Tip of the Week: Online Tool Explains Complex Tech Terms Without Being Techy

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Tip of the Week: Online Tool Explains Complex Tech Terms Without Being Techy


Without a background in technology, understanding technical jargon can be a daunting task. To help you out, The Washington Post and Alphabet have put together a free online tool called Sideways Dictionary. With Sideways, technical terms are explained using non-technical analogies.

It’s the aim of the project’s developers to educate the public about what these terms mean, with the idea being that the more people who grasp tech terms and cybersecurity, the better. Check out for yourself the official promotional video for Sideways.

You can access the dictionary here: https://sidewaysdictionary.com/

To give you an example of how helpful this resource can be, think about how you would explain a DDoS attack to someone who has little idea about how websites, servers, and bandwidth all work together, or how hackers can take advantage of the Internet of Things to do their bidding. The more technically informed you are, the harder it would be to explain these concepts to someone who is not on your level.

In situations like this, Sideways saves the day! Check out their definition of a DDoS attack: “It’s like a high school prank, where you post the details of your friend’s house party all over town, so instead of 20 people, 900 show up.” See, no technical background needed to understand this definition. 

In an effort to come up with the best analogies possible, Sideways allows users to submit definitions for the public to vote which ones they feel are the most helpful. Veterans of the Internet will right away see the potential here for trolls to hijack this tool for their own purposes, but Sideways has a team of editors in place to moderate the submissions and remove ones that are inaccurate.

To further assist PC users, Sideways has an extension for Chrome that you can download.

So, check out Sideways and let us know if you’ve found the analogies to be helpful. And remember, for further explanation of technical terms and help with troubleshooting your company’s technology issues, you can always give one of Resolve I.T.’s friendly IT technicians a call at (978) 993-8038.