We're going to be honest this week. The news and the middle of the show came together quite organically and "in the moment". Okay, that is our stylish way of saying we had no idea what the show was going to actually have in store for us, and for you the listener, until we discussed things in the studio. and, despite that little lack of planning, the result ain't half bad. See, we still have news, a look at some games Joe can't completely recommend, a tip plus "Sound Off" and "Last Word". We won't be making this style choice a regular habit, however it's nice to have a "fly by the seat of our pants" show land during the holiday season.
IN the News
This from Twitter; @VoiceDreamApp Starting Jan 2017 Ivona will stop selling iOS voices. But you can continue to download what you already bought.
Quick Take: Games Joe Can't Fully Recommend
Joe has featured just a few games over the past year. but he must come across a few that don't cut the mustard in the Fun or Access Departments, right? Sadly the ratio of good vs. icky leans more towards the ick factor when testing apps and games. but here are three examples of games that Joe wasn't a fan of, yet you may want to try anyway.
Star Trek Wrath Of Gems
This multiplatform "match three" puzzler has all the trappings of a fun Star trek experience. There are Classic Trek and Next Gen characters in original storylines. There are super cool official Trek sound effects. The menus are high contrast friendly affairs. So why didn't it make the list for Joe? Simple, the game relies more on the Pay scale of "Free To Play" games. A player has to really invest time, and real world money, to get pretty far into the game. And that would be fine if the gameplay was enjoyable. Wrath Of Gems takes a page from "Marvel Puzzle Quest" with the Computer having the uncanny knack for turning the tables right when you think you have the Romulans on the run. Moreover, to have that happen and then be prompted to "insert coin" to continue can induce one to forego a diplomatic disengagement of hostilities. In other words, do your level best not to toss your phone or tablet out the nearest airlock when you encounter this in the neutral Zone.
Joe has announced his love of all things peggle in the past. the "peggle classic" game is on as many devices as joe can install it upon. "Peggle 2" is on his Xbox 360, and it isn't a surprise to say that the Xbox one version will be purchased by him at some point... to compare and contrast it with the 360 version of course. So why didn't he like Pop Cap's latest version of the game for mobile devices? Two words "Pastoral hell". The game looks like a bag of Skittles fell into a pastel painting. It may sound beautiful, yet for those who suffer from glare or color blindness, it makes playing the game a very challenging experience. The early games in this series were more earth tone in theme and style. So seek those previous editions of the game if you want a nice puzzle game that requires little effort to play.
The 99-cent app was just released for iOS and TV OS last month. And purchasing it for either OS nabs you a copy on both platforms. Allowing you to play a 3d audio game on your iDevice or on your big screen surround sound system. Which is neat, if the gameplay was good that is. The game has you trying to escape an insane Asylum with little to use other than your wits. Explore the corridors and find the tools you need to make your way out of this maze. Except, if you are not a fan of "stealth gameplay", avoid descending into the madness that is "Madness's Daze". Wonky control, unclear audio cues and a need for maze memorization might just be barriers to entry for some. the Developers have been very responsive on various forums, and the game is only a month old at the time of this writing, things may still improve. for now though, Joe says keep what sanity you have left until you hear from others who have already made their egress from this game.
A long-time fan asks a great question this week.
"Hi Joe, and JJ,
I really enjoy listening to the Blind Bargains podcast. I really think you 2 make a great team. I really have enjoyed Joe s work with SeroTalk. I really thought that team did a really great job. I really enjoyed the podcasts with Jamie Pauls, and Ricky Enger. Do you happen to know what Jamie, and Ricky are doing these days? Do you happen to have e-mail addresses for them? I would love to send them my thanks for putting on a great podcast. If they are doing other podcasts, would you happen to know what the RSS feeds are?
Have a great day.
Your fan, and listener,
many of those amazing people have appeared on this very program. In fact, if you go back to our April fool's show, you can hear many voices from podcasts past. The best way to reach out to those voices you know so well is to follow them on Twitter.
And don't forget Buddy "Mays" Brannan
Give them all a follow and a shout out to let them know how much you enjoyed the hard work they did in the past!
And from Twitter,
paulsandoval75: do you have suggestions for a talking thermostat? @blindbargains or anyone else? I know about the VIP series, but is there something better?
We think the way to go may be a smart thermostat. Some models such as the Nest and the thermostat from iDevices still need some accessibility love. We've heard reports of success using Honeywell models, but perhaps our listeners have a better idea?
Two weeks of food stories and they didn't come from Joe. Okay, the third link does come from Joe but it was inspired by conversations with J.J.
The Linguistics of 'YouTube Voice'
Brooklyn Eatery Offers a Pizza Topped with Mini Pizza Slices
Forget the return of Crystal Pepsi, Joe says bring back the Pizza hut Priazzo
One more regular ... whatever that means really ... show for 2015 to go. But you can help us with our holiday plans by telling us your favorite moment on the previous BBQ's. Send in your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop that moment of moments into the comment field below. That segment of time might just appear in our look back at 2015!
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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.