March 31

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: March 31

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Prev: March 30 - Next: April 1 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project

1939

Harvard and IBM sign an agreement for the construction of the Mark I, also known as the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC). The computer will weigh nearly five tons and contain more than 750,000 separate components. It will read instructions from paper tape and data from punch cards.

1989

Howard Lincoln sends Atari Games a cease-and-desist order to stop manufacturing any version of Tetris for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). On April 7, Tengen, a subsidiary of Atari, will contend that their company owns all legal rights to produce home versions of Tetris.

1993

A bug in a piece of software called ARMM written by Dr. Richard Depew in an attempt to introduce the controversial concept of retro-moderation to Usenet postings sends two hundred copies of a message to a the newsgroup news.admin.policy on after the other. The term Spamming is coined by Joel Furr, a user of the newsgroup, to describe the incident. However, he borrows the term from a different use from various MUD games he had played.

1995

Microsoft releases Microsoft Bob for Windows. Price: US$99

1996

Version 1.20 of the EzyCom bulletin board system (BBS) is released for MS-DOS.

1998

Netscape releases the source code of its browser under an open-source license. The project is named Mozilla, and the project will later be spun off into the non-profit organization named the Mozilla Foundation in 2003. Visit the official Mozilla website.

1999

Warner Bros. releases the science fiction film The Matrix, directed by the Wachowski Brothers and staring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, and Gloria Foster to 2,849 US theaters. The film will be awarded four Academy Awards, for Best Editing, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound, as well as twenty-eight other awards. It is packed with references to cyberpunk, gaming, and hacker culture. Produced on a budget of US$63 million, the film will gross US$27,788,331 in its opening weekend. Read an overview of the film at The Matrix 101. MPAA Rating: R Running Time: 2 hrs 16 mins

2001

Sega discontinues production of the Dreamcast video game system, with approximately 10.6 million units sold.

2002

Version 1.0 of the Gentoo Linux operating system is released. Visit the official Gentoo website.

2003

Intel releases the 2300MHz Celeron 2.3 and 2400MHz Celeron 2.4 processors, featuring 128KB Level-2 Caches and 400MHz Front-Side Buses.

Version 9 (not 9.0) of the Red Hat Linux operating system is released. Visit the official Red Hat Linux website.

2006

Toshiba releases the first HD-DVD player in Japan, igniting a format war between the world’s largest electronics manufacturers. On February 19, 2008, Toshiba will announce that it will discontinue the format. Visit the official Toshiba website.

2007

In Sydney, Australia 2.2 million people participate in the first Earth Hour from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. Earth Hour is intended to be a global event during which people are asked to shut off all non-essential electricity-consuming devices for a single hour in order to raise awareness of conservation movements. The famed Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are darked to mark the event. Visit the official Earth Hour website.

Version 1.0 of the BORGChat LAN messaging software is released. Visit the official BORGChat website.

2008

Dell closes it’s Austin Texas Plant and lays off 8800 employees

IBM is suspended from US Government contracts due to issues brought forward by the EPA. The Suspension was lifted on Apr. 4th

Developer Dan Kaminsky announces he has found a flaw in the addressing of the Domain Name System, or DNS. DNS is found on home to commercial routers around the world. He will meet with 16 other developers at Microsoft headquarters to put a massive patch in order to fix. No other details were released in order to conceal this issue as best as possible from hackers. It was later discovered the problem had to do with the Addressing of names. A patch was then released on July 8th of 2008.

2009

The tethering application in the Google Android store was banned because of tT-Mobiles' terms of service contracts.

2011

GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons is chastized for an online video showing him killing an elephant.

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