Compact Disc Introduced
Philips introduced the Compact Disc to the world at a press conference in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony and Philips cooperated to standardize on a 12 cm diameter disc as it would have enough audio data capacity to hold Beethoven’s 74-minute Ninth Symphony.
SCO Sues IBM; Threatens Linux Users
The SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera, files a $1 Billion lawsuit against IBM for allegedly “devaluing” its version of UNIX. SCO claimed that IBM had contributed SCO’s proprietary code to the codebase of the open-source Linux, thereby making SCO’s UNIX less valuable. A couple of months later in May, SCO sent letters to many major corporations warning them of the possibility of liability if they used Linux. SCO eventually even threatened individual Linux users who did not license SCO UNIX.
Among some Linux fans, the lawsuit was a threat to the Open Source movement. However most saw the lawsuit as simply legal maneuvering by SCO to try to capitalize on Linux as it had changed the competitive landscape of the UNIX marketplace. Long story short, through a series of claims and counter-claims involving SCO, IBM, Red Hat, and Novell most of SCO’s claims were dismissed and SCO went bankrupt. However, the original lawsuit did not finally come to resolution until November of 2021!
Concorde Makes Maiden Flight
March 2, 1969
The Concorde supersonic transport (SST) jet makes its maiden flight. The Concode is only the second supersonic passenger airliner to have been commercially operated. The Concorde fleet flew until November 26, 2003.
Disney CEO Claims Apple Encourages Theft
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!
First Color TVs Go on Sale
February 28, 1954
The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public. NTSC is the standard used in most of North and South America, Japan, and a few other places in the world.
February 27, 2007
A major player during the early ages of the the computer retail sales market in the late 80’s and 90’s with nearly 230 stores at its height, CompUSA announces that it will close 126 retail stores by June and restructure its remaining 103 stores. Eventually those 103 stores also close. A victim of competition from online sales and more agile big box stores, CompUSA was eventually purchased by Systemax which merged CompUSA into its Tiger Direct online brand. Today the CompUSA brand still exists as an e-commerce site.
RADAR Demonstrated for First Time
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.
First Check Photographing Device Patented
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.
Electric Motor Patented
February 25, 1837
With his wife Emily, and a colleague Orange Smalley, Thomas Davenport received the first American patent on an electric motor in 1837, U. S. Patent No. 132.
Radio Gets Controlled
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.