Airdate : September 10, 2003
With Jon Stewart and Ed Helms

The Daily Show has long been on the cutting edge of computer technology. Well, not on the cutting edge, its very short. But with the latest on the world of high tech, we check in with our own Ed Helms, and Digital Watch.
Hello, I'm Ed Helms, and welcome to Digital Watch. Today we're going to talk about e-mail, or electronic mail, and Spam, its bastard son. Spam is unsolicited e-mail that clogs up inboxes, and lets face it, its an e-nnoying hassle that giga-bytes the big one. But the right the right software, and a little common sense can help your computer tell the difference between bad e-mail, like offers for low interest credit cards, and vacation homes in the Yucatan and good e-mail like a letter from a family member or news about an important scientific breakthrough. I mean, if it didn't make your penis massive, how could they guarantee it? One solution to this pain in the tech is Spam filtering software. How's it work? It filters your incoming mail for keywords that often appear in Spam. The software will automatically throw away any e-mail that contains these words such as Yucatan, and penis. Which is probably why I was the last to hear about my brother's tragic accident in Cancun. (Ed 'tears up'

Unfortunately these filters aren't perfect, and crafty spammers are always figuring out ways to fool them. One of the more common tricks is a friendly subject line. For instance, say you got an e-mail with the subject 'how you doin'?'. But you don't remember having a friend named -- that might be Spam. But there's only way to be sure. Open it up and download all attachments. Then read it thoroughly. If its Spam, the courteous thing to do is to forward it to everyone in your address book with a note that ways 'watch out for this one!'. 

Fortunately, Spam won't be a problem for long because now our government is getting involved. Currently, congress is considering nine different bills aimed at criminalizing this annoying practice. NINE. Granted, its not quite ten, but its certainly more than the one we actually need. In the meantime, you'll want to join my Spam Tips E-Mail List. Just go to, and signup! I'll send you hundreds of tips every day on how you can get rid of annoying e-mails. For Digital Watch, I'm Ed Helms. 

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