Items tagged with Blind

Just over a month ago, we brought you the amazing story of Les Baugh, a Colorado man that spent 40 years as a shoulder-level double amputee as a result of an electrical accident. Through the help of two Modular Prosthetic Limbs, Baugh was able to perform tasks that many of us take for granted like moving his “bionic” arms and fingers, and lifting/grasping objects. That story hit me right in the gut, and we have another heart-warming story for you today — this one involves former U.S. Air Force Veteran Mark Cornell, who has been legally blind for the past 20 years. Cornell, who serves as the President... Read more...
Technology is a wonderful thing, particularly when it's used to advance the lives of those who would otherwise never be able to enjoy it. Over the years, much has been done to increase the joy in the lives of those who are visually impaired. Screen readers, Braille devices, and even apps have been designed to enable the blind to enjoy certain aspects of technology in much the same way as those with normal vision. Now, colleagues at UC Santa Cruz have come up with a new smartphone program that helps blind users take excellent photographs. The program was built around solutions that were asked for... Read more...
Sometimes, technology takes the lead in a story, and consumerism falls to nothing. We love stories like that, where technology does more than just reap benefits for a profitable company, but actually goes a long way in improving lives. Georgia Tech has been working up a technological solution to a commonly felt problem, and it's one that we're sure the creators couldn't be more proud of. Researchers at the university have built a prototype app for touch-screen mobile devices that is vying to be a complete solution for texting without the need to look at a mobile gadget's screen. In theory, it should... Read more...
Comedians often make cracks at banks for including Braille on drive-through ATMs (there are number of valid reasons why they do this), but given the progress made by researchers at The National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Tech, don't assume that the driver in front of you isn't actually visually impaired. While it may seem an unlikely scenario, the researchers are ever closer to developing a car for the blind, and in fact plan to demonstrate a prototype vehicle next year that will help those who can't see be able to drive. That's because it will come equipped with technology called "nonvisual... Read more...
The first thing that popped to mind when Amazon issued its Kindle DX was this: textbooks! The size makes it perfect for using in place of those dusty old books, and we're guessing that most students would much rather lug around a single electronic device versus a sack full of heavy books that they'll only read a page or two from in any given class (after class is another story, right kids?). But it seems as if not everyone is too keen on the Kindle DX replacing the textbook, and the National Federation of the Blind has today come forward to bring some attention to the matter. Both the University... Read more...
The Reading Rights Coalition, an advocacy group that represents the blind as well as disabled readers, held a protest outside the offices of The Authors Guild on Tuesday. The organization hopes to get the Guild to reverse its stance on the Kindle 2's "Read-to-Me" functionality. The Authors Guild earlier placed a lot of pressure on Amazon.com over the Kindle 2's "Read-to-Me" feature, which it claimed infringed on the rights of authors by providing a unauthorized audiobook version of a book on the device. Amazon.com eventually caved into their demands. "Read-to-Me" is a text-to-speech feature, but... Read more...
How about a 80, 160, 320 or 640Gig NAND Flash drive on PCI Express card?  Sounds interesting, right?  What if we told you such a product could hit an amazing 800MB/sec sustained data rate?  OK, so it's an expensive Enterprise SAN type product but great oogly-moogly!  That's some blinding speed.  Salt Lake's Fusion-io is poised to release such a product to market.  "The ioDrive™ is the industry's first, NAND based enterprise storage solution that provides access rates comparable to DRAM with storage capacity on par with disks — being able to improve both memory capacity and storage... Read more...
When we talk about the horseraces between manufacturers of electronics, we generally only need to concern ourselves with how each one uses the features and pricing of their wonderful shiny toys to get us to whip out our credit cards. One thing we haven't dealt with for a while is a real live shortage of any fundamental component for anything electronic. But Digitimes reports that there's a shortage on the horizon of one of the most fundamental building blocks of many forms of gadgets: DVD pick-up heads. Matsushita Electric Industrial, Sanyo Electric and Sankyo Seiki are the world's major... Read more...
The essential difference between Microsoft and Apple as corporate entities with wildly differing worldviews is being highlighted by the release of Apple's Safari browser for use on Windows machines. Some new users report that they have trouble reading the text on a Safari presented page. No, Safari didn't make you go blind; although eventually maybe it might, who knows? The true reason it looks fuzzy to the average Windows user is that it is. Apple has always had blurrier, more indistinct text on the screen --by design. The difference originates from Apple's legacy in desktop publishing... Read more...
If you're blind and have been missing out on the joys of Mr. Bean or The Three Stooges, then IBM has something to show you: a new narration technology that reads metadata and tells users what's happening on a compatible video clip. Nyuck-nyuuck! "The tool, which works with Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Mozilla's Firefox Web browser, is designed to handle any file that is embedded in a Web site, including Adobe Flash or Windows Media files. "Just because someone is blind, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be enjoying YouTube or MySpace... Read more...
Some of you may have not even thought about it, but the internet is used by many blind folks each day. Special software that has been developed is able to verbalize what most of us are able to see on the screen. Target's site however, isn't able to work properly with the software, and as MSNBC reports, now finds itself the target of a lawsuit filed by the NFB. "Last month a federal judge in California allowed the NFB's case to proceed, rejecting Target's argument that its Web site wasn't subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act,... Read more...