Quite some time ago, my wife was very sneaky. Oh, sheâ€™s sneaky again and again, but this is the piece of sneakiness that is appropriate for this post.
I logged on to woot.com one day, as I often do, and saw that there was a 30GB Zune for sale â€“ refurbished, and quite a bit cheaper than most places had it for sale, but still more than I could plonk down without blinking.
I told my wife about it, and she told me that no, I was right, we couldnâ€™t really afford it even at that price.
Then, months later, I found that my birthday present was a 30GB Zune â€“ the very one from woot that she said we couldnâ€™t afford.
Ever since then, Iâ€™ve been a strong fan of Zune and woot alike.
The other day, though, it dawned on me that I could use my Zune (now I have a Zune HD 32GB) to keep up with wootâ€™s occasional â€śwoot-offâ€ť events, where they proceed throughout the day to offer several deals. Unfortunately, I canâ€™t actually buy anything from woot on the Zune.
I couldnâ€™t figure this out for a while, and assumed that it was simply a lack of Flash support.
Itâ€™s not immediately obvious that thereâ€™s a difference between the Zune having no Flash support, and the iPhone having no Flash support.
But there is â€“ and itâ€™s a little subtle.
The Zune doesnâ€™t have Flash support because Adobe havenâ€™t built it.
The iPod doesnâ€™t have Flash support because Apple wonâ€™t let Adobe build it.
I did a little experimenting, and itâ€™s not that woot requires Flash.
I tried to logon directly to the account page at https://sslwww.woot.com/Member/YourAccount.aspx (peculiar that, the URL says â€śYour Accountâ€ť, but itâ€™s my account, not yours, that I see there. Thatâ€™s why you shouldnâ€™t use personal pronouns in folder names).
That failed with a cryptic error â€“ â€śCanâ€™t load the page you requested. OKâ€ť
No, itâ€™s not actually OK that you canâ€™t load the page, but thanks for telling me what the problem was.
Oh, thatâ€™s right, you didnâ€™t, you just told me â€śfailedâ€ť. Takes me right back to the days of â€śError 4/10â€ť.
The best I can reckon is that, since the Zune can visit other SSL sites, and other browsers have no problem with this SSL site, the Zune simply doesnâ€™t have trust in the certificate chain.
That should be easy to fix, all I have to do on my PC, or on any number of web browsers, is to add the siteâ€™s root certificate from its certificate chain to my Trusted Root store.
Sadly, I can find no way to do this for my Zune. So, no woot.
I think this would â€“ for a start, it would mean that users could add web sites that were previously unavailable to them â€“ including test web sites that they might be working on, which are supported by self-signed test certificates.
But more than that, adding a new root certificate to the trusted root certificate store on the Zune is a vital feature for another functionality that people have been begging for. Without adding a root certificate, it is often impossible to support WPA2 Enterprise wireless mode. So, the â€śadd certificate to my Zuneâ€™s Trusted Root storeâ€ť feature would be a step toward providing WPA2 Enterprise support.
Iâ€™m not sure that the interface would have to be on the Zune itself â€“ but perhaps the Zune could stock up failed certificate matches to pass to the Zune software, and then ask the operator of the Zune software at the next Sync, â€śdo you want to trust these certificates to enable browsing to these sites?â€ť
Similarly, for the WPA Enterprise mode, it could ask the Zune software user â€śdo you want to connect to this WPA Enterprise network in future?â€ť