Cool Blind Tech

Cool Blind Tech

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Latest In Assistive Tech! News, Reviews and Interviews

Episodes

Cool Clips: November 22, 2016  

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, (Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer), discusses Cities Unlocked, (Microsoft’s 3D sound scaping project), that helps the blind navigate the world around them.

Lost Cities for iOS: An Accessible Card Game  

Join Jessica as she demonstrates Lost Cities, a fun and exciting game for iOS using VoiceOver. From The Developer: Lost Cities by the world-renowned board-game author Reiner Knizia takes you on a journey to undiscovered countries and mythical places. Compete against a friend, a stranger or one of 4 different computer players, in what has been called a “two player Solitaire with an extra portion of suspense”. Designed and polished for the iPhone by TheCodingMonkeys, makers of critically acclaimed Carcassonne for iOS. Lost Cities is a card game played by two players. The objective of the game is to mount profitable expeditions to one or more of the five lost cities (the Himalayas, the Brazilian Rain Forest, the Desert Sands, the Ancient Volcanos and Neptune’s Realm). It won a International Gamers Award in 2000. Key Features: online matches against game center friends or strangers 4 different AI players with distinct skill levels and play styles voice acted interactive tutorial and comprehensive rules beautiful full-length atmospheric soundtrack For questions and support, please contact us on Twitter or Facebook, or send us an email. For common questions check our FAQ. An electronic press kit is available.

Hey Siri: Welcome to macOS Sierra.  

In this demo, James Oates shows us how to setup and configure Siri on the Mac. He shows us how to enable Siri, choose a language, select a voice for Siri, enable voice feedback, select which microphone Siri will use, determine which keyboard shortcut will activate Siri, leave or remove Siri from your menu bar, enable location services, and how to allow Siri and dictation permission to access location services, Low vision viewers are encouraged to give feedback on our YouTube video so that We can determine if We are using the appropriate visual settings in the comment section blow.

Spotlight Interview with Jenny Lay-Flurrie: Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft.  

In this powerful Spotlight Interview, James Oates sits down with Jenny Lay-Flurrie, (Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft), to discuss the inner workings of accessibility at Microsoft. Jenny explains the challenges facing Microsoft, the progress that has been made in Windows 10, Office 365, and cloud services. She goes on to outline Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility in all its products across all platforms. She explains the importance of inclusive hiring for Microsoft to achieve its accessibility goals. She talks about Microsoft’s past reliance on third party applications and the company’s continued commitment to work with third party providers of assistive technology. Jenny then makes a major announcement that Microsoft has not made public until this time. Cool Blind Tech is excited to bring you this exclusive story. To find out what else was discussed, listen to the entire interview. Below is a list of helpful resources that are related to the topics in the interview. Microsoft’s Accessibility Home Page. Windows 10 free upgrade for customers who use assistive technologies Office 365 accessibility webpage Inclusive Hiring for People with Disabilities Narrator User Guide. Accessibility Roadmaps. Accessibility Feedback. Disability Answer Desk. Cities Unlocked. Use Narrator on Xbox One Console.

Cool Picks: NOVEMBER 7, 2016  

Join Jessica, James, Leo and Tomi for a very special Cool Picks: Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) OBi202 VoIP Telephone Adapter To help you create, the Microsoft all-in-one keyboard Cribbage Pro for iOS and Android

VIP: It’s A Tech Buffet With Microsoft and Apple!  

Join Jessica, James, Leo and Tomi for a very special VIP. It’s all about creativity and innovation this year as we continue to provide exclusive after-event headlines from the leaders in technology today. Microsoft and Apple both recently held their events, where the major focus seemed to include accessibility, integration, and innovation. Here are some of the great stories from these events: Microsoft introduces Surface Studio all-in-one and Surface Book i7 More about the Surface Book Microsoft introduces Windows 10 Creators Edition Microsoft highlights accessibility right from the start. audio described video about Windows 10 craftsmanship Microsoft acquires Beam Live Streaming Service and incorporates the Hololens into more of the Windows 10 experience Apple redesigns Accessibility website and highlights their focus on accessibility at the start of the event Apple launches new TV app Meet the new Macbook Pro with all new Touch ID! Cool Picks: Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) OBi202 VoIP Telephone Adapter To help you create, the Microsoft all-in-one keyboard Cribbage Pro for iOS and Android

Spotlight On Cydalion: Taking Navigation To Mythical Proportions  

Join Jessica for an exclusive Spotlight interview with Chad Udell, Managing Director, and Steve Richey, lead director at Float, makers of Cydalion. Cydalion is a revolutionary new app based on the Tango platform for Android which allows blind and visually impaired users to navigate indoor spaces using augmented audio technology. You won't want to miss this exciting episode. To find out more, follow @gowithfloat on twitter or check out their website

Nearby Explorer for iOS: Putting GPS to the Test  

Spend a day with a member of the CBT Team as we review our first GPS app from APH. Hugo takes Nearby Explorer to work, a coffee shop, a restaurant and then back home for a walk around his neighborhood. From the App Store: Nearby Explorer by American Printing House for the Blind is a full featured GPS app designed for use by people who are blind. Instead of just providing directions, it describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics. It uses onboard maps, so a data connection is not required, but if you have one, Nearby Explorer supplements the on board map data with crowd collected locations from Foursquare or Google Places. It includes complete maps for the United States and Canada which contain millions of points of interest. The onboard maps are over 4GB in size, so be sure the device you plan to use has enough available space before purchasing. Nearby Explorer works with any device running iOS version 9 or later, but if the device does not contain its own GPS receiver, like most iPads and iPods, you must use an external GPS receiver. All iPhones contain GPS receivers. Nearby Explorer works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include both typical items like street name and address, and specialized options like approaching streets, intersection configurations, and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and let's your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move. You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for businesses, even in a moving vehicle, or tilting it vertically to function as a compass, including a listing of streets in the indicated direction. This all works with the device locked, so one need not fuss with the touch screen while moving. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point's location. Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 60 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. It treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route. You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area. For complete details about Nearby Explorer, see American Printing House for the Blind

Can you master all the manamon?  

We're always excited to see good quality audio games, particularly ones with high bars in sound and game play hit the market. One fault many games suffer from is replay-ability - can I still do cool post-game action and have things feel more random in the story after I'm done? Or have I just wasted $39 of my money for a week's worth of distractions, anticipation, and nervous fits over not being able to complete my game? When playing Manamon, these were some of the factors that lead us to consider it a great choice for an Audio game. It's at least a year's worth of development effort which culminates in an action-packed adventure featuring a Pokemon-style environment with similar concepts. For example, trainers are tamers, but just like Pokemon, you have starter characters and types. You complete quests on a journey to uncover the hidden operations of the Shadow Kingdom, and battle to become more and more powerful through levelling up your Manamon and turn-based fighting opponents. We recommend two resources for your journey, friend. The main Manamon game page for downloading and ordering, and The Audiogames.net forum topic where you can find a turn-by-turn walkthrough of the game, if you get a little stuck in a puzzle. I wouldn't completely spoil the fun with it, though - but in-game clues are sometimes less obvious. Good luck on your travels, and may Ziognioss be with you.

REAPER on Windows Part 5: Mixing, Takes and Automation  

In this episode of the REAPER series, Alex shows you how to switch and combine takes in an audio track to make one cohesive track. We listen to some seriously underwhelming takes, and some really cool and intricate ones. Takes are sections of audio that are recorded, most likely multiple times and are able to be combined to make a "perfect" section of music. Next, he discusses automation. Automation is a way to alter plugin or track parameters by creating an envelope that automatically gets triggered when the project is played. For example, increase a track's volume for a guitar solo or vocal line. In the example Alex increases and decreases the volume of his solo/lead guitar track to emphasize various parts where needed. Alex then shows us track templates and their conveniences.

A Review of the New Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and Amazon’s Unlimited Music  

In this episode, James Oates reviews the new Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation). He describes the configuration, and tells the lay-out of the physical buttons, and what they do. If you need help setting up your new Echo device, listen to this podcast from Leonid Prazdnik of Cool Blind Tech. James then talks about Amazon’s new unlimited music subscription which rivals the other major music subscription services already available. He demonstrates how well the Echo works with Amazon’s music subscription.

Voice Mail Transcription In iOS 10: Do You See What I Hear?  

In this brief episode, James Oates shows us the new voice mail transcription feature in iOS10. He explains how to find and read the transcription, and how to submit feedback to Apple, so that the service can improve over time.

Do More With Siri: Siri Can Control Third Party Apps In iOS10  

In this episode, James Oates demonstrates new third party application integration with Siri in iOS10. He shows us how to find out which applications are available to work with Siri, and how to activate the apps that you want to use with Siri. He selects three applications to take on a test run. See how well Uber, Skype, and Roger work with Siri.

Windows Mail Using Narrator: Third Party Screen Reader Not Required!  

In this episode, James Oates introduces us to the built in Windows Mail client, which is a part of Windows10 Anniversary Update. He shows us how to configure multiple accounts, create a signature line for our outgoing mail, how to create and send a message, how to reply to a message, how to activate a link within a message, how to quickly navigate a webpage using Microsoft Edge, how to search for a message, how to find all of your mail folders, how to use mail filters, how to format text in a message, and how to create and send a message using Cortana. Throughout this podcast, James uses, Narrator, the built-in screen reader from Microsoft. He also shows us most of the handy keyboard shortcuts for Windows Mail.

VIP: Google Brings It Back To The Future!  

Join Jessica with Tamas, Leo and Joel for another exciting VIP! This week, Google held their Google Event on October 4th, where they announced several new products. You won't want to miss this exciting update as our team brings you the latest news and insights about these exciting new products, including the new Pixel phones, the all new Google Assistant, the Chromecast and the all new Google Home and Google Router. Google has stepped up their game in the world of virtual reality with their new Google Daydream VR Headset (Pictures) Daydream Product Info Cool Picks: Jessica recommends handmade iPhone cases for their price, aesthetics and tactile appeal. Check your local vendors for hand crafted cases that fit your needs. Leo: Google Allo Joel: Fire HD 10 Tablet Tamas: Sleep++, for tracking your sleep using an Apple Watch on the device itself. Please let us know how you like the new format. we'd love to hear your feedback via comments, questions or email.

Cool Picks: OCTOBER 14, 2016  

Join Jessica with Tamas, Leo and Joel for another exciting Cool Picks: Jessica recommends handmade iPhone cases for their price, aesthetics and tactile appeal. Check your local vendors for hand crafted cases that fit your needs. Leo: Google Allo Joel: Fire HD 10 Tablet Tamas: Sleep++, for tracking your sleep using an Apple Watch on the device itself. Please let us know how you like the new format. we'd love to hear your feedback via comments, questions or email.

Supplemental: Superior Drummer and REAPER Part 2: Nerd Code for Good Tone!  

Welcome back. Here, Alex walks us through editing presets by hand using Notepad. Since basically everything that’s good isn’t accessible in the music world, you gotta do silly and time-consuming workarounds. Depending on what kind of tone maniac and audio aficionado you are, you might decide to go through this.

Quentin C’s Playroom On The Web: Games, Games, And More Games!  

Do you enjoy board games? Would you like to play them with your sighted friends? How about board games and online socialization? Welcome to Quentin C’s Playroom, a platform that can be accessed via The Web for iOS, Android and Mac or via a downloadable program For PC. With over 26 games to choose from,… Continue Reading Quentin C’s Playroom On The Web: Games, Games, And More Games!

It’s time to Play with fire: Install the Play Store on the Amazon Fire Tablet  

The amazon’s Fire tablet has a lot of content to offer via its app store including games, apps and more. The problem is that not all apps that are on other app stores make it to amazon’s ecosystem. Fortunately, since FireOS is based on Android, it’s possible to get the Google Play Store onto your… Continue Reading It’s time to Play with fire: Install the Play Store on the Amazon Fire Tablet

Cool Picks: SEPTEMBER 26, 2016  

Join Jessica Rickards along with James Oates, Joel Ramos and Nelson Rego for another Cool Picks: Acorns Mobile Investing Light Detector By EveryWare Technologies Paste Bot For Mac Tech21 Evo Mesh Case for iPhone 7 Plus

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