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Top Tech Tidbits - Volume 284
The Week's News in Access Technology

Distributed by Flying Blind, LLC


Happy Thanksgiving to US residents and expatriates. I'm grateful for much, and I hope you are too.

We'll start with a few items of mutually beneficial self-promotion:

1) Dropbox is a well-designed system for backing up and sharing files. If you don't have an account and might want one, drop me a note. If I invite you, we both get more space.

2) For a few months, you can get a one-month trial account on the Bookshare service if you have trouble reading standard print. The offer didn't specify a limitation to US residency. You will need to submit disability qualification according to their procedures, and once you qualify, you can download several of the books available to you in your country for a month. A Bookshare volunteer has to refer, you, and I can do it, so if you want to try Bookshare, drop me a note.

3) As the next few items refer to the iPhone, just a reminder that I provide affordable iPhone training.

4) Apple released iOS4.2 for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. This makes significant accessibility improvements to the iPad. All devices have improved braille support; deaf-blind users can use the devices independently now. Also improved reading of tables and other improvements.

5) Here are the iPhone/iPad apps recently discussed on AppleVis: ÜberTwitter, Navfree UK & ROI, TranslateMail, Audible, Guided Photo Pro, Music Memory, Sky Sports Live CricketScore Centre, music guess, Dictionary!, Racing UK, XFINITY TV, IRC999, Audiogalaxy Mobile, Three (3) (UK only), .977 Music / The Internet’s #1 Online Radio Network /, iBreviaryPro, Kingdoms Live, WHERE, and Magellan RoadMate USA.

6) Apple TV, the popular device that allows you to stream online tv and movies to your own large television, is now accessible using VoiceOver,

7) Serotek announces DocuScan Plus, their new $250 cloud-based OCR system that now works with computers, but will be extended to work on various mobile platforms. It is self-voicing, supports multiple languages and braille, and scans pdf documents. You can try it free until 1 December.

8) Mobile Access is a web site featuring podcasts, resources and tech news related to smart phones. The material on the Oratio screen reader for Blackberries is being moved to this site.

9) Code Factory has releasedMobile Speak 4.60, bringing free access to Nokia Maps, thereby giving Mobile Speak users free, accessible, turn-by-turn pedestrian and vehicle GPS.

10) Freedom Scientific will ship in December the new SARA CE, the Scanning and Reading Appliance with Camera Access, replacing the scanner originally provided with SARA. Price is $1,895 until 31 March, when it becomes $2,395.

11) HumanWare has released version 3.3 of the Victor Stream firmware. This upgrade gives access to Japanese and Chinese TTS voices, allows for more information to be provided about some books, and fixes some bugs. HumanWare recommends performing the upgrade, and using the Stream, in conjunction with the recently-announced version 3.3 of the Stream Companion software, as the program contains an automatic update feature.

12) On their Audio page, BlindBargains has recordings of several interviews from the recent ATIA Conference in Chicago.

13) BlindBargains has launched a Classified section, with ads posted on the web and to the Daily Deals e-mails, so that people can sell adaptive equipment and offer other services for a $5.00 charge.

14) Gw Micro has posted these articles to its knowledgebase: Improve software speech performance in Windows Vista and Windows 7
and Installing Window-Eyes Onto a Netbook

15) HIMS, Inc., makers of the Braille Sense and Book Sense lines of products, has set up its office in Austin, Texas. All information about the company's activities, and support for its products, is found on its web site,

16) This Gizmo article, Updated: 250+ Places for Free Books Online, may direct you to a new site or two.

17) Two Gizmo articles on the Windows Registry are Learn How to Use the Windows Registry Editor (Regedit) in One Easy Lesson
and What Everybody Should Know About the Windows Registry

18) The American Printing House for the Blind now offers free electronic downloads of audio versions of Reader's Digest and soon of Newsweek to anybody already eligible for the NLS download program.

19) We return to the i-devices to close out the issue: the topic for Tek Talk for GMT Tuesday, 30 November at 01:00 will be List Recorder, a popular and highly accessible app for organizing life.

20) Jonathan Mosen has encapsulated in music the experiences many of us have with our Apple i-devices. A must hear:

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.

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