Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Acronym Finder knows postal codes!

Acronym Finder just became a lot smarter. We've added official US Postal Service ZIP codes (over 70,000) and official Canadian postal codes (over 800,000) to our database. To search postal codes, you don't have to do anything special -- just type them into the Acronym Finder search box and you'll get a result for any valid postal code in the United States or Canada.

You can search for any US ZIP code and get back information about the City, State, County, telephone area code, and time zone (including UTC offset), and whether that ZIP code observes daylight saving time (DST). For Canadian postal codes, we tell you the City, Province, area code, time zone and DST info. In addition, the result page shows you a scrollable/zoomable map with options for Satellite or Hybrid views, courtesy of Google Maps.

To see this in action, click on one of these example links: United States 20500 or Canada K1P 1J1

Please let us know if you have any feedback about this new feature, including other things you'd like to see on the postal code result page.
P.S. If we counted our new postal codes as abbreviations the way some of our competitors do, we just added over 870,000 new records to our 520,000+ human-edited database of acronyms and abbreviations. When you add the other 3 million or so definitions in our Acronym Attic, we have almost 4.5 million "definitions" in our database. Anyone can claim to be the largest acronym and abbreviation database in the world. We really are.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Add Acronym Finder search to Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)

One of the many new features of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7.0 is a convenient search box in the upper right of your browser window. This search box allows you to do web searches or other kinds of searches, and can contain a number of different search providers.

You can now install Acronym Finder as one of your search providers. All you have to do is click here to install it! (Note: you must be running IE7 to install this.)

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

AcronymFinder.com Sponsors Peak 10 Louisville Technology Acronym Bee

Annual competition to benefit the National Center for Family Literacy October 26
Estes Park, Colorado September 6, 2006 – Mountain Data Systems LLC, the publisher of Acronym Finder (www.acronymfinder.com) has logged on as a general sponsor of the Peak 10 Louisville Technology Acronym Bee (LTAB), an annual fund-raising event for the nationally recognized National Center for Family Literacy set for October 26.

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 will define obscure technology acronyms. Participants form corporate teams to compete for the title, prizes, the LTAB Champion Trophy Cup and bragging rights. All of the proceeds will benefit the National Center for Family Literacy, recognized internationally as the leader in family literacy.

The event is organized by Peak 10, the Southeast's leading data center operator and managed services provider. It will be held October 26 at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

“We’re really pleased to be working with Peak 10 to help raise money for the National Center for Family Literacy. We feel that literacy is so fundamental to success in life and in technology. The Acronym Bee is a really fun concept, and it’s such a great fit with what we do,” said Mike Molloy, founder and developer of AcronymFinder.com.

More than 30 million adults in adults in the U.S. lack the skills to complete a job application, vote, use the Internet, or read a bedtime story to a child, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy.

“The support NCFL receives from this entertaining event enhances our ability to meet the educational and economic needs of at-risk children and families across the nation,” said NCFL founder and president Sharon Darling.

Shannon McIntyre-Alward, Director of Marketing at Peak 10, says, “We are pleased to coordinate LTAB, which since its inception, has raised nearly $50,000 for NCFL. We are thrilled to bring together so many people in the technology community for such a worthy cause. “

For more information, visit: 2006 Peak 10 Louisville Technology Acronym Bee

About AcronymFinder.com:

The privately held AcronymFinder.com is the largest and most authoritative acronym and abbreviation reference website. Users from a wide variety of disciplines visit this free resource to look up acronyms from every imaginable subject area. Each month AcronymFinder.com receives over 1 million unique visitors from over 180 countries and answers more than 3 million acronym and abbreviation queries.

About Peak 10:

Peak 10 is the leading independent data center operator and managed services provider in the eastern United States, delivering scalable, economical and reliable solutions for hosting and managing complex information technology infrastructure. The company combines its eight data centers and portfolio of managed services with localized engineering and support to serve market-leading companies including Rivals.com, Global Knowledge, Pergo, Churchill Downs, LendingTree and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Peak 10 owns and operates world class facilities in Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla; and Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C. The company was recently ranked as one of the fastest growing private companies in America by Inc. magazine. For more information on data center solutions from Peak 10, visit www.peak10.com.

About the National Center for Family Literacy:

The National Center for Family Literacy, the worldwide leader in family literacy, was founded in Louisville in 1989. NCFL has impacted 1 million families and trained 150,000 teachers, practitioners and advocates. To learn more or to donate to this effort, call 1-877-FAMLIT1 or visit www.famlit.org.

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Copyright ©2006, Mountain Data Systems, LLC

Press Contacts

Mike Molloy

Shannon McIntyre-Alward
Peak 10, Inc.

Marvin Young
National Center for Family Literacy
502-584-1133 x173

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Unfortunate Acronyms in the News

We're always amazed (and often amused) at how often an unfortunate acronym is developed to refer to a concept or organization.

Last month, the US organization National Association of Local Government Auditors (NALGA), based in Lexington, Kentucky, decided to change its name to Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA). Why the change? Well, "nalga" in Spanish means "butt" or "rump" which made the organization the butt (pun intended) of too many jokes and pranks. If this wasn't bad enough, the organization only owned the .org version of the NALGA domain name. Someone else owns the .com version of the site, and it has nothing to do with government auditors! You can read more at ALGA's new website, http://www.governmentauditors.org/

In another recent acronym incident, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is trying to revoke the vanity plate owned by 74 year old Pat Niple. For the last 10 years, her plate read "NWTF" which referred to her business, Northwood Tree Farm. The Ohio BMV is apparently saying she can't use NWTF because it could be Internet/chat slang for "Now What the F***"! Never mind that NWTF also refers to "National Wild Turkey Federation" and has over a dozen other perfectly legitimate meanings. There is an BMV appeal process, so it will be interesting to see if she wins.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

AcronymFinder.com now has over 500,000 acronyms and abbreviations

Mountain Data Systems, LLC, publisher of Acronym Finder, the world’s most respected acronym and abbreviation reference resource, announced that its dictionary has grown to more than half a million human-edited definitions.

Estes Park, Colorado July 24, 2006 – The editors at Acronym Finder (www.acronymfinder.com), just added their 500,000th human-edited definition to the database.

Mike Molloy, founder and developer of AcronymFinder.com, said, “We are thrilled to reach this milestone in our site’s content. Since we’ve been on the web, our database has grown by over 1000%, making it the fastest growing dictionary of its kind. We verify, edit and add about 250 new terms every day, and our visitors suggest most of these new definitions. There’s no way we could create and maintain such a large dictionary without the help of people from all over the world working in every imaginable discipline.”

The half-million definitions in Acronym Finder are searchable by acronym or abbreviation, or by words contained in a meaning. Users can also sort and filter results on several major categories. The site offers free tools to improve convenience and usability for novice and power users alike. Users can also read the Acronym Finder blog for the latest news on the site and its features, and can interact with other site users in a forum.

Molloy believes Acronym Finder’s continued growth and success is not only about how many definitions there are -- it’s also about a quality user experience. “We listen carefully to suggestions and feedback from our users and we continue to work hard to be the world’s largest and best resource for acronyms and abbreviations.”

About AcronymFinder.com:

Launched with about 43,000 definitions, the privately held AcronymFinder.com quickly became the largest and most authoritative acronym and abbreviation reference website. Users from a wide variety of disciplines visit this free resource to look up acronyms from every imaginable subject area. Each month AcronymFinder.com receives over 1 million unique visitors from over 180 countries and answers more than 3 million acronym and abbreviation queries.

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Copyright © 2006, Mountain Data Systems, LLC

Press Contact
Mike Molloy

Saturday, April 1, 2006

April is National Poetry Month (NPM)

Each year in April, the Academy of American Poets (AAP) sponsors National Poetry Month (NPM), our featured abbreviation.

The AAP's FAQ about NPM explains:

"What is National Poetry Month? National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets as a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The concept was to increase the attention paid-by individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines. In the end, we hoped to achieve an increase in the visibility, presence, and accessibility of poetry in our culture. National Poetry Month has been successful beyond all anticipation and has grown over the years into the largest literary celebration in the world."
As I surfed the AAP's website, I was surprised that even a poetry organization has so many of its own acronyms: AAP, NPM, APLP, POTD

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Add Acronym Finder to your Google Personalized Home Page

Image of Google Home Page module of Acronym FinderIf you use Google's Personalized Home Page, you may want to add our new content module (shown at right) to your home page.

This content module provides a form to submit a search query to Acronym Finder, and a link to our home page.

To use Google's Personalized Home Page you must be signed in to your Google Account (free). If you don't have a Google Account, click here.

To add the Acronym Finder content module to your Google Personalized Home Page, click here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

What's your Preference?

You can now set several Acronym Finder search defaults using our new preferences page.

If you have cookies enabled in your browser, you can use the preferences page to set several search defaults:

  • Default sort order (rank or alphabetical). If you prefer to show Acronym Finder search result sorted alphabetically instead of by rank/popularity, use this preference.
  • Number of results per page. Use this preference to set the number of search results per page. The default is 20, but you can set it to as few as 5 results per page, or as many as 25 per page.
  • Default category tab. This setting allows you to choose a different default category (filter) for your searches. For example, if you almost always search only acronyms from Science and Medicine, you can use this preference to make that your default category tab/filter. If you set another category tab as the default, you can still switch to the show all tab.
  • In only one result, use direct link page. Use this setting if you prefer to see a more streamlined result page when there is only one result for your search.

Since setting your preferences requires cookies, this means that if you want to use preferences, you'll need to do so for each computer or each browser you use.

Be sure to let us know if experience any problems with preferences or there are other preferences you would like to see.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Google Toolbar custom button for Acronym Finder

Google has released a beta version of their newest toolbar (only available for Internet Explorer for now). The new toolbar has many new features and supports Custom Buttons.

We've created a Google Toolbar Button for Acronym Finder. Click here to install it. You must have Internet Explorer to use this beta Toolbar. If you don't have the latest Google Toolbar, clicking the install link above will allow you to download and install it and then installation of the Acronym Finder Custom Button will continue.

In our Custom Button, we've also included a drop-down of feeds from the What's New section of this blog. Click the downward-pointing black triangle to the right of the button to see the latest Acronym Finder news.

Using the button. There are several ways to use this custom button to search:
  • Type an acronym or abbreviation to search for in the toolbar's search box, then press the Acronym Finder button.
  • Highlight/select an acronym on any web page and then press the Acronym Finder button.
  • Use the dropdown at the left of the toolbar search box and select the Acronym Finder search, then type an acronym or abbreviation into the box and press Enter
Create other buttons. If you have the latest version of this toolbar installed, you can create a custom button or search button for almost any site, by right-clicking the search box on that site, clicking on "Generate Custom Search..." and then follow the directions. This feature allows you to create a custom Google Toolbar button to integrate the search of almost any site into your own installation of the toolbar. Google has a Toolbar Gallery of other buttons you can install. There's also information available to help you learn to create your own buttons.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (FTIR)

FTIR is one of those science abbreviations that doesn't really convey what it's about, but it turns out to be very interesting. FTIR stands for Frustrated Total Internal Reflection and it's a touch-sensing technique used in biometric applications like fingerprint image acquisition.

In this case, we learned that FTIR technology is being used to develop multi-touch interaction with a graphical display system. Touch-screen systems we've seen pretty much only allow you to point and tap with a single finger or stylus to do something. But multi-touch interaction allows the user to use more than one finger at a time so that a user could use several fingers on one hand or even multiple fingers using both hands!

Jefferson Han, at the Media Research Laboratory in New York University's Department of Computer Science has a page which illustrates the FTIR technique and another page with demo images and video of FTIR displays and applications in action. Very cool stuff.

This reminds me of some of the user interface concepts we saw in the 2002 movie Minority Report. I wonder how long it will take for this technology to reach consumers. I'm ready now!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

New Acronym Finder search features!

Happy New Year everyone! We've just rolled out several new and improved search features for Acronym Finder.

One change you'll see to an acronym search result is a new column called "Rank". Rank is our measure of the relative "commonness", "popularity" or "relevance" of the meaning of an acronym. You'll see that the results are sorted by decreasing rank, which means the most commonly used meanings will be listed first. You can re-sort the list with an alphabetical sort if you like and you'll still be able to see each meaning's rank.

Rank is available in normal acronym searches, and "word in meaning" (reverse lookup) searches.

Though we've had a good bit of our database categorized for awhile, we didn't have very effective ways of using these categories to filter the results. The table of search results now has tabs at the top showing the categories and how many definitions we have in each category. The default search shows all definitions. Click on the text in a category to show only the definitions from that category using the default rank order, as above.

The ranking of terms also applies within each Category filter. The category tabs also work in both acronym and word in meaning searches.

We think these new search features will dramatically improve your ability to quickly find what you're looking for at Acronym Finder. Try a few searches to see how to combine the ranking and filters.

Please let us know if there are improvements we can make to these search features or if you have any ideas about new features to improve the usefulness of Acronym Finder.