Nov 20, 2007

Tech Buzzwords 101

With technology moving at such a quick pace, it has become harder to keep up with the lingo that lingers in cyberspace.

A new survey conducted for Windows Live by Harris Interactive shows that only 43 percent of adults in the U.S. feel they are knowledgeable about the latest tech buzzwords.

For example, one in three U.S. adults do not know what "VoIP" is.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) allows people to have voice conversations using their computers through instant messaging services such as Windows Live Messenger, or even just through a regular phone.

"Many people seem to shy away from using new technologies," said Windows Live Director Phil Holden. "But just because these things sound complicated doesn't mean that they are. These technologies are built into many services people already use on a daily basis, such as instant messaging and e-mail."

The survey also found that nearly half are unsure of the term "Internet tagging," a tool for categorizing information on the Net.

Seventy-one percent of U.S. adults, and 41 percent of people ages 18 to 34, have never heard of "RSS," or Really Simple Syndication, which allows Internet users to subscribe to the information that appeals to them online, such as updates to blogs or online newspapers.

Subscribers to a Web site's RSS feed can receive real-time updates to their e-mail inbox or have a special Web page set up specifically to receive feeds from their favorite sites.

One way to put RSS to use is with sites such as, which enables users to create a customized home page, similar to having a personalized newspaper that is updated 24 hours a day.

"Once they scratch beneath the surface and get past the intimidating lingo, people can discover new and wonderful ways to harness the Internet and perhaps even become passionate about discovering the next big tech breakthrough," Holden said.

Tech Buzzwords Explained

  • VoIP. Short for Voice over Internet Protocol, it allows people to have voice conversations through their computers.
  • Beta. The term is used to describe a preview version of a Web site or product.
  • RSS. Short for Really Simple Syndication, it allows Internet users to subscribe to information via real-time updates to their e-mail inbox or a special Web page.
  • Tagging. Similar to a bookmark, a tag helps people categorize information on the Internet. Tagged Web pages are stored online and can be accessed from any computer. .

Courtesy of Windows Live -(NewsUSA)

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