The President remarked on Tuesday during his gun control speech that “the gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they can’t hold America hostage.” Why does he not take a similar stance with pharmaceutical companies, which does “hold America hostage.” The President eluded to the mental health problem later in his address by calling attention to the fact that “shootings tend to shine a light on those few mentally unstable people who inflict harm on others,” which is troubling because some fail to truly debate the side-effects of medications with respect to this issue. Also, many of the shootings that have occurred have been committed by individuals who have taken, or are taking some kind of drug, which he did not clearly shed light on. Moreover, the President remarked that “we’re going to do more to help those suffering from mental illness get the help that they need.” How can Americans believe this when veterans, who sacrifice their lives for the sake of this nation cannot even Get good moderately decent help for their problems? Additionally, the President remarked that roughly “two in three gun deaths are from suicides.” Closing this point, he states that “ a lot of our work is to prevent people from hurting themselves.” I understand his sentiment, but it is not the job of the Government to prevent people from harming themselves. People who want to kill themselves will do so, and most people will not know until the person is already dead, and newsflash everyone, suicide is not caused by just guns, but get ready because I’m sure this will be a central theme for media to engender fear among viewers. It is interesting how life suddenly becomes sacred for those individuals who unfortunately lost their lives in the shootings outlined in this speech, which is not disputed, but what about the babies that are killed daily because of a woman’s decision to invoke her right as an adult to abort her baby? Why are unborn children regardless of malady denied the same protection and jettisoned from the concept of sanctity merely because they are not yet physically born? Finally, I know this post went all over the place, but that is alright. I do agree that background check reform should happen across all avenues that touch on domestic security, not just concerning gun ownership.
Imbedded links within the terms “Macintosh” and “Windows” will provide audio screen reader demonstrations of this peer-to-peer file sharing service – enjoy.
BitTorrent Sync Review
It is my hope to not make this post seem like other Messages that merely provide regurgitated information from other sources; however, it may seem so. Thus, it is my aim to share my experiences about the ever-increasing popular file sharing program, BitTorrent Sync (BTS). According to a submitted post by a follower of Lifehacker, the question is posed, which many people unfamiliar with BTS have. Simply stated, the person is asking why he or she should care about this option because “isn’t it just another file syncing service?”
What is BitTorrent Sync?
While on the surface this may seem true. For others, who merely glance at the title and presume it is “another” torrent alternative, both presumptions are not correct. BTS is a peer-to-peer file exchange client. Unlike Dropbox, GoogleDrive, OneNote (formally Sky Drive), and other cloud-based services, BTS is superior in what it offers. This statement is predicated on the fact that BTS “does one thing, and does it well,” which is to share files safely and securely.
File Sharing Safely and Securely
File sharing is more secure with BTS because users can define the level of access a person or group can have. The degree of access a person is allowed is not defined by a set of criteria, but it is determined by a “secret code,” which is the hallmark of BTS. A secret code can be obtained by clicking the “generate” button, or by copying a code generated by another person. The “full access code” that is generated is necessary because this is the primary code that is used for editing privileges. However, if an individual sharing data only wishes to let others merely copy the data without removing it from the host computer, then accessing the “folder preferences” feature from within the application will provide a “read only” code that can be shared. This is very helpful because once the information has been successfully transferred the receiver of the data can remove the data from his or her shared folder without needing to worry about losing the original copy. Simply put, “once the data is received it is yours.”
Storage Limits are History
Additionally, file size and storage space are not tied to a particular amount of cloud-based space a person has, but instead it is contingent on the amount of free space an individual has on their internal hard drive. Thus, individuals wishing to share large files no longer need to concern themselves with the storage limits offered by the aforementioned cloud-based alternatives. This is an excellent feature of BTS because for those users who currently subscribe to cloud-based premium accounts for the sake of having extra space to store or share large files, it can now be virtually eliminated. Therefore, with all of this said, it is fair to presume that BTS is a great alternative to the more commonly used cloud-based options because unlike the competitors, it does not require uploading the content to the respective server, but instead it merely transfers the data to the computer that has been granted access by the sharing of the “full access” or “read only” code. Furthermore, because a secret code is all that is necessary to authenticate and begin receiving a file transfer, the need for creating an account (providing an e-mail address and password) are no longer necessary. Finally, the location of the downloaded information does not need to be placed in a specific folder because this is determined by the user when creating a folder to place shared content, and by the user creating a folder to receive content. Overall, this is an excellent method of file sharing that is completely screen reader accessible with Macintosh and Windowscomputers, and Apple mobile products.
Configuring Soundflower with a Logitech H800
This post is a quick guide on how to configure Soundflower with the Logitech H800 wireless/bluetooth headset. I first learned about Soundflower from AppleVis, which is a site that specializes in gathering data from people who use iDevices in conjunction with Voiceover. Alex Hall, is the individual who first posted an audio podcast that detailed how to initially configure Soundflower to work with Audacity, which is a recording program for the Macintosh. Therefore, this post will pay particular attention to configuring Soundflower with Amadeus Pro, which is another recording program for the Mac computer, while using Voiceover and the Logitech H800.
What is Soundflower?
Soundflower is a free application that is an audio interface, which adds an additional pair of audio devices to a computer. This feature gives a user the ability to record (or route) audio through the program so it can be captured (or recorded) with either Audacity, Audio Highjack Pro, or Amadeus Pro (just to name several).. Once the program is installed, within the “AudioMini Setup” application, a “2 channel” or “64 channel” audio interface option is available. Additionally, within this application, all other input devices connected to a computer will be listed.
Soundflower Configuration Tutorial
Aggregate Device setup: This is the input option that determines where sound will be coming from. In most cases, this will be either from a microphone or some type of external audio device, which in this case is the Logitech H800 headset. First, launch AudioMidi Setup, then click “create new device” button. Select “create aggregate device,” then interact with the list of audio device options. (Please note that the “aggregate device” feature is already selected as the option being configured within the audio device table). Second, check the “Logitech Wireless Headset,” and the “Soundflower 64ch” option.
Multi output Device Setup: This component for configuration refers to where the sound will be routed from. First, click the “create new device” button,“ then interact with the list of audio device options. (Please note that the ”aggregate device“ feature is already selected as the option being configured within the audio device table Therefore, select the same two elements ”Logitech Wireless Headset,“ and ”Soundflower 64ch."
System Sound Preferences Setup: Simply, within the input and output tabs respectively, aggregate device should be selected for input, and multi output device should be selected for output.
Amadeus Pro Setup: It is important to note that this program is not free. Thus, in order to insure sound is being recorded from the Logitech Wireless Headset, within the preferences of the program, in the input and output tabs respectively, the aggregate device and multi output device should be selected. With all this being done, a blind user should then be able to record his or her voice through the Logitech microphone, while simultaneously hearing Voiceover through the same headset. Side note: I did install Audacity and selected the “3 channel” option because when configuring these programs to work Together I was having difficulty. Thus, I am not sure if following the outlined steps in conjunction with including Audacity will be necessary or not.
The Devil’s Punchbowl Review
In a city working to thrive against the decline of a poor economy, Natchez, Mississippi, manages to “stay-a-float,” despite the undercurrent of illegal activities that are known to few people. Since the resignation of former Mayor, Doug Jones, Natchez, has started experiencing economic growth. Penn Cage, former Assistant prosecutor of Houston, has returned to his hometown, and has recently been elected mayor. Cage’s efforts so far have given way to the possibility of a recycling plant coming to Natchez, as well as welcoming several casino boats. Nestled against the bank of the Mississippi, The Magnolia Queen, has Quickly become a favorite among Natchezians. However, behind the card tables, lights, and beneath the upper-deck of this illustrious boat, lies an existence fueled by competitiveness, greed, and the untouchable notion that invincibility is possible.
For The Golden Parachute Gaming Corporation, which owns a series of casino boats, this belief is real. For general Manager, Sands, and Chief Security Officer, Quinn, this reality is even more solidified because of their status in the community and their ties to organized crime. However, what unfolds is nothing anyone could have expected. Beginning in the cemetery, a series of photos launches Cage into an underworld of crime, dissection, and murder that challenges his capability as mayor, while tightening the tension between his relationship with Caitlin Masters. In a series of unimaginable events and impossible outcomes, this book will leave the reader speeding across the Mississippi River to an uncertainty Cage cannot begin to comprehend.
Writing is a skill that I cherish greatly. The ability to write well is a skill that has been difficult to master. However, with the help of teachers, who have settled for nothing less than improvement, I am deeply grateful. Digressing from the topic at-hand, I will begin with my rendition of a book review.
Turning Angel Review
Greg Iles, is an author, whose novel’s I have recently come to enjoy. By the recommendation of friends, I have started reading books from The Penn Cage series. The first book in this series, is “The Quiet Game.” In my opinion, this is an excellent introduction into the mystery and suspense genre of Iles. Furthermore, this second novel, Turning Angel, is an excellent glimpse into the life of Cage.
Iles does not waste time in drawing the reader into the crises that has befallen Natchez, Mississippi. Participating in a St. Stephen’s high school board meeting, Cage, and best friend, Drew Elliott, hear the disheartening news about Kate Townsend. Found floating near the Mississippi River, Townsend’s death floods the riverbanks, shrouding the small southern community in fear and speculation because of the recent murder. Confiding in his best friend, Drew Elliott begins to tell Cage of his affair with the murdered teenager. Quickly spiraling into a twisted plot of dissection and murder, Iles, has taken readers into a world full of controversy, misunderstanding, and into an unfortunate reality that Currently plagues society. Revered as a great Physician who has genuine care for his patients’, Dr. Elliott, is Quickly shunned by those who disapprove of his behavior. Seeming to flow beneath the surface of the great Mississippi River, lies an undercurrent of crime that equally perplexes the citizens of Natchez. In an effort to vindicate Elliott, Cage seeks the counsel of former civil rights lawyer, Quentin Avery, and Cage’s babysitter – who work Together to solve this tale of betrayal, temptation, and love.
This story is one that has captivated me from the opening pages. Similar to the first novel, Iles, does not spare readers the experiences of suspense and heart-pounding fiction that parallel life as it is known presently. Empathizing with Dr. Elliott, I can understand his reasons for falling in-love with a younger lady. I too, have succumb to the feelings of love for a member of the opposite sex that is younger than myself. However, where my disapproval lies, is with Elliott’s transgression against his marriage.
In this second decade of the 21st-century, it is not at all surprising to hear news reports of students and teachers becoming intimately involved with one another to the point of monogamy. In the case of this novel, the relationship between Elliott and Townsend is not excused. However, an appreciation is felt for the love between both people because at the foundation of humanity, everyone is searching for acceptance, affection, and affirmation. It is understandable to observe why Elliott becomes profoundly drawn to this younger woman, who equally reciprocates her affection for him. However, because of the deviant nature this lifestyle imposes on society, it is equally understandable why both characters kept their affair secret. Thus, because of my affinity for dating women younger than myself, because of the degree of maturity some of these young women have (albeit rare), and because of the desire to learn from a more experienced person, who can nurture growth in a positive way, is perhaps why in the instance of this novel, the notion of love between people with a considerable age difference is more easily tolerated.
Software Review – Text Expander
The title line leaves little to be shared concerning this great application produced by SmileSoftware. Text Expander is a software program that is meant to improve one’s efficiency when using a computer. This program allows “text snippets” to be created, which when typed “expand” into the desired text associated to the series of letter combinations. Thus, this brief entry will merely highlight Some of the ways I have incorporated Braille and Text Expander Together. For people who are familiar with the Braille alphabet these examples will be common knowledge, but for those unfamiliar with this method of writing for blind individuals, it should prove to be a unique method.
Text Expander and Braille
It is speculated to be common knowledge that most people are familiar with the term “Braille,” which is a method blind individuals use to read and write by using a series of perforated dot combinations. This method of reading and writing is altered Some to accommodate individuals who have a background in science, which is due in large part to the life-long contribution of the late Dr. Abraham Nemeth. Braille is comprised of a six-dot sell that is used to crate the alphabet and other contracted (grade 2) symbols, words, prefixes, and suffixes – for use within the Braille code. Furthermore, Braille uses a numeric system for identifying each dot because its location within the cell is important. This importance is crucial for blind people because a single dot can change a word, serve as a different punctuation mark, or when referring to the sciences, change an equation. Thus, this method of producing readable and writeable content has proven to be an invaluable asset to blind individuals globally. Moreover, where this unique way of reading and writing continues to lend itself to innovative uses is found within Text Expander.
Here are just a few text snippets I use in conjunction with Braille. Please note the letters in quotes refer to the actual letters used when creating a Braille word, and the associated word thereafter is what text expander “expands” into when typing – enjoy.
Text Expanded Braille
“ll” refers to the word little.
“alr” refers to the word already.
“grt” refers to the word great.
“tgr” refers to the word Together.
In addition Some further contracted Braille words include a set of “dot–5” words. These are denoted with the “dot–5” next to a letter.
“Dot–5-m” refers to the word Mother.
“Dot–5-F” refers to Father.
“Dot–5-w” refers to Work.
“Dot–5-u” refers to Under.
“Dot–5-S” refers to Some.
These again are just Some general contracted Braille words I have been able to incorporate into my Text Expander typing Work-flow.
Hope this has been helpful.
Given that my last two posts so far have been written with a more serious tone, I thought I would take the time to develop this blog further by introducing the reader to Some personal interests. One of particular significance, is computers and technology. More specifically, the Apple ecosystem – highlighting Voiceover accessibility.
A user of Apple products since 2009, beginning with the iPhone 3GS, and moving to my first macintosh in January 2010, my experience so far has been positive. Everything I have learned up to this point, I accredit to the many people who through private consultation, Internet mailing lists, and personal research – all have added to my knowledge concerning the enthusiasm I have for Apple hardware, and associated software packages created to Work on this platform. Because of this, LaunchBar is a software package I have come to heavily rely upon.
This program is produced by Objective Development, and with the evolutionary updates that have included Voiceover accessibility, it is proving to be a great addition to my daily computing. Furthermore, kudos is in order for the development team who has listened to users of Voiceover because their effort and time are indications of a company who is willing to listen to customer feedback.. Therefore, this review will be a brief summary of my impressions.
It is perhaps fair to note that LaunchBar is not for the Apple beginner because learning how to operate a macintosh computer with the keyboard is very different from a Windows environment using JAWS (Job Access With Speech). Thus, for the heavy to moderate macintosh user, this is a great addition to his or her Workflow. The ease at which files and folders can be accessed is the hallmark of LaunchBar, which intern, makes using the computer a more pleasant experience. This pleasantry, is efficiency, which for the heavy to moderate Voiceover user, minimizes the need to use an assortment of “unnecessary” keystrokes to find files or folders. “Efficiency,” in this regard is not meant to deny the utility of the standard Voiceover keyboard commands because these are equally important, but for a seasoned user, these can appear to be cumbersome. (At least, this is my viewpoint).
For example, a standard method of accessing applications, documents, and downloads, for a beginner is done by invoking “the doc,” which is visible by pressing “command-shift-D,” then using first-letter navigation to find the aforementioned item. However, for the seasoned macintosh user, pressing “command-shift-A” for applications, “command-shift-O” for documents, and “command-shift-L” for downloads. (These keystrokes can also become apparent for an early computer user, but in my case I was unaware of them until roughly a year into my Apple experience).
LaunchBar has greatly enhanced my computer use by allowing me to not only search for files and folders more effectively, but this program offers an assortment of other features. For instance, the abbreviated shortcut command allows a person to create “one” or “two” letter keystrokes, which when typed, directly places focus on a particular file or folder that has been indexed. In my case, I have indexed “bookshelf,” which is a folder where I store my digital books and manuals. Now instead of accessing the finder, I simply invoke LaunchBar, and type the letters “B” and “S” Together, which them immediately places focus on the bookshelf folder. Additionally, I have indexed the Take Control book series subfolder, which is housed within my bookshelf folder, so when I press the letters “T” and “C” Together this folder automatically appears. Another feature I have come to rely heavily upon is a Skype script, which allows me to initiate calls after selecting a phone number from my contacts list. Once I enable the script to be used from within LaunchBar preferences, I then invoke LaunchBar and type several letters of the contact I want to call, press the right-arrow key to expand the contact card, press the down-arrow key until I find the desired number I want to dial, and press enter. Within several seconds Skype receives the script command, and my call is placed. Finally, the last feature that I have come to enjoy is the “merge clipboard” function. This is a great innovation because in order to select noncontiguous files so they fall within a single clipboard post, I simply press “command-C” once to begin my clipboard selection, but for additional files or folders I wish to add to the clipboard selection, I press “command-c” twice. I like the audible tone of a stapler that is being pressed when this function is used because it is confirmation that the merge clipboard function is Working.
These examples are only several uses for LaunchBar. Many more methods on how to master this great application can be found within the TidBits Take Control series. Additionally, credit is due to Katie Floyd and David Sparks – who are the co-hosts of the Mac Power Users podcast because their interviews and desire to explore unique ways of how to increase one’s efficiency with the macintosh has contributed to my purchase and/or test of several other software packages.