A self-driving-car developer who tweeted support for the 'extremely hardcore' culture at Twitter says he has a 12-week internship to improve its search quality

george hotz
  • A self-driving-car developer and hacker tweeted that he's doing a 12-week internship at Twitter.

  • George Hotz said the "extremely hardcore" culture "is the attitude that builds incredible things."

  • Hotz was behind creating iOS jailbreaks and was sued by Sony for hacking the PlayStation 3.

A self-driving-car developer and hacker who said he wanted to improve search quality on Twitter now says he's getting 12 weeks to give it a try with an internship at the company.

George Hotz tweeted last week that he wanted to put his "money where my mouth is" and pursue "a 12 week internship at Twitter for cost of living in SF."


Twitter's owner, Elon Musk, replied: "Sure, let's talk."

Hotz replied, "Cool, my phone number hasn't changed," and added that he's "not the guy" if Musk wanted "long term stability."

"I really enjoy diving in to complex codebases and think I could help document and clean up some of those 1000 microservices in 12 weeks," Hotz tweeted at Musk. "Reverse engineering!"

Before offering to do the internship, Hotz asked how people on Twitter felt about "the quality of Twitter search" and what it would take for people to ditch Google for searching on Twitter.

Austen Allred, the cofounder and CEO of BloomTech, replied to Hotz saying Twitter's search "really sucks" and was "basically exact match."

Hotz replied that it was "true" and that he would "look into if there's some easy way to improve this."

On Tuesday, Hotz suggested his proposed internship at Twitter had indeed come to be by replying to a separate Twitter user: "that's what Elon told me my job was, and I will try my hardest to do it. I have 12 weeks."

He added that he would work on "trying to get rid of that nondismissable" pop-up that prompts people to log in when scrolling on Twitter without being logged in, adding that "these things ruin the Internet."

Hotz said he would "consider my internship a win" even if he only got rid of the login pop-up, adding that he had a Google Chrome extension on his laptop that blocked the pop-up.

After Musk's late-night email asking the Twitter staff members who survived mass layoffs to commit to an "extremely hardcore" workload, Hotz tweeted that it was "the attitude that builds incredible things," adding: "Let all the people who don't desire greatness leave."

In a Twitter reply, Hotz further made his case that he could survive at Twitter, saying he didn't like working remotely and "would go into the office every day."

Hotz gained recognition in 2007 when he became the first person known to unlock the iPhone, letting people use their iPhone on networks other than AT&T's. Years later, when he was 20, Sony sued Hotz for hacking the PlayStation 3. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

Musk and Hotz also have a history, as outlined in a 2015 Bloomberg feature about Hotz developing self-driving car technology.

Bloomberg quoted an email in which Musk said Hotz "should just work at Tesla," with a multimillion-dollar bonus apparently contingent on Hotz outperforming driver-assist technology from the company Mobileye, which Tesla was partnering with.

Bloomberg wrote that Hotz backed out of the deal "when he felt that Musk kept changing the terms."

Correction: November 23, 2022 — An earlier version of this story misstated when George Hotz gained recognition as the first person known to have unlocked the iPhone. It was 2007, not 2017.

Read the original article on Business Insider