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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Is There An Emoji for a MOOC? We Can Explain

Learning tech terminology may not be a priority for you. In fact, you may not see any reason at all to become familiar with high tech vocabulary, but I can give you a few reasons why you really should care about it.
First, learning new things always makes a person feel more accomplished, so learning new words will actually make you feel better. Second, when you use some of this new terminology with your friends you will look smarter. And because high tech has completely infiltrated our daily lives, you may actually find that understanding these things is beneficial to your daily living. So with these three things in mind, I’ll give you just a few more tech terms that you are sure to be hearing about this year.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things refers to an ever-growing network of physical objects that have Internet connectivity and so can be controlled by Internet-connected devices like cell phones and tablets. These objects include washing machines, light bulbs, electric switches, coffee pots and many, many more. They are proliferating at an unbelievable rate.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which is a satellite-based system that provides location, weather, and time information. This is what cell phones and navigation systems use for mapping.
Geofencing is a term referring to software tools or applications that utilize GPS to establish a virtual perimeter or barrier around a physical geographical area. This is becoming more useful when combined with Internet of Things devices, like lightbulbs. For instance, an app on my cellphone that supports geofencing can turn the lights on in my house when I enter the driveway at night.
I love this word as it has such a funny sound. In actuality, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. These are education courses that provide open access via the Internet and so are available globally. They are usually hosted by colleges and universities and are often free. For instance, I recently participated in a free MOOC from The Knight Center at the University of Texas in Data-Driven Journalism. It was attended by people from all over the world. MOOCs are just one example of how rapidly our educational systems are changing and how globally competitive we now have to be.
While you might know this as something to eat, in tech terms it is the code name for the latest Android operating system. That is the name given while it is being created and tested. When it is released it will be commonly called Android 6.0. Android always uses sweet treats for code names. Previous names have included lollipop, cupcake, gingerbread, and jelly bean.
An emoji is a small picture used to convey a facial expression, emotion, or message in texting and online chat conversations. The name Emoji in Japanese means picture character. This Japanese fad has spread around the world. There are Emoji for everything from ice cream cones to fuel pumps.
There is even an Emojipedia ( where you can look up the meanings of Emoji. Emoji can be really fun to use and there are Emoji keyboards for most mobile devices. Unfortunately, the most popular Emoji currently listed on the Emojipedia is the hand with uplifted middle finger, a sad commentary on our current state of the world.
El Capitan
While you might know this as a mountain in California, in tech terms El Capitan is the twelfth update for Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. While earlier updates used the name of cats, like Cheetah, Puma, Leopard, and Lion, the last three have been named Mavericks, Yosemite, and El Capitan.
Everyone knows that an app (short for application) is something that you can use to do certain things on your mobile device, but now you can also use apps on a Windows or Mac computer. This leads to a confusion between the words software and app. In general any instructions used to perform functions your computer or mobile device can be called software this includes things like the operating system and print drivers. Apps are a set of instructions that allow you to perform a certain task. So in actuality although they are similar, all apps are software but not all software is an app.
Just when we got used to terms like 720p and 1080p in Hi Definition TVs, the TV manufacturers threw a new word at us. Like 1080p, 4K is a term that relates to the resolution. The 4K resolution actually started with cameras and cinematography then moved to televisions. The term UHDTV (Ultra Hi Def) is also used to indicate 4K, with some manufacturers talking about UHDTVs and others using the 4K moniker.
Suffice to say that the quality of a 4k UHDTV far exceeds the not-so-old HDTVs that most of us are currently watching. These TVs have over eight million pixels so they show about 4 times more detail than HDTVs at 1080p. If you haven’t yet looked at them, be sure to check them out as the resolution is nothing short of amazing.

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