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tech podcast 206 is now up

Hi folks,
Podcast 206 is now on our RSS feed. A long time person makes an appearance, two segments worth. Consumer reports articles I bring up, and we also have our contact info. Hope you enjoy!

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Window-Eyes 9.0 beta 1 is now available

Hi folks,
Here is some news in regards to Window-Eyes 9.0 beta 1. I’ve got it installed and it is very snappy, and I like what they have done.


If you’re subscribed to the Guess What podcast feed, you’ll automatically receive this Guess What in MP3 format.? Check out www.gwmicro.com/podcast for more information.? If you want to download the MP3, read this article online, or view more Guess What articles (when they are released), please visit www.gwmicro.com/beta.


Welcome to Ai Squared’s Guess What series, an introductory look at the highly anticipated release of Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1.

Today is the day that you have all been waiting for!? Today is the day that you get access to all-new web support from Window-Eyes! You get access to ARIA, HTML 5, dynamic web pages, improved responsiveness, intelligent web support, the best table support on the web, mouse-reading in Internet Explorer, auto recovery, QuickBooks, Google Docs, and preliminary support for Windows 10!

But, before we discuss how to get Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1, there are a few important details you need to know about the new version, including both technical and pricing information.? First, let’s cover the technical details.

What operating systems will Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1 support?? It will continue to support all Windows operating systems starting with Vista and above, including preliminary support for Windows 10. While you may still install Window-Eyes on Windows XP, Ai Squared will not be able to provide technical support for Windows XP.? Since Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, we have not tested it with Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1, so install it on XP at your own risk.

If you are running Window-Eyes 8.x, you can install Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1. Remember that you can download a FREE full functioning copy of Window-Eyes if you have Microsoft Office 2010 or higher at www.windoweyesforoffice.com.

If you purchased a brand new copy of Window-Eyes version 8.4 today or after today, you will receive the 9.0 upgrade at no additional charge.? If you are eligible for the upgrade either because of a purchase or an earlier SMA, you will automatically receive the upgrade via electronic download as soon as it is available. You will also receive the new version on CD.? For a complete list of all new features in Window-Eyes, you can find them in the Readme in the Help menu of Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1.

Find out all of the pricing information and other details by going to www.gwmicro.com/beta.? Additionally, you may contact Ai Squared at (802) 362-3612. Orders will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to place your order today!? Please note that Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1 is only available for English copies.

And now, for the moment you have all been waiting for, you can download Window-Eyes 9.0 Beta 1 starting now at www.gwmicro.com/beta!

Aaron Smith

Web Development * App Development * Product Support Specialist

Ai Squared * 725 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825

260-489-3671 * www.aisquared.com

To insure that you receive proper support, please include all past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant information pertinent to your situation when submitting a problem report to the Ai Squared Technical Support Team.

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Serotek making changes, podcasts are unknown

Hi folks,
I was tipped off via Philmore Productions about eledged firings that took place at the Serotek corporation, makers of the Socializer, SamNet, and their flagship products SATOGO and their screen reader. While messages were posted via Philmore, I was careful to indicate on the pre message that I didn’t know what was going on. Blind Bargains posted Serotek Releases Statement, Says the Best is Yet to Come which links to Serotek’s blog and tells everything on what is up. This post entitled: Serotek Loses 5, Future of Company in Doubt initially indicated that the 5 mentioned were fired, and later updated to indicate that they resigned. Apparently, they were offered other positions dealing with the podcast network they developed, among other things. Nobody really knows what has happened, but companies sometimes need to restructure their efforts.
People probably talked about GW Miicro closing its doors, but we ended up learning that AI Squared and GW Micro teamed up which could be a good thing. People should not just jump to conclusions like what I’ve heard on the phone lines. I heard that Serotek may have felt the heat in regards to the NVDA software by NV Access but apparently that isn’t the case. I think we should relax and see what is going to happen before we say that Serotek is done for. We just don’t need to do that.
I’ve not used their products much, I did try SA to go, but never tried their flagship product at all. I hear it is a good product, and I’m not going to sit here and bash something that people are using and that is working. Just like NVDA, I am not going to bash that piece of software, although, one person I know has had bad luck with it. That doesn’t make it bad, different PC’s are going to take it different. Lets see what will happen with Serotek, and hopefully we’ll see what types of products they are going to come out with.

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Technology podcast 205 is now available!

Podcast 205 is now available on our RSS feed and some strong language and descriptions of sex is in this cast. Go and get it and enjoy the show!

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The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed

A lot of tech news is your typical review, or typical question and answer type of thing. In Wired Magazine this month, there is an article entitled: The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed and it is not pretty. Lets just take one section which really got me going from this article.

“Nearby, in a shopping mall, I meet a young woman who I’ll call Maria. She’s on her lunch break from an outsourcing firm, where she works on a team that moderates photos and videos for the cloud storage service of a major US technology company. Maria is a quality-assurance representative, which means her duties include double-checking the work of the dozens of agents on her team to make sure they catch everything. This requires her to view many videos that have been flagged by moderators.

“I get really affected by bestiality with children,” she says. “I have to stop. I have to stop for a moment and loosen up, maybe go to Starbucks and have a coffee. She laughs at the absurd juxtaposition of a horrific sex crime and an overpriced latte.

Constant exposure to videos like this has turned some of Maria’s coworkers intensely paranoid. Every day they see proof of the infinite variety of human depravity. They begin to suspect the worst of people they meet in real life, wondering what secrets their hard drives might hold. Two of Maria’s female coworkers have become so suspicious that they no longer leave their children with babysitters. They sometimes miss work because they can’t find someone they trust to take care of their kids.

Maria is especially haunted by one video that came across her queue soon after she started the job. “There’s this lady,” she says, dropping her voice. “Probably in the age of 15 to 18, I don’t know. She looks like a minor. There’s this bald guy putting his head to the lady’s vagina. The lady is blindfolded, handcuffed, screaming and crying.

The video was more than a half hour long. After watching just over a minute, Maria began to tremble with sadness and rage. Who would do something so cruel to another person? She examined the man on the screen. He was bald and appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent but was otherwise completely unremarkable. The face of evil was someone you might pass by in the mall without a second glance.

After two and a half years on the cloud storage moderation team, Maria plans to quit later this year and go to medical school. But she expects that video of the blindfolded girl to stick with her long after she’s gone. “I don’t know if I can forget it,” she says. “I watched that a long time ago, but it’s like I just watched it yesterday.”

Lets talk about this a minute. Some bald guy putting his head in some girl who may be 15-18 can be a serious problem. If you do that on your own time, thats your business. You take a video, thats your business. Putting that on the Internet becomes a problem. I want to thank people like Maria who tirelessly put their lives on the line to filter out things that may be questionable and against the law. Its a tough job, and someone unfortunately has to do it. Here’s the thing. I can’t speak about myself, but one thing I did wonder was whether these things had any audio. If it did, then it would be just as bad, because the woman or girl clearly didn’t want anything, and that is technically against the law. I hope justice was done, if at all possible. I also wonder if they turn these videos over to the police to see if any crime is committed? Tech is not pretty. Take a look at the article in full, and comment if you wish.

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review of the new intel driver update 2.0

Hi all.
This is primarily for the geeks out there but for those that update their stuff you will have been used to the activex control for intel made by system requirements lab.
Have you struggled through activex installs, running internet explorer in admin mode just to use it?
Had trouble with non detected or wrongly detected devices?
Well this is for you, its the brand new brouser indipendant intel driver update 2.0.
Sporting such features as zipping all your drivers into 1 big file and downloading.
You can choose old or new drivers.
you can even schedual automatic downloads.
You can detect and go its all at your fingertips.
Go and get it today.
Well almost.
The little add aside here is what to expect.
1. google intel driver update
Open intel driver update.
2. click the link to download driver update.
3. run the driver update installer and follow through the standard licence install and then launch.

This is where it gets tricky.
Access wize a lot of the view info is missing, the program displays inside a semi web graphic window.
Firstly settings.
Don’t bother, there is a combo box which surprise is inaccessible and 5 unlabled radio buttons which are no use to you.
Next is a view latest drivers button.
Now unless chrome was not configured or my feed settings in ie were wrong I got an error about a feed which is not complete and a lot of junk came out.
3. driver finding.
There are 3 buttons to do this.
1, find drivers.
This does nothing at least in nvda.
2. manually find drivers.
Clicking this or any manual will get you to the download centre eventually.
there is a go online button to click which will go to the centre to once that button is clicked.
You will want to find the button which has a list box round it and says recommended auto detect drivers.
hitting it, you assumedly get a progress bar but guess what its inaccessible.
wait and wait for about 5 minutes, tab round eventually you will get a page which says latest or older.
You can download old versions of drivers or latest drivers ofcause latest is recommended.
There is a select button for another product which just dumps you at the home screen again.
There is a select all button which is what you want.
There are blank space, graphics and pains all over the place which are unreadable.
I assume this is to select individual components but I am to lazy to fire up supernova.
hen again, nvda sometimes detects stuff supernova can’t.
Eventually you will get several checkboxes which are checked which is good because you don’t know what they are anyway.
There is a download button and a unlabelled brouse button however unless you are an xp user or a user that has a custom download location then it goes in a folder in your downloads of your user account.
Next hit download.
There will be a progress bar.
once its done go to your downloads folder as you normally would.
in there is a folder called intel components.
In there is something like win7_8_vista 1519237834948234.zip or something.
his is the driver zip package.
pen it with 7zip or whatever.
There is a readme file.
pen that.
In there there should be a date either before or right after a line that says production version.
All the drivers are in there.
Once you have the latest update for your cpu or whatever, read the file and closed everything you are back at the intel driver window.
Hit install.
This is where things get a bit bad.
At this point I’d like to know what the frack was being installed.
Listen to your system disconnecting and connecting hardware.
Unless if you have chipset utilities to install just wait, and wait till you get a restart button.
hit that.
the system will restart.
Check your device manager and you are done.
You may see new devices you never thought you had before.

End notes.
1. chipset.
If you do have a chipset program then the chipset install is always done separately.
you will get a second window which is also inaccessable.
Hit next and wait.
hit accept
hit install and wait.
Finally hit finnish and you are good to go and things will continue as it does.

Intel based systems only.
As far as I know you need more than
an intel processer to even have a chance of getting the driver update to even recognise your system.
If you have an amd device or something and most of your system is amd unless I assume you have more intel devices installed on the system you will not get the drivers buttons on completion of the update check.
After looking at the readme and drivers it looks like that the intel driver updater will update any intel based firmware or bios that a computer has which is intel based to.

1. while I am happy the activex control is totally gone, I really don’t care for the window issues and interface issues.
The lack of some progress bars and the fact I can’t see what I am eating are the big deals for me.
Once you have got everything semi setup though you should have little issue with setup.
As far as I could find out the driver updater does not install itself on startup at least in general windows startup.
The driver should update intel systems.
The driver will continue to download and install things though even if you are up to date, that is it will allow you to download, then install.
But won’t update stuff that’s updated already obviously but who knows.
In conclusion this thing could have been better but its ok fore a first time app of this type.
the amd driver downloader is like this to but not as bad.
This window doesn’t even have a title bar.
I also don’t like not knowing what needs to be updated and what does not need updating.
But that’s life.
laters all

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speaking of security

Hi all.
Well, well, well, its been a while since I felt it necessary to actually put a post on here.
However, since I have a lot of security stuff to put on here and since I have a little time this evening I thought I’d have a go at it.
Firstly, a low risk ssl 3 attack is making the rounds.
For those thatuse it, and have it on in internet options you should turn it off by going to internet options/ advanced and under security disabling ssl2 and ssl3 and enabling tls 1 1.1 and 1.2 ssl apparently is old and going out of fashion.
If you are a server turning off ssl may according to redmondmag.com cause some issues for a small amount of people.
everyone should start using the new tls protocol anyway because its not got this issue.
If you use open ssl as your package and a lot of Linux servers do, then there are updates for you that you should have installed by now if you havn’t autoupdated already.

Should you be concerned with the attack?
Probably not, it needs a server to have a bad cert, and then another attack, redmondmag.com describes that an attacker would need to send several hundred https requests to get a ddos style attack to even cause the floor in the first place.
Keep your certificate up to date and don’t click any suspicious files or emails.
I recommend you rout any attachments through dropbox google drive or a throw away sendspace account though.
And speaking of such services, a virus that’s made the rounds last year in yahoo has started making its way through fishing emails.
It is bank malware and attacks a system coming in via fishing email and attachment.
So the easiest way to avoid it is to not look at suspicious emails.
the attack uses the drafts folder in gmail to send attachments and data passwords and bank info to the creaters of the malware without you knowing.
The best protection is to be carefull what you click.
Though it should be secured if google announces to you you have an issue, follow instructions and change your password.
If the suspicious activity is in fact because you are emailing in another country that is not the one you made the account in, then you can dismiss it.
It goes without saying that if you are moving to another country perminantly that you should change your account profile to let google know where you are.
The yahoo article did say though that if you get the malware you won’t know and its hard to detect so the easiest way to avoid this is not to get infected in the first place.

This next one is an older one but is valid from this month.
ms was made aware of a way now patched for someone to hack into your fat32 file system via the access driver.
There is a patch for this which will require the system to reboot twice after updating but the easiest way to avoid this is to use ntfs for everything including your flash drives.

And last but not least, a multi attack using unpatched floors in adobe acrobat, pluss fishing email and several other floors in the system is round to hijack things.
However if you never went at that suspicious attachment or web link then you wouldn’t get infected, adobe 11.09 is the latest update and you should have it by now.
Also, currently under investigation, is an specially crafted ms document with infected ole macro.
You have to open an infected file via a fishing email or something to get the infection though.
There will be an update to this but that’s about it.
Java 8.25 is out, and while you can run it on xp it does warn you you will not get full functionality.
Finally on the tech front according to coolblindtech.com, there has been several new nexus and apple devices including the new nexus 6 and the apple I pad mini 3 coming out soonish.
There is a new iTunes 12 for windows which has a weird interface to which is a bit of a mission to use but still.

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More security News and updates for you

Hi folks, in the “no shock” department, I just caught up with Dairy Queen Confirms Breach at 395 Stores which is quite a lock in the amount of information that someone can take from you. One I haven’t read yet, Malware Based Credit Card Breach at Kmart may be the same type of thing seeing that we are still seeing these and will continue to see things like this until the industry changes. In a way, I wish there was something we can do to help ourselves from these types of attacks. Check out these articles and do the best you can.

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Technology podcast 203 is here!

On our RSS feed we just posted podcast 203. Since the show notes didn’t go through, here they are. Lots of things to read if you wish.

On this podcast, we have an interesting discussion in regards to the biggest security issue I’ve seen. I also will demo L.A. Metro’s version of an app to help get around the bus and train system.

Things of interest to read

App links

  • Version 2 of Go Metro which has since been updated for fare increase info and other bug fixes.

    The app still works the same.

We hope you enjoy the podcast, and we’ll be back on another edition very soon!


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technology podcast 202 is now available!

Hi folks, on our RSS feed, we have just released podcast 202. On it, Phillip Tracy, Scott VanGorp, and Herbie Allen are along with me to discuss IOS8. Some Strong Language

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The bad points about the soundblaster play

Hi all.
never thought I’d actually
be doing a double posting on this but I am.
I have a few points about the soundblaster play that I am not happy with.
1. while it seems ok with games and I have played with some 3dfx in the physical card its sadly not much.
Fact is when I tried to play with the new fsl engine deathmatch was running, the card switched off all the effects and ran it as stereo.
it looks like half the effects in fact do not work.
2. clipping.
While there is a slight quality improvement, the volume of the card for headphones really over 6 % is an overkill.
for a speaker its 20% on amped speakers but it is overkill.
The processing of music is quite nice.
However with speech it appears the card will crackle and cut out a lot, also is the fact that it will do this when pressing keys.
The effects are the same as my realtech card obviously you can adjust them but I was hoping that programs would access them on demand having them on all the time is no fun, believe me I have tried.
The 3d effect is nice but even so, I still don’t know.
in some cases quality is a bit less.
If you want to use it for music which is what I may end up using it for, then that’s fine.
But for standard games, and other such lot I won’t be using my soundblaster for that, the power of the card is just about as much as the realtech card in my laptop which is crap.
at least when this clips it doesn’t take everything with it.
And that’s another thing, it appears the control centre is an inaccessible overlay for the control panel, not much use.
while pushing buttons I muted sound and had to plug in another device to unmute the sound.
When switching to another device say for one program windows does not always reconfigure itself so I had to start another screenreader to switch nvda back to the sound mapper in order for me to get speech.
In short, I am finding it quite hard to find any reason to keep the sb play.
My idea was something that would run so I could run speech from one card and something from the other.
With all the issues I am having with the card, I am no longer sure.
I do hope that I can get the card configured right and maybe it works.
If I keep it I will use it for music only maybe though to be honest the only time I have found it usefull is listening to midi on headphones and there is not even a midi device in the card.
For 38 dollars I guess its not to bad but I have no idea what I will use the card for.
For normal stuff my realtech works well.
I guess if I have it loaded to my amp, have everything including windows going over the card and then using it for winamp only and maybe Skype and teamtalk which may be all I use it for who knows.
Its not a card I’d use for speech.

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Review of the soundblaster play

Hi all.
Long time no type.
Well anyway I decided to get new soundcard this week for some of my job related stuff.
After searching the local computer stores I found from pb tech in nz, the creative soundblaster play external sound card.
Price 38 bucks including gst.
The card has full eax effects bass boosts, environment emulation and 3d fx called cms effects.
Good for music and games.
The card itself is the same size and weight as your average usb memory stick.
The sides are tapered at the edges and concave in the middle.
On the rear face of the card are 2 ports the one closest to you is usually the earphone/ speaker jack.
This can take everything from earphones, buds, right up to amplified speakers with the standard analog jack.
The other is a microphone jack which can take basically any microphone.
pulling off the other end of the card will review a usb port.
I recommend you do not plug this straight into a
jack as the card is big and if you knock it you will break the port or card.
I recommend an extention lead.
Warning! I found this out the hard way, that if you plug the card into a usb hub with any cooling weather that be laptop fans or external cooling that it is not grounded for any proximity noises.
in fact if you pick up the card and drop it while connected you will hear that sound come back at you.
So its not shielded really so be carefull.
Right, plug in the card.
Now make sure you have a speaker connected to it because windows will default to the card, right now I am at a loss how to make different programs choose the card or the internal, right now windows is all on the card, however I will probably try to have everything on the internal except for maybe winamp and stuff though who knows.
Anyway, we get to the software.
right now, the card can be used in basic mode.
If you are happy with basic mode, and don’t care about the extra features, after all your card will if you make it do so support 48000 hz 16 bit stereo and mono output hd dvd right now without anything installed.
I assume you are a geek like me and want to install everything.
1, open the cd.
Brouse around.
AAh so many files I wander what this setup does.
Yes you can do it that way but there are some dangerous ms files you must not load else you will have to restore because of you bashing your internet explorer program for new windows and tabs.
did this yesterday and just had to restore today.
Luckily I have points back a while and was able to restore to a couple days ago when all I did was install an update to the antivirus program.
Also note some settings will not be set right if you do it this way.
You will need sighted help to get through the first few screens.
Once you are out of the shell client launcher though just hit next till the cows come home.
Another note though, if you see buttons like graphics 1234239t5sdf8534 or something these are graphic buttons.
Most installers have one button which need to be clicked.
if you have 2 buttons one is tipical and one is custom.
I think this only happens in one app so that should be ok.
once you complete everything a success message will appear on the launcher.
I don’t know if there was any screen after that because I just closed the launcher down.
on restart, you will have several things popping up at you.
1. the reg program starts.
Firstly select the device you have hit refresh if its not there but it should be selected.
do not try to enter purchice data or anything because its visual.
hit next.
fill out your info the fields are marked.
hit next.
select no because if you don’t you will get yelled at.
hit next.
hit ok.
hit ok and that’s done.
Next the updater comes up.
hit run now
hit next
when the dialog comes up hit alt I twice.
hit check.
wait, if an install button comes up hit alt I again it won’t necessarily do so.
hit alt f4 and you are done.
A few things I left out.
the installer for windows will warn you at some point about possible malicious hardware not passing ms whql tests.
hit alt I to install the hardware.

Next, I recommend you do the following using msconfig, ccleaner or other such program, remove or disable the volume app.
the app is not usable no matter what and you don’t need it.
The programs installed.
1. creative sorce5.
startup wizard works but the rest does not.
looks ok but I have not really got many games to test with it bar gtc maybe or teraformers.
I just updated shades of doom 2 so whatever.
Audio centre.
audio control panel.
99% of that is accessable.
you can enable eax which is like the internal realtech environment.
For us users don’t use it.
cms effects.
This is for 3d, I have not found effective uses for this but its interesting.
There is a slider for each and you can adjust it as you will.
I did try to register with the site but to be honest I had a lot of issues trying to do it as not all forms are labled and combo boxes are strangely coded.
That’s about all.
Manuals and other stuff are in compiled chm help files and can be read with html help or belabolka though I have mastered enough of the operation to not need this.
audio properties
In recording, acg is your microphone boost feature.
there are various bass boosts and other effects but to be honest I couldn’t get those to even work right.
Its a bit of a mixed bag.
later all

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IOS 8 is now here!

Hi folks,
This will be my first IOS update since I got my phone. See podcasts 191-194 for details on my search. On an up coming podcast, I’ll be on the line with two beta testers who have done the testing. We’ll dysect what Apple Vis has posted, we’ll talk about their experience, and I will then take the opportunity to update my phone and see if anything breaks. This may be a podcast on its own, we’ll just wait and see. Please check out apple vis to get a list of possible issues so you are aware of them. There is one big thing that may be a problem for me, but I think we';ll play it by ear. Please take the comments to heart when reading negative comments. There are people who aren’t going to be happy no matter how things are released.

IOS 8 has gone through 5 different betas before release. My understanding is limited, but nobody can find every bug on eveyry possible senario. The list of bugs that Apple Vis has posted are known by apple. If you would like to leave me your comments, the boards await you, or write me at tech at menvi.org.

Please be civil, as I’m new to IOS still, although I’m familiar of its working, and I’ve read everything.

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Podcast 201 is now available!

Hi folks,
Podcast 201 is available on our RSS feed. It includes some fresh books news, and Herbbie and I talk about accessibility stuff.

Show notes:

On podcast 201, Freshbooks gets revamped in regards to its folder on Sendspace goes. I introduce Herbie Allen who is along to talk with me about accessible apps, programs, or the lack there of. A true story follows that in regards to phishing. Enjoy!

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Fresh books is getting new hours, folder now updated

Hi folks,
In talking to Freshbooks this afternoon in regards to a thought I had while in there today, they notified me that they will have extended hours. Starting September 2, 2014: they will opperate from 8 am ET to 8 PM ET.

On a side note, our fresh books folder on Sendspace has been updated with podcast designations at the beginning of each segment. I hope that this helps where you can find something of interest. Any questions? Reach out.

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The ever awaited podcast 200 is now available

Well, after a very long time, I’ve finally hit 200 episodes. Go to our RSS to download the 214mb file.

Here are the show notes.

Welcome to podcast 200. After 8 years and some change, I’ve now gotten to 200 episodes. We’ve had this podcast since March of 006. On this edition, we’ve got a Live Journal demo which I’m not

impressed with, we’ve got freshbooks and other odds and ends. We hope you enjoy the podcast!

What to read:

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A first time admin’s look at windows8

Hi all.
While I have been a big fan of windows I can see the pitfalls in the 8x os, and why some don’t like it.
Before I get started, I’d like to put a few disclaimers out and notes.
1. since the system in question is a family one I didn’t really bother customising it in fact I hacked into it as little as I could, installing the minimal software, to clean it and to have it speak about 2 programs.
The rest were libraries and other programs for the system, updates, etc.
2. Due to the first note I did not customise it to my prefs or try to dig to deeply into the os, this is not and I strongly say this, not from someone that has used the os for 2 months but for one that has had to handle this for 12 hours.
I should also stress, that your entry i3 does not cut it as far as I care on startup of any os, if you have an i5 dule or quad then you will understand me.
I also only removed the bloatware about 5 programs and 3 startup entries that I felt I could get away with,
And that were actually in the way.
I needed sighted assistance on 6 separate ocations.
Most of these to be fair was removing the crap that got in the way the other was for windows update, to 8.1.
If you need to use 8, use 8.1 it is at least a bit more 7 like.
Also note, The system has been at my place before and has a full ms account, and internet access already loaded before on my network.
With these out the way I’d like to start.
This was going to be an audio podcast but I just couldn’t be bothered at the end of it.
This all started because one of my family I do work for and is quite messy asked me to service her new windows 8 laptop that she had issues with security and wanted me to look at them.
I didn’t exactly get to the security issues but I did manage to get if not all the most annoying bloat off the box.

There are several things I want to touch on today.
1. the file explorer.
I have no words to describe the file explorer in 8 thank god I have 7.
The explorer app is a nightmare.
I had only had to interact with it on a minimal level but its all ribbons, all of it.
I don’t mind ribbons but I couldn’t get edit menu up or anything I was used to, I was able to get round most stuff with the right click menus but to be honest I really think your explorer windows should not be so cluttered.
I had a job getting round the new explorer.
The first thing I’d do with windows is get a file manager that looked like classic explorer and used it.
2. the start screen.
I had less of a problem with the start screen and the metro app store in 8.1 than I had on 8 but to be honest I didn’t have to touch the 8.1 store that much.
The screen for all versions is a real pain, to much info, and where is the nice neat programs menu, I’d use classic shell any day to be honest I know there is dis advantages but at least you get access.
The bing search idea may be good but if you don’t want it you shouldn’t have to waid through adds and stuff.
The good thing is you can turn a lot of this off if you muck round a bit I didn’t however.
3 the control panel.
If you type control into run or control userpasswords2 I was happy that these did work but please switch to small icons view before you brouse the panel so it looks at least to me ok.
4 misc.
While I sertainly can see some performance increases in windows 8.x systems you need a quad x64 bit or a flash stick to get advantage of them.
win8 started slowly on the i3 I used it on, but then win7 on my first gen i3 starts just as slow if not slower.
If you are using an i5 quad or duel then well.
Win8 startup for me was slow.
The store on 8 is really hard to navigate and hit the right thing.
I didn’t use any shortcut keys to really get things moving.

But enough about all the basics, if you are an admin like me you will be cursing me at this point because I am not moving fast enough for your sole and you are wanting that first cup, never fear I am done.

Note! I am not sure if you need all these steps at all, but I used them for what I did.

Setting up.
If you are setting up for the first time you need narrator or at least a portable of nvda.
The easiest way to get this to work for you is to turn on the system with the flash drive already connected that has your kit on it including nvda so it doesn’t pop up autoruns at you.
Once you have started the system, your first point after sighted assistance or narrator to login is to get nvda installed.
Don’t look at your work, nvda needs to be installed into the mess you have on there you need it and that’s all I have to say about it.
If you are not blind ofcause then you don’t need to bother about this step.
2. I highly recommend the following minimal settings.
1. folder options, set registered file to be shown, you will loose this in the upgrade to 8.1 but it doesn’t matter so much.
2. at least for me I immediately went to the bios setup luckily the entry level satellite l830 had a semi accessable sstem setings panel for the Toshiba.
The only setting you should change and this is in all bioses is to have the function keys go to standard and not overlay mode.
It makes it a heck of a way easier to close apps and stuff.

You may or may not need sight for this.
While it never happened with me, I suggest to all that you have an external mouse for your sightling to use or keep the touch pad active and use an external board I had no issue with this but then I did need help.

Next is what you do The first thing I’d do is either using the iexplore command from run go to pcpitstop.com and run a full diagnostic test, this should tell you what is what.
You are not looking for emptying caches, driver updates, crapware, spyware or anything but you are looking for potential hardware issues.
If you get a standard run of tests with minor failiers then you are ok to continue.
Next go to google and search for intel driver update note you need internet explorer in admin mode, but if you have used pcpitstop before you will need it in admin mode anyway.
Check for drivers, the most important one is the display, and networking, if there are extras, install them.
Next if you have something like an amd display like I had using the amd auto driver utility is essential as it updates every amd device you have on the box.
Just don’t install the gaming evolved app, its not blind friendly and is added crapware.
Saying that if this is your box, you will probably appreciate the free online content, a friend that got this appearing on his box immediately made an account and started rocking, just get it out of startup as it will run on all accounts and you don’t want your boss to know what you do when he is not watching do you?
Next sound.
If you have an entry level sound card like a Conexant you may or may not be able to turn off effects and audio enhancements at least I did not find a way to do this but I didn’t dig there was a few panels I never went to, if you are buying a system I suggest at least a sat pro or tecra Toshiba or an entry level business machine as they tend to use realtech hardware, and while not the best at least its stable and you can turn off most stuff, just don’t hit the disable all effects otherwise your sound card will sound brassy and violently hard on the ears.
Though not needed if you can update to the latest touch pad drivers you may have better luck with controlling the pad but I didn’t in this case.
In fact the only driver I needed to update with the display.
Next bios, I don’t know if this was crucial but I updated the Toshiba bios to ensure I had everything right.
some sites for manufacturers like asus are not that accessable however most bios updaters are basically, run, hit a couple keys, wait for 10 minutes, and restart.
Note you may have to hit f1 to get the system to boot.
Next, you can continue with the update or your own stuff.
I recommend you go to windows features and install the extra server http, ftp telnet and secure client protocals and supports.
as well as printer services and the dotnet stuff that has been not installed by default, it is not needed but it helps in the long run especially if you have a range of stuff to do later on.
I’d then thake a break, and go to what you are going to do.
The first thing I’d do is remove all the unneeded stuff I mean avg, Norton, and all unneeded software, note you will need help with this.
2. the windows defender should be able to handle protection, at least till the user finds something else they want to put on, slow suites of software are not the answer.

Next I’d go to msconfig, and in the advanced boot options set the max processers to be used at boot to the maximum on the box usually 4, because windows starts with 1 by default for boot and only uses this stuff afterwards.
Restart and move on.
Next I’d install and configure all desktop apps, libraries, adobe reader, 7zip, java, etc, ccleaner.
don’t run ccleaner disk cleaner or anything just yet because you are not done yet.
Next go to windows update and install all updates important and optional, the windows update app is a bit weird but the control panel one bar a few things is ok.
Install all drivers software and stuff sadly hiding an update doesn’t hide it for me at least updates kept coming back.
Once you are updated, go to the store, and update all apps, you can’t install windows 8.1 without this I got a message that it was blocked by the system admin and only changed after I had done all this.
Now you can update.
At this point, it will take a while to download, its large, put on some coffee and chill.
2. it will start and update, put on your dinner, eat it and watch tv for 2-3 hours and come back.
Next, if you are blind listen up.
You will not have sound for the initial setup, or at least I didn’t have a sightling hit express, I’d prefur to customise my settings but I couldn’t see so I did that.
Next depending on your ms account setting you need to do the following.
1 for a local user, hit create account hit the small signin link at the bottom of the screen and sign in as usual.
wait till windows has finished prepairing you get no speech then you are ok.
If you are having a ms cloud and a few probably will, you will get 3 extra boxes.
1. you will be asked to verify your mobile number or other recovery options I’d recommend the phone option.
enter the last 4 digits of your number and hit next.
Next get the code from the net and then enter it from your phone.
Next hit next you will be asked about one drive I recomend if you don’t use it you turn it off but whatever.
Next windows will say prepairing windows, and you have to wait.
Once you are done you may need to update updates from the stores.
I didn’t, I then needed to install about 200mb of windows updates and drivers, keep checking as windows will ask for more updates.
Eventually things should settle out and you are done.
If you are doing admin work on another system I suggest you start nvda in portable mode or narrator,
next uninstall nvda and you are done.
if you however want to use ccleaner to clear the box you can do that, clear the old installations and
updates and junk.
next use disk cleanup in admin mode.
to do this the easiest way is to get command prompt running in admin mode by searching for it and then typing cleanmgr.
select everything and hit ok.
then leave the box and wait several hours for the thing to clean.
At this point you should be done.
if you want you can turn on java access bridge in signon options of the access centre, sticky and other key shortcut keys, and disabled adobe reader in ie.
I didn’t do all of these things but I do at least recommend you run the access assistant in adobe reader and have it not save documents in a brouser as I have had it become a problem.
And you are done.
uninstall nvda, restart and put everything back to how you found it ncluding sound schemes etc.
In conclusion while there was a lot I could have done I did most of it and I am happy for now I don’t have to fiddle with windows8 at all.
the biggest gripes, metro apps in general, including the store the start screen and file explorer as well as the extra search panel and the default behaviour of the control panel.
uac only came up once or twice for installs or admin mode run-throughs.\
While there was a lot I could have done extra now I think about it,
everything that needs doing is now done.
maybe I’ll get to the extra stuff or not.

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Technology podcast 199 has been available

Podcast 199 has been available for awhile now, so lets catch up.

Welcome to podcast 199 of the technology blog and podcast. On this edition of the cast, we have something special for you. After some accessible tech news, we have a review of the Magnatune music application for the i/device. There is a separate Magnatune app which is not as feature rich of this one, and its just called Magnatune in the itunes store. We hope you enjoy the cast!

Those are the show notes. The RSS feed has a copy of the file. Hope you enjoy it.

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Help us improve NVDA’s default voice

this message from the nvda developers.

>Hi all,
>If you would like to help us improve NVDA’s default voice, please
>take the following survey:
>Listen to the speech samples, choose which one you like the best,
>and then fill in the questions at the end.
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Technology podcast 198 is now available!

It looks as though the show notes won’t be put up, even though it is a small file. So, I’ll put the show notes here for everyone to see. There’s nothing I can do about this one.

Hi there. Welcome to the technology podcast, podcast 198. On this edition of the podcast, we have a few things for you. The main segment of the program is going to review a program called Dice World which has 4 games in one. In our security segment, Sandwich Chain Jimmy John’s Investigating Breach Claims is the biggest thing I think you need to read. ‘White Label’ Money Laundering Services, Q and A on the Reported Theft of 1.2B Email Accounts, and New Site Recovers Files Locked by Cryptolocker Ransomware are mentioned as well. One blog post which was posted days before this release which is a critical mention is this blog post entitled Something of interest in regards to cybercrime which means a lot to me. Please take a look at that blog post as well. If you would like to challenge me on dice world, my username is Jared9607.

We hope you enjoy the podcast, and you can get it off our RSS feed for your convenience.

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