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Desert Cafe Christmas Special and Brand New Slot on ACB Radio Interactive!

December 21, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
Hello Everyone,
Tomorrow come visit us, Polar Bear and Frosty, in the newly re-opened Desert Cafe. Join us Tomorrow (Monday) evening on ACB Radio Interactive from 6:00 to 8:00 Pacific, 7:00 to 9:00 Mountain, 8:00 to 10:00 Central or 9:00 to 11:00 Eastern time for our special Christmas show.  Our Doors will be open Every Tuesday from 2:00 to 4:00 UTC as we proudly settle into our brand new time slot.
Though there will  not be snow, there  may be mistletoe. :-) We definitely will have hot beverages and tasty treats and  Christmas  Tunes to entertain you in our special virtual cafe.  Perhaps you may want some    gingerbread coffee? Coco with whip cream? or   hot chocolate chip cookies right  out of the oven? We will  definitely have music for children  young and  old.  So, hope  to see  you all there.
The Desert Cafe may now be heard every Tuesday morning from 2:00 to 4:00 UTC by visiting and selecting your favorite media player to listen.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all many a great show,
Darrell and Karen Shandrow
The Desert Cafe on ACB Radio Interactive,
Where Your Listening Is Our Business
Categories: Uncategorized

The Desert Cafe Re-opens Tomorrow on ACB Radio Interactive

December 19, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
Hello Everyone,
We have reopened our doors and just in time for the Holidays.  WE have rennovated the place and  have created  some  new flavors and tasty treats for you all.  We will still have our traditional favorite beverages, sweets and music.      Our hours right now vary so please call or stop by and see the signs posted. We will be open  beginning  Tomorrow with some early Bird Christmas specials as we fill in for Naama, so there is a reason to stop by and start the season off with the right blend.
That’s right! Tomorrow, December 20, from 14:00 to 16:00 UTC (6:00 to 8:00 AM Pacific, 7:00 to 9:00 AM Mountain, 8:00 to 10:00 AM Central and 9:00 to 11:00 AM Eastern time), I’ll be covering Naama’s Breakfast in America, serving up the best in Christmas tunes from the re-opened Desert Cafe. The show may be heard on ACB Radio Interactive by visiting the following link:
All the best,
Darrell and Karen Shandrow
The Desert Cafe
Categories: Uncategorized

Press Release: Window-Eyes 7.0 is Now Available

September 18, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We at Blind Access Journal are excited about the release of Window-Eyes 7.0. In fact, we’re hard at work on an in-depth article covering this release. Please stay tuned.

GW Micro is proud to announce the official release of Window-Eyes 7.0. The maturity of Window-Eyes has reached unprecedented levels in this latest version.

The addition of scripting support provides users with the tools to enhance the accessibility and usability of third party applications, the operating system, and even Window-Eyes itself. GW Micro has always stood by the statement that Window-Eyes does not include complicated and proprietary scripting support, and that statement remains true with Window-Eyes 7.0. Instead, the addition of an industry standard scripting interface using tools that already exist in the Windows operating system allows users new to
scripting, seasoned programmers, and everyone in between to take full advantage of this powerful new feature without getting bogged down in a complex and rigid programming environment. Users not interested in creating scripts can still take advantage of scripts written by other users through an intuitive script management system. GW Micro is also proud to offer a centralized script repository where both script users and script developers can gather to distribute and discuss Window-Eyes scripts. Visit Script Central for more information.

Window-Eyes 7.0 contains several other features, including many Browse Mode enhancements, the inclusion of a new Eloquence synthesizer, support for both Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8, and overall increased speed and stability. Window-Eyes 7.0 is fully Unicode compliant, allowing for more localization options for virtually any language. In addition, Window-Eyes 7.0 is the first screen reader to provide support for iTunes 8, including access to the Apple iTunes store.

Thank you to everyone involved in the public beta cycle. Window-Eyes continues to lead the way in adaptive technology because of the dedication of our customers.

Window-Eyes 7.0 is a paid upgrade for existing Window-Eyes users. If you own Window-Eyes 6.1, you may purchase an upgrade to Window-Eyes 7.0 for $175, plus shipping. If you already own Window-Eyes 6.1, and have an active SMA, you will be receiving your Window-Eyes 7.0 CD in the mail soon. Please be patient; all Window-Eyes SMA CDs are our first priority. You may also choose to download your Window-Eyes 7.0 upgrade for immediate installation. To download the Window-Eyes 7.0 upgrade, to check the status of your SMA account, or to determine your upgrade eligibility, go to the Window-Eyes Help menu, and choose the Window-Eyes Upgrade option. Alternatively, you can visit the upgrades page, and follow the instructions. If you own a version of Window-Eyes older than 6.1, refer to the GW Micro Window-Eyes Upgrade Catalog page for applicable upgrade costs.

Window-Eyes 7.0 supports Windows 2000, Windows XP (32-bit versions of Home, Professional, and Media Center), Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista (all 32-bit versions), and Windows Server 2008 (all 32-bit versions). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 260-489-3671, or

Categories: Uncategorized

Article: Lotus ‘Safe & Sound’ system makes hybrid,electric vehicles audible

August 12, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We are relieved to learn that a solution now exists to the safety concerns
posed by electric and hybrid vehicles to blind and visually impaired
pedestrians. It is now up to those of us in the blind community to insist on
the implementation of this or a similar solution on all such autos. Now that
a concrete solution is available, we can act to ensure our safety. States
could enact legislation requiring the installation of an audible noise
making device on these vehicles in order to pass DMV inspections. The auto
insurance industry could also require such an installation on a car as a
condition of selling a policy to the driver.
The article entitled Lotus 'Safe & Sound' system makes hybrid, electric
vehicles audible can be found at,2000438541,339291235,00.htm

Due to the almost silent operation of hybrid and electric vehicles running
on electric power at slow speeds, blind and partially sighted pedestrians
may be at risk while crossing roads or walking through parking lots since
they cannot hear the vehicles as they approach.

Lotus Engineering, a name most commonly associated with lightweight sports
cars, has announced that it has developed a system to synthesise external
sound on electric and hybrid vehicles to make them more audible to
pedestrians and cyclists. A simulation of a real engine sound is used on
Lotus' Safe & Sound
Hybrid technology demonstrator vehicle, making it instantly recognisable
that the vehicle is in motion.

The demonstration vehicle is a Toyota Prius equipped to demonstrate the
sound synthesis application. The solution Lotus has devised is a
re-application and development of its Sound Synthesis technology, a suite of
technologies originally designed to reduce the amount of cabin noise in a
conventional motor vehicle by using active sound cancellation.

An artificial engine sound is played through a waterproof loudspeaker in the
car's nose, compensating for the lack of engine noise emitted by the vehicle
when running on an electric motor. Because it's just a speaker, Lotus can
make any sound they want, but they've stuck to using an existing engine
that makes the vehicle instantly recognisable, with the pitch and frequency
helping to identify its distance and speed. Front-facing speakers mean that
once the vehicle has passed, the sound is no longer heard.

In electric-only vehicles, the system is always on, but for hybrids the
system only operates when the vehicle is using electric power. If the
hybrid's engine starts operating – either at higher speeds, higher throttle
demands, or lower battery levels – the control system automatically stops
the external synthesis.
It is all completely automatic and, according to Lotus, the driver hears
almost none of the additional sound.

Categories: Uncategorized

Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2 Is Now Available!

August 7, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

After much anticipation, and following the enormous success of Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 1, GW Micro is proud to announce the release of Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2. Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2 offers the latest advancements in screen reading technology, including full Unicode support, new scripting functionality, web browsing enhancements, a new synthesizer, and much more.

The success of Window-Eyes is solely dependent on users like you, who take the time to test out new features and enhancements. Thanks to everyone who participated with Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 1, we’ve been able to resolve many issues, and implement several features that did not make the first beta. Your continued feedback and support is invaluable, and greatly appreciated

Before installing Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2, please note the following:

You must already have an existing copy of either Window-Eyes 6.1 or Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 1 installed (Retail, Demo, Evaluation, and Payment Plan versions are all supported) before installing Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2. The beta install will not work if you are not running a version of Window-Eyes 6.1 or Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 1. If you are running an earlier version of Window-Eyes, prior to Window-Eyes 6.1, you will either need to upgrade to Window-Eyes 6.1, or uninstall your current version, and install a demonstration copy of Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2. Once again, you must be running either Window-Eyes 6.1 or Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 1 before you can install Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2.  If you have 7.0 Beta 1 installed there is no reason to uninstall it.

Read more about all of the features Window-Eyes 7.0 Beta 2 has to offer, and download your copy, at

Categories: Uncategorized

Seeking New JFW-Employment List Moderator

August 4, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
I have just written the following note to the jfw-employment mailing list:
Hello Fellow List Members,
I am writing to seek a replacement for me as moderator of this list. Though it continues to be a valuable resource, this list is focused entirely on JAWS. I have shifted my focus away from all Freedom Scientific products, including their screen reader. I haven’t run JAWS once since July 18! Though I will stay on as a member, I wish to relinquish my moderatorship of this list as soon as possible. All offers are welcome to to take over.
Categories: Uncategorized

Freedom Scientific Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against GW Micro

July 24, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

We at Blind Access Journal believe it is absolutely critical that everyone in the blind community understand how our assistive technology industry operates, how the competitors operate with respect to one another and how these interactions may impact the extent to which we are able to acquire access to the information and technology available in the world around us. It is to this end that we must, once again, report on another case in which Freedom Scientific is suing one of its competitors. This time, the defendant is GW Micro, makers of Window-Eyes, the second most popular screen reader in the world. In this latest lawsuit, Freedom Scientific claims that GW Micro has violated its patent number 6,993,707 concerning the implementation of support for placemarkers on web pages in Window-Eyes 7.0. Doug has posted an article entitled Do companies really compete on who has the best lawyers? to the GW Micro Blog in response to this lawsuit. We urge everyone to review the text of the complaint below, read Doug’s blog post, make your own judgements and let us know how you believe the connected online blind community should respond. We ask that you understand that this complaint has been acquired at our own expense, and considerable effort and time have been expended in order to provide its content in an accessible format. The text below does not represent an exact replication of the original Federal Court filing.





Civil Action No.: 8:08-cv-01365-JDW-TBM Freedom Scientific, Inc. v. GW Micro, Inc.

GW MICRO, INC. – Defendant.



  1. Plaintiff Freedom Scientific, Inc. (“Freedom Scientific”) is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  2. On information and belief, GW Micro, Inc. (“GW Micro”), is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Indiana and having a place of business at 725 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  3. This action arises under the patent laws of the United States, 35 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.
  4. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under one or more of 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a).
  5. GW Micro has infringed, and is continuing to infringe, Freedom Scientific’s United States patent identified below by making, importing, selling, offering to sell, and/or using within the United States certain computer software.
  6. Count I (Patent Infringement)

  7. Freedom Scientific repeats and realleges the foregoing paragraphs.
  8. Freedom Scientific is the owner of United States Patent No. 6,993,707 (the ‘”707 patent”), issued on January 31, 2006, and has the right to sue on the ‘707 patent. A copy of the ‘707 patent is attached as Exhibit A.
  9. GW Micro has infringed, and is continuing to infringe, the ‘707 patent by making, importing, selling, offering to sell, and/or using within the United States computer software covered by the ‘707 patent.
  10. GW Micro has induced and contributed to infringement by others of the ‘707 patent by causing or aiding others to make, use, import, sell, and/or offer to sell goods covered by the ‘707 patent within the United States.
  11. GW Micro’s infringement of the ‘707 patent is and has been willful, has caused and will continue to cause Freedom Scientific to suffer substantial damages, and has caused and will continue to cause Freedom Scientific to suffer irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law.

WHEREFORE, Freedom Scientific requests that this Court:

  1. Enter a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining GW Micro and its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, licensees, successors, assigns, and all those acting for any of them or on their behalf, or acting in concert with them, from further infringement of the ‘707 patent;
  2. Award Freedom Scientific compensatory damages, costs, and interest for patent infringement;
  3. Award Freedom Scientific treble damages for the willful infringement of the ‘707 patent;
  4. Award Freedom Scientific its reasonable attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285;and
  5. Award Freedom Scientific such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.


Freedom Scientific demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

Respectfully submitted, FREEDOM SCIENTIFIC, INC.

Dated: July 15,2008

Case Summary and Attorneys from Court Filing

8:08-cv-01365-JDW-TBM Freedom Scientific, Inc. v. GW Micro, Inc.

James D. Whittemore, presiding

Thomas B. McCoun III, referral

Date filed: 07/15/2008

Date of last filing: 07/21/2008

Office: Tampa

Filed: 07/15/2008

Jury Demand: Plaintiff

Nature of Suit: 830

Cause: 35:145 Patent Infringement

Jurisdiction: Federal Question

County: Pinellas

Origin: 1

Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Michael John Colitz, III

Phone: 813/227-6598

Fax: 813/229-0134


Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Matthew B. Lowrie

Phone: 617/395-7000

Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Aaron W. Moore

Phone: 617/395-7000


Plaintiff: Freedom Scientific, Inc.

represented by: Woodrow Heath Pollack

Phone: 813/227-8500


Defendant: GW Micro, Inc.

Categories: Uncategorized

Changes Afoot on Main Menu

July 14, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

The following note has been posted to ACB Radio public mailing lists by
Chrissie Cochrane, the station's managing director. I appreciate her good
words below. You can all be sure that, from time to time, we will be
providing content and making guest appearances on the show as we are able.

Hi Folks

It is with considerable regret that I have to announce that both Jeff Bishop
and Darrell shandrow are relinquishing both their production and hosting of
the now famous Main Menu show due to a steep increase in their other work
commitments. The first thing I want to do is thank both of them for their
hard work in both producing and hosting the show which has gone from
strength to strength during their tenure.

I am also open to offers for anyone who is willing to take on the task of
hosting and/or preparing this prestigious show. We need people who have a
good grounding in access technology, and a knowledge of streaming on the
internet. If people are interested, and have the time and the inclination
to take on this work, please write to me at I am
very open to ideas for any changes anyone may have to the format of the
show, after all, these things do not necessarily have to stay the same from
year to year, so as I say, if you are interested in either hosting the show,
or wish to be involved in its production, please write to me at

This is a chance for someone to make a name for themselves in the access
technology field, as during Jeff and Darrell's time with the show, the
listener figures have been increasing steadily, but don't let that put you
off. Of course they will be a hard double act to follow though I'm sure
there are people out there who have ideas and would like to see them put
into reality.

So, if you're interested, please write to me at and
let's start yet another era of first-class Main Menu shows.


Categories: Uncategorized

Coming up on Main Menu for the week of July 16 – The Icon and Our Panel of Experts

July 13, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker
Hello Everyone,
Coming up on this week’s Main Menu Live, we bring you two hours of brand new content. In the first hour, Marc Mulcahy from LevelStar tells us all about the Icon accessible pocket mobile manager and portable notetaker. We welcome your questions by e-mail to prior to the broadcast, or by way of calls and MSN (Windows Live Messenger) chats during the show. In the second hour, we bring you our panel of experts to discuss all things technology from a blindness perspective with emphasis on the recently concluded summer conventions. On this show, Jeff and I will be joined by Don Barrett, Randy Knapp, Debbie Hazelton and Caroline Congdon.
Jeff and I would also like to let all of you know that this episode represents our final appearances as host and co-host of Main Menu. We’re all going to connect and have a great time, so this is the show you will not want to miss!
Here is how to participate in the show:
The number to call into the show is 866-400-5333.
You may email your questions to:
You may also interact with the show via MSN (Windows Live) Messenger. The MSN Messenger ID to add is:
Would you like to interact with a group of Main Menu listeners about the topics heard on Main Menu and Main Menu Live? You can do this by joining the Main Menu Friends email list. The address to subscribe is:
Come join an already lively group of users.
Would you like to subscribe to podcast feeds for Main Menu and Main Menu Live? The RSS feeds to add to your podcatching application are:
Main Menu –
Main Menu Live –
For this next week, only the Main Menu Live podcast feed will be updated.
Main Menu can be heard on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific, and at 1 universal (GMT) on Wednesday mornings on the ACB Radio Main Stream channel.
Follow this link to listen to the show:
Our best wishes to all our loyal Main Menu listeners,
Jeff Bishop and Darrell Shandrow
The Main Menu Production Team
Categories: Uncategorized

Friends in Art Showcase to Air on ACB Radio

July 8, 2008 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Hello everyone,

Once again, ACB Radio is proud to provide exclusive live coverage of the
Friends in Art showcase from the ACB Convention. Join Chrissie Cochrane and
a team of ACB Radio broadcasters as they bring you a night of performances
by blind and vision impaired performers, live on stage at the convention in
Louisville Kentucky. The broadcast will get underway at or around 23:45
Universal, that's 7:45 pm US Eastern, and will probably run for something
like 3 hours.

We have set up a separate stream for this year's showcase. You will be able
to listen from the website or by clicking one of the following

Broadband stream for Winamp:
Broadband stream for Real Player:
Broadband stream for Windows Media player:
Broadband stream for other players:

Modem stream for Winamp:
Modem stream for Real PLayer:
Modem stream for Windows Media PLayer:
Modem stream for other players:

We hope you are enjoying our convention broadcasts and look forward to you
joining us for the Friends in Art Showcase, only on ACB Radio.

Categories: Uncategorized