What's On Deck?

Can Computers Give a Voice to Autistic Children?

Carly Fleishmann — a 13-year-old girl with autism — has been non-communicative all her life, until she sat down and started typing on a computer. Carly has never been able to talk. For years her parents have put her through intensive therapy, taken her to many doctors and tried a litany of different medications, but there didn't seem to be a way to communicate with Carly or to control the behaviours. Carly has not only taught herself to spell, but is now communicating through a laptop computer. She is a remarkably bright, articulate young lady, and through a laptop computer and MSN is now telling her parents, doctors and the people around her what it's like to be autistic. She's been able to explain her constant movements, head banging, screaming, what she feels like and thinks. I'll be sharing more with you about the ways this very bright young lady has used a simple home computer to unlock her voice and share some rather remarkable insight into what it's like to be autistic, and what's behind behaviours that are for the most part not understood.

Wired Dads

While the Dadcando.com web site places a special emphasis on helping single, widowed and non-resident fathers connect in more meaningful ways with their kids, it's a terrific resource for any dad (and mum!) looking to make the most of their time as a parent.

Healing Robotic People and Pets

A look at how therapeutic consumer robotics are being used to assist in the wellness and care of our aging populations and offer companionship in a way that seems to take a page straight out of the movie "A.I.". The healing qualities of touch and talk have a surprisingly genuine new electronic presence in the form, brought to virtual life as cats, dogs and a cute new baby seal. These wired critters have being paving the way to a more familiar set of companions. The creator of Paro The Baby Seal, Professor Ishiguro, has created robotic versions of his daughter and wife and is working on a similarly wired clone of himself.

Office on the Go

Picking up a 1GB flashdrive for $15 isn't just a terrific source of cheap backup and data transport, it's actually a pretty darned good mobile office! A host of new portable apps that are small enough to tuck onto your flashdrive let you take your favourite browser and office platforms with you on the fly. Whether you're travelling and looking for a way to blog your journey, or need to tap into work on the go, these power little apps make staying plugged in while unplugged a whole lot easier.

PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB drives

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