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This Week in Tech History: Android is Unveiled

We’re remembering the birth of commercial radio, the first major computer worm, and the unveiling of a brand new mobile operating system that would go on to dominate the market… It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1846 – An artificial leg was patented by B.F. Palmer of Meredith, NH who according to the US Patent Office, “got a leg up” on all other competition. His product, characterized by its smoothly articulated knee, ankle, and toe joints, as well as its elegant and lifelike appearance, was an immediate success.

1920 – KDKA radio in Pittsburgh began broadcasting. Marconi and De Forest were the catalysts. However, it was an engineer for Westinghouse Electric who was broadcasting music from his garage in 1916 that really got the whole thing started. A newspaper article about the broadcasts caused such interest that the suits at Westinghouse decided to build a real radio station. During this very first commercial radio broadcast, the station aired the returns of the Harding/Cox election… the first radio programming to reach an audience of any size… approximately 1,000 people.

1988 – The Morris worm, the first Internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant media attention, was launched by Cornell University graduate student, Robert Tappan Morris. It resulted in the first conviction in the US under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. A floppy disk, containing the original source code for the worm is housed at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

2000 – FIFA 2001 was released for the Sony Playstation, When releasing the game, they used Scratch and Sniff technology on their discs so that when you scratched the top of the disc, it smelled like the turf of a soccer field.

And this week in 2007 – Google unveiled their Android mobile operating system. In September of the following year, the very first Android smartphone was announced: the T-Mobile G1, also known as the HTC Dream in other parts of the world. Today, Android dominates the Smartphone market with about a 73 percent market share worldwide.

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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