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Top Tech Tidbits Publisher Updates
for November 10th 2022

Released: 11/10/2022

Author: Aaron Di Blasi, Publisher, Top Tech Tidbits

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Top Tech Tidbits. The world's #1 online resource for current news and trends in access technology. Masthead logo includes title as well as five stylized access logos, clockwise a long cane user, enlarged print, fingers signing interpreter, full braille cell, hearing aid user.

Updates below for all members of the Tidbits community. These are general updates for the week of November 10th 2022.

1.) Attention Top Tech Tidbits Sponsors. Top Tech Tidbits To Transition All Future Sponsorship Renewals From One-Time Payments To Subscriptions At Your Request. Everything You Need To Know.

You've asked. We've listened.

Far too many sponsors have encountered issues in "almost" losing their sponsorship package due to an invoice that was blocked as spam or a specific deadline that was not met by their A/R Department. So we're going to flip things around at your request.

If you do not want a subscription, or cannot utilize a subscription for any reason, you will still have the option to pay a digital invoice as you always have. You can also still pay by check so long as you submit prior to your expiration deadline. But these will no longer be the default methods of payment.

Subscriptions, which can only be cancelled by you when you are ready to cancel them, will become the new standard form of payment for all Top Tech Tidbits Sponsorship Packages.

If you would still like to utilize one of the other payment methods mentioned above you will now need to request it.

So what does this mean? This just means that your next renewal, whenever it is, will be provided to you as a recurring subscription, rather than a one-time payment. Your cost will not change. If you renew quarterly then you will receive a quarterly subscription renewal for $300 USD. If you renew annually then you will receive an annual subscription renewal for $1200 USD. You can cancel your subscription at any time. It carries no obligation. Only peace of mind in knowing that your sponsorship is secure.

On behalf of all of us here at Tidbits I would like to extend to each of you our sincerest thanks, and most heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support. Top Tech Tidbits is a sponsor and reader supported publication. Your sponsorships along with reader support are critical for us to be able to continue to offer free and unbiased access technology news to thousands of blind and visually impaired professionals, educators and enthusiasts, all over the world, each week. Thank you!

2.) Top Tech Tidbits "Cleans" Mailing List This Week To Remove 438 Subscribers Listed As "Suspended"

You may have noticed that the Top Tech Tidbits mailing list is down approximately 438 subscribers this week. That's because every once in awhile we have to purge the mailing list of those email addresses that have been repeatedly "suspended". An email address that has been "suspended" is an email address for an active subscriber whose ISP or IT department has blocked them from receiving our email. So rather than attempting to send to them over and over, which can get us added to spam lists, we remove them. We do this approximately every 3 months in order to keep the list clean, accurate and compliant. If you have any additional questions about how we manage the Top Tech Tidbits subscriber list please feel free to reach out to me directly at: publisher@toptechtidbits.com

3.) A Word About CAPTCHA And Our Inability To Completely Remove It From The Top Tech Tidbits Subscription Process

CAPTCHA stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart."

It is a system used across the internet today to distinguish actual humans from automated bots. Bots are automated programs that fill out forms on their own without any real human intervention. And they can be much more than an inconvenience. They can shut down your application or server if left unchecked. Hence the need for CAPTCHA.

Here's an example using the Top Tech Tidbits subscription process. A friend says, hey, you need to check out this newsletter, and sends you a link to the Top Tech Tidbits website. You read through the site, like what you find, and decide to give the newsletter a try. So you click the "Subscribe" button anywhere on the site. Clicking the subscribe button takes you to a form where you can enter your email address. Which you do, and click submit.

Now here is the precise point where CAPTCHA comes in. CAPTCHA authentication is called upon anytime you hit the submit button on a secure online form. Now, depending upon your specific hardware and software configuration CAPTCHA may be able to determine that you are in fact a human being without ever asking you to pick out all of the mountains in a photo. Or forcing you to try to listen to that absolutely terrible audio alternative they they provide. And why is that audio so bad? You guessed it. Because if the audio were of better quality then a bot may be able to decipher it, thereby defeating the CAPTCHA and allowing mountains of spam to spill forth. Pun intended.

We did in fact turn CAPTCHA off, completely once, during a maintenance period. From the moment we turned it off we began receiving bogus, bot-filled submissions. Just a couple at first. Then a few every few minutes. Then over a hundred per hour. As you can see, if we had left CAPTCHA off it would have overwhelmed our subscription server within a day. And this is why CAPTCHA will not go away.

But the good news is that it is getting smarter. With the advent of artificial intelligence CAPTCHA now has more signals than ever to prevent it from asking you to look at mountains. It now only does this as a last resort. So if you, as an adaptive technology user, would prefer to encounter less to no manual CAPTCHAs as you navigate the internet, then you will also want to keep both your hardware and software configuration as up to date as possible.

We just want readers to know that if we could do away with manual CAPTCHAs completely, we would certainly do so. But we must remain compliant as we deliver email to thousands of subscribers all over the world each week.

So if you or anyone else encounters a manual CAPTCHA while signing up for the Top Tech Tidbits newsletter that you cannot bypass please email me and I will sign you up directly. No online form required:

Thanks so much for reading, we look forward to keeping you informed.

Aaron Di Blasi, PMP

Publisher (2020-Present)
Top Tech Tidbits
The Week's News in Access Technology
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Publisher (2022-Present)
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