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15 technology tricks that are naughty but nice

They're fun but you shouldn't do them, right?

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


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