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Oracle Tips by Burleson 

Web Stalkers
Chapter 13 - Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Where Spam Originated

The term “spam” was popularized back in the 1970’s by Monty Python.  The term was used in song and verse in a series of silly skits.   People everywhere were singing “spam, spam, spam, spam,” over and over, and the term became synonymous with a repeating message.

According to web guru Brad Templeton, one of the world’s leading experts on spam, the term, as it applied to the Internet, was coined by early Internet user groups.

“The term spamming was applied to a few different behaviors.  One was to flood the computer with too much data in order to crash it.  Another was to "spam the database" by having a program create a huge number of objects, rather then creating them by hand.

And the term was sometimes used to mean simply flooding a chat session with a bunch of text inserted by a program (commonly called a "bot" today) or just by inserting a file instead of your own real time typing output.”

Templeton also asserts that the world’s first true Internet spam was sent by a marketer back in 1978:

“The DEC marketer, Gary Thuerk, identified only as "THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO" (There were no dots or dot-coms in those days, and the “at” sign was often spelled out.) decided to send a notice to everybody on the ARPANET on the west coast.

In those days there was a printed directory of everybody on the Arpanet, which they used as source for the list.  The message trumpeted an open house to show off new models of the Dec-20 computer, a foray into larger, almost mainframe-sized systems.”

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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