Echo location. Two very common words among those of us who rely on our ears to get around. In fact, one particularly ambitious individual created an entire technique and class devoted to the idea. There are even devices which attempt to capitalize on sound in order to provide cane travellers with more detailed information about objects, such as overhead obstacles, ledges, and that sort of thing. But what if, given the right technology, we could take echo location even further and expand our ears, so to speak.
In the world of VOIP (Voice Over IP) communication, apps abound which provide you with many functions and features for good voice communication. Some of these are straight forward, used for simplicity like Skype. Others, such as Ventrilo, TeamSpeak and TeamTalk offer a more flexible approach, with servers and channels that people use to attain higher depths in voice quality.
The Computer Dilemma
There is not a doubt that although Apple is fantastic for providing out of box accessibility with computers, Macs have a tendency to be excessively expensive, especially if raw power is the desired trait of the machine. I was faced with this conundrum when about a month ago, I realized that my MacBook Air was getting quite old, and because of additional complications such as internal parts not working, I decided that it would just be best to get a new computer. My potential Mac was going to have to be able to handle a heavy workload, as I do a lot of audio editing and music making, but the main problem that I was having was that to get a computer that would meet my needs, I would be forced to fork over almost 2500 Canadian dollars. Once I retrieved my jaw from the floor, it was time to look for a solution. Many friends and colleagues voiced their opinions that if I wanted a powerful computer, and didn’t want to drain my bank account, I would be best served by getting a Windows based machine. Although I am capable of using Windows, I prefer the mac for a wide number of reasons, the main one being that for education and research, I feel that VoiceOver handles web browsing and word processing better. Yes, it is true that VoiceOver has issues with web applications, and Microsoft Word is a mess for the Mac, but if I really need to, I can just install the Windows operating system using Bootcamp which will run much better than a so called “Hackintosh,” which is OS X running on a Windows computer. All this aside, the point still stood; I needed to find a way to get a powerful MacBook, while balancing my budget.
I Recently wrote about the Apple TV’s rise to market and how it’s fueling the next generation of living rooms. Because we love all technology products here at Cool Blind Tech, it wouldn’t be fair to provide just one line of thought to low-cost computing. By all means, the Apple TV fits this term as well, though with very limited platform capabilities combined with an ARM processor.
In the world of living room entertainment, options abound. It didn’t used to be this way. Up until the rise of internet-based video streaming, living room experiences were largely uniform with basic TV and cable channels, perhaps sometimes with on-demand DVR recording and playback. Those who wanted a computer or media-center type experience were enthusiasts only, ready to tinker with TV Tuner cards and various software packages just to get something other than cable television streaming in their living room.
No doubt the word phablet has entered every day vocabulary among the general population. The larger screen allows not only for more precise on-screen navigation, but also provides an opportunity for more content and video to be viewed.
In this podcast, Justin goes over the Speedtest.net app for iOS. He explains what it is used for, how it is useful in real world applications, and demonstrates how to proficiently navigate the application.
Since the release of Windows 10, people have critiqued the operating system on numerous fronts for privacy concerns and general bugs. While our impression of the OS was certainly better than that of Windows 8, it had glaring accessibility concerns. I will state this up front, within the first paragraph of this article: This first Windows 10 update offers no new major accessibility improvements. To recap the glaring problems in accessibility still present from that first fabled launch day: