February 28, 2002
Disney CEO Michael Eisner testifies at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on the protection of digital content from piracy. Eisner lobbies for sterner enforcement of copyright laws, claiming that Apple Computer advertisements for the iPod encourage copyright violations. “Rip. Mix. Burn. … they can create a theft if they buy this computer.”
A little over 3 years later, Eisner was later replaced as CEO by Robert Iger, who quickly arranged the buyout of Pixar Animation Studios, of which Steve Jobs was CEO. This move made Steve Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder and a member of Disney’s board. I guess it’s a small world after all!
February 27, 2007
CompUSA announces that it will close 126 retail stores by June and restructure its remaining 103 stores. Eventually those 103 stores also close. Once a major player in the computer retails sales market, CompUSA was eventually purchased by Systemax. Systemax now runs 35 stores bearing the CompUSA name.
February 26, 1935
Scottish physicist Robert Watson-Watt, considered by many to be the inventor of RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging), first demonstrates its feasibility. Watson-Watt had been experimenting using radio waves to locate thunderstorms and thought of the idea of using it to detect aircraft. The use of RADAR is widely considered one of the key factors for the Allied victory in World War II. The research that went into further improving RADAR branched off into many areas including the invention of the transistor, which of course, allowed the development of many modern computerized technologies.
February 25, 1925
The first bank check photographing device patent is issued in the US to its inventor, George McCarthy, who called it the Checkograph. The machine photographed checks onto 16mm motion picture film using a conveyor belt. The Kodak company bought this invention in 1928 and marketed it under its Recordak division.
February 23, 1927
The Radio Act of 1927 is signed into law. The Act creates the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), which will later be replaced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ironically, the act claims to recognize broadcasters’ right to free speech yet the Federal Radio Commission solely controls allocation of licensing, frequencies, transmitter power, and broadcasting hours. Doesn’t exactly sound like free speech to me, but hey I’m sort of prickly like that.
February 23, 1455
While maybe not exactly accurate, February 23rd, 1455 is generally accepted as the date that the Gutenberg Bible was first published. This was the first book on record to be printed on movable type. Until that point, books were copied by hand, which was obviously a slow, laborious process.
On a side note, I challenge anyone to come up with a historical date in technology earlier than this one! Good luck!
February 22, 1997
In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that they have successfully cloned an adult sheep they named Dolly. The cell used in the cloning came from an adult sheep’s mammary gland, hence the name Dolly. As in Parton. No joke. Or I guess it was.
February 22, 1924
The first presidential radio address is delivered by Calvin Coolidge. Broadcast from the White House, the talk is carried on five stations with an estimated five million listeners.