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Earlier tonight I posted on +Christopher Fink's post (http://goo.gl/hdSxE) and I summed up what's wrong with this world in one sentence: "People just don't give a fuck about other people."

Then +Adi Rabinovich shared a blog post (here: http://goo.gl/5vsmI) that made me realize how truthful my profanity-laced statement was.  Some piece of crap patent attorneys assisted by Apple have set the stage to silence a little girl.

Fuck that.  Because I do give a fuck!

Between the folks who follow me, or will see this on a re-share (yes, that's your hint to share it until I find them), there are definitely some Speech-Language Pathologists, Linguists, etc. who can give me some advice on making it work.  

It's tough enough on families with children with special needs, between medical costs and headaches with education (because our school systems are a joke), they then have to deal with good ol' American greed--capitalizing on their situation at every turn.

Fuck that!  I'll re-build this.  I'll make it public-domain, open-source, and better than that, I'll stand up to the first fucktard that brings a patent-infringement case against me.  See, I'm bankrupt, because someone didn't give a fuck about making my legal costs soar through the roof to avoid settling a lawsuit.  So, I'm a turnip, with Java/Android development experience and a bad attitude.

So...  That's fucking all..  Find me some speech people, and beta testers.

(I would apologize for my language, but this is straight bullshit.)
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Travis Brooks's profile photoRalph H.'s profile photoWendy Cockcroft's profile photoRandy Resnick's profile photo
31 comments
 
I don't know where to send this suggestion: Contact the SfY people and ask for an ad hoc version of the app, stating the basics of what's in the article about Maya. It's likely they might generate an app on the quiet. They would need the ID number of the phone to make a special version for one phone.
 
I hope the company has already done that +Randy Resnick.  However, you know under Apple's Developer rules you can only install it on your own devices.  Besides, this app was $299 on the market.  Cheap when you compare it to the $8,000 other AAC devices cost.  Mine is gonna cost $0.
 
This used to be the case with screen readers and special software for the blind as well. On the one hand, you know it costs money to develop limited market software, so $300 doesn't surprise me) but you'd think there'd be a grant somewhere for this. Maybe you could partner with either a big company who's looking for the publicity and good will, or a university or such? An association?

Anyway, more power to you if you go with this idea!
 
By the way, you can generate ad hoc iOS apps for beta testers as far as I know.
 
I have thought about the costs +Randy Resnick, and started sweating it, but I'll make it through it.  I always do.  Maybe I'll start an IndieGoGo project.  But, there's no if I go through with this, I'm going through with this!

I didn't think about Apple's beta testing allowances, but they'd be opening themselves up for liability to the patent holders by allowing SfY to leave the app installed--so I don't see them starting to care now.  :(
 
Depends on whether they ever did. They're not the villains in this, so I gave the the benefit of the doubt. I've done betas for companies who sent me ad hoc iOS apps. (They do expire, and yes, there might be an issue if someone is crass enough to start one).
 
For the record, I don't consider SfY the villain.  However, Apple they are just as bad as the patent attorneys and patent holders simply because of their "walled garden" approach.
 
If Steve was alive she could email him directly! He answered one or two from time to time. But, yeah.
 
True.  This is truly sad.  But we're gonna get it together.

My brain is on overdrive thinking about all of the things that can be added.  I just came up with a E911 add-on.  If they need to call 911 we can handle that over VoIP (I still got access to all of our E911 call handling stuff).
 
Oh yay for you. I just came across this story from another source and was directed here. I don't know what I can do to help you but I will certainly offer you moral support. :)
 
Good luck Kelvin! We have lots of kids who would love something like this on Android. We would be happy to promote it in our store (http://learnpad.co/store) and help with funding.
 
For non-developers

Contact details:

Semantic Compaction Systems

http://www.manta.com/c/mmnyz8j/semantic-compaction-systems

1000 Killarney Drive, Pittsburgh, PA    15234-2627

http://minspeak.com/contactus.php
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minspeak/54369259870


Prentke Romich Company Ohio

PRC Service by email service@prentrom.com or phone 800-262-1990
http://www.facebook.com/PrentkeRomichCompany
http://twitter.com/PrentkeRomich

Suggested message:

To whom it may concern,

I am concerned that you have taken steps to have the Speak For Yourself app removed from iTunes because you think it infringes on your products. This is really unbecoming of you and I would like to have an explanation as to why you believe it is reasonable to treat the Neider family (http://niederfamily.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/silencing-of-maya.html) in this way. There has got to be a better way of resolving this than to push a company out of business because they made a product that met the Neider family's needs better than your products do.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
 
#MayasVoiceApp. Let's get this trending. Why is Kim Kardashian up there when this kid's ability to communicate is on the line?
 
+Rupert Rawnsley Think you can get us the first round of beta testers?  You surely have the customer base that could help us fine tune.
 
+Wendy Cockcroft I'd write them a letter, but they're gonna tear up anything I send.  :)  I'm all for getting #MayasVoiceApp  trending.  Let's get it rocking and rolling.
 
Thank you, +Kelvin Williams. Good luck with your app. I hope it flies! Let me know when it's ready so I can promote it by reporting on it.
 
+Kelvin Williams I'm totally with you. My first thought was "Why the hell does nobody bring that up as open source?" - I'm not able to to that. I just do understand the very basics of Andropid programming, but that's it. But, maybe I can help a little bit by translating to german later on.
Or at least by spreading the word.

Keep going. I'm looking forward to read about your progress.
 
+Ralph H. and it all boils down to what?  (Hint: People just don't give a f### about other people.)

This company won't get any support from me ever, and I'd love to destroy them.  They sell a device for $8k a piece, they've bragged on Facebook about shipping their 10,000th unit (this is only ONE of their products) so by my calculation that's $80m.  

So they'd rather pocket $80m, and then hurt another company that makes an apparently better product for a lot less, then try to shove a well crafted "don't hate us" statement down my throat..  Nah..  I'll pass..  Let them sue me next--because I'm a turnip.
 
"See, I'm bankrupt, because someone didn't give a fuck about making my legal costs soar through the roof to avoid settling a lawsuit.  So, I'm a turnip, with Java/Android development experience and a bad attitude."

I am following you solely on the basis of this outstanding statement.

Dirkmaster (fellow turnip)
 
Haha +Ken Schaefer.  Yeah, I got an asshole that broke a contract with my company.  Then even though he negotiated unique reduced termination fees, he decided to make us go after him in court.  Fine.  We go to court over a plural word in the agreement, and he then proceeds to let his attorneys make mine run in circles.  So, nearly $500k ($250k in legal bills, and about $200k in fees I had to pay to my vendors) later, he still hasn't paid, isn't going to pay, and I've offered to settle for next to nothing.  

We have to go until January now.  I've contemplated letting him settle, but after all the pain inflicted, I'm going to wait until January's hearing, just so I can watch him squirm when he has to write that check.
 
How exactly are they claiming infringement?   Is it the idea of pressing icons or words on a touch screen to preform some kind of text to speech action?  Are you able to drag icons or words and arrange them to form sentences?  
 
They're claiming that the "Unity" is being infringed.  One button with one image = One word.  We've got a few work arounds we're tossing around.  You wanna help +Travis Brooks?
 
<rant>
Wow, but I guess if Apple can patent the slide unlock and other obvious things, I guess a labeled picture is fair game.  Anyone reading this needs to realize how screwed up our patent system really is. It is a complicated and technical issue, but it affects everyone's life in some way.  Patent abuse is not limited to software either.  There is a patent on a method to detect the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes.  If you want to know more.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_for_Molecular_Pathology,_et_al._v._United_States_Patent_and_Trademark_Office,_et_al.

</rant>

Sure. I've written a few Java apps and am familiar with Android development.  The day job eats up a lot of my bandwidth though.  Is there a project site on SourceForge or Google Code?  Would it be better to host the project somewhere outside the US?
 
Wow..  Wow..  Wow..  +Travis Brooks!  You just solved the problem!  *There's absolutely no law against American developers working for entities outside of the United States.  And the Internet doesn't stop at America's borders, so people who need it can download it from a webserver in a non-patent caring country.*

+Travis Brooks you're on the team now whether you want it or not.  PERIOD!  (Besides, there's no real heavy development in my eyes. AND I know some big wigs where you work.)
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