What is Net Neutrality and Why Should I Care?

The best way to think of net neutrality is to think about the telephone. When you pick up your telephone, you can call whomever you want, say whatever you want to say, and your telephone company can’t regulate any of it. They can’t choose to connect your neighbors’ calls faster than yours. They can’t disconnect your call if they decide you’ve spent too much time chattering over the phone line.

The Internet has always been approached in a similar fashion. Your speeds depend on the quality of your service. Dial-up connections using copper cables are not going to move as fast as fiber networks, but once you’re on the Internet, the Google website should be as readily available as Yahoo, Netflix as available as Hulu, etc.

Net neutrality seeks to maintain the open nature of the Internet. Supporters want to keep the environment decentralized. This makes it possible for people and companies to conduct business without interference from a third party, unlike countries like North Korea where the Internet is no more than an Intranet closely censored by its government.

But, it’s more than just an open Internet. There are cable companies that want the ability to charge content providers like Netflix more to stream movies. Now, you may or may not be a Netflix subscriber, but we’re talking about cable providers appointing themselves gatekeepers of what is and is not easily accessible. A cable provider could severely hinder or block access to a competitor’s website. Ten years ago that would have not mattered, but these days we see a small landscape of mega corporations with vast interests across print, web, music, and video content. Think of Comcast prioritizing NBC over other networks. Can you imagine a world where a handful of companies can control what you can access and hike prices up to access it?

Now, on the other side of the aisle, opponents of net neutrality see nothing wrong with a tiered service. Bandwidth hogs should pay more to move their packets of data faster. The revenue generated from these fees can help pay to expand broadband access to underserved consumers.

Besides, the Internet has already proven to be anything but neutral since larger companies pay for more servers and high-bandwidth services. Activity like file transfers are more likely to take priority over real-time communication. Some networks are not prepared to handle the surge from popular streaming services, which could deteriorate quality of service for all customers on that network.

Think of it this way, Google and Skype can clog up the pipes for free calls we spent billions to build. Why shouldn’t they pay their fair share to maintain these pipes?

Pros and cons aside, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a mistake when it classified Internet service providers as information services instead of telecommunication services. That means the FCC cannot keep AT&T, Verizon and others from prioritizing some content providers over others.

Okay, so why should you care?

First, if content providers like Netflix have to pay more to move their data, guess who’s going to pick up the bill? Here’s a hint, it’s not going to be Netflix! The same could be true of Amazon, Spotify and other services you rely on for multimedia content.

Further, you’re likely to experience changes in the quality of service. The United States already pays among the highest bills for pathetically slow Internet speeds. A tiered system sounds good on the surface, but how much is too much for less than adequate Internet speeds?

Finally, it’s the principle of the matter! We should not have gatekeepers dictating what websites and services can reach customers according to the highest bidder or business agendas. They should not slow down or block content providers they do not like. We should care because it will impact the open access to whatever information you want from whatever source you desire.

But, over to you. What are your thoughts on the debate? Do you think the Internet ought to continue being the open decentralized system it’s always been, or do you feel times have changed and bandwidth hogs should pay for their share of traffic congestion? It’s an issue more of us should closely follow. It’s a topic being debated in the courts, in the news, and pretty soon it’s going to hit your bill.

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SeroTalk Podcast 221: The Good, The Bad, the Future

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 221: The Good, The Bad, the Future.

Serotek does not simply serve the community; it is very much a part of it. For fourteen years we have faithfully met you where you needed us, so in that spirit of fair exchange, we invite you to listen to a special edition of the SeroTalk Podcast for a candid conversation between Joe Orozco and Serotek’s co-founder, Mike Calvo, to cover everything from the Serotek product line, SPN, staff departures, and more.

Feel free to send your feedback on this show to resources@serotalk.com

You can always find the latest on this show and others on the SeroTalk Podcast Network

using iBlink Radio for your iOS device, the Kindle Fire, the Mac or your Android device. You can even leave us an iReport right from the iBlink app.

Thanks for listening!

Posted in Interviews, Podcasts, SeroTalk, Serotek, SPN Special | 16 Comments

High Contrast Episode 27: Blind Hockey

Listen to High Contrast Episode 27: Blind Hockey

Have you ever heard of blind hockey? If so, did you scratch your head and wonder how such a visual game could be enjoyed and played by both blind and low vision hockey enthusiasts? This month, Maurie spoke with Kevin Shanley, co-founder of both the New York Nightshades blind hockey club as well as Courage USA, a spinoff of Courage Canada. Kevin spoke of his introduction into blind hockey and his experiences at the annual Courage Canada Blind Hockey Tournament in Toronto, Ontario. Kevin’s hope is to bring the sport below the Canadian border so we can eventually have some true international competition and perhaps be involved in the birth of blind hockey as a paralympic event. Kevin explains how it works and the rule changes that make it possible for blind and low vision athletes to work together and exhibit a pretty impressive athletic competition.

Historic Movement in Blind Hockey includes a video of the first Courage USA blind hockey event discussed in Maurie’s interview with Kevin Shanley.

Courage USA Brings the Sport of Blind Ice Hockey to America

2015 Courage Canada National Blind Hockey Tournament to Take Place Feb 13-15

For information about registering for the 2015 Annual Courage Canada Hockey Tournament in Toronto,

Matt Morrow, Courage Canada Executive Director

845-234-1650

Courage USA

Christine Osika, Courage USA Co-Founder and Vice President
courageUSAhockey@gmail.com or
845-234-1650

Interested in developing your skills?
If you live in upstate New York, here are 2 organizations ready to hear from you:

New York Nightshades in Newburgh, NY

Kevin Shanley and Christine Osika

Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

CABVI is in search of blind or visually impaired individuals who would like to play hockey! Beginning in 2016 CABVI will introduce its new blind hockey program. Please contact Kathy Beaver, VP of Rehabilitation, at (315) 797-2233 for more information or to express interest.

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 Byron Lee on Twitter

Check out Byron’s LowVisionRants.com Website

Feel free to send your feedback on this show to resources@serotalk.com

You can always find the latest on this show and others on the SeroTalk Podcast Network

using iBlink Radio for your iOS device, the Kindle Fire, the Mac or your Android device. You can even leave us an iReport right from the iBlink app.

Thanks for listening!

Posted in Blindness and Low Vision, High Contrast, Interviews, Podcasts | Comments Off

SPN Feedback Special 6

Listen to SPN Feedback Special 6

The SPN team has a lot to be proud of–hundreds of hours of content, some great interviews–but most of all, we value you, our listeners. We take this special opportunity to recognize the love you have shown to us and try to return that love and appreciation in a very small way. This SPN special salutes you, our listeners. Thank you all for everything you have done for us!

Posted in Podcasts, SPN Special | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

SeroTalk Podcast 220: Kids Scare Me

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 220: Kids Scare Me

Join Jamie, Lisa and Buddy as they discuss the top stories of the week. Then, Joe Orozco talks health and fitness with Bill Kociaba. Join Bill as he works out on Blind Cafe and let’s get fit for the holidays!

A T Talk

Comcast announces Talking Guide, a Siri for your cable box; teases smart home features

A Touch-Free Smartphone the Disabled Can Control With Their Heads

Refreshable Braille gets an engineer’s touch

Braille Authority of North Amaerica offers a free new publication to help readers transition to the new UEB code

Blind U.S. Army Captain Teaches Us to Keep Learning and Serving!

NVDA now supports Goldwave 6

Jazz up therapy with the MusicGlove!

The holiday gift guide issue of AccessWorld is now available! Gear up for the holidays here

When should we react, when should we let it go?

Mainstream Matters

YouTube’s Music Key: Can paid streaming finally hook the masses?

Microsoft Rolls Out Skype for Web Beta

Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life

iPhone 6 outselling iPhone 6 Plus by 3-to-1 margin in US

Nexus 6 smartphone marks first carrier release

Google Glass Losing its Glitz? Early Adopters, Developers Quietly Skulking Away

Why You Should Ignore Everything You Have Been Told About Choosing Passwords

Mailbag

Blog Comment from Dave:

Hi guys! I really enjoy the show! You all do a great job presenting in a way that is quite entertaining. Totally agree with the observations of Mr. Whitaker. Remember those dogs are not guide dogs if the harnesses are elsewhere. That is your driver’s license equivalent! I was going to put these comments into an I report and voice them, but considering the poor quality of mobile phone connections, I believed it served better if they were written, so there you are! Early happy Turkey day to the team, and please do keep it up!

Blog comment from Jake:

Hi everyone. I just listened to podcast episode 219, and I’d like to comment on the ending segment where Buddy Brannan interviewed Art Schreiber. That segment was fun. I am a huge Beatles fan, and it was cool hearing Art describe his and John Lennon’s monopoly games. Sometime I want to go to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, but for now I will just have to dream about it I guess. Art’s book sounds excellent. Anyway, great podcast as always and keep ‘em coming! I love iBlink Radio!

Listen to Lisa’s interview with Fleksy on SeroTalk Podcast 214

Roundabout

10 Little-Known Units of Time

How 18 inmates at California’s notorious San Quentin prison learn to code

Five-year-old passes Microsoft exam

The Twitter song

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

SeroTalk Podcast 219: Journey of Discovery

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 219: Journey of Discovery

Activate this link to sign up for a new account on Audible and get one free book.

Our recommended book for this episode of the podcast is Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs written by Yukari Iwatani Kane.

Listen to Lisa Salinger’s demo of setting up a new Audible account using System Access.

We thank Audible for sponsoring this episode of the SeroTalk Podcast.

Jamie, Ricky and Joe are back for another round of news stories in this week’s podcast. After the news, Buddy Brannan sits down with veteran journalist Art Schreiber to talk about his friendship with the Beatles, the current state of the news industry and his new book Out of Sight – Blind & Doing All Right.

Topics covered in this week’s podcast include:

Independence Day

And the audio version of this story is here.

Microsoft Had To Blindfold Me To See The Future

Cities Unlocked: Lighting up the world through sound – YouTube

: Braille printer leads $62m Intel injection for 16 startups

Listen to Buddy Brannan’s interview with Shubham Banerjee, on SeroTalk Podcast 188.

3 Tips for Teaching Young Children with a Visual Impairment How to Become Strong Readers

Braille and Large Print Menus Bring Dining with Dignity

Spread the word and the holiday cheer – @BraillePress has print/braille holiday cards on sale now.

Skype 6.22 JAWS scripts released, typing indicator fixes and over ten more things.

BBC iPlayer Now withAudio Description

Switching From iOS to Android

Eloquence v1.1.7 released

The first phone with Android 5.0 Lollipop is… the 2014 Moto X?!

Amazon Unveils Echo, a Speaker With a Siri-Like Voice Assistant

Office for iPhone Apps: 3 Things to Know

CBS brings a round-the-clock streaming news network to cord cutters

Shaking off Spotify is easy for Taylor Swift; for everyone else, it’s complicated

The top 20 catchiest songs of all time, according to science

Mailbag

From @blind_educator
Good MailBag, good MailBag, you’re back home. YOu were a good MailBag.

Hey there Ms. Enger, Mr. Pauls, and Mr. Steinkamp,

I return MailBag to you nice and clean. I brushed MailBag’s teeth, cleaned behind the ears, and got MailBag ready for the winter. We both had a wonderful time, MailBag tried sharing some Sero Tek secrets, but told MailBag it wasn’t a good thing giving out secrets when someone is trusting MailBag to keep them. We talked about what was good and bad, and MailBag seems to understand. I have no idea why Ms. Enger is the only person that MailBag behaves somewhat. A lot better then Mr. Steinkamp or Mr. Pauls. But I guess MailBag is star stricken because of the Rock Star from EOLShow.

By the way, Mr. Steinkamp if there are some charges on your credit card. MailBag share your card with me. We wanted to see if ApplePay is accessible. So I have it as part of my ApplePay. I have Triple Click Home folks and That Android Show peeps coming over for lunch. Between MailBag and myself, we’re going to see if they can start playing nice and stop the bashing between the 2 shows. I promise not to go over $1,000. Unless MailBag gets really hungry. Please, please, do not over feed MailBag over the holidays, and get all that is on MailBag’s Christmas list. Or wise, MailBag will start acting up again.

Have a good one. Awesome show, keep it up. Really enjoy the trio.

Blog comment from Steven Whiteker:

Thanks again for a wonderful podcast! I agree that when you have a guide dog or a service dog, you need to comply with all laws and also be a responsible person

From Pam Francis:

Hi folks,
As a young child, I was very fortunate to have had a sight-saving teacher take an interest in me & my ability to read as a student of the Missouri school for the blind.
At the time, my vision was considerably less than it is now; yet no one knew the course it would take. Therefore I was taught both braille & print simultaneously. Though I spent most of my school day in a braille atmosphere, I had minimally an hour a day with a sight-saving class working with the print alphabet. I could not read large print at the time. My teacher took a purple crayon to copy stories on to the cream colored paper we had with light green lines.. I was to read that story & come back the next morning explaining what I had read.
I did not realize how valuable that resource would be until I was mainstreamed in the middle of my 4th grade year through the end of my 7th grade year.
I basically did double homework. I learned to type & spell without braille contractions in order to turn my work in to my sighted teachers while making a copy for myself in braille in order to follow along with the class.
My Father spent time in Federal prison. While incarcerated, he took it upon himself to learn braille in order to communicate with me. He initially learned on a slate & stylus. More than once I had to translate many backwards lines of braille in his letters. He finally got a lavender braille writer. We all know how crappy they were.He ultimately got pretty good. He took it upon himself to teach other inmates as a resource they could use on the outside to help break down the communication barriers between the blind & sighted community.

I also had an experience with a pre-school class attempting to explain braille.
I wrote the print letter on a chalkboard with its braille counterpart underneath, explaining how the dots worked. We had a project of baking heart-shaped cookies; as it was near Valentine’s day. As a means for the kids to find their cooky, we used small cinnamon beads to form their names in braille in the cooky dough. They had to pick out their cooky with their names written in braille.
Pam Francis

Roundabout

Why Are Elections on Tuesdays?

Richard Bernstein to Become First Blind State Supreme Court Justice

A great scene from the West Wing for election day, “Do you know if I have to be preregistered or something?”

Titles
Cranky Cortana
Low-vision Ranch
Joe Steinkamp for President
Audible book: The Haunted Empire
Out of sight: Blind but doing all right
blindart@samobile.net
artschreiber.com

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, Interviews, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

SeroSpectives: Vision Expo 2014

Listen to SeroSpectives: Vision Expo 2014

Serotek’s own Richard Wells recently had the opportunity to attend the American Foundation for the Blind’s 2014 Vision Expo held in Waco, Texas. While he was there, Richard managed to snag some great interviews which he brought back to the team. We are pleased to feature those interviews in this month’s episode of SeroSpectives. Be sure to visit the Websites of the respective organizations mentioned in this podcast so that you can learn more about what they have to offer.

Neva Fairchild talks with Richard Wells about the American Foundation for the Blind’s 2014 Vision Expo held in Waco, Texas.

Richard visits with a representative of HIMS Inc.

Heather talks about the Texas Talking Book Program.

Steven Thompkins talks with Richard Wells about NFB Newsline.

Kathy visits with Richard about the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services of Texas.

Philips Lifeline offers many health aids such as talking prescription information.

Tracey represents the Dallas Services Low Vision Clinic.

Teresa tells us about Ridgecrest Retirement Village.

Learn about emergency preparedness from a representative of the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry.

Jan tells us about the programs available from the Area Agency on Aging.

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, Interviews, Podcasts, SeroSpectives, Serotek | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

SeroTalk Podcast 218: I Know A Secret

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 218: I Know A Secret

Everyone on the podcast team survived Seroween … erm … Halloween with plenty of candy to go around. Jamie, Ricky and Joe take a look at this week’s news, mailbag gets a makeover, and Jamie visits with award-winning contemporary Christian artist Ginny Owens about her new project “I Know A Secret”. You can listen to “No Borders,” the first single from her album and pre-order the entire project on Amazon or iTunes. Visit Ginny’s Website to learn more about what she is up to.

A T Talk

Audio Defence : Zombie Arena | AppleVis

Get a sense of what Audio Defence is like with this gameplay trailer.

An Indecent Proposal for Halloween – FamilyConnect: for parents of children with visual impairments

Braille: What It Is and What It Is Not

Beginning Braille Skills | WonderBaby.org

The updated Bookshare website is live! Learn what’s new and take the video tour.

JAWS 16 has officially been released! Details can be found on our homepage under “Featured News”

My Complaint with Freedom Scientific

Apps, the web, and productivity

Play it by ear: Baseball for the blind

Mainstream Matters

Starbucks just announced big news about delivery

Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health: The $199 all-platform fitness band

Google’s Massive Android Update Will Come With A New ‘Smart’ Lock Screen

Amazon exec: Fire Phone was overpriced

Samsung will ‘fundamentally reform’ its smartphones after dire earnings report

Dabbling in the future of payment: A week of Apple Pay and Google Wallet

MCX’s CurrentC, the infamous Apple Pay competitor, says its already been hacked

Meijer is first MCX member to break ranks, continuing to support Apple Pay

The guy behind Google Wallet is back to change payments all over again

Mailbag

From Jenine Stanley:

You all know I couldn’t stay silent on this one so let me explain the various legally allowable types of animals in public and then the reality.

Under federal law, specifically the ADA, Fair Housing Act, Air Carrier Access Act and Rehabilitation Act, there are two categories of animal that someone may be accompanied by and for which that person may have access rights.

“Service animals”, as of March 2011, are classified as dogs only with some exceptions for miniature horses. People who partner with service animals have access rights under all of the above laws. A service animal must, and this is the key, do work or perform tasks to be considered as such. An animal that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy when you pet it doesn’t perform a task. Also, tasks and work must be reliable and able to be duplicated.

Emotional Support Animals can be of just about any species or size, save for air travel where there are restrictions on species. The animal generally has no trained tasks but must be house broken and must conform to standard behavior expected of pets in public places.

The only laws that specifically mention rights for people with Emotional Support animals are the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Both of these laws allow people to bring their Emotional Support animals with them on planes and in housing situations. Under both cases, the animal must be prescribed by a mental health professional. This documentation must be presented in very specific ways and the team does not have public access rights.

Where this all gets slippery is when dogs do work such as seizure detection or some of the tasks associated with psychiatric disabilities. If they do tasks that can be repeated and controlled, then they are service animals. If it’s just a random thing the dog, in most cases, does, then it’s not a service animal.

One example in an article I read was of a family who had a lovely and well behaved German Shepherd who helped keep the kids together on family walks. They wanted to take the dog with them into other public spaces so got a service dog vest and called her a service dog. No one in the family had a disability per say. That family admitted to their fraud, sadly most don’t.

I could obviously go on and on about this but technically there’s no difference in access rights between the guide dog and the dog trained to alert someone to low blood sugar or perform a task related to PTSD such as focused grounding when the dog will actively touch or stop the person so he can refocus and shift attention from the distraction to the dog.

The final two thing I do want to note are:

  1. With great rights come great responsibilities. This point is all too often ignored by many people, fraudulent or not. If my experienced guide dog is out of control in a public place, I can be asked to leave just the same as if the pocket Poodle yapping at the waitress yet being touted as a service dog, can be removed.

  2. Aggression or personal defense has no place in service or emotional support animal work or presence. A lot of people want a dog for such protection and think a little growl is OK now and then. Granted, dogs in and of themselves are deterrents in many cases but specific aggressive behaviors are just not allowed under any access law.

Hope that helps sort of clear things up. the truly frustrating part is that we as guide dog handlers have had to behave and toe the line for nearly 90 years now while all manner of service dog comes along and people just assume they have rights with little responsibilities included. It really drives a rift between disability groups.
Jenine Stanley
jeninems@wowway.com

Blog comment from Dominique

Alan Wheeler well said. That makes lots of since. Prioritize as they say… First, think of saving yourself first, then fun apps after. Otherwise, you’d not be here to play said fun games if you didn’t.

Roundabout

10 Words With Spooky Etymologies

We Are All Confident Idiots

The Blind at Work in an Unusual and Demanding Profession

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

SeroTalk Podcast 217: The Kindling

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the podcast which manages to combine electronics, food and airplanes all into one show. How do Jamie Ricky, Joe and Mailbag manage this? You’ll just have to listen for yourself in order to appreciate the amazing artistry involved! After the news, Mike Bullis, Executive Director of the Image Center of Maryland, talks with Jamie Pauls about the Aging and Disability Skills Gateway, an ambitious new project that endeavors to fundamentally change how people with all types of disabilities obtain knowledge on how to accomplish ordinary and not-so-ordinary tasks. Stories covered in this episode include:

iOS8.1 is here. @AppleVis has the details on what got fixed for VoiceOver users

Emirates innovates with inflight entertainment for the visually impaired

Touchable Memories allows visually impaired to “see”

Magical Gardens for the Blind, Deaf, and Disabled

New Software Lets the Visually Impaired 3D Print a Map To Go

Registration now open for FREE Web Accessibility Training for Developers

Verizon unveils National Accessibility Customer Service (NACS): 888-262-1999

Hospitality, Accessibility and the ADA

Accessibility features on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Nexus 9 hands-on and first impressions

4 Reasons Amazon’s Fire Phone Was a Flop

First major update to Windows 10 Preview, delivered through Windows Update

Why the Mac momentum may just be starting

How to set up and troubleshoot Apple Pay

Apple Pay for Travel: Very Far from Great, or Even Good

Google Is Making Some More Noise About Google Wallet

Roundabout

NASA has a new SoundCloud page FULL of mission, spacecraft, and historic audio…an immensely compelling listen.

ever hear the sound of northern lights?

Unconventional Orchestras and Bone Conduction Headphones

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High Contrast Episode 26: Muscle Memory

Listen to High Contrast Episode 26: Muscle Memory

The team takes a look at the new Apple Mac OS, another check in with Rodney on how he likes his new iPhone 6 Plus then a trip into the world of 4k resolution and beyond. All that and Joe gives into Rodney’s insistence with this month’s app review on High Contrast.

Remember, you can keep up with even more Apple news by listening to SPN’s sister show “Triple-click Home”

Or, for even more up to the minute Apple news, check out the Twitter feed for the show at
https://twitter.com/tripleclickhome

App Review: WWE Super Card

Rodney has mentioned this game enough for Joe to grab it and, be it grudgingly, agree that it’s not bad. Not bad at all. The words “collectable”, “card” and “game” are innocent enough. But adding the letters W, W and E might make one pause. Yet, when combined into the title WWE Super Card, the result is really fun for both fans of the WWE and those who like stat based game play found on so many other mobile apps. The fonts are large, however, some might have problems with the colors on the card’s background images. The game is free and playing a round is fast. It’s out now for both Apple and Android. And, like we said above, it isn’t bad.
Find the app on the Apple App Store at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wwe-supercard/id775402833?mt=8
And on Google Play at
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.catdaddy.cat22&hl=en

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 Byron Lee on Twitter

Check out Byron’s LowVisionRants.com Website

Feel free to send your feedback on this show to resources@serotalk.com

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!

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, High Contrast, Podcasts, reviews | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

SeroTalk Podcast 216: Cranial Course Correction

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 216: Cranial Course Correction

Welcome to this week’s episode of the SeroTalk podcast where Jamie, Ricky and Joe discuss the top news stories of the week. Then, Lisa Salinger talks with Tyler Thompson, an adaptive technology instructor from New Mexico about iFidget, a soon-to-be-released free app that will unobtrusively alert a person to body movements such as rocking. Stories covered in this episode of the podcast include:

White Cane Safety Day

A subscription free version of Sendero’s Seeing Eye GPS app for iOS is now available for $299

Chicken Nugget 2.4! Better filtering! Better conversations! More stable! Loads of new good things!

Young Ham Recognized for Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired

SPN Special: 100 Years of Amateur Radio

Windows10 Technical Preview – Peering into the future.

Accessibility for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad Air 2: Is It Worth the Extra $100?

Features and Bugs of OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Whose Responsibility is Accessibility?

All the New Stuff in Android 5.0 Lollipop

A list of all the Google Now voice commands

Google reveals our embarrassing voice search habits

HBO to Offer Standalone Streaming Service in U.S. in 2015

Watch out, HBO: CBS launches standalone Web TV service

Facebook Safety Check Confirms You’re Okay During a Natural Disaster

Mailbag

Greg Wocher Writes: “Hello SeroTalk Team,
I want to apologize right off the bat because this is going to be a long e-mail. There were so many things in the latest episode that brought back memories. First, Ricky yes it was me that sent in the long e-mail about braille a couple of weeks ago.

When Joe mentioned the mall and Sharper Image I could not help but think about how I use to go to the malls when I was younger and had eyesight.
I use to love to go and look at all the shops. I remember going into the various stores that carried items that you did not see in the regular stores. There was one I cannot remember the name of but it use to carry unique gadgets of various kinds. For example, little unique tool sets in something like a golf bag. I also went to the mall for BDalton books, Walden books, Electronics Boutique and the arcade.

Concerning Pop tarts, my favorite is the frosted brown cinnamon sugar ones. Also when Ricky mentioned chocolate mint pop tarts I thought of York Peppermint Pop Tarts. Sounds good doesn’t it? LOL.

When I had sight I used to play video games a lot. I had the SNES, N64 and the original PlayStation. My family even had the Atari 2600 which we used to play games like Pong and Pitfall on as a family. I even have a working SNES here at the house that my niece and nephew used to get out every once in a while and play Super Mario and Donkey Kong on. I used to have, and may still have somewhere, a system I want to see if Joe remembers. It was called the Turbo Graphics 16. It was competing with the SNES and the Sega but never did catch on. Well that’s it for now.
Have a good week everyone.”

Jenine Stanley
Says: “Oh how I remember installing Windows, from 95 on, with the many floppy disks.

I actually miss one aspect of Windows 95 and 98, the custom Office Assistant in the MS Office Suite. OK, it wasn’t necessarily very helpful as assistants go but in 95 there was a dolphin who made all kinds of cool noises when stuff happened. There were many choices for your Office Assistant but the dolphin was the most fun.

Then I think it was in 98 and office 97 that the dolphin went away and was replaced in our house by the cat. It was this white cat which appealed to us as we have always had pure white cats. The cat was great because when you got an error in Word, say, it would hiss. Our cats talked back to it.

I’m sure there are probably different sound schemes for the Mac that I have not discovered yet so maybe the dolphin can return to my computer. My home Windows 7 machine had a lovely beach soundscape on it but alas, no such thing for the Mac and not enough memory to run it on the work laptop.

Maybe we can get a MailBag soundscape going. Now that’s frightening.”

From matej Augustin

“Hellož!
I finally tried out the NVDA screen reader. It’s… interesting. One of the things I don’t like is the Espeak voice. So, if any of you are using NVDA, could you tell me which voices/tts engines are you using?
There are a few suggestions on their website, but I would still like to hear your input.
Also, some tips and tricks for new users would be helpful.
Thanks in advance and keep up the good work”

Roundabout

Why Your Privacy Matters, Even If You’re Not “Doing Anything Wrong”

10 Grammar Mistakes People Love To Correct That Aren’t Actually Wrong

Video games which open the door for the blind to play

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SeroTalk Podcast 215: Sacrelicious

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 215: Sacrelicious

Welcome to this week’s episode of the SeroTalk Podcast. Fast cars and music are just a small part of what we have to offer this time around. After the news, Wade Wingler tells us what’s going on over at the Indata Project. Follow them on Twitter, visit their Website and check out their podcast on iBlink Radio.

Stories covered in this week’s podcast include:

The AT History site seeks to preserve the history of adaptive technology for the blind

Preview of Windows 10 Preview using NVDA

Windows 10 Technical Preview deep-dive: A promise of better things to come

Why Learn Braille as an Adult?

Navigating Immersion Training: Are Sleepshades Blinding Me?

No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition Reflection

Google’s Conversational Search Gets Smarter, Adds OpenTable Integration

Microsoft CEO Tells Women To Trust The System And Not Ask For Raises

This Week in Tech Episode 479

Amazon to open first physical store

An Overview of iOS 8

What we know (and suspect) is coming in iOS 8.1

Apple’s iPad/Mac/OS X Yosemite event: Here’s what to expect

Apple Reportedly Preparing to Remove Bose Audio Products From Retail Stores

Tesla Unveils New Self-driving Car

Roundabout

David Hasselhoff Makes Dream Come True for ‘Knight Rider’ Fan With Down Syndrome

Peek Inside the World’s Oldest Sealed Time Capsule

Listen To This Woman Sing Two Notes At Once

Isolated vocals: David Lee Roth

Isolated vocals: Joe Elliot

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SeroTalk Podcast 214: FaceBucks

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 214: FaceBucks

Activate this link to sign up for a new account on Audible and get one free book.

Our recommended book for this episode of the podcast is Ready Player One written by Ernest Cline and Narrated by Wil Wheaton.

We thank Audible for sponsoring this episode of the SeroTalk Podcast.

There is lots to cover in this week’s podcast including the top news stories of the week and an interview with Ioannis Verdelis of Fleksy. Stories discussed in this podcast include:

Windows Technical Preview is Microsoft’s Alchemy Moment

Keyboard Shortcuts in the Windows 10 Technical Preview

Bye, Bing: Microsoft’s Windows apps rebranded as MSN

Microsoft starts rolling out its new Office 365 small and mid-size business plans

Google Launches Drive For Education With Unlimited Storage

Android L 5 release date, preview, features & rumours

Facebook apologizes for manipulating news feeds in psychology experiment

Facebook seeks entry into health care

Apple event reportedly set for October 16 with new iPads, Macs

The Complete Newbie’s Guide to iPhone and iOS

Third-party iOS 8 keyboards offer choice, but Apple limits functionality

MBraille 1.0 for Android is out! Features file management, dropbox support, spell check, direct emails,… coming up for iOS also.

HIMS and Diotek Announce Plans to Enhance and Expand Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Novasentis and HumanWare Join Forces to Bring Radically New Sensory Experiences to the Visually Impaired

Students developing low-cost, portable Braille printer

Introducing ZoomText Remote Training!

Introducing Leasey Advanced!

if your using the qube again, a new feature list is here

Roundabout

13 Things You Never Knew About Pop-Tarts

The Sound So Loud That It Circled the Earth Four Times

Building a monument to wounded warriors

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SPN Special: 100 Years of Amateur Radio

Listen to our SPN Special: 100 Years of Amateur Radio

Buddy Brannan recently had the opportunity to attend the 100-year celebration of the existence of ARRL–the American Radio Relay League–in Hartford, Connecticut. He brought back back a lot of great audio, and this is just the first of several SPN specials to come out of this event.

Among other things you will hear in this special, Buddy gets to play a phonograph machine from 1905 courtesy of the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut.

Then, he learns about the Morse Telegraph club and the history of Morse Code.

Next, Elecraft makes an appearance and Buddy talks about all the ameture radio equipment he has owned, currently owns and would like to eventually own.

After that, the president of AMSAT talsk with Buddy about the past, present and future of amateur radio as it relates to satellites.

Finally, the public relations director of the American Radio Relay League talks about the past, present and future of the organization.

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SeroTalk Podcast 213: Year of the Poptart

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 213: Year of the Poptart

Contrary to the title of this week’s podcast, Jamie, Ricky and Joe don’t spend all their time talking about food–unless you count Apple, that is. After the news of the week, we give you a short preview of an upcoming special featuring Buddy Brannan at this year’s Ameture Radio Relay League convention marking the 100th year of their existence. Stories covered in this week’s show include:

Jonathan Mann already has a song about iOS 8.0.1

Apple releases iOS 8.0.2 to fix nearly useless iPhone 6 models

Will Apple replace your bent iPhone 6? It depends

Apps with HealthKit integration start appearing in App Store following iOS 8.0.2 fixes

The $84.50 Reason Apple Wants You to Buy That Big iPhone

Apple will survive its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week because that’s what Apple does

AudioBoo rebrands with a bang as AudioBoom with a newlook app

10 iPhone 6/iOS 8 Features I’d Like to See in Windows Phone

What happens to Windows 7 on October 31, 2014?

Enter the Braille-enabled tablet

From Apple Support: Type onscreen braille

Lisa Salinger offers paid iPhone classes and one-on-one training. You can learn more by stopping by her web page.

New Tech Doctor Podcast “Follow the Dream”

Roundabout

The day the Coast Guard saved America

Anonymous Acts of Generosity: What To Do When You Can’t Say Thanks

Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students celebrates 25 years of inspiring children with disabilities

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High Contrast Episode 25: It’s All About Byron

Listen to High Contrast Episode 25: It’s All About Byron

The new iPhones are out and Rodney has the biggest one there is with the 6 Plus. We get an idea of how much he likes it, there is some talk about viewing iOS8 and another timely App Review by Joe. Check in with the team to see if the Pop Tart, or Strudel, sized phone is the way to go if you are a low vision iPhone user. And remember, if you want even more Apple coverage from SPN, check out our sister show “Triple-click Home”.

App Review: Doctor Who Legacy

The new 8th series of Doctor Who is in full swing, Joe adores match 3 games and we needed an app review for this month. So, a perfect storm of events, brings Joe out of the TARDIS to discuss Doctor Who Legacy. It’s a match 3 game with so much depth and complexity that joe notes it will be hard to find other games to replace it on his iPad and Android tablet. The game features special attacks, you defeat famous monsters from the Doctor Who universe and you can pick up that green dot and move it over to be with its friends. Rather than only being able to move a dot in four directions one space over. This freedom of movement is the best part about the game in Joe’s opinion. Its free, however, there are some nice In App purchases for those who want to move through the game faster. The game has over 50 hours of gameplay with more content being added constantly. Just be sure to visit the settings section and change the way the dots are displayed if you find that the default dots are hard to see.

Mailbag:

Byron notes that the High Contrast Mailable is well behaved when looking at it versus its friends on other SPN shows. And that could be due to a full bag of mail for us to talk about. Like these two emails from John.

“Greetings,

This is my first time listening to High Contrast, and I felt compelled to comment.

My story goes back to the dark ages when I was a teenager. I’ll try to be brief. As for my low vision, I have about 20/400 vision with nystagmus.

I had spent 10 years at a school for the blind before going to a public high school my last couple years. At the school for the blind I didn’t learn mobility skills until my last year there. I was given a folding cane, which I carried stuffed in my jeans pocket through my last two years at public school. I always figured I’d pull it out in unfamiliar territory, but I never had the guts to do it because I didn’t want to be identified as blind.

Somehow I made it through my first year of college. It became obvious to me that I needed rehab training. I was in Nebraska then and went to the rehab center, which required I learn under sleepshades. I’m glad I had that training because it’s easier to discern when vision isn’t efficient for a given task. It’s good to know I can use alternative techniques without shame.

Of course, I learned to use a long, white NFB cane, and I’ve used one ever since. By the way, a long , white cane doesn’t glow in the dark or have a red end. When I went back to college for my second year, fresh out of rehab training, a couple of my friends told me I looked much more confident. They said I didn’t look like I was drunk or on drugs. That was a great affirmation.

These days I use a telescoping cane most of the time. I use it in situations where it may not be necessary because I don’t want there to be any question about me being blind. God forbid, if a car hits me on our busy rural highway, I want the driver to know he or she hit a blind person.

However, I do wear glasses with thick lenses, and this may confuse some people. Nonetheless, it’s much easier for me to explain to people that I’m blind with a little usable vision, than it was in the days of my youth when people didn’t know, and I didn’t know what to tell them.

I often get asked how much I can see. I heard a great answer to this, which I sometimes use. I can see more than you think I can, but less than I think I can.

John”

He then wrote us again with this comment…

“Greetings again,

I forgot in my earlier e-mail to tell you a funny incident concerning carrying my long, white cane.

Recently, we were checking into a motel in Cameron, Missouri, on our way to a family reunion. I was standing in a hallway, waiting for our son to come along. A man stopped and asked if I was going to the cattle sale. I simply said that I wasn’t, and he went on his way.

Since this question had been asked of me one other time, I knew what he was referring to. My cane looks like a show stick used in livestock auctions. In fact, later that day at the reunion, one of my sisters commented how my cane looks like a show stick, at which time I told her of the encounter at the motel.

I wonder if other blind folks in rural areas with canes like mine have had this happen.

John”

Our recent talk about sneeze gards brought in this response:

“OMG! the business card dilemma. The person who ordered business cards for us last time did not check with anyone in my office to verify such important things as actual phone numbers. That not withstanding, this person ordered double sided cards, as you see, we have two organizations that we represent.

Great, I put braille on one side and those people interacting with me in my role for Organization A can read and scan the print but Org B can’t.

Then he got the cards on thick glossy stock. The braille business card stamp we have for our office does not work well on heavy, glossy stock. I now have ghost braille on my cards.

This person was sufficiently yelled at by me and others but I have enough of these business cards to last another couple years.

When I got back from conventions this summer, I did a marathon business card scanning session. this was mostly great but there were a few that never did come out right and one that must have had size 2 font as it had so much info on it. Set the scanner resolution high, people.

I also feel for you guys at buffets. I send my husband up for me and he tries but he only has peripheral vision and well, it’s something but he’s not sure what so try it and if it’s good, he’ll try to remember where he got it.

The sneeze guard is an obstacle on the way out too. I once in my partially sighted days had a big old ladle full of lasagna. I was so proud that I’d even gotten it out of the pan. My arm hit the edge of the sneeze guard as I brought it up an rout and I flipped the thing right onto the sneeze guard. Splat! That was my last attempt at buffets solo.

Jenine Stanley”

And here is a great email from long time listener Pam;

“Hello folks,

Excellent topic! Excellent show. Personally, I have just enough vision to get me in trouble. I do carry a cane when crossing the street. I can see traffic lights, however there are enough idiots on the road these days who think their destination is more important than mine, who run them as much as they stop at them. I can think of two instances, both in Tampa Florida that illustrate opposite examples of identification. First let me explain my eye condition is such that is obvious to anyone looking at me. There are those who think I cannot see anything due to the fact I have clouded corneas along with astigmatism in both eyes. I have had subsequent surgery that has rectified the cornea issue to the extent of giving me the vision I have. I also wear cataract lenses due to having had a cataract removed back in the 90s. My first instance allowed me to use the fact that someone did not know what I could see to my benefit. I enrolled my children in preschool, walked back to the bus stop, asked for help across a small street to get to the stoplight; as it was an unfamiliar area. I was wearing a crucifix given to me by my husband as a Christmas gift. The gentleman who walked with me ultimately stole The chain holding that crucifix from me. He mugged me at the bus corner. I was caring a cane, he figured I could see nothing. What he didn’t know is that I had given him a once over when I ask for his help. I was able to give an accurate description to the police therefore allowing the police to find this man through a crack deal he had made selling my chain for $40. It was returned to me by the grace of God. My second instance has to do with being selected for jury duty. I was also caring a cane in that instance it was more inconspicuous. I carry a telescopic collapsible cane that fit nicely across the center zipper of my purse. While in the jury pool, there was a gentleman who I virtually adopted at his consent allowing me to follow him where he went as we were selected for the same pool. In that situation, the judge and both attorneys have a certain amount of excuses they can use without explanation. All that were present knew I could not see well. Ironically the trial on which I served used a video tape as part of the evidence. While in the proceeding, The attorneys pushed it closer to the jury box for me to see. Though I had my cane with me, it was not prominently displayed giving the impression I was totally blind. I have no doubt those who were in charge of picking jurors paid attention to how I acted and my ability to move with a group of people therefore making a judgment on their own as to what I could see. When the whole thing was over, I approached the judge thanking her for allowing me the privilege to serve given the fact she could have excused me without reason. In a normal situation, I use the vision I have as a defense mechanism. I allow someone to know me before I let them know what I can & cannot see. Hope this helps further your topic. Thanks for reading.

Pam Francis”

Thanks everyone for your comments. It keeps the mailbag purring and oh so happy!

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 Byron Lee on Twitter

Check out Byron’s LowVisionRants.com Website

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 212: Throw Darts At a Bug

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 212: Throw Darts At a Bug

Join Jamie, Ricky and Joe for this week’s edition of the podcast where they sip Apple juice and talk about all things iOS 8. If you’re tired of hearing about Apple, never fear; there are other stories in this week’s show as well. After the news, Buddy Brannan visits with Jim Gashel about the new release of the KNFB Reader app for iOS. Stories covered in this week’s podcast include:

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Release of KNFB Reader iPhone App

iOS 8 Adoption Lags Behind Past Upgrades — So Far

What’s New in iOS 8 Accessibility for Blind, Low-Vision, and Deaf-Blind Users

The Accessibility Bugs in iOS 8: From Serious To Minor

Apple Confirms HealthKit Bug, Promises Fix by End of September

BlindSquare: Acapela Voices Temporarily Not Available in iOS 8

Braille Moves Forward in iOS 8

Apple TV updated w/ Beats Music channel, refreshed design, Family Sharing, & iCloud Photos

new Victor Reader 2 Update now live

New audio channel makes fashion accessible for people with disabilities

Fred Gissoni

Code Factory becomes global! Check our new website

New TalkBack for Android released. Check the release notes to see what’s new

New Kindle Voyager docking soon

New Amazon Fire Kids Edition

The 3MT Reader Android app is a simple, intuitive way for blind users to read epub and txt books

Microsoft confirms Windows 9 event for September 30, Technical Preview to follow soon after

The new Ken Burns PBS series, The Roosevelts available on the Web with Audio description

Roundabout

Intel Unveils Connected Wheelchair

The 12-y.o. Hero Behind the Lego-Braille Printer: A Not Impossible Original

Here is a link to SeroTalk Podcast 188 featuring Buddy Brannan’s interview with Shubham Banerjee

The Tough MudderExperience

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SeroTalk Podcast 211: The Sound of Silence

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 211: The Sound of Silence

The aftermath of the reason Apple event, a musical mailbag and much more awaits you on this week’s episode of the podcast as Jamie, Ricky and Joe talk about the top news stories of the week. After the news, Pratik Patel joins Jamie to discuss the state of accessibility with regard to Windows Phone. All that plus your feedback makes for a jam-packed episode of the SeroTalk Podcast.

A T Talk

Jaws 16 Public Beta 1

Coming Soon: iOS Access for All Update for iOS 8

Find out more about how Drive and the Docs editors are now a lot friendlier for blind and low-vision users

Google Voice and Hangouts learn to play nice together

2-Hour Refund Window For Paid Apps And Games On The Play Store Is Officially Official

RNIB audio logo competition

Uber sued for allegedly refusing rides to the blind and putting a dog in the trunk

Apple Aftermath

Between Google and Apple, the smartwatch wars are over before they’ve even begun

Some future model of the Apple Watch will probably have more sensors

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which one should you buy?

Update: iPhone 6 Plus shipping estimates slip to 3-4 weeks

But what if I didn’t want a bigger iPhone?

Hands on with Apple Pay: NFC, barcode scan, on online purchases!

On Death and iPods: A Requiem

Apple puts up support page to get U2 album out of your iTunes

Mailbag

Hello SeroTalk Team, I have some comments For episode 210. First when you guys were talking about drones and indoor mapping early in the podcast all I could think about was seeing eye drones. Its the wave of the future. Next I was watching the most recent episode of Windows Weekly and they had a Microsoft add promoting Kortana on there I think you guys need to listen to. It will have you rolling on the ground laughing, unless your a big Apple fan. One more thing I want to mention. At the end Jamie and Buddy were talking a little about the Apple watch. When I heard the name on the announcement all I could think was “WOW now we have an A-Watch”. Have a good one and keep up the good work.

Greg Wocher(Your friendly neighborhood BlindMan)

Dear Serotalk staff, my name is Tamer Zaid and I’m from Houston Texas and I’m contacting you’all regarding podcast 209 and I want to comment on what Joe had talked about how people that have short term memory don’t have an idea of there spacial surroundings. Never the less, I’m a person that has a slight short term memory issue and I’m just 21 years old and I had accepted that I have this issue and I rely on my parents too take me places like college and volunteer work. I do suffer from walking with the cane just because I just don’t remember a rout from the first time when I do it. I need practice and practice until I finally get how to do it. I do utilize many tools during my day that can help me with remembering things and one tool that I just love is the iPhone. Also, I do really suggest that wearable technology should be around just because it will help me and might help many people that suffer from memory problems. The way I suffer from that dumb short term memory issue is by not remembering a place that you go to the first time. I’m great at using and knowing how to hold the cane, but I lack at traveling. Also, I’m not a multi-tasker and that makes it even worse. So, I just try to udilize my family and public transportation like Metro Lift here in Houston to go places like volunteer work. I just love being independent. Also, I love tactle maps just because I had vision before and I do still remember from my long term memory how things look like. Also, I do remember things that happened to me before I became blind. I do still remember colors and how things look like and I really thing that a person has to have a visual idea about what their touching like a 3d object to understand what it is. See, I don’t have that problem just because I have seen 3d objects and I do understand how they work. Also, I think that this topic should be widely known and discussed among various blind groups. It doesn’t mean I know it that everybody knows it. So, I think that it is a great topic to talk about. Well, thank you for the great work and I thank you’all for the great work that you’all do. You’all are awesome!

Regards, Tamer Zaid

Roundabout

How Social Media Affects Your Brain and Body

The history of Hold Music

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SeroTalk Podcast 210: Big and Ugly

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 210: Big and Ugly

Join Jamie, Ricky and Joe as they discuss all the top news stories of the week except one. Jamie and Buddy will discuss the big story at the end of the podcast. All other stories covered in this episode include:

A T Talk

NVDA 2014.3 now Available

BlindSquare now supports @transitapp, and this podcast shows how it works

Transit App ~ Now with Citi Bike, Divvy & Capital Bikeshare! on the App Store on iTunes

For blind bus riders, a new app boosts independence

Voiceover Easy Home Page

New iBooks Textbook Helps Visually Impaired Visit the Stars Through Touch and Sound

Low-Cost Refreshable Braille Device Available in 2016

Unachievable or Unwanted: Why Is ACE Opposed to Accessibility Guidelines?

Mainstream Matters

Google Unveils The Cartographer, Its Indoor Mapping Backpack

The Smart Home Is Going To Be A Huge Boon To Accessibility

Samsung announces the Galaxy Note 4 and new Galaxy Note Edge

Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style filtered feed is coming, whether you like it or not

Tim Cook Says Apple to Add Security Alerts for iCloud Users

9 Awesome Features Smartphones Still Don’t Have

Cortana vs. Siri vs. Google Now: An early look at how Cortana stacks up (hands-on)

Roundabout

The never-ending story of FXRadio where only your imagination limits what happens

Read lost Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed ‘too wild’ to publish

Google’s latest object recognition tech can spot everything in your living room

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Apple iOS Announcement Livestreamed with Accessibility Commentary

Join today’s Apple iOS Announcement Livestreamed with Accessibility Commentary live on Accessible Event

When Apple launched the original iPhone, there wasn’t anything quite like it. iOS transformed the way that consumers interacted with cell phones, and the App Store unleashed an unprecedented wave of developer creativity. This creativity and ingenuity has lead to leaps forward in accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Independent Living Resource Center Of San Francisco, in partnership with The Serotek Corporation, will be providing live commentary on today’s Apple event.

Please note this is not an in-person event.

Various community leaders including Mike Calvo, Founder of Serotek, Derek Zarda, Assistive Technology Educator, and Jessie Lorenz Executive Director of ILRCSF will be providing commentary on what may be the most accessible version of iOS yet. Please join us today at 1 PM Eastern as we continue the dream of Steve Jobs, who had a vision of a world where technology erases limitations. Live tweeting and bloggers welcome!

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SeroTalk Podcast 209: Go Terabyte Or Go Home

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 209: Go Terabyte Or Go Home

You missed us, right? You know you did! Never fear; the familiar trio of Jamie, Ricky and Joe are back together to bring you the top news stories of the week. So put on your favorite slippers, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy this week’s SeroTalk podcast. Stories covered this week include:

A T Talk

KNFBReader iPhone App to be Released Alongside iOS 8

Free iBill® currency reader pilot begins in the U.S. Sept. 2

All in Access 17: iBlink for Mac, Dropbox Pro, Giant iPads, and Apple Rumors

FSCast Episode 94 – JAWS 16 New Editions

Here is a direct link to version 6.18 of the Skype 6 scripts for Jaws written by Doug Lee

Here is a 12-minute audio description of the scripts:

The Vario Ultra Braille devices have not shipped yet, but the manual is now available:

New audio game: The Ensign

A Touchy Subject – How Useful are Tactile Pictorials?

Now, a detailed molecular map of the eye to help treat vision loss diseases

Mainstream Matters

Dropbox slashes pricing and boosts storage as competition intensifies

Apple’s September event may be its most significant event in years

Apple’s supersized 12.9-inch iPad to land in early 2015

Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media

MSN Messenger is shutting down after 15 years of memories

Roundabout

Century-old drug reverses signs of autism in mice

Mindfulness training helps Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers

Harvard Scientists Send the First Transatlantic Smell via iPhone

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, Podcasts | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

High Contrast Episode 24: The Can’t See Good Club

Listen to High Contrast Episode 24: The Can’t See Good Club

Maurie is back, to the happiness of Rodney and Byron, and she has brought along a fantastic topic for this month’s episode. Many low vision people struggle with where, when and what times they should self identify in public. Sure, the airport seems like a logical place to carry a cane, however, a trip to the local store might be the place where overconfidence can trump your need for assistance in interacting in that environment. Not to mention when reading the sides of cereal boxes. How did that text get so small anyway? Join us as we talk about examples of self identification, a few trademark ramblings off topic and another game review by Joe that you can play with your eyes open or closed.

Here is the link, to the NPR story, that got Maurie to thinking about low vision self identification

Additionally, from the ACLU, here is a link to a PDF about knowing your rights when talking with the authorities that Rodney found on the Daily Tech News Show website.

App Review: Blindfold Racer

Grab your headphones and driving gloves. It’s time to speed down the track, avoid chickens and turn in your best times with Blindfold Racer for iOS. This free app works with Voiceover and is a great pick up and play kind of game. You will tilt your device to steer around obstacles and barrel through turns. It sounds simple, but can you keep the center of the track between your ears as you avoid the crazy obstacles? Try out the app and see if you can be the ultimate driver!

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 Byron Lee on Twitter

Check out Byron’s LowVisionRants.com Website

Feel free to send your feedback on this show to resources@serotalk.com

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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SPN Special: BVA 2014 Convention Coverage

Listen to our SPN Special: BVA 2014 Convention Coverage

SPN is excited to bring you audio from the Exhibit Hall floor from the 2014 Blinded Veterans Association National Convention from amazing Reno Nevada. This was our second time to bring our listeners coverage from this event and we would like to express our gratitude to the BVA for inviting us to this year’s convention. We would like to encourage those who may know a Blind Vet, or if you are one yourself, to contact the BVA for more details about their organization and its activities by visiting their website at http://www.bva.org/ or call 800 669 7079.

SPN would also like to thank this year’s Summer Convention sponsors HIMS Inc and Elegant Insights for helping us bring you this, and all the rest, of our Summer Convention specials. Please visit their sites and let them know how much you enjoyed our coverage!

Also, Serotek offers the SAMNet Vets program to Blind and Low Vision U.S. Veterans. This program is free and it has already attracted many to enjoy SAMNet during its availability. To learn more about SAMVets visit http://www.serotek.com/samnetvets or call us at 612 246 4818.

Interviews in this special include…

LogicMark Phone: 866 541 8387 Extension 138

Stay safe with Freedom Alert from LogicMark.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation Phone: 860 243 5200

Learn about in-home guide dog training with Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation.

LS&S Phone: 1 800 468 4789

Joe goes shopping for canes and more with LS&S

AbiSee Phone: 978 637 2900

Joe talks portable low vision devices with AbiSee

America’s Vet Dogs Phone: 866 282 8047

Joe talks with representatives of America’s Vet Dogs.

Eschenbach Phone: 1 800 487 5389

Joe talks with Joe about handheld magnifiers and more from Eschenbach.

Audio Eye Phone: 866 331 5324

Take accessibility to a whole new level with Audio Eye.

GH Accessibility Phone: 765 775 3776

GH makes reading books easier on the PC, the Mac and the Web.

eSight Phone: 1 855 837 4448

Learn about electronic eye glasses from eSight.

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, HIMS Inc., Interviews, Podcasts, SPN Special | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

SeroSpectives: A Glimpse of SAMNet

Listen to SeroSpectives: A Glimpse of SAMNet

Welcome to a very special SeroSpectives program for the month of August. For this podcast, we decided to turn the spotlight on ourselves. Whether it’s Lisa Salinger’s thorough training on how to use various aspects of SAMNet or our In It to Win It chats available exclusively to our SAMNet community, we offer you a glimpse into what we do here at Serotek. To learn more and become a part of our community, why not sign up for a 14-day free trial of our products right now!

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SeroTalk Podcast 208: Out Here On the Balcony

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 208: Out Here On the Balcony

Welcome to the latest episode of the SeroTalk Podcast. This week, Jamie Pauls, Ricky Enger and Lisa Salinger sit down to discuss the top news stories of the week. Then, Joe Steinkamp sits down with AER president Lou Tutt to discuss the success of their latest convention as well as the past, present and future of the organization. Topics discussed in this podcast include:

A T Talk

NVDASR 2014.3rc1 now available for testing, before final release

Results from the 778 people who responded to the first NVDA Speech Synthesizer Survey, now closed.

Every JAWS User Should Have Leasey!

Samsung Is Making An Ultrasonic Cover For The Galaxy Note 4 To Help The Visually Impaired

30 Days with Android

Accessibility Head-To-Head: Android vs Apple

Beyond Braille: 3-D Printed Books For The Blind

10 Things Not To Say Or Do To A Blind Person

Mainstream Matters

This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible

iPhone 6: A delicate compromise

NFL Now channel added to Apple TV w/ instant in-game highlights, live events and press conferences, more

Microsoft expected to announce Windows 9 on September 30

Former Microsoft CEO Ballmer steps down from the board

What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet

Roundabout

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Awareness is Not Money

What People With ALS Think of Ice Bucket Challenge

Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge – YouTube

This Blind Grandpa Is Running 11,000 Miles Around The U.S. To Raise Funds For Cystic Fibrosis

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SPN Special 3 from the 2014 International AER Conference

Listen to SPN Special 3 from the 2014 International AER Conference

SPN is elated to bring you the third of our three specials from the 30th Anniversary celebration of AER at their International Conference, just steps away from the Alamo and the Riverwalk, in San Antonio Texas. We would like to thank AER for their invitation to come and stroll the Exhibit Hall floor. And we urge our listeners to visit the website to learn more about this, and the next event in 2016, as more of the session audio can be found on the site soon.

We would also like to thank our Summer Show 2014 sponsors, HIMS and Elegant Insights, for helping us bring you the hours of audio you hear from these specials. And, if you enjoy our content, be sure to leave us a comment or write us at resources@serotalk.com as your feedback shapes what we cover on SPN.

This special contains interviews from the following…

Joe shares a HIMStastic morning with Dave

Dan Brown talks Humanware and Education with Ricky

Joe gets a clear view of Optelec’s products

Zoomtext, Window Eyes and much more with Scott More from Ai Squared

Ricky goes back to school with TSBVI

Joe celebrates AER’s achievements with Valley Gifts and Awards!

Ricky gets descriptions of places and things with TapTap See

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SPN Special 2 from the 2014 International AER Conference

Listen to SPN Special 2 from the 2014 International AER Conference

SPN is pleased to bring you the second of three specials recorded from the Exhibit Hall floor of the 30th Anniversary International AER Conference from San Antonio Texas.

While these interviews are more geared towards a Vocational Rehab or Education Professional, we believe that the information is also directly relatable to those in school or college. Or for those who have, or who are looking for, employment. Please pass along the links to this, and our other two specials, to those you may know who could benefit by hearing this type of information. And be sure to let us know what you think of our coverage by leaving us a comment here on the blog.

Also, we’d like to thank our fantastic SPN Summer Show Sponsors HIMS Inc. and Elegant Insights for their support in bringing you these interviews.

Interviews that can be found in this special are…

Sue Martin and Ricky talk about life, work and stepping “out of the Whirlpool”

Joe takes a closer look at products from Enhanced Vision

Ricky reads the signs with MDI Traffic Control

Joe views Canada and their adjustment to the Texas Heat with ESight

Looking towards VR Horizons with Ricky

Joe gets some exercise running the bases with Beep Kickball

Ricky learns chords and more with Perkins eLearning

Maxi Aids catologs much with joe

Bling, rings and more when Ricky peruses Jewelry in Braille

Ricky practices her multiplication tables with Braille Math

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SPN Special 1 from the 2014 International AER Conference

Listen to SPN Special 1 from the 2014 International AER Conference

Welcome to the first of three specials with recordings from the International AER Conference.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the organization and you can hear the spirit of this momentous milestone from Ricky and Joe’s Exhibit Hall floor microphones. We would like to thank AER for allowing us to come to San Antonio and capture just some of the event for our SPN listeners. Almost every session from this event will be available from AER themselves. Be sure to follow those links to their sites, or join the organization, to learn more. We would also like to thank our 2014 Summer Show sponsors HIMS Inc. and Elegant Insights for their sponsorship of this, and our other summertime, events. In this special you will hear….

President of AER, Jim Adams, talks 30 years of the past and looks into the future with Joe

Ricky conducts experiments with independence Science

Ricky opens a window on Math with Wolf Products

Joe takes a stroll with Gord from Ambutech

Ricky talks careers and more with the American Foundation for the Blind

Billy Brookshire, of AER, interviews Joe about his thoughts of 30 years and his past time presenting at AER events

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SeroTalk Podcast 207: Ricky Drops Her Charm

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 207: Ricky Drops Her Charm

Buddy Brannan joins Jamie Pauls and Ricky Enger for this episode of the podcast. Along with the top news of the week including an announcement from Serotek, jamie demonstrates our newly-released version of iBlink Radio for the Mac. Stories covered in this podcast include:

Serotek Announces iBlink Radio for the Mac

Why is Skype forcing a software upgrade on all of us?

GWConnect ends August 4

Free Online Training – Using Skype for Windows Desktop with Window-Eyes

Short Skype course from CAVI

Orbit Research and the Transforming Braille Group Announce Agreement to Produce Low-Cost Refreshable Braille Display

NV Access | Speech Synthesizer Survey 1

Mosen Consulting eBook, “iOS 8 Without the Eye”

Announcing: ChAPPters

Redbox agrees to provide better access for blind customers

Revisiting the “Switch to Android full-time” experiment

Microsoft is finally killing support for old versions of Internet Explorer

4 Reasons Microsoft’s Surface Might Bite the Dust

Windows ‘Threshold’ to drop charms, add virtual desktop

BlackBerry still on shaky ground, but it continues to secure lucrative security clearances

Dial-Up Still a Cash Cow for AOL

Apple, Samsung Agree to End Patent Suits Outside U.S.

Report: Sprint to Drop T-Mobile Bid, CEO | News & Opinion

Roundabout

70 Years of Smokey: The Story of America’s Firefighting Bear

Toddler squeezes through White House fence

With an All-Deaf Wait Staff, New Restaurant Asks Guests to Order in Sign Language

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High Contrast Episode 23: Rootin’ Tootin’ Good Time

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Okay you know how you may plan something out in say, oh I don’t know, an outline? Then, when you start the project, you toss out… say the outline? Welcom to High Contrast 23. In this episode Rodeny, Byron and Joe talk about a great many things. Some examples may include, but are not limited to: Lighting, contrast, hotels, nail guns, Doctor Demento, Steve Austin, roller tips, white pants and of course low vision. All that, and an app review you can play with VoiceOver, on a very unique episode of High Contrast.

App Review: Codename Cygnus

Live the life of a secret agent. Be bold, athletic or clever in your exploits while you battle evil. All while you enjoy an immersive experience on your iDevice. This VoiceOver friendly app has a free option, however, the full game does have an In App purchase.

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 Byron Lee on Twitter

Check out Byron’s LowVisionRants.com Website

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 206: Injury by Pudding

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 206: Injury by Pudding

Lisa Salinger joins Jamie Pauls and Joe Steinkamp to discuss the top news stories of the week. Then, Buddy Brannan visits with Hoby Wedler, a blind chemist and wine taster. Find out how chemistry and wine tasting come together and discover what happens when a young person doesn’t take no for an answer! Stories covered in this podcast include:

ACB 2014 SPN Special 1

ACB 2014 SPN Special 2

ACB 2014 SPN Special 3

SeroSpectives presents our ACB NFB 2014 Convention Wrap-Up Special

SPN Special: A portion of the NFB 2014 Assistive Technology Trainers Division meeting

ACB coverage from Main Menu

2014 ACB Convention Archives from ACB Radio

David Lepofsky’s American Council Of The Blind banquet speech

2014 National Convention Highlights

AppleVis Extra #23: KNFBReader Mobile

An Open Letter to Mark Riccobono

iOS 8 Is Coming: And We’re Here To Get You Ready With The Master Pack from Fedora Outlier, LLC

Free iBook: Mastering the Macintosh with VoiceOver

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations—Movie Theaters

BlindCoolTechArchive

Apple’s Latest Earnings Report Hints at New Products

Apple seen inching closer to a mobile-payment service

How to Safely Install the OS X Yosemite Beta

Windows 8.1 update 2 reportedly will land August 12

Windows 9 image leaks shows the start menu is back

Nadella Merges Windows Phone, Windows

New Google Maps for Android and iOS Takes a Jab at Foursquare

Fleksy Debuts Version 3.0 On Android, With A Complete Redesign And New Premium Features

Is Kindle Unlimited worth it?

Roundabout

What’s Up With That: Why Does Sleeping In Just Make Me More Tired?

BBC News – Blind singer learns visual art of conducting a choir

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SeroSpectives presents our ACB NFB 2014 Convention Wrap-Up Special

Listen to SeroSpectives: ACB NFB 2014 Convention Wrap-Up Special

Join Lisa Salinger and her special guests Chancey Fleet, Jeff Bishop, Joe Steinkamp and Jamie Pauls as they share their observations of this year’s ACB and NFB conventions.

You can also check out SPN’s ACB 2014 and NFB 2014 convention coverage.

Finally, be sure and listen to ACB Radio Main Menu’s convention specials featuring interviews by Jeff Bishop from Las Vegas.

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SPN Special: A portion of the NFB 2014 Assistive Technology Trainers Division meeting

Listen to our SPN Special: A portion of the NFB 2014 Assistive Technology Trainers Division meeting

We are again very pleased to be able to bring you a portion of the NFB Assistive Technology Trainers Division meeting. This particular portion of our coverage has proven to be very popular and incredibly informative in past years. And this year is no different. In the first half of this program you will hear Jeff Baser, from Dolphin USA, showing off the new Dolphin Guide, Supernova and discussing the alternative media creation suite.

Jenny Lineback, AT Trainers Treasurer, then leads a panel discussion on some common problems Facility and On Site Trainers face today. Joining her on the panel is Chip from the Colorado Center for the Blind and Jack from the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

While this isn’t the whole Division meeting, the entire audio can be found by contacting the AT Trainers Division directly. Send an email to President michael Barber at michael.NFBI@gmail.com. Or, join the NFB AT Trainers mailing list at

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ACB 2014 SPN Special 3

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You asked for more on Twitter. So here’s another interview from Baum USA

Jamie catches Jeff from Dolphin talking about their booth partner Irie A T

Perk up your ears to hear details from Guide Dogs for the Blind

Check out the services available from the Lutheran Braille Workers

Making drug bottles more accessible, listen to what Accessamed has to offer

Embossing all sorts of things with Enableing Technologies

Jamie tags in Braille Design

Find your way with GuideLights & Gadgets

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ACB 2014 SPN Special 2

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We open the program with one of our SPN Summer Show sponsors to talk jewlery, charms and those wonderful Elegant Insights

Books are their business at the national Library Service

Serotek, through iBlink Radio, is happy to be a long time supporter of IAAIS

Jamie goes on a quest with EnVision America

Wagging tails and Guiding Eyes

Jamie goes back to class with the Hadley School for the Blind

Not to far away from nevada, here’s what’s going on with the Missouri Council Of The Blind

New help coming to those suffering with Non 24 Sleep Disorder with Hetlioz

Mr. Lakey stops by to discuss all the new changes at Freedom Scientific

Jamie goes for a walk with Leader Dogs

Custom products from Navajo Jewlery

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, HIMS Inc., Interviews, Podcasts, Serotek, SPN Special | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

ACB 2014 SPN Special 1

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Its always a “HIMStastic” day when Dave and Jamie talk what’s new at HIMS Inc.

Learn about the new Money Identifier program from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Jamie goes to the dogs with the Seeing Eye

Become more involved with the ACB Student Council

Reading is always fun when its with the National Braille Press

Here from the host state themselves when Jamie speaks with the Nevada Council of the Blind

We check in with Jeremy Curry, one of the hosts of SPN’s own “High Contrast”, from Ai Squared

Education is the key for the American Printing House for the Blind

Puppy power, Jamie and the Guide Dogs of America

Apple OSX support coming to Duxbury Systems

reading in many ways with Optelec

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SeroTalk Podcast 205: All Your Stuff Are Belong to Us

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While Jamie and Mailbag were both busy in Vegas, Joe Steinkamp, Ricky Enger and Lisa Salinger were back at home recording another podcast. After the news, Lisa demonstrates some of the new features found in the latest update of iBlink Radio.

Stories covered in this week’s podcast include:

iBlink Radio updates live, Amazon Fire support added

SPN Special: Eight Interviews From NFB 2014

NFB 2014 Interview Special 2

NFB 2014 Interview Special 3

HIMS Part 1

HIMS Part 2

New Access World for July 13, 2014

DAISY Consortium is looking for a new CEO

A grant and new hire means A more certain future for free screen reader NVDA

Job Access With Bugs?

Easter Seals Crossroads on full page Braille tablet and more

Zoomtext for Mac Free v1.1.3 Update released. Adds smooth panning and tracking changes

APH releases Visual Brailer app

Access Note has gone free

Career Connect for iOS released

Happy Anniversary to Seeing Eye GPS app! To celebrate we have a new release. By popular request, users now have the option of Google maps.

Ios 7.1.2 changes

KNFB Reader for iOS at end of August, $99 and audioboo demo

Comments on Resolution 12 from President Rickabono

NFB says Apple has done more for access than others

Apple urged to increase accessibility for the blind and deaf

The power and promise of accessibility

Apple does more for accessibility, Android users frustrated

Accessibility in Google Apps – an overview

Roundabout

The potato salad Kickstarter is “the Woodstock of our generation”

This is the sound of electric cars racing

D&D 5th Edition Basic Rules Free Download

Our thanks go out to Andre Louis and Patrick Purdue of PD Audio Productions for the theme music heard on this podcast.

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NFB 2014 HIMS Special 2: A Discussion of the Blaze EZ and Updates to BrailleSense Firmware

Listen to NFB 2014 HIMS Special 2: A Discussion of the Blaze EZ and Updates to BrailleSense Firmware

Welcome to our second NFB 2014 HIMS special. This time around, you get two presentations in one as Dave and Andy demonstrate the Blaze EZ, HIMS’ new book reader with OCR and more. Then, they discuss the latest updates to the BrailleSense firmware that powers HIMS notetakers. There’s a lot to learn, so let’s get started.

We would like to thank HIMS Inc. for being one of the sponsors for this year’s NFB convention coverage.

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NFB 2014 HIMS Special 1: E-Bot Pro

Listen to our NFB 2014 HIMS Special: E-bot Pro

HIMS Inc.–sponsor of this year’s SPN NFB 2014 coverage–provides an overview of their low-vision solutions including the revolutionary E-bot Pro, a portable distance reading, writing and video magnifier with iPad connectivity.

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SPN Feedback Special 5

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again–our podcasts would not be what they are without feedback from our listeners. Once again, we take the time to feature some iReports that didn’t make it into our podcasts. It’s just our way of saying thanks for being you!

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Exciting Update to iBlink Radio!

Serotek is proud to announce an updated version of iBlink Radio for iOS, Android, and now the all new Amazon Fire OS! The latest version of the software that many have called “The Pulse of the Blind Community” is taking Serotek’s mission of “Accessibility Anywhere” to an entirely new level to include “accessibility On Any Mobile Device.”

That’s right! You can now enjoy all of your favorite iBlink and SAMNet content across all of your mobile devices on IOS, Android, and now Amazon’s Fire OS. Enjoy enhanced access to your SAMNet account and community through the all new SAMNet Connect feature. Download content so you can play it while you’re on the plane or in an area with spotty connectivity. Switch from device to device and never lose your place in your favorite podcast, audio-described movie, or other content.

A SAMNet subscription is required for some features.

What in the World is SAMNet?

System Access Mobile Network (SAMNet) is the world’s largest consolidation of entertainment and social networking for the blind community. Unlike other online social networks, the system is completely accessible. Your monthly or annual subscription unlocks thousands of Internet radio stations, personalized news, blogging, a personal web site, forums, chat rooms, and e-mail.

As a subscriber you will also receive services designed specifically for the System Access screen reader. These include remote control of your home computer, and our innovative Remote Training and Support feature. With Remote Training and Support, for example, users can connect to each others’ computers to provide training and technical assistance or work simultaneously on a document or project. No other assistive technology provides this degree of functionality from the convenience of a single subscription. Note: Not all features of SAMNet are currently available on all platforms. Stay tuned as we continue to increase access to SAMNet features in the coming months.

For more information about SAMNet or to register for a free trial visit: serotek.com/samnet

Get the new iBlink Radio for your Apple devices from the iOS App Store, Android devices Google Play Store, or the Amazon Kindle Appstore

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NFB 2014 Interview Special 3

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We would like to thank HIMS Inc. and Elegant Insights Braille Creations for sponsoring this year’s NFB convention coverage.

There are many new updates coming to NFB Newsline

Make your own drawings with Easy Tactile Graphics

Purchase talking watches and more from ILA

There is a wealth of reading available from National Braille Press

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NFB 2014 Interview Special 2

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We would like to thank HIMS Inc. and Elegant Insights Braille Creations for sponsoring this year’s NFB convention coverage.

K1000 Version 14 should be out by the end of the year

Learn about updates to Nearby Explorer and more from The American Printing House for the Blind

Cooking, music listening and more available from the AT Guys

Dolphin products now include NFB Newsline and more

Baum introduces the VarioUltra Braille Display

Joe and Eric talk Jaws 16 from Freedom Scientific

Ricky talks with Bruce of Discover Technologies about access to SharePoint

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SPN Special: Eight Interviews From NFB 2014

Listen to our SPN Special: Eight Interviews from NFB 2014

Welcome to our first SPN special from NFB 2014 in Orlando, Florida. Ricky Enger and Joe Steinkamp have been hard at work talking with many of this year’s convention exhibitors, so sit back and enjoy the following interviews from the 74th annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

We would like to thank HIMS Inc. and Elegant Insights Braille Creations for sponsoring this year’s NFB convention coverage.

Matthew of Humanware talks with Ricky Enger about some exciting updates coming to the second generation Victor Reader Stream.

Joe Steinkamp visits with John Wilson of 3D Photoworks about 3D objects in real time and space.

Ricky Enger learns about Echo-Sense, a mobility aid for the visually impaired.

Joe Steinkamp explores portable low-vision solutions from Abisee.

Ricky Enger speaks with Tony of Enabling Technologies about their latest Braille embossers.

Joe Steinkamp talks with Odin Mobile about the latest news about their mobile phone solutions.

Heather of VitalSource Technologies talks with Ricky Enger about their accessible electronic textbooks.

Ricky Enger brings us some exciting news about the soon-to-be released KNFB Reader.

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SeroTalk Podcast 204: 34 Benjamins

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Join Jamie, Ricky and Buddy for this week’s episode of the podcast as they discuss the top news stories of the week. After the news, Jamie talks with Joshua Loya and Mario Schapp about the San Diego Blind Community Center’s Tekio Jutsu martial arts program designed with the visually impaired student in mind. Stories covered in this podcast include:

Feds to distribute “currency readers” for visually impaired people

NEW! VarioUltra

2014 National Convention Exhibitors

Slate & Stylish: What NOT to Wear: Convention Edition

Uber and service animals controversy

Fire phone Accessibility

What’s right (and wrong) with the Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon Fire Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy S5: Specs Compared

What iOS 8 tells us about the next iPhones and iPads

Why the time for an iWatch is finally almost here

It’s impossible to upgrade the entry-level iMac’s 8GB of RAM

Apple settles ebook case, agrees to pay consumers over price-fixing

Roundabout

75 Years of AFB and Talking Books

APH: The History of the American Printing House for the Blind: A Chronology

THE WAR OF THE DOTS

RIP Greg Brayton

Our thanks go out to Andre Louis and Patrick Purdue of PD Audio Productions for the theme music heard on this podcast.

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High Contrast Episode 22: Too Much Outdoors

Listen to High Contrast Episode 22: Too Much Outdoors

Its finally summer time. Sand, surf, sidewalks, some other S words. You know the time where you venture out of the home and possibly commune with nature. This month Rodney, Byron and Maurie talk about what they use to combat the evil rays of the sun. And we have an app review plus the Mailbag. So sit back in that cheap outdoor lawn chair and join us while we talk sun shades.

Here are some suggestions for where to start on the perfect pair of sunglasses. Remember, you may want to go see these options in person as some may not fit your face well when it comes to wraparound lenses. Also, you may find that red works better than gray on a tint. Or green, or blue. Everyone has their own style as you can see from these examples.

CPF lenses (originally made by Conrning)

Remington Shooting Glasses

Fuel Cell by Oakley

Gunnar Computer Glasses

And don’t forget hats. A good hat can let you avoid some glare issues without having something on your face. And at the pool or beach, it is an alternative to having water spots on your lenses if you rely on sunglasses for summer eye protection.

App Review: Marvel Puzzle Quest Dark Reign for iOS

joe is a bit perplexed. He has been playing this game for more than a month. He hasn’t spent a dime. But he can’t fully recommend this Match 3 title because it’s a low vision nightmare. If you have issues with colors, shapes or text on and odd background… stay away. Or get the app, try it and uninstall. If you do decided that you want to have Iron man, Storm, Black Widow and others beat up the bad guys by matching colors and shapes in spandex, give this one a shot. Its great for the cheap gamer and you can use Zoom on iOS to help you get through the rougher spots on the UI.

Mailbag:

Check out Rodeny, Byron and Ranger1138 on the latest End of Line talking about what you could watch on your TV or tablet this summer. If you don’t like the outdoors that is of course.

Wayne writes in with this comment…

“Morning everyone, Just a handy tip that I thought you might find helpful. I was listening to the last episode when you were mentioning about not wanting pasccodes announcing in public places by voiceover. I am a non-visual user of the iPhone and also don’t want pass codes announcing. There is a good solution though. If you turn on the handwriting mode in the rotor, you will be able to handwrite your passcode in the passcode field. The code is not announced when in handwriting mode on the lock screen. Hope that’s useful. Also, to prevent your text messages announcing in the lock screen, you could disable them in the notifications centre re: turning them off in the lock screen. There’s more inconvenience with this re: the text alert tone will sound but you’ll need to go into messages.I suppose the other option would be to mute voiceover with the double triple tap gesture and turn it on again after the text alert sounds. Keep up the good work at Serotek. It’s all very helpful. Although I am an iPhone user, I do also like to keep in touch with Android developments through that Android Show. too. Maybe they’ll be the option of @That Windows Show@ soon eh? Thanks again for all the effort your teams put into the shows. Best regards, Wayne”

Neat! That was one we hadn’t considered at all. Good catch!

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 Byron Lee on Twitter

Check out Byron’s LowVisionRants.com Website

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 203: There Is a Storm Coming

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Welcome to this week’s episode of the SeroTalk Podcast. The news of the week, your feedback, a book recommendation and an interview with author Shelly Brisbin about her new book IOS Access for All: Your Comprehensive Guide to Accessibility for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch are just some of the things you will hear on this week’s show. Topics covered in this podcast include:

A T Talk

Braille Sense v8.2 Released with Features YOU Asked For!

Book Trade Announcements – Dolly Parton Presents Braille Book To Blind Child

GrabPak introduces line of Braille First Aid Kits

eBay and The National Federation of the Blind Team to Optimize Accessibility of Site, Apps

When Just Listening Is Not Enough: Google Falls Short on Accessibility for the Blind

What Will It Take for Google to Find Its Voice

Comparing the Windows Computer with the Mac

As Technology Marches Forward, Who Gets Left Behind?

Verizon Says It Wants to Kill Net Neutrality to Help Blind, Deaf, and Disabled People

Mainstream Matters

Report corroborates Apple planning to announce new wearable product in October

Apple’s new Lightning spec allows for smarter, better-sounding headphones

Rumor: NFC, wireless charging, improved LTE slated for iPhone 6

Starbucks to Start Offering Wireless Charging in San Francisco

Amazon Prime Subscriber? You Just Got Free Streaming Music

Roundabout

The Top 24 Summer Books of 2014

Vessyl smart cup can tell Coke from Pepsi

Xbox Live’s Major Nelson » E3 2014 Binaural Audio Experiment :

Ricky recommends Room: A Novel Written by Emma Donoghue

Our thanks go out to Andre Louis and Patrick Purdue of PD Audio Productions for the theme music heard on this podcast.

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, Interviews, Podcasts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SeroTalk Podcast 202: Thermoform in the Summertime

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The news of the week, a wayward mailbag and elocution lessons are all a part of this week’s podcast, and our interview with The National Federation of the Blind’s Curtis Chong is the icing on the cake. Topics covered in this week’s episode include:

A T Talk

Walgreens Now Offers Talking Prescription Labels for Blind Customers

Assistive Technology Design for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired Survey

CiscoVision Wiki | Main / 2014 Semester 2 Course Offerings

iOS Access for All | Your comprehensive guide to accessibility for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. by Shelly Brisbin

Learn to Use the Mac with VoiceOver (MAC)

Knowing What Is Good About the iPhone and What Is Not

My comments on the Braille Monitor Article concerning the iPhone | Thoughts from David Goldfield

GWKB2058 – McAfee Found to Block Important Functionality in Window-Eyes

Unexpected loss of ZoomText activation

Mainstream Matters

Apple’s HealthKit Is a Huge Headache for One Startup

iOS 8 will let you scan credit cards via the camera

What Android 4.4.3 could mean about the future of Android updates

Microsoft stock price hits 52-week high, suggests market approves of Nadella

Why an Amazon Phone Makes Sense

Roundabout

Blind? Listen to this 9-year-old: ‘Accept it and live life as is’

No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition 2014 Jamie mentioned that he plans to read Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See: My Story by Erik Weihenmayer.

19 Rare Recordings of Famous Authors

Our thanks go out to Andre Louis and Patrick Purdue of PD Audio Productions for the theme music heard on this podcast.

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SeroSpectives: This Month in Tech for May 2014

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

Replay the Accessible Event archive of This Month in Tech for May

Jeff Bishop is an IT Accessibility Analyst at the University of Arizona. He describes himself as a “Developer, technologist, Window-Eyes scripter, Broadcaster and family oriented guy” and is probably best known for his broadcasts on various community radio stations.

Janet Ingber has been writing for AccessWorld since 2005, and cohosts two podcasts on How to be Blind. Her new book, “Learn to use the Mac With VoiceOver” is now available from National Braille Press. Janet has a Masters Degree in Music Therapy and provides services for adults who have developmental disabilities. Additionally, she is certified as a special education teacher. Janet lives in New York City with her husband, daughter and guide dog, Jack.

Byron Lee is a Ham Radio Operator (KC9EEK), Broadcast Personality, Audio Engineer, Voice Over Artist, Web Designer, IT Professional, and most importantly, a huge geek! He is currently employed by Horizons for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired, and is currently working on the DirectionsForMe project, a one stop source for accessible packaging information. In addition, Byron hosts two Internet radio shows. The Talk Zone is a two hour program about adaptive technology, disability rights, science fiction, pop-culture, and just about any other topic. The Fun Zone is a one hour program featuring comedy music. His shows are simulcast on ACB Radio Mainstream, and several other online radio stations. Byron has also been involved in other radio shows and podcasts, and is a frequent contributor on the SeroTalk Podcast Network. Find out more about Byron on his website or take a look at his newest project, the Low Vision Rants Website.

In the Community

HIMS Inc. Releases New Pocket-sized Media Player that Gives Blind and Visually Impaired Near-Instant Access to Printed Text

The Penguin Random House/Bookshare Partnership

BlindSquare celebrates two years; releases Version 2.0.

General Tech

Amazon, Twitter link up for easy shopping through #AmazonCart

Text-to-911 is here, but it isn’t everything you might think

Windows Phone 8.1 Launching June 24

WWDC

Information on iOS 8 now added to the Apple website

Information on OS X Yosemite now added to the Apple website

Apple publishes Swift programing language guide on iBooks

32 Hidden Features in Apple iOS 8

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SeroTalk Podcast 201: Magical Weapon

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 201: Magical Weapon

To help remake accessibility training as we know it, visit http://www.a11y.tv to view training subscription options and make your contribution to EZFire’s A11YTV funding campaign.

Join Jamie, Ricky and Joe as they manage to talk about more than just the news from Apple’s WWDC keynote. Never fear, though; they discuss that topic at some length. After the news of the week, Jamie sits down with Mike Calvo to talk about the Philips HD8753/87 Intelia Automatic espresso machine. Topics covered in this podcast include:

A T Talk

HIMS Inc. Releases New Pocket-sized Media Player that Gives Blind and Visually Impaired Near-Instant Access to Printed Text

Mac Master Series FAQ

Introducing Magnificent, a new magnifier app for iOS

Chicken Nugget 2.3: YouTube support, hidden timelines, run at startup, more!

Try the New ZoomText Beta for Windows 7

Google Glass gives the deaf an ASL interpreter, even in the dark

Mainstream Matters

CD Players, Reluctant Technology Learners, and the iPod

Samsung Simband Preview

Google’s prototype electric self-driving car seats two, has no steering wheel

Surface Pro 3 Is Coming

Summary of Announcements from WWDC 2014 Keynote | AppleVis

Roundabout

Legendary author Maya Angelou dies at age 86

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings narrated by Maya Angelou

Long-lost, 1958 recording of Tolkien explaining Lord of the Rings has been unearthed

Mike Calvo’s review of the Philips HD8753/87 Intelia Automatic espresso machine

My review is as much about an excellent product as it is about an outstanding company. Let’s face it. Either the product is decent but the customer service is terrible, or worse, the product sounds great, but the interface is not accessible.
As a coffee aficionado, I was excited about the glowing reviews of the
Philips HD8753/87 Intelia Automatic espresso machine. A quiet grinder,
a smaller form factor, a convenient milk frother and easy programming
are just the beginning of what amounts to an amazing appliance. At a
price north of $1,000, one should expect nothing less, right?
Well, for blind consumers that’s a highly subjective question.
Companies rarely consider the potential blind end user, but in the case of Philips the reception could not have gone better.
My experience actually began before the package even landed on my doorstep. I called customer service to try to make sense of the product. Being the skeptic that I am, I wanted to make sure I would be able to utilize the espresso machine as soon as it came out of the box.
Daniel S, the helpful customer support representative, did not shy away from the challenge of explaining the machine to me when he learned I had a visual impairment. Instead he went and got himself in front of a model similar to what I’d ordered and proceeded to explain the order and function of each button.
Yeah, you could attribute it to the courtesy of one representative,
but later, after the machine had arrived, I called again to inquire
about some functionality of a special drink button I could not figure out.
The next guy proved to be just as friendly and accommodating as the
first guy, effectively proving that at Philips there is a prominent
culture of customer-oriented service. Even better? The PDF manual I
downloaded from the website was readily accessible for my screen
reader. That’s not typical considering the image-only manuals and
tutorials blind customers are accustomed to. Okay but how’s the
coffee? In a word: “AMAZING!” The wide variety of options this machine
provides will yield years of yummy coffee goodness! After all the
help from Philips I was able to set up the machine and enjoy my very
first coffee with absolutely no sighted help. I never can get over the
pleasure of purchasing a product and completing it’s setup
independently. Now here’s all you ever wanted to know abut the
Philips HD8753/87 Intelia Automatic espresso machine: Product
features

Save your favorite coffee settings
You will always get a perfect cup of espresso brewed just for you,
according to your personal preference, thanks to the innovative memo
function to adjust the coffee length, strength and temperature. Enjoy
a superb coffee drink in your favorite cup with just the press of a
button. Play with the coffee’s richness with the HD8753/87’s
adjustable grinder

Different coffee blends require different levels of granularity for
the full flavor to unfold. The grind granularity of this espresso
machine can be adjusted in 5 settings, from the finest grind, for a
full bodied espresso, to the coarsest, for a lighter café crème.

Enjoy coffee without burned taste thanks to a 100% ceramic grinder
Saeco uses ceramic grinders because of their consistent grind without
overheating the coffee bean for an impeccable espresso. Ceramic also
ensures long-lasting performance and a really quiet operation when
grinding your favorite beans.

Easy cleaning thanks to the removable
brewing group The brewing group, a Saeco invention, is the heart of
the HD8753/87.
ensuring automation. The brewing group is easily accessible from the
side. It can be removed effortlessly for cleaning by rinsing under the
tap ensuring maximum hygiene.

Coffee without the wait thanks to the
quick heat boiler The Saeco quick heat boiler technology ensures your
machine is always ready. Now you won’t have to wait between brewing
each espresso, but can prepare coffee after coffee. So, you can share
your new indulgence with friends.

Perfect froth thanks to the dual
chamber milk carafe Enjoy your milk specialties fully automated with
the patented milk carafe with dual chamber technology. Simply pour
milk into the carafe, plug it into the machine and select your coffee
drink. With the dual chamber technology you will always enjoy
professional coffee drinks with dense, long-lasting milk froth at the
ideal temperature from a constant splash-free flow of milk. Avoid
heat loss and fit every cup with the adjustable spout

The adjustable
spout on Philips’ espresso machines will fit every cup and thus
prevents the coffee splashing or cooling down while pouring in your
cup. This way your espresso is always served at the right temperature
while maintaining a clean machine.

Easy cleaning thanks to
dishwasher-safe parts For your convenience, you can put the Saeco’s
drip tray and milk frother or milk carafe in the dishwasher. This will
save time and ensure a hygienic cleaning. You will always have a
clean machine thanks to auto-clean and descaling
Saeco designed this espresso machine to automatically clean its
coffee circuit with water upon starting up or switching off of the
machine. This delivers a great, fresh taste with each cup of coffee.
Regular descaling prolongs your espresso machine’s life.

Technical specifications

Perfect Espresso
Espresso technology • Saeco adapting system • Aroma-system:
pre-brewing

Easy to use
Cleaning and maintenance • Automatic coffee circuit rinse
• Descaling cycle
Usage • Adjustable coffee dispenser
• Cup holding surface
• Rapid steam
• Removable brewing group
• Normal / long espresso option
Energy saving
Energy saving Automatic stand-by

The bottom line? It’s been a gratifying experience. The best part of
waking up might be the shot of espresso to jumpstart the morning, but
my day is made all the more productive when I know that if my machine
has issues, I can call a company that just gets it. No separate but
equal accessibility telephone lines, just helpful people who can
easily bypass the visual impairment stigma and go on about the
business of helping me like any other customer. Thanks Philips! You
certainly have a happy customer here!

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blindness and Low Vision, Interviews, Podcasts, reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment