This Day in Geek History: October 16
Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led by Professor Robert A. Weinberg announce the discovery of the first tumor supressor gene, Rb, which specifically effects retinoblastoma.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Who Watches the Watchers?” first airs. (No. 304) In it, a holographically camouflaged Federation anthropology station is accidentally revealed to a primitive Vulcan-like native of Mintaka 3. After waking briefly aboard the Enterprise as his injuries are tended to, one of the planet’s natives begins raving that he’s discovered the existence of a Supreme being named, “The Picard” after being returned to the planet. Memory Alpha entry
WANK (Worms Against Nuclear Killers) computer worm attacks SPAN VAX/VMS systems over the DECnet protocols (rather than TCP/IP protocols). The worm is very similar to last year’s HI.COM.
Atari begins shipping Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, a six-button ProController,and a JagLink peripheral for the Atari Jaguar home video game system. It is and will remain the only retro-title of an Activision classic for the Jaguar game system.
The Web Copyright Law is signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton. An infringement of property valued at US$1,000 or more may be prosecuted even if the violator does not profit from the crime. Penalties range from US$100,000-US$250,000. For infringements against properties estimated to be worth more than US$2,500, a jail term of up to three years may be imposed. A second offense may result in a jail term of up to six years. What this translates to is that previously questionable but prosecutable filesharing is made illegal and prosecutable.
Version 2.0 of the Python programming language is released. It introduces many new features, including a full garbage collector and support for Unicode. The version also marks the beginning of a more community-centric development process for the language itself. Visit the official Python website.
Apple Computer releases the iBook G3 Dual USB Late 2001, a minor update on the iBook G3 Dual USB, featuring a 600MHz PowerPC G3 processor, a 256 KB L2 cache, 64 or 128MB RAM, a 15GB Hard Disk, and Mac OS X 10.1.
Yahoo! launches the Yahoo! Shopping Network and Yahoo! Warehouse.
Microsoft admits that a part of its network have been hacked by an unknown party. Specifically, the server hosting Microsoft’s Windows beta community had been breached. The server allows over twenty-thousand Windows users to beta test software still in development.
Apple Computer releases a version 4.1 of its iTunes software, the first version to support Windows computers (specifically Windows 2000 and XP). Apple calls this the “second generation of its revolutionary iTunes Music Store.” Read the official press release. Visit the official iTunes website.
The creation of the heaviest man-made element, Ununoctium-294, is announced by researchers from Russia’s Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR) and the U.S. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The results are published in the journal Physics Review. The element, when later confirmed, will be the first man-made noble gas, below Radon on the periodic table. The new element is the result of the collision of accelerated calcium ions with atoms of the man-made heavy element Californium, and it exists barely a millisecond before decaying into element 114, then element 112, and then, splitting in half.
Samsung demonstrates the first carbon nanotube-based color active matrix electrophoretic display or “e-paper” at the International Meeting on Information Display (iMiD).
Pages: 1 2