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Submission + - Review roundup: Dumping Microsoft Office (

SplatMan_DK writes: Computerworld is running an article about Microsofts dominance in the world of office suites, and pointing to strong alternatives for both Mac and Windows — even if you need MS Office compatibility. Under the title "Review roundup: Dumping Microsoft Office for an alternative suite" Ryan Faas and David Haskin explain that:

there are alternatives out there — all cheaper than Microsoft's standard, and a couple that are even free. We sorted through nine contenders, some for Mac and some for PC (and a couple for both), to find out the best non-Office office suites available.
The article contains a good analysis of 9 non-web Office products for the PC.


Submission + - Americans Clueless About Cancer Risks (

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that a surprising number of Americans believe scientifically dubious claims concerning cancer, and that the groups with the greatest burden of cancer are the most likely to be misinformed. For example, the majority of survey respondents didn't think smoking was more likely to cause lung cancer than pollution — despite 87% of lung cancer cases being due to smoking. The most interesting finding was that people who described themselves as knowing the most about cancer were more likely to have false beliefs. Participants who labeled themselves as "very informed" about cancer were more likely to believe underwire bras cause breast cancer, or that quitting smoking did nothing to reduce cancer risks. The article abstract is availabe from the journal Cancer."

Submission + - Nursing Home Cat Can Sense Death ( 1

Raver32 writes: "When Oscar the Cat visits residents of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, the staff jump into action — Oscar can sense within hours when someone is about to die. In his two years living in Steere's end-stage dementia unit, Oscar has been at the bedside of more than 25 residents shortly before they died, according to Dr. David Dosa of Brown University in Providence. He wrote about Oscar in the New England Journal of Medicine. "It's not that the cat is consistently there first," Dr. Joan Teno, a professor of community health at Brown University, who sees patients in the unit. "But the cat always does manage to make an appearance, and it always seems to be in the last two hours.""

Submission + - Confustion over Vista cause of most support calls (

harsha_c writes:, a "Instant Technology Relief" support website that opened its doors to troubled techies in June, has released survey results from its first month of business. The number one reason for support calls? Vista questions.From a pool of 1,000 users that inquired about technical help, 77 percent needed help with Vista. Of those inquiring about Vista, 30 percent needed help navigating around Vista's new Aero user interface. According to Anthony Rodio, the chief marketing director of, the three main issues were navigation problems, device incompatibility, and home networking issues. Consumers are having a hard time with Aero because of the changes between Vista and the Windows 2000 and XP user interfaces. customers were also complaining about device issues, which were mostly attributed to outdated drivers that needed to be brought up to speed with Vista. Lastly, customers complained about home networking issues in which Vista users were not able to see Windows XP computers connected to their home network.

Submission + - Lynch law prevalent on Wikipedia 7

bheading writes: Recently a pal of mine logged into Wikipedia (where he has contributed many articles on Turkey, politics, amateur radio, and other matters over the past few years) to find that he'd been blocked as a sockpuppet — this despite the fact that he posts under his real name. So, he logged in at work to submit a request to be unblocked — and found that his work address was already blocked. He then submitted the request protesting his innocence as soon as he got home — but awoke the following morning to find that his home IP had also now been blocked as having been used by a sockpuppet. Then, Gerry blogged the matter to bring his problem to the attention of other friendly Netizens, others who weighted in to protest his innocence found themselves blocked as well. Further investigation has shown that the formal Wikipedia blocking process was not followed, leading to suspicions of political bias. Wikipedia's getting to be a rough place if you can be silenced for your political views, then silenced automatically for merely attempting to protest that decision — and then your friends get silenced for coming to your aid. Have any other Slashdotters encountered problems like this lately ?

Submission + - Iraq vet gets bionic hand

mcgrew writes: "CNN is carrying a report about a new prosthetic device, called an 'i-LIMB', that user Sgt. Juan Arredondo, who lost his real hand in Iraq, likens to the robotic bionics in 'Star Wars' and 'Terminator'. 'My son, he goes nuts about it,' the Sergent said.

'To have this movement, it's — it's amazing,' Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. 'It just gets me more excited about now, about the future.'

Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand's gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.
And I thought my eye implant was cool! Welcome to the 21st century!"

Journal Journal: Acer CEO Pans Vista. Claims "Whole Industry is Disapponted" 1

Low sales has Acer and others up in arms:

Acer president Gianfranco Lanci today became the first major PC manufacturer to openly attack Microsoft over the Windows Vista operating system. ... riddled with problems and gave users and businesses no reason to buy a new PC ...

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