December 13

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 13th

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Prev: December 12 - Next: December 14 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project


Charles Dickens publishes “A Christmas Carol.” Six thousand copies are sold.


"Relay I, the first US communications satellite to transmit facsimile, telephone, television, and teleprinter signals is launched on a Thor-Delta rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range from Cape Canaveral. It will transmit its first test patterns on January 3, 1963, once the solar cells had fully charged."


Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the sixth and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. It will be the last manned mission to the Moon of the 20th century.


The RCA Satcom I satellite is launched on a Delta 3000 from Cape Canaveral.


Bill Gates, age 21, is arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico for reckless driving


Atari releases the 1200XL home computer, featuring a 1.79MHz MOS 6502C processor, 64KB RAM, and 256 color capability. Price: US$900-1000.


Project Runeberg, an open and voluntary initiative to publish free electronic editions of Scandinavian literature on the Internet, is launched. The project is inspired by and modeled after the English-language Project Gutenberg. Visit the official Project Runeberg website.


"Cyrix and Texas Instruments (TI) file lawsuits against each other over Cyrix’s 486 processor design databases. Texas Instruments demands that Cyrix deliver the design databases, and Cyrix demands that Texas Instruments cease manufacturing and distributing Cyrix products."


"Apple Computer announces the Pippin video game system specifications, based on the Macintosh personal computer. It features a 66 MHz PowerPC 603 processor, a 14.4kbps modem, with a 640×480 resolution in 24-bit color on a television, and a CD-ROM disk system. A license is granted to Bandai of Japan to manufacture and sell units, tentatively called the Power Player."


Symantec licenses Java from Sun Microsystems.


Thirty-five websites are hacked by the group “Legions of the Underground” (L.O.U.). In each case, the homepage of the site is replaced with a message reading, “OWNED #BASH Legions of the Underground //OptikLenz||The Bookie\\ OptikLenz: Wh0z JOor D4ddy?” Visit an archived version of the message.

Version 0.01 of the Mystic BBS is released.

The website of the Stanford University Medical Media and Information Technology (SUMMIT) website is hacked and defaced anonymously. Visit an archived version of the defaced website.

The websites of Encore Computers, Ron Tyler, Saturn Industries, Valley Internet Services, Well Naturally, are hacked by the “cArPaRtS nInJa TaSk FOrc3?. Visit archived versions of the defaced website of Encore Computers, Ron Tyler, Saturn Industries webpage, Valley Internet Services, Well Naturally.

The websites of the Centerfold Alumni Association and Koni Group (UK) Ltd are hacked and defaced by “Morgasm”. Visit archived versions of the Centerfold Alumni Association and Koni Group websites.


John Koskinen, chairman of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, publicly pleads with hackers and programmers to show mercy in regard to any efforts to disable computers during the onset of the dreaded Y2K.

WebQuest International, Inc., creators of the iPONG Game Arcade announces that Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, has joined their Board of Directors."


The C# (ECMA-334) programming language is released, which was a major step toward the Microsoft .NET Framework


Version 2 (v1.4.2_03) of the Java programming language is released.


Oracle, a major developer of database management systems (DBMS) announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire PeopleSoft, a developer of human resource management systems (HRMS), for US$26.50 per share or approximately US$10.3 billion.


An international collaboration of astronomers re-analyse archived Hubble Space Telescope pictures to map the distribution of dark matter in the Universe. The results seem to support the theory that both visible and dark matter are clumped into “web like” structures.

Scientists at the Salk Institute, embeded human nerve cells in the brain of mice. Even though they arrived at only 0.1 percent of the brain being made of human cells, this work spurs discussion of ethical limits of biological research.


The Baiji Yangtze Dolphin is officially presumed extinct following the Yangtze Freshwater Dolphin Expedition, an intense six week search specifically organized to determine the species’ fate. Scientists from six nations participated in the expedition, which combed 3,400 km (2,100 miles) of the heavily polluted Yangtze River in China from Yichang to Shanghai and the Yangtze Delta for thirty-nine days using two research ships equipped with high-performance optical instruments and underwater microphones. The expedition’s failure to detect any signs of the creature makes the Baiji the first large mammal to be forced into extinction through the destruction of its habitat by humans. Four hundred Baiji were present in the wild in the early eighties, but there haven’t been any sightings of the creatures since September 2004."


The FCC cancels the meeting and vote for the free Internet plan - Chairman Kevin Martin wants free Wifi to all.

Myst Online announces the game will be Open Source


Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed the case between Paul Allen's defunct firm - Interval Licensing - and the companies of Apple, Google, Facebook, AOL, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples for patent infringement of e-commerce technologies. Pechman dismissed the case stating the suit is too vague


Appsfire closes their app discovery store

Qualcomm announced Steve Mollenkopf as their next CEO, taking him out of Microsoft CEO contention

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