The sharing economy: Part 2

by Colin McIntosh​

P2PIn my previous post we looked at some aspects of the sharing economy, made possible by Web 2.0 technology. This time we’ll look at new words connected with the sharing of data and content between users who are not trying to sell anything – or at least don’t appear to be. This type of sharing is sometimes called P2P, or peer-to-peer, although strictly speaking P2P involves a specific type of relationship between computers on a network, ​rather than using a ​central ​server.

At a simple level, this involves pooling resources. For example, if two people live and work near each other, it makes sense for them to find each other through a car-sharing app so that they can save on fuel and effort at the same time as reducing traffic congestion. Continue reading “The sharing economy: Part 2”

The language of mobile phones

by Liz Walter
mobile_phone1According to a United Nations report, more people now have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet. Phones are an important tool for most of us, but the kind of everyday vocabulary we use to talk about them is rarely learned in an English class. So here are some of the most important words you need.

When you buy your phone (called a mobile phone in British English and a cell phone in American English), you will need to decide whether you want a contract that will give you a certain number of texts, calls, etc. per month, or whether you prefer a pay-as-you-go arrangement (where you pay for services as you use them). A contract often lets you upgrade your phone for a better one after a period of time.

Most people prefer to have a smartphone which gives you internet access (allows you to go on the internet). Nowadays, we use our phones as cameras, diaries, alarm clocks, satnavs, and many other things, and you can download apps for almost anything, from improving your English to (apparently) finding ghosts! Continue reading “The language of mobile phones”

The spread of textspeak into general language.

by Liz Walter

Critics of the UK prime minister were gloating recently when it emerged that he had ended a text to a prominent newspaper editor with LOL, believing it to mean ‘lots of love’. Here, they claimed, was one more example of how out of touch David Cameron is. LOL, as anyone with their finger on the pulse surely knows, stands for ‘laugh(ing) out loud’ and is used to indicate that something is amusing.

Were Mr Cameron’s children slightly older, he would almost certainly not have made the mistake. As the mother of teenagers, I am quite accustomed to my witticisms being met by a sarcastic version of this acronym. However, my offspring’s response comes not via text messages, but as a part of their everyday spoken vocabulary, and pronounced not as individual letters, but as a single word. Continue reading “The spread of textspeak into general language.”

Phishing for botherders: keeping up with modern crime

Image courtesy of Andrej Troha

by Liz Walter

Edward Gibbon described history as ‘little more than the register of crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind’.  If this is true, it is perhaps not surprising to note a clear link between changes in a society – its inventions, habits, culture and technology – and changes in the nature of crimes committed within it.

In recent years it has been technology above all that has provided huge opportunities for a range of new crimes.  Phishing  (the practice of masquerading as a reputable organisation, especially via email, in order to trick people out of personal data such as bank account details) has been so widely publicized that only the most naïve would now fall for it.  However, there are still many other internet crimes of varying degrees of sophistication. Continue reading “Phishing for botherders: keeping up with modern crime”