Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Qast 168: Image May Contain Progress

We have a lot to cover this week and it really isn't related to the news section. Social media access takes center stage in our interview section this week with Jesse Beach from Instagram. We revisit the audio format discussion in Sound Off, food for thought in the Last Word and two live demos in the mix as well. Santa may have brought us a few early presents in episode 168 of the BBQ.

Sponsor: EnVision AI

Envision AI is a mobile app that speaks out the visual information in front of you.
It can read text from any surface, recognise faces, describe scenes, scan barcodes and so much more!
The one thing that it does better than any other tool out there is recognition of text.
It's surprisingly fast and incredibly accurate.
It's ideal for reading any kind of text, from short handwritten notes to entire books.
And it can do this in over 60 different languages.
But don't just take my word for it, try it for yourself.
The Android app is still a beta, so is currently free. The iOS app comes with the free 14-day trial with no strings attached, that means no automatic subscription.
When you are happy with the service, you can subscribe for a monthly, annual or lifetime subscription.
If that's not enough reason to try it out, they are currently having a huge holiday sale.
For the entire month of December, all their subscription plans are at 30% off.
You can read more about them and find the download links for iOS and Android app on their website:

In The News:

Catch up on your reading list with the newly released NFB Newsline Alexa Skill

APH updates Nearby Explorer for iOS with more Open Street maps customization

Changes Coming to APH Accessible Textbooks for Low Vision Users

NVDA 2018.4rc1 is ready for public testing

Microsoft will begin offering accessibility webinars starting in January 2019

The latest in the Hadley "Tech It Out" series focuses on digital assistants

As mentioned by J.J. in ep 166, the print version of the NVIDIA Shield review is just one of the articles in the December issue of "Access World"

Interview: Jesse Beach Of Instagram

last week we mentioned some of the changes coming to Facebook properties like Instagram. Jesse Beach, Engineering Manager, Accessibility Engineering Team from Instagram, joins us to explain the process of Accessibility user Experience and how that impacts the ability for the team to be more agile when it comes to using their products in a more delightful way. Jesse and J.J. delve into Instagram accessibility and alt text, other plans, and the need for accurate image recognition. Those who would like to help the team with this endeavor can send feedback to

Tip: Expand The Triple Click Home Options

Joe likes inverting colors at will and using the built in screen readers on his phones. For Android, when he was using a Galaxy S5 as his daily phone, he could turn off Talkback with the volume button shortcut and flip his color modes with triple click home. This isn't as easy to do in older version of iOS, however, now it is if you add features to the triple click home section under the accessibility options section. Head over to the general settings area, then accessibility button with the ability to modify the home button shortcut found at the very bottom of these options. From there you can add several access features that will come up in a picker menu the next time you hit the home button three times. Low vision users might find this to be extremely useful for being able to change colors, turn on the magnifier or bring up the zoom options all in one menu without resorting to Siri or a constant visit to the access options section in iOS.

Sound off:

Alex Hall asked if we could return to the audio format and the crazy connection options Joe purposely glossed over when he was talking about sound bars and multi-channel speaker systems in episode 167. This is not an easy subject to tackle but this YouTube clip
does an admirable job to concisely break it all down? And just when you think you have digested that, this Digital Trends review of an Atmos sound bar
will test your new found knowledge. J.J. added that a neat way to extract audio from a video signal is with an HDMI Audio Converter. This is the HDMI extractor
that he used to capture audio of the NVIDIA in ep 166. It's about 20 bucks on Amazon.

Last Word:

Sweet and salty is the perfect flavor for the end of show musings this week.
The case for salting your ice cream
I Have a Few Questions About This Bacon Vending Machine

One more show before we enter our holiday hibernation phase. We'll see if we have news for next week. Or if we end up pre-recording a bunch of stuff. Tune into 169 to hear what we end up doing for the last non wrap up show of the year.

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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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