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Here's a primer to help you understand the lingo of today's geek
Dilberted - To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from
the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character.
"I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the
fourth time this week."
Link Rot - The process by which links on a web page became as
obsolete as the sites they're connected to change location or die.
Object Value - In industrial design, a measure of consumers'
immediate desire for an object, even before they know or understand
what it does. "Gasse may be nuts, but at least the BeBox has great
Chip Jewelry - A euphemism for old computers destined to be
scrapped or turned into decorative ornaments. "I paid three grand for
that Mac SE, and now it's nothing but chip jewelry."
Crapplet - A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I
just wasted 30 minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"
Plug-and-Play - A new hire who doesn't need any training. "The new
guy, John, is great. He's totally plug-and-play."
World Wide Wait - The real meaning of WWW.
CGI Joe - A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social
skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.
Dorito Syndrome - Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction
triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I
just spent six hours surfing the Web, and now I've got a bad case of
Under Mouse Arrest - Getting busted for violating an online
service's rule of conduct. "Sorry I couldn't get back to you. AOL put
me under mouse arrest."
Glazing - Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A
popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he
notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"
404 - Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web 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."
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..."
Egosurfing - Scanning the net, databases, print media, or research
papers looking for the mention of your name.
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 the screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like
hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."
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."
Open-Collar Workers - People who work at home or telecommute.
Shopper-Lifting - When a store's electronic scanner (usually
inadvertently) prices an item higher than the price on the store's
shelf or in an advertisement.
Squirt The Bird - To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and
talent are ready...what time do we squirt the bird?"
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 can you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik
bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative
Cobweb Site - A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a
long time. A dead web page.
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.
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."
Batmobiling - Putting up an emotional shield just as a relationship
enters that intimate, vulnerable stage. Refers to the retractable
armor covering the Batmobile.
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.
Elvis Year - The peak year of something's popularity. "Barney the
dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993."
Midair Passenger Exchange - Grim air-traffic-controller speak for a
head-on collision. Midair passenger exchanges are immediately
followed by "aluminum rain."
Alpha Geek - The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person
in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around
Vomit Comet - A plane used to simulate zero-G for astronaut flight
training. Trainees often get motion sickness inside.
Adminisphere - 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.
Tourists - People who are taking training classes just to get a
vacation from their jobs. "We had about three serious students in
the class; the rest were tourists."
Blowing Your Buffer - Losing one's train of thought. Occurs when the
person you are 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!"
Begathon - A TV or radio fund-raiser for a charity, religious
organization, or PBS station that employs every known form of guilt,
sweet talking, and outright begging to get people to fork over the
Gray Matter - Older, experienced business people hired by young
entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and
Bookmark - To take note of a person for future reference (a metaphor
borrowed from web browsers). "I bookmarked him after seeing his cool
demo at Siggraph."
Nyetscape - Nickname for AOL's less-than-full-featured Web browser.
Beepilepsy - The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their
beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by
physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in
Client-Server Action - Geek euphemism for having sex. "I went to the
Oracle party the other night hoping for some client-server action."
Salmon Day - The experience of spending an entire day swimming
upstream only to get screwed in the end.