December 24

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 24th

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According to Russian folklore, people born on this day of the year are believed to become Werewolves.


Tom Jennings announces in FidoNews that the first (verified) intercontinental FidoNet message was sent from Jakarta, Indonesia, to St. Louis, United States. FidoNets had already previously been sent internationally, appearing in Canada nearly immediately after the network’s founding.


Compuserve and Unisys announce that they expect companies developing software that creates or displays images in the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) to license the technology for a modest fee. Software developers react to the announcement with something on the order of hysteria. Many developers threaten to stop using the format altogether. The League for Programming Freedom was particularly vehement in their protest, launching a Burn All GIFs campaign. The announcement leads to the later development of the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format which will be released on October 1, 1996.


The first commercial spy satellite, built by Earthwatch of Colorado, United States, is launched from Russia. The company believes that will be able to sell images for anywhere from US$300 to US$725.

Shareholders of Hayes Microcomputer Products approve the merger with Access Beyond, a manufacturer of rack-mount modems and terminal servers for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The merged resulting company will be called Hayes Communications The merger is the company’s method of taking the company public. However, the new company’s stock value will plummet from US$12 to just pennies in October of the following year, and in 1999 the company’s assets will be liquidated.


Version 1.6.8 of the Ruby programming language is released.


The first stable version of the Fox Linux operating system, version 1.0, is released in Lite and PRO editions. FoX Linux is a free Italian Linux distribution based on the Fedora Core optimized for the i686 architecture.


Alan Cox leaves Red Hat. He cites the reason being the direction of the company.

Verizon is awarded $33.15 Million against cybersquatters of domain names close to the companies. Verison, virizon, etc.

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