Can taking a ‘sideways’ look at tech make it easier to understand?

Google’s Jigsaw Incubator and The Washington Post are collaborating on the Sideways Dictionary, an interactive reference text that is designed to make understanding technobabble simple.

As technology permeates world news, so do its assorted buzzwords and terms, something that can create huge confusion for readers that don’t come from a high-tech background.

For years, Wikipedia has done an admirable job of defining everything from apps to APIs, but more often than not, the entries have been written by the tech savvy for the tech savvy.

Enter the Sideways Dictionary. Rather than offer dumbed-down definitions, it uses analogies to explain terms such as Two Factor Authentication, Doxing and Zero-Day – which the dictionary describes as: “like medics discovering a new virus. No cure exists because no one was aware of the problem before. The race begins to develop a vaccine before the virus spreads.”

Like with Wikipedia, users are invited to not only check definitions, but also provide their own analogies for exciting terms or for new words and phrases not already covered by the text. The new entries will be reviewed and users can vote for the one they think is the best. — AFP Relaxnews



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