Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 36: Blue Light Surface

The last of the big tech events has concluded with Microsoft taking a bit of a victory lap. J.J., Joe and Rodney Edgar dive into the hardware portions of the MS talk then broaden out their conversation to compare these announcements against the earlier news from Google and Apple. Along the way we'll have the usual features; "Last Word", "Sound Off" and much more in episode 36 of the BBQ!


This episode is brought to you by HIMS, who would like to remind you that "Your needs are our solutions". Check out the E-Bot Video Magnifier, the Blaze EZ reading solution, the new Smart Beetle Braille Display and more by visiting the HIMS website. Or, follow them on Twitter.

In The News:

Twitter's recent layoffs might impact accessibillity. Some who were dismissed found out about it in a terrible way.

$500 Braille Display from Transforming Braille Group Entering Field Testing

APH Reintroduces the Refreshabraille with Ergonomic Changes, Micro USB

New Google Talkback update goes live. Read product page to know more about what's new

RT @lordjeff Google should be applauded for finally releasing the latest talkback source code

The BuzzClip: Wearable Ultrasound for the Blind

MIT Alumni Seeking Participants for Mobile Technology Research

Followup story from BBQ 35: Fopydo Reading Stand Raises $4,550 on Kickstarter

Can You See Me? What to do when you see a person who is visually impaired

The Incredibly Inspiring Journey of a Blind Entrepreneur Who Built a $70 Million Company

The Blind Deserve Tech Support, Too

Discussion topic: Microsoft Hardware Event 2015

the interest in Windows 10, as we noted in BB Qast episode 3, propelled Microsoft into the tech spotlight again. However, that was January and Windows 10 is now in general availability. Is there still anything to look forward to from the company post Xbox One and Windows 10? We'll delve into that concept and explore how this event compares to the others we've seen in the last two months. Some of the articles we'll mention during this portion of the program can be found in the list below.

Microsoft announces 110 million Windows 10 installs since launch

Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition: Coming Q1 2016 for $3,000

Microsoft demos 'Project XRay' mixed reality game for HoloLens

The new Microsoft Band is a sleeker, curvier fitness tracker

Flagship Windows Phones at last: The Lumia 950, 950XL, and 550

Hands on: the new Lumia flagships are competent, Continuum is cool

Hands-on: The Surface Pro 4 is a design that s settled down

Surface Book Explained on Windows Weekly

And this follow up TWIT conversation on ordering a Surface Book is also worth a listen if you are considering the new Microsoft laptop

Unbeknownst to us, and to our chagrin, DTNS also covered this topic on a recent podcast. And by recent we mean it was recorded on the same day as ours. The very definition of "great minds" and the need for a podcast topic eh?

Sound Off:

Gordon wrote in with a suggestion about sports. By the way, due to the recent performances of sports teams in both Houston and Detroit, joe and J.J. might not be talking about sports for a while.

"Hello BBQrs,
As you are sports fans, I thought you might like to know about a recent BBC Radio 5 Live programme which focussed on visually impaired sports fans here in the UK. It is on the BBC Iplayer radio app at

I hope you will get something from the programme,


Several listeners commented on last week's story about a woman who purposely blinded herself. We recognize that this is a very devisive and controversial story for many of our audience. Here is one such comment from a long time listener of the show.

"Hi JJ and joe,

"First off, This is my first time writing in to the show. I have been listening since the first show back in January. I look forward to it every week.

I am deeply disturbed by the story of the woman who blinded herself. I lost my remaining vision four years ago suddenly to neurovascular glaucoma. I was born with Retinopathy of Prematurity. I had good usable vision until I lost it overnight. I had multiple surgeries that were supposed to help get vision back but, nothing helped.

I am deeply angered by this woman who had good vision and intentionally blinded herself. There isn t a day that goes by that I don t want my sight back. I am missing out on seeing so many things. Just to name a few my two beautiful nieces, my parents who by the way aren t getting any younger, tv shows and movies. The simple things in life of being able to pick up something and read it or things like that.

Please understand, that I have adjusted and am a happy person who has good friends and an awesome new guide dog my second one. But, I would give anything to be able to have my vision back. I am a visual person.

Even though, I am sure this news topic is controversial thanks for talking about it. I had no idea that such a disorder like this existed.

I hope to meet you guys in person if you come to the ACB of Minnesota next year. I am from Minneapolis.
Randee Boerboom BTW I am a gal not a guy. Just thought I d let you know."

Last Word:

Discs, bits and tapes make up the bulk of this week's odd inhabitants of the "Last Word".
Inside the Intense, Insular World of AOL Disc Collecting
How Oldschool Sound/Music worked
Attention K-Mart Shoppers.

We are still interested in what our listeners like to read, listen to or dress up as for Halloween. Drop your thoughts into the Comment section below. Or, send us one of those electronic mails to

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File size: 97.2MB
Length: 86:23

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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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