Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Improved results paging

We've improved the way you can page through our search results.

In addition to the Next page and Previous page we had previously, you can now jump to any result page just by clicking on the page number. You can see the links for paging through results at the bottom of the table of acronyms/meanings.

Thanks to a number of users for suggesting this feature!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Louisville Technology Acronym Bee (LTAB)

Recently we were excited to learn of a very cool fund-raising event for the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), based in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Peak 10 Louisville Technology Acronym Bee (LTAB) is similar to the numerous successful corporate spelling bees held in communities around the nation every year. However, instead of spelling obscure words, adults participating in LTAB define obscure technology acronyms! The participants are made up of corporate teams and compete for a winning title, prizes, the LTAB Champion Trophy Cup and bragging rights. All of the proceeds will benefit Louisville’s own nationally recognized National Center for Family Literacy.

The Third Annual Peak 10 LTAB was held on October 20th at Louisville Slugger Field. More than 200 peole attended the event that raised more than $15,000 for the National Center for Family Literacy. For the third year in a row, Appriss Inc. won the competition against a field of 21 corporate teams. Click here for a photo.

We're very interested in becoming a sponsor for this event in 2006. Watch this space!

Another new spam-related acronym: Splog

There's a new variation of spam appearing, called splog. Splogs are blogs created purely to promote a product or website, in other words, spam.

I noticed this the very first time I used Google's relatively new Blog Search. I got hundreds of hits from "blogs" that were nothing more than scraped content published in a blog. This will be a very serious problem for blog application providers, blog publishers and blog search engines. Google's own free Blogger/BlogSpot has become a haven for spammers who use blogs for spamming purposes. Google's Blogger API made it possible for spammers to recently create 13,000 splogs, creating huge problems for blogosphere search engines and users alike.

Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal about splog: 'Splogs' Roil Web, and Some Blame Google

Here's another recent article from eWEEK: Blog Spammers Take Aim at Google

The other spam-related problem with regard to blogs is the link spam or comment spam; visitors (or bots) leaving spam comments or links on legitimate blogs.

The term is described in more detail at Wikipedia

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Seen a UFO lately?

OK, who hasn't heard of UFO meaning Unidentified Flying Object? We just added a new definition for UFO today. In this case UFO stands for United Flying Octogenarians.

UFO is a national organization of pilots in their eighties. The organization was started in California in 1982 with 16 charter members, who, unfortunately are no longer with us. The group currently has almost 500 members all over the US, but also has members in Canada and several other countries. There is also a growing number of women in the group. The oldest actively flying member will turn 100 in December 2005!

UFO is now informally run by retired Air Force member Herbert Sloane in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Sloane estimates that the total number of flying hours of all members of UFO is probably over 500,000 hours. Now that's what I call experience!

UFO has a brand new website, but as I write this, it doesn't have any content yet. You can visit United Flying Octogenarians at http://www.unitedflyingoctogenarians.org/

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New Feature: Single definition links

We've added a useful new feature to Acronym Finder's search result page. Next to each acronym or abbreviation's meaning, you'll see a small link image/symbol. If you click on that image, you'll be taken to a new page showing only that single definition in a simple, uncluttered format.

What's this for? If you're writing an article, message, or forum post and want to link to Acronym Finder's definition for an acronym in your text, you can use this page/URL to show only the specific definition (rather than showing all the results). This allows you to unambiguously define a term.

Once you're on this page, you can also search for that definition in Google. And we've provided a one-click feature to make a TinyURL(tm) so you can easily provide the link to someone else. And of course, you can see other Acronym Finder definitions for the acronym on the page or you can do a new search.

Also, you will automatically be sent to the single definition page if we have only one definition for an acronym.

Here's a TinyURL demonstrating what this new feature looks like. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2005

New Contributor Hall of Fame member: Paul Monlezun

Congratulations to new Contributor Hall of Fame member Paul Monlezun!

Paul hails from Ottawa, Canada and works as a Public Affairs/Government Relations Consultant.

Paul has contributed an enormous number of Canadian government, associations, labour unions, political, industry groups, etc. and has a very sharp eye for finding errors to correct in our database.

Our Hall of Fame is a very small and exclusive group, but their combined contributions account for a very large percentage of our database.

Thanks Paul and keep up the great work!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Acronym Finder in the News

Recently, Acronym Finder has been mentioned in some cool places.

We made The Daily home pages A-List Best of the Web for Wednesday, October 5, 2005 (archived here). Thanks to Terry Patterson for pointing this out.

Stan Horzepa (WA1LOU), at the National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL) wrote an article "Surfin': Got AAIs (Abbreviations, Acronym and Initialims)?"

Finally, Acronym Finder was a USA Today Hotsite on September 9th, 2005.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

TWAIN: when an acronym isn't an acronym...

If you've ever used a scanner with your computer you've probably heard of TWAIN. TWAIN is an image capture API (Application Programming Interface) for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems.

Most people assume that TWAIN is just another technology acronym, but according to the TWAIN Working Group's FAQ, TWAIN isn't an acronym:

Question: What is TWAIN an acronym for?

Answer: An image capture API for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. The standard was first released in 1992, and is currently ratified at version 1.9 as of January 2000. TWAIN is typically used as an interface between image processing software and a scanner or digital camera.

The word TWAIN is from Kipling's "The Ballad of East and West" - "...and never the twain shall meet...", reflecting the difficulty, at the time, of connecting scanners and personal computers. It was up-cased to TWAIN to make it more distinctive. This led people to believe it was an acronym, and then to a contest to come up with an expansion. None were selected, but the entry "Technology Without An Interesting Name" continues to haunt the standard."

You'll find TWAIN defined on Acronym Finder with an annotation that it's not an acronym. You can read more about TWAIN, at the TWAIN Working Group's website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

At last there is HOPE

We've just added a new definition for HOPE to the Acronym Finder database: HUMMER Owners Prepared for Emergencies.

The HOPE program is a partnership/agreement between the national HUMMER Club, Inc. and the American Red Cross. Qualified Hummer owners can get a certification as Red Cross volunteers who can be deployed by the local chapters of Red Cross to drive supplies and Red Cross personnel into disaster areas where other vehicles might not be able to reach.

Read more about it at HOPE's website. And here is an American Red Cross press release on the HOPE program.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Tom Manning breaks 15,000

Congratulations to one of our Hall of Fame contributors, Tom Manning, who has just passed the 15,000 submission mark!
Tom has been contributing to the site regularly since 2002 and has contributed an average of over a dozen new acronyms and abbreviations each day! When he started contributing, we had "only" about 228,000 definitions in the database. We have almost 429,000 today, which means that since he started, Tom has contributed about 7.5% of all user submissions! Amazing.

Not only has Tom submitted new acronyms, but his eagle eye has spotted hundreds of errors in the existing database.

Acronym Finder is a much better resource because of users like Tom. Keep up the fantastic work!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Folding At Home (FAH)

Among other things, FAH stands for "Folding At Home." Folding At Home is Stanford University's distributed computing project to study and understand protein folding, protein aggregation, and related diseases.

Users download and install a client program which runs on their computer when it's idle. When the program finishes a small "work unit" the results are returned to the FAH servers. So far, almost 500,000 users have donated processing time for almost 1.4 million CPUs, far more computing power than the largest supercomputer.

If your computer sits idle a lot, you should consider running FAH, as this is a huge benefit to scientific understanding which will certainly lead to cures for major diseases.

You can get more information about FAH and protein folding here: http://folding.stanford.edu/

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Michael Katz breaks 25,000 contributions!

Michael Katz, a Hall of Fame contributor, has just recently surpassed 25,000 contributions to the site! We have several very dedicated contributors, but Michael is currently #1.

Michael is from Canada and has only been contributing regularly to the site since early 2003 (when we had "only" 262,000 definitions). That's an average of about 25 submissions per day! This means that since he started, he's contributed about 15% of new acronyms and abbreviations. Wow!

And Michael has also told us about several hundred errors and duplications in the database.

Michael, thanks for all your hard work! Your efforts have made Acronym Finder so much better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jules' Undersea Lodge (JUL)

JUL stands for the Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida.

It has been featured on "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous", in "Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue", in countless magazines and newspapers, and on every major television network in the world.

For the first time in history an authentic underwater research habitat is open to the average person--sport divers and even those who have never before dived. And although Jules' still functions as a research lab, you will be pleased to know that it has air-conditioning, hot showers, stereo music, VCR's, a fully stocked galley, and unlimited diving for certified divers!

Visit Innerspace and experience what was once only a dream of science fiction writers: living within the sea! In fact, Jules' Undersea Lodge is named after Jules Verne, and our goal is to be sure that Mr. Verne would be proud.

Read more about it here.


Welcome to the Acronym Blog, hosted by Mike Molloy, the publisher of Acronym Finder.

This blog will supply you with the latest information and news about Acronym Finder and its family of related websites: Military Words and Acronym Attic.

We will regularly publish articles about Interesting Acronyms, new site features, our contributors and other things of interest to new and regular site users.