Don's Home Reference 21st Century Glossary of Terms
last updated 1 Sept 2019

Under Construction
In 2016-17 I noticed a lot of new terminology from things like the 2016 election campaign and advances in computing show up in the news and conversation as if everyone knows what they are.
Some are not new, but old terms which are coming into more common use.

It is not a complete list and definitions need to be tweaked, but it's a start.

Just click on some entries without a description to do a google searcy.

  • 3GPP - 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) unites [Seven] telecommunications standard development organizations to develop standards for 3G, 4G and 5G mobile networks.
  • 4G - Fourth generation of broadband cellular phone network technology. Commonly used the LTE protocol. Allows up to 100 megabits per second. Standardized in 2009.
  • 5G - Fifth generation of broadband cellular network technology. Will support more devices but requires more density of cell towers. Network speeds should have a peak data rate of 20 Gb/s for the downlink and 10 Gb/s for the uplink.
  • AI - Artificial intelligence
    The idea that a computer could think like a human Timeline:
    1950's- AI (Artificial Intelligence) - Expert Systems 
            Decision trees, rule-based systems
    1980's- Machine Learning - Neural Networks
    2010's- Cognitive Computing - Deep Learning
    See AI for more.
  • Alphabet (Holding company for google and a bunch of smaller companies working on leading edge technology.
  • Alt-Right - A loose group of people with far right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.
    Made popular during the 2016 election campaign.
  • Antifa - Anti-Fascist - Gained notoriety after the White Nationalist clash in Charlottesville in 2017.
  • AR - Augmented Reality - Like Virtual Reality, but where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities. e.g visual, auditory, haptic (sensing motion, shape, temperature, ... by feel). Can be used to make a person appear to be saying something they really didn't say.
  • Autonomous Car
  • Bitcoin - A digital Currency.
  • BI - Business Intelligence - The strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information.
    Related Terms: Data Mining, Big Data, infographics.
  • Big Data - Data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing application software is inadequate to deal with them.
    Lately, the term "big data" tends to refer to the use of predictive analytics, user behavior analytics.
    Related terms: machine intelligence and deep computing.
    The term has been in use since the 1990s, with some giving credit to John Mashey for coining it.
  • Biome - Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. "Biome" is a broader term than "habitat"; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats
  • Blockchain - A list of digital records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data.
    Originally developed for digigal currencies (e.g. bitcoin), it is now being adapter for other uses such as medical records, complex financial transaction tracking, supply chain tracking, ...
  • CRISPR - Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat.
    CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops.
    See What Is CRISPR? |
  • Cloud - A metaphor for the Internet. Cloud computing, Cloud storage.
  • CSA - Community Supported Agrilculture
  • Deepfakes - is a technique for human image synthesis based on artificial intelligence. It is used to combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos using a machine learning technique called a "generative adversarial network" (GAN). It can create a video that can depict a person or persons saying things or performing actions that never occurred in reality.
  • Deep Learning - The latest improvement of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Deep-learning software is an attempt to mimic the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex, the wrinkly 80 percent of the brain where thinking occurs. It analyzes large data sets to teach itself. Something like neuro networks but more complex.
    AI and Neural Networks never lived up to their promise, but better algorithms and more powerful computers are allowing a jump in AI functionality. Things like language processing, object recognition are some of the applications.
    See Deep Learning - MIT Technology Review
    and The Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning? | NVIDIA Blog
  • Doxxing - Publicly exposing someone's real name or address on the Internet who has taken pains to keep them secret.
  • Emolument Clause - A provision of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8) that generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives.
  • FAANG - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet's Google; The five most popular and best performing tech stocks in the stock market.
    Jim Cramer coined the term FANG in 2015 (without Apple) for mega-cap tech stocks. Others used FAMGA - Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon.
    Now Alphabet (Holding company for google and a bunch of smaller companies working on leading edge technology.
  • Fake News - Made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.
    The US intelligence community has said that Russia interfered in the 2016 election by using things like fake social media accounts and adds to create fake news favoring Trump.
    Since the election President Trump has been using it refer to any traditional news he doesn't agree with.
    How Fake News Goes Viral - The New York Times A 2018 Ohio State study suggests fake news might have won Donald Trump the 2016 election - The Washington Post
  • GAN, or Generative Adversarial Network; a specific type of machine learning that uses dueling neural networks to create realistic photos and videos.
  • Genetic Engineering -
  • Genome - A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. See Molecular Biology
  • Geoengineering - A blanket term for a number of proposed methods for contracting climate change. Spraying particles such as sulfur dioxide, alumina, or calcium carbonate into the scatter sunlight, or making coastal clouds more reflective.
  • Gig Economy - Short term jobs - Contractors. From a musician's "Gig"
    A study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors.
  • LTE - Long Term Evolution - A standard for 4G mobile phone networks.
  • Machine Learning
  • Meme - An idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture". The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.
    Derogatory, sometimes funny, images and ideas were rampant and spread via twitter and political discussion boards and other Internet means during the 2016 election. The spread of memes was referred to as internet trolling (above).
  • Nationalism - Identification with one's own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.
  • Neural Networks - a computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system.
  • Nomophobia - The irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power.
  • Pharmacogenetics - The branch of pharmacology concerned with the effect of genetic factors on reactions to drugs.
  • Populism - A political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.
    Populists range from Donald Trump a conservative U.S. president to Hugo Chavez a revolutionary socialist in Venezuela.
  • Psychographics - The study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.
  • STEM - Science, Technology, Enginering & Medicine
  • Troll - A troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.
  • UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Drone
  • VR - Virtual Reality - In it's simplest form you put on a headset which shows a a three-dimensional, computer generated environment. As you move and look around it's as if you were somewhere else. More sophisticated systems use things like omni-directional treadmills and special gloves.

Words made popular in the 2016 election campaign
Analytics and Big Data Glossary for the Enterprise
BBC - Culture - A glossary for the 21st Century
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) updates: June 2017 | March 2017 | December 2016 | September 2016 | Previous updates

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