Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 198
The Week's News in Adaptive Technology
Distributed by Flying Blind, LLC
For questions and comments regarding Tidbits, please e-mail Dean Martineau at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dean Martineau provides adaptive technology training by phone, online, and in person, with flexible arrangements, and at affordable prices.
1) An accessibility review of Malwarebytes\' Anti-Malware version 1.34 has been added to the AccessWatch database.
2) VIP Pocket Golf is a self-voicing game for use on PocketPc and Smartphones running Windows Mobile 5 or 6. It costs $16.95 to buy and you can test it first to see if it works on your device.
3) Handy Tech North America is making available free tutorials for using the Nokia N82 phone with the Talks screen reader.
4) Jamal Mazrui has been busy producing program updates this week. First, version 2 of JAWS Script Exchange has better support for Vista and allows the user to install three open-source script packages.
5) Version 3.0 of the text editor EdSharp, which I use to create this newsletter, has some enhancements for programmers.
6) Version 3.6 of the file manager FileDir has enhanced support for opening archive folders of many kinds, a file compare command, and an updated utility for converting files to text.
7) The last program to be updated is pdf2txt, where version 3.2 adds the ability to convert a pdf document to html using a different conversion routine, which might yield better results in some cases.
8) If you've been consulting the Fred's Head Companion database, as opposed to the blog, that database will be discontinued in March. All its features and more are available from the blog, so the best place to go for the numerous nuggets from Fred's Head which I don't pick up here is
9) And speaking of picking up items from there, you can use RSS to check your e-mail, perhaps handy for checking home e-mail from a work computer that doesn't let you do it in the usual way.
10) The March, 2009 edition of The Braille Monitor contains an article entitled
Opening the BookAn Academic’s Perspective on NFB’s Settlement with Google
11) Google employees T.V. Raman and Charles Chen are working on solutions which allow blind persons to use Android devices including new touch screen input and speech/tactile output methods. This makes eyes-free phone usage possible for everyone as well. On this page you can find some links, including one to a New York Times article:
12) There has been a lot of talk recently about Amazon's Kindle e-book reader. This device for reading electronic books has heretofore been totally unusable by a blind person, but some change appeared to occur when it was announced that the new version will allow books to be read aloud by synthetic voice. (This development is now less positive, as Amazon has announced that they will implement a feature where publishers can disallow the audio reading of their books.) Nonetheless, there is a petition afoot to encourage Amazon to add audio menus to the Kindle so that all people who could benefit from better access to the device could use it.
13) The January-February of Dialogue Magazine has several technology-related articles, covering the career of adaptive technology trainer, accessible typing tutorials, the KNFB Mobile Reader, and an article intended for those less technically inclined on how to connect with the technical world. The quarterly subscription-based magazine also has many other articles of potential interest to people with vision loss or who are losing vision.
14) The latest developments at IRTI, Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, will be the topic for Tek Talk on GMT Tuesday, 10 March at 00:00. Note that with the return to daylight savings time for most of North America, if you live in a part of North America that observes daylight savings time, you will not notice a change of broadcast time for this program, but if you listen elsewhere in the world, it will air an hour earlier.
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