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Comment Base the cost of degrees on the pay (Score 1) 1032 1032

Here is an idea I'm sure college and universities will hate. Se the cost of the degree based on the pay of persons employed in that field. IN this system the cost of an engineering degree would be much higher than say the cost of a library science degree because the engineer is going to be payed a great deal more than the librarian. So the engineer will be much more likely to be in a position to pay off a large student loan.

Submission + - Open-plan Offices Were Devised by Satan Himself-> 1 1

glowend writes: Oliver Burkeman of the Guradian writes "In case you still needed persuading that open-plan offices were devised by Satan himself in one of the deepest caverns of hell, the Harvard Business Review delves into new research showing just how frustrating people find them – and just how paltry, on the other side of the scale, are the benefits they bring." I tend to agree, but maybe that's because I'm a geezer. Are for or against open floor plans?
Link to Original Source

Comment U.S. at a disadvantage here (Score 2) 1 1

The article suggest that "Canada is up to something" given their ties to other nations involved. While that may be true it should also come as no surprise. Looking at the connections we see that Canada is tied to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei by means of the Commonwealth which means they share many legal traditions with each other and have long standing political ties to one another.

The United States is the largest English speaking nation not a member of the Commonwealth and that lack of connection would seem to be evident in the connections the graphs show.

Submission + - How Perl and R reveal the United States' isolation in the TPP negotiations-> 1 1

langelgjm writes: As /. reported, last Thursday Wikileaks released a draft text of the intellectual property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Since then, many commentators have raised alarm about its contents. But what happens when you mix the leaked text together with Perl regular expressions and R's network analysis packages? You get some neat visualizations showing just how isolated the United States is in pushing for extreme copyright and patent laws.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - A Warrant canary metatag

An anonymous reader writes: With the advent of national security letters and all the NSA issues of late perhaps the web needs to implement a warrant "warrant canary" metatag. Something like this:

<meta name="canary" content="2013-11-17" />

With this is would be possible to build into browsers or browser extensions a means of alerting users when a company has intact received such a secret warrant. Similar to the actions taken by Apple recently.

The advantage the metatag approach would have its that it would not require the user to search out a report by the company in question but would show the information upon loading of the page. Once the canary metatag was not found or when the date of the canary grows older than a given date a warning could be raised.

Several others have proposed similar approaches including Connor Friedersdorf in the The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/interent-superhero-corytorows-plan-to-thwart-the-nsa/279540/%20rel=) and Corry Doctorow's Dead Man's Switch (http://craphound.com/?p=4932%20rel=)

Comment VoiceOver on MacOS X (Score 1) 364 364

The blind and some print disabled use computers all the time without a mouse. On MacOS X and the iOS there is a built in screen reader called VoiceOver (started with a command-F5 on a standard keyboard function-command-F5 on portables. With VoiceOver running you can work the OS with no mouse, or for that matter even a screen attached. It also support a wide range of braille displays.

There is similar products for Windows but they are not built into the OS and some, JAWS and WindowEyes for example, can cost more than the computer they run on.

On on the whole this is a rather silly question which if the authors had asked the question "How do the blind use a computer?" would have been answered.

Gregory Kearney
Manager - Accessible Media
Association for the Blind of Western Australia
61 Kitchener Avenue, PO Box 101
Victoria Park 6979, WA Australia

Telephone: +61 (08) 9311 8246
Telephone: +1 (307) 224 4022 (North America)
Fax: +61 (08) 9361 8696
Toll free: 1800 658 388 (Australia only)
Email: gkearney@gmail.com

Comment We have a use for them (Score 4, Interesting) 381 381

We would be happy to have USB drives as a donation. We use them to send out digital talking books to the blind and print disabled. Please feel free to contact me.

Gregory Kearney
Manager - Accessible Media
Association for the Blind of Western Australia
61 Kitchener Avenue, PO Box 101
Victoria Park 6979, WA Australia

Telephone: +61 (08) 9311 8202
Telephone: +1 (307) 224 4022 (North America)
Fax: +61 (08) 9361 8696
Toll free: 1800 658 388 (Australia only)
Email: gkearney@gmail.com

Comment Re:Digital Talking Book player activation (Score 1) 370 370

Still another issue to consider is that this deals with text-to-speech and not human read books such as the NLS provides.

The VicetorReader Stream will do text-to-speech on any text file without activation and without the buyer having to prove a disability. Given that the Streams intended market is book and document reading and given that HumanWare will sell it to anyone who wants one, and given that it will do text to speech with out activation how is the VictorReader Stream any different from the Kindle?

Comment Re:17 USC 121 (Score 1) 370 370

So is a Macintosh computer, which has a built in screen reader which anyone can activate a "specialized device" that are "available only by prescription to people with a qualifying disability"? No of course not. Yet it has text to speech able to read books or anything else for that matter.

The makers of talking book players are happy to sell the devices to anyone who wants one, disabled or not. See www.humanware.com or want one of those 1/4 speed four track tape player? you can buy a new one here: http://secure.nfb.org/ecommerce/asp/default.asp

Comment Re:Seriously... (Score 3, Informative) 370 370

The issue i much bigger than just the blind. Both the MacOS and many versions of Linux have screen readers for the blind as part of the OS and there are similar products for sale or download for Windows.

These screen readers can be activated and used by anyone, not just the blind. So is this technology illegal? Should the users of such be required to prove they are disabled before it can be activated on their computers?

While the voices on the Kindle 2 were not that great there are very high quality voices which are more useable the MacOS Alex voice for one. To see where this all might go you can visit an experimental talking book library in Western Australia www.cucat.org/library/ which permits the public to download DAISY digital talking books (www.daisy.org) recorded in higher quality voices.

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.

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