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NOTE:  Items highlighted in RED are defined elsewhere in this Glossary, while items highlighted in BLUE are site links for further information.


G:   Reference to “Generation” of technology for broadband connectivity through cellular devices, often using a confusing mix of standards (e.g. UMTS, EVDO, CDMA, HSDPA).  Colloquially, the higher number before the “G” the higher the speed and more capabilities.  For example, 2G or 3G broadband would refer to the software available for each of those generations of broadband and their associated upgraded hardware. 4G Internet generally refers to Wi-Max (IEEE 802.16) and Long Term Evolution (“LTE”), which is now commonly available on laptops and cellphones (Verizon 4G  and AT&T is based on the move from CDMA to LTE technology beginning in late 2010).  The actual, precise, definition of these terms is promulgated by the ITU (see Associations), which defines 3G as specification IMT-3000 and 4G as IMT-Advanced.

See also, next gen, which refers to the “next generation” of hardware or software. (Not to be confused with net gen, or the first generation to grow up digital.) 

Historically, 1G was the first-generation wireless analog standard for cell phones, which took off in the 1980s. 

2G was introduced commercially in 1991, and signaled the transition from analog to encrypted digital technology, using the GSM (“Global System for Mobile Communications”) standard, making it possible to transmit data services. The big app at that time was text messaging.  [2.5G was a largely a marketing but not a technology standard, and was used to indicate some of the advances in between 2G and 3G, including packet-switched systems and faster and higher-capacity data transmission.] 

3G, introduced in in 2001, upped the data-transmission speeds so that cell phone users could use more data-demanding applications, such as streaming video and audio.  Picture messaging was the big app for this gen.  

4G (a/k/a WiMax) provided even higher data rates than 3G (Sprint, which introduced its 4G phone first, in June, 2010, claimed a 10x increase), for faster voice, data, multi-media and streaming applications.  The big app was video calling.  And the evolution of app stores from Google and Apple, relegating carriers to “dumb pipe” status.

5G is currently evolving, not yet completely defined.  Translation - no one knows what it is and, although AT&T and Verizon have announced limited trials,  it will probably be until 2020 until standards evolve and devices are actually manufactured. But it appears to be directed toware the “Industrial Internet”.  As in, the last decade’s growth was directed toward consumer technology (pads and phones), and now industry will now embrace the Internet and digitization for its benefits, some of which will also flow down to benefit consumers.  But look at the slow progress of previous versions:  3G was promised in the late 1990s, didn’t fully deploy until 2008 at the earliest.  4G was promised in the late 2000s and what we now call 4G (a/k/a “LTE”) is actually a pre-4G technogy that the standards committee finally grandfathered in because of the slow progress in deploying true 4G (presently known as “LTE Advanced”) which is not widely available even now.  So don’t hold your breath for 5G, which will probably end up being the equivalent of a 10-gig wireless network for the IoT when it gets bigger.  It is certain, however, that as carriers continue to embrace the role of the dumb pipe, the exponential increase in the number of IoT technologies like appliances, driverless cars, augmented  and virtual reality, remote medical devices, ultra-high definition video and drones will drive the standard so that devices can be managed efficiently.  It may be 1,000 times faster than the old fixed broadband connection using the new extremely high-frequency “millimeter wave” technology, which will allow signals to be “ricocheted” around obstacles. And latency will be reduced to virtually nil.  Future mobile technologies will definitely exceed the 24GHz threshold and take advantage of even higher intensity airwaves in the 60GHz or even 90GHz bands, raising the current 1 gigabit per second mobile broadband to a blazing 10 gigabits per second.  5G probably will, however, probably supplement and not replace 4G, as the evolution will nevertheless require 4G’s lower band spectrum to increase 5G’s capacity and capabilities, while 5G will provide better security and reduced overall complexity.  Moreover, the new frequencies will be deployed in densely packed small cells, supplementing the existing cell towers with some lower profile antenna arrays placed much closer together, eliminating the need for building new towers.  Also, low-cost radios will allow mobile devices to automatically change frequencies depending on needs and network traffic, meaning that software will constantly monitor and redefine the physical network into multiple virtual networks using a technique known as “network slicing”.  U.S. providers like Verizon are promising to deploy 5G as early as 2020, testing to begin in 2017.  Korea and Japan are committed to demonstrating some 5G apps for the 2018 and 2020 Olympics, trying to beat the U.S.  Right now, in the U.S., 5G is evolving, with the FCC scheduling an auction for the 600MHz spectrum (currently used for the fading over-the-air TV broadcasting), along with coordination with the U.N.’s ITU (see Associations) and the CTIA to establish global harmonization (conformity among nations for 5G), as well as manufacturers scrambling to manufacture devices for 5G, while complying with net neutrality laws and utilizing “permissionless innovation,” which will provide seamless upgrading to %G..  Already,Turing Robotics has designed a $999 cell phone that transfers data at 5G speeds, allowing transfer, for example, of 3.2Gb, about the size of a two hour hi def movie, through WiGig NFC technology in just 25 seconds.

On July 13, 2016, the FCC monumentally voted to adopt new rules for the spectrum above 24Ghz, opening nearly 11Ghz of high-band spectrum to new wireless uses, which will greatly increase network capacity for 5G and the IoT, possibly a blueprint for other countries.  The FCC decision opens up 3.85Ghz of licensed spectrum and 7Ghz of unlicensed spectrum in the 28Ghz and 37Ghz bands and the new unlicensed band is from 64 to 71Ghz.  We’re now on our way.

Update, 2017:  5G logo5G Wi-Fi:  3GPP (see Associations) revealed in early 2017 a logo for 5G wireless as well as rules for vendors and partners looking to use the logo for products and services that will comply for the 3GPP spec in the future.  AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have already started next gen trials of this standard.

6G?  It has been rumored that Japan already has 6G technology, whatever that might be, which would transmit data about 1,000Mbps.  Not sure if this is true, but it may be some day, if we live long enough.

GAME: (n.) A competitive activity involving skill, chance or endurance, like a video game.  (v.) To game, as in to gain an advantage, as “to game the SATs,”  making the U.S. the first nation to set aside spectrum for 5G services.

GARBAGE COLLECTION (a/k/a/”GC”): A feature of many programs and programming languages that automates allocating and freeing the amount of storage available in those programs or processes so that the quota is not reached and speeding up the process.  This automatic memory feature is commonly used in Java and the .NET framework.  It is often run within a virtual machine like JVM.  See also this procedure on SSDs.

bill gates photoGATES, BILL: Founder of Microsoft Corp. which has made him one of the wealthiest men in the world.  See, DOS, Microsoft for more.

GATEWAY: (1) The point between the enterprise and the (edge of the) Internet, perhaps through a combination DSL/cable modem and router to your ISP.  It can be pretty much synonymous with the term Portal.  (2)  The term can also refer to the computers that control traffic within a private network.  For example, your router could be a gateway, as it controls the traffic between the public and private sides of your network (and/or your ISP as well).  See Hubs, Switches & Routers for more explanation.   (Not related, of course, to the now defunct Gateway Computer Co.)

GAUGE: With reference to wire, the gauge is the diameter of the wire itself.  This reference is incorporated into a standard known as the AWG (American Wire Gauge; sometimes known as Brown & Sharpe (“B & S”)) Wire Gauge for non-ferrous (copper, aluminum and other) wire conductors.  RULE:  The HIGHER the gauge, the SMALLER the diameter and the THINNER the wire. Typical household wiring is either 12 or 14 gauge; telephone wire is usually 22, 24 or 26 gauge, as is data cable.  Thicker wires can carry more current because they have less electrical resistance over long distances.  For more, see WIRE.  For more discussion about the relationship between electricity, magnetism and binary computers, including resistance, click HERE.

GAUSS: a/k/a magnetic flux density.  A measurement of the Carl_Friedrich_Gaussstrength of a magnetic field.  Click HERE. Named after Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, a German mathematician (1777-1855), it is defined as “one maxwell per square centimeter” The magnetic field itself can be measured by either the “cgs” or the “SI” measurement system.  See also, degauss.

Gawker logoGAWKER: A New York City based blog created by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers in December, 2002, to discuss/perpetuate gossip, primarily in New York City.  It’s byline is “Today’s Gossip is Tomorrow’s News”.    Many claim that the site is everything from stupid to disgusting but it nevertheless continues to attract tons of users.  It has been plagued by controversies involving Tom Cruise, Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Chris Lee and Hulk Hogan, many of which have sued the blog, but which seems to actually have increased it’s readership, of course.  It’s gossip - don’t confuse it with news or truth.  2015 makeover into political site, same old. 
In 2016, Hulk Hogan won a $55 million verdict against Gawker for the public release of a video showing him having sex with Bubba The Love Sponge’s (ex?) wife, which pushed the site into bankruptcy.  See also,
Theil for more about his particupation in the lawsuit.

GbE: Stands for Gigabit Ethernet, network transmissions at a rate of 1 billion bits per second.  Also, 10GbE, 40GbE & 100GbE.  See Ethernet.

GEAR: See Smart Watch.

Geek vs NerdGEEK/NERD: These terms are used interchangeably by some people, but are actually somewhat different.  The confusion actually depends on who is using the terms, whether in an endearing or pejoritive sense, as there is overlapping in the definitions for each.  Basically, Geeks are more social Nerds:

Geeks (derived from the Greek geck, or fool) refer generally to outside-of-mainstream, socially inept, poorly socialized people, usually of intellect (often mathematical including, of course, computers), of all types.  Nerds (syn. “square”; often said to be derived from the Dr. Suess line “A nerkle, a nerd, and a seersucker, too” in his 1950 book “If I Ran A Zoo”), on the other hand, is a more derogatory stereotype of a person who is intellectually obsessive to the point of social impairment, although their appearance (thick black-rimmed glasses, high-rise pants, pocket protectors) has created a fashion genre and a sometimes lovable group (“Revenge of the Nerds” movies, for example). 

So what’s the difference between these two types of people (both of which are adept at computers and technology)?  Some have characterized it as simply “Geeks Get It Done”.  Geeks have more interests and more average grades, but use their skills to compete or accomplish things, while Nerds tend to have an extremely intense interest in a single area (e.g. rocket science), regardless of its practical use.  Geeks have more of a lifestyle with niche activities, such as fandom, gaming, cosplay, collecting & science fiction.  Hence, some say, a Geek is a “social nerd”.  A Geek chooses concentration rather than conformity, while a Nerd immerses himself in an intellectual endeavor for its own sake. (See also, ubergeek, a term referring to the ultimatSteve Urkele extension of geekdom. And fanboy.)

One of the most famous early nerds was Steve Urkel of the ABC sitcom (1989-1997) Family Matters (seen at right).

GEN: As in “My Gen”.  Stands for generation. (Remember? Talkin’ ‘bout my generation?  The Who, 1965!). It can refer to updated versions of software or hardware, from earliest to latest (see “G,” above), and also to groups of people:

First, there were the Traditionalists, born between 1900 and 1945 (there are no set dates, just generalities), comfortable with the command-and-control, line-and-staff management style attributable to winning WWII, hence the designation as The Greatest Generation, for that sliver of the Traditionalists born between 1922-1925 that fought during WWII.  They worked their way up through the system, respected their bosses, and many were quite content being employees of a single company for life. And, in those days, the corporations reciprocated that loyalty in an unwritten “contract”.   A major part of that generation, those born between 1925 and 1945, are known as the Silent Generation.  They were called this because they were treated by their hard-working parents as children who were to be “seen and not heard,” in conjunction with the political atmosphere of the McCarthy anti-communist hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, making it dangerous to speak freely about opinions and beliefs. Most were born during the Great Depression, a time when there were fewer babies overall.   The title was given in a 1951 Time Magazine article which dubbed the Silent Generation as unimaginative, withdrawn, unadventurous and cautious and stuck since then.  Then came the post-war Baby Boomers, born  between 1946 and 1964, who viewed the erosion of authority through the eyes of Watergate and the Viet Nam war, and tended to view authority as unreliable or misguided, although still accepting some workplace command structure.   After the Baby Boomers, Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980, have seen so many authority figures self-destruct that they have virtually no reverence for authority and are completely repelled by command-and-control management, at work and everywhere else.  Because they grew up in an environment with both parents working (as “latch-key” kids), they became self-reliant and independent, causing them to rebel  against internal rules and bureaucracy. Finally came Gen Y, a/k/a Millennials, a/k/a/ Echo Boomers (children of the Baby Boomers) a/k/a GenMeMeMe (coined by the June 2013 Time Magazine cover story) which amplified these traits.  Born between 1981 and 2000, they grew up in a time when families had fewer children and greater resources (thanks to the birth control pill), and where many social authority figures stumbled, so they’re attracted to and motivated by organizations where an inclusive management style listens to them and allows them to contribute to decisions.  They tend to be less self-reliant than Gen Xers because they’ve had their family infrastructure supporting them since grade school.  Their “helicopter” parents swoop in whenever they’re in trouble to fix the situation, so they’re used to a “safety net”.  And, as many get older, they become boomerang kids, coming back home to their parents to live, possibly never leaving as they stay and tend to their aging parents in exchange for living arrangements.  They feel entitled because they have had so much support in their efforts to accomplish and achieve.  A 2014 survey also found that the Millennials/Gen Y (ages 18-24) and Gen Z (ages 14-17), are generally gender (and race) neutral, significantly effecting the country and the world because they just don’t consider gender very important in societal roles.   What’s next?  The Founders, formerly called the nu-millennials,so named by MTV in late 2014 (the White House’s designation of them as the Homeland Generation, as in post-911 just didn’t take off).

Remember, though, that these are just observational generalizations.  Individuals’ attributes may vary greatly.  Just like labeling people as Democrats of Republicans can denote various preferences, but not for every individual.   In fact, the definitions are morphing from date-of-birth to identifiable traits as markers of the differences between the groups.


See also, “G” above as it relates to iterations of software or hardware.























1025 - 1945







1946 - 1964

51 - 69






1965 - 1980

35 - 50






1981 - 2000

18 - 24





GEN Z (a/k/a iGen)

1985 - 2000

14 - 17






2000 -






©Computer Coach 2015

GEOBLOGGING:  See Geotagging, below.

GEOCITIES:  An very popular early Internet site where people could build their own, often tacky, websites.  It lasted from 1999 to 2009.

GEOCACHING:  See Geotagging, below.

GEOFENCING:  A virtual perimeter of a specified geographic area using a location-based service: Used with mobile telephones, for example, to notify  when a mobile device enters or exits a given geographic area, perhaps for “roaming” charge purposes.

GEOREDUNDANCY:  The hosting of a website in more than one separate server cluster in more than one geographically separate data center.

GEOSYNCHRONOUS: Sometimes geostationary.  Refers to any object, usually a satellite, that orbits the earth at the exact speed of the earth’s rotation, placing it at a static point above the earth’s surface; useful for IoS, for example.

GEOTAGGING:  A feature offered on newer cell phones like the iPhone, and also through photo management programs that imbed  (“geocode”) information in photographs such as the place that a photo was taken, the equipment used to take the photo, it’s GPS coordinates and the like.  Such information is then included with the photo when it is copied, sent by e-mail, etc.  See the discussion under Privacy considerations.  Also, be aware of geoblogging, which uses geotagging to attach specific geographic information to blog entries, and geocaching, through which participants in an outdoor game use GPS coordinates to hide and seek containers (a/k/a/ caches or geocaches) anywhere in the world.  There are no particular industry standards for geotags, and there are various electronic file formats (EXIF, GeoSMS, ICBM, XMP, etc.).  Here’s an example of a geotag (which can be found in the JPG properties): 

+ [GPS directory with 5 entries]
| 0)  GPSVersionID = 2 2 0 0
|     - Tag 0x0000 (4 bytes, int8u[4]):
|         dump: 02 02 00 00
| 1)  GPSLatitudeRef = N
|     - Tag 0x0001 (2 bytes, string[2]):
|         dump: 4e 00  [ASCII "N\0"]
| 2)  GPSLatitude = 57 38 56.83 (57/1 38/1 5683/100)
|     - Tag 0x0002 (24 bytes, rational64u[3]):
|         dump: 00 00 00 39 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 26 00 00 00 01
|         dump: 00 00 16 33 00 00 00 64
| 3)  GPSLongitudeRef = W
|     - Tag 0x0003 (2 bytes, string[2]):
|         dump: 57 00  [ASCII "W\0"]
| 4)  GPSLongitude = 10 24 26.79 (10/1 24/1 2679/100)
|     - Tag 0x0004 (24 bytes, rational64u[3]):
|         dump: 00 00 00 0a 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 18 00 00 00 01
|         dump: 00 00 0a 77 00 00 00 64

GERSTON, ESTER: Along with Gloria Ruth GordoGordon and Gerstonn (see below) were programmers working with the ENIAC computer back in 1946.

GESTURE-BASED:  Possibly the next wave of computing, where computers will interpret human gestures (a nod, wave, pointing, etc.) in order to interact with us.  Much like the games on Wii Kinect, where you can play tennis with your Wii-enabled TV.  See also, LEAP.  In 2013, gesture-based control over mobile devices started with the Samsung Galaxy S 4, which lets the user answer the phone by waving a hand in front of the screen and also detects when the user looks away from the phone and automatically stops any playing videos.

Apparently, there can be lots of ghosts in your computer:

GHOST: A program originally from Norton (now Symantec) used to clone or copy hard drives, discontinued April 30, 2013, since many of its features are now adequately performed by Windows (since Windows 7) and other free and paid programs (like Easus, Acronis).

GHOST APP: See Decoy AppSmartphone apps and their shortcuts that are disguised as innocent-looking icons like calculators or music players, which are actually links to photos, videos, texts or other content that the user desires to hide.  Often used by kids to hide their online activity and communications from their parents. who wouldn’t know how to use the apps anyway.

GHOST FILE: A number of things:  (1) An image of a hard drive or partition created by Ghost, above, with a .GHO extension; (2) The files in your Temporary Internet Files folder; (3) Most commonly, the impression left by a deleted Windows file in the area(s) of the hard disk drive where it was stored, until such time as it is overwritten (unless permanently deleted, see Tip #104.) Kind of like the “ghost” image (4) left on the old CRT TV and ATM screens after being burned in to the phospors when the same image is left on constantly or just before the device is shut down.

GHOSTING: In social networking, the act of “going dark,” i.e. ceasing communication with someone (usually who you are dating), hoping that they “get the hint” that you are no longer interested in them.  For example, in late 2015, Us Weekly reported that actress Charlize Theron ended her relationship with actor  Sean Penn by ghosting him.

Ghost in the machineGHOST IN THE MACHINE: A 1967 non-fiction book by Arthur Koestler exploring man’s relentless march toward self-destruction.  He posits that as the human brain has grown, it has been built upon earlier, more primitive brain structures (i.e. “the ghosts in the machine” which are responsible for such emotions as hate, anger and other self-destructive impulses; a term actually coined by Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle) and that these structures can overpower the higher, purely logical functions.  It’s heavy reading - Koestler believes that the “triune brain” has evolved from what he calls a “holon” which means that the mind is at the same time both a whole and a part (derived from Descartes “dualism”), causing a potential for poor and inadequate neural connections, a rich potential for conflict.  See also (The) Singularity, AI.

GIF: Graphic Interchange Format, a graphic format which Steve Wilhite Photoloops an animated image (think:  The Dancing Baby).  Invented by Steve Wilhite while working for Compuserve in 1987, he says it’s pronounced “Jif,” like the peanut butter brand, not with the hard “G” that many people use.  He won a Webbie award in 2013 for his contribution.  Other more sophisticated graphics technology have pretty much superseded the GIF, like the jpg, which compresses the file as well, better for web and e-mail applications.

GIF MAKER: Software, either independently (e.g. GIPHY) or through a website (Boomerang, for example) that converts a series of .gif photo images into a looping video compilation.

GIG: (1) Industry slang for Gigabyte (“Gb”), above.  See, Bits & Bytes.  (2) Also, slang for the “gig” economy, where people work “gigs,” like musicians and contractors, rather than scheduled full time work.  Common with Millennials.

GIGO: Acronym for “Garbage In - Garbage Out”.  Intended to remind us that the use or accuracy of the product we get from our computers is directly limited by the quality of the input.

Gimp logoGIMP: Acronym for “GNU Image Manipulation Program”, a free open source graphics creation and manipulation application similar to Adobe Photoshop, created in 1995 and now maintained under the auspices of the GNU project. The mascot is Wilber, created by Toumas Kuosmanen (“tigert”) and has been used as a racer in the SuperTuxKart gameSee LINKS for download and tutorial information.

GINI Coefficient: Pronounced “genie”.  A number score or rating between 0 and 1 which is used to rank the distribution of some resource.  It is commonly used to measure the wealth distribution of nations, but is also used for other purposes, for example the rankings of the world’s fastest supercomputers.  The rank of 0 means that the resource is spread evenly among all of the holders of the particular resource (say, teraflops supercomputers), while a rank of 1 would mean that only one party (say, China) holds all of that resource.  (By the way, the supercomputer ranking is actually 0.6, showing a somewhat even distribution among the countries possessing supercomputing resources.)

GIS: Stands for Geographic Information System, the modeling and mapping software and technology that creates and saves data, maps, globes, models and the like for use on a desktop, browser or in the field, depending on the needs of an organization.  See also, GPS, the software that provides the data.

Git logoGIT:  A “version control system” for collaborative software development.  It keeps track of changes and comments to a project code, through the various revisions, so that you can go back to understand it or correct errors.  First created by Linus Torvalds (chief author of Linux), and (he says) named after himself  (it is slang for “jerk” in the U.K.), it operates by allowing a user to copy all of the code for a project in one simple command, then make changes to the code on the user’s computer, then upload them back to the site (with permission, of course) with a “commit” description of your changes, for comment by other programmers.  See below.

GitHub logoGITHUB: GitHub is a web-based hosting service for sharing  GIT coding projects, launched in 2008.  Github has thousands of codes that are  stored in “repositories”.  Each repository has a list of “commits,” which are a stored moment of action for that code, possibly a contributed change.  This makes it possible to compare one commit with another and see a “diff,” what’s been added or removed.  Many people simply download the code to use it, but for those who want to manipulate the code, they “fork” the code and copy it into their own repository for tinkering.  All of this will help you solve coding problems and develop better code in a collaborative fashion on a minute-by-minute basis.  See also, SVN, Slack and Bitbucket, all competitors to github.

GLITCH: A minor problem or error.  Less serious than fubar.  More like a bug.  Believe it or not, this term comes from the Yiddish, literally meaning “slip,” “skate,” or “nosedive,” which evolved into common American English usage.

GLOBAL VILLAGE: A term coined by Marshall McLuhan in his books starting in the early 1960s.  The world really is getting smaller.  It refers to the reduction in distance and isolation resulting from easy travel, mass media, TV, the Internet, etc.

GLYPH:  In typography, the shape for a character (like a letter, numeral, punctuation mark or symbol) given to a particular typeface.  For example, the letter “S” can be represented by any number of glyphs Prince glyph shown by various typefaces (S, S, S, S).  A symbol is called a “grapheme” [e.g. a “dingbat”, or Interrobang or one representing “the man formerly known as Prince” (at right)]  Two or more glyphs representing the same grapheme are called allographs (e.g. tonight, tonite).  This actually gets quite complicated, more than I care to discuss.  If you’re interested in graphemes, phonemes, trigraphs and digraphs, here’s a LINK you might find interesting.  See also, Punctuation Marks.

GNOME: GNOME (pronounced Guh-nome, with no silent G) is an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment, the shell interface for many distros of Linux.  Recent version = 3.12 (3/26/14)  Biggest competitor is Unity.  Others:  AfterStep, Blackbox, CDE, XFCE, twm, Enlightenment, KDE, Fvwm95, Metacity, Sawfish.  See Linux for more.

GNU logoGNU:  This is a Unix-like operating system that comes with a source code that can be copied, modified and redistributed for free under GPL license.  It’s used for open-source programs like GIMP.  Started in 1983 by the Free Software Foundation.  a/k/a/ The GNU Project

GNU PROJECT:  A mass collaboration project, announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman, initiating the GNU Operating System and other free software, the goal of which is to develop a sufficient body of free software to get along with software that is not free.  GNU is a recursive acronym which stands for “GNU’s not Unix”.

GNUTELLA:  An anonymous P2P file sharing network, started in March, 2000 by Justin Frankel and Tom Pepper of Nullsoft. It exists as an open source protocol used by such clients as Napster, Morpheus and Limewire (none of which exist any more, but have been replaced by others).  If the name sounds like the Italian Hazelnut spread, it should.  It is a portmanteau of GNU and Nutella, which the developers ate quite a bit of while working on the project.

Go logoGO:  A common computer programming language, sometimes “golang,” developed at Google in 2007. 

GO BUTTON:  A type of menu and navigation.  See, breadcrumb, menu.

GODMODE:  Originally this referred to playing video games so that you always win, since you cannot be killed.  It’s also used with reference to Windows 7 and later “GodMode” folders, which are folders that are hidden until one enters a special, secret code (GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}), which will then create a special folder (named the “Godmode” folder) which allows the user to apply various control settings usually scattered throughout the operating system, many of which are otherwise complicated to find.

Mikd GodwinGODWIN’S LAW (of Nazi Analogies):  A law created by Mike Godwin, a Washington, D.C. attorney, circa 1990, as explained by him in a popular 1994 Wired Magazine article, which states that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one”.  That is to say, inevitable.  It is not really about Nazis, per se, (it could be “communists”, “capitalists”, “pedophiles” or any other tag meant solely to evoke rage and disgust from other posters) but the point is more that the more protracted and bitter the argument, the more likely it is that someone will resort to name-calling, causing others to do the same, effectively closing the thread on the discussion.  If people don’t like something, they juxtapose it with Hitler (think: some of the anti-Trump articles).  This is somewhat an offshoot of Laynes Law, part of which posits that, once a debate degenerates into the definition of a word, the debate is probably over.

phiGOLDEN RATIO: Also called the golden section, mean, cut or number. Represented by the Greek symbol ‘phi” (at left), equal to 1.618+.  In math, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities.  A ratio is the relationship between two numbers of the same kind, expressing how many times the first number contains the second.  A classic example would be the 16:9 aspect ratio of width to height in a video monitor. If you have four quarters and six dimes in your pocket, the ratio of quarters to dimes is 4:6, and dimes to quarters is 6:4. The ratio can apply to various geometric shapes, like rectangles.  In the case of rectangles, for example, if one places one rectangle with shorter side a and longer side b alongside another smaller rectangle with the same ratio, it will produce a third triangle with combined sides a and b of the same ratio.  Throughout history, in designs, famous artists like Dali (in “The Sacrament of the Last Supper”) and architects such as Le Corbusier (in his Modulor system), as well as musicians and others have all proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio in the belief that it produces atheistically pleasing works.  Indeed, nature itself has been shown to express the golden ratio in plants, skeletons and crystals.  Notable is the Nautilus seashell, the design of which has been duplicated in the Nautilus Earthship environmental house (see Fibonacci).  For a great discussion showing how this works, see Math is Fun.

GOOGLE:  One of the most popular search engines on the Internet.  So popular, in fact, that it is both a noun and a verb.  Google itself is the noun representing the free search engine into which a user connected to the Internet can type a search query and be rewarded with web sites and related information corresponding to that request.  The search is run by a algorithm which is constantly upgraded.  In 2013, the algorithm is code named “Hummingbird” and is directed toward more natural and conversational interactions with the search engine, such as requests coming through devices like pads, mobile phones and smart watches.  Moreover, it is focused more on ranking information based on concepts and the relationships between them, rather than simply identifying words.  This is an extension of Google’s “knowledge graph” concept introduced in 2012 in an effort to make interactions more human.  

As a verb (“I’m going to “Google” Bill Smith...”), the term connotes the idea of researching the background or public information about a person, place or thing. 

It was started by Larry Page and Sergei Brin, two PhD students at Stanford, on 9/15/97, and now a multi-million dollar powerhouse and the leading search engine and data collection service on the Web.  In 2003, the pair decided that  Larry Page (who had stepped down in 2011) would manage the company.  It was originally named “BackRub” because the system checked backlinks in order to estimate the importance of a site.  The name Google, which came about in 1997, is said to originate from a common misspelling (perhaps on the part of the founders when trying to register the domain name) of the word “googol”, which refers to 10 to the 100th power, or 10 followed by 100 zeros.  For more information about Google search queries, click HERE for a guide.  In August, 2015 Google restructured into Alphabet, one part of which is the Google search engine.  Google now produces hundreds of other software products, hardware (phones, tablets), devices (a driverless car), even an O/S (Chrome), the most popular of which are discussed below:

Google Abacus:  An API app, available by end 2016, which shifts authentication from users (who are terrible at creating strong passwords to their Android devices by running in background monitoring the user’s activity through a proprietary combination of facial, fingerprint and/or voice recognition, speech patterns, typing patterns, locations and other things, all to derive a cumulative Trust Score to unlock devices or sign in to applications.

Google AdWords:  Google’s ads are called AdWords, according to Doug Edwards, Director of Marketing and Brand Management at Google, because Larry and Sergey didn’t like his first suggestion, Buywords, because it implied that your could purchase ad placement.  His second choice was AdWords, which Edwards liked anyway, because it sounded like his own last name!

Google Allo:  A messaging app (available in 2016) which suggests replies to texts which are smarter than the few pre-programmed replies offered in Google Inbox. And it offers strong encryption, but it is not enabled by default, must be enabled.

Google Amp:  A partnership with news publishers and other content providers that creates Web content for download onto mobile phones and tablets which Google claims is some 85 times faster, so that people won’t gravitate from the Web to other places like Facebook for that information.  Introduced on 10/7/15.

Google Apps LogoGoogle Apps (a/k/a Google Apps for Business):  Google’s cloud office productivity suite, much like Office 365 from Microsoft.  Introduced as a free service in 2007 with the hope that businesses would pay only $50 for the Premier Edition, it later was rebranded to Google Apps for Business and on December 5, 2012 officially became solely a paid cloud app.  But individuals will not have to pay (they can use web apps like Drive, Gmail and Docs at no cost through their Google accounts), nor will educational institutions or those businesses already subscribed to the free version.  Google said that businesses quickly ran up against the limitations of the free version anyway and usually wanted the premium features such as 24x7 customer support.

Google apps:  The generic reference to Google’s programs to handle common office needs through DriveGoogle Docs for word processing, Google Sheets for spreadsheets and Google Slides for presentations.

GOOGLE ASSISTANT:  An upgrade to the “O.K. Google” platform, and in competition with Siri, Cortana and other digital assistants, this app remembers your preferences and provides more customized responses to users’ requests. 

GMAIL:  Google’s free, advertising-supported e-mail servicegmail logo launched on 4/1/2004 (beta) and then 2/7/2007 to the public.  Popular feature:  The “Undo Send” function, a brief window to retract sent messages.

GOOGLE BLOGS:  Formerly Blogger, acquired by Google.  Co-founded by Evan Williams of Twitter fame) and acquired by Google in 2003.Blogger logo

GOOGLE BRILLO:  An end-to-end operating system designed especially for IoT developers, derived from Android, but from only the lower layers (kernels) so that it can be run on devices with a minimum of footprints.  It is designed to work with Weave, a cross-platform communication layer for the IoT, so that IoT devices can talk to each other. Both available in late 2015.

GOOGLE BUZZ:  Google’s entry into the social networking arena, which debuted on February 9, 2010.  It suffers from the same personal privacyGoogle Buzz logo objections from EPIC as many of the other social networking applications (FaceBook, MySpace, etc.) Buzz was discontinued in early 2011 as it was unsuccessful, just like Google’s “Wave” e-mail and productivity program late the previous year. 

GOOGLE CALENDAR SYNC:  A useful tool for business users who require Outlook, this app synced your Google calendar with your Outlook calendar.  Alas, it was discontinued 8/1/14, Microsoft and Google don’t play well together.

CardboardGOOGLE CARDBOARD:  A virtual reality app for Android and iPhone developed by Google which uses a cardboard enclosure with eye holes into which you insert your smart phone to experience virtual reality.  Not fully developed yet, but inexpensive (the viewer only for purchase).  In 2016, doctors in Florida used the device to plan an operation that saved a baby’s life.  The baby’s heart was defective and the virtual reality device helped doctors to develop a surgical procedure for saving the child’s life. See also Google VR,  below.

GOOGLE CHROME/CHROMEBOOKS:  The web browser from Google, released on 9/2/08.  It’s quite fast and relatively safe, as it uses “sandboxing” to open each browChrome logoser tab within its own process, so it cannot infect other open pages.  Also, announced in July 2009, the Chrome Operating System.  Finally Chrome netbooks, a/k/a ChromeBooks, introduced in July, 2011, keyed to cloud computing, by using almost exclusive Internet access to speed up boot and operating times.

GOOGLE CHROME APPS:  Google’s long term plan to compete with Windows by distributing program apps for desktop computers and Android devices through the Chrome Web Store.  Originally intended for use on any PC, starting in 2016, only those using a Chromebook will be able to download new Chrome apps.  The remainder will still be able to migrate their apps to web interfaces, meaning they’ll load in a browser tab, just like Google Docs, Sheets or Drive.  This is thus a move from “packaged” apps (which are being phased out) in favor of web “hosted” apps.  Users aren’t expected to notice any big difference.

GOOGLE CLOUD MACHINE LEARNING:  A (beta) platform for building and training machine learning models with the Tensorflow framework and data stored in the BigQuery and Cloud Storage back ends.

GOOGLE CHROMECAST:  Introduced on July 24, 2013, this is a $35  Chromecast dongledongle that plugs into a TVs HDMI port which allows users to stream content from the cloud  using your Wi-Fi connection via apps like Netflix and YouTube or direct whatever is displayed on the tab of a Chrome browser.  It is remote controlled by a smartphone, tablet or PC.  The result is much like that of Apple TV, although it operates somewhat differently and supports both Android and iOS devices.  See also Sony’s Smart Stick.  It supports Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Google Play and HBO Go as of late 2013.  See FAQ #68 and the Google site for more.

GOOGLE CURRENTS:  Google’s app to deliver news and magazGoogle Currents logoines to Android and iPhone and iPads, for high definition and high speed reading.

GOOGLE DART:  A programming language developed by Google as an alternative to JavaScript.  Introduced in 2014, it was officially recognized by Ecma International (see Associations) as a standard, ECMA-408, Dart 1.3.

GOOGLE DESKTOP:  This is search software for computer desktops made by Google for stand-alone computers (PCs, Macs, Linux).  Desktop runs text searches of files, emails and other formats.  Discontinued in Sept, 2011, Google says, because so many more people store their data in the cloud as opposed to on their computer.

GOOGLE DOODLE:  This is the Google logo on the search engine’s main page, just above the search box, which is changed daily.  Some doodles (e.g. packman, a playable guitar) are interactive; most commemorate holidays or events.,

DoubleClickGOOGLE DOUBLECLICK:  Google’s display ad delivery system for web site pagesIn 2013, Google added social networking capabilities to this service.

GOOGLE DRIVE:  Introduced in April, 2012, Google DriveGoogle’s answer to cloud based services like Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud and iCloud which allow file sharing services in the cloud and bi-directional sync to your desktop folders.  It was originally a cloud-based document storage app called Google Docs and became, with additional capabilities, Google Drive.  Docs also refers to Google’s version of MS Word in its Google Apps suite.  The triangle shaped logo represents its three primary services, Docs (blue), Sheets (green) and Slides (yellow) in a seamless interaction between devices.

GOOGLE DUO:  A mobile video calling app that is a direct alternative to Apple’s FaceTime, allowing users to make video calls between Android and Apple devices.  It’s got a simplified interface and the “knock-knock” feature that lets the recipient view a video feed of the caller before answering.

GOOGLE EARTH:  Google’s internet app which lets you “fly” anyGoogle Earth logowhere on earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, etc. Released in 2005, based on EarthViewer 3D, which Google acquired from Keyhold, Inc. in 2004.

GOOGLE EXPLORERS:  The name given by Google to those people who are the early adopters and beta testers of Google devices, like Google Glass.

GOOGLE FACE UNLOCK:  A security utility on some smart phones using Google’s Android operating system which uses facial recognition, gestures and other “liveness checks” to allow users to access their devices and apps within.  Google applied for a patent for the utility in 2013, and it may be some time before it is de-bugged and generally available, as previous versions proved susceptible to hacking.

GOOGLE FIBRE:  Google’s high-speed broadband service initially rolled out in three cities in early 2013.

GOOGLE FIELD TRIP:  A smart phone app (for both Google Field Trip logoiPhone and Android) which runs in background on your phone and pops up a “card” with information about your location when GPS is enabled.  It tells you about where you (or at least your phone) is.

GOOGLE Gboard: Introduced in mid-2016, a smartphone keyboard for iPhones which lets a user search directly from the keyboard (useful for sending links), use swype to type and will allow special (private) additions to your keyboard that Google will not collect.

GOOGLE GLASS:  Click HERE for explanation...

Google Goggles logoGOOGLE GOGGLES:  A smart phone Internet image search tool, which uses a photo instead of text, so you can snap a photo, then search the web for landmarks, products, businesses and people.  See Facial Recognition.

GOOGLE HELPOUTS:  A Hangout-like video chat but instead of speaking with a friend, you are connected to a purported expert in whatever you need help with.  Not just computers, but cooking, auto repair, etc.  $2/min.  Introduced 11/13.

GOOGLE HOME:  Google’s entry into the IoT smart hub market.  The device will stream audio and video like it’s Chromecast devices, control smart appliances, work with smart phones and other services. Available 11/4/16 for $129.

iGOOGLE:  A customizable internet home page through which users can be able to view all Google and other services, like gmail, headlines, weather, bookmarks and many other “gadgets”.  However, due to similarity to many other portals, Google “retired” it on 11/1/13 (mobile on 7/31/12).

GOOGLE INBOX:  Click HERE for more.

GOOGLE INSTANT:  An autocomplete feature on the Google Search engine which uses an algorithm to anticipate search topics which you might be looking for, based on millions of searches already entered, your location, current topics of interest and the like.  (Although it’s enabled by default, it can be switched off, although few users do so.)  It’s also an interesting indicator of current relevance as well as people’s actual feelings.  Type, for example, “woman shouldn’t...” and suggestions for topics like “vote” or “work” or “be heard, only seen” appear.  These results are often shocking because they are fact-based, impartial and clear indications of prejudice flying in the face of lip service by governments and individuals to the contrary.  Possibly, the suggestions may even create their own life and influence future searches, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

GOOGLE I/O:  An annual software developer-focused conference held by Google in San Francisco, California each year.

GOOGLE KEEP:  Google’s answer to Evernote.   Released in March, 2013, and used with Google Drive, Keep is designed to create lists and reminders, as well as storage of photos, recording of voice notes and other features, all run using Google’s searching and sorting algorithms.  Only available for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher at first; iPhone app not available.  It allows tags and colors or images for notes, Google Now for voice, send to Google Notes, and keyboard shortcuts.

GOOGLE KNOL:  A Wikipedia knock-off, discontinued by Google.

GOOGLE LATITUDE (FORMERLY DODGEBALL, a SMS created by the founGoogle latitude logoders of Foursquare): A part of Google Maps - a location-aware mobile app, which allows a mobile phone user to allow others to view their current geographic location.  [Retired 8/9/13, replaced by features within Google+, below.

google maps logo 2GOOGLE MAPS:  Google’s merger with its satellite/GPS mapping service, combined with identification and advertising markers.  Maps includes both outdoor and indoor locations, depending on the area.  Updated in 2013 to be much more interactive and provide much more information and graphics, such as travel times by bike and public transportation, and enhanced route photos.  In June, 2013, Google  also acquired Waze, whose mobile app solicits input from 50 million interactive users to improve directions and display traffic and road hazard details, in order to provide social features for Google’s navigation tool and give it an edge over Apple.  ]

GOOGLE (PLAY) MUSIC:  Google Music is Google’s free streaming radio service (based  on Google’s purchase of Songza) which can serve up curated playlists.  Google Play Music is a paid service ($10/mo), which has no ads, can ger music off-line and unlimited access to its 30 million song library.

GOOGLE NOW:  A combination of voice search with “cards”.  With voice search, Google Search, you can ask questions (what will the weather be tomorrow, directions to the nearest post office or pizza takeout, stock quotes, who won the game last night, etc.).  I addition, the “cards” guess what you might want to know, based on the information Google already as about you from browsing, calendar and other Google apps (so-called “predictive search”). The cards may be traffic on your home commute, flight information, restaurants, Google NOW logosupermarket specials, etc.   Now is currently available only on some Android phones running Jelly Bean O/S and up.  Some say it’s better than  Apple’s Siri, others not as good, decide for yourself.  But remember that it is in ongoing development (just like Siri). If you don’t want it, you can click on the “gear” off the bottom and modify its individual features or turn it off completely.  For a list of useful Now search commands, click HERE. See also, Digital Assistants.

GOOGLE ORCUT:  One of Google’s first attempts at social networking, discontinued in September 2014, replaced by Google+.

GOOGLE PARSE: A mobile back-end service Google purchased in 2013 so that developers could hook up hundreds of thousands of apps to the cloud, but discontinued after 1/28/17.

GOOGLE PHONE:  Aside from the Android operating system, Google is working on manufacturing its own smartphone hardware.  It’s doing this with Project ARA, developing an open source device that can be customized by swapping our individual parts, like the battery, display or camera, not only making the phones less expensive, but extending their life through upgrading or repairing parts (perhaps some that can even be printed using 3D printers!).  It is expected to be available in 2015, and will come in three sizes, from mini to phablet using, of course, the Android O/S.  The frame will be called the Endo and will hold the individual components together with magnets for easily disassembly and upgrade or repair.  Project ARA is run by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (“ATAP”), which Google still retained when it divested it’s Motorola acquisition to Lenovo in early in 2014.  It’s leader is Regina Dugan, a former DARPA director. Click HERE for more.

Picassa LogoGOOGLE PHOTOS:  Formerly Picasa, acquired by Google in 2004.

GOOGLE PLAY:  Formerly Android Market.  The on-line store where you go to order apps and hardware for Android devices.

GOOGLEPLEX:  The corporate headquarters complex for GoGoogleplexogle, Inc., located in Mountain View, CA.

GOOGLE+:  Google’s third attempt (after Buzz and Orkut) to get into the social networking area, introduced in July, 2010.  Google claims it will make social networking more like sharing “in real life.”  It uses features named Circles (rotating graphical wheels (designed by former Apple engineer Andy Hertzfeld), labeled with groups like friends, family, acquaintances), Sparks (lets users specify their interests and then adds fresh news stories and related user discussions into the site’s news feeds) and google-plus-logoHangouts (face-to-face video chats), as well as the “+1” button (much like Facebook’s “like” button), all in an attempt to establish “cliques” of people, reducing the sharing with the entire world that is Facebook.

GOOGLE[x]:  Google’s lab, headed by co-founder Sergey Brin, which is dedicated to big technical leaps, like Glass, self-driving cars and drones (“Project Wing”).

GOOGLE PROJECT ZERO:  Launched in mid-2014, Google’s internal team of security specialists tasked with finding vulnerabilities in third party software and alerting (only) the developers so that they can be repaired.

Quickoffice logoGOOGLE QUICKOFFICE:  Acquired by Google in 2012, Quickoffice is an office suite (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.) used on mobile phones.

Google Reader logoGOOGLE READER:  Google’s RSS aggregator, discontinued July 1, 2013 due to declining use.

GOOGLE SCHOLAR: A web search engine that specifically google-scholar-logo1searches scholarly literature and academic resources in Google’s “library”.  It is based on the actual literature in the library and is therefore much more accurate than the public web content found in a general Google search.   

Google Search MicrophoneGOOGLE SEARCH:  Voice-activated search app, see Google Now, above.

GOOGLE SITES:  Formerly JotSpot, acquired by Google in 2006.jotspot-logo

GOOGLE SPACES:  Another attempt by Google (announced in in 2016) to get into social networking.  Part chat program, part organizational tool, part social networking, it allows users to create a non-public “space” which can embed search results, videos and photos from their own library, essentially functioning as a private chat room.

GOOGLE SYNC:  A free Google add-on used to sync Android smartphones with Outlook, Drive and other apps, bi-directionally. It is Google’s implementation of the Exchange ActiveSync Protocol as licensed from Microsoft in 2009.  UPDATE:  As of 1/20/13, it will only be available on Win 8/RT to the free Gmail users, only the paid ones.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE:  One of the truly amazing inventions of our age, you can type in any word or phrase in the browser and it will be translated in any of at least 65 languages.  See Translation Apps for more. Full web pages, too. Also, everything from recipes and advertisements to Government documents.  Free, through the home (browser) page or on your cell phone.  As of 2013, Google estimates that it is now doing a billion translations a day!  Historically, the idea of universal translation has been around since 1629, when Rene Descartes proposed a series of universal symbols that any language could be converted into, to the German cipher machine in WW II, to the IBM 701 computer in 1952 which was the first computer to translate from Russian to English, primarily scientific papers.  But none come close in scope or accuracy to the Google translator, which is simple to use and available to everyone with an Internet connection.  See also, Babel Fish, which later became the Bing Translator.  For others, click HERE.

GOOGLE TV:  It came and went.  Now it’s Android TV, also Chromecast.

GOOGLE VOICE:  Formerly GrandCentral, acquired bygrandcentral logo Google in 2007.

GOOGLE VR:  Google’s Virtual Reality headset, in competition with Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset. New versions will feature new smart phone cameras creating sophisticated VR content, using IMAX and GoPro, using the Google Jump platform, which uses massive computing power and complex algorithms to stitch together images shot by multiple cameras.

GOOGLE WALLET:  See Wallet.  Google’s foray into the electronic wallet arenaGoogle Wallet logo, known as Google Checkout (see logo), using cell phones to make what would otherwise be credit card purchases.  Works using Near Field Communications (“NFC”) so that users can “wave” their cards over a reader.  Wallet started with some 25 national retailers (like Macy’s and Duane Reade) and the major creditGoogle Wallet cards (Visa, MC, Amex and Discover) and was originally available only with Sprint & Virgin Mobile phones. As NFC devices become standard, it was predicted to expand to most Android smartphones, but it hasn’t become widely available yet.  It doesn’t rely on revenues from transactions, like Paypal, but instead (like all things Google) it generates data on consumer habits and then targets ads to them to generate revenue.  Also, it’s not just to pay with a substitute for a credit card;  you can also send money.  You must first verify your identity, and I suggest you program your PIN with a “time out” so that it becomes inactive after a few minutes and no one can hack your account.  With Square and Intuit card readers as competition, and Paypal’s own wallet, it’s hard to tell how Wallet will evolve.  In late  2014, Apple launched its own competition, Apple Pay, a similar service which proclaims more expanded coverage. See also Venmo, popular with Millennials (see Gen).

GOOGLE WAVE:  Google’s entry into the e-mail arena in  2009.  Google Wave logoIt was intended to merge key features of e-mail, instant messaging, wikis and social networking.  But it didn’t take, and Google abandoned it in August, 2010.

GOOGLE WEAVE:  Google’s communication layer for the IoT,  See Google Brillo, above.

GOOGLE Wi-Fi:  A simple way to blanket an entire home with Wi-Fi, using access points.  It’s easy to use and set up, as it doesn’t require internet setup like most routers.  But it doesn’t have a lot of features and requires a Google account and mobile device to set up. 

GOOGLE “ANDROID WEAR”:  Google’s smart watch line, using an extension of the Google Glass software for smart watches.  The watch will not only receive notifications, provide geographic notifications and respond to voice commands, but will merge many of the features of Google Now, providing users with emergency notifications, access to important documents like on-line airline boarding passes and other contextual information.  The difference between Google’s smartwatch and others like Gear is that it cuts down on the excessive swiping and tapping involved that users don’t seem to like.  Google has partnered with Motorola, Asus, HTC, LG, Fossil and others to release smart watches using the software by the end of 2014.

gopherGOPHER: Prior to the establishment of the WWW’s hypertext transfer protocol (“HTTP”), from about 1992 through 1996, this browser was the Internet application that located primarily text-based files from the web.  Contrary to some popular belief, the name Gopher has nothing to to with searching for web information (as in “go for” this or that) but instead, it was developed at and named after the University of Minnesota, whose sports teams are known as “The Golden Gophers”.

GoPro logoGoPro: The leading brand of sports cameras. GoPro camera Waterproof, shockproof, attaches to almost anything, specifically designed for adventure photography.  High end, expensive, but offers many features like video editing, attachments and high video quality.  In October 2016, GoPro introduced its Karma drone for taking aerial photos. Lesser competition like the Cube (from Polaroid) or HTC’s Re are less expensive, offer less quality and features, but that may be sufficient.

GORDON, GLORIA RUTH: See Ester Gerston, above.

(AL) GORE: Contrary to politically fueled public belief, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore never claimed to have “invented the Internetnor did he invent it.  However, the Internet as we know it owes much to Gore, and might never have evolved without his efforts.  Why?  As perhaps the only highly visible legislator (D-TN) who was a proponent of networking, in 1991 he pushed Congress to pass a law known as “The High-Performance Computing Act”.  The “Gore Act” paved the way for a privatized, commercialized internet that could thrive and evolve outside of Government control, much as it exists today. See also, Information Superhighway, allegedly coined by Gore.  [The correct Gore quote from the 3/9/99 CNN interview by Wolf Blitzer as Gore was beginning his 2000 presidential campaign, in response to what he would bring to the table was:  Late Edition: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."]  Go to Internet to see who invented the Internet.  Also ICANN.

GPIB:  General Purpose Interface Bus.  Also, HP-IB (Hewlett Packard Instrument Bus) or IEEE-488.  A short range digital communications bus specification used primarily with automated test equipment, allowing up to 15 devices to share a single 8 bit parallel bus by daisy-chaining connections.  Invented in the late 1960s by HP, and later standardized into an IEEE (see Associations) standard. IEEE-488 uses a 24 pin Amphenol-designed micro ribbon connector:


GPL:  General Product License.  The most common software license used for free programs and operating systems (Like Linux).  A GPL guarantees users their right to download, install, modify, copy and otherwise use the software without fear of reprisal from its creators.  The original author of this license (in 1989) was Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (“FSF”) for the GNU Project.

GPS logoGPS:  Global Positioning System is a worldwide satellite navigational system formed by 24 satellites asynchronously orbiting the earth at about 12,000 miles above the surface.  Using any three satellites, GPS can calculate the longitude and latitude of the receiver; using a fourth GPS it can also determine altitude.  It makes its calculations by tracing the satellite signals, which travel at the speed of light, and determining how far away each satellite is from the receiver.  Developed by the Department of Defense around 1973, it was originally called NAVSTAR (Navigation System with Timing and Ranging) and it was used by U.S. submarines carrying Polaris nuclear missles to use a series of satellites to track the positions of its targets.  In 1983, President Reagan decreed that GPS would be open to the public.  In 2007, marketing research company Forward Concepts reported that 171 million units were shipped, and predicts that three times as many will be shipped in 2011.  And that’s not including computer users who use Mapquest or Google Earth or cell phone GPS.  Research by iSuppli shows that 79% of all cell phones shipped had GPS capability and that, combined with embedded GPS in notebooks and gaming devices, by 2014, virtually all PNDs will have GPS.  The growth is primarily attributable to the increase in smartphones (iPhone alone has over 6,000 location based apps) and social networking sites.  Of course, advertisers are thrilled with this knowledge, as they can pinpoint their advertising to available products and services at the user’s location.   And, by using the ID of  the radio transmitter inside each cell tower, police and the Government can use that info to approximate here a specific cell phone might be within that broadcast area (just like they do on those TV crime shows).  So, it’s a double-edge sword:  On the good side, it’s easier to find friends and family, drive, fish and get directions.  But it’s also hard to avoid those friends and family, drive if you’re lost and avoid Government surveillance and advertiser intrusion. [See also GIS, for uses of GPS.]  See also, Trilaterization, Radar.

GPT: Stands for GUID Partition Table, a Microsoft Windows disk partitioning system.  Windows only supports booting from a GPT disk on systems that contain Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot firmware.  When compared to MBR, GPT has the advantages of up to 128 primary partitions (vs. MBR’s 4) and a much larger partition size than the 2.2Tb MBR limit.  See also File System.  See MBR, UEFI.

GPU: Stands for Graphics Processing Unit, which is the complex chip that powers 3D graphics cards.

GRACEFUL DEGRADATION: The ability of a device  like a computer or a system like a network to maintain limited functionality even while parts of it have become inoperable.  This type of resiliency was originally conceived by DARPA  for what later became the Internet, as protection from viruses, denial of service and other attacks (see Spyware) and hardware failure.  The purpose is to allow hardware or a network to fail gradually, allowing repairs, rather than experiencing a catastrophic (or complete) failure.  See also fault tolerance, which refers instead to the immediate replacement of a failed component with a backup component or hardware.

GRANULAR/GRANULARITY: The degree to which something can be broken down into separate smaller components or details (i.e. “grains”).  The more grains, the finer the detail, the more granular it is - as in a yard broken down into inches is “more granular” than a yard broken down into feet.  Viewed at the “granular level,” it would be viewed in inches.

GRAPHENE vs. GRAPHEME. A single letter can make all the difference.  Kind of like that Discover “frog” vs. “fraud” protection commercial where the word sounds the same but it’s worlds apart.

GRAPHENE:  An ultra-thin, ultra-strong carbon-based material developed for use in various appliances, solar panels and the like. First isolated in a lab in about 2004, graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and 70 times more conductive than silicon, properties that may revolutionize fields like consumer electronics and health care.  Already in, since 2004. some 1,165 patent applications using graphene have been filed with the USPTO.  See Screens for more.  Samsung is developing the material as a thinner and lighter substitute for silicon and for uses in wearable technology, expected to be introduced as early as 2015.

GRAPHEME:   A particular typeface to a character or symbol.  It can be a letter, numeral, punctuation mark, symbol (e.g. a “dingbat”) and the like. See Glyph, above.

GRAPH SEARCH:  A feature introduced by Facebook in early 2013 which uses Facebook information from its 1 billion members to search for people, businesses, restaurants and the like based on members’ profiles.  For example: “people in Peoria who play Monopoly online” or “Indian restaurants in Rockville, Md frequented by Indian families” or “gynecologists used by my friends”.

GRAPHIC:  Images used with and sometimes created by computers, such as pictures, drawings, charts and graphs and other designs. The file extension after the name of the graphic denotes the type of file (e.g.: .png, .jpg) or program which created it (e.g.: .psd).

GRAY THURSDAY:  See Black Friday.

GRE:  Click HERE.

GREEN: Generally speaking, means it’s good for, or at least not harmful to, earth’s environment.  As applied to computers, this means using less power, generating less heat (saving air conditioning costs), conserving desktop and printer usage (less paper), obtaining greater network efficiency (less computers) and reducing disposal effects (hazardous or non-biodegradeable materials).  You should be aware that, as of 2010, 23 states and several individual cities have enacted electronic waste laws which dictate electronics disposal methods, controlling how manufacturers recycle and dispose of electronic waste, and also limiting how and where consumers may dispose of their electronics.  If you’re looking for an electronics recycler, look for an e-Stewards certified electronics recycler, which assures that it complies with all environmental mandates for electronics recycling.  See LAWS for more.

GREEN CODE: Old style code written in green letters on a black screen background, giving it that name.  Before multi-colored Windows coding apps.

GREEN GRID: A phrase referring to a variety of metrics to increase the overall efficiency of data center facilities, including power usage effectiveness (“PUE”) and water usage effectiveness (“WUE”). as well as other measures.

GREY GOO: See (The) Singularity.

GREYLISTING: The rejection of e-mails (“450 Temporarily Rejected” error), particularly with attachments, by an incoming e-mail server using a Mail Transfer Agent which scans incoming e-mails for spam.  The rejected message  must then be resent by the sending server, causing a delay to the intended recipient.

GREY LITERATURE: Written materials, including trade literature, that are not formally published or subject to editorial control or peer review, such as technical reports, conference proceedings and working papers.

GREYNET: Refers to the use applications installed on a corporate network without proper authorization.  Many corporate network users download and install apps for instant messaging, conferencing, RSS readers, file sharing and conference programs, causing bandwidth problems and security risks.

GRID COMPUTING: The application of several computers to solve a single problem at the same time.  Through the automated sharing and coordination of the collective processing power of many widely scattered computers, a problem can be solved with exponentially greater speed than with a single computer.  See also, cluster, distributed and parallel computing.

Andy GroveGROVE, ANDY: (1936-2016) INTEL’s CEO and founder.

GROOVE FOLDER SYNCHRONIZATION: This is a confusing term that started appearing when you right-click on the Win XP and later desktops. It was actually added by Office 2007 and it used to synchronize workspace folders across multiple PCs and even the Internet.  As other cloud applications became more popular, this one didn’t really take off.

Groupon logoGROUPON: An Internet startup launched in 2009 by Andrew Mason, which rocketed to fame in 2011 by offering consumers daily discount coupons over their GPS enabled smart phones based on businesses who signed up with the company (for a split of the profits) to fill slow or empty time slots or move slow items for sale.  Other sites followed:  LivingSocial, Scoutmob and others.  But, by 2012, as a result of spam, overkill and deal fatigue, profits slipped on all of these sites and their existence may be in jeopardy soon if they don’t modify their market models.  In 2014, Groupon introduced Snap, an app that gives customers cash back on certain items.

GPO: See Windows Group Policy Objects.

GROUPWARE: Software which allows several usually remote parties to collaborate about a project over the Internet.

GRUB: A boot loader program used for a wide range of architectures, notably LINUX. It’s a shell program which starts up the operating system.

GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications, one of the leading digital cellular systems, using narrowband TDMA (“Time Division Multiple Access”, a/k/a/ “multiplexing”) which allows eight simultaneous calls on the same radio frequency using timed digital data packets to reduce interference.  First introduced in 1991, by the end of the nineties, it became the de facto standard in Europe and Asia, available in over 100 countries.  CDMA is still the predominant standard in the U.S.  See also, CDMA, HSDPA, UMTS.

GUIBO DISK:  This used to be a euphemism for “b.s.”  It came from a TV commercial for Midas where the wife is on the telephone with her husband, telling him that the mechanic says that the “Guibo disk” needs replacement, implying that there is no such part.  In actuality, there was later a Guibo disk on many cars (e.g. Cadillac, BMW);  It is the driveshaft front flex disk, which is between the trans output and the drive shaft.  Maybe it was named after the commercial, who knows?  But computers definitely do not have a “guibo” disk.

GUI: (Pronounced “gooey”.) Means “Graphic User Interface”.  This is a fancy way of saying that a computer uses graphics (pictures instead of text) to communicate with the computer.  When you click on an icon of a printer to print, that’s “GUI”!  GUI was originally developed by Douglas Engelbart (the inventor of the computer mouse) at the Stanford Research Institute around 1970.  It was expanded in the 1980s by Xerox PARC for use with the Xerox 8010 Star Information System, but in 1984 Apple, IBM and Microsoft took GUI and ran with it to develop the Common User Access specifications that formed the basis for today’s MAC and Windows systems.  Early versions of GUI were sometimes referred to as WIMP, an acronym for “window, icon, menu, pointer”.

GUID: Stands for Global Unique Identifier. A combination string of numbers and letters assigned by Microsoft to provide a unique identity for everything from files (such as MS Word documents), interfaces, replica sets, records and other objects. They generally look like bracketed designations, such as the following system folder designations:

{20D04FEO-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}  MY COMPUTER

{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2DY-08002B30309D}  MY NETWORK PLACES

{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E}  NETWORK CONNECTIONS

{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}  PRINTERS AND FAXES

{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}   RECYCLE BIN

{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}  SCHEDULED TASKS

FAQ:  If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.





























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