Glossary of Internet Terms

©2007 by Walt Howe

Select the first character of the term you want to look up or use the Search link below.

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Letter F

fair use
Fair use is the concept in copyright law that some limited copying of copyrighted material is permissible in certain circumstances. A complete work may never be copied. The broadest permissions are for educational purposes, such as copying an article from a magazine or a chapter from a book for a class to use. Other more restrictive permitted uses are short excerpts for purposes of news reporting, criticism, and parody. See our Copyright Guidelines for Web Users.

Acronym for Frequently Asked Questions. FAQ files are collections of common questions and answers for a particular subject area. For many FAQs, visit the Internet FAQ Archive.

feather, feathering
To feather is to put semi-transparent pixels around the edge of a picture to soften the contrast with the background. Photoshop and similar tools let you set the amount of feathering around a border when you combine images. It is also used to soften aliasing – the jagged edges caused by square pixels on border in a digital graphic image that are not strictly horizontal or vertical.

Firewall refers to the concept of a security interface or gateway between a closed system or network and the outside Internet that blocks or manages communications in and out of the system. The security may be provided by passwords, authentication techniques, software, and hardware. See the related term proxy server.See our Security Guide for help in evaluating and managing the security of your own home or office system.

flame, flaming
To write angry or insulting words about a person. It is most often applied to newsgroups, but it can apply to mailing lists, message boards, instant messaging, and other forms of public messaging.

flame war
When two or more people exchange insults in a public messaging. It is sometimes done deliberately to disrupt the normal flow of messages. See troll.

Frames are a technique used in web pages to divide the page into multiple windows, where each window is called a frame and can contain its own separate page. The advantage of frames is that one window can be scrolled or changed while other windows remain fixed for such purposes as keeping a menu in view all the time. The disadvantage is that not all browsers support them.

frame relay
packet switching standard based on the older X.25 protocol that achieves greater speeds with fast, reliable networks. It lowers overhead by reducing the accounting and checking procedures used in X.25.

Software that is offered for free download. See shareware.

File Transfer Protocol. The Internet protocol that permits you to transfer files between your system and another system. See the FTP FAQ

Acronym for Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition (or other less polite forms) by a person giving a commentary on a project or the world in general. Often misspelled FOOBAR by people who don’t understand its source.

Acronym: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. A common motivational strategy.

Acronym for “For What It’s Worth”

(last updated 22 October 2012)