Confusing entries in the Top 10 confusing tech terms


Confused by technology?

Saw this article on the BBC news website just now which basically states that from 5000 people the following seemed to be the 10 most confusing tech terms.

Dongle – Not sure I’m surprised by this. Old term, always a bit hardcore and I’m not even sure it’s used that often

Cookie – Surprised by this but then again do most people need to know?

WAP – Why’s this even on the list?! I haven’t even thought about WAP in years!

Phone jack – American term, why’s it in?!

(Nokia) Navi Key – Similarly, anything that’s made up by a company surely doesn’t count

Time shifting – Only one so far I think is relevant

Digital TV – Surprised by this given all the advertising on the BBC over the years but ok

Ethernet – I’m not sure this is relevant either – what do most people need to know about networking

PC Suite – I don’t even know what this is! Sounds very Nokia to me 😉

Desktop – Very surprised by this one
So out of 10 of them maybe 2 feel valid. I know we’re all busy panicking about swine flu but can’t we at least report on technology properly? Surely this kind of article just damages the perception of technology by readers who look at a mostly irrelevant list, say “Oh no, I must be a Luddite! I’ll never get all this complex nonsense.”
I’d expect better from the Beeb really.

One Response to “Confusing entries in the Top 10 confusing tech terms”

  1. 1 se99jmk

    Dongle.. not sure it’s used that often? For shame.. Them ‘thingies’ that you plug into a laptop to access 3G / GPRS on the go? yup, that’s a Dongle.

    Phone jack – what else do you call the hole in the wall where you plug in your phone, besides the-hole-in-the-wall-where-you-plug-in-your-phone (thitwwypiyp)

    Doesn’t time shift = live pause? if so that’s surely a much more user friendly term..

    Mmm, I agree with pulling Digital TV out. I mean, for the layman surely it’s just ‘TV’ and then you have flavours of Freeview, Sky, Virgin etc. I can certainly imagine the confusion, both analog and digital come through the same aerial, if I asked the erst of my family ‘do you ahve digital or analog tv’ you’d get blank stares.. ask if they have Freeview or Sky and you’re more likely to get an answer..


    More and more people are now technologically empowered (fun words), anyone can setup a tv, or use the web without needing a university degree, so it makes sense to make terms easier to understand.. certainly some form of standardization would make things easier all around, from introducing new technology faster, to enabling a wider audience that previously would have been scared to touch it..

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