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This Day in Computer History: December 11

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/14/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the first internet-wide man hunt and the injunction baring Microsoft from bundling its Internet Explorer from its OS. Read more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of notable events in the computer, ecommerce, and software industries on this day in history

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    1996

    Bertrand Meyer released version 4 of the Eiffel programming language.

    1997

    Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued an injunction against software giant Microsoft requiring the company to offer computer manufacturers the option of licensing its Windows operating system for pre-installation without being forced to also bundle the Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser. However, Jackson also denied the Justice Department's suggestion that he impose a punitive fee of one million dollars a day to hasten Microsoft's policy change. Judge Jackson also appointed the noted industry watchdog Lawrence Lessig as "special master" to the Microsoft anti-trust proceeds. The ruling would be appealed December 16.

    Version 1.0.7 of the Caml programming language was released.

    1998

    Former industry leader JT Storage, a manufacturer of hard drives, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Ten months later, it would file for Chapter 7 to liquidate following the sale of its best known division, Atari, to hardware developer Hasbro Interactive for only five million dollars.

    1999

    The MkLinux R1 operating system was released.

    2000

    The African nation of Gabon issued a new postage stamp featuring a sledgehammer poised to eradicate a Y2K bug from a personal computer.

    The e-commerce site Creditcards.com of California was hacked as a part of an extortion scheme. As a result of the attack, roughly fifty-five thousand credit card numbers were left listed on the site, exposed to the internet, and the numbers wouldn't be re-secured until early the next day. In a later press release, a company spokesman would characterize the incident as “an act of retribution... He was angry with us and this was the way he took out his anger… After [asking] us for money, we did everything we could to prevent him from entering our system.”

    Version 2.2.18 of the Linux kernel was released.

    2002

    Internet firm Terra-Lycos, in co-operation with the FBI, circulated virtual "wanted posters" of James “Whitey” Bulger across its web properties, which included such high-traffic sites at the Lycos search engine, Quote.com, and Wired News, in the form of Flash banners. The campaign, which offered a one million dollar reward for information leading to Bulger's capture, was the first of its kind. Bulger was a suspect in twenty-one murders in the state of Massachusetts.

    2004

    The Firefox web browser was downloaded for the ten millionth time.

    2006

    Bob McDonnell, the Attorney General of Virginia, publicly announced his support of legislation that would require sex offenders to register their e-mail address with state agencies. Such legislation was expected to be proposed by State Senator Ryan McDougle in an attempt to keep sex offenders off of social networks like MySpace. MySpace representatives responded to the announcement the same day, stating that, “This legislation was an important recognition that the Internet has become a community as real as any other neighborhood and was in need of similar safeguards.”

    2007

    Professor Andrew White and a team of researchers at the University of Queensland perform the first quantum calculation by manipulating quantum mechanically-entangled photons in order to find the prime factors of the number fifteen as a proof-of-concept that would serve as evidence of the viability of quantum computing.