ChromeVis: Free Tool for Chrome Users With Low Vision


ChromeVis is a simple Chrome extension for users with low vision. ChromeVis is simple to use and has many customization options. To use ChromeVis highlight the text you want magnified and then click on the ChromeVis icon in the top right of your Chrome window. To customize the appearance of ChromeVis right click on its icon and select options. To download ChromeVis for free click here.

TextGrabber: Fast, Cheap, Accurate OCR app for iPhone


TextGrabber is a low cost OCR app for iPhone that quickly and accurately converts printed text into digital text that can be edited or read aloud using text-to-speech. Click here to download TextGrabber. The app is easy to use. Snap a photo of the text you want to read then crop the photo and finally read the text. TextGrabber only takes a few seconds to convert the printed text into a digital format. Once the text has been recognized you can have it read aloud to you using VoiceOver. TextGrabber can also translate captured text into many languages. One negative of TextGrabber is it does not have built in text-to-speech,  or Speak Selection, a new iOS 5 feature, does not work. In day-to-day use I found that TextGrabber and ZoomReader offer similar OCR speed and accuracy. To improve the accuracy turn on the flash while taking the picture. TextGrabber does not feature built in text-to-speech with highlighting while ZoomReader does not offer a cropping tool for removing unwanted text. To read more about ZoomReader click here. Click read more below to see screen shots and examples of TextGrabber in action,including a step- by -step depiction of TextGrabber converting a newspaper article.

Picture of Newspaper Article Taken with iPhone 4S camera.
Crop the Section You Want to Read
Press Read and Let it do its Work
Finish Product Ready to be Read by VoiceOver or Emailed.
Below is the text that was extracted. It is not perfect but is a par or better than most other OCR apps for iPhone.
^ Economic Slide Took A Detour at Capital Hill From Page Al group. Congress has never been place for paupers. From planta" tion owners in the pre-Civil War era to industrialists in the 1900s to ex-Wall Street financiers and Internet executives today, it has long been populated with"the rich, including scions of families like the Guggenheims, Hearsts. Kennedys and Rockefellers. But rarely has the divide ap- peared so wide, or the public con- trast so stark, between lawmak- ers and those they represent. The wealth gap may go largely unnoticed in good times. "But with the American public feeling all this economic pain, people just resent it more," said Alan J. Zio- browski, a professor at Georgia State who studied lawmakers' stock investments. There is broad debate about just why the wealth gap appears to be growing. For starters, the prohibitive costs of political cam- paigning may discourage the less affluent from even considering a candidacy. Beyond that, loose ethics controls, shrewd stock picks, profitable land deals, fa- vorable tax laws, inheritances and even marriages to wealthy spouses are all cited as possible explanations for the rising for- tunes on Capitol Hill. What is clear is that members of Congress are getting richer compared not only with the aver- age American worker, but also with other very rich Americans. While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially Hat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on jnflation-adjusted data from Moody's Analytics. Going back further, the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times be. tween 1984 and 2009 in inflation- adjusted dollars, while the wealth of'the average American family has actuaily declined slightly in that same time period, according Emmarie Huetteman and Derek Willts contributed rfmrtiw SJata cited by The Washington _'"an article published Mon- with millionaire status now the norm, the rarefied air in'the Capi- days is $100 million. lofty level appears to have surpassed by at least 10 members, led by Representative Issa, a California Repub- and former auto alarm mag- nate who is worth somewhere be- tween $195 million and $700 mil- lion. (Because federal law re- quires lawmakers to disclose their assets only in broad dollar ranges, more precise estimates are impossible.) Their wealth has created occa- sional political problems for Con- gress's richest. Mr. Issa, for instance, has faced outside scrutiny because of the overlap of his Congressional work and outside interests, in- eluding extensive investments with Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, as well as land holdings in his San Diego district. In one case, he ob- tained some $800,000 in federal earmarks for a road-widening project running along his com- mercial property. Senator John Kerry, a Mas- sachusetts Democrat who is mar- ried to Teresa Heinz Kerry, set off an uproar last year when it was disclosed that he had docked his S7 million, 76-foot yacht not in his home state but in neighboring Rhode Island, which has no sales or use tax on pleasure boats. (Mr. Kerry, worth at least $181 million, voluntarily paid $400,000 in Mas- sachusetts taxes after criticism.) Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, was challenged about her wealth, as much as $196 million, by a member of her own party a few weeks ago. Representative Laura Richardson, a California Demo- crat who is among the poorest members of Congress with as much as $464,000 in debt, at- tacked Ms. Pelosi at a closed- door Democratic caucus meeting for endorsing a Congressional pay freeze, according to a report in PoHtico that was confirmed by other members. Ms. Richardson angrily told M, n^i^n: ..i--
Article from New York Times

Add Quick Text-to-Speech Button to Microsoft Word



Microsoft Word has a hidden text-to-speech button built in. To access add the text-to-speech button to the quick access tool bar click on the down arrow in the top left corner of the screen. Next click on more commands and then click on all commands from the drop down menu. Finally click on speak from the list and then press add. To use the text-to-speech feature select the text you wish to have read and click on the text-to-speech button you just added to the top left corner of the screen. The text will be read allowed instantly. Click the button again to stop the text-to-speech. Watch the video above to learn more. Click read more below for step by step instructions.








iOS 5 Tips: Use Assistive Touch to Replace a Broken Home Button, Lock Button or Volume Button


Assistive Touch is a new feature in iOS 5 that allows people with physical disabilities to better use their iOS device. To learn more about AssistiveTouch click here. To enable Assistive Touch go to Settings>General> Accessibility>Assistive Touch and then turn on Assistive Touch. A small round white button will then appear on your screen. When you touch the white button a list of commands will appear including a software home button, lock button and volume up and down button. You can now use these software buttons to replace your broken home button or any other broken buttons. You can drag the white button to different places on the screen for your convenience. Watch the video below to learn more.



iOS 5 Tip: Look Up Any Word


A new feature in iOS 5 allows you to get a definition of any word from any app. To get a definition of a word simply select the word by holding down on it for a couple of seconds and then tap define. A dictionary will appear with that word defined. When you are done tap done to return to your app.

iOS 5 Tips: Reader Eliminates Distractions



A new feature in iOS 5 called Reader makes reading articles on the web much easier. Many articles on the web are hard to read on the iPhone and iPod Touch's small screen. Reader also works on the iPad. To read the articles you must zoom in and deal with distractions such as advertisements. Reader solves this problem by taking out the advertisements and formatting the text perfectly. To activate Reader simply tap the Reader button in the address field. The address field is where you type the website address. After pressing the Reader button the article will appear perfectly formatted for your screen. To change the size of the text simply press the text size button in the top left of the screen then tap on the little A to make the text smaller and the big A to make the text bigger. When you are done reading the article simply tap done to continue to browse the web. Reader can enlarge the font substantially to assist people that have trouble reading small print. Click read more below to see more screen shots.






Google Dictionary Defines Any Word on the Web




Google Dictionary is a free extension available for Google Chrome. To download the extension click here. Once downloaded simply double click on any word on a web page to view its definition or hear the word read aloud. Google Dictionary is perfect for quickly looking up unfamiliar words. To learn about other Chrome extensions click here.

Great List of Apps to Support Literacy


Greg O'Connor has put together a great list of apps for literacy support on spectronicsinoz.com. To view the list click here. The list is broken into categories reading support, OCR, writing and notetaking support, mind mapping, organizational and study support and reference. Check out the list here.

iBooks Update Adds Useful New Features


Apple recently updated its iBooks app to add more add more features and make reading easier. One of features adds a night time reading theme to make reading in the dark easier on you eyes. The new update also add several new fonts and makes highlighting and taking notes easier. Yet another new feature allows you to read your book in full screen mode. iBooks is available here for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. 

iOS 5 Camera Accessibility



iOS 5 introduced many new accessibility features including Assistive Touch, Siri and Speak Selection. One hidden feature gives blind and visually impaired the ability to take pictures with VoiceOver and the built in camera on the iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone. Your iOS device will tell you how many people are in your picture and if the people are in the center of the screen so you can get the best shot. This is just on feature in a growing list of iOS accessibility features.

Bioscience


With a title like that, there was no way I could pass up this article in a vain search for anything vaguely more interesting. I found this December 2010 article in Wired. Even though I had no idea where this article was going, I was intrigued and very impatient when getting started to read. I had no idea what "mirror-image" cells were or what the author could have been referring to.

The gist of the article put in story form, is that there are these astrophysicists who spend our money and their time trying to discover other inhabitable worlds and the possibility of alien life on these planets. Anyway, disheartened by the fact that he may never see alien life on another planet, one particular scientist gets the idea to create alien life here on Earth. The idea that such life could exist here stems from the fact that we, as humans, exist and our existence could be explained simply as humans are the sum of proteins, amino acids, and sugars and nucleic acids-particularly DNA and RNA.

Keeping the ideas simple and non-scientific, all these "sciency" things do their jobs in our bodies based upon their particular 3-D shape. There are certain proteins that code for specific traits or functions and do so because they are shaped like the letter "I" more so than they are shaped like the letter "T." Because the shapes of these molecules exist in either a left-handed or right-handed fashion, these scientists surmised that they could create alien life based upon the human genome, except that every place there was a human left-handed molecule, a corresponding yet identical right-handed "mirror-image" molecule would be created and used in its place. The same idea would be used for existing human molecules that exist in the right-handed fashion. And there you have it - Bizarro alien, just like the Superman comic!

According to these geniuses, if this pan worked, it would open up a world of new scientific discovery in materials science, drug development, and fossil fuels to name only a few. They also believed that these new aliens would have no known diseases that exist here on Earth and that it could quickly get out of control and try to take over the world-or at least the tri-state area!

So they got to work and found that there were several problems that they had to overcome. Not getting too "sciency," they discovered that the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction of DNA replication, does not work on mirror-DNA. Several other such oversights were noted and are being circumvented as we speak. Anyway, although skeptical, I find that this idea may have some credibility to it. If we exist in either the left-handed or right-handed form (and we do), why couldn't other beings exist as our exact mirror images? Creating these life forms by manufacturing every protein in reverse form would be a huge undertaking; however, the astrophysicists have thought of that too. While working on creating the mirror proteins, others in the field who understand how viruses work have concluded that if these life forms do exist somewhere, then they will be plagued by viruses in much the same way as humans are, and these viruses would be mirror-images as well. Since viruses attack cells by taking over the cell's DNA replication cycles, if we found one of these mirror-viruses we could then get it to replicate mirror-DNA and therefore mirror-proteins so we don't have to. Moreover, the scientists concluded that if any of this works, that would mean that the aliens are already on this planet-us!

These ideas are intriguing to me as I continue my studies into Biology and Chemistry as I plan to apply that knowledge to cancer research. I too can see the implications for "mirror-cures."

Great Science Experiments for Kids

Science experiments can be a fun way to keep kids interested in learning. These experiments explain how electricity is all around us and teach kids the basic principles of static electricity.

Charging a Fluorescent Light Bulb

Objective: This project demonstrates how our bodies contain electricity and how friction creates static electricity.

Materials Needed: A comb, a woollen scarf or sweater, a dark room, and a Fluorescent light bulb.

Experiment: Enter a dark room with the material for the experiment. Have one of the students run the comb through his hair about 20 times. Also, the comb could be rubbed back and forth on the woollen sweater or scarf to achieve the same effect. The friction from rubbing the comb through hair or on the scarf will cause aelectrons to travel to the comb. The friction causes the students body to become positively charged and the comb to become negatively charged. Now place the comb on the metal end of the fluorescent light bulb and watch it flicker in the dark room. As the electrons travel from the comb into the metal end of the bulb, the bulb will begin to flicker as it uses the electricity. This experiment can be used to teach the kids about positive and negative electrons and static electricity.

Using the Force

Objective: This project demonstrates how water is drawn toward electricity.

Materials Needed: A Plastic Comb, A woollen jumper or sweater, and running tap water

Experiment: Positively charge the comb by running it through a student's hair or back and forth on a jumper or woollen sweater. Once the comb has a positive charge through static electricity, turn on the tap water so that there is a small steady stream. Now take the comb and slowly move it toward the stream of tap water being careful not to let it touch the water. When the comb begins to get close to the stream of water, the students will observe that the water will begin to bend toward the positively charged comb. This experiment can be used to show the students that water conducts electricity, and that electricity is drawn toward the water. This is an excellent experiment to use to teach kids to be safe around water and electricity.

Dancing Tissue Paper

Objective: This project demonstrates the pull of static electricity.

Material Needed: Small pane of glass (about 5x10 inches), plastic zipper lock bag, two large books, small bits of paper (hole punched paper works great), foam egg carton material, metal pie pan, scissors, notebook paper

Experiment: Place the two books several inches apart on a table. Sprinkle the small bits of torn up paper between the two books and then carefully place the piece of glass on top. The pieces of paper should be visible under the glass between the two books. Begin the experiment by rubbing the plastic bag slowly back and forth across the glass. As the static electric charge begins to build between the glass and the plastic bad, the pieces of paper will begin to react. Ask the students what would happen if you rubbed the glass faster or slower. Demonstrate these changes and see if the students were able to successfully predict what would happen. This experiment can also be done by rubbing a balloon rapidly back and forth across the glass. Have the students record their observations in a science journal.

Grumpy Balloons

Objective: This experiment will show how two objects with the same electrical charge will resist each other.

Materials Needed: Two balloons, string, tape, woollen sweater or scarf, scissors, and a door frame

Experiment: Cut two equal lengths of string and hang them from the door frame. Blow up the balloons and hang them both together from the pieces of string. Make sure that the balloons are hanging evenly and slightly resting against each other. Take the balloons one at a time and rub them against the woollen sweater or scarf. Once both of the balloons are charged, gently let them hang from the strings against one another. Observe what happens when both negatively charged balloons are left to rest against each other. Because both of the balloons carry the same charge, they will resist each other and push out against the string.

Computer Science Is A Flourishing Field Of Study

Computers are an important and necessary part of our lives, both professionally and personally. The technicians who repair them are the professionals who are responsible for the maintenance and repair of these machines as well as their auxiliary components. A computer technician tests the computer using specialized equipment to diagnose the source of the computer problem(s). These machines have a multitude of uses and are used daily by millions of people which make computer repair opportunities plentiful for these technicians.

A technician in the field of computer repair might be required to have a Bachelor's degree in computer science or information services, but many repair technicians begin their successful careers with an Associate's degree or applicable certificate. You can increase your value as a computer repair tech by keeping your skills up-to-date attending a vendor or a manufacturer certificate course.

Computer repair technicians can be categorized within two groups. Computer repair professionals are either bench technicians or field technicians. Cnmpanies who are dedicated to the repair of computers in their own repair centers employ bench technicians. Someone who has a problem can bring their computers directly to the bench technician who then troubleshoots and repairs the issue. Companies such as these have the indispensable tools and skilled techs to fix the machines needing repair.

A field tech travels to the computer problem. They also repair computers on-site at a home, an industrial site or an office. These repairs are often required to be done on-site because the computer may need to be repaired off-hours or its size limits its ability to be moved and brought to another location.

Computer techs can also specialize in the specific part they repair. They may concentrate on the hardware only. An example of the hardware would be a smart-phone, laptop or server. Those who specialize in repairing hardware might also be responsible for peripherals like input or output devices or data storage. Hardware technicians will also repair network problems that may occur due to errors in routers, wireless components or fiber optics. Having an area of specialty may require some in-depth training.

Repair workers can also choose a software specialty. Software repairs focus on data retention and protection. Software programmers cannot account for how their software will interact with another company's software. Often, this interaction is the source of the conflict or problem. A software tech will be responsible for the installation of required software updates the programs need to work properly.

Career opportunities in this technology field are showing great potential. A certified or trained repair professional will find his or her skills are in strong demand as companies seek to stay ahead of the technological curve. Their existing devices and software programs are in constant need of technical support that can only be provided by a computer whiz.

Computer repair technology is a relatively new field. Schools that offer both degree programs and certificates, even via online education, are experiencing explosive growth that is needed to match the demand for repair techs. There are computer experts who are successful despite their lack of formal training, but now, the industry's education requirements are changing. A college education, particularly computer science degrees, is preferred and sometimes required to land a job in this field. If a career as a computer repair technician is in your plans, find a program to meets your career goals as you consider your next move.

Stoichiometry


Understanding the concepts of stoichiometry can help students deal with the various mathematical problems in chemistry. When you understand the subject in detail, you will be surprised to know that mathematics has an important role to play in the branches of chemistry. The term is derived from the Greek words - stoicheion and metron. Stoicheion means element and metron means measure. Stoichiometry is an interesting subject that deals with the quantitative relation of reactants, and the products in a chemical reaction.

Stoichiometry works on the three chief laws that form the basis of laws and rules concerning mathematical calculations in a specific chemical reaction. The laws include Law of Conservation of Mass, Law of Definite Proportions, and Law of Multiple Proportions.

Stoichiometry is used to make various calculations in industrial chemistry resulting in the production of many chemicals in our daily use. If you wish to find out the amount of a product that will be created after reacting with some ddfinite amount of reactants then you can take the help of mathematics. So, it can be concluded that stoichiometry is the math after chemistry.

In the beginning classes, students will be asked to balance chemical equations as a part of learning the subject. The basic principle on which it works is that all the chemical elements respond in a specific manner. We all know that when acids and bases react together, they form salt and water. There are certain combustion reactions that take place mainly in the presence of oxygen. An in-depth study of the subject helps students predict the potential course of a chemical reaction, and this further helps them calculate the amount of reactants and products in a certain chemical reaction, according to the industrial requirements. If you are having problems with the subject then you can take the help of a private tutor who is expert in this field.

Let's take for example the formation of a water molecule. It is known that when hydrogen and oxygen come together under some fixed conditions of pressure and temperature, they form water. With the help of stoichometry, a person can actually calculate how much of water can be formed with the precise amount of oxygen and hydrogen gases under the favorable conditions. With the help of balanced equations, it is possible to calculate numerous unknown figures in a chemical reaction. Most of the quantities in a reaction are measured in the terms of mole because it simplifies the mathematical calculations.

If you are having problems keeping up with the class or there are certain areas of the subject that you find difficult understanding then hire a private science tutor in your locality to help you understand the concepts better and develop interest in the subject.

Pythagorean Cup and Siphons

A rather thought-provoking invention, Pythagorean's cup is like any other cup except for a small mechanism located in its center. This mechanism consists of a hollow pipe-like chamber that follows an opening, starting from the bottom of the liquid-holding part of the cup, up to the top of the central column that makes up the cup's core, and back down 180 degrees, out the bottom.

As the pipe curls over the top of the central column, after coming up from the entrance of the cup, its floor marks an imaginary line of sorts. If this line is extended horizontally in both directions, it will trace out a "limit" across the liquid-holding section. This limit is the point at which, if filled further, liquid will begin to siphon out the bottom and onto your lap or feet...Yowza!

See, if the cup is only filled till below this limit or level, you'll never have a problem. It's when you get greedy and begin pouring too generously, that you end up with a wet lap and an empty cup. Due to hydrostatic pressure, once the liquid closes the air passage at the top of the column and begins falling downward, it will "drag" or siphon a trail of said liquid until the cup's contents are completely emptied.

This phenomenon called the siphon is created due to a reduction in pressure at the higher end of the siphon. As gravity pulls the water column down the pipe of the Pythagorean cup, the lower pressure thus created on the other end causes the liquid there to be overpowered, subsequently allowing itself to be "dragged" along, stopping only when the water level either falls below the intake, or the outlet.

If the level falls below the intake, the introduction of air will break the siphon; and if the level falls below the outlet, the pressures at the two siphon ends will reach an equilibrium - which consequently grinds the siphon to a halt. Unless one of these two eventualities occur, the "ideal" and undisturbed siphon can theoretically continue indefinitely without assistance.

And you should know that a normal siphon doesn't require liquid tensile strength in order to work. In other words, even if there is a break or an air pocket within the siphon, where there is absolutely no connection between the water, the siphon can still operate normally. The important things are that the high end is submerged in the liquid and that there is a pressure difference. However, once the siphon has begun, no additional energy is required to keep the flow going - it can now run entirely on autopilot.

Priming the Siphon

You may have experience "priming" a siphon by mouth, and while this works and is suitable for many situations, it may not always be feasible. Another common way to accomplish this is by first plugging up the lower end of the siphon and filling it with liquid. You then submerge the higher end into the upper reservoir. By simply releasing the plug from the lower end, you can kick-start the siphon by utilizing the hydrostatic pressure.

This method is particularly useful when siphoning toxic substances such as gasoline using a simple hose. You should know that attempting to orally prime a siphon submerged in gasoline or any other toxic liquid is potentially dangerous and discouraged. The possibility of either swallowing or aspirating the substance (into the lungs) is high, both of which can cause serinus injury to your throat, stomach, and lungs, resulting even in death.

Android Becomes More Accessible With 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich





Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has improved the accessibility of Android. Ice Cream Sandwich is not available on all Android devices but will become more widespread through out the coming months. Google has added a feature to Android called Explore-By-Touch. The new built in screen reader allows users to navigate on screen items without seeing the screen. The new addition will enable disabled users to use the many thousands of Android devices. While Google is attempting to compete with Apple's iOS software in accessibility the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch still offer more accessibility options for disabled users. To learn more about VoiceOver click here.