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Patent troll, flame war, and more tech lingo you need to know

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It finally feels like spring in New York City with today’s high in the 70s, so using warmth as inspiration, we’re gonna discuss some tech jargons that arise in heated situations. From electrical currents to verbal heat, we’ll go through the words that make up part of today’s Web culture.


The acronym for electroencephalography, EEG refers to the recording of electrical currents from a test subject’s head. EEG are calculated with sensors strapped around the subject’s scalp, measuring the changes in current between the neurons of the brain. Many brainwave-reading gadgets, like the Necomimi Cat Ears or Muse headband, are becoming more popular than ever, so it’s important to know that the magic lies in the EEG sensors to measure your brainwave activity. 

“The Muse headband features four EEG sensors and two ear conductors to get the most accurate read without feeling too invasive.”

Patent troll

One who enforces its patents against other companies only when it’s opportunistic to do so. Patent trolls usually appear out of nowhere and attempt to get large companies in trouble for monetizing on an idea that a person may have tried to patent a while ago but could never execute it as well as those companies could. Alternatively, patents could also be purchased by a company with no intention of developing the tech, only to file lawsuits against others seemingly violating said patents. These lawsuits are generally aggressive, suing for a large deal of money for something the company never actively pursued.

“It’s four months into 2013 and Lodys has already filed dozens of lawsuits? What a patent troll.”

Flame War

A battle, fight, or heated argument between two or more parties online. The fight usually starts from a singular topic, but ends up in the parties personally insulting each other for the last word. Flame wars are easy to start thanks to the Internet’s anonymity and plenty of GIFs or memes to hurt each other with in a hilarious (but also painful) battle. 

“I was late for work today because this idiot commenter started a flame war with me on my post about 3D-printed guns. Next thing I knew, he was photoshopping my face onto Honey Boo Boo!”


A Greek word for self, when an object, news story, person, or basically any noun refers to itself, we consider it pretty meta on the Web. 

Gawker is live-blogging Gizmodo during its live blog event? That’s so meta.”

Image Credit: Flickr/matisse_enzer

Natt Garun
Former Digital Trends Contributor
An avid gadgets and Internet culture enthusiast, Natt Garun spends her days bringing you the funniest, coolest, and strangest…
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