Here's TechEye's 21st century guide to IT jargon

There are plenty of sites about that unabashedly lift press releases, which is fine sometimes. The thing with this, though, is that jargon often slips through the net, and most of the time it doesn’t mean anything at all. We’re going to take a look at some painful press releases and guide you through the chaff. This will be regularly updated as we see fit.

Announced – Yeah, yeah. We’re not taking our readers for fools here – you all know what announce means. When a company says it is announcing something though, it could mean a couple of things. First of all, the product’s been around for a while but only just now is it officially announcing it. This is a great reason to bang out a release on something that’s been around for a while. Here’s an example. Samsung announced the U250 touch screen in April. Then Samsung announced it again in May. That’s two bites of the cherry right there, Samsung press people, but the second left kind of a bitter taste in our collective mouth – and that’s quite something if you consider our dead, black, nicotine coated tastebuds.

Award-winning – See Egosystem. If a company wins an award, it will be desperate to tell the world. It can officially call itself ‘award-winning.’ The nature of the award, or where it’s from, doesn’t matter. All’s fair game from Peterborough Young Entrepeneur of the Year through to Time Person of the Year.

B2B – Business to Business. Can also mean Boring 2 Bang-out.

Case Study – Should be called a Justincase Study. These are examples of when a company has used its product and it has not gone disastrously wrong. The best thing about these is a company can piggyback onto a larger organisation and namedrop who they have worked with to their heart’s content.

Community – Can be used to band together just about anyone you want. Often valid, as in the UNIX community, sometimes invalid, for example: The TechEye Editorial Community.

Ease of Use – Not easy to use. Even Apple, which prides itself on its easy to use consumer products, is guilty of Disease of Use. Step outside your geeky tech bubble, talk to your nan, try and get her to figure out iTunes by yourself and you’ll see what we mean.

Ecosystem – See community. This essentially means the market and usergroup that the company product is intended to fit into. A more appropriate phrase would be Egosystem

Egosystem – The mindset in which every small medium or large corporate business operates. Laymens equivalents would be: a playground conversation about whose dad can beat up whose dad, Loadsa Money, or posting a misleading picture to your profile. It is an unavoidable mindset in the corporate world used to make a company or CEO seem more important and powerful than, in reality, they are.

Engage – To talk to or interact with someone, somehow. Playground example: “I engaged with your mum.”

Generation – If a line of products has become old hat, it’s fair game to add a bit of new kit and call it Next Generation. Alternatively if you believe your product is superior to everything else available in the market, you can refer to everything else as “the previous generation”. Basically, most of the time, neither means anything.

Green IT – A fantastic bandwagon to jump on unless Greenpeace gets wind of it.  See examples of Green IT in action here.

i – Arguably the most important letter in technology. Intel once tried to trademark the letter “i,” while Apple now claims the letter for its products. It is an important letter because it suggests buying into global capitalism makes the consumer an individual.

Integration – When something works with something else. Because of the nature of technology, this is a big deal.

Plug and Play – This means something is supposed to work straight out of the box. What it actually means is that after hours of tinkering with your new printer, which downright refuses to work, you plug your stereo in, press play and drop it into the bath full of water you’re sitting in. See Ease of Use.

Showcase – An attempt to prove that something works, not disimilar to Case Study. Alternatively can be used to show off any old latest product. Playground example: “I am going to showcase my shiny Charizard Pokemon card.”

Solution – Usually actually means a new product. It’s probably safe to think of it as a solution to a problem no one had to begin with.

Sustainability – Generally if something lasts longer than a month it is fair game to promise that it is sustainable. Like a lingering cough.

Zzzz – The sound a journalist makes during keynotes.