176 – Do we need Another Braille Computer?

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Show Description
On this episode of the iACast, Michael talks with Michael Babcock, and Jason Castonguay about the following topics.


  • First public Beta of Android 14 released
  • HBO Max now renamed to Max
  • iOS 16.4, MacOS 13.3, and other software updates released from Apple


We discuss if the community will be excited about the Optima from Orbit Research coming in 2024. Stay until the end for a surprise!


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IACast 176 Do we Need another Braille Computer

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[0:00] Music.

[0:20] All right, I’m back with two wonderful folks this time. We have Michael Babcock. Hello, everyone.
And we have Jason Castingway back with us. Is this your first time on the show, Jason?
This is my first time on… No, it isn’t. I was on previously with the Apple HomePod.
You were on the unboxing, but this is your first time on the IA cast. So, yeah, brand new. So, welcome.
Thank you very much. Great to be here. Yeah, we’re glad to have you and I think we have a pretty interesting show today and I’m really glad to have you here to get your thoughts on our topic today.
So it’s going to be very exciting, but as we always do, we’re going to start with some tech news. But before we even do that, Michael, you and Marty have this little thing called Unmute Presents.
So, um, and it’s been a little while since you guys have talked about it.
So why don’t you kind of refresh people on what that is and what topics you guys have been talking about?

[1:24] Sure. So that little thing called unmute presents keeps growing.
It’s like a kid. And thank you for the reminder, because as I realized, I need to get the episode that goes out tomorrow, edited, uh, putting it off to the last minute.

[1:35] Just a little bit. Anyways. So unmute presents is live on Tuesdays at 10 AM Pacific time.
That’s 1 PM Eastern. and you can get details about that by going to acb.community.
We’re also typically streamed on ACB Media 5 if you’d rather just listen in, but we answer your tech questions and hopefully we’re able to provide you with a solution or a resource to help come to a solution so those tech issues don’t have to stand in your way anymore.
On Thursdays, we publish content more in depth about a topic and those topics typically come from questions we’ve been asked, and we’re starting to produce some more regular content on Thursdays.
So for example, the last Thursday of the month, you’re gonna get a security update, and the second Thursday of the month, you’ll hear more about A-Lady and what’s going on in that arena.
And then on Sundays, we teach you something. I wanna teach you how to do something, get a task done with your technology in five minutes or less.
And yeah, I’ve noticed they’re starting to creep out to about 10 minutes, but the point is, keep them slow, keep them quick, go through it and don’t slow down and teach people how to use their screen reader, but teach you how to get the job done with the technology you’re using.
So thank you for asking, Michael, I appreciate it.

[2:54] Yeah, of course. And throughout all of the IACAST network, you guys can hear Unmute present on our live 365 radio station.
So keep tuned into that. and we have more on that later on in the show.
Really exciting news, so I’m excited to talk about that.

[3:17] But we have some interesting tech news. And Michael, you found a few things that were interesting today. Do you want to kind of talk about those?

[3:28] Yeah, so I can just give a quick overview because I haven’t really done much digging into it.
But the news articles that I found that we can talk about is the fact that Google launched Android 14 public beta 1 today, as of the time of recording.
Note that on through unrelated resources in this article, it’s been made apparent that there’s not any immediate changes to talk back or improvement.
At least that’s what I’ve heard. I haven’t tried it myself.
There’s also the additional information related to HBO deciding to drop HBO from their name for their streaming service and come, I believe it’s May 21st, will now be known as Max.
So I’m not sure what my credit card’s going to show. Is it going to just show that Max charged me?
That’s a weird charge.
And so that should hopefully give more representation of what type of content HBO is providing, especially with acquisition of Discovery and the other channels that go along with that.
Jason, do you watch HBO Max at all a lot? I do not, actually.
We pay for it and I don’t watch it, my wife did, and we keep paying for it.
Well, I think what they’re probably looking at doing is, they don’t want to call it HBO or Discovery, they just want to call it something right in the middle, and I think that’s a good trade-off.

[4:53] It would be interesting if they called it Discovery Max, kind of just bringing those two properties together, but I think they’re just calling it Max.

[5:01] And, you know, I’m totally fine with that because that’s kind of what the app icon is, is the word max and they just dropped HBO off of it. So, yeah, I did not know that.
So maybe that maybe they knew that was coming ahead of time. Yeah, the word max is very much imposed over the HBO on the icon from what I can remember. I watch HBO Max a lot.
Unfortunately a lot of my shows are ending on there. The Last of Us of course is not ending but his dark materials just ended and you know Westworld was not just ended but removed. So, you know, some of the DC Comics stuff has been up in the air, so I don’t know.

[5:46] Game of thrones is still you know they’re making shows and spin offs of that so i have a lot to watch but i’m a huge fan of HBO and as for the android stuff have you noticed the last couple of versions of android really haven’t been big updates it’s just kind of been.
New version number, a few minor things, but.
That’s funny, one of the headlines I just read was that the back button in Android will now match your wallpaper. And I’m like, yay. Yay. That’s something I’ve always wanted.
I’m a visual person and I don’t know how much I care. No, that was just a headline.
I did not read any details, but I thought that was interesting. Yeah, yeah.
Did you know that Microsoft is also rumored to be changing the print screen key to open it snipping tool. So it’ll be the first change to the print screen key in like 30 years. Wow.
I mean, and you know, we have tabbed notepad and all those things and.

[6:46] And I know people have mixed thoughts on that, but I’m really excited about this Windows having eventually or possibly having the phone link app work with iPhones.
If people haven’t heard about that, that’s pretty exciting. Yeah.
Mm-hmm. And you know, one thing we ought to do either here on the IACast feed or on unmute, if you haven’t heard about it, I’ve been raving about it everywhere, that I love it, is the Windows Package Manager. Have you guys used that?
No. So it’s a little lesson here on the IACast, folks. There’s an app you can get in the Microsoft store called Windows package manager.
It installs a program that you use on your command line and it’s called Win, W-I-N, get, G-E-T.
And you can type WinGet install and you can type zoom.zoom or NVaccess.NVDA or any number of applications and it doesn’t pull them from the Microsoft store.
Goes out and gets them from the websites.

[7:53] Hmm. So like I can install steam for playing video games or discord just from Winget.
That is clever.
Oh, nice. It is fantastic. It’s almost like homebrew.
But for windows. Yes, nice. It’s wonderful.
Like I, I had to reset my computer recently and like I’m not going like because you’d have to go to the steam web page, find install steam. Do you? Uh huh.
When you get involved in that valve dot steam, it’s fantastic.
Oh, and I imagine there are all sorts of commands you can invoke after the wind get command.
Oh, for sure. Probably one of which update. Right. I was gonna say one of which you could search for something.
I wonder if wind get has this thing. Yes, you could do a little search.
Cool. And if there’s like, if you type wind get install zoom, it’ll tell you there’s multiple packages with the word zoom.
And so you can see which one, you know, like, like I was saying, zoom.zoom installs the proper zoom chat.
I mean, zoom meetings platform.
So it’s really neat. I want to do a demo showing this off. So I’m really excited about Windows Package Manager.
I’m always looking for content on Sundays, just saying.
Oh yeah, we may have to do that. So, pretty excited.

[9:22] So, one other thing that has happened in the news that I want to point out is Apple did come out with new versions of iOS, Mac OS, TV OS, even a new update for the studio display.
And it’s like the 16.4 and I guess 13.3 for Mac OS.

[9:48] I want to caution people when you install these, they are not the smoothest of installs.
In fact, my studio display for a short time became a studio brick.
That’s not good. It, um…
It doesn’t even offer the ability to retry the update. It just kind of happens occasionally.
It tries again occasionally while it’s plugged into a computer.
So it just and it’s inaccessible. And all it said was go to app support dot apple dot com slash, studio display slash restore or something like that.
It was like, oh, no.

[10:29] That’s that’s disconcerting. Yes. So So that did happen on for me last Friday during the workday, so that was not fun.
So be aware when you’re doing these updates that things, even though they’re stable, things can go wrong.
I was using, I’m using Xcode 14.3, and there’s a huge bug in that that makes it to where most libraries will not build, and your apps will not run or be distributable to the App store. So, you know, even though Apple and all these companies put out new software, it doesn’t mean they’re stable, guys. So, fortunately, I was able to downgrade to 14.2.
I just can’t run my iPhone apps from like on my phone from that. So, those are all things to keep in mind when you update the your software. You know, a lot of times we think it’s justaccessibility problems that we have, but there’s a lot of other things that can happen too.
So just be aware that when you may think something may be an accessibility issue, it could be something else as well.
Have you guys had any experiences where you update something and it just completely tanks or has issues? Not in years.
I used to, but not in years. It’s been pretty smooth for me.

[11:55] Yeah, it’s been pretty smooth for me as well, but there have been times when I’ve been about to go live with a broadcast and something requires updating.
I’m like, oh yeah, I have time. I know it’s going to be quick.
Oh, well, there was one time in the past where, yeah, it was quick, but it broke a lot of things and I couldn’t go live. I’ve learned, let’s not do updates just before going live.
Yeah, I totally understand that.

[12:29] So, you know, it’s like I was saying, it’s just be careful, be cognizant of what you’re doing and, you know, don’t do things whenever you’re right in the middle of a work day. Yes. Yes.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a big deal. And I unplugged and plugged back in several times and it did the update one other time it failed and then the next time it succeeded, which was great.
And all of a sudden I had a working glowing display again.
So that was very nice.
Xcode is still broken. And interestingly, there is not an Xcode 14.4 beta, to support the new versions of iOS and macOS that are in beta right now, guys.
And I find that very interesting. It sounds like something really got broken on Xcode, that they’re having to really fix.
Or is there something big coming in June that…
Well, it’s interesting because you would think if they have the second beta now of iOS 16.5.

[13:40] There would be an Xcode version now to go along with it and there’s not.
Because technically Xcode 16, I mean, 13, no, 14.3, there’s so many different version numbers.
14.3 cannot test the beta software. You cannot hook up the betas of the phone to Xcode and test them.
So that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen.
So I think, like you said, either something big’s coming or they broke something really good.
Or both. Or both. We’ll see. Yeah.
This is very true. It could be both.

[14:24] So, just be very, you know, if you decide to update, be very cognizant, read and all those kind of things.
And talking about iOS and all those things is kind of a good segue to talk about our big announcement for iAccessibility and everything we’re working on.
We just had two apps approved today at the time of the recording, the day of the recording at least. Our iAccessibility app is back in the App Store on iOS. So you can, it’s now working much better. It doesn’t crash like it used to. Has a much, works much faster, Very speedy.
So check it out. download the iAccessibility app and check out the live button.

[15:13] Earlier we talked about our radio station with Live 365 that plays all of our content, between iocast and Unmute Presents. And if you tap on our live button, you will be able to hearthat in real time through the app. It even has player controls and all those things.
So you can enjoy that. You can even get the Unmute Content, Unmute Presents content in the app as podcast form. And the neat thing is you can, if you don’t like Michael or Marty talking, you can speed them up to three X so you can make them talk really, really fast.
And we’re okay with that. Yeah. I mean, that’s really a way to get through a lot of content.
I agree. It’s the only way I keep up with my content. I don’t know about you, Jason, but I have to have my content sped up. I even edit sped up content. Really? Wow. Wow. Yes.
Wow. You know, it’s interesting, you know, I think I use kind of the, there’s a mechanism that can do what Overcast does and it does, it sounds completely natural at 3x and so that makes it kind of nice.
Apple has a built-in algorithm to do really good spoken content very fast.
So the app works great. We’ll be working on push notifications.
And there was a little feature that is no longer working that will be coming back eventually, where you can start and stop our live feed from ASERI Shortcut.

[16:43] There’s some kind of a bug that’s making that not work, but that will be working in a future, bug fix version. So I’m pretty excited about that.
And I also updated the Pocket Braille app, which is the first Braille reference app in the App Store.
The original version came out probably 2012, 2013.
And my watch wanted to talk. And I don’t know how I get my watch to talk because I don’t have voiceover on, so it’s very interesting.
It just happens randomly. It’s so weird.

[17:24] So Pocket Braille was the original Braille reference app in the store.
It has had several versions and it’s been out for a long time.
We just updated it to support newer iOS versions, newer interfaces.
And what’s really neat, and people may not know this, it has an Apple Watch component.
So you could look up every contraction for UEB on the Apple Watch.
Ooh, that is cool. We’ve had a VI teacher actually go, TVI go through and create a Word document with all the contractions which have been gone through and meticulously explored.
And they’re all in the app, on the paid version, in the regular app and the watch app.
You get them in both places.

[18:17] That’s great. I really enjoyed looking around it this morning because I had seen it, originally on the Amazon devices Am I correct in remembering that?
I mean, yeah, I haven’t on Amazon. I don’t remember if I put it on the Amazon App Store or not, Okay, so just scratch that entire thing.

[18:38] Because I remember there was some kind of braille I thought it was pocket braille that that I could ask what a certain letter or contraction was and it would come back It is on the echo, isn’t it, Michael? I thought you and Lauren were working on a skill on the echo, maybe.
I made a braille quiz skill. Oh, that’s what I’m thinking of. Mm-hmm.
Okay. All right. So it’s not exactly pocket braille. Right. It’s a little different. This one has the alphabet, numbers, punctuation, and contractions for UED.
Yes. And that’s what I was looking at this morning, because when you posted the link, I went and grabbed it.
It and I love how everything’s right there accessible through the different tabs on the bottom but you have this nice little about section which explains a lot as well.
Very nice little history button within the about section that explains a lot.
And that was written a long time ago so I hope that it’s still valid and still good information.
Oh, okay. It was more than just a little, you know, few phrases.
It was very nice to just sit there and listen to it, listen to my phone tell me exactly the chronology, so to speak, of Louis Braille, and then coming into the popularity, but then dropping again slightly because of…

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