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Communications Minister launches NBN consumer guide


Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy, today launched the release of a comprehensive consumer’s guide to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Produced by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), NBN: A Guide For Consumers is intended to explain the processes, facts and rollout plans of the NBN using simple language in a variety of formats for convenience.

ACCAN developed the guide so that people who do not have the political or technical expertise to pick up on the jargon-laced details that have been released to the public so far will be able to readily grasp the finer details of the network.

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US online movie service uses remote DVD technology with support for captions


A new American streaming video service uses old-fashioned technology to deliver the latest release films to devices, with support for closed captioning.

Zediva has an interesting approach in that it has a data centre in California that has hundreds of DVD players set up like an automated jukebox. When you ‘rent’ a movie from Zediva, you are actually renting the DVD player with the movie loaded.

You can access various features such as closed captioning, subtitles, director’s commentary and languages if included on the DVD. It is not yet understood if this includes audio description, which is usually a special feature not currently enabled by Zediva.

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W3C talks accessibility in report on web and television convergence


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) held its Second Web and TV Workshop in February, where key priorities about web and TV convergence were discussed.

The workshop, held in February this year, resulted in the publication of a report by the W3C including but not limited to the following:

  • Home networking and second-screen scenarios
  • The role of metadata and relation to Semantic Web technology
  • Ensuring that convergent solutions are accessible
  • Possible extensions to HTML5 for television

The release of this report is designed to create some consistency in how televisions are incorporating online content. 

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Captioned video files now supported in PowerPoint


Two new Microsoft Office 2010 Accessibility Add-ins have been released, one to add closed captions to video and audio files included in a PowerPoint presentation, and the other to save a Word 2010 file in DAISY format.

For the first time, you can add closed captions to video and audio files included in your PowerPoint presentation using the new Subtitling Add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint (STAMP).

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