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Web Hosting - DNS, How The Internet Keeps Track of Names The way computers communicate is, in a way, very similar to something very familiar: the postal system that delivers letters and packages. Here's how... The Internet is just what the name suggests, a large inter-connected set of networks. But those networks are pointless without the one part that forms what is called their 'end-nodes', otherwise known as computers. Those computers often need to share information because the people who use them want to share information. But, in a system where there are millions of separate computers, how can you enable them all to communicate? One very important feature of that solution is performed by something called DNS, the Domain Name System. Every part of a network that is going to send or receive information is assigned an IP address. That's a numeric identifier that uniquely specifies a particular 'node', such as a computer, a router that directs traffic or other component. They look like this: 209.131.36.158 But those numbers are more difficult for people to remember and work with. They also aren't very attractive from a marketing perspective. So, a naming system was layered on top of some of them, mostly the computers involved, though routers have names, too. But once you have a system that associates a unique IP address to a given name, you need some way of keeping track of all of them. That's carried out by several different pieces of the system: Name Registrars, DNS Servers and other components. The Name Registrars, overseen by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and other international bodies, provide and keep track of domain names. When you register with GoDaddy or any of a hundred other intermediate companies, ultimately that information makes its way into a number of specialized databases stored inside DNS Servers. A DNS Server is the hardware and/or software that tracks and forwards the IP Address/Domain Name pair from one place to the next. In many cases, there are a number of them between your browser and the remote computer you want to share information with. Suppose you request information from, say, Yahoo's site by clicking on a link on their site. DNS resolves (translates) the name of WHO IS making the request and OF WHOM, to addresses, then passes the request through the network to the requested IP address. The requested data is then passed back through the mesh of network components to your computer and displayed in your browser. Whether the communication is between a desktop computer and a server somewhere, or between one server and another, the process is essentially the same. DNS servers translate names into IP addresses and the requests for data are forwarded on. In some cases those DNS servers are part of a specialized network computer whose sole job is to do the translation and forwarding. In other cases the DNS software may reside on a server that also houses a database of general data, or stores email, or performs other functions. But however complicated the chain or the parts, the basic process is simple. Translate the name to an address, just as the postal system does. Whether international or local, your name is associated with an address, and the deliveries are made to the address, then forwarded to a particular name.

Free Fun Game Favorites on the Net The World Wide Web has become a repository of free entertainment. You can find everything from funny clips to interactive games. Where can you go for the best games on the Web? Here are some of the top sites for online gaming that is fast, free and fun. Ready to Play? Check Out These Great Websites Are you ready for the best in online gaming? There are many top gaming sites that can get you gaming and having a blast in no time. One of the top gaming sites is the MSN Gaming Zone. This site has over 100 free and fun games. They also offer free trials of the hottest games. This is where you can find some of the web's best gamers. Another popular site is Heat.net. You can bring the heat on this hot gaming website, featuring over 115 online multiplayer game downloads. This site is home to such popular games as Diablo and Warcraft II. In order to play most of the games on this website, you will need to download the software. Ready to get the hottest shortcuts? If so, you will want to head for GoCheat.com. Even the most honest soul needs to get their fill of cheat codes. As all true gamers know, cheat codes can provide you with a fun and easy way to maneuver around a game. You can save your game and jump ahead with the right cheat code. For those of you that don't care for complicated or violent games, head on over to Pogo.com to get your own dose of gaming fun. Pogo.com features classic board games and casino games, including bingo, poker and other classic games. Make Your Computer Your Own Movie Theater Do you have a couple of hours to kick back in front of the computer? Do you love movies and are interested in cutting edge film? If so, you will enjoy the entertainment that you can find on the World Wide Web. One of the most popular sites for short films is Atom Films. You can watch an original short (or long film) right on your computer. Atom Films is well known for showcasing innovative short films. Atom Films even featured the winner of the 2000 Academy Award for best live action short film. You can even find short works by famous stars, such as George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston. The Sync is another great site for video entertainment. The Sync offers more edgy film shorts than other online short video websites. Who Doesn't Enjoy a Good Puzzle? Work Out Your Brain at these Websites If crossword puzzles are your thing, you will surely appreciate, the selection of games put forth by yahoo games. This site contains a host of fun, classic puzzlers. Yahoo game gives you a shot at a daily puzzle. Another great place to check out if you are a puzzle fan is the Puzzle Depot. The Puzzle Depot has a neat pattern-matching tool that can help you in a crunch. Choose from a range of difficulty levels from your crossword puzzles. For a Bit of High Culture on the Web If you feel like treating yourself to a bit of high culture on the Web, take an art break with artmusuem.net. This neat website gives you a 3D experience tour of many of the finest museums in the world. This is much easier than buying a ticket and flying over to Paris. This website offers you the full experience of some of the world's greatest museums, including audio narrative, and a neat zoom-in function that gets you within a nose of some of the world's greatest masterpieces.

Highlights for Free Stuff for Educators Everybody knows that teachers work hard for little monetary compensation. Fortunately, there are many fine resources available that allow educators access to free stuff. Who deserves free stuff more than our teachers? If you are a teacher searching for the best of what the web's freebies, here are some places that offer freebies just for educators. Teaching Education Aid Available for Free There are many websites on the World Wide Web that offer totally free educational and teaching aids. If you teach younger students, you can find great coloring pages. You can also find several teaching aids, including alphabetical pages. Why spend money on expensive preprinted alphabets? You can gain easy access to your own free alphabet pages. Print them out, color them and seal them to make them last. This is an easy way to put together very elemental packets and gain access to fun activity pages. There are many fine teacher resources available for free on the World Wide Web. Here are even more resources for finding great and free resources for educators of all stripes. Getting Access to Free DVDS for Educators Did you know that you could get access to free educational DVDs? Izzit.org offers you a free DVD on your birthday (or another day of your choosing). This offer is limited to teachers of grades 6-12. This website also offers educators discounts on educational DVDs as well as coupons for free ice cream. Gaining Free Nutrition Educational Materials If you are an educator seeking out free nutritional materials, you are in luck. The Dole Corporation is currently offering free educational materials to teachers. Their 5 a Day program offers free downloadable teaching materials. You can also request professional teaching materials by using mail and fax. Simply request your free nutritional materials on your school's official letterhead. Free Computer Tools for Educators If you need access to free teacher tools, Microsoft Office has got you covered. Microsoft is currently offering free learning essentials that can help you create handouts, compose tests, and make presentations and other educational content. You will need a registered copy of Microsoft Office 2002 or 2003 that runs on Windows XP and Windows 2000. Need Teaching Aids for Your Classroom? If you are looking for free teaching visual aids, there are many nonprofits that can provide you with such aids. The Human Genome Project offers educators free posters. Although this promotion is directed specifically to educators, anyone can take advantage of this great offer. The National Institute of Drug Abuse also offers free visual teaching aids. These are great to hang in the classroom. You can order multiple copies directly form the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The USEPA is another organization that offers educators a variety of free posters, as well as other teaching materials, including activity books, CD-ROMs, lesson plans and more. Keep Your Classroom Safe With Free Cleaning Aids Keeping the classroom clean is one of the biggest challenges of any educator. The Clorox Company is trying to make it easier on teachers by offering them a free "Clean Up the Classroom" multimedia kit aimed specifically at classroom educators. The free kit comes loaded with a poster, a cleaning guide and DVD. You will also get a free canister of handy Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Get Free Magazine Subscription Offers Educators have access to many free magazine subscription offers. Yes Magazine is offering educators a free one-year subscription. This is a magazine published by the Positive Futures Network. This is non-profit organization that helps promote social change to a more compassionate and sustainable world. Take advantage by contacting the magazine for your free educator subscription.

Evaluating your Free Offers of Stuff Getting free stuff can be a lot of fun, and for many people, the hunt for freebies is as fun as actually enjoying the free products themselves. There is a dark side to freebie offers, however. Many scam artists have come to realize that pretending to offer free things is a great way to trick people into handing over sensitive information about them than can be used in identity theft operations or even bilk them out of cold, hard cash. For that reason, it is important to make sure you know how to stay out there when you?re looking for free offers. There are some things you can do to make sure you freebie hunting only brings you good times ? these common sense rules are a great place to start. You?ve heard it a million times before ? if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The reason you have heard it so many times is that it almost holds water. Think about the reason that companies give away free things. They?re usually not doing it for charity. They want you try to their products in the hope that you will come back to them as a paying customer in the future, and they?re doing it to build good will for their company over all. They?re definitely not doing it go broke. So consider whether the freebie offers you come across make sense according to these criteria. Does it make sense that a company will give you a free bag of their new flavor of chips or a trial size jar of their new face cream? Sure it does, because if you like it, you may buy these products in the future. Does it make sense that a company will give you an all expenses paid, two-week first class trip to Bali for you and ten of your friends? Not so much. Don?t waste your time on these too good to be true freebies ? they may end up costing your big time in the long run. By the same token, the more outlandish an offer sounds, the more you have to look for the small print. Sure, maybe the hotel chain is willing to give you a free weekend in their beachfront hotel. The small print in the offer might say that you have to agree to spend 10 hours a day at a sales seminar or that the free weekend is yours after you pay for a two week stay. One particular airline ran an offer for a free coach class plane ticket from New York to London. The small print said you had to buy two, full price first class tickets on that same route before you could get the free on ? at a cost of around $8,000 per ticket. Before you jump, make sure you get all of the details. Freebie offers that actually require you to shell out some money are very tricky. Sometimes they are legitimate ? after all, if you are accustomed to paying full price first class airfare, a free coach class ticket can be a real score. But many times, when you have to pay to get something for free, that is a red flag that a scammer is at work. You should never send money, even for postage, to a company that you don?t know. Also, keep an eye on the costs for things like postage even if you do know the company name. If they?re asking for $50 postage to send you a free magazine, then you know something is up. Lastly, beware giving out too much personal information. There?s no reason a company giving away free shampoo needs your bank account details. Protect your private info and if you?re unsure, move on to the next freebie offer.