May 31

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: May 31st

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Construction begins on "Project PX" (aka:ENIAC) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The formal contract between the Moore School and the US Army began on April 9 and final contract signing happened June 5 to officially go into effect on July 1st. John Mauchly is the project’s chief consultant and J. Presper Eckert is the project’s chief engineer. It will take the school’s team approximately one year to design the ENIAC system another eighteen months and half a million dollars to build. By the time the system is fully operational, the war for which it the computer was meant to assist will be over. Captain Paul N. Gillon is credited as naming the machine ENIAC.


Leonard Kleinrock, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student, submits his PhD thesis proposal, “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets,” which is the first paper on packet-switching (PS) theory, otherwise known as data networking theory, in history. Read “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets” online.


Apple Computer announces a corporate restructuring which will eliminate both the Apple II and Macintosh divisions, combining them into manufacturing and marketing divisions. As part of the move, Steve Jobs is removed from all his duties as as a division manager. He is given the job description of “global thinker”, and his new, remote office is dubbed “Siberia”. Visit the official website of Apple Computer.


At the Consumer Electronics Show CES in Chicago, Illinois, Sony announces the upcoming PlayStation video game system, which will be able to play Nintendo’s new 16-bit game cartridges, as well as games on compact disk (CD) media. The cost of the system is estimated at about US$400.


The United States announces that it is no longer aiming its long range nuclear arsenal at the Soviet Union.


Macromedia releases version 3 of Flash multimedia authoring application. New features included in this version include Javascript plug-in integration, the movieclip element, and transparency. Visit the official Flash website.


The Brazilian website Galoucura is hacked by “hexa”.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Microsoft Nathan Myhrvold, age 39, publicly denies that his upcoming one-year leave of absence, which was reported in the Monday, June 7 issue of Time magazine, is being forced upon him in any way. The article also hints that Microsoft’s President, Steve Ballmer, was forcing Myhrvold from his position amid reports that he had been spending more time on extravagant hobbies than focusing on his position.

Microsoft announces to Reuters News Service that the company has plans to phase out the use wholesale distributors for its home and retail division products over the coming year. The strategy will move the sales of Microsoft products by the nation’s twelve largest retail store chains, which account for eighty-five percent of the company’s retail sales, to in-house accounts. Visit the official Microsoft website. The website of the Department of the Interior is hacked by “D”. The site is deface with a message protesting the on-going FBI raids targeting member of the GH hacking group.


The website of Exploit-X is hacked by “IDoL”.


Microsoft releases the Microsoft Office XP office suite. Visit the official Microsoft Office website.


The total market value of the Microsoft Corporation reaches US$275.7 billion, making it the second most valuable company in the world. Visit the official Microsoft website.


Citec releases the first official version (1.0) of the DocZilla GUI-based web browse for Linux and Windows. Visit the official DocZilla website.


AMD releases the Athlon 64 x2 Dual-Core 4200+, 4400+, 4600+, and 4800+ processors. The 4200+ and 4400+ processors feature clock speeds of 2.2 GHz and caches of 512KB. The 4600+ and 4800+ processors feature clock speeds of 2.4 GHz and caches of 1MB. Code-name: “Manchester” (4200+, 4400+) and “Toledo” (4600+, 4800+) Price: US$537, US$581, US$803, and US$1001, respectively,


In Stockholm, the Swedish police raid of the host of The Pirate Bay bittorrent index. The same day, the membership of the Pirate Party, a Swedish political party that runs on a platform of intellectual property law reform, increases by a record five hundred members. The next day, an additional 930 new members register with the party, bringing the total membership to 3,611. The site will remain offline for three days. Once it reopens, its number of daily visitors will double, largely due to the media coverage surrounding the raid.


Intel announces they are developing the Ultrabook


Based on the ear structure of the Ormia Ochracea (fly), researchers a the University of Birmingham develop a new type of hearing aid

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