theodp writes: In a retrospective on the 21st century, TIME's Lev Grossman writes that a decade ago, four young men — not one of whom finished college — changed the way the world works. Northeastern University freshman Shawn Fanning, then 19, cranked out Napster. Norwegian teenager Jon Lech Johansen (aka DVD Jon), 15 years old, teamed up with two other programmers to crack commercial DVDs. At age 18, Justin Frankel gave the world WinAmp, and three years later released Gnutella. And Bram Cohen, the grandpa of the group at 26, came up with BitTorrent. These four horsemen of the digital apocalypse arguably laid the foundation for much of the digital-media environment we currently inhabit — iTunes, Netflix, Kindle, DSL are just a few things that come to mind — even if the likes of Steve Jobs, Reed Hastings, Jeff Bezos, and Randall L. Stephenson and are the ones reaping the riches.
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