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September 19, 2006

Customers get to help design the next generation of digital recorders

image of Neuros OSD Linux Media Recorder

The online store Think Geek has all sorts of wonderful tech gadgets and ephemera... everything from high-tech lava lamps to T-shirts that say "Obey Gravity, it's the law!"

Now they're offering something called the Neuros OSD Linux Media Recorder, a kind of uber-device that will let you grab and play back TV shows, radio programs, music, etc., plus translate audio and video for use on your cellphone, plus all sorts of other things, including some features that have yet to be invented. Which brings us to what's so special about this product.

The Neuros OSD is fully hackable, and Neuros is taking advantage of that, by offering cash bounties for programmers who can figure out how to add new functionality to their product. Figured out how to integrate the device with a USB telephone? Neuros will pay you 500 bucks. Can you come up with a way to have the OSD grab YouTube videos? They'll pay you 1,000 dollars for that. Neuros has full details about the bounty program on their website.

This is taking things to the next level. First there were products that were pretty much unalterable (e.g. televisions). Then there were products that are open to extensive customization (e.g. PCs). Now here's a product that is not only hackable, the company will actually pay you to hack it.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at September 19, 2006 09:06 PM

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