August 8

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Aug 8th


The Project Chess task force at IBM shows a prototype microcomputer to the Corporate Management Committee, featuring 32kB ROM, 16kB RAM (expandable to 256 kB), six expansion slots, a color/mono display, an eight inch floppy disk drive, an optional floating-point processor, a joystick port, and a printer port. The committee gives its approval build an operational microcomputer, code-named Acorn. They are given a deadline of one year to bring the new computer to market.


Microsoft introduces Microsoft Office. Unlike the model of Microsoft Works, Microsoft Office is a bundle of separate office productivity applications, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel - rather than a single application.


The United States Justice Department announces it will not pursue an antitrust case against Microsoft before the launch of Windows 95.


John Romero leaves id Software, to form Ion Storm in Dallas, Texas in November with Tom Hall, who had also left id in 1993.


Intel announced the development of its next generation of microprocessors, the Pentium 4.


The AT&T Corporation reveals that they have begun blocking access to web servers operated by residential customers in a response to the increased threats of the Code Red worm. Sarah Eder of AT&T defended the action by explaining that “customers are not permitted to operate servers behind cable modems.”

Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter Healthcare Corporation announces that they have launched an ergonomic state-of-the-art donor “e-Chair” that enables blood donors to surf the Internet while they donate blood.

Gateway, Inc. announces its intentions to close its British and Dublin based operations, resulting in over a thousand layoffs.

Metricom shuts down its Ricochet seventeen-city high speed wireless service Internet service. The company admits that there was never enough mass market interest to pay the US$80 monthly fee for the service to keep the service profitable.

The Toshiba Corporation states that it plans to cut the domestic production of Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) production by as much as sixty percent in response to weakening worldwide demand. Version 6.1 of the Netscape Internet Suite is released.


Daniel Baas, age 24, of Ohio is charged with hacking Arkansas-based Acxiom Corporation, a company known among privacy advocates for collecting consumer data into one of the largest such databases in the world, via FTP on December 10th 2002. Some of the company’s databases were left exposed on the Internet, while some files are stolen. Acxiom Corp. serves fourteen of the country’s fifteen largest credit card companies, seven of the top ten auto manufacturers, and five of the top six retail banks. Acxiom also analyzes consumer databases for a number of major companies and Fortune 500 firms, including: AT&T, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, and Sears. Jennifer Barrett, Acxiom’s chief privacy officer, states that the information stolen included, “a wide variety of information, some of which was personal, some of which was not.” She will emphasize, however, that much of the data stolen was encrypted, which minimizes the risk of identity theft. The company was unaware of the hack for nearly eight months. It only learned of the incident when it was contacted by the Hamilton County sheriff’s office. Baas had been arrested on an unrelated but similar charge on August 1st by Detective Rick Sweeney of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Regional Crime Information unit.


Version 1.10 of the IM2 multiprotocal instant messaging application is released as freeware for Windows.


Version 1.3.3 of the Java Tcl is released. Java Tcl is a Java-based, open source, implementation of the Tcl scripting language. Visit the language’s official sourceforge page.

Walden Media announces a joint venture with 20th Century Fox. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and The Dark Is Rising will be the first films released under the collaborative venture.


Apple removes the “$1000” app from the store, basically a program that displayed a ruby. 8 people bought the application before it was removed.

Microsoft announces that they will be discontinuing the Money software program. Of course, no new versions will be made, but there will be support for the product until 2011.

In response to a Congressional inquiry about targeted advertising, Yahoo announced that consumers will be able to opt out of customized advertising on

A copy of the controversial search advertising agreement between Yahoo and Google is released in an SEC filing. It was highly redacted (meaning a lot of items were left out)

The Olympics – otherwise known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – started on this day. It is the first time the event could be seen on live stream through NBC.

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