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Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s iPhone App For the Blind Seems a Bit Heartless

I know what you’re thinking, what blind person has an iPhone? We thought the same thing when we read this. According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, at least 100,000 of them do. Regardless of the believability of that number, we all deserve the right to count our money.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has developed a free downloadable application (app) to assist the blind and visually impaired denominate US currency. The app is called EyeNote™. EyeNote™ is a mobile device app designed for Apple iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4), and the 4th Generation iPod Touch and iPad2 platforms, and is available starting today through the Apple iTunes App Store.

EyeNote™ uses image recognition technology to determine a note’s denomination. The mobile device’s camera requires 51 percent of a note’s scanned image, front or back, to process. In a matter of seconds, EyeNote™ can provide an audible or vibrating response, and can denominate all Federal Reserve notes issued since 1996. Free downloads will be available whenever new US currency designs are introduced. Research indicates that more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals currently own an Apple iPhone.

Wait a second, I know adults with perfect visual acuity that cannot work a touchscreen (I bet a lot of them work in your office), how on Earth would a blind person be able to do this?

If you’ve been accused of being fucking blind lately, you can give the free app a spin via iTunes. For the target audience, however, we have some concerns about the practical application and, more specifically, WTF the BEP was thinking.

KPMG Partner-cum-Poet Resists Urge to Create Verse on His Blackberry

Believe it or not, employees of Big 4 firms possess talents that have nothing to do with elaborate spreadsheets, coffee and bagel consumption or fantasy football.

A perfect example of this would be Arun Kumar, a “battle-tested” partner in KPMG’s Silicon Valley office. Mr Kumar is a poet, who recently published a collection of 39 poems entitled “Plain Truths.” And regardless of his almost certain reliance on his BlackBerry, he manages to set it aside for the sake of his art.

Kumar, a partner at accounting and consulting giant KPMG, knows another kind of poetry. A poetry of nature and relationships, of whimsy and wisdom, a poetry of words that can be written on planes or between planes or in the quiet of the evening, but never, ever, on a BlackBerry.

“A poem, for me, is visual,” Kumar says at his Mountain View office. “Seeing it is quite important, so I can’t imagine — on a BlackBerry it’s not the same.”

So not only is Kumar a man of professional integrity, he also is one of artistic integrity, resisting the eyestrain and temptation to double-thumb inspiring words on to a 2.5 inch screen that may or may not be lost after he drops it one too many times.

But even more surprising (and disappointing) than his commitment to his craft, is Kumar’s ability to avoid penning poems related to his job. “Most [poems] are far removed from his work,” the article states, despite the undeniable muse that is life inside the House of Klynveld.

Arun Kumar, of Silicon Valley s KPMG office, finds poetry on the human side of the ledger [Mercury News]