Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril.

You might do it to gain access to features or functionality that your gadget/service provider should offer but doesn't. Or maybe you just want to avoid something you prefer not to do - llke coughing up your email address just to gain access to a site's content, or (ahem) paying for stuff you'd rather get for free.

And sometimes you do it because, well, it's awesome.

But awesomeness has a price, and every activity described below carries a risk. Potential fallout ranges from violating terms of service or voiding a warranty, to bricking your favourite gadgets or having a clutch of copyright lawyers descend upon you from a great height.

So these are things you really shouldn't do. Really. And if you tell anyone where you heard about them, we'll deny everything.

1. Jailbreak your iPhone

Apple iPhone owners fall neatly into two groups. Members of the first group suffer under the yoke of tyranny, endure arbitrary rules over what they can and can't do and put up with crappy reception (be careful how you hold that thing). Members of the other group have jailbroken their phones, hacking iOS whatever to get to features, apps, and carriers that are otherwise verboten. There are many ways to unlock the uber phone, but by far the easiest is with Jailbreakme. Simply visit the site jailbreakme.com from your iPhone's Safari browser, and you're done. It also works on the iPod Touch and the iPad - but only if your hardware uses iOS 4.01 or an earlier operating system.

Why this is awesome: It means no restrictions on the apps you can use. The Cydia store features dozens of apps that work exclusively on jailbroken iPhones.

Why you shouldn't do it: It's a constant game of cat and mouse between Apple and the jailbreakers, and Apple is the cat. Eventually the cat will win and your jailbreak will fail, possibly leaving you with a pretty paperweight (and no warranty). Also, you'll make Steve Jobs sad.

2. Let Pandora out of her box

Unlike normal radio, music streaming service Pandora, which is currently only available in the US, plays songs I've never heard before yet instantly love. However, Pandora won't necessarily stream the tune you need to hear right now. One solution: Orbit Downloader, which lets you capture tunes as they're playing in Firefox or IE and download them to your hard drive - and which works on lots of streaming sites in addition to Pandora. Orbit is free, but you'll have to fight off optional installs of toolbars and attempts to switch your default search engine. (Or you could simply click the Buy button on Pandora and pay, you tightwad.)

Why this is awesome: Great music for free.

Why you shouldn't do it: Pandora's terms of service forbid copying, storing, altering, or otherwise stealing the music tracks it streams. Also, if you do anything that ends up getting Pandora shut down, I will personally come to your house and pummel you.

NEXT PAGE: Maintain multiple Facebook identities

  1. Naughty tech tricks
  2. Maintain multiple Facebook identities
  3. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account
  4. Make email Vanish
  5. Ditch that DRM
  6. Maintain multiple Facebook identities

Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril.

3. Maintain multiple Facebook identities

A fake Facebook persona is good for more than just stalking your ex or posting nasty things about your boss; you can use it to say or 'like' things without repercussions, or play FarmVille and other obnoxious Facebook apps without risking your personal information and annoying your real friends. All you really need is an email address, a pretty picture, and some bogus details - and you're off to the races.

Another benefit: You can do what my son did and create a second Facebook account to deceive your parents and other adult relatives while saving the real one for your peeps. (Kids, if you do try this at home, remember: Don't log into the real account from dad's computer and then forget to log out. That will not go so well for you.)

Why this is awesome: No privacy risk and very little chance that your employer or loved ones will know it's you (unless, of course, you log in and forget to log out).

Why you shouldn't do it: It violates Facebook's terms of service, which means real you and fake you could both get the boot. Of course, Facebook often fails to follow its own rules, so why should you treat them as sacrosanct?

4. Get creative With Wikipedia

Did you know that that Lady Gaga is really a man in drag? Neither does anyone else - until you add it to Wikipedia. Few things are more satisfying than adding spurious 'fact'" to the people's encyclopedia just to see if anyone notices. Hours, days, or weeks later, some self-important Wikipedian will red pencil it, probably leaving a snotty comment in the page's history. That's where the real fun begins.

Why this is awesome: You can practically hear that Wikepedian's sphincter tighten as you engage in an edit war over Lady Gaga's man parts.

Why you shouldn't do it: You could be banned from editing any more entries.

5. Tear down a paywall

You want how much for that subscription to StuffICanReadElsewhereForFree.com? Uh, no thanks. I'll just use someone else's log-in and password. And what better way to do it than with BugMeNot? That's where you'll find user names and passwords for both pay and free sites like NYTimes.com, WashingtonPost.com, IMDB, and YouTube. Even if the site is free, BugMeNot will allow you to leave devastating ripostes in an article's comments section without having to surrender your real name or email address.

Why this is awesome: Aside from avoiding subscription fees (you skinflint), you won't get spammed with advertising offers that 'may interest you' or banned by sanctimonious comments czars (you know who you are).

Why you shouldn't do it: You'll be hammering another nail into the coffin of real journalism. And you'll feel bad. Trust us.

NEXT PAGE: Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account

  1. Naughty tech tricks
  2. Maintain multiple Facebook identities
  3. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account
  4. Make email Vanish
  5. Ditch that DRM
  6. Maintain multiple Facebook identities

Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril.

EDITOR'S NOTE: PC Advisor neither recommends nor condones the social media tricks below. Using either trick is a bad idea and, in the case of hijacking someone's account, a criminal offence.

6. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account

Find yourself loitering in internet cafés or airport lounges with time to kill? Why not hack into your neighbour's Facebook or Twitter account? Just install Firesheep and log on to a public Wi-Fi network; Firesheep alerts you when someone is attempting to log on via an unencrypted connection and snatches their browser cookie out of thin air. Double-click the cookie inside Firesheep, and you're in. What you do from there is up to you and your conscience.
(To avoid suffering the same fate, you can install the Force TLS plug in to encrypt communications over public Wi-Fi.)

Why this is awesome: Everyone has a little voyeur inside them - but really the only reason we included this item was so we could tell you about Force TLS.

Why you shouldn't do it: You're almost certainly violating the terms of service for any account you hack, and you're definitely violating someone's privacy, which is unethical. Depending on what you do with the accounts, you could also be guilty of violating laws regarding computer fraud or be liable to civil suits for defamation, says Jonathan Ezor, director of the Touro Law Center Institute for Business, Law and Technology. Also: Most people's accounts are boring.

7. Hack your Wii

Those Nintendo dudes are pretty clever, but despite the fact the Wii comes with a DVD drive, it won't play DVD movies. That's why it's incumbent upon you to correct the injustice by hacking your Wii.

The helpful deviants over at How-To Geek have the buzz on how to pull this off. You'll need a Windows PC with an SD memory card reader, a FAT-16-formatted SD card, the Wii Brew SD Installer, and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. No, seriously. (If you don't own a Windows PC - in which case, are you sure you're on the right web site? - you can perform the hack manually by following instructions provided by WikiBrew.org.)

Why this is awesome: Aside from watching Marmaduke on your Wii, you can run Homebrew apps like ComixChannel and WiiRadio. You'll also be able to back up your Wii games and store them on an external drive.

Why you shouldn't do it: If ever your Wii needs repairing...well we hope you're handy with a screwdriver. We wouldn't count on the warranty holding up.

8. Impersonate someone famous on Twitter

We know that @aplusk belongs to Demi's boy toy, Ashton Kutcher and @KylieMinogue is the Australian Pop Princess herself . But what about @chucknorris and @Nick_Nolte?
Nope. They're just fakes - Twitter accounts designed to fool the masses into imagining that they've stumbled upon the ruminations of the celeb in question. Some are obvious parodies; others are just clever (or evil) imitations. Because if you're going to waste time on Twitter, you might as well mess with people's minds while you're there.

Why this is awesome: Like @BPGlobalPR, you could achieve 15 minutes of internet fame by skewering an evil multinational corporation while delighting thousands.

Why you shouldn't do it: If Twitter finds out that the account is bogus - and is clearly not a parody - it will suspend the account. And as with hacked Facebook accounts, you could be held liable for defamation or trademark violations, depending on what you do. So phweet with care.

NEXT PAGE: Make email Vanish

  1. Naughty tech tricks
  2. Maintain multiple Facebook identities
  3. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account
  4. Make email Vanish
  5. Ditch that DRM
  6. Maintain multiple Facebook identities

Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril.

9. Make email vanish

If you have something confidential to say, email is probably the worst vehicle to say it, because copies of it are everywhere - on your PC, on your recipient's machine, and on many of the servers that it touched along the way. The same warning applies to text messages on your phone.

Want to keep those convos on the QT? Try VaporStream, a web-based service that lets you send messages that cannot be stored, copied, or forwarded. VaporStream won't even display the sender/receiver and message contents on the same screen (so taking a screen shot of a message won't mean squat). And once the recipient finishes reading a message, it self-destructs - permanently. The cost? A mere $7.50 (£4.60) a month, though both the sender and the recipient must have VaporStream accounts.

Why this is awesome: If the message doesn't exist, Johnny Law can't get his grubby fingers on it. For their part, law-abiding citizens can send proprietary or confidential information without worrying about leaks, and they can avoid the cost of storing messages.

Why you shouldn't do it: If you work in an industry (like financial services or healthcare) that requires you maintain records of all communications, you could be breaking the law – and we will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

10. Spy on someone's texts

Worried that teen Johnny or tween Betsy Lou are holed up in their bedrooms, sexting their little fingers to the bone? For $50 (£30), products like Mobile Spy and SpectorSoft's eBlaster Mobile will secretly copy you on every text message your kids send or receive. These products may also provide revelatory information on your spouse's extracurricular happy time (see the caveats below).

Why this is awesome: Because the little brats have it coming.

Why you shouldn't do it: Monitoring your spouse without his or her consent is almost certainly illegal (unless you have a warrant or other judicial permission), says Ezor. And though it's legal to tap your kids' texts (assuming that you own the phone), if they catch you doing it they will hate you even more than they already do.

11. Download YouTube videos

For reasons beyond all human understanding, my 11-year-old daughter loves Rick Astley videos. She likes being rickrolled. But rather than sitting idly by and grinding my teeth as she streamed 'Never Gonna Give You Up' on YouTube for the 27th time, I used KeepVid to put a copy of it on her hard drive - so she could transfer it to her portable media player, go into her room, and watch the damned thing by herself. Downloading YouTube videos to your hard drive is easy. Just plug in the URL of the video you want, and KeepVid will convert it to 3GP, FLV, or MP4 format in a range of sizes. My daughter can fill up an entire flash drive with these inane videos (dancing cats are also a favourite) without sucking up precious bandwidth or driving dad insane. All for free.

Why this is awesome: Portable Rick Astley? Say no more.

Why you shouldn't do it: You're violating YouTube's prohibitions against accessing content "through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Service itself [or] the Embeddable Player". And if you distribute the videos, you may be violating the content owner's copyright. But we're never gonna give you up.

NEXT PAGE: Ditch that DRM

  1. Naughty tech tricks
  2. Maintain multiple Facebook identities
  3. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account
  4. Make email Vanish
  5. Ditch that DRM
  6. Maintain multiple Facebook identities

Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril.

12. Ditch that DRM

In the bad old days, every song you bought legally on iTunes, Napster or other music download sites, had icky digital rights management stuff all over it, preventing you from playing it on 'unapproved' devices or sharing it with friends. Though music DRM is mostly just an unpleasant memory, you may still have a library of old tunes that you want to convert to an unprotected format.

That is why God and Steve Jobs created the 'analog hole'- a way to circumvent DRM by burning songs to a CD and then re-ripping the music by converting the CD's DRM-free WAV files into MP3s. Or you can avoid this tedious process by using software such as Tunebite or NoteBurner to create a 'virtual CD' shortcut on your hard drive for the WAV files.

Why this is awesome: It's your music, you paid for it, you should be able to do with it as you please.

Why you shouldn't do it: You're still technically breaking copyright laws.

13. Root Android

So you bought a groovy new Android phone six or nine months ago, but you're still waiting for your wireless carrier to upgrade the OS from one of the pitiful early versions? Or maybe you just hate all the useless extra 'features' your telecom dumped in there. (MotoBlur, anyone?) It may be time to take matters into your own hands and install a custom version of the Android OS.

First you'll need to find an Android ROM (or build) that works with your handset. Then you'll need to carefully follow the instructions laid out by helpful Android hackers (like RyeBrye, The Unlockr or Hack-A-Day) on how to 'root' your phone. But beware: Even the 'one-click' upgrades can get pretty rough.

Why this is awesome: No more crapware, plus the ability to get certain subscription features (like tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot access) for free. Your phone may also be faster and more stable.

Why you shouldn't do it: You will surely void your warranty, says Android Power blogger JR Raphael, and if you're not careful you might brick your phone. (That'll show em.) Like Apple, Google is constantly tweaking Android to make this sort of corrective surgery harder to pull off.

See also: How to hack your Google Android phone

NEXT PAGE: Maintain multiple Facebook identities

  1. Naughty tech tricks
  2. Maintain multiple Facebook identities
  3. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account
  4. Make email Vanish
  5. Ditch that DRM
  6. Maintain multiple Facebook identities

Rules were made to be broken, right? And technology is no exception. We've rounded up 15 awesome things relating to technology that you really shouldn't do. Break these rules at your own peril.

14. Play DOS games for free

Looking to turn back the clock? Long for the days of shoulder pads and Duran Duran? Sadly, there is no internet Hot Tub Time Machine (yet). But you can still play old MS-DOS games that let you party like it's 1989.

Abandonia distributes games whose owners have stopped making, selling or supporting them. Its abandonware collection features hundreds of titles, from A Nightmare on Elm Street (a 2D shooter loosely based on the film) to the original text adventure Zork- all free to download.

Why this is awesome: Chunky two-dimensional graphics and cheesy eight-bit sound effects in a DOS window? Bring it on.

Why you shouldn't do it: Technically, many of these titles are still owned by the original absentee copyright holders, making downloads illegal. Let us know if anyone decides to sue you because of it.

15. Create your own Torrent TV

Okay, you're a file-swapping deviant with no moral center. We get that. Now here's something that will make your life easier: a free service that alerts you when your favourite TV torrents are ready for download.

Karmorra's ShowRSS lets you add a feed to any RSS reader that gives the lowdown on the downloads and lets you grab torrents with a single click. You can choose from hundreds of popular programs and watch them on free media players like Miro or Vuze.

Why this is awesome: No more scouring torrent search sites.

Why you shouldn't do it: You do realise that downloading and sharing copyrighted materials is illegal, right? Just checking.

See also: Technology to fix common household problems

  1. Naughty tech tricks
  2. Maintain multiple Facebook identities
  3. Hijack someone else's Facebook or Twitter account
  4. Make email Vanish
  5. Ditch that DRM
  6. Maintain multiple Facebook identities