Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Ten Of 2011: Number 8

I’d be super silly not to agree with the panel’s choice for the number eight story. After all, I do co-host a podcast on Google Android accessibility with That Android Sho. Er, available from and you can follow us on Twitter at if you want to know more. But, plug over, here is the link to the number eight story.

My number eight story is my version of the pannel’s selection for number nine. I look at it from another side of the coin. A one dollar coin if you will.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Launches EyeNote App to Help the Blind and Low vision
App Developers, especially on the Android platform, must wrestle the monster of being a better app that costs someone money over the option of a free alternative. Look Tell, who burst onto the scene with some labeling it as one of those “must have” apps, ran headlong into this when the release of a free competing money reader app hit the iOS App Store earlier this year. To their credit, Look tell has expanded on to reading the currencies of other countries, however, this does again show that you cannot always rely on the creed of “One app, one task, 99 cents”. To hold onto users you must either invest in a suite of like-minded apps, thereby driving up the price, or you stay with the creed at your own peril.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Top Ten Stories Of 2011: Number 9

And now it starts to get interesting. The panel agreed on several of the top stories for the year, however, the order of importance varied between us. And if you read the link below..

… you will see the ninth story according to the tabulated votes. You won’t see that one on my list. But you will see a related story in my voting later on in the countdown. And now, here is my selection for the ninth place story.

GW Skype Released
in a crazy world of tweeting, Facebook status liking, Stumble Upon users, one must do what one must to be heard over the white noise to get your message out there. And yes, sorry folks, that message can be advertising based. For the internet’s series of tubes and pipes are funded mostly by ads rather than good intentions. However, both lay at the feet of GW Skype. No matter how you feel about this clever use of technology, the fact of the matter is that the Blind can and will hear more advertising going forward as the traditional business model of Assistive Technology changes in 2012 and beyond. Besides, where do you think Google gets all their money from? It doesn’t happen by raising Unicorns near the Rainbow Bridge on Gumdrop Mountain for a petting zoo near the Emerald City. Nope, and you aren’t in Kansas anymore either Dorothy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Top Ten Stories For 2011: Story Number 10

The year has flown by at a rapid clip for me,. Yes there were tons of things that happened in AT, mainstream technology and in the world of Entertainment, but none of them really stood out as being one of those “Bill and Ted” “Whoa!” moments. The voting for this year’s Blind Bargains list is all over the place due to this lack of a major story not running away with the voting. JJ summarizes it well in the number 10 story in the post below.

I’m eager to see what the others on the panel have chosen, and further still, I’m also looking forward to January 5th’s SeroSpectives where we will discuss the top stories of 2011. That is coming up on January 5th via Accessible Event and iBlink Radio. Links coming up shortly. In the meantime, as a sneak peak, below is my selection as the 10th story in AT for 2011.

Bookshare announces Read2Go App: DAISY reader for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
The underlying theme of 2011 was Mobile apps. Android, Apple or whatever. If it was mobile then you needed to be on it in order to grow your brand awareness. For some that was easier said than done as in the case with any app that goes against something that Apple deems as a competitor to their own holdings. Such was the case for Bookshare with their multiple attempts, reconfigurations and work arounds needed in order to have their app approved by Cupertino. Their struggles, like Blio saw later on in the year, outlined the craziness that comes in the restrictive nature of the new world order of App Store distribution. Hint, don’t say “Books” in the title of your app!