Friday, June 4, 2010

Spam a Lot

Ever wonder where "Spam" came from?  Check out this informative article by Alex Gofman on Research Access.

In the funny Monty Python skit, a chorus of Vikings drowns out other sounds by singing “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM”, glorifying the omnipresent American canned meat icon. SPAM’s Internet namesake is not funny at all, as it literally drowns legitimate e-mails in an outpour of junk messages.

The pesky e-mail spam, which on the insistence of the trademark owner, should be written in small letters to distinguish it from SPAM®, is surprisingly older than public e-mail: the first piece of spam was sent on May 3, 1978, well before e-mail became commercially available (indeed, only a short time after the world’s first experimental e-mail message was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson). The first spam was addressed to a list taken from a printed directory of ARPANET users – the first major wide-area computer network. At that time, it was comprised mostly of universities and select corporations, making the subject of the spam especially apt – a new computer system.

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