This guide is designed to be a concise introduction to the Internet for people who, more than likely, ambled onto this blog from a random search. It will cover some very basic topics and will hopefully provide some guidance for those who are trying to get a grasp of what all of this technology is good for.
This is that gift basket you get when you move into a new house. It’s not going to fill you in on every little detail, but it will point you in the right direction and give you the tools to get out there and start exploring on your own.
If you understand the finer details of RSS, have been blogging for years or have Diggnation loaded up on your iTunes — this guide probably isn’t for you. Even so, take a look around, you might be surprised.
Table Of Contents
- Day One – Introduction To Email
- Day Two – Introduction To Search
- Day Three – Introduction To Firefox
- Day Four – Introduction To Vertical Search
- Day Five – Introduction To Spam
- Day Six – Advanced Google Usage
- Day Seven – Introduction To Online Commerce
Email is the most commonly used application on the web. There are a thousand and one ways to get access to your email account, but for this guide we are going to assume that you aren’t using any of them. Choosing the email provider that is right for you can be tedious process, but for our purposes let’s start with Gmail.
Gmail is Google’s email provider. Why are we using it? Here are three good reasons:
- It’s easy to set up and use.
- It does an extremely good job of filtering spam (unwanted, commercial email messages).
- It costs nothing.
To set this account up, start by going to Gmail.com and follow the onscreen instructions. Enter the required information, choose your name and in about five minutes you should have your very own email address.
More Tips On Email
“E-mail is not secure. Just as random pedestrians could easily reach into your mailbox and intercept the envelopes that you send and receive through the post office, a curious hacker, a malicious criminal, or the FBI can easily intercept your e-mail. In some companies, the e-mail administrator has the ability to read any and all e-mail messages (and may fire you if you write anything inappropriate).” –Seton Hill
“Be aware that when you send an email in rich text or HTML format, the sender might only be able to receive plain text emails. If this is the case, the recipient will receive your message as a .txt attachment. Most email clients however, including Microsoft Outlook, are able to receive HTML and rich text messages.” –Email Replies
“Write less – Stop imagining that all your emails need to be epic literature; get better at just keeping the conversation moving by responding quickly and with short actions in the reply. Ask for more information, pose a question, or just say “I don’t know.” Stop trying to be Victor Hugo Marcel Proust, and just smack it over the net—especially if fear of writing a long reply is what slows your response time. N.B.: This does not mean that you should write elliptically or bypass standard grammar, capitalization, and punctuation (unless you want to look 12 years old); just that your well-written message can and should be as concise as possible. That saves everyone time.” –43 Folders
Until you are used to finding things on the web, your biggest problem is going to be “getting lost.” It’s not immediately intuitive how you find information when there is so much out there. More importantly, how do you find exactly what you are looking for in the shortest amount of time? The answer to this question is search. Yahoo! and Google are the two most widely used search engines on the Internet. When you go to either one, you will be presented with a search boxs, where you can enter any query you desire, press Search and get back a listing of results ordered by relevancy.
To maximize your chance of getting relevant results, here are a few search tips:
Shorter is better. If you are looking for Baseball scores in Ohio, Baseball scores Ohio or Ohio Baseball scores are much better queries than, “I want baseball scores from Ohio.” You are entering keywords that are relevant to your search, not phrases.
Use quotes. Use quotes around words that you want to make sure are in your results in the order you enter them. If you enter “Baseball scores Ohio,” you are limiting your search to only those sites that have exactly those words in that order. You may find that doing this improves your result substantial. If you find that you aren’t getting any results, you may want remove the quotes and try again.
Negative terms. Use “-” to exclude certain words from your search results. Lets say you wanted to learn something about alleys, but weren’t interesting in bowling. Searching for alley -bowling would get you those results.
More Tips On Search
“Search for file formats to narrow down and focus your search. For example search for Word documents or PDFs if you are looking for government or industry reports; xls for data and statistics; ppt or pdf for presentations.” — RBA
“What time is it in Bangkok right now? Ask Google. Enter simply what time is it to get the local time in big cities around the world, or add the locale at the end of your query, like what time is it hong kong to get the local time there.” — Lifehacker
“Maybe the most interesting thing I learned through this tutorial had only a tenuous, tangential relation to legal research. Apparently, when doing a Google search, if you include a TILDE before a particular word, Google will include various forms of that word (including synonyms) in its search. So ‘~law’ would return results for ‘law’ and ‘legal,’ as well as other related forms.” — Legalresearchplus
Your web bowser is your portal to the Internet. Not only does it let you to navigate the Internet, it can also make the process of exploring the web more efficient if you know what to look for. For the sake of this guide, I am going to assume that your browser of choice is Firefox. If not, that’s just fine. The first part of today’s lesson will be to get you the latest version of Firefox.
Firefox is the browser of choice for a growing population of Internet users. It’s fast, extensible, secure and because it’s used heavily by the people who actually design websites, you’ll find that websites tend to look “right” under Firefox. Now that we have that out of the way, follow this link and follow the onscreen instructions. Once the installation is complete, you will have a fresh new browser at your disposal.
For a guide to installing the software, take a look at this one from Gizmo.
Now that you have Firefox up and running, here are a few things that will help you navigate your browser.
- Pressing “Backspace” or clicking “Back” to return to a previous page.
- Pressing Ctrl + H will open your history, showing you all the sites that you have previously visited.
- Pressing Ctrl + L will move your cursor to the address bar, so that you can enter the website address of your choice.
- Pressing Ctrl + K will move your cursor to the search bar, where you can search as you would in any other search engine.
- Pressing Ctrl + F will open the “Find” bar. Typing anything into this bar will locate every instance of that text on your current page.
- Pressing F5 will refresh the page.
Try out these keyboard shortcuts, you’ll be using them. Remember that anything you can do with the keyboard, you can also do with your mouse. Click around and experiment.
More Firefox Tips
“Auto-complete. This is another keyboard shortcut, but it’s not commonly known and very useful. Go to the address bar (Control-L) and type the name of the site without the ‘www’ or the ‘.com’. Let’s say ‘google’. Then press Control-Enter, and it will automatically fill in the ‘www’ and the ‘.com’ and take you there – like magic! For .net addresses, press Shift-Enter, and for .org addresses, press Control-Shift-Enter.” — Lifehack
“A favorite trick for power Internet users… this enables you to read your Gmail or Hotmail, while searching Google, and simultaneously checking your stocks and weather reports. CTRL-T launches a new tab (effectively a new browser window, but without all the memory overhead of a full window).” — About
“Quick search – without going to a search engine first. Just highlight the word or phrase with your mouse’s left-click button. Then drag the highlighted text into the address bar in the browser. Then press “enter”. Firefox will now perform a ‘Are you feeling lucky?’ Google search for you.” — MakeUseOf
Earlier we learned how to search using Google. However, sometimes you have a more specific need that might be better served by a specialized search engine. There are dozens and dozens of search engines specially designed for just about any task that you can think of. Half of the battle when looking for content on the web is knowing where to go to look
General Information – Wikipedia – The world’s largest community generated encyclopedia, and a great first stop.
Photos - Flickr – Millions of photos, many of which are publicly licensed for reuse.
Videos – YouTube – Everyone’s favorite source for user submitted videos.
People – Spock – Whether you are looking for more information about Hulk Hogan or your next door neighbor, chances are you’ll be able to find something here.
HowTos – WikiHow – A community driven How To Site.
Music – Last.fm – A huge index of music, discover new tracks or share some of yours with the
Medical – PubMed – A government maintained directory of medical publications.
Business – LexisNexis – A great source of legal documents, business information and public records.
Shopping – NextTag – Find the cheapest prices with this comparison shopping service.
There are a world of other options for finding information on the web. All you have to do is search for them, good luck.
More Search Tips
“In Google, use the asterisk (*) to find your terms separated by one or more terms but close to one another. There is no information in the help files on the maximum separation. Increasing the number of asterisks is not supposed to make a difference but it does and it appears that one asterisk stands in for one word.” — RBA
“Google Image search results show you instead of tell you about a word. Don’t know what jicama looks like? Not sure if the person named “Priti” who you’re emailing with is a woman or a man? Spanish rusty and you forgot what “corazon” is? Pop your term into Google Image Search (or type image jicama into the regular search box) to see what your term’s about.” –Lifehacker
“‘Phone Listing: Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.
Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).” — Hubspot
If you spend any amount of time on the web, you will eventually start receiving spam. These messages can range anywhere from benign commercial solicitations, to annoying pharmacutical advertisements all the way down to scams that are looking to pilfer your personal information for the purposes of identity theft. How do you protect yourself from spam?
Think of the Internet as a strange city.
While you are still getting your bearings, it makes no sense to randomly hand out your personal information — does it? Most websites are perfectly legitimate, but even so when possible it is always better to give out the bare minimum information that a site requires. Privacy policies aside, you can never tell where your data might end up. Also, be aware that during the signup process on many sites, you’ll be given an option to opt into email lists. Unless you really want your mailbox filled with advertising, take the time to uncheck these boxes.
Another option to limit your exposure to spam is to create a second email account. Use this account only to register to websites, and save your real email address for communication with sources that you trust. That way, for a while at least, you should be able to keep your primary email box free of clutter.
More Spam Reduction Tips
“Did you ever get a joke or something sent to you that’s been forwarded about twenty times before. At the top of the email is all the email addresses of everyone who got it before. There might be hundreds of them. Guess what? That’s a spammer goldmine. Each email address represents a computer. Sure, your own computer may be secure but how about all those other ones? All it takes is one compromised computer and everyone’s email address is spammed to death. Here is my next tip; don’t save or pass on forwarded emails with multiple recipients. Especially, don’t forward it to me. I don’t care how funny, relevent, or dirty the message is. I don’t want my email address out there on 100 unknown computers.” — Muskie-Lures
“Consider ‘masking’ your e-mail address. Masking involves putting a word or phrase in your e-mail address so that it will trick a harvesting computer program, but not a person. For example, if your e-mail address is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org,’ you could mask it as ‘email@example.com.’ Be aware that some newsgroup services or message boards won’t allow you to mask your email address and some harvesting programs may be able to pick out common masks.” — State of Michigan
“Most ISPs have an e-mail address to use when reporting spam. Often it is abuse@(host_service). Tiger Technologies’ address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Sonic’s address is email@example.com. Send the entire message when you are reporting spam, not just the address.” — Computer-2tr
As we noted earlier, sometimes the hardest part of finding your way around the web is knowing where to look. Fortunately, Google provides a world of tools to help you find just about anything. Before spending too much time traversing the side-streets of the web, take a few moments to get familiar with some of Google’s lessor known offerings.
Maps – Need to find directions? There is a solution for you. You can search for locations (Wendy’s), addresses or more general queries (resturants close to the airport). A must use for travelers.
Book Search – Find excerpts and even some full copies of books using Google’s Book Search.
Scholar – Search for scholarly papers. If you are looking for that hard to find scientific journal, Google just might have it.
Shopping – Find products, compare prices, and save yourself the hassle of memorizing a dozen commerce sites.
Video – Scads and scads of video resources at your fingertips.
You can find tons of other Google products here.
Just in case you haven’t gotten enough power out of your Google search, here are a few more operators you can use to help you refine your web searches:
The query [link:] will list webpages that have links to the specified webpage. For instance, [link:www.google.com] will list webpages that have links pointing to the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the “link:” and the web page url.
The query [related:] will list web pages that are “similar” to a specified web page. For instance, [related:www.google.com] will list web pages that are similar to the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the “related:” and the web page url.
The query [info:] will present some information that Google has about that web page. For instance, [info:www.google.com] will show information about the Google homepage. Note there can be no space between the “info:” and the web page url.
More Search Tips
“Word Definitions: If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.
Example: define:plethora” — HubPages
“Calculator. One of the handiest uses of Google, type in a quick calculation in the search box and get an answer. It’s faster than calling up your computer’s calculator in most cases. Use the +, -, *, / symbols and parentheses to do a simple equation.” — Dumblittleman
“Google shows direct answers for simple questions above the search results. When you try to find a simple fact, enter you query this way: “Italy population”, and not as a complicated question like ‘How many people are in Italy?’ because you might confuse Google.” — Google Operating System
Shopping online is easy, as long as you keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, make certain that you trust your merchant. There are thousands of sites on the web, all chomping at the bit for your money. If you are going to be giving away your most sensitive information online, at least do your due diligence. Before making a purchase online, search through multiple sources. Your safest bet will always be online versions of stores that also have physical locations. Unfortunately, these are almost always the most expensive options. Here are a few
Amazon – Along with their normally lower than average prices, Amazon gives you access to user shops. These shops sell new and used merchandise which is often 10%-50% cheaper than the retail price. Many times, these merchants are trying to get rid of excess inventory are willing to accept a lower price as a result. Use your good judgment, and read the merchants reviews before purchasing.
Overstock – Overstock offers great products at cut rates. As you may have figured out from their name, they deal in inventory overruns from traditional merchants. The plus side is that they are much less expensive than retail, the downside is that their inventory fluctuates wildly.
More Internet Shopping Tips
“Shop at Secure Web Sites. You can tell when you are dealing with a secure web site in several ways.
First, if you look at the top of your screen where the web site address is displayed, you should see https://. The ‘s’ that is displayed after ‘http’ indicates that web site is secure. Often, you do not see the “s” until you actually move to the order page on the web site. Another way to determine if a web site is secure is to look for a closed padlock displayed at the bottom of your screen. If that lock is open, you should assume it is not a secure site.” — Privacy Rights
“If it’s your first time on an unfamiliar site, call the seller’s phone number, so you know you can reach them if you need to. If you can’t find a working phone number, take your business elsewhere.” — Federal Trade Commission
“Many online merchants offer rebates that can save you a bundle of money. To receive the discount, typically you enter the coupon code in the order form. It’s then deducted from the total purchase price. (Take a look at Retailmenot for a database of coupon codes -editor)” — Learn The Net
Apache – The Apache HTTP Server, commonly referred to simply as Apache [??pæt?i], is a web server notable for playing a key role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web. Apache was the first viable alternative to the Netscape Communications Corporation web server (currently known as Sun Java System Web Server), and has since evolved to rival other Unix-based web servers in terms of functionality and performance. [source]
Aggregator – A web service that uses an API or scrapping to pull in data from across the web. A product that repackages and refocuses content ostensibly to improve user experience. [source]
ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), pronounced /?æski/ is a character encoding based on the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that work with text. Most modern character encodings — which support many more characters than did the original — have a historical basis in ASCII. [source]
ATOM (see: RSS) – The name Atom applies to a pair of related standards. The Atom Syndication Format is an XML language used for web feeds, while the Atom Publishing Protocol (short AtomPub or APP) is a simple HTTP-based protocol for creating and updating web resources. [source]
Blog – One of many next generation content management systems designed to make web publishing easier for the masses. A platform that allows a two-way platform between commentators and readers.
Blogosphere – A colloquial term for the group of authors that write, edit and publish blogs. The idea that blogs and their authors form an ecosystem around which conversations occur. [source]
Browser – A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. Text and images on a Web page can contain hyperlinks to other Web pages at the same or different website. Web browsers allow a user to quickly and easily access information provided on many Web pages at many websites by traversing these links. Web browsers format HTML information for display, so the appearance of a Web page may differ between browsers. [source]
CGI – The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard protocol for interfacing external application software with an information server, commonly a web server. [source]
Crowdsource – Applying the creative talents of users in order to generate creative work for a social media project. The concept that many Web 2.0 sites including YouTube, Digg and Flickr are based off of. [source]
Cookie – HTTP cookies, or more commonly referred to as Web cookies, tracking cookies or just cookies, are parcels of text sent by a server to a web client (usually a browser) and then sent back unchanged by the client each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, session tracking (state maintenance), and maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences or the contents of their electronic shopping carts. The term “cookie” is derived from “magic cookie,” a well-known concept in UNIX computing which inspired both the idea and the name of HTTP cookies. [source]
CSS – In web development, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML, but the language can be applied to any kind of XML document, including SVG and XUL. [source]
Digg – A social news site that allows users to submit, rate and discuss the relevant news of the day. A “democratic” news source that allows content to be promoted by a community. [source]
DNS – The Domain Name System (DNS) associates various information with domain names; most importantly, it serves as the “phone book” for the Internet by translating human-readable computer hostnames, e.g. www.example.com, into IP addresses, e.g. 184.108.40.206, which networking equipment needs to deliver information. It also stores other information such as the list of mail servers that accept email for a given domain. In providing a worldwide keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of contemporary Internet use. [source]
DSL – DSL or xDSL, is a family of technologies that provide digital data transmission over the wires of a local telephone network. DSL originally stood for digital subscriber loop, although in recent years, the term digital subscriber line has been widely adopted as a more marketing-friendly term for ADSL, which is the most popular version of consumer-ready DSL. DSL uses high frequency, while regular telephone uses low frequency on the same telephone line. [source]
Flame (Flame War) – Flaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or even through e-mail. An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and such a response is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users. Other times, a flamer is simply an individual who believes he or she carries the only valid opinion. This leads him or her to personally attack those who disagree. In some cases, flamers wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they can be called “trolls”. Most often however, flames are angry or insulting messages transmitted by people who have strong feelings about a subject. [source]
FTP – In computing, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a network protocol used to transfer data from one computer to another through a network, such as over the Internet. [source]
HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a communications protocol for the transfer of information on the intranet and the World Wide Web. Its original purpose was to provide a way to publish and retrieve hypertext pages over the Internet. 
IMAP – The Internet Message Access Protocol (commonly known as IMAP or IMAP4, and previously called Internet Mail Access Protocol, Interactive Mail Access Protocol (RFC 1064), and Interim Mail Access Protocol) is an application layer Internet protocol operating on port 143 that allows a local client to access e-mail on a remote server. The current version, IMAP version 4 revision 1 (IMAP4rev1), is defined by RFC 3501. IMAP4 and POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3) are the two most prevalent Internet standard protocols for e-mail retrieval. Virtually all modern e-mail clients and servers support both. [source]
IP Address – An IP address (or Internet Protocol address) is a unique address that certain electronic devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP)—in simpler terms, a computer address. [source]
ISP – An Internet service provider (abbr. ISP, also called Internet access provider or IAP) is a company or business that provides access to the Internet and related services. In the past, most ISPs were run by the phone companies. Now, ISPs can be started by just about any individual or group with sufficient money and expertise. In addition to Internet access via various technologies such as dial-up and DSL, they may provide a combination of services including Internet transit, domain name registration and hosting, web hosting, and colocation. [source]
LAN – A local-area network is a computer network covering a small geographic area, like a home, office, or group of buildings e.g. a school. The defining characteristics of LANs, in contrast to wide-area networks (WANs), include their much higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic range, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines. [source]
Mashup – The act of combining two concepts, one of which is usually a software API, to create a new product. A way to leverage pre-existing software platforms to speed the development cycle. [source]
NIC – A network card, network adapter, LAN Adapter or NIC (network interface card) is a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network. It is both an OSI layer 1 (physical layer) and layer 2 (data link layer) device, as it provides physical access to a networking medium and provides a low-level addressing system through the use of MAC addresses. It allows users to connect to each other either by using cables or wirelessly. [source]
Open Source – Open source is a development methodology, which offers practical accessibility to a product’s source (goods and knowledge). Some consider open source as one of various possible design approaches, while others consider it a critical strategic element of their operations. Before open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; the term open source gained popularity with the rise of the Internet, which provided access to diverse production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. [source]
PDF – The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. PDF is a fixed-layout format used for representing two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a 2-D document (and, with Acrobat 3-D, embedded 3-D documents) that includes the text, fonts, images, and 2-D vector graphics that compose the documents. [source]
Permalink – A permalink is a URL that points to a specific blog or forum entry after it has passed from the front page to the archives. Because a permalink remains unchanged indefinitely, it is less susceptible to link rot. Most modern weblogging and content-syndication software systems support such links. Other types of websites use permanent links, but the term permalink is most common within the blogosphere. Permalink is a portmanteau word made from permanent link. Permalinks are often simply stated so as to be human-readable. [source]
Podcast – A podcast is a series of digital-media files which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. The term podcast, like broadcast, can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. [source]
POP – In computing, local e-mail clients use the Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), an application-layer Internet standard protocol, to retrieve e-mail from a remote server over a TCP/IP connection. POP3 and IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol) are the two most prevalent Internet standard protocols for e-mail retrieval. Virtually all modern e-mail clients and servers support both. [source]
Proxy – In computer networks, a proxy server is a server (a computer system or an application program) which services the requests of its clients by forwarding requests to other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service, such as a file, connection, web page, or other resource, available from a different server. The proxy server provides the resource by connecting to the specified server and requesting the service on behalf of the client. A proxy server may optionally alter the client’s request or the server’s response, and sometimes it may serve the request without contacting the specified server. In this case, it would ‘cache’ the first request to the remote server, so it could save the information for later, and make everything as fast as possible. [source]
RSS – RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed” or “web feed” or “channel”) contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays [source]
SEO – An attempt to use particular formats and techniques to increase a web page’s placement in search engines. Most notably, Google. An industry of professionals who design and implement these plans and manage a web sites traffic through leveraging search engines. [source]
Social Media – Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share content, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives, and media themselves. The blanket under which most Web 2.0 services fall. Any collaborative communications medium. [source]
Social Network – A web service designed to bring users together around a subject of interest. A product, usually containing a “friends list” and “profile page” [source]
Server – In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. A server application, as defined by RFC 2616 (HTTP/1.1), is ‘an application program that accepts connections in order to service requests by sending back responses.’ Server computers are devices designed to run such an application or applications, often for extended periods of time with minimal human direction and maintanance. Examples of d-class servers include web servers, e-mail servers, and file servers. [source]
SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the de facto standard for e-mail transmissions across the Internet. Formally SMTP is defined in RFC 821 (STD 10) as amended by RFC 1123 (STD 3) chapter 5. The protocol used today is also known as ESMTP and defined in RFC 2821. [source]
Spyware – Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without the user’s informed consent. [source]
Tags – The use of “real word” categories to organize content in a way that is more in line with the way that real people understand it. A collaborative sorting scheme used in many Web 2.0 web services. [source]
Troll – An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion. [source]
Trojan Horse – The Trojan Horse is part of the Trojan War, as told in Virgil’s Latin epic poem The Aeneid. The events of this take place after Homer’s Iliad, and before Homer’s Odyssey. [source]
URL (see URI) – Strictly, it is a compact string of characters for a resource available via the Internet. The idea of a uniform syntax for global identifiers of network-retrievable documents was the core idea of the World Wide Web. In the early times, these identifiers were variously called ‘document names’, ‘Web addresses’ and ‘Uniform Resource Locators’. These names were misleading, however, because not all identifiers were locators, and even for those that were, this was not their defining characteristic. Nevertheless, by the time the RFC 1630 formally defined the term ‘URI’ as a generic term best suited to the concept, the term ‘URL’ had gained widespread popularity, which has continued to this day. [source]
VOIP – Voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP, IPA: /v?jp/) is a protocol optimized for the transmission of voice through the Internet or other packet-switched networks. VoIP is often used abstractly to refer to the actual transmission of voice (rather than the protocol implementing it). This latter concept is also referred to as IP telephony, Internet telephony, voice over broadband, broadband telephony, and broadband phone. The last two are arguably incorrect because telephone-quality voice communications are, by definition, narrowband. [source]
VPN – A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network in which some of the links between nodes are carried by open connections or virtual circuits in some larger network (e.g., the Internet) instead of by physical wires. The link-layer protocols of the virtual network are said to be tunneled through the larger network when this is the case. One common application is secure communications through the public Internet, but a VPN need not have explicit security features, such as authentication or content encryption. VPNs, for example, can be used to separate the traffic of different user communities over an underlying network with strong security features. [source]
WAN – Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that covers a broad area (i.e., any network whose communications links cross metropolitan, regional, or national boundaries). Or, less formally, a network that uses routers and public communications links . Contrast with personal area networks (PANs), local area networks (LANs), campus area networks (CANs), or metropolitan area networks (MANs) which are usually limited to a room, building, campus or specific metropolitan area (e.g., a city) respectively. The largest and most well-known example of a WAN is the Internet. [source]
XML – The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages. It is classified as an extensible language because it allows its users to define their own elements. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet, and it is used both to encode documents and to serialize data. In the latter context, it is comparable with other text-based serialization languages such as JSON and YAML. [strong]