Yesterday - Tomorrow - Day In Tech History
The first message mentioning Microsoft is posted to Usenet.
Compuserve releases the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) standard as a new format to save and retrieve computer-based images.  The format uses a palette of up to 256 distinct colors from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of 256 colors for each frame. The color limitation makes the GIF format unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for more simple images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color. The standard is intended to replace their earlier Run-length encoding (RLE) format, which was restricted to black and white.
A robotic probe finds the wreckage of the USS Monitor near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Apple Computer announces the Macintosh Performa 6320CD computer, featuring a 120 MHz 603e PowerPC processor, 16MB RAM, 1.2GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, sixteen preinstalled titles, and fifteen CD-ROM titles. Price: US$2599
AOL agrees to settle complaints that it misled consumers by paying US$26 million to forty-four separate states. This announcement comes two years after complaints were lodged when AOL switched from hourly to flat-rate fees that inspired users to jam their systems. The terms of the settlement include AOL’s obligation to give subscribers a minimum of a thirty day notice of service changes and to make it clear that there is a one month limitation to the advertised initial fifty free hour offer.
Japanese Business Trade newspapers report that Fujitsu, Hitachi Ltd., Mitsubishi, NEC, and Toshiba all posted losses that total nearly 300 billion yen or about US$2.4 billion. Reported to be a sign of an economic crisis in Asian, all five companies had expected to post a profit during the current fiscal year.
Yahoo!completes the acquisition of GeoCities for US$3.57 billion. Yahoo’s acquisition of GeoCities will prove extremely unpopular and users will soon begin to leave en masse to protest the new Terms of Service imposed by Yahoo!for GeoCities. The site’s new terms state that the company owns all rights and content, including media such as pictures. Yahoo!quickly reverses its decision.
TheNerds.Net online electronics store is hacked by “Zilterio”. The next morning, 100,000 TheNerd.Net customers will receive emails from Zilterio@yahoo.com, which stated, in part, “I HATE TO INFORM YOU that your account has been hacked on THENERDS.NET. This site has a very weak security protection system and the database with credit cards and other personal information is not protected at all.” Included in each message was each email recipient’s personal information, including credit card number.
3DO, a game and console developer, announces that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, giving the company time to find a buyer for the company.
Novell enters the SCO v. IBM controversy by publishing a press release concerning the SCO Group’s ownership of UNIX. “To Novell’s knowledge, the 1995 agreement governing SCO’s purchase of UNIX from Novell does not convey to SCO the associated copyrights,” says a letter to the SCO Group’s CEO Darl McBride. “We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership interest whatsoever in those copyrights. Apparently you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected.”
In Tokyo, Japan, Sony vice president Ken Kutaragi unveils the PSX, which combines a PlayStation 2 game console with a DVD recorder. The PSX also includes a broadcast satellite tuner, a 120GB hard drive, a Memory Stick slot, Ethernet, and USB ports.
Comcast launches G4techTV in Canada and the United States after purchasing the TechTV cable channel and merging it with Comcast’s own G4 channel. G4techTV keeps some shows from TechTV, such as The Screen Savers, as well as shows from G4, such as The Electric Playground. On the whole, the merger is ill-received by former fans the very popular TechTV channel.
TiVo announces you can now download Disney movies from their rental area.
Amazon announces they will offer streaming services within the next couple weeks.
Google announces OpenSocial 0.8
Apple releases Mac OS X 10.5.3 - OS X and OS X Server v. 10.4.11
AOL signs up with OpenSocial
MySpace begins using Google Gears.
CEO James Keyes unveils the Blockbuster Video Kiosks
Time Warner announces that it will be separating from AOL. To do so, Time Warner first has to buy the remaining 5 percent from Google.
North Carolina House OKs a tax break to try and woo Apple in building a server farm in the Catawba and Cleveland counties.
Best Buy starts selling LP records once again. 5,000 titles are available for purchase.
Google announces Google Wave, a real-time organized chat-IM client
The first graphene-based circuits to break the gigahertz barrier are created by researchers in the US and Italy