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12 technology terms to avoid at all costs

Phrases that make you look old

In technology, phrases become obsolete very quickly. You could end up looking old and obsolete yourself, if you're not in the know when it comes to new terms. To help you out, we've put together the 12 words that should definitely not be using in technology today.

6. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

Coined by former Apple CEO John Sculley back in 1992 when he unveiled the Apple Newton, the term 'personal digital assistant' referred to a handheld computer.

PDA was still in use in 1996, when the Palm Pilot was the hottest handheld in the corporate. Today, the preferred generic term for a handheld like a BlackBerry or an iPhone is a 'smartphone'.

7. Internet telephony

You need to purge the term 'internet telephony' from your vocabulary and switch to VoIP, for Voice over IP. Even the term VoIP is getting old-fashioned because eventually all telephone calls will be routed over the internet rather than the Public Switched Telephone Network.

It's probably time to stop referring to the PSTN, too, because it is headed for the history books as all voice, data and video traffic is carried on the internet.

8. Weblog

A blog is a shortened version of 'weblog', a term that emerged in the late 1990s to describe commentary that an individual publishes online. It spawned many words still in use such as 'blogger' and 'blogosphere'.

Nowadays, few people have time to blog so they are 'microblogging' which is another word that's heading out the door as people turn Twitter into a generic term for blasting out 140-character observations or opinions.

9. Thin client

You have to give Larry Ellison credit for seeing many of the flaws in the client/server computing architecture and for popularising the term 'thin client' to refer to Oracle's alternative terminal-like approach.

In 1993, Ellison was touting thin clients as a way for large organisations to improve network security and manageability. Although thin clients never replaced PCs, the concept is similar to 'virtual desktops"' that are gaining popularity today as a way of supporting mobile workers.

10. RBOC

In the US in 1984, the government forced AT&T to split up into seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) also known as Baby Bells. Customers bought local service from RBOCs and long-distance service from carriers such as AT&T.

Telecom industry mergers over the last 15 years have formed integrated local- and long-distance carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Qwest. This makes the term RBOC obsolete.

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  1. Phrases that make you look old
  2. PDA's and internet telephony
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