May 12

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: May 12th

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Prev: May 11 - Next: May 13 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project

1936

Efficiency experts August Dvorak and William Dealey patent the Dvorak typewriter keyboard. (US No. 2,040,248) Dvorak and Dealey designed the typewriter in a manner which would increase a user’s typing speed by placing the keys of common letters on the home row and within reach of the dominant fingers of the hands.

1941

German engineer Konrad Zuse completes the Z3, the first fully automatic, programmable computer. It’s major advancement on its predecessors, such as the device designed by Charles Babbage is the implementation of a binary system. Earlier computers were based on decimal systems. The machine is capable of performing three to four additions per second, and one multiplication in between three and five seconds.

1977

A judge grants Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) a restraining order prohibiting Microsoft from licensing 8080 BASIC until July 8 or until the arbiter’s determination is made.

1994

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approves the Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) standard for connecting storage devices such as hard disks and CD-ROM drives inside personal computers.

1996

A group of investors announces they have acquired Prodigy Services, Co. online service from IBM Corporation and Sears, Roebuck and Company. The takeover is led by Prodigy management, including Ed Bennett, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), as well as International Wireless, Inc., a global communications company.

1997

Intel reveals that Pentium Pro and Pentium II chips contain a flaw that may cause occasional errors. Officially dubbed “Flag Erratum,” Intel declares a recall unnecessary and promises a software-based patch to correct the issue.

1998

Following Microsoft’s appeal, a Court of Appeals grants a stay of the December 1997 injunction, allowing the Windows 98 operating system to ship with Internet Explorer 4 still bundled. Six days later, on May 18, 1998, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) will file a formal antitrust action charging Microsoft with attempting to monopolize the Internet browser market by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows.

Yahoo! Launches Yahoo! Movies.

2005

In a televised special hosted by Elijah Wood on MTV in the US, Microsoft unveils the Xbox 360 video game system.

Version 2.0 of NetNewsWire a freeware news aggregator for the Mac OS X which features a three-paned interface similar to Apple Computer’s Mail client, is released.

2006

The BBC reports that the search terms “Limewire” and “Lime wire” were among those most likely to return links to malware from an internet search engine. Former federal computer specialist Kenneth Kwak, age 34, of Chantilly, Virginia is sentenced to five months in prison, US$40,000 in restitution, and three years of supervised release for hacking the United States Department of Education computer system under the “zero-tolerance policy” recently adopted by the US Attorney’s Office regarding intrusions into US government computer systems. Kwak pled guilty to placing software on his supervisor’s computer to gain access to the supervisor’s email and the ability to observe the supervisor’s internet browsing habits.

2008

AMD announced availability of low-power quad-core Opteron processors targeted at servers. The HE (high-efficiency) processors have a thermal envelope of 55 watts. Other AMD quad-core server processors have higher thermal envelopes of 105 watts or 75 watts. The low-power Opterons are available in both the 2300 and 8300 series. The 2300 series processors are designed for servers that use two processors, while the 8300 series processors are for systems that use four or eight processors. The new parts include the 8347 HE (1.9GHz, $873) and the 2347 HE (1.9GHz, $377).

AMD also reorganized their execs and creates a new engineering group.

Google launches Friend Connect

The XP SP3 causes some AMD systems to go into an infinite loop of reboots. The cause was when OEMs improperly placing a Windows XP image created for an for Intel-based computer onto machines with non-Intel chipsets

Dell phased out the XPS line of computers. All high end gaming systems will be coming from their Alienware division.

2009

The European Commission (EC) announces they would like to see software developers liable for their code. This would mean that if you develop software and someone gets phished, you could be held responsible for damages. Even if it wasn’t intentional.

Fujistsu launches the “Dynamic Cube”, otherwise known as the BX900 blade server system. The server can house up to 18 Intel XEON processors and uses a fully passive midplane with 6400 Gbit/sec of bandwidth.

Microsoft launched Geneva beta 2 – an identity-management server platform.

France passes the “Three Strikes” antipiracy rule – to suspend users from the Internet if caught sharing. It contradicts the European Union’s new measure prohibiting EU governments from suspending or terminating Internet access withough court order.

Apple releases OS X 10.5.7

After the recent death of his brother, “Ask” CEO jim Safka steps down.

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