‘Tweetups’, ‘unfriend’ added to Oxford English Dictionary

December 30, 2009

The increasing popularity of Internet has led to the inclusion of ‘Tweetups’ and ‘unfriend’ in the Oxford Dictionary.

While ‘Unfriend’ means removing someone as a ‘friend’ on a site such as Facebook, ‘Tweetups’ is used for meetings or other gatherings organised by means of posts on the social networking service Twitter.

Other words in the list compiled by Oxford University Press, come from the economy, fashion, and politics, which include “great recession”, and “Zombie Bank”, a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support.

The past year also saw some of the old words coming into use again due to recent events, reports the Telegraph.

Redact, which means to censor or obscure part of a text for legal or security purposes, has gained prominence due to the parliamentary expenses scandal.

The word “snollygoster”, meaning a shrewd, unprincipled person, has been applied to politicians.

Words of the Year 2009:

Bossnapping – noun: (in France) the prevention of senior managers from leaving company premises for a period of time by their employees, in order to protest about large-scale redundancies and cutbacks

Zombie bank – noun: a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support

Jeggings – plural noun: close-fitting leggings made of fabric that resembles denim in appearance [from jeans + leggings]

Tweetup – noun: a meeting or other gathering organised by means of posts on the social networking service Twitter. [from tweet + up on the pattern of MEETUP]

Staycation – noun: a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions

Simples – exclamation: used to say that something is very easy to achieve [from the ‘compare the meerkat’ TV advert]

Great Recession – noun: term for the current recession, modelled on the Great Depression.

Freemium – noun: a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

Paywall – noun: a way of blocking access to a part of a website which is only available to paying subscribers

Unfriend/defriend – verb: to remove from one’s ‘friends’ list (e.g. on a social networking website)

Tag cloud – noun: a visual depiction of the word content of a website, or of user-generated tags attached to online content, typically using colour and font size to represent the prominence or frequency of the words or tags depicted.

Slashdot effect – noun: the slowing down or crashing of a small website due to a huge increase in traffic when the website is linked to another, much more popular one.

Snollygoster – noun: a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician

Redact – verb: censor or obscure (part of a text) for legal or security purposes.

Epigenome – noun: the pattern of chemical switches in all 2000 types of human cell that indexes genetic information. (ANI)

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Facebook Gets Friendfeed To Fight Google

August 11, 2009

Earlier today, Facebook successfully acquired FriendFeed service. This is yet another major partnership deal after the recent Microsoft-Yahoo search deal. “

FriendFeed’s 12-employee team will join Facebook family. The four founders of FriendFeed – Paul Buchheit, Bret Taylor, Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh, will take senior positions in Facebook’s Engineering and Product teams. The founders of FriendFeed are all from Google’s development team who handled Gmail and Google Maps.

Currently, the acquisition amount is undisclosed but FriendFeed looks happy with the acquisition and the joy was expressed in a recent post on their blog.

FriendFeed was looked upon as close competitor of Twitter, microblogging service for the same task – sharing information online. However, both services combined don’t have enough users to match up Facebook’s more than 250 million user base. Facebook couldn’t buy Twitter, a service that has seen a tremendous growth since its inception, so, the next close substitute was FriendFeed. Twitter has been facing some problems like the recent worm and DDoS attack, database upscaling issues. People cannot see their tweets older than two days or to a week if they don’t tweet frequently. So having that glittering five figure updates is pointless since you’ll never get to see your first update.

In May, Google was eyeing to acquire Twitter since the search giant was interested to venture into real-time search. However, the indexing of old Twitter updates for real-time search results has been quite an issue lately. If Google buys Twitter then all the search excellence can be used for tweaking Twitter’s search code.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I’ve admired their team for creating such a simple and elegant service for people to share information.” As of now FriendFeed will work as it is and the founders are yet to lay out future plans for integration of both services. Facebook’s FriendFeed acquisition is buzzed as directly challenging Google and leap frogs Twitter. “

FriendFeed service went out cold until they had announced the second version of their API this month. So, now Facebook will make use of ex-Google’s excellence in expanding Facebook platform to the next paradigm: Real-time search. If Google and Twitter is listening to this, they better sit together at least for mutual partnership on Twitter’s search technology.


Targeted Twitter user blames Russia

August 8, 2009

The Georgian blogger whose Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts were targeted in denial-of-service attacks on Thursday, says he thinks Russia’s federal security service is behind it.

“This hackers was from Russian KGB,” the blogger, who uses “Cyxymu” on his accounts, wrote in a tweet early on Friday, adding later: “My twitter is online! Thank you all for support after ciber attack from Russia!”

Because of the difficulty in tracing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks back to the source, unless someone takes credit for the attack or brags about it to online associates, it’s nearly impossible to determine exactly who was responsible.

Cyxymu is identified as a 34-year-old economics lecturer named Georgy from Tblisi, Georgia, by The Guardian. His blog postings are critical of Russia’s dealings with the Caucasus region and his screen name is a Latinized version of the spelling of Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, a breakaway Georgian republic.

“Maybe it was carried out by ordinary hackers but I’m certain the order came from the Russian government,” he is quoted as saying. His LiveJournal account was attacked last year, as well, according to the report.

The DDoS attacks came on the eve of the one-year anniversary of a significant military clash between Russia and Georgia, which have had an ongoing conflict. In the 2008 South Ossetia war that began on August 7, 2008, Georgia attempted to retake control of South Ossetia and Russia launched air strikes against Georgia.

“When the war started in South Ossetia last year I couldn’t avoid being drawn into politics,” the blogger said.

The Georgian government is investigating potential links between its citizen and the attacks, and there are suspicions that the attack came from Russia, Shota Utiashvili, head of the Department of Information and Analysis at the Ministry of the Interior, told CNN.

Twitter was down for hours on Thursday during the attack, and LiveJournal suffered an outage. Facebook, and Google–whose Blogger, Google Sites, and YouTube were also affected–were able to fend it off.

Whoever was behind the attack may also be responsible for a spam e-mail campaign launched before the DDoS attack and targeting the blogger’s accounts. In that attack e-mails were sent out that looked like they came from the blogger and included hyperlinks to his accounts on the targeted sites. A Facebook spokesman and others said that a spam attack would not have been effective enough to cause a DoS outage.

On his Blogger account the Georgian posted a copy of a Russian language news article in which he himself says the spam attack did not cause the DDoS attacks.

The Cyxymu accounts were back up on Friday on Twitter and Facebook (where he’s a fan of John McCain), but his LiveJournal account appeared to still be inaccessible though a cached version was available on Google. His YouTube account, meanwhile, never went down.