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Jigsaw & The Washington Post Create Dictionary To Help You Understand Tech Jargon

Sideways Dictionary

It can be difficult to keep track of the excess of jargon used in the world of tech.

A new project wants to help people unpick the language used in technology, with a simple dictionary tool that helps to explain different concepts.

Sideways Dictionary is the product of a collaboration between Jigsaw, a tech incubator from Google owner Alphabet, and The Washington Post.

The tool is designed to be “like a dictionary, but using analogies instead of definitions.”

It works like this – users input a term, whether 2 Factor Authentication, Butter Overflow Attack, Honeypot or OAuth, and the platform gives you a simple explanation of the term, by way of an analogy.

For example, if you typed in DDoS Attack, you would be shown a definition like: “It’s like a high school prank, where you post the details of your friend’s house party all over town, so instead of 20 people, 900 show up.”

Or, if you asked for a definition of API, it would say: “It’s like the connectors on the back of your TV. They let you plug in a device from another manufacturer (DVD player, games console, set-top box) and both the TV and the device know what to do next. The connectors are the interface that lets one machine talk to another.”

Users of the site can also sign up to submit their own definitions, and up-vote other user-submitted meanings.

In addition to this online source, you can also download a Chrome extension that will offer a definition of certain terms you come across while browsing the web.

Check out the platform here.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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