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Sep 26, 2013

On this week's Byte:

It's Byte's 20th birthday! Throughout September we are celebrating by looking back on the last 20 years in computing and technology.

  • This week we're focusing on 2008-today. The team reminisced on:
    • The Internet going "mainstream" - everyone was online, all the time, and a lot of the functions of daily life moved online.
    • The advent of the "digital native" - people who don't know life without the Internet.
    • Consumer media such as DVDs and CDs continuing to be replaced by downloaded (and increasingly legal) digital media.
    • Smartphones. Tablets. iPhone. iPad. Android.
    • 3D scanning and 3D printing starting to take off.
    • The launch of the Kindle, and the explosion of eBook piracy (also, the new Kindle Fire HDX has been launched this week).
    • The Cloud starting to brew.
    • The launch of the iTunes App Store.
    • DSLR cameras becoming widely available.
    • The US Library of Congress began recognising the importance of digital content:
      • Acquiring the Twitter Archives, validating the existence of millions.
      • Organising the first personal archiving day in 2010, teaching people to manage their own data.
    • Mozilla launched Firefox 3.0 in 2008, with a Guinness World record attempt for number of downloads in a day - 8 million.
    • The USB standard was updated in 2008, with 10x speeds and increased power.
    • The increase of online surveillance:
      • Assange, Wikileaks and Manning, Snowden and the NSA (incidentally, check out YACHT's new track "Party at the NSA"- all proceeds go to the Electronic Frontiers Foundation!).
      • Is Facebook really your friend?
    • The rise of online activism:
      • The London Riots.
      • The Arab Spring.
      • Is it acceptable to turn off mobile networks and ISPs to prevent protests being organised?
    • Low-cost computing like Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
  • Ben reports back from the "Copyright Is Dead - Long Live the Pirates" debate at the Wheeler Centre.
  • Happy birthday also to the Debian Operating System, which is 20 years old as well, and the GNU Project, which turns 30!
  • Ben's IBM Model-M keyboard provided an amazing backround soundtrack.

Thanks to everyone who's been involved with the celebrations, and to everyone who's contributed to Byte for the last 20 years - we couldn't have made it this far without you. We'll be back with the regular news, interviews and events next week and for many more to come!

Presented by Vanessa Toholka, Chuck Tetaz, Ben Finney, and Lachlan Simpson.