Joe is still full from the big Super Bowl feeding frenzy and J.J. is pooped from partying at ATIA. So it's a darn good thing we have Liam Erven here this week to veg out on the virtual couch. And look! He brought his talking Comcast X1 box with him. We'll take a listen to what the box says, hear a review sent in from one of our listeners and we'll hear more show name suggestions in the "Sound Off" section. But first...
In The News:
J.J. was in Florida for ATIA and he has returned with more than 80 minutes of beautiful audio coverage.
Beetle Braille Display and the Blaze ET from HIMS
Window-Eyes 9 is Ready for the Modern Web, and a ZoomText Hint
Freedom Scientific Introduces A Topaz you can Carry With You
Voice Dream Writer Raises the Bar for Text Editing on iOS
Here's our audio page for all things ATIA and more
And here's our RSS feed for all things audio.
J.J. also took that new braille display out for a spin while he was in Orlando. Quick Take: 14-cell Hims Smart Beetle Targets Mobile Pros, Connects to up to 6 Devices at Once
JAWS16 update is out. Venture to this page to know more.
Window-Eyes certification for Window-Eyes 9 is now available.
From Twitter, @NVAccess For those who liked the Edward voice (or sample 3 in the speech synth survey), here is an add-on for NVDA: #NVDASR
This article appeared online last year, however, it is an amazing read just the same. What is the Cost of a Free Product?
Cards Against Humanity now Accessible Thanks to 64 Oz. Games
Choo choo choose someone this holiday to receive a free Braille Valentine
Quiet Cars May Not be Mandated until 2018
The knfbReader App is available for 50 percent off through Friday.
From the Great White north, announcing 1,000 New NNELS Titles for White Cane Week
Microsoft Launches Outlook For iOS And Android. And surprise! The iOS version is pretty darn useable with Voiceover.
Office for Android tablets is here—just mind the system requirements
Microsoft to Invest in Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen
Cyanogen CEO says he wants to ‘take Android away from Google’
Thanks to Andre Lewis for pointing this one out, Sound experiments to improve films for blind people Also, for those who ponder that Described Audio and Closed Captioning can be automated, Ayatollahs instead of toddlers, zebras playing football and informed sauces - how subtitling baffles deaf viewers
Demonstration: SonicPort VX Recording Interface
A big round of applause to Stephen Clower for being our first Community Contributor to the program. And he plays guitar too. What a guy! To learn more about the SonicPort VX Recording Interface, visit this product page.
Discussion Topic: What Does The Box Say To Liam Erven?
Comcast might be poised to eat Time Warner Cable soon -- depends on the day and the FCC as to if this might happen or not, but what we really want to know is if we can use the X1 DVR to record all those episodes of "Cutthroat Kitchen" while we are away at CSUN. Liam takes us through the Programming Grid, some basic settings, the DVR menus and he even shows off some video that describes the X1 TV remote in some detail. Be sure to check out his blog to keep up with all the changes with the X1 as it is still in its early beta phase of rollout. You can get Comcast Accessibility support by Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Tip: Hanging with Friends strategy
J.J. shows us a neat way to keep up with those clues in that addictive mobile game. If you are curious to know more, head over to the Hanging with Friends Strategy Guide
The feedback section has a name now. Soon the rest of the series will as well. And then, and only then, will we know who will win a copy of "iOS Access For All". Next week we'll enter another phase in the naming saga where you, dear listener, will aid us in our quest to name the show. First up, Pam heard us mention her during our talks on Google Fiber and she sent in some updated impressions on the service.
I thought you might like to know I heard the latest show with Google Fiber as one of the stories.
Thanks for the mention.
As you may recall, I went through some major headaches after my initial installation. At my initial sign up, I was allowed to play with the app on their nexus 7; as I had never played with any kind of an android device prior to that. The app at that time was completely accessible throughout the app. I was installed on Valentine's day last year. At that time they had done an update at the end of January breaking accessibility to the Android app.
As we were the launch city, I was used as somewhat of a Guinea pig for accessibility purposes.
I purchased my own nexus in order to learn the system in order to make use of the app which was touted as the hub of their system. It would have done me no good to have the system installed; being unfamiliar with the platform & the speech. At any rate, upon my installation, they gave me a second nexus as promised in their initial presentation.
Fortunately, the IOS app was usable. I kept after them to deliver on what they promised me upon my signup. Finally in April, I gave them an ultimatum. If I didn't have the accessibility I was promised by my May payment, I would end my contract without paying an early termination fee.
Ironically, On May 11, they pushed out an update with complete accessibility restored.
My payment was due on May 13.
With every update, I cringe, praying they won't break it again. They did a redesign incorporating pictures beside the channel numbers that depict what is currently on. The accessibility was moved around a bit, yet is still completely accessible through the app.
Tell your panelist in North Carolina the last piece I saw said Charlotte & Raleigh-Durham would get the service. However when it comes time for sign ups, the site is crap with a screen reader.
One has to pick a package & do the initial signup through the site. I had to get a friend with good vision to help me.
If you want to check it out it is fiber.google.com
They break up the area in to "fiber hoods." They have to have a given percentage of residents or businesses within a given fiberhood to qualify that fiberhood for initial setup.
As for a name for your show, The other side of our eyes tech & tidbits.
Good to know Pam. And thank you for your report on the state of Google in Kansas. Next up, Greg with a suggestion.
It is wonderful that you are back podcasting. Your audience, including me, missed you. I was hoping you would find a new home. I counted on you, Jamie and Ricky to bring me up-to-date on my AT news and more. I hope you will be able to bring Ricki on more often. So far, I have enjoyed the first three shows. Keep it up.
Ricky is a busy lady, but we shall endeavor to do our best to convince her to come on the show as often as we can. Brett has a show title to throw in the pile in our next email.
I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed the first three episodes of the podcast. Keep up the great work!
Also, I would like to suggest a few possibilities for the name of the podcast. I think that Bb Techcast or Bb Newscast would be great names.
Thanks, Brett Wilhelm
And here is another title from Christine...
"I have a suggestion for name the show and that is technology blind bargains or techie blind bargains.
Thanks Christine! Be sure to check out her array of resources at her website, http://in-sightful.com
Turning now from email to the Episode 3 Comment Page:
"my name is mitchell I do like your podcast and I will upgrade to Windows 10 because you can get for free and I think the name blind bargains nowe tech infore"
And from the comments page as a reply to the Braille Beetle Review
Sounds pretty cool. I'll be in the market hopefully sometime in March/April and I've been looking at the Sense U2 Mini (18 cells) and the smaller Vario Ultra from Baum, so it'll be interesting to see how this offering stacks up to those models. Thanks for the great report JJ! :D
This one came to us in Twitter and in email from Shane,
"Why not call your show, "WAR! That is: Weekly Accessibility Round-up!" Please try not to use the word BLIND!!"
Pick Of The Week: The Blind Onion On Twitter
Amidst all the Apple earnings news, ATIA 2015 interviews and 84 hours of Super Bowl pregame shows, the appearance of a Blind-related humor site was a welcome thing to see in our Twitter timelines. We don't know who is behind it. And with humor like the below tweets, we don't care. It's funny and even a little too close to the mark in its satire, which, of course, is the reason why we found it funny.
"UEB haters hold memorial service for discontinued contractions"
"Early #blind adopter electrocuted by vibrating shoes"
"Unbeknownst to #blind user, miraculous guide dog wins pizza-eating contest"
"New research shows that #SightedCyclists wrong 95% of time when saying "on your left!""
Now c'mon! That is some comedy gold right there. If you liked the humor of "The Blind Onion", be sure to follow them on Twitter.
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Please stop using issue for everything, and start using, problem, topic, question, etc. Using issue over and over to me sounds canned. Also, please say that someone said this or that, not 'someone was like,'.
dannyboy Wednesday, 04-Feb-2015 11:05 PM ET:
Thanks for your podcast. I like the way all sides of something are discussed.
Joseph Sickora Tuesday, 16-Jun-2015 5:26 PM ET:
I appreciate hearing a search with letters done. I remember changing channels five or six times and then the system wouldn't accept the next one and I had to clear out the searches. I will look through the blog for more information. The only way I searched for information was to arrow through those alphabetical lists. For awhile I only could find a description of David Letterman and not his show.
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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 for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.