Hi, Ronan...I'll dp my best to answer your questions...
"Blade profile" is another way of saying the shape of the blade. Generally when most people use this term, it means what the blade's pattern is, such as "bowie", "tanto", "clip point", "drop point", etc. Other people use the term "blade profile" to mean the "geometry" of the knife which is more of an analytical approach of describing the blade through it's length, width, thickness, type of grind, etc. Unfortunately the use of the term "blade profile" is interpreted in different ways based on the context of the statement it is used in. One of the hardest things about a foreign language is understanding the subtleties of context!
"Tanto" is an overused terminology that has several meaning, too. In traditional Japanese terminology, a "tanto" is a knife with a guard. A Japanese tanto is typically 5/16" thick, and was used strictly for combat. The tanto was usually one of a pair of fighting blades to be worn on the left hip, and it was mainly a knife to be used when the other weapons had failed and the opponent was in very close to the samurai. Most people, however, use the word "tanto" to describe a blade that is bolstered (not with a guard) and has a straight spine with an edge that is nearly flat, then sharply turns and comes to a reinforced point. Look at Cold Steel's version of a "tanto" to see what I mean. So, it has two meanings, again, and is usually applied in the incorrect sense, but in knife communities when you meantion a "tanto" most people picture something like COld Steel's version. The correct name for a knife that most people call a "tanto" would be an "aikuchi" or "hamadashi".
The term "ala" means something like "in reference to". For example, I could say "My latest knife is made from D-2 and has a Kydex sheath ala Bob Dozier." What this means is that the sheath is something like Bob Dozier would make, or it is in his style. In the 52100 case, it probably means that whatever steel is being mentioned has a property similar to one held by 52100 steel. Like "This steel has excellent edge retention ala 52100."
"Carbon steels are less of a crap shot..." Craps is a casino game where dice are thrown and certian numbers win and other lose. It's a chance game, so a "crap shoot" is anything where the chances are random. Whoever wrote the FAQ probably means that carbon steels have more consistent elemental content, working characteristics, heat treathing characteristics, etc than what stainless steels have. Stainless steels are more complex, so in a way there is more room for error from a manufacturing point of view, and therefore, less consistency than a simple carbon steel like O-1, for example. This is opinion, though. AISI, SAE, and ASM are some sort of manufacturers standards. I can't help you on that one...sorry!
By "utility works" I imagine you mean "utility chores" or "utility jobs"? These would be any workday jobs involving a knife that is not fighting, combat, training, etc. Cutting rope, opening boxes, kitchen work, chopping wood, cutting leather, etc etc etc are all utility chores. Training for combat or using a knife for combat require completely different styles of blades. The best Japanese combat sword, for example, would be horrible tools to use around a camp, for example. The trend in the knife industry today is finding a balance between a knife used for combat and a knife used for utility chores so the knife will be more versatile and useful in more situations. "Industry insiders" are people who work in the knife industry, as opposed to people like me who simply buy knives for enjoyment and use. Insiders are people who own or work in knife shops, distributors, salesmen, people who work for the knifemaking companies, etc.
The spark test is a non-specific way to test the hardness of a blade. You run the knife on a grinder and the shape and color of the sparks tell you if the knife is more on the soft side or more on the hard side.
Mission is a knife company that specializes mainly in knives meant for military use. They make a lot of knives from titanium that are meant for underwater use, for example. Blackjack is a company I don't know much about, but they had a lot of well-made, well-priced knives that were very popular. They were accused of doing a lot of blatant copies of Randall knives, but the Blackjack products cost a fraction of a Randall. They are no longer in business.
I hope you find these answers helpful!
My Custom Kydex Sheath page:
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels