If your non-IT-literate line manager asked exactly what you got up to on that day you 'worked' from home, there's an easy way to cover your tracks.
You can feel safe in the knowledge that when you explain you spent the morning configuring the PVR while keeping an eye on IM, then spent the whole afternoon bypassing the DRM on a P2P download, your boss won't have the foggiest idea that the only thing you succeeded in doing was skiving off work. And what's more, he'd probably be too bamboozled by your response to probe further. Thank goodness for the age of the TLA (three-letter acronym).
However, although handy for the computer-literate skivers among us, this is proving quite a barrier to getting more people involved in IT. Neilsen/Netratings said yesterday that 50 percent of the Brits it surveyed couldn't keep up with these terms, and the constant introduction of new technologies – such as podcasting, video on demand and vlogging – means people are becoming overloaded. And those that took part in Neilsen/Netrating’s research were not the great unwashed – they already use the internet and own popular gadgets such as the iPod.
We need to do more to make technology more accessible. Right from advertisements in newspapers through to the staff in computer retail outlets and the handy technophile next door, technology jargon needs a good clean-up.
Hopefully, PC Advisor does a good job of keeping you up to date with TLAs and spills the beans on the otherwise off-putting buzzwords – we include Jargon Busters throughout the print version of the mag. For the record, PVR stands for personal video recorder, IM for instant messaging, DRM is digital rights management and P2P is the increasingly common acronym for peer-to-peer.
Most technologies aren't scary at all, once you explain them properly. Just don't tell your boss.