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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.

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

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  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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