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My kind of tablet by Riccardo MoriRiccardo Mori (Riccardo Mori)

My habits and preferences betray my somewhat long history with computers and technology. I didn’t grow up with smartphones and tablets. My first home computer was a Commodore VIC-20. I was 27 when I first used a mobile phone. Despite what some people may think, I’m not averse to change and my brain is still flexible enough to pick up new habits or change old ones. What happens when you get older, though, is you tend to consider more often whether changing a habit or rethinking a workflow is actually worth it. And what I’ve always said about the iPad in this regard is this: if I’m faster, more efficient, more productive with a Mac (or, in certain fringe cases, with an iPhone), why should I learn a more convoluted path to be able to do the same thing — but more slowly and less efficiently — on an iPad?

Riccardo hits the nail on the head. I've been an iPad user since the first iteration in 2010. While I love using my current iPad Pro, the hyperbole that the iPad is the only computer most people need bothers me. I perform too many computing tasks which, although possible on the iPad, are inefficient. While I can do much of my image editing in Adobe Lightroom Mobile, it takes me much longer to do so.

Large cities (or valleys) aren't the only places where innovation happens. I think Silicon Valley gets more attention and investment dollars than it deserves.

A series of studies from Tim Wojan and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service documents the drivers of rural innovation. Their findings draw on a variety of data sets, including a large-scale survey that compares innovation in urban and rural areas called the Rural Establishment Innovation Survey (REIS). This is based on some 11,000 business establishments with at least five paid employees in tradable industries—that is, sectors that produce goods and services that are or could be traded internationally—in rural (or non-metro) and urban (metro) areas.

The survey divides businesses into three main groups. Roughly 30 percent of firms are substantive innovators, launching new products and services, making data-driven decisions, and creating intellectual property worth protecting; another 33 percent are nominal innovators who engage in more incremental improvement of their products and processes; and 38 percent show little or no evidence of innovation, so are considered to be non-innovators.

The first table below charts this breakdown for rural and urban areas. Establishments in urban areas are more innovative, but not by much. Roughly 20 percent of rural firms are substantive innovators, compared to 30 percent of firms in urban areas.The Rise of the Rural Creative Class by Richard Florida witing for CityLab

New research indicates that the advice to walk 10,000 steps per day was more marketing than fact.

Scientific or not, this bit of branding ingenuity transmogrified into a pearl of wisdom that traveled around the globe over the next half century, and eventually found its way onto the wrists and into the pockets of millions of Americans. In her research, Lee put it to the test by observing the step totals and mortality rates of more than 16,000 elderly American women. The study’s results paint a more nuanced picture of the value of physical activity.

“The basic finding was that at 4,400 steps per day, these women had significantly lower mortality rates compared to the least active women,” Lee explains. If they did more, their mortality rates continued to drop, until they reached about 7,500 steps, at which point the rates leveled out. Ultimately, increasing daily physical activity by as little as 2,000 steps—less than a mile of walking—was associated with positive health outcomes for the elderly women.What 10,000 Steps Will Really Get You by Amanda Mull

The landscape of the social web. It’s an old post.

A last and different way to look at Social Networks could be the metaphor of landscapes, with mountains as barriers, and roads and rivers as attractors.

Closely knit groups would be villages, echo-chambers isolated villages with no nearby roads. Larger groups, sub-optimally meshed are towns and cities, where the risk of too little meshing lurks (homeless people, drop outs etc as a consequence). Lurkers might be unnoticed city dwellers, or tourists from other landscapes, that only become visible if they make themselves known as tourists, leave footprints or marks on/in the landscape as it were. (Kilroy was here). Lurking and Social Networks

Foxes, Fighting, Animals
Why iOS Needs Multiple User Accounts for iPad by Kirk McElhearn (The Mac Security Blog)

If Apple allowed multiple users on iOS, then my partner could set up the iPad with a second account when the child wants to use the device, and not have to worry. There are several ways Apple could do this.

The first is to allow nominative user accounts. The advantage to this is that you could set restrictions that are appropriate to the child's age for each account. And if you could do this for multiple children, then you would be comfortable that each child using the device would not be able to use it in ways that you don't approve or intend.

The other option would be to create a general guest account, such as on the Mac, which has a set of default settings that you could adjust. This account would not be nominative, though Apple would have to allow you to set an Apple ID for the iTunes Store and App Store. The problem with this is signing into apps that provide content, such as Netflix; there would need to be a way for those apps to use the credentials signed into the main user account.

Finally, there could be a Children account by default in iOS that you could create, or activate, which retains all your login details for apps, yet limits the activity that users can perform. Again, Netflix is a good example of this. It allows you to set up profiles for different users, each of which retains their own settings, watch list, etc., and each profile can have a maturity level. In addition, there's a default Children profile (called "Kids" in the U.S. Netflix) that you can use at any time, so kids only see appropriate content.

Multiple accounts imply separate storage, memory and sandboxed account spaces and application state context for each user profile. Is the current storage limits on current iPads and the current sandboxing environment, etc. conducive to multiple accounts? iOS shutdowns and saves the current state of apps that are no longer in "active" context. How will this affect user expectations, given user expectation that apps on iOS are expected to be in the state the user left them? Apps on macOS can save state to disk when a user profile is dormant.

It's worth noting that Apple already allows this for educational users. Teachers can set up accounts for all their students, and each one logs into any of some shared iPads to their specific profile. So the technology for multiple iOS user accounts already exists—just not for families. This solution does require a server, but Apple could build a multiple user management systems into HomeKit, for example, which allows you to use an iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod as a home hub.

I am not convinced that many US families have an Apple TV or would be willing to set up a home server as a solution. For some people, the iPad is the only computer they own. I am also sceptical that Apple TV has the CPU requirements to act as a server in this way. We don't know the criteria for educational servers. That is a needlessly complicated and possibly expensive solution compared to just "buying another iPad".

I am not arguing that having multiple accounts on a single iPad is not desirable. I think the geek=centric solutions laid out in the Intego article are not practical consumer-friendly solutions in 2019 and perhaps for the near term.

An 1TB 11" iPad Pro $1,549.00. A family can purchase three 128GB 11" iPad's for less than that. With a slightly larger budget of $1,765.71, a family of four and have two 128GB 11" iPads and two 64GB iPad mini. I understand that some (many?) families may not be able to afford more than one computing device or more than one iPad. But I don't see how requiring additional purchases of hardware of services from Apple helps that issue.

Which is better in a family? Fighting over who turns it is to use the multi-user iPad or each person having their own? I have two nieces, and two nephews, and two kids of my own. The argument who over who's turn it is to use the family computer is endless. I have seen the "winner" being hit with the iPad by the "loser" and the tug of war for the iPad leading to a smashed device. I was privileged to buy each of my kids their own iPads (actually one hand me down iPad, and one purchased iPad Air) and save my sanity.

When designing solutions for human beings we need to think about how human beings actually live with technology. I'll lay out a scenario.

"Person A" sees those "What's a computer?" commercials on TV. Decides that they want an iPad. It's the only computer they will own. They head into the Apple Store and after consulting with an Apple Genious walks out with a suitable iPad. They get used to it and love the device because of how simple it is to use. They just pick it up and FaceID or TouchID just magically unlocks the device. The person gets into a serious relationship with "Person B". Person B wants to use Person A's iPad. However, Person A has sensitive files etc. they are not ready to share with Person B. They attempt to use the "multiple accounts" feature.

Is the iPad that was purchased capable of doing multiple accounts? Does it have enough memory? Does the "multiple account" feature need additional hardware or services purchases from Apple? What is the cost of that? That simple device has now become more complicated. Is that what consumers want?

The Original iPad mini and Apple’s fluid vision by Nitin Khanna (Nitin Khanna)

It seems like Steve Jobs and Apple understood that you can’t place things too close inside the screen, but forgot that you can’t place the screen and the edge too close either, because it’ll cause hours of headaches by unwanted swipes, taps, and hard pressed. The Apple of today thinks bezels are bad and it is wrong. Steve Jobs might have said the above, but he’s also the one constantly touting that they made their devices thinner, which reduces battery life and also the ‘holdability’ of mobile devices.

I think the only thing that has changed at Apple is that Steve Jobs died. But that is the most significant change. While I am sure there are employees at Apple who have said, ”We think the bezels are too narrows” or ”This device is too thin and slippery”, their voices don’t have the same weight as Steve Jobs saying, ” That’s stupid!”.

And that makes all the difference. Steve was a user, just like you and me. He mostly like used Apple’s product often and probably found and had engineers fix I think the only thing that has changed at Apple is that Steve Jobs died. But that is the most significant change. While I am sure there are employees at Apple who have said, ”We think the bezels are too narrows” or ”This device is too thin and slippery”, their voices don’t have the same weight as Steve Jobs saying, ” That’s stupid!”.

And that makes all the difference. Steve was a user, just like you and me. He most likely used Apple’s product often and found all the issues that annoyed him and probably told his people to fix them. He’s not there anymore to inform Jony, and Phil, and Tim when they are being stupid.

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.Steve Jobs

The war on ports, the fanaticism over thinness and big screen size will eventually fade. Hopefully soon. My iPhone 7 fits just on the edge of comfort inside my dress pant and is painful in the front pockets of my jeans. The iPhone XR is even bigger. I put a case on my iPhone 7 because the shiny package was sliding out of my hand.

2018 is the first year since 2010 that I have not upgraded my iPad and iPhone to the latest.

The war on ports, the fanaticism over thinness and screen size is hopefully over.