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The A-Z of ebusiness (P)

Your essential guide to all the latest buzzwords...
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

Your essential guide to all the latest buzzwords...

This is a piece of data that is transmitted over a packet-switched network, such as the Internet. Packet Loss
This term describes the failure of a packet to reach its destination on a packet-switched network (such as the internet). Page Impressions
Page impressions refers to the number of views of a web page on which an advert is placed. It is one of the online advertising currencies by which advertisers and publishers trade. Page Views
Page views refers to the number of requests for a web page. Passing Off
Where one organisation uses similar names, marketing or styles of another organisation to take advantage of that organisation's market recognition. Under English Law the organisation with the market recognition may sue to prevent the passing off. Patch
This is a short-term bug fix (or repair) for a piece of programming. Bugs are inevitably found in programs and the release of a patch allows any bugs that have been detected and fixed to be remedied without issuing a new release of the program. Pay Per View
Content providers offer viewers the opportunity to watch individual broadcast events or films on a pay per view basis. This is separate from any subscription fee for channel packages. Pay TV
Generally pay TV refers to a monthly subscription paid in order to receive extra TV channels, either through satellite, cable or digital terrestrial platforms. PDA
Personal Digital Assistant. A handheld device that offers functions such as email, address storage, diary. The device can usually be synchronised with a user's desktop applications. PDF (Portable Document Format)
A type of document file that allows you to retain the document's intended printed appearance. Most word processors will print documents differently on different printers. By distributing documents in the PDF format, one can be sure that any printed version will usually be the same. Permission-Based Marketing
Marketing communications to individuals who have opted in to receive information from a particular business. Phreaker
This is someone who breaks into a telephone network illegally, typically to make long-distance telephone calls for free. Pixel
A pixel is the basic unit of programmable colour on a computer display or on a computer image. Platform
Most commonly used to refer to major communications such as terrestrial, cable and satellite as well as internet and wireless. In relation to computers, platform can also mean the operating system on which other programs can run. For example, Windows 2000 is a platform. Platform independence' denotes the ability to operate irrespective of any specific platform. Plug-in
A program that is installed and used as part of a web browser. A plug-in runs seamlessly within a browser so that the user does not know that the content being displayed is making use of the plug in, but rather just sees a web page as a whole. Plug-in Technologies
Also known as plug-in applications, eg Adobe's Acrobat. These are supplementary programs that are installed as part of the web browser without the need to open a second window (cf helper applications). A plug-in application is automatically recognised by the browser and its function is integrated into the main HTML file that is being presented. The most common plug-in is Acrobat, which enables users to view documents as they look in the print medium. POP3
Post Office Protocol 3. This protocol is used for receiving internet email. The POP3 server receives and holds a user's email until that user makes a connection to the server to collect it. This is most commonly used where email is collected by a dial-up connection. Email is generally delivered directly by SMTP where a computer is permanently connected to the Internet. Pop-up
A new browser window that opens when a user performs an action such as requesting a specific web page or clicking a link. Often used for advertising. Portal
Portal is a term that is often used to describe a website that proposes to be a starting site for a community of users of a network. Many internet service providers offer portals to the web for their own users. Portals tend to contain a lot of content, general and/or specific and will often contain links to other sites as well as search facilities and lifestyle information. Yahoo, MSN and Freeserve are all examples of portals. Businesses and organisations may offer portals to their employees - referred to as enterprise portals'. Post
In relation to the world wide web, one manner of transferring information entered into a web page by an end user to the web server. This is now the most common method as it is more secure (and can be protected by SSL security) unlike the alternative manner of transferring information know as 'get'. Post in relation to a message (on a bulletin board or discussion group) refers to the messaging being placed in the body of other messages. In relation to a PC, 'POST' is an acronym for Power On Self Test. This is the process initiated when a computer is first turned on and tests the memory, disk drives, keyboard and other hardware is working correctly. Program
A set of instructions which a computer is to perform. Protocol
A standard set of rules that computers, hardware such as telephone lines and software use to communicate with each other Proxy
A proxy is a means by which requests for access to information made by users (typically users in a local area network) are passed through an intermediate device, usually referred to as a proxy server. Generally used in networked environments to act as an interface between end users and the internet. Proxy servers have a number of functions including security, control (eg preventing access to certain sites) and caching. Proxy Server
See Proxy. Public Key Encryption
An encryption system using two keys: a public key to encrypt messages and a private key to decrypt messages (see Encryption). The Public Key encryption method is used for digital signatures (see Digital Signature). Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
An infrastructure enabling the use of public key encryption and digital signatures, digital certificates and registration authorities. This is used for identification and authentication of the parties involved in transactions or messages over the internet. Push Technology
This is also known as webcasting. This refers to the process whereby a web server 'pushes' information to a user without it being requested. Generally, however, the user has earlier requested the type of information which they would like to receive. This is now also being adopted by SMS technology, with outband texting. Push-Pull Technology
An automated process whereby information is transferred between two computers. A server will 'push' information to a computer (either an end user or another server) and 'pull' information from that server. PVR
Personal Video Recorder. PVRs are a hard drive-based digital recording device, in essence an intelligent VCR. They are able to record between 40-60 hours of viewing according to preferences and viewing habits of a user, and also allow the simultaneous recording and viewing of material with the same device. Click here for the full index: http://www.silicon.com/a55850
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