Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 06 Tech Update: The Passing The Time Until Assistive Tech News Happens Edition

Most of the cool stuff I want to talk about is still in Private Beta. So it's just going to have to wait I guess. But if you feel left out check out the bit on the just released Windows Media Player Public Beta. It's neat and pretty darn accessible.

My friend Steve’s Words Of The Month
Definition: The act of buying up web site addresses that are generally easy to do typos of well known sites. or for example. Yahoo is being sued for breech of contract through it’s ad software because some businesses get shown on these misspelled web sites.

Definition: There is a new acronym roaming around the net in regards to Internet Accessibility. PWDS stands for people with disabilities. The NFB/Target suit is starting to be noticed by others on line and it will affect the Web 2.0 initiative drastically. I strongly urge you to read this give and take article on the subject.

And a more related and scarier view point can be found here ..

Definition: Dynamic content found in the world of Web 2.0. In other words, if your reading this through a dial up connection it really doesn’t effect you at all. Web 2.0 is the promise land of 3D websites full of audio and video which initially probably more than likely will be no where near accessible to anyone using adaptive software. Learn more if you dare below.

Lightning Round:

` JAWS/Pac Mate Blog: Said to be a new emerging place to go along with pacgear and

` Good Feel Update learn more here.

` I.D. Mate 2.0 Update: See the Press Releases section to see the details on the ID Mate update from En Vision America.

` Flipper Panel: Please be aware that the 7 inch version of this product is no longer being actively sold. No doubt this is due to the success of the Amigo as it’s the new *mid line* CCTV for Enhanced Vision. The same will more than likely happen to Freedom Vision’s Liberty Solo 7 inch as well when the Fusion ships.

` Designing Blind: A&E has green lit a new series for 13 episodes that features a Blind Interior Decorator aiding blindfolded people remake their homes.

` New Keyboards: Every month there is some story about someone out there somewhere who has made the bestest keyboard ever. Me? 104 is the way to go. And not that ergonomic round thing either. See the latest mousetrap below.

` Giant iPod Remote: Just about everyone and their dog is making a solution to the iPod’s interface. Apple it’s self recently patented it’s own audio interface. But one man found his own fix by building a giant remote.

` Firefox 2 Alpha 2: Need more stuff that isn’t out yet to break your computer with? Then take a look at the latest in alternative browsers.

` Star Trek Phone: It’s out in Europe and coming to the States. And it’s a Windows Mobile clam shell with normal buttons. I am so there.

` Wal Mart DIY Computers: Yes soon you can buy computer parts in the same place you buy bedsheets, towels and automotive cleaning supplies. And you think you can’t get anyone to help you now in the Video/Audio part of the store. Just wait!

` IT Certification no longer a big deal in employment: There’s that old saying "Those who can’t do teach". Well now they can’t do but they went to a school who says they can. Employers, however, are catching on and IT Certification for some jobs doesn’t mean as much as it did.,1895,1954198,00.asp?kc=ewnws042706dtx1k0000599

` Dot Com Duds: A really neat article on what did and didn’t make it through the .com bubble.

And a bonus "Gadgets then and now"

~~ "Windows Media 11 Playing Right Now!"
Well I have used the new Windows Media Player all day and I love it. The graphic equalizer is the same but sounds better. The interface is totally tabbable and simple to navigate. Some areas are completely tree view styled links and even better it’s free. The shuffle feature is even a bit more random. Not that I can really quantify that statement of course because what really is random. Anyway here’s two reviews of the player with corresponding links to the download page for WMP 11 Beta.


~ "Vista Users Accounted For"
I recently wrote about just how different Vista will be and how some should not download next week’s Public Beta release. Well to give you an idea about a controversy that has nothing to do much with AT but is pretty darn important just the same I show you a term you will become intimate with over the next year. UAC stands for User Account Control and it’s designed to keep you safe from malicious software. But it’s implementation will have some turning it off immediately. Learn about the big dust up here.

** Press Releases

i.d. mate Database Version 2.0

En-Vision America, Inc. is proud to announce our largest database update ever! We have added 278,771 items to version 2.0 of the database!! Items include hardware, pet care, grocery and a multitude of general merchandize items. Some stores and brand names include: Bob’s Red Mill, Cash & Carry, E Pet Pals (carries the most popular pet supply brands), Publix, Lean Cuisine (including nutrition information, weight watchers points and diet exchanges), Chloraseptic, Tofurkey, Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen, Western Family Foods, Shurfine Foods, and Nutrisystem.
Please note that you must have at least 36 minutes remaining on your card to accommodate Version 2.0. If you would like to purchase a larger card, please see the pricelist below.
Please specify which way you plan to up-date:
Do-it-Yourself. We will send you a compact disk. You will need a compact flash card reader & computer.
Mail-it-to-Us. Mail us your compact flash card and we will up-date it for you and mail it back.
If you have purchased your i.d. mate within the last year, you can receive your first database up-date for free. Please mention this is your first update when ordering. Each additional up-date costs $50.00 per request. Call or respond to this e-mail to receive yours today.
Also NEW-- Decks of pre-printed Barcoded Playing cards for $6.00.
i.d. mate Accessories Price List
Do-it-Yourself Database Up-date Version 2.0 CD Rom $50.00 or Free
Mail-it-To Us Database Up-date Version 2.0 Service $50.00 or Free
Deck of pre-printed barcoded playing cards $6.00
100 Adhesive barcode labels $15.00
100 Barcode tags $25.00
100 Iron-on tags $25.00
256 MB compact flash card $45.00
512 MB compact flash card $88.00
1 GB compact flash card $136.00
Battery Pack (recommended replacement after 2 years) $29.00
AC/DC adapter $19.00
To order to for answers to questions please call 1-800-890-1180 or e-mail Sharla at
Sharla Glass
Customer Service/ Operations
En-Vision America, Inc.
2012 W. College Ave. Suite 200
Normal, Illinois 61761
309-452-3088 ext. 112
New Merlin CCTV Design
y America’s #1 Selling Desktop Video Magnifier Has Just Gotten Even Better!
Because Enhanced Vision listens to our customers, we are able to provide quality products that are simple to use. The Merlin LCD’s NEW front panel is a true testament to this commitment.
<> With NEW built-in controls attached to the monitor – this is truly the most flexible desktop video magnifier available.
New Features include:
* A simple three button control panel.
* Easy-to-use sliding brightness lever.
* 5 digital color select options that provide clear crisp imagquality and contrast.
* Wider field of view and lower starting magnification (2.7 to 58x).
Enhanced Vision, a manufacturer of low vision equipment, is dedicated to helping individuals maintain their independence, and has leveraged leading technologies to develop a full line of superior, easy-to-use tools at affordable prices, such as our Merlin product line. Please reply or contact us at (888) 811-3161 with questions or to set up a FREE product demonstration.
<,k3c8,15l6,dlwv,bce2,ed1d,e5vc> <,k3c8,15l6,3lwo,2ejo,ed1d,e5vc>
Phone: (888) 811-3161
(714) 465-3400
Fax: (714) 374-1821
Nuance Speech Solutions

Find out how far voice recognition has come - hear Nuance speech solutions <> .
92% of all customer interactions happen via phone.
Every connection with a customer is a moment of truth. If you want to make an immediate impact on customer experience, the telephone needs to be the first step in your campaign.
But...there's a big problem.
87% of touchtone interactions fail, according to Forrester Research and Harris. Only 11% of respondents said they usually use self-service systems successfully, cited Harris.
Luckily...there's a better way to use automation
It's voice automation - your best opportunity to improve your customer's telephone experience and still save you money.
In addition, voice automation can:
* route calls more accurately
* let a caller make one request rather than forcing him to navigate multiple menus
* provide more accurate information
* reduce hold times by allowing more tasks to be handled in an automated manner
* remove the frustration of punching numbers to relay information
* create self-service options not feasible in touchtone systems
* offer a consistent, engaging, and supportive interface
It's simple: customers prefer voice, because voice works better.
Consumers characterize voice automation systems as more accessible, easier to use, and quicker than touchtone systems. 9 out of 10 say there is value added with voice automation. 9 out of 10!

Hear how Nuance speech solutions <> can work for you.

Sendero GPS Version 3.5 is released

DAVIS, CA, (April 10, 2006)
Inventor of the first accessible GPS for the blind, Sendero Group LLC, is releasing its sixth BrailleNote GPS version. The popularity of Sendero's GPS, since its release in March 2000, means that blind users are directly responsible for improving the accessibility of Sendero's GPS products. Now that blind users have detailed location technology, they are requesting even more functionality such as on-line maps, improved data and better route creation. Sendero GPS 3.5 has answered these requests and now has twice the functionality of any other accessible GPS system. Plus, the new Sendero Holux receiver is the most sensitive on the market.
You can now create a route from San Francisco to New York if you want.
Choose the mode that automatically triggers key information when you come to a stop. Hear the percentage of the route completed and estimated time of arrival. To read about these and dozens of other 3.5 changes, visit the Sendero on-line map site,
Here is what users were already saying about Sendero's GPS and 3.5 is even better.
"I can remember before I had my GPS, I hated even short trips! But now I wish I could go on a longer one. I knew right where we were, how much longer it was going to be, what was around us, and how much longer we had to go."
"I was able to recreate the walks to my elementary school, my father's hobby shop, and a park. These virtual walks allowed me to dust off many vivid and beautiful memories, from 50-60 years ago, without leaving my deck."
"Today we went to visit his father's grave, and I was honored to be able to mark that too. And the other fun thing is coming across a lot of Mike's POIs as I explore. It's like discovering familiar footprints and I find myself saying to myself, "Hey, I know that person, (smile). I'm actually enjoying listening to the traffic reports now, and I picture the locations they mention under my fingertips. I can hardly wait to see what it does when I go to New York in a few weeks. Of course there are so many points of interest that the poor BrailleNote will probably be talking itself hoarse."
"Sometimes I don't think sighted people truly understand what GPS does for a blind person -- how it expands our awareness of the world around us and allows us to "look around" our environment just like sighted people do."
"It was very windy and we stood on that path listening and feeling the wind whip around, and I couldn't help reflecting that I would never have done that were it not for my GPS. I wouldn't have even attempted to come to Arizona."
"I'm having more fun with the GPS than a monkey could on 40 feet of rope."
To sign up for a presentation or to purchase 3.5, call 1-888-757-6810 Email,

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