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IBM Tool reads web video for blind – ZDNet

19th March 2007 • Dave

While the ZDNet headline may be slightly misleading, this technology from IBM certainly sounds worth checking out. If I get chance I’ll follow this up at CSUN this week.

Now it’s off to bed with me as my taxi to the airport lieves in 8 hours. Ouch!

Oh and if you’re not already reading, Dolphin have got me doing the blogging thing over at the Smart Hal mini site which is covering the progress of the newest screen reader for mobile phones! Now you’re phones really talking!

If you are heading to CSUN this week then I hope to see you there.

Nighty night.

Categories: Technology
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Taxis refusing guide dogs –

8th March 2007 • Dave

Does this shit really still go on? If a taxi was found not to have picked someone up because they were black, a woman, gay, elderly, Muslim all hell would break loose! If taken guide dogs is considered to be a reasonable adjustment in the eyes of the law why does this provision continue to be flouted?

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Sensing the Old Firm atmosphere – BBC

8th March 2007 • Dave

Ian Hamilton is a journalist for the BBC in Scotland. I met him a couple of years ago when I was producing a piece about accessible GPS in Glasgow. I am delighted Ian has written this piece for the BBC News site.

Quite a few blind people go to football matches in the UK, I used to be one of them before I got superstitious about Liverpool playing better when I was not there.

Anyway, for me the sound of the crowd, the sound of the commentary, the sound of the players shouting to each other is a vital part of the football going experience. So it was fascinating to learn about the experience of Clarke Stevens who is deaf blind.

Good stuff, keep it coming Ian.

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Guide Dog 9-11 Survivor to Retire – BusinessWire

8th March 2007 • Dave

I was moved by Michael Hingson’s keynote presentation at the American Councel of the Blind’s national convention last year in Florida. Michael’s very personal and inspirational story recounts his experience as he escaped the fall of the WTC. I had the honour to meet Michael briefly an hour or two after his address to ACB members. He struck me as an extremely genuine natural sort of chap.

Not being a guidedog user I do not have first hand experience of what must be going through your mind in the run up to the dog’s retirement. however, I have whitnessed the affect on others and it can be an emotional journey.

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Hot sauce – BBC

8th March 2007 • Dave

Dragon’s Den is compulsive viewing in this house and I watched spellbound a couple of weeks ago when Levi Roots (aka Keith) made his seemingly inept pitch to the Dragons with an acoustic guitar and a ditty about a medium to hot tomato sauce but not such a hot grasp of his financial projections. Viewers were instantly charmed by Levi’s warmth and a couple of the dragons spotted the Sauce’s marketable potential and invested in the product to the tune of £50,000!

For the past fortnight we have been speculating at work about the future of Reggae Reggae Sauce and whether or not we would be able to find somewhere we could order a bottle to try. Anyway, while I was away in Liverpool on Wednesday the world seems to have gone Reggae Reggae Sauce mad. Apparently after hearing Sainsbury’s had secured a distribution deal, yesterday lunch time two of my colleagues went skipping into the supermarket like excited children to see who would be the first to spot a bottle of the sauce. Needless to say it did not take them very long to locate and purchase a bottle of Reggae Reggae Sauce. As I walked through the door first thing this morning, yours truly was proudly presented with said bottle!

I tried Reggae Reggae Sauce at lunch time as a dip for chicken nuggets and it really is very tasty. I was expecting it to be slightly thicker and to have a shelf life longer than 5 days. My main concern is that I will be sick to death of the Reggae Reggae Sauce song long before I have had enough of the sauce itself. Apparently the track will be available from all reputable and some not so reputable download sites and could chart next week with the proceeds going to the Comic Relief appeal.

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Braille petition on Prime Minister web site

1st March 2007 • Dave

I am not entirely clear what the author (E Higgins ) expects the PM to do about this petition? I am also curious about the 27 August deadline? I suspect our Tone is more likely to be concerned about road pricing schemes, the war in Iraq and is impending retirement than whether or not a couple of thousand blind people think a couple thousand more should learn to read Braille.

The office of the Prime Minister may take us more seriously if the author had first bothered to use a spiel chucker on the “More details from petition creator” section. Maybe the spelling mistakes were intended to make their own not so subtle point about the state of literacy amongst us blinks?

Anyway, my pedantry to one side, the decline of Braille is a very serious issue and if this petition does anything at all to slow down that trend then it really must be signed. If you do nothing else before you go to bed tonight, do the decent thing.


Categories: Books, Braille
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