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WAIS - Wide Area Information Servers:

  • Wide-area information servers (WAIS) is an Internet system in which specialized subject databases are created at multiple server locations, kept track of by a directory of servers at one location, and made accessible for searching by users with WAIS client programs. The user of WAIS is provided with or obtains a list of distributed database s. The user enters a search argument for a selected database and the client then accesses all the servers on which the database is distributed. The results provide a description of each text that meets the search requirements. The user can then retrieve the full text.
  • WAIS (pronounced "ways") uses its own Internet protocol , an extension of the Z39.50 standard (Information Retrieval Service Definition and Protocol Specification for Library Applications) of the National Information Standards Organization. Web users can use WAIS by either downloading a WAIS client and a "gateway" to the Web browser or by using Telnet to connect to a public WAIS client.
  • Most Web users will find that the abundance of server files and search engines already available on the Web will make WAIS superfluous. However, librarians, medical researchers, and others may find some specialized information available through WAIS that is not currently available on the Web.

WAN - Wide Area Network:

  • See Wide Area Network.

WAP Wireless Application Protocol:

  • See Wireless Application Protocol.

War Dialer:

  • A war dialer is a computer program used to identify the phone numbers that can successfully make a connection with a computer modem . The program automatically dials a defined range of phone numbers and logs and enters in a database those numbers that successfully connect to the modem. Some programs can also identify the particular operating system running in the computer and may also conduct automated penetration testing. In such cases, the war dialer runs through a predetermined list of common user names and passwords in an attempt to gain access to the system.
  • A war dialer, usually obtained as freeware , is typically used by a hacker to identify potential targets. If the program does not provide automated penetration testing, the intruder attempts to hack a modem with unprotected log-ins or easily cracked passwords. Commercial war dialers, also known as modem scanners, are also used by system administrators, to identify unauthorized modems on an enterprise network. Such modems can provide easy access to a company's intranet.

WASP -Wireless Application Service Provider:

  • A wireless application service provider (WASP) is part of a growing industry sector resulting from the convergence of two trends: wireless communications and the outsourcing of services. A WASP performs the same service for wireless clients as a regular application service provider (ASP) does for wired clients: it provides Web-based access to applications and services that would otherwise have to be stored locally. The main difference with WASP is that it enables customers to access the service from a variety of wireless devices, such as a smartphone or personal digital assistant (PDA).
  • Although the business world is increasingly mobile, many corporations are resisting the idea of wireless communication, because of concerns about set-up and maintenance costs and the need for in-house expertise. WASPs offer businesses the advantages of wireless service with less expense and fewer risks. Because mobile applications are subscribed to, rather than purchased, up-front costs are lower; because the WASP provides support, staffing and training costs are lower.
  • WASP services may include:
  • * Constant system monitoring
  • * Diagnostics and resolution
  • * User support
  • * Text formatting for various devices
  • * Problem detection and reporting
  • There are still issues to be resolved. Coverage areas remain limited, for example, and data synchronization among devices can be problematic. Nevertheless, WASPs provide an easier, safer, and cheaper way for organizations to add mobile components, and a number of major companies are opting for them. UPS, Sprint, and eBay are among the early subscribers to WASP services. Interestingly, some ASPs have begun to offer WASP services, while others are purchasing them. WASP is also an acronym for Web Standards Project.


  • The term "Webcasting" is used to describe the ability to use the Web to deliver live or delayed versions of sound or video broadcasts. NetTalk Live! is an example of the former. They use an Internet site to deliver a RealAudio sound version of a live radio and television program at 11 pm (CST) each Sunday night. (They call this a triplecast.)
  • CNet and some other Web sites use the term "Webcast" to describe delayed or preview versions of movies, music videos, or regular radio and television broadcasts as a way to promote the live broadcasts. Each sample is known as a Webisode . Viewing Webcasts requires having an appropriate video viewing application such as the NetShow, RealVideo, or VXtreme streaming video players; these can usually be downloaded from any site offering a Webcast. Also see push technology.

Web Hosting:

  • Web hosting (also known as Webhosting, Web site hosting, and hosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more Web site. Also see Hosting

Web Intermediaries:

  • Web Intermediaries (WBI - pronounced "webby") is a framework and set of programming tools from IBM for the uniform creation and control of intermediary programs such as proxy servers, transcoding processors, and any kind of program that sits somewhere between two end points in a network. Some other kinds of intermediary programs that can be built using WBI include personalization of Web content; transcoding HTML for formatting to a handheld device; interactivity with other Web users and data; the filtering of content; and, more controversially, the monitoring of individual usage.
  • A WBI application consists of a request editor, a (response) generator, a response editor, and a monitor. A collection of such a monitor, editors, and generator is known as a MEG, and a MEG constitutes an installable plugin. Plugins are registered in a computer and made usable whenever they are needed or wanted. The (Java-based) WBI Development Kit comes with some ready-made plugins, including the same plugin APIs as IBM's WebSphere Transcoding Publisher.


  • A Webmaster is a person who either:
  • * Creates and manages the information content (words and pictures) and organization of a Web site
  • * Manages the computer server and technical programming aspects of a Web site
  • * Or does both.
  • Companies advertising for a Webmaster vary in their use of the term. In a smaller company, a Webmaster typically "does it all." In a larger company, a Webmaster tends to be someone with either a writing and/or graphics design background who has acquired Web site creation skills (mainly knowledge and experience with HTML) or a more technical person with some programming skills. The "technical" Webmaster runs the server (for example, by managing the creation and authorization associated with file systems) and writes programs or Practical Extraction and Reporting Language scripts required by the Web site.
  • In a very large corporation, there may be a Webmaster team of people at the top of the corporation who establish the overall corporate Web design and policies, arrange the necessary technical resources (working with the people who provide the corporation its network infrastructure), and supervise the design of the corporation's Web site (which is often done by an outside firm). At division and product levels, there may be additional Webmasters who organize and develop the Web content and programming for their division or product. In addition, there is likely to be an interrelated effort to create a Web design, organization, and content for the corporation's intranet.
  • At a small corporation, the Webmaster may be in charge of creating the site and putting it on a separate company's server or setting up one within the company. The Web design and creation may be done initially by an outside Web design firm that turns the finished site over to the company's in-house Webmaster to maintain and perhaps add content within the established design.
  • And if you are a firm that specializes in creating Web sites, you may refer to the overall producer or art director as the Webmaster for a site. Obviously, this term (and job) is is still defining itself. A Webmaster is what a company says one is. In general, almost any Webmaster would be expected to know the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and have a good understanding of why a company should want a Web site.

Web Server:

  • A Web server is a program that, using the client/server model and the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), serves the files that form Web pages to Web users (whose computers contain HTTP clients that forward their requests). Every computer on the Internet that contains a Web site must have a Web server program. Two leading Web servers are Apache, the most widely-installed Web server, and Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). Other Web servers include Novell's Web Server for users of its NetWare operating system and IBM's family of Lotus Domino servers, primarily for IBM's OS/390 and AS/400 customers.
  • Web servers often come as part of a larger package of Internet- and intranet-related programs for serving e-mail, downloading requests for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) files, and building and publishing Web pages. Considerations in choosing a Web server include how well it works with the operating system and other servers, its ability to handle server-side programming, security characteristics, and publishing, search engine, and site building tools that may come with it.

Web Services:

  • Web services (sometimes called application services) are services (usually including some combination of programming and data, but possibly including human resources as well) that are made available from a business's Web server for Web users or other Web-connected programs. Providers of Web services are generally known as application service providers. Web services range from such major services as storage management and customer relationship management (CRM) down to much more limited services such as the furnishing of a stock quote and the checking of bids for an auction item. The accelerating creation and availability of these services is a major Web trend.
  • Users can access some Web services through a peer-to-peer arrangement rather than by going to a central server. Some services can communicate with other services and this exchange of procedures and data is generally enabled by a class of software known as middleware. Services previously possible only with the older standardized service known as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI ) increasingly are likely to become Web services. Besides the standardization and wide availability to users and businesses of the Internet itself, Web services are also increasingly enabled by the use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a means of standardizing data formats and exchanging data. XML is the foundation for the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).
  • As Web services proliferate, concerns include the overall demands on network bandwidth and, for any particular service, the effect on performance as demands for that service rise. A number of new products have emerged that enable software developers to create or modify existing applications that can be "published" (made known and potentially accessible) as Web services.

Web Services Description Language - WSDL:

  • The Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is an XML -based language used to describe the services a business offers and to provide a way for individuals and other businesses to access those services electronically. WSDL is the cornerstone of the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) initiative spearheaded by Microsoft, IBM, and Ariba. UDDI is an XML-based registry for businesses worldwide, which enables businesses to list themselves and their services on the Internet. WSDL is the language used to do this.
  • WSDL is derived from Microsoft's Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and IBM's Network Accessible Service Specification Language (NASSL). WSDL replaces both NASSL and SOAP as the means of expressing business services in the UDDI registry.

WEP - :

  • See Wired Equivalent Privacy.


  • Whois is a program that will tell you the owner of any second-level domain name who has registered it with Network Solutions (formerly the only and still the most widely used of the Internet registrars of the com, net, and org domain names). If a Web site obtained its domain name from Network Solutions, you can look up the name of the owner of the Web site by entering (for example):
  • and whois will tell you the owner of that second-level domain name. whois can also be used to find out whether a domain name is available or has already been taken. If you enter a domain name you are considering and the search result is "No match," the domain name is likely to be available and you can apply to register it. Recently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened up domain name registration to a number of other companies. To search all of these companies at the same time for registration information, you can use BetterWhois.

Wide Area Network - WAN:

  • A wide area network (WAN) is a geographically dispersed telecommunications network. The term distinguishes a broader telecommunication structure from a local area network. A wide area network may be privately owned or rented, but the term usually connotes the inclusion of public (shared user) networks. An intermediate form of network in terms of geography is a metropolitan area network (MAN).

Windows Internet Naming Service - WINS:

  • Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS), part of the Microsoft Windows NT and 2000 Servers, manages the association of workstation names and locations with Internet Protocol addresses (IP address es) without the user or an administrator having to be involved in each configuration change. WINS automatically creates a computer name-IP address mapping entry in a table, ensuring that the name is unique and not a duplicate of someone else's computer name. When a computer is moved to another geographic location, the subnet part of the IP address is likely to change. Using WINS, the new subnet information will be updated automatically in the WINS table. WINS complements the NT Server's Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP ), which negotiates an IP address for any computer (such as your workstation) when it is first defined to the network. If you're a computer user on a network connected to a Windows NT/2000 Server, you may find WINS mentioned in some of your network-related programs or system messages.
  • Based on Microsoft's paper, DHCP and WINS have been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as proposed open standards in Request for Comments 1533, 1534, 1541, and 1542. New features are included in Windows 2000.


  • In telecommunications, a wink is a signal in the form of a brief interruption in an otherwise continuous signal . Winks can be used to indicate certain conditions, or to cause specific actions to be performed by a telephone switching system.
  • Wink pulsing is a means of alerting an operator or user that a certain condition exists. It consists of a series of brief interruptions in an otherwise continuous signal. For example, a multi-line telephone has several buttons, one for each line, and each with a backlight. When one of the buttons is lit to indicate that there is a call on that line, the illumination is interrupted at regular intervals (usually about 1/2 second) to get the user's attention.
  • A wink release is the tone sent to a phone from the central office indicating that the other end of a connection has hung up. Usually, the phone receiving the wink release will then hang up, too.

WINS - Windows Internet Naming Service:

  • See Windows Internet Naming Service.


  • Winsock is a programming interface and the supporting program that handles input/output requests for Internet applications in a Windows operating system. It's called Winsock because it's an adaptation for Windows of the Berkeley UNIX sockets interface. sockets is a particular convention for connecting with and exchanging data between two program processes within the same computer or across a network.
  • Winsock runs between an application program such as a Netscape browser and the Internet program in your computer that uses TCP/IP. A request flows in the following order:
  • Web browser or other application
  • winsock.dll
  • TCP/IP layers
  • Modem or network card
  • The Internet and destination
  • Winsock provides this interface for different versions of the Windows operating system. A comparable interface exists for Mac computers. Beginning with Windows 95, Winsock came as part of the operating system, but in earlier systems, a Winsock program had to be installed. UNIX systems do not require a Winsock equivalent because TCP/IP and its use of sockets was designed to run directly with UNIX application programs.
  • A number of companies offer a Winsock program, sometimes along with a suite of Internet protocol programs and applications. For example, Chameleon offers a suite that includes a Web browser, an FTP utility, a mail utility, and others. The Winsock program is included. The Trumpet Winsock is another popular stand-alone version. Winsock runs as a Windows dynamic link library (DLL) file. That is, it is loaded into the computer when an application needs it but doesn't need to be included as part of the application.
  • If you have an older computer, when you initially get set up with Internet access, you may need to make sure you have the right version of Winsock for your operating system and the applications provided by the access provider. If your operating system provides one version and the application suite provided by the access provider provides another, one version of Winsock may need to be removed.

Wired Equivalent Privacy - WEP:

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a security protocol, specified in the IEEE Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) standard, 802.11b, that is designed to provide a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a level of security and privacy comparable to what is usually expected of a wired LAN. A wired local area network (LAN ) is generally protected by physical security mechanisms (controlled access to a building, for example) that are effective for a controlled physical environment, but may be ineffective for WLANs because radio waves are not necessarily bound by the walls containing the network. WEP seeks to establish similar protection to that offered by the wired network's physical security measures by encrypting data transmitted over the WLAN. Data encryption protects the vulnerable wireless link between client s and access points; once this measure has been taken, other typical LAN security mechanisms such as password protection, end-to-end encryption, virtual private networks (VPNs), and authentication can be put in place to ensure privacy.
  • A research group from the University of California at Berkeley recently published a report citing "major security flaws" in WEP that left WLANs using the protocol vulnerable to attacks (called wireless equivalent privacy attacks). In the course of the group's examination of the technology, they were able to intercept and modify transmissions and gain access to restricted networks. The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) claims that WEP - which is included in many networking products - was never intended to be the sole security mechanism for a WLAN, and that, in conjunction with traditional security practices, it is very effective.

Wireless Application Protocol - WAP:

  • Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC). While Internet access has been possible in the past, different manufacturers have used different technologies. In the future, devices and service systems that use WAP will be able to interoperate.
  • The WAP layers are:
  • * Wireless Application Environment (WAE)
  • * Wireless Session Layer (WSL)
  • * Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS)
  • * Wireless Transport Layer (WTP)
  • The WAP was conceived by four companies: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet (now The Wireless Markup Language (WML) is used to create pages that can be delivered using WAP. There are other approaches to an industry standard besides WAP, including i-Mode.

Wireless ISP:

  • A wireless Internet service provider (WISP) is an Internet service provider (ISP) that allows subscribers to connect to a server using medium-range wireless links. This type of ISP offers broadband service and allows subscriber computers, called stations, to access the Internet and the Web from anywhere within the zone of coverage provided by the server antenna. This is usually a region with a radius of several kilometers.
  • The simplest WISP is a basic service set (BSS) consisting of one server and numerous stations all linked to that server by wireless. More sophisticated WISP networks employ the extended service set (ESS) topology, consisting of two or more BSSs linked together at access points (APs). Both BSS and ESS are supported by the IEEE 802.11b specification.
  • To use a WISP, the subscriber must be located favorably with respect to the server antenna. In some instances, this requires the installation of an outdoor antenna at the station site. If the station is located on low ground, the antenna might have to be installed at a considerable height. Even in situations where no substantial antenna is needed, access to the network can depend critically on the location of the station antenna; moving it across a room can make the difference between an unrelaible connection and a good one.
  • Assets of WISP technology include flexibility (it is easy to add stations or move them), broad bandwidth, low latency, and low ping times. In remote areas where neither cable nor DSL are available or practical, a WISP can provide good Internet service at reasonable cost, and is a good alternative to satellite Internet connections.

Wireless LAN:

  • A wireless LAN is one in which a mobile user can connect to a local area network (LAN) through a wireless (radio) connection. A standard, IEEE 802.11, specifies the technologies for wireless LANs. The standard includes an encryption method, the Wired Equivalent Privacy algorithm.
  • High-bandwidth allocation for wireless will make possible a relatively low-cost wiring of classrooms in the United States. A similar frequency allocation has been made in Europe. Hospitals and businesses are also expected to install wireless LAN systems where existing LANs are not already in place.
  • Using technology from the Symbionics Networks, Ltd., a wireless LAN adapter can be made to fit on a Personal Computer Memory Card Industry Association (PCMCIA) card for a laptop or notebook computer.

Wireless Markup Language:

  • Wireless Markup Language (WML), formerly called HDML (Handheld Devices Markup Languages), is a language that allows the text portions of Web pages to be presented on cellular telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) via wireless access. WML is part of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) that is being proposed by several vendors to standards bodies. The Wireless Application Protocol works on top of standard data link protocols, such as Global System for Mobile communication, code-division multiple access, and time division multiple access, and provides a complete set of network communication programs comparable to and supportive of the Internet set of protocols.
  • WML is an open language offered royalty-free. Specifications are available at's Web site. According to, any programmer with working knowledge of HTML, common gateway interface, and Structured Query Language should be able to write a presentation layer using WML. A filter program can be written or may be available from a vendor that will translate HTML pages into WML pages.

Wireless Transport Layer Security:

  • Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) is the security level for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) applications. Based on Transport Layer Security (TLS) v1.0 (a security layer used in the Internet, equivalent to Secure Socket Layer 3.1), WTLS was developed to address the problematic issues surrounding mobile network devices - such as limited processing power and memory capacity, and low bandwidth - and to provide adequate authentication, data integrity, and privacy protection mechanisms.
  • Wireless transactions, such as those between a user and their bank, require stringent authentication and encryption to ensure security to protect the communication from attack during data transmission. Because mobile networks do not provide end-to-end security, TLS had to be modified to address the special needs of wireless users. Designed to support datagrams in a high latency, low bandwidth environment, WTLS provides an optimized handshake through dynamic key refreshing, which allows encryption keys to be regularly updated during a secure session.

Wireless Web::

  • The wireless Web refers to use of the World Wide Web through a wireless device, such as a cellular telephone or personal digital assistant (PDA). Wireless Web connection provides anytime/anywhere connection to e-mail, mobile banking, instant messaging, weather and travel information, and other services. In general, sites aiming to accommodate wireless users must provide services in a format displayable on typically small wireless devices. It is estimated that 95% of wireless Internet devices being manufactured today use the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) developed by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet (now for presenting content.
  • The wireless Web is not gaining in popularity as quickly as some have predicted. The low bandwidth of today's wireless service, relatively high usage charges, and small and difficult-to-use input and output devices contribute to impeding growth, a condition that has been referred to as "wapathy" (WAP apathy).

Wire Speed:

  • Wire speed is whatever rate of data transfer a given telecommunication technology provides at the physical wire level. Wire-speed , an adjective, describes any hardware box or function that tends to support this data transfer rate without slowing it down. It's common to refer to functions embedded in microchips rather than in software programming as working at wire speed. Switches,, routers, and other devices are sometimes described by their manufacturers as operating at wire speed. Data encryption and decryption and hardware emulation are software functions that might run at wire speed (or close to it) when embedded in a microchip.


  • See Wireless Internet Service Provider.

WML - Wireless Markup Language:

  • See Wireless Markup Language.


  • 1) WORM (for write once, read many) is a data storage technology that allows information to be written to a disk a single time and prevents the drive from erasing the data. The disks are intentionally not rewritable, because they are especially intended to store data that the user does not want to erase accidentally. Because of this feature, WORM devices have long been used for the archival purposes of organizations such as government agencies or large enterprises. A type of optical media , WORM devices were developed in the late 1970s and have been adapted to a number of different media. The disks have varied in size from 5.25 to 14 inches wide, in varying formats ranging from 140MB to more than 3 GB per side of the (usually) double-sided medium. Data is written to a WORM disk with a low-powered laser that makes permanent marks on the surface.
  • Because of a lack of standardization, WORM disks have typically been only readable by the drive on which they were written, and hardware and software incompatibility has hampered their marketplace acceptance. Other optical media, such as CDs and DVDs that can be recorded once and read an unlimited number of times are sometimes considered WORM devices, although there is some argument over whether formats that can be written in more than one session (such as the multisession CD) qualify as such. CD-R has gradually been replacing traditional WORM devices, and it is expected that some newer technology, such as DVD-R or HD-ROM will eventually replace both WORM and CD-R devices.
  • 2) A worm is a self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself. Worms use parts of an operating system that are automatic and usually invisible to the user. It is common for worms to be noticed only when their uncontrolled replication consumes system resources, slowing or halting other tasks.

Wrap Plug:

  • A wrap plug, also known as a loopback plug, is a special plug that can be inserted into a port on a communications device to perform a diagnostic test called a loopback test. There are numerous possible configurations, depending on the hardware and the nature of the test to be performed.
  • Wrap plugs are manufactured commercially for specific systems and tests. A wrap plug can also be "home-brewed" by taking a cable with the correct type of plug attached, cutting the cable, stripping the wires, and then twisting certain wires together to short out specific pins in the port. In some cases, attenuators, consisting of networks of resistors, are used in place of direct short-circuits. This simulates the path loss in a real-life communications circuit.
  • The effect of a wrap plug is to cause transmitted (output) data to be returned as received (input) data, simulating a complete communications circuit using a single computer. In any case, the manufacturer's instructions must be closely followed to be sure valid test results are obtained, and to avoid damage to the equipment under test.

WSDL - Web Services Description Language:

  • See Web Services Description Language.

WTLS - Wireless Transport Layer Security:

  • See Wireless Transport Layer Security.


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