Arts & Culture / Mosaic / January 13, 2010

Top 10 advancements of the decade

1. Wi-Fi – Ten years ago widely available wireless internet was merely a dream.

2. Broadband internet – A requirement for Wi-Fi to be useful, high-speed internet did not become widely available until the 2000s.

3. SpaceShipOne – Built by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen and winner of the Ansari X Prize, given to the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable spaceship twice in two weeks.

4. DVD – Began to replace VHS for most people’s movie viewing in the early 2000s and is increasingly replacing CDs for data storage.

5. Smart phones – From the iPhone to the BlackBerry, smart phones are here to stay, radically changing how we consume digital media.

6. Social networking websites – Facebook, Myspace and Xanga to name just three have changed the fabric of social interactions from how we advertise events, find music, waste our time, and announce our little triumphs and failures to an increasingly expanding group of “friends.”

7. Solid state storage/Flash memory – jump drives, mp3 players, and more and more often laptops have come to rely upon this nearly indestructible form of data storage.

8. P2P Networking – Programs making use of this technology, everything from early applications like Napster, Kazaa and Limewire, to more advanced programs like Bittorent, have radically changed the way we acquire music, movies, and television, and have shaken the entertainment market to its core.

9. GPS – Selective availability of GPS was removed in 2000, making it widely available to the public for the first time. Since then, GPS has moved into our cars and onto our phones.

10. Wikipedia – created in 2001, Wikipedia has come to pervade everything from dinner table conversations to, unfortunately, school papers.

Honorable (and dishonorable) mentions: mp3 players, blogs, Predator drones, streaming video, Firefox, OSX, Windows XP/NT, LCD monitors and TVs, motion-capture movies, digital cameras, Halo, identity theft.

Ben Reeves

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