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Here's an interesting new product which may have promise as a front-end for home control / automation. I guess price will be a big factor.

From http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/entry/3494/emt...hnologies_preps :
Hot. Hot. Hot. Love Chumby? You'll like WidgetStation even better (at least I think so). Like Chumby, WidgetStation makes extensive use of widget applications – designed in-house or by users – that extend the devices capabilities and brings all kinds useful information and entertainment media. But unlike Chumby, WidgetStation can access the Internet via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or a USB computer connection. Two other features standout as well... Widget Station has a dual screen that provides a monochromatic LCD for information like time, date, temperature on the left and a full color LCD on the right for dynamic widgets. The other thing that I like is that it runs Linux and is powered by Python (both essential technologies in the hacker/developer community). No official word on price, availability, or what specific technologies are used to create widgets. Stay tuned.