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Geohot Joins Facebook As Product Developer

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  • by elucido (870205) * on Sunday June 26, 2011 @10:49PM (#36580522)

    Facebook is the last company I would have expected him to take a job from. This is like as if he took a job working at Sony.

    How should we interpret this? Ah well I don't care. He should get what money he can get while he can get it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He's just doing it for the lulz...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:05PM (#36580592)

      Doing what you love, vs. doing what you love and getting paid for it.

      Gee. What a hard choice to make.

    • by cgenman (325138) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:05PM (#36580594) Homepage

      Interpretation 1:

      Change the system from inside. Nothing changes without a decision from someone inside, and the easiest way to get that is to get a man inside.

      Interpretation 2:

      Facebook pretty much allows friends to communicate with eachother. It's mundane, and looks pointless outside of a particular circle of friends. But it is the democratazation of communication, man.

      Interpretation 3:

      "Boy that's a big bag of cash."

      • by GNious (953874)

        #4:
        Its part of Sony's settlement with GeoHot - Go work for Facebook, so we can sue them ... somehow ...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Facebook pretty much allows friends to communicate with eachother.

        That's very generous of them. Thank you, Facebook!

      • by metacell (523607)

        Interpretation 4: He's a guy who loves programming and doesn't care much for politics.

    • by BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:09PM (#36580604)

      Well, I'd imagine he has quite a bit of lawyer bills to pay right now so a good paying job is probably a good idea for him. I don't see how you would think it equates to working for Sony. Facebook didn't take him to court.

      They're saying that he is going to be working on the iOS app, so at least he is doing something he knows. After thinking about it, I'm surprised something like this didn't happen sooner. He knows iOS pretty well, it only makes sense that he would get a job somewhere making apps for it, and Facebook is one of the bigger companies with a more hacker friendly attitude.

      • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:12PM (#36580620)

        I don't know how he could presently have huge lawyer bills when he had 10 grand in spare change to boot over to the EFF.

        Being the hacker that jailbroke the impenetrable PS3 his math skills can't be that bad.

      • True. And if anyone knows how to bypass your phone's security settings and get your contact list or anything else it wants, then he's probably the man as well. Not that Facebook would be interested in violating your privacy or anything.

      • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday June 27, 2011 @12:59AM (#36580980)

        Hacking iOS and hacking the PS3 is quite different from developing end-user apps for it.

        They both require coding skills, and knowledge about software - yet when creating an app you're supposed to follow the guidelines, add a nice looking UI to it, etc. I see coding as a tool, no more. A tool to get something done. Building an app with nice UI means you need some UI skills. Building an app that hacks the underlying OS means you have crypto and system analyses skills.

        I'm writing an app for Android myself, but I don't know much about the technicalities of Android under the hood, nor do I see much of a need for anyone to deeply understand the OS. Google has nicely abstracted that for me through their API kit. No need to know how memory is allocated exactly, or how and when an app is closed automatically (other than knowing it may happen).

        I'd more expect this guy to end up in the computer security field.

        But as you say, the pay is probably good. Very good. It has to be for someone with such skills.

        • I'd more expect this guy to end up in the computer security field.

          Maybe Mark Zuckerberg saw a status update that said, "I should hire GeoHot because my security sucks.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Maybe Mark Zuckerberg saw a status update that said, "I should hire GeoHot because my security sucks.

            What security would that be? Facebook privacy settings?

            No, Facebook's privacy settings are, from the POV of Facebook, excellent. They give the illusion of privacy to encourage people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do. Which is the entire point - FB is less about providing a place to meet, but more a place to get people to willingly post information online to for data mining purposes.

            The old adage of "i

        • by jdpars (1480913)
          If you think hardware-level or deep OS-level knowledge isn't important to coding effectively, you need to read a little. Especially on mobile platforms, the trick is getting every ounce of power out of the CPU. And no one said he went into UI development. If anything, the team that handles that does so across all platforms so that the aesthetic is the same throughout Facebook products. Lastly, the security he broke wasn't anything that most consumer-level electronics bother with. The PS3 was so heavily lock
          • by wvmarle (1070040)

            When talking games, yes, then you need every last bit of performance out of what you can get (though if you go that way, your app will suck on lower-specced models). Then those optimisations may come in handy.

            However I don't see why a Facebook app would be limited by available hardware as basically all it does is send and receive messages, and display them in a nice way. No need for fancy animations or so. Network speed will be your limiting factor.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          Hacking iOS and hacking the PS3 is quite different from developing end-user apps for it.

          They both require coding skills, and knowledge about software - yet when creating an app you're supposed to follow the guidelines, add a nice looking UI to it, etc. I see coding as a tool, no more. A tool to get something done. Building an app with nice UI means you need some UI skills. Building an app that hacks the underlying OS means you have crypto and system analyses skills.

          I'm writing an app for Android myself, but I don't know much about the technicalities of Android under the hood, nor do I see much of a need for anyone to deeply understand the OS. Google has nicely abstracted that for me through their API kit. No need to know how memory is allocated exactly, or how and when an app is closed automatically (other than knowing it may happen).

          I'd more expect this guy to end up in the computer security field.

          But as you say, the pay is probably good. Very good. It has to be for someone with such skills.

          many mobile apps suck simply because they've been made exactly according to guidelines (which don't fit the program at all, like default android youtube player pausing when it goes out of focus). and you actually need to know on android where and how memory is allocated and what shenigans about app process life cycle are happening behind your back, you have to know what stuff you'd like to keep alive in memory and which you'd be happy to let go to the gc, to speed up switching back to the app - and by spe

        • by metacell (523607)

          Hacking iOS and hacking the PS3 is quite different from developing end-user apps for it.

          But the skills needed to hack iOS and PS3 are very useful when you're trying to build a secure system.

    • Pardon my ignorance, but since when did Facebook have corporate ties to Sony?
    • by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:47PM (#36580754) Homepage Journal

      Just because you don't like company A, and you don't like company B, doesn't mean that someone else working for B is like him working for A from his perspective.

      My understanding is that the distaste for Sony came from it trying to lock out developers and hackers who wanted to put their own stuff into the PS3 ecosystem. Facebook lets developers in*, the developers are just not allowed to take users out.

      * Seriously; it seems every third week,at some point navigating to facebook.com lands me on some kind of phishing page or scam poll. It'd be a lot easier for FB to avoid that kind of vulnerability if they were far more draconian about developer access.

      • I have never seen a poll or anything like that when I go there.
        • My best guess is that some people I have as contacts on FB are more prone than yours to trying dozens of new apps each week, and so I'm at a greater risk.

          I've gotten the same reaction from other people, and it wasn't until they were standing behind me when it happened that they believed me. When the same kind of things happens once in a while across three browsers over two different operating systems across five or six different machines over three or four ISPs, I'm pretty sure it's not a local virus or bi

    • How should we interpret this?

      Easy. It's an panicky last ditch effort for Facebook to find someone capable of coding an iOS Facebook app which doesn't horrendously SUCK.

      The only app that has ever crashed on my sister's iPhone and my Android .... Facebook app. I greatly prefer logging into their website using a mobile browser than using that god awful app.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I greatly prefer logging into their website using a mobile browser than using that god awful app.

        I actually tried installing a Facebook app over the weekend ... it more or less wanted to completely change all of my privacy settings, which I assume is a side effect of the way the platform APIs work.

        So, if my choice is to use Safari to access Facebook, or let some app change all of my privacy settings to be much more permissive than I wanted ... well, it's not like it's tough to use it in Safari.

        I won't attem

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Thanks for raising the alarm. My settings are still on the Friends only for most and private for a few others so I'm not sure what you did that made it want to change your settings. But really thanks. It usually takes some kind of reminder for me to go in there and check to make sure facebook hasn't once again done a dodgy.

    • He has to pay his legal bills somehow.
  • by dbc (135354) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:11PM (#36580618)

    Maybe I'm too old-fashioned about such things, but Facebook is severely ethically challenged as a company. By extension, anybody who can work there without vomiting blood from disgust at their employer's behavior is not somebody I would want to hire.

    • by wmbetts (1306001) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:18PM (#36580648)

      Who do you hire for?

    • by matunos (1587263)

      I dunno. I bet Goldman Sachs has a lot of really smart people that other companies would love to hire, "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" though Goldman may be.

      • by Surt (22457)

        Most companies are as morally bankrupt as Goldman, they just aren't as skilled. Evil and talent are orthogonal dimensions, unfortunately.

    • Never underestimate what a little rationalization and a whole mound of cash can do to help you swallow the line they are selling.

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        Never underestimate the idea that Facebook is just another software-using/developing company and that not everyone considers them evil just because you do.

        • I see why you took my comment that way. I don't think Facebook is inherently evil. I do think they don't care much about their users. My comment was a more generic response to the gp. Ethical stands tend to go out the window with enough cash on the table.

          Potential Employee: I don't like your company's ethical position.

          Employer: The dump truck with your money is headed to your house, should he just dump it in your pool?

          Potential Employee: Uh...but couldn't you be better?

          Employer: We'll try.

          Potential Employee

  • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:17PM (#36580642)

    What Sony should've done if they had a working brain left anywhere outside their legal department. What does that say about an innovating company when its best minds are on the floor marked Legal?

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Well, one glance at Sony should answer that question... when was the last time they did something innovative? They make a bunch of second-tier me-too products, from TVs to cameras to MP3 players to phones, but they haven't had a really market leading product since what, the discman? How many people in high school these days would even know what one is?

      So there's your answer: when an innovating company's best minds are in legal, they cease to be an innovating company.

    • by gutnor (872759)

      What does that say about an innovating company when its best minds are on the floor marked Legal?

      That their business model will soon be protected by the government ?

  • Don't really know too much about him, but I thought all his work up until now has been with hardware? Doesn't really make sense to me that Facebook would hire him for 'anything', much less product development. Developing an process to circumvent security measures is worlds apart from developing a product for end consumers. If anything, every hardware developer should be trying to hire him for QA. But good for him for striking while the iron is still hot and landing a job while people still know who he is.
  • Is that pronounced "gooey-hot"?

  • do what you like is the best way
  • by zill (1690130) on Monday June 27, 2011 @12:16AM (#36580834)

    I wonder how he proved he's really Geohot...

    • He probably looks like the guy in the Geohot video that he released. And probably has the same first and last name as Geohot. And if that stuff wasn't enough, he could always show them some documentation from getting his socks sued off by Sony.
    • by symes (835608)

      Story is Zuckerberg's coffee machine started flashing "You're coffee is GeoHot"

  • by Paul Slocum (598127) on Monday June 27, 2011 @12:40AM (#36580900) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully he'll make a new Facebook app that doesn't suck.
  • If Facebook operates anything like it's CEO, it's more likely to treat you badly and screw you over if you're his friend.
  • He probably took the job to get inside info on phones for jail-breaking progress.

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