MOBI is the ebook format used by MobiPocket Reader, which bears the extension .mobi or .prc. The .prc extension is rarely used and is a vestige of MobiPocket Reader’s presence on the PalmOS (as PalmOS only supported the file extensions .prc and .db). In addition to the actual document contents, the .mobi format includes flags for a wide variety of information like the total length of the document, where in the document the reader left off, and so on.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, was founded in 1998 to ensure there was a non-profit, international, and impartial organization to coordinate all of the Internet’s addressing and protocol systems, develop naming conventions, and accredit Domain Name Registrars to handle the commercial side of domain sales and distribution.
Localhost is the standard networking convention for the local computer. Any time a computer needs to refer to itself for testing purposes or to direct TCP/IP-based commands back to itself, it can use “localhost” or the loopback address “127.0.0.1″–an IP reserved specifically for the localhost.
A mesh network is a communications network in which each node shares at least two pathways with two other nodes (and thus has redundant access to the communication network). Mesh networks are extremely stable as they are resistant to decay if multiple nodes are damaged or removed from service.
In photography, the Depth of Field refers to the portion of a photograph that is in focus–specifically the distance between the nearest and farthest objects or surfaces in the photograph that appear acceptably sharp and in focus to the viewer.
At its most basic, an aperture is simply a hole through which light travels–although the use of aperture to refer to any old portal through which light passes has certainly fallen out of a fashion. The term is most widely used in terms of optical systems such as cameras and telescopes.
White balance is a feature available on almost every digital camera–most point-and-shoot models and every DSLR–that allows the camera to properly register the color white within the lighting conditions under which the photo is taken.
A modifier key is a key that modifies the action or output of another key when pressed with that secondary (or even tertiary) key. The most commonly used modifier key is the Shift key, which when pressed with an alpha or numeric key, capitalizes the letter or activates the secondary symbol, respectively.
An autoresponder is a program or script run on a mail server that automatically replies to emails. Typical uses for autoresponders include automating the process of acknowledging customer inquiries (e.g. if you email email@example.com the server will acknowledge the receipt of your inquiry) and alerting people that you’re on vacation or out of the office for an extended period of time.
Many anti-virus and malware scanners have a quarantine mode. This mode allows users to take a file that has been flagged as a potential threat and effectively lock it away temporarily while they investigate and determine if the file is a legitimate threat or if there was a false alert and the file needs to be restored to its previous location.
Hibernation mode is like putting your computer in a state of suspended animation. Unlike sleep mode, where the core system remains powered up (but the peripherals and hard disks are powered down), hibernation mode effectively powers down the system while preserving the work state over time.
Sleep mode, or standby, is power-saving state employed by both computers and mobile devices. While in sleep mode, a device will partially power down components and peripherals to save power, but will leave the core systems operational so that the user may get back to work as quickly as possible.
A wild card is a symbol used to indicate any value is acceptable in that location when performing a task or search query. For example, if you wanted to search for all the .jpg files on your computer you could simply plug “*.jpg” into your search tool of choice. If you wanted all the photos with the string 2001 in the file name, you could update your search to “*2001*.jpg”
PEBCAK, or Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard, is a commonly used acronym within the tech support community to indicate that the reported problem with the system is not a failure of any software or hardware component, but is instead a wetware failure–the user of the computer is the source of the problem.
Snoopware is a type of computer and mobile operating system software designed to actively spy on the user of the device. Unlike spyware, which is designed to monitor browsing/usage habits to allow advertisers to better target and sell to the user, snoopware is designed to allow a third party access to the computer or mobile device.
A keystroke logger is a software or hardware tool that captures every key pressed on a computer’s keyboard. Keystroke loggers can take the form of a physical device attached to a computer–often a small extension to the keyboard cable itself–that is undetectable by the host computer (and usually only discovered if the computer user or a member of the IT department notices it). More commonly, however, keystroke loggers are software-based.
When the operating system of your computer or mobile device displays a small notification on your screen, you’re experiencing a “toast” notification. The defining characteristic of a toast notification is that it pops up, like toast in a toaster, and then fades away after a set period of time.
An ad hoc network is a decentralized wireless network. The term ad hoc, Latin for “for this purpose”, refers to the the non-dependence of the ad hoc network on pre-existing infrastructure such as a Wi-Fi access point, routers, or other physical network structures.
An access point (AP) is a piece of hardware that bridges communication between wireless devices and a physical network. The Wi-Fi nodes found in coffee shops and other public spaces as well as the Wi-Fi enabled router found in many homes are examples of access points.
Although many cellular providers advertise 4G service–and that 4G service is certainly speedy compared to the previous 3G data speed–there are currently no 4G providers actually meeting the requirements of the 4G standard specifications. Current revisions to 4G technology, such as Mobile WiMAX v2, are set for deployment in the coming years and should significantly increase potential 4G network speeds.
Short Message Service (SMS), or as most of us call it, texting, is the text messaging component of cellular communication networks. It’s the most widely used communication protocol in the world, with billions of people the world over collectively sending six trillion text messages annually.