Technology pulls many "new" words from other fields. there are a surprising number of terms we get from nature. I was looking through a book by Sue Thomas called Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace that has me thinking about terms we use in new ways in technology.

One example is the digital version of an ecosystem. The digital version of an ecosystem is like a tree with branching directories. A digital ecosystem grows out of a (perhaps buried) root folder

Another reworked term from nature is the online use of spider. A digital spider is a program that visits Web sites and reads their pages and other information in order to create entries for a search engine index like Google or Yahoo. All the major search engines on the Web use these program. They are also appropriately known with the spidery names of web crawlers. (Also known as bots., but that's pure cyber.)

The book also reminded me that the digital world is full of watery metaphors. We follow the Twitter stream. We surf the web. We listen to torrents of music. , and meet at online watering holes. We sometimes swim in seas and oceans of data.

Do you have a favorite tech term pulled from nature, or another field?


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