Feeds

HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Shock revelation as ordinary punters found not to understand tech acronyms

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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 inisghts:

  • 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.

®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.