Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 78: Triangle Chocolatey Goodness

Peanut butter and chocolate are a perfect example of how two separate things can come together to make one awesome thing. Today, as Ricky and J.J. demonstrate, we'll show how technology and cooking can fall into that same fantastic pairing with a discussion on the Instant Pot. We also have news, "Sound Off", the "Last Word" and a tip from Joe about web mail.

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In The News:

WCAG 2.1 Under Exploration, Comments Requested by 1 November

HIMS Releases Patch for Braille Edge: Bringing enhancements for JAWS Users, Full UEB Support, and More

Survey of the week: 2016 Adult Rehabilitation and Employment Survey

Demonstration: Instant Pot

Ricky Enger joins J.J. in the blind Bargains test kitchen to talk about and demonstrate the Instant Pot cooker, which can saute, pressure cook, slow cook, and so much more. J.j. demonstrates the IP-Duo60 version of the device, and Ricky discusses the Bluetooth-enabled Smart cooker version. J.J. makes delicious carrots while he and Ricky discuss the safety and ease of use of this highly versatile kitchen appliance.

A few of the recipes discussed in this segment are:
Instant Pot (or not!) Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tikka Masala
Coconut Fish Curry
Perfect Basmati Rice
Pressure Cooking Time Table For Rice and Grains

As promised, here are the layouts for the two units.

Layout of InstantPot Duo

Starts from the top left corner going down in columns.

Column 1
slow cook

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4
multi grain
keep warm/cancel

Layout of Instant Pot Smart

Column 1

Column 2
Slow Cook

Column 3

Column 4
Multi grain
keep warm/cancel

Tip: The New

Some would rather do their taxes than use web mail. And while Joe would agree, he notes that the improvements made to the service have made things a lot easier for screen reader users. Descriptive labeling, familiar navigation and an Application Key Context Menu are just some of the useful features found in this Microsoft makeover. And the new $20 Premium option removes ads and provides some nice customization.

Sound Off:

John Wesley Smith left us this thoughtful comment on the Episode 77 page...

"You asked about users of Learning Ally. I'm one of those who has a legacy account, and I do use them occasionally to download books which I can't find on BARD. They don't always have what I'm looking for, but I've been surprised by what I have been able to find. I don't have a BookShare account because I haven't seen the need to spring for the annual fee. Right now I have 30 plus NLS books and a number of text file books on my first gen Victor Stream. (OK, so I'm a hold over from the dinosaur era.) I have close to 1,000 books in my BARD wish list. Who knows when I'll get to all those books? I know it's a common complaint that such a small percentage of books are available to the blind, but how do folks find the time for what we do have access to?"

We could not agree more about finding time to read. Between the holiday tech explosion ... oops, sorry about that one Samsung, we'll be busy all the way up to March 2017. We might have to redesign our offices just to fit all this new tech. Good thing Gordon Love sent along this info about a possible future way to view accessible floor plans.

"Hey J and JJ,

I was listening to the latest podcast of "The Science Show" on Australian ABC radio, available at

About ten minutes in, there is an interview with a PhD student at Monash University who is developing a software tool to convert printed and image floor plans into versions which are accessible for visually impaired people using an I Pad app. The software is currently interpreting plans in English, French and Italian. It sounds like this is in an early stage, but sounded like a really unusual and interesting way to make plans accessible.

BTW, in the show, when you talk about the "snacks" you've been enjoying over there in the States, could you describe what they are so those of us overseas can either salivate with you or condemn you for food heresy as our own tastes dictate? I say this just having had some wonderful, not to say spicy, haggis pakora, one of Scotland's favourite Indian snacks.


Jeremy writes in to with a question we often see at least once every few months.

"Hello I love listening to your podcast. I really think it is a great podcast. I love the sound quality of your podcast.In my opinion, it is thhe best sounding podcast out there. What programs do yu use or what software do you use to make the podcast sound good? Would there be training in this software or program? Sincerely,
Jeremy Levy"

Before we go any further, and as we say time and time again, we'd be lost without the tireless efforts of Patrick Perdue. He truly is the main reason why we sound like we do on all the shows we have done together for the past six years at various places. All credit goes to him as he really does make us sound better than we actually are before audio enhancement. With that said, and back to the actual question, we use Team Talk for recording raw audio and Reaper for editing. Then the whole thing gets wrapped up in a bow for Patrick to perform his audio magic.

Mr. Perdue would tell you that the first secret to podcasting is not to use the S word. Ahem, Skype, for those who don't know this long-running "in joke" on the podcast. We've found over the years that Skype just gives off this sound that can be hard to listen to for long periods of time.

Joe adds that doing your research is key to putting out consistent and entertaining content. Drill down and find a subject that you feel comfortable to speak about at length. Say, for example if you like the mac, then become the best darn Microsoft Office with Voiceover person there is so you can have a unique line on a platform where there are already a lot of shows out there on Apple products. Try and be as authentic and true as you can be about your subject matter. State an opinion and prepare for others to throw in theirs. And, this is key, toss out the script when you feel that your show is getting stale. Change and conflict can create catchy content. or, as you just read, it can force you to use alliteration in show notes when under a deadline. You might want to avoid that bit if you can.

Last Word:

Food returns to the portion of the show that knows it best.

Make broccoli taste like CHOCOLATE: Incredible device tricks taste buds into thinking bland food is delicious

Why Chip Cards Are The Worst

And, as another bonus, here is that Mitchell and Webb sketch Joe mentioned during this segment.

Microsoft announced an event for October 26th. Then Apple sent out invites for an event on October 27th. So Microsoft said they have an event for Office on November 2nd. We are currently looking to schedule our mental nervous breakdowns somewhere between the winter holidays and ATIA. Have a great week everyone!

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Length: 67:38

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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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