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Sky launch Easy Grip remote – DigitalSpy

14th August 2006 • Dave

Unofficial sources at Sky tell me that this product has been in development for over a year. In view of the fact that the existing Sky remote already has a rubber backing and large rubbery buttons and is pretty easy to hold and use, it will be interesting to see how much demand there is for the new Easy Grip remote. Come on Sky, does your market research tell you that the best thing you can do for the disabled community is create an Easy Grip remote control? Such remotes probably already exist and can probably be configured to emulate the Sky handset. So is there really a need for this new handset?

Clearly there is a shortage of ideas at Sky, so I have created a list of my own. All of these suggestions would not be costly to implement, and could make a huge difference to disabled customers of Sky.

1. Offering a choice of colour schemes and font sizes for the onscreen EPG would be useful for partially sighted people.

2. An automatic onscreen indicator for availability of subtitling would be useful for someone with hearing loss.

3. A more flexible time-out period could provide someone with dexterity issues with a longer period for keying in channel numbers.

4. Make the Sky Plus live pause feature free to people with reading difficulties.

5. An audio indicator to go along side the low battery and programme reminder alerts.

A decent software engineer could probably achieve most of the above using the existing platform inside a couple of months. It is weather or not the political will exists at Sky to make these things a reality.

Making the EPG talk, clearly that is a bigger project which may require new hardware and not something anyone seriously expects over night. but we can live in hope.

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In the News

12th August 2006 • Dave

The period from the start of July until the end of August is generally known by the UK media as the silly season. This is because there are usually very few newsworthy stories into which the press and 24-hour rolling TV news channels can sink their teeth. The Summer recess of the UK parliament is the main reason why the newspapers and broadcast news is rammed with the sort of zany trivia which does not get so much as a look in throughout the rest of the year.

Perversely the biggest UK news story of 2005 was in July, and the escalating chrysies in the Middle East and the current heightened terror alert in the UK look set to be strong contenders for that unenviable title in 2006. Although this year is only two thirds over, perhaps it is unwise to provoke providence. If you believe in that sort of thing, which I general do not.

On a brighter note my recreation time this month has been extremely frivolous. Last weekend, Mr and I squandered considerable resources in attempting to drink Worcester dry. We are doing the same to Epsom this weekend in honour of the setting of the much blogged about Rising Sun pub. Next weekend sees the annual Worcester beer festival. The final weekend in August is a Bank Holiday which means we all get an extra day off work, and I get to spend time with friends in Preston.

We gave one of my colleagues from work a bit of a send off on Thursday evening. He is taking up a job with Sipco Systems. We also celebrated the birthday of our European Sales Manager who has just turned … well something’s are best left on a night out! Needless to say this being a Dolphin night out, everyone had a tremendous time.

The Plough, Cardinals Hat, Swan with two Necks can all go on my list of recommended pubs in Worcester. The Pheasant and Bushwhackers can both safely be avoided. I am still undecided about Drummonds and a few others which have not made enough of an impression on me to be able to say one way or the other

I am writing this on the train to London, and will probably post when I arrive in Epsom.

Um, 11 hours later!

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