Here are some one liners...
The Steam-Powered Water Pump is Patented -- It is a very simple pump and it's not much but Parliament goes gaga.
Yo, Ho, Ho... Captain Kidd Turns Pirate -- Captain Kidd hits the wrong ship and all hell breaks loose.
Too Good Not to Mention... -- A tax on beards and goose-stepping in Germany.
The Steam-Powered Water Pump is PatentedThis is a very simple, manually operated, valveless water pump powered by steam. Thomas Savery finally receives a general patent from the English Parliament to pump water using steam. Since other inventors have been working on steam-powered pumps they must seek a license through Thomas to continue their work. Thomas's design works after a fashion, but it needs a lot of tweaking. Thankfully, another inventor seeks a license from Thomas and improves his design. Parliament believes that these two inventors are on the right track (and they are) so they extend the patent beyond the normal deadline. (Good move, Parliament.) The idea behind the pump is to create a vacuum by heating water into steam, and then opening a valve to move the steam into a cooling chamber. A vacuum is created as the steam cools and draws water up a pipe. It is incredibly inefficient but it will pave the way for steam-powered applications. 
Yo, Ho, Ho... Captain Kidd Turns PirateA few years ago King William the 3rd gave Captain William Kidd a letter of mark authorizing him to attack pirates along the New England coast and to harass French shipping. He is a privateer, but his past suggests that he was once a pirate. His crew is unruly and difficult to control. During one trip in his ship, The Adventure Galley, he failed to salute a British Naval ship. The British Navy sent a shot across his bows to remind him. Instead of saluting, his crew turned and slapped their backsides. This did not go over well but what really caused Captain Kidd to take a turn for the worse was when he waylaid an Armenian ship which Kidd considered "French". Unfortunately, it wasn't French and there were English passengers aboard who were stripped of their worldly goods. When word got back to England, it was a political embarrassment so Captain Kidd was declared a pirate. When Captain Kidd realizes the British are hunting for him, he starts burying his assets (also known as treasure) in Madagascar and along the New England coast. One such cache will be dug up on Gardiners Island. Captain Kidd, himself will be arrested, tried and hung for piracy in 1701. They will leave his body hanging in public for three years as a warning to others.     
Too Good Not to Mention...
- * A tax on beards: Beards are no longer the modern style so Peter the Great of Russia places a tax on beards. Priests are exempt. 
- * The Prussian Army starts goose-stepping. They also introduce iron ramrods to increase the speed of reloading their muskets. 
This Year on Wikipedia
Year 1698, Wikipedia.