Jargon Watch
This list is brought to you by your net-friends at Wired magazine; new terms appear each month in the "Jargon Watch" section. This page contains an alphabetical list of all terms and will be updated monthly. Warm fuzzies to Gareth Branwyn for collating 'em and Wired Magazine for printing 'em!
Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404, URL Not Found", meaning that the document you've tried to access can't be located. "Don't bother asking him ... he's 404, man."

8th-Floor Decision
Refers to the 8th floor at the FCC, where the commissioners' office and meeting rooms are located. Decisions made on the 8th floor have a profound effect on new communication services.

Instant acronym coined after the ABC-Disney deal.

The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

Alpha Geek
The most knowledgable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."

Arrow Shooters
The visionaries in an orginization who come up with ideas and trace their far-reaching trajectories.

Astroturf Campaign
A fake grass-roots political campaign. Posted in RISKS Digest as a potential future problem in net-based "issue" campaigning, in which massive phony mailings are easier than ever.

Anus Envy
The practice by fans of The Jerky Boys, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and others of trying to emulate - or outdo - their idols.

What game- and talk-show staffers call someone who freezes in front of the camera (like a deer caught in headlights).

That seasick feeling some people get with virtual reality headsets. Caused by a conflict in the brain: the eyes register movement, but the inner ear doesn't feel it.

Barney Page
Web page designed to capitalize on a current trend (such as Barney-bashing). "Have you seen the new O.J. Simpson Barney page?"

Putting up an emotional shield just as a relationship enters that intimate, vulnerable stage. Refers to the retractable armor covering the Batmobile.

The Beast
Hip-hop slang for something that's out-of-control cool. "The new Cypress Hill record is The Beast, Man!"

When a technology is overtaken by an inferior but better-marketed technology. "Apple was betamaxed out of the market by Microsoft."

Binary Star Configuration
(or simply Bi Star) - Any grouping of two things that are apparently inseperable, for whatever reason. "Bike messengers and tattoos: totally Bi Star!"

Techie euphemism for using the toilet.

Mobile artificial agents that can sense a simulated environment, interact (signal, mate, find food) with other biots, and learn and evolve over time. Fresh from BioLand, at the University of California, Los Angeles, an experiment to develop distributed forms of intelligence using massively parallel computing.

Bit Flip
A 180-degree personality change. "Jim did a major bit flip and became a born-again Christian."

One who uses a coin-operated computer terminal installed in a coffee house to log into cyberspace.

(alternative to mukraking) - A new form of Net-based investigative journalism. Becoming very popular with as journalists from major magazines and dailies troll the Net fishing for breaking stories.

Any form of digital correspondence (text, bit-mapped images, fax transmissions) or the act of sending same. "Did you bit-spit that file to Jane yet?"

The combining of different media from a variet of sources (type, computer graphics, scanned images, animation, video). Similar to multimedia, but more often used to describe a collage/kitchen-sink approach. Can also refer to static images that have these combined elements. Also: meltomedia.

(Binary Large Object) - Used to describe very large binary files. "The speed of your server is a function of the size and number of BLOBs you'll be moving through the network."

Blowing Your Buffer
Losing one's train of thought. Occurs when the person you're speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. "Damn, I just blew my buffer!"

Selecting affluent communities for trial and early development of new, interactive services.

A unit of stupidity. "Is it just me, or is there always a high bozon count in Rupert's posts?"

Brain Fart
A byproduct of a bloated mind producing information effortlessly. A burst of useful information. "I know you're busy on the Microsoft story, but could you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative connotations.

Bruised Rationals
The numbers that appear when a computer fouls up while converting from decimal to binary, and vice versa. For example, if it's the number 5 you're after, you'll end up with 4.999999 instead. The term was readily thrown around during discussions of the Pentium floating-point bug story.

When computer users get together and discuss things that noncomputer users don't understand. When the byte-bonded start playing on a computer during a noncomputer-related social event, they are "geeking out."

Career-Limiting Move (CLM)
Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.

Chain Saw Consultants
Outside experts brought in to reduce the employee headcount (leaving the top brass with clean hands).

Chamber Art
Term coined by electronic music composer Morton Subotnik (creator of CD-ROM art piece All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis to refer to the intimate, one-on-one relationship that an artist can have with a viewer/listener through computer-based art.

Chips and Salsa
Chips = computer hardware, salsa = software. "Well, first we gotta figure out if the problems in your chips or your salsa."

Very impressive musical technique. Originally referred to skill on an instrument played by mouth, now used to describe virtuosity on any instrument, or technical skill in any form: "The Dizz had monster chops," or "Dig his programming chops."

A section of computer code that is forever being rewritten or changed. Also can describe text documents. Writings produced by committee are rife with churn.

Circling the Drain
Medical term for a patient near death who refuses to give up the ghost. Used generally to describe projects that have no more life in them but refuse to die. "That disk conversion project has been circling the drain for years."

The paths a user takes as he or she navigates cyberspace. Advertisers and online media providers are developing software that can accurately track a user's clickstreams.

Cobweb Site
A World Wide Web site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead Web page.

A celebration pizza, ordered after successfully writing and debugging a program.

Cold Peace
A relationship between two countries in which there is no war, no trade, no travel, and no diplomatic relations.

Abbreviation for the Church of Scientology, used by its detractors on the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup.

The phenomenon of computer companies joining their competitors on a project- by-project basis. The products are referred to as "AllianceWare."

Critical Mess
An unstable stage in a software project's life when any single change or bug fix can result in two or more new bugs. Continued development at this stage leads to an exponential increase in the number of bugs.

AOL cybercop-speak for an immature user who posts vulgarity in a public forum. "You've got a cusskiddie in the SNES versus Genesis folder."

Cut Steel
To build a mold for a cast product. "The widget design was okayed, Let's cut steel."

Cyber Noir
Used to describe dark, trippy, weird "cyber" films and shows like Wild Palms, Tank Girl, and VR.5.

Government money that flows to well-connected information superhighway contractors.

One who makes a living doing online research and information retrieval. Also known as a "data surfer" or a "super searcher."

Dark Fiber
When a company lays high-bandwidth fiber-optic cable containing much more potential that can be currently used, the wire is said to be dark. Not only are telecos laying dark fiber, but so are oil and gas utilities companies, since they own long-distance stretches of hollow pipe.

Data Mining
What companies that have huge computers do with their databases. Extracting value (money) from the seemingly useless bedrock of numbers, statistics, and information.

Dawn Patrol
Programmers who are still at their terminals when you return to work the next morning.

Dead End Users
(DEUs) - A derogatory play on "end users." Used by some technicial support people to refer to the clueless masses who call with painfully obvious tech questions.

Dead Tree Edition
The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms. As in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."

Death Star Villages
Suburbs around New Jersy where many AT&T workers' families live. Makes reference to the AT&T logo, which employees have dubbed "The Death Star" (from the Star Wars films).

A corporate euphemism for laying off workers.

Coming out of online "lurking mode," usually motivated by an irrestible need to flame about something. "I just had to delurk and add my two cents to that conversation about Singapore caning."

A species, nearing extinction, of designers who refuse to use computers.

Dial Group
People are gathered into a focus group and given an electronic dial. As the group watches a speech or commercial, each person adjusts the dial in a "feel negative about" or "feel positive about" direction. The group average is charted into a rising and falling line that records a collective second-by-second judgement on the presentation.

People who are in perfect alignment on an issue, am idea, or a belief system. Allegedly coind by Rush Limbaugh to refer to his legion of faithful followers.

A mistake in computer documentation. Used in the technical writing department (the "DocuZoo") at Sun Microsystems.

Dog Bones
The bone-shaped holographic stickers that are used to seal new CD boxes. Supposedly "for you protection" to guard against repackaged used discs.

Internet prejudice. Judging someone on the basis of how cool/uncool his or her e-mail address is. "Why should anyone list to you, you're posting from AOL!"

Drop Paper
A firm purchasing agreement. "were not ready to drop paper on it yet, but we have several liely prospects."

A person who gets all their information by channel-flipping between MTV and CNN.

Ear Candy
Sickly sweet strings or other musical "addatives," lacking substance, meant to make a piece of music more palatable. "This piece is a little heavy on the ear candy." In visual art: eye candy.

Scanning the Net, databases, print media, or research papers looking for mention of your own name.

Elvis Year
The peak year of something's popularity. "Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993."

Acronym for Empty Magnanimous Gesture. As in: "We think your idea is great and would love to fund it, but [insert excuse here]."

Mock HTML tags (<smile>, <smirk>) used in WWW-related e-mail and newsgroups in place of ASCII emoticons. "<flame>Someone tell that jerk to shut up, I'm sick of his vapid whining!</flame>."

(For "electronic purse") - An electronic monetary transaction card being proposed by several government agencies.

Another one of those dubious "e-" abbreviations. This one is for "electronic retailing".

Exercise Bulimics
People who compulsively work out after eating and gauge their workout by how many calories they need to burn off to remove the food they just ate. "Only 2,000 more minutes on the StairMaster to burn off that cherry pie."

Euphemism for a viewing audience. "There are plenty of new eyeballs available in this time slot."

Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) that most new users encounter when exploring the expanding online vastness of the Internet. FAQ's are an attempt by "net vets" to avoid having to answer the same questions over and over. Files of FAQ's on hundreds of subjects are stored in various locations throughout the Net as are more online services. So, before you ask someone what an ftp is, get the FAQ's!

Fast Tracking
In architecture, when a building's design and construction documents are finished just days ahead of the actual construction.

Stands for "Frequently Argued Waste Of My Fucking Time." A recurring argument that, like the Energizer Bunny, keeps going and going, and going. "The alt.cyberpunk debate over why Gibson doesn't have an e-mail address is a FAWOMFT."

(from feeble) An incompetent. "I'm a total feeb when it comes to public speaking!"

Fine Business
Amateur radio slang used to fill dead air space when you need to say something but can't think of anything. Like "um" or "ah" in normal conversation.

Net users who try to put out "flame wars" early in their gestation.

Fix It In Post
Used in video production to mean: "We (or somebody else) will deal with this in post-production." Sometimes used as an excuse to get out of a sticky situation, postponing the agony of confronting a serious problem.

Flash Crowds
Swarms of users on a computer network that appear, then disappear, in a flash. The term originates from a short story of the same name by Larry Niven. In the story, riots break out when thousands of people pour out of teleportation booths to see major social events.

Flight Risk
Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company or department soon.

Individuals who send inquiring e-mail messages and, after receiving only a slightly favorable response, begin flooding you with multiple messages of little or no interest.

(Opposite of backlash) Negative or indifferent reactions to nonexistent, but already overhyped technologies.Examples would include video-on-demand, 500 channels, interactive TV, and anything promised in the AT&T "You Will" ads.

A gruesome job of editing a writer's work by a hurried editor. The frankenedited piece is usually returned with a note asking the writer to suture it back together and to breath life back into it (by the next morning).

Friday Night Pizza Maker
(from Japan) - A drunken salaryman who leaves apuddle of vomit on the subway platform.

Full-on Honkey Handshake
Used to describe a standard handshake protocol that allows peripherals to connect "without a lot of street jive" (no complicated configuring).

The denizens of FurryMUCK and alt.fan.furry, or other people who enjoy emulating anthropomorphs (humanoid animale). Not to be confused with the people who post on alt.sex.bestiality.

Describes a piece of tech that supposedly won't become outdated (anytime soon).

Gang FAQ
When a group e-mails a FAQ to an individual who has asked a particularly stupid or old question on a newsgroup. Differs from a mailbomb in that each person sends only one copy, but numerous members of the newgroup participate.

Those features of the American landscape (strip malls, motel chains, prefab housing) that are exactly the same no matter what part of the country you're in. "We were so lost in generica, I actually forgot what city we were in."

Glass-roots Campaign
Cyber grass-roots campaign assisted by fiber optics and computer networking. The online campaign by EFF and CPSR against the Clipper Chip is a prime example.

The trend of tying software applications to physical networks through the AT&T system. Used in reference to a deal AT&T and Novell have struck to adapt Novell local area networking software to communicate over AT&T's long-distance network. Intel and Microsoft are considering similar arrangements, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Going Postal
Euphemism for being total stressed out; losing it. Makes reference to the unfortunate number of postal employees who have snapped and gone on mass shooting rampages.

The Golden Rolodex
The small handful of experts who are always quoted in news stories and asked to be guests on discussion shows. Example: Henry Kissinger appears to be in The Golden Rolodex under foreign policy.

G.O.O.D. Job
A "get-out-of-debt" job. A well-paying position you take to pay off your debts, and one you'll quit as soon as you're solvent.

Graybar Land
The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across your screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering." Compare with Render Wander.

Gutter Tribes
Nomadic bands of homeless people in their teens and early twenties who travel from city to city, making their living primarily through panhandling.

Height Technology
Silly engineer's term for "ladder".

High Dome
Synonym for "egghead." A scientist.

The community of companies using Silicon Valley technology to create media products with Hollywood production values.

Holy Wars
Perpetual BBS discussions that never die, the arguments never change, and no one's opinions ever budge one iota. Holy wars are fought over abortion, gun control, Mac versus IBM, Windows versus DOS, and how much nudity to allow in the image areas of online services.

Hourglass Mode
Waiting in limbo for some expected action to take place. Refers to the hourglass icon used in Microsloth Windows. "I was held up at the Post Office 'cause the clerk was stuck in hourglass mode."

Huge Pipes
A high-bandwidth Internet connection, "CU-SeeMe on the Net doesn't look half-bad ... if you've got huge pipes."

(abbreviations for "In Character/Out Of Character") used in MUDding or other online role playing when someone is moving in or out of character. "OOC: I have to leave soon."

Idea Hamster
Someone who always seems to have his or her idea generator running. "That guy's a real idea hamster. Give him raw concept and he'll turn it over 'til he comes up with something useful."

Identity Hacking
Psoting anonymously, pseudonymously, or by giving a completely false name/address/phone with the intent to deceive.

Image Aspirations
Plastic surgery jargon for the amount and type of bodily cosmetic changes one is willing to pay for. A digital imaging system is used to simulate the image aspirations of a potential client and to generate a price list for the various desired body modifications.

Net acronym for In My Never Even Remotely Humble Opinion. Variant form of IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) and IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion).

Term being bandied about Capitol Hill as a faster and more global-sounding replacement for the cumbersome "information superhighway."

(from the novel Snow Crash. Describes any usefull information found in cyberspace. "Just got some cool intel on Unix shortcuts from FringeWare."

Intellectual Gill-Netting
The process by which Hollywood studios scoop up all conceivable intellectual rights to a given property by burying perpetual, universal "multimedia" rights within the contractual boilerplate.

Used to describe someone who moves through the a workday responding to a series of interruptions rather than the work goals originally set.

In The Demo
MTV corporate slang for being a member of a targeted demographic group.

In The Plastic Closet
Said about someone who refuses to admit to having cosmetic surgery."Is Tori Spelling in the plastic closet, or what!?"

Inverse Vandalism
Making things because you can. "Why did you make MS-DOS?" "Because I could."

The line of interesting e-mail messages waiting to be read after you've deleted all of your junk and floodgater mail.

Annoying entertainment and media spectacles you're unable to stop watching. O.J. is a prime example.

It's a Feature
From the adage "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Used sarcastically to describe an unpleasant experience that you wish to gloss over.

A person who coins a piece of slang or jargon with the express purpose of trying to get it into Jargon Watch. (This word was chosen during an impropmtu contest run on alt.wired to coin such a term.)

Shorthand/lazy Netspeak for "journalist".

(Just One Of Those Things, pronounced "jute") - Inexplicable computer problems that appear and then fix themselves (or are fixed by turning off the machine or reinstalling thesoftware). You have no idea what caused the problem or why it went away. It was a JOOTT.

Juice a Brick
To recharge the big, heavy NiCad batteries used in portable video cameras. "You better start juicing those bricks, we've got a long shoot tomorrow."

(afetr Dr. Jack Kevorkian) - To kill something. "look, kevork that project and let's go out for a burger." Or "I read half the article, got bored, and kevorked it."

Keyboard Plaque
The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."

Kill Your Babies
Used in any production situation in which your favorite pieces of work have to be removed. "You've run out of disk space for this presentation. Time to kill some of your babies in the sound files."

Reference librarians of the future; software agents that can worm their way through networks looking for requested info. "full-feature knowbots are still on the drawing board, while some preliminary systems are currently in use."

Kodak Courage
An extra dose of courage and the tendency to go beyond one's usual physical limits when being filmend or photographed (from action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and extreme skiing).

Lick Your Lips
In television and advertising, phrase for "Okay, here we go, performance level everybody." Typically said immediately before camera rolls.

Life Support
To describe the condition of a business or product fighting for its life in the marketplace. "No, they're still in business, but definitely on full life support."

LRF Support
An official-sounding computer feature that can be used to prank a salesperson or a computer know-it-all. "Does this system come with LRF support?" (LRF stands for Little Rubber Feet.)

A mail-order catalog disguised as a magazine in the hope of suckering in its recipients. "Hey wait ... the International Male magazine is one of those stinking magalogs!"

Replacing Marxist-Leninism as the new governing style of China. Combines the iron fist political rule of Leninism with thew wide-open economic permissiveness of free-market capitalism. Think Singapore.

Martian Packet
Term for strange fragments (data packets) of electronic mail that turn up unexpectedly on the wrong computer network because of bogus routing. Also used as a name for a fragment that has an altogether non-registered or ill-formed Internet address.

Media Contamination
Used by LA Superior Court Judge Lance Ito in the possible tainting of the O.J. Simpson jury by exposure to media coverage.

Met Ed
Hip-hop slang for getting fuckED over, dissED, screwED, or rippED off.

Midair Passenger Exchange
Grim air-traffic-controller speak for a head-on collision. Midair passenger exchanges are quickly followed by "aluminum rain."

An acronym for "Male or Female?" Posed as a question for the People Connection "rooms" of America Online as conversants try to determine the sex of the other occupants. "Sandy - MorF?" Replies often include age and geographical location: "F/24/Cleveland."

Mouse Potato
The online and interactive-TV generation's answer to couch potato.

Variation on multimedia

Boring, poorly done CD-ROMs (or any other multimedia platform). Heard on NPR.

What Jay Chiat accuses his employees of doing if they sit at the same table more than two days in a row.

Net Spider
Someone who spends a lot of time scrambling from one computer net to another. A ubiquitous Net personality.

Netsploitation Flick
Any one of the current (or in-production) Hollywood films about the big, scary, Internet (The Net, f2f, Hackers).

New Consumer Paradigm
Adspeak for "market." Seen in a Wired(!) press release.

NIMQ (pronounced "nihm-kyoo")
Acronym for "Not in My Queue." Said in response to suggestions to take on additional tasks or projects when you're already overwhelmed. Similar to the more common "It's not my job."

Non-Linear Behavior or NLB
(from Chaos Theory) - Used to describe emotional or irrational flaming on the Net. "That gun-control topic is overwhelmed by NLB."

Someone who frequents only one or two newsgroups, BBS topics, or logs on just to answer e-mail, never daring to venture out into the big waters of the Net.

A network in its nonworking state.

(No Response Necessary) - A proposed e-mail conversation to prevent endless back-and-forth acknowledgements: "Thanks for the info." "You're welcome ... hope it helps." "I hope so too. Thanks." By putting NRN at the bottom of your mail, you absolve the reader from having to reply, thus saving precious e-mail time.

Nut Cluster
Happens on college campuses when a group of obsessive MUD (Multi-User Dimension) players takes over an entire computer cluster, or a row of terminals, to hold an all-night MUD session.

Food with pharmaceutical properties (such as beta carotene). Lobbyists are now petitioning the FDA to recognize this as a new catagory - a cross between a food and a drug.

An individual (or subculture) that insists on turning every multiword term into an acroNYM (ATM, SMTP, 3DO, NII, T2, ADSL...).

That miniscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake, such as accidently deleting your e-mail address book in a non-recoverable way. Seen in Elizabeth P. Crowe's book The Electronic Traveler.

Open-Collar Workers
People who work at home or telecommute.

Someone with a less-than-glamorous entry-level computer graphics job. A paintmonkey may spend months on a nanosecond of digitized film footage, painting mattes, or doing monotonous touch-ups.

A political unit or state where everyone has power. Heard at the Hackers 10.0 conference.

Paste Bomb
A random or nonsequiturial piece of data that is cut from one's hard drive and pasted into an online conversation. Meant to entertain, infuriate, and befuddle online conversants. Sci-Fi author and Net spider Bruce Sterling is a notorious paste bomber.

Indoor pay-to-play kid parks such as Discovery Zone. Substitute for the now mostly extinct public playgrounds that previous generations used for free.

A permanent freelancer. A person hired on a per-project basis who lives a benefits-free existence.

To Perot
To unexpectedly quit, as in "My cellular phone just perot'd."

Archiving a working model of a computer to read data stored in that computer's format. Apple Computer has pickled a shrink-wrapped Apple II in a vault so that it can read Apple II software, perhaps in the not-so-distant future.

Term for either a temp worker, or a new addition to a work staff, who covers work overflow. "He's a plug for Jean until she gets back in June."

Even more precise than narrowcasting. What you get when you can talk one-on-one with your clients.

Point-of-Purchase Politics
Politically correct shopping or cause-related marketing, such as that advocated by Bennetton or Ben and Jerry's.

People who claim to be bisexual because they think it's hip but would never have a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex.

Acronym for "Person Of No Account". Someone who is not online.

Power Luser
Computer user with the uncanny ability to screw things up so bad that either the damage is irrevocable or restoring from the last back-up is the only hope.

Pulling Glass
Laying down fiber-optic cable.

A compulsive digital manipulator. A Photoshop abuser.

Render Farm
A networked collection of computers (usually more than six) set aside exclusively for the purpose of rendering animations.

Render Wander
Walking around the building chatting to people while the progress bar of AfterEffects/Premiere/Infini-D makes its ponderous journey across the screen.

Rimm Job
A bogus academic study masquerading as legitimate science. Named after Marty Rimm, author of the dubious "cyberporn" study from Carnegie Mellon University that Time magazine gullibly took as gospel.

Road Builders
The people in an organization who come along behind the Arrow Shooters and pave the way for profitable applications.

ROM Brain
Someone who spews forth ideas and opinions but can't seem to accept any input from the outside world.

Writers of various back-page "industry insider" columns in computer trade journals. Dedicated to collecting and reporting (and sometimes debunking) various rumors and secrets within the industry. "be careful at Comdex; you never know where the rumorazzi may be lurking."

Sacrificial Host
A computer server placed outside an organization's Internet firewall to provide a service that might otherwise compromise the local net's security. Spotted in Cheswick & Bellovin's Firewalls and Internet Security.

See Through
An office building, built during the economic optisim of the late '80s, that remains unrented.

Send Storm
A deluge of private chat messages while one is trying to do something else online. "Sorry, I'm currently the victim of a send storm. I'll be with you in a moment." On AOL, this is called "being IMed to death" (IM stands for Instant Message, AOL's private chat feature).

When a store's electronic scanner (usually inadvertently) prices an item higher than the price noted on the store's shelf or in an advertisement.

A CD-ROM title that contains mostly pre-existing material shoveled in to fill the 600 Mbytes of disk space. "Kitchen-sink title," has a similar, although somewhat less derogatory, meaning.

Short for "Silicon Hollywood," the coming convergence of movies, interactive television, and computers.

Used to describe people who use only one computer system, refusing to learn or even acknowledge the worht of any others.

(Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage). What yuppies turn into when they have children and one stops working to be with the kids. The true martyrs of Reaganomics, as characterized in The Economist.

To bring a network, especially a LAN, to its knees by overloading it with data traffic. "We slagged the net last night by playing Spectre while the MIS department was trying to reindex the accounting file."

Short for Slogan + Logo. Corporate slogans used repeatedly, in a manner similar to a logo. Nike's "Just Do It" and AT&T's "You Will" are prime examples.

Small Indulgence Syndrome
Spending money on small luxuries and frivolous purchases when hard economic times prevent purchasing big-ticket items such as cars, houses, and expensive vacations. Coined by cultural trend watcher Faith Popcorn.

Smart Seats
The seats found in VR entertainment venues that are equipped with motion bases and wired to respond to actions on the computer screen.

Computer media used for social purposes, as a means of ex-change, collaboration, and the social construction of knowledge. Computer conferencing would be a perfect example of sociomedia. Suggested by hypermedia theorist Edward Barrett in his book of the same name.

Microsoft's technique of using a small worm program to interrogate computers on a network. The program gathers intelligence on what software is being run on the machines, and then reports back to Microsoft when the customer signs up for The Microsoft Network. This is reportedly a "feature" of a beta version of Windows 95.

Acronym for "Small Office, Home Office." Ziff-Davis recently started inserting a PC supplement into Sunday newspapers, targeting the SoHo market.

To speak aimlesly on a mishmash of topics. To stuff someone's brain with information of questionable content. "This guy on AOL started spammin' me about Rush Limbaugh's superior intellect."

Squirt the Bird
To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and talent are ready ... what time do we squirt the bird?"

Starter Marriages
Short-lived first marriages that end in divorce with no kids, no property, and no regrets.

(Dr.) Strangelove Ocean
Ecology slang for an ocean where pollution has killed all the life forms near the water's surface, making it look like a nuked wasteland.

Stress Puppy
A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiney. "I'd like to work with Patrick, but he's too much of a stress puppy ... everything's a crisis."

Synthetic actor. Used in 3-D computer animation to describe sophisticated human forms that can be imported into a virtual world. Also "electronic puppets," "dolls," or "vactors."

Term of derision often used by young hackers who fancy themselves the legitimate residents of cyberpsace and see the older generation of hackers and personal computer developers as parental party crashers. Also: techno-wimps and cyber-yuppies.

The sum total of the technological infra-structure of a society.

Telephone Number Salary
A seven digit salary (or project budget).

Clicking helter skelter around an interative computer screen in search of hidden buttons that might trigger actions. (Found in the manual to the CD-ROM game Myst.)

Time Porn
Popular entertainment, such as TV shows like Cheers, Seinfeld, and Mad About You, where people never seem to have anything to do except hang out. They tease us with the forbidden leisure time we all covet but can't have. Used in an article by Colin McEnroe in the Hartford Courant.

TOSsed Out
Ejected from the chat rooms on America Online for violating its Terms Of Service (TOS) agreement. The ejection-happy arbiters of taste who do the TOSsing are sometimes referred to as cybercops.

People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had about three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."

Toy Value
Useless gewgaws in a program or product. "The animation screen in this backup program may have some toy value, but they slow everything down to a crawl.

An abbreviated way to say "WWW" (double-yew, double-yew, double-yew) when speaking a URL. "Hey, check out this cool Web site at triple-dub dot neowobbly dot com."

Trog Mode
A round-the-clock hacking session in which your eyes get so tired you have to turn off the lights and toggle the montior into reverse - white letters on a black screen. Programmers in Troglodyte mode often prop themsleves up with stimulants, loud music, and outbursts of colorful language.

Tweak Freak
A computer techie obsessed with finding the root of all tech problems, regardless of the relevance. A tweak freak might spend hours trying to track down something that could instantly be fixed by reinstalling the software.

Twitch Game
A computer or arcade game that's all hand-eye and little brain. Similar to "thumb-candy."

Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail of a vice-president at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of an uninstalled vice-president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance."

User Eye-D
A face-to-face (FTF) meeting with someone you've gotton to know over the Net. "My User Eye-D with Robin was not what I expected. He's a guy!"

Value-Subtracted Reseller
A company that buys components from other companies and puts them together in a system that's less than the sum of its parts. Opposite of value-added reseller.

Vampire Time
A schedule where one sleeps all day and haunts clubs and coffee houses at night. Refers to writers, artists, slackers, club kids, and other bohemian types.

A Usenet posting, often commercial in nature, excessively cross-posted to a large number of newsgroups. Similar to Spam, although that term is often used to describe an identical post that's been loaded onto lots of inappropriate newsgroups, one group at a time (rather than cross-posted).

Vomit Comet
A plane used to simulate zero-G for astronaut flight training. Trainees often get motion sickness inside.

Checkout-counter displays that entice you to buy, buy, buy while you wait. (Also called a "shelftalker.")

Another term for X-rated software.

Web Jam
A multitasking rave or tribal gathering where self-selected performance artists, musicians, and dancers perform simultaneously.

A new trend among neural-implant hobbyists. You hook electrodes to your temples and give yourself small controlled doses of electro-shock therapy. Don't try this at home, kids!

Your Mileage May Vary. A popular qualifier simple meaning: "the outcome may be different under different conditions." Often used in a humorous way: "This shareware program worked fine on my machine, but YMMV."

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Last updated 18 September 1995