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Saturday, 03 November 2012 12:30

Ethiopian kids hack Motorola Xoom tablets

Written by Nick Farrell



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.

Nick Farrell

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