New Bookmarks
Year 2000 Quarter 4:  October 1-December 31 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

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Choose a Date for Additions to the Bookmarks File

October 25, 2000              October 18, 2000              October 4, 2000  

November 21, 2000          November 7, 2000            November 1, 2000    

December 20, 2000          December 11, 2000          December 1, 2000  

Scroll down this page to view this week's new bookmarks. 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

I maintain threads on various topics at 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
This search engine may get you some hits from other professors at Trinity University included with Bob Jensen's documents, but this may be to your benefit.

Whenever a commercial product or service is mentioned anywhere in Bob Jensen's website, there is no advertising fee or other remuneration to Bob Jensen.  This website is intended to be a public service.  I am grateful to Trinity University for serving up my ramblings.

December 20, 2000

Quotes of the Week (all from the incoming U.S. Secretary of State).

"A Leadership Primer," General Colin Powell, Chairman (Ret.), Joint Chiefs of Staff --- 

 My prayers are with Secretary of State Powell.  He's going to be carrying many of the world's troubles on his shoulders for the next few years.

Happy Holidays!
A holiday message of love from my wife, Erika. She describes how a Munich street beggar became Cinderella at the Ball --- 

Wow Sites of the Week

How to Do It Examples Rather Than Just Who is Doing It:  Two mathematics tutorials rooted in research at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of California 

Dan Gode sent me these links concerning highly regarded math tutoring technologies.  The Carnegie link is interesting due to its roots in cognitive processes.  The ALEKS link is interesting because of its unique use of artificial intelligence and interactivity.

Carnegie Learning Corporation --- 
Carnegie Learning's products are the result of 15 years of research in the field of cognitive science led by Dr. John R. Anderson, a preeminent psychologist and computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the world. The site of the Department of Defense's Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University is highly regarded for its contributions to cognitive psychology, computer science and software engineering, and for its work in the fields of artificial intelligence.

Carnegie Learning was founded in 1998 in order to further develop and support the Cognitive Tutoring(tm) technology for mathematics initiated at Carnegie Mellon University.

Research support for the technology used in Carnegie Learning's Cognitive Tutors was provided by such institutions and agencies as Carnegie Mellon University, the National Science Foundation, DARPA, the Office of Naval Research, the US Department of Education, the Carnegie Foundation, the Howard Heinz Endowments, the Buhl Foundation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Grable Foundation and the Pittsburgh Foundation.

ALEKS --- 
ALEKS is a revolutionary Internet technology, developed at the University of California by a team of gifted software engineers and cognitive scientists, with the support of a multi-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. ALEKS is fundamentally different from previous educational software. At the heart of ALEKS is an artificial intelligence engine -- an adaptive form of computerized intelligence -- which contains a detailed structural model of the multiplicity of the feasible knowledge states in a particular subject. Taking advantage of state of the art software technology, ALEKS is capable of searching an enormous knowledge structure efficiently, and ascertaining the exact knowledge state of the individual student. Like "Deep Blue," the IBM computer system that defeated international Chess Grand master Garry Kasparov, ALEKS interacts with its environment and adapts its output to complex and changing circumstances. ALEKS is based upon path breaking theoretical work in Cognitive Psychology and Applied Mathematics in a field of study called "Knowledge Space Theory." Work in Knowledge Space Theory was begun in the early 1980's by an internationally renowned Professor of Cognitive Sciences who is the Chairman and founder of ALEKS Corporation.

Not So Wow Site of the Week

I would not exactly call the above interactive tutorials "quick fixes."  I sometimes wonder how much educators like E. Wayne Ross really dig into the successes of things interactive tutorials like those of the Carnegie Learning Corporation and ALEKS that are built upon years of learning research.   Or how much do such writers study the Sloan Funded asynchronous learning experiments such as the SCALE Program at the University of Illinois?   I think there is not "a disturbing lack of critical thinking" so much as a lack of  searching for the serious research that has and is still taking place.  Why do so many attacks on technology in education sound like biased union job protection propaganda?

From The Chronicle of Higher Education on December 7, 2000 --- 

A glance at the December issue of Z Magazine: The perils of distance education A "laissez faire approach" among educators has produced "a disturbing lack of critical thinking" about the impact of technology and online instruction on education, writes E. Wayne Ross, a professor of education at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

"A growing number of technology skeptics argue that the digital revolution has produced a variety of deleterious effects, such as disconnecting people from nature, their communities, and one another," he says. Though many colleges are scrambling to make courses available online, Mr. Ross notes that critics are questioning whether distance learning will ever replace the classroom and social experiences that are integral to college life. "The conflict between distance education advocates and critics is at least in part based on contradictory conceptions of education," Mr. Ross says. "Can computer-mediated interaction substitute for the human interaction/experience that is at the heart of learning?" he asks.

Mr. Ross argues that distance learning is a key element of the growing commercialization of higher education. Worried that commercial online universities will lure away students, the leaders of traditional universities "sell their institutions' reputations in exchange for the resources to mount online programs," he says.

But profits aren't necessarily on the horizon. Mr. Ross notes that Terri Hedgaard-Bishop, the vice president for distance learning at the University of Phoenix, recently acknowledged that technology education often costs more than traditional methods. "We must be aware of the potential downside of e-learning and demand wise use of technology for the collective good," writes Mr. Ross. He challenges educators to move beyond the use of technology for "quick-fix pedagogical or budgetary ends."

The article is not online, but information about the magazine may be found at 

Time Magazine Profiles the Top 100 Innovators ---

   Leaders & Revolutionaries
   Artists & Entertainers
   Builders & Titans
   Scientists & Thinkers
   Heroes & Icons
   Person of the Century

Guess who is the chosen person of the 20th Century?

If you are an author who loves to quote a cliché now and then, try 

Babson, Intel To Unveil MBA Deal
From Technology News, December 17, 2000 --- 

Students used to go to business school. More and more, business schools are going to them.

Babson College, a business-oriented institution in suburban Boston, planned to announce an agreement Monday with Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker, to customize a master of business administration degree for Intel workers.

After the program gets up and running in May, Babson professors will fly to Intel locations around the country for a series of intensive seminars with classes compromised mostly of Intel employees. (Dan Gode noted the typo (Freudian slip?)  when he informed me about this article.)

Between seminars, students will work, often online, on learning projects, many of which will be directly related to the work they do. In 27 months, graduates can earn an MBA, a degree that normally requires two years of full-time study.

Business schools in recent years have aggressively built bridges to the private sector, many of them raking in money with executive education programs. Companies such as Intel, which will cover the full tuition of $52,500 for its employees in the Babson program, get an important tool for retaining employees. Intel wants well-trained workers, but it doesn't want them to leave to pursue an MBA.

There are other advantages for Intel: students will work on Intel-specific case studies and projects, so the work won't just be academic.

``It has tremendous value-add for Intel, because while our employees are getting their MBA, they're able to take that knowledge and apply it immediately to the work that they're doing,'' said Alan Fisher, Intel's extended education program manager.

Harvard B-School's E-Mania

Denny Beresford and Neil Hannon both suggested the link to "Harvard B-School's E-Mania," by Phil Buchanan, New York Times, December 12, 2000 --- 

To many industry observers and economists, this shakeout is predictable and probably healthy. At Harvard Business School, however, there might be some anxiety. Why? Because the school, one of the nation's leading graduate business programs, has been wildly enthusiastic about e- commerce, as have other business schools.

I should know. I just received an M.B.A. from Harvard, which has overhauled its curriculum to emphasize entrepreneurship — especially e- commerce entrepreneurship.

Entirely new elective courses have emerged, employing Harvard's famous case-study method of teaching: "Building E-Businesses," "Operating an E-Business," "Starting Technology Ventures." The school even replaced its required first-year capstone course, "General Management," with "The Entrepreneurial Manager," because, after all, who would want to work at a company someone else started?

I was among the last students, in 1999, to take "General Management." I also took the required "Technology and Operations Management," which once focused primarily on auto manufacturing and other old-economy businesses and which this year required students to build a Web site.

Harvard is proud of its curriculum changes, viewed by the administration as a sign that the school is now on the cutting edge of the new economy and that it is responding to the demands of its customers, as a marketing professor might say.

The customers are the school's students and potential students, of course. And they demanded such change because, in the early and mid- 1990s, Harvard Business School was seen by many as way behind the curve on technology.

The curriculum changes were Harvard's way of listening to these customers — students they might otherwise lose to Stanford University's business school, with its Silicon Valley location, or to the dot-coms that persuade young stars they don't need M.B.A.'s at all.

Wonderful Accounting Helpers from Todd Boyle

I think it is important to forward Todd Boyle's message (see below) to accounting educators.  He provides us with the most comprehensive list of WebLedgers that I have ever seen.  My definition of a WebLedger is any accounting system where the ledgers and related accounting files are stored and processed on remote online computers rather than on local computers.  Somebody else has to pay very high priced technicians to keep the system up and running, including very expensive backup systems. When your own company or institution pays those bills, it is not a Webledger.  The remote computers are controlled and operated by vendors who generally sell online bookkeeping services, extended accounting services, and common business services (ordering, billing, collecting, etc.).  A key part of the definition is that the persons (for personal accounting) and businesses may enter transaction data and obtain reports from most any computer in the world that is connected to the Internet. 
In most instances the vendors of such services are expanding their services to include many other types of business services that extend the opportunities well beyond accounting services. 
There are huge advantages and sobering disadvantages of outsourcing to online accounting and business services.  Todd also provides some great links to his documents on these advantages and disadvantages.  He points out how heavy hitters like Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Ellison (Oracle and NetLedger), and Intuit are positioning their armies to take over the WebLedger world.
One vendor to consider for educational purposes is NetLedger since the basic general ledger online system is free and does not require colleges to purchase a site license.  Five of my students just completed a tutorial on how to use NetLedger.  Their tutorial can be downloaded free from the following websites:
Thank you Todd for sharing this very useful information.

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212
Voice: (210) 999-7347  Fax:  (210) 999-8134 

 -----Original Message-----
From: Todd Boyle [mailto:tboyle@ROSEHILL.NET]
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 6:48 PM
Subject: Re: Real World Experience

Jensen, Robert said Monday, December 11, 2000 3:51 AM

> When answering Roger, you might include the similar distributed computing
> general ledger packages of eLedger and QuickBooks as well as NetLedger.

I have been maintaining an info. and discussion site about webledgers for several years at the url below, you're all
welcome to read it. The links page has most of the existing webledgers on it; recited below.

We're entering a most interesting period right now as Microsoft and Intuit enter the market.  Expect a furious battle between these titanic companies, as colossal as the word processor wars,  the database wars, or the browser wars.    Webledgers are very strategic.  Personally I think they're all nuts competing to be the world's monolithic webledger.  The internet will be the "operating system" environment for unconstrained participation by thousands of independent webledgers and BSPs.  Here are some thoughts regarding the differences between component BSPs and monolithic, lock-in BSPs: (bus. svc. providers),2350,2982,00.html

* Todd F. Boyle CPA
*    Kirkland WA    (425) 827-3107
* XML accounting, webledgers, BSPs, ASPs, whatever it takes
* 12/11/2000- Functional Architect,




You may want to include  in your list of bookmarks if you have not done so already.

Dan Gode [

This is a link to a free journal called Online Learning.  One of the current articles that caught my attention is "Five myths about virtual teamworK," By Colleen Frye --- 

  1. Myth 1: Virtual teams are the same as in-person teams.
  2. Myth 2: Speed is more important than anything.
  3. Myth 3: Face time isn’t worth the money
  4. Myth 4: Technology begets teamwork.
  5. Myth 5: Relationships don’t matter.

I think Ms. Fry overstates her case.  I especially disagree with Myths 4 and 5.  Technology does beget teamwork.  I find myself teaming up and working interactively with people that I would have never met without technology and would not work with without technology.  As far as relationships go, I have closer working relationships with many of my "virtual friends" than with literally all of my onsite colleagues.

Blackboard:  Some things really are bigger (and better)  in Texas

"Cultivating Enlightened Enthusiasm," by Mark Decker, Morrie Schulman, and Joe Sanchez, Syllabus, December 2000, pp. 16-22.

When the University of Texas at Austin selected the enterprise version of Blackboard to help implement its University portal --- UT Direct --- and to create course sites for all 11,000 courses taught at the university, only twenty-five faculty members were invited to pilot-test the courseware.  As other faculty and staff became aware that course sites were available, however, they asked to be included in the process.  this open access to Blackboard course shells, each populated with registered students, created both opportunities and problems.

The University of Texas actually implemented and supports two systems --- Blackboard and WebCT, although Blackboard will be more prevalent. 

"Customized Portal Provides Tailor-Made Information and Services." by Ginger Dillard 

Students, faculty and staff at UT amount to a combined population of over 60,000 making it seem "virtually" impossible to please them all with one Web site. Yet, in a world of mass production, technology has made it possible to embrace personalization. Customization is key; and UT Direct makes the grade.

UT Direct is an interactive Web site that provides students, faculty and staff with access to University services anytime, anywhere. As part of the e-University initiative, the earliest services incorporated into UT Direct are primarily geared towards students. However, services for faculty and staff are already available and more are in the works.

"The beauty of UT Direct is that users can customize it. Almost everything can be changed to meet individual needs," Dana Cook, the UT Direct project manager, said. "With over 40 services available, it's important that users be able to rearrange their home page to fit their lives."

The partnership will develop Java-based embedded computing systems for vehicles, with the ultimate goal to connect drivers to the wireless Internet via an always-on connection.--- 
(I hope they also connect to 911 and drivers' auto insurance companies.)

As the company's big Lotusphere user conference approaches, Al Zollar tells eWEEK about plans to meld knowledge management and IM with wireless --- 

I have a new document entitled "Threads on Return on Investment (ROI) in the e-Commerce and e-Business Era" ---

A recent addition to the above document is "Enterprises Tailor ROI To E-Business:   Strategies for tracking success of e-biz investment vary by company, industry,"  By Chuck Moozakis and David Lewis, InformationWeek Online, December 18, 2000 --- 

For many companies, return on investment is a clear way to determine whether they're earning a profit on their technology investment. But when it comes to calculating online ROI, there are almost as many paths to take as there are companies doing business on the Internet. And in the coming year, the picture may get cloudier as more companies than ever struggle to get their arms around this critical business measurement.

E-businesses that use ROI can be divided into three main categories: those that develop their own measurement practices; those that use off-the-shelf ROI products; and those that hire consultants to develop a custom ROI measurement. Several companies, ranging from Big Five consulting firms to Gartner Group and Hurwitz Group, as well as vendors, including Comdisco and Nortel Networks, offer ROI measurement products or services.

Early adopters of ROI--regardless of their approach--are getting measurable results from their ROI initiatives today and charting a path that others can follow.

Ryder System Inc., a trucking and transportation company, is actually using Web-oriented ROI to help establish business priorities. The company last month rolled out a product developed with consulting help from IBM E-Business Services. The tool, dubbed Return on Web Investment (ROWI), was fashioned "to quickly assess and prioritize e-business initiatives that may come up," explains John Wormwood, group director of e-commerce.

"We knew that traditional cycles for planning--where a request for funding might take several months to get into place--wouldn't work, so we put together ROWI. This is a framework that lets us evaluate Web opportunities," Wormwood says.

Microsoft's CEO acknowledged shortcomings in current audio and video streaming technology but promised better things to come. --- 

As colleges build knowledge portals and manage education content, they will face technical problems similar to those of the media.

From InformationWeek Online on December 14, 2000

** Managing Content No Simple Matter For Online Media

With the Web becoming an increasingly important avenue for distributing news and other content, it would seem safe to assume that finding the right tools to manage that process would be a snap. Wrong. Online media executives gathered at the International Quality and Productivity Center's Web content-management conference in Alexandria, Va., all seem to agree: Vignette Corp., Interwoven Inc., and other providers of content-management technology just aren't giving media customers what they need.

That need centers on being able to easily move content from other media to the Web without involving a lot of coding or clunky procedures with a mouse. They want a system that's fully automated and doesn't require significant back-end updates when sites are redesigned, and increasingly they're finding that the only way to get what they want is to develop a system in-house or have a customized system built. It also doesn't help that systems such as Vignette's start at more than $400,000, not including subsequent maintenance costs of $2,000 a day.

Until two years ago,, the online version of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was saddled with a primitive content- management system that required editors and site producers to do lots of coding and to depend on cumbersome drag-and-drop technology to handle archiving. "At first we thought it was wonderful, but eventually we realized it was ruining our lives and taking away our will to live," says John McQuiggan, director of site operations. As a result, the staff--in cooperation with the online operation of parent KnightRidder Inc.--developed Cofax, a proprietary, database-driven content-management system that's being used by other participants in the network. Knight Ridder is also considering licensing the software to other media concerns.

Les Blatt, managing editor of, says he's relieved to hear so many other online media professionals encountering the same content-management issues. Blatt says hired a consulting firm, Harrison & Troxel, to build a customized system rather than make a big investment in a Vignette or Interwoven product. "It's good to know we made the right decision."

From Infobits on December 18, 2000


Aldrin E. Sweeney, assistant professor of science education at the University of Central Florida, surveyed faculty and administrators and found they are still on the fence about e-journals. Some of the questions Sweeney's survey asked included: Is the peer-review process as thorough in electronic journals as with paper? Does electronic publishing undermine the integrity of academic rigor? Should electronically-published articles be counted in the tenure and promotion process?

The respondents' comments and the survey findings are summarized in "Should You Publish in Electronic Journals?" (THE JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING, vol. 6, issue 2, December 2000). The article is online at 

The Journal of Electronic Publishing [ISSN 1080-2711] is published free of charge on the Web by the University of Michigan Press, 839 Greene Street, P.O. Box 1104, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-1104 USA. For more information contact JEP: email: ; Web: 

Hi Ross,

My broad brush advice is to use Adobe Acrobat PDF files only for documents that users will use in hard copy (e.g., tax forms that users will fill out in ink or resumes to be circulated in hard copy). HTML is better for online work. In terms of educational documents, it is much easier to edit documents in HTML and to add internal and external links. It is also easier to add quotations and pictures from documents on the Web. With PDF files, it is generally necessary to return to your original word processing file (e.g. a DOC file) and create a whole new PDF file every time you want to make a change in the document. That's a real bummer! Even though you can do some limited editing of Acrobat files, my experience is that Acrobat edits are more trouble than they are worth.

If you want the world to find your documents using search engines (Yahoo, Google, Excite, etc.), those documents will not be found in PDF formats. Adobe now offers a PDF search engine, but my experience is that it does a lousy job of searching the Web.

If you want to read my threads on PDF files (how to convert PDF files into HTML, how to convert HTML files in to PDF, and how to search for PDF files), go to 

Bob Jensen


The YIL research staff asked the Web's six major portals, AltaVista, Excite,, Google, Lycos, HotBot, and Yahoo!, to report their top search terms for the year.  From there, it wasn't very hard, since the winners cited here ranked first in all cases but one.

OVERALL (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)


  2. MSN...

  3. AOL...

NEWS/INFORMATION  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)


  2. MSNBC... 

  3. The Weather Channel... 

ENTERTAINMENT  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)

  1. RealNetworks... 

  2. Disney Online*... 


FILM  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)


  2. E! Online... 

  3. The Internet Movie Database... 

MUSIC  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)

  1. Launch...


  3. The Ultimate Band List...

SPORTS  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)



  3. CNN/Sports Illustrated*...

GAMES  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)


  2. Uproar...


PERSONAL FINANCE  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)

  1. MoneyCentral...

  2. NextCard...

  3. American Express...

TRAVEL  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)




TECHNOLOGY/NEWS  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)

  1. ZDNet*...

  2. Wired Digital...

  3. Upside Media...

AUTO  (Most Visited Websites in Year 2000)

  1. Kelley Blue Book...

  2. Car Point...


"E-Books: Just Another Imprint?" by Kendra Mayfield ---,1282,40584,00.html 

It's probably too early to tell whether e-books will thrive or fade, but judging by the enthusiasm of a panel of e-publishing insiders at Monday's BookTech West, it looks like e-books will make a lasting impression on publishers, authors and consumers.

"E-books are not just another imprint," said Bob Bolic, vice president and director of new business development from McGraw-Hill. "They represent a new literacy."

But just how e-books will evolve, and when, is still a topic of debate among industry leaders.

"E-books will win, but not any time soon," said Markus Malik, chief operating officer for "They will win when the reading experience is as close on the electronic device as it is on the book."

E-books headlined the opening of this year's conference, where exhibitors showcased their latest e-book reading devices, and digital rights management and e-commerce tools at an e-BookTech Pavilion.

Microsoft (MSFT ) received the inaugural Alan Kay Award for eBook Innovation for its ClearType and Microsoft Reader Technologies, recognizing its efforts toward the advancement and popularization of e-books in the past year.

But although advancements like ClearType have improved readability, some panelists argued that the quality of reading on a screen is not yet tantamount to paper.

"Resolution has to be a lot better than it is today," Malik said. "Have we really reached e-nirvana in e-publishing? I personally don't think so."

"It has to look like a paper book at a minimum," said Len Kawell, e-book product development director for Adobe Systems (ADBE). "We have to present that to the consumer and make them feel like what they're getting now is at least as good as before."

With built-in dictionaries, search, bookmarking, highlighting, annotating capabilities and multimedia enhancements, e-books can improve upon, rather than merely emulate, print books.

"The real excitement of e-books will begin when e-books are fully embedded in the Web," Bolic said.

But before e-books can succeed, publishers must provide consumers with desirable content.

Bob Jensen's threads on e-books are at 

Mexico: From Empire to Revolution (History) --- 

Henry Baltazar says it feels more like DSL hell --- 

FASB Backs Down on Goodwill-Accounting Rules By Jonathan Weil 12/7/00 Page A2

Also see 

How to download an entire website.  

There is a free copy (of software to download websites) at  and it is free as long as you  accept the advertising. A copy without advertising is available for a price.   I would suggest using the latest beta because for me it solved some problems  I was having with an earlier version, although I still can't get it to work through my proxy server. I have to use my laptop on a direct dialup account.
Scott Bonacker

Other  free alternatives for downloading websites are shown below:

Although many websites claim that it is illegal to download anything without permission, most lawsuits involve how downloaded files are used rather than whether they are simply downloaded for strictly private use.  

"U.S Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Undermines Public Access and Sharing," --- 

Powerful commercial interests and tort lawyers combined forces in engineering the DMCA legislation in the U.S that throws education and information use into a turmoil of risk and uncertainty. An article with frightening examples is provided by Georgia Harper, "Copyright Endurance and Change," Educause Review, November/December 2000, pp. 20-26. She states the following on Page 21"

Some of these changes --- licenses, access controls, certain provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) --- have the potential to drastically undermine the public right to access information, to comment on events, and even to share information with others.

Section 107 on "fair use" continues to, with increased ambiguity, provide safe harbors for use of small amounts of material, material not yet available for purchase when needed for students, and material that should be open to criticism and review without fear of reprisals in copyright infringement lawsuits. Nevertheless, the DMCA has provisions that erode Section 107. Georgia Harber states the following on Page 24:

Even though fair use is a key "stress point," there has been no change to Section 107. The stresses on fair use result from other things: technological "fixes" that control dissemination of copyrighted works; legal frameworks, established to control dissemination, that marginalize fair use; and license terms that ignore fair use as well as other public rights protected in the Copyright Act. Ultimately, I am concerned that the basic goal of copyright --- to improve our society by fostering creativity, encouraging the dissemination of information, and supporting the development of knowledge --- is endangered by the erosion of fair use in the digital environment.

Remember, fair use embodies a balance between the competing interests of owners and users, between control and access, between control and the First Amendment, and it bridges the gap between a willing seller and a willing buyer of rights to use. A diminishing role for fair use may well mean less public access and less ability to speak, to criticize, and to comment.

Scott also sent the following message.

The article at this link may be of interest to you. It describes one way to view high P/E ratios which is the "PEG" method mentioned by Mr. Rothberg if I understand it correctly --- 

This seems like a good piece to follow the above section.  
The Business Ethics Training and Development Homepage 

Personal firewalls: They're not so safe
The rush to get personal firewall applications to market has resulted in products that are easily compromised and often chock-full of security holes. 

Human Rights Watch World Report 2001 --- 

Hi Bob,

Have you heard of Wordsmith and its "A Word A Day" service? It's great. 

Best, Cassandra

From T.H.E. Journal, November 2000, p. 48 ---, an application service provider that develops online campuses and e-learning courseware for institutions, announced the launch of its eTeaching Institute. Created for educators interested in developing the skills to bring technology into the classroom or in teaching online, instructors can access information about eTeaching workshops held at and seminars held on the institution’s campus. Faculty can register at the institute site to take online courses on topics ranging from how to teach online to the use of multimedia to create content. Certification remains a possibility through the eTeaching Institute for using technology in the classroom, or for teaching online.

Users can sign up now for online courses, which are offered every month for the duration of one week. Visit the site for information on the future development of eTeaching Institute’s eFaculty eXchange, a career development community and job pool designed to expand eLearning opportunities for online instructors and institutions., Denver, CO, (303) 873-3788, .

Significant New G4+1 Lease Accounting Proposed Rules --- C:\TEMP\feiexpress49.htm 

At the FASB/AAA conference, we spent a full day reviewing and debating the draft lease accounting proposal from the G4+1. The G4+1 body includes accounting standard setters from the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the IASC. This proposal, while not from the FASB (not yet at least), reflects the standard setters frustration with FAS 13 and their desire to standardize lease accounting around the world.

The proposal would eliminate the distinction between operating and capital leases and force lessees to put ALL non-cancelable leases (with an initial duration of more than one year) on the balance sheet and account for the P&L impact as depreciation and interest expense. Lessor accounting would change significantly, too. Residual values in the assets leased would be carried on the lessor's books and adjusted if needed.

Copies of the special report summarizing the proposal and related issues can be ordered on the FASB's web site ( ). The product code is SRLC2.

Computers are the number one leased asset, airplanes are second, followed by trucks autos, manufacturing and industrial equipment, and then office equipment.

Once-high flying, e-business-focused service providers are the latest victims of the ripple effect coming from the sudden dot-com shakeout. Where will it end? --- 

Banned Artists Move Online Local artists in Singapore who have had their artworks banned are putting their work on the Web. But how the site will be able to show the works without flouting the ban itself remains to be seen ---,1284,40628,00.html 

"Sophisticated Technology Offers Higher Education Options,"By Jacquelyn Barker Tulloch. T.H.E. Journal, November 2000, pp. 58-60 --- 

What’s in a name? Although “dot-com” and “Web site” are shoo-ins for the next edition of Webster’s Dictionary, the term “distance learning” may be headed for extinction. Ironically, the use of traditional terminology associated with distance learning is diminishing at a time when the use of technology is gaining ground. According to the Department of Education, distance education programs increased by 72 percent between 1995 and 1998. In 1998, institutions offered a total of 54,000 online education courses, with 1.6 million students enrolled. In 1995, there were only 53,000 students and 26,000 courses offered. Many sources predict the involvement of over 2,000,000 learners by 2002.

Meanwhile, the lines are blurring between distance education and traditional classroom learning. The tendency to define online and offline instruction as two separate (and sometimes warring) entities is an outmoded paradigm. Today’s educators are asking themselves not whether to use technology, but how to use technology. How can I use technology to enrich the classroom-learning environment? How can I become a more skilled coach or manager of a learning environment? How can I combine activities based in technology to best support student learning? How can I help my students take responsibility for their own learning? How can I measure outcomes in this brave new academic world?

News About the Short-Cut Method in FAS 133

Hi Bob,

I wanted to alert you to the fact that I've added a new article to my site, " The Impact of FAS 133 Accounting Rules on the Market for Swaps, " which just came out in the latest issue of AFP Express. It deals with the consequences of not qualifying for the shortcut treatment when interest rate swaps are used in fair value hedges. (It's not pretty.)

You should be able to find the paper by clicking on to my web address (below) and going to "Articles." It's the last one listed in the section, "Interest Rate Articles." While I'm writing, I've also updated my calendar, which includes a variety of conferences and tutorials covering derivatives generally and FAS 133 issues in particular. If you have any questions about anything you find,

I'd be happy to hear from you.

Kawaller & Company, LLC
(718) 694-6270

1099 - "the magazine for independent professionals." (Tax, Personal Finance, Careers, Small Business) 

I wonder what happens if a person submits someone else's photograph?


Bizarre site of the week: 

People post their pictures. Then those who visit the site rate the pictures from 1 to 10. It's crazy.

Happy Holidays!

Roger D.

My  links on plagiarism in my Bookmarks are as follows --- 

Check out an article on Wired that covers the problem and an interesting set of counter-plagiarism tools and sites.,1284,33021,00.html 

"Busting the New Breed of Plagiarist," by Michael Bugeja at 

The Berkeley plagiarism-detection program ---  Go to  Also see 

Proven Results. Our proprietary plagiarism detection algorithms* have successfully been used in multiple classes at U.C. Berkeley and abroad.

Powerful Methods. Our computational processes for 'finger-printing' papers and determining degrees of originality will detect plagiarism.

Speed. We can 'finger-print' and evaluate thousands of papers each day.

Extensive Database. Our extensive and growing database of term papers will deter your students from plagiarizing other work.

Easy To Use. We make every effort to customize the service's web page so that our plagiarism deterring technology is a non-technical seamless addition to your classes.

Increases Quality. Instructors report that the quality of their students' work increases when they know that manuscripts will be checked for originality.

Increases Student Morale. Students themselves report that unchecked cheating and plagiarism by others undermines their own efforts and educational enthusiasm.

The purpose of this service is to insure that term papers, essays, and manuscripts, which are submitted as a requirement for a university or college course, are never plagiarized. This means that papers will never again be recirculated/recycled every year, that papers will not be copied from one class and used for a different class, that papers from one university will not find their way to another university course, and that papers acquired from the Internet will NEVER be used to fulfill a course requirement.

An instructor registers his/her class with Each instructor then requests that her/his students upload their term papers or manuscripts to the web site.

Each student in the instructor's course accesses the web site.

From the web site students can upload their work into our database designed specifically for their particular class. Students can also access information regarding plagiarism and information concerning intellectual property.

Our proprietary technology converts each manuscript into an abstract representation; essentially, we 'finger-print' each paper.

Each term paper submitted for a class requirement is statistically checked against a database of other manuscripts collected from different universities, classes, and from all-over the Internet. Only cases of gross plagiarism are flagged. This means that papers using some identical quotes or papers written on similar topics will NEVER be flagged as unoriginal.

A report is then emailed (or mailed) to the instructor detailing the degrees of originality for each paper checked with

The fees, which I find reasonable for this remarkable service, are described below:

Our offer is simple. To insure that only interested parties use our service there is a one-time, $20.00 (US) fee to create an account with us. This account can be used to upload 30 different manuscripts. We will email you a link to a confidential webpage containing an exact numerical analysis of each manuscript's originality. If any manuscripts were plagiarized you will know. After an account has been created, there will be a small charge of $0.50 for every manuscript, after 30, subsequently analyzed.

The links below were provided in T.H.E. Journal, September 1999, pg. 50.

Acceptable Use Policy Links

Fair Disclosure Express (from Edgar Online) 
(Investment, Finance, Accounting)

Hayes vs. Tilden: The Electoral College Controversy of 1876-1877 (American History) --- 

Oxford School of Learning --- 

Scanning the ocean floor for a sunken Japanese sub --- 

Some of you may want to consider a free membership to  the International Society for Professionals in e-Commerce --- 

Coca-Cola Television Advertisements (History, Photography) 

Foreign Currency and Foreign Trade
Glossary of Terms Used in Payments and Settlements Systems --- 

From Yahoo December 11, 2000

Darko Bandic --- 

The compelling portfolio of freelance photographer and photojournalist Darko Bandic consists of pop-up slideshows from Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, and Egypt. Tired, hungry refugees in traditional costumes, frightened families, uneasy soldiers in uniform, children proudly bearing arms, and millennial fireworks over the ancient pyramids of Giza -- here is visual storytelling that speaks louder than the clichés we invariably use to describe terrible and wondrous events in human lives.

Helping women to  find careers in investing and finance (as well as becoming savvy investors and economists)

A win/win alternative --- faster and cheaper --- Who says we have to go back to mainframes?
Med Records Get Cue From Napster About 50,000 deaths occur each year due to medical errors, often linked to doctors not having information at their fingertips. A company is creating Napster-like peer-to-peer technology to hasten access to medical records. ---,1282,40433,00.html 

P2P allows users to transfer data directly from one computer to another. Although the technology itself isn't new, it has recently been infused with new life -- mostly due to the media blitz that centered on Napster and other innovative, mostly-music-sharing, P2P systems.

The cost of a P2P system is also significantly less expensive than that of a central server-based system, since P2P simply provides an interface that allows people to share information stored on individual computers or networks. The developer of a P2P system doesn't have to house, configure, or care for a database crammed full of files.

From T.H.E. Journal, November 2000, p. 48 --- 

netLibrary, Inc., distributor of full-length digital versions of publishers’ books, announces their free personal software application, eBook Reader. This reader allows users to read eBooks without being connected to the Internet. The netLibrary enables library patrons to check out eBooks from their library’s eBook collection, download them to their PCs, and read them offline. This capability is paired with netLibrary’s online eBook reading solution, which permits searching, previewing, and checking out eBooks through a Web browser and live Internet connection. Helpful features such as search, highlight, annotation and citations are also provided, and can be saved on users’ hard drives for future use. The software, which is available as a free download from the netLibary Web site, requires 5.5 MB of hard disk space and 20 minutes to download on a 56K modem. The hardware requirements for running the reader are a Pentium 100 or equivalent, 32 MB of RAM, 20 MB of free hard disk space, and Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 or greater.

This website recommended by Yahoo is a little weird.

Librarian Avengers 

If you're not careful, this bad-to-the-bone librarian site will kick your pasty, non-librarian tush all over the map. Librarian Avengers serves up a heady mix of librarian rants, comic book heroes, and myth-shattering testimonials from the library front. After viewing this site, you will cower and tremble in front of all librarians before you: "Librarians are all-knowing and all-seeing. They bring order to chaos. They bring wisdom and culture to the masses. They preserve every aspect of human knowledge. Librarians rule. And they will kick the crap out of anyone who says otherwise."

This site recommended by Yahoo is a fabulous and extensive (American History)

America from the Great Depression to World War II 

The Library of Congress continues its Herculean effort to digitize its vast archive of original documents with this exhibit of photographs from the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information Collection. The daunting task of wading through 100,000 photographs (!) is ameliorated by a suite of very handy search functions, which let you browse by subject or geographic location. You can also grab a quick overview of the collection in the staff favorites section.

The Dismal Science
Economic Sociology Editorial Series 

Alternative Cultures

Disabled Need Tools for Schools
The National Science Foundation releases an extensive set of production guidelines to make learning software usable by those with impaired manual dexterity, low or no vision, or hearing impairments ---,1284,40646,00.html 

From Syllabus News on December 12, 2000

A special tuition increase for new University of Illinois students will fund improved student services and programs, enhanced educational technology, and expanded enrollment in high-demand courses and disciplines. The tuition increase of $500 per year for each of two years at the University of Illinois is expected to provide specific benefits to the new students who pay it, and will apply only to new students because they will be the primary bene- ficiaries. At the Chicago campus, for instance, the additional revenue will be used to create Internet access to libraries and librarians, meet the demand for courses in computer engineering and computer sciences by hiring new faculty in those programs, and increase the number of student computer laboratories.

Bob -

I'm just guessing but it looks like maybe the same thing happens to you that happens to me - a stray [ctrl][enter] causes email to be sent sometimes before it is quite done. The fix I found was to turn on spellcheck-before-sending. Since there is pretty much always something to catch the eye of spell check, such as a simple email address, it always gives me a second chance.

Your email is always well written so even incomplete it makes sense, whereas mine has been an embarrassment at times.


Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri

Deconstructing Babel: XML and application integration XML may not yet be a true "silver bullet," but it can be used to great effect in integration projects if IT managers create a detailed plan that can overpower its weaknesses. 
"Deconstructing Babel: XML and application integration," By Henry Balen, Application Development Trends, December 2000 --- 

XML has become the lingua franca for inter-application communication. Using XML, all messages sent between applications consist of self-describing text. This makes the messages easily understandable by both humans and machines, although it does not supply an efficient packaging of the message. (XML messages can be considerably larger than a binary representation of the same information.)

There are three aspects of inter-application communication:

Transport—how to get information across the wire; Protocol—how to package the information sent across the wire; and Message—the information itself. The transport is usually a lower level network standard such as TCP/IP. Inter-process communications standards, such as CORBA, DCE and DCOM, have their own protocols that sit on top of such transports.

The protocol used depends on the communication mechanism. Standards may use different protocols to communicate: CORBA uses IIOP, while electronic mail uses SMTP. Each of these protocols allows you to package a message, specify a destination and get the message to the designated location. In protocols that support remote method invocation (RMI), the destination can consist of an object reference and method.

With each of these protocols, the user defines the message that is sent across the wire. In the case of CORBA, DCE, DCOM and so on, the message is defined using an Interface Definition Language (IDL). In E-mail and message-oriented middleware (MOM) it can be more fluid. No matter what you use, there is an agreement between the sender and receiver about the meaning of the message. The meaning is not transferred with the message.

So why use XML? In XML, documents contain meta-information about the information being transmitted, and can be extended easily. However, XML is less efficient than transmitting the information using a binary protocol. One advantage, though, is that humans and computers can both read the document.

To overcome the communication problem, the application can be enabled to send and receive information in the form of XML. This can be done independent of protocol, and if the meaning is agreed upon between the applications or organizations, then you just need to get the package to its intended destination. How it gets there is up to you. Of course, in these days of the Internet, the HTTP protocol is a natural choice. There are business domain-specific XML vocabularies under development.

Application integration From the point of view of an application, there are various points of integration: data store, APIs or components, and protocol. The point of integration used depends on the nature of the application. If integration means the ability to speak XML, then you will need to acquire or build adapters for the point of integration. These adapters are responsible for getting information in and out of the application, and performing any necessary transformations along the way.

If the integration involves the sharing of information, you may want to integrate at the level of the data store. Assuming you have an existing database containing the information you want to share, your integration adapter is responsible for translating from a query's result set to an XML document. Conversely, when the application receives information in the form of XML, the adapter performs a reverse translation and maps the document elements to the appropriate database entities.

Oracle Corp., Redwood Shores, Calif., sells a relational database with a degree of XML support. XML is either mapped as just described, or the database's hybrid capabilities can store XML natively. The SQL syntax has been extended with an XML Query language.

Object or network databases may provide a more natural mapping for XML to the database's representation. A persistent Document Object Model (DOM) mechanism can preserve the structure of the XML document. You should be aware that while an XML document provides a good way in which to represent information, it is not an application domain model.

In addition, some products are being marketed as XML databases. eXcelon Corp. (formerly Object Design Inc.), Burlington, Mass., has re-purposed its object database to handle XML. Conversely, there are some products, such as Tamino from Software AG, Darmstadt, Germany, that were built from the ground up to handle just XML. While each product provides an XML Query language, it has not been standardized. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is currently working on a standard for XML Queries, which I expect most vendors will adopt.

Of course, most existing data is kept in hierarchical or relational databases, and you cannot ignore this if you want to integrate at the database level. If you are in this camp, take a look at tools that help with the translation to and from XML.

Integration at the API level can be achieved through handcrafted adapters. Using an off-the-shelf XML parser, an adapter can be constructed that will translate from the received XML to an object model or function/method invocation. Similarly, you can transform information from the application to an XML document for transmittal. If the application supports one of the component models, you may be able to acquire an adapter that implements a bridge to the world of XML. If you are using one of the industry XML schemas, however, you will most likely have to code a transformation; an XSL Transformations (XSLT) processor is useful. With XSLT, you can use an XML dialect to define the transformation rules.

When the application already utilizes middleware, such as MOM or CORBA, then the adapter provides a gateway. This gateway can receive the XML messages, decide which components need to be notified, and perform the necessary translation. Commercial implementations of these gateways, such as CapeConnect from Cape Clear Software, Dublin, Ireland, are starting to ship. These XML brokers use XML for the content of the message and protocol to specify the destination. The W3C is working on an XML RPC mechanism standard. One submission, first promoted by Microsoft and now gaining wide support, is SOAP.

SOAP is a lightweight XML protocol for the exchange of information. It is probably the leading contender for adoption by the W3C. SOAP can provide synchronous and asynchronous mechanisms to send requests between applications using a variety of protocols. Robust security and transactional capabilities still need to be added to the SOAP protocol.

CORBA middleware users may find it interesting that the Object Management Group (OMG) has put out a call for proposals for a SOAP–CORBA mapping. Along with work on XML value types for CORBA, this can provide a natural basis for XML enabling the CORBA infrastructure.

Bob Jensen's threads on XML, RDF, and XBRL can be found at 

With respect to a question sent to me regarding the following student visa question:

Can International students receive F-1 student visas to stay in the United States and study at a virtual University if there is no specific campus at which they need to study?

The following reply was sent by Susie P. Gonzalez.

Hi Rossitsa:

I am writing from Trinity University, where Professor Bob Jensen asked for help in answering your question about online universities and student visas. A friend of mine works as a community relations officer for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in San Antonio, and I sent the inquiry to her. Her response is:

As I understand it, a university must apply (either a form I-20 or I-17) to be considered an accredited university by the INS in order for a foreign student to get a visa to attend. It may be a really bona fide institution, but if it isn't INS approved, no go.

I really don't know if any online places have been approved, but I would doubt it, because there is usually an examiner who handles schools and who must be able to go out and check out the place and see that it is a real, viable institution.

Thus, Rossitsa, I would encourage you to contact the virtual university to see whether they have completed the proper paperwork with INS.

Good luck in your search!

Susie P. Gonzalez 
Assistant Director of Public Relations 
Trinity University 
715 Stadium Drive 
San Antonio, TX 78212 (210) 999-8406

Hi Dan,

Your FLASH demo works for me, although I did not get any audio. I suspect that you did not add audio yet.

I think the jury is still out on ToolBook. Click2Learn called me last week about a $2,500 site license the company is now offering to try to break into the college market. I think it is too little too late. Firms like BlackBoard and WebCT are too entrenched in academe and now offer more services such as global channels.

As far as ToolBook is concerned, it probably depends upon what you want to develop. I think Neuron is a bummer, and ToolBook is no longer trying to save its dying OpenScript. The DHTML templates are great for standardized work such as templates for online test questions. However, the fact that code is sealed in a black box stifles creativity. Also, DHTML is terribly inefficient for the long run. The code is just too complex and lengthy. The code also depends heavily upon making browsers increasingly complex. Click2Learn had a lot of trouble with the last beta version of Internet Explorer.

There is also the question about the viability of Click2Learn. The company has always been a small-time player (even when it was Asymetrix Corporation) struggling with cash flow problems. I doubt that it will ever be noticed in terms of market share in academe. It does have a hardcore following in large-scale corporate training, but is there enough annual cash flow in this hardcore to keep it going? I have my doubts. It is better to sell Turbo Tax where cash flows are dependent upon regularly-scheduled changes in content rather than having to depend upon sporadic advances in code innovation. The bottom line is that I just do not think Click2Learn has a very good business model for the future.  For comparisons of operating  losses, go to 
Losses continue to mount after the above report.

I don't know what to advise for your new development project. It may be better to offer choices of plug-in modules for BlackBoard, WebCT, etc. Since these are very compatible with FrontPage and Dreamweaver, perhaps you do not need something as complex as ToolBook to go along with Flash.

At a conference in Bermuda, I listened to a wonderful presentation by John Parnell (Head of the Department of Marketing and Management at Texas A&M University). After comparing Blackboard, WebCT, and other options, his program for distance education across Texas and into Mexico, he and his Texas A&M colleagues opted for a software from

Especially note the "Uniqueness" section that is linked at 

If you want to contact John, his email address is John Parnell [

Let me known what alternatives that you are comparing. I generally find that Richard Campbell has tried virtually all alternatives. He still seems to like ToolBook.

May I quote your message below in my next edition of New Bookmarks?

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Dan Gode [
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 10:18 PM 
Subject: My first flash animation --- 

I just bought a domain name and put my first flash animation there. I know Flash enough now to realize how efficient Toolbook is for e-learning in terms of development time. However, for animation and sound, nothing beats Flash.

I think I will integrate Toolbook and Flash for now and then move to DHTML.

Let me know what you think.

Dan Gode 
Assistant Professor of Accounting 
Stern School of Business Room 427, 40 West 4th Street 
New York, NY 100012  Ph: 212-998-0021 Fax: 212-995-4004

Here is an item on the new wireless ethernet network at NTU (430 transceivers) --,2000010021,20164497-1,00.htm  The NTU site with details on this massive project is at 

One of the transceivers is right outside my office. It will be interesting to see how this network bears up under the load. And how this resource will be used by students and faculty.

Roger -- Roger Debreceny, Division of Auditing and Taxation, 
Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, 
Room S3-B1-B61 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 
 ICQ 22958324 Ph: +65 790 6049 Fx: +65 791 3697 Mobile: +65 9389 7339 PGP Public Key:  or ldap://  

The Forgotten Americans - living dirt poor along the Mexican border --- 

From Syllabus News December 19, 2000

V-SPAN Wins TeleCon Award

The TeleCon Awards' annual recognition of the best products, applications, and services for conferencing and annual collaborative communications honored V-SPAN, a provider of virtual communication solutions, at the 19th Annual TeleCon West Awards. Winner in the category of Best Content Product, theVirtual Reservation Card (VR Card) enables on-demand audio and Web conferencing via a PC and standard Internet browser. The card allows users to conduct interactive, secure, and on-demand Web-based meetings and delivers real-time data collaboration, application, and desktop remote control. A stan- dard browser facilitates one-to-many or many-to-many pre- sentations, and the advanced collaboration functionality does not require pre-installed software or firewall configuration.

For more information, visit 

IBM snubs Raven for own KM plan.  The company last week announced it is entering the knowledge management game with a product that will be a direct competitor of Raven --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on portals and vortals are at 

The land of poets and artists is going high tech.  From Syllabus Week December 19, 2000

Ireland Plans New Internet Links to U.S. Colleges

Irish officials recently announced plans for new broadband Internet links between higher-education institutions in Ireland and the United States. Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern de- scribed the plans during a visit by President Clinton to Ireland's newly designated "digital district" -- a six-square-mile area in Dublin. MediaLab Europe, a joint project of the Irish govern- ment and MIT, is the academic-research anchor for the multimillion-dollar digital district, which aims to provide an environment where scientists and technology entrepreneurs can mix, create, and market. In addition to MIT, a number of other universities are discussing whether to locate their digital-research facilities in the area.

The district's blueprint calls for graduate students to conduct research under the guidance of leading international scientists. Irish officials hope the research will result in ideas that can be developed by start-up companies.

Rediscover Ancient India (History) --- 

From InformationWeek Online on December 13, 2000

NEW YORK--The future, according to IBM CEO Louis Gerstner: Dot-coms will fall by the wayside. Technology investment will be driven by "real business." Companies will access intelligent, flexible infrastructures delivered by just a couple dozen service providers. And Linux will be the dominant operating system.

Apparently, Gerstner, speaking Tuesday at the eBusiness Conference and Expo, really believes this. He said IBM will invest $1 billion in developing and marketing Linux next year. At the same time, he shed light on what IBM is calling the largest Linux implementation in the world--a supercomputer-class installation by Shell Oil in Amsterdam. Gerstner said another $4 billion has been earmarked for opening 50 host centers during the next three years.

Observers say Gerstner's emphasis on hosting is hardly surprising, given that it's one of the growth-challenged company's fastest growing units. "They have an E-services business that's growing at 70% a year. You just don't notice it that much because they are a $95 billion company," says John Jones, a Salomon Smith Barney analyst. IBM pegs the current hosting market at $6 billion, but Gerstner forecast that full-blown "E-sourcing" will be a $55 billion market by 2003. Gerstner also shed light on what IBM is calling the largest Linux implementation in the world--a supercomputer class installation by Shell Oil in Amsterdam.

Playing to IBM's strength in the large enterprise market, Gerstner said the demise of many high profile dot-coms proves that business-to-consumer E-commerce was a search for fool's gold. "The IPO alchemists have had their 15 minutes," he said. Now, he added, large enterprises are ready to push headlong into true E-business, defined by across-the-board integration of supply chains, customer service, order processing, logistics, employee communications, and numerous other processes.

Is the B2B boom going bust? ---,4586,2662959,00.html 

Business-to-business e-marketplaces that began the year with such promise are now approaching the end of 2000 nagged by doubts about long-term viability. This week's announcement that Ventro Corp. is closing its two wholly owned exchanges, Chemdex and Promedix, underscored a shakeout process that has been going on for months and will continue into next year, as venture capitalists refine strategies for funding B2B marketplaces and many marketplace owners seek exit or retrenchment plans.

. . . 

Although public marketplaces are facing the brunt of the problems, others, such as so-called ISMs (industry-sponsored marketplaces), are not immune to the forces pushing B2B exchanges toward more viable business plans that include services beyond simple transaction management.

As a result of this shakeout, experts say businesses considering entering an exchange should abandon the "get online at all costs" strategies that have been the rule to date. Instead, they should carefully consider not just whether to go online but also how and with whom and, most important, why.

The New Zealand Digital Library -- University of Waikoto --- 

December 17th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter --- 

1. Is E-Business in B-Schools Passé? 
2. Using W3C XML Schema - Part 2 
3. Internet Phone Calls (FOR FREE) Spreading Rapidly 
4. IBM's Billion Dollar Christmas Present to Linux 
5. Palm to Boost Wireless Offering, may open store 
6. Opinion: 2000 Is Year E-Biz Got Real 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day, check back often.

An interesting map that indicates the difference in geography versus population in the U.S. --- 

Sometimes they just don't listen to Santa --- 

James Lileks, humorist, writer --- 

11 statements that I've actually heard in Texas:

11.  Always take the time to smell the roses...and sooner or later you'll inhale a bee.

10.  If a motorist cuts you off, just turn the other cheek...nothing gets the message across like a good mooning.

09.  If genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, I must be sharing elevators with a lot of bright people.

08.  It's always darkest before if you're gonna steal the neighbors newspaper, that's the time to do it.

07.  It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown...and fewer still to ignore someone completely.

06.  Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked up into jet engines.

05.  I believe no problem is so large or so difficult that it can't be blamed on someone else.

04.  If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

03.  Let's get a chihuahua trained to go straight for the throat --- let our neighbor's pit bull choke on that. 

02.  It takes a big man to cry...but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.

01.  When I'm feeling down I like to makes my neighbor's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.

41 Statements I've Never Heard in Texas

 41: Nobody should go to a family reunion just to find a date. 

 40: I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

 39:  Oh I just couldn't, hell, she's only sixteen.

 38: Duct tape won't fix that.

 37: Honey, I think we should sell the pickup and buy a family sedan.

 36: Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.

 35: We don't keep firearms in this house.

 34: Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?

 33: You can't feed that to a dog.

 32: I thought Graceland was tacky.

 31: No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.

 30: Wrestling's fake.

 29: Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?

 28: We're Vegetarians.

 27: Do you think my gut is too big?

 26: I'll have the grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.

 25: Honey, we don't need another dog.

 24: Who gives a crap who won the Civil War?

 23: Give me a small bag of pork rinds, please.

 22: Too many deer stands detract from the decor.

 21: Spittin is such a nasty habit.

 20: I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.

 19: Trim the fat off the steak.

 18: Cappuccino tastes better than expresso.

 17: The tires on that truck are too big.

 16: I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.

 15: I've got it all on the C: drive.

 14: Unsweetened tea tastes better.

 13: Would you like you fish poached or broiled?

 12: My fiancee, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.

 11: I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.

 10: Beef jerky has too many grams of fat and salt.  Do you have any rice cakes?

 09: Checkmate.

 08: She's too young to be wearing a bikini.

 07: Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?

 06: Hey, here's an episode of "Hee Haw" that we haven't seen.

 05: I don't have a favorite college team.

 04: Be sure to bring the salad dressing on the side.

 03: Who the hell misses that Chicken Ranch the law closed down over by Texas A&M?  
(For those who don't recall, the Chicken Ranch inspired the Broadway play and movie entitled "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.)

 02: Those shorts ought to be a little longer, darlin'.


 01: Nope --- only Perrier fer me. I'm drivin' tonight.

Mother of the Blonde:  "I know I said it was all right now and then to stuff your bra with Kleenex.  But you really should take the tissues out of the box."

Poor Patty.  Please send flowers and cards.


Subject: Merry Xmas!
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
RE: Christmas Party
DATE: December 1

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. No-host bar, but plenty of eggnog! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols ... feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 P.M. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time, however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

 Merry Christmas to you and your family.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 2
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees.  We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday that often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanzaa at this time. There will be no Christmas tree. No, Christmas carols sung. We will have country music for your enjoyment. Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 6
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ~ you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA  Only," you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?

Somebody? Forget about the gift exchange; no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is very little for a gift. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. We apologize for our oversight and truly appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Luigi's promises hold off on serving Muslim meals until dard ~ the days are very short this time of year ~ or else package suitable meals for  take-home in little foil swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays and lesbians will have their own reserved tables, but there is freedom of choice in sitting elsewhere. To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing is allowed. And Luigi will not temporarily make the restrooms gender-neutral for our party.

We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for  those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people with high blood problems to taste first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts.


Did I miss anything?



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 8
RE: Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice ... what do you expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by our "earth-based Goddess-worshipping" employees, but we'll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle during the band's breaks.




FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 9
RE: Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red suit."  It's a  tradition, folks, like sugar shock at Halloween, or family feuds over the Thanksgiving turkey, or broken hearts on Valentine's Day. Could we lighten up? Please?????????

Also the company has changed their mind about making a special announcement at the gathering. You will get a notification in the mail sent to your home.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All #%&$**@ Employee
DATE: December 10
RE: The %#*&^%@*%^ Holiday Party

 I have no #%&*@*^ idea what the announcement is all about. What the %#&^!@ do I care? I KNOW WHAT I AM GOING TO GET!!!!!!!!!!!!

You change your address now and you are dead!!!!!!!!!!!! No more changes of address will be allowed in my office!  Try to come in and change your address. I will have you hung from the ceiling in the warehouse!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegetarians!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this damn party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your #$%^&*! salad bar, including hydroponic tomatoes. But you know they have feelings, too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right now! HA!

  I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die, you hear me!!!!!??

 The B*tch from H*LL!!!!!!!!


FROM: Terri Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 14
RE: Patty Lewis, the Holiday Party, and Christmas Day Working Schedules

 I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the Dade County Sanitarium.

Prior to our scheduled re-count of the votes for or against the employee's Holiday Party, management decided to cancel this event.  There will be no repeat hand counting verification of the ballots with dimpled chads since the matter was settled at the highest levels in this company.  In addition, it was decided that the only fair thing to do is to cancel all secular holidays, including Christmas Day.  Shifts will commence at the usual times on December 25.

Under the new policy, employees will receive one added day of paid vacation.  A minimum of one week is required for advance notice of the chosen day.

And don't worry about poor Patty.  The pretty pink padding in her room is quite pleasant.  After several more weeks, the doctors will remove her arm restraints if her new medications kick in properly.

On December 23, a number of employees are meeting after work at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue. If you care to join us, make reservations directly with Luigi at 555-8534.

Happy New Year!

On a more serious note, you might want to check out this website regarding the history of some major holidays.

History of the Holidays - how Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa came to pass --- 

And that's the way it was on December 20, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


The Intuit accounting vortal is at 


How stuff works --- 


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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December 11, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

The best way to avoid doing work is, of course, the Internet
Diane Bartley, "Procrastination 101: Blame It on the Computer," 

In heaven there is no beer,
That's why we drink it here!
An old German song that was sung by  Rajah K. Ribeiro on December 2 in the loft of Der Lindenbaum Restaurant in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Erika and I spent a romantic weekend in one of our favorite Texas towns.  It was wonderful to listen to Rajah sing a mixture of German and country selections.  We purchased three of his CDs.  His email address is

Inscribed on a tombstone:

Remember me as you pass by;
As your are now, so once was I.
As I am now, someday you'll be,
So prepare to follow me.

Underneath was painted the following:

To follow you is not my intent,
Because I don't know which way you went.

Dorothy Holbrook, Reminisce, November/December 2000, p. 61

Hot heads and cold hearts never solve anything.
Billy Graham

Maturity is a high price for growing up.
Tom Stoppard, The Plays for Radio, 1964-91

Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.
Ben Hecht, Charlie

We  may pass violets looking for roses.  We may pass contentment looking for victory.
Bern Williams

There is no greater burden than great potential.
Charles M. Shultz

Forwarded by Mark S. Eckman, CPA

"If they asked a user what they wanted in relation to candles they would have said longer burning, smokeless candles...never the light bulb." 
Thomas Edison

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone's not thinking." 
George Patton

I'm lucky to have suffered through a war and to have been so poor most of my life. Those years deepened my appreciation for what I now have!
Erika Jensen

A message of love from my wife, Erika.  
She describes how a Munich street urchin became Cinderella at the Ball --- 

America (North and South) the Beautiful ---  
Also see

I received a nice note from Brian Zwicker's wife (Carol).  Brian and Carol spent a sabbatical leave on the Trinity Campus and worked on their various products for technology in accounting education.  Carol informs me that their website is now up at  There is a most unique set of products that includes such things as the following:

North America's Premiere Accounting Simulations
accounting simulations

10714 63 Street
Edmonton AB
T6A 2N1

Tel 780 - 468 - 5516
Fax 780 - 466 - 3865

coming attractions
computer accounting simulations
law office accounting about blue sky publishing
golf management accounting contact blue sky publishing

From FEI Express on December 7, 2000 --- C:\TEMP\feiexpress48.htm 

FASB Issues Tentative Decision on Purchase Accounting in Business Combination
On December 6, the FASB reached a tentative decision to use the NONAMORTIZATION approach to account for purchased goodwill. The original FASB proposal of September 1999 called for the annual amortization of goodwill over a period of up to 20 years. Under the revised proposal, goodwill will be reviewed for IMPAIRMENT and written down (expensed against earnings) when the value of the goodwill exceeds its fair value.

Their press release indicated that goodwill would be reviewed for impairment at the lowest reporting level that includes the acquired business. Therefore, this is not an acquisition-by-acquisition test, but rather at a reporting group level test. There's a big difference. In addition, impairment evaluation would be made only upon the occurrence of certain events in the reporting level entity. You can view their press release here.

In addition, the Board considered but rejected allowing companies to have the option of amortizing goodwill if they so choose. Therefore, non-amortization will be mandatory.

In our meeting, we discussed the tough question of how existing goodwill would be treated under the new rules. FASB member Gaylen Larsen was in attendance and indicated that this item was "very up in the air" at this point, but it is possible that existing goodwill will no longer be amortized, but rather subjected to the impairment rules too.

This is a positive step for the business combinations project and reflects the Board's extensive participation in public hearings, comment letter review and field visits as they reconsidered their original position. They indicated that they have yet to readdress the use of pooling, but all indications are still that pooling will be abolished under the final rule when published. The FASB indicated that conclusion of this project could still come by the end of Q1 2001. Once issued, only transactions initiated before the standard might still qualify for pooling.

Always be wary of email attachments and ask your friends to put applications on web servers rather than attaching them to email messages. If you must open an attachment, the safest way is to open the attachment in QuickView Plus from 

Useful to Accounting Educators and Educators in Other Disciplines Listed Below:
WSJEducatorsReviews [] December 7, 2000 (Now in PDF Format)

Dear Professor:

Our new curriculum integration tool is now easier to use! Open the attached file and use the hyperlinks to automatically take you to your discipline of interest. No more scrolling!

The Interdisciplinary Newsletter will help you integrate Journal content across business disciplines. Look for future issues on the first Thursday of every month in place of that week's Educators' Reviews. The Interdisciplinary Newsletter will highlight one pre-selected topic and include 2-3 article summaries and discussion questions for each discipline:

* Accounting 
* Business Law 
* Entrepreneurship 
* Finance 
* Information Technology 
* International Business 
* Introduction to Business 
* Macroeconomics 
* Marketing 
* Microeconomics


For MP3 information, I recommend going to  (You have to hit the Next button quite often). I am afraid that I am rather inefficient about this. I record audio as wav files using my Turtle Beach software. Then I edit (clip, change volume, enhance) the wav files before compressing (converting) into MP3 files. The software I use for compression is called Blade. The link to Blade download options can be found at 

I also have Spin Doctor on my Adaptec CD-Creator software, but I am afraid that I have not yet used my Spin Doctor.

For professional work that you are planning, I recommend that you look at more sophisticated software and hardware. For example, you might exercise the free trial offer at 

Options for recording and composing music are summarized at 

I hope this helps!


RealAudio downloads are another matter.


I paid $30 for RealDownload. See,international 

I'm not an expert, but I cannot find where downloads of this type are "files" in the usual sense of a separate file for each download. Instead I get an index to downloaded files that are mysteriously stored in places that I cannot access in any way other than using the player index.

You might consider doing a RealDownload word search on Google.

Hope this helps.



I frequently link students to NPR's audio archives on my course web sites. I have found it unwieldy to use these archives in class unless I have an electronic classroom. I have tried making audio cassettes from the archives, but the quality is very poor. Is there any way to download Real Audio files onto my own computer for future playback/manipulations? I haven't figured out how to do this on my own. Thanks for any advice you have on this count.


Hi Richard,

No I am not familiar with Ogg Vorbis. However, I am also not aware that we need pay a royalty for putting MP3 files on the Web. The article possibly overstates the problem of MP3 as a standard.

In any case, I thank you!

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 12:06 PM 
To: Subject: 
Re: MP3 Recording, Ripping, Etc.


Have you seen this story about an alternative to MP3? It is an open standard called Ogg Vorbis. /

Richard Newmark 
Dept of Acctg, Old Dominion University 
Office: (757) 683-3554 Fax: (801) 858-9335 (free  AOL IM username: PhDuh ICQ #: 17731542

How Stuff Works

In general, if you need to find out "how something works," I suggest that you commence at 

How Stuff Works is the place for you! Click on the categories below to see hundreds of cool articles.
Computers & Internet Living & Entertainment
Engines & Automotive Around the House
Electronics & Communications Machines
Science & Technology Cool
Aviation & Transportation Buying Guides
Body & Health New HSW Search Engine!

Other resources can be found in my Advice to New Faculty at 

WOW Site of the Week:  A message from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

For those interested in the shape of things to come in information delivery, please visit the following link: 

It is based on the concept of information space.

It is remarkable that the idea arose from a MASTERs dissertation at MIT, not from an astute professor.

Respectfully submitted,
jagdish -

Increasingly Universities Will Partner With Corporations
Forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly

Is it time to upgrade your career? Complete your graduate degree through an exciting and innovative program that offers flexibility, convenience, and the opportunity to choose when, where, and how you earn your degree. Study anytime, anywhere, even when you travel without sacrificing job responsibilities and quality time with your family. Fully accredited through NCA. Classes begin every 8 weeks.

Regis University and SUN Microsystems, Inc. have combined resources to create an innovative and technologically advanced online learning environment where you can earn a Master of Science in Computer Information Technology (MSCIT) degree entirely online in two years or less. Learn the hottest technologies being used in E-Commerce Engineering, ORACLE(R) Database Administration or Application Development, Networking, or Object-Oriented Programming. This program is uniquely designed for students with or without industry experience.

Imagine the Possibilities! Career advancement, increased earnings, job fulfillment, and the ability to direct your own future. Whether you are seeking a career change or simply wanting to enhance your current skills, an online graduate degree in Computer Information Technology from Regis University can help you achieve your goals. There has never been a better time to take control of your own destiny!

The opportunity is now, and the choice is yours. If you are ready to "Master Your Future", discover your potential at  or contact us today at 1.800.677.9270 to speak with a program representative. Regis University, changing the way you think about your future.


Dr. Edward Cooper 
Associate Academic Dean 
Regis University School for Professional Studies

Eleven Governors Attend the First WGU Graduation
From Syllabus News on December 6, 2000

First Graduate of (Western Governors University) Online University Receives Degree

Gennie Kirch, a Roy, Utah elementary school teacher, received her Master of Arts degree in learning and technology Friday in a ceremony attended by the Governors of 11 western states. The special occasion was held in conjunction with the Western Governors' Association meeting in La Jolla and celebrates the first commencement ceremony and the first graduate of Western Governors University, an online, competency-based university. Governors is one of only a few virtual universities to achieve candidate for accreditation status and is the only competency- based university to gain that status.

The WGU homepage is at 

Western Governors University is a unique institution that offers degrees and certificates based completely on competencies -- your ability to demonstrate your skills and knowledge on a series of assessments -- not on required courses. We make it possible for you to accelerate your "time to degree" by providing recognition for your expertise.

E-Commerce News and Education --- 

Resources for consultants ---

Find a consultant ---

Teaching Managerial Accounting by Way of a Novel

Code Blue by R.E. McDermott, K.D. Stocks, and J. Ogden (Syracuse, UT:  Traemus Books, ISBN 0-9675072-0-0, 2000) --- 

What you are about to read represents a new way of teaching technical material. As the approach is unorthodox, an explanation is warranted. The format chosen is that of a textbook-novel. It tells the story of a CPA who accepts a consulting job for a community hospital, a job that involves him in romance, mystery, murder, intrigue, and...managed care!

My primary purpose in selecting this format is learning in context. Many learners complain that traditional education fails to prepare them for the real world. In this textbook-novel, I discuss not only how to find the right answers but also how to identify the right questions. My experience has been that the second issue is often far more important than the first.

In a similar vein, the book stresses the principle that how a manager does something is often as important as what he or she does. Some managers fail even though they do the right thing--because they do it in the wrong way. It is not enough to be sincere; one must be right. It is not enough to be right; one must be effective!

Creativity is another topic that can best be covered in the format of a textbook-novel. How does one apply old principles to a new environment? What process does one follow in breaking a complex consulting project into manageable tasks?

This book was written for anyone impacted by the cost of healthcare or interest in one "solution" that has been offered--a set of principles known as managed care. This audience certainly includes physicians, nurses, healthcare administrators, accountants, personnel directors and other executives of businesses that pay the cost through health insurance premiums.

In a recent Fortune Magazine poll, nearly two out of three CEOs called skyrocketing medical costs one of the most important problems facing American corporations. One-third of those surveyed stated that healthcare costs are the single biggest problem they would face this decade. The United States currently spends more than $1 trillion for the healthcare of its citizens. Projections indicate this figure will double within the next decade.

This book also contains technical material for the accounting student who is interested in learning more about healthcare cost accounting. It has been three decades since the number of service-industry jobs in the United States bypassed those in manufacturing. Still, accounting textbooks continue to emphasize traditional manufacturing cost accounting while neglecting or even ignoring the service industry.

Technical supplements, found in the appendix, illustrate the concepts taught, explain service industry accounting and contrast it with manufacturing accounting. This material is not essential to the story line and can be skipped by the more general reader. Questions for each chapter can be found on the author's web page:

As a boy, I lived on the shores of Lake Washington in the small community of Hunt's Point. Many of the homes have docks, and one of our neighbors bought an airplane boat--not a plane with floating pods, as one often sees in that part of the country, but a plane with a hull--like a boat!

The advantages of such a craft in the Pacific Northwest are not hard to imagine, but the vehicle had some drawbacks. Although it did things neither a boat nor airplane could do alone, it didn't always fly as well as a plane nor sail as well as a boat. This analogy had come to me as I've studied the art of fiction. I am a hospital administrator turned consultant as well as a professor of accounting and healthcare administration. In my formal training, I was taught expository writing. Fiction is obviously a different animal.

In a professional article, the author begins with an introductory statement: a thesis that is followed by an explanation and a summary. Organization is tight--redundancy is discouraged. In fiction, the author must have a story line that involves opposition. Characters must be interesting; and the plot must keep moving. Merging the objectives of these two writing styles presents challenges, especially when the purpose is to explain the technical principles of managed care, accounting, and finance.

A textbook-novel is not as easy to write as a textbook and may not be as action focused as a novel. On the other hand, a textbook-novel is hopefully more informative than many novels and is certainly more interesting, perhaps even more educational from the standpoint of context, than a textbook.

As the creator of Code Blue, my goal is to make learning easy by making it fun. It is up to you to determine how successful we were in achieving this objective.

Richard E. McDermott 
January 1, 2000

You can read more about teaching by way of novels at 

Hi Clare,

Two computer aided learning basic accounting items (that entail thousands of hours of development work by two professors) that I recommend at the moment are as follows:

Dan Gode's (with the important contributions of his wife) Financial Accounting Tutor --- 

Wayne Ingalls has put nearly 2000 hours of development work into an audio tutorial for basic accounting. His email address is 

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- From: Clare Milligan [mailto:clarem@HOLMESGLEN.VIC.EDU.AU] Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2000 10:38 PM To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Computer assisted learning


I hope someone can help me.

I am looking for any computer assisted learning programs/games that help students with basic accounting concepts, such as: classification of accounting elements, the accounting equation, double entry accounting, etc.


Clare Milligan [clarem@HOLMESGLEN.VIC.EDU.AU

"A Look at the Future of Higher Education," by Roger Von Holzen, Syllabus, November 2000, pp. 56-57, 65 --- 

Does the shift in education away from the lecture format foretell a new role for faculty? Roger Von Holzen provides a glimpse into the future.

In the midst of this major upheaval in educational services is the seismic shift in education away from the teaching paradigm, foretelling a new role for faculty. Today's teachers will become tomorrow's designers of individualized interactive materials and guides for students. Active learning will need to be incorporated into the educational process and to provide on-demand, flexible learning through the use of telecommunications technology. The coupling of this sea change in education with the commercialization of the education industry may lead to more faculty freelancing as instructors, especially as online faculty or as purveyors of courses for hire. RMI Media Productions Inc. of Olathe, Kansas is already seeking to purchase course materials from individual instructors and colleges and universities.

So how do institutions today, that are so firmly rooted in the bedrock of traditional higher education, hope to compete, survive, and even thrive in this new reality? Fortunately, the advent of the knowledge revolution, the ascendance of the information-based economy, the development of sophisticated telecommunications systems, and the proliferation of delivery modes portend the rise of a new educational model based on an e-learning society. It is within this model, grounded on the ability of the emerging perpetual lifelong learner to connect anywhere, anytime to the continuum of new educational options, that institutions of higher education will be able to transform and emerge as integral components in the new society.

These new options must service the needs of the learner in formats that vary over time and space and that provide broad access to lifelong learning. As stated by Robert C. Heterick, "Mid-career learning experiences are becoming every bit as important as the initial undergraduate learning experience.

The web site for RMI Media Productions Inc. is at 

I added the following message from Jagdish to "The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education" at 

Some of us may be interested in these two fascinating sites that address questions such as:

Are universities becoming EMOs (Educational Maintenance Organisations)? Are faculty being reduced to hired help? Are university administrators becoming vendor-agents and corporate managers (rather than Scholar-administrators?) Are faculty losing control of the product of their labour? ... ... 

While I did not get into teaching to get rich (in fact I got out of the rich corporate world and into teaching, to escape intellectual drudgery), and I am glad that I am not at the beginning of my career, I do feel sad about the passing of an era.

The society has to clarify what our rights as academics are just as it is grappling with the issues of intellectual property rights in this electronic age. Nowadays I find that school administrators smell money a lot faster than they do intellectually stimulating ideas. What a pity the age of scholar-administrators is coming to an end, supplanted by that of pencil-pushing career manager-bureaucratic education merchants. Is this the intellectual equivalent of the supplanting of the age of chivalry by that of book-keepers?

Respectfully submitted,

Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor
( ) State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601 URL: 

"Digital Diploma Mills:  The Automation of Higher Education" by David F. Nobel

In recent years changes in universities, especially in North America, show that we have entered a new era in higher education, one which is rapidly drawing the halls of academe into the age of automation. Automation - the distribution of digitized course material online, without the participation of professors who develop such material - is often justified as an inevitable part of the new "knowledge-based" society. It is assumed to improve learning and increase wider access. In practice, however, such automation is often coercive in nature - being forced upon professors as well as students - with commercial interests in mind. This paper argues that the trend towards automation of higher education as implemented in North American universities today is a battle between students and professors on one side, and university administrations and companies with "educational products" to sell on the other. It is not a progressive trend towards a new era at all, but a regressive trend, towards the rather old era of mass-production, standardization and purely commercial interests.


The Classroom vs the Boardroom
The Birth of Educational Maintenance Organizations
Education as a Commodity
Redundant Faculty in the Virtual University
Student Reactions

An Editorial by Bob Jensen

HMOs and health clinics often deliver inferior medicine because there is no competition or very little competition in a geographic market.  EMOs (see above) will not have such advantages of geographic monopoly.  Education, unlike heath care, is no longer bound by geography.  EMOs face exploding global competition to a point where only the best can thrive.  To date this is not the case with HMOs.

I tend to disagree with the EMO doom and gloom outlook for the future of online education programs.  In my opinion, such claims as "redundant faculty" are not rooted in communications with faculty in experimenting in quality distance education --- faculty that are nearly burned out by the increased communications between themselves and students in respected online programs.  Online faculty in major universities are biting their knuckles because of the increased intensity of communication in online courses and the demands of being more creative and more of an expert to online students seeking something akin to one-on-one tutorials with instructors.  In a sense, the distance education courses are reverting to the Oxford tutorial system.  Many of the online courses are highly Socratic.

Of course it is possible to put up an online course of the EMO variety that has virtually no communication between instructors and students. But it is also possible to put up a high quality, prestigious distance education course in which the communications between faculty and students and the communications between students and other students are much greater than in traditional courses.  This is what the SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois try to study in much greater rigor than the off-the-wall doom and gloom soothsayers  seem to ever discover or comprehend.  For links to the SCALE experiments and an audio commentary by Dan Stone, go to MP3 audio presentation at

I predict that the problem of online education is that the eventual rewards from great online teaching will draw the brightest and the best of our new educators into more teaching and less research.  In the past 50 years, major universities have placed the highest rewards and honors on research and publication performances.  It is not surprising that teaching and learning are not focused upon in doctoral programs that center 100% on research skills and experience.  It is not surprising that the American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium virtually ignores education technologies and the changing times in online education.  It is not surprising that researchers strive to teach only researchers (i.e., doctoral students) and not have to face the great unwashed (undergraduate students).  It is not surprising that researchers tend to avoid teaching undergraduates whenever possible.  It is not surprising that great teaching is not a priority for researchers who are assigned (punished?) to teach undergraduate courses.  It is not surprising that researchers are often the least skilled in education technologies and the least interested in taking on online courses that are very demanding in terms of time and creativity and will draw them away from their research and publication in top journals.

Times will be changing with respect to corporate education and online delivery of courses.  Corporations will soon be offering up compensation packages and lifestyle packages that will attract the brightest and the best of new talent, including newly minted doctoral students.  At the moment, Sarah Supercharged with her new Stanford University diploma in hand places highest priority on going to prestige universities to conduct research and minimize teaching.  In was and still is a great honor for her to get her new assistant professorship at Rochester and only have to teach one course a year.  

But there will soon be a new employer on the block.  Rather than endure the strains of tenure uncertainty and stress of research and publication at the University of Rochester, Sarah Supercharged will soon have an alternative of making ten times as much in earnings (due to stock options and other compensation incentives) to focus on online creativity, student communication, and quality delivery of courses in executive education from some education corporation (possibly a corporation owned by a prestige university).  And she will be able to deliver the courses from her ocean front home in Big Sur (California) or her horse ranch in Idaho or cattle farm in New Zealand rather than have to endure a daily grind to her research lab in Rochester, NY.  Her students around the world will receive a wonderful ("Supercharged") education because she is so motivated and talented.  She brings to each of them her very best, partly because the value of her stock options depend upon her online performance. 

My worry is not that the "EMOs" will be worse than our present prestige universities.  My worry is that they will be much better, in part because they will draw away the top talent and change priorities from research to teaching.  Research will suffer in the long run, because it will be much more difficult to fund and to subsidize with large undergraduate lectures on campus that in the 20th Century were the cash cows that fed research.  Education corporations will start milking those cash cows, and for-profit corporations will be less inclined to fund basic research not tied to the bottom line of profit.

Interestingly, class size is probably more of a problem on campus. It is not uncommon for prestige MBA programs like the Harvard Business School to have onsite classes of 75 or more students.

I think that global competition will limit class size of online courses, especially in prestige programs. If one online program treats students like cattle in order to milk cash cows, the students (or their companies) will change brands. Close communications with instructors will be one of the vary highest attributes sought after by many students and/or companies paying for training and education of employees. Even if classes are somewhat large, instructors will have more time to tend to students if those instructors do not face the heavy research and publication demands imposed upon onsite faculty by traditional universities.

My understanding is that UNext will limit class size to less than 30 students for online courses. I've not heard that class size is a problem in Duke's GEMBA program.

The University of Phoenix long ago recognized that online education was just not going to succeed with large classes. Accordingly, the University of Phoenix delivers online courses to very small classes. It's not one-to-one, but in many cases classes are under 25 students.

Of course the problem will be one of generating revenues to pay huge salaries of instructors who only teach a small number of students. This is one of the reasons why UNext and GEMBA are focusing on the corporate market where corporations will pay huge tuition fees for each employee taking a course. When individuals rather than corporations must pay the fees, the problem of class size may be more serious. One means of handling this is to build knowledge portals where frequently asked questions or anticipated questions have easy access pre-recorded answers. This frees up instructors to deal with issues not adequately covered in the knowledge portals.

One day it may be that students will have to pay extra for higher level communications with instructors. In asynchronous courses, "class size" may not be an issue since there are may be no "classes." By this I mean it may work much like the online ERNIE consultant of Ernst & Young. Ernie is a highly successful online consultant with pre-recorded answers to all sorts of accounting, tax, human resources, and IT questions. When ERNIE does not have the answers, human consultants kick in at much higher rates. See "Ernst & Young's Ernie: Face-to-Screen Consulting" at 

It may well be that online courses are jointly managed by teams of instructors that "kick in" with live communications at higher rates than answers from the course's knowledge portals.  The point is that we do not yet know what will be the optimal "business model" for the 21st Century in the "business" of education.

I repeat what I said at the beginning of this editorial.  HMOs and health clinics often deliver inferior medicine because there is no competition or very little competition in a geographic market.  EMOs  will not have such advantages of geographic monopoly.  Education, unlike heath care, is no longer bound by geography.  EMOs face exploding global competition to a point where only the best can thrive.  To date this is not the case with HMOs.

"Ernst & Young's Ernie: Face-to-Screen Consulting" by Bernd Hendricks and Neal M. Goldsmith at 

The Internet changes everything . . . even management consulting.

It doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter where the consulting professional has their office. The only thing of importance is your problem and the solution the consultant proposes. Strictly speaking, the Internet makes it possible that you will not communicate with a person but rather, with an enormous knowledge resource, not "face-to-face," but "face-to-screen."

We are talking about the first and so far the only Internet-based online service from a consulting firm. Ernst & Young has been offering this online service since the end of May. Its called Ernie.

In the ranks of the top-10 management consulting firms, Ernst & Young produces $350 million in annual revenue, second only to Andersen Consulting (at $550 million annual revenue). Today's Ernst & Young, LLP began as Ernst & Ernst in 1903, became Ernst and Whinney in 1979 (the Whinney consultancy actually started in the 1800's), eventually merging with Arthur Young in 1989 to become Ernst & Young.

It is the policy of Ernst & Young to bring their industry knowledge to bear in helping client's to envision the myriad opportunities that lie before them and to build the technological foundation needed to capitalize on those opportunities. The company has a wide array of exciting initiatives under way in all corners of the firm: "As always, our overarching objective is to identify new ways to leverage Ernst & Young vast knowledge and specialized industry experience to create real value for our clients."

In this regard, it is the current plan of Ernst & Young to increase market share among "smaller" entrepreneurial companies with up to $200 million in annual revenues. "The challenge in the entrepreneur market is that these companies are rapidly growing. They have problems changing daily and questions about choosing technology platforms, tax issues or building out organizations" noted Brian J. Baum, Director of Internet Service Delivery at Ernst & Young. "Ernie can answer these questions as a desktop companion. It helps entrepreneurs to make the day-to-day decisions," he said.

Search Engines 101 --- 
This website provides some broad categories for searching.  It also provides a tutorial on how search engines work and how to improve your searches.

How do search engines work?
Search engines help people find relevant information on the Internet. Major search engines have huge databases of web sites that surfers can search by typing in some text. Learn more about search engines and effective searching here.

Search engines send out spiders or robots, which follow links from web sites and index all pages they come across. Each search engine has its own formula for indexing pages; some index the whole site, while others index only the main page.

Search engines decide the amount of weight that will be placed on various factors that influence results. Some want link popularity to be the most important criterion, while others prefer meta tags. Search engines use a combination of factors to devise their formulas.

Directories - a whole different ballgame
Often confused with search engines, directories are completely different. Unlike search engines, directories use "human indexing;" people review and index links. Directories have rigid guidelines that sites must meet before being added to their index. Therefore, they have a smaller, but cleaner index.

Yahoo!, LookSmart, MSN, Go and others are directories. Factors that influence search engine rankings are irrelevant to directory rankings. Since people review sites, more attention is placed on the quality of a site: its functionality, content and design. Directories strive to categorize sites accurately and often correct categories suggested by a site's webmaster.
You can learn more about directories here.

Hybrid search engines: The new generation
Hybrid search engines combine a directory and a search engine to give their visitors the most relevant and complete results. The Top 10 search engines/directories today are hybrid. Yahoo!, for example, is a directory, which uses results from Google (a search engine) for its secondary results.

At the same time, Google uses Open Directory Project's directory to supplement its own search engine. Other search engines work the same way. Learn more about search engine partnerships here.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it
As someone trying to achieve higher rankings, it's your goal to learn more about influencing factors and how each engine uses them. After completing your research, you will have a better understanding of search engines and directories. You will also have a better understanding of what it takes to achieve a Top 20 ranking on major search engines.

This section offers detailed explanations of factors used by search engines and directories, as well as tips for their implementation.

An Overview

Search engines and directories


Search Engines 101

  Optimal Design
  Keywords: Titles, Meta tags and more
  The Link Popularity contest
  What search engines want
  Doorway Pages
  Spam, Frames, Mistakes
  Yelena's Optimization Checklist

  Featured Article
  Click holiday revenues into high gear


Web site submission

Site Submission Basics

  Yahoo!, ODP: Getting Listed
  Submitting to the Top search engines
  Using Submission Services
  Pay-per-click engines
  Monitoring your Web Site

Web site marketing

Marketing your site

  Free and low cost strategies
  Writing a Press Release
  Joi's Web Promotion Tips

ZDNet's Software Library rounded up the 10 best Internet search tools! Take your pick at 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

Novelist Predicts That the Internet Will Reshape Literature --- 

Jeanette Winterson is a British novelist well known for her 1985 debut, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, as well as for several novels, stories, and essays that have followed. Her latest novel,

Jayne Wexler Photography The Powerbook (Knopf, 2000), recounts the adventures and trysts of an e-mail writer as she creates stories, personalities, and lives for herself and people she meets in cyberspace.

Q. What role did technology play in the writing of The Powerbook?

A. Writers have to belong to the time in which they live -- not in a way that makes them biographers or documentarians, but artists who both comment and interpret what is going on around them. Too many writers are bowing out of the whole Internet age and not realizing that this is the biggest revolution of our lives since God knows when. I wanted to be part of it. It seemed to me that I could use the idea of the Net and of e-mail -- not in a gimmicky way, but to talk about some interesting issues around identity and where the boundary lines are between a fiction world, an imaginative world, and the world in which we usually live.

Q. Do writers avoid the subject of the Internet because they fear it will someday make their work seem outdated or gimmicky?

A. Maybe, but it's a silly worry, because the best work lasts long after any contemporary interest is extinct. We don't read Henry James because American society is still like that. It's what his work tells us about human nature. There are values that don't change. The work of a writer is always twofold: to live in his or her own time -- to comment on it, to interpret it -- but also to recognize that if you've got anything to say, it will outlast the contemporary interests and go on to become something larger. It's really about trusting your own work, and if you don't have that, you're always going to worry about seeming dated.

Q. How has the Internet changed literature?

A. It's not changing literature, because people aren't using it. It's not being engaged. It's simply seen as a format carrier. Publishers haven't really gotten their heads further than thinking about digitalizing texts and making e-books. The potentialities of it really aren't being used by the literary community. I think that's bound to change with younger writers, because they're switched on to it all, and it's real in their lives in a way that doesn't feel like technology. It's just something that's always been there. But at the moment, we're just at the beginning of that. I'd like to see some things that are more interactive and that use the medium with all its possibilities, rather than something that's just the digital version of what we've already got on the printed page.

Two articles on wireless technology in Syllabus, November 2000 --- 

"Wireless on Campus," pp. 18-23 --- 

Wireless networks are becoming the ubiquitous addition to the campus communications infrastructure. When is wireless the right choice? Jay Dominick takes us through the decision-making process

"Wireless Andrew:  Everywhere You Want to Be," pp. 24-35

Wireless technology powers new learning applications at Carnegie Mellon, thanks to the campus-wide Wireless Andrew network.

But then we have this word of caution:
We all want a wireless Web, but much has to be done before we realize bandwidth nirvana," says Stan Gibson. --- 

The UK Higher Education Archives Hub (painfully slow server for me).

InternetWeek Newsletter []  November 28, 2000

Can One Database Do It All?

New database technology promises to speed access to information and ease data management, but many IT managers say they're not ready to trade in their existing systems just yet.

Oracle plans to support multidimensional information--data records with a wide set of variables--in its Oracle 9i relational database due in mid-2001. The upgrade is intended to give organizations a long-promised single repository for storing structured and transactional data.

Oracle will also integrate personalization, online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining into Oracle 9i.

This approach contrasts with efforts by IBM and Microsoft, which have offered that functionality as separate components through their core DB2 and SQL Server databases for almost two years. The three vendors account for three-quarters of the database market, according to Dataquest.

While IT managers say Oracle's ambition to combine the multidimensional and relational data repositories would let them deploy e-business applications faster and simplify data management, they say it will take years to justify the change. That's because there's no compelling case to spend the time and money to entirely re-architect their data management platforms and strategy.

One place to begin is to contact the experts who are in charge of teaching SAP in some major universities. I have a listing of messages and contacts in this regard at 

I hope this helps!

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Konstantinos K.Kosmidis []  
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 9:06 AM 
Subject: HELP

My name is Kostis Kosmidis and I am currently studying information management at L.S.E. I find the SAP area very interesting and I am thinking to do my dissertation on a subject related to SAP, or on SAP. I do not know many things about SAP but I am willing to learn! Could you please propose me some topics for my dissertation about SAP? Are there any sites, from where I could download some working papers on SAP? Your opinion would help me a great deal!

Thank you very much in advance!!!


TEL: +44 7775 560107  - 

Dear Bob,

Now, when you register your copy of Adobe Photoshop software online, you get instant, unlimited, FREE access to Adobe Expert Center, a valuable new resource exclusively for registered Photoshop users.

Register your copy of Photoshop at  now to take immediate advantage of this valuable resource!

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As soon as you register, you'll be able to: *Use expert tips and step-by-step tutorials to get the most out of Photoshop and ImageReady 3.0. *Enjoy useful goodies for Photoshop and ImageReady, including customizable buttons, navigation bars, and other Web graphics. *Get easy access to all the latest critical information from customer support, as well as free downloads, training resources, and more.

We'll continually add content to this fantastic Web resource, but remember: It's available FREE only if you register your copy of Adobe Photoshop!

The Deal --- mergers, acquisitions, and the New Economy --- 

From ProNet on December 4, 2000 --- 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 28, 2000 (Pro2Net)  — In a move to help tax, accounting and financial professionals become tech-savvy, Intuit, a provider of financial software and Web-based services for consumers and small businesses, is a launching a customizable accounting portal.

The portal, IntuitAdvisor, is designed to help small to mid-size accounting and financial service firms create their own digital offices, said Intuit. By visiting, professionals can access services such as IntuitAdvisor WorkSpace Pro, a subscription-based service that features online workflow and document management capabilities; and Intuit Advisor Site Solutions, a subscription-based service that enables users to create and maintain a professional Web site.

"IntuitAdvisor helps accounting professionals transition from a paper, filing and faxing office system to an electronically efficient one that has the power to expand relationships with clients, increase revenue opportunities and more efficiently manage their time and businesses," said Steve Blundell, vice president of Intuit's Professional Accountants Channel., which is free to accounting professionals, and Intuit Advisor Site Solutions are expected to be available Dec. 4, 2000, the company said. Intuit Advisor Site Solutions will cost $19.95 per month, which includes domain name registration and Web hosting.

IntuitAdvisor WorkSpace Pro will be available by mid-December for a one-time activation fee of $95 and $19.95 a month thereafter.

The Intuit accounting vortal is at 

More News Topics

Financial Calculators
Products & Supplies

Tax & Accounting Info
Calendars & Events

Site Solutions
WorkSpace Pro
Pro Advisors Program
Market Your Practice

Professional Organizations  
CPE Courses


Bob Jensen's threads on portals and vortals is at 

FEI Express December 4, 2000 --- C:\TEMP\feiexpress47.htm 

Last week the final rules were published on the new auditor independence rules. You can get the full detailed rules at the SEC website. We published a brief summary in the last FEI Express at 

FAS 133 Software
FinancialCAD --- 

FinancialCAD products are changing the way that more than 2,400 organizations in over 60 countries work with financial instruments.

A powerful financial analytics add-in application for Microsoft Excel. Access over 550 analytical functions to value financial instruments, mark portfolios to market and manage risk. Try it now. Download

A comprehensive development toolkit (SDK) to build software applications and online services using state-of-the-art, industry standard financial analytics. Gain direct access to the fincad math library of over 550 functions. Try it now. Download

A secure, web-based FAS 133 Audit Support solution for your business. Simply load in your transaction details, define your hedges and get the reports you need for FAS 133 compliance. Try it at no cost or obligation. Get an Account. Login.

Put your financial instrument business on the web with Open Web Services. Empower your development team with a powerful programming interface to and control how you use the comprehensive financial instrument management services available for derivative, OTC and Exchange Instruments.

With Open Web Services, you gain programmatic access to hundreds of financial business objects to develop scalable, enterprise capable applications using XML, Visual Basic, C++ or C#. Build applications requiring comprehensive financial instrument coverage, user-to-enterprise portfolio mark-to-market, risk aggregation, transaction capture, FAS 133 audit support and cross currency support.

Even use our enterprise class user administration and security tools to distribute the task of assigning usernames and passwords. Your end-users require only a web browser, username and password. Test drive it today at no cost or obligation.

Complying with FAS 133 Accounting Solutions in Finance KIT --- 

During the past year Trema has worked with clients, partners and consulting firms to ensure that all Finance KIT users will be FAS 133 compliant by Summer 2000, when the new U.S. accounting standards come into effect. In Finance Line 3/99, Ms. Mona Henriksson, Director of Trema (EMEA), addressed the widespread implications the FAS 133 accounting procedures will have on the financial industry (see ‘Living Up to FAS 133’ in Finance Line 3/99). Now, in this issue, Ms. Marjon van den Broek, Vice President, Knowledge Center – Trema (Americas), addresses specific FAS 133 requirements and their corresponding functionality in Finance KIT. provides you with access to on-line tools that allow you to document your hedging strategy, measure the effectiveness of your hedging transactions, and support the application of hedge accounting in accordance with FAS 133, as amended. --- 

These on-line tools include the following four hedge effectiveness tests:

You can read about other FAS 133 software alternatives at 

Some articles on FAS 133 hedge effectiveness testing:,1864,3%7C15%7CAD%7C880,00.html 

eWEEK Labs sheds some light on PKI, the thorny and frequently misunderstood technology that many companies know they need to implement but often aren't sure why --- 

New Millennium Matchmaking 
Son-in-Law Wanted: Geeks Apply Matrimonial websites are all the rage in India, where arranged marriages are part of the culture. Indian parents often want their daughters to marry rich tech professionals in the United States. Swaroopa Iyengar reports from San Francisco; Manu Joseph reports from Mumbai, India ---,1284,40429,00.html 

From Syllabus News on December 6, 2000

Flexible Displays for Electronic Ink

Last week a flexible display using electronic ink was unveiled in Cambridge, Mass., advancing the technology needed to create a changeable display screen that is portable, lightweight and easy to read as paper. Some technologists have envisioned that this technology could lead to something like a continually updated newspaper that displays information carried over the Internet.

About the stiffness and thickness of a mousepad, the proto- type was created as part of a joint project between E Ink, which was founded by physicists from the Media Laboratory at MIT, and Lucent Technologies, which has created flexible plastic circuits. The core technology consists of an ink that responds to electric charges, enabling words or images to be displayed on a relatively thin screen without the need for a conventional cathode-ray tube monitor or liquid crystal dis- play screen.

For more information, visit

American Studies Recommendations (American History) --- 

The James Fenimore Cooper Society (Literature, American History) --- 

InvestorWords --- 
From InvestorGuide ---

For other finance and accounting glossaries go to 

The following item from the Scout Report on November 28 may be of interest to you. It deals with the clash between alumni and faculty at the University of Chicago regarding core curriculum. The arguments really extend to issues of a "core curriculum approach to undergraduate education ."

In Search of the Real University of Chicago 

This unusual Website is polemical, topical, and philosophical. It offers a broad spectrum of information relevant to the ongoing debate over changes in the well-regarded core curriculum approach to undergraduate education practiced at the University of Chicago from the mid-1930s to the present. The controversy has raged for the last four years as changes have been made, including a dilution of the core curriculum and a reduction in undergraduate teaching by tenured faculty, in order to accommodate the perceived financial needs of the university. The Website, created and maintained by alumni of the University of Chicago who oppose the changes, offers committee reports, administrative pronouncements, press coverage, and statements by students and faculty on the issues as well as an extensive, linked biography of sources on liberal education and the history of the Chicago Idea, generally considered the brainchild of Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University in the 1930s. Given both the prominence of the University of Chicago's undergraduate studies program nationally and the fact that the University's issues are representative of the changes facing many prestigious, private colleges and universities, this Website resonates far beyond the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.


We were pleased to see that you reference one of our new books, "147 Tips for Teaching Online Groups," on your site. However, you have credited the Overland Park Atwood Publishing instead of the Madison Wisconsin Atwood Publishing. The other one publishes conference proceedings and such. We are not associated. We thought you would like to change it in case your readers would like to order it. (If you would like to make it a link, we would be delighted.

Thank you for your attention.

Linda Babler Atwood Publishing PO Box 3185 Madison, WI 53704 888/242-7101 (toll-free) 608/242-7101 608/242-7102 (fax) 

This must be a relatively new CPA Examination review product --- 

Mexico: From Empire to Revolution (History) --- 

Van Gogh Light Exhibition (Art) 

Computer Shopper's annual roundup of the year's best products and services is a here and it's a must-read for any savvy shopper! Our expert editors have selected the finest desktops & notebooks, mobile products, software, games and more.

Secret plan to spy on all British phone calls ---,6903,406191,00.html 

Politicians line up against Euro email snooping laws --- 

"Joys and Sorrows of the Mac OS X," by Leander Kahney ---,1282,40568,00.html 

The biggest disappointment was Mac OS X's Classic Environment -- the part of the operating system that runs traditional Macintosh applications. The Classic Environment was painfully slow and unstable. After crashing a couple of times, I gave it up.

Serengeti National Park --- --- (Travel in Africa) 

Pictorial history of Wales 
Powys Digital History Project --- 

World War I History --- 

From Yahoo on December 4, 2000

BBC Online - Routes of English --- 

Online companion to the BBC radio show of the same name, the site offers an intriguing collection of sound bytes on the comings and goings of our ever-morphing mother tongue. Topics include the relationship of accent to social class, the evolution of Estuary English (a widely adapted non-localized British accent), and the age and origin of some of our favorite swear words. Relish John Betjeman's once risque recitation, Pass the fish knives, or a Derry teenager reading her poem, Up the Town on Me Own in a Northern Irish brogue that's music to our ears.

Each of the big-three retailers -- Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target -- has full Web storefronts for the first time this holiday season, and each is banking on big sales --- 

CyberU offers thousands of online classes that will help expand their minds and further their careers. Warm their cyber-stockings by investing in their future --- 

Freebies Online (They're not all free, but you can get nice price discounts) --- 

Where to dine for Free!

Free Jewelry and Software for shipping and handling only!

Free Clothing for the whole family from Reebok, Nautica, Champion, Blues Clues, Sesame Street, Barbie Dolls and more!

Jeanne Meister, president of Corporate University Xchange(CUX), who I interviewed in the July/August 2000 issue of The Technology Source ( ) on the topic of corporate universities, asked me to mention the first two CUX events of 2001. She has offered a registration discount to TS readers.

The first conference is in San Francisco February 4-7 titled "Designing a Virtual University: Strategies for Enterprise-wide e-Learning." The second will be held in Las Vegas, May 5-9 and is titled "Corporate Universities 2001: Benchmarks for Learning in the Digital Economy." Descriptions of the San Francisco and Las Vegas programs may be found at  and respectively .

I was impressed during my interview with Jeanne that there are currently more than 1,600 organizations titled "corporate universities," "corporate colleges," or "institutes for learning." She expects this number to rise to more than 2,000 in the next few years, and forecasts that by the year 2010 or so, corporate universities will outnumber traditional universities. Both conferences feature today's most successful corporate sector learning innovators addressing the issues that e-learners and those organizations making the transition to e-learning are confronting and how we can use this information to design online learning courses and programs.

Jeanne offered the discount because she wants to influence the mix of people at the conferences (corporate and traditional educator). If you are interested in attending either conference, forward this email note to the CUX’s registrar, Christine Schmidt (, telling her which conference you want to attend. Christine will offer you the discount on registration.


James L. Morrison 
 Professor of Education CB 3500 Peabody Hall 
Editor, The Technology Source UNC-Chapel Hill  
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 
Editor Emeritus, On the Horizon Phone: 919 962-2517  Fax: 919 962-1693

Distributed Network General Ledger Software and Services --- 

Welcome is web-based accounting for small business. It allows you to work more closely with your accounting professional. No More Disk Swapping! No More Software Upgrades to Buy and Install! No More Time Consuming Backups to Perform! TRY IT FREE FOR 30 DAYS! eLedger's core development team has more than 50 years of combined experience in accounting software design and development. We listened to what you were saying, and created an application for you.

eLedger lets you:

Five of my ACCT 5342 students wrote a tutorial on how to set up and use a NetLedger online general ledger system. You can download this tutorial.   Although they claimed it was sometimes slow, the bottom line conclusion seems to be that NetLedger is a good general ledger product.  They make some comparisons of NetLedger with QuickBooks and Peachtree. 

I have also placed the DOC version up on another server:

It is worrisome to give up possession of your files to a remote site just as it used to be worrisome to Iowa farmers to deposit their money in a bank. I doubt that anyone other than the Chairman of Oracle, Larry Ellison, could have pulled off NetLedger. With his massive wealth and the close ties of NetLedger to Oracle, there are some huge advantages of using NetLedger vis-a-vis using software that is installed on your local computer system. The main advantage is that you do not have to pay for highly specialized technicians to install the system, maintain the system, and recover the system if your system crashes. 

It is pretty safe to assume that NetLedger is not going to fail given the massive financial backing, the tremendous technical expertise, and the state-of-the art security underlying the NetLedger system.  And since transactions can be processed from virtually any computer and any point in the world, there is little risk of business interuptions vis-a-vis the risk that your onsite accounting system crashes.

NetLedger is not the answer for large companies. However, for small and medium sized companies, I see some tremendous advantages of NetLedger in terms of reducing costs and improving security. NetLedger still needs some improvements, but I predict that it will become a major player in the world of general ledger software. There are so many advantages to distributed computing that I predict established general ledger systems like QuickBooks and Peachtree will soon be offering remote processing services similar to NetLedger.  In fact, QuickBooks has already moved in this direction --- 

Intuit is making its QuickBooks accounting software available online as a business service. QuickBooks for the Web is designed for "the emerging segment of entrepreneurs who want remote Internet access to simple and easy accounting" and is claimed to be "the easiest accounting software on the Web."

QuickBooks for the Web, Basic Edition is available immediately for $14.95 per month, per company, for up to 20 users from Intuit hosts the software and stores the data, which can then be accessed from any PC with a suitable Internet connection and browser. The price includes premium technical support and 50 faxes per month for charter users. A 30-day free trial is available for a limited time.

Richard Campbell also has a new tutorial and short movie on Netledger.  I got Richard's NetLedger audio to play on my computer, but I did not have any success with the video. Are any of the rest of you having the same problem? Downloading the latest Flash player did not seem to help. You can download this latest player from  
The error messager reads "Cannot find the 'vids:tscc' Compressor."
If you have not tried to download Richard's video, you can do so from 
I later got the movie to run after following Ken Merwin's instructions for downloading tscc.exe: fronm 

For educators, not having to pay for a NetLedger site license is a terrific advantage. The NetLedger website is at

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Richard J. Campbell [mailto:campbell@RIO.EDU]  
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 1:36 PM 
Subject: Netledger movie

On my gallery page I have a downloadable movie on how to make a journal entry in the NetLedger environment. I also have a Flash-y demo created using Macromedia Flash.

See www.VirtualPublishing.NET/gallery.htm 

Richard J. Campbell www.VitualPublishing.NET  

I was able to play the netledger video from Richard's site with no problems, once you have the codec from TechSmith. I know it was brought up before, but Camtasia is a very useful programs for creating such screen capture videos.

James P. Borden [james.borden@VILLANOVA.EDU

The Camtasia website is at 

The Business Eccountant published by follows. We have had positive written feedback from 140 universities and colleges, have dropped the subscription fee and encourage remaining colleges to set up a library web-link to our NEW WEBSITE  . This should simplify distribution to students. Please advise if colleagues want on this distribution list, or e-mail  to be immediately taken off the list.

THE BUSINESS ECCOUNTANT World Business News for Students from 37’th Ed. News to December 10’th, 2000. Editor: P. A. Prendergast, B. Comm., M. Comm., FCMA, Athlone Inst. Of Technology PROFESSORS & LECTURERS CAN RECEIVE THIS E-MAIL WEEKLY, CONTACT t

December 3rd edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter --- 

1. Netscape 6.0 Not Quite Ready 
2. VeriSign Proposes Open XML Key Management System 
3. Using XML Schemas, A Two-Part Intro 
4. Lernout & Hauspie files for bankruptcy protection 
6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day!

December 10th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter 

1. XBRL Showing Signs of Maturity 
2. EKEEPER.COM Releases eKXBRL 1.0 Software 
3. EDGAR Online Creates Repository for Financial Statements Tagged in XBRL 
4. XML transport spec may be next for ebXML 
5. Volcker referees the fight over global accounting standards 
6. New Technology Would Allow Software Upgrades to Phones, PDA's 
7. Technical Difficulties? CIO Magazine Can Help You Cope 
8. Opera 5.0 is now Free and XML Enabled 
9. Ground Looping: How Improper Grounding can Fry your Computers 
10. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day!

Picture these bad drivers in Atlanta --- 

Russian Sub News Update Dec 5, 2000

The Russian News Agency reported today that the Russian Navy had made another successful entry into the sunken nuclear submarine Kursk. Divers recovered eight more bodies, three more notes, and seventeen Florida absentee ballots.

Bumper Stickers:

An Irishman is not drunk so long as he can hold on to one blade of grass and not fall off the earth.

YOU!!! Out of the gene pool

Learn from your parent's mistakes - use birth control

Mafia staff car.

My other wife is beautiful.

My wife's other car is a broom.

Do Not Wash - this vehicle is undergoing a scientific dirt test.

Vegetarian: Indian word for lousy hunter

Honk if parts fall off!

My child was inmate of the month at the county jail

Sometimes I wish life had subtitles

If money could talk, it would say goodbye.

Archeologists will date any old thing

My wild oats turned into shredded wheat.

I wish the buck stopped here.  I could use one.

I don't ever remember being absentminded.

When at last I got my head together, my body fell apart.

Procrastinator's Creed --- 

And that's the way it was on December 11, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


The Intuit accounting vortal is at 


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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 Hline.jpg (568 bytes)


December 1, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

We need a spirit of community, a sense that we are all in this together.
If we have no sense of community, the American dream will wither.

President Bill Clinton

Airline agent to waiting passengers:  Boarding first will be the disgruntled, followed by the hopelessly late and, finally, the just plain infuriated.
Charles Almon, The Wall Street Journal

Voting officials to awaiting voters:  Voting first will be the disgruntled, followed by the hopelessly confused and, finally, the just plain infuriated.

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.
That's easy for us say in the land where a falling snow flake is a truly rare event.
The above quotation is a Zen Proverb

A moment of silent prayer for Cheryl Hein, Chair of the Department of Accounting and Law, Texas A&M at Corpus Christi.  Dr. Hein will be greatly missed for her substantial contributions to the field of international accounting.

Useful Site of the Week
A huge dictionary project (Great for technology terms.)
The DICT Development Group --- 

Bob Jensen's technology glossary and links to other glossaries are available at 

Question:  Why are universities outsourcing course development to corporations.  Why is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill outsourcing development of its online MBA courses to Quisic?

Answer:  You can learn more about this by downloading the presentation and audio files of Chuck Hickman from 

Wow Program of the Week

From Syllabus News, Resources and Trends on November 28, 2000

Electronic Dorm Launched

Student entrepreneurs at the University of Maryland will receive a "high tech boost" tomorrow at 11 a.m. when the university launches its electronic dorm designed and equipped by Avaya, formerly the Enterprise Networks Group of Lucent Technologies. The eDorm is designed to give students participating in the university's Hinman Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities (CEOs) Program easy access to the communications technologies they'll need to build their own businesses. From dorm rooms in Garrett Hall, the student CEOs will now have access to eBusiness communications tools including desktop video conferencing, multimedia messaging, high-speed data connections, voice over the Internet, and wireless roaming technology.

Using Avaya technology, the students' laptops become multimedia communications devices that enable them to make and receive calls and hold conferences via their laptops from any place they can connect to the Internet. Combined with Avaya's wireless local area network, students can hold conference calls from anywhere.

The Hinman CEOs Program is a unique, living/learning program at the University of Maryland offered to undergraduate students who have demonstrated an interest and potential strength in entrepreneurial ventures.

The program is co-sponsored by the Engineering Research Center of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. The program provides a team-based, technology driven, incubator-like environment in a technologically advanced residence hall. Currently, the eDorm houses 21 of the 60 Hinman CEOs. The university plans to increase capacity in the future. As part of its agreement with University of Maryland, Avaya also equipped three conference rooms, an office and a computer lab in Garrett Hall with its eBusiness solutions.

Adding Aromatic and Tactile Features to Your PC

I subscribe to a magazine called Yahoo Internet Life.  I don't think the articles are available online.  The December 2000 edition has six interesting articles about "Five Senses of the Web" (Sight by Julian Dibbell, Sound by John Alderman, Smell by Ben Greenman, Touch by Lisa Margonellin and Taste by Steve Silberman).


Advances include live interactive television of high quality, artificial vision for the blind, Xerox PARC's advances in embedding microscopic beads in a sheet of plastic that will print and erase images repeatedly based upon electronic impulses, table cloths and clothing that ripple in waves of color, head mounted viewers that take the place of bulky monitors, head viewers that provide 360 degree vision, head viewers that use your eye focus for a "mouse" pointer, MP4 video that compress online video by over 90%, wireless liveCams, facial pattern recognition devices that will identify persons from still pictures, and advertising-skipping video (I'm not certain this is a good thing from the standpoint of creative programming and funding).

EMAGIN has announced that it is building thumbnail-size, high-definition OLED displays into lightweight, head-mounted viewers. eMagin's displays may lend themselves not to virtual reality but to something called augmented reality, the overlay of virtual imagery onto real space; picture pilots eyeing phantom cockpit readings that hover in the corner of their vision, or surgeons consulting complex diagnostic images without lifting their eyes from the operating table. These can all be implemented with semitransparent visor displays lit up by mini OLED screens.

RSD maker MICROVISION has plans to build its tiny projectors into cell phones and PDAs, allowing you to point your gadget at your eyes and conjure up a 21-inch virtual screen floating at arm's length in front of you. Microvision's Matt Nichols says, "What we'd like to do is take a hundred percent of the Internet's capabilities and deliver it wirelessly anywhere you need it."

Suggested links include the following:


Multi-dimensional data representation using sound, cataloged sounds to overcome dependence upon the English language on the web, instant language translators, musicians who jam online from all parts of the globe, and archives of captured sounds in history, and chat rooms in audio.

The Web offers us a connection to all of these novel sounds, but seeking them out proves just how difficult it can be to navigate such an immense universe. and are stretched to breaking as categories are being added. 

As our computer screens continue to overload our eyes with ever-denser walls of visual input, our ears offer broad new avenues through which to communicate. In a Japanese city, subway travelers hear a specific tune at each stop, alerting them in a way that becomes natural and eventually subconscious. Similar auditory cues, dubbed "earcons," may soon find their way onto the Web and into mobile computers and telephones.

The newly released voice plug-in is a step that allows the user to hear written instant messages voiced in one of six different languages.

With backing from Sony and others, GIG.COM is hatching big plans to create "Jukebox in the Sky"--its version of the idea of total access to all music all the time.

Suggested links include the following:


There will be many types of scent available, including customized scents that identify you and only you.  There will be all sorts of education and training scents on the web, including scents of chemicals, medicines, engine malfunction smells, etc.  Perhaps it will be possible to smell your Firestone tire getting abnormally hot.  Physicians will be able to detect disease in remote sites based upon smells from the patient.

Since DigiScents made its brave foray into synthetic smell in March, virtual-reality engineers, Web pundits, and other interested parties have been watching, waiting to see if the world is ready for a Net that smells. At the heart of DigiScents' plans is the iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer, expected to be on the market early next year. It can best be described with the somewhat oxymoronic phrase "smell speaker."

Professors David Larel and Doron Lancet announced—in a joint statement with Tel-Aviv start-up Senselt—that though they still consider their work a budding technology, they hope to be spraying odors out of your computer via the Internet by early next year.

TriSenx, in Savannah, Georgia is at the vanguard of digital taste delivery, having devised a mechanism for remotely designing synthetic flavors and squirting them onto small wafers. In addition to being one of the leaders in smell technology, TriSenx is also at the vanguard in digital smell delivery.

Suggested links include the following:


Logitech introduced the iFeel MouseMan that vibrates over hotlinks on web pages.  Books will give you right brain experiences as you feel the setting and well as read the text describing the setting.  Medical students will practice on a Laparoscopic Interface rather than real cadavers.  Surgeons may in fact be able to perform surgeries from long distances.  Perhaps your barber can even give you a haircut while you are in your hotel room in some distant city.  Touch will be able to improve the web experience of hearing and sight impaired persons.  And you will be able to wear a safe-sex rubber suit.  (That old idea of a safe-sex condom large enough to contain your entire body is not so far fetched.)

"We have finally solved the chicken-and-the-egg problem," says Dr. Louis Rosenbert, the CEO of Immersion Corporation in San Jose, California. Immersion's touch-Sense software turns the Web into the digital equivalent of the bottom of a boat: Textures attach themselves like a barnacle to the standard elements of existing pages.

You can purchase from Sensable Technologies the company's FreeForm software and a Phantom 3-D modeling "mouse". With  your hand on the Phantom, you can explore something as mundane as a chocolate bar as though it is a moonscape. You're able to feel things you'd never imagine from merely looking, and you can examine them in ways we've barely dreamed of.

 Suggested links include the following:


A startup company called Trisenx aims to taste-enable websites.  You will be able to take nibbles out of pictures of your favorite foods.  The company breaks down the tastes of foods into essential components.  These components, in theory, can be served up from a host computer to a client machines.  I pointed to a strawberry, but alas all I can smell is that familiar whatever-it-is that died somewhere beneath the rubble in my office.  The Trisenx home page is at 


"Trisenx Receives Patent on Technology that Renders Fragrances and Flavors via the Internet"

"Trisenx and Arcade Form Strategic Alliance to Bring the Internet to its Senses"

"Trisenx has Patent allowed on First Machine to Render Smell and Taste Simulations Over the Internet"

"Scent and Taste are Finally part of the Internet, Revolutionizing online shopping" Video news release.

There may be trouble in the future if your dog gets at a smell/taste enabled computer.

Suggested links include the following:

For other websites on the five senses, go to 

Artificial Vision for the Blind
Flash Forward
Iscan Incorporated
Sound Voice Plug-In
Zoom PS-O2 Palmtop Studio
Live Jam
Rocket Network
Brain Opera
The Dakota Language Homepage
Flash Forward
Wynd Communications
Smell: Flash Forward
Flash Forward
Sensory Computing Incorporated
The Ark of Taste and Slow Food Praesidia
Immersion Corp.
Sensable Technologies
Flash Forward
The NanoManipulator

What is certain is that networked simulations are going to become closer and closer to reality.  There will be enormous benefits to handicapped persons, especially persons handicapped in one of the senses (such as sight or hearing) who are keen in terms of the other senses.  

There will be enormous advances in the realms that skeptics always said would never be possible (e.g., networked surgeries).  Increasingly, researchers will make use of multiple senses (especially graphics mixed with audio)  to depict multivariate data in more than three dimensions.  See the "An XML father maps the Web in 3D" linked below.

In the past, ideal learning entailed some type of optimal mix between experience and education.  Increasingly, virtual experience will reduce the need for real-world experience, although I doubt that anyone thinks it will totally overtake the real world.  A good example is the use of networked odors to train doctors, nurses, firefighters, mechanics, etc. in diagnosis tasks will have tremendous benefits, especially in situations such as chemical fires where real-world opportunities are rare events.  

In the 21st Century, persons who enjoy virtual sex in a rubber suit more than the real thing will most likely still be viewed as kinky.  Of course I make such a prediction without ever having experienced virtual sex in a rubber suit.  There may be something in this to relieve boredom in nursing homes.  My instructions to my family, when it comes time to put me away, is choose a nursing home equipped with high tech rubber suits.  My hunch is that the high-tech rubber suits will serve at least two nursing home purposes --- now that's efficient. --- the best online shopping for educational materials (Jensen's opinion)  ---

But the site is weak on accounting educational materials --- sigh.  Some days I feel like General Halftrack. (Beetle Bailey's forgotten and insignificant commanding officer.)

For technology products, I like the buying guide at 

The Best Online Shopping Sites of 2000 
From the cover article in Yahoo Internet Life Bonus Holiday Issue Winter 2000, pp. 68-77.

Best Book Site: Powell's Books 

Best Food Site: 

Best Sporting Goods Sites: Fogdog Sports 

Best Apparel Site: Nordstrom 

Best Music Site: 

Best Toy Site: ETOYS 

Best Home Improvement Site: 

Best Home Furnishings Site: 

Best Electronics Site: 

Best Movie-Rental Site: 


The Best Online Buying Services of 2000 
From "Most Incredibly Useful Buying Services," Yahoo Internet Life Bonus Holiday Issue Winter 2000, pp. 80-83.

Merchant Ratings:

Price-Comparison Tool:

Coupon Site:

Personal Shopper:

Product Reviews/Information:

Payment Services:


Escrow services:

Consumer Complaint Sites:


"The Best Way to ..."
On November 27, 2000, The Wall Street Journal has a special Internet supplement called "The Best Way to ...". This supplement covers many categories, including the best way to take classes, find a college, translate documents, trade stocks, etc. It even has a section on how to find the best date (not recommended for married folks).

Museum of Useful Things - celebrating (and selling) products that make life easier. --- 

InformationWeek's [] on November 27, 2000 --- 

While Webvan delivers, minds the store.

The startup is taking a retro approach to Internet-age grocery shopping: You order online, and somebody will bag it but--gasp!-- you have to pick it up yourself. How quaint! No branded delivery trucks, no warehouses the size of football fields, no complex logistics procedures, but actual stores and life-size shopping carts, used the same way your mother always did.

GroceryStreet, which launched two weeks ago, exists only as an online window for supermarkets reaching out to customers. Employees pick the items and bag them. There's a $35 minimum order, and the $5 service fee is waived for total purchases over $75.

President and founder Francie Black insists that "I am not anti- delivery" and wishes Webvan success. But, she says, "The economics for them are completely different than the economics required to make GroceryStreet profitable. They've got to be delivering to your house and everybody else on your street."

The company, running on an initial financing round of $1 million, generates revenue from monthly subscription fees of a few thousand dollars charged to retailers based on total items listed and the number of stores.

Also, because GroceryStreet doesn't stock merchandise, it can offer more than 18,000 items to users, as opposed to the limited number the now-defunct Priceline WebHouse carried.

The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) website has a new student section (I think faculty can also visit the site, but trying to pass the quizzes may be embarrassing) --- 

The International Accounting Standards Committee is aware that its work is of great interest to students, as is shown by the many student enquiries it receives. As IASC's resources do not allow it to respond individually to these enquiries, we have dedicated a section of our Website to reflect students' interests and respond to some of the more commonly asked questions.

There is a technical page to point you towards other areas of IASC's website that you will find most useful and a brief guide to IASC Publications. There is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which address many of the issues that we know are of interest to students. Finally, there is a quiz which may help to liven-up those all-nighters!

I encourage the FASB and SEC to follow suit.


The final SEC rules on auditor independence were posted on the Commission's web site a couple of days ago: 

They make for very interesting reading. Any one teaching an auditing class or just interested in current professional matters should put this on his or her required reading list.

Another recent item posted by the SEC is a speech by Lynn Turner at the Ohio State University Accounting Hall of Fame Conference a few weeks ago. It can be found at: 

Denny Beresford

I like the honesty and integrity in a recent paper appearing in the Journal of Business Education, Volume 1, Fall 2000, 33-38.  It is entitled "Student and Faculty Assessment of the Virtual MBA:  A Case Study,"  by Neil Terry, James Owens, and Anne Macy.  JABE editions are not available online.  However, you can read more about JABE and the Academy of Business Education at 

The article points out how badly many students want online MBA programs and how difficult it is to deliver a program that receives high evaluations.  

The online degree program is from Texas A&M University (WT) in the Texas Panhandle.  Student evaluations of the program were quite low (1.92 on a five-point scale where 5.00 is the highest possible rating) but the perceived need of the program is quite high (3.30 mean outcome).  Over 92% of the students urged continuation of the program in spite of unhappiness over its quality to date.  In another survey, eight out of twelve faculty delivering the courses online "feel the quality of his/her virtual course is inferior to the quality of the equivalent campus course."  However, ten of these faculty stress that they "will significantly improve the quality of the virtual course the next time it is taught via the Internet format."

A major complaint of the faculty is "the time required to organize, design, and implement a virtual course."  

This study is consistent with the many other startup online education and training programs.  The major problem is that online teaching is more difficult and stressful than onsite teaching.  A great deal of money and time must be spent in developing learning materials and course delivery has a steep learning curve for instructors as well as students.

A portion of the conclusion of the study is quoted below:

The results of this MBA case study present conflicted views about online instruction. Both the critics who worry about quality and the advocates who contend students want online courses appear to be correct based upon this case study.  While a majority of students acknowledge the benefits of Internet instruction, they believe that the online instruction is inferior to the traditional classroom.  A significant number of students are not satisfied with the Internet program and none of the students want an entirely virtual program.  However, most students want online instruction to continue and plan on enrolling in one or more future courses.  Faculty members recognize the flexibility advantage of Internet-based instruction but express concerns over the time-intensive nature of the instruction mode and the impact of student course evaluations on promotion and tenure.

The conclusions of this article are in line with my Advice to New Faculty at 

You can read more about assessment of virtual courses in the "assessment" category at 

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

The New York Times had an article (I believe it was the Sunday, November 19, edition, that addressed the perception among recruiters of online MBA programs. The jist of it was that there are many mediocre programs, but a few very good ones. The students are enthusiastic about the benefits they provide, but the business community (i.e. the ones who the students hope will hire them) are still skeptical.


Reply from Eckman, Mark S, CFCTR [

Reading the comments on motivation reminded me of a quote from Bernard Baruch that tells me a lot about motivation.

"During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think."

While character development and critical thinking may not be the most important items considered in development of curriculum or materials for the classroom, they can be brought into many accounting discussions in terms of ethical questions, creativity in application or simple 'what if' scenarios. People have many motivations. Sometimes you can motivate people, sometimes you can't. Sometimes motivations rise by themselves.

Thinking back to undergraduate times, I still remember the extreme grading scale for Accounting 101 from 1974. It started with 97-100 as an A and allowed 89 as the lowest passing grade. The explanation was that this was the standard the profession expected in practice. I also remember 60% of the class leaving when that scale was placed on the board! They had a different set of motivations.
Bernard Baruch

Bob Jensen's reply to a message from Craig Shoemaker 

Hi Craig,

You have a lot in common with John Parnell. John Parnell (Head of the Department of Marketing & Management at Texas A&M) opened my eyes to the significant thrust his institution is making in distance education in Mexico as well as parts of Texas. After two semesters, this program looks like a rising star.

Dr. Parnell was my "Wow Professor of the Week" on September 26, 2000 at 
You can read more about his program at the above website.

Congratulations on making this thing work. 

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. 

-----Original Message----- 
From: docshoe1 [
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2000 11:25 AM 
To: Subject: Education -- Online

HI Bob,

I read with interest your note regarding online education. I just concluded teaching my first one. It was a MBA capstone course -- Buisness Planning Seminar. I had 16 students spread throughout the USA and Mexio. The course requirement was to write and present, online, a business plan consisting of a extensive marketing plan, operations plan and financial plan. Without knowing each other, the students formed teams of 4. The student commitment required 15-20 hours per week.

I held weekly conference calls with each team, extensively used chat rooms for online discussion and e-mailed some team nearly every day. The requirement of my time was at least twice that if I would have had one 3 1/2 hour class each week.

The written plans and the online presentations were quite thorough and excellent. The outcome was, in many ways, better due to the extensive and varied communications media used. My student evaluations were as high as when I have done the course "live" in class. The "upfront" work to prepare the course was extensive.


Craig Shoemaker, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor 
St. Ambrose University 
Davenport, Iowa

News From Macromedia

IT'S HERE! Upgrade to the NEW Dreamweaver 4 / Fireworks 4 Studio TODAY! To purchase and download NOW, visit 

"Sony Shows Humanoid Robot," Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2000 --- 

Sony Corp.'s first humanoid robot has a long way to go before it can wash the dishes, but it kicks a mean soccer ball and does the "Para Para," Japan's latest dance craze.
     The 20 -inch-tall, 10 pound SDR-3X, or "Sony dream robot," shown to reporters Tuesday is still a prototype. Sony officials wouldn't discuss retail pricing but said just one of the prototypes costs as much as a car.
     The silvery machine shares its basic parts and software with Sony's four-legged Aibo robot dog, which has sold more than 45,000 in a year. An improved Aibo went on sale last week for $1,500.
     On Monday, automaker Honda Motor Co. showed an experimental robot of its own -the 4 foot, 95 -pound humanoid Asimo, which performs simple dance steps, walks and waves.
     Honda said it was studying ways to give its robot voice-recognition capability and the ability to identify faces. It hopes to start selling it in a couple of years, with the robot's first job probably in a Honda car showroom.

With references to advances in networked "sight" experiences, see "An XML father maps the Web in 3D" at 

Using the continent of Antarctica as a visual reference, Bray's company, Systems, has constructed a three-dimensional map of the World Wide Web. Built with the company's Visual Net software, the site presents users with a 3-D landscape; the relationships between network elements are represented geographically. Users hover above, moving like a low-flying helicopter through neighborhoods of Websites. The experience has been described as "virtual-reality-like," but the interface feels more like a sophisticated computer game. Users are able to see the sites in detail without downloading any Webpages.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE home page Front Page Top 10 graphics boards Recover data with XML and Reflection's products pages Reviews & in-depth info at E-BusinessWorld TechInformer Questions about computers? Let's editors help you Subscribe to's free daily newsletters Search in 12 languages

News Radio Fusion audio primers Computerworld Minute

Bray was a keynote speaker at last week's XML DevCon Fall 2000.'s launch was the buzz of the conference, which was overshadowed by the massive Comdex show, but still notable. Bray, who first mapped the Web in 1995, previewed the site in a keynote address at the XTech 2000 Conference earlier this year.

The next stage of super computing --- 

"There are 100 million machines hooked to the Internet, all of them doing nothing a lot of the time," said James Gannon, chief technology officer of Parabon Computation, one of several first-time exhibitors in Dallas this month at supercomputing's biggest trade show. "This kind of inefficiency just can't exist in a free-market economy."

The potential of such Internet-based supercomputing, also known as grid computing, has been highlighted by the SETI@Home project (for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), a nonprofit effort that has signed up two million computer owners to help crunch data obtained by radio telescopes scanning the skies for signs of life. The program runs as a screen saver when the computers are otherwise idle. Averaging more than 12 trillion calculations a day, SETI has become one of the planet's busiest supercomputing efforts.

At the Dallas show, the start-ups advertising their efforts to build a grid computing business included companies like Applied MetaComputing, based in Charlottesville, Va., Entropia, based in San Diego, and KnowledgePort Alliance of Champaign, Ill.

And there was Mr. Gannon's company, Parabon, based in Fairfax, Va., which said in September that it had signed up so many computer owners in just 80 days that it could provide clients with enough computing power to rank among the top 100 supercomputers in the world.

The grid computing companies have, so far, been able to sign up thousands of computer owners simply by offering token payments, opportunities to be in lotteries or contributions to charity. But how many traditional supercomputing challenges will fit such a model is very much in doubt.

A message from a former student:

Dr. Jensen, I stumbled across this article and thought you may be interested in reading it if you hadn't seen it. Hope things are going well for you.

Ben Barnes

I thank Ben for this lead.  This is one of the most important summaries of both Professor Lev's life and his work on accounting for intangibles.  What is particularly important in this interview is the summary of why insiders have a vested interest in not booking intangible assets.

An interview with Baruch Lev, Barrons, November 20,2000
"The New Math Why an accounting guru wants to shake up some basic tenets of his profession," By Jonathan R. Laing --- 

This explosion in intangible spending in recent decades, whether on R&D, information technology, brand marketing or employee training and other human capital, is largely a byproduct of today's increasingly deregulated and hotly-competitive global economy. In this environment, companies must constantly cut costs, boost productivity and innovate just to survive. And that's why, between 1929 and 1990, intangibles grew to nearly 63% of U.S. total business investment, while brick-and-mortar tangible investment slid to around 31%, according to a celebrated study by George Washington University economist John W. Kendrick. At the start of that period, almost the reverse held true. The replacement of tangibles with what Lev calls "knowledge assets" has only intensified in the past decade.

Yet few of these intangibles are ever "capitalized" or put on balance sheets, even though they clearly meet the basic test of assets. Namely, they clearly generate future revenues and other benefits beyond the current financial reporting period.

The cost of new machinery, for example, goes straight to a company's balance sheet as an asset. That expense is amortized over a number of years as an annual depreciation charge, designed to roughly match the machinery's cost with the revenues it generates. Not so with intangibles. They get fully expensed in the year they're incurred.

These accounting incongruities result in all sorts of perversities, Lev asserts. Perhaps most important, many of the traditional accounting tools that investors use to value stocks have been rendered "misleading at best and perhaps deceiving," he avers.

Dear Bob,
I am working with Journal of Accountancy on an article.  We have a 
disagreement regarding the correlation ratio.   I remembered the issue was 
raised during your AAA workshop.  Is the ratio 80-120% or 80-125%?  Is 
there any authoritative guideline?
How is your turkey day?  We will be having King crab instead.  What can I 
say?  I come from an island.


It is good to hear from you.  I hope you had a real crabby holiday (the mouth watering kind).

There is no rule in FAS 133 that requires the use of any ratio limits.  It is customary, however, to use 80-125%.  Some documents that discuss this ratio include the following: 
Summary of Designation and Effectiveness Requirements 
I like the title of this article --- "Incomprehensible, unpredictable, unmanageable and downright frightening — FAS 133 is threatening the financial world like an alien life form" 
FAS 133 Surprises 
Also see
(Mortgage bankers due not care much for the 80%-125% Rule) 
Meeting the "Highly Effective Expectation" Criterion for Hedge Accounting 
FAS 133: Cliff Notes! Financial Reporting for Treasurers - Part One

Keep up the good work on a difficult topic!
Bob Jensen

Will it be nevermore for Lotus' Raven?

In a move to prevent its knowledge management platform from fading to anonymity following its release, Lotus Development has eliminated its dependence on Domino ---

You can read more about knowledge portals and vortals at 


I really don't have an answer to "unstall" your paper. However, I can make a few brief comments about metacognition. You can find references to metacognition at 

Related directly to your work is what is commonly called a "Feeling of Knowing." The FOK acronym is very common in metacognitive literature. Much of the research on this is negative in the sense that our metacognitive processes send out a lot of bad signals about FOK. Students with strong feeling of knowing (FOK) as a student may be impaired by misleading feelings of knowing. Educators may be setting them up for failure by enhancing FOK to a point where such feelings are dysfunctional later on in life. Bjork states:

As mentioned already, the learner may be fooled by his or her own successes during training. Manipulations such as blocking practice by subtask, providing continuous feedback during training, and fixing the conditions of practice act like crutches that artificially support performance during training. When those crutches are absent in the post-training environment, performance collapses. The learner, however, will typically lack the perspective and experience to realize that he or she has not yet achieved the level of learning demanded by the post-training environment

Bjork (1994, p. 196) Metacognition: Knowing about knowing ******************************************************************

Your reviews probably are an inferior form of reinforcement that would be more dramatic if the reinforcement comes at frequent (even randomized) intervals. For example, one of the conceptual problems that I have in my managerial accounting course is for students to conceptualize the volume variance as unabsorbed fixed cost in inventories. I overcome this problem, by making a weak student (this term it is XXXX) recall this concept repeatedly in class over a two-week interval and again for the last two weeks of the course. I simply call out "XXXX: What is the meaning of the volume variance?) I even do this when the question is totally out of context with the topic of the day. XXXX has the answer down pat by now, and the students are so amused by my pop-up question to XXXX that they never will forget how to conceptualize the volume variance.

This related to the metacognitive quotations below:

In general, compared to distributing practice sessions on a given task over time, massing practice or study sessions on the to-be-learned procedures or information produces better short-term performance or recall of that procedure or information, but markedly inferior long-term performance or recall.
Bjork (1994, p. 190) Metacognition: Knowing about knowing

With blocked scheduling, each task is learned separately, and learning one task is completed before the trainee moves to another task. With random scheduling, the tasks are intermixed during acquisition . . . .Blocked scheduling always produced a faster rate of learning during acquisition, but, regardless of the type of text scheduling, random scheduling during acquisition resulted in the best performance at retention testing.
Healy and Sinclair (1996, p. 531) Memory: Handbook of perception and cognition


In summary, I think the best way to get students to remember concepts is to both make them recite concepts at random points in the course. Ideally, they must relate the concepts to varying topics in varying contexts. It also helps if the recitation is done somewhat in jest, such as making Adam my Volume Variance expert, Susan my forward contracting expert, etc.

Your approach to having only one in-class review would not, as a rule, be as successful as having repeated (and possibly randomized) reviews. Note that the reviews need not completely cover all concepts at one time. It is probably better to review only one or two concepts in a given class. Secondly, the reviews may be incomplete. Some days I simply say "Answer yes or no XXXX: Do you remember the meaning of the volume variance?"

You may want to contact Dan Stone (formerly at the University of Illinois, but now in the accounting department at the University of Kentucky). In my viewpoint metacognitive research findings also have relevance to the findings of the AECC-funded experiment called the Project Discovery (PD) project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That study took a slightly different approach across multiple accounting courses to study the effects of the importance of having students learn from "complex, ill-structured, ambiguous problems and cases similar to those found in practice" as reported by Stone and Shelly (1997, p. 26). Stone and Shelly repeatedly stress that their research notes the impact of such factors on learning but make no attempt to attribute causality. I speculate that some of the causal factors are metacognitive. Even though my paper focused on the BAM Program at the University of Virginia, I think my conclusions extend to the PD Program at the University of Illinois.

I don't know of any accounting professors who assess their students' FOK or students' confidence in their answers. Some instructors do take off points for incorrect answers, and this is indirectly a way to assess FOK. A student who records an answer must have some FOK; Otherwise it would be better to leave an answer blank. Then again, maybe that student is just ignorant of the laws of probability on a multiple-choice question! Usually, the "I'm a good guesser" confidence diminishes after the first test or two in which wrong answers were severely penalized.

I hope this helps.


Geography Network - find out where it's at. --- 

"Community Colleges Step Up Fight to Use '.edu' Internet Addresses," by Jeffrey Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 21, 2000 --- 

As it stands, two-year colleges are excluded from the ".edu" Internet domain, which government rules reserve for "four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities." Instead, most community colleges use addresses that include ".cc" followed by a state and country code. Iowa's Indian Hills Community College, for instance, goes by ""

Late last month, the American Association of Community Colleges took its case to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees Internet-address registration in partnership with an international nonprofit group called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. In a letter to a Commerce Department official, the association's president, George R. Boggs, wrote that community colleges were "extremely frustrated by their inability to routinely access the .edu domain."

Oprah Gives A-OK to E-Books Talk show host and multimedia champ Oprah Winfrey puts e-books on her list of holiday gifts. Also: Free e-reads ... charity e-reads ... e-reads on your cell phone ... and e-books for the blind. All in this week's M.J. Rose's E-Publishing Ink. ---,1284,40291,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books can be found at 

Report: Carnivore Works Just Fine The law school dean who was asked to review the FBI's e-mail surveillance system says it's working exactly the way it's supposed to. ---,1283,40304,00.html 

Europe Starts Debate on Patents Open-source fans and European patent officials are busy debating whether software developers should be allowed to patent their applications at Munich's Diplomatic Conference to Revise the European Patent Convention. ---,1283,40299,00.html 

In a victory for open source advocates, most European countries vote not to extend the continent's patent system to cover most software. But the battle is far from over ---,1283,40329,00.html 

At the Security Vulnerability Summit co-hosted by eWEEK earlier this month, industry experts convened to launch a far-reaching standards process --- 

Napster and media giant Bertelsmann already find themselves falling behind in the race to cash in on the ravenous demand for downloadable music --- 

The Furor Over Web Disclosure
Is it OK to post the name of a sex offender online? What about quacks and free-spending political lobbyists? Government institutions big and small continue to grapple with the issue ---,1283,40183,00.html 

Anatomy of an Exhibition (Art) --- 

From: Frank Harrison, Parliamentarian 
Date: November 27, 2000 Subject: 
Most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order

A 10th edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised has been published with a "first printing" date of October, 2000. It specifically provides that "[t]his Tenth (10th) Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order ... ."

My own very, very brief survey of the 10th Edition does not lead me to believe that there are significant substantive changes from the previous edition. The author's summary of "points of revision" and clarification will be found at pp. xx-xxiii.

Replicators: Evolutionary Powerhouses (Biology, Physics, Science)--- 

Based on the Theory of Replicators by Richard Dawkins.  Replicators are "anything in the universe of which copies are made"  The obvious example is DNA.  Howver, MP3 files also qualify.

Message from a former student who has a relatively impressive list of large web marketing clients.  His company's website is at 

We recently moved into new offices. We're still in Dallas, Texas, but have bigger offices and now our own balcony and AC unit :-)

Anyway, here is our new info:

Hays Internet Marketing, Inc. 9603 White Rock Trail, Suite 208 Dallas, TX 75238

phone: 214-221-9700 fax: 214-221-9706


Hays Internet Marketing, Inc.
- ph: 214-221-9700 -

-  - 

- - 

-  - 

-  <--- you gotta check this one out! 

Dear HighSchoolAlumni User:

Do you remember the last time you visited 

Well, regardless of how long it's been, we'd like to invite you back to take a look at some great new features.

In an ongoing effort to improve our service, we've made the following changes:

*Size -- We've added more than 10,000 new high schools, bringing our total to over 33,000! 

*Design & Navigation -- The site not only looks better, but also provides easier navigation to assist you in reconnecting with alumni from your school

*My Start Page -- Your very own customized start page, which gives you easy, one-click access to all of our tools *Enhanced Search Capability -- To track down a friend from another school, even if you can't remember the name of the town

Don't worry...we still have the features and services that you've come to love and that have made the best site of its kind:

WritingTree - share your stories --- 

Civil War through the eyes of a soldier. (American History) --- 

Soul Quizzes (Religion and Theology) --- 

Thanks Derek. I made the corrections at 

I hope it is a glorious springtime for you and Elizabeth in New Zealand.


Hi Bob

I picked up the following outdated link while browsing your bookmarks. btw I am using Elizabeth's email as there is a problem with my ISP.

Your page: 

Change: Omnis Mus has moved to 

Effective June 14, 1999

Warm regards to Erika and yourself

Derek Speer

The Life of Bayard Rustin (History, Sociology, Civil Rights) --- 

From Syllabus News, Resources and Trends on November 28, 2000

Brain Imaging System Operating at UC Berkeley

The Varian 4-Tesla MRI imaging system for research on the human brain has begun operation at the University of California, Berkeley. The Varian system is part of the university's Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center and will be used by scientists from many disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and computer sciences, to study various aspects of the living brain. Research using the new imager will include studies of both normal and neurologically impaired individuals, in an effort to shed light on the impact of aging on memory and attention, as well as how these functions are changed in people with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and attention-deficit disorder.

Considerable research is underway studying both humans and animals using high magnetic-field imagers in a technique known as functional MRI or fMRI. These high magnetic-field systems are used because they are more sensitive and produce better images of brain function and other physiology. These systems can also be used to identify specific chemicals in the regions of the brain or other physiological areas under investigation.

For more information about Varian Inc. and nuclear magnetic resonance, visit .


Online Educational Marketplace Launched

edudex, a provider of instructional video and software materials, has announced the launch of a comprehensive online marketplace dedicated to making it easy to find and purchase educational materials. edudex has consolidated more than 70,000 products from over 200 suppliers into one, easy- to-use marketplace that simplifies both searching and purchasing. To make searching the online catalog easy, edudex has categorized all the products it lists to match specific curriculum areas from biology to health to psychology and more.

To access the catalog, visit


Pay-Per-View Access to Journal Articles Published on IDEAL

A new pay-per-view service called IDEALOnDemand allows access to all articles in Academic Press and Harcourt Health Sciences journals on IDEAL, the online resource library for science, technology and medicine researchers. IDEALOnDemand is an instant, Web-based service delivering access to original articles as they appear in electronic format on IDEAL.

Through IDEALOnDemand, journal articles on IDEAL are available to individuals not previously authorized to access the journals via IDEAL consortial or institutional licenses. When purchasing access through IDEALOnDemand, a user must select an article, agree to terms of its use, and pay for this use. During a 24-hour access period, the user may view the article on IDEAL and may also download the article to a PC. The terms of use allow printing, copying, and storing the article for personal use. Each online order is payable via several major credit cards.

IDEAL, the International Digital Electronic Access Library, is licensed in more than 20 countries by more than 1,700 academic institutions and industrial and pharmaceutical companies. IDEAL offers close to 250 STM journals published by Academic Press, W.B. Saunders, Churchill Livingstone, Bailliere Tindall and Mosby, as well as access to IDEALReferenceWorks encyclopedias and SciVision's Web-based information systems.

For more information, visit

Try  for search engine positioning services for CPA web sites.


Jack Burson

Spencer F. Katt laughs last at Amazon's new approach to site "stickiness." --- 

Two security companies, Cyber-Ark and Gianus, are working to ease the complexity of security processes for businesspeople by using metaphors --- 

Dear Professor Jensen,

we are interested in getting detailed informations about cheap DVD creation / authoring softwares and MPEG-2 encoders. Please send us some informations / price-lists.

Best regards,

-- Ingo Schmidt-Lucas, Dipl.-Ing.

CYBELE Moersenbroicher Weg 31 D-40470 Duesseldorf Tel.: +49 211 6412000-0 Fax: +49 211 6412000-3 Website: 

My reply was as follows:

I am not certain about "cheap." However, for "DVD creation / authoring softwares and MPEG-2 encoders," I would recommend going to 

You can read the following at 

DVD Video Recording System Requirements

Detailed Information on
DVD Video Recording Bundled Components


November 26th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter for the financial professional. 

1. XBRL Public Symposium: Washington, DC 12-03-00 
2. Grid Computing: Move Over Supercomputers 
3. Are You Wearing "SMART" Clothes to Work? 
4. Petsmart CEO: SAP project 'far more' difficult than expected 
5. Lawson Readies Applications Upgrade 
6. Pentium 4 No Business Whiz 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day!

Actual Notes from Parents

Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday.  He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today.  She is administrating.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football.  He was hurt in the growing part.

Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday.  She was in bed with gramps.

Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover.

Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday.  He had a cold and could not breed well.

More Bumper Stickers

I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

I love cats.  They taste just like chicken.

Sometimes I wake up with grumpy.  And sometimes she's out of bed before I wake up.

Montana ---  at least our cows our sane.

Your gene pool could use a little chlorine.

If you do a good deed, get a receipt.  Heaven may be like the IRS. 

My doctor ordered an IQ test.  The results were negative.

Okay, who stopped payment on my reality check?

Time is the best teacher.  Unfortunately it kills its students.

Forget world peace and concentrate on using your turn signal.

We are born naked, wet, and hungry.  From then on its downhill.

Make it idiot proof, and someone will find a better idiot.

The one that laughs last just thinks the slowest.

Very funny Scotty.  Now beam down my clothes.

Puritanism:  The haunting fear that someone, somewhere is happy.

Consciousness:  That annoying time between naps.

The sex was so good that even our neighbors had a cigarette.

We are Microsoft.  Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" until you can load your gun.

I killed a six-pack just to watch it die.

Captain Hook 

A seaman meets Captain Hook in a bar.  The seaman says "So how'd you end up with the peg-leg?"

Captain Hook replies, "I t'war bein' keel hauled in open sea --- that's where they put you in the water on one side of the ship and haul you under to the other side wid a rope.  When I come up the other side, they pulled me out of a swarm of sharks.  One of dem sharks came out of the water and chomped my leg off jus' below me knee."

"Wow," answered the seaman.  "And how did you get your hook."

"Wa ...lll," answered Hook, "Whilst  me men an' me were plunderin' in the on the Red Sea coast, I was caught stealing from a merchant.  The Arab punishment for a crime is to cut off the offending part.  Arabs put me in prison for only one week, but they cut off me hand just above the wrist."

"Incredible," said the seaman.  "And how did you get the eye patch?"

"When I was laying on the ground in that Arab prison, a seagull dropping hit me splat --- right in the eyeball."

"That might've stung a little, but seagull poop shouldn't have ruined your eye."

"I know," muttered Captain Hook.  "But it was my first day wid the hook."

And here's to the smelly Year 2000 Presidential Election in the U.S. --- 
(The above website loses it's intended impact unless you have your computer speakers turned up to full blast!)

And that's the way it was on December 1, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


News from the Association of International Accountants 


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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 Hline.jpg (568 bytes)


November 21, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

Man is by nature a political animal.

Q.E.D (Quod erat demonstrandum:  Which was to be proved.)
A colleague in the Mathematics Department, Scott Chapman, tells me that the QED acronym is seldom used in modern mathematics vis-à-vis former times.

Better to be ignorant in a matter than half know it.
Publilius Syrus --- Tibullus

You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George Patton

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it
Soren Kierkegaard

Oh, for a pin that would puncture pretension
Isaac Asimov

National Taiwan University

I want to begin this edition with an acknowledgement of my hosts at the National Taiwan University during my visit on the Taipei campus last week.  The faculty, administrators, and other officials were especially gracious and generous.  Special thanks to Dean Chen-En Ko, Chairperson of Accounting Chan-Jane Lin, and Professor Fred Wu. ---  

Who says accounting is boring?

Enclosed is a message from a student who graduated from our MS in Accounting Program in 1998. I am sharing it to dispel the notion that an accounting career is boring. The student's name is Ria Shah. She gave me permission to share this message with the world. I might add that Ria is a tiny woman, and it could be hilarious watching her try to climb into the cab of an 18-wheeler.

She's one of my students I knew for certain would succeed just by watching her work night and day on a term project in my accounting information systems course. She never lost sight of her goals and her pride in good work.


Let me tell you a bit about what's going on. I was promoted to Senior Associate at Andersen in the summer. This "accounting thing" is far better than I ever thought it to be. I have clients in the aerospace, airline, food-distributor and broker-dealer industries. I have had the chance to fly all around the country, Canada and Europe. Through my clients, I have had the opportunity to do many neat things. I have been inside the space shuttle in Cape Canaveral, flown as pilot in a flight simulator of a DC-10 airplane, driven an 18-wheeler, climbed the CN tower in Toronto and walked the streets of Wall Street.

On a more serious side, the learning curve is phenomenal when you're actually in the workplace. I think that I work at least a thousand hours a week. I feel that I have achieved a great deal at Andersen. I am currently ranked among the highest in my class and have had the opportunity to teach several training classes at client locations.

Working definitely wears you out, I think it's probably time for a vacation. I have finally scheduled a long-awaited vacation for the first few weeks of January. I am going to Munich, Germany to pick up my new car. I purchased a BMW through their European Delivery program.

I sincerely hope that you are doing well and please give my regards to the rest of the faculty. I think that this is truly the longest e-mail I have ever written. I just wanted to let you to know that the Trinity program worked well for me -- it just took some motivation.


Reply from Denise Nitterhouse 

I believe that the $64,000 Question (how many will get that reference?) is "How do we motivate them?" Ria sounds as excited as I was, 29 years ago, in my first accounting job. And I would guess that my own professors had similar comments about the likelihood of my success. But I brought most of my own enthusiasm and motivation, and a strong work ethic, to the party. Only recently (OK, so I'm slow) have I realized how much my experiences working as an accountant's assistant at the tender age of 15 "set up" the opportunity for my great professors at Duke (Tom Keller are you out there?) to turn me into a "real" accountant. At 20 I was more interested in changing the world than in making money, and I remember some great times trying to convince my fellow undergrads that you could change the world through business as well as, perhaps better than, through the law schools so many of them planned to attend.

I have had the luck and privilege of helping to inspire and motivate a few excellent students in both my accounting and management information systems classes over the years. But they, too, all brought a whole lot of intellectual capital, perseverance and motivation to the party. They already had the spark, the drive. I'm sure many others could have gained more from my courses if I was better at capturing their hearts and motivating them to do their best. I know my accounting and IS subjects well. What I need help with is the "coaching" part. I know we can't turn everyone into a Ria, but I think I could do better if I improved my skills and abilities in this area. Suggestions?

Denise Nitterhouse [dnitterh@CONDOR.DEPAUL.EDU

Reply to Denise from Denny Beresford

I believe Denise hit the nail on the head. I don't have a complete answer to her request for suggestions but my quick reaction is that teachers must communicate a high level of personal excitement about their subject and hope that it will "infect" the students. I start each of my classes with the admission that "I love accounting." And I go on to say that the students will get more out of the class, in my opinion, if they at least pretend that they share my enthusiasm. Most students probably think it's bad form to get excited about a subject but if they are told it's okay to do so than at least there is a chance they will.

The other point I would make is the good old Golden Rule. I try hard to remember how I felt as a student (or as a young staff accountant, etc.) and treat them the way I wish I had been treated. I steal good ideas from all of those who have impressed me with their ability to motivate and I do all I can to not repeat the mistakes of those who were "negative motivators" to me.

The thing I've enjoyed most about my very short time as a teacher is that I continue to learn much more than my students. I hope others will contribute to this particular dialogue and I promise to steal your good ideas too.

Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU
University of Georgia

Reply to Denise from Bob Jensen

Hi Denise,

Interestingly, the students in Ria's class had two kinds of motivation --- loving and hating. The first-time pass rate on the CPA exam that year was over 60% and all but one eventually passed the CPA exam. Some like Ria continue to correspond with me regularly. They all remember the projects. Suzanne Winegar at PwC wrote the following to the Director of our Accounting Program at Trinity University:

I'm still enjoying work with PwC. I was promoted in July and have been fairly busy, but it hasn't been too stressful yet (after Dr. Jensen's final project I think I can handle anything).

Suzanne was a motivated student like Ria.

My point to you Denise is that there is a fine line between loving and hating motivation. In that 1998 graduating class, there were students like Suzanne and Ria who felt stress in my assignments, but they also tended to respect what I was trying to do for them. Joe Zullo mentioned below is another example of such a student.

There were some other students in that same class who did outstanding projects while hating my guts. They were motivated to get an A grade, but they begrudged the stress of both my systems and theory courses.

Interestingly, some of the ones that hated my guts were not as motivated or as happy in public accounting. One student whom I will not name wrote the following to the Director of our Accounting Program:

New job, new address. I left Arthur Andersen about six months ago to work for a capital management company (we manage people's money). I am basically in charge of the day-to-day accounting. In the future I will also be helping out with due diligence for venture capital and private equity investments. I am enjoying myself much more than I ever did at AA. More money, less stress, less hours. I keep telling everyone they need to come to their sense and leave public accounting, but some of them are quite stubborn (especially Joe Zullo). Oh, well. they'll learn eventually.

When you juxtapose the message of Ria Shah against message of Graduate XXX above, you can see that fine line between two different types of motivation in the same public accounting firm. I think there are signs of this before students enter public accounting. One of my former students (John Clements) recently became a partner with PwC. I predicted this when he graduated. He had high motivation combined with that "something" I have difficulty putting into words. That something, however, has to do with an appreciation for the stress we place them under in college. (By the way, I also predict that Joe Zullo will eventually become a partner with PwC.)

I guess the bottom line is that I really don't have an answer for you Denise. I can only say that there is something inherently different between at least two types of motivated students. We cannot stimulate the same degree of motivation in all of them, and we most certainly cannot be loved by all of them.  Those unloving ones will work like hell for an A grade, but they do not want to work like hell the rest of their lives. You and I, on the other hand, are willing to go on year after year without a life. We love our jobs. What else can I say?

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen 
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business 
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 

WOW Site of the Week
A Management Vortal 

The ManagementFirst portal is open to all practicing managers, business professionals, and management researchers. We call you "thinkers in management".

To meet your information needs, ManagementFirst has produced and resourced a collection of current research, summaries, guides and advice in our ManagementFirst Expert Channels. These are expert team-lead compilations of the best content from specific subsections of the field of management.

Each Expert Channel has a basic menu of content, which includes:

Find out more about ManagementFirst:

An Internet/Web portal with 14 channels on marketing and e-Commerce --- 

Other examples of portals and vortals can be found at 

Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms 

Other glossaries can be found at 

Question:  What was one of the most successful Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) projects?

Answer:  The Business Activity Model (BAM) Project!  Download the BAM audio and presentation files of Anthony Catanach from 
Also see

You can read about other AECC projects at

The Teaching and Curriculum Section is pleased to announce that the Fall 2000 edition of The Accounting Educator, the Section Newsletter, is available on the T&C web site at: 

I found Denise Nitterhouse's "A Response to 'Speak Out' " very interesting. It is at . It is a response to a previous article in the newsletter titled "Technology, What Can and Should it be Used for?" Perhaps we can have a discussion of the issue on AECM.

Barry Rice 

A Bob Jensen Editorial on "Speaking Out."

The above BAM Project has been successful in the hands of Professor Catanach (Villanova), Professor Croll (Virginia), Mary Harston (St. Marys), Barney Cargile (Alabama), and a number of other faculty.  They can carry it off by not "teaching."  Other faculty might fail miserably using the BAM.

Some faculty members can pull off a true Harvard-style case method approach where the instructor never "teaches" in the sense of providing answers.  Others fall flat on their face using this pedagogy and resort to "teaching."

With regard to the recent "Speak Out" exchange between James Rebele and Denise Nitterhouse, I think that such disputes will arise with regard to both old (Case Method, Problem-Based Learning, Team Learning, Living Cases, etc.) and new (Hypermedia Materials, Chat Rooms, Virtual Classrooms, MUDs, MOOs, etc.)  pedagogy.  You can read about the Rebele-Nitterhouse exchange at .  Dr. Nitterhouse states the following:

I agree with James Rebele's call for accountability in "Technology, What Can and Should it be Used for?" and share his desire for research that demonstrates that IT improves learning. However, I disagree vehemently with his suggestion that we have a moratorium on integrating technology in the curriculum until we have evidence that it improves student learning. I argue that we should integrate information technology (IT) in accounting education at every opportunity as long as it does not impede student learning. That is a much weaker requirement, and an important difference to understand.

Although I probably lean closer to Dr. Nitterhouse than Dr. Rebele on this issue, I want to stress that no single pedagogy or aid to using a pedagogy is optimal for all instructors in all settings.  Everything is contextual in terms of the following:

Some instructors will fail miserably using online asynchronous technologies even if the materials available online are outstanding.  Others may carry it off with glorious success.  Some instructors have fabulous success with online chat rooms, whereas other chat rooms are painfully silent or strained with forced messaging.  You can read more about experiments comparing online asynchronous versus onsite traditional sections by downloading Dan Stone's audio and presentation files from

Some instructors will fail miserably in MUD, MOO, or other online synchronous classes in virtual classrooms and others like Robert Ricketts (Texas Tech) and Sharon Lightner (San Diego State University) can pull it off with great success.  Duke University must be doing something correct with online virtual classrooms in order to be called "The Hottest Campus on the Internet" by Business Week magazine.  See

I disagree with James Rebele that education technologies are unproven in terms of improving learning.  With good materials in the hands of appropriate instructors, learning has been improved in a variety of ways.  The U.S. Military has over 4,000 courses in education and training on most any subject imaginable.  Their many experiments have demonstrated that both the rate of learning and the quality of learning can be improved with appropriate mixes (in context) of interactive technologies and live experience.  At the very dawn of accounting training in Ernst & Young, it was demonstrated that learning could take place in almost half the time using hypertext and hypermedia materials as opposed to traditional hard copy handouts.  You can discover more about assessment of education at (look for the "Assessment" category).

The problem with the criterion "improving learning" is that this is not a precise criterion.  In a sense we can never know how much anything "improves learning," because we really have no way of measuring and evaluating total learning.  At best, we can objectively measure only a subset of what has been learned and obtain subjective feedback on other subsets of what has been learned.  We can never know the full set of what has been learned.  We most certainly cannot rely upon student evaluations about what they think they've learned, because students frequently change their minds about what was important long after finishing a course.  And when measuring a subset of learning, we can usually bias the outcomes in countless ways.  For example, if our lectures contain materials that are not in the asynchronous learning materials, obviously we can create tests that will bias the learning outcomes in favor of the lecture pedagogy.  If we seed some experts in a chat room, we can bias the learning outcomes in favor of chat room technologies.  Sharon Lightner seeds accounting standard setters and expert practitioners in her online classes and chat rooms.  See 

It is common to encounter the "no significant effect" outcome in learning experiments administered on motivated students.  For example, this outcome has been encountered in countless experiments using education technologies.  The reason for this outcome with motivated students is that, if they know what they must learn for a grade on a test, they will learn it no matter what the pedagogy if they can anticipate what will be on the test.  One concern should instead be on learning that is not on the test and/or efficiency of learning what is on the test.  A second concern should be with long-term retention versus short-term retention of what was needed for a targeted grade on a test.  See

Another thing I might add is that learning is only a part of our goal in most any course.  Indeed it may even be the smallest part!  The most important thing we do is motivate to learn.  The second most important thing we do is to provide the skills for students to learn on their own.

The reason I side with Dr. Nitterhouse rather than Dr. Rebele is that, in the 21st Century, using education technologies is more apt to both improve students' motivation to learn and improve skills for learning on their own.  Can you imagine an accounting student graduating in this semester without skills in essential technologies such as Internet search skills, spreadsheet skills, e-mail communication skills, database query skills, EDGAR search skills, and other IT skills?  Students who cannot use the pivot tables in Microsoft's online financial reports are missing something vital in financial reporting.  See 

Even instructors who fail miserably at integrating IT into their classes must continue their struggle to teach these skills or rely upon other instructors in the curriculum to provide essential IT skills for the 21st Century.  One or two IT courses just don't cut it in a complete curriculum.  Students need reinforcements throughout the curriculum.  Using education technology in a course is one of the most effective and efficient ways of passing on technology skills to students.  However, there is no magic bullet, and there is no magic recipe for success in integrating technology skills into courses.  

This is the age of education technology experimentation, adaptation, materials development, and learning on both sides of the virtual "lectern."  Nothing ventured, nothing gained is one thing to think about when experimenting with new pedagogy and/or new education technologies.  But there are risks to instructors!  Teaching evaluations may drop for instructors who do less "teaching" in favor of forcing more self-learning.  Having students put projects on the web for the world to see runs some risk of embarrassment to the instructor and the institution.

My advice to new faculty is given at

Reply from David Albrecht

Bob Jensen
"Although I probably lean closer to Dr. Nitterhouse than Dr. Rebele on this issue, I want to stress that no single pedagogy or aid to using a pedagogy is optimal for all instructors in all settings."

David Albrecht
I agree whole-heartedly with this comment. There are a host of factors, which include: (1) inclinations if individual students toward technology. Some researchers have put forth a measure for "technophobia." (2) inclination of faculty member toward technology. The interaction between the two is interesting. Put a techno-jazzed student in a class with a true technophobe prof, and I can imagine what you'd get. (3) student learning styles, and how presence (or lack thereof) of technology and inclination of student toward technology and interaction between student's and professor's relative standing on technophobia impact the learning process.

And all of this is put against a background in which a professor has his/her preferred teaching style.

I'm just a neophyte in this area, but it seems to me that all of this is very complex and difficult to sort out.

David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM
Bowling Green State University

Reply 1 from Ron Tidd

I would like to add a couple of brief comments to Bob's:

1) IMHO, one explanation for the no significant difference is that computers were used to digitize lectures in the first wave of integrating technology into the curriculum. A digital lecture is still a lecture and there is no theory-based reason to expect it to enhance learning outcomes.

2) The students entering college will expect the computer to be used to a significant degree in their educational endeavors. As Dan Tapscott points out (Growing Up Digital), they have been raised on computers and are comfortable, skilled, and dependent on computers. They will seek out programs where computers are used to help them learn in a manner that they are comfortable with.

I agree with Bob that computer technology is not appropriate for everyone to use, but it will have a significant presence in successful/surviving programs. We just need to integrate technology in a manner that is grounded in learning psychology and not a means of fulfilling someone's technological fetish.

Ronald R. Tidd [rrtidd@MTU.EDU

Reply from Patricia Doherty

I agree with what you say...................or at least logic says you are right. But I still find unexplainable events that contradict that logic. Case in point:

Last week, a day or two before a class, I posted a partially completed spreadsheet for my students on the "Blackboard" site. I told them I planned to have them work on this problem in class to demonstrate a point, and that they might want to do some preparation in advance (the problem was an assignment from their text, so "where it was going" should have been obvious). When the class day came, I realized that most had not done any preparation on the assignment, and decided to have them work on it in class. It involved reclassifying an income statement for three segments of a company into a contribution format segment report, with percentages - a clear case for the use of excel, and I had set it up with embedded formulae for them.

I told them to take about half an hour in class, complete the statements, and note three items that management should focus its attention on. They were to work in teams if they liked. Although about half the teams immediately sent someone out to the computer lab (across the hall) to complete the spreadsheet (which they should have done at home, but OK), the other half sat there in the classroom, and doggedly added and divided and completed the spreadsheet by hand, with calculators!!

Go figure - this is the "computer generation."

Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

Reply from Barry Rice


One explanation for them not having done the spreadsheet before class might be that they did not know about it. My point relates to "push" vs. "pull" technology. We also have Blackboard at Loyola but I never use the announcements part of it because students have to pull down that information as they also have to do with the bulletin board part of Blackboard. Instead, I choose to use a Listserv list (same technology as AECM) to push the information to them. I am a very strong advocate for push technology with students, faculty colleagues, etc. I don't think, for example, that this AECM fourm would be nearly as successful if we used a bulletin board or some other form of pull technology.

Your comments about the students using calculators also took me back about 16 years to when I first started requiring students to use an electronic spreadsheet. It was called C-Calc and ran on our VAX mini computer. At first, I had students output the spreadsheet to a text file and mail it to me. It didn't take long for me to discover that some students would rather do the calculations by calculator, type them into our crude word processor and mail me the file as if it were output from C-Calc. They just didn't want to take the time to learn how to use the spreadsheet. My solution was to require them to transfer the entire spreadsheet to my account so I could see that they had actually used to computer to do the calculations.

Barry Rice 

Reply from Denise Nitterhouse

As accountants, we should know better than most that "if it isn't counted, it doesn't get done". As my brother-in-law says, "you don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect". In my experience, getting (most) students to prepare for class requires that I evaluate and 'count' that preparation in their grade. If I don't think it's important enough to 'count', they don't think it's important enough to bother doing.

Bringing this back to technology, our college has a list of IT pre-requisites that most of our students routinely ignore. I believe that they will continue to do so until we test their knowledge and skills, and truly require them to have mastered these pre-requisites before they can complete their major courses. We have a very diverse student population, and many transfer students. Both these factors diminish the effectiveness of a "required course" solution to the point that I do not advocate implementing one. In the spirit of "outcome assessment", I believe we should test the IT knowledge and skills of all students entering the college, and require them to demonstrate mastery before they can continue.

I'd rather not reinvent the wheel, and hope that others who have already done this will share their approaches. I would also welcome hearing about pitfalls I have failed to anticipate, especially if anyone has tried this approach and failed. It seems obvious and doable to me, but there must be some reason it's not being done.

Denise Nitterhouse [dnitterh@CONDOR.DEPAUL.EDU

Reply from Tom Omer

I am more concerned about the lack of preparation before class, which seems to be a student attitude that is increasing over time. Whether it is because the job market is good or because there is a significant attitude change across students that problem must be solved before we worry about technology. It speaks to the problem we are having keeping students interested in accounting in general.

Thomas C. Omer [tcomer@UIC.EDU]  
Associate Professor (Visiting) Department of Accountancy 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Reply 1 from Kate Mooney

One of our master professors got around the "Duh, I don't know or I didn't get that one" answer by saying, "Well, then, let's have you go through it right now until you get stuck." The questioning became very intense for the student and that usually motivated them all to look over and think through the problems prior to class. The responses then become, "I figured out XXX and YYY, but didn't get the part about ZZZ" which gives the instructor a chance to clear up what the students don't understand. This man retired about 5 years ago and I still have students reference him as one of the people who taught them how to learn. However, as effective as that was/is, it is very uncomfortable for everyone.

Kate Mooney [kate@STCLOUDSTATE.EDU

Reply 2 from Ron Tidd

Tom has identified a main problem- student motivation in general. It is much different than it used to be and not just in accounting.

However, it is necessary to provide the proper incentives. Perhaps Patricia's experience would have been different if she had put students on notice that they would be called on (randomly) to demonstrate a portion of the solution in class to the class (i.e., it would be reviewed in class, not worked in class). Whether we like it or not, if we tell students we will work a problem in class, that is when they will work it. It is incumbent on us to provide the incentives that achieve what we want.

But I still don't understand why they would not walk across the hall to use the computers.

Ronald R. Tidd [rrtidd@MTU.EDU

Reply from Jagdish Gangolly

I have a hypothesis that some may like to ponder over. Many years ago (early 80s or so) AAA invited the Nobel laureate Arno Penzias of Bell Labs to address the Annual meeting. There, one of the questions he tried to answer, if I remember right, was why in graduate education learning was (and probably is) superior to that in undergraduate education.

He said (I am sort of paraphrasing) that in undergraduate education, learning is primarily passive (learning by talking about things, thinking about things, etc.), whereas in graduate education learning takes place mostly by DOING. I think he was referring primarily to science & engineering, but there is no reason why the idea can not be adapted in our case.

In the old days, most accounting programs included an extensive practice set whare the students went through the book-keeping process. That is a mundane example at a low level that should not be over-emphasized. Nowadays, I think most programs have dumped that in favour of other ways of learning. There is no reason why the idea of "learning by DOING" can not permeate the entire accounting curriculum. After all, we are a very practical discipline.

We need to ask ourselves a question I posed earlier: why is it that 18-20 year olds (who should be curious) are not excited by accounting? My hypothesis is that most learning in our case is rather passive.

Respectfully submitted,

J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

Reply 2 from Kate Mooney

Ditto on the use of the Systems Understanding Aid. We use it in our first required systems course. The students do the set manually then re do it using the same data and Great Plains software. While this may sound a little like a vocational school process, I want to clarify that this project is done in the background with only one class period devoted to start up. Various check points are sprinkled throughout the semester. One of the features we really like is the use of source documents. It helps our traditional students understand that the necessary information won't always be organized in a chart all in one place like the textbook.

Kate Mooney [kate@STCLOUDSTATE.EDU

Reply from Richard Newmark

In the Speak-Out thread, comments were made regarding push technology (e-mail students through a listserve or distribution list) and pull technology (websites, bulletin boards) as a means of notifying students about assignments. I recently discovered a service called Netmind that notifies a user via e-mail when a particular URL has changed. They have also have html code that you can cut and paste into your web page so students can automatically register your URL. The e-mail notification alerts the user that the web page has been updated, and provides a link within the e-mail for that webpage. By offering e-mail notification to your students, they can opt to have push technology if they want it, and it frees you up from having to update your website AND send e-mail (of course, students have to actually go to your web site once to register).

Netmind home page: Home page for webmasters:

I have used the Netmind service for a couple of months and it works very well. Also, I just embedded their html code on my Tax Research website. You can see it at

By the way, does anybody know the practice that publications follow concerning the following: website vs. web site, and webpage vs. web page?

Richard Newmark, Old Dominion University [rnewmark@ODU.EDU

Internet Scout Weblog 

The Scout Project has launched a new service for our readers, the Internet Scout Weblog. In the course of our daily surfing for the Scout Reports we come across numerous interesting items that for some reason or another don't quite fit our selection criteria. Rather than just sharing these items with each other or allowing them to sink unnoticed beneath the digital sands, we decided to create the Internet Scout Weblog, a new and separate service to complement our Reports. Like most 'Blogs, the type and number of resources listed in the Internet Scout Weblog may vary considerably from day to day. Most of the items are culled from the academic sources we rely on for the Reports, but may also include general interest or pithy sites or stories that strike our fancy (or funnybone). Please take a look and let us know what you think.

Investing and Financial Planning Websites

Top 50 Financial Websites --- 

Advanced Stock Information (note that ratios are available)

Enter a symbol and click "go!" to get the following information: Stock Prices, Options, Stock Splits, Charts, Live Stock Quotes, Stock Performance, Earnings Estimates, Analyst Opinions, Company Performance, Stock Valuation, Broker Reports, Company Profile, Earnings Release Dates, Latest News, Fundamentals, Intraday Charts, Forum Discussions, Technical Charts, Annual Reports, Significant Events, Institutional Ownership, Financial Ratios, Insider Trading, SEC Filings, Financial Statements, Stock Dividends, Competition, Momentum Rating, Management Discussion, Conference Calls, Short Interest, and more.

You can read more about financial ratios at 

You can find links to Yahoo's Top 10 financial portals and other investing links at for options valuation and financial planning--- 

Welcome to the Web's most comprehensive, respected, and frequently visited resource on stock compensation for employees and executives. Our content, calculators, and community will make you smarter about stock options. As the November issue of Bloomberg Wealth Manager magazine says, "contains a wealth of information about options and tools for maximizing them." ---  (includes international investing news)

U.S. Social Security Information and Services --- 

Netscape 6 establishes new standard

REVIEW: eWEEK Labs finds the browser offers unparalleled customizability, but lack of LDAP, messaging and directory support will hurt corporate sales. 

Also see --- 

I just came back from the AICPA accounting educators meeting and they discussed this in great detail. Jan Williams also gave a presentation on the new CPA exam. The exam will still be two days and use objective questions as well as computer simulations (candidates will be expected to use data bases and internet to retrieve information needed for simulations). It will be a pass-fail exam with feedback provided to candidates on weaknesses if they failed it. They are shooting for the May 2003 exam for this new content and testing method.

More emphasis is being placed on analytical ability, communication, and research skills and ability to integrate knowledge via simulations and "sinettes". The content area has pretty well been finalized and will consist of four areas:

1. Attestation Services: GAAS, GAO Yellow Book for government audits, SSARs (compillation and reviews), Attestation Standards, and other assurance services.

2. Accounting: FASB, SOP's, Tech Bulletins, GASB pronouncements, SEC, and OCBOA

3. Regulation: Tax, Business Law, Ethics, Professional Responsibilities

4. General Business Knowledge: Economics, Corporate Financial Management, Planning and Budgeting, Cost Measurement and Pricing, Management, Information Identification, Control, and Analysis (Research, Data Analysis, Information Technology).

In addition to testing knowledge of these individual subject areas there will be simulations and integration involving all of these areas :

In the Assurance part, candidates will be expected to integrate knowledge from the other 3 areas.

For Accounting, candidates will be expected to integrate knowledge from Regulation and Business

For Regulation, candidates will be expected to integrate their knowledge of the Business Area.

Only the Business portion will be tested individually and not integrate other areas with it.

Hope this information is helpful.

Harold Goedde [goeddeh@SNYONEVA.CC.ONEONTA.EDU] 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ACCOUNTING EDUCATORS' REVIEW Volume IV, Issue 8 November 9 through November 15, 2000

* ARTICLE 1 Tech-Project Inefficiencies Found in Corporate Study By E. S. Rachel Emma Silverman 11/14/00 Page B20


TOPICS: Information technologies, value-added, escalation of commitment, project management, Managerial Accounting, Information Systems

The article claims that roughly 10% of a company's information technology departments do not add anything of value to the company. This claim is made because that is the percentage of tech employees working on projects that fail.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 1. Little is said in the article about what sorts of technology projects are involved in the study. What are some technologies that companies may be contemplating? The article title suggests the reader will learn about tech-project inefficiencies, but the article itself seems to be addressing tech-professional shortages. Are these two things related?

2. Is a capital investment in technology similar to other capital investments? Can there be significant differences? Consider investing in an enterprise resource planning project. How might the analysis of this investment differ from a more straightforward investment in a plant expansion for purposes of increasing production capacity? How might the impact of the failures of these two investments differ?

3. Once a decision is made to move ahead on a tech project, is there a risk that the tech professional will want to push it along even though indications are that the project will not realize its intended objectives? Might the tech professional even escalate his/her commitment to a failing project?

4. How are tech projects evaluated after their inception? Are there audits of the projects' actual performance relative to planned performance? Are they 'tied' to individual professionals who championed them in their formative stages? Or, do they become 'orphans' after the project is complete with no apparent personal accountability by anyone?

5. Should a project fail, can the company learn from this failure? Do they learn from a failure?


ARTICLE 5 Marketing & Media: Rite Aid Reaches Accord to Settle Suits Over Accounting and Financial Results By Michael J. McCarthy 11/10/2000 Page B8


RELATED ARTICLE: Rite Aid Posts $1.14 Billion For Year-Chain Also Overstated Net for Fiscal 1998 and 1999 By More Than $1 Billion By Devon Spurgeon and Mark Maremont 07/12/2000 Page A3


TOPICS: Shareholder class-actions, overstatements, settlements (Auditing, Financial Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis)

Rite Aid Corp. agreed to pay at least $200 million in cash, stock and perhaps notes to settle shareholder class-action suits related to overstated financial statements in two prior years.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 1. How much did Rite Aid overstate its net income by in 1999 and 1998? What were some of the methods Rite Aid used to overstate net income? Which expense or revenue item hid the biggest overstatement of net income?

2. Which regulatory agencies or offices are investigating these overstatements? How did Rite Aid fall under their jurisdictions?

3. What are the terms of the settlement? What fraction of the settlement will be covered by insurance? How do shareholders benefit from receiving additional shares in the company?

4. What was Rite Aid's financial leverage in July? Would the settlement affect Rite Aid's leverage positively or negatively? Use Rite Aid's most recent 10-Q to calculate its interest coverage and cash flow coverage ratios, and assess Rite Aid's solvency.

Sudipta Basu, Baruch College, CUNY 
Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island 
Benson Wier, Virginia Commonwealth University

Update on nanotechnology --- 

Be on the lookout for a new virus called W32/Navidad@M . This computer virus is an Internet worm that spreads using the Windows email program Outlook. McAfee AVERT has given it a risk assessment of MEDIUM-ON WATCH, due to a significant increase in infection levels worldwide. The email can come from addresses that you will recognize. Attached is a file named NAVIDAD.EXE and when it is run, it displays a dialog box entitled, "Error" which reads "UI". A blue eye icon then appears in the system tray next to the clock in the lower right corner of the screen . Should you receive an email with the attachment Navidad.exe, press SHIFT DELETE to delete the message. If your PC becomes infected with the W32/Navidad@M worm, all subsequent emails addressed to you will be responded to automatically with an email from your address with the W32/Navidad@M worm as an attachment.

For more information on this and other viruses see the site 

Senior Programmer/Analyst  Trinity University 210-999-7619 715 Stadium Drive San Antonio, Texas 78212

Visit the ITS web site at 

From InformationWeek Online November 14, 2000

HP Walks Away From PricewaterhouseCoopers Buy

Hewlett-Packard's plan to buy the management consulting division of PricewaterhouseCoopers is kaput. Both companies said Monday that unfavorable market conditions killed the deal.

"Given the current market environment, we are no longer confident that we can satisfy our value-creation and employee-retention objectives--and I am unwilling to subject the HP organization to the continuing distraction of pursuing this acquisition any further," HP CEO Carly Fiorina said in a prepared statement.

Earlier this month, Fiorina signaled trouble, saying HP was "re- examining" its proposed buyout of the consulting unit. Although the original September bid was valued at about $18 billion, the figure was rumored to have slipped to about $15 billion around the time of Fiorina's comments.

It doesn't help that HP faced the very real prospect of the best and brightest of PricewaterhouseCoopers' consultants leaving rather than work for a product vendor. In a prepared statement, PricewaterhouseCoopers says it continues to look for a way to "allow our businesses to flourish while maintaining the professional independence and objectivity necessary to ensure healthy capital markets."

From Syllabus Web on November 14, 2000

WebCT has launched the WebCT Tutor Network, providing real time one-on-one tutoring. The Network, which connects students to more than 20,000 tutors in 72 subjects, was created as a partnership between WebCT and The Tutor Network matches e-learners with either an online or face-to-face tutor for one-on-one tutoring sessions, which can be conducted in a variety of formats, including online chat and voice technology. The fee-based service allows each tutor to set his or her own price.

For more information, visit 

Are you looking for a tutor? Receive one-on-one tutoring from the world's largest network of online tutors. Choose from a large variety of academic subjects. Work from the convenience of your computer or arrange for a face-to-face meeting.

This valuable service is not free. Each tutor sets his or her own fees.

WebCT has partnered with, the world's leading online tutoring service with a focus on supporting students, to bring you this fast and reliable service.

Are you interested in being an online tutor? If you have expertise in any subject, sign up now to be a tutor. Help other members of the WebCT Tutor Network and earn some cash.

From Syllabus Web on November 14, 2000

University of Washington doctoral student Mark Billinghurst's "Magic Book" is a virtual reality project in the Human Interface Technology Laboratory, known as the HIT lab. Students are using the new technology to study informatics, a new major that includes the study of information and information tech- nology. For more information about the "Magic Book," visit 

I have made another revision to the NetLedger tutorial. Comments are welcome ---  www.VirtualPublishing.NET/gallery.htm 

There's been a lot of traffic at my site in the last few days, and a few of you may have experienced a traffic jam, but the above demo has been working fine today from my school with a T1 line. Accessing a DHTML presentation with 56k connections will be slow - too slow.

Richard J. Campbell mailto:campbell@VirtualPublishing.NET 

In my opinion there is only one way to get a solution to the U.S. election crisis.  Lock George Bush and Al Gore by themselves in a room and make them come to a signed agreement on voting re-count rules.  By all means keep the lawyers and courts out of the agreement and its aftermath.  If that fails, an old fashioned duel to the death is in order.

I'm reminded of a giant billboard I once saw near San Francisco.  It was an add for kitty litter.  It read:  "THE COMPETITION STINKS!"  I guess the same add applies to this year's slate of U.S. presidential candidates.  Perhaps we should all send each of them a Good Luck package for XMAS.  Although, why pay $20 when you can send your own "Best Wishes" for free.


I happened to see an article in Forbes ASAP that referred to the five lousiest "tech" jobs. Number one was being a packer for the web site  . I looked that site up and their product is sending "an anonymous heaping pile of the best dog doo money can buy anywhere in the world." They go on to suggest their Top 10 S--- List of suggested recipients. Number 2 is "Financial" the first listing under which is Accountants. On the other hand, teachers were only number 5!

I hope this information is of great use to you in your bookmarks efforts.


From the web site:
Your practical joke can manifest itself in three convenient sizes. Econo-poop (20 Pound Dog). Compact and tubular logs. We only charge $15.00 before shipping and handling.

Sounds like a bad-taste gift even if some recipients are disserving of such a gift!

Blue book price guides for almost everything except dog doo and presidential internships (marketing, retailing) 

Best deals are claimed at 

This is a message to one of my students working on a NetLedger project.  NetLedger is an online accounting system that is owned by the President of Oracle Corporation.  The website is at Ketner, Penny [

Paul, Best of luck with your project. It's nice to see NetLedger being used this way! I've attached two documents for you. One addresses comparing NetLedger with other similar products, and the other addresses security issues. Both are in PDF format, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the documents. If we can assist with something short of writing you project paper, let us know. 

Ketner, Penny []  
Sr. Customer Support Specialist 
NetLedger phone: 877.639.0235 fax: 650.627.1001

Dot.coms: What Have We Learned? --- Fortune Magazine 

Decision support for women ("Solutions for Life") --- 

From Yahoo Picks on November 13, 2000

Censored - Wielding the Red Pen 

This online exhibition from the University of Virginia Libraries looks at challenges to free speech and freedom of information as protected by the First Amendment. There are examples of all types of censorship: the 785 dirty words counted in The Catcher in the Rye, the birth control advocacy of Margaret Sanger, and controversial rock, rap and raunchiness. We learned about Thomas Bowdler, creator of the (bowdlerized) Family Shakespeare, who lent his name to the expurgation process by omitting those words "which cannot with propriety be read aloud..."

The Writing Web helps students write essays, especially essays to accompany graduate school applications --- 

For years we have been working with applicants, helping them improve their application essays and personal statements. We have worked with people applying to many top schools, such as: Wharton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the London School of Economics, NYU, and Cornell.

Our tutors are experienced professionals who can help you focus your ideas and communicate them effectively. Don't settle for an essay that is "good enough". You need an essay that will stand out and get you in! Whether you are applying to college, graduate school, medical school, law school, business school or a postgraduate program you'll find the help you need here.

Have your essay evaluated or get help from an experienced writing professional with an online consultation.

Corporate management may be a greater threat to a company's security than hackers, says John Taschek. 

Security experts say enterprises can learn a lot from the recent Microsoft hacking saga: First, if you get hacked, don't do what Microsoft did ---  

Global Agenda -- 

World Prayers 

A nice prayer and picture  (forwarded by Dr. Wolff) --- 

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE.

The ACE Professor of the Week is Simon Petravick!

Instructor Name: Simon Petravick
Institution: Bradley University
Course Title: Accounting Systems and Control --- 
Textbook: Accounting Information Systems
Author(s): Romney & Steinbart

Professor Petravick provides some PowerPoint slides and some great links.  Thank you for sharing Simon.

Dear Robert,

Dialpad is celebrating its first birthday! The entire Dialpad Team would like to thank you personally for making Dialpad the success that it is today. Major milestones include signing up more than 11 million users, closing a second round of financing of over 50 million, and serving you, our users, more than 1.1 billion call minutes (that's over 2000 years of talking!).

To mark all the growing up we have done in the past year, we are putting on a new look. Check out our sleek new web site at  and let us know what you think. We have also made many changes in recent months to improve the quality of your calls (scroll down for details).

We hope you enjoy our service and continue to make long distance phone calls from your PC to anywhere in the U.S. (and soon to anywhere in the world!).

Your Friends at Dialpad [

Bob Jensen's threads on free long distance telephone alternatives can be found at 

Yahoo! Movies now screens the best short films on the Web (video, entertainment)---

Debbie Bowling forwarded this from Word Spy --- 

tweeds-to-riches (adjective)

Describes the process whereby a university professor or graduate student takes his or her research and parlays it into a successful company.

"An academic whose expertise is in parallel algorithms and applied mathematics, Leighton is at first glance an unlikely candidate for an Internet tweeds-to-riches success story." --David Rotman, "Akamai's Algorithms," Technology Review, September, 2000

See Also: get-rich-click, slackademic, YODA

Backgrounder ---------- Today's phrase is almost certainly a neologism coined by Mr. Rotman. I don't normally post neologisms, but with so many professors and other academic types creating successful businesses from their research, it filled a hole in the language too neatly to ignore it.

Another contender for this niche is "robes-to-riches":

"My favorite robes-to-riches story is about a family friend, the late Claude Olney. Olney taught business law at Arizona State University, where his son entered college with only a provisional admittance. Wanting to help his son do better, Olney took it upon himself to figure out what his own top students were doing to get high grades....Olney soon turned his new knowledge into a seminar and then into a video program, 'Where There's a Will, There's an 'A,' ' which became an infomercial phenomenon, selling more than a million copies." --Dale Dauten, "Special ed teacher should go for the gold," Star Tribune, February 16, 1997

Robes-to-riches is closer to "rags-to-riches" alliteratively, but "robes" is only a so-so reference to an academic, so I prefer tweeds-to-riches.

Internet Scout Weblog 

The Scout Project has launched a new service for our readers, the Internet Scout Weblog. In the course of our daily surfing for the Scout Reports we come across numerous interesting items that for some reason or another don't quite fit our selection criteria. Rather than just sharing these items with each other or allowing them to sink unnoticed beneath the digital sands, we decided to create the Internet Scout Weblog, a new and separate service to complement our Reports. Like most 'Blogs, the type and number of resources listed in the Internet Scout Weblog may vary considerably from day to day. Most of the items are culled from the academic sources we rely on for the Reports, but may also include general interest or pithy sites or stories that strike our fancy (or funnybone). Please take a look and let us know what you think.

From the Scout Report on November 14, 2000

Historical Graphics Gallery 

Created and maintained by historian Jim Zwick, this Website features extensive collections of US political cartoons, photographs, and advertising from the 19th and early decades of the 20th century. The site includes a thorough discussion, augmented by full-scale images of illustrations, of the origins of political cartooning in the early nineteenth century from its genesis to a force in the eventual defeat of the Boss Tweed machine to editorial illustrations commenting on Theodore Roosevelt, Uncle Sam, and the Women's suffrage movement. There are also sections here on the political art of Dan Beard -- a nineteenth-century illustrator and founder of the Boy Scouts, advertisements from the Spanish-American & Philippine-American Wars, and collections of photographs from these two wars as well as images of atrocities in the Congo, publicized by the Congo Reform Association in their campaign against King Leopold's rule of the Congo Free State. Most images can be examined in medium or large sizes, with options for zooming in and scanning the images. The accompanying written history of these images is also considerable and well-informed. Zwick has written extensively about the age of imperialism in America in both scholarly and popular venues. Note: Because of the number of graphic files on this site, many Mac users may need to make more memory available for their browser when visiting it.

From the Scout Report November 14, 2000

Chaucer Metapage [RealPlayer] 

Compiled by over a dozen scholars of Medieval English literature, this Website serves as a fine supplement to students (and teachers) studying the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. The best feature of the site is its audio files of scholars reading passages of _The Canterbury Tales_ in authentic Middle English, making it an indispensable resource for teachers who wish to give their students a sense of the poem as it actually sounded in Chaucer's day. The site also offers well-annotated listings of Websites that feature online Chaucer texts, historical background, bibliography, criticism and scholarship, and other related Websites.

From the Scout Report November 14, 2000

Debt Burden Four Years After College_ -- NCES [.pdf, 95 pages] Executive summary: 

Considering the trend of the last two decades to move financial aid from grant money to student loans, the new National Center for Education Statistics's report on debt burden serves as a timely assessment of the results of this shift. "The study examines the debt of 1992-93 bachelor's degree recipients in light of their financial circumstances in 1997, approximately 4 years after they earned their degree." It examines their total debt and their progress in repaying it four years later. It assesses such issues as the impact of borrowing on future enrollment in post-secondary education and on lifestyle issues, such as the formation of a family, purchasing of a home or car, and accrual of savings. The report also gives data on average monthly debt repayments.

Free Historic Maps --- 

MicroMash has helped a number of students achieve their professional designations as CPA, CMA and CFM. Having students who have graduated from Trinity University obtain these designations is a prestigious reflection on the Universities Accounting department. Working closely with Colleges and Universities is something we would like to focus on, and pursuing a partnership is beneficial to us both.

Visit our web site at . This will give you a better understanding of why you want to make this available to your students.

Please feel free to contact me for more information regarding setting up the link or for additional information about any of our Review Courses.

MaryAnn Strook  6402 South Troy Circle Englewood, CO. 80111-6424

I was at your site listing accounting services, I didn't see  listed. lambers provides CPA and CMA/CFM review courses, in person, on tape, via books, web or video tapes. I thought this site would be of interest to those who view your site, they have been around for several decades, excellent material. I am a former customer of theirs.

Geoffrey Kent [

I added this link to the CPA review course alternatives listed at 

Digital Performance Archive 

Must-have downloads for every Windows PC! 


Antimatter: Mirror of the Universe --- 

The Russia Journal - stepping out from behind the Iron Curtain --- 

Bob Jensen's reply to an inquiry about FAS 133 implementation costs.

There is not a whole lot published on FAS 133 implementation costs. A major problem is that FAS 133 implementation costs are largely joint/common costs that can only be isolated by arbitrary formulas. There are incremental costs of training, but these vary widely depending upon the type of training. One article of slight interest is at 

A somewhat more important document is at 

In general, however, wild claims about implementation costs are greatly exaggerated.

It is good to hear from you. I hope you had a chance to look at my calculational examples at 



The New York Review of Books --- 

Short stories (by categories) (share your ideas) --- 

While Office 10 gets hyped by Microsoft, testers say Beta 2 of the desktop applications suite offers little improvement over the troubled first beta --- 

Biz/ed Question Bank - Economics 

Bet they don't have a U.S.-like electoral system for selecting a president.

Utopia: The Search for the Ideal Society in the Western World --- - open source for public records --- 

Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letters --- American History 

Smithsonian recounts past administrations. (American History of the Presidents) 

Imperialism and Anti-imperialism (Mark Twain material) 

Holocaust Denial on Trial - building a case against revisionism --- 

Hitler's Lost Sub - NOVA 

WW II Codes and Ciphers --- 

Links to Not-For-Profit (NPO) Sites, Journal of Accountancy, November 2000, p. 19 --- 

The Law of the Not-for-Profit Land ---

The mission of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is to assist in "the creation and improvement of laws and regulatory systems that permit, encourage, and regulate the NPO sector in countries around the world." The site contains an online library of legal opinions and self-regulation and tax documents.

A Path to Information --- 

The Independent Sector's home page is also the home of both the Nonprofit Information Center and the Nonprofit Pathfinder. The center explains what constitutes the not-for-profit sector, its size and scope, volunteering and links to related resources. The pathfinder bills itself as "the global gateway to civil society research and innovation" and includes links to resources such as academic centers and other NPOs.

Your Questions Answered ---

The Internet Nonprofit Center offers news items as well as a free weekly e-mail subscription to its online newsletter. But the most useful aspect of this site is its frequently-asked-questions section, which covers a number of topics, including accounting, audits, compensation, risk management and software.

News for NPOs --- 

The Nonprofit Online News site, like the one above, offers news items and a free weekly e-mail subscription to its online newsletter. Also available are newsletter issues from April 1997 through the present, as well as a section where NPOs can submit their own news items.

The Source for Management --- 

The NonProfit Times bills itself as "the leading business publication for nonprofit management." It includes an employment marketplace section and a resource directory. The magazine is offered free to full-time U.S. NPO executives "whose organizations qualify." Two other editions of their publication—for direct marketing and for financial management—are available.

"Sizing Up NPO Software," Roberta Ann Jones, Journal of Accountancy, November 2000, pp. 28-44 --- 

To: FEI Members and Prospective Members 
From: Phil Livingston

We're currently holding our most popular conference - Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) - here in New York City's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. There are about 600 "FEI-ers" in attendance, eager to hear a year-end update of important new FASB and SEC rules. In addition, the conference offered discussion on reporting issues related to the new economy and e-commerce. If you've never been to this conference, you really should think about attending in the future.

As I write this from the balcony of the hotel's Grand Ballroom (which, by the way, is the site of Hillary's election night gathering tonight), the SEC staff is covering their hot topics. The following are some highlights from the conference:

BUSINESS COMBINATION ACCOUNTING The SEC staff is clearly seeing a push for transactions to be completed before the end of pooling. Scott Taub of the SEC staff warned that they are still scrutinizing these transactions carefully. He further warned that although the debate on the amortization period for goodwill is very active, be careful about trying periods longer than 20 years.

FAS 133 Documenting of hedging transactions should be considered carefully. Hedges must be designated at the start of the transaction, and supporting documentation must be in place from that point. FAS 133 allows hedge accounting only if the documentation process is carefully implemented. The SEC has forced some restatements by companies without that documentation.

INTERPRETATION #44 ON APB 25 ON STOCK COMPENSATION "Effective stock option re-pricing" is on the SEC's radar screen. They have seen a number of cases in which a company has cancelled options and reissued the options in creative ways. Variable accounting is triggered if they deem it to be an effective re-pricing.

SEC AUDIT ALERT LETTER TO THE AICPA The SEC has suggested that over half the frauds they studied found CUT-OFF problems in revenue accounting. The SEC has encouraged auditors to increase their testing of cut-off procedures. A copy of that letter is on the FEI web site:

ANATOMY OF AN ACCOUNTING FAILURE Charles Niemeier of the Enforcement Division emphasized the SEC's continuing focus on earnings management. Charles indicated that failures in accounting begin with a smoothing of quarterly earnings. Then, the problem spreads to year-end, where the auditor is aware of the problem but issues a clean opinion anyway. When the problem worsens, the auditor has to acknowledge his part in the process. May you never meet Charles in your professional career!

ROBERT BAYLESS His review predicted that routine SEC filings by corporate finance departments will be up significantly by next year. They have been under the gun from IPO filings and staff shortage, but are reorganizing priorities on 10-K's other reports.

Robert expressed a high level of concern over segment reporting. Specifically, he pinpointed insufficient product line revenue disclosure and incomplete disclosure of operating segments and too much aggregation of the segment data.

AUDIT COMMITTEE GOVERNANCE Billie K. Rawot, Vice President & Controller of Eaton Corp., did a great job of organizing and summarizing the new rules established at the end of 1999 by the SEC, the NYSE, NASDAQ and the AICPA. We will be posting her presentation, as well as those from other speakers, on the FEI Web site in the File Library at: Her presentation was followed by a distinguished panel, whose members assured the audience that they believe the new rules are not intended to expose audit committees to greater possible litigation. Rather, they are intended to result in audit committees that are engaged, questioning, and active in performing their oversight role.

The panel also observed that regardless of how the chips fall with the proposed auditor independence rules, a careful examination of any independence issues during the newly required annual review with the external auditor will be an essential part of good audit committee governance.

KEYNOTE SPEECH BY FRANK ZARB, CHAIRMAN OF NASDAQ Zarb infused a sense of history into a wide-ranging speech about the markets and the changes sweeping over them. Zarb, a former official in several Republican administrations and a former CEO of Smith Barney, recalled that in the days before fixed commissions, trading amounted to "rich guys selling stock and bonds to other rich guys." Now, markets have been democratized and are global and around-the-clock.

Information technology has transformed the trading of securities in enormous ways, Zarb said, and NASDAQ is at the forefront of those changes. Time and again, Zarb noted that markets move quickly and hunger for information. "The market will get what it wants, when it wants it and without you," he told the FEI audience. Even today, NASDAQ and other leading exchanges could be disintermediated by new entities that give investors better information. And some pressures for information may be political, he added, since "voters are investors and want a free flow of capital."

Integrity of information is critical, Zarb said. "Tomorrow's markets will link global pools of liquidity with integrity," he said. International regulators need to work harder at harmonizing standards and enforcement, he argued, noting that little is done outside the U.S. on issues like insider trading. "Integrity is integrity - you know it when you see it."

Zarb also noted that NASDAQ is operating in Japan and is laying the groundwork in Europe, where he thinks existing exchanges are ripe for consolidation. Already, NASDAQ's Web site is getting 20 percent of its daily hits from outside the U.S. Asked about the pending FASB ruling to dismantle pooling treatment, Zarb said that no one could show him how things would be better today if pooling had been eliminated 20 years ago.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF NEW BUSINESS TRENDS Thomas Pizzuti, director of strategic finance in the Internet Incubator CMGI, argued that investors are now demanding that Internet companies speed up their life cycles and demonstrate more quickly that they can have cash flows, be valued and can indeed be profitable. He argued that a strong model for an Internet company involves a "virtuous circle," where resources are moving between investor and operator segments.

It makes sense for Internet holding companies to be public, Pizzuti said, but operating entities need not be. They could be limited-liability companies or partnerships, which can provide tax advantages. Pizzuti added that goodwill issues are "enormous" for Internet companies, adding that goodwill is frequently amortized over very short periods, often as little as three years.

Mary Pat McCarthy of KPMG said that from the auditing perspective, there has been more change in the past year than any of the past 23 she has been in the accounting arena. Audit clients want more for less, adding that auditors must turn increasingly to technology to deliver more customized services - even, perhaps, "real-time" audits. In fact, McCarthy sees auditors increasingly becoming technologists, using tools like data mining, artificial intelligence and predictive modeling. She believes audits will become business process-oriented, which will help clients manage risk and leverage knowledge. Industry specialization, too, will become more important, with the days of auditors jumping from industry to industry disappearing.

Ed Jenkins, Chairman of FASB, contended that today's economy is "fundamentally different" from that of a generation ago, and that traditional reporting "doesn't capture the value drivers." Today, there is an emphasis on value creation, as opposed to value realization, a more backward-looking measure. Intangibles are more important than ever, he said, and new accounting standards may be needed to reflect them.

He also stated that cash flow reporting will continue to grow in prominence, adding that FASB is beginning to think about broad-based performance reporting. Today's delivery system for financial reporting is outdated, he added, and a more accessible electronic format is needed.

UPDATE ON FASB/ACSEC/EITF PROJECTS This session was kicked off with a comprehensive overview of current FASB projects by Timothy S. Lucas, chairman of the Emerging Issues Task Force and director of research and technical activities for FASB. Lucas summarized FASB actions since 1997, but reassured the audience that nothing on the technical agenda is new since then.

On the business combinations/pooling issue, Lucas reiterated that FASB began re-deliberations last March and is continuing to explore related goodwill issues, as well as a non-amortization approach that would include an asset impairment test. Currently, the board has targeted a release date of March 31, 2001 for the new rule, and it would become effective in the first half of next year.

In what he called "coming attractions," issues that FASB may take on, he discussed areas such as recognition of liabilities and revenues, intangible assets and the New Economy, and performance reporting. International standardization of accounting issues is "a wild card," he said, and could affect FASB at any time.

Mark Sever, chairman of the accounting standards executive committee for the AICPA and a partner with Ernst & Young, reviewed the changes in motion picture accounting that were adopted last June. He added that AsSEC currently has projects involving areas such as real estate, lending and insurance, and a financial institutions guide that would include such wide-ranging forms as banks and credit unions, mortgage and finance companies. Sever jokingly noted that a standard on demutualization was being completed "in lightning speed" - two years.

He added that guidance on cost capitalization relating to "PPE" - property, plant and equipment - is being expanded at the request of the SEC. A key and controversial component of that, he said, is component depreciation, the idea that different components of PPE depreciate at different rates.

THE INTERNET AND E-BUSINESS: ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING ISSUES Michael Kwatinetz, a managing partner with Azure Capital Partners, argued that Internet companies must "try to help the analyst" understand them. He covered issues like barter and subscriptions versus sales, arguing that barter has become an area of "huge abuse" for Internet companies who swap advertising or development costs with each other and obscure the true costs of doing business. Performance warrants, such as those taken by Arthur Andersen in a series of high-tech companies, also are hard to sort out, he added. Kwatinetz argued that analysts have become more enamored of subscriptions, which may result in lower short-term earnings but "seem to be creating more value" through relationships with customers and more consistency in earnings.

As you can see, there was a tremendous amount of knowledge to be shared here!

That's all for now,


Our company, Pro2Net, has developed a website that is a comprehensive on-line resource for accounting professionals, . As part of this site, we have also designed an area devoted to accounting students, 

Paul Weigel
Pro2Net Corp. 
1730 Minor Ave. Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101

November 12th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter for the financial professional. The Newsletter moved to a new location, please note.  

1. Where Does XBRL Fit in the World of Information Technology (IT) 
2. XBRL Vendors Gather in Vancouver 
3. Kurzweil is Rooting for the Machine 
4. Are You a Problem Solver? CIO Magazine Book Excerpt 
5. Business Semantics: Let's Get it Right 
6. Transcript of Mike Willis's XBRL Workshop on 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day!

November 19th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter 

1. Where Does XBRL Fit ...Part II 
2. Get Your .pro Domain Name While they're Hot! 
3. SEC Issues Final Rules on Auditor Independence 
4. The Mind Meld is Coming: Computers That Read Brain Waves 
5. Offers Free Payroll Processing 
6. XBRL Academic Competition Attracts Over 35 Entries 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day

Sundry bits of advice and useless facts, including 33 ways to annoy people and tips on when you are having a bad day --- 

Forwarded by David Stephens [StephensD@CBS.CURTIN.EDU.AU

Anyone want to try and answer these ?  They sound like questions from kids who seriously wonder about such things.

Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darken our skin?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

Why is a boxing ring square?

Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?

Why is it considered necessary to nail down the lid of a coffin?

Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

Why is it that rain drops but snow falls?

Why is it that to stop Windows 98, you have to click on "Start"?

Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor ..., and dishwashing liquid made With real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the third hand on the watch called a second hand?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why is the word dictionary in the dictionary?

Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?

Why isn't there mouse flavored cat food?

You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes?

Why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?

Can fat people go skinny-dipping?

Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor... when you can't drink and drive?

Bottom of the Barrel  (I like Number 14.)

01. What do you call a handcuffed man? - Trustworthy.

02. What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name? - You didn't hold the pillow down long enough.

03. Why do only 10% of men make it to heaven? - Because if they all went, it would be Hell.

04. Why do men like smart women? - Opposites attract.

05. How do men exercise on the beach? - By sucking in their stomachs every time they see a bikini.

06. How do you get a man to stop biting his nails? - Make him wear shoes.

07. How does a man show he's planning for the future? - He buys two cases of beer instead of one.

08. How many men does it take to screw in a light bulb? - ONE .. He just holds it up there and waits for the world to revolve around him.

09. What did God say after creating man? - I can do so much better.

10. What's a man's idea of honesty in a relationship? - Telling you his real name.

11. What's the best way to force a man to do sit ups? - Put the remote control between his toes.

12. What's the smartest thing a man can say? - "My wife says..."

13. Why are all dumb blonde jokes one liners? - So men can understand them.

14. Why did God create man before woman? - Because you're always supposed to have a rough draft before creating your masterpiece.

15. Why do black widow spiders kill the males after mating? - To stop the snoring before it starts.

16. Why do jocks play on artificial turf? - To keep them from grazing.

17. Why do men need instant replay on TV sports? - Because after 30 seconds they forget what happened.

18. Why does it take 100 million sperm to fertilize one egg? - Because not one will stop and ask for directions.

19. Why is psychoanalysis a lot quicker for a man than for a woman? - When it's time to go back to his childhood, he's already there.

20.  Why did a woman invent the wheelbarrow?  - To force men learn to walk on two legs.

Seriously, what is the best thing a man can do for his kids? - Love and respect their mother.

And that's the way it was on November 21, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


News from the Association of International Accountants 


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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November 7, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

You are always naked in the eyes of your accountant.
From a PBS mystery show Hettie Winthrop on November 2, 2000  Joan Golmore adds Hattie (or Hettie) Wainthrop played by Patricia Routledge, former star of Keeping up Appearances.

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you are the statue.
Robert C. Anderson in The Rotarian

Yearn to understand first, and to be understood, second.
Beca Lewis Allen, A Womans' ABCs of Life

Information is giving out, communication is getting through.

If you live in the present with all its opportunities, you cannot live in the past with all its regrets and mistakes.
But you can correct your website links!

In the end, the poem is not a thing we see;  it is, rather, a light by which we may see --- and what we see is life.
Warren Buffet

Justice may be blind, but she has sophisticated listening devices.
Edgar Argo in Funny Times

It's more fun to arrive at a conclusion than to justify it.
Malcom S. F orbes

An optimist thinks this is the best of all worlds.  A pessimist thinks this might be true.
Doug Larson, United Feature Syndicate

This will be the last edition of New Bookmarks for two or three week.  I leave tomorrow for Taipei and will not have time for a November 14 edition.

My lecture handouts for my November 11 presentation in Taipei for the Taiwan Accounting Association --- 

Links to the Main Workshop Documents on Education and Learning

The Shocking Future of Education in an Era of Corporate Cross-Border Competition

Summary File

Detail File

The 21st Century Pedagogy Alternatives and Tricks/Tools of the Trade

Summary File

Detail File
The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education

 Detail File

You can download (for free) nearly six hours of MP3 audio and the PowerPoint presentation slides of one of the best education technology workshops that I ever organized.  This was the pre-convention workshop that I organized for the American Accounting Association, August 12, 2000 in Philadelphia.  The speakers, topics, and download instructions are given at 

Workshop Title
Innovative Learning Programs for Accounting and Business:  the Ivy League Goes Online, the Sloan Foundation Experiments in Asynchronous Learning, and Experiments in Self-Learning at Major Universities Using the BAM Pedagogy


"An introduction to the Evaluation of Learning Technology"
Martin Oliver
Higher Education Research and Development Unit University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place London, WC1E 6BT, England Tel: +44 20 7679 1905 

Evaluation can be characterised as the process by which people make judgements about value and worth; however, in the context of learning technology, this judgement process is complex and often controversial. This article provides a context for analysing these complexities by summarising important debates from the wider evaluation community. These are then related to the context of learning technology, resulting in the identification of a range of specific issues. These include the paradigm debate, the move from expert-based to practitioner-based evaluation, attempts to provide tools to support practitioner-led evaluation, authenticity, the problem of defining and measuring costs, the role of checklists, the influence of the quality agenda on evaluation and the way in which the process of evaluation is itself affected by the use of learning technology. Finally, these issues are drawn together in order to produce an agenda for further research in this area.

"Mapping the Territory: issues in evaluating large-scale learning technology initiatives" 
Charles Anderson, Kate Day, Jeff Haywood, Ray Land and Hamish Macleod
Department of Higher and Further Education University of Edinburgh, 
Paterson's Land Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ

This article details the challenges that the authors faced in designing and carrying out two recent large-scale evaluations of programmes designed to foster the use of ICT in UK higher education. Key concerns that have been identified within the evaluation literature are considered and an account is given of how these concerns were addressed within the two studies. A detailed examination is provided of the general evaluative strategies of employing a multi-disciplinary team and a multi-method research design and of how the research team went about: tapping into a range of sources of information, gaining different perspectives on innovation, tailoring enquiry to match vantage points, securing representative ranges of opinion, coping with changes over time, setting developments in context and dealing with audience requirements. Strengths and limitations of the general approach and the particular tactics that were used to meet the specific challenges posed within these two evaluation projects are identified.

"Peering Through a Glass Darkly: Integrative evaluation of an on-line course" 
Josie Taylor (There are also other authors listed for this article)
Senior Lecturer, Institute of Educational Technology
The Open University, Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1908 655965

In this study we describe a wide-spectrum approach to the integrative evaluation of an innovative introductory course in computing. Since both the syllabus, designed in consultation with industry, and the method of presentation of study materials are new, the course requires close scrutiny. It is presented in the distance mode to a class of around 5,000 students and uses a full range of media: paper, broadcast television, interactive CD-ROM, a Web-oriented programming environment, a Web site and computer conferencing. The evaluation began with developmental testing whilst the course was in production, and then used web-based and paper-based questionnaires once the course was running. Other sources of data, in the form of observation of computing conferences and an instrumented version of the Smalltalk programming environment, also provide insight into students’ views and behaviour. This paper discusses the ways in which the evaluation study was conducted and lessons we learnt in the process of integrating all the information at our disposal to satisfy a number of stakeholders.

"An evaluation model for supporting higher education lecturers in the integration of new learning technologies" 
Gordon Joyes 
Teaching Enhancement Advisor and Lecturer in Education School of Education
University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road Nottingham, NG8 1BB United Kingdom  Tel: +44 115 9664172 Fax: +44 115 9791506

This paper provides a description and some reflections on the ongoing development and use of an evaluation model. This model was designed to support the integration of new learning technologies into courses in higher education. The work was part of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funded Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP). The context and the rationale for the development of the evaluation model is described with reference to a case study of the evaluation of the use of new learning technologies in the civil and structural engineering department in one UK university. Evidence of the success of the approach to evaluation is presented and the learning media grid that arose from the evaluation is discussed. A description of the future use of this tool within a participatory approach to developing learning and teaching materials that seeks to embed new learning technologies is presented.

"A multi-institutional evaluation of Intelligent Tutoring Tools in Numeric Disciplines"
Kinshuk (there are other authors listed for this article)
Information Systems Department 
Massey University, Private Bag 11-222 Palmerston North, New Zealand Tel: +64 6 350 5799 Ext 2090 Fax: +64 6 350 5725 

This paper presents a case study of evaluating intelligent tutoring modules for procedural knowledge acquisition in numeric disciplines. As Iqbal et al. (1999) have noted, the benefit of carrying out evaluation of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) is to focus the attention away from short-term delivery and open up a dialogue about issues of appropriateness, usability and quality in system design. The paper also mentions an independent evaluation and how its findings emphasise the need to capture longer-term retention.

"Avoiding holes in holistic evaluation"
Malcolm Shaw 
Academic Development Manager The Academic Registry, Room F101 Leeds Metropolitan University Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 3HE, UK  Tel: +44 113 283 3444 Fax: +44 113 283 3128

Suzanne Corazzi 
Course Leader, Cert. in English with Prof. Studies Centre for Language Studies, 
Jean Monnet Building Room G01 Leeds Metropolitan University Beckett Park, Leeds, LS6 3QS, UK  Tel: +44 113 283 7440 Fax: +44 113 274 5966

The paper describes the evaluation strategy adopted for a major Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP3) funded project involving Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU), Sheffield Hallam Univeristy (SHU) and Plymouth University. The project concerned the technology transfer of a web-based learning resource that supports the acquisition of Key Skills from one of the Universities (LMU) to the others, and its customisation for these new learning environments.

The principles that guided the development of the evaluation strategy are outlined and the details of the methods employed are given. The practical ways in which this large project approached the organisation and management of the complexities of the evaluation are discussed. Where appropriate, examples of the sort of procedures and tools used are also provided.

Our overarching aim in regard to evaluation was to take a thorough and coherent approach that was holistic and that fully explored all the main aspects in the project outcomes. The paper identifies the major issues and problems that we encountered and the conclusions that we have reached about the value of our approach in a way that suggests its potential usefulness to others operating in similar circumstances.

"Classroom Conundrums: The Use of a Participant Design Methodology"
Bridget Cooper and Paul Brna 
Computer Based Learning Unit, Leeds University Leeds LS2 9JT, England, UK Tel: +44 113 233 4637 Fax: +44 113 233 4635 

We discuss the use of a participant design methodology in evaluating classroom activities in the context of an ongoing European funded project NIMIS, (Networked Interactive Media in Schools). We describe the thinking behind the project and choice of methodology, including a description of the pedagogical claims method utilised, the way in which it was carried out and some of the interim results and the issues raised in the process.

Though the project is situated in three European schools, we concentrate here on the evaluation in one UK school in particular: Glusburn County Primary school, near Leeds. The classroom has been very well received by teachers and pupils and the preliminary evaluation suggests some beneficial effects for both teachers and pupils, as well as long term consequences from the participant design methodology for some of the participants.

"Evaluating information and communication technologies for learning"
 Eileen Scanlon, Ann Jones, Jane Barnard, Julie Thompson and Judith Calder 
Institute for Educational Technology The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA United Kingdom  Tel: +44 1908 274066

In this paper we will describe an approach to evaluating learning technology which we have developed over the last twenty-five years, outline its theoretical background and compare it with other evaluation frameworks. This has given us a set of working principles from evaluations we have conducted at the Open University and from the literature, which we apply to the conduct of evaluations. These working practices are summarised in the context interactions and outcomes (CIAO!) model. We describe here how we applied these principles, working practices and models to an evaluation project conducted in Further Education. We conclude by discussing the implications of these experiences for the future conduct of evaluations.

"A large-scale ‘local’ evaluation of students’ learning experiences using virtual learning environments"
Julie Ann Richardson 
3rd Floor, Weston Education Centre Guys, King’s & St. Thomas’ Hospital Cutcombe Rd., London, SE5 9RJ United Kingdom  Tel: +44 207 848 5718 Fax: +44 207 848 5686

Anthony Turner 
Canterbury Christ Church University 
College North Holmes Rd., Canterbury, CT1 1QU United Kingdom  Tel: +44 1227 782880

In 1997-8 Staffordshire University introduced two Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), Lotus Learning Space, and COSE (Creation of Study Environments), as part of its commitment to distributed learning. A wide-reaching evaluation model has been designed, aimed at appraising the quality of students’ learning experiences using these VLEs. The evaluation can be considered to be a hybrid system with formative, summative and illuminative elements. The backbone of the model is a number of measuring instruments that were fitted around the educational process beginning in Jan 1999.

This paper provides an overview of the model and its implementation. First, the model and evaluation instruments are described. Second, the method and key findings are discussed. These highlighted that students need to feel more supported in their learning, that they need more cognitive challenges to encourage higher-order thinking and that they prefer to download their materials to hard copy. In addition, tutors need to have a greater awareness of the ways individual differences influence the learning experience and of strategies to facilitate electronic discussions. Generally, there should be a balance between learning on-line and face-to-face learning depending on the experience of tutors, students, and the subject.

Finally the model is evaluated in light of the processes and findings from the study.

"Towards a New Cost-Aware Evaluation Framework"
Charlotte Ash 
School of Computing and Management Sciences Sheffield Hallam University Stoddart Building, Howard Street Sheffield, S1 1WB, United Kingdom Tel: +44 114 225 4969 Fax: +44 114 225 5178 

This paper proposes a new approach to evaluating the cost-effectiveness of learning technologies within UK higher education. It identifies why we, as a sector, are so unwilling to base our decisions on results of other studies and how these problems can be overcome using a rigorous, quality-assured framework which encompasses a number of evaluation strategies. This paper also proposes a system of cost-aware university operation, including integrated evaluation, attainable through the introduction of Activity-Based Costing. It concludes that an appropriate measure of cost-effectiveness is essential as the sector increasingly adopts learning technologies.

"W3LS: Evaluation framework for World Wide Web learning"
Jan van der Veen  (There are other authors of this article)
DINKEL Educational Centre University of Twente 217, 7500AE Enschede The Netherlands Tel: +31 53 4893273 Fax: +31 53 4893183 

An evaluation framework for World Wide Web learning environments has been developed. The W3LS (WWW Learning Support) evaluation framework presented in this article is meant to support the evaluation of the actual use of Web learning environments. It indicates how the evaluation can be set up using questionnaires and interviews among other methods. The major evaluation aspects and relevant 'stakeholders' are identified. First results of cases using the W3LS evaluation framework are reported from different Higher Education institutes in the Netherlands. The usability of the framework is evaluated, and future developments in the evaluation of Web learning in Higher Education in the Netherlands are discussed.

Once again, the main website is at 

My new threads on assessment of education technologies ---

FindSame --- 

FindSame is an entirely new kind of search engine that looks for content, not keywords. You submit an entire document, and FindSame returns a list of Web pages that contain any fragment of that document longer than about one line of text. Enter a URL or paste some text in one of the boxes below, or upload a file. Then click the "search" button and FindSame will show you where on the Web any piece of the text at that URL appears.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

If you use your imagination, the following elementary school website has clever ideas for teaching in general.  Among other things, students create Economists Hall of Fame and design a imaginary company's Website.  Would our accounting students in college know enough about famous accountants (an oxymoron) to create an Accounting Hall of Fame or design an imaginary company's website?

It is a terrific website --- 

Update on MOOs and MUDs  
"Instructors Try Out Updated MOOs as Online-Course Classrooms" 
Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 24, 2000

The updated MOO systems aren't as graphics-heavy as three-dimensional "virtual worlds," in which virtual spaces are rendered in constantly-updated drawings. Both types of software encourage group activity, but in MOOs the written word is still king and the pictures merely serve as links between areas of a text-based environment.

One such updated MOO system, called enCore Xpress, is distributed free of charge online, provided that users agree to share any improvements they make to it. The software was created by Cynthia Haynes and Jan Rune Holmevik at the University of Texas at Dallas, where Ms. Haynes is director of rhetoric and writing and Mr. Holmevik is a visiting scholar in arts and humanities. Together, the two scholars also run Lingua MOO, which serves as an environment for online classes and a meeting place for people studying arts and humanities.

By making the chat environments easier to use, they hope to "bring MOOs into the mainstream," says Mr. Holmevik. "We have probably seen over 100 to 150 educational MOOs start because of our software."

Among the professors using enCore Xpress for online courses is Joel A. English, an assistant professor of professional writing at Old Dominion University. Last spring, he used the MOO to teach an advanced composition course.

Ten of his students logged in to the classes from their homes via the MOO, while the rest of the students sat in a classroom. Mr. English used a video camera to stream his lectures live over the MOO. The students in the MOO could type to each other, or type questions for the professor, while they watched and listened to the lecture. A teaching assistant moderated the online chat and voiced students' questions to Mr. English.

"That may sound cumbersome," Mr. English says, "but it was just my attempt at making sure that those students sitting at home at a computer could add to the discussion just like everybody else."

Mr. English says he doesn't mind if online students chat among themselves during his lecture -- provided they discuss the material. "If they're talking so much about course content that they miss something I say, then something right is going on," he says. "The best classrooms are those which are active, where students have active participation and don't just sit there sucking down content." He says the MOO students developed a stronger sense of community than the ones in the traditional classroom.

Other professors who've taught in MOOs report that the environment encourages free-for-all discussions rather than lecturing to a group.

"It can feel like you're herding cats online," says Linda G. Polin, a professor of education at Pepperdine University. She says the trick for a professor is to allow students to drive discussion without losing complete professorial control. For her courses, Ms. Polin uses a MOO-software package called Tapped In, which is similar to enCore Xpress.

Even with the updated MOO software, however, it can take a few weeks for students to get used to the environment, the professors say.

"The biggest challenge for students, by the way, is typing," says Ms. Polin. "Some students are very fast and some are not."

At its best, Ms. Polin says, the software can provoke discussions that are richer than traditional class sessions. "It can fulfill that fantasy we faculty all carry around in our hearts of the intense late-night coffeehouse intellectual discussion."

Background articles from The Chronicle:

A veteran MOOer in tax education is that funny (I mean doubles-you-up kind of funny) Professor Robert C. Rickets, Haskell Taylor Professor of Taxation, Texas Tech University.

You can read more about MUDs, MOOs, and MUSHes at 

From Infobits on October 31, 2000


"The UCLA Internet Report: Surveying the Digital Future," a survey conducted by the UCLA Center for Communications Policy, indicates that the Web is surpassing television and radio as an important source of information among users of online technology. Interestingly, the survey found that "among all mass media sources of information, both electronic and print, books were ranked most often as an important source of information by Internet users, with 73.1 percent ranking books as important or extremely important information sources. Newspapers rank second (69.3 percent of respondents), followed by the Internet (67.3 percent), television (53.1 percent), radio (46.8 percent) and magazines (44.3 percent). The report is available on the Web (in PDF format) at 

There is no more Financial Executives Institute, but there is an FEI --- 

Today marks a significant turning point in the long, proud history of FEI - the moment in which we become Financial Executives INTERNATIONAL. (FEI)

I'm making the official public announcement this morning in New York at our Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference. It's an exciting day for all of us at FEI.

For 70 years, FEI has been the voice of the senior-level corporate financial executive in the U.S. and Canada. We have represented the top echelon of the profession in companies both large and small, and been a vigorous advocate for corporate finance in the regulatory and legislative arenas of the United States and Canada.

But over the last decade, business changed. National borders and local economies are melding into one. As senior finance executives, we deal with competitors and opportunities every day that are in every sense global. We recognize that we can no longer compete effectively if we do not embrace this global vision in our own companies.

At FEI, we recognized that if we were to accurately reflect the new realities of the global economy, we must also embrace this global vision.

As Financial Executives International, we will be able to accept members worldwide, extending our representation of today's corporate finance executive to a vastly wider universe. Global accounting standards and consolidating international stock markets are just two examples of changes that FEI must stay in synch with.

The replacement of "Institute" with the word International is a seemingly small, but very significant change. We also retain the significant brand equity developed in the "FEI" acronym.

To carry this new identity into the 21st century, we've adapted a new logo that was designed to reflect the global outlook and dynamism of the new FEI. You'll see it on the top of our home page and on all our materials going forward.

My opening remarks in addressing the Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference are available for you to view here:, and more information regarding our launch is located here:

It's a good news story any way you look at it.

Phil Livingston [

Hey, I'm properly described as a Weblogger or Blogger (although both suspiciously sound like a new brands of beer).  Actually, I fail miserably on that "one page limit."  

Hello Bob,

Now there is a term for what you do (at least the part I see). If you
haven't seen it already take a look at the column down the left side of
page B1 in today's Wall Street Journal. Let me know if you want a
digital copy.

Scott Bonacker, CPA
McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC
Springfield, Missouri

An excerpt from Page B1 of The Wall Street Journal on October 30, 2000: 

Webloggers Try to Filter Out Information Excess of the Net 
JORN BARGER SIFTS information at a clip most people would find dizzying. For three or more hours each day, he roams restlessly among dozens of Web sites devoted to news, opinion, entertainment and gossip. When he finds something that interests him, he tells the world about it.

Like a scientific study suggesting that curried foods may be addictive. Or an interview with Danish film director Lars von Trier. Mr. Barger's taste is unabashedly eclectic. Anything that catches his fancy is duly noted with a brief blurb and a link on his Web site, a "weblog" he calls Robot Wisdom.

Combining the personal perspective of a journal with the vast databank of cyberspace, a good weblog can take you in a hundred different directions in just a few minutes. Compelling and interactive, it represents the most successful new literary form of the Internet Age.

The growing popularity of the format underscores a paradox of these information-saturated times: the need to give people quick, comprehensive access to diverse topics while helping them to delve into detail at any moment. Weblogs' power to captivate also demonstrates why human beings should remain in the loop even as online publishers increasingly seek to "personalize" information with automated systems.

"Who hasn't been to a neat site and thought, hey, more people should know about this?" muses Angus Stocking, a 36-year-old land surveyor and novice weblogger in Beaver Dam, Wis. After reading and enjoying other weblogs, or "blogs," he recently decided to create his own, which is now online (

WHAT EXACTLY makes a Web site a web-log? There's no simple definition, but generally it has a single page, with the most recent entries appearing at the top. Individual entries can range from a single line to a paragraph or two, with each entry offering personal observations and links to relevant pages elsewhere on the Web.

A weblog is much more than a list of Web bookmarks, but the linking element is crucial. Many people post online journals devoted mostly to chronicling the mundane events of their daily lives, dear-diary style. True webloggers don't tell you much about themselves directly. Instead, they reveal themselves through the links they choose.

The format traces its roots back to the "What's New" page posted by the university researchers who created the Mosaic browser in the early days of the World Wide Web. The paragraph-and-links style has spawned some successful businesses, such as the popular technology-news site Slashdot. A list of links maintained by two Stanford graduate students morphed into the vast Yahoo! directory.

Truly personal weblogs mostly bubbled beneath the Web's surface. Recently, though, they have started to go mainstream, thanks to tools that make it simple for would-be weblog authors to get started. At (, a free site with weblog software, dozens of new weblogs are launched each day. "The format makes a ton of sense for the Web," says Evan Williams, co-founder and CEO of Blogger's parent company, Pyra Labs.

The Kentucky Virtual Library (includes tutorials and much more) 

This sounds like an interesting alternative for Internet access --- Slingshot 

It's prepaid Internet access on a CD you buy at the store. No memberships, no monthly bills, and no personal information are required. Slingshot doesn't take over your computer…it's fully compatible with other ISPs. You control your surfing, your spending, and your computer.

Slingshot Internet access is as easy as playing a music CD. Insert CD into your computer Type in your access code (included in the package or received at the cash register) Surf the Internet

From Infobits on October 31, 2000

"All Academic: The Guide to Free Academic Resources Online" is a database of scholarly articles and convention papers searchable by subject, author, publication, or article title. The site also includes a lengthy list of links to online versions of scholarly journals. The collection, although still small, has traditional features, as well as those not usually found in article databases on the Web. The search results include article abstracts; all citations are available in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. The database's designers have also included fields for the author's place of employment, degree, and other qualifications.

All Academic's founders encourage scholars to submit their own scholarly work. If you have a working paper that does not exist online, you can send them an electronic copy and they will host your paper. You can reach the site at 

Teaching Tip from Roger

I use  to download some of the latest ads to spice up my lectures. This site has more than 1.2k ads online.
Roger Debreceny

Special Report: The wireless protocol is seeking to unify fractious parts into a powerful and civilized whole. Can it be done? eWEEK Labs takes a look at the hurdles the technology faces. 

A new history website that is definitely worth taking a look at 
Especially note the timeline of major world history events beginning in 10,000 BC

Historycentral is dedicated to becoming History's Home on the web. The core of the site is our timeline of world history. Culled from one of MultiEductor's 21 history CD's this time line covers the major events in world history from the dawn of civilization to 1999. Links to other sites on the web as well as other resources on the site are presented in the right margin of the pages. The left margin of the pages includes an ever-expanding list of related items that can be purchased from our shopping site,

The second major section of our site is the part devoted to Americas War's. That section includes the history of every major war in America's history from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. These sections include photos and description of the each major event.

The site also features a major section on the elections. This part includes the history of each and every election. The history includes both popular and electoral votes in each election, turnout, as well as a map of the states carried by each competing candidate. The section also includes updates on Election 2000.

Another part of the site is called this section includes pages on the economy, population, history, and geography of all the nations of the world. In addition there are updated links and new feeds from the various nations.

The site includes over 400 primary source documents in American history. From a first hand account of the discovery of the New World by Columbus to the inaugural address of President Clinton, the site provides an excellent insight into American History as seen in original documents.

The biography section of the site includes biographies of the 500 most important people of the 20th century. We are taking nominations for additions to the list. The section also includes biographies of the Presidents and First Ladies of the United States.

Portraits of the Presidents --- 

Presidential Haiku (history of elections, sometimes hilarious) 

History of black migration to the United States 
North by South --- 

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." (From The Raven by Poe)
Lotus Development Corporation is creating a Knowledge Portal (Vortal?) on Management

Technically, Raven is a standalone knowledge server that integrates the key components required for a strategic knowledge management infrastructure. Using several leading-edge technologies, Raven: 

"Raven" will provide a single portal that will allow end users to find and discover useful information and applications on a given subject; make the user aware of other knowledgeable people in the company; and organize all related tasks, teams and projects. From an organizational standpoint, "Raven" provides virtual places where people and content are brought together to improve company responsiveness, speed innovation, enhance employee competency and increase efficiency. "Raven" leverages the Lotus Domino messaging and Web applications infrastructure, making it easier for a company to build and deploy business-focused knowledge management applications on top of their collaborative infrastructures. In addition, "Raven" capitalizes on IBM's unique experiences and technologies in data and information management.

"Our integrated approach will allow customers to benefit from IBM's expertise in leveraging information and learning and from Lotus' leadership in collaboration. This will enable customers to implement solutions that fully optimize their knowledge assets," said Scott Smith, Managing Principal, Global Knowledge Management Services, IBM Global Services. "Together, Lotus and IBM are uniquely qualified to provide the technology, process and organizational services to offer our customers the full breadth of knowledge management and e-business solutions."

Raven Allows Organizations to Discover What They Know Through People, Places & Things

Today's complex, global organizations suffer from geographical and time constraints, slow diffusion of information, employee turnover and the inability to find the right people with the right information. "Raven" builds upon Domino's messaging and groupware infrastructure to create a fully integrated knowledge management platform that fosters successful knowledge creation and sharing by bringing people and content together in a virtual collaborative setting. "Raven's" set of integrated services extend the value of Domino by cataloging content and people; determining value, meaning and relationships; delivering the right information to the right people at the right place and time; and providing communities with a tailored environment in which to work.

"Raven" is a single integrated product aligned under the Lotus theme of "People" (expertise location), "Places" (portal) and "Things" (content catalog). 

To view Bob Jensen's threads on knowledge portals and vortals, go to 

UCLA Internet Report: Surveying the Digital Future --- 


On June 8, UCLA launched the first comprehensive study ever conducted of the sweeping changes produced by the Internet -- an international project created to explore how computers, information technology and their users are shaping and changing society. "The UCLA study will explain how the Internet is changing the world -- today, tomorrow, and 20 years from now," said Jeffrey Cole, director of the UCLA Center for Communication Policy and principal investigator of the study.

"Everyone either loves or hates the Internet, but there's no question that the impact of the Internet is real and profound -- certainly the most important communication technology of the generation to come," Cole said.

"The UCLA Internet Study will provide the first long-term exploration of how life is being transformed by computers and the Internet, with year-to-year comparisons of the social and cultural changes produced as people use this extraordinary technology. This study is also the first to analyze these broad questions about the Internet on a global scale."

Funded by America Online, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Sony, GTE, Pacific Bell, the National Cable Television Association and the university, the UCLA Internet Study will survey computer users -- as well as non-users -- in the United States, Singapore and Italy, and will expand to an additional 15 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa over the next 3-5 years.

"Imagine how much we would have learned if a study of this type had been conducted of television beginning in the early 1950s," said Cole. "If we had five decades of data that showed how TV has changed the world, we would have a much better understanding of how society and culture have evolved in the second half of the 20th century.

"Understanding how people use the Internet is even more important than understanding the impact of television," Cole said. "While television is primarily about our leisure time, the Internet is already transforming work, school and play. Virtually every business, political and social activity will be affected by the Internet, and most activities will be dramatically transformed. Child rearing, consumer behavior, education, politics and religion are being changed dramatically by the Internet; these changes have unprecedented effects on our culture that need to be better understood.

"The UCLA Internet Study will provide precisely that kind of information and analysis as computer technology becomes an even more powerful catalyst of cultural change."

Thanks to new technology, workers are telecommuting in ever-growing numbers. And it's a trend that's paying off for employees and companies alike --- 

Scot Petersen: Who knew telecommuters took themselves so darned seriously? --- 

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, at Internet World Thursday, said the new economy hasn't "repealed the laws of human nature and economics." --- 

The Holy Grail of easy and inexpensive data exchange between businesses got a step closer to reality this week when the World Wide Web Consortium issued the XML schema as a candidate recommendation --- 

Also: Visit the XML Resource Center for news, reviews, and commentary: 

The 2000 Campus Computing Survey: Struggling with IT Staffing 

From InformationWeek Newsletter October 29, 2000

Tranformation Of The Enterprise: Financial Firms Push Everything Online

These days, any bank or brokerage firm worth its currency lets its customers conduct online transactions. Now financial services firms are taking their e-business efforts to the next level by widening the breadth of services they offer to businesses and consumers. And they are using the Internet to communicate with each other, suppliers and partners. However, even for the largest of banks and brokerages, much of their effort is still a work in progress as they attempt to build infrastructures to offer new services and add new forms of connectivity.

Still, the Internet already is letting these companies streamline traditional processes such as procurement, and many are already using the Net to conduct a broad set of B2B transactions--everything from trading equities and bonds between firms to procuring goods online. Banks and brokerages are looking to intercompany links to offer more sophisticated services such as account aggregation, which can be used to provide personalized consulting, and new online investment products such as bonds, which still are predominantly sold through traditional brokers.

And while B2B marketplaces are most often associated with procurement and supply chain logistics for companies that manufacture goods, banks and brokerages are establishing their own exchanges. Still, while 68 percent of banks and brokerages surveyed are selling products and services online today, nearly half say they have not forged electronic links over the Internet with business partners and suppliers, according to InternetWeek's third annual Transformation Of The Enterprise research study. And only 40 percent say they are operating an extranet- -or Internet-based supply chain network. --Rutrell Yasin

From SyllabusNews October 31, 2000

Drexel Distributes Speech Recognition Software

Drexel University became the first higher education institution to distribute speech recognition software free to its students, faculty, and staff when classes began last month. Lernout & Hauspie will provide its Dragon NaturallySpeaking automatic speech recognition software to Drexel's 12,000 students.

Aside from word processing, L&H's Dragon NaturallySpeaking includes speech-enabled Internet capabilities, which allow for Web-browsing by voice. With voice commands, users can activate hotlinks, perform research on-line, and sign into chat rooms. The Microsoft Windows can be manipulated by executing verbal commands such as "start AOL Instant Messenger" or "switch to Word."

(Bob Jensen's threads on speech recognition are at )

Macromedia Enables Accessible Web Content

Macromedia recently announced the availability of free extensions to its Dreamweaver and Fireworks programs that make it easier for users to deliver accessible Web content. The Dreamweaver extension enables developers to evaluate their Web pages for accessibility based on the guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The extension performs a test similar to that of Bobby (  ), which has become a standard online benchmark for accessibility. The free extensions are immediately available for download from the Macromedia Exchange for Dreamweaver at . Information about Macromedia's accessibility program is available at .

It is possible to covert your documents into Adobe PDF documents without purchasing the Adobe Acrobat writing (Exchange) software.  To do so, you must go the special Adobe website at 

Create Adobe® PDF Online is a Web-hosted service that lets you convert a wide variety of documents into Adobe PDF files that anyone can view using the free, widely distributed Adobe Acrobat® Reader™. If you're tired of colleagues not being able to view your documents because of software or platform incompatibilities, this service is for you.

Supported formats include Microsoft® Office files, Web pages, graphics formats, and other file types. (Note: Uploaded files are limited to 50 MB and a 15-minute processing time.)

Using Create Adobe PDF Online is a breeze: 
1. Register for a free trial (or sign up for the subscription service). 
2. Upload your file, or provide the URL of your Web page.
3. After your file is converted, download it or receive it as an e-mail attachment.

Bob Jensen's threads on Adobe Acrobat are at 

An example of a vortal --- Export Vortal -- US Department of Commerce 

You can read more about portals and vortals at 

Yahoo! Buzz Index ---
Ranks what is popular in entertainment.

Jump The Shark - Chronicling the Moments of When TV Shows go Downhill 

In an interview Tuesday, infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick voiced skepticism about some of the claims surrounding the recent attack on Microsoft's network. --- 

Case Studies in Business Ethics ---,,GDE71,00.html 

This is an excellent free journal on education issues, including eEducation.  However, its focus is mainly in K-12. 

My suggestion --- add a martini bar and a free ride home at the end of the work day (midnight?).  
Debbie Bowling forwarded this from Word Spy --- 

lifestyle office (noun)

An office organized in such a way that it suits the way of life and style of working of each employee.

"If you are brainstorming, you should feel free to go and sit on a sofa or into the garden. Some people who like routine would find this difficult, but workplaces should be designed to help people have the freedom to work as they wish. The new buzzword is lifestyle offices." --Emma Cullinan, "Now there's a desk," 
The Irish Times, October 12, 2000 

Innovations in poetry and literature 
Kelly Writers House 

From the WSJ Educator Reviews, November 2, 2000
Here Are Six Myths That Drove the Boom In Technology Stocks By E. S. Browning and Greg Ip 10/16/00 Pages A1, A14  

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 1. Recently, some financial analysts are turning away from the reported earnings vs. expected earnings paradigm in making buy-hold-sell recommendations, for both tech stocks and the old economy stocks. Myth No. 5 states that "Prospects are more important than immediate earnings." Is this a reaction (for tech stocks) to the realization that earnings are not the indicators of future performance that it once was? Are there measures better suited for purposes of analyzing investment potential in the tech field?

2. Are there non-financial measures that can be developed for the technology firms? Can these measures provide useful information both internally and externally?

3. The article discusses a selected number of anecdotal findings for specific firms. Are these firms realistically categorized correctly by lumping them together? Dell sells computers, Intel makes memory chips for computers, and Microsoft makes software to be used in computers. Undeniably they are all tech-related stocks, but don't they do fundamentally different things? Myth No. 2: "Tech companies aren't subject to ordinary economic forces," among them rising interest rates. They go on to say that whether interest rates affect tech companies or not, they certainly affect their customers. Would you expect interest rates to affect Intel, Dell and Microsoft differently in that they do different things?

4. Myth No. 1 states "Tech companies can generate breathtaking gains in earnings, sales and productivity gains for years to come." Doesn't Microsoft sell productivity to its customers? Isn't its own productivity gain limited in the near-term? Isn't that same true for its customers? Could it be that Microsoft's success has been due to the sheer number of companies seeking this one-time limited jump in productivity?

Hi Julie,

Probably the best place to start is at the terrific AAA website at 
In particular, go to ACE.

You may find something of interest in my Advice to New Faculty at 

Probably the best thing to focus on at the moment is XBRL. I suggest that you begin with  XBRL has not yet had a great impact on accounting education, but it will soon have a great impact.

I am still writing this document, but you can take a look at  The above document is not restricted to accounting, but the document applies to accounting education as well as education in general.

Another document is badly out of date, but it will provide you with some history of technology in accounting education at 

A broader listing of topics and helpers is at 

You might also try some word searches in my archives at 

A very good website is available at 

I hope this helps. 
Bob (Robert E.) Jensen 
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email:

-----Original Message----- 
From: julie hong [
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2000 8:30 AM 
Subject: May I get your assistance?

Dear Prof. Jensen, My name is Julie Hong and I am a student at UVa. I am writing a paper about the positive and negative effects of information technology on the teachings of accounting in classrooms. I approached my accounting teacher Prof. Carter and he gave me your address. It is to my understanding that you have a wealth of information on the web about this topic and I was wondering if you can send me any of the urls or any articles about this issue. I would appreciate this a lot. Thank you so much and I hope to hear from you soon. Most thankful, 
Julie Hong

Below is a description of the November/December 2000 issue of The Technology Source, a free, refereed Web periodical at 

Please forward this announcement to colleagues who are interested in using information technology tools more effectively in their work.

As always, we seek illuminating articles that will assist educators as they face the challenge of integrating information technology tools in teaching and in managing educational organizations. Please review our call for manuscripts at and send me a note if you would like to contribute such an article. Note that during the one year period from 1 October 1999 to 30 September 2000, The Technology Source had 625,112 requests. (A "request" refers to a HTTP request of a page, either by a link or by typing it in the browser address line; see our site usage statistical information at

Jim -- James L. Morrison  Professor of Educational Leadership CB 3500 Peabody Hall Editor, The Technology Source UNC-Chapel Hill  Chapel Hill, NC 27599 Editor Emeritus, On the Horizon Phone: 919 962-2517  Fax: 919 962-1693


In today's global economy, radically different cultures trade in today's hottest commodity: knowledge. In an interview with Technology Source editor James L. Morrison, Frank Tait shares the vision driving his work with the Chinese distance learning market as senior vice president for global marketing for SCT, a leading provider of higher education technology. When Morrison asks what effect SCT's initiatives may have on American and Chinese educational opportunities, Tait suggests that the technological revolution may help turn cultural barriers into diverse opportunities for creative ventures. Empowered by technologies born of cross-cultural innovation, Tait reports, global businesses like SCT can provide access to education even in rural parts of distant nations.

Busy educators have no time for those technological "advancements" that create more difficulties than they resolve. But how do we separate the wheat from the chaff? The answer, Stephen C. Ehrmann tells us, lies in better diagnostic studies of Web-enabled efforts, studies that identify those programs with marked, practical effects on student learning. Laying out several crucial questions for educators undertaking such research, Ehrmann makes even the complicated process of assessment seem practicable.

Though innumerable technological advances have been billed as one-time cure-alls, instilling technological skills in users requires constant, costly upgrades of hardware and software as well as ongoing training and support services. Given these costs, many educators have found themselves in the uncomfortable position of arguing for greater and greater fiscal expenditures. Mauri Collins and Zane Berge suggest an alternate approach: technological minimalism. In their commentary, Collins and Berge posit that matching pedagogical goals with specific technological tools will allow distance educators to get the most for their money. They offer a tech-savvy argument for paring instructional toolboxes down to the essentials rather than acquiring each new "gadget" on the market.

Alton L. Taylor and Frank A. Schmidtlein offer a second commentary on keeping up with the costs of technology. Acknowledging those unavoidable expenses that even technological minimalists must incur, Taylor and Schmidtlein remind administrators of the need for sophisticated long-term plans for implementing technology. Though loyal Technology Source readers may not need this reminder, a little of Taylor and Schmidtlein's research may help persuade colleagues unconcerned with such priorities. According to research cited in this article, fewer than half of U.S. colleges have a long-term financial plan for supporting technology, and only one in five has a curricular plan for doing so.

If your idea of interdisciplinary studies involves two professors taking turns lecturing behind a dusty overhead projector in an outdated classroom, it's time to read Alan B. Howard's case study. A professor of American Studies at the University of Virgnia, Howard decided a few years ago to enable M.A. students to enliven humanities scholarship with technological instruments. The result? Unmatched online collections of texts, historic photographs, and directories of additional resources-plus a group of graduates eager and prepared to take on the 21st century.

Faculty and staff development often takes effort, effort on the parts of all members of the university community. But all that effort pays off when the program is as comprehensive and successful as Carmel McNaught and Paul Kennedy's. Their ambitious program unified seven independent faculties at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, implemented a set of standard tools, and trained 200 Learning Technology Mentors (LTMs), who received course releases and the support of their administration to help other teachers expand their technological capabilities.

Stephen Downes shines this issue's spotlight onto, a Web site designed to help you keep on top of the most important distance education and online headlines every day. provides a daily newsfeed and much more. Downes praises the site's efficient, attractive layout, easy-to-use reference guides, and abundant links that will help you stay on the cutting edge.

We've got a choice of three handy tools for you: a Web research tool that identifies the specific information you need on each site, another that helps you gather statistical data on any question you want to pose online, and a third that helps you streamline those administrative tasks that take precious time from your day. Want all of the above? If you're online, you've already got them! Just let Patrick Bjork show you where they are.

Though he is optimistic about online course evaluations, Michael Theall doesn't believe that Web-based data collection methods are fundamentally superior to their paper-and-pencil counterparts. With a sobering review of decades of research, Theall points out some of the dangers new course evaluation designers must take into consideration. Find out what they are-and how to avoid them-in his letter to the editor.

Report Warns of Accounting Education's "Perilous Future"

The number of accounting majors has slipped 23 percent in only four years
and, until recently, reasons for this decline have been nothing more than
speculation. But a new study is providing some new answers -- and stirring
more controversy. The report, "Accounting Education: Charting the Course
through a Perilous Future," comes to the basic conclusion that, according to
accounting educator W. Steve Albrecht, "if we don't do something we're going
to be out of business."  

Janet Flatley
1st Fed S&L Assn
Pt Angeles WA

For a review of the report go to 

The report itself is available from the American Accounting Association at 

My son sent me some information on the Crimson Permanent Assurance movie: The story is about a bunch of accountants working in this office like Roman galley slaves rowing their ten-keys to the beat of this vicious boss. They end up in a mutiny and take over the office, then "sail" their building all over the world as "corporate raiders". Attached is a .jpg clip of a picture of the evil accounting pirates.

He also sent me a couple of links to a site with pictures and sound from the movie.

This link prints out the words to the Sea of Accountancy song - plus it has a link to hear it (but it played very poorly when I tried it). 

Here's a page explaining the accounting clip AND a link to clearly hear the "Accountant's Song". 

Here's s set of 48 pictures of movie scenes: 

These are all from a Monte Python site at: 
Paul Dierks [Paul.Dierks@MBA.WFU.EDU

I have received several comments about the role of accountant in movies. I created a page for my students to reference. You may see this summary list at: 

If there are any additions or deletions to be made, please e-mail me.

I have seen 10 on the list.

Dave Albrecht Associate 
Professor of Accounting 
Bowling Green State University 

Bob Jensen's Threads on the Decline in U.S. Accounting Majors can be found at 

The link to the earlier threads to the topic below can be found in my November 1, 2000 edition of New Bookmarks at (You must scroll down a ways in that document).

A couple of weeks ago there was a posting referring to a company that highlighted pro forma earnings in its press release. Over the weekend I read a recent speech by Lynn Turner, Chief Accountant of the SEC, just posted on the SEC web site. It explains this situation a little more and ends with a warning that the SEC may crack down if companies don't voluntarily clean up their own act. The relevant passages from the speech are as follows.

Denny Beresford University of Georgia

Let me move on to another topic that is receiving much attention in the financial press today. The issue is earnings releases. In particular, what I will call "EBS" or "Everything but Bad Stuff" releases. Today, we are seeing earnings releases published that convey an incomplete or inaccurate picture to investors. For example, I have seen earnings releases that present:

1.Earnings before marketing costs,

2.Cash earnings per share that bear no relevance to cash flows but rather are merely earnings adjusted to eliminate amortization of selected costs,

3.Earnings before losses from new product lines,

4.Any one or combination of the above, but with one time gains from sales of investments added back.

Such numbers generally are disclosed in the first part of a press release, and labeled as "Pro Forma" earnings. But often, they do not provide a clear or complete picture to investors. As a result, I counsel investors to be wary of such disclosures and the story being presented. I believe investors in such circumstances need to be sure they read the full Form 10-Q, where hopefully all the facts are presented in a complete and balanced fashion. I also encourage audit committees to consider the quality of the earnings press releases being issued today and assess whether they are in fact providing a transparent, clear picture to the investors they represent.

Analysts also need to play a more constructive role in improving the quality of press releases. Rather than just accepting the numbers management might set forth, the analysts need to get behind those numbers and understand the underlying story. The analysts need to challenge "pro forma" numbers that are presented as "cash earnings" when in fact they are not.

I believe if the members of the financial and business community, including financial executives, analysts and the accounting profession, are not able to stem the tide of unbalanced and incomplete earnings releases, a regulatory response might be necessary.

Women in computing
Silicon Salley  
THE INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF TRAINING TheTrainingWeb is an international register, directory and search engine for the training industry worldwide. Basic Membership is FREE.

Wealth, Giving, and Living --- 

Sounds worthwhile 

Sailors Helping Schools is a private nonprofit organization. We accept donations of school supplies, used computers, etc, and volunteer yachtsmen deliver them to schools in developing countries around the world. Donors are connected with volunteers on a one -to- one basis on the Message Board. We also help other relief organizations and missionary groups as well as distribute supplies donated to Sailors Helping Schools. You do not have to join anything to help but volunteers responding to donations on the Message Board must register on the Guidelines page. All information is kept strictly confidential.

There are literally thousands of cruising sailboats voyaging to the most remote areas of the globe at any given time. There are also thousands of schools that do not have even the most basic supplies for their teachers and students to work with. Distribution of donated items through commercial shipping is difficult and costly. As members of the far-flung cruising community we can provide this service for free and it builds goodwill between nations at a personal level.

Welcome to the October 29th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter . 

1. SEC Chairman Encourages Further XBRL Development 
2. Mike Willis Stars on This Tuesday 
3. W3C Issues XML Schema as a Candidate Recommendation 
4. The Perpetual Motion Machine: Moving from Service to Product 
5. Ray Ozzie Demos Highly Anticipated Groupware Tool 
6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML Six new stories on Saturday 10-28 alone!

Welcom to the November 5th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter for the financial professional. The Newsletter moved to a new location, please note. 

1. Can You Avoid Learning XML? 
2. White Paper on Cyberliability 
3. Wireless Corner: Music on the Fly? 
4. Ericsson Unveils New Internet - Surfing Phone 
5. Zaplets turns E-Mail interactive 
6. XML Resources Including the Free XML Magazine 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML New stories every day!

This just in from Chicken Little: Why did the chicken cross the road?

I fight for the chickens and I am fighting for the chickens right now. I will not give up on the chickens crossing the road! I will fight for the chickens and I will not disappoint them.

I don't believe we need to get the chickens across the road. I say give the road to the chickens and let them decide. The government needs to let go of strangling the chickens so they can get across the road.

I believe that every chicken has the right to worship their God in their own way. Crossing the road is a spiritual journey and no chicken should be denied the right to cross the road in their own way.

Chickens are big-time because they have wings. They could fly if they wanted to. Chickens don't want to cross the road. They don't need help crossing the road. In fact, I'm not interested in crossing the road myself.

Chickens are misled into believing there is a road by the evil tiremakers. Chickens aren't ignorant, but our society pays tiremakers to create the need for these roads and then lures chickens into believing there is an advantage to crossing them. Down with the roads, up with chickens.

 To steal a job from a decent, hardworking American.

Because the chicken was gay! Isn't it obvious? Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's what "they" call it-the "other side." Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side." That chicken should not be free to cross the road. It's as plain and simple as that.

To die. In the rain.

I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross without having their motives called into question.

In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

It was a historical inevitability.

This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

What chicken?

To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

I have just released eChicken 2000, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook and Internet Explorer is an inextricable part of eChicken.

Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by "chicken"? Could you define "chicken" please?

The road, you will see, represents the black man. The chicken crossed the "black man" in order to trample him and keep him down.

I missed one?

Dear Bob:
My wife Betty and I thought that you would enjoy reading the following tidbits that a friend recently sent us. Take care and God bless!
Most sincerely,
Brent and Betty Carper
The American University in Cairo
Next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature 
isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to 
be....Here are some facts about the 1500s.
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May 
and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell
so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had 
the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then
the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water 
was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it-hence the saying, "Don't
throw the baby out with the bath water."
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath.  
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and
other small animals (mice rats, and bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained 
it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the
roof-hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real 
problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess
up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the 
top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into 
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the 
saying "dirt poor."
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, 
so they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter
wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it
would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entry 
way-hence, a "thresh hold."
They cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly
vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner,
leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the
next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a
while-hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge
in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When
visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a
sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a
little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content
caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and
death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or
so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood
with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from
stale paysan bread which was so old and hard that they could use them for
quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and
mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy moldy
trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the
loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes
knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would
take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the
kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and
eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up-hence the custom of
holding a "wake."
England is old and small and they started out running out of places to bury
people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a
"bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, one out of
25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string 
on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground
and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all 
night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be
"saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer".

The Great Truth About Aging --- 

In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

It's harder and harder for sexual harassment charges to stick.

People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"

People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

Things you buy now won't wear out.

You can eat dinner at 4:00

You can live without sex but not without glasses.

You got cable for the weather channel.

You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

Your ears are hairier than your head.

Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

People send you this list

Do you have any Great Truths about Aging you would like to share with our readers? Send them to:

And that's the way it was on November 7, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


News from the Association of International Accountants 


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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November 1, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

Whoever it was that first hit on the notion of a university and proposed that a public institution of this kind be established, it was not a bad idea to handle the entire content of learning (really, the thinkers devoted to it) by mass production, so to speak-by a division of labor, so that for every branch of the sciences there would be a public teacher or professor appointed as its trustee, and all of these together would form a kind of learned community called a university (or higher school). The university would have a certain autonomy (since only scholars can pass judgment on scholars as such) and accordingly it would be authorized to perform certain functions through its faculties.
Immanuel Kant, The Conflict of the Faculties, published in 1798 --- See 
Jensen Comment:  In the 21st Century, the really first "mass production" will take place in an era of online competition among corporations and traditional universities seeking to compete in the networked and globally-connected world.

Clayton Christensen has revolutionized how the world sees innovation.  Established companies, he discovered, pursue innovations that support their existing business models --- a practice that blinds them to radical innovations --- ones that often come from out of the same blue.  His longtime study of sustaining versus disruptive technologies has exploded in popularity as a way of interpreting this era of dizzying change.
Thomas Petzinger, Jr. in "Innovation in the Connected Economy:  A Conversation with Clayton Christensen," Perspectives on Business Innovation, Issue 5, September 2000, 6-12 at 
Jensen Comment:  Many university administrators and faculties think that sustaining technologies (electronic classrooms and other technology aids for onsite learning) are enough for now.  By avoiding disruptive change, they will be ground up for Mike Milken's lunch.

You guys (traditional colleges) are in trouble and we are going to eat your lunch.
Mike Milken as quoted by Mark Taylor in "Useful Devils," Educause Review, July/August 2000 --- 
Jensen Comment:  What Milken means by "we" is the commercialization of education at all levels (most notably higher education) in online delivery of both training and education courses in both synchronous and asynchronous modes.

Change is never easy and always threatening. Yet change is what keeps institutions as well as people alive. Unfortunately, no institution is more resistant to change than the college and university. Perhaps it has always been so, but now time seems to be running out. If colleges and universities do not overcome their smug satisfaction with how they do business, the Michael Milkens of the world will indeed eat their lunch. The challenge that educators face is to turn the useful devils of business and technology to their own ends. If usefulness is a devil, it’s a devil we must learn to dance with or educational institutions will become more obsolete than they already are. This is neither a threat nor an ultimatum; it is just a fact—a brute fact. And it’s time to face this fact directly and honestly.
"Useful Devils," by Mark C. Taylor, Educause Review, July/August 2000 --- 

Even though a shakeout period for e-business is underway, it is clear that the structure of business has been radically altered and that business as usual will never be usual again.  Will change be as permanent in higher education?  Yes.  All signs indicate that we are on a path to creating a :new education" analogous to the "new economy."  The reasons are obvious.  Education is simply too important and our existing methods of delivering it are too expensive, time-consuming, and constrained by established practice not to invite competition.  And the new commutations and computer technologies make competition possible --- actually inevitable.
G.C. Farrington and R.K. Yoshida, Educause Review, November/December, 2000

Let’s start with a simple definition, and then explore some of the variations of portals. At the most basic level, portals gather a variety of useful information resources into a single, “one-stop” Web page, helping the user to avoid being overwhelmed by “infoglut” or feeling lost on the Web. But since no two people have the same interests, portals allow users to customize their information sources by selecting and viewing only the information they find personally useful. Some portals also let you personalize your portal by including private information (such as your stock portfolio or checking account balance). Put simply, an institution’s portal is designed to make an individual’s Web experience more efficient and thereby make the institution as a whole more productive and responsive.
"Portals in Higher Education," by Michael Looney and Peter Lyman, Educause Review, July/August 2000 --- 

Fathom users will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with the leading experts in their field. Fathom's unique architecture will provide a powerful "search and explore capability" that will allow users to follow their interests, independently or with expert guidance, across the widest possible range of subjects. 
For more about knowledge portals, go to 

Wow Site of the Week --- You can download (for free) nearly six hours of MP3 audio and the PowerPoint presentation slides of one of the best education technology workshops that I ever organized.  This was the pre-convention workshop that I organized for the American Accounting Association, August 12, 2000 in Philadelphia.  The speakers, topics, and download instructions are given at 

The presentations apply to education in general and are not particularly focused on accounting and business education.

Workshop Title
Innovative Learning Programs for Accounting and Business:  the Ivy League Goes Online, the Sloan Foundation Experiments in Asynchronous Learning, and Experiments in Self-Learning at Major Universities Using the BAM Pedagogy

Topics include the following:

You can download all of this for free or, alternately, order it all on a CD-ROM by following instructions at given at  

I want to acknowledge the wonderful professionals in the Instructional Media Services (IMS) division of Trinity University.  One of the nicest things in my life is having them do everything in their power to help me.  One example, is the CD-ROM made from my video tapes for the workshop mentioned above.  Although I can record MP3 audio in my office, I did not want to record nearly six hours of audio.  IMS did the recording and agreed to distribute the CD-ROM to people who prefer not to download the files from the above website.  Any flaws in the audio were on my videotapes initially and were not caused by the IMS MP3 recording services.

Once again, instructions for either downloading files for free or ordering a CD-ROM are given at 

Fathom:  A must see for looking into the crystal ball of knowledge portals: 

Fathom Partners to Date:

You can read more about knowledge portals in general and Fathom in particular at my latest set of threads 

At this moment the November/December issue of Educause Review is not yet available online, but eventually it will be available in PDF format at 

I especially recommend "Darwin Goes to College:  Educational Competition in the Dot-com World," by G.C. Farrington and R.K. Yoshida, Educause Review, November/December, 2000, pp. 12-18.

Even though a shakeout period for e-business is underway, it is clear that the structure of business has been radically altered and that business as usual will never be usual again.  Will change be as permanent in higher education?  Yes.  All signs indicate that we are on a path to creating a :new education" analogous to the "new economy."  The reasons are obvious.  Education is simply too important and our existing methods of delivering it are too expensive, time-consuming, and constrained by established practice not to invite competition.  And the new commutations and computer technologies make competition possible --- actually inevitable.

Along similar lines, I recommend my threads at 

You may want to take a look at 

The main book that I recommend in this area is Higher Education in an Era of Digital Competition Edited by D.E. Hanna (Madison, WI:  Atwood Publishing, ISBN 1-891859-32-3, 2000.  


I equally recommend "Technology, Higher Education, and a Very Foggy Crystal Ball," by Brian L. Hawkins, Educause Review, November/December, pp. 65-73.
  1. The New Market Will Be Smaller Than Often Predicted.
    Some studies have suggested that more than 128 million new FTEs will be added to the market, in addition to the roughly 4 million additional FTEs entering traditional forms of higher education.  Although these numbers would tempt any entrepreneur, they contain assumptions that may exaggerate the "real" size of the marketplace.  For example, part of the 100 million non-U.S.-based potential FTEs will not want a curriculum presented in English.  While some of the subject matter will transcend language, other elements will not.  There also may be significant cultural challenges.  How effectively will a U.S.-based curriculum enable residents of India or Africa to master computer skills?

    Jensen Comment:
    Hawkins does not mention it, but there will also be an added problem for corporations and colleges trying to expand online fee-based training and education programs.   Free knowledge on the web will cut into the demand for pay sites.  For example, the many free sites listed at LibrarySpot ( ) have struck a heavy blow on companies attempting to sell encyclopedias, thesauri, dictionaries, almanacs, etc.  Universities may become their own worst enemies.  What will have a heavy impact on education providers will be free knowledge portals such a Columbia's Fathom portal that will provide free tutorials, highest quality drill down tutorials, and very easy-to-find tutorials on a vast array of knowledge.  See 

  2. Residential Campuses Will Still Be Significant.

    In discussions about distributed education, people often draw the erroneous conclusion that residential education is doomed to a downward spiral.  However, significant erosion of residential education is actually quite unlikely, for two reasons.  First, residential education works.  It is a highly successful formative experience, proven in its ability to move late adolescents across the transom to intellectual and emotional maturity.  Once a "safe haven" available only to the elite, residential higher education has become increasingly accessible over the last fifty years.  The trend is toward more inclusion, not away from it, and this is good.  Residential education provides young people the opportunity to experiment and to explore various academic directions.  It produces positive outcomes in the long run for the students and society.  Whereas this argument can be applied to nontraditional students as well, it is particularly appropriate for the 18-to-22 year-old population.

    Jensen Comment
    Hawkins fails to put growth into perspective.  Even though onsite education is growing, its growth potential is miniscule compared with the growth potential of online education.  At Stanford University, the growth of online revenues in just a few years soared from zero to over $100 million from very limited online experiments in online delivery.  Columbia University has had similar online cash flows.  Onsite campus revenue growth in those universities pale in comparison with the billions of dollars those universities will be receiving from online distance training and education operations in the 21st Century.

  3. An Erosion of Traditional Markets Will Occur.
    The most cost-effective departments offer large lecture courses, have minimal library needs, and use high numbers of adjunct faculty.  With low overhead, significant net revenues are possible.  This paradigm is especially evident in schools and colleges of business, and business students are precisely the target market that many of the for-profit competitors are seeking to develop and attract.  This is important because profitable programs are used to subsidize unprofitable ones, helping the college or university achieve its balanced mission of offering courses in a broad spectrum of disciplines.

    The economics of cross-subsidization are not well understood by most members of the campus community.  However, mastering these concepts is essential for coherent planning regarding distributed learning programs.  If a proprietary program, such as an asynchronous business program, begins to significantly erode the enrollments of a given institution's residential program, it will also negatively affect the cross-subsidized economics of other disciplinary units.  This is a particular problem if courses on the network become commodities, resulting in extremely low-cost, academically acceptable course alternatives.  Furthermore, depending on the pricing structure, an institution's new distributed learning program may also destabilize the economic models that a college or university uses to operate in a prudent manner.  The point here is that both internal and external distributed learning efforts may affect the entire economy of the institution.

  4. Institutions Will Not Effectively Participate as Stand-Alone Entities.

    Those in higher education have long assumed that not-for-profit educational efforts result in a higher-quality product than commercial efforts.  Yet institutions need to throw off their defensiveness, question this assumption, and embrace the fact that combined for-profit and traditional institutional partnerships may be some of the most successful models for creating and delivering these new learning environments.

    Can higher education learn to effectively "partner" with other not-for-profit and with for-profit ventures?  Its track record so far is not good.  Effective online learning models will rely heavily on collaboration and coordination with external entities.  If higher education develops that ability, new opportunities and new leveraging will result, increasing the likelihood of success.  Yet the jury is still out on whether our institutions can develop these skills.  We may continue to bungle along, to our collective long-term detriment.

    Jensen Comment:

    What Hawkins does not point out is that universities do not necessarily have to partner with corporations in order to raise capital for online programs.  Both Columbia University and Duke University have formed for-profit corporations for online delivery of education under the extended logos of the not-for-profit onsite counterparts.  For example, Duke University formed the Duke Education Corporation.  This is a for-profit company that can sell stock to the public and tap the world capital markets for growth fund.

    Also Hawkins did not stress at this point is the tremendous impact brand name (logo) will have upon success or failure of education programs of the 21st Century.  Prior to the 21st Century, geographic location overcame much of the importance of brand name (logo) on a diploma.  Most students could not be accepted into the top brand (e.g., Ivy League schools and top liberal arts colleges) or they could not afford the tuition and on-campus living expenses.  

    In the 21st Century, students may stay at home and take distance education (synchronous and asynchronous) in their homes across the world.  Geographic comparative advantage will shrink and shrink and shrink.  More importantly, excellent students who could not be accepted as onsite students in prestige universities (due to lack of financing and constraints as to how many can fit into onsite classrooms) face new opportunities to get a prestige degree in their own homes.  Stanford's ADEPT online Masters of Engineering Degree (asynchronous) and Duke's online Global MBA (synchronous) have already provided thousands of students with prestigious diplomas.  Those graduates did not have to attend classes on campus, and their diplomas have the same branded quality as onsite program diplomas.

    Whereas an unknown Microsoft could surpass the prestigious IBM software products, this will not be so easy for upstart education corporations.  Software customers can make decisions on what the software does for them.  Education customers, however, must be more concerned about how the outside world views the prestige of their diplomas.  An online degree from the hypothetical UpNext Corporation may be of higher quality than a Columbia University degree in a given field, but the world will place greater emphasis on the brand name of Columbia University on the diploma.  As a result, UpNext Corporation may pay millions to partner with a prestige university with the main purpose of buying into the logo on the diploma.   

    Two websites of interest along these lines are as follows:


           (with nearly six hours of

    The major problem faced by prestige universities entering into online ventures lies in deciding how many students to admit into online programs.  Probably the most important ingredient in both obtaining and maintaining prestige is selectivity of admissions among the best students of the world.  Prestigious universities can expand into online markets and maintain prestige only as long as admissions remain highly selective.  For example, the online ADEPT Masters of Engineering Degree at Stanford University has high admission standards consistent with its onsite admissions standards;  So does the online Global Executive MBA Degree at Duke University.  If these programs partnered with a hypothetical UpNext Corporation to deliver these degree programs to over one million students worldwide, the prestige of the degrees would suffer due to less selective admissions. 

    Neither on a stand-alone basis nor in partnership with educational delivery corporations can highest prestige be maintained without selective online program admissions consistent with elitist traditions of the onsite campus programs.  Perhaps this is why prestigious universities such as Stanford University have tended to focus more on online training courses (especially in computer engineering and computer science) rather than courses granting degree credits.  Stanford is presently delivering online training courses with much less rigorous admission standards than the admission standards for both online and onsite education courses.

  5. There Will Be a Significant Market Shakeout.

    Ultimately, the shakeout in distributed learning will be driven by the marketplace.  Although many traditional institutions continue to believe they will be the "net providers" of these courses, eventually they will realize the need to become the "net purchasers."  Only after colleges and universities realize that there will be no untold riches coming from this new set of educational ventures will higher education institutions start to make decisions on the price and quality of these courses and on the leverage they provide.  Ultimately, these market factors will define the market shakeout in distributed learning.

  6. New Extra-Institutional Solutions Will Likely Be Required.

    Can a distributed learning "business" operate effectively within the confines of the traditional college or university given the current faculty governance model?  Conversely, can our current faculty governance model work in the new market environment?  The answer is "no": successful distributed learning programs will require a more dynamic, more flexible governance model.  It is highly unlikely that a model bolted on to our existing structures would be able to achieve the flexibility, nimbleness, and responsiveness that these new business models may require.

  7. The New Marketplace Will Be Associated with New Models of Faculty Motivation.

    Attracting and motivating a new breed of entrepreneurial faculty is likely to be an important challenge.  Some faculty will undoubtedly be willing to trade the security and assurances associated with a tenured position for greater economic opportunities and pay-offs.  If they don't find these options within the academy, they will seek them in the dot-com world.  A wide variety of employment models for faculty recruitment and retention may well be required, but such an approach will be difficult, if not impossible, within the confines of traditional faculty governance and the rather singular set of employment rules at most institutions.

    Although the focus here is on courses offered to students at a distance, the issues apply equally to the traditional campus environment, where faculty need to change their teaching methods to relate to the new learning styles of today's students.  The economics associated with implementing a campus-wide faculty support infrastructure, including course-management systems, are daunting.  Those higher education institutions that are able to quickly devise new conventions for faculty support will have the more felicitous economic position in this changing era of higher education.  Once again, the question turns on the degree of flexibility and adaptability that colleges and universities can develop.

    Jensen Comment:
    One of the emerging problems will be the changing needs for funding of basic research.  Major research universities have tended to subsidize basic research from teaching revenues, especially in disciplines outside the hard sciences.  Much of the basic research of the world depends upon such subsidies since corporations tend to fund mainly applied research.  

    Persons with research credentials and skills generally receive high (usually highest) rewards possible by focusing on basic research in universities.  Thriving online education corporations may one day change the reward structures for both money and life style to where the best and brightest faculty can receive much higher salaries, stock options, and benefits by focusing on teaching and the development of online knowledge bases as opposed to basic research.  For example, an online instructor will not have to commute to work.  He or she may work from a mountain top in Colorado, a chalet in Switzerland, or an island off the coast of Maine.  Universities themselves may begin to challenge the benefits and cost of basic research.  In the past, benefits of basic research were mainly measured in terms of leading journal hits.  In the future, administrators may begin to question what the net benefit to the university really is from journal hits that are not in some way more directly associated with the teaching mission of the institution.  It may well be that new ways of funding basic research will have to be found, especially in disciplines where basic research is not funded by either the government or the private sector.  And the funding will have to be significant to compete for talent with the online corporate education world.

    A related issue is the importance of the traditional PhD degree.  PhD programs focus on research skills.  In the 21st Century, we may see the emergence of some type of advanced degree such as CaEE depicting a certified area of educational expertise.  For selected types of online education, a CaEE may eventually be rewarded more than a PhD diploma.  For example, having a CaEE in international taxation may be more important for online international tax teaching than a PhD in tax research.  If the laws of supply and demand prevail on reward structures, a CaEE may be in very short supply relative to demand among online education corporations and universities.  This, in turn, might induce the brightest students to seek after a CaEE rather than a PhD credential, and in the loss of the best students may degrade the quality of basic research.

  8. The Technology Will Transform College and University Operations.

    If such networked communication devices become as important as many predict, a new question arises.  Will that new generation of technology help reduce the digital divide that we are currently experiencing (and seeing widen) in our society, or will the new technology widen the divide even further?  If the technology becomes ubiquitous, and if these other technological changes occur as well, the fundamental operations and the available learning will reshape the "face" of higher education for an ever-larger segment of our society.

  9. The Necessary Library Infrastructure Will Be Missing.

    How can colleges and universities provide access to a sufficiently rich and comprehensive body of electronic resources in this distributed environment?  Many institutions have developed initial approaches to offering courses over the Internet, but few, if any, have defined a scalable and viable strategy for making "library" resources available to "distant" learners.  The provision of electronic links to appropriate course-supporting materials has been left to individual faculty members (and, indeed, to the students enrolled in the courses), none of whom have access to the types of services provided by librarians in the traditional campus setting.  Moreover, providing electronic access is extremely difficult under current copyright limitations, which require closed access, key servers, or other restrictions.  The new Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has all but erased the issue of fair use.  As a result, defining a strategy, in a distributed learning environment, to provide students with adequate access to primary source material is unclear at best.

    Jensen Comment:
    This is one of the major obstacles to many online programs, especially with unique library collections that cannot be viewed at any place other than onsite at a particular library.  Often, however, some collections such as rare books can legally be viewed via document cameras.  This prevents damage to rare books and makes it easier to view such books remotely.

    The major common problem lies in hard copy documents that cannot be distributed to multiple users across networks due to copyright restrictions.  This problem can be solved in some ways.  Copyright restrictions cannot prevent inter-library loan checkout services, and such services may become more widespread and efficient.  Important items can be shipped overnight.   Napster-like sharing of hard copy may become widespread where owners of copyrighted documents more willingly share these documents. 

    In the U.S., students and faculty can obtain one photocopy of journal articles using inter-library loan services.  Most "card catalog" collections of libraries can now be viewed electronically to help students browse for documents to be requested via inter-library loan.

     Increasingly publishers allow copyrighted books and journals to be distributed in digital form at greatly reduced prices.  WizeUp sells the leading textbooks of the major publishing houses in electronic form at "prices below the cost of used books."  Special devices like the Rocket e-Book, the SoftBook, and the Everybook afford publishers greater copying protections than hardcopy.  For more information on these products and companies like WizeUp, go to

  10. There Will Be an Increase in Institutional Market Segmentation.

    The higher education enterprise will be fundamentally different in the next decade or so, with much greater segmentation in the market than we currently find.  For the past several decades, higher education has made an almost inexorable march toward homogeneity, with the vast majority of institutions trying to climb up the "food chain" defined by the Carnegie classifications.  But even as the new technology has created greater possibilities for advancing teaching and learning, higher education has continued to focus on increasing the research agenda.  Institutions will need to be far more selective in choosing content areas to focus on and will need to compete for that intellectual space in a much more aggressive manner.

A Major Reference:  Higher Education in an Era of Digital Competition Edited by D.E. Hanna (Madison, WI:  Atwood Publishing, IBN 1-891859-32-3, 2000).

This is a repeat from an earlier edition of New Bookmarks, but it seemed like an appropriate time and place to repeat the following entry:

147 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TEACHING ONLINE GROUPS: ESSENTIALS OF WEB-BASED EDUCATION, by Donald E. Hanna, Michelle Glowacki-Dudka, and Simone Conceicao-Runlee [Overland Park, KS: Atwood Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 189185934X, $12.50 US], is a "how-to guide for college professors, schoolteachers, and workplace educators." Drawing upon their extensive experience in educational communications and instructional design and technology, the authors "describe the reasonable expectations that professors should have of their students; copyright issues that pertain to course content; ways of interacting with students, like bulletin boards and shared documents; and methods of evaluating students online, including portfolios and peer assessments." They also debunk some myths of online teaching regarding time requirements, number of students an instructor can handle, and the reliability of the technology. A review of the book is available online at

MBA Jungle 
Help for getting in and more help for getting out!

A Must-See Website from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young

If you are interested in technology trends, and in particular macro strategies and the broad impact of technologies on business, finance, accounting, and economics, a must see website is 

The above website has a wealth of information and ideas.  I have visited the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation in Cambridge (Mass.), and I am impressed with the dedication of E&Y and CG professionals to not only peering into their crystal balls but trying to engineer some of the results.  Good Work!  I highly recommend that you download all back issues of the journal.

Question:  What is the major purpose of knowledge portals?

Answer:  To provide efficient access to knowledge that at varying levels of disaggregation.  See 

A Must See for Accountants and Most Especially Accounting Educators

Baruch Lev authored a new book on accounting for intangibles.  The book is being published by the Brookings Institute.  He also has other documents of great interest on this topic.  See 

National Public Radio (NPR) has partnered with to provide learning materials for schools.  These include lesson plans, student projects, collaboration opportunities, and online audio content from NPR.  The Bigchalk website is at  

From EduNet, T.H.E. Journal, October 2000, p. 42 --- 

The Bell & Howell Company announced the debut of XanEdu, its newest unit of products serving the higher education market. The product’s portfolio offers CoursePacks, CasePacks, LitPacks online, a ReSearch Engine and an MBA ReSearch Engine. The CoursePacks, powered by ProQuest, include pre-selected articles and lecture notes written by leading professors and discipline experts. Professors can utilize the program’s tools to customize their curricula by adding their own notes for students, adding links to a syllabus, homepage or Web site, or including teaching notes. Because they are delivered within one day of adoption and remain in the operating system for two years, CoursePacks are convenient to use. Also, they are cost effective because faculty control prices and students purchase only what they need. In addition, all material is copyright cleared, so awaiting approval is eliminated.

XanEdu CasePacks are instructor-created and provide access to cases from leading case developers, including IVEY, INSEAD, NACRA and Thunderbird. The CasePacks contain customizable commands. The LitPacks offer tools similar to the CousePacks. Using the LitPacks online makes it easy to replace (or use with) paper anthologies, with customized selections of chapters from books, poems and plays. The ReSearch Engines are consolidated resources that students may rely on for term papers, presentations and research. The ReSearch Engine provides 12,000 targeted topic trees, which are aligned with course content, while the MBA ReSearch Engine provides 20,000 targeted topic trees selected from thousands of business sources.

The XanEdu website is at 

There are huge economies of scale is delivery of synchronous (live) classes to students scattered across the world.  HorizonLive offers a service that avoids having to invest in the huge fixed cost.  From EduNet, T.H.E. Journal, October 2000, p. 42 --- 

HorizonLive is a New York City-based technology company that enables colleges to host live Web-cast classes. HorizonLive enables up to 100 students to take the same course at one time. Each class is also archived, making it easy to replay any class any time throughout the semester. Students and professors benefit from an interface that allows the student to see the professor via streaming video, see any visual aids the professor wishes to display, hear the professor via audio, and chat with the professor during the class. Faculty may also hold interactive office hours online. HorizonLive will put all Blackboard and WebCT course content live over the Internet so students can participate in a course even if they are not present in the classroom.

An online lecture series beginning this fall will allow Web-cast presentations and lectures created by experts in the field of higher education. Each presenter will create and conduct a 30-60 minute presentation about any topic pertinent to his or her area of expertise. These lectures have the potential of reaching 100 to 1,000 participants.

HorizonLive partnered recently with the Princeton Review, thus enabling anyone to take entrance exam prep courses online. Now, commuting to prepare for standardized college entrance exams is no longer necessary. Students may study for the SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, or GMAT exams through this cooperation. HorizonLive, New York, NY, (212) 533-1775,

Also see Test Prep Online at offers a new online test preparation tutoring course designed to equip students with general test taking strategies that expect to enhance test performance. The site is intended for students grades 3 to 12, and is taught in four consecutive, private, one-on-one sessions. Instructed by teachers with credentials and broadcast live on the Internet, the site uses the company’s proprietary software to deliver tutoring services. Students and tutors listen and talk to one another via microphone headsets, and they work through test preparation lessons together on their computer monitors, which the TutorDesk software transforms into virtual whiteboards.

 Available this fall, the site is designed to prepare students for any norm-referenced state or national test, such as the Stanford Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, or the Scholastic Aptitude Test. anticipates a release of tutoring courses that will aid in student preparation for specific state standardized achievement tests in early 2001. The cost of the four-session course is $160., Santa Monica, CA, (310) 393-6900, .

Blackboard has a new service to "channel into the Internet."  From EduNet, T.H.E. Journal, October 2000, p. 44 --- 

Blackboard Inc. announces the launch of, an e-Learning Web site with three channels that provide customizable, subject-specific academic resources; global, interactive communities for students and instructors; and Blackboard’s online course creation capability. The site is accessible to anyone who possesses a Web browser, and the page is also integrated seamlessly into Blackboard 5, the company’s software platform.

Accessible channels on the site include Blackboard CourseSites, Blackboard Resources and Blackboard Communities. The Course- Sites, a large tool for creating and taking online courses, also provides online supplements to classroom instruction. Instructors can create courses for free, or they can pay a modest registration fee that provides enhanced services, including the ability to charge an enrollment fee for their courses. The Blackboard Resources incorporates Blackboard’s Web-based academic resource center, and provides teachers and learners with news, full-text journal articles and annotated links organized into 239 disciplines. The Blackboard Communities allow students and instructors to join in online discussions relevant to their academic or professional interests. Students can interact with peers studying the same subjects at institutions worldwide, and instructors can communicate with scholars in their fields across the globe. Blackboard, Inc., Washington, D.C., (202) 463-4860, 

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard are at 

On the Web, T.H.E. Journal, October 2000, pp. 48-50 --- 
Established by the U.S. Department of Education, Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) online provides K-12 math and science educators with a central source of information about teaching materials, innovative ideas and professional development. The content of the page is divided into four categories, including Curriculum Resources, Web Links, Professional Resources and Topics. 
This site offers free, direct access to a comprehensive set of teaching materials for use in both K-12 and higher education. Instructors can search for resources by grade level, subject, Adobe product, or type of material. Shared discussions among educators are encouraged with a “faculty club,” where teachers can post questions and topics. Instructional and curriculum guides can be shared among peers in the “exchange forum.” In addition, educators receive premier-level support at a 50% discount, and instructors taking part in the Adobe Certified Expert Program can gain credit for sharing their knowledge about Adobe products. 
This free online destination provides resources on products, services, and the instruction of the Spanish language in English. Hundreds of companies and organizations that supply all types of products — from textbooks and videos, to Latin food and immigration help — are available. also provides bilingual learning exercises and activities for instructors to use in class and for students to practice at home. 
A free, easy-to-use alternative to a Web site, is a great source for those who would like to post information online, but who do not have the need for an entire Web site. Using the familiar visual metaphor of a corkboard, eBoard enables users to create an online communications center complete with photos, text, interactive chat notes, file attachments and its own Internet address in minutes. 
Werriam-Webster’s Word Central is a language center Web site for kids, teachers, and parents. Accessing the page provides users with a student dictionary, daily buzzwords, spelling bee quizzes, and a build-your-own dictionary option. Links to fun language activities, such as a coding chamber and a Verse Composer that aids in the creation of poems, are also featured. 
CollegePrep-101 is a Web site targeted at college or college-bound students and their parents. Site information, divided into three categories, addresses pre-college concerns, issues students may encounter while enrolled in college, and miscellaneous information including choosing a college, financial aid, admissions standards, transitions, roommates and stress management. Students may also opt to enroll in CollegePrep-101 to receive one elective credit hour from Oklahoma State University.

"Teachers' Virtual Space:  Issues in Design and Development of Cross-Country Collaboration," by Julie Reinhart, Tiffany Anderson, and Joseph Slowinski, T.H.E. Journal, October 2000, 26-34. --- 

Recommendations from the Trenches

What follows are recommendations for designing an effective collaborative project, based on our experiences.

• Begin your first virtual collaboration with colleagues you know and have worked with in the past. They will have more patience and be more supportive — two critical factors in completing a project such as this. We have a renewed respect for our colleagues as a result of their support during the design and implementation. Your first effort is a time-consuming process. Work with those you respect.

• Take time in the beginning to do a thorough analysis.

• Keep lines of communication open. If one instructor is going to be out of e-mail contact, let the others know. Or, if one person is confused about something, ask the others. Everyone should be clear on all facets of the project in order for it to run smoothly. Communicate frequently and respect your colleagues as professionals.

• Select other classes to collaborate with carefully. Make sure the students at each university have access to the Internet outside of class time. If not, time on the Internet should be built into the class sessions. This proved to be a major issue for one course, due to the stagnant growth curve of the students with less access to technology.

• If you are going to have students collaborate on writing some type of paper, create a grading rubric so that the assessment is fair and objective regardless of which instructor grades it. Provide this rubric with several examples of quality work. This can serve as a cognitive model for students.

• Provide students with guidance on how to collaborate with each other (both professional expectations of collaborating as well as virtual collaboration). Since this is a new experience, students need to develop appropriate etiquette and realistic expectations.

• Provide students with clear expectations for all assignments and discussions.

• When possible, try to make assignments worth the same amount of the students’ final grade. In other words, students in each course should see that each campus is working toward the same goal with the same project worth. Otherwise, students might not put in the same amount of effort as others in the group.

With careful attention to detail, this activity provided students with an opportunity to collaborate with others in their field and gain an in-depth understanding of key issues.

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An excerpt from press release on October 24 reads as follows:

"CHICAGO (October 24, 2000) - marchFIRST, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCH), a leading global professional services company, today reported revenues and net income for the third quarter ended September 30, 2000. Third-quarter revenues increased 24 percent to $369.4 million from $297.2 million for the same period last year. Revenues for the previous quarter were $380.2 million. Supplemental net income was $2.0 million or 1 cent per share. Earnings per share figures were calculated on a fully diluted basis. For the first nine months of the year, pro forma revenues rose 36 percent to $1.10 from $809.0 million in 1999. Pro forma supplemental net income increased 26 percent $59.5 million from $47.3 million. " The announcement is located at

Can someone please tell me when Gross Profit less Selling and G&A got defined as supplemental net income? To see for yourselves, check 

The period's loss was in excess of $400,000,000. This included all GAAP required expenses and losses. Doesn't this count anymore? If it doesn't count, why are the textbooks still covering the GAAP rules and why am I teaching them? Somehow, the collapsing new economy seems to have taken the authority to make accounting rules away from the FASB.

Elliot Kamlet 
Binghamton University


I think the key here is "pro forma." There have been a number of articles in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere pointing out that many companies are adding back to net income certain items of costs and expenses in order to show a number that they think is more reflective of their operating results. For example, I think Toys R Us and a couple of similar entities have added back losses related to their e-commerece activities so the "pro forma" numbers could be compared better to traditional retailers. Others have added back goodwill amortization under the theory that it is a non-cash expense and that goodwill actually appreciates in value. Still others have added back payroll taxes applicable to stock options under the theory that the basic expense isn't recognized in net income so why should this related cost be included.

Personally, I think the notion of pro forma earnings stinks. First, these are actual accounting costs (and real economic costs too, in most cases) and to pretend otherwise is misleading. Second, there isn't any agreement on what items can/should be added back so there's no consistency in what various companies include in pro forma. This practice is an extension of reporting "cash earnings" as some companies have done in the recent past or EBITDA as quite a few companies have done. But for those earlier alternatives there was at least a little more consistency in what was included and excluded.

The notion of pro forma has been used by the SEC for many years to describe the expected results of a pending business combination or similar transaction. And standard setters have used the notion in a few cases such as requiring disclosure of the effects of a purchase business combination on operations before the combination. My current understanding is that the SEC generally doesn't object to disclosing the various pro forma numbers as long as a company clearly describes what is being excluded and as long as the press release also makes clear what net income was. Because of cases like the one cited, however, I suspect that the SEC probably will start trying to rein in practice in this area in the near future.

Denny Beresford 
University of Georgia

Added on November 7, 2000

A couple of weeks ago there was a posting referring to a company that highlighted pro forma earnings in its press release. Over the weekend I read a recent speech by Lynn Turner, Chief Accountant of the SEC, just posted on the SEC web site. It explains this situation a little more and ends with a warning that the SEC may crack down if companies don't voluntarily clean up their own act. The relevant passages from the speech are as follows.

Denny Beresford University of Georgia

Let me move on to another topic that is receiving much attention in the financial press today. The issue is earnings releases. In particular, what I will call "EBS" or "Everything but Bad Stuff" releases. Today, we are seeing earnings releases published that convey an incomplete or inaccurate picture to investors. For example, I have seen earnings releases that present:

1.Earnings before marketing costs,

2.Cash earnings per share that bear no relevance to cash flows but rather are merely earnings adjusted to eliminate amortization of selected costs,

3.Earnings before losses from new product lines,

4.Any one or combination of the above, but with one time gains from sales of investments added back.

Such numbers generally are disclosed in the first part of a press release, and labeled as "Pro Forma" earnings. But often, they do not provide a clear or complete picture to investors. As a result, I counsel investors to be wary of such disclosures and the story being presented. I believe investors in such circumstances need to be sure they read the full Form 10-Q, where hopefully all the facts are presented in a complete and balanced fashion. I also encourage audit committees to consider the quality of the earnings press releases being issued today and assess whether they are in fact providing a transparent, clear picture to the investors they represent.

Analysts also need to play a more constructive role in improving the quality of press releases. Rather than just accepting the numbers management might set forth, the analysts need to get behind those numbers and understand the underlying story. The analysts need to challenge "pro forma" numbers that are presented as "cash earnings" when in fact they are not.

I believe if the members of the financial and business community, including financial executives, analysts and the accounting profession, are not able to stem the tide of unbalanced and incomplete earnings releases, a regulatory response might be necessary

From Syllabus Web on October 24, 2000

Reciprocal Integrates Microsoft Reader DRM

Reciprocal Inc., a leader in digital rights management (DRM) and digital commerce services, announced today that it has formed an alliance with Microsoft Corp. in which the two companies will offer an out-sourced DRM solution for e-book publishers. Reciprocal will integrate Microsoft's DRM solution, including the Digital Asset Server (DAS) product, into its Digital Clearinghouse infrastructure. DAS is Micro- soft's technology for providing secure distribution of eBooks in Microsoft Reader format. With this integration, Reciprocal hopes to answer demand from its network of publishers, e-tailers, and dis- tributors for the Microsoft Reader format. The partnership will provide publishers with an easy way to package and distribute content in a variety of secure ways with Microsoft DAS, and consumers with greater access to titles in the Microsoft Reader format.

Consumers can download Microsoft Reader at no charge at  (connect-time fees may apply).

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books can be found at 

Mobile Generation Software (especially for Palm hand-held computers) --- 

One of the new products is called Four.Zero  

Four.Zero™ is the premiere coursework, class information, and grade tracking software for the Palm handheld device. Four.Zero (pronounced four-point-zero) contains the most feature-rich and robust coursework management functionality of any student software available for the Palm computing platform. Four.Zero users have demonstrated amazing results in raising their GPA with this software.

Class Information Management
Now you'll have class details such as instructor information, textbooks, grading policies, and detailed course information at your fingertips! You will always have access to vital class information such as class time, location, instructor office hours, phone, and email right when you need it!

Coursework Management
With the extensive coursework management functionality you can track homework, quiz, and test details including due dates, scores, textbooks, and even a note for the coursework details. Coursework is sorted chronologically and can be viewed by the class, due date, or type of work so you'll always have instant visability to the next coursework item due. If you are already using the Palm Todo list or Datebook to track coursework then use Four.Zero to export the coursework automatically to the Datebook or Todo list. on.

Grade Tracking and Prediction
You will never be surprised by a final grade as the Four.Zero grade tracking functionality provides visibility to class grades as well as overall GPA. You can even perform "what if.." scenarios to predict your final grade for a class by entering your grade prediction on upcoming coursework.

Linda Specht forwarded the link to 
There are now two Chicago citation styles noted in the above document from the B. David Schwartz Memorial Library (Long Island University).

Internet Cool Guide --- (a health and medication website) 

Find Cancer Experts --- 

Weird Science Experiments

Sometimes the results are helpful.  Jerry Henandez sent in the following warning about heating liquids in a microwave oven --- 

I will be at the Academy of Business Education annual conference announced below.   I hope other persons illustrated in education research and war stories will join me as we try to converse above the mating calls of the moose (mooses?) elkthat we've been warned about by Snow King Resort in advance.  Apparently the male moose elk is prone to some type of bugle call of the wild in mid-September in Wyoming.  I don't know about such things, but I suspect the female moose also calls out her greetings in that same season.  I guess this is a type of wireless messaging service that preceded any form of electronic messaging.

Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

September 20-22, 2001

Start making your plans now. Begin preparing your paper proposal. The submission deadline is January 29, 2001.

Come share in the excitement of a great conference in a great location. Our second annual meeting will be held at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This charming resort sits at the foothills of the Grand Teton Mountains and looks down on historical town square of Jackson Hole, which is only 8 blocks away. Plus, Yellowstone National Park, and all of its beauty and grandeur, is just a one hour drive up the road.

Our meeting dates are the best possible time to visit Jackson Hole. The summer crowds are gone, the ski crowds are still months away, but the weather is beautiful. Expect great weather, as the September average high is 65F and average low is 32F, perfect for taking in all the wonder that the area offers. Also, our meeting time is peak moose "bugling" season, when the male elk make sounds designed to establish their dominance among the other males during mating season. You can expect to see, and hear, elk as well as many other local animals.

Our exciting 2001 meeting will include papers, panel discussions and workshops on state-of-the-art pedagogies, educational research, and curriculum issues in accounting, ethics, distance learning, educational technology, economics, finance, information systems, international business, management, marketing, and operations management.

Make your plans now to join us. Complete information on the program, meeting registration, hotel and airline reservations can be found at our official web site at: 

Or, feel free to contact:

Jean L. Heck, 
President Academy of Business Education College of Commerce & Finance Villanova University Villanova, PA 19085-1678 610-519-4325 

Various nature lovers (or just plain lovers) responded that the horny beasts that bugle in the Grand Tetons in September are elk rather than moose males.  I especially liked the following reply from Janet Mobus:

I have to vote that it's the elk that are the ornery ones - having taken refuge under a picnic table one summer afternoon in Banff to avoid getting charged by one. And they're the ones we'll be dodging next fall in Jackson Hole as the boys characteristically make a big fuss. The folk lore I've heard on mooses is that they're mellow members of the mammal menagerie - a la Bullwinkle.

Janet Mobus [jmobus@U.WASHINGTON.EDU

One unmarried (wireless?) male in the human species bugled back showing me pictures of his three dates lined up for next weekend. He says it was the Moose Musk that did it! Really now Richard! Us old married folks that bugle and "fuss" too much generally find ourselves muffled by a shoe stuffed down our buglers. Where can I buy this Moose Musk?

Leave it to David Fordham to get technical on this trivia. He does, however, extend the messaging to a new and rather smelly multimedia dimension. As a result, I beginning to get the picture of what "liquid" goes into Moose Musk. Guess I won't order a bottle unless I really get desperate.

Actually, I believe the communications system also involves scent... the moose deposits a liquid substance in certain locations (watch a tomcat to learn more) which advertises presence & availability.

Thus, not only is this wireless messaging, it is also an early form of *asynchronous digital* communication (e.g., on or off, -- either the scent is there or it isn't, -- zero or one, binary). One could also make a case for the tree being a primitive storage buffer, enabling time-shifting of the message. Sort of like an email box, where the "e" might stand for erotic.... (if you're a moose, that is).
David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Chuckle at the adds of our bygone (bugling) days. 

LibrarySpot:  Your gateway to knowledge --- 
Many links to free encyclopedias, dictionaries, statistics, and much more

Real humans will also help you find what your looking for at Ask an Expert 

Reference Desk
Ask an Expert
Current Events
How To
Public Records
Style Guides
White Pages
Yellow Pages
Zip Codes

Reading Room
Literary Criticism

Thank you Paula.  The links at look great.  It even has an "Ask Bob" form to provide expert help in finding reference material.  This is a great alternative to LibrarySpot.  


You may already know about this, but I couldn't find it on your website of search helpers.  The single best source for facts on the Net 

In addition to the website, you can subscribe to "Today's Reference Pick of the Day" which is always interesting (see example below).

Paula Kelley Ward 
Development Information Systems Manager Trinity University, San Antonio Texas Phone 210.999.7432 FAX 210.999.7433 Benefactor 5.0, Colleague 16.0 


A tremendous listing of glossaries can be found at 

Bob Jensen's links to glossaries can be found at 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

Guinness World Records --- 


Microsoft, armed with its Airstream infrastructure initiative, is making strides in wireless -- and that's putting Palm squarely in the hot seat --- 

America Online on Wednesday launched AOL 6.0 and its AOL by Phone initiative. Not to be outdone, rival Microsoft announced ambitious plans for MSN --- 

AOL and Microsoft add fuel to online fire

By Dennis Fisher and Carmen Nobel, eWEEK October 25, 2000 4:44 PM ET

With AOL 6.0, the Dulles, Va., ISP has served up a long list of enhancements, most notably the addition of support for HTML e-mail and the creation of Groups@AOL, a way for members to establish private sites that only small groups of friends or family members can access.

The new version also includes an updated AOL Instant Messenger client and an integrated media player, which supports all of the major online media formats.

The AOL by Phone initiative gives members the ability to check their e-mail and get news, weather and stock headlines from any landline or Web-enabled wireless phone. The plan is part of the company's AOL Anywhere strategy, which aims to make AOL content available to members on any device at any time.

Bob Jensen's threads of speech recognition and software for telephone conversations with computers can be found at

Craig Polhemus, Executive Director of the American Accounting Association, wrote the following

JUNE 2001 AAA CROSS-BORDER CONFERENCE IN BERLIN, GERMANY  The American Accounting Association (AAA) and the Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft für Betriebswirtschaft e. V. (SG) are sponsoring a Conference on Cross-Border Alliances and Business Combinations, to be held at Humboldt University in Berlin on June 22-25, 2001. The objectives of the conference are to explore and increase understanding of the accounting, finance, economic, regulatory, and educational issues raised by cross-border business alliances and to encourage future research and teaching related to these issues. The planning committee invites the submission of papers that provide insight into these or related issues.

A really big attraction at this is Bob Jensen's program module in Berlin (Craig did not write this last part)!

Craig Polhemus, Executive Director of the American Accounting Association, wrote the following:

THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW - OCTOBER 2000  Full text of the October 2000 issue of The Accounting Review is available online for AAA electronic option participants. Enter your user id and password to access this issue online if you are an electronic option participant. To become a participant in electronic option ($20 annual fee covering all three associationwide journals) or if you have forgotten your user id or password, email . The October 2000 Accounting Review is being printed and will be mailed soon.

Dot,com statistics and news (e-Commerce) ---

I am a solid advocate of most all software from JASC, and I am especially fond of Paint Shop Pro for graphics and QuickView Plus for opening email attachments without risk of triggering macro viruses in those attachments.  The JASC homepage is at   

New Paint Shop Pro 7 is, according to, "Hands down, the best image-editing value available." (Sept. 15, 2000)

Jasc Paint Shop Pro is the only graphics software you need for digital imaging and the Web - and we've made it even better. Jasc Software has just released NEW Paint Shop Pro Version 7. Get it today for just $109* (plus shipping and handling). To order, go to 

New Paint Shop Pro 7 delivers a powerhouse of new photo editing, painting, illustration, and Web tools wrapped in an even more streamlined, intuitive interface. So, no matter what your interests might be - digital photography, scanning and sharing family photos, creating business graphics, or designing Web graphics and animations - new Paint Shop Pro 7 has the power to make you look better than ever.

New for Digital Photographers

* Automatically balance color, adjust contrast, and enhance saturation for professional results * Remove red-eye with one click - it works on all eye colors and even on animals! * Easily restore cracked or torn photos with the Scratch Removal Tool * Instantly remove noise, scratches, dust, or specks * Bring out image details without losing information with the Adjustable Histogram * New picture frames * More digital camera support * And many more

New for Web Developers

* Speed up the downloading of your Web graphics with image slicing * Create "hot-spots and embed URL links with new image mapping features * Create visual mouse-overs with image rollover effects * Preview graphics in multiple Web file formats in up to 3 different Web browsers * Optimize your graphics with easy-to-use JPG/GIF/PNG Optimizer

New for Business/Home Use

* Create shapes, lines, and text using solids, gradients, patterns, and textures - all in one step * Create styled lines with dots, dashes, and arrowheads * Gain precision and control with Snap-to Grids and Guides * Easily group, align, distribute, arrange, and resize vector images * Make a logo or a shape once and use it over and over again with the Preset Shapes tool * Spark your imagination and creativity with our many new special effects including: Brush Strokes, Enamel, Fur, Sunburst, Pencil, and more

Debbie Kaplan requested that I include the following message in New Bookmarks.  The software appears to have many attractions for business accounting.

Below find information summarizing our product features and marketing plans. Please feel free to contact us if this is not the information you were looking for.

IAS Visual ADVANCE! 2001 is built exclusively upon Microsoft Visual Studio and SQL technology. Full source code containing our extensive object-oriented framework is available. VARS and Resellers may purchase IAS Visual ADVANCE! 2001 for resale at discounted prices. This provides our resellers with the opportunity for great margins. Our software set is comprised of nine accounting and business management modules, with end user pricing starting at $995 per module for up to 10 users. This is a significant savings over many of our competitors' prices. We offer:

· A comprehensive object-oriented application framework built upon Microsoft Visual Studio technology. Developers can easily customize the software or build verticals, and end users can access our Query Builder to construct custom queries. Version 4 of Micomega Corporation's Foxfire!(tm) is currently being integrated as well.

· A rich user interface facilitating training, data entry, and enhancing learning curve and general ease of use.

· The ability to create new transactions, with a mouse click, from data stored in history.

· Comprehensive drill downs and audit trails to the point of the original accounting entries.

· An Outlook style Shortcut Bar, which stays "docked" on the right side of the main screen. With a right mouse click, users may create Windows style "shortcuts" to any screen that is directly accessible from the menu system.

· Enhanced Recurring Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable invoice features are included. Additionally, future journal entries including future reversal dates may be created.

· A substantial selection of standard reports and inquiries is included.

· Ability to merge duplicate vendor, inventory and customer records via File Utilities.

· IAS has marketed at 7 of the last 7 DevCon Shows, this summer's NYC Softworld Show, and plans to market again at next year's shows.

· CPA Software News awarded IAS their "Mid Range Top 14" accounting software award. Competition included SBT, ACCPAC, and SAGE.

· In an event partially sponsored by Computer Associates, the prestigious Long Island Software and Technology organization, LISTnet, gave the top honor to IAS late last year in the "Small Company General Applications" category.

· We look forward to releasing Visual ADVANCE! 2001 SQL server edition by year's end.

· In our shift to an Internet centric computing model, watch for a future announcement regarding our JAVA integration. Additionally, we have changed our name from International Accounting Software to Internet Accounting Software.

Per your request, as a comparison to SBT and AccountMate:

1. The SQL Server version of our package (IAS Visual ADVANCE! 2001 Client/Server Edition) will be available by the end of this year. To the best of our knowledge, SBT has made no announcements or expressed an interest in producing a SQL Server version of their package. 2. IAS uses the most current version of Visual FoxPro, taking advantage of its newest features. And our object-oriented framework makes our product easy to customize and or build verticals for. SBT is based on its old FoxPro 2.6 code, without a framework or a consistent design 3. Both SBT and AccountMate are considerably more expensive than the comparable package from IAS. 4. We are already migrating our packages to take advantage of Visual FoxPro 7.0 While we are in the midst of this development effort we will make some of our packages available under a generous beta plan. IAS is committed to keeping its developers and resellers ahead of the technology curves, ensuring our resellers a jump-start on the competition! 5. As mentioned above, we are currently integrating the newest version of MicroMega's Foxfire! Report Writer with our package as an additional module. SBT is still selling a much older version with their package, and they have not announced any plans to upgrade their version of Foxfire!. 6. All of our source code is available. AccountMate does not distribute the source code to their System Manager. 7. IAS does not charge any royalty fee's on any stand-alone applications developed with our development tools. AccountMate charges a royalty fee to use their development environment and they do not ship with source code. 8. AccountMate 's small business edition appears to be reasonably priced, until you read the fine print. Then you will find that it is limited to only three (3) users, with a maximum database size of only 250mb, and only five (5) modules are included (GL, AP, AR, System Manager, 1 optional).

Debbie Kaplan [
The URL is 

Parenting --- 

Free stuff --- 

Masterpiece Theatre --- Great Entertainment! 

Thank you Paula.  The links at look great.  It even has an "Ask Bob" form to provide expert help in finding reference material.  This is a great alternative to LibrarySpot.  I added it to my search helpers at 


You may already know about this, but I couldn't find it on your website of search helpers.  The single best source for facts on the Net 

In addition to the website, you can subscribe to "Today's Reference Pick of the Day" which is always interesting (see example below).


Paula Kelley Ward Development Information Systems Manager Trinity University, San Antonio Texas Phone 210.999.7432 FAX 210.999.7433 Benefactor 5.0, Colleague 16.0 

How to register your Internet domain name --- 

For investors who see the Wall Street glass as half empty. 


Burning on Your Brand

On the October 29 PBS show called Computer Chronicles, an expert from Adobe Systems described how you can put watermarks on graphics images (including watermarks that readers will probably never see) and burn your brand on audio/video files, including "audiomarks" that  listeners will never hear and "videomarks" that viewers will never notice.  However, if you register the "brand",  you can do a web search to find the cattle thieves who has been stealing your multimedia.  For more information on registering your brand and protecting your intellectual property, go to 

DigiMark recognizes the importance of your presence on the Internet and we want to help you take it to the next level. In doing so, DigiMark also provides you with the services of its working partners, giving you direct access to proven, highly capable designers and technology consultants.

As I understand it, you can use software such as Adobe Photoshop to insert your hidden "mark" with optional degrees of visibility.  In Texas we call it burning on your brand.  If you register the watermark, you can then search the web for your watermark much like you search the web for text.

Unfortunately, the Computer Chronicles website is hopelessly out of date. What is listed as "This Week's Show" does not change from week to week. The TV show is wonderful. The website is a bummer these days. If the website ever does get back in gear, it is worth going to at 

Another feature on the October 29 PBS show on Computer Chronicles focused upon protection of course lecture material.  It was pointed out how the "lecture notes" that get posted are often very poor renditions of what any student in the course would call a good set of notes.  The posted notes have enormous gaps, because the students who post the notes generally miss a lot of classes.  Most unauthorized sets of posted notes are error-laden, biased, and misleading.  Plus the websites that illegally or unethically publish the work of instructors without permission are contributing to a certain degree of paranoia where instructors refrain from speaking out on certain issues (animal research experiments come to mind) out of increasing fear of being quoted or misquoted.  I tend to agree with the editorial at 

One example of an (unauthorized) lecture note hosting website is 

Perhaps you should try to get your old high school mates to register at 

Soon they will be blaming Bob Jensen
How Much Information? 

This study is an attempt to measure how much information is produced in the world each year. We look at several media and estimate yearly production, accumulated stock, rates of growth, and other variables of interest.

If you want to understand what we've done, we offer different recommendations, depending on the degree to which you suffer from information overload:

Heavy information overload: the world's total yearly production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage. This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each man, woman, and child on earth.

Moderate information overload: read the Sound Bytes and look at the Charts illustrating our findings.

Normal information overload: read the Executive Summary.

Information deprived: read the detailed reports by clicking on the contents to your left. Or download the entire Web site as a PDF file. (It is about 100 pages long.)

Why do I feel little comfort that the U.S. is not unique in this regard.  The following is from the newsletter of the Association of International Accountants.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales has issued a report stating that the UK tax system is "unclear and irrational" and damaging to the economy. The Institute has challenged all political parties to review the tax system against 'five pledges for good tax policy.'
Issued by AIA Newsdesk, for further information contact; Helen McEvoy Association of International Accountants, South Bank Building, Kingsway Team Valley Newcastle-upon-Tyne United Kingdom. NE11 0JS Tel: +44 191 482 4409 Fax: +44 191 482 5578 E-mail address: 

I can't say that I care great deal about modern art.  However, if you are interested in a great website devoted to the evolution of modern art, go to MoMA 2000 at 

Despite lagging sales and a lack of network support, mobile phone makers continue to focus on what's nifty rather than what's necessary. 

Security experts and industry observers are uniformly glum about the consequences of the major hack into Microsoft's network. In short, there's no silver lining. 

Robotic Snakes --- 

PRO2NET ACCOUNTING WEEKLY NEWSLETTER  For the Week of October 30, 2000

1. The Pro2Net Newsline Roundup 
2. Online Education for Accounting Professionals 
3. Feature Solutions Articles in Brief 
4. This Week's Featured Product: Wiley Online Guides 
5. Opinion: Rick Telberg's Insider

ANDERSEN CONSULTING BECOMES ACCENTURE ON JAN. 1: Less than three months after splitting off from its accounting firm counterpart, the newly-divorced Andersen Consulting, which was forced to give up the Andersen moniker by year-end as part of the August arbitration ruling that freed it from Arthur Andersen, has unveiled its new name.

The firm will start the new year as Accenture. Now that you're wondering what the heck the word means, read the full story. 

ACCOUNTING MAJORS DROP TO 2 PERCENT: 150-HOUR RULE NOT TO BLAME: The number of accounting majors is in the toilet, but don't blame the 150-hour rule, blame the high schools: According to an AICPA-commissioned survey, "student ignorance, misinformation and negative perceptions" of the profession are to blame -- not the licensing exam, 150 hours and continuing education requirements, Scott Taylor, president of The Taylor Research & Consulting Group, told Council members at the AICPA's Fall Council meeting in Las Vegas.


Choose from GAAP, GAAS, GAAP for Governments, Not-for-Profit GAAP and IAS, all available online. For your convenience, Pro2Net offers six-month and yearly subscriptions at low rates.

Subscribe to any of these guides and you will automatically be updated with new 2001 online content as soon as it's available!

For more information and to purchase, click on: 

A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.

On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.

Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work.

When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

He had no discipline problems with any of his students that term.

Forwarded by Dick Haar


1. Every takeoff is optional. Every landing is mandatory.  

2. If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again.

3. Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous.

4. It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up they’re wishing you Were down here.

5. The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

6. The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.

7. When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No one has ever collided with the sky.

8. A 'good' landing is one from which you can walk away. A 'great' landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

10. You know you've landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.

11. The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival. Large angle of arrival, small probability of survival and vice versa.

12. Never let an aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

13. Stay out of clouds. The silver lining everyone keeps talking about might be another airplane going in the opposite direction. Reliable sources also report that mountains have been known to hide out in clouds.

14. Always try to keep the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you've made.

15. There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

16. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

17. Helicopters can't fly; they're just so ugly the earth repels them.

18. If all you can see out of the window is ground that's going round and round and all you can hear is commotion coming from the passenger compartment, things are not at all as they should be.

19. In the ongoing battle between objects made of aluminum going hundreds of miles per hour and the ground going zero miles per hour, the ground has yet to lose.

20. Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.

21. It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.

22. Keep looking around. There's always something you've missed.

23. Remember, gravity is not just a good idea. It's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

24. The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind you, and a tenth of a second ago.

The following corrections (in red) to trivia indicate how easy it is to accept "assertions" as "facts."  Many things circulate on the Internet that are just not true or in some other way are misleading.  

   01. Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

   02. Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

   03. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

   04. The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

   05. A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

   06. There are more chickens than people in the world.

   07. Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

   08. The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."  
           (Alan Brown wrote:  Another word that qualifies is STRENGTHS.)

   09. On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.

In the interests of "truth in humour" may I point out that Canada does not have a $2.00 bill only a coin which has been dubbed the "twoney" and it contains no flags. 

   11. No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

   12. "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters"mt."

   13. All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

Actually, the only one I recognize as being incorrect is #13 (All 50 aren't there ... they shouldn't be, for when the memorial was constructed, there weren't 50 states). I thought the memorial only carried the states that were states at the time Lincoln was president. I believe I heard somewhere the correct number is 29 or 30 or in this vicinity (I don't have a fiver on me, so I can't get out my magnifying glass and tell for sure!)

Also, on number 17, actually none of the four words listed actually end in "duos", if you read very closely.

David Fordham 
James Madison University

   14. Almonds are a member of the peach family.

   15. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Well, I can't speak to most of these items, but I believe that Churchill was born in one of the downstairs bedrooms at Blenheim, not a "ladies' room", at least not as we mean the term on this side of the pond. Perhaps it had a different connotation in England at the time. The birth did take place during a ball, however...

Just my small contribution to the important knowledge of the world...;)

Pat Uhlman

   16. Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

   17. There are only four words in the English language which end  in "duos": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. 
         (Paula Ward wrote :  Oops!  Better look at this one again.)

   18. Los Angeles' full name is"El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula"

   19. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

   20. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

   21. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

   22. In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.

   23. Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

   24. The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life."

   25. A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

   26. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

   27. A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

   28. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

   29. The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.

   30. In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

   31. The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

My addition to the questionable is about the microwave. Lots of things were fried by the early radars, including the intestines of technicians working in front of a working transmitter.
Robert Holmes

The stories circulating in the radio, TV, and telecomm industries are that the microwave heating effect was discovered by military personnel stationed at the radar sites in Greenland discovering by accident that if they stood in front of the transmitting antenna, they felt warm. When they got cold, they would go outside and stand in front of the antenna. The makers of the radar equipment (Litton Electronics) were trying to re-create the effect in a lab, and a candy bar in one of the tech's pockets melted. This may just be an urban legend, but it is widely circulated in the electronics arena.
David Fordham

   33. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

   34. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.

   35. "Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

And that's the way it was on November 1, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

  Hline.jpg (568 bytes) Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

 Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

October 25, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly are blessed, 
because the majority can, but most do not.

Often we have no time for our friends but all the time in the world for our enemies.
Leon Uris, Redemption

Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
Today is a gift,
That's why they call today the present.

Why waste the precious moments of your life going mountain climbing over mole hills?

Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious.
B.C. Forbes

I have a theory that the only original things we do are our mistakes.
Billy Joel

Adversity causes some men to break; Others to break records.
William Arthur Ward

Leadership is an opportunity to serve.  It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.
J. Donald Walthers, Secrets of Life

In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life ---
It goes on!

Robert Frost

Desert Rose
Of all the lives my life has touched, 
How many has it warmed?

Of all the paths my path has crossed, 
How many friendships formed?

Of all the hearts my heart has known, 
How many have drawn nigh?

Of all the loves that might have been, 
How many loves have I?
Edward Cunningham

I do not think that this is a "world's first" in terms of adaptive learning technology (the U.S. military has been using adaptive learning modules for years).  However, this is interesting in terms of the partnering of industry with a major university.

"Invensys and Lehigh University demonstrate world’s first adaptive learning technology at INVENSYS 2000 Conference," 
Invensys Process Automation Paul Miller, 508/549-6240 ( ) and 
Lehigh University William Johnson, 610-758-3172 (  

Invensys plc (London, England) and Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA) today demonstrated what they believe to be the world’s first Web-enabled learning technology that fully adapts to a student’s individual learning style.

“With conventional learning, the student must adapt to either the classroom instructor’s individual teaching style or the pre-defined format of the distance learning program. For many students, this results in a less-than-optimal learning experience,” said Raymond Bell, Dean of the College of Education at Lehigh University. “In contrast, by adapting to a student’s individual style – visual, auditory, tactile, etc. – this new technology offers great promise for enhancing the learning process in both academic and corporate environments, potentially enabling students to absorb information with better comprehension in less time.”

The new adaptive learning technology will be utilized to create face-to-face classroom programs and remote distance learning programs that are customized to each student’s learning style to maximize effectiveness.

“In today’s rapidly changing technological environment, ongoing development of human resources through effective learning is more important than ever before,” added Dr. Bell. “This new adaptive technology will play an important role in the overall closed-loop learning model [patent pending] that Lehigh is developing in conjunction with Invensys. This model will enable corporations to go beyond simply teaching their employees what they need to know, to actually teaching them how to learn. The Lehigh/Invensys partnership is an excellent example of how academia and industry can collaborate effectively for everyone’s benefit.”

Trevor Cusworth, Vice President of Global Services at Invensys Process Automation, said, “Today’s powerful automation and information technologies offer the potential to significantly improve the performance of our customers’ plants. However, the efficient transfer of critical knowledge from vendor to customer remains a major roadblock to achieving productivity improvements. Through this partnership with Lehigh University, Invensys is positioned to provide a unique educational value add that will further enhance the effectiveness of the LifeTimesm Learning programs we develop for our customers as well as our own ongoing internal educational initiatives.”

The adaptive learning technology utilizes a Web-enabled “Learning Style Inventory,” which assesses a student’s individual learning style and then adapts the specific course material to reflect this learning style as closely as possible. More than 80 different learning traits have been identified and are reflected in the Learning Style Inventory and the resulting course material created for each student.

Among America’s top-ranked, most selective national universities, Lehigh University ( ) has expanded the traditional model of discipline-driven curricula by creating an entrepreneurial environment that nurtures leaders. The university encourages collaboration among departments, its four colleges, student life and athletics programs to develop innovative, relevant learning experiences. Lehigh is a leader in online educational research and practice and ranks eighth among private research universities in the percentage of alumni in executive positions.

Invensys plc ( ) is a global leader in the Automation and Controls industry. With its head office in London, England it operates in all regions of the world through four focused divisions - Software Systems, Automation Systems, Power Systems and Control Systems. With over 90,000 employees, the company’s products and services range from advanced control systems and networks for automating industrial plants and controlling the environments of buildings, to electronic devices and controls found in residential buildings and light commercial applications, plus complete power systems for the telecommunications and information technology industries. The Invensys Process Automation group (Foxboro, Triconex, SimSci, ESSCOR, Walsh Automation) is part of the Invensys Software Systems division.

Along the above lines, I recommend "The Effects of Student Behavior and Preferred Learning Style On Performance," by A.J. Brokaw and T.E. Merz in the first edition of the Journal of Business Education (soon to be renamed as the Journal of the Academy of Business Education), Spring 2000, 44-53.  The article is not online, but you can learn more from 

Brokaw and Merz discuss the following types of learning styles:

The paper focuses upon an empirical study on student performance in microeconomics.

Wow Sites of the Week --- Have the computer read your email messages over the phone.

This may even lead to having two email addresses (normal and audio-intended) with two different providers such as your university/company and Yahoo or some other provider listed below.. When my wife's sister was traveling across country by car, she and her husband loved being able to listen to email messages. It is analogous to call messaging only your callers don't have to pay long distance rates if they send email messages for you to listen to instead of the usual voice mail.

You can send or receive audio email messages via --- 

You can send or receive audio email message via Sonic Mail ---

Yahoo also offers this service, but I am still looking for the link.  At this point I would probably recommend Yahoo since Yahoo claims to offer a "lifetime" of free email service.  My wife's sister Nancy and her husband love the new feature in Yahoo mail that lets you listen to your email messages over the phone.  They especially liked this service when traveling across country by car.  Dial up a free 800 number from their cell phone and listen to daily email.  Nancy indicates that this works best with text messages that are not too garbled up with pictures, animations, and attachments.

I started a new set of threads called "Talking To and Listening To Computers Via Telephone."  The link is at 
You can help by letting me know how to improve the above threads page for the public.

I think the advantage of the computer is that you can have both the audio and the audio transcriptions into text. Hopefully, knowledge portals will do both.

However, present audio portals such as BeVocal can only be accessed by telephone.

One day, we hope that telephones will have the ability to convert your typed messages into audio for the phone and translate the incoming audio into instant text. That day is almost here!

Technology will be fantastic in aiding the deaf. It will be equally fantastic for the blind with the ability to translate text into audio. For Helen Keller-type handicaps, however, technology will be less exciting. There are experiments taking place that link computers directly to the brain and bypass audio and visual sensory preceptors. However, this technology is a long way off.

Deaf people should actively encourage accompaniment of audio with text transcriptions, especially in knowledge portals.

Free Long Distance Telephoning via Computers or Computers and Telephones in Combination --- 
Users behind firewalls probably will not have any luck with free PC Phone service.)

The hottest free PC to PHONE service on the Web! Make unlimited free calls to more than 30 countries right from your PC. If you're paying anything for long distance, you're paying too much! The quality is the best and the service is unbeatable. Visit Our Global Community to find what our members are saying. --- 

If you've heard that you can make free or very inexpensive long distance calls over the Internet, then you've come to the right place. On our web site you'll find all kinds of information on how to make calls over the Internet. We have tutorials that will show you how to use some of the most popular Telephony programs, and our Getting Started section will show you all the different ways you can use the Internet to make long distance calls.

We also have an online store where you can purchase products such as headsets that can improve the quality of your Internet phone calls, and PC cameras that let you see the person you're speaking with. - Internet telephone for free long distance using dial-up, cable, or DSL. --- 

Computer Telephony Depot - information on computer and Internet telephony. Learn how to make long distance calls over the Internet for free --- (including free calls to Hong Kong). claims to have 10,000,000 registered users of their free long distance service --- 

[More results from]

A new series by Baruch Lev
Measuring the Unmeasurable (intangibles) -- - 

In this series Baruch Lev, of NYU's Stern School of Business, alerts us to potentially hidden sources of value in our organizations - the intangibles. As the value of these assets become an increasingly important component of total value, management must understand how to not only maximize their value, but also how to communicate it to capital markets.

As Lev explains in Episode 1, intangibles are those assets that are not physical in nature - they are derived from the knowledge an organization holds. Assets such as patents, brands, processes, investments in employee training, and risk sharing agreements are all very difficult to measure. By following Lev's strategies for managing (Episode 2) and measuring (Episode 3) these assets, we can increase overall corporate value.

Over the course of 5 episodes recorded in March of 2000, Professor Lev uncovers the importance of knowledge assets, describes steps managers can take to begin to realize their value, gives examples of companies who are already embarking on this process (Episode 4), and tells us how, why, and when to get started (Episode 5).

ValuePro Stock Value Calculator 

Wharton Emerging Tech Research - 

Research Priorities
Research Projects
Research Publications
ET Core Team
Industry Partners

• 1999 Annual Meeting
• How ETs Evolve
• 5 Emerging Technologies
That Could Transform
YOUR Industry

• Avoiding The Traps of Emerging Technologies

September 8, 2000
(Wharton Faculty Event & Invited Guests)
- New Economics of the Web
- Internet, Anywhere
- Implications for Research & Learning

October 19-20, 2000
Winners & Losers in the E-Commerce Shakeout
(Wharton Impact Conference-by invitation)


Conference Report Explores How Technology Will Change the Work of Managers

New Book (April 2000)`
Contents updated March 22:

Click HERE for a sneak preview of the contents!


"Managing Knowledge Flows and Transfers"

"New Forms of Organizations"

"How Will Technology Change the Way We Manage?"

Research Links. Language Translators, etc. --- 
(Links to research, dictionary, thesaurus, dictionaries, thesauri, references, glossaries, online, language translators, researchers, technical, financial, medical, engineering, multi-lingual, bilingual --- Japanese and English)

Library of Links for Business 

Virtual Finance Library 

Distance Learning IRS Style (From Syllabus Web on October 24, 2000)

$88 Million Contract to Educate IRS

The Internal Revenue Service has awarded Arthur D. Little a five-year, $88 million contract to provide distance learning services to help the agency retool its workforce and improve performance. The award is the largest e-learning contract ever awarded by a civilian government agency.

Arthur D. Little and its university partners will provide undergraduate- and graduate-level courses to IRS employees nationwide via online, classroom, and interactive video. In addition, Arthur D. Little will work with university partners to conduct research and benchmarking studies to monitor and improve the effectiveness of online courses designed for the IRS.

Distance Learning IRS Style (From Syllabus Web on October 24, 2000)

Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center Opens Doors

The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Teaching and Learning opened this month at Princeton University. McGraw, a Princeton Alum (class of '40), funded the center with a $5 million endowment. The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning will focus on sharing teaching and curriculum strategies, exploring novel uses of technology, strengthening graduate students' teaching skills, and facilitating undergraduate learning. The center will offer the technological and professional resources to support interdepartmental, inter- disciplinary sharing of information and techniques, collaboration on projects and curricula, and incorporation of high-tech tools into teach- ing and learning.

The center features an electronic classroom for hands-on learning using computers and digital audio-video equipment, a multimedia learning resources lab with multimedia workstations, a design and development studio, a media library; and an expanded language lab with audio, inter- active video, computing, and foreign language word processing.

For more information, visit .

From the Learning Edge
Tools4Teachers --- 
A directory of recommended educational Web sites for educators, parents and their students.

Campus Security Statistics - the Department of Education provides a look at college crime. 

Data cells for Trinity University contain mostly zeros.  For that we are grateful here on campus!  On certain tests, a zero is the best score you can get.

Some Retailers De-Emphasize Web Payback By David Lewis, InternetWeek, October 19, 2000 --- 

Although most e-retailers are tracking their return on online investment, a large minority of these e-businesses are taking a contrarian approach. They've rejected ROI, at least temporarily, in favor of a "path-to-profitability" approach that emphasizes planning and patience.

About one-third of 50 e-retailers responding to a recent survey said they are pursuing online strategies that give them as long as two years before they'll shift focus to profit-oriented metrics such as ROI. The survey was conducted by Hackett Benchmarking & Research and IBM Global Services. Respondents included pure dotcoms as well as "bricks-and-clicks" companies with online retail operations; participants' total annual sales ranged from about $100 million to $8 billion.

Return on investment, usually defined as the ratio of net income to invested capital, is a widely used operating efficiency measure.

But will "planning and patience" pay the bills?

A friend in Mexico wrote the following regarding IAS 39 (the international standard on derivatives instruments accounting that is similar to but not exactly like the FASB's FAS 133):

I was lucky in getting this KPMG IAS 39 guide on pdf format so soon, and I hope this helps out to enrich your super web page, although you will probably wish to keep it for yourself at this point, due to potential copyrights claims, but I will suggest you to contact  and tell her you will like to have a copy forwarded. I hope this also helps your students on International Accounting issues.

From Harvard University
Updated Nobel Prizes and the Ig Nobel prizes at the bottom of the list of research (i.e., the research that should never be reproduced)

2000 Nobel Prizes 

2000 Ig Nobel Prizes 

David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kreuger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments." [Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 77, no. 6, December 1999, pp. 1121-34.]

Jasmuheen (formerly known as Ellen Greve) of Australia, first lady of Breatharianism, for her book "Living on Light," which explains that although some people do eat food, they don't ever really need to.

Richard Wassersug of Dalhousie University, for his first-hand report, "On the Comparative Palatability of Some Dry-Season Tadpoles from Costa Rica." [Published in The American Midland Naturalist, vol. 86, no. 1, July 1971, pp. 101-9.]

Andre Geim of the University of Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and Sir Michael Berry of Bristol University (UK), for using magnets to levitate a frog and a sumo wrestler. [REFERENCE: "Of Flying Frogs and Levitrons" by M.V. Berry and A.K. Geim, European Journal of Physics, v. 18, 1997, p. 307-13.]

Donatella Marazziti, Alessandra Rossi, and Giovanni B. Cassano of the University of Pisa, and Hagop S. Akiskal of the University of California (San Diego), for their discovery that, biochemically, romantic love may be indistinguishable from having severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. [REFERENCE: "Alteration of the platelet serotonin transporter in romantic love," Marazziti D, Akiskal HS, Rossi A, Cassano GB, Psychological Medicine, 1999 May;29(3):741-5.]

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, for bringing efficiency and steady growth to the mass-marriage industry, with, according to his reports, a 36-couple wedding in 1960, a 430-couple wedding in 1968, an 1800-couple wedding in 1975, a 6000-couple wedding in 1982, a 30,000-couple wedding in 1992, a 360,000-couple wedding in 1995, and a 36,000,000-couple wedding in 1997.

Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, Pek van Andel, and Eduard Mooyaart of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Ida Sabelis of Amsterdam, for their illuminating report, "Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal." [Published in British Medical Journal, vol. 319, 1999, pp 1596-1600.]

Chris Niswander of Tucson, Arizona, for inventing PawSense, software that detects when a cat is walking across your computer keyboard.

The British Royal Navy, for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout "Bang!"

Jonathan Wyatt, Gordon McNaughton, and William Tullet of Glasgow, for their alarming report, "The Collapse of Toilets in Glasgow." [Published in the Scottish Medical Journal, vol. 38, 1993, p. 185.]

Free Stuff for Email --- 

Cybergold will still pay you to surf the web --- 

FAS 133/138 New 540-page publication from the FASB --- 

The FASB staff has prepared a new publication titled, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities. This essential aid to implementation presents Statement 133 as amended by Statements 137 and 138. Also, it includes the results of the Derivatives Implementation Group (DIG), as cleared by the FASB through September 25, 2000, with cross-references between the issues and the paragraphs of the Statement.

“The staff at the FASB has prepared this publication to bring together in one document the current guidance on accounting for derivatives,” said Kevin Stoklosa, FASB project manager. “To put it simply, it’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach that we hope our readers will find easier to use.”

 Listserv message from Chula King

I, along with several colleagues, have been heavily involved in integrating e-Business into the Accounting and Business curriculum at my University.  I found the article in the October 30 issue of Fortune, entitled "Dot-Coms:  What Have We Learned?" to be especially interesting.  <>

The article highlights 12 truths about how the Internet really changes business.  Anyone who thinks that (1) the Internet is a passing fad; (2) one does not really need to understand business to fully appreciate the impact of the Internet on business; (3) "Internet + Business = Fancy Web Site"; and/or (4) it is all about technology and not about business plus technology, would be well served to read the entire article.

I've taken the liberty of quoting each "truth" and following it with my summary:

12 Truths About How the Internet Really Changes Business

  1. "The Internet isn't as 'disruptive' as we thought."  Rather than being a disruptive technology, the Internet is an infrastructure that serves to enable disruptive business models.
  2. "If it doesn't make cents, it doesn't make sense."  Bottom line, for a business to survive, it must be able to support itself with internally generated capital, i.e., it must earn a profit and generate a positive cash flow.  Venture capital can last only so long.
  3. "Time favors incumbents".  The Internet does not do away with the industrial order.  Rather, it enables existing companies to leverage the technology to lower their costs faster than they can lower the prices that they charge.
  4. "Making a market is harder than it looks."  While many view the Internet as throwing out the old and ushering in the new, it's really more about automating the existing processes.  One cannot automate a process without understanding that process.  Establishing the existing processes and understanding them takes time.  One view is that the real threat of the Internet is not disintermediation, but rather the appearance of a host of intermediaries who "don't get it."
  5. "There's no such thing as 'Internet time'." Technological change occurs in three phases:  (1) the creation of infrastructure; (2) the arrival of enabling technologies; and (3) the understanding and utilization of the first two by companies.  The recent failures have been with those dot-coms who ignored the first two steps and used "Internet time" as a justification for a lack of discipline.
  6. "'Branding' is not a strategy."  One cannot create an instant company.  The Internet provides an extraordinary mechanism of communicating with known customers.  However, it provides a terrible mechanism of attracting new customers.  In the long-term, the brand cannot be separated from the product.  Customer loyalty is a function of brand experience, not brand building.
  7. "Entrepreneurship cannot be systematized."  The idea that one can institutionalize the creation of entrepreneurial ventures is at best naïve, and at worst, stupid.
  8. "Investors are not your customers."  Companies are built and sustained by slavishly winning over a real base of customers, not by wooing the capital markets.
  9. "The Internet still changes everything."  While many might argue that the whole Internet thing has been a fad, the reality is that the Internet has fundamentally changed what "normal" is.  The Internet may not have disrupted the old industrial order.  It has, however, disrupted the old way of doing business.
  10. "The Internet changes our job."  Many predicted the demise of the salesman, travel agent, stockbroker, etc.  They were wrong.  What has happened is that the customer has become empowered with information that heretofore provided value to the traditional services of the salesman, travel agent, stockbroker, etc.  The significance is that those whose job depends upon parceling out information for a fee are at risk.  Those who will survive will be the ones who add value to a customer who all of a sudden has access to that once exclusive information database.
  11. "The distinction between Internet companies and non-Internet companies is fading fast."  Intel Chairman Andy Grove declared that within several years, "there won't be any Internet companies.   All companies will be Internet companies, or they will be dead."  One only needs to compare the nature and content of the articles in the leading business publications from several months back with those of today to see that this is a reality.
  12. "The real wealth creation is yet to come."  A useful parallel here is the California gold rush.  The immediate winners were those who provided the infrastructure that made the quest for gold seem within the reach of the common person.  The long-term winners were those who utilized the infrastructure to fundamentally change the way that things were done.
Chula King, Ph.D., CPA
Department of Accounting and Finance
The University of West Florida

Roger Clarke's E-Commerce - 

This site comprises a couple of hundred of Clarke's papers, plus categorized links to many other sites. It's been providing access to e-commerce resources since the beginning of 1995, and has registered a couple of million hits. It provides access to:

Powerful Patterns of eBusiness - 

Comment on XML

The comment of John Dvorak in PC magazine is thought provoking.,7802,2629057,00.html 
Bob Holmes


As XML (eXtensible Markup Language) becomes more prevalent, we can only hope that HTML will continue to be viable for those who want nothing more than a simple informational Web site for themselves or their families, or for a small business. The way I see it, XML will sneak into the scene, and eventually browsers will be optimized for XML until simple HTML no longer displays properly.

XML began as a simple and much-needed concept. The idea was to find a way to make data and text elements variable in such a way that information could be presented in a more controlled yet dynamic fashion. I have seen XML in action, and it can be quite powerful.

XML is, in many ways, a vague standard insofar as definitions of XML elements are concerned. Already the XML scene is deteriorating into a mess that requires full-time attention. By this I mean that the average PC Magazine reader, who is generally no slouch, will not be able to work with XML casually unless it is a full-time job. This does not bode well for the Web as a populist mechanism.

Helpful Message of the Week for Accountants and Accounting Educators

Note especially the helpful links to online general ledger systems services.

From: (Todd Boyle) 
Subject: Birthing peer-to-peer webledgers--then integrating with them

The Napster phenomenon is huge, they have 32 million users. You may be aware there are a slew of other content sharing or peer-to-peer software projects, other than napster

Freenet Publius  
Mojo Nation  
Agoric Systems Inc  (more links 

Jim Carico of Potlatch net  is one of the leaders in architectures and concepts for payments mechanisms in peer-to-peer networks.

There is explosive potential if  or any of the other P2P architectures succeeds in their goal of integrating payments into the sharing of content. I have been participating wherever possible, coaching these people on settlement schemes based on intercompany webledger entries.

Some of them are gradually understanding the importance of an abstraction layer in the archecture related to "payments", rather than tying the p2p network directly to a particular payments provider. Patrick Brietenbach of is an example of commercial banks wooing the peer-to-peer developers to implement direct tying (on Tipster)

(for the uninitiated, commercial webledgers include 

Dieter Simader's Sql Ledger is the only opensource webledger. 

Interparty webledger journal entries gets the P2P network developer down the road with a generalized settlement mechanism, without clearing thru banking system, and enabling a free competition in settlements services providers.

Similarly, if they provide a bare minimum of GL table, it will also make their free nets a generalized ecommerce environment, enabling a lot of other small business commerce as well as music. In effect when you have a GL table you can send invoices for anything named with XML. i.e. you have uncoupled the settlement mechanism from the free net, and you have uncoupled the other side too. You aren't limited to MP3s and you can use it for whatever else you're buying or selling.

It is amazing to me, that any developer would undergo so much work to implement a workable scheme for purchasing and payment, then hard-bind it to a single type of merchandise such as an MP3.

This is how a general ledger exchanges e-commerce transactions over a distributed filesystem:  -- the research is based on  and  explains intercompany settlement. on the webledger host. 

If any of these music schemes succeeds, having any webledger mechanism, then commercial webledgers could become an irrelevant footnote in comparison. The music users would be in the millions, and more importantly, millions of people would become familiar and acquainted with basic multiparty GL settlement ideas outside the banking system. You'd get a slew of linux-based ecommerce in no time.

This could also be a very, very big opportunity. It is so big that ALL of the webledger vendors should be joining together to establish XML standards for exchange of intercompany transactions between webledgers. I have submitted to a general ledger schema, for this purpose.

There is little controversy or doubt that accounting entries such as purchases, sales or balance sheet transfers, can be sent to an unrelated 3rd party to show up in their system as an incoming, unposted transaction batch.

It would be easy to implement, easy to understand, has NO risks, and webledger users would love it. Webledgers can vanquish the banks. The web GL becomes an ecommerce platform. All of the web GLs KNOW how badly the P2P networks need multiparty webledger settlement, and KNOW that they have the technology.

But they fear it would take a lot of development time. Strangely, after all the countless millions of programmers churned out by universities the last 25 years, everybody is still constrained more by lack of programmers than lack of money.

Rather I think the problem is the webledger vendors are too dense to understand what on EARTH the developers of peer-to-peer networks are building. This does not take a lot of time. It just takes an ability to LEARN instead of just ritualistic programming.

The web GL developer certainly would not have to build the P2P platforms. This is an interface puzzle. We can understand a P2P network. We know how to implement an accounting interface. We just need a little work on the XML JE transmitter, with a bunch of cute skins like winamp. We will give the code to WinAmp!

People are telling me that intercompany webledger settlement is a "GO". It works.

You're already building an XML interface. That's based on simple exchange of documents. Those documents can be posted on a P2P network. The question is the workflow model. Maybe some simple little C program or zope application that just puts XML docs up on the freenet so that others can pull them down, that doesn't require every MP3 user to have a (paid) web ledger account. I guarantee you this would be a one-day job for a python programmer because it has NO integration with the webledger's server, and only has one narrow, simple function. You're going to debit one person and credit the other person, then let third party settlement agents come in and liquidate these things. Artists might let you ride until it hit $5 or $10 then email you inviting you to a website to pay by credit card. Meanwhile the webledger gets HUGE publicity and cachet because the application uses XML and all those little people can submit payable and receivables to NetLedger as well as artists.

And, all the webledger XMLs still lack public UDDI registry or directory support, providing party and item code informaion to the parties. Surely that would be trivial to develop, and not controversial if the owner of the party record has granted 3rd parties permission to receive them. The UDDI directories have gone live, last week , and they have a SOAP interface, and they're free.

TOdd * Todd F. Boyle CPA  *  
Kirkland WA (425) 827-3107 * XML accounting, webledgers, BSPs, ASPs, whatever it takes

Scary Site of Last Week With a New Message Forwarded by Alan Brown

Docusearch (forwarded by Aaron Konstam) --- 
This a pay site (provided they get what you want) for finding such things as unlisted phone numbers, social security numbers, bank account balances of your neighbors, and other private information.

This is the information age, and information is power! Discover the secrets of the people with whom you associate.


The following Message was subsequently sent by Alan Brown on October 17, 2000

Dr. Jensen, Re: Scary Site of the week, I thought you would like to see this one, a similar species:

<< Forwarded Message:

Subj: Find Out Anything On Anyone! **NEW** 2000
Date: 10/01/2000 12:51:26 PM Central Daylight Time
From: !- THE INTERNET SPY 2000 -!

Shows you how to get the facts on anyone.


The SOFTWARE They Wanted BANNED In all 50 States! Why? Because these secrets were never intended to reach your eyes....

Get the facts on anyone using the Internet! Locate Missing Persons, find Lost Relatives and obtain Addresses and Phone Numbers of old school friends, even Skip Trace Dead Beat Spouses. This is not a Private Investigator, but a sophisticated SOFTWARE program DESIGNED to automatically CRACK YOUR CASE with links to thousands of Public record databases. Find out SECRETS about your relatives, friends, enemies, and everyone else! -- even your spouse! With the New INTERNET SPY 2000

It's absolutely astounding! Here's some of what you can learn:

License plate numbers! Get anyone's name and address with just a license plate number! (Find that girl you met in traffic!) DRIVING RECORDS! Get anyone's driving record! Social security number! Trace anyone by social security number! ADDRESSES! Get anyone's address with just a name! Unlisted phone numbers! Get anyone's phone number with just a name-even unlisted numbers! LOCATE! Long lost friends, relatives, a past lover who broke your heart! Now with Full Internet Search. E-mail! Send anonymous e-mail completely untraceable! Dirty secrets! Discover dirty secrets your in-laws don't want you to know! Investigate anyone! Use the source that private investigators use (all on the Internet) secretly! Ex-spouse! Learn how to get information on an ex-spouse that will help you win in court! (Dig up old skeletons) Criminal search-Background check! Find out about you daughters boyfriend! (or her husband) Neighbors! Learn all about your mysterious neighbors! Find out what they have to hide! People you work with! Be astonished by what you'll learn about people you work with! Education verification! Did he really graduate college? Find out!

INTERNET SPY 2000 Software will help you discover ANYTHING about anyone, with click able hyperlinks and no typing in Internet addresses!

Just load our software and Go!

It's INCREDIBLE what you can find out using Internet Spy 2000 and the Internet!

You'll be riveted to your computer screen! The software they're trying to ban! Before it's too late!


Only $24.95 US

Helen Johnson CEO Abdul-Jabbaar Shabazz 5743 Townsend Detroit MI, 48213

50 Free Web publishing tools Everything you need to publish online: HTML editors, database converters, code validators, servers, and more. 

Wall Street Journal October 19, 2000
Business Bulletin

A FOOTNOTE on college note-taking services tells a familiar dot-com tale.

Academia mounted a strong campaign to stop the unauthorized sales of lecture notes during the past year, but competition may have meted an even stronger blow to the fledgling businesses that buy notes from students and post them online, says Mathieu Deflem, a professor at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., who opposes the note-selling on ethical grounds. Since last fall, the dot-coms have dwindled from a dozen or so to just a few.

See more information about some of the items mentioned in this column.

Services such as bought notes from students and posted them on Web sites with the idea of making money from ads. But the task was expensive, and challenges grew. was bought by Inc., San Diego, which in August filed for bankruptcy protection. Now, Student Advantage Inc., Boston, which serves students, colleges and businesses, has agreed to buy CollegeClub's assets, except for Student Advantage says it has no plans to offer note-taking services, which don't sit well with college administrators it also serves.

California last month passed a law barring the sale of lecture notes from its colleges without the teacher's consent.

Hello Dr Jensen,

Thank you.

That was a great article. I hope we can find the template.

I liked reviewing your links. Isn't the Internet wonderful for life long learning. My current favorite spot for online learning has been . The exercises and material are nicely done. Excluding accredited schools, I have not found a lot of places that have affordable, quality classes. For investment starters, I like, , and   --- although I have probably 50+ financial links in my bookmarks. I've made a rule to group my links, and when I add another link, one link must go... I like . I also review  for internet taxation status.

Again, thank you. PegRussell

Art for the Nation: Collecting for a New Century 

Hi Bob,

I've come across your very complete website on accounting issues in derivatives. Just wanted to briefly introduce myself and my firm, StructuredMarkets ( . We provide an online marketplace for OTC equity derivative transactions. The main idea is to enable buyers and sellers of these products to transact in a more efficient manner.

In addition to providing a trading platform, we are also providing a platform for posting valuable information and delivering expertise related to derivatives. Of course, FASB133 is a substantial issue in this market so I'd be interested in speaking with you at some point to explore potential opportunities.

If you have some time next week, please feel free to give me a call at the number below.

Best regards, Dean Curnutt

Dean Curnutt StructuredMarkets, Inc. 212-704-9923

Anthropology Biography Web 

The following is one paragraph from an article on front page center of WSJ for 10-20-2000 entitled: "Electronic Form of 'Invisible Ink' Inside Files May Reveal Secrets". Most of us probably don't send editable DOC or XLS files as attachments, but if you ever do you will want to read this article so that you are better aware of the implications:

'It turns out there's more than meets the eye in the average word-processing document. A typical Microsoft Word file, for example, can include the author's name, the name of his or her company, the names of each person who has worked on the document and, depending on the options selected, deleted text and other revisions, all hidden from view, as if written in invisible ink. That's because Word, the dominant word-processing software, contains a lot of what Microsoft Corp. calls "metadata," information that doesn't appear on a user's screen simply because commands in the file tell computer monitors and printers to ignore it."

"The big concern is that people are sending around things they don't know they're sending around," says Steve McDonald, associate legal counsel at Ohio State University, who teaches a class in cyberspace law.'

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri  

Perseus Publishing--Book News 

SafeWeb - keep your browsing patterns private 

Hi Bob,

You may like to add this to your list of potential solutions to the problem caused by free distribution of digital content, i.e. how to enable artists to obtain recompense for their labours, in spite of their work being freely available.

I mentioned this in an article of mine published earlier this year (  ). I hope to produce further articles expanding on this idea, which I think I'll term the Digital Auction - you may have a better suggestion?

Hope it's useful.



I include the relevant extract from the article:

Will Money Still Make the World Go Round?

Money was supposed to be a convenient means of exchanging labor and its products. Perhaps, as in the Star Trek universe, civilization will elevate itself to a position where money becomes superfluous and everyone puts their potential into society and gets as much out of it as they want. I think some might think the Internet will facilitate this, perhaps it will, but it's pretty likely we'll have to go via a transitionary phase where there is a form of cyber-cash. This'll help migrate the old way of doing business into its more direct, electronic equivalent.

But, more and more, I think we're seeing information become the key commodity. Whether it's the right share to invest in, the most economic way to build a bridge, a DVD, or even the color of Sigourney Weaver's toothbrush: information is in demand and people are willing to pay for it. Trouble is, they rarely have to. Information is getting easier to distribute and duplicate. It only takes one altruistic (some might use a less benevolent term) person to spill the beans on a web page and the whole world gets it for nothing.

It's not a problem to ensure that communication is secure, from vendor to purchaser, but how do you prevent the purchaser from passing on that information for nothing and thus devaluing it?

The problem that the Internet now presents us with is that vendors can no longer hope to maintain their monopolies over information once they've sold it. It used to be that purchase of mass produced information (newspapers, books, records) was a much better experience overall (price, quality, convenience) than illicit duplication was for the potential customer or pirate. But, now a digital copy is free, perfect, and more convenient.

Of course it's unfair, but what can you do?

Even in the digital realm, software producers have still been clinging to the hope that transmission costs dissuade people from illegitimate downloading. Sure, even with digital technology, there are still always costs in transmission, and these are in proportion to the quantity of information - whether it's downloading a file or throwing a DVD across the room. But, these transmission costs are rarely proportional to the production costs.

It seems one idea Microsoft's trying out to address this problem, is to not let the software out of its factory in the first place. The user only has the presentation layer on their local machine, but must pay a subscription to obtain the use of the back-end on a secure server somewhere.. I suppose this is an understandable approach if as some pundits predict, there will soon be vastly more web browsers around than installations of Windows alone.

But software isn't the only information based product around. What about works of art? Why should anyone produce a movie, album, or other easily duplicated work of art if only a single sale can be obtained?

Well, it's difficult to swallow, but the answer has to be that the single sale must cover the cost, even in spite of the fact that the work is unlikely to have a resale value.

This means getting millions of punters to stump up cash in advance before the artist hands over their work. So say Sting produces a new album. First, he'll keep it under strict security. He then releases a low grade recording that gives a hint of how good it is. The near perfect, 5.1 channel, digital encoding of it is then put up for a kind of reverse auction. The marketplace is invited to make limited pledges for it, e.g. up to $1, up to $5, up to $15, etc. Sting can then, at a favorable point in time, select which price point he wishes to sell it at, and then it is delivered to all those whose pledge covered that price. After this point it is a free for all and anyone may give it away or sell it on - including Sting who may still be able to sell the original recording at a premium price (given its packaging).

The key thing in this scheme is that the product is not released until the artist feels they have arrived at the best return they can get, which may well be at least the production cost. Sometimes they may declare that the current pledges are insufficient and the work will be withheld until such time as the pledges increase. Conversely, the market may gradually reduce its offers for the work and the artist may take the best price while they can.

Of course, you can only practically do this kind of deal where the market can be addressed as though it were a single unit - something greatly facilitated by the Internet.

Similar types of deals can be done in advance of the work, for example, where the audience is presented with a movie script, and invited to stump up the funding necessary to produce the movie. I can see it now - "Star Wars: Episode IX - we need between $5 and $7 billion to complete this movie. The current optimum pledge only amounts to $3 billion. Please increase your pledge and/or encourage your friends, and remember that you get merchandising shares!".

Do I hear five thousand broadcasters laughing their heads off?

Yeah, go ahead and laugh. You can still continue with the old ways of doing things if you want. However, even with the public subscription type approach I've just outlined, broadcasters could still do the big deals you're familiar with (perhaps as a cartel), but once transmission has occurred it should be a free for all. The thing is, it will be a free for all anyway, and you can't really stop it. So copyright becomes redundant for art in digital form. This should apply to software too.

Anyway, these are just hints as to how the Internet is going to force a revolution in the marketplace. There will be other ways of working and buying and selling, but even with a totally derestricted market, I hope you can see that there are still mechanisms that will continue to support the development of films, music, and other works of digitally reproducible art. It's not as bleak as the big companies would have you think. They'll just have to forget about region coded DVDs and secure DVD-Audio...

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Yum!  Crock-Pot - celebrating 30 years of slow cookin' --- 

2000 Eisie awards (plus prior years) for magazine photography --- 

The Cover of the Year does not impress me!  Can't they judge better than that?

The Still Life awards are great.

Life: The Best Magazine Photos of the Year --- 

Small business advising site reviewed in the Scout Report on October 19, 2000 (note how color choices can make life frustrating for site users)

Business Advice Online 

Business Advice Online is a creation of the Small Business Service (SBS), a new government agency in the United Kingdom. Launched in April 2000, the Website highlights some of the excellent resources available through this agency in the Business Topics section. Clicking on a topic brings up a subtopic menu, which in turn leads to short synopses of SBS services and hyperlinks to other UK government documents. Users be forewarned that the links are a little hard to see because the main text is dark blue and the links are in black font. The site also contains links to other industry information, business news, and key contacts. Another slight flaw in the design of the site is that some of the subtopic menus pop-up very low in the screen, so users may have to scroll down a bit to see the menus. However, these small problems should not overshadow the wealth of information found on Business Advice Online.

NatureServe - an encyclopedia of North American plants, animals, and ecology. --- 

For other encyclopedias and glossaries, take a look at 

Patents and Trademarks -- LSU Library Webliography 

Film Philosophy --- 

"Not for the faint-hearted, [an] excellent site . . . the coverage is impressive . . . and it's guaranteed to provoke discussion." (The Guardian)
'Film-Philosophy offers engaging and in-depth explorations of a wide variety of cinematic topics and lively email response and argument . . . a terrific resource for film studies scholars and serious cinema fans'. (Internet Scout Project)
"Features an extensive catalog of full-text articles . . . Despite the stripped-down look of this site, it contains much valuable information." (
"Film-Philosophy offers copious essaying on matters high-brow and cinematic . . . Stop by when you've a spare contemplative hour." (Time Out)
"Definitely a unique portal. It is refreshing to see a website that offers informed writing and discussion of relevant film topics . . . a truly refreshing web experience." (
Film-Philosophy is indexed by the British Library, recommended by the Philosophy News Service, and recently it has received an award from the Encyclopedia Britannica, who have rated us as one of the most valuable and reliable film sites on the internet.

Napoleon (from PBS) --- --- 

The Back Story: In 1966 Joseph Weizenbaum at M.I.T. wrote ELIZA, a famous program that simulates a Rogerian psychoanalyst by taking excerpts from the subject's comments and posing questions back to the subject. While not a giant leap in AI programming, ELIZA (named after Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady) showed that some semblance of 'awareness' could be synthesized simply by using input pattern recognition, combined with predefined phrases. Some people claim that ELIZA was the first program to pass the Turing Test, fooling subjects into thinking it was an actual person.

Some PowerPoint advice from Donald Ramsey

If the words on the toolbar are too small to read when projected on a Powerpoint screen, here is a shortcut to enlarge the letters:

1. From the desktop, doubleclick on My Computer.

2. DC Control Panel

3. DC Accessibility Options

4. Click Display tab

5. Click box, "Use High Contrast"

6. Click Apply

7. Click Settings

8. Select options as you wish.

9. Click box, "Use Shortcut"

10. Click OK

11. Close all screens; desktop remains

12. To return to normal, hold down left shift, left ALT, and Print Screen

13. In future, to go to large lettering, hold down left shift, left ALT, and Print Screen; then press Enter.

14. If the process leaves you with a wide taskbar, drag its edge to its normal position.

Donald D. Ramsey, CPA, 
Associate Professor of Accounting, School of Business and Public Administration, 
University of the District of Columbia, 4200
Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20008. Department of
Accounting, Finance, and Economics, Room 404A, Building 52 (Connecticut and Yuma St.)

Hi Bob:

I have found a web hosting site that you many want to consider as an alternative for hosting your emails + website. Advantages includes "easy" daily postings + active discussions (by your reader/audience).

Sample sites:  (Dan Gillmor of SJ Mercury)  (CEO/ owner of the program)  (very professional site) 

Reference materials: 


Paul Sid

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling

This is from my cousin whose son is on the USS Harry Truman, which is also a ship with the 5th fleet that the USS Cole is in. This hits home. Debbie

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 11:31 PM
To:; ;;
Subject: DEEDY- Something to think about...USS Cole

In a message dated 10/18/00 7:32:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time,  writes:

 This is an e-mail from a pilot out east by the USS COLE.    

I received this email from a friend with whom I served.  It wasn't until a few days ago though, that we started doing    something that I feel may be the first thing I've seen in my short Naval career that has truly made a difference. Right now we're supporting the USS COLE and her crew in Aden. When the attack occurred we were a day away. Just by luck we happened to be on our way out of the Gulf and headed towards the Suez and could get here in a relatively short amount of time.

I know what you all have seen on CNN, because we have seen it too. I just want you all to know that what you see doesn't even scratch the surface. I'm not going to get into it for obvious reasons. But I will tell you that right now there are 250+ sailors just a few miles away living in hell on Earth. I'm sitting in a nice air conditioned state room, they're sleeping out on the decks at night. You can't even imagine the conditions they're living in, and yet they are still fighting 24 hours a day to save their ship and free the bodies of those still trapped and send them home.

As bad as it is, they're doing an incredible job. The very fact that these people are still functioning is beyond my comprehension. Whatever you imagine as the worst, multiply it by ten and you might get there. Today I was tasked to photo rig the ship and surrounding area. It looked so much worse than I had imagined, unbelievable really, with debris and disarray everywhere, the ship listing, the hole in her side.

I wish I had the power to relay to you all what I have seen, but words just won't do it. I do want to tell you the first thing that jumped out at me - the Stars and Stripes flying. I can't tell you how that made me feel...even in this God forsaken hell hole our flag was more beautiful than words can describe. Then I started to notice the mass of activity going on below, scores of people working non-stop in 90 plus degree weather to save this ship. They're doing it with almost no electrical power and they're sleeping (when they can sleep) outside on the decks because they can't stand the smell or the heat or the darkness inside. They only want to eat what we bring them because they're all scared of eating something brought by the local vendors. Even with all that, the USS COLE and her crew is sending a message guys, and it's that even acts of cowardice and hate can do nothing to the spirit and pride of the United States.

I have never been so proud of what I do, or of the men and women that I serve with as I was today. There are sixteen confirmed dead sailors who put it on the line for all of us, and some of them are still trapped here. Please  take a minute to pray for their families and say a word of thanks for their sacrifice - one made so that we can live the lives that we do.   

All of you that serve with me, thank you. All of you that have loved ones that serve, thank you.       

October 22nd edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter ---

1. XBRL Academic Competition Update 
2. Writing Innovation: New Pen Writes on Paper, Transfers data to Computer, Cell Phone 
3. Wireless E-Business Is No Passing Fad 
4. Using XML/XSL for Web Publication 
5. I Want, I Want 
6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML Eight new stories on Saturday 10-21 alone!

And don't forget Neil Hannon's XBRL site and other helpers.  The links are at 

Athens, Greece, April 18-20, 2001
Athens, Greece, April 21-23, 2001
Brussels, December 14-16, 2000
London, U.K, January 5-6, 2001
Copenhagen, Denmark, June 15-16, 2001
Brussels, Belgium - May 17-18, 2001

Pisa, Italy, 6-8 June 2001
some general details on :

Nice, France, October 4- 5, 2001

* * * * *
Graziella Michelante
Conference Manager
Email :
& Marion Hebbelynck
Associations' Manager
Email :

Rue d'Egmont 13 - B - 1000 Brussels              
Tel : 32 2 5119116 - Fax 32 2 5121929            
Web site :

Bob Jensen flunked this test for 8th grade.  You chuckle!  I bet you can't pass it either?

If we used this for the TAAS Test (a required test for progression in the Texas school system), Governor George Bush would be impeached.  

This was forwarded by Jim Borden.

Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 09:05:31 -0400
From: "Aditya, the Hindu Skeptic" <a018967t@BC.SEFLIN.ORG
Subject: How smart do you really think you are?  

Could You Have Passed the 8th Grade in 1895? This is not actually a genius question, there are no answers listed, but just look how much you had to know in the 8th grade back then!   Take a Look:

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 from Salina, KS. USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS and reprinted by the Salina Journal.  8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895 

Grammar (Time, one hour) 
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar. 

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. Per bu., deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per m?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per are, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt. 

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes) 
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607 1620 1800 1849 1865 

Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono,super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication. 

Geography (Time, one hour) 
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba,Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.  But they couldn't program a VCR, I'll bet!  --

There are a lot of folks that can't understand how we ran out of oil here in the USA. Well, here's the answer: It's simple . . . nobody bothered to check the oil, so we didn't know we were getting low. And of course the reason for that is geographical. All the oil is in Texas and Alaska and all the dipsticks are in Washington, DC. 
Louise Gibson

At a wedding rehearsal, the minister told the father of the bride, "As you give your daughter's hand to the bridegroom, you should say something nice to him."

The father, a grocery store manager, took the advice. During the wedding ceremony, he placed the bride's hand on his son- in-law's arm and said, "No deposit, no return."

There was a farmer who raised watermelons. He was doing pretty well but he was disturbed by some local kids who would sneak into his watermelon patch at night and eat his watermelons. After some careful thought he comes up with a clever idea that he thinks will scare the kids away for sure. So he makes up a sign and posts it in the field. The next day the kids show up and they see this sign, which says, "Warning, one of the watermelons in this field has been injected with cyanide." 


So the kids run off and make up their own sign, which they post next to the sign that the farmer made. The farmer shows up the next day to look over his field. He notices that no watermelons are missing but he notices a new sign next to his. He drives over to the sign and takes a look. It says, "Now there are two".

A new minister had just moved into his beautiful ancient ministry, and found that he now had a lot of land, fields and woodland. He decided to buy a magnificent mare so that he could ride around his new parish to see all his parishioners. When the animal arrived, he was told, "This horse has only just been broken in so you will have to teach it the commands that you want it to obey." 


This was a bit of a challenge to the minister, so he thought, "I know I will teach it some church words." First, instead of the command to gallop, he taught it the words, "Praise the Lord" and as soon as the horse heard this command it raced forward. 


The next command was to make it stop, so instead of Whoa, he taught it Amen, and the horse would skid to a halt. Everything went fine for a few years , and then the time came for the minister to move to a new parish. He advertised his beloved animal for sale, and a local yokel bought it, but before the minister would part with the animal he decided to tell the new owner about the language that the horse had been taught. 


"Now young man, don't forget, when you want the horse to go at a gallop you say Praise the Lord, and when you want it to stop, you say Amen." Later the man decided to try the horse. "Praise the Lord," he said, and off they went at full gallop. 


The man suddenly remembered there is a cliff ahead with a five hundred foot drop to the sea. "Whoa, Whoa," he shouted, but the horse raced on towards the long drop. "Whoa, Whoa," he shouted but to no avail. Just before they reached the cliff, he remembered to say "Amen." The horse skidded to a halt inches away from the drop. 


The rider looked over the edge sighed and muttered, "Praise the Lord."


Is this really such a good thing?  Think about it!  I prefer the bumper sticker that says "Hang up and drive."

Voice Magic Plus' Automotive Voice Dialer (AVD) gives you safe hands-free and eyes-free operation of your cellular phone while you drive. It even has a remote control.  

And that's the way it was on October 25, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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October 18, 2000

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on October 18, 2000
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

You can change the viewing size of fonts by clicking on the View menu item in your browser. 

Scroll down this page to view this week's new bookmarks. 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

I maintain threads on various topics at 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
This search engine may get you some hits from other professors at Trinity University included with Bob Jensen's documents, but this may be to your benefit.

Whenever a commercial product or service is mentioned anywhere in Bob Jensen's website, there is no advertising fee or other remuneration to Bob Jensen.  This website is intended to be a public service.  I am grateful to Trinity University for serving up my ramblings.

Quotes of the Week:  

God put me on earth to accomplish certain things.
Right now, I'm so far behind that I may never die.

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.
Benedict Spinoza

Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.
J. Leahy

The difference between death and taxes is that death does not get worse every time Congress meets.

You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the tracks.

I have seen the truth, and it makes no sense.

FAS 133 Thought of the Day:  This may be as bad as it gets, but don't count on it.

The best way to win is to avoid keeping score.

There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.

Ode to a Jensen Lecture:  He who cannot endure the bad cannot live to see the good.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is love and respect their mother.

The Microsoft XBRL demo site is now up and running at 

In case you have not been following what is happening with the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), I would like to say that XBRL will be revolutionary to financial reporting and investing in this age of networking technologies. It will be to financial reporting what HTML was to the web. XBRL's main advantages are more efficient searches (partly because differences in terminology will not matter as long as similar terms are referenced under the hood to the same XBRL standard script) and ease of comparison over different companies and industries. Financial analysis will never be the same as soon as companies attach the XBRL scripts under the hoods of their online financial reports. XBRL standards are now official and were promulgated by the leading companies of the world in conjunction with leading accounting standard setters.

I maintain some threads on XBRL at 

If you are interested in tracking the latest happenings with XBRL, I especially recommend Neil Hannon's XBRL Resource Center at

To get hyped up on XBRL, you may want to read the article by Ivy Schmerken at 

“It's going to revolutionize a lot of financial reporting,” predicts Adams. “As a CFO I need to compare Edgar Online to multiple companies,” he says. “I could make a list of companies and ask for a list of criteria [revenue per employee and gross margins] you want to show and do it in seconds."  Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is the only Wall Street firm, so far, on the XBRL Project Committee, but securities analysts will benefit a lot from the project.

Today, for instance, analysts spend a lot of time rekeying data from financial statements into spreadsheets. With XBRL, they'll be able to search for a few characteristics and instantly flow the data from a company's balance sheet into an online tool.

“XBRL takes a lot of inefficiency out of the process,” says J. Louis Matherne, the AICPA's director, information technology, who notes that financial statements can be created one time and then published in multiple formats-as printed reports, on Web sites as HTML and as Edgar filing with the SEC.

WOW Sites of the Week  (Docster,  LOCKSS, Windows Media, and Find Articles Fast) 

Dr Jensen:

You may be interested in the Docster program being developed by librarians at .

I like your internet tools page.

Steven C. Perkins 

 Bob Jensen recommends that readers commence learning about Docster at 

What if someone developed a Napster-like program for periodical articles? Napster, in case you haven’t been paying attention to the latest in the “Internet music wars,” is software that enables anyone connected to the Internet to easily share their MP3 music files with anyone else connected to the Internet, providing an easy way for those who seek out music to download MP3 files regardless of where they are located. Dan Chudnov, a librarian and systems developer at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library and a leading advocate of libraries developing open source software (see his article in the August 1999 Library Journal), thinks that the Napster model is ideally suited for libraries.

“Imagine,” Chudnov said, “a new bibliographic management tool that combined file storage with a Napster-like communications protocol—Docster.” When a researcher needs an article, she can “just query Docster for it. Docster will figure out [what connected computer] has a copy of that article.” And Docster could have copyright compliance built in so that all legal requirements could be met. Chudnov’s vision of Docster is located here.

Then go to here --- 

Imagine all the researchers you know, with a new bibliographic management tool that combined file storage with a napster-like communications protocol -- docster. Instead of just citations, docster also stores the files themselves and retains a connection between the citation metadata and each corresponding file. Somewhere in the ether is a docster server to which those researchers connect. They're reading one of their articles, and they find a new reference they want to pull up. What to do? Just query docster for it. Docster will figure out who else among those connected has a copy of that article, and if it's found, requests and saves a copy for our friendly researcher.

Of course, we cannot do this. Libraries depend too much on copyright to attack the system so directly. But what if we focused instead on altering the napster model enough to make it explicitly copyright-compliant? After all, many cases of one researcher giving another a copy of an article are a fair use of that article. Fair use provides us with this possibility and it's not a giant leap to argue that perhaps coordinated copying through such a centralized server could constitute fair use, especially if docster didn't compete with commercial interests.

Well, it's still a big leap, but think of the benefits. Say there's an article from 1973 that's suddenly all the rage. It doesn't exist online yet, so a patron request comes to you from some other library, and you've got the journal, so you fill the request. But forty-eight other researchers want that article too. If that first patron uses docster, any of those other folks also using docster can just grab the file from the first requestor. If others don't use docster, they can request a copy from their local libraries, who -- I hope -- do use docster. Nobody has to go scan that article again, and suddenly there is redundant digital storage (see also LOCKSS).

For LOCKSS, go to my alma mater at  (note the FAQs)

Stanford Libraries is building "persistent access" software for libraries. The project is called: LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe).

Bob Jensen's threads on Napster, Gnutella, Docster, and the like can be found at 
A search engine for online audio and video. - search through an archive of articles from over 300 magazines and journals -- 

Bob Jensen's search and find helpers are at 

Investment search by Powerize --- 

Hoover's, Inc. has acquired Powerize, Inc. and is pleased to welcome you to the benefits of Hoover's Online. Your favorite Powerize search features are now available to you in this Archived News section. Questions? View our FAQ.

We invite you to explore the Hoover's Online site for company and industry information, business news and helpful business travel planning resources.

Search for finance and investor news. 
This is a search engine focused on financial and investment news. 

Online investing websites --- 

Free insurance research online --- 

Vintage Calculators (history, technology) --- 

A revolution in calculators took place between the early 1960s and the late 1970s. It was during this vintage period that the calculator evolved from a large mechanical machine to a tiny electronic, credit card sized device. The development of micro-electronics for calculators was an important phase in the history of technology.

This fascinating story is illustrated here with -

Mechanical calculators - both electrically driven and hand operated. Early electronic calculators - using vacuum tubes (cold-cathode tubes/valves), discrete transistors, cathode ray tube displays, delay-line memories, small- & medium-scale integrated circuits. Early hand-held calculators with LED and fluorescent displays. The increasing capability of the electronic integrated circuits can be seen, which led to the microprocessor and the personal computer.

Calculators from Britain are also illustrated, including models for the old British sterling (£sd) money system before decimalisation.

British National Archives Virtual Museum (History, Art) --- 

Africa (Great Photography) --- 

Hewlett-Packard's 100 Cameras Project, still 60 cameras shy of completion, is a great in-progress website (photography, graphics) --- 

A celebrated Mexican author finding poetry in his daily shopping journey; a schoolboy using the camera to show his bullying classmates what he's capable of; a camp organizer giving inner-city kids a voice through pictures; a man launching an armada of paper boats to relive a childhood moment.

This is only a small sampling of the remarkable images we received, but it serves to make a larger point: utilizing hp digital tools, anyone can use their imagination and creativity to produce lasting images of depth and beauty.

Suffice to say, we're proud of what the participants in the 100 Cameras project were able to achieve. We're even prouder to have helped them do it.

Here, the first 40. Every few weeks, we'll add twenty more.
100 Cameras. 100 Stories.

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE.

The ACE Professor of the Week is Dennis Schmidt at the University of Northern Iowa

Course Title: Income Tax
Textbook: Prentice Hall's Federal Taxation 1999: Individuals
Author(s): Pope and Kramer

Among other things, Professor Schmidt shares his PowerPoint slides at 
He does request that you get permission to use these slides, but judging from the fact that there are no password restraints on downloading the files, I suspect that permission is real easy to get.  Thank you for sharing Dennis.

From PBS:  American Masters (History, Literature, Art) --- 

Salary and Compensation Surveys (careers) 

Other compensation-related websites --- 

Scary Site of the Week 

Docusearch (forwarded by Aaron Konstam) --- 
This a pay site (provided they get what you want) for finding such things as unlisted phone numbers, social security numbers, bank account balances of your neighbors, and other private information.

This is the information age, and information is power! Discover the secrets of the people with whom you associate.


The following Message was subsequently sent by Alan Brown on October 17, 2000

Dr. Jensen, Re: Scary Site of the week, I thought you would like to see this one, a similar species:

<< Forwarded Message:

Subj: Find Out Anything On Anyone! **NEW** 2000
Date: 10/01/2000 12:51:26 PM Central Daylight Time
From: !- THE INTERNET SPY 2000 -!

Shows you how to get the facts on anyone.


The SOFTWARE They Wanted BANNED In all 50 States! Why? Because these secrets were never intended to reach your eyes....

Get the facts on anyone using the Internet! Locate Missing Persons, find Lost Relatives and obtain Addresses and Phone Numbers of old school friends, even Skip Trace Dead Beat Spouses. This is not a Private Investigator, but a sophisticated SOFTWARE program DESIGNED to automatically CRACK YOUR CASE with links to thousands of Public record databases. Find out SECRETS about your relatives, friends, enemies, and everyone else! -- even your spouse! With the New INTERNET SPY 2000

It's absolutely astounding! Here's some of what you can learn:

License plate numbers! Get anyone's name and address with just a license plate number! (Find that girl you met in traffic!) DRIVING RECORDS! Get anyone's driving record! Social security number! Trace anyone by social security number! ADDRESSES! Get anyone's address with just a name! Unlisted phone numbers! Get anyone's phone number with just a name-even unlisted numbers! LOCATE! Long lost friends, relatives, a past lover who broke your heart! Now with Full Internet Search. E-mail! Send anonymous e-mail completely untraceable! Dirty secrets! Discover dirty secrets your in-laws don't want you to know! Investigate anyone! Use the source that private investigators use (all on the Internet) secretly! Ex-spouse! Learn how to get information on an ex-spouse that will help you win in court! (Dig up old skeletons) Criminal search-Background check! Find out about you daughters boyfriend! (or her husband) Neighbors! Learn all about your mysterious neighbors! Find out what they have to hide! People you work with! Be astonished by what you'll learn about people you work with! Education verification! Did he really graduate college? Find out!

INTERNET SPY 2000 Software will help you discover ANYTHING about anyone, with click able hyperlinks and no typing in Internet addresses!

Just load our software and Go!

It's INCREDIBLE what you can find out using Internet Spy 2000 and the Internet!

You'll be riveted to your computer screen! The software they're trying to ban! Before it's too late!


Only $24.95 US

Helen Johnson CEO Abdul-Jabbaar Shabazz 5743 Townsend Detroit MI, 48213

Rankings of Business Schools by Business Week --- 

Instead of deans, the rankings are based on surveys of recruiters and over 10,000 students.  Note the return of investment calculator to see if your investment in education really "pays off."  I guess that is for students who are mostly interested in education for monetary payoff.

I generally use Paint Shop Pro for Windows screen capturing.  Steve Curry forwarded this alternative:

Screen capture is built in to Windows NT and Windows 2000. To capture the entire screen, use the Print Screen key, to capture the active window, use ALT + PrtScreen. The capture is put on the clipboard and can be pasted into Word, PhotoDraw, PowerPoint, or anything else that can hold an image. For custom cuts, capture the entire screen then crop the image from within whatever package you paste it into.

The always-misleading (or is this just sour grapes?) update survey on Americas "Most Wired Campuses" --- 
Note that the rankings of the top 100 combo box is in ascending order (Carnegie-Mellon is at the bottom but it is really the top-ranked school with the University of Delaware being Number 2).  Colleges are ranked separately from universities.  Williams College took the top honors this year.

"Flowcharting Made Simple," by Mark Lehman, Journal of Accountancy, October 2000, 77-88. --- 

"So That’s Why It’s Called a PYRAMID SCHEME," by Joseph T. Wells, Journal of Accountancy, October 2000, 91-96 --- 

Update on holding a telephone conversation with a computer's database (the computer listens to you and talks back to you).  I think that knowledge portals of the future will offer conversation utilities.  For a discussion of knowledge portals, go to 

In the August 22 Edition of New Bookmarks, I featured the BeVocal website where you can have a conversation with a computer regarding driving directions, stock quotes, weather, etc.  That website is at  You can hold a conversation by phone with a woman and not even know that she is only a virtual woman and not someone you can invite for cocktails and dinner (she only gulps on electricity).

The PBS show called Computer Chronicles recently demonstrated Quack at 
Quack is owned by AOL.  You can read the following at 

The Quack service is the first voice portal to include nationwide access to web-based information from any phone including personalized weather, traffic, sports scores, stock prices and movie information. By dialing 800-73-QUACK (800-737-8225), anyone can reach Web information from any phone, anytime, anywhere, for free.

SpeechWorks International, Inc. is the market leader in the telephony-based speech technology industry. Award-winning speech recognition solutions from SpeechWorks enable the development of services that let consumers direct their calls, obtain information and complete transactions automatically, simply by speaking naturally over any phone.

“’s ability to work closely with SpeechWorks, and extend SpeechWorks’ technology and speech design services has been instrumental to Quack’s quick-to-market delivery,” said Alex Quilici, CEO and co-founder of “The relationship with SpeechWorks means will continually develop and introduce new, state-of-the art speech-based services much more quickly than has previously been possible.”

TellMe lets you have a phone conversation with it various databases at 
After you sign up for free at the above website, you can phone to have a conversation about the following:

Call 1-800-555-TELL and say:
Tellme My Favorites Sports Soap Operas
Restaurants News Lottery
Movies Election Blackjack
Taxi Traffic Time
Driving Directions Weather Phone Booth
Travel Horoscopes Extensions
Stock Quotes
Sorry --- no answers to accounting questions (yet)!

Sounds like Ogden Nash to me!
"Welcome to Quatrains by Keedy," (forwarded by my special friend and neighbor) --- Dr. Anthony Digiovani --- 

The Young Entrepreneur's Survival Kit,,CHL2_GDE78,00.html 

Find an educational seminar on a topic and locale of your choosing, go to Seminar Planet 

If you like the cross-fire debate style, you might like the Biz/ed debates on leading business issues --- 

Armed with more sophisticated personalization tools and a better understanding of how to use them, leading e-businesses are attempting to make personalization pay off. 

From the Wall Street Journal Educators' Reviews (10/12/00) (ideas for accounting courses)

Price Spikes Expected to Give Oil Firms a Boost By Christina Cheddar 10/09/00 Page A36


TOPICS: Impact of oil prices on revenues, gross profit, and net income; hedging activities; segment reporting (Intermediate and advanced financial accounting)

Third quarter earnings of oil companies' separate operations are expected to improve relative to the second quarter's record levels because of the continued high price of oil. However, affiliated refining and marketing companies and other chemical businesses are negatively impacted by oil prices and are expected to report flat or lower earnings relative to the second quarter.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. The article discusses the oil production firms separately from the "downstream operations" (i.e., refining and marketing firms and other chemical businesses). Explain how the oil companies can profit from the current market circumstances while their refining and marketing operations and other chemical businesses are harmed.

2. What financial reporting requirements specify that the information be disclosed in order for analysts to examine these separate components of these businesses? How were these reporting requirements expanded recently to cover the interim (quarterly) information on which the article is based? (Hint: You may examine USX-Marathon's10-Q filing for the second quarter, or those of any of the firms mentioned in the article, to confirm the information presented in their report by accessing EDGAR reports at .)

3. USX-Marathon, Amerada Hess, and the other oil companies use LIFO inventory costing procedures with an adjustment to the lower of cost or market value of the inventory. How does the use of this inventory valuation method affect the profits discussed in the article, especially during this time of rising prices?

4. The following quotation is taken from Amerada Hess's second quarter filing on Form 10-Q (also available through  ).

The Corporation uses futures, forwards, options and swaps to reduce the effects of changes in the selling prices of crude oil, natural gas and refined products. These instruments fix the selling prices of a portion of the Corporation's production and the related gains or losses are an integral part of the Corporation's selling prices. At June 30, 2000, the Corporation had open hedge positions equal to 33% of its estimated worldwide crude oil production over the next twelve months and approximately 12% of its production for the succeeding twelve months. As market conditions change, the Corporation will adjust its hedge positions.

How has this hedging activity impacted Amerada Hess's operating results relative to other firms discussed in this article?

5. What has further damaged profits for firms that operate in Europe? How might firms that have been facing this exposure manage this risk?


Forwarded by the President of the Financial Executives Institute (Phil Livingston):

Congressional Legislation Introduced. Last week, Representatives Chris Cox (R-CA) and Cal Dooley (D-CA) introduced a bill to the House that would require a one-year moratorium on FASB action to abolish pooling accounting. This is an unfortunate development in the business combination debate. The lack of political intervention in our accounting standards process has been a hallmark of our capital market. Countries around the world continue to suffer from similar public policy and statutory financial statements that garner little support from investors.

That said, this escalation, which drew a quick and strong response from the FASB, reflects some fundamental flaws in our process. Read their press release here. I asked some of our key FEI leaders to comment on this development. Here are some of their responses, which I provide without attribution, but with their permission.


I had the pleasure of sitting down with the chairman of the FASB, current IASC Chairman and the next IASC Chairman all at one time last week in Sydney. We captured it on digital video and it's here for you to view. We discussed the status of the new IASC formation and some other interesting issues. There is nothing like hearing directly from the key players. Check it out at


Frederick Cooke, noted executive compensation consultant, released an update on recent EITF actions related to stock option accounting. The EITF dealt with a number of significant issues including some related to private company option grants. Click here to read his write-up.


Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 101: Revenue Recognition in Financial Statements – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers --- 

Printmakers A to Z --- 

Zoom in on Manhattan with real surveillance photographs
Mr. Beller's Neighborhood ---

American Experience: The Rockefellers (business history) 

Women's Enews - --- 

Project Vote Smart --- 

OnePriceCDs - everything for the low, low price of $9.99 --- 

Interested in desktop computers? Sign up for a free weekly email full of news, features, downloads and reviews of desktop PCs. 

The Vintage Hawaiian Shirt: An Artistic Bit of Island History 

Smithsonian Store --- 

Hi Dr. Jensen,

Cytale will launch the first European electronic book reader at the end of November this year. Our site is now live in English, so you may be interested in finding out more about the features of Cybook, which was officially unveiled last week at the NIST e-book conference. Cybook boasts the largest and highest definition screen in the market (10 inch, SVGA color), and its patented page layout method, called CytalePage, allows it to display works with a level of quality that is at least as good as on a printed book, with any font or font size you choose - and it is fully OEB-compliant. The announced recommended retail price is US$ 600 before tax - in France, that is. 

The address of the site is . Thanks in advance for your attention.

Marc Devillard 
COO Cytale S.A

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books can be found at 

Along with the hackers themselves, vendors and the media must share the blame, says John Taschek. --- 

From InformationWeek Online on October 16, 2000

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. long ago achieved the goal rival Kmart Corp. still dreams of: It's become one of the largest, most successful companies in the world by building a superbly efficient and technically sophisticated supply chain. But the giant retailer isn't complacent with its achievements. The company and key suppliers are preparing to test an online private trading hub that will let it consolidate its purchasing globally and take bids for contracts with suppliers online--much like a public electronic marketplace. Meanwhile, struggling Kmart Corp. is hoping to narrow the gap with its rival by embarking on a large IT project aimed at bolstering its ability to work efficiently with suppliers, keep shelves full, and lower costs.

Wal-Mart's system will integrate with and extend the Bentonville, Ark., retailer's existing supply-chain infrastructure, called SupplierLink, which is made up of its electronic data interchange networks and an extranet used by 10,000 suppliers and Wal-Mart buyers to cull information about sales and inventory levels in every store. In addition to helping Wal-Mart get better deals through global contracts, the hub will also let Wal-Mart see if partners can bid to provide new or different merchandise more efficiently than it can with phone and fax negotiations. "It's a major issue for us to find suppliers to handle our volume worldwide," says Wal-Mart CIO Kevin Turner. "This will allow us to go broader and deeper and include more suppliers."

Wal-Mart is basing the Internet hub on a packaged application from a little-known startup, Atlas Commerce Inc. Wal-Mart finalized its contract with Atlas Commerce earlier this month. Neither company would specify the value of the deal, but it's a multimillion- dollar contract.

Most retailers don't have the kind of infrastructure and purchasing power to build an exclusive network like Wal-Mart's. But Kmart is determined to get its operational and technology infrastructure in order. The company, whose operating profit was down 47% for the first half of the year, said last week it's planning a $2 billion overhaul of its operations infrastructure, and it has contracted with i2 Technologies Inc. to help rebuild its inventory-management and supply-chain planning systems. The deployment will be one of the broadest i2 has attempted, covering financial, demand and merchandise planning, sourcing, logistics, transportation, and reporting functions.

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling.  She follows Word Spy at 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Paul McFedries []  
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 7:16 AM 
Subject: The Word Spy for 10/16/2000 -- Webinar

Webinar (noun)

A seminar conducted over the Web using live audio and/or video feeds (Web + seminar).

"[W]hat we're going to do with OutReach in the next couple of weeks is a webinar. We'll invite as many as 40 or 50 sales executives to log onto at a certain hour of the day, and we'll do a Power Point presentation on 'License to Sell.' It will include voice and audio, and people can interact with us. They can buy books. It's real, live selling. These webinars are becoming very, very popular and cost-effective ways to get the word out to people all over the country." --Doug Price, interviewed by Sarah Schafer, "And Now, Pointers to Pitch," The Washington Post, November 4, 1999

See Also: telehealth, web-isode

In response to a question about an expert systems builder, Scott Bonacker responded as follows:

Visit this URL: 

and do a search on the phrase "expert systems builder" and variations to see what you get.

Scott Bonacker, CPA 
McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC 
Springfield, Missouri

The October 15th edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter 

1. XBRL in Japan! Japanese Institute of CPA's to join XBRL 
2. XBRLWire Starts This Wednesday! Join Here 
3. Free Star Office 6.0 Software Provides XML Support 
4. What's Driving ASP's? Lack of IT Talent 
5. Intel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM Working on Peer-to-Peer Standard 
6. Just for Fun: Web Economy Word Hype Generator 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML All the XML you need to know, fresh stories daily.

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL and XML are at 

Email message sent by Bob Jensen on October 16, 2000:

Let's assume that a company's goal is to reduce income volatility caused by price changes of commodities and investment securities.

By way of example, suppose that a company buys lumber (inventory) for $1 million. When the company has no fair value hedge, suppose the inventory is maintained at historical cost so that there is no income volatility caused by market value shifts of inventory that is neither damaged nor obsolete.

If the company additionally wants to hedge the fair value of that inventory at $1 million, it can enter into a fair value derivative instrument economic hedge (such as a forward contract) that will lock in the value (by taking on cash flow risk in the derivative instrument). Similar to Example 1 of Appendix B of FAS 133, suppose the value of the hedged item (inventory value) rises by $100,000 and the perfectly effective derivative hedge decreases in value by $100,000. FAS 133 requires that the balance sheet value of the derivative be adjusted to its fair value liability of ($100,000). As a speculation, the current earnings would be debited by $100,000 and, thereby, give rise to earnings volatility for derivative instrument value changes that are not absorbed by adjustments to carrying amounts of historical cost inventory. But as a fair value hedge, FAS 133 allows the firm to change the basis of the accounting of the hedged item (the lumber inventory) from historical cost to fair value (but only during the period when the hedge is active and effective in offsetting value changes of the hedged item). As a result, current earnings are shielded by the extent that the derivative is effective in hedging the fair value of the hedged item. If the derivative instrument fair value goes down in value by $100,000 when the inventory goes up in value by the same amount, FAS 133 permits the credit of ($100,000) to the derivative instrument be offset by a $100,000 debit to the carrying value of the inventory (a departure from historical cost during the hedging period).

If the inventory is gold rather than lumber, the gold inventory is maintained at current value under precious metal accounting rules whether or not the value is hedged with a derivative instrument. Without a hedge, earnings are volatile for unrealized price changes of gold. For example, if the gold inventory goes up in value by $100,000, the debit is to inventory and the credit is to current earnings. However, if the gold inventory is hedged under FAS 133 rules, the derivative instrument goes down in value with a credit of ($100,000) that is offset with a debit to current earnings. With the fair value hedge, there is a netting of the two entries to current earnings such that when gold inventory has a perfectly effective fair value hedge, there's zero volatility in earnings caused by price changes of gold during the fair value hedging period.

Now when it comes to available-for-sale (AFS) securities, the problem becomes more complex. Under FAS 115, AFS investments are marked-to-market, but the offsetting entry is to other comprehensive income (OCI) rather than current earnings. Suppose an AFS investment goes up in value by $100,000 with a credit to OCI. Unlike the case of gold, there is no current earnings volatility caused by value changes of unhedged AFS investments. If the AFS fair value is hedged with a derivative instrument, however, a credit of ($100,000) to the derivative instrument is offset with a debit of $100,000 to current earnings. As a result there will be earnings volatility with an AFS fair value hedge whereas there was no earnings volatility without the hedge.

FAS 133 allows earnings shocks (of derivative instrument value changes) to be absorbed by OCI for cash flow hedges and FX hedges, but FAS 133 explicitly does not allow OCI to be used for fair value hedges of assets, liabilities, and firm commitments. It would seem, however, that in the case where hedged items such as AFS securities are adjusted to fair value with offsets to OCI, it would be more consistent to allow booked changes in the fair value hedge derivative to be offset with an entry to OCI rather than current earnings.

The net outcome in the hedged AFS security fair value hedge would be the same as the net outcome in the gold investment case (i.e., there would be no change in current earnings due to value changes of the hedged item and its effective hedge).

My question is whether using OCI to offset changes in value of a fair value hedge should be allowed in the case where the hedged item is carried at fair value with offsets to OCI (as in the case of AFS carrying value changes under FAS 115)? It would seem that a company can make a case for this in spite of the sweeping FAS 133 generalization that OCI is not to be used for fair value hedges.

Any thoughts on this? Am I missing something in FAS 133 that would allow this OCI exception to the rule for fair value hedges?
Bob Jensen at 


Some new billboards are getting attention in Cleveland, and the newspaper listed all of the messages from God to date. 
Here's a list of some of the "God Speaks" billboards. The  billboards are a simple black background with white text. No fine print or sponsoring organization is included. 

 Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game.  -God   

C'mon over and bring the kids.  -God   

What part of "Thou Shalt Not..." didn't you understand?  -God   

We need to talk.  -God   

Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer.  -God   

Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage.  -God   

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing... I meant it.  -God   

I love you and you and you and you and...  -God   

Will the road you're on get you to my place?  -God   

Follow me.  -God   Big bang theory, you've got to be kidding.  -God   

My way is the highway.  -God   

Need directions?  -God   

You think it's hot here?  -God   

Have you read my #1 best seller? There will be a test.  -God   

Do you have any idea where you're going?  -God   

Don't make me come down there.  -God   

* Send this on to someone you care about.

Forwarded by Nancy Mills

 1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the  country.  
 2. The New York Times is read by people who think they run the  country.  
 3. The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought  to run the country.  
 4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the  country but don’t understand the Washington Post.  
 5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind  running the country, if they could spare the time.  
 6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run  the country.  
 7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too  sure who’s running the country.  
 8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s  running the country, as long as they do something scandalous.  
 9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t  sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it.  
10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another  country.

An 85-year-old couple, after being married for almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years, mainly due to her interest in health food and exercising. When they reached the Pearly Gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen, master bath suite and a Jacuzzi. As they looked around, the old man asked St. Peter how much all this was going to cost. "It's free," St. Peter replied, "this is Heaven." Next, they went out in the back yard to survey the championship-style golf course that the home was located. They would have golfing privileges every day and each week, the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth. The old man asked, "What are the green fees?" St. Peter replied, "This is heaven, you play for free." Next, they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the World laid out. "How much to eat?" asked the old man. "Don't you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!" St. Peter replied, with some exasperation. "Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly. St. Peter lectured, "That's the best part - you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven." With that, the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and screaming wildly. St. Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault! If it weren't for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"  

One day, a teacher, a garbage collector and a lawyer wound up together at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven, they would each have to answer one question. St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, "What was the name of the ship that crashed into an iceberg? They just made a movie about it." The teacher answered quickly, "That would be the Titanic." St. Peter let him through the gate. St. Peter turned to the garbage man and decided to make the question a little harder, "How many people died on the ship?" Fortunately for him, the trash man had just seen the movie and answered, "About 1,500." "That's right! You may enter." St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. "Name them." 

And that's the way it was on October 18, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

  Hline.jpg (568 bytes) Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

 Hline.jpg (568 bytes)


October 4, 2000

Quotes of the Week:  

Bear takes over Disneyland in a Pooh D'Etat!

2 + 2 rounds to five for extremely large values of 2.

Do fuzzy sets tickle?

Ultimate file compression code:  DEL *.*

Access denied --- nah nah na nah nah na! is out of memory!

A bureaucrat can cut red tape --- but only lengthwise.

Faith is not a shelter against all difficulties,
but a belief in the face of all contradictions.

To hear angels whisper you must listen with your heart.

What did the snail say while riding on the back of a turtle?

WOW Site of the Week --- You've got to see it to believe it!

Electronic Literature Directory  
Electronic Literature Organization 

Technology for the future for business and finance (views from the top of the food chain)
FEI = Financial Executives Institute

Presentations given at the 2000 FEI Forum on Finance & Technology,
September 18-19, 2000 --- 

A course email message from one of my students:

You guys have probably already found this, but just in case you hadn't, I thought I might point out an article I came across in the October issue of The Journal of Accountancy, and its approval. Here is the direct link to the site --- 

Here's another one the group has probably already found: 


Bob Jensen's threads of XBRL are at 

Important Websites of the Week


The SEC web site now has the complete transcripts of their hearings on auditor independence. It makes for very interesting reading, particularly the testimony by the AICPA and Q&A period that followed.

Also, I just noticed that Chairman Levitt testified to a Senate hearing on the same subject last Thursday. His prepared testimony, along with that of the AICPA and some other interested parties, is available at: 

Denny Beresford

Note from Bob Jensen:  Readers might have better luck finding this material at the following websites: 

Auditor Independence Rule Proposal Transcript of 3rd Public Hearing/Day 2, September 21 

Agenda for 3rd Public Hearing 

Transcript of 2nd Public Hearing, September 13 

Transcript of 1st Hearing, July 26 

Dan Gode recommends the "About the Human Internet" website at 

This website contains a great many links to documents of various types, but most decidedly the focus is on education delivery and learning on the web.  Spotlighted on October 2 was a link to a document that I previously noted in New Bookmarks.  It is entitled  "Distance Learning Disasters" at 

Add a search engine to search documents on your website --- 

Dear Dr. Jensen,

Someone shared your site with me and to my pleasant surprise, I saw Ucompass listed as 'WOW Site of the WEEK'!

Thank you very much!!! We really appreciate it!

Sincerely, Ed Mansouri

Ed Mansouri, Inc. -  
Leaders in Web-Based Teaching and Training Toll-Free: (877) WEB-EDUC x 201 FAX: (850) 553-9252

Supersig's software lets you create mini web pages in the form of banners in an email. Supersiz windows act just like web pages and can hold dynamically created content and links --- 

The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century -- National Public Radio 

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE.

The ACE Professor of the Week is our good friend and AAA leader Dick Baker from Northern Illinois University

Course:  A Graduate Course in Financial Statement Analysis (Accountancy 640 and UNI)
Instructor First Name:
Richard E.
Instructor Last Name: Baker
Institution: Northern Illinois University
Course Title: Financial Statement Analysis
Textbook: Financial Statement Analysis: Theory, Application, and Interpretation (6th ed)
Author(s): Bernstein and Wild

The website for this course is at 

Professor Baker shares a volume of lecture notes and readings.  Thank you for sharing Dick.

1. 9/11 Introduction (Stats, Facts, and Other Good Things)
2. 9/18 Chapter 1 Overview of Financial Statement Analysis (and App. 1A)
Overview of Quaker Oats Company
3. 9/25 Chapter 2 Analysis Objectives and Financial Reporting (and App. 2A & 2B)
Supplement B (B&W)
Chapter 3 Analyzing Financing Activities
(Skim Comprehensive Case CC1)
4. 10/2 Chapter 4 Analyzing Investing Activities
Chapter 5 Analyzing Investing Activities: Special Topics
Mini #1 Due Tonight*
5. 10/9 Chapter 6 Analyzing Operating Activities: Income
6. 10/16 Midterm Exam* (6:30 --8:30 pm)
7. 10/23 Chapter 7 Analyzing Business Activities: Cash Flows
8. 10/30 Chapter 8 Short-term Liquidity
Skim CC1 (B&W) 
Mini #2 Due Tonight*
9. 11/6 Chapter 9 Forecasting and Pro Forma Analysis
10. 11/13 Chapter 12 Profitability Analysis
Chapter 13 Earnings-Based Analysis and Valuation
Part I of Major Forecast Project Due Tonight*
11. 11/20 Chapter 10 Capital Structure and Solvency (and App. 10A and 10B)
Chapter 11 Return on Invested Capital
12. 11/27 QOats Forecast Night (Presentations and discussions)
13. 12/4 This assigned classtime is completed. 
Part II of Major Forecast Project Due Today*
14. 12/11 Final Exam* (6:30 -- 8:30 p.m.)


AAA SuperLinks (a lot of great links here)

Financial Accounting Standards Board

Securities Exchange Commission

From Information Week Newsletter, October 2, 2000

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has caught B-to-B fever. The Merc, established in 1898 and one of the oldest commodities trading exchanges in the world, is partnering with electronic-chemicals marketplace to let CheMatch members trade in chemical futures and options in near real time over the Internet.

The deal could prove significant to online marketplaces for many other commodities. A Merc spokesman says this is the first of many such arrangements to come. The CME is partnering with B-to-B exchanges whose members trade in commodities such as wheat, beef, petroleum, and energy. And it's the first time the old-line exchange has linked directly with a B-to-B exchange to offer futures and options.

Forrester Group analyst Jim Walker calls the CheMatch deal "a brilliant move [that links] the financial and physical raw- materials markets in the new economy." He says the next direct link to the futures-and-options market is likely to be construction-grade steel.

Thomas Clark, a Morgan Stanley managing director, says offering futures and options on B-to-B marketplaces will help stabilize prices and profits for commodities buyers and sellers. Banks will be able to use these financial instruments to control the risk associated with lending money to either.

Futures and options can be used by both buyers and sellers of chemicals to minimize their financial risk. For example, buyers in the volatile chemicals market can lock in a price months in advance by buying futures. Chemical producers--facing equally volatile pricing conditions--can lock in a selling price months in advance, ensuring profitability.

"Teachers' Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers' Use of Technology" is available online at 

I reviewed Dan and Rachana's software for John Wiley & Sons and I use it as
a support tool for struggling accounting students who need to "get back to
basics" to reinforce the fundamentals.
Rief Kanan
SUNY New Paltz
-----Original Message-----
From: Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia
On Behalf Of dgode
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 10:00 AM
Subject: Re: (Fwd) Looking for accounting software
My wife and I have developed a comprehensive interactive tutorial of
financial accounting. You can find more details at The web site has a downloadable free trial
Dan Gode 

From Syllabus News October 3, 2000

More than twenty million visitors per month visit Tom's Hardware Guide for inde- pendent personal computer hardware and technical information at . The site contains in-depth news and reviews on a variety of PC hardware and reviews products from around the world covering Asian and European products and releases as well as American ones.

Psychology Experiments on the Internet 

Hi Bob,
Please could you replace your link to 'Applied Derivatives Trading - 
(adtrading)' on your links page - The link you 
have is to our old URL address - - which is no longer 
correct and will soon be discontinued, as too will the Applied Derivative 
Trading name/publication.
Instead, a new corporate entity has been set up called (URL =  ) to act as a holding company for our published 
titles and growing on-line resources. So far TWO new titles have recently 
been launched, to replace Applied Derivative Trading, these are; (URL =  ) to be updated 
1st of every month while (URL =  ) the second new title will update 15th of 
every month. Continuing the tradition of our old publication BOTH ARE FREE. 
We would therefore be very grateful it if you could spare us the time in 
updating your links page to take account of these changes as we are well 
aware of the importance of providing up-to-date, accurate information. 
Further, we would also be eternally thankful if you could provide any 
extra/launch publicity for these new titles on your pages, for example, 
through a personal recommendation.
Please feel free to check out the new sites and tell us what you think and do 
not hesitate to contact us if you would like a reciprocal link.
Many Thanks,
Richard Maclean

The mail below was recently sent to NetLedger users ....thought I would pass it on.

Rohan Chambers 
Lecturer in Auditing and Accounting School of Business Administration University of Technology, 
Jamaica. Tel: (876)-92-71680-8 Ext.2109 USA- e-Fax: (707)-982-0364 

 Dear NetLedger User,   
Recently the issue of security of online financial sites has been in the  news. Several vulnerabilities have been uncovered that raise the question  of how secure your data is online. At NetLedger, our mission is to provide  a great increase in security when you use our service compared to when you  keep your financial data on unsecured PCs. We are continually monitoring  our security procedures to make sure we can live up to this promise.   

A type of attack has come to light recently that affects most financial  sites. Due to a flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer, a rogue hacker  could temporarily have access to your NetLedger account while you are  logged in using Internet Explorer.   

Fortunately, protecting yourself from this mode of attack is  straightforward. It affects only Microsoft Internet Explorer, so the  easiest way to safeguard yourself is to implement a security update that  Microsoft designed:    

Alternatively, you can follow these simple procedures:   

1) Do not navigate to unknown sites by clicking e-mail links when you  are logged in to NetLedger or any other sensitive financial sites. Log out  of NetLedger first, or open a new browser window and then type in the URL.   

2) Always log off when you are done using NetLedger or other financial  sites.   

Besides keeping you informed about Internet security in general, we  also want to assure you of our continued efforts for your protection  and privacy. Unlike other services, NetLedger offers unparalleled  security. Whereas other sites may include your password in their cookies,  we do not. The only way you can change your password is if you know your  current password. All interactions between your browser and our server  take place over SSL (Secure Socket Layer Encryption). When we encrypt  data, we only use the latest algorithms endorsed by academics and the  National Security Agency as unbreakable.   

In the meantime, we will continue to monitor other security issues as  they arise and respond proactively.    Thank You,   
Andrew F. Daniels  
Director of Security    

Additional Technical Details:   The type of attack that has recently been discovered could not allow a  hacker permanent access to your account since we do not encode passwords  in cookies and since you must know your password to change it.   Because NetLedger mandates the use of SSL, a hacker could access your  account only if you navigated to a rogue web site while you are logged  in. Typically, this could happen only if you responded to an e-mail by  clicking a link in the e-mail while a NetLedger window was the forefront  browser window.   The algorithms endorsed as unbreakable are secure one-way hash  functions. These are cryptographic algorithms that turn the user's  input into a value that is statistically impossible to recreate from  the other direction.

World Data on Education -- International Bureau of Education (IBE) 

"Coping in a Distance Environment: Sitcoms, Chocolate Cake, and Dinner with a Friend" [FIRST MONDAY, vol. 5, no. 9, September 4, 2000], Michelle M. Kazmer (doctoral student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) 

Students entering distance education programs often find themselves adapting to new learning environments and new technologies. Part of this adaptation involves coping with unfamiliar technology and learning to manage its use within the group, helping them create the environment in which they will learn. Part of it involves developing personal relationships that will ease their work and learning, helping them cope with unfamiliarity and change. Examining suggestions from distance learning students on how to cope with this process yields three-fold results. First, it demonstrates how students, instructors and administrators need to work together to ease student's paths. Second, it helps us in advising distance learning students about what they can expect from distance learning, and how they can contribute to and benefit from their distance learning community. Finally, it provides recommendations to instructors and program directors on how better to help their students cope with this community building transition and distance learning environment.

This is a clever website for preventing web users from stealing your words that you have written on a web document.  The company VYOU.COM.  (security, copyrights, intellectual property) --- 

Selectively prevent the downloading or printing of Web-based text, images, HTML and other objects for robust content and copyright control.

Add high-value content to your site Prevent theft and protect your copyrights Enable "try before you buy" for digital assets Increase site traffic - reduce content pass along Stop screen scraping and content aggregation.

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling 

ARTICLES: Texas mainstays bringing country to the big screen By John Goodspeed Express-News Staff Writer NEW BRAUNFELS Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson looked as if he stepped out of the 1940s as he strode into Gruene Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Wearing a Western shirt accented with colorful piping and pants tucked into fancy boots, Benson pointed to the crowded tables in front of the bar. Those folks, also dressed in period outfits, were waiting to hit the floor of the oldest dance hall in Texas. And they all will be bigger than life when the movie they were filming hits IMAX screens across the nation next year. The tentative title is "Twang," a $5.5 million series of vignettes that tells the history of country music from its Celtic roots to the Dixie Chicks, said Michael N. Marks, location manager and unit still photographer for the production company, Project 8 LLC. About 100 extras and some 20 dancers from three troupes added extra authenticity to the scene shot Monday and Tuesday with expert swing dancing. The featured dancers were the Trinity Ropers, a team of Patrick McMillan's students at Trinity University. They were joined by another group of McMillan's students, as well as a group from Austin and the Aggie Wranglers from Texas A&M, who specialize in aerial dance stunts. When Benson was approached for the Western swing segment, he suggested Gruene Hall, and the movie executives readily agreed.

Sony's Palm OS-based Clie scores points as a slick and solid handheld, but its high price and proprietary expansion technology limit its appeal for most users, says eWEEK Labs --- 

Philosophy - Neuroscience - Psychology (PNP) Archive of Papers and Technical Reports -- Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 

The software giant says it gets a great new partner, and Corel gets some badly needed financial
backing. But no one's uttering the "Linux" word ---

At OpenWorld in San Francisco, Oracle officials touted new features due in the forthcoming Oracle 9i database and Oracle 9i Application Server.--- /

From Infobits on September 29, 2000

In their annual meeting in July, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) proposed some core standards for distance learning programs in higher education. The standards addressed faculty concerns with compensation, training and technical support, intellectual property rights, and access to library resources. Student needs were also addressed in the proposed standards. Later this fall, AFT will release a detailed report, entitled GUIDELINES FOR GOOD PRACTICE IN DISTANCE EDUCATION, a detailed report on these standards. This report will be updated annually. For a preview of the standards link to 

147 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TEACHING ONLINE GROUPS: ESSENTIALS OF WEB-BASED EDUCATION, by Donald E. Hanna, Michelle Glowacki-Dudka, and Simone Conceicao-Runlee [Overland Park, KS: Atwood Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 189185934X, $12.50 US], is a "how-to guide for college professors, schoolteachers, and workplace educators." Drawing upon their extensive experience in educational communications and instructional design and technology, the authors "describe the reasonable expectations that professors should have of their students; copyright issues that pertain to course content; ways of interacting with students, like bulletin boards and shared documents; and methods of evaluating students online, including portfolios and peer assessments." They also debunk some myths of online teaching regarding time requirements, number of students an instructor can handle, and the reliability of the technology. A review of the book is available online at 

Pro2Net Accounting Students Newsletter  October 3, 2000 

1. This Week's Top Story: Develop an Internet- Friendly Resume 
2. Do You Have the Right References? 
3. What Employers Look for on Your Resume 
4. SAVE 60% on Online Wiley Guides! 
5. 29 Days 'Til the CPA Exam

Pro2Net Accounting Students Newsletter  September 26, 2000

IN THIS ISSUE: 1. Tell Us What You Need to Succeed 
2. Proofread Those Essays 
3. The CPA Exam Just Got a Whole Lot Easier 
4. Online Survey Unveils Top B-School 
5. Headline News: Stuff You Should Know

October 1st edition of the Internet Essentials 2000 Newsletter 

1. Reports 13 Taxonomies Currently Under Development, Including 8 Outside USA 
2. Will Peer-to Peer take off with Flycode? 
3. XML- It's Not a Silver Bullet Solution 
4. 5 Important Attributes of Strong Communication 
5. XBRL Steering Committee Members named "100 Most Influential" List 
6. Airlines Turn to XML to try to Fix e-ticket Transfer Problems 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML All the XML you need to know, fresh stories daily.

Cartoons for web addicts (or their neglected families) --- 

Question:  What has four legs and one arm?

Answer:  A very happy pit bull.

The Darwin Awards --- Posted to TigerTalk by Nancy Mills

Hard to believe, but another year has passed... (For those who don’t know about it, the Darwin Awards are awarded every year to the person(s) who died in the stupidest way, thereby removing themselves from the gene pool...)

The nominees are:

NOMINEE No. 1: [San Jose Mercury News]: An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend’s windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.

NOMINEE No. 2: [Kalamazoo Gazette] James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a “farm-type truck.” Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a roubling noise. Burns’ clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns “wrapped in the drive shaft.”

NOMINEE No. 3: [Hickory Daily Record] Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C. Awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson .38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.

NOMINEE No. 4: [UPI, Toronto] Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building’s windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstration of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was one of the best and brightest” members of the 200-man association. NOMINEE No. 5: [Bloomberg News Service] A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but an autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn’t have been fatal. But the man was shut up in his near-airtight bedroom. According to the article, “He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating “this deadly gas.” Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.

NOMINEE No. 6: [”News of the Weird”] Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina’s electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. While sitting on a metal toilet in his cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

NOMINEE NO. 7: [”The Indianapolis Star”]. A cigarette lighter may have triggered a fatal explosion in Dunkirk, Indiana. A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff’s investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents’ rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzleloader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

NOMINEE No. 8: [Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario] A man cleaning a bird feeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheeled chair when the accident occurred, said Inspector D’Arcy Honer of the Peel Regional police. “It appears the chair moved and he went over the balcony,” Honer said.

AND FINALLY: [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] Two local men were seriously injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday morning. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical Center. The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc after a frog-gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole’s pick-up truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the ..22 caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column. After inserting the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two men proceeded toward the White River bridge.

After traveling about 20 miles and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle. The vehicle swerved sharply right exiting the pavement and striking a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released. “Thank God we weren’t on that bridge when Thurston shot his balls off or we might both be dead” stated Wallis. “I’ve been a trooper for ten years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can’t believe that those two would admit how this accident happened,” said Snyder. Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia, Poole’s wife asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck. (Way to go, Lavinia)

And that's the way it was on October 4,, 2000 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:

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