Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 244
The Week's News in Adaptive Technology
Distributed by Flying Blind, LLC
This Issue's Featured Advertisement:
Povidi Announces the Availability of the SoundPost Orientation System For North American Customers
Povidi NZ LTD has announced the availability of the SoundPost Orientation System for customers who live in North America. SoundPost is the first orientation solution of its kind offering vision impaired customers an unparalleled means of safely identifying a desired location while traveling throughout their community. SoundPost consists of a hand controller that the user holds to locate strategically placed base stations which can be mounted to doorways, light posts, ambiguous bus stops, etc. For additional information, or to purchase a SoundPost Hand Controller (US$175), Base Station (US$195), or a Kit which includes 1 Hand Controller and 2 Base Stations (US$545), simply visit http://www.flying-blind.com/ and select the appropriate "Add to Cart" button.
1) Ed Bott gives us a long list of short ways to get to many places on your computer in Windows 7. Most also work in Vista.
2) IZotope produces music technology software. They say they are committing to make their software accessible to the blind in 2010. Those interested are invited to contact them to test their software as they add the accessibility features.
3) We have two great sources for audio interviews from the recent ATIA conference. Both feature a lot of interviews, discussing some existing but mostly forthcoming products, and you're likely to learn of some companies you hadn't heard of and which may or may not become important. One is the Blind Bargains Audio Index
and Serotek offers us 28 interviews
4) SeroTalk Podcast 34 replays a couple of those interviews and more, discussing Blio Reader, Booksense, Oratio for Blackberry, Mobilespeak 4, and Talks 4.5
5) This Fred's Head post describes the Windows 7 Magnifier, much improved over that found in previous versions of Windows.
6) Balabolka is a free program which lets you turn .doc, .rtf, .pdf and .htm files as well as the contents of the clipboard into audio files for use on an mp3 player using the SAPI voices found on your computer.. I haven't tested it for its accessibility or effectiveness.
7) Here's a Fred's Head post about how to marry Twitter and LinkedIn.
8) The editors at Gizmo's Best Freeware have produced Probably the Best Free Security List in the World, a very comprehensive rating of free security software.
9) I haven't heard one way or the other about accessibility of this, but according to the editor at Gizmo, the New Free Edition of Paragon Backup & Recovery Impresses
10) This Gizmo article is entitled How to Schedule Programs to Run Automatically. The System Scheduler program they recommend is fully accessible.
11) Jamal Mazrui has released version 1.3 of TestPage, a command-line utility and dialog interface for doing a simple, automated test of a web page for problems related to accessibility for users with disabilities, or to other aspects of HTML validity according to standards of the World Wide Web Consortium
12) Humanware and CodeFactory have released Oratio for the newest Blackberry phones , a $435 screen reader which they have promised for some months, and whose name has changed during that time.
13) Brian Hartgen will discuss access to iTunes version 9.2, primarily using his jTunes version 5 which works with JAWS, on Tek Talk on GMT Tuesday, 9 February at 01:00.
14) Code Factory has released Mobile Speak version 4, which works on both Symbian and windows Mobile phones, allows you to tie a license to a phone number so that upgrades are free, and works on touchscreen and keyboard devices.
15) Larry Lewis of Flying Blind, LLC has produced two podcasts concerning this new Code Factory release. His Eyepod TechnoCast Volume 9A gives An Exploration of the Enhanced Text to Speech capabilities present in Mobile Speak 4
And his Eyepod Technocast Volume 9B poses the question: Mobile Speak 4 vs The iPhone: Which Offers Greater Accessibility?
16) At the same time, Code Factory has released a public beta of its navigation software running on windows Mobile phones, Mobile Geo. this version is compatible with Mobile Speak version 4, runs on the new phones it supports, and implements the latest Sendero GPS software. To read about it, go to
17) GW Micro has released Window-Eyes scripts to enhance the experience of using Windows Live Mail with Window-Eyes.
18) The Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco produces a monthly newsletter where they announce their quarterly technology events, possibly discuss other tech news and trends, and also discuss other goings-on at the Lighthouse. To subscribe, visit
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