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November 5, 2007: Google Unveils Android OS

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Today in 2007, a consortium of technology companies led by Google was formed, calling themselves the Open Handset Alliance. Google also unveiled their Android mobile operating system. The goal of Android was to develop “the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices.” It is this open-source nature that is often cited as a […]

November 3, 1973: NASA Launches Mariner 10

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Today in 1973, NASA launched its space probe Mariner 10 from Cape Canaveral. Almost 4 months later, it became the first probe to reach Mercury, which it studied extensively. It was also the first spacecraft to make use of an interplanetary gravitational slingshot maneuver.

November 2, 1988: The Morris Worm Becomes First To Break The Internet

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Today in 1988, Cornell University student Robert Tappan Morris launched a computer worm from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer system. Morris had originally designed the worm to be a harmless experiment to see how far-reaching the Internet was. Due to a critical oversight by Morris, the worm ended up replicating itself over and over […]

November 1, 1997: James Cameron’s Titanic Fails To Make Initial Waves

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Today in 1997, James Cameron’s epic period drama Titanic premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Initial reactions to the film were “tepid” according to the New York Times. This, combined with early predictions that the movie would be a sure flop and several critics lambasting Cameron for the size and budget of the project, […]

October 31, 2000: Soyuz TM-31 Carries First Long-Duration Crew To ISS

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Today in 2000, Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-31 launched, carrying a three-man crew to the International Space Station. This crew, consisting of two Russians and one American, remained on the ISS for three months. This was the first long-duration stay on the ISS and it has been permanently manned ever since. The crew enabled several life […]

October 30, 1938: The War of the Worlds Causes Panic

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Today in 1938, Orson Welles delivered an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel The War of the Worlds as an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theater on the Air. After a brief prologue read by Welles, the program ran for thirty minutes straight, presented as a music station interrupted by […]

October 29, 1964: The Jewel Heist of the Century

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Today in 1964, Jack Roland Murphy (pictured, left), Alan Kuhn (pictured, right), and Roger Clark robbed the American Museum of Natural History. Targeting a J.P. Morgan jewel collection, they made off with over $400,00 worth of jewels, including the Star of India, the Eagle Diamond, and the de Long Ruby. Murphy cased the museum for […]

October 28, 1971: Britain Launches Prospero Satellite

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Today in 1971, Britain launched its first and only satellite that was deployed by a British rocket (The Black Arrow R3). Prospero was designed to study the effects of space environment on communications satellites. It remained operational until 1973, and was contacted annually for 25 years after. In September 2011, it was announced that a […]

October 27, 1988: Larry Flynt Vs. The People

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Today in 1988, it came to light that porn magnate Larry Flynt (founder of Hustler magazine, among others) allegedly paid a hitman named Mitchell Werbell $1 million to kill competitor Hugh Hefner, along with Frank Sinatra, Playboy publisher Walter Annenberg, and Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione sometime in November 1983. Flynt gave Werbell a check for […]

October 26, 1979: Smallpox Is Declared Eradicated

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Today in 1979, the World Health Organization declared the complete eradication of the smallpox virus. The announcement came on the 2 year anniversary of the discovery of the last known naturally occurring case of smallpox. On October 26, 1977, Ali Maow Maalin of Merca, Somalia became the last known person to naturally contract the smallpox […]