Owners of the Google Chromecast looking for more exciting things to do with the streaming HDMI dongle might want to set their eyes on this new PwnedCast custom ROM. While it offers just a few advantages over the stock firmware, this could eventually open up the device for more adventurous tinkering and modifications.
Beyond the hype and novelty of the Chromecast, the things one can do with the device is quite limited, especially without involving some sort of hack or mod. Some rather creative, not to mention diligent, developers have created ways to get around Google's lockdown of the device, either by allowing streaming of local media or, as in the case of KyoCast, opening up the device to more streaming services beyond the officially sanctioned ones.
But there is already a precedent of Google trying to foil such attempts through firmware updates. Now one way of getting around that is through this custom ROM, creatively named PwnedCast, that is based on the 13300 stock image. The ROM adds some new features that will be of interest to developers and modders, such as SSH/Telnet access, a custom boot image, and a preinstalled KyoCast.
There are a few caveats to the ROM. While it does get around the mandatory Google OTA updates that could potentially close up the device in the future, it does feature its own automatic OTA updates in the background. Luckily, that can be disabled using instructions here but it isn't as straightforward or easily discoverable. And, of course, it is a custom image, so a bit of risk is to be expected.