CNET News.com: New Netpliance has same ‘problem’ as old

“A new, “unmodifiable” $99 Netpliance device meant to foil
hackers can be upgraded into an ordinary PC, just like an earlier
version the company pulled off the market.”

“Netpliance made headlines last month when hackers modified its
inexpensive “i-opener” device–which costs about $300 to
produce–into a modest but capable Linux-based PC. The
product–essentially nothing but a flat screen, keyboard and
modem–was intended by Netpliance to be used solely with its
$21.95-per-month Internet service.”

“The Texas-based company quickly announced a second-generation
appliance, notifying customers who had ordered terminals from
Circuit City that “modification of the i-opener in any way is no
longer possible in the new model.”

“But Ethan R. Dicks, an Ohio computer techie, and another
experimenter, Anthony Shadwick, both said they were able to modify
the new-style I-opener. “I was able to modify my box with no
problem,” Shadwick said. Programmers can modify the i-opener2
routines without having to remove its firmware chip. A small
software utility program is available to convert the units to full
PC functionality.”

Complete Story

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis