March 6

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: March 6

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Prev: March 5 - Next: March 7 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project

1950

Silly PuttySilly Putty is introduced as a toy by Peter Hodgson, a marketing consultant, who packaged one-ounce portions of the rubber-like material in plastic eggs. It could be stretched, rolled into a bouncing ball, or used to transfer colored ink from newsprint. The original discovery is made in 1943 by James Wright who combined silicone oil and boric acid in the laboratories of General Electric. He was researching methods of making synthetic rubber, but at the time no significant application existed for the material. However, it was passed around as a curiosity. Hodgson saw a sample and realized its potential simply for entertainment and coined its name for marketing it as a toy. Its popularity made him a millionaire.

1953

DNAWatson and Crick submit their first article on the structure of DNA to the journal Nature. It will be published in the April 25, 1953 issue of the magazine.

  • We wish to put forward a radically different structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. This structure has two helical chains each coiled around the same axis… Both chains follow right-handed helices… The novel feature of the structure is the manner in which the two chains are held together by purine and pyrimidine bases… They are joined together in pairs, a single base from one chain being hydrogen-bonded to a single base from the other chain, so that the two lie side by side with identical z-co-ordinates. One of the pair must be a purine and the other a pyrimidine in order for bonding to occur.

1978

Chris Lundberg, Sugu Aria, and Richard Desman, all top executives at IMSAI, a computer manufacturer, quit their jobs. Read more about the history of the IMSAI at the PC History website.

1986

In the nation’s first computer sting operation operated by a local law enforcement agency, seven teenagers are arrested on various hacking charges in Fremont, California. Three of the hackers are fifteen years old, two are sixteen, one is seventeen, and one is 19. The arresting officer, Sgt. Dan Pasquale, has been communicating regularly with about one hundred thirty hackers and pirates in at least seven states under the alias Revenger. The charges, mostly misdemeanors, include trafficking in stolen long distance service codes and stolen credit card numbers, trafficking stolen property, and possession of dangerous weapons. Read more about the sting at Gary Robson’s online archive of his Blacklisted! 411 article.

1991

In the lawsuit of Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker denies Hewlett-Packard’s request to declare Apple’s copyrights invalid, and also rejects Microsoft’s argument that portions of Windows are covered by the 1985 license from Apple. However, the judge agrees to Microsoft’s request to consider the copyright issue feature-by-feature, rather than on the basis of overall look and feel. Visit the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab website to to read the entire court declaration.

Rumors arise regarding the Michaelangelo computer virus, which is coded to launch its destructive payload on this, Michelangelo’s 516th birthday.

1992

The Michelangelo computer virus reveals itself in as many as one million IBM compatible computers. The virus strikes the first time the computer is turned on after midnight of the previous day, on this, Michelangelo’s 517th birthday. The virus is transmitted through the boot segments of floppy disks that are exchanged between users. Once activated, the program attempts to destroy the data on the hard drive and any disks in use, which often requires the entire hard drive to be reformatted as a result. Concerns over the Michelangelo virus, which had been discovered a month earlier, raises concerns among everyone from personal computer users to world governments. As many as five million computers were reportedly in danger of contracting the virus.

1993

The Michelangelo Virus first discovered in February of 1992, the first to gain mainstream media recognition, sparks near-hysteria in the weeks leading up to March 6, the date the virus is set to deploy. It’s the first time the average person believes his or her life will be thrown into chaos due to a computer failure. As will later be the case with the Y2K bug, Michelangelo’s birthday passes with little damage.

1994

A crew of seven people from five countries begin study in self-contained living, in Biosphere 2, a glass enclosed ecosystem. Their aim was to live within the structure, supported by the several simulated types of ecosystems therein, to provide information which may be applied to solving ecological problems created by man. Biosphere 2 was built in the desert outside of Oracle, Arizona. Visit the official Biosphere 2 website.

The Biosphere 2

1995

In San Francisco, California, the The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) holds the Compcon ‘95 computer systems conference.

1996

United Press International (UPI) reveals that a hacker known as u4ea, as well as el8ite, eliteone, el8″ and b1ff has been threatening to crash systems at the Boston Herald newspaper and several Internet service providers in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Reports indicate that the hacker may have covertly penetrated up to one hundred Internet sites, destroying files on many of the systems. An investigation is initiated by the NYPD Computer Crimes section.

1997

The Bonny View Cottage Furniture company registers the one millionth Internet domain name (bonnyview.com) at 12:07:51 pm.

LucasArts receives a Codie Award for their top-selling Star Wars game, Rebel Assault II.

1998

A number of Apple software developers stage a peaceful gathering to protests Apple’s recent decision to abandon the Newton platform. A press release issued by the Newton Developers Association called for the gathering at the Apple Computer Store in Cupertino, California at noon Pacific time.

The Webby Awards logoThe second annual Webby Awards are held at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Theater. The event recognizes the best, brightest and boldest sites on the Internet. Winners are announced in nineteen different categories by a select panel of ninety-five judges, including Chicago Bulls player Dennis Rodman, former California Governor Jerry Brown, Dilbert creator Scott Adams, film director Kevin Smith, and musician Thomas Dolby (She Blinded Me With Science). Winners include: Best Film Site - Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com), Best Print/Zine Site - Salon Magazine (http://www.salonmag.com), and Best TV Site - PBS Online (http://www.pbs.org). Read a list of all the winner in the official press release. Visit the official Webby Awards website.

The servers of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) are hacked by Zyklon, also known as Eric Burns, who will be sentenced in November to fifteen months imprisonment and three years of supervised release for hacking USIA and NATO websites.


2000

AMD releases 900 MHz, 950 MHz, and 1 GHz Athlon processors. Each processor features 512Kb of Level 2 off-chip cache. Price: US$899, US$999, and US$1299 respectively, Read the specifications of the three processors at AnandTech.

1GHz AMD Athlon ProcessorAMD announces the initial shipment of 1GHz AMD Athlon processors, a computer industry milestone. The first commercially available systems with a 1GHz AMD Athlon processor will sold by Compaq Computer Corporation and Gateway. Compaq’s system with 128 megabytes of RAM, a 30-gigabyte hard drive, and a 17-inch color monitor, will sell for US$2,499.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announces that they have sold more than 980,000 PlayStation 2 game systems since its Saturday release. Allegedly, more could have been sold if the pack-in Memory Card was in more ample supply.

2001

Palm m105Palm introduces the Palm m105 handheld computer. It features 8 MB RAM and a synchronization docking cradle. Price: US$199

2003

ATI announces three new graphics chips, the Radeon 9800 (340 and 380 MHz), the Radeon 9600, and the Radeon 9200.

At the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California, Nvidia announces two new graphics chips, the GeForce FX 5600, and the GeForce FX 5200.

In Utah, Caldera Systems (SCO Group) files a lawsuit against IBM, claiming IBM illegally used licensed Unix technology in its Linux software. SCO seeks one billion dollars in damages. SCO threatens to revoke IBM’s Unix license, disrupting shipments of AIX if they don’t meet SCO’s demands within one hundred days.

2009

Cook County Sheriff states that he will make Craigslist liable for their content because of issues of Prostitution on the site.

2010

Two employees from Lower Merion School District were put on administrative leave after the Harrington High Student Blake Robbins was reprimanded after staff activated some software on the school owned laptop to take pictures.

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