April 27

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: April 27th

1981

Xerox introduces the Xerox 8010 Star Information System, featuring a bitmapped screen, Ethernet, the first computer mouse, a laser printer, Smalltalk language, a WYSIWYG word processor, and software for combining text and graphics in the same document.

Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.

1986

John R. MacDougall, better known by the handle Captain Midnight, hijacks an HBO satellite at 12:32am to transmits his own message to HBO subscribers in the United States’ Eastern time zone. MacDougall, who works at the Central Florida Teleport, a company that uplinks services to satellites, was overseeing the uplink of the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure on the night of the hack. At the end of his shift, he swung the dish back into its storage position, pointing directly upward, which happened to be the location of Galaxy 1, the satellite that transmits HBO. As a protest against the introduction of high fees and scrambling equipment, he transmits a signal onto the satellite, overriding an HBO showing of The Falcon and the Snowman. The signal contains a text message that reads, “GOODEVENING HBO FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT $12.95/MONTH ? NO WAY ! [SHOWTIME/MOVIE CHANNEL BEWARE!]” MacDougall chose the name “Captain Midnight” from a movie he had recently seen, On the Air Live with Captain Midnight. After media pressure forces the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act, MacDougall will be charged and sentenced, per a plea bargain, to a US$5,000 fine and one year’s probation.

1987

The San Jose Mercury News features an article by G. Pascal Zachary, entitled “Atari’s Back and Cost-cutting ignites Atari’s new takeoff.” Leonard Tramiel, Allan Pratt, and Dave Staugas are pictured in a featured photo. Trip Hawkins, president of Electronics Arts of San Mateo, California, is quoted in the article as stating, “Atari has been very shrewd. They were able to get a running start in Europe - before taking on the big guys in the United States.”

1995

The United States Department of Justice sues to block the proposed acquisition of the financial software developer Intuit by Microsoft, alleging that the purchase would lead to higher software prices while diminishing innovation.

1998

At 4pm, a female gorilla named Koko, age 26, from the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, joins a chat session hosted by America Online (AOL). During the session, AOL members ask questions which are then translated into sign language by Dr. Francine Patterson. Koko’s responses are then relayed back to the chat room by Patterson. Koko is able to communicate over a thousand words using American Sign Language and is able to understand approximate two thousand words of spoken language. The event is the world’s first chat session between two different species.

1999

Ken Hamidi, age 51, is banned by a California state court judge from sending bulk email to Intel employees. The former Intel engineer lost a workers’ compensation claim the previous year, and he was sending bulk emails to Intel employees in an attempt to disrupt their work. The judge ruled against Hamidi, who claimed that the emails were an expression of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

2000

Google launches the first comprehensive wireless search engine for mobile phones.

Jerry Sanders, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announces the June release of the new Duron processor. The company claims that the new chip will available in consumer grade personal computers priced under the one thousand dollar threshold, while offering clock speeds superior to the company’s own K6-2 processors. Visit the AMD website for Duron processors. Code-name: Spitfire

2001

New Deli police report that a high school student has been arrested for allegedly building a pornographic website. This is reportedly the first legal case in India related to the publication of obscene material on an Internet website.

2005

Adobe Illustrator CS2Adobe Systems releases Illustrator CS2. http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/. Code-name: Zodiac

A Court of Appeal in Paris decides that it is illegal for video distributors to encode protected works with an anti-copying devices without making it fact sufficiently clear on the packaging. The court’s decision is based on the “three-stage test” in EU Directive ==2001==/29: that making a private digital copy of a work is a special case, that the copy does not prevent the normal commercial exploitation of the work, and that it does not prejudice the copyright owner’s rights. Therefore, applying means to prevent any the private copying infringes on consumers rights.

NASA invests US$11 million over four years with Rice University to develop an experimental power cable (quantum wire) with ten times the conductivity of copper wire at one-sixth the weight. It would be made with carbon nanotubes and would help reduce the weight of the next generation shuttle; but can have wide ranging applications.

2009

Google releases their first programs that will tap into Cloud computing. Google Native Client and O3D.

It was announced that Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Microsoft Exec Craig Munie will serve to advice Barack Obama on matters of science, technology and innovation.

Google releases Android 1.5 programming tools

To try and stop workarounds to using iTunes on iPhones, Apple sent a "Cease and Desist" letter to a web site that gives instruction to bypass. The site owner decided to sue Apple to keep these articles up.

Puerto Rico sites Google.pr, Microsoft.com.pr, yahoo.com.pr and others were attacked via DNS to show a defaced website.

McAffee launches the Free online Cybercrime help center.

Giants pitcher Brian Wilson's Twitter is shut down after he posts that he was partying too much the night before.

2013

Design approval is given for a crucial reactor component of the ITER nuclear fusion project, which is currently under construction in Cadarache, France.

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