The PICS standard is used to label the content of web
sites and newsgroups. In and of itself PICS
contains no rating information. Instead, it relies on third parties such as SafeSurf to
provide the actual ratings. The PICS puts rating information on web sites in a
predictable, uniform way, much as nutritional labels present food content. Various
parental discretion software packages, as well as Microsofts browsers, Internet
Explorer 3.0 and 4.0, use PICS to block access to inappropriate sites.
New versions of both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are built in a modular style
to allow users to add new browser technology as soon as
it becomes available. For example, if a new Internet
video technology comes out, users will be able to add that feature as a plugin to their
existing browser rather than purchase or download an
entirely new browser.
Posting is Internet talk for sending a message to a newsgroup,
where it can be read by anyone looking over the newsgroup.
Technological protocols rule how computers communicate with each other. As long as all
computers on a network abide by the same set of protocols, communication succeeds. In
general, users do not need to understand protocols. Browsers
and other Internet
software attend to protocols automatically.
No entries here.
RAM, pronounced "ram," refers to the amount of active memory a computer has as
measured in megabytes (MB). Generally, the more RAM
a computer has, the faster it can function. Currently, most computers come with 16 to 32
MB of RAM. Computers with more RAM can set aside comparatively large amounts as cache for quicker web
RL is shorthand for life outside the online world.
Several years ago, when it looked as if Congress might begin regulating the violence in
computer games, software trade groups created the Recreational Software Advisory Council
to produce a rating system for the games. The system has now been transferred to the Internet, where it works on the PICS standard. RSACi is somewhat limited in capabilities,
but it is also simpler than other competing standards. RSACi is the default Internet
rating standard for the Internet Explorer browser.