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Applications for the Speech Impaired

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Speech impairment affects people in the way they create sounds to form words. Some of the most common forms of impairment are stuttering, apraxia, and dysarthria. Affected people are not able to say what they want to say even though they are fully aware of what they need.

This becomes a major problem for most people as they cannot communicate freely. Luckily, the digital world has made it easy for speech impaired people to communicate with others. Here are some of the used apps for those affected.

Vaakya – ACC App

Another important app for the speech impaired people is the Vaakya – AAC app. It is a photo based app that is designed to assist people with speech problems. Individuals with speech problems arising from aphasia, strokes or MND/ALS can use the app. Similarly, people suffering from cerebral palsy, autism and other mental related problems can take advantage of the app.

AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Vaakya – AAC can assist people during rehabilitation. The app is both suitable for both literate and illiterate people since its photo based and therefore easy to use. Users can create their own set of photos as well as audio that relates to someone so that they can communicate effectively. There is a custom setting for users to take advantage of to communicate. At the moment, Vaaky – AAC runs on the Android platform only.

Talkitt App

This is an essential app for people with speech, language, and motor disorders. It is “speech to speech” app that gives disabled people the freedom to express themselves naturally. This is made possible by letting them use their voice to communicate. It can recognize speech patterns and translate into words that are understandable.

Talkitt can translate unintelligible pronunciation to perfect sentences with high accuracy. Also, the app can work in almost any spectrum of speech impairment severity from mild to severe. What’s more, the app can translate the user’s speech to any language. The apple is compatible with both iOS and on Android.

Touch Voice App

This app has been designed to address problems faced by people with various medical conditions such as brain tumors, selective mutism, brain injury, Parkinson’s and others. It is always a struggle for both the listener and the speaker having speech impairment problems. The app is designed to articulate their needs and to feel quickly and thus reducing their stress levels ultimately leading them to a comfortable life.

The app also uses AAC to allow speech impaired people to communicate via voice synthesis through clicking of buttons and photos. The app can be downloaded on Android and iOS platforms. There is also an optional web based app that users can use.

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Using Colored Drywall Textures – Home Remodeling Secrets

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If you’ve been in the remodeling business as long as I have, there’s a good chance that you have either found or created your own home remodeling secrets. Successful home remodeling contractors know all of the tricks of the trade and very rarely give them out, but I’m going to share one with you that could save you a lot of time, grief and aggravation.

I’m talking about adding some type of coloring to your drywall texture, so that you can actually see what’s been sprayed on the wall. Think about this for a moment, when ever you use any drywall products, there’s a good chance that all of your plaster, joint compound, toppings and even your drywall texture are going to be one color and color of course is white.

You can use food coloring, cement coloring or even paint to create a different color than white. Simply add a small amount of paint or food coloring, to this product, while you’re mixing your texture Once you’ve created a different drywall texture color, it will be easier for you to see the areas you’ve covered, while applying the product to the walls.

Now for tip number two, let’s say that you used a white plaster and your walls are now white. Then you use a brown color drywall spray texture compound, but you don’t think you’ve covered enough area or the job is incomplete. Now you can go back to white or mix a different color.

Rarely do I give away remodeling tips like these, but I’m getting older and would like to share as much of my construction knowledge, with as many people as I possibly can. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and you should continue reading more articles about construction, remodeling, home improvements and home repairs, especially if you enjoy doing your own building projects.

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How to Increase the Memory Power of Your Brain in 3 Easy Ways

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Learning how to increase the memory power of your brain is one of the best things you can do to change your life. All knowledge is nothing but memory. If only people were scientifically taught to memorize in schools we would not have to spend time reading blogs. It is a well-known fact that all the memory giants have worked on their memory and get it to the point that makes us go WOW. I am going to talk about seven easy steps of increasing the memory and making you sharp.

As youngsters we know that we had much better functioning of brain. It is a myth that old age brings down your cognitive capabilities. It is primarily because of the lack of use that memory is declining and not because of age. Let me give you an instance, before the advent of cell phones I used to remember at least 10 phone numbers in my memory. Now I don’t remember more than two numbers. This does not mean my brain is less capable of memorizing.

The single most important change one can make to improve memory is doing yoga. I am not going to leave it at that. I am going to tell how to make sure you actually do yoga. I do yoga and I observed that once I lay down the yoga mat I start working. So I only think of one thing in my mind and that is to lay down the yoga mat and I just don’ bother about the yoga itself. The interesting thing is once I lay down I make it a point to not get up. It sounds silly to you probably but I will tell you why it works. Your mind is averse to the thought of doing exercise because exercise is a process of bearing a short-term inconvenience for a long-term benefit. So when you just think of laying down the mat which is not really inconvenient you can easily push yourself to that and the rest happens automatically.

The second most useful thing you can do is to learn meditation from a proper source. Pick any successful man you will find that he does some sort of meditation. This helps a LOT in terms of improving memory. I will just give a few pointers to meditation. Meditation is NOT concentration. It is in fact de-concentration. A good place to start is read books by Osho.

Solve puzzles! This piece of advice should be followed depending on the type of lifestyle you have. If you are person who does a lot of mental work you probably need not solve any puzzles. Before you make a decision on this please differentiate between a mental problem and emotional problem. I mean being a manager(in general) is more to do with emotional intelligence compared to a researcher or a scientist. You be the judge of it. A great place to start are a Rubik’s cube and Sudoku.

Just making these three changes will help you observe changes in your mental abilities. If you are already doing it and looking for information which blows your mind completely I suggest you look at the website given below.

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Never Trust a Programmer

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Programming is a bit of mystery to people. It breeds a lot of distrust in an organization. In general, when you don’t understand what it takes to make something, anything seems plausible. You might think a house can be built in couple of weeks if you’ve never gone through the process. In truth they probably could finish construction in that time, but not as a sustainable business. If you watch a house being built and track the progress, you can physically see the foundation being poured, the framing of the structure and so on. It’s easy to understand because you physically see it. Writing code for a computer application or a Web site isn’t so apparent.

Code is invisible to everyone but the programmer. It’s like the magic that takes place behind the curtain. Any team has to just trust a programmer about what is and what isn’t doable. The best course of action, estimates, and progress updates are all subject to the programmer’s opinion. There’s plenty of Type A personalities that have trouble with this, but it goes deeper.

First issues arise when a client decides what they want and when they need it by. Sales people want to sell. Telling the client they have unreal expectations doesn’t close sales. And holy shit, is that a recipe for disaster. I have seen account service cut estimates in half and move money around to accommodate their sale and their commission. At the end of the day it looks like the programmers are screwing up. They do it because it’s easy to blame the programmers.

They don’t teach office politics in school. They should, but that’s a different story all together. A programmer has to be quietly focused doing mental gymnastics to produce clean working code. It’s difficult and takes all your energy. There’s no time to run around to see whose throwing you under the bus. The games account service plays have consequences.

At a previous agency I worked at, I saw a 7 figure project go down in flames. Who caused the problem? Was it the group of industry leading programmers who worked 70 plus hour weeks to accommodate the client’s arbitrary schedule or was it the account service people who agreed to everything the client asked.

I don’t want to say programmers never cause issues. If you have ever seen the TV show Seconds From Disaster, catastrophic problems arise from a mix of people not doing their jobs. But, I did see the programmers doing their work. Not sure what everyone else was doing.

So what did the agency think? They laid off (fired) every one of those programmers. All the account service however, still works there. After that demoralizing death march, no one wanted to be there anyway.

The programmer’s path to hell is paved with the word yes. In order to police their own world they have to be vigilant about what is feasible. Being analytical, they usually put a lot of effort into an estimate. From what I have seen, it’s usually more effort than most put forth because they’re adept at thinking through multiple scenarios. Unfortunately, I have seen good estimates ignored or challenged. The more realistic they are, the more it is scrutinized from some reason.

It’s tough going back to the client with a set of realistic expectations. It makes closing far more difficult. You run the risk of someone else agreeing to the work (who will fail). But the programmer’s job isn’t any less difficult. Actually, they are the one group of people who are capable of understanding all of it. They know the code and they know the business problem. They may not be good at managing clients, but they certainly can understand what’s going on.

Trust your programmers. They are not only engineers and craftsmen, but businessmen as well. They will know from experience what happens to client relationships when someone makes promises no one can keep.

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BBQ Beef Brisket Recipe for Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven

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Can you cook great BBQ in your cast iron Dutch oven? Absolutely, I’ve got a great recipe for Dutch oven BBQ beef brisket. But why cook beef brisket in a Dutch? Why not just use your smoker grill?

Well, maybe you don’t have a smoker grill that can hold the temperature at 225F. Or, maybe you’re out camping and still want good barbecue. Or, maybe you just love cooking outdoors in your cast iron Dutch oven.

Whatever your reason, the point is, you can make delicious BBQ beef brisket in your cast iron Dutch oven. The trick is to use a trivet to raise your brisket off the bottom of the Dutch. This prevents the meat from boiling in its own juices so the meat will keep that good barbecue texture. But, more on this later, let’s get to the recipe.

BBQ beef brisket recipe

Use a 12 inch camp Dutch oven

Place 7 coals underneath your Dutch.

Place 14 coals on the lid of your Dutch.

This gives you about 300F.

Place your trivet in your Dutch and preheat.

Dry rub

  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 (4-pound) boneless beef brisket

You can of course use your own dry rub if you prefer but, I do suggest using dark-brown sugar. It will caramelize on your beef brisket and adds good maple flavoring.

To prepare your beef brisket, rub your dry rub into all sides of the brisket. Then place the brisket fat side down onto the trivet inside your pre heated Dutch and let cook for about three hours or until done.

At 300F, beef brisket needs to cook 30 to 45 minutes per pound. When I did this the other day, it took right about 45 minutes per pound. You will need to replace the coals about every hour, and use a charcoal chimney to prestart the coals.

Which cast iron Dutch oven should you use?

Well, we’re cooking outdoors with coals, so, you need a camp Dutch oven. All camp Dutch ovens have a raised flange on the outer edge of the lid. This allows you to place coals on the lid. And most camp Dutch ovens have legs on the bottom so you can place coals beneath it.

I used a Bayou Classic 8.5-qt. cast iron Dutch oven. This Dutch has the flanged lid of the camp Dutch oven but does not have legs. So, I used a tripod stand with chain to suspend the oven above the coals.

Both types of ovens work very well, I own both types and use both quite often. But, the Bayou Classic is a more versatile Dutch oven. The flat bottom allows you to cook with it on the stove top, in the oven or on a camp stove. And, with a tripod stand you can cook over coals or a camp fire.

The Bayou Classic oven even comes with a fry basket so you can use it as a deep fryer. I have deep fried lots of fish and chicken with. But, let’s get back to the BBQ brisket.

As I mentioned earlier, by using a trivet, you raise the meat above the bottom of your pot. This allows the heat to circulate all around the brisket, sort of like a convection oven. The meat gets cooked evenly and thoroughly and, the moisture stays trapped inside the oven.

The result is an incredibly moist and tender BBQ beef brisket. In fact, I think I like the Dutch brisket better than any brisket I’ve cooked on the smoker grill. When I cook brisket on the smoker grill it tends to be more on the dry side. But in the Dutch, the moisture stays in the meat.

The one thing missing in the Dutch oven BBQ brisket is the smoke. I use liquid smoke, but it’s not the same. I think next time I might try placing a couple of wood chips in the bottom of my oven. Maybe that will give me the right amount of smoke.

Anyway, if you like cooking in your cast iron Dutch oven, give this BBQ beef brisket recipe a try. It really is delicious.

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C# HashSet Advantages

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A Set data structure was finally added to C# in the .NET Framework 3.5. It is a powerful data structure that makes life a little easier for programmers…

The C# Set is called a HashSet. It is modeled after a math set, meaning that elements must be unique. In other words a Set guarantees that there are no duplicate elements.

Now why create a Set data structure in C# when one could simply check a list before adding an element to see if it already exists? The answer: it is because searching a run-of-the-mill list is slow. A HashSet is fundamentally designed to allow fast searches, making inserts faster.

There are different implementations of Sets. Some make insertion and lookup operations super fast by hashing elements. However that means that the order in which the elements were added is lost. Other implementations preserve the added order at the cost of slower running times.

The HashSet class in C# goes for the second approach, thus preserving the order of elements. It is still much faster than a regular List. Some basic benchmarks showed that HashSet is decently faster when dealing with primary types (int, double, bool, etc.). It is a lot faster when working class objects. So that point is that HashSet is fast.

The only catch of HashSet is that there is no access by indices. To access elements you can either use an enumerator or use the built-in function to convert the HashSet into a List and iterate through that.

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Beagle Training – How To Select A Beagle That Will Be Easy To Train!

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When you are trying to find a pet Beagle you naturally will be looking for one that will be a good friend for you, but you surely will want one that can be easily trained. When you are working with a Beagle that can be obedience trained quite easily, it will make your job much easier when you are house training it and teaching it simple manners. While a Beagle that is stubborn can pose some problems in training, they can be trained by someone who is experienced in Beagle handing. But, if you are just getting started with Beagle training, you would do better to find one that is quick to learn. When scouring local Beagle breeders for this type of Beagle, there are a few things that you should look for in personality, breed and age.

Personality

A common thought is that a calmer Beagle is going to be a lot easier to train. Although it is probably easier to hold this type of Beagle’s attention, an exuberant, hyper Beagle can also be easy to train if you have some patience. The key is to take home a Beagle that bonds with you. When you bond with a Beagle and that Beagle is constantly all over you because it thinks of you as a more important member of its family, it will enthusiastically do anything that you ask. A Beagle that is bonded to its owner is very simple to train, regardless of whether it is hyper or placid, submissive or dominant.

A submissive Beagle will usually exhibit fewer problems in training than a dominant one will. To discover if your companion is submissive, look him or her in the eyes. If that puppy looks away first, that shows submission. With a Beagles puppy, hold it and turn it over so that its belly is up. A submissive Beagle will just stay there and allow you to turn them over. A dominant Beagle will resist you, trying to turn over.

Age

The old saying is that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick and a lot of folks believe that adult Beagles cannot be trained, but that is far from the truth. Many adult Beagles learn even faster than puppies. Adult Beagles often have a better ability to concentrate on learning than puppies and they are more settled. Adult Beagles can make great pets and can prove to be very easy to train which is a good case to support rescues.

When you look for a Beagle, look for one that clicks with you. If you find the Beagle that you can bond with, it will make your training so much easier.

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Focus and Concentrate Better Today – 5 Tips

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With so many things going on today , we need some practical ways to help get our lives back under control. Here are 5 tips that will help you concentrate better and stay focused.  

#1.    Get Rid Of The Clutter   This will help you has much as anything. Clutter in the home , in closets, basements the garage is draining to our brains. Less stuff equals more focus and concentration and peace in your mind.  

#2   Organize the Clutter   Okay, if you cannot part from all that stuff, organizing it will make a big difference.  Boxes, books etc , if they are a least stacked together in a nice conformed way will give your living space a much neater cleaner look.  

#3 Keep a to-do-list   This is an oldie but a goodie. This really does work. I find one the best way to do this is to have a simple legal size yellow note pad with a clear list of things you want to do and need to do. It draws your mind into focus and you will be amazed how much more you can do in less time.  

#4 Divide Your Time into Time Blocks.   Commit the things that you need to do in a 1-2 hour block of time. Just do the one thing you need to do during this time. Cleaning, reading, homework etc, this will help keep your mind from thinking of 10 other things your would like to do which help improve your concentration.    

#5 Set Goals   Another oldie but goodie. You can work this in to your to-do-list. At the end of each day write a list of goals for the next day, the next week, next month  etc. Again this keeps your mind on track to move forward  to stay focused and concentrate better. These are very practical tips on how to improve your focus and increase your concentration.  Apply these 5 tips to your life and you will improve your focus and concentration today.

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Choosing the Right Gibbon Slackline

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I recently spent some time looking at the slackline products that Gibbon makes and wanted to share what I discovered. Being somewhat new to the sport I ended up buying the Classic. I’ve had it for several months now and am very happy with my choice.

Gibbon makes several different slacklines. Their main product is the Classic. The other options are the Jibline, the Surfline, and the Funline. They are all 2″ wide but some vary in the type of webbing material, which makes them more or less bouncy. They do sell 1″ webbing, but a lot of people prefer the 2″ webbing and I think it’s definitely a little easier to balance on.

After checking out their different slacklines and owning one myself, I can recommend choosing the Classic. It’s really their main product, the most basic and the best price.

It comes in a 49 ft or 82 ft length. I went with the 49 ft length and have not found that I needed it any longer. If it’s shorter, it’s a little easier to balance on. You can make either length as short as you want with the ratchet mechanism.

The Classic can be used by beginners and experienced alike. It’s very strong and like I said, pretty easy to set up. You can even use it for skateboarding or snowboarding as a portable rail slide. It comes in two colors, red or yellow, with the Gibbon logo on it.

The Funline is very similar to the Classic. Really, the only differences are the color and the length. It is blue with some bright pictures on it and is 40ft long. Since it is more expensive but shorter it’s not really as good of a value, unless you really want blue.

The Jibline is made out of stretchier, bouncier webbing but it is still plenty strong. This webbing makes it more dynamic, like a trampoline, and enables you to do more tricks by jumping on it. It is grey, yellow, and black in coloring and comes in a 49ft length.

If you’re new to slacklining, the Jibline can be a little harder to balance on and you will be plenty busy just learning the basics on the Classic. The Classic is bouncy enough to do some jumping on.

The Surfline is much like the Jibline, having more dynamic, bouncy webbing. It is 100 ft long and their longest line. It has a longer handle on the ratchet, to enable you to get enough tension on the line. The longer the line is, the harder it is to get enough tension, but this ratchet is up to the job. Its color is purple.

I can definitely recommend going with the Classic if you’re just getting started. It will keep you busy for a long time and you will not be disappointed.

I hope this overview of Gibbon Slacklines was helpful and that you give this sport a try. It’s a lot of fun and it’s something you can take with you almost anywhere. Let the slacking begin.

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False Beliefs About the World of Tarot

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Nowadays, many people already believe in the efficiency of tarot cards. However, it is undeniable that the term “tarot” will always be questioned and doubted by some. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of myths concerning tarot cards as well as tarot symbols.

The first false belief about tarot cards is that it is a form of magic. Some would say that no one has the right to touch any kind of tarot card except for a tarot card expert because the magic can be affected and thus, will bring negative results. However, tarot card symbols have nothing to do with magic. It’s just that the tarot cards have tarot symbols which convey meanings.

There are also some who would say that tarot symbols are products of evil people and thus, the cards per se are evil too. Actually, this particular myth started when the Christian church eradicated the Pagan people way back before. And, during those times, tarot cards were considered as things of the Pagans. Thus, many people firmly think up to now that tarot cards and symbols are evil. But of course, this is not true.

Some would further say that only psychics can read the tarot symbols on the cards. This is not really true for any one can read the cards. The only secret to have a better understanding about the tarot symbols is to be acquainted and memorize all the basic meanings of some common symbols. The basic tarot symbols are animals, architectures, objects, and plants.

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Windows 7 – The Fastest Selling Operating System to Date

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Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system to date. It hasn’t even been released yet! This is according to DSGi, who own PC World, Currys and Dixons.co.uk: “Demand in the first 12 hours of pre-order launch saw sales of Windows 7 exceed 25% of DSGi’s total annual sales of its predecessor, Windows Vista.”

Windows 7 reached number one on the Amazon software chart during the pre-launch special pricing period. You can pre-order Windows 7 online from a variety of vendors, including trusted retailer, Amazon. Upgrade versions of Windows 7 were available at pre-launch promotional prices between June 26 and July 11 2009. As soon as the promotion ended, the non-promotional pre-order price spiked.

Market-research firm International Data Corp. predicts that 78% of corporate users will use Windows 7. If this is true, if the new operating system really achieves this level of dominance, it will follow in the footsteps of Windows XP, rather than the much less desirable path of Windows Vista. This is exactly what Microsoft is hoping for, after the Vista disaster.

Although there is a lot of buzz and excitement around the Windows 7, many are still hesitant, put off by their experience with Vista.

Windows 7 is probably the operating system that Vista should have been. This is not to say that it is simply Vista with a new name. There are improvements to the operating system. It is easier to use and faster as well. Vista suffered from compatibility issues. Windows 7 is more compatible with Vista than with XP, however it does have a virtual XP mode which owners of Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate will be able to use with their older software.

Meanwhile, software developers, having conformed to the new Vista standard, will not have to repeat this painful experience again for the new operating system. Anything that runs on Vista will run on Windows 7 as well,according to Microsoft.

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