September 28

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Podcast Episode - Day in Technology History

Day in Tech History: September 28th

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Prev: September 27 - Next: September 29 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project


Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day in the United States. The holiday is traditionally celebrated by school students and bored bloggers on the last school day of September.


At Microsoft, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Kay Nishi make the final decision to accept an IBM contract to produce languages and an operating system for IBM’s new microcomputer.


Atari, Inc. hosts a distributor luncheon meeting in San Francisco, California to officially introduce Tempest featuring Atari’s newly developed QuadraScan Color Display system and Skill-Step feature.


Shawn Dybdall, age 16, scores 12,822,460 points on Atari’s Dig Dug after playing the game for eight hours and sixteen minutes at the Tilt Arcade in Las Vegas, Nevada. Much later, on July 6, 2000, Mark Longridge will write, “I can say as an expert player, and as an owner of the machine, that 12 million points is 100% impossible. This is because round 256 (round 0 in 8-bit logic) is a “kill screen,” that is a screen which is impossible to clear. It’s impossible to clear because one of the pookas starts the round on top of your game, and the collision detection of the program doesn’t allow you to pump up anything right on top of you… My own personal best was 2.7 million set at Funspot in Weir’s Beach, New Hampshire, early this year. I have a 2.5 million on video tape.”

The New York Times reports that Atari has lost more than US$310 million in only three months, and that Atari’s El Paso plant is being converted into a recycling center. Atari will rapidly fade from popularity, and Atari’s disposal of six million E.T. cartridges in a remote desert dump the day before will become a symbol to America’s media, investors, and consumers that the video game boom is, at least temporarily, over.


Hackers from Brooklyn penetrate MILNET, accessing at least one computer. The breach will lead to the Department of Defense severing the links between the unclassified Military Network, or Milnet, and Arpanet, the early Internet.


The Atari Corporation and Sega announce a US$90 million settlement regarding possible patent infringements. Terms include US$50 million (less attorney fees) in prepaid royalties to Atari in exchange for more than seventy US patents and applications. Sega also receives 4.7 million shares or 7.4% of Atari in the arrangement for an additional US$40 million.


The Microsoft Internet Explorer overtakes the Netscape Navigator to become the world’s leading web browser for the first time.

Microsoft pulls Office 97 Service Release 2 from distribution, to fix reported problems with the software’s installation.

PC Data, an industry sales audit bureau, announces that they have added eleven new retailers to their auditing network bringing the total to forty-nine. The new retailers include, Buy Direct/CNET, Circuit City, Computer Discount Warehouse, The Future Shop, Hastings, Insight Enterprises, Internet Shopping Network, OfficeMax, Scholastic, and TEC Direct.


Apple Computer announces that it will fall short of revenue and profit expectations for the period spanning July to September. As a result of the announcement, the price of Apple stock drops fifty-two percent to US$25.

Compaq Computer chairman Benjamin Rosen resigns.


At a court hearing, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly strongly suggests that Microsoft and the US Department of Justice settle their antitrust case, rather than proceed in court. The judge gives them until November 2 to settle the case.


The US House of Representatives passes the Family Movies Act of 2004 as part of Bill HR 4077 “to enhance criminal enforcement of the copyright laws, to educate the public about the application of copyright law to the Internet, and for other purposes.” The Bill is sent to the Senate. The Family Movies Act indemnifies technologies and companies that re-edit films to excise “offending” scenes and dialog, a practice to which the Directors Guild of America (DGA) objects. This has been amalgamated in HR 4077 with measures to prevent piracy, which the film industry supports. Read more at the Library of Congress.


The eDonkey shuts down pursuant to a cease and desist letter MetaMachine, the network client’s developer, received from the RIAA following a US Supreme Court ruling against Grokster that set a precedent by which makers of software that facilitates copyright infringement could be held liable for that infringement. However, the eDonkey Network remains available through other clients, such as aMule, eMule, MLDonkey, or Shareaza and other server based software.


Version 6.0 of the Microsoft Messenger for Mac is released.


3Com will be acquired by private equity company Bain Capital and former joint-venture partner Huawei Technologies in a $2.2 billion cash deal.

French woman goes on daily shoplifting spree and then sells stolen items on eBay. She pocketed about $120,000 before being arrested.

Google buys social network Zingku


Britian’s Secret Service admitted to using Facebook to finding new spies for their country.


Palm updates WebOS to 1.2 for the Pre


Jeff Bezos of Amazon announced the company's newest Kindle in the Kindle Fire ($199) and Kindle Touch ($99) and e-ink ($79)

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