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Published: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:12:01 -0500

Copyright: 2006-2017 A T Guys
 



Live on the Edge, or have an Ultra Lifestyle? An In-depth review of HIMS and Baum Braille Displays

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:34:36 -0500

Some of today's braille displays do a lot more than just display braille, but which one is right for your needs? In this in-depth article, I compare the VarioUltra (VU) from Baum and the Braille Edge from HIMS. I chose These 2 units because they both have 40 cells of braille and are what the market seems to now call "smart displays", a term given to devices which do not perform all of the functions of a traditional notetaker such as playing music, GPS navigation, downloading email directly to the device, or browsing the internet. At the same time, these devices are able to accomplish more than just connecting to an external gadget such as a computer, tablet, or smart phone. While these braille devices are in the middle in terms of functionality, they're also in the middle in terms of their price point when compared with other categories of braille devices. This article will examine both the Braille Edge and VarioUltra for their connectivity, support while connecting with some external devices, their internal applications, and physical appearance. Note that this is not a manual, nor is it intended to be something which will teach the reader how to use specific features. Both companies have done a fine job with user documentation. My intent here is only to compare the features and functionality of both devices. Though most of the information below is factual in nature, any opinions expressed are those of the author only and do not reflect the views of any other person or entity. Financial Damages The first question people may ask is what will the price be for these devices? The Edge sells for $2,795, while the VarioUltra 40 sells for $3,995. It may be worth noting that there is also a 20 cell version of the VarioUltra for $2,395. No smaller Braille Edge counterpart is available at the time of this writing. Yes, I acknowledge these are high prices for most individuals to pay, , but I also am writing this for those who may have the opportunity to get one of these devices through a funding source such as a state vocational rehabilitation agency, an employer, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, or some other funding source. Getting Physical The Braille EDGE 40 measures 12.2 inches long by 4 inches wide by 0.86 inches thick, and weighs 1.73 pounds. Conversely, the VU40 measures 12.4 inches long by 3.5 inches wide and 0.7 inches thick, weighing 1.1 pounds. In summary, the VU is slightly longer, but weighs less and is not as wide when compared to the Edge. It's beyond the scope of this article to give a complete physical description of each braille display, but you can find these in their respective manuals. Regarding the keyboard, the spacing of the Perkins style keys are much closer together with the Edge. The spacebar sits between dots 1 and 4, and the dots 1-8 appear in their typical fashion. With the VarioUltra, the spacebars (yes there are 2) are not so close to the keyboard, but reside on the bottom of the surface of the device with the cursor routing buttons and braille display in between them and the rest of the Perkins style keyboard. I find either keyboard comfortable while typing, though both require a bit of adjustment. Users with very small hands may find it a challenge to hit the spacebars with their thumbs on the VarioUltra, for example. The opposite may be true for those who have bigger hands, who may find the keyboard on the Braille Edge to be too crammed together. As for navigation, the VU has what Baum calls a "Navistick", which allows the user to have arrow keys. The Braille Edge does not have this exact feature, but has a set of arrow keys located on either side of the Perkins style keyboard. The functions of these arrows and Navistick are similar; it's just a different approach to accomplishing the same thing. One difference is that you can press down on the Navistick to activate items; there is no way to do this with the Edge's arrow keys. The VarioUltra has switches for both locking the keyboard and for jumping between Notetaker mode and Braille Display mode. It al[...]



120-Pack San Francisco Bay French Roast OneCup Single Serve Coffee K-Cups for $39.18 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:41:07 -0500

For Prime members only, Amazon offers the San Francisco Bay OneCup Single Serve Coffee K-Cup 120-Pack in French Roast for $41.24. Order via Subscribe & Save to cut that to $39.18. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find for this quantity by $15.

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80-Pack San Francisco Bay French Roast OneCup Single Serve Coffee K-Cups for $22.71 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:35:44 -0500

For Prime members only, Amazon offers the San Francisco Bay OneCup Single Serve Coffee K-Cup 80-Pack in French Roast for $23.91. Order via Subscribe & Save to cut that to $22.71. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find for this quantity by $7.

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Evecase 2-in-1 Laptop Briefcase Backpack for $29.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:29:23 -0500

BlueMall via Amazon offers the Evecase 2-in-1 Laptop Briefcase Backpack in Gray for $45.99. Coupon code "Z2M37BJP" cuts it to $29.99. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $16. It fits laptops from 13" to 17" and features cushioned shoulder straps, a headphone port, multiple mesh pockets, and padded interior.

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2-Pack Ora WiFi Smart Plugs for $34.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:18:23 -0500

Tech-Rabbit via eBay offers the Ora WiFi Smart Plug 2-Pack for $34.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $25. These smart plugs allow you to control devices over WiFi remotely via your smartphone and is compatible with iOS 8 or Android 4.1 or later.

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Open-Box Apple iPod Nano 16GB MP3 Player for $79.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:10:16 -0500

alltechwholesale via eBay offers the open-box 7th-generation Apple iPod nano 16GB MP3 Player in Dark Blue for $79.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $10. It features a 5.3mm-thin body, 2.5" multi-touch display, FM tuner with DVR functionality, built-in pedometer, Voiceover, Bluetooth 4.0, Lightning connector, and battery life of up to 30 hours.

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Amazon Drive 12-Month Unlimited Storage Plan for $47.99

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:03:38 -0500

Amazon offers its Amazon Drive 12-Month Unlimited Storage Plan for $59.99. Coupon code "WINTERPRINTS" cuts it to $47.99. That's $12 off list, and the best deal we could find. It features a year of unlimited storage for photos, documents, and other files and works on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

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Open-Box Apple iPad Pro 10 Inch 128GB WiFi Tablet for $499.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:55:16 -0500

Quick Ship Electronics via eBay offers the open-box Apple iPad Pro 9.7" 128GB WiFi Tablet in Space Gray, model no. MLMV2LL/A, for $499.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we've seen for it in any condition. (It's also $129 under the best deal we could find for a new unit.)

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Purchase Amazon Dash Buttons for $1.99 with Prime and receive a $5 Amazon Credit

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:49:08 -0500

For Prime members only, Amazon cuts a range of its Amazon Dash buttons to $1.99. Even better, you'll bag a $5 Amazon credit after your first press. Plus, all orders receive free shipping. Assuming you'll use the credit, that's a savings of $8 and within a buck of the best deal we've seen for a Dash Button. A limit of one per customer applies.

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Chuwi 14.1 Inch Laptop for $245.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:43:59 -0500

ChuwiDirect via Amazon offers the 4-lb. Chuwi Intel Celeron 1.1GHz Quad 14.1" Laptop for $269.99. Coupon code "UJFH4X4P" cuts the price to $245.99. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $34. Features include an Intel Core N3450 1.1GHz Apollo Lake quad-core processor, 14.1" 1920x1080 IPS display, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 10 Redstone.

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Sound Intone CX-05 Over-Ear Headphones for $15.83 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:31:51 -0500

Muji Shop via Amazon offers Prime members Sound Intone CX-05 Over-Ear Headphones in Black or Brown for $21.98. Coupon code "UTZG3B6S" cuts the price to $15.83. Plus, Prime members receive free shipping. (Non-members can spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $6.87.) That's the lowest total price we could find by $4. They feature memory foam pads and an omnidirectional microphone.

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Acer Predator PC for $699 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:24:02 -0500

Walmart offers the Acer Predator AG3-710-UW11 Intel Skylake Core i5 2.7GHz Desktop PC, model no. DG.B14AA.011, for $699 with free shipping. That's $201 off list and the lowest total price we could find. It features an Intel Core i5-6400 2.7Ghz Skylake quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive with 128GB SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB graphics, DVD burner, 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 3.0, and Windows 10 Home 64-bit.

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Asus Desktop PC with 512GB SSD for $829.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:18:54 -0500

Best Buy via eBay offers the Asus G11CD Intel Skylake Core i5 2.7GHz Desktop PC, model no. G11CD-B13, for $829.99 with free shipping. That's $370 off list, and the lowest total price we could find. Features include an Intel Core i5-6400 2.7GHz Skylake quad-core processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 1TB hard drive, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB video card, DVD burner, 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 10 64-bit.

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Zinsoko Active Bluetooth 4.0 Headphones for $49.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:14:15 -0500

EZSharing via Amazon offers the Zinsoko Active Noise-Canceling Bluetooth 4.0 Headphones in Black or Silver model no. Z-H01, for $99.99. Coupon code "FIYFO7PX" drops it to $49.99. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $46. It features 26db of noise cancellation, Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm jack, and up to 16 hours of playback.

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Halter HeightAdjustable Elevating Desktop for $148.47 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:04:43 -0500

Super Deal via Amazon offers the Halter Pre-assembled Height-Adjustable Sit / Stand Elevating Desktop in Cherry or Black, model no. ED-600, for $255.99. Coupon code "4EMPKRKJ" cuts that to $148.47. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $172. It features gas spring technology, a 16.1" maximum height, 35.6" x 20.4" desktop, 35.6" x 16.9" keyboard desktop, and 44.1-lb. maximum load capacity.

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Refurbished, Unlocked Apple iPhone 5s 32GB 4G GSM Phone for $144.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:58:56 -0500

BidAllies via eBay offers the refurbished Unlocked Apple iPhone 5s 32GB 4G LTE GSM Smartphone in Black, Gold, or White for $144.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we've seen for a 32GB iPhone 5s. (It's also $154 under the best deal for new units.)

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Rachael Ray Oven Lovin' 5-Piece Bakeware Set for $24.40 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:53:32 -0500

Amazon offers the Rachael Ray Oven Lovin' Non-Stick 5-Piece Bakeware Set in Gray/Orange for $24.40 with free shipping for Prime members. That's the best deal we could find by $4. It includes a 9" x 5" loaf pan, 9" x 13" cake pan, two 9" round cake pans, and 10" x 15" cookie sheet.

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Refurbished Apple iMac 27 Inch Desktop for $1,499.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:46:35 -0500

GeekDeal via eBay offers the factory-refurbished Apple iMac Intel Skylake Core i5 3.3GHz 27" Retina 5K All-In-One Desktop, model no. MK482LL/A, for $1,499.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we've seen. (It's the best deal for a refurb by $65 and $600 less than you'd pay for a new one.) Features include an Intel Skylake Core i5-6600 3.3GHz Skylake quad-core processor, 27" 5120x2880 IPS LED-backlit Retina 5K display, 8GB RAM, 2TB hard drive with 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon R9 M395 2GB video card, FaceTime HD camera, 802.11ac wireless, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. A 1-year Apple warranty applies.

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Weme USB 3.0 Multi-in-1 Card Reader for $7.97 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:40:13 -0500

Weme via Amazon offers its Weme Superspeed Aluminum USB 3.0 Multi-in-1 Card Reader with OTG Adapter Converter in Silver, model no. MCR-001, for $13.99. Coupon code "6DUDSHSD" cuts that to $7.97. Plus, Prime members bag free shipping. (Non-members can spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, it costs an extra $8.15.) That's $6 off and the best price we could find. It fits three cards and is compatible with SD, SDHC, SDXC, microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC, CF, MD, MMC, and TF cards. It features data transfer rates up to 5GB/s.

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iEGrow Wireless Doorbell for $9.50 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:34:38 -0500

iEGrow via Amazon offers its iEGrow Wireless Doorbell, model no. IEDB701-1, for $19. Coupon code "XGSUDKW4" cuts that to $9.50. Plus, Prime members bag free shipping. (Non-members can spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $6.63.) That's $10 off and the lowest total price we could find. This weatherproof doorbell features up to a 1,000-foot operating range, 36 ring tones, and four volume levels.

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Aroccom Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for $28.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:28:46 -0500

Boxnovo via Amazon offers the Aroccom Ms. Venus-BS07 Waterproof Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for $39.99. Coupon code "AROCCOMB" drops it to $28.99. With free shipping, that's $31 off list and the lowest total price we could find. It's waterproof up to 3.1 feet and features Bluetooth 4.1 with up to a 33-foot range, two 3-watt drivers, a built-in microphone, 3.5mm auxiliary port, TF card slot, built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery with up to 12 hours of play-time per charge, and camping snap-hook.

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Honeywell QuietCare Cool Humidifier for $49.99 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:24:42 -0500

Amazon offers the Honeywell QuietCare Germ Free Cool Humidifier in Black, model no. HCM350B, for $49.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $7. It features three speeds and is designed for rooms of 250 to 500 square feet.

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Meidong Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for $22.99 (Shipped via Prime)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:18:43 -0500

Audio&Tech via Amazon offers the Meidong QQChocolate Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for $29.99. Coupon code "YEEXPMYL" drops it to $22.99. Plus, Prime members bag free shipping. (Non-members can spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $6.63.) That's $67 off list and the lowest total price we could find. This water-resistant speaker features Bluetooth 4.1 with up to a 30-foot range, 10-watt dual drivers, a built-in microphone, 3.5mm auxiliary port, TF card slot, and built-in rechargeable battery with up to 10 hours of play-time per charge.

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NVDA's 2017.1 Released with Kindle and Office Updates, Mor

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:15:06 -0500

NVAccess has Published the official release for NVDA 2017.1, the first milestone release of the new year. In addition to previously mentioned support for Kindle reading on PC, this update improves support for several Microsoft products including table reading in the Edge web browser and various improvements and changes for Word, and Excel as well as a variety of bug fixes. In case you missed it last week, the complete changelog is below. 2017.1 Highlights of this release include reporting of sections and text columns in Microsoft Word; Support for reading, navigating and annotating books in Kindle for PC; and improved support for Microsoft Edge. New Features In Microsoft Word, the types of section breaks and section numbers can now be reported. This is enabled with the "Report page numbers" option in the Document Formatting dialog. In Microsoft Word, text columns can now be reported. This is enabled with the "Report page numbers" option in the document formatting dialog. Automatic language switching is now supported in WordPad. The NVDA find command (NVDA+control+f) is now supported in browse mode in Microsoft Edge. Quick navigation for buttons in browse mode (b and shift+b) is now supported in Microsoft Edge. When copying a sheet in Microsoft Excel, column and row headers are remembered. Support for reading and navigating books in Kindle for PC version 1.19, including access to links, footnotes, graphics, highlighted text and user notes. Please see the Kindle for PC section of the NVDA User Guide for further information. Browse mode table navigation is now supported in Microsoft Edge. In Microsoft Excel, the report review cursor location command (desktop: NVDA+numpadDelete, laptop: NVDA+delete) now reports the name of the worksheet and the cell location. Added an option to the exit dialog to restart with debug level logging. Changes The minimum braille cursor blink rate is now 200 ms. If this was previously set lower, it will be increased to 200 ms. A check box has been added to the braille settings dialog to allow enabling/disabling braille cursor blinking. Previously a value of zero was used to achieve this. Updated eSpeak NG (commit e095f008, 10 January 2017). Due to changes In the Windows 10 Creators Update, the "Always duck" mode is no longer available in NVDA's Audio ducking settings. It is still available on older windows 10 releases. Due to changes in the Windows 10 Creators Update, the "Duck when outputting speech and sounds" mode can no longer ensure audio has ducked fully before starting to speak, nor will it keep audio ducked long enough after speaking to stop rappid bouncing in volume. These changes do not affect older windows 10 releases. Bug Fixes Fixed freeze in Microsoft Word when moving by paragraph through a large document while in browse mode. Tables in Microsoft Word that have been copied from Microsoft Excel are no longer treeted as layout tables and therefore are no longer ignored. When trying to type in Microsoft Excel while in protected view, NVDA now makes a sound rather than speaking characters that were not actually typed. Pressing escape in Microsoft Excel no longer incorrectly switches to browse mode, unless the user has previously switched to browse mode explicitly with NVDA+space and then entered focus mode by pressing enter on a form field. NVDA no longer freezes in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets where an entire row or column is merged. Reporting of cropped/overflowed tex[...]



Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier for $120.84 (Shipped)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:05:28 -0500

Amazon offers the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier in White, model no. 50250-S, for $120.84 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $29. Designed for rooms up to 390 square feet, it features a true HEPA filter, three cleaning levels, and 360-degree air intake.

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Brandon Sanderson's Firefight The Reckoners Book 2 Kindle eBook for $1.99

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:33:35 -0500

Amazon offers downloads of Brandon Sanderson's Firefight (The Reckoners Book 2) Kindle eBook for $1.99. That's the best deal we could find by $8.

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Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart The Reckoners Book 1 Kindle eBook for $1.99

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:28:57 -0500

Amazon offers downloads of Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart (The Reckoners Book 1) Kindle eBook for $1.99. That's the lowest price we could find by $6.

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Ohio State Survey Examines Race Perceptions of Blind People

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 18:19:38 -0500

Researchers at Ohio State University have posted a short survey to examine racial perceptions as it pertains to people who are blind or visually impaired. According to the survey page, "The purpose of this research survey is to examine how indi viduals who are blind or visually impaired perceive race and culture. Through the results of this survey, it is our hope to better understand the perceptions of individuals who are blind within these areas in an effort to improve education and raise awareness of diversity among all individuals, including individuals with vision loss." No compensation is being offered, and the survey is expected to take 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Check the link on this post to learn more or take the survey.

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Kmashi 15,000mAh External Battery Power Bank for $12.50 (Shipped via Prime)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:20:12 -0500

eCase via Amazon offers the Kmashi 15,000mAh Dual-USB External Portable Battery Pack in Black/Red, model no. MP836, for $16.99. Coupon code "CF2Z6TAT" cuts that to $12.50. Plus, Prime members bag free shipping. (Non-members can spend $49 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $6.70.) That's $37 off list, and the lowest total price we could find. It features a 2-amp USB port, 1-amp USB port, status LED lights, and a microUSB cable. Deal ends February 28.

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Blind Bargains Qast 91: Bringin' Sexy BrailleBack

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:02:32 -0500

Chances are, dear Listener of this humble podcast, you might enjoy the occasional audiobook from time to time. Have you ever pondered the history of the Talking Book medium? In this week's episode we'll do just that with author Matt Rubery, cover some of the latest news from around the Blindness A.T. sphere and then marvel at the strands of time in the "Last Word". In The News: The Next Update to NVDA will Bring Major Access Improvements to Kindle Books Shortly after we recorded this, the beta of NVDA with this feature was released. NVDA's first 2017 Release Features Kindle, Edge, and Office Changes NVDA Remote Access Releases Version 2.0, bringing several improvements and a new Feature This Ain't your Father'sChromeVox; Major Updates for Chrome's Screen Reader Amazon is on Fire with TV Accessibility The VFO Group Releases Magic 14 enhancing Mouse Echo, Upgrading Vocalizer Voices, and More Simple navigation can now be accessed when you use Windows and Bard Express Saudi Arabia University Students Seeking Quick Feedback on iOS Game Development All Androids are not created equal Interview Talking books are a service that many of us take for granted, but the way we got to this point is quite fascinating. Many early books were chosen because they would be suitable reading for a blind person, not because of popularity. Professor Matthew Rubery explores this and other topics in his new book, The Untold Story of the Talking Book. He joined the podcast to talk about some of this history, including a rare find of a recording of perhaps the first audiobook ever made for the blind which we sample during the interview. Originally from Texas, Matt Rubery is a Professor of Modern Literature at Queen Mary University of London where he focuses on modern literature, media, and reading practices. The book is available from Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, though we wager that many of you will be interested in the audiobook version of this history of audiobooks. Select other formats from the link above to find the book on CD or for Audible users. Also, check out Matt's fascinating blog on audiobook history or find him on Twitter @mattrubery. Tip: Google Knowledge Front and Center J.J. gives a few examples of how Google search results make it simple to find simple information, such as the current time and temperature or track listings for an album. Sound off; Joe, not the one from BBQ, but the one who we featured from the YouTube clip about Dish's Hopper TTS, left us a kind note on the episode 90 comments section: "This is Joe from the hopper review. I loved it guys thanks been listening for a long time." From the same show, this time from an email, Russ had a question about the Ai Squared interview. "After listening to Shelly Brisbin's interview with Scott Moore, VFO-Ai Squared, I was wondering why she didn't ask Scott Moore what the future status of Window-Eyes is? A nunber of Window-Eyes users would like to know this as well? Perhaps you can ask someone from the VFO group at CSUN? I see a number of employees have left AI Squared?" The subject of the interview focused mainly on the release of the new version of ZoomText. Perhaps we'll learn more when we hit sunny San Diego in a few weeks. Long time Listener Bet[...]


Media Files:
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.blindbargains.com/audio/bbq091.mp3




Amazon is on Fire with TV Accessibility

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:59:08 -0500

Amazon continues to add accessibility to its lineup of products, and a recent blog post focuses on current and forthcoming improvements for Fire TV, Amazon's connected Smart TV product.

Amazon is focusing on the experience for speech and low vision users, including easy access to adjust the rate of speech, a review mode which can be used to reread information or spell names of actors and show titles, and global settings for higher contrast and closed captions. Apps like Netflix and Hulu now also play nicer with accessibility services, according to the blog post.

Amazon's Fire TV is a small device which plugs into an existing television or video display and displays and plays video content, such as television shows, photos, or videos. It's a direct competitor to the Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast among others.

You can read more from the Amazon blog post. Stay with Blind Bargains for more Amazon coverage from CSUN 2017.

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This Ain't your Father'sChromeVox; Major Updates for Chrome's Screen Reader

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:50:41 -0500

Google's Chromebooks have come a long way since their initial introduction, and now the ChromeVox screen reader is taking a major leap forward as well. The new version includes a variety of enhancements including an enhanced keyboard layout, stereo earcons which provide contextual and positioning information, a panel for teachers so they can follow along with what the student is hearing, and USB braille support with the ability to use braille keyboard commands. New ChromeVox menus allow the user to find various menu options, links lists, and other features. All of this and more is explained in more detail on Google's blog post.

ChromeVox Next is available on virtually all current Chromebooks and is the default for version 56 and above. Chromebooks automatically load system updates as they are available, and receive a minimum of five years of updates, so even most older models will be able to take advantage of these features. To enable it, use the Control+Alt+Z keyboard shortcut from anywhere in the operating system. ChromeVox Next is available on Chromebooks only at this time and not from the ChromeVox plugin for the Chrome web browser.

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Handcrafted, Wooden Tactile Tictactoe Game for $13.99 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:24:23 -0500

M_B_McCarty via eBay has the Handcrafted, Wooden Tactile Tictactoe Game for $13.99 with free shipping. This classic game was handcrafted from all natural wood in Louisville, Kentucky by Roger Schaf, a visually impaired craftsman. Because the x and o shapes are completely tactile, it's perfect for the blind or visually impaired. Pieces fit onto pegs, which makes it easy to pass from one player to another. Makes a great gift!

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Philips Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones for $39 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:21:56 -0500

Walmart offers the Philips Bluetooth Noise-Canceling Headphones, model no. SHB8750NC, for $39 with free shipping. That's the lowest price we could find by $61. They feature a frequency response of 10Hz to 22kHz, Bluetooth 4.0, and up to 16 hours of music playback.

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DHP Vienna Sofa Sleeper for $199

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:18:20 -0500

Walmart offers the DHP Vienna Sofa Sleeper in Chocolate Brown/Tan or Tan Linen for $199. If possible, opt for in-store pickup to dodge the $40.86 shipping charge. That's the lowest price we could find today by $60. It includes two throw pillows and measures 31" x 79" x 34".

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Furniture of America Nicholas Enzo Futon Sofa for $398.19 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:02:43 -0500

Overstock.com offers the Furniture of America Nicholas Enzo Contemporary Tufted Leatherette Futon Sofa in Dark Brown, model no. IDF-2100, for $452.49. Add it to cart and click through this link to drop it to $398.19. With free shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $145. It measures 36.5" x 76" x 36" as a sofa and 21" x 76" x 47" as a bed.

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Unlocked Apple iPhone 7 32GB Smartphone for $629.99 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:53:51 -0500

Alldayzip via eBay offers the Unlocked Apple iPhone 7 32GB Smartphone in four colors for $629.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we've seen for a new unlocked unit. (It's the best deal by $19.) It's compatible with GSM and CDMA carriers.

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Tiergrade In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones for $19.99 (Shipped via Prime)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:48:46 -0500

Tiergrade via Amazon offers Prime members its Tiergrade Wireless Magnet Attraction In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones for $29.99. Coupon code "8BLD3MVN" drops it to $19.99. Plus, Prime members bag free shipping. (Non-members can spend $49 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $6.) That's $20 off list and the lowest total price we could find. They feature HD voice technology, up to five hours of use on a single charge, and are compatible with iOS or Android devices.

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Western Digital 3TB Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive for $89.99 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:44:28 -0500

Best Buy offers the Western Digital 3TB Elements USB 3.0 External Hard Drive in Black, model no. WDBU6Y0030BBK-EESN, bundled with either a $20 Shutterfly Credit or an 8x8 Photo Book for $89.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find for the hard drive alone by $20. It features cloud backup and is compatible with Windows and Mac.

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Audio-Technica ATH-T22 Stereo Headphones for $29.99 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:37:38 -0500

Kraft Music via eBay offers the Audio-Technica ATH-T22 Dynamic Stereo Headphones for $29.99 with free shipping. That's $40 off list and the lowest total price we could find. Features include a 20Hz to 22kHz frequency response, 40mm drivers, self-adjusting headband, and rotating earcups.

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Irulu eXpro X1 7 Inch 16GB Android Tablet for $33.99 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:28:17 -0500

Campus111 via eBay offers the Irulu eXpro X1 7" 16GB Android Tablet in White for $33.99 with free shipping. That's the second-lowest price we've seen for any new 16GB tablet. (It's the best deal by $8.) It features an Allwinner A33 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 7" 1024x600 touchscreen LCD, 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 802.11g wireless, 0.3-megapixel front and rear cameras, microSD card slot, and Android 4.4 (KitKat). Deal ends February 18.

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PNY 32GB Class 10 U1 microSD Memory Card with Adapter for $9.99

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:20:33 -0500

Walmart offers the PNY 32GB Class 10 U1 microSD Memory Card with Adapter, model no. P-SDU32GU185GW, for $9.99. If possible, opt for in-store pickup to dodge the $5.99 shipping charge. That's the lowest price we could find by $2. It features 85MB/s transfer speeds.

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Open-Box Unlocked Apple iPhone 5s 16GB Smartphone for $187.99 (Shipped)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:14:34 -0500

Mywit via eBay continues to offer the open-box Unlocked Apple iPhone 5s 16GB Smartphone for GSM Networks in Silver for $187.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we've seen for a new, unlocked 16GB iPhone 5s. (It's also the best deal we could find by $44.)

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S. Harrison's The Infinity Trilogy Kindle eBooks for $2.70

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:10:06 -0500

Amazon offers downloads of S. Harrison's The Infinity Trilogy Kindle eBooks for $2.70. That's $11 off list and the lowest price we could find. It includes Infinity Lost, Infinity Rises, and Infinity Reborn.

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The Expanded Blind Bargains Guide to Attending #CSUNATC17 on a Budget

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:11:11 -0500

It's time for what has become a bit of an annual tradition around here. This will be our 8th time attending the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, the largest such conference for the blind. We often hear from people who would love to go, if only it was within their budget. With room rates over $200 a night, a nearly $500 registration fee, plane tickets, meals, and other expenses, the cost often seems prohibitive. With this in mind, we've updated our list of tips for enjoying the conference on a budget. Getting There San Diego is one of California's major airports, and does offer relatively inexpensive flights from many destinations. We're often asked about which flight search engine to use, and we recommend Google Flights. Like most flight search engines, it will search all major airlines except Southwest, which you will need to check separately. If you are bringing lots of bags, note that Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant charge for carry-ons, while Southwest includes two free checked bags with your ticket. Some people, especially international travelers, may find a better flight deal into Los Angeles. Once in LA, use the FlyAway for a $9.75 trip from the airport to Union Station. The shuttle runs every half hour throughout the day. Note that the FlyAway bus only accepts credit cards, no cash, but tickets can be purchased online. Then, frequent Amtrak service connects Los Angeles and downtown San Diego. You can buy tickets in advance for around $30 each way, but reservations are not required. There are other nearby airports, but be careful to select one with a good public transportation connection to San Diego. To learn more about possible transportation options, try this page which discusses options for California airports. Airport Shuttles The cost of a cab or airport shuttle to most hotels near the convention center is between $10 and $15, a rather reasonable price compared with some cities. You can save even more, however, by using public transportation. Route 992 serves the airport every 10-15 minutes on weekdays and slightly less often on weekends. You can take this bus to get near the convention center, or transfer to the trolley system to reach most parts of town. Here's a blog post which explains your options in more detail. If you are coming into San Diego late at night, the 992 bus may not be an option for you. Uber and Lyft discussed below are now also officially allowed at the airport and are a bit cheaper than a cab. There is a $2.76 fee added to your fare when using a rideshare service from the airport. The pick-up area at the airport is in a large parking lot, so establish contact with your driver so you have a system in place for locating them amongst the sea of other rideshare vehicles. Getting Around In addition to the bus and trolley system mentioned above, San Diego is served by the major ridesharing services such as U[...]



NVDA's first 2017 Release Features Kindle, Edge, and Office Changes

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:12:56 -0500

NVAccess has Published the Release Candidate for NVDA 2017.1, the first milestone release of the new year. In addition to previously mentioned support for Kindle reading on PC, this update improves support for several Microsoft products including table reading in the Edge web browser and various improvements and changes for Word, and Excel as well as a variety of bug fixes. The complete changelog is below. 2017.1 Highlights of this release include reporting of sections and text columns in Microsoft Word; Support for reading, navigating and annotating books in Kindle for PC; and improved support for Microsoft Edge. New Features In Microsoft Word, the types of section breaks and section numbers can now be reported. This is enabled with the "Report page numbers" option in the Document Formatting dialog. In Microsoft Word, text columns can now be reported. This is enabled with the "Report page numbers" option in the document formatting dialog. Automatic language switching is now supported in WordPad. The NVDA find command (NVDA+control+f) is now supported in browse mode in Microsoft Edge. Quick navigation for buttons in browse mode (b and shift+b) is now supported in Microsoft Edge. When copying a sheet in Microsoft Excel, column and row headers are remembered. Support for reading and navigating books in Kindle for PC version 1.19, including access to links, footnotes, graphics, highlighted text and user notes. Please see the Kindle for PC section of the NVDA User Guide for further information. Browse mode table navigation is now supported in Microsoft Edge. In Microsoft Excel, the report review cursor location command (desktop: NVDA+numpadDelete, laptop: NVDA+delete) now reports the name of the worksheet and the cell location. Added an option to the exit dialog to restart with debug level logging. Changes The minimum braille cursor blink rate is now 200 ms. If this was previously set lower, it will be increased to 200 ms. A check box has been added to the braille settings dialog to allow enabling/disabling braille cursor blinking. Previously a value of zero was used to achieve this. Updated eSpeak NG (commit e095f008, 10 January 2017). Due to changes In the Windows 10 Creators Update, the "Always duck" mode is no longer available in NVDA's Audio ducking settings. It is still available on older windows 10 releases. Due to changes in the Windows 10 Creators Update, the "Duck when outputting speech and sounds" mode can no longer ensure audio has ducked fully before starting to speak, nor will it keep audio ducked long enough after speaking to stop rappid bouncing in volume. These changes do not affect older windows 10 releases. Bug Fixes Fixed freeze in Microsoft Word when moving by paragraph through a large document while in browse mode. Tables in Microsoft Word that have been copied from Microsoft Excel are no longer t[...]



Kmashi 15,000mAh External Battery Power Bank for $12.50 (Shipped via Prime)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 17:19:31 -0500

eCase via Amazon offers the Kmashi 15,000mAh Dual-USB External Portable Battery Pack in Black/Red, model no. MP836, for $16.99. Coupon code "CF2Z6TAT" cuts that to $12.50. Plus, Prime members bag free shipping. (Non-members can spend $49 or more to qualify for free shipping; otherwise, shipping costs $6.70.) That's $37 off list, and the lowest total price we could find. It features a 2-amp USB port, 1-amp USB port, status LED lights, and a microUSB cable. Deal ends February 28.

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RCA 7 Inch 16GB Android Tablet with Keyboard Case for $53.50 (Shipped)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:15:59 -0500

Walmart offers the RCA 7 Voyager Pro 7" 16GB Quad-Core Android Tablet with a Keyboard Case in Blue, model no. RCT6773W42KC, for $53.50 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $15. It features a 7" 1024x600 touchscreen display, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, WiFi, microUSB, and Android 5.0 OS (Lollipop).

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Black and Decker 14.4V Dustbuster Stick Vacuum for $39.99 (Shipped)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:11:56 -0500

One Stop Tool Shop via eBay offers the Black and Decker 14.4-volt Dustbuster Stick Vacuum, model no. DB1440SV, for $39.99 with free shipping. That's the lowest total price we could find by $20. It can transition from a floor vacuum to a hand vacuum and features an adjustable handle, modes for bare floors and area rugs, upholstery brush, and crevace tool.

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Pelonis 7-Fin Oil-Filled Electric Heater for $26

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:07:23 -0500

We have a heater like this in our studio and we love it. Walmart offers the Pelonis 7-Fin Oil-Filled Electric Radiator Heater, model no. HO-0260, for $26. Choose in-store pickup to dodge the $5.99 shipping fee. That's the lowest price we could find by $14. It features automatic shut-off and three heat settings.

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