Saturday, 30 April 2016

Talking Tech for April 26 2016

New Gadget for Me: Heart Beat Monitor


Wanted something more direct to check my heart beat rather than using the Apple watch.

Microsoft Office 2016 Accessibility Comments


Just started using Microsoft Office 365 Microsoft Outlook in particular for the Mac and it is amazing what Microsoft has done for accessibility.


In some ways, finding using Outlook on the Mac a nicer experience than using Outlook in Windows.


Netflix Agrees to Offer More Audio Description on More Titles


Good to see a soon increase in audio described content from Netflix. 

AFB AccessWorld for April 2016


CSUN 2016 update, and an interview from me. 

NVAccess Releases Official Training Material for NVDA


Cost is $33.00 but you can get sample chapters to try it out from the webpage.


I really do find all these different ways of using specific screen reading commands to read a bit overwhelming, most of the time I just use the standard keys for navigation and don’t get to caught up in screen reading navigation except for webpages. 

Audible's Channels offer short audio programs for members


These are free books that you can listen to across a whole range of categories.  You will find the channel tab at the bottom of the app screen with the other tabs. 

How To Get Your eBook to Read (iBook or Kindle) When your iPhone Screen is Locked


This is a nifty feature of getting iOS to speak and scroll the screen in an iBook or Kindle book and have your iOS device locked at the same time.  Simply use Speak Screen in Settings, General, Accessibility, Speech: once the screen/book is reading, lock your screen.  My demo link follows. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Talking TEch for April 19 2016

A Great Episode of the Tech Doctor Podcast: Celebrating 40 years of Apple


From the Tech Doctor Blog page re this episode:


We were fortunate to have author and Mac journalist, Shelly Brisbin join us. Shelly started using the Mac in 1986. She brought us a very unique perspective as a technical writer, publisher and low-vision Mac user.

With around 400 instructional podcasts under his belt, David Woodbridge is arguably the most prolific Apple accessibility podcaster. We all learn from the excellent podcasts that David produces.

Larry Skutchan harnessed the power of the Apple II in 1983 when he wrote one of the first fully accessible talking word processors. We introduce this podcast by playing a sample of the Echo II speech synthesizer which Larry’s word processor used to speak the text that was on the Apple’s screen. Larry went on to write a very popular terminal program for the Apple II. ProTerm enabled us to access such popular online services as GEnie, CompuServe and hundreds of BBS systems. Larry went on to write a very popular screen reader for DOS called ASAP.

At present, Larry is the Director of Technology Product Research at the American Foundation for the Blind.


The link to the Tech Doctor Episode 40 years of Apple is:


From Info Sound: Cobolt’s talking Microwave and Talking Combination Oven


Now if only these devices were available in Australia. 

Microsoft is Putting Windows 10 and Cortana at the Centre of Smart Homes


Great to see that all major organisations are putting a lot of effort in to the connected home and internet of things. 

FAceBook Adds Alt Text to Photos


This works straight off the bat as it were: i.e. go through your time line and receive a description of a photo.  For example a camping photo may have Alt-Text like “Water, Sky, people outdoor”. 

Talkback Public Beta 4.5 soon Released with Enhanced Web Support


Not quite out yet, but great to see upcoming improvements in web navigation. 

Audible's Channels offer short audio programs for members


These are free books that you can listen to across a whole range of categories.  You will find the channel tab at the bottom of the app screen with the other tabs. 

How To Get Your eBook to Read (iBook or Kindle) When your iPhone Screen is Locked


This is a nifty feature of getting iOS to speak and scroll the screen in an iBook or Kindle book and have your iOS device locked at the same time. 

Only Just Recently Discovered This: Using Siri to Call Emergency Services in Australia


You can now say to Siri “Call Triple Zero, and Siri will respond calling emergency services in 5 seconds.


Giving Feedback to the ABC iView Trial for Audio Description


If you have not yet given feedback to the ABC iView trial, please use this link to give your feedback.

Talking Tech for April 12 2016

Google Releases App To Test Accessibility


When I was talking about CSUN last week, I didn’t get to mention the Accessibility Scanner from Google to test app accessibility. 

In Other Google News: BETA of Voice Access


Control your Android device via your voice: navigate, activate items on screen, and dictate. 

Access World for March 2016


Two articles of interest that caught my attention: ATIA conference highlights, and NvDA Remote overview.


In particular from ATIA: The I.D. Mate Bar Code Scanner, and the Orcam makes another appearance. 

For Star Wars Fans


Star Wars: the Force Awakens is now available in iTunes with audio description.


Caption Bot AI from Microsoft To Describe Any Image 

Microsoft Cognitive Services Seeing AI app 

Night Shift Mode


Help you sleep better.  In iOS 9.3 it is referred to as Night Shift, and in Fire OS 5 Amazon has named it Blue Shade. 

How to Get Access to Free Radio Dramas on the Internet

Monday, 4 April 2016

Talking Tech for April 5 2016

Happy Birthday Apple: 40 Years And Still Going Strong


Bloomberg, CNBC, Associated Press, The Verge, and others reflect on the first 40 years of Apple which is now "at the top of its game” and pay tribute to the company’s humble beginnings in a garage to an industry leader with over 100,000 employees and a "string of culture-defining products.”

  • CNBC shows where the company is today by the numbers calling out one billion active Apple devices around the world, 11 million Apple developers, and that the company is responsible for 2 million jobs in the U.S. alone and over 4 million in China. 
  • Stories call out the company’s mission to change the world and that the "fundamental notion — that technology should enable culture — has remained a core piece of Apple’s mission.” 
  • Walt Mossberg shares his favorite product moments commenting, “The iPod is what made Apple begin to explode and become the Apple that now, on their 40th anniversary, we know of as this highly innovative, highly intriguing, hugely influential tech company.” 
  • While many use the moment as a time to look back, stories also look forward commenting, "Even after Jobs’ death, Apple isn’t sitting still.” Bloomberg focuses on “Tim Cook’s Apple” stating that "None of the genius that is attributed Steve Jobs would have ever been able to happened without the supply chain Tim Cook built." 

International coverage is widespread and positive, focusing on the key products and milestones that “changed the world.” Many feature historical product and employee picture galleries, and highlight that after 40 years "Apple remains a company that is both unique and admired” with products that continue to command "a cult-like following.” Looking at where the company is today Japan’s My Navi News states, "True innovation requires consideration for everything. Apple believes it, executes it, and is trying to open up a future for us by fulfilling its responsibilities as an enterprise.” China’s Qdaily calls Apple’s first 40-year “a unbelievable mystery in tech industry”  and IT home note, “Apple is continuing Job’s legacy under Tim’s lead.”  


Key Apple software and hardware that I used with Apple over the last 30 or so years have Included:

The following first two Apple computers I used were with the Echo Speech Synthesiser:


Apple II+

Two Apple IIE’s,


The next 5 Apple computers were used with Outspoken for the Mac:

Mac Se,

Mac LC 475 and 525,

Power Book,

Power Mac,


quite a long wait until using VoiceOver with OS X which became available with 10.4 Tiger:

 Mac mini.

After VoiceOver on Mac in 2005, the flood gates continued to open after 2009 with:

 iPod nano and iPod shuffles with speech taken from the Mac/Windows PC,


Then, VoiceOver in all its glory on:


iPod touch’s,


iMacs, Mac airs, and Macbook prose,

Apple TVS, and of course,

The Apple watch.


Apple Accessibility Line Now Available In Australia


There is now an Apple Accessibility line that you can call to get your questions answered on accessibility issues to do with Apple products 7 days a week 24 hours a day.


1300 365 083


Posted my 400th official podcast


Just to let all know that I have now posted my 400th podcast,and feeling quite please about the effort.


You can subscribe to my podcast (iSee) in iTunes or at the feed:


Or go to my web site at: