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You are here: January 2015

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Window-Eyes Certification notice

Here is an offer from GW Micro, now AI Squared, in regards to Window-Eyes 9 Certification.


Greetings,

Window-Eyes certification for Window-Eyes 9 is now available.

This certification is available to any individual who wishes to assess their Window-Eyes knowledge and become Window-Eyes certified. It’s perfect for:

• Teachers

• Students

• Trainers

• Consultants

• Vocational rehabilitation staff

• AT professionals

• IT professionals

• Window-Eyes users

By becoming Window-Eyes certified, you can proudly help foster the growth of a strong community of Window-Eyes users… The online test has multiple-choice based questions and takes just a few hours to complete

Now more than ever is the time to get certified or re-certified for Window-Eyes.

The current price of certification is $99, or $39 if you are already certified with the previous version. Effective February 27, 2015, the price for certification will be $149. So now is the time to take the certification and save $50!

You can read more about getting certified in Window-Eyes at www.aisquared.com/wecertified. For questions, call or email Cheryl Troxel at (802) 768-1041 or ctroxel@aisquared.com.

The Ai Squared Team

Jeremy Curry
Director of Product Management
Ai Squared – Formerly GW Micro, Inc.
Phone: (802) 362-3612
Email: jcurry@aisquared.com
Web: www.aisquared.com

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ai squared statement on security

Hi folks,
As some of you know, GW Micro apparently got hacked. This happened after they joined with AI Squared. We see stories in the news about breeches all the time, but this is an apparent breech against an assistive technology company. AOI Squared is asking for your help, and they released this statement today. If you know anything, please contact them.


Ai Squared customers, assistive technology users, and fellow members of the blind and visually impaired community,

Normally, you hear me talking about the products that Ai Squared produces. Today, I come to you with a completely different message. As you may be aware, in the early morning hours of Friday, January 16th, Ai Squared was the victim of a cyber-attack.

First, we want to be clear about exactly what happened and what data has been exposed.

A user was able to crack an internal password and used that password to gain access to systems in our Indiana office. Through this crack the user was able to upload a modified version of the GW Toolkit used in Window-Eyes App Central. This version of GW Toolkit broadcast some unfortunate messages mainly to users who were automatically updating their Window-Eyes apps. Once we discovered what was happening, we immediately shut down external updates to apps and replaced the hacked version with a fix. Approximate exposure time was four hours and we think the number of users exposed to the messages was minimal.

Unfortunately, the hacker then exploited another password hack that gave them access to one of our databases. The database in question held only partial transaction records for online purchases of Window-Eyes and related products. Since we do not store complete credit card information anywhere in our systems, we are confident that there has been no breach of financial data. In addition we are monitoring our systems for unauthorized use of any previously issued serial number information.

To reiterate, the hacker gained access to the GW Toolkit and a database containing a list of online purchases. We have no evidence that they gained access to financial/credit card data nor did they access our complete customer database.

Here are the steps we’ve taken in the last few days:

We have contacted all the users who have been affected by the intrusion to alert them as to what happened. While we don’t believe they will be adversely affected, it’s our responsibility to let them know what occurred.
We have changed all passwords that have access to any and all of our internal data. We continue to conduct audits to look for other potential security holes.
We have disabled any updates to App Central until further notice.
We have reported this data breach to the appropriate authorities. Rest assured that they are taking this very seriously and have launched an investigation.

On a personal note: As we are all aware, the blind community faces enough challenges to access and employment. These attacks have added to that barrier by disrupting our business and the productivity of individuals affected. We believe that the perpetrator of these attacks is, in fact, a member of our own blind and low vision user community. We call on our community to help bring them to justice. Should you have any information, please email us at tips@aisquared.com before another company in the assistive technology industry is affected. Let’s work together to stop this type of criminal misbehavior in our own community and continue building strong connections among assistive technology users.

Thank you,

Jeremy Curry

Director of Product Management

Ai Squared

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AI Squared statement on security breech

I am passing the following info along from AI Squared formerly GW Micro.


Dear Window-Eyes Users,

First we want to apologize for the unfortunate messages that some of you may have seen this morning. We wanted to take a minute to address what happened and explain how we plan on preventing this in the future.

We released App Central in 2008 as a central repository for Window Eyes Apps, documentation and related resources. App Central was built as a community resource, from the beginning we wanted all Window-Eyes users to be able to contribute and benefit from each others efforts. We’re proud of what we accomplished – App Central today contains over 299 apps and more are added all the time.

Sometime early this morning a user with familiarity with Window-Eyes and the App Central environment breached out security and posted an update to GW Toolkit. Users who downloaded the update were exposed to some unfortunate messages. Our analysis shows that no permanent changes were made to your Window-Eyes installation and, if you update to GW Toolkit version 8.5.9 the problems you may be experiencing should be resolved. Instructions on how to manually update your Apps is at the following KB article www.gwmicro.com/kb2062

We have changed passwords and security on our systems that run App Central and we’ve turned off developer updates to apps for the time being. In the next few days we’ll be performing an internal security audit to determine what steps we can take to prevent something like this from happening again.

Rest assured that we take security seriously and we’ll be implementing these steps in a logical, ordered fashion.

Once again, our apologies and thank you for your patience on this matter.

The Ai Squared Team

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Window-Eyes 9 is now available!

Experience What the New Window-Eyes 9 Has to Offer!

Window-Eyes 9 is now available and offers a variety of awesome features including many ways to make your life easier such as the all-new web support. Read on to learn how Window-Eyes 9 will enhance your web browsing experience, enable better communication with colleagues, friends, and family; and make you a more productive professional, student, or home user.

The amazing new features, include:

Greatly improved web support in Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox

• Support for ARIA and HTML 5 providing access to the latest web accessibility technologies

• Support for dynamic web pages for first-class access to websites

• Intelligent web support that uses smart algorithms to ensure accurate screen reading

• New innovative and robust web table support that is the best in the industry

Enhanced ease of use and convenience features

• Easy to use tool for enhanced text selection, copying, and formatting retention in IE

• Read websites in IE using the keyboard to control the mouse

• Access and read columns accurately in IE when using the mouse

• Interact with sighted friends, family, and co-workers while browsing the web because what you see is what you read

• Improved responsiveness, making you more efficient and productive

• Auto-recovery tool allows for greater independence – if another program causes Window-Eyes to stop responding, users may restart Window-Eyes by pressing a hot key

New compatibility support for popular software programs

• Better support for Microsoft Office Web Apps for enhanced productivity

• Window-Eyes now offers QuickBooks for Windows support (thanks to the partnership between My Blind Spot and Ai Squared)

• Outlook meeting request enhancements to improve efficiency in the workplace

• Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Charts support to help share documents with teachers, students, colleagues, and anyone using these Google services

• MathPlayer support enabling the first and best possible access to math in Microsoft Word

Even better out-of-the-box experience

• Improved support for MSAA, which creates a better out-of-the-box experience in programs like Windows Media Player

• Improved support for the native Outlook calendar

• Preliminary support for Windows 10

SMAs are back

Our Software Maintenance Agreements (SMA) are back. If you are using the latest version of Window-Eyes, order an SMA and get the next 2 upgrades of Window-Eyes for a special price.. If you already have an SMA, your Window-Eyes 9 disc should be arriving very soon.

Download your upgrade

If you have purchased a Window-Eyes 9 upgrade, you can download it at www.gwmicro.com/upgrade or activate the Check for Updates option in the Help menu.

Try Window-Eyes

Anyone using the English version of the retail version or the Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office can download and use Window-Eyes 9. For anyone who has a valid license of Microsoft Office 2010 or higher, Window-Eyes can be downloaded for free at www.windoweyesforoffice.com. If you haven’t tried Window-Eyes in a while, give Window-Eyes 9 a try for free today!

Order your upgrade or SMA today!

Call us today at (802) 362-3612 or email us at sales@aisquared.com to place your order.

Non-English versions are released after the English one, so check with your local dealer for availability in your language. For those outside of the U.S., contact your local dealer.

The Ai Squared Team

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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Live Journal, whats up?

Hi folks,
So over the Christmas holiday, and quite a lot during December, Live MJournal’s E-mail facility was down. Between a note taking app with the phone, and some slight editing via PC, I wrote the following. Right now, everything is working, but I think we all as a whole should write to live journal to get this fixed for everyone. I couldn’t post by E-mail, and they said they could post. Then a bunch of posts showed up and things are working once again. Here’s the letter.


Alright, here’s my issue. LiveJournal, a blogging platform, allows people to send via email through an alias that is set up with their username. For example, my username is Jrimer80. So with a couple of symbols, as well as a specific formatted email address, everyone can post to this particular platform via email. I’m not giving the specifics, but suffice it to say, it is something that is possible. I have used it with very few issues and occasionally, it has stopped working and I don’t expect it to be perfect.

The longer the short of it is, this specific platform has not been working right for a while. On January 1, 2015, I found two posts at 3:29 AM. They were the playlist from the prior week’s program, as well as the post dealing with that week’s program. I had posted it on Sunday or Monday, and Tuesday of that particular week respectively. On the 2nd, I had posted a couple of posts, and it posted right away. Now, it is back to not posting. I did post something on the blog in regards to this fact. I also, opened another ticket.

The problem is, I have to open a ticket every time this issue occurs. This is not very fair. It is been working for the longest time, and I do expect occasional issues, but issues like this, and it’s repeated, that is not fair to the blogging community who uses the service. Occasionally, I would get an email saying that there was a delivery issue, most of the time I don’t get anything. I maintain three different blogs. My main one which is user name above, my network feed, and 98.6 the mixes blog. That is not fair to me.

wordPress does not have these issues, in fact, they have a script that you must run every time you post via email. By the looks of it, they have even tightened it up so that you can only post from registered accounts, to prevent spam. That is a good thing, but it is more work. You have to remember to run the script every time you send an email to the particular email address.

The problem I have with this approach is twofold. First, you have to send an email to the specified email address which you have to put into WordPress. I would recommend something that is hosted on your domain. Since I host through my own website, I would set up an email address specific to posting and I would make sure that it is not a public email address. Next, you would send it to that particular email address. You would allow ample opportunity for that mailbox to receive the message. It must have popped three capabilities.

Next, after sending an email to that address, you must run the particular script. The location of this particular script, is in the WP–admin directory of your WordPress installation. If everything works, it would post correctly. It is quite complex.

LiveJournal, it is time to fix your service. I really love the fact that I can post via email. Your app is truly in accessible to the blind and visually impaired. WordPress has no app to my knowledge, and I have three of those blogs as well. I think I might’ve dwindled down to two. The point is, I have quite a number of blogs, and each one serves their own purpose. Please look into why your service is having so many issues with email, because people like myself do use it. Do I have to pay to get email working properly? It’s not enough for me that is worth the pain price. I should not have to pay for sending email to my blog. I haven’t had to in the past, I hope I don’t have to now. This is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t understand what seems to be the issue. If anyone else is having issues, might I suggest opening a ticket as well. The more tickets that are open the more that they might look at this more seriously. In the meantime, continue to expect major delays when posting via email.

I can post via the app, however,I find it a little bit difficult. The add button to add the post is not all that accessible, and there are too many unlabeled buttons. My technology podcast has covered live journals inaccessability and I am willing to provide them a link to that if needed. I hope LiveJournal can fix their stuff, they’ve got a lot that other blogging platforms don’t have, and I enjoy there service. These issues should be minimal, and if they are charging for E-mail posting now, they should say so. This is not fair for those who use the service. Thoughts are welcome.


Is anyone else having issues with E-mail delivery? Have you opened a ticket? Have multiple journals like i do? I’m curious on your thoughts. E-mail is the most accessible thing we have. The site is good, but who wants to log on to the site every time you want to post? If you have multiple accounts, why wuould you want to log in to all of them? Have fun.

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tech 208 is now here!

We have a catchup of Security News, and a Balot game Herbie was with me as I learn how to play. Thats today’s podcast. Go get it off the RSS feed.

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