This Day in Geek History: October 27
Intel and the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) settle the lawsuit brought by DEC in May, entering into a ten-year cross-licensing agreement. Intel will purchase the company’s chipmaking plants for about US$700 million. Intel will fabricate Alpha processors for DEC, and will take over development of StrongARM embedded processors. DEC will begin making servers and workstations based on Intel’s IA-64 architecture.
Microsoft releases a memorandum arguing that it should be “free from government interference.”
China’s Human Rights website is hacked by “bronc” of the hacktivism group “Legions of the Underground” (LoU).
Reuters News Service reports that Danish scientists have created a computer chip where a single atom can generate binary code by jumping back and forth. Although other scientists have conducted experiments with similar results, Dr. Francois Grey, the team leader, points out that this is the first time it has been accomplished in an environment at room temperature without a frozen material.
U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) into law. The Act is named in honor of the late singer-turned-politician Sonny Bono, who died in January. The Act extends copyright protections by an additional twenty years to the life of the author plus 70 years for works published by individuals and to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication for works of corporate authorship, whichever endpoint is earlier. It is the eleventh time in forty years that Congress has extended copyright protect. One of the more notable works about to pass into the public domain at the time of the signing is Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie, which was originally released in 1928. Disney’s role in lobbying for the passage of the bill will earn the Act the pejorative nickname “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.”
VM Labs announces that the official name of their Project X game system technology will be known as Nuon. According to VM Labs, the Nuon name will appear on all hardware that integrates the technology. The name was created by Lexicon and the logo that combines a wavy line and a circle was developed by Beeline Group in Newark, California.
The Dell Computer Corporation boasts having taken the number one position in computer sales in the United States educational market from Apple Computer, Inc. According to Dataquest, a market research firm, Dell has maintained a five percent lead over Apple for two consecutive quarters.
At a seminar in Stockholm, Sweden, Microsoft President and Chief Executive Steve Ballmer reports that the hackers who broke into the company’s computer systems had gained access to some of its key programs, but assures programmers and reporters that the hackers did not alter them.
Version 6.2.3 of the XBasic programming language is released.
Dell introduces its Digital Jukebox (“DJ” for short) as a less expensive alternative to Apple’s iPod. It will offer the devices in partnership with MusicMatch, a rival of iTunes. By December, Dell will stop offering iPods through its website in order to focus on the sale of its Jukeboxes.
Google acquires Keyhole, a company noted for developing geospatial data visualization applications. On June 28, 2005, Keyhole’s Earth Viewer application suite will become Google Earth. Visit the official Google Earth website.
Yahoo! launches a search engine for mobile users.
The first light pictures taken by the Large Binocular Telescope on October 12 are released to the public. The photo is an edge-on shot of a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda known as NGC891 24 million light years away.
Iran launches its first satellite, the Sinah-1 reconnaissance satellite, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia at 22:52 local time (06:52 UTC). Sina-1 provides Iran with the ability to perform limited reconnaissance across the entire Middle East, most notably Israel.
A team of European students from 23 university groups launch the SSETI Express microsatellites into low-Earth orbit. The Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative was established by the European Space Agency (ESA) to boost interest in space science. Upon reaching orbit, the student-built spacecraft deployed three CUBESAT pico-satellites. Visit the official SSETI website.
EMI Music CEO Alain Levy admits to an audience at the London Business School that the CD format is dead. He says that physical media still has a place, but it isn’t going to have it for very long. According to Levy, record companies will no longer be able to market CDs without including “value added material,” and he predicts that record companies will have to make CDs a more attractive purchase to the consumer. “We have to be much more innovative in the way we sell physical content.”
The first known instance of a cyber-warfare coordinated with ground combat occurs during the course of the South Ossetia war when Russian hackers deface the official website of the government of Georgia.
Google announces that its similar-images feature will be a standard part of the company’s image search technology. The feature was first launched in late April, its visual-news timeline feature, as a way for users to find images that share certain visual characteristics with the results of a Google Images search. The feature takes the form of a link reading “similar images” below image.
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