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Screen reader series

Hello folks,

Its been quite a busy time of me writing lately. It didn’t help that the person that helps me was away, but things are back on track. I’m curious on your thoughts on my screen reader series. I’ve had the first two published on omni. Part 1 was published on the 8th of June, and part 2 was published on the 9th. I hope you all enjoy the articles.

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Antivirus and the disabled computer user

Hello folks,

I really need some help, and it deals with AntiVirus and security. I’ve been using Microsoft Security Essentials, but have found in my opinion that it doesn’t work as advertised. I saw an article online about creating a file, with some code. The antivirus should pick it up while saving the file. Its not harmful, but it is a test of sorts that checks the antivirus. Its called eicar and you can google it.

MSE did not pick up this file while saving, and saving the file and scanning it showed that it was fine. I wrote an E-mail list with Jaws users on it, and someone recommended Sophos home free which i downloaded. Someone else just said that it was not accessible, and that I’m better off with MSE.

The problem we’re running in to is that we need antivirus now more than ever. Even if we’re careful, things can be downloaded that are not wanted, even when visiting a site we intend to visit. With all the breaches, something is better than nothing, but in my opinion, security essentials is not cutting it.

I do not want to install something that is not accessible, although i want something where I can set some options, and forget it unless something comes up.

It should be able to scan as something is downloaded, notify the user if something is not right about the file, and do daily updates and weekly scans.

If anyone that reads this comes up with something accessible that is free or low cost, I would be greatful.

We should not live without something that can protect our PC’s. Just because we don’t browse much, doesn’t mean that sites we do could become a problem. Its sad that antivirus has become such a problem with companies, that they make it useless to us.

We use a computer just like everyone else, and I hope to publish a series on screen reader usage. Two articles are written, and I am hoping to start a third. I know these developers are aware of access tech, as we once had the access to a lot of the products out there, but as I said, MSE is just seemingly to just pick things up at random, and it doesn’t pick up something that is tested to make sure the program runs as it should.

What are you using? How does it work?
I do not want people responding who don’t use antivirus. That will not be helpful to me.

Thanks for your time.

Comments (2)

Window-Eyes to JFW path plan

I’m saddened by the news of Window-Eyes closing. This is official word from former GW Micro Employee Aaron Smith.

Thank you for being a valued member of the GW Micro and Window-Eyes family. We regret to announce that sales of Window-Eyes have ended in the United States and Canada. Users outside of the United States and Canada should contact their local distributor for options. We are committed to our customers and will honor existing product purchases and software maintenance agreements, and we will continue to provide technical support to end users that have purchased Window-Eyes or a support package.

All users who are currently using Window-Eyes can continue to use the software indefinitely; however, as the Windows® operating system and/or applications change over time, Window-Eyes may not function adequately for your needs.

We understand how important a screen reader is to you and are offering JAWS® for Windows 18 as a replacement. We are committed to providing a smooth transition and will honor existing Window-Eyes product purchases and software maintenance agreements (SMA), as follows.

· End users that paid for and are current with Window-Eyes 9.x will be converted to JAWS 18 at no charge.

· If you are using an earlier version of Window-Eyes, you can purchase an upgrade to JAWS 18.

· If you are using the free version of Window-Eyes you can continue to use it. While there is not an upgrade path from the free version, if you are interested in purchasing JAWS, please contact our sales team at 800-444-4443.

· Existing Window-Eyes SMAs will be rolled into the JAWS SMA program for end users that migrate to JAWS.

Learn more about the migration options and pricing by visiting http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrate.

To make this process as easy as possible, we ask you to complete a simple web form that will go directly to our sales team, who will then contact you with an authorization code for JAWS 18, or request additional information if necessary.

Requests for upgrades must be submitted at http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/migrateform or by phone at 800-444-4443 by July 31, 2017.

Note, the free Window-Eyes Offer for Users of Microsoft Office version is not part of the conversion program.

If you have any questions please call us at 800-444-4443 or email us at orders@vfogroup.com.

Aaron Smith

VFO™ | Enterprise Compliance

11800 31st Court North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716

T 727-803-8000 x 6208 F 727-803-8001



VFO Logo, Innovating in Accessibility Our Brands, Ai Squared, Freedom Scientific and Optelec

The information contained in this communication is confidential, may constitute inside information, and is intended only for the use of the addressee. It is the property of VFO™. Unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this communication or any part thereof is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by return email, and destroy this communication and all copies thereof, including all attachments.

For membership options, visit http://lists.window-eyes.com/options.cgi/news-window-eyes.com/jrimer2002%40sbcglobal.net.
For subscription options, visit http://lists.window-eyes.com/listinfo.cgi/news-window-eyes.com
List archives can be found at http://lists.window-eyes.com/private.cgi/news-window-eyes.com

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Freedom Scientific® Introduces ElBraille

Freedom Scientific

Media Contact: Richard Tapping
800-444-4443 or 727-803-8000
Sales: info@vfogroup.com

Freedom Scientific® Introduces ElBraille

A cutting-edge, extremely portable Braille computer

(St. Petersburg, Florida – March 01, 2017)

Freedom Scientific® today introduced ElBraille, running Microsoft Windows® 10 and JAWS 18, the ElBraille is the newest portable computing solution for the blind and the logical next step in notetaker development. The ElBraille-14 and ElBraille-40 use JAWS® 18 to provide speech and braille output and JAWS’ BrailleIn feature to allow complete control of the ElBraille computer from the Perkins-style, braille keyboard. The Windows ® operating environment is the standard in education and professional settings. Run Windows applications such as the Microsoft Office suite or Adobe Reader for complete access to all mainstream document and file types. Use accessibility applications and accessories such as OpenBook® (printed text to speech and braille software) with the PEARL® Camera to immediately read classroom texts or meeting and lecture handouts.

Running the latest Windows operating system on an Intel Atom quad core processor, with 160 GB of internal memory and 2 GB RAM, and incorporating either the Focus 14 or 40 Blue Braille Display, and JAWS 18, the ElBraille is the logical choice for anyone who wants to raise notetaking and portable, accessible computing to the highest level.

“It makes sense to use a device which completely supports mainstream applications, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook,” says Brad Davis, Vice President of Hardware Product Management at Freedom Scientific. “Adding Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity with up to 20 hours battery life makes the ElBraille a real productivity powerhouse,” says Brad Davis.

The ElBraille-14 is scheduled to go on sale in the US and Canada in the second quarter of 2017 with the ElBraille-40 following soon after.

About VFO™ and Freedom Scientific®

VFO™ is a leading global assistive technology provider for the visually impaired. The VFO™ brands have a long history of developing and providing innovative solutions for blind and low vision individuals, helping them to reach their full potential.

Freedom Scientific®, one of the VFO™ brands, is the leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. The Company sells its products worldwide and has offices in Florida and Switzerland. The Company’s products have been translated into 24 languages and are available in 55 countries. Freedom Scientific® also has a line of software products for those with learning disabilities.

Freedom Scientific® and JAWS® are registered trademarks in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

We invite you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VFO™, 11800 31st Court North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1805

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Cloud Flare in trouble?

Hi folks,

I saw two articles from Last Pass recently, and it seems as though the bug is repaired. Two Security Bulletins: SHA-1 Collision Attack and Cloudflare Incident posted on the 24th and Alerts for Cloudflare Sites in LastPass Security Challenge which was posted on the 27th of this month. Lastpass can be trusted on getting this type of information out accurately, and I trust that the issue has been fixed and nothing is at risk unless it is cached. Check these out.

Update: Fixed a broken link for the first story. Also, this was discussed on SN 601. Sorry about that!

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Extremely dissatisfied with the developers of tweetbot in regards to accessibility improvement promises

Hi folks, in the Mac world, accessibility is still a concern just as in the windows world. While I’m not a full time mac user, and I’ve dabbled in this world a little bit, I came across this apple vis post from a mac user about an app which is accessible for the most part. Contacting the developer yielded mixed results and comments are asking for far and wide coverage of the fact the developer doesn’t seem to care about whether their app works. Why would an app be accessible but yet it can’t read the names of the people tweeting? The windows apps I’ve used have done this, so I know its possible. Please contact this developer if you use the app and let them know your concerns. This is not acceptable, and if I used an app that way, I’d write them just like the folks in this thread have done.

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Making sure we give out accurate information

Hello folks, I hope you’re enjoying the blog, and I’ll be releasing a podcast real soon, it just needs to be finalized. Today, while I have thought about this post, I’m going to be upfront, and as accurate as possible.

Remember in January when we published Urgent issue with AI squared access technology and the page in question had support hours over the weekend to help people through the issue they said was urgent and that things were compromised? Well, it isn’t that bad to begin with, according to what I found out today.

My actual call to the VFO group was totally unrelated to this, but when the gentleman said to go to the certificate fix page, I told him why I was calling and that I had installed Window-Eyes to this PC already but the issue i was calling about needed a full installation zip file.

He told me that the people who needed to help me were gone, and I thanked him, I happened to ask him about the whole certificate fix issue we encountered since he braught it up.

The gentleman said there was never a compromise at all. They had published it was compromised, but the cert in question was only expired, never compromised. I asked why they put it was compromised, because that means things more serious, and he said it was simply mislabeled.

When enquiring on whether they were to fix it, he indicated they wouldn’t because it was a long time ago.

If I was running the page, I would have personally changed it, and released a new press release indicating this.

With the amount of breaches that we have on a monthly basis, it is very important that companies get as much information out there, and if it changes, update it.

I’ll release an article I read via Krebs that actually impressed me, and I’ll talk about that more in debth, as it deals with a particular breach and links to others. I’m surprised that AI Squared did not update this page to simply state that it was expiring, and made it sound like something extreme was going on when it was just an expired cert which was expiring on the date mentioned, and they were patching everyone before it expired.

If the certificate was truly compromised, we would have to patch immediately, and the certificate would be immediately revoked. If we were running the software, we’d be OK, but if we rebooted, we could be in trouble.

AI Squared, please make sure you put the accurate information next time, so that people are not confused like I was. I didn’t think it was compromised, and E-mails asking whether it was, was told to look at the Cert page they published. That page seemed to not make me pleased since the deadline was a week or so away, but yet, compromised certs are revoked immediately upon discovery if I have been paying to Security Now’s teachings. Bad move, AI Squared, please learn from this next time.

I was told the cert is good for awhile yet, so there should not be a problem for at least 20 years.

Thanks for reading, and make it a great day.

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Urgent issue with AI squared access technology

Hello folks,

Thanks to Shaun, he tipped me off to this. The following is text sent from a word document sent to me after I enquired to AI’s window-eyes division. If you use any of these products, its important that you read this, and upgrade your product to the latest version.

Beginning of text from AI squared

January 16, 2017: Urgent Notification

Forthcoming Startup Failures in ZoomText 10.1 and other Ai Squared Software Products


The digital certificate used to certify newer ZoomText and Window-Eyes software products has been compromised. As a result, our certificate will be revoked on or around January 26th, which will result in startup failures for the following Ai Squared products.

Affected Ai Squared Software Products

When attempting to start the following Ai Squared software products, the product will fail to launch and display a Windows error message: “A referral was returned from the server”

  • * ZoomText Magnifier v10.1 Build numbers 10.10.8 through 10.11.6
  • * ZoomText Magnifier/Reader v10.1 Build numbers 10.10.8 through 10.11.6
  • * ZoomText Fusion v10.1 Build numbers 10.11.1 through 10.11.5
  • * ZoomText Keyboard v4 Build numbers 4.0.0 and 4.1.0
  • * Window-Eyes v9.5 Build numbers 9.5.1 and 9.5.3

When attempting to start the following Ai Squared software products, the product may launch even though the certificate has been revoked. Anti-virus utilities may detect the invalid certificate and block the software from running.

  • * ZoomText ImageReader v1.2 Build numbers 1.2.16106
  • * ZoomText Voices (language packs) v1.0 Build numbers
  • * Vocalizer Expressive v1.3 (for Windows Eyes) Build numbers

Note: Inspection of the certificate will show that the certificate is invalid. Inspection and validation of certificates is a process performed by some organizations.

Solution (software updates)

For each of the affected products, software updates incorporating a new digital signature will be released and available for download prior to January 26th. We will send updated information as it becomes available. You can check https://www.aisquared.com/certificatefix”>https://www.aisquared.com/certificatefix for updated information.
Software Product Update version

  • ZoomText Magnifier v10.1 10.11.7
  • ZoomText Magnifier/Reader v10.1 10.11.7
  • ZoomText Fusion v10.1 10.11.7
  • ZoomText Keyboard v4.1 4.1.1
  • Window-Eyes v9.5 9.5.4
  • ZoomText ImageReader 1.2 1.3.0
  • ZoomText Voices v1.0 1.0.2
  • Vocalizer Expressive v1.3 (for Windows Eyes) 1.3

Warning When Disabling Security Options

Various websites provide steps for disabling Windows security options with the expectation that unsigned software executables will start and run. Disabling these security options will not fix these problems for the ZoomText and Windows Eyes products and may compromise security and protection from malware. Ai Squared strongly recommends against disabling these security options.


We apologize for the inconvenience this issue has caused you, but assure you we are doing everything possible to rectify this matter as soon as possible. To minimize downtime, we encourage you to update your software as soon as possible.
If you have questions or require assistance resolving this problem, contact the Ai Squared support team at (727) 803-8600 option 2 or mailto:support@aisquared.com.

As some of you may have already noticed, we just released English Window-Eyes 9.5.4 this morning (January 18th). Other languages will soon follow. It is very important if you are using Window-Eyes 9.5.1 or 9.5.2 or 9.5.3 that you upgrade to 9.5.4 before the digital certificate described above is revoked.

There are 3 changes from version 9.5.3 to 9.5.4:

  1. Support has been added for the HumanWare BrailleNote Touch braille display.
  2. An issue where multiple hooking errors would occur in the latest testing builds (insider build) of Windows 10 has been fixed.
  3. An updated digital certificate has been used to sign all executables. (as per the description above)

Again, it is critical you upgrade your copy of Window-Eyes 9.5.1 or 9.5.2 or 9.5.3 to 9.5.4 immediately. Once the certificate is revoke these copies of Window-Eyes will no longer launch leaving you without speech and/or braille.


Doug Geoffray
VFO(tm) | Accessibility Software Manager, Enterprise Compliance
11800 31st Court North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716 mailto:dgeoffray@vfogroup.com http://www.vfogroup.com/

I am going to get in touch to understand what happened here. Just be aware of whats up, and update so you continue to have access to your information and can continue to work.

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Emusic and accessibility of the download manager

Hello folks,

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile since I sent E-mail to emusic, a site that features independant artists, about their download manager. It is designed to download the albums you buy either via the new method pay as you go, or via the subscription model. When I told them I wanted to move my downloads folder to one of my other drives, they politely gave me instructions on how to do this which was great.

When I explained that the program did not speak at all with speech software, they said they appreciated the feedback, but it wasn’t in the roadmap right now to get it accessible.

I told them that I would be willing to help make it accessible by running beta versions when needed, and I also told them that I was sure that people who were disabled would be interested in learning that their site was accessible but the program was not. By making the program accessible, they would be opening their music to a lot of people including myself, who enjoy something other than today’s music.

I think people need to E-mail emusic and let them know of the issue of the program and that it does not speak. You can E-mail them at support at emusic.com, where you put the at sign in the current place, or through your account.

I can’t do this alone, and you can get a 14 day free trial or buy as you want called allacart.

Lets see if we can make their program accessible together.

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OK, here is something I think we all should read. WHY BLIND AMERICANS ARE WORRIED ABOUT TRUMP’S TECH POLICY is the article title. and is something we should look at.

To be fair, I’ve never been a TV person, the show I really got in to was Americas Most Wanted, where people who were doing bad things and violating the law were profiled on TV. While there were segments that John Walsh called 15 seconds of shame, it wasn’t descriptive enough for me, but valuable because of the fact that they could feature more and it was time based. AMW Reloaded, a podcast I had started, took this and only did certain ones, and the cast was not timed. I’m sorry that AMW was cancelled by Fox, then TNT I believe it was, pulled it completely. I may be wrong on the TNT aspect, however, thats not the point.

The article here, talks about the DVS that is here in the United States and other countries where people describe whats happening during movies and TV. I have not heard any programming on TV that is described, however, I’m happy to see this.

The TV today is various crime shows like SVU, and CSI, which I’ve heard some described shows, but never got in to them to be fair. I’m hoping that the FCC does put more programming on TV for people who are blind, or find it easier to listen than watch for whatever reason.

There are other reasons I’m worried about Donald Trump and his policies besides the DVS aspect. While I have not voted, and that was my choice, I will only state that we will see what will eventually happen. I think Donald will have some issues while he is in office, and some of what he wants to do he will have no problem with because who he is putting in office. What I will say is that we will see which side things go after the 20th of January.


Ubber and accessibility

Hello folks,

I was reading a Thread on applevis in regards to the latest Ubber and accesibility and I had to check this out. I’ve only used ubber in cases where it is raining, and the bus wasn’t a safe option. I have noticed the changes where they have classified the rides in to 4 pages of options. People in the thread were saying that there were lags in speech, but in my initial looking, I booked a trip to work and it seemed to not have any lagging issues that I’ve noticed. It said it was going to be $14.41 in one case and $15.17 so it looks like the prices have gone up a little bit. Voice over seems to give hints and I don’t see any lag.

What irritates me about the thread, is the canned responses that seemed to be sent by Ubber and the fact they don’t have E-mail support anymore. From what I can tell, people were asking about a phone number, and i have not found any phone number except the 213 number I have seen when I got a call/text from them the last time I used it. According to the logs, I last used them on the 5th of July. I ran late that day, overslept, and needed a ride.

I’m truly sorry that Ubber has regressed in accessibility and that they now send canned responses to their customers. This can’t be good customer service, and I’m not happy to hear that.

The fact that one person indicated the drivers are not happy with the app should help them fix whatever is wrong, but since I’ve not opened the app in awhile, it is a little sluggish as it loads all my data in to the app.

You can change the pickup location, and its ETA is located on the screen and is accessible.

I personally don’t see anything that will prevent me from using it if I need it, but I only use it in emergencies where it is raining heavily and it is unsafe for me to travel or I’m running late. My goal is to be on time, but I’m happy I have it in case I need it.

Please feel free to share your experiences here or on the apple vis thread, and lets see if we can change the issues that we have heard about so Ubber can be viable for people who would like to use it.

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Notes on blindness VR

Posted this to mpobility discuss and my own blog, thoughts are welcome.

Hello folks,

I saw this on the apple vis website. From the description of the app, it takes some things from a blind person making a diary from having some site and eventually losing their site. Comments indicate that this game is not accessible to the blind and I don’t think that it is the point for it to be accessible to the blind. Anyone sighted on this list, using IOS, may want to check this out and let me know what you think. I’d be curious to see if anything mobility related is discussed here. Link to applevis. Enjoy!

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JFW 18 is coming, blind bargains has info on whats new

I haven’t been to blind bargains lately, but they post a lengthy blog post on whats new in version 18. I am not sure when it will be released, or if it has, but the post was posted on the 11th, and its better late than never. Maybe you’ll find this of interest.

Comments (1)

Is Assistive Technology going to be dead?

Over the last few days, discussion on 986’s roger group surfaced around talk that Microsoft is going to make a full fledged screen reader and they don’t care what happens to companies like AI Squared and freedom Scientific. One of my good friends, Herbie Allen, indicated to me and others that this type of talk has been going on for years since Windows 7 came about.

I sent a draft of this article to someone who is a tech trainer on apple and android devices who had a training session. Someone had mentioned that Microsoft indicated that they didn’t care, and discussion indicates that they could take out things that the assistive tech companies need to hook in to so that we can have the access. I personally can’t confirm this, but if it has been discussed for years, only time will tell what Microsoft decides to do in the long run.

The Jared Rimer Network has not seen anything in reports from twitter sources indicating anything either way.

With the announcement in August of Microsoft allowing people with assistive technology to continue to have the free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 if they have the technology and this support article entitled: All keyboard commands and touch gestures supported by Narrator in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update you’d think that they are not giving up on the assistive tech players quite yet.

I know there are continuing issues being reported about Windows 10 and its potential privacy issues including Cortana and its sharing data, as well as the inability to turn off settings to limit such data, but an interesting thought was mentioned in the group. The same thing is done with IOS and Siri where it shares and has access to data to carry out tasks like whats up on your calendar, calling people, and other things that siri can do including math and other basic functions.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions to say that Microsoft is or is not going to cut out access to what our screen reader can do, but I will be watching this particular development with interest.

I don’t think the assistive tech companies will go down quietly, not without a fight. The big companies will fight anyway, don’t know about the smaller companies or the startups.

If you would like to be reminded about the Microsoft continuing windows 10 upgrade for assistive tech users after July 2016, please go to this articcle from blind bargains called: After Closing the Free Upgrade to Windows 10 for Mainstream Users, Microsoft Delivers on Promise to AT Users which was posted on August 2, 2016. Also, on the 4th of August, the same source posted You, too can Live on the Edge With the Anniversary Update to Windows 10 where it has a link to a spot where you can learn if things you can do would need work arounds or other information to get tasks done.

I would like to hear from you, if you’ve read things confirming or denying this recent news which has been going around for years. We all need to be informed as to what is up so we can decide at that time whether to jump windows ship, or whether we should give this a try and see what Microsoft has up its sleve.

To contact me, you may roger me at jaredrimer or you may go to my main web site for other contact information. Thanks for reading!

Comments (4)

The apple event

There is an apple event next week, and here is apple vis’s post about the event with links to the apple stream and other information that might be of interest. I hope this finds some interest for some.

On a side note, The Mix will host a stream of the event on our team talk server for those who have it. Get info on the server on our site. Enjoy!

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chicken nugget updates to 4.2

As I was resting, Chicken Nugget presented itself a dialogue to update to 4.2. Auto updating is always good to fix bugs and get improvements. They added support to vine, fixed youtube links, and added settings. The dialogue will tell you whats new and present an option to update.

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Snapchat for iOS has VoiceOver improvements

I’m happy that snapchat has made their app more accessible according to this applevis posting and we should make strides for apps to be accessible for those who would like to use them. I personally am not going to use the app, but maybe some people will. My understanding of snapchat is simple. Take a picture or video to share, similar to facebook. Its available for a certain period of time before it is deleted. Some people might find that cool, others may not. Check out the blog post for more information and comments from applevis.

Comments (2)

Digitizing the World’s Largest Braille Music Collection

Digitizing the World’s Largest Braille Music Collection came across my desk, and I thought people should see it. This is definitely interesting. Thoughts are welcome.

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Window-Eyes 9.5.1 is now out

From AI Squared.

Be Ready for Windows 10 Anniversary Update with Window-Eyes 9.5.1

In the coming week, Microsoft will begin to roll out the Anniversary Update for Windows 10. With Window-Eyes 9.5.1, our customers will be able to access this latest version of Windows 10. Window-Eyes 9.5.1 also includes numerous stability and performance enhancements for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Office, and numerous other fixes. Download Window-Eyes 9.5.1 to get a fantastic screen reader experience!

Read Me

For a complete list of Window-Eyes 9.5.1 new features, improvements and changes, please refer to the Window-Eyes 9.5.1 Read Me.

Download your upgrade

If you have purchased a Window-Eyes 9.2 upgrade or have an active Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA), you can download the upgrade for free at http://www.gwmicro.com/upgrade or activate the Check for Updates option in the Help menu. It will not count against your SMA.

Window-Eyes 9.5.1 will be available for you to download, but SMA customers will not receive an installation DVD. You may purchase a DVD by contacting Ai Squared.

Try Window-Eyes

If you don’t currently own Window-Eyes, you can get it for free! 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 don’t have Office 2010 or newer installed on your PC, you can obtain a free 60-day evaluation of Window-Eyes here: http://www.gwmicro.com/Window-Eyes/Demo/. If you haven’t tried Window-Eyes in a while, give Window-Eyes 9.5.1 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 version, so please check with your local dealer for availability in your language. For those outside of the U.S., contact your local dealer.

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.

Comments (1)

Was BARD down because of a DOS attack?

Hi folks,

On an earlier post I was requesting people report to me if they were having an issue with getting to the library of congress web site along with BARD. Shortly after I posted that, I reached out to my cooperating library who confirmed that there was an issue with BARD, and there was no ETA for its return.

On July 20, 2016: on a thread from apple vis entitled Anybody else currently having problems with Bard? which was used to report the last couple of days issues, indicated that the site was recently under a denial of service attack or Denial-of-service attack. (wikipedia)

I want to stress that we do not know if it is true whether BARD was attacked or not. What we do know, is that it would take a lot to take the full Library of Congress sites down, and the full loc.gov domain was down during BARD’s outage. I personally could not get to BARD or the Library of Congress.

According to the Wikipedia article, it says: “In computing, a denial-of-service (DoS) attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users, such as to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.[1] A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is where the attack source is more than one, often thousands of, unique IP addresses. It is analogous to a group of people crowding the entry door or gate to a shop or business, and not letting legitimate parties enter into the shop or business, disrupting normal operations.

Criminal perpetrators of DoS attacks often target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways. Motives of revenge, blackmail[2][3][4] or activism[5] can be behind other attacks.”

We do not know if anyone has taken responsibility for any type of DDOS attack, or whether this was the case at all. We do know that BARD will go offline from July 29th through August 1st for scheduled maintenance. The post is to the books blog where I also have a podcast when time allows. I felt to post the announce from BARD there in case people don’t have access to the site, and need to get info to friends or family.

I wish people would be careful when saying the site was down because of a DOS attack, as if it turns out it wasn’t, it may look bad for the person, and then they’re not credable. For example, someone posted to the thread saying: “It was a denial of service attack that caused the outage. Luckily, Bard is
back and all is fine. Just keep in mind that if the site goes down, it’s
nothing anyone is doing, it’s not you or anyone else doing something to
cause bard to go down. I’m glad it’s back too.” A DOS is caused by someone sending traffic to the server that holds BARD or the library of congress. This comment commenting on the subject of the last few days says: “Actually, a denial of service does mean that someone is attacking the site.
That’s the point of a DOS attack, though why anyone would target BARD is beyond me. Talk about childish. Never fear though, there’s no way to accidentally do this and it takes many machines coordinated by a group to even try to hit a system as large as the Library of Congress.” I think this poster is absolutely correct. A script kitty wouldn’t be able to do that, this has to be a large scale attack to take down the whole network.

Maybe the library of congress will post something about what happened, maybe we won’t find out. I’m hopeful that people realize that attacking the library of congress has large implecations that effect a large community including the disabled community who uses the library of congress which provides books in recorded and other formats to print disabled patrons who qualify for the service in the United States and abroad where the patron is abroad either permanently or living there now.

The comment boards await any comments if anyone has any thoughts.

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