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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.

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HAAC: Hardware As A Currency.  An exchange currency, used often by transnational workers and others, where people pay for luxury goods by exchanging items like Louis Vuitton or Gucci handbags (bought in Paris by Asians to pay for their trip back home), or iPhones (costing more, say in Mexico, than elsewhere).  Back in the early 1990s, when Levis cost less in the U.S. than they sold for in Eastern Europe, they were similarly exchanged.   Because of the exchange rates, purchasing the commodity in one country may make it worth considerably more when exchanged in another.

HACK:  (noun) As related to computers, this noun means to write a small program, batch file or the like to provide an easier solution to a software problem.  Sometimes it’s called a “kludge,” which is the name for a short term fix that may be replaced as soon as a better alternative method is found. (Often it’s not.  See, e.g. the BGP “three napkin protocol,” discussed on the Internet page of this site.) There is a series of books, published by program (e.g. “Excel Hacks” by O’Reilly), that deal with these “quick and dirty solutions to problems or clever ways of doing things” that are quite popular because they save time exploring these solutions, which are very often undocumented in the software manuals.  Also a favorite phrase of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame, meaning “to achieve a goal in an unconventional way”.

HACKER:  See also, CRACKER. (verb)  A programmer who devises a “hack,” which is a clever solution to a programming problem.  This programmer is usually an expert at a particular programming language.  Sometimes the term hacker is applied to a devious or even malicious programmer that uses their software skills to break into computer systems of others for personal or political gain. These “black hat” hackers should be distinguished from “white hat” hackers who use pen tests and other procedures to check the vulnerabilities of servers and systems and protect them before they can be hacked by the black hats. Click HERE for the Hacker Hall of Fame.  See also modder for someone who engages in hardware modification.  Click on Raspberry pi for the difference.

HACKTIVIST:  An unauthorized person or a group that hacks or breaks into a computer system for a politically or socially motivated purpose.  Hactivists may or may not carry out disruptive actions on the system such as denial of service attacks; often they will simply leave messages on a web page bringing attention to a political or social cause or point of view. It may or may not be a crime.

HALO: A high speed, real-time high resolution and outstanding audio video conferencing system offered by HP as an alternative to road warrior travel.  Similar to Cisco TelePresence, these systems are state-of-the art and can cost up to $300,000, but can save large companies many times that in travel costs.  (Also, the name for an Xbox combat game.)

Hadoop logoHADOOP: See Quants for more discussion.  Uses the open source Hadoop Distributed File System (“HDFS”) to manipulate big data, that Excel aHadoop toynd other more traditional enterprise programs like Oracle and SAP just couldn’t handle. Named after creator Doug Cutting’s son’s toy elephant (at right), it’s been used for diverse analytics:  By way of example - Monsanto relies on Hadoop to analyze and predict weather patterns, the Indian government uses it to store data for some 500 million citizens for its national identity registry.  It’s biometric database, the world’s largest, can handle as many as 4 million logins per minute.  And in the criminal realm, cities like the Detroit Crime Commission collect and analyze social media posts of suspected criminals, yielding at least two criminal organizations that had previously gone undetected.  TruCar, the on-line car buying service, says they’ve saved millions switching to big data.  And companies like Patterns & Predictions (working with DARPA) have developed software to identify military personnel at risk of committing suicide.  Thousands of banks going through millions of transactions each day to detect abnormalities and possibly stolen credit cards based on account holders’ spending patterns.  Although Hadoop founder Doug Cutting (see Quants) created Hadoop as open source, there are now several providers in the Hadoop Market like Cloudera (where Cutting now works), Hortonworks and MapIt in what has evolved in a $50 billion industry.  Also, it has now expanded to include a whole system of technologies, almost all of which are beyond the scope of this simple definition.  Some work better with structured vs. unstructured data, some are better for short jobs and others for multiple jobs, some streaming apps run quickly and are easy to debug and others don’t require streaming, some require a hard disk to hold all the data making streaming a bad choice, some have lower latency and better memory management than others, etc.  Hadoop engines revolve around either Hadoop HDFS YARN methodology (“browser”) vs. streaming technologies like Spark.  There are others: MapReduce on HDFS, Spark, Storm, Tex and Flink have also taken over the field of big data analysis, more each month.

HALT AND CATCH FIRE (“HCF”): Frankly, until a 2014 TV show came along with this name, I never heard of this.  It refers to a situation where several computer machine code instructions can cause a computer’s CPU to cease operating.  The “cease” is correct, but the “catch fire” doesn’t actually happen.  It reminds me of the case in a Denial of Service internet attack where the server becomes overloaded by requests and ceases operation.

HAPTIC FEEDBACK (A/K/A/ HAPTICS):  A new media that deals with the sense of touch.  By using the sense of touch in a user interface, it is possible to use a mouse or keyboard without actually viewing the keyboard. In cellphones, for example, vibration sensations take the place of a ring tone.  In a PDA or Blackberry, vibrations or noises can make the user aware that a representation of a physical button has been pressed.  The resistive force that some “force feedback” joysticks provide is another form of haptic feedback.  Newer haptics currently being developed are that use a process called “controlled static cling” to simulate the up-and-down pressing of a keyboard key (Pacinian), a process called “artificial muscle” where current causes electrodes to expand and contract, useful in gaming consoles (Bayer MaterialScience), a special coating which changes the attractive forces between human skin and a screen, simulating vibrations, clicks and textures (Senseg), and even “morphing screens” in which keyboards and game control knobs literally grow out of a screen, as needed, then fade away (Tactus Technology).  Look for these features to come out on computers and cell phones the next few years.  See also, Virtual Reality.

HARD DRIVE: See HDD, below.

HARDENED:  Made more secure, either by software and/or hardware.

HARDWARE ACCELERATION:  The use of computer hardware to perform some function (usually video) faster than would be possible using the operating system.  Most OSs have a video setting with a sliding scale to optimize the balance between hardware and software acceleration.

HARVESTING:  “Collecting,” as in harvesting non-public computer and internet data for big data analysis of consumer spending patterns, terrorist profiling, etc.

HASH/HASHING: (1) The transformation of a string of characters into a usually shorter fixed length value or key (an integer - say 02 to represent “Joe Kelly”) still representing the usual string. (2) Hashing is often used to index and retrieve items in a database (creating a “hash table”) because it is faster to find the item using the shorter key.  (3) It’s also often used in encryption.  Sometimes encryption also uses a “salt” which is a random bit of information to complicate so-called dictionary attacks attempting to decipher passwords. (4) Finally, the hash symbol (“#”) is placed before Twitter tweets and on FaceBook to indicate that one is following a topic.  This is known as a “hash tag” (see below).  BUT NOTE:  The type of hashing in #2 above can work against you.  Using the technique “file hashing against a blacklist,” Dropbox has disclosed that it creates a hash for all uploaded files and, if requested, compares those hashes to DCMA notifications of hashes for pirated music or movie files, resulting in their being pulled and possible prosecution.  Dropbox isn’t in copyright trouble because it’s not viewing your files, only releasing the hashes. (Try zipping it first...)

HASH TAG (#): Created by Chris Messina at Twitter on August 23, 2007 as the direct result of a widespread desire in the early Twitter community to provide some means for groups to organize themselves.  He decided that, rather than use external web connections like Flickr and others, due to the nature of Twitter low-broadband SMS usage, he would embed the group token inside the tweet itself.  Any user could then create a new group by simply tweeting with a word, and he chose the hash symbol (sometimes called an octothorpe or pound symbol)  to append because it was a convention already established in IRC channels and on Jaiku.  So any user could join a group conversation simply by appending a given hashtag to their tweets and they could also be abandoned just as easily.  Messina later said that he never imagined that hashtags would catch on as they did, instead anticipating that Twitter would use machine learning to group tweets. 

HASWELL: A chip offered from Intel.  One of its primary features is that it can go into very low power states, e.g. it would require only 0.05A from the PSU, quite useful in laptops.  If you are purchasing a power supply for use with this chip, you would expect to see a “Haswell Certified” designation.

Stephen HawkingHAWKING, STEPHEN: Born in 1942, an iconic lecturer and author, famous for his published theories about the big bang (singularity), open universe and top-downA Brief History of Time cosmology and black hole theories of creation and the universe.  He also published “A Brief History of Time” in 1988, which stayed on the British Sunday Times Best Seller List for 237 weeks and sold more than ten million copies.  In 1983, he theorized that the universe is a contained entity, but still has no boundaries, by combining the concepts of quantum mechanics (the study of the behavior of microscopic particles) and general relativity (Einstein’s theories about gravity and how mass curves space).  The British theoretical physicist has had a progressive motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which has almost paralyzed him, causing him to communicate through a speech generating device.  He has also weighed in on AI issues.  But he wasn’t a great student, even though he was always interested in how stuff worked.  His personal life and accomplishments were explored in the 2014 film “The Theory of Everything”. See also, Quantum Computing.

HAWKINS, JEFF: See Tablet.

HAYES: See Modem.

HCE: See NFC.

HDCP: High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection.   A protection scheme designed to eliminate the possibility of data being intercepted between a computer’s video card and its display (screen).  More than a security feature, it’s designed to prevent HDCP protected content from being played or recorded on unauthorized devices.  For example, many Blu-ray movies used HDCP so you can’t play a Blu-ray movie on a computer with a video card that doesn’t support HDCP.

HD: Generally, this means a resolution that is substantially higher than that of “standard” (or an earlier version) video or audio.  For example, HD video is video characterized by 1080 (vs. 720) lines of vertical resolution as well as progressive scan (rather than interlaced) capability.  See also, Ultra HD, Screens.

HD Voice: HD audio applied to cell phones.  It provides substantially better compression (so it streams faster), noise cancellation, and a wider range of audio frequencies (7 octaves vs. the old 4; humans can hear about 10 octaves). In 2011, the LTE (a/k/a/ 4G) networks were supposed to provide HD Voice, but the time and expense prevented it.  Still, the newer phones like some T-Mobile ones, the iPhone 5 and later, the Samsung Galaxy 3 and the HTC One have this capability. Unfortunately, both cell phones to a conversation must have this capability and it must also be built into the network software, and that will be a long time coming, although the GSMA (see Associations) considers it “standard” technology, at least in Europe.

HDD: Hard Disk Drive” - The device that holds all of the information on your computer, including the operating system (“OS” such as Windows).  Traditionally, the drive is comprised of a hard metal disk (“platter”) and an actuator arm that is magnetically maneuvered across the spinning disk in order to access the information stored on the drive.  The data is stored even when the hdd is off, unlike cache or RAM.  For a more extensive discussion about hard drives and their operation, click HERE.  Newer solid state drives (“SSDs”) have no moving parts.

HD DVD: Stands for High-Definition/Density Digital Versitile Disk.  A high density DVD designed by Toshiba in the 1990s for storing high definition video such as movies.  Toshiba abandoned this format in 2008, announcing that it would support Blu-ray technology and would no longer develop HD DVD players or drives.  So it’s a lot like the BetaMax losing the video wars to VHS tapes in the 80’s; but don’t despair, it’ll take quite some time to disappear - and Blue-ray players aren’t selling nearly as fast as the industry had hoped.  See also CDs, DVDs, etc

HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface.  A type of cable and connection specification that combines both video and audio into a single cable.  Becoming a standard connection on more recent TVs; Blu-Ray will only work with HDMI connections.  One of the leading manufacturers of HDMI is Monster Cable. Click HERE.  And click HERE for more about current video connections.

HDR: High Dynamic Range.  A method of taking striking photographs in which the photo is shot three times, at three different exposures (low, regular and high), and then stacked to create one image.  This creates a sharp image that looks closer to what the human eye sees, as the varying highlights and shadows are all accounted for.  Most HDR photos are taken with dSLR cameras or some smartphones and then edited in Photoshop.

HEADER:  A block of text at the beginning of a document, often the same on each page, just like a footer is a recurring block of text at the end of each page of a document.  Also, in e-mail, a block of text at the top of the mail which describes the sender, servers, hops, times and origination of the e-mail, among other technical information.

HEADPHONES: See cans.

HEADS UP DISPLAY: See HUD, below.

heartbleed logoHEARTBLEED EXPLOIT: Discovered in April, 2014, this was the worst bug of its type that the Internet had seen.  It exploited more than 60% of web servers running OpenSSL into revealing users’ credentials without their knowledge.  They thought that they were on secure servers, using “https//:” to access e-mail, banking and shopping sites and social media, but in actuality their information was being hacked, with no indication of the exploit.

HEAT SINK: A device, usually made of aluminum, and often with “fins”, that is used to dissipate the intense heat generated by various types of computer chips, power transistors and lasers.  Also sometimes called heat sink with fana “heat spreader”.  Usually it is affixed to the CPU chip with clips and thermal grease.  When included with a fan, called a HSF (“heatsink/fan combo”).  Where did the term “sink” come from?  Probably because it draws the heat, making the heat “sink” into it.  There are other ways of dispersing heat, like liquid (water), gas (freon, helium) and thermoelectric convection cooling (“TEC”) (see “Peltier” and “Seebeck,”  but all these are rarely used and, if so, usually on large mainframe type computers.  See also, Cooling.

HELLMAN TRADE-OFF: In cryptoanalysis, this is a probabilistic algorithm  invented by Martin Hellman comparing the time available for searching for the encryption key against memory or key solution space, by using a pre-computed table for block (later stream) ciphers. This type of lookup table was later refined into Rainbow Tables, commonly used to recover a  plaintext password generated by a hash function.

HELLO: A feature introduced on Mozilla Firefox Release 34 which is its Web RTC for real-time browser-based video and audio chat without the necessity of using a separate service.

HELLO WORLD:  A universal phrase used at the start of virtually all programming languages. Kernighan and Ritchie (“K&R”) started this first screen line with “C” in the 1960s and it’s stuck ever since.

HERTZFELD, ANDY:   A computer scientist born in 1953 Hertzfeldwho was a member of the original Apple development team between 1979 and 1984.  He wrote large portions of the Macintosh code and was responsible for much of the user interface and slick software design.  You’ll see his name throughout this glossary, whether talking about the Apple keyboard key or the graphic design for the Google+ wheels.

Amy HessHESS, AMY:  The FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of science and technology at the Operational Technology Division at Quantico, Virginia.  She heads the bureau’s arsenal of ultra high tech tools that recover encrypted hard drives, flash drives and crushed cell phones left by attackers or on battlefields, rapidly match DNA samples and other traditional and  non-traditional electronic surveillance analyzing the massive digital data in hacking and cyberspying cases.  The division was in charge of investigation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting rampage in San Bernardino, CA for example. 

HEURISTIC:  Basically, anti-spyware programs’ ability to respond to unknown attacks, since it’s becoming more difficult to detect based solely on signatures and much malware is self-morphing.  Heuristics are behavioral-based, using trial-and-error and experimentation to rapidly come to an optimal solution.  A term applied to methods of solving problems on the basis of extrapolating from solutions to previous similar problems, a sort of “educational” process.  For example, heuristic anti-spyware programs may locate and remove new spyware on the basis of examining patterns for previous spyware code, learning from its past experience.  The problem with this is that a lot of legitimate programs can look like malware, leading to too many “false positives”.

HEWLETT-PACKARD: One of the world’s largest information technologies headquartered in Palo Alto, CA,  See also  HP.

HEX KEY or HEX CODE: The “hex” stands for “hexadecimal” or base-16 numbers that use digits in the range of “0123456789ABCDEF”. So, each successive digit or number can represent a multiple of a power of 16.  By comparison, computers normally use base-2 (binary) systems and many humans (Americans, anyway) use base-10 (think: money denominations). [See BASE-X for more.]  Anyway, that’s beside the point:  Most BSOD or fault screens on a computer provide, usually at the bottom, a hex code for the error(s) causing them (e.g. 0x000000f4).  A tech must then research the meaning of the hex code either through special listings or even Google to determine the cause of the failure and how it can be repaired (that’s the “key” part).  A hex key is also a number used for WEP encryption.

HFS: Heirarchal File System a/k/a “Mac OS Standard,” the Macintosh file system.  Later, Apple introduced Mac O/S Extended (“HFS+”) which supported unicode and increased file size from 2Gb to 16Tb.  Later versions added journaling,  and case-sensitive file names under the HSFX option.  See File System.

HID: Microsoft’s acronym for “Human Interface Device,” it’s term for peripherals such as keyboards and mice.  you’ll see this reference when a Windows computer is installing one of these devices.

HIERARCHY: See Taxonomy.

HIJACKING: See “jacking”.  Also, Spyware.

HITCHHIKE: See WI.

HMD: Head Mounted Display.  See, e.g.  HUD (below); Google Glass.

holberton, bettyHOLBERTON, BETTY: One of the six original programmers for the ENIAC (“Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), as well as assisting in the development of that computer’s control panel.  Worked with Grace Hopper in developing several programming languages.

HOLISTIC/HOLISM: Although often used in the medical context (treating the whole person as opposed to just a symptom), it’s also applicable to computer networks (e.g. security “modules” that work in conjunction with one another simultaneously so that things like bandwidth control, application identification, network translation and SSL can identify bottlenecks and security holes).

HOLLORITH: Herman Hollerith, an American statistician (1860-1929) whHollerith photoo developed punched cards as the means for storing and processing data, founder of the company which would become IBM.  Widely regarded as the “father of automatic computation.”  See “punch card” for more.

HOLOGRAM: A method of producing a three-dimensional image of an object by photographic projection. The theory was invented by Dennis Gabor in 1947 and made possible by the development of laser technology. The term is derived from the Greek words “halos” (whole) and “gamma” (message).  Unlike either 3-D or Virtual Reality, a hologram is a true three dimensional image, not a simulation of spatial depth or requiring any special viewing device.

HOLOLENS: An augmented reality type of headset device designed by Microsoft (click HERE for the Microsoft promotional video) that, when available in 2016 at about $3,000, will holographically superimpose information, data and images onto a view of the real world via a wireless hardware headset worn by a user.   The APIs are already included in Win 10.  See also, HUD.

honeypotHONEYPOTS:  a/k/a base station clones, evil twins - A computer that exists solely to be attacked by hackers and malware, attracting them like bees to honey, so that the source of the attack may be located and defended against.  See, Spyware.

HOP: The link between two network or Internet nodes or network devices.  Typically, an IP packet traveling from coast to coast via the Internet can “hop” through more than a dozen routers, some in other countries, it’s not a straight line.  An example of traceroute hops for an internet connection is shown below:

traceroute hops

Grace_Hopper_and_UNIVACHOPPER, GRACE: A mathematician as well as a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy who was instrumental in the development of the UNIVAC, world’s first commercial electronic computer, in 1960.  She also developed the first compiler for a computer programming language (COBOL) and is said to be known for popularizing the term “debugging,” because she discovered the very first computer bug.

HOPPER: A set top box introduced by Dish TV in 2012 which can simultaneously record up to six programs at once then play them back on any TV in a home network.  In dispute is a feature that allows viewers to also hop over advertising that interrupts shows that they had recorded.  We’ll see...

HORSEMANING: An interhorsemaningnet meme that mimicshorsemaning 2 beheading in photographs.  The origins are believed to be in the 1920s, when people would imitate the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

HOST: (1) Any computer that has a live connection with the Internet.  As such, all computers on the Internet are peers to one another, and can act as either servers or clients.  The Internet is nothing more than a global network of hosts communicating back and forth.  See also, subnet, gateway. All computers, or hosts, are equal on the Internet. See also, Internet, Peer to Peer. (2) A server computer, which runs software or stores data for access by the workstation computers connected to it.

HOTMAIL: A Microsoft e-mail application.  See Microsoft Hotmail.

HOTFIX: A Microsoft Windows fix for a specific issue, such as one caused by a Windows update and a specific item of software or hardware.  It cannot be downloaded but, rather, must be requested by e-mail directly from Microsoft, which will, in turn, e-mail the Hotfix by return e-mail.

HOSTS FILE: A file in Windows (also Linux and Mac O/Ss) which is used as an optional means to direct TCP/IP traffic under special circumstances.  The file is not used during normal network operation.  In Windows, the file is usually an editable Notepad file in the Windows>System32>drivers>etc folder.  It’s purpose is primarily to prevent access to unintended Web servers which might contain advertising or inappropriate content and also to set up private, easy-to-remember "shortcut" names for servers on a local network. So, for example, you might install Adobe Photoshop on your computer and the Windows Hosts file will contain the names of the Adobe update servers so that you will positively connect to them and not similarly named servers which may provide spam or intrusions instead of the intended updates.

HOTKEY: A key which, when pressed itself or in combination with other keys on a computer keyboard, is programmed to run a macro or a link which is a shortcut to a desired result.  For example, you can program the % key to always type “joe” each time it is pressed.

Hotspot symbolHOTSPOT: Refers to the invisible area surrounding a WiFi accessHot spot2 point.  Anyone entering the hotspot with a mobile device can access the Internet from within it.  Most hotspots have a device limitation of about 5 devices, like laptops, cellphones, cameras, etc.   Hotspots may be static (as in an office or home) or portable (various cell phones are self-contained hotspots) or you can purchase a separate little “box” (AT&T’s, shown at right) for this purpose.

hourglass iconHOURGLASS: The PC’s “waiting” icon, comparable to Apple’s spinning wheel icon.  Noone really knows who designed it, but it’s been around since the beginning of Windows.

HP: Refers to Hewlett-Packard, HPthe company that came to life in a garage in 1939 as a collaboration between William Hewlett and David Packard.  Consider:  This was about 20HP garage years before the arrival of silicon-based semiconductors.  The company started with calculators and later graduated to computers and printers, and is now one of the largest computer companies in the world. 

HP logoThe HP logo has an interesting story:  HP spun off a small company, Dynac, to specialize in digital equipment.  The name wasHP reverse logo selected so that the HP logo (at left) could be turned upside down to reverse reflect the DY of the new company (see right).  Eventually Dynac’s name was changed to Dymec, merged into HP in 1959.

HSDPA: High Speed Download Packet Access, a fast 3G broadband technology used by cell phones and PDAs.  See also, CDMA, GSM.

HTML/HTML5:  HyperText Markup Language”.  This is a computer language primarily used in developing websitesHypertext is a language that allows “linking” text; that is, when you click on highlighted (linked) text (usually blue) to take you somewhere else in the document or another document altogether.  The “markup” part of the definition refers to using markup tags to change the attributes (text size, bold, italics, placement, etc.) of text.  There have been numbered versions, the current version being HTML 4. Although it has been in development for about a decade, HTML 5 is not yet a full WWW Consortium (“W3C”) standard. That is projected for 2014.  It is, as of 2013, “feature complete”. HTML5 is actually a major innovation in web browsing, providing many of the same GUI interactions one gets from RIA (“Rich Internet Applications”) and desktops. For example, video is handled directly, rather than as a plug-in.  Basically, HTML5 technology is a whole new class of web applications that support multimedia content and offline capability without the need for proprietary plug-in technology like Adobe’s Flash or Microsoft SilverlightApple has refused to support Flash in its products (iPad, iPhone, etc.) and has instead opted to use HTML5. Netflix and YouTube have joined in supporting HTML5, as well.

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the protocol (language) used for transmitting data across the InternetHTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure) is the protocol for accessing a secure web server for tasks such as credit card processing, bank statements, etc.  Using HTTPS in the URL instead of HTTP automatically directs the message to a secure port number (rather than the default web port number 80), where the session is then managed by the secure SSL. You should always surf secure when using a Wi-Fi hot-spot, like an airport or cafe.  You know you’re secure when you see “https” in the Internet Exporer address bar; in Firefox, a secure connection will turn the address box green or gold); some browsers simply show a closed padlock.  Sometime in 2014, it is expected that HTTP 2.0, the second generation of the widely-used protocol, will be adopted and available.  New capabilities will include multiplexing, which will allow the sending of unlimited requests at the same time, speeding up the loading of web pages.  HTTP 2.0 will pretty much be the end of SPDY, a competing protocol, as it incorporates much of that standard..

HTTP STATUS CODE: When you can’t connect to an Internet web page, the server returns what’s known as a “http status code”.  For example, if you’re not authorized to view the page on that particular server, it’ll return a “401 - Not Authorized” code or, if the page isn’t where you specified, a “404 - Not Found” error code.  Click HERE for a complete list of the common HTTP Status Codes.

HUBS, SWITCHES AND ROUTERS: Click HERE.

HUD:  Heads-Up Display.  This is a general reference to any type of transparent display that displays data without makingGarmin HUD users look away from their ordinary field of vision.  Now being popularized by Google Glass, it has actually been used for years.  It was originally developed for military aviation, enabling pilots to view information about their jets without taking their attention from the controls, but it was originally a much more cumbersome apparatus.  [Some fighter jets also combine or use HMDs or helmet-mounted displays for the same purpose.] With the use of the Internet, it has become quite simple and is now ready for non-military applications.  Garmin, manufacturer of GPS devices for driving, annojaguar virtual windscreanunced that in the summer of 2013 that it will sell a $129.99 HUD for automobiles (above), although they believe that up to now “interest has been lukewarm”.  HUDs are also being incorporated into commercial uses for aircraft and manufacturing.  In fact, Jaguar announced in 2014 that it is developing a “virtual windscreen concept” (right) which will display high quality virtual imagery displaying hazard, speed and navigation icons as well as a “gesture control” system (through e-field sensing, based on capacitive discharge touch screens) so that drivers need never reach for a button again.  Also the high end BMW is sporting something similar.  And it’s been rumored that Apple has been testing a HUD for cars as well, although it may be some time, if ever, before it’s actually brought to market.  See augmented reality.

Huffington Post LogoHUFFINGTON POST:  a/k/a/ HuffPo.  Arianna Huffington photoAn American news aggegator and blog founded on 5/9/2005 by Greek-American Arianna Huffington (also Kenneth Lerer, Andrew Bretibart and Jonah Peretti) as a liberal antidote to the right wing news aggregator Drudge Report.  It was acquired on 2/7/11 for $315 million by AOL.  Over the years, HufPo has enlarged its operations to cover “verticals,” such as online commentary, video and “What’s Working,” a channel about solutions and inspirational news and its domestic editorial staff at about 350 now outnumbers most other U.S. newsrooms (as they, in turn, have continually downsized and used syndications instead).  In 2012, HuffPo won the Pulitzer Prize for a series on wounded veterans.  In August, 2016, at age 66, Arianna stepped down to manage her new venture, Thrive Global, providing content and training seminars on wellness.

hulu logoHULU:  If you didn’t get the 2008 Superbowl commercial with Alec Baldwin where he described Hulu as “an evil plot to destroy the world,” here’s what it’s all about:  Hulu.com is a website and OTT subscription service publicly launched in March, 2008 that offers streaming video of current TV shows and movies from networks and studios in Flash and other video formats with limited commercial interruptions over computers, tablets and smart phones.  It is, however, supported through displayed commercials.  It is joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox) and, later (in 2009), Disney.  What does it mean?  While there is no English translation for the word, according to CTO Eric Feng, the name Hulu comes from a Chinese proverb meaning “holder of precious things” (referring to video clips, I suppose); literally the calabash gourd, a Chinese container for beverages.  CEO Jason Kilar adds that it’s just short, easy to spell and remember, easy to pronounce, rhymes with itself and is just plain fun, capturing the spirit of the service.  With the Comcast acquisition of NBC in December, 2009, it remains to be seen whether Hulu and other sites like it (e.g. Joost) can sustain their business model, so far without profit, without charging for viewing, at least to viewers outside of their subscription.  2011 update:  Hulu introduces a paid version (Hulu plus), sans most advertising, with more videos and scheduling abilities, for a flat monthly fee of $7.99.  2016 Update:  Hulu joins the other streaming services like Netflix by abandoning the free streaming and requiring a subscription with Hulu or a partner service (like Yahoo View) in order to view programming.  It has also been announced that Hulu (also Netflix) is planning on launching a live TV service so that paying customers will gain access to programming in real time, vice waiting for more than a day to view online.

HUM:  A cloud service offered by Verizon starting in 2016 which uses hardware (a portable hub, including a Bluetooth speaker and built-in microphone, which clips to your car visor), an OBD (“on-board diagnostics”) reader plugged into the port on your 1996 and later car, and software accessible via your smart phone.  It allows for emergency service, GPS locator, etc. and even services to keep track of teens. Hardware & software charges apply.

HYPERTEXT:  Generally, text with links to other text.  When text which is highlighted is clicked on with a mouse, it links to other text.  For example, the links highlighted in blue in this website are hypertext links.

HYBRID DRIVES:  This is a hard disk drive which is a combination of a SSD (which is entirely electronic, like a flash drive) and a conventional IDE or SATA drive.  Seagate introduced such drives back in 2007, but the lack of operating system support (remember Vista ReadyDrive?) and necessity for special drivers pretty much doomed the idea.  But the idea was a good one:  By marrying a small amount of non-volatile flash memory to a standard hard disk, it was possible to improve system boot and application startup times because the most used data was stored on the faster flash part of the drive.  Seagate didn’t give up, and in 2010 introduced the Momentus XT drive, which doesn’t depend on operating system support, doesn’t drain power or overheat, is fast and is reasonably priced, especially when compared to the high priced SSDs.  Seagate uses what it calls “Adaptive Memory”, which puts the frequently accessed data on the faster solid-state memory. The 7200 rpm drives are available for laptops now.

HUMAN FACTORS ENGINEERING:   A branch of industrial psychology that combines experimentation, engineering and product design, which is concerned with easing the awkward, often ill-considered marriage between man and machine. In seeking to design and improve technology based on what its users are mentally capable of, the discipline is the cognitive counterpart of ergonomics. 
Human-factors studies are different from market research and other kinds of studies in that they observe people’s behavior and record it, systematically and without bias. The hallmark of human-factors studies is they involve the actual observation of people doing things. For an excellent example, see
John E. Karlin, who invented the telephone keypad, now used on many everyday devices such as  A.T.M.’s, gas pumps, door locks, vending machines and medical equipment.

HYPERLINK: One of the great inventions of the WWW, courtesy of Douglas Englebart, who was also the inventor of the computer mouse.  Hyperlinks on web pages allow a computer user to “jump” between web pages.  A hyperlink is highlighted text that changes your mouse pointer into a little hand when placed over the word or phrase, so that clicking on it “jumps” you to another page which references the highlighted text.  So if you are reading a web page and don’t understand a term, if it’s highlighted you can click on it to see what it means, then go back to the original text.  If the reference is to another topic, author or subject, clicking on the link will provide you with the explanatory information you are seeking, instantly.  Then you can go back to your reading.  It’s like having an entire library at your fingertips.  All of this seems pretty common today, but it was revolutionary when it was introduced!

HYPER:  A prefix applied to lots of computer and other words, meaning “super,” “faster” or “over the top”.  From the Greek word “over”.  So, “hypergrowth” is extreme growth, and “hyperspace” denotes extremely fast travel, beyond the speed of light.  In computers, as well, it means that the device is extremely fast, far faster than normal.

HYPERCONVERGENCE: See convergence.

HYPER-V:  Stands for hypervisor technology, sometimes called virtual machine monitor (“VMM”), which is software on which multiple computers can run on a host computer, with the so-called hypervisor layer controlling the hardware and allocating resources to each VM operating system.  Hyper-V is the virtualization platform that is included within Windows Server 2008.  Microsoft also recently released a stand-alone version, called Hyper-V Server 2008.  Hyper-V is a Type 1 or “native” hypervisor, meaning that it has direct access to the physical machine’s hardware.  This is to be distinguished from Type 2 or “hosted”  virtualization products that have to run on top of a host operating system (e.g. Windows Server 2003) and which doesn’t have direct access to the hardware.

H.323:  This is a standard which provides a foundation for audio, video and data communications across IP based networks, including the Internet.  An alternative protocol to SIP, commonly used for VoIP applications like Skype and Vonage.

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