tjhowse boosted

long post on accessibility advice from a blind screen reader user 

OK #Mastodon. I've seen several toots on #accessibility for #screenreader users, however, I've not seen one from a screenreader user (as far as I know). I've used ZoomText, Outspoken, JAWS (AKA JFW), Supernova, NVDA (Windows), and VoiceOver (both on Macs and iPhone). I don't have experience with Windows Narrator or TalkBack. I would like to rectify and clarify a few small things.
First off, any awareness of accessibility issues, and endeavours to make things more accessible is great. Keep going!
Blind/low-vision people have been using the internet as long as everyone else. We had to become used to the way people share things, and find workarounds or tell developers what we needed; this latter one has been the main drive to get us here and now. Over the past decade, screen readers have improved dramatically, including more tools, languages, and customisability. However, the basics were already firmly in place around 2000. Sadly, screen readers cost a lot of money at that time. Now, many are free; truly the biggest triumph for accessibility IMHO.
So, what you can do to help screen readers help their users is three simple things.
1. Write well: use punctuation, and avoid things like random capitalisation or * halfway through words.
2. Image description: screen readers with image recognition built-in will only provide a very short description, like: a plant, a painting, a person wearing a hat, etc. It can also deal with text included in the image, as long as the text isn't too creatively presented. So, by all means, go absolutely nuts with detail.
3. Hashtags: this is the most commonly boosted topic I've seen here, so #ThisIsWhatAnAccessibleHashtagLooksLike. The capitalisation ensures it's read correctly, and for some long hashtags without caps, I've known screen readers to give up and just start spelling the whole damn thing out, which is slow and painful.
That's really all. Thanks for reading! 😘

tjhowse boosted

Becoming good at computers is easy, simply be born in the 1980's and spend all your time installing Linux instead of making friends.

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“Everything is a file”

Computing: Paradigm that underlies the incredibly successful Unix operating system

Woodworking: This is the worst workshop ever

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ethical social research 

Seriously though, there are ethical and unethical ways to collect social data, and a fair overlap of grey area where the two meet. Some forms of data aggregation have always been tolerated here, eg instances tracking or visualizing sites like Others are clearly not cool, like accessing Direct posts. In between there's a lot of careful negotiation to be done. Worth looking into the theory behind stuff like Participatory Action Research.

@sminnee @tj

tjhowse boosted

It's taken a great deal of trial and error, but behold! A single, home-made, slightly toasted, vacuum freeze-dried mango slice! Only took about 6kWh to make.

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@tj @aurynn i commented some on this at; summary is that no attempts thus far have addressed even the easy questions about consent, privacy, security, and abuse potential, among other concerns.

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@tj @aurynn if you want a really long answer I can recommend Seeing Like a State by James Scott.

I built a little infra-red heating element thingo to warm up the food in my vacuum freeze-drying chamber. Hopefully the last piece of the puzzle!

Burst water main on creek road, just south of Cannon hill Bunnings.

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Oh dear. I've just been informed that collecting the names of every person on the planet for my naughty and nice lists is, and I quote, “a significant and wholly irresponsible breach of #GDPR “.
I'm going to hand out about 8 billion consent forms soon. If you could all get them back to me ASAP that would be appreciated.

Woo! I can now freeze-dry stuff without buying dry ice! Now to work out how to get more heat into the vacuum chamber.

I found this cute blue-tongued lizard outside my office door yesterday. Brought it inside to show Michelle. Layka nonplussed.

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Trying to cobble together a phone for my Grandmother to use in aged care. At 97 years old and not great vision a smart phone isn't going to work and Telstra charge $45 a month for a fixed line that intermittently works. A 4G PSTN bridge is $12 a month plus setup cost. Technology marches on but it leaves plenty of people behind.

Delicious data! Just started up the chillers. Sometimes the ethanol plateaus at -25°C or so, sometimes it gets down to -36°C. Not sure why.

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