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Twelve short months ago, Today at Apple sessions rolled out to Apple stores worldwide. Since then, thousands of free programs spanning a range of creative topics, from learning how to use Swift Playgrounds to taking a sketch walk in the community have been held daily. The sessions have become a key part of Apple’s recent retail philosophy which aims to reimagine Apple stores as modern-day town squares. With a full year in the books, it’s a fitting time to review the growth of Today at Apple, how well it has remained true to its goals, and what may be in store for year two.

Today at Apple’s public origins extend back to at least September 2024, when Apple opened a next-generation store in Brussels, Belgium. It was the first full store in the world to receive a Video Wall, Forum seating, and a Genius Grove, foreshadowing the design language that would eventually make its way to all new Apple stores.

In May 2024, on the 15th anniversary of the company’s first retail store, Apple previewed their new flagship location in San Francisco’s Union Square and announced the Today at Apple strategy. Apple explained that the initiative “brings to the community the world’s most talented artists, photographers, musicians, gamers, developers and entrepreneurs to inspire and educate our customers to go further with the things they are passionate about.”

Prior to Today at Apple, stores held a similar sounding series of sessions branded as “Workshops.” Unlike the new programs, Workshops placed more emphasis on technical training rather than community engagement and experiences. Today at Apple unified both Workshops and Youth Programs with consistent branding and introduced culturally rich special events and performances to the mix. To make the new format possible, Apple created a role called the “Creative Pro,” filled by experts deeply familiar with creative workflows and tools. The role was called the “liberal arts equivalent to the technical Genius.”

While select new stores began piloting the Today at Apple sessions shortly after the announcement, it wasn’t until April 2023 that Apple announced the program would be rolling out worldwide in May. At the time, Apple had a total of 495 retail locations, many of which needed a retrofit with new monitors called “Forum Displays” and a reconfigured seating area. An overnight refresh of older stores was done in preparation. In conjunction with the global announcement, Apple Dubai Mall opened on April 27th and began offering Today at Apple events immediately.

— Ty Booyzen (@TyBooyzen) April 23, 2023

On May 21, 2023, Apple celebrated the start of sessions around the world with a photo gallery of special events. Several high-profile musicians and illustrators were lined up to host live performances. A new website was launched to help locate and register for sessions at nearby stores. The initial set of programs spanned a range of 60 sessions, with each store offering a slightly different mix of signature programs depending on its size and market. Standard programs included:

Photo or Sketch Walks

Kids Hour offering sessions like creating movies and music

Swift coding sessions

Photo or Music Labs

Pro Series for a deep dive into Apple’s professional Mac software

Live Performances

Beginning in June, Apple expanded their Kids Hour offerings with new sessions involving filmmaking, illustration, and most notably iOS-controlled robots. Visit a store at any time of the day and you’re likely to see the Sphero robots cruising around on the floor.

— Jenean Morrison (@jeneanmorrison) September 30, 2023

Over the summer and into fall, Apple arranged an increasing number of special programs and collaborations in larger stores. Not only have these events been community favorites, they’ve been beneficial to artists hosting the sessions, too.

In June, K-Pop group NCT 127 performed at Apple Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York to a screaming audience. Their song “Cherry Bomb” was later used in a Twitter ad for the Apple Watch. Artist Jenean Morrison hosted a live art session at the same store in September. I was later introduced to Jenean’s work when she was invited to discuss her creative process at an Apple event held in collaboration with Adobe at last fall’s MAX conference.

Other collaborations have included Star Wars themed events for “Force Friday II,” Sketch Walks with members of the Urban Sketchers community, and even a Music Lab with Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA.

As Today at Apple grows, more and more new stores go further than simply accommodating a video wall, featuring layouts designed from the ground up around the Forum area. Since the program’s introduction, Apple has opened their first stores in Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Austria. Both Japan and Australia have also received stores with the new design.

Perhaps one of the best examples of Today-at-Apple-first architecture can be seen at the new Apple Michigan Avenue along the Chicago River. The store has become a premiere destination for some of the best exclusive sessions.

A month-long series of programs called “The Chicago Series” were among the first to be held following its opening in October. Apple has also teamed up with architects Iker Gil and Perkins+Will to host special sketch walks through the city. Following Apple’s “Field Trip” education Keynote this past March, a unique Teacher Tuesday session was held at the store and attended by company executives.

Today at Apple sessions have tackled social and environmental issues too. So far in 2023, several events have been held for International Women’s Day, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and Earth Day. A similar Earth Day discussion occurred in 2023, also hosted at Apple Union Square by Environment VP Lisa Jackson.

The Year Ahead

What lies ahead for year two of Today at Apple? With over 500 million visitors globally per year, Apple calls retail their “largest product.” Such a distinguished title indicates that much energy will be spent to continue its evolution.

One of the most effective ways Apple can expand Today at Apple’s reach is by making it available to more customers. In the retail space, that means opening and expanding more stores. At least four significant locations are expected to open throughout the remainder of 2023, every one designed to be a community gathering space.

Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan will greet visitors with a large, outdoor amphitheater. In Paris, the largest Forum in any store is being constructed on the historic Champs-Elysées. In the U.S., the famous 5th Avenue glass cube in New York City will reopen with a more welcoming plaza. Finally, Mount Vernon Square’s Carnegie Library is in the midst of being restored. When complete, Apple will share the building with the Historical Society of Washington D.C.

— Daniel Perez (@Danielpformigo) September 24, 2023

Existing older stores will continue to be updated as well. While Apple’s portable Forum displays suffice for small sessions, they’re no substitute for the immersive experience of large Video Walls and open gathering areas in modern stores. The size of many older spaces, especially those in enclosed shopping malls, makes large events like concerts altogether impractical. Even with Apple’s relatively aggressive remodeling rollout, the process of converting every classic store will likely take several more years.

Beyond physical spaces, expect also to see upgrades to Today at Apple programs coinciding with new hardware and software releases. Yearly improvements to the iPhone’s camera continuously enable new and novel photography techniques. Apps and features like Swift Playgrounds and ARKit are opportunities to teach new skills. Last fall’s Hour Of Code sessions were a great example. Apple Pencil support on the new 9.7-inch iPad may also spike interest in more live art and illustration sessions. It’s likely that we’ll see more programs like the Dubai Typography Series, which are as culturally rich as they are informative.

Above all, awareness is key to Today at Apple’s continued expansion. While Apple does a great job promoting its sessions on displays and the Video Wall inside stores, for customers who don’t visit stores often, the programs might be Apple’s best kept secret. The recently redesigned Apple Store app takes the first step in bringing more visibility to local events with a dedicated sessions tab.

On Facebook and Twitter, artists who hosts sessions will often promote their events ahead of time. Still, some customers who would benefit from Today at Apple sessions most are those that are new to Apple products and least likely to see the announcements. Increased local promotion and even personalized notifications could help spread the word.

After twelve months of sessions around the world, it’s clear that Today at Apple has been as much of a learning experience for Apple as it has been for customers. When laying out the program’s vision, Angela Ahrendts said “I’ll know we’ve done a really great job if the next generation says ‘meet me at Apple.’” Heading into the second half of 2023, Apple has a long trail ahead in pursuit of their ultimate goal, but the journey has begun on solid ground.

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‘Ted Lasso’ Cast Members Attend Q&A At The Grove Apple Store, Opening Today

Jason Sudeikis and other Ted Lasso cast members have attended a Q&A event at The Grove, the LA Apple Store opening today.

Apple says that the store, which originally opened in 2002, is now twice the size and has been “entirely reimagined” …

CEO Tim Cook said that the evening was “unforgettable,” but the Q&A itself hasn’t yet been shared.

Apple’s announcement mostly reiterated the awards won by the show.

Cast members of Apple’s multi-winning comedy series “Ted Lasso” attended a special Q&A event today at Apple’s newest retail location at The Grove in Los Angeles, CA ahead of its opening to the public tomorrow. The event takes place on the heels of “Ted Lasso” making history as the most Emmy Award-nominated freshman comedy series and landing seven Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series […]

In addition to the Emmy Award honors, the first season of “Ted Lasso” has also been recognized with an esteemed Peabody Award; a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Award for Sudeikis; three Critics Choice Awards for Best Comedy Series, Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Sudeikis, and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Hannah Waddingham, sweeping all categories in which the series was nominated; a Best Actor in a Comedy Series at the Golden Globe Awards for Sudeikis; and the Writers Guild of America crowned “Ted Lasso” with wins for both Best Comedy and Best New Series. “Ted Lasso” is also the only comedy series honored as an AFI Program of the Year and has picked up nominations from the Producers Guild of America for Comedy Series, as well as honors from many other guilds and critics groups […]

Star, creator and executive producer Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), executive producer Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), Juno Temple (Keeley), Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent, writer) and Cristo Fernandez (Dani Rojas) sat down at Apple The Grove for a conversation moderated by Yvette Nicole Brown.

Cook tweeted a couple of photos from the event.

An unforgettable evening with @JasonSudeikis and the cast of @TedLasso! Thank you for spending time with us in our beautiful new store, Apple The Grove, ahead of our grand opening tomorrow! chúng tôi Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 19, 2023

The company also threw in a plug for the photographic capabilities of the iPhone 13, though the photo walk is predictably already fully booked.

The brand-new store […] will open its doors to the public on Friday, November 19, serving as an entirely reimagined destination for the LA community to discover Apple’s products and services, shop, get support and participate in free Today at Apple sessions, including Photo Walks.

In time for the holiday season, participants at The Grove can register to take a festive walk familiarizing themselves with iPhone 13 Pro features, including how to take stunning macro photos using the Ultra Wide camera, record video with Cinematic mode, and shoot with all-new Photographic Styles.

You may find the walk available at other stores.

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Apple Homekit Tips To Try Today

A smart home is supposed to be easy to use, but if you have to control every device separately, it’s not easy at all. Apple’s HomeKit is one of the easier-to-use home automation systems. By using some of these Apple HomeKit tips, you’ll quickly discover just how powerful this system is and enjoy your smart home even more.

From complex automations based on custom rules to a fully connected home for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, HomeKit gives you full control over your smart home. All you have to do is know how to set it all up.

Share Control with Other Users

Usually, you’ll want more than one person to be able to adjust and control the devices in your home. The Home app (in iOS) allows you to add users and even control permissions for those users.

You will need a home hub device, such as HomePod or Apple TV. This is so there’s always a central hub in place for your smart home devices to connect to. Otherwise, other users must be in your home and on the same Wi-Fi network to access devices.

The process to share control with other users is simple:

Open the Home app.

Select the home you want to share control with under “Home Settings.”

Tap Invite under People.

Enter the person’s Apple ID and tap Send.

All that’s left is for the other person to open their Home app and accept your invitation.

Create Zones

Zones are one of the more useful Apple HomeKit tips. Instead of trying to control devices individually, create zones that include all devices in a single room or multiple rooms.

You could group by upstairs and downstairs or just your living room. It’s a three-part process to create and manage your zones. You do everything from within the Home app.

First, you have to create individual rooms:

Tap the Rooms tab within the Home app.

Choose “Room Settings.”

Tap “Add Room.”

Select a name to give your room and tap Save.

Once you have a room set up, it’s time to assign your smart accessories to it:

Long-press any accessory/device in your Home app.

Tap Settings and choose Room.

Select the room you want to assign the device to.

Finally, it’s time to create a zone:

Tap the Rooms tab and go to “Room Settings.”

Tap a room you’d like to add to a zone.

Tap Zone. You’ll be prompted to select an existing zone or create a new one.

Tap Done.

Now, you can adjust entire zones at one time or skip zones and just adjust individual rooms, which is still much easier than individual devices. Simply say the name of your room or zone when giving commands.

Create Automation Workflows

Wouldn’t it be nice to come home and your smart home adjusts to your preferences? HomeKit automations make this incredibly easy to do. You can create an automation based on three criteria – time, location, or action. Automations will either adjust specific accessories or start a scene. Scenes are groups of accessories that run all at once, such as lights coming on when you come home.

If you want to automate scenes, you’ll first have to set up a scene:

In the Home app, tap the “+” sign and choose “Add Scene.”

Choose a suggested scene name or create one of your own.

Tap “Add Accessories” and choose the accessories you want.

Choose Done.

Press and hold any accessory to adjust the settings based on your scene.

When finished, tap Done.

Once you have scenes in place, you’re ready to create automations:

Tap the Automation tab in the Home app.

Choose “A Time of Day Occurs” (for time-based), “When People Arrive” or “People Leave” (for location), or “An Accessory Is Controlled” (for action).

Select the accessories and/or scenes to run.

Press and hold any accessory to change its settings.

Tap Done.

You can actually combine automation types, such as a location, with a time-based automation. You’ll need to enable your location settings on your iPhone for location-based automations to work. With location, automations work even as you move from room to room.

Use iPad as a Home Hub

Ideally, Apple would love for you to buy a HomePod or Apple TV to serve as your home hub. However, using an iPad instead is one of the more commonly overlooked Apple HomeKit tips. All you have to do is ensure your iPad stays at home and connected to your Wi-Fi network. This is a great option if you’re planning to upgrade your iPad or never take it with you.

If you do take your iPad out of network range, your HomeKit settings won’t work again until the iPad is back. Open your iCloud settings and ensure Home is on. Open Settings and tap Home. Turn on Use this iPad as a Home Hub, and you’re done.

Control Your Home via Apple TV

You may already know you can use your Apple TV as your hub to control your HomeKit-connected devices. However, if you have many Bluetooth devices, adding additional Apple TVs to your home will allow you to connect all those Bluetooth smart-home devices to your network so you can control them the same way as your Wi-Fi connected devices.

With so many settings available in the Home app, there’s very little you can’t accomplish. Start with these Apple HomeKit tips and see just what you can do.

Image Credit: Fastily via Wikimedia Commons

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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Former Startup Of The Year Contestants On Why You Need To Apply Today

Every year, chúng tôi holds the Startup of the Year competition, a pitch contest that pits a huge number of startups against each other in pursuit of capital, business resources, and bragging rights in the startup community. The competition takes place at our annual conference, Innovate Celebrate, in Boston in October. And to say that startups leave happy would be more than an understatement.

We reached out to a number of former Startup of the Year contestants in hopes of spurring a discussion about the value of the competition. We were so overwhelmed by the support and praise from these startup founders and entrepreneurs that we felt it necessary to share their insights with our readers. If you’re thinking about applying, now is the time to do it!

Notable Inclusivity

The Startup of the Year competition isn’t about rewarding the companies you’ve seen a thousand times in pitch competitions. chúng tôi is committed to inclusivity across all facets of startup life, and our contestants feel that commitment at our events.

“The organizing team and staff were accommodating for Grok and the other companies, making sure everyone had their needs met during the event,” said Tarun Gangwani, Head of Product at Grok. “Our team was given many chances to network with experienced entrepreneurs and executives across multiple industries. chúng tôi ensured the event would be worth while, even if we didn’t end up going on to win the competition itself.”

This competition isn’t meant to be an intimidating experience. The Startup of the Year competition is designed to make entrepreneurs, founders, and innovators feel welcomed by a community of peers that are all trying to do the same thing: make the world a better place.

“The chúng tôi staff made us feel extremely welcomed,” said Courtney Caldwell, cofounder of ShearShare. They cared less about a team’s technical expertise or background and were much more focused on whether or not a company’s mission and model introduces new and innovative ideas that are outside of the standard prescription and ShearShare certainly fit that bill.”

The goal of any startup competition should be to inspire the attendees, support the startups, and facilitate networking in as many ways as possible. Fortunately, given the size of our event, we think we accomplish that in spades.

“There is a ton of work that goes into putting these events on and the team at chúng tôi always makes it seem like its easy going for all involved,” said James Ross, Cofounder of Hedgechatter. “They keep the group size to a manageable level, which is important because it only takes attending one of those super massive 1000+ exhibitor events to feel like your startup is just another speck of sand on the beach. The Startup of the Year competition on the other hand was sized right which allowed startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and attendees to really learn about products/services and have quality meetings with potential investors and customers.”

Undeniable Benefits

Of course, the goal of a competition is to win. However, winning isn’t the only thing, as chúng tôi provides a wide range of benefits for contestants, from networking opportunities and business resources to exposure and media attention.

“The opportunity to network with founders from Silicon Valley is really unparalleled,” said Garrett Moon, CEO and cofounder of CoSchedule. “There was tons of energy and excitement during the entire event and working with other founders spurred a wealth of ideation and momentum beyond.”

In addition to all the benefits of the event, taking part in the Startup of the Year competition provides unique opportunities outside of chúng tôi which can lead to success in a number of different ways.

“The accolades and recognition were wonderful and very uplifting to the team, but the very best thing was the booth we received at CES in January,” said Paul Droege, founder and CEO of SunPort. “The fact it was free was nice but it had an amazing, high-traffic location which was awesome. We leveraged the location into great visibility, made some great connections and learned a great deal by interacting with people during CES, all of which came from our win.”

Breeds Success

Winning any startup competition is going to do wonders for your progress. Just ask Stephanie Lampkin, the founder and CEO of Blendoor, whose company won the competition in 2024.

“Winning startup of the year provided a lot of validation that what we’re building is valuable which helped us get into a top 5 accelerator,” said Stephanie Lampkin, founder and CEO of Blendoor. “It also connected us with big tech companies who are now on our beta.”

On the other hand, winning the Startup of the Year competition is not the only way to enjoy success. For example, 2024 finalist TurboAppeal was just acquired by Paradigm Tax Group in a move that can only be deemed successful.

“It helped give us confidence in the validation behind our product as well as understand the reaction from the VC community as well as potential customers,” said Badal Shah, CEO of TurboAppeal. “We are grateful for the opportunity with .”

Startup of the Year

If you think you have what it takes to be the Startup of the Year, you need to apply today. Remember, the 100 startups that are chosen will be invited to join us in Boston, MA from Oct 15-17 for Innovate Celebrate, and will be on their way to startup success in no time!

The First Circuit’s First Woman

The First Circuit’s First Woman Sandra Lynch (LAW’71) on breaking new ground for women, at BU and on the bench

Sandra L. Lynch (LAW’71), the first woman to serve as chief judge of the First Circuit Court. Photo by Melody Ko

Late one night,when the tourists had returned to their hotels and the streets of IslaVerde, Puerto Rico, were all but deserted, a young woman stepped out ofher car, and a man’s voice immediately ordered her back in. The man,holding a knife, forced her to drive to a deserted beach, where hebrandished a gun and raped her. Sometime later, when the police foundthe woman running along the road frantically waving her arms, she wasso traumatized she could not speak.

The weapon-wieldingassailant was convicted of carjacking, and 10 years were added to hissentence because the crime involved serious bodily injury. But when thecase was appealed, the 10-year premium was dropped. A three-judgepanel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that under statutorydefinition, rape was not a serious bodily injury.

A petitionfor a rehearing was filed with the full six-judge Court of Appeals, andone of its members, a woman relatively new to the court, read thepanel’s opinion and wrote the following: “The victim was taken to aremote beach by a man with weapons, forced to strip, and then raped. Tosay that this testimony provides ‘no record of support’ for a findingthat the attack on the victim involved extreme physical pain ignoresthe reality of what she went through.”

“Congress,” she went on to write, dissenting from the court’s denial of the rehearing, “would be appalled at this outcome.”

As it turned out, the Honorable Sandra L. Lynch was right. Congresswas appalled. Lynch’s dissent caught the attention of a congressionalstaffer, also a woman, who persuaded a legislator to author a billmaking it clear that the term “serious bodily injury” includes rape.

“Apparentlythe bill flew through both houses in two weeks,” says Lynch (LAW’71).“I thought it was lucky that there was a woman staffer in Congress whosaw the issue the way I did and had the willpower to bring it up.”

Atthe time, in June of 1996, Sandra Lynch was the only woman serving onthe First Circuit Court of Appeals and the only woman who had ever served on it. Lynch had arrived on the bench 13 months earlier,chosen by President Bill Clinton to fill the seat vacated by newlyappointed Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (Hon.’95).

ForLynch, the appointment was another in a string of career firsts. Shehad been the first woman to clerk for a federal judge in Rhode Islandand the first woman to head the litigation department at the Boston lawfirm Foley, Hoag & Eliot. And now there is another first. LastJune, she became the first woman to serve as chief judge of the FirstCircuit Court.

Michael Keating, a friend and former colleagueat Foley Hoag, as the firm is now called, recalls the scene at Lynch’sinduction into the federal judiciary: “When you looked at the lineup ofnew judges, it looked like the first tee of a golf club. There were allthese old white guys. And there was Sandy.”

Lawyers who appearin Lynch’s court describe her as no-nonsense, a jurist who knows herfacts cold, whose opinions are not colored by ideology. Her decisionshave overturned a jury verdict ordering Massachusetts General Hospitaland one of its brain surgeons to pay $8 million to the families ofbrain tumor patients who died after receiving experimental treatmentdecades ago. (In that case, Lynch found that testimony against thehospital was based on research published after the patient experimentswere completed.) They have denied requests for a new trial byplaintiffs who claimed that a Cape Cod wind farm was built withoutproper oversight by the state. (In that case, the court found that thestate had no authority over federal waters, which begin three milesfrom shore.) And they have ruled that a Lexington, Mass.,parent cannot sue the town because the high school newspaper refused toprint an ad for sexual abstinence.

“My job isn’t boring,” saysLynch. “It presents very hard problems. We may have a problem that hasimplications for a whole industry or a whole segment of society. Thehardest part is thinking through the ramifications of whateverarticulation of law you come up with, for the next case, the case thatisn’t in front of you. You are worried all the time about whether youhave articulated a rule that makes sense, that will work in the future,and that you haven’t set up a rule that is going to cause injustice orcause irrational results.”

Lynch typically hears about 180cases a year and writes summary dispositions on hundreds more. Hercaseload ranges from ordinary civil cases, such as contract oremployment discrimination, to terrorism cases to death penaltylitigation. The court receives appeals from federal courts and federaladministrative agencies, as well as habeas corpus petitions from stateand federal prisoners, and also some original proceedings.

“Thehardest cases have been figuring out not only what Congress meant,”says Lynch, “but also thinking through the ramifications. If I answerthe question one way, it will have these ramifications; if I answer itthe other way, it will have these ramifications. And very often,Congress uses ambiguous language because it’s the only way it cancompromise and get a bill through. And then it falls to the courts towork out exactly what Congress meant. You really have to enjoy solvingproblems.”

“Judge Lynch is first and foremost pragmatic,” saysAmanda Teo, who clerked for Lynch as a Harvard Law student three yearsago. “She is interested in what makes good law and what would resolvethe dispute for the parties. That allows her to get to the core of acase and actually do good law, which is something that is an accidentalby-product in many courtrooms. And she is, of course, a great rolemodel.”

Lynch’s take on her status as a role model is nothing if notjudicious. “My generation of women is used to being the first,” shesays matter-of-factly. “Sometimes we are the only women in a particularposition of responsibility. So what you find in the first woman role isyou are a symbolic figure, and you know that. Whether you choose to beor not, you are a role model, and so you feel a special burden toperform well. While you might prefer to be modest and not the center ofpublic attention, you end up being the center of public attentionanyway.”

In fact, Lynch has attracted public attention sinceshe was in high school near Dallas, Tex. There, as editor of the highschool paper, she penned editorials decrying the town’s practice ofmaintaining separate drinking fountains for black students and whitestudents. “That was not,” she recalls, “a popular position.”

Lynchsays her childhood as an Army brat, which included long stints in Italyand Germany, set her priorities, placing principles well abovepopularity.

“I had an unusually strong sense of America as aconstitutional democracy, where values like freedom of speech, equalityof opportunity, and fairness under the law were very important,” shesays. “I was raised not only to take on responsibility, but with asense of obligation to one’s country that you needed to use your lifein a meaningful way.”

From Texas, Lynch attended WellesleyCollege and then BU’s School of Law, which she says prepared her chúng tôi preparation was enhanced by a clerkship with U.S. District JudgeRaymond J. Pettine, in Rhode Island. She next served as general counselfor the Massachusetts Department of Education, where she helped to pushthrough a state gender equality law and a special needs statute. Shealso worked as a Massachusetts assistant attorney general, representingthe commonwealth in a school desegregation case against the BostonSchool Committee.

In 1978, Lynch joined Foley Hoag, a firmknown for its absence of an old boy network. She was soon leading thefirm’s litigation practice.

“Sandy is the person you want inthe foxhole with you,” says Keating, who worked with Lynch on thedefense team for chemical company W. R. Grace, a legal battle that isportrayed in the book and movie A Civil Action. “She is smart, diligent, and she never asks anyone to do anything that she wouldn’t do.”

B.J. Trach, an assistant U.S. attorney, who clerked for Lynch four yearsago, believes that Lynch’s years as a litigator made her thedetail-minded judge she is today. “Some judges will have the clerksread the briefs and do a memo to the judges,” says Trach. “Judge Lynchdoes all the prep work herself. She is completely aware of everythingin both parties’ briefs. The benefit for people who argue in front ofher is that they know the work they’ve done is being taken veryseriously.”

The downside for lawyers, says Trach, is that Lynch expects them to be equally prepared.

“Sandy is a very determined person,” says Keating. “She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, in or out of the courtroom.”

Andshe never did. Sitting in her spacious office in the John JosephMoakley United States Courthouse, the chief judge recalls an incidentdecades ago, from her days as a student at LAW.

“In my firstyear,” she begins, speaking with the resolve of someone whoseoccupation demands that her opinions disappoint 50 percent of heraudience, “we had a contracts professor who used the Socratic method.Normally, in any given hour, a professor will call on half a dozenstudents. This male professor called on a female student for the entirehour, not just the first day. He called on her every day for the entirehour. Finally, on Friday, she misunderstood a question and she gave awrong answer. That was what he had been waiting for. He turned to theclass with a look of triumph on his face and said, ‘Well, class, now weknow why women aren’t noted for their beautiful minds.’ At that point,I stood up, very publicly. I closed my books. I looked at the otherwomen in the class, and I led a walkout.”

Lynch pauses. Fromher desk, she can look northeastward, across Boston Harbor and EastBoston and on toward New Hampshire and Maine, the northern reaches ofthe territory whose plaintiffs and defendants end up arguing in hercourt.

“To its credit,” she says, “at a time when many lawschools were admitting 3 or 4 percent women, BU made a commitment toadmit at least 10 percent women. It was a radical idea — to teach womento be lawyers. But the school did reflect the stereotypes of the times.”

Anotherpause, then Lynch continues, “I’m grateful to BU, not just because Iwas admitted, but because it forced me to confront some of theseissues, and I emerged stronger for it. Had I not gone through it, itmight have been harder to have the career I’ve had.”

This story originally ran in the Winter 2008–2009 issue of Bostonia.

Art Jahnke can be reached at [email protected].

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A First Look At Swype For Ios 8

Why type when you can swipe, indeed. I know that swiping instead of tapping is merely a fun feature and not necessarily a productive way to type. Nevertheless, I love to swipe. The iPhone has this extraordinary touch screen device that uses amazing gesture-based technology. Why not use it to its full potential?

Swype uses gesture-based actions to the fullest. You can tell that this company has been around for a while. The dev team has perfected the swipe-to-type technology.

At first glance, the Sywpe keyboard pretty much just looks like Apple’s. It has a typical QWERTY layout with Chiclet-style keys and three predictive typing options at the top of the screen. If you don’t change the theme, you almost wouldn’t even notice the difference.

What makes this keyboard stand out is the amazingly smooth swiping function for typing words. Touch your finger on the first letter and swipe to the next letter until you’ve spelled a word. The movement is fluid and the keyboard correctly registers words with near perfection.

If you spell a word that is not part of the Swype vernacular, you will be asked if you would like to add it to your personal dictionary. Swype will store new words locally on your device so that the next time you type it, it will not automatically assume you’ve made a mistake and correct it.

One thing that stands out about this app is that it does not require you to give full access (unless you have Guided Access turned on). I have intentionally only reviewed keyboards from trusted companies with clearly outlined privacy policies, but I still feel a little weird giving full access. With Swype, I don’t even have to think about that. It is a non-issue.

You can switch to the numbers keypad or touch and hold any letter to bring up the corresponding number. For example, if QWERTY is in the same position as 123456 on the numbers keypad, touch and hold the Q to call up the number one. The only weird thing about that is that some keys are awkwardly matched up. For example, the letter M corresponds with the question mark. It seems like it would fit better with the period.

Although relying heavily on gestures for input, the keyboard does not have any gesture controls. For example, you can’t swipe to the left to delete a word. I find this strange since the keyboard was designed for swiping.

On the iPhone, you have your choice of five different picturesque themes (the iPad only has light or dark). To access the settings, touch and hold the Swype icon until three options appear. You can change keyboards, switch to the number pad, or tap the settings icon to access the themes.

Probably the best feature of this app is the predictive typing combined with auto-correct. Considering how clumsy I am at swipe typing, you’d think I’d be mashing gibberish all over the page. However, the app correctly guessed my words and corrected my mistake nearly perfectly every time.

Because you can swipe or tap to type, this keyboard is both fun and useful for productivity. Plus, the swiping technology is so good that I could see myself becoming a pro.

Swype Keyboard is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for $0.99. I highly recommend buying it in the App Store today.

Check out these other iOS 8 keyboard apps

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