France adopts the Metric system, with a standardized set of weight, length, and capacity measurements using the gram, meter, and liter. Latin prefixes were coupled with the base words to create a system of measurement. "Natural" quantites were used to set baseline values, which involved the circumference of the earth (for length) and weight of water (for weight). Only provisional standards were actually set for the meter and kilogram; it took another 8 years before the final definitions were adopted.
The U.S. and Canada announce the creation of NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) a unified military unit tasked with early-warning and defense coordination with a headquarters inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. In addition to its Cold War duties, NORAD also reported the Christmas Eve path of Santa Claus every year since it came into existence.
The first successful retrieval of information out of a database over long distance by a computer was achieved as part of a study by the US Atomic Energy Commission. A computer in Paris owned by the European Space Resource Organization, connecting to a computer in Palo Alto over a transatlantic cable, queried a database of technical papers on nuclear science and retrieved information on a series of requested topics. One of the researchers described the significance of the event: "It is now technically possible for anyone with a telephone to have access to information the world over."
At 12:01am, the MTV (Music Television) cable channel premieres on US cable networks in the United States. MTV is a twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week pop music channel. The first music video to be played on the station plays is Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. Six years to the day later, MTV Europe will be launched in the UK.
The IBM creates the Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida. A division team code-named “chess” will go later design and build the popular IBM PC, the forerunner of the company’s PC-compatible hardware platform.
Apple Computer discontinues production of the Macintosh XL. The XL featured a 5MHz Motorola 68000 processor, a 400K 3.5″ floppy drive, 512KiB DRAM expandable to 2MiB, and an optional external 10MB hard drive.
The US Congress authorizes the construction of a 5th Space Shuttle, to replace the Challenger which was lost the year before. The new $1.7 billion shuttle, Endeavour, flew its first mission in 1992.
Microsoft releases Office, the first general business software for Macintosh computers.
Tim Berners-Lee of CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, first suggests developing a networked system of hyperlinks. By October, he will have developed a prototype and, within three years of its completion, fifty active web servers will be online in what will become known as the world wide web.
A New York Federal District jury awards US$208 million in damages to Alpex Computer, finding Nintendo guilty of infringement of an early video game patent held by Alpex.
Broderbund Software, Inc. and The Learning Company announce an agreement to merge by the end of October in a deal worth US$440 million. General Electric’s GEnie online service cancels a nine year contract with Atari which names their service as the “official” site for the online support of Atari products. Version 1.1 of the Red Hat Linux distribution is released. Code-name: Mother’s Day+0.1 Price: US$39.95
The first open source version of PostgreSQL is released.
SuperMemo World, a software company founded on July 5, 1991 by Krzysztof Biedalak and Piotr Wozniak of Poland, becomes the first company in Eastern Europe to open an e-commerce store at Yahoo Stores.
MGA Entertainment introduces its new Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) line called Color FX. The inaugural titles to use the patented technology that display colored icons include Asteroids, Pac-Man, Missile Command, Ms. Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Super Breakout.
An Israelian man become the first recipient of the Jarvik 2000, the first totally artificial heart that can maintain blood flow and generate a pulse.
Microsoft announces a limited-time promotional price of US$59.95 for the forthcoming Windows Millennium Edition (ME) operating system (OS) for current users of Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition. The system is scheduled to be released to retailers Thursday, September 14, and the introductory price is valid through Monday, January 15, 2001. Palm in partnership with Claudia Schiffer launch the Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition handheld computer. The device features a blue brushed-metal case, some custom software, and will be released exclusive through the model’s website.
Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and NTT DoCoMo of Japan announce that they will jointly develop a wireless network which will allow PlayStation systems to connect to I-mode cell phones.
Fourty-two websites with Indonesian top-level domains are hacked by the hacking group “KaotiK Team”. The websites are hacked as part of the East Timor Campaign, a series of attacks against the IT infrastructure of Indonesia in protest of abuses of Indonesian military officers against East Timor’s people during the country’s occupation. The campaign, which began on October 2, 1997, is one of the first major hacktivism campaigns in history. All of the websites are defaced in an identical manner.
In the August issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a study is released indicating that more than forty percent of video games do not properly warn of the violence they may depict when played. Statistics in the report indicate that fifty million households in the United States own at least one video game system. Seventy percent of children between the ages of two to eight have access to video games.
The website of the boy band Hanson is hacked by “freddie & chewie”.
The first version of the EyeOS open source (GPL) web operating system, 0.6.0, is first released. The idea behind eyeOS is to provide a full operating system, web based, which can be accessed from everywhere, with any Internet-capable device.
Blogger Josh Wolf is jailed by a Federal district court for refusing to turn over videotape footage of a July 2005 demonstration in San Francisco, California during which a police cruiser was set on fire. Wolf will serve 226 days in prison, despite protests that he is acting as a citizen journalist. The period is longer than other journalist in US history has ever served for protecting source material. The case raised serious issues throughout the country, including a debate over whether bloggers are journalists, whether journalist may refuse to comply with a subpoena, and whether it is legal or ethical to prosecute journalists under Federal laws in states with shield laws designed to protect journalists.
The first version of the free 64 Studio Linux distribution, 0.9.0, is released. The operating system is based on Debian designed specifically for creative users using x86-64 hardware architectures. Code-name: Toe Rag
NVIDIA announces the Quadro Plex 1000, an external multi-GPU desktop or rack-mounted system for 3D graphics processing.
The FCC officially rules that Comcast had violated the law by throttling Bit torrent traffic. They voted 3-2 in favor to the violation. However, back in March, Comcast had voluntarily discontinued this practice.
Amazon announced it would acquire AbeBooks.com, which specializes in out-of-print book sales, for an undisclosed sum.
The Yahoo Shareholders Meeting takes place. It was a stressful time, especially since there were so many that were upset over the botched Microsoft deal.
Soccer Star Darren Bent Decided to tweet that he was frustrated with not getting traded fast enough. Because of that, he was fined two weeks salary – about $130k