August 31

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: August 31st


Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents the rigid airship, known as the Zeppelin. The overall cylindrical shape with rounded ends was covered with a cotton shell, framed with aluminium struts, wire-braced, and filled with a number of independent hydrogen balloons which provide the ship lift. Two or more engines are suspended below for propulsion. The patent is titled, “Lenkbarer Luftfahrzug” or “steerable air-cruising train,” which refers to a feature whereby additional cylindrical mid-segments can be connected together to create a longer airship with a greater carrying capacity.


Aldus Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. finalize their merger. The two companies hope to combine forces in creating powerful desktop publishing software, building on the field Aldus founder Paul Brainerd had created in 1985 with his PageMaker software.

Richard D. Kenadek, sysop of the Davy Jones Locker BBS is arrested by the FBI, two years after his BBS was seized in a raid, and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and criminal copyright infringement.


The American Psychologist, the monthly journal of the American Psychological Association, publishes the results of a US$1.5 million study conducted by the Carnegie Mellon University that determines that time spent on the Internet breeds depression and loneliness.

North Korea reportedly launches Kwangmyongsong, its first satellite.

The Itex Corporation of Portland, Oregon files a suit against one hundred users of Yahoo!Bulletin boards for making defamatory statements against the firm. One such user known as “Orangemuscat” posted a message in May stating that Itex’s current management “is blind, stupid, and incompetent.” An Itex spokesperson states that Itex hopes that the suit will provide a legal path toward the discovery of who is behind the one hundred Yahoo!aliases.

Version 5.0.2 of the Fermi Linux operation system 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.


Apple Computer announces that two million iMac computers have been sold to date.

Apple Computer release the PowerMac G4. It’s powered by either a single or dual PowerPC G4 chip, which was produced by a collaboration of Apple, Motorola, and IBM. Available at speeds of 400MHz, 450MHz and 500MHz, Apple claims that it is the first personal computer to be capable of over one billion floating-point operations per second. The systems feature 64MB RAM, a CD-ROM drive, and a 10GB hard disk. Prices start at US$1599. The system is introduces by Steve Jobs at the Seybold conference in San Francisco, California.

Apple Computer unveils the Apple Cinema Display, a 22-inch LCD flat-panel display at the Seybold conference in San Francisco, California. Price: US$3,999

Intel announces that they have begun shipping engineering samples of their next-generation processor, code-named Merced. It is the first in a new family of processors designed around a 64-bit architecture. Intel has been co-developing the architecture with Hewlett-Packard since 1994.

SOZO Design, LLC, a design firm founded by ex-Atari engineer Ira Velinsky, unveils the world’s first computer/ottoman combination at the Intel Developer’s Forum in Palm Springs, California. The functional “Ottoman PC” features an Intel Pentium III processor-based personal computer (PC), a 15″ monitor, a wireless keyboard, a DVD-ROM, video camera, and more. Sun Microsystems announces plans to acquire the Star Division Corporation, the developer of an office application suite called StarOffice.

Version 1.11 of the HydraBBS Software is released.


Mark Jakob, age 23, is arrested and charged with staging one of the most elaborate financial hoaxes ever seen on the Internet. According to the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Jakob sent fraudulent information in the form of a press release to Internet Wire alleging that the Emulex Corporation, a California-based manufacturer of storage networking infrastructure solutions, was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and that their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had resigned. The ensuing report, which was picked up by Bloomberg Television and other news outlets, caused Emulex’s stock price to drop from US$103.94 to US$43.00 (a 62% drop) in sixteen minutes of morning trading, allegedly earning Jakob nearly a quarter million dollars.

Yahoo!completes the acquisition of the email list management website, which will become a part of Yahoo!Groups.


The first stable release of PHPMyAdmin, version 2.2.0, is released. PHPMyAdmin is a tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Internet.

Intel launches new Celeron processors, at speeds of 950 MHz, 1 GHz, and 1.1GHz. Each features a 100 MHz system bus, and a 128KB Level-2 cache. Price: US$74, US$89, and US$103 respectively


Version 5.5.0 of Apache Tomcat, a popular application server, is released.


The Chimpanzee Genome Project announces that it has decoded the genome of a common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), homo sapien’s closest evolutionary relative, and that a first draft of the genome will appear in the September 1st issue of the journal Nature.

Version 2.0 of the Asianux Linux distribution is released.


Sun Microsystems joined the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), an industry consortium that develops and licenses Blu-ray Disc technology.

Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream was recovered from a raid by Norwegian police. The paintings were said to be in a better-than-expected condition. They were Stolen on August 22, 2004.


NBC cancels their contract with iTunes after NBC declares that iTunes is not strict enough with their piracy controls.

A judge stated that Spamhaus, a British spam blacklisting org. did not have to pay over 11 million to an Illinois email marketing company for blocking or delaying their email.


A Russian Website owner is killed and dumped on the side of the road in what Russian authorities called “An incident”. Magomed Yevloyev, owned the – a site that criticed the Kremlin’s policies.

Intel announces the Q8200 Duo Quad processor, 2.33GHz and 4MB of cache memory, and the E5200 Duo core processor with 2.5GHz, 2MB of cache memory, and an 800MHz front-side bus. $224 and $84. Intel also announces a Celeron D processor at 2.2 GHz with 512k cache for $53


DIGG confirms their new CEO is Matt Williams - a former Amazon exec.

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