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Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 152

Distributed by Flying Blind, LLC

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Dean Martineau provides adaptive technology training by phone, online, and in person, with flexible arrangements, and at affordable prices.

1) This year, the crop of recordings from the CSUN conference is not as bountiful as it has been for the last couple years. We can, however, listen to the keynote address by Jim Fruchterman.

2) The bulk of the recordings from this year's conference come from T & T Consultancy. Here is a recording of a presentation describing the new scripting capability to be found in the products of Dolphin Systems version 9.

3) Brian and Terry from that company had other conversations and conducted other interviews, and you can listen to them here:

4) Speaking of Dolphin Systems, here's the press release concerning Version 9 of their product line, including a description of the considerable improvement in web navigation this version contains.

5) During the conference, HumanWare announced its new GPS product, the Trekker Breeze. This is a simpler, less feature-rich and less expensive product than other GPS Products available for the blind.

6) During CSUN, Freedom Scientific announced that people could get a copy of the MAGic version 11 promotional release that will function without restriction until August, 2008. This offer is in fact open to everybody.

7) GW Micro was busy with new product announcements At CSUN. They announced the new Braille Sense plus will ship beginning in May. This enhanced note taker features built in WiFi, an SD slot, 8GB of RAM, and other enhancements. The introductory price is $5995.

8) Another new product from Indiana is the Senseview Duo, the video magnifier featuring a close-up camera, a handwriting camera, and a camera designed to view objects more than 7.5 feet away. This device will also begin shipping in may, for a price of $1295.

9) Finally, Tek Talk will present A Backward Glance At CSUN, during its online training on GMT Tuesday, 25 March at 00:00.

10) Applian Technologies has worked hard to ensure that its line of programs, designed to allow people to record audio and video content from the Internet, are accessible to the blind. Now they're offering discount coupons for purchasing themto to readers of this newsletter. The coupons are currently valid until 23 May, but can easily be extended. To get $20.00 off the price of their flagship product, Replay Capture Suite, use Coupon code SUITEBB. For $15.00 off the price of Replay AV, use code RAVBB. To lower the price of Replay Music by $10.00, use code RMBB. Finally, to save $10.00 on the price of Replay Media Capture, use code RMCBB.

11) A new breed of Internet radio stations allow you to create your own custom streaming station, edit it, skip songs at will, share your station with others, and discuss music. Unlike Pandora, which is a veteran in this field and is difficult, if not impossible, to use with screen readers, with no hope for change in sight, Jango, currently in beta, is very user-friendly.

12) A user reports that JAWS and WindowEyes speak many mathematical symbols inaccurately, making it difficult to use those programs to access mathematics and scientific notation. A member of a committee where this matter was discussed has created a web site describing the problem and proposing a solution.

13) Youth between the ages of 16 and 19 are invited to apply for Trekker Camp 2008. Three sessions will be held in Michigan. At this camp, youth will enhance their independent travel skills by using the Trekker GPS System; some will be able to win a Trekker unit. Applications are due by 31 March.

14) Jamal Mazrui has launched Non-visual Development, a growing web site whose mission is "to support developing applications of information technology with tools and techniques that do not depend on eyesight. They promote learning and collaboration in the use of computer languages to build useful products and services in society. Such applications benefit people with and without visual disabilities."

15) Greg Kearney wrote a post to The NFB Access Technology Blog in which he refutes some of what he believes to be misconceptions regarding Voiceover, the screen reader for the Mac.

16) ReadTheWords is a useful site that lets you turn text, Word, and HTML documents into mp3 files for playback on portable devices. The site gives you a choice of good-quality voices in American and British English, French and Spanish. The maximum allowed file size is rather small, but the site is totally free and easy to use. Thanks to Fred's Head Companion for this one!

17) The National Federation of the Blind and its web consultant partner Deque have launched the Non-Visual Accessibility Certification, to help web developers make their sites accessible, and to provide certification for those that do.

18) The Sacramento Society for the Blind has some job openings, including one for an adaptive technology instructor.

19) As we prepare to wrap up, we learn about yet another CSUN recording. This one should be fun! The session was called Dueling Operating Systems. Users of JAWS, Voiceover, and Linux compete to perform the same tasks. This blog post contains a link to the nearly two-hour long audio file, and may contain other information regarding the presenters.

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