To aid in linguistic understanding and to further world peace, I've been compiling a helpful dictionary. The start of a new year seems a good time to share, before we are overwhelmed with a new crop of jargon.
Virtual: On a computer.
The cloud: On someone else's computer, trusted implicitly for your security and privacy.
Platform as a service: On the internet.
Web 2.0: A method of refreshing advertisements without reloading the entire web page.
Just in time: Slower than before.
JIT inventory: Keeping inventory at the supplier's warehouse instead of your own.
JIT support: A public user forum full of guesswork and misinformation.
JIT distribution: A bike courier wearing a logo.
Pop-up: Temporary. A shop with no sustainable business model.
Genius desk: Tech support provided by underpaid, under-trained interns. So named because an HR genius devised it.
Location-based service: We know where you live but we don't want you to know we know where you live.
Rich content: Extending property rights to things formerly not seen as property. An abbreviation of "rich content owners".
Virus, malware: See "rich content".
Subscription-based service: Making customers pay repeatedly for something they would formerly have owned outright. See: "rich content".
Augmented reality: Because "cyberspace" is so last century.
Podcasting: Files on a server that someone might accidentally download. The opposite of broadcasting.
Long tail: Justification for waiting yet another year to repay your investors.
Micro-finance: When service charges exceed the value of the transaction.
Semantic web: The uninteresting part of the internet that remains once photos, music, games, and video are removed.
Security: Four numbers that provide a modicum of comfort.
Crowd sourcing: Getting your customers to do your work.
Mission creep: Your boss.
Haircut: Loss of investment, by a financial trader who wishes to downplay the importance of your money.
Viral marketing: Online marketing.
Buzz marketing: The opposite of the above.
Business intelligence: A strange creature last seen at a convention in Hamburg, circa 1955.
Social network: Antisocial people you like for liking you back.
Massively multiplayer: A search system that finds rich geeks.
Enterprise: 1. Business. 2. NCC-1701.
Read the classic work by Ambrose Bierce.