October 24

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: October 24th

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British astronomer William Lassell discovers Ariel and Umbriel, satellites of Uranus. Both satellites names are featured in Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock. Ariel has a diameter of approximately 1,160 km, an orbital period of 2.52 days, and an orbital radius of 191,240 km from Uranus. Umbriel has a diameter of 1,170 km, an orbital period of about four days, and an orbit radius of 266,000 km.


Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States, bringing an abrupt end for the legendary Pony Express, established just eighteen months earlier, which will close just two days later. The connection is inaugurated with the first transcontinental telegraph message, sent by Justice Stephen J. Field of California to President Abraham Lincoln. The final connection between the east coast and the west coast is made at Salt Lake City, Utah.


During one of twenty test flights, Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and forty-five seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina setting a new world record that will stand for another ten years.


Harry Houdini gives his last performance at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. He will die on October 31st.


The United States Air Force (USAF) starts the X-20 Dyna-Soar program to develop a spaceplane that could be used for a variety of military missions, including reconnaissance, bombing, space rescue, satellite maintenance, and sabotage of enemy satellites. The program will be discontinued on December 10, 1963, before construction of the first craft had been completed.


In New York City, the Electronic Games Design Awards (Arkies) are presented to top twenty-seven arcade, computer, educational, standalone, and video games of 1984, as selected by readers of Electronic Games magazine.

On page five in the Wednesday, October 24 issue of the Wall Street Journal, writer Laura Landro, reports that Warner Communications has announced higher profits for the third quarter than analysts predicted. “Warner’s profit in the third quarter was $24.4 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $4.9 million, or eight cents per share, a year earlier.” Warner cites the success of the blockbuster films, such as Gremlins, Purple Rain, and Tightrope, along with the profits made in the recording and publishing divisions as key contributors since “discontinuing” Atari, which had been turned over to Jack Tramiel just months prior. The article concludes by noting that Warner carries warrants from Tramel Technology, Ltd but also noting that there are doubts as to whether Atari’s future cash flow will ever allow Warner to collect on them.


The Federal Networking Council (FNC), a group made up of representatives from the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among others, which coordinates networking among US Federal agencies, unanimously passes a resolution defining the term “Internet”. The resolution reads, “Resolution: The Federal Networking Council (FNC) agrees that the following language reflects our definition of the term “Internet”. “Internet” refers to the global information system that - (i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; (ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and (iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.”

NEC Home Electronics releases Minimum Nanonic for the NEC PC-FX video game console in Japan.


The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) reports that Jeanette Park of Barrow, Cumbria, England, age 37, received an advertisement from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) that mocking a doctor’s test results in a creative attempt to sell PlayStation accessories as she anxiously awaited cancer test results from her own doctor. The ill-timed advertisement was a part of a mass marketing campaign target current PlayStation owners. Park’s husband had purchased a PlayStation game console to help her to pass the time while she was in the hospital. Sony was surprised to receive fifty-three total complaints, and the incidents triggered an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority.


Apple Computer releases MacOS 10.3, an improvement on MacOS X, with major updates to “Aqua,” the user interface, and processor performance.

The Sober worm is first detected. It is written in Visual Basic and effects only Windows platform. Sober uses its own SMTP engine to spread itself to its victims as an e-mail attachment. When the receiver unpacks the file, which has a .bat, .com, .exe, .pif, or .scr file extension, and runs it, it adds keys to the Windows registry, deactivate previous Sober variants, and any of several popular antivirus applications, including HijackThis and Microsoft AntiSpyware.


A Bittorrent user named Chan Nai-ming, age 38, of Hong Kong is convicted of breaching a copyright ordinance, Chapter 528 of Hong Kong law, for allegedly uploading torrent files for the films Daredevil, Miss Congeniality, and Red Planet to a newsgroup. The magistrate remarks that Chan’s act caused significant damage to the interest of copyright holders. He is released on bail for HK$5,000, awaiting a sentencing hearing, though the magistrate himself admits the difficulty of determining how he should be sentenced due to the lack of precedent for such a case. On November 7, 2005, he will be sentenced to a three month jail sentence, but will immediately be granted bail pending an appeal to the High Court. The appeal will be dismissed by the Court of First Instance on December 12, 2006.


Microsoft announced the general release of its anti-spyware application Windows Defender for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, but not Windows 2000, which had reached the end of its mainstream support period.


IBM asks for a patent for – The trolling process.

Microsoft invests $240 Million into Facebook


Yahoo announces a data site in Nebraska.


Google TV received a Honeycomb update


Samsung was fined $340,000 after being caught paying for false comments in Taiwanese forums

To promote Surface, Microsoft erected a 383 inch screen Surface tablet in Trafalgar square in London

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