A technique for tracking a user online that involves drawing a hidden element on the browser canvas to create a token that uniquely identifies the users’ computer.
—canvas fingerprint n.
First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting
, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.
—Julia Angwin, “Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block
, July 21, 2014
A small building or structure that has been added to an existing, larger building, particularly when the styles of the two structures are noticeably different. Also: parasite, parasite structure, parasite office.
Small-scale densification: Alternatives such as tiny laneway houses and ‘parasite’ buildings
are popping up in lieu of big-box condos.
—Tamsin McMahon, “The (literal) rise of the anti-condo
(Canada), July 9, 2014
A person who is excessively preoccupied by their dog’s health, or who tends to imagine ailments that the dog does not actually have. [dog + hypochondriac]
Sooo... basically the vets say they can‘t see anything wrong with him, so maybe I’m just being a dogochondriac
, but they do tend to miss things unless they are very obvious.
—Rayemond, “Is wheezing/ loud breathing/ snoring when at rest normal?; Or could it be a sign of heart problems?
,” Dog Rescue World
, January 30, 2013
The attempt to make something that is traditionally masculine more interesting or appealing to women by associating it with stereotypically feminine traits or ideas. Also: pink-ification.
Yet, examples of tech’s pinkification
In February, at a Harvard event designed to get women interested in computer science, sponsor Goldman Sachs handed out cosmetic mirrors and nail files.
—Kristen V. Brown, “How not to attract women to coding: Make tech pink,” The San Francisco Chronicle (California), July 6, 2014
College-bound students who renege on their commitment to a particular school, especially during the time between high school graduation and the start of classes.
Education researchers and academic counselors call it “summer melt
,” the precarious time when some college-bound students fall through the cracks, at risk of abandoning their higher education plans entirely. Studies show that first-generation college students and those from low-income families are particularly vulnerable.
—Alan Scher Zagier, “Grads’ college plans often melt in summer
,” The Commercial Appeal
(Memphis, Tennessee), July 14, 2014
A trivial or disappointingly small amount of money. Also: couch cushion change.
His Department of Environment and Natural Resources has repeatedly thwarted efforts by environmental groups to hold Duke Energy responsible for its malfeasance in several such spills. For example, the DENR “punished” Duke for the Asheville-Riverbend spillage by fining it all of $99,111, or as some environmentalists have called the fine, “couch-cushion change
—“C. Mosby Miller: Legislators ignoring spillage
,” The News & Observer
(Raleigh, North Carolina), February 21, 2014
A middle-aged man who is a devotee of cycling or some other sport that requires or encourages the wearing of Lycra. [Acronym: middle-aged man in Lycra]
These “middle-aged men in lycra” or MAMILs
, as the tribe has unflatteringly been dubbed, will be out in force this weekend as the Tour de France begins in the northern English country of Yorkshire, many of them wearing day-glo outfits and tight shorts.
—“Britain’s ‘MAMILs’ switch Ferraris for expensive bikes
,” Agence France-Presse
, July 4, 2014
An invitation to a prom, particularly one that is elaborate, unusual, or performed in a public place. Also: prom-posal. [prom + proposal]
Making a memorable promposal
has prompted group serenades, Jumbotron questions, public address requests, flash mobs, airplane banners, cheesy public poetry, and tons of flowers, chocolates, and other gifts, including cupcakes with the question spelled out in icing
—Bella English, “With ‘promposals,’ excess is a competition
,” The Boston Globe
, May 17, 2014
A person who performs tasks sooner than they need to be done, particularly as a way of delaying a bigger or more stressful task. Also: pre-crastinator.
don’t put things off until the last minute (well, actually, in other moods, we do that, too, but never mind). Instead, we do things sooner than they really need to be done, even if it costs us more time and energy that way, simply for the feeling of having them over with.
—Oliver Burkeman, “This column will change your life: precrastination
,” The Guardian
, July 5, 2014
Browsing products and engaging with brands without the intention of purchasing anything. [faux + consumerism]
The rise of fauxsumerism
was revealed in a recent study of 1,300 14-to-34-year olds in the US. These millenials [sic], born between 1980 and 2000 are browsers rather than buyers. The report found they create wishlists, both to engage with brands and for fun, with no intention of actually buying. Sometimes they don’t have the money to make the purchase but save the item anyway. There is even the suggestion that these fauxsumers
get the same kick out of saving an item as they would if they had bought it.
—Shailey Minocha, “Fauxsumerism: Cyber Window Shopping Is a Millennial Habit
, June 5, 2014
A form of soft rock music with a smooth, melodious sound, often with nautically themed lyrics.
—yacht rocker n.
These readers are wrong. Chance the Rapper, of course, did not cover the song by Christopher Cross, king of yacht rock
—Robinson Meyer, “Here Come the ’90s Kids: Chance the Rapper Covers the Arthur Song
,” Atlantic Online
, May 30, 2014
An increase or decrease in the demand for a wine or wine varietal mentioned in the movie “Sideways.”
The film adaptation of Rex Pickett’s book “Sideways” bumped the sales of pinot noir by 16 percent, according to ACNielsen research. It had a similar effect — in the opposite direction — on merlot, which Pickett’s character Miles disparages in the film.
Those statistical changes are collectively known as the “Sideways effect.”
—Pat Muir, “10 Days Out: April 11, 2013,” Yakima Herald, April 11, 2013