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You are here: May 2019

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Dropbox increasing space, raising the price

Hello folks,

I saw an official looking email this morning that indicated some changes to the dropbox plus service that we are paying for.

• Double your storage —save everything with 2 TB (2,000 GB).
• World-class sync technology —move out-of-date files off your computer’s hard drive and to the cloud with Dropbox Smart Sync.
• Dropbox Rewind —roll back accidental changes to any folder, or your entire account, up to 30 days.
list end

This is all for just $2.00 more a month. Or you can always save by switching from monthly to yearly billing.

This is great news, I will see what the rewind feature is, that could come in handy I think. I can confirm that I have been increased as I launched dropbox, and it did say that my space was increased.

Go to the dropbox plans page to learn more about their various plans and feature set.

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Philmore Productions blocking whole area codes

It has come to my attention that Philmore Productions customer service is now blocking full blown area codes from accessing the platform. On May 30th, a customer notified me of this issue through another contact method. They were once able to access the system, but now has to access the system a different way through a completely different app.

We’ve talked about Philmore Productions in a negative light before, and I’d rather talk about Philmore in a great light. The problem is, that Philmore Productions and their customer service team doesn’t know how to do things the right way. You don’t block full area codes, and you don’t just block just because. Customers from the same area are now going to be effected by their foolishness. This is outright terrible, and anyone who does not like this behavior should cancel service immediately.

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The Capital one app is broken

Hi all,

I intend to do this, but the capital one app for checking your balance and available credit for credit card users is broken.

  • Open the app and sign in.
  • Double tap your credit card, I.E. Visa $811
  • At the top, it should have your available credit and your running balance

Here, the app just says that there is possible text, and it doesn’t say anything else. Double tapping on the available text notice takes you to the bottom of the app where you can get help including getting at your credit card number, and other help and self service options.

I’ll demo this briefly on the next available podcast, but this is a step backwards for Capital One. My intent is to contact them about this issue, and this is in the latest version found on the store.

I’d like to thank someone who alerted me over the phone to this issue. I normally don’t look every day at my available crdit, but I do check on my running balance and I can see that on the main screen after log in after the main page.

Please let me know if you’re experiencing the same issue, or what is happening on your end.

Thanks for reading!

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technology podcast 316 is now available!

The Tech podcast which is number 316 in my series is now out. We Transfer RSS and mixcloud have the files. Below, please find the show notes.

Hello folks, welcome to the tech podcast, podcast 316. On this podcast, we cover We Transfer. This is a service that was used to deliver files to me, and I actually like its interface. If it is right, I could see myself paying for it, but right now, I don’t need to do that. I talk about this service and what it has to offer. Next Braille 2000 V2.274 take 2: we’re getting better is the accompanying article and I talk about a new menu that will appear once the talking edition becomes available to the general public hopefully very soon. The beta can now be recommended, and you should contact Bob to get your copy. Finally, Krebs on Security is here with an article A Tough Week for IP Address Scammers is discussed. I hope you enjoy the program as much as I have, and thanks so much for listening to the program!

The opinions expressed are those of the show notes, and may not necessarily represent the companies in which they represent.

See you next time!

Thanks for listening!

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Braille 2000 V2.274 take 2: we’re getting better

Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of the blog, this time, a much improved Braille 2000. NVDA users, you’ll be in luck, I think we’ve got the speech the way i think we need it. You can turn on telling options to read lines, paragraphs, etc. and they actually do as they’re supposed to do. For you as an NVDA user, I could say that you can do some editing with the speech controls, I.E. in braille view, removing characters if you make a mistake, but this is done with the constant press of arrow keys. I’ve successfully looked at a lot of the issues I’ve reported, and it is working pretty well.

One thing that we’re adding, is speed braille keys accessibility whereby if you didn’t have the pause key, we now can have our own key which is alt+x to stop the recording process. I’ve set up three of them, one to read the paragraph, one to tell me the line, page, and cell positioning of the file, and one just for the line.

Jaws and NVDA give different results when going through the speed braille keys setup process. Jaws will read the field in which you are to define the key, I.E. f1. NVDA will read the entire dialogue box. NVDA also reads the entire edit box for describing the macro, and the box that tells you you’re ready to go. JFW seems to have mixed results, only fully reading the ready to record dialogue box itself. NVDA and JFW somewhat read the final box by itself, although once you tab to the radio buttons that ask for file or system specific, NVDA will read the accompanying text, whereby JFW reads only the radio buttons.

The way this dialogue is configured, according to Bob, is a set of static text, with the controls for the key to be used, description, and the like. He did a cursory lookup on why static text wasn’t reading, and things came up that he’s not too clear on, although I did tell him about the third dialogue being a read only whereby, I was using my arrow keys to read the text.

By default, speech will tell you the version of braille 2000 is running, and then it won’t talk without you asking it to. You can change this in the speech voice submenu portion of the program. You can also adjust some main settings in speech, engine settings, or adjust speech. If you turn on telling for example, it’ll tell you that its on, and its settings are used, i.e. word, paragraph, cell, and even where am I settings can be set. This is a big step forward and definitely a welcome change.

One of the bugs I’ve experienced is also fixed, where it didn’t maximize itself by default. The program definitely does a lot better maximized, and I’m glad Bob was able to fix this, as we need the window maximized by default to get the best value.

I am confident that the speech component as an assistant will be valuable no matter what reader you use. For example, the read command will act like the read to end options in both screen readers. By default, it uses the SAPI voices installed on your computer. I’ve got the two that comes with windows 10, but you may have others that are available to you. The new speech settings dialogue box has a multitude of options to set what you want speaking, the voice, and even the speed.

One of the highlights which I just tested deal with the speaking of keyboard events. In 6 key entry, Bob has given it the treatment of inside information. If you hit 5-6, it says its a grade 1 indicator. It won’t do back translation in this mode, just what you type. I could see that very valuable when using 6 key entry.

The speech does not read simulated braille, generated from wordpad or another program that you need to use to simulate braille. Simulated braille was used heavily for assignment 14, which isn’t even ready yet. It was typed out, but a lot still needs to be done before I can see a first draft to determine if I’ve done it correctly. That is because I used the RTF importer which can import simulated braille, but no screen reader can read it because it only appears in the text. It won’t even read it in braille view either, but I’m sure that can be worked on. A hardcopy or BRF may need to be gotten to get this to work for now. I’m not overly concerned about it for the moment, the speech options are working for straight text, and math improvements are coming soon.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Bob (Robert) Stepp through the braille 2000 web site. You can learn more about Braille 2000, download a demo of the 2.273 release, read the literature, a guide for how to get braille 2000 to work in full screen mode, and more. To contact me, please use my web site. and select the contact and bug reporting form.

I’m sure when 2.275 is released, we’ll have a great release for all! Thanks for reading!

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Podcast 315 update

Hi all,

After doing some thinking after sending an email to Anchor, I tried something which allowed me to log in and get the podcast on the RSS feed for everyone. While the wetransfer link is still good, people are now able to get the podcast through RSS. Mixcloud and I need to date to determine where I am uploading, because i stopped using it for some reason. I want to be able to provide people options, and Mixcloud is one. I will do that soon, and it will also be updated accordingly. Thanks for your continued support. I hope to be back real soon with another podcast.

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Tech podcast 315

Due to a technical error, the RSS feed seems to not allow me to log in to upload. We’re working on it. This we transfer link is a link to a 7 day download of the podcast which includes the show notes along with it. We’re covering a lot for this podcast, so why not get your copy?

I’ve already got an email in to anchor to find out why I can’t log in. My other account is also effected, and I even cleared history and cookies with no results. Thanks for your continued support.

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Windows 10 1903

Hi all.
Well its about time this goes up.
So the update came out yesterday a few things to note.
In some systems I updated, system restore was turned off and needs to be turned back on.
In all systems after first boot the system was in a weird locked up mode and needed to be turned off then back on again.
After updating, entering a folder may not show its contents, if you are in a tree of folders on any drive, hit down arrow once and enter and open something up then it should display.
In some cases, I have found folders not viewing or displaying right tab and shift tab a couple times and they will appear.
The downloads history pain sucks, tab about the view ribbon and you should be able to sort things by all sorts of things, select the option none and most of that will be gone.
Everything else seems to work though the system seems to have a few fan spikes from time to time especially at startup.
All apps or a great load of them for ms are updated in store including store itself.
When updating, always download the media creation tool, run it, make a drive, and then
run the setup, select to not download updates as this seems to cause the program to lock itself waiting for a responce from the server, interestingly you can happily do this at normal speeds from ms own servers after you update.
Running windows upgrade assistant will eventually cause a slow down and then eventual lock up of the program at 99%.
For now and until they fix it, updating due to issues with setting up from a usb stick may cause the installer to switch all drives around so right now it won’t even try to even run when you have a drive inserted.
Instead make a folder on a drive in the system call it esd, copy the contents of your drive to esd run setup with the drive or drives out of the system and it will run.
On newer installs of the os windows will now have a reserved storage option enabled, which is supposed to be used by windows itself for better performance with updates and junk files.
It can be as much as 7gb of space, and windows says it could be bigger so in a worse case scenario windows could take over your drive and get rid of anything it needs for itself.
Even if it doesn’t after 1809 I wouldn’t put it past the os to delete all drives and make them windows reserved for itself if it wanted.
So go here

How to disable ‘Reserved Storage’ on Windows 10

Look at the keys mentioned and make sure that thing is off.
Remember, if you like me use winamp as your chip player and adlib and had to reassociated msc files with mmc.exe before, you will find that .msc files are unknown to the os because of the way we sort of forced windows to be.
Load regedit, and search for mmc.exe
tab once to the tree view, find the do not open key and delete it.
Then you should be able to associate mmc.exe with msc files and be done with that remember not to associate winamp with msc files.
If you have msc files which are media, open them inside the player.
Until I hear back from its makers assuming my mail does get read, ribbon disabler is disabled and just won’t work.
So you will have to deal with the crappy windows shell till it is fixed.
The home tab has some of the edit functions and new functions, all the other keys work as expected.
All features and languages have been transfered for you and there was only 1 feature to install infrared support to windows.
A reminder to have your display and soundcard and other drivers handy just in case.
For the intel unit I installed things last night an old asus workstation it didn’t appear I needed to do anything.
However on my amd workstation I currently use while there was sound it didn’t sound right.
Luckily refreshing the driver from hp for 1809 worked well enough but is still slightly different.
A reminder to all amd users for right now, that amd 2019.5.1 just won’t work no matter what os you are running, it simply will lock things and just suck and not work and you will have to restore.
Currently the recommended amd driver version for compatability right now is 2019.4.1 so install that and remember to go to preffs and turn off overlays so the key doesn’t conflict with file replacement opperations.
Please remember to deactivate your eloquence and vocaliser and other speech synth licences before you install the program or you will loose them.
Please note that if you use resilio sync your configurations will be destroyed so remember to have your keys so you can put them in again.
Please remember to check all services, ie dropbox, for dropbox account settings, security then hit t and unlink any ghost devices which havn’t updated in the last hour if they are and close down any sessions that are not running right now.
Be prepaired to get warnings from services, icloud, etc you shouldn’t but who knows.
Please remember to check for store and other program updates.
Google chrome has one but nothing else right now.
Please rerun adobe reader after you update so it can register itself.
When first run windows installer will appear for a short while while the program configures itself.
Windows this time has kept a lot of settings bar autoplay an and a few things like that saved.

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Self voicing prototype take 1 for braille 2000 beta 2.274

This is only opinion and not necessarily the opinions of Braille 2000 staff.

Braille 2000 is a braille transcription software used in many different places. While the goal of braille 2000 is to not be self voicing, but to be a full piece of software for all, it lacks some accessibility in regards to key components of braille transcription.

  • It laks a clear capability to allow a blind transcriber to get coordinates of a braille document where the cursor is
  • It lacks the capability to read in grade 2 as Jaws reads in ASCII equivelants like it would in note pad
  • Braille 2000 lacks the capability to work with NVDA, another screen reader
  • Both NVDA and JFW will read the menu system, although there are some aspects of the menus where even Jaws has issues

There are probably more, but now, with the assistance of the self voicing aspect, we can be more independent.

  • There is a speech menu that can be accessed by keyboard command that can give you some very extensive commands to utalize the on demand speech, or the as needed speech.
  • Some of the commands can have Braille 2000 read to you while you use your arrow keys by word, character, dot patterns, and the like.
  • I’ve tested it in limited form with Braille 2000’s Bob Step and it does work as advertised. There are some issues, but for the most part it works.

Version 1 of the speech interface speaks each and every menu item by default. This could be confusing to JFW users where JFW will read these menus and most dialogues without a problem. The Self Voicing on first testing reads controls of dialogue boxes, but doesn’t read most of those items. While I’ve not played with NVDA very extensively in menus and the like, NVDA does read menu items and I believe it runs through most of the dialogues that I’ve encountered without a problem. Further testing needs to be done.

Braille 2000’s speech interface can be accessed without the speech menu with a hotkey. The hotkey initiates the sequence, and with control held down, other letter sequences design it to do specific tasks as discussed in the first list. My impression has already been mentioned to Bob, but I found the cross keyboard work a little tricky. For Example, ctrl+q to initiate, plus t, plus l will have it read the current line as you wish. This is just an example of what it can do.

Here’s what I’d like to see. I’d like to see, and have already voiced, the opportunity to have it not read menu items, unless its switched on. While it is handy, the screen reader can do that, but if it gets stuck, the option should be available for you.

Also, in this release of the 2.274 beta, were some translation issues and other under the hood improvements.

As I continue to test, I will provide updates when I can on my initial impressions.

One serious bug was the fact that braille 2000 forgot my settings completely. In earlier builds, it wasn’t remembering the license info, but this time, it reverted settings altogether. Certain settings need to be turned off within the display dialogue for it to better work with access technology. It turned those back on, as well as forgetting that it needs to be maximized as that option in the system menu is disabled or what Jaws says is unavailable.

Again, these are initial impressions, and the work is not finished yet. I’m hopeful we can have a co-existing self voicing option for braille 2000 for those who would rather utalize it instead of, or if they don’t have, a screen reader. This is going to be fun.

Have thoughts or would like to talk to me about my work with Braille 2000? Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at tech at menvi.org and other information can be found on the info you need page on the blog.

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IOS 12.3 now out

Applevis has posted an article in regards to IOS 12.3. This is the link to that post where it also talks about the general things that have changed. I’ve not updated to this version, I hope it fixes the jumping in Newsify that is reported in News. That was very annoying, and why I’m very behind in reading news and posting some of what I find of interest. In any case, here’s this post, and make it a great day!

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The Technology blog and podcast, podcast 314

Holy crap, I forgot to post about tech podcast 314’s release. I don’t even think its on mixcloud yet. Me and mixcloud need to have a date, but the podcast is out. I’ve also neglected this blog as well. I’ve been reading a lot, but then quit. But I’ll try to be better.

Here are the notations about the program.

RSS Mixcloud

On this podcast, tech moving too fast: do you think it is? Next, a braille transcription fail, big time. Gaelynn Lea, an artist on CD Baby, is disabled and yet involved in touring and more. I pick a track from this artist and we feature it. Finally, a tech talk dealing with a wristwatch to aid the blind and others in navigation. Search the tedtalk out on Youtube or Ted’s website. CD Baby page for Gaelynn Lea so you can read more about her.

This program was released on the 14th.

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the interesting net thing

Hi all.
Well, as I sip my morning coffee I began as usual with my daily digest of my news feed.
There was an opinion piece about the net, and how with the introduction of the iphone and other smart devices that others could use it and not just those that knew how.
And that this opening of the net opened it up to the world and all the worlds problems.
I must admit, that I guess with all the net mirroring the real world we will get real world issues on the net.
Big companies springing up all over the show, social networking driving the world, and all that.
We have big companies like google and amazon pulling our data for who knows, data is the new currency.
I guess it could be all doom and gloom, but who knows.
Right now the net mirrors the real world.
There are 2 differences between the real world and the net though.
No need to breathe, sleep, or eat.
You can be anything or anyone, and can do whatever you want almost.
A lot of the laws that would usually bind us to the real world offline either don’t apply or have not been written yet.
A big issue with the net is when you translate a borderless world to the physical one it gets a bit complex.
I must say back in 1995-6, the net for me was an interesting place.
You did email, a few sound downloads, maybe some music but still mucked round with software on cds.
No blogs, no social net, no game adiction as such.
The computer was something you used for whatever but it wasn’t your life.
I used to run programs to get music, in fact I had to download something and was asked to install a program for advertising, I did, and every day for a month I got emails and other popups asking me to listen and rate music.
At the end of that month I got a mail to put my name and address in a form, and would be sent a cd of music.
I did, and I have the cd and well it wasn’t exactly the music I wanted but it was interesting.
Several other adds and give aways graced my system till 2003 or so and things just rocked.
Now days its to dangerous to run x file and view the funny flash video, or run that attachment from your friends, or put your address and name into a servey link from your website or a random site and expect things.
We have spam, malware, unwanted software and ransomware to be concerned about now.
The net back then was simple and well it just was.
I know that a lot of negative opinion exists on the net, but there are good things to.
Colaberation and inclusiveness to some extent still exists.
With the cloud, there is free email anywhere, shopping, and well you can find and get almost everything.
Of course, there are the issues to.
Ie your shops know what you buy and can use it for advertising.
Thing is, suppose you don’t mind and or are happy with it being so.
No one has asked the questions on that.
In my supermarket, my supermarket knows when I swipe my club card what I got and what I may want in the future.
So do my online stores.
Yeah that can encourage impulsive buying, but you don’t need everything and once you know x store sells x thing then you can note it down for later.
There are lots of good things about the net, the same as in the real world, and just like the real world there is a lot of bad things to.
Of course, one thing to note is that what we call the net, isn’t the entire net.
There is the dark net where all the bad people are and other things, but who knows.
Point is with all these so called bad guys and stuff about, there are seedy bits of the world same with the net.
The net we can se isn’t the entire net, and we may not see the entire net just a bit of it the bit we want.
There are of course a few things we will have to come to grips, and its not the big data and companies.
Our devices are our friends, but if anyone has watched the matrix, they are dangerous.
There is almost no need to leave.
We use our devices wrecklessly.
Look at the articles in this blog about kids and adults overusing their devices.
Studdies say looking at and using devices constantly is changing our brains, our eyes, and our minds and not all of them good.
I have been there, working late into the afternoon playing something online only to realise that if I don’t actually get sort of ready for the night time when my care person comes its going to be a bit embarassing to still be in pjs and not excercised, or anything.
But at least I could get out and eventually did.
There are people that are stuck online, died online, etc.
I have noticed people walking on the beach, smoking, and using a device at the same time.
I have to tell my family off for using their devices at social gatherings, at dinner or at functions and not talking to us.
My latest one came just before I was doing the comment on articles 2 weeks back.
I was doing one of my 3 walks I do each week with friends and was sitting down with my japanese pork don bury lunch.
Well there was this family.
The mother was sitting down using her device, the dad was to and the kid.
To shut the kid up they got him to play a game, the game was at full volume and the guy was just using the device and not looking round him.
There are banns of devices in schools and the like now.
To be honest, eventually if we handle ourselves right it will all pan out ok.
However, the net is everywhere and thats good and bad.
That out the way though, we actually need some rules for the net.
As I said, babies and yung children except in certain situations, education maybe, shouldn’t be on the net, certainly not social networks.
Teenagers well who knows.
Right now if you are born online you will never leave.
When I was 20 years old, I struggled to leave.
My family were mostly offline, my grandparents not having even heard of the net and I made myself normalise to an extent.
I had been outside, but I did feel the pull of the net.
Always sunny, and no issues anywhere.
Now days I have found my own niche.
While I do read twitter posts I don’t use facebook or twitter, just wordpress.
I email, but don’t skype much, I use bt sync for some stuff and dropbox for some stuff.
I have a reasonable workstation and the like.
I still use external storage and cds.
I know people that don’t but I still like the feel of hard plastic the same as I like the latest digitals.
And I don’t see myself changing any time soon.
I don’t care for subscriptions and only watch local tv but thats changing so who knows.

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Braille 2000 beta now out

Hi all,

Braille 2000 is now in beta. It is not widely available, however, it can be retrieved. For instructions on how to get the beta, please contact me or Braille 2000 directly.

The beta does introduce some new features, fix bugs, and as far as braille 200 is concerned, stable.

As with any beta software, it could have some side effects, and could have effects you’re not expecting. The next release will hopefully be sometime this month, if all goes well.

Remember to report bugs directly to Bob, as he’s the person who codes the software. I can assist with the accessibility side and getting it installed.

The beta will install over the current released version.

I’m looking forward in having fun. Thanks for reading!

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