Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 106: Snopes, Snoops And The Electric Fence

We're beginning to gear up for summer conventions and A T Guys will be at both Exhibit Halls with the new micro-Speak Digital Voice Recorder. You can pre-order yours or other products with codes ACB17 and NFB17 and pick up your products at the booth. Whether you're attending or not, we've got a demonstration of the new Micro-Speak which will give you a feel for this product before you arrive. Stay tuned for more A T Guys product announcements soon.

Sponsor: Humanware

BrailleNote Touch Live Read:
This episode is brought to you by HumanWare.
Last year HumanWare partnered with Google to launch the BrailleNote Touch, the world s first and only Google Certified braille tablet.
The BrailleNote Touch combines the simplicity and efficiency of the well-known KeySoft user experience, with the power and openness of a mainstream tablet.
Use the familiar KeySoft apps to accomplish your daily tasks of document creation, email, or internet browsing, while downloading any accessible app from the Google PlayStore.
Once downloaded, KeySoft ensures those apps are efficient to use with braille.
If you don t want to type on the Touch s included physical keyboard, you can type completely scilently on it s touch screen using the innovative TouchBraille typing system.
Just lay 10 fingers on the screen and type as if there were keys beneath your fingers.
TouchBraille identifies and finds your fingers as you type.
Stay tuned for the release of BrailleNote Touch version 4, expected to go live this summer.
The BrailleNote Touch, The future is so close, you can touch it.
Learn more about the BrailleNote Touch or any of Humanware's products by visiting or by calling 800.722.3393.
You can also watch any of the several BrailleNote Touch Snapshot videos done by HumanWare by visiting their YouTube channel

In The News:

Note: We started the show with another round of 'shout outs' to people moving on to new projects. Best wishes to Matt Campbell, Serotek, and Doug Geoffray, from GW Micro/VFO, who are taking on new challenges. We look forward to what comes next for these two gentlemen!

NV Access are pleased to announce "Microsoft Excel for NVDA" eBook available from:

Another Zoomtext 10.1 update arrives

Blindfold Games: Blindfold Word search

From our BBQ Regular Michael Doise:
We now have our first version of #MUDAbility ready for people to try. We encourage your feedback and we will continue to make it better.

Public Beta of Dark Defender has been released, runs on Windows and Mac

Also, since we had a lot of talk about games this week, Black Box is another title you should check out

Product Overview: MicroSpeak Recorder

J.J. introduces the Micro-Speak, a compact and simple voice recorder with voice prompts. The Micro-Speak features 4 gigabytes of memory, a rechargeable battery, and a simple-to-use design. You can learn more or purchase the Micro-Speak now from A T Guys. And as we mentioned above, use coupon ACB17 or NFB17 if you wish to pick up your Micro-Speak at convention.


Joe mentions that enlarging the Voiceover cursor can assist in determining where VO places its focus. To enable this setting, go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Voiceover then scroll to the bottom to turn on large cursor". Now those with vision can see if Voiceover is focused on the correct item when troubleshooting an app.

Sound off:

The mysteriously named: Tech Center" writes in with the following;

"Howdy J.J. & Joe,
I'm writing in about episode 104 of the BBQ. Love the show, by the way an been listening since the beginning.
Any who, I'm not terribly thrilled about the Apple HomePod either, especially because of the price. But it is a big interest of me because of our ATE Program we have here where we've been buying Virtual Assistants like the Echo for Seniors with vision loss in our community.
So I spend hours and hours of training; an learning new features. For Echo's and the Google Home.

Any how, I think where Apple might blow it out of the water, if and I emphasize if, the bring the power of the App Store to the HomePod. Its the chief problem with the Google Home and Amazon Echo right now, as I see it. Is there's no financial market place for building and selling Apps, Skills, or Actions whatever you want to call them on your various assistants. Hence, you run in to a horrid of garbage apps and hello world style apps on the Amazon Echo. If there was a real awesome API system and real developers flocking to buy apps they could sell I think we'd see some pretty awesome stuff.

Additionally, in that vein, the Apple Home Pod has a powerful processor... So who knows what that might make possible.
Once again, I'm not optimistic, the price is high... But I think whoever creates a market place will blow this market out of the water.
By the way, these are all, cutting edge and also have a lot of rough edges... Echo and Google Home are no exception. So I look forward to some real forethought and polish that Apple sometimes puts into there products.
Just as an example, if you have a Google Phone with "Ok, Google" enabled and be in the same room with your Home... Yikes.

Any how fellas there are my two cents, rock on! Love to come on an talk some time about Virtual Assitants; Oh by the way every month I mention at least one of your podcasts in our Technology Newsletter.
Take care,"

Juan Avila asks the age old OCR related question...

Hello Blind Bargains Team,

A few days ago you guys spoke on the podcast about braille, screen readers, and how they might impact employment. I just want to say that I am a fluent braille reader/writer, use Jaws and OCR software, and have a student assistant position at the California Department of Public Health. Braille does help me in taking notes, and looking up phone numbers quickly, but it is only a supplement of what I do. Mostly I use the computer with Jaws, and recognize text with either Knfb or Kurtzweil 1000.

I would like to know, if there is a program to recognize hand writing, as a lot of what my student co-workers do includes looking at hand written checks, and licenses with hand writing. I unfortunately cannot read hand writing, and find my self sometimes with entire days with out work. If you guys know of any technology besides BeMyEyes that can read hand writing, let me know.


Ricky recently asked this on Twitter and some recommended trying the new Microsoft Word Lens app. We haven't given this a try, however, let us know via if you have a reliable way of deciphering handwritten text with OCR. lastly, and for fun, this was an odd piece of spam we found lying around the Inbox last week.

"A New Scholarship Opportunity to Share from Jeniffer Lewis

Good morning,

My name is Jeniffer and I wanted to reach out to you to inform you about our new scholarship opportunity available to your students and visitors.
The application is free for everyone, and the winning students will receive a total of $6,000 every year to cover their educational expenses.

The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest. The winning essays will be chosen by how well-written, compelling, and persuasive they are.

As I mentioned earlier - there are no costs associated with submitting an application for this scholarship and the application period begins on July 10th, 2017.

We are working on getting the word out as much as possible so that all students who need scholarships can apply. Please let me know if you are the right person to contact regarding making this opportunity available for your students and visitors through your website.

More information, as well as eligibility information, can be found here:

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer.

Have a wonderful day!"

Um, we're not sure why that came to our inbox, but hey perhaps one of you may want to apply.

Last Word:

Try as we might, there isn't really a theme for the two links listed below.
Gettin' real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot
Urine used to charge smartphone - BBC News

One more show until we are off to summer conventions, from which we will bring you lots of news and interviews from the show floor. Stay tuned for the A T Guys product showcase and more on next week's show.

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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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