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A hard fork involves splitting the path of a blockchain by invalidating transactions confirmed by nodes that have not been upgraded to the new version of the protocol software.
Following the hack on the DAO, the Ethereum community almost unanimously voted in favor of a hard fork in order to roll back transactions that siphoned off tens of millions of dollars worth of digital currency by an anonymous hacker.
Put differently, a hard fork is a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain, and nodes running previous versions will no longer be accepted by the newest version.
This essentially creates a fork in the blockchain, one path which follows the new, upgraded blockchain, and one path which continues along the old path.
Although they had previously been shown to have two other sets of parents, the retcon of making Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch the children of Magneto only altered the meaning of past events, not what had happened. Retconning Dawn Summers into "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the fifth season was one of the rare instances where the fact that history has been altered for our characters was recognized in the story, even though the characters all still remembered the "new" versions of events.
As it relates to blockchain technology, a hard fork (or sometimes hardfork) is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid (or vice-versa), and as such requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software.
Catherine had kept up her acquaintance with the Lintons since her five-weeks' residence among them; and as she had no temptation to show her rough side in their company, and had the sense to be ashamed of being rude where she experienced such courtesy, she imposed unwittingly on the old lady and gentleman by her ingenious cordiality; gained the admiration of Isabella, and the heart and soul of her brother: acquisitions that flattered her from the first - for she was full of ambition - and led her to adopt a double character without exactly intending to deceive any one.