The Sony Playstation 3 was enjoying almost 5 years of being hack free up until the past few weeks.  There's been some sudo hacks before but nothing as easy as the PS Jailbreak USB dongle.  All you need to do is plug it into the PS3 USB and off you go into PS3 homebrew heaven! :)  If you don't want to drop the $20-$30 to buy the PS Jailbreak then perhaps the more tech savvy approach would work:  Temporary  turning your smart phone into a PS3 modchip/jailbreak.  Yup,  thats right, you can now install PSFreedom onto your smart phone (iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre and many more) and use it to install the Backup Manager on the PS3.   The Backup Manager will allow you to copy your original PS3 games onto the Playstation 3's hard drive and booting/playing them from the hard drive.  After you copy the games, you'll no longer need to use the DVD to boot the game! Slick, eh?! 

How the heck do these guys figure these things out?!

The hacker used the heap overflow exploit to accomplish the jailbreak.   In a nutshell it simulates plugging in and unplugging a fake USB device into the PS3 really fast while sending large descriptors causing the PS3 to "heap overflow" allowing the hacker to place the code needed to jailbreak.  Got it? :)  Again, how do they figure these things out?!

The heap overflow exploit only works on Playstation 3 firmware version 3.41.   Sony just recently released firmware 3.42 that closed up the heap overflow exploit rendering the PS Jailbreak useless.  So if you own a PS3 and would like to enjoy free software from the homebrew community and other communities, then DO NOT upgrade your Sony Playstation 3's firmware to 3.42! 

Here are some more reading for the PS Jailbreak:

One more thing - I refer to this as "jailbreaking" because that's what the company that developed it calls it.  This term is used to umbrella them under the DMCA exception that allows people to "jailbreak" their devices so that they can run whatever they want on it. 

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