September 14

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Podcast Episode - Day in Technology History

Day in Tech History: September 14th


IBM announced they will be upgrading the IBM 650 (which debuted on July 14, 1953 and first delivered on December 8, 1954). The 650 RAMAC will contain storage from the IBM 355 (announced September 4, 1956). [1] [2]


Bank of America accepts the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting (ERMA) system. The revolutionary system digitizes checking for the Bank of America by providing a computer-readable font. A special scanner reads account numbers preprinted on checks in magnetic ink. The system was developed at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California.


Judge Sherman Christensen hands down his verdict in an antitrust trial between IBM and Telex, which began with a suit filed in January of 1972 by Telex accusing IBM of monopolizing the “plug compatible” equipment market (tape drives, disk drives, and add-on memories). In the 222 page verdict, Christensen found both Telex and IBM are guilty for the allegations waged against each other. Telex is awarded the trebled damage sum of more than US$350 million and IBM will be restrained in its ability to market its computer and software bundles. IBM is awarded a series of fines against Telex which come to about US$22 million. The decision spawns a tidal wave of similar suits against IBM from companies such as CalComp (300 million), Memorex (3 billion) and Marshall Industries (108 million).


It’s disclosed publicly that young German computer hackers calling themselves the “Data Travellers” have managed to break into NASA network computers and other world-wide top secret computer installations.


“Fry Guy”, a 16-year-old in Elmwood, Indiana hacker is sentenced to forty-four months probation and four hundred hours community service.


A live martial arts stage show titled Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour premieres at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) announce that domain registration will no longer be free of charge, effective immediately. According to the plan, new registrants will pay a US$100 fee for a two-year registration, and thereafter, will pay US$50 per year. Prior registered organizations will be charged a US$50 annual fee on the anniversary of their initial registration. Educational domains are still paid for by the NSF.


At the end of the day’s stock market trading, Microsoft stands as America’s most valuable company, at US$261.1 billion. Microsoft and General Electric are both valued at over US$300 billion in July, but Microsoft survived a stock market plunge better, putting it on top.

Bargain-hunters browsing stalls in the southern Italian city of Naples for cheap pirate media find a surprise. A ripped-off version of the software for Sony’s bestselling Playstation video game are labeled the apology, “Sorry Sony but we’re out of work,” on one side of the disc alongside an imitation Sony logo. Naples is Italy’s capital of counterfeiting. Media at a fraction of their proper price are hawked to drivers at traffic lights and throughout flea markets.

Motorola shows its Blackbird set-top box which features VM Lab’s Project X technology at the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam. Motorola describes the Blackbird as “a cross between a broadband router, network computer and digital home theater.” It is comprised of three essential components including: a Motorola PowerPC processor, the Project X media chip, and an opertaing system. Offered in three forms, the systems are expected to be launched commercially within the first three months of 1999.

Telecommunications companies MCI Communications and WorldCom complete their US$37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom.

Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Auctions.


eBay, Inc. announces a decision to ban auctions of most alcohol and tobacco products from their auction service. The new policies will go into effect in thirty days. Handspring, Inc. releases the Handspring Visor Deluxe handheld computer, featuring 16MHz Motorola Dragonball EZ processor, 8MB RAM, 2MB ROM, a Springboard expansion slot, the Palm OS 3.1, a 2.1×2.1 inch passive matrix 16-shade grayscale backlit display, an infrared port, a microphone, and a USB port. Price: US$250 Weight: 6 ounces

Seagate Technology, Inc., the world’s largest disk drive manufacturer, based in Scott’s Valley, California, announces plans to cut its global work force by up to ten percent in a plan to save US$150 million each year.

Silicon Graphics, Inc. announces that they have plans to lay off up to three thousand workers in a restructuring plan that will turn a profit in their second fiscal quarter. The layoffs represent about double the count initially projected in August.


Microsoft introduced the last update to the OS, MS-DOS. (Version 8.0)

Microsoft releases the Windows Millenium Edition (ME) operating system for a limited-time promotional price of only US$59.95 for home users replacing Windows 98 and Window 98 Second Edition. The introductory price is valid through Monday, January 15, 2001. ME is designed for the home user. Unlike Microsoft’s Windows 2000 which offers advanced security, reliability, and networking features, Windows Me is basically just an upgrade to the DOS-based code on which previous Windows versions have been built. Within four days of its release, it will sell 250,000 copies.


In Japan, Nintendo launches the GameCube video game system in Japan, featuring 405MHz “Gekko” processor based on the 256-bit IBM Power PC, 43MB RAM. 162MHz graphic processing unit, four controller ports, and two memory card slots in Japan. Code-name: Dolphin Price: ¥25,000

Version 4.00 of Job Access With Speech (JAWS), a screen reader program for the visually impaired, for Windows. It is produced by the Blind and Low Vision Group at Freedom Scientific of St. Petersburg, Florida. This version make several improvements to the interface and adds an optional tutorial. Its purpose is to make personal computers with Windows installed accessible to blind and visually impaired users. It accomplishes this by providing the user with access to the information displayed on the screen via text-to-speech or by means of a braille display and allows for more comprehensive keyboard interaction with the computer. Visit Freedom Scientific’s official website.


FreeCast, a free software application for peer-to-peer streaming, under a GNU General Public License. The application makes it possible to broadcast an audio or video stream to a large number of listeners over a simple DSL connection.


The alpha version of MySQL Workbench, a visual database design tool that integrates database design, modeling, creation and maintenance into a single, seamless environment for the MySQL database system, is released.

A seventeen year old Massachusetts teenager pleads guilty to nine counts of juvenile delinquency and is sentenced to eleven months detention at a juvenile facility for a string of crimes that include the online posting of revealing photos and celebrity contact numbers from Paris Hilton’s phone on the T-Mobile network. As an adult, he will then undergo two years of supervised release in which he will be barred from possessing or using any computer, cell phone or other electronic equipment capable of accessing the Internet. While his name is withheld from the press, it is known that he is the youngest member of the same hacking group that federal investigators allege was responsible for a series of electronic break-ins at data giant LexisNexis. The teen also pleaded guilty to making bomb threats at two high schools and for breaking into a telephone company’s computer system to set up free wireless-phone accounts for friends.

Creative Technology releases the ZEN Vision W portable media player, featuring a 30 or 60GB capacity, a USB 2.0 interface, and a removable and rechargeable Li-Ion battery. Visit the player’s official website.


6 million customers at TD Ameritrade were alerted of a security breach of its client information database. The database contained names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers and trading activity. However, Ameritrade said there is no evidence that Social Security numbers and client demographics, such as birth dates were retrieved.

Yahoo!Launches Mash – a Social Network


EA abandons a $2 billion dollar hostle takeover bid of Take-Two. EA said in a statement: "After careful consideration, including a management presentation and review of other due diligence materials provided by Take-Two Interactive Software, EA has decided not to make a proposal to acquire Take-Two and has terminated discussions with Take-Two,"

China’s largest search site – Baidu – was blocked by social network sites, Xiaonei, Hainei and because of security issues from Baidu’s spidering techniques. Multiple Music groups put out a series of proposed royalty regulations for sites and blogs like Napster 


Microsoft launches Bing visual search


Microsoft Bing passess Yahoo search in a new report by Nielsen

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