Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 89: Umano Jelly Flops

We've finally put 2016 to bed and now it is time to begin the march to CSUN 2017. Before we can do that, however, we need to talk about ATIA. Shelly Brisbin
is with us to talk about that show and if it is still relevant. And if so, then who is the audience for this show now? We also have a great trip tip from Patrick, "Sound Off" and the first "Last Word" of 2017.

Programming Note:

Shelly had Joe, and BBQ Regular Jeff Bishop, on one of her podcasts that was released during the holiday season. You can catch that show, and several others, at the homepage for "The Parallel".

Speaking of Mr. Bishop, he and Joe spoke to several key members of the Microsoft Access Team about the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update in a two part Main Menu exclusive. Part 1 can be heard here and the second direct link is here. Or, if you don't have this bookmarked already, the Main menu archive is a great site to give the once-over from time to time.

Lastly, shout out to Dean over at Top Tech Tidbits and the great gang of folks over at Access World for being avenues of news during our holiday break. They, and Apple Vis, are places we read in order to stay up to date when we are on a little bit of a break.

In The News:

ZoomText and Window Eyes information for critical certificate errors

NVDA launches a new blog about their future asperations

Public Beta of Dictation Bridge Add-on for NVDA Released

Captcha Be Gone Now Available for the Chrome Web Browser

Be My Eyes has Nearly a Half Million Users on their Platform; Android App Coming Soon

Catching Up: Android TalkBack 5.1 Adds Smattering of Enhancements; Ends Support for Pre 5.0 Devices

NFB and ACB Conventions Don't Overlap; Hotel Reservations Accepted Now

Discussion Topic: ATIA 2017

Shelly recently attended the Assistive Technology Industry Association's 2017 convention during the month of January. She stops by to tell us what she saw and to discuss if the show's focus is growing when it comes to the subset of fields in the Blindness and Low Vision arenas. During our conversation we cover topics such as the upcoming -BrailleNote Touch 3.0 release, a Prodigi Connect 2.0 software update, low vision friendly Scanning Pens, the newly announced Mojo from Enhanced Vision and we check in on APH.


Patrick gives in to his flights of fancy this week. no really. Patrick has some ideas about what you can do on a long flight. Tune in to hear his aircraft simulated experiences.

Sound Off:

Here is the first of two emails that wafted in during our holiday break. First up, Stan Littrell with a pretty neat historical perspective on a subject of our Top 10 of 2016.

"Here is a bit of historical information for your use. Both APH and AFB
used to be in the business of selling consumer goods for the blind
during the 1960s and 70s. I purchased my first braille watch from AFB.
I purchased an abacuss from APH in 1973. With respect to your
comments about the new orbit reader, I'm quite excited about the
prospect. Putting lower cost braille options can only inhance the
possibilities of braille in this digital age. I purchased one of those
expensive braille note takers in about 2,000. The company refreshed
the line and people were asked to trade in their units for a
replacement one. You were able to receive a new unit and received a
great offer for the old one. As technology changed people were given
yet another upgrade deal with a nanny state government
agency, the average person can't just change braille devices. Let's
not even go into how much people are asked to pay for maintenance. I
think that the orbit reader would be great for today's mobile
technology. I don't want this to be read as a rail against the AT
industry because it isn't. I don't consider less expensive braille
displays as devaluation it is a way to keep braille relevant. Keep up
the good work that you do. Whether I agree or not, I always find it

Rebecca Skipper had thoughts about what tech mattered most to her during 2016.

"I thought your top ten list was compelling though for me, the iPhone SE is a significant event because it could be a meaningful competitor in the phone market if you want something more affordable.
The fact that Android is becoming more expensive on Google Nexis still surprises me.
While I like the idea of self-driving and autonomous vehicles, I am concerned about the potential for massive job loss at a time when certain political figures tout bringing back manufacturing.
I have a feeling that automation is what causes job loss.
I predict that politics will slow the development of self-driving cars.
I read somewhere that California wants to tax self-driving cars.
Will blind people really be that trusting of automated cars?
As for VFO, I am concerned about prices and how this might impact JAWS.
Will I be motivated to upgrade my SMA two years from now.
Will prices go up?
Will this affect Hims and Humanware?
How will the availability of Orbit Reader 20 change the game?

We are living in interesting and uncertain times."

We sure are. Perhaps that might be a line we will say often in 2017? Ah CSUN17, we assume you hold many answers to this common question.

Last Word:

The first edition of 2017 caries over some familiar aspects with a YouTube clip and a story about food. Why fix what ain't broke, right?
The Most Overused Sound Effect in Movie Trailers (2017 film trailers cut together
Wisconsin Cows Miss Out After Thousands of Red Skittles Spill Out on a highway

Next week we'll feature Shelly's interview with VFO/AI Squared's Scott Moore about what is new in ZoomText 11. Have a great week everyone!

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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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