Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Top 5 Technical Terms the Media Misuses

It's time for people to start using proper technical terminology, especially people in the media. It's bad enough when a complete moron is trying to describe technology they know nothing about. It's even worse when the simple terms aren't used properly. Most journalists are guilty of these offenses and it's time we started getting it right.

1. The Internet and World Wide Web are not the same thing.
Recently, a TV news reporter reported "peer-to-peer programs allow users to download video and music over the World Wide Web". Kazaa, Limewire, EDonkey and most peer-to-peer applications don't use web technology at all. They go over an Internet connection and that is all. Need a definition to tell the two apart?


2. Palm Devices are not PalmPilots.
Palm devices haven't been titled PalmPilot in over 8 years now. It's time to stop calling them PalmPilot's. You can thank a lawsuit by the makers of the Pilot pen for this. They are to now be called Palm devices or Palm Treo, Palm V, Palm VII, Palm PDA, etc.

3. Cell phone's aren't cellular anymore.
Most phone companies don't use cellular technology anymore. Yet nobody uses the term "wireless phone". Calling today's wireless phones "cellular" is like calling a CD a cassette tape. Yes there are still some cellular networks, but why call a phone that doesn't use cellular technology a cell phone?

4. iTunes are not MP3's.
Although you can play MP3 music in the iTunes application, you cannot download MP3 files from the iTunes network. You'll also find that it's almost impossible to locate an MP3 player that you can use with downloaded iTunes music. Music from iTunes are in a completely different format than MP3. This is how Apple gets you to buy the iPod.

5. 56K modem dialup is not high speed.
Thanks to advertisers of dialup internet providers, the term "high speed" is used for 56k dialup modem connections. This was fine about 7 years ago. With today's DSL and cable connections available, these should now be called "high speed" now. If you're using a modem, just call it "dialup". Simply calling it "high speed" won't make it so.

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