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Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 15

A Note on Terminology

A few terms that might be confusing to some readers are tossed around rather casually in this book. For anyone who's interested, here are explanations of the most important ones:

The Internet, the Matrix, Cyberspace, the net

"The Internet" refers to a worldwide network connecting thousands of university, government, and corporate networks that have all agreed to use a common protocol to communicate with each other.

"The Matrix" refers to all the computers in the world that can exchange electronic mail. It includes the computers on the Internet as well as commercial online services like CompuServe. "Cyberspace" means almost the same thing. It's sort of a psychic superset of the Matrix -- it's the psychic space in which people interact when they communicate via computers. "Cyberspace" and "the net" are used synonymously in this book.

Electronic mail, email

Electronic mail, or email, is any message that's directed from one individual to another and is sent from one computer to another. I've spoken to some people who thought it only counted as email if a little flashing icon appeared on your screen when you got mail. Others think of email

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