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Podsafe for Peace Update: Accessible Means to Obtain the Track Now Removed!

December 6, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Bowing to pressure from Jerry Halatyn to make constant changes to the way in which If Every Day Were Christmas is delivered to blind podcasters, Jeff Bishop has simply removed the means by which we were able to obtain this song without the need to use the currently inaccessible Podsafe Music Network. Once again, it appears that the needs of everyone else trump the need for accessibility at all costs, again placing our needs at the very bottom of the list! For all that, I don’t even like this song anymore. The accessibility issues and undue complications in resolving the issues have simply taken all the fun out of this project. Thank you, Slau! In addition to all the accessibility issues and subsequent wrangling, one must be very careful as this project is, in no official way, endorsed by UNICEF. There is no way to absolutely, positively guarantee that any money generated from the purchase of this song will go to that charitable organization. Podsafe for Peace will not be played here on the Blind Access Journal podcast and we will be making no financial contribution to this endeavor.

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The New

December 5, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

The premier audio book website has released a new design to its website.

The new design labels all the images that one would need for navigation purposes, the book pages have headings so you can quickly jump to the publisher summary for example without reading through all the book information first, and the site rolled out new listener membership plans that let you roll your book credits to the next month.

The last feature is obviously taken from the cell phone industry and the roll over minutes option that they all pretty much offer now.

A very cool new feature is the list of lists which include lists like the best Listens of 2005, books to film, holiday stories, and staff/customer top ten lists.

The site also has an express purchase feature that is the same as’s one click ordering.

the one drawback with regards to accessibility is on the membership join page. The membership plans are described using labeled graphics, but the plans are each on their own line with the click here portion of the graphic clickable all though your screen reader might not indicate that.

the plans on the audible site are basic ($9.95/month), Gold ($14.95/month), and Platinum ($22.95/month).

You get 1 credit per month on the gold plan and 2 per month on the platinum plan. the basic plan I’m not sure about though you do get some form of free audio plus 30% off any audiobook.

I had canceled my membership a few months ago, but now that you can roll your credits to the next month I may resubscribe.

Bottom Line

Despite the one accessibility issue, which I don’t technically consider an issue since the graphic says click here, I recommend for anyone who enjoys reading and likes access to the latest and greatest in literature.

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Phoenix Rising Out of the Ashes!

December 4, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker


Note to self and warning to everyone: don’t accept software from strangers! Recovering from both a computer and a biological virus…

Natalie Brown

Thanks for the excellent ID! It now begins the show. Anyone else want to supply one?

Fix for crackling speech from Sound Blaster Live cards.

Check out this Freedom Scientific Technical Support Notice if you have the crackling Eloquence speech problem as this solution can be difficult to find when you need it…

Download and Listen

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Red Alert: New GoogleAccessibility Trojan Horse Targets Blind and Visually Impaired for Disaster!

December 2, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

A new trojan horse executable with the name google_accessibility.exe is making the rounds. Purporting to enable the blind and visually impaired to work around Google’s inaccessible visual verification scheme, it actually corrupts the data on the attacked system’s hard drives, rendering such systems inaccessible and effectively useless. In addition, all data on any mapped drives connected to the attacked system over a network share is completely erased. Recovery requires a full reformat and clean reinstallation of the operating system and all applications.

Google_accessibility.exe is extremely tempting to those whom have found themselves increasingly locked out of Google’s services due to inaccessible visual verification, but this trojan horse is not our salvation and must be avoided at all costs. A confirmed case of this attack resulted in the following catestrophic consequences:

  • JAWS went silent after the program was run.
  • A restart resulted in an unbootable operating system.
  • The data on the attached hard drive was so corrupted as to be impractical to recover.
  • A complete reformat and clean installation of Windows was required in order to restore the system to correct functionality.
  • A backup drive connected by way of a network share was wiped clean.
  • Approximately 100 GB of accessibility advocacy related materials, contact information, correspondence, documentation, e-mail, financial records, music, podcasts and other similarly critical data were completely lost.
  • Tens or perhaps hundreds of hours may be required to restore the Accessibility Command Center to full operation!

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An Ancestor Got My Computer!

December 1, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

My computer was killed last night. I just learned from one of my sighted coworkers that we’re going to need to perform a complete operating system reinstall! Thankfully, I backed up most of my important data on another system, so the loss is not catestrophic. What happened and why? Stay tuned. An Ancestor ate my computer’s data and operating system. Crunch, munch, snap, crackle, pop…

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