Following last month’s release of a machine learning tool that identifies toxic comments, Jigsaw is launching a new utility that provides easy-to-understand examples for security-related terminology. Built with The Washington Post, Sideways Dictionary offers analogies for complex tech concepts.

The general aim is to “explain tech to the world” through the use of real-world analogies. A DDoS Attack is explained as “hosting a birthday party for your 10-year-old niece where you’ve invited 20 of her closest friends to attend — only 40,000 kids show up.”

Ultimately, Jigsaw believes that “Not understanding technology could put us at risk of making uninformed or even unsafe decisions.”

At launch, there are over 70 terms, the majority of which are related to security, with about four analogies for each entry. Anyone who creates a clever explanation can make a contribution, with easy Facebook, Google, and Twitter log-in. Googlers like Eric Schmidt and Vint Cerf have already added some examples.

All of the analogies feature an upvote/downvote button, with the best examples making their way into The Washington Post when tech terms come up in stories.

With a prominent search box, the site, which makes heavy use of sideways animations, is quite snappy on both mobile and desktop. A nifty Chrome extension that scans pages for terms is also available to install.


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Abner Li

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