Geohotfacebook

Former SONY Enemy #1 – Geohot Now Working at Facebook on iPad apps

George Hotz, the infamous iPhone hacker, and the victim of a recent Sony lawsuit, now works at Facebook. A member of the Chronic-Dev Team named Joshua Hill (P0sixninja) said this in a recent interview. Joshua challenged GeoHot to find a bootrom exploit for the iPad2, and this news quickly spread on Twitter. In the interview, Joshua said the George was mad at him because he doesn’t want that much attention, after being sued by Sony, and backed out of the challenge to work at his day job… at Facebook. Geohot has yet to say anything, after the Sony lawsuit, he blogged for a while then completely MIA. This does all add up because Facebook has confirmed they are working on an iPad app, when before they said they were not going to do one at all. We will keep you guys updated if Geohot says anything.

Gabe Rivera of Techmeme in a tweet found Geohot’s page at Facebook.com/Geohot, and the first post at the top of page says” is Facebook is really an amazing place to work…first hackathon over.”. He also found out that he started in May, and announced it to his Facebook friends on June 17, 2011…

Congrats to Facebook, George is extremely talented. We expect to see (more) amazing things from him for years to come.

See our previous article “Sony’s War on Makers, Hackers, and Innovators” where we talk about Geohot…

Mssony

Sony should take a page from Microsoft’s playbook and develop a PlayStation SDK for innovators with Hotz. Microsoft saw all the amazing projects and hacks with the Xbox Kinect, and they embraced it. Here’s a Microsoft employee celebrating jailbreaking and encouraging Hotz to hack their product! Brandon Watson is Director for Windows Phone 7.

Sony should not be suing GeoHot, they should be making a job offer. GeoHot isn’t going away, he has a bright future ahead — just look at what he’s done already, and he’s only 21!


He was a finalist at the 2005 ISEF competition in Portland OR with his project “The Mapping Robot”. Recognition included interviews on the Today Show and Larry King. Hotz was a finalist at the 2005 ISEF competition, with his project “The Googler”. Continuing with robots, Hotz competed in his school’s highly successful Titanium Knights battlebots team. George also worked on his project, “Neuropilot,” in which he was able to read EEG signals off his head with hardware from the OpenEEG project.

Hotz competed in the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a science competition for high school students, where his project, entitled “I want a Holodeck”, received awards and prizes in several categories. Hotz has received considerable attention in mainstream media, including interviews on the Today Show, Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS, G4, ABC CNBC, and articles in several magazines, newspapers, and websites, including Forbes, and BBC. The Forbes article said Hotz hopes to go into Neuroscience: “hacking the brain,” he called it. In March 2008, PC World magazine listed George as one of the top 10 Overachievers under 21.

He entered the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007, quickly after gaining notoriety for hacking the iPhone, but withdrew from the school after 1 quarter. In December 2007, Hotz travelled to Sweden to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar and talk about his 3D imaging invention (called Project Holodeck) that netted him a $20,000 Intel scholarship earlier that year.

During Sony’s lawsuit against George I emailed Sony and suggested they drop the case (they eventually did) and hire George to develop their SDKs, and consider jointing speaking at Maker Faire about how Sony is going to work with makers and innovators. No reply, but later Sony contacted other “hackers” to get them to work at Sony but the “hacker” turned them down because of how Sony went after George.

Here is a note from MAKE’s Dan Woods:

Incidentally, the first time I met George was 4 years ago. He was 17, in his first quarter at RIT, and was being pursued by the major networks who wanted to talk to the kid who’d hacked the iPhone a couple months after its debut. I was trying to recruit Steve Wozniak to attend the first Austin Maker Faire but he was in Australia. He then said “I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but you really ought to get that Hotz kid to come down to Maker Faire”. Great idea. When I reached George, he was ecstatic about being invited. He was blown away that we wanted to fly him out. I was struck by his modesty.

Sidenote: I forgot that he was a minor. So the night before Maker Faire kicked off, I got a call around midnight from George explaining that his hotel wouldn’t allow him to checkin. Minor with no credit card. Not a hotel’s ideal guest it seems. I had to drive across town to his hotel and convince them that he could stay there on my card.

He did a couple of Maker Faires for us. He’s a great guy. The attendees loved him. Happy to hear that Facebook got him. Sony’s loss.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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