November 7

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Nov 7th

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The Ensisheim Meteorite, the first meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.


Pierre Gassendi makes the first observation of the transit of a planet. Johannes Kepler had predicted a transit of Mercury would occur in 1631. When Gassendi observed the dot of Mercury passing across the face of the Sun with a Galilean telescope by projecting the sun’s image on a screen of paper. He will recount the observation in Mercurius in sole visus (Mercury in the Face of the Sun) in 1632.


Léon Gaumont demonstrates his first sound film to Société de Photographie in Paris, France.


Professor Ernest Rutherford announces in London that he had isolated a single atom of matter.


Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton, in his presidential address to the Röntgen Society in London, suggests that high-definition television is possible with cathode ray tubes. The paper won’t be published until April 1924 in the magazine Wireless World.


Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard demonstrates a tube-launched solid propellant rocket, using a music stand as his launching platform. Goddard began work for the Army in 1917 to design rockets to aid in the war effort. Further development led to the World War II bazooka, a small, hand-held rocket launcher.


Buck Rogers in the 25th Century premieres on the radio. The show is based on two novellas published in Amazing Stories by Philip Francis Nowlan and a subsequent comic strip. Many will later claim that the Buck Rogers series is the great-grandfather of modern science fiction series, such as Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek.


Royal National Institute for the Blind issues the first talking book, using twelve inch discs.


The first US coin-operated television is publicly exhibited in New York City. It operates when a quarter is inserted, playing various test patterns and a model of Felix the Cat. The receiver, named the Tradio-Vision, contains twenty tubes and a five inch cathode ray tube that reflected a 500-line image on mirror in the lid of its metal cabinet.


At the Rand Corporation, the JOSS conversational timesharing service is first implemented on the Johnniac computer. Mathematician and systems programmer Cliff Shaw developed the Johnniac Open Shop System (JOSS) in a symbolic assembly language called EasyFox, which he had also developed. The system’s purpose is to bring users back into contact with the machine to do online debugging and program development. Prior to timesharing, batch turn-around times impeded the solution of many problems as programmers submitted punch cards to computer operators and waited for their results for as long as several days.


United Features Syndicate sues Creative Computing for copyright infringement, asking Creative Computing to stop selling the computer game Snoopy and destroy existing video cartridges.


Atari makes an initial public offering. Four and a half million shares are initially sold for US$11.25 each, raising US$50.6 million. Atari pays its debts to Warner Communications and other loans of US$36.2 million with the proceeds. Read more about Atari at the Atari Museum.


The USA Today headline for November 7, 1988USA Today publishes an article on the Morris Worm as its headline story. The article describes the worm as the worst computer virus outbreak in history, with over 6,000 computers being affected on something called INTERnet (a low-security computer network… which is designed to let researchers across the USA easily exchange messages by computer.) Visit the newspaper’s official website.


Z-Nix files an antitrust complaint against Microsoft>Microsoft, accusing it of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by using its control of operating system environment user interfaces to control the mouse pointer market. Z-Mix requests damages of US$4.5 million in compensation in regard to Microsoft’s handling of a deal to bundle Z-Nix’s mouse with Windows.


Apple Computer, IBM, and Motorola announce that they will create a computer platform to run all major operating systems, except the Intel x86-based Microsoft Windows 3.1 and its successors. The Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP, pronounced chirp) is designed to create a common standard for future computers and to make ports of both operating systems and application software easier. Apple Computer will port the Mac OS to this platform and license other vendors to create Mac-compatible computers. IBM will port AIX and OS/2, Motorola will port Windows NT, Novell will port NetWare, SunSoft will port Solaris.

The Electrical Engineering Times runs a cover story about flaws in Intel’s Pentium computer chip. The bug, an obscure flaw that causes extremely rare computation errors when performing certain types of mathematical calculations will eventually cause Intel to replace any Pentium processor affected by the flaw. Intel will takes a US$475 million charge against earnings for the quarter to cover the expense of replacing all of the chips.

University of Carolina student radio station WXYC began the first Internet radio broadcast. [1]


NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor from Cape Canaveral on mission to Mars.

2000 closes its doors and lays off eighty percent of its staff. The company blames the layoffs on tough environment for business-to-consumer Internet companies. In June, the online pet supplies retailer began selling sock puppets of its mascot, which quickly became the company’s best selling product. Reuters news service breaks the story that a nineteen-year-old Dutch hacker using the handle Dimitri broke in to Microsoft’s internal web servers during the previous week with to demonstrate the vulnerability caused by the company not installing their own security patches. Dimitri left proof of his exploit in the form of a text file containing the message, Hack the planet. The intrusion had evidently gone wholly unnoticed by Microsoft personnel until the story was publicly published. The publicity generated by the story is especially damaging to Microsoft because it comes on the heels of a major intrusion widely reported on October 26 in which a Russian hacker stole Microsoft source code and Microsoft, in response, vowed to shore up its internal security.

Seagate Technology, a major American manufacturer of hard drives, announces that it will supply hard drives for Microsoft’s Xbox video game system. Visit Seagate’s official website.


The .biz top-level domain (TLD) becomes active. intended for domains to be used by businesses. It was created to relieve some of the demand for .com domains, and it remains available to anyone, irregardless of their location. The domains are administered by Neulevel. Visit Neulevel’s official website.


In New York, Microsoft officially unveils the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system.


The Star Wars Clone Wars television series premieres on the Cartoon Network. The series will run for twenty-five episodes, twenty running for approximately three minutes each and five running for approximately twelve minutes each. The films are set in the three-year time period between the films Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and strongly emphasize action rather than plot.


AMD releases the 1GHz Athlon 64 1500+ processor, featuring a 512KB Level-2 Cache.


Hewlett-Packard announced that it had completed the acquisition of Mercury Interactive, a company that produces Business Technology Optimization software, applications that help a company develop, govern, and maintain information technology.

Microsoft announces that it will offer over one thousand hours of movies and television episodes for download on the Xbox 360.

2007 goes online


Washington police arrested a guy who robbed an armored car. He used Craigslist to put together a heist-list. He hired dress-alike decoys, then escaped on an intertube. He was recognized through a licensed plate, and captured.


Google launches brand pages in Google +


Microsoft released SkyDrive app for windows phone 8 devices.


Twitter began trading on the stock market at $26 a share. They closed at over $44.

Solid Concepts successfully creates the first 3D printed metal gun and fires over 50 rounds

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