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Thomas Watson Sr. issues a directive to IBM headquarters ordering the planning of a machine of the same type as the Harvard Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC) to meet the requirements of the ordinary businesses we serve. The Selective Sequence Controlled Calculator (SSEC), which will be completed on January 27, 1948, will be the result of the development. Visit the official IBM website.
The Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power.
The IBM Data Processing Division (DPD) introduces the IBM 2880 block multiplexer channel and the IBM 2305 fixed head storage facility for IBM System/360 Models 85 and 195. Visit the official IBM website.
Texas Instruments (TI) files a lawsuit in a Houston Federal District Court against Compaq Computer and ten employees in particular, alleging patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. Visit the official Texas Instruments website.
Robert and Carleen Thomas launch the Amateur Action bulletin board system (BBS), which feature a downloadable collection of amateur pornographic photographs as .gif files. The BBS will soon have thousands of members and will requires a subscription fee. It will become the center of a national battle over obscenity laws and freedom speech on the internet after the Thomases are arrested in California on charges filed in Tennessee.
Bill Mitchell closes the infamous LINUX is obsolete thread on comp.os.minix at 4:31pm after seventy-three posts. The thread is a debate between Minix creator Andy Tanenbaum and Linux creator Linus Torvalds. Read an archive of the original thread at Google.
Steven Jobs lays off 280 of the 530 employees of NeXT and sells the company’s hardware line to Canon in order to concentrate on the NeXTStep OS for the Intel x86 platform. Visit an archive of the official NeXT website.
United Stated Public Law 104-106 directs the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to change its name to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Visit the official DARPA website.
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, Intel unveils a 400MHz processor twice the speed of its fastest chip currently in production.
AOL raises its flat monthly rate for internet access from US$19.95 to US$21.95 with the explanation that the costs are necessary to upgrade its network to handle the surge in subscribes since the company’s switch to a flat subscription fee.
Richard Machado, a 21 year old Los Angeles college dropout, becomes the first person to ever be convicted of a hate crime committed in cyberspace after sending racist death threats by email to fifty-nine Asian students. The jury deliberated for a day before returning a verdict confirming that sending threats over the Internet is the same as sending threats over the phone or through the postal system. On May 4, Machado will be sentenced to one year in prison, time which will have been already served at the time of sentencing. Read more about the trial and sentencing at CNet.
Intel introduces the Pentium III processor in Cannes, France. The new processor will cost little more than current Pentium II processors while offering speeds of 450 - 500MHz. They will officially be released February 17.
The Handspring Treo 180Handspring begins selling its Treo 180 and 180g handheld computers in the US. Price: US$399.
AMD releases the 2500+, 2800+, and 3000+ Athlon XP desktop processors, featuring 512KB Level-2 caches and 333MHz system buses. Price: 1.833GHz and 2.083GHz: US$375, 2.167GHz: US$588 Visit the official AMD website.
Christopher Maxwell, age 20, of of Vacaville, California is indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle in a two count indictment of Conspiracy to Intentionally cause Damage to a Protected Computer and Computer Fraud. Maxwell allegedly created and deployed a botnet via a virus in order to install adware on unwary internet users’ computers. As the botnet expanded, it disrupted computer communications at Seattle’s Northwest Hospital in January 2005. The disruption caused widespread malfunctions. Doors to operating rooms didn’t open, pagers didn’t work, and computers in the intensive care unit crashed. Two unnamed juvenile co-conspirators are being prosecuted in another state. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the three netted more than a hundred thousand dollars from the scheme, but damaged networks belong to the Colton Unified School District and the Department of Defense, as well as the hospital. In May, Maxwell will plead guilty to both charges, and on August 25, he will be sentenced to thirty-seven months in prison.
Google introduces the Gmail for your Domain service which allows organizations to offer email through Gmail using their own domain.
Sun Microsystems signs the OpenSolaris Charter, turning the OpenSolaris community into an independent group under the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB). Visit the official OpenSolaris website.
A server of the FAA was breached and 45,000 employees information was vulnerable.
Twitter announces they are looking into charging those profiles that sell their product on the Social Network.