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Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 160

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.

1) The May, 2008 issue of AccessWorld is now available, containing, among other material, a review of new features found in the SenseView handheld CCTV.

2) Yet another choice for users of older members of the BrailleNote family of products: If you update to a current mPower unit, you get the Oxford Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus, which normally costs $200, free as part of the upgrade, until 30 June.

3) With the version 8.0 of the free AVG Antivirus program being less accessible than its predecessor versions, some people are switching to AVast. Here is a mailing list post discussing the program's accessibility and overcoming the difficulties registering it:

4) Speaking of the antivirus quandry, Issue #157 of the Tech Support Alert newsletter contains an article on the subject, along with information about an interesting online text-fixing utility, results of a survey comparing the effectiveness of various utilities for converting pdf documents to Word, results of testing various text-to-speech utilities, and a lot more.

5) Emacspeak, an audio environment for Linux, is up to version 28. the program has been around for quite a while and features the funniest press releases in the industry. It is available for download and is bundled with all Linux distributions.

6) The makers of the online text-to-speech service Read The Words have written a tip sheet for customizing the spoken document generated from your text. On the fly, you can change voice, tell the synthesizer to pronounce URLs and numerals appropriately, and make other changes.

7) GW Micro continues to work to prepare its version 7 public beta of window-Eyes, but in the meantime they're tantalizing us with their Scripting Central, a site designed to become a community sharing site for window-Eyes scripts which will work in the new version. The site already contains scripts, which nobody can use yet but which illustrate what the capability will make possible.

8) Here is June's schedule for $50 online Trainings from Assistive Technology Center LLC. All trainings are scheduled for two hours, on Tuesdays starting at 21:00 GMT: 3 June: Using Firefox Browser; 10 June: EEK! Kill that mouse! A guide to Basic Keyboard Shortcuts; 17 June: ZoomText 101, Basic ZoomText; 24 June: Using multiple Access Technologies. Learn how to make Jaws, Window Eyes, System Access and ZoomText play well with each other. The Center will also offer a free one-hour seminar on starting a small business, on Thursday 12 June at 20:00 GMT.

9) We read from Science Daily of a prototype of a video game designed by students from Singapore and MIT, called AudiOdyssey, that lets blind and sighted players take part with equal capability. Read the article here:

And download the Windows, as opposed to the Wii, version, here:

10) From the Accessibility blog, we see positive comments and lots of information about a $300 program called MathTalk, which lets people input mathematical expressions using speech recognition, and for which there is also a math-to-braille module under development.

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