Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 35: Bug Fixes at 88.8 MPH

In order to celebrate our 35th episode, and at the cost of $35 no less, J.J. takes us on a path of audio bliss with his demo of the new Chromecast Audio device from Google. Joe talks about a low vision friendly time waster that returns "Back From The Future". Also there is the matter of the news, a tip, "Sound Off' and the infamous "Last Word" sporting a cameo from Mr. Patrick Perdue!

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. And remember "Don't just live, be alive"!

In The News:

Horizons for the Blind service, Directions For me, back online

The Maker of the Fopydo Scanning Stand is Crowdfunding a Companion Book Reading Base

AFB Seeking Donations to Preserve Helen Keller Archive, Make it Accessible

For Fans of Audio Description, Movies Jumping from Netflix to Hulu is Bad News

The Apple Rundown: The iPhone 7 Is Only 11 Months Away Edition

Woman dreams of being blind

Review: Chromecast Audio

Google introduced a new device into the Chromecast family with the release of the amazingly affordable Chromecast Audio. J.J. demonstrates just how easy it is to use from both iOS and Android versions of the Chromecast app. he also explains why some may want to have this device over the new, or original, Chromecast players. Also, if you want to know more about these little round bits of audio goodness, check out this Ars Technica article on the teardown of a Chromecast Audio.

Review: Low vision friendly, Jetpack Joyride and the Back To The Future promotion

There have been at least a dozen video games over the past 30 years that will let you pretend to be Marty McFly from the "Back To The Future" series. But none of them are as easy to pick up and play as the endless side scrolling runner from Halfbrick Studios update to their classic game "jetpack joyride". Tap the screen to raise Marty higher to gain coins, dodge obstacles, gain the powers of the Hoverboard and even drive the DeLorian! Can you collect the 1.21 jigawatts before time runs out? This game is available on iOS, Android, Windows and probably a few dead platforms as well. in that way, it's just like Huey Lewis and the news.

Tip: Google Now Calling with Speaker Phone option

Joe shows you another reason for using Google now for hands free" calling on Android

Sound Off:

Here is the first of two emails we feature this week.

"enjoy your BB cast, and have a topic idea that's perfect for your irreverent style.
I'm blind and work at a college. More and more of my time is spent assisting low-vision young people master all kinds of technology. Though I wasn't hired as an access technology specialist and don't pretend to have any job experience in that area, I'm a power user of screen readers so people expect me to be a wiz at helping low-vision folks.

I've always maintained that I might be better at this than a sighted guy, simply because I don't make any assumptions about how much any given person can see. On the other hand, a sighted guy is better at, well, seeing. And it helps if you're actually seeing all this magnification stuff, even if you can't see inside the head of the low-vision user.

I don't want my students to depend on audio only if they still have usable vision because I use Braille with audio.

Yet, I don't want them to depend on flaky, unreliable vision when they could be using audio.

So Joe, when helping a low-vision person make informed choices, how do you approach the situation? If he asks whether K1000 or OpenBook is better; if he asks whether he should get Android or iOS; if he asks whether a Mac or Windows PC is best, what would you say? If he wants to know whether ZoomText or Magic is better; if he is reading his android phone with a monocular, and if he carries a hand-held magnifier everywhere, do you suggest a portable video magnifier like the Baum VisioBook? Or do you tell him to use Windows Magnifier, NVDA and keep that pocket magnifier handy.
And when he complains that he can't figure out how to do something, say on his iPad, do you give him a tour/tutorial of Zoom or Voiceover?

What's the best approach to help a beginner utilize existing vision without pushing him to use it more than he should.
I want opinions, so rant away!
(Deborah Armstrong)"

Low Vision, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Joe gives several examples of this when answering this question on air. However, the short version, learning about eye conditions can only help you to a small extent. Asking questions about preferred lighting, color [both foreground and background hues: with inquiries about daytime or nighttime fluctuations can also help you determine a better idea of how someone might view text or their surroundings.

next up, Kevin writes in to tell us that the BARD outage took down more than just books....

" Although I was not one of the complainers, the BARD outage irritated me
greatly and not for any reason you mentioned. I have more than enough books
to read. What bothered me was that the Economist was missed for that week.
As you may know, The Economist is a weekly and thus it matters when you get
it. First, the latest edition didn't appear before the scheduled outage.
Then, when it briefly came back the new edition was out however it was
defective and would not play. Finally, when the site came back up for good
the next week's edition was out. The missing and defective edition was
finally replaced several days later. Rather pointless I think.
Kevin Barry"

Good point Kevin. While there are still services you could use as a backup, say NFB Newsline, you might not have them set up on the device of choice that you would use for those nice long reading sessions. Some news sites also have their own podcast lines. This isn't the same as reading the articles of course, however, it may prove to be another way for you not to miss out on the critical news of the week.

Last Word:

We close out the week with music and Talk Boxing.
The psychological impact of a person s voice
New $5 service will cancel your Comcast in 5 minutes
Rise of the Synthesizer: How an Electronics Whiz Kid Gave the 1980s Its Signature Sound
Lastly, here are two other things that came up in our conversation with Mr. Perdue
Daft Punk Harder Better Faster Stronger (Talkbox Cover/Demo)
[Official Video] Daft Punk - Pentatonix

Do you have a fave Halloween site or app? Drop it into the comment section below or email as we are gathering your festive ideas for an upcoming show.

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Category: Shows
Displaying 3 comments.
vigal Sunday, 11-Oct-2015 01:45 AM ET:

Hi JJ and joe, I sent a seperate email at feedback but, thought I'd also mention how I felt here. I am very upset and deeply disturbed by the woman who decided to become blind by damaging her eyes. I lost my remaining vision four years ago to nuro vascular glaucoma. I was born with rentinalopathy of premeturity. There isn't anything I wouldn't do to have my vision back. I miss beingable to see things with ease. please understand, I am a well adjusted blind person and have a great support of friends and family. I am a visual person and therefore continue to struggle on some level with my vision loss. Though, this is contravercial thanks for posting about it. I had no idea there was such a thing. Randee Boerboom

ccwiner Sunday, 11-Oct-2015 1:45 PM ET:

Question. I use apple's iDevices. I am interested in the audio version of the chromecast. I enjoy using apple's airplay because voiceOver is not played on the speakers and I hate using blueTooth speakers because I find voice Over highly annoying through my speakers. What iOS apps have you found that support the audio version of the Chrome cast besides Spotify. I don't use Spotify. Also, I wasn't clear from the podcast if voiceOver from your iPad played through the speakers or not. I was clear that Talk Back did not play on the speakers. One more question, if your speakers have a remote to skip songs does that work through the audio Chromcast? Thanks!

Bargain Hound Thursday, 15-Oct-2015 1:36 PM ET:

I agree with the other opinion regarding the lady who dreamed of being blind and then made that dream come true. Just like any other sense, sight is a gift to be treasured and enjoyed. No self-respecting person would take away a sense in such fashion.

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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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