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Social Media & other Subjects for the N00b

It seems to me, being in the tech industry, that there are a lot of words, phrases or acronyms (there are as many acronyms in tech as there are in the Military. OK, maybe not as many since there is a division in the military devoted simply to the creation of acronyms. It’s called the Fabrication and Utilization of shortcuts for Kombat Events) that the common user may have heard of but not fully comprehend. I would like to try to cover some of these buzz words and phrases that are being tossed around like a football in a Mouse Davis offense (obscure football reference). So without further ado, here are some current terms and their definitions:

Social Media
It’s what you do if you’re on Facebook. It means interacting with people via the internet, whether passively (Facebook/LinkedIn/YouTube, etc.) where you post or comment then may receive a reply or comment sometime later, or actively (Twitter or Google+) where you have interactions with almost instantaneous feedback. They make money by providing you with a medium to interact with others, then providing you with specific ads based on your “likes” or comments.

Cloud Computing logical diagramThe Cloud
From Wikipedia:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

The concept of cloud computing fills a perpetual need of IT: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities.

In layman’s terms, it means that the cloud (which is usually “owned” by a provider) uses multiple redundant parallel systems to provide customers with various offerings, such as databases, collaboration, communication, finance, etc. in such a way that there is access everywhere (since it’s on the internet), protection (since data can be spread across multiple locations), and dynamic allocation of resources should the need arise (e.g., additional capacity/resources).

Virtualization
The ability to run multiple virtual machines, whether they’re servers or PC’s from a single system. While the initial cost of the machine (it needs to be robust) is high, as the number of virtual machines on that system increases, the ROI increases. Since it consolidates multiple servers/devices into just a few, you reduce cooling requirements, management costs and electrical costs. You can create both desktop and server environments which allows you to reduce hardware costs as well. The other advantage is the since the virtual machines are simply files, you can back them up and restore them very quickly to it’s previous state. This minimizes downtime and again, cuts costs.

Most common software to achieve this is Microsoft’s Hyper-V/Virtual Server or VMWare’s ESX/ESXi

Mobile Computing
As computers and mobile devices converge, futurists have posited that the desktop/laptop computer as we know it will be replaced with a device that will act as desktop/smartphone/entertainment system in one.

Since we are headed towards a state where all the software and data will reside in the cloud (private or public), it becomes immaterial what device or OS you use, since all you need is a browser. The future office will simply have a dock connected to a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Upon arrival, you dock your mobile device (tablet or smartphone) which then allows you to work as you do today. Your data is backed up in the cloud and at the end of the day, you undock your phone, place it in your dorky belt holster or purse, then head home. Upon arriving at home, you have a dock connected to your TV set. You place your phone in the dock and you can watch either downloaded movies or other type of content; or, using the WiFi built into the smartphone, you can stream content wirelessly. This is the future, and, with the 1st device that can do this in the market (the Morotola Atrix), it will be the predominant paradigm of the next generation of devices.

Jailbreak
refers only to Apple iPhones and orthe iDevices, it simply means the ability to use a distribution channel OTHER than Apples App Store. You are breaking out of the virtual “jail” that Apple has created which mandates that you can only get content from them. It requires an elevated level of technical know-how to jailbreak idevices as well as what to do to add software to the device using Cydia (the non-Apple “App Store”).

Rooting
Same as Jailbreaking, but with the Android system. It is more complex than Jailbreaking since it is phone and OS version specific. Also less of a need as there are multiple places you can purchase apps for Android devices (Amazon has an app store for Android as well as T-Mobile and Google).

So there you have just some of the popular IT terms you might have heard of but were too embarrased to ask about. Any other term, feel free to comment and I will be more than happy to explain.

Categories: Other, Tech
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