Crazy like a Firefox
Blake Ross turned 21 a week ago, and he marked the event by appearing before a crowded City Club of Cleveland luncheon.
Why would this young man — presently a college dropout — draw the interest of the venerated speakers’ forum? The answer can be found in two words: Mozilla Firefox.
That’s the name of the open-source code, free Internet browser Ross developed over three years ago, while still a high school student. To date, it has been downloaded well over 100 million times over the Internet. It has been widely heralded because it eludes viruses, blocks pop-ups, and deals effectively with many of the security issues that have plagued other browsers, most notably that of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
So, is this young, Jewish computing prodigy “Microsoft’s worst nightmare” or just a gifted software developer who happened to be at the right place at the right time?