Web

Merriam-Webster lists ‘sheeple’ as a word, cites Apple fanatics as examples

apple a11 production iphone x concept le pich 2
Le Pich/Instagram
Merriam-Webster understands that its dictionary is a living document, subject to the verbal fashions and colloquialisms of succeeding generations. And as a sign of the times, the respected language source has added the word “sheeple” (a word that our word processor still doesn’t recognize) to the official list of Webster-ordained words. What are sheeple, you ask? Well, as Merriam-Webster would have you believe, they’re Apple fanatics. See? Like we said — a sign of the times.

Let us explain further.

In a recent tweet, the dictionary announced the addition of “sheeple” to its word bank, an informal word defined as “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced” and thereby “likened to sheep.” Now, as dictionaries are wont to do, Merriam-Webster provided some context for the word, placing it in a sentence.

The first one is innocuous enough, reading, “James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock.”

But then, Merriam-Webster takes its gloves off and sharpens its claws (or at least, selects a user-submitted sentence that is quite vicious). “Apple’s debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone — an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for,” a portion of the definition reads. And if you’re interested, this example was submitted by one Doug Criss.

According to Merriam-Webster, which has been cataloging the English language since 1843,  the first use of the word “sheeple” took place in 1945. That was a solid decade before Steve Jobs was even born, and certainly well before any Apple products came about (and elicited great fandom from sheeple everywhere).

So beware, Apple fanatics. You may find yourself the butt of a dictionary joke, but hey, you’ve got your fancy tech products to make you feel better.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Business

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.