SeroTalk Podcast 196: The Jamie Dilemma

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the SeroTalk podcast where Jamie, Ricky and Joe discuss the top news stories of the week. After the news, Jamie visits with Hope Paulos of Fedora Outlier about all the exciting learning opportunities available from the company. Whether it’s iOS, Mac or Windows, they’ve got you covered. Also, be sure to check out their Delivering Access podcast which is also available on iBlink Radio. Topics discussed in this week’s podcast include:

Why the Windows 8.1 Update probably means no more Service Packs for Windows

Why I can live without Office for iPad

Windows Phone 8.1 Review

Purported iPhone 6 cases suggest design changes afoot

An Amazon Phone for Everyone—FREE!

Smartphone Makers Agree on ‘Kill Switch’ to Deter Thefts

5 ways Graphene material will change gadgets forever

5 myths about Heartbleed you shouldn’t believe

19-Year-Old Canadian Arrested for Heartbleed Hack

Apple says Heartbleed security flaw did not affect its software or services

Attention Pandora users! Pandora Radio 5.3 has broken some VoiceOver functionality. Read more:

Apple Patents Indoor Navigation System Based On Existing Wi-Fi Access Points

Apple Patents Graphical Interface For The Visually Impaired

Google Patents Tiny Cameras Embedded In Contact Lenses

The Rise and Fall of AIM, the Breakthrough AOL Never Wanted


From Brett Wilhelm:

Hi Serotalk. After listening to podcast 195, I wanted to comment on the issue of Braille notetakers versus IOS devices. Before I do, I will say that I am a proud owner of both of an Iphone 4s and BrailleNote Apex BT. I feel I have the best of both worlds, and can be more productive as a result. I’ll now discuss the areas I think my Apex docs best, followed by the things IOS does best.

Apex advantages 1. Instant start-up. The Apex powers on and is ready to work faster. 2. The battery. The Apex has a longer battery life and its batteries are user replaceable. And let’s not forget its longer battery life. 3. The Apex remembers its place in documents. 4. No need for Bluetooth. Unless I need to use it as a Braille display with IOS, there’s no need to use batter-draining bluetooth just to get Braille access to the device. 5. One keyboard, one device. I only need to touch one device.
I never need to move my hands off a keyboard and interact with a touch screen.

IOS advantages 1. The Iphone can be charged via USB, allowing it to be charged from a laptop even when no outlet is available. 2. More stability. Though Humanware has been constantly improving the stability of the Apex since its release, I find myself having to press its reset button on an almost daily basis. 3. App support. As great as the Keysoft operating system is on the Apex, it is not possible for users to design software for it.
With so many great IOS apps, it’s not always necessary to wait for software updates before the device gains more capabilities.

So, I think that IOS and notetakers still have a place in the blind community. I don’t see the disappearance of the notetaker or of blindness-spacific technology completely disappearing anytime soon. I hope you find this email informative and I look forward to more great podcasts from SeroTalk. Thanks, Brett Wilhelm

Blog comment from Jessica Rickards:

Keep up the great work guys! Excellent show, and quite an informative interview!

From Luis:

Hi SeroTalk hosts,

After listening to podcast 195, I wanted to reply about a couple of things mentioned.

First, I do have to agree with Mr. Steinkamp about fragmentation on iOS. It’s funny that he keeps on bringing up the original iPad which stopped receiving updates since iOS5.1.1. However, I did a full comparisons of fragmentation between Android and iOS. I was going to share the direct link. That I posted on a forum that I created over at SAMNet. And sadly because it was over 6 months ago, the post has fallen off the forum. But Apple has fragmented their OS since iOS2 with the introduction to appstore. Where the original iPhone back in 2007 came out. That phone couldn’t nor wouldn’t support iOS2.

Second, the comment about NoteTakers, has been around since 2010. Or even maybe earlier. I know the former CEO of Sero Tek has been against and I quote, “Blind Ghetto Products”, end of quote. But just recently I heard someone mentioning that he himself is now using a BrailleSense U2 Mini. And I know you will have a lot of people writing in about this. So, I’ll try to keep it short. The NoteTaker is as good as the user. If someone doesn’t know all about what the product can do, Then yes the product will be a waste of money. Like an Android or iPhone. Where I work sighted people have smartphones for there everyday tasks. But when I ask how is this feature working out for you? They stay quiet because they didn’t knew their phone was able to do that or they couldn’t figure out how to do it. So they just use the phone, email, and to watch YouTube or play games. While when I asked a student who used an MPower BrailleNote and is now using an Apex. He mentioned he preferred the Apex because it had more features. When I asked him like what or how are you using these features? His reply was, I don’t know I just know I like the Apex because it has more features. And for those who say, it’s just a waste of money. Since Main Stream devices are now accessible right out of the box. The device is, but the apps are only as accessible as the developers make them to be. Then, you’re at the mercy of them until they get around to fixing what they broke in accessibility. So, there is room for both, specially if you rely on Braille displays. Where on iOS Apple may break the ability to communicate with your Braille display as they have done on the last 2-3 OS updates. Or Google which according to an interview from That Android Show. It’s up to to the maker of the display to get it to communicate to your device.

Third, I don’t understand the hate on the front facing camera on the Nexas7, it did a pretty good job when I had to use it with Google Goggles. It was able to identify mostly everything I put in front of it. The same results that I get with my Nexas7 2013 model that has a back facing camera.

And forth, I am with Mr. Steinkamp about the Dice World posts. I rarely will post the generic tweet. More often then not. I will change the tweet to something random so not to bug my followers. Unless I beat Richard Wells. Then I have to brag about that great victory. As a matter of fact, I encourage anybody playing Bupster. To beat him in any and all Dice World games you play with him. He really enjoys giving gold to all.

Great podcast as always.

From Jake:

Hello all. I just wanted to say great job as always! I just had to comment on “It’s a Small World” turning 50. I vividly remember when I was a toddler, my parents and I went to DisneyWorld. This ended up being one of several trips that my family and I would take there. But my parents put me on that boat ride, and I can remember crying my eyes out from hearing that darn song so much. Obviously I got off the ride eventually, but I don’t remember the exact sequence of events that day. I have since grown to love DisneyWorld and Epcott Center. I haven’t been to either in several years, and I don’t believe I was ever at DisneyLand in California. I have also since grown to like that song. One other thing I remember is listening to a record my mom had in her vast collection, and I was fascinated at hearing the song in all the different languages. I definitely agree that the song has a good message. Well, thanks again for another good episode, and keep ‘em coming!

Best wishes, Jake


When Things Look Dark, Country Music Gets Sunnier

The science of seasonal allergies — and why they’re so awful

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SeroTalk Podcast 195: Information Wants to be Free

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There is a lot to talk about on this week’s podcast. Jamie, Ricky and Joe break it all down for you. Then, Lisa interviews one of the developers of the incredibly popular iOS app DiceWorld As always, your feedback brings it all together, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

The Big Story

Heartbleed: How It Works

The 5 Things To Do About the New Heartbleed Bug

The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

The Programmer Behind Heartbleed Speaks Out: It Was an Accident

Why is Heartbleed called Heartbleed?

Heartbleed’s lesson: Passwords must die

Welcome to the Post-XP world, but how on earth did we get here?

Microsoft is Still Making Security Updates for Windows XP, But You Can’t Have Them

A T Talk

CSUN: Is It Still the Definitive Access Technology Conference?

SPN Special: Maximizing Potential with Mainstream and Assistive Technologies

CSUN 2014 HIMS Special – Notetaker or iPad: Is It The Wrong Question?

From Applevis: Comparing iOS Devices with Braille Notetakers

From The Tech Doctor: Comparing iOS Devices and Notetakers

Fedora Outlier Announces The Mac Master Series

The popular TapTapSee App is now available for Android

Mainstream Matters

Zombies, Run! | New in Season 3: Player Choice!

Skype TX: Microsoft Targets Broadcasters

Google making Glass available to the masses for one day only


From Kelley Armstrong

Hi, my name is Kelley Armstrong and I live in Texas. First I just want to say I look forward to hearing the serotalk podcast and the three of you do a good job. Now I liked the operating system of windows XP but I have learned windows 8 and games are something I enjoy too. I play all the blind gamers games on my windows 8 laptop without any trouble at all. I do have a windows vista laptop I don’t use it I let my dad have it. I don’t think any of you will believe it but I recently just chunked an old desktop computer that ran windows XP and I have still in my possession a year 2009 dell net book running XP and to be frank I am fearful of turning it on and I am not even sure it can be upgraded to either vista or seven or eight. On a net book everything is external that’s why I don’t think it can be upgraded and no love lost too many security risks. I use an ipad two as my main computer I send and recieve email and do facebook. I go online and shop and check prices and read newspapers, listen to pandora radio and I play games and I like to listen to I blink radio and look at blind bargains. I like my windows eight laptop but if Mack computers weren’t so expensive I wouldn’t mind being a Mack user I built my life in IOS and I love it. I could live with or without a windows computer but if my ipad two were to quit on me I think I would go crazy. I am seeing hiccups in voice over and touch screen issues as my ipad is aging. I am finding my ipad not as snappy as it was when I got it and it was new. It’s a bit sluggish and I don’t know if it’s normal or not. I just think it’s amazing how far computers and technology have come and revolutionized the lives of blind people in general. In the education of blind children and the what use to be hard can and hopefully is easier to teach blind children. I was just starting out in elementary school in the year 1993 and the school really didn’t know what to do with me so they stuck me in the life skills class where mentally impaired and the kids in wheelchairs who cannot talk or comprehend what’s going on. I was neglected by the teachers because at first I didn’t learn abc’s and 123′s like every other five year old kid. Nope I was being told to feel of feathers and button buttons and zipping zippers until my dad threw a walleyed fit and it took a lot of badgering and griping but finally they got the technology and the resources to teach me braille.

From Kelsey Trevett:

Hi SeroTalk gang, I was listening to podcast 194 and had to input my thoughts into a couple of discussions you had on that episode. In particular, your chat about Windows 8,1 (update 1) and the Amazon Fire TV. Windows 8,1 update 1 has been anticipated by techie people for a while now… I mean a long while. Personally, I’ve been a user of Windows 8,0 from day 1 (literally) and so have seen it’s growth and development since October 2012. Windows 8,1 was a welcome update to Windows 8; many of my personal complaints were dealt with and some features were added (AKA put back). Update 1 (or spring update, etc) didn’t bring a huge change to the OS.
Yes, the search and power options controls came to the Start Screen – something Windows’ users have been begging for since it’s launch in 2012 – but apart from that and some minor changes, it seems a rather insignificant update. Sure, there are plenty of small fixes and changes which I’m not complaining about but I can’t see much (as a JAWS user) that really caught my eye (excuse the pun). As you rightly said, I think this is Microsoft’s attempt to back-pedal furiously into what they hope are the open arms of consumers. Unfortunately, I feel that it is too little, far too late. Windows 8 has got itself a reputation and it’s going to be pretty much impossible for Microsoft to shift it. As for the Amazon Fire TV (does it burst your TV into flames?) I have other thoughts. It is great that Amazon have come into the streaming market via the TV; they’ve had very similar services on their Kindle Fire line of products for quite some time now. What I did notice is the inability to access Amazon Music services from the device which is quite a big flunk on Amazon’s part. If you live in the Amazon eco system, you want it all, not just bits and pieces of the world you live in, right? Additionally, I read several articles from Twitter verifying my own fears – the device scores a 0 when it comes to accessibility.
There is no screen reader built-in to the system. This doesn’t leave me without hope; I’m sure that if we petition for long enough (as we did for iOS and Android app accessibility and Fire tablet access too), access to Fire TV will come. I’m not a person who believe wholly in fighting my way to the end; a peaceful approach is more my style. The missing accessibility is possibly for the reason I’ve come up with: “blind people don’t watch TV, do they? Really, they can’t see it!” I loved the April Fools edition of SeroTalk, Triple Click Home and That Android Show; I thought they were great fun and that a great laugh was had by all. Thanks for reading and bring on podcast 200!!!

Kelsey London, England, UK

And another from Kelsey:

Hi SeroTalkers, It’s Kelsey again – remember me? I was the one with the new Nexus 7 and I was diving in from iOS to Android. Well, after a few more months, I thought I’d send another email letting you know how it’s been going with the Nexus 7. I’ve now had the Nexus 7 for four months and am thoroughly enjoying the experience. Surprisingly, I’m finding it strangely easy to live in the Apple, Android and Windows universes all at once! It is easy to know when to use what for checking Twitter, reading emails, etc. The Nexus 7 is my desk device – the device that primarily lives on my desk and occasionally ventures out and about with me. I have done a lot more exploration of Android; I’ve tried some new apps, launchers and other such things. The Nexus 7, for me in any case, has become easier to use the more I get used to Android and the way it works. I’ve changed Talkback to single-tap selection, finding this method easier and more productive. Additionally, I’ve changed more Talkback settings to make it more of the experience that I desire and want from Android. My thoughts on Android haven’t changed although some new ones have come to me during these last months. I’ve found my own way of looking at Android – whatever you want from it, it can provide. You do have to put the effort in though – look for the apps / launchers / keyboards etc; do the research to find out how to perform a task; work out all the sneaky cheats with Talkback and other such things you may want to know. The operating system has a great interface; no customisation is required if the user doesn’t want to. The UI is simple and easy to use and so I feel Android is a good option for pretty much anybody, however good or bad their computer skills may be. My other thought with Android (as I have said before) is to remember that it isn’t going to explode in your hand. This mental advice has been ringing in my head quite a lot recently when fiddling with settings and the like. The device isn’t just going to explode, or fall apart, or whip out an evil hand and hit you round the face for pressing the wrong button. People need to be adventurous IF THEY WANT TO BE. There was no legal document that came with the tablet when you bought it that said: I agree that I have to change ten settings every day or else the evil NexusBot will come and kill me. No, no such obligation was agreed to. Therefore, you can change as much or as little as you choose. Thanks for reading and I hope my new experiences and thoughts will help new users of Android and people thinking of taking the plunge; it is well worth it.

Kelsey London, England, UK

Blog Comment From Dominique

Hey guys, just listened to the April Fools podcast, and also podcast 194. Good job guys, that was awesome. Just a thought, to see how it would sound, you guys should do the next one in complete 8k AM radio form. Deric, and Patric would be good at making a small segment sounding like that, reminds me of the guy that Deric made sing on that one beat and got played on the AM radio station, all by axidant that one time… Keep it up guys! Pease!


Jamie: No Laptops, No Wi-Fi: How One Cafe Fired Up Sales

Cops Found Stolen Laptop After Thief Called Apple Tech Support

‘It’s a Small World’ turns 50 with sing-along

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SeroTalk Podcast 194: The Backpedal Edition

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Join Jamie, Ricky and Joe as they reconvene after a bit of an absence to discuss the top news stories of the week. Following the news, we bring you one last interview from CSUN as Joe visits with Chet of Ability Magazine about all they have to offer.

All of Google’s Jokes for April Fools’ Day 2014

SeroTalk Podcast 193: News for April 1, 2014

Triple-click Home Episode 28: Turn Right On “A” Street

That Android Show Episode 26: Your Android Is Not My Android

The Great Big List from the 2014 CSUN International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference

If you missed last week’s HadleySchool seminar by ricky Enger on exploring the Socializer, catch the archive here.

The “Re-Invention” of Braille Card Games

Avoiding BT keyboard issues in iOS 7.1

Boston Marathon Visually Impaired Participants Increases to Most Ever

Amazon’s Fire TV Is Powerful, but Voice Search Limitations Hamper User Experience

Amazon Fire TV vs. Chromecast vs. Roku vs. Apple TV

Amazon’s Fire TV: It’s about the off-Prime engagement, e-commerce

Mouse and keyboard-friendly Windows 8.1 update arrives April 8

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Review

Windows 9 ‘Threshold’: Rumors, Release Date, News, Features and More

iBeacons and airports: Results from a real-world test

inMarket lets specific brands, not just retailers, target shoppers using iBeacons in-store

United Nations uses iBeacons to simulate a minefield & raise awareness at NY museum


From Brett:

Hi SeroTalk.

I was listening to podcast 191, and I wanted to comment on some reasons I believe so many people are still using Windows XP. First, I’ll cover some reasons why some blind users still insist on using XP. Games (such as those written by Robert Betz don’t run on more modern operating systems. Other games (such as Grizzly Gulch and Chillingham from Bavisoft) will work on newer operating systems, but users who run them on a modern OS will experience stability issues.

The biggest reason why people (both blind and sighted) insist on staying with XP in my opinion is that they simply don’t believe/understand the security risks. Some users feel that Microsoft is simply trying to snatch their money by scaring them, and that as long as antivirus software is supported, everything will be fine. Also, I believe that more computer users then we might expect don’t understand the importance of Windows Update and the security patches Microsoft releases for supported operating systems. There you have the reasons I was given by friends and family members still insisting on using Windows XP. I’ve done my best to encourage my friends and family members to upgrade. Sadly, some XP users will likely have to face the consequences of staying on XP after support ends, not upgrading until after they’ve experienced malware and data theft. XP’s popularity will then sink, just as WINDOWS 98′s did. I hope you’ve found these comments useful, and thanks for producing such a great podcast.


Helen Keller Letter on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Goes Viral

How I heard for the first time

Why You Shouldn’t Share Those Emotional ‘Deaf Person Hears for the First Time’ Videos

BBC News – Stolen Gauguin painting ‘hung on factory worker’s wall’

Wheelchair Users Can Go Down Stairs with New Invention

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SeroSpectives: This Month in Tech for March 2014

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About Our Presenters

Shelly Brisbin is a writer, editor, podcaster, and cocktail enthusiast. Her current project is iOS Access for All, a comprehensive guide to accessibility for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Shelly’s career in tech journalism spans 25 years, 12 books, hundreds of articles and blog posts for leading tech publications, and several stints on the editorial staffs of leading trade publications and Web sites. She served as editor-in-chief of Blogger & Podcaster Magazine, networking editor for MacUser Magazine, and online editor for online learning company, Powered, Inc. and Hoover’s Web sites. Her podcasts include the award-winning Shelly’s Podcast, and App Store Pundit, an iOS app review show. Her cocktail writing appears on this blog, and at the sadly departed The Spirit World. When she’s not working, Shelly spends time with her husband and cats in Austin, Texas, watches ancient movies, and reads books. You can follow Shelly on Twitter, or get updates about her book.

Liam Erven is best known for the computer games he produces for blind users. Games are released via his company, LWorks. His latest endeavor, Audio Archery, is now free for Android and iOS. Follow Liam or LWorks on Twitter for the latest updates.

Rick Harmon manages various email lists related to blindness and technology. He also runs the Blind Geek Zone website and Podcast. Since their launch in 2006, the site and podcast have served as portals to hundreds of free tutorials and demonstrations for the blind community. While he did the majority of these, he has selected high-quality submissions by others for inclusion as well. In 2007, Rick began offering paid training and support services, both in person in his local area, and by phone. Follow Rick on Twitter.

In The Community

A closer look at iOS 7.1′s accessibility changes

Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 7: An Introduction for Blind Users

Battery drain problems in iOS 7.1, and how to fix them

Announcing the release of Sendero GPS 2014 products!

Solo DX Announces That They’re Closing Their Doors

Speaking of CSUN

New Tech Doctor Podcast: CSUN 2014

NosillaCast #463 Travel Tech, Boom, Omnigraffle, ChargeDr, Tack-Tiles, BigGrips, UbiDuo, WHILL, CSUN Disability Expo

The Great Big List from the 2014 CSUN Conference.

Audio coverage from CSUN by BlindBargains

SeroTalk’s CSUN coverage,

Sponsored by HIMS.

Mainstream Tech

Google drops its Drive storage pricing significantly, puts pressure on Apple to improve iCloud prices

Amazon ups Prime fee to $99 from $79: Customers likely to absorb it

Finally, Microsoft brings Office to the iPad

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SeroTalk Podcast 193: News for April 1, 2014

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In this week’s episode of the SeroTalk Podcast, Facebook breaks stuff, Twitter resets stuff, Apple releases new stuff, and blind people complain about stuff. If that isn’t enough to keep us busy, Mailbag gets itself into a real mess! After all that, it’s time for …


Wedding photographer Chris Thornton captures Mr and Mrs Potato Head’s marriage

1 in 10 in a survey think HTML is an STD

Toilet stolen from hotel room, Cops have nothing to go on

Make music from junk with Mogees and your smartphone

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SPN Special: Maximizing Potential with Mainstream and Assistive Technologies

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In this CSUN 2014 presentation, Joe Steinkamp, Ricky Enger and Dave Wilkinson demonstrate cloud-based solutions, mainstream tablets, PC’s and iDevices along with assistive technology from HIMS, Inc. and Serotek Corporation for complete access to information from anywhere.

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CSUN 2014 HIMS Special – Notetaker or iPad: Is It The Wrong Question?

Listen to our HIMS special: Notetaker or iPad: Is It The Wrong Question?

In this CSUN 2014 presentation by HIMS Inc., Dave Wilkinson explores the comparative efficiency of completing educational tasks using iPads and Braille displays and Braille notetakers.

The SeroTalk Podcast Network would like to thank HIMS Inc. for sponsoring our coverage of this year’s CSUN convention.

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CSUN 2014 SPN Special 4

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Welcome to another round of interviews from the convention floor at CSUN 2014. Our thanks to HIMS Inc. for sponsoring this year’s coverage. Please visit the Websites of the companies represented in these interviews to learn more about their products. Included in this special are:



GW Micro

Freedom Scientific

Braille Edge Interview by Jamie Pauls

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CSUN 2014 SPN Special 3

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Welcome to another round of interviews from the convention floor at CSUN 2014. Our thanks to HIMS Inc. for sponsoring this year’s coverage. Please visit the Websites of the companies represented in these interviews to learn more about their products. Included in this special are:

Discover Technologies

En-Vision America





Sight Enhancement Systems


Enhanced Vision

Triumph Technology

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CSUN 2014 SPN Special 2

Listen to our CSUN 2014 SPN Special 2

Welcome to another round of interviews from the convention floor at CSUN 2014. Our thanks to HIMS Inc. for sponsoring this year’s coverage. Please visit the Websites of the companies represented in these interviews to learn more about their products. Included in this special are:






Joe visits with Big E


Code Factory

Dancing Dots

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