Submitted 19th October 2005
Popularity 2542
They are masters of innovation, technology, and strategic vision - 40 companies driving the global economy.

A world-famous reverse engineer by the time he was 16, the soft-spoken tinkerer outraged the motion picture industry in 1999 for his work on DeCSS, a successful project to crack the encryption on DVDs that led to Hollywood's first lawsuits under the United States' controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Since then, Johansen's hacks for Apple Computer's iTunes software and Microsoft's Media Player have made headlines, and his blog -- titled "So Sue Me" -- has become must-see surfing for digital media geeks and, one suspects, entertainment company lawyers.
In a posting to his website late Tuesday, Robertson said he'd snapped up Johansen to work on a "significant new project" called Oboe at his digital music company MP3tunes. Oboe will "bring digital music into the 21st century," Robertson wrote. Until recently, Johansen's controversial work was protected by Norway's laws, which allowed people to reverse-engineer digital copy protection for lawful purposes. But in July, Norway adopted a European Union directive similar to the DMCA that outlaws circumventing copy protections for any reason.
Meet the masters of innovation, technology, and strategic vision - 40 companies that are reshaping the global economy.
The Wired Index was founded in 1998 to "mirror the arc of the new economy as it emerges from the heart of the late industrial age. Much has changed since, when we launched our list of the 40 most wired companies. The tech boom and bust unleashed a wave of creative destruction that proved far more tempestuous than anyone had imagined.
Our list, too, has seen its share of turmoil. Only 10 of the original 40 companies remain. This year's 13 new entries include inspired upstarts like Netflix and reinventions like BP. The growing power of Linux is reflected by the selection of open source-friendly IBM and the removal of Sun. Topping the list is Google, a private firm so compelling we bent our public-only rule to include it.
We've also changed the name of the list from the Wired Index to the Wired 40. This reaffirms the original mission to highlight companies driven by innovative thinking, not marketplace brawn. Name aside, the selection criteria remain unaltered. This remarkable roster has demonstrated mastery of today's business essentials: innovation, technology, strategic vision, global reach, and networked communication. We've ranked them accordingly.
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