June 14

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Day in Tech History: June 14th

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The first US patent for a practical underwater diving suit is issued to Leonard Norcross of Dixfield, Maine. Calling it a “Diving Armor,” he designed an airtight leather outfit with a brass helmet connected via a rubber hose to an air bellows pump on a boat. To reduce buoyancy, the feet of the suit are weighted with lead shot. In May 1834, one month earlier, he tested the diving suit in the Webb River. Norcross will later name his son Submarinus in honor of the achievement. The first truly effective diving suit with a pump is attributed to Englishman Augustus Siebe, in 1829.


Action Comics issues the first Superman comic.


John Mauchly arrived in Iowa City for a meeting with John Atanasoff to see his computer. The two computer pioneers will later dispute who will be named the legal inventor of the electronic digital computer in court. Atanasoff will emerge from the long and tangled legal battle as the victor after Honeywell Inc. charged Sperry Rand Corp. with enforcement of a fraudulent patent. During the course of the trial, Atanasoff’s work emerged and a judge will determine that his work had preceded and contributed to the development of the ENIAC.


The UNIVAC I, the first commercial, general-use computer, is unveiled in Washington, DC. and dedicated five years after the ENIAC, the first electronic computer in the US was completed. The Univac was designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert and manufactured for the US Census Bureau by the Remington Rand Corp. The massive computer is eight feet high, seven and a half feet wide, and 1fourteen and a half feet long. It can retain a maximum of one thousand numbers and is able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, sort, collate, and take square and cube roots. Its transfer rate to and from magnetic tape is ten thousand characters per second.


Apple Computer announces 1,200 layoffs, which amounts to approximately one fifth of its employees.

Time Warner announces a partnership with Silicon Graphics (SGI), to create the Full Service Network (FSN), an interactive television test deployment to 4,000 homes in Orlando, Florida, despite having acknowledged the superiority of Sun technology and having publicly made assurances in mid-April that Sun won the deal.


Tamapittchi, a cellular phone with a Tamagotchi built into it, is released in Japan. Tamagotchi has been popular as a keychain virtual pet which grows and survives by means of simple interaction by it’s “master.” Price: 45,000 Yen


Curt Vendel, the webmaster of Atari-history.com and founder of the Atari Historical Society, publicly admits to having published forged emails in an attempt to persuade the coordinators of CG Expo to admit wrongdoing in Nolan’s decision to withdraw from the upcoming August show (an unfounded accusation according to CG Expo staff). Vendel separately alleges that unidentified hackers deleted the files of his website and all backup files he may have had. He adds that he intends to abandon his hobby as a collector of Atari prototypes and return or sell those items that were contributed to him over the years. He also states that he no longer plans to report to Nolan Bushnell in July for a position with a new venture that was previously offered to him.

In the case of Robot Wars vs. BattleBots, US courts decide that Robot Wars has no right to prevent BattleBots from holding tournaments.

Intel introduces the Mobile Pentium II processor for use in mobile PC, which operates at 400MHz. There are two models, one based on a 0.25 micron process, the other on a 0.18 micron process. Both have 27.4 million transistors. The Mobile Pentium II processors and the Celeron processors being manufactured are the first made with 0.18 micron manufacturing process.

The New York Times and the LA Times newspapers, along with Next Generation Online report that the specifications of Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation 2 may well force it to be classified as a supercomputer and consequently it may be too powerful to be exported to China.

Jason Allen discovered that Sega’s website contained an ASCII characters image which held the message “Sony Sucks”. Sega rewards Allen for the discovery with “a box of Sega goodies”.

Robert Simons, age 62, is sentenced to five years and ten months imprisonment by United States District Judge George O’Toole for conspiring with his son to sell more than US$20 million worth of stolen Microsoft software. Simons and his son operated Crazy Bob’s discount software store in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Simons is also ordered to pay US$908,000 to Microsoft and US$440,000 to the federal government. His son must pay US$100,000 to Microsoft and serve one year and ten months in prison. The two acquired the software from two ex-KAO employees who pled guilty to being involved with the sale of the stolen disks.


The German-based Internet magazine, Thema 1 reveals that it has initiated a promotion which offers tickets to a sold-out Madonna concert Friday, June 22 in Berlin in exchange for having sex with one of its reporters. According to the publication, there is nothing illegal about the offer and the participating reporters have volunteered for the promotion. Male and female contestants must mail in applications including nude photos of themselves.

A study conducted by Edison Media Research is released showing that 5.5 percent of Americans ages sixteen to forty have actively downloaded music from the Internet while not having purchased a music compact disc or cassette in the past year. The study surveyed 748 adults throughout the United States (US).


Version 5.0 of the Java Ascii Versatile Editor (JavE), a freeware GUI tool written in Java for drawing ASCII art. Visit the official JavE website.


The bulk of the Solaris operating system (os) is released in the Opening Day launch of Sun Microsystems‘ OpenSolaris project.

Yahoo!acquires the VoIP provider DialPad Communications to bolster its computer-to-computer telephony service. The software will be used as a core component for Yahoo’s voice communications products across its portal network, as well as in its instant messaging (IM) application


Google Maps for Enterprise is officially launched as a commercial service, featuring intranet and advertisement-free implementations.

The Swedish newspaper SvD reports that The Pirate Bay is back in Sweden because of “pressure from the Department of Justice [in the Netherlands].” Upon reopening on June 3, 2006, its number of visitors was doubled by the increased media exposure. That in turn increased the advertising revenues of founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij. Directly after they raid, the site’s advertisements generated about US$75,000 per month according to speculations by the Swedish newspaper.

Windows developer Philip Su posts a blog entry in which he decries the development process of Windows Vista, stating that “the code is way too complicated, and that the pace of coding has been tremendously slowed down by overbearing process.” In the post he also describes Windows Vista as having approximately fifty million lines of code, with about two thousand developers working on the product.


CNN, known for their ground reports in Baghdad, was conspicuously absent in the Iranian riots. The twitterverse picked that up and started #CNNFail

Adobe starts charging for some Acrobat.com services as it takes the site out of Beta.

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