Date:         Tue, 16 Jan 2001 23:47:17 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen

From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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              TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 52 -- 16 Jan 2001
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   Jargon Watch and BuzzWhack / GaETC
Howdy, y'all, and greetings from the beautiful city of Tuscaloosa,
Alabama, site of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.  :P
Bob let me take some time off last week to do some school stuff for
Pepperdine -- I was in Orlando for a mid-course meeting with my
professors -- so I am returning Bob's favor by writing both of this
week's posts.  You know what that means, don't you?  TWO SOUTHERN
WORDS!  One today, and one on Thursday-ish.  Ain't life great?!
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On with the show ...
Jargon Watch and BuzzWhack
One of my favorite parts of Wired Magazine is its "Jargon Watch"
section.  Each month, Gareth Branwyn scours the technology world
looking for humorous techno slang and catchphrases like
     404 -- Someone who's clueless.  From the World Wide Web error
     message "404, URL Not Found," meaning that the document you've
     tried to access can't be located.  "Don't bother asking him ...
     he's 404, man."
     Zen mail -- Email messages that arrive with no text in the
     message body.  [I don't know why, but this one STILL cracks me
Almost all of the Jargon Watch words are completely useless and
enormously fun.  In other words, Jargon Watch is Silicon Valley's
version of the Southern Word of the Day.  :)
I tried to find an archive of all of Jargon Watch's words on Wired's
Web site, but to no avail.  A quick search at Google for "wired jargon
watch" (without the quotes) yielded a BUNCH of hits, though, including .
This is a frames-enabled Web site that has a HUGE archive of most of
the Jargon Watch words.  Just click on one of the letters near the top
of the page to see all of the Jargon Watch words that begin with that
I also found a Jargon Watch-esque site at .
BuzzWhack is a tongue-in-cheek site that attempts to expose the
silliness behind some of the buzz words like "vortal" and "Generation
D" brandished about by companies and media outlets trying to appear to
be cool or cutting-edge.  According to the site, "BuzzWhack tries not
to take itself too seriously.  It strives to be educational with a
sense of humor."  But, "BuzzWhack has no patience for companies and
individuals who use buzzwords to 'impress' and befuddle the rest of
us."  Amen, brother.
Look to the left-hand side of the BuzzWhack homepage to find links to
its dictionary of buzzwords.  Some of the words are repeats from
Wired's Jargon Watch section, but most are unique to the BuzzWhack
site.  The site also has a pretty cool "Buzzword of the Day"
newsletter and a "BuzzRant" commentary section that are worth checking
How are these two sites going to help you?  Well, Jargon Watch will
give you a good chuckle and BuzzWhack will help you decipher company
press releases and Slashdot posts.  Add in frequent visits to (which recently changed its address to, and you'll be one serious jargon-
spitting Alpha Geek.  :)
Update: Sci-Tech Dictionary
Two weeks ago I mentioned the Academic Press Dictionary of Science and
Technology at .
Unfortunately, the site crashed a few hours after my post was
distributed.  I apologize.  Harcourt has fixed the bugs, and the
Dictionary of Science and Technology should now be working.
On a sad note, since no one was able to tell me where I can obtain a
block of cesium ("the most reactive of all elements, it decomposes
water to produce hydrogen that ignites spontaneously"), my plans of
winning this year's Bass Masters Tournament appear to have been
foiled.  Drats.  :)
The Georgia Ed Tech Conference
Since there are a BUNCH of educators on our little bus of Internet
happiness, I thought y'all would like to about the Georgia Educational
Technology Conference (GaETC) at .
I have been an invited speaker at the Georgia Educational Technology
Conference for the past five years, and it is hands-down my favorite
conference in the entire world.  And I am not just saying this because
GaETC keeps inviting me back year after year.  [Disclosure: GaETC is
making a generous donation to the "let's pay down Patrick's student
loans before the rotten, vicious bozos at Regions Bank repossess
Patrick's brain" fund in return for my doing seven, one-hour
presentations at their conference in April.]
What makes GaETC so great, besides its amazingly friendly staff, is
that it is one of the few educational technology conferences that
still focuses on the *TEACHERS*.  Rather than filling their schedule
with program sessions like "Deconstructing Vygotsky's
Sociohistorical/Sociocultural Psychology and His Zone of Proximal
Development" or "Using ITU-T/CCITT EDH Services to Ensure System-Wide
Telecommunication Standardization," the Georgia Educational Technology
Conference instead offers program sessions that actually teach you how
to *DO* stuff with those computers in the back of your classroom.
Imagine that.
In fact, if you want to see some of the sessions offered at last
year's conference, check out .
This year's Georgia Educational Technology conference will be held on
April 10th, 11th, and 12th, in beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  Even
better, the entire three day conference is only US$100 if you pre-
register, US$115 if you don't.  You can't beat that price with a
If you can swing this with your school district, do it!  I am serious
when I say that GaETC is my favorite conference in the entire world.
It is kind of like what FETC was about five or ten years ago: a big
conference with a great deal of good old Southern hospitality.
[By the way, I just received an email earlier this afternoon from
Ouida Myers at the Alabama State Department of Education telling me
that this year's Alabama Educational Technology Conference has been
"cancelled due to a funding crisis in our state."  If you are an
educator here in the great state of Alabama, GaETC may be your only
option for a nearby ed tech conference.]
That's it for today.  Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again
on Thursday-ish.
   Jargon Watch and BuzzWhack / GaETC
STAY-UMP (noun).  A small piece of gummed paper sold by a government for
attachment to an article that is to be mailed.
Usage: "Don't forget to fetch ya some of them new 34 cent stay-umps."
[Special thanks go to Cary Lowe for today's word]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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TOURBUS - 16 JAN 01 - JARGON WATCH AND BUZZWHACK  /  GAETC, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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