January 29

Many historians believe that this is the date the William Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet is first performed.

John J. Beckley became the first Librarian of the U.S. Congress [1]

Karl Benz patents the first gasoline driven automobile

The IBM Data Processing Division (DPD) introduces the IBM System/360 Model 85, a high-end addition to the System/360 line, designed to solve complex scientific problems, and the IBM 2420 nine track magnetic tape unit, which operates at twice the speed of previous IBM tape drives.

Microsoft begins shipping Microsoft Word 3.0 for the Macintosh. Visit the official Word website.

Spectrum Holobyte releases the puzzle game Tetris for the Commodore 64 or IBM PC in the US. Tetris is the first entertainment software imported into the US from the Soviet Union. The game was written by Alexi Paszitnov and Vagim Gerasimov at the Computer Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Visit the official Tetris website. Price: US$24.95 (Commodore 64) or US$34.95 (PC)

Scientists at Bell Labs demonstrate the first all-optical processor.

Minix creator Andy Tanenbaum posts the infamous LINUX is obsolete thread on comp.os.minix at 2:23 pm. Linux creator Linus Torvalds rapidly responds to the posting. The debate between Andy Tanenbaum, the father of MINIX, and Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux, will become a famous historical debate. The thread will be closed by Bill Mitchell on February 10, 1992 at 4:31 pm after seventy-three posts. Read an archive of the original thread at Google.

Amiga Technologies GmbH announces the availability of an Amiga computer-based Internet surfer, which consists of an Amiga 1200 with a hard drive, a 14.4 fax modem, and an assortment of bundled Internet software.

The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) announces that they will exit the home computer market and discontinue development of the Starion computer line. Visit the official DEC website.

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds the conviction of Robert and Carleen Thomas of the Amateur Action BBS on obscenity laws. In the summer of 1994, the two were convicted of violating anti-obscenity laws, on the grounds that their California bulletin board system (BBS) was used to transmit obscene material to Tennessee. The case raised issues over the meaning of community standards in regard to the net. Read an article discussing the issue entitled, BBS Obscenity Case Raises New Legal Issues.

AOL announces a plan to offer online credit to compensate subscribers for not providing the unlimited Internet promised with the introduction of its new flat-fee pricing policy in December. Later in the day, AOL takes a stronger stand in order to appease the attorney generals of thirty-seven states by pledging to invest US$350 million to upgrade the network and to temporarily restrict membership at eight million users.

Best Buy announces plans to stop selling Apple Macintosh computers at their 284 retail stores.

Apple Computer and Hewlett-Packard HP announce a joint project to invest US$41 million in the Ofoto, Inc. start-up, an online photography community.

Compaq introduces the iPaq Pocket PC H3150 handheld computer, featuring a 206 MHz Intel StrongArm processor, 16MB RAM, and a grayscale screen. Price: US$349

Infogrames Entertainment announced the completion of its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive, now renamed Infogrames Interactive from Hasbro. The acquisition includes Atari video game titles and intellectual properties.

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. reveals plans to acquire Dallas Semiconductor Corporation for US$2.5 billion in stock.

The Walt Disney Company reveals that it will shut down its Internet portal, Go.com, cutting four hundred jobs. The portal has been steadily loosing money, costing Disney over US$800 million just in second-quarter charges.

AOL Time Warner posts a loss of nearly US$100 billion dollars for the year 2002, the largest annual loss in US corporate history. Visit the official website of AOL Time Warner.

Registration of the top level domain (TLD) for the Netherlands (.nl) opens to the general public.

Yahoo!introduces a music subscription service, LAUNCHcast Plus. Visit the official LAUNCHcast Plus website.

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley announces that the company will pay its content contributers a share of their videos’ advertising revenue. The site isn’t the first to take such steps. MetaCafe and Revver both already pay video providers. Visit the official YouTube website.

Symantec announces plans to acquire Altiris, a developer of service-oriented management software. Visit the official Altiris website.

Yahoo lays off 1,000 people to restructure

a man in the United Kingdom posted a message on his Facebook saying he was in the mood for murder. He then turned around and committed a murder.19-year-old Craig Ramsden went into a bar in the UK and stabbed 31-year-old Paul Gilligan to death. Interestingly enough, this is just two days after a husband killed his estranged wife because she changed her Facebook status to ‘single’.

Google announced it would sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.

gTLD .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles and .ventures went online.