Otto Steiger is issued a patent for the “Millionaire calculating machine”. Four thousand seven hundred of the 120 pound machines will be built over the next forty years, by Switzerland’s Hans Egli. The calculating machine’s main selling point is its ability to easily perform multiplication calculations.
Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, which will later be renamed Sony in 1958, is founded with about twenty employees.
The concept of the integrated circuit chip is first presented at a symposium on “Progress in Quality Electronic Components” in Washington, D.C. by radar scientist Geoffrey W.A. Dummer. He and his team of researchers at the Royal Radar Establishment of the British Ministry of Defense are developing methods of improving the reliability of the Royal Air Force’s radar systems. Dummer was working from a theory that it is possible to fabricate multiple circuits onto a single half-inch square of silicon, however, by 1956, his attempts to create such a functional circuit will fail.
IBM announces the IBM 704 Data Processing System. the world’s first mass produced computer to feature floating point arithmetic hardware. The IBM 704 will leave a significant impression on the computer industry before it is withdrawn from market on April 7, 1960. Both the FORTRAN and LISP programming languages were first developed for the IBM 704, as well as the first music application, MUSIC. Physicist John Larry Kelly, Jr. of Bell Labs will synthesize speech for the first time in history on an IBM 704. A demonstration of the synthesis using the song Daisy Bell will inspire a scene in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
NASA announces that the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) manned orbital flight has been delayed several days due to checkout problems with the Atlas launch vehicle.
The United States launches the Telstar II communication satellite on behalf of AT&T. On its tenth orbit, it transmits the first transatlantic television program seen in color. It succeeds AT&T’s original Telstar satellite, which ceased operating on February 21, 1962, when radiation from a high-altitude nuclear test causes transistor damage to the satellite. The Telstar II was built with shielding against such radiation.
German-born American inventor Ralph Baer first tests his circuit for a simple block chase game, “Fox and Hounds”, on a standard television set. The game features one dot chasing another. The “hound” dot would disappear when it was caught. According to Baer, the game is the very first two-player video game, but Baer will later loose the game.
The astronomy satellite Explorer 53 is launched to study X-rays.
NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a US$2 billion replacement for the Space Shuttle Challenger, on its maiden voyage. (STS-49) It is the forty-seventh US shuttle mission. While capturing and correcting the orbit of a satellite, the astronauts will set new records for the duration of a spacewalk and the number of astronauts outside the craft.
Grandmaster Garry Kasparov reaches a stalemate in the fourth of six games against IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer.
Intel changes the processor game a bit with the Pentium II processor. Starting at speed of 200 MHz / 66 MHz bus, the proc had a new design. What was called “Slot 1” processor, Intel got away from the pin architecture to a card slot. You would insert the PII to the slot just like you would memory, an ISA or PCI card. What was Code-named Klamath, the processor incorporated 7.5 million transistors using 0.35 micron process technology, contained a 512kB Level-2 external cache, performs at 613 MIPS (300 MHz), and is able to address 64GB of memory. MMX instruction was included on the processor. Prices started at $636 for 233 MHz, $775 for 266 MHz and US$1981 for 300 MHz.
Compaq Computer reveals plans to lay off up to fifteen thousand Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) employees, or about twenty-seven percent of the company’s workforce, resulting in a write-off of US$2 billion following Compaq’s US$9.6 billion takeover of the company.
IBM announces the company’s fifth generation of microprocessor-based mainframe computers, the System/390 (S/390) G5.
Foreign hackers deface three US government websites with messages condemning the NATO bombing of the Chinese in Belgrade, Serbia. The websites were the United States Department of Energy, the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. The hackers also post pictures of the three Chinese journalists who died in the bombing to the website of the Interior Department.
Next Generation Online reports that they have discovered plans among major media outlets to attend the upcoming E3 trade show in Los Angeles, California to work up stories on violent content in video games. According to the report, some publishers have re-edited the demonstration videos that will be shown at the event to in the hope of not becoming a media target.
Philippines authorities announce that they have no law allowing prosecution of the Manila woman suspected of creating the “Love Bug” virus that has damaged computer systems worldwide. Despite the set back, Philippine National Bureau of Investigation attempts to persuade a judge to issue a warrant to search the woman’s house, and on May 8th, the bureau will “invite” woman’s boyfriend Reomel Ramores, age 27, to answer question regarding the case. Investigators will finally seek a warrant under the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998, which was chiefly written to protect against credit card fraud.
The 3Com Corporation announces plans to lay off about three thousand employees, or about thirty percent of its work force. Visit the official 3Com website.
The Dell Computer Corporation reveals plans to lay off three to four thousand employees, or about ten percent of its workforce, over the next six months. Visit the official Dell website.
The US subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment, Infogrames North America (Infogrames NA), adopts the Atari brand and registered trademark for all its operations and renames its European operations “Atari Europe,” effectively changing the name of the entire subsidiary to Atari. Infogrames acquired the Atari holdings division of Hasbro in early 2001, and Infogrames also spins this original division off into a separate corporate entity, Atari Interactive. The company’s main holdings will remain named Infogrames Entertainment.
Sven Jaschan, is arrested in Rotenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Sven was the eighteen year old computer science student who authored the Sasser worm. Shortly after his arrest, he reveals to authorities that he also wrote the Netsky worm.
Yahoo CAPTCHA was defeated and anyone with a standard Yahoo account can also authenticate to the Yahoo Plus servers and send mail, without paying for the premium service.
A California federal judge ordered TorrentSpy to pay nearly $111 million in damages for infringing the copyright of thousands of films and TV shows through its BitTorrent search engine
Microsoft begins cutting 3,000 jobs in their first ever layoff.
Microsoft acknowledges and plans to address complaints with the Windows 8 operating system (mostly the start button issue)
Syria cut off Internet access and phone operations for 24 hours due to military operations