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Communications from beyond

Test your knowledge of VoIP and other communication technologies with our spooky quiz.

How many of these 13 questions can you answer without peeking? Test your knowledge -- or your psychic powers -- with our quiz.

1. This is an element through which a message is communicated, such as optical fiber or the person leading a seance.


2. ESP is the "sixth sense," which might allow you to communicate with the dead, read minds or foresee the future. Read our minds: With what security framework is ESP associated?


3. When you think of projectile purging, horror film classic "The Exorcist" comes to mind. This form of purging also happens to be the name of a Unix software utility commonly associated with VoIP eavesdropping attacks. What is it?


4. While it sounds like a doorway for communicating with an alternate dimension, in telecommunications this is a Web site or other service that a user can reach by telephone for information like weather, sport scores or stock quotes. What is it?


5. A spooky encounter (or too much coffee) might cause this phenomenon in an individual. In VoIP, it's more than annoying than scary, where it describes a variation in the time between packets arriving caused by network congestion.


6. This disembodied spirit doesn't go bump in the night. Instead, it haunts Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers as a vacated user session that the server believes is still active. What is it?


7. Hearing your voice do this is a dark cave could be creepy. Having it happen on your VoIP call is more frustating than scary. What is it -- and why might it happen?


8. Those possessed of strange occult powers (and fans of author Robert Anton Wilson) may be able to see these in the margins and blank spaces of magazines and newspapers.


9. You might see "RIP" on a gravestone, but your network depends on it for managing router information within a corporate LAN. What does RIP stand for?


10. To enter Hades, you have to pass this three-headed dog, the namesake of this secure method for authenticating a request for a service in a computer network. What is it?


11. Quoth the raven, "nevermore." That famous poem's author may remind you of the technology that allows electrical current to be carried by data cables to devices such as VoIP phones and surveillance cameras. What is it?


12. You might sense an eerie one while touring a haunted lighthouse. In IT, this is a type of application makes it possible to locate and identify a computing device wherever it might be, as soon as the user connects to the network. What is it?


13. Calls from beyond the grave? This spooky phenomenon happens when your computer attempts to make a connection automatically.


How many did you answer correctly? Drop us a line (by email! We're not psychic!) and let us know.

  • Want more Halloween/IT trivia? You'll find plenty of tricks and treats in's Vault of Tech Terror.

  • This was last published in October 2006

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