Where did the Rickster go?

Good question, I guess I kind of forgot about the blog for the last few months.  I just don’t know what to post here half of the time.
 
So, what’s been going on?  Well the BGZ website is in the process of moving to a new hosting provider so there haven’t been any postings there for a bit now.  Rest assured audio postings there will start up again really soon, hopefully by mid November.  We’re moving to something called a Linode that a friend of mine is setting up.  It’s going to give me more flexibility to host other customers for less money as well as host the BGZ site.  So keep looking for updates there.
 
BGZ Radio is a new project I haven’t talked a lot about so here it goes.  I purchased a shoutcast stream from ultrahosts a couple of months ago and have been setting it up for use.  I’ve did some music there and on several occasions have streamed Movies described.  On September 23 we did our first BGZ livecast and I think it went pretty well.  I plan to do another here in November so keep check ing the BGZ main page for details of the next livecast.
 
As a result of doing the livecast on BGZ radio, I was convinced to audition and now broadcast on ACB Radio Interactive.  I’m one of their presenters there now.  I broadcast on Friday afternoons at 5pm eastern.  I’m on for 3 hours and play pop and rock from the 1960’s through the 1980’s.  It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve learned a lot about talking live.  It’s a lot harder than doing the blind geek zone podcasts for sure.  So come join me there on Fridays at 5pm Eastern time at:
 
 
It’s easy to listen with your favorite player.  I also take requests for songs during the show.
 
So that’s basically what’s been going on here the last 2 months now.  I will try to post here a bit more regularly.
 
Rick
 

Hear and There Audio Picture News, Oil spill in the Gulf

Here is a post I received today and thought others might be interested in checking out:

 
Hear and There Audio Picture News,  Oil spill in the Gulf

We  audio describe important news stories from around the world. 

We describe the video you have heard but wondered what was going on in the pictures.

We  use widely distributed video clips of news events and describe the details of the images surrounding the newscasters.

“A picture paints a thousand words.”  we find the words that are the brush. 

In this episode we describe images from the oilspill in the gulf of Mexico. 

This clip is taken from The BBC.  It is entitled, “Deep oil drilling under the safety spotlight”

We chose this video because it shows a variety of images about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  As the reporter is speaking there are images of an oil industry shipping port, The pipe leaking oil on the sea floor, Graphs showing where oil is found and how deep they are drilling.  It also has images of oil rig platforms, pelicans covered in oil,  and deep sea robots at work.  We also describe satelie photos of the spill.

go to this link to listen http://twaud.io/mdD 
 
Thanks for listening,

________________________
Dave Ühlman
Accessibility Consultant
duhlman@msn.com
website  http://hearandthere.net/default.aspx
 
If you would like to subscribe to the H&T Podcast, use this link in your podcatcher or add it to your Favorites feed list.

Accessible World Tek Talk presents A Discussion of Skype 4.2, August 2, 2010

News Wire:

Skype 4.2 is the latest version of the popular Internet Telephony
program. Using JAWS 11 and Windows 7, we’ll take a look at how usable
it really is to the blind. A live demo will cover the basics of
creating an account, logging in, finding contacts and making calls, as
well as using skype’s text instant messages, playing voicemails, and
using the dialpad with standard phone services, followed by a Q&A
session afterwards.

Presenter: Sean Randall
Email: sean@ask4access.com

Date: Monday, August 2, 2010

Time: 5:00 PM PDT, 6:00 PM MDT, 7:00 PM CDT, and 8:00 PM EDT
and elsewhere in the world Tuesday 00:00 GMT

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to The Pat
Price Tek Talk Training Room at:

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rsc9613dc89eb2

Or, alternatively.

Select The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at:
www.accessibleworld.org
Enter your first and last names on the sign-in screen.

All Tek Talk training events are recorded so if you are unable to
participate live at the above times then you may download the
presentation or podcast from the Tek Talk archives on our website at
www.accessibleworld.org

If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online
conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that
you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available
on every entry screen to the Accessible World online rooms.

All online interactive programs are free of charge, and open to anyone
worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a
sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the
presenters and others in the virtual audience or text chat with the
attendees. To speak to us, hold down the control key and talk; then
let up to listen.

Accessible World uses News Wires, like this one, to inform people of
the topic and times for the many Discussion Groups on Accessible
World. The lists are announce only to keep the traffic to a minimum.
You can join the Accessible World Announce List, the Tek Talk Announce
List or the Sports Talk Announce List by completing the form at:
www.accessibleworld.org/mailinglists

Accessible World also provides a Tek Talk Discussion List. This list
is intended to give you an opportunity to ask computer related
questions, suggest topics to be used in the weekly Monday training
programs, or just to interact with others interested in using
assistive devices to access computers. You may sign up for this list
by selecting the Tek Talk Discussion link on the same page and
completing the form.

Accessible World Contacts:

Robert Acosta, Chair
Accessible World
818-998-0044
Email: boacosta@pacbell.net
Web: www.helpinghands4theblind.org

Marcia Moses, Events Coordinator
Accessible World
734-495-1496
Email: mgmoses@comcast.net

Steve Hoffman, President
Talking Communities
Email: steve@talkingcommunities.com

The Accessible World, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a
501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the general
public, the disabled community and the professionals who serve them by
providing highly relevant information about new products, services,
and training opportunities designed specifically to eliminate
geographic and access barriers that adversely affect them

Do you and I count with Freedom Scientific still?

There has been some talk today on Twitter saying that you and I as individuals don’t count or matter to Freedom Scientific since the bulk of their customer base is from state rehab and government  customers such as SSA and IRS and the VA.  I don’t have numbers but I’d assume 90% of Freedom Scientifics customers are from the above groups.  I originally got my copy of Jaws from state rehab but since that point I’ve paid more for my SMA’s and upgrade to Jaws professional to offset that original purchase from the state.
 
Most people in the blind community don’t really feel that they are customers or matter to Freedom Scientific these days.  Recent events such as the lawsuit against GW Micro and Enhanced Vision along with the new Braille initiative have many saying that Freedom Scientific no longer cares about us, just the dollars it gets from state and government customers.  I’ll go out on a limb here and say that many of the business practices lately have made it appear that Freedom Scientific cares more about dollars than helping blind persons to use their computers more effectively at home or on the job.  But is this really the case?  Freedom Scientific recently lowered the price of it’s most popular Braille display by almost 40%.  Surely this is a positive move?  Well many say if Freedom Scientific can afford to lower the prices of the display by nearly 40% then they are obviously profiting hugely.  I can understand where this would seem to be the case.  Also charging Braille companies $9000 plus $5000 a year for signed Braille drivers when no one else in the industry does this isn’t helping people to feel the love either.  I don’t really understand the reasoning behind Freedom Scientific charging these fees to companies that have a difficult time making money these days.  But I can also see that Freedom Scientific isn’t going to get rich anytime soon by charging these fees either!
 
Another thing that Freedom Scientific does to give themselves a negative image to many in the blind community is that it refuses to have any kind of lease to own program for either Jaws, Open Book or Magic making it nearly impossible for blind persons that can’t work or do not want to work to be able to afford the purchase price of their products.  I have to agree with everyone here and say that Freedom Scientific should offer some kind of purchase over time plan if it truly cares about the blind community.  Every other major competitor out there offers a lease to own plan.  This probably alone is the biggest thing that makes many of us feel Freedom Scientific doesn’t really see individual people as customers or show that it really cares about the blind community.
 
Then there is this business last week where one of the three Canadian distributors of Jaws was suddenly bumped supposedly because it was selling the competitions products along side of Jaws.  The company didn’t come right out and say this and Freedom Scientific apparently didn’t state why they dropped them.  So we all are coming to the conclusion that Freedom Scientific is bullying it’s distributors to only sale Freedom Scientific products.  To me this really doesn’t make a lot of business sense as competition is a good thing for everyone.  But once again the blind community perceives Freedom Scientific as being the big bully on the block. 
 
Sadly Freedom Scientific doesn’t ever try to improve it’s image with us either.  Basically they ignore everything many people are saying and go on with business as usual.  Seems to me that Freedom Scientific would have some kind of a public relations move to promote a more positive image to all of us in the blind community.  So why do they not? 
 
So this is where we come to the subject of my writing here today.  Do you and I still count?  Do you and I matter to Freedom Scientific these days.  I stated on Twitter that I feel I’m a customer of Freedom Scientific and do matter.  Sometimes I’m a happy customer and sometimes I’m not.   Some people on Twitter said that a certain person on Twitter that works for Freedom Scientific has un followed and in some cases blocked them because of comments made against Freedom Scientific.  I don’t know anything about any of this.  The only thing I do know is that I have been negative about Freedom Scientific on Twitter in the past and haven’t been blocked or un followed by this person.  The only thing I can make of this is that I try my best to be respectful when I make criticisms of Freedom Scientific.  I don’t curse them or call them names.  I only state the facts.  So maybe this is why I haven’t been blocked or un followed.  In my opinion, we all should be critical of Freedom Scientific when it’s warranted.  It’s our right to be critical when necessary.  We all do count as customers of Freedom Scientific and we should never feel that we are not.  If we believe we don’t count, then we will not count!
 
So is this perception or fact?  Does Freedom Scientific really not care about us or are we all just making something of nothing?  I personally believe that Freedom Scientific does try to listen to us and make Jaws a better product for all of us to use but I do also agree that Freedom Scientific has appeared over the last couple of years to present an image of not caring about the individual customer as much as they did in the past.  Maybe it’s time for Freedom Scientific to take a look at things and see what it can do to reverse this perceived image.  I’d love to hear from Freedom Scientific here, I’d also love to hear from everyone else here to.  So please flood me with comments here.  Please be respectful though or I’ll have to not post your opinions.
 
 
Rick
 
 

Stream Newswire – Announcing Version 3.1

Dear Victor Reader Friends:

HumanWare is please to announce the release of new Stream 3.1 software.
Stream 3.1 is a free release that responds to popular requests received from
many Stream customers. New features include:

– Multi-level Talking Books bookshelf. The ability to create nested folders
on the Other Books, Podcast, and Text File bookshelves introduced in version
3.0 has been extended to include the Talking Books bookshelf. You can now
optionally create nested folders within the $VRDTB bookshelf folder and
navigate the structure while browsing the Talking Books bookshelf.

– For our friends in Spain we now support the Spanish braille electronic
text files with a file type of .BRA. At the time of this announcement the
Spanish 3.1 is not yet available but we are working with our partner in
Spain to release it as soon as possible.

– The popular percentage announcement on the Where Am I key that informs you
how much of the book you have listened to has been extended to Talking Books
and Audible books.

– When you set a start position for a Highlight bookmark the End position
can now be set with a single key press of the Bookmark key.

– The navigation UNDO feature has been extended to the Go To Page function.

– We have introduced two shortcuts to reach the start or end of a book. To
quickly jump to the beginning of a book press the Go To key once and then
press the Rewind key once. To reach the end of the book press the Go To key
and then the Fast Forward key.

– When you press Cancel to end a recording the Stream will now ask you to
confirm. This prevents stopping a recording accidentally.

– Stream 3.1 will allow you to copy DAISY books from USB flash media such as
flash memory sticks or the NLS cartridges used by the NLS library in the USA
and the AFWA library in Western Australia. Each USB flash book must be in
its own folder. When you attach a cartridge or flash media the Stream will
automatically start playing the first DAISY book on the media. Once the book
is playing you can optionally press key 3 to copy it to the Talking Books
bookshelf of your SD card.

Stream 3.1 also includes several bug fixes. Please see the Release Notes for
full details.

Both the software and Release Notes can be downloaded from the Stream
support page at:

http://www.humanware.com/stream_support

Select the Software link on that page. You will find the Release Notes at
the top of the English 3.1 software download links. You can choose from two
English versions one with Samantha + Tom text-to-speech voices and another
with Samantha + Daniel (UK) voices. You can upgrade to version 3.1 from any
prior Stream version. To install the new software, follow these steps:

– Download the software zip file

– Unzip the single UPG upgrade file from the zip file. You do not need
special unzip software. Simply press Enter to open the zip file and you can
then select the UPG file.

– Copy this UPG file to the root of your Stream SD card.

– Disconnect the Stream from the computer, connect it to AC power and turn
it on.

– The Stream will automatically start the update process which takes about 2
minutes during which time it will announce intermittent “please Wait”
messages. The Stream will power off when the new software is installed.

– When you power back on the UPG file will be automatically removed from
your SD card.

After the new software is installed, an html Release Notes document will
also be available in a HumanWare sub-folder of your Text Bookshelf so you
may read the Release Notes with your Stream. The html version allows you to
navigate the Release Notes section by section using the 2/8 keys to select
the level and keys 4 and 6 to move between sections.

With this announcement, version 3.1 is available in Danish, Dutch, English,
Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Polish, and Swedish. As other languages
become available they will be posted on the same download page. We also are
working on a new version of the Stream Companion software for Windows which
will be announced on the Newswire when it is available.

HumanWare values your continued support of the Victor Reader Stream. We
remain committed to our customers to make the Stream the most powerful,
flexible, and enjoyable product used for listening to digital talking books,
computer files, and music.

Thank you,

The HumanWare Team

New commenting rules

Well I hate to do this but due to all the constant spamming here on the blog with comments from anonymous spam bots, anonymous comments will no longer be accepted here.  From now on you will have to register to be able to post comments here on the blog.  I really don’t want to have to do this but with 50 to 100 spams a week now and growing, it’s becoming very time consuming to keep screening out the bots.
 
Rick
 
 

Happy New Years:

I would like to take a moment to wish each and everyone of you a very happy new years from the Blind Geek Zone.  2009 was a very good year for the BGZ and I hope that 2010 brings you lots of good things for all of you out there.
 
Rick
 

Join me onMain Menu tonight:

Here is the information about tonights main menu for anyone that wants to listen:
 
Coming up on Main Menu for the week of January 2, 2010
 
Main Menu begins 2010 with a bang! We first hear a greeting from ACB president Mitch Pomerantz. Next, your host is joined by J.J. Meddaugh of Blind Bargains
and Rick Harmon of The Blind Geek Zone to discuss the top news stories of 2009 as published on Blind Bargains. The number one story of the year will be
posted on the site just hours before the panel discussion airs on Main Menu. Finally, the three of us predict what stories will rank in the top ten list
for 2010. Take notes and see how close we are!
 
Main Menu airs on Saturdays at 1:00 UTC; that’s Fridays at 8:00 Eastern time in the U.S. Subscribe to the Main Menu podcast feed at: http://mainmenu.acbradio.org/rss.php
Call the Main Menu comment line at (206) 338-7823
 
Posted by Jamie Pauls on 2009-12-29 at 04:32:09.
 
Here is the link to the main menu webpage:
 
and here is the link to blind bargains:
 
 
 
I will also post the segment on BGZ after main menu airs for those of you that miss it.
 
Rick
 
 

Merry Christmas wishes from BGZ:

I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new years from the Blind Geek Zone.  2009 has ended with lots of good things happening and  it’s my hope that 2010 brings each and everyone of you out there great joy and happiness.
 
Rick
 

Just one of those things some blind people have to do to make themselves feel better:

Let me start by letting everyone know that this post has very strong adult language and content in it.  So if you are sensitive to such things please read no further.
 
Well folks this isn’t going to be a jolly Christmasy type of post.  Instead, it’s going to be rather sad and pathetic.  Sadly some people in our lovely blind community feel the need to beat others down in order to bring themselves up.  Now before I go on, this hopefully is a very small majority of people out there and this statement isn’t directed at the majority of blind people out there as most of us will go way out of our way to help each other in any way that we can.
 
What I’m about to show you is a number of email postings on the GW Micro Booksense mailing list.  The email addresses will be deleted for privacy concerns and some of the swearing will be *’d out to keep it as clean as possible.  However since this is a public mailing list, I will be more than happy to keep all names intact for your reading pleasure!
 
As many of you know, GW Micro released the 2.0 firmware revision for the booksense yesterday afternoon.  One of the changes made was the adjustment to audio loudness and the internal speakers.  Yes I know, this is bound to cause an instant uproar amongst lots of people due to many having hearing issues of different kinds.  GW Micro stated that the volume levels were brought down a bit due to the levels in the 1.1 firmware causing speaker damage to some units.  I think most people can understand why the change was made.  I’m sure no one out there wants their speakers prematurely damaged due to excessive volume levels.  It’s a tight rope that GW Micro walks on when making these kinds of changes.  The Humanware folks know all about this problem on the Victor Stream player.  It’s hard to please everyone and no matter what a change in volume of speakers is going to ruffle someone’s feathers!
 
This brings me up to the point where I come into all of this.  Below are statements I made on the mailing list and the extremely rude comments I got in return by a few posters on the list.
 
First I will post my message below and then others followed by comments here on the blog that were not posted out to the Booksense mailing list.
 
Rick Harmon wrote:
 
GW Micro stated this causes problems with the internal speakers.  do you
want louder volume at the risk of blowing out your speakers and having to
send the unit back to HMS for repair?

I’d rather not have my speakers prematurely blown out by too loud of volumes
applied to them.  I heard many times on the 1.1 settings where the speakers
rattled a lot.  This isn’t a good thing.

Rick

—– Original Message —–
From: Missy Hoppe
To: GW-Micro booksense mailing list 

Sent: Monday, December 21, 2009 9:17 PM
Subject: Re: [GW-Booksense] Booksense 2.0 changes

Agreed. The maximum volume most definitely needs to be bumped up again. It
still meets my needs, but only just. I have to walk very slow on tredmill to
still hear the built in speaker on max volume. Before, could walk a bit
faster.
There’s got to be a way to get the best of both worlds. Agree about volume’s
1 through 5; are’t even worth mentioning; might as well be muted.
Still, I’m not complaining. I love my booksense as much as ever, and am
extremely happy with all the new features; if only this volume thing could
be resolved to meet everyone’s needs.
With all that being said, though, I completely agree with what Raul said
earlier today. Let’s just all sit back, relax, have a merry Christmas and
enjoy the new firmware for a little while before we really start picking it
apart too much.
Missy

Now let me say here that I wasn’t actually referring to Missys post as her post has valid concerns.  I just decided to reply to this message as it was one of several posted to the list about the volume changes.  Next is a reply that I got back about my comments.
 
From: Keith Gillard
To: GW-Micro booksense mailing list
 
Oh do they now!

I never had that problem.

Perhaps you got ripped off!

I know I sure believe every thing I heard second hand!

Thank you Rick, for your the latest address to be added to my block senders
list!

KG.

and here is my reply back to Keith:
 
-original message-
Subject: Re: [GW-Booksense] BookSense 2.0 changes
From: Rick Harmon
Date: 12/21/2009 10:56 PM

Second hand, I’m sorry but this came direct from GW Micro.  I’m not sure
what I did to deserve blocking but hey knock yourself out.  I guess telling
the truth around here is a bad thing to do?

Rick

Okay, I figure this is the end of all of this and we all could just agree to disagree.  in my opinion Keith is a hot head and is always ranting on the list about how terrible the booksense is before the 2.0 release of the firmware.  Many people on the list share my feeling about Keith so it’s just not me feeling this way about him.  Also  as for the information I provided being second hand, well that’s false.  The statement was made directly by GW-Micro.
 
So the rest of the night goes without any further comments and all is well unttil this morning.  Then the bashing really gets nasty towards me.
 
Here is a post from Brandon Misch in regards to a question asked by Chantel Cuddemi 
 
he’s mad because Rick told him that the reason why the volume had to change was distortion in the speakers if turned up to 21.
On Dec 21, 2009, at 10:43 PM, Chantel Cuddemi wrote:

Keith, what happened? Why are you blocking Rick’s email? I missed something.

 
Next, Chantel thinks she is answering Brandon off list, in reality she’s posting to him and the GW-Micro list as well.
 
Well, Brandon, maybe if he didn’t act like sucha f**king know-it-all, he wouldn’t be bashed like Brandon Hennis is.
 
Next Brandon Armstrong has to comment as well and I am assuming he thinks he’s only writing to me offlist but in reality is writing to the GW-Micro list as well.
 
you know rickey, it’s blindies like you who make me so angry.
I’m so sick of you thinking like your a f**king know it all,and you work for GW micro.
Why must you think and act like you know everything.
You suck as a moderator of any f**king list, and you don’t deserve to own a Mac.

Wow! what can I say here.  two people that aren’t smart enough to reply privately to me.  Not too intelligent if you ask me.  It’s truly sad that people have to treat others this way.  I did nothing to Chantel or Brandon to deserve being treated like trash on this list.  I just don’t know why some people have to knock others down to feel better about themselves.  These messages really hurt me a lot.  I try hard to help others in the community just to get people like Keith, Chantel and Brandon to attempt to destroy my credibility.  Chantel has also did the same thing to me on the Windows 7 mailing list that I co-own.  SO this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with her.  But be warned, Chantel will talk nice to you until you turn your back on her and then she will go around telling others how stupid you are behind your back
 
Here is a comment she made to me on the Windows 7 mailing list:
 
HI guys, hate to put my two cents in here, but this is coming from Ric, a guy who can’t even stop interacting on the Mac? Come on, man!! I’ve had my Mac for nearly a year, and I know how to stop interacting. 
 
This was in a reply to a message that someone was siding with me about not needing to run the hardware wizard on a windows machine in order to get it to see the RAM you have installed in it.
 
Anyways what her comment had to do with windows 7 is beyond me.  Also just to be fair here, I’ve owned a Mac for a couple of weeks and have used it a few hours and Chantel is slamming mme here?  Why, who knows.  My guess she’s a mean spirited person that wanted to make a funny joke at my expense.  She also wrote Keith Gillard off list or so she thought with  the following message that made it out to the booksense list with a message I sent to her privately.  For some reason she decided everyone needed to see it.
 
Well, Rick, I am sorry for letting fly the cuss words, but Keith Gillard agrees with me.
On Dec 22, 2009, at 12:44 PM, Rick Harmon wrote:

Chantel,

 Well thanks for this very enlightening message.  I do hope you be careful on 
the windows 7 list as I will boot you in a heartbeat now since I see your a 
liar and your apology was a load of crap.  As for my message on the GW Micro  list, I did nothing wrong. I wasn’t mean to anyone and my statement was 
factual.  A lot more people will side with me than with Keith about  attitude.  As for you, You think your really smart don’t you?  Telling others I don’t  know nothing about the Mac and that you know so much.  I’ve seen some of  your messages on other lists and they clearly show you might not be quite as  smart as you tell others that you are. Also you forget to tell anyone that I  have only had a Mac for a couple of weeks and used it for mere hours  compared to you having yours for a year now.  That’s pretty mean of you to  say such things to people but not tell them the entire truth. 

 
Rick
 —– Original Message —– 
From: Chantel Cuddemi 
To: GW-Micro booksense mailing list 
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 11:39 AM
 Subject: Re: [GW-Booksense] BookSense 2.0 changes 
 
That makes sense. I even slammed him on the windows 7 list. He didn’t like  it because I know more about the Mac and thing,s but, I later apologized to  him for it.
 On Dec 21, 2009, at 10:48 PM, Keith Gillard wrote:
 
Well everytime he post a reply he acts like he is working for GW and that his PooPoo doesn’t stink! He talks down to members and thinks he is always right. Chantel, when a post angers me I have learned that there is likey a good reason for it. I’ve been around on many lists and for a long time and I’ve learned to 
trust
 my tummy! Cheers!
 
 
This is a very interesting post.  I didn’t talk down to anyone with my post.  My poo poo does stink thank you Keith just like yours does.  Also I don’t work for the great folks at GW-Micro but would be honored to be able to do so.  And Chantel, well you just showed your true ignorance there commenting about the Mac again to him.  How many others have you told this load of crap sob story to?
 
Okay, so that is my story.  Pretty sad huh?  As always I’m open to comments good or bad from all of you.
 
Rick

 

The cost of blindness:

Here is an audio post where I talk about the cost of blindness and my concerns about it increasing instead of going down.  I’m sure I didn’t touch on everything and one thing I did leave out is the cost of travel.  I hope that you will comment on this post.  I’m looking forward to hearing from a lot of you out there and what you think about the cost of being blind.
 
 
Rick
 

My slant on the FS vs. Enhanced Vision lawsuit

Yesterday, November 24th Freedom Scientific filed a lawsuit against Enhanced Vision Systems INC., a maker of low vision magnification products.  You can read the complete details of the suit at:
 
 
One of the alleged activities that Enhanced Vision is accused of is using website search metatag keywords in it’s webpage in order to get people looking for Freedom Scientific to come to their pages as well I’m assuming in order to sell low vision magnifiers in competition with Freedom Scientifics low vision products
 
I thought about this a bit here and came to a frightening realization.  Blind Geek Zone uses both the Jaws and Freedom Scientific keywords in it’s metatag keywords section of the website in order of all things to attract people looking for information on Jaws and Freedom Scientific to my website as well so that I could provide both free and paid training on among other things jaws training.
.
 
My initial knee jerk reaction was to remove the Jaws and Freedom Scientific metatags out of my keywords section and re post my page.
 
Here is a quote from the Lawsuit where Freedom Scientific asks the court to stop Enhanced Systems from:
 
(a)        That this Court grant a preliminary and permanent injunction pursuant to the powers granted it under 15 U.S.C. §1116, enjoining and restraining
the Defendant and its agents, servants, and employees from directly or indirectly using the mark, “Freedom Scientific,” on any marketing materials, websites,
any Internet landing pages, or as a metatag or other keyword to be indexed by an Internet search engine, because such use is likely to cause confusion,
mistake, or to deceive;
 
So basically Freedom Scientific could come to me and say exactly the same thing.  That my websites keyword metatags misleadingly brought customers to my website in order to provide training that legally should have gone to Freedom Scientific.  Okay, I know that is a stretch of my imagination.  BGZ isn’t worth Freedom Scientific’s wasting $100.00 on in order to get me to stop my practices here.  But what about someone a bit bigger than myself.  I’ve managed to make a few thousand dollars here in the last 3 years that I’ve been providing paid training and services.  Clearly this isn’t worth FS wasting 1 lawyer  on me.  But how about some of the bigger trainers out there that use Jaws or Freedom Scientific in their keyword metatags to get customers to come their way?
 
I’m not asking whether or not Freedom Scientific has the right to sue anyone for these practices or not.  For all I know, they do.  But Today it’s Enhanced Vision, tomorrow will it be Blind Geek Zone? or a larger training service provider?  This is the question we all need to ask.  Where does the food chain end for Freedom Scientific’s lawyers?
 
Should I be able to use these keywords on my website in order to draw blind customers searching for information on Jaws or Freedom Scientific here for potential paid training services?  Am I actually hurting Freedom Scientific by doing this?  I really don’t think so but I really don’t want to be sued for doing so unlawfully either.
 
Who is next FS?  Me? Another AT provider?something to think about don’t you all think?
 
Rick
 
 
 
 

Accessible World Presents:

Accessible World Presents a Special Program Series Event, November 24, 2009

News Wire:

 

Special Program Series

 

Accessible World proudly presents Rick Harmon  who will present us with a tutorial on both the Sendspace Wizard and My Dropbox.

He will take us step by step from the installation of the programs to using them.

 

Many of us use Sendspace as a way to send files to our friends and to mailing lists.  Rick will also introduce us to My Dropbox which is a very efficient way to do the same thing.

 

Presenter: Rick Harmon

Email: rickharmon@sbcglobal.net

 

Date: Tuesday November 24, 2009

 

Time: 6:00 PM PST, 7:00 PM MST, 8:00 PM CST, 9:00 PM EST

         and elsewhere in the world Wednesday 1:00 GMT.

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to the Accessible World Auditorium at:
http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs5affc3cfa191

 

Or, alternatively,

 

Select the Accessible World Auditorium at: www.accessibleworld.org

Enter your first and last name

 

If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Accessible World rooms.

 

All online interactive programs require no password, are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the presenters and others in the virtual audience. To speak to us, hold down the control key and let up to listen. If no microphone is available, you may text chat with the attendees.

 

Accessible World uses News Wires, like this one, to inform people of the topic and times for the many Discussion Groups on Accessible World. The lists are announce only to keep the traffic to a minimum. You can join the Accessible World Announce List, the Tek Talk Announce List or the Sports Talk Announce List by completing the form at: www.accessibleworld.org/mailinglists

 

Accessible World Contacts:

 

Robert Acosta, Chair

Accessible World

818-998-0044

Email: boacosta@pacbell.net

Web:   www.helpinghands4theblind.org

 

Joann Becker, Events Coordinator

Accessible World

617-487-8795

Email: joannbecker@pcomcast.net

 

George Buys, CEO.

Talking Communities

Email: buys@talkingcommunities.com

 

The Accessible World, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the general public, the disabled community and the professionals who serve them by providing highly relevant information about new products, services, and training opportunities designed specifically to eliminate geographic and access barriers that adversely affect them

 

New blog posts

Hi, well it’s been like forever since I last wrote something here on the blog.  I guess sometimes it’s difficult to make time for the blog on top of maintaining the website, recording new content, training new clients and so on. 
 
A tweet from Blind bargains on twitter asked where all the AT blogs have gone, well this reminded me that I have a blog and I’ve not kept up with it for quite awhile here.  I see the last post here was August 11th.
 
I would like to post here more often than I currently do, sometimes I just don’t have anything to comment on.  I’m not a professional in the AT area as so many others are that keep blogs.  The pros go to shows all the time, something I just can’t afford to do at this point in time.  Maybe someday that will change.
 
I will make a renewed attempt to keep my posts here current.  If anyone has any comments on things I could blog on, I’d welcome them.
 
Rick
 

Freedom Scientific Announces Secure Driver Initiative

logo banner: Freedom Scientific logo and slogan, Empowering Independence

Greetings!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Brad Davis
800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000
www.FreedomScientific.com
Sales: info@FreedomScientific.com

Freedom Scientific Announces Secure and Compatible Braille Display Initiative

JAWS® 11 to Offer Improved Security and Interoperability

St. Petersburg, Florida – August 11, 2009) — Freedom Scientific, one of the leading providers of assistive technology for people who are blind, announced its Secure and Compatible Braille Display Initiative today.

The goal of this new program is to follow Microsoft’s move to signed drivers to improve security and compatibility for customers who use a Braille display with JAWS. Under this program, Freedom Scientific will test Braille displays to ensure compatibility with JAWS and then digitally sign the driver. Starting with the JAWS 11 release later this year, only drivers that have been digitally signed by Freedom Scientific will work with JAWS.

“A digitally signed driver means you can be confident that the driver actually comes from the publisher it claims to and that it has not been altered,” said Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product Management for Freedom Scientific. “This is important, as one of the most insidious ways that computers come under attack is through malicious rootkits, programs that install at the device driver level and take over the entire system. Such programs can be very difficult to detect since they cannot be found with traditional security scans, such as anti-virus or anti-spyware programs.”

For those currently using JAWS with 32-bit Microsoft Windows® and a Braille display whose driver was included in a previous English version of JAWS, there will be no change. Freedom Scientific will include signed versions of all those 32-bit drivers in JAWS 11. If you have questions about your Braille display, please call Freedom Scientific technical support.

However, all Braille display manufacturers will need to develop new 64-bit drivers to support 64-bit Microsoft Windows – most new computers now come with 64-bit Microsoft Windows preinstalled. To support this effort, Freedom Scientific created the Secure and Compatible Braille Display Program. The program provides a driver development kit for third party Braille display manufacturers and a test suite that Freedom Scientific will use to ensure compatibility with JAWS before digitally signing the driver.

Freedom Scientific is the first company in the industry to develop a signed driver program which improves the security and compatibility of Braille displays.

Papenmeier, a German manufacturer of Braille displays, has already completed their 64-bit signed driver, and other Braille display manufacturers are actively working on 64-bit signed drivers for their Braille displays.

Dirk Kochanek, of Papenmeier in Germany, says, “We at Papenmeier appreciate the signed driver concept of Freedom Scientific. Signed drivers improve the security of operating systems and enhance the compatibility of hardware. This also can help the acceptance of screen reader solutions in the professional IT environment, especially with large employers. Papenmeier was the first company to have their drivers certified and signed by Freedom Scientific and is ready for 64-bit Windows operating systems.”

About Freedom Scientific

Freedom Scientific is one of the leading providers of assistive technology products for those who are low vision or blind.

BookSense 1.1 Public Beta Released

 

GW Micro is proud to announce the release of the first-ever public beta for the BookSense!

Since its release just over a month ago, the BookSense has become internationally recognized as the most advanced book reader available. After the release, we found some issues that we believe needed addressed in a very timely manner. We have been specifically focusing on stability fixes, as well as bug fixes. This public beta addresses many of those issues to help ensure another rock-solid product, which GW Micro has become known for in the industry. We have done extensive testing with our private beta testers, and although this is a public beta, we believe it to be very stable, and address many of the issues that have been presented to us.

This software will be in public beta for a period of time, and once we feel that it is ready, we will release it as a final version.

As we indicated during our initial product release, we still intend to have a firmware version that supports RFB&D, protected WMA files, and we will also be adding other features that have been requested. This support will be forthcoming in another firmware release.

You can download the firmware from http://www.gwmicro.com/Support/Downloads/?category=BookSense+Support+Files. When you download the firmware, it will contain a text file with all of the changes that have been made.

For instructions on how to upgrade the firmware, you can navigate to www.gwmicro.com/kb1107. For your convenience, you will find the article below:

GWKB1107 : Upgrading The BookSense Firmware

This Knowledge Base article applies to both the standard BookSense (ruby red) and the BookSense XT (off white).

From time to time, there will be a new update to the BookSense. The updates are made available by means of an image file called a firmware update. In order for your BookSense to take advantage of the new features, enhancements, or bug fixes, you must install the new firmware onto your BookSense.
Downloading and Extracting The BookSense Firmware

When there is new firmware to download, it will be available as a zip file from the downloads section of our web site. Upgrading the firmware requires that you first download the firmware zip file from a PC. Once the zip file has been downloaded, you need to extract the contents to the root of your SD card (secure digital card).

To download the firmware update from your PC, do the following:

1. Insert your SD card to the BookSense and connect it to the PC. It is important to take note of the drive letter of the SD card.

2. Point your web browser to: http://gwmicro.com/Support/Downloads/

3. Depending on which BookSense model you want to update, choose either the “BookSense Standard (ruby red)” or the “BookSense XT (off white)” link from the list.

4. The firmware will be packed in a zip file. Choose the appropriate version and press ENTER on the download link to begin downloading the zip file.

5. If your browser prompts you to save or open the file, choose save. If prompted for a file name, we recommend keeping the original file name.

6. Once the zip file has been downloaded to the PC, navigate to the location of the file and press SHIFT-F10 on it.

7. Up or down arrow to the menu item called “Extract All”. Then press ENTER to open it.

8. A dialog box will open. Press ENTER on the “Next” button.

9. An edit box will prompt you for the location where the files should be extracted to. Type the drive letter of your SD card followed by a colon and a backslash. Example: “E:\”.

10. If you don’t know the drive letter of your SD card, you may press TAB to select the “Browse” button. Then you can select the drive using the “Select a Destination” dialog box. It is important to extract the firmware files directly to the root of the SD card and not inside a folder.

11. Once the path has been selected, tab to the “Next” button and press ENTER.

12. At this point the PC will begin extracting all of the files to the root of the SD card. This may take several minutes as the files are relatively large. Once the firmware files have been extracted, navigate to the “Finish” button and press ENTER.

13. Close any open windows you may have by pressing Alt-F4 on each. Then disconnect the BookSense from the PC by way of the “Safely Remove hardware” program of the “System Tray”.

The aforementioned steps assume you are familiar with connecting and disconnecting the BookSense to and from the PC. If you are not, please refer to KB1104 – Connecting and Disconnecting the BookSense To and From the PC (www.gwmicro.com/kb1104) for assistance.

Performing the Actual Firmware Upgrade

Once the firmware files are in the root of the SD card and the BookSense has been disconnected from the PC, you are ready to upgrade your BookSense.

To perform the actual firmware upgrade, do the following:

1. Connect the AC charger to the BookSense.

2. If the BookSense is not already powered on, press the play/pause button for 2 seconds to power it on.

3. Press the stop/cancel button to close any files or books you may have open.

4. Press the menu button to open the main menu.

5. Press up or down arrow until you reach the advanced menu item. Then press right to open it.

6. Press up or down arrow to choose upgrade. Then press the menu button to choose this option.

7. The BookSense will search the root of the SD card and if it finds the firmware, it will ask you if you want to upgrade the firmware. Press the menu button to choose Yes and continue.

The BookSense will inform you that it will be restarted. When the BookSense restarts itself, you will hear a series of beeps as the new firmware is written to the BookSense. This process can take a few minutes. Once the firmware has been successfully installed, the BookSense will reboot once more.

Once you hear the startup music and the female voice speaking, it is safe to start using the BookSense. To verify that you are using the new firmware, press the menu key and navigate to the global options menu. Then arrow to the system status menu and press the menu key to open it. While in the system status dialog box, press the up or down arrows to hear the status. One of the lines will read out the firmware version along with the release date. Once you verify that the new firmware has been successfully installed, you should remove the firmware files from the SD card. Please note that you must use your PC to remove the firmware files from the SD card.
Troubleshooting the Firmware Upgrade

The following are some troubleshooting tips in no particular order in case the firmware does not update or in case something does not seem to be working correctly after updating. If you are having trouble upgrading the firmware of the BookSense and none of the following tips are helping, please contact GW Micro technical support.

    * If you attempt to install older firmware on the BookSense rather than newer one, the BookSense will prompt you if you are sure. Only continue with this if you are sure that you want to go back to an earlier release.
    * Sometimes one of the voices of the BookSense may not work properly after upgrading the firmware. if this happens, you must do a factory reset of the BookSense by pressing the number 4 button. While holding the 4 button, press the reset button with the end of a toothpick. However you must keep pressing the 4 button for up to 20 seconds. Once you release the button, the BookSense will reboot itself.
    * If for whatever reason the firmware is not upgrading from the upgrade option in the advanced menu, you can upgrade it by pressing the cancel and the 9 buttons at the same time. While holding these buttons, press the reset button with the end of a toothpick, but keep holding the cancel and 9 buttons until you hear the system will be restarted message.

 

The gw-news list is an announce only list used for GW Micro news and product information.

 

Changes in the new BookSense firmware

Hello all. We hope to make the new BookSense firmware available later
today. When it becomes available, you will need to follow the upgrade
instructions located at www.gwmicro.com/kb1107 to upgrade your BookSense
firmware. Please remember that the main purpose for this new firmware is
to address some of the stability problems and bugs. Although it has some
minor enhancements, please don’t take the lack of new features as a sign
that we are not going to add things. One thing I can say for sure is
that this new firmware does not address 2 things which seem to be very
popular. The 2 things are: 1. Leveling out the NLS volume of books with
the TTS engine. this is something which we are still working on. 2. Real
support for mp3 audio books. This means that the media player still
plays all audio files just the way it does with the current firmware
regardless of whether they are songs or if they are books. Now onto the
list of changes.

Remember that this is going to be a public beta release which will not
represent the final version of the firmware. Our beta testers and HIMS
have been working hard to bring this new release to be a stable one.
When the firmware is released, we will announce it on our gw-news list
as well as this list.

Changes follow.

—————————————————————————
Changes in the BookSense Firmware from 1.0 to 1.1.
—————————————————————————

++ Global
1. Fixed all known mark problems with DAISY books. Now the saving of
marks and position in DAISY books is done by elapsed time rather than by
the beginning of the phrase marker.
2. Added the ability to switch drives while in the radio by pressing the
0 key for 2 seconds.
3. Changed it so if you want to authorize an NLS KXO key file with the
BookSense XT, it does not matter if you put the KXO file in the root of
the flashdisk or the root of the SD card.
4. Fixed the problem where if Bluetooth is on, connecting the BookSense
XT makes the computer give a failed usb device error. Now you can
connect with no problems regardless of the Bluetooth status.
5. Mac computers now recognize the BookSense.
6. Increased the volume with both the internal speaker and the
headphones. This can make the highest volume distort, but that’s no
different than main stream devices. A typical comfortable volume can now
be set to around 12 or 13.
7. The BookSense now does a better job at refreshing the SD card
contents if you switch SD cards while the BookSense is powered off.

++ Media
1. Fix the problem where bookmarks can’t be saved in the media player
while switching to another program and then turning the power off.
2. Fixed the problem where the BookSense would not save its position in
the media player after powering on from sleep mode.
3. Fixed the problem where some enhanced Audible AAX files wouldn’t
play. – This is still a work in progress, especially with certain 44.1
khz files.
4. Changed the playback order of multiple folders. Now it plays them in
order by tag or in alphabetical order. However it takes into account all
the files of each folder before moving onto the next one.
5. Fixed the lockup when pressing the 8 key after playing a file. Now it
will ask you for a percentage of the file you want to move to. if you
want to delete the file, you need to press cancel to go back to the file
list and then you can navigate to the file and press the 8 key to delete it.
6. The delay in hearing the “pause” message has gotten better now when
you pause an Audible book.
7. Fixed tts interruptions when you are listening to a media file and
you press 0 to hear the info, and then press play to resume before the
information message has finished speaking.

++ DAISY
1. Fixed problems where the BookSense couldn’t play DAISY books created
from Kurzweil 1000.
2. Fixed problems where you pause DAISY books with audio files and
pressing the number 8 would cause a lock up.
3. Fixed the problem where your position in an NLS DAISY book was not
stored. Now you can cancel, power off, or pause then power off and when
you come back to the NLS DAISY book, you will be where you left off.
4. Fixed problems where turning the BookSense off and on while listening
to a Bookshare book would come back and be silent.
5. Fixed problems where Bookshare books would skip over some text.
6. Fixed problems where the end of side messages were heard in NLS books
which were recorded from cassettes.

++ Book/Document Reader
1. Changed the name of the “Book Reader” to the “Document Reader”. – The
Books folder was also renamed to the Documents folder. When you upgrade
the firmware, the update will automatically rename the Books folder of
your card to Documents. If you already have a Documents folder, nothing
will be renamed and you will have to manually copy the contents of the
Books folder to the Documents folder.
2. Replaced the HTML parser for the Document Reader. This improves
loading speed and accuracy with many html documents.
3. Documents with either html or htm are supported as html documents.
4. Fixed the misreading of certain contracted words with dots-4-5 in brl
and brf files. So now words such as “those” and “these” will now read
correctly.
5. When moving by page in text files, the BookSense does a better job of
searching for formfeed characters to correctly guess the page.


Raul A. Gallegos
GW Micro, Inc.

Accessible World presents An introduction to Facebook, Tek Talk, July 20

News Wire

     

On Monday July 20th, JoAnn Becker will present an introduction to Facebook, one of the world’s largest social networks. She will discuss the myriad ways in which people are using this social utility to communicate with one another. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with people. They can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to inform friends about themselves.

 

During this presentation JoAnn will demonstrate:* how to register and create an account;* how to build a personal profile; *how to add friends; * how to upload photos; * how to explore settings.

 

If there are classmates, colleagues, friends with whom you wish to reconnect, Facebook may be able to help. 

 

Date:  Monday, July 20 2009.

 

Time:  5:00 p.m. PDT, 6:00 p.m. MDT, 7:00 p.m. CDT, and 8:00 p.m. EDT

           And elsewhere in the world Tuesday 0:00 GMT

 

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at:

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rsc9613dc89eb2

 

Or, alternatively.

 

Select The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at: http://www.accessibleworld.org. Enter your first and last names on the sign-in screen.

 

All Tek Talk training events are recorded so if you are unable to participate live at the above times then you may download the presentation or podcast from the Tek Talk archives on our website at http://www.accessibleworld.org

 

All online interactive programs require no password, are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the presenters and others in the virtual audience or text chat with the attendees. To speak to us, hold down the control key and talk; then let up to listen. 


If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Accessible World online rooms.

 

Sign up information for all Accessible World News Wires and discussion lists are also available at our website http://www.accessibleworld.org.

 

Accessible World Contacts:

 

Robert Acosta, Chair

Accessible World

818-998-0044

Email: boacosta@pacbell.net

Web: http://www.helpinghands4theblind.org

 

Joann Becker, Events Coordinator

Accessible World

617-969-1213

Email: joannbecker@pcomcast.net

 

George Buys, CEO

Talking Communities

Email: buys@talkingcommunities.com

 

The Accessible World, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the general public, the disabled community and the professionals who serve them by providing highly relevant information about new products, services, and training opportunities designed specifically to eliminate geographic and access barriers that adversely affect them.

 

 

Tek Talk presents Accessible Captchas and the Solona web site, July 13, 2009

News Wire:

 

Accessible World Talks about Captchas on the Internet

 

During the July 13, 2009 installment of the Accessible World Tek Talk Room, Bernard Maldonado, Founder of Solona.net, the Free Captcha Solution Service for visually impaired people, talks about all aspects of Captcha.  While this tool limits spam registrations, and spam blog posts, it also affects the way visually impaired people surf the internet.  Some sites offer usable audio captchas; most sites do not.  In any case, people with both visual and hearing difficulties are affected even more.

 

The presentation will address different kinds of captcha, specific site examples, components of captcha, and the future of captcha.

 

Bernard will also discuss Solona and what role it plays in helping visually impaired people independently solve captchas on the net.

 

Please follow @solona on Twitter and submit questions that you have prior to the presentation so that Bernard can address your specific question, or email your questions before July 13 to: MySolona@gmail.com.  You may also ask questions at the end of the presentation 

 

Contact Info: Bernard Maldonado

Email:  MySolona@gmail.com

Skype: bernardmaldonado

Twitter: @solona

 

 

 

Date:  Monday, July 13, 2009.

 

Time:  5:00 p.m. PDT, 6:00 p.m. MDT, 7:00 p.m. CDT, and 8:00 p.m. EDT

           and elsewhere in the world Tuesday 0:00 GMT

 

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at:

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rsc9613dc89eb2

 

Or, alternatively.

 

Select The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at: http://www.accessibleworld.org. Enter your first and last names on the sign-in screen.

 

All Tek Talk training events are recorded so if you are unable to participate live at the above times then you may download the presentation or podcast from the Tek Talk archives on our website at http://www.accessibleworld.org

 

All online interactive programs require no password, are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the presenters and others in the virtual audience or text chat with the attendees. To speak to us, hold down the control key and talk; then let up to listen. 


If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Accessible World online rooms.

 

Sign up information for all Accessible World News Wires and discussion lists are also available at our website http://www.accessibleworld.org.

 

Accessible World Contacts:

 

Robert Acosta, Chair

Accessible World

818-998-0044

Email: boacosta@pacbell.net

Web: http://www.helpinghands4theblind.org

 

Joann Becker, Events Coordinator

Accessible World

617-969-1213

Email: joannbecker@pcomcast.net

 

George Buys, CEO

Talking Communities

Email: buys@talkingcommunities.com

 

The Accessible World, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the general public, the disabled community and the professionals who serve them by providing highly relevant information about new products, services, and training opportunities designed specifically to eliminate geographic and access barriers that adversely affect them.

__________

Nittany Greyhounds needs your help

Last year I learned of a group in Pennsylvania that helps to find loving homes for greyhounds after they have served their usefulness at dog tracks around the country. A friend of mine in the Harrisburg area has taken in a couple of these dogs in the past and asked me to buy some raffle tickets to help raise funds for the organization and I gladly did so to help them out.
 
My friend Tom has once again asked me for help.  Nittany Greyhounds is once again in need of help.  One of the dogs they have rescued from the dog tracks has broken it’s leg and has had to undergo expensive surgery.  Tom asked me if I could spread the word around for donations in order to help Nittany Greyhounds cover this extreme cost.

 

So I’m posting the message below for anyone out there that may be interested in helping out.  Nittany Greyhounds  is a worthy cause and I hope that you will consider helping them out.  Any donation would be greatly appreciated.

 

The web site is:
www.nittanygreys.org

and here is the message that Nittany Greyhounds sent out:


We need your help. Faith, one of our newest arrivals, broke her leg while running at the kennel last week. We prayed for a bad sprain but it is, in fact, broken. In fact, she is having surgery today–two pins to hold her ankle bones in place until they heal. Anyway, the estimate for this surgery is $1800, so we need help with this huge chunk of change we didn’t plan on.
If you can see fit to donate to this beautiful little girl’s surgery, that would be really wonderful (remember, it’s 100% tax deductible as a gift).
Please send your donations payable to:
 
Nittany Greyhounds

P.O. Box 602

Port Matilda, PA 16870

 
If you want to use a credit card, call 814-933-6981 and
Nancy will be happy to take that information. We appreciate your help!  This is the first time this has happened and I sure hope it’s the last.

My thoughts on the accessible iPhone

I thought I’d try something different here and post an audio blog entry here.  I had quite a lot to say and am not the best writer in the world.  I guess I’m not the greatest speaker in the world either but in this case I thought I’d try out an audio format here.
 
Please feel free to post your thoughts here. i welcome everyones ccomments.  If you get nasty with your comments here, your post will get deleted. 
 
Thanks in advance and please let me know if you would like to see more audio posts in the future here on the blog.
 
 
 
Rick
 
 

Radio out of the Past presents All Things Radio,; June 11, 2009

News Wire 

 

This week, we hope to learn about how to download thousands of inexpensive Old-Time-Radio Shows from Bill Sparks’ great web site.

 

On Thursday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. EDT, the “All Things Radio

podcast will be featured in The Fred Bertelsen Old Time Radio

Room of  www.radiooutofthepast.org.

 

“We’re delighted to add “All Things Radio” to our Thursday evening line-up,” said Robert Acosta, chair of Accessible World. “It’s a natural fit with our usual Thursday evening Old-Time-Radio get-together, which will continue at its usual 8 pm EDT start time,” Acosta continued. “And this link to Bill Sparks’ radio-related web sites will undoubtedly prove beneficial to all.

 

“All Things Radio” began early this spring. The 11 podcasts run thus far are available for download from the “All Things Radio” folder at

 

www.legend-oldies.com

 

Averaging about an hour in length and generally anchored by Gary Stevens, each podcast features
1. Radio news from Jeff Bennett,

2. Format and call letter changes from Jennifer Sparks,

3. Airchecked samples of radio stations from Bill Sparks,

4. Profiles of broadcasters and podcast contributors from Walt Kramer,

5. And occasional historical features, such as the history of Detroit‘s WJR.

 

“We at “All Things Radio” are extremely pleased that Radio out of the Past’s Fred Bertelsen Old Time Radio Room will be our home starting June 4,” said Bill Sparks. “After each podcast, there’s usually close to a half-hour available for an informal chat about radio. Anyone who would normally come in for the 8 pm Old Time Radio program is welcome to join us for the chat, which is usually moderated by Marcia Moses. For that matter, all are welcome to come in at 6:30 pm EDT and make a night of it.

 

“Bill Sparks currently has three streaming radio channels on line. They

 are:


1. The Legend, featuring oldies from the mid ’50s to the mid ’70s,

2. The Country Legend, featuring classic country music, and
3. Remember Radio, featuring old-time radio shows.

 

The three radio services operate 24/7, and links to them can be found

At: www.billsparks.org

 

Also available from www.billsparks.org are links to at least eight thousand radio stations that stream their broadcasts on line.

 

From another Bill Sparks web site, www.billsparks.com, thousands of old-time radio shows are available for purchase. Customers may either buy programs on CDs, or purchase copies of shows that can be downloaded.

 

Bill Sparks, Group Facilitator

Email: bil@billsparks.org

 

Date:  Thursday June 11th, 2009

Time:  3:30 p.m. PDT, 4:30 p.m. MDT, 5:30 p.m. CDT 6:30 p.m. EDT,
           and elsewhere in the world Thursday 10:30 GMT.

To participate in “All Things Radio”, the OTR gathering that follows it, or both,
go to:
http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs8d80999b8145


Or, alternatively,


Select The Fred Bertelsen Old Time Radio Room at:
www.radiooutofthepast.org. Enter your first and last names on the sign up screen.


All online interactive programs require no password, are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the presenters and others in the virtual audience or text chat with the attendees. To speak to us, hold down the control key to talk and let up to listen.


If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run and install. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Radio Out of the past online rooms.

Sign up information for all Accessible World News Wires and discussion lists are also available at our website: www.accessibleworld.org

 

Accessible World Contacts:

Robert Acosta, Chair
Accessible World
818-998-0044
Email:
boacosta@pacbell.net

Web: http://www.helpinghands4theblind.org

Joann Becker, Events Coordinator
Accessible World
617-969-1213
Email:
joannbecker@comcast.net

George Buys, CEO
Talking Communities
Email:
buys@talkingcommunities.com

 

Radio Out Of The Past, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the public and blind Old-Time-Radio fans concerning the historic and literary value of Old-Time-Radio.

 

Accessible World Presents Future happenings at NLS,June 15

News Wire:

 

Accessible World Tek Talk is very pleased to present Judy Dixon, Consumer Relations Officer, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically handicapped.

 

Judy Dixon will demonstrate and discuss the new NLS Digital Talking Book player that will be arriving in libraries later this summer.

 

Judy will also speak to us about accessing and using Web Braille as well as the NLS Downloadable services.  If time permits, she will discuss any future programs contemplated by NLS.

 

 

Date:  Monday, June 15th, 2009.

 

Time:  5:00 p.m. PDT, 6:00 p.m. MDT, 7:00 p.m. CDT, and 8:00 p.m. EDT

           and elsewhere in the world Tuesday 0:00 GMT

 

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at:

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rsc9613dc89eb2

 

Or, alternatively.

 

Select The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at: http://www.accessibleworld.org. Enter your first and last names on the sign-in screen.

 

All Tek Talk training events are recorded so if you are unable to participate live at the above times then you may download the presentation or podcast from the Tek Talk archives on our website at http://www.accessibleworld.org

 

All online interactive programs require no password, are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the presenters and others in the virtual audience or text chat with the attendees. To speak to us, hold down the control key and talk; then let up to listen. 


If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Accessible World online rooms.

 

Sign up information for all Accessible World News Wires and discussion lists are also available at our website http://www.accessibleworld.org.

 

Accessible World Contacts:

 

Robert Acosta, Chair

Accessible World

818-998-0044

Email: boacosta@pacbell.net

Web: http://www.helpinghands4theblind.org

 

Joann Becker, Events Coordinator

Accessible World

617-969-1213

Email: joannbecker@pcomcast.net

 

George Buys, CEO

Talking Communities

Email: buys@talkingcommunities.com

 

The Accessible World, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the general public, the disabled community and the professionals who serve them by providing highly relevant information about new products, services, and training opportunities designed specifically to eliminate geographic and access barriers that adversely affect them.


Accessible World presents Radio Waves, june 3

    News Wire:

 

Radio. It’s more than just your favorite FM music station or AM news outlet. There is a whole audio world so please Join us on the 1st Wednesday of each month starting in June for Radio Waves to explore radio in all its forms: shortwave listening, ham radio, long-distance listening, scanning, and more. Each month we’ll review reading from the hobbyist and trade press, and discuss all things radio.

Bring your questions, radio experiences and listening tips to share with other radio enthusiasts. Radio Waves, debuting on Wednesday, June 3rd at 6PMPacific

If you would like advance recorded copies of Jim’s articles for june, please write to Robert Acosta and put your email address in the body of your request and he’ll send them to you

Jim Tedford, Group Facilitator

Email: radio@drizzle.com

 

Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

 

Time: 6:00 p.m. PDT, 7:00 p.m. MDT, 8:00 p.m. CDT, 9:00 p.m. EDT

         and elsewhere in the world Wednesday 1:00 GMT.

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to the Accessible World Auditorium at:

http://conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=rs5affc3cfa191

 

Or, alternatively,

 

Select the Accessible World Auditorium at: http://www.accessibleworld.org. Enter your first and last name.

All online interactive programs require no password, are free of charge, and open to anyone worldwide having an Internet connection, a computer, speakers, and a sound card. Those with microphones can interact audibly with the presenters and others in the virtual audience or text chat with the attendees. To speak to us, hold down the control key and talk; then let up to listen. 

 

If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is available on every entry screen to the Accessible World online rooms.

 

Sign up information for all Accessible World News Wires and discussion lists are also available at our website:


Accessible World
Contacts:

Robert Acosta, Chair

Accessible World
818-998-0044
Email: boacosta@pacbell. net

Web: http://www.helpinghands4theblind.org

 

Joann Becker, Events Coordinator

Accessible World

617-969-1213

Email: joannbecker@comcast.net

 

George Buys, CEO

Talking Communities

Email: buys@talkingcommunities.com

 

The Accessible World, a division of Helping Hands For The Blind, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, seeks to educate the general public, the disabled community and the professionals who serve them by providing highly relevant information about new products, services, and training opportunities designed specifically to eliminate geographic and access barriers that adversely affect them.

 

 

 

 

Windows 7 thoughts and comments

Just thought that I would invite other comments from users of the beta or release candidate of Windows 7 and what you think of it so far.  What are your experiences with installing it and using it on a daily basis.  What do you like about it?  What do you dislike about it?  Will you buy Windows 7 when it comes out or stick with what you are using now?  What types of hardware are you running Windows 7 on? 
 
Rick