December 21

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 21st

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Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven DwarfsWalt Disney premieres the first full-length, animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The film is notable for its length, its pioneering use of the multi-plane camera to achieve the illusion of depth, its introduction of human characters modeled on live actors, and its use of larger painted cels. These advances are all the more astonishing for the fact that Snow White is released just twelve years after Walt Disney released the first animation with sound, Steamboat Willie. The film was produced by 750 artists working for three years at the unheard-of cost of US$1.499 million. The cost was so exorbitant that Disney had to mortgage his house to pay for the film’s production. The artists produced one million individual drawings, only a quarter of which were actually used in the final print of the film. MPAA Rating: G Running Time: 1 hr 23 mins


Freelance journalist Julian Dibbell publishes an article in The Village Voice (Vol. 38 No. 51) entitled Rape in Cyberspace or How an Evil Clown, a Haitian Trickster Spirit, Two Wizards, and a Cast of Dozens Turned a Database Into a Society. The article will later be included in Dibbell’s book about his experiences in the LambdaMOO community entitled, My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World. The leading scholar of cyberlaw, Lawrence Lessig, will later state that his chance reading of Dibbell’s article was a key influence on his interest in the field. Sociologist David Trend will call it, one of the most frequently cited essays about cloaked identity in cyberspace. Visit the author’s official website. You can read the full text of the article at


In Japan, Nintendo and St. Giga television service company announces the upcoming launch of Satellaview service, which allows Super Famicom users to download games via cable service in April. Price: ¥14,000 (about US$150)


The frontpage of the Sierra On-Line games website is anonymously hacked and taken down for three hours. The company will be quick to reassure the press that the hacker did not gain access to either credit card data or other internal databases.

Netstar in the UK is hacked by KAOS 97?.

The Progressive Woman website is hacked by Properstuff.

The website of Netalia Internet is hacked by Kaos97?.

The website of the Frank Leta Acura car dealership is hacked by Properstuff. View an archived screenshot of the hacked website.


Best Buy Inc. announces that they have dropped the price of Apple Computer’s iMac from US$1,299 to US$1,099. Reuter’s News Service reports that representatives from CompUSA Inc. and CompuTown have declared a maintained price of US$1,299.


United States President Bill Clinton signs the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) into law. The law is an attempts to limit children’s exposure to pornography and other sexual content online. It is the third such attempt to regulate Internet content, following the Communications Decency Act and the Child Online Protection Act, both of which were declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. On June 23, 2003, the law will be upheld following a challenge from the American Library Association (ALA).


The full source code of Quake II version 3.19 was released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Version 2.2 of the Python programming language is released.


US District Judge Ronald Whyte rules that a California law restricting minors from buying a violent video game unconstitutionally restricts minors’ right to information. The judge grants a request made by the Entertainment Software Association for a preliminary injunction.


A college finds groups in Facebook that are taking names for enrollment on the class of 2013. The groups would then collect data and use to resell.

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