Monday, 23 March 2015

Talking Tech for March 24 2015

In this weeks show:


Releases/updates - iOS 8.2 (with Apple watch companion app), Window-Eyes 9 (March 9.1 update), NVDA 2015.1, Windows 10 preview, iTunes 12.1.1, Netflix available on March 24, Audio Hijack 3 and O S X 10.10.3/iOS 8.3 ongoing beta. testing, Jonathan Mosen’s VoiceOver tutorial on using Amadeus Pro for the Mac, Wrise accessible word processor for the Mac, and Stay Still Squeaky interactive book.


iOS 8.2:


iOS 8.2 was released on March 10 with the Apple watch companion app.  Not many specific VoiceOver fix’s, but a lot to come in iOS 8.3 for VoiceOver users.


Window-Eyes 9:


Window-Eyes 9 is released with a number of major improvements including major improvements to web browsing, Office support, and self restart if speech locks up augments other feature improvements.  No touch screen support as yet.

In March 9.1 was released and amongst other improvements support for Chrome. 


NVDA 2015.1:


NVDA 2015.1 released with improvements in Microsoft Word, Skype, and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Nv-Access getting funding to support development of NVDA remote.


And funding Remote access: 


Windows 10 for desktop/mobile to be released later this year:


ACB Radio Main Menu carried a recording of the Windows 10 presentation in January in their shows for January 30th (part 1) and Feb 6th (part 2) due to the length of the actual presentation by Microsoft.

You can get to these presentations by scribing to ACB Radio Main Menu in iTunes or from a pod catcher such as DownCast on iOS.


iTunes 12.1.1:


iTunes 12.1.1 released with accessibility improvements for Windows 64 bit systems.




Netflix to be available in Australia from March 24.  you’ll find the channel on your Apple TV, and you can download the Netflix app from the iOs store at:


More about Netflix and how it is to navigate next week.



Os X 10.10.3 currently in beta, and iOS 8.3 currently in beta:


Apple still testing OS X 10.10.3 and iOs 8.3.


Audio Hijack 3:


Audio Hijack 3 released for the Mac and fully accessible with VoiceOver.. 

A demo of Audio Hijack 3 from Jonathan Mosen 


Amadeus Pro VoiceOver tutorial:


Jonathan Mosen’s Amadeus Pro Audio Tutorial is fantastic for those that want to learn how to use this sound editor on the Mac with VoiceOver.. 


Wise accessible word processor for the Mac: 


Stay Still Squeaky interactive iBook for children who are blind:!/id955814086?mt=11

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Talking Tech for March 17 2015

In this weeks show:


A quick note about CSUN conference first week in March, and the Apple Keynote from last week 10/3/2015.


CSUn Conference 1st week in March 2015


Nothing dramatically jumped out at me from this years CSUN Conference which took place in the first week in March.


Blind Bargains has over 20 audio interviews from the conference which you can listen to via the following link or downloading their app from the iOS or Android app stores. 

Blind Bargains podcast number 8 was a quick run down of some of the notable things at the conference. 


Apple Keynote event March 2015


As I said last week, we have now had a bit of a chance to think about the stuff covered in the Apple Keynote event, and how it effects us in Australia.




Every major car manufacturer committed to CarPlay for new models from 2015: talk to your phone rather than looking at your dashboard controls.  Compatible with iPhone 5, 5c, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 plus. With compatible cars, go in to Settings, General,CarPlay. 


Research kit:


Introducing research kit to turn iPhone in to a powerful medical diagnostic tool, examples and video of how research kit is applied.  Will be open source.

Released in April and the first 5 apps available today US only.

Apple stating again will not see your health data. 


New Macbook (available in April):

13.1mm thin (thiner than the original iPad).

12 inch retina display.

Gold, space grey or silver.

Full size keyboard edge to edge.

Trackpad with force touch with haptic feedback.


New UsB-C port to support charging, external display, and UsB transfer.

FaceTime camera, internal Microphone, and ear phone port.

All day battery life (up to 9 hours).

$1779 starting price. 


Apple also outlined updates to the Mac air and Macbook pro available from the day of the keynote.


Apple watch

Overview of the Apple watch - time, watch faces, glances, read/send messages/Mail, make/send calls from your wrist (not covered in last years demo), sending tactile taps to others with an Apple watch, health and fitness, and demo of using Siri.


Demo of a few Apple watch apps (a very cool demo of opening a garage door remotely from the Apple watch).


All day battery life (which this time means 18 hours smile).


Apple watch is water resistant not water proof, so ok to ware it out in the rain, washing your hands etc.


Apple watch companion app  available with iOS 8.2 released on the day of the Keynote March 10.

Not much in the Apple watch app at the moment as there is no Apple watch to pair with: mainly watch videos about the Apple watch.  My short demo of the Apple watch is at: 


Video demos of manufacturing the sports and stainless Steel Apple watch’s, a brief mention of the gold Apple watch and its price (will only be available at select Apple retail stores and other selected retail stores).


Pre-release April 10 and available April 24 with the two weeks before release, customers being able to go in to an Apple store and try on the different Apple watch’s and bands.


Still no news on accessibility.


Pricing for the Apple watch:

Apple watch sports: $499 38MM and $579 42mm.  

Aluminium case with display protect by Ion-X glass.

Colours - Silver or space grey cases.


Apple watch (Stainless Steel): $799 38MM $799 and 42MM $879.

Stainless steel cased with display protected by Sapphire crystal.

Colours - stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases.


Apple watch edition (gold): from $14.000.

Note - different types of bands for the Apple watch and Apple watch edition add to the overall cost.

Bands include: rubber (fluroelastomer), leather, Milanese loop (s steel mesh), and stainless steel link bracelet.

The rubber style bands are for all models, but the Sports only has the rubber style band available in 5 colours.

the Apple watch edition also has gold bands to choose from.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Talking Tech for March 10 2015

In this weeks show:

A quick note on the Apple event which took place today 10/3/2015 to be talked about in more detail on next weeks program, completing the top 10 assistive technology events from Blind Bargains for 2014, some highlights from the ATIA conference held in January this year, and AccessWorld two editions for Jan & Feb.


Apple event for 10/3/2015:

As this event only took place this morning, we decided to put it over to next weeks program by which time we have had more time to digest what was covered in the announcement.


Remaining items from Blind Bargains top 10 assistive technology events for 2014:

4. The reorganisation of Serotek.

3. Merger of AI Squared and GWmicro.

2. Window-Eyes for Office.

1. KNFB Reader.


ATIA Conference Jan 2015:

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference took place earlier this year, Some of the tech covered by Blind Bargains in their interviews included:

HIMS: Pre-release versions of the Smart beetle 14 cell Braille display, and the Blaze et.

AISquared: Window-Eyes 9 with improved web support, complete restart feature (no more screen reader lock ups), and an announcement that AI Squared will be releasing Zoomtext with a full screen reader inbuilt.

Voice Dream Writer: the developer speaks about the product and how it differs from other text editors.

Signaids: talking NFC signs and prescription bottles.


 AccessWorld two editions for Jan & Feb 2015:

AccessWorld for Jan 2015 article of note:

Comparing screen magnification in iOS 8 and Lolly pop V5.

Access world for Feb 2015 main articles of note:

A review of the Be My Eyes sighted assistance app for iOS.

ATI Conference highlights from the exhibit hall.

A review of the HIMS E-Bot Pro remote controlled video magnifier with OCR, Computer, and tablet compatibility.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Talking Tech for March 3 2015

We’re back!!!


A big thank you to Tony Egan for keeping the technology fires burning for Talking Tech Summer editions.


In this weeks show:


A note about CSUN taking place this week from the 2nd  until the 7th of March, The Hills Talking Set top box no longer manufactured, Apple event scheduled for the 9th of March,  and a look at the top 10 assistive technology related activities for 2014 by Blind Bargains.


CSUN Conference 2015:

As we speak, the CSUN 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference is taking place from March 2 until March 7 2015.

This is the major disability conference for the year particularly for people who are blind or low vision and we will be letting you know what items of note come out of the conference.  The following link will take you to a list of exhibitors at the conference. 


Hills talking set top box:

The Hills talking set top box is no longer manufactured in Australia leaving consumers without a dedicated set top box.  Will need to start looking at tv sets that have voice guidance such as the Panasonic Viera range of smart TVS.

A review of the Panasonic Viera from Media Access Australia is at the folioing link:‘talking-tv’-with-voice-guidance 

Apple event for March 9 10am (March 10 4am Australia) in the US titled “Spring Forward”:


Everyone is fairly sure that this keynote event will be all about the Apple watch.  You can use the following link to go to the Apple page and listen live when the event is being broadcast or listen to it on the Apple tv. 

Blind Bargains top 10 assistive technology related events for 2014:

10. Baum VerioUltra Braille display for flipping ] between  multiple devices, basic note taking applications, and 20 or 40 cells. .

9. Google improving accessibility to Google docs for Windows and in iOS.  Eg NVDA or Window-Eyes with Firefox using Google docs.

8. iBill for the US currency to tell the denominations of their paper notes.

7. Quick Books accounting package used in the US became accessible.

Note - Cash Manager from New Zealand is also accessible and support is provided for screen readers and screen magnification.

6. Lego Braille printer.

5. iOS 8: how buggy it was and the BT VO keyboard issue.

Top 10 completed in next weeks program.

Monday, 22 December 2014

TAlking TEch for 23 Dec 2014

For this program, some sources of reading, suggested apps if your getting a new iOS device, and some podcasts to listen to over the summer break here in Australia.


Sources for Reading:


Kindle app on either iOS or Android.


iBooks on iOS or Mac (Yosemite).


Vision Australia: 3000 daisy books, 400 newspapers/magazines and a selection of podcasts from Va radio:

 via I-Access reading on the 3g daisy player, in Voice Dream Reader on iOS or Darwin Reader on Android.


Apps To Get You Started on iOS


ABC Radio


ABC iView,




Audio Archery


BBC iPlayer


Blind Square






Find my Friends


Find My iPhone




KNFB Reader




Light Detector


Money Reader




Pandora radio






Voice Dream Reader






A selection of main stream and tech related podcasts to add in to your podcast player such as iTunes on Mac or windows or Downcast on iOS.


ACB Radio Main Menu


Access Talk


Accessible Devices


All About Android




Assistive Technology Update


Apple Keynotes


Cool Blind Tech


Computalk (VA Radio)


Daily Tech News Show


Download This Show (Radio National)


Freedom Scientific FSCast


iMore Show


iSee - learning about Apple products from a blind perspective


iFive for the iPhone


iPad Today


Mac Break Weekly




Nosilla Podcast


Security Now


Talking Tech (VA Radio)


The Tech Doctor podcast


Tech News Today


Tech News Tonight


This Week In Google


This Week In Tech


Windows Weekly


Your Tech Life


Summer Break


There will be a summer edition of Talking Tech, I will be back with Stephen in March 2015.  For now, have a happy new year.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Talking Tech for DEc 16 2014

How To Use A DVD etc ON A Mac without A DVD Drive - from How To Geek


These days lots of computers come without a DVD drive, this article explains how you can still do this. 

Liquid Metals Help The Blind See Tech 


A prototype of a possible tactile or Braille display device using electric Magnets in a Ferro solution. 

CAVI CAST: prototype of remote control for NvDA


Only a prototype at the moment to enable remote support using NVDA.  Funding sources need to be found to bring the project to completion.


The following link will play an mp3 file of the CAVI podcast. 

Access World for December 2014


main article that caught my attention was the MountBatten Brailler, good to see it getting a mention again: fantastic tool for students and teachers.


Remember you can also get the MBCom iOS or Android app for the Mountbatten as well.


Just another quick note, you can get the AccessWorld app for reading this and other articles or back issues. 

Freedom Scientific Releases 90 day Trial License of JaWS For Windows


This allows developers or anyone else to buy a licensed version of JaWS for Windows, and the 90 day trial will go towards the total cost of a full license: further 90 day licenses can be purchased. 

Best Bluetooth Speakers for 2014


A great run down of available Bluetooth speakers for less than $50, $100 to $300 range, and $300 and above.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Talking Tech for Dec 9 2014

A Quick “How Many Does it Take” Joke

Q: How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, it’s a hardware problem.
Well: I thought it was funny (smile).


I’m Not Sure If I would Buy This Satechi’s Bluetooth Keyboard: but 5 devices supported.

The Satechi’s BT keyboard: This just sounded like a great keyboard from Amazon and I certainly could access 5 devices from the same keyboard: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and work laptop. 

Thinking About Christmas Or All Year Round: Remember the Aldi iOS App For Grabbing deals

Aldi has specials on a regular basis, and besides groceries, you can grab some great technology hardware as well such as tablets, cordless phones, wifi extenders, power boards etc. This week I picked up a great slim line tower fan with remote which has tactile buttons on both the fan and remote.

Finally got To Play with the DAISY 3g player From Vision Australia

I must say, I am quite impressed by this player with the ability to be able to just turn the daisy player on, and within a minute or two access my daisy books, newspapers, magazines, and podcasts directly from the Vision Australia I-Access Online Library service.


Note: I’m not sure how well this app for iOS or Android works with Braille: seems to work ok with voiceOver on iOS, but not yet checked out Android and Talkback.

The National Relay Service (NRS) is for any Australian who is deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired who wants to make phone calls.

The app provides easier ways to make calls through the NRS in Australia.

This app gives you access to the following call options:
• internet relay – if you want to type and read your conversation
• Speak and Listen – if you are hard to understand on the phone  
• video relay – if you use Auslan
• captioned relay – if you can speak but can’t hear clearly.

The app is a world-first in combining a range of relay calls and support functions in a single app.

For both internet relay and Speak and Listen the app provides additional benefits or features that are only available through the app. These include:
• the ability to use customised phrases and call set-ups that you can pre-store on your phone or tablet
• the ability to ‘click through’ from contacts stored on the device
• better notification for incoming internet relay calls
• the option of inserting text for users making Speak and Listen calls
• the ability to utilise the device’s GPS in providing location information.

The app and any calls you make using the app are free. However, you will be connecting to the internet and will be using broadband data. How you are charged for this data will depend on the plan you have with your service provider. 



to find out more about the NRS or the NRS app.

Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

The Disability Answer Desk is where people with disabilities can get support with Microsoft products and accessibility features.
Connect with a Microsoft expert:
Call 1800 280 300
Hours of operation:
Every day: 8 AM – 9 PM (AEST)


Dictating beter

A lot of tips on how to improve your dictating ability.


How to Wipe your Phone or Tablet before Selling It

You may well want to know "How to Wipe Your Phone or Tablet Before You Sell It", CNET provides guidance.

Next three Shows: my favourite iOs/Mac apps, Podcasts, and Audio Books Suggestions For the Holidays

In the next several shows I will be going through my favourite iOS apps, Mac apps, the podcasts I listen to all the time with recommended podcast listening programs, and some audio book suggestions for the Christmas holidays.