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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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WHAT’RE ALL THESE X’s? DIRECT X, ACTIVE X, DivX, etc?  ACTIVE X is a set of technologies (program code) from Microsoft that enables a computer user to engage in interactive web content.  This is usually a good feature, but sometimes, because Internet Explorer can allow web pages to automatically install Active X controls without the user’s awareness, they can also be a significant security threat from malicious hackers.  DIRECT X is a set of predefined standard commands and functions that software developers use when creating programs, particularly the video and sound aspects of games so that they appear uniform on all computers. DivX is a video codec that is popular for downloading movies from the Internet.  Based on MPEG-4, DivX can compress a DVD movie to fit on a CD.  [See, www.DivX.com]  SMART-X is a data technology that purportedly increases the extraction speed of CD/DVD writers. X can also be used as a “wild card” (i.e., it can have any value, kind of like a blank square in the game Scrabble).  So WinX or x86 means any version of Windows (i.e. Win98, Win XP) or any version of an -86 (i.e. 286, 386, 486) chipset. 

Xamarin logoXAMARIN - A cross-platform application development acquired by Microsoft, made part of the .Net framework.  Not exactly free, but Microsoft offers it’s “Xamarin Studio” free to existing Visual Studio customers.  It provides users everything they need to run Xamarin apps on any O/S or  device.

XBOX: The second video game console produced by Microsoft (developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI & SiS), a portmanteau of Direct X and game box.  Initiated in 2001 to fill the void after the Atari Jaguar was discontinued in 1996, the current version, the Xbox 360 (2005) is part of the seventh generation of game consoles, xbox 360competing with Sony’s Playstation (“PS”) and Nintendo’s Wii.   The successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, was released on November 22, 2013.  The eighth generation box will compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U, and will feature integration with internet-based features, such as recording and streaming gameplay, Kinect based voice control and integration with set top boxes to watch cable or satellite based TV.  The integrated Xbox Live Service allows players to compete online and download content such as arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows and movies.

XBRL:  Extensible Business Reporting Language, the financial reporting version of XML (see below) which is useful because it lets standardized accounting data be tagged and retrieved more easily since documents can be searched for data without calling up the whole document.  New rules from the SEC will require large publicly held companies to adopt XBRL by December 15, 2008 for all financial documents they file with the agency.

XCOPY - Stands for “extended copy,” a DOS command even used in some versions of Windows, which allows you to copy a file or files, directory trees or even an entire drive, manually through a command line to another drive or across a network.  See DOS for more.

XCODE - An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) which is the heart of Apple development software, for the Mac as well as the iPhone operating systems.  It contains the Software Development Kit (“SDK”) as well as dozens of APIs.  When Apple dubs “kits” (like WatchKit, HealthKit or ResearchKit), they’re added to Xcode so that developers can create software for those features.

XENIX - A version of the Unix operating system, licensed by Microsoft from AT&T in the late 1970s. Microsoft wanted to license the name Unix but, because it was already taken, invented the name Xenix.  The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually superseded it with SCO UNIX (now known as SCO OpenServer). 

XEROX :  The company that invented plain paper copiers.  Chester Carlson,Xerox logo known as the inventor of xerography, was mostly responsible for the technology.  Synonymous with “copier”.  Did you know that, before it changed its name to Xerox, it was named the Haloid company? And that its PARC (“Palo Alto Research Center”) research center was, in the 1970s, the source of many of today’s computer and software innovations?  The modern Windows, mouse, icon, and pointer (WIMP) style of software interface was invented there. So was the laser printer and the local-area network; Smalltalk; and PARC's series of “D machines” anticipated the powerful personal computers of the 1980s by a decade.

Xfinity logoXFINITY : See Comcast.  Xfinity is the name for the re-branded triple play (TV, Internet, phone) services, starting in 2011.

XGA :  See, COLORS, VGAIntroduced in 1990 by IBM, this adapter offers 800 x 600 resolution in true color (16 million colors) and 1024 x 768 resolution in 65,536 colors. 

XKeyscore_logoXKEYSCORE: Abbrev: XKS. A program used by the NSA to search and analyze the data it collects daily over the Internet.  While it is powerful, the extent of its actual capabilities isn’t completely known, but it seems to allow almost unlimited surveillance of anyone anywhere in the world.  See also, NSA.

XML: Stands for Extensible Markup Language.  It is different from HTML, but is not a replacement for it.  Essentially, HTML was designed to display data and to focus on how data looks, while XML was designed to describe data and focus on what data is.  HTML is about displaying information, while XML is about describing information.

XP MODE: A Windows 7 feature that is a Windows XP machine running on a Windows 7 client.  See virtualization.

XSS: A type of attack using “cross-site scripting,” in which the exploit uses XSS holes allowing a malicious Web site that is open in one browser window to inject JavaScript into another site’s page that is also then opened in a separate window or tab.  See also, CRSS.  For more, read SPYWARE.

XVM VirtualBox :  A no-cost virtualization tool from Sun Microsystems that enables virtual machines to run on a variety of standard operating systems.  A major feature introduced in Version 3.0 (June 2009) is symmetric multiprocessing.

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