Archive for January 2018

Drudge Report Legitimizes Internet Reporting

Drudge ReportJanuary 17, 1998

Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill ClintonMonica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report. This incident brought to the limelight the emerging Internet news industry. Almost overnight it seems, traditional news media, especially newspapers, begin to lose ground to Internet news sources.

Computer is Used in the Discovery of New Planets

Paul Butler and Geoffrey MarcyJanuary 17, 1996

Paul Butler and Geoffrey Marcy announced to the American Astronomical Society that they had discovered two new planets using an unconventional computer technique to analyze the movement of stars. Since that time, thanks in part to their use of computer technology, Butler and Marcy have become known as “the world’s most successful planet hunters”.

Supreme Court Rules on Home VCR Recordings

VCR

January 17, 1984

The US Supreme Court rules 5-4 that private use of home VCRs to tape TV programs for later viewing does not violate federal copyright laws. This ruling opens the floodgate for VCR sales, changing the landscape of TV watching forever.

Space Shuttle Columbia Launches for Final Time

Space Shuttle ColumbiaJanuary 16, 2003

Famous for being the first Space Shuttle ever to be launched (mission STS-1), the Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107. This mission would prove to be its final one as Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.

Soyuz 4 & 5 Make History

Soyuz 5 PatchJanuary 16, 1969

Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.

Wikipedia Goes Online; Bookshelves Clear Up

Wikipedia LogoJanuary 15, 2001

Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online. Door-to-door encyclopedia salespeople mourn while bookshelves everywhere suddenly have more room for other books.

NCSA Opens

Mosaic LogoJanuary 15, 1986

The National Science Foundation opens the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. In 1992 – 1993, Marc Andreesen would invent his Mosaic web browser while a student there, which he later transformed into Netscape. I remember opening the Mosaic program on a Mac in my dorm’s computer lab in 1993. Not knowing what it was, and because the homepage was set to the University of Illinois, I clicked around a few hyperlinks but quickly got bored. Little did I know what I had stumbled upon until several months later.

IETF Meets For the First Time

Internet Engineering Task ForceJanuary 15, 1986

This day is the first meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force. According to the IETF’s web site, “The mission of the IETF is to make the Internet work better by producing high quality, relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet.” I’m sure this sounds boring to you, but if it wasn’t for them you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now!

The Birth of Video Games

Ralph BaerJanuary 15, 1968

Ralph Baer, generally considered the father of the video game industry, applies for a patent on a TV game system he designed. This patent eventually leads to the Magnavox Odssey, the first home video game machine. Ralph Baer is also well-known for many other products such as the electronic game SIMON.

Steve Jobs Goes on Hiatus

Steve Jobs - 2008January 14, 2009

An internal Apple memo from Steve Jobs announced that he would be taking a six-month leave of absence, until the end of June 2009, to allow him to better focus on his health and to allow the company to better focus on its products without having the rampant media speculating about his health. It was later revealed that he required a liver transplant.