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Spam Magnet

Posted by TestOut Staff on

Once upon a time in 1937, the Hormel Foods Corporation created a cooked lunch meat product sold in a distinctive tin can. The main ingredient is pork — originally pork shoulder, which was believed to be a less desirable cut of meat — along with ham (pork meat from the leg), salt, sugar, water, modified potato starch, and sodium nitrite. The brother-in-law of a Hormel Foods executive won a $100 cash prize for coining the distinctive moniker "spam," quickly trademarked as "SPAM."

SPAM on a plate

SPAM might have gone on to become a staple of the global diet regardless, but it got a huge boost a few years after its creation from the United States Army. The difficulty of delivering fresh meat to front-line soldiers during World War II resulted in the Army's ultimately consuming more than 100 million pounds of SPAM. That gave the "meatloaf without basic training" some serious sizzle, and launched several decades worth of growth that led, in 2007, to the 7 billionth can of SPAM sold worldwide.

In 2016, a state-of-the-art SPAM Museum opened in Austin, Minn. (the birthplace of Hormel Foods). And yet, for all of that, most young people would probably identify the word "spam," first and foremost, as referring to unwanted e-mails, off-topic (and often automated) forum comments, and other digitally ubiquitous junk data. (That usage is also connected to SPAM, thanks to a Monty Python sketch in which two intrepid diners find themselves unable to order any meal that does not contain SPAM.)

There are things any individual can do to limit the amount of spam to his or her e-mail account, and most e-mail providers offer at least basic spam filtering. People expect e-mail spam. There are some places, however, where spam turns up for no discernible reason at all. The IT Insights Blog doesn't tend to get a lot of traction with commenters. But one particular post that debuted a little more than two years ago gets regular meaningless spam comments, most of them seemingly from Eastern Europe.

That specific post primarily discusses Linux and the (at the time) Linux-connected Salary Survey then in progress at the official website of Certification Magazine. There are a number of other Insights Blog posts that reference those topics — Linux and CertMag surveys — separately but don't get any spam comments at all. So maybe it's something about the combination of the two. Maybe this post, which now also mentions both topics, will confirm that theory. We'll find out what happens.

In the meantime, any readers who are interested in Linux should consider our Linux+ training. There's a new CompTIA Linux+ exam about to debut in April, so if you want to get certified before that happens, then there's no time to waste. We will update our Linux+ training to reflect the new exam guidlines, however, so if you want to put it off and see what's different after the new exam objectives are released, well, we can help you then, too.


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