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Do you speak Geek: Internet Protocols and Technologies

According to the Pew Internet & Life Project, there are nearly 147 million Internet users in the U.S, more than two-thirds of whom go online daily. Globally, there are now more than one billion users. How much do you know about the technologies and protocols that make the Internet and World Wide Web work? Try our quiz and find out! Write down your answers and then scroll to the end to see how well you did. Good luck!

1. Which of these activities is still the most common use of the Internet?
a. Looking up a map or driving directions
b. Using a search engine to find information
c. Sending or reading e-mail
d. Checking the weather

2. To surf the Web, you'll need several basic building blocks: a personal computer or mobile handset, an Internet connection and a Web browser. Where you go is up to you. Which of the following will not appear in the address bar of your browser?
a. a URL
b. a domain name
c. the letters HTTP
d. HTML code

3. The development of the TCP/IP protocols in the 1970s made it possible to expand the size of the ARPANET. Which key additions in the early 1990s helped to make the Internet browsable by more than professors at universities and the Department of Defense?
a. XML and Firefox
b. HTML and Mosaic
c. RSS and wikis
d. CSS and SSL

4. "Web 2.0" is a much-used buzzword these days in online business circles, used to describe user-generated content, like blogs, podcasts, mashups, wikis and social bookmarking, and rich Internet applications (RIAs) based upon technologies like Ajax. Is Internet2 the same thing as Web 2.0?
a. True! Internet2 is just another way of referring to that group of technologies.
b. False! Internet2 is a non-profit consortium that has nothing to do with the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Conference.

5. As the Internet has matured, organizations have found they need effective means to prevent outsiders from accessing private data resources and for controlling which outside resources their own users have access to.Which of the following technologies offer this kind of protection?
a. DMZ
b. firewall
d. a & b

6. Advances in wireless technology like wireless mesh networks, wireless broadband, WiMax, 3G and muni-WiFi have brought online connections to more people in more places that ever before. What language is used to translate data into a format that mobile devices on those networks can interpret properly?
a. XML
b. Java
c. J2ME
d. All of the above

7. Which of the following is NOT used in sending messages over the Internet?

8. The development, sharing and adoption of open source technologies and protocols have been key to the development of the Internet. Which of the following is not open source?
a. Firefox
b. Linux
c. Atom
d. Solaris
e. Apache

9. The so-called "well-known" port numbers are reserved for assignment by ICANN for use by the application end points that use TCP or the UDP. What are the other kinds of ports?
a. registered and dynamic ports
b. defined and variable ports
c. canonical and free ports
d. definitive and radical ports

10. How long is a Web year?


How did you do?

1) The correct answer is c. Of the 73% of American adults who use the Internet, 91% sent or read e-mail, more than any other activity. You can learn more by reading our definition for E-mail.

2) The correct answer is d. HTML code. Hypertext markup language (HTML) tags will only appear in the source code of a Web page, never in the address bar. The uniform resource locator (URL) is the unique address for a Web page and usually is what you type or paste into the address bar. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the set of rules for transferring files on the World Wide Web and often is the first four characters in the URL. A domain name locates an organization or other entity on the Internet. The most common domain name remains ".com."

3) The correct answer is b, HTML and Mosaic. While all of the other technologies listed have helped to improve the design, functionality and accessibility of online content, they all came later in the development of the World Wide Web. While the inventors of TCP/IP can justifiably claim to be "fathers of the Internet" -- which is exactly how Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn are often regarded -- Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreeson can certainly place their own claim to the World Wide Web.

4) The correct answer is b, False. Internet2 is a collaboration among more than 200 U.S. universities to develop networking and advanced applications for learning and research. The Internet2 consortium can claim responsibility for the development of IPv6, IP multicasting and quality of service (QoS).

5) The answer is d, a & b. A firewall is a set of related programs, located at a network gateway server, that protects the resources of a private network from users from other networks. The term also implies the security policy that is used with the programs. A demilitarized zone (DMZ) is a computer host or small network inserted as a "neutral zone" between a company's private network and the outside public network. It prevents outside users from getting direct access to a server that has company data.

6) The correct answer is a, XML. extensible markup language (XML) is a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data on the World Wide Web, intranets and elsewhere. Java is a programming language designed for use on many different platforms, including mobile devices, but is not used to format information like XML or HTML. J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition) is a technology that allows programmers to use Java and related tools to develop programs for mobile wireless information devices like cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

7) The correct answer is b, LIME. DIME, MIME and SOAP are all used in online messaging. LIME does exist as a technology acronym, referring to the use of Linda (a shared memory computing model) in a middleware environment, but has nothing do with messaging. 

8) The correct answer is d, Solaris. Solaris is the computer operating system that Sun Microsystems provides for its family of Scalable Processor Architecture (SPARC)-based processors as well as for Intel-based processors. Sun historically dominated the large Unix workstation market. As the Internet grew in the early 1990s, Sun's SPARC/Solaris systems became the most widely installed servers for Web sites. Although the core OS has been made into an open source project, OpenSolaris, Solaris itself remains proprietary software owned by Sun Microsystems.

9) The correct answer is a, registered and dynamic ports. The well-known ports cover the range of possible port numbers from 0 through 1023. The registered ports are numbered from 1024 through 49151. The remaining ports, referred to as dynamic ports or private ports, are numbered from 49152 through 65535. On most systems, a well-known port number can only be used by a system (root) process or by a program run by a privileged user.

10) A Web year is the length of time it takes for Internet technology to evolve as much as technology in another environment might evolve in a calendar year. In 1996, Tim Berners-Lee said a Web year was about three months. Ten years later, it probably a fair bet that a Web year is even shorter.

How'd you do? Let us know!

This was last updated in November 2010
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