Your Guide to Geek Speak Internet, Philippines and Internet in the Philippines



by Joy Arrieta

Data glove
Translates your hand movements into digital information and then transfers that information to a computer--or, even more commonly, to the headset of a virtual reality game system.

Short for "hand-held PC," what the rest of us more likely refer to a personal digital assistant, or PDA. HPC is what Microsoft wants you to call the device--probably because if you start thinking of it as an actual PC, you're more likely to choose one that runs Microsoft's Windows CE, a Windows 95-like operating system created especially for PDAs, or HPCs, or whatever you choose to call them.

If someone in a chat room or discussion group calls you a lamer, well, you haven't been making the right impression. A lamer is someone who just isn't doing things correctly, someone who betrays a total lack of online savior-faire. There ARE worse things to be called--just not in cyberspace.

Stands for "eXtensible Markup Language." Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C (we tell you about THEM in a later tip), XML lets Web developers do things they couldn't do in HTML--such as have a link point to any of several documents (depending on certain criteria) instead of just one. Whether you see Web pages written in XML anytime soon depends on whether the manufacturers of Web browsers decide to support XML anytime soon.

Tech weenies pronounce it as "vermal." It stands for "Virtual Reality Modeling Language." Think of VRML as a 3-D version of HTML: Whereas HTML lets you create two-dimensional Web pages, VRML lets you create three-dimensional Web pages. These days, you can find quite a few VRML spaces on the Web; you can browse them if you have a VRML browser (which you probably don't have) or a VRML plug-in to your existing browser (which you can download from several locations on the Web).

Founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the actual developer of the World Wide Web. It is a group of companies from around the world that have decided to base a huge chunk of their business on the Web and who want to make sure that its development standards stay open, or accessible, to everyone.

Stands for Frames Per Second and refers to the number of still images shown in each second of a video. Hollywood movies typically display 24 frames per second (hence, the title of the excellent movie Web site Digital video--like the kind you download from the Web--can range from 15 frames per second (which is pretty choppy) to 60 frames per second (which is great, but which still doesn't look as good as film because of its lower resolution).

AVI stands for "Audio Video Interleave"--one of the longest-running file formats for digital video. AVI files are big: An AVI that plays for about 10 seconds could be 2MB in size and take a long time to download over a telephone-line Internet connection. Many popular Web video technologies, such as Apple's QuickTime and Microsoft's Video for Windows, create and play video files in AVI format.

Refers to a set of digital video compression standards and file formats developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. Yes, the group's name suggests that it has a high opinion of itself, but that opinion may, in fact, be warranted. MPEG videos are usually more compact and of higher quality than videos in popular competing formats such as AVI.

Stands, loosely, for "MPEG audio layer 3" and is an extension of the MPEG compression scheme that compresses sound from a CD by a factor of 12, without sacrificing the quality of the sound. MP3 is the biggest step yet toward making downloading entire songs or albums from the Web to your computer practical.


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