"So... we were worried that January would be a slow news month for the launch of our new podcast series. Seems we didn't have to worry after all about that as we have a ton of news to talk about this week. And who better to discuss it all with J.J. and Joe than the incomparable Chancey Fleet.
This week we have a demo of some new voices for Android, two great discussion topics and some early podcast names in our bag of mail section. Also, if you were thinking about a name for our show, one lucky commenter will win a copy of Shelly Brisbin's brand new book, iOS Access for All. Listen to learn how. Or, if you can't wait for us to choose a name, run out and get the book now from the official site.
In the news...
Be My Eyes Has Huge Launch Weekend, over 60K Users and Volunteers Registered
The Specular crowdsource service is about to enter beta and it is seeking users to help it through this phase of development.
Some Window-Eyes Users Greeted with Unexpected Message after Security Breach
Minor Victor Stream Update Released with FLAC Support, Other Mystery Changes
Freedom Scientific Releases a 90-day License of JAWS® for Windows
Share Your Story at the JAWS 20th Anniversary Celebration
Super Liam hits a new high score with its freeware release
Version 2.01 of the RS Games Mac client has been released to fix freezing at login and other outstanding bugs
The very popular voice chat program TeamTalk has been updated to the not so easily spoken version number of 126.96.36.19967 RC1
Talking #Prescriptions available at Wal-Mart 4 mail order #pharmacy customers
The I.D. Mate Quest Bar Code Scanner has been Updated with Item Sharing, a History Feature and more
Now you can fool All your iDevice-loving friends. Vocalizer Voices Now on Android from Code Factory
Apple announced a new event for next month, the Apple Watch has a companion app that will use Voiceover, plus many more stories from the world of iThings can be found in this week's column.>/a>
Google Translate adds Word Lens technology for real-time sign translation
From the BBC: How do blind people put on their make-up?
Vocalizer for AndroidJJ takes the new Code Factory voices out for a spin. Hear how you can increase the speed of the new voices beyond that of the limitations found with the default TalkBack voice engine in this insightful demo.
Discussion topics: Security and Blindfold Training
The group takes time to have a larger discussion about security for A.T. in an ever-growing threat to the I.T. world. While the recent hacks on two A.T. companies have been minor, is it a good thing to have Zero Day flaws and app permission problems in technology that we rely upon for employment and day-to-day living? Or, is it as Prince sang: it is all just a "Sign of the Times", as all manner of computing sees one variant or another of security disruption.
Also in the discussion, many timelines in social media were filled with talk on a recent report that some forms of Blindfold training for sighted individuals can do more harm than good. The group weighs in with their own personal experiences, and thoughts after observing others they have encountered who have undergone such training. Be sure to review these two articles on the subject and let us know what you think about our conclusions.
The Bag That Contains The MailWow have you all been fantastic, and thanks for sending in show titles. Remember, as we said at the top, the lucky person who helps us find the right name will get a copy of Shelly Brisbin's book "iOS Access For All". Keep 'em coming gang!
Here are some of the suggestions we've gotten in so far.
Alex Hall wrote,
"@mehgcap: @BlindBargains should call their new podcast the Blind Bargains Qast (spelled with a Q). That way it shortens to BBQ."
Jenine Stanley said," O"K, how about “The Blind Bargain Bin”. Stocking the Shelves Podcast Sorry, can’t resist the retail theme. "
Julie Dawson sent in the following, "I am listening to your podcast and made an anagram of name into Amen for your show with words I thought appropriate for your show. Just something to toss into the "name the show" pool. Amen for name= Audience mission expertise new"
Beth chimed in with, "Hey, great going, guys, yay, a weekly podcast! How about naming it "The Blind Bargains Beat". Keep up the great work!"
Dave provided us with, "I think that ASSISTIVE NEWS AND TECH TALK should be the new name for the podcast. I really enjoy hearing some very familiar voices back and look forward as to some yet to come."
From the comments section of last week's show, Greg left this comment... "Hello Guys and Gal, This podcast was great. It was full of good info presented with your individual take on it. I have thought of some possible names. 1. Blind Bargains TekCast or TechCast 2. Blind Bargains TekWatch or TechWatch 3. Blind BargainsGadgetCast 4. Blind Bargains GadgetWatch I think it would be good to have a mail section at the end kinda like a Q/A section. Greg Wocher"
And these kind remarks from Twitter were really nice to hear, rt @y_sotomayor: It is so awesome listening to @rangerstation, @ricky_enger, and J.J. @blindbargains, on the same podcast. @JaneSuh5: @blindbargains Love your first unnamed podcast. Great to hear some familiar voices.
Have a good week everyone! Thank you all for your comments, suggestions and most of all for listening! Next week, a discussion about Microsoft's big announcements regarding Windows 10.
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For the most part, I agree with the panel regarding training with a blindfold. I'll spell out my disagreement below. However, I strongly hold to the notion that short term wearing of a blindfold for a given event is counter productive. I cringe when I think of even a blind person I know who has used short term blindfold use for a day or weekend of sensitivity training as a means of disability awareness. As for long term training, I'm going to disagree with Joe only slightly concerning blindfold training for those whose partial sight is stable. I've had roughly 20/400 vision in both eyes all my life. I'm middle aged now. The vision in the left eye has changed somewhat due to complications from a previous eye operation, but I don't anticipate any further vision loss, unless other surgeries are required to keep glaucoma under control. I learned rehab skills under sleep shades at the age of 19. I had what you might call a refresher course a few years later when I went through staff training for a rehab agency. In both instances I wore the shades for most of the day and was able to take them off at night. Before my first encounter with such training, I fought it vigorously. Once I had been through it, I was a convert to the benefits. While it would be difficult for me if I lost the rest of my vision, I know I could deal with it better than if I hadn't had any training under sleep shades. Also, it's nice to know now that my vision is indeed inefficient for many things, and I can use alternative techniques as I choose, without qualms. As to whether it's confusing making decisions about when to use alternative techniques and when not to, I would say this. Mike May's book resonated with me greatly because seeing with partial vision is hard work. It involves making judgments and decisions constantly. Deciding to use an alternative technique that doesn't require sight is just part of that mosaic.
John Wesley Smith Thursday, 22-Jan-2015 3:10 PM ET:
One other thing comes to mind. Why not call the bag with mail the Mail Drop. I wish I could come up with a name for the show that easily.
booksleuth Friday, 23-Jan-2015 3:02 PM ET:
Here are a couple of names I thought of for the podcast: A T Buzz, Blind Bargains Buzz; or perhaps, TNT for Tech News Talk.
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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.