February 20

Kenneth Olsen, founder of DEC was born. Of course, he was most noted as saying: There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.

Mathematician Alan Turing suggests testing artificial intelligence with the game of chess in a lecture to the London Mathematical Society. He argues that computers, like humans, must be given training before their IQ is tested. The concept is the basis of the Turing test, which Turing will describe in depth in his 1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence.

The Soviet Union launches the core module of the Mir space station. Mir, the Russian word for peace, has six docking ports and special laboratories for scientific research. Later, a veteran crew will be sent to man the fifty-six foot long, nearly fourteen foot wide station. The core module will provide living quarters for the cosmonauts, including a galley, cooking elements, storage, individual crew cabins and personal hygiene area. It also has a working compartment for monitoring and commanding the core systems supported by an electric power system, thermal control system, computer systems, environmental control and life support, communications, and tracking systems. Five additional modules will be launched between March 1987 and April 1996. Read more about the structure of the space station at the Russian Space Web. View a large photo of the Mir space station. Watch a Quicktime movie of the launch.

In Salt Lake City, Utah, a bomb explodes in a computer store. It will later be discovered that the bomb was created and delivered by Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who argued in his manifesto that his actions were a necessary to attract attention to the dangers of modern technology.

Nintendo asks a United States trade representative to cite Taiwan for failing to stop piracy of video game cartridges, which will lead to Taiwan being assessed punitive duties on their exports to the US.

Texas Instruments (TI) announces a two billion dollar expansion plan in Dallas, Texas which includes its largest semiconductor wafer fabrication facility ever. Visit the official Texas Instruments website.

Borland International announces it will lay off thirty percent of its workforce in order to refocus on software tools for creating custom applications.

The Presario 2100Compaq Computer introduces the Presario 2100 computer, featuring a 132MHz Cyrix MediaGX processor, a fifteen inch monitor, 24MB RAM, a 2GB hard drive, a 33.6Kbps modem, and a 8X CD-ROM drive. Price: US$999

The website of Thomas More College is hacked by Magica de Bin.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Robert Hanssen is charged with spying for Russia for fifteen years. Read more at the Crime Library or the official FBI website.

Napster makes an offer to pay one billion dollars over five years to the recording industry in the hope of being allowed to let its members continue to distribute copyrighted music files over the Internet. The offer will be rejected.

Apple Computer releases version 10.1.3 of the Mac OS operating system. New features in this version include support for several CD burners and digital cameras. Visit the official Mac OS X website.

Lindows announces the Lindows Mobile PC portable computer, featuring a 933 MHz Via Technologies C3 processor, 256MB RAM, a 20GB hard drive, a 12.1-inch screen, the LindowsOS operating system, Ethernet, a CompactFlash port, FireWire ports, and USB ports. Visit the official LindowsOS website. Price: US$799

IBM acquires Rational Software, a provider of hosted software development service, for US$2.1 billion. IBM had announced the pending acquistion on December 6. Visit the official Rational website.

Federal judge Susan Illston grants a request for an injunction against 321 Studios, ordering the company to halt the distribution of all of it’s software products which are intended to assist users in circumventing DVD copyright protections. Illston writes that federal law makes selling such products illegal despite consumers’ rights to make personal copies of intellectual property that they have lawfully purchased. Read more at CNet.

Per Lidén releases version 1.3.1 of the CRUX operating system. CRUX is a lightweight Linux distribution optimized for i686 systems, specifically designed for experienced Linux users.

Microsoft issues an offer to replace fourteen million Xbox video game system power cables, which have been recalled after minor burns were reported by users

It’s revealed that Yahoo!Mail is actively banning any use of the word Allah in its email addresses, even as part of other names, such as Callahan. After the ban draws widespread attention in the media, the restriction will be lifted on February 23. Visit the Yahoo!Mail website.

The Encyclopedia Britannica announces that it is developing a mobile encyclopedia in cooperation with AskMeNow, a mobile search company.

Two days earlier we talked about 30 sex offenders that are caught for being on Social Networks, On this day, 5,585 Sex offenders are purged from Facebook. It was an effors by 2 State Attorney Generals.

What was first thought as Atlantis, Google Earth found an artifact of the data collection process.

Republican congressman Darrell Issa is asking the White House to clarify its e-mail preservation policy, even though he criticized inquiries into missing Bush White House e-mails.

Samsung announces they will split off the LCD unit to Samsung Display Company. This is so the main unit can focus on their OLED technologies.

Google acquired Cuil’s final patents.

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