updated 03:10 am EDT, Sun June 26, 2011
George Hotz now working at Facebook
Jailbreaker George Hotz, better known as Geohot, has started working at Facebook based on a post found at his personal page (friends only). After P0sixninja (Josh Hill) claimed in an interview (below) to have been rebuffed on a challenge to Hotz to find an iPad 2 boot ROM exploit because of Hotz's Facebook job, Techmeme's Gabe Rivera dug through the Facebook personal profile and found confirmation that the device hacker had started work in May and made it public on June 17. What role he has or what projects he's developing are both still unknowns.
A chance exists that he may be working on the official Facebook iPad app. Its development is unusual since it would be shipping less than a year after Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the possibility in November, instead preferring the desktop-optimized page. Hotz's skill set is diverse but got him his initial recognition from iOS: he was the first to successfully unlock the iPhone in 2007 and went so far as to use soldering before he and others later learned how to crack the restrictions entirely in software.
More recently, most of Hotz's recognition has come from his PlayStation 3 jailbreaking efforts. Along with having one of the more popular workarounds for Sony's mid-cycle ban on the "other OS" feature, he became the symbolic head of opposition to what has been seen by many as a violation of rights to modify one's own device. While not a true victory, he obtained a much more conciliatory settlement where Sony had been threatening more serious consequences and had previously been bent on following through on its lawsuit.
Facebook hasn't commented on the recruitment, although it may see Hotz as a welcome return to form for iOS if that becomes his focus. Its iPhone app was originally developed almost single-handedly by Joe Hewitt, who at first backed out of developing the app and later left Facebook entirely in May, just as Hotz was about to step in. [via TechUnwrapped]