A few months ago J.J. placed his new Android phone in the shower to demonstrate how water-resistant it was. While that was super entertaining, Ricky Enger decided not to do that with her new Android tablet. The 8-inch unit might be made for Android gaming, but at $200, it turns out to be an affordable slab of glass that just so happens to run marshmallow. Tune in to hear about that, our Windows related tip and possibly the longest "Sound Off' ever -- or at least Patrick felt that way. Relax as there are no Beatles titles referenced in BBQ 64.
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In The News:
Hardware Review: NVIDIA Shield K1 Tablet
Ricky is back to talk about her newest bit of tech around the house, an affordable Android tablet running v6.01 and sporting a $200 price tag. NVIDIA wants to be the Xbox and Playstation of Android gaming. To do this, the company has released a powerful yet affordable device that runs a non-skinned version of Marshmallow. One downside is that you cannot perform the initial setup process without vision. Once you do though, Talkback is available and you will need that to update the unit from v5.1.1 to v6.0.1. NVIDIA has also omitted a few accessories from its earlier Shield tablet, now called the Shield portable, which are worth a note. There is no charger, which you might care about, and no stylus, which you might not. You can charge the device with any micro USB cable you might have lying around so you don't need anything special, but the lack of charger is an important thing to know as you consider the purchase of a K1.
If you want to know more, we suggest checking out this YouTube link and this one to learn more about the specs of the unit.
Also, J.J. found a case on the cheap for the K1.
Tip: Windows And The Number Row
Launch Windows programs with the built in hotkeys on the number row. Did you know you could use Windows plus the number 1 key in the number row to launch a thing? Yep, just look at the Taskbar buttons [if you didn't disable them from their on screen position at the default install of Windows] to see what will launch if you press the Windows key and number 1 at the same time. You can alter what will launch in positions 1 through 0 on the row by pinning and unpinning programs from their respective spots on the Taskbar shortcut area. And, if you don't want those things hanging around, you can then remove the Taskbar button area to regain space on the Taskbar without deleting all that hard work in the setup of those program hotkeys. This tip is great for those programs who don't offer a startup hotkey combo of their own or for those who like to keep a clean desktop area.
We have lots of great comments in this week. check out what CW said about avoiding Windows 10;
"I have a bit of a tip for those who know they do not want the upgrade to ten at this time. Not automatically installing recommended updates helps of course, but there is the never10 program over on grc.com that might prove useful to some. The warning of being careful about what you are doing goes without saying. For a while, I used the program called GWX control panel. Seeing that I am running a windows seven machine with jaws v15 as my main screen reader, it goes without saying that windows 10 is not really free for me is an understatement. I could switch over to NVDA. Speaking of NVDA, I do need to give it some more attention. As for what some of these devices are doing about their upgrades, it basically comes down to a question of where you store your data. If you store your data in the cloud, then the risk of deleting things to install the next OS may not be that big of a problem. On the other hand, if you store your data on your hard drive, then you will want to do a backup of some kind before a major jump, like from windows 7 to windows 10. From what I understand, I could be wrong, is that the best install of windows is a clean install. Now for another subject. Thanks for the cat story. That was one amusing story to say the least. Guide cats, that is something I got to see. Now to another story. The whole voting machine story is something that everyone in the US needs to be aware of for sure seeing that voting is coming up fast in November. I know I would love to have a good one at the place I vote at. I really hate having someone else vote for me. Yes, I always do everything that I can to make sure that I have someone that will vote the way I want them to vote for me. Without a good way for us to vote will mean that we are at the mercy of others. As far as I am concerned, we should have a voice when it comes to running our country. I am pretty sure that the same could be said for other countries too. Now for the google story. Google is for sure in the news, and at a good time too. It is time for me to update to a new phone. I know I am going to have to get a new phone, but I am looking at android and IOS. I have an idea what one I will go with, but the google stuff is making me think about their platform at the very least and to think it is cross platform Anyway, I will have to go watch the video to see what they are focusing on, or at least what they are telling their Developers."
Ken gave us some tremendous feedback on language, and more, from episodes 62 and 63;
"I enjoy and learn a lot from the BBQ shows. The BBQ show like any show with such a broad reach and informal style occasionally present views and statements that I do not agree with. I usually let them pass without comment. There are occasions that compel me to comment. Episodes 62 and 63 of the BBQ produced such occasions for me.
The blas dismissal of the Kindle Audio Adapter in episode 62 is one occasion. I sent a set of comments to a well and widely respected member of the blind community a while ago. This person has an overly optimistic view of the blind community s consumer power to effect the behavior of large companies in my opinion. I used the then temporary now permanent and approved accessibility waiver by all of the E-reader manufacturers as an example of the lack of true interest of large companies in genuinely providing accessible products for the blind.
I went on to state that if the companies that got the waivers were serious about accessibility. They would find a way to make their E-readers accessible for what I suspected would be a minimal cost to provide accessibility. Amazon with its release of the Kindle Audio Adapter for about $20.00 US now appears to be serious about accessibility by my standards.
Amazon was late in my case. I had to find some way to read my limited collection of Kindle E-books and have some way to add to the collection if needed in the future after Amazon discontinued its support of the admittedly bad PC accessible Kindle Reader program. I ended up buying an Android tablet that cost more than the Paperwhite and Kindle Audio Adapter bundle would have. The Fire OS was still fairly new and needing improvements in my opinion at the time. Given both J.J. and Joe s observations about blogosphere comments about the less than $50.00 Amazon Fire Tablet with Fire OS 5, I doubt that I would have considered it instead of the Kindle bundle if it was available at the time.
Joe s statement about Uber and lyft being ushered out of Austin in episode 63 is another occasion that I feel compelled to comment on. I believe that Joe s word choice in this case was accidental. My understanding is Uber and Lyft left the Austin market on their own. They did this after losing a ballot initiative to overturn a set of regulation passed by the Austin city council that applied to all companies that provided ride services. National Public Radio (NPR) is my primary source about the Uber and Lyft situation in Austin.
I am following the Uber and Lyft efforts to get special regulatory treatment especially when compared to taxi/cab companies because of the Uber lobbyist s rhetoric in California. I can only find three real differences between Uber/Lyft and traditional taxi/cab companies:
Use of software instead of a human dispatcher
- Vehicle ownership(?).
I do not find these differences sufficient enough to justify a different set of regulations for Uber/Lyft and traditional taxi/cab companies. The Uber lobbyist in California seems to be trying to get a special statewide set of regulations for Uber and I assume any similar companies. The lobbyist appears to be using Uber s existing practices as the appropriate statewide regulatory standards while requiring traditional taxi/cab companies to remain under local regulations that can have higher standards. My primary source is my local NPR affiliate s continuing coverage of Uber s efforts to get regulations on their terms in California.
Then, from Greg Austin, a Cat clarification.
"FYI Guide Cats for the Blind is a humorous poem by noted poet Les Barker. Several musicians have set the poem to music. RNIB may have used the poem, but really now, its a pretty well known poem from a very famous poet.
I have a suggestion. It would be great if you compiled all your tips in separate files and made them available as separate podcast episodes to keep for reference purposes.
Also, as someone who spend much of his working life in broadcasting, I have a basic tip. You guys often seem to forget that not all of your listeners are avid gamers or technology experts. When you start talking about games on certain platform as you did a episode or two ago you should not assume everyone knows what you are referring too. Why not put in a sentence just saying what you're referring too. Joe is especially prone to talking as if every listener is into the same things he is into and speaking in short hand insider phrases.
thank you, Greg Austin"
Finally, Lydia writes in...
My name is Lydia Alverson. I'm listening from Boron, California via the Blind Bargains app. I really enjoy your podcasts. They introduce me to different forms of adaptive technology that I've never heard of. It also keeps me up to date on the latest version of APPLE and GOOGLE products. Thank you so much, and keep the podcasts coming. Great work.
Sent from my BrailleNote"
We did ask her if she would be interested in moving to the Braille Note Touch by the way. She indicated that it would depend mainly on the price and the learning curve.
Joe stepped over a low bar this week and J.J. found an amusing story that proves age is just a number.
Another mash up
At 96, Heimlich finally uses his life-saving maneuver
Just one more show to go before WWDC, and for Joe, E3 begins. And in just a bit more than one month... ACB/NFB! The excitement for a more full slate of news is intoxicating!
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Well about the tutorial on the Braille Note Touch. You say it is Free! Nothing is Free ! Yes Mystic Access is not charging for it ! But that is because Human Ware has already paid them! They got paid for it! Of course This also is rolled up in the price of the Braille Note Touch. Nothing is Free absolutely nothing! Someone or some group or business or write off of some kind or tax payers is paying for it! Nothing wrong with them getting paid Mystic Access ! But just realize that they not really giving it away as Human Ware has paid them up front. Like I say it is good business and nothing wrong with it! While I like mystic Access podcast and have bought one of their tutorial you make it seem that they are giving this one away out of the goodness of their heart and it just not the case . JST! Matt From Florida
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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 for10 years and podcasting about it for nearly 5 years.