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Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 147

Distributed by Flying Blind, LLC

For questions and comments regarding Tidbits, please e-mail Dean Martineau at
Dean Martineau provides adaptive technology training by phone, online, and in person, with flexible arrangements, and at affordable prices.

Here's a hint for Screen Reader Users: When you open Tidbits, if you hit the Page Down Key, you may find yourself at or near the beginning of the text of the newsletter.

1) Key XL claims to be the largest repository of keyboard shortcuts available on the web:

2) Courtesy of Fred's Head Companion: Flash Mute is a useful program for silencing the unwelcome and often very loud sounds that accompany certain websites, making them all but unusable with screen readers. Download it here:

3) Here's a Fred's Head Companion posting which gives listings for sources for free document templates, enabling you to find boilerplate language and style to create the document you need.

4) The Access Technology Team at the National Federation of the Blind's Jernigan Institute has started a blog as a means of sharing adaptive technology information and news more efficiently. The February 7 posting to the blog contains a candid overview of the current state of low vision technology based on what was displayed at the recent ATIA Conference.

5) The title for the Tek Talk online training to take place on GMT 19 February at 01:00 will be: "A Unique 'Up Close' Look Into HumanWare's Operations and Vision For Its Future, Part 2, and An Update on Victor Reader Stream Version 1.2."

6) The Accessible Devices mailing list has moved. You can read about the list and the activities of the group here:

And you can subscribe to the list by sending a blank message to:

7) The Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco will conduct its fourth technology seminar, on Friday, 7 March, from 21:00 to 23:00 GMT. The seminar will cover electronic devices that give the blind and visually impaired access to print documents by means of magnification or Optical Character Recognition. Besides attending in person, you can take part in this session over the phone or through streaming audio. Email for instructions to gain access to these remote versions of the program.

8) Relative newcomers to the Internet may not know about the Internet Tourbus Newsletter, a twice-weekly email newsletter which contains a wealth of information clearly presented. From the website, you can read the archives of issues from previous years, as well as some important information, such as "virus protection 101" and other useful guides, and subscribe to the newsletter.

9) As part of their Accessible Digital Lifestyle initiative, Serotek announces that the System Access Mobile Network browser now works with the Amazon mp3 downloader. In addition, as soon as the new release for the Victor Reader Stream, version 1.2, is available, you will be able to transfer described videos, podcasts, and other content from the System Access Mobile Network to that device for listening anywhere. Audio demonstrations of these features are available here:

10) A new mailing list has been created for users of electronic travel aids, particularly those produced by SonicVision-Bat Technology. To learn about the list, go to

11) The January-February issue of Dialogue magazine is now available, containing a wide variety of information of interest to people with vision loss, including adaptive technology information, such as an article about streaming audio.

12) Thanks to, we learn about We Can Play, a web site with an associated mailing list devoted to the principle that many mainstream video games can be played by people with little or no vision.

13) The Skype Worldwide mailing list is a list, based in the UK, for people using a variety of forms of assistive technology to access Skype. They currently have users who accessed Skype through Thunder, System Access, various magnification packages, and the Mac, as well as the more prominent screen readers. If you want to join the list, send an email to the address below, putting in the subject line that you want to join the Skype Worldwide mailing list, and in the body your city and country of residence.

14) The creator of The Ranger Station is an enthusiast of Big Finish, a British site which is licensed to create high quality audio dramatized versions of several popular science fiction TV series, including Dr. Who, Dark Shadows, and Stargate.

15) More good information from Fred's Head Companion: The mission of the 1 Stop for Free Assistive Technology Site speaks for itself.

16) They also direct us to two sites where you can watch documentary movies online for free:

17) Google Hacks is an open-source collection of search enhancements for Google, enabling you to conduct a variety of searches and do some lesser-known things with the Google service.

I'm looking to sell a classic KNFB reader in excellent working condition. If interested, please contact me at

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Tidbits is intentionally concise, but I know a lot of people don't understand many of the items because little explanation is given. If a Tidbit brings up a question in your mind, feel free to ask, and I'll answer as time, knowledge and inclination permit.

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