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Microsoft Office Online Gets New Accessibility Enhancements
WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications), a web accessibility standard Microsoft helped create, allows for Office Online to be used in conjunction with a screen reader. Today, and Microsoft has rolled out several new accessibility improvements to give blind and poor-vision users a better Office Online experience. Office Online has added new improvements and features to help the blind and poor-vision users make their way around the application. With Narrator (Windows Key + Enter) enabled, formatting information will be read aloud when you use arrow keys to move around documents. Narrator can announce formatting and location information about headings, tables, graphs, and more.
From http://www.winbeta.org/news/microsoft-office-online-gets-new-accessibility-enhancements, January 22, 2015

W3C Launches Web of Things Initiative
W3C announced today a new Web of Things initiative to develop Web standards for enabling open markets of applications and services based upon connected sensors and actuators (the Internet of Things) and the Web of data. Open standards will be essential to realizing the huge potential. We invite you to join the new Web of Things Interest Group and drive work on use cases, requirements, and best practices. The aim is to build a shared vision and identify specific opportunities for standardization.
From http://www.w3.org/blog/news/archives/4324, January 21, 2015

CES 2015: Wearables, Drones and Smart Devices Prove IoT is Here to Stay
CES 2015 might not have showcased the innovation in technology seen in previous years, but it did reinforce the importance of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the products and services that it will enable in the years ahead. For instance, one of the tech industry's major players, mobile chip maker Qualcomm, dedicated most of its press conference to the development of IoT in the coming year, hinting that its growth is an important factor as the company moves forward.
From http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/feature/2390292/ces-2015-wearables-drones-and-smart-devices-prove-the-iot-is-here-to-stay, January 19, 2015

Freedom Scientific Releases a 90-day License of JAWS® for Windows
Freedom Scientific today announced the release of a 90-day license of JAWS® for Windows Professional, the worlds most popular Windows screen reader. The 90-day license represents a great opportunity for companies who wish to test the accessibility of their Web pages or their applications under development. Agencies can use the 90-day license to test at job sites and start new employees on JAWS immediately. For end users, this provides an option to spread the purchase of a full JAWS license over an extended time period.
From http://visuallyimpairedpeople.org/content/freedom-scientific-releases-90-day-license-jaws%C2%AE-windows, January 19, 2015

'Be My Eyes' iPhone App Lets You Help the Blind Using Video Chat
There's a new iPhone app from the Danish team known for Thermodo that lets sighted folks help the blind on the rare occasions they need it. Called Be My Eyes, the non-profit, crowd-sourced app (on iOS only for now) pairs sighted with blind users using video chat. The concept is pretty simple: when a blind person needs help to, say, glean the expiration date on a carton of milk or cross a street, they simply tap their screen to find the first available sighted helper. Once a helper accepts the request, the blind person points his rear camera at the problem and can get assistance by video chat.
From http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/16/be-my-eyes-iphone-app-help-the-blind/#continued, January 19, 2015

How Next-Gen Computing Changes the Way We Live and Work
Despite tremendous advances in cognitive computing capabilities, organizations have only begun to scratch the surface of potential for this innovative technology. From improving customer engagement to enhancing research capabilities that identify new, life-saving medical treatments, the potential value of cognitive-based solutions is boundless.
From http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/cognitivefuture/, January 19, 2015

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): Integrated Accessibility Standards
The AODA requires organizations, including employers and trade unions, to comply with certain Accessibility Standards in such areas as employment, delivery of goods and services, transportation and communications with an aim to removing barriers to accessibility. The Accessibility Standards impose significant obligations on public and private sector employers which reach well beyond and are in addition to, the existing accommodation requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
From http://www.niagarathisweek.com/shopping-story/5159792-accessibility-for-ontarians-with-disabilities-act-aoda-integrated-accessibility-standards/, January 16, 2015

Business Online Accessibility Matters too for People with Disabilities
Don't think you can avoid the Americans with Disabilities Act simply because you operate an online business. Even a business with no bricks and mortar has to be aware of the needs of disabled customers. Online grocer Peapod.com recently learned that lesson. It entered a SETTLEMENT with the United States Justice Department to resolve allegations that its website violated the ADA. Peapod is an internet grocer based in Chicago. Customers can order products in a broad range of categories, including meat and seafood, deli items, prepared foods and health and beauty aids. Customers can place orders seven days a week for delivery as soon as the next day or up to two weeks in advance.
From http://abilitychicagoinfo.blogspot.in/2014/12/business-online-accessibility-matters.html?spref=tw, January 16, 2015

New August Connect Allows You to Control Your Smartlock from Anywhere
Gradually, home automation is taking its place in the market. With almost everyone carrying at least one smartphone all the time, this idea appeals to a major crowd although it has only penetrated a small portion of it at present. One of its potentials is being able to improve home security. August, is a company that presents door locks that are Android or iOS smartphone operated. However, generally, such technology depends on Bluetooth connection to function. Thus, you can only turn the switch in a limited proximity.
From http://www.doi-toshin.com/new-august-connect-allows-control-smartlock-anywhere/, January 15, 2015

Study Shows Innovative Use of Smartwatch in Diagnosis of Tremors
Researchers from the University of Calgary have demonstrated that tremors can be accurately diagnosed and assessed using a smartwatch. It’s estimated that essential tremor affects 10 million patients in the United States alone. Another 10 million patients are affected by Parkinson’s disease worldwide. Clearly, the burden of disease is large and the impact on day-to-day life for many of these patients is significant.
From http://www.imedicalapps.com/2015/01/new-study-shows-innovative-use-smartwatch-diagnosis-tremors/, January 15, 2015

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