With the Intel® C++ Software Development Tool Suite for Linux* OS Supporting Mobile Internet Devices (http://www.intel.com/software/products/mid) comes a capability built into the Intel® C++ JTAG Debugger that allows to download and burn images into target-device FLASH memory (BIOS / Firmware) without removing the chip. This is available through a debugger plugin shared object that allows you to burn images into the target-device FLASH memory from within the debugger GUI.
At Adobe MAX in November, Sean Christmann from effectiveui gave a fantastic presentation on Flash and AIR application performance. The typical view of performance optimization when dealing with any runtime is that the runtime is responsible for being fast, and there isn't much that content or applications can do to help. Sean blasted that misconception in short order.