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FOOD: Spam

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Frederick The Monk
338414.  Sat May 17, 2008 4:12 am Reply with quote

Q: What is 89% of the internet?


A: 89% of the internet is actually spam..

Internet and Spam
A study by Philip B. Stark, a professor of statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that pornography accounts for just one per cent of all web pages. The study was carried out after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the US government to court over the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The US Department of Justice commissioned the study as part of its attempt to get the Supreme Court to accept restrictions on internet use.

"One of the things we think came out of the government's study is that the chance of running into graphic content on the web when filters are on is extremely low,'' according to the ACLU. Stark found that around six per cent of searches referred to sites with sexual content, but suggested that this was mainly due to the high number of searches on sex-related topics . Where blocking technology was used it tended to block such sites fairly effectively, but at the cost of blocking a lot of sites that had no sexual content at all.

In order to help with the study the US Department of Justice attempted to get search providers to hand over search histories of their users. When Google refused it was taken to court and forced to hand over 50,000 random web page contents from its index.

Conversely, upwards of 85 percent of all e-mail traffic is spam. In 2001, the number was 5 percent.

More Notes:
Internet and Spam
Early Spam: In the late 19th Century Western Union allowed telegraphic messages on its network to be sent to multiple destinations. The first recorded instance of mass unsolicited commercial telegram is from May, 1864. Up until the Great Depression wealthy North American residents would be deluged with nebulous investment offers. The earliest documented spam was a message advertising the availability of a new model of Digital Equipment Corporation computers sent to 393 recipients on ARPANET in 1978, by Gary Thuerk.

Luncheon Meat: The largest consumers of Spam are the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea. Spam is celebrated in a small local festival in Austin, Minnesota, where Hormel, who make the product, have their corporate headquarters. The event, known as Spam Jam, is a carnival-type celebration which coincides with local Fourth of July festivities. Austin is also home to the Spam Museum, and the plant that produces Spam for most of North America and Europe.

The name Spam was introduced on July 5, 1937 from multiple entries in a naming contest. According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for coming up with the name. At one time, the official explanation may have been that the name was a syllabic abbreviation of "SPiced hAM", but on their official website, Hormel states that "Spam is just that. Spam."


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