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New Apple ad a bit disturbing, as touted feature reportedly has New Year's hiccups

A new ad for the iPhone 5's "Do Not Disturb" feature may have Venus and Serena Williams going for it, but some iOS users are reporting that the feature locked up on them. Apple says a fix is coming.

Now that's a dream.
Apple Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Last update: January 2 at 11:13 a.m. PT

However walled your garden, rodents still pad around, cockroaches still shuffle.

One can only, therefore, feel sympathy for Apple's new ad for the iPhone 5.

It features the mysterious and wonderful Williams sisters. They are in a dream. They are playing the dreamy Jeff Daniels at ping-pong.

And yet the ad also features the phone's "Do Not Disturb" feature, which users can switch on to silence in-coming calls, alerts, and notifications, or set up to perform such silencing during a preordained period of time. And who would want to be disturbed during such a high-level game of table tennis?

The slightly unfortunate aspect is that, as 9to5Mac glumly recognizes, there were reports overnight that this feature did actually disturb.

By not switching itself off.

The forums at MacRumors, for example, were adorned by iPhone users mystified that they had missed vital events such as, who knows, an invitation to a spontaneous brunch or a call informing them they had removed their pants in public last night.

The problems was reported in Spain, Australia, and even the home of all things current and disturbing, Brooklyn.

I have contacted Apple to see whether this has been noticed by the company and whether this might be mere operator error or something more disturbing.

(Update January 2 at 11:13 a.m. PT: Apparently Apple has noticed. A post on the Apple support site this morning acknowledges that the Do Not Disturb mode has been overstaying its welcome and says that its "scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7" -- until then, you'll just have to turn it on and off manually.)

There will be some who, excited by the slight disturbance over Apple's maps -- not to mention last year's alarm-clock stumble apparently also caused by the New Year rollover -- will be snorting that this is another example of Cupertino's imperfection.

They will sniff in jest that all these people must have been holding their iPhones wrong when they set them not to disturb.

I prefer to imagine that this is all the work of Siri.

She knew what each of these iPhone owners had been through and done on New Year's Eve.

She just wanted to offer them extra rest before reality knocked upon their foreheads and muttered: "Have you any idea what you put in your ear last night?"