Blogger Gulch


  1. The SoMa (south of Market St) neighborhood of San Francisco.

Luckily, Rojo was located in blogger gulch (AKA SOMA) in San Francisco which is also the home of Technorati and Feedster. The employees literally only have two extra blocks to commute to their new offices. —Kevin Burton, “Six Apart Acquires Rojo”


n. (from dark matter, darknet, etc and CPAN)

  1. The private legacy software written in Perl with which Perl 5 must remain backwards compatible.

Compare the mountains of corporate Visual Basic apps with which Windows must maintain compatibility, at high cost.

Not that it shouldn’t be done, we need not burden ourselves with bad practices forever, but deprecation cycles and dealing with dormant CPAN modules and code in the DarkPAN means it will take time. —David Landgren, “This Week on perl5-porters - 6-12 January 2008”

Difference Storm

n. (presumably from difference engine and network traffic visualizations, for example, packet storm)

  1. The sum total of modern telecommunications. That is, the internet.

“I take it I don’t have to introduce myself,” I said quietly. …

“Do you know this man, Kadmin?” Ortega asked.

“Hoping for a confession, Lieutenant?” Kadmin threw back his head and laughed musically. “Oh, the crudity! This man? This woman, maybe? Or, yes, even a dog could be trained to say as much as he has said, given the right tranquilizers, of course. They do tend to go pitifully insane when you decant them if not. But, yes, even a dog. We sit here, three silhouettes carved from electronic sleet in the Difference Storm, and you talk like a cheap period drama. Limited vision, Lieutenant, limited vision. Where is the voice that said altered carbon would free us from the cells of our flesh? The vision that said we would be angels.” —Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon


n. (acronym for Gratuitous Image Post)

  1. A web journal post made to showcase one’s new avatar or userpic.



  1. An AOL Instant Messenger screen name.


n. (thanks, Simon)

  1. An algorithm comprising several weighted algorithms that perform the same purpose. For example, search engine ranking algorithms.

appointment television

n. (thanks, Karen)

  1. Television shows you regularly make time to watch, as opposed to television you watch in extra time or while channel surfing.

Word Spy says appointment television can still be timeshifted, but on the face of it, I would expect the value of timeshifting appointment television is lower than normal tv. Appointment television comprises shows with watercooler value. Any show you’ve heard in the sentence, “Are you watching __?” probably tends to be appointment television. Timeshifting makes conversations about appointment tv more like discussions of recent books, unlike the more rigid showings and event tv of the past when you’d have to wait for a show to be rerun to catch up.


n. (from the composition of the emoticon)

  1. A heart symbol, especially when rendered as the ASCII emoticon <3. syn. less-than-three


n. (from asymptote)

  1. In a software development team, fear of incrementing any segment of a version number other than the rightmost.


n. (from analogy with the controversial paraphilia)

  1. Internet. A penchant in a male user for using a female avatar, especially in a context where one identifies with it (that is, where one roleplays rather than toons it).

I’ve been making T-shirts and frobs, and working on my avatar(s). Here’s the current state of the female one, showing off a T-shirt that longtime weblog readers may recognize (the word from, anyway; I decided to bow to convention and put an “e”, rather than an “o”, after the “yn”)…. —David Chess, “Monday, December 11, 2006”


vt. (from computing jargon for a hung computer)

  1. To remove the animus from.

Bricking occurs mainly to consumer electronics, which increasingly have firmware one can update. Typically a device is bricked through the application of bad third-party firmware, or through official updates that punish hardware hackers.

Then you had the audacity to complain about broken phones, half-assed firmware that bricked your gear, and winner-takes-nothing arms races between the companies whose gear your bought and the hackers who had nothing better to do than try to fix it. Do you realize how ridiculous that is? —Joel Johnson, “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades,” Gizmodo


n. (from web and celebrity)

  1. One who is internet famous.



  1. A D-Link router.

Those dumb little D-Link boxes in the corner of the lounges all over the world (I’ve heard them called “clocksuckers”) will still be demanding, whether or not they get an answer, to know what time it is. And this is just so that they can timestamp their logs correctly; even though no-one will ever look at their contents… What a waste, quite literally, of time! —Richard Clayton, “When Firmware Attacks! (DDoS by D-Link)”


n. (from coder and modem)

  1. A device that performs the function of a modem, only digitally.

As modem is short for modulator/demodulator, a “digital modem” is not really a modem at all: it doesn’t modulate an analog signal, but rather encodes and decodes a bitstream. Strictly speaking, the word analogous to modem would be codec, short for coder/decoder, but that word has a specific meaning in popular usage: the software “driver” for an audio or video file format.


n. (similarity to refactoring; thanks, Adam)

  1. Fixing broken program code, under the guise of refactoring, the restating of code in a cleaner but equivalent form.


n. (retronym from smartphone)

  1. A cellular telephone capable of no major functions other than voice calls and text messaging.

Doubtless some would argue a dumbphone should only place and receive voice calls, but as more Americans use text messaging, text and IM are increasing necessities in cell phones. As someone who both uses text messaging and argues for the dumbphone to friends with Pocket PC “phones” that trade reception and reliability for the ability to play Solitaire, I elect to take a moderate stance on the texting issue.


vt. (verbing of the noun, analogous to friend)

  1. To mark someone as a family member in a personal social networking site.


n. (from Flash and flatulence; thanks, Harold)

  1. A disorder of web sites in which the site delivers an inefficient or broken user experience due to the amount of Flash software used.

I think I was trying to find a hotel in Chicago or somewhere, and the site completely imploded under its own Flashtulence. —C’pher, “Sheraton’s FlashFart”



  1. A measure of data approximately equivalent to 10,224 bytes; that is, the data content of 72-column 0.007-inch thick punch cards that fit in a one-inch wide container.

How will we measure data in yards, you ask? Simple - we will return to the ancient days of computing and revive the first portable standard for data transport - the punch card! —Andrew Ducker, “A modest technological proposal in praise of imperialism”


n. (from friend and spam)

  1. Unsolicited, impersonal email from someone you know personally.

I will not sign up for whatever affiliate program you’ve got in your email signature. I do not marvel at The Way Things Used to Be. Change your homepage to —Anil Dash, “Pardon me for being forward”



  1. A limitation artificially imposed in a new medium, due to its presence in the old medium being replaced.

I call these phenomena “horseheads”, after the false horse heads that were mounted on the hoods of old automobiles, which still survive as in vestigial form as hood ornaments. —Mark Dominus, “Diacritics and horseheads”


n. (from Steve Jobs’ description of the OS X Aqua interface in his MacWorld Expo 2000 keynote)

  1. Sexiness, as of a design.


n. (from lol and soulmate)

  1. One with whom you share funny internets.


n. (thanks, Michael)

  1. The overall architecture of a business system comprising technological and non-technological components.

monkey can


  1. A manned spacecraft.

The first human expedition was put together by ESA Studios six years ago, followed by a couple of wildcat mining prospectors and a μ-commerce bus that scattered half a million pico-probes throughout the Jupiter subsystem. Now the Sanger has arrived, along with another three monkey cans (one from Mars, two more from LEO) and it looks as if colonization is about to explode, except that there are at least four mutually exclusive Grand Plans for what to do with old Jove’s mass. —Charles Stross, Accelerando


n. (from analogy with nation-state; thanks, Broken)

  1. A city arcology.


n. (from Japanese pika meaning spark)

  1. A photograph or video in which a point light source is moved during a long exposure to leave a drawing in the frame.

Pikapika is a photographic technique of making a long-exposure still photograph in a dark space. A person with a small flashlight uses the exposure time to draw a picture in the air. Do this a number of times with animation in mind, and you get a short video of a neon-like cartoon floating in air. The apt subtitle of the pikapika site is “lightning doodle project”. —Ned Batchelder, “Pikapika”

Pika may be most familiar to English speakers in another context, chu being the sound mice make.


adj. (from plunder and -phonic)

  1. Of sound sampled out of its original context.

Jesse Thorn: Now, what kind of music when you were in school were you composing? What were your goals in your composition?

Dan Deacon: I just wanted to try as much stuff that appealed to me as possible. I didn’t really focus on anything; maybe I should’ve. In the beginning it was just sort of a mish-mash of everything, very Fluxus influenced compositions, or like, just weird text-based scores for non-musicians, just to make sounds at various intervals of time, or like very in-depth, very complex traditional notational scores for string ensemble or brass ensemble; pieces for small orchestra.

And then weird electronic sort of pop songs, at the same time, and then trying to mesh those two worlds together. I was really influenced by Negativland, and this female composer, Vicki Bennett, who goes by People Like Us, and started doing more plunderphonic compositions where it was focused exclusively on using samples and sample manipulation and just trying to mesh all those worlds together. —Dan Deacon, The Sound of Young America


n. (from iPod and schadenfreude; by Joey deVilla)

  1. The malicious satisfaction of emotionally invested iPod owners when their pro-iPod bias is confirmed.


n. (from podcast and audience)

  1. The people who listen to a podcast, or, generally, people who listen to podcasts.

remember wholesale

vt. (from the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”)

  1. To remind oneself of something using machine-assisted memory. For example, to recall a particular IM discussion by reading or searching the log.

Remembering something wholesale is similar to but distinct from googleknowing (just-in-time learning using a search engine). You have to have already known and forgotten something to remember it wholesale.


v. (created by Ze Frank, probably from the general idea of propulsion, or the classic exponential graph; definitely not the internet video program of the same name)

  1. To exaggerate measurements.



  1. The letter sequence www.


v. (from ribbon tab naming in Excel 12)

  1. To create or use a spreadsheet.

“Sheet” started out being called “Enter Data” in Excel, as we tried to come up with a term which matched “Write” in spirit. But it was a long and clunky name, conflicted with the “Data” tab of Excel, and worst of all (in my opinion), it makes working with Excel sound like drudgery. —Jensen Harris, “There’s No Place Like Home”


n. (from Amazon’s Statistically Improbable Phrases feature)

  1. A unique combination of words.

does the sip “post declarative” lead anywhere interesting? (does anyone really stilll care?)

the cats were a nice touch. —progosk, comment to What Is This Creepy Site Advertising?


adj. (from small and homebrew)

  1. A product produced by a microbusiness.

A programmable grid of of 64 buttons, it’s a smallbrew device. That is, the piece of hardware is neither a mass-produced corporate item nor a homebrew bit of weekend-invention happenstance. It’s a proper commercial release, albeit on a small scale. —Marc Weidenbaum, “Monome-crew MP3s”


n. (resemblance of the symbol used to represent them)

  1. Microsoft Points, the micropayment currency used in the Xbox Live Marketplace service.



  1. To employ the Takahashi Method of using a little text enlarged to fill the screen in a presentation.

Takahashi that one. —Larry Wall at YAPC::Asia 2006


n. (from deck and teledildonics; thanks, Broken)

  1. The technology required to punch someone who sorely needs it in the face over the internet.

i’m going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet —HatfulOfHollow, quote #4281


v. (from thumb drive; thanks, Brian)

  1. To download data you are not authorized to copy to a USB thumb drive.

Bidding the caller adieu, Spence ran into an old security pal on his way to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s blackjack tables. The duo headed to the bar to toss back some Jack Daniel’s and chat. The pal said he heard the buzzword “thumbsucking” used recently to describe the unauthorized downloading of a company’s data via a portable USB storage device. The phrase was apparently coined by Senforce Technologies. “Thumbsucking, Podslurping, Bluesnarfing or Sneakernetting—all the terms for small-device data theft sound like Dr. Seuss created them,” mused the Mouser. —Spencer F. Katt, “Talk Rages in Lost Wages,” eWeek


v. (verbing of the noun toon)

  1. To play in an MMORPG or virtual world.


n. (short form of cartoon; from MMORPGs)

  1. The conduit of a player’s will inside a game, typically an MMORPG. syn. avatar.

While game and virtual world theorists freely use the term avatar, it’s reasonable MMORPG players would adopt toon instead. Not only is it much less serious a word, being taken from popular culture instead of religion, but the relationship to the player is more appropriate for game playing: a toon would be a separate entity created by the player, a character portrayed temporarily if at all, while an avatar would be an extension of the player, suitable for roleplaying. Playing a toon instead of an avatar implies detachment.

Just look at the number of people who reveal their identity in The Sims Online through the site. Even there, though, a screenshot and a claim that Toon X is Person Y is pretty slim evidence to go on. For many inhabitants of the virtual world, total anonymity is not enough. —Mark Wallace, The Escapist #34 p12, “Anonymity is Not Enough”

total lol

n. (from total war)

  1. The event after which all Internet traffic exclusively comprises spam, lolcats, and links to YouTube videos.

Future historians will have decided total lol was inevitable once the US Congress mandated IPv6 on the behalf of News Corporation’s newly merged Dow Jones/IANA division, and every electronic device was given not only its own IP address but its own Myspace.

touring riot


  1. The flash mob of knee-jerk idiocy directed around the web by link-centric communities.

Anyone who blogs regularly knows its generally a relatively peaceful, often times fun experience. You sort of get to know your “regulars” that visit and comment. It becomes a loose little clique. Then you get Dugg…. —Richard Ziade, comment on “Fanboys Are Stupid, But You Are Not”


n. (from weblog and sphere)

  1. The “place” on the web composed of blogs. Syn. blogosphere.

Weblosphere, usually pronounced as web low sphere, has the added advantage over blogosphere that it can be alternately pronounced as we blow sphere.


n. (from Wii and Xbox 360; apparently coined by Microsoft’s Peter Moore)

  1. The console cocktail of both the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360, as opposed to the other new generation console, the Sony Playstation 3.

Only a Nintendo’s Wii. - I have reserved my console with my company. - Wii is less expensive, has more interesting games, offers new game play, and i already have an xbox 360, so i already have a ‘powerful HD’ console. —Anonymous, “Question of the Week: Are Games Industry Professionals Buying PlayStation 3 or Wii?” 17 Nov 2006