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ExtraBITS for 6 March 2017

In ExtraBITS this week, Apple is losing ground to Google in the classroom, YouTube TV plans to challenge pay TV providers, and Apple has a solution to its expiring provisioning profile problem.

Apple’s Grip on the Classroom Slipping -- Apple has long had a strong position in the education market, but the New York Times reports that the company is losing ground to Google, with Apple’s iPads and Mac laptops now ranking third behind inexpensive laptops running Google’s Chrome OS or Microsoft’s Windows. Unfortunately, for those familiar with the education world, Google’s rise isn’t all that surprising, given the advantages Chromebooks have over iPads: they’re cheap, they have keyboards, there’s not much on them that students can mess up, and they’re backed up by services such as Google Classroom.

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YouTube TV to Offer Another Alternative for Cord Cutters -- Google will soon be competing with the likes of Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now. Set to debut within a few months in a new standalone app, the $35-per-month YouTube TV service will feature about three dozen channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, as well as cable stalwarts like ESPN and Fox News. Google says the service will be designed primarily for mobile but will also work with computers and its Chromecast streaming devices. It’s slated to have a cloud-based DVR with unlimited storage and a Google AI-powered recommendation system. We’re guessing YouTube TV will be limited to U.S. viewers, but no details on international possibilities were mentioned.

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Apple Kicks Provisioning Profile Expirations Down the Road -- Provisioning profiles have been expiring recently, causing popular apps like 1Password and PDFpen to stop working suddenly. Apple has “solved” this problem by making it so that Developer ID provisioning profiles generated after 22 February 2017 will be valid for a whopping 18 years, regardless of the expiration date of the associated certificate! That puts the problem off for so long that only institutions and individuals trying to keep historical systems functional will be likely to suffer. After all, some of us still have decades-old Macs that can run software of the 1990s without difficulty.

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