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Domain Name System (DNS)

Domain Name System, or DNS is a system that resolves and matches domain names and IP addresses of servers and devices on the Internet. All devices and/or services connected to the Internet, including servers are identified by two IP addresses, IPv4 and IPv6. In order to access information contained in these servers, a device needs to request it with the IP address. However, IP addresses are long strings of number which are difficult to remember for humans (e. g. for

DNS provides a way to match these IP numbers to a domain name that uses words and letters, making it easier for humans to remember and recognize. The first version was invented by Paul Mockapetris in 1983. Although the name to number system was used since the days of ARAPNET, DNS provided hierarchical, automatic, distributive method of doing so that was less vulnerable to crisis.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are sets of instructions that describe the method in which a particular task is to be performed. A good example of an API in action is when you log in to Instagram with your Twitter account, post a photo to Facebook from your phone or get information about when and where a movie is playing through a mobile app on your phone.

A simple API that I built (theoretically) in mashape to retrieve info about a film playing at SIFF reads as follows:

Film Screening Event: get information about a single film event

Method: GET


Response: JSON

In addition to simple GET commands (read only), there are also GET & PUSH (read and write) and PUSH (write only) commands. Most typically, APIs are used with web services and tools, usually for Web 2.0 and social connectivity tasks.

Geek Speak- Semantic Web

Semantic web, a term coined by Tim Berners-Lee, is basically a restructuring of the web that would allow for connections to be made between different things in essence creating a web of data. This process would allow computers to actually engage proactively in searches instead of passively retrieving what you ask for in a search. The semantic web allows for data stores on the Web, you can build new vocabularies, as well as writing rules for handling data.

The movement to include semantic information in web design is being led by W3 C (the World Wide Web Consortium). It is meant to make it easier to share and find data, with the computers actually able to fully interpret the data and connections between things on their own. Semantic web would be a step towards language that follows intention instead of simply what is written. Essentially to describe the nature of the content instead of just the letters put together so that the computer can identify the knowledge base on its own.

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Google AdWords

Google AdWords is Google’s main advertising product and main source of revenue. Google’s total advertising revenues were USD$28 billion in 2010.

No matter what your budget or how little time you have, you can reach new customers and grow your business using Google’s online advertising program. With AdWords, advertisers can choose where the ad appears, set a budget that’s comfortable for them (there’s no minimum spending commitment), and easily measure the impact of the ad.

AdWords offers pay-per-click, i.e., cost-per-click (CPC) advertising, cost-per-thousand-impressions or cost-per-mille (CPM) advertising, and site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads.The AdWords program includes local, national, and international distribution. Google’s text advertisements are short, consisting of one headline consisting of 25 characters and two additional text lines consisting of 35 characters each. Image ads can be one of several different Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard sizes.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools assists webmasters to better understand how Google interacts with their website and obtain valuable information about their search engine ranking position (SERPs). Using Webmaster Tools will not guarantee a listing on the first page of a Google search, but it can help you identify issues that, if addressed appropriately, can help your site perform better in search results.

With over 900,000,000 estimated unique visitors, Google is the dominate search engine preference. Google Webmaster Tools is an important SEO tool that allows users to get Google’s view of their sites, diagnose problems, view link and query traffic, and create XML sitemaps. New features like sitelink customization, preferred domain name, enhanced image search, and malware notification makes SEO more accommodating for beginning website creators.

Cloud Computing

Posted by Dawn Quinn for class on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

Cloud computing has become a major buzz term in the tech world in recent years. Though it’s a definite boon for businesses, cloud computing is beneficial and relevant to consumers as well. It’s something we’ve actually been utilizing for a few years (perhaps without knowing or thinking there was a name for it).

Cloud computing is the practice of Internet-based computing, where different services, (such as servers and apps) are regularly stored and accessed through the Internet.

It’s a smart move for businesses of any size because no prior knowledge is necessary to develop or maintain the infrastructure, development environment or apps. Cloud computing essentially outsources all of the housing and maintenance expenses to provide real benefits to customers. There are some things to be wary about when utilizing the cloud as well that will be covered in the presentation.


Cookies are bits of code that are stored as files on a user’s computer by the server, to help remember information about the user. This technology is used to continuously deliver tailored pages to the user.

There are several types of cookies, and each type of cookie works differently.

Cookies, as we know them today, were written by Lou Montulli in 1994. Montulli was working for Netscape Communications, and based his cookie on the “magic cookie” which was already being used in computing. Montulli was granted a patent on his web communications cookie in 1998.

Cookies help create a good web browsing experience for users by personalization, and save the user time. Cookies know what the user usually browse for and can show related information. Cookies are also beneficial to businesses, and provide them with customer feedback.

The downside of cookies is the privacy concerns that they entail. Cookies store the personal information users put into websites, and monitor their online behavior. Marketers use this information to create targeted ads, and are by some considered an invasion of privacy.