Shock revelation as ordinary punters found not to understand tech acronyms
The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association’s eponymous 1990 PCMCIA card standard used to jokingly be decoded as People Can’t Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms.
Nearly a quarter of a century later that jape has been proven anew, after an online coupons outfit called Vouchercloud let The Los Angeles Times publish the “results” of a “study” of “2,392 men and women 18 years of age or older” who were asked to decode some more recent technology terms.
The headline finding is that 11 per cent thought “HTML” is a sexually transmitted disease.
Other jaw-droppers for Reg-reading digerati include:
• Gigabyte being identified as “an insect commonly found in South America” by 27 per cent of respondents
• 42 per cent saying motherboards are “the deck of a cruise ship”
• MP3 is thought to be a cousin of R2D2, after 23 per cent thought the audio file format is a “Star Wars” robot
• USB was thought to be shorthand for a European country by 12 per cent of respondents
Blu-Ray was held to be a marine animal by 18 per cent of respondents, while software was defined as comfortable clothes by 15 per cent.
The Reg has asked Vouchercloud to provide a detailed version of the study so we can understand its methodology. We’re keen, for example, to know if sexually-transmitted disease was offered as a multiple choice response or spontaneously volunteered by respondents. At the time of writing we’ve had no reply.
What can we learn from this study? The Reg has distilled three insights:
• Civilians who don’t need to know about technology will, when presented with plausible-sounding descriptions for acronyms, get stuff amusingly wrong;
• There’s a fair chance there will be a character called MP3 in a future Star Wars film;
• Those PCMCIA people were amazingly prescient.
A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.
The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.
To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.
In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”
Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. …
Our gun laws are perfect just the way they are.
If the name TransCanada is familiar to you, it may be because they are the corporation behind the as yet unapproved KeystoneXL Pipeline. But the technology is safer than ever, they keep telling us! Yaright. From ThinkProgress.org:
A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.
“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
…in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.
Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.
Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website…
…a Wall Street Journal analysis released this week found that people discover pipeline spills far more often than the leak-detection technology touted by companies. Based on PHMSA data for 251 pipeline incidents over four years, the WSJ found that nearby residents or company employees were nearly three times as likely to detect a pipeline leak. Leak-detection software, special alarms and 24/7 control room monitoring, on the other hand, discovered leaks just 19.5 percent of the time. …
Those of you whose weather’s even more evil/freaky, you have all my empathy.
Hi guy’s this is Eternal-Violet-Void’s girlfriend, We decided to post this here since she has many more followers than I do. PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST THIS. This girl has been messaging us both non-stop and saying the most hateful things. I don’t know what to say to make her stop so I was hoping to in-list some help from all of you. Thank you guys!
SIGNAL BOOST THIS
Time to expose! Reblog !!!
Urge to punch rising…
You’re evil, lindsey shepper. Enjoy your karma.
Silver Dapple Gypsy Vanner. They seriously have some of the most interesting colors in this breed.
FLOOFY FETLOCKS. AND A SEXY SUIT.
I just wanna apologize
for my whole species, for all the crap we’ve collectively caused, esp extinctions.
Just saw an artistic post involving a Rhino.
we did it
I’m so proud of my city! : /
In the days since the government shut down, House Republicans have slowly but steadily been coming forward to say they’re ready to pass a bill to fund the government with no strings attached.
So far, at least 28 Republicans have said they’re on board — exceeding the 217 votes needed to pass a “clean” funding bill if all 200 House Democrats joined them and voted in favor. Of course, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would have to be willing to put such a bill on the floor in the first place. But if he did, the votes appear to be there for passage, at which point the bill would sail through the Senate and be signed by President Barack Obama, ending the shutdown.
HuffPost has been keeping a running tally of which Republicans have said they’re done trying to force through provisions to delay or defund Obamacare in order to keep the government running. That list is below.
But as of Tuesday, Oct. 8, we’re adding another category: Republicans in that group who have since changed their minds and say they will no longer support a bill that simply reopens the government without extra provisions. Four Republicans have flip-flopped as of Oct. 8, which means the total number of GOP members who publicly support a clean continuing resolution is back down to 24. …