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In several usages in information technology, a glitch (pronounced GLIHTCH ) is a sudden break in function or continuity, sometimes of a transient nature, with a varying degree of seriousness. According to Eric Raymond, author of The New Hacker's Dictionary , glitch is from the German 'glitschen,' meaning 'to slip,' via Yiddish 'glitshen,' meaning 'to slide or skid.' In different contexts, the term has different meanings.

1) In electrical service, a glitch, sometimes called a power glitch , is a momentary power failure.

2) In network service, a glitch can be any temporary loss of service in the network.

3) In a computer program, a glitch can be a bug that isn't encountered very often, resulting in a problem that sometimes goes away because next time the combination of events is different. Glitches like this are often encountered with Web browsers . (Browser glitches are often fixed by closing the browser program and then reopening it, or by restarting the operating system.) A glitch can also be an intentionally planned trap or other program device that results in exposing a user's password or in some other security breach.

4) In computer audio , a glitch is a quick temporary noise in a file that sounds like a "snap."

This was last updated in April 2005

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