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Ways of masking text on screen
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Apr 17, 2009

G'day everyone

I'm sitting at the airport lounge and it strikes me that even though this is a "gold" lounge with comfortable office chairs and desks and plugs and internet and stuff, there is still no privacy in terms of what is displayed on-screen on my laptop. Anyone with good eyesight can read what is on my screen even if they're unobtrusively standing some distance away from me. What can I do to ensure the privacy or confidentiality of work (in MS Word) on my screen?

I was thinking that if I could change the letters to some secret writing, then that would be cool. Learning a secret writing doesn't take long, especially if you can do blind typing. People who have never done this before (learnt a secret writing) might think that it must take ages to get used to it, but it can be learnt fairly quickly actually.

The only problem is... how to do it? If the client's text is all in one font, I guess I could just change the font to some other writing system, but what if the client uses various fonts? I guess if I use TM, then I can simply change all the text to a single font, and later use the TM to quickly retranslate the original document with the original range of fonts. I wonder what "secret" font would be suitable for this.

The above is a low-tech solution -- do you know of less hackish solutions for my problem? If you need to work in environments where your laptop screen has no privacy or confidentiality, how do you manage? Is there software for this, and what does the software do?

Added: A different approach may be to assume that it is okay if a passerby sees the current line of text. Then a tool that blurs the entire screen except for the horizontal space at the cursor position might do the trick. A quick keyboard shortcut to unblur and reblur in case you want to check context or something would also be useful in such a solution.

Thanks!


[Edited at 2009-04-17 09:36 GMT]


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:13
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Privacy shield/filter Apr 17, 2009

Hi Samuel

there are things called privacy filters or privacy shields, kind of monitor covers that prevent viewing from an angle, such as these:
http://solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/vikuiti-uk/home/products-solutions/privacy-filters/

would this help?
cheers,
Roberta


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Very wide angles only Apr 17, 2009

Roberta Anderson wrote:
There are things called privacy filters or privacy shields, kind of monitor covers that prevent viewing from an angle...


Thanks. The site you mention actually has a video, and it shows that the screen is only unviewable at very wide angles, such as more than 45 degrees. So that would not be very useful for airport lounges or WiFi hotspots where people often walk past or stand around in various places behind you. But it certainly is an idea, thanks.


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:13
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
overload the screen to distract Apr 17, 2009

use the smallest possible font size and fill the rest of the screen with some application that does not use much system resources



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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:13
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Use a draft font in Word Apr 17, 2009

Hi Samuel,

Translate with Wordfast or Workbench and use a hard-to-read draft font.

In Word choose Tools/Options, open the View tab and enable Draft font: Rockwell Condensed.

Change to Smudger LET or Staccato222 BT if you feel someone's spying on you. Or use Wingdings as a 'secret' font.

Cheers,
Gerard


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:13
Member
English to French
Another low-tech potential solution Apr 17, 2009

If you have nothing against wearing coloured glasses, you could try and find a set of 3 colours:
- glass lenses
- background (maybe starting with the blue WordPerfect background in Tools>Options>General tab>White text over blue background checkbox)
- font
Surely an appropriate colour combination would allow you to see text through coloured glasses while anybody else would have a hard time deciphering.

Another way would be to sit against a solid non-reflective wall.

Happy travelling,
Philippe


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Anaglyph Apr 17, 2009

Samuel, have you ever watched a 3d-stereo film? I mean those red-blue glasses.
Mainly it purpose is to simulate a 3d image but it works fine with 2d too.
I used to work with anaglyph graphics and I must admit that without special anaglyphic glasses the screen looks pretty garbled and dazzling.

Also one would look rather suspicious to peep from behind with red-blue glasses on
Certainly it is no safety control but very similar.

Cheers


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:13
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Don't work in the airports. Apr 18, 2009

The Big Brother is watching!

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