Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – February 5, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1850 – The first US patent for push-key operation of a calculating machine was issued to Dubois D. Parmelee of New Paltz, NY.

In 1944 – At Bletchley Park in Great Britain, the Colossus Mk I attacked its first Lorenz-encrypted message. Enigma had been cracked but Lorenz was a tougher cipher used in communications between Hitler and his generals in World War II.

In 1974 – The US space probe Mariner 10 returned the first close-up images of Venus and became the first spacecraft to use a gravity assist from one planet to help it reach another.

In 1999 – Victoria’s Secret’s online fashion show became the first major webcast, attracting an estimated 1.5 million viewers worldwide. Proving even back then, the Internet is for shopping.

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Today in Tech History – February 4, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1890 – Thomas Edison received a patent for the first quadruplex telegraph, which could send two messages simultaneously in each direction. One message consisted of an electric signal of varying strength, while the second was a signal of varying polarity.

In 1998 – Noël Godin, a Belgian who made a practice of pie-ing rich and famous people struck a pie against the face of Bill Gates. Gates did not press charges.

In 2004 – Mark Zuckerberg and a few other guys at Harvard launched TheFacebook so Harvard students can look up and hook up with each other. They would eventually expand the service to the world. And drop the “the”.

In 2014 – Microsoft named 22-year employee Satya Nadella its new CEO replacing Steve Ballmer. Bill Gates stepped down as Chairman of the Board at the same time and was replaced by John Thompson.

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Today in Tech History – February 3, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1879 – Joseph Wilson Swan demonstrated the first practically usable incandescent filament electric light bulb to 700 people at the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 1966 – The Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft landed safely on the moon in the Ocean of Storms. It was the first lunar soft landing and first transmission of photographic data from the Moon to Earth.

In 2011 – The Number Resource Organization announced that the free pool of available IPv4 addresses was fully depleted. The IANA allocated the last of the blocks equally between the five Regional Internet Registries.

In 2014 – Facebook launched its ‘Paper’ app for iOS in the US. Paper provided a more magazine like format for viewing Facebook content.

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Today in Tech History – February 2, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1046 – English monks recorded “no man then alive could remember so severe a winter as this was.” Their analog weather blog entry recorded the beginning of the Little Ice Age.

In 1931 – Friedrich Schmiedl launched the first rocket mail (V-7, Experimental Rocket 7) with 102 pieces of mail between Schöckl and St. Radegund, Austria.

In 1935 – Detective Leonarde Keeler, co-inventor of the Keeler polygraph, tried out the lie detector on two suspected criminals in Portage, Wisconsin. Both suspects were convicted of assault.

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Today in Tech History – January 31, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1958 – The United States successfully entered the space age with the successful launch of the Explorer I satellite. Data from the satellite confirmed the existence of the Van Allen radiation belt circling the Earth.

In 1961 – The US launched a four-year-old male chimpanzee named Ham on a Mercury-Redstone 2 rocket into suborbital flight to test the capabilities of the Mercury capsule.

In 1971 – Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell lifted off on the Apollo 14 mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.

In 2013 – The Consumer Electronics Association announced it was awarding the Dish Hopper co-winner of Best of CES and would begin searching for a new awards partner. CBS had forced CNET editors not to award Dish a prize due to ongoing litigation between the two companies.

In 2015 – Troy Bradley of the US and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev landed the Two Eagles Balloon off the Baja coast near La Poza Grande, Mexico. They beat the world distance and duration record. They stayed aloft for 6 days, 16 hours and 37 minutes traveling 6,646 miles.

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Today in Tech History – January 30, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1925 – Doug Engelbart was born in Portland, Oregon. He is most famous for his work on the first computer Mouse, but also worked on many other innovations involving graphical user interfaces, hypertext and networks.

In 1975 – Hungarian Interior Design instructor Erno Rubik filed for a patent on his twisty toy cubes. The patent worked out for him. Erno Rubik became the first self-made millionaire from the Communist bloc.

In 2007 – Microsoft released Windows Vista for home use. Though not as many homes would end up using it as other versions of Windows.

In 2013 – RIM announced it was changing its name to BlackBerry and also unveiled BlackBerry OS 10 and the new Z10 and Q10 smartphones.

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Today in Tech History – January 29, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1886 – Karl Benz submitted a patent for his Benz Patent Motorwagen, a three-wheeler vehicle with a one-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine. The world’s first patent for a practical internal combustion engine powered automobile. Previous automobiles had been steam-powered.

In 1895 – Charles Proteus Steinmetz received a patent for a “system of distribution by alternating currents.” His engineering work made a widespread power grid practical.

In 1901 – In Brooklyn, Allen B. DuMont was born. He would go on to perfect the cathode ray tube, sell the first practical commercial television and found the first national US TV network to fail. The DuMont network was eventually sold to Fox Television Stations.

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Today in Tech History – January 28, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1878 – The first commercial telephone exchange in the US was installed at New Haven, Connecticut, and served 21 subscribers connected by a single strand of iron wire. Only two conversations could be handled simultaneously and six connections had to be made for each call.

In 1960 – The Communications Moon Relay System was inaugurated publicly when a facsimile picture of the USS Hancock was transmitted wirelessly by radio wave to Washington DC, by being bounced off the moon.

In 1986 – The Space Shuttle Challenger experienced an O-ring failure in the right solid rocket booster during flight. 73 seconds after liftoff a catastrophic explosion claimed crew and vehicle.

In 2001 – The Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants faced off in Tampa Bay, Florida, for Super Bowl XXXV, and facial-recognition surveillance cameras pointed at tens of thousands of fans entering the game. It found 12 false positives.

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Today in Tech History – January 27, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1948 – IBM dedicated its “SSEC” in New York City. The Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator handled both data and instructions using electronic circuits made with 13,500 vacuum tubes and 21,000 relays.

In 1967 – The first US astronauts died in the line of duty. Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed on the launch pad when a flash fire engulfed their command module during testing for the first Apollo-Saturn mission.

In 2006 – Western Union discontinued its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. The company still handles money transfers.

In 2010 – Apple announced the iPad, a tablet computer running the same operating system as the iPhone.

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Today in Tech History – January 26, 2016

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1932 – The US Patent Office received a patent application for the cyclotron by Ernest Orlando Lawrence as a “Method and Apparatus for the Acceleration of Ions.”

In 1949 – The Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory saw first light under the direction of Edwin Hubble, becoming the largest aperture optical telescope. Hubble photographed Hubble’s Variable Nebula (NGC 2261).

In 1983 – Lotus began selling its spreadsheet application for Microsoft DOS, called 1-2-3. It would quickly become the most popular spreadsheet software but not make the transition to Windows well and fall behind Excel permanently.

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