September 29

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Podcast Episode - Day in Technology History

Day in Tech History: September 29th

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Ready-made wireless receivers are offered for the first time as little as US$10 at the Joseph Home Company department store in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.


The convention establishing Centre Européenne de Recherche Nucléaire (European Organization for Nuclear Research), better known by its acronym, CERN, is ratified by the twelve founding Member States, which, as stated by CERN’s Director General Robert Aymar, “gave the new organization a mission to provide first class facilities, to coordinate fundamental research in particle physics, and to help reunite the countries of Europe after two world wars.” In 1952, the third session of the provisional Council chose Geneva, Switzerland, to be the home of the new CERN Laboratory, and the official ground-breaking will take place at the Meyrin site on May 17, 1954. In 1990, the World Wide Web will begin as a CERN project called ENQUIRE, initiated by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau.


Sega acquires Gremlin Industries, an arcade game manufacturer. Gremlin is the producer of such games as Blockade.


NASA resumes the Space Shuttle flight program, which was grounded after the Challenger disaster two years earlier, by launching the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-26).


Four former employees of Atari Holdings, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California sue Warner Communications, Inc. as well as several executives for more than US$120 million in San Jose Superior Court. The class-action suit alleges that Warner, the parent company of Atari from 1976 through 1984, cheated more than three thousand employees out of more than US$23 million in bonuses earned during the peak selling years of 1981 and 1982.


The first court hearing on the Microsoft consent decree is held. - Microsoft will allow end users and OEMs to enable or remove access to certain Windows components or competing software (e.g., Internet browsers, media players, instant messaging clients, e-mail clients) and designate a competing product to be invoked in place of that Microsoft software.

Programmers first demonstrate a prototype for HotJava to executives at Sun Microsystems. HotJava, a browser that uses Java technology, is an attempt to transfer Sun’s new programming platform for use on the World Wide Web. Java is based on the concept of being truly universal, allowing an application written in the language to be used on a computer with any type of operating system or platform.


The Nintendo 64Nintendo launches the Nintendo64 video game system in Canada and the United States. The system, originally announced as Project Reality on Monday August, 23, 1993 and later known as Ultra 64, implements a 93.75MHz 64-bit microprocessor as it’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). It was jointly designed by Nintendo and Silicon Graphics. Nintendo will report having sold 350,000 units within the first three days. Price: US$199.95


At the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, California, Microsoft releases the Windows CE 2.0 operating system, featuring support for 32-bit color and 16-gray-scale displays, TrueType fonts, Ethernet connectivity, and more processors. Code-name: Jupiter

Umax Computer unveils the J700 Macintosh-compatible computer, featuring the Mac OS 8, a 233 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 24MB RAM, a 2GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, and a 10 Base-T Ethernet networking card. Price: US$2,000


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) announces that they have established a new venture capital company to create state-of-the-art commercial information technologies. Gilman Louie, age 39 and creator of Falcon, an air-combat simulator, is named as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of In-Q-It. The CIA has kicked started the operation with US$28 million.

The Intel Corporation reveals that they have discovered a glitch in two Pentium III Xeon versions for the server and workstation markets. The discovery will postpone shipments of servers that are based on those chips. A “blue screen of death” (total system shutdown) can be caused when these chips are pushed to their upper operating limits. Intel pledges to send a fix for the bug to customers as soon as it becomes available.

Internet traffic in the United States is interrupted and slowed when gas company workers in Ohio accidentally sever a fiber cable with a backhoe. Consequently, some transmissions take twenty to fifty times longer than normal. Microsoft unveils a plan named Broadband Jumpstart to host video and music on the Internet.


Ben Rosen steps down from his position of chairman of Compaq Computer Corporation. The vacated position is filled by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Michael Capellas.

Mattel, Inc. sells its Learning Co. educational software division to Gores Technology Group. According to a Reuters news release written by Monica Sommers, the sell off “closes the book on one of the biggest blunders in recent US corporate history.” Mattel paid US$3.5 billion for the company in May 1999, and it has been a major financial drain since.


Apple Computer releases the Mac OS X 10.1 operating system, “Puma.” New features included in this version include: DVD movie playback, the ability to burn DVD RW discs from Finder, and a significant decrease in the time required to launch programs. Most users will find Puma to be a disappointment. The consensus among Mac users is that OS 9 is preferable and that OS X is a superfluous upgrade. The Windows world is also largely unimpressed. Price: US$129 or US$19.99 (upgrade)


The President of San Diego Computer Security Company is indicted in a conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to government computers. Brett O’Keefe, CEO of ForensicTec Solutions, arrested for hacking into military and government computers

Version 3.07 of the O’Caml programming language is released.


IBM announces that a Blue Gene/L prototype at IBM Rochester in Minnesota has overtaken the NEC computer, Earth Simulator, as the fastest computer in the world, with a speed of 36.01 TFLOPS on the Linpack benchmark, beating Earth Simulator’s 35.86 TFLOPS. The advancement was achieved with an eight cabinet system, each cabinet holding 1,024 compute nodes. Upon doubling this configuration to 16 cabinets, the machine reached a speed of 70.72 TFLOPS by November 2004, taking first place on the Top500 list. Visit Blue Gene’s official website.


Apple Inc. removes a warning from the company’s American website that warns users, “Do not eat iPod shuffle.” On the UK website, the warning reads “Do not chew iPod shuffle,” and it too will be removed sometime later. The warning had drawn a great deal of attention for its frivolity across the Internet.


The HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter takes its first low-orbit, high-resolution pictures of Mars.

Lenovo recalls 526,000 Sony laptop batteries due to a risk that the batteries may short circuit, triggering a chain chemical reaction that can melt the battery or cause the laptop to explode.

Yahoo hosts an Open Hack Day, held September 29 to September 30. The event is intended to promote the use of Yahoo’s APIs and open source libraries. The event features a musical performance by Beck.


Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets downgrade Apple stock. Because of this, Apple stock drops 17.5 percent. In FACT – All stocks, including those of technology companies, took a beating after the House of Representatives fails to pass the government bailout of the financial sector from the Freddie Mac – Fannie Mae issues.

ZimbraYahoo acquired online email program – was found to expose users passwords online.

2010 launches an application to allow you to buy and download books through your iPhone

NASA shows off a scale model of Mars Rover

Execs Hillary Scneider, David Ko and Jimmy Pitaro all announced they will be leaving Yahoo

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