February 8

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: February 8

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1692

A doctor in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony declares that three teenage girls are under domination of Satan. The declaration will precipitate the Salem witch trials.

1924

First coast-to-coast radio broadcast in the United States is made from Chicago by General John Joseph Carthy of Bell Telephone to an audience of fifty million listeners.

1928

The first transatlantic television image is received in Hartsdale, New York. The image, which shows the face of Mrs. Mia Howe, is transmitted by John Logie Baird from station 2KZ in Purley, England over short wave radio. The picture is crudely formed from a scan of thirty lines and transmitted at twelve frames per second. The signal’s successful reception caused a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic, receiving a great deal of media attention.

1945

H.H. Aiken, B.M. Durfee, F.E. Hamilton, and C.D Lake file an application for a patent on the Automatic Sequence Control Calculator, more commonly known as the Harvard Mark I, which is the world’s first automatic digital computer. It is capable of performing the four basic arithmetic functions and handling numbers of up to twenty-three decimal places.

1958

Two months before his fifteenth birthday, Bobby Fischer, becomes the youngest international chess Grandmaster in history. Visit the unofficial Bobby Fischer website.

1974

The third and final astronaut crew of the Skylab Space Station returns to Earth, completing the mission that began on November 16, 1973. Skylab orbited Earth a total of 2,476 times during over the course of the one hundred seventy-one days of its occupation during the three manned Skylab missions. The vacant Skylab station will eventually be steered towards Earth, where it will disintegrate in the atmosphere on July 11, 1979. Visit the official website The Skylab Space Station.

1983

Texas Instruments (TI) reduces the dealer price of the TI 99/4A computer, lowering its retail price to under US$150.

1992

The Ulysses spacecraft, an international project to study the poles of the Sun, flies past Jupiter, using the planet’s gravity to swing it out of the ecliptic plane and toward the poles of the Sun.

1996

24 Hours in CyberspaceThe single largest online event in history, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, takes place. Coordinated by photographer Rick Smolan, the project’s goal is to capture photos representing a day in the life of internet users around the world in order to demonstrate the tremendous impact the internet has on their lives. Photos are taken and sent digitally to editors working in real-time to choose the best to be be posted to the project’s website, cyber24.com. The website receives more than four million hits in the twenty-four hours in which it takes place.

United States President Bill Clinton signs the Communications Decency Act into law. The Act amends the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in the first attempt by the US Congress to regulate pornographic content on the Internet. While the law is intended to protect children from obscene material, the Act causes a widespread uproar among legal advocated and media pundits who argue that its vague language violates the first amendment right to free speech. Many web masters protest by changing their website’s background to solid black, blacking out their site altogether, or displaying displaying blue ribbon icons downloaded from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The day is dubbed Black Thursday in the press. On June 12, a panel of Federal judges will block enforcement of the Communications Decency Act as the result of a lawsuit brought by fifty-seven plaintiffs, including Bill Gates>Bill Gates.

1998

Fifteen websites, including Rebel Tech, TextScape, and Web Signal are hacked by Bill Gates Hackers. View an archived version of the defaced websites.

Twenty-three websites, including All Pets go to Heaven, Cyber Secret, and Everything Pages are hacked by bR41N c4nDy. View an archived version of the defaced websites.

The website of Century Die Company is hacked by Lord-Acid & |razor|.

The website of Danehip Entertainment is hacked by Lord-Acid & |razor|.

The website of Innovative Tech Works is hacked by TechVoodoo Crew.

The website of Nuvocom is hacked by No|d Crew.

The website of Thermocrete is hacked by JF_, also known as Josh Freedaleman of the CoF crew.

The website of Uniformed Services University of the Health, a military server, is hacked by No|d Crew.

1999

Idealab founder Bill Gross announces that his company will offer to send ten thousand qualified applicants a free computers. The computers are 333MHz Compaq Presario computers complete with fifteen inch monitors. The computers are financed with advertisements displayed on their screen as they browse the Internet. Visit the official Idealab website.

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2000

COC Services Ltd., the Dallas-based holder of Mexican-based CompUSA franchises, files multi-million dollar suit against CompUSA and Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim Helu. The suit alleges that Carlos tried to keep COC out of the personal computer market in Mexico and that he used the firm to obtain confidential information to benefit his computer businesses.

Several prominent websites experience outages for several hours due to denial of service attack (DoS) attacks launched by an unknown hackers who will later be revealed to be a fifteen year old Montreal high school student using the handle Mafiaboy. Buy.com is hit at 10:50am and receives up to twenty-four times the normal amount of hits until after 2pm. At 3:20pm, eBay.com is hit hard and disables the site for the rest of the day. At 4pm CNN.com is hit with attacks that continue for four hours. At 5pm, Amazon is targeted, as well. The teen will be charged with two counts of mischief to data on April 19, 2000. After pleading guilty, Mafiaboy will later be sentenced to eight months in a youth detention center.

2008

Earthlink announced they will be scaling back their City-wide Wi-Fi effort.

Dell decides to back away from AMD chips as they stop selling the processor in their notebooks

2009

Steve Wozniak is selected as one of 13 competitors for Dancing with the Stars.

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