97 Taurus - Reprogram Computer ?

I was half watching some gear-head show on tv a week or two ago and the announcer showed a device to connect to the computer port of late model cars and this devise would let the user reprogram engine timing, transmission
shift points, and other computer controlled parameters. Unfortunately, at the end of his presentation of the device, by which time I was paying attention, he did not again mention the manufacturer or model of the device.
Anyone have any advise/pointers on this type of equipment?
Thanks, Bill

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