It was bound to happen really. With the Apple event so close, the well of news dried up for this episode. We'll cover the news, what there is of it, but we called in the crew to provide us some feature content to go along with our tip and "Last Word". It's a darn good thing we have Patrick and Ricky around to help us in these dark times of a barren news cycle.
This show is generously sponsored by HIMS, Inc., makers of the Blaze ET, BrailleSense U2, and the GoVision. Go make it happen with GoVision, the new transportable video magnifier with optical character recognition and the ability to enlarge and customize files, photos or videos from your cell phone, tablet or computer. For more information, visit http://www.hims-inc.com
HIMS: Lifestyle innovation!
In The News:
Review: Sparc HD Radio SHD0TX2
Did you know that the term High Definition applies not only to Television but to Radio as well? HD Radio has existed on both the AM and FM dials for a while now. it was kind of the terrestrial radio broadcaster's answer to that XM satellite radio craze. Like HDTV, HD Radio can have multiple stations occupy one spot on the dial. 98.1 FM could be today's best Country hits and 98.1 HD2 could be Heavy metal's finest. While 98.1 HD3 is the perfect spot for Easy listening Adult Contemporary. Patrick, no stranger to the audio arts, heard about an HD Radio with some accessible aspects and he takes us on a tour of the unit's features. Listen in as Patrick demonstrates the clarity of signal from analog to HD and all .1's in between.
Discussion Topic: Angie's List, Amazon Home Services and Home Advisor
If you own your home, or are responsible for upkeep and repair, you've no doubt faced the challenge of needing a service but not knowing a friend's uncle's neighbor's brother who can do it for you. Luckily, numerous options exist for you to find local providers of a wide variety of services, get cost estimates, and read reviews from those who have had experience with the provider. Ricky Enger joins us to talk about three such options: Angie's List, Home Advisor and Amazon Home Services She shares pros and cons of each option, and concludes that each one has a place in the tech toolbox.
Tip: Humble Bundle
The folks over at Humble Bundle do an amazing job at getting a revolving range of media at a "pay what you want" price point. it is even more remarkable that some fantastic charities gain funding out of the program as well. Joe notes that he has gotten audio books from Big Finish and Graphic Audio in past bundles. He has also, in the process of these purchases, donated to the Red Cross. To learn more about this organization, and the charities it supports, visit the Humble Bundle website. Even if you may not like what you see there for yourself, you can give these bundles as gifts to others who might be more interested in the media offered.
Our first bit of feedback comes from an email;
"I'm wondering if the four new braille note takers that run apps have real manuals instead of user guides. User guides, at least from my experience with the Braille Plus 18, are useless; they just tell you that the feature exists but give no details of how to use the feature step-by-step. Do you know if any of the new note takers have real manuals? I don't learn well by tutorials. I know they're the modern thing, but I'm a reading learner, and I want to be able to search for a specific item quickly and find the answer without having to listen until I happen to find the thing I need.
Also, are there any companies that I could even pay to come to my house and demonstrate these note takers so that I can make an informed decision as to which one to buy? The Braille Plus 18 was such a disaster with the company making no compensation for a bad product that I don't trust buying another note taker without knowing more first.
Thank you for any suggestions.
Some companies, like Mystic Access, have been doing a deeper dive on products like the Victor Stream or the new Braille note Touch. While authors like BBQ Regular Shelly Brizbin have been doing fantastic looks at iOS for some time now. And Freedom Scientific has their own guided tutorials. It just depends on the particular learning style you want. "one on One" trainers can come in two flavors. Those who might use something like Skype for remote learning. Or those who can travel to a home/office for same room training sessions. This option can be costly however. so it might be worth the time to see if you can learn something on your own with the earlier examples mentioned.
next, from the comments section of a previous episode, Bargain hound writes in;
"Regarding Braille displays: I would edit lots with one and I am not certain but I think the lack of cursor routing keys would lead me not to want the Orbit line. Beth
Re screen readers: It was mentioned in podcast 70 that, if an API changes, accessibility could be impacted, my experience has been that it could either disappear or screen reader companies and note taker companies must scramble to make adjustments so A T products will continue to function, either with proprietary or mainstream software. I assume that, with Apple products, this is not true, since VoiceOver is in the OS meaning that, mostly at least, Apple software will play nice with VoiceOver, is this correct? Also, re loud noises: The loudest sounds I ever heard have been: Fighter jets, music at wedding receptions and that boom when an asteroid hit a part of Russia a few years ago, be careful if you look that up, yikes! Beth"
Like with traditional Windows based Screen Readers, there is always a bit of a dance between how VoiceOver can work with a particular app. it depends how that app was developed, if it uses Safari for some web aspects and if all of that was developed with Apple's accessibility guidelines. Even then, you could still have a bunch of unlabeled or misconfigured elements due to a host of reasons. Styles come and go, we're looking at you Hamburger Button, so we can't make too many blanket assertions about what does and doesn't work these days. especially since these notes were created in the shadow of the launch of iOS 10 and the App Store is beginning to fill up fast with updated versions of commonly used apps. As the magic 8 Ball says, perhaps way too often, "Ask Again Later".
The Last Word:
Music and productivity. To some, they are cloth of the same material.
The Millennial Whoop: A glorious obsession with the melodic alternation between the fifth and the third
Is 4 a.m. the most productive hour?
okay, it's go time! We'll discuss all things Apple from the September 7th event that may, or may not, feature things beyond a new and expected iPhone 7. And joe will probably shoehorn in a mention about the new Sony Playstation since that event happens on the same day. We can only hope our wallets recover before the rumored Google phone event in early October.
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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.