January 28

The EDVAC, one of the earliest electronic computers, runs its first production program.

LEGO patents it’s first brick.

Ottumwa, Iowa official holds Tim McVey Day, in honor of McVey’s record setting one billion point, one quarter game. It is the first day held to honor a video gamer. Read the official declaration.

The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes seventy-three seconds after lift off from the Kennedy Space Center, approximately nine miles up, killing all seven of the astronauts on board, including mission commander Francis R. Scobee, pilot Michael J. Smith, mission specialist Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist Judith A. Resnik, payload specialist Gregory B. Jarvis, payload specialist Christa McAuliffe, and Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space, as part of the Teacher In Space Program (TISP). The failure will later be blamed on a Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster which leaked due to seal which had become fragile in the previous night’s low temperatures. The Space Shuttle Challenger previously flew nine successful missions. To read more about the disaster, visit Aerospaceweb.

Ian Goldberg, a Berkeley graduate student, takes part in the RSA Data Security challenge and cracks the 40-bit code by linking together 250 idle workstations to test one hundred billion possible keys an hour. In just three and a half hours, Goldberg decoded the message, which read, This is why you should use a longer key.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concludes an eight-month undercover investigation which resulted in a series of raids on homes and businesses across the country. Operation Cyber Strike focused on individuals and groups who had passed illegal copies of computer and video game software by any one of a number of means including Bulletin Board Systems (BBS).

Internet traffic is re-routed through University of Southern California (USC) computers as a test Jon Postel. Visit the official website of Jon Postel.

Radio Shack executives announce their intention to sell Compaq computers rather than IBM brand computer in their chain of seven thousand stores in the US.The new models will hit store shelves in May. Compaq is displacing IBM as Radio Shack%squots exclusive PC supplier. The new PCs include the Presario 2246, which will sell for $999 without a monitor and uses a 233-MHZ AMD-K6. That chip is also in the $1399 Presario 4555, along with more RAM, a bigger hard disk, and a Zip drive. Compaq%squots high-end system, the Presario 4665, will use a Pentium II-300 processor and cost $2299.

Compaq is also planning to sell a new multimedia notebook at Radio Shack. The Presario 1220 will use a 200-MHz processor from Cyrix and cost $1799.

PeopleSoft, the second ranking provider of business management software, announces plans to cut 430 employees, or about six percent of its work force. The firm will also take a charge against earnings in the first quarter of almost US$175 million for the formation of a new business group called Momentum.

Yahoo!acquires the GeoCities webhosting services. Visit the official Geocities website.

Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Taiwan, Yahoo!Singapore and Yahoo!Hong Kong.

During the Super Bowl, Tampa, Florida city officials deploy state-of-the-art surveillance equipment at the Raymond James Stadium. The system, positioned at stadium entrance turnstiles, acquires facial scans of attendees and compares them against a database of seventeen hundred known felons, terrorists and con artists provided by multiple local, state and federal agencies using cutting edge biometric facial recognition software. The fact that attendees aren’t notified of the scans will raise serious concerns over the ethics of privacy when the security enhancements are publicly disclosed.

Apple Computer begins shipping a Power Mac, featuring an 800 MHz PowerPC processor, a 256MB RAM, a 40GB hard drive, a CD-RW drive, and an ATI Radeon 7500 graphics card. Price is US$1,599.

Apple Computer begins shipping a Power Mac featuring a 933MHz processor, 256MB RAM, a 60GB hard drive, a DVD recording drive, Nvidia GeForce 4 MX graphics card. Price: US$2,299

Apple Computer begins shipping a Power Mac, featuring two 1GHz processors, 512MB RAM, an 80GB hard drive. Price: US$2,999

Apple Computer announces a new low-end Power Mac, featuring a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256MB RAM, a 60GB hard drive, CD-RW/DVD drive, 64MB Nvidia GeForce 4MX graphics card, 56kbps modem, USB 1.1, Ethernet, Mac OS 10.2.3, FireWire 800, and iLife digital media suite. Price: US$1,499

Apple Computer announces a new midrange http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Mac, featuring a dual 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 processors, 256MB RAM, an 80GB hard drive, CD-RW/DVD drive, ATI Radeon 9000 Pro graphics card, 56kbps modem, USB 1.1, Ethernet, Mac OS 10.2.3, FireWire 800, and iLife digital media suite. Price: US$1,999

Apple Computer announces a new high-end http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Mac, featuring a dual 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, 512MB RAM, 120GB hard drive, 4X DVD SuperDrive, ATI Radeon 9000 Pro graphics card, 56kbps modem, USB 1.1, Ethernet, Mac OS 10.2.3, FireWire 800, and iLife digital media suite. Price: US$2,699

Jeffrey Lee Parson, age 19, of Hopkins, Minnesota, is sentenced eighteen months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and one hundred hours of community service for creating and unleashing a variant of the MS Blaster computer worm. During the sentencing hearing Judge Pechman stated What you’ve done is a terrible thing. Aside from injuring people and their computers you shook the foundation of technology. Parson was indicted in September 2003, after admitting that he had created his worm by modifying the original MS Blaster worm and adding a mechanism that allowed him to have complete access to certain infected computers. Attorneys for the government calculate that more than forty-eight thousand computers were infected by Parson’s worm.

A Michigan woman – Ann Marie Linscott – is accused of using Craigslist to try to hire a hit man to kill the wife of the man with whom she had had an affair. Ann was arrested after allegedly posting an ad in November for a freelance job,=

British airways announces it will allow limited cell phone use on a London to New York flight starting in September of 2009. passengers can text but not make phone calls.

The house of representatives rejects a DTV delay. Eventually the Digital switchover will actually get delayed until June.

AOL lays off 700 employees, 10% of their workforce

AMD Unveils the first 64-bit ARM server chip. codenamed 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.