Podcast Transcript: Mosen At Large 135, Windows 11 comments, inaccessible financial data, have we gone soft on blindness advocacy and more
Jonathan: I’m Jonathan Mosen and this is Mosen At Large, the show that’s got the blind community talking. On the show today, as Microsoft says little about Windows 11 accessibility, we hear your thoughts. Has blindness advocacy lost its mojo, childhood radio memories, and much more.
Good to have your company for another edition of the podcast, this is Episode 135. If you were looking for our panel discussion on Windows 11, that’s already published in a separate podcast, so you can go back to Episode 134 and enjoy our discussion which included Matt Campbell and Terry Bray and some very thoughtful comments from Clubhouse. Bryant Walker wrote this before the Microsoft announcements of a few days ago, there are a couple of things I would like to see in Windows 11. First of all, you might remember the Windows XP days, when the Save As, Open, and other dialogues, had a look in combo box, instead of that tree view and stuff we now see.
To me, these dialogues were much simpler to use, and much less clunky. I also hope there were some improvements done on Narrator. I am not a primary Narrator user, but I have used it some times. I must commend Microsoft for sticking with Narrator and not just abandoning it. This is not the attitude they used to have back in the day, and I am glad that they have gotten their act together over the last few years. I hope that the vocalize of voices will be included in Narrator, now that Microsoft has acquired vocalizer. Brian Gaff in the UK reminds me, the first Office with the ribbon was 2007. I have Windows Seven, and Word 2003 still runs on it.
There has been talk about Windows 10 being continued under the corporate side for some years. I am not sure what to think. It seems to me that what Microsoft really wants to do is develop a new OS from the ground up, as what we have at the moment is a mess of bits from all Windows cores tracing back to NT. It’s got to the point that it’s almost impossible to make it better because nobody can trace the code fragments back. They surely need a new chip like Apple has to make portable computing viable. Intel seem to have got into a rut and seemingly stalled. Not sure what the point of 11 is, unless it has an embedded Android simulator in it. This would allow some things to run in a virtual machine.
If that is the case, then this has to be aimed at consumers, not commercial customers. I would like to definitely see different shells, one involving no ribbons. They are illogical and completely counterintuitive, as they have bits of several types of things on them. I would like to be free from the mega effectively new install every few months, which is still why I’m on Windows Seven, the legacy software I needed and still need to run, need a complete reinstall every time, losing emails and newspaper indexing and taking up time reconfiguring stuff. Just fix bugs, don’t change it every few months. If they do that, then I’m happy.
NVDA is dropping Windows 7 after this year due to Python dropping it. I fully suspect that Microsoft will stop updating the antivirus for 7 soon, and that would lead to a lot of security issues. It’s an obsolete operating system now Brian, so no surprise there. I really haven’t had any problem updating from one version of Windows 10 to another. I haven’t had to re-install anything. On one or two occasions, I have had my audio go a bit strange because I have so many audio devices, but I have not had to reinstall a single piece of software as a result of updating my Windows.
Actually, I got 21H1 pushed to the studio PC the other day and it messed with my audio interfaces. Then Christopher Wright says I was wrong about Windows 11 merely being a visual overhaul. It appears they’re going to add a lot of new stuff. I’m most interested in Narrator improvements as well as Android app support. I wonder if we will be able to use Talk Back. Unfortunately, the system requirements for Windows 10 freak me out. It seems like a lot, and I do mean a lot of computers will be unable to run Windows 11 as it requires you UEFI firmware with secure boot, a TPM 2.0 chip, and the 64-bit processor. I’m not really bothered by the 64 bit CPU, but the rest is crazy.
I used the Microsoft Health Check tool on both my 2013 MacBook Air and 2016 GPD WIN, and according to it, they’re both unsupported. I have a bunch of computers that range in age from 2007 to 2016. Many of these were rescued from other people’s trash, and they all run Windows 10 like a champ. It looks like most, if not all of these devices will be unable to run 11 which is ridiculous. Perhaps I’m overreacting, but I always thought Microsoft was all about backwards compatibility, and supporting older devices for as long as possible. Again, we’ll have to wait until the finished product is out there to know for sure.
I wonder if it’s possible to run 11 in a virtual machine with all these changes. They lied when they said Windows 10 would be the last major version, and apparently, they’re more than willing to force people to go out and buy new hardware. They are starting to remind me of Apple who does this crap all the time. It looks like the folks in Redmond want more money. Plus, there is a mandatory requirement to use a Microsoft account to set up Windows 10 Home for the first time. There used to be a way to skip this and make a local account by disconnecting from the internet, but this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore based on what I’m reading.
What are these people smoking, I hate signing into my computer with a Microsoft account. It’s unnecessary and irritating. Maybe if enough people post negative feedback regarding this change in the insider program, they will reverse this absurd decision before the public release. I know I definitely will if I can get the system to run on any of my computers, either natively or virtually. This is beyond ridiculous. I don’t think you’ll have any difficulty getting it to run in your virtual machine. Christopher, that should be fine if you’ve got VMware Fusion on your Mac. I believe that they are emulating the requirements in software there regarding TPM, and secure boot.
I personally don’t mind signing in with a Microsoft account because data syncs between my desktop and my laptop that I find quite useful. What I do need is the ability for the folder names on each machine to be the same. We’ve talked about this on recent episodes of the podcast. This way, it makes it easy for me to keep apps like Reaper in sync across devices, and I would be quite disgruntled if that is not possible in Windows 11. We’re going to give Brian Gaff a second bite of the cherry because he sent his first comments in before windows 11 was announced. Now he says I just listened to your podcast on the launch and the belated press release about accessibility.
My feelings on this are that they have discovered major flaws in the accessibility and hence did not want to have egg on face at this time. It does not bode well if they are contemplating launching in a couple of months still with major bugs to sort out. It would surely suit them better to have kept quiet and delayed it for a couple more months of testing. Do we know if they have a core of, in this case, blind testers looking at this? Could it really be as I suspect that major bolt-ons like Android et cetera, have just not any way to be accessible at all, and they suddenly realized this?
Unfortunately, the problem major companies have is communicating with themselves internally, and we have seen that in Apple, Samsung, and elsewhere. My feeling was, as I said before, they wanted something new since their major rewrite has not been finished yet and it’s a make-over job and nothing more. I have not heard from the NVDA team about how much they knew, but from the tone of what I read, it seems like the decision to not call it Windows 10 Plus or something was made quite late on. Brian, my understanding is that assistive technology vendors may not have seen any Windows 11 build at this stage.
While I completely appreciate that speculation fills a vacuum, the reality is that we just don’t know. We don’t know whether this is some major public relations debacle. If you go to the microsoft.com website, you will see Windows 11 prominently displayed on that homepage as you would expect. It is a major thing when the operating system powering most of the world’s computers changes in such a significant way. They’re going to trumpet this.
You go to the Microsoft disability site and there is nothing on that site about Windows 11, even after that self-professed taster thread on Twitter, there is nothing at the time of producing the show on the Windows accessibility site about Windows 11. It is a bizarre situation and I just don’t know whether that’s because of a communications snafu or something much more serious. Regarding your question about testing.
This is the question many people are starting to ask now. You can get on the Windows inside of builds. Anybody can do that. If you want to do it, you can do it. You can test these builds. With so little to say about accessibility, people are wondering whether that’s a good thing to do or not. I would hope that if this is some technical issue that Microsoft will before the release of the insider builds of Windows 11, be absolutely transparent about that because we don’t want people breaking their systems.
If it’s more than a PR thing, then hopefully we will know that in the coming days.
There are more radio memories shared by listeners this week and Andy starts us off. “Hi, Jonathan, here in the US, networks were starting to concentrate on television in the early 1950s. From then until the mid-70s radio here was heavily independent and competitive. Companies were only allowed 1:00 AM and one FM station per market. There was so much competition on the air.
This caused each station to be more fun, more serious, or whatever they were trying to be. Things got even better in 1966, the FCC ruled that FM stations and medium and large markets were acquired to separate programming from the AM’s at least 50% of the time. Many of those stations automated programming, but even some of that was quite creative. The best ones put on live programming. That was for the corporations as cheap as possible. This meant underpaid young music enthusiasts.
To the listeners, it was new and exciting sounds and ideas. That fabulous era was short-lived maybe five years by then station owners began to recognize the value of their FM signals. They began tightening up the formats with ratings in mind, even some of the AM stations dabbled in FM-style creativity. I felt like a mighty explorer in those days, trying to tune in FM with a serious rooftop antenna and nighttime AM from all over the country when reception was good.
Thanks so much for sharing that perspective, Andy. I really appreciate that. I started to get acquainted with some commercial American radio that we just didn’t have access to when streaming media became a thing in the late 1990s. There was, and I’m pleased to say still is a wonderful website called reelradio.com. And that is spelled R-E-E-L radio.com. It was curated for a long time and started by a guy called Uncle Rickey, who I believe has died now, but it is still being maintained and they have over 3000 radio airchecks.
Many of them are really good quality. When the site came online in the late 1990s, I just binged on it whenever they would upload new content every week, I would listen. We got a few of those names here through syndicated shows. I knew about people like Robert W Morgan and a number of other broadcasters, but I got exposed to so many more really great broadcasters I hadn’t heard of before. People like Dan Engrim and Cousin Brucey and Charlie Tuner and just radio legends from the United States. That is a great site and I was inspired by it.
David: Hey, Jonathan, radio memories. Well, I have a few here. We see between [unintelligible 00:13:53] in Oakland, you mentioned [unintelligible 00:13:58] right? I didn’t realize it. What the call sign, we’ll see if 15, 12 country radio was, which is, I remember, because it was the only station in town back then in the 80s. We did get radio where you mount on the FM band and tumbling there
.I listened to the set of the countdown. It was a countdown at radio Ray my head Devon, this, that station a long time. It kind of numbers on that. I think it was a top 20 countdown and Radio [unintelligible 00:14:32]. It was broadcast center terminal for him. King Country Radio was the game in town. When you went home during holidays that, it doesn’t do the birthday calls at 10 to eight with the Bruce Russell was one of the hosts.
Then people would know that that is the same Bruce Russell. It’s now a newstalk ZB. He’s bay. He did my best. That calls out several times when I was on holiday. Tell me, I’ve still got the one on cassette when I turned 17. There were other people on radio back then there was Paul Redman and Luke Worth with a host, as I can remember from those days.
They actually did some awesome OB shows in the middle of town on a straight and they were quite fun to listen to King Country Radio was only for the mornings from 6:00 AM to about midday I think. You had various newsreaders like Simon Dickinson and Vicky McClure was there. Murray Forgy and Peter Sledmear I don’t think they’re around anymore. I heard Murray Forgy died, but then what happened with Peter Sledmear when he retired?
He is one of the newsreaders I can remember. Now Auckland radio. It was a completely different thing. Which I recall stuff from ’91 FM Rock of the nineties was there, and classic hits 1251 ZM was [unintelligible 00:16:28] way before the ZM that people know today. In fact, on Wikipedia, ZM actually started in Manurewa in the 1920s. Be almost a hundred years of ZM and a few years time reflect to be almost a hundred years of radio, New Zealand soon. Or the next year or the year after ZM started out in Manurewa.
There was this network called the Mosquito Network and it broadcast the American programming, which was before our time and 89 FM was Auckland’s music leader and news talk ZB. Of course we had the Paul Holmes Breakfast, which went for a long time up to 2008 I think was the last time he was on the air. He retired and he’s no longer with us.
Then other stations came on.’93 Oldies, I think it was. That came on air in 1990 or ’91, because there was this huge countdown build-up being read by a computer. It was just like 45,042, 41,000, and it was this huge countdown until the launch of Oldies ’93. Then it changed to cool ’93 and then went to The Sound.
Jonathan: Thanks, David. That’s David Harvey reporting in from Auckland. What happened in New Zealand was that in the late 1980s, the way that radio frequencies were allocated in New Zealand completely changed. Before then you used to have to make an application to a body called the broadcasting tribunal. They would take a lot of things into account, like the scarcity of the frequencies, was anybody else doing something similar already? The public good component.
It was very much a social decision, but then radio became deregulated and frequencies went up for sale to the highest bidder. It meant that there was a lot more radio, which meant that radio was more networked and more automated and in my view, the quality wasn’t as good. It also meant particularly in the early 1990s, that radio was in a real state of flux. Stations would go up and down the dial and change formats at the drop of a hat.
It was a very strange time for New Zealand radio. I’m not sure that we’d be better off as a result of it all.
Stan: Greetings. Mosenatlargers. This is Stan Luttrell in Medford, Oregon, and because of recent activity, I feel it’s about time that I chimed in. Chime-chime. I want to talk about some of the things that have been going on. Recently, you talked about radio. Radio, like many others, especially those of us that are blind, it was very instrumental in developing who we are. I want to talk, I grew up in the San Francisco bay area in the town of Pittsburg, the one without the H in it.
I lived in Pittsburg, California, and the radio stations that I grew up with were stations like KEWB in Oakland KNE, which later became KNEW, KNBR in San Francisco, KFRC, KSFO long before it became what it is currently now. There were some people that have ended up being really instrumental in my life as it currently exists. One of my friends that became instrumental in my life was a person of those originally, I became familiar with him at KJY in Stockton.
He went on to work for KEWB, which later became KWN Oakland. He is a gentleman by the name of Ryan Reynolds. Many of you may know him from KCBS because he did all news there. He was a program director at both KNEW. Then later at KNBR which was called KNBR 68. The first job that I had as an intern was for KNBRS FM station, which was KYUU or as some of us used to jokingly call it KY screw you.
What I did was ratings research, so I played snippets of songs that were on a cassette. It was great when the tape machine worked but sometimes I got a faulty tape machine. That was always interesting. I did some stuff for KNBR as well. In fact, I hosted a public affairs program, one of them, and that was interesting was a program on disabilities. Ryan Reynolds helped me get this internship job, along with a mutual friend of ours, Ron Lyons.
He was another person who was very instrumental in me doing what I’m doing now. Fast forward to 1987 when I met another icon of bay area Radio, and you can look up both of these people on YouTube, you could find clips of their work. Dr. Don Rose was his name. He had a very interesting stick. It was a throwback to earlier time. Going back to the first person forgot to mention that Ron Reynolds once did a kids show, cartoons, where they had cartoons and things like that.
He did a ventriloquist bit. It was called Ron and Jimmy and he hates to be reminded of that. That was something he just said, “Forget.” It was one of the things that we knew him. His friend, Rod Lyons helped me give me some of his work, which I did for a speech and communications class in San Francisco State. That was interesting but going back to Dr. Don Rose, he was very instrumental
. In fact, that’s where I got my first on-air stick, where I, along with a friend of mine used to do weather forecasts. What happened was, I had originally started providing weather information to a gentleman by the name of Leo Chilena, who was at KGL Newstalk 810. For years and years. He used to have people that were called spotter zone provide weather information, like current temperatures, and I had a little seven in my backyard where I lived at the time.
I would provide him information. Of course, you got to remember a lot of times and when you’re starting out, you do things and you don’t get paid nothing, basically, that’s an intern in 1987. I started doing weather forecasts and later went to a couple of other small stations in the Bay Area. I even did a couple of weather forecasts for K101 in San Francisco, which is a big FM station.
I did that and later on, I went to do weather for K1 little small station in Concord, California, and I know you know Jonathan what Concord is because you once worked at Concord. Currently, what I’m doing, I’m doing weather forecasts for low-power Am and FM stations in a couple of them in Half Moon Bay, California. A friend of mine contacted me and said, so how would you like to do weather? I said, “Well, I’m interested, but I will not work for free.” We can talk if you show me the money, and we can talk. I
won’t say the exact wording they used, because that wouldn’t be family-friendly but to put the point across. That is how things ended up where I’m doing what I’m doing today. Of course, I do a podcast for an organization that works to alleviate problems of homelessness here in the Rogue Valley of Oregon. Then gives me to what another thing that I want to talk about, you’ve always talked about us bringing forth the possibility of different kinds of things.
I have learned that there are now self-administered Coronavirus tests. Now, I don’t know of a way for blind people to be able to access doing those tests. I guess you could use a service like Aira or Be My Eyes, but it would be interesting to see if we could eventually get to do things on our own.
Jonathan: Thank you very much, Stan. Well, First of all, those radio memories, I’m sure that those names will bring back memories for those people in the area who listened to radio over the years and they may be motivated to make some contributions about the radio memories. You’ve also segwayed us nicely into talking about actually working on the radio, which a number of blind people have had the privilege of doing.
Stan mentioned in his email to me, not the voice attachment we just heard but the accompanying email that he did come across people who said, “How can a blind person do the weather.” Of course, this is the thing, you’re always proving yourself. Even if you’ve got a track record when you’re on one radio station, you have to prove yourself all over again. For me, I found when I was working in commercial radio full time, the one who was the most skeptical was the operations manager.
The person who looked after the equipment, and they would say, “Well, you may have been able to work the equipment on this other radio station but I feel sure that a blind person couldn’t work the equipment on hours, and you’d have to convince the operations person all over again.” What I often found was eventually you would win them over and that the operations person liked working with me as a blind person because I was listening rather than just looking at the meters.
Sometimes I was the person who was chosen to be on the air when they wanted to make adjustments at the transmitter. I don’t know sometimes you’ve got to be careful what you wish for when people like that have increased confidence in you. Regarding self-tests for COVID-19. That’s not something available to us in New Zealand at present. If anyone’s had some experience of that and using them as a blind person, please do feel free to share.
Over the Texas, Kathy Blackburn says when I was small, I was sick often and the radio was company for me. I remember a children’s program called Big John and Sparky, No School Today. I assume it ran only on Saturday. There is an example of it on YouTube. I don’t know which radio network it ran on. I’m not sure what creature Sparky was supposed to be. Big John was obviously an adult human.
Sparky had a high voice possibly created the same way as with the voices of the three chipmunks in the 1960s. In the early morning, probably in what later came to be called drivetime radio station. KTBC had a local program with a personality called Cactus Pryor, he sometimes allowed his two children to come on the show. I’m pretty sure he played music, told a few jokes, maybe read some of the commercials.
Later in the morning, there was a variety show with Arthur Godfrey. Then came some soap operas such as the Romance of Helen Trent, Mar Perkins, The Secret Storm, and The Guiding Light. Those last two shows migrated to television. The Guiding Light ran on television until the 1980s I think. Other shows I remember hearing were Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar The life of Riley, the Lux Radio Theatre, and Mr. District Attorney.
As I grew older, I became interested in listening to more distant stations. At night when reception was best, I could hit WLS in Chicago, WHAS from Roseville, and WHO from Iowa. I especially enjoyed WHAS because Milton Metz who also narrated Talking Books for APH had a nightly call-in show. By the time I was in high school, I could understand enough Spanish to listen to Mexican radio stations.
My maternal grandfather had a shortwave radio, sorry, I don’t know the brand, but I can remember hearing the BBC, Radio Moscow, Radio Havana, Deutsche Welle, and Radio Netherlands. Later when I had a shortwave radio of my own, I sometimes heard Radio Peking. In the 1960s I began listening to KUT, the University of Texas FM station. It’s where I discovered the Goon Show. Another program KUT carried was called Reading Aloud. I believe it was produced by WGBH in Boston.
The man who did the show was named Bill Cavness. I have never been able to find any recordings of the show. Among the books he read was the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Don Quixote, The Dean’s Watch, and a couple of PG Wodehouse Bertie Wooster novels. Congratulations for being entrusted with the small world recordings. Thank you for introducing the program’s founder to us and for including some of these shows on Mushroom Escape.
Allison: Hello, Jonathan. This is Allison Fallon, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A couple of radio memories. I guess they’re not strictly radio memories because it was in the days of the– I think it was an RCA. It was a radio. It had Braille on the turn dials. The nice thing about it was at the low end of the dial, I could get our local ABC station. I used to listen to Ben Casey all the time. I don’t know whether you even had him in New Zealand? As far as strictly radio, I used to listen to My True Story on WGN, which was, of course in Chicago.
I did it very quietly and when my mother found out, she was not happy, because there were some pretty questionable things for a 12-year-old to hear but I was fascinated. As far as Windows 11, I’m upset about it because I just bought a tutorial for Windows 10. I can use Windows 10 but I decided I go for it and buy a tutorial. I’m hoping Windows 11 won’t be hugely different. I love your show, even though some of it I don’t understand, because it’s way too techie for me, but I really enjoy it.
Jonathan: Well, it’s always lovely to hear from you, Allison, and thank you for sticking with it even when it’s a bit techie. Bonnie has commented to me before that some of the Talking Books she used to listen to would attract her parent’s attention if one of her parents wandered into the room and she was listening to a Talking Book because some of them could be on the raunchy side.
That’s a show that I’m not familiar with but it’s a great story. Now from Darren McDougal. Hi, Jonathan, I could probably fill an entire podcast with radio memories. Well, that would make my life easy there. Radio has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Anything could happen in radio in the old days. As you know, a record could get stuck and the announcer would have to turn it off or figure a way around it.
I was a countdown listener for many years both local countdowns and syndicated shows such as Casey’s Top 40 and Countdown America with Dick Clark. For the three or four-hour countdown, I might get up to go to the bathroom or to get a snack, but that would be it. You definitely didn’t answer the phone. I was always fascinated by the AM radio at night. How we could pull in so many sports and talk stations from Boston, New York, Detroit, and New Jersey here in Atlantic Canada.
Night-time channel surfing was a great pastime, especially during the summer when these stations seemed to come in even better. I could go on forever. I have so many memories attached to different radio shows and announces sudden format changes et cetera. I’ll cut it off for now. Terrestrial radio for the most part now is pretty terrible but we have online radio, Sirius XM, and our memories.
Thank you, Darren. Of course, on the other side of the microphone, the worst thing was if you put on a long record, like, Hey, Jude or Harry, Chapin’s Taxi, or Stairway to Heaven, or Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s amazing how those records just trip off the tongue because you as the broadcaster were going to do a bathroom break, and then that record got stuck. Well, that was a bit embarrassing.
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Gene: Well, hello, I’m calling with a comment about your feature about social services and the child. My comment is, this has been going on for I don’t know how long. I heard about it many years ago and obviously, these things are adjudicated one way or another. Whether it’s this, or whether it’s blind literacy, teaching children to read Braille in public schools, I don’t know how many other issues, they just go on and on and they never get any public notice and they never get resolved.
They’re resolved here and there, but they’re never resolved. My question is, why is it that blind people don’t do anything to make tests of themselves and get themselves covered in the media? I think that that we should demonstrate, and do marches and all the sorts of things that the civil rights movement and the feminist movement, and whatever other movements you want to mention in starting in the late ’50s, and early ’60s, have done to get attention and to start people talking and becoming aware that it’s no more acceptable to treat blind people in ways that we are treated than it is to treat other minority groups.
I have people say things to me that no one would dream of saying to other minority groups who have public attention. Now, that doesn’t mean that other minority groups are necessarily treated better sometimes, but at least it’s progress of people to understand that they’re not supposed to say certain things, because they’re wrong. At least that’s something. My question is, why are people so quiet?
Why are the advocacy organizations so quiet? We’ll solve this quietly and never do anything to call attention to ourselves as a group and get coverage. That is my comment. Thank you. I’ve been listening to you off and on over a long period of years. I’m glad to see that you’re still out there with a thought-provoking commentary and a lot of good information that has you have been for decades. Oh, this is Gene, by the way. Thank you, and goodbye.
Jonathan: Well, thank you for calling, and also for listening Gene, and for your very thought-provoking question. I understand the frustration and I think that we can learn from other disadvantaged groups. When I look at the sea change that there’s been for the LGBTQ community when there was so much opposition to gay marriage only a couple of decades ago. For most people, it was just a fact that marriage is between men and women.
Now, look where we are many countries embracing and celebrating gay marriage. It’s a wonderful turnaround. That’s the closest parallel I think, that I can find because I think we need to separate advocacy into two categories. One is legislative, and the other is attitudinal. I actually think that the blind community has done really well in western countries anyway, with legislative advocacy.
Blind people in a number of countries that I can think of like the United States and Australia and New Zealand, certainly, we’re well ahead of other disability groups in advocating for particular provisions, benefits, whether it’d be social security or guide dogs. We’ve done pretty well with that kind of legislative advocacy over the years. I think the reason for that is that it’s easier to convince a small select group like legislators.
You can go in there, you can reason with them, you can prove your case and then they pass a law to get you out of the way essentially. It’s much harder though, to change people’s attitudes, the attitudes of the general public, and this is why I keep going on about inappropriate use of the word blind because that stuff is seeping into people’s subconscious. When they hear constantly blindness being associated with ignorance and stupidity and all the things that we have been talking about in past weeks on the show.
I think you would be very optimistic to suggest that that doesn’t get ingrained in people’s subconscious and that when a blind person applies for a job that sort of usage doesn’t have a negative effect. I guess what I’m inferring from your email, Gene, is that you have formed a view that we’ve all gone a bit soft. In some ways, I agree with you in the sense that when you look at the militancy, shall we say of an organization like the NFB, which based on your accent, I’m thinking you’ll be familiar with.
In say the ’70s and ’80s, and even earlier, they were marching a lot. They were protesting. They were your traditional civil rights. Let’s get out there and create a bit of mayhem organization. They were doing things on the airlines to participate in airlines’ policies. Now, although those sorts of things do happen from time to time. There’s a lot more getting into the boardroom, having the conversations, offering consultancy services.
I suppose the way that we should measure whether that strategy is working or not, is the deliverables. What has that change of strategy delivered for us? That could be something about which there’s a lot of debate to be had. Undoubtedly, the unemployment rate among blind people is still atrocious, even though we have disability rights legislation and there has been significant progress in terms of technology that allows us to fit it into many more workplaces, so why is that?
I don’t know whether protests would necessarily change that because we’re just dealing with fear of blindness, negative attitudes about blindness. People just can’t conceive of how a blind person can get on in the world. They just don’t get it. I think where we’re weak may not be so much the rabbel-rousing advocacy, although I don’t mind seeing a bit more of that myself, but I think it could be a lack of public education.
That’s not for want of trying either. I remember the very first time I went to an American blindness convention, which was actually the NFB convention in Chicago in 1995. It was held at the Hilton. It was a great convention. They had this NFB TV channel that was showing internally at that hotel. They ran these public service announcements on there that they clearly would disseminate for play on radio and TV around the place.
They sought to educate. They talked about, I remember how people are nice and not nice, geniuses and jerks and all sorts of professions, just like you. They’ve been trying to do this public education thing. I’m just not sure what we do about that because I still see surveys after all these years that indicate that many people fear going blind more than they do getting cancer or aids. What can we do about that? Is there anything we can do about it?
A great discussion point, Jean and let’s hear from others. Do you think we are just too soft? We’re not visible enough compared with other disadvantaged groups, such as racial minorities, the LGBTQ community, and others. Then, of course, you will have people who are like the little red hen, the story about the little red hen and baking the bread and everything. Then the little red hen wanted to eat the bread but she didn’t want to have a part of making it. There are blind people like that.
There are blind people who sponge off the work of the rest of us when we are fighting for these causes. When we are advocating for these causes and they will sneer and talk about how, “Oh, you shouldn’t be suing people and nothing ever happens to me.” The reason why nothing happens to them and the fact that they’re sitting pretty where they are, is because of all the hard graft that so many of us have done to make it soft.
Sometimes the biggest barriers we face to progress come from other blind people who don’t appreciate that these legislative protections that we now have didn’t just come in out of thin air. They often involved a lot of advocacy, a lot of demonstrating, a lot of very hard work. That when we are discriminated against and that discrimination is illegal, we are entitled by law to have that fixed. You would be amazed at how many blind people resent the very things that got them where they are
Byron: This is Byron in Louisville. On the question of Windows 11, I’m ambivalent, not knowing a whole lot about it. On the question of tech and defending our right to be and discrimination and those kinds of things, I believe you’re correct in that organizations are getting too soft. I have a blatant discrimination situation going and I’m told, “Well, go to Kentucky Protection and Advocacy or file an EEO complaint that takes two years to get before a judge.
Then the judge looks up and says, “Why don’t you all go off and settle it.” If you’re lucky, you can get $20,000. Well, when we’re dealing with systemic discrimination by city authority, that has been doing it for over 20 years, I believe that’s a little bit small.
Jonathan: Thank you, Byron. Here’s Dan Teveld, who says, “Hi, Jonathan, thank you for raising this issue. There has been a good discussion about the problems blind people face seeking employment. I think there were other issues which should be discussed. One issue, which needs to be addressed is the language the sighted use against us. Sighted people blame us for not being prepared for work, but don’t provide us resources to be independent in the first place.
There was a lot of ablest language directed at us. The fact that the American Foundation for the Blind uses the term learned helplessness in their employment articles and access world to blame us for not trying to be independent is insulting. It’s an example of telling us what is wrong with us rather than providing us the resources to be independent in the first place. The fact that the words for the blind are used in the agency’s name instead of of the blind sends us the message that sighted people know what’s best for us.
One of the things I like about being a member of the National Federation of The Blind is that blind people are helping other blind people and serving as role models and gaining the independence we need.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Dan, if you have heard the, In The Arena series that Glen Gordon did about my life story, you will know that here in New Zealand, I was extensively involved in the reform of the blindness system in this country where we changed the foundation for the blind to the Foundation of The Blind.
You can’t just change the name without changing the way that things work. I’m not familiar enough with the way that the American Foundation for the Blind is constituted, how their board gets there to make any informed comment whatsoever. In the case of the Foundation for The Blind, as it was called, then here in New Zealand, we changed the way that the board was appointed and made sure that blind people elected all, but one member of that board.
That was important because, for a long time, there was this view that parity between the blind and the sighted on the board was the gold standard. The model that we adopted with the governance reform was saying, it’s not so much whether you’re blind or not when you’re on the board that’s important. It’s who you’re accountable to. That if blind people don’t think you’re doing a good job in terms of looking after the resources raised in our names, we can replace you with somebody else.
That was quite a significant thing. Since then, I have seen other agencies around the world emulate this example. Obviously, I’m flattered by that, but I’m not sure that some of them have followed through with the reform that’s necessary to truly earn the name of being an of-the-blind organization. Because typically of the blind organizations have been advocacy focused rather than service provision focused.
If you’re going to change that and become an of-the-blind organization, you are going to have to make sure as an organization that you’re constituted in such a way that blind people genuinely do control it. Robert Kingian writes, “Hi, Jonathan, thank you for covering this topic, blindness advocacy. It’s something I’ve been thinking about, especially as I learn more about the social model of disability.
Our technical advocacy is very strong, but I continuously see, however, two factors in the blind and visually impaired community that I feel are holding us back in terms of social perceptions. Our social advocacy is almost non-existent even today. I still have people ask me how I can use a computer. I’ve been examining the deaf community and their advocacy efforts. The deaf community seems to advocate on a more topical level than a technology level.
For instance, there was a TV show that is now audio-described called Switched At Birth. It had quite a bit of deaf and hard-of-hearing actors present social issues wrapped up in an entertaining storyline. A hearing and deaf girl was switched at birth. When the two families met, it educated viewers as well as the characters stringently about deaf culture. We don’t celebrate blind culture at all.
It seems we’re too busy trying to forget and erase our blindness rather than having someone proudly be blind or visually impaired in popular media. I think we just need to start tackling our social advocacy more than our technical advocacy. I also think we need to ditch this toxic individualized mentality, that if we’re not flying planes, or if we’re not the best traveler, that we’re not worthy of being included in the community, or that our accessibility need to be dismissed so we can impress a sighted person, instead of having access needs met. We would rather pour billions into medical treatments rather than improve perceptions about our capabilities, and I’ll never understand it. Thanks, Robert. The question of the way that blind people are portrayed in the media is a thorny one and an interesting one. I saw a show, sadly, only a couple of episodes of it though, a few years ago called Growing Up Fisher. Does anybody remember this? I think there was one series of it and then it was never to be seen again. I don’t know if you can still watch it anywhere. I’d quite like to because, as I say, I only got around to a couple of episodes before it disappeared on whatever I was watching it on. It seemed pretty good to me the episodes I watched.
It was about a blind dad. I believe he was a lawyer from memory. He’s quite a capable blind person and the episodes I watched seem to be all right. That was one of the better ones. Of course, the portrayals that really make me cringe are the ones where you see the blind person feeling people’s faces and crazy soup like that. Oh, God. The portrayal of disabled people in the media is a really important topic. I know for a while the NFB had a thing going a little hashtag on Twitter saying, “Let us play us.” They were saying that if you’re going to feature a blind person or in fact a disabled person in the media, then have a person with that impairment play the role.
Voice-over: Mosen At Large Podcast.
Jonathan: David Kingsbury is in touch. Good to hear from you, David. He says thanks for your great podcast. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Let me share with you a big frustration I face every year around March and April when it is time to prepare my United States tax return. I prepare both my federal and state tax returns with TurboTax an Intuit product. This process is fully accessible with a screen reader. Their approach is to walk you through the process one question per page. The various form elements behave correctly. Content consistently starts on each page at properly designated main regions.
Next and back buttons are easy to find. Summary pages are easily navigable. Many blind people use TurboTax to file their taxes and generally have fewer accessibility problems with this part of the process. However, the final product that is the completed tax returns that goes to the federal and state and government is a different story. The file is an incomprehensible mess of a PDF. If you are a screen reader user, the PDF file for my completed 2020 tax forms totaled 31 pages.
No headings appeared anywhere hampering my ability to navigate through it. Worse still, financial data are presented in tables, but because they are not properly formatted for screen reader users, none of the column and row data lineup right. This makes it impossible for me to read through and understand any of the content. To understand anything, I must ask a sighted family member, friend, or total stranger to help out. I can either sacrifice my privacy or forego an understanding of my tax forms.
This is not a choice sighted people have to make. I have a similar problem with the form sent to me by Fidelity Investments, the company that handles my investments, and Wells Fargo, the company that holds a mortgage loan for my house. I strongly suspect this problem of inaccessible PDFs is widespread among financial services companies. I would like to ask you and your listeners three questions. First, if there are any PDF remediation experts out there, is it technically possible for a company that needs to prepare millions of financial statements to auto-generate properly remediated PDFs in bulk?
Second, do your listeners have similar PDF accessibility problems, and if so, with which financial services companies? Finally, do your listeners have any examples of properly prepared financial reports where the tabular information is comprehensible. Keep up the good work and I look forward to some useful feedback. I look forward to it too, David. Obviously, the US tax system and how taxes are prepared is quite different from what we have here.
The majority of our listeners reside in the United States so let’s open it up. These are some important questions but you have resolved a long-standing dilemma for me, David. I always wondered why former President Trump never released those tax returns, and now I get it. He was probably a screen reader user and he couldn’t inspect them so he didn’t want to release what he couldn’t verify. I totally get that.
You may recall that quite some time ago, James wrote in with his initial findings on the Oticon More hearing aids. Now he has more on the Oticon More. He writes, “Good morning, Jonathan. Further to my last mention of the Oticon More aids, I had a follow-up visit from my audiologist yesterday. My comment about the aids seeming to pick out the loudest noise, rather than focusing on speech seems to have resolved itself. Whether this was as a result of the deep neural network learning of the aids by itself or whether it was my own central nervous plasticity, I don’t know, but fancy it was the latter.”
“I am still certain that these aids are far and away the best I have tried. It just seems as though there is a far more comprehensive soundscape coming into my brain. Without the aids, I have only the slightest awareness of birdsong in the garden, but with the aids, I am stunningly made aware of their presence. When compared to my original Oticon open aids, they are markedly better. Before getting the Oticon More devices.”
“I tried the Opn S, Phonak Paradise, ReSound M&RIE microphone and receiver in-ear, and found them wanting. Clearly, all hearing impairments vary, but for anyone setting out on the path of hearing aid selection, I would certainly recommend the Oticon More. Note, anyone trying hearing aids is entitled to at least a month of trial with a guarantee of full refund, if not happy. Please research the prerequisites of what a proper assessment and fitting should entail. Cliff Olson has very clear YouTube videos on all of these important aspects. Like you, Jonathan, I am waiting for Oticon to bring out the replaceable battery version of the aids and my audiologist is quite happy to let me borrow these rechargeable ones, which I’ve had since February.”
Thanks, James for the update. really encouraged by that and it sounds like you have a keeper in your audiologist there who’s being so flexible. You are tempting me to give them a try when the replaceable battery version does come out, provided, of course, I can continue to use my direct audio input cable, which is an absolute must for me. Eden’s got a problem with her phone, and we’ll hear about it now.
She says I’m running an iPhone SE 2020. I have public beta 14.7, although I can say fairly certainly this was not update-related. It just seems that all of a sudden, when I open a link on my phone, instead of opening Safari, it just sends me to my status bar, where I can see all my wireless and cellular data connections. I changed web browsers and it worked for a time, but then it stopped working, too. What is going on? Would you have any idea?
I turned off screen recognition. It won’t read with speech or braille, with a lowercase b. This is absolute insanity. I can’t think of anything that could cause this. I’m on the verge of reinitializing my old iPhone 8 or worse, I suppose, a factory reset. I’m going to download another browser, but worry the same thing will just happen. Thanks, Eden. When you download browsers on your iPhone, you’re not making that much of a difference actually, because they’re all required to use the same browser engine.
There’ll be some user interface differences and some feature differences, but if the problem’s deep in the browser engine somewhere, then you may not get any relief. If you’ve changed your default browser option to whatever you want to try, so set your default browser to Chrome or Edge or whatever, and you’re still having this problem, and it does sound like that’s what you’ve done, the next thing I would try, if you’ve not done so already, is to warm reset the phone.
Not just shutting it down and turning it on again, but there’s a process of warm resetting the phone. To do this, you’ve got to do the magic Apple dance. What you do, and you’ve got to do this in reasonably quick succession, is press volume up, volume down, and then hold down the side button for quite some time until the phone powers off and starts to recycle. Volume up, volume down, hold that button on the side until it’s rebooting. That does put it through a more aggressive form of restart and resets a few things. Sometimes this clears mysterious problems like this up. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to go and start having a look at some of the settings options. Yes, I guess, as a last resort, you could try resetting the phone. If you haven’t had a chat to Apple tech support, it might be worth doing that. They may be able to remote into the phone, do some diagnostics, which we mere mortals are not able to do, and they could resolve it for you. If you do get it resolved, let us know what you finally did to fix it.
Jason Stradone writes, “Hello, Jonathan. Thanks again for all of the good content. I would like to see if you or any listeners have any suggestions on how to send audio from my TiVo that is connected to my TV, to my Sonos system. This is a small TV, and I don’t want to spend the money for a soundbar. I just want to be able to send the TiVo audio to my Sonos system. I have three different Sonos SL Ones and would like to airplay the TV audio over the speakers. I didn’t know if I could purchase an airplay 2 adapter to connect to the TiVo so I could select that device and then send that audio over the Sonos speakers. I know Sonos has a few products that might help with that, but I didn’t know if another option exists. Thanks for any help you can give.”
It says here that Jason is JAWS certified 2020. Hope you’re going to get your 2021 JAWS Certification, Jason. It’s good to hear from you. You’ve posed an interesting question because Belkin recently released an adapter. When I thought about this, I thought this could be what you’re after. It’s called the Sound Form Connect, but it goes the other way. With the Sound Form Connect, you’re able to connect this with gadgets to say the line out of a device like your stereo system.
Then you’ll be able to send, say, from your iPhone to that. It’s designed for sending to something, but what you are asking about is sending from your TiVo to existing airplay devices. I cannot find a gadget that does that. That’s not to say that one doesn’t exist, but if it does, it’s a lot more obscure. I have a gadget from Twelve South called the AirFly, which does this for Bluetooth, but I haven’t been able to find an equivalent for airplay.
Your best bet could possibly be to just bite the bullet, as they say, and do something within the Sonos ecosystem. One thing you could do is buy the Sonos port. It’s an excellent device, and then you would have no problem at all getting your TiVo onto your Sonos speakers. That way, you’d also get line out, which does have some advantage sometimes. The Sonos port is quite pricey, but it’s worth it. It’s good quality. It just does what you want it to do.
Another option is to upgrade your speakers. You could go with a Sonos 5, which has a line-in, and then you could run an analog line-in cable from one of the Sonos 5s to your TiVo, and that would make the TiVo part of your Sonos system as well. That works very well. We’ve got a couple of Sonos 5s in the studio. We have another Sonos 5 upstairs, and the line-ins are quite handy because you can also use this to connect any number of things. Some people use them to connect Victor Reader streams, more commonly analog turntables. It has all sorts of cool uses.
If anybody knows of an airplay transmitter, that’s what we’re after here, an airplay transmitter, so that Jason can connect this to his TiVo and essentially broadcast that as an airplay signal that can then be sent to his existing airplay speakers. Please let us know. Great question.
Voice-over: What’s on your mind? Send an email with a recording of your voice, or just write it down, firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s J -O-N-A-T-H-A-N @mushroomfm.com or phone our listener line. The number in the United States is 86460 Mosen. That’s 864 606 6736.
Jonathan: This email is from Pam Francis who writes, “Hello, Jonathan. When my daughter was a teenager, she gave me one of the highest compliments I think I could have ever had. As a blind parent at the time single, she said to me she did not see me as blind. She saw me as her provider. Both of my children are adults with families of their own. Neither of them see me as anything less than what they are, except for my lack of vision. I feel as if I’m very fortunate.”
You are indeed. Thank you, Pam, for sharing that. Being a parent is certainly the most wonderful thing that has happened in my life. There have been moments where my kids have said something that has made me really proud. There was a moment in one of my kids’ social studies classes where the teacher put forth the absurd idea that you should have to be able to see to vote, and that if you couldn’t see to mark your own ballot paper, then you shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
The child concerned was outraged and got up and spoke up and said, “My dad is blind and he’s one of the most politically astute people that I know, and how dare you?” Basically. I was very, very proud. It is great when you realize that the kids have internalized those things and have become little disability rights advocates, even if they’re not disabled themselves. You do hear a lot of psychobabble nonsense from so-called professionals in the blindness space about some of this stuff.
I remember talking to somebody, it was very scary because this person was supposedly a specialist in child and family issues when it came to blindness. He told me that most children of blind parents resent the fact that the children are blind. Now, as you can appreciate, I called utter nonsense on this. I think any of us who’ve got through the trauma, the challenge of parenting teenagers know that there are times when you feel like, “What’s happened to my wonderful child? They’ve metamorphosized into these crazy unreasonable hormonal people,” but that’s part of parenting.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a blind parent or not, you are most likely going to experience some difficulties with at least some of your kids, if you have more than one, in their teenage years. They’re stretching the boundaries. A lot’s changing for them. They’re discovering life. Whether you’re blind or whether you’re not, there’s going to be some resentment there, but it really is frustrating when you get these people who think that they are authorities on blindness, they are in fact sighted people with second-hand knowledge, and they come out with these very dangerous assertions that can’t be substantiated.
Stories like this are very important to tell. Thank you for telling it, Pam. Back to the topic of TP-link who seemingly don’t give a flying flamingo about accessibility, if I may coin a phrase from John Bercow. Peter’s in touch again, he says, “Hi, Jonathan, firstly, a couple of thank-yous. While I am not hearing impaired, I do tend to listen to you via the podcast. Usually, when I have nothing to take notes, your chapter markers are a big help, but Marcus sends in a contribution regarding my message on the TP-link deco app. Thanks to the transcript, I was quickly able to locate his instructions and copy them to my PC so I could check them.
I’d love to report success. However, screen recognition was already off. I ran the deco app and was faced with a blank screen. I have checked my iOS version, 14.6, and decided to switch off voiceover and ran using Siri following which I would switch on voiceover. This actually worked first time, but as soon as I turned on the screen recognition, the app crashed. Ever since this, despite turning off VO and restarting the app, I can not get anything but a blank screen.
To be fair on TP-link, this was a problem I had with HW Buddy, although it showed an error at the top of the page if you used Explore by Touch. However, I tried this app again and it worked fine. Has anyone else had any issues with other apps not loading? Could this be an OS problem rather than the dreaded TP-link? My thanks, therefore must go to you for providing the transcript, which is really useful for so many reasons, and also to Marcus for his interest and suggestion. I am going to forward Marcus’s comments and my most recent findings to TP-link because I enjoy banging my head against a brick wall. Have a great day.”
Well, you have a great day as well, Pete. As I often like to say, advocacy is often about feeling like your head is being banged against a brick wall, but every so often, the wall moves a little bit. It would be great if you could find a way to escalate this and bring it to the attention of someone who cares. In our extensive breaking news coverage of our washing machine sagas, we talked about Easter eggs with Fisher & Paykel washing machines. This was on the Bonnie Bulletin, and we talked about how some washing machines will play the New Zealand national anthem.
It actually made me wonder, have you found things in appliances or software that are totally unexpected? It’s a fun topic. For example, I remember with the original Kurzweil Reading Machine, and that really is dating me, big washing machine-like device that you have to put in a special room with an electrostatic mat so it didn’t get damaged. When you switched it on, it sounded like it was taking off like an airplane. They had a little keypad with that machine, and it had a button called the special command button.
You would push the special command button followed by a two-digit code and this would do different things. This particular special command that I want to talk about wasn’t documented. One day, being the little geek that I was even then, I decided, “Let’s go through all of these special commands from 00 to 99 and see if there were any that were not documented,” because I wanted to know everything about this amazing Kurzweil Reading Machine.
I’m pretty sure it was when I got to special command 21, I’m pretty sure it was 21, it loaded the classic Colossal Cave Adventure game, and I was absolutely ecstatic. When people thought that I was in there diligently reading print books, I was enthralled by the original Colossal Cave Adventure. Don’t tell anyone, will you? I don’t want to be put on detention, I tell you. Teri McElroy is writing in on this, not the Kurzweil, but Easter eggs. She says, “Hi, Jonathan. Just to let you know, the Easter egg won’t work on Fisher &Paykel machines manufactured from 2013 onwards when manufacturing was transferred to China.
For those with older machines still capable of this, the Easter egg can be made to play the national anthem from New Zealand, or Australia, or America.” Well, she says, “Instructions can be googled on how to do this. I think it only works with top loader machines.” Marvelous. Thank you, Teri. If anybody else has found little things that your appliances or even software do that aren’t documented, in other words, Easter eggs, what a fun topic.
Voice-over: Mosen At Large Podcast.
Jonathan: David is writing in and says, “Do you know anyone with an iPhone 10? I got mine in November of 2017 that is having trouble with the battery life. I’m running version 14.6 of iOS, and I’m having some serious degradation of battery life, especially while running Apple Podcasts. Any suggestions?” Well, first, I would suggest don’t run Apple Podcasts. It’s a really mediocre podcast app. The second thing I would say is that given the phone is almost four years old, I would think that’s about right to look at for a battery replacement, particularly, since in 2017, I don’t think Apple had introduced all the optimization features yet to try and keep the battery in trim.
This is the feature where you might see this where if it’s got to understand your usual use patterns, it will sit at 80% for ages, and then optimize your battery. For example, if I set my 5:00 AM alarm, which is when I usually get up, it will sit at 80% until about 3:30 even if I put my phone on charge, say at seven or eight o’clock at night, and then it will give it the last 20% of juice and that’s designed to prolong the battery life. It is quite recent that all those changes were implemented. I would say that you should head along to your friendly neighborhood Apple store and get the battery replaced.
Maurice: Hello, Jonathan. This is Maurice Mines. Two things. One, in one of your podcasts someone had said that they weren’t able to use Amadeus Pro on the map. I use Amadeus Pro quite a bit on the map. It’s not a problem. I think Amadeus Pro behaves in a manner of whichever rendition of macOS you’re running. The other thing is I have some question about podcasting, ironically enough. I am getting ready to publish my life as a deaf-blind person.
The podcast I think is about two-thirds done in terms of interviews and the initial recording. Where and how do I publish these things? That’s my big question because there’s no point in publishing something if no one is going to listen to it. Also, along with this, I’m going to have a transcript because my life as a deaf-blind person talks about deaf-blindness 10] Hence, there will be some people on the very board that I’m on who can’t even hear this podcast. There’s going to be a written version of this available at roughly around the same time as the audio version is. Any ideas on where and how to publish that?
Jonathan: Thank you for getting in touch, Maurice. I’m sure that your podcast will be interesting as you chronicle your life as a deaf-blind person. If you go back into the Mosen At Large archives, last year, I did a review of some of the popular podcast hosts. Now that was done at a time when we weren’t offering transcriptions of the show so it may be difficult for you to access. The short version is that there are a lot of good options out there. My personal favorite is one called Pinecast. I like this because the developer is willing to engage on accessibility issues, the price is reasonable, it has excellent features, and they do have a limited free option available to you.
Pinecast would be worth considering. There is also anchor.fm and that is completely free. I think Pinecast might be easier though. If you have already recorded something in Amadeus, then all you would need to do is save it in Amadeus in MP3 or M4A format and then upload it using Pinecast. However, when you start your podcast, you will need to make sure that it is listed in Apple Podcasts and any other podcast services that you choose. Apple Podcasts is still the most important one because it’s the Apple Podcast directory that a lot of other podcast apps leverage in order to find podcasts.
If you’re not in Apple Podcasts, you really may as well not have a podcast. This is one area where although there are some caveats with it, anchor.fm can be very attractive because it does all of the listing in the podcast directories for you when you sign up and when you’re ready to go. As far as transcripts are concerned, and I know this will be really important for some of your audience, I looked long and hard at a range of automated options, which are certainly very cost-effective, but none of them were very good at all. None of them catered to the wide variety of recording environments and accents and speaking speeds that are common with a contribution-based podcast like this one.
In the end, we resorted to humans, and we use a service called gotranscript.com. GoTranscript is all one word. They are cheaper even at their base price than other human podcast services that I have seen. The more you use it, the cheaper it gets, which, given how much business I am feeding them, really does help me out a lot and make the grant that we’ve received for transcribing this podcast last a little longer. Now, once you’ve published your podcast, and it’s available in directories, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to flock to it.
You are going to have to spread the word. You’re going to have to find ways to market your podcast. Let people know that it’s there. I imagine that you have some pretty robust extensive networks in the deaf-blind community so you would want to reach out to those networks. You would want to post information about your podcast on relevant social media groups. If you have social media access, certainly on deaf-blindness-related email lists, anywhere that you know that your potential target audience is lurking that’s where you should be to make sure that your podcast has that leverage. Good luck. Let us know how you get on.
Andy Rebscher writes, “Hi, Jonathan. As you were discussing medical consent signatures and capture within the same podcast, I had a few thoughts. One of my medical providers uses a nicely constructed and very accessible site for their appointment confirmation and consent forms. It prompts you if you neglect to fill in something and clearly notifies you when the form has been submitted. When you go to the appointment, you can breeze into the office without being required to fill out and sign any forms.
I also had an awkward time with signatures in those situations when they were on paper. Once the electronic signature pads came into use, it became even more difficult. As for capture, I heard you mention that the audio version is quite impossible with a hearing impairment as yet I still have really good hearing, but I’ve never succeeded in getting one of those audio captures right. I’m talking 100% failure rate. As you have mentioned, Google’s approach is great. I hope something similar becomes the norm. Thanks to you and all your listeners for a show worth looking forward to each week.” Well, thank you, Andy, for your contribution because it’s contributions like yours that make it worth looking forward to every week.
Jonathan: Time now, after that beautiful moving music, for another edition of the Bonnie Bulletin with Bonnie Mosen.
Bonnie: Hi guys.
Jonathan: How are you?
Bonnie: I’m good, and Eclipse is here too.
Jonathan: It’s a special day today.
Bonnie: It is a special day.
Jonathan: It’s your wedding anniversary.
Bonnie: And yours, too.
Jonathan: What a coincidence.
Bonnie: And Helen Keller’s birthday.
Jonathan: A coincidence. It’s both of our wedding anniversaries.
Bonnie: Yes, actually I found out from my friend Christina that several of our friends were married on this day, so it’s a good day for weddings, I guess.
Jonathan: The 27th, New Zealand time and it’s the 26th, US time. I remember it so clearly because when I got up on our wedding day, we were doing the tradition of you being somewhere else.
Bonnie: Yes, I was at the Trentham Motel.
Jonathan: Yes, nice.
Bonnie: With the rest– [laughs] It’s not quite as dodgy as it sounds.
Jonathan: I was with-
Jonathan: -Anthony. That’s right.
Bonnie: Yes, because Mark couldn’t stay.
Jonathan: Mark was my best man, but he was not well. He was not well, so I was with him. Then when I got up that morning, I heard the big Supreme Court news about the gay marriage and I thought, “What a great auspicious start.” Yes, so six years ago.
Jonathan: We had quite the modern online wedding.
Bonnie: We did.
Jonathan: We had a small-ish number of guests.
Bonnie: About 65?
Bonnie: Which is a good number.
Jonathan: Yes, present at the Trentham Racecourse.
Bonnie: The champagne room at the Trentham Racecourse.
Jonathan: Tremendous, yes, because we thought, “Well, do we want a ceremony, or shall we just trot on down to the registry office?” We decided to do the ceremony. Then we decided, well, where, and because of your love of racing, we thought-
Bonnie: Yes, my race track connections I thought it would be great to do it at the racecourse, so it was really cool.
Jonathan: Then what we did was we actually streamed the wedding on the Mosen channel.
Bonnie: We did, yes.
Jonathan: We had a day of tributary programming because we played the first time you and I met, which is cool that we have a recording of– well, the second time technically.
Bonnie: Second time technically.
Jonathan: Fleeting, fleeting. We were in an exhibit hall or something.
Bonnie: Yes, I just said, “Hi,” basically. That was it.
Bonnie: I’m sure he had several hundred people saying hi to him that day. I don’t know if there was even several hundred people at that conference.
Jonathan: That event was a tiny one.
Bonnie: It was nice though. It was probably honestly one of my favorite conventions because it was small. The hotel was easily navigable. There wasn’t tonnes of canes and dogs and things that you usually get with one of those big conventions. The smaller ones are nice.
Jonathan: It was a nice little convention. We had our wedding day streamed, and we had a really large number of people tuning in from all around the world.
Bonnie: The world.
Jonathan: We even had our own Twitter hashtag.
Bonnie: We did, yes. We did, Bonathan.
Jonathan: #Bonathan. What a genius idea.
Bonnie: Yes like Brangelina and Jay– What is it? Jayrod. I don’t remember all of them. Neither of those are still going. [laughs]
Jonathan: Yes, so it was a lovely day.
Bonnie: It was a lovely wedding. A really nice wedding.
Jonathan: The hotel we stayed at on our wedding night, it had an iPad in every room.
Bonnie: It did, yes, and you could do room service, and it was a really nice hotel suite. I would be happy to live there. It was-
Jonathan: I’m sure you would.
Bonnie: -a big apartment.
Jonathan: We did get voice-over working on it eventually.
Bonnie: Yes, but we couldn’t navigate the menus.
Jonathan: Yes, the menu wasn’t very accessible in there.
Bonnie: I suggested you leave the voice-over on, but you didn’t.
Jonathan: Oh, we don’t want to be anti-social.
Bonnie: Oh, we’re going to freak out the next guest.
Jonathan: Yes, we don’t want to-
Bonnie: Why is my iPad talking?
Jonathan: We don’t want to buck the system. Yes, that’s right. It’s our anniversary. We were thinking about going out, and we actually still can if we want to, but Wellington is in Coronavirus Level 2 at the moment. What happened was that we got a lovely visitor. They have this thing called the Trans-Tasman Bubble.
Bonnie: Not anymore.
Jonathan: Yes, which people were hankering for. The idea is that New Zealanders and Australians could hop across the Tasman and not have to go through managed isolation and quarantine. People were happy about that. They felt it was some degree of normality being restored, but last weekend, there was a wee outbreak in Sydney. Somebody came over from there to visit, and it turned out that later he tested positive for the Rona. The good thing is that he had one dose of his vaccination, that may well have saved us because he does have the Delta variant. Imagine being that person that when hearing about all the places you visited on the news and-
Bonnie: Oh, yes, and everyone always laughs. Kudos to him, he did check in places, but he obviously, really enjoyed art because he went to a couple of art galleries and a big art exhibit up at Te Papa. I didn’t know every cafe he went to. I had not heard of one of them called the Highwater, but he went to the Countdown on Lambton Quay, and you’re thinking, “Why is he going to all these places?” He went to the Life Pharmacy on Lambton Quay, so everyone is thinking, “Was he having symptoms then?” Yes, you just don’t want to be on that one o’clock press conference with all the places that you visited.
Jonathan: It would seem very strange to people listening, say, from the Northern hemisphere or India or countries like that where they’re really battling with this and it’s been very tough. Whenever we have a single example like this, it becomes a national fixation, and so they publish all the-
Bonnie: [laughs] [unintelligible 01:26:15]
Jonathan: -all the locations of interest that the person has been. If you have been in those places at about that time, you have to self-isolate by law. It works. I mean, we haven’t had community transmission in New Zealand, a single case of the coronavirus for a long time. I think, what, February was the last time?
Bonnie: Yes, I think so.
Jonathan: We’re on a good streak.
Bonnie: I have a feeling we’re coming to an end though.
Jonathan: Well, it is difficult.
Bonnie: That’s my gut feeling.
Jonathan: Especially with the Delta variant, so we’re doing all we can to maintain that streak, and that’s why we went into a Level 2 lockdown, which is basically more masks, more social distancing.
Bonnie: It’s not a whole lot different than one, honestly.
Jonathan: A limit on the number of people who can gather together.
Bonnie: Yes, gathering together is the big one.
Bonnie: That would be the big one.
Jonathan: So far so good. We appear to have dodged the bullet. We’re supposed to go out of Level 2 at 11:59 tonight, and the cabinet is meeting this morning. Meanwhile though, unfortunately, it’s got much worse for Sydney, and they are going into a two-week lockdown. They have gone into it now. The government here has decided to pop the Trans-Tasman Bubble, and it’s a pause now for three days while they figure out what to do.
Bonnie: You can’t go to Melbourne, right? I mean Melbourne is in that bubble.
Jonathan: That’s right. You can go I think, but you-
Bonnie: You can go?
Jonathan: -just have to spend 14 days in managed isolation and quarantine.
Bonnie: In quarantine, yes. I have not heard them comment or our government comment on people who are vaccinated like New Zealanders who are vaccinated, if they can travel and come back and not have to quarantine. There’s been no clarity around that yet.
Jonathan: I think it might be possible. The reason I say this is because some of our cricketers are coming back home. Now, we have to talk about this. I mean, I know that you don’t really dig it too much, but it’s been an amazing week for New Zealand sport, for New Zealand cricket, in particular. There are quite a few things I’d like to say about this. New Zealand is a very small country. We’ve only got 5 million people, and so, what I like about New Zealand’s sport is that we do play sports where we take on other international teams, the national teams of other countries.
We have been participating in the last two years or so in the International Cricket Council’s Test Championship. For those who don’t know anything about cricket, test matches are the long form of the game. They can go as long as five days, and this causes a lot of Americans, especially, to scratch their heads in incredulity and say, “How can you enjoy a game that goes five days, and then you might not have a result at the end of it?” It’s like a game of Chess. There’s so much strategy. There’s so many twists and turns.
It is enthralling. It’s like getting deep into a novel. They’ve had this championship where when you play this form of the game, you get allocated points as you win. New Zealand managed to become the number one test side in the rankings, but that also earned us a place in the first-ever International Cricket Council Championship of test match cricket where we played India. What really is funny, slightly frustrating, but funny, is that constantly, no matter how well we perform, the cricket Illuminati write off New Zealand all the time. They underestimate us. I had every confidence that we would beat India.
I was in little doubt of it, but what was concerning me was the English weather was so bad that two of the days were rained out. Luckily, they had allocated a spare day. We were able to beat India within less than four days of actual cricket, and we are now the world champions. I think we were robbed due to stupid rules of a World Cup. Well, if not a victory, a tie in the one-day form of the game in 2019. It still hurts many of us. It hurts us real bad. To win this match finally and be the World Cricket champions of test match cricket. It’s incredibly special and many people are saying it’s the greatest thing that has ever happened in New Zealand sport.
It was just such a proud moment. Wow, absolutely fantastic. Congratulations to India for putting up a really good fight. They are classy in terms of the way they perform, they’re a very good side, good batting, good bowling attack, but we were on top of it. It was just one of the best days of my life, I have to say.
Bonnie: That’s great.
Jonathan: You slept through it.
Bonnie: I do.
Jonathan: Because it’s been taking place in England, a lot of us are very sleep-deprived.
Bonnie: Most of the country is.
Jonathan: Yes. It was just really cool going into meetings on that Thursday, and everybody yawning and bonding at the same time over the cricket, yes. It means a lot to a small country like New Zealand to be number one on the world stage like that. They’re such a great bunch of guys. There are some cricket teams who do not play the game in the spirit with what you traditionally associate cricket. These guys are classy. I know that people are on tenterhooks-
Jonathan: -wanting a washing machine update. Here we are.
Bonnie: It’s not really an update. It still works. I have to say that it can wash clothes, it just can’t use the app still.
Jonathan: You should say that every week. It doesn’t minimize the process.
Bonnie: It doesn’t minimize it, but it still works. Technically, you’re not piling up loads of laundry, which thank God.
Jonathan: Yes. I got a call from Samsung earlier in the week, I was in the middle of a meeting, my day job is crazy busy, and I didn’t return the call because they didn’t leave a voicemail, so I didn’t know why they were calling. Then, they called back during the clubhouse event yesterday, and they did leave a voicemail. They said, “Could you please ring us back because we’ve got something we want you to try.” When I called them back, they said, “Are you by the washing machine?” It was almost like, “Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin.”
Bonnie: You just hang out by the washing machine.
Jonathan: Yes. I said, “I’m not. If you’re going to give me buttons to press, first, it will be good to understand what it is you’re asking me to do because we have tried resetting the device as a completely new machine. If that’s what you’re saying to do, we’ve already done that.” I said that in the email. He seemed reluctant to divulge the secret recipe. He’s like the Colonel Sanders of washing machines unless I was by the washing machine.
In the end, I had to say to him, and I really didn’t want to disclose this because it just adds a spanner in the works, but I said, “Look, actually, what you’re going to have to do is email the instructions to me because I’m totally blind, and this is one of the reasons why this issue is so important to us because we need to be able to control the app from the washing machine. If you could email me the instructions, if we haven’t attempted them before, we will follow them when we have assistance available to do that.” He said, “I will do that, but I can’t email you until Monday because our email department isn’t open on a Saturday.”
Bonnie: What is the email department? Don’t people send their own emails? It’s very strange. I just had this picture of that’s what people do all day is sit in this little pool of computers and email things if you email them.
Jonathan: I would like to know if there’s anybody listening from the email department of Samsung because you seem like a pretty influential person I’d like to know. The magic person who sends the emails at Samsung is… it’s like that Grace– What’s her name? Gracie Fields’ song about the Thing-Ummy-Bob. Have you ever heard that?
Bonnie: Yes. The email department. The email department? Surely, they would give it a better name than the email department.
Jonathan: We could play the Thing-Ummy-Bob on Small World actually.
Bonnie: Yes, you could.
Jonathan: We will do. How did you enjoy the first Small World?
Bonnie: I enjoyed it, yes. I got to hear things I haven’t heard in a very long time like Ladies First, I’ve not heard that in so long.
Jonathan: Yes. A number of Americans seem to remember the Ladies First one. That obviously did get some airplay in the United States. We’ve had so much lovely reaction to that show, and of course, Small World’s back again, believe it or not. They’re letting it on again.
Bonnie: Yes, today at 4:00.
Jonathan: Yes, midnight Eastern Time for six plays throughout Sunday, and every Sunday. Most of the songs and stories we’re playing today have been requested by listeners.
Bonnie: That’s cool.
Jonathan: It didn’t take long.
Bonnie: No, it didn’t.
Jonathan: Anyway, we are, of course, looking forward very much to putting the Windows 11 inside a build on your laptop.
Bonnie: I don’t think so.
Jonathan: [chuckles] I think that you’re going to be the one who sacrifices for the cause.
Jonathan: All right, then. Well, I’m sure it’ll be a lovely remainder of our anniversary having a nice meal at home-
Bonnie: We are.
Jonathan: -under Level 2. Lovely. Thank you.
Jonathan: Thank you for putting up with me.
Bonnie: Thank you for putting up with me.
Jonathan: All right, then, goodbye.
Jonathan: To contribute to Mosen At Large, you can email Jonathan Metz, J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N at mushroomfm.com by writing something down or attaching an audio file, or you can call our listener line. It’s a US number 864-60 Mosen, that’s 864-606-6736.
Voice-over: Mosen At Large Podcast.
[01:35:57] [END OF AUDIO]