Chris, What's this about FS updating its database for ScanTalker? It hasn't been updated for several years, as far as I know but lots of what we use is in it, thank goodness! I also have added several products to it. Susan -----Original Message----- From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Chris Hofstader Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 8:33 AM To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bksvol-discuss] OT: Issues Blind People Face Hi E. et al, I always look for technical answers to difficult questions. These are often expensive but as I gaze into my crystal ball, I see the unnaturally inflated prices of AT crashing to Earth in the next two to five years. Currently, Freedom Scientific sells a very good bar code reader with a massive database of products ranging from music CDs to canned foods to health and beauty aids to some prescription drugs (the reason the prescription drugs are a limited set is that there is no standard set of bar codes for them so FS only supports Walgreens and CVS). Bar codes are usually in the same place on most products so finding them (with a good handheld reader) isn't hard and the database includes preparation information, nutritional data and lots of other good stuff that we PWVI cannot access independently while pawing through our kitchen cabinets looking for something to eat. The FS solution is very expensive because of its massive database (updated every 90 days) and because they ship it with an excellent bar code reading gun which makes the process that much easier. A bar code solution, however, is not adequate for shopping unless you have an insanely large amount of time on your hands. While I was still at FS, I had some conversations with Publix, a really huge grocery chain here in the south. We talked about making a single line Braille embosser/ink printer that could be attached to a cash register. As each item is scanned by the cashier, a label shoots out of the embosser with dots on one side and ink on the other. Either the cashier, the bag boy or another designated to the task can then stick the labels on the packages so the PWVI can read them when they get home. We calculated that we could manufacture and sell these for about $300 profitably. Each grocery store need only buy one as the probability of a swarm of PWVI shopping at Safeway all at once is pretty low so we wouldn't need to wait on long lines to get to the one register with the embosser. As far as I know, the project died when I left the company nearly 4 years ago. Putting pressure on the commercial AT vendors while helping those who make free open source programs will help us achieve control of our own technological destinies and, as a result, the liberty to move the art forward as we see fit. -----Original Message----- From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of E. Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2008 5:35 PM To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Chris's books If blind people take a bit of responsibility there are tools they can use. For instance, when I buy cans of something, I tend to buy several cans of the same thing. I do not buy several cans of different things which all come in similar feeling cans at the same time. That way, I can label the "several cans" of whatever when I get home. I know blind people have real problems. I also know blind people who make life harder for themselves by refusing to search out ways of solving "problems". Then they get angry because all cans are not labeled in braille or whatever. Let's encourage each other to problem solve rather than whine and lash out at others. E. At 04:24 PM 6/28/2008, you wrote: >Hi all, > ><smiling> George, no of course it wouldn't be funny if it really had >happened. No, this was a spoof, a funny essay or lark written to point >up the problems blind people have with cans and boxes which aren't >labeled in braille or in any other intelligible way. No, I'm not >advocating destruction of property, not at all. This bit of hyperbole >was written and posted on Blind Kiss some time back, and it was funny >precisely because it was so exaggerated and so outrageous that it would >never have happened in a million years. Yet its purpose was serious in >that it was written to underscore the problems we have with printed >material. I guess I didn't explain that well. It was written in the >Robin Hood mind >set, and it had just enough hijinx to make it extremely funny. In >fact, it was so well written that even the image of all these blind >people whooping and hollering and ripping off the labels on cans just >makes me smile. I can't help it! I guess maybe I am, as they say in >some quarters "slightly tetched.". > ><still chuckling> >Ann P. > >-- >Ann K. Parsons >Portal Tutoring >EMAIL: akp@xxxxxxxxxxxx >http://www.portaltutoring.info >Skype: Putertutor > >"All that is gold does not glitter, >Not all those who wander are lost." > >Email services provided by the System Access Mobile Network. Visit >www.serotek.com to learn more about accessibility anywhere. >To unsubscribe from this list send a blank Email to >bksvol-discuss-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx >put the word 'unsubscribe' by itself in the subject line. 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