How One Hacker Unintentionally Triggered one of the Biggest Data Thefts of All Time George "geohot" Hotz found himself with overnight notoriety when, in 2007 at the age of seventeen, he successfully unlocked an iPhone — the first known to do so, bragging about it online.

In January, 2010, he became the first hacker successfully to break through all of the restrictions Sony had put on the PlayStation 3. Sony responded with a patch which, in January, 2011, Hotz also cracked. Internet fame followed, along with a massive lawsuit.

The May 7 issue of the New Yorker features a lengthy profile of Hotz in which they examine how one kid from New Jersey became a cause celebre for Anonymous, and—directly or not—a catalyst for the massive PSN hack that exposed 77 million users information and kept the service offline for nearly a month.

Reporter David Kushner interviewed Hotz about the original PS3 hack and the lawsuit that followed. "Internet protests, like street protests, have a way of spinning out of control. People chant peacefully, but then someone throws a rock through a window and rioting begins," Kushner observes. He continues:

Back in his parents' house, in front of the glowing computer screens in his cluttered bedroom, Hotz clicked with mounting apprehension through the news of Anonymous's plans. "I hope to God Sony doesn't think this is me," he remembers thinking. He didn't believe in secretive online warfare, much less in defecating on someone's doorstep. "I'm the complete opposite of Anonymous," he told me. "I'm George Hotz. Everything I do is aboveboard, everything I do is legit."

On April 11th, Sony announced that it had reached an agreement with Hotz, who denied wrongdoing but consented to a permanent injunction barring him from reverse-engineering any Sony product in the future. But Hotz's supporters felt that the injunction was a form of censorship. Some of his defenders made "FREE GEOHOT" shirts, and others went to Sony stores in cities such as San Diego and Costa Mesa to protest. Black-hat hackers called for more destructive attacks against Sony.

A week later, on April 19 of that year, Sony techs noticed their servers acting oddly, and the rest became history. Sony Online Entertainment and Sony Pictures took hits not long after, as well as a number of other gaming- and tech-related companies and sites; 2011 was an extremely busy year in hacks.

Since the resolution of the lawsuit, Hotz has mainly been lying low (except for an incident earlier this year where he was arrested in Texas for marijuana possession). He worked for Facebook briefly, then left the position.

Meanwhile, it seems Sony did indeed learn something meaningful from the whole disaster. After the lawsuit was settled, Sony engineers invited Hotz to their offices to teach them just how he'd beaten their systems.

Machine Politics: The man who started the hacker wars [New Yorker]

(Top photo: Shutterstock)

My, Chun-Li, You Look DifferentThis isn't the Chun-Li I remember! But it doesn't matter much because look how awesome that animation is. I can watch her loop around for that hit too many times than is normal.

Or at least until I fall over from dizziness. That, or someone yells at me to go back to work and stop being weird. I'll only promise to deliver on one of those things, though.

Chun Li Punch Color [DeviantART via Reddit]


Yell These Words at Skyrim Using The Kinect PatchBethesda has released a full list of voice commands that will be supported in Skyrim's Kinect patch, which comes out tomorrow for Xbox 360.

Check the PDF below for the whole list. And if you're wondering whether to download the patch—well, first of all, it's free. Second of all, it turns out shouting "Fus Ro Dah" at your screen is actually quite fun.


He's Convinced Final Fantasy XV is Coming This Gen, and It Will Be AwesomeDisappointed in Final Fantasy XIV? Saddened by Final Fantasy XIII? Don't worry, commenter Zasalamel says Final Fantasy XV is coming, and he'll tell you why it will be amazing in today's Speak Up on Kotaku.

Final Fantasy XV is coming this gen and it will be awesome. How can I make such a statement? I'll tell you how. It's simple really. There's always been three main-series FF games per console generation (3 on NES, 3 on SNES, 3 on PS1, 3 on PS2), so it's only natural for there to be a third game this generation. The reason I believe FFXV will be awesome is that I'm pretty sure that it will be directed by Hiroyuki Itō because he has been directing the third FF game every generation since the SNES, namely FFVI, FFIX and FFXII. Those three games are the three FF games with the highest Metacritic scores and some of my all time favorite games. They represent the true essence of Final Fantasy in my eyes.

No offense to those that like the Kitase/Toriyama/Nomura style FF games but I do not enjoy those games as much, except for FFVII of course, but that game retained a lot of classic FF elements despite the futuristic setting thanks to Sakaguchi (Producer) and Itō (Materia system concept). Kitase's philosophy is very narrow, story-driven and cinematic whereas Itō prefers a balance between story and gameplay which features more freedom. To me Itō is one of the people who has contributed the most to the FF series. He invented the ATB system and the overall battle system for the SNES and PS1 games, helped create and then perfected the Job System, created the Materia system from FFVII and even created the beloved Triple Triad mini-game from FFVIII.

I would love to hear some FFXV news at this year's E3. Itō has apparently been working on a secret project for some time. To me, it can only be FFXV and I believe it will be amazing. Don't take my word for it though, take Hironubu Sakaguchi's. A couple of months ago at a UK launch event for The Last Story, Sakaguchi was asked who he thought at Square could save Final Fantasy. His answer: Hiroyuki Itō.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.

Skyrim's Kinect update will go live tomorrow, Bethesda said this afternoon on its blog. The publisher will also announce the first downloadable content pack for its popular role-playing game, although VP of Marketing Pete Hines warned that we'll only hear a "tidbit" of information about the upcoming DLC.

Bethesda also released a full PDF file of the voice commands that will be included in the free upcoming patch.

A recent patch hinted at some of the content that could be included in the upcoming Skyrim DLC, such as snow elves and a crossbow weapon. Bethesda has promised that the game's DLC will feel like expansion packs, so we'll likely see a lot more than elves and crossbows (and horse armor).

Skyrim Kinect Support Arrives Tomorrow [Bethesda Blog]

Gas Station Hot Dogs: The Snacktaku ReviewIs the hot dog a snack, or is it a sandwich? Snackologists have long debated whether these discount sausage rolls fell under their dominion or were the bailiwick of the culinary elite.

I have formulated, I believe, the ultimate answer.

If you purchase a package of hot dogs from your local grocery store, bring it into your home and prepare as directed, then that time investment makes it a meal, not a snack. If you wander into a gas station at two in the morning, fetch a somehow moist-yet-stale bun out of the steam tray, pick up a cooked sausage with a pair of tongs and spurt on your preferred condiments, then that, my friends, is a snack.

Case closed.


The date of creation of what is known today as the hot dog is difficult to ascertain. Sausages have been around for as long as man has craved sausage (forever), so the question really becomes who first thought to wrap a sausage in a bun? Popular fiction would have us believe that one Claude Maximillian Overton Transpire Dibbler created the phenomenon, and that's as good an answer to that particular question as you're likely to get, and I'm cutting my own throat with that one.

What are hot dogs made of? That's a question one should never, ever ask. It could elicit an answer of meat trimmings and fat, salt, garlic and paprika, and sodium nitrates. Or someone could tell you the truth, and you'd never eat a hot dog again. I mean look at that magnificent fibrous beast up there. Would you want to miss out on that?


If it's not pink, it's not a hot dog; at least not in the traditional sense. Thankfully the hot dogs at my local Quik Trip (Georgia's answer to 7-Eleven) are incredibly pink. That's because they are 100 percent Kent Beef Hot Dogs, slow-roasted over metal rollers from dawn until dusk, and then a little bit after dusk.

Honestly I'm not sure how long they've been on there, but in my experience the longer the better. That's why I assembled my two hot dogs (two for a dollar!) at 2AM last night, when they've been sitting on the heated metal so long they've formed a protective carapace not unlike that of a particularly healthy cockroach.

You'll have to excuse the shaky quality of this assembly video. It was late, I only have two hands, and halfway through a police officer came out of the restroom, which made me nervous. He followed me back to my apartment later, perhaps making sure muggers didn't relieve me of my beefy treats.


Unlike many snacks, eating the hot dog is not where the heart of the gameplay lies. More of a game of chance, the true joy involves placing the snacks inside their protective shells, slipping them into the bag along with whatever else you might have purchased at the gas station at 2AM (three cans of Rooster Booster, in this case), and then seeing what they look like when you finally get them home.

Gas Station Hot Dogs: The Snacktaku Review

This one fell out of the passenger side of my Nissan Pathfinder when I opened the door. Now that's tasty.

Speaking of taste, there is something about the gas station hot dog that makes it taste more satisfying than homemade. Is it hours upon hours of rolling? The combined breath of thousands of convenience store patrons settling on its glistening surface? Close proximity to the taquitos?

Whatever the reason, gas station hot dogs carry a deeper taste than all others. The salt is definitely more profound, as is the chemical aftertaste, which hot dog connoisseurs refer to as the "money shot".

And the beef? Nothing about these tastes like beef, but that's how we like it. If I wanted beef I would have taken a large bite out of a cow.

The Verdict

Four years ago I purchased a genuine hot dog roller from Fry's Electronics in Alpharetta, Georgia in the hopes of capturing the magic of the gas station hot dog at home. I purchased the cheapest sausages I could find, steamed buns in the oven over a pot of water, and just let them roll all day long. After a dozen hours I assembled my prize, dribbled on some mustard, and took a large bite.

It tasted like ass. Possibly cat ass, but nailing that down would require a taste test I'm not prepared to commit to.

After a good cry I came to the logical conclusion: My house was not a gas station, so I could never, ever create a gas station hot dog there. Without daily tanker deliveries, shady customers, and the constant low hum of the drink machines, my homemade dogs would never achieve true greatness. They'd never be snacks.

No, these wondrous creatures thrive in the dirt and grime of food retail's lowest common denominator. The gas station hot dog should not be shunned for its lowly origins, but celebrated for achieving so much with so little.

What's so great about Two Guys from Andromeda getting together to make a new game? For the answer, let's look at the classic adventure Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers, an adventure so epic it spans at least three different games.

After ripping science fiction a new laugh-hole through three amazing Space Quest adventure titles for Sierra Online, Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy took on one of sci-fi's most confusing elements: time travel. They did this by warping the slightly-heroic space janitor that just wants to keep the galaxy clean.

The entire game is one hilarious moment after another, aided greatly by Laugh-In's Gary Owen's on narration duty in the CD-rom version of the game. But by far the funniest moment of the entire series is realizing that the top of the screen features an entirely different game name. That alone is worth helping Two Guys from Andromeda make a new game.

Memorable Moments and Lines from Space Quest 4 [YouTube]

It seems as if everyone in the Raleigh game development scene have ridden the slide from the second to the first floor of Epic Games' headquarters. Now, thanks to the magic of shaky iPhone video, you can too.

"You can't miss the slide," everyone and their brother told me as I prepared for my visit to Epic Games headquarters on Wednesday afternoon. After a few hours wandering about the East Coast Games Convention, chatting with the various developers and PR folks attending, I was almost more excited about the slide than I was my chance to lick Cliff's Transformers.


Now slide vicariously through me, my friends. Slide and be set free.

Update: Now with more video.

Wait, what? I didn't pay for front row seats to the Mortal Kombat tournament just to be deprived of bloody entertainment!

At least that's what I imagine is running through the heads of the audience when Scorpion decides to forgo a fatality move. They've been robbed of the awesomely gruesome fatalities known to the fighting game. I would not blame them for feeling shafted.

But what a way worse fate Scorpion has actually unleashed on Sub-Zero. Best case scenario, he could have been a full-time hula-hooper. Or maybe a yoga instructor.

For more sick and twisted video game comedy, follow the link to Dorkly.com.
Fake Gamer of the Week: Little Girl Who Just Found Porn On Her Brother's DSOh, Little Girl Who Just Found Porn On Her Brother's DS. I'm so sorry this happened to you. On behalf of brothers everywhere, I apologize.

When your big brother got a 3DS, you were so excited to inherit his old DS that you didn't even think about clearing out the internal memory. Why would you? What kind of person would put porn onto his DS in the first place? Isn't that impossible? Who would take the time to figure out how to do that, let alone go through with it?

And is that… a hockey puck? How did that lady even do that?

First of all: Sigh. Yes, that's a hockey puck. I don't know how she did it either.

Secondly, let me tell you something about 13 year-old boys. They'll put porn just about anywhere. The space between their mattresses, the clothes hamper in the guest-room closet; these places are only the beginning. They have porn hidden in places you can't even imagine—at least a couple of nooks and crannies around the house, taped onto the inside of mom's furniture catalogs, digital copies hidden in repartitioned hard drives, and yes, even on their handheld gaming systems.

I'm just sorry you had to find out this way, Little Girl Who Just Found Porn On Her Brother's DS. And furthermore, I'm sorry your brother is experimenting with NHL-themed horse-porn. Rather than attempt to tell you some of the ways it could be worse, I'll just say that this really sucks.

And then I'll immediately regret my choice of words.

I mean here you are, with all your friends around, in the early phases of what will surely be a really fun slumber party. You guys were going to order a pizza, maybe watch a movie.

And now you're in a quandary, quietly wondering if you should show them your discovery or close the DS and never speak of this again.

Better take a closer look, just to be sure you're seeing what you think you're seeing…

Fake Gamer of the Week: Little Girl Who Just Found Porn On Her Brother's DS

Yup. That's a horse's leg, all right.

(Image credit | CREATISTA/Shutterstock)