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Comment Change the Display Language (Score 1) 695

Might not be an option for you, but if you speak any other language, just change the Windows/Mac/Linux system language to it.

I can't count the number of people who've asked to use my laptop, been challenged by "Cet ordinateur est utilisé et a été verrouillé ... Appuyez sur Ctrl-Alt-Suppr pour déverrouiller cet ordinateur" (or even just noticed that the Start Menu is labeled "Démarrer") and have gone "Oh, well... I'll ask John over there then, I guess."

Also, even if people know that English is your native language, you can claim that you're trying to learn and that you've changed your computer over to get some practise with it. No need to have people think that you're intentionally trying to prevent them from using your system.


Submission + - Court Eases Rules on Police Thermal Imaging 1

buddhaunderthetree writes: Earlier this month 8th Circuit Court of Appeals significantly loosened the warrant requirements required to perform a thermal imaging scan of a private residence. Since the 2001 Kyllo decision the accepted theory has been that thermal imaging warrants required probable cause to obtain. But on October 5, 2007 in United States v. Mohammed A. Kattaria the 8th Circuit said that a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing is sufficient to obtain a warrant.

Submission + - iPod gains Linux-powered mixing console (

An anonymous reader writes: Numark is shipping the iDJ2, a Linux-based DJ mixing console built around the Apple iPod. The iDJ2 allows users to play two songs simultaneously from a single iPod, scratch, control pitch and tempo independently, loop, and do full cueing, according to the vendor. It also has table and line-level inputs, supports standard USB storage devices, and can even record the DJ's performance back onto the iPod. Get down, Tux!

Submission + - 'Jeeves' on the iPhone and its rivals (

Cowards Anonymous writes: British comedian, actor (of 'Jeeves and Wooster' fame), writer and universal genius Stephen Fry presents the most insightful, comprehensive and well-written review I have seen so far of the current generation of smartphones, their history and glorious future.
From TFA: 'Of course, this essay, if it can be described as such, is a response to the rise and rise of the SmartPhone, as most publicly trumpeted a few weeks ago with the arrival of Apple's iPhone. I am not here to laud or review that device however, it has had enough publicity and I really want you to believe that, Apple addict as I am, my eyes have always been open to the virtues of anything good, exciting, functional, elegant, pleasing to use.'
I wonder how the guy finds the time to read Slashdot in between acting, directing, writing and playing with his dozens of gizmos.


Submission + - Drawing on Air

Roland Piquepaille writes: "In a recent article, reports that a team of computer scientists at Brown University has developed Drawing on Air, a haptic-aided interface to help artists to create 3D illustrations while wearing a virtual reality mask. 'The technique introduces two new strategies, using one hand or two hands, to give artists the tools they need for drawing different types of curves, and for viewing and editing their work.' The researchers hope that these techniques will improve the precision with which scientists can interact with their 3D data using a computer. This also would help artists to illustrate complicated artistic, scientific, and medical subjects. Read more for additional details and several pictures made with this system, a bat flight, a bearded man and a Swahili bride."

Submission + - New version of Gmail being tested ( 2

Keith writes: Gmail was launched on April 1, 2004, and has revolutionized the way many of us use email. The interface has remained largely untouched since it launched, but get ready, it's soon to undergo a change in what they describe as a "New Version". Only a select few people have access to use the new interface — mainly employees and trusted people outside the company called "Trusted Testers".

Submission + - Digital Bag Phones?

An anonymous reader writes: I'm working on a mobile communications vehicle for a client. I'm wondering, are there new digital cellular phones that can be installed in the place of those old style "car phones" with the wired handset? My client wants one but I don't even know if they exist anymore! All our other clients just use normal cell phones these days.
User Journal

Submission + - Alex the African Grey Parrot dead at 30 years old (

weeboo0104 writes: On Friday, September 7th 2007, Alex the African Grey Parrot passed away.

Dr. Irene Pepperberg first purchased Alex from a pet store in Chicago in 1977 and went on to found the The Alex Foundation. The research was instrumental in furthering the understanding of avian cognitive ability as well as interspecies communication.

For those of you who don't remember, Alex is the African Grey Parrot who also displayed traits such as object permanance, numerical comprehension and a grasp on the concept of "zero", or the absence of an object.

Look at the Alex Foundation's research page to see a better description of the work Dr. Pepperberg performs with her remaining African Greys.


Submission + - Komodo Spawns New Open Source IDE Project 1

techoon writes: Development tools vendor ActiveState is opening up parts of its Komodo IDE (define) in a new effort called Open Komodo. The Open Komodo effort will take code from ActiveStates freely available, but not open source, Komodo Edit product and use it as a base for the new open source IDE. The aim is to create a community and a project that will help Web developers to more easily create modern Web-based applications.

Submission + - Mandatory Keyloggers in Mumbai's Cyber Cafes

YIAAL writes: Indian journalist Amit Varma reports that Mumbai's police are requiring Internet cafes to install keystroke loggers, which will capture every keystroke by users and turn that information over to the government. Buy things online, and the underpaid Indian police will have your credit card number. "Will these end up getting sold in a black market somewhere? Not unlikely."
Data Storage

Submission + - Why are tape drives not scaling with hard disks? 4

An anonymous reader writes: Every 3-6 months, we see an announcement about something adding to hard disk storage. However, tape drives don't seem to be improving on anywhere near the scale of hard disks.

Why is this? Both are magnetic media, and with a tape drive, a manufacturer has far more space to put data on than the platters of a hard disk, and still leave plenty of space for error correction data. Tape drives also don't spin nearly as fast as hard disks, so tolerances involved can be less.

Submission + - Preventing Bike Theft - Innovative Suggestions? 1

victorhooi writes: "I recently (read: 2 days ago) lost a bike to theft, after locking it up with a $30 lock at a bike rack at my local train station.

For my next one, I thought I would canvas the collective wisdom of Slashdot =), for opinions on effective ways of securing a bike.

I've had people suggest U-locks are the best, and others that a heavy-duty chain from a hardware store with a padlock would do it better.

One person suggested somehow welding a car-alarm to the seat post, but I'm not exactly sure how this would work.

Alternatively, one idea I tossed us was using a GPS/GSM module (e.g. one from the Telit range) glued under the seat to send me the coordinates of the bike.

Finally, some people suggested sabotaging the bike somehow. Removing the seat seems to be a common option, but it is ultimately still rideable. Is there perhaps some way of making it so that it won't actually spin? (Most of the elements in the drivechain are tightened down fairly well, for obvious reasons, I can't think of anything that could easily be removed yet still be essential to the bike's operation).

Any thoughts on these ideas, or other suggestions?"

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