Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – April 14, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1894 – Alfred Tate, a former Edison associate, and the Holland Brothers, opened a public Kinetoscope in New York City at 1155 Broadway, on the corner of 27th Street. It was the first commercial motion picture house.

1956 – Ampex demonstrated the VRX-1000 videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago. It was the first successful commercial videotape recorder.

1996 – Jennifer Kaye Ringley hooked up a camera in her dorm room at Dickinson College and set it to upload a picture every three minutes as an experiment. The JenniCam would eventually reach 4 million hits per day at its peak.

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Today in Tech History – April 13, 2017

1960 – The United States launched Navy Transit 1-B. It demonstrated the first engine restart in space and more famously the feasibility of using satellites as navigational aids, proving systems like GPS would work.

1970 – The crew of Apollo 13 heard a sharp bang and vibration followed by a warning light. Jack Swigert radioed back the famous words “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”

1974 – Western Union, NASA and Hughes Aircraft, teamed up to launch the United States’ first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1. The system relayed data, voice, video, and fax transmissions to the continental US., Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and the Virgin islands.

2000 – Heavy metal band Metallica launched a lawsuit against Napster for enabling thievery and copyright infringement. It was the beginning of the end for Napster and all music piracy. Well, at least for Napster.

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Today in Tech History – April 12, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1961 – Yuri Gagarin of the USSR made a 108-minute orbital flight in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, becoming the first human in space.

1981 – Commander John Young and Pilot Robert Crippen crewed the first launch of a Space Shuttle on mission STS-1. During the mission the space shuttle Columbia used an HP-41 calculator to calculate the exact angle at which they needed to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

1994 – Immigration Lawyers Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel intentionally posted to more than 6,000 Usenet discussion groups about their green card services. It is considered the first occurrence of commercial spam.

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Today in Tech History – April 11, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1936 – German computer pioneer Konrad Zuse filed for a patent for the automatic execution of calculations, and described combination memory, an early form of programmable memory. Zuse was working on what would become Germany’s first computer, the Z-1.

1957 – The Ryan X-13 Vertijet took off from Edwards Air Force base flew for a few minutes and landed. The significant part of the short flight was that it took off and landed vertically, becoming the first jet capable of doing so.

1970 – The ill-fated Apollo 13 launched from Kennedy Space Center. The second-stage inboard engine shut down early but orbital insertion was achieved. However the problems were not over.

2012 – Pebble launched its smartwatch Kickstarter. It would become successful and lead to the resurgence of interest in smartwatches.

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Today in Tech History – April 10, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1710 – The Statute of Anne entered into force in Great Britain. The statute ended the practice of copyright being enforced by the Stationer’s Guild under the licensing act and for the first time granted copyright to authors.

1943 – Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania began work on the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer known as ENIAC. The machine that was synonymous for years with the word computer, could perform 5,000 additions per second.

2003 – British Airways and Air France announced the retirement of all Concorde supersonic jets. After a quarter century of supersonic speeds, passengers in the 21st century would go slower than those who flew in the late 20th century.

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Today in Tech History – April 9, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1860 – Parisian typesetter and inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville used his Phonoautogram to record sound onto paper but had no way to play it back.

1919 – Presper Eckert was born in Philadelphia. Eckert became famous for his work, with John Mauchly on the ENIAC project.

1959 – NASA publicly announced the selection of the United States’ first seven astronauts, who quickly became known as the “Mercury Seven”.

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Today in Tech History – April 8, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1953 – The major studios were inspired by the 1952 3D hit “Bwana Devil.” Columbia beat Warner Brothers’ “House of Wax” to the theatre, with a New York City premiere, making “Man in the Dark” the first 3D motion picture produced and released by a major studio.

1959 – The Department of Defense called a meeting at the University of Pennsylvania to define the objectives for a new Common Business Language. Captain Grace Hopper led the group that kicked off COBOL.

1991 – A team moved from Sun Microsystems to work in secret on Project “Green” using its “Oak” programming language. The whole thing later bacame “Java.”

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Today in Tech History – April 7, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1927 – The Bell System sent live TV images of Herbert Hoover, then the Secretary of Commerce, over telephone lines from Washington, D.C. to an auditorium in Manhattan. It was the first public demonstration in the US of long-distance television transmission.

1964 – IBM unveiled the System/360 line of mainframe computers, its most successful computer system. It was called the “360” because it was meant to address all possible sizes and types of customer with one unified software-compatible architecture.

1969 – The first Request For Comment, RFC 1 put together by Steve Crocker was distributed on the newly operational ARPANET. RFCs describe methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet.

2014 – OpenSSL issued a security advisory about a vulnerability that would come to be called ‘Heartbleed.’ The bug was in the TLS Heartbeat function, that when implemented could be used to reveal up to 64k of memory to a connected client or server. Unpatched servers could have their private keys stolen making it easy for malicious hackers to pretend to have certified secure connections.

2015 – HBO launched it’s HBO Now service, allowing US viewers to watch HBO online without a cable subscription. The service was initially sold through Apple and Cablevision.

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Today in Tech History – April 6, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1917 – Following a declaration of war against Germany, President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order closing all radio communication not required by the US Navy.

1965 – Hughes Aircraft’s Early Bird launched into orbit. It was the first communications satellite to be placed in synchronous orbit and successfully demonstrated the concept of synchronous satellites for commercial communications.

1973 – NASA launched the Pioneer 11 spacecraft, the second mission to investigate Jupiter and the outer solar system and the first to explore the planet Saturn and its main rings.

1992 – Microsoft released Windows 3.1. It sold for $149 and added support for sound cards, MIDI, and CD Audio, Super VGA monitors, and support for 9600 bps modems.

2010 – Xiaomi, maker of fashionable affordable Android-based smartphones, was founded in Beijing, China.

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Today in Tech History – April 5, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1911 – Cuthbert Hurd was born in Estherville, Iowa. He would grow up to work at IBM where he quietly persuaded the company that a market for scientific computers existed. He sold 10 of the very first IBM 701s and managed the team that invented FORTRAN.

1951 – Dean Kamen was born in Rockville Centre, New York. He grew up to found DEKA Research in 1982 which developed a portable dialysis machine, a vascular stent, and the iBOT — a motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs. Oh and the Segway.

1998 – Long before texting or cell phones were considered a danger in the car, a driver in Marseilles, France was distracted by her Tamagotchi virtual pet. She ran into a group of cyclists killing one and injuring one other.

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