December 9

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 9th

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The Sperry Rand Corporation of St. Paul, Minnesota unveils a new computer, known as Univac 1107, the first electronic computer to employ thin-film memory. Thin film magnetic memory technology, developed by Sperry Rand through government funded research, is a four millionths of an inch thick layer of iron-nickel alloy (called permalloy) on glass plates. The memory provides very fast access to the Univac’s 128-word general register stack. While the 1107 is intended for commercial applications, other models intended for military purposes will later feature great amounts of thin film memory."


Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of seventeen researchers working with him at the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute demonstrates the NLS (”oNLine System”) to about one thousand technology specialists at the Fall Joint Computer Conference held by the American Federation of Information Processing Society during the San Francisco convention center. The ninety minute public demonstration will later be dubbed “The mother of all demos” by Steven Levy, in his 1994 book, “Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything.” The demonstration introduces the world to (among other things) the very first computer mouse, dynamic linking, e-mail, graphical user interfaces, hypertext, object addressing, and video teleconferencing, as well as the concept of the “paper paradigm.” The demonstration is conducted via teleconference, and can be seen in its entirety via streaming video at a site hosted by Stanford."


Mattel announces that it expects a fourth-quarter loss due to increased competition in the video game market and a general slump in the retail industry.


The Christmas Virus finds its way onto BITNET, causing many mail servers to crash under the overload. Eventually much of the network will be shutdown to stop its spread.

Microsoft releases the Windows 2.01 operating system. It features overlapping windows, and it can use the protected mode on 80286 processor. Price: US$100"


Microsoft releases the final version of Internet Explorer 3.0 web browser for Windows 3.1. It is the first version of the browser to be developed without Spyglass source code. It is the first major browser to feature support for Cascading Styles Sheets, and this version also introduces support for ActiveX controls, Java Applets, inline multimedia, and the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) system. Because of these features, it will become the first version of the browser to be widely used, and it will become a major competitor of the popular Netscape Navigator."


Microsoft releases BackOffice Server 4.0. The package includes Windows NT Server 4.0, SQL Server 6.5, SNA Server 4.0, SMS 1.2, IIS 4.0, Exchange Server 5.5, Proxy Server 2.0, Index Server 2.0, Transaction Server 2.0, FrontPage 98, and Visual InterDev 1.0."


"The CBS Corporation raises US$2.9 billion by selling a seventeen percent stake in Infinity Broadcasting Corp., its radio and outdoor advertising business. The initial public offering of stock is largest ever in the media industry."


The Quebec provincial government threatens Nintendo and Sony Corporation with a law suit if they don’t provide French language versions of their popular video game products in Canada by year’s end.


A digital cinema with six screens is opened by T-Joy in Hiroshima, Japan. It is the first cinema in the world to rely solely on digital technology with a system of conventional film projection systems to serve as back-up.


The trial of Jon Lech Johansen, better known as “DVD Jon,” begins with Johansen pleading not guilty. Johansen is being prosecuted by Økokrim, a Norwegian crime unit investigating and prosecuting economic crime after a complaint was brought by the United States DVD Copy Control Association (DVD-CCA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA).


The discovery of a security flaw in Firefox 1.5 is announced by the Mozilla Corporation. The flaw allows a hacker to freeze the browser program.

Yahoo!acquires the social bookmarking website in a deal estimated to be worth between fifteen and thirty million dollars. Visit the official website.


Microsft launches Oxite - an Open source blogging platform

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is found he is not doing his job, as stated by a report by the House Commitee on Energy.


Target tests "Awesome Shop" -- a Pinterest storefront

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