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Screenshot via Sideways

Online Dictionary Uses Simple Analogies to Decode Tech Jargon

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Screenshot via Sideways

Terms like cache, encryption, and open source likely sound familiar to anyone who browses the web on a regular basis. But unless you’re immersed in the tech world, explaining exactly what these words mean could get tricky. A new digital dictionary from Google’s Jigsaw and The Washington Post aims to frame complicated tech jargon in ways that anyone can understand, Co.Design reports.

The makers of Sideways prioritized simplicity. Visitors can enter the term they want defined into the website or app, or they can scroll through the list of 70-odd tech concepts that are featured. Terms range from those we use in everyday conversation (app) to some we hear less often (buffer overflow attack). No matter the term, the definition assumes you’re hearing about it for the first time. For instance, here’s the top description for "cookie": "It’s like a barista with a good memory. So every morning when you come in for your decaf soy latte with an extra shot and cream, they nod wearily and say ‘The usual?’"

Merriam-Webster meanwhile defines the same word as: "a small file or part of a file stored on a World Wide Web user's computer, created and subsequently read by a website server, and containing personal information."

Sideways includes slang terms like "troll" ("It’s like road rage … people shout and get aggressive in ways that would never occur to them if you were talking face to face") and professional terminology like "agile software development" ("It’s like a band trying new material on tour … the band tries out new songs with audiences—testing what works and what doesn’t").

Most definitions were written by British design writer Nick Asbury and tech pioneer Vint Cerf. If users have an analogy they think works better, they can add it to the site. A crowdsourced up-voting and down-voting system ensures the most popular submissions pop up first.

Along with the website, Sideways launched a Chrome extension that defines tech jargon within posts and articles anywhere on the internet. Web users looking to boost their tech literacy can install it here.

[h/t Co. Design]

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

501069-OpeningCeremony3.jpg

Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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iStock

If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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