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The strange, thorny and sometimes sleazy origins of 11 tech terms you use every day

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Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

This may be what you imagine when you think of online trolls, but the slang word for internet miscreants has far fishier origins. Seth Rosenblatt/CNET Can you tell an emoji from an emoticon? Foobar from FOMO? A flamewar from a firewall? If these tech terms make perfect sense to you, congratulations — you’re no longer a digital noob. But do you know why we call online instigators trolls? (Spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with Three Billy Goats Gruff.) Or which came first, blogs or the word blog? You may speak fluent tech jargon, but I bet you don’t know what Wi-Fi stands for.Even if you think you know your memes, the story behind much of the lingo we use every day might surprise you. Like how Princess Leia owes her onscreen life to a Redditor with a celebrity fetish, or how a lazy fishing technique got mixed up with Norwegian folktales in the bowels of Usenet.Before you dish out another helping of nerd-word salad, take a look at the surprisingly weird, wonderfully layered and occasionally wanton origins of these 11 tech terms that get tossed around every day.Carrie Fisher reprises her role as General Leia in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, despite having been dead for nearly three years, thanks in part to deepfake technology. Disney/Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET Deepfake: A sordid origin storyWhat it is: Deepfake combines “deep learning” (an algorithm) with “fake,” and refers to convincingly realistic video forgeries. The technology can be used for good, like when filmmakers brought Carrie Fisher back to life as Princess Leia in Rogue One and The Rise of Skywalker, or not so good, as was originally intended (see below).Where it comes from: Porn. Specifically, a Reddit user with the handle “deepfakes” who created and posted fake celebrity porn videos on the anonymous social network in 2017. Since then, Reddit has banned “involuntary pornography,” and places like California and Virginia have made it illegal.FOMO: When envy becomes anxietyWhat it means: FOMO is an acronym for “fear of missing out” and describes the anxiety that arises over your social choices, such as when friends are posting photos of one party while you’re at another (or worse, at home alone).Anxiety arising from the fear of missing out, or FOMO, is an especially common feeling people get from social media networks like Instagram and Facebook. Angela Lang/CNET Where it comes from: A 2004 op-ed in Harvard Business School’s The Harbus used FOMO to describe the tendency of freshmen students to exhaust themselves by trying to attend every campus event.Noob: A slur for newbiesWhat it is: Noob is a condescending term for a beginner gamer or technological neophyte, aka a newbie. Alternative spellings include newb and n00b (with zeros).Where it came from: The term newbie can be traced as far back as the 1850s, meaning “someone new at something,” but it wasn’t until around 2000 that the shortened, pejorative form noob came into common use among online gamers. Some people claim Wi-Fi stands for “wireless fidelity,” but when you think about it, what does that even mean? Josh Miller/CNET There’s no ‘why’ in Wi-FiWhat it is: Consumer-grade Wi-Fi was released in 1997 and refers to a wireless network that connects devices such as computers, phones, tablets, TVs and smart home gadgets to the internet and each other. Wi-Fi can
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Kami launches battery-powered outdoor security camera for $90

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