Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 21: Bacon Drizzle Binary Math

The audio clubhouse seems to be a bit more crowded this week. Joe has returned to find his buddy J.J. in the midst of releasing version 2.0 of the Blind Bargains app for iOS. And to celebrate said app's release, it seems that Michael Doise and Steven Clower rolled up to the party in style with their canoe. Wait, that isn't right. Dave Williams showed up to the event with his Canute Braille Display. Yeah, that's what happened. Well that and a tip plus "Sound Off" and "Last Word" also happened. Along with a secret sound!

Sponsor: BlindAlive

We'd like to thank this week's sponsor, BlindAlive for providing us the motivation and support needed to create this episode. No matter your level of health or fitness, there is an exercise program out there for you. To learn more about these fitness products, and subscribe to BlindAlive's podcasts, visit their website. Also, check out the BackTPack, an ergonomically sound backpack ideal for students and professionals. And remember "Don't just live, be alive"!

BB Qast Secret Sound

The PowerQube is an electrical power system that can charge up to 9 devices at once, and is one of the coolest gadgets we've seen. It features both AC and USB outlets, and they're all spaced far apart from each other so you don't end up with unused outlets. You can buy one now from SpeedDots, or win one from us with the BB Qast Secret Sound.
This is your last week to enter the contest. To enter, listen to this episode to hear the secret sound. Once you think you know what it is, go here to enter the contest. We'll pick one winner after June 28 to get the PowerQube. It's courtesy of and the BB Qast. Good luck.

In The News:

The Optacon for your Tongue? $10,000 BrainPort V100 Approved by U.S. FDA

Researchers to Demonstrate Their Solution for Cheaper Braille Displays at Chicago Haptics Conference

Tyler Spivey has made it Possible to Play the Game Boy Title Pokemon Crystal with Speech

How to Get JAWS, OpenBook, and MAGic for $200 Total at #NFB15

Leasey, from Hartgen Consultancy, has also jumped into summer with convention specials of their own.

Microsoft says Windows 10 is only free as an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1

Here's how to get Windows 10 for free even if you don't have Windows 7 or 8

Discussion Topic: Accessible App Development

You might have heard about Swift this month at Apple's WWDC. No, not Taylor, we were referring to Apple's programming language instead. Okay, we know it is a bad joke. but don't throw a dart at us for that. And this time we mean the actual projectile not the programming language from Google. kidding aside, many of the programming languages used by today's developers are accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Why Mr. Doise and Mr. Clower have been programming for years. They discuss what tools they use, where they think programming is going in the future and they even give out some amazing resources to help one get started with their own adventures in code. "Hello World", we're coming for ya!
Remember, with a Bookshare account, there are tons of programming books from O'riley and Wiely available to you.

If you are looking for a more traditional online learning option, you could consider
TWIT has a show that sets out to teach people to code. Find the archives of previous episodes at Coding 101.

Demonstration: Canute Braille Display

We recently mentioned this display in a previous article, and show, but many of you still had questions about the unit. Dave Williams just so happened to have one nearby and he provides us a short demo on some of the display's features.

tip: Free Weather Alerts by Text Message and E-mail

J.J. talks about this potentially lifesaving service which can alert you of an imminent storm or tornado.


Comments, emails and tweets arrive to our HQ constantly. Here is a sample of some of the feedback we found interesting this week. First up, Kevin with a thought after hearing episode 20.

"Re Android BARD app; it's great to have but I wish NLS would update the IOS app. It's still on version 1.0 nearly two years after its release when IOS 6 was current. There are bugs that need fixing and changes that need to be made. Kevin Barry"

Our old pal, darknexus , left us a comment on the Bem speaker band article.

"Seems like you'd add a fair amount of noise pollution if you used one of these for walking as opposed to, say, a pair of Aftershokz which would probably be less likely to annoy those around you. In an age where people seem to think their tiny iPhone is a boom box while blasting the most obnoxious music all over the place, I try for myself to cut down as much as possible on the amount of irritation I cause to those around me. It's one of the reasons I also have no interest in any talking watch, be it smart or otherwise."

We had a lot of buzz around the Canute article. Vivien passed this along...

"Thanks so much for posting this article. I have never used Linux myself, but I am very excited about this development."

Twitter produced some gems. This first one is in response to Patrick's demo from episode 20.

PegJolene: Thanks Patrick for confirmation that my signal strength is poor currently -117 and 3g

next, two words, Hash Bag. yeah, that's a thing.

@paulsandoval75: #Hashbag #awesome Episode 20 is very good as well. Kepp the shows coming I do look forward to them.

@blindeducator: Just got done catching up on @BlindBargains BBQ. I was behind on 7 episodes.

Hmm, note to the team, we need achievements or badges for marathon playback of BBQ episodes in v3.0.

Next, Ken sent us an email to clarify some information on the upcoming move in the U.S. to "chip and pin".

I originally planned to post my observations to the comments for the BBQ episode in which Chip and Pin credit card technology was discussed. I just could not remember which episode that was so I am Emailing to the general feedback address.
I hate to burst your bubble about Chip and Pin credit cards. The main U.S. credit card issuers will use Chip and Signature technology. A partial list includes:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Citi.

The URL for the source of the list above and mor information on the subject is >>

The U.S. issuers choice is poor because while Chip and Signature cards are some what more secure than our current magnetic strip cards. They are much less secure than Chip and Pin cards.
I find the U.S. credit card issuers decision to use Chip and Signature technology ironic. The primary justification for changing credit card processing technology was to increase credit card security. The issuers decided on the least secure new option available to them.

I remember one representative of a U.S. credit card issuer association justifying the use of Chip and Signature technology on the grounds that current U.S. users would find it hard to learn how to use Chip and Pin technology. I do not have enough time to chase down the exact quote and source before writing you and remaining timely.

Last Word:

J.J. reached into Joe's Twitter timeline and found these gems for everyone's perusal.
Liquid Bacon That Can Be Squeezed

Study says cat videos are good for you, so enjoy these favorites

We are just a few days away from the 2015 summer conventions and the BB Qast is the place to catch up on news from both Dallas and Orlando. Drop us a line, or tweet us, to pass along your predictions or suggestions of who we should chat up at next month's events. Or, since you are already here, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Displaying 1 comment.
John Wesley Smith Thursday, 25-Jun-2015 1:19 PM ET:

Hey, guys, I'm still confused about whether to reserve my copy of Windows 10. I have a Windows 7 machine, and I use Window-Eyes. I'd prefer to wait a while to see how accessibility issues work themselves out before actually making the switch to Windows 10. Can I get Windows 10 by July 29th and wait until later to activate it? Joe, I'm sorry to hear about your father's passing. My dad, who is still living, took me to numerous eye doctor appointments in my younger years, while my mom worked during the day. We had an hour's drive to get to Omaha for each visit. He wasn't quite as supportive of my broadcasting ventures as your dad was for you, but he did take me to the FCC office in Kansas City, MO, in the summer of 1977 so I could take the commercial radio license test. We got up at 4:00 in the morning to be there by the time the office opened. I passed the test, but by the time I finally made it into radio in 1982, the license was no longer necessary. Keep up the good work--all of you--on BBQ. John Wesley Smith

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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.

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