This show comes to you a little later than usual because, to J.J.'s chagrin, we wanted to cover the Microsoft Surface event. Was it worth the wait or was joe wrong in thinking there was news to talk about? Well, Joe was wrong about something as you will see in "Sound Off". but the BBQ Crew was right about the future of pet transport as can be seen in the "Last Word". Catch a train while you wonder if we can get an episode recorded before J.J.'s groceries can arrive in episode 194.
In The News:
Discussion Topic: 2019 Microsoft Surface Event
J.J. was skeptical that Joe could find something he would care about during these announcements. And then the talk of the Microsoft Duo came up. Here's a bunch of links that fueled the fires of conversation.
Windows 10 1909 Coming Soon, Here Are the New Features
Microsoft's 2019 Surface Event In 10 Minutes
Everything Microsoft announced yesterday and when you can get it
Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro X, Laptop 3, and Surface Pro 7
The Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7 Revamps Are One Port Short of Ideal
Microsoft Will Still Make It Hard for You to Repair Its New Repairable Surface Laptop
Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro X SSDs aren't 'user removable'
How does the new Surface Pro 7 compare to the Surface Go?
We compare the Surface Pro 7 with the Surface Pro X
Here's why Microsoft wanted a custom chip for the Surface Pro X's brains
Check out our hands-on look at Microsoft's Surface Pro X
Hands On: Surface Pro X
Surface Earbuds: Microsoft's answer to Apple's AirPods
Surface Earbuds look weird, but they feel great
Hands On: Surface Ear Buds
What the heck is Windows 10X?
What Windows 10X Is and Why It's the Future of Microsoft Software
Windows 10X OS will work with new dual-screen Surface Neo devices
MICROSOFT SURFACE NEO FIRST LOOK: THE FUTURE OF WINDOWS 10X IS DUAL-SCREEN
Surface Neo and Duo hands-on: Our dual-screen future
Microsoft is making a high-end phone running Android
Surface Duo unveiled: A folding Surface phone that runs Android
No, Microsoft won't make another Windows phone
Is Microsoft's Surface Neo too little too late?
The Surface Neo, not Duo, is the path back to Windows Phone
MICROSOFT S DUAL-SCREEN PHONE WILL LIVE OR DIE BY THE APPS
Tip: Close Safari tabs on your iPhone to save memory and battery
Yep, iOS 13 is buggier than a Las Vegas hotel room mattress. Yet the consistently being patched mobile operating system does have some new features worth noting. Anyone who has performed a fun festival of troubleshooting for their family and friends during the holidays might be familiar with Safari keeping tons of tabs open. Old open tabs can drain battery, use data and drag on memory the longer they stay around. Apple knows this and that is why you can set iOS to automatically close them after a period of time. Go to Settings, then down to Safari. From there look for a Close Tabs option. In this control you will find that you can set Safari to close tabs after a day, a week or a month. Don t worry, this is set to the manual option by default. However, for some relatives, you might just want to move it to a month rather than see their browsing history when trying to fix their iOS devices.
First, Dave Van Der Molen asks a question in his email "Indoor Navigation and GPS Apps"
"Hi Joe and J.J.
Absolutely love your BBQ podcasts! They're informative, timely, and I
love the banter!! I have two topics on which I'd love to hear a discussion:
One is that I wish there was an iOS or Android app out there that had
similar capabilities to the Trekker Breeze or the Victor Reader Trek
(i.e., you would be able to record a route as a sighted person is
guiding you and also vocally record points of interest as you're
recording that route). Then you should be able to play the route back
and walk it independently with your guide dog or cane.
I've found an app called MyWay Classic that's supposed to be able to do
those things, but the manual is badly written and the app is poorly
Having said all of the above, however, I'm wondering why blind and
visually impaired people can't access the same navigation/location apps
as land surveyors who get get location accuracy to within inches.
My second issue I'd love to hear discussion on is whether it's
reasonably easy and affordable for individuals to set up indoor
navigation systems in small buildings that they frequent, and I'm
thinking that the person setting it up would be the only one using it.
For example, I'd love to be able to put up stickers or something, so
that I could more easily be able to navigate my church or the office
building in which I work. To do the navigating, I'd want to be able to
use my phone.
Thanks so much for the podcast and all the work you do in testing
various apps and devices that may or may not be blind-friendly!
Sadly, to the second question, we don't have any recommendations due to the way that indoor beacons work at the time of this recording.
Shan Noyes writes in with the subject line: "Adaptive technology history & podcast 173 corrections!!!"
"Hi Blind Bargains team!
First of all I would like to say that I listen to your podcast all the time. Although I do get behind sometimes or skip some podcasts and listen to them later and have to do a binge listening to catch up.
I really enjoy the interviews that the podcast covers there is lot of good information.
However, during my latest binge listen to catch up on missed podcast I heard some incorrect information that was given. The podcast in question from podcast 173 Alien probing cane, . It appears in the podcast in the section where JJ is talking about the single braille cell device that is kind of mouse size its called braibook. This section takes place just after the 48 minute point of the podcast. Joe makes the comment
The first braille displays were one cell. Of course that was back in the 80s. and I was using an optacon
There are two problems with this statement.
First of all The Optacon did not display what the camera picked up in braille. Yes the display that the optacon user had their finger on was a tactile representation of what the camera was picking up, but it was not braille. It was raised print. A cool device and was a challenge to learn how to use. Actually I received an Optacon in the mid 70s and took 2 weeks of 40 hours of training per week to learn how to use it. It was useful because this was in the days before scanners and optical recognition systems existed for the general public. And Yes I was enough of a crazy kid to actually read a couple of novels with it. Got pretty fast with it as well. However, the Optacon joined the world of that famous bird the dodo in 1996 because scanners and reading machines came along and the Optacon just wasn t fast enough for reading.
The second problem in this statement was concerns the first braille displays were single cells. Actually again the company who brought the Optacon to market also brought us a refreshable braille device in the late 70s called the Versabraille, and it had a 20 cell display. When the Versabraille first came out it was a stand a lone unit that one could print from. The next generation of the unit had the ability to act as a terminal and so could be interfaced with Apple 2 e computers and mainframes. I had one of these as well in the early 80s and did a lot of main frame work with it.
Anyways, just wanted to set the record straight because people who are not familiar wit the history of adaptive equipment would be mislead by Joe s statement. For an interesting read do a google on the optacon and versabraille. The write up on the Optacon and its early days and how it was developed is very interesting.
Yes, the history of adaptive technology is a very very interesting one. I was not only fortunate enough to be using some of the early days stuff, but also was heavily involved as an adaptive technology adviser for the CNIB from 1986 through 1992. To day there are some pretty good systems like NVDA or Jaws, but in the early 80s we had a lot more variation of choice available to us. My first personal speech program for the IBM xt personal computer was Freedom1. A speech program that was very very customizable. Another cool speech program that the developer of Freedom1 wrote was called ISOS . Sure there were speech programs like Vertplus and SoftVert, but ISOS was the first speech program that I had seen that one could set up monitoring windows and when something changed in that windows have the computer trigger something else to happen. IBM also was in the game starting out with a speech program called PCSAID. Which evolved into Screen Reader. An extremely powerful speech package. I still lament the death of IBM Warp and the IBM Screen Reader program. Again one could have it monitor areas of the screen and based upon what it saw perform different computer tasks.
Oh well, I m getting off topic. Just wanted to clarify the 2 items in the podcast 173. Guess my only point really is before making such historical statements research them. Because as podcasters Your word gets taken a the undisputed truth.
For a description of the Optacon check out" this link
"another interesting link is" this one
Have a good day.
We ponder the future of food and transport this week.
REVIEW: Mystery Oreo (2019)
Solve the Mystery Flavor for a chance to win $50,000
We podcasted the future... here's our 2016 April Fool's show promoting the fictitious UberWoof
And now this; Uber for dogs startup aims to make pet travel easier
195 will probably see a return to the Features format. And ep 196 will contain our coverage of the Google event that is set for October 15th.
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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.