In 2002, privacy on Earth was becoming more difficult to secure. Criminals, terrorists, and governments were actively monitoring users everywhere. It became more important than ever to have a tool that will protect the privacy of humans.
Alongside many innovations, this year saw the invention of Tor, which aimed to protect and preserve identities all over the Earth. Although Tor might now have changed the world as much as Apple or Android did, it still enabled humans to operate freely and safely on the internet.
In September 2002, 9.4% of the world population was using the internet.
Advancements of the Technology in 2002
Technology in 2002 sure looked a lot more different. Join us on the story of the most important innovations of the technology timeline in 2002.
The Tor Project
The Onion Routing project (later became known as “Tor”) was launched in 2002 by mathematician Paul Syverson and computer scientists Nick Mathewson and Roger Dingledine.
Onion routing, the essential principle of Tor, was developed in the 90s by computer scientists David Goldschlag and Michael G. Reed and Syverson while they were working in the United States Naval Research Laboratory. They developed onion routing as a way to protect the United States intelligence communications online.
Onion routing is a method for anonymous communication over a computer network. The messages are encapsulated in layers of security, just like layers in an onion.
Launch of Friendster
Canadian computer programmer Jonathan Abrams launched Friendster.com in 2002. Abrams started Friendster in a basement alongside ten friends, and the site went live the same month. By 2003, it already had 3 million users.
Friendster was a social networking service that allowed its users to contact other members and share media and online content with those contacts. The website was also used for discovering new hobbies, bands, and events.
Friendster was the first mainstream social networking platform. However, it eventually failed due to the rise of Facebook and its inability to keep up with demand from users.
The Centibots Project
Funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Centibots projects had over 100 individual robot units. They were created to work in an urban setting, for instance, to do surveillance of buildings.
The robots were divided into two cooperative teams that aimed to build a picture of an area. The first team surveyed a chosen area, while the second team looked for specific objects in the mapping area, tracking and sensing any undesirable objects, for example, an intruder. The result of this project was a robotic surveillance network.
The robots required no human supervision, and they were completely independent.
Introduction of The Roomba
The Roomba, an independent robotic vacuum cleaner, was introduced in 2002. Roomba could clean the floor thanks to its set of sensors that enabled it to navigate the floor area. The seconds could detect dirty spots on the floor, the presence of obstacles, and steep drops.
The firm iRobot, founded by MIT roboticists Rodney Brooks, Helen Greiner, and Colin Angle, created the Roomba.
The Earth Simulator Supercomputer
The Earth Simulator was created as a part of a Japanese government initiative. The supercomputer was built by the NEC Corporation. The Earth Simulator is a vector-based, parallel system that cost about 60 billion yen, or approximately $600 million at the time it was produced.
The system was made for running global climate models to evaluate the problems in solid earth geophysics and the effects of global warming.
It was made out of 640 nodes with eight vector processors, and each node had 16 gigabytes of computer memory, for a total of 10 terabytes of memory and 5120 processors.
From 2002 to 2004, this was the fastest supercomputer in the world.
Handspring is Founded
Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan left Palm Inc. in 2001 and founded Handspring. Handspring then introduced the Treo smartphone, which featured the Palm operating system, cameras, and built-in keyboards. The line continued and sold well up until Palm purchased Handspring in 2003.
Release of Mozilla Firefox
In 2002, Mozilla 1.0, the first major version of the Mozilla project, was released after a few years of development. The Mozilla team, which was led by American developers Blake Ross and Dave Hyatt, wanted to create a fast-loading, light browser that would attract users thanks to its efficiency. The browser soon included the ability to add extensions to customize or modify the browser, as well as features like bookmarking.
Honorable Mentions For 2002
Some other events we wouldn’t want to forget mentioning are:
- eBay bought PayPal.
- The Google Search Appliance, a rack-mounted computer device that provided document indexing functionality, was introduced by Google.
- David Smith was sentenced to 20 months in jail for releasing the Melissa virus.
- Froogle, a free product shopping search engine, was released by Google.
- The Matroska Multimedia Container (MKV) project was introduced.
- Xbox Live, an online multiplayer gaming service, was launched by Microsoft.
Since the beginning of time, humans have invented new creations to make life a bit easier, like the invention of the first car or the wheel. Different innovations can be seen as players in a marching band. Even though they play and go off at their own pace, they all feed off each other and create something great.
Now that we have seen where humans have been, we can focus on where they are going. What are going to be the next technological advances of the 21st century?