February 6

The first radio-controlled airplane is first flown.

The cryotron superconductive computer switch is introduced. Developed by Dudley Allen Buck at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the cryotron is the first practical use of superconductivity, the ability of some metals to conduct current with no resistance at temperatures below -420 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be hailed as a revolutionary step in miniaturizing room-sized computers.

The IBM Data Processing Division (DPD) announces an advanced communications technique that could double the speed at which IBM machines are able to communication with each other over phone lines called Binary Synchronous Communications. Visit the official IBM website.

Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first person to hit a golf ball on the Moon. Near the end of the second moonwalk and just before entering the lunar module for the last time, Shepard attached a six-iron to the end of a sample collecting tool. Despite thick gloves and a stiff suit that forced him to swing the club with one hand only, he hit two golf balls. The first landed in a nearby crater. He hit the second one squarely and, in the one-sixth gravity of the Moon, Shepard said it traveled miles and miles and miles. The astronauts stayed on the surface for a total of thirty-three hours in total. Watch a video of the golf shot or read a transcript of the Apollo 14 crew’s second day of extra-vehicular activity at the NASA website.

Leo Daniels, age 20, scores 40,101,910 points on Atari’s Asteroids, after playing the game for thirty-six hours and four minutes at the Ocean View Corporation in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

The Ormond Beach Commission in Florida approves an ordinance prohibiting electronic games from being placed within one thousand feet of a church, school, or youth activity center in Ormond Beach.

Software Arts files a lawsuit against Visicorp to end its contractual rights to market Visicalc, claiming that Visicorp failed to market their product adequately.

Steve Wozniak leaves Apple Computer, twelve years after co-found the company. He remains a shareholder with close person connections to his co-found Steven Jobs. Visit the official website of Apple Computer.

A Chicago Task Force raids the business of Richard Andrews, an alleged computer hacker. The US Secret Service arrest computer hackers known as Leftist, Prophet, Terminus, and Urvile. Read more in Bruce Sterling’s Hacker Crackdown, available online and as a free download.

Nintendo and Sony announce a joint effort to develop a compact disk player for the Super Famicom in Japan. Visit the official Nintendo website.

The US Deep Space Probe Science Experiment (DSPSE), also known as the Clementine Lunar Orbiter, begins to map the surface of the Moon from lunar orbit, using a laser to generate the first topographic lunar map.

The NEC Corporation announces the development of the world’s first four-gigabit Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chip. Visit the official NEC website.

The International Standards Organization (ITU) announces that they have reached an agreement in Geneva, Switzrland to adopt the V.90 protocol as the new international standard for 56Kbps modems, unifying the market which has been divided between the the Rockwell/Lucent K56Flex and U.S. Robotics X2 protocols.

Version 4.2 of the Eiffel programming language is released.

The website of Boimag is hacked by CoF.

The website of Computer Beratung Direkt is hacked by th3 4m1sh n1nj4s.

The website of Presage Internet is hacked by CoF.

Nvidia releases the GeForce4 Ti, GeForce4 MX, and GeForce4 440 Go graphics chips and the GeForce4 Titanium card. Visit the official Nvidia website.

Microsoft and Nvidia resolve their dispute over the pricing of the Xbox’s graphics chips.

Australian recording industry investigators raid twelve premises, including the Sydney offices of the peer-to-peer network Kazaa, seeking evidence to support allegations of on-going copyright infringement. The raid is conducted with a Anton Piller order, which allows civil litigants the right to gather incriminating evidence in the course of a lawsuit. The premises raided include the offices of Kazaa owner Sharman Networks, the homes of two of the company’s executives, three universities, and several internet service providers. Visit the official Sharman Networks website.

Dell announces that it will discontinue manufacturing music players with hard drives. Visit the official Dell website.

Google bans the website of the German car company BMW from its index. The company’s homepage, BMW.de, has a pagerank of 0, and the website doesn’t appear in search results for any terms. The ban is evidently precipitated by BMW’s use of a deceptive search engine optimization (SEO) tool known as doorway pages, though the reason is never officially announced by Google. Doorway pages are webpages that hold nothing but linked keywords and are visible only to search engine bots. They are designed to boost a site’s search engine ranking. BMW is one of the largest corporate entities to be penalized by the search engine for so-called blackhat seo techniques to date. Visit the official BMW website.

Apple stores block access on their wifi to facebook

DEC founder Ken Olsen passes away.

Sony sells off the VAIO PC business and split off the TV unit into a separate subsidary. 5,000 jobs were cut and Sony would focus on imaging, gaming and mobile.

Amazon acquired gaming studio Double Helix for an undisclosed sum

%d bloggers like this: