J.J. and Joe are still recovering from Black Friday, Cyber monday, Small Business Saturday and perhaps just a few plates of Thanksgiving's best. However, that hasn't stopped them from bringing you some of the latest news and a fantastic interview about a new app. "Sound Off" talks remotes, the "Last Word" looks at the past and our tip this week focuses on NVDA. All that, and more, on this week's Blind Bargains Qast.
In the News
What We Missed: NVDA 2015.4 Adds Support for Rich Text Editing in Firefox and Chrome, Better Excel Support Check out episode 10 of the NVDA podcast if you want to know more about the new features in this edition of the free screen reader
To learn more about disability beyond low vision and blindness, subscribe to the Easter Seals Crossroads podcast
BlueLight is a startup that wants to modernize 911 for the connected age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 percent of homes use only a cell phone, a stat that is rising rapidly. Among those aged 24 to 34, the number is even higher at 68 percent. This is all great for progress, but potentially deadly in an emergency.
In many areas, calling 911 from a cell phone will connect you to an emergency operator for an entirely different location. It may take several minutes for an emergency responder to learn your exact location. And in most areas, don't even think about texting 911.
BlueLight's apps for iOS and Android will send information like your current address to a responder immediately upon calling them. Other features are also included to improve your peace of mind. To learn more, we speak with BlueLight's CEO, Preet Anand, who explains more about the technology and how it may be especially useful for blind and visually impaired users.
To learn more, visit the BlueLight website
You can also find them on Twitter](www.twitter.com/bluelightsafe)
Tip: NVDA Starting Faster
With the release of the latest version of NVDA, it's possible to have it start quicker when on Windows 8 or 10. J.J. explains how to do it, based on instructions from NVAccess.
Greg writes in with a question about a very popular brand of universal remote.
" think of you when looking at audio video products because of your background at incredible universe. I was wondering if you know anything about the Logitech Harmony line of remotes and their IR hubs and smartphone apps. Basicly, what I am trying to figure out is-- "is the iOS app that acts as a universal remote with their system voiceover friendly?" Any ideas?
I Continue to love The show you and Mr. Meadows put on each week. Keep it up.
Sent from Gregg Hayes' iPhone"
We haven't played with this brand yet, however, Joe talked about the peel smart Remote app that came with his Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. That app worked pretty well with Talkback. And it allowed him to control his TV and cable box directly from the phone. The iOS version of the app, sadly, requires a $49 IR Blaster add on as iDevices do not come with the ability to use IR signals out of the box. If anyone reading has experience with universal remotes, and you would like to share that info, send us a line or even do a short demo for a future BBQ.
Music, talking and food from the past dominate the final portion of our show this week. We figured you may have encountered at leastone, or possibly all three, of these items from previous holiday seasons.
Remember The Mini Diskman?
What's Up With The Accent People Had In Old Movies?
And why not transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into booze?
That will do it for this week. Can you believe we only have two shows left in 2015? nope, neither can we. We'll be taking a look back at this year soon enough, but you can still get in on the fun of a BB Qast by emailing us at email@example.com, posting a comment below or sending along a tip. Act fast! We'll be shutting down for the holidays soon.
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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.