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The Apple TV has always been one of Apple’s more interesting products for schools and businesses. In 2010, the second generation model shrunk the size (compared to the original one) and added a new feature called AirPlay. AirPlay was the spiritual successor to AirTunes which allowed you to send audio wirelessly to your speakers. AirPlay allows you to stream video and audio from macOS and iOS.
Fast forward to present day, and we have the 4th generation Apple TV released in 2024 and the 4K model released in 2023. Both of these models run tvOS and include the App Store. They also included AirPlay. So where are we at with it being used in schools and the enterprise?
Apple has recognized the potential of Apple TVs being installed around schools and in conference rooms as they have added fairly robust MDM support into recent versions of tvOS. These MDM controls make it easier to setup and maintain a fleet of Apple TVs. It’s clear Apple is positioning it as an accessory add-on for every iPad deployment. Is it something schools should consider in every classroom?
At $149, the Apple TV is not a cheap device. This price doesn’t even include the additional cost to enroll it in your MDM. By the time you add all of that together, it’s an expensive solution. I think the better solution for the classroom is a TV with an HDMI cord with a Lightning adaptor. Is it as fancy as being about to wirelessly project an iPad on the screen? No, but it’s super reliable.
AirPlay is a great solution when it works, but when it doesn’t there is no troubleshooting an IT administrator can do (especially on the fly). I’m not knocking AirPlay alone here, as I think most of the wireless display technology I’ve used isn’t worth the cost or the hassle. If you are thinking about a school with 30+ classrooms, are you ready to support 30+ Apple TVs and all that goes along with it? A large TV mounted on the wall, a rolling cart, or a ceiling mounted projector with HDMI is a much easier solution for teachers and students to manage.
Apple Classroom is another reason why I don’t think Apple TV is necessary for K–12. One of the arguments for Apple TV is that students can wirelessly share what they are working on with the rest of the class. With Apple Classroom, teachers can view a student’s iPad at any time. If they are plugged into HDMI, everyone will be able to watch. This solution is also much faster as the teacher can quickly move between students vs. students connecting and disconnecting manually to AirPlay.
One thing that is on the horizon that I haven’t discussed is AirPlay 2. While it looks to be an exciting technology for the home, I don’t think it adds much to school’s technology stack.
Looking ahead, if Apple released an “AirPlay receiver” type device for around $49 that was aimed at K–12 and business conference rooms, I might be interested. The AirPlay experience is going to have to be as fast and reliable as plugging in a cord, though. Until then, I have a hard time putting one in every classroom.
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Apple Mail vs G Suite webmail is a discussion I’ve had with many other IT directors at different schools over the past few years. Some Apple schools focus everyone on using chúng tôi since it’s built it, updated with macOS, and creates a similar experience on iOS. Other schools actually remove chúng tôi from the new Mac deployments and force people to use the G Suite web interface? I could argue it both ways, and I’ll give you my explanation in this week’s Making The Grade.Benefits of using macOS Mail.app
I’ve been a fan of the Mail app on macOS back from when I switched to OS X Panther back in 2004. I’ve had multiple email accounts for as long as I remember (work, personal, etc.), and I’ve always preferred having them come into the same inbox. I know some people like to keep everything separate, but that’s not my preference. By using chúng tôi I can add multiple accounts and monitor them at the same time.
Even for someone who doesn’t care about a universal inbox for multiple email accounts, there are a lot of benefits to using a local mail client. The macOS “sharing” experience works well with webmail clients. For users who want to use Safari, iCloud Photos, etc. – sharing via email will be much simpler in chúng tôi As an example, if you are using chúng tôi and you send a photo from iCloud Photos, you simply use the built-in sharing function to send it. If you use the G Suite webmail, you have to export to the desktop and then attach it to an email.
The bottom line is that using chúng tôi with G Suite provides the most Apple-like experience for end users.Benefits of using G Suite Webmail in your school
From a system administrator perspective, using chúng tôi in your environment opens up additional troubleshooting possibilities. When issues arise, you have to determine if it is a local client issue or something server-side.
G Suite also doesn’t use traditional IMAP settings, so it’s possible you can run into issues where the label to folder translation doesn’t work correctly. chúng tôi has gotten a lot better in recent years with how it works with Google email, but it’s still not perfect. When using the G Suite web interface, you get access to all the latest features of G Suite like the ability to set up an email send later vs sending immediately.
If your school is heavily invested in Google-based workflows with Google Drive, then users will have a much better experience using the G Suite web interface vs Apple Mail. Will it be as good of an experience when using local macOS apps? No, but again, that’ll just go back to your school’s workflows. The Gmail web interface makes it extremely easy to attach files from Google Drive, auto-upload large files to Google Drive when trying to attach, or use the new confidential mode for secured communications. These features just aren’t possible when using the macOS mail client.Apple Mail vs G Suite Webmail: Which should you choose?
My school focuses on the webmail version of G Suite, but I don’t disable chúng tôi All of my new employee training focuses on the web interface, and I encourage teachers to use it. With that being said, I still support users who use Mail.app.
If I was at a much larger school, I might block users from using macOS Mail, though. One of the keys to help desk/system administration work is eliminating variables. By forcing users onto the webmail client, a troubleshooting variable is eliminated. Apple hasn’t kept pace with Google on evolving the chúng tôi and has largely remained the same. Meanwhile, Google continually adds features to Gmail/G Suite email.
Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash
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Making The Making of the President Q&As reconsidered: Mel Stuart speaks on the Kennedys, Vietnam, and politics
Director Mel Stuart says the world wasn’t as intrusive in 1960 as it is now, and America wasn’t the kick-ass power Bush tried to make it.
Film director Mel Stuart believes he might have altered the course of history if he had just anticipated where U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was headed after acknowledging his win in the California primary on that fateful night in 1968.
During that year’s presidential campaign, Stuart often could be found walking ahead of Kennedy, his camera trained on the candidate. But the night Kennedy made his acceptance speech, Stuart didn’t know which way he was headed.
“It’s always been the regret of my life that I was behind him,” he says. “If I had been in front of him, I would have been with my cameraman and my soundman, between him and Sirhan B. Sirhan, and he would have had to push us out of the way to get to Bobby Kennedy. I know it sounds silly, but the whole history of the world could have changed. I mean, I might have been shot, but everything would have been different.”
The 80-year-old Stuart, who has made more than 190 films over five decades, screened and discussed two of his documentaries on two nights last October, as part of the BU Cinemathèque series. Making of the President 1960, winner of three Emmys, and Making of the President 1968 offer behind-the-scenes looks into the presidential election of 1960, when John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon, and of 1968, when Nixon bested Hubert H. Humphrey after the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Both screenings were followed by a discussion with Stuart.
Over the course of the two nights, Stuart also offered tips for making it in the film industry.
It was different in 1968, because we had Vietnam. And President Lyndon Johnson was smart enough to know that he wasn’t going to win, so he got out, because Vietnam had polarized the country. America had really come to be a world power. In ’60 we were big, but we weren’t like we were in ’68, and certainly not like we are now, pushing everybody around. The whole world had changed by ’68.
I think we see it in many elections. People win simply on the strength of there being something about them that attracts the interest of people. Now, the media, being the transmission, are the ones to pick it up. But they can also do bad things — you have to be able to use your tools. And what greater tool than the media is there in present-day America to get people to turn one way or the other? You have to use the media for your purposes.
But the media in our country are terribly, terribly important. And they’re not neutral — some of them try to be neutral, but your impressions of the people are brought to you by the media. And this is a phenomenon of the 21st century. You never had this kind of thing before.
What the media like to do is show you impressions. That’s not the real John McCain, and that’s not the real Barack Obama. But they want to make it as though it’s a movie.
I guess I wish I was creating another Making of the President for this election. But you know what — after a while, if you’re in politics for too long, you start getting very cynical.
I had finished the rough cut of Making of the President 1960, and Theodore White was going to write the words and finish it off. And the last shot of the film was Eisenhower, who was president, shaking Kennedy’s hand. So I said, “Now Teddy, at this moment, I’m going to freeze the frame, Eisenhower shakes Kennedy’s hand. Kennedy is now president. And I want you to write about this.”
And so he looks at me without blinking — I’ll never forget this as long as I live — and says, “How about, ‘So power passes’?” And that’s what it’s all about. An election is the passage of power to one person. So you better pick the right one when you’re voting.
Robin Berghaus can be reached at [email protected].
This story originally ran October 23, 2008.
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Google TV is Dying, and an Apple TV with Apps will Finish it Off
You remember Google TV, right? It was supposed to be the software, running on several different devices, that would reinvent how we consume entertainment in the living room. And perhaps most importantly, it was supposed to be the platform that would beat all competitors.
But that hasn’t happened. Since the release of the Logitech Revue and Sony’s Google TV-based products, the entertainment platform failed to catch on with consumers. And even those who opted to get Google TV-based products were disappointed to find out that it had potential, but couldn’t deliver on the features they were after, like app support and the ability to watch some of their favorite television shows through its included browser.
Even with those issues, some companies aren’t willing to give up on Google TV just yet. Last month, for example, Vizio announced that it would integrate Google TV into a line of its HDTVs. Logitech and Sony also seem committed to the platform for now.
Google is undoubtedly happy to see that. But what about consumers? Current Google TV products have been ignored. And not even support from Vizio, one of the top HDTV makers in the world, will likely be able to change that.
It gets worse for Google. While the company has been trying to get its entertainment platform off the ground, Apple has been enjoying some success in the set-top box market.
After launching the Apple TV last September, Apple announced in December that its device would hit over 1 million unit sales before the end of the year. Since then, we haven’t heard much about Apple TV sales. But it seems that Apple is relatively pleased. And at the very least, we know that the device is catching on far better than Google TV-based products.
Realizing that, I think we can safely assume that Google TV is dying slowly, and Apple TV is healthier than ever.
But that doesn’t mean that Google TV is dead. Quite the contrary, Google has the ability to revive its ailing platform if it can ink deals with content providers and finally deliver apps to customers. That alone would do wonders for its service and potentially bring it back to life, unless, of course, Apple can beat Google to the punch.
Right now, Apple has the unique opportunity to finally kill off Google TV. All the company needs to do is bring its App Store to the Apple TV. Companies offering all kinds of multimedia products would jump at the chance to get in on yet another Apple marketplace. And consumers that saw little value in a black box that only does streaming might quickly realize that a black box that does streaming and offers content from major partners, like Hulu, through an App Store, is a worthwhile investment.
Even better for Apple, it puts Google in a difficult position. If it finally offers apps, will it be able to bring back those customers that Apple stole away? More importantly, will it be able to entice developers to work with it, rather than the Apple TV that at least so far, has proven to be more popular?
It’s tough to say. But it’s quite possible that if Apple beats Google to the market with apps on its set-top box, the search giant might be forced to answer those questions.
Say what you will about the underpowered Apple TV, but I think it has a chance right now to kill Google TV once and for all. All it needs is apps — and more attention from Apple.
The simple solution to speed up digitalization is to turn everyone into a Citizen Data Scientist.
A brief survey was conducted at a workshop to gauge the issues and opinions of the participants about citizen data science. Additionally, the poll indicates that these IT executives are still in the early phases of implementing citizen data science projects, even if the sample size of 60 respondents is too small to make any conclusions:
This apparent lack of development is far from encouraging considering that data visualization and preparation tools became widely used 10 years ago. IT and data executives must intensify data governance programs that aid citizen data science initiatives if they want to move things in the right way.Transform compliance risks into force multipliers for citizen data science
sharing sensitive information with others and putting compliance in danger;
unlawful disclosure of information to others outside the company;
making incorrect conclusions based on assumptions and misunderstanding data definitions;
sharing analytics and insights without confirming outcomes and evaluating the algorithms;
Making visualizations without following any standards or style requirements makes it harder for employees to comprehend the outcomes.
Of course, the dangers are greater now because the majority of businesses analyze large data sets, employ several analytics tools, and create bespoke code for their machine learning models. For actions that generate income and operational efficiency, the business uses analytical models, and errors can be expensive. To prevent risk from speeding the pace of citizen data science projects, data governance strives to satisfy compliance needs, knowledge gaps, and data quality objectives.Put business analysts and citizen data scientists together
Citizen data journalists should not be provided with self-service analytics that just let the user work everything out on their own. To provide various kinds of analysis and visualization that are useful to everyone, firms should ideally match users with BI experts. According to Michael Golub, senior vice president of analytics and machine learning at Anexinet, “having a business power user linked up with a seasoned BI practitioner may typically lead to greater outcomes faster than putting the burden into either group solely.” Visualization requires both technical and creative skills. One strategy to make the most of the time spent creating and developing is to adopt an agile business/tech-working-together approach.Pick the appropriate self-service equipment
“Making your visualization tool is a fool’s errand, as we painfully discovered. It takes time, is quite expensive, and is still inferior to available options “Swann clarified. “You have to choose a technique that makes visualization simple and adaptable.” Organizations looking to empower citizen data scientists should search for self-service analytics platforms with scalability and the capacity to effortlessly interface with data sources that are important to the company, according to Samantha Marsh, the marketing coordinator at iDashboards. Consider adopting a solution that kickstarts your projects with established visualization templates if speed and simplicity are crucial to your business,” said Marsh.Pay attention to the users
Both IT and BI teams must pay attention to users to acquire the technology and procedures that work best for them. “One of the toughest realities to learn about big data and visualization is that no IT person can tell marketing folks what the end-user needs to see. Although we may counsel them along the process, they must develop their own opinions to make decisions “added Barak. Data scientists concur, but they underline that citizen data scientists must also put in their labor.Cultivate personalities Check the data
Maintaining clean and well-managed data streams is one of the key responsibilities that IT plays in empowering citizen data scientists. This involves making sure that people only have access to the data they require to perform their duties and that data is safe throughout its entire lifespan.More Trending Stories
A new Apple TV could be supercharged Siri’s attack on Alexa
Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home may come in the form of an updated Apple TV, insiders claim, packaging a supercharged Siri in the set-top box. The project to upgrade Siri and turn the virtual assistant into a helper for the whole home had previously been tipped to come in an all-new piece of hardware, but new rumors say Apple has discounted that idea.
Earlier this week, in fact, sources suggested that Siri would be given a new home in a dedicated device, complete with Echo-style microphones and speakers. Although currently accessible on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV through the latter’s Siri Remote, the standalone device – which has, it was said, been in development since before Amazon revealed Echo – would allow playlists to be loaded by voice, standalone music playback, and more.
Not quite so, according to VentureBeat’s source, however. Their unnamed insider claims that, while Apple did consider a new product, the idea was eventually discarded out of deference to the amount of investment already made into the company’s existing home product, the Apple TV.
“They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything,” the source argues.
The current plan, as the report describes it, is to develop new hardware that would work with Apple TV, rather than independently from it. That would effectively amount to a microphone and speaker, moving them away from any background noise around the TV, as well as avoiding issues with recharging.
One point where the two reports coincide is the suggestion that Apple is working on building out its backend, in preparation for more Siri capabilities.
Siri was one of the first examples of a virtual assistant to make an impact on the mass market, but the AI’s abilities have paled in comparison to more recent rivals. Amazon’s Alexa, the voice control system that powers Echo, has been rapidly gaining third-party integration with a range of devices and services spanning the gamut from streaming music providers like Spotify, through smart home tech like Philips’ hue bulbs and Nest’s thermostats.
Meanwhile, Google Home made its debut at I/O earlier in the month, a standalone speaker and microphone array to embody Google’s assistant, the voice-controlled technology that promises contextual search and more.
Like Alexa, Google Home will embrace third-party partnerships, something earlier reports suggest Apple is finally looking to do with Siri. That’ll involve a new SDK and Siri being available through and for other services, it’s said.
NOW READ: Apple TV Review (4th-gen)
Apple had already positioned Apple TV as the hub for HomeKit, its smart home and Internet of Things platform, though that’s more about ensuring perpetual connectivity between devices than direct control.
With WWDC 2024, Apple’s annual developer event, just a few weeks out, we’re likely to hear some chatter of the direction HomeKit, Siri, and other platforms will take, though it’s unclear whether that will be where this new version of the assistant – and any accompanying Apple TV hardware – will be shown off first.
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