Google and Microsoft may have some new hardware coming in a week or two. So Joe and J.J. thought why not play a game and read social media from the web to pass the time before the next big tech event lands, enticing all to drain their bank accounts this holiday season? And why not go ahead and throw in a tip, "Sound Off" and possibly our most retweeted "last Word" story ever? Sure, let's do that and perhaps a little bit more in episode 33.
We'd like to thank this week's sponsor, BlindAlive for providing us the motivation and support needed to create this episode. No matter your level of health or fitness, there is an exercise program out there for you. To learn more about these fitness products, and subscribe to BlindAlive's podcasts, visit their website. And remember "Don't just live, be alive"!
In The News:
According to this tweet from the Microsoft Access account, we may be hearing Narrator on the Xbox One soon. "@MSFTEnable Narrator, high contrast, closed captions and more | Xbox One update via @majornelson video:
@64ozGames: Very excited to form a new partnership with @CalliopeGames. We will be adding many of their titles to our catalog in the next month or so
Demonstration: Codename Sygnus
you are an Agent on a secret mission with only your iDevice on hand to see you through. You must wind your way through this "Choose Your Own Adventure" app by either being clever, bold, acrobatic or stealthy. The controls are high contrast and Voiceover friendly. So you should have no trouble at all navigating through the choices in front of you. Try not to become too attached to anyone you meet in this full cast audio based experience as spying is a dangerous game. That ally might not be a friend and a foe might just help you survive. Good luck Agent!
Demonstration: Twitter On the Web
Recently Twitter has been changing the way that their service works with 3rd party apps. there are a lot of ways to access Twitter from an Android, iOS-based device or even a Mac or Windows based PC. J.J. shows us how one can use NVDA with Twitter on the web in this demo. it might be the ticket out of using wonky Twitter clients or it may end up being a good backup solution. In either case, Twitter provides some usability on the web and it is another good tool to have in your social media arsenal.
Tip: Siri Sounds Funny
We've got a simple Siri tip from Joe this week regarding Siri and languages, for the many of you who have upgraded to iOS 9.
This week we'll feature some remarks from our previous Comment sections. First up, from episode 30, some guy we know named Buddy Brannan fills us in on a few perils when it comes to using new tech to connect old tech.
"Regarding the USB to serial converters mentioned in the demo of making an old braille display work on a new computer: I'd caution that you be very careful with adapters that claim to use the Prolific PL2303 chip. While the one JJ recommends is likely all right, the market is seemingly flooded with counterfeit chips. This is a real problem, for instance, with cables provided with, or for, cheap Chinese handheld ham radio gear. Working around these issues is not trivial, as one has to locate an old driver and then be sure Windows doesn't try to update it. The trouble here is that Prolific has a check in their driver which makes cloned/counterfeit chips not recognize properly in Windows, thus, the adapter doesn't work. Which means you've wasted $10 or however much instead of saving a bunch of money. Generally, people seem to have better luck over all with adapters based on the FTDI chip. It's the same sort of thing, a USB to serial converter. To be fair, there was a brief time where the FTDI driver would actually render counterfeit FTDI chips completely inoperable...yes, it really would brick your adapter. FTDI updated their driver and my understanding is that the latest versions don't do this anymore. FWIW, I'm using two different cables with FTDI chips in them, and I've definitely run into the fake Prolific chip problem. Also, I actually found a converter that also came with a USB extension cable, with the FTDI chip, for less than $15. It's one of the adapters I'm using and works pretty well."
Alex has a real brain teaser. We did our best to provide some advice, however, if anyone has any good ideas... let us know.
"Hi! Interesting to listen to J.JJ- and how to use an old braille display on a new computer. However I wonder how to use a Braille Voyager 70 which only has an old standard USB for a new computer? I have an opportunity to buy one from a friend. As I understand Optelec does not provide 64 bit drivers or does not have any support for this "
From ep 29, Brie96, sent in this comment.
"I am in my second year of college. I was supposed to take a math class this semester, but my school is not required to braille materials, so between the woman in the disability services and I, we could not figure out how to make the class accessible in time for the semester. Not for lack of trying."
It is hard to say just what wasn't working from the comment above. Sadly, this is probably a thing you may hear in various online and offline conversations at the beginning of every school year. There are some groups out there who might be able to help though.
National Association of Blind Students
The Job Accommodation Network
Food has returned to this section, but it is what you should do after you eat that is the real story!
Olive Garden is bringing back popular "Pasta Pass"; passes sold out in 45 minutes last year
Here's what happens when you eat Olive Garden pasta for 7 weeks straight
Chinese Inventors Aim to Help the Blind Brush their Teeth Independently
You might just have your own thoughts on our final link up there. Be sure to let us know what they are in the Comments Section below or in an email sent off to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hi! According my problems with Braille Voyager 70, I have done some futher investigations. And i have found that Optelec have an convert box for sale wich cost about 1000 dollars. And that one is instead of drivers. I must say this is the most expensive adapter i ever have heard about. And of course i absolut understand that companies can not provide support for thairs products for the lifetime, so i do accept i may have to pay. but this is to much.
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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.