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The biggest names, the latest news, and leading insights from the field. Weekly Podcasts, interviews, technology demonstrations, and commentary from industry experts. Get more at blindbargains.com.
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    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 http://www.hims-inc.com.
    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

    Tip:

    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.

    Why?

    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

    216-445-7671

    Or they can be e-mailed at

    marinom2@ccf.org

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

    877-707-8999

    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 feedback@blindbargains.com

    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.
    Share: |Twitter orFacebook

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    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.

    "Hi,

    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.

    Thanks."

    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.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
    Share: |Twitter orFacebook

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    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 http://www.hims-inc.com.
    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.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
    Share: |Twitter orFacebook

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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.

    Sponsor:
    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 www.humanware.com 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 http://www.twitter.com/music_2c

    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

    Tip:

    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...

    "Hello,

    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.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
    Share: |Twitter orFacebook

    0 0

    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 http://www.hims-inc.com.
    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

    Interview:

    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 speechHub.org 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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    0 0

    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.

    Sponsor:

    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 http://www.humanware.com 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 http://www.humanware.com/touchvideos

    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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    0 0

    Speakers and dictation are just some of the ground we cover this week. Joe catches up with Brian Hartgen to talk new products, J.J. tosses in a Bose speaker review and a tip plus we throw out a curve ball in the "Last Word". Be sure to limber up in the "on Deck Circle" before you enter the Batter's Box that is BBQ 105.

    Sponsor:

    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 OPTACLE 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, visit us on the web at www.hims-inc.com and follow us on social media.
    [Hims]http://www.hims-inc.com)
    Where tradition meets innovation

    In The News:

    Amazon Brings Over 130 Audio-described Titles to Prime Members, Others

    Actiview aims to streamline movie accessibility for millions of hearing and vision impaired

    A Preview of New Accessibility Features Set to Come Later this Year in iOS 11, watchOS 4, tvOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra

    Sendero's GPS Apps Updated with Indoor Beacon, Uber Support in Version 3.0

    Meet EasyReader for iOS

    Supernova v16.04 released

    Windows 10 Insider build 16215 brings several new Accessibility features

    June's edition of Access World is now online

    Interview: Brian Hartgen On What's New At Hartgen Consultancy

    We've mentioned the recent release of J Say 15 before in the News section on a previous episode, and Joe thought it would be a good time to catch up with Brian Hartgen and find out what else was new at Hartgen Consultancy. Hear Joe and Brian talk about new webinars, Zoomtext Fusion and a slight hint at a summertime sale.

    Mini Review: J.J. on the Bose Revolve and Revolve+ Speaker

    J.J. stopped by a Bose store in San Francisco and found two new talking portable speakers. The Revolve and Revolve+ are cylindrical speakers with 360-degree sound and voice prompts similar to the SoundLink Mini. But do they bump as much as their rectangular counterpart? You can get the $199 Bose SoundLink Revolve or the bigger sibling $299 Bose SoundLink Revolve+ from Amazon, or get a pair to blast your house or yard with stereo sound.

    Tip: Eat Food On The Road On The Cheap With Amazon Prime Now

    If you are the type of person who wants to have snacks, and other important goods, on hand in a hotel room instead of calling in room service... Amazon Prime Now can deliver all sorts of items to you. The website isn't always the easiest way to browse online, we suggest using the app version first, and you will want to check to see if the city you are traveling to is in a Prime Now coverage area. If it is, and you are an Amazon customer, then you have access to groceries and more with a 2 hour delivery window. There are other services you can use, like Instacart, if you find the town you are in falls outside the amazon coverage area. Although you will spend a little more if you choose to use an alternate service.

    Sound Off:

    darknexus gives us a neat work around to a current problem in iOS [that seems to be fixed in the version 11 betas].

    If you want to prevent the expanding of a letter, just put a letter sign in front of it. It's not that hard, and works either with or without auto-translation. Remember, each Braille input is a separate block, translated as such. I'd like to see them change this, however I don't see how they could do so without risking creating more problems than they would solve. Look at JAWS back-translation problems to get an idea of what I'm talking about, especially in nonstandard applications. What we have now is fully consistent, and I'll take that over buggy any day.

    Long time listener Jan Brown reminds us of the good stuff that comes from post WWDC iOS releases.

    Snarky is so overrated.
    It is so easy to write something scathing.

    Braille is what made me and continues my praise of Apple.
    I use on-screen braille everyday for almost everything.
    I still am thrilled when I can write as quickly as a sighted person half my advanced age.
    Apple's leadership in accessibility has been taken for granted by many.
    I use my phone and i-Pad for almost everything.
    My windows ten machine has become my machine for copying compact disks. I can't do it with iOS and even with the wonderful new features coming in the fall which will allow more file sharing and management, copying disks is still something outside the purview of iOS.

    There is value for everybody in multiple operating systems.

    But, I can still go to a coffee shop, and read the newspaper and all kinds of attachments on my phone easily. It is only because we have seen so much innovation in the past ten years that we become jaded if the latest keynote does not provide hither to unfathomed features.
    It is all still pretty magical."

    'Lydia Alverson' suggests that we could get Siri's opinion on WWDC.

    Dear BBQ team,

    I know that WWDC was a few days ago, but I thought I'd share anyway. I have a Siri Easter egg for you. Ask Siri: "What do you think of WWDC"? There are multiple responses to this one. Here's one of my favorites: "I thought there would be more wrestling".

    P.S.. Great job on the air fryer demonstration, by the way.

    John Wesley Smith chimes in on his process for switching to JAWS from Window Eyes.

    "Hey, Guys,

    Just a note to say I'm one of those who migrated from Window-Eyes to
    JAWS without having to pay anything now. I made the move on May 22nd.
    Upon the recommendation of a knowledgeable friend, I uninstalled W-E
    first. I tried using Narrator to install JAWS, but found NVDA to be
    more user friendly for that.

    Unfortunately, I discovered JAWS doesn't play nice on my computer with
    Audacity. Narrator works fine with Audacity, so I use that when doing
    audio editing. That's an example of the necessity of knowing some
    basics of more than one screen reader. I don't use narrator that much
    because the key commands are so vastly different than W-E, JAWS or
    NVDA. I suspect I'll be getting better acquainted with both Narrator
    and NVDA as time goes on. But as I told a friend after switching to
    JAWS, I can only learn one mind numbing set of key commands at a
    time--and that has to be done slowly.

    I'm one of those partially sighted guys who used to use the physical
    mouse for several things with Window-Eyes which I never took time to
    learn key commands for. Because JAWS doesn't allow me to do that, I'm
    having to learn more key commands out of necessity. I'm still learning
    how JAWS sees web pages as compared to Window-Eyes.

    Actually, making the leap to JAWS hasn't been as difficult as I
    anticipated. There are many commands for Windows and various other
    programs which will work regardless of the screen reader. On the other
    hand, there are several web pages that no screen reader will work well
    with.Also, I hope things can be worked out more favorably for screen
    readers to use the Edge browser soon.

    For anyone who hasn't made the switch from W-E to JAWS, I say, if you
    don't have to lay out any bucks right now, go ahead and do it.

    Keep up the good work. Joe, happy landings on to something enjoyable
    and lucrative."

    Last Word:

    Music and the "National pastime" occupy the focus of this week's journey into the obscure.
    Bladerunner theme in major key

    [Baseball Team s Father s Day Promotion Is Straight Out Of Maury Povich](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jacksonville-jumbo-shrimp-pregnancy-test_us_59417e00e4b0d3185486b70c?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000025 ion=weird-news)

    Get weird with 10 of the best Minor League promotions

    Two more shows until we jet off to the summer conventions. Then, as is our custom, tons of audio will fall from the sky with interviews from both NFB and ACB Exhibit Halls. But we hope there will be more things to talk about until the end of this month. Tune in next week to see if we find audio that might just be considered "podcast-worthy".

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    0 0

    We're beginning to gear up for summer conventions and A T Guys will be at both Exhibit Halls with the new micro-Speak Digital Voice Recorder. You can pre-order yours or other products with codes ACB17 and NFB17 and pick up your products at the booth. Whether you're attending or not, we've got a demonstration of the new Micro-Speak which will give you a feel for this product before you arrive. Stay tuned for more A T Guys product announcements soon.

    Sponsor: Humanware

    BrailleNote Touch Live Read:
    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 PlayStore.
    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 scilently 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 http://www.humanware.com 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

    In The News:

    Note: We started the show with another round of 'shout outs' to people moving on to new projects. Best wishes to Matt Campbell, Serotek, and Doug Geoffray, from GW Micro/VFO, who are taking on new challenges. We look forward to what comes next for these two gentlemen!

    NV Access are pleased to announce "Microsoft Excel for NVDA" eBook available from:

    Another Zoomtext 10.1 update arrives

    Blindfold Games: Blindfold Word search

    From our BBQ Regular Michael Doise:
    We now have our first version of #MUDAbility ready for people to try. We encourage your feedback and we will continue to make it better.

    Public Beta of Dark Defender has been released, runs on Windows and Mac

    Also, since we had a lot of talk about games this week, Black Box is another title you should check out

    Product Overview: MicroSpeak Recorder

    J.J. introduces the Micro-Speak, a compact and simple voice recorder with voice prompts. The Micro-Speak features 4 gigabytes of memory, a rechargeable battery, and a simple-to-use design. You can learn more or purchase the Micro-Speak now from A T Guys. And as we mentioned above, use coupon ACB17 or NFB17 if you wish to pick up your Micro-Speak at convention.

    Tip:

    Joe mentions that enlarging the Voiceover cursor can assist in determining where VO places its focus. To enable this setting, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Voiceover then scroll to the bottom to turn on large cursor". Now those with vision can see if Voiceover is focused on the correct item when troubleshooting an app.

    Sound off:

    The mysteriously named: Tech Center" writes in with the following;

    "Howdy J.J. & Joe,
    I'm writing in about episode 104 of the BBQ. Love the show, by the way an been listening since the beginning.
    Any who, I'm not terribly thrilled about the Apple HomePod either, especially because of the price. But it is a big interest of me because of our ATE Program we have here where we've been buying Virtual Assistants like the Echo for Seniors with vision loss in our community.
    So I spend hours and hours of training; an learning new features. For Echo's and the Google Home.

    Any how, I think where Apple might blow it out of the water, if and I emphasize if, the bring the power of the App Store to the HomePod. Its the chief problem with the Google Home and Amazon Echo right now, as I see it. Is there's no financial market place for building and selling Apps, Skills, or Actions whatever you want to call them on your various assistants. Hence, you run in to a horrid of garbage apps and hello world style apps on the Amazon Echo. If there was a real awesome API system and real developers flocking to buy apps they could sell I think we'd see some pretty awesome stuff.

    Additionally, in that vein, the Apple Home Pod has a powerful processor... So who knows what that might make possible.
    Once again, I'm not optimistic, the price is high... But I think whoever creates a market place will blow this market out of the water.
    By the way, these are all, cutting edge and also have a lot of rough edges... Echo and Google Home are no exception. So I look forward to some real forethought and polish that Apple sometimes puts into there products.
    Just as an example, if you have a Google Phone with "Ok, Google" enabled and be in the same room with your Home... Yikes.

    Any how fellas there are my two cents, rock on! Love to come on an talk some time about Virtual Assitants; Oh by the way every month I mention at least one of your podcasts in our Technology Newsletter.
    Take care,"

    Juan Avila asks the age old OCR related question...

    Hello Blind Bargains Team,

    A few days ago you guys spoke on the podcast about braille, screen readers, and how they might impact employment. I just want to say that I am a fluent braille reader/writer, use Jaws and OCR software, and have a student assistant position at the California Department of Public Health. Braille does help me in taking notes, and looking up phone numbers quickly, but it is only a supplement of what I do. Mostly I use the computer with Jaws, and recognize text with either Knfb or Kurtzweil 1000.

    I would like to know, if there is a program to recognize hand writing, as a lot of what my student co-workers do includes looking at hand written checks, and licenses with hand writing. I unfortunately cannot read hand writing, and find my self sometimes with entire days with out work. If you guys know of any technology besides BeMyEyes that can read hand writing, let me know.

    Thanks"

    Ricky recently asked this on Twitter and some recommended trying the new Microsoft Word Lens app. We haven't given this a try, however, let us know via feedback@blindbargains.com if you have a reliable way of deciphering handwritten text with OCR. lastly, and for fun, this was an odd piece of spam we found lying around the Inbox last week.

    "A New Scholarship Opportunity to Share from Jeniffer Lewis

    Good morning,

    My name is Jeniffer and I wanted to reach out to you to inform you about our new scholarship opportunity available to your students and visitors.
    The application is free for everyone, and the winning students will receive a total of $6,000 every year to cover their educational expenses.

    The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest. The winning essays will be chosen by how well-written, compelling, and persuasive they are.

    As I mentioned earlier - there are no costs associated with submitting an application for this scholarship and the application period begins on July 10th, 2017.

    We are working on getting the word out as much as possible so that all students who need scholarships can apply. Please let me know if you are the right person to contact regarding making this opportunity available for your students and visitors through your website.

    More information, as well as eligibility information, can be found here: https://www.vapingdaily.com/scholarship

    If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer.

    Have a wonderful day!"

    Um, we're not sure why that came to our inbox, but hey perhaps one of you may want to apply.

    Last Word:

    Try as we might, there isn't really a theme for the two links listed below.
    Gettin' real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot
    Urine used to charge smartphone - BBC News

    One more show until we are off to summer conventions, from which we will bring you lots of news and interviews from the show floor. Stay tuned for the A T Guys product showcase and more on next week's show.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
    Share: |Twitter orFacebook

    0 0

    With conventions on the horizon, the show will sound just a bit different this week and includes one fewer host, but it's still packed with lots of useful info. PK Mishra stops by to talk about the O6, a portable device which can let you control VoiceOver and more by turning a dial. Scott Davert demonstrates a new speaker dock that we're not really sure how to pronounce, and it's time for the annual A T Guys summer product showcase. While you're soaking in the sun or packing for Reno or Orlando, we hope you enjoy episode 107.

    Sponsor:

    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 OPTACLE 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, visit us on the web at www.hims-inc.com and follow us on social media.
    [Hims]http://www.hims-inc.com)
    Where tradition meets innovation

    The O6 with PK Mishra

    The O6 is a different kind of wearable device which can control VoiceOver or other phone functions by turning a dial or pressing one of its buttons. PK of Fingertips Lab joins us to explain exactly how this thing works and how it can enhance your iPhone experience.
    You can learn more from the O6 website or the specific O6 accessibility page
    You can purchase the O6 now from A T Guys or preorder it to pick up at convention.

    A T Guys Summer Product Showcase

    Speaking of our own store, we figured it was about time to give you an update on the latest products on our site. We will cover what's available at the summer shows or on our website, including the new E5 Wireless Smart Speaker. You can visit http://www.atguys.com and use coupon code NFB17 or ACB17 if you wish to preorder and pick up items at convention. We're at booth 43 for ACB or A19 for NFB.

    The Vaux Dock for Amazon Echo Dot

    Is it pronounced Vo or vawx? Scott Davert doesn't have a good answer for that question but he does give us a taste of the VAUX Cordless Home Speaker + Portable Battery for Amazon Echo Dot, a $49.95 device which can make your Dot sound a lot louder. Use the link above to buy one now from Amazon.

    After this, we delve into convention coverage, starting with the ACB convention near Reno. Stay tuned to our feed or your favorite podcast app to keep up with the latest convention news. And if you're leaving soon for Reno or Orlando, safe travels.

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    Another convention and another special where we take a long look at a new product. This time, Greg Stilson of Humanware sits down with Joe to talk about the new Victor Reader Trek. It is everything you know about the Trekker line of products, along with everything you love about the Victor Reader Stream and a heck of a lot more rolled into a spiffy new device. In this special, you will hear about what led into the design of the Victor Reader Trek, what comes in the box, what voices it supports, a GPS navigation demonstration, discussions on availability and of course the price. Greg notes that the best way to secure your new Victor Reader Trek is to contact Humanware directly. We'll be speaking with Greg again soon about this device. So send along any questions not asked in this special to feedback@blindbargains.com and we will provide the answers in a later podcast.

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    Joe caught up with Cody Mitchell, of Irie-AT, and wow there was a ton of things to see there. Irie-AT is the master distributor for Dolphin Computer Access in the U.S. Dolphin just released their free iOS app, with Android version coming soon, Easy Reder. This app allows you to find articles and information from a number of services like NFB Newsline and RNIB. Dolphin also produces Dolphin Guide. Additionally, Joe learned much about the new Guide solutions such as the Guide Pod and Guide Reader. Of course, Dolphin produces the Supernova line of screen magnification and screen reader products for Windows-based computers. But, as they say, "that isn't all", on display at the Irie-AT booth. There are product lines from ReHan, VisionAid and Index embossers to talk about. With so many products covered, you may just want to travel on over to the Irie-AT website to learn more about all of them.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at http://www.hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Joe learned a few new terms at ACB 17 that he would like to share with you all. "Accessible Bedding" and "Stay Put Bedding" were terms Joe wasn't familiar with before he started this interview with Ruby Russell and Louie Scheel, who happen to be the co-founders of Distinctive Beddings. But these terms may just begin to slip into conversation with others, as these new linen items may just be the greatest thing ever for those of us who never enjoyed making beds with perfectly straight seams or hospital corners.
    To learn more about these Egyptian 400-thread count sateen weave sheets, and the other bedding accessories, visit the company's website. Pre-ordering begins soon for a December delivery.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Meka White provides her very first interview for the BB Qast in this special look at the Speed Dots booth. Hear Rachel Feinberg tells Meka about products like the power Cube. Plus the screen protectors, talking thermometers and Bluetooth accessories that the company is already known for are on full display. Head over to the Speed Dots website to learn more about the various items in the catalog.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    J.J. managed to find time away from the A.T. Guys booth to post some convention coverage of his own. In this interview John Herzog, Accessibility Solutions Engineer, describes the many advancements AT&T media based products have been gaining since November 2016. Both the DirecTV apps for Android and iOS are speech friendly now with their respective screen readers. John will take us on a tour of the iOS app with stops by the DVR Manager and live TV functions. You will also hear how you can turn on the talking guide on your DirecTV box along with some other information about accessing your secondary audio. John will also provide information about how similar features can be utilized via the U-Verse apps. All of this amazing access is free to U-Verse and DirecTV subscribers. The Talking Guide page at DirecTV has more information about this new feature of the subscription television service.
    And visit this page to learn more about U-Verse and audio description.

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    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Earle Harrison chatted with Meka White about several of the products offered by Triumph Technology. From one of the world's smallest Braille Displays to mobility aids like the Buzz Clip, Triumph has something for you. Visit this proud Minnesota-based company's [website](https://attriumph.com/ to purchase any of the products mentioned in this interview.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Laura Legendary, co-founder of the Fashionability Channel and podcast, is no stranger to those who have heard our summer convention coverage before. This year Laura truly broadens her product lines by adding items for the celebration of those in Pride communities. She also has some "jingly jangly" charms that are perfect for the sun worshiper, the butterfly fan and the nature lover in all of us. Her jewelry is very tactile and stylish. To learn more, and visit with the woman herself, travel to the Elegant Insights website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Joe caught up with the fabulous Ginny Owens to find out how her tour was going since her last appearances on the BB Qast. Ginny talks life on the road and how prep is going for her forthcoming book. Ginny is also making plans to begin her own podcast soon. The show will focus on compelling inspirational stories she has amassed through her travels. Ginny brought her recently released merchandise, including a beautiful T-Shirt, to convention. Visit her website to snag one of your very own. You can hear clips of "Love Be The Loudest" in our multi episode celebration of the album's launch last year. Part one can be found in episode 79 with the second portion in BBQ 81.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Barry barely had a voice left by the time Joe caught up with him at his booth on the Exhibit Hall floor. That's because his products were very popular with the convention crowds. Barry takes us on a tour of the 5 products that moved the most out of his hands and into those of eager customers. From speakers to unique battery charge options, Guide Lights and Gadgets has something for every price point. To order any of the products mentioned in this interview, head over to the company's website for contact information.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Meka White spoke with Lydia Washington about the continuing work that the U.S. Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing is doing to aid in the access of currency. Apps such as the iPhone based iNote and the Android based Ideal Currency Identifier are great for those who rely on smartphones for their primary forms of access. However, thanks to Orbit Research, you can obtain a free easy to use iBill MoneyReader that will identify currency without having to use a smartphone. Visit the BEP website to download the application needed to qualify you for this free service in order to obtain an iBill. It is also a good site to gain more information about currency accessibility in general.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Meka White takes some time to see what Alice Woodside Lynch brought to convention. What she found was that you needed to see Alice early, as many of her cane charms, bracelets and other fantastic jewelry was incredibly popular -- especially if you wanted matching tokens of Labs, Sheppards and other Service Animals to wear as earrings, necklaces or other adornments. Check out the interview to hear what other products were a hit at ACB. And don't forget you can pick up items by visiting Alice on the web.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    The Optelec US Twitter account suggested that attendees should visit the VFO booth to see the newly announced Compact 6, so Joe thought he should do just that. hear Joe Chung, Director of Sales and Professional Products - Western United States for VFO, take us on a tour of the feature set of the new portable Video Magnifier now debuting in the Compact line. A physical description, a discussion of the touch interface and some good use cases for the unit are sprinkled throughout this interview. The Compact 6 is in the pre-production portion of its life cycle with a launch of the product coming very soon. To learn more about this magnifier, and other brands within VFO, visit the company's website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Mike Tindell was one of the busiest people in Sparks. Product demonstrations, mini tutorials on new devices and he may have even dealt a few hands of Blackjack down in the casino for all we know. Joe found Mike drinking a cup of coffee and decided that he might be able to coax a few words about what was new at Humanware out of him between sips. hear Mike talk about upcoming changes to the Braille note Touch, launch information about the Brailiant 14 and what's new with the recently released Connect Video Magnifier. Also, if you haven't heard it already, you can hear Joe and Greg Stilson discuss the new Victor Reader Trek in depth in our latest BB Qast Special. Remember you can order many of these products by contacting Humanware directly or by direct purchase from their website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    We were there when the newest member of the Braille Sense family was announced back in march. Dave Wilkinson, manager for both the Polaris and the National Education division, returns to our microphones to commemerate the recent launch of the braille notetaker. Dave will outline some of the features, layout and aspects of the polaris that have changed since the debut announcement. He'll also provide some audience Q&A throughout the recording. The Braille Sense Polaris is shipping now and you can learn even more about it by visiting the product page at the HIMS website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    Ed Rogers, Managing Director of Bristol Braille, shows Chancey the newly minted Canute Mark XII. Sporting 9 lines of solid Braille, with 40 cells in total, the Canute is a standalone open sourced Braille E-Reader. hear a tour of the unit and details on the hardware specifications. Ed also informs Chancey on how the previous prototypes have been doing in Educational settings and future plans for the final release version of the product. Ed suggests that those who would like to keep up with the development of Canute subscribe to the Braillists forum and newsletter. You can also stay up to date on the distribution rollout, and pricing, for the Canute by visiting the official Bristol Braille website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Chancey caught up with Mel Scott, founder of Blind Alive, during her personal marathon that is the NFB Exhibit Hall floor. Mel has just released a new line of exercise audios and she has recently launched a health-related podcast. Blind Alive's work out series are perfect for those who are looking for beginner's level guided instruction, as well as those looking for a range of more advanced physical challenges. You can learn more about the various levels of blind-friendly audio workouts by visiting the Blind Alive website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Betsy Beaumon, President of Benetech Inc,
    and Lisa Wators, Senior Program Manager at Bookshare.org, sit down with [Chancey]http://www.twitter.com/chanceyfleet) to discuss many ways that Benitech allows people to read text in alternative formats. Betsy outlines some of the education aspects of image description and math access through the Diagram Center of Benetech labs. Lisa provides us with updates coming to Bookshare in the form of the new advanced search feature, a wider availability of the reading list options and how you can be a part of the library partnership program. Be sure to visit the Diagram Center website to learn more about the image technology techniques mentioned in this interview.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Not so long ago, at CSUN17, Buddy found this wearable that allowed you to type on your iPhone by just tapping fingers on any surface.
    Chancey caught up with Dovid Schick, founder and CEO of Tap Systems, on the NFB's Exhibit Hall floor in order to try the lightweight accessory for herself. Listen as she describes and demonstrates the process of typing with the Tap. To learn more about Tap, visit the company's website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Venkatesh Chari, President and CTO of Orbit Research, was one of the busiest people at NFB17. Somehow our intrepid Chancey Fleet was able to gain a few minutes of his time to talk about the launch of the $449 20-cell Orbit Reader. She also was able to get an update on the Graphiti tablet as well. You don't want to skip this one for sure. Keep up with all the goings on at Orbit research by bookmarking their website in your internet browser of choice.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Be sure to have your earbuds in for this special interview as Chancey recorded this from a set of binaural microphones. Hear Anthony Mattana, founder and CEO of Hook Audio, speak to Chancey about the Verse line of products in an outdoor setting. Anthony explains how he came to make his products accessible to the Blind and what he has learned from his attendance at the 2017 NFB Convention. If you are interested in learning more about Hooke Audio, visit the company's website. And you can learn more about the product's accessibility by reading this blog post.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Chancey had to dodge dog guides, fight for food through crowds of convention attendees and track down all these interviews you have been listening to from NFB17. She has truly earned her spoils of victory. So why not celebrate by slaying a few dragons, or go wandering through a dungeon or two? It seems tame when compared to the Exhibit Hall floor actually. Chancey began her quest by talking with Beth Carrigan, General manager for the game Materia Magica, and she learns how easy it will be for her to play this 22 year old text adventure. With Windows and Screen Reader in hand, you can join the Lady Fleet online in this classic MUD. The game is free. However, donations are what allows this game to stay as strong as a castle wall. Visit the game's portal and the accessibility help page to learn how to play. If you dare...

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    Android notetakers are pretty common now. However, one of the first units to enter the marketplace was the Braille2Go from National Braille press. Brian McDonald, President of National Braille Press, provides Chancey with a deep dive into the B2G hardware and software ecosystem. hear Chancey take her elementary steps into the world of the B2G with a demonstration of navigation in an app that shows the periodic table. To learn more about the B2G, or the other wonderful products and services from the National Braille press, visit the product's website.

    Sponsor: HIMS, Inc.
    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

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    From a room somewhere within the Nugget Casino in Sparks Nevada comes the first ever BBQ Game Show. Recorded in front of a live studio audience, and thankfully edited for podcast presentation by Mr. Derrick Lane, our announcer Joe Steinkamp provides the info for our Master of Ceremonies J.J. Meddaugh. Join the BBQ Crew in a series of pricing games that bear little resemblance to those you might have heard on other popular nationally syndicated programs. Ahem, cough cough, hear members of the studio audience compete for valuable prizes. Also, for stuff we didn't want to pack up with us for the trip back home.

    Before we begin, we would like to thank immensely those who provided prizes to the event. Speed Dots and Ginny Owens are fine folks. So please check out their pages linked within our show notes to learn more about what they do and offer. Prize pricing was based on product pricing from A.T. Guys, Speed Dots and GinnyOwens.com. Food item pricing came from time of purchase prices at the local chain Smart And Final
    Food item links listed below do not match with prices mentioned during the show and are provided for those who wish to experience the possible deliciousness of them for themselves.

    4 items below

    Our first contestant is Wendy. There are six items on display. Can she guess which ones are under $3.00? If she can, she will win up to $100 in A.T. Guys spendable cash.

    Air Heads Xtremes Sweetly Sour Candy Rainbow Berry

    Two Bite Watermelon Cupcakes

    Nabisco Oreo Chocolate Firework Limited Edition Sandwich Cookies

    Cheetos Flamin' Hot Chipotle Ranch Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks

    Barcel Corn Snack, Hot Chili Pepper & Lime, Takis

    First Street Black Cherry Sparkling Water

    The Human Clock Game

    Marco came down to the podium for our second game. He must guess the prices correctly within 30 seconds. If he can, he will win a bunch of musical swag, and a Bluetooth Remote

    First, a Ginny Owens prize pack
    This includes a Love be the Loudest T-Shirt,
    a USB drive loaded with music and videos,
    and a copy of her latest CD.
    Courtesy of Ginny Owens.

    Then, control this music with
    a Bluetooth Remote Control
    Play music, control the volume
    even activate Siri with this remote
    Connect to your mobile phone for wireless control of
    your tunes, BARD, and more.
    from A T Guys

    Pick a Number

    Cathy steps up for the third game of the day. She must guess numbers from 0 to 8. Each number represents a number in the price of a prize or the pig-shaped bank where we keep our change at the A.T. Guys booth. If Cathy guesses correctly she will win the following...

    first, a tumbler emblazoned with the hotel logo. It is tall with red lettering on a solid black background.

    Next, a SpeedDots prize package!

    This package includes:
    A 5 port rockwall USB charger
    This compact charger will charge and power 5 of your devices.
    Use it on your desk, or night stand, or take it with you on your travels.
    Even use it while Traveling abroad!

    A three in one durable charging cable.
    Stop carrying bags of cables.
    Charge all your devices from a single cable,
    whether it's Micro USB , lightning, or the new USBC, you can charge them all.
    all aluminum construction so it won't fray
    6-foot length
    and Apple certified.

    Finally, a SpeedDots tempered glass screen protector bundle.
    This bundle combines everything people have asked for in a screen protector.
    Not only do you get the speedDots screen protector of your choice for faster navigation or typing,
    you also get a high quality glass screen protector, so your screen is protected against drops and bangs.
    All of this, from Speed Dots.

    plus 2 shiny pennies courtesy of J.J. and Joe.

    A Show Off Showcase

    Our last game features Sandi and Karen. Whoever guesses a number that is closest to the price, without mentioning a larger number than the price itself, will win. here is what items are on display.

    A Cone-shaped Bluetooth Speaker
    along with a gaggle of items we found in the Nugget gift shop. Such as magnets, shot glasses and nifty pen-sized flashlights that said "Reno" and "Nugget" on them.

    Let's have a hand for Wendy, Marco, Cathy, Sandi and Karen for being our first ever game show contestants. They were great sports and it made this event a real thrill for us.

    We'd really like to thank everyone for helping us make this first outing a fantastically fun night. Dave Wilkinson, our human clock and random number generator, was a last second addition to the proceedings. And, as stated during the program we could not have captured this on audio without the help of the talented Derrick Lane!

    Visit his site to learn more about how you can harness the power of his audio production.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    Anyone know which end of a microphone you speak into to do a podcast? We've been a way for a while. However now that the summer shows have ended, we're back to recording shows in the studio and not in a hotel. And it seems like some big news was waiting for us to talk about. News so big that we thought Chancey Fleet should join us to discuss the week's events. There is a tip and an audio-based "Last Word" in there too. So kick up your heels and turn on the AC as we're saying good bye to the summer conventions on BBQ 109.

    Sponsor: Humanware

    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 PlayStore. 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 scilently on it s touch screen using the innovative TouchBraille typing system. With school starting back up, use KeyMath in your math classes, the all in one system which allows braille math to be converted to perfect looking print math in real time. And if you have not updated your Touch to version 4, it is live and waiting for you in the KeyUpdater app.
    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 http://www.humanware.com 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 http://www.humanware.com/touchvideos .

    In The News

    Breaking: NVDA's Jamie Teh Leaving for New Job with Mozilla

    Opinion: Shady Code Alert: Amazon iPhone App Detects Voiceover and Quietly Disables Alexa

    Hims Focuses on Camera, QWERTY Keyboards for First BrailleSense Polaris Update

    Accessible Apps updates Twitter Client Chicken Nugget to version 4.4

    Discussion Topic: Big Stories From ACB/NFB Summer Conventions

    The subject list is shallow but the conversation delves deeply into the major highlights of the summer conventions. Chancey, J.J. and Joe have some opinions and we hope you send along yours as well because there were some bombshells dropped in the A.T. world between episodes 107 to 109.

    Need Vision on Demand? There s an App for That

    Microsoft releases the Seeing A.I. app to the iOS App Store

    Innovation, Blindness, and the Emerging Pattern of Thought

    Everyone is talking about the Orbit Reader

    Tip: Barcode Reading on Demand

    J.J. demonstrates some features of the Seeing AI app which can be used to identify products.

    Last Word:

    From our summer earworms to yours... You know you missed this section!

    The march to the winter announcements begins in a month or so. That leaves us a few shows to provide more "catch up" coverage before we start talking about phones and watches. Next week, we'll cover some of the other news that passed by while we were away.

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    You might be wondering how Blind and Low Vision people can enjoy the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21st. In this episode we speak to Dr. Henry Winter, a real honest to goodness astrophysicist who tells us how we can participate in the big cosmic event. We also sync our Google Home calendars, talk more about the Orbit Reader and we strap on our red shoes for the "Last Word".

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    In The News:

    The Onkyo Braille Essay Contest Returns with $2,000 Top Prize for Braille Essays

    Humanware and APH release the Matt Connect video magnifier

    Here's a story we didn't get to last week when we were discussing news out of Orlando.
    Alexa, Open NFB-Newsline

    Our friend @AccessAna turned us onto the latest with Brailleback in this tweet:

    New beta of #BrailleBack for #Android, featuring contracted Braille input, grade switching on the Fly, and wordwrap.

    And, after we recorded this episode, it seems Android O is almost here according to this ArsTechnica article.

    How fast can you process words? Participate in a 10 minute Research Study to F

    Be sure to catch up on your summer reading with the July and August issues of Access World.

    Navigate the Playa Accessibly with Updated Burning Man Maps

    Interview: Eclipse Soundscapes

    Dr. Henry Trae Winter, an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, sits down with J.J. to talk about Eclipse Soundscapes. Learn how you can use this free app for iOS and Android to experience the solar eclipse on Monday, and how you can participate as a citizen scientist by providing audio of the event. There's more coming up after the eclipse as well, so don't delete the app after Monday.

    Tip: Google Home Calendar

    The ability to add appointments to your calendar from your Google Home arrived during our time away at Summer Conventions. Joe walks us through the process. However, here is an article that outlines the steps as well.

    Sound Off:

    Here are three emails that touch upon some of our thoughts from episode 109. Firstly, from long time listener Rebecca Skipper, an email entitled "Welcome Back".

    "Hi,

    Episode 109 is one of my favorites from the BBQ.

    I share Joe s concerns about the potential loss of choice, but I m even more concerned about affordability if the government purchases Braille displays on bulk.

    Yes, I ve received AT from VR, but once I started working, I discovered just how empowering it can be if you, the consumer, purchase your own products.

    I bought my second Braille Notetaker after the first one crashed.

    I look forward to the opportunity to buy my own technology in the future.

    Please remember how the Orbit Reader 20 was launched from a group of nonprofit organizations who wanted to keep the price down so that more people have access to Braille.

    That major milestone should not be overlooked.

    What an amazing accomplishment!

    Get twelve organizations to agree to and stick with a goal!

    That is amazing!

    So, I would rather see the consumer become empowered like I did.

    Let's give the affordable Braille display market a chance to thrive in the consumer market.

    The government can do good things and try to improve access to AT, but prices seem to go up.

    Give vouchers to consumers if you have to.

    It would be nice if every library system had access to a 40 cell refreshable Braille display, but it would be used very little in some areas to the point where staff would forget how to connect the device.

    I wish the blind community truly understood how fortunate we are right now.

    Thanks."

    From Bonnie Lucas,

    "Loved your show on bridges and when J.J demoed the App, I was reminded that when I got it to read a can it said cranberry juice and we do not buy cranberry juice. The can was actually fire roasted tomatoes.

    Listening right now and I think there ought to be a way to have a game show at the NFB convention! Listened and loved it!

    And lastly from Stanley Littrell...

    "While I was listening to the section of your podcast concerning Seeing AI, I was reminded of trying a recent experiment. When I used my ID mate to read a bag of mixed nuts that I purchased through Amazon I couldn't read the barcode because it wasn't in the database. I then used the short reading text mode to read the bag using the Seeing AI app. I was able to read the contents of the bag. I will still proudly use the ID Mate. This app is just one more tool in the tool kit."

    Last Word:

    From Flying Battery Zone, via Sonic Mania, to just plain batteries. We always finish with some crazy stuff at the end of the show.
    Green Hill Zone Act 1 2017

    Green Hill Zone Act 2 2017

    Samsung copycat Xiaomi has a phone called Note and it just exploded in someone's pants

    We're just returning to stride with this week's show. It is good to be back and even better to know we have a lot more to talk about before the end of the year. See you next week!

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    Style and fashion might be scary words to some of us who are not fans of clothing shopping. In this week's episode, Ricky Enger stops by to talk about Clothing Subscription Services that might just take the fear of the unknown out of the shopping equation. We'll also reverberate in the "Last Word" and find out how you can make those new voices in NVDA even faster than the default in our tip of the week.

    Sponsor: Humanware

    Humanware recently announced the Victor Reader Trek, a combination talking media player and GPS. After Joe's interview with Greg Stilson around convention time, many of you sent in questions which Greg has answered. We'll include these later in the show notes. You can preorder it now for $599 which is $100 off the list price, or call Humanware at 800-722-3393.

    In The News:

    Latest NVDA Includes New Voices, Rapid OCR, Contracted Braille Input

    Start Talking with the Free Dictationbridge Release Candidate for NVDA Out Now

    Windows 10 adding eye control to boost accessibility

    Samsung Launches Visual Aid App for Visually Impaired

    The original name in head mounted Video Magnifiers returns with Enhanced Vision's all new Jordy

    Android O feature spotlight: Accessibility has some new features, including better volume control and a new shortcut method

    Freedom Scientific Focuses on Ruggedness with Updated 40-cell Display

    New Humanware Explore 8 Remains Portable While Packing in More Screen Real Estate

    Browse more than 1,400 Audio Described Movies from the Audio Description Project

    Discussion Topic: On Demand Clothing Options

    Independently shopping for clothing that reflects your personal style can be a challenge, though it is a necessary evil. In this segment, Ricky And J.J. discuss two styling subscription options which allow a user to receive a box of items at chosen intervals, and select the items to keep or return. Both options discussed are available for men and women, and require a $20 styling fee for each box received. Returns are processed through USPS, simply using the included return envelope to send back the clothing that didn't work out. The services reviewed were Stitchfix and Wantable. You can visit the main websites, or you can
    Use Ricky's invite code for Stitchfix or
    Use Ricky's invite code for Wantable.

    Additional services discussed in this segment were:
    Trunk Club
    Gwynnie Bee
    Dia & Co

    Tip: Faster and Faster Voices

    J.J. explains how to speed up the new Microsoft voices which are now available with NVDA 2017.3

    Sound Off:

    Three emails make up the feedback this week. Up first, Daniel Crone was kind enough to ask a question about episode 110's title.

    "What is blast processing?"

    Blast processing was a made up marketing term by SEGA of America to promote Sonic The Hedgehog. It was used in many of their 90's commercials.
    Joe mentioned the term briefly at the top of the episode in relation to the tease for his contribution to the "Last Word".

    Next, Victor Marques wanted to pass along a story that was quite like the one Chancey told on BBQ 110.

    "Funny story relating to Chancey's walk back to the hotel where the person told her that she could find her car in the back parking lot. People really just are clueless sometimes and do not think. My wife and I were leaving McDonald's with the two children we were caring for that day and our two dog guides. We were standing outside getting my Trekker Breeze ready and harnessing the dogs when someone asked if he could help us find our car. It took about 10 seconds of silence and probably quizzical expressions on our faces for him to realize and comment that we probably did not have a car. We do, however, look forward to the day in a few years where that question might have some validity, and that certainly is exciting with the advancements in driverless technology. What are your takes on that and do you think it will ever get to the point of true autonomy?"

    lastly, Rodney Neely had this to say after hearing our previous episode.

    Hello J.J. and Joe,
    My name is Rodney Neely. I have been a loyal listener of your program
    for a long time. Joe, I used to listen to you when you worked for
    Serotek.
    I really enjoy all of your programs. But there is one area in which I
    think that some focus might be beneficial for all blind people,
    especially for those of us who work in a predominantly sighted
    work-place.
    I am hoping that you might consider doing a segment on the
    collaborative work-place.
    and/or different ways that blind people can collaborate with our
    sighted colleagues in the work-place.
    Fortunately, Zoom is fairly accessible. Unfortunately, the Federal
    government chooses to use Microsoft Sharepoint and Skype for Business
    as its collaborative work-place solutions. Neither of these tools is
    really usable by blind people without some expensive plug-ins.
    If you eeally want to get your listeners excited, you should contact
    representatives from the NFB, the ACB, and even AFB to see what steps
    they have taken to combat this problem.
    Whether you choose to do a program that focuses on this topic or not,
    I will still listen to your programs.
    Please let me know what you think of this idea."

    Where to start... Well, we've used Zoom a few times and we may do a focused segment on it in the future. The collaborative work-place problem has existed for quite some time in Government, private and Education sectors. It isn't an easy discussion to have as you might approach each sector differently depending on the State or Federal level. And making things more complex is the bidding process for procurement. It Departments also tend to play favorites based upon technical implementation and the need for less training of staff with some deployments. But that is just the tip of the iceberg really. joe gives some ideas about how to go about the process. However, he also says that this was one of the reasons why he left State Government 7 years ago.

    Last Word:

    Find out if you can segue from Gate Reverb to pizza Rat in the same podcast segment in this week's edition of end of show randomness.
    How a recording-studio mishap shaped '80s music
    New York City scientists will pay you to study your rat infestation

    Joe made a few media references this week that did not fit directly into the Show Notes order. So, in case you wanted to hear clips of what he was talking about, here are two mentions.
    National Lampoon "You Catch It And You Keep It"
    David Letterman drops stuff from a 5-story tower

    Victor Reader Trek Answers from Greg

    Tina Hansen
    Is there any chance of adding support for Bluetooth keyboards?

    GS:  This is not implemented in version 1 but is possible and has been a requested feature.

    What about Audible support?

    GS: We are in discussions with Audible and they are supportive of making accommodations for the upcoming Trek.

    Michael Micallef
    I heard with great interest this podcast regarding victor reader tracker. At present I m already have victor reader streamII. But now I have the following questions:
    Is there a possibility that we the existing vrstream users to trade in our device with the new vrstream-trecker device?

    GS:   HumanWare is currently offering a preorder discount of $100 off the retail price of $699 with the product shipping in October.  There is currently no trade in program available.

    Joanna Toner
    Are there any plans to allow RNIB Talking Books members to be able to access the Library through the Stream?
    GS: Both on the Stream and Trek we are currently working with RNIB to implement the RNIB Bookshare books as an option for those users in the UK.

    Will it be possible to change the default location of podcasts from the internal memory to the removal SD Card?

    GS:  This  has been a highly requested feature and is something we are looking into for an upcoming release on  both the Stream and Trek.

    Will the internal clock keep more accurate time?

    GS:  On both the  Stream and Trek the device syncs with an internet time server and will always sync your clock back to that server as soon as an internet connection is detected. 

    If someone buys the Trek in the UK I presume they will get access to the UK map. If that person goes on holiday to the US, will they be able to purchase the US map and install it on the same unit?

    GS:  Upon launch the device will ship with the country or region in which you are located.  For example if you are located in the UK you will receive the UK map.  If you are located in Michigan you will receive  the North America map which includes the US and Canada.  After the device is launched we will be validating European and other countries as quickly as possible to ensure the maps are compatible and will be   rolling the product out in these locations as well.  Our hope is to release version 1.1 by end of year which will include the ability to purchase other maps and have them downloaded wirelessly to the device.

    Ted Phillips
    My name is Ted Phillips and I have been listening to your podcast on the new Victor reader trek. I was looking on the humanware website for information on its availability in Canada. I hope that you will soon provide information on its availability in Canada. And the cost as well. Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you
    Ted

    GS:  The device will be first released in  North America in October.  This includes the US and Canada and a Trek user in this region will receive the entire North American map on the device.  The price is $599   preorder and $699 retail  USD.  
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    This week's episode is chock full of demos, tips and even an interview. James Boehm stops by to talk about a use for your old canes. Andre Louis also supplies us with an OCR demo for the Mac. Also, hear about the new NVDA and a look at the latest Apple accessory on the market before all that new stuff is announced on September 12th.

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    Hurricane Harvey

    Long time listeners know that Joe is from the Gulf Coast. While his friends and family made it through safely, others were dramatically impacted by Hurricane Harvey. All of us at the BBQ urge, if you can do so, to contribute to the relief effort. Below are some links for resources to give to those affected by the storm.

    The American Red Cross is giving aid to many areas impacted by the Hurricane. To learn more visit their Hurricane Harvey page.
    The Houston SPCA is serving as a hub for providing assistance to Animal Shelters who found themselves in the path of Harvey. You can learn more about them at their official website.
    The Houston Texans's JJ Whatt started a grass roots movement to help out his adopted Home Town. Learn about his contribution to the "Houston Strong" efforts here.

    Interview: James Boehm of Kustom Canes

    J.J. spoke with James Boehm, founder of Kustom Canes, to learn more about his journey from detailing cars to detailing something else related to mobility. James has a passion for customization and he gives some pretty amazing descriptions of the canes he has already created. Another passion for James is the need to provide refurbished canes to those in need. The "You Cane Give" project is a program where your gently previously used canes can be repaired for use by others in countries that may not have traditional O&M services available.

    If you would like to learn more about customized canes of virtually any style, [visit Kustom Cane on the web.
    And to donate canes, Email kustomcane@gmail.com

    Review: Apple Magic Keyboard With Numeric Pad

    Joe has this thing about first party hardware. He has several pieces of Microsoft and Apple gear lying around the office. A recent birthday gift of the new Apple Magic keyboard with Number Pad made its way into his collection. Is it worth the $129 asking price? Joe weighs in with his opinion, however, he suggests you search it out before you consider purchasing it yourself.

    Demonstration: NVDA With Win OCR

    Good grief are those PDF menus for that local food establishment ever annoying. And those people who post text in a pic on the web? Sheesh! It would be really nice to just hit NVDA Modifier R and have that stuff read aloud right? Listen how easy that actually is as J.J. shows us how to use this new feature found in the latest version of NVDA.

    Demonstration: VOCR

    Andre Louis shows off VOCR, OCR for VoiceOver users on the Mac.

    Created by Chi Kim, maker of FlowTools, FLogic and now VOCR, this set of useful macros for Keyboard Maestro brings OCR to VoiceOver users.

    Necessary Downloads:

    Keyboard Maestro:

    VOCR (from GitHub:)

    If you need to contact Andre Louis for help:

    Twitter: @OnjMusic
    Email: Onj.Louis@gmail.com
    Web: www.andrelouis.com

    Tip: Stay Prepared!

    Joe suggests taking some time out to prepare yourself for any manner of emergency. Many of these actions may prove to be life, or time, savers when you are in a situation where you are unable to rely on the technology you have readily available.

    • Protect your valuable documents...
      Grab a slate and stylus, or that old fashioned Brailler, and jot down your important numbers. Insurance policies, medical information, your family's social security numbers and other information you think you might need in order to verify your medical or residential status. Then, after all that is down on hard copy Braille, put it in waterproof bags with Braille labels on them. Keep them somewhere safe, yet easy to get to, that way you have them if you have to leave your home quickly.

    • Check your lighting conditions...
      Use the help of others, or Vision Assistance Apps, to make sure all your indoor and outdoor lighting is working properly. Also, be sure to have a flashlight and fresh batteries on hand. This will help others, including First Responders, help you in dire situations.

    • Food And Crates...
      If you have a Service Animal, or just family pets, be sure to have about a week's worth of food on hand. It may take a while to reach your area if you were to become cut off due to flooding or downed power lines. So making sure those furry friends have enough to eat is paramount. Moreover, if you do have to evacuate, many shelters will not accept pets without them being housed in a crate or cage. You don't want to leave them behind. So be sure they have these things available to them.

    • Battery Packs and Generators...
      Refrigerators, phones and laptops are all important devices in our lives. Until the power goes that is. Then you really find out how much you need them. Making sure you have the resources on hand to run them for longer periods of time, during a power outage, can be one of the most important aspects of managing life off the power grid. Be sure to invest in batteries for radios, and other electronics, as this will allow you to find out news and weather updates for your local area. Homeowners may want to look into the purchase of a portable generator for running the icebox. But those who live in apartments may want to be sure they own an ice chest for keeping food and medical supplies cool.

    • lastly, look into waterproof cases for your electronics. If your phone, laptop or notetaker is your primary form of access... providing the ability to keep it safe from the elements is key when you are forced to travel for whatever reason.

    "Sound Off" and "Last Word" are taking a break but will return in episode 114. Next week we'll talk about accessible games and the week after that finds us talking about the many things Apple will want you to buy this holiday season.

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    We've talked a bit already about how J.J. has used NVDA with OCR to play some games. And Joe has spoken about Xbox accessibility with Narrator. But that barely touches the surface of the types of games that are now available. Michael Feir and Jessie Anderson are on hand to talk about other forms of games access in this long-form discussion episode. The group also talks about the rise of crowd funding in the games sphere, how 3d printing is helping board gaming and how the future of games is going to involve lots of Augmented Reality.

    Sponsor: HumanWare

    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 http://www.humanware.com or by calling 800.722.3393.

    Resources

    The list of places where someone can learn about games access is growing rapidly. This list is just the tip of a very large iceberg on the subject.
    The Unity Accessibility Plug In Project
    GA Con, the Games Accessiblity event at the Game developer Confrence
    Follow Ian Hamilton on Twitter for a wide array of game access news
    The Able gamers Charity provides demonstrations, talks and more about games access in the mainstream game event space
    Game Accessibility Guidelines
    Designing Games For Everyone News Center

    Here are some of the places the group goes to find all types of games
    Good Old Games
    Steam
    Humble Bundle

    @@Consoles:
    The Xbox 1 and the Playstation 4 now talk with the aid of on board TTS. There is a blind player out there competing in Street Fighter tournaments.
    And there are games out there with loyal Blind followings like Skullgirls and Killer instinct.
    However, Joe notes that the true power of a talking video game console is more access for the parent than the player. Now you can track, limit and stay involved in the games played in the house. Both consoles, and their respective websites, allow for the purchase of content in ways not seen five years ago.

    Video games on other platforms:

    The iOS platform is probably the most friendly OS for audio games ever. This list contains some games for iOS, Android and the PC as our talk about electronic diversions wandered from device to device.
    Villains from Beyond
    A hero's Call
    Crafting Kingdom
    Blindfold Games
    Blac Box Puzzle
    The Inquisitor audio games
    Six Ages, sequel of King of Dragon Pass
    A Dark Room/The Ensign
    Dice tray
    A Blind Legend

    Table Top Games

    The group also discussed games that don't involve a video screen. Joe mentions he cut his teeth on problem-solving with the exploits he performed in "Dungeons And Dragons". Michael chimed in during this potion portion as well. many of the suggestions below come from his comments on table top gaming.
    64oz Games
    Sushi Go
    Nemesis Factor
    Aloniverse
    Dreamchaser
    Open Legend RPG

    Virtual Reality

    Joe asked Jesse to come on board as he uses an Oculus Rift to play VR games. This style of gaming is on another upswing in the public consciousness and jesse gives us some idea of how accessible these experiences are for Blind and Low Vision players. Some of the games can be viewed on YouTube and that might be the best way to get an idea of how they play, as VR can be a costly experience otherwise.
    Batman VR
    Ric And Morty VR
    Star Trek Bridge Crew
    Job Simulator
    International Space Station
    Dread Halls
    Resident Evil 7

    Disabled Characters In Games:

    Sometimes the way people view the Disabled Community can be shaped by the media consumed. Here is a list of games mentioned that feature a Disabled character in their narrative.
    Beyond Eyes
    [Perception](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perception_(video_game)
    The Surge
    Final Fantasy XV
    Life Is Strange

    Next week, Apple brings us the iPhone and Apple TV and Home Pod and new Apple watch and ... well you get the idea. Episode 114 is all about the Apple event on September 12th. don't worry if you are not an Apple fan as Google looks to have an event on October 5th and Microsoft announced a Surface event for October 31st. It is beginning to look a lot like the holiday season on BBQ, that's for sure.

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    Big news requires a big discussion group. That's why we asked Jamie Pauls and Scott Davert to return to the BBQ to talk all things Apple. X, 8, TVs and other acronyms will be mentioned. Also, you won't believe which Qast host defends one particular Apple device or why.

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    Hurricane Assistance

    The recent Hurricanes have brought untold devastation to millions of people. ACB and the NFB have both mounted efforts to assist those in the Blind and Low Vision Communities that have been impacted by these storms. If you can do so, please click on either link and provide whatever support you can.
    ACB Disaster Relief Fund

    National Federation of the Blind Hurricane Harvey Relief Project

    Discussion Topic: Apple iPhone Event 2017

    Here is just some of the news and links we covered during our Apple conversation.

    All the XCiting News from Apple's September 12 Event

    Mac Break Weekly 575

    A look inside the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple s spaceship campus

    24 Things You Can Do in iOS 11 That You Couldn't Do Before

    Apple's New iPhone Lineup: SE for $349, 6s for $449, 7 for $549, 8 for $699, X for $999

    iPhone 8 FAQ: Everything you need to know!

    iPhone 8 and 8 Plus Have Smaller Batteries Than iPhone 7 Models, But Similar Battery Life

    Hands on with the iPhone X: OLED and HDR outshine the other features

    iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus: All the specs, compared

    iPhones Compared: How the iPhone X Stacks Up Against iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
    Apple is Defying History With Its Pricey iPhone X

    How Much Will the Expensive Ass iPhone X Cost on Apple's Upgrade Plan?

    Apple is turning a design quirk into the iPhone X s defining feature

    How the Home 'button' works on iPhone X

    Apple explains what exactly happened when Face ID failed during iPhone X demo

    U.S. Senator Raises Questions About Security and Privacy of Face

    What you should know about privacy and Apple s FaceID on iOS 11

    Face ID Raises Some Scary Questions Here Are Some Answers

    I m worried that FaceID is going to suck and here s why

    Apple officially announces new Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE connectivity

    Apple Watch Series 3 Battery Lasts Up to 18 Hours, But Varies Based on Activity

    What's the difference between Apple Watch Series 0, Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3?

    Apple TV & iTunes Get 4K Upgrades

    Apple has begun rolling out HDR 4K content on iTunes and upgrading old purchases

    Disney Is the Only Major Hollywood Studio Not Backing Apple's Plan to Sell 4K Films at $20

    tvOS 11 FAQ: Everything you need to know!

    Some iPad Pros cost $50 more today as Apple quietly ups prices

    Apple Now Offering 32GB Variant of the iPhone 7 in Jet Black

    macOS High Sierra preview

    iTunes 12.7: How to cope with the abrupt changes

    Soundoff

    We asked for reactions on the news of the week and boy did you deliver. Here's just a sampling of the tweets we received:

    GStilson: The part that is being overlooked right now is what they did with the watch. That could potentially be a wearable industry changer.
    ed_edwardson: Apple must have used up their supply of courage last year. Bringing back the headphone jack would have been truly courageous.
    cristoferdeo: I'm inclined to buy the $800 256 GB iPhone model and sell my SE to mitigate my out of pocket cost.
    douglas2005: I wish Afple had addressed improving Siri. Not sold yet, but leaning to iPhone 8 or maybe Android.
    daiverd: I wonder if it will be possible to replace my phone with the new watch completely. I miss tiny phones
    jaybird110127: I personally don't see any reason for a blind person to buy the iPhone X. Save $300.
    LeftBollocks: by its very nature apple has proven that changing tec will spike abuse for a while. Then people wonder how they did with out
    slannon97: They didn't introduce any new Macs or a new iPhone SE. I'll wait until next year.
    alyssa6595: I'm looking forward to the new watch. To me, that was the highlight, along with the tribute to Steve Jobs
    maldonado0767: I'm a proponent of change and glad Apple has decided to upgrade to modern times by bringing wireless charging.
    turtlecatpurrz: I'm thrilled they are still selling the SE and 6S. It gives me hope that I can get another year out of my 6S
    missanonymous94: I wonder what the solution is for people who can't open or control their eyes, or have no eyes. I have nostagnus and can't look directly.

    The big tech events show no sign of stopping with Google and Microsoft both set to display their holiday lines in October. And there wasn't any sign of the Home Pod. So it isn't unrealistic to think we'll have another Apple event since it isn't like they have to book their Steve Jobs Theater in advance. Next week, however, we'll catch up on news and talk iOS11's big rollout with Jamie and Scott.

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    The new iOS 11 is live and ready to download. Jamie Pauls
    and Scott Davert
    return to talk about the perils and pitfalls for those who want to install that shiny new OS on their IDevices. We'll also catch up on the news, check in with "Sound Off" and enjoy some Dog Feelings in the "Last Word".

    Sponsor: Humanware

    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 PlayStore. 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 scilently on its touch screen using the innovative TouchBraille typing system. With school starting back up, use KeyMath in your math classes, the all in one system which allows braille math to be converted to perfect looking print math in real time. And if you have not updated your Touch to version 4, it is live and waiting for you in the KeyUpdater app.
    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 http://www.humanware.com 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 http://www.humanware.com/touchvideos.

    In The News:

    California Joins New York in Offering Free Bookshare Memberships for Qualified Residents

    Catching Up: Try Out the JAWS 19, ur 2018 Public Beta

    Freedom Scientific adds another jewel to the collection with the release of another 7 inch Ruby Handheld Video Magnifier

    Redbox Kiosks May Become More Accessible after Prolonged Legal Battle

    Project Management App Asana Gains VoiceOver Support with Latest Update

    From Inclusive Android, Poll On Audio Experience and Talkback

    Paid Racing Game Accessibility Research from Columbia University in New York

    Discussion Topic: iOS 11

    Jamie and Scott are back to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of iOS 11. To learn more about the new update, and decide if you should jump in the deep end or just hang out in the pool side lounge chairs, read the links below for more information.

    To update or not to Update to iOS 11; Braille Users May Want to Wait According to AppleVis

    Apple Releases iOS 11; Bringing a Range of Enhancements and New Features

    What's New in iOS 11 Accessibility for Blind, Low Vision and Deaf-Blind Users

    The Accessibility Bugs in iOS 11 for Blind and Low Vision Users; From Serious To Minor

    Here s Why You Should Wait to Download iOS 11

    Apple Releases New iPad Pro Tutorial Videos Covering iOS 11 Features

    iOS 11 on the iPhone 5S: Slower, but not quite slow

    Some iOS 11 issues show early adoption pitfalls, others are just growing pains

    Older 32-Bit Apps Will Not Work With iOS 11

    Can t send email on iOS 11? Apple working on fix for Outlook.com and Exchange mail accounts

    Turning Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iOS 11's Control Center Doesn t Actually Turn Off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

    iOS 11, thoroughly reviewed

    Picture This, or Maybe Not: a Review of the New Image Description Feature in iOS 11

    iOS 11: The MacStories Review

    iOS 11 review: 99 hits, 1 miss

    Is Apple Still Detail Oriented?

    How to downgrade your iPhone or iPad from iOS 11

    Sound Off:

    We start with an email from Juan...

    "Hello blind bargains,

    I continue to enjoy your podcast, and your honest opinions. Of what technology has in store for us blind individuals. I too am not too impressed with the changes of the iPhone, but let's face it, Apple is going after the market for people who use android phones, as there are so many that use them. It started with the 6+ phones with their bigger screen, and now the screen with no buttons. I still don't like the no regular head phone feature. Also, you guys mentioned that you wouldn't like the phone charging on a table, but many students at Sac State regularly. Leave their phones on tables while they are eating or studying. In addition, Scott mentioned that he uses his phone with a braille display, but I'd like to know how that experience is for him, as I too have a braille display but find myself listening to the speech, because the braille doesn't keep up, and also, find myself touching the screen to navigate around like tapping the bottom for the doc icons, and the top for my essages. Scott, how do you do it?
    Also, with the new Braille note takers that run on android I'd like to know if they are considerable substitutes for heavy laptops; on those long days . I mean does the internet work on university wifi networks, and can you actually go on the school websites? Also, when writing on these note takers, can you format documents correctly? Anyway, could either Jamie or Scott, or anyone do reviews on the Humanware Braille Note Touch, and the Hims Polaris?

    Thank you

    Sincerely,

    Juan Manuel Avila "

    Several of our CSUN17 and Summer Convention interviews speak about Notetakers and how they operate in the classroom. It is a major priority for most of the AT Industry at the moment as Education is seen as the new battlefield for winning over students and Education Staff alike. But remember, a web portal can be awful for any device if it is coded badly or if it requires a visual click on a box to enter its network. That means you don't know until you encounter it. As Joe noted this happened in Reno at ACB for a lot of convention goers.

    Next, from Josh, an aspect of gaming we didn't cover a few weeks ago.

    "You forgot to mention flight simulator games such as euroFly and microsoft flight simulator x."

    This is true, but unlike Pokemon, we can't catch them all. We'll see if we can wrangle up a few pilots for a talk about this when we come back to another round of gaming talk.

    Last Word:

    Optimism shines in this week's look at the wild world of the web.
    Thoughts Of Dog On Twitter
    Processing (Seeing AI remix) by Ghorthalon

    Shelly returns in BBQ 116 to talk about iPhones, Apple TVs and Apple Watches. Tune in to hear our thoughts on the new hardware releases.

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    0 0

    Apple released new hardware this month with the glass-backed iPhone 8 models and the spiffy Series 3 Apple Watches. BBQ Regular Shelly Brisbin drops by to talk about those objects and give her take on iOS 11. We also have a tip, "Sound Off" and the Last Word" in a very laid back long-form conversational edition of the Blind Bargains Qast.

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    In The News:

    Amazon Fire Braille Support: New, Improved, and Still Improving

    JAWS 18 September update Supports Edge Browser, Brailliant 14

    Optelec Now Shipping Compact 6 HD Speech, a Tiny Magnifier with OCR

    Practice your Math in a Flash with a New APH Action for Google Home

    Just One Week Left to Submit Papers for #CSUNATC18 in San Diego

    Watch Liam Erven's Presentation at the Gamer Grace Video Gaming Convention

    Discussion Topic: Apple Watch, iPhone 8 And iOS11 redux

    Be prepared to hear the debate between Joe and Shelly as to which Apple product they like the most in the current line of shipping Apple products. The answer, as they say, might surprise you. below are some articles mentioned during the discussion. Note that we ran out of time and a few products might need a return visit to the spotlight.

    Apple s iOS 11.0.1 update addresses Exchange e-mail server issue

    How to use Apple s terrific document scanner in iOS 11

    How to switch your video format to shoot in 4K/60FPS and 1080P/240FPS

    How to record your screen with iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad

    Apple Watch Series 3 review: A dash of iPod and a bit of iPhone for your wrist

    iMore Watch OS4 review

    Review: watchOS 4 breathes new life into fitness side of the Apple Watch

    Apple Watch Series 3 teardown finds a bigger battery and few surprises

    iPhone 8 and 8 Plus review: The curious case of the time-traveling phone

    iPhone 8 review: The status quo upgrade

    iPhone 8 Teardowns Reveal Advanced Modems Likely Selected for Power Improvements

    iPhone 8 Component Costs Estimated to Start at $247.51

    Glass-Bodied iPhone 8 Shatters Repeatedly in Drop Tests

    Apple's iPhone X to boast 2,716mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, Chinese regulatory filing shows

    The iPhone X Portends a More Accessible Future

    macOS 10.13 High Sierra: The Ars Technica review

    MacOS High Sierra is well worth the upgrade

    7 things to know before upgrading to MacOS High Sierra 10.13

    Apple s Safari update secretly mines data to protect your privacy

    Apple s new file system will eventually support Fusion Drive machines

    How to downgrade from macOS High Sierra back to macOS Sierra

    Apple TV 4K Teardown Reveals 3GB of RAM and Larger Venting System With Replaceable Fan

    Apple just received a fast lane for developing health features that require FDA approval

    Efest LUC Blu6 Bluetooth Battery Charger

    An accessible battery charger? We're talking traditional AA or AAA batteries, not phone powerbanks. Patrick tries out the Efest LUC Blu6 LCD Intelligent Charger with Bluetooth available for about 36 bucks from Amazon. Listen to see if this might be an accessible solution to charge those old batteries.

    Tip: Add the Apple TV Remote app to Control Center

    Joe has mentioned a few dozen times that he is not a fan of the Siri Remote for the 4th Gen Apple TV. The new iOS 11 allows for the Apple TV Remote app to be added to the Control Center. Check out these steps to customize and reorder the new Control Center.

    Sound Off:

    Rebecca Skipper gives her opinion of iOS 11 and wonders about the form factors of iPhones.

    "Hi,

    I m running IOS11 on an iPhone SE.

    I m not experiencing any problems deleting messages in mail yet.

    However, I prefer IOS10 methods for moving files.

    Apple s notification sheet reminds me of Windows notification center because both OS will let you clear notifications.

    Would you care to speculate on the future of the iPhone SE?

    The move to larger phones isn t for me, and I hope Apple will continue to support their smaller phone line.

    Only time will tell, however, even the smaller iPod units disappeared when their sales slowed. Apple likes money but it is still primarily a hardware-based sales company. We'll have to see what happens with 8 models of iPhone in the channel before we begin to speculate which ones get voted out of Apple Park. Next, we're reminded of an old friend of the show. Ali Moosa writes...

    "Hello Joe and J.J,
    When you guys did shows in other places, I remember you guys had Alena Roberts on hosting one of the shows.
    Have you guys looked at having her on the Blind Bargains show?
    Hope to hear from you guys soon,
    Thank you,
    Ali Moosa "

    Ms. Roberts is alive and well on the West Coast. Her schedule is crazy and we have not been able to book her for an appearance. We'd like to have her and Pete Bossley on at some point down the road. It is really fun to get the band back together when schedules permit.

    Last Word:

    Don't Say Velcro

    Student outwits teacher's 3x5 cheat sheet

    Next week, to J.J.'s relief, we probably will talk Google and Microsoft. Both companies, along with Amazon, are releasing new tech objects. Grab the wallets, it is totally the beginning of the holiday spending season for us geeks!

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    We bring balance to the Force this week with a look at the recent Google Hardware Event. However, Apple Fans, that isn't all we talk about as some of the hardware discussed can connect to iOS as well. We also have "Sound Off", a tip and the craziness that is the "Last Word".

    In The News:

    If You Only Take One Survey This Year, Make it WebAIM's Screen Reader Survey

    Hitting Refresh on Accessibility

    Rethinking Web Accessibility On Windows

    No Need to Wait Around, Be My Eyes for Android has been Posted

    Playstation firmware v5.0 adds more minor changes to TTS access

    No Need to Wait Around, Be My Eyes for Android has been Posted

    National Federation of the Blind Applauds Introduction of AV START Act

    Google Docs Magnification

    Amazon s new Fire TV will ship with Fire OS 6.0 (based on Android Nougat)

    Roku unveils faster media players, universal remote and a new OS

    Discussion Topic: Google Event 2017

    Seven product announcements, nine videos and all under 120 minutes. Google sure packed in a lot of information during their event and we unpack some of that during our deep dive at what we thought mattered from mountain View. Here is just some of the articles we refer to during this portion of the program.

    Sundar Pichai says the future of Google is AI

    $49 Google Home Mini announced to compete with Amazon s Echo Dot

    Google's Home Max Goes After HomePod With a Big Ass Sonos Clone

    Google now lets you send messages through the Google Home to unsuspecting roommates

    Everything you need to know about Google Home Max

    Pixel 2: What You Need to Know About Google's New Top Android Phones

    Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What's the difference?

    The Google Pixel 2 XL vs. the competition: Cameras rule

    Pixel 2 comes with a free Google Home Mini

    Google guarantees three years of Android software updates for the Pixel 2

    Pixelbook hands-on: stunning hardware for Chrome OS afficionados

    Made for Google program goes official, denotes approved accessories

    Google wants to sell you this USB-C to 3.5mm/USB-C adapter for $44.95

    Google's Pixel Buds are $159 wireless headphones with real-time

    Realtime Translation Demo

    Google s Pixel Buds use Assistant to auto-pair to your phone, just like Apple s AirPods

    Google reveals new Daydream View VR headset for $99

    Google unveils a $249 smart camera that decides what s worth photographing

    The Pixel's missing headphone jack proves Apple was right

    Google is using its biggest advantage as a weapon to totally embarrass Apple

    Spotify voice commands now work on any Google Assistant-supported device

    Original Google Pixel gets a new lower price

    Google Assistant now has a male voice option

    Google follows Amazon with multi-step smart home routines and kid-friendly accounts

    Google Just Invented... Lifelogging?

    Inside Google s massive hardware ambitions

    Tip: Easier Reading In Word 2016

    J.J. reminds us that you can read documents in Microsoft Word 2016 easier if you view them from the "Draft" area. To do this, press Alt plus W to jump focus to the "View" tab. From there navigate to "Draft View". Joe notes that Screen magnifier users who rely on speech for some tasks would also like this tip for long reading sessions, rather than shrinking a document down a few sizes, as speech can encounter problems when viewing pages in modified views.

    Sound Off:

    Charlie Smith provides us an update to a previous story in the News Feed...

    "Hi everyone:

    I am currently testing Asana, and as stated in the subject line, it is accessible beyond explanation.
    All the buttons are labeled correctly, tabs work beyond well, and all is good with VoiceOver.
    I am not working in a team, I just love to assist anyone developing apps."

    Jim writes in with his take on iOS 11's shortcomings.

    "Hello, I really enjoyed your Blind Bargains podcast regarding iOS 11.
    One significant bug that no one seems to discuss often is this horrible rendering of PDF files, for example in Ibooks.
    Epub files are fine, but PDF'S jump around all over the place, so that the experience is ruined, completely ruined.
    Many user guides and class materials are distributed in PDF format, so I am highly disappointed with this bug.
    I should try importing PDF files into another app, I do not know if that might yield better results.
    At any rate, I always enjoy the podcast.
    Thanks.
    Sent from my jPhone"

    Last Word:

    Music and dogs are this week's subjects at the center of the Last Word.
    Another Taylor Swift cover song for J.J.

    Got it licked! St Bernard dog Mo breaks Guinness World Record for longest tongue

    Four weeks of mainstream tech sure can wear a team out. So that means there will be another apple Event, looking at you Home Pod, to come before December. And we already know Microsoft has a few things in the pipeline past the Windows Fall Creators Update. Oh, yeah, there is that new Victor Reader Trek too. It seems there is no sleep until we are eating turkey at Thanksgiving. Tune in to 118 to hear what's next.

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    The fun of the hardware announcements has died down, for now, with J.J. and Joe finding themselves back with a full slate of news and a demonstration of YouTube TV. We also have a tip, "Sound Off" and a triumphant return of a long-time favorite subject to the "Last Word".

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    In The News:

    Free Nearby Explorer Online Comes to the iPhone with Lots of Navigational Goodness

    Seeing AI v1.3 brings 3d Touch support and save original document enhancements

    ZoomText 11.6 released for Fusion and ZoomText Magnifier/Reader

    Small JAWS 18 Update Fixes Outlook 365, Edge Bug

    JAWS 2018 Public Beta 2 Fixes Bugs in Many Areas, See the Complete Changelog

    JAWS Wide Open

    The U.S. is not the Only Country with Inaccessible Currency

    Court: Movie Theaters Must Accommodate Deaf-Blind Patrons

    Demonstration: YouTube TV

    More and more Americans are cutting the cord. Yet not all of the options available are speech or magnification friendly. And in some cases your particular television market may not be able to view any local network channels. In this demonstration of YouTube TV, on Android and Windows, J.J. shows us what the service has to offer and gives us an idea on the pros and pitfalls of using access technology to view all those wonderful channels. After that, Joe asks J.J. some questions about the experience and the pair discuss some aspects of the cord cutting alternative on the iOS platform. If you find that you want to try YouTube TV out for yourself, there is a free trial, head over to the official website to learn more.

    Tip: Share WiFi Passwords In iOS 11

    The new version of Apple's mobile operating system allows you to easily share a WiFi password with a guest in just a few simple steps. This article outlines how to do this but beware that both devices need to be on iOS11 for this tip to work.

    Sound Off:

    From Duyahn Walker, a bit of Amazon news that eluded our grasp last week.

    "Hello:

    I noticed that in the Amazon music app that there's a new feature. This feature is now Alexa. When swiping to the right on the app, you will find an unlabeled button for Alexa. You have to get VoiceOver to see it. Once you do, you double tap this button and Alexa is ready to listen. However, you've got two voices fighting for attention. One is the Alexa voice, and the other is VoiceOver. When you double tap this option, VoiceOver is telling you that it is listening to you. But when you try to speak to Alexa, VoiceOver is getting in the way, and you can not issue your commands. This is a major problem. You don't want to shut VoiceOver off if you are totally blind because you need to be able to hear what your doing. Even if your low vision, your dealing with the same problem if you can't see the screen very well. I've tried to speak to the accessibility department about this issue and they don't want to file tickets to the developer's. In my personal opinion, this bothers me quite a bit."

    We had a number of people write in to tell us the real identity of the Math Flash voice. For example, this guess from Beth.

    Hey, listening to BBQ116 and that voice is Bob Boots. Beth

    Good guess, but no. We actually had APH confirm this to us on Twitter, the true identity of the Math Flash voice is Lou Harpenau.

    Last Word:

    Dipping sauce and cookies are the things that we found most interesting this week.
    Girl Scout Thin Mint Cereal

    This DIY Recipe for That McDonald's Szechuan Sauce From "Rick and Morty" Is Pretty Damn Good

    It feels strange not to have a big company telling us that they have new hardware to sell. However, we'll take the quiet time to focus on other matters next week. Remember, backup all your data as the next version of Windows 10 is on the way come midmonth!

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    J.J. reports from a remote location and Joe is on autopilot due to the first school year based family sickness. But that didn't stop either of them from bringing along some topical news, "Sound Off" and a few "Last Words". Jay Forry returns as well to talk about summer movies. Which it just so happens to be a great idea for our two hosts since J.J. is traveling and Joe can barely manage to find the remote option on his Apple Watch.

    In The News:

    Portion of Enchanted Hills Camp Destroyed by California Wildfires, Lighthouse Pledges to Rebuild

    Main Menu for October 13th 2017 features talk on Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update changes

    The Fall Creators Update Brings Us Closer to a Windows for Everyone

    Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: Lots of small changes and maybe the revolution

    Apple Releases iOS 11.0.3; Fixing Problems with Audio and Haptic Feedback on some iPhones

    Texie is a new iOS app that aims to binally bring us handwriting OCR
    Michael Doise gives us his take on the app from his blog

    Twitterific, after an amazing croud sourced fueled development cycle, comes to the Mac with many Voiceover friendly features

    The Survey Of The Week" focuses on replacing traditional A.T. with mainstream phones and tablets. Up for grabs, if you complete the survey, is a drawing of a $100 iTunes or Google Play gift card

    Madden 2018, through the efforts of karen Stevens and the EA Access Team, is the first game to score a touchdown for Blind players on Playstation and Xbox. Read more about the current features at this link

    Interview: Jay Forry "Blind Film Critic"'s Top 5 For Summer 2017

    Jay Forry is back with us to talk about his pics for the 2017 summer movie season. Hear what he got right with the top five films from his list in episode 98.
    Joe mentions the yearly totals for each of the films in this look back at the summer. You can see these totals, and many more statistics, at Box Office Mojo.
    You can check out his webiste for more movie goodness.

    Tip: Movies Anywhere

    J.J. punted the tip over to Joe who tells us of the transformation of Disney Movies Anywhere to just Movies Anywhere an app which can leverage your home movie collection and let you watch movies, well anywhere. We mention it here especially because many audio description tracks are available.

    Sound Off:

    Phil Koster writes in;

    "My wife has the LCA variant of RP so she has some vision. She has been using Windows phones for a couple years now as WinMo 8 was actually decent. So this might have to wait for after the Windows event but: is Windows mobile going away completely? Will the OS be there for 3rd parties and it's just the MS/Nokia phones going away? If WinMo is going away, should we go Android or iPhone? We can't afford a premium phone so it would end up being a used iPhone or a mid-low end Android phone. If it matters, we already have an Amazon echo, Roku, and Fire Stick. We purchase most of our digital content from Amazon. Does that put us in the android camp for ecosystem already? If you do recommend android for us, can you mention a couple recommended mid-range phones that are T-Mobile/unlocked?

    Thank you very much. LOVE the podcast. Keep up the great work.

    We're sad to report to you Phill that Microsoft did confirm that Windows Phone is no more.
    There are many low cost Android phones out there with larger screens. And your wife could use the new microsoft Launcher as a means to porting over any services from MS that she may have gotten accustomed to using on WP.

    From Twitter, and our discussion of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cereal, Thanks to Trenton Matthews for turning us on to Reese's Peanut Butter International Delights Coffee Creamer.

    Last Word:

    Netflix Unveils Top Binge Raced Shows
    Epic Deli

    Next week, Joe has the Google Home mini and J.J. wants to know if it is the $49 gateway tool Google hopes it to be this holiday season.

    We leave you with this Epic menu, courtesy of Liam:

    This weeks offerings at epic deli (10/16-10/22)
    THE GORDON BOMBAY- two quarter pound certified angus beef patties, american cheese, jalape o's, pulled pork, house made "Hockey Mom" bbq sauce that we make with Only Child Brewing's "Hockey Mom" K lsch style beer!! then we take a toasted pretzel bun and spread Merkt's cheddar cheese on both sides and then crust the insides of the bun with crushed tortilla chips!!!
    THE STANLEY- bbq pulled pork, bacon, bbq rib patties, cheddar cheese, spicy cheese curds, ghost pepper ranch, and bbq potato chips!! Served on a sub roll!!! LET'S GO BLACKHAWKS!!!
    THE BURRITO-WICH- shredded pork, refried beans, avocado, chipotle sour cream, pico de gallo, pepperjack cheese, taco flavored doritos and lettuce!! Served on a toasted sub roll!!
    THE JOE MENTALINO- a fried chicken breast tossed in ghost pepper buffalo sauce, ghost pepper ranch cream cheese, habanero pickles, and ghost pepper slaw!! served on a toasted brioche bun!!
    THIS WEEKS APPETIZER SPECIAL!! CHICKEN POT POUTINE- waffle fries smothered in chicken pot pie b chamel sauce with chicken and mixed vegetables and topped with white cheddar cheese curds and fried onion straws!!
    ADULT BUTTER-BEER SHAKE- we mix together vanilla ice cream, butterscotch, and 7%ABV Not Your Father's Vanilla Creme Ale! topped with whipped cream and butterscotch! served in a 16oz frosty mug!! (21+)
    SALTED CARAMEL 100 GRAND SHAKE- we mix together vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, milk, and a 100 grand candy bar!! topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate and caramel!!
    PISTACHIO PUDDING POP SHAKE- we mix together vanilla ice cream, pistachio flavored pudding mix, and milk!! topped with whipped cream and chopped pistachios!!
    NUTELLA BUTTERFINGER SHAKE- we mix together vanilla ice cream, nutella, milk, and a butterfinger candy bar!! topped with whipped cream, chocolate, and crushed butterfingers!!

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    This is one of those times where we get to talk about actual new hardware with said hardware actually on hand. Joe has the new Google Home mini in the office and J.J. asks him questions about the little round Google Assistant. Jay Forry also returns to talk about the 5 films that turned out not to be good from the summer movie season. And then we get into the spirit of "All Hallow's Eve" in the "Last Word". So get that bowl of trick or treat candy, you know the good stuff you aren't giving out to the neighbors, as we will commune with the week's ghostly news and ghoulish access technology.

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    In The News:

    Microsoft is indicating that the free Windows 10 upgrade, for Assistive Technology users, will be ending on December 31st 2017

    JAWS and the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

    Also, as we speculated during the recording earlier in the week, JAWS 2018, not JAWS 19 Now Released

    Hartgen Consultancy has been preparing for the Fall Creators update and the latest version of JAWS. Visit this link to learn more.

    Memphis International Airport joins the Aira Airport Network, offers new service for blind and low vision passengers

    Envision AI app released for iOS

    EnVision America releases database v6.5 for Win Dixie, Schwan's and other national retailers

    The Bitcoin Whitepaper in Braille Can be Yours for Free Thanks to A Crowdfunding Effort

    APH Blasts Through Textbook Barriers with Free Advanced Transcription Tool

    iAccessibility, Amazon Element Unboxing

    Demonstration: Google Home Mini

    The new $49 Google Home Mini arrived in stores this week with 3 colors to choose from. Coral, chalk or charcoal make up the initial line up for this smaller version of the Google Home. J.J. asks Joe if his purchase of the charcoal model was on par with his original Google Home or was it relegated to being just a backup device in this initial look at the Mini. Much of Joe's thoughts can be summed up in this Wired review.

    Interview: Jay Forry's Summer Misses

    Jay Forry is back with us to talk about his pics for the 2017 summer movie season. This week we focus on the five films that didn't live up to jay's expectations. Joe mentions the yearly totals for each of the films in this look back at the summer. You can see these totals, and many more statistics, at Box Office Mojo.
    The cool thing is that iTunes has many of the movies on this list with audio description support. "Wonder Woman", "Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2", "Spider-man Homecoming" and "Baby Driver" are available now from Jay's summer hits list. "Dunkirk" is not available on home video at the time of this recording, however, it did have audio description during the film's theatrical run. Now if you are the type who enjoys a bad movie, or a fan of mega franchises, then these movies from Jay's misses list might satisfy you. "King Arthur, Legend of the Sword", "Baywatch", "Snatched", "Transformers, The Last Knight" all sport audio description. "Rough Night" appears to be Closed Captioned only. We'd like to thank Jay again for dropping by and talking movies. We can't wait to hear about his thoughts on the Winter Movie season and his Oscar speculation next year.

    Tip: Get A Google Home Mini For Practically Half Price

    Just sign up to Google Express, purchase from WalMart, then wait for the device to arrive. Here is a link that outlines this process in a little more detail.

    Sound Off:

    Juan, a long time listener of the podcast, sent in his thoughts on the terrible California wildfires we spoke about in episode 119.

    "Hello team,

    First of all Thank you for sharing the updates on enchanted Hills Camp EHC. This camp has some of my greatest memories. I attended camp only for a short while, when I was 17-19 years old. Twice actually I went. It was and will always be the Home away from home; for the blind people in California, and the world. It was a much talked about place by teachers, students, parents, and everyone. It was like A Caribbean vacation resort in the middle of rwed woods, on a mountain, and with everything nature had to offer, along with a friendly community that made everyone feel welcome. I wish I could have visited a few more summers.
    Hearing about the devastating fires makes me feel like rebuilding the sight and hoping it will be alright. I plan to donate some money, and encourage everyone to donate as well. Blind Bargains please keep informing us.

    Sincerely,

    Juan Manuel Avila "

    From Rebecca Skipper comes this question regarding Windows 10 Fall Creators Update...

    "Hi,

    So far, I like the fact that it is easier to see storage options under settings and notification alerts in the system tray.
    So, does OneDrive stop automatically synching everything to the device when you turn on another computer?
    Does it synch only when you copy a specific file or folder?
    If so, this would be great for smaller SSD drives."

    Windows 10 can sync a lot of files and settings, including those with "Ease of Access", if you explore the options under Settings and then venture off into the Accounts area. However, One Drive does require a Microsoft Account and it can be a bit fickle at times when it comes to storing and backing up files. It is a great option for free storage and Microsoft Office tends to remind you of that often as it sometimes ends up being the default saved location for some file types. Joe even noted that it can act as a file manager of sorts for the Xbox one. But to answer Rebecca's question, yes but you need to be sure you are signed into your account and you want to also be sure that OneDrive is on by default at Startup.

    Last Word:

    It is our last show before Halloween. So we thought we would provide some levity in regards to this event.
    Inside the World of a Halloween Sound-Effects Artist

    Google Assistant gets playful with new Halloween-themed Easter eggs

    Have a fun and safe Halloween weekend everyone!

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    The news is always the portion of the program we can never predict from week to week. Surprises are always welcome and this time is no exception. It is a good thing that Brian Fischler dropped by to give us a few chuckles and a primer on "Laugh For Sight" because it definitely adds some levity to the proceedings. We also have a tip, a brief "Sound Off" and a BBQ first in the "Last Word".

    Program Note:

    A beloved member of just about every part of the Blindness Community passed away recently. Chris @toonhead Skarstad was one of those unique people you rarely encounter in life. He had the uncanny ability to provide a supportive comment, a kind message or a well thought out constructive remark for just about any situation. We will miss you greatly and so will others as demonstrated by this moving thread over at Apple Vis. RIP Toony...
    Sad news to report

    In The News:

    Breaking: Germany's BAUM Retec AG Files for Bankruptcy Protection as it Restructures, BAUM USA Still Open

    The next three news links cover a few sides of the Firefox and Screen Reader support conversation that erupted this past week. We touched on this some back when ZoomText covered it in their 11.6 update. However, more took notice when the dedicated Screen Reader blogs made their support announcements.

    n-Process Halloween 2017: Firefox 57, Windows Fall Creaters Update, Australian NDIS and more

    Important information for users of Mozilla Firefox

    Rethinking Web Accessibility On Windows

    As stated in this episode, and to give greater context to why Mozilla is making changes, these four mainstream articles may shed light on the uphill battle Firefox faces in the near future.

    The Web began dying in 2014, here's how

    Inside Mozilla's Fight To Make Firefox Relevant Again

    Firefox takes a bite out of the canvas super cookie

    Firefox to get a better password manager

    Firefox 57 Will Hide Search Bar and Use a Uni-Bar Approach, Like Chrome

    Remember, to avoid any issues, follow the steps outlined in the Screen Reader blogs before November 13th. Or, do it now while you are listening to the show. We'll understand.

    SuperNova 16.06 Fixes more than a Dozen Bugs

    Dolphin releases Easy Reader for Android

    TalkBack 6.1 Beta Adds Quick Language Switching, Enhanced Navigation in Native Apps

    Apple Releases iOS 11.1; Bringing a Number of Fixes and Enhancements for Blind and Low vision users

    Apple Releases Software Updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV

    Shout out to Dean Martineau for compiling the Windows Screen Reader Keystroke Compendium: You can find it at National Braille Press' site.

    One International Airline Now Offers Boarding Passes in Braille

    Interview: Brian Fishler And "Laugh For Sight!

    Brian Fischler, who you might know as one of the hosts from "That Blind Tech Show", is hard at work in putting together the finishing touch on this year's Laugh For Sight" event. For more than a decade, with the assistance of the Gotham Comedy Club,"Laugh For Sight" has brought together Comedians for a gala night of jokes to raise funds for vision loss research. This year's outing is going to have a silent auction, some amazing sponsorships and of course wall to wall humor. If you are in the New York area, grab your tickets now. Or, if you are interested in the $20 deal Brian mentioned on the show, email him at info@laughforsight.com
    Be sure to add "Laugh For Sight" to your bookmarks to stay up to date on the latest from this funny organization.

    Tip: Start Your Holiday Tech Support Prep

    Fans of this show probably end up being popular during the holidays as their families just might wrangle them into providing free tech support. Well, if you are lucky, they'll feed you first and then ask you to fix stuff. At any rate, you may find yourself having to troubleshoot the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. To verify if the computer in front of you has the latest version of Windows 10, venture to Settings then System and move to the About section. This panel will let you know the version of Windows 10 installed. You are hoping it says 1709 as that means you are looking at the Fall Creators Update rather than an older version. Also, don't forget to journey to the Windows Store and make sure those apps are up to date as well. This by no means will solve all your problems, however, it may provide you with the needed progress bars for the consumption of dessert.

    Sound Off:

    Mary Emerson left this insight for us in the episode 119 Comments Section;

    Hi, You were talking about grocery delivery services. I've been using Safeway since March 2002; they've been wonderful! Sometimes I get items I didn't order, and sometimes other people get my stuff, but I've accepted that as part of the process; nobody's perfect, and we all make mistakes occasionally. I get reimbursed for missing items. Sometimes there are some good deals if you shop online. Thanks for a great show! from Mary Emerson

    Joe notes that the recent updates to the Harris Teeter app for iOS broke VO support in all sorts of ways. The chain recently dropped out of the Instacart list and this leaves the website as the only means for browsing and ordering things for delivery. He has already contacted HT and provided some resources, however, all this meant was that he and Ricky will use other stores over HT while they work back in Voiceover support.

    If you have a local grocery chain app, either iOS or Android based, that you find easy to use... let us know via social media, in the comments below or drop us a line feedback@blindbargains.com and we will share that information on an upcoming episode.

    Last Word:

    Great minds think alike? J.J. and Joe picked the same story for the very first time!
    Google CEO says he will drop everything to address burger emoji scandal
    Here's How You Should Assemble Your Hamburger, Emoji Be Damned

    So, meat on the bottom bun? Cheese in the middle? What is the proper way to dress up a burger? let us know as we want to hear the wisdom of the crowds on this one.

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

    J.J. is recording from a mystery spot in New Jersey this week. Joe is no longer distracted by illness nor baseball. That means there is a user-requested discussion about grocery shopping in the cards for the middle portion of the episode. But don't worry, as a live tip, the "Last Word" and an amazing email arrived for "Sound Off".

    Sponsor: HIMS

    Braille sense Polaris is shipping! The future is now. Check out the first Google certified futureproof notetaker with no touchscreen required. Visit us on the web at https://hims-inc.com to learn more.

    In The News:

    Palo Alto nonprofit Benetech wins a $42.5M Dept. of Education grant, a nod to founder Jim Fruchterman s quest to help the blind

    Important information for #NVDASR users and #Firefox 57.

    Dolphin releases Easy Converter Express

    iPhone X Review: There are Some Adjustments and Compromises, but I Can t Imagine Going Back

    MBraille version 4 sports more languages and other features

    HumanWare is now shipping the VictorReader Trek, delivering orientation & entertainment in one mobile package!

    Be sure to check out the Access World November Holiday Buying Guide

    Survey of the week! PDF and the User Experience Survey 2017

    This year's Seedlings Auction is now underway

    Discussion: Grabbing Groceries With Amazon Now, Shipt And InstaCart

    Several listeners have asked how the BBQ Crew does their food shopping chores. Joe and J.J. will focus on three services that they use fairly often for nabbing the noms. Be sure to log into these services to see if they are active in your area. Also, due to the nature of how apps update, there is no guarantee that each of these services is screen reader friendly at the time you decide to try them. All we can say is that, at the time of recording, they work with mobile devices or the web.
    Amazon Prime Now

    Great if you want something in two hours. Especially if it is a nonconventional item, like an iMac, but limited on things like fresh or frozen foods. If you are a Prime member, then you already have access to this service if it is active in your area. The downside here is that you can't find some types of products and you might go broke on the things you do find when just searching for random stuff.

    Shipt
    J.J. notes that he uses this service for his weekly food runs. Text-based communication with the shopper is helpful and there is a $5.99 fee for delivery that runs under $35.
    Needs JJ promo code here

    Instacart
    Joe likes the containerized reading and look of the app. he mentioned that you can customize an provide instructions ahead of time to a shopper if there is a possibility of an item being out of stock. You can pay $150 a year to gain free deliveries, however, the service often has promotional items that can qualify you for free delivery. The downside for this one is that you have to watch for "busy", or what you might think of as surge, pricing. And you will want to learn about how InstaCart pays their shoppers. Or, as with both non Amazon services, you could just tip the shopper with cash to avoid any pitfalls you might encounter with a shopper getting paid the proper amount for their generous time.

    If you are interested in trying out Instacart, here is Joe's referral link.

    Tip: Uber now lets you add multiple stops to your ride

    Lyft will let you add a midway point to your trip if you would like to, say, pick up that latest trendy food item from Taco Bell. But who needs that when you could add two more stops to that trip by using Uber instead. J.J. outlines the steps for doing just that in this week's tip suggestion.

    Sound Off:

    Christopher Bartlett writes in with the subject line of "Help with pairing Win 10 to chromecast audio".

    "I'm casting about (ha, see what i did there?) for a solution to getting my Win 10 machine to cast audio to a Chromecast Audio unit I have plugged into my nice stereo across the room. I'm wondering if you, or any of your listeners have successfully solved this problem. I've tried installing three separate applications that purport to do this, and none of them are either accessible, nor result in the production of any audio where I want it. I've exhausted my resources, and am hoping that you two resourceful folk, or a resourceful listener can help me do this thing.
    Chris"

    Chris is right in that there are a few apps out there, and sadly, they all don't really work very well. Chromecast Audio has the ability to do full dynamic range playback and Google has said in the past that the best way to deliver this experience is through Wi-Fi. To be fair, with Bluetooth Audio yet again undergoing a new spec transition, this is the more futureproof way of doing things. And it works well for record collections uploaded to Google Play or casting from Chrome on Win 10. There is, as we noted earlier in the year, BT support for Google Home. Yet there is no 3.5 jack for that device. Looks like Chris may need to look into a dongle to do the functionality requested, if he has an input available that is, on his stereo system. Many midrange home theater and traditional stereos now sport AirPlay, ChromeCast and Bluetooth 4x out of the box. It just depends on the make and model if they have all three on board.

    Now get ready as Ben drops the knowledge on us about Tactile Holograms.

    "Hello Joe, J.J., and anyone else on the Blind Bargains team.

    I listen to the Blind Bargains podcast, and greatly appreciate its content. I believe this podcast covers very important ground, without overlapping other great blindness-related podcasts.

    I would like to present a topic to Blind Bargains, and receive any feedback and recommendations that this team may have. The topic is tactile holograms. I became interested in tactile holograms about a year ago, when I was researching the extinct Optacon. I basically ended up on a German website that was blindness-related. It had a small section in English on tactile holograms, and this got my attention. Since then, my mind has ebbed and flowed on this topic. But recently I have felt an ongoing need to state my opinions and observations quite publicly.

    There may be tremendous opportunities to advance assistive technology for the blind by using tactile hologram technology. I will use the word blind throughout this entire e-mail, even though I have many more people in mind than only those without light perception. It seems quite likely to me that the Blind Bargains team members have already thought of this topic.

    My goal is to network with people who know much more about science and technology than I do, to persuade people that it is worthwhile to heavily research tactile holograms in the context of blindness, and to raise significant funds in this arena of research. In my opinion, we already have nearly all the scientific research we could ever hope for in the quest to give sight to the blind. The money going into this quest may be even more spectacular. For now, I believe that scientists should begin researching and developing touchable hologram technology with a keenness that is orders of magnitude greater than at the present. For the record, I live in the United States, in Missouri.

    It has been possible to make holograms that could be felt by human hands since at least as far back as 2008. For all I know, this ability may have existed before then. It appears to me that very few people have done in-depth research regarding tactile holograms at this point. Surprisingly, the imagination regarding how tactile holograms may help the blind is barely present on the internet in written form.

    From searching with Google, the idea of tactile holograms seems to have never been widely discussed or promoted on the internet through writing. Rather, the vast majority of the written content pertaining to this topic appears to have been published between 2008 and 2016. Barely any of this content appears to have been published in 2016. The internet is indeed a much more manufactured and curated arena now than it was in the past. But I ll give Google the benefit of the doubt throughout this e-mail. I am thrilled that some individuals have already done incredible research regarding tactile holograms. But it seems clear to me that much more awareness and participation is still necessary. As stated, the available written information on the internet regarding tactile holograms often does not include content regarding blind individuals. When the blind are mentioned, there is almost no deep discussion or imagination regarding how tactile holograms may be helpful in assistive technology.

    Between this paragraph and the next, I have pasted 5 URL s, which qualitatively and topically seem to represent nearly all the written information on tactile holograms that is available to the public free-of-charge. I also put the title of each webpage above its URL. I will admit that to the best of my memory, I did not yet listen to the YouTube videos on this topic. I will probably do this rather soon. If much more information is available in the videos than in the text of the below URL s, I will not resist, but will be glad. I am not trying to go on an extended rant. But based on the minimal written information on tactile holograms, I do not expect YouTube videos to have superior information.

    Scientists develop incredible holograms you can touch | Alphr

    Five Futuristic Interfaces on Display at SIGGRAPH - MIT Technology Review

    How Haptics Make Holograms You Can Touch - Motherboard

    3D virtual objects that can be touched and felt

    Mohamad Eid: The Touchable Holograms of the Future | The Gazelle

    One of the most comprehensive webpages I have found on the topic of tactile holograms, whose URL is immediately above, is titled Mohamad Eid: The Touchable Holograms of the Future . The blind are briefly mentioned there, but do not receive much focus. Even in this article, the blind are not discussed or mentioned whatsoever after the author uses the word hologram for the first time. I intend to aid in the serious promotion of tactile holograms as an active research path. Above all, I desire that at least one portable and affordable tool, based on tactile holograms, be developed for the blind.

    Tactile hologram technology may potentially exist in many products and be used for many applications. For example, it may allow the blind to read Braille on a desk, on the lap, or in mid-air. It could aid in all STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) subjects. Touchable holograms may even let many blind people drive bicycles if the required hardware becomes portable, and if bicycles are modified to allow steering and braking with the use of one hand.

    At least some of the existing tactile hologram technology allows human manipulation of the projection. One example, also from one of the above URL s, involves a light switch (https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/78xa5x/how-haptics-make-holograms-you-can-touch). Therefore, many different kinds of multimodal systems could be developed. For example, a blind person could potentially feel a representation of a cow s ear, and then ask a voice assistant on a computer or mobile phone What color is this? . Then, the text-to-speech from the voice assistant could answer the above question. This is only one of many possibilities. Of course, we could include screen readers, Braille displays, magnification, and nearly every other assistive technology as well, as appropriate.

    By using portable tactile hologram technology, the blind can potentially feel a real-time 3-dimensional representation of what a wearable video camera captures. Furthermore, if this tactile holographic representation can update many times per second, then this could radically increase the available information that can be used for independent travel. Also, this may make independent travel much easier and more spontaneous for the Deafblind. This would at the minimum require a video camera, a way to mount or carry this camera, a powerful and portable computer, a wearable projector that projects the tactile hologram to an area that is ergonomically reachable by one s hand or hands, and wires or a wireless protocol that can quickly transmit large amounts of data.

    I am neither a hardware nor software developer. However, I use assistive technology on a daily basis. I believe that my imagination is one of my strongest assets. I am totally blind. I am an orientation and mobility specialist with Rehabilitation Services for the Blind of Missouri.

    I desire to see serious and immediate research into tactile holograms for the blind, whether or not I profit financially. If tactile holograms can benefit the blind, I would like to soon see several portable and affordable solutions incorporating this technology. I desire that tactile holograms become a topic of discussion again, and that this discussion be much richer than last time, especially regarding potential use by the blind. There is no doubt that disability education must play a significant part in this process. Otherwise, the average technology enthusiast, who shares much in common with the average human being in general, will be unable to imagine why blind people would desire access to tactile hologram technology. Hopefully, the practical applications of this technology will become understandable to the average person, and people will no longer think that tactile holograms are only useful for gamers, entertainment, hygiene and medical professionals.

    Thank you for hearing my perspective on this topic.

    Sincerely,

    Ben"

    That was incredible research Ben. We'll reach out to a few in our rolodex to see if we can add more to what you have found out. If anyone reading has more to add, send it along to feedback@blindbargains.com please.

    Last Word:

    As a follow up to last week's story about those two spindled boxes of joy...
    A Global Shortage of Magnetic Tape Leaves Cassette Fans Reeling

    And this week we thought we would point out one particular iPhone X launch tale.
    Fake Apple Store Improv Everywhere

    We're getting closer to the Black Friday episode. If you, or your business, would like to be a part of it... contact us feedback@blindbargains.com

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

    App development may seem like a glamorous vocational choice, but as you will hear in this episode, it sure does have the occasional pitfall or two. Marty Schultz, of Kid Friendly Software and Blindfold Games fame, returns to the BBQ to talk about his wild week and his bright future. We'll finally broadcast that tip we've talked about since May, "Sound Off" will be X-citing and you might find the "Last Word" to be one of those things you won't be able to forget for a while once you have heard it for yourself.

    In The News:

    Google announced some positive access related changes for Android. However, if you read the collection of stories below, you will find that the mainstream tech press had a wide range of reactions to the Accessibility Services news.

    Accessibility Services: What they are and why Google is cracking down on their misuse

    Google cracks down on power-user apps that use Android's accessibility API

    Google will remove Play Store apps that use Accessibility Services for anything except helping disabled users

    Google's about to kill a bunch of useful Android apps that rely on Accessibility Services

    Now you can Describe Chicken Nugget in 280 Characters with Version 4.5

    Remember "TheQube"? It too has an update for the new 280 character limit

    The UK, Ireland and Austrailia can now download Microsoft's Seeing AI

    HIMS released the third update for the Braille sense Polaris. The update incorporates several user suggestions plus major fixes for Word Processor editing, creating and receiving e-mail, improved access to Web portals like airports and hotels, better consistency and connection between the BrailleSense and Android side, and more.

    EnVision America releases v3 of the I.D. Mate Galaxy firmware. The free update sports;

    • Announce the Wi-Fi signal strength as, excellent, very good, average, fair, or poor.
    • Modified Inventory and Browse Inventory Modes.
      Bookmarked Help Mode.
    • Support for HTTPS online requests.
    • Added EVA Online Database - Barcode information found online is uploaded to the new EVA Online Database.Then if a barcode is scanned and not found in the main barcodes.dat file, Galaxy will search online to this database first before searching other online sources.
    • Fixed Wi-Fi Connect / Disconnect Issue - if device cannot properly connect to the online time server, give the "Limited or no bandwidth available." announcement.

    From Top Tech Tidbits comes word that Audacity has been upgraded to version 2.20, giving screen reader users greater access to soundclips. Check out this David Bailes guide to learn more.

    Interview: Marty Schultz Of Kid Friendly Software

    To say that Marty has undergone a strange week would be some kind of an understatement. From the initial news about his apps being under review, to his relief that the review process proved to work in his favor which was then followed by him having to defend his design choices... yep... we'd have to say Marty has experienced one crazy time of it. J.J. sat down with the man at the center of it all to get his thoughts on the matter. Hear reflections on the process, the public reaction and what's next for the Kid Friendly Software Developer. And, if you want to really help him out, remember to rate and review Blindfold Games in the App Store. The occasional In-App Purchase is also a way you can support those out there in Appland that make great software too. Code isn't free. So support those who make it for you!
    You can learn more from the Blindfold Games website or follow @BlindfoldGames on Twitter.

    Tip: Broadcast With Google Assistant

    it is finally here. The ability to use the Google Assistant as an intercom is now rolling out to Google Home users and it is incredibly useful for those who have multiple floors, or large spaces, and a Google Home/Chromecast setup. Simply say the Google trigger phrase followed by the command "Broadcast". The Google Assistant will then record what you say next and pass that along to the other Assistant-based items in the home. To learn more about this feature, visit this page from Android Authority.

    Sound Off:

    Jim Denham, and a few others on social media, wrote in with another way to accomplish Joe's tip on finding the version of Windows you are running.

    "Hey guys:
    First, great podcast, keep up all of the great work you are doing.
    In ep 121, Joe's tip referenced how to get the version of Win 10 your
    friends and family might be using. He had users go through the
    Settings app. For screen reader users, I find there is a much quicker
    and easier way to get at this information. Open the Run dialog box and
    type winver and press enter. While this doesn't provide all of the
    information about the computer, it is a really quick and easy way of
    determining the version of Windows 10 being used.
    Hope this helps. Thanks again for all of the great stuff on your podcasts."

    The man who provided the name of this very podcast, Alex Hall, had a few thoughts about Joe's initial iPhone X impressions. The discussion took place on Twitter. However, Alex's response is just a smidge longer than 280 characters. It also resulted in this well-thought-out Guest Post.

    Guest Blog: Apple Design for Most of Us

    John wrote in to tell us that those noisy neighbors might not be at home when the late night party starts.

    "Hi Guys,

    If you haven't seen it already, I thought you'd get a kick out of the
    story linked below.

    John"

    https://www.prisonplanet.com/amazons-alexa-goes-rogue-triggers-german-police-raid.html/print/

    Last Word:

    Alright, last one of these recording related stories.
    Hide And Seek, the rise and fall of Hidden Tracks

    Here's Joe's official submission for the segment. It is, uh, unforgettable.

    Somebody wrote an email bot to waste scammers' time

    Need ideas about stocking stuffers or just looking for a fantastic gift for yourself this holiday season? Well then, you will want to tune in next week as the Blind Bargains Qast will have some suggestions as to how you can spend that festive funding.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    BrailleSense Polaris made its first appearance on Blind Bargains with Joe Steincamp and Dave Wilkinson hidden (for security reasons) in a tiny bunker far below the surface of the Earth. But now there's no need for secrecy as Polaris has been shipping since the end of June so everyone already knows that Polaris is a wicked awesome dude. Joe and Dave review just how far the unit has come since its release. Dave discusses some of the features in the latest firmware upgrade, and the unit does some cool math until Dave and Joe remember they're not so good with numbers. To compensate, they use Polaris and Google Assistant to do the work for them so that you see just how much money you can save with the HIMS-tacular Blind Friday deals on not only Polaris but all other HIMS products, such as the Smart Beetle,GoVision and the U2 Mini But wait! The deals get even better if you ask a friend to bundle. So sit back, relax, and let Joe and Dave get your Blind Friday shopping started.

    We thank Hims for sponsoring this holiday podcast.

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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    Welcome to our 3rd annual Blind Bargains Holiday Shopping Guide. This year, we've brought the deals straight to your audio feed. Sit back and relax as some of your favorite merchants, or perhaps some that are new to you, tell you about their latest products and services as well as some holiday deals. We'd like to sincerely thank all of the companies who were apart of this show. Below you'll find information about each company in the order they appear in the show.
    Be sure to stay with Blind Bargains for lots of deals from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond. We hope you have a safe and fulfilling Thanksgiving and we'll be back to our normal? format next week.

    Mystic Access

    Mystic Access wishes to make the holidays brighter with gift ideas that educate, empower and take the intimidation factor out of learning assistive technology. We wish to make your learning journey far less stressful and way more fun. Whether you're searching for a comprehensive audio tutorial, one-on-one training, or accessible electronics which can be enjoyed by sighted and blind loved ones alike, we have your gift-giving covered.

    Our audio tutorials are professionally recorded, produced, and created from a blindness perspective. We offer tutorials on a variety of topics, including our eight-hour deep-dive into the fourth generation Apple TV. As with all our tutorials, it's available as a digital download in both DAISY and MP3 formats, and via SD card for $15 more.

    If reading and music bring you holiday cheer, you may enjoy our audio tutorials on the second generation Victor Reader Stream, and the Amazon Echo (Alexa) products.

    Other offerings include our delightfully informative Apple Watch tutorial, our comprehensive overviews of the popular Voice Dream Reader and Writer iOS applications, and our extensive overview of Google's suite of products, including Docs and Drive.

    If a new braille display is on your shopping list, you may enjoy our tutorials on the VarioUltra and Orbit Reader 20 braille displays.

    We're excited to offer accessible Bluetooth speakers and headphones, all of which include voice prompts for easier navigation. We also offer a Bluetooth transmitter receiver, which allows streaming to your Bluetooth headphones or speakers from devices such as your NLS player, Victor Stream and others which don't natively include Bluetooth. Each of these devices includes a detailed audio tutorial which covers orientation and functions. Audio samples are available for each product. Tutorials are also sold separately.

    For a highly-personalized gift of love, you may wish to consider our personalized audio tutorial service, where we can custom-design something to meet your specific desires. With the same exceptional quality as all our tutorials, this gift can be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

    If one-on-one training is on your gift list, we offer a variety of options to meet your needs. From screen readers to iOS / Android and beyond, we can remotely support your learning in a fun and relaxed atmosphere from the comfort of your own space. all training sessions are recorded in MP3 so that you can listen again anytime. For aditional support and empowerment, we offer personalized consultingand self-advocacy coaching. and self-advocacy coaching.

    Unsure What to buy them? A virtual gift card could be the perfect way to brighten someone's holiday.

    Mystic Access looks forward to supporting and empowering you. Check out our bi-weekly podcast,free downloads,free monthly free teleclasses, and contact us if you wish to order via phone, or to ask any questions. (716) 543-3323, or info@mysticaccess.com. We wish you a beautiful and safe holiday season filled with joy and love.

    A T Guys

    Black Friday at A T Guys is Live. We've started our Black Friday sale early, with some huge discounts and never before seen deals on some of our most popular items. Save $30 on the popular Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headsets, now available in two sizes and multiple colors, for $99.95. Get the popular Matias Bluetooth keyboard, which can be paired to up to 4 devices at once and featuring a 1-year battery life, for $95. Or check out the popular Soundpods Bluetooth speaker for $39.95 or our Bluetooth Multimedia Remote for under $25. From stocking stuffers to braille displays, there's a sale to fit any budget.
    Check back, as new items may be added from time to time.
    Go to our A T Guys Black Friday Page

    Note: Our phone lines are closed over the weekend while we indulge on turkey, but you'll still be able to place orders online via our secure shopping cart. Please E-Mail us with any questions and we'll do our best to respond as soon as possible. You may call us on Monday to place orders over the phone at (269) 216-4798. Please leave a message if we don't answer, as our lines will be busy. Thanks, and have a great Thanksgiving.

    BlindAlive

    If you have a body, and we're pretty sure you do, then BlindAlive has workouts that are right for you! Recently, we have developed workouts that help improve your balance, make use of a foam roller to stretch and strengthen, and an Interval Training Workout. If you re new to working out, or it has been awhile, consider our Pilates, Yoga, or Gentle Workout Sets. If intensity is the name of your game, we have Cardio, Weights, Stability Ball, and BootCamp workouts. The Whole Body Stretch is fantastic for all who want to move, increase flexibility, and simply feel great! All audios are described, so there's no guesswork. Visit today to see all that BlindAlive has to offer, and subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss the exciting things coming in 2018! www.BlindAlive.com.

    Give memories from the past, as presents to keep for the future!

    If you have old recordings of family or friends, music, books, etc. on records or tapes that are no longer available, we can bring those memories back, sounding better than ever! Check out Lane's Audio for more info.

    iOS Access for All

    iOS Access for All is a the most comprehensive guide to the accessibility features of Apple s mobile devices. From the VoiceOver screen reader, to support for hearing aids and closed captioning, Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, includes features that support people with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. Readers will learn how to set up and use an iOS device in an accessible way, and how to get the most from apps provided by Apple, and available from the App Store. The book also introduces iOS tools, including the Siri voice assistant, that weren t designed for accessibility, but that nonetheless enhance productivity and pleasure for disabled users.
    For more information or to order, visit www.iosaccessbook.com

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

    Program Note:

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

    In The News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company Seeks Feedback about Airport Check-in Kiosks

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

    Demonstration: Fantastical2 On iOS

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

    Tip: Call Santa Via Google Home And Amazon Echo

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

    Sound Off:

    Beth writes in...

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

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

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

    Harry Brown had another view about the new iPhone 10.

    "Hi JJ, and all,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "Dear BBQ team,

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

    Sincerely,

    Lydia Alverson

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

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

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

    Last Word:

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

    Bonus Links:

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

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

    Shopping is a breeze with our Blind Bargains Apps.
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