Sunday, August 29, 2010

Unfermented Deal: LittleBigPlanet 2 Pre-Order

Since the dawn of home console video games, gamers have often dreamed of the game they would create if they were given the tools to do so. Some games had scaled back level creation tools, but nothing that gave the user the sense of ownership that they desired. Computer development tools became available, but often just lead to horrible flash games and uninspired mods of current games.

British Game developer Media Molecule changed all of that with 2008's PS3 exclusive, LittleBigPlanet. The game not only introduced to the world to Sony's newest part-time mascot Sackboy, but also introduced the ability to create an entire platforming adventure world that you could create, play, and share with friends and the world through Sony's online service, Playstation Network. The game was an immediate hit when it was first announced at Game Developer's Conference in 2007 and eventually sold over 4.5 million copies world wide (as of post date). Media Molecule looks to push the envelope this holiday shopping season with LittleBigPlanet 2.

LittleBigPlanet 2 promises to deliver everything that it's predecessor offered times 10011. That's huge. We don't even know what that number means because we just made it up. But we can just from what we know that if you enjoyed the first games, you have a ton of reasons to be excited about this sequel. It's not even fair to call it a sequel. It's a whole new ball game.

If you can think of the genre, you can create it. Create an army of sackboys to destroy the strongholds of your enemies in a RTS game. Blast away at undead sackboys in your own FPS. Buy the game at a store or have it shipped by UPS. Alright. That last one is not a game mode. But it's punny. What's not funny is the pre-order we're about to drop on your sack, boy!

Amazon is offering up some bonus content and free shipping (release day delivery for a fee or for free for Amazon Prime members) if you pinky swear to buy it from them. You'll lock in the probably-won't-change-by-release-day price of $59.99 (which you will not be charged for until the game ships) and you'll get some sweet little exclusive extras for your downloading pleasure once you receive the game (download codes will be emailed after game's release). 

Amazon will be giving you 6 Sackboy skins, two of which are Ratchet and Clank, the comical heroes of the aptly named Ratchet and Clank game franchise. Use them to create your own Ratchet and Clank game or make them food for the Rancor beast that you're sure to create to destroy every environment your twisted mind imagines. 

If you're ready to hop on board the Imagination Creation Station, we've included a handy picture link below to hold your hand and get you started. We can't wait to horrify you with our creations on Playstation Network this fall. LittleBigPlanet 2 will create their monster in your living room on November 16th.                                

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Z Tip: How to Re-Purpose Your Spare Monitor

This year alone, over five hundred thousand computer monitors will be replaced with newer, shinier, larger, higher resolution models. They will go from YouTube and World of Warcraft displaying glory to closeted, dust covered disgrace; banished to the hell fire of obsolescence. Some may even find themselves perched on top of a dumpster with a crude hand drawn sign reading "*Free* Still Works". Some will find their fate in said dumpster; never to see the light of a desk lamp again.

If you have one of these monitors sitting in your closet or waiting at the front door for garbage day, we have caught you just in time! This installment of On Z Tip is going to show you how to sap a little more life out of that monitor by giving it a new function that you just may not have considered. Think of us as the ASPCA for outdated tech.

Turn it into a television!!

There are three televisions in the average home. If you currently have less than three, this trick will get you closer to the status quo. If you already have three televisions in your home, prepare to be the above average citizen your mother always bragged you were. And you'll do it for a quarter of what a small LCD TV costs.

You can convert your discarded computer monitor into a fully functioning boob tube with a few small and easy to purchase components. Here is the recipe:
  1. External TV tuner with VGA output (VGA input is standard on most computer monitors)
  2. VGA cable (we recommend 6ft for adequate space)
  3. Cheap computer speakers (expensive if you wish)
Connect your cable/satellite or antenna (get cable already!) coaxial cable to the external TV tuner, connect the speakers to the 3.5mm  speaker output on the TV tuner, and link the TV tuner to the monitor via VGA cable and WHAMMO! TV for under $75. And you saved your poor monitor for an uncertain fate. Good for you! Captain Planet would be proud.

Most external TV tuners will have inputs RCA or S-video inputs. You can use these inputs to connect a DVD  player, video game console, iPod/portable video player (with recommended cable---see manufacturer), camcorder, and anything else that outputs audio and video through analog signal. Keep in mind that analog to digital conversion (analog to VGA) is not always as smooth as you'd like, so expect some minor picture degradation. As long as your expectations are in check, we think you'll be happy with your conversion/recycling project.

We're Byte Down, and that was On Z Tip.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The PS3 Can Now Do Something Sony Doesn't Want It To Do

When Sony launched the third installment in their Playstation brand of video game consoles, they knew they had a winner on their hands. The Playstation 3's (PS3) take off from the retail runway in 2006 was a bit bumpy due to the high price tag and lacking online gaming service, but the turbulence eventually eased to smooth sailing. The console offered video game and home entertainment enthusiasts a great built-in Blu Ray player, quality game library, the ability to install a secondary operating system, and a host of content in the form of digital downloads. As the brand's slogan stated, the PS3 truly did just about everything.

Sony's competition, the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, had major issues with piracy. Hackers made it possible to play backed up copies of video games through console hardware and software modification. While playing a backup of something may sound harmless to those outside of the video game industry, it's not as innocent as you copying some songs off of your favorite Wham album onto a mix tape for your late night crying sessions. In the video game community, the ability to play backups almost always leads to piracy. Through the use of torrent sites, unsavory (or cheap) gamers are able to freely download pirated copies of games and play them without ever owning their own original copy. Outside a hut in Malaysia, this is a pretty illegal and profit crushing activity. Sony's PS3, however, is considered to be quite unhackable. Until now.

In April of this year, Sony released a firmware update (v3.21) that completely disabled the ability to install a secondary operating system. The move was made because of mounting security concerns due to a vulnerability opened by the installation of Linux based operating systems on the console. The hardcore nerd sector of the PS3 fanbase was extremely distraught by this; some even filed several class action lawsuits against Sony citing a form of false advertising. As you're about to find out, this may have been all for naught.

Through the use of a simple USB thumbdrive, The PS Jailbreak allows PS3 console owners to unlock the ability to play PS3 games without a disc. The drive contains a software hack that tricks the console into thinking that it's now a developer's test unit. Users are given the ability to play games from any USB storage device formatted in FAT32. Currently, only PS3 games can be played using PS Jailbreak; PSone, PS2, DVDs, and Blu Ray movies are currently not supported. The embedded software is currently set to run on Playstation OS v3.41, but one would imagine that the device (and the inevitable knockoffs) will be ready for the software updates that Sony will surely deploy in a vain attempt to stop the hack. 

The device is currently in extremely short supply as of post date, with price points ranging from $120 to $150 (USD). This may seem like a high ticket item to some, but considering the $60 price tag on most console video games, it would pay for itself after two or three game downloads. 

Welcome to the Hacked Club, PS3. You tried, but the thieving bastards won in the end. You now truly do EVERYTHING again. And by the looks of it, it's just the beginning. We only hope that this won't lead to the eventual removal of USB ports on future PS3 consoles.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Byte Down's Top 6 Most Annoying People On YouTube

Most Annoying People On YouTube

A long time ago, before most of us care to remember, Al Gore created the internet. Slowly, internet users began to share information with the intention of making the world a wiser, better place to live. Gone were the days of societal classification, racial tension, bad grammar and spelling, and general douchebaggery. The internet changed the world.

Okay. So 99% of that is false. One this is for sure though. The internet gave voice to those who otherwise may not have had it. Byte Down loves the internet. It's our mother. We were birthed out of the warm, sticky womb of the WWW and we couldn't be more elated to have a medium such as this to bring our insanity to the World Wide Buffet for your consumption. But some people.....some people just need to be stopped. And we've got a list.

6) Norm, of YouTube's NormTheBarStool Channel, is a fat guy. You will know that not only because you can see him, but because that is generally all he talks about. He essentially takes the "Well, I might as well make fun of it before they do" philosophy and skull pumps you with his ridiculous stories that make no sense. It seems to have done him well, though. As he's garnered over 32,000 subscribers who love to point out that he's a "fatty fat fuck". Fantastic.

5) It's hard to put a finger on what exactly makes Shane Dawson so annoying. Is it his hair? Is it his laughably bad attempt at humor (wait...that doesn't make sense)? Or is it his fans? It could be the fact that a unfunny guy who looks like he's caught in a perpetual and invisible wind storm has nearly two million loyal fans. We'll chalk it up to that as we refuse to accept an acceptable answer. You decide.

4) This one is a head scratcher. Not just a regular head scratcher. It's one of those "grab a metal coat hanger and grind it into your scalp until it reaches your brain" head scratcher. This seemingly teen-aged girl, who goes by the name Boxxy, simply places a mid-range quality camera in front of herself, hits record, and does her best Anna Nicole Smith impression. Someone get this girl a horse grade tranquilizer and the rest of us an Asprin. 92,000 subscribers. Yowzers.

3) Sometimes, a good idea is really hard to come by. So you just rip someone else off. That's exactly what Chris Bores has done with his Irate Gamer character on YouTube. The Irate Gamer is essentially an unfunny, less creative, and poorly done copy of The Angry Video Game Nerd. Bores is about as funny as a dead baby joke told in church and has the personality of Richard Nixon's rotting corpse. He's the guy that gets killed first in 80's slasher films while he's masturbating in the camp outhouse. He's annoying simply because he exists. Just over 118,000 subscribers.

2) The last time we saw a middle eastern looking fella disappear and reappear this often was when we were trying to knock out The Great Tiger in Nintendo's Punch Out!! on our NES. We'd love to knock this guy out, too. It's not just the editing style that makes Ray William Johnson annoying. It's the hair, it's the voice, and it's the fact that it's Tosh.O minus the funny. And dude, pick a damn name. The three name thing went out in the 90's and you certainly are not of Jonathan Taylor Thomas caliber. This guy is also in talks with HBO for his own show. We weep for humanity. Nearly two million subscribers.

1) You'll have to take our word for it. This next thing is the most annoying thing you'll ever see. And you can't unsee it once it's been seen. So don't even watch it. You will cry yourself to sleep at night. At some point, all of the above "honored" YouTube talents have made video comments on how annoyed they are by this abomination. We can't even talk about it anymore.

So here is Fred. Avoid at all costs. Run from Fred videos as if you are being chased by a horny, rapey gorilla with a penis the size of a can of Pringles. We can't stress this enough. Brain rape.

Obviously, these are just our opinions. There are surely leagues of YouTube undesireables out there who deserve a top spot on a “horrible” list. Having said that, one has to wonder if annoying is the new cool. Someone put Carrot Top in the movies. Jimmy Fallon has his own late night talk show. And judging by the number of fans these people have……we can tell that the internet has REALLY bad taste.

Who would YOU put on the list? We want to know! Chime in with a comment or send an email to

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Star Wars Goes Blu in 2011.....With Controversy

Would we have it any other way?

George Lucas revealed to The Daily Show's John Stewart that all six Star Wars films would finally arrive on Blu Ray disc during a special press conference Saturday at the Star Wars Celebration V event in Central Florida. The event was a celebration of the 30th anniversary of "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back". Herds of nerds in Wookie costumes and girls who had no business wearing slave bikinis (no matter what the matter how far away) rejoiced. That is, until they learned exactly what they'd be getting. Hell hath no fury like a Force loving nerd with access to internet forums.

Here is just a snippet of said fury from the office Star Wars site comments section:

"Frig you lucas. Without the originals the trilogy is nothing.. If you aren't happy with your creation from back then, well tough.. WE ARE! You need to listen to all of us and give us the choice either before release or in distribution (original copies/remastered). I'll keep my "original" dvd set until the format is dead or you step off your high horse and stop playing this bullsh-t with your loyal fans who's sat through you destroying a classic movie with cgi. They were great on their own, with their mistakes, crude special effects and bad dialogue. A classic CANNOT be remastered, re-released or made to be any better than it was."

What you read above is part of the story. Lucas later went into detail as to what was going to be included in the set. Along with a multitude of as of now undetailed bonus features, the versions of the original trilogy films (the ones without Jar Jar Binks) will be the special editions; the one where Han doesn't shoot first. Lucas stated that it would be just too expensive to re-master the original films to Blu Ray standards; which is no doubt a response to the old burn marks left on his bottom line after he invested so much money into the ill-fated LaserDisc format. 

Another point of controversy is a deleted scene which will be included in the Blu Ray release. The scene, cut from "Return of The Jedi", shows Luke Skywalker building his green lightsaber and would have been his first introduction in the film. Some rather hearty nerds believe that the scene is not in fact from the cutting room floor, but that it is something recently fabricated to hype and add further value to the Blu Ray release. "Evidence" given is the fact that Lucas very rarely cuts fully completed (edited, scored, special effects supplied) scenes from his films. We would have posted the video in this post, but Lucas' production company already filed copyright infringement complaints against all posted footage of the deleted scene. Sorry. 

Whatever the case, the Blu Ray collection is set for release in 2011 to coincide with the 35 anniversary of the theatrical release of "Star Wars Episode I: A New Hope". It is currently unknown what the exact date will be or if all six films will be released in a box set or if consumers will be able to buy their favorites separately. We will be sure to report when a pre-order date is announced; at which time all questions will hopefully be answered.

Will the addition of Star Wars on Blu Ray cement the Blu Ray format as the new standard? We think that Back to The Future will do so this fall. Will the nerds protest the release like Rebels on the Death Star? Will Yoda sing "Pants on The Ground" in a deleted scene easter egg? We'll have to wait and see. Until then, let your nerd flag fly and tell us what you think!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Learn how to lie with the help of video games!

Some parents buy their kids educational video games to teach them how to do simple math through cute little interactive songs or matching games featuring their favorite creepy talking animals. There are games that teach little girls how to care for babies. There are games that will teach you how to cook, although often with horrible results. There are games that will teach bible lessons.....often with horrible results. Typing of The Dead is a video game that teaches you to type while you blow the brains out of rotting zombies with very satisfying results. This fall, video games will finally teach us something useful; the fine art of verbal deception. 

THQ, the developer who brought you a bunch of professional wrestling games, wants to really ramp up the drama with Truth or Lies. You won't be warping through pipes to avoid telling your pixelated parents where you've been all night. You'll be lying your ass off into a (not included) USB or wireless microphone (unknown as of post whether Nintendo's Wii Speak peripheral will be supported). The game will use a specially designed voice calibration program that somehow measures the stress level in your voice to determine if you're a honest saint, a rat bastard liar, or a murderous nut job who can mask their human emotions to pass themselves off as a normal, non-homicidal person. 

With it's playful "truth or dare" premise and bargain title price tag ($40 on 360/PS3, $30 on Wii), it will surely find it's way into the rotation during parties. The game has the potential to make those parties fun and memorable; with inside jokes for you to litter your friend's Facebook walls with for weeks to come, or infamous; with broken hearts, hurt feelings, and destroyed friendships. With the ability to step outside of the game's 3,000 questions and ask your own questions, you can stage your own Maury Povich Show in your living room. 

So suck it, Jack Thompson. Games are educational. And that's the truth. You just won't be hearing us say it. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

BDOZT: Stick it to Comcast!

Welcome to the first entry in Byte Down's On Z Tip, a brand new column section on Byte Down, hell bent on providing with you tips and tricks to surviving the less savory parts of life with the help of technology. The solutions to some of life's most puzzling problems are often right under your nose. We're here to pick up those solutions and beat you in the face with them. We only do it because you love you. You are our special little angel. Just don't tell anyone.

In our first On Z Tip, we're going to show you how to stick it to Comcast cable.

If you've been with Comcast long enough to no longer be eligible for their "new customer" specials, your pocketbook probably feels about as worked as the zipper on Tiger Woods' silly looking golf slacks. The constantly rising rates along with the weird tacked on fees and taxes can really put a strain on your relationship  with happiness. Fear not, beaten step child of commerce! There is something you can do.

With as busy as life can get, people often neglect to actually look at their bills. Yes, it can be a painful thing to do at the end of the month. No one wants to cry. But if you are a Comcast high speed internet customer, your  challenge is to take a look at your bill and examine the line item charges under the high speed internet section. Go ahead, we'll wait.

Looky what we have here!

If you're using a Comcast provide modem, there is a $5 monthly rental charge for a cable modem. Using our third grade multiplication skills (and then our post-high school calculator), we learn that this monthly fee racks up to $60 per calendar year. That's $60 a year for a cable modem that you don't own, that was most likely used by a prior customer, and is probably inferior similar devices on the market. That's $60 that could go somewhere a lot more fun. 

Few people realize that Comcast, unlike some other providers, allows you to use your own compatible cable modem. Of course, Comcast doesn't include this in their advertising. If you are currently rent a cable modem from Comcast, you can simply purchase your own cable modem, call Comcast to activate it, and return the old money sucking box of suck back to the suckers. Easy as pie. You can purchase a great cable modem for $40 to $99. At most, it will take less than two years for the purchase to pay for itself. And you get to chose the quality of the modem, pulling yourself away from the mercy of Comcast. Informed consumers who go this route often find that they are getting speeds and service greater than they did when they were using Comcast's box.

While $60 a year isn't a huge savings, consider how long you have been a Comcast customer and how long you are likely to remain one, if only for their high speed internet.  It's the small victories that make life great, and this one is just too easy. To make it even easier, we'll tell you which boxes to use with your level of service. Aren't we great?

For Comcast customers who subscribe to high speed internet service (under 28 Mbps down):

Motorola Surfboard SB5101 -
Right around $50. User reviews claim higher rate of speed than received with Comcast provided cable modem. It'll pay for itself within 10 months.

Linksys CM100-
Just a few bucks over $50 (shipping included). Highly rated by customers. Will pay for itself within a year. 

For Comcast customers who subscribe to high speed internet with speeds OVER 38 Mpbs (business grade): 

Motorola Surfboard SB6120 (DOCSIS 3.0)-
Currently priced at $100. This will pay for itself in just under two years. Worth it for the massive upgrade over what Comcast offers it's business speed users. Future-ready and highly praised by users.

For users who subscribe to both Comcast high speed internet and Comcast VOIP service, we highly recommend that you search for another VOIP provider. Even when bundled (Comcast Triple Play or Double Play), Comcast's phone service is over $30, well over that of it's competition. Check out the recently updated TopTenREVIEWS for information on VOIP services currently available. Byte Down currently recommends ITP, which has service packages starting at $10 per month.

That's On Z Tip. Chew on it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Play Nintendo With Your Eyeballs!

Top this, Microsoft Kinect!

These days, we know that the less buttons, the better. When you don't actually have to think about how to control your pixelated plumber, the more immersed you are in the game world. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony would have you believe motion controls are the future of video games. Wave your hands, flick your wrist, scan your body into a creepy moving camera and bounce virtual balls off your digital face. We certainly have come a long way since the days of the Nintendo Power Glove (it's so bad). But for the crazy Texans at Waterloo Labs, we haven't gone nearly far enough.

Using a modded Nintendo Entertainment System (you remember than grey and black horizontal toaster, right?) and a set of medical grade electrodes, the mad scientists from the Lone Star State are able to warp through a game of Super Mario Brothers sans hands and controller. The engineers insist that you'll be able to control any NES game with this control setup, although one would imagine that trying to play Abadox this way would bring new meaning to the term "twitch shooter".

Let's just hope this control method limits itself to the classic and simple NES controller. It's scary to imagine where the electrodes would have to be placed in order to compensate for the input commands needed to control Nintendo 64 games. Yikes.

For more information on this and other things that are bigger in Texas, head on over to Waterloo Labs. The website even contains instructions on how to do this mod yourself. If you are down with looking like a crazed lab rat in a methamphetamine test lab while saving the princess, we implore you to do so. And make sure you send us the video. And we want you to say "Now you're playing with balls. Eyeballs!", just for a goof.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Unfermented Deal: Fable 3 pre-order bonus at Amazon

  If you own a Microsoft Xbox 360, there is a high probability that you've heard of the Lionhead Studio's Fable franchise. There's a good chance you've played one of the two released games in the series. If you haven't played either Fable or Fable II, you are seriously missing out. Seriously. Not to say it's better than sex or Lost, but it's pretty great. You really should play some Fable.

Right. So, here's a trailer for the next installment, Fable III.

The fine folks at have a pretty snazzy pre-order deal going on for the standard edition of the Xbox 360 game. If you pre-order the game at $59.99, you'll receive a $20 credit for a future video game purchase when Fable III ships. I suggest that you take that credit and apply it to Deadly Premonition. It's under $20 and it's the best worst game on the Xbox 360. (See Amazon for complete details)

To take advantage of this awesome deal, clickity on the handy link I've provided below. Easy peasy, Weezy. Don't say this blog never did anything for ya.

Unreal News: Mel Gibson R&B album set to drop this holiday season!

While taking a break from making religious torture porn films and trying to convince the makers of the Snuggie to make a special one for him in white, Mel Gibson briefly reconciled with his estranged girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in order to record a full length studio album, inspired by their recently leaked audio tapes.

Grigorieva, a horrendously bad Russian singer/songwriter, agreed to let Mel and his hired band of white Christian studio musicians take over her home studio for an undisclosed amount of money. Hip hop artist Chris Brown took the production reigns for the album.

This image most likely will NOT appear in the album art.

 While the monetary numbers may be unknown, we just got our hands on the track titles for the album, which will be called "Foreign Bodies". The tracks are as follows:

Gimme Back My Wetback
Don't Jew My Heart
See You Next Tuesday, Whore
F'ed By a Pack O' N's
Hold Our Baby So I Can Find Your Teeth
In My Rose Garden (featuring OJ Simpson)
You're My Vegas Lady
Don't Hang Up
Balls in a Knot
My Sweet Heavy Breathing
I Deserve To Be Blown (Kisses)

One song, titled "Rot In Hell With Your Pansy Son, You Gold Digging Cunt Whore/Say Hello To The Christ Killing Jews For Me, You Bitch" will be available on the special collector's edition of the album, which is only available for sale in Australia; scheduled for release on the first day of Hanukkah. The US should expect "Foreign Bodies" to drop just in time for Christmas.

**Obviously, this whole story is a work of sad, but hilarious, fiction. While it would be glorious if such an album were actually released, it must be noted that what you just read is completely untrue. If you are interested in hearing the leaked audio tapes that inspired this, you can do so on Just hide the kids first.**

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Byting down......hard.

Coming soon on Byte Down

It's been an exciting couple of days since I've launched Byte Down. My mind has been spinning with all of the things that I eventually want to do with this blog.

First and foremost, I want to increase my exposure and readership. This is why I chose to host the blog on Blogger, a Google owned blog storage service. Google reaches just about everyone and they're only going to get bigger, so I figured it's a no-brainer. However, I can publish here for years, but no one is going to care or read any of it if I don't go out to grab readers and drag them here. So I have to rely on the word of mouth of my readers. So I'm counting on you to whore me out to your friends who may be interested in the things I write about.

Second, I want to create themed entries, like you might find in a special column in the newspaper. One that I already have worked out is called Byte Sides. In it, I will play both sides of a debate and let the readers decide the winner.

I'm also looking to add some other contributers to the blog. There are subject areas of which I do not consider myself the strongest source of knowledge, but would still love to include in the blog. For instance, theatrical movie releases. I do not go to the theater, so I can't really write about the latest movie releases. There are also gadgets that just aren't in my budget to buy and there are some that I simply don't want. If you are reading this and think you'd like to contribute something, please shoot me an email (found on the bottom of the site).

Eventually, I would love to host a podcast with a Byte Down related theme. I already have the necessary equipment, I just need to get the fan base to make it worth everyone's time. I would also REALLY like a co-host.

And finally, Byte Down will eventually become it's own website. Right now, it exists only as a blog with a domain. After I can say that it's truly worth the time and money, I'll purchase the domain and hosting space.

So that's about it. Pretty ambitious, considering the wealth of similar sites that handle material of this nature. But I figure that I have something to offer that the others don't: a mind that won't shut up. I've got all the content in the world, as the world is constantly spitting it at me. I've simply taken it upon myself to make it not so boring.

Thanks for your support now and in the future. It's going to be an interesting trip. Grab your ankles and Byte Down.

Bill Harris
Editor in Chief

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tonight there's gonna be a JailBreak(Me) for iOS4 users

Got one of those new snazzy iPhone 4 phones, do ya? You say you're a crazy app freak who just can't settle for what Apple allows on their iTunes store and you want your favorite daily horoscope app to run? WHAT?!?! Apple doesn't approve that app? Well, you're in luck!

Today JailbreakMe is live and available for your rebellious self to download and enjoy, courtesy of the Library of Congress who made the program legal, and the fine folks at who hacked the exploit in the Mobile Safari Browser to develop this free online based tool.

After Jailbreaking your iPhone, you'll be able to download a host of buggy, non verified iPhone apps; a feature Android OS users have loved and loathed since day one. But it's not just limited to iPhone users. iPad users can also frolic in the seedy world of portable device hackers by using JailbreakMe. It'll run on all versions of the iPhone if you're using iOS4 (stability issues have been reported by users using iOS3 releases). JailbreakMe is so easy to use, even your grandma can do it. In fact, I think I saw your grandma updating her Facebook about it. It involved lots of "Woot woots" and whatever the seniors are using for slang these days. You might as well give Jailbreaking a shot. What else are you going to do while you wait 4-5 weeks for that free Apple bumper case for you iPhone? It's either this or you can practice holding that phone the right way. You find all you need to get started here.

While it is no longer a legal issue to Jailbreak your iPhone (iPad included), it should be noted that doing so may void your Apple warranty. In some cases, it could completely brick your device, making your phone or tablet a really expensive (but slick looking) paper weight.

If you're a pansy and too scared to Jailbreak your device, you can wait around for that horoscope app to get approved by Apple. But who knows when Uncle Steve and his cronies will get around to it. And without that horoscope to tell you, you may never know when it does happen. Think about THAT.

The ability to unlock your iPhone for use on other US carriers will be a feature in an upcoming release of JailbreakMe. Stay tuned to Byte Down for more information on that.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Go back in time on October 26!

If there is a person alive who doesn't love Back to The Future, they better hope I don't run into them in a dark alley. I will take my hair dryer and melt their brains.

I've owned the trilogy in a multitude of variants. I've had a VHS tape from one of those free HBO promotions (analog BitTorrent of the 80's), the retail VHS set, the single releases on DVD, and finally the DVD boxset. And on October 26th (the exact date that the first movie released in theaters 25 years ago), I WILL own the 25th Anniversary trilogy on Blu Ray. It is my density.

We're talking all three movies completely remastered in glorious 1080p resolution, 12 freakin' hours of bonus footage (includes 2 hours never before seen footage), and a host of other cool Blu Ray exclusive content. If there was ever a reason to drop a hundred dollars of money you don't have on a Blu Ray player you probably don't need, this is it. Hello........McFly!

Read all of the excellent features and place your pre-order on As of posting, you can secure your copy for under $50 (shipped free) and also get yourself $4 in Amazon digital downloads (see site for details).

I gotta make like a tree and go call the Doc to see about borrowing the DeLorean. I have a killer craving for a Pepsi Free.