A general term that describes the ability of a person to interact with an application by allowing a user to manipulate the outcome of certain events (for instance, filling out a form, requesting a new Web page, taking an online survey, selecting items in an online ad, etc.) within a two-way communications system that supports direct and continual responses.
As opposed to static media (something that stays the same) or television (which is considered a one-way medium), the Internet is interactive in that all computers require input. Some of the more dynamic applications seen on widgets or online video create additional, creative ways for users to interact with computers and handheld devices.
A term used to compare the way a Web page looks on one browser as opposed to another. For example, if you view NetLingo.com on Netscape, it will look pretty much the same as it does on Internet Explorer (illustrating browser compatibility). Some time ago, though, if you viewed NetLingo.com on the AOL browser, it would've looked jumbled (a case of browser incompatibility). The reason these incompatibilities exist relates to the way a browser interprets the code that creates a Web page (HTML). Browser compatibility can also refer to cross-platform compatibility, which is, for example, the way a page renders or displays on a Windows system as opposed to on a Mac. The differences are usually very slight, however, just enough to annoy some Web designers and their clients into spending great time and energy on beta-testing a Web site with every browser on every type of system. Browser compatibility is often mentioned in conjunction with the term browser support, but the two should not be confused.
Hardware inside your computer that retains memory on a short-term basis and stores information while you work. RAM is one of the things that make your computer run faster. It comes in 32-bit, 64-bit, 128-bit, 256-bit, and higher, and you can add additional "blocks" of RAM, depending on your computer.
Slang usage of this term often describes someone who does not possess the mental capacities required for the task at hand, as in, "I wouldn't ask him to do it, he's a little short on RAM."
Actual RAM comes in a variety of forms:
DRAM (Dynamic Random-Access Memory): A memory chip contained on such devices as video and sound cards.
DRAM (pronounced "D-ram") is dynamic in that the chip contains an electrical charge (as opposed to SRAM, described below). The electrical charge will eventually die out, so DRAM must refresh its memory regularly (which it does automatically from your CPU). The only reason you need to know about DRAM is that it is related to access time and video cards.
IRAM (Intelligent Random-Access Memory): In development by Dave Patterson, it's a chip design that defies conventional computing economics by combining a microprocessor and a memory chip on a single piece of silicon.
MRAM (Magnetic Random-Access Memory): Memory chips with an unmatched combination of instant-on capability, reduced power consumption, speed, and density.
SRAM (Static Random-Access Memory): Primarily used for caching, it is faster than DRAM since the chip holds its contents without refreshing from the CPU.
SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM): A new type of DRAM that can run at much higher clock speeds than conventional memory. SDRAM synchronizes itself with the CPU's bus and is capable of running at 100 MHz (about three times faster than conventional FPM RAM, and about twice as fast EDO DRAM and BEDO DRAM). So, SDRAM is replacing EDO DRAM in many newer computers, but future PCs are expected to have CPU buses running at 200 MHz or faster. SDRAM is not expected to support those high speeds, which is why new memory technologies, such as RDRAM and SLDRAM, are being developed.
A program that helps maintain and improve the efficiency of a computer system. It is also a program that utilizes a system (such as the Internet) to provide a specific service (such as fingering someone).
The nickname for a growing number of individuals (usually 20 or 30 year olds) who are avoiding Facebook, it also refers to any type of technology one avoids. For example, instead of joining the social networking site themselves, Facebook refuseniks often enlists friends and relatives to be their online mouthpieces.
They are called refuseniks because living in the 21st century, many of them can't truly refuse the lure of Facebook. According to many refuseniks, it's offensive to even ask a refusenik to get a Facebook account: When someone tells you that they don't have Facebook, it's considered a sign of disrespect to try to convince them otherwise.
Another example is a cell phone refusenik. As of 2009, 85 percent of American adults own a cell phone, but there's a small but stubborn contingent--the cell phone refuseniks--who wouldn't be caught dead with one. There are a variety of reasons why people don't want a cell phone in their life including wanting to "live in the moment" instead of checking the cell phone every 10 seconds, not wanting to be always reachable, and knowing you must make detailed plans in advance to simply meet up with friends. There are also many individuals who are defiant TV refuseniks.
The underlying base for a system, supporting the flow and processing of information.
In IT, this term is widely used to mean the internal setup of a particular system, especially of the hardware used to connect computers and users. On the Internet, the infrastructure also includes software programs that are designed to leverage the protocols of the new technology, primarily for transmitting information.
It's been said that the investment craze behind the Internet boom drew untold billions of dollars into building the Internet infrastructure. This accelerated its deployment and in the long run will be a good thing. This term was originally coined by Robert E. Kahn. It has morphed into business slang and can also refer to "overhead."
The rectangular frame(s) on your computer screen through which you view documents, programs, and the Web. A windowing environment displays multiple windows while enabling the machine to run more than one program at the same time (as in multitasking). A browser is a window, too.
A file or form that defines the typography and layout of a document in some word processing and desktop publishing programs. When you fill in a style sheet, you specify such parameters as the page size, margins, and fonts. Style sheets are useful because you can use the same style sheet for many documents. For example, you can define one style sheet for personal letters, another for official letters, and a third for reports.
"Beacons" are considered super-cookies that record not just the contents of your online shopping carts but even computer keystrokes and mouse movements, providing another layer of detail for online marketers. Also known as a "persistent cookie", beacons make it virtually impossible for users to go online without being tracked and profiled.
Because Twitter provided no easy way to group tweets or add extra data, the Twitter community came up with their own way: hashtags.� A hashtag is similar to other web tags because it helps add tweets to a category.�
Hashtags have the 'hash' or 'pound' symbol (#) preceding the tag, like so: #traffic, #followfriday, #hashtag.� Hashtags can occur anywhere in the tweet, but Haiku hashtags, ever so popular on Twitter for example, follow a set netiquette and list the hashtags at the end. Although hashtags aren't considered an official feature, they are widely popular as visible on Twitter Search (which usually has a hashtag term in Trending Topics).
If you add a hashtag to your tweet and you have a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your tweet.� Although any keyword with a # in front could be considered a hashtag, there are many commonly used hashtags.� Aside from not using hashtags for spam purposes, there are no formal rules for hashtag usage.� Twitter recommends a couple of best practices: Only use hashtags on tweets relevant to the topic, and do not over-tag a single tweet.� To learn more about hashtags and Twitter, read the article below. It's a strange new twitterverse out there <(-'.'-)>
The tendency for programmers to add more and more features to a software product in an attempt to "keep up with the Joneses" (or in this case, to keep up with stiff competition from other companies). It generally produces a slow, clunky program.
This term also refers to the tendency for project requirements to take more time and money than anticipated. A similar concept is "scope creep."
Originally it referred to an abandoned Web site that remains online (such as a ghost site or an orphan annie).
The definition of "zombie" has been extended to include a PC that has received either a virus or a Trojan program which causes it to be used as a spam generator without the user's knowledge. For example, in June of 2007 a 27-year-old man, Robert Alan Soloway, described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail. He was accused of using networks of compromised "zombie" computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.
The use of PC zombies to generate spam increases as more small businesses and individuals gain Internet connections. Spam is a major problem because it uses up bandwidth and because it can make the Internet experience very frustrating! Zombies are considered a security breach. It is necessary to use
anti-virus software on your machine and run it on a regular basis.
The term zombie also describes a Unix/Linux process that have ended but the process creator/parent has not acknowledged this yet. What happens is the zombie process will consume a small amount of resources until it is killed by the parent process that created it.
A browser created by Google, it is a program used to view, download, upload, surf, or otherwise accessdocuments (for example, Web pages) on the Internet. According to Google, Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make interacting with the Web faster, safer, and easier.
A mouse that has its trackball set on top. Instead of moving your hand around to move the cursor and navigate on the screen, you use your fingers to move the rollerball. It is designed to provide some ergonomic relief from having to constantly move your arm around while using a mouse.
"Post-PC" refers to the era after it was considered good etiquette to be politically correct. The abbreviation "PC" means "politically correct" and it refers to language that tries minimize offensive remarks about someone's gender, race,
disability, or other form of identity. This spawned the term
"politically incorrect" (unPC) which refers to language or ideas that cause offense to someone.
The term "post-PC" means it is now considered okay to say racial epithets, for example, freely because in the online world it is harder to determine what is acceptable lingo. The online generation, specifically YouTubers, tend to say almost whatever they want about anyone without much fuss. An example is when Price Harry of England was videotaped calling a fellow student a "Paki" because "everyone says Paki with or without irony."�
When a Web site or an ISP (or any kind of public-access site) encounters technical trouble and end-users can no longer access it, it is said to be "down." The same goes for your computer or any kind of communications technology. When it's not up and running, it's down.
In general, it is any program whose source code is made available for use or modification by users, developers, or hackers. Historically, the makers of proprietary software have generally not made source code available.
Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available. For example, in an effort to stay viable in its browser competition with Microsoft (prior to its acquisition by AOL), Netscape made its browser source code (Mozilla) freely available, encouraging users to improve it.
The open source movement has gained momentum as commercial enterprises have begun to consider Linux as an open alternative to Windowsoperating systems.
Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code, however. The distribution terms of open source software must comply with the following criteria:
distribution in source code as well as compiled form,
distribution of modifications and derived works under the same licensing terms as those of the original software,
preservation of the original author's source code,
no discrimination against persons or groups,
no discrimination against fields of endeavor,
licensing so that the rights attached to the program apply to all users,
licensing that is not specific to use in a particular product,
licensing that does not contaminate other software.
Open Source, with capital letters, is a certification mark owned by the Open Source Initiative (see OSI).
The aesthetic and navigational architect of a Web site, the designer is the person responsible for how the site looks and feels. He or she is the one who takes the heat if the graphics are fuzzy, the links are too light, or something is hard to find on a Web page. Usually this person is trained in the creative side of image development; however, an extensive knowledge of Web-based programming and information architecture is considered fundamental to being a successful Web designer. (That and good client-relationship skills are a must.)
The organization of information for display, storage, or printing. This term is commonly used in the industry when asking another person about the state in which particular information exists. For example, "What format is it in, PDF or CD-ROM?"
This is either a domain name that another domain points to or a server that holds copies of a different domain's files. Some servers are so popular that other servers have been set up to mirror them, in order to spread the traffic load to more than one site. Many international sites have mirrors set up in other countries to allow quicker access for international users.
An archive site or Web site that keeps a copy of some or all files at another site-to make them more quickly available to local users and to reduce the load on the source site-is also an example of mirroring. Such mirroring is usually done for specific directories or files on a specific remote server (as opposed to the way cache or proxy servers keep copies of everything that is requested).
The file extension for Web pages that contain server-side includes (SSIs). It's a MIME type that enables the Web server to differentiate pages that need to be processed before they are sent to a Web browser. This extension, however, is not a requirement, and not all servers are configured to use it.
The practice of shopping while you are online. In contrast to e-commerce (which includes online shopping but refers to any act of conducting business online), the emphasis of online shopping is B2C (retail-oriented). For example, when a user visits a click-and-mortar and purchases a product, he or she is shopping online.
A SIM card is a portable memory chip used in some models of cell phones. The SIM card makes it easy to switch to a new phone by simply sliding the SIM out of the old phone and into the new one. The SIM stores personal identity information, cell phone numbers, text messages and other data. It can be thought of as a mini hard disk that automatically activates the phone into which it is inserted.
According to wiseGEEK, a SIM card can come in very handy. For example, let's say your phone runs out of battery power at a friend's house. Assuming you both have SIM-based phones, you can remove the SIM card from your phone and slide it into your friend's phone to make your call. Your carrier processes the call as if it were made from your phone, so it won't count against your friend's minutes.
If you upgrade your phone there's no hassle involved. The SIM card is all you need. Just slide it into the new phone and you're good to go. You can even keep multiple phones for different purposes. An inexpensive phone in the glove compartment, for example, for emergency use, one phone for work and another for home. Just slide your SIM card into whatever phone you wish to use.
High-end cell phones can be very attractive and somewhat pricey. If you invest in an expensive phone you might want to keep it awhile. Using a SIM card, it is even possible to switch carriers and continue to use the same phone. The new carrier will simply issue you their own SIM card. The phone must be unlocked, however, and operate on the new carrier's frequency or band.
A SIM card provides an even bigger advantage for international travelers -- simply take your phone with you and buy a local SIM card with minutes. For example, a traveler from the U.S. staying in the U.K. can purchase a SIM card across the pond. Now the phone can be used to call throughout England without paying international roaming charges from the carrier back home.
SIM cards are used with carriers that operate on the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) network. The competing network is Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a technology created by U.S. company Qualcomm. As of fall 2005, CDMA cell phones and CDMA carriers do not support SIM cards in most parts of the world, though this is changing. A CDMA SIM card called the R-UIM (Re-Useable Identification Module) was made available in China in 2002, and will eventually be available worldwide. Expectations for the future include a cell phone market that supports both SIM (GSM) and R-UIM (CDMA) cards by default.