August 16

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: August 16th


The United States Census Bureau announces that the latest US census which have been tabulated using Herman Hollerith’s machine. The nation’s population of 62,622,250 was determined by using an automated method, the Hollerith Census Machine, for the first time. The Hollerith machine sorted returned surveys with the use of punch cards, whereby it could process nearly ten times the amount of census data as a human clerk could.


IBM introduces software for artificial intelligence.


The Debian distribution is first announced by Ian Murdock, a student at Purdue University. Murdock initially calls the system the “Debian Linux Release.” Read a brief history of the Debian system.


IBM debuted the first smartphone. IBM Simon Personal Communicator was released to the public, had a touchscreen and could send and receive faxes, had a calendar, notepad and calculator. $899 with contract and $1099 without


French student Damien Doligez wins the Hal’s SSL challenge, set by Hal Finney of, by cracking a “secure” Netscape session protected by the default exportable mode, a 40-bit RC4 encryption. The SSL protocol was designed to protect confidential data sent by web browsers, but it has an option for weak encryption, to comply with the requirements of the US government for exportable software. Doligez broke the RC4-128-EXPORT-40 algorithm in eight days by networking 112 workstations and using a brute force search. He is the first individual to do so at 12:23 after a team of three (Adam Back of the UK, Eric Young of Australia, and David Byers of Sweden) returned the correct key at 10:43, less than two hours earlier. The challenge was issued on July 14th.


The Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) announces that they have joined a six-company lawsuit brought by Acclaim Entertainment, Accolade/Infogrames Entertainment, Bethesda Softworks, Interplay Productions, Lucas Arts Entertainment Company, and The 3DO Company against the alleged leaders of the Class, Paradigm and Razore 1911“>Razor 1911 hacking groups. The groups have allegedly played a major role in online software piracy.

Microsoft releases version 3.0 of ActiveSync, a synchronization program for mobile devices, for Windows CE.


Palm announces that it is acquiring the technology assets and intellectual property of software maker Be for US$11 million in stock.


The Chemists of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) convene in Ottawa to vote and officially name element 110 Darmstadtium and designate its symbol as Ds. The element was first identified in 1994 in at the Laboratory for Heavy Ion Research, known as GSI, in Darmstadt, Germany. The scientists created the element for a fraction of a thousandth of a second and proposed its name to commemorate the town of Darmstadt. The IUPAC is an organization of chemists from more than eighty countries responsible for selecting official names, symbols, and terms used in chemistry.


Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev breaks the world record for most days spent in space while on board the International space station.

The Zotob worm and several variations of malware exploiting the vulnerability described in Microsoft security bulletin MS05-039 are discovered. The worm is vastly over-publicized because several United States media outlets’ computer systems were infected.


America Online acquires American gaming news site GameDaily from Gigex in a financially undisclosed deal. The site will be merged into the company’s AOL Games network.


IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. join forces to cooperate on server technologies to rival HP’s stronghold.

the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that IBM Corp. and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) have separately agreed to pay the U.S. government a total of US$5.3 million to settle allegations that the companies solicited and provided improper payments on technology contracts with government agencies.

Wikipedia announces their tracking device “Wikiscanner” found that People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.


Cadence Design systems – a company that provides design tools for semiconductor design – announces they withdrew a $1.5 bn bid for rival Mentor Graphics. They state that the board management was unwilling to engage in substantive discussions.


Lycos is acquired by Ybrant Digital for $36 million. The previous owner - Daum communications - who bought the company in 2004 for $95.4 million.

ebay launches a bar-code scanning application for Earlier in the summer, ebay purchased RedLaser barcode technology and this is the first implementation.

Mobile Chat software IM+ releases their application for the PC web browser.


A prototype Macbook with 3G shows up on eBay. The Macbook is pulled


The US finally acknowledges Area 51

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