Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider
After hacking into Sony’s Playstation 3, George Hotz was hired by Facebook last June.That gig didn’t last long. He no longer works there.
So what is he doing in his free time?
Hotz was anything but bored at Backplane, a startup funded by Lady Gaga, where we ran into him this past Saturday. He told me he appreciated the space and the free pizza.
When Hotz waltzed in the door at Backplane, he introduced himself as the hacker who was sued by Sony, but he’s most famous for releasing software that allows smartphone users to jailbreak their iPhone.
During the hackathon, I got to work with him as he built an app that allows you to see where your Facebook friends are on a map.
Aviv Ovadya, a Quora engineer, was also on the team. Ovadya focused on the front end mapping part of the program. Hotz was focused on getting the API info and programming that into location data. I helped advise them on its design and focused on documenting the process (see video footage below).
Hotz worked on making the map prettier, by making the actual photos of his Facebook profile friends appear. Another hacker suggested that Hotz filter the results by gender. So Hotz coded it to sort by female or male.
The app didn’t win — it lost out to a group of high school students.
Watch the video to see us hack with Hotz: