June 15

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: June 15th

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Prev: June 14 - Next: June 16 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project


Benjamin Franklin confirms his theory that lightning is electrical when he and his son conduct an experiment in which they fly a kite with a key attached during a thunderstorm, confirming Franklin’s theory that lightning is electrical.


The Computing Scale Company of America, The Tabulating Machine Company and The International Time Recording Company of New York merge and incorporate as the Computing Tabulating Recording Company (CTR), which will later be known as International Business Machines IBM. In the decades that will follow, IBM will become a leader in PC production and innovation.


Jay Forrester, a professor at MIT, records a proposal for core memory in his notebook. Forrester will eventually install a magnetic core memory on the Whirlwind computer. Core memory will one day make computers faster and more reliable.


New York state Supreme Court Justice Thomas Galligan rules that New York City can limit the locations of video game arcades, stating that arcade games are not protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.


Microsoft, Spectravideo, and fourteen Japanese computer companies announce the Microsoft eXtended BASIC (MSX) specifications for low-end, 8-bit home computers systems. The standard consists of a Zilog Z80, a TI TMS9918A video processor, a General Instruments AY-8910 sound processor, a NEC cassette interface chip, an Atari joystick interface, 64kB RAM, and Microsoft’s 32kB ROM-based extended BASIC.


A hearing is held about the injunctions Tengen and Nintendo had brought against each other to halt the manufacture and sale of their respective versions of Tetris. Judge Fern Smith decides that neither Mirrorsoft nor Spectrum Holobyte had been granted the video game rights, so therefore the rights could not have been legally transfered to Tengen. Nintendo is therefore granted a preliminary injuction blocking Tengen from selling its Tetris game cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System, effective June 21.


Namco, Ltd. announces that they have ended a five-year relationship with Atari Games. By selling its 4.6 million shares of stock (43.8% of the company) back to Atari Games, Namco hopes to improve their sales of coin-op machines in the United States. Namco also purchases Atari Operations, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atari Games which operates forty arcade game locations in the West and Southeast.


Creative Technology offers public shares for the first time on the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange. Sony announces that LSI Logic will build a custom processor for its upcoming PlayStation game system. The processor will incorporate a 34MHz MIPS R3000 microprocessor, a graphics coprocessor, video decompression logic, and system logic. Visit the LSI website.


IBM released today both the world’s smallest and world’s largest hard drives. The Deskstar 37GXP holds up to 37GB of data on a single drive, which is a significant leap above the current top of the line (also made by IBM), which holds 25GB. It features a 5400-rpm motor, five platters, a 2MB cache buffer, and an ATA-4 interface. Price: US$350 Meanwhile, the company’s new MicroDrive holds up to 340 MB of data and is no bigger than a matchbox. It will be used in handhelds and digital cameras where space is at a premium.


An Information Technology consultant breaches the security of the British internet service provider Redhotant to expose security lapses. He manages to obtain the names, addresses, passwords and credit card details of more than 24,000 people, including military scientists, government officials, and top company executives just to prove that it can be done. The hacker says that breaching the site’s security was “child’s play”.

Microsoft releases Windows CE 3.0. The embedded operating system includes better real-time and multimedia capabilities, supports more languages, and is more easily broken up for use in pieces. It comes bundled with comprehensive development tools, Platform Builder 3.0 and eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0, which enable developers to build rich embedded devices with dynamic applications and Internet services.


Christine Gunhus, the wife of an US Senator, pleads no contest to charges of using a pseudonym to send e-mail messages through Hotmail disparaging her husband’s Democratic rival.

Microsoft reaches an agreement with a small holding company that does business using the XBOX name. For an undisclosed sum, XBOX Technologies will alter their name and drop the lawsuit they brought against Microsoft for using XBbox as the name of their forthcoming video game system.


DivX 6 is released. It expands the scope of DivX from including just a codec and a player by adding a media container format.

Michael Robertson steps down as CEO of operating system developer Linspire, Inc., though he will continue as Chairman. He will be replaced as CEO by Kevin Carmony.


Bill Gates announces that he will transition out of his day-to-day role at Microsoft over the next two years in order to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He will divide his responsibilities between two successors, placing Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.

In Louisiana, Governor Kathleen Blanco signs bill HB1381 into law. The bill imposes fines of between US$100 and 2000 and up to one year in prison for selling games with violent content to minors. The bill was introduced by Democratic Representative Roy Burrell and passed through both the House and the Senate unanimously. It will ultimately be ruled unconstitutional in November.

Version 3.0 of Pixen, the open-source raster graphics editor, is released for the Mac OS X.


IBM announces 3 new Enterprise cloud services: Public Cloud from all around the World – Private cloud and CloudBurst Cloud infrastructure (a “Drop in” private cloud option)


Microsoft wraps up the AOL patent deal, which was announced in April


After a protest via #FreeTheNipple, Facebook changed their stance on breastfeeding photos (First set on December 30, 2008). Facebook allows photos of babies fully engaged in the feeding where the nipple is covered. They still have the right to remove any photo that is questionable or where the photo had ample complaints about it.

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