GLEN ROCK, N.J. — Glen Rock native George Hotz could be one of the most prominent hackers in the world.
The 26-year San Francisco resident first emerged in 2007 as a 17-year old senior at Glen Rock High School when he became the first person ever to successfully hack the iPhone — allowing it to work on networks other than AT&T.
The hack earned him praise from the likes of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and a lengthy profile in the New Yorker .
"My whole life is a hack," Hotz told the New Yorker in 2011.
After the iPhone hack, Hotz was challenged to hack Sony's Playstation 3, which he did in January of 2010, but at a cost.
Hotz wound up being sued by Sony in 2011, and inadvertently launched a "hacker war" between Sony and the hacker collective Anonymous.
Anonymous believed Hotz was being unjustly persecuted and, in his defense, committed multiple hacks against Sony.
Hotz eventually settled with Sony and ended up taking a job with Facebook, which the New Yorker notes he did not stay in for very long.
“Facebook is a fun place to work,” he told the New Yorker, “but I wonder how people stay employed for so long.”
Now Hotz has emerged again with another lengthy profile, this time in Bloomberg Business , after having successfully built a self-driving car in his garage.
Hotz invited Bloomberg to take a spin in his 2016 Acrua ILX, which he has outfitted with cameras and software to give it self-driving capabilities.
Bloomberg describes what he has built as a low-cost alternative to a more expensive system designed by Mobileye — the company that supplies Tesla with driver-assist technology.
"It’s absurd,” Hotz told Bloomberg of Mobileye. “They’re a company that’s behind the times, and they have not caught up.”
Hotz plans on selling the camera and software package to major automakers for $1,000 dollars a piece. He has named his company comma.ai.
The Glen Rock native recently turned down a multi-million dollar offer from Elon Musk to come work at Tesla, Bloomberg reports.
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