11:33AM (#54037379) Homepage
    internet: we already have this, its called wikipedia, and simple wikipedia. its much more complete and open.
    Alphabet: ah yes well but did you know this version came with a name that was determined by a focus group, and is funded by a team of people who think caviar tastes different on Yachts than it does on private jets?
    internet: but we dont need this...
    Alphabet: Thats what we thought about yacht caviar but that turned out spectacular even though its almost the same as resort caviar.
  • Christ on a bike that's embarrassing. Wonder how much it cost?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Too much javascript interfering with scrolling and animations. Makes the user experience clunky and annoying. Looks like another Google-cum-Alphabet project destined for the dustbin.

  • can it do car analogies?
  • technical language to the point where technical people now have a hard time understanding their own work. Now corporations can get on the game too and commercialize the language.
  • Which would come over time from the community adding/refining explanations and voting them up and down till the best ones are at the top. Very limited so far. And the quality of many of the analogies is pretty weak. WPA for example. You don't really walk away knowing what WPA is, but you definitely know that a bunch of people have a bone to pick with it as if someone wanting to know what it means automatically means that person is looking for a SINGLE way to secure themselves on the internet. But that
  • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @02:49PM (#54038899)

    This site: []

    Here's a wiki entry about it. []

    "What has been will be again,
            what has been done will be done again;
            there is nothing new under the sun." -- Ecclesiastes 1:9

    Goes twice for technology.

Moneyliness is next to Godliness. -- Andries van Dam