Technology
Chumby

Chumby

It’s a widgetized touchscreen open source thingy that connects to the internet via wifi. Mad hacking to ensue. – Link

10 thoughts on “Chumby

  1. This looks great! How did you get one? For some reason, I have an immense urge to hack one together with an old pocketpc and wifi card I have sitting around. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for since around last year.

  2. The user agreement they ask you do agree to indicates that there will be ads on the thing. Also you can’t hack the hardware or software to use anything from the Internet that is not from their site. Even says that you can not use stuff from an internal network if it’s connected to the Internet.

    I hope I’m wrong. I really wanted to play with this thing till I read the license agreement for the developer stuff.

  3. You can get one nowish by impressing them with what you want to hack it to do.

    The problematic bit in the license is this, which is bad, but probably not as bad as VoidReturn makes it sound:

    “(iii) no Modified Device shall connect, or help connect, a Chumby Device to any network other than (A) the Chumby Network or (B) a local area network (not connected to the Internet) for academic or other noncommercial purposes).”

    The exception for academic and noncommercial purposes is what lets the end user connect their unit to the Internet. As long as you are not starting a business around it, you should be fine.

    I’m still not a big fan of the other terms of the license, such as the fact that if you don’t GPL your code, Chumby Industries owns it.

  4. Entering into this discussion — I’m the CEO of Chumby Industries and the guy who commissioned the first draft of our HDK Agreement, the license that seems to be under discussion here. The original intent was to permit any academic or non-commercial use of a modified chumby — but to prevent someone from slightly modifying a chumby and simply pointing it, say, to their new “Wumby Network” and competing head-on with us (especially painful because we may be subsidizing hardware to hit our aggressive target price and we would then in effect be providing free start-up capital to a competitor — ouch). We put a leading clause in our HDK that essentially says that our licensing framework is still in development: if you want to do something that sounds like it may be prevented by the license, come talk to us and we’ll probably say “fine.” However, given the constructive concerns raised here and elsewhere, e.g., comments to Tim’s “O’Reilly Radar” post and at FOO Camp, we’re doing what we said we’d do when we intro’d this at FOO Camp — we’re taking the comments to heart and seeing if we can make our licensing structure even more liberal. We still have to have some kind of non-ephemeral business foundation at the end of the day, but perhaps we can provide further latitude for hackers. We’re on the case — so stay tuned!

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