Microsoft dominated the headlines with the sneak peek at the next chapter in the Windows saga. However, we did manage to find news and conversation that was non-Windows-related. J.J. is out on assignment, i.e. heading towards sunny Florida and our ATIA 2015 coverage, so please try not to wish him ill thoughts in that over 65-degree climate zone he will be visiting. He is there for work after all... we hope. Helping Joe with the news this week is Rodney Edgar, from Tech Access Weekly, and Byron Lee, from Low Vision Rants. Plus we have a review by our own Patrick Perdue on a pretty spiffy new Bluetooth keyboard. Now find a warm beverage of your choosing, crawl under a warm covering of some kind and enjoy our third episode. And try not to think about J.J. enjoying the sun and a swimming pool.
In the news:Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 January preview for desktops
Office 2016 and Office for Windows touchscreens are due later this year
It's an iOS App Store Bonanza! 4 New Offerings from Kid Friendly Software, Voice Dream and iBraille
Apple Weekly Rundown: The Mag Safe Edition
J-Say 13 to be Released on 5 February! Our Biggest Release for Some Time!
Ai Squared Statement on Security
What 3D printing means for blind people
From Twitter, thanks to Lainey Feingold for pointing out that Best Buy has an Assistive Technology page
The last Google Play Edition smartphone has vanished from the Play Store
Don’t cry for the Google Play edition program; it was already dead
Google Reportedly On The Verge Of Launching 'Nova,' A Cellular Phone Service To Compete With Big Four Carriers
During our conversations, we mentioned the Comcast X1 accessibility features that you can learn more about by visiting What Does The Box Say?
Amazon launches Kindle Textbook Creator to help schools turn PDFs into digital books
Rodney mentioned this app, Flash Cards Plus, as being the one his wife is using to prepare for the Bar exam. She found it to be Voiceover friendly and a very helpful study aid.
Facebook Lite is a tiny Facebook app that uses less data
Product Demo: IOGear GMK 611b Multi Link Bluetooth Keyboard
Our audio master of cerimonies, Patrick Perdue, wanted to be able to control a myriad of devices from just one keyboard. He came across this multi-function bluetooth keyboard that allows him to connect to six devices at once. Did this unit prove to be a help or a hindrance to Patrick's need to hold dominion over the many gadgets strung about his studio? Tune in and find out.
Discussion Topics: Windows 10, HoloLens and Google Glass
Microsoft did a lot of talking about Windows and Office last week. But they also showed off an augmented reality project that allows wearers to experience some intense 3d images that can be superimposed upon the real world as opposed to the VR "block out the real world" style of, say, Facebook-owned Oculis Rift. The ironic thing about this portion of the Microsoft event is that it comes to light almost one week after Google announces that the Google Glass Explorer program has come to an end. Many tech sites, mainly because negative news draws in clicks, ran with the headlines that Google Glass was dead even though that isn't exactly what Google stated. The recent success of Be My Eyes indicates that having real time assistance to our community could be a very viable service moving forward. Could HoloLens be a device that helps us in future the way some speculated that Google Glass could have been? We discuss that and more in this segment.
Articles that inspired our debate were...
The Windows 10 conference in seven minutes
Microsoft to deliver free upgrades to Windows 10
Check out this sea of MacBooks at Microsoft’s Windows 10 event
Microsoft Office 'universal' to be free on Windows 10 phones, small tablets
Surface RT and Surface 2 to Get Limited Windows 10 Support
You can offer people Windows 10 for free, but you can’t make them take it
Gotchas with Windows 10 Build 9926, Known and Unknown
Fixing Windows 10 Apps that Won't Launch or that Hang on the App's Splash Screen
Microsoft's Spartan browser: What's under the hood
Hands-on: Microsoft’s HoloLens is flat-out magical
Cities Unlocked: Lighting up the world through sound
Google Glass “graduates” from Google X, will be a stand-alone division
Google Glass Is Dead, Long Live Google Glass
Former iPod Father Tony Fadell now in charge of Google Glass
Google Glass sales halted but firm says kit is not dead
Bag of mail:
Thanks to all of you who have sent us in tweets, emails and other communications through the various messaging platforms out there. Your feedback really does impact our show and it means a lot to us to hear what you would like, or not like, us to do in future. Remember, one lucky person will win a copy of the recently updated "iOS Access for All" book for providing us with a name for our new podcast series. So keep those titles coming!
Here are a few recently arrived emails... This first one from Ann comes all the way from our 50th U.S. state.
"Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, My aging baby boomer heart filled with joy when I read Top Tech Tidbits and realized that you guys have made a soft landing with a new lease on life for your amazing podcasts! I always used to listen, because you all so aptly summarize so many tech issues, especially iphone access. I don't know very many tech savvy blind folks, so now and again, it's nice to hear new, fresh, and challenging ideas. Whether an idea or product is "mainstream" or intended specifically for blind folks, it doesn't much matter to me. Usually, I'll want the mainstream options, but, bottom line, I'll use whatever it takes to give me the fullest range of options available to me. I use screen readers, refreshable braille, and I loved my old Victor Stream and am considering getting a new one that I don't really need, just because..... Anyway, all this to say: If anyone suggests that there is no need for the amazing podcasts that you all do, and if anyone says that one must always be totally serious (no banter, please?), they are missing the forest for the trees; we are blind in a sighted world, and we need to use all kinds of resources to be as fully independent as we want and need to be."
Thank you for following us over to Blind Bargains and shout out to the gang at Flying Blind and Top Tech Tidbits! Next up, Dan with some words of encouragement.
"Greetings, Just dropping you a quick note to say that I'm really enjoying the new podcast. You've done a great job intermixing the news and discussion segments with tips, and yes, even the Blind Bargains ads! hey, I work for an assistive tech company, I get it.) Also, absolutely loved Chancey's show name suggestion! I'm going to be very disappointed if hers doesn't win, but then, perhaps she'll just create her own show. Keep up the great work. Dan
Here is some great feedback from Angelo on Google Translate with Word Lens technology:
"Let me begin by saying that I use both Android, and IOS, but my experience with the translator is on android. The new Google translator is interactive using voice input. You set your languages, say what you want to say, and Google speak it in the alternative language. Then Google waits for the other person to speak, and then repeats their answer to you in your native language. There is some lag time but it does work. Angelo"
From the Comments Section:
John Wesley Smith left us a few remarks on the Episode 2 page:
"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. 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 left this comment;
"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."
And lastly, here are some recent tweets...
"Roj Campbell @RojCampbell @blindbargains for podcast name: Blindness...Not Limited!"
"Alex Hall @mehgcap @BlindBargains If you guys keep doing the podcast, I feel like "blind", if not "blind bargains", should be somewhere in the name. JMO"
Joe, Rodney and Byron have done just a few podcasts together prior to this episode. So, some listeners knowthat Byron would not be Byron if he didn't bring along a few stories from the stranger parts of the internet to talk aboutt. Here are the two stories we bantered about at the end of the program.
"Back To The Future" Power Laces Herald Quantum Wave of Shoe Tech - PSFK
The Foot Hammock
And here is the Cardboard Cat Condo Kickstarter page Joe mentioned.
Episode 3 is in the can, however we have plenty more to come over the next 2 months. Next month contains an Apple event and March holds the 30th birthday celebration for CSUN. But before all that begins, keep our RSS feed handy as our ATIA 2015 coverage will be up before the next show airs. Please keep your comments, suggestions and show titles coming to firstname.lastname@example.org or yell them out to us on Twitter @blindbargains.
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my nam is mitchell I do like yor potcast and I will up grade to wendos10 be cus u can get for fore and I thank the name blind bargens nowe tech infore
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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.