August 29

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: August 29th


The USSR explodes its first hydrogen bomb.


The British Computer Misuse Act goes into effect. One of the first laws designed to address computer fraud, the Act resulted from a long debate in the eighties over a series of failed prosecutions of hackers, including one well-publicized case in which two men hacked into a British Telecom computer to leave messages in the Duke of Edinburgh’s private mailbox.


3Dfx Interactive files a lawsuit in California’s Santa Clara County Superior Court against Sega Enterprises and NEC over the cancellation of a contract with 3Dfx. 3Dfx was to provide a 3D graphics component for Sega’s next video game system.

Netflix is incorporated in the US. It was founded by Reed Hastings and It will begin operations on April 14, 1998.


Sony unveils the Clie handheld computer in New York, featuring the Palm OS, a monochrome display, a Memory Stick slot, 8MB RAM, and an 8MB Memory Stick. Price is US$399; weight is 4 ounces. “Clie” stands for Communication Link Information Entertainment. Visit the product’s official website.


Version 7.1.1 of the Fermi Linux operation system, “Top,” is released. Fermi Linux is a catch all designation for Linux distributions used by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), which are based on Scientific Linux.


Version 7.0 of the Netscape web browser is released. This version is a continuation of version six series of Netscape browsers, not a complete re-tooling, as past major version changes have been. This version also doesn’t go far in increasing the application’s popularity over Mozilla and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. In fact, AOL’s decision to disable the browser’s popup-blocker functionality in this version outrages many users who had previously been loyal Netscape users.


Jeffrey Lee Parson, age 18, of Minneapolis, Minnesota is arrested for developing and releasing the B Variant of the MSBlaster Worm. This variant is referred to by a number of different names, including “W32/Lovesan.worm.b.” This variant infected seven thousand computers. These infected computers were then used to launch a denial of service (DOS) attack on Microsoft, particularly, its website, The United States Secret Service was instrumental to the investigation that lead to Parson’s arrest.


Hurricane Katrina Hits the US Coast


LexisNexis releases version 8.0 of the Time Matters practice management software for Windows. In addition to contacts, it manages calendaring, email, documents, research, billing, accounting, and projects.


Earthlink decided to end the contract that would give San Francisco free Wi Fi access. The ISP laid off 900 employees. The contract was still under final approval when Earthlink pulled the plug.


Microsoft purchases Ciao, one of Europe's leading price-comparison sites for 486 Million

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