A Londonder made a tsnuami-relief donation using lynx -- a text-based browser used by the blind, Unix-users and others -- on Sun's Solaris operating system. The site-operator decided that this "unusual" event in the system log indicated a hack-attempt, and the police broke down the donor's door and arrested him. From a mailing list:
For donating to a Tsunami appeal using Lynx on Solaris 10. BT [British Telecom] who run the donation management system misread an access log and saw hmm thats a non standard browser not identifying it's type and it's doing strange things. Trace that IP. Arrest that hacker.
Armed police, a van, a police cell and national news later the police have gone in SWAT styley and arrested someone having their lunch.

Out on bail till next week and preparing to make a lot of very bad PR for BT and the Police....

this is an older news but it struck me interesting none the less.. :)


Recommended Answers

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How can a blind person even see a text based browser?

Good question. Enlighten us, Shackbase. :confused:

i have no idea - someone sent me the link and i thought I would share it with you... I will spend the rest of my day researching how blind people surf the net.


It´s simple, really. They have a text reader that renders the selection into voice that plays over their soundboard.

I still don't get it. Without some form of advanced voice recognition, they could n't perform required tasks such as clicking on a URL, or even typing in one.

Blind people have been able to use text based applications for decades using specialised Braille reading hardware which turns lines of text into Braille code.
They can be taught to type blind (as can sighted people).
Operating Lynx you activate URLs and formfields purely using keyboard commands, so no mouse or voice control is required.

Well, that's good. At least they have some way of using a computer.

I love how I post these lil odd news postings and the comments turn into a completely different direction.. interesting to say the least! :)


I have had so many service calls from handicapped users. They always catch
you by surprise when you show up to thier desk to troubleshoot hardware or
applications. (they dont indicate special needs on a service call)

the braille tools are the most interesting but i think the hardest (and neatest)
that I ever had to use was a keyboard called DataHand that was designed
specifically for amputee typists & cad/cam guys. (the cad guys had a very
complex perifrial shaped like a chinese yo-yo with a million buttons on it
about the size of a large coffee cup that they used instead of a mouse)
DataHand was a pain to set up as it was only a Irix/W95 initially and the
handicapped love to hang on to thier tools once they get used to them. so
regardless of driver availability you best find somthing that works close
eneough and set some macros for the rest. as for voice ive only ever set up
dragon speak with limited success maybe three or four years ago. but almost
all of the blue tooth phones have voice instruction capability and whatnot
built in already so this combination doesnt surprise me.. ..even if it is solaris.

I think someone has thier priorities all messed up here. You think they would
hunt and kill spammers from China, Latvia, South Korea, Columbia &
Micronesia first..

On a standard keyboard, the 'f' and 'j' keys usually have some sort of raised marking on them. This is so people who are blind, people who are visually impaired, or people who want to type without looking (as most seasoned PC users do) can feel for these keys and automatically know where the other keys are in relation to this. Believe it or not, with the right techinal knowledge, most PCs can function quite decently without a mouse at all.

Lynx is also the only way I can get my MS-DOS based data collection systems on the internet.

I used to have a computer with a speech unit attached to the second printer port.

Any blind person can type, but they can't see if there are any misteaks.

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