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Friday, January 19, 2007

Apple Just Sucks!

On January 15, BC, without fanfare, celebrated its first full year online.  Based purely on statistical analysis of page hits, it seems that our greatest hits for the first year were articles in which I have criticized Apple.  The worshipers of the Jobs of Steve post comments slamming me and the hit count jumps through the roof.

Thus, the first article of our second year will be critical of Apple, I like showing the hit counter go up and I like to remind the world of just how badly Apple sucks.

In response to the comments made in support of Apple to my last post:

  • Virtually 100% of all other mobile phone manufacturers have an accessibility group and are working on or have already delivered handsets that are at least partially accessible to members of our community.

  • Yes, I am responsible for the purchase of a handful of Macintosh computers in the past year.  Three were gifts for sighted children who like the devices.  One was a Macintosh Mini for my lab that sits idle virtually 100% of the time as VoiceOver just ain’t enough screen reader for me to use it for anything productive.

Now a question:

  • Of those of you who posted defending Apple, other than Gabe, are any of you blind?  Have any of you sighties had to deal with the indignity of hearing that a company who just set record profits can’t make its most popular ones usable – even though the law requires it?

  • Why don’t I bring a complaint to the FCC?  Apple had to pass something on the order of 600 separate tests to get FCC approval for their device.  The FCC has tested this device and has passed it.  Obviously, the agency that should be enforcing Section 255 already ignored the regulation so why should I expect them to listen to a petition from a piss ant blind blogger?

With that said, I paste in the following item I received in my email this morning talking about the religious followers of the Apple logo so you can read just how high a level of contempt in which they hold us:

17 Jan 07, 12:53 PM - Apple blind to iPhone accessibility?
Posted by Vaughan

I'm a bit of an Apple geek on the quiet, so when their sleek and shiny new iPhone
Was announced last week to whoops of delight, I'm afraid that I rather joined in the chorus of "I want one! Gimme one!" I'm ashamed to say that almost the
last thing on my mind was how accessible it might be to blind and visually impaired users, considering that its operation relies almost entirely on touch-screen technology.
Fortunately, there are people out there in webland who are rather more clued-up about
Such things, as weblog currybetdotnet discussed yesterday. He points to a post on
The Unofficial Apple Weblog which certainly doesn't mince its words as it asks:
Does the iPhone shaft the blind?

But it's the comments after the entry that proves really shocking. Apple fans
Are known for their almost religious dedication to the brand, and some of
They simply can't see the point in 'needlessly worrying' about blind and visually
Impaired phone users. Responses include:

. "I don't know if there is a tactful way to say this, but, is it really Apple's
Responsibility to make sure of this? I mean c'mon. Starving children in Africa won't
Be able to use it either."

. "Why would the blind want this phone as 90% of its function is
visual?"

. "I don't mean to be an ass, but who cares?"

. "I can't imagine how people with significant visual impairment could use
The iPhone.  I also am very glad Apple didn't let that stop them from making the best
phone interface
they could for the rest of us."

. "Dang! You're right! And people without fingers won't be able to use it
either! Apple should just cancel the whole project ... If there's such a huge
and desperate need for cutting edge phones for the blind, then someone can fill it and
make a living doing so."

. "Is Apple expected to make a touch screen that somehow implements
Braille?  Why stop at blind people? What about deaf people? Surely Apple was
Insensitive and forgot about them when deciding to make a PHONE or a device that has sound?"

. "What about Stephen Hawking?! Did those insensitive swine at Apple
Ever consider Stephen Hawking? How on Earth will he ever use an iPhone? Never, that's
how!”

Beware, before you check out the entire thread of comments, that some of
The opinions get a bit heated and that, consequently, some of the language gets a
little, erm, colourful to say the least.


So, BC continues to call for an Apple boycott and recommends that people take non-violent action against Apple and its properties.  They know the FCC regs and said, “Fuck 255, so I say fuck Apple!”

--End

28 Comments:

Blogger Patrick H. Lauke (redux) said...

aw bless, it took seven comments on that blog post before somebody pulled out the old "let's sue car manufacturers because the blind can't drive" strawman.

it was around the time of the Target lawsuit that i came to the late realisation that 90% of bloggers/slashdot commenters/etc are absolute fucktards. for some unfathomable reason, the relative percentage of apple zealots who are also fucktards seems to be disproportionately higher...must be all the "shiny! i buy!" pavlovian reflex that has been bred into them...

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stfu you stupid bitch and get a job...

5:48 PM  
Blogger Access Curmudgeon said...

BC wrote:
Apple had to pass something on the order of 600 separate tests to get FCC approval for their device.
The Apple iPhone page cites the requisite disclaimer:
This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.
The FCC has not yet approved the iPhone. That is why now is the time to write. Encourage the Feds to do their job.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I can understand why sighted people are so attracted to Apple products. they look nice, and Apple's shouting as loud as they can, "If you don't use our products, you're not cool! Get a mac! Get an iPod!" But I don't understand why blind people, who are forced to use Narrator 3.0 for Mac (I say 3.0 here, because admittedly, Voiceover is better than narrator 2.0 will probably be) would find them attractive. I don't understand why someone would give up the power of a Windows screen reader and use a screen reader that's been out less than two years and only allows you to do the most fundamental tasks, for the warm fuzzy feeling of using Apple products and being cool like all your sighted buddies.

I'm in high school, and I am often criticised because I don't listen to Blink182 and 50-Cent. I don't care what people think about me because I don't own and use something they do. And neither should you. Don't let what people think of you cloud your judgement.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Access Curmudgeon said...

Patrick, it is also the early posters that tend to be the dullest. The original thread can be found here at Does the iPhone Shaft the Blind? I just did a quick tally and the negative to positive ratio of 62 comments runs about 7:5 which I don’t think is bad given the general level of ignorance in the world.

To 2nd Anonymous Coward: Blind folks find Apple products compelling mostly for the same reason everyone else does.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Chairman Mal said...

Howdy Comrades!
E Doggy! Smells like revolution to this Apple Hating old Cowboy! By the way, won’t those big old box things look purty plunked outside your Hacienda? The Comrade Mother is actually considering a petition drive against Singular/ AT&T /SBC if they dare park a box in front of her little house on the Prairie! Onward through the Fog! Regards, Chairman Mal: Power to the Peeps!

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Jake said...

Happy anniversary BC!! I haven't commented on any of your Apple postings but today I just felt the need to do so. I've tried to use iTunes before, both with the assistance of JAWS and the second time was with a sighted person. I guess my question is why don't they make it accessible? I have also been in conversation with my roommate about Apple. He is visually-impaired and has been since young adulthood. He grew up on the Mac and is therefore a huge Apple fan. I'd be very interested in what he has to say about the iPhone though. I heard an online demonstration of the VoiceOver screen reader, and let me just say I think I'll stick with JAWS. I also know several current Mac users and am very interested to get their opinions on VoiceOver if they know about it. It's just a shame that one of the most well-known IT giants in the world has blatantly ignored the needs of a very important group of people.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Mike Calvo said...

Happy anniversary BC. I look forward to another year of your twisted but thought provoking rantings!

I think that Apple should be ashamed of itself. If you visit the Apple accessibility media magnet they make you feel that if you develop products for Apple and forget accessibility you are scum and should be hunted down and killed. An interesting "do as I say not as I do" attitude.

Voiceover is about as useful as Narrator and while Microsoft made some improvements to Narrator in Vista it is still a sub-par accessibility solution at best. If Apple ever expects to be a market leader, like Microsoft Apple has a corporate responsibility to do as it says for others to do. I think Apple is great at packaging in pretty little boxes and flashy eye catching cases, however when I, as an AT developer, have a problem I can go directly to Microsoft and speak to a team of actual people that answer the phone that lives and breathes accessibility.
Not post to some stupid forum via email so that Apple can answer publicly in the hopes of a bit more press coverage. Every show for the last 5 years I have attended in this community has had Microsoft as a part of it. Microsoft has worked closely with Freedom Scientific, GW Micro, Serotek, and many many others in this community to provide accessibility to it's products. Is it perfect? No! But MS has made it clear to me both as an AT company and a member of the blind community that it cares and will provide me tools to the best of it's ability.

Microsoft has quietly expanded the reach of it's accessibility group to work within many more areas of the company's product lines and I am sure that we will see accessibility working it's way in to Microsoft products. Apple may be great for graphics or even audio production however I have never found myself lacking for entertainment or productivity using Microsoft products. Even if Apple made IPods and ITunes accessible this afternoon I would stick with my URGE subscription and Windows media player. I don't need to force my money down anyone's throat.

Many years ago Palm made it clear to blind folks that it didn't want our business. This is no reflection on today's Palm mindset. I don't know what that is. But like Palm, Apple is making it clear that they don't want the money of hundreds of thousands of blind tekies.

At least I have my Windows Mobile phone, and my shiny new Vista operating system and I am sure that before the year is out the true leader in this industry will also provide me with accessibility to a portable music device. If they don't put it out they will at least provide the tools for someone else to pick up the accessibility ball. They wont' hoard technology like Apple. If Bill Gates is the Antichrist then Steve Jobs must be the devil himself. It's only the devil that shows you something, gets you excited about it, and tells you that you can't have it because you don't matter!

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Mike. I use Microsoft Visual Web Developer everyday for my jobg and posted on the forums about a problem unrelated to accessibility. When I happened to mention I was blind, I was asked how accessible vwd was and we actually had a follow up conversation where they actually commented on issues I raised. By the way, system access works pretty well with vwd. If you implemented Braille support and custom configurations for different applications (verbosity, punctuation, etc.) as well as speaking a new word when part of a word is upper cased, fbsa might actually be a valid tool for my work. Keep up the great work, seratech.
Chris Westbrook

9:21 PM  
Blogger TheBlindTech said...

Dude, come on, all you wining blind babies need to get jobs, lives and a damn piece of pussy. Jesus yoiu act like anyone is forcing you to even look at an apple. Why would I, a professional business man who hold government contracts in my state use a product that lacks productivity in order to show I am blind and cool? come on get over yourselves you windows ass kissing half dead chickens! Word up to all the Ham
and since i know you blind high schoolers don't have jobs, money or lives, if yoiu want to take the point up, call me toll free at 1-866-714-4244.sters Yo, good looking up to the TacoBell Cooks You Know?

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Will Pearson said...

I think the interesting question here is whether people are actually defending Apple, or are they just using Apple as a vehicle to attack Microsoft.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment #10,

Can you please explain to everyone why you have to get so angry when defending Apple? When you do this, i get the impression that you are trying to convince yourself that VoiceOver has the functionality of JAWS or Window-Eyes.
If indeed VoiceOver gives you as much power as a Windows screen reader, then please write a custom script and an application-specific configuration file and post it somewhere to download and show us members of the Satanic order, er, Windows users, why we should use a screen reader that, in my opinion sucks, just because it comes free with OSX.
P.s. I do not like working with people with tempers. I pity the Windows users who work with you. being a professional businessman, you must get quite a bit of them.
P.p.s. Maturity is an esential trate in a businessman. You should also use a spell checker.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Jake said...

Well said Mike. I actually got to hear one or two of Microsoft's new voices and they seem to be a definite improvement over the voices MS has given us so far. I can tolerate Mary and Mike to a degree, but Sam is just aweful! I've used the Robosoft voices briefly and they're okay, but I probably wouldn't use them for any working application. But I think Microsoft should be commended for doing an outstanding job in collaboration with the assistive technology companies. I'm excited to find out what we JAWS users can expect to find in the realm of accessibility with Windows Vista. I heard a presentation on ACB Radio concerning Window-Eyes and Vista, which was given at the 2006 ACB national convention. It seems that Vista support for Window-Eyes is already in full swing. I can't speak to FBSA because I've never used it, and I haven't heard anything about Hal. BTW, I uninstalled the RealSpeak voices that came on CD with JAWS 8, because they took up too much space on my hard drive. If you were to ask me which voices I like best, I'd have to say that out of all the voices I've heard to date the ones provided by Eloquence are my absolute favorite.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Drew L Spitz said...

Howdy comrades!
Chairman Mal ordered me to add one more superfluous comment because he suffers from triskaidekaphobia, and he can’t read BC if the number of comments remains at thirteen. Therefore, he told me to say that the SEC will soon blow Jobs cover, whatever that means. Drew L Spitz, ATC/BPP: Power to the peeps! PS: The Chairman wants to know if the businessman’s toll free number is for a phone sex operation. The Party does need to raise some funds, and we do enjoy screwing sighted suckers out of their money. Would we get a fair piece of the action?

9:43 PM  
Blogger TheBlindTech said...

To all you Windows using Mac Hating pussies:

It saddena me that ones credibility is based on a spell checker usage, and weather they use the government purcased screen reader or not. when my Mac is the thig that just got me another 7,000 dollar contract for just sitting back telling the blind to learn jaws and everything will be all right, while writing lessons, and documentation on my Mac in word format using Text Edit on the Mac in Mac OSX.

Fuck all you Hoes Eat a Mac Mother Fuckers!

Blindtech

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment #15,

You haven't answered my original question. Why must you become so irate when defending Apple or criticizing Apple? Instead of calling people pussies, you should be correcting our mistaken impressions.

And contrary to what you believe, I do not hate Macs. They are great machines. However, I dislike them because Apple isn't really committed to accessibility. Just because a company bundles a screen reader with their product doesn't change the fact that some of the most popular applications for the Mac, made by said company, are still inaccessible. And don't say that the accessibility features weren't implemented when OSX 10.4 was released, because many of these apps have been updated.
If Apple can prove that they actually do care about accessibility, and I mean actually making some of their apps accessible, then I will stand corrected.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now folks, give Blind Tech a break. The poor quality of his spelling and vocabulary plus his inability to adequately defend Apple no doubt stems from the fact that he flunked out of high school in the tenth grade. BT, I know of some low cost community colleges around the country from which you might benefit. They offer courses in remedial writing, thought composition, persuasive presentation, and anger management-- all of which you clearly need. Imho, the most accessible Apple computer is one running one of the latest UNIX variants including Ubuntu, Solaris, or Fedora. Otherwise, said computers make great looking, expensive paper weights.
Steve

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Gordon K said...

I'm not speaking from personal experience here, so please correct me if I'm wrong. But it's my understanding that JAWS is made by a developer called Freedom Scientific, not by Microsoft. So does Apple make it more difficult for 3rd party applications to hook into their system and provide these sorts of services (which would surprise me, given the scriptability of OS X), or this it simply another case of OS X not having the same variety of software because it's not a big target for developers like Windows?

And I've seen a lot of people with low vision prefer OS X because it's magnifiers (and other UI bits) are so far ahead of anything on Windows. Heck, to the point that I will use those tools occasionally despite not being low vision. So does Apple get any credit for being better than the competitor's product in that respect?

8:57 AM  
Blogger Ranger1138 said...

Alright dog gone it. I will give into peer pressure once again and join in the debate. But first let’s state the obvious.
Apple exists today because they stole from Xerox Park first. Apple was near death’s door when Microsoft gave them and Corel $150 million dollars to keep the Anti Trust wolves at bay. We then got conversion tools overnight between MS Office and Corel Suite fully supported via first party as a bonus. Sony stated from 1998 to 2001 that MP3 was a fad and then they tried their own proprietary formats two more times. Therefore no Walkman MP3 ushers in the iPOD era. Apple, like any other company should, has been able to score in the 4th quarter when other teams fumbled the ball. And I say good on them for being good business people.
But what has to be realized in this discussion is that Apple is a hardware company with a media arm. Any software they release is used to drive sales of it’s hardware. Like Sony owns Columbia so does Apple own Disney. Whom ever controls the software can then dictate the hardware. For more smoke to cover the fire Apple just changed their name to show this as they are now Apple Inc. rather than Apple Computers.
It is not in Apple’s best interest to open their DRM ridden iTUNES, Quick Time and other media features to others. Because if you go the iPOD route then you are locked into Apple hardware. Leaving the cult means you rebuy the license to content you already paid for once. And notice I said license. You don’t own a digital download but you do own a CD/DVD via the Fair Use Act. So for all the cries of “Microsoft is evil” I say that I at least have a choice in my hardware, software and Assistive Technology. And I can even ditch or dual boot with Open Source with that Assistive Technology. That’s something I can’t do with say JAWS, OSX and Boot Camp/Parallels.
What I have personally seen, so take this purely antidotal, is colleges who are desperate to hit 508 compliance as cheaply as they can. Using Mac with it’s on board AT has been used as an out for compliance. Which of course with Leopard’s upcoming Braille support has me worried that this so called all in one solution is perfect for those who wish to drive any other alternatives or standards out of the classroom due to personal bias or devotion to one platform.
Is the Magnifier in OSX better than the ones in Windows? Yes. There is hardly any smearing, blurring or screen painting issues with it in most Apple products. Full motion video, usually the one thing that kills most Screen Mags, is almost flawless. But does that mean it tracks the cursor, pointer or focus well? Not really. Although you can really mess yourself up bad when you tie both Voiceover and Magnifier together through Universal Access controls. You also only have limited support for many popular programs on the Mac that aren’t Apple or Microsoft driven. That’s because Apple as a whole is the “idea man”. They give the tools to the community and then they say that the community is on it’s own to make things accessible.
An advantage that Macs have is that there is a real finite number of video cards to support. You also don’t have a ton of companies going into the Kernel of your driver system and breaking it to make their products work instead of using proper coding techniques. Lazy programming breaks any Operating System but it is more prevalent on Windows due to the large numbers of hardware devices available in the market. With Apple you have this one.. and the other one. Oh yeah if it breaks send it back to me in Cupertino because I have all the parts here and it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg for me to fix my hardware you can’t find in any stores. Do it quick because you’re warranty is rather short.
So you say how does this differ from Windows? Well since Windows is on at least 90% of the world’s computers it is a default standard. Government compliances come into play with standards and leading AT companies have more opportunities to get these companies to the table to get AT to work properly.
When did we see real attempts at PDF and Adobe accessibility? When it hit a particular point in the marketplace. When did we see compatibility attempts with Mozilla? When they got near 10% of the browser market. Ever notice that you don’t see that much on line about Zoom Text and Lotus Notes? Well when they get near 10% market share again I am sure it will come.
The real rage against this particular machine is the ridiculous mantra from the sheep of Apple that their products are so different than the norm. However when everyone buys your product you then become that norm. Worse yet when you ignore Usability and Accessibility testing for something as abhorrent as the iPHONE you promote a bad business model for those to follow in the industry. Why hasn’t anyone done a touch screen model phone like that before? Simple. It’s because groups of users like ourselves would have yelled bloody murder at LG, Ericson or others if this product came from them. The consolation is that they have tons of other models that we can use or modify to make our lives better. And as bad as we Blind users think we have it on the iPHONE imagine what it is like for those with motor control issues or carpel tunnel syndrome. One of the big features on the phone allows you to “pinch” a window. Hard to do if you cannot grasp, hold or place your fingers in that motion. Sad since you then are told that pointing your finger on the touch screen will help those with these issues.
To sum up.. Standards are sometimes good. Having more than one Screen Reader is good. Being able to buy a video card or other device to upgrade my machine without having to check with Apple first is good. DRM, 128k MP3s, touch screen only devices and bundling crap like iLIFE but decrying that Microsoft can’t bundle similar programs is hypocritical. And then marketing yourself as an Open Platform when you are clearly not is criminal.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Access Curmudgeon said...

Ranger has his own blog, yet he posts a long winded recycling of the most discredited Apple rumors ever in a comment here. What is up with that? It is almost as bad as long verbatim quotes rather than just linking to the source.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you suck

1:32 AM  
Blogger TheBlindTech said...

to all the individuals who claim that most of apples own apps and as well as other non apple apps do not seem to work with voice over, I'd like some names please.

I can use echto for blogging to blogger, fire for multi protocal i-m. IChat for multiple protocol I-M, text edit for word processing including tables, etc, word docs, rtf docs etc, all if not most gui apps except Iphoto, and maybe quick time, but I can use ITunes, ImovieHD (a movie editor) and many other apps. I am not sure you all claim lets be individuals not try and copy the sighted folks with the apple fashion show, but I seem to be the outcast because I don't feel like using my professional extended vocabulary or use a spell checker on my good friend chris's personal blog?

What the fck is you stupid?

I make money, am I getting paid to write on this blog no, but when you go around trashing the assistive technology that I use on a daily bases and you sheep like blind winie no job having highschoolers and alike type people claim that apple used resources and spent money and updated voiceover for its next os and created a better voice that they are only in it for 508 compliences???

To answer to the apparent id10t that claims that voice over is garbage because it doesn't have an open way to write scripts or what ever for voice over customized controlling is idiotic to cry out and lash out at.

and yes custom configs is doable they are called profile settings with in a file you jerk.

also, we do have scripts, instead of using selfcontained screen reader only scripts we use apple scripts which not only control the entire system but the applications and utilities with in the system including voice over.

Thanks

Gabe Vega
BlindTech

The BlindTechs Network

7:22 AM  
Blogger Joe Clark said...

Hey, kids! VoiceOver is at version 1.0. How good is it compared to Jaws and Window-Eyes at V1.0?

Now, could you give me a set of citations of people claiming that VoiceOver is as useful or “powerful” now as Jaws and Window-Eyes are now? Actual citations, please.

Nonetheless, blind people use it and get by fine. Those blind people may not be you, and that’s OK. They don’t have to use the equipment you do and vice-versa.

iTunes 7.1 is apparently accessible in VoiceOver now, save for the iTunes Store. Could Jaws and Window-Eyes users please give it a try and report their results?

And! The iPhone! Well, kids, as demonstrated it isn’t accessible to mobility-impaired people, either, and they aren’t more or less important to blind people. Do indeed file complaints if that’s what it takes.

Oh, and Hofstader? Explain why you haven’t responded to my blog post about the Zune. The Zune is as inaccessible as an iPod is. If you’re all for accessibility and are not a simple Microsoft patriot, why haven’t you written multiple fire-breathing blog posts about the Zune?

Kisses!

2:03 PM  
Blogger BlindChristian said...

So, it's nice to see that Joe Clark has survived another long winter in the great white north and is back, cranky as ever.

I did not respond to Joe's blog item about the Zune as I don't read Joe's blog. I agree that Microsoft should have made it accessible but at least it doesn't try to patent a ridiculously obvious accessibility feature and not implement it on the hardware the way Apple has done with the iPod. Furthermore, the Zune is based on Windows Mobile Media Edition so there is no reason that a company like Code Factory would be prevented from porting its other Windows Mobile screen readers to the device.

As far as the latest version of iTunes being accessible, who really cares? People using Windows screen readers have had a virtual panoply of media players and music sites to choose from for years. So, now one can use iTunes, ho fucking hum...

Finally, the arguement that VoiceOver should be compared with version 1.0 of the established screen readers is akin to saying that a brand new Lexus automobile should be compared to a Model T. Blind people are accustomed to the state of the screen reading art which, for now at least, is JAWS on Windows XP. If Toyota put out a Model T replica and asked motorists to wait until they have had the chance to catch up to the latest Ford Mustang, they would be laughed out of business but, when it comes to screen readers, Apple lovers will tell us that, like iTunes, we should blissfully wait for the almighty Apple to get around to supporting the breadth and depth of applications that JAWS 8.0 does on Windows XP.

Anyone who listened to my recent Main Menu interview, who reads this blog on a regular basis or read my interview in the most recent Access World should know by now that I don't give the Windows based AT companies a free pass by any stretch of the imagination. I've lost friends and, at terrific personal expense, fought off legal threats to try to be critical of the AT industry as a whole. It's funny, when I criticize JAWS, the leader of the pack, far fewer users come raging to its defense. The same is true when I complain that Window-Eyes, although nice and quick is a bit underpowered for my taste.

What's up with you Apple people? Why can't you admit that VoiceOver is a low powered toy that cannot be used with professional productivity tools, has no spreadsheet support, questionable development language support and, as goes applications that people other than Gabe use to make a living, is pretty lacking in support for things we need to do jobs and have the wide variety of choices for entertainment as well.

If you choose Apple just because you hate Microsoft, you are shooting yourself in the foot. There are some pretty cool advances being made in Orca and LSR for the GNU/Linux environment and they're open source so you can even add features if you like.

So, Joe, I don't want to go back to a 1.0 screen reader so VoiceOver needs to mature for me to spend any real time looking at it again. I hear the version of VoiceOver in the next OS will have 3D audio which will be the most important innovation in screen reading since JAWS started using DOM calls to gather information and is certainly commendable and worth another look. I'll also say that VoiceOver probably does a better job on OSX than either JAWS or Window-Eyes does on Vista right now so there may be a tectonic shift in accessibility preferences in the coming years. Finally, while I blast Apple for its relative indifference to accessibility, Iwill admit that it's not entirely their fault; Macintosh software written with the Cocoa libraries do seem quite accessible and Apple cannot be blamed for the slow adoption of the new environment and the steadfast adherence to Carbon which makes porting old applications easier but leaves accessibility out. Clearly, the other Macintosh software developers share the blame.

Apple is just so fun to hate as it causes such extraordinary reactions from its defenders. Just annoying the Apple supporters is such fun...

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

I'm a web developer,and I recently made a commitment to myself to always make everything I make accessible, so having an apple I fired up the voice over and attempted to check out my web sites. I understand that there is a learning curve here but after 6 hours, I have determined that safari and voice over just aren't there yet. So I googled "os x voice over sucks" and this page came up.

Being an apple fan boy, what gets me is I thought that apple would be light years ahead on this type of technology, one because of the way they advertise it, and two because they have had text to speech since the mac came out decades ago.

Funny thing is, when I was trying to figure out what the keyboard focus commands were, I landed myself on the voice over page for apple (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/voiceover/)

And the key commands are listed in an image with the alt "Navigation Key Commands in VoiceOver", with no long description. Also, the page itself fails the WAI requirements on numerous counts.

Anyway I thoroughly understand the anger toward apple on this. Cause they mislead.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when has apple ever cared about accessibility? NEVER!! so what expects people to say "oh this will work with JAWS or Window-Eyes"? In a test somebody did with Window-eyes and Safari, they litterally couldn't read anything...
I, personally, think Firefox is one of the best browsers out their (still needs some standard window classes and such) but a hell of a lot better than that shimmering dancing visual pile of CRAP!!!!

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO ALL YOU DICK-LICKIN' FAGS WHO THINK MAC IS DE BOM AND LOVE APPLE AND KISS ASS FOR THEM...

ROT IN THE GRAVE@@@@@@!!!!!!!!!!

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I find real frustrating with Apple's Tiger is that you can't set a system-wide white-on-black theme.

Yes, I know. There is the "White-on-Black" setting in Universal Access. But that flips everything with inverted video. While that is tolerable for menus and buttons, for web sites with images and video, it becomes unacceptable. Imagine watching youtube with all colors flipped!

And yes, there are themes you can download. But they do not change text colors and application backgrounds.

So after a week, I had to part my new 24' iMac.

BTW. Considering Apple only owns about 5% of the PC market, they are doing a tremendous job with their accessibility features. Tiger comes real close to beating Zoomtext for me. The new voice Alex in Leopard sounds real nice.

Microsoft, with 95% of the rest, of course has the budget to improve. Even then, they are not doing anything significant for a while.

It is not about who is serious about it, or who cares about it. It's just whether there is enough money in it.

5:51 PM  

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