Internet Dictionary II
datagram A formatted set of electronic data used in communication between computer systems. Datagrams consist of two parts: the data proper (which may be part of a longer message), and the header (which indicates the source, the destination, and the type of data).
data mining Looking for hidden patterns in data.
DDN (Defense Data Network) A segment of the Internet that links to US military bases and contractors around the world. Used for unsecured communications.
dead link A Web link that, when clicked, displays an error message instead of a Web page. See return code.
DECnet A set of proprietary networking protocols utilized (instead of TCP/IP) by Digital Equipment Corporation's operating systems. These protocols are not compatible with the Internet.
DES (Data Encryption Standard) An encryption standard adopted by the US government for encrypting sensitive information.
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) A communications protocol that gives network administrators a central place to manage and automate the assignment of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in an organization's network.
DHTML See dynamic HTML.
dial-up (compare leased line) A telecommunications medium that links computers using regular telephone lines, generally referring to the kind of connection one makes when using a terminal emulator and a regular modem.
Digerati The digital version of literati, it is a reference to a vague cloud of people seen to be knowledgeable, hip, or otherwise in-the-know in regards to the digital revolution.
digital certificate (digital ID) An attachment to an e-mail message or data embedded in a Web page that verifies the identity of a sender or Web site.
digital signature An encryption message digest.
digital subscriber (or digital subscriber line or digital subscriber loop) High-grade telephone service offered by some telephone companies.
directory An organized unit for file storage on a computer system. Also a listing of files residing within such a unit.
directory service A service on a network that relays information about sites, computers, resources, or users in the area.
Disk Space A measure of the quantity of a Web server's hard disk space allocated to each Web hosting customer. Disk space is normally measured in megabytes (MB). Disk space is one of the variables by which most Web hosting companies charge their customers. The total disk space your Web site will require is simply the sum of the size of each Web site file. HTML files take up almost no disk space compared to larger picture, graphic, and audio/visual files.
Dithering If the user's browser or system only supports 256 colors, the image is adjusted automatically by a process called dithering. The image displays but its quality is frequently diminished when this happens.
DLL (Dynamic Load Library)
DOD (Department of Defense) The branch of government whose Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPAnet) began the creation of the Internet.
DOM (Document Object Model) A platform and language neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of documents.
domain name The alphanumeric equivalent of an IP address. The text name corresponding to the numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet (i.e., www.whaddup.com). The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:
domain name lookup The process of converting a numeric IP address into a text name (for example, 22.214.171.124 converts to www.whaddup.com. You can see the reverse of this in action by typing ping www.whaddup.com (or any other domain name) at the command line. That will return the IP address of the domain name you specify. See ping.
DNS Domain Name Server
Domain Name System (DNS) The unique name of a collection of computers connected to networks such as the Internet. A general-purpose, replicated, distributed data query service for looking up host IP addresses based on host names. The DNS is hierarchical, consisting of domains, subdomains, sites, and hosts. Unique names are formed from smallest to largest, and are of the form email@example.com, where host and site are often optional. On the Internet, domain names typically end with a suffix denoting the type of site:
Domain, second level The domain level that identifies a group within the top-level domain - (see Domain, top level). Second level domains are used to identify one group or company. For example, jiveone in JiveOne.com is a second-level domain name underneath the .net top-level domain.
Domain, top level A general domain level for a group of computers on the Internet.
dotted quad The representation of an IP address; it appears as up to four separate numbers delineated by periods (for example 126.96.36.199).
downstream The connection that occurs when information is sent to a user's computer from an ISP.
(Digital Subscriber Line) A method for moving data over regular phone lines. A DSL circuit is much faster
than a regular phone connection, and the wires coming into the subscriber's
premises are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service. A DSL
circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations, similar to a
leased line (howeverr a DSL circuit is not a leased line.
DSS (Digital Signature Standard)
dumb terminal A terminal that doesn't contain an internal microprocessor. It responds to simple control codes, and usually displays only characters and numerals.
dutch auction A type of open auction in which bidding starts at a high price and drops until a bidder accepts the price.
dynamic content Non-static information constructed in response to a Web client's request
dynamic page A Web page whose content is shaped by a program in response to a user request. Web page that respond to users' requests and gather information from them. Oftentimes, they have built-in links to a relational database, from which they extract data based on input from the user (using dynamic SQL). Dynamic Web pages contain very little actual text. Instead, they pull needed information from other applications. Dynamic Web pages communicate with databases to extract employee directory information, spreadsheets to display accounting figures, client-server database management systems to interact with order processing applications, and more.
dynamic SQL (see SQL) This feature modifies queries based on user data, environment variables, and previously returned query results. Dynamic SQL can also increase processing efficiency by executing multiple queries and sending them to multiple databases from a single browser request.
e-Business (e-Mail, e-Commerce, e-Zine, e-Solution, e-Market, e-Service, etc.) Oftentimes used without the hyphen, the "e" originally stood for "electronic", as in "online". Today the term is used rather freely to describe any situation or solution that has made the migration from real world to the Internet.
EARN (European Academic and Research Network) The European equivalent to BITNET.
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Exchange between businesses of computer-readable data in a standard format.
EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) A nonprofit organization concerned with Internet-related privacy and access issues.
EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) Electronic transfer of account exchange information over secure private communications networks.
electronic cash A form of electronic payment which is anonymous and can be spent only once.
Electronic Commerce Buying and selling over the Internet. Any transaction where a customer purchases a product or service at a Web site, as opposed to calling a telephone number to purchase the product or service, is considered electronic commerce.
electronic mail (e-mail or E-mail) Online communications between computer users. The most frequently used communications tool on the Internet. E-mail allows you to communicate with one or thousands of users in less time and for less money than it takes to communicate with another person via traditional phone or mail services.
electronic wallet A software utility that holds electronic cash, credit card information, owner identification, and provides these data automatically at electronic commerce sites. There are two types: a client-side electronic wallet stores a consumer's information on the consumer's own computer and a server-side electronic wallet stores that information on a remote server that belongs to a particular merchant or to the wallet's publisher.
Email (Electronic Mail) Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses.
emoticons (see Unofficial Smiley Dictionary, under IRC)
encryption The process of scrambling a message so that a key, held only by authorized recipients, is needed to unscramble and read the message.
Ethernet Computers on the Internet that
use the TCP/IP protocols are frequently connected to the
Net over an Ethernet link. Ethernet supports communications at 10 mbps over
several types of wiring. A type of network interface card that connects an
individual computer to a network. A very common method of networking computers in a LAN.
There is more than one type of Ethernet. By 2001 the standard type was
"100-BaseT" which can handle up to about 100,000,000 bits-per-second and can be
used with almost any kind of computer.
Internet and intranet) An extended intranet
connecting not only internal personnel, but also select customers, suppliers,
and strategic partners. An intranet that is accesible to computers that are not hysically part of a
companys' own private network, but that is not accessible to the general public,
for example to allow vendors and business partners to access a company web site.
(Frequently Asked Questions) A collection
of questions and answers about a particular topic. FAQs are documents that list and answer the most common questions on a particular
subject. There are hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse as Pet Grooming and
Cryptography. FAQs are usually written by people who have tired of answering the
same question over and over.
fiber optics A method of transmitting light beams along optical fibers. A light beam, such as that produced in a laser, can be modulated to carry information.
FDDI -- (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) A standard for transmitting data on optical fiber cables at a rate of around 100,000,000 bits-per-second (10 times as fast as 10-BaseTEthernet, about twice as fast as T-3).
file compression This makes computer data smaller so less is needed to represent the same information and, consequently, the information takes up less disk or file space and may be transmitted in less time.
file server A file-storage device on a local area network (LAN) that is accessible to all users on the network. It is sophisticated, also serving as a manager of sorts, maintaining order as users request files and make changes to them.
finger A program used to find out if someone is online -- it may also reveal their full name and their plan and project files. An Internet software tool for locating people on other Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular Internet site. Many sites do not allow incoming Finger requests, but many do.
firewall A set of related programs located at the gateway server of a network that protects information contained within the network from users outside the network (on the Internet). (1) A special computer or software application that is set up on a network to prevent intruders from stealing or destroying confidential files. (2) A computer that provides a defense between one network (inside the firewall) and another network (outside the firewall, such as the Internet) that could pose a threat to the inside network. All traffic to and from the network must pass through the firewall. Only authorized traffic, as defined by the local security policy, is allowed to pass through the firewall, which is itself immune to penetration.
flame To heap written abuse on someone or to excessively criticize them for their ideas, spelling, grammar, etc. Flaming is considered impolite, juvenile behavior, but is not uncommon in some newsgroups. Originally, "flame" meant to carry forth in a passionate manner in the spirit of honorable debate. Flames most often involved the use of flowery language and flaming well was an art form. More recently flame has come to refer to any kind of derogatory comment no matter how witless or crude.
Flame War When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debaters, rather than discussion of their positions. A heated exchange.
flat file A single file containing all the data on a particular subject.
float Money deposited in a customer's account that earns interest for the merchant.
follow-up A reply to a Usenet posting.
Form A Web page element that is used for the creation of HTML-based input and processing of data.
Frame Target The frame that a linked file displays in.
Frames These divide parts of a Web page into two or more independent parts, or frames. Each frame displays a separate HTML file.
Free-Net An open-access, community-sponsored and maintained computer network, affiliated with the National Public Telecomputing Network.
freeware Non-copyrighted software made available free for public use by the author (compare "shareware").
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) The principle of FTP is simple. You logon to a site (using your FTP software), then you choose a file to transfer. All FTP activity requires you to log on to the remote computer with a user name and password. To get to files shown on the map, it's important to understand the concept of anonymous FTP. Here, you log on to the machine as a guest rather than as an authorized account holder. In this situation, type "anonymous" as the user name and your full e-mail address as the password. Once you log on, you'll be able to access specified directories as an anonymous user. You can also access FTP sites with your Web browser. In the location or dialog box, type ftp://123.456.789.0 (using the appropriate IP address), or ftp://www.ftp.com (using the appropriate URL), and log on. From that point on, navigate through the site like you would a file directory on your computer. FTP was invented and in wide use long before the advent of the World Wide Web and originally was always used from a text-only interface.
gateway The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example America Online has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary e-mail format and Internet e-mail format. Another, sloppier meaning of gateway is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another system, e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet. Basically, it's a computer that links two networks, routing IP datagrams and often converting protocols or messages from one network to the other. The term can also refer to a system capability that provides direct access to other remote networks or services.
gateway server A firewall that filters traffic based on applications requested by clients on the trusted network.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) A common format for image files, especially suitable for images containing large areas of the same color. GIF format files of simple images are often smaller than the same file would be if stored in JPEG format, but GIF format does not store photographic images as well as JPEG. A file format developed by CompuServe Information Service (in 1987) for storing 256 color, raster (as opposed to vector) graphical images.
Gigabyte 1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who is measuring.
Invented at the University of Minnesota in 1993 just before the Web, gopher was
a widely successful method of making menus of material available over the
Internet. A menu-based system that allows a user to access
information from a remote computer. Menu items point to a file or directory
item, which may be located on the same computer or on a different one. Gophers
essentially point to other gophers on remote machines. Through gopher, you can
telnet to remote computers and perform searches on
Graphical User Interface A GUI (pronounced "gooey") is a graphics-based interface that lets you access programs by pointing to icons, buttons, and windows rather than by typing a string of commands at a command prompt.
hash algorithm A security utility that mathematically combines every character in a message to create a fixed-length number (usually 128 bits in length) that is a condensation, or fingerprint, of the original message.
hash coding The process used to calculate a number from a message.
hash value The number that results when a message is hash encoded.
helper applications Additional software occasionally needed to help a Web browser program deal with an unusual file on the Internet. When an unusual file is downloaded, a helper application takes over for the Web browser to open and run the file. An example of a helper application is Netscape's "naplayer". It opens and plays sound files when they are encountered on the Internet.
hit A much more general term than a page view, a "hit" is any action experienced at a Web site. A "hit" is any content delivered by a Web server. A single Web page may place several dozen demands on the Web server to deliver content: one for the page itself (or the collection of pages that make up a frame set), another for each graphic image displayed, and others for streaming media, sound bites and other content. Each of those demands is considered a "hit". Every file a Web server delivers is a "hit". Each hit is recorded by a Web server's log file.
home page Several meanings. The main page of a Web site. The home page provides visitors with an overview and links to the rest of the site. It often contains or links to a Table of contents for the site. Originally, the web page that your browser is set to use when it starts up. The more common meaning refers to the main web page for a business, organization, person or simply the main page out of a collection of web pages, e.g. "Check out so-and-so's new Home Page."
hops The number of hosts between two Internet connection computers.
host A computer system that is the source of network services; also the site where you can hold an interactive session. Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as SMTP (email) and HTTP (web).
Hosting, dedicated A web server that delivers Web page content for a single customer. Enterprise and Internet-centric customers who require a secure, high-performance hosting solution for a popular Web site typically seek dedicated hosting.
Hosting, shared A web server that delivers Web page content for multiple customers. Shared hosting is a flexible Web hosting solution for individuals and small businesses. Shared hosting provides lower cost while retaining performance and reliability of a dedicated hosting solution.
Hosting, web The storage of a Web site and delivery of that Web site to the nternet. Web hosting has two basic parts - web pages are stored and web pages are delivered to the Internet. Web hosting may be shared or dedicated.
(Hyper Text Markup Language)
A system of codes (called tags) that control the
appearance and function of Web pages. HTML is a universal language that all
computers can understand allowing computers from different manufacturers with
different operating systems to understand each other. HTML tags format the Web
page text, insert links to other Web sites, position pictures and graphics on
the Web pages, and draw tables and borders for the page.
A system of marking up, or tagging, a document so it
can be published on the World Wide Web. An author incorporates HTML markup in
his or her document to define the function (as distinct from the appearance) of
different text elements. The appearance of these text elements is not defined at
the authoring stage; instead, formatting is applied when a browser decides how
it is going to display the text elements.
HTML is the coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide
Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you surround a
block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) The client-server protocol upon which the World Wide Web is based. The protocol for moving hypertextfiles across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).
hyperlink A link that connects you to other documents, other places within the same document, pictures or HTML pages. Think of a hyperlink as an invitation to visit another place. A simple click on the link will take you there.
hypermedia A blending of hypertext and multimedia.
hypertext Computer documents that contain links embedded in text or graphics. Hypertext links display related information when you click on them. Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed. The links within one document that allows it to connect to and display another document. Selecting a hypertext link automatically displays the second document.
HYTELNET A program that provides an easily adaptable and fluid connection to a multitude of networked information resources, including library catalogs.
IAB (Internet Architecture Board) The regulatory body that makes decisions about Internet standards and other vital issues.
IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) A voluntary group that investigates and resolves technical problems, as well as making recommendations to the IAB.
Image Map A graphic with linkable regions within it. There are two types of image maps: client side, which contain coordinate information within the graphic file, and server side, which contains its coordinate information in a separate file on the server.
Image Scaling Proportionally changing an image's height and width.
(Internet Message Access Protocol) IMAP is gradually replacing POP as the main protocol used by email clients in
communicating with email servers.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) An acronym commonly used in IRC, e-mail and newsgroups. See IRC for more acronyms.
impression The loading of a banner ad on a Web page.
integrity The category of computer security that addresses the validity of data; confirmation that data have not been modified.
integrity violation A security violation that occurs whenever a message is altered while in transit between sender and receiver.
interactive message access protocol (IMAP) A newer e-mail protocol with improvements over POP.
internet (Lower case i) Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
(Upper case I) The vast collection of inter-connected networks that are connected using the
TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60's and early
A public interconnection of various computer networks around the world.
Millions of computers around the world are connected to thousands of
different computer networks. These different computer networks are all
connected together at network access points around the world. The Internet
is the sum of all these networks connected together.
Internet commerce Another term for electronic commerce; sometimes used to refer to electronic commerce conducted on the Internet or World Wide Web instead of via private networks.
Internet host A computer that is directly connected to the Internet.
intranet (compare Internet and extranet) A private network of various computers within an organization. Internal systems, based on Internet technology, designed to connect the members of a specific group or single company (a closed-user group). A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use. Compare with extranet. An Intranet is nothing more than a private Internet. In other words, it is a private network, usually a LAN or WAN, that enables the use of Internet based applications in a secure and private environment. As on the public Internet, Intranets can host Web servers, ftp servers, and any other IP-based services. An Intranet is used to share company information and computing resources among employees. An Intranet uses regular Internet protocols and in general looks like a private version of the Internet.
InterNIC (Internet Network Information Centre) (http://www.internic.net) for the United States, which is made up of three separate commercial organizations, and provides government-contracted services. This agency one of the primary official World Wide Web domain name registration services. InterNIC hosts a WHOIS service that you can use to see who a given domain name is registered to, or if that domain name is still in fact available.
(Internet Protocol number) Number 1 among the protocols
upon which the Internet is based. IP allows a packet to travel through multiple
networks on the way to its ultimate destination. Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated
by dots, e.g.
IP address A unique number assigned to every computer directly connected to the Internet (for example 188.8.131.52). See also: DNS. IP address syntax (note that each series of 1-3 numbers is separated, or delineated, by a period):
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Basically a huge multi-user live chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the world which are linked to each other. Anyone can create a channel and anything that anyone types in a given channel is seen by all others in the channel. Private channels can (and are) created for multi-person conference calls. It is a mechanism that allows for a number of Internet users to connect to the same network node and chat in real time. To access this feature, you need an IRC server.
Web Page Designed By