Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Dec. 19, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1958 – The first known radio broadcast from outer space was transmitted. US President Eisenhower spoke from a pre-recorded message aboard the Project SCORE experimental satellite. Redundancy paid off as the first recorder failed but the backup worked.

In 1972 – Apollo 17, the last manned lunar flight crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth.

In 1999 – TIME Magazine announced Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon as its person of the year. The magazine cited online shopping and dot-com mania among the reasons.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 18, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1839 – John William Draper took a daguerreotype of the moon, the first lunar photograph.

In 1878 – Joseph Swan demonstrated the electric lamp to the Newcastle Chemical Society in northern England. His bulb would burn for about 40 hours. Edison’s later bulb would burn for closer to 150 hours.

In 1987 – Larry Wall released the Perl scripting language. It would go from being a SysAdmin’s helper to one of the Web’s dominant scripting languages, for good or ill, depending on the coder.

In 1997 – HTML 4.0 was recommended and published by the World Wide Web Consortium, the W3C. It offered the strict, transitional and frameset variations, and deprecated many of Netscape’s visual tags in favor of CSS.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 17, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1880 – The Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York was incorporated to install a central generating station in New York City. New Yorkers know it now as ConEd.

In 1903 – Orville Wright successfully made a flight in a heavier-than-air machine that took off from level ground under its own power and was controlled during flight. It’s generally considered the first airplane flight.

In 1997 – John Barger coined the term ‘weblog’ to describe his list of links on his site, Robot Wisdom. Peter Merholz would later shorten it to just ‘blog’.

In 2012 – The W3C announced it had completed the definition of HTML 5.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 16, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1935 – A Time magazine article described the use of the pattern of capillaries in the retina as a means of identification called eye prints. Hello biometrics!

In 1947 – John Bardeen and Walter Brattain applied two closely-spaced gold contacts held in place by a plastic wedge to the surface of a small slab of high-purity germanium. It was the next step in the development of the Transistor.

In 2002 – Creative Commons formally launched, unveiling Machine-Readable Copyright Licenses and a revamped website.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 15, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1953 – Dudley Buck entered the idea for the Cryotron into his MIT notebook. The cryotron is a four-terminal superconductive computer component.

In 1965 – Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four orbits later, it achieved the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7.

In 1994 – Netscape shipped version 1.0 of the Netscape Navigator Web browser.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 14, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1900 – German physicist Max Planck published his theory that radiant energy is made up of particle-like components, known as “quantum.” And quantum physics was born.

In 1972 – Eugene Cernan ended a 7 hour and 15 minute EVA, climbed back aboard the Apollo 17 Lunar Module and became the last person to walk on the moon.

In 1996 – John Tu and David Sun, the founders of Kingston Technology took $100 million from the sale of their privately held enterprise and gave it to employees, a spontaneous gesture to those who had helped make the memory-module company a market leader.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 12, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1896 – Guglielmo Marconi amazed a group at Toynbee Hall in East London with a demonstration of wireless communication across a room. Every time Marconi hit a key a bell would ring from a box across the room being carried by William Henry Preece.

In 1973 – Founder of LinkExchange, CEO of Zappos, and promoter of customer-centric business, Tony Hsieh was born.

In 1980 – Apple’s stock was initially offered for sale. Regulators in Massachusetts prohibited individual investors in the state from buying the stock, as it was deemed too risky.

In 1991 – Paul Kunz set up the first website in North America. It searched particle physics literature at Stanford.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 11, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1910 – Georges Claude, the first person to apply an electrical discharge to a sealed tube of neon gas, displayed the first neon lamp to the public at the Paris Motor Show.

In 1967 – The Concorde, a joint British-French venture and the world’s first supersonic airliner, was unveiled in Toulouse, France. Bigger news than the speed of the jet was the announcement that it was finally agreed that the British and French planes would both be spelled with an “e” at the end.

In 1972 – Apollo 17 became the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon.

In 1998 – The Mars Climate Orbiter was successfully launched on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. However, the probe disappeared on September 23rd before reaching Mars, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 10, 2014

Today in Tech History logoIn 1815 – Ada Byron was born in London, England to the poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke. She would later marry William King and take on his title as Lady Lovelace. But she is best remembered as Charles Babbage’s friend, and writer of the first program for his Difference Engine. She is considered by many to be the first computer programmer.

In 1942 – Germany conducted the first powered test flight of a V-1 Rocket, launched from beneath an Fw-200.

In 1944 – Paul Otlet died. His theories presciently described a global interlinked “web” of documents, presaging the World Wide Web almost 50 years before its invention.

In 1993 – John Carmack and friends at iD Software released the video game Doom. It would launch a million mods and make the first person shooter the dominant form of video game for decades.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 9, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1906 – Grace Hopper was born. She would rise to the rank of Rear Admiral but be best remembered for popularizing the term “debugging” for hunting down computer errors. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL.

In 1968 – Computer scientist Douglas Engelbart gave a legendary product demonstration of NLS that would become known as “the mother of all demos.” Among other things it introduced the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor.

In 1987 – Microsoft released Windows 2.0 which among other improvements could run the first Windows versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

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