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Daily reminder that for many blind people, is the most useful and productive mobile operating system. It's not that Android is hard to use, but when text selection, especially on the web and in email, is from hard to impossible, and when one cannot spell check what they've written, and typing is either a minor annoyance (braille (input not registering sometimes) onscreen keyboard (very slow usually) external keyboard (yet another device to manage)), you begin to understand why people who don't enjoy customization, or getting the "most" out of a device choose iOS, especially for accessibility, and the AI of image recognition and such. And FOSS phones, like the PinePhone, won't be accessible until Orca/ATSPI can communicate with touch screens, and that won't happen without developers.

So, when you get that urge to say "I told you so you Apple sheeple, you should have been using FOSS!" Try to remember that some people don't have much of a choice.

Of course people made backups on web sites or even turned those into self-contained docker images (it's how I found about that it went down in the first place), but there was something reassuring about something this old sticking around for so long

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I just found out through a post on reddit that the telnet server on which you could watch Star Wars in ASCII is no longer up. Even though I could never really experience it - screen readers and ASCII art don't mix, the retro enthusiast in me is kinda sad.

Clubhouse is renaming themselves to shortcut. Um, OK. This won’t get confusing at all with things like apple’s “Shortcuts” app. Also that press release talks a lot about business work type stuff. If they’re trying to be the next teams/zoom/slack this isn’t going to go down well.

This is going to be really fun especially for password autofill I would imagine, if the bitwarden subreddit is anything to go by their official password autofill API almost never works so an accessibility service for that was a must.

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Google is about to do the whole crippling accessibility services thing again on the play store. Actual accessibility apps like screen readers are fine, but they're going out of the way to mention things like automation and password mgr's is not. xda-developers.com/google-tryi

Grabbing Microsoft Flight Simulator to play with the new accessibility updates, and I gotta say the first run experience is pretty terrible. I don't mean the TTS, that part actually worked great and I was able to turn it on and proceed. But then comes the initial content download. The Windows store tells you the game needs almost 150 GB of space, but when you go to get it, it only installs a gig. Only when you get into the game will the remaining 120 start to download, by the game. So you need to leave it running to download and while it runs it keeps using ~30% CPU and GPU and a gig of ram even if the window is minimized. Why couldn't this be handled as a DLC download by the Windows store? Finally, I read that you can actually get away with using half the size if you delete the offline maps and don't mind being online to play. Couldn't this have been suggested by the game at first so you could download it with less space? Nope. Gotta download all of it first.

I didn't want to have to go back to GitLab, but it appears as though Gitea is leaving me no choice. Unless someone has a better idea for a nice version control system that doesn't actively try to stop me from using it...
github.com/go-gitea/gitea/issu

I don't know who at Google or other companies contributing code to chromium thought it would be worth doing this, but being 100% serious here I thank you. Making this accessible is as much part of making the whole app accessible as any other part. ☺️

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You know that Dino you can play in Chromium browsers if your internet is dying? Someone on the audio games forum discovered it's blind accessible now. If you go to chrome://dino and focus the "application" with your screen reader you'll get beeps to tell you when to jump.

IPv4 addresses used to be gratis. Today they're selling for ~40 USD each. Ford (!!) got 16.7 million IPs for free, hardly using them. Today they're worth $670M, a better value increase than any crypto currency. At the same time new ISPs can't be started because lack of IPs.

that mastodon error screen with the elephant smacking their trunk against the keyboard? that's what programming actually is.

And let's not even talk about code. A natural voice reading code is just... it just doesn't work. It just feels totally wrong. I need to navigate through code very fast. Not only do AI voices have quite a bit of latency, but if I'm quickly scrolling through a file I'm listening to the actual words just as much as I'm listening for familiar sequences of sounds. AI based TTS don't have that because things are ever so slightly different.
This also means that cloud anything is absolutely out. If you're making web requests to get your screen reader to speak then stop right now. I won't use it, you wouldn't use it, nobody would use it. I guess Apple can do this on their new devices because of the M1 platform, but even there you can absolutely feel the delay between pressing the key and the voice reacting to what you've done. The simpler the tts, the faster the response time, the happier I am.

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I much prefer very algorithmic, synthetic speech for this. Not only is it very predictable in how it pronounces things, but it also speeds up much more. If you speed up, for example, Google's Wavenet voices, they start slurring words. This is obviously no good at all. It's authentic, sure, but it's annoying to me. I'm happy to use AI speech, for example the Siri voices that come with the new MacOS, if I'm reading something longer like a book, story and so on. But for every day use? No thanks. I think it's important that we don't get too carried away here. If I had the choice, I would choose a non natural voice. And that by quite a big margin. Here's your fun fact of the day!

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I'm happy that we're getting more and more lifelike text to speech voices using AI, but here's something you might not know. These AI based text to speech voices can be unpredictable. It's not that they say things wrong or mispronounce any more than other speech synths do, but what definitely does happen is that it does not say the same string of text the same way twice. It might change the intonation, or even sometimes the speed of certain syllables from utteration to utteration. I use my screen reader with the speed very, very fast. Often I don't pay conscious attention to exactly what words are spoken because I've gotten so used to the text to speech voices that I use that my brain does this subconsciously. They have certain patterns that I can recognize and this tells me what the synth just said without having to understand every single syllable or word. This is important for reading short texts like names of buttons, window titles, web addresses, messages, usernames, etc.

I’ve heard a few people say in the past “I wish is could move to Mastodon full time, but I can’t because I’d still like to follow person X”

Well you can still follow whomever you like from Twitter, right here on Mastodon with https://birdsite.slashdev.space by our very own @garritfra 😊

I somehow managed to reach the end of ! Nothing's gonna top the dentist thing it seems, but let's end on some applause, thanks to El Clapo, which is a plugin that will give us just that in all kinds of shapes and sizes! piotrs.site/audio/audiomo21/29

For today's while exploring a new synth (Qyooo by Fullbucket) I managed to make a patch that sounds way too much like a dentist drill. Here it is with some added binaurals for added... Relaxation, I guess. piotrs.site/audio/audiomo21/28

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A fun, happy little Mastodon/Hometown instance. Join us by the fire and have awesome discussions about things, stuff and everything in between! Admins: @Talon and @Mayana.

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