Published in News
Ethiopian kids hack Motorola Xoom tablets
by Nick Farrell on03 November 2012
From illiterate to hacker in five months
If you give an Ethiopian kid a Motorola Xoom tablet and in five months, they'll start teaching themselves English, hack the security on your OS, customise settings and activate disabled hardware.
The One Laptop Per Child project handed out Motorola Xoom tablets plus solar chargers running custom software to 1,000 kids in two villages in Ethiopia, taped shut, with no instructions whatsoever. It was pre-loaded with a custom English-language operating system and SD cards with tracking software on them to record how the tablets were used.
OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte at MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference last week that within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch, even though he had never seen one before. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android.
Apparently some one had disabled the camera, but the kids figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.