February 23

The Tootsie Roll is introduced to the US by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield at a small store in New York City. He names the chewy chocolate candy after his five-year-old daughter, Clara, whose nickname is Tootsie. The Tootsie Roll is America’s first individually wrapped penny candy. By 1905, production will be moved to a four-story factory. During World War II, Tootsie Rolls will be added to the rations of American soldiers because of their ability to withstand severe weather conditions and give quick energy. Tootsie Rolls are made from a base of sugar, corn syrup, soy-bean oil, skim milk and cocoa. Read more about the history of the Tootsie Roll at the official Tootsie Roll website.

The first successful rocket mail delivery in the US is made in Greenwood Lake, New York from New Jersey, over a distance of three hundred meters. The rocket, dubbed the Gloria, is eleven feet long with a fifteen foot wing span, and it is fueled by an alcohol and liquid oxygen mixture. It carries 4,323 letters and 1,826 postcards, each of which carry a special rocket stamp in addition to its regular postage. The rocket was built by Willey Ley, Louis Goodman and Hugh Franklin Pierce with the sponsorship of Frido W. Kessler.

Texas Instruments (TI) recalls TI-99/4a computers to repair a short found in the system’s transformers.

A US District Court rules that Microsoft’s DoubleSpace for DOS 6 violates data compression patents held by Stac Electronics. Microsoft is ordered to remove or replace the technology and to pay US$120 million in damages; however, the court also finds that Stac had illegally used access to Microsoft’s trade secrets to make Stacker compatible with DOS 6. Microsoft is awarded US$13.6 million in damages.

The Jugi Tandon Storage (JTS) Corporation sells its Atari Division to HIACXI Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hasbro Interactive, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., for US$5 million in cash.

Tens of thousands of computers linked across the Internet, under the co-ordination of Distributed.net, decrypt a message encoded in the government’s 56-bit DES encryption algorithm as part of the DES-II-1 challenge posed by RSA Data Security, in what some have called the largest distributed-computing effort ever. The participants collectively attempted 6.3 x 10^16 (63 quadrillion) keys, or about eighty-eight percent of the entire keyspace, by the fortith day. The correct key, 76 9E 8C D9 F2 2F 5D EA, is discovered and submitted to RSA Labs at 02:26 GMT. The final decrypted message read, The secret message is: Many hands make light work. The winning key is discovered by an Alpha-based computer running DEC Unix. Of the US$5000 prize from RSA Labs, the winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, will receive US$1000, the Free Software Foundation will receive US$3000, and distributed.net will receive US$1000. Read more about the DES-II-1 challenge in the Distributed.net press release.

CNET News reports that Fry’s Electronics has threatened to file a lawsuit against Garret Maki for establishing a site with the domain name frysad.com and posting scanned copies of Fry’s newspaper advertisements on the site. David L. Frey, of the law offices of Foley McIntosh Frey & Claytor wrote to Maki on behalf of Fry’s Electronics demanding that he turn the domain over to Fry’s without compensation by Friday, March 2, 2001. When asked for confirmation about the letter, Frey told CNET News, It’s got my name on it, doesn’t it?

Ikenna Iffih, a computer science student at Northeastern University, is arrested and charged on three counts of hacking, after an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Attorney’s Office and university officials. Specifically, Iffih is charged with violating the following laws: Title 18, United States Code (USC), Section 2511(1)(a), the illegal interception and possession of electronic communications transmitted to and through a United States Government computer, Title 18, USC, Section 1030(a)(5)(B), the illegal and intentional access and damage of a computer used in interstate and foreign commerce, and Title 18, USC, Section 1362, the willful and malicious interference of a working communications system operated and controlled by the United States Government. These three counts combined carry a maximum penalty of twenty years incarceration and a potential fine of up to a quarter of a million dollars. Under a plea agreement, Iffih will be sentenced to six months’ house arrest, two years’ probation, and a five thousand dollar fine on October 25. Among Iffih’s extensive list of victims are the Defense Logistics Agency, which supplies and services the military, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Zebra Marketing Online Services (ZMOS), a Washington-state based company that provides Web service to other firms.

F-Secure, a Finnish anti-virus and computer security software company, publicly announces the detection of Cabir, the first mobile phone virus, in a Santa Monica, California. Specifically, Cabir is a worm which infects phones running the Symbian OS. Whenever an infected phone is activated, the message Caribe is displayed. Infected phones also attempts to spread the virus through Bluetooth signals.

The iTunes Store announces the sale of its one billionth song to Alex Ostrovsky, age 16, of West Bloomfield, Michigan. The song is Speed of Sound from the Coldplay album X&Y. To commemorate the milestone, Apple Computer awards Ostrovsky an iMac, ten fifth-generation 60GB iPods, a ten thousand dollar gift card good for any item at the iTunes Music Store, and a scholarship to the world-renowned Juilliard School of Music. Read the press release at Apple website.

A Judge OK’s the Class-action suit claims labeling computers as Vista Capable in late 2006 misled consumers because many of the machines could run only the most basic version of Vista.

Comcast launches OnDemand Online – for those in Comcast TV zones.

President Obama names the members of the White House new-media team.

Google released the Honeycomb SDK for Android devices

Apple acquires Chomp, an app search and discovery service.

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.

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