Monday, August 27, 2012

NAD Convention in Louisville, KY

I should have written this sooner, but whoa... The NAD's going to have a difficult time topping the convention in Louisville, KY, this past July 3-7, 2012. The next one is in Atlanta, Georgia on July 2014. It was activity-packed right in the middle of downtown Louisville, KY, within walking distance of many good restaurants and the waterfront. Many of us probably didn't even need to use the outdoors crosswalks to go from hotel to convention center next door. We used the Louie Link, a set of skywalks going from the two-floor covered Fourth Street Live restaurant/store area to the Galt House on the riverfront.

It was more an old friends reunion than a convention. Old friends from previous classes, the local deaf club, a church, a former VR counselor, and others were all there. Flying in, my sister picked Jamie and I up and took us to the convention hotel.

On the first day of the convention (July 3rd), we went to the local Louisville Bats stadium for a game against the Indianapolis Indians. The Indians won 7-2. A good game, with fireworks at the end.

Second day had a cruise on the Belle of Louisville. Last time I was on there was over 20 years ago, but it was easy enough to tell that they had improved the boat over the years, even retrofitting an elevator for those with walking issues and wheelchairs. Then fireworks on the river while we watched on the water before docking.

July 5th and 6th had the NTID and Gallaudet breakfasts with Dr. Hurwitz showing up on video at the Gallaudet breakfast looking good after his quad-bypass surgery around the end of the school year. Thursday (July 5) had the College Bowl. Friday had the Miss Deaf America finals. Saturday's events joined with DeaFestival with entertainment just outside the convention center including a NAD benefit BBQ dinner. People had the choice of meat or vegetarian.

Like I said, the NAD's got big shoes to fill if they want to top this one. Atlanta's got the MARTA, their subway system. Can the NAD do it?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review of Sony's Captioning Glasses

I just recently got back from watching The Dark Knight Rises with captions. In this case, it didn't use open captioning or rear window captioning (RWC). The theatre used the Sony subtitle/caption glasses. They do take a little getting used to at first. No captions will show until the beginning of the movie.

They've got their good points and their bad points. But basically, the glasses have room for improvement.

The good:
- Subtitles are easily readable with green letters
- Tapping Menu on the battery pack with + and - adjusts the captioning mode and brightness
- Subtitles show up no matter where you look

The bad:
- After wearing them, they'll feel a bit heavy and the bridge of your nose may hurt
   (in my case, it was painful due to the noserests pinching me, but didn't hurt til I took them off)
- Might cause some eye strain with some people due to the focal plane of the subtitles. Meaning, you're going to be reading subtitles close to you, then look at the movie screen.

The suggested improvements:
- the ear pieces could be made adjustable, like longer or shorter
- the eyepiece connector or middle of glasses could be made hinged to allow for those with one good eye to see more of the subtitles
- the subtitle placement could be made adjustable
- if not hinged, maybe use wraparound glasses?
- the nose rests could be made adjustable
- possible to make "clip-ons" to display subtitles on the person's own glasses?

Came across these pages/blogs mentioning it as well:

Regal Captions All Movies With Special Glasses - A Review
The future of captioned films
My Opinion on the Caption Glasses

And interestingly enough, a Quick Start Guide for the glasses. There's more like this with a little more looking around.

Update: I tried them a second time and posted about it. (Part 2)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crimeware and Malware

Remember this post?

Sherlock's Computer Nearly Taken Hostage

This is yet another good reason to have a second account on your computer. Don't use it for anything except to use it when your computer is badly infected, installing the malware checkers after setup if they're not there already. The advantage is that when the original account is infected, the second account should not be affected.

We're familiar with Windows Security Suite and its related ilk and copycats. Now meet Reveton and its creator software.

Reveton Malware Freezes PCs, Demands Payment

Not exactly new, but Reveton builds upon previous crimeware and rasomware by adding in a twist of acting like the FBI's taken over your computer. The FBI will never do this. They will serve you a warrant/subpoena, arrest you, and/or take the computer.

In this case of infection, malware checkers should be able to clean this infection, but in some cases, a complete format and reinstall is better.

Here's an updated list of what to use. All are free:

Microsoft Security Essentials -
CCleaner -
Glary Utilities -
Malwarebytes Antimalware -
Superantispyware -
Spybot -

Microsoft Security Essentials can easily work on its own, though you may want to use the others to help out.