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Top 10 Technology Terms to Know for 2009

 

While terms such as DHCP, SSL and OSI Model frequent the Webopedia Top 15 tech terms list throughout the year, when it comes to computer and Internet technologies only one thing is certain — technology trends (like everything else) come and go with the changing tides.

Terms that will make — or continue to make — headlines in the coming year are not necessarily "brand new" technologies, but are those technologies. like the Android Platform and netbooks that gained traction in 2008, and new developments will move them to the forefront of hot technologies for 2009.

Here are the top technology terms and related references that we expect to be hearing more about this coming year:

Related Articles on Webopedia:

4G (define)

4G, which is short for fourth generation, is an ITU specification that is currently being developed for broadband mobile capabilities. 4G technologies would enable IP-based voice, data and streaming multimedia at higher speeds, compared to 3G.

This IP-based and packet-switched evolution of 3G technologies (such as WCDMA, HSDPA, CDMA2000 and EVDO) that uses voice communications. A number of technologies considered to be 4G standards include Long Term Evolution (LTE), Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) and the IEEE 802.16 (WiMax) standard.

Some consider 2008 to be the unofficial start to the 4G era, as Sprint ups efforts to create a nationwide WiMAX network with its $14.5 billion Clearwire joint venture, however with so much attention being given to WiMAX, one misconception out there right now that 4G is WiMAX, and that is not true. There is, in fact, no definition of 4G yet, but there are goals that the ITU is working towards.

4G: Here It Comes, Ready or Not (PDAStreet)
Three major operators in the Indian subcontinent have already begun WiMAX 16e rollouts - Tata Communications and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), the incumbent, in India, and Wateen Telecom in Pakistan.

Sprint's Xohm Becomes 'Clear', Timetable Shifts (Earthwebnews.com)
The turbulent economy may slow down Sprint's closely watched efforts to create a nationwide WiMAX network.

 Who's Ahead in the 4G Race? (Datamation)
In the race to 4G that's heating up between two competing wireless networking standards, it would be foolish to dismiss the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard as the longshot against its better-known rival, WiMAX.

Android (define)

Android (also called the Android Platform), was officially unveiled in November of 2007, but it really hit the news in the latter half of 2008 as the first "Android Phone" debuted in September 2008. Android is an Open Handset Alliance Project based on the Linux kernel, but the platform itself was originally developed by Google (dubbed Google's Android by the media). This open and free software stack includes an operating system, middleware and also key applications for use on mobile devices, including smartphones.

Will Android Handset Be T-Mobile's Killer Device? (internetnews.com)
Wireless carrier will market Google open source smartphone by year's end.

First Android Phone to Debut Next Week  (PDAStreet)
The first phone to run on Android-run smartphone will debut next week, at a joint press conference between T-Mobile and Google in New York.

Google Unlocks Android for Developers (PDAStreet)
On Friday Google announced an unlocked version of its Android operating system that doesn't require T-Mobile service and takes any SIM card, so it can be used with service from any GSM carrier worldwide.

clickjacking (define)

The Internet just wouldn't be the Internet without malicious vulnerabilities. While Trojans and malware are rampant, a new type of malicious code made its entry this year — and unfortunately it is only going to be more common and infect more Internet users in 2009.

Clickjacking (also called clickjack or clickjack attack), is a vulnerability that is used by an attacker to "collect" an infected user's clicks. The attacker can force the user to do all sort of things from adjusting the user's computer settings to unwittingly sending the user to Web sites that might have malicious code.

You Could be Getting Clickjacked (internetnews.com)
If you're not careful about where you click, you could become a victim of a clickjacking attack.

On Security, Cisco "Shocked" in 2008 (EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet)
Cisco today revealed its take on the current state of IT security. The major trends? Vulnerabilities are on the rise, with blended and virtualization attacks becoming increasingly the norm.

Cloud Computing (define)

Dell, IBM, Sun, Microsoft, Amazon and many others are all doing it this year. Cloud computing is a type of computing that is comparable to grid computing, relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. The goal of cloud computing is to apply traditional supercomputing power (normally used by military and research facilities) to perform tens of trillions of computations per second.

To do this, Cloud computing networks large groups of servers, usually those with low-cost consumer PC technology, with specialized connections to spread data-processing chores across them. This shared IT infrastructure contains large pools of systems that are linked together. Often, virtualization techniques are used to maximize the power of cloud computing.

There are many people out there who believe the term cloud computing is just another buzzword that is used to describe too many technologies, making it confusing to many. The term Cloud computing has been used to mean grid computing, utility computing, software as a service, Internet-based applications, autonomic computing, peer-to-peer computing and remote processing. When most people use the term, they may have one of these ideas in mind, but the listener might be thinking about something else.

Regardless if you share this view or not, you're bound to hear more on cloud computing in the coming year.

Sun Lays Out Cloud Computing Strategy (internetnews.com)
The company built on the notion of network computing finally gets into the hot buzzword technology of 2008. But will it help reverse Sun's fortunes?

Can Dell Hold Its 'Cloud Computing' Trademark? (internetnews.com)
Legal experts say the company is liable to lose the first time it tries to enforce the trademark.

Why 'Cloud Computing' Is for the Birds (ITChannelPlanet)
The "cloud computing" buzzword has got to go. It's simply too confusing, misleading, redundant and dangerous.

FDE - full-disk encryption (define)

Short for full-disk encryption, FDE was introduced in 2006 as new hard drive technology from Seagate that performs encryption on the disk drive at the hardware level. The hard drive contains an ASIC chip that is used to encrypt every bit of data as it is written and also decrypts data as it is being read. The drive requires a user password for authentication and it is secured with strong encryption technology. Seagate's FDE technology is transparent to the user and independent of the operating system.

Earlier this year the National Security Agency, the cryptologic intelligence arm of the U.S. government, qualified Seagate Technology's Momentus 5400 FDE.2 hard drive for use in laptops and other computing devices deployed by federal agencies and contractors. This makes Seagate the first hard drive maker to have received the agency's nod of approval, which signifies that the drive meets national security standards for securing sensitive information.

This year full-disk encryption (also called whole disk protection) further made news when security vendors started releasing whole disk protection software, like PGP who unveiled a Mac OS X version of its Whole Disk Encryption 9.9 security software. This is definitely a trend that will continue and grow in 2009.

Seagate Disk Gets NSA's Security Seal of Approval (internetnews.com)
Hard drive maker's encrypted notebook drive gets the OK from the nation's cryptologic intelligence agency.

PGP Locks Up the Mac (internetnews.com)
Security vendor adds whole disk protection for OS X.

Hitachi's 'Monster' of a Disk (internetnews.com)
Monster-sized laptop now possible with introduction of new Laptop disk by Hitachi.

geotagging (define)

Also called geocoding, geotagging is the process of assigning geographic location metadata to a photos' EXIF data (which normally would only contain details about the digital camera being used to take the photo). The geographic information can include details such as the latitude and longitude coordinates or city and state details for the geographic location of the photo.

The cool thing about geotagging is that the EXIF data can be read by programs that can allow you to see maps of where a photo was taken. Geotagged photos, when shared online, can also be linked to several map services including Google Maps, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo Maps and other applications enabling others to pin photos to a map precisely at a place they where taken.

GPSed: Track & Map your trips FREE BETA (SmartPhoneToday)
GPSed is a location-based service for trip tracking from mobile. In real time tracks are traced on Google maps and stored in an online archive.

Tip: BlackBerry - Boldly GeoTag Photos  (BlackberryToday)
To use the GPS software in the BlackBerry Bold to embed a photo's location in an image file, first enable Geotagging.

Review: Eye-Fi Explore (Wi-FiPlanet)
Eye-Fi, the wireless photo memory card that lets you automatically upload pictures from your camera to a computer or Web site over Wi-Fi networks, is such a cool idea. And the execution isn.t too shabby either, although we encountered a few bumps.

microblogging (define)

The terminology and technology associated with online blogs just doesn't seem to end. Hitting the big-time in 2008 is microblogging — the capability to update your blog with short text updates, using your PC or text messaging-enabled cell phone. Bloggers can usually use a number of service for the updates including instant messaging, e-mail, or Twitter. The posts are called microposts, while the act of using these services to update your blog is called microblogging.

Also, social networking sites, like Facebook, also use a microblogging feature in profiles. On Facebook this is called "Status Updates".

Watch for more services and for current microblog sites to get even bigger in 2009.

Twitter Nation (Newsweek)
Microblogging is huge, but should anyone care?

Open-source microblogging site may become Twitter fallback (ars technica)
A new open-source social web service called identi.ca challenges the conventional approach to microblogging and offers some potentially significant advantages for end users.


Netbook (define)

Netbooks are small portable computing device, similar to a notebook, and are great for surfing the Web and checking e-mail. What differentiates a netbook from a notebook is its physical size and computing power.

A netbook typically has a small display, ranging from 7 to 10 inches. It weighs under 3 pounds, and support a keyboard that is reduced in size from 75 to 80 percent when compared to a standard keyboard. Netbooks have build-in Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB ports and slots for flash memory cards. To keep the devices small and compact, netbooks do not have a CD or DVD drive, and most use solid-state disks (SSD) for storage.

Netbooks commonly run Linux or Windows XP Home edition operating systems. Prices for netbooks range from $200 to $350 USD.

It's Official: Dell Enters the Netbook Fray (internetnews.com)
The long-rumored Inspiron Mini 9 aims to carve a space for the PC giant in a nascent, yet already crowded market.

Why You'll Buy a Netbook On Black Friday (internetnews.com)
Ten tips for scoring a sweet netbook. Because you can never be too rich, too thin or have too many netbooks.

The Secondary Payoff to Intel's Cool Chips (internetnews.com)
The high-k metal gate breakthrough of early 2007 doesn't just mean cooler desktop and laptop processors. It opened the door to whole new markets for Intel.


SSD - Solid State Disks (define)

Solid state disks are all the rage, and for good reason, too. These high-performance plug-and-play storage devices contain no moving parts and their own CPUs to manage data storage, so they are a lot faster than conventional rotating hard disks.

SSD components include either DRAM or EEPROM memory boards, a memory bus board, a CPU, and a battery card. They are most effective for server applications and server systems, where I/O response time is crucial. Data stored on SSDs should include anything that creates bottlenecks, such as databases, swap files, library and index files, and authorization and login information.

While laptops and the mobile market in general was the best launching point for SSD, in the next year we will see SSD in desktop PCs, with solid state drives expected to gain ground in the enterprise.

Gearing Up For Solid State (EnterpriseStorageForum)
There is a new storage technology on the market, but it's really an old technology with a new twist: SSD drives made of flash memory.

Intel Sees Gold in Solid-State Storage (internetnews.com)
Solid-state drives have become a big priority at Intel -- enough to get Gordon Moore himself involved.

SSD's Next Home Could Be Enterprise Storage (internetnews.com)
Notebooks were a logical place for solid state drives, but desktops are not the next stop for the hard disk replacement technology.

Ubuntu (define)

Ubuntu is a community-developed Debian-based Linux operating system that can be used on desktops, laptops or servers. The operating system includes a variety of applications including those for word processing, e-mail applications, Web server software and also programming tools.

Ubuntu is free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates. It also comes with full commercial support from Canonical. Ubuntu is also available in both a desktop and server edition.

In the second half of 2008 Ubuntu 8.10 was released, making this one of the most popular Linux distributions. With all the hype surrounding this stable Ubuntu release, it looks poised to be even more popular in 2009.

Networking with Ubuntu 8.04 and Windows (LinuxPlanet)
Though Ubuntu can see the shared files and printers of Windows machines out-of-the-box, Windows can't see Ubuntu shares by default. However, don't give up yet and purchase another XP or Vista license; you can have Ubuntu 8.04 and Windows talking in no time.

Safe Surfing With Ubuntu (LinuxPlanet)
Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution that is probably the most philosophical of all Linux distributions, which is saying a lot in the Open Source space.

Ubuntu Popularity: Blessing or Curse? (LinuxPlanet)
For an increasing number of people, Ubuntu is GNU/Linux.

DID YOU KNOW... What are people looking for?
The Most Popular of Webopedia References in 2008.

Webopedia's most popular terms for 2008 are URL, followed by CPU, RAM, SSL, and DNS.

Our most popular guides and references in 2008 are the "Text Messaging Abbreviations Guide", "Formatting a Hard Disk Drive", and "DVD Formats Explained".




Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.





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