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Web Hosting - The Internet and How It Works In one sense, detailing the statement in the title would require at least a book. In another sense, it can't be fully explained at all, since there's no central authority that designs or implements the highly distributed entity called The Internet. But the basics can certainly be outlined, simply and briefly. And it's in the interest of any novice web site owner to have some idea of how their tree fits into that gigantic forest, full of complex paths, that is called the Internet. The analogy to a forest is not far off. Every computer is a single plant, sometimes a little bush sometimes a mighty tree. A percentage, to be sure, are weeds we could do without. In networking terminology, the individual plants are called 'nodes' and each one has a domain name and IP address. Connecting those nodes are paths. The Internet, taken in total, is just the collection of all those plants and the pieces that allow for their interconnections - all the nodes and the paths between them. Servers and clients (desktop computers, laptops, PDAs, cell phones and more) make up the most visible parts of the Internet. They store information and programs that make the data accessible. But behind the scenes there are vitally important components - both hardware and software - that make the entire mesh possible and useful. Though there's no single central authority, database, or computer that creates the World Wide Web, it's nonetheless true that not all computers are equal. There is a hierarchy. That hierarchy starts with a tree with many branches: the domain system. Designators like .com, .net, .org, and so forth are familiar to everyone now. Those basic names are stored inside a relatively small number of specialized systems maintained by a few non-profit organizations. They form something called the TLD, the Top Level Domains. From there, company networks and others form what are called the Second Level Domains, such as Microsoft.com. That's further sub-divided into www.Microsoft.com which is, technically, a sub-domain but is sometimes mis-named 'a host' or a domain. A host is the name for one specific computer. That host name may or may not be, for example, 'www' and usually isn't. The domain is the name without the 'www' in front. Finally, at the bottom of the pyramid, are the individual hosts (usually servers) that provide actual information and the means to share it. Those hosts (along with other hardware and software that enable communication, such as routers) form a network. The set of all those networks taken together is the physical aspect of the Internet. There are less obvious aspects, too, that are essential. When you click on a URL (Uniform Resource Locator, such as http://www.microsoft.com) on a web page, your browser sends a request through the Internet to connect and get data. That request, and the data that is returned from the request, is divided up into packets (chunks of data wrapped in routing and control information). That's one of the reasons you will often see your web page getting painted on the screen one section at a time. When the packets take too long to get where they're supposed to go, that's a 'timeout'. Suppose you request a set of names that are stored in a database. Those names, let's suppose get stored in order. But the packets they get shoved into for delivery can arrive at your computer in any order. They're then reassembled and displayed. All those packets can be directed to the proper place because they're associated with a specified IP address, a numeric identifier that designates a host (a computer that 'hosts' data). But those numbers are hard to remember and work with, so names are layered on top, the so-called domain names we started out discussing. Imagine the postal system (the Internet). Each home (domain name) has an address (IP address). Those who live in them (programs) send and receive letters (packets). The letters contain news (database data, email messages, images) that's of interest to the residents. The Internet is very much the same.

Staying Computer Safe while Searching for Freebies on the Net Who doesn?t love the idea of getting something for nothing? Free stuff can bring a smile to anyone?s face, and the Internet is destination number one when you are looking for cash in on a few freebies. The downside of free stuff online is that if you aren?t careful, the free item could end up causing plenty of headaches and heartaches, not to mention a lot of cold, hard cash. If you want to score with free stuff online, make safety your number one priority by following these tips. First and foremost, treat your personal information like its cash. That might sound a little dramatic, but anyone who manages to steal your identity online is after one thing, and one thing only, your money and any addition money they can grab by cashing in on your credit. Protecting your name, address, credit card number, bank account number, phone number, social security number, and so on and so forth when you are registering for free offers is the first step to making sure you don?t get hustled when you?re just trying to enjoy a good freebie. That means that if you are asked for some personal information that you don?t feel comfortable handing out, let the freebie go. Likewise, make sure the site from which you are getting your free stuff has a privacy policy and that you know it, understand it, and can live with it. Speaking of that site that is handing out the free goods: just who are these people? If you were walking down the street and a shady looking person said they would give you a free DVD player if you followed them, chances are you would run the other way. Online, it is hard to tell the legitimate people from the people looking at you like a free lunch, but there are a few red flags you can look out for. Does the website look like it was thrown up in about 5 minutes, full of clip art and bad spelling? Is it hard to find information about where the website is registered, or where the business the website is supposedly promoting is registered? If the website purports to be affiliated with a certain brand you know, does it really look like it is, or does the logo look different/colors look off? If you can?t get a reasonable feel for who are dealing with online, don?t deal with them. Red flag number one? Asking for too much personal info should send you running. Another way to protect yourself is to build a virtual fortress around your computer. The net is filled with people who know how to walk right into your virtual home ? your computer ? and flip through everything you have on there, taking whatever they want. Many of these kinds of hackers draw you in by creating phony freebie websites. The way to keep them out is to keep your computer on lockdown. Make sure your firewall is stronger than you think it needs to be, and make sure it is always updated. Also, make sure you have antivirus software on the patrol for you and that you keep this software updated as well. Last but not least, keep those passwords in the vault, and make sure they are extra strong. No freebie website has any reason to ask you about the passwords for your accounts so don?t give them away ? and don?t give them to anyone else online for that matter. Also, if you?re using your birthday or child?s name as password, don?t. Sure, it isn?t as easy to remember, but your password should be a random word and contain a collection of numbers and symbols as well. This will give you the extra layer of protection to make sure your online house is in order when you cash in on the freebies.

Music Copyright Law Are You Violating Music Copyright Law? With the popularity of the Internet, many people are violating music copyright law and do not even know it. Music copyright law can be very tricky. There are multiple music copyrights that you must keep in mind ? lyrics, composition and the recording of the music by an artist. Using someone?s music may involve you acquiring many different licenses such as mechanical, synchronization, performance and publishing licenses. Music copyright law has separate copyrights for the vocal or instrumental recordings of a composition or performance and the copyright of the written lyrics and music. Standard music copyrighting practices usually entail that the writer of the song retains the rights to the right to the music composition which the studio that did the recording of the music holds the rights of the recording. Music copyright law can get very complicated. It can involve negotiations with the writers, producers, agents, heirs and more. Many artists and studios are upset with the decline in music sales. They are attributing this decline to people who are violating music copyright law by downloading music on the Internet. Music files are under the same copyright law as music recordings and the owners of these copyrights are entitled to royalties or compensation for the music that people are illegally downloading on the Internet. The simple fact is you are stealing if you make copies of copyrighted music recordings without authorization to do so. If people were sued for the music they have downloaded illegally, it could result in thousands of dollars. Music copyright law states that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute creative work. If you send someone an email with a song that you have illegally downloaded on the Internet, you could be in for some serious trouble. To put it bluntly and plainly, if you download (or upload) music that is copyrighted without permission to do so, you are breaking the law. Many people violate music copyright law and do not even understand how their actions are criminal. If you purchase a music CD you can make a copy of it for yourself on your MP3. However, if you then use that recording and put it on your website or blog and make it available for everyone to download, you are performing an illegal act. Even if you join a site and pay a fee to download music you are in violation of music copyright law. This may sound like something that would never come back to haunt you. After all, if you were caught, it would be a first time offense, right? Well, you should know that there have been first time offenders who have been fined up to $250,000 and up to five years in jail for violating music copyright law. It is so much easier to go out and pay 20 bucks for a CD. Whether you are uploading music or downloading music, educate yourself on music copyright law. No one wants to ruin their financial future and face jail time. Enjoy music, just do it the right way!

Get Noticed at your Job by Doing it with Flair Doing your job with ?37 pieces of flair? may have entered the pop culture vernacular through the famous movie about life working an office, Office Space, but there may just be something to it. You might not need 37 pieces of flair, but doing your job with a little bit of flair and a lot of hard work is a great way to get noticed in the office and to move on to bigger and better things. How do you go about doing your job with flair? The first way to make sure you are doing your job with distinction doesn?t involve much flair at all ? it simply involves doing your job and doing it well. Know exactly what your responsibilities are and attend to them every day. Don?t let any of the things that come under your job description fall by the wayside because you think they are unimportant. If you are unsure exactly what all of your responsibilities are, ask your boss for a meeting and discuss your job description with them. You will get noticed simply for your desire to make sure you are covering all of your bases and not letting any of your responsibilities fall by the wayside. Another way to do your job with flair is to add to the good morale in the office. Everyone has at least one person in the office that is like a black cloud hanging in the air. Gloom, doom and pessimism don?t really have a place in the office. Even if you feel like you are heading for a fall with the way a certain project is coming together or because someone on the team is not pulling their weight, look for solutions instead of standing around and complaining about it. When your attitude can help people stay on track with their work and not dread coming into the office every day, you are bound to get noticed. If you really want to add some flair to your work performance, learn how to manage your time and avoid procrastination. Time management is one of the biggest problems all employees face, and when you don?t manage your time efficiently, you are not being as productive as possible for your boss, which never wins you any fans among the management team. If you find yourself always rushing through your work at the last minute trying to meet your deadline, try keeping a journal of all of your activities at work for a few days. When you see how much time you spending doing things like talking with co-workers by the water cooler and surfing the net, you might see ways you can improve your work habits, so you can get things done well before the deadline is pressing down on you. Increasing your productivity by managing your time is a surefire way to earn some praise from the people over your head. Another way to add flair to your work performance is by being a team player. It can be tempting to thing that to have flair you have to go out on a limb and try to do everything yourself, but that is not the case. Employers don?t like to see an employee trying to hog credit for things that everyone has worked on together or trying to one up everyone else on the staff. When you work together with the team, you show your employer that your interests are with making the company a success and not trying to advance you own personal agenda. If your employer understands that you see the bigger picture of making the company succeed, you are sure to get noticed and rewarded.