No, it’s not a low-res portrait of an "alcoholic, whore-mongering, chain-smoking gambler"; rather, "Pixel Bender" is the official name for Adobe’s new scripting language for writing fast imaging filters. Engineering manager Kevin Goldsmith explains,
Hydra is an awesome name for a language like the one we created. At the very beginning, Jonathan Shekter came up with it as a code name for this cool language that could run on different kinds of hardware efficiently. The problem is that it’s a great name for any kind of technology that does multiple things, so it is pretty popular. We didn’t want to confuse folks, so we worked with the Adobe branding team to come up with a new name that we could use moving forward. That name is Pixel Bender™.
As someone whose mind was blown by the original MacPaint, I was pushing for "Phat Bits"–a fun way to combine a reference to the old-school "Fat bits" display mode with an equally dated bit of 90’s slang. But hey, they don’t pay me to come up with the marvels of Adobe branding.
Developers wanting to take Hyd–er, Pixel Bender–for a spin can grab the coding & preview environment from Adobe Labs.