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Google Transliteration tool: Hearing is…understanding

Has anyone ever started speaking to you in a foreign language that you couldn’t make heads or tails of? A new tool out of Google Labs may be of help — if you have a good memory for sound and know the originating language.

Google Transliteration is a tool that allows you to type a word in English and have it appear in a target language. The workspace for this new tool is an open space. To start using the tool, go to www.google.com/transliterate.

Define the target language by using the drop-down menu at the top left. Your choices are Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Urdu.

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Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) to be updated to IE8 on April 1

Internet Explorer, the most widely used web browser in the world, has often been in the news of late because of its involvement in the recent, well-publicized hack of Google and other corporations, allegedly by the Chinese government. Since a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) is alleged to be one of the ways the hackers got into Google’s network, Google has joined the chorus of companies planning to phase out support for IE6 and are urging users to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). That chorus includes Facebook, YouTube, Digg, some European governments, and even Microsoft itself. There was even an “IE6 Must Die” petition on Twitter.

Now K-State is joining the chorus too. SIRT is proposing that on April 1, remaining instances of IE6 on campus be upgraded to IE8. For campus computers that use K-State’s central WSUS server, this update will be pushed automatically. System administrators managing their own WSUS environment or using some other way to manage application updates on Windows computers are urged to do the same.

If you have concerns about this update being pushed to campus computers on April 1, please discuss it with your SIRT representative or Harvard Townsend, K-State’s chief information security officer and chair of SIRT.

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Simplify Internet browsing by using tabs

During the course of any web-browsing session, you may end up with several telescoping treks into many different sites. An alternative to opening 20 windows is to use browser tabs instead.

Browser tabs are supported in every major browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari). Think of a tab like adding a new page to the current window that can have a completely different website loaded in it.

For example, here’s a screenshot of my current tabs in Firefox:

Screenshot of Firefox tabs
Screenshot of Firefox tabs

Not only do browser tabs simplify your browsing experience, they can also save system resources and time. For instance, if you frequent a website that is slow to load, you can flip to a different tab and read that webpage while the other one loads.
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Spotlight: Plagiarism detection, tools, and resources

The following is an update to a K-State article written in 2007 on plagiarism. Plagiarism tends to occur because of a lack of understanding about what plagiarism is, university policies and procedures, and how to cite references (Guertin, 2005). There are free and purchased applications available for plagiarism detection.

McQueeny (2006) provides an overview of plagiarism detection software. With these types of applications, faculty and/or students submit their paper electronically, which is put through a search of Internet sites, previously submitted student papers, and commercial databases. The extent of the search depends on the level of sophistication of the software. The results usually provide a percent of matched content, however faculty must still build a case for plagiarism. Problems with these types of applications are false positives, false negatives, questions surrounding copyright and privacy of students’ papers, and the need for institutional policies regarding the widespread use of this type of software.

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Google Search tricks: Conversions, comparisons, time, and more

Google has a plethora of powerful searching techniques that often aren’t used. See lifehacker.com’s “Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks” to learn about the following search techniques: