Friday Finds from Dan Thompson

Friday Finds from Dan Thompson

Hi! Visitors of Campbell’s world! Not only is there a wealth of information here for us, but, the announcement of a new book as well.  As a blogger, and rider, it gives me great pleasure to tell you about the following!

Friday Finds for August 26 20162016

Greeting to all, a day late.  However, I have exciting news.  For the last around three years, I have been working with two researchers from Canada.  Together all three of us are working on a book about the development of technological devices used in the education of blind person.  It mainly focuses on the years 1870 through 1911.  This is from Lewis Braille developing the “punch system” also eventually called Braille up to the meeting in 1911 in New York City about what type of braille would be accepted as standard.  The book covers all the machines and how they were fassioned.  This week we read through over 2000 letters between Frank Hall and several other superintendents and inventors around the world and many other documents.  This book hopefully will be finished this year.  So that is where iI have been all week and did not put the Friday Finds together until late last night.

The start of each article is marked with an asterisk.  Using the find/replace feature of your word processor, type in the asterisk (shift plus numeral eight) then hit enter to jump between articles.


  1. Pondering Question
  2. Fact of the Day
  3. Tech Term
  4. Words of Wisdom
  5. Blogging for Beginners
  6. BeSpecular and Be My Eyes
  7. In The End Zone from donna j.txt
  8. seven things Android owners can do that Apple iPhone users only dream of
  9. seven things Apple iPhone owners can do that Android users only dream of
  10. How to Remove Moss Mold Mildew from Outdoor Surfaces Even Big White Marble Domes
  11. How To Restart Windows Explorer Manually
  12. Customize your white cane
  13. Bypassing app switcher
  14. Ten  Tips for Effective Communication
  16. One New Man  How is it Possible

Articles start next:

*1)  Pondering questions

How do hearing aid companies expect potential customers to hear their commercials?
What’s the deal with Grapenuts? They’re neither grape nor nuts.

*2)  Fact of the day

There are no bridges over the Amazon River.

The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents.

*3)  Tech term

Today’s term is internet related.

” BitTorrent”

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer ( P2P ) file sharing protocol designed to reduce the bandwidth required to transfer files. It does this  by distributing file transfers across multiple systems, thereby lessening the average bandwidth  used by each computer. For example, if a user begins downloading a movie file, the BitTorrent  system will locate multiple computers with the same file and begin downloading the file from  several computers at once. Since most  ISPs  offer much faster  download  speeds than  upload  speeds, downloading from multiple computers can significantly increase the file transfer rate.

In order to use the BitTorrent protocol, you need a BitTorrent client, which is a software program  that accesses the BitTorrent network. The client program allows you to search for files and begin  downloading  torrents , which are in-progress downloads. Most BitTorrent clients allow you to resume torrents that have  been paused or stopped. This can be especially helpful when downloading large files.

For a list of BitTorrent clients, view the  .TORRENT file extension  entry.

Found here:

*4)  )  Words of Wisdom:

Today I have two that are quite applicable to the beginning of another school year.

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.”

Wilson Mizner

“Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising the voice.” —Stanley Horowitz

*5)  Blogging for Beginners
Source:  :”Finds of the Week”

Design blog Noupe has a three part series on blogging for beginners. If you’re interested in starting a blog or want an idea of what’s involved, this a good overview and has some good resources. The series highlights Blogger and WordPress, and focuses on WordPress. A search for free themes for whatever platform you choose will bring up tons of choices. I’m linking to all three articles here, because as far as I can tell, the three articles aren’t linked to each other.

Blogging for Beginners: Choosing Platform and Domain [#1]

Blogging for Beginners Vol. 2: Plugin Basics, Theme Choice

Blogging for Beginners Vol. 3: Tips for Addictive Content

*6)  Rita’s iDevice Advice for August 22, 2016,: BeSpecular and Be My Eyes: Apps that Assist the Blind in Identifying Objects with the Assistance of Sighted Helpers

This information came from the website

While several apps exist that assist persons who are blind and visually impaired with identifying objects, most of them do not involve direct interaction between the person who is blind and a sighted helper. Two differing apps, however, do use interaction between individuals as the basis for their determining objects, colors, and other related information for a person who is blind. BeSpecular is an app that launched in July of 2016 while Be My Eyes has existed for a couple of years.  BeSpecular describes its operation as follows: The BeSpecular app equips VIPs (the term the app developers use to refer to persons who are blind or visually impaired) with a tool that enables them to lead more independent lives. Both our groups (visually impaired persons, VIPs and sightlings, which is the term the app developers use for people with sight) will have the BeSpecular app. A VIP is able to take a photo of something that they need more detail about (e.g. what color is this shirt). The VIP adds a voice message to the photo and sends it to the BeSpecular Sightlings. A Sightling who’s active on their account will receive a push notification (e.g. John wants to see through your eyes). Sightlings can choose to proceed and answer the VIPs question via a text or voice message, or if a Sightling is busy they can let the question expire and rest assured that another Sightling will pick up the VIPs question.

BeSpecular describes its operation as follows:

The BeSpecular app equips VIPs, (the term the app developers use to refer to persons who are blind and visually impaired), with a tool that enables them to live more independent lives. Both our groups, (visually impaired persons, VIPs), and sightlings, (which is the term the developers use for people with sight), will have the BeSpecular app. A VIP is able to take a photo of something they need more detail about (e.g. what color is this shirt). The VIP adds a voice message to the photo and sends it to the BeSpecular sightlings. A sightling who’s active on their account will receive a push notification (e.g. John wants to see through your eyes). Sightlings can choose to proceed and answer the VIPs question via a text or voice message, or if a sightling is busy they can let the question expire and rest assured that another sightling will pick up the VIPs question.

Here is how Be My Eyes describes its service:

A blind person requests assistance in the Be My Eyes app. The challenge that he/she needs help with can be anything from knowing the expiration date on the milk to navigating new surroundings.

The volunteer helper receives a notification for help and a live video connection is established. From the live video the volunteer can help the blind person by answering the question they need answered.

Even though both apps seek to assist persons who are blind and visually impaired, the apps differ in several important ways. BeSpecular requires the person requesting assistance to take a photo of the item that needs a description and then to record a voice message. The volunteer with sight responds via voice or text message; if the picture is blurry or out of focus, you may need to retake it in order to receive acceptable results.

Be My Eyes works through video chat; as long as it can make a good connection, the person who is blind can connect to the person who is sighted, and the person who is sighted can direct the person who is blind regarding the placement of an item, the need to move the phone’s camera, etc..

Since each person who is blind is different and has varying abilities in terms of taking pictures and operating their phone, it may be best to try both apps and determine which one works best for you individually. BeSpecular is available for iOS and Android while Be My Eyes currently only has an iOS app available. Both apps have Twitter and Facebook pages, a frequently asked questions page, informational websites, and both are free of charge. You can download the apps from these sites or from your app store of choice simply by searching for BeSpecular or Be My Eyes. To read more information, navigate to <> <> .

*7)     In the End  Zone from Donna J. Jodhan

You can listen to these two features plus more by visiting and downloading my weekly podcast at as well as going to  iTunes.

Donna J. Jodhan

In the end zone with the entrepreneur

What are some of the types of entrepreneurship?

  1. fulltime –

It is a full time job for you and you are not employed at any other job.  It is your only focus.

It is your only employment and this means that you are not working for anyone else.

It is your only source of income and this means that you are not earning income from any other type of source except for your investments.

  1. part time –

This type of entrepreneurship means that  you are involved in an entrepreneurship venture in addition to your full time job.

Part time entrepreneurship means that you devote a certain number of hours per week to your entrepreneurship.

Part time entrepreneurship can also mean that you carry out your entrepreneurship at a specific time of the day or on weekends or during your  vacation.

  1. sideline

This type of entrepreneurship is in addition to your full time job.

It could be viewed more as a hobby or Whenever there is a demand or request for you to provide some sort of product or service.


A scam alert

A phone call asking you to verify your credit card details.

This is probably one of the most common types of phone scams and no one can never be reminded too many times as it is so very easy to believe these types of requests.

The one thing to remember is that these types of phone calls usually come in the form of voice recordings.  You will probably never receive this type of call with a live person at the other end.

Here are some facts for you to keep in mind.

You are told that your credit rating needs to be updated.

You are presented with a list of options to choose from.

You are asked to verify the type of credit card that you presently own.

You are asked to give your credit card number either by entering it using your phone’s keypad or by speaking it.

You are asked to give the 3 digit security code at the back of the card either by entering it on your phone’s keypad or by speaking it.

You are asked for your date of birth and given the choice of either entering it on your phone’s keypad or by speaking it.

Do not respond to this!

Hang up immediately.

What happens if you fall into this trap and provide information that is being requested?

Well!  Much sooner than later your credit card will be hijacked and before you know it someone will be using it to make unauthorized purchases.

Until next week then!

I’m Donna J. Jodhan

*8)  7 things Android owners can do that Apple iPhone users only dream of | Tech | Life & Style | Daily


1 – Get More Choice In Their Device

To begin with, Android has long been viewed as the more open and inclusive system.

Apple is the only company currently making devices that run iOS – and that leaves customers with  less choice.

In contrast, Google’s open-source operating system is open to everyone, with manufacturers building  everything from cheap phones to high-end flagship devices.

Far from being stuck in a one or two-year product cycle, Android users have a huge amount of  devices to choose from to enjoy their software – and, processing power apart, many will in fact  inter-relate and work well together, with setting up and getting running a quick and simple process.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – In Pictures

2 – Personalise Their Device

Another well-publicised selling point for Android devices is the sheer amount of customisation  available.

And it’s not just the wider array of hardware styles and sizes. From a software perspective,  Android devices again offer much more.

Almost all leading Android manufacturers allow for the creation of customised backgrounds, lock  screen images, colour schemes, even the service you use to type.

Whether it’s a picture of your pet, loved one or even just a snappy picture, the ability to set  your phone to your liking is a major selling point for Android owners.

Many leading devices also allow users to mould and personalise how the software looks.

HTC recently added the ability to use custom stickers to represent apps – letting users transform  their grid of apps into a cartoonish work of art, with each character representing a favourite  Android app.

Regardless of the quality of the end result, it’s undoubtedly more personal than Apple’s clinical  grid of app icons.

Without needing to fire-up an app, users can check the weather, launch a Google searchGOOGLE

Without needing to fire-up an app, users can check the weather, launch a Google search

3 – Widgets

Another key part of the customisation is Android’s use of widgets.

Going one-step beyond apps by acting as a constant presence on your home screen (or any other  screen, if you’d prefer), widgets make getting the information you need, when you need it, quick  and simple.

Without needing to fire-up an app, users can check the weather, monitor calendar appointments for  the day, or track your footsteps or other fitness information – all speedily at your fingertips.

Android devices will come with a wide number of widget options pre-installed, or offer up a number  of new alternatives via the Google Play app store – meaning you need never miss out on key  information.

Apple did introduce its own version of widgets last year, but these are much more limited than  their Android counterparts, and are imprisoned within the notification area.

Almost all leading Android manufacturers allow for the creation of customised backgroundsGETTY

Almost all leading Android manufacturers allow for the creation of customised backgrounds

4 – Add Extra And More Flexible Storage

Lots of us today use our phones for much more than just calls, as many Android devices now carry a  camera powerful enough to take extremely detailed shots.

But what if you want to quickly move and upload these pictures on to your home PC or laptop?

For iOS users, this often requires the fiddly installation of extra programs, and going through  several steps to ensure that the files you want are going to the right place.

However Android users are able to just plug and play their devices, thanks to the ubiquity of USB  and USB-C chargers that power the majority of devices on the market today.

All that’s needed is a quick swipe down to tell the device that you want it to act as an extra  drive, and you’re all set to use it as you would a regular USB stick, able to drag, copy and shift  around all those precious files.

Adding extra storage space to Android devices is also far easier than Apple phones, as the former  often come with support for microSD cards, which let you hold on to more of your treasured content  without having to make tough decisions about what to keep or delete.

Android Nougat brings multi-window multi-tasking to every size deviceGOOGLE

Android Nougat brings multi-window multi-tasking to every size device

5 – Multi-Tasking Via Multi-Window

With all these apps and widgets on your phone, sometimes things can get a little cluttered –  especially if you don’t have a particularly big screen.

Phone manufacturers have in the last few months finally woken up to the idea that multi-tasking can  be done on smartphones, and for now at least, Android is leading the way.

Many of the top devices, including Samsung’s flagships, offer multi-screen views when using your  device, similar to the split or quad screen experience you can have on a Windows PC, meaning you  can have multiple apps in operation at the same time.

This is often hugely useful for those of us who like to work or check various news feeds on the go  – but for iOS users, the function is limited to tablet devices such as the iPad, whereas  smartphones are left behind.

A wide array of manufacturers make Android Wear smartwatches, compatible with a huge number of  phonesGETTY

A wide array of manufacturers make Android Wear smartwatches, compatible with a huge number of phone

6 – Smoother Notifications

Notifications are a key part of staying on top of both your important communications and various  social media feeds, so its often vital that they stick around where you can see them.

However for iOS users this can often be tricky, as unlocking and relocking their device will cause  lockscreen notifications to disappear – meaning you could miss something crucial.

Android devices however, will keep both their icons and notification presence until dismissed or  accessed, meaning there’s no danger of missing out.


7 – Free Up Space Quickly

Some of the apps you use will often download photos, videos and other data onto your phone whilst you use them. 

This is particularly true for apps that use photos and videos such as Vine, Twitter and Instagram, which often use a lot of storage space to keep information related to these downloads.

If you have an iPhone, you can usually only get this space back by deleting and re-installing the app (unless – like Google Maps – the developer has included the option within the app itself) which can be extremely restrictive, particularly if you have a smaller capacity device.

However for Android users, these apps often include an option to simply clear the cache, quickly freeing up space that iOS versions cannot – and even if not, you can also clear the cache of an app in the Android software.

*9)  7 things Apple iPhone owners can do that Android users only dream of;utm_term=Life%20&amp;%20Style&amp;utm_content=Life%20&amp;%20Style&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=applenews

2 – Instant Operating System Updates for All

When Apple pulls the trigger on a new iOS update, it reaches every iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owner almost immediately.

That’s because Apple has complete control over when its operating system updates roll-out – there’s no intervention from mobile carriers, or smartphone manufacturers.

As a result, any security vulnerabilities, software glitches or bugs are fixed with ruthless efficiency within the iOS ecosystem.

It also means users can get their hands on the latest features as soon as Apple is ready to push them out.

That’s not always the case with Android.

Google pushed out its latest update to the mobile operating system, 6.0 Marshmallow, back in October 2015. 

However, it wasn’t until February 2016 that Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners were able to start downloading the update and enjoy the latest features.


As soon as Apple’s ready to roll-out an update, it instantly becomes available to users

3 – Simple, Easy Device-Wide Search By Default

Apple’s Spotlight search is a phenomenal tool.

From any Home Screen panel on your iPhone or iPad, simply touch your finger to the display and drag down to load the search field.

You can then launch a search for almost anything on your device – apps, contacts, phone numbers, messages, GarageBand projects, draft emails, individual tracks available to stream via Apple Music. Spotlight can also search the web, so you don’t have to fire-up a separate app before you kickstart your next Google search.

Like on OS X, Spotlight can handle some basic maths too. So you can type your calculation into the search field and get the answer – without ever leaving the Home Screen.

Start using it, and you’ll struggle to remember how you lived without it.

Many of this is possible from your Home Screen on Android – but not by default.

For all its expertise in search, Google bafflingly makes you turn on searching for apps within the Settings of the Google app.


Apple makes both the hardware and software, a completely difference approach to Android devices

4 – iPhones Are More Secure

Apple’s iOS is a more secure platform than Android. Granted, it’s not impregnable. But it is better.

In its 2015 Mobile Threat Report, Pulse Secure estimated that a jaw-dropping 97 per cent of all malware written for mobile targeted Android devices.

Meanwhile the United States Department of Homeland Security has previously estimated than a meagre 0.7 per cent of malware threats would affect iOS users.

One of the reasons for this disparity is that many Android users do not – or cannot – update to the latest version of the operating system.

Android also has more users worldwide, which makes it appealing for cyber scammers.


TouchID fingerprint scanners are now universal across the iPhone line-up

5 – Better Support For Newer Technologies

Since Apple is the only manufacturer making iOS devices, new technologies tend to see a much faster adoption.

For example, the US technology firm introduced biometric security with the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5S back in September 2013.

Three years later, Apple no longer sells an iPhone from its Store that doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner.

That consistency in user experience is very appealing to developers – who move quickly to implement and adopt the technology.

In contrast, Android only introduced system-wide support for fingerprint scanners in Marshmallow, which launched in October 2015.

Previously, manufacturers had to implement the technology themselves. 

That meant third-party app developers could not guarantee every Android user would have the same experience.


Swapping between Apple devices works extremely well

6 – Works Great with All Your Devices

Since Apple creates both the hardware and software for its devices, they tend to work really, really well together.

Start writing an email, document, text message on one Apple device and you can immediately pick up where you left off from another.

With Continuity, you can also make and receive phone calls from your iPad, iPod touch, or Mac when your iPhone is on the same wifi network.

And following the update to macOS Sierra later this year, you’ll be able to copy something on one Apple device – and paste it on another.

Being able to seamlessly transition between devices in this way is incredibly useful.

And it’s something that’s difficult to recreate when your devices are built from different – and often, competing – manufacturers, running different operating systems.


Android might be more popular, but iPhones have a number of superior features

7 – Lightning is Miles Better than Micro USB

Apple’s Lightning connector might not be a standard, like Micro USB, but it is much more powerful. Literally.

Micro USB is limited to nine watts of power, while Lightning provides 12 or more. 

Unlike the humble Micro USB, Lightning is reversible – which is convenient. 

It’s also studier because the pins are moulded in one solid piece around the male connector, there’s no need to include a housing to shield and protect the pins – like those used in the male Micro USB plugs. Lightning is also bi-directional, meaning it can be used to power your iPhone or iPad, but it also just as easily can be used to power accessories, like keyboards.

MicroUSB 2.0 works only in one direction.

The Lightning port can also be used for audio. 

Lightning headphones are capable of receiving lossless stereo 48 kHz digital audio output from Apple devices, as well as sending mono 48 kHz digital input from a microphone.

Manufacturers can also include remote controls with the ability to change the volume, pause and play audio, as well as map buttons to specific app functions.

*10)  How to Remove Moss, Mold, Mildew from Outdoor

Surfaces—Even Big White Marble Domes

Something weird is going on in Washington D.C. and I’m not talking politics. It’s the big, white, marble dome on the Jefferson Memorial. The caretakers of that beautiful structure are flummoxed by what to do about the grungy, gooey mold-like gunk that has begun collecting on the dome, turning it from white to a dingy, dirty mess!

So far, experts have managed to give the yuck a name—biofilm—and determined that it’s a combo of algae, bacteria and fungi.

Here’s the problem: How to treat this icky stuff without damaging the soft marble of the Jefferson Memorial so that it remains safe for the environment and visitors alike.

When I read about this situation, of course I knew what to do. Of course! But I won’t be calling anytime soon to share my directive, which would include a helicopter with a huge sprayer and a thousand gallons of one of the most amazing products I’ve come across in a very long time. However, I am excited to share this with all looking for a solution.   Please pass it on to others struggling with this problem.

“Wet and  Forget” is a remarkable product.  Use it & Forget Moss Mold Mildew and Algae Stain Remover This outdoor stain remover like no other. It’s non-caustic, non-acidic, contains no bleach and safe on any outdoor surface. Even better, no scrubbing or rinsing required! Simply spray it on and allow it to dry. Really bad stains may require multiple applications. The product comes concentrated—you mix it with water according to the label and then pour it into an ordinary pump-up garden sprayer for application.

Wet & Forget is not harmful to plants, however you will want to keep your pets away from the area treated until the product has fully dried. Wet & Forget can be used on any outdoor surface including asphalt (black top), Astroturf, aluminum siding, awnings, brick pavers, composite decking, concrete, driveways, docks, fiberglass boats, fiberglass shingles, fiberglass hulls/topsides, green houses, gutters, inflatable dinghies, limestone, marble, marinas, natural stone, outdoor furniture, outdoor planters, paint surfaces, patios, patio furniture, plastic houses, recreational vehicles, retaining walls, sails, sandstone, shade sails, sidewalks, stucco, tennis courts, teak decks, textured finishes, tiles, tombstones, umbrellas (outdoor), vinyl siding, wood—and I believe, big white marble domes!

Wet & Forget is available at Amazon, about $37 for one gallon, which makes 6 gallons of ready-to-use product. Or if you prefer, some Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware stores carry Wet & Forget in store.

From Mary Hunt, Everyday Cheapskate

*11)  How To Restart Windows Explorer Manually

” Restart Windows Explorer Manually to Avoid a System Restart”


It could be that you’ve installed updates, installed a new software or may be your computer just  hung up. All this scenarios usually need a system restart.

Though restarting the system is the most reliable way to make changes take effect, small issues  (like the mouse cursor being stuck on an icon) could be taken care of by just restarting Windows  explorer (and hence refreshing the Windows shell. )

Here are three methods to do it. Check them out.

As a screenreader user, I found the first most easiest.

  1. Restart Explorer Through a Batch File

You can also create a shortcut and desktop context menu item to get this done.

  1. Launch Notepad.
  2. copy the following commands into it, then save the file as restart

explorer.bat to any location you want.

@echo off taskkill /f /im explorer.exe start explorer.exe

I saved my “restart explorer.bat” file in “

c:\users\dan.”c.  Now you can restart window explorer in a few different ways.

  1. You can now create a shortcut key combination to use when restarting the explorer is needed.
  2. Locate the bat file you just created and saved.
  3. From the keyboard, press the application key.

If using a mouse, once locating the file, click the right mouse button.

  1. From the keyboard, press letter r.

If using amouse, click properties.

  1. From the keyboard, tab twice and press a letter of your choice for a shortcut key combination.  Then hit enter.

If using a mouse, locate the “shortcut key” edit field that currently has none in it.  Then type the letter you would like to use.  Then clickokay.

  1. The hotkey combination of alt+control+key of your choice will appear.
  2. Now you can restart explorer by clicking on the icon or just pressing the hotkey combination you chose.
  3. Restart Explorer via Windows Task Manager
  4. Right click the Taskbar
  5. select “Start Task Manager” to launch the tool.

“Restart Explorer to Refresh Windows Shell

  1. Switch to “Process” tab
  2. locate “explorer.exe.”
  3. click the “End Process” button and confirm the operation.

If you are worried about the security of terminating a process, you can also click the space surrounding the Windows search bar in Start, hold on Shift + Ctrl, and then right click blank area of Start Menu, choose “Exit Explorer”.

Now, after the taskbar and desktop icons have gone, you need to click “File -> New Task” on menu bar, and then enter “explorer” to restart Explorer.

That’s it. You’ve successfully restarted the Windows Explorer.

  1. Add a Restart Explorer Option to the Desktop Context (Right-Click) Menu [Registry Hack]

We could also add the restart explorer option to the context menu using the batch file we created above.

Note: This method makes use of certain registry tweaks. It is hence important that you backup your registry before proceeding.

  1. Press Win + R.
  2. enter regedit (or type regedit in the Windows search bar) to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Create a key under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT –> Directory –> Background ->shell by right clicking on the “shell” folder. Name it Restart Explorer.
  4. Follow the same process again, i.e right click on the Restart Explorer folder you created, go to “new” and add a key named Command.
  5. Go back to the Restart Explorer.bat file we created initially, hold on the Shift key and right click on it, and select “Copy as path” to obtain the file path to clipboard.
  6. Now, inside the registry editoraste the path to the (Default) value under Command key (you would need to right click on “Default” on the right pane and click “Modify” first).

That’s it. From now on, you could right click the desktop to restart Explorer immediately, without any additional steps.

This tip is also useful when you encounter system stagnation, but it sometimes it may lead some system tray icons to disappear. Hence, please save your work before performing the operation.

*12)  Customize your white cane with Kustom Cane

Customize your white cane with Kustom Cane

By Paul Ferrara on Aug 26, 2016 02:47 pm

Most people who are blind and visually impaired use one or more aids for orientation and mobility, the white cane being one of the most common ones. You may think of your cane as merely a functional device and, indeed, it does fit that description. Your cane, however, is a part of you, something everyone else notices. Now thanks to Kustom Cane, you can own a cane that stands out from all the others, a cane that displays your personality and things that matter to you.

Kustom Cane strives to provide canes that are safe. Every cane includes reflective material that makes you visible when traveling at night. Kustom Cane will add this reflective material to any cane you send to them even if you don’t buy a customized cane from them. Kustom Cane will personalize any type of cane and even offers to make customized harnesses for service dogs.

When you visit the homepage, you find a promotional video and a guide for determining which type of cane is best for you. You also find a place where you can purchase gift certificates and a listing of some of the new products Kustom Cane has to offer. You get a better idea about the company’s origin from the “About” page and notice that its founder used to work in restyling for the auto industry. When James, the company’s owner, lost his vision in 2010, he figured out that there was no variation in white canes, a fact that he sought to change. He believed that canes should reflect their owners in some way rather than just being “Boring white canes”.

Kustom Cane has a page that is a gallery of pictures of many canes they have made; the gallery includes well-described images. The descriptions, by themselves, give you an idea of what kinds of customizations James can do. You can put the logo and/or colors of your favorite sports team on your cane, advertise a business or cause you care about by including their logo on a cane, choose colored handles that reflect your style, or add charms like Bluetooth speaker charms that actually do have audio output or alarm charms that sound an alarm if you need one.

The best way to see all of Kustom Cane’s offerings, however, is to navigate to their “Order” page. After entering your demographic information, you begin designing your custom cane, determining your cane type, length, and color. Then you are asked to describe your custom cane; you will type as detailed of a description as you can. Next you select a cane tip and a charm from the list of over 20. Available charms include several butterflies with different sayings in braille, discs, guitar picks, stars, hearts, a dolphin, a football, and several more. There is a choice for “other” which allows you possibly to suggest one that is not on the list. Immediately following this combo box with the aforementioned charms, you can choose additional specialty charms which appear as a list of check boxes. This list includes USB battery charms (yes these are actual battery chargers for mobile devices), a hand sanitizer pump charm, several alarm charms, multiple Bluetooth speaker charms, or suggest a charm in the edit box below these choices.

After you submit your order, Kustom Canes will contact you for a personal consultation so that they can make sure that your cane is exactly as you like it; they also make payment arrangements with you at that time. As you can see, these canes are far from ordinary. But Kustom Cane offers another fantastic program that you can be part of, whether or not you purchase a cane from them. This initiative is called the You Cane Give program.

Here is a description of this service:

Wondering what to do with that old cane you no longer use in the closet? Is that drawer of used canes collecting dust and taking up space? Donate your old canes to our new “You Cane Give” program. Kustom Cane is collecting donated canes to refurbish and send to individuals who are blind and visually impaired around the world. Let’s face it, we have it good here in our country. With the click of a button, we can order almost anything we need, including a cane. In countries like Mexico, China, India, and the African continent, people do not have access to the proper tools to empower independence and success. Do not let your canes go to waste!  “You Cane Give” allows you to help us give your used cane to a person far away who needs it!  Kustom Cane will give you a $15 credit towards the purchase of a cane or accessories if you donate a cane to “You Cane Give.”

Thanks to the program, Kustom Canes has shipped canes to Nicaragua, and will ship some

to Nigeria and the Philippines soon.

You can get more information about Kustom Cane in several ways, visit

www.kustomcane.comemail, call James at 901-483-1515, Facebook page at Cane/272840179481964, Twitter at, or visit their blog at

As Kustom Cane’s slogan says: Don’t be plain, go Kustom Cane!

Contributed from Fred’s Head from APH

*13)  Bypassing app switcher to move between opened apps in IOS 9.3 and above

When in an app and there is  more than one app opened, using a four finger swipe left or right will  move between the opened  apps.  This illiminates the need to access app switcher for moveing between opened apps.

Contributed by Steve

*14)  10 Tips for Effective Communication, by Liz Kingsnorth

LIZ KINGSNORTH explores the ways we can improve our relationships with others at home, at work and with friends, by improving the way we communicate.

  1. An intention for connection.

Aim for a respectful and compassionate quality of connection, so that everyone can express themselves, be heard and understood. Trust that the connection is more important and more nourishing than being right, or even just having your say. Connection means to try to be open and stay in touch with what matters to the other person – and to yourself – in each present moment.

  1. Listen more than you speak.

We have two ears and one mouth – a reminder of what is important! Listening is key to a healthy relationship. Often we are only half listening, waiting for our chance to speak, wanting to make our point. When our attention is with our own thoughts, we are not listening. Listening means to enter into the world of the other person, to intend to understand them, even if we disagree with what they are saying.

  1. Understand the other person first.

When another person feels you understand them, they are far more likely to be open to understanding you. Willingness to understand involves generosity, respect, self-control, compassion and patience. Be ‘curious instead of furious’ about how others are different from you.

  1. Understand needs, wishes and values.

Everything people say and do expresses an underlying need, longing or value. We can learn to identify and ‘hear’ these needs, even when they are not expressed explicitly. Because all human beings share these needs, they are our magic key to unlocking mutual understanding. For example, if someone says, “You are so selfish, you never do anything to help at home,” they are indirectly expressing a longing for consideration and support, but it is coming out as blame and judgment. If we can empathise rather than react, we will connect and the person will feel understood.

  1. Begin with empathy.

Refrain from:

Immediately telling your own similar story

Interrogating with lots of data-type questions

Interpreting the other’s experience

Giving advice

One-upping e.g. “if you think that’s bad wait till you hear about what happened to me!”

Dismissing the person’s feelings e.g. “Oh don’t be angry.”

Dismissing the person’s experience, or telling the person that this experience is actually good for them!

Generally people appreciate receiving empathy more than anything else.

  1. Take responsibility for your  feelings.

What someone else says or does is not the cause for how we feel, it is the trigger. Our feelings are stimulated by what’s happening. For example, if someone does not do what they say they will do, we might tell them, “You make me so angry, you are so unreliable!” This inflammatory accusation could be rephrased as, “I feel frustrated because it’s important to me that we keep to agreements we have made.”

  1. Make requests that are practical, specific and positive.

Make requests that will help fulfil our needs. This stops us just complaining, and allows the situation to change. Don’t ask things of others that are too vague or too big, or are expressed as a negative request, e.g. “Stop making so much noise.” Be positive and specific, e.g. “I am working. Can you please use the headphones while playing video games?”

  1. Use accurate, neutral descriptions.

When we are upset, we often interpret what has happened, using judgmental language, rather than accurately describing what has triggered us. This can get us into a fight immediately! For example, instead of simply stating, “You didn’t call me,” we might interpret and then accuse, “You don’t care about me!” First describe the situation in a neutral, accurate way, free of judgments or blame. Then the communication can continue with sharing feelings, needs and requests. For example, instead of saying, “That’s a really stupid idea!” you might say, “If we all go to a movie which ends at midnight [neutral description], I’m worried [feeling], because the children need to get a full night’s sleep [need]. Can we go to the 2 p.m. show instead [specific request]?”


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