Forgot your password?

Least worthy tech-world cliches / buzzwords?

Displaying poll results.
Ultrabook
  3043 votes / 15%
The Cloud / Cloud Computing
  8571 votes / 43%
Advanced Persistent Threat
  1881 votes / 9%
Solution
  1801 votes / 9%
God Particle
  4211 votes / 21%
Some other option (explained in comments)
  261 votes / 1%
19768 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Least worthy tech-world cliches / buzzwords?

Comments Filter:
  • by maestroX (1061960) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @05:00AM (#38695962)
    Management.
  • What's wrong with the term "solution"? If people have a problem, a company tries to offer a solution to that problem in the form of a product or line of products. Seems like a pretty standard use of the word to me. Certainly not even in the same ballpark as "The Cloud" or *shudder* "The God Particle".

    • by chebucto (992517) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @08:24AM (#38696526) Homepage

      A solution is what you should get by using a product, which is what the company sells. This goes for the service industry as much as the manufacturing industry.

      A tech company saying they sell solutions is like a travel agency saying they sell dreams - both are greasy marketing abuses of the language.

    • by ebcdic (39948) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @10:03AM (#38697088)

      As it's used in marketing, it means nothing more than "thing". Every product is a solution. If it doesn't solve something, why would you buy it? A packet of washing powder is a solution to your dirty clothes. A Mars bar is a solution to your chocolate craving. A game is a solution to your boredom.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        A packet of washing powder is a solution to your dirty clothes.

        Only when you put it in water.

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        A Mars bar is a solution to your chocolate craving.

        There is no solution to craving chocolate - just stop-gaps :-)

      • by martyros (588782) on Monday January 16, 2012 @06:20AM (#38711872)

        Every product is a solution. If it doesn't solve something, why would you buy it?

        It's a matter of perspective. Of course the buyer is usually looking for solutions (although often, they're looking for something else, like buzzword compliance); but the seller has a strong natural tendency to only look at their product. How can we sell more of product X? Add feature Y? Remove feature Z? Make the interface "simpler" (but making common tasks require 3x more clicks than before)? The result is that there's a mismatch between what the product actually does and what users actually need. The point of having the seller talk about "solutions" is to get the eyes of the designers, engineers, managers, and sales people off the product, and onto the customer and how they use it.

        When I was finishing up my PhD, I took a class called "Entrepreneurship for Engineers", taught by a guy who had worked as a ChemE for several years before going into business. He told a story about an advanced research group he'd worked with where a very intelligent and driven researcher pushed to get his team to develop a composite material that was like Kevlar, but 5x stronger. They spent several years and tens of millions of dollars testing and perfecting the engineering and production of it. But when they went to existing Kevlar customers and said, "Hey, we have this new product -- 5 TIMES stronger than Kevlar!" The customers generally said, "Actually, Kevlar is already plenty strong enough; we don't really need something much stronger. But we do have this other problem -- Kevlar tends to degrade when exposed to sunlight. Does your product handle sunlight better?" Unfortunately, because their team had focused entirely on the strength factor at the expense of others, their product was actually more sensitive to sunlight than Kevlar. So the product was a complete loss.

        That's an example of a product group selling a product and not a solution. The guy in charge of the research group was focused exclusively on his technology -- the new technique that was 5x stronger than Kevlar. But he didn't actually investigate to find out what problems needed to be solved, and if his new technology would actually be a solution that anyone would need, and ignored people trying to tell him that strength was probably not a major factor.

        So of course, people can use buzzwords and terminology that have no meaning. It only takes a simple search and replace for the sales / marketing department of a company to say they're selling "solutions" rather than "products", with no change to the actual development process. Talk is cheap, after all. But that doesn't mean there's never any merit to the idea talking about solutions instead of products.

    • by Briareos (21163) *

      A "solution" nowadays means something half-assed that works at most half as well compared to a real product and costs at least twice as much...

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      The same thing as widget. It meant something worthwhile. Now it is so abused it means stop reading/listening here.

  • Tablet (Score:4, Informative)

    by qualityassurancedept (2469696) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @05:50AM (#38696138) Journal
    ipod, ipad, tablet... as long as its square, thin, and you can poke at it, then it seems to be worth at least $200 for no other reason than the word used to name it.
    • by avsa242 (1260338)
      This... I guess it's no different than people using Band-Aid or Kleenex for other brand products, but it bothers me too. Can't tell you how many times people have said to me, "Is that your ipod?" when pointing to my G1. *facepalm* Cheers
    • by Timmmm (636430)

      I don't think you understand this poll. They've always been called tablet computers as far as I know. Do you have a less buzzwordy option (not that tablet is a buzzword)?

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Saturday January 14, 2012 @06:44AM (#38696282) Homepage Journal

    At least all of the other options somehow refer to what they mean. Even the "cloud" (if you take it to describe the level of understanding of the people who use the term).

    Ultrabook, on the other hand, is just a thinly-veiled reference to "Apple Macbook Air Clone". That word will have absolutely no meaning to anyone after another 5 years or so, whereas all the rest we'll probably have to continue living with, for better or for worse.

    • by nwf (25607)

      Ultrabook, on the other hand, is just a thinly-veiled reference to "Apple Macbook Air Clone". That word will have absolutely no meaning to anyone after another 5 years or so, whereas all the rest we'll probably have to continue living with, for better or for worse.

      Yeah, that's a funny term created out of desperation. First it was netbooks, but demand for those is being eaten by tablets. Apparently, Apple was one of they few companies who could figure out that people wanted a laptop that was both lightweight, small and powerful. Now they created a term to hide their embarrassment. At least we already had the term "smartphone" before the iPhone, although many people couldn't list an example of one before the iPhone.

      But, indeed, a useless term even for marketing.

      • by Dr Max (1696200)
        It's not like thin wintel laptops didn't exist before it's just now intel has named the category and given it a few rules, which makes it easier for consumer to search for. Which is what apple's real appeal is, you don't need to hunt through all the specs of comepitors (you don't even need to understand them) you just go to apple, pick the size that suits you most, and hand over your money.
    • Ultrabook [wikipedia.org] actually refers a set of standards defined by Intel. Unlike "cloud", it's well defined and meaningful.
  • Strange... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jcreus (2547928) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @07:44AM (#38696406)
    No options for "information superhighway"s or "the tubes"? Furthermore, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    A cliché or cliche (pronounced UK: /klie/, US: /kle/) is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

    So, inside Slashdot we can find many... "Obligatory XKCD reference" comes to my mind.

  • Wi-Fi (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zugmeister (1050414) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @08:17AM (#38696506)
    How the heck did this phrase come to represent wireless networking? As I understand it, we had high fidelity (high fi) audio equipment. This was shortened to "Hi-Fi" to save on ink or maybe to seem more friendly when used for marketing. How did that morph into "Wi-Fi"? Does it mean the zeroes are more smoothly rounded while the ones are straighter?
    • Does it mean the zeroes are more smoothly rounded while the ones are straighter?

      No, that's only for gold-plated HDMI cables.

    • Re:Wi-Fi (Score:5, Informative)

      by Waltre (523056) * on Saturday January 14, 2012 @03:00PM (#38699430) Homepage

      This is a good point, I've never gotten this either. According to the Wi-Fi page on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org],

      "Wi-Fi" is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance and the brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards.".

      The article goes on to explain that,,

      "The term Wi-Fi, first used commercially in August 1999,[31] was coined by a brand-consulting firm called Interbrand Corporation that the Alliance had hired to determine a name that was "a little catchier than 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'"

      So there you go, it makes no sense technically because marketing people were involved.

      • In otehr words, it is a fantasy name.

        That's ok. Nealy all products have one, and they are usefull because they have a specific meaning.

    • It's more fun when a French person says it, because then it sounds like either whiffy or wee-fee.
      • Re:Wi-Fi (Score:4, Funny)

        by fatphil (181876) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @09:00PM (#38702330) Homepage
        In particular if they worked for GPT (GEC Plessey Telecom, yes, I know this dates me). When receptionists there answered the phone they said /zhe pe tei/ "j'ai pete", or "I have farted".
        • In particular if they worked for GPT (GEC Plessey Telecom, yes, I know this dates me). When receptionists there answered the phone they said /zhe pe tei/ "j'ai pete", or "I have farted".

          After Cutler Hammer and Eaton merged, they would answer the phones at their Beaver, PA office with "Cutler Hammer Eaton Beaver".

    • by am 2k (217885)

      I agree. In my area it's called WLAN, which is short for "wireless local area network". That's much more appropriate IMO.

  • Cyber (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14, 2012 @08:22AM (#38696524)

    As in "cyberwar" or "cybersecurity" or "We need to rethink our cyber strategy".

    It demonstrates a stunning lack of recognition over the subject matter. No-one who knows what they're doing would use it: which makes its prevalance among certain circles... troubling.

  • I'd say that even trumps out the use of "Green" to describe "initiatives" and other previously colorless things.

    • Ummm, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (the only one that really counts as they are the keepers of the English language), there's nothing wrong with "architect" as a verb. Architecture is a process and therefore can be thought of as an action as things are architected. Sorry, but you're gonna have to live with that one as it is a word and used properly as a verb. Now, don't get me started on things like "impactful"... I bet you use(d) "googled", that's not a word, officially.
    • I'd say that even trumps out the use of "Green" to describe "initiatives" and other previously colorless things.

      I realize it wasn't your point - but "Green" is a great one that deserved to be in the poll.

      Most of the "Going Green" discussions I've heard end up being mainly about the color of the dollars they're trying to save - nothing to do with saving energy or having less environmental impact. Heck, some of the ideas seem likely to increase the impact on the environment.

  • Web 2.0 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14, 2012 @09:02AM (#38696652)

    Not used much anymore, but I despise it.

    • I will second that! Stupidest thing ever! Especially for those of us that develop for the web. Most of the people that use the term don't know what it means!
  • Where's ITIL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AbRASiON (589899) * on Saturday January 14, 2012 @09:07AM (#38696678) Journal

    No really.

    • ITIL v3, even.
      I asked a colleague who had just finished an ITIL training what did the acronym mean, he didn't know, so yeah. ITIL it is.

      • ITIL = Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It is a Library...for Technology Infrastructure...and I still don't understand!
        • Or, from their site:

          ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL provides a cohesive set of best practice, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.

          Notice what is missing there: Approach for what? (Oh, yes, to "IT service management", how dumb of me...) Best practices for what? Drawn from what kind of entities? (No, it can't be "everybody".)

          In fact there is some content on it. But a booklet amount of content, not several books.

  • Has anyone discovered what that meant exactly? How is it different from the web we all know?

    AJAX : has existed for ages, and frankly, users don't care and don't even know what it is.
    User-provided content: as if the web had ever been something other than that.

    • Re:Web 2.0 (Score:5, Informative)

      by DeeEff (2370332) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @05:17PM (#38700578)

      Web 2.0 is the transition from the web as static media source (where there are publishers, creators, and consumers) and moving towards a more decentralized and abstract source of information. With Web 2.0, the line between creator and consumer is blurred, since consumers create content just as much as they consume other data.

      It really has more to do with the content delivery system. The first incarnation of the internet had content delivered much like newspapers, where only specified editors and journalists would write content and stories, and people would access these stories via some publisher like Yahoo or AOL. The idea of Web 2.0 is that anybody can have their own blog, twitter feed, or other sources like flickr or youtube to create content for others.

      With the web today, you don't have to go to any specific provider to get access to certain content (I don't need to subscribe to AOL to download their news), or work for a certain publisher to ensure I can get my article posted (I don't need to work for AOL to publish content for their site).

      There is an actual meaning for Web 2.0, but most people just think it means "Facebook-esque," which is false. They assume it's how you style the website, when in reality it is how the content is delivered.

      • With Web 2.0, the line between creator and consumer is blurred, since consumers create content just as much as they consume other data.

        So, you mean it's exactly like Web 1.0, where one of the very first web browsers actually embedded an HTML authoring tool and http server?

      • by Kidbro (80868)

        The first incarnation of the internet had content delivered much like newspapers, where only specified editors and journalists would write content and stories

        Everybody, and I mean everybody, had a web page when I got online. To say nothing of other parts of the net (newsgroups, mailinglists, whatnot).
        So, essentially, the 2.0 thing is something the marketing folks use to label the reversal the damage they caused when they were mistakenly allowed online in the late nineties?

  • EPIC FAIL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by avsa242 (1260338) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @10:17AM (#38697166)
    Not tied to the technological world, necessarily, and maybe not really buzzwords, but I am so effing sick and damned tired of seeing the words EPIC and FAIL, alone or combined.
    • Re:EPIC FAIL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Briareos (21163) * on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:38AM (#38697724)

      ^ EPIC troll FAIL.

  • by ngc5194 (847747) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @11:01AM (#38697496)
    The poll says "least worthy", so I have to go with "God particle". However, IMHO, the gap between what is (presumed to be) promised and what will be delivered for "Cloud computing" will be greatest.
    • No kidding. Do we really need another euphemism for "network"?

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      However, IMHO, the gap between what is (presumed to be) promised and what will be delivered for "Cloud computing" will be greatest.

      The main feature of cloud computing is the ability to almost instantly increase your capabilites and capacities.
      i.e. plug in more servers/storage/RAM and (supposedly) have your application scale up without any fiddling.
      This wasn't something that was easy to do in the past.

      You still have to pay extra for fault tolerance and geographic distribution.
      What do you think is being over promised and under delivered?

  • by kvvbassboy (2010962) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @12:20PM (#38697998)

    It's just a phone with a more capable OS. It's certainly not "smart". Software accessories like Siri might help it get there, but we have a long way to go before phones become intelligent devices.

  • Dyslexic Journalists (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @12:26PM (#38698028)
    The Higgs boson was actually nicknamed the Dog Particle, because it is a real bitch to find.
  • by CaptainLard (1902452) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @12:52PM (#38698250)
    Can't we all just get along?
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @01:14PM (#38698404)
    "x64" is kind of crappy. It's x86-64, goddammit. Now I even see "x32" being used. :S
    • by Kristian T. (3958)

      It's actually called amd64 or ie32e depending on which companies implementation it is. The term x86 implies it's running on a 386, or at the very least on the last chip referred to as 686, which would be the Pentium3 I guess. The term x86 makes no sense, without referring to those museum pieces.

      • Re:x64 (Score:4, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @06:07PM (#38700976) Journal

        It's actually called amd64 or ie32e

        No, it's actually called x86-64. That was the name that AMD gave it when they created it, in recognition that a large subset of it was identical to x86. I don't like calling it amd64, because Intel deserves at least as much of the blame for it as AMD - Intel created the turd, AMD just polished it a bit. AMD64 only refers to AMD's implementation.

        EM64T is the name for Intel's version, which is even more meaningless than IA32e (surely everything after the 386 is IA32 'extended').

        • by rubycodez (864176)
          No, AMD beat Intel to design the instruction set and beat intel to the market with 64 bit extension to i386
  • by multimediavt (965608) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @02:00PM (#38698856)

    Cloud?!?! Oh, you mean a server, on the network, that you can interact with or get stuff from when you're not on the *same* network. Cloud, my ass. The one before that for me was AJAX. You mean the abrasive cleanser? What does that have to do with computing? Oh, you mean Javascript, XML, CSS and HTML. Ajax is a CLEANSER to me [colgate.com] and always will be. I refuse to use AJAX when talking about web applications development. I will NEVER use cloud in reference to computing, except in reference to its previous meaning in networking, colloquially referring to the Internet as a nebulous thing, the cloud.

  • Buzzword bingo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by james_van (2241758) on Saturday January 14, 2012 @05:27PM (#38700654)
    I had a manager that was a buzz word addict. she didnt even know what most of them meant, just threw them out every chance she got in an attempt to sound intelligent. we started playing buzzword bingo during meetings with her. it didnt end well, but it was fun
  • n/t

  • the obvious missing option.

  • 3G, 4G, nG for any "n".

  • Innovation (as used by Microsoft)
    Synergy (because we're a synergestic team)
    2IC (as opposed to the legitimate I2C)
    Literally (as mis-used by literally everyone. D'oh)

    Oh wait, you're only after tech-world buzzwords? Never mind.

  • 'Social Media' (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bfastburrito (2027674) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @05:56AM (#38704486)

    nearly reduces me to tears every time I hear someone (usually in management) use it as if it were this incredibly smart, promising strategic solution God Particle in the Cloud, accessed via Ultrabook so as to avoid Advanced Persistent Threats and to enhance synergy.

    Social media? As opposed to what-- Antisocial media? Animal Media? Oh, of course, Plant Media.

  • by vlm (69642)

    How about "please register for our website". No, F-you. I don't want to open another account on a site I'll probably never purchase from again, and I'll never hear about until I read you got powned and now all my info is public. Its as stupid and vapid as going thru the motions to open a vendor net30 account to buy a velvet elvis or dale earnhardt poster off the back of some rusty pickup truck at a fleamarket. I'm shopping, not looking for a lifetime commitment. Its kind of like the one night stand thi

  • by mschuyler (197441) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:29PM (#38709022) Homepage Journal

    Also wins for best single-word oxymoron.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

 



Forgot your password?
Working...