Trivia Teaser

Which word means 'formlessness'?

Amorphism
Organism
Euphemism
Feudalism

Feral Words

15
Sep
2010
 

By Miranda

I love computers and what you can do with them. The amount of information you can reach, easily if it's well organised, is extraordinary. And the information is amazingly accessible given Internet access on your phone, laptop or other portable device. Navigation is simplified through strange places; finding a recipe for a new treatment of minced or ground beef (again!) or whatever search you're attempting.

A really well designed database is a joy - it allows lots of people to access information that must be tightly controlled, with 'live' updates of data so everyone has the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.

But only if they're online.

The downside is that, in order to keep your information perfect, the only way you can access it is in an electronic form.

Human nature being what it is however, people will print things out. But from the moment you hit 'Print', you can no longer guarantee that you've got the latest version. Indeed, you can be fairly sure that the moment something's printed, it's out-of date.

When I came across a phrase of warning, in a military context, to alert users of documents on your actual paper rather than on a screen, that what they're looking at might no longer be the authorised version, I had visions of the full might of the armed forces being deployed to subdue a rebellious text as it emerges from the laser or dot-matrix device.

Alas, it only means that, in the time taken to print the document, someone's changed a comma or, since it's the military, an acronym, should you find UNCONTROLLED WHEN PRINTED at the bottom of every page.


Miranda
 

1 Response to

Feral Words

avatar
September 15, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Depending on the internet source the information on the screen can also be well outdated or even wrong. It is a trap that just because it's there it's correct. I think every web page needs a published time and date so information is only valid as of that time.Of course that still does not protect the unwary user from information which is just plain wrong to start with. Maybe the footer can read OH NO(old hat, now old) followed by a date and time