Current thinking -- as with everything at Chumby, certainly subject to change at any time -- is that you will get some widgets for free when you buy a chumby, i.e., basic information such as news headlines, weather, horoscope, some RSS feeds, etc., but that there will also be some clever widgets interspersed that may be sponsored or may promote a product (AKA ads). Of course we will try to set the bar high so that they are entertaining and reasonably "targeted" (so not likely to be inappropriate for you). The ads basically cover the cost of allowing Chumby to stream widgets to you and, as Duane said, because we're trying to keep the cost way down on the hardware, we have to stay in business somehow. My idea of an ad for *some* people (and based upon the other types of widgets that someone selects that might indicate that they would be amused by this) is something like the pretend "Fruity Oaty Bar" ad: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid … 5471634315 -- okay, maybe this one doesn't thrill you , but, again, the idea is to make them clever and viral and appropriate.
Current plan, though, is also to enable someone to subscribe to the Chumby Network at a reasonable annual fee in order to get many more widgets and share widgets and content across the Chumby Network (see a widget you like and share it with your friends). Subscribers would also be able to opt out of ads -- though of course we'll try like heck to make the ads so interesting and entertaining that no one would every want to miss them, even if they could