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    We've finally put 2016 to bed and now it is time to begin the march to CSUN 2017. Before we can do that, however, we need to talk about ATIA. Shelly Brisbin
    is with us to talk about that show and if it is still relevant. And if so, then who is the audience for this show now? We also have a great trip tip from Patrick, "Sound Off" and the first "Last Word" of 2017.

    Programming Note:

    Shelly had Joe, and BBQ Regular Jeff Bishop, on one of her podcasts that was released during the holiday season. You can catch that show, and several others, at the homepage for "The Parallel".

    Speaking of Mr. Bishop, he and Joe spoke to several key members of the Microsoft Access Team about the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update in a two part Main Menu exclusive. Part 1 can be heard here and the second direct link is here. Or, if you don't have this bookmarked already, the Main menu archive is a great site to give the once-over from time to time.

    Lastly, shout out to Dean over at Top Tech Tidbits and the great gang of folks over at Access World for being avenues of news during our holiday break. They, and Apple Vis, are places we read in order to stay up to date when we are on a little bit of a break.

    In The News:

    ZoomText and Window Eyes information for critical certificate errors

    NVDA launches a new blog about their future asperations

    Public Beta of Dictation Bridge Add-on for NVDA Released

    Captcha Be Gone Now Available for the Chrome Web Browser

    Be My Eyes has Nearly a Half Million Users on their Platform; Android App Coming Soon

    Catching Up: Android TalkBack 5.1 Adds Smattering of Enhancements; Ends Support for Pre 5.0 Devices

    NFB and ACB Conventions Don't Overlap; Hotel Reservations Accepted Now

    Discussion Topic: ATIA 2017

    Shelly recently attended the Assistive Technology Industry Association's 2017 convention during the month of January. She stops by to tell us what she saw and to discuss if the show's focus is growing when it comes to the subset of fields in the Blindness and Low Vision arenas. During our conversation we cover topics such as the upcoming -BrailleNote Touch 3.0 release, a Prodigi Connect 2.0 software update, low vision friendly Scanning Pens, the newly announced Mojo from Enhanced Vision and we check in on APH.


    Patrick gives in to his flights of fancy this week. no really. Patrick has some ideas about what you can do on a long flight. Tune in to hear his aircraft simulated experiences.

    Sound Off:

    Here is the first of two emails that wafted in during our holiday break. First up, Stan Littrell with a pretty neat historical perspective on a subject of our Top 10 of 2016.

    "Here is a bit of historical information for your use. Both APH and AFB
    used to be in the business of selling consumer goods for the blind
    during the 1960s and 70s. I purchased my first braille watch from AFB.
    I purchased an abacuss from APH in 1973. With respect to your
    comments about the new orbit reader, I'm quite excited about the
    prospect. Putting lower cost braille options can only inhance the
    possibilities of braille in this digital age. I purchased one of those
    expensive braille note takers in about 2,000. The company refreshed
    the line and people were asked to trade in their units for a
    replacement one. You were able to receive a new unit and received a
    great offer for the old one. As technology changed people were given
    yet another upgrade deal with a nanny state government
    agency, the average person can't just change braille devices. Let's
    not even go into how much people are asked to pay for maintenance. I
    think that the orbit reader would be great for today's mobile
    technology. I don't want this to be read as a rail against the AT
    industry because it isn't. I don't consider less expensive braille
    displays as devaluation it is a way to keep braille relevant. Keep up
    the good work that you do. Whether I agree or not, I always find it

    Rebecca Skipper had thoughts about what tech mattered most to her during 2016.

    "I thought your top ten list was compelling though for me, the iPhone SE is a significant event because it could be a meaningful competitor in the phone market if you want something more affordable.
    The fact that Android is becoming more expensive on Google Nexis still surprises me.
    While I like the idea of self-driving and autonomous vehicles, I am concerned about the potential for massive job loss at a time when certain political figures tout bringing back manufacturing.
    I have a feeling that automation is what causes job loss.
    I predict that politics will slow the development of self-driving cars.
    I read somewhere that California wants to tax self-driving cars.
    Will blind people really be that trusting of automated cars?
    As for VFO, I am concerned about prices and how this might impact JAWS.
    Will I be motivated to upgrade my SMA two years from now.
    Will prices go up?
    Will this affect Hims and Humanware?
    How will the availability of Orbit Reader 20 change the game?

    We are living in interesting and uncertain times."

    We sure are. Perhaps that might be a line we will say often in 2017? Ah CSUN17, we assume you hold many answers to this common question.

    Last Word:

    The first edition of 2017 caries over some familiar aspects with a YouTube clip and a story about food. Why fix what ain't broke, right?
    The Most Overused Sound Effect in Movie Trailers (2017 film trailers cut together
    Wisconsin Cows Miss Out After Thousands of Red Skittles Spill Out on a highway

    Next week we'll feature Shelly's interview with VFO/AI Squared's Scott Moore about what is new in ZoomText 11. Have a great week everyone!

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    A more traditional BBQ awaits those who download the episode this week. J.J. and Joe return with news and thoughts on Ridesharing trips to busy places. Shelly Brisbin, this time in prerecorded interview form, has an interview about the new ZoomText 11. Plus we have words for the "Last Word". Throw in a tip about Apple TV, audio mix well, and let sit until fully downloaded. Served best in stereo. Enjoy!

    Shout out to APH this week for the kind retweets. They just recently updated their Braille Badges for iOS. You can find out more about them by visiting this link.

    In The News:

    Watch a Video of DISH Accessibility Features on the Hopper 3 DVR

    Mike May Sets his Destination as Seattle Lighthouse President

    The Apex of Price Cuts: BrailleNote Apex from $1,995 from Humanware

    Applicants Accepted for The Holman Prize, a $25,000 Aspirational Awarde

    No excuses, Uncle Sam is Accessible with Hundreds of IRS Tax Forms

    The Hashtag you have Reached, #CSUN17, has been Changed. The new Hashtag is #CSUNATC17

    Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini

    All heads are not created equal. That's why we have added mini versions of our popular Aftershokz Trekz Titanium bone conduction headsets to the A T Guys store. They have the exact same features and sound as their bigger cousins; they're just about 2 inches shorter. They're available now in slate grey or hot pink. You can check out all of the Aftershokz products at A T Guys.

    Interview: Scott Moore Talks ZoomText 11

    Shelly Brisbin brings us audio from ATIA 2017. She sits down with Lee Huffman, Access World, and Scott Moore, VFO-Ai Squared, to discuss the new features found in the recently released ZoomText 11. Geometric Smoothing, a newly updated User Interface and compatibility with JAWS are just some of the improvements mentioned in this conversation. To learn more about upgrades to version 11, or if you would like to take on a 60 day trial, visit

    Tip: Go Home Again With Apple TV 4th Generation

    The recent tvOS update added this new thing called the TV app. Joe notes that the new app might help with staying up to date on your fave TV series, however, he missed the old behavior of the Apple TV Remote's Home button. To revert the Home button back to the way it used to be, go to Settings, then move down to "Remotes and Devices". Flick down once to land on the toggle for Home Button behavior. The current default is now to take you to the TV app when you press the Home Button. But if you activate the toggle, hitting the Home Button will take you back to the Home Screen. You can still access the TV app by using Siri or by hitting the Menu Button once to land focus back to the top of the Home Screen.

    Sound Off:

    Our first email is from Greg Porch who wanted us to expand on ridesharing tips.

    "Hi Guys, On the latest podcast Shelly and Joe both talked about having a text template to send to uber and lyft drivers so they can spot you more easily. Maybe its because I'm an old fart but I don't know how to do this, and for me at leas, it would be a great thing to learn if you care to do it as a tip.

    thanks, Greg"

    Joe and J.J. note that they dictate descriptions of clothing, where they are in relation to the pickup area and any other useful information that might help a driver locate them. An app can change their layout at any time, so once you have a ride on the way, explore your screen to find the Contact Driver" section in order to send a text. It is up to the Rider if they wish to state they have a Service animal with them. There are several schools of thought about that, and it is something that may take a little experimentation before you decide on a use case that works best for you.

    Next, we have two Listener updates. First from Carla;

    "Joe, I thought I would let you know that I have been using my Kindle Firestick and it s pretty accessible. The voice is not that great (very robotic sounding), but it gets the job done. I can speak to Alexa, and it will find whatever I am asking for. The main menu is also easy to navigate.

    Thanks for responding to my note about this issue.
    Carla Davis"

    And Lastly from Harry Brown about Windows 10...

    "Hi guys,
    In 2015, I wrote you to tell you that I was not going to upgrade to windows 10. Well, in 2016, I did, from windows 7, and I'm so very glad I did!
    Narrator is improved in Windows 10, and, the biggest thing is, you can use voice recognition, that's built into windows, to read documents, read web pages, launch programs, and close them, just by using narrator! I cannot speak for using it with NVDA, because I only have 2 USB ports and my microphone and my thumb drive, where I have my portable version of NVDA, are right next to each other, so I cannot have them both plugged in at the same time.
    In the next build of Windows 10, coming out later this year, we will be able to install windows 10 on computers with no version of windows on it, just by using Narrator!!!
    So, is it worth upgrading to windows 10? Absolutely it is!!!

    Great to hear, Harry, and we're happy it worked out well for you. the next version of Windows 10, set for release in April 2017, is looking like an even better experience for those who use Narrator and Braille Displays. More on that over the next few months.

    Last Word:

    Ride Hailing and verbosity take the stage in this week's edition.
    5 Stars
    2017 wasn't bad enough, so Merriam-Webster added all these cringeworthy words to the dictionary

    Another regular format show arrives with episode 91 next week. Then 92, and then, well. We'll see. Because our CSUN 2017 coverage is less than a month away! We've got a special treat for audiobook fans and historians next week, so stay tuned.

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    Chances are, dear Listener of this humble podcast, you might enjoy the occasional audiobook from time to time. Have you ever pondered the history of the Talking Book medium? In this week's episode we'll do just that with author Matt Rubery, cover some of the latest news from around the Blindness A.T. sphere and then marvel at the strands of time in the "Last Word".

    In The News:

    The Next Update to NVDA will Bring Major Access Improvements to Kindle Books

    Shortly after we recorded this, the beta of NVDA with this feature was released.
    NVDA's first 2017 Release Features Kindle, Edge, and Office Changes

    NVDA Remote Access Releases Version 2.0, bringing several improvements and a new Feature

    This Ain't your Father'sChromeVox; Major Updates for Chrome's Screen Reader

    Amazon is on Fire with TV Accessibility

    The VFO Group Releases Magic 14 enhancing Mouse Echo, Upgrading Vocalizer Voices, and More

    Simple navigation can now be accessed when you use Windows and Bard Express

    Saudi Arabia University Students Seeking Quick Feedback on iOS Game Development

    All Androids are not created equal


    Talking books are a service that many of us take for granted, but the way we got to this point is quite fascinating. Many early books were chosen because they would be suitable reading for a blind person, not because of popularity. Professor Matthew Rubery explores this and other topics in his new book, The Untold Story of the Talking Book. He joined the podcast to talk about some of this history, including a rare find of a recording of perhaps the first audiobook ever made for the blind which we sample during the interview.

    Originally from Texas, Matt Rubery is a Professor of Modern Literature at Queen Mary University of London where he focuses on modern literature, media, and reading practices.

    The book is available from Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, though we wager that many of you will be interested in the audiobook version of this history of audiobooks. Select other formats from the link above to find the book on CD or for Audible users.

    Also, check out Matt's fascinating blog on audiobook history or find him on Twitter @mattrubery.

    Tip: Google Knowledge Front and Center

    J.J. gives a few examples of how Google search results make it simple to find simple information, such as the current time and temperature or track listings for an album.

    Sound off;

    Joe, not the one from BBQ, but the one who we featured from the YouTube clip about Dish's Hopper TTS, left us a kind note on the episode 90 comments section:

    "This is Joe from the hopper review. I loved it guys thanks been listening for a long time."

    From the same show, this time from an email, Russ had a question about the Ai Squared interview.

    "After listening to Shelly Brisbin's interview with Scott Moore, VFO-Ai Squared, I was wondering why she didn't ask Scott Moore what the future
    status of Window-Eyes is? A nunber of Window-Eyes users would like to know this as well? Perhaps you can ask someone from the VFO group at CSUN? I see
    a number of employees have left AI Squared?"

    The subject of the interview focused mainly on the release of the new version of ZoomText. Perhaps we'll learn more when we hit sunny San Diego in a few weeks.

    Long time Listener Beth, or as we know her "Snowbunny", asked this question in a recent email.

    "Hi, wonder why there hasn't been a notetaker built around Firefox yet, I've heard that is much better and more secure than I.E., though security is not a concern with notetakers using Windows CE regarding viruses. Beth"

    The Braille Note Touch, and other note takers that can access the Google Play Store, can use the Firefox web browser. In fact, the web browser on the Touch is based on Firefox for Android. Firefox OS, however, was recently shuttered by Mozilla. We weren't aware of anyone in the industry considering that platform for their chosen operating system though. You can also use firefox, and Chrome on iOS in case those out there who were not running Android were wondering about that. There are some advantages to running both browsers on Android. However, with iOS, you might find that the behaviors displayed by alternative browsers might not feel as comfortable as sticking with the default Safari in Appleland.

    And from Twitter, regarding Patrick's recent airplane tip:

    @Blindtravel:That BlindSquare airplane tip is pretty cool. Now I wanna fly somewhere. lol

    That one was a couple of episodes back, and our first recording from an airplane.

    Last Word:

    100 metronomes

    And from the Consumer Electronics show,
    Moen's $2,000 Smart Shower

    Remember the ElBraille? It was a new approach to notetakers announced at CSUN in 2016 by Freedom Scientific, but never released in the U.S. A year later, the next version is about to be introduced at CSUN, and we'll have all the details and much more in our last show before the big conference. See you next time.

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    ElBraille splashed onto the scene at last year's CSUN. Yet not much is known about it beyond those initial waves. J.J. sits down with Adi Kushnir, who has been working with the Elita Group, to talk about what has changed and what we can expect from it in the very near future. We also have the Caped Crusader as a guest for the tip, conversations about Ride Sharing in "Sound Off" and we take a trip down the old dusty trail in the "Last Word".

    In The News:

    Live on the Edge, or have an Ultra Lifestyle? An In-depth review of HIMS and Baum Braille Displays

    Blindo Android App allows you to rate and share your Talkback labels

    The new issue of Access World offers resources for Low Vision Awareness month

    Announcing Project Phoenix - Help us fund an all-new version of Twitterrific for macOS!

    DAISY has up some great info for those attending CSUN soon

    Ohio State Survey Examines Race Perceptions of Blind People

    Interview: ElBraille

    Astute followers may note that the ElBraille is a product we've posted about before, such as this CSUN 2016 article from Scott. As it turns out, Freedom Scientific decided to hold off on releasing this Windows 10 braille display dock to the masses until it was retooled and improved.
    Adi Kushnir has worked with the Elita Group, a Russian assistive technology company, in the update and re-release of the ElBraille, and joins us to preview the device just ahead of its 2nd debut at CSUN 2017. Also, we talk about a forthcoming 40-cell model which is also in the pipeline.

    Check out the forthcoming Elbraille website or Email


    "The LEGO Batman Movie" is now in theaters and it is a wonderful comedy for the whole family. Siri is in the movie a whole lot, and thanks to a promotion with Apple, you too can ask the digital assistant some questions like the Dark Knight. Just ask Siri: "Hey Computer" to hear some movie-related answers. You may want to hurry though as this promotion may be limited to a particular length of Bat Time.

    Sound Off:

    Chris Wright sent along some thoughts about Android pitfalls.


    This episode was great as always. I'd like to comment on a couple things related to Android. First, it's possible to get newer versions of the OS on a device that isn't officially supported by using custom roms. I am using a 2013 Nexus 7 that is running Nougat thanks to a custom rom. Having said that, I realize this type of device modification isn't feasible for some people. Still, I like the extra flexibility. You can't do this kind of thing on an iPhone. When Apple stops supporting your model, you're screwed and must purchase another device.

    I know this has been said before, but I hope Humanware updates Android on the BrailleNote Touch. I was shocked to hear that the unit would ship with an old version of Android when 5.0 and 6.0 have major accessibility improvements in things like web views. If they don't, we're going to end up at the same place we were with the Apex as Android 4.4 becomes more and more obsolete. Keep up the great work on the podcast. I listen to each episode as it is released."

    Stanley Littrell notes that we had some fun at the end of the show. Bonus tip, you want to listen again to the end this week, Stanley.

    "I should have known that that voice would show up at the end of the podcast. I also hate the ESPEAK voice. Hate may be too strong a word but it is the nearest word that fits."

    And here are some tweets sent to the @blindbargains account

    BlinkSanDiego re episodes 89/90, @uber driver said to call if you want to contact immediately. There's delay w/ txt.

    krishnajariwala: I try to text first so as not to distract them from driving.

    APHfortheBlind: Thanks for the acknowledgement and mention of Braille Badges. Always looking for suggestions for possible new ones too.

    mfeir: @mattrubery I've begun listening to your book and enjoy it immensely. You write well and Audible chose a good narrator.

    SnowspriteGirl: I hate when american narrators read in fake Brit accents. Makes me want to throw things.

    Last Word:

    Historical games and more Bluetooth goodness for this week's edition of the web-related oddities.
    Forgotten history of Oregon Trail
    And, more CES gadgets. If you weren't enthused about the Smart Shower from last week, how about this Smart Toaster?

    Okay, that is it until the metric ton of audio descends from the clouds over us at CSUN. We'll then be back with the wrap-up show. after we sleep for a week that is... See everyone soon from Sunny San Diego!

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    Joe and Dave Wilkinson, National Education Manager for HIMS, are hidden away in an undisclosed location in order to give listeners a deeper dive into the newest in the Braille Sense product line. The Braille Sense polaris, shipping later in 2017, is a 32 braille cell notetaker that sports a slim design with the same quiet Braille input keys HIMS is already known for in the Industry. Hear Dave take Joe on a tour of some of the menus, basic features and a surprise or two along the way. To learn more about the Polaris, visit

    Find all of our CSUN coverage and weekly podcast on our audio page, and discover how to access our content from your mobile devices by visiting our apps page.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Following up on our recent coverage of the next software release of the VarioUltra, David Bradburn, President of BaumUSA joins Joe to talk about what's new in the latest release for this smart braille display. David discusses some of the new features including the ability to unlock an iPhone from the display, the Vario 340 USB braille display, and improvements to the VisioBook Video Magnifier which is sold in the U.S. by the American Printing House for the Blind. He also discusses the Visio 500, a CCTV designed specifically for workplaces, allowing for a computer keyboard to sit in front of the display's X-Y table.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Acustica bills themselves as "The Swiss Watch for all senses"". Joe is joined by Stephan Morker from the Swiss Association Of and For the Blind to learn more about this watch which includes Swiss Quartz movement, a vibration module, and speech output among other features. They are looking for a U.S.-based distributor and hope to be ready for release by Christmas 2017.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Indoor navigation is a topic that has been gaining more attention of late, and an Israeli startup demonstrated a solution which is now available for iOS and Android. Shelly speaks with Idan Meir from Right-Hear to learn about their accessible navigational solution and also heads downstairs to try out a live demo at the Grand Hyatt. You can find the free app on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The American printing House and Orbit Research brought their latest toys to CSUN including the latest prototype of the Graphiti, a graphical tactile tablet which was announced last summer J.J. gets a live demo from Ken Perry, an engineer and project manager for APH and Venkatesh Chari, President/CTO of Orbit Research in this podcast. The Graphiti has quite a few possible applications, many of which are still being explored including support for graphing calculators and tactile games. It can also act as a display for computers and will feature an open API for anyone who wants to write their own code to interface with the unit. Expect the Graphiti to land some time in 2018.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    AudioEye is a company which believes they can fix inaccessible websites through technology instead of consultants and one day hopes that all website accessibility errors can be fixed automatically. Joe speaks with Jeffrey Jones, Vice President of Technology for AudioEye to explore just how much computer intelligence can solve the world's web accessibility problems.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Joe was looking forward to his annual trek to the Ambutech booth to talk with Gordon, but apparently Gordon was trying to hide from Joe. Instead, we bring you the equally capable Mellyssa Light who works with customer service for Ambutech to learn about a variety of new products from the company. A new flex tip can contour itself based on different surfaces and can be used for either tapping or gliding. IN addition, A new adapter will help those who may have purchased the wrong type of tip for their cane. They also showed a prototype of a new type of cane hook which attaches to the top of a cane and designed to balance the cane and lessen fatigue. A high mileage roller ball tip is designed for those who travel often and lasts 2 to 3 times longer than the traditional roller ball tip.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Introduced last summer at the World Blind Union and ICEVI General Assembly in Orlando, The Braillo 300 S2 is a redesigned double-sided embosser which prints on tractor feed paper at 300 characters per second or roughly 1,000 pages per hour. Robert Jaquiss, Sales Engineer for American Thermoform Corporation tells J.J. more about this embosser which is designed for transcribing houses and schools. These machines are built for longevity, and users could theoretically get replacement parts 30 years from now, according to Jaquiss. The commercial-grade embosser retails for $23,000 but is on sale for 10 percent off for a limited time.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    We love the candidness from the expanding team at NVAccess about the direction that NVDA is taking and were thrilled they came over to our suite to share some of the latest developments. J.J. is joined by Jamie Teh, Reef Turner, Quentin Christensen, and Mick Curran to discuss a variety of topics including expanded Amazon Kindle and Microsoft Office support, new and expanded training materials, and a certification program that is now available for trainers. We also explore some of the possibilities for the future including contracted braille input and discuss the screen reader landscape and how NVDA fits into the future of assistive technology.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    If you ever went to a store and wondered if you could buy the same item for less online, a new update for the I.D. Mate Galaxy may be of use. David Raistrick, Vice President and CTO for En-Vision America joins Joe to talk about the new online price check feature which will contact Amazon, Walmart, Jet, and other stores to see how much that item you scanned will cost.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The NeoBraille is a product we first played with in 2016 but it was subsequently retooled and improved before it was ever released. Thomas Simpson, the Director of Marketing for Irie-AT and Young-Gwan Noh, President and Tony Han, Sales Manager for NeoAccess join J.J. for an in-depth demonstration of the refreshed NeoBraille, which will soon be available for $4,995. The new version of this Android notetaker features Amazon Alexa support similar to the Amazon Tap as well as support for Amazon's App Store.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The ONYX electronic video magnifier from Freedom Scientific, a part of VFO, now includes the capability to read text through OCR. Shelly speaks with Bill Kilroy, Sales Director for VFO's Northeast Territory, to learn about and hear a demo of this new magnifier. The new ONYX OCR features a 24-inch touch screen, distance viewing, a self view mode if you wish to magnify yourself, and the aforementioned OCR features.

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    After a lot of waiting, the Dot Watch, the first refreshable braille smart watch, is just about ready for primetime. Alex Lee, Director of Sales and Marketing for Dot Incorporation joins J.J. to talk about the watch and its many features including display of the time and date, battery percentage in graphical form, and the ability to read notifications and incoming call alerts. More features will be added over time, largely powered by the Dot apps for iOS and Android.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    There is a lot of magnification products at CSUN but Enhanced Vision has debuted something a bit different. The MoJo Electronic Monocular is a battery-operated and full-color monocular designed to view things that are near you such as text, store prices, or mail as well as some things further away including street signs. Joe speaks with Marc Stenzel, President of Enhanced Vision to learn about the MoJo and its many uses, including as a portable travel aid and a CCTV when placed in its docking station. Mark also teases the return of the Jordy, a popular head-mounted magnification unit which will relaunch in the coming months.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    A year ago, Humanware debuted the BrailleNote Touch at CSUN as the first combination Android notetaker and tablet. Since that time, a lot has changed with the Touch and other Humanware products, so Joe caught up with Greg Stilson, Product Manager for Blindness Products for Humanware to learn what's happening. Version 3.0 of the BrailleNote Touch firmware, scheduled for release in March, has improved support for webviews, thanks to the use of newer Android accessibility components. KeyWord now will let you switch between multiple documents, and users can have up to 10 language profiles available at one time. Meanwhile, Version 2.0 of the Prodigi Connect now supports Bookshare which allows a user to read over 500,000 books directly on the device within the confines of the video magnifier. The Victor Reader Stream 2 has a new forthcoming release which focuses on updates for European countries including support for dynamic menus, a feature used especially by libraries. additionally, a numeric keypad mode has been added for input, notes can be renumbered, and time synchronization has been improved. Much more, including Greg attempting some math, is included in this extended interview.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The Sunu Band Ultrasonic Smart-Watch is a wearable device which includes a variety of sensors and features to aid the wearer in navigating indoor and outdoor spaces. J.J. is joined by Marco Trujillo, CEO of Sunu who tells us more about the device which will also soon connect to additional apps, such as those for GPS navigation and fitness tracking. Sunu will have mobile apps available soon as well.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is a fancy name, but simply put,it is a system which can return vision to persons with certain eye conditions. It's also an operation that may be covered by insurance in some states. J.J. is joined by Duane Tsutsui, Head of Marketing for Second Sight Medical Products to learn about how the system works and also of upcoming field trials which may bring vision to a wider array of individuals.

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    Reinecker Vision offers a range of desktop video magnifiers and reading systems, starting with a 16-inch model for under $2,000. Shelly is joined by Melissa Balbach, the Master Importer for Reinecker Vision, to get an update on the latest happenings from the company.

    Blind Bargains audio coverage of CSUN 2017 is generously sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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    Be My Eyes was one of the first of what we have commonly called crowd assistance apps and has expanded over the past two years to offer a network of hundreds of thousands of sighted volunteers helhelping tens of thousands of blind and visually impaired users. Alexander Hauerslev Jensen, who works with partnerships and business development for Be My Eyes, talks with Shelly about some of the latest developments with the app and what to expect in the next version for iOS and soon Android. The new app will let users request help with a specific specialty such as computers or cooking, add a rating system, and let volunteers select windows where they wish to be available among other features.

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    North State AT has featured specialized Android tablets which also do OCR and text-to-speech for awhile, but now they have expanded, or should we say contracted, their lineup to add a smaller 10-inch model as well as a Windows-based Tablet. Joe speaks with Cory Hanosh, owner of NorthState Assistive Technology, to learn about the company's latest options especially geared toward students and the education market.

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    Desmos is a company that uses the slogan "Beautiful, free math" and thanks to recent efforts, beautiful also means accessible. Jason Merrill is the lead engineer for the Desmos Graphing Calculator, a free tool that students or anyone can use to perform simple or mor advanced calculations. J.J. joins Jason who provides an audio demo of the calculator and explains some of the ways his team has made a visual graphing calculator more auditory. By the way, former AI Squared employee Steven Clower is also involved in this project, though some canceled flights prevented him from making an appearance with us this week.

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    Amazon continues to expand the availability of their VoiceView screen reader for mobile devices while also embarking on a variety of accessibility initiatives. Shelly is joined by Peter Korn, Accessibility Architect for Amazon and Jamie Teh, Executive Director for NVAccess for an interview which features two live demos: reading kindle books with NVDA and accessing content with VoiceView for Amazon's Fire TV. Other initiatives from Amazon are also discussed in this podcast.

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    For tech companies, CSUN is largely about sharing, selling, and finding new products but there are many other reasons to attend a large assistive technology conference. J.J. speaks with Section 508 Program Engineer Noel Romey and Section 508 Program Manager Christina Larsen from the U.S. military's Defense Logistics Agency to learn about how their office helps disabled employees obtain the assistive technology they need and some of the other services they provide.

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    Dolphin has found a lot of success with their Guide product which provide a simple interface to reading and other features, and now they have taken this idea a step further with the Dolphin GuideReader, an all-in-one book and newspaper reading device in tablet or set-top box form. Shelly speaks with Dolphin Sales Director Steve Bennet who explains the machines and gives a brief demonstration in this podcast. The GuideReader is distributed in the U.S. by Irie-AT.

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    TriSight specializes in magnification and OCR products and introduced two such devices at CSUN. The Mercury 12 is a WIndows-based tablet with magnification and full-page optical character recognition while the Patriot Voice Plus is a stand-alone reading machine which also accepts voice input. In this podcast, Shelly speaks with Umang Dua, the President of TrySight to learn about these products.

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    The Tap Strap Wearable Keyboard is a unique way to type with one hand, allowing you to input text into your phone using virtually any surface. Kyra Sweeney from Tap Systems joins guest interviewer Buddy Brannan to explain how this system works and can potentially be faster than touch typing using VoiceOver.

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    Crowd assistance platform Aira is expanding and now opening up its app to a new round of users which they call pioneers. J.J. is joined by Aira CEO Suman Kanuganti to talk about the latest developments with the service including a new more affordable pricing level and app integrations including Uber.

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    The Acuity is a 22-inch touch screen desktop video magnifier with multi-touch technology which acts as a plug-and-play magnification and OCR solution. Shelly speaks with Seamus Doyle, President of Irish company Rehan Electronics to learn more about this product which is now being distributed in the U.S. by Irie-AT.

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    The KNFB Reader for Windows was officially anounced at CSUN, bringing a low-cost OCR solution to the PC market. Although the $19.95 initial price is no longer available, the Windows 10 app still clocks in at under $100. Listen to the unveiling from the Microsoft Suite at the conference with KNFB's James Gashel and Joel Zimba and Microsoft's Jenny Lay-Flurrie.

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    The BrailleSense Polaris received a lot of attention at the CSUN conference including at a session from Hims on Friday morning. In this CSUN session podcast, Dave Wilkinson, Damian Pickering, and Matthew Gonzalez talk more about the device and answer audience questions.
    You can learn more by visiting the BrailleSense Polaris page on the Hims website.

    We would like to thank Hims for sponsoring this content from CSUN 2017, and encourage you to look out for our CSUN wrap-up podcast coming soon.

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    The eSight 3 is a set of electronic glasses that can help to improve vision for those with some sight, especially for those with central vision loss. The new version is faster, lighter, and priced lower than the previous model at $9,995. Shelly speaks with Patrick Wallace, Vice President of Business Development for eSight, who talks about the latest advancements in eyeware from the company and how they may help low vision users.

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    The Actilino is a new 16-cell braille display which features HandyTech's signature Active Tactile Control which will scroll text based on the position of your fingers. It also includes basic notetaking functions, a microphone, and Bluetooth speaker and can be paired with up to 3 devices at once. TO learn more, Chancey speaks with Earle Harrison, President of Triumph Technology and Sigi Kipke, CEO and Owner of HandyTech who both talk about the display and the future of braille technology.

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    Automated accessibility checking is a common tool used to help website owners make their sites more usable for disabled users, and now this same idea is available in the Google Suite of products. Shelly speaks with Jeff Mills, one of the cofounders of Grackle Docs, to learn about this add-on that can be installed into Google Docs to check for common accessibility errors. The company has several free and paid tools which integrate with a variety of Google services.

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    The GoVision Transportable Video Magnifier from Hims has received some updates in recent months in both hardware and software. It's now available in 19 and 24-inch models and can be paired with a secondary full-page OCR camera. A recent firmware update supports .PDF among other features. Listen in as Paul Stevenson from Hims gives a tour of the current version of the GoVision and answers questions from session attendees. You can learn more from the Hims GoVision page.

    We would like to thank Hims for sponsoring this content from CSUN 2017, and encourage you to look out for our CSUN wrap-up podcast coming soon.

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    Blind Bargains Qast 93: The 2017 #CSUNATC17 Wrap-up Show; Promises Promises

    We may not be the fastest at publishing our CSUN wrap-up show (it takes some time to recover, ya know?), but we betcha it'll be one of the most informative. Now that things have begun to sink in, J.J., Joe, The Parallel's Shelly Brisbin, and Scott Davert discuss what they saw and heard while covering CSUN from San Diego and beyond.


    Thanks to Hims for sponsoring this wrap-up show from CSUN 2017. Hims presented 2 sessions at the CSUN conference which you can listen to below:

    Hims BrailleSense Polaris Debut
    Hims GoVision Updates and Highlights

    For more information, call 888-520-4467 or visit

    CSUN 2017 Coverage

    in case you've been living under a rock, we've posted a ton of CSUN coverage in both audio and text form. For your reference, here it is, roughly sorted by category. We discuss many of the below items and more on the wrap-up show.

    Braille and Notetakers

    Baum Unlocks the Future of the Vario Ultra While Magnifying Visio Magnifier Options
    ElBraille is Coming, and it Will Be Better Than Advertized Last year.
    A Graphic Interview with APH and Orbit Research on the Graphiti Tablet
    HandyTech Joins the Small Braille Display Battle with Actilino, a 16-cell Model
    HandyTech's Actilino is a 16-cell Swiss Army Knife
    Hims and Android, It Just Makes Braille Sense
    Humanware Releases BrailleNote Touch 3.0 Update with More Voices, Improved Web Support
    Humanware is Updating All the Things
    The NeoBraille Redux
    NeoBraille Will have Lots of Skills Other Notetakers Won't
    A Relatively Affordable Production Braille Embosser from American Thermoform
    Sendero Announces Sendero GPS 2017; Offers discounts on Anual Subscriptions to its apps
    A Star Is Born With The New HIMS Polaris

    Low Vision

    Enhanced Vision has some MoJo, Plus the Return of the Jordy
    The eSight 3: Faster, Smaller, Cheaper Glasses to Improve Vision
    NorthState AT Enlarges Tablet Options for Low Vision Users
    Read Your Books and Newspapers with the new Dolphin GuideReader
    Rehan Electronics Shows off the Acuity Desktop Video Magnifier with OCR
    Reinecker Talks Mezzo, Magnification, and More
    TrySight Tries Windows 12-inch Magnifier, Stand-alone Reading Machine
    VFO Adds OCR to the ONYX Video Magnifier

    Mobile, Apps, and Wearables

    Acustica Says They Have the Watch for All Senses
    Aira Goes Beyond Exploring to Expand Crowd Assistance Options
    Be my Eyes Nears One Million Available Eyes; Launching Updated App with New Features
    The Dot Watch is Real, and Brings Braille to your Wrist
    Google Demonstrates Features of TalkBack 5.2 for Android; Teases Contracted Braille Input for BrailleBack
    KNFB Reader for Windows is Here for Under 20 Bucks for the Moment
    The KNFB Reader for Windows Unveiling
    Right-Hear App Helps you Find What's Here and There While Indoors
    Tapping Your Way to Faster Typing with a Wearable Keyboard
    Wearable Navigation with the Sunu Band Smart-Watch
    Windows Finally Gets Some Recognition With KNFB Reader


    Amazon Rekindles the Fire with Expanded VoiceView
    Ambutech Gets Creative with Cane Tips and Accessories
    AudioEye Wants to Fix Accessibility Errors through Technology
    Desmos Makes Calculated Accessibility Moves with their Free Math Tools
    How the U.S. Military and the DLA Benefit from CSUN
    Price Check at Booth 401, Now Available for the I.D. Mate Galaxy
    Second Sight May be able to Bring you Sight this Second
    The Song of the Grackle Makes Google Docs More Accessible
    The Winding and Long Road for NVAccess

    More Coverage

    There's even more from CSUN outside our world. Here's some links we liked:

    CSUN 2017 Coverage from RNIB Connect's Tech Talk podcast, including a short interview with J.J.
    CSUN 2017 Megalist of Presentation Resources for Digital Professionals from Dennis Deacon
    Official CSUN Conference Overview

    Finally, Joe mentioned this story about a recent airline incident:

    Blind Maine woman describes getting kicked off plane with service dog

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    J.J., Joe and Patrick are back in the studio to talk news post CSUN. And there tends to be a bit of a theme this go around as we talk about stories with numeric values. TalkBack 5.2, WCAG 2.1 and that brand new Apple File System in the iOS 10.3 update take center stage this week. We also have a tip and a quick look at "Sound Off". This episode is shorter than usual, however, you may find it memorable just the same.

    In the News

    Apple Releases iOS 10.3; Bringing a Number of VoiceOver Fixes, but also Introducing at Least One New Bug of Note
    Coming Soon WCAG 2.1: Perhaps the Most Important Web Acronym for Accessibility
    TalkBack 5.2 Public Beta Released; Gets Rid of Much Maligned Xylophones and Adds Verbosity Settings
    The Google Assistant is coming to more Android phones

    Tip: Testing your Dictionary

    Patrick has been playing with his shiny new Franklin Language Master SE and reveals some hidden commands that may be useful.

    We've got more news, interviews, and features coming up next week as we continue to return to normal. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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    This week, we got a bit of something for everyone. John Taylor from Irie-AT demonstrates the new Index FanFold-D V5 braille embosser. Listener Aaron Spears demonstrates a Bluetooth bathroom scale, and we have just a bit of feedback from last week's podcast. All of that and a bit of technology and legos in last word for podcast 95.

    Sponsor: HIMS Inc.

    Go make it happen with GoVision, the new transportable video magnifier from HIMS.
    With goVision you get all you'd expect from a transportable read, write and distance video magnifier with optical character recognition, plus the ability to enlarge and customize files, photos or videos from your cell phone, tablet or computer. Look at a slideshow of pictures from your vacation right from your thumb drive. Bring the world into focus with GoVision.
    For more information, call us at 888-520-4467, or visit us on the web at
    HIMS. Lifestyle Innovation.

    In the News

    Moment Wearable Shipping This Summer; Buoyed by $100,000 Prize

    SuperNova 16.03 Update Released with Windows 10

    Twitter Associates Missing Profile Pics with Spammers; How to Ensure Your Account Isn't Muted

    The Post Office May Now Scan your Mail for You, Leading to Potentially More Accessibility

    Researcher Seeks Feedback from Wordpress Admins

    Add Verizon Fios to the List of Companies Offering Text to Speech for their Set Top Boxes

    istory Uncovered: Another Early Audio Book Travels to APH Museum

    Voxygen's Witch Voice and More can Now Grace your Screen Reader

    Interview: John Taylor from Irie-AT

    Believe it or not, we couldn't get to everything at CSUN, but luckily there are more conferences on the horizon. At the CTEBVI conference near San Francisco, J.J. caught up with John Taylor, Product Manager for Irie-AT to learn about the Index FanFold-D V5 braille embosser, a high-volume model designed for production use. It's actually rather quiet considering its power as you will hear in the podcast.

    Demonstration: A Bluetooth Bathroom Scale

    Talking scales are so last century. Listener Aaron Spears demonstrates the BALLYS BLS-7361 digital bathrom scale and shows how you can use a smartphone to track your weight and other body measurements. It's available for about 50 bucks on Amazon.

    Tip: iOS on Slow Speed

    iOS 10.3.1 has added an interesting new feature which can help you speed up your phone by finding out which apps are slowing it down. Joe gives you the speedy details in this week's tip.

    Sound off:

    To say we received a bit of feedback on podcast 94 would be a bit of an understatement. Here's a selection of notes that came in:

    From Kevin Berry:

    Having listened to your podcast since its inception, and knowing the time of year, I eagerly looked forward to the most recent edition. However, instead I listened, for a little while, to a terribly edited mishmash of repeats and chops. You said Patrick was not feeling well but I fear for him if this is what he produced.
    Better luck next year.

    From Ali Moosa:

    Hi Joe,
    Was there a technical issue with episode 94? A lot of sections kept repeating over and over several times throughout the show.
    Hope to hear from you soon,

    From Kathy Blackburn:

    You have to know it was annoying. I'm even more annoyed that I find it necessary to use energy I could better spend on other things to compose this message. The repetition wasn't funny; it was just irritating. Please banish that trick down the memory hole: permanently.

    From Juan Avila

    That podcast kind of sucked. The same 2 thingskept repeating over and over. Last year's was better. You should replayed it.

    From Stanley Littrell:

    I was listening to your bbq podcast on my echo. I quickly realized that I was going to have a weird treat in store for me because several segments were heard multiple times. One example was the iOS update. Take care.

    From @douglas2005 on Twitter:

    I was glad to learn about iOS 10.3 in the @blindbargains podcast 94. I was glad to learn about iOS 10.3 in the @blindbargains podcast 94.

    To explain everything, Patrick gives the dish on how he put episode 94 together.

    Last Word:

    Joe bring us The 20 Most Successful Technology Failures of All Time

    And time is running out to get Nimuno Loops - The Toy Block Tape from Indiegogo which lets you put legos on just about anything.

    We've got Lots of cool things planned for the coming weeks, and we hope you continue to send in your comments, tips, and reviews as well. See you for 96 next time.

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    Rest your fingers on that home row, and get ready for another Blind Bargains Qast with variety. David Pinto of YesAccessible joins J.J. for part 1 of a demo of TypeAbility, a typing tutor program for the PC. We also demo the NutriBullet blender, include a Windows 10 cleanup tip, and talk music and smartthings in our last word.

    In the News:

    A Simple Guide to Accessibly Installing the Windows 10 Creators Update

    Jaws 18's April Update Includes Google Docs and Office Enhancements, New Alva Braille Driver

    South Korea First to Offer Braille Passports

    Learning Ally Adds Another Link, Bringing Mobile App to Android Devices

    Its over now... but keep an ear out for next year.
    Place your Bids; Over 500 Items in The Seeing Eye's Annual Auction


    J.J. has more audio to share from the CTEBVI conference near San Francisco. This time, it's part 1 of a demonstration of TypeAbility from YesAccessible. David Pinto has put a lot of thought into making a typing program sound fun and interesting, as you'll hear in this demo. Check out the link above to learn more or purchase the program.

    Demo: NutriBullet blender

    J.J. reviews this 600-watt powerhouse for making smoothies and other delicious drinks. You can get this beast on Amazon for under 80 bucks or check out the more powerful pro model for under $100.

    Here are some recipes from Blendtec, many of which will work in less powerful blenders such as the NutriBullet.

    Tip: Stop Hogging my Space

    J.J. clears out over 18GB of space using a classic tool, Windows Disk Cleanup, much of which came from installing the Creators Update.

    Sound Off:

    Benjamin Moser starts us off:

    Hey Folks
    You asked about apps going away and replacements. Inote is the free currency recognition app from the US Bureau of Engraving. Here is a free replacement.
    NantMobile Money Reader by IPPLEX

    From Lydia Alverson:

    Dear BBQ team,
    I just finished listening to episode 95. When you mentioned using people's voice in blindness-related products, I had this thought. Wouldn't it fun to have your voice as one of the Voice Over voices, Joe? How about you, J.J.? Sorry, I'm just curious.
    Anyway, keep up the great work.
    P.S.. Hey, Patrick. I'd love to hear your voice on a talking watch someday.

    I don't think we could pay Patrick enough to be the voice of a clock, but Ricky will actually be in a forthcoming A T Guys product, so stay tuned.

    From the website, here's one from JEkis on our post office story from last week:

    Unfortunately, the scanned images of the mail don't OCR Very Well at all. It might have improved since I tried it last month though. Keep in mind, you get images of all the mail sent to your address, not just what's addressed to you personally.

    We'll definitely try this out once it's available in our area. Perhaps they need some accessibility love.

    Last Word:

    10 Second Songs, RHCP addition
    The Everyday Smart Bra: Your Intuitive Wellness Coach

    We'll revisit TypeAbility in a forthcoming podcast as well as talk about movies, games, and much more. Keep those cards and letters coming folks, and thanks for listening.

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    The Easter Bunny may have taken all his candy with him last weekend. However, he did leave behind some gems in all that fake grass that seems to never come out of the carpet no matter how many times you roll a vacuum over the blasted stuff. J.J. continues his typing lessons with David Pinto, Joe compares prices with his fave kitchen scanning device and we have Steven Clower on hand for a mac related tip. All of that plus the "Sound Off" and "Last Word" in one more episode that moves us ever closer to the triple digit mark.

    Sponsor: HIMS Inc.

    Go make it happen with GoVision, the new transportable video magnifier from HIMS.
    With goVision you get all you'd expect from a transportable read, write and distance video magnifier with optical character recognition, plus the ability to enlarge and customize files, photos or videos from your cell phone, tablet or computer. Look at a slideshow of pictures from your vacation right from your thumb drive. Bring the world into focus with GoVision.
    For more information, call us at 888-520-4467, or visit us on the web at
    HIMS. Lifestyle Innovation.

    In The News:

    Getting Creative With Braille On Windows: a Look At Beta Braille Support With the Windows 10 Update

    APH Brings Talking Typer and Hurry Scurry Game to iOS

    ZoomText Now Speaks in Four New Languages with Free 11.3 Update

    I.D. Mate North American Database moves to version 6.3.0 for Galaxy, Quest and Omni.
    Brings along improved information for Home Depot, Walmart and some regional grocery stores.

    ATIA 2018 Call for Presentations Now Open

    AFB CSUN Coverage From Some Familiar Voices In The April 2017 Issue

    One Box to Read it All: Solutions Radio Promoting the Webbox3

    Preorder Vaux, The Speaker That Turns Your Echo Dot in to a Portable Battery Powered Device

    Interview: TypeAbility with David Pinto Part 2

    David Pinto, from YesAccessible. , is back to see if J.J. truly knows his number row from his home row. Hear the second portion of our TypeAbility demo recorded from the CTEBVI event in San Francisco. If you know someone who needs to brush up on their typing, or if you are that person who needs to brush up on their typing, be sure to check out this program.

    Demonstration: I.D. Mate Galaxy's New price check feature

    In March, as you may have heard from CSUN, the I.D. Mate Galaxy gained a new Price check feature. This new mode allows you to scan a product and compare prices from retailers like Amazon, Jet and Walmart. Joe gives us a brief look at how the feature works in this demo without scanning anything too fattening.


    Steven Clower drops in to show us how to quickly copy text from the Mac's terminal to the clipboard.

    Sound Off:

    Feedback this week comes from listener emails. First up, a request from Randee.

    "Hi BB cast,
    As always love the show. Just writing in because I d like to see a demo of the air fryer. I won t have a deep fryer in my apartment because of the smell and cleanup. Also, don t want the greesy food.
    Thanks for continuing to demo and talk about the many different food items out there."

    Oh, we are so about the food here at BBQ. Did we mention those pancakes from San Diego? Mmmm.... California pancakes. Ahem, next email is from Beth.

    "Hey, guys, enjoying the podcast and just had to respond to one point: I agree, I hate I.E. with a passion but I only am using Serotek's SA and Sero products and Firefox and Chrome do not work with Serotek products. We have asked for compatibility but so far no go."

    Tune in to hear J.J.'s thoughts on this and Joe's remarks about Beth's other email sent along to us this week. Kenny writes in to talk about Windows.

    "Hi I listened to episode 96 of the blindbargains podcast, and I loved the windows 10 cleanup tip. I used the update assistant to upgrade to the anniversary update last summer and forgot to run the disk cleanup tool to get rid of the previous installation that windows love to leave behind after an upgrade."

    Ron was looking for some clarification from comments made during the Passport story last week.

    "Hi Joe. You had mentioned on air that there are some debit and or credit cards that have the numbers in Braille. Is that correct? If so, which companies and how is it being done? I have the corner clipped off on my visa debit card so I can tell the differences between my credit and debit cards. But it sure would be nice to have access to the numbers on the cards if they were brailled. Would love to ship some info on how it is done to my bank which is northwest. Many Thanks."

    Sadly, Ron, it really depends on the size and location of the entity you are working with and their level of commitment to access. A smaller local bank may not be aware of ways they could make the banking process easier. And there are some banks out and about, like wells Fargo, who go pretty far in their approach to access. The best advice we could give on the show was to investigate your specific area and inquire about services they provide. And if there aren't any, you could ask about working with someone so you could label information with assistance from that branch office.

    Staying on the Braille topic, here is Stanley with a story about gift cards.

    "Your discussion of braille on gift cards reminds me of something joyous that happened to me. When I went down to the Bay Area to visit with some longtime friends I was given a gift card from starbucks. It had some nice braille on it. I often use that card to show others what braille looks like. It is so cool to have braille appear on gift cards and other places."

    Last Word:

    I work from home

    Weird Kickstarter Campaigns Successfully Funded

    Next week, despite Joe trying to rush us toward 100, it's podcast 98, not 99. So time for those 98 Degrees references? Thanks for coming along for the ride, it's Because of You that we're able to do this podcast. And don't be the Invisible Man, keep those Emails, tweets, and comments coming because We Do, Cherish You.

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    Summer is almost here, and with it comes a bumper crop of new summer movies. We've got a real live film critic on hand, [Jay Forry, to give some suggestions about which cinematic extravaganzas are the best for beating the heat in a cool movie theater this season. We also have some tips on using your Google Home, plus "Sound Off" and the regular topics in the Last Word".

    In The News:

    Version 2.7.3 of KNFB Reader App for iOS Adds a Potentially Useful Feature for Fans of Physical Buttons

    Victor Stream 4.8 Update Adds Daisy Online, NFB-Newsline Improvements

    A Minor JAWS 18 Update Fixes Web and Thunderbird Bugs

    Leasey sees a minor update as well to incorperate the new JAWS 18 changes

    CAPTCHA Solver WebVisum May Now be Gone for Good with Firefox 53

    Interview: Jay Forry, Blind Film Critic

    You might have seen him on "Jimmy Kimmel Live", or like Joe oh so many years ago, you might have heard Jay on an FM radio station providing his take on the latest movies in the theater. Jay has written about movies for years and we thought it would be good to get an idea about what was hot for Summer 2017. Listen as Jay and Joe discuss films and how Jay approaches his craft. Also hear Joe make a major movie composer flub that he wishes he could take back upon hearing the edited interview. The full list of the movies mentioned in this review can be found in a recent article over at Jay's site.


    Joe gives some tips about proper phrasing to use when talking with your google Home. We will have a demo of the new step by step cooking mode in an upcoming show. For now, when talking with your Home device, remember to try moving the keywords around to get the best result. Like "OK Google, Depeche Mode "Music For The Masses" on Chromecast Audio". You may have to change those words around depending on the service being used. "Hey Google, play from YouTube Depeche Mode "Music For The Masses" on Google Home". Try a few combinations before you chuck in the towel and give up. You might be surprised at what phrase will work best.

    Also, in a recent update to Google Home, multi user support was added. check out this article to know more about how it works with various types of media.

    Using multi-user media controls on Google Home: How it works

    Sound Off:

    We asked our listeners to send along refferences to the number 97. But we never saw this one from Pat Hornell coming at all.

    "Howdy folks!
    Podcast 97 was excellent and quite hilarious. But when it comes to songs, how could you forget The Wreck Of The Old 97 ? Here is a link to a modern cover version of that song.

    Joe said Pat's song reminded him of another song. One from Cookie Monster. Joe readily admits that he is a product of the Children's Television Workshop. Television And today's show is brought to you by the letters B and Q. As well as the numbers 9 and 8.

    Here's one that Gordon sent us back on April 1st. It might have gotten lost in time or space somehow.

    "Hi guys,
    I listen to a podcast from Universe Today called the Weekly Space Hangout. Space is fascinating, even if I can't see it.
    This week's episode for March 31st has an amazing interview with a team from a number of US universities which is working to develop tools and a teaching programme to enable blind and visually impaired students to study astronomy along with their sighted peers. The chat, which begins near the start of podcast, is amazing to hear and it touches on accessibility of other STEM subjects.
    The podcast can be found at

    thanks Gordon for the suggestion. If you, yes you reading these very notes, come upon cool stuff like the above link... be sure to pass it along to us at

    Last Word:

    Food, pets and music. Yep, we really reached outside of the box for subjects again huh?
    Walmart is selling a tortilla-croissant hybrid and we re not sure how to feel about it

    Woman Brings Dog To Furry Convention, Thinking It's A Gathering For Pets

    TV Themes In Minor

    Next week... 99 Red Balloons? Agent 99? We have 99 podcasts and this is one? Well, next week is BBQ 99 at any rate. See you then.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    0 0

    You might think that May would be a slow month for news. Well, for the second year in a row, that doesn't seem to be true. We have new hardware news, merger talk and Microsoft held an Education event this past week. Toss in a tip, "Sound Off" and the "Last Word" in the mix for even more audio goodness. Who knew that 99 meant the number of minutes rather than an episode number!

    Sponsor: HIMS Inc.

    Go make it happen with GoVision, the new transportable video magnifier from HIMS.
    With goVision you get all you'd expect from a transportable read, write and distance video magnifier with optical character recognition, plus the ability to enlarge and customize files, photos or videos from your cell phone, tablet or computer. Look at a slideshow of pictures from your vacation right from your thumb drive. Bring the world into focus with GoVision.
    For more information, call us at 888-520-4467, or visit us on the web at
    HIMS. Lifestyle Innovation.

    In The News:

    Breaking: Humanware Posts Product Page for Brailliant 14 Portable Braille Display

    Breaking: Brailliant Sync App Hints at New Humanware 14-cell Braille Display

    We'll have more on the Brailliant 14 on podcast 100.

    VFO Expands Again with Acquisition of The Paciello Group

    SSB BART Group Receives $40 Million Strategic Growth Investment from JMI Equity

    TalkBack 5.2 for Android, with Verbosity Controls and New Earcons, is Official

    Google Announces Two Accessibility Sessions for I/O Conference

    A Blind Legend, Eye-D Among Google Play Award Nominees for Accessibility

    St. Louis, Rochester to Host Upcoming ACB National Conventions

    Another reason to follow us on Twitter, as this has expired, Get $5 for a Quick Assistive Technology Survey and More if you Use Lots of Devices

    Discussion: Microsoft Education Event:

    Microsoft held an event in New York, New York, to highlight new software and hardware. We sit down and go over the announcements and give some insight as to what might impact the Community in these new product releases. Here are some of the articles that fueled our conversation in this segment.

    Microsoft Education: Empowering students and teachers of today to create the world of tomorrow

    Microsoft Learning Tools

    What is Windows 10 S?

    Windows 10 S: The Inside Story

    Microsoft readies June preview of its full featured Office apps coming to its Windows, Education Stores

    Is This The End of Microsoft Office as We Know It?

    Microsoft Teams: New Features Released at General Availability

    'Minecraft Education Edition' will let kids build with code

    Microsoft helps you see mixed reality with only a webcam

    Microsoft unveils $999 Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S

    Microsoft Surface Laptop: Price, specs, availability

    Microsoft's Surface Laptop doesn't need gimmicks to be special

    Surface Laptop: The Fine Print

    The TravelMate Spin B1 is Acer's first Windows 10 S laptop

    Microsoft's lie-flat Surface Arc mouse is a new take on an old formula


    J.J. demonstrates SharpKeys, a free Windows utility which can let you remap keyboard keys, for instance, for a laptop missing the Application key.

    Sound Off:

    Ron Kolesar is a frequent contributor to the "Sound Off" section. However, this week, Ron wanted to share some important information about a subset of one type of Blindness.

    "Hello to the both of you J.J. and Joe.
    Just wanted to say thanks for reading my letter out on the show.
    I finally got to listen to it last night thanks to Mr. Victor Reader Stream.
    I actually called my bank.
    And I also called the manager of my branch of the bank and both said they d look into having the info on the debit and credit cards in braille.
    Yes, I got the thought from the article that you did in last weeks show for the passport with braille info on it.
    Will keep you in the loop on that.
    But I have a huge favor to ask.
    I ve been asking everyone I know and don t know to spread the word about the following.
    For we who have retinitis PIGMENTOSA for the cause of our blindness.
    We have a new version of R.P. that no one wants to have.
    That new version is called NARP, which is short for

    Neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis PIGMENTOSA.

    Let s just say for myself, roughly the last two years I ve been in a wheelchair.

    From a young child like we all learn how to do, We learn to pull ourselves up onto our feet then we learn to stand then we learn to walk.

    Then working with a cane for ten years then working with two leader dogs for roughly a total of the last twenty years.

    Let s just say I am frustrated.

    There s no way a blind person can have independent mobility if they have to use a wheelchair.


    Because, you have to have vision to steer the chair.

    Because it takes your independent mobility away from you.

    If a blind person doesn t have independent mobility, we have no independence.

    So please.

    Have everyone who has R.P. contact the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye institute at


    Or they can be e-mailed at

    Or you can call the Cleveland Clinic s tole-free number at


    Then simply ask for the Cole eye institute.

    Tell them that you have R.P. and that you d like to have a NARP DNA test package sent to you.

    Then simply follow the instructions on the test kit and also take it up to your local lab where you have your blood drawn at and have them draw a blood sample and you re all set."

    Thank you for sending that along, Ron. Remember, if you have something like the above you would like to share with our listeners, send an email to

    Last Word:

    Food and music. Yep, it is the last word alright. These first two links are related to a story Joe tells on the show. The third is something both J.J. and Joe are curious to find at their local Golden Arches.
    Persona 5: Last Surprise
    Last Snooprise
    Introducing the FRORK: Local McDonald's giving away viral fry-fork hybrid on Friday

    Next week, triple digits! Oh, and Dave Williams is back with an interview with Humanware about that shiny new 14 cell display they just announced in Europe.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    0 0

    Dave Williams is back with us to provide some insight on the newly announced Humanware Braille Display in an interview from Sight City with Humanware's Greg Stilson. Joe takes some steps in the kitchen with his Google Home and J.J. brings along a unique link to share in this week's "Last Word". So quiet your smart assistants, it is episode 100 of the BBQ.

    In The NEWS:

    Amazon Reveals $230 Touch-Screen Echo Show

    Here's how to make calls with Alexa

    15-second ads coming to Amazon s Alexa

    Harman Kardon s Invoke speaker is a Cortana-powered take on an Amazon Echo

    Humanware also announced the Connect 12 electronic magnifier (new generation)

    May 18th - Global Accessibility Awareness Day. See what s happening in your area

    This? Exciting times! Update #11: Adventure Beckons

    Interview: Greg Stilson Shows The Humanware Brailliant 14

    BBQ Regular Dave Williams was in Germany for Sight city and he bumped into Greg Stilson who just so happened to have on hand this new 14 cell display called the Brailliant 14. In this interview Greg gives Dave a hands on demo of the device, talks about the new iOS app and he happens to answer several questions many have had about the new entry into this category of displays.

    Tip: Google Home Step By Step Recipes

    Joe mentioned before that a recent Google Home update allowed the ability to do some step by step cooking instructions. This week, with said update installed, we take a look at how to load and use this feature.

    Sound Off:

    John Herzog provides our first email for episode 100:

    "Hi Joe and JJ, I had a couple thoughts on the upcoming Microsoft surface laptop and windows 10S that I wanted to share. Strategically it makes sense that Microsoft would introduce a version of windows that is easier to administer and more secure for schools. I remember being a student in high school when standard windows 98 was the OS of choice. Despite Novell security software restricting our access to applications on the desktop, my friends and I easily found ways to skirt that limitation. You could easily type the location c:\ into the address bar using internet explorer and would have full access to the computer and apps. Anyway, while I understand the need for greater security for admins and teachers, the implications for students in need of a screen reader are somewhat alarming. Narrator is the only option on windows 10S, and I think Microsoft has miles to go before that can be considered a viable every day solution. Even within the creator s update, narrator is wildly inconsistent between applications. For instance, in Skype and the windows store, pressing caps lock right arrow moves between items and reads all elements on screen. But in the windows mail app, the only portions of a message that read when moving by items are links and some graphics. You have to switch to paragraph mode to read an entire message. Since Narrator regards each blank line as another paragraph, it becomes tedious to do any in-depth review of email. Narrator constantly says empty paragraph , which is beyond annoying. I could not imagine having to use windows mail as my default client. Similar inconsistencies can be found in the edge browser. When moving by items Narrator handles some web pages beautifully. All elements are spoken aloud as expected. On other pages that work fine with most screen readers, Narrator completely fails to read text that is present in item mode. Switching to paragraph mode with caps lock down arrow fixes this problem to a certain extent. The dilemma is that a blind person would have to know that text was available on a page in order to switch navigation modes and read it.
    Please don t interpret my concerns as an attempt to bash Microsoft. I ve been testing the latest builds of windows and have been encouraged at the progress they are making. After the creator s update for instance, I took a $200 HP tablet with me for a day and tried to accomplish all my normal tasks using nothing but Narrator. Despite some clunkiness, I was able to get most things done with patience. I just hope the experience continues to improve, otherwise there is a substantial risk that blind students may get left behind if their schools choose to utilize the windows S platform.
    Thanks for reading, and as always I appreciate your podcast and collection of news links.

    Daniel Hawkins passed along some thoughts on the Microsoft event as well...

    "Hey guys! My name is Daniel, and I have been enjoying your podcasts since the 40 s.

    I have listened to the Microsoft edu event, and I have to say one thing. It makes me cry with all those 3d options out there. I used to see and used to be a hardcore PC gamer, so, Mixed reality was one thing I have been looking forward to. It looks like it is coming and my generation will be able to enjoy it. However as a Blind person I feel that we will be left behind again. I was excited that there are more accessibility with all platforms and web pages, but I just can t see how Blind people can enjoy Virtual worlds and Mixed reality. What is your take on this? This reminds me my favorite book Ready Player 1 which is basically everyone live in a virtual reality.

    Also, one more thing, have you guys heard of a Amazon Echo Look? It may be coming soon, and it seems to help you dress better. I wonder if this may help Blind people pick out outfits and match their clothes better. Just an idea.

    Keep on Podcasting guys! Thanks!"

    And longtime listener, Rebecca Skipper, sends in her feelings about last week's big stories.


    First, I think any Sci-Fi fan should check out Arrival. As a Star Trek fan, it is one of my favorite movies outside the franchise. However, it is not for everybody, and it is a film you must pay close attention to understand the twist at the end.

    As for the latest VFO acquisition, I m troubled by the announcement but not surprised. The Assistive Technology market is small so any merger troubles me. However, given the fact that Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and apple have a demonstrable commitment to providing products with built-in accessibility, I can see where AT companies have to change their business model. They either have to provide value added services or features to existing products to keep consumers or provide more services geared to the business and nonprofit sectors. Why would consumers continue investing in current screen reader manufacturers if mainstream companies deliver on their commitments to create products accessible out of the box?

    For me, NVDA, System Access, and JAWS continue to provide valuable features, and although I do not use Window Eyes, I appreciate that it is a free option that Microsoft is continuing to support. I am more concerned about options for low vision users. I want to see all the AT companies succeed even the most obscure brands.
    This, in my view, is the only way to promote competition and innovation in a niche market. I wonder if we will see other mergers in the future as Braille displays become more affordable.

    By the way, here is an idea for episode 100. Try to predict what will happen with technology in the next five years.

    Here is my prediction.

    AT companies will start offering more affordable hardware and software solutions for less than $1,000. Then, attention will shift to Business to Business marketing.
    I think more consumers will rely less on state VR and more on their own resources to purchase Assistive Technology hardware and software. At some point, I think the all-purpose notetaker will become less prevalent.
    I like the notetaker, but it is hard to justify the price tag.


    Per the usual, I.E. after we recorded the show, NVDA posted a pretty detailed article about what it would take to have the screen reader available on the Windows Store.

    Why Can t NVDA run on Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 S?

    The article clarifies their position on Windows S, and the kind of left for dead, Windows Mobile OS. The good news is that you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free until the end of the year if you do encounter the OS during the launch period.

    Last Word:

    Food beat out Last Word rivals for the episode 100 spotlight. We shall see if music and cats rebound in episodes 125 and 150.
    We Tried Fireworks Oreos With Popping Candy Inside

    Physicians Unveil the World's First Colonoscopy Robot

    Also, here is another follow up story that truly features a Smart Bra"!

    We would sincerely like to thank all of you for listening. We were never sure if this show would stick. we also never thought about what it would be like to do more than 100 regular episodes. But with the patience of our friends, families and BBQ Regulars, we have been happy to bring you all this audio for more than two and a half years.

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    0 0

    Dave Williams, host of the Braillecast podcast, joins J.J. and Joe to talk a whole lot about Braille Displays this week. We also talk about how Site City is unique when compared to similar shows in the U.S. and the big news from VFO. We have a tip and some Amazon related "Last Word" as well. So limber up your Braille reading fingers and dive into episode 101 of the blind bargains Qast.

    Sponsor: HIMS Inc.

    Go make it happen with GoVision, the new transportable video magnifier from HIMS.
    With goVision you get all you'd expect from a transportable read, write and distance video magnifier with optical character recognition, plus the ability to enlarge and customize files, photos or videos from your cell phone, tablet or computer. Look at a slideshow of pictures from your vacation right from your thumb drive. Bring the world into focus with GoVision.
    For more information, call us at 888-520-4467, or visit us on the web at
    HIMS. Lifestyle Innovation.

    In The News:

    Window-Eyes is No More, How We Got to This Point and What's Next

    Access World for may features articles on books and games

    Amazon Prime Video May Be Coming to an Apple TV Near You

    Keep In Touch with Alexa

    AIRA secures 12 million dollars in funding

    Discussion Topic: Dave Williams And News From Site City

    Last week Dave spoke to Greg Stilson about the newly announced Brailliant 14 and this week he is with us in person to talk about the many Braille Displays he was able to get his hands on at Site City 2017. In this discussion we talk about the ElBraille, which we did a focus on in episode 92, and the Seika Mini 7.
    We discussed a number of other Braille displays, each of which were covered during convention season. These were...

    #CSUNATC17 Audio: HandyTech's Actilino is a 16-cell Swiss Army Knife

    #CSUNATC17 Audio: Baum Unlocks the Future of the Vario Ultra While Magnifying Visio Magnifier Options

    #CSUNATC17 Audio: A Star Is Born With The New HIMS Polaris

    #CSUNATC17 Audio: The Dot Watch is Real, and Brings Braille to your Wrist

    Tip: Left In The Lurch While traveling?

    J.J. talks about traveling this week. The split fare option in the Uber app can be a lifesaver when your primary form of travel, in this case Amtrak, falls through. You could even use something like PayPal to share the costs between other captives, er um passengers, who are also trying to reach their final destination. These are good options to have on hand no matter if you are a seasoned traveler or just a summer convention goer.

    Sound Off:

    our Twitter feed was filled with many thoughts about the end of an era for a particular screen reader. Here are just some of the comments sent into us on the @blindbargains account.

    Sam N bluecansam: I'm hoping they plan on moving devs from WE to JAWS to consolidate strengths. Right now, NVDA is kicking butt.

    cristoferdeo: Generally, a company may acquire another in part for its technology. Was this just a straight smothering of a competitor?

    SupraLady57: I'll use all 3 screen readers. It's sad that my hard earn money has been the toilet. Let's see what's gone tomorrow.

    broadwaydon1: The problem is not that there will be no options, it's that there are now fewer options. Not everyone can learn two; I think people tend to forget that. What saddens me more than the discontinuing of a software product is how some folks have reacted today. We saw this coming. Besides, we still have options. many of them. JAWS, NVDA, System Access, Dolphin, and Narrator. I'm totally not minimizing the attachment and loyalty to Window-Eyes that many have had by any means.
    My main point is that as in life, you can either embrace changes willingly, or be dragged. I'd rather embrace change.

    Betty writes in to ask us about a previous tip from J.J.

    "On your BBQ podcast 99 J. J. gave a tip about reassigning or remapping a key on the computer to change its functionality. I didn't catch the name of the program and I don't see it in the show notes. Can you give me the name again or provide a link, please? Thanks.

    Oops, sorry about that. you can find out more about this utility at the SharpKeys website.

    Last Word:

    Two items that might prove to be helpful to those in need.
    Amazon Echo Silver
    Science fair project up for bids?

    Next week we will go over some of the information from the big Google i/o event. Android O, Google Home and a bunch more from the company that does so much beyond the search engine.

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    As the title suggests,
    we have conversations about music and Google i/o this week. 2C Music's Sean Creaven stops by to discuss his project's crowd funded initiative for learning the guitar. Joe provides us with a tip and the Last Word will have you thinking about outdoor cafes in a whole new way. And that is just some of what's in store for you in episode 102.

    This episode is brought to you by HumanWare.
    Are you an iPhone user?
    Do you get frustrated trying to type text messages or emails on the on-screen virtual keyboard?
    HumanWare just announced their new Brailliant 14 braille display.
    In addition to having the standard Bluetooth connection available, this display has a second Bluetooth Low Energy module which ensures you never lose the pairing with your iPhone or other devices.
    In addition you can actually use the Brailliant without any connection to an iPhone to take notes in contracted or uncontracted braille.
    The innovative Brailliant Sync app, available on the app store now, allows for those notes to immediately sync to your iPhone or any other devices connected to your email account,
    as soon as you pair with your phone again. Take notes with your Brailliant 14 in a meeting, go back to your office and text someone with your phone. You will notice those notes will be magically synced with your iPhone and other devices within seconds.
    The Brailliant 14. It s not just a small display. Learn more at or by calling 800.722.3393.

    In The News:

    Miss the recent NVDA Con? Hop on over to the event page to listen to the archived sessions

    NVDA 2017.2 Release Candidate Brings Back Audio Ducking, Adds More Edge Support

    NVDA: Now More Than Ever!

    How Narrator Reduces The Necessity Of The Windows 10 S To Pro Offer For The Blind

    Windows 10 S: no command line apps, free Pro upgrades for assistive tech users

    Windows Accessibility: What to Expect Later This Year

    Microsoft's new Surface Pro has 13.5 hours of battery life and LTE option

    Orbit Reader's price has been announced at a cool $449 with a probable summer release date. Follow APH on Twitter to keep up with the very latest on the new display and more...

    ZoomText 10.11.8 update with support for Windows 10 Creators Update now available at

    JAWS 18 also sees an update

    Nintendo's Response To Blind Rhythm Heaven Fan Will Warm Even The Coldest Of Hearts

    Related, this year's GA Confrence has posted their videos of talks on game access

    Interview: Guitar Talk, love and drums

    There are guitar courses for the blind, but most current offerings focus on learning by ear, which is not well-suited for everyone. Sean Creaven from 2C Music joins us to discuss a new course they are developing to teach basic guitar to the blind. You can pledge $15 now through their crowdfunding page to get the course when it is completed.
    They're also on Facebook and on Twitter

    Google i/o

    We'll be honest here about the keynote. It felt like an infomercial more than what we have seen in the past from a tech company's big ticket event. perhaps that is for the better, as this was a conference for Developers after all. Still, there were some pretty heavy announcements to be discussed. And discuss we did from stories listed below.

    Watch the Google I/O 2017 keynote in 10 minutes

    Everything that's been announced at Google I/O 2017 so far (continuously updated)

    Google Demonstrates Android O Accesibility Features Including Accessibility Volume, Language Switching

    Google's VPS indoor navigation is a game-changer for the visually impaired

    Google s speech recognition technology now has a 4.9% word error rate

    The Google Assistant comes to iOS

    Why Google Assistant and Search are two different iPhone apps

    Google simplifies sharing notes, calendars and photos with family

    Google will soon be able to remove objects from photos

    The 6 big updates coming to Google Home

    Here's How To Add Events To Your Calendar With Google Home

    Google Announces Standalone VR Headsets From HTC and Lenovo


    Keep up to date from key sources like Apple Vis, MSFT Accessibility, Facebook Access, Inclusive Android and feeds from Easter Seals Crossroads for information beyond blindness, and non blindness, related technology.

    Facebook Access

    Microsoft Accessibility

    Apple Vis

    Inclusive Android

    InDataEaster Seals Crossroads podcast

    Sound Off;

    Fred Wurtzel sends in this comment about last week's show...


    I really enjoyed David s presence on episode 101. I liked hearing about how he views blindness topics from Europe. I think a regular appearance would give BBQ a unique identity.

    Russ Kiehne echoes what many have said on social media in his email to us;

    "The VFO group won the battle. They now own zoomtext and stopped development of Window Eyes. As a friend of mine said: Several screen readers battled for supremacy in North America at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, and now JAWS is the only one still standing."

    Last Word:

    Three letters is all it takes for the spotlight this week. TED and Rat.
    TED All Star

    San Francisco is opening a rat caf

    Every time we think there isn't anything to talk about in a BBQ, something comes out of nowhere and "Blam!". So, nothing pithy because we don't want to tempt fate. Next week, in episode 103, we'll hopefully talk about run of the mill stuff. No really, hope springs eternal you know? Fingers crossed and see you next episode.

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    Reading and food might just be two of the things we excel at the most here on BBQ. Reading about food is also a fun thing we do from time to time. This week we'll feature segments on reading, food and some painful audio in the "Last Word". We'll speak with Alex Tavares and Cory Kadlik about the Read Read, a device which can help blind students learn braille. We take a visit back to the Blind Bargains test kitchen for another appliance. But rest assured that there are no cats mentioned in this episode. Okay, one cat does make an appearance. We're just not saying where.

    Sponsor: HIMS Inc.

    Go make it happen with GoVision, the new transportable video magnifier from HIMS.
    With goVision you get all you'd expect from a transportable read, write and distance video magnifier with optical character recognition, plus the ability to enlarge and customize files, photos or videos from your cell phone, tablet or computer. Look at a slideshow of pictures from your vacation right from your thumb drive. Bring the world into focus with GoVision.
    For more information, call us at 888-520-4467, or visit us on the web at
    HIMS. Lifestyle Innovation.

    In The News:

    Project Contact lenses can help you move from Window Eyes to NVDA

    Hartgen Consultancy has a training course that can help Window Eyes users transition to JAWS

    VFO launches the newly JAWS powered ZoomText Fusion 11

    Bradley releases Gold Mesh and Rose Gold watches just in time for the summer party season

    ACB Convention Registration Starting Now, NFB Ending May 31


    Studies indicate an undeniable link between employment of blind people and braille literacy, but sadly many kids are just not exposed to braille and forced to learn through audio or other means. The Read Read is a device which aims to make braille learning more affordable and fun for children and adults. To learn more, we speak with Alex Tavares, inventor of the Read Read and Cory Kadlik, assistive technology specialist at the Perkins library.

    You can support the project by donating on their Kickstarter page which offers a variety of rewards for backers. The goal is high but the rewards even higher, helping the next generation of blind children learn a vital tool and a way to communicate.

    Demonstration: Philips Airfryer

    Ricky returns to the Blind Bargains Test Kitchens to show us the Philips Airfryer. This device is perfect for those who are wanting to have that deep-fried food experience without all that messy oil found with traditional fryers. They are also easier to clean than those Fry Daddies too! Listen as Ricky describes the unit and what has worked for her so far in hot air cooking.

    Tip: Office 2016 Hotkey Reminders

    J.J. notes that Office 2007 will see end of life support, I.E. no more security patches, later this year. He reminds us that Control O and F12 are great hotkey commands that let you bypass ribbon navigation for essential tasks.

    Sound Off:

    This week we turn to the comments sections on this very website for our look at Reader and Listener feedback. Up first, more praise for Dave's appearances.

    Sky Mundell posted:

    "This is a very good podcast indeed. Listening to Dave Williams talk about Window-Eyes is very inspireing to me, and I agree with a lot of his words about the staff, and so on and so forth. GW Micro was very friendly and very approachable. When I listened to his speech, I think about how much my school could have benifited a lot from GW Micro if they weren't always focusing on JAWS."

    Louis D also posted a question about J.J.'s travel tip.

    "J.J, great tip this episode! Have you guys used other payment services such as Venmo or Square Cash?"

    J.J. notes in his response that he has used Venmo, now owned by PayPal, but he has not setup Square Cash as of this recording. Facebook, Google and Apple all have payment options as well. It really comes down to the types of things you buy online, and what companies support what, when starting to research electronic payment access. we do not suggest you sign up for several payment services at once as that can be a security risk having your information out there on so many services at once.

    Next, we had several comments on our news article on the GW Micro story.

    cw wrote in....

    "In one sense this is sad news indeed, but on the other hand it was expected that something like this would happen. After all, one company like BFO cannot be expected to sell two software packages that does roughly the same thing. In a way, I liked some of the features that Window-Eyes had in it. For example, take a look at the scripting language of Window-Eyes. You could use some of what you knew already of other computer languages and the like into account when scripting Window-Eyes. I doubt that the scripting of Window-Eyes will not be carried over. I am used to JAWS myself, but those who are transferring over maybe not be used to it. I do wonder how hard it would be for those people to transfer over. The next to go maybe magic or zoom text. I will let others decide which one of those make it out on top. Then again, zoom text maybe?"

    Sky Mundell said...

    "As a 10 year Window-Eyes user, I am very heartbroken over this news. Window-Eyes, allowed me to do many things. It allowed me to go to university, and I even got certified in it and taught a few clients how to use it. I must say that, in Scotland, Window-Eyes was promoted in a college called Motherwell college by a guy called Robert Donald. Robert was a very strong advocate of Window-Eyes. He detested how JAWS was promoted in the education system and i'm going to repeat his words that he said to his students. His words goes like this: Its widely known by Window-Eyes users that it isn't a choice in education and employment. Below, is his bio that I got from one of his students. Robert Donald Biography. There are blind and Visually Impaired people, who take on huge challenges, who either give up or admit defeat. Robert did neither. He was born in a small town in the West of Scotland called Coatbridge. At the time it was a heavily industrialised area with Coal mines, Steel works and their associated businesses. Robert followed in the footsteps of his father and went from school to become an apprentice in an Engineering company. In his early Twenties he was diagnosed with Diabetes type 1. A very debilitating medical condition for anyone to deal with. Robert was by that time married with two children. As his condition deteriorated his sight began to fail. Society at that time had very little to offer blind people with the means of employment. Employment was itself diminishing in the area, as Heavy industrial companies closed and moved out of the district. Robert decided to learn Braille by himself. At that time there were no screen reading programs and the only talking computer was a bib model. He then applied to Glasgow University for a Mathematics Degree course, which he subsequently passed with honours. Once again jobs for blind people in this field were impossible to secure. He then returned to College to further his academic qualifications. The route he took was through Motherwell College. In 1995 a Company called GWMicro produced a screen reader for blind people. There were other screen readers on the market but Robert found this program to his liking. He learned all he could about Window-eyes and was aware at the time that this new world of computing and the internet was about to change the lives of the entire world. For the first time he felt blind people could participate in this new technology and change their lives forever. When his studying was completed he approached Motherwell College board of trustees with an ambitious plan for blind people. He advocated that a classroom be set up Where Visually Impaired and blind people could be trained on a special program called Window-eyes. This program assisted him immensely with his studies at Motherwell College. He never gave up his dream and continually persuaded Lecturer s and Management in the College that this would ensure Visually impaired and blind people, could progress from Motherwell College to Higher Education and then into the workplace. After several years of dedicating his time to prove his dream was a worthwhile project. His dream did come true. In 1992, a classroom was dedicated to exactly what Robert Donald had dreamed of. A place where ordinary blind and Visually Impaired people could learn about the world of computing, the world of Microsoft Office and an opportunity to put their skills to move upwards into Higher Education. Their World was their Oyster. With this self-arming knowledge, what was a normal life, having to depend on people to read them Daily Newspaper s, Books and Letter s was now in their own hands. With this revolutionary technology, they could do all these things and more. They were not alone in the world. Every aspect of the World Wide Web was at their fingertips with this new innovative screen reading program called Window-eyes. Robert taught hundreds of Student s in the West of Scotland all about Window-eyes, the Internet, and Microsoft Office and about the power of Window-eyes itself. His dedication and strength of commitment was second to none. He continually ensured that his student s had the latest computer s, the latest operating system and of course the latest Window-eyes program. At no time did he ever stop fighting for his student s right to education and the right to be taught how to use the technology that would give them that knowledge... In 2008 Robert s health deteriorated and he was forced to give up his job teaching at Motherwell College. Sadly a few years later he died from serious health complications of Diabetes. When the New Motherwell College was built, There was no classroom set aside for blind people to learn Window-eyes or any other screen reading program. Robert Donald dedicated every ounce of energy he had to his project of teaching blind and visually impaired people Window-eyes. Many of whom went on to University and gained academic qualifications. This was thanks to Robert Donald alone. Without people like Robert and Academic agencies willing to take a bold step forward and teach blind people these skills. There will be very little advancement for blind people in today s society and to read back every single word they have written. That is a bio of a guy who managed to get Window-Eyes in a college and to teach it to hundreds of students there. Before bashing it, I would strongly erge everyone who reads this comment to think about this guys leggecy and what he did for the blind in Scotland in promoting Window-Eyes, the competitor to JAWS, in a college."

    Josh provided these thoughts on the matter...

    "I wrote to freedom Scientific or VFO a few times telling them practically how to lower the price of Jaws. I will re-state here, what I sent to them. If VFO wants to greatly lower the price of Jaws for users who are on very low incomes and in third world countries now that they have more developers they should put some of those developers to work on improving espeak and its multilingual ability along with improvement of its klatt based voices. In edition, make a version of jaws in which all of the nuance products are removed or ripped out. Replace nuance OmniPage with google OCR or tesseract for OCR. Replace eloquence with espeak or better yet, VFO's own forked version of espeak with improved klatt-voices and improved multilingual abilities. For natural voices, include the free voices along with microsoft speech platform voices. Disable network install over a lan, home users most of them don't need that. make this jaws a download-only or $20 or $30 for dvd version with some basic training on the dvd. Free jaws would have no tech support unless you pay extra for it, no nuance goodies unless you pay extra for those. This free or low-cost jaws would have no sma agreement so unlimited upgrades.

    Lastly, Marcie Brink-Chaney noted the following...

    "I just remember a few things that made Gw Micro and Window Eyes unique. In the 1990's I could use WE to access a map of Michigan to get to my area's unemployment office and this was not accessible using another screen reader (not JAWS). When trying to use bullets and charts, WE gave descriptions of what the charts and bullets looked like in order for a blind user to choose the one needed. The company had a payment plan for users who could not afford an outlay of around 700 dollars. Also, when Microsoft was creating VISTA, it invited screen reader producers to come to help them make VISTA more accessible. GW Micro was the only company who came. Only once did I have trouble getting an answer from GW Micro's tech support and most of the time, it was excellent. With major companies trying and/or succeeding to build in accessibility into their products, I wonder how long third party companies will last if Microsoft Google, Amazon and others succeed as well as Apple has."

    Last Word:
    Audio to assault your ears in this week's departing digressions.
    HTML Is So Hard, Hardcore that is
    Diving into 1,000 mousetraps

    Apple will open a WWDC Spotlight search window for us on our next episode. Until then, speaking about Apple, hop on over to iAccessibility to hear what our good friend Michael Doise had to say about Google i/o.

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    J.J., Joe and Scott (who came up with the episode title during our live tweeting of this event) sit down to discuss what was shown in Apple's 2017 WWDC Keynote. New hardware and some insights into what is in store for iOS 11 takes center stage in our conversation. However, we widen our scope to talk about Apple Watch and that "one more thing" everyone knew was coming. So stick your Air Pods in... it is an Applecentric BBQ.


    This episode is brought to you by HumanWare. Last year HumanWare partnered with Google to launch the BrailleNote Touch, the world s first and only Google Certified braille tablet. The BrailleNote Touch combines the simplicity and efficiency of the well-known KeySoft user experience, with the power and openness of a mainstream tablet. Use the familiar KeySoft apps to accomplish your daily tasks of document creation, email, or internet browsing, while downloading any accessible app from the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, KeySoft ensures those apps are efficient to use with braille. If you don t want to type on the Touch s included physical keyboard, you can type completely silently on it s touch screen using the innovative TouchBraille typing system. Just lay 10 fingers on the screen and type as if there were keys beneath your fingers. TouchBraille identifies and finds your fingers as you type. Stay tuned for the release of BrailleNote Touch version 4, expected to go live this summer.
    The BrailleNote Touch, The future is so close, you can touch it. Learn more about the BrailleNote Touch or any of Humanware s products by visiting or by calling 800.722.3393. You can also watch any of the several BrailleNote Touch Snapshot videos done by HumanWare by visiting their YouTube channel at

    Discussion Topic: WWDC 2017 Keynote

    8 months ago Apple gave us the new macBook and the internet was not impressed. With the iPhone company breaking radio silence for Developers, do they lay a new rose golden egg or do they put up a goose egg instead? We'll talk about the High Sierras and the lows of the event based upon our live viewing and the stories listed below.

    How Apple Sees the Near Future

    The Accessibility Features Mentioned On-Screen in the Apple Keynote That Were Not Talked About

    Amazon Prime Video Is Coming to Apple TV After Years of Delay

    Apple introduces watchOS 4 at WWDC with new Siri-powered watch face

    Apple's macOS High Sierra: faster Safari and a new file system

    Steam VR Coming to Mac as Apple Embraces Virtual Reality

    Apple Releases Wireless Magic Keyboard With Numeric Keypad

    Apple Refreshes 21.5-Inch and 27-Inch iMacs With Brighter Displays

    Apple iMac Pro is promisingly powerful

    Here s hoping the iMac Pro learns from the Mac Pro s mistakes

    Apple Updates Entire MacBook Line-Up With Kaby Lake CPUs, Faster SSDs, and Graphics

    Apple Focuses on Discovery with App Store Redesign

    iOS 11 FAQ: Everything you need to know!

    The 9 best iOS 11 features Apple didn t talk about onstage

    Apple Uses iOS 11 to Make iPad more Mac-like

    Apple introduces a redesigned 10.5-inch iPad Pro starting at $649.99

    The second coming of iPad

    New iPad Pros FAQ: Everything you need to know!

    Apple s new iOS file manager coming this fall as part of iOS 11

    Apple Drops 2TB iCloud Storage Price to $9.99, Eliminates 1TB Option

    Here Are All of the New Upgrades to Siri

    Apple Music reaches 27m subscribers

    Apple unveils HomePod, its Siri smart speaker

    Tip: Backup For Your Backup With Google Drive

    You are going to laugh when you read this but, Google has a way for you to switch to Android from iOS. Yet as crazy as it sounds, the method Google suggests actually could save you if your iCloud backups of Contacts and the like get borked somehow. Google notes on the "Switch To Android" page three easy steps for making a backup using Google Drive for iOS. It can take a few hours, no really it does, to upload photos and other files off your iDevice, so set it to start before you go off to slumberland. You won't be able to transfer iTunes media, or apps, but your other files can be accessed from various Google services or directly from Google Drive. And, if you do have an Android phone or tablet on hand, you could even use the "Move To iOS" app From Apple to move data back to an iThingy in a pinch. Many Google apps can be used with Voiceover on iOS. Moreover, Talkback works just fine on the Apple created Android app "Move To iOS". This is a great way to access data for those who live in places outside the "Walled Garden" and who knows... it might just save you some heartache if your backup fails elsewhere.

    Sound Off:
    We asked our Twitter followers to sum up the event in 140 characters. And Patrick, our dear Editor In Chief Of Audio, starts off this stream of responses.

    @BorrisInABox: 2015, we announced a 5k iMac. In 2017, we announced one that actually costs that much.

    @slannon97: I'm not impressed this year.

    @ed_edwardson: really magical. Really, really magical. Magical, really. Really, really, really, magical... really.

    @jfayre: Keynote? There was a keynote? really announce anything of substance and made me consider android?

    @LeftBollocks: @blindbargains I will never get those two hours back. The end.

    @FreakyFwoof: I don't want your 'buttery-smooth scrolling fingers' on my brand-new iPad Pro. In fact I don't want a brand-new iPad Pro.

    @lulu_bear: Fixing what ain't broke, selling us what we don't want to buy. #CynicalMe.

    @jmbauer: Put the NO in innovation. Sonos Echo. Macs that should have financing. Take deep drags on your apps. Know your files. Magical

    @Christopher2236: Apple died with jobs

    @BryanSmart: Here at Apple, inspiration something. This did that, but now this, too. But we didn't stop there. Now 400 percent more arbitrarily better!

    @mohaneds: bling, bling and more bling.

    @Gracie2880: *Boring star And very expensive

    @hudginsmegan47: $349 for a HomePod that I'll have to pair with my phone and which uses Siri which doesn't sound like it's been improved. No thanks.

    @patadog02: Was not all that impressed with the keynote except for Amazon coming to Apple TV glad they refresh the MacBook Air.

    @cristoferdeo: Same stuff/better specs. New speaker with same crappy Siri experience. Venmo killer #P2P VR/AR. I'm blind. Yawn. #BBQast

    @fastfinge: "me to!" Says apple. Apple catches up on VR. Apple catches up on the echo. Apple catches up on machine learning. Apple catches up on gaming.

    @tsquires711: Something about a new speaker, new iPad, mac, iOS and watch updates that are all not very memorable and over-priced.

    @coreycook82: Underwhelming

    @turtlecatpurrz: yawn. WWDC was today huh? That's nice.

    @GWocher: What is this, invasion of the apple snatchers with their home pods?

    Last Word:

    We only had a few moments for divergence this week and J.J. had this story on hand. Or should we say 'claw"?
    Boy spends 30 minutes stuck in claw arcade game in Maryland

    Episode 105 sees us return to more of a feature focused format. Or that is the plan unless a big pile of pre-convention news lands on our desks between the moment you read this and the evening in which we record next. We have come to accept either scenario these days in the topsy turvey world of today's Assistive Technology.

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