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Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrate early elements of the telegraph system, including a code which will come to be known as Morse code.
The X-ray machine is exhibited as the Parisian sensation to the public for the first time in the US at Casino Chambers in New York City, for twenty-five cents admission.
Guglielmo Marconi’s third North American wireless station in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, transmits a two thousand word signal, including a message from President Theodore Roosevelt, to the station at Glace Bay, Canada to be forwarded to Poldhu, England, but due to the signal’s strength, it is received directly by England, becoming the first transatlantic radio signal to be transmitted eastward.
The Harvard Mark IJ.W. Bryce writes a memorandum outlining the development of the Harvard Mark I, which will be completed in 1944. The Harvard Mark I will be the first fully automatic computer. Once complete, it will be capable of computing three additions or subtractions a second and storing seventy-two numbers in its memory.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizes AT&T to conduct experimental radio stations for Project Telstar, an Earth-satellite communications study. Telstar is the first active communications satellite as well as the first privately owned satellite. It transmits telephone and high-speed data communications.
Pulsars are first identified by astronomers at the University of Arizona.
Early in the morning, the 2.4 acre roof of the Hartford Coliseum in Hartford, Connecticut collapses under the weight of ice and snow deposited by a winter storm. The roof is notable for being among the first large-span roofs made possible by computer design. The stadium is empty at the time of the collapse, but it had been full just hours before.
According to Walter Day of Twin Galaxies, this day marks the beginning of the Golden Age of Video Arcade Games, which he says ends January 5, 1986. Opinions vary, many putting the start of the age at a much earlier date, somewhere in the seventies. However, Day’s prominence in the video game community lends a great deal of weight to his opinion.
The Amusement Trades Exhibition (ATE) is held January 18 - 21 at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, England. At the event, Atari operates an independent booth for the first. The booth’s main feature is the game Tempest.
The cover of Time Magazine for January 1982Time magazine acknowledges the success of the video game industry with a cover title that reads, Video Games Are Blitzing the World. Inside, Steve Juraszek, a Mount Prospect, Illinois high school student, is profiled as the Defender world champion. The issues features an article covering Juraszek’s sixteen hour, sixteen million point, single quarter championship game. The same issue also discusses the popularity of video games, revealing that, to date, 96,600 PAC-MAN, 70,000 Asteroids, and 60,000 Space Invaders arcade machines have been produced in the United States.
The CP/M ‘83 Show is held in San Francisco, California.
Franklin Computer demonstrates the Franklin Ace 1200 at the CP/M Show, featuring an 8-bit processor, 128KB RAM, a color display, a keyboard, a 143KB floppy drive, a built-in speaker, a CP/M card, and a 80-column text card. Price: US$2,200 
Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 12 at the CP/M Show, featuring a Zilog Z80A processor, 80KB RAM, a keyboard, a 1.25MB floppy drive, and TRS-80 Model II compatibility. Price: US$3,200
Four Secret Service from the Chicage Task Force and a representative of Bellsouth agents visit Craig Neidorf in St. Louis, who publishes the hacker magazine PHRACK under the handle Knight Lightning, regarding an article published in PHRACK Issue 24, entitled Control Office Administration Of Enhanced 911 Service by The Eavesdropper. The article included information obtained from stolen E911 documents. Neidorf cooperates fully, and the next day the agents will return with a search warrant. They won’t seize his computer because, it’s hard drive is missing. He will be indicted on February 6, and his trial will be held July 24-27.
Proceedings in the case filed by Stac Electronics, a small software company, against Microsoft. Stac Electronics alleges that Microsoft blatantly infringed upon patents related to Stacker, the company’s data-compression application. In February, Microsoft will loose the suit, and Stac Electronics will be awarded US$120 million dollars in damages. Read more about the case… or read the text of Stac Electronics’ patent infringement complaint against Microsoft.
The domain Yahoo.com was registered. It stands for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle" 
LithiumError & ChiKo Torremendez hack the website of the Association of Indonesian Young Businessmen, the Bank PSP, the Directbank Corporation, Fortune Indonesia, Golongan Karya, Indo Net, the Indonesian Capital, Indocement, the Indonesian Food Affairs Ministry, the Indonesian General Education Ministry, the Indonesian ISP Association, the Indonesian National Police, the Indonesian PIP, the Indonesian Supreme Audit Board, the Jakarta Convention Center, the Jakarta Provincial Government, Novus Asia, Selamat Datangv, Serang Golf, and the Tarumanegara Institution.
Intel releases the 600MHz Mobile Pentium III processor, featuring SpeedStep technology. The processor operates at 500MHz on battery power, consuming about half as much power as during normal operation. Code-name: Geyserville
AltaVista announces its intentions to cut about a quarter of its workforce, or about two hundred employees.
The sixteen year old Canadian computer hacker known as Mafiaboy pleads guilty to fifty-six of sixty-six counts of mischief in connection with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that crippled several major websites, including Amazon, CNN, eBay, and Yahoo. Under Canadian law, his real name isn’t made public. He was arrested on April 15, 2000 and charged four days later.
Four families file suit against News Corp. and its MySpace social-networking website, alleging that their underage daughters were sexually abused by adults they met through the site. The families are seeking monetary damages of several million dollars.
The FreeBSD Project releases version 6.2 of the FreeBSD operating system.
Intel makes a dramatic price cut - up to 48% on some processors
Facebook unveils Graph Search - a search engine within Facebook that finds people with similar interests.