Archive for the ‘Web/Tech’ Category


Image via Wikipedia

One of the first apps I got on my son’s iPad was something I wanted for myself. The Monster at the End of This Book was one of my favorite books growing up.  When I saw it was at the iPad store, and it still had Grover, and not Elmo (which they had when my daughter was the age for this), I had to download it!

It keeps true to story, and is interactive in a seamless, appropriate manner.  It encourages the child to be involved in the story, in subtle ways. If they still don’t get what to do on a page, Grover will hint, building up the hints until the work is done.  He does it in a way, though, that suits the story. “Whatever you do, don’t touch that. Not that corner over there. That will make the page turn. You don’t want to turn the page!” Things like that, and maybe a bit of a flicker or flash to show where the child should touch.

My son is completely non-verbal, and can’t really read much at all.  He’s never been interested in reading, either.  He’ll look at I Spy books, or flip through something with a character he likes, but not much more than that.  After a while, though, Ted would read along with the book, running his finger under each word as it was said. Each word comes on the page one at a time as Grover says it, and he’s really starting to learn the relationship between what is said and what the word looks like. That interaction is probably helping him read more than the constant drilling we’ve done over the years in school, in therapy, and in the home.  He reads it every night before going to bed.  He also is engaged with it more than most other apps, without perseverating on it, reading it over and over for hours on end.  It’s also made a great reward for his educators and his therapists, because he will work for enough stars to have time with this app.

I’ve seen a number of children’s e-books, and apps based on children’s books. This is probably our favorite, and save for a handful of others, one of the better crafted ones. You can tell that not only did the software developers know what they were doing, educators and other professionals who know about development of literacy skills and children were involved. All the little touches not only make this app more enjoyable, but are a great way to help an emerging reader.

This award-winning app is $3.99 at the Apple App  store.

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We finally got Ted an iPad, primarily for use as an AAC device, but we knew there were other apps out there that might be useful.  We’ve found autism related apps, educational apps, some really fun apps for rewards, and lots of communication apps.  We also found a fantastic case for it, too!

It’s a shame that insurance does not cover these. An AAC device starts at around 3k.  An iPad with a good case, good AAC software, and some other apps? About 1k.  But the insurance would rather pay 3k and up, because those devices are for communication only.  Heaven forbid someone has something that can be used for things other than the intended purpose. They’d rather throw money away. No wonder premiums are so high.  Insurance companies will not use common sense when it comes to deciding what to pay, and what not to pay.

I hope to be reviewing some of the apps we’re using.  The whole experience is a real game changer. It’s made an impressive difference in my son’s life.

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Has anyone here heard of Angie’s List? I recently joined, and in the Dubuque area, memberships are FREE. Angie’s List is like Yelp, but focuses on contractors and medical professionals. To build up their base, they need more members to write more reviews.

If you’d like an invite (I get M&Ms if you use my invite to join), drop me a line. Even if you aren’t in the area, ask for an invite — your area might also be a charter area, too, offering free membership, or you may simply think this service is worth the fee. Check it out!

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You know what?

I think people should just make their own dancing videos like that. In their own home town. And then upload them together. As great as Matt is, why can’t we do it without him?

What do you think?  Upload ’em all as replies to Matt’s videos on youtube.

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It’s beautiful, it’s wonderous, it is GLORIOUS.  Best thing I’ve come across on the internet in a LONG time.

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Freelance Writing

Some of my readers may be interested in this.


Worth a look, someone who does freelance writing pointed it out to me. I’m not a writer, so I don’t have personal experience with it.

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Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Originally uploaded by Kibbles

This is from playing around with a new website, http://www.picnik.com — it’s fun!

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Link: Network feud leads to Net blackout | CNET News.com.

Two major Internet backbone companies are feuding, potentially cutting off significant swaths of the Internet for some of each other’s customers.

This is probably why I can’t get to the site where I upload my stock photography, why I can’t read my online comics, and why other information I read and look at every day is simply unavailable to me.

Absolute bullshit.

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Browser Headaches

So, I used Camino (a flavor of ‘zilla made especially for OSX), and it stopped working.  First of all, it ate all my bookmarks.  A LOT of bookmarks.  Can’t get them back.  Reinstalling the software, even on a different drive, didn’t help, nor did it help the problem of it refusing to save any new bookmarks.  So I couldn’t rebuild my bookmarks if I wanted to.

And reporting it as a problem/bug? You need to be a damn programmer to do so — and they are rather arrogant about it.  Screw that.  If I’m not going to get support especially because I cannot speak geek enough to report the problem, I’ll just use another browser (even though admittedly this is just another ‘zilla).  I already lost everything, so I am not losing bookmarks.

I am losing stuff in my keychain though, rather I need to go to new pages in this browser, over in Camino, and then log onto the site in Camino enough to get my  username/password back and then re-log in on Firefox.

I am less than pleased, as you can imagine.

I am glad I put a lot of links in my linkblog, though, I just wish I did more.

Off to play with my haircolor.  You don’t want to know.  Trust me.

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Link: Digital Media Asia: News – Does North Korea have an army of hackers?.

South Korea’s Defence Ministry has alleged that North Korea has trained up to 600 computer hackers to launch cyber attacks against countries such as the United States and South Korea.

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