5 accessibility features that empower everyone | Microsoft On The Issues

Empowering everyone means creating technology that reflects human diversity. Many of the features designed for people with disabilities can be used by all because they’re created to help make work, life and play easier.  

Microsoft’s recent Ability Summit gathered employees and, on its second day, the broader disability community to participate in sessions, a product exposition and the Disability Talent Job FairThis included people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, and accessibility-focused engineers, specialists and organizations. 

Here’s a glimpse at five features highlighted during this year’s Ability Summit and accessibility product exposition. 

Set your visual tone
Your screen should fit your vision needs, including color, light and filter optimizations. Whether you prefer bright, vivid screens for designing and gaming, or you rely on low light or high contrast for better visibility, you can easily set your default tones and color filters across devices and applications.   

Go screen-free with narration
If you don’t use a screen — or if you’re multitasking — Narrator, built into Windows 10, can read pages out loud, describe images and link users to content via a Braille keyboard. Office 365 is designed to work seamlessly with Narrator and other screen readers. And apps like Seeing AI and Microsoft Soundscape go a step further, narrating the world around people who are blind or low vision. 

a woman uses an accessibility device

Navigate with AI-powered apps
Microsoft 365 makes it easier to steer around your screen with the keyboard shortcuts, voice commands and eye control built into Windows 10. You can also quickly find the documents and people you need using the Microsoft Search bar in Windows 10 and Office 365 applications. 

And through Microsoft’s newly announced partnership with Moovit popular transit app — navigating the physical world will get easier, too. Developers who use Azure Maps will gain access to the app’s trip planner and transit data, including wheelchair-friendly routes. With this information, they can build innovative, accessible tools to help people of all abilities travel more easily and safely.

Enhance comprehension and learning
Microsoft 365 helps people of varying hearing and language needs with auto-generated subtitles and captions for videos and presentations built into PowerPoint and StreamAuto-generated transcripts provide comprehensive notes of meetings to enhance everyone’s team experience, productivity and collaborationIncreased spacing between lines and letters; word suggestions that appear while typing; and reader support that breaks up tricky parts of speech are featuredeveloped for people with dyslexia but can help anyone 

Find your focus
We’re all distracted sometimes, but for those who regularly struggle to concentrate, features like Focus Assist and Reading View are designed to help keep us on task. Clear distracting content from web pages; block unwanted alerts and notifications; and breeze through your to-do list by keeping track of projects and deadlines across synced applications.  

For more on accessibility initiatives at Microsoft, follow @MSFTIssues on Twitter.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – HP Z1 Professional Workstation

HP Z1 G1 professional workstation. I’ve owned this since new – it was purchased in 2013 and is only up for sale due to recent upgrade to 2 monitor setup.

All-in-one design with 27″ IPS panel. Absolutely mint condition with all original packaging, HP system recovery disks plus un-used and boxed keyboard and mouse.

I upgraded the RAM at the time of purchase to 32gb ECC memory – that memory type will now set you back in excess of £300 alone. It came pre-installed with Windows 7 Pro x64 but was entitled to a Windows 10 upgrade. I’ve stuck a brand new 120gb SSD in it and installed a clean copy of Win 10 Pro that is fully activated by Microsoft.

Fantastic modular design – the case opens on gas struts for easy tool free access to main components.

Motherboard was replaced by HP under warranty early last year as the sound card had failed.

This is a beast of a workstation for professional use – it flies with an Intel server spec processor and the onboard RAM. Full specs are: –

Xeon E3-1280 3.5 GHz quad core processor.
32gb ECC RAM
Dedicated Graphics Card – NVidia Quadro 1000M
27″ IPS display (non-touch screen)
Optical Drive – DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM
120gb SSD plus space in modular caddy for additional 2.5″ HDD
Intel gigabit NIC with RJ-45 connector
Wireless network adaptor on board
Bluetooth
HP integrated web cam
Quality onboard speakers built into the base of the chassis.
4 x USB 2 ports on rear
2 x USB 3 ports on side
IEEE-1394a FireWire connector
Media – xD/MMC/MS/SD card reader
Optical S/PDIF audio output
DisplayPort connector for additional external monitor
Full set of audio in/outputs including subwoofer.

It is a fantastic piece of kit looking for a new home.

I am based in West Sussex and I’m happy to meet up for delivery within a 30 mile radius of Horsham. If you want to arrange for your own courier collection from my home address, then that’s fine too so long as insurance is included but bear in mind it is a large and very heavy package.

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Price and currency: £650
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Horsham – West Sussex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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3 steps to prepare for Exchange updates

You probably want to avoid thinking about Exchange updates until they are knocking on the front door, but preparation outside of the regular schedule makes the process easier.

Microsoft releases cumulative Exchange updates each quarter to enhance functionality and security fixes every month on Patch Tuesday. If you get behind on updates, you only need the most recent update to get caught up.

Start with these steps to build your own method to update Exchange Servers following best practices.

Step 1: Create good habits around Exchange updates

Check your servers to get to know them. Understanding the way your servers normally run and recording a performance baseline will give you an accurate comparison of how a patch affects performance.

Plan a schedule to update Exchange regularly without disrupting applications. Keep the servers one or two versions behind at most. A regular cumulative update can also have a prerequisite — such as a newer .NET Framework version — that you must install, which can take additional time.

Before you apply any patches, learn how to restore Exchange from a backup to prepare for the possibility of a problematic update. Ensure you have the most recent information to revert back to by creating a server backup immediately before issuing patches and updates.

Step 2: Check for information on specific Exchange patches

Even when you do everything right, Exchange updates can cause problems. Sometimes patches break the system. Organizations can prepare by setting a standard procedure to handle a faulty patch.

Even when you do everything right, Exchange updates can cause problems.

First check the information Microsoft has published about the patches. Some Exchange MVPs use their early access to test patches and share their findings on their blogs. You may find that an MVP has already tested your production setup, but you should still allot yourself enough time to test Exchange patches. Microsoft and MVPs can still miss a bug that affects your servers, firmware or network. Look for compatibility with essential services and confirm everything runs properly after it’s back online. Should patching go wrong, schedule enough time to recover the servers without disrupting users’ work.

Step 3: Put safety first with maintenance mode

When you are ready to issue Exchange updates, put the deployment — including redundant servers — into maintenance mode. If you do not, you risk causing the database availability group (DAG) to fail over. Maintenance mode prevents interruptions to users from any maintenance you perform. The script drains the node and the server’s transport queues.

In Exchange 2016, admins can set a period of time for the database to move back to its preferred node. The default time is one hour, but patching servers can take more time. You must reboot the server after applying the update. Without maintenance mode, the DAG can break and cease to function. You should run maintenance mode for any work you do, even just a server restart. After you complete the update, take the server out of maintenance mode and check the logs to ensure the server’s health before moving on to another node that needs patching.

If you are at a loss about what to do, you can open a support case with Microsoft or get help from a consultant.

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Microsoft 365 for Campaigns now available – Microsoft on the Issues

Today Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft 365 for Campaigns, a powerful new tool from our Defending Democracy Program designed to bring the advanced security capabilities of our Microsoft 365 Business offering to all federal political campaigns and national party committees in the United States. Campaigns and party organizations can now sign up for the service by visiting here.

Microsoft 365 for Campaigns can be set up in less than five minutes by any staffer on behalf of an organization using a simple and easy-to-understand onboarding process that surfaces the important choices for achieving a high level of security, and it’s available at a 75% discount for $5 per month per person. This is why multiple campaigns have committed to deploying it.

Political campaigns are fast-moving environments that face significant security threats from nation-state actors and criminal scammers – much like large enterprises. However, unlike enterprises, political campaigns often must ramp up and down quickly, vary in their ability to hire dedicated IT staff, and have unpredictable budgets. In some cases, they rely on scrappy “accidental administrators” who help with IT on the side; in other cases, they have experienced IT consultants but need to focus their budgets on getting out their candidates’ message.

Microsoft 365 for Campaigns brings together the world-class productivity of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility and Security with new collaboration solutions like Microsoft Teams. Regardless of level of technical experience, these solutions offer comprehensive email, filesharing, collaboration, cloud storage and conference calling solutions with easy-to-configure intelligent security and device management capabilities to help safeguard your organization.

The setup process focuses on enabling features like:

  • Multi-factor authentication: Additional security though an extra authentication step at sign-in
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Protects email from phishing and malware attacks
  • Mobile app protection: Secures access to sensitive data on mobile devices and in mobile applications while leaving personal data like photos and text messages untouched
  • Document classification and protection: Allows people to label documents as confidential and identifies content like credit cards or social security numbers, applying policies for encryption and sharing
  • Update prioritization: Accelerates the installation of security patches and feature updates to installed Office apps

Administrators configuring Microsoft 365 for Campaigns are also able to limit the number of people with administrator access, and easily add or remove users from the system as the campaign staff changes, paying only for usage month-by-month without annual commitments.

In addition to the above, the Microsoft 365 for Campaigns sign-up process allows for streamlined enrollment into Microsoft’s AccountGuard service, a sophisticated tool that provides notification about cyberthreats, including attacks by known nation-state actors, in a unified way across both email systems run by organizations and the personal accounts of these organizations’ leaders and staff who opt in.

Microsoft 365 for Campaigns is available at a price of just $5 per user per month – the same price as offered to nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. New campaigns are encouraged to use the Microsoft 365 for Campaigns for their productivity needs from the ground up. If your organization is already an Office 365 customer, you’re able to switch to this new offering. There are also convenient tools to help switch to Microsoft 365 from other cloud or on-premise email systems – just visit the sign-up link to get started.

While Microsoft 365 for Campaigns will be initially available in the United States, we are exploring opportunities to offer it in other democracies in the future as we have with other offerings from our Defending Democracy Program.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft Azure Bastion service seeks to secure VMs

Microsoft has debuted an Azure service for customers to more securely connect their virtual machine workloads to the cloud — a move that reflects the fact that, for many enterprises, secure VMs are a foundation of their IT footprint.

Azure Bastion, now in preview, is a managed PaaS that connects customers’ VMs via the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Secure Shell (SSH) network protocols, and it uses Secure Sockets Layer encryption in the process, Microsoft said. It’s inspired by bastion hosts and jump boxes, long a networking staple for companies that want to place dedicated gateways between the public internet and their private networks.

Azure Bastion similarly connects VMs and the cloud in a manner that doesn’t expose them to the public internet. It is provisioned from a customer’s Azure Virtual Network and only requires a couple of clicks to turn on, Microsoft said. The company claims it worked with hundreds of customers prior to the broader preview release, which suggests ample interest in such a service.

“The feedback has been very consistent: We need an easy and integrated way to deploy, run, and scale jump-servers or bastion hosts within our Azure infrastructure,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president of Azure networking, in a blog post.

These gateway systems are always a challenge to maintain for enterprises. … Offering this as a managed service is a huge benefit.
Holger MuellerAnalyst, Constellation Research

Azure customers already can deploy jump boxes and bastion hosts on their own to help secure VMs, but the process is manual, complex and tricky, particularly to monitor and audit them.

The preview version of Azure Bastion can launch RDP and SSH sessions quickly through the Azure portal. It also provides a rules management framework with which IT shops can configure network security groups that confine RDP and SSH traffic to Azure Bastion.

Softer benefits include better protection for private networks from malicious activity such as external port scanning, because VMs are shielded from the public internet, Microsoft said. Finally, as a managed service, Microsoft will continuously patch Azure Bastion to harden it against zero-day exploits.

Holger Mueller, analyst, Constellation ResearchHolger Mueller

Future plans include Active Directory integration for single sign-on and multifactor authentication and support for native RDP and SSH clients, Microsoft said.

Azure Bastion is now available at 50% off during the preview period, with base costs at $0.095 per hour, plus fees for outbound data transfer on a sliding scale. No service-level agreement is provided prior to general availability, however.

Azure Bastion strikes at critical customer pain point

More options to secure VMs and private networks are important, analysts agreed.

“It’s a great thing that they’re doing this,” said Gary Chen, an analyst at IDC. “It’s going to make people’s lives easier in a lot of ways.”

Microsoft’s rival AWS offers capabilities similar in intent to Azure Bastion, such as AWS Transit Gateway. AWS has also advised customers on how to replace a self-managed bastion host with its EC2 Systems Manager tool.

“These gateway systems are always a challenge to maintain for enterprises,” said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research in Cupertino, Calif. “They are critical, but unique. And, therefore, [they are] almost always handled manually — and with that, mistakes happen. Offering this as a managed service is a huge benefit.”

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For Sale – Mac Mini

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by bigjb, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. bigjb

    Well-known Member

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    Location:
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    Mac mini 2014 which was purchased new in October 2017. Comes boxed and in excellent condition.

    Specs :

    i5 1.4ghz dual core processor
    4gb ram
    500gb hard drive
    Intel Hd 5000 graphics.

    Running MacOS Mojave

    First refusal to DrapedInDarkness.

    Price and currency: £225
    Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
    Payment method: Bank Transfer
    Location: Motherwell
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019

  2. alpha112

    alpha112

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    I’m interested, do you have the specs for it please? Just RAM, CPU and hard drive would be enough.

  3. Thanks dude, most appreciated

  4. bigjb

    Well-known Member

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    Pm sent.

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Introducing Microsoft Edge preview builds for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 – Microsoft Edge Blog

Today we are excited to make preview builds from the Microsoft Edge Canary channel available on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. This rounds out the initial set of platforms that we began to roll out back in April, so developers and users alike can try out the next version of Microsoft Edge on every major desktop platform.
Visit the Microsoft Edge Insider site from your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 device to download and install the preview today! The Microsoft Edge Dev channel will be coming to previous versions of Windows soon.

You will find the experience and feature set on previous versions of Windows to be largely the same as on Windows 10, including forthcoming support for Internet Explorer mode for our enterprise customers.
Delivering the next version of Microsoft Edge to all supported versions of Windows is part of our goal to improve the web browsing experience for our customers on every device, and to empower developers to build great experiences with less fragmentation. Microsoft Edge will have the same always up-to-date platform and the same developer tools on all supported versions of Windows and macOS. This will reduce developer pain on the web, while ensuring all Windows customers have the latest browsing options.
Getting your feedback is an important step in helping us make a better browser – we consider it essential to create the best possible browsing experience. If you run into any issues or have feedback, please use the “Send Feedback” tool in Microsoft Edge. Simply click the smiley face next to the Menu button and let us know what you like or if there’s something we can improve.
The first Canary builds do have a few known issues, including the lack of dark mode support and no support for AAD sign-in, which we are working to resolve soon. If you need help or support, just press F1 from within Microsoft Edge Canary or Dev to visit our support website.
We hope you’ll try the preview out today, and share your feedback in the Microsoft Edge Insider community. We look forward to hearing what you think!