Day in Technology History for April 14th
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US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker makes a ruling in the Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard lawsuit, stating that most of the elements in Apple Computer’s suit were covered by Apple Computer’s agreement with Microsoft, or were not copyrightable.
The Chinese government launches widespread efforts to purge governmental agencies of illegally copied software, a practice that had been costing US software publishers millions of dollars. The plan calls for allotting more money to purchase software while giving an enforcement agency the power to prosecute anyone caught bootlegging software. The announcement follows a March meeting at which China signed an accord with the United States vowing to crackdown on piracy.
JenniCam, a popular website featuring several webcams that allow users to observe the life of a nineteen year old college junior Jennifer Kaye Ringley, goes live on the Internet. Ringley claims that the site is an attempt to document her life, but the site draws a great deal of controversy. Ringley regularly appears on the webcam nude or engaging in sexual behavior. However the site is not explicitly pornographic. Raised as a nudist, Ringley spends much more time talking than engaging in sexual activity. The site will remains online for more than seven years, and at the peak of its popularity, it will draw over five million hits a day.
The Motorola Computer Group announces the StarMax 5000 series of Macintosh-compatible computers. They feature 225 to 300 MHz PowerPC 603e processors, 50 MHz bus speed, 512 kB L2 cache, 50 MHz bus, 32 MB RAM, ATI 3D Rage II+ graphics, 16X CD-ROM drive, 2.5 or 4.3 GB hard drive, 10Base-T Ethernet, Mac OS 7.6, and a 100 MB Zip drive. Price: US$1999 to US$3399
NetFlix.com, a Scotts Valley, California firm, caters to the Digital Video Disc (DVD) market. Marc Randolph, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) states that over 400,000 DVD systems have been sold and over nine hundred titles are already available.
Scott Hunter and Joe Sousa leave Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) to work for VM Labs.
Symantec Corporation names John Thompson, their new president and Chief Executive Officer. Thompson was once a key executive at International Business Machines (IBM), where he worked for twenty-eight years.
Metallica, announces they have filed suit against Napster, Inc., the University of Southern California, Yale University, and Indiana University. The suit alleges that the firms encouraged computer users to trade the band’s recordings without permission over the Internet.
Micro Age, Inc. of Tempe, Arizona reveals that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in its efforts to reorganize.
The three major United States (US) stock market indices reflect their largest one-day point declines in history. The declines mark the peak of a week of investor unrest following Monday’s Microsoft court decision, growing distrust in over-inflated DotCom values, and a recent US Labor Department report stating that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.7 percent in March.
Quicktime is released for Mac OS and Mac OS X.
The Human Genome Project comes to a successful completion with 99% of the human genome sequenced to 99.99% accuracy.
Sony Computer Entertainment announces an updated PlayStation 2 in Japan, to be available May 15. It will feature support for progressive scan DVD playback, DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW discs, a built-in infrared receiver, a quieter fan, and no IEEE 1394 FireWire port.
Lindows changes it’s name to Linspire. Lindows and Linspire are full-featured operating systems similar to Windows or Mac OS, but they are based on Linux.
Nokia announces the N-Gage QD handheld video game system. The unit is a redesigned N-Gage, about 20 percent smaller, with more comfortable use as a cell-phone. The speaker and microphone are mounted on the front, and the multimedia card slot is located on the bottom edge. It is expected to go on sale in Europe in May.
nVidia releases the GeForce 6800 Graphics chip. Independent reviews find more than a 100% increase in productivity compared with the fastest card on the market. Continuing the tradition, nVidia demonstrates Nalu, a mermaid with extremely realistic hair. A few weeks later nVidia’s main rival ATi announces the X800 with nearly the same level of performance and feature support. The card is showcased by the Ruby demo, delivering a smooth real-time rendering of what was previously in the exclusive realm of prerendered cinematics
Gawker Media sells off part of it’s web portal – The Music blog Idolator went to Buzznet. The Urban Travellog - Gridskipper (Curbed) and the Political site Wonkette went to the Blogads Network.
Yahoo! Starts indexing the World Wide Web using 3rd gen software “Slurp 3.0”.
Intel debuts it’s new Atom chip in a “Sharp Willcom D4”. The device weighed 470 grams and ran at 1.33 Ghz. 5 inch LCD and 40 GB hard drive running Windows Vista. The Willcom will go on sale in June for $1,272
MySpace launches a portal in India
Psystar shows on the scene with a machine that will run Mac OS software. Hours after the news broke, Psystar’s web site goes down. It eventually comes back up to challenge Apples’ EULA.
Blockbuster puts together a 1 billion dollar bid for Circuit City.
Purina (yes the dog food), sets up a clone of the popular Digg website to cater to pet stories. Check it out at petcharts. Purina.com
Sun Microsystems debuts the Sun Fire - x64 bit blade and rack servers and x64 workstations. They are powered by Intel's Xeon processor. Price: $1488
eBay announces they will launch Skype into it's own company and file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Of course, eBay ended up selling the majority of the product to private investors, which caused an uproar between Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the original creators of the VoIP service.
In Sweden, to file your taxes, all you have to do is send an SMS to confirm your SSn and calculations. Of course, you had to already sign the "Skatterverket" - the country's tax authority before you could do this.