This Day in Geek History: January 11
Popular Mechanics magazine is published for the first time. The magazine has five paying subscribers and will be purchased by a few hundred newsstand customers at a nickel a copy. In September 1903, the magazine will have become sufficiently popular to begin publishing monthly issues.
Amelia Earhart takes off from Honolulu to become the first person to fly solo between Hawaii and California. She will land in Oakland the next day. Three years earlier, Earhart will become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
The ACM/GAMM committee is convened with the mission of developing the first block-structured programming language, Algol 60 (ALGOrithmic Language), which will be the predecessor of the Pascal programming language. Algol and Algol 60 were designed as portable languages for scientific computation, and Algol will later be described by Alan Perlis as “the lingua franca of computer science.”
The United Kingdom’s Open University grants its first degrees to students whose curriculum consisted (in part) of courses transmitted over radio and television. Founded in 1969, Open University was established to make education available to students globally. Visit Open University’s official website.
The science fiction television series The Bionic Woman premieres on the ABC network with the episode “Welcome Home, Jaime: Part 1.” The series will run for three seasons and a total of fifty-eight episodes. The series is a spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man. TV.com entry
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Big Goodbye” first airs. (No. 112) In it, Crusher, Data, and Picard are trapped in the holodeck by a computer malfunction, and they must survive the program that they’ve begun. Memory Alpha entry
Eric Gordon Corley, better known by the handle “Emmanuel Goldstein” publishes “No Time For Goodbyes – Phiber Optik’s Journey to Prison” in Computer Underground Digest, after escorting Mark Abene (“Phiber Optik”) to prison on January 7th, to serve his one year jail sentence for a computer trespassing conviction. As a founding member of the Masters of Deception (MoD), Abene inspired thousands to explore the the infrastructure of the United States phone system. Soon after the article’s publication, New York Magazine dubs Abene one of the city’s 100 smartest people. Read the entire article.
The Superhighway Summit is held at Royce Hall on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The summit is touted as the “first public conference bringing together all of the major industry, government and academic leaders in the field [and] also began the national dialog about the Information Superhighway and its implications.” The event is attended by Disney CEO Michael Eisner, FCC Chair Reed Hundt, NewsCorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, and Vice President Al Gore, among others. One of the principal topics addressed is the increasing “gap between those who will have access to it because they can afford to equip themselves with the latest electronic devices and those who can’t.”
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel settle their outstanding processor-related legal issues. AMD pays Intel US$58 million in damages, Intel pays AMD US$18 million for breach of contract, and AMD retains full rights to microcode in Intel 386 and Intel 486 processors.
United States Attorney Michael J. Yamaguchi of the Northern District of California announces that his office will not prosecute anyone in connection to the June 1991 posting of the “Pretty Good Privacy” encryption application to USENET.
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