I wish I could say otherwise, but I don't know many young audiophiles. I know they're out there and my "Poll: Are there any young audiophiles?" blog in February produced a surprisingly healthy response. That said, I'm curious about where the next generation of 'philes will come from. If you are an older audiophile, have you ever turned on a younger relative or friend's kid to great sound?
For the first time, a device that gives the sightless a second chance to see has been approved in Europe.
CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports that the FDA may do the same here soon.
Barbara Campbell lost her sight 20 years ago from retinal disease, but now her world is a lot brighter than it used to be. That's because 2 years ago, she was one of the first patients to get an artificial retina.
"My goal was to see colors and go the Grand Canyon," Campbell said.
With the new retinal-replacement device, Barbara … Read more
It looks like automakers will be required by law to add audible alerts to silent-running electric vehicles to keep sight-impaired pedestrians safe.
President Barack Obama this week signed into law the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (S. 841), which will protect the blind and other pedestrians from injury as a result of silent-vehicle technology, said the National Federation of the Blind.
The new bill, sponsored by Senator John Kerry, and 29 other co-sponsors, allows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) begin crafting standards for an alert sound.
"The National Federation of the Blind is pleased that this critical legislation … Read more
When Jeff Sparkman draws his comic book-style superheroes with colored pencils he often has to ask other people to tell him what color his masked men turned out to be because he's color-blind.
Now, a new smartphone app can help him figure out what colors he's using and how the picture looks to most everyone else.
The DanKam app, available for iPhone and Android for $2.99, is an augmented reality application that turns the vague hues that 1 percent of the population with color-blindness sees into the "true" colors as everyone else sees them.
"… Read more
I recently argued that everyone has a blind side. When people or organizations miss important threats or opportunities--ones that are perhaps obvious to you--it's easy to think badly of them, to assign blame. My goodness! Why ever could they not see that coming?! Idiots! But it's not simple to avoid being those idiots.
I've dealt with department managers with unimpressive budgets who truly "get it." And I've worked with international governments and captains of industry who wouldn't recognize a clue if it dressed up as Colonel Mustard and bludgeoned them with a lead pipe in the conservatory.
In my experience, truly incompetent individuals and outlandishly oafish organizations are the exception. What I usually find are intelligent, well-meaning folks who can't see what they're missing--not because they're stupid, lazy, or in any other meaningful way blameworthy--but because they're focused on other tasks and looking the other way.
Last week, I promised to share some techniques for dealing with the blind side. I wish I could say "Combine a pound of black beans, a quart of skepticism, three eggs, four product evaluations, and a dash of focus group feedback in a large mixing bowl; stir until creamy; pour into well-greased pan; and bake for an hour at 325 degrees." But it's not like that. Improving your perception and handling of things that are over the horizon, camouflaged, latent, or visible only in the "negative space" (i.e., what's missing rather than what's there)--those are skills to be learned, not recipes to be followed. Nevertheless, I've used these these techniques with excellent results:
Admit It, Move On People tend to be embarrassed by, thus defensive about, their blind spots, weaknesses, ulterior motives, errors, and failures. Ego drives us to pretend they don't exist. But when you're pretending something isn't a problem, it's hard to do much about it. So get over it. Accept that you have significant weaknesses, fears, and other assorted ugly bits--that there's an often large gap between where/what you are and where/what you want to be. Getting over shame and blame and getting your ego out of the way lets you get on with the real work. If it's not your ego in the way, help whoever's ego is in the way to get out of it.… Read more
I spend a fair bit of my working life meeting with people, listening to their plans for their next product, project, strategy, initiative, or campaign. My job? Review, evaluate, and give feedback. It's great when I can confirm they've got things right. Check! Good! Yep! Oh, yeah, I like that! I help confirm and build confidence in the plan.
It's a good thing I have the opportunity to be positive, because the larger and more important part of the job is decidedly less affirming: figuring out where they've gone wrong. What's missing? What's vague … Read more
Mercedes-Benz today unveiled two new engines for the 2011 CL-Class.
The first of two all-new direct injection biturbo V8 engines is for the 2011 CL550 4MATIC. According to Mercedes, the 4.6-liter V8 engine has 20 percent smaller displacement than its predecessor, but delivers 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which is 12 percent more horsepower and 32 percent more torque. It also has an improved fuel economy of about 10 percent. The CL550 4MATIC will have an MSRP of $114,025.
The second new engine is for the 2011 CL63 AMG coupe ($151,125) and S63 AMG sedan ($… Read more
The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which President Obama is expected to sign on Friday, would make it easier for people who are visually impaired, deaf, or have other disabilities to access smartphones, TV programming, and other technology products. This would include making sure that devices could, when possible, be used by people who may not be able to see a screen.
The act is designed to assure that closed captioning, which is required on TV broadcasts, also applies to Web TV programming, and it would require that TV and Web-video interface devices, such as remote controls, be … Read more
Google has acquired a start-up called BlindType that aims to dramatically improve typing on Android and iOS mobile devices.
"We're excited to join Google, and look forward to the great opportunities for mobile innovation that lie ahead," BlindType announced on its blog Friday. The company hasn't released the software, though one review in July was favorable.
Mobile-device typing has changed significantly with the iPhone's functional touch-screen keyboard, Android's reasonably advanced word-prediction system, and Swype's technology for sliding fingers over letters. But as any touch typist or hunt-and-peck tapper knows, mobile typing is still … Read more
In development for more than a decade, biosynthetic corneas implanted in 10 Swedish patients over a two-year clinical trial are helping most of those patients see again, according to researchers in Canada and Sweden.
"This study is important because it is the first to show that an artificially fabricated cornea can integrate with the human eye and stimulate regeneration," senior author May Griffith of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute said. "With further research, this approach could help restore sight to millions of people who are waiting for a donated human cornea for transplantation."
Griffith and colleagues … Read more