Nets, Webs and the Information Infrastructure/Glossary



3G - Third Generation Wireless, wireless systems that provide high-speed data transmission (144kbps and higher). The system is equipped to handle regular mobile phone calls, short message service (SMS), email, Internet access and video.35

Bluetooth - a short-range wireless technology that links fixed or mobile devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, printers, audio players and other electronic appliances

Broadband - a type of data transfer in which a single wire can accommodate several data paths at once. Depending on the type of broadband connection, data speeds are from 2 to 20 times faster than ordinary dial-up connections.

Bug - an error or defect in software or hardware that causes a program to malfunction

Convergence - the coming together of two or more disparate disciplines or technologies

Cookie - a message stored by a Web site in a user’s computer so that the Web site can adjust its features to suit the user

Cracker - individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data. See also Hacker.

Cybercrime - a criminal offense that has been created or made possible by the advent of computer technology36

Denial of Service (DoS) - a type of attack that floods a network with excessive traffic, rendering it useless to legitimate customers

DNS - Domain Name System; Domain Name Service

DVD - Digital Video Disk

Firewall - data protection device that restricts and controls the flow of data traffic between networks, typically between an internal corporate network and the Internet

FTP - File Transfer Protocol, a protocol for transferring files from one device (e.g., a workstation or a server) to another

Hacker - A slang term for a computer enthusiast, i.e., a person who enjoys learning programming languages and computer systems and who is often considered an expert on the subject(s). See also Cracker.

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web

Infrared - light waves used to transmit data

Internet Explorer - A Web browser developed by Microsoft Corporation

ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network, the international communications standard for sending voice, video, and data over digital telephone lines or normal telephone wires

ISP - Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the Internet

LAN - Local Area Network, a computer network that spans a relatively small area, typically a small office or home Last mile - the portion of the cable or telephone company that is wired directly to the customer’s home

Modem - Modulation/Demodulation, a device that enables a computer to transmit data over telephone lines

Netscape Navigator/Communicator - a Web browser that revolutionized the computer software market by giving away for free its popular Navigator Web browser, thus acquiring an overwhelming market share in the mid-1990s

OSS - open source software

P3P - Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project

PGP - Pretty Good Privacy

POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service

PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network

Protocol - an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices

Source Code - a computer program’s instructions in its original form

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

Telnet - allows users to log into remote computers and provides basic communication functions between computers

Telecenter - a public establishment that offers telecommunications services such as Internet access, landline or mobile phone calls, facsimile and video conferencing Unicode - a standard for representing characters as integers designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages of the modern world

USB - Universal Serial Bus, a data communication standard that can be used to connect to computer peripherals such as a mouse, printer, modem, audio device, digital camera etc.

VSAT - Very Small Aperture Terminal, an earthbound station used in satellite communications of data, voice and video signals, excluding broadcast television

W3C - World Wide Web Consortium, an organization that develops interoperable specifications, guidelines, software, and tools for the Web (Web site:

WAP - Wireless Application Protocol, a communication protocol that allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices

WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network

Wireless - technologies that transmit data between devices without using connecting cables

XML - Extensible Markup Language