Well, it’s not a job, but they’re paying me.

And it’s accessibility related, so naturally, I was all over this. They’re gonna pay me $65 or so if I qualify to take this study, for the sole purpose of seeing how accessible my cell phone is. And apparently, if you choose to use your own cell phone for the process, they’ll throw extra money at you to cover it. I won’t say no to $80 for showing up and texting.

——————————–PARTICIPANTS NEEDED FOR a study of Cellphone Based Payment Systems

Researchers at the Neil Squire Society in cooperation with the Canadian Institute for the Blind are conducting a study to better understand how making retail product purchases using cellular phones can impact members of the Blind Community.

The ultimate goal of this project is to identify potential barriers that would make it difficult for people who are blind to complete mobile retail transactions and to make industry aware of these issues.

We are currently recruiting individuals who are blind, who currently use a cellular phone, and who know how to send and receive a Text Message and use a Web Browser on a cellular phone.

Eligible participants will be asked to participate in one 2 hour test session which involves using 4 types of payment services. You will receive a $65 honorarium for your time.

If you live in Ottawa, Ont, Regina, Sk or Vancouver, BC we would like to hear from you.

To learn more about this research and your eligibility, please contact:

OTTAWA: Ms. Joanne Ahern
Research Assistant, Neil Squire Society
Telephone: (613) 723-3575
EMAIL: joannea@neilsquire.ca

REGINA: Diann Coates
Regional Manager, Neil Squire Society
PH: (306) 781-6023
EMAIL: diannc@neilsquire.ca

Manager of R&D
PH: (604) 412-7599
EMAIL: harryl@neilsquire.ca

Principal Investigator

Dr. Gary Birch, PhD, P.Eng.
Neil Squire Society
Executive Director and Director of Research & Development

And now, for a new level of geekery.

As I mentioned a while back, I’ve been toying around with Gentoo linux off and on for a while, and have been considering running it locally for quite some time. Today, well actually last night, out of boredom I decided to burn a CD image of their latest release. I’d of stuck with the image you gave me mike (lightvortex), but it was about 3 years old judging by what I could see of it and didn’t burn properly. Sorry! So, I burned that particular image, and went about the process of testing it out on my laptop (hint: 5 years old, almost 6, very minimalistic – 512 MB RAM, 40 GB HD, etc). And with absolutely no fussing on my end whatsoever, which is good seeing as there’s absolutely 0 accessibility on that particular live CD, she worky and she worky like beautiful.

So I fired it up, got myself to the command line with absolutely 0 feedback from the computer (I love having had previous linux experience), and set up the CD so I could remote into it from this machine. That took all of maybe a minute and a half to do. From there, it was just log into the laptop (or, rather, log into the CD in the laptop), and poke around. I could have probably gone right to the instalation procedure from there with absolutely no fuss whatsoever. And would have, except I hadn’t had a damn thing pulled off that laptop yet that I wanted to save. Now, keep in mind I’ve had this machine since about October of 07. Since then, the laptop’s been in a state of semi-retirement, only ever really being used when the router decides it wants to enter into a fit of noncooperation. Since the router’s in the bedroom and the desktop isn’t, the laptop became my troubleshooting tool. But I still never bothered to pull what I thought I’d want to save off of it. So I hadn’t planned on formatting it at all until that was done. Last night, after I logged into the system and poked around, I mounted the internal HD so I could access it from inside the live CD environment. And then I downloaded the whole damn thing, Windows OS and all, into a folder on this HD. Took me the better part of 24 hours to do it (I started it at about 1:00 this morning and it only finished just after 10 tonight), but now, what is on my laptop is also on my desktop in a folder unoriginally named “backup” (I was tired. Sue me.). Now all I have to do is get around to actually whiping it and installing Gentoo. Which may or may not happen this year. I’m curious to start playing with gnome and orca, but not curious enough yet to undergo the manual instalation process Gentoo takes. And no, I refuse to install Ubuntu. Debian, *maybe*. But only if I have to.

Yahoo doesn’t suck as bad for accessibility now.

I don’t know how new this is, but after trying to create a group to replace the less than maintained one I’ve been a member of for a while, I ran into that damnable Yahoo captcha with absolutely no audio or other alternative whatsoever. Except apparently, there is.

Hello James,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Groups.

We appreciate your patience, James. I have verified your account, and have set it so that you should no longer encounter the word verification box when joining or creating Yahoo! Groups.

And, according to the fact I’ve managed to successfully do so, I dare say for the time being, it actually works. I now go pick my jaw up off the floor.

I have too much time, methinks.

So in between getting things settled up for Christmas, and taking Jess (samari76) out for her birthday, I’ve had a bit of an opportunity to do some technological geeking. I’ve been toying with the idea of installing a local copy of various versions of Linux, mostly for the awesome factor that would go with it. That, plus trish is rather curious to see exactly what the system looks like. So with mucho assistance from Mike (lightvortex), I got my hands on an iso of Gentoo, A.K.A. my OS of choice. Burned two live CD’s, one for my eventual booting/possible installing, and one so Trish can look at it on her own schedule and optionally install it when she decides it’s something she’s got time to dink around with. If I ever do get around to installing Gentoo locally, I’ve still got the HP laptop sitting in the other room that’s been in a sort of semi-state of retirement since about September/October of last year, when I got my hands on this machine. I’m giving serious thought to plunking Gentoo on that machine, and taking the Orca screenreader for a test drive. Thought about a couple others, but from doing my own poking around Orca’s got the most publicly available documentation/information on it. I’m not *overly* impressed with its selection of speech synths, but considering it’s free software, plus is completely and totally open source, I don’t see that being a permanent problem. If it turns out I actually enjoy locally using Gentoo,I may do exactly the same thing with the desktop here; ditch the copy of Windows and subsequent copy of JAWS for Windows I have on here, and stick Gentoo in its place. God knows there’s about 40 billion equivalent programs I can use to do the same every day things I do on here while using that particular OS. Now I just have to muster up the nerve to actually take the plunge. One of these days I’ll let loose with my Windows versus Linux post. But for the moment, I’ll just leave it at Linux will pwn j00. And yes, Rox’e (pawpower4me), it even pwns your macs. Like wo.