Instead of requiring a modified BIOS chip, this clever hack uses a bug in the Xbox game 007 Agent Under Fire to unlock the system. Already, the "Xbox Linux Live" distribution has been demonstrated running on an unmodified Xbox, and it's entirely possible that other applications will follow. Before long, I'd expect that users will be able to turn Xboxes into a Linux-based web terminals, media PCs, PVRs, or even Folding@Home number crunchers without even having to crack open the case.
Though I'm not much of a console guy, I've always toyed with the idea of buying an Xbox for its DVD playback and the odd game. If, without hardware modification, I'll soon be able to use the console to play back DivX movies and MP3s from my media server, post comments on TR from my couch, and fold a few proteins in the background, I might just have to go out and pick one up.