August 28

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: August 28th


The first issue of Scientific American is published by Rufus Porter, a schoolmaster, inventor, and editor. While the paper is still just a small weekly journal with a circulation less than three hundred, he will sell it for US$800 in July 1846 to twenty year old Alfred Ely Beach and Orson Desaix Munn. Together, they will build its circulation to ten thousand by 1848, twenty thousand by 1852, and thirty thousand by 1853. Visit the journal’s current website.


Jack St. Clair Kilby, of Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI), demonstrates a mutivibrator circuit of discreet silicon elements to Willis Adcock. Although the demonstration is a success, the circuit isn’t integrated, and Kilby moves on to demonstrate an Integrated Circuit (IC) in September.


Bill Gates signs a consulting agreement for US$15,000 to develop the software specifications for IBM’s personal computer. Jack Sams asks about alternatives to CP/M-86. Gates replies that he might find one.


An article in the Business section of the San Jose Mercury News reveals that Atari has scrapped plans to launch the Atari 7800 game system which was announced by Warner’s Atari just days before Tramiel’s takeover.


Aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis (mission STS-43), an AppleLink, running on a Macintosh Portable is used to send the first email from space. Astronauts Shannon Lucid and James C. Adamson send the message, “Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,…send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!” to Marcia Ivins, a shuttle communicator at the Johnson Space Center. AppleLink was interfaced to NASA’s communication system to allow the Shuttle to call up GEIS’ network from space. The Shuttle’s e-mail address is a secret, but exposed to GEIS’ email network as any other AppleLink address would be. To avoid a deluge of incoming mail generated by the media publicity surrounding the event, Apple set up a number of obvious “honeypot” addresses, such as STS43@AppleLink, to draw unwanted mail.


A US Court of Appeals reverses the decision in Sega Enterprises vs Accolade, which was ruled in Sega’s favor in April. The new ruling in the game cartridge copyright infringement suit accepts Accolade’s claim of “fair use” of Sega’s copyrighted games, to learn how to create other games for the Sega game console, which were then created without knowledge of the disassembled object code. This ruling allows software developers to learn from hidden software interfaces, when no other means is available.


Apple Computer releases its first shipments of PowerBook 5300 portable computers. Within the first three weeks of sales, less than one thousand are sold and they must be recalled due to overheating lithium ion batteries which cause two units to burst into flames.


Apple Computer releases the iMac in Japan. Price: ¥178,000 (US$1227)

IBM) announces plans to offer a new powerful personal computer called the Aptiva SE7. The new system is based on the Intel Pentium II 450 Megahertz (MHz) processor and has a 16.8GB hard drive. IBM will also offer the Aptiva E4N that is based on on the AMD Inc. AMD K6 350 MHz microprocessor for US$1299.

Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading in the UK, becomes the first human to be implanted with a microchip. The glass capsule, which measures approximately 23mm by 3mm, contains several microprocessors in a simple RFID that will remain in Warwick’s left arm for nine days. It is used to test the practicality of the implant’s interactions with computer controlled doors and lights in a futuristic ‘intelligent office building.’ The experiment is known as Project Cyborg.


AMD announces that personal computer manufacturers have begun shipping systems equipped with the 1.1GHz Athalon processor for around US$2,500. Intel temporarily ceases production of its 1.13 GHz Pentium III processor, and recalls those that have been shipped, due to a problem that might cause some applications to freeze. The chip began shipping Monday, July 31, 2000. George Alfs, an Intel spokesperson, insists that the quantity shipped to date is a small number.


For the third time in five weeks, the website of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) comes under online attack by activists irate about the group’s legal efforts to put an end to music-swapping. The website of the RIAA is defaced with the message, “The RIAA wishes to apologise for the heavy-handed manner in which the popular Chinese site Listen4Ever was closed down, and would like to present the following items for free download as a token of its goodwill,” and several copyrighted MP3 files were uploaded to the server. The site’s network administrators are shut down the site to look for the hole in its Web server. Additionally, the defaced site features faux links such as, “Inside the RIAA with Eric Cartman” and “Piracy can be beneficial to the music industry,” as well as a real link entitled, “Where can I find information on giant monkeys?” which takes browsers to the biography of Hilary Rosen, the chief executive officer of the RIAA.


Canadian software maker Corel announces its US$98 million acquisition by Vector Capital of San Francisco, California, has been completed.


Version 5.0.28 of the Apache Tomcat cross-platform application server.


TeliaSonera is the first to launch a Wi-Fi based Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) service, which they call “Home Free.” Visit the service’s official website.


A judge says that the information on the RAM of TorrentSpy’s computer is stored information and therefore can be used in the piracy case again them.

EarthLink lays off 900 as a restructuring effort

CNN jumps ship from Yahoo as Google signs a multi-year ad agreement with CNN 


Bloomberg “Accidentially” publishes an obituary of Steve Jobs. The text is only online for a small time, but it creates a furry of question – and eventually a humorous ribbing when Steve Jobs spoke at Apples’ Sept. 5th meeting

YouTube gets Closed Caption support

Google announces they will have their own App store

Psystar officially countersues Apple on antitrust issues. 


Google announced they will be switching to their VP8 codec in Hangouts. They will also be introducing HD hangouts.

Twitter acquired Tracker Trendrr - a social TV tracking software.

With a vote of 117-4, New Zealand Parlament banned software patents.

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