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Internet Dictionary I



Internet Dictionary Part I
Internet Dictionary Part II

Internet Dictionary Part III

Internet Dictionary Part IV

Internet Dictionary Part V



24/7 Operation  The operation of a site or service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

56K line  A data transmission line with the capacity to move information at 56,000bps. Compare ISDN, T-1, T-3 lines.

586  The unofficial name given to the Pentium processor. Intel calls its new processor the Pentium because it was a marketable name and easily protected by copyright laws. Many people in the computer industry, however, referred to the Pentium processor as the 586 in reference to its predecessors, which were called the 286, 386, and 486. Also, the name given to Pentium-class processors produced by Intel Corporation competitors.

686  The name given to Pentium Pro-class processors produced by Intel Corporation competitors.


account  An area partitioned for a user of a particular host computer. To assure validity, account holders cannot gain access without using assigned login and password information.

ACL  (Access Control List)  A list of resources and the usernames of people who are permitted access to those resources within a computer system.

active content  Programs that are embedded transparently in Web pages that cause some type of action to occur.

activeX  An object, or control, that contains programs and properties that are put into Web pages to perform particular tasks.

address  An individualized name (or number) identifying a computer user or computer. Used in network communications for the transmission of messages for a particular person or machine.

Address, e-mail  The specific location of a person's electronic mailbox on the Internet. An e-mail address typically consists of a variation of the persons name followed by an @ symbol followed by the domain of the service on which the electronic mailbox is stored (example user@jiveone.com)

Address, web page The specific location of one single Web page on the Internet. A Web page address is a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that identifies one single HTML file within a larger Web site.

Address, web site  The specific location of a Web site on the Internet. A Web site address is a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that identifies a collection of HTML files that are collectively referred to as a Web site. For example, if you wanted to see the Web site for jiveinternet.com Network, you would type the following into your browser http//www.jiveone.com.

ADO  (ActiveX Data Objects).  See activeX.

ad view  A page view of a Web page that contains an advertisement.

agent  A program that performs information gathering, information filtering, and/or mediation on behalf of a person or entity.

Anchors  Anchors are used to mark specific locations within a document. Once an anchor is placed in location, you can create a link to that spot.

anonymous electronic cash   Electronic cash that cannot be traced back to the person who spent it.

anonymous FTP  File Transfer Protocol allows you to connect to a site, search through available files, and download any file, document, or program without having to establish a user-id and password on the system where the material resides. By using the special user-id "anonymous", the network user will circumvent local security checks and have access to publicly accessible files on the remote system. Most systems that permit anonymous login require the user's e-mail address as the password.

ANSI  (American National Standards Institute)  The coordinating body for electrical, mechanical, and other technical standards in the United States.

API  (Application Program Interface)  A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.  Interfaces that extend the capabilities of Web servers; used by programmers to write applications that can interact with other applications. A server API is a published interface that lets software developers write programs that become part of the Web server itself. Usually these are DLLs (Windows dynamic load libraries) that are loaded into memory and stay resident at all times. Some common server APIs and the servers they support:

ISAPI - Microsoft Internet Information Server
NSAPI - Netscape Commerce and Enterprise Server
WSAPI - O'Reilly Web Site and Web Site Pro

applet  A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in that they are not allowed to access certain resources on the local computer, such as files and serial devices (modems, printers, etc.), and are prohibited from communicating with most other computers across a network. The common rule is that an applet can only make an Internet connection to the computer from which the applet was sent.

application  Software that executes a particular task, such as word processing or spreadsheet analysis.

application service provider  A Web-based site that provides management of applications such as spread sheets, human resources management, or e-mail to companies for a fee.

Archie  A tool (software) for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites. You need to know the exact file name or a substring of it. By 1999 Archie had been almost completely replaced by web-based search engines. back when FTP was the main way people moved files over the Internet Archie was quite popular. There are currently about 30 Archie servers in the world.

archive site  A mechanism that renders access to a collection of files across the Internet; also, a computer on which such a collection is stored.

archiving  Saving a log on a storage device.

ARPAnet  (Advanced Research Projects Agency)  The experimental network, established in the 1970s, where the theories and software on which the Internet is based were tested. The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60's and early 70's by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking to connect together computers that were each running different system so that people at one location could use computing resources from another location.

ASCII  (American Standard Code for Information Exchange)  The standard method for encoding characters as 8-bit sequences of binary numbers, allowing a maximum of 256 characters. Text files are customarily called "ASCII files". This is the defector world-wide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111. 

ASDL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)  Internet connections using DSL protocol with bandwidths from 16 to 640 Kbps upstream and 1.5 to 9 Mbps downstream.  See bandwidth.

ASP  (Active Server Pages) (1)  Applications that generate dynamic content within Web pages using Jscript code or Visual Basic.  (2) By Microsoft.  An open, compile-free application environment in which you can combine HTML pages, scripts, and ActiveX server components to create powerful Web-based business solutions. (These pages use the extension .asp)

ATM  (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)  Internet connections with bandwidths of up to 622 Gbps.  See bandwidth.
A common Internet protocol for transferring data across the Internet. ATM is a dedicated-connection switching technology that organizes digital data into cells or "packets" and transmits them over a connection using digital signal technology.

authentication  The process of identifying users before they are allowed access to computer systems or networks, typically by user-ids and passwords.  Technique that limits Internet or intranet access to those visitors who identify themselves by entering a username or password.


backbone  The main network of connections that carry most of the traffic on the Internet. A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network.
A larger transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller connections that interconnect with it. A backbone is a set of paths that local or regional ISP networks connect to for long-distance interconnection. The local or regional ISP network connects to the backbone at a network access point (NAP).

b2b  (Business to Business).  Normally used to describe an e-Business solution that caters to other businesses.  See b2c.

b2c  (Business to Consumer).  Transactions conducted between shoppers and businesses on the Web.  See b2b.

backbone  A high-speed connection within a network that links shorter (usually slower) branch circuits. An example is the NSFNet, generally considered to be the backbone of the Internet in the United States.

Background  What displays behind all the graphics and text on a Web page. A background can be a color or a tiled graphic.

bandwidth  Measure in kilobytes of the traffic transferred via one of the several Internet protocols.  The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time.  The amount of bandwidth a Web server requires depends on the applications that will be running on the Web server. Simple HTML Web pages do not require a large amount of bandwidth, but full-motion video requires a large amount of bandwidth. Also, the number of simultaneous site visitors that a Web site can accommodate without degrading service. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 57,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression.

Device Upstream Speed (Kbps) Downstream Speed (Kbps)
Dial-Up Modem 56 56
ISDN 128 128
Cable Modem 768 10,000
T1 Leased Line 1,544 1,544
ADSL 640 9,000
T3 Leased Line 44,700 44,700
ATM 622,000 620,000

Base Display Target   The frame that a linked file displays in.

Base URL   Sets the URL for which all links in the Web page are based.

baud rate (Same as bps--Bits Per Second).  A unit used to measure the number of data bits a modem can transfer in one second. One baud is how many signals a modem can handle in one second. Information is measured in bits, and bits come in the signal. Higher baud modems can send and receive more signals in a second, and the faster speeds also cram more bits into a signal. In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value - for example a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300= 1200 bits per second).

BBS  (Bulletin Board System)  Computers access by remote users via modems for discussion, file downloads, and other BBS services. A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time. In the early 1990's there were many thousands (millions?) of BBSs around the world, most are very small, running on a single IBM clone PC with 1 or 2 phone lines. Some are very large and the line between a BBS and a system like AOL gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly drawn. BBSs are typically stand-alone systems not on the Internet, though many have gateways.

binary  Information consisting entirely of ones and zeros. Also, commonly used to refer to files that are not simply text files, e.g. images.

binary file  Refers to a file that contains information in a non-text form (graphics, sounds, spreadsheets, etc.). Any file that is not a text file. Any arrangements of bits that is meaningful to a computer, without regard to any correspondence to a human-readable character set.

Binhex  (BINary HEXadecimal) A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only handle ASCII.

(Binary DigIT) A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.

BITNET  (Because It's Time NETwork (or Because It's There NETwork)) a cooperative education and research network. A network of educational sites separate from the Internet, but e-mail is freely exchanged between BITNET and the Internet. Listservs®, a popular form of e-mail discussion groups, originated on BITNET. BITNET machines are usually mainframes running the VMS operating system, and the network is probably the only international network that is shrinking.

blog, blogger  A blogger is someone who publishes a Web log (or "blog"), an online, very public, theme-specific journal intended for the Web savvy reader.  The article My blog, my self explains this trend recently embraced by people from all walks of life to record their daily thoughts and share them with the world.  Jennifer Balderama (blogjen@yahoo.com), formerly of CNET's News.com and now with the Washington Post, had this to say about blogs and bloggers:

"Web logs give voice to people whom just a decade ago, you never would have heard from. There are war blogs, peace blogs, food blogs, crude blogs, humor blogs, culture blogs to occupy your day. Geek blogs, freak blogs, teen blogs, mean blogs, fanaticals and radicals who like to rant away. Worker bees and histories, punditry and poetry, diversity, adversity and spicy verbal play. Optimists, pessimists, enthusiasts and hobbyists, journalists and journal-ists with something big to say."


You can create your own blog at blogger.com.

bookmark  (or favorite)  Most Web browsers give you an option of adding a URL to a "HotList" or by marking it with a "bookmark". By doing this, you can store the linking information (the URL) to any Web pages you plan to revisit. That way, if you decide to go back to a Web site, its URL is already catalogued and at your fingertips for easy reference. (Spry Mosaic uses "hotlists", Netscape Navigator uses "bookmarks" and Microsoft Internet Explorer uses "favorites"). Other Web browsers may use those terms, or may call their URL-saving feature something else.)

Boolean logic  A system for searching and retrieving information from computers by using and combining terms such as AND, OR, and NOT to sort data.  

bot  Synonymous with spider, which is the first part of a search engine.  It automatically and frequently searches the Web to find pages and updates its database of information about old Web sites.

bps  (Bits Per Second)  Refers to the speed at which a particular modem can transmit data. Divide the bits per second by 10 to get an approximate idea of how many characters per second a modem is transmitting data. A 56K modem can move about 57,000 bits per second.

browser  (see Web browser). A Client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources. The local application you use to connect to an Internet server. It interprets and displays HTML encoded documents in graphic format.

byte   A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made. Usually a set of eight bits.


cable connection  One of the fastest growing of available Internet connection types, particularly among cable television subscribers.   Cable connections require cable modems to provide a relatively low cost, very high speed download, a reasonably fast upload rate, and an "always on" connection to the Internet.

cache  A high-speed area in memory set aside to store Web pages and content that has already been viewed.

cascading style sheets  Utilities that allow designers to apply many predefined page display styles to Web pages.

CATP  (Caffeine Access Transport Protocol) Common method of moving caffeine across Wide Area Networks such as the Internet CATP was first used at the Binary Cafe in Cybertown and quickly spread world-wide. There are reported problems with short-circuits and rust and decaffeinated beverages were not supported until version 1.5.3

CCITT V series  Several international modem standards set by the Consultative Committee for International Telephony and Telegraphy. The standards help buyers make sure modems they buy will communicate with other modems. The standards, formerly used primarily outside the United States, have been accepted almost universally since the advent of the 2400 bits per second (bps) modems. Not all are relevant to computer users. Examples include: V.21, V.22, V.22bis, V.23, V.26, V.26bis, V.27, V.27bis, V.27ter, V.29, V.32, V.32bis, V.34, V.42, V.42bis.

CERT  (Computer Emergency Response Team)  A clearinghouse of information about network security.

Certificate Authority    An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL connections.

certification authority  (CA)  an agency that issues digital certificates to organizations or individuals.

CFML  (Cold Fusion Markup Language)  An extension of HTML. A proprietary markup language used by Macromedia's ColdFusion MX to link HTML pages to database servers. CFML goes beyond database management to fill some important gaps in HTML, including session variables, branching logic, loops, and other constructs that programmers are accustomed to using, such as error trapping and debugging tools.

channel  A Web page or category of information in a particular area of interest that is automatically delivered to a user's computer..

The most common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored.

CGI  (Common Gateway Interface)  (1) A protocol that allows Web servers to interact dynamically with other software packages to create custom Web pages. (2) A Web server scripting standard; a mechanism used to connect script to Web servers. In the past, most CGI programs were actually script files and were often written in scripting languages like PERL. Today, scripts can also be executable programs. You can write scripts in C and Visual Basic. The CGI specification has gone through several revisions. The best place to fine up-to-date information is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3) Web site (http://www.w3.org). Interface A standard way for a Web server to pass a user's request to an application program and to receive data back to forward to a user. CGI scripts are used for tasks such as submitting forms to a Web server. The Web server will typically pass the information in the form to a small application program that processes the data. The application may send back a confirmation message telling the user that the form was submitted correctly or incorrectly. The method for passing the form data back and forth between the Web server and the application program is called the common gateway interface (CGI).

channel  Virtual area where Internet Relay Chat (IRC) users communicate in real time. There are thousands of channels located on the Internet.

CIX  (Commercial Internet Exchange)  A pact between network providers that allows them to do accounting for commercial traffic.

click  (click-through)  The loading of an advertiser's Web page that results from a visitor clicking on a banner advertisement on another Web page.

click stream  The path a visitor follows through a given Web site (from page to page to page).  See also path through site and user session.

click-through count  The number of visitors who click on a Web advertisement link and go to the advertiser's Web site.

client  Any program you use to access a server; a computer application that requests support from another program (often called a server), which usually runs on a remote computer. For example, Netscape Navigator is a client that accesses programs (and Web pages) from servers on the Internet. EachClient program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of Server programs, and each Server requires a specific kind of Client. A Web Browser is a specific kind of Client.

client errors  Errors that occur due to an invalid request by the visitor's browser.  Client errors are in the 400-range.  See return code.

cloaking  Also known as stealth forwarding or URL forwarding, this service lets you disguise a Web site that is hosted by a third-party web host provider to look like your own, with its own your-domain-specific URL.  For example, 

User enters:  http://www.yourdomain.com/
User is forwarded to:  http://www.somefreehostprovider.com/users/yoursite/
URL in the address bar reads:  http://www.yourcomain.com/
User is none the wiser

colocated hosting  Self-hosting wherein the server is owned by the online store but is located at the Web host's site.  The Web host provides maintenance based on the level of service the online business requires. Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs to one person or group physically located on an Internet-connected network that belongs to another person or group. Usually this is done because the server owner wants their machine to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the security risks of having the server on thier own network.

COM port  (Communications Port).  A plug-in socket in back of the computer for hooking up devices such as modems.

commerce service provider  (CSP)  A Web host that also provides commerce hosting services on their computer.

communications software   Also referred to as telecommunications software, this software allows one computer to connect with other computers across telephone lines (via modems) and share information. Communications software transmits instructions to your modem that directs it to make connections, transfer files, and carry out other procedures.

computer forensics  The field responsible for the collection, preservation, and analysis of computer-related evidence.

connect time The period during which a user is signed on, usually for a fee, to an online service, bulletin board system, host computer, or Internet service provider.

conversion rate  Used in advertising to calculate the percentage of recipients that respond to an ad or promotion.

cookie, cookies  (1)  Small bits of data that a Web server stores on a user's computer. Cookies have become a valuable way to keep track of a visitor's movements on your site, as sell as a convenient method to customize content based on a visitor's past preferences. A Cookie, for instance, allows a Web site to "recognize" and "remember" individual visitors by storing files on their browsers with a record of the last visit. Cookies cannot be used to "see" any other data on the user's computer, nor can they determine the user's e-mail address or identity. (2) Files containing information about visitors to a Web site.  This information can include the visitor's username, preferences, and other information.  The information is collected by the Web server and delivered to the visitor's computer during their first visit to a Web site.  The server records the information in a text file and stores it on the visitor's hard drive.  At the beginning of each subsequent visit, the server reads this information and configures itself based on the information provided.  
Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers' settings, the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.
Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.
When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customize what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular users' requests.
Cookies are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their "expire time" has not been reached.
Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them.

cookie blocker  A third-party program the prevents cookie storage selectively.

C shell  A user interface for those whose Internet providers offer only character-based, command-line access to a Unix system (hence the term "shell account").

CoSN  (Consortium of School Networks)  A nonprofit group whose members include K-12 teachers, hardware and software vendors, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

cost per thousand  (CPM)  An advertising pricing metric that equals the dollar amount paid reach 1000 people in an estimated audience.

countermeasure  a physical or logical procedure that recognizes, reduces, or eliminates a threat.

cracker  Someone who attempts to thwart computer security systems.

CRM  (Customer Relationship Management)  Term used to describe the sophisticated personalization tools some vendors are developing to help define customer groups and target them with the right products and services.  Companies use Web-based CRM products to help answer the question, "Who are my most profitable customers on the Web, and how do I target them more effectively?"

CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check)  An error-checking procedure for data transmission. The sending device performs a complex calculation, generating a number based upon the data being transmitted, and sends that number to the receiving device. The receiving device performs the same calculation after transmission. If the results match, the transmission succeeds. If the numbers don't match, it means the message was received in an altered state, and the data may be incorrect.

cryptography  The science that studies encryption, which is the hiding of messages so that only the sender and the receiver can read them.

CSS  See cascading style sheets.

CyberCash  A commercial provider of digital cash services. Digital cash is a system of purchasing cash credits in relatively small amounts, storing the credits in your computer, and then spending them when making electronic purchases over the Internet.

Cyberpunk  Cyberpunk was originally a cultural sub-genre of science fiction taking place in a not-so-distant, dystopian, over-industrialized society. The term grew out of the work of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and has evolved into a cultural label encompassing many different kinds of human, machine, and punk attitudes. It includes clothing and lifestyle choices as well.
See also: Cyberspace

Term originated by author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range of information resources available through computer networks.

cyber vandalism  The electronic defacing of an existing Web page.

cybersquatting  The practice of registering a domain name that is the trademark of another person or company with the hope that the trademark owner will pay huge amounts of money for the rights to the domain.

cycling  Replacing the oldest log file with the newest log file.


Internet Dictionary Part I
Internet Dictionary Part II

Internet Dictionary Part III

Internet Dictionary Part IV

Internet Dictionary Part V


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