Dictionary of terms

Confused about some of the high-tech words thrown around at MSNBC's Tech Summit 2004? Some are defined, below.

Blog -- A web log, or a frequently updated journal available  on the Internet.

Bluetooth -- Bluetooth is the wireless technology developed by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a trade association comprised of leaders in the telecommunications, computing, automotive, industrial automation and network industries. Bluetooth technology conforms to low cost short-range wireless specification for connecting mobile devices and bringing them to market. The Bluetooth SIG includes Agere, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, and thousands of Associate and Adopter member companies.

DVR -- Digital video recorders save TV programs onto hard drives, instead of tape. TiVo is the most well-known manufacturer, but DVRs can also be built into other devices.”

Flash Memory -- Used for easy and fast information storage in devices such as digital cameras and video game consoles.

HDTV -- High definition television

Megapixels - Unit of measure indicating resolution of digital images

MP3-- A type of compressed audio file. MP3 can compress a song by a factor of 10 or 12 and still retain something close to CD quality.

Plasma vs. LCD -- Both are flat-screen TV technologies. Plasma panels work by running an electrical charge through a mixture of inert gases in a series of vertical channels. The charge causes the gases to emit invisible ultraviolet light, which strikes phosphors that give off visible colored light. (This is similar to the process that occurs inside a fluorescent bulb.) It is difficult to make very high-resolution plasma TVs, which is why most have fairly modest resolutions—well suited for NTSC and DVD images. LCDs rely on liquid crystal material that acts like tiny shutters to block or transmit light. Currently, each pixel consists of three subpixels, red, green, and blue; the displays need one or more transistors at every subpixel location, which adds up to millions of transistors per display. Click here to read more on the difference from PCMag.

PDA --  Personal Digital Assistant. A fully functional handheld computer that often organizes e-mail and calendars, plays music, or connects to the Internet.

Wearables -- "Wearables" allow for hand-free uses of devices, and are gadgets that are integrated into clothing. They're highly intelligent about you and your surroundings, and will be able to communicate with your other personal devices.

WiFi -- Shorthand way of referring to 802.11b, the most popular worldwide standard for setting up wireless local area networks in offices, homes, and public spaces. Wireless local area networks operate at up to 11 megabits per second and have a range of 100-1000 feet.”