What is Spam?
We all see spam - unwanted mass-mails - in our mail-boxes every day. A bloody nuisance and a pest to put mildly. Most people think spam is a relatively new phenomenon. It isn't!
The first commercial spam (most spams are commercial) is credited to a lawyer (who ought to know better), Laurence Canter, and his partner in crime, yet another lawyer. On April 12, 1994, they sent out a mail about the US Green Card Lottery.
Spam, as we know it today, is however much older than that.
A year before Richard Deprew tried to make some changes in Usenet including semi-moderation. However the software, named ARMM, had a bug, so he ended up mailing a lot of people. This is likely the first time, that the term spam was widely used.
Usenet gave the happy message in the beginning of 1994, that "Jesus is coming soon". The message, which infected most of the Usenet newsgroups, was posted by the administrator of the Andrews University (US). The posting generated a lot of negative responses and, not to mention, press.
But actually spam goes way back before the Internet as we know it today. According to the sources I've visited to write this and many other stories, the first spam-mail originateed in 1978, where a DEC marketing representative posted a message to every Arpanet address on the American west coast.
So as you can see, spam is not a recent invention! It goes beyond the Internet as we know it today, and it will, unfortunately,more than likely continue on into the future.
But where does the term "spam" come from"?
Actually it is the popular name for Hormel Foods' "Shoulder Pork and Ham/Spiced Ham" luncheon meat. A canned treat, you normally only try once, unless you're really out of funds for real food.
The term "spam" however became popular when Monty Python's Flying Circus made a sketch including the word. It is a silly sketch, but spam is the major focus throughout including a song, that hails the "wonderful" spam.
Today we do not think of spam as wonderful. It is more likely the pest of the modern man (or woman). We find it in our mail-box every day and, if we are not careful, we start sending out spam due to viruses or other nasty stuff.
Spam is a pestilence, but today we fortunately have ways of doing something about it!
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