3 Best Known Tech Wunderkids of the recent past

Every now and then there comes a prodigy of sorts who tries to make things simpler or free but ends up troubles hand. Well, their ideologies most times seem to be in direct conflict with the government. Here are 3 such figures of the recent past who have stirred up fair few things.

1. Sean Parker


Sean Parker was into coding and hacking as a teenager. When he was 16, he was tracked down by the FBI and sentenced to community service after hacking into a Fortune 500 company.

After winning an award in high school for creating a web crawler, he was recruited by the CIA, and by the end of school was earning $80K a year through different projects.

He started Napster (a music sharing service) around this time, which quickly gained tens of millions of users, and reshaped the landscape of music on the Internet and changed how people thought about music copyrights and revealed the market for online media distribution.

He founded Plaxo, an early social networking service that influenced later services that exist today. It gained 20 million users before he was kicked out a couple years after founding it by the company’s financial backers.

Then, he famously went on to become the President of Facebook. He’s been involved in a number of ventures since then (such as being an early investor in Spotify), and his net worth is currently in the 2-3 billion range.

2. Aaron Swartz


He went to Stanford, where he started a company and quit college to keep working on it. He created the web.py framework, he was one of the early developers of Reddit, which he merged his company, Infogami with.

He became a political activist and performed research on corruption as a Lab Fellow at Harvard. He created Tor2Web with another developer to aid activists.

He began spreading information that he believed should be public, downloading massive amounts (millions) of court documents and the Library of Congress’s information which he made freely available through Open Library.

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He was working to download a massive number of academic articles from JSTOR over MIT’s network when he was captured with a laptop connected to a controlled-access wiring closet.

He was prosecuted under felony charges of fraud and breaking and entering, and had a potential maximum sentencing of 50 years lined up against him.

Facing decades of incarceration, he committed suicide at 26 in January of 2013.

3. George Hotz


George Francis Hotz (born October 2, 1989), alias geohot, is an American hacker known for unlocking the iPhone, allowing the phone to be used with other wireless carriers, contrary to AT&T’s and Apple’s intentions.

He developed the limera1n jailbreak tool and bootrom exploit for iOS. He is also noted for his technical efforts and publicity with reverse engineering the PlayStation 3 video game console, and for subsequently being sued by and settling with Sony.

As of September 2015, he is working on his vehicle automation machine learning company comma.ai

Source: Quora.com, Wikipedia.com

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