We've heard it before that a crack to allow unsigned code to run on a PlayStation 3 was close to release and nothing materialised, but this time the rumours seem a little stronger with many sites and prominent members of the device hacking community all but confirming the existence of a new soft-mod for the PS3, being referred to (with iPhone modding vernacular) as a "Jailbreak".
has a detailed breakdown of everything known about the mod so far, including several proof-of-concept videos and images of the purported soft-mod USB stick, giving us recourse to finally believe the hype.
For the uninitiated, a mod like this would enable owners of PlayStation 3 consoles to run copies of their games backed up to hard-drive for faster load-times than are capable when reading from a Blu-Ray disc. It would also allow homebrew developers to create applications like the coveted Xbox Media Center app to run on PlayStation 3 consoles. Unfortunately it also opens the door to game piracy on the platform. All things that, unlike it's competitors, PlayStation's security has managed to thwart for 4 years.
It is not yet confirmed if this is a security hole that Sony will be able to mend in current devices but it seems likely that a firmware upgrade could be used to plug it. The mod is reported to work on the current firmware version 3.41 so if this is something that interests you, you may want to hold off on any further upgrades until the mod is available.