May 27

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: May 27th

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Prev: May 26 - Next: May 28 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project

1890

Two US patents for the first jukebox are issued to Louis Glass and his business associate, William S. Arnold, describing a “coin actuated attachment for phonographs.” (US No. 428,750, -1) Their first jukebox is a coin-operated Edison Class M Electric Phonograph with an oak cabinet, and it will first be placed in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, California. For a nickel a play, a patron could listen using one of four listening tubes. (Because vacuum tubes haven’t been invented, the device doesn’t feature any amplification.) Dubbed the “Nickel-in-the-Slot,” the machine is an instant success, earning over US$1,000 in less than half a year.

1931

The first full scale US wind tunnel for testing airplanes is opened at the Langley Field Research Center in Virginia. In the thirty foot high sixty foot wide tunnel, the aerodynamics of full-size airplanes can be tested in air speeds up to 115mph. The air is driven by two propellers downstream, each over 35 feet in diameter, powered by 4,000HP electric motors. Over the next sixty-five years, tests will be run on helicopters, the Mercury space capsule, parachutes, parafoils, the occasional dirigible, and the fastest submarine in the world. Generations of aircraft will passed through the full-scale tunnel. NASA will close the tunnel in October 1995.

Auguste Piccard and Charles Knipfer become the first men to enter into the stratosphere when they ride their balloon to an altitude of 51,800 feet, nearly ten miles above the Earth. The feat requires the use of a pressurized cabin, which Piccard designed. On-board experiments include the use of an electroscope to investigate cosmic rays.

1937

The Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public.

1939

Detective Comics Number 27 featuring BatmanDC Comics debuts its second superhero in Detective Comics No. 27. The superhero is Batman, who will go on to be one of the greatest commercial successes in the comic industry. This issue also marks Commissioner Gordon’s first appearance. According to creator Bob Kane, his inspirations for Batman were Superman, Leonardo da Vinci’s design of a bat-like glider, and two films: “The Mark of the Zorro” and ”The Bat Whispers”.

1946

Tests of the Westinghouse/Glenn L Martin Stratovision airborne system for television relay are conducted on the US east coast and between Boston and Detroit.

1953

Universal-International releases their first 3-D feature film, It Came from Outer Space, with stereophonic sound, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, and Charles Drake to US theaters. The film is based on a story written by Ray Bradbury. In it, John Putnam and Ellen watch a fireball from the sky fall near a mine. They quickly come to believe that the it is no a meteor but an alien ship that has landed. In the days to follow, people begin mysteriously disappearing only to return under some unknown influence. The local Sheriff and his men enter the mine in the hope of putting an end to the advance of the alien force’s purpose, but Putnam enter the alien ship in an attempt to reach a peaceful solution. Running Time: 1 hr 21 mins It Came from Outer Space

1959

After nearly a decade of service, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) finally deactivates its Whirlwind computer. The system debuted in 1951 on Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” television series in a demonstration of the computer’s revolutionary speed and memory capacity. The system’s operation was overseen by project director Jay Forrester.

1974

The first BBC simultaneous broadcast of pop music on television and stereo radio is a concert by Van Morrison.

1977

The Walt Disney Company dedicates the Space Mountain ride in Tomorrowland at Disneyland. The total cost of constructing the ride was US$20 million. Visit the official website of Space Mountain at Disneyland.

A Unix Colloquium in Glasgow marks the beginning of UKUUG, the UK’s Unix and Open Systems User Group. The UKUUG is a non-profit organization that advocates open systems, particularly Unix and similar operating systems, promotes Free and Open Source Software, and facilitates collaboration towards the advancement of open programming standards. Visit the official UKUUG website.

1981

Apple Computer sells 2.6 million shares to the public, at US$31.25 per share. Apple Computer

1982

Wang Laboratories introduces the Wang Professional Computer. featuring Intel 16-bit processors. Prices: US$2700-9000

1985

Apple Computer stops selling computers directly to corporations.

Lotus Development releases Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh. Price: US$595

1988

Microsoft releases two versions of Windows 2.1 graphical user interface-based operating system for personal computers less than a year after the release of Windows 2.0. This version, specifically takes advantage of advanced features of the Intel 80286 and Intel 80386 processors. The first version, Windows/286 2.1 introduces the himem.sys DOS driver to take advantage of the High Memory Area (HMA) in order to increase the memory available to Windows programs. The second version, Windows/386 2.1 is much more advanced. It introduces a protected mode kernel, above which the GUI and applications run as a virtual 8086 mode task. It allows several MS-DOS programs to run in parallel in “virtual 86″ CPU mode, rather than always suspending background applications. Each DOS application can use as much low memory as is available before Windows is started, minus a few kilobytes of overhead. Windows/386 also provides EMS emulation, using the memory management features of the 80386 to make RAM beyond 640K behave like the banked memory previously only supplied by add-in cards and used by popular DOS applications.

1991

Vince Perriello resigns as FidoNews Editor. FidoNews is one of the Internet’s earliest popular newsletters

1994

The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory breaks the record for the highest temperature produced in a laboratory when it raises the temperature of Plasma to 510 million degrees Celsius (918 million degrees Fahrenheit). The TFTR, which was founded in December 1982, is the largest magnetic fusion laboratory in the United States and the first such device in the world to study the confinement and heating of plasmas using Deuterium and Tritium mixtures. Visit the official Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory website.

1997

Bandai Co. and Sega Enterprises jointly announces that the companies have rescinded a January decision to merge and become the largest game developer in the United States. Industry rumors blame Bandai mid-level management opposition to the deal.

Eric S. Raymond first presents his essay on the philosophy of software engineering methods, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (CatB) at the Linux Kongress. In 1999, the essay will be published as part of a book of the same name. The essay, which is based on his observations of the development of the Linux kernel and his experiences managing the Fetchmail open source project, is widely regarded as the principal manifesto of the open source movement. Read The Cathedral and the Bazaar at Google Books.

Power Computing begins shipping the PowerTower Pro 250 computer, featuring Macintosh compatibility, a 150 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 32MB RAM, a 2GB hard drive, a 16X CD-ROM drive, 1MB Level 2 cache, a 128-bit graphics accelerator, and six PCI slots, and nine expansion bays. Price: US$4495

The website of Scan is hacked anonymously.

1999

Garry Norris, IBM’s former director of software strategy and strategic relations, testifies in an ongoing antitrust trial against Microsoft Corporation. According to Norris, Microsoft quintupled royalties to US$220 million to encourage IBM to drop support for Netscape Navigator, Lotus Notes, and other software.

In an ongoing series of attacks, hackers deface the website of the US Senate, which is taken down later in the day. The overall look of the website is left largely in tact, but altered a news links to read “Senator Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., was assassinated,” added a rude sexual reference, and a very noticeable message stating, “You CAN stop ONE, but you can NOT stop ALL! Free Kevin, Free Zyklon!” Kevin, of course, is a reference to the legendary Kevin Mitnick, while “Zyklon” refers to Eric Burns. The website for the FBI also remains inaccessible after hackers overwhelmed its computers using a denial of service attack in an unsuccessful attempt to compromise the site a day earlier, on the 26th. Neither website will be accessible until late on Friday the 28th. The attacks are a response to an ongoing FBI anti-hacking crackdown, following the indictment of Eric Burns, and a series of raids executed by Federal agents earlier in the week on suspects’ homes in Dallas, Houston and other locations around the country.

In a US federal court in Salt lake City, Utah, a hearing is held in the case of Caldera versus Microsoft. Lawyers for Microsoft defend the company’s per-processor licensing practice as legal, arguing that other options are available from Microsoft and that the practice doesn’t apply to retail sales.

Yahoo!acquires Encompass, Inc.

Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Health.

2000

The website of FlashMail is hacked by “PentaGuard”.

2002

Handspring releases the Treo 270 handheld computer, featuring a 12-bit 40996-color display, a 33 MHz Motorola Dragonball processor, a keyboard, a cell phone, and 16MB RAM. The Treo 270 bears a striking similarity to the Treo 180, with the significant addition of a color screen that is not only sharper, but also brighter than its predecessor. It also features an improved battery life. Price: US$499 in the and £549 in the UK, including one-year cell phone service contract Weight: 5.4 ounces

Handspring releases the Treo 90 handheld computer, featuring a color screen, Palm 4.1 OS, 16MB RAM, a keyboard, and Secure Digital slot.

2003

Novell enters the lawsuit between the SCO Group and IBM with a press release concerning the SCO Group’s ownership of the Unix operating system. “To Novell’s knowledge, the 1995 agreement governing SCO’s purchase of Unix from Novell does not convey to SCO the associated copyrights,” said a letter to the SCO Group’s CEO Darl McBride. “We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership interest whatsoever in those copyrights. Apparently you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected."


Founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created Wordpress - a free and open source blogging tool (aka Content Management System [CMS]). Wordpress of course has grown into one of the largest used CMS programs on the web.

2004

Jessica Quitugua Sabatia, a former accounts payable clerk for North Bay Health Care Group, pleads guilty to two counts of computer fraud. Sabatia admits to using her computer to access North Bay’s accounting software without authorization, and issuing approximately one hundred twenty-seven checks payable to herself and others. She attempted to conceal the fraud by altering the electronic check registers of North Bay to make it appear as if the checks had been payable to the company’s vendors. The fraudulent scheme resulted in losses to North Bay of at least US$875,035.

Version 2.3.4 of the Python programming language is released. Visit the official Python website.

2008

Judge Joseph Teresi ruled that Dell computers engaged in fraud, false advertising, deceptive business, and abusive debt collection practices. Dell offered no-interest or no-payment financing options for its products while Dell Financial Services would fail to honor them. The suit was filed in May 2007.

Sony announces they will use the Tru2way cable platform to integrate the set top box into a HD TV. Comcast introduced Tru2way in January at CES.

Yahoo sues the “Lottery Spammers” for using Yahoo’s name in vein. The email said they won a Yahoo lottery to try and extract information from the winner

2009

Apple updates their low end Macbook line 13-inch 2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB DDR2 for $999. Upgrade to 4GB RAM for $100 more. Apple also announced a free iPod Touch with Mac purchase.

Google gives away 4,000 Android handsets at Google I/O as they showed off the Android 2.0 preview

FCC puts out a document on how to get broadband out to rural areas. It was an addition to the 2008 Farm Bill for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

IBM sued David Johnson, who quit IBM to go work for Dell. IBM has a no compete clause in his contract. Johnson ws the head of Mergers and Acquisitions at IBM.

2012

An Arizona man sues Google to take the trademark off the name. He believes the word "Google" is too synonymous with search itself.

2013

Digital currency Liberty Reserve is shut down. The founder was arrested on money laundering in Costa Rica

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