Vn – Vz

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Also referred to as internet telephony, IP telephony, Voice over the Internet (VOI) or digital phone, VoIP is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls.  Voice data is sent digitally in packets using Internet Protocol (IP) rather than the traditional analog circuit transmissions of the public switched telephone network (PSTN).  One advantage of VoIP is that the telephone calls over the internet do not incur a surcharge beyond what the user is paying for internet access, much in the same way that the user doesn’t pay for sending individual emails over the internet.


Voice recognition software

Alternatively referred to as speech recognition, voice recognition is a computer software program or hardware device that can perform computerized analysis of oral speech to identify the speaker.  Used in modern security systems and voice-command tools, voice recognition software analyzes spoken words to identify the speaker (as in security systems) or to respond to vocal commands.  The voice recognition tools perform this function by finding patterns in the incoming sound, and comparing them with stored patterns of elements of sounds.  The first automatic speech recognition (ASR) device was used in 1952 and recognized single digits spoken by a user (it was not computer driven).  Today, several ASR software programs exist that require the user to “train” the ASR program to recognize their voice, so that it can more accurately convert the speech to text.  ASR programs are used in many industries, including healthcare, military, telecommunications and personal computing (hands-free computing).


Void, The

  1. Mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien’s posthumous “creation of the world” saga The Silmarillion, The Void is the unknown expanse outside of the known world.


2. When Robert Reynolds took a secret formula created by a man known as “the Professor,” he instantly became The Void, a creature of evil and malice.  A counter-entity, the Sentry, was created in his mind.  The Void and the Sentry are two parts of the same torn psyche, so no matter how many people the Sentry saves, the Void will kill the same number.  The Void believes he is integral to the Sentry’s survival.  As the Sentry’s power hinges on his emotions, any individual could crush him if the Void were not there to kill the Sentry’s adversaries.  Though he is twisted and insane, the Void cannot be killed as long as there is a Sentry.

The Sentry/Void made his first appearance in Marvel ComicsSentry #1 (2000), by writer Paul Jenkins and artist Jae Lee.  The series was falsely touted as a forgotten Stan Lee hero from the Silver Age of Marvel.  This story was, of course, fabricated and further pushed by the comic magazine Wizard: Guide To Comics.  The hoax involved a false discovery of lost sketches by artist Artie Rosen of a Stan Lee-created superhero who predated The Fantastic Four.  A seemingly normal man, suddenly recalls that he is the superhero known as the Sentry, the man with the power of one million exploding suns.  Along with this recollection, he also realizes his arch-nemesis, the Void, is returning to the world.  Reynolds immediately begins seeking out the rest of the world’s most prominent superheroes to warn them of the coming threat.  Most importantly, Mr. Fantastic remembers that he and Robert Reynolds had been best friends and that Sentry and his former sidekick Scout had often teamed up with the Fantastic Four to fight the world’s greatest threats.  Over time, the general public slowly remember the Sentry and the good he had done for the world.

The reason the world forgot the Sentry was that Reynolds had used his power to erase the Sentry from the memory of everyone in the world, including his own, thus destroying the Void once and for all. With the heroes of the world united and waiting for the Void to come, Reynolds comes to the realization that he must make the sacrifice again. With the help of the Centrally Located Organic Computer (C.L.O.C.), Mr. Fantastic, and Doctor Strange, he once again erases the memory of Sentry from the world.

Sentry is one of the few superhumans to be considered invincible.  He firmly stated that he cannot die, and is for all intents and purposes immortal.  Though his mind is fragile, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Iron Man have not been able to find any other areas of physical vulnerability.  He also had an affair with the X-Men’s Rogue, so is resistant even to her touch-sensitive powers.  During the 2006 Marvel crossover event Civil War, Spider-Man and a group of SHIELD agents ranked Sentry as the most powerful of all Earth’ heroes, with the Hulk ranked second most powerful.  It is commonly believed that the Void has a larger variety of powers and is more powerful than the Sentry himself, but this is not true.  The Sentry has defeated the Void on more than one occasion by pure physical force, displaying either a greater power level or a pure will that eclipses the Void’s.  Since the Void and Sentry are one and the same, it could also be presumed that the Sentry shares the same powers that the Void does.  Sentry has recently been revived by the Apocalypse twins to become part of a new team of Horsemen, known as the Horsemen of Death, the team consists of Banshee, Grim Reaper, Daken and Sentry.



See Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).


Volatile memory

Also known as volatile storage or temporary memory, volatile memory is a type of computer memory that needs power to preserve stored data.  In other words, the computer must be turned on in order to save the data stored in volatile memory.  Users need to save their work to a nonvolatile permanent medium, such as a hard drive, in order to avoid data loss when the computer is turned off.  One common example of volatile memory is random access memory (RAM).


Volatile storage

See Volatile memory.



The facial bone, named for the Latin word for “plowshare” due to its split triangular shape, forms the posterior and inferior parts of the nasal septum.


Vorpal blade

See Vorpal sword.


Vorpal sword

Also referred to as the “Vorpal blade,” the weapon is used by the hero in Lewis Carroll’s nonsensical poem “Jabberwocky” to slay the beastly Jabberwock.  “Jabberwocky” was published in Carroll’s 1871 Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, a sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.



  1. The lame Roman god of fire, crafts and blacksmiths, equivalent to the Greek god Hephaestus.
  2. A founding member of the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek universe, the planet Vulcan is approximately 16 light-years from Earth, located roughly in the same region as Betazed, Andor, Tellar and Alpha Centauri. Vulcan’s government includes the titled leaders “ministers” and a Bill of Rights to protect civil liberties.  Though its people have adopted a pacific way of life, the planet Vulcan does maintain its own defense fleet.  Vulcan once fought a hundred-year war with the planet Romulus, though it is not specified whether this conflict was related to the original Vulcan-Romulan schism, or if it merely followed their split.  An extreme isolationist movement sprang up on Vulcan, dedicated to withdrawal from the United Federation of Planets and fighting the “pollution” of Vulcan culture.  Meanwhile, an underground group on Romulus worked to spread peaceful reunification between the worlds, aided by ambassador and former Starfleet officer Spock from Vulcan.  The hot, dry and marginally Class M world was aware of Earth for centuries, but had no interest in contacting the primitive world until a passing Vulcan survey ship noted Zefrem Cochrane’s warp signature on April 5, 2063 (old Earth date), and became Earth’s first alien contact.
  3. A native of the planet Vulcan in the Star Trek universe.  Vulcans were originally a savage race, but when the population neared self-annihilation, they turned to logic as the path away from self-destructive violence, led by the legendary Vulcan philosopher Surak.  (A splinter group that defied the worship of logic left the planet to found the more aggressive Romulan Star Empire and the planet Romulus.)


“Vulcan death grip”

As Vulcans utilize their hands in many forms of healing, telepathy and defense, the so-called “Vulcan death grip” was invented as a ploy in the original Star Trek episode “The Enterprise Incident.”  In order to gain the absolute confidence of a Romulan commander, Capt. James T. Kirk and his Vulcan first officer Spock planned for Spock to use the fictional method to kill Kirk in defense of a feigned attack by his captain.


Vulcan mind-meld

A touch technique in the Star Trek universe that allows a Vulcan to merge his or her mind with the mind (or other intelligent force) of another.  In a humanoid, a Vulcan’s fingers are usually placed around the temples.  Hypnosis-like relaxation and a rhythmic verbal device are often useful.  Some Vulcans have even been able to mind-meld with non-humanoid life, such as Spock’s melds with the silicon-based Horta of Janus VI and the merged machine-probes Nomad and V’Ger.



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