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Blind Bargains Qast 91: Bringin' Sexy BrailleBack

Joe Steinkamp Friday, 17-Feb-2017 4:02 PM ET
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Chances are, dear Listener of this humble podcast, you might enjoy the occasional audiobook from time to time. Have you ever pondered the history of the Talking Book medium? In this week's episode we'll do just that with author Matt Rubery, cover some of the latest news from around the Blindness A.T. sphere and then marvel at the strands of time in the "Last Word".

In The News:

The Next Update to NVDA will Bring Major Access Improvements to Kindle Books

Shortly after we recorded this, the beta of NVDA with this feature was released.
NVDA's first 2017 Release Features Kindle, Edge, and Office Changes

NVDA Remote Access Releases Version 2.0, bringing several improvements and a new Feature

This Ain't your Father'sChromeVox; Major Updates for Chrome's Screen Reader

Amazon is on Fire with TV Accessibility

The VFO Group Releases Magic 14 enhancing Mouse Echo, Upgrading Vocalizer Voices, and More

Simple navigation can now be accessed when you use Windows and Bard Express

Saudi Arabia University Students Seeking Quick Feedback on iOS Game Development

All Androids are not created equal

Interview

Talking books are a service that many of us take for granted, but the way we got to this point is quite fascinating. Many early books were chosen because they would be suitable reading for a blind person, not because of popularity. Professor Matthew Rubery explores this and other topics in his new book, The Untold Story of the Talking Book. He joined the podcast to talk about some of this history, including a rare find of a recording of perhaps the first audiobook ever made for the blind which we sample during the interview.

Originally from Texas, Matt Rubery is a Professor of Modern Literature at Queen Mary University of London where he focuses on modern literature, media, and reading practices.

The book is available from Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, though we wager that many of you will be interested in the audiobook version of this history of audiobooks. Select other formats from the link above to find the book on CD or for Audible users.

Also, check out Matt's fascinating blog on audiobook history or find him on Twitter @mattrubery.

Tip: Google Knowledge Front and Center

J.J. gives a few examples of how Google search results make it simple to find simple information, such as the current time and temperature or track listings for an album.

Sound off;

Joe, not the one from BBQ, but the one who we featured from the YouTube clip about Dish's Hopper TTS, left us a kind note on the episode 90 comments section:

"This is Joe from the hopper review. I loved it guys thanks been listening for a long time."

From the same show, this time from an email, Russ had a question about the Ai Squared interview.

"After listening to Shelly Brisbin's interview with Scott Moore, VFO-Ai Squared, I was wondering why she didn't ask Scott Moore what the future
status of Window-Eyes is? A nunber of Window-Eyes users would like to know this as well? Perhaps you can ask someone from the VFO group at CSUN? I see
a number of employees have left AI Squared?"

The subject of the interview focused mainly on the release of the new version of ZoomText. Perhaps we'll learn more when we hit sunny San Diego in a few weeks.

Long time Listener Beth, or as we know her "Snowbunny", asked this question in a recent email.

"Hi, wonder why there hasn't been a notetaker built around Firefox yet, I've heard that is much better and more secure than I.E., though security is not a concern with notetakers using Windows CE regarding viruses. Beth"

The Braille Note Touch, and other note takers that can access the Google Play Store, can use the Firefox web browser. In fact, the web browser on the Touch is based on Firefox for Android. Firefox OS, however, was recently shuttered by Mozilla. We weren't aware of anyone in the industry considering that platform for their chosen operating system though. You can also use firefox, and Chrome on iOS in case those out there who were not running Android were wondering about that. There are some advantages to running both browsers on Android. However, with iOS, you might find that the behaviors displayed by alternative browsers might not feel as comfortable as sticking with the default Safari in Appleland.

And from Twitter, regarding Patrick's recent airplane tip:

@Blindtravel:That BlindSquare airplane tip is pretty cool. Now I wanna fly somewhere. lol

That one was a couple of episodes back, and our first recording from an airplane.

Last Word:

100 metronomes

And from the Consumer Electronics show,
Moen's $2,000 Smart Shower

Remember the ElBraille? It was a new approach to notetakers announced at CSUN in 2016 by Freedom Scientific, but never released in the U.S. A year later, the next version is about to be introduced at CSUN, and we'll have all the details and much more in our last show before the big conference. See you next time.

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File size: 97.9MB
Length: 80:56

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    Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for10 years and podcasting about it for nearly 5 years.

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