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B2B:

Business to business (B2B), also called “B to B”, is a form of transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. Business to business refers to business that is conducted between companies, rather than between a company and individual consumers. Business to business stands in contrast to business to consumer (B2C) and business to government (B2G) transactions.

B2C:

Business to consumer (B2C) refers to the transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services. The business to consumer (B2C) as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to commerce between two or more businesses.

Backup:

This is the most important computer term you should know. A backup is a copy of one or more files created as an alternate in case the original data is lost or becomes unusable or corrupted. Hardware malfunctions and software corruption can damage your files. Additionally, files can be accidentally deleted or altered or they may become corrupted by viruses or other software attacks.

It is critical that you backup your data! Most people do not realize the importance of having a backup until it is too late. If you have not yet backed up your hard drive, now is a good time to do so. Seriously, stop reading this and quickly backup your hard drive. NOW! We will wait . . .

It is much easier to back up your data now than once it is too late. Of course, when you have lost great grandma’s apple pie recipe, years of adorable baby photos, research papers, important business documents, email archives, your favorite songs and movies or any other critical data that you cannot recover or replace, the importance of having a backup becomes self evident.

The most traditional way to back up  files is to use an external storage device, such as an external hard drive, USB flash memory device or even another computer. Today, you can also cloud backup, or cloud computer backup, which refers to backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. As a form of cloud storage, cloud backup data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud (see “cloud computing”). Additionally, you may chose to create permanent backups using optical media, such as CD-R and DVD-R discs. Backing up individual folders and files involves copying the files from the source media (such as your computer’s hard drive) to the destination (an external hard drive). If you want to backup your entire system or would like to have regular backups automatically performed, you can use backup software that will schedule routine backups of your data for you.

Bandwidth:

This is a measurement of the capacity of a network to transfer data. The higher the bandwidth, the faster your webpages will load. Internet bandwidth (or speed) is typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Banner Ad:

A majority of the internet is run and funded by advertising. Just like television or radio, websites can offer free content by generating revenue from online advertising. While you may get tired of web ads from time to time, most people would agree that seeing an occasional advertisement is better than paying a usage fees for visiting each website. Banner ads are the most common form of website advertising. They are typically long, rectangular images that can be placed just about anywhere on a webpage. Most banner ads are 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high (468×60). They may contain clickable text, images or animations and will redirect the user to the advertiser’s website when clicked.

Base Station:

The term “base station” was first used to refer to the towers you see on the side of the road that relay mobile cell phone calls. These stations handle all cellular calls made within their area, receiving information from one end of the call and transmitting it to the other. However, in the internet world, a base station refers to the wireless access point for wireless computers & laptops and any mobile or smart devices. It is basically a router that communicates with devices based on the WiFi standard. Some common WiFi configurations include 802.11b and 802.11g. Wireless base stations are made by companies such as Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, Apple and other manufacturers. All new Viasat internet plans come with a built in 802.11ac  Viasat WiFi Gateway and is considered a supercharged version of previous offered WiFi configuration standards.

Baseband:

The original frequency range of a transmission signal before it is converted, or modulated, to a different frequency range. For example, an audio signal may have a baseband range from 20 to 20,000 hertz. When it is transmitted on a radio frequency (RF), it is modulated to a much higher, inaudible, frequency range.

Most telecommunication protocols require original baseband signals to be modulated to a higher frequency before they are transmitted. These signals are then demodulated at the destination, so the recipient receives the original baseband signal. Dial-up modems are a good example of this process, since they modulate and demodulate signals when they are transmitted and received. In fact, the word “modem” is short for modulator/demodulator. While most protocols require the modulation of baseband signals, some can transmit in baseband without any signal conversion. A common example is the Ethernet protocol, which transfers data using the original baseband signal. In fact, the word “BASE” in “10BASE-T,” “100BASE-T,” and “1000BASE-T” Ethernet refers to baseband transmission. These Ethernet protocols do not require signal modulation. However, unlike broadband (see “broadband” below) networks, baseband Ethernet networks are limited to single transmission channel.

Baud:

A measurement used to measure the rate of electrical signals that are sent per second, or “signaling elements” for modems, networks, serial cables and other data transfer mediums.

Bcc:

Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc) is used when sending an email to more than one person. When a message is blind carbon copied, neither the main recipient nor the Bcc’d recipient(s) can see the email addresses in the “Bcc:” email field. Blind carbon copying is a useful way to let others see an email you sent without the main recipient knowing. It is faster than sending the original message and then forwarding the sent message to the other recipients. It is also good netiquette to use Bcc when copying a message to many people. This prevents the email addresses from being captured by someone else in the list who might use them for spamming purposes. However, if it is important that each recipient knows who your message was sent to, use carbon copy (CC) instead.

Beams:

Satellite beams refer to areas that a specific satellite can reach or cover. If there is no beam over your area, you cannot get satellite service. Viasat’s satellite beams cover the vast majority of the U.S. and offers coverage nationwide. Even in rural America!

Beta Software:

Before a commercial software program is released to the public, it usually goes through a “beta” phase. During this stage, the software is tested for bugs, crashes, errors, inconsistencies and any other problems. Beta versions of software used to be made available only to developers, but now they are commonly offered to the general public for testing, usually through the software company’s website or via adware. However, because beta software is often free, the programs usually expire after a period of time. If you choose to test a beta software program, do not be surprised if it has multiple problems and causes your computer to repeatedly crash. After all, it is the beta test version. You can tell if a program is still in beta by checking the program’s properties. If there is a “b” in the version number (i.e. Version: 1.2 b3) that means it’s a “beta” version.

Billing Cycle:

Refers to how often your Viasat bill is generated. Viasat uses a monthly billing cycle for your internet service. This is also the period that is used to measure your monthly data usage. When your new billing cycle begins, your household usage meter resets to zero.

Bing:

A search engine created by Microsoft, evolving from “MSN Search”. Similar to Google, Yahoo! and other search engines, Bing offers a unique web search experience. For example, the home page has a custom picture or video with related information that updates every day. You can also choose to connect your Facebook account to your Bing login, which will allow Bing to display pages your friends like within the search results. Besides web search ,Bing offers several types of specific searches, including images, videos, shopping, news and maps. It also offers a language translation service called “Microsoft Translator”. You can try Bing free at Bing.com.

Bit:

The computer term “bit” comes from the phrase “Binary DigIT”, which is a single digit number in base-2 (a zero or a one) and is the smallest unit of computer data. A full page of text is composed of about 16,000 bits. It is important not to confuse bits with bytes. Both are used to measure amounts of data, but it takes eight bits to make one byte. The most common area where bits are used instead of bytes is in measuring bandwidth in bits per second  (see “bps” below).

Bitmap:

Most images viewed on your computer or online are composed of bitmaps. A bitmap is a map of dots, or bits (hence the name), that looks like a picture as long you are sitting at a reasonable distance away from the screen. Common bitmap filetypes include .BMP (the raw bitmap format), JPEG, GIF, PICT, PCX and TIFF. Because bitmap images are made up of a bunch of dots, if you zoom in on a bitmap, it appears to be very blocky.

Bitrate:

The rate at which bits are transferred from one location to another. Bitrate measures how much data is transmitted in a given amount of time, commonly measured in bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (Kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps). For example, a DSL connection may be able to download data at 768 Kbps, while a Firewire 800 connection can transfer data up to 800 Mbps.

Bitrate can also describe the quality of an audio or video file. For example, an MP3 audio file that is compressed at 192 Kbps will have a greater dynamic range and may sound slightly more clear than the same audio file compressed at 128 Kbps. This is because more bits are used to represent the audio data for each second of playback. Similarly, a video file that is compressed at 3000 Kbps will look better than the same file compressed at 1000 Kbps. Just like the quality of an image is measured in resolution, the quality of an audio or video file is measured by the bitrate.

Bits Per Second (bps):

Note: the “b” is lowercase because it stands for bits, not bytes. Bits per second is the standard way of measuring how fast data moves across a network or phone system. For example, a 56K modem can hypothetically transfer data at 56,700 bps.

BitTorrent:

A peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing (see “P2P”) file sharing protocol designed to reduce the bandwidth required to transfer files. It does this by distributing file transfers across multiple systems, thereby lessening the average bandwidth used by each computer. For example, if a user begins downloading a movie file, the BitTorrent system will locate multiple computers with the same file and begin downloading the file from several computers at once. Since most internet service providers (ISPs) offer much faster download speeds than upload speeds, downloading from multiple computers can significantly increase the file transfer rate.

Blog:

Short for “Web Log” a Blog refers to a list of journal entries posted on a webpage. Anybody who knows how to create and publish a webpage can create & publish their own blog. Some web hosts have made it even easier by creating an interface where users can simply type a text entry and hit “publish” to publish their blog. Because of the simplicity of creating a blog, many people (often young kids and adults) have found a new online presence. Blogs are typically updated daily, monthly or anywhere in between.

Blu-ray:

An optical disc format such as CD and DVD. It was developed for recording and playing back high-definition (HD) video and for storing large amounts of data. While a CD can hold 700 MB of data and a basic DVD can hold 4.7 GB of data, a single Blu-ray disc can hold up to 25 GB of data. Even a double sided, dual layer DVD (which are not common) can only hold 17 GB of data. Dual-layer Blu-ray discs will be able to store 50 GB of data, which is equivalent to 4 hours of HDTV.

Blu-ray discs can hold more information than other optical media because of the blue-violet lasers the drives use. The blue-violet laser has a shorter wavelength than the red lasers used for CDs and DVDs (405nm compared to 650nm). This allows the laser to focus on a smaller area, which makes it possible to place significantly more data on a disc the same size as a CD or DVD.

Bluetooth:

Wireless technology that enables communication between Bluetooth-compatible devices. It is used for short-range connections between desktop and laptop computers, PDAs, digital cameras, scanners, cellular phones, tablets and printers. Because the Bluetooth technology is based on radio waves, there can be objects or even walls placed between the communicating devices and the connection won’t be disrupted. Bluetooth uses a standard 2.4 GHz frequency so that all Bluetooth-enabled devices will be compatible with each other, however, its range is limited to 30 feet. Bluetooth-status is indicated by the symbol .

BMP:

Short for “bitmap”, the BMP format is a commonly used raster graphic format for saving image files. It was introduced on the Windows platform, but is now recognized by many programs on both Macs and PCs. The .BMP format stores color data for each pixel in the image without any compression. For example, a 10×10 pixel BMP image will include color data for 100 pixels. This method of storing image information allows for crisp, high-quality graphics, but also produces large file sizes. The JPEG and GIF formats are also bitmaps, but use image compression algorithms that can significantly decrease their file size. For this reason, JPEG and GIF images are usually used on website, while .BMP & .TIFF images are often used for hi-res printable images.

Bookmark:

Similar to a real-life bookmark, an internet bookmark acts as a marker for a website. (In Internet Explorer, they’re called “Favorites”.) When using most web browser, you can create create a bookmark by choosing the “Add Bookmark” function from the Bookmarks menu when you are at a page that you would like to bookmark. You select a bookmark from the browser’s bookmarks menu to later return to that website.

Boot:

When you boot a computer, you simply turn it on. The term “boot” comes from the word “bootstraps” which people at one time used to pull their boots up. Likewise, “booting” a computer gets it up and running. Once the computer’s power is turned on, the “boot process” takes place. This process involves loading the startup instructions from the computer’s ROM, followed by loading the operating system from the current boot disk. The boot disk is usually an internal hard drive, but can also be an external drive, a CD or DVD-ROM or even a floppy disk. (Yes, floppy disks once existed. Google it! Its worth a Google.) After the operating system software is loaded, the boot process is complete and the computer is ready for use.

Boot Disk:

A boot disk is a disk that a computer can start up or “boot” from. The most common type of boot disk is an internal hard drive, which most computers use to start up from. The operating system installed on the hard drive is loaded during the boot process. However, most computers allow you to boot from other disks, including external Firewire hard drives, CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. In order to function as a boot disk, the disk must have an operating system installed that is understandable by the computer. This can either be a full-blown operating system like Windows or Mac OS or a small utility operating system, such as Norton Utilities or DiskWarrior. CD and DVD boot disks are often used to start up a computer when the operating system on the internal hard drive will not load. This can happen when bad data blocks or other errors occur on the boot disk. By running a disk repair utility from the CD or DVD, you can often fix the hard drive and reboot using the full operating system.

Boot Sector:

A boot sector is the first section of a hard drive or other data storage media. It contains the master boot record (MBR) which is accessed by the computer during the boot sequence. The boot sector may also include a partition map, which defines each disk partition.

Boot Sequence:

Every time a computer boots up, it goes through an initial series of processes. This sequence of events is aptly named a “boot sequence”. During the boot sequence, the computer activates the necessary hardware components and loads the appropriate software so that the user can interact with the machine.

The boot sequence can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the computer’s configuration. If the system is booting from a CD or DVD, the boot time may be significantly longer than if the computer is booted from a hard drive. Also, if your computer was turned off unexpectedly, the boot time might increase since the system may need to perform some additional checks to make sure everything is operational.

Bot:

An automated software program that can execute certain commands when it receives a specific input (like a robot). Bots are most often seen at work in the internet-related areas of online chat, web searches and social media. The online chat bots can perform functions such as greeting people when they enter a chat room, advertise websites or eject users from a chat room or social media platform when they violate the rules. Web searching bots, also known as spiders and crawlers, search the web and retrieve millions of HTML documents, then record the information and links found on the webpages. From there, they generate electronic catalogs of the sites that have been “spidered”. These catalogs make up the index of website links used for search engine results.

Botnot:

A network of computers that are controlled from one single source. While some botnets are used for legitimate cluster computing purposes, most botnets are created for malicious activity. Some examples include sending spam messages, spreading viruses and attacking internet servers. Hackers create botnets by compromising the security of several computers and installing bots, or automated programs, on each system. This is often accomplished by exploiting a security hole in the operating system or a software program. Most users may not even realize their computer has been compromised since the botnet activity is typically hidden from the user. Therefore, it is smart to make sure your system firewall is turned on and to install antivirus software, which checks your computer for unusual activity on a regular basis.

bps:

The “b” in bits per second (bps) is lowercase because it stands for bits, not bytes. Bits per second is the standard way of measuring how fast data moves across a network or phone system. For example, a 56K modem can hypothetically transfer data at 56,700 bps.

Broadband:

This refers to high-speed data transmission in which a single cable can carry a large amount of data at once. Also known as high-speed internet. In recent years, the FCC has established minimum qualifications for services to use the term “broadband”. The most common types of internet broadband connections are cable modems (which use the same connection as cable TV) and DSL modems (which use your existing phone line). Because of its multiple channel capacity, broadband has started to replace baseband (see “baseband” above), the single-channel technology originally used in most computer networks.  Whereas baseband uses digital signaling, broadband uses analog signals in the form of optical or electromagnetic waves over multiple transmission frequencies. For signals to be both sent and received, the transmission media must be split into two channels.

Browser:

The software people use to access the internet and serves as the interface between your computer and the World Wide Web. Your web bowser interprets web scripts like HTML code including text, images, hypertext links, Javascript and Java applets. After rendering the HTML code, the browser displays a formatted webpage. Popular browsers include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.

Buffer:

A buffer contains data that is stored for a short amount of time, typically in your computer’s memory (RAM), allowing your computer to run more efficiently. The purpose of a buffer is to hold data right before it is used. For example, when you download an audio or video file from the internet, it may load the first 20% of it into a buffer and then begin to play. While the clip plays back, the computer continually downloads the rest of the clip and stores it in the buffer. Because the clip is being played from the buffer and not directly from the internet, there is less of a chance that the audio or video will stall or skip when there is network congestion.

Buffering is used to improve several other areas of computer performance as well. Most hard disks use a buffer to enable more efficient access to the data on the disk. Video cards send images to a buffer before they are displayed on the screen (known as a screen buffer). Computer programs also use buffers to store data while they are running.

Bug:

In the computer world, a bug is an error in a software program. It may cause a program to unexpectedly quit or behave in an unintended manner. For example, a small bug may cause a button within a program’s interface not to respond when you click it. A more serious bug may cause the program to hang or crash due to an infinite calculation or memory leak.

From a developer perspective, bugs can be syntax or logic errors within the source code of a program. These errors can often be fixed using a development tool aptly named a debugger. If errors are not caught before the program is compiled into the final application, the bugs will be noticed by the user. Because bugs can negatively affect the usability of a program, most programs typically go through a testing phase before they are released to the public. For example, commercial software often goes through a beta phase, where multiple users thoroughly test all aspects of the program to make sure it functions properly. Once the program is determined to bug-free, it is released the public. Most programs are not completely error-free, even after they have been thoroughly tested. For this reason, software developers tend to release “point updates” (e.g. version 1.0.1), which include bug fixes for errors found after the software was released. Programs that are especially “buggy” may require multiple point updates (1.0.2, 1.0.3, etc.) to get rid of all the bugs.

Business-to-Business (B2B):

Also known as  B to B, is a form of transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. Business to business refers to business that is conducted between companies, rather than between a company and individual consumers. Business to business stands in contrast to business to consumer (B2C) and business to government (B2G) transactions.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C):

The transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services. The business to consumer (B2C) as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to commerce between two or more businesses.

Byte:

A set of 8 bits that represent a single character in your computer’s memory. While bits are often used to measure data transfer speeds, bytes are used to measure file sizes, hard disk space and computer memory. Larger amounts of data are measured in units such as megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes. For example, one kilobyte is equal to 1,024 bytes.

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