December 13, 2019

XKCD Web Comic #971: Alternative Literature (described)

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

Panel One: A drawing of two stick figures standing in front of a book shelf. The first one has a book under one arm and is holding an open book in the other hand.

Person One: (looking at open book) “All your books are full of blank pages.”

Person Two: “Not true. That one has some ink on page 78.”

Person One: “A smudge.”

Person Two: “So?”

Panel Two: The two figures are facing each other and the one with the book brandishes it as he gestures.

Person One: “There are no words. You’re not reading. There’s no story there.”

Person Two: “Maybe not for you. When I look at those books, I think about all kinds of stories.”

Panel Three: Close up of Person Two as he pontificates.

Person Two: “Reading is about more than what’s on the page. Holding a book prompts my mind to enrich itself. Frankly, I suspect the book isn’t even necessary.”

Panel Four: The same two figures. Person One is looking down at the open book he is holding. Person Two is holding up a fist in emphasis.

Person Two: “The whole industry is evil. Greedy publishers and rich authors try to convince us our brains need their words. But I refuse to be a sucker.”

Person One: “Who sold you all these blank books?”

Hover text: I just noticed CVS has started stocking homeopathic pills on the same shelves with–and labeled similarly to–their actual medicine. Telling someone who trusts you that you’re giving them medicine, when you know you’re not, because you want their money, isn’t just lying–it’s like an example you’d make up if you had to illustrate for a child why lying is wrong.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

CDC Accessible Zombie Preparedness Manual

If you’ve been hanging around here at Blindgadget for any length of time, you might get the idea that we like comics. And you would be right. We love comics and so, apparently, does the National Center for Disease Control. In a rather brilliant move, the CDC has published an accessible graphic novella that illustrates the importance of emergency preparedness. Because you never know when you might find a zombie at your door (especially at this time of year!).

The graphic novella, Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic is available for download in either graphical PDF  or accessible text PDF. And it’s free! The art is well done, setting a suitably eerie tone and the accessible text is nicely descriptive without unnecessary details. The story centers on a young couple and their dog settling in for a nice, normal night at home. Little do they know they have entered…the CDC Zone.

Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse, and Zombie Preparedness are all part of the CDC’s tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages. CDC director, Dr. Ali Khan, notes, “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.” While we at Blindgadget have yet to see a hurricane or an earthquake that can be quelled with a shotgun, we are willing to accept the general validity of the metaphor.

On a fright scale of one to ten, with one being “I heard a noise in the basement” and ten being an ice cold hand gripping your ankle as you get out of bed, Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic gets a solid five from Blindgadget.

Source: CDC website

XKCD Web Comic #970: The Important Field (described)

 

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Panel One: A stick figure wearing a green military style hat sits at a computer. The figure clicks a mouse and the computer reads “Welcome to the missile launch web interface!”

Panel Two: Same scene. The computer reads “Enter the target’s coordinates.” and the figure types.

Panel Three: Same scene. The computer reads “Enter your email address for our records.” The figure types.

Panel Four: Same scene. The computer reads “Enter your email address again, to ensure you typed it correctly.” The figure stares at the screen.

Hover text: I hear in some places, you need one form of ID to buy a gun, but two to pay for it by check. It’s interesting who has what incentives to care about what mistakes.

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

Classic XKCD Web Comic #282: Organic Fuel (described)

 

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Scene: Drawing of a stick figure sitting at desk with a computer. Another stick figure is standing nearby.
Figure at Computer: Wow – Engines can burn vegetable oil.
Standing Figure: Well, sure. You can burn most any organic matter. Corn, leaves, spices…
Figure at Computer: Spices? Really?
Standing Figure: Sure – Mussolini made the trains run on thyme.
Figure at Computer: …
Figure at Computer: We are no longer friends.

Hover text: I have nothing to apologize for.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #969: Delta-P (described)

 

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

Scene: A large brown wardrobe hurtles out of a gray-blue sky toward a darker gray-blue ocean. A hole has been drilled in the bottom of the wardrobe and a large ring inserted. A big black anchor chained to the ring dangles below. White letters against the dark of the ocean read:

Q = A(square root of 2gd)

Q = flow rate

A= area of opening

d = ocean depth (2 km)

g = Earth gravity

Flow:  ~400,000 liters/s

Water Jet Velocity: ~200 m/s

Caption:  The White Witch didn’t know what hit her.

Hover text:  If you fire a Portal gun through the door of the wardrobe, space and time knot together, which leads to a frustrated Aslan trying to impart Christian morality to the Space sphere.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

Humanware Adds PDF Document Support to Keysoft 9.2

Humanware has announced the release of Keysoft 9.2 which promises “instant access” to PDF documents for the Apex BrailleNote and VoiceNote family of products. The update, which requires one count of SMA, “allows for any accessible PDF documents (PDF with imbedded texts) to be converted to a text file, enabling professional documents to be received on the Apex as email attachments and opened and read without the use of a computer or other external converter.” If editing of the file is not required,  the PDF document can be opened  with the same method that is used to open a standard book.

The press release also listed these new features:

  • Larger downloads with more information
  • More dynamic Apex QT keyboard
  • Better WindowEyes control

For a full list of features and downloading information, click on Humanware.

Bumps Comic #4: Jaws Magic (described)


A new web comic about Braille and Adventure featuring Slate and Dot, two university students, and Slate’s guide dog, Nemeth.

 

Drawing: On the left is a vertical brush stroke of blue representing Slate and on the right is a vertical brush stroke of green representing Dot. Below is a smaller, horizontal orange brush stroke representing, Nemeth.

Scene: Dot is seated at a table listening to something on her laptop with headphones. Slate is standing near the table with Nemeth at his side.

Slate: “Hey Dot, what are you doing?”

Dot: “I’m listening to the latest episode of FSF-Cast. It’s a demonstration of the new Open Door feature of Jaws.”

Slate: “What’s that?”

Dot: “I’m not sure, but I think he’s using it to get a pizza delivered instantly from Chicago to new Zealand.”

Slate: “Wow! I remember when Jaws was just a screen reader.”

Dot: “He says you can also use it to transport small children and pets.”

Slate: “Maybe I should reconsider renewing my software agreement after all.”

 

Bumps Comic is written and described by BlindGadget.com under the Creative Commons license.

JAWS Convenient OCR is Here!

Today Freedom Scientific today announced the release of JAWS® for Windows version 13, including Convenient OCR. By performing Optical Character Recognition on text that is displayed in a graphic, blind computer users are now able to access such things as scanned-in posters and other such graphical images that might as well have been a blank page before. JAWS can even allow finding and clicking on control links and buttons that were once hidden, even, believe it or not, the menu of a DVD!

Another new feature for JAWS 13 is Results Viewer, which displays the results of  features like Research It. According to the Freedom Scientific press release, the new interface “enables faster navigation with Navigation Quick Keys and switching to other windows without losing the results of your lookup. Sports scores have returned to Research It and are easier to navigate than ever before. The INSERT+V keystroke now opens the new Quick Settings, which replaces Adjust JAWS Options and matches the easy-to-use Settings Center style interface introduced last year in JAWS 12.”

“This release represents a huge step in accessibility for screen reader users,” says Eric Damery, Vice President of Software Product Management for Freedom Scientific. “Whether trying to identify and read inaccessible PDF documents that are just scanned images or interacting with graphical controls that could not previously be located, the new Convenient OCR option built into JAWS 13 has been described as a real game changer. JAWS 13 is also packed with other features and enhancements that have been selected and designed to improve access and ease of use for all users.”

The upgrade is an SMA release and can be downloaded as either a 32-bit or 64-bit version from the JAWS downloads page. DVD shipments to SMA holders and new product customers will commence on Nov 1, 2011.”

Source: JAWS 13

XKCD Web Comic #968: Everything (described)

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

Panel One: Drawing of a stick figure carrying an enormous bag over his shoulder and pulling a toy wagon loaded with a large model of the Eiffel Tower, an artist’s model of a torso, and a folded parasol leaning against a large wrapped box. A small black bomb, complete with fuse, sits atop the box.

Caption: You are not the light of my life.  Making you happy isn’t my greatest dream.

Panel Two: In silhouette, the stick figure stands between two large piles of similar items and is adding the enormous bag to one of the piles. A sword handle projects from one pile and two helium balloons are tied to the other.

Caption: Your smile is not all I live for. I’ve got my own stuff going on. But you’re strange and fascinating and I’ve never met anyone like you.

Panel Three: In silhouette, the stick figure is standing at the lower left, looking up at a female stick figure. She is standing on an enormous spikey-wheeled contraption, making an adjustment with a hand-held tool. A turret gun is mounted on top of the contraption next to a tall, smoke-belching stack, which is next to a shorter domed pipe, which is next to a crane derrick. A lower level at the back supports a satellite dish.

Caption: I want to give you everything. Just to see what you’d do with it.

Hover text: I wanna hold your hand so I don’t fall out of your gyrocopter.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #967: Prairie (described)

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

Scene: Full color rolling field of golden wheat, with fluffy clouds in the sky. In the foreground are two stick figures, drawn in black and white. The one on the left has long, dark hair. The one on the right has no hair.

Person on the left: “Well, when we observe them, they become amber particles of grain.”

Hover text: Colorado is working to develop coherent amber waves, which would allow them to finally destroy Kansas and Nebraska with a devastating but majestic grain laser.

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

Classic XKCD Web Comic #315: Braille (described)

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene: Drawing of a stick figure touching a sign. The sign reads “Third Floor Office” with Braille underneath.

Caption: I learned to read Braille a while back, and I’ve noticed that the messages on signs don’t always match the regular text.

Stick Figure’s thought bubble: S-i-g-h-t-e-d-P-e-o-p-l-e-S-u-c-k … Hey!
Hover text: The only big difference I’ve seen is in colors.  Where the regular text reads ‘press red button’, the Braille reads ‘press two-inch button.’

 

XKCD Web Comic #966: Jet Fuel (described)

 

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Scene: Two stick figures stand facing each other. The one on the left has arms widespread and the one on the right has one hand lifted.

Person One: 9/11 was an inside job! Jet fuel can’t burn hot enough to melt steel!

Person Two: Well, remember—jet fuel wasn’t the only thing on those planes. They would’ve also carried tanks full of the mind-control agents airliners use to make chemtrails. Who knows what temperature that stuff burns at!

Person One: Whoa—Good point!

Caption: My hobby: Playing conspiracy theories off against each other.

Hover text: The “controlled demoliton” theory was concocted by the government to distract us. “9/11 was an inside job” was an inside job!

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #965: Elements (described)

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

Scene: Two stick figures stand facing each other. The left stick figure has one foot on a small brown pile of rock and earth and holds a red and yellow flame in the left hand and a wave of blue water in the right. Gray lines indicating wind or air flow past the figure’s waist.  A blue arrow tattoo runs over the top of the figure’s head, stopping with the point in the center of his forehead. The stick figure on the right has a long white beard and a fringe of white hair at the back of his head.

Person One: “I am the Avatar, master of all four elements!”

Person Two: “Really? I am Mendeleev, master of all 118+.” (Swoosh sound effect) “That was polonium-bending.–You probably didn’t feel anything, but the symptoms of radiation poisoning will set in shortly.”

Hover text: Of all the nations, the armies of the ununoctium-benders are probably the least intimidating. The xenon-benders come close, but their flickery signs are at least effective for propaganda.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

Bumps Comic #3: I’m Batman (described)

A new comic of Braille and Adventure featuring Slate and Dot, two university students, and Slate’s guide dog, Nemeth.

 

Drawing: On the left is a vertical brush stroke of blue representing Slate and on the right is a vertical brush stroke of green representing Dot. Below is a smaller, horizontal orange brush stroke representing, Nemeth.

Scene: Dot is seated at a table reading something on her laptop. Slate is standing near the table with Nemeth at his side.

Dot: “Slate, UPS just delivered a package for you.”

Slate: “Cool! That should be my new Braille Dazzle Utility Belt.”

Dot: “What in the world is that?”

Slate: “It’s great! It has a holster for my OCR phone, and a holster for my GPS phone, and another holster for my new iPhone. It even has a zipper pouch for my chargers and a hanger clip for my Braille display.”

Dot: “Wait, I thought the new iPhone was supposed to do everything?”

Slate: “Oh, no, you are thinking of the iPhone 5. That won’t be out until next year.”

 

Bumps Comic is written and described by BlindGadget.com under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #964: Dorm Room (described)

 

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Panel One: Drawing of a stick figure wearing a back pack and holding up a piece of paper with the number 117. In front of the stick figure is a door marked with the number 117.

Panel Two: Drawing of a dorm room. Against the right wall is a long, bare-mattressed bed with an empty desk at the foot. Against the left wall is a bed with rumpled bedclothes and pillow. Clothing and books litter the floor next to it.  A different stick figure wearing glasses is seated at a desk at the foot of the left bed, looking at a computer screen. On the far wall is the famous “Dark Side of the Moon” Pink Floyd poster–solid black background with a triangular prism about a third of the way down from the top. A single thin beam of light comes up at a slight angle from the left edge of the poster, enters the prism and is refracted into a rainbow ray of light, widening slightly as it gently angles downward to the right edge of the poster.

Panel Three: The first stick figure is standing in the open doorway, the piece of paper still in one hand, the other up to his face as if thinking.

Panel Four: The empty doorway.

Panel Five: The first stick figure enters through the doorway, carrying a large black poster.

Panel Six: The first stick figure has begun setting up a laptop on the desk on the right side of the room. Now on the wall next to the first poster is another copy of the same poster, but upside down so that the rainbow ray from the first poster is aligned with the rainbow ray in the second. A lens has been added on the left edge of the second poster that refocuses the rainbow ray back into the prism in the second poster.

Hover text: I was going to record an album with that cover under the name “PINK FTFY”, so it’d come after them on the store CD rack. But at this point music stores are just rooms where CDs are set out to age before they’re thrown away, so probably nobody would see it.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #963: X11 (described)

 

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Scene: Simple graph. Y axis is labeled “General satisfaction with how my life is going.” The X axis is labeled “Time since I last had to open xorg.conf.”  The graph line starts at 0 and rises steadily, with a slight curvature, to the right.

Hover text: Thomas Jefferson thought that every law and constitution should be torn down and rewritten from scratch every nineteen years–which means X is overdue.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

Stevie Wonder Remembers Positive Impact Steve Jobs Had on Our Lives

Stevie Wonder had plenty of praise recently for Jobs and Apple. During a recent stage appearance,  Stevie Wonder stopped for a moment to call attention the accessibility breakthroughs they have made available. “His company took the challenge in making his technology accessible to everyone,” Wonder said. “In the spirit of caring and moving the world forward: Steve Jobs. Because there’s nothing on the iPhone or the iPad that you can do that I can’t do. As a matter of fact, I can be talking to you, you can be looking at me, and I can be doing whatever I need to do and you don’t even know what I’m doing. Yeah!”

In a later interview with the Los Angeles Times, Stevie Wonder expounded on the subject of accessibility and Steve Jobs’ contributions.

“The one thing people aren’t talking about is how he has made his technology accessible to the blind and the deaf and people who are quadriplegics and paraplegics,” Wonder said.  “He has affected not just my world, but the world of millions of people who without that technology would not be able to discover the world.”

Wonder asked his recording engineer, Femi Jiya, to talk specifically about how the various Apple products Jobs introduced over the last few decades had revolutionized the recording process.

“Because of what Apple has done with their technology, everything we’re using in the high-end recording situation is now accessible to everybody,” Jiya said. “A lot of that is through Steve Jobs and his love of music, and him wanting to get that technology to everybody at a reasonable cost.

“He developed Garage Band [recording and music editing software], so now a 15-year-old kid can be in his bedroom with his iPad playing around with Garage Band and come up with unbelievable ideas, which can then be taken to the next level… He has leveled the playing field; nobody else had done that.”

Wonder came back to add, “His company was the first to come up with technology that made it accessible without screaming out loud, ‘This is for the blind, this is for the deaf.’ He made it part of the actual unit itself; there were applications inside the technology that allowed you to use it or not use it. The iPhone, iPad touch, iPod touch, all these things, even now the computer, are accessible to those who are with a physical disability.

“In another sense, he has given the blind eyes to see the world, the deaf ears to hear the world,” Wonder continued. “I had wanted to meet him for a long time, and I’m just happy that before he passed away, I was able to meet him and say to him, ‘Look, you’ve changed the lives of millions and millions of people you may never ever meet. Truly you’ve been a blessing for those of us who’ve needed that kind of technology to do more things, to be part of this world, to be in this millennium.’

“I’m just hoping that his life and what he did in his life will encourage those who are living still and those who will be born, that it will encourage them and challenge them to do what he has done,” Wonder said, “and not making the whole concept so complicated that people can’t use it — you just make it one of your applications, it’s in your technology. That will then create a world that will be accessible to anyone with any physical disability, and anyone can buy it, even if that person doesn’t have lots of money.”

 

Source: Los Angeles Times NBC Bay Area

Bumps Comic #2: Fire Sale (described)

A new comic of Braille and Adventure featuring Slate and Dot, two university students, and Slate’s guide dog, Nemeth.

 

Drawing: On the left is a vertical brush stroke of blue representing Slate and on the right is a vertical brush stroke of green representing Dot. Below is a smaller, horizontal orange brush stroke representing Nemeth.

Scene: Slate and Dot are sitting together at a table in the coffee shop talking. They both have open laptops and cups of coffee. There is a barista working behind the counter in the background.

Slate: “According to Tech.Blab the new Amazon Tablet is going to start shipping this week.”

Dot: “I told you it’s not accessible.”

Slate: “I know, first Microsoft drops accessibility from Windows Mobile and now Amazon with the Kindle Fire.”

Dot: “Yeah, burned again.”

 

Bumps Comic is written and described by BlindGadget.com under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #962: The Corliss Resolution (described)

A web comic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Caption above Panel One: The Fermi Paradox: Planets are so common that life should be, too. So where is it?

Panel One:  Drawing of a stick figure running, with a small puff of smoke behind to indicate speed. The stick figure’s arms and legs have extra flaps of fabric.

Panel Two: Same stick figure, still running.

Caption: Well, now we know. It’s not that life inevitably destroys itself with war.

Caption above Panel Three: It’s just that it takes longer to develop space colonization

Panel Three: The stick figure leaps off a high cliff.

Caption below Panel Three: Than it does to invent an activity more fun than survival.

Panel Four: A Youtube-like video shows the stick figure from before hurtling downwards, screaming “Wheeeee!” with arms and legs widespread. The fabric flaps are revealed to be bat-like wings. Unseen observers are saying “Holy crap!” and “I don’t care how dangerous it is. I have to try it!”

Hover text: And no avian society ever develops space travel because it’s impossible to focus on calculus when you could be outside flying.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.

XKCD Web Comic #961: Eternal Flame (described)

A web comic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

Scene: Black and white pastoral scene. Across the bottom of the scene is a brick path. Two stick figures, one sitting, one standing, are at the edge of the path. They are looking at a small memorial at the end of a short path made by round stepping stones. The stones lead up to and make a ring around the monument, which is reminiscent of the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame, except that instead of a flame, there is a full-color spinning rainbow beachball.

Hover text: There’s always the hope that if you sit and watch for long enough, the beachball will vanish and the thing it interrupted will return.

 

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Comic by xkcd.com. Described by BlindGadget under the Creative Commons license.