Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 231
The Week's News in Adaptive Technology
Distributed by Flying Blind, LLC
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1) JFW version 11 has been released to coincide with today's release of Windows 7. The first screen reader to ship on a dvd, it features better support for web pages written using ARIA,the new research feature, and a free DAISY reader.
2) Every Thursday evening stateside, GMT Friday at 01:00, Serotek holds its Tech Chat via its Accessible Event software. This week, at 01:00 Friday 23 October, the chat will concern Windows 7, focusing on little-known configuration options. Archives are always available.
3) Speaking of the Tech Chat, the last one featured a lively discussion of users' favorite iPhone and iPod touch apps.
4) Here is a blog posting entitled Create A System Repair Disc In Windows 7
5) The The 1 October edition of Windows Secrets Newsletter contains an article entitled Get your System Ready for a Windows 7 Micration
the 8 October issue contains an article explaining that if you follow a link you get from the sponsored links of your search engine, you may get malware:
and another with more on upgrading to to Windows 7:
6) Driftwood Audio Entertainment is a company (one developer) trying to write games for the blind. the first game to result from this is Entombed, where you face lots of obstacles as you try to extricate yourself from a deep and uncomfortable dungeon into which you have been thrown. The game is in beta and is free.
7) Version 3 of the firmware for the Plextalk Pocket has been released. the device now supports unprotected Windows Media and Microsoft Word .doc formats, is said to have faster response times when buttons are pressed and improved recording quality, amtomatic numbering of bookmarks and more options for navigating text-based documents.
8) An accessible YouTube page has been created. It probably works best with later versions of screen readers. It features keyboard shortcuts for playing and controlling videos as well as lots of control over the screen display for low vision users.
9) Google has an accessibility page which features tips for accessing the many programs and services Google offers and recent blog posts about increased accessibility.
10) Google is seeking participants for a usability study to help them test the accessibility of their products for people with impaired vision.
11) Canadians: The Adaptech Research Network and the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) are studying the use and accessibility of various forms of social media by college and university students and recent graduates with visible and non-visible disabilities in Canada. They seek participants who use some form of social networking and those who avoid them, and five participants will be chosen at random to win $100 gift cards.
12) Tek Talk will air one day later than usual this week, and feature a discussion of the new features found in version 12 of Kurzweil 1000 with Stephen Baum. This will air GMT Wednesday at 00:00, and will have course appear in the archives.
13) The Open Braille API Initiative, the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, and Earle Harrison, President of Handy Tech North America have created and posted an online petition which expresses sharp opposition to Freedom Scientific's recently-announced Secure and Compatible Braille driver signing policy. The petition is self explanatory. If you wish to read the petition and possibly demonstrate your support, please point your browser to:
14) Jamal Mazrui has updated his powerful Twitter client McTwit to version 2.5, adding lots of utilities to use Twitter to find useful information.
15) Recent programs from the Main Menu series are now available, and will presumably be made available soon after broadcast, in the archive site
16) The Klango network is updated to version 3. This free worldwide online network purports to offer many audio features, a growing number of utilities, a version of its software for Synbian phones, and lots of networking. Here is an audio presentation:
17) The Robert Stone Center for Adaptive Technology at the Guild for the Blind in Chicago seeks an adaptive technology instructor. For information and application instructions e-mail
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.
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