January 3

Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine of his own design. In the 2002 BBC television series Leonardo, it will be theorized that da Vinci, who was a devout pacifist, may have purposefully designed the flying machine to fail, so that it could not be put to a military use. Read more about the documentary at the The Sydney Morning Herald’s website.”

“Morse code is first transmitted by Alfred Vail from Morristown, New Jersey.”

The word “automobile” is first printed in an editorial column in The New York Times.

“Professor Ernest Rutherford splits an atom for the first time, thus earning the title of “father” of nuclear physics. He accomplishes the split by bombarding Nitrogen atoms with Alpha particles emitted by radioactive materials to produce Oxygen.”

“The television series Dragnet, which will become the first network-sponsored television program on December 24, 1953, premieres on the NBC network. The series will shortly become the highest rated crime series on television, and it will also go on to become one of the first television series to be exported from the US.”

“At a press conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Hamilton Watch Company introduces the world’s first electric watch. The watch is the result of over ten years of research and development that began in 1946, and the novelty of a watch that didn’t need to wound made it an instant success. The line of watch will continue to be wildly popular until 1969, when the company discontinues the line’s production. Visit the official website of the Hamilton Watch Company.”

“The United Kingdom’s first open University broadcast, a session of a course entitled “Introduction to Mathematics,” airs at 11:00am.”

The Apple Computer Corporation is incorporated by Steven Paul Jobs and Stephan Gary Wozniak, and the company moves from Steve Jobs’ parent’s garage to a building on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, California. Armas Clifford Markkula Jr., formerly of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, comes out of retirement to become Apple’s first chairman, investing US$250,000 in venture capital to finance the company. Later financing will come from venture capitalists such as Arthur Rock and Associates, Capital Management Corporation, and Venrock Associates. Apple’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) will be take place three years later.”

Time Magazine dubs the personal computer “Machine of the Year” rather naming a “Man of the Year.” Time publisher John A. Meyers writes, “Several human candidates might have represented 1982, but none symbolized the past year more richly, or will be viewed by history as more significant, than a machine: the computer.””

“The “Plover-NET” bulletin board system (BBS) is launched by hackers “Lex Luthor” and “Quasi Moto,” using GBBS software running on an Apple II+ system. It will hosting a wide range of hacking and phreaking tutorials, collectively dubbed the “G-Philes,” and it will go down in history as one of the principal centers of the hacker subculture on the Internet in the eighties.”

“Packard Bell announces plans to launch the C115, featuring a 120MHz Pentium processor, 16MB EDO RAM, a 1.2GB hard drive, a 8x CD-ROM, a 33.6Kbps modem, and a 14-inch color monitor. Price: US$999” Viacom publicly issues an order for Internet websites to remove any and all unauthorized Star Trek graphics or face legal action.

Electronics manufacturer Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan acquires the Music Corporation of America (MCA Inc.) for US$6.9 billion.

The Association of Optometrists website is hacked by “OG” (Older Generation). The homepage of the University of Costa Rica is hacked by “TikoZ”.

A report issued by the economics ministry of Taiwan reveals that an estimated four hundred thousand small to medium businesses are not prepared for the pending Y2K problem. The US Mars Polar Lander is launched. The Mars Polar Lander, also known as the Mars Surveyor ‘98 Lander, is a companion to the Mars Climate Orbiter. It was meant to touch down on the southern polar layered terrain, less than 1,000 km from the south pole, near the edge of the carbon dioxide ice cap in Mars’ late southern spring. The last telemetry from the spacecraft was sent just prior to atmospheric entry on 3 December 1999. No further signals have been received from the lander since, and the cause of this loss of communication is a mystery.”

Yahoo! stocks close at an all-time high of US$475.00.

“Intel releases the 800MHz Celeron processor, featuring a 100MHz system bus and a 128KB Level-2 Cache. Price: US$170 in 1000-unit quantities” “Intel releases the 1.3 GHz Pentium 4 processor, featuring a 400MHz Front Side bus and a 256KB Level-2 Cache.” Robot Wars sends out letters to amateur robot enthusiasts in an attempt to recruit robots for a new season of the television series scheduled to be shot in March.

“Apple introduces iLife, a suite of applications for editing and publishing digital content, at the Macworld Conference & Expo. Price: US$49”

Facebook sues Power.com for abuse of the DMCA and Can-Spam act.

Make Magazine starts a Do-it yourself TV series called Make TV.

A Cyber attack brings the Israeli site Debkafile down

Peer to peer currency program Bitcoin goes online

The FTC settles with Google over anti-trust issues. Anyone unhappy with the way their results are displayed on Google search pages will be able to opt out. The FTC also concluded that Google’s results were not biased in favor of it’s own results.

Acer and Asus announce they will not be making any new versions of the netbook. The netbook is officially dead.

Yahoo accidentally served malicious advertisements through ads.yahoo.com. Yahoo quickly fixed the issue.