The Attitude Test

Presented by Steve Matzura

Airs Sunday at 18:00 UTC, repeats Monday at 11:00 UTC and Tuesday at 05:00 UTC

A weekly program on which we discuss, but often stray from, a given topic. Listeners are very welcome to join in the discussion or raise a topic of their own.

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Recent Shows

25 June 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

18 June 2017

On this week's programme, we discuss what went wrong resulting in a fierce blaze in a 24 storey high tower block of flats in Kensington, London. Local people are extremely angry because the Residents Committee had expressed considerable disquiet for many years at the fire risk in the building, much of which is being attributed to what is called Cladding, an exterior surface consisting of aluminium sheeting with some sort of foam insulation which, residence claim was not particularly fire proof and allowed the blaze to spread rapidly up the building.

11 June 2017

As mentioned during this show, a demonstration of the AIRA glasses is available. Please use the following link to
download it

On this week's show, we look at how blind and visually impaired people handle print, be it on digital displays, or, for example letters that come in the mail. There are now several apps that deal relatively effectively with printed material on paper and we ask what's your favourite app and why; what tips do you have for other people, and what would you like to see improved. In the case of digital displays, would it be too much to ask manufacturers to put in some sort of ability for the displays to be read out with speech?

4 June 2017

On this week's programme, we discuss the subject of loneliness. You would think these days with all the social media, plus many people living in large cities, no one would ever be lonely, however quite the opposite appears to be the case. On this week's show we ask have you ever felt lonely, and if so, what, if anything have you done to alleviate the feeling? Do you know your neighbours, and if so do you have regular contact? And we'll debate many other aspects of the subject.

28 May 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

21 May 2017

Last week, the screenreader community learned of the death of Window-Eyes, one of the two most popular screenreader programs in the world. An announcement was made to the effect that it had been decided to discontinue Window-Eyes and that current Window-Eyes users in the US could migrate for free to the other major screen reading program JAWS. This caused a certain amount of disquiet amongst Window-Eyes users outside the US and a further announcement was made to say that users in the UK and Australia would have the same migration facilities as those in the US. On this week's Attitude Test, we'll discuss the demise of Window-Eyes and its repercussions.

14 May 2017

On this week's program, at the end of Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, we ask the question why is mental health not given the prominence in society that physical health is?

7 May 2017

Following on from our discussion on last week's program concerning technology and society, on this week's show, are we living in a "throwaway" society, with everything from material things to relationships being easily discarded at a whim? We all know about the people who must have the latest of everything, which of course is fed by commercial concerns who need to keep making money by selling us the very latest something. To this end, are commercial concerns deliberately fuelling this by making things either so unreliable or difficult to repair - consider the iPhone for example - you can't even change the battery yourself - that often it is just easier to throw the thing away than pay a fortune for someone who actually can repair the thing?

30 April 2017

On this week's show, we'll discuss the premise that the future is approaching, and many of us won't see it coming. Technology is improving exponentially, but will society be ready for what is to come, for example when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3-D printing, agriculture and jobs? Much of what we know and take for granted today will be simply swept aside to make way for the new, but will the general public be prepared?

23 April 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

16 April 2017

On this week's programme, we ask the question are current school curriculums fit for purpose? Do they accurately reflect what children need to know to live in a modern society? What would you add, or remove from the current curriculum to have children be more prepared to live in our modern world?

9 April 2017

On 7 April 2017, US President Trump ordered a military strike against Syria, using some 59 missiles. He said this was in response to the chemical attack by Syrian forces on their own people. On this week's Attitude Test, we debate the whole question as to whether this was a correct course of action. Why, for example are chemical weapons considered much worse than any other form of destruction? Is the US being dragged into yet another war they really can't finalize? Could we be heading to some form of conflict between the US and Russia, and has President Trump gone back on what he said during his presidential campaign??

2 April 2017

On this week's program, we ask the question do we give our consent to things too easily these days? How many times have you installed a piece of software on your computer or phone and just said "yes" to the licence agreement, or how many times have you received correspondence from, say the tax authorities and just accepted and agreed to what they say? How many times have we allowed our personal data to be given away simply because the request for our consent to so doing is buried deep down where we're not really going to look for it?

26 March 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

19 March 2017

On this week's show, we ask the question, while you are sitting in front of your television, possibly watching a spy film, is your television spying on you? Software is now available that can fool you into thinking you've turned your television off whereas it's carying on listening to every word you say. Are other pieces of equipment spying on your every move too?

5 March 2017

The last few weeks' programs have been rather serious so I thought we'd have a lighter subject this week. This week's subject is books. Are you a reader of braille books or do you prefer audio books? What type of genre do you prefer reading and if you could recommend one book to someone, what would it be? Have you ever thought of writing a book?

26 February 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

19 February 2017

On this week's program, we'll be asking do blind and visually impaired people get the service they really need from charitable organizations there to help them? Are organizations like the RNIB in the UK trying to become too commercial and are they losing touch with many blind people? Are such charitable organizations the first place you would turn to when you need help? Also what improvements would you like to see in such organizations?

12 February 2017

On this week's program, we'll be discussing home security. This was brought home to me very strongly this week after one of Mary Lou's carers stole approximately 150 from a bag that was sitting beside a bed I have in my computer room/studio. We'll be asking if you've had any nasty experiences in your own home? What measures are you taking to protect yourself and your property and What can be done by outside agencies to help you secure your home and belongings?

5 February 2017

On this week's program, we ask the question should all workers have the right to strike? is it fare for people to effectively hold all manner of other workers to ransom just to get their own way? On the other hand what other sanctions can people use to make sure they are not exploited by unscrupulous companies?

29 January 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

22 January 2017

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

15 January 2017

On this week's show, we debate the future of radio. On 11 January this year Norway was the first country to start turning off their national network of fm transmitters. However it is being seen as very unpopular with some two thirds of people saying they don't want the fm service removed. we'll discuss the future of radio, both technically and in terms of program content.

8 January 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, at the request of a listener, we look at the use of technology. How can we get it to serve us, not undermine us? A study has been undertaken in Japan which seems to point to the fact that robots will take some 25 per cent more of people's jobs by 2020. We still need to ask the question eventually will artificial intelligence be more intelligent than we are?

1 January 2017

On this week's Attitude Test, we look back at 2016. In the first part of the show we discuss the major issues of the year, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, terrorism, and other things that perhaps have rocked our society in 2016. In the second part of the show, we ask how has the year been for you? Have there been triumphs or tragedies; has it generally been a good or a bad year personally.

18 December 2016

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

11 December 2016

This week on the Attitude Test, the topic is planning for the end of your life. Making a will, tidying up your affairs, or having someone you can trust to whom you can turn things over comfortably and securely, and something I've never heard anyone talk about, removing your digital presence in the world.

4 December 2016

To download the article discussed on this week's Attitude test
Click Here

I had hoped, this week, to have Martin Roberts from Humanware as our special guest, however Martin is unable to be with us this week and this program has now been rescheduled for early in the new year. In view of this, I have brought forward a special program I had originally intended to have in January.

I'm sure many of you will know Jonathan Mosen who has done much in the blindness community to advance and publicise technology and accessibility for the blind. Recently he wrote an article called Saying Goodbye to the Mac, and this article will form the basis of this week's debate, with Jonathan as our special guest.

27 November 2016

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

20 November 2016

On this week's Attitude Test, we look at the subject of gambling. Is it right for online gambling sites to advertise heavily on television when gambling addiction can be as bad as drug addiction if not worse, or should people be allowed to freely gamble if they want to? What are the rules like in the US when it comes to gambling of all sorts, be it betting on horses, casinos or online betting? And I guess the big question of all, should gambling me made totally illegal because of the harm it can cause?

13 November 2016

At the end of last week's program I announced that we would be discussing the subject of gambling on this week's show, however, due to what many will see as the unexpected election of Donald Trump to be the next US President, we will discuss what this means to the US and to the rest of the world.

Will things change radically, or will the rest of the Republican Party be a restraining hand on President Trump's more way out ideas? How will a Trump presidency affect you particularly?

6 November 2016

On this week's Attitude Test, I make no apologies for returning to a subject that we've covered several times before, and that is that of screenreading software for the blind.

Recently, an organization known as VFO have acquired AI Squared makers of Window-eyes, having already acquired Freedom Scientific, makers of JAWs and Optelec. Is this really in the interests of the blind computer user community to have everything concentrated in one organization? Will we see VFO put their resources behind both of the major screenreaders they now have, or will they concentrate on one and let the other either slowly die or insist that users of the screenreader that is not pushed go to the one that is, and if so which screenreader will be maintained and advanced? If you use any screenreading software for home or business use you won't want to miss this debate!

30 October 2016

This week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

23 October 2016

On 21 October 2016, Dyn's networks were attacked three times by hackers using a DDOS (digital denial of service) attack, causing major sites including Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify Runescape and its own website to become unreachable. What they all had in common is they were managed through dyn.com.

On this week's Attitude Test we once again look at the problem of cyber security, on the local, national and international scale. Are we too heavily reliant and trusting of the internet? How secure do you think are things like your bank details and other personal finance matters? Are we prepared for Governments to snoop on people in a bit to increase our security?

16 October 2016

In the past week, here in the UK, a think Tank that monitors social care for the elderly has stated that the social care service for those people is on the verge of collapse. On this week's Attitude Test we ask the question, with people living longer and needing support in their old age, how do we, as a society look after these vulnerable people? Governments constantly say that money is tight for everything, but are these people slipping through what safety net there is, and if so, what should be done?

9 October 2016

On this week's program, we look at the subject of food. Are we rapidly becoming a very unhealthy society by virtue of the fact that we seem to be striving for cheapness, and therefore it is mass-produced? Are we endangering our's and our children's health by the amount of antibiotics and hormones in the meat we eat, and come to that, are rabbits pets or food?

2 October 2016

This week's show is taken from the archives. It first aired on September 4 2016.

25 September 2016

Being the fourth Sunday in the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

18 September 2016

As it's nearing the end of the summer holiday season here in the Northern Hemisphere, this week's Attitude Test, asks the question what are the ingredients for a perfect holiday? Also what was your best ever holiday and why?

11 September 2016

On this week's program we turn our attention to the progress of technology. Have Apple shot themselves in the foot by removing the headphone jack on the new iPhone 7? Is it merely a cynical ploy to make us pay more for a new pair of headphones - made by Apple of course - or is it the relentless march of technological progress? We also ask the question what piece of technology do you regret the passing of?

4 September 2016

This week, having been put in charge of the Attitude Test, I've decided that we'd have a continuation of last week's open forum. Topics can range from what's your favourite app or software package, how it is that we've become so reliant on our internet connections and can't seem to cope when they go down, not even for a couple of hours! to exploding rockets, hurricanes, the Paralympics and the TGV podcast on the subject, to Trumps latest weapon in his election campaign, his wife! or why it was that Hilary didn't know what the letter C, stood for in email messages that turned out to contain classified information! there are those who will have their own idea about what it may have stood for, but could it have, perhaps, stood for classified?

28 August 2016

Being the fourth Sunday in the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

21 August 2016

With the announcement this week that the taxi firm Uber has teamed up with the car manufacturer Volvo to test self-driving hire cars in Pittsburgh in the very near future, and with the announcement that a convoy of self-driving trucks has completed the first cross-border journey, this week's Attitude Test discusses robotics and artificial intelligence as it relates to vehicles and other aspects of life that we may see in the very near future. Would you ride in a self-driving car yet? What are the implications for the trucking industry? what other devices would you like to see automated?

14 August 2016

On this week's show, we ask the question what is the future for employment of blind people? You would have thought, with the proliferation of technology for the blind that the working environment would be easier and that more blind people would be able to get jobs, however, it seems that the unemployment figures for the visually impaired are still around 75 percent if not higher: what are your thoughts on this?

7 August 2016

With the Olympic Games now well underway in Rio, this week's show will be devoted to all things Olympic.

With the cost of putting on the games spiraling, is it now time to find a permanent home for the Olymnpics with participating countries putting in money? Is the question of some athletes using enhancing drugs getting out of hand and is it getting unmanageable? are you in fact interested in the games or is it just a big waste of time and resources when there are much more pressing problems in the world?

31 July 2016

On last week's open forum we briefly touched on the plight of Buffy and Darren Hartland who were denied the rite by the shipping company P & O, to go on one of their cruises simply because they were blind.

On this week's program, we explore the problem of blind people travelling without a guide and are delighted to welcome Darren and Buffy Hartland to the show to share with us their experience. We would also like to hear from other people who have had similar experiences, be it on a cruise ship, with an airline or any other mode of transport.

24 July 2016

Being the fourth Sunday in the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

17 July 2016

On this week's program, we expand the debate we touched briefly on in last week's show. The question was asked should disabled sportsmen and women receive the same prize money as able bodied competitors. For example in the Wimbledon tennis championships the disabled participants received considerably less prize money than did the able bodied. We'll extend the debate to encompass disabled people in other fields - for example, in the workplace or in the entertainment industry.

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10 July 2016

On this week's show, we ask the question, with the latest shootings by police of two black people, one in Louisiana and one in Minnesota, and the subsequent shooting of five policemen in Dallas, are people losing faith in their police? Are the American police becoming too militarised and too reliant on the fact that they are armed? Is there anything to be said for having an unarmed police force, except for special circumstances, as is the case in many other countries?

3 July 2016

Around this time each year, both the ACB and NFB hold their national conventions. On this week's Attitude Test, our program will be centred around convention memories. Have you been to one of the conventions and what are your abiding memories?

26 June 2016

Being the fourth Sunday in the month, this week's Attitude Test is an open forum. If you've got anything that's bugged you over the last month, or even something that's been really good but you'd like to discuss, then this is the place for you to do so.

19 June 2016

Last week, the world was shocked by the untimely killing of the Labor member of Parliament for Batley and Spen Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed by someone who would appear to be a right wing extremist, 52 year old Thomas Mair. Also in the past week we have seen the two campaigns for the UK to either leave or remain in the European Union try and convince voters of their different points of view by fear rather than expressing points for and against in a positive way.

On this week's Attitude test, we ask the question with the dislike of all things political seemingly to be at an all-time high, and many people simply being apathetic about events that will have a considerable influence on their lives, what can be done to restore people's faith in the plolitical process or do things have to get worse before they get better?

12 June 2016

On this week's show we ask the questions do corporations have too much power over people?

Two things made me think of this subject; the first being Microsoft's rather sneaky way of getting people to update to Windows 10, and the second is the story of how the shopping chain BHS (formerly British Home Stores,) was run, sold off and ultimately collapsed.

5 June 2016

On Tuesday may 31 2016 at approximately 6:30 pm Eastern Time a very dear friend of the global voice, and a very special friend to many of the staff personally, Lee Storm passed away after a short illness.

this week's Attitude Test will be a celebration of her life and work. Over the years, Lee had been a long-standing member of our Attitude Test team, contributing much wisdom and humor to the show and this week's program, will be a celebration of her life and work within our little community.


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