March 17

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: March 17

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1980

The United States Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty concerning whether or not genetically-engineered micro-organisms can be patented. On June 16, the court will rule that the patent office can grant patents on any new and useful composition of matter, irregardless of whether or not the matter is alive. The patent will be issued on March 31, 1981.

1986

Programmer Tim Paterson of Falcon Technology writes to Microsoft>Microsoft, indicating an intent to sell its royalty-free DOS license. Microsoft replies indicating a willingness to buy back the license.

1987

Apple Computer declares six different Mac Plus systems the one millionth Mac, one of which is presented to Interface designer Jef Raskin.

1988

Apple Computer files an eleven page suit against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard in San Jose federal court. Specifically, Apple Computer accuses Microsoft of using visual display features of the highly successful Macintosh operating system graphical user interface (GUI) in the Windows 2.0 operating system. Apple claims that Windows violates thirteen separate copyrights in order to duplicate the look and feel of the Macintosh. Hewlett-Packard is also named as a defendant, for copyright violations in its New Wave desktop environment. The suit will be lost in 1995.

1992

Russia launches the Soyuz TM-14 space craft on a mission to the space station Mir. It is the first Soyuz mission following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

1996

The website of Telia, the major telephone company of Finland and Sweden, is hacked twice. The first time the page is hacked is the first instance of an attack on a Swedish website. The second time the website is hacked, it is defaced, in part, with a message reading, All rights removed byThe Kevin Mitnick Liberation Front in memory of S.H.A!!! View an archived version of the website the first time it was defaced and the second time it was defaced.

1997

Microsoft releases Office ‘97 Small Business Edition. Price: US$249

Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) formally announces the availability of Net Yaroze, a PlayStation development system for hobbyists. Price: US$750

1998

The website of Yunasoft of Japan is hacked anonymously.

1999

AOL completes the acquisition of Netscape Communications Corporation in a US$10 million arrangement. Visit the official AOL website.

Intel introduces the Pentium III Xeon processor at speeds of 500MHz and 550MHz, with 9.5 million transistors, a 100MHz bus, and a 64-bit bus.

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2000

Dell Computer begins shipping personal computers with 1 GHz Pentium III processors. Visit the official Dell website.

An Iowa US District Court dismisses a lawsuit filed by Microware Systems against Apple Computer, which alleges that Apple violated Microware OS 9 operating system trademarks.

Patrick Naughton, a former vice president of the Infoseek Corporation and one of the original authors of Java, pleads guilty in federal court to charges that he crossed state lines Tuesday, September 14, 1999 to seek sex with a thirteen year old girl he had met on the Internet.

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) reveals that the company’s newly released video game console, the PlayStation 2, is capable of playing movies on discs formatted for other regions of the world. The technology is a breach of a policy among DVD player manufacturers that movies licensed for sale in one region are not readable by players purchased in other regions. Visit the official Sony website.

2003

Yahoo!unveils its premium online audio and video service, Yahoo!Platinum. Read the original press release.

2008

eBay cancels its deal with ValueClick and brings all affilliate marketing in-house by April 1st.

Former Qwest CEO Joeseph Nacchio - who was convicted for insider trading - is granted a new trial

2009

At SXSW, 3 of the Mad Men twitterers talked about why they did it.

2010

An auto center employee, having been laid off, allegedly hacks into a Web-based vehicle-immobilization system and interferes with more than 100 cars sold by the dealership.

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