Tech Culture: Today in Tech History: May 1, 2008
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Tech Culture: Today in Tech History: May 1, 2008

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The first piece of spam was sent, Pluto was officially named, President Clinton granted civilians access to accurate GPS technology.

Hi I'm Molly Wood. It's May 1, 2008. Here's what happened today in technology history. Today is quite a momentous day in tech history. On this date in 1978, the first piece of spam was sent. A marketing rep from the Digital Equipment Corporation, or DEC, sent an unsolicited bulk commercial email to over 400 ARPANET addresses on the West Coast. Spam now accounts for, according to some reports, nearly 95 percent of all email sent. So, thank you, anonymous DEC employee. And may I just say: good idea! Also on this date, in 1930, Pluto was officially named. Back then, it was considered our solar system's ninth planet. In 2006, it was reclassified as a "dwarf" planet, and given the number 134340. Poor Pluto. And finally, on this date in the year 2000, President Bill Clinton announced that civilians would be granted access to accurate GPS technology, which had previously been restricted to military use. Until midnight on May 1st, civilians could only target coordinates within a 100-meter margin of error. The change allowed units, in 2000, to get within 10 to 20 meters, depending on the weather. That's all the news for today ... until next year, that is. See you all tomorrow.

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