Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – March 13, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1781 – English astronomer William Herschel observed what he initially thought was a comet but turned out to be the planet Uranus. It was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope.

1882 – At the Royal Institution, Eadweard J. Muybridge demonstrated his zoopraxiscope, an optical apparatus that exhibited photographs of moving animals. It is sometimes considered the first movie projector.

1969 – Apollo 9 returned safely to Earth after orbital testing of the first crewed Lunar Module.

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Today in Tech History – March 12, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1790 – John Frederic Daniell was born. He would grow up to invent the Daniell cell, a battery that supplied an even current during continuous operation, thus making battery power practical.

1889 – Almon B. Strowger of Kansas City filed his patent for the first automatic telephone exchange.

1923 – Inventor Lee De Forest demonstrated the Phonofilm for the press. It was the first motion picture with a sound-on-film track.

1989 – Tim Berners-Lee wrote a paper proposing an “information management” system that became the foundation of the World Wide Web. He called it the Mesh at the time.

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Today in Tech History – March 11, 2017

Today in Tech History logo105 – Ts’ai Lun demonstrated his process for making paper to the Han emperor in China. He probably didn’t invent it, but he certainly turned it into an industry for the first time. And the industry still survives 20 centuries later even in the face of the computers that plot its doom.

1985 – The Southern New England Telephone Company turned on ConnNet, the nation’s first local, public packet-switching network. Customers could access CompuServ, NewsNet and other services at a blistering 4,800 to 56,000 bits per second. The service’s X.25 protocol went obsolete in the 1990s with the popularity of the Internet Protocol.

2011 – Apple began selling the iPad 2, a thinner version of the first iPad, that also included a camera.

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Today in Tech History – March 10, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1876 – Alexander Graham Bell spoke the immortal words “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” over a telephone in his Boston laboratory, summoning his assistant from the next room. It is widely considered the first instance of someone using technology when they bloody well could have just got up and spoke to someone in person. It is also widely considered the first phone call.

1891 – Almon B. Strowger was issued a US patent for his electromechanical switch to automate a telephone exchange. Strowger wasn’t the first to think of of automatic switching but he was the first to make a practical switch.

2000 -The Nasdaq hit 5,048.62, the highest point of the dot-com boom. The bust began the next day.

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Today in Tech History – March 9, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1948 – The University of California at Berkeley and the Atomic Energy Commission announced the artificial production of mesons using the 184-inch cyclotron at the university’s Radiation Laboratory.

1961 – Sputnik 9 successfully launched, carrying a human dummy and and the dog Chernushka. It completed 1 orbit and was successfully recovered upon return. Yes, the dog made it back unharmed.

2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery on Mission STS-133 made its final landing after 39 flights.

2015 – Apple and HBO announced a new Internet-only streaming version of HBO called HBO Now would launch in early April exclusively on Apple products including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Apple also announced the Apple Watch would come April 24.

2016 – In the first of 5 games, DeepMind’s AlphaGo machine intelligence defeated 18-time Go champion Lee See-dol in Seoul, Korea.

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Today in Tech History – March 8, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1955 – Doug Ross demonstrated the Director tape for MIT’s Whirlwind machine, the first digital computer with real-time text and graphics. The idea of the Director Tape was to allow multiple problems to be read by the computer in one session without humans having to intervene and change tapes. In other words, an operating system.

1978 – The first radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was transmitted on BBC Radio 4. Some credit Adams with accidentally predicting the PDA and smartphone.

1979 – Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called “Philips Introduces Compact Disc.”

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Today in Tech History – March 7, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1876 – Alexander Graham Bell received a US patent for an “Improvement in Telegraphy” (No.174,465) which established the principle of bidirectional signals that made the telephone possible.

1926 – The first successful transatlantic telephone call was placed between New York City and London. Transatlantic service began the following year at $75 a minute.

1994 – The Supreme Court found that 2 Live Crew’s parody of Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” was fair use, and not a violation of copyright, thus ensuring the future of The Onion.

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Today in Tech History – March 6, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1937 – Valentina Tereshkova was born in the Yaroslavl region of Russia. She would grow up to become the first woman in space and only woman ever to fly solo in space.

1992 – The first media-hyped computer virus reached fever pitch as the Michelangelo boot sector virus began to affect computers. Worldwide catastrophe did not follow.

2007 Safricom launched M-Pesa in
Kenya, a service to let users receive, send and store money using a basic mobile phone.

2009 – NASA launched the Kepler space observatory, with a mission to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.

2012 – Google consolidated its various online stores, Android Market, Google Books, Google Music, and Google video, into one store called Google Play.

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Today in Tech History – March 5, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1975 – The Homebrew Computer Club, held its first meeting in the garage of Gordon French in Menlo Park, California. 32 people showed up for the first meeting. John Draper, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were some of the more famous members of the club.

1981 – The ZX81 was launched by Sinclair Research in Britain for £69.95 and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world. It was much more successful than it’s predecessor the ZX80.

1982 – Four days after it’s twin, the second of two Soviet probes to Venus, the Venera 14 landed on the planet. Venera 13 and 14 would continue to send data until 1983.

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Today in Tech History – March 4, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1976 – The first Freon-cooled Cray-1 supercomputer was shipped to Los Alamos Laboratories, in New Mexico at a cost of $19,000,000.

2000 – The Sony PlayStation 2 went on sale in Japan.

2007 – Election Day was held in Estonia, and for the first time in the world, voters were allowed to vote on the Internet. Approximately 30,000 voters took advantage of electronic voting. Ballots had to be completed three days before election day.

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