Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 82: Are You Feeling Lucky?

Home is where the Google is... no wait. Google Home is in the house? Never mind. Our resident Gadget Guy Liam is with J.J. and Joe to talk about the new Google Home. We'll also talk a bit of news, hear a tip, check in with "Sound Off" and play a few games with the Last Word".

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Note: BBQ Regular Shelly Brisbin has been on some awesome mainstream podcasts to promote her new book iOS Access For All". Be sure to check out her appearance on the "Daily Tech News Show" as it was one of her best spots on this book tour. View the YouTube version of the episode to hear Shelly explain things like Inspiration Porn" to people who have never heard that term before!

In The News:

Quiet Cars Will Finally be Required to Become Less Quiet

Baum debuts the new vario 340 Braille Display

Voter Experience Survey Seeking your Election Input

Santa Again Contracts with the NFB to Send Braille Letters to Blind Kids

Discussion Topic: Google Home

Joe was on the November 11th edition of ACB Radio's "Main Menu" to talk Google Home. And if that show, and this one, isn't enough info on the Google Home, then take a gander at the links below.

Okay Google Find Me First Impressions of Google Home

iFixit's Google Home teardown reveals Chromecast guts

Google Home can't topple Alexa (yet), but it's off to a promising start

Google Assistant: Tips for talking to Pixel, Google Home and Allo

Tip: A tale Of Two Home Button Settings

Joe talks about the ability to change the behavior of the home Button in iOS 10 from two areas within Settings. First, under General and for newer devices like the iPhone 7, the Home Button section will let you change the level at which the phone will simulate the "click" of the device's home Button. It is probably best to manipulate this setting after you put the iPhone in the case you plan to use daily. The second Home button section can be found by going to General then Accessibility. From there you can find the second Home Button area. here you can set the Touch I.D. portion to "rest" in order to let you unlock the phone in the classic iOS 9 like fashion. Just remember, if you are a fan of the new lock screen, you will need to use the power button more often to wake the phone and get at those nifty widgets and the quick swipe to the camera. Otherwise, as Joe notes in the audio version of this tip, you will just unlock the phone and bypass the lock screen if you use a digit to wake the iDevice.

Sound Off:

Three emails this week and the first is from BlindEducator.

"Just got done listening to episode 81, and it was one of your best. Yet, all have been great.

Writing in to talk about Google Home. After, reading Mr. Steinkamp's tweets, it got me wanting one. This is even though I have all 3 of Amazon Echos. The original Echo, original Dot and the Tap. After setting up the Google Home, and trying it for a couple of days. I see both having their pros and cons. Though, if Google takes the bull by the horns and really focuses on Google Home. It can make the Echo fall behind. The following are a few comparisons on both.

1, music: even though Amazon introduced unlimited music, if you don't want a monthly charge. You will need to purchase Amazon prime for $100 each year, with a 30 day free trial. After purchasing an Echo. While with Google Home, I am able to try GoogleMusic with YouTube Red which gives me YouTube Music for an entire year for free. Besides that, Amazon Echo so far, can't understand when I request a song in Spanish. As with Google Home, not only will it recognize it. But play the entire album that the song requested, gets featured.

2 With Amazon Echo, if you want certain feeds for news. At least for me, it tells me to sign into iHart Radio. While with Google Home, it doesn't matter if it's from TuneIn or iHart. The news will play. With the Echo, I am able to arrange my news feed. If I want to custom my feed. Have not found a way to custom the feeds on Google home.

3 While the podcasts, both seem to play any or most of the podcasts. Amazon Echo will let you know it's getting it from TuneIn, while Google Home gives you the slogan of the podcast.

4 At least on iOS. The Google Home app is VoiceOver friendly and it walks you through the setup. Unlike Amazon Echo's app, where it is a bit clunky and you need to do more explore by touch then you do on the Google Home app.

5 While Amazon Echo can be purchase in the United States and now the UK. It seems that those places are the only locations that an Echo can be purchased and used. Though may be wrong on the usage part. Going through the Google Home setup, it seems as if they are sold and supported in lot more locations through out the world, then the Echo. And I'm sure, depending on the region you set Google Home in through the app. Google Home supports a lot of other languages, then just English like Echo is limited in.

I'm sure there are a lot more features that I am missing. But I'm sure that Mr. Steinkamp will address. Like the games, etc. Don't want to take away from his spotlight. By addressing all features, leaving him with nothing to talk about.

Keep up the awesome work.

Nice comparison there. Amazon introduced a family plan for those not wanting to jump into Prime. This news, as it so often does, came after we recorded the show. Alas, timing is everything. Next, Stanley sent us this note.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the latest bbq. There awere a few things that really stood out for me. I enjoyed the second part of the interview that you conducted. The beginning of the bbq where you discussed the election was really interesting. I really think that advocacy is really important. I know a couple of blind friends that are really of the view that the blindness movement hasn't accomplished much for the lives of blind or visually impaired folks. It is to the point of being curmudgeonly. I think that how we comport ourselves is a large determiner of how others see us. I live in Medford, Oregon and I have been involved in the advocacy movement. I've been involved as elected individual on the board of Rogue Valley Transit District. As a member of the board of directors, I have tried to remember that I represent all of the people in our district and not just people with disabilities. I must be doing something right because I've been on the board since 2004 when I was appointed. Are things perfect for the disability population, certainly not. Trying to do something is a lot better than complaining and doing nothing. I'll get off my soap box and go away. Keep up the good work that you do. As an aside, I just received my echo. I bought it right before it went on sale. Oh Well. Best regards:

See, there is that timing thing again. We so agree Stanley. Both with your taking action and with the pain that comes from a purchase too late or too soon. Lastly, the person who submitted the name for this here podcast, sent along this feedback.

After listening to BBQ 81, I was struck by something. To be clear, I'm not offended or angry about anything I'm about to write. I just found it very odd and wanted to see if you had any thoughts.

This and a previous episode contained both parts of an interview with Ginny Owens, a singer/song writer. Given the lyrics, topics touched on, and song titles, it was very obvious during the interview that she is a Christian artist. Nothing wrong with that, but it was made clear in the interview, especially near the end when she stated as fact that, to paraphrase, "God, the creator of everything, is love".

Near the beginning of the show, you covered the article about the blind woman trying to shop at Victoria's Secret. You don't have an explicit rating, so there are certainly areas you can't go into, but there was mention of how those with disabilities are so often de-sexualized. At the same time, you both were finding ways around saying bad words like panties or bras, which confused me a bit. At one point, Joe even called the items at that shop "unmentionables". Perhaps there are content rules for different podcast platforms I don't know about, but I felt like the whole discussion was something "dirty" or embarrassing that neither of you wanted to talk about, but felt you needed to.

Here's the part that really hit me. You dance around a topic that impacts many disabled people--sexuality--to the point of calling womens' undergarments "unmentionables". Then, later in the show, the Owens interview continues, with no dancing or dodging of obviously religious subjects.

Again, I'm not offended by either the story or the interview. Owens is a Christian artist, so it would be hard to interview her without that coming up. Joe is clearly some kind of church-goer, to judge by his side of the conversation, so again, that kind of discussion is going to happen (sorry, Joe, if I am wrong here). By contrast, a two-minute discussion of something much more relevant to the community you're trying to reach, and of articles of clothing that plenty of women wear and which aren't "unmentionable" at all, is full of word substitutions, brief mentions of important topics, and a tone of awkwardness.

My point is that clearly religious topics had no problems at all, while a story that was really about perceptions and human sexuality got covered rather awkwardly. I guess I wish the more relevant topics could have at least been talked about more openly, with less ducking of perfectly normal words. Again, religious topics were always going to come up in that interview, and I don't really fault you guys for that. But why was that so normal and up front, while the afore mentioned article was talked about in such a different tone?

Much of this is certainly cultural, of course. The United States is largely Christian in some form or other, while discussing sex and body image isn't nearly as common. It's just that, given the importance of the topics brought up in the article, I hoped said topics would have been covered with at least as much forthrightness and lack of embarrassment as was the topic of a God not everyone believes in.

Have a great day,
Alex Hall

We delve into this some during the show, however for those who just peek at the notes, Joe stated that there wasn't a direct omission or slant when it came to talking about the subjects mentioned above. Not being overly familiar with the clothing had a little to do with the matter. And Joe also said that his Southern upbringing showed up in full force when it comes to a discussion like that, where he defaults to the inoffensive language for descriptions of this kind of thing. J.J., on the other hand, noted that the BBQ should focus on sexuality in a future program and the team will look for some guests to expound on that in 2017. If anyone reading has any suggestions for guests, or topics along those lines, send them along to for consideration.

Last Word:

We use our +1 short dagger and hope for a Critical Roll this week.
Dungeons & Dragons Earns A Spot In The National Toy Hall Of Fame

This is the last show before the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving. That means, when next we grace the download cue, it will be Black Friday. And that also means the BBQ Black Friday Special! Tune in to hear deals and offers on a great many things you have heard about from our BBQ Regulars and from our sponsors A.T. Guys. The holiday shopping begins in earnest with BBQ Episode 83.

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File size: 99.4MB
Length: 83:53

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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.

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