George Hotz is well-known for hacking the PlayStation 3 and breaking the iPhone’s carrier lock. Elon Musk has given him what may be his greatest technological challenge yet: fixing Twitter in three months. Oh, yeah, of course not all of it. He was brought in to repair Twitter’s ailing search feature.
Musk had previously attempted to engage the hacker for Tesla, but the two had a falling out over the terms of employment. Hotz went on to build Comma AI, which created an alternative to Tesla’s autopilot AI software. When he questioned whether an individual or a tiny business (like Comma AI) “that lacks considerable technical validation capability” could develop autonomous driving software for use in actual cars, Musk got into an argument with him in 2015.
Musk appears to have had a huge change of heart since then when he publicly expressed his doubt that a relative unknown like Hotz could dislodge an established leader in the sector like Tesla. He’s now brought on Hotz to address a problem that would normally need an army of engineers. Changes in one’s personality are always welcome. What started it all was when Hotz praised Musk for firing anyone who didn’t want to work at a “hardcore” Twitter. When a Twitter user pointed out that Hotz was essentially calling for indentured servitude, he countered by promising to serve for nothing more than his own San Francisco housing costs.
What happened next is history: Musk expressed interest in what is likely the cheapest engineering help he could ever acquire. Unfortunately, Kotaku did not hear back from Hotz before publishing regarding why he had not requested a full-time post. Hotz aims to accomplish a lot in his first 12 weeks at Twitter. He wishes to disable the login prompt that appears after a predetermined amount of time has passed while the page has been scrolled. He thinks that search engine results could be more useful if they were more tailored to the user’s needs. No of how well or poorly he does, Hotz has already established himself as the biggest sucker in the IT industry.
Hotz may not be able to fully replace a team, as evidenced by the fact that he has already failed once. The efforts of Hotz to enlist free assistance from engineers have made him a popular figure on tech Twitter. After firing numerous full-time engineers who could have helped with this effort, some have pointed out that it doesn’t look good for one of the biggest software businesses in Silicon Valley to beg for volunteer labor. Kotaku reached out to Twitter to ask if Hotz was hired to replace recently laid-off engineers, but had not heard back as of this writing.
Hotz, at the very least, continues the Silicon Valley custom of fussing over details that most people don’t care about. “If I just get rid of the pop up I still consider my internship a win,” Hotz tweeted. “I have a Chrome extension on my laptop to block it.”
George Hotz is famous for cracking the PS3 and removing the carrier lock from the iPhone. Fixing Twitter in three months is perhaps Elon Musk‘s greatest technological challenge yet. Obviously, that’s not all of it. He was hired specifically to fix Twitter’s search function.
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