An Act of Congress signed by President James K. Polk establishes The Smithsonian Institution as a trust to administer the generous bequest of James Smithson“>James Smithson in an amount over US$500,000. In 1826, James Smithson, a British scientist, drew up his last will and testament, naming his nephew as beneficiary. Smithson stipulated that, should the nephew die without heirs (as he did in 1835), the estate should go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” The motives behind Smithson’s bequest remain mysterious. He had never traveled to the US and seems to have had no correspondence with anyone there. Read more about the history of the Smithsonian Insti.
Paul H. Levy releases Ultra-Dial version 5.1. It was considered “The Ultimate in WarGames Dialer Programs,”
Borland International releases the Quattro spreadsheet software for the IBM PC.
The first Macworld Expo is held, in Boston, Massachusetts. About thirty thousand people attend the event.
The servers of Cyper Promotions are anonymously hacked.
The world population reaches six billion according to Ibiblio.org world population tracker.
Rhythms NetConnections, Inc., a broadband services provider, announces that it will cease service within thirty days and let go of 75 percent of its work force, or about seven hundred employees. South Korea Information and Communication Ministry announces that they have found a third new version of the Code Red worm.
The iTunes Music Store library hits 1,000,000 songs.
Lee Seung Seop, an industrial boiler repairman, dies of exhaustion in Daegu, South Korea after playing the computer game StarCraft continuously for 49 hours at an Internet cafe. Exhaustion and dehydration induced heart failure and he went into cardiac arrest. He dies shortly thereafter at a local hospital. According to his friends, his normal game preference was World of Warcraft, and he was a confirmed game addict.
Opera Software releases the Opera Mini Java ME web browser for mobile devices in Norway. The browser will be released globally on January 24, 2006.
Craigslist experience a small outage. They did not say what happened, but it caused housing and job listings to not complete – which most likely meant an error in the database.
Netflix signed a deal with EPIX, to bring Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate movies to their online streaming system.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and former HP CEO Mark Hurd made statements of his departure in an email to the New York Times. In it was said: The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago. That decision nearly destroyed Apple - and would have if Steve hadn't come back and saved them."
University of Calgary scientists announced they have successfully built a neurochip - a computer chip made out of silicon and human brain cells. This organic computer could be a gateway for a human to "jack" into a computer like in the Matrix
FTC settles a Facebook privacy complaint. FTC says that Facebook must submit to privacy audits and obtain the users consent before sharing