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ExtraBITS for 10 October 2011

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The About Face award this week goes to Netflix, which has backed down on splitting the company into streaming and DVD businesses after complaints from customers. Also this week, we point to articles at Macworld about sandboxing worries and Thunderbolt complexity, note Microsoft’s dropping of Zune players, and explain the recent SSL certificate problems.

Netflix Backs Down from Ill-Considered Qwikster Split -- Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has sent email to all Netflix customers and posted on the company’s blog with a message that, while somewhat conciliatory, doesn’t exactly acknowledge that the decision to split Netflix into separate DVD and streaming companies was ill-considered. But it does admit that dealing two sites would be more difficult for customers, and summarizes with “This means no change: one website, one password… in other words, no Qwikster.” The next question is how badly Netflix’s missteps will have hurt the company, and if any competitor can take advantage of the debacle.

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Macworld Muses About Lion’s Sandboxed Future -- Over at Macworld, Andy Ihnatko ponders whether Lion’s sandboxing feature might mean that one of Apple’s best babies — interapplication communication — is being thrown out with the bathwater. Notice also the link to a Jason Snell article in a parallel vein. This is something that some of us here at TidBITS have been quietly worrying about for months.

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Where Are the Thunderbolt Devices? -- Seven months after the first iMacs shipped with Thunderbolt, there are only a couple of Thunderbolt-capable peripherals available. Why? At Macworld, Joel Mathis looks into that question, suggesting that the problem revolves around Thunderbolt’s complexity and cost.

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R.I.P. Zune Players -- Microsoft says it will no longer be producing Zune music players. Existing Zune players will continue to work with Zune services, and warranties will be honored. But with this move, Microsoft is implicitly acknowledging that the Zune players were never able to compete with the iPod, something that’s been painfully obvious for years. Microsoft will be focusing future mobile music and video efforts on Windows Phone, much as Apple has transitioned from traditional iPods to iOS devices.

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Secure Your Mac from Certificate Flaws -- A spate of problems has cropped up with rogue SSL/TLS certificates that have the potential to subvert the integrity of encrypted Internet communications. Over at Macworld, Glenn Fleishman explains the situation, and offers advice to Mac OS X users on how to put up their guard for the system and browsers.

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