Dearly beloved and friends, today we lay to rest a possibly usable and/or drivable motor vehicle that has been judged a "clunker" by the government-sponsored CARS program and by its previous owner. This undesirable automobile has been sentenced to death via lethal injection that has disabled many a clunker's engine under the recently- imposed CARS legislation (see my blog from yesterday for more on that). Now that this damned vehicle lives no more, its carcass will be crushed and piled up in a junkyard by the undertaker operating the forklift of death.
BasicMouse BasicBoard BasicBrowser allows users to disable mouse and keyboard functions in order to control the computer activities of children or student users. The program also includes a special browser that gives access to only Web sites approved by the user.
The interface is fairly straightforward, with a series of check boxes that allow users to select which functions they want to change or disable. The Help file comes as a PDF and is sufficiently helpful, though it could stand to be more detailed. For a program that is marketed as a parental control, we expected more information about how … Read more
A cool new contraption called the GlideCycle is putting a novel spin on outdoor exercise for amputees and others with mobility limitations. Users sit in a patented sling-type seat that essentially lifts them into a smooth-arch suspension, letting them power forward on one or two legs with virtually no impact to injured limbs and joints.
Ashland, Ore., resident and runner David Vidmar conceived of the two-wheel mobility device following a knee injury. He and others with sports injuries can rehabilitate by favoring the uninjured limb and adding more weight as the healing advances.
But most striking are the GlideCycle's applications for people with disabilities. The Web site includes testimonials from people with conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, who report that the GlideCycle has given them the freedom to get outside independently and run for miles. … Read more
Assistive tech for the disabled is an important topic people may not give much thought to, even though an estimated 54 million Americans are considered to be physically or mentally disabled. That's about 19 percent of the U.S. population.
AbledBody is a new consumer tech-focused site just for this segment. On it, news of trends and gadgets that can aid the disabled at work and home are reported on daily through original and sourced news, personal commentary, and contributors' expert opinions. It's a great idea for a tech blog and one we're happy to share.
The … Read more
It's deceptively simple, but this application quickly and cleanly closes all programs, and just as easily restores them. SmartClose's five-icon interface smartly uses tooltips to quickly and adequately explain program operation. Intermediate to advanced users should be able to install and use the program with no further instruction.
SmartClose's primary function leads the user through a wizard to close all programs except for critical Windows functions. Listed options are well-explained as the program advances. Before closing anything, the application takes a quick system snapshot; storing it to reset your computer to that same state at a later … Read more
It's deceptively simple, but this application quickly and cleanly closes all programs, and just as easily restores them. SmartClose's five-icon interface smartly uses tooltips to quickly and adequately explain program operation. Intermediate to advanced users will install and operate the program with no further instruction.
SmartClose's primary function leads the user through a wizard to close all programs except for critical Windows functions. Listed options are well explained as the program advances. Before closing anything, the application takes a quick system snapshot; storing it to reset your computer to that same state at a later date. During … Read more
This article was corrected at 2 p.m. PT to reflect the proper spelling of Cannady's name.
An SMS message can be a powerful thing when it comes to laptop security.
There are a considerable number of security measures available to companies to protect their valuable data on employee hard drives. Self-encrypting hard drives and security software are touted as the latest solutions, but the PC has to be turned off for the data to be secured by encryption. If a notebook is stolen while in hibernation mode, or even while the operating system is fully loaded, there's … Read more
Target and an advocacy group for the blind announced Wednesday that they've settled a class action lawsuit regarding the accessibility of Target.com for the visually impaired.
The retail giant will establish a $6 million fund for settlement claims and promised to make its site fully accessible to blind visitors as part of a deal ending a class action lawsuit filed two and a half years ago.
The suit against Target was first filed in early 2006 by the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind, which claimed Target.com contained thousands of access barriers making it difficult, if not … Read more
WASHINGTON--At the moment, most TVs and telephones must be outfitted with special features for people with hearing, vision, and speech impairments under U.S. law. Now an influential Democratic congressman wants to expand those requirements to their Internet counterparts.
The bill (PDF) being drafted by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) would require, at least in some cases, dramatic changes in the way Internet phone- and video-related products are designed, while making it more difficult than under existing law for companies to claim exemptions from those requirements.
"The wizardry of the wires and the sophistication of the software programs do little … Read more
Microsoft and open-source site SourceForge plan to offer a free plug-in early next year that will convert Office 2007 files to the Daisy format, which translates text to speech.
The free tool will add a "Save as Daisy" option within Word 2007 and 2003. Daisy, or Digital Accessible Information System, XML files can be "read" aloud by speech synthesizers, paired with audio narration, and used to create electronic Braille. Users can navigate open-standard Daisy documents quickly by jumping between page elements such as headers and indexes.