July 20

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: July 20th

1973

The Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS), one of the first time-sharing operating systems, is retired at MIT’s Computation Center. CTSS was first demonstrated in 1961.

1994

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Fragment Q1 hits Jupiter.

1995

John O’Neill, the CFO of Hasbro Inc. announces that they have “scrapped” their work on a Virtual Reality game. After three years and US$59 million in R&D, the firm determined that the costs to the consumer would be far more than the target price of US$300. O’Neil states that Hasbro believes in the product, but could not move forward “unless something else happens…” Hasbro stock drops by US$.50 to US$30.25.

1999

Anim8orAnim8or, a freeware OpenGL based 3D modeling and animation program by R. Steven Glanville, is first introduced to the public in a newsgroup message posted to comp.graphics.packages.3dstudio. In its first week, the original version is downloaded nearly one hundred times.

United States President William Jefferson Clinton signs legislation into law to protect companies against possible lawsuits related to year 2000 (Y2K) computer breakdowns. Some experts had predicted that litigation costs could exceed US$1 trillion if controls and limitations were not enacted.

Yahoo!completes the acquisition of Broadcast.com, a web radio company founded as “AudioNet” in 1992 by Chris Jaeb, Todd Wagner, and Mark Cuban. Audionet was the first regular audio broadcast on the Internet.

2001

IBM announces plans to build a supercomputer that is capable of 4.24 trillion calculations per second for the Korea Institute of Science, Technology, and Information. The computer is based on IBM’s forthcomng Power4 processor which is manufactured using two 1 Gigahertz (GHz) (or greater) processor cores in the same chip. The US$27 million deal outlines plans for installation to commence late in the year and to be completed in 2003.

Microsoft makes the source code for the Windows CE 3.0 operating system available to developers under a Shared Source License, allowing developers to view and modify the source code, but not to release it commercially.

Reuters news service reports that personal computer sales have fallen throughout the world for the first time in fifteen years, and that, of all the major brands available in the US, only Dell has shown sales growth in the past year.

The Shanghai Daily newspaper reports that China, in the second major crackdown in a year, has shut down nearly two thousand Internet cafes and ordered another six thousand to suspend operation to make major changes.

The Symantec Corporation announces the discovery of a new virus nicknamed W32.Sircam that is spread as an email attachment, then proceeds to delete valuable files when opened.

2004

The European Union approves a merger between Sony Music Entertainment and BMG. The new company will be named Sony BMG Music Entertainment and, by 2005, the company will hold a 21.5% share in the global music market, only lagging only slightly behind the worldwide leader, Universal Music Group with its 25.5% share.

Intel introduces the 1.1 GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 733 processor. Price: US$262

Intel introduces the 1 GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 723 processor. Price: US$241

Intel introduces the 1.4 GHz Pentium M Low Voltage 738 processor. Price: US$284

Intel introduces the 900 MHz Celeron M Ultra Low Voltage 353 processor. Price: US$161

Version 1.1 of SQLite Database Browser, an open source GUI database client for SQLite database files, is released.

2005

After coming under heavy fire from many politicians, most notably Hillary Clinton, the Entertainment Software Rating Board re-rates Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Adults Only 18+ (AO) due to the sexually explicit minigame mod “Hot Coffee.” The game was previously only rated Mature (M), and the re-rating makes this the only mass-released AO console game in the US. Rockstar will give distributors the option of applying an Adults Only ESRB rating sticker to copies of the game, or of returning them to be replaced by versions without the Hot Coffee content. Additionally, Rockstar Games ceases production of the game and announces plans to offer a new version of the game that can’t be affected by the mod as well as plans to patch the PC version of the game. Sony announces that the PlayStation 2 video game system has sold 91.62 million units worldwide to date.

2006

Linspire Inc. releases the second beta of FreeSpire, a community-driven Linux distribution composed entirely of free, open source software.

Tesla Motors, unveils its first model, the 185 kW (248 HP) Tesla Roadster in California at an invitation-only event held in the Barker Hangar of the Santa Monica Airport.

2008

Amazon S3 goes down for a few hours

2009

Microsoft releases Mac Office Service Pack 2 for improved Office Live and SharePoint services

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