SPAM, Not Spam, Is the Stuff of Memories
Why the need for filters? It's just pork shoulder.
Yesterday in a company meeting we were discussing the various types of spam we receive and creative ways of dealing with it. Somehow the conversation degenerated to tossing around the idea of a sculpting contest of Linux celebrities out of SPAM lunch meat.
This got me wondering about SPAM's position on the world's use of the term spam to describe unsolicited e-mail. Like almost everything else in the computer world, the term comes from a Monty Python sketch in which singing Vikings sing “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM” with increasing volume, preventing any other communication.
A visit to www.spam.com revealed a company with enough confidence (it feeds America's soldiers and is a delicacy in Korea after all) to have a sense of humor about themselves. From their FAQ:
Q: A lot of people—comedians, especially—poke fun at SPAM. Does it hurt your feelings?
A: SPAM doesn't live in glass houses. It comes in cans.
You even can download SPAM desktop patterns and icons (Mac and Windows only). They say they don't mind people using the term as it doesn't harm their trademark, but prefer that when used to describe electronic junk mail, it be spelled in lowercase, rather than their trademark uppercase spelling.
I'll say it hasn't hurt their trademark. Every time I hear the term, or even see some in my mailbox, my mouth waters. I must confess that despite my respect for pig the animal, I really love pig the meat—and I'm not scared by meat in a can.
Growing up in the '70s with a mother always on some kind of health kick we never had SPAM in the house, and my first experience with it was during a camping trip with my 7th-grade friend Carl Gerlock and his parents. Carl's dad was the kind of old man who came home from work, drank a big glass of vodka and would pretty much leave you alone if you didn't get between him and his television—oh, and he insisted on putting out his campfires with his urine. These people could put away the SPAM, and they did at every meal—and I was glad to help them (despite the nasty reputation, it really is mostly pork shoulder, ham and spices). I suspect there are a lot of other closet SPAM lovers out there since there have been 239,025,706 cans consumed since July 28, 1998.
I haven't eaten SPAM since that trip (my wife is at least as health conscious as my mother), but someday I hope to. In any case, I'll always retain those fond SPAM memories, and they'll always be invoked by discussions of spam. Incidently David Bandel discusses a nice cure for spam in this month's Focus on Software—if that's your thing.
Richard Vernon is editor in chief of Linux Journal.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Server Hardening
- BitTorrent Inc.'s Sync
- The Death of RoboVM
- The Humble Hacker?
- Open-Source Project Secretly Funded by CIA
- New Container Image Standard Promises More Portable Apps
- EnterpriseDB's EDB Postgres Advanced Server and EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager
- The US Government and Open-Source Software
- ACI Worldwide's UP Retail Payments
- AdaCore's SPARK Pro
In modern computer systems, privacy and security are mandatory. However, connections from the outside over public networks automatically imply risks. One easily available solution to avoid eavesdroppers’ attempts is SSH. But, its wide adoption during the past 21 years has made it a target for attackers, so hardening your system properly is a must.
Additionally, in highly regulated markets, you must comply with specific operational requirements, proving that you conform to standards and even that you have included new mandatory authentication methods, such as two-factor authentication. In this ebook, I discuss SSH and how to configure and manage it to guarantee that your network is safe, your data is secure and that you comply with relevant regulations.Get the Guide