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 L

lamer, lammer
A derogatory term for a wanna-be programmer or hacker or cracker who is clueless, often destructive, and not as expert as he thinks he is. A ‘luser’.

Local Area Network.
Acronym for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It is a protocol for accessing information directories such as organizations, individuals, phone numbers, and addresses. It is based on the X.500 directory protocols, but it is simpler, and unlike X.500, it supports TCP/IP for Internet usage.
Local Exchange Carrier. The local telephone company serving an area. There are Incumbent LECs (ILEC)–those with a local monopoly–and Competitive LECs (CLEC). Long distance companies, also known as IXCs (Inter Exchange Carriers), pay LECs a fee for access to local telephones.

leet or l33t
Short for elite. Jargon used by hackers and crackers to refer to themselves or to the sites they frequent to share pirated software and information.

A version of unix well adapted to running on personal computers.

One of the earliest types of e-mail discussion lists, and still in widespread use, although there are many other types now, too. It is often incorrectly used as a term for all types. See our E-mail Discussion List FAQ and our Guide to Subscribing, Unsubscribing, and Searching Mailing Lists for more help with these mailing lists.

One of the common types of E-mail discussion lists. See our E-Mail Discussion List FAQ and our Guide to Subscribing, Unsubscribing, and Searching Mailing Lists.

Acronym for Laughing Out Loud.
A term coined by graphics programmers to refer to a technique of shrinking file sizes by giving away some precision of detail. JPEG is the most common of these. By reducing the so-called quality of a picture when you save it, you can make the file size smaller. Many pictures can take a lot of loss of fine detail before it becomes noticeable on a web page.

See the explanation in Creating Small, Fast-Loading Graphics for Web Pages.

Acronym for Long Term Evolution. It represents the currently fastest way to link cellphones and other devices to cell towers.

Listening in to a mailing list, message base, chat room, or newsgroup without participating. Newcomers are encouraged to lurk for a while as they get the feel of things. The term “lurker” is sometimes used negatively to refer to people who take from discussions, but never give.
A user who is a loser. The result of a dispute at MIT some years ago where computer error messages referred to errors by users. Others changed users to losers, and the dispute continued until someone coined the term lusers, which everyone liked.
A text-only web browser that was an early workhorse before the web gained its graphical face. It is still used today by the visually impaired, people with limited systems, and those with slow connections who don’t want to take the time to load graphics.

(last updated 22 October 2012)