SeroTalk Podcast 188: Cattle Car Airways

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 188: Cattle Car Airways

Welcome to yet another edition of the SeroTalk Podcast. This week, Jamie, Ricky and Joe team up once again to bring you the top news stories of the week. Then, Buddy Brannan interviews Shubham Banerjee, a remarkable seventh-grader who has designed a proof of concept prototype of a very enexpensive Braille embosser. You won’t want to miss this interview, so sit back and enjoy the podcast.

A T Talk

American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2014 Access Award Winners

National Federation of the Blind Commends President Obama for Executive Order on Wages

Get the Picture! Viewing the World with the iPhone Camera (GETPIC)

Screen Readers: A Guide to Punctuation and Typographic Symbols

QuickBooks Desktop Accessibility – How we did it.

from Eyes on Success: Raspberry VI

Indian American 7th Grader Develops Braille Printer with Legos

Mainstream Matters

Comcast Deal Seeks to Unite 2 Cable Giants

TWIT covering the Comcast story

Verizon confirms ‘More Everything,’ brings price cuts, more data, global texting

And the winner of Austin, TX’s gigabit service arms race is… Grande?

Could Cell Phones Stop Drivers From Hitting Pedestrians?

Android Is Not Really Open

Strange bedfellows: Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows

Gates Spends Entire First Day Back in Office Trying to Install Windows 8.1

Microsoft’s Surface 2 cleared for takeoff in cockpit

What Are “Smart” Credit Cards, and Why Are They Coming to America?

No, Flappy Bird developer didn’t give up on $50,000 a day

Our Internet Empathy Problem


From Mike Arrigo:

I wanted to comment on the article from the person switching from the mac to Windows. I’ve been using macs since 2008, in 2010 I gave away my pcs and use the mac exclusively at home. I have a windows 7 virtual machine installed but rarely use it. I agree that it’s important to really learn the operating system, not just the screen reader. The concept of interacting can take some getting used to, one setting in voiceover that you can disable is the option to automatically interact with items when using the tab key. When it comes to learning an operating system and a screen reader, I think it’s important that the screen reader stick to making the screen accessible and not changing anything in applications. A friend of mine who was used to using Jaws has recently started using NVDA. In Winamp, jaws allowed you to press space to stop and start play back, NVDA does not provide this, and at first, they were not sure what was going on. This is an example of a screen reader overstepping its bounds. Same thing goes for the Jaws virtual ribin. That has no business even being there. Instead, people need to learn the application commands for doing these functions, that way it works regardless of screen reader.

From Marvin Hunkin:

Hi. I am doing a course via And learning java. I have learnt c # from the command prompt. Scripting with php and databases, html , css.


From Chelsea Cook:

Hi Serotalk Team,

I’m kind of behind the curve in listening to your podcasts—quantum physics is keeping me busy. Anyway, I had some comments on a few episodes:

Serotalk 183:

Cool on mentioning the space iBook. I had not seen that article until you mentioned it.

I don’t think I’m breaking any NDA’s here when I say that yours truly got the ball rolling at an internship a couple years ago. I wasn’t directly involved with the signification techniques—that happened after the summer project was over—but I did do some HTML coding to make images accessible. Basically someone would map out visual areas of the screen in HTML and I would add the descriptions, links, and give UI feedback. This system worked quite well on an iPad where you had a bigger screen, but the same principle could be easily applied to an iPhone or Mac trackpad screen. I see lots of potential for maps and other spatial things here.

Funny story: My colleague sent me an HTML map one day, I opened it and commented on how awesome his first try was. He was confused until he remembered that there didn’t need to be an actual photograph behind the map.

Triple Click Home 26: I remember Learning Ally’s math and physics books well. My primary reading medium is Braille; I cannot do math in audio at all! So I had to write down most of the equations anyway. The worst part for me was listening to those old guys read physics books—no stereotypes here—they always seemed to be old guys. Then there were the people who described diagrams with very little detail and you were yelling at the machine at 2 AM: “what is this picture?” Don’t even get me started on finding a specific problem for homework and having to rewind it three times to get the info when you finally found it. I use LearningAlly when I absolutely can’t find a book anywhere else, but I have trouble imagining people who rely on them. Maybe it’s just my field.

Regards, and keep up the awesome work! Chelsea

From Slau:

Hi Jamie,

I saw that you tweeted about your interview with Kevin Reeves on the podcast. I downloaded and listened while on the treadmill yesterday. Nice job and I’m enjoying the podcast in general. Keep up the good work.

I had to write to you to make a slight correction for the future. I know it’s probably a bit confusing but it regards my name. Actually, it’s pretty important to me so I’d appreciate your indulging me in this clarification. My birth name is Yaroslav. technically, it’s spelled with a J at the beginning and a W at the end. Unfortunately, that makes some people, who are unfamiliar with this Eastern European given name, to pronounce it much like I’m sure your screen reader will and that is Jaroslaw.

when my parents enrolled me in kindergarten, the principal took one look at my birth certificate and proclaimed that it would just be easier if they called me Jerry. First, the name Jerry is in no way connected to Jaroslaw. Second, because they took it upon themselves to christen me Jerry in school, my entire school career saw me using that name and it ended up on my social security and credit cards. My friends and family have always called me by my real name which is Jaroslaw or Slavko for short and, still shorter, Slau. I use the letter U at the end because it’s closer to the actual pronunciation of my name which has a soft V sound. Had I used a W, well, people would read it as slaw. Can you blame me for spelling it differently? 😉

Anyway, I’ve long since changed my social security and credit cards to reflect my birth name and I never use the name Jerry. For future reference, I actually, quite literally cringe whenever I hear somebody refer to me as Jerry. It happens so infrequently that the effect is all the more pronounced if and when it does happen. In this case, I think I almost fell off the treadmill with a jolt.

Just kidding 🙂

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know in case it ever comes up again. Keep up the great work.



From Jenine Stanley:

Love the All Ladies show! It’s about time. 🙂

Regarding Apple wanting to get more into health and health and medical devices, how about a home unit that can interface with say a doctor’s office to send vital signs.

I have a couple medications that when refilled require me to take a couple hours, most of which is spent riding buses, to go to the doctor’s office and see not an actual doctor but a nurse practitioner and a tech who take my vitals and ask me several standard questions. They need to physically see me to do this.

Why not have a system by which you can do something like a Skype call, so they can physically see you and talk with you, and have a device that will take your BP, pulse, temperature and yes, weight and report those for both your tracking and the medical facility’s use. You could then use the various instruments, BP monitor, pulse/oxygen sensor, scale, etc. to keep records yourself or hook into programs like FitBit.

I do worry about Big Brother seeing that I have a passion for junk food at certain times and scolding me about it, but enough of my excuses for opposition.

This could be a really exciting time for people who have to use annoyingly inaccessible devices like glucose monitors. Why can’t an insulin pump be paired with an IOS app? After all, it’s not just taking the blood and hearing the numbers. It’s tracking and adjusting and controlling our own devices. Same thing with other imbedded medical devices such as pain pumps and e-stim machines.

And while we’re at it, I want a keyboard that will adjust if it notices me making certain typing erros due to hand fatigue. I love, love, love the wireless keyboard that came with my Mac but it isn’t always the best choice for my hands and I too noticed a big jump in hand pain with all of the multiple key commands for the Mac and VO.

Once I figured out though that there are Mac commands to do a lot of the same things and they use far fewer keys, life got progressively better.

Keep up the good work. And yes, I vote for you all to go to Broadway for a play and interviews.

Jenine Stanley

Blog comment from Matt:

I do wonder on this accessibility testing that John will be doing in his business. Will it only be for apps in the UK or both UK and US? Also what is accessible to one will not be accessible to another! So where is they going to get their standard on accessibility? Also it is nice to have usability built in as well as accessibility! These are two different things! I also don’t see why someone would would pay for this when they could just get this done by reaching out to the blind community for beta testers of the app! Because of John advance skills there is lots of things he sees accessible and user friendly that most don’t! So lots of questions on them do this testing and what kind of impact it will have on apps and such in the blind community! JST!

From Greg Wocher:

Hello everyone, I am a type one insulin diabetic. I have been a diabetic for 34 years, since I was four and a half years old. Not having to prick my fingers is something I would pay a great deal of money for. When I was first diagnosed they did not have the little finger prickers like they do now. When I was in the hospital they had to use a steril razor blade to prick my finger to get the blood to test it. They would use the corner and very quickly jam it down on my finger tip. This has given me a phobia when it comes to testing my blood and I don’t do it nearly enough. I hope this gives a bit of perspective to those who do not have to do this and help them to understand why something like this would be priceless.


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