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Skype

Skype 3.2 Update, Skype 3.5 Beta and New JAWS Scripts Now Available

June 14, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Doug Lee has made Revision 455 of his JAWS scripts for Skype available at http://dlee.org/skype.

This revision now supports the new Skype 3.5 Beta, which features a new, exciting, more accessible text chat facility. It is now possible to navigate in chat windows using the arrow keys!

Two new versions of Skype are now available.

Skype version 3.2.0.163 is now available and one place where you can download it is at http://www.skype.com.

Here are the changes in this version:

feature: Added Latvian localization done by Intars Students
improvement: Audio calls improved
change: Do not accept multichats from unauthorized contacts
change: IE plugin updated
change: Extras Manager updated to version 1.2.0.261
bugfix: CCleaner removed 2 Skype related registry entries
bugfix: Tray icon menu not translated during login
bugfix: Skype crashed on password change notification
bugfix: On rare occasions, Skype crashed when opening options.
bugfix: Skype may have crashed in large multichats
bugfix: NTLM proxy authentication did not work

Also Skype version 3.5.0.107 beta is now available and one place where you can download it is at http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-beta.

This is a direct link to the .EXE file for Skype 3.5 beta. Here are the changes in this version:

feature: Auto redial
feature: Call Transfer
feature: Device Indicators
feature: Edit chat messages
feature: Message history loading granulated
feature: Private Telephone Numbers
feature: Send contacts inside chat
feature: Visual indicators for Audio In / Audio Out in options
feature: Show examples of notifications / alerts in options
feature: Added Latvian localization – Intars Students
feature: In-Client Hardware store button
change: Extras Manager updated to version 1.2.0.261
change: Options categories smoothly slide open and close when changed
Updated language files: Arabic (Eriksen Translations Inc.), Bulgarian (Nikolina Filipova & Nikolay Filipov), Czech (Petr Silon), Danish (Eriksen Translations Inc), German (Claudius Henrichs & Dick Schiferli), Estonian (Eve Loopere), Greek (Panagiotis Sidiropoulos http://www.magenta.gr),French (Fabrice IMPERIAL & Bruno Lépaulard), Italian (Daniele Conte), Japanese (Mayu Shimizu), Hungarian (Mark Bender & Laszlo Koncz & Gabor Stefanik),Latvian (Intars Students), Lithuanian (Viktoras Kriukovas), Norwegian (Stig Auestad), Dutch (Kees Koenders), Polish (Karol Szastok), Portuguese-Portugal (Francisco Ferreira), Portuguese-Brazil (Leslie Predrotti), Finnish (Heino Keränen), Swedish (Anders Olsson), Russian (Eriksen Translations Inc), Romanian (Péter Henning and Mónika Iancu), Turkish (Ömer Emin Dede)

Categories: JAWS, Skype

New Skype Version 3.2.0.158 Fixes Options Dialogue Accessibility for Most Screen Reader Users

May 31, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

I am able to confirm, through my own testing as well as reports from others,
that the Options dialogue box in this new version of Skype is now fully
accessible with JAWS 8.0.2107 and System Access 2.3. The tree view of
option categories is not spoken at all in Window-Eyes 6.1 at this time.

Skype version 3.2.0.158 is now available and one place where you can
download it from is at www.majorgeeks.com/Skype_d4245.html.

Here are the changes in this version:

feature: Getting Started Wizard improvement
bugfix: Installer error 1603
bugfix: Sound setting not saved on Vista
bugfix: Accessibility problems with screen readers resolved
bugfix: Delay when playing notification sounds
bugfix: Incoming call is not sent to Voicemail if user rejects it
bugfix: On some rare cases conference call participants were muted
bugfix: Skype crashes sometimes when ending a call
bugfix: NTLM proxy authentication did not work
bugfix API:App2App transfers did not work as expected
Language files updated

Categories: Skype

Revised JAWS Scripts Now Available for Skype 3.2

May 23, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Doug Lee has recently released a new revision of his JAWS scripts for Skype. Revision 416 now incorporates improved support for the latest version 3.2 of this important voice chat application. We thank Doug and his contributors for this fine script set that makes our lives much easier and our use of Skype much more enjoyable than it otherwise might be.

Categories: JAWS, Skype

Broadcasting a Skype Voice Chat Over Station Playlist Studio Using Two Sound Cards and No Mixer

May 12, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

I have figured out how to broadcast a voice chat session using Skype over Station Playlist Studio using two sound cards with no hardware mixer. This configuration was tested for the first time this afternoon during a four hour show on ACB Radio Interactive. Feel free to try this procedure and give us some feedback with your own results.

Sound card settings

Make the following adjustments to the sound card volume control in the Control Panel:

  • Playback: Microphone and wave not muted. Reduce microphone volume to prevent distortion.
  • Recording: What you hear selected with 100 percent volume setting.

Studio Settings

This configuration requires at least Station Playlist version 4.0, as it takes advantage of the software’s built-in mixing capability:

  • Input > Mic Input tab:
    • Recording mixer: “What You Hear”
    • Output mixer: none
  • Output > Mixer tab: Switch device to another sound card or possibly Null output. Switch the screen reader to the sound card selected on Studio’s Output > Mixer tab or a second sound card if null was selected in Studio. Use a second pair of earbuds or headphones to hear broadcast monitoring and speech from the screen reader.

Skype Settings

In Tools > Options > Audio, uncheck “let Skype adjust my audio settings”. This adjustment is necessary to prevent Skype from significantly reducing the volume during the broadcast.

Categories: broadcasting, Skype, tips

New Skype 3.2 Release Takes a Temporary Step Back on Accessibility

May 9, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Skype 3.2 is out of beta now and many of you will be chomping at the bit to download this shiny new version. If you are a screen reader user who is not comfortable using the mouse navigation features of your assistive technology, then I must advise you to wait just a few weeks longer due to a couple of keyboard navigation concerns.

There are currently two known keyboard accessibility issues with the Options dialogue box in Skype 3.2. First, though it is possible to up and down arrow through the categories of options upon initial entry into the Options dialogue, this list becomes unavailable after pressing tab or shift+tab. It is necessary to exit and re-enter the Options dialogue in order to regain access to the list of categories. Second, the Save and Cancel buttons are no longer reachable by pressing the tab and shift+tab keys. They also do not have equivalent hotkeys, so, for instance, pressing alt+s will not click the Save button as one would expect. These two issues may be reproduced by following these steps:

  1. Run Skype from the Desktop or Start Menu, or open it from the System Tray by right clicking its icon and choosing Show Friends.
  2. Press alt+t to open the Tools menu.
  3. Press p to open the Options dialogue box.
  4. Press the up and down arrow keys to move between the available categories of options you may adjust. Observe that your screen reader describes each category as it is selected.
  5. Press tab followed by shift+tab. The list of categories is no longer available. It is possible to tab around the entire dialogue box without locating this list.
  6. While navigating the dialogue box by pressing tab or shift+tab numerous times, observe that the Save and Cancel buttons are no longer available. It is necessary to find and left click them utilizing your screen reader’s mouse navigation functions. This is a dawnting task for many blind and visually impaired users relying on screen reading software.
  7. Press alt+f4 to exit the Options dialogue box without making any changes.

A reliable source reports that these issues will be resolved in a hot fix scheduled to be released in the next several weeks. This source also tells me that the Skype developers are interested in insuring the accessibility of not only the software but also the Skype web site. In order to insure these two accessibility issues and any others get resolved, it is best that we essentially vote for their prompt resolution by reporting them through Skype’s official channels. I would also like to hear about these issues directly. Please report all accessibility issues, with as much detail as possible, by submitting a support request directly to Skype and sending e-mail to editor@blindaccessjournal.com so I may track and potentially facilitate the prompt resolution of your concerns.

Categories: Skype

Avoid Skype’s Internet Explorer Toolbar

December 24, 2006 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Yesterday, I installed Skype 3.0 on my brand new Dell XPS 410 system. During the process, it seems I mistakenly opted for the Internet Explorer toolbar add-on. As this was one of the last things I did to the system last night, I didn’t notice any problems at the time.

As I started working this morning in Internet Explorer 7, I noticed that JAWS 8 was having a great deal of trouble reading links as I navigated using the tab and shift+tab commands. I was not having similar issues during the entire previous day. Thinking through the typical troubleshooting process, and knowing how some toolbars and similar extensions have been known to cause access difficulties in the past, I promptly disabled Skype’s Internet Explorer 7 toolbar. Taking this action resolved my issue immediately!

If you start experiencing unknown access issues with your web browser, I recommend the removal of any recently installed add-ons by taking the following steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer 7.
  2. Press alt+t to pull down the Tools menu.
  3. Down arrow to Manage Add-Ons and press enter.
  4. Press enter on Enable or Disable Add-ons.
  5. Select show add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer. Use up and down arrow keys to select this option if it is not already the default.
  6. Press tab to reach the list of currently installed add-ons.
  7. Press down arrow until you have reached the item you wish to remove. The Skype toolbar would represent an excellent example.
  8. Press tab to reach the settings for the selected add-on.
  9. Press down arrow to select the Disable radio button.
  10. Press tab until you reach the OK button and press enter to make the changes to your browser.
Categories: Skype