October 21

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: October 21st Happy Anti-Piracy Day: At least that is what Microsoft wanted back in 2008.

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Chinese computer engineer An Wang files a patent for a magnetic ferrite core memory entitled “pulse transfer controlling devices.” Two years later An Wang will found Wang Laboratories.


US President Ronald Reagan signs the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 into law. The act extends government restrictions on wire taps from telephone systems to electronic mail, but it the assumption that the law also protects the nation’s bulletin board systems (BBS’s) rapidly spreads. Soon sysops find themselves entangled in a whole new set of liabilities with little to no guidance.


In the case of Sega versus Accolade, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses Sega’s appeal of the earlier August 28th ruling in favor of Accolade. The case sets a precedent under which copyright does not extend to content required by another system to operate where the content was deemed non-expressive. It was a landmark case for the software industry.


Apple Computer introduces the Color Classic II, also known as the Performa 275, which features the case of the Macintosh Color Classic with twice the RAM and a LC 550 logicboard and twice the RAM.

Apple Computer introduces the Mac LC III+, also known as the Performa 460, Performa 466, or Performa 467. The system features the 33 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and up to 36MB RAM.

Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh Quadra 605, featuring a 25 MHz Motorola 68LC040 processor, 4 – 132 MB RAM, a 160 or 230 MB hard drive, and a 1.4MB SuperDrive. The systems will also feature the thin “pizza box” style case, which stands under three-inches tall. Because Apple uses the low-cost 68LC040 CPU, this is the first Quadra to sell for under a thousand dollars.

The same day that Apple introduces a number of new computers, John Sculley announces that he will accept a position as chairman and CEO of Spectrum Information Technologies for a salary of US$1 million. Sculley made the decision to join to thirty-eight employee firm after a demonstration of its AXCELL cellular modem.


Exponential Technology debuts the 533MHz X704 PowerPC compatible processor for the Macintosh OS and Windows NT microcomputers.

Motorola and IBM announce the 240MHz PowerPC 603e microprocessor.


The United States Justice Department files a motion in federal court to hold Microsoft in contempt of court for allegedly violating a July 1994 consent decree by continuing to force computer manufacturers to distribute Internet Explorer with Windows ‘95. The Justice department asks the court to hold Microsoft in contempt and to impose a one million dollar a day fine on the company until it stops bundling the browser into the operating system. Microsoft responds by stating they have the right to integrate products and the browser has become an integral part of the system.


Microsoft releases the Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.

Nintendo releases the Game Boy Color portable video game system in Japan. The system features a 2.1 MHz processor and 32KB RAM. It can display 10, 32, or 56 colors simultaneously from a palette of 32,000 colors. Weight is 6.7 ounces.


At approximately 4:45pm, an estimated six thousand computers launch a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) on the thirteen root servers that control the majority of the Internet’s traffic in what some called “the biggest ever hacking attack on the Internet.” During the attack, the servers were bombarded with thirty-to-forty times their usual amount of traffic, causing periods of zero-response in seven of the thirteen servers and severely diminish capacity in an eighth server. Many of the internet’s top sites were rendered unresponsive by the attack, including Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo!The incident is widely considered to be the most damaging DDOS attack in history.


The first version of Simple Instant Messenger (SIM), version, is released for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. SIM is a free software multiprotocol instant messaging application. based on the Qt library. It supports five protocols, including: Oscar (for AIM and ICQ), Jabber, LiveJournal, MSN, and Yahoo!.


Federal judge orders Oracle to give a specific dollar amount in lawsuit over handling of third-party data for ex-Oracle customers who switched over to its archrival.

ThinkFree announces the availability of an office suite for Netbooks

In the Down economy, Apple boasts a promising 3rd quarter sales. VMWare sales also rise, while Yahoo announces a 64% drop, which will result in over 1,400 loosing jobs – through an email sent by CEO Jerry Yang.

American Airlines sues Yahoo over trademarked search ads. They brought the lawsuit on just after settling with Google over the same thing.


Microsoft penned two partnerships. One with Twitter and the other with Facebook. Both would add bing search into the social networks.


It is first reported that CBS and ABC are some networks that have put a block on Google TV to access streaming video content (since Google TV accessed through a web browser).


Nintendo ends production of the Wii game system

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