March 4

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An Wang sells IBM his patent on ferrite core memory forSeveral million dollars. Wang’s memory will be used almost universally in digital computers in the fifties through the seventies. An Wang recieved the patent on May 17, 1955 and instantly got into legal battles until IBM bought it outright.

The NASA spacecraft Pioneer IV misses its intended destination, the Moon, and becomes the second artificial satellite ever and the first launched by the US.

The Atomic Energy Commission announces that the first Antarctic atomic power plant, the PM-3A Naval Nuclear Power Unit at McMurdo Sound, has been activated. The prefabricated plant was assembled between January and March first by a team of contractors and military technicians as a power source that will be able to operate for years without new fuel. The reactor will be decommissioned in 1972, and it will be replaced with a diesel-fueled electric generator.

Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 5 launched from Cape Canaveral. It carries twenty-five experiments.

The first Cray-1 supercomputer is shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The first Freon-cooled Cray-1 supercomputer, which costs nineteen million dollars, will be used to design sophisticated weapons systems. This Cray-1 has a peak performance of 133 megaflops, and it features a distinctive housing. The system is a cylindrical tower seven feet tall and nine feet in diameter, which weighs thirty tons. It requires its own electrical substation to power it, at a cost of about US$35,000 a month. Read more about the history of Cray computers at the official Cray site.

The most primitive form of the World Wide Web goes online.

The US Senate subcommittee on video game violence re-convenes. Seven prominent members of the game industry, including 3DO, Acclaim, Atari, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Philips, and Sega, assure the committee that the industry will implement a self-regulated ratings systems for video games in time for the Christmas buying season. The companies will form the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) in April. The IDSA will establish the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to create and enforce ratings. By 2003, the ESRB will have rated eight thousand games from three hundred fifty separate publishers. Visit the official ESRB website.

Netscape Communications announces an agreement to acquire Netcode Corporation, a developer of JAVA-based object toolkits.

Texas Instruments (TI) announces the TravelMate 5300 notebook computer, featuring a 133MHz Pentium processor with PCI bus architecture and a 256KB Level-2 cache. Price: US$5,499

The comet Hale-Bopp flies directly above the Sun (1.04 AU).

Microsoft announces plans to acquire Interse.

United States President Bill Clinton bans federally funded human cloning research.

Government, naval, and university computers running Windows 95 and Windows NT across the United States are crashed by an anonymous hacker. The crash affects computers running at twenty-five universities, incluing: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Northwestern University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The website of Yuzuncu Yil University is hacked anonymously.

Microsoft acquires CompareNet Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announces the formation of two new businesses established to produce critical components for the PlayStation 2 in order to reduce production costs and protect the proprietary technology. One operation is a joint operation with Toshiba to produce the 128-bit Emotion Engine chip. The second new company will produce a Graphic Synthesizer.

Sony releases the PlayStation 2 video game system in Japan. It features a 294.912MHz 128-bit Emotion Engine processor, 32MB RAM, a 147.456MHz Graphics Synthesizer with a 4MB embedded VRAM cache, 2MB sound RAM, forty-eight sound channels, and a 24X CD-ROM/4X DVD ROM drive. It comes with an 8MB memory card, an AV multicable, a Dual Shock 2 controller, a PlayStation 2 demo disc, and a power cord. The main processor is classified a supercomputer in Japan, and not allowed for export. Price: ¥39,800 (about US$360)

Forwarding email in Australia becomes illegal with the passing of the Digital Agenda Act, as it is seen as a technical infringement of personal copyright.

The Canadian government bans human embryo cloning but permits government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatments or abortions.

Intel releases the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M, at speeds of either 1.6 or 1.7GHz. Price: US$401 (1.6 GHz) and US$508 (1.7 GHz)

Approximately thirty thousand voters take advantage of electronic voting during the parliamentary election in Estonia, the world’s first nationwide election in which citizens are allowed to vote remotely via the Internet.

Facebook hires former Google executive Cheryl Sandberg as COO

IBM discontinues SolidDB – an Open Source Storage Engine, for MySQL

Former MySpace Exec Brad Greenspan acquires Revver into his company

It is announced that Comdex would be reborn to a Virtual Tradeshow – November 16-17 online.

Apple removes WiFi finding applications from the App store.

Microsoft acquires Service MetricsHub for an undisclosed sum. Metricshub is a cloud performance management service

Twitter shuts down TweetDeck for Android, iPhone and AIR. They remove all Facebook integration from the program.

Roku announced the Roku Stick – a Roku box within an HDMI stick to fit right into the HDMI port. Roku stick cames with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wifi and a single core processor with 512 MB memory. Price $49.99

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