December 22

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Dec 22nd

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Prev: December 21 - Next: December 23 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project

1845

The first voice synthesizer, later known as P.T. Barnum’s Euphonium, is demonstrated to the public.

1882

The first string of Christmas tree lights is created by Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, to decorate his home Christmas tree.

1955

The FINAC, the Italian Mark I, is inaugurated in Rome. The Mark I is the commercial prototype of the Manchester Mark I which was built by Ferranti Ltd., for UNESCO’s International Computational Center in Rome.

1982

IBM announces that it will acquire twelve percent of Intel shares for US$250 million.

1993

Microsoft releases Excel 5.0 for Windows.

1997

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Canada, the United States, and some islands in the Caribbean and North Atlantic ocean, is incorporated as a nonprofit in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JT Storage Corporation, Tom Mitchell, announces the discontinuation of development and production of the company’s three inch hard drive. He also reports a US$60.6 million loss in their third quarter ending November 2. In his report, he reveals that a thirty-one percent reduction in worldwide headcount was implemented reducing the company’s staff from 8,400 to 5,800.

1998

MCI WorldCom Inc. eradicates a virus dubbed Remote Explorer that scrambles hard drive files and spreads through corporate networks.

1999

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Greg Maffei, leaves Microsoft to become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Worldwide Fiber Inc. based in Vancouver, Canada.

2000

The Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), which was primarily developed by the United States National Security Agency (NSA), is release to the open source community for further development. SELinux is a set of modifications to the Linux kernel which provides a strong but flexible mandatory access control (MAC) architecture similar to the one used by the United States Department of Defense.

2003

The second and third film in the Matrix trilogy, both released earlier in the year, are shut out of visual effects Oscar consideration by the Visual Effects Award Nominating Committee.

Jon Lech Johansen, also known as DVD-Jon, is acquitted for the second time of hacking into DVD security codes. After Johansen released DeCSS, he was prosecuted in Norway for computer hacking in 2002. The prosecution was conducted by Økokrim, a Norwegian crime unit that investigates and prosecutes economic crimes, after a complaint was made by the US DVD Copy Control Association (DVD-CCA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA). Johansen denied writing the decryption code in DeCSS, saying that this part of the project was accomplished by someone in Germany. His defense was assisted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The trial opened in the Oslo district court (Oslo tingrett) on December 9, 2002 with Johansen pleading not guilty to charges that had a maximum penalty of two years in prison. The defense argued that no illegal access was obtained to anyone else’s information, since Johansen owned the DVDs himself. They also argued that it is legal under Norwegian law to make copies of such data for personal use. The verdict was announced on January 7, 2003, acquitting Johansen of all charges. This being the verdict of the district court, two further levels of appeals were available to the prosecutors, to the appeals court and then to the Supreme Court. Økokrim filed an appeal on January 20, 2003, and it was reported on February 28 that the appeals court (Borgarting lagmannsrett) had agreed to hear the case. Johansen’s second DeCSS trial began in Oslo on December 2, 2003, and it resulted in an acquittal on December 22, 2003. Økokrim will later announce on January 5, 2004 that it will not appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

Little GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development), a networked ring across the northern hemisphere with connections in Chicago, Amsterdam, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Zabajkal’sk, Manzhouli, Beijing, and Hong Kong goes into operation. This is the first-ever fiber network connection across the Russia-China border.

2005

The European Commission takes steps to fine Microsoft €2 million (US$2.4 million) a day if it does not comply by January 25 with its 2004 antitrust ruling.

2008

EA lets people know that after the issues with SPore, they will make a DRM free version available.

2009

After pressure and lawsuit, Psystar Temporarily halts the sale of the Rebel EFI – the software that could put Mac software on PC hardware.

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