Freshmeat: The i-opener and Open Source

The i-opener from Netpliance has realized a level of brand
recognition that no one could have predicted a month ago. It seems
that everyone has an opinion about the loss-leader hardware
produced by the Austin, Texas start-up, which was subsequently
hacked and repurposed by a bunch of hardware wizards.
rhetoric on the technical discussion boards has ranged from
absolute love to complete hate, nuanced by all of the shades one
would expect to find in a complex relationship. The way the story
has developed raises questions about the future of Internet
appliances, the “customer acquisition at all expenses” business
model, and, more than anything, the complex relationship between
the commercial interests, the Open Source community, and the great
unwashed masses who have never been online.”

“The most significant aspect of the whole i-opener experience is
the continued flirtation of companies with an Open Source
development model. One day, it’s a match made in heaven; the next,
they are like water and oil.”