What are dongles? DRM material that is not really needed
What they enable to do on the ps3? Slight differences (IE Cobra) That enables PS2/PSP/PS1 playback (PS2 Playback On BC Units)
Can you play online on PSN? Yes but not recommended
Can you access the disk ftp? Yes OR you can always use multiman file manager (better way) to look at the files on your internal HD
What about new cfw? Kmeaw is still the same there is still others but I recommend just stay on kmeaw everything works.
Ps3 Phat 250gb 4.31 OFW (Currently Playing Dead Space 3 [Chapter 10] / Hitman Absolution / COD MW3 )
Ps3 Phat 80gb 3.55 CFW