Tag Archives: local

Shin’s story: Using technology to break down the barriers of disability in Japan – Asia News Center

Shin’s journey hasn’t been an easy one, but thanks to his parents lobbying a local education board – which once suggested Shin go to a special needs school – he has always been studying at regular schools.

Since elementary school, he studied with the help of computer software, such as Microsoft Word and OneNote. He uses a small, special mouse to draw graphs.

“By using Windows’ on-screen keyboard and moving the mouse, I can use my PC for study and communicating with my friends,” he explained.

Since 2013, Microsoft has assisted his learning, including preparation for the tough university entrance exam, by providing IT tools, such as the on-screen keyboard and a cursor control system that uses eye movements.

Shin is now trialing a new eye tracking software that enables him to move the mouse cursor with his eyes

“I have faced lots of challenges like everyone else, but we often need help too,” Shin said. “I’m currently trialing the new eye tracking software that enables me to move the mouse cursor with my eyes. This is one more example of how technology will help people like me work more efficiently.”

“My dream is that one day these kinds of functions will not be listed under accessibility but will be an integral part of how we all work to make a better future,” he added.

In 2016, Shin successfully passed the entrance exam for Tokyo University after spending a year at a preparatory school together with other students who aimed to enter the country’s competitive universities.

Now as a university student, Shin continues to study on his electric stretcher with assistance and support from helpers and the school. Since April this year, he lives on his own with assistance when he needs to move.

The entrance exam for Tokyo University is one of Japan’s most competitive assessments. Before the exams, Shin submitted a request to the exam authority, the National Center for University Entrance Examinations, notifying them that his physical condition required more attention.

During the exam, Shin sat in a separate room with more time to take the paper, and was assigned an assistant to write down his answers. Shin was also allowed to use a computer, especially when an answer required a graph.

Shin’s favorite quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher he admires, is “Man is something that shall be overcome.” The feisty student is often led by these words when reflecting his own physical disability.

Shin, now 21, studies Western Philosophy at Tokyo University

“I believe that we need a new inclusive philosophical framework because technology is now empowering people to become independent beyond any physical barriers,” he says.

Learning from those with disabilities to improve their opportunities

One of those working with people with disabilities, such as Shin, is Microsoft Japan employee Tomoko Ohshima.

Gathering their comments, requests and feedback, she passes those to the tech giant’s developers to create tools to help people with disabilities.

Ohshima was encouraged to take on this project by Microsoft Japan some ten years ago, inspired by her interactions with a colleague, a programmer who is blind. “Technology is so helpful for people!” she says.

Meanwhile, Japan’s entrance exam system is also improving to accommodate students with various disabilities. A consensus has been established to allow students with disabilities to use tools approved by the authorities, such as computers, and to extend the test time depending on each student’s condition. Ohshima’s commitment of the last ten years coincides with this improvement, and has allowed her to witness the transition.

Challenges still remain for students with disabilities. For example, having a computer read out exam questions is rarely permitted in Japan. Instead, a reader is assigned to read the questions aloud for the examinee. This does not always work well for the students –– some students might want to read important parts more slowly, and others might want to have questions read out repeatedly to better understand them.

One of the reasons computer reading has not been approved is because examiners need to create extra exam papers by digitalizing them. This may be avoidable with optical character recognition (OCR).

“We are willing to provide any useful help and technology to create a society in which anyone can have the opportunity to take the entrance exams and be judged fairly regardless of one’s physical condition,” says Ohshima.


To read more about Microsoft Philanthropies’ work to build future ready generations in Asia, click here.

Eventbrite

If you long to become a swingin’ cat who makes the rounds of local cultural events like outdoor concerts, book-club meetups, film festivals, and sake tastings, you should check out Eventbrite. The service boasts a robust event listing and the ability to purchase tickets. You won’t be able to use it to buy tickets for sporting events or high-profile shows, and you can’t create your own events directly from the mobile app. Still, Eventbrite is worth checking out, if you’re looking for cool smaller-scale happenings in your town.

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Welcome to the Party, Pal
The web-based Eventbrite puts the most important thing, search, front and center. Like Songkick, Eventbrite’s homepage automatically detects your location based on your location and pre-fills the location search criteria; you simply key-in an event name or category. You can even filter your searches by date, if you’re specifically looking for a good time this upcoming weekend.
Beneath that search bar lives a large area that’s filled with upcoming events. If you haven’t created an account, you see a simple listing of activities and performances in your area. If you create an account, however, the app shows you events that match the topics of interest you selected when you signed up. For example, I selected the Cultural, Food & Drink, and Festival categories when I signed up, so my Eventbrite homepage is often filled with the likes of A Decadent Evening of Chocolate and Cocktails, Pop Up Dinner NYC, and New York Cocktail Expo. The bottom of the page displays trending topics, such as Networking and Sports & Wellness.

It’s important to understand what kind of bookings you can make with the service—and what kinds you can’t. Eventbrite specializes in smaller, cooler events, such as tastings, indie music performances, conventions, and readings. Ticketmaster, on the other hand, offers tickets for high-profile shows, such as The Book of Mormon and The Lion King. This is not the sort of thing you’ll find on Eventbrite. That said, Tribeca Film Festival uses Eventbrite to handle its ticketing, so I used the service to gain access to a Cobra Kai screening before the television show made its debut on YouTube Premium.
Selecting an event takes you to a page on which you can view the event venue, address, date, start and end times, and location (which you can view using an embedded Google Map, much as you can with Songkick). I also like that each event has tags that lead you to similar events when you click through. Unfortunately, you can’t track recurring events, such as the NYC Craft Beer Festival, to receive alerts for an impending show. This kind of tracking is an area in which Songkick truly excels.

Saving and Purchasing Tickets
You can save events by clicking the bookmark icon located just beneath the listing’s main image. Alternately, you can buy tickets by clicking the large green Tickets icon. Saved events live in the Saved section, while purchased tickets live in the Tickets section. I like that Eventbrite separates those two categories, as it makes identifying which is which much simpler. Ticketmaster does the same, but Songkick, sadly, combines favorites and purchases into one category in its Plans section. You can also add events to your calendar, be it from Apple, Google, Outlook, or Yahoo.
The ticket purchase process requires that you input your name, email address, and credit/debit card information within a 15-minute time frame. If you don’t complete the purchase within the allotted time, you lose the held ticket and have to begin the process anew. In my experience with the service, Eventbrite handles the ticketing; I can’t recall a time when I was shuttled to Ticketmaster or StubHub to complete the transaction. Songkick, on the other hand, sends you to a third party to make a ticket purchase.
Sadly, Eventbrite doesn’t support multiple account logins. This makes things a bit frustrating for people like me who use Eventbrite for both professional (E3 after parties) and personal reasons (ramen festivals). The ability to switch between accounts would be a welcome addition. Instead, you have to create two accounts, with two different email addresses, and then log in and out as needed.
Eventbrite keeps a full record of all your ticket purchases. In fact, I scrolled back to 2009 (nearly a decade ago!) to find an invite for a housewarming party. I didn’t expect Eventbrite to serve up some warm and fuzzy memories when I started testing it for this review.

The Eventbrite Mobile Apps
Eventbrite has apps for the Android and iOS platforms. I mainly tested Eventbrite on my Google Pixel XL, but I spent a bit of time with the iPhone version, too. The apps are very similar to each other in terms of design, and both offer the browser-based version’s many useful features. That said, they differ from the web version in small ways.
For example, you can use your phone as a barcode-based e-ticket instead of physically printing one out a ticket—that’s very convenient. In addition, the mobile apps let you edit your user profile to add or remove event topics. Unfortunately, that option isn’t available in the web version.
Paint the Town Red
Overall, Eventbrite is a useful tool for discovering interesting events in your neck of the woods. Depending on what you’re into, Eventbrite could serve as your main method of discovering local activities, or, if you’re like me, you may find it works best as a companion to the likes of StubHub and Ticketmaster. Eventbrite is excellent at serving up cupcake bake-offs, walking tours, and other relatively small-scale events, but if it’s big-name Broadway shows you’re after, StubHub and Ticketmaster are better choices.

Palit 1080 GTX 8gb Jet Stream graphics card

Palit 1080 8gb GTX graphic card

Not had too long myself but upgrading so now for sale.

Original box packaging, local collection preferred so buyer can see the card working. Happy to ship within the UK once payment has cleared. £15 Royal Mail next day special delivery.

Price and currency: 400
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Cash or bank transfer
Location: Luton
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods…

Palit 1080 GTX 8gb Jet Stream graphics card

Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Looking for another NAs for local media streaming duties, not needing anything sophisticated, one which isn’t forced into RAID mirroring would be good.

Location: Fareham

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Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Looking for another NAs for local media streaming duties, not needing anything sophisticated, one which isn’t forced into RAID mirroring would be good.

Location: Fareham

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Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Looking for another NAs for local media streaming duties, not needing anything sophisticated, one which isn’t forced into RAID mirroring would be good.

Location: Fareham

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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
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Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Looking for another NAs for local media streaming duties, not needing anything sophisticated, one which isn’t forced into RAID mirroring would be good.

Location: Fareham

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all…

Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Looking for another NAs for local media streaming duties, not needing anything sophisticated, one which isn’t forced into RAID mirroring would be good.

Location: Fareham

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Cheap 2-bay (or 4-bay) NAS without HDDs

Powercolor R9 390 8gb pcs+

Powercolor R9 390 8gb pcs+

Comes with original box and driver CD, local collection preferred but happy to ship within the UK. Powerful and quiet card, fans only spin up if it hits 60’c. Selling due to upgrade.

£210 – delivered
£200 – collected

Location: luton

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Powercolor R9 390 8gb pcs+

NAS enclosure only

Looking for somewhere to store all my media for local access. Plex transcoding would be a bonus as I would love to stream to mobile phones etc.
My budget is around £200 (Just for the enclosure)

Location: Birmingham

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NAS enclosure only