- Newsgroups that start with the three letters
"alt" are devoted to alternative topics for example, alt.fishing.catfish.
Unfortunately, many of the most pornographic newsgroups are alt groups.
- AltaVista is one of the best search engines. For aid in conducting searches,
print the help file by clicking the button found at the upper right part of the query box.
One drawback to AltaVista is that it offers no parental control options and may show
inappropriate text when queried on innocuous topics. For example, if a child looks for
"toys," they may get explicit references to sexual toys.
- AOL (America Online)
The largest of the online service providers, AOL offers
some of the best family-friendly features (see the ISP
comparison chart on the Internet Service Provider page).
In addition to proprietary online content not found elsewhere, AOL offers direct access to
- Computer files can be attached to an e-mail message
in the same fashion that a document can be attached to a cover memo with a paperclip.
Attachments can be any sort of computer file graphics, text or software.
The Internets central data transmission lines are sometimes referred to as the
backbone. The backbone is not operated by any one company or government. In the U.S.,
seven companies operate components of the Internet backbone. These companies transfer
traffic back and forth between their networks as needed. For example, if a MCI customer
sends e-mail to a Sprint user, the message will be
carried partly on the MCI backbone and partly on Sprints.
This refers to the amount of electronic traffic that can flow through a connection. For
example, a 14.4 modem has very little bandwidth, a 28.8 modem has twice as much and
AT&Ts main fiber optic trunklines that connect cities have huge bandwidth. The
more bandwidth, the faster the words, images and sound appear on your screen as you travel
- Binary (or binaries)
This word has many meanings, but in an Internet context it refers to newsgroups that offer picture or sound files. A large
number of these can be found under the newsgroup heading alt.binaries. Many of the
largest binary newsgroups are pornographic.
Most browsers use the term "bookmark" for web
sites that have been marked for an easy return. Internet Explorer, however, refers to bookmarks
The software program that you are using to view this web
site is a browser. Almost all browsers also enable users to look at newsgroups and send e-mail.
Microsofts browser, Internet Explorer 3.0,
also has the ability to screen Internet sites based on any PICS
There are two types of cache used by most browsers. The
first is the cache stored in the computers active memory (RAM) and the second is a hard drive cache. The purpose of
cache is to speed up the web surfing experience. As anyone who has jumped from one web
site to another can attest, the viewing process is sometimes painfully slow. The first
time a user visits a web site, the cache
automatically stores the sites graphics and text. The next time the user visits the
site, the images are quickly retrieved from the cache instead of being slowly pulled in
over the Net. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer create subdirectories in the
computers hard drive, called "cache" that contain the cached files. These
files can be viewed directly, providing a way for parents to check what their children
have been viewing online. (Unless, of course, their children are knowledgeable enough to
delete the sites they visit from the cache.)
One of the more popular Internet features, chat allows users to converse via short written
messages. Typically, many people will join in on a chat, writing messages that are
displayed simultaneously on each participants computer screen. There are several
varieties of chat. The most common are Internet Relay Chat
(IRC) and chat rooms which are offered by online services such as AOL. AOL chat rooms allow up to two dozen people to take
part in conversations with different rooms devoted to different subjects. With IRC, there
may be hundreds of participants in any one chat group.