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Poor Apple. It must hurt, to get outsmarted yet again by George Hotz, a prolific iPhone hacker.  (Source: On the iPhone)
Apple's hardware team can't seem to keep their close platform closed

Apple has a big headache.  That headache is iPhone unlockers and jailbreakers.  With iPhone jailbreaking, the powerful handsets are no longer constrained to only run the apps that Apple allows.  And with unlocking, users can jump onto other networks, leaving Apple's partner AT&T and its patchy 3G network behind.

Apple has long and unsuccessfully waged war with the unlockers.  It has tried to brick their iPhones.  It has tried to release new firmware versions to try to lock them out.  But ultimately, time and time again, Apple's best hardware and software engineers are finding themselves outwitted and befuddled by the persistent hackers.

Leading the crew is George Hotz, a 20-year-old New Jersey native who goes by the aliases geohot, million75, or mil online.  When he was just a teen, he became the first to develop a procedure to jailbreak the iPhone allowing its use on other networks.  The move netted him a hot car, extra iPhones, money, and fame.  Now slightly older and a month out of his teenage years, Hotz continues to be among the most prolific iPhone unlockers, consistently outsmarting Apple.

Now Hotz has released his latest masterpiece, blacksn0w, a free unlocking utility that works with the latest iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS hardware (the latest 05.11.07 baseband, which locked out previous hacks).  The unlock works with a new version of Hotz's popular purplera1n jailbreak hack, dubbed blackra1n.  Together the hacks can both free the phone from the AT&T network and Apple's app restrictions.

Blacksn0w is available through the renegade app store Cydia, which specializes in apps Apple has rejected.  Full support for Tiger and Power PC Macs has been added with the latest version of blackra1n, blackra1n RC3. The process for Apple and Windows users is detailed in easy tutorials here, and here, respectively.

One can only wonder if Apple is truly trying to defeat the unlockers.  If so, how can the schemes of its seasoned engineers continually be foiled by Hotz and his legion of young iPhone hackers?  On the other hand, if it doesn't truly oppose unlocking, why would it lobby the government to outlaw the practice, claiming it supports terrorism and drug dealing?

Regardless of whether Apple truly opposes unlocking/jailbreaking or not, the work by Hotz, et. al is welcome as it introduces the iPhone to the free market of multiple app stores and networks.  It also allows tethering -- a feature currently banned by Apple and AT&T (be careful with this one, though, you can run over your data limits and get charged an arm and a leg -- we warned you!).


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Sigh
By bill3 on 11/4/2009 4:24:57 AM , Rating: -1
Mick you're such a jackass, and I dont even like Apple.

Doesn't unlocking allow piracy, and thats really the reason people like it? Or that's jailbreaking, but at the least they're cousins.

People dont give a crap about alternate apps. People are bad, and they like to steal things, and Jason Mick is one of them.

Didn't one iPhone dev say piracy approaches 80% on iPhone? I believe it.

If people like Mick spend ten percent as much time worrying about government abuses or world hunger as they do minor corporation problems, we might be better off.

For example, I cant believe the "outrage" that erupted over PC Modern Warfare 2 not having dedicated servers. People are starving and this is what America sees fit to become outraged about, that a few PC gamers are going to have a slightly worse online experience, because that's such a big deal. This is America, land of the ultra left wing. And the corporation is always the bad guy, while the US Federal Government is 100 million times bigger that ATT and Apple put together.

Well, as usual I just implore people to steal everything they can from Dailytech and Jason Mick as well if they can. I mean Mick thinks it's ok to steal from corporations because he doesn't like minor parts of their policies, so it's ok to steal from Mick because I hate his columns.




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