Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Top 10 Stories of 2011: 6. GW Micro Got Us Talking

We're continuing our look at the top stories of 2011. Our panel of Blind Bargains and Serotek contributors each independently submitted their votes for the top stories of the year. This year's panel included Joe Steinkamp, Jamie Pauls, Kevin Reeves, Matt McCubbin, and J.J. Meddaugh. Here are our earlier stories in case you missed them. We're counting down the top stories of the year over the next week and will announce the number one live on Serospectives Thursday night. Number 6 belongs to a new Skype client that got many people talking.

Here's Kevin Reeves with his explanation of the story. Earlier this year, skype opened it's API, allowing app developers to build entire apps around the skype framework. One of the first to take full advantage of it's open API was GW Micro, makers of Window Eyes. On Dec 20, just in time for Christmas, GW released GW Skype 1.0, a fully accessible skype application. And in true form, some of the blind community was enraged that an application, free to everyone, would contain advertisements of other GW products. This caused such a backlash that twitter timelines were filled with said discussion. We praise GW Micro for their release and will be interested to follow the ad-based software in 2012.

Let's go to Joe for his take on the story. In a crazy world of tweeting, Facebook status liking, Stumble Upon users, one must do what one must to be heard over the white noise to get your message heard. And yes, sorry folks, that message can be advertising based. For the internet’s series of tubes and pipes are funded mostly by ads rather than good intentions. However, both lay at the feet of GW Skype. No matter how you feel about this clever use of technology, the fact of the matter is that the Blind can and will hear more advertising going forward as the traditional business model of Assistive Technology changes in 2012 and beyond. Besides, where do you think Google gets all their money? Raising Unicorns near the Rainbow Bridge on Gumdrop Mountain for a petting zoo near the Emerald City? Nope, and you aren’t in Kansas anymore either Dorothy.

For more insightful technology takes, check out The Ranger Station Blog, where Joe is counting down his personal top 10. GW Skype is number 6 on this year's countdown.

Category: Articles
Displaying 2 comments.
darknexus Tuesday, 03-Jan-2012 1:22 PM ET:

I'm confused. Exactly what was this particular article supposed to say? Why is this in the top 10? For that matter, maybe I missed it, but where were the nominations for us, the community, to nominate our top ten? In either case though, this article fails to state why GWSkype is in the top ten. Because it's a different Skype client? Because it has ads? Because it's made by GW Micro? A bit of clarification on this one would be useful, I think.

J.J. Tuesday, 03-Jan-2012 1:25 PM ET:

I added some additional clarification to the article. The Access Awards is your chance to vote for the best of 2011, and that will start later this week.

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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