blivet


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blivet

/bliv'*t/ [allegedly from a World War II military term meaning "ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag"] 1. An intractable problem.

2. A crucial piece of hardware that can't be fixed or replaced if it breaks.

3. A tool that has been hacked over by so many incompetent programmers that it has become an unmaintainable tissue of hacks.

4. An out-of-control but unkillable development effort.

5. An embarrassing bug that pops up during a customer demo.

6. In the subjargon of computer security specialists, a denial-of-service attack performed by hogging limited resources that have no access controls (for example, shared spool space on a multi-user system).

This term has other meanings in other technical cultures; among experimental physicists and hardware engineers of various kinds it seems to mean any random object of unknown purpose (similar to hackish use of frob). It has also been used to describe an amusing trick-the-eye drawing resembling a three-pronged fork that appears to depict a three-dimensional object until one realises that the parts fit together in an impossible way.
References in periodicals archive ?
Any available space was taken up by decontamination equipment, water blivets, and bottles of soap and bleach mixtures.
We particularly thank community members Uncle Bob Anderson, Auntie Joanie Moreton, Uncle Cliff Campbell, Auntie Thelma Campbell, Auntie Shirley Moreton, Uncle Keith Borey, Auntie Eileen O'Laughlin, Uncle Denis Moreton, Brian Coghill, Denise Coghill, Mark Jones, Warren (Nikko) Nixon, Troy Coolwell, Aaron McIvor, Mandy Blivet, Suzanne Blivet, Grant N Martin, Grant W Martin, Leigh Myers, Josh Perry, Alan Perry, John Tapp, Lee Tippo and Dale Ruska.
Hang the wand on the side of the blivet so the water goes right back in the blivet when you're not deconning.