A Helping Hand for Shaky Mice

Almost everybody uses a computer daily, even those with involuntary muscle movements. The inability to effectively use a mouse as a result of a lack of muscle control bothered one programmer enough to create a solution. SteadyMouse is a Windows-only piece of software that makes it easier for people with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis to navigate their computers using a mouse. Software solutions like this are always nice to see to make computers more accessible.

I was unable to find a Mac equivalent (although the built-in accessibility tools may cover this issue), nor a Linux version. If you find similar software please share in the comments.

SteadyMouse is assistive software, designed from the ground up to be your fierce ally against Essential Tremor and the variants that often accompany Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

By detecting and removing shaking motion before it reaches your cursor, and by blocking accidental clicks, the entire mouse experience goes from a chaotic battle to an enjoyable reality.

Check it out.

VLC Demonstrates the Awesomeness of the FOSS Movement

VLC plays anything you can throw at it as it’s an amazing piece of software. The application is focussed on doing one thing really well: playing media. It’s so good because of the philosophy behind it, known as Free and open-source software (FOSS). Meaning that anybody anywhere can contribute to the source code and make VLC better, and everybody can download it for free. It’s hippy meets technology – essentially VLC is the most cyberpunk and useful application you can have on your computer.

Jean-Baptiste Kempf is one of the core developers of VLC and in the interview above you can see how and why he supports the FOSS movement through VLC.

Apps for Climate Action

The provincial government of British Columbia intimated a contest that had people submit their software programs that could help protect the environment. Some of these apps are really great and it’s great to see BC researching this sort of thing!

The Apps for Climate Action Contest challenged Canadian software developers to raise awareness of climate change and inspire action to reduce carbon pollution by using data in new applications for the web and mobile devices.

A leader in climate action, the Government of B.C. created a catalogue of its best climate and greenhouse gas emission data.

Developers used this data to design fun and innovative climate action apps.

Check it out there official Apps for Climate Change site.

Here’s an example of an app listed on the site:

Data Set(s) used: 1. Impacts & Environmental Change, Weather and Climate,Climate BC, UBC 2. Annual & seasonal precipitation (Wet Years) Canadian Atmospheric Hazards Network 3. Ground Water Wells – GeoBC
Summary: One way to prepare for the effects of global warming on water supply is to capture and save rain water running off of our roofs. This app allows you to calculate how much rainfall you can capture in a year by calculating the area of your roof.
Description: Lack of water due to global warming, especially on areas that rely on well water.
What types of people and/or organizations do you expect to use the App?
The general public.
How does the App help address climate change or promote climate action?
The app raises awareness of the potential rainwater harvesting can have on preparing for the impacts of climate change

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