Excerpts From Q&A With iPhone Hacker Comex On Reddit (IAmA)


Comex, the hacker behind jailbreaking tools like JailbreakMe and Spirit and soon to be Apple intern, is very active on Reddit and recently agreed to do an IAmA on the site. An IAmA is reddit speak for a Q&A session. Although he was candid all through the session, as part of his contract with Apple he didn’t answer any questions about his internship with the company.

The first few questions that greeted him were of course about whether he would continue to support the jailbreak community in the future, the answer to which was a straight no. He did say that he wouldn’t abandon jailbreaking altogether, and would want his peers in the jailbreaking community to find more exploits in the future. The jailbreak community including devs and jailbreakers have largely been positive of his move to Apple, which even he was surprised to see. He also added that all his work on jailbreaking would be handed either to Muslenerd or chpwn.

The starting point for his work on the PDF exploit used in JailbreakMe was FreeType – an open source font engine included in iOS devices. He also reveals that he had discovered several exploits in iOS, but they were patched before he could use them for jailbreaks:

“I should have worked on these jailbreaks more consistently, and released them more quickly; I’ve had several exploits fixed on me that could have been used in a jailbreak if I was quicker at packaging.”

Comex displays fascination towards WebOS and plans to get TouchPad soon and would be working on what he calls a ‘fun low level project’. In addition to the jailbreaks, Comex also contributed to the Wii homebrew community.

Although money wasn’t his motivation to jump into the jailbreak scene, he says he made $55,000 in donations, which he would use to pay college fees. He is presently on leave from college (Brown University) and plans to join next year. This is the reason he didn’t opt for a job at Apple, and instead chose to intern.

On Apple borrowing ideas from jailbreak hacks and tweaks, he says:

“I certainly don’t mind. Jailbreak community puts an idea in front of people with a crappy implemenation; Apple polishes it to the point where it can be an OS feature. I don’t know whether Apple actually pays attention to jailbreak apps, but see App Store, copy and paste, multitasking, etc…”

He shares the same admiration for Steve Jobs like we all do, and hopes to meet him some day. For the complete Q&A thread hit the source link.

[via Reddit]