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knfbReader 1.4 Lets you OCR Pictures from Camera Roll, Includes Redesigned File Explorer



A new update to the knfbReader app for the iPhone has been posted with several improvements. Version 1.4 includes the ability to perform OCR on images from an Email or the camera roll, vertical tilt guidance, and a redesigned file explorer. It's a free upgrade and available from the iTunes App Store. The complete list of changes is below.

Quick Take: Convention Scheduling Poses Dilemma for Exhibitors



This year, many consumers and companies will need to make some tough decisions when it comes to their summer convention planning. For the past several years, the two major consumer organizations, the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind have held their national conventions on separate weeks, a departure from past practices. But this year, likely through sheer coincidence, both conventions are being held the second week of July, posing a particular dilemma for technology companies and the consumers who wish to see their products.

Now we're Talking. Latest NVDA Includes Enhanced Skype Support, Browse Mode for Microsoft Office



The first major release of 2015 for the free NVDA screen reader is imminent. NV Access has posted a release candidate for version 2015.1, which will basically resemble the final release assuming no major bugs are found. This version includes a browse mode for Microsoft Office and Outlook similar to the one used on web pages, enhanced support for Skype 7 and above including the reviewing of recent messages, a silent install feature from the command-line, and a host of additional changes and bug fixes. Follow the link to read the update post or download the new release. Here's a complete list of changes in this version.

Three Monkeys Fantasy Audio RPG Seeking Kickstarter Backing



Three Monkeys is a new PC fantasy roll-playing audiogame created by UK-based company Incus Games and they're currently seeking some funding on Kickstarter to see the project through. Currently, they've reached over 10 percent of their 28,000 pound goal. Backers will receive codes for the game upon release, a copy of the game's soundtrack, and early beta access among other perks.

An iPad with Buttons? New Phorm Case Offers Tactile Experience



Touchscreens are great for lots of things, but often it is less efficient to type using one, despite a variety of available accessories. A company called Tactus Technology is working to solve this dilemma and has announced a new product called Phorm, which will provide a tactile keyboard experience for the iPad Mini. The $99 accessory uses a lever that when pressed, exposes a physical keyboard on the iPad's screen. This is done using microfluidic technology to raise and lower buttons on demand. The product is targeted for a summer release, with iPhone and other models to follow.

Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts, the Chocolate Amazon Edition



Valentine's day is right around the corner, as in this Saturday. And if you haven't found a gift yet, you better get to it! Looking for a last minute Valentine's day gift to let your sweetheart know just how you feel about them? Satisfy your lover's sweet tooth with some yummy chocolate goodies! Here are our favorite picks of the finest Valentine's day chocolate gifts that can be ordered from Amazon and shipped straight to your door within a matter of days.

The Weekly Apple Rundown: Keep Watching The Skies Edition



Another week and another round of wild rumor and barely sourced speculation awaits you in this week's Rundown. Let us begin with the stories that may, or may not, have anything to do with that strange camera-laden car mentioned last week.

Getting Around: 5 Creative Ways to use Ridesharing Services like Uber



Having affordable and reliable transportation can be a very liberating experience. Though ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft still have some accessibility challenges to overcome, we've found a lot of creative ways to use the services. Here's five potential uses you may not have thought of. And if you're new to Uber, you can sign up and get a free ride, which is up to $30 as of the time of this post.

APH Looking at Bringing Nearby Explorer GPS to the iPhone



The American Printing House for the Blind is researching the possibility of bringing its Nearby Explorer GPS software to iOS devices including the iPhone. This detail is one of many included in its annual report, published to its website each fiscal year. In addition to this possibility, the release of a demo version and international expansion are also on the roadmap. Nearby Explorer is currently available for Android devices for $99 and is also included on the BraillePlus 18 notetaker. We've linked to the entire annual report which includes info on this and many other APH projects.

AFB's 2015 Access Award Winners Highlight Apps, TV, Computing Accomplishments



MIPsoft, the company behind the popular Blindsquare GPS app for the iPhone, Comcast, and Odin Mobile were among this year's winners for the American Foundation for the Blind's Access Awards. The AFB the Blind annually recognizes companies, organizations, and people who have broken down barriers to accessibility in extraordinary ways.

Acapela Adds its Voice to the NVDA Screen Reader, Available Starting at 59 Euros



Users of the free NVDA screen reader now have another option for obtaining enhanced voices. Acapela Group is now offering two voice packages, which both include a variety of voice styles and languages and work on up to three computers.

Venerable Kurzweil 1000 gets Bump to Version 14 with OCR Improvements, Enhanced PDF Support, More



Cambium Learning Group has released version 14 of its popular Kurzweil 1000 OCR program. The popular Windows-based scanning and optical character recognition tool now can create PDF files from extracted images and includes a host of additional improvements which we've listed below. Upgrades from any previous version remain at $125 and are available now.

Austrian Researchers Tackling Full Page Braille Display Challenge with BLITAB



A team of researchers has recently raised over $10,000 to create an alpha prototype for BLITAB, a full-page braille display project which has been in development for three years. The claim on the project's page as the "world's first tablet for blind people" is perhaps a bit misleading, but the project itself has some lofty goals. The BLITAB would include braille translation features as well as a GPS and support for obtaining information from NFC tags.

The Weekly Apple Rundown: Gold Watch Safe Edition



Welcome back everyone to the news that was, and wasn't in some cases, for that little 'ol company that has most of the money on the planet. More on that in a moment.

Quiet Cars May Not be Mandated until 2018



It may be at least 2018 until regulations governing sounds made by quiet cars takes effect. According to Green Car Reports The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has delayed their rulemaking procedures on the issue until the end of 2015, which also has the effect of delaying implementation of the rule. IN 2011, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act became law, a bill which required quiet cars to emit a sound to alert pedestrians including the blind. The [U.S. Energy Information Administration]( http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=93&t=4) estimated over 11 million vehicles which use alternative fuels were on the road as of 2011, though not all of these vehicles would be considered quiet cars. Check the source link for more details.

Quick Take: 14-cell Hims Smart Beetle Targets Mobile Pros, Connects to up to 6 Devices at Once



A new ultraportable braille display was the biggest news at the Hims booth during the recent Assistive Technology Industry Association conference in Orlando. Named the Smart Beetle for its connection options, it can simultaneously connect to up to 6 devices at once, 5 Bluetooth and one USB 2.0. Beetles have 6 legs, thus the use of the nature-inspired name.

Cards Against Humanity now Accessible Thanks to 64 Oz. Games



The wildly successful adult party game Cards Against Humanity is now accessible to the blind, thanks to a kit from 64 Oz. Games. The company specializes in making kits which make card and board games accessible, often accomplished by using plastic overlay sleeves. To achieve this, you would purchase the Cards Against Humanity game and then the accessibility kit. It'll be necessary to find a way to read the printed cards so they can be matched with their corresponding braille overlays. Once this is done, you'll have a completely accessible version of one of the most popular games in the world.

Hims Announces Blaze ET MultiPlayer with OCR, Dictionary, More



Hims is adding another model to its line of Blaze portable DAISY players. The Blaze ET will include additional features including a dictionary, calculator, and other applications. A redesigned layout is also a possibility, given some of the features and requests from users of the original Booksense models. This presentation outline from this week's ATIA conference gives some additional information. No pricing info has been released. We'll be sure to post more about this as our ATIA coverage unfolds. Update: Earlier we reported the inclusion of a Skype application, based on the above link. Hims has now said this feature will not be included, at least for now.

Apple Weekly Rundown: The Mag Safe Edition



Microsoft stole most of the week's news with their announcement of Windows 10, Office 16 and those Holo Lens thingies. However, we still have some interesting reads this week regardless.

It's an iOS App Store Bonnanza! 4 New Offerings from Kid Friendly Software, Voice Dream and iBraille



Good things usually come in threes. However, this week sees the release of four new apps for your iDevice of choice.

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