by Melanie Brunson

This month, I have some information to report that should be of particular interest to those of you who use computers and who like to stay "in the know" with regard to the latest news about business, both around the country and around ACB.

First, I want to let you know about a very generous offer from an organization known as Need to Know News (NTKN). NTKN is a Washington, D.C.-based financial news and economic data analysis service, provided on a subscription basis to aid traders in the markets who are deluged constantly with financial "news," much of which is of limited or no use to anyone who wants to focus on the immediate impact of breaking events. Need To Know News approached ACB a couple of months ago with an offer to make its real-time audio service available free of charge to ACB members who have Internet access. According to a company spokesperson, NTKN enjoys privileges identical to much larger news organizations such as Bloomberg, Reuters and Dow Jones. As a fully accredited news agency, with access to government lock-up rooms from which market-moving economic and financial news is made available, Need to Know News offers its subscribers live audio economic data, announcements and analysis from the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Commerce, among others. NTKN also covers non-governmental economic and financial developments that help subscribers understand how economic data reflect fundamental changes in the United States economy, sometimes impacting the markets within milliseconds. In 2008 the company plans to offer economic data analysis from Europe and Asia as well.

In addition to releasing embargoed financial and economic data, NTKN monitors world stock, debt, commodities and futures markets throughout the trading day, reporting on important financial events as they occur in real time, throughout the trading day.

NTKN wants to make all of this available to ACB members at no cost. For more information about this service, and instructions on how to download the audio player onto your computer, go to www.needtoknownews.com/players/acb.txt. ACB members will need to use the following account code and password.

Account Code: acb

Password: odleiy3a

We appreciate the generosity of Need to Know News in making this service available. The company staff has been very responsive to our suggestions for enhancing the accessibility of its web site. They are excited about this service and hopeful that they can share information with many of you. Their goal is to provide access to greater information that will in turn increase opportunities for ACB members to conduct their financial and business activities with greater independence and confidence.

While we're on the subject of communicating about news items, I thought I would also use the occasion to remind you of the ACB-Announce list. This is an e-mail list that you can subscribe to that will enable you to get announcements from ACB e-mailed to you. It is a one-way list, meaning that you will not receive copies of messages sent by subscribers. All messages come from the leadership or staff of ACB to those who have subscribed to the announcement list. We have not used this list much in the last year or two, because it needed some updating. However, the updates are complete and it is now ready for use. I encourage anyone who would like to receive periodic announcements of significant items from ACB to subscribe to this list. All you have to do is send an e-mail message to [email protected], leaving both the subject line and the body of the message blank. You will get a message back asking you to confirm your interest in subscribing. Just hit your reply button. Your subscription will be completed as soon as you send your reply.

If you don't use a computer, do not despair! You won't be left out. Our goal is to put as much of this information as we can in "The Braille Forum" and onto the ACB telephone system. Subscribing to the announce list will enable computer users to get it faster, but everyone will have access to it.

It is my hope that 2008 will be a year in which we increase our ability to communicate effectively with you, the members and friends of ACB, making the most of all of the tools available to us, whether electronic or otherwise. To that end, I hope these resources will prove useful to many of you. Enjoy your reading.

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