Wow - I sure wouldn't want you as a customer - "jhaluska". Even when you do get something for free and you know it's ad supported, you make it a point "not to look" at what make the service available to you for FREE in the first place instead of paying the money for the version of the service without the ads.
Don't blame me for the poor advertising based business plans of companies. If a business plan allows for freeloaders, it's going to fail when everybody decides to freeload. If it is "free" as you say, you won't mind if I don't look at your advertising. If you don't understand how I don't consider this "free", go to a time share sponsored "free" dinner, and you're realize it's the most expensive free dinner you'll ever have. If advertising would stop working, we wouldn't have it. I'm just doing my part to try to create that world.
If you are wondering, I'd be even more disappointed if they tried making it a subscription based service. I'd just turn a PDA sideways, and put it on my shelf and get almost the same device without all the hassle.
I would have preferred a more traditional business plan where they charged enough for the hardware to be able to pay for the services. This "free" service wouldn't even be necessary except for Chumby Inc designing it into their their system. They could have made a different interface for loading, unloading and configuring widgets that doesn't require Chumby.com.
Also, I already paid for the device, the electricity to run the device, and the bandwidth for the device so why does everybody expect me to also pay with my limited attention? I already have more than enough distractions in my life.
Chumby Inc, from the looks of it, you don't have as much to worry about your business model as I feared, as it appears to be enough ad consuming sheeple out there to support your company.