Strange behavior in Win98 would NOT be a side-effect of having the I-Opener call home.
Calling home affects the QNX distribution, and can *ONLY* be done if the I-Opener is running the stock QNX Software. QNX cannot read Win98 (Fat32) partitions without an additional driver, so there's no possible way for Win98 to get corrupted through a call-home operation.
The only way this would affect Win98 (and any other Non-QNX O/S) is if the Call Home does a flash-upgrade of the BIOS. The upgraded BIOS would prevent you from booting the Hard-Drive at all. Nobody has ever reported a BIOS Upgrade through the flashing attempt. Only an unconfirmed mention of this capability (and still a stretch of his actual statement) was made by a "Disgruntled Ex-Employee" of Netpliance back around April.
It stands to reason that if such a Flash utility were available in QNX, one of the original Hackers would've found it and figured out how to make it work for us. Such a flasher would have to be a custom Application written for Netpliance since it's a very hardware-specific function. Instead, QNXFlash was born as the solution to the BIOS problem. (Of course, the flasher could be uploaded during the call-home -- in which case nobody has seen it because Netpliance never sent it out)
Remember that BadFlash's original claims were made at at time when there was a lot of uncertainty about what Netpliance could do. This was a time when people started freaking out when the RootShell was fixed (qnxcrack wouldn't work anymore). People wanted an unflashable BIOS, and BadFlash delivered. Everyone was happy.
It's true that a 12v BIOS part will prevent any and all unintentional flashing, but the "threat" of a flashing operation by an IOpener Calling Home is a bit exaggerated in my opinion. I'd be more worried about people changing the Boot-Logo and writing a faulty image -- without a known working backup chip just in case.