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Twitter! It's a Text Radio for Dr. Z! Dr. Z Will Teach You How!

twitter

Dr. Z sees a trend. Many people are using Facebook but not enough people are using Twitter. Twitter is a very nice tool to keep yourselves up to date. The problem is it doesn’t make sense at first until you use it for a while. Dr. Z spent several hours on the internet trying to find a good tutorial on Twitter, but he feels most of them missed the concept or getting too complicated in the beginning.

So Dr. Z gave up and put together a tutorial for those of you who could benefit. The slide show is below and you can download this as a PDF file using the link at the bottom.

Dr. Z-Twitter 101 (pdf file available for downloading)

By the way, if you want something for your desktop, why not get Z5 MAX? Click this link.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Editorial #147: All VRS Providers Agree on New Interoperability Standards Using SIP! Waiting for FCC to Agree to Changes!

fcc logo

Over the past year or so the following VRS providers (ASL/Global, CAAG, Convo, Purple, Sorenson, CSDVRS (ZVRS)) have been meeting on a regular basis to draw up interoperability standards using SIP. SIP is a newer method for video communication to talk to each other. The old method was called H.323 and H.323 is in the process of being phased out and everyone is moving to SIP.

The providers have put together a working proposal and have met with the FCC on January 6th. The FCC has to agree to make some changes to its rules. When this happens, we can begin to see an environment where all videophones can talk to each other. There is one other hurdle to jump over. The SIP standard is handled by a “mother” group which also has to agree to what the VRS providers have put together. They also have to be sure that those still using H.323 will not be left out.

In 2015, we will begin to see some testing, and it is everyone’s hope that everything will be rolled out in 2016.

It is a commendable effort for everyone to come together voluntarily, and Dr. Z looks forward to the day when there will be no fuzzy pictures, black screens and unexpected disconnections.

You can see the filing at this link.

By the way, for more information on the NEW Z5 MAX, click this link.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

CES? Whats That? A Great Show for Technology!

CES

Every January, there’s a huge trade show in Las Vegas called the Consumer Electronics Show or “CES” for short.

The newest TV’s, newest gadgets, newest add-ons for your car, new trends are usually introduced at CES and this year it is no different.

How about this? A printer to make cookies that you can eat! An alarm clock that will wake you up in different ways. A remote control from your iPhone to start your car in cold weather. The list goes on and on.

Here’s a link for you to enjoy. Some of the topics may be too geeky, while others make sense.

But some of these will be making our lives more accessible, while others are not because they either depend on voice to trigger something or use voice to say something automatically.

Dr. Z being a geek, enjoys those whiz-bang topics.

By the way, if you want something for your desktop, why not get Z5 MAX? Click this link.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Got a new smartphone, PC or Mac for the Holidays? Some Tips Here!

gifts

Dr. Z came across a cool blog for those of you who got a new device for the holidays and after the excitement of plugging it in, you now realize what’s next or there are some things that you don’t get…here’s a guide to help you!

For those of you who got a new iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, here’s the link

For those of you who got a new Android device, here’s the link

For those of you who got a new Mac or iMac, here’s the link

For those of you who got a new Windows PC, here’s the link

And for all of the above, you can make a VP call!

Here are the links to download apps from ZVRS!

iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (link for Z5 Mobile)

Android (link for Z5 Mobile)

Mac or iMac (link for Z5 Desktop)

Windows PC (link for Z5 Desktop)

Enjoy!

If you need help, write to Dr. Z using the form at the upper left side of this blog–he will direct you to a resource to help you!

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Editorial #146: Hearing People Have it Good with Voice Plans, Not Us Deaf and Hard of Hearing Folks with Data Plans!

wireless vendors

Most of us are beginning to realize that 4G LTE is better than wifi for video calls from a smartphone away from your home. The problem is 4G LTE is not always free, but let Dr. Z outline his case.  The information below does not apply to wifi, it applies to calls using 4G LTE.

  • All the major carriers offer unlimited talk time as part of their monthly plans.  Voice does not use any “data.”
  • For video calls, it takes up to 500mb of data for every hour or 1GB of data for a 2 hour conversation. Video calls use “data” not like voice.
  • ATT and Verizon have “capped” data plans while give you a cap of 3GB, or 4GB and so forth at different pricing tiers.
  • When you go over the “capped” data plans in a month, you will be asked to pay more for that month.
  • Sprint and T-Mobile have unlimited data plans.
  • If hearing people can have unlimited chat, deaf people who have ATT and Verizon do not.  That is not functionally equivalent, nor is it fair?
  • Is this something for the FCC to look into?  It makes it look like ATT and Verizon are penalizing us for being deaf or hard of hearing.
  • You can switch from ATT or Verizon to Sprint or T-Mobile, but you need to be mindful of coverage. ATT and Verizon have better coverage in most part of the United States than Sprint or T-Mobile.

By the way, for more information on the NEW Z5 MAX, click this link.Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Editorial #145: Look--If AT&T and Verizon Can Be Interoperable, Why Can't The VRS Industry Do It?

interop

Recently, ATT and Verizon announced plans to make their new LTE networks interoperable (link). They are major giants in the industry and see a need for this. The VRS industry, while getting better, is still not 100% interoperable. We continue to see things like poor video connections, black screens, and address books that cannot be ported.

Dr. Z is challenging the VRS industry to move on—we all have to deal with a dominant provider who is causing all this. While they all including the dominant provider have been meeting periodically on SIP interoperability–there are areas within SIP interoperability that do not necessarily cover things like address book portability and video quality. The dominant provider uses proprietary (non-standard) codecs that affect video quality. The FCC is trying to let the VRS industry work among themselves on this–while waiting for the new things such as the Video Technology Access Reference Platform developed by the FCC which will not come into reality for at least a year or two. Until then, we will continue not to be functionally equivalent. This is 2014, not the 19th century. And we continue to be second class citizens because 100% interoperability is still not here yet. Is anyone listening?

When interoperability issues are resolved, we will finally achieve functional equivalence.

By the way, for more information on the NEW Z5 MAX, click this link.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Why Don't Deaf People Use Twitter? Dr. Z Does and It's Great!

twitter

Dr. Z has been using Twitter for some time–it’s a great resource. But we all know deaf people don’t use it–they use Facebook, iMessage, VRS and other tools to communicate and read.

Dr. Z thinks Twitter is like a visual radio. The problem with Twitter is that it is a bit confusing to use and learn at the beginning.

ZVRS uses Twitter and Facebook to communicate with the public.

Dr. Z will give you tips on Twitter for the next couple months.

As a beginning, you don’t need to set up a Twitter account to use Twitter. To follow CNN on Twitter, simply type twitter.com/CNN. For ESPN SportsCenter, type twitter.com/sportscenter.

In the next couple weeks or so, you can set up a Twitter account to communicate with airlines, department stores. They respond to Twitter better than email.

ZVRS has hardware and software to help you communicate.

For Z5 for your smartphone or desktop, click this Z5 Software/Apps

For more information on the NEW Z5 MAX, click this link.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

VRSInteroperabilityNOW! Why Wait? Get NEW Z5 Mobile NOW!

waitwait

Why wait for videomail in December? You can have it NOW, TODAY with the NEW Z5 Mobile for iOS!

You can get videomail on your mobile phone or your desktop.

There’s more!

You can use the Number Lookup feature. What is it? It is a built in feature of the Z5 Mobile that will give you a list of phone number(s) of a place or area that you type into the search bar. Click the number and you will be connected to a ZVRS interpreter right away!

You can have call alert using a flashing light! That’s the Firefly for you!

For more information on Z5 Mobile, click this link.

For more information on Firefly, click this link.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Editorial #144: ZVRS, Convo, Purple, CAAG and Global on VRSInteroperabilityNOW!

farinhainterop

On September 19, 2014, Sheri Farinha, CEO of NorCal Sevices for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, hosted a town hall on VRS Interoperability with engineers from ZVRS, Convo, Purple, CAAG and Global. Sorenson was invited but chose not to participate. They covered a wide range of issues and said engineers from all companies are working together with the goal of interoperability.They meet via video every week or so and in person every 6 months or so.

Interoperability is like a handshake. When you have a handshake, you acknowledge that you can communicate. With videophones, when one videophone “handshakes” with another videophone, communication takes place.

You can watch a video of the town hall with this link. Many thanks to iDeafNews for broadcasting the event and putting this on their website.

For more information go to this link: #VRSInteroperabiltyNOW

When interoperability issues are resolved, we will achieve functional equivalence.

Tell your family and friends about this!

Thanks Sheri and iDeafNews!

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

Editorial #143: VP Blurred Picture? Can't Connect? Live Town Hall! - September 19, 2014

vrsinterop-new

You asked for it! You got it! Many of you have commented on issues related to your VP when there were problems with videomail interoperability last month. Most of the comments were related to videomail, but some of you said you couldn’t connect, had a blurred picture.

You can find out why! On Friday, September 19, 2014 (8-10PM Eastern Time/5-7PM Pacific Time), you will see a live panel of VRS engineers representing VRS providers to discuss this issues and other issues related to why your VP is not working the way you expect it to. All of the VRS providers have been invited to this event. Sheri Farinha, CEO of NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing will moderating this town hall. Here are the links to view the live town hall on your device or computer:

Link #1
Link #2

For more information go to this link: #VRSInteroperabiltyNOW

The purpose of this is to highlight issues related to interoperability. When interoperability issues are resolved, we will achieve functional equivalence.

Tell your family and friends about this!

iDeafNews will be providing the technical support for live streaming.

Thanks Sheri and iDeafNews!

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development