December 29

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 29th

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Thomas Alva Edison is granted a patent for a means for transmitting signals electrically (wireless radio).


US District Judge Richard G. Stearns dismisses the case against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student David LaMacchia in the Cynosure Piracy case, in which LaMacchia was accused of using MIT servers to run a bulletin board system (BBS) which offered pirated software. However, LaMacchia will continue to be under pressure until he learns on January 27 that prosecutors will not appeal the judge’s ruling. Although LaMacchia was alleged to have helped other users make illegal copies of software, there was no claim that he profited from the activity, and current laws that he was being prosecuted under only attach criminal penalties to copyright infringement done for profit. In his decision to dismiss the case, Stearns writes that the government’s interpretation of the wire fraud statute would serve to criminalize the conduct of not only persons like LaMacchia, but also the myriad of home computer users who succumb to the temptation to copy even a single software program for private use. The dismissal will later be referred to as LaMacchia Loophole, wherein it becomes difficult if not impossible to prosecute hobbyists who circulate pirated software recreationally. This loophole will later be closed by the 1997 No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act).


Atlus releases Virtual Hydlide for the Sega Saturn in Europe.


Dutch computer manufacturer Tulip Computers agrees to sell its Commodore International company to Yeahronimo Media Ventures for about US$32.7 million.


Free World Group releases Clash N Slash for computers in the US.


Intel launches a new line of low cost Quad core chips. The Q9000 at 2.53GHz for $348 and the 2.93GHz T9800 ($530), the 2.66GHz P9600 Core 2 Duo ($348), the 2.66GHz T9550 ($316), and the 2.53GHz P8700 ($241).

RIAA loses a request for appeal for a retrial of Jammie Thomas who almost had to pay the RIAA $220,000 for illegal downloads


Paul Allen revises his patent suit that was dismissed on December 13, 2010. He claims 11 sites like Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Netflix, Staples and others, were violating patents granted to them by his defunct company Interval Research.

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