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Comment Re:The Federal Reserve isn't really a federal agen (Score 1) 125 125

That's a good point. As a minor point of clarification, the Board of Governors in DC is part of the Federal Government (an agency within the US Treasury), whereas the reserve banks and branches are public-private corporations, as described. Since this happened at the New York reserve bank, your comment applies. I just wanted pipe up with that minor distinction.

Comment Re:Orca good? (Score 4, Insightful) 138 138

I hate to say it, but that's the general consensus. And is it surprising that an expensive product put out by a software company is favored over an open-source alternative? The biggest problem with JAWS, from my perspective, is the whopping $1,000 price of admission for a target user group that has high unemployment problems already.
 
I have to give a shoutout to the NVDA project (http://www.nvda-project.org/), and would encourage your friend to give them a shot if he would like an open-source alternative to JAWS on Windows.

Comment Re:Wow, pretty impressed. (Score 1) 179 179

I'm happy to see this too and also hope that FF and others follow this cue. But I don't think it's for the reasons others are mentioning here. To me, this is a case of MS hoping to head off Government intervention in this area. Even the folks on Capitol Hill have come to realize that tracking in its current form is a problem. There was a bureaucrat the other day talking about needing to address the "Flash cookie problem" and saying they're working with Adobe on it. This is just like the major sport bike makers all suddenly agreeing that 180mph is fast enough for anyone - right about the time congress started making noise about limiting the top speed of bikes (after the Hayabusa approached 200mph).

I'm glad for what they're doing, though I'm not ready to trust them to implement this honestly.

Games

AbleGamers Reviews Games From a Disability Standpoint 125 125

eldavojohn writes "Early last month a visually impaired gamer sued Sony under the Americans with Disabilities Act (and if you think that people with disabilities don't play games, think again). The AbleGamers Foundation has decided to step forward and provide a rating system for games that blends together a number of factors to determine a score with regard to accessibility. Visual, hearing, motion, closed captioning, speed settings, difficulty settings and even colorblindness options are all taken into account when compiling these scores and reviewing these games."

Comment Re:Is this good news or bad? (Score 2, Informative) 239 239

I think you're talking about Section 508 of the American with Disabilities Act. And yes, it can apply to more than US Government web sites. Target found that out the hard way after refusing to provide alt tags and other accessible changes to their web site. After getting slammed with a $6 million judgement, no one else is bothering to refute what has become established case law.

I might also add that Section 508 covers much more than screen readers and javascript.

Comment Re:Even a stopped clock can tell the right time (Score 2, Insightful) 256 256

"Microsoft: if you want to beat Google, find a way to develop a completely open search ranking system."

And this to me is the most delicious irony in this stinky stew. I think MS is perfectly capable of developing such a thing, but they will invariably find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. I remember hearing a while back that searching for Linux with the MS search engine produced thousands of results while searching the same term on Google produced tens of millions of hits.
 
Once you've demonstrated that you are willing to sacrifice results and accuracy for market share, it's hard to earn back that trust. MS has stepped into this mess over and over and doesn't seem to learn from their mistake.
 
So yeah, I agree. MS just has to build a superior product to succeed. Too bad that seems to be the path less taken.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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