This year's January 10th performance of Mahler's 9th Symphony, conducted by Alan Gilbert, was interrupted by a muted iPhone. Gilbert, in a rare decision, stopped the performance. Patron X was horrified to experience, as I have on several occasions, the fact that the mute switch does not completely silence the phone.
John Gruber, in On the Behavior of the iPhone Mute Switch, and Marco Arment, in Designing “Mute”, argue that Apple's choice of behavior for the mute switch is reasonable because it does the right thing for most people most of the time. Guy English, in Mute This, almost agrees. Andy Ihnatko, in an emptily-named article, disagrees, arguing for a more aggressive mute switch.
Ihnatko's argument that obviousness-in-usage is a more important design goal than an I'm-smarter-than-you approach should strike a chord with folks who have participated in the many failed search and personalization startups. Grandiose, but unexplainable, user actions are the sirens that continue to founder startups on the rocks of user impatience and apathy. The presence of the adjective "smart" in a product name is a warning sign for me.
I find it somewhat surprising that, in what are usually both nuanced and comprehensive analyses, the supporters of the current design seem to have overlooked the ever-present physicality of the mute switch. Surely, it matters that Apple decided to make this switch physical? In all other aspects of the iPhone, hardware UI is deliberate, expensive, and rare. Doesn't that choice imply an immediacy of purpose that touch interfaces do not? That purpose is "Be quiet, now!"
I don’t think this was their plan from the start — I think Apple didn’t know any better than we did, a year ago, whether the iPad was going to end up as a productivity device in practice. They probably thought, like we did, that it would replace laptops a lot more often.I see dozens of iPads in offices daily. They are being used not only as targets or test platforms, but for getting through the daily grind. Many are purchased by employees on their own dime because their companies are still struggling with iPad management. Apple, in describing the iPad, has 4 messages about why the iPad2 is better: "All-new design", "Dual-core A5 chip", "Two cameras", and "iPad Smart Cover". They describe two contexts in which the iPad might be used: "iPad in Business" and "iPad in Education". The headline for business is "A new way to work". The lede for the "Apps for Business" subpage is "Start transforming the way you work".
But, as often happens in technology, the iPad hasn’t “killed” the laptop at all — it has simply added a new role for itself. And that role doesn’t include office productivity for most of us.
I believe the choice of what to develop and release on Apple's part was driven by pragmatism, not by some disdain for the long-term ability of the iPad to excel at office productivity.
It is much, much harder to develop the tablet version of whatever is eventually going to play the role of SAP in the enterprise than it is to build GarageBand. More importantly, it is much easier to demo GarageBand in a minute to the person sitting next to you on the subway, to put it in a 30 second TV spot, or to find a meaningful screenshot to advertise.
Moreover, it is going to take a while for business to reinvent itself in a world of pinching, swiping, and touching. It took ten years for the transition to minis, client-servers, webv1, and webv2. It'll probably take ten for apps, too, but tablets will eventually play a huge role in office productivity. They have to.
stechert@kirin in ~  $ port contents gcc42 | wc -l 4257 stechert@kirin in ~  $ port contents erlang | wc -l 8176 stechert@kirin in ~  $ port contents ghc | wc -l 3998 stechert@kirin in ~  $ port contents python30 | wc -l 3604 stechert@kirin-2 in ~  $ port contents clojure | wc -l 4A heartfelt thanks to whomever felt it was necessary to take the time not to pollute my disk.
This is the copy that's shown when you choose to configure your cert's options manually.
Advanced Users: Configure Certificate Extensions Please note that the extension options below are not for the faint of heart. You probably won't trigger a Vogon invasion of Earth if you press the wrong button, but you might cause weird behaviour in some otherwise-normal software. Don't fiddle with this unless you've been told to, or unless you're a born fiddler.
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