Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why Apple rumors are bad

March 7, 2012

Apple’s new iPad which will be announced March 7 2012 is sure to be a crowd pleaser and many people will buy it. There have been a lot of rumors surrounding this and other Apple product launches. Tech sites clammer for this information just like a baby wants to be feed. It’s utterly ridiculous if you ask me. For one you are making stuff up which is stupid. Second, your leading other people to believe and get their hopes up about the next product. Third when the next product is revealed and it doesn’t have what you thought it would your disappointed. Great example; the iPhone 4S was supposed to be called the iPhone 5, have a new design better camera all this stuff. Well, when Apple revealed the new iPhone (oh wait for it) people were disappointed. Why, easy not just because it was the same form factor as the iPhone 4 however, that’s one of the main reasons the other is that people’s expectations were shattered. In a total reversal the  iPhone 4S was a huge success selling out within twenty-four hours. Why? I’m really not sure but, people try to guess what Apple is doing STOP! It’s a vicious cycle that will kill you every single time you do it. Be happy with what they put out and don’t try to guess because then who looks like the idiot? Something to think about isn’t it?


Why Apple is not responsible for Foxconn Scandal

March 6, 2012

It’s been a while but I’m back baby! Yeah schools been keeping me in lockdown, but enough about that. I want to talk about Apple for a minute.

If you haven’t been following the news well, shame on you and if you have good job. But, for those of you who haven’t or don’t follow tech news let me fill you in. You’ve probably heard of a company called Apple. Yeah the company that makes the cool iPod Touch you are holding in your hand right now. Well, maybe holding in your hand right now. No, well oh just forget it. My point is Apple is well known for the iPod, iPhone and Mac computers. Recently however the media and tech blog and news sites in general have gotten a hold of something that is totally deciduous. Yes, it’s true that Foxconn has had some problems. Yes, Apple could do more than the bare minimum to make things better. However, I have to argue look at it this way. The people in China are living it up in Foxconn. Do your research in China and you’ll find out that most of the country is in poverty and that there is no middle class system for chinese people to even think about moving up. Foxconn gives the average chinese adult a chance at a better life. We as americans think that where they live at is bad. The living conditions are like military style and dorm room style put together. Basically you have a few people sharing a dorm. Which again to our standards of living is not the best idea situation. Again the chinese people are better off and like it there. Foxconn is a step up for a lot of chinese adults. I agree that Apple could do more than just check the situation and not just slap Foxconn managers and the chinese government on the wrist but let’s face it, Apple is going to do what they want when they want and how they want because it’s Apple, and nobody is going to tell them otherwise.

If you look at this situation from a logical perspective and get your head out of the iCloud (no pun intended) then you’ll see it’s not Apple’s responsibility to do anything about Foxconn. China’s government needs to step in and deal with the situation. Not Apple, your always going to have things that can be done with Apple products, services what have you but, for Apple to deal with something from another country? No, I’m sorry that’s the Chinese governments job not Apple’s. 

Can mainstream and specialized technology exist together?

December 31, 2011

In the world of the blind and VI we’ve been ahead of the curve for some time. It all started with the braille n’ speak a small powerful device back in the day for blind people. This device was a pda and did a lot. When I first was introduced I was hooked. Fast forward a few years 2008 when apple introduced the iPhone 3GS. This was a revolutionary device for a blind person because it was the first touch screen device. Many people including myself were skeptical and pet to our specialized cellphones. However in 2011 we saw a big shift in the blindness community as the adoption of the iPhone has been huge. There are still some people including myself that use a mixture of specialized tech for the blind and mainstream devices to get every day tasks done. Why this drives some people to argue about I will never understand. Just as an example let me give you some of my experiences. I have an iPhone 4 and a Braille Note Apex. I will use my Braille Note for reading bookshare books and materials for school. I use my iPhone primarily as a phone. When it comes time to take notes for lectures I use a digital recorder and my Braille Note. I know a few people who would argue with me on this point and say “why not just use your iPhone and a braille display?” While this is possible and practical for some, it may not be for others. Yes with a iPhone in your pocket and a Braille Note over your shoulder you are carrying two devices. However, for me its’ worth it because if I need to make an important phone call or my battery is at 50% on my phone I’d rather reserve the life of my phone. Plus you’d have to hook up the iPhone to the braille display via bluetooth and the take take some time and there is always hassle with doing that procedure. Plus with the Braille Note you get instant translation unlike the iPhone where you have to wait a few seconds for translation. There are many more reasons why I use a specialized device in conjunction with a mainstream device. I’d like to hear your thoughts on mainstream and specialized technology. You can comment and we’ll have a discussion.

Yeah we’ll help you, NOT

October 15, 2011

Ok, I’m going off the beaten path this time. I’m not going to talk about technology in this post at all. Sorry to disappoint but, recently my fiancé and I have come against some obstacles in school that have made her want to stop and me want to press on. Her decision is her own and I have accepted and admire her for that. Getting back to the purpose of this article however, for the past few months we’ve been having issues with our english professor being very rude and personal towards us. Telling us that we need to take better notes (which we have been doing all along) and that if we have questions after that we need to listen (which we do) how in the world do you expect us to do anything different? Oh, and the other day my fiancé got told that it would be easier fi she could use a mouse. Hello wake up she can’t she’s B L I N D. The substitute teacher in this case last Thursday didn’t know how to help so she just didn’t. She made a comment to her basically stating that she didn’t know how she was going to do her work if she couldn’t use a mouse and just left her alone. I’m sorry but this is unacceptable. We pay money to you to get an education and we are being thrown under the bus.
Do you know about the “disability center”? Do you know what there job is? Well, if you don’t let me give you a run down. The so called disability center is a place were you “should” get help with any problems you are having during the semester. The “job” of the disability center is to provide solutions to problems that arise and to provide an equal playing field to all people with disabilities. I’ve found out that they don’t categorize “blindness” as a separate disability. Let me tell you something it is. Blindness doesn’t need to be grouped into low vision or legal blindness. Although I could argue that legal blindness and total blindness are almost the same but, let’s not get into that right now. The point I’m trying to make is that the people at the disability centers say they’ll help however, when it comes down to it they won’t. My fiancé and I both got told that our disability director mind you “was not going to get in the middle.” Well, sorry to bust your bubble Mr. Disability director it’s your freaking JOB. And another thing are some people just idiots when it comes to blindness? Do they not care? Or is it that people who are “trained”don’t give a rats butt? So, here is what’s going to happen and thank God for organizations for the blind. If you haven’t guessed by now, that’s what we are going to do. We are going to get the NFB involved. I must say that I had concerns about doing this. As of now, personally I want the NFB to get involved. If you look at why “blind” and I’m talking legal and total drop out of college, it’s because they don’t have the support of the organizations that fund them and that the disability centers don’t care. Sure, they’ll fight tooth and nail if you have somebody with you to help. But, take the help away and leave a blind person to their own defenses or, in our case leave an engaged blind couple to their defenses and by bye help.
I’m not trying to discourage anybody from going to school. I’m just warning you that your going to face people being idiots and not wanting to help. Your going to have to demand and in some cases threaten with legal and the NFB or your favorite blindness organization to get stuff done. It can be done and my mission is to make the people who are making it even harder see that a blind person can succeed in pursuing a higher level or learning.

The Walled Garden

June 24, 2011

In the latest Tech chat from Serotalk, Mike Calvo expressed an annoyance for the “walled garden”.

Here is what I have to say about it.

Android 2.1 2.2 and 2.3 were frangmented. What’s fragmented mean? Well it means that the OS source code was given out by google and then developers were able to do whatever they wanted to it. Google decided in HoneyComb the latest verson of the android software to keep the OS closed. People were up in arms about this and it made all the major tech blogs around the net. No more source code or very little would be let out. This isn’t a bad thing Google relized to have a good operating system they needed to make some people made and take control of their operating system. Much in the way Apple does with IOS and MAC OSX. This isn’t a bad thing to me, because the OS isn’t be fragmented anymore and updates can be pushed across all devices not just devices the carrier and developer decide to push out updates too. It also makes it easier for blind people to use it because there are not all of these inaccessible skins over the OS. So, that means that it can be made more accessible which is good and great!

What do you think?


June 9, 2011

Guys I know I haven’t been writing much on this blog and I apologize for that. I’ve had to gert school stuff ready and there hasn’t been a lot to talk about lately. Well, now I’m going to start a new series of posts on Apple’s keynote address at WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference). I will be talking about IOS 5 Mac OS X Lion and ICloud. I will be also doing a series of posts on being a first time back user and using the screen reader onboard the machine. I will also go through different apps that I find accessible and give you a full rundown of them. This is all new coming up and I hope you guys will enjoy the posts. So, please stay tuned for those and more from SAA.


Android vs. iPhone

May 14, 2011

After about a whole week to look at my friend’s android powerd device, I’ve got a lot of things to say about it. First of all it’s not like the iPhone so don’t expect to have everything done for you. Also don’t expect for your android phone to automatically get updates. Many different carriers are now sporting android devices with verizon being number one in this space. But, as far as accessibility goes there’s a big difference. One of the biggest things I noticed is that the android platform is not as intuitive as the iPhone. What I mean by this is you know that on the iPhone you can take four fingers and hit the top of the screen and that will take you to the top of your window. On any android device that’s not the case. Also when you are on an item on the iPhone you can double tap anywhere and the iPhone will preform that action. Android doesn’t allow for this which was one of the hardest things for me to master. E-mail and web browsing on the iPhone are great experiences to say the least. Not so on the android devices, browsing the web and e-mailing are not capable well at least web browsing. To get a good browsing and e-mail experience you have to buy a seperate application that is a screen reader and a suite of mobile applications, which is $79. To me it was very expensive when the iPhone already has this feature built in. There is a screen reader that you can purchase for free, it works great but it’s not as good as the iPhone screen reader. The build quality of the device I got to look at was a good build with a slide out keyboard. I really liked this feature and wish that it would come as an option with the iPhone, although the on screen keyboard does an excellent job for short text messages and short emails. If you need to do a lot of typing for emails and taking notes possibly, you’ll want to get a better keyboard. Maybe even a Bluetooth keyboard from apple or even a third party one. The notification system was awesome. It’s not as noisy as the ios notification system. Overall, I enjoy my iPhone and prefer it over any android device. There has to be a lot more done with an android device. It’s just not for me. I’m not saying that the android platform is bad it’s just not for me. I would suggest that if you are in the market for a new phone check both android and iPhone out. They are good alternatives if you are looking for a new phone.

Google Chrome

May 13, 2011

I just downloaded Google’s so called fast browser. I’ve only had it for a few minutes but I wanted to give my take on it. Boy is it fast. I really enjoy it. I really do. As a legally blind person using a mixture of screen reading technology and magnification I find that the magnification works really well. I use Zoomtext from AI Squared and it works perfectly whether I’m using Firefox, IE, or Chrome. I also use JAWS. JAWS is a screen reading program that converts what a sighted person would see into synthesized speech. Unfortunately JAWS doesn’t work with Chrome. However, a free screen reader called NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) quite ironically works. Why is that? I have no idea but, it does. There are some problems however that present themselves when using NVDA with Chrome. When going on to and hitting (b) for button the screen reader won’t read the labels on the buttons. This is quite annoying to say the least. But, overall it’s a fast browser and I enjoy it.

Mainstream and Specialized Technology

May 3, 2011

Life has gotten in the way. While life has been getting in the way I’ve had some time to thing about what my next blog psot was going to be about. Well, I’ve got the next thing. You will see from the title what it’s going to be about apparently. So, here it goes. Adaptive technology has been around for a long time. Before the first pda for sighted users came out blind people got there hands on a braille n” speak. I did get this and used it for a long time. The reason why this was a big deal was because a tradional braille writer was heavy, bulky, and LOUD. Very Very Very LOUD. So, when this device came out a lot of people flocked to it. I didn’t have to have a lot of braille paper with notes for school in different folders and then have those folders labeled. This little device cleared all that up. No more paper to sort through just files. I loved it. At this time I was learning to use a computer and loved that as well. But, there was nothing as powerful to me as having a note taker in my hand that was small and I was able to listen to what the teacher had tos ay and also take notes at the same time without having to apologize for my braille writer being loud. Technology has advanced over the years I’ve gotten smarter. Well at least I think I have… and adaptive technology has gotten better. No longer do you need a laptop to do all your word processing on you can have a specialized noe taker. The only disadvantage is that agencies for the blind have to buy them why?? They are expensive the braillenote Apex which is one of the if not the leading note takers for the blind costs $7,000. That’s right that much. The reason? Blind people are a small part of this world. Apple wasn’t ever popular when I was growing up. I only knew windows. Now, that I’m older and a young adult apple has entered the blindness playing field as we’ll call it. Offering everyday devices for the blind. The iphone and the ipad along with their line of laptop and desktop computers. You see, in the windows side of things a list of folders that a sighted person would see is called a “tree view” in the blindness community. So, when you are trying to talk to someone who is sighted about windows your terminology is different espically if you’ve been blind since birth. Apple has since changed that, I’m not saying that apple doesn’t have it’s faults nor am I saying that windows is better. All I’m saying is that we now have choice. Apple can improve in this writers opinion in order to keep up with the screen readers of today like JAWS the leading screen reader and window eyes. But, they do have a shot. Apple has leveled the playing field by providing a solution where sighted and blind mac, iphone, ipad, and ipod touch users can talk about the platform and get things done. A source list in OS X or OS 10 for the blind is also known as a source list to the sighted apple user as well. I see mainstream taking over adaptive. I don’t say this lightly, adaptive equipment does do some things that mainstream will never be able to duplicate but with the prices being compeditive there’s no denying that mainstream will catch up. Adaptive tech will always have it’s own community of people and place in the tech industry, and yes some people will use a mix of adaptive and mainstream devices like myself. But, mainstream is getting better and faster and blowing adaptive tech out of the water.

The Yeti is for Real!

April 12, 2011

What is the Blue Yeti?

The Blue yeti is the latest microphone in a line of usb microphones. It’s pretty big and you need a lot of room for this microphone to sit. It’s retail price is $149 but I found it on amazon for $99. The yeti offers a wide range of patterns and unparelleled recording environments. I really enjoy this microphone.

What does it offer?

The blue yeti offers a wide range of patterns for recording anything. There are 4 microphone patterns. (Omnidirectional, bidirectional, stereo, and cardiod). The difference between bidirectional and cardiod is that bidirectional sounds more bassy. Stereo is nice for interviewing and recording music. Omnidirectional gives you the whole range of the mic and picks up everything you do. This mode is good if you are recording a whole bunch of people or in my case demoing the iphone. The manual is well written out and gives a good detailed look about the different patterns and what you can do.

The Pros

The blue yeti has a lot of buttons on the fromt you have a mute switch and volume control around the back you see a gain knob and the pattern selector. On the button you will see the usb connector and a full size microphone thread for mounting on mic stand. You also have a headphone jack that provides no latancy monitoring in real time. I love this feature a lot and also the mute switch.

The Cons

There are really only two cons of the blue yeti. It’s really heavy so don’t be thinking your going to be putting this into your backpack and carrying it around. The second thing is that when you want to mount this mic onto a microphone stand you have to twist the knobs at either end of the mic that hold the included steady stand in place. This is hard to do, so, if you don’t need to do it then don’t.

Overall I love this microphone for the price. I rarely use my xlr microphones and mixer anymore because of this microphone. I think it was a good buy and there are a lot of reviews online and a lot of demos if this microphone on youtube.

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