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Consumer Technology

Definitions about consumer technology including Internet acronyms, tech lingo, multimedia definitions, words about personal computing and peripherals as well as terms used in wireless and mobile computing.

Desktops and laptops

Terms related to PCs, including definitions about desktop computers and words and phrases about computer components.

  • operating system (OS)

    An operating system (OS) is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all of the other application programs in a computer.

  • Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)

    Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, or UEFI, specifies how a software program connects a computer's firmware to its operating system and attached computing hardware. UEFI is considered the successor to BIOS.

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP) is a concept in computer security that limits users' access rights to only what are strictly required to do their jobs.

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End user hardware

Terms related to peripheral devices including definitions about keyboards or mice and words and phrases about printers, monitors, digital cameras and scanners.

  • port

    A port in computing has three main uses, each as a type of receptacle in networking, computer hardware and software.

  • Serial ATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA)

    Serial ATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA) is a command and transport protocol that defines how data is transferred between a computer's motherboard and mass storage devices, such as hard disk drives (HDDs), optical drives and solid-state drives (SSDs).

  • What is failover?

    Failover is a backup operational mode in which the functions of a system component (such as a processor, server, network, or database, for example) are assumed by secondary system components when the primary component becomes unavailable through either failure or scheduled down time.

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Internet acronyms and lingo

Terms related to Internet acronyms and lingo, including slang definitions and jargon about texting, Twitter and other social networking sites.

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.'

  • ping

    A ping (Packet Internet or Inter-Network Groper) is a basic internet program that enables a user to test and verify if a particular destination Internet Protocol (IP) address exists and can accept requests in computer network administration.

  • Millennials (Generation Y)

    Millennials, also known as Generation Y, is a demographic that includes individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. This definition of the term discusses millennials in the workplace, millennials and technology, millennials and culture.

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Internet technologies

This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet technologies, including definitions about port numbers, standards and protocols and words and phrases about how the Internet works.

  • Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP)

    Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) is a connection-oriented network protocol for transmitting multiple streams of data simultaneously between two endpoints that have established a connection in a network.

  • ping

    A ping (Packet Internet or Inter-Network Groper) is a basic internet program that enables a user to test and verify if a particular destination Internet Protocol (IP) address exists and can accept requests in computer network administration.

  • port number

    Port number is a way to identify a specific process to which an internet or other network message is to be forwarded when it arrives at a server.

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Multimedia and graphics

Terms related to multimedia, including graphics, animation and video definitions and words and phrases about images and sound.

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malware whose primary function is to self-replicate and infect other computers while remaining active on infected systems.

  • vector graphics

    Vector graphics are computer images created through a sequence of commands or mathematical statements that place lines and shapes in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional space.

  • unified communications (UC)

    Unified communications (UC) is an umbrella term for the integration of multiple enterprise communication tools -- such as voice calling, video conferencing, instant messaging (IM), presence, content sharing, etc. -- into a single, streamlined interface, with the goal of improving user experience (UX) and productivity.

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Personal computing

Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

  • Serial ATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA)

    Serial ATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA) is a command and transport protocol that defines how data is transferred between a computer's motherboard and mass storage devices, such as hard disk drives (HDDs), optical drives and solid-state drives (SSDs).

  • operating system (OS)

    An operating system (OS) is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all of the other application programs in a computer.

  • PaaS (platform as a service)

    PaaS (platform as a service) is a cloud computing model where a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools to users over the internet.

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Printers

Terms related to printers, including definitions about scanners and words and phrases about inkjet, laser, photo and all-in-one printers.

  • offset printing (offset lithography)

    Offset printing, also called offset lithography, is a method of mass-production printing in which the images on metal plates are transferred (offset) to rubber blankets or rollers and then to the print media.

  • rafts, skirts and brims

    Rafts, skirts and brims are structures created at the base of the bottom of a 3D print. These structures are temporary and used to improve print reliability and quality.

  • print bed

    A print bed is the surface on a 3D printer where a print head lays down the materials that make up a 3D print.

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Wireless and mobile

Terms related to wireless and mobile technology, including definitions about consumer mobile technology devices and communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and LTE.

  • megabits per second (Mbps)

    Megabits per second (Mbps) are units of measurement for network bandwidth and throughput. It is used to show how fast a network or internet connection is.

  • phase-locked loop (PLL)

    A phase-locked loop (PLL) is an electronic circuit with a voltage or voltage-driven oscillator that constantly adjusts to match the frequency of an input signal.

  • Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)

    Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) is a digital modulation technique used in digital cellular telephone and mobile radio communication.

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SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • biometric verification

    Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing ...

  • password

    A password is a string of characters used to verify the identity of a user during the authentication process.

  • biometrics

    Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's unique physical and behavioral characteristics.

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management technique where secondary memory can be used as if it were a part of the main memory.

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