1997 – Microsoft violated a July 1994 consent decree, so 3 years later, the US Justice department decides to hold Microsoft in contempt. This was the ongoing issues with Internet Explorer bundled in Windows 95. The Justice department wants Microsoft to pay $1 Million a day until Microsoft stops bundling. Microsoft says they have the right to bundle software with the operating system. This was an ongoing battle for Antitrust issues.
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David Packard of HP opens the Monterey Bay Aquarium
2014. The year of Virtual Reality, Selfies, Snowden, Microsoft CEOs and Sony Hacks. Defining moments in technology in how we podcast, build devices, and release movies. I have gone through the news stories of 2014 and put together a good representation of Technology stories.
This is a list that will continue to grow for the next couple weeks – adding stories and making any corrections needed. If you find an issue, please let me know and I’ll get it corrected. All information is found at Wikazine.com/2014
January 3 – Yahoo accidentally served malicious advertisements through ads.yahoo.com. Yahoo quickly fixed the issue.
January 6 – Google teamed up with GM, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia to for mthe Open Automotive Alliance (OAA). This group will work on innovations to future driving needs.
January 7 – Apple opens an official store on Tmall, a marketplace run by Alibaba.
January 9 – IBM invested $1 billion for Watson and the Watson Developers Cloud project. This will be offered in new enterprise apps to businesses and consumers.
Overstock.com becomes the first major online retailer to accept Bitcoin.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Stanford University created the world’s fastest organic transistor. Previous versions have been tested, but this organic transistor can run 5x faster and is the size of a stamp.
January 13 – The US Court of Appeals ruled the FCC cannot impose Net Neutrality rules on companies, although they can regulate how web traffic is managed.
YouTube adds comment management tools to help creators reply to comments on videos.
January 14 – Google adds Image usage rights to search terms
Kim Dotcom enters the New Zealand election with a new organization called “Megaparty”
January 15 – NSA reported they implanted malware on 100,000 computers outside the US to conduct surveillance maneuvers and spy to prevent cyber-attacks by other countries.
Google buys home automation company Nest for $3.2 billion
January 16 – The Guardian reports that the National Security Agency collects data from hundreds of millions of text messages each day.
January 21 – Instagram becomes the fastest growing social site on a global scale, increasing by 23% in the last 6 months alone. On March 27 Instagram surpassed Twitter on Smartphones
500 million Internet users in China were unable to load websites. China’s Firewall was to blame, keeping things down for the next 8 hours.
Google Glass App “Sex with Glass” debuts
Beats Music arrives on Android and iOS devices.
January 22 – AMD introduced 12-core and 16-core processors for Opteron 6300 series. These are enterprise-class servers known as Piledriver. Price: $377 (12-core) $598 (16-core)
January 23 – Lenovo Acquires the Server side of IBM for $2.3 billion. Any device in the x86 portfolio including BladeCenter and Flex System will be acquired by Lenovo. IBM will retain the System Z mainframes, Power-based Flex servers and other appliances.
January 24 – Adobe released Photoshop Express 2.0 for Android
Neiman Marcus revealed 1.1 million credit cards have been compromised by hackers.
January 26 – Google and Samsung announce a cross-licensing deal to cover most patents held by each company and any patent created in the next 10 years.
January 27 – Microsoft acquires the Gears of War Franchise for an undisclosed sum
Microsoft rebrands SkyDrive to OneDrive after losing to British Sky Broadcasting Group for the name.
January 28 – AMD Unveils the first 64-bit ARM server chip. codename Seattle, the Opteron A1100 series uses an ARM8-A instruction set. The device has 4 MB on L2 and 8 MB L3 cache, 8 lane PCI-Express gen-3 I/O, 2-10 GB Ethernet ports, ARM TrustZone technology and more.
January 29 – Google announced it would sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.
gTLD .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles and .ventures went online.
January 30 – Hackers hit Yahoo mail. Yahoo’s defense system kicked in and reset passwords
January 31 – DARPA awards IBM a $3.4 million dollar contract to develop VAPR – Vanishing Programmable Resources.
February 3 – Google releases the Chromecast SDK
February 4 – Microsoft names Satya Nadella as CEO in the board of directors meeting.
FCC announced they would invest another $2 billion in broadband networks for schools over the next two years. February 5 – Susan Wojcicki was named Head of Youtube. Wojcicji was the senior VP of ads and commerce at Google. Google was ordered to remove their mystery barge from San Francisco’s Treasure Island. The barge did not have the necessary permits.
February 6 – Sony sells off the VAIO PC business and split off the TV unit into a separate subsidary. 5,000 jobs cut and Sony would focus on imaging, gaming and mobile.
Amazon acquired gaming studio Double Helix for an undisclosed sum
February 7 – GoPro cameras has announced plans to file for IPO.
Google closed a $3.2 billion dollar deal to acquire Nest home products.
California state Senator Mark Leno introduced legislation requiring all phones and tablets have a kill switch which would render the device inoperable. On August 25 the bill became law, requiring all devices in California to have the switch by July 1, 2015.
February 8 – Google loses an appeal to French courts and was forced to pay 150,000 euros for violating data collection laws.
February 10 – Web Security company CloudFlare battled a record-breaking DDoS attack of 400 gigabits per second. A standard DDoS is around 50 GBps.
February 13 – Facebook added different gender options to profiles, including androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, transsexual or gender fluid.
AMD introduced additions to the R7 Radeon series in the 250X and 265
February 14 – Comcast buys Time Warner cable for $45.2 billion. Comcast would acquire 11 million subscribers in the deal. Although they underbid Charter, Comcast will have to sell some assets to them before getting approval of the FCC.
February 18 – NVidia introduced the GeForece GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 with Maxwell architecture. The GPU uses 28-nanometer chips and sports 640 Cuda cores (750 Ti). Prices $149 (750 Ti) and $119 (750)
February 19 – Facebook buys WhatsApp Messanger for $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in shares. Whatsapp would continue as a separate offering.
February 23 – Comcast and Netflix sign a multi-year deal to improve movie quality by accessing Comcast’s broadband network. Details were not disclosed.
AOL closes Moviephone – a voice dial-in number to find out about movie information.
February 24 – Intel unveiled the XMM 7260 LTE modem, which adds flexible carrier aggregation capabilities up to 40 MHz along with over 30 3GPP bands. Previous models could support 22 RF bands.
February 25 – Gmail adds ‘Unsubscribe’ link option for mailing lists
Facebook announced they will be discontinuing their email service by next month. Facebook.com email has been available since 2010 and was forced on users in 2012.
March 2 – Ellen DeGeneres took her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into the crowd, Bradley Cooper snapped the picture and made the most re-tweeted selfie to date with 3.3 million.
March 3 – After refusing to pay a $300 stop ransom, a hacker created a cyberattack against Meetup.com which lasted on and off for the next two days.
March 4 – Roku announced the Roku Stick – a Roku box within an HDMI stick to fit right into the HDMI port. Roku stick cames with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wifi and a single core processor with 512 MB memory. Price $49.99
March 5 – RadioShack announced they will be closing 1,100 stores in the US to counter financial issues in the previous quarter
FreedomPop launched the “Snowden Phone” – a fully encrypted device to allow for private communication. Price $189 without contract
Yahoo removes Facebook and Google login options from their website login.
March 7 – Vine officially bans all porn videos while artistic nudity is still acceptable.
March 12 – Neil Young’s PonoPlayer Kickstarter begins. This is a media player with high resolution audio for audiophiles. The Kickstarter exceeded the goal with $6 million in pledges. Price $399 ($300 Kickstarter price)
March 13 – Mark Zuckerberg called President Barack Obama to express his frustration over NSA spying.
March 15 – Just days before its release, Mozilla scraps the “Metro” version of Firefox for Windows 8.
March 16 – Christopher Viatafa decided to Google his name to see what came up. The result: a listing of him as one of northern California’s most wanted. The report said he fired shots at a private party on August 8, 2013.
March 17 – Cubestormer 3, a Rubik cube solving device made of LEGO and an ARM powered Samsung Galaxy S4, solved the puzzle in 3.253 seconds.
March 20 – Facebook engineers released an open-source version of ‘hack’, a programming language used at Facebook.
Google announced all email will now have a level of encryption. The service was turned on in 2010 but didn’t require people to use it until now.
Alex Kibkalo was arrested for theft of Microsoft trade secrets. He leaked early copies of Windows 8 to a French Blogger in 2012.
March 21 – Lenovo acquires patents from Unwired Planet for $100 million dealing with 3G and LTE mobile technology
March 24 – Brendan Eich was named CEO of Mozilla. The co-founder took the spot after Gary Kovacs announced he was stepping down. Box filed for IPO 
March 26 – The Burger King Baby is reunited with her mother. Katheryn Deprill was abandoned at a Allentown , PA Burger King. Using Facebook, Deprill posted a photo looking for her mother, which was shared on Facebook over 32,000 times.
March 27 – Photo app Instagram surpassed Twitter use on smartphones. 35 million use Instagram at least once a month. Microsoft launches Office for iPad and will be available via subscription.
March 28 – over 34,000 Lenovo ThinkPad batteries were recalled due to fire hazzard. T410, T420, T510 and W510 series, and the X100e, X120e, X200, X201 and X201s series were part of the recall.
Back in 1980, Pac Man graced the geek population. I remember spending many a quarter on munching dots, solving mazes and beating ghosts. But did you know the ghosts had their own agenda? Did you know that it was suppose to be Puck Man?
This infographic will show you 11 things you might not know about the iconic game.
Pac-Man was created by Toru Iwatani to pick up girls
Each Ghost has its own marching orders
The Japanese version translates to Puck-Man (Munch-Man)
Pac-Man Released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It released in the US October 1980
The president of NAMCO wanted all the ghosts to be one color: red. The staff convinced him to change his mind
A marketing exec realized the “P” could get vandalized with Pack-Man. Therefore, he suggested they change to Pac-Man
Pac Man is the most recognized video game character
Pac-Man holds 8 Guinness world records
Pac-Man Fever hit #9 on the Billboard hot 100 charts
The perfect game – clear 255 levels and earn 3,333,360 points
Ms. Pac-Man is considered by some to have de-throned Pac-Man in popularity
I don’t remember much of my past as a little child. What I do remember are bits and pieces. George Lucas and Star Wars was many of those pieces I remember. From watching Star Wars at the drive-in theater back in 77 to getting my first Star Wars figures that Christmas.
Then there was collecting the box tops for Boba Fett, the Emperor and more. I kept Fett in the packaging until my mother opened it up after a fight us kids had about it.
Lucas was my childhood. From Indiana Jones to American Graffiti. And yes – even Howard the Duck.
You might have only had a cellular phone for 10 years. Believe it or not cell phones have been around for 41 years. To put it in perspective – I am a year older than the cell phone.
Its amazing how the phone has evolved. From bricks and dead spots to LTE and social networks. Let’s take a look at how we got from one to the other.
The First Cell Phones
Motorola was the first company to introduce the handheld mobile device. In 1973 the first call was made from such a device but in its early infancy it could only last a minuscule 30 minutes of talk time and took 10 whole hours to recharge. 1980’s saw a development of these mobile devices with them becoming slightly smaller and more portable for the user, despite the developments, these cell phone were still large and cumbersome and relied on the analogue system rather than digital that we know today.
The biggest leap to happen next was in the 1990s. During this decade we moved into the digital cell phone age. We saw two differing digital systems in 2G (aka: second generation) that were born in the 1990s, the european (GSM) system and the US (CDMA) system. The 90s moved from the large ‘brick’ style phones to a small and more portable style device.
2G cell phones also saw the birth of SMS messaging. The very first text message was sent in December 1992 in Finland. Since these early days of cell phones things have developed at a phenomenal rate – with over 91% of adults owning a phone (pew research).
The Internet Age of Cell Phones
Since the 2G network there has been the launch of 3G (third generation) and 4G networks. The 3G digital network has really enabled users to begin accessing information on the internet.
With these advances in technology the actual handsets have changed dramatically too. No longer the large and heavy devices, the digital cell device has become small, light and slim. Easy to hold in one hand and fit into the pockets of even the tightest fitting jeans.
The 2000s saw the biggest development in the ability to access high speed data resources. Mobile devices are now so advanced that we carry our entire social and digital lives around with us in our pockets. Our personal information is stored on our cell phones as well as being able to work and play on them.
New Directions of the Cell Phone
Other advances have taken place with the cellular phone market. On June 11, 1997, Philippe Kahn shared instantly the first pictures from the maternity ward where his daughter Sophie was born. This was known as the first cell phone picture. Since then many top brand phones have become high resolution digital cameras and even video cameras.
Apple iPhone included a storage system outside the phone in iCloud so users could continually store and manage their data. Android launched data systems and management, along with a series of apps to create everything from documents to photos. Both systems have become immensely popular and lead the smartphone revolution.
As of January 2014, Kantar World Panel announced Android held 68% of world-wide phone market share. iPhone only holds 18% worldwide although its market share in the US does a lot better than Android.
We have seen recent technology advances when paying for goods. From NFC chips to apps like Square and Paypal – apps changed the way we live our lives. Even businesses have found uses for this technology, they can now use them in their advertising campaigns via the SMS messaging service.
With such advances in cellular technology and such great changes in technology history, the security of its users has had to stay up to date in order to prevent data fraud. Of course there have been scandals in recent years such as the media scandal in the UK where journalists hacked SMS data history for many celebrities and victims, using the content in their stories.
What other advancements in technology history we can expect to see in years to come we cant be sure of, what we can say is that cellular technology is part of our modern life and will be sure to stay.
Friend Andy Marken asked to post this great article on Atari with the Tramiels. It was a great insight into Jack Tramiel and family’s life. Of course, if you were a kid growing up in the Atari days (like me), you were always hoping for the new game or program that would keep you fixated on a computer screen for hours.
Andy was Atari’s PR those six years. He started in 1986, then was fired and came back for another two. After a second firing, he was then brought back for the final two. His account is much first-hand.
So here is Andy’s telling of the golden age of Atari.
Atari with Tramiels – Six Years of Loving Battles
Not sure why, but I was recently asked to shed some light on the real gaming era … when Atari reemerged under JT (Jack Tramiel). You know, the period where game developers slept under their desks, survived on Twinkies and HoHos, wrote elegantly tight code and had to figure out which platform to develop for.
Jack Tramiel and his sons Sam, Leonard and Gary bought Atari from Warner Bros. Jack focused on two things there – his family and winning in business. He enjoyed them both with relish.
During this eight years, Atari put out the Atari 7800, Atari ST, Atari Portfolio, Atari Lynx and almost the Jaguar. I still have a virgin (still in the box) 7600, two Portfolios and two Lynx systems, plus a lot of game cartridges and accessories.
Tramiel and Sons – Tough SOBs.
I’ve heard a lot of stories about what an SOB Jack was but that was never my experience with him or the family. Tough? Yes! Determined? Yeah! Opinionated? Darn right, and you always hated to admit it but he was usually right.
Jack had no love for the company he founded and then resigned from because of a “disagreement” with the board at Commodore. He wasn’t too happy about the brash young kid who started that company called “Apple” either … something about him just ticked JT off.
Jobs wanted products for “the rest of us” and Jack wanted products for “the masses.”
The truth is, Jack Tramiel just plain loved to win in business – as long it was ethical. Also, as long as you didn’t lie to him, stretch the truth, take credit for something you hadn’t done, worked your butt to the bone and delivered … things were good.
Seeing him walking toward you in one of the Atari halls did get the adrenaline going because he just looked meaner than a junkyard dog. In the darkest reaches of your mind, you wondered what you had screwed up.
Tramiel was Sales-Driven
At the time, Atari wasn’t really a marketing company, just one that focused on the bottom line that allocated 10 percent for advertising, PR and whatever would get them over that hump. Jack and Sam Tramiel (Sam was the CEO) hired the most brilliant marketing guys!
Then, about six months later, there would be a new “most brilliant marketing guy”.
One occasion I sat in the new Bosses office as he outlined new strategies. I asked him if he had run the plans by Jack and Sam yet, which he responded he didn’t have to – he was given “full reign”. My response was something to the effect of “Yeah, but final decisions are made by the two corner offices – opposite sides of the building – and Friday night over family dinner.”
Jack Tramiel relished helping the new guy by bringing him into his office, reaching down his throat, tearing up his ideas, ripping them up with logic, ramming them back down the throat and saying he was glad they had the little talk. At least that’s the way one of the marketing types we got to know better than most (and who lasted longer) described the weekly results meetings.
For Jack it was all about sales – not elaborate strategies or plans. Fortunately, I spent most of my time with Sam, Gary and the rest of the team.
Atari 7800 Missed the Mark
My first shot in the golden age of video gaming was with the introduction of the Atari 7800. True, it looked a whole lot like the Atari 2600. There was some innovative hardware in that machine to push gaming forward. The two responsible for the 7800 were Leonard Tramiel – who was an astrophysicist by education and computer designer by love – and Antonio Salerno, VP of apps.
The 7800 was a great game system and might have been more if General Computer Corp – the outside company that conceived the 7800 and made all the game cartridges – didn’t hold it up.
Of course, with NES just putting out their system and taking 90% of the market, the generally sluggish sales of game machines made it a failure. In gaming, you need titles to sell systems – but you need to sell systems to attract title developers.
Some things will never change.
While the 7800 did O.K., the Tramiel team focused on something they really knew/loved … computers for the masses and Commodore. The Atari ST was a home computer that got computer scientists, engineers, musicians excited simply because of the powerful Motorola MC68000 processor, Graphical User Interface, MIDI port and ROM – based TOS that was remarkably bug-free. The Atari ST was the “go-to” system for any CAD and desktop publisher, along with professional musicians.
Sam Tramiel headed the team. Atari ST introduced me to folks like Fleetwood Mac, Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarré, Fatboy Slim and even Madonna. Not to mention all the lost artist names today’s smartphone game players might have to search Wikipedia to learn about.
When it came to real-time 3D role-playing computer games, the ST and its advanced graphics opened up new vistas. There are still some that think the ST is a “helluva’ system!”
Atari Portfolio – the first Sub-notebook?
The Atari Portfolio was a sub-notebook even before there was a category. To get people to understand it, we created a new category called “palmtop”.
Most just called it the Portfolio.
Powered by three AA batteries (AC adapter optional), it was an Intel 80C88-based system running the DIP OS with a whopping 128KB RAM and 256KB ROM. The Portfolio had an expansion port for parallel, serial, modem or MIDI expansion slots.
If you were lazy, forgetful or a show-off, you could put the speaker to a phone and automatically dial a phone number … cool.
The eight-line, 40-character screen was about as easy to read as emails on my smartphone today. The Portfolio was originally developed by DIP Research in England.
What more did you need in the 80s? Everything in one compact unit that could fit in your back pocket. With the shrunken QWERTY keyboard we saw any number of people typing at 20-30 wpm and were sure they were going to throw their thumb joints out. Reporters at the time even found it a great system for taking notes and tracking stuff.
Long-time friend Dick DeBartolo, better known as the Giz Wiz and writer at Mad Magazine, still tells us how much he liked the Portfolio.
In fact, there are a lot of folks who still do. It had all the features, capabilities you needed without all the frufru.
This was the portable game system to have (and I was/am a lousy gamer)! Sure, the dumb little Nintendo GameBoy had 80 percent of the market, but Jack Tramiel wouldn’t shy away from a good fight.
Developed by Epyx, Atari unveiled the Lynx at the Summer CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Chicago. It had brilliant color, supurb graphics, an ambidextrous layout and a decent selection of games.
I flew with Sam Tramiel to Chicago with the media ready to see what we were going to introduce. It didn’t really matter that the deal between the two firms was still a work-in-progress.
The night before the big unveil, I took a cab to O’Hare airport and picked up what we hoped would be the final manufacturing/marketing contract. I then delivered it to Sam’s room – at 5 in the morning. Wanting to sleep, I asked Sam if we were ready to go. He answered that he’d let me know at 7:45 (Press conference at 8).
He said if the contract was okay, everything would be great. If it wasn’t, it was going to be one of the shortest press conferences in history and I’d look like a damn fool. Just the kind of pep talk I needed!
Sam signed the contract, we had a fantastic press conference and reviewers were begging to get on the first look list. The only problem was it was priced at $179 against the anemic GameBoy’s $75-$90 price. The LCD manufacturer wouldn’t help lower their prices so we could match the NES system. This was something were Jack Tramiel – who wasn’t a lawsuit kind of guy – took the company to court – and won.
While this was going on Sam, Gary, Leonard and the team were busy developing a second-generation, more cost-effective Lynx. Just before the following Thanksgiving, we introduced the Lynx II that had a better feel, way of handling cartridges, battery life and a lower price.
We showed it off at the Marriot Marques in NYC overlooking the Times Square digital sign we rented for the occasion.While a young lady on our team trudged through the slush delivering seed review systems to radio, TV and print folks; Sam, other team members and I had back-to-back interviews. Most reviewers wouldn’t let the new Lynx go, so Sam was happy to offer them a special editorial discount and have the unit overnighted to them.
Suffice to say, everyone was happy – except the gal with the wet, cold feet.
The Lynx only had two shortcomings – a lack of widespread retail distribution and an unlimited selection of games. Before the evolution of online sales, not having product in every outlet hurt big time. So it didn’t matter the catalog, people couldn’t get their hands on a Lynx and the system failed.
The Lynx was so good, the company was recognized for pioneering the development of handheld games at the Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards a few years ago. In spite of that, sales didn’t take off and we were fired … again. That is, until Sam was ready to kick-off the Jaguar…
This time, we added a one-year, no-cut contract. Tramiel, of course, didn’t accept it. Just as well – as much as we respected Jack and liked Sam, Gary, Leonard, trying to build excitement for the Jaguar as the Lynx would have been tougher than Sisyphus with two broken legs.
Still might have been fun to try. After all, I love a good battle!
I am happy to announce that Day in Tech History is now available to download from the Amazon web store. The Day in Tech History mobile app includes 365 days worth of tech history content with more extras coming in the months ahead.
With the app, you will get the podcast early. Turn on push notifications to let you know when the next episode posts. Of course, Day in Tech History podcast posts EVERY DAY – 365 DAYS a Year since Aug 2009.