Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 125: Fantastical Soylent People Flavor

The first show of the last month for 2017 just so happens to be the episode before Joe goes on vacation. It also contains a festive tip, a live taste test of a product by J.J. plus a demo from Stacie Hardy and Raul Gallegos. "Sound Off" continues the ongoing debates about what you eat after Thanksgiving dinner while the "Last Word" has a bit of travel related information.

Program Note:

We were absolutely gutted by the news of the recent passing of long time listener Richard Cavallaro. A smart technologist, a wonderful advocate and a pretty fine musician was lost to us shortly before Thanksgiving. Rich was a friendly voice in many of the community conversations and his insights will be greatly missed. Rich's family has set up "The Piano Man Fund" in his honor and it serves as a beautiful way to celebrate his life.
Please consider a donation to the fund and we offer our sincerest condolences to the Cavallaro family and Rich's friends.

In The News:

ACB initiates a law suit against Hulu due to lack of access and audio description for the service's content

Actiview has been updated and now contains audio description for the number one movie in the U.S., at the time of this recording, "Cocoa".

KNFB Reader deal is over, but New sprint customers receive free KNFB Enterprise

Envision A.I. has a new update as indicated by the tweet below.
"@LetsEnvision Nov 23
New updates is out with an improved text reading experience (real-time text and document text features added). We have also worked on our major tweaks to our UI and flow. Lots more to come from our pipeline. "

November's BrailleNote Touch Update could Make You a Graphing Pro

NVDA 2017.4 Release Candidate Diversifies Browse Mode Support, Drops XP and Vista

Santa Again Contracts with the NFB to Send Braille Letters to Blind Kids

Company Seeks Feedback about Airport Check-in Kiosks

Joe appeared on Main Menu again, but this time it wasn't about Windows. Hear talk of a new audio framework for games called Wander Words.

Demonstration: Fantastical2 On iOS

Raul Gallegos and Stacie Hardy -- congrats on their recent engagement by the way -- of RGA Tech Solutions take us on a quick spin through their calendar. Okay, not really, but they do show us how easy it is to use the iOS app Fantastical2. This app is great and it works well with an Apple watch if you happen to have one of those on your arm. The app has a habit of going on sale during the holiday season. Yet at $4.99 normally, for an app that can sync both iCal and Google calendar, it is well worth the price.
Find [RGA Tech Solutions on Facebook.(

Tip: Call Santa Via Google Home And Amazon Echo

Earlier in the show we mentioned that you could enjoy a letter from Santa in Braille. Well, if you want to chat with him through a virtual assistant, why not give the North Pole a ring instead. Joe will demo a call to Santa for this tip using a Google Home Mini. The Amazon Echo can phone the Jolly Old Elf too. Visit this link to learn more how to speak with Santa's Workshop from your Echo.

Sound Off:

Beth writes in...

"MINCEMEAT!!!!! Please look at how I wrote that! You can feed the punkin pie to the geese, lol! Happy Thanksgiving, guys! Beth"

Bargain Houndh had a comment to share on Alex Hall's post on iPhone X.

"Thank you, Alex and Joe, for such intriguing Apple opinions. Re the comments concerning the idea that changes to Apple products were made to pad Apple's production costs, not for users' benefit. How many times have sighted people grumbled about changes to products generally, since consumerism began? The answer is: Lots of times! A company's number one concern is their bottom line, to stay in business and, to do this, money must be made. If I go to my local bakery and I say I want pumpkin-orange pie and they say they don't make that, which I'm glad of, by the way, ha ha, they will not accede to the individual consumer's wishes just because the person wants that particular flavor, ugh! The bakery would probably correctly, I hope, lol, assume that not very many people would even think of such a combination, let alone want it. Apple makes products for the sighted and it was decided that accessibility would be included out of the box but that is not Apple's reason for being. Therefore, the needs of the blind and low-vision populations will never be the main road on Apple's road map. I would say there will always be ways around changes to make the UI accessible but Apple will never make a blindness-oriented anything. Even blindness-specific tech companies, such as HIMS and Humanware, must create software and hardware to please the majority of the people they serve. They listen to consumer demand but they must ultimately make choices. Sometimes it's years before a dearly sought-after app or adjustment is made to these products. The only way in any market for an individual to get an exact match for a product is to self-create and then keep tweaking it as needed. Beth"

Harry Brown had another view about the new iPhone 10.

"Hi JJ, and all,

I totally, disagree with Alex Halls post!
Yes, I do agree that Apple is a business, and yes, they should make a profit.
However, here's where I differ:

  1. I don't know a blind person, anywhere, who can just walk up to a touch screen device, and tap an icon, without sliding their fingers all over the place, trying to find an icon.
    That, my friends, is not efficient, that, is inefficient. If I were hiring a blind person, I would give him/her an efficiency test, and if they didn't pass it, which none of them will, I would not hire them.
    there is not one blind person in the world, who can just walk up to a touch screen device and tap an icon without groping around the screen for it.
    Now, do the speed dots screen covers help, maybe, but who knows! I tried to use one, and when I updated the IOS software on my iPod, I had to type in a stupid pass code, and no matter how many times I typed it in, it said it was wrong, so, I will never know just how good a screen protector works or not.
    Keys are MUCH MORE efficient, much faster, and this world is all about speed, and it doesn't have time for people feeling for icons.

Now I will say one thing for touch screens, there is 1 group of people who really need them, and that is, people with neuropathy, who cannot touch keys, so they need a touch screen.

  1. Now the voice idea is a good one, but here's the problem, and that is, when you're in a crowd, when you're outside in the wind, or, when you're inside, and the air conditioner, or, some loud device is running, unfortunately, voice is not there yet. But yes, I would love to see us use voice, to control everything, and not have to feel for icons on touch screens.

  2. The last point is this. As someone who cannot use a touch screen because I cannot hold a device in my hands for hours on end, and I cannot feel a screen for icons, for hours on end, because I have tremendous pain, I will never be able to use a touch screen. But does Apple care? Absolutely not, because people with disabilities are the minority, (no matter what disability we have, you can name them all), but Apple, and all these mainstream companies just care about the majority, and not, the minority, which is fine, but if this continues, I will be one of those luddites, I will go without a computer, I will go without a cell phone, and if something happens to me, and I die, which is what almost happened to me, and thankfully, I was able to get a Samsung Gusto 3, which has saved my life), I guess I will just go without then."

Joe mentioned that there were a few mainstream technology articles with a slant post Apple Distortion Field driven. Here are a couple of examples of them.

How app developers and designers feel about the iPhone X and the notch
Why I'm selling my iPhone X

Now the debate shifts from pies to phones to apps. Here's the first of two comments about Blindfold Games.

"Dear BBQ team,

I just finished listening to episode 123 (and by the way, now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head.) Anyways, I listened to the segment on the talk of the blindfold games, and I have to say, I'm glad the games are back! I remember hearing the news about Apple's decision of disallowing Marty to release new games unless he coded them into a handful of apps. I was so upset, I cried that night. I'm in a facebook group for people who use Apple products, and a vast majority of us were completely against this dicision. I honestly had no idea how many people fought back. I'm just glad it all worked out in the end. I really enjoy these games, and I'm sure there are others who do as well. Out of the 10 blindfold games I have on my phone, my personal favorite is Blindfold Clues, which is similar to the board game "Clue". Anyways, I still enjoy your podcasts. Keep up the great work. Oh, and keep up the silly shenanigans!


Lydia Alverson

P.S.. I couldn't help but laugh at your pumpkin pie/minced meat argument. Hey, I'm with you on the pumpkin pie, JJ. But you know, you can't have pumpkin pie without a cup of hot chocolate to go with it.

Sent from my BrailleNote"
Kevin Barry chimes in with this experience.

Love the podcast. However, listening to your latest conversation with the guy behind kid friendly software I feel I must inject a dissenting opinion.
In my experience he certainly makes a lot of games. A lot of buggy games.
With one in particular, Wildcard, basically Uno, it had several large, and continues to this day, with one major bug. One huge bug was that he was using the wrong deck. Yes, the wrong deck. Several times I wrote to him and explained exactly what was wrong. He would respond with something like, yes, I understand, I will fix it. Then nothing. I wrote again asking if he was going to fix the problem. He writes back asking "what problem?" This routine literally went on for three or four rounds before he finally fixed it. And, as I said, there is still a bug he hasn't fixed.
Separately, I have found the way he charges for in app purchases to be repugnant. Not that he charges. I accept that. Again, an example with Wildcard. Early on I paid for a feature which I now cannot recall. He came out with an update where he took away my upgrade and wanted to charge me again for exactly the same upgrade.
I suspect he has done exactly that with other games.
I am getting a little tired, not just on your podcast, of hearing how great this guy is.
What we have here, in my opinion, is a classic example of us in the blind community being so grateful to anybody who pays attention to us as games we can use are few and far between."

Last Word:

We're still recovering from American Thanksgiving as you can tell by the food and travel related links below.
Snacktaku Eats An Eight-Course Pringles Thanksgiving Dinner
The secret words your airline crew don't want you to understand

Bonus Links:

Here are some other things that came up during the latter half of the podcast.
Hot Chocolate Oreos
This Flamin' Hot Cheetos Turkey Is The Insane Dish You Need This Thanksgiving
Introducing the Garsquashroom, the Vegetarian Answer to the Turducken
And you can wash it all down with a Jones Soda

Next week, Shelly takes the co-hosting spot while Joe and Ricky are on a very large boat. Neither J.J. nor Shelly have an idea about what will happen in BBQ 126. Therefore, you have to give it a listen to hear for yourself what transpires.

Listen to the File

File size: 80MB
Length: 87:25

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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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