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daemon -- In the UNIX operating system, a background process that lies dormant waiting to perform some useful task. The sendmail daemon, for example, continually runs but becomes active only when email is sent or received.

data encryption key -- A string of characters used to mathematically encode a message so that it can only be read by someone in possession of another related key.

Data Encryption Standard -- (abbreviation: DES)
A popular, standard encryption scheme.

database -- Loosely, any aggregation of data; usually a large collection of data that has been formatted by some user-defined standard.

dedicated line -- A telephone line that is reserved for the singular purpose of providing a data connection between two computers.

delivery receipt -- An optional email feature that notifies you when your email message has been delivered to its recipient. See also Read Receipts.

delurk -- To come out of online lurking mode; to actively participate in a online discussion after a period of just watching or lurking. This term is derived from episodes of Star Trek that feature Klingon warships that can hide ("cloak") or appear ("decloak") at will.

DES -- See Data Encryption Standard.

dial-up -- 1. A temporary connection between computers established over a telephone line.
2. To establish a temporary connection to another computer.

digerati -- The digital elite. Derived from "literati".

DNS -- See Domain Name System.

domain name -- The official name of a computer connected to the Internet. Domain names are derived from a hierarchical system, with a host name followed by a top-level domain category. The top-level domain categories are com (for commercial enterprises), org (for non-profit organizations), net (for network services providers), mil (for the military), and gov (for government). Some Internet domain names include the computer server name, other sub-domains, and/or country abbreviations (e.g., us). Domain names act as easy-to-remember addresses for product or company information. As such, they are often subject to disputes between competing commercial interests. Most domain names are assigned by the InterNIC.

Domain Name System -- (abbreviation: DNS)
A database system which looks up host IP addresses based upon domain names. For example if you ask for "www.thisismyhost.com" it will return "123.45.67.89". Copies of the Domain Name System are distributed through the Internet.

domainism -- Prejudice against people on the basis of their Internet address. For example, adopting a dismissive attitude towards anyone who posts from a commercial online service. "Why should anyone listen to you, you're posting from aol.com!"

DOS -- Acroynm for Disk Operating System. A dated operating system for PCs that features a command line interface.

download -- To transfer data from a larger "host" system to a smaller "client" system's hard drive or other local storage device. See also upload.

download charges -- Monetary charges associated with downloading a file from a commercial online service. This method of information exchange is not very popular.

drag -- To move an image or a window from one place on the screen to another by grabbing it and pulling it to a new location.

dump -- 1. A large mass of information that shows the exact contents of computer memory at a particular time. Dumps are used by programmers in the debugging process.
2. To send a large volume of information to somewhere specific such as a printer or a screen.
3. A backup or a backup file created by the UNIX dump utility.


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