Connect with us


Techs Inspired By Handicaps



Techs Inspired By Handicaps

The Research Institute PolicyLink characterizes the “Curb-Cut Effect” as a vivid instance of how laws, programs, or techs were created to aid disadvantaged groups, such as the handicapped or people of color.

The majority of the world in which we live is designed for people who can see, hear, walk, and converse easily. One-fifth of those (110 to 190 million) have major disabilities, and the World Bank estimates that 1 billion people worldwide have some sort of disability.

These folks frequently require unique modifications in order to flourish in the world. The great thing, though, is that frequently, the items or adaptations created for those with disabilities are utilized and cherished by those of all abilities.

Techs Inspired By Handicaps

An eye into the invention of the Typewriters/Keyboards

Nowadays, almost everyone owns a keyboard, but that wasn’t always the case. Pellegrino Turri, an Italian inventor, is credited with creating the typewriter.

He observed that the Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano, a friend, was blind and was unable to write letters by hand. Thus, he created the first typewriter ever in 1608, which included keys and metal arms with elevated characters.

Turri created carbon paper as a means of supplying the printer with ink. The keyboard for computers has subsequently replaced the typewriter.

The Audiobooks came up for a reason

Although Braille remains a helpful tool for vision-impaired readers, audiobooks made it much simpler for this group to take pleasure in a good story. The American Foundation of the Blind gave birth to the concept in 1932.

The group used vinyl recordings to record books, but capabilities increased as technology did. In the 1930s, vinyl records could only store 15 minutes of speech per side. By 2007, Amazon’s Audible audio player could store two hours of audio.

Today’s typical smartphones can store hundreds of hours of content. Nowadays, audiobooks are convenient and simple for many kinds of people.

Many people who want to limit their screen time listen to them while driving or at home.

Techs Inspired By Handicaps

Electric Toothbrushes

Everyone should practice good dental hygiene, but in the beginning, those with poor motor skills had a hard time keeping their teeth tidy.

However, the Broxodent electric toothbrush was developed in 1954 to assist those with limited strength, movement, and control in brushing more effectively. Electric toothbrushes are clearly superior to traditional brushes, and most dentists now advise everyone to use them. In fact, a 2019 study indicated that individuals who use electric versions have healthier gums, longer tooth retention, and fewer tooth decay.

Techs Inspired By Handicaps

Speech-to-text and Voice Recognition Apps

You’ve utilized speech-to-text technology if you’ve ever used Alexa to answer a query or your GPS app to follow audio directions (or its brother, voice recognition). Not to mention military aircraft, automotive navigation/entertainment systems, and home automation, this technology is present on the great majority of phones.

However, one of the purposes of invention was to enable those who were unable to physically write to express themselves “on paper.” Users may generate written documents and easily store and open them using voice commands thanks to software developed in the 1990s.

Later, versions were developed especially for those who worked as medical transcriptionists or in courtrooms.

Fidget Spinners

As a relaxing technique, fidget spinners were initially sold to persons with autism or ADHD. Getty Images/Isabel Pavia

Back in 2017, this item was in demand, and every child needed one. Fidget spinners are techs that you spin to relax or improve concentration. It has three paddle-shaped blades arranged in a circle with bearings in the center.

In 1993, engineer Catherine Hettinger created it as a toy to amuse her 7-year-old daughter, but she regrettably allowed the patent to expire since she lacked the funds to keep renewing it. She thus did not become wealthy from the tremendous frenzy.

Manufacturers started pushing these techs as a technique to assist calm people with autism, ADHD, and anxiety disorders in the early 2000s. Numerous people, including stressed-out corporate executives and bored students, enjoyed spinning the “fidgets” for amusement in 2017, despite studies not concluding that they assisted people with these situations.

Ironically, several school districts have outlawed fidget spinners as a distraction.

Techs Inspired By Handicaps

Curb Cuts

It should be quite evident that curb cuts, which are those mild slopes or “graded ramps” from sidewalk to street, were initially intended for wheelchair users.

However, people traveling with wheeled bags, parents moving strollers, and people delivering big cargo on dollies have all found them to be helpful. Although curb cuts originally emerged in 1945, they only really took off in the United States after the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 made curb cuts a requirement on all sidewalks.

Bendy Straws

Even though the 1888 invention of the straight paper straw was a marvel in and of itself, Joseph Friedman modified the design in the 1930s to include a bend in the middle.

When he saw his little daughter struggling to drink her milkshake at a soda fountain using the straight variety, he got the idea. He corrugated the straight straw by inserting a screw inside of it and wrapping dental floss around it.

Although this device wasn’t intended for persons with impairments, hospitals were among the first settings to use it because it helped patients who were confined to beds and trying to drink. Everyone now enjoys using bendy straws.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


UK Government To Set Online Bill Criminalizing Self Harm



UK Government Sets Online Bill To Criminalize Self Harm

In an effort to stop what it calls “tragic and preventable deaths caused by people seeing self-harm content online,” the UK government has announced it will further broaden the scope of online safety legislation by making encouraging self-harm a crime.

According to the most recent modification to the divisive but popular Online Safety Bill, in-scope platforms would be compelled to remove anything that purposefully encourages someone to physically harm themselves, or face legal repercussions.

The government intends to tackle “abhorrent trolls urging the young and vulnerable to self-harm,” according to the secretary of state for digital. People who post such content online may also be prosecuted under the new offence of encouraging self injury.

The maximum fines will be announced in due time, according to the administration.

In the UK, it is already unlawful to promote or aid suicide, whether in person or online. By creating a new offense, self-harm content will now be subject to the same laws that already ban suicide promotion.

Following a snag, last summer associated with political unrest in the ruling Conservative Party, the Online Safety Bill’s progress through parliament is now on hold. However, the newly reorganized UK government has declared that it will reintroduce the measure to parliament next month after making changes to the law.

The abuse of intimate imagery is a problem that will be addressed by recent revisions to the Online Safety Bill, which was just made public by the Ministry of Justice. However, other revisions are planned regarding “legal but harmful” information, thus the final form of the Act is still up in the air.

The government responded to concerns about the bill’s impact on online freedom of expression a few months ago. The (new) secretary of state, Michelle Donelan, announced in September that she would be “editing” the bill to lessen concern about its impact on “legal but harmful” speech for adults.

The most recent changes, making it illegal to send online communications encouraging self harm, came after that announcement.

UK Government Sets Online Bill To Criminalize Self Harm

Donelan was quoted by the BBC as claiming that Molly Russell, a 14-year-old teenager who committed suicide five years ago after watching thousands of online articles on self-harm and suicide on websites like Instagram and Pinterest, was a factor in the most recent changes.

Social media was found to have contributed to Russell’s death, according to the results of an inquest into her death in September. While the coroner’s “prevention of future deaths” report from last month that a number of steps be done to control and monitor young people’s access to social media content.

The addition of the crime of promoting self harm, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, will outlaw “one of the most worrying and prevalent internet harms that now falls below the threshold of criminal behavior.”

Donelan stated in a statement:

“I am determined that the abhorrent trolls encouraging the young and vulnerable to self-harm are brought to justice.

“So I am strengthening our online safety laws to make sure these vile acts are stamped out and the perpetrators face jail time.

“Social media firms can no longer remain silent bystanders either and they’ll face fines for allowing this abusive and destructive behaviour to continue on their platforms under our laws.”

Hate crimes, rules regarding revenge porn (including disseminating deepfake porn without content), harassment, and cyberstalking are among the other top criminal offenses already mentioned in the bill.

Regardless of what the measure states on paper, there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how platforms will react to having legal obligations imposed on them to police all forms of speech, as well as if it would actually increase web user safety as claimed.

Critics worry that the regime will have a chilling effect by turning platforms into de facto speech police and encouraging them to overblock content in order to reduce their legal risk of paying a hefty fine.

The regime’s penalties scale up to 10% of global annual turnover, and non-cooperative senior executives even run the risk of going to jail.

On Monday, December 5, the bill is scheduled to return to parliament.








Continue Reading


Twitter Amnesty Is What Elon Musk is Going For Next



Twitter Amnesty Is What Elon Musk is Going For Next

Tesla CEO and newly appointed Twitter CEO, Elon Musk did promise a new dimension for the micro-blogging social media platform prior to taking over, and his actions recently, have just about lived up to the promise, but now, the billionaire is set for an ‘amnesty’ that surely will drive some political divides nuts if certain individuals are granted Twitter amnesty as he wants.

Elon Musk announced on Thursday that starting the next week, Twitter will provide suspended accounts “a general amnesty.” The day before, the platform’s CEO published a poll asking users if they thought affected accounts should be restored.

The announcement comes just after Musk lifted the platform’s restriction on former president Donald Trump after conducting a related poll. Trump declared he had no intention of returning to the platform despite being banned following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Users of the Twitter platform who had their accounts suspended could rejoin the network “assuming they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam,” according to Musk’s user survey.

Twitter Amnesty Is What Elon Musk is Going For Next

The survey received responses from about 3.2 million individuals, who voted 72.4% in favor of amnesty.

“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk said, using a Latin phrase that means “The voice of the people is the voice of god.”

Historically, Twitter has deactivated accounts who advocate violence, celebrate hate and harassment, or persistently disseminate false information that may be harmful.

Some well-known people who were banned from the website include MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who made a number of claims that Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election, former Trump advisor and former executive chairman of Breitbart Steve Bannon, who said Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded, and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who broke the website’s rule against violent extremist groups.

Considering that more voices with possibly negative views will be returning to the site, it’s unclear from Musk’s brief post how Twitter will handle content control going forward.

These worries have only grown as a result of Musk’s huge firings and the outflow of workers who would rather leave than remain “hardcore.”

Elon Musk is surely growing more unpopular by remaining popular these days.

Continue Reading


Twitter Working On New Feature For Long Texts



Twitter Working On New Feature For Long Texts

Writing a thread on Twitter can be considered daunting especially when you have to divide the text into 280-character sections for it to make meaning.

Good news though as the platform is stated to be working on a way to convert lengthy texts into threads automatically.

When a tweet exceeds the 280-character limit, Twitter’s composer will automatically divide it into a thread, according to a tweet from app researcher Jane Manchun Wong.

Twitter wants to make making threads less difficult, as she stated in a message to a user (identified as me).

Currently, in order to add a tweet to a thread and post the subsequent 280 characters, users must click the Add button. This can be particularly unpleasant when you are trying out an idea or pasting information from another document.

Several users have recently brought up the difficulty posting to and reading conversations with more than a few tweets; the thread in question was 82 tweets long and focused on the defunct crypto-currency exchange FTX. In response, Musk stated that the team is working to make thread writing simpler.

It will be useful to have markers to designate the start and end of a tweet in the thread, although the exact implementation details remain unknown, as Financial Times product manager Matt Taylor noted. This makes it simpler for users to change the text in a way that doesn’t disrupt the reading flow.

Musk has previously addressed the problem of posting lengthy tweets. He previously stated that the social network is developing the capability to attach long-form content to tweets. If that will be a standalone feature from the new thread composer is unclear.

Currently, some users rely on third-party programs like Typefully, ThreadStart, and Chirr App, which offer capabilities like scheduling along with tools to automatically divide your post into threads without interfering with sentence flow.

Thanks to its acquisition of Threader the previous year, the company today provides Twitter Blue customers with a simple way to read threads. However, Musk hasn’t actually stated whether he is altering the reading experience for the typical user.

There is already a long-form writing program on Twitter called Notes, but it is exclusively available to a small number of writers, and under Musk’s leadership, its future is unclear.

Even though Twitter programmers are already working on it, it is unclear when the new composer tool for threads will launch. Since taking over the business, Musk has let go of more than half the employees.

Numerous executives have left, and the new leader even gave the remaining employees yesterday an ultimatum: either be “hardcore” or quit. There is no assurance that goods will be delivered on time in this situation.

The new Twitter Blue plan with a verification mark was hurriedly launched by the firm, only for the scheme to be discontinued a few days later. Musk stated earlier this week that the launch date had been moved to later in the month.

Wong just found code that suggests Twitter is working on encrypting direct communications from end to end.


Continue Reading