December 8

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Podcast episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 8th

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The Boston-based National Bell Telephone Company is dissolved by court decree.


The first ship-to-shore mobile telephone commercial service is launched.


"Lloyd Espenschied and Herman A. Affel receive the first US patent for coaxial cable. (US No. 1,835,031) The patent, describes the invention as a “concentric conducting system,” is assigned to the American Telegraph and Telephone Co. (AT&T) of New York City."


"Colossus, the first programmable electronic computer, is delivered to Bletchley Park, Britain’s secret cryptanalysis headquarters during World War II. It was designed by engineer Tommy Flowers at the Post Office Research Station in Dollis Hill, north London with input from mathematician Max Newman. It incorporates 1,500 thermionic valves (vacuum tubes), and is capable of optically reading a paper tape and applying a functions to each character."


"Radio Corporation of America (RCA) demonstrates split-screen television for the first time, displaying two images side-by-side on a kinescope tube at a Television Broadcasters Association meeting in New York."


"President Dwight Eisenhower give what will become known as the “Atoms for Peace” speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. In the speech, he proposes the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency to develop “methods whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind … to apply atomic energy to the needs of agriculture, medicine and other peaceful activities. A special purpose would be to provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world.” Following the speech, the US Congress will pass the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 which institutes widespread use of atomic energy for commercial applications."


The first IBM 650 is installed in the controllers department of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company in Boston. The 650 was a Magnetic Drum Data Processing System Machine that debuted on July 14, 1953. In 1956, it was fitted with an IBM 355 (the first hard drive) and re-named to the 650 RAMAC. [1]


The United States and the USSR sign a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space.


"The computer mouse, hypertext, and linking are publicly demonstrated for the first time, in San Francisco."


Atari files a lawsuit against Coleco Industries for US$350 million, alleging that Coleco’s Expansion Module No. 1, which allows Atari 2600 cartridges to be played on the ColecoVision video game system, infringes on Atari patents. Coleco countersues for US$500 million, claiming that Atari has violated antitrust laws."

Warner Communications announces that, due to a slump in sales in its Atari game division, fourth quarter earnings will only be up ten to fifteen percent, falling short of industry analysts’ expectations of a fifty percent increase. Following the announcement, the company’s stock will plummet by 16¾ points."


Martin Pollard, author of the Telegard Bulletin Board System, announces that development of the software will be discontinued. He cites multiple reasons, including a mistreatment by the community and an inability to shake the image of being a “Pirate BBS.” Telegard also stops using Fidonet and joins the USTGNet network, which will later become the ITCnet."


The United States Secretary of Defense announces that the Global Positioning System (GPS), which consists of twenty-four satellites operating in their assigned orbits and provides coordinates accurate to within one hundred meters, has reached “Initial Operational Capability” and will be made available civilian use at Standard Positioning Service (SPS) levels."


Common Lisp ANSI is released. "A team of German scientists led by Peter Armbruster at the Gesellschaft für schwerionenforschung (GSI) facility at Darmstadt, Germany, announce the creation of element 111 which will initially be named unununium, symbol Uuu."


A group of computer hackers break into Yahoo!servers and deface the website. The hackers, who called themselves the “Pantz - h4gis Alliance,” post a message that states, “For the past month, anyone who has viewed Yahoo’s page and used their search engine, now has a logic bomb/worm implanted deep within their computer.” The message states that the federal government will be notified of the location of the malicious code and an counter program upon the immediate release of Kevin Mitnick, who was once listed as the world’s most wanted computer hacker by the FBI. Mitnick, who has been in prison since 1995, allegedly stole thousands of credit card numbers by breaking into an Internet service provider’s web server. A Yahoo!spokesperson will later state that the company learned of the message within minutes of its posting and that the website was restored within fifteen minutes. The threat turns out to be an empty one, as no such virus will ever be found.

Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Sports.


Version 2 (v1.2) of the Java programming language is released.


Ericsson announces a partnership with Microsoft to provide mobile Internet services. Ericsson’s stock subsequently rises to a record SEK549 a share, with a total value of SEK100 billion to SEK1,165 billion, becoming the first Swedish company to surpass the 1,000 billion mark. The increase in value rises from the twelfth to the seventh largest European company. The Stockholm stock exchange surges five percent for the day, setting a record for a single day."

Yahoo!is added to the S&P 500 index.


"Federal prosecutors accuse one time Los Alamos National Laboratory employee Jerome Heckenkamp of breaking into Qualcomm and half a dozen other corporate computer systems including eBay Inc. and E*Trade Inc., over a nine-month period using the handle “MagicFX” while he was a student."

Version 4.1.0 of the PHP programming language is released.


IBM announces that it is selling its PC Hardware division to China’s largest computer manufacturer, Lenovo for US$650 million in cash and US$600 million in Lenovo stock. Lenovo will also acquire US$500 million of IBM’s liabilities and overhead, bringing the value of the deal to a total of US$1.75 billion. At the completion of the acquisition, Lenovo will be the world’s third-largest PC vendor with US$12 billion in annual revenue and 19,000 employees. In a press release, Liu Chuanzhi, Lenovo’s chairman, explains “This acquisition will allow Chinese industry to make significant inroads on its path to globalisation.”"


Imagine Publishing re-launches Retro Gamer magazine. It’s original publisher, Live Publishing declared bankruptcy on September 27, 2005. Visit the magazine’s official website."


SugarCRM (Customer Relationship Management) is released

Wal Mart employees start blogging and Twittering that the iPhone will be at the stores by the end of the month. MySpace announces they will work with Google Friend connect for an OpenID option.


Google released Offline GMail access out of Beta.


Twitter redesigns their homepage

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