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snippits of tech from new zealand

This is another article I hope to contribute major things to here.
Stay tuned for a major project post.

Hi all Tom here ? delivering the snippets to you this week

One IT nasty that I personally find annoying, and not just for
accessibility, is
the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart
or as we know it CAPTCHA. While some provide audio we all know that they can
still be a bit of a pain to use. So I thought I’d take a look to see
what can be
done about it. Firstly, the web consortium provides clear guidelines
as part of
their accessibility guidelines on how CAPTCHA should be used ? the
detail is all
here in its glory http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#text-equiv . Also,
the people at
www.captcha.net (the official CAPTCHA website) have accessibility as one of
their main (I want to say selling?) points. At this site you can get the code
for free that you need for your online shop of whatever, so it might
be a place
to direct people if you spot an inaccessible CAPTCHA. Finally, and
what started
this snippet was, an interesting article on CAPTCHA alternatives. My
favorite is
a checkbox that states ‘uncheck if you are human’ ? read the article here at
The latest AccessWorld from AFB includes an interesting article about the
accessibility of the latest offering from Google ? the Ice Cream
Sandwich OS for
Android devices. It’s a pretty good review including set up, calling
and using a
few apps. While they claim it’s a “mixed bag” access wise, it’s certainly
improved. But the interesting statement is “it is still not close to reaching
the level of accessibility and usability found in the Apple iPhone.” Worth a
look for resources and links,

The following two snippets were taking from the World Blind Union ? E
notice. I
took a closer look at these two to see what I could find out.

The heading read “The Swiss Federation of the Blind has launched a GPS app for
smartphones; the “lite” version is free.” Well, on closer inspection the link
takes you to the iTunes store – so it’s iPhone app only. Only one
review so far
that states “it’s a good start, but a bit confusing”. The Applevis
website goes
further to say it supposedly works like loadstone, so you would have
to enter in
your own points of interest. Currently it can only be used for walking ? no
option for vehicles.

The next heading that took my interest was “A new app called Braille Touch
allows typing text on a phone without the need to look at the keys”.
The system
works by having six spots on the screen that correspond with the dots in a
braille cell. You hold you phone in landscape, with the screen facing
away from
you, so you can grip the phone with your palms while your fingertips
do all the
work. Strangely, the promotional material is more “text people
without looking”
rather than we have made app for braille input. Nevertheless, it
appears to be a
nice solution to inputting text and pretty straight forward to use. But as the
YouTube video suggests, it is not a solution for texting and driving.
They start
explaining that it has something to do with overloading neurons in
the brain. I
thought it would be to do with not having hands on the steering
wheel. Read more
at http://www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?nid=110051

Bit of a survey this week ? Tiny URL’s. This week I have included the links in
full, my thinking is that it gives you some idea of where you a
going. However,
they can get a bit long and of course bit awkward when read out on TIS. So we
are bit undecided. So what do you think? Should we use short URLS or keep then

‘Innovations Snippets’ are short items of interest to the AT Community brought
to you by the RNZFB Innovation and Development Team. Please share with others
by forwarding this mail or at TIS option 3-2-5. Please share your experiences
and ideas for further snippets on ATIG or by sending an email to

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snippits of tech from new zealand was released on March 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm by crashmaster in general-updates-and-announcements.
Last modified: March 28, 2012.

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