Before touching on the content in this issue or anything else I want to bring to your attention a press release posted today, June 30, on the WIPO website: India Is First to Ratify "Marrakesh Treaty" Easing Access to Books for Persons Who Are Visually Impaired. Although more than 75 WIPO member states have now signed the Treaty (adopted on June 27 last year) India is first to officially notifying WIPO of its ratification. The Treaty will only take effect after 20 ratifications or accessions are presented to WIPO:
"India supports the Marrakesh Treaty for its human rights and social development dimension. The speedy ratification of the Treaty reflects India's commitment to facilitating access to published works for the millions of blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled persons…We hope other countries will follow India's lead quickly so the Treaty can enter into force and we begin to see real and tangible benefits for the world's blind and visually impaired community." [Dilip Sinha, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva]
Thank you India for taking the lead – now it is up to the other WIPO member states to follow that lead.
Back to this issue of the DAISY Planet…the first of the four articles is a message from Stephen King, President of the DAISY Consortium. Although the title, Please Help Us Find a DAISY CEO, is somewhat self-explanatory, in the article Stephen describes the 'why', and perhaps most importantly, provides us with an overview of some of the essential characteristics and skills the DAISY CEO must have. If you are interested in finding out more about this challenging opportunity, be sure to read Stephen's message.
M-Enabling Summit: Simplicity & Affordability Drive Adoption of Mobile Technologies written by Varju Luceno, our Director of Communications, provides insight into some of the Summit highlights.
Information for the article TIES Project Meeting Identifies Clear Path Forward was provided by Avneesh Singh, Strategy Manager for the DAISY Consortium. Both information access and publishing are rapidly changing and the TIES project (Transition to Inclusive EPUB 3 Ecosystem) has been set up to work with and assist the Consortium's membership in these times of transition.
The final feature article NNELS: National Network of Equitable Library Service is about a co-operative effort making accessible reading materials available for library users, currently in four Canadian provinces.
In addition to the wonderful news about India ratifying the WIPO Treaty, there have been two very positive changes in India reported this month. The article Schools may not be able to reject disabled children published June 2 in the Times of India (Bangalore) is about the government's plans to introduce a policy that mandates zero rejection for children with disabilities in all educational institutions and hostels. All formal schools will be covered under the policy. The draft policy on Education of Children With Special Needs (CWSN) recently released by the department of education (primary and secondary) has seven non-negotiable principles. The other 'good news' article about positive actions in India that I wanted to bring to your attention is Students with vision disabilities to get free laptops posted in Global Accessibility News (GAATES).
The article US Court Ruling Makes Millions of Accessible Books Available Fair Use Prevails: Authors Guild VS HathiTrust was published in the October 2012 DAISY Planet. This month there has been further positive news about this issue as relayed in the articles HathiTrust Digital Library Wins Latest Round in Battle With Authors, June 18 and Another Fair Use Victory for Book Scanning in HathiTrust. Both are about a US federal appeals court upholding most of a 2012 lower court ruling in favour of the HathiTrust Digital Library in the copyright-infringement lawsuit (Authors Guild v. HathiTrust). The primary point of interest for our community is that as a result of the digitization process, the full text of the scanned books, is accessible and available to people with a print disability. We are talking about a huge number of books. The HathiTrust Statement on Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Appeal Ruling is brief and specific: "Today the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals upheld critical points of decision…finding that digitization for full-text search and access for print-disabled readers is fair use under US law…We are especially proud of our services to provide access for print-disabled persons."
In Benetech's Blog – CEO's Update: Spring 2014, Jim Fruchterman covers three topics, the second being "Global Literacy". He writes in the introduction: "We want to help lead the charge into a future where the advantages of digital information touch the lives of all people, not just of the richest and most able five percent of humanity." This of course leads into each of the three topics but is an extremely important message for people living with a print disability in developing countries. Jim reports on the astounding Bookshare growth rates and explains one of the ways in which Benetech will lead the charge into a future: "The next 10X opportunity is to go global, by expanding Bookshare International to serve the millions of people with print disabilities worldwide."
To my many friends in the US, please read the article Taking a Vacation May Actually Save Your Career: Workaholism is hurting the American economy. The long and short of it is simply, if you want to be more productive and do a better job, take vacation time and get more sleep – it might do you, your career, and the economy some good.
I'd also like to mention an article that I think may be helpful to many of you (it was for me): 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Be More Productive, Backed By Science.
If when you were young your mother nagged at you to sit and walk straight, she was absolutely right. Not only does your posture affect your health, it seems it also affects your mood: "New research is also demonstrating links between body position and mood. It has long been known that depression can lead to a slumped posture. But new evidence suggests the reverse is also true—that slouching can spark negative emotions and thoughts." So, sit straight and be happy! (How Bad Sitting Posture at Work Leads to Bad Standing Posture All the Time
It seems however that sitting straight is not enough – sitting itself is a problem. If your job is sedentary (sitting all day) you should read Why not even exercise will undo the harm of sitting all day—and what you can do about it. You are important, take care of yourself – body and soul.
The Eyes On Success June 18 interview was with Hoby Wedler who will soon receive a Ph.D. in computational organic chemistry (Hoby is blind). His other passion is fine wines. This is podcast number 1425, "Wine Tasting and Chemistry". Hoby's story, Part 1 and Part 2 were published in 2012 with the DAISY Planet.
The story this month is from someone who has been in the field of accessible information since the 1980's and involved with DAISY from the very, very early days. In Part 1 of his story Koen Krikhaar takes us on a trip down "DAISY memory lane". Koen's is truly a classic 'DAISY Story' – I've enjoyed reading it immensely and am sure you will too. Thank you Koen – we are looking forward to Part 2 which will be published with the August DAISY Planet.
This newsletter is published 11 times a year – there is no July issue of the DAISY Planet.
Thanks to everyone who has written to me with ideas, articles and suggestions for this issue of the DAISY Planet.
Your input helps me keep our community up to date on what is going on in the world of information, access and publishing. DAISY stories provide insight into the lives of people we might not otherwise have ever come to know. You can reach me by email (you will have my address if you receive the DAISY Planet email notice) or you can use the DAISY Contact Us Form (DAISY Planet Newsletter Category).
The following links are to new or recently updated DAISY Products and Services from our Members and Friends. Marketplace entries also appear on our home page.
• On June 26 EPUB 3.0.1 was approved by the IDPF membership as a final Recommended Specification. This is a minor revision, focusing primarily on bug fixes and errata for the 3.0 specification, together with several minor backwards-compatible additions. A summary of the EPUB 3.0.1 Changes from EPUB 3.0 with full details of the issues addressed is provided. Further information plus updates on the EPUBCheck validation tool, samples for the new features of 3.0.1, the EPUB Reading System Test Suite and the Readium open source implementation of EPUB rendering are also available in the IDPF announcement.
• Enhancements to the most recent version of InDesign Creative Cloud 2014 released this month by Adobe include support for fixed layout EPUB 3. InDesign documents can be exported to a fixed layout EPUB format, giving publishers control over the way the layout would appear on an EPUB reader system. The addition of the EPUB type attribute to the output helps improve the accessibility of components in EPUB export design. This new attribute will help publishers define the elements in a publication and designate the intended reading order. Details are available in the InDesign CC New features summary with a section specifically describing the new EPUB enhancements. The video How to design fixed layout EPUB is also new and supports this enhancement.
• The eLAIX-Extension for OpenOffice Writer generates EPUB 3 eBooks from a Writer document. eLAIX 4.1 was released June 29 and has been tested with LibreOffice 4.3. Details and the download link are available on the LibreOffice Extensions page for eLAIX.
• SmartBookBinders provides a text/audio synchronization service that outputs accessible EPUB 3 content. This is a service offered to publishers, retailers, and organizations that distribute books via the web.
• The De Gruyter Group has announced that all of its frontlist titles that the Group and its publishing partners produce are now available in the EPUB 3 format. Approximately 2,000 titles in EPUB 3 format will be available through De Gruyter Online and through aggregators. Details are in the De Gruyter announcement. (Please also read the June 6 Design Science news post about De Gruyter, EPUB 3, and MathML.)
• TISP (Technology and Innovation for Smart Publishing) is a European project which aims to foster the meeting between publishing companies and ICT enterprises in order to stimulate new partnerships and business models. "Digital Content and Media Accessibility" is a TISP event on accessibility in publishing which will be hosted within the Special Thematic Sessions on July 10 in Paris France, aligned with the 14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP). This session has a special emphasis on the publishing sector. It will be chaired by David Crombie, Utrecht School of the Arts, NL. One of the speakers presenting the paper "Voices from the industry on e-book accessibility: experiences and challenges for publishing and ICT" will be Cristina Mussinelli, Fondazione LIA – Libri Italiani Accessibili. There is no charge to attend this session.
We need your help to find a great candidate for this new role. Please forward this message to people you know who could rise to the challenge of leading the DAISY Consortium, and to networks that may help us find a great candidate.
We have made great progress in our global mission to ensure that people have equal access to information and knowledge, regardless of disability. The Consortium's Board of Directors is now seeking a CEO to further develop our partnerships, membership and organisation, and to help secure the resources needed to realise benefits for people with print disabilities worldwide. Our Secretary General, George Kerscher, will be focusing on our vital technical standards work with the publishing industry, education and technical communities that is transforming access to information for people with print disabilities, where he is in great demand.
We are seeking someone with great leadership, partnership development, and managerial skills, an understanding of the issues and relevant technologies, and the stamina and confidence to travel the world to help our members, staff and partners develop their capacity and manage the significant changes ahead; someone who can work as part of a wider networked team, oversee a large project portfolio, and support our board in developing and delivering our strategy and partnerships. You will lead an established core staff and consultant team, and be the ambassador for our work with governments, international publishing and ICT industries, funders, and crucially with organisations of people with disabilities.
Our CEO will have leadership, partnership development and managerial skills, and an understanding of the issues and relevant technologies. This person will also have the stamina and confidence for independent, international travel to help our membership, staff and partners develop their capacity and manage the significant changes ahead; someone who can work as part of a wider networked team, oversee a large project portfolio, and support our board in developing and delivering our strategy and partnerships. Our CEO will lead an established core staff and consultant team, and be the ambassador for our work with governments, international publishing and ICT industries, funders, and crucially with organisations of people with disabilities.
We are a membership-based, not for profit consortium, an organisation with members around the world. We have huge ambition to ensure that people with print disabilities can read what they want, when and how they want.
The application package documents can be downloaded from the CEO Recruitment page which has been set up on the DAISY website. The files for download are the advertisement for the position, the Position Specifications, and the Letter to Candidates. The process, required information to be submitted, and other details about how to apply are provided in the Letter to the Candidates. The deadline for submissions is Friday September 12, 2014.
Please help us find a fantastic leader for our team – someone who meets the position criteria and who is committed to the Vision and Mission of the Consortium.
Thank you for your help.
Stephen King, President DAISY Consortium
Written by Varju Luceno for the DAISY Planet
The 2014 M-Enabling Summit provided an opportunity for stakeholders to learn about and review global solutions for accessible and assistive technologies in the mobile market.
The Summit's showcase and conference brought together government and industry leaders, special educators, people with disabilities and application developers. Together they created a meeting place for insightful discussions and innovation. The M-Enabling Summit also highlighted a growing number of technological advancements including simplified user interfaces for the mature population (Doro phones), for users who are blind or partially sighted (Telorion and Project RAY) as well as 2-dimensional barcodes (Voiceye from ViewPlus Technologies which is a Friend of the DAISY Consortium).
Speaking of cutting edge technologies, topics such as smart connected homes and biometric authentication drew a lot of attention. Accessible and assistive properties of recognition systems are making their way into a wider range of consumers through new mobile devices. The ability to automate the recognition of users is becoming a key aspect in several industries including banking and healthcare.
It was noted during several discussions and presentations that often usability is not a barrier to access; it is the quality of the user experience that either empowers or hinders people with special needs.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the winners of the third annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA) on June 9th at a ceremony at the M-Enabling Summit in Arlington, Virginia, US.
Braille Plus 18, developed by the Associate Member of the DAISY Consortium, the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), was the winner in the category for Advanced Communication Services (ACS). Larry Skutchan, APH's technology project manager, was present to accept the award. Braille Plus 18 is a portable tablet/communication device with an 18-cell braille display that is the first Android device designed specifically for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Stephen King, President of the DAISY Consortium, chaired the session e-Publishing on Mobile: Maximizing Opportunities for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities on June 10th. Members of this panel were Michele Woods, Director, Copyright Law Division, Culture and Creative Industries Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); Rick Johnson, VP of Product Management and Sales Engineering, Vital Source Technologies; MaryLee Perkins, Technology Manager, Center for Independent Living of Middle Tennessee; Kathleen Wahlbin, Senior Accessibility Specialist, Global Accessibility Solutions Team, Pearson and Glinda Hill, OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education. The panel discussed:
As a result, approaches emerged on how each organization can maximize opportunities for persons with special needs for accessing e-publications on mobile platforms.
A focus on people-centric experiences will allow technologists to leverage affordable cloud technologies for persons with disabilities in order to create innovative new approaches. Accessibility can be viewed as the best loyalty program ever developed: providing access for all creates passionate evangelists and loyal customers.
M-Enabling Summit presentations are now available for download on the G3ict website. The M-Enabling Summit 2015 will take place June 1-2, 2015 in Arlington, VA, USA.
Thanks go to Varju Luceno for writing this article for publication in the DAISY Planet. Varju is Director of Communications for the DAISY Consortium.
On June 18 the DAISY Consortium TIES project (Transition to Inclusive EPUB 3 Ecosystem) held a production systems group meeting in Oslo, Norway. The objective of TIES is to facilitate migration to an inclusive publishing system for DAISY members through the implementation of the EPUB 3 specifications.
The project will go forward in 3 parallel areas of focus:
The goal is to develop production processes and system for enabling migration to accessible EPUB 3 production for Members of the DAISY Consortium. Their production processes are built around republishing print materials using specialized DAISY specifications.
The EPUB 3 specification presents a major opportunity to make this process more efficient and economical by integrating accessible content publishing with mainstream publishing. DAISY Member organizations will be able to replace existing republishing-based processes with conversion-based processes that convert digital copies obtained from publishers into an accessible format. At the same it will be essential to ensure that any new EPUB 3-based systems will fulfill the needs of DAISY Consortium Members.
The goal of the Publisher Relations sub-group is to facilitate the establishment and/or enhancement of relationships between DAISY Member organizations with publishers. A number of DAISY Members have already established positive relationships with commercial publishers.
The goal of the Reading Systems sub-group is to work towards increasing the availability of reading systems that provide a rich reading experience with eyes, ears and/or fingers. This can be achieved by encouraging developers to create reading systems that provide a satisfactory reading experience for users with a print disability, and also by contributing to the development of open source solutions.
After the participants introduced themselves, Avneesh Singh, Co-chair of the TIES project, introduced the three-dimensional objective of the project and briefed the group on milestones achieved to date. He closed this presentation by outlining the objectives of the meeting. Mr. Tam Jonson, XML specialist from MTM, a member of the Swedish DAISY Consortium, presented the NORDIC guidelines. This was followed by a presentation on the EDUPUB profile given by Mr. Markus Gylling, Chief Technical Officer of the DAISY Consortium and the IDPF.
There was then a detailed discussion of the 'missing pieces' in EDUPUB that are essential for DAISY Members, and the improvements that the NORDIC group could potentially make to their guidelines. It was observed that a considerable number of the requirements listed in the NORDIC guidelines were already candidates for inclusion in EDUPUB profile. For the remaining requirements it was decided that representatives of the NORDIC group and the TIES production group should join the EDUPUB Working Group to influence that group to consider and implement the requirements of DAISY Consortium Members.
The meeting was successful and a clear path was identified to combine the efforts of DAISY Member organizations with mainstream efforts.
The Consortium would like to thank NLB (Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille, a member of the Norwegian DAISY Consortium) for generously hosting this meeting, and also thank the many participants for their valuable input which helped to make the meeting a success.
Thanks go to Avneesh Singh for providing the information for this article.
NNELS (National Network of Equitable Library Service) was launched in Saskatoon in December last year. This Canadian service is a co-operative effort making accessible reading materials available for library users in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta; some public libraries in these four provinces have been added to the program to date this year.
The service provides accessible library service for Canadians with print disabilities. The content in the collection is in digital formats and available to qualifying individuals in member libraries free of charge. The NNELS system provides DAISY formatted content flexible for MP3 devices and braille-ready files.
This program is a digital public library of on-demand titles for accessible format materials. It uses open-source technologies and crowd sourcing to build its collection which now consists of more than 10,000 titles. Library users who are members of the NNELS program may request production of any title not yet in the system. Copyrighted material as well as copyright-free materials are included in the collection.
NNELS is a service provided by the BC Libraries Cooperative, and developed with support from the Provincial and Territorial Public Libraries Council.
The article CELA: Bringing Equitable Library Services to Canadians with Print Disabilities was published in the April issue of the DAISY Planet. These two programs, NNELS and CELA, have taken a different approach to offering accessible information services, including their service models. NNELS is a repository to which its member libraries and end users can contribute; they can also request new titles, an on-demand approach. CELA on the other hand is a curated public library collection, with collection development managed by public librarians to reflect user demographics. NNELS is a crowd sourced network while CELA is a centralized hub of resources.
Content delivery and medium are also different. Library patrons using the NNELS service can download materials from the collection, or alternatively, member public libraries may provide library-assisted access with material on disk, other device or in-library download. Patrons of CELA member libraries can download materials from the CELA collection; they can also choose to receive DAISY audio CDs, braille books and DVDs direct to their homes and have access to CELA deposit collections of audio CDs at their local library.
These are distinct and potentially complimentary services; Canadians with a print disability may be on their way to having amazing accessible reading material services that meet their individual needs. Some Canadian public libraries have joined both NNELS and CELA in order to benefit from the unique features each offers.
Thanks for keeping us all informed with the Newsletter!
Just a short comment about this sentence in the article Design for All Philosophy: Accessible E-books in Flemish Public Libraries in the May issue:
"Another major difference is the target audience – the apps in Scandinavia provide readers who have a visual disability with better access to books and newspapers, while E-boeken's goal is to reach a much broader audience – the members of all Flemish public libraries."
To be precise, the Scandinavian / Nordic libraries target users with print disabilities in general, not only users with visual impairments. Adding an app and other online services has greatly advanced the use of services by persons with e.g. dyslexia or learning problems.
Minna von Zansen,
Director, User Relations,
Editor's Note: Thank you very much for the clarification Minna. It is definitely an important distinction. (Celia Library is a member of the Finnish DAISY Consortium.)
This inquiry and the response were posted to the DAISY Online Delivery Forum.
I would like to ask those of you who have implemented DAISY Online Delivery for talking books and/or newspapers, what your views are on downloading vs. streaming? The protocol allows both, but there are different possibilities available: downloading only, streaming only, streaming and downloading. I'm interested in hearing about all your implementations and what choices you have made for your respective services.
Here in Finland, we are running two separate DAISY Online Delivery services, one for talking books run by Celia Library, and another for talking newspapers and magazines run by the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired. We are using the PLEXTALK Linio player for our service. We are now preparing to allow downloading for the FFVI service. As for the service of Celia Library, a decision is yet to be made.
Our primary concerns are:
I would very much like to hear your thoughts on the matter!
Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired
Thanks for posting your questions and observations, your message is well timed.
The DAISY Online Delivery Working Group has just been tasked with reviewing the existing protocol and current implementations to recommend good practices which would hopefully address some of your questions. To get this process started a survey will be circulated in the next few days, and I would very much welcome your contribution to the survey and participation on the Group.
To comment briefly on your specific questions, you may find that within your controlled reading system environment there need not be any distinction for a user between downloading and streaming. Offering a download option outside of your provided reading systems will clearly be a little more complicated, however from experience in the UK the people requesting downloads service are naturally the more technically capable users.
If you're not already familiar with it, I think the Vision Australia service might be of interest, working over the 3G network and reporting a bandwidth saving through streaming over full downloads… We will hopefully be talking through this model in more detail on the Working Group calls.
If you have any immediate questions I can help with please let me know.
Chair of the DAISY Online Delivery Working Group
Editor's Note: The article Vision Australia Online Delivery Project: A Sustainable Model by Andrew Furlong, published in the April DAISY Planet provides an excellent overview of and some details about the VA implementation. Also, in the May DAISY Planet, the article DAISY Online Implementation Survey provides a brief overview of the survey which closed on June 10. Both Celia Library for the Visually Impaired and Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired are members of the Finnish DAISY Consortium. Information about PLEXTALK Linio is available in the Tools & Services area of the DAISY website.
• Researchers at the University of Oxford are developing new computerised techniques to assist people with a visual disability in their daily activities. The article 'Smart glasses' help fix failing vision (BBC News June 16) is about the advances being made in this development. The university has developed a short survey about daily activities and they are asking individuals with a visually disability to take part. They are looking for a representative sample from all walks of life and eye conditions, and need your help in prioritising their efforts. The data gathered will also be published to assist other computer scientists to focus their own research on areas of greatest need. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete (it has been tested for screen reader compatibility).
• UNESCO, in cooperation with Brotherhood, We Care Filmfest and Global Rainbow Foundation, is organising "From Exclusion to Empowerment: The Role of Information and Communication Technologies for Persons with Disabilities", an international conference that will take place in New Delhi, India, November 24 to 27, 2014. The event will build on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to ensure that persons with disabilities become full and equal citizens in all societies. Information is available on the conference website.
• In the YouTube video Kevin Leong on Bookshare and Read2Go the sixth grade student describes how Bookshare and Read2Go have changed how he reads, and more importantly, how the service and app have had a positive impact on his studies and reading in general.
• Macular Degeneration (MD) Support, a worldwide non-profit public service organization, has an International Low Vision Support Group. The purpose of the program is to provide free information and support through presentations to groups of senior adults affected by macular degeneration and related retinal diseases. Presentations are available online (slides with full narration of the slide content) or can be downloaded (MP3). Current topics include Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, and, Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation. There is no cost or fee to use this resource.
• The white paper Hidden in Plain Sight – Seven Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom, An Educator's Guide is available for download from the Learning Ally website for educators in the US. Learning Ally is a Full Member of the DAISY Consortium.
• Hiroshi Kawamura, Immediate Past President of the DAISY Consortium participated in a panel presentation at the UNDESA Forum on Disability and Development Roundtable Discussion on Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (UNDESA: Department of Economic and Social Affairs). In Segment 2: "Knowledge, good practices, promising solutions - what works in helping the building of a disability inclusive risk-resilient strategy and community - both policy and practices" Hiroshi explained how the "Evacuation manual in DAISY Multimedia Format" is being used at at Bethel House. Members of Bethel House in the Urakawa Town community, located in the most frequent earthquakes zone in Northern Japan, have severe psycho-social disabilities. The manual and training are used to prepare the members for tsunami evacuation. Sample manuals and other materials are available for download in English.
• Students in the US may find the brochure Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities to be a useful resource. (U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Washington, D.C., 2011.)
• Dr. Josh Miele will be the keynote speaker at the APH Annual Meeting in October. Miele was blinded by an acid attack when he was 4 years of age. Now, 40 years later, he has a bachelor's degree in physics and a Ph.D. in psychoacoustics, and has many achievements to his name. More news from APH: Michael Collins and Newel Perry will be inducted into the APH Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2014. Information about Collins and Perry and the induction this coming October is available on the APH (American Printing House) website.
• In the SoundCloud audio presentation Use a free Digital Talking Book Machine and a flash drive as study aids with assistive tech beginners Chancey Fleet talks about the NLS BARD talking book player and how it can be used by instructors. A variety of tips and website addresses for additional information that may be helpful for instructors is also given.
• The Eyes On Success podcast interview program has introduced a new search feature. Key a show number, topic, or keyword into the search field and hit "enter"; the search will return a summary, as well as links to the audio and show notes of episodes matching the search criteria. This will make it easy to search the archives for shows of interest.
• The article Global Audiobook Trends for 2014 by Michael Kozlowski (posted on Good E-Reader) looks at audiobook market trends and sales in the US, UK and Europe.
• Links to current and back issues of the NFB Braille Monitor can be accessed by month (in the lower half of the page). This magazine includes articles on access technology and mainstream technology and accessibility along with issues related to blindness and topics of importance to members of the National Federation of the Blind in the US.
• The article Accessible iPhone Apps That Help Me Manage Work, Life, and Travel as a Blind Professional was posted on the AFB blog earlier this month.
• DAISY Pipeline 2 Version 1.8 was released earlier this month. This release includes numerous improvements, including prioritization of jobs, new TTS-based DTBook to DAISY 3 converter, better handling of image descriptions, rewritten HTML 5 converter, production of EPUB 3.0.1-compliant publications, and more, as well as various bug fixes. For details and a link to download V1.8 please refer to the Release Notes for Version 1.8 posted on the Pipeline 2 GitHub site. General information and a download link are provided on the Pipeline 2 project page on the DAISY website.
• Version 2.14.2 of Readium for Chrome, the EPUB reader for Google Chrome browser extension, is available on the Google web store. This release includes better support for Media Overlays, scrollable views (including per-chapter and per-document per the new EPUB 3.0.1 specification), configurable shortcuts and other accessibility features and expanded international language support (still not complete for some languages). The Readium Chrome extension has an installed user base of almost 240k users and a 4/5 star rating from over 700 reviews on the web store.
• To create a DAISY multi-book CD or DVD, copy all of the books that are to be placed on a single media into a folder. Write a "discinfo.html" file and add it to that folder with the DAISY books. Detailed information, instructions and an example that can be used as a template for writing the discinfo file are provided in the DAISYpedia article Creating a Distribution CD. Additional instructions about producing a CD (or DVD) for distribution are also included. When a discinfo file is included DAISY players can identify all of the titles on the medium, making it easier for the user to find all of the titles and move from one book to another. (Source: Obi forum.)
• If you are having problems with AMIS crashing or stalling, refer to the AMIS troubleshooting wiki. If the FAQ or guidelines do not help you to resolve the problem, you can use the AMIS forum to post a question to the DAISY support team and other experts.
• On May 29 the IDPF announced the elevation of four specifications to public draft status: EPUB 3 EDUPUB Profile, Open Annotation in EPUB, EPUB Distributable Objects, and EPUB Widget Packaging and Integration. These specifications were developed by the EPUB 3 Working Group. Details are available in the IDPF announcement.
• From How-To Geek this month:
° What You Need to Know About Creating System Image Backups
° 8 Common Network Utilities Explained: "Whether you're using Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X, these tools are always close at hand." – ping, traceroute, lookup, whois, finger, netstat, ipconfig, and port scanners
° 10 Alternative PC Operating Systems You Can Install.
° Lesson 10: General Security Tips for Windows Users from the How-To Geek series "SECURING YOUR WINDOWS NETWORK - HOW-TO GEEK SCHOOL" (links to all 10 in the series are also on that page).
° How to Get All Your Android Notifications on Your PC or Mac.
° How to Share Files Between Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs on a Network.
° 22 Common Network Jargon Terms Explained.