February 17

The world’s first costumed superhero, The Phantom, makes his first appearance in a daily newspaper strip. Previous fictional crime fighters, such as Zorro and Doc Savage, weren’t designed specifically for newspaper comic strips or comic books.

Vanguard 2, the first weather satellite, is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates the film Tron for an Academy Award for both Costume Design and Sound.

The Apple QuickTake 100 camera is released. It is the first digital cameras released for the consumer-level market that connects to a personal computer via a serial cable.

Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, wins the last of six games against the IBM computer Deep Blue, a computer capable of seeing between fifty to one hundred billion chess positions in a mere three minute period. By winning a second game, Kasparov wins the regulation-style match held in Philadelphia, as part of the ACM Computer Science Conference. Deep Blue is an improved version of the older Deep Thought.

Apple Computer introduces a number of updated Macintosh computers, including the PowerBook 3400 and 4400, and the Power Macintosh 7300, 8600, and 9600. Apple Computer also introduces the eMate handheld computer and the Newton MessagePad 2000, featuring a 32-bit 162MHz StrongARM processor and 5MB RAM. Visit the official website of Apple Computer.

Microsoft unveils the new Windows 2000 operating system. In an interview on CNBC television, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft>Microsoft, reports that the software cost more than a billion dollars to develop and involved over one thousand partners. The San Francisco launch ceremony featuring entertainment by Carlos Santa and Patrick Stewart. Microsoft claims that the new system is faster and more reliable than previous versions. It is based on the Windows NT series, however, the reliability comes at the loss of backward compatibility for some DOS-based games. Price: US$189 (Windows 95/98 upgrade) or US$129 (Windows NT upgrade) Visit the official Windows 2000 website.

Microsoft issues a recall of power cords on 14.1 million Xbox video game consoles worldwide, following thirty reports of defective electrical components, some of which caused minor injuries and property damage. The recall includes units manufactured before January 13, 2004 in Europe and before October 23, 2003 anywhere else.

WordPress released 1.5 Strayhorn – adding templates and themes. The CMS also had a default theme of Kubrick

Nokia agrees to embedding Skype on their phones, starting with the high-end N97

The DTV was suppose to start on this day, but it was pushed back to June. Nonetheless, the majority of television stations decided to make the switch anyway.

Symantec debuts the Norton Online Family. The program is a tool to alert parents of the kids usage online.

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