We now know that if Marty McFly had landed in 2015, he’d have gone back to 1985 scratching his head because he wouldn’t have understood about three-quarters of what anyone was saying. After all, ‘cloud’, ‘mobile’, and ‘analytics’ meant entirely different things back then. Unfortunately, we don’t have Marty’s excuse, because we weren’t catapulted here by a DeLorean time machine. We were actually living and (mostly) awake during those years between 1985 and 2015.
Don’t avoid the trade shows and upcoming holiday festivities because you aren’t sure what the difference is between the deep web and the dark web, or because you don’t know what de-dupe means, or even whether or not it’s okay to say ‘de-dupe’ among polite company. Here’s your app developer’s guide to understanding today’s tech lingo.
1. Big Data
Despite the name, big data is more about having lots of varied data — especially the kinds that do not fit well in ordinary databases — than it is about having lots of data.
Even the top experts in the field don’t always agree on a definition of big data. It’s usually considered to be a matter of varied data as much as it is about the size of your data. For instance, many trillions of pieces of data that are structured and fit nicely into a spreadsheet or relational database aren’t really considered big data. But far less data, if it is unstructured (text documents, images and photos, video and audio files, etc.), can be considered and handled as big data.
2. SaaS (as Opposed to the Cloud)
Vendors like to tout that their product is ‘SaaS’ to differentiate it from all of the other ‘cloud-based’ products out there. While they have some made-up way to differentiate between ‘the cloud’ and ‘SaaS’, to the customer there is no real meaningful difference. Whether your product is cloud-based or sold as SaaS, you still have an off-premises (or primarily off-premises) product that is essentially leased to you, usually month-to-month.
3. Dark Data
Gartner Inc. defines dark data as, “Information assets that organizations collect, process and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes.” In other words, it’s data you have that you aren’t using.
4. The Deep Web and the Dark Web
Even journalists who ought to know better (or at least know enough to research) get this one wrong. The Internet is divided into three general sections: the Surface Web, the Deep Web, and the Dark Web. The Surface Web is what everyone can see and access — the part that is cataloged and searchable via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! using ordinary browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
The Deep Web is not cataloged and not searchable by ordinary browsers because it is deliberately encrypted and intentionally not registered with search engines. There is nothing inherently nefarious about the Deep Web. It’s used for things like scientific and social research, government entities, protecting the confidential sources of news stories, etc. Some people use it simply because they want privacy. The Deep Web is typically accessed through a specialised browser called Tor.
The Dark Web is the stuff Hollywood and fiction writers sometimes confuse with the Deep Web. The Dark Web is a small subsection of the Deep Web (aka inaccessible without special encryption techniques and the Tor browser) that is used for illegal and illicit endeavours like child pornography, human trafficking, drug dealing, illegal weapons deals, murder for hire, and other unseemly deals and activities.
In the age of big data, duplicate data is a huge issue. It can corrupt data analytics and skew results, not to mention take up lots of system resources. De-dupe is simply short for de-duplification, that is, doing away with duplicate data.
SoLoMo is the ability to track users via their mobile devices and target them with messages and/or advertising based on where they are.
SoLoMo is another jargon shortcut that means, “social, local, and mobile”. It’s a marketing term that refers to location-based technologies, aka, the ability to market to a user based on where they are. For example, when your plane lands in Denver and your favourite sporting goods retailer sends you a notification that their Greenwood Village store has a sale on those rad hiking boots you’ve had your eye on, you can rest assured some marketer somewhere has tapped into the SoLoMo.
A yottabyte is one septillion bytes. Unfortunately, septillion is not recognised the same around the world. One septillion is one followed by 24 zeros in the U.S., and one followed by 42 zeros in the UK.
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