SeroTalk Podcast 192: That’s Classified

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 192: That’s Classified

Two worlds collide on this week’s SeroTalk podcast as Jamie Pauls, Buddy Brannan and Alena Roberts–all part of the Triple-click Home team–host this week’s SeroTalk podcast. After the news, Jamie reviews the Braille Edge, the incredibly popular 40-cell refreshable Braille display from HIMS Inc. Visit the Tech Access DemoCast to hear Erin Edgar’s in-depth podcasts on the Braille Edge. Stories covered in this week’s episode include:

A T Talk

A closer look at iOS 7.1′s accessibility changes

Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 7:An Introduction for Blind Users (IPHONE-IOS7)

My top 4 app picks for Braille Users of iDevices in news

Announcing the release of Sendero GPS 2014 products!

Samsung Focuses On Accessibility With An Ultrasonic Case, A Text-Reading Stand And Voice Labels

Made in India: LECHAL, a Bluetooth connected shoe that guides wearers with directions

Senate Bill Updates SSI and Would Help Elderly Poor

Music By Ear

My Son’s Experience with the Perkins SMART Brailler

Mainstream Matters

Chromebooks and education: A perfect match

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

Starbucks test will let mobile users order items ahead of time

Alena recommends for managing your finances.

Toyota: Apple CarPlay, yes. When? Not saying, actually

Report: iOS 8 to Include Transit-Heavy Apple Maps Overhaul

iOS 8: Apple considers Notification Center + Messages tweaks, removing Game Center app

New Version of Microsoft Office for Mac Slated for 2014 Release

Concept Video Tips 4.7-Inch iPhone 6 ‘Air’

How to access the combination list/month view on iOS 7.1

How to manually control when Siri listens to you with iOS 7.1


From Jenine:

Hi Serotalk Gang,

You know I had to comment on this one. I had to in part because my employer has invested a lot of time and energy into this show on many levels.

As you probably have read if you’ve read anything about the background of the show, it is based on a real person who got his first dog from GDF back in 1980. His son has made several Youtube videos talking about the making of the show and the concept. One of the things he says is that the show is not meant to represent every blind person or every guide dog team but to tell the story of his family.

His father, who is still around and still uses guide dogs but not from GDF, is one of these larger than life people who can get away with doing things like what you see on the show.

There are a couple places I think where we all have disconnects with the show. the first one is that we are all so excited to see “one of us” in a network TV show that we put a lot of pressure on the show to live up to every concept we have of our group, regardless of the story. A friend asked me recently if African Americans felt the same way about Bill Cosby in the 1980’s when he played Dr. Huxtable. That wasn’t reality for many African americans at that time. It was the story of one family though in one set of circumstances.

Another disconnect with the show is the time frame. the son, D.J. Nash, is trying to adapt stories from his family that happened back when blind people did not have the technology they have now, and because of story telling conventions, Growing Up Fisher is set in the present. Will Mel have an iPhone on one episode? Who knows? Also, and any of us who are long-time guide dog handlers know this, what was acceptable behavior for a guide dog back in 1980 is not acceptable today in some very subtle ways. Yes the general tennants of good behavior are still there but I remember a lot more barking and such being tolerated back in the day. Now if a guide dog barks, the entire room of blind people will start yelling at the handler. Convention Trauma!

I honestly was very worried when I first heard about the show last June. I thought, “Oh crap. How many ways can this go wrong?” Way too many. Our community can be hyper judgmental about these things and it won’t matter what the general public thinks.

I, like Joe, don’t think NBC will keep the show around long enough to have a chance but if it did, how would our attitudes change? I do know that the producers consulted with GDF and local guide dog handlers in the LA area but even then, dramatic license is what it is.

I honestly also have not watched the show beyond the pilot episode yet. I hate network television. 5 minutes of show, 5 minutes of commercial. I liked the banter between the family as it mirros my own whacky family banter. As for the guide dog interactions not always being completely politically correct, let’s be brutally honest. We can all cite times when we’ve done things with our dogs or allowed our dogs to do things that are less than by the book. We even tell stories and laugh about them amongst ourselves. Let someone outside of our community portray that though and it gets uncomfortable.

Finally, I wanted to address the issue of the main character’s “passing” for sighted on the show. Believe it or not, this still happens and people will still try to be sighted when they are clearly not. I see it often when people come to guide dog class. They interview just fine. they look good getting around. then they come to spend 2 weeks or 3 weeks with a bunch of other blind people and they self destruct because OMG, they’ve never had to face their own blindness before in such a public way. they may never have been around real blind people in all their variations.

I see this at blindness consumer conventions too. We as a group tend to have some social behaviors that aren’t quite what you’d expect. Granted, the social conventions work when we’re in big groups, loud voices, training to get places, that is, making a train of people to get places, some of us not being as well groomed or observant of others’ social cues as one might expect. That all can freak people out the first time they experience it. And now they are one of “US”.

Most of the people who “pass” have some remaining vision. I don’t know about the character in Growing Up Fisher, just how “blind” he is. I do know that people can do amazing things in pursuit of denial. I did growing up. Gee, grown up partial? My youngest sister faked her entire last year of high school. No one knew she was totally blind by then because she had good friends who propped her up, and she was good at faking it by then. They knew she had vision problems but …

so the whole plot line of the main character faking being sighted for years is totally plausible. Less so I think back in 1980 than now with the technology but none the less, still going on.

Thanks for discussing the show in a very even manner. I know some people really hate it for a variety of reasons. Is it an ideal portrayal of blind people and guide dogs? probably not. It’s not meant to be though. It’s the story of a family that happens to have a blind father with a guide dog. Novel concept.
Jenine Stanley

From Greg Wocher:

Hello everyone,
I hope you all are doing well. I had some comments about episode 191.
First if you listen to the Security Now podcast you will find out that Steve Gibson, security guru, will not be updating his XP machines to something later. His reason is that there was a recent study that found if you run as a local limited user instead of an administrator on your XP machine you can eliminate nearly all vulnerabilities. If you want to hear more about this listen to the last couple of episodes of SN. So if you still want to run XP give your admin account a good password and always run as a local limited user instead. Secondly in this weeks and next weeks Security Now podcasts they are talking about how well Apple has done its security. It is really amazing what they have done. It is almost enough to make me switch back from Android. Now if they could get rid of that blasted iTunes software I just might switch back. LOL.

Greg Wocher

From Dominique:

Hey guys, listening to episode 190, and lol why not make your own Serotek phone? Just think of it. Aah, the SamNet phone! Buy it today!!! lolz. Just a thought, oh, and it could have the Ricke voice as the Speech TTS. I’d also be willing to give you my voice for that project. Just a thought. Talk later.

Blog comment from Amanda:

I love tuning into the podcast and listening to the great stories and news you guys tell. I just have a comment about the show Growing Up Fisher. I have been watching the show and I really like it. I don’t think it’s a bad show at all. I am a guide dog user myself. I sure wouldn’t give my dog to someone when the harness is on either. The creater of this show has a dad who is blind. Don’t know if you guys knew that. I am on Twitter. Ricky and Buddy follow me as well as Joe. I also enjoy listening to Triple Clikc Home. Keep up the great work!


“Tastes Like Happiness”: Why Chocolate Fried Chicken Might Be The Future Of Fast Food

Want to boost your brain power? Walk more

HERO CENTRAL: Girl dials 911 with deactivated phone

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, HIMS Inc., Podcasts, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CSUN 2014 SPN Special 1

Listen to CSUN 2014 SPN Special 1

Ricky and Joe hit the ground running just as soon as they arrived at this year’s CSUN convention. This year’s CSUN coverage is sponsored by HIMS Inc. We trust that you will enjoy the first nine interviews to come from this year’s convention. Be sure and check out the links to the various companies represented in the following interviews. They include:



Alexandra Vision

American Thermoform

Computer application specialties


Maxi Aids



Posted in Blindness and Low Vision, CSUN 2014, HIMS Inc., Interviews, Podcasts, SPN Special, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPN Pre-CSUN 2014 Special

Listen to our SPN Pre-CSUN 2014 Special

Welcome to our first SPN special from CSUN 2014. Joe and Ricky were both so excited about this year’s CSUN coverage, that they got started a bit early. They sat down with representatives from Dolphin, Humanware and AI Squared to find out what those companies would be showing off at this year’s CSUN convention. Be sure to visit the Websites of these companies to learn more.

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, CSUN 2014, HIMS Inc., Interviews, Podcasts, reviews, SPN Special, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SeroTalk Podcast 191: XP Pocolypse

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 191: XP Pocolypse

Join Jamie, Ricky and Joe as they discuss the top news stories of the week. After the news, Jamie and Buddy sit down to talk about the release of iOS 7.1. Stories disccussed in this week’s podcast include:

A T Talk

29th Annual CSUN Conference on Disability news and info

Blind Bargains: The Updated Blind Bargains Guide to Attending #csun14 on a Budget

Blind Bargains: Meet the Visually Impaired Athletes of the 2014 Winter Paralympics

Blind Bargains: Solo DX Announces That They’re Closing Their Doors

Blind Bargains: Google Updates Text-to-Speech App with New Voices

Screen Magnification Survey

My Initial Thoughts On NBC’s Growing Up Fisher

Mainstream Matters

Weeks before expiration date, Windows XP still has 29% OS market share

Microsoft’s Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Microsoft Security Essentials to nag Windows XP users

Target tech chief resigns as it overhauls security

Twitter error blamed for mass user password reset

Verizon has most reliable cellular network in test, AT&T has the fastest

Opinion: Does CarPlay go far enough, or should car manufacturers let Apple do more?

Apple Could Soon Make Siri Much Smarter, More Like ‘Her’


From Mike Arrigo:

Hi there. First, a slight correction. For the mac, Leopard which was 10.5 was actually the last version of the operating system to work on power pc computers. Starting with snow leopard 10.6, it was Intel only. It’s not too surprising that Apple dropped support for Snow Leopard, it came out in August of 2009, so it’s over 4 years old. Regarding the question of screen reader detection, ideally this should not be needed. Rather, the issues should be addressed at the heart of the matter. All major screen readers support features such as navigating by headings, reading tables, etc. What needs to happen is that the web sites need to use best practices such as putting headings in the right place, labeling their links, etc. Similarly, the screen readers need to keep up with an support the web standards as they evolve. If these things are done, there should be no need for a site to have to detect whether someone is using a screen reader. I’m also not a fan of the separate but equal approach. More often than not, what we get is not equal, it’s not as good. And again, if best practices are followed, there is no need for that in the first place.

From Eugene:

Hi Team,

I’ve been thinking about the topic of screen reader detection, as I’ve read both the survey and Marco’s article on the subject. My comments follow, but I’m quite opposed to the idea, and here’s why.

First, there’s the matter of employment. If a job-hunting organization like DICE can put screen reader detection into their websites, the info that somebody is using a screen reader may be sent to possible employers, and your chances of nabbing a job may be shrunk to near zero. Certainly, a screener in a company may not even bother passing the resume on if they see the addendum about screen reader detection on it. This alone should stop any consideration of this kind of detection, but there is a much more sinister reason.

A screen reader is inherently viral. It must have access to all the processes of the computer in order to grab the information requested by the user. It is also a key logger since this is crucial to its function. A web author can use screen reader detection to not only gain access to the screen reader, but may also (and, I suspect, rather easily) gain access to its functions and turn the computer into a constant source of reportage for the author. He could, with relatively little trouble, plant a bomb in the computer that may do something when a series of keystrokes is pressed by the user. When it comes to the Internet, I am paranoid, and although I know nobody is out to get me personally, they are out to get me impersonally, so this would be a very good way to gain control of a computer system.

The best way for accessibility on the Web to happen is for Web authors to follow the rules which are being sent out. If they do so, and use the Java accessibility protocols and tools, accessibility can almost be built into any application that is written. (The only glaring weakness to this argument is the QT model, which is notoriously inaccessible.)

The tools are out there. They’re easy to use. I know. I’ve done a bit of programming, and it’s very easy for a program to be accessible if you follow the rules. It’s the same way for web pages. Now, it’s time for the developers to wake up, hear the piper and follow his song.

Thanks for the podcasts, and keep the good info coming.

Yours, Eugene A. Hetzer Jr.

From shuiyee


I am totally blind and listen to every of your podcast. I am from Malaysia. Sometimes when I listen to all the benefits you guys have in America I wish it would be the same here in Malaysia. We don’t have guide dogs here. I love dogs but because of my country being a multiracial and one is Muslim which they are very afraid of dogs. So its taking a very long time to even implement a guide dog here. It won’t be useful if we train our own dogs because it won’t be allowed in the shops or public transport. I am an adult blind facing chance of losing my job because I was training as a pharmacist when I lost my sight gradually through side effects of chemotherapy. I love reading books too and how I wish we have BARD app to read books. Even kindle app is not available here. Some ebooks that you guys can download for free we are not allowed to download here. I am just commenting that Americans are very lucky to be in America. However, I don’t complain much because I know there are countries that are far worse than Malaysia such as China or India, where there are many cases whereby the eye condition can be treated but due to poverty or lack of medical staff they can’t get it. I’m not even sure if I got the email address correct. So bye for now. Thank you for reading my email.

regards: shuiyee

Sent from my iPod

Another email from shuiyee


Since I’ve got the correct email I just want to ad my comments about the TapTapSee. I was sad when they started charging too. For us 1 us dollar is about 3.8 ringgit malaysia. So if you guys are paying ten dollars it would be about 40 ringgit for us. So I’ve decided not to use the app then. I wish to use audible too but everything is so expensive as we have to multiply US dollars by 3.8. Also I love your podcast, keep up the good work and hopefully there are many many episodes to come!



Bad brains: some people are physically incapable of enjoying music

What Happens in the Brain When Blind People Learn to See With Sound

Kids attempt to use rotary phone, confusion ensues

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, HIMS Inc., Interviews, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SeroSpectives: This Month in Tech for February, 2014

Listen to SeroSpectives: This Month in Tech for February, 2014

Replay the Accessible Event archive of the show

About Our Presenters

Luis Arellano is an instructional assistant for California School Districts and a regular, helpful participant in the SAMNet Community. He enjoys comparing, contrasting, and demonstrating various mainstream technology solutions. To hear some of these comparisons and keep up with his other activities, you can follow him on Twitter.

Mainstream Tech

Comcast Deal Seeks to Unite 2 Cable Giants

WhatsApp: the Bomb That Hit Silicon Valley

Forget the iWatch, Apple’s next big thing is health

Samsung Galaxy S5 made official: 5.1-inch HD screen, fingerprint scanner, and heart rate monitor in tow

Community News

FDA clears first drug for blindness sleep disorder

The New Generation Stream: Wireless access to over 36,000 radio station + Rich Media Content

Indian American 7th Grader Develops Braille Printer with Legos

Buddy Brannan’s interview with Braigo’s developer in SeroTalk 188

Results of the 5th Screen Reader Survey from WebAIM Released

Summary of survey results

American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2014 Access Award Winners

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SeroTalk Podcast 190: Nonstandard Standard Way

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 190: Nonstandard Standard Way

Welcome to this week’s episode of the SeroTalk Podcast. Once again, Jamie, Ricky and Joe discuss the top news stories of the week. After the news, Buddy Brannan talks with the developer of the RiVO Keyboard, an innovative new input system for iOS devices.

A T Talk

Blind Bargains: Results of the 5th Screen Reader Survey from WebAIM Released

Why screen reader detection on the web is a bad thing

Thoughts on screen reader detection

Assistive Technology Detection: It can be done right

Apple ends security updates for Snow Leopard

Apple Releases OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 with Security, VoiceOver, and Other Improvements

New audio game from the Papa Sangre team looking for Kickstarter funding

Beta testers wanted for new audio zombie game. Fill out this form to apply

New album just released: Andre’s Idea Factory volume i

A rugged talking phone: how good is the Convoy 3?

Google’s Project Tango cuts the rug at Mobile World Congress

Mainstream Matters

Everything You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Google’s Voice Commands

Microsoft’s Cortana Described As A Mix Between Siri and Google Now

Microsoft experimenting with free version of Windows 8.1

Mac and iOS users, here’s how to install that major security fix

Apple preparing software update to enhance functionality of iPhone 5s Touch ID

Apple Patents Solar Charging System for Laptops

Apple TV sales topped $1 bilion in 2013, becoming Apple’s fastest growing hardware

For a few days, Apple TV comes with a $25 iTunes bonus

Tim Cook Soundly Rejects Politics of the NCPPR, Suggests Group Sell Apple’s Stock

10 questions successful wearable device makers will have to address

Everything’s Amazing And Nobody’s Happy


Blog Comment from Luis:

Hi SeroTalk podcasters,

I would like to comment in a couple of stories. Well, The first is a question about Fleksy as an alternative keyboard or default for iOS apps. Although I think it is a good thing for this to happen. To be honest, I have not read any of the stories talking about Fleksy as an alternative keyboard. But since a couple of apps have adapted this, I’m just curious as to which Fleksy keyboard is being used? For example, I believe Fleksy was introduced to BlindSquare before the whole controversy of Fleksy Happy Typing and Fleksy VO came up. Does this mean, that BlindSquare has an old version of Fleksy Happy Typing, or did it switch over to Fleksy VO? And if so, when or if Fleksy Happy Typing becomes accessible again, Will all of the adapted apps switch from VO to Happy Typing? I understand that maybe VO is an earlier version of Happy Typing, and if so, then why aren’t the users up in arms with this fact as they were when the people of Fleksy announced the 2 versions. Main Stream and Blind friendly version of the keyboard?

And my comment is related to RoundAbout. When Mrs. Enger and Ms. Salinger were sharing how great of athletes they were 5 years ago when they were in there early 20s. That took me back, when I was in college and played pool with my brother. Back then, I had some sight. But wasn’t a great player. Every time we’d played. At least once, I somehow hit the cue ball too low and at just the right angle. That instead of the cue ball rolling toward a pocket to sink a ball. It took flight and twice just missed a window and the door. Which at one point, someone had just came into the play area and if they would have been standing for a second longer. The ball would have gone between their eyes. So I can relate.


Blind Film Critic Hears Oscar Picks

Steve Jobs to Be Honored With Commemorative Postage Stamp in 2015

A $30,000 Waterbed That Vibrates With Music

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Join Us This Thursday for SeroSpectives: This Month in Tech for February, 2014

Join SeroSpectives: This Month in Tech for February, 2014 airing this Thursday at 9 PM Eastern

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it certainly was not short on news. Come join us as we take a look at the outstanding happenings in the world of technology.

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High Contrast Episode 19: These Are Falling Pants

Listen to High Contrast Episode 19: These Are Falling Pants

Winter is just about over, thank goodness, but the crew thought that they would pass along some of their tips and low tech ways of walking around in the snow and ice of the neverending Polar Vortex. Joe reviews some apps for those who like Leo and TWiT and we hear from Thomas on baggage suggestions for Bryon’s collection.

Winter Travel Tips

Here are the links to some of the gear mentioned by Maurie, Rodney and Byron

Walking on Ice? Yak Trax will go on most shoes to provide safe walking.

Icebug Ivalo-L BuGrip boot

Due North OVRSD All Purpose Snow & Ice Boot Traction Aid, Oversized

Remington Wrap-Around

App Review: TWiT for iOS, TWiT Pro for Android

Rodney, Byron and joe listen to many of the shows on the TWiT network. Joe notes that getting the official app for iOS is super easy. Just go to the live streaming site and you will be prompted to visit the iOS store to get the paid app. Its not the best with VoiceOver sadly, however, its simple to use with Low Vision if you don’t mind the color green with white lettering.

For Android, and this is a free app that asks for kind donations, TWiT Pro is a great TalkBack friendly way to keep up with the various shows on the Podcast Network. With white lettering on a black background, the app is very streamline and it has many of the features found in the iOS official app. Both are great ways to keep up with Leo and pals!

How can you find out what our hosts are up to outside the podcast?

Follow Maurie Hill on Twitter

Check out Maurie’s writing on the AI Squared Zoomed In Blog

Follow Rodney Edgar on Twitter

Check out Rodney on the Tech Access Weekly Blog and Podcast

Follow Jeremy Curry on Twitter

Follow GW Micro on Twitter.

Follow Byron Lee on Twitter

Feel free to send your feedback on this show to

You can always find the latest on this show and others on the SeroTalk Podcast Network using iBlink Radio for your iOS device or your Android device. You can even leave us an iReport right from the iBlink app.

Thanks for listening!

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SeroTalk Podcast 189: A Serious Batch of Flounder

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 189: A Serious Batch of Flounder

Welcome to this week’s episode of the SeroTalk Podcast. Jamie Pauls and Ricky Enger are joined by Lisa Salinger to discuss the news of the week. Then, Lisa interviews Jamie about his work as a music therapist.

A T Talk

Blind Bargains: NVDA 14.1 Beta Release is Now Available with Powerpoint 2013 Support, More

ZoomText Mac 1.0.7 is Released

More Accessibility enhancements coming to A Dark Room for iOS in March

Blind Bargains: Fedora Outlier Starts a New Weekly Series Called There’s An App For That

AppleVisPodcast audio Digitize Your Vinyl Records With Amadeus Pro for the Mac

AFB: Take our quick survey & be eligible to win an iPad mini!

SPN Special: An Interview with Jim Kutsch

VIP Talk: Microsoft is not Last in Accessibility

Mainstream Matters

WhatsApp: the Bomb That Hit Silicon Valley

Google offered to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion

WhatsApp CEO Is Against Whatever Facebook Is For

OneDrive branding rolls out with new clients and new features

Windows XP is at death’s door and users need to move on

Apple eyes smart magnets to attach accessories to your iPad

Third-party SDK for iOS lets you replace Apple’s keyboard with Fleksy’s

Amazon’s long-rumored Apple TV competitor to launch next month?


New York company says it can beam free OUTERNET Wi-fi to every person on Earth

Blind man wins free McDonalds for a year after sinking three-pointer

Listen to the sound of a public street in 1928

Bernie Krause: The voice of the natural world

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Spn Special: 2013 Outtakes

Listen to sPN Special: 2013 Outtakes

What do zombies, counting, feeding pigs, time travel and chainsaws have in common? These are all things featured in the SeroTalk Podcast Network’s 2013 outtakes. In recording over 100 hours of audio, there are bound to be at least one or two minutes, or hours of content which should never see the light of day. Our incredible audio engineers have the unenviable task of sorting through all the SPN material, both good and bad, to bring you the pristine and professional content you’ve come to expect. It’s only fair … well maybe not fair but we apparently made some agreement or other that once a year the audio production team could produce a show highlighting our less than stellar moments behind the microphone. Hear your favorite personalities from all six SPN shows as you’ve never heard them before, and probably hope never to hear again, in the 2013 SPN Outcast. Give us feedback on the best, or worst moments of the show by commenting below, sending an email to or with an iReport through iBlink Radio. We give huge thanks to the guys at P&D Audio Productions for putting the show together. You can approach them for your own audio production needs as well, secure in the knowledge that an outtake reel just like this one will be kept somewhere. We also thank you, the listener, for your support and your interaction with us. While we retreat in to seclusion and promise never to speak near a recording device again, we’ll leave you to enjoy our 2013 outtakes.

Posted in Podcasts, Serotek, SPN Special | Tagged , | 2 Comments