Technology jargon busters
| by Karan Shah
With technology moving ahead at a break neck speed, it’s only human to not be able to play catch up with the zillions of terms and abbreviations that are being thrown around these days. Here’s a quick guide on the most commonly used technology jargons and terminology from the past and the present.
1080p/720p - These are names of video resolutions available in HD. 1080p means the highest resolution available today to consumers. However, higher resolutions have already started trickling into the market. 1080p is made up of video consisting of 1080 lines to make up each frame, which is a high level of detail. 720p is a lower level of HD, and has 720 lines that make up a single video frame. Again, the ‘p’ stands for progressive. There is 1080i as well, that preserves channel bandwidth during transmission. The ‘i’ stands for interlaced.
3G – Third Generation mobile technology will allow users to get a better host of services and connectivity speeds from their service provider. That means download speeds on mobile devices will be faster as well as data and media streaming. 4G is now slowly coming into the spotlight, with better data speeds than 3G.
A-GPS – Assisted Global Positioning System allows for a quicker mode of gathering satellite information via the Internet. It also helps in getting a faster TTFF (time-to-first-fix) for mobile phones. GPS enabled handsets can get information without the use of A-GPS; however, it would take a little longer. In order to use A-GPS you would of course require a working internet service on your mobile handset via your service provider.
Key Lime Pie - Want some?
Android – Developed by Google and part of the Open Handset Alliance now, Android is not just an operating system but a software platform as well. It’s based on the Linux Kernel, which is quite synonymous with free or open source software. The first Android powered handset was HTC’s G1. Android has become extremely popular today, with devices powered by the OS providing stiff competition to Apple's devices. Here’s a small history of the various versions till date.
Donut - Version 1.6
Eclair - Version 2.0/2.1
FroYo - Shortened form of Frozen Yoghurt, Version 2.2
Gingerbread - Version 2.3
Honeycomb - Version 3.0, optimized for tablets
Ice Cream Sandwich – Version 4.0 – a cohesive platform for tablets and smartphones
Jelly Bean and Key Lime Pie will be the next iterations.
Aliasing - Ever wondered why diagonal lines appear jagged rather than straight or smooth in some images? This is because of aliasing, which happens due to the square nature of pixels - the minutest component that any picture is made of.
Aperture / f-stop - When you click a photograph, the lens opens to certain degree so that light can pass through it and onto the camera's sensors or film. The size of this opening is referred to as the 'Aperture', and it directly affects the photo's 'exposure' and depth of field.
Aperture Priority - Aperture Priority (also known as Aperture Value and denoted by Av on the camera), is a mode where the photographer selects an aperture value and the camera decides the shutter speed according to lighting conditions, so that you get optimal results. It's different from 'manual mode' which allows you to set both aperture and shutter speed settings.
Artifacts - In a camera, artifacts are unwanted aberrations caused by sensor, optics or internal image processing algorithms. The most common artifacts are blooming, maze artifacts, chromatic aberrations, moire, jaggies, JPEG compression, noise, and sharpening halos.
Aspect Ratio - This is simply the ratio of a picture's width to its height. There are 2 main aspect ratios namely 4:3 (Letter-box), and 16:9 (Widescreen). HD video is always in 16:9 or more intense ratios like 2.35:1 for movies. Philips has even launched a super-wide screen TV with an aspect ratio of 21:9.
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