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Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 165
The Week's News in Adaptive Technology

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) For several years, Michael Feir edited Audyssey Game magazine. Now he has created a free 50,000-word guide to computing for the blind called Personal Power. His goal is to help people use computers and the Internet for leisure and personal growth, and says it's more of a traveller's gazette than a manual. Personal Power is available in an .rtf file, and it is accompanied by three "fireside chat" lectures on mp3.

2) National Braille Press has again come through with needed Keyboard Shortcut Guides, this time for Office 2007 programs. Each is available in paper or electronic format, and each costs $5, with the package costing $16. Guides are available for Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word 2007.

3) For US residents: The Creating Futures Program may be able to offer free training toward an entry-level job in the tech field to returning veterans, disabled veterans, others receiving disability benefits, at-risk youth, and displaced workers.

4) Accessibility reviews of VIP MUD version 1.0, AVG Internet Security version 8.0 Truecrypt Data Encryption version 5.1a and Avast Home Anti Virus version 4.8 have been added to the collection at AccessWatch and the review of AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version 8.0.1 build 100 has been updated:

5) Fred's Head Companion has put together a resource-filled posting called Meeting the Challenge of Finding Employment.

6) While we're lifting information from their page, how about a pronunciation dictionary where you can type in a word or saying for your choice of American or British English pronunciation. Pronunciations are all pre-recorded by humans:

7) A Tidbits reader has started a blog where he gathers RSS feeds to news articles related to technology in general and also adaptive technology.

8) Gizmo has revampted his Best-Ever Freeware Utilities site. You can get updates via RSS or e-mail, and the listing is very complete. I've found a couple gems and have barely begun to test the programs.

9) Duxbury Systems and Design Science have jointly announced that version 10.7 of the Duxbury Braille Translator incorporates the ability to translate mathematical equations created in Microsoft Word using versions 5 or 6 of MathType.

10) J.J. Meddaugh has created a mobile phone version of the BlindBargains site, which is also simpler to navigate for anyone using a computer with a screen reader.

11) Tek Talk will provide a mini-course in using the Goldwave Audio Editor with windows Vista on GMT Tuesday 1 July at 00:00.

12) A graduate student is researching audio CAPTCHA, the workaround that tries to allow the blind to get around the unusable visual verification placed on many web sites. The study is said to take fifteen minutes.

13) Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 1 is here for all to test, with improved web browsing features, a powerful and accessible scripting feature and other enhancements.

14) As of the release of this beta, Window-Eyes will use a new version of the EloQuence speech synthesizer.

15) Skype beta version 4.0 is out, but those using the JAWS scripts are not advised to upgrade to it as of yet; efforts are definitely under way to make Skype version 4 accessible, but it hasn't happened yet.

16) Fred's Head Companion found for us a site full of quotable quotes for when you need some inspiration or advice.

17) They also unearthed RedKaraoke, which is an entertaining site that allows you to search for your favorite songs and then record and share your own versions with the rest of the community.

18) And to conclude: is a site where users can search for sounds. Search for the sounds of melodious birds such as the thrush bird or blue jay. Or users can download sound effects such as door bells and rushing water.

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