Google launches dictionary to explain tech jargon

If you’re confused by terms surrounding cyber security attacks and digital tools, a new dictionary seeks to explain using simple language.

Communicators can now understand what technology specialists are saying.

An incubator project in Google’s parent company, Alphabet, aims to become the Urban Dictionary for tech jargon.

The project is called Sideways Dictionary, and it explains some of the technology field’s most complex concepts in layman’s terms.

One example is the definition for DDoS (which is shorthand for distributed denial of service) attack. The Guardian ran a definition of last fall, and described it as an attack “in which a network of computers infected with special malware, known as a ‘botnet,’ are coordinated into bombarding a server with traffic until it collapses under the strain.”

Compare The Guardian’s explanation to Sideways’ definition:

A DDoS attack is like someone anonymously placing a press ad including your phone number and offering an Aston Martin for sale at $200. You’re bombarded by calls, your life is misery, the callers aren’t aware you’re part of a trick, and your attacker is almost impossible to trace.

It’s much easier to understand, especially for those who don’t work in IT and other technology fields.

The Sideways team further explained their approach in a video:

Alphabet’s Jigsaw incubator team created Sideways in partnership with The Washington Post.

Users can submit their own analogies to explain certain tech terms, and a voting mechanism is designed to move the most popular answers to the top.

Ragan readers, what terms would you like to see added?

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