The first proper show of 2019 has us taking our annual look at the trends that emerged from CES. We have a pile of news to comment upon, a few emails from the holidays to discuss and even a tip that works for that A Lady or G Lady voice assistant in your life.
Our friends at Google are working hard to create great technology products for everyone. They're inviting you to participate in Google user research studies, where you can help shape the future of accessible products and features and get rewarded for it. head to google.com/userresearch.
Brad Hodges was a long time voice in our community from Access World, the NFB Computer Science Division and several other public outlets. The team was saddened to learn of his sudden passing over the holidays. Our sincerest condolences go out to Brad's friends, family and colleagues. His kindness and wisdom will be missed.
In The News:
AIRA also introduced a free 7 day trial(https://aira.io/free-trial)
Discussion Topic: CES 2019
Products from previous years returned with possibly one more step taken to being something you could actually buy, digital assistant integration was everywhere and Apple even began poking their head outside of the slats of the walled garden. Here are some of the links we cover within our wrap up of the goings on from Las Vegas.
Tip: Two Things To Try On The Echo Or Google Home
Okay, this first one is just for fun or for annoying others around you for fun. Talk To Pikachu allows you to speak to Nintendo s iconic Pokemon with varying degrees of success. Old Timey Radio is a skill that works on either platform and it will let you revisit classic audio dramas. Both are free but one may be more your fancy than the other.
Jim Denham brings it on by droppin the Weird Al knowledge!
Greetings and happy holidays! Episode 169 was fantastic. The tip about
accessibility shortcut features is one I did not know and will
definitely come in handy!.
My question to you is, what version of the Night Santa Went Crazy have
you heard? After listening to your dial a carol segment, which was
lots of fun, I wanted to give that song a listen, so I asked the
Amazon Echo to give it a play. The versions of that song I have heard
in the past, and still have in my MP3 library, just had Santa going to
prison for his crimes. To my surprise, the version on Amazon Music has
Santa getting shot in the head by a member of the swat team. I was
unaware that Weird Al recorded two separate versions of this song and
have to wonder why the more violent version is just now surfacing!
Anyhow, I just thought I would bring this little anomaly to your
attention. Keep up the great shows and happy 2019!
Lydia, like Sheldon Cooper, writes in to say she likes the trains in episode 171.
Dear BBQ team,
This has to be the funniest outtakes show yet. I especially like the Alvin and the Chipmunks parody. I also liked that little remix that JJ did as well. To be honest, I couldn't stop laughing. This really made my day. Patrick, keep up the great work. Oh, and keep those bloopers coming.
P.S.. Did I mention that I'm writing this email on my new 2018 macBook Air that I got two months ago? Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to mention is that I like listening to the trains in the background. JJ, don't worry. I'm from Boron, so I'm used to hearing freight trains going through town at three in the morning.
Patrick, per his usual amazing talents, did it again this year. We also want to thank Andre Louis
For doing a guest spot in the poppin production in the latter half of the show. Next, Juan asks us about an app we ve mentioned previously
Hello blind bargains, in one podcast you mentioned an app that could be used for describing movies from your phone, when playing the movie from another device like a tv or from the movie theater. Which app was that? I think it sounded like acue me, but I'm not sure.
Juan Manuel Avila
The app is called ActiView and it will sync your phone to the movie s soundtrack in order for you to experience audio description. Titles are limitted and the ones that are available for the movie theater are not necessarily the same ones you can access from their home offerings. The app is free and it also supports closed captions and audio enhancements for the hard of hearing. Lastly, Mary has some thoughts on the health aspects of the Series 4 Apple Watch.
I ve been hearing a lot about the ECG app for the Apple watch and what a game-changer it is. But as a person with atrial fibrillation, the condition the ECG app is meant to help with, my world has not been rocked just yet. I am anxiously awaiting improvements so that people already diagnosed with this condition can benefit from it.
The app is accessible with VoiceOver on the watch. No problems there. But I was dismayed to learn that the app is not meant to be used by people already diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. This meant that I had to start out my use of this app by lying so I could even set up the app in the first place. Not an auspicious start.
So if the app is not supposed to be used by its own target audience, what exactly is its purpose? Presumably, the app is supposed to help you get diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. But then what is supposed to happen? If it can t support you once you are diagnosed, does this mean it has served its purpose and you no longer can use it? You have atrial fibrillation. Now have a nice life.
I know that this technology is still in its infancy. But this is the last time I will upgrade a perfectly fine Apple product like the Apple Watch Series 3 just because Apple has promised help with some medical issue.
Sports and living in the past make up the first entry into the oddness of the web this week.
Museum of the 90s
New Orleans eye doctors offering free eye exams to NFL referees
Next week, um, well about that. JJ is off to Orlando and ATIA 19. The good news is that we will have some great convention coverage. The bad news is that we aren t sure about what happens until then. Keep watching your feed for more info.
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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.