New Bookmarks
Year 2001 Quarter 2:  April 1-June 30 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

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Choose a Date for Additions to the Bookmarks File

June, and July editions will be infrequent since I will be in Europe.

June 4, 2001  

May 25, 2001     May 21, 2001      May 14 2001       May 4, 2001 

April 27, 2001     April 20, 2001     April 13, 2001      April 6, 2001 


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.


June 4, 2001

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on June 4, 2001
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.

On the Road Again!

There will be no weekly editions of New Bookmarks for the remainder of the summer.  I will be out of town most of the summer.  on extended (one is for six weeks solid) trips to Germany, Iowa, Maine, and Georgia.  Now and then Erika and I will be back home, but there will be mountains of things to do whenever I get back into my office.  (To be honest with you, I'd rather be locked in my office all summer.)  Occasional July and August 2001 editions can be found at .

It is possible that I will not be able to process the thousands of email messages that will arrive while I am gone this summer.   Please don't think of me as rude.  Think of me more as an unhappy camper in crowded airports.

Since I am generally so busy during my out-of-town trips, I do not attempt to answer email messages while I am on the road.

Happy birthday to Erika (Her 39th +++???) on June 4, 2001.

Quotes of the Week

The next big killer application for the Internet is going to be education. Education over the Internet is going to be so big it is going to make e-mail usage look like a rounding error.
Chis Werry notes that this quote is cited by Thomas Friedman in "Next, It's E-ducation," The New York Times, November 17, 1999, p. A29.  (See the Werry citation below)

The number of online classes offered by universities and colleges has grown rapidly. In 1999 one in three U.S. colleges offered some sort of accredited degree online, and approximately one million students took online classes (13 million take traditional classes only)
Chis Werry notes that this quote is cited by P.J. Huffstutter and Robin Fields in "A Virtual Revolution in Teaching," The Lost Angeles Times, March 3, 2000 and Alessandra Bianchi, "E is for E-school:  Dot-com start-ups go to the head of the class," INC., Juley1, 2000.   (See the Werry citation below)

You guys are in trouble and we are going to eat your lunch.
Michael Milken, on the future of higher education

Dream as if you'll live forever, Live as if you'll die today. 
Author unknown

Forwarded by Dr. Digiovanni

Things to ponder this upcoming Memorial Day, May 28th from one Veteran to all others.


They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog tags, insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine tablets, sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations stuffed in socks. The carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats, flak jackets, and steel pots. They carried the M-16 assault rifle. They carried trip flares and Claymore mines, M-60 machine guns, the M-70 grenade launcher, M-14's, CAR-15's, Stoners, Swedish K's, 66mm Laws, shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence. They carried C-4 plastic explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 radios, knives and machetes.

Some carried napalm, CBU's, and large bombs; some risked their lives to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just tried to survive.

They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworms, and leaches. They carried the land itself as it hardened on their boots. They carried stationery, pencils, and pictures of their loved ones - real and imagined. They carried love for people in the real world, and love for one another. And sometimes they disguised that love: "Don't mean nothin'!"

They carried memories!

For the most part, they carried themselves with poise and a kind of dignity. Now and then, there were times when panic set in, and people squealed, or wanted to, but couldn't; when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said "Dear God", and hugged the earth and fired their weapons blindly, and cringed and begged for the noise to stop, and went wild and made stupid promises to themselves and God and their parents, hoping not to die. They carried the traditions of the United States military, and memories and images of those who served before them. They carried grief, terror, longing, and their reputations.

They carried the soldier's greatest fear: the embarrassment of dishonor. They crawled into tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so as not to die of embarrassment. They were afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it. They carried the emotional baggage of men and women who might die at any moment. They carried the weight of the world, and the weight of every free citizen of America.


Memorial sites of interest on Pearl Harbor
     Remembering Pearl Harbor - National Geographic --- 
     America's Darkest Day --- 

Assignment Berlin --- Special Event 2 (Jensen), Saturday, June 23,  2:00 p.m., Humboldt-Universitat
Conference on Cross-Border Business Combinations and Alliances 


Assignment as of May 27, 2001
For those of you planning to attend my session, please download the very rough draft of a working document called "Bob Jensen's Threads on Cross-Border (Transnational) Training and Education," --- 


The Business of Borderless Education, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000).  Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- 


Distance Education, by Marina Stock McIsaac and Charlotte Nirmalani Gunawardena --- 


Added Assignment --- June 2, 2001
"The Work of Education in the Age of e-College," by Chris Werry, First Monday, May 2001 --- 

There has recently been a mad rush by universities, venture capitalists and corporations to develop online courses, virtual universities, education portals, and courseware. The drive to develop a winning formula for commercial online education has fostered some unusual partnerships. This paper provides a broad overview of some models of online education that have been developed by commercial and academic institutions. It examines some of the rhetorical strategies that have been used to talk about online education by commercial groups, and discusses some of the hopes and fears that have been associated with online instruction by academics, administrators, and businesspeople. The paper outlines some of the main players and positions involved in debates about online education, and suggests some strategies that academic groups ought to explore. In particular, the author argues that academics need something an open source movement for academic resources, akin to the Free Software Foundation. This 'Free Courseware Foundation' would give teachers greater control of their resources, and better enable them to share materials with other teachers and with the public.

There has recently been a mad rush by universities, venture capitalists and corporations to develop online courses, virtual universities, education portals, and courseware. The drive to develop a winning formula for commercial online education has fostered some unusual partnerships. This paper provides a broad overview of some models of online education that have been developed by commercial and academic institutions. It examines some of the rhetorical strategies that have been used to talk about online education by commercial groups, and discusses some of the hopes and fears that have been associated with online instruction by academics, administrators, and businesspeople. The paper outlines some of the main players and positions involved in debates about online education, and suggests some strategies that academic groups ought to explore. In particular, the author argues that academics need something an open source movement for academic resources, akin to the Free Software Foundation. This 'Free Courseware Foundation' would give teachers greater control of their resources, and better enable them to share materials with other teachers and with the public.


Here are some tidbits that I jotted down while reading Werry's paper:  - a place to connect, build community, exchange ideas, and earn a professional wage.

IK knowledge producers from around the world earn money - quickly - write about the books they love, edit the best knowledge on the Web, and deliver the news.

Join a growing movement of scholars benefiting from the power of the Internet to break down walls that have separated the sources of knowledge - scholars - from those who need it most - students.

And in July 2000 their Web site invited graduate students to "earn money doing what you love - creating knowledge, building community, establishing career credentials. Take control of your academic career - offer your knowledge beyond the scope of the university, to the world, through the Internet". The site organizes and hosts the materials produced by graduate students and TAs, and makes money from sponsorships, advertising and co-branding. InstantKnowledge is one of many commercial online education companies that do not offer courses per se, but do provide a range of services and resources to university students. Other companies provide online tutoring services, test advice, and collect databases of course evaluations (needless to say the criteria constructed are typically quite different from the ones teachers use to evaluate classes). These services function as an informal, largely invisible (to most academics, at least) network of educational materials, advice, and knowledges that may, over time, subtly recontextualize aspects of the educational work we carry out.

Page 8
With the arrival of Jones International University, higher education found its "first fully accredited online university" [17]. Jones International University was granted accreditation by the U.S. regional accreditation agency in March 1999, and is the first online university to become fully certified by the Global Alliance for Transnational Education. Courses at Jones International are taught over the Internet by part-time, free-lance teachers located in universities all over the U.S. The courses are highly modular and all involve business subjects. There is no regular faculty or participatory governance system, and no research is carried out. Critics of Jones International argue that although it has the term "university" in its title, it ought not be considered one. Altbach argues that Jones International is merely a credentialing service, "a degree delivery machine, providing tailored programs that appeal to specific markets" [18]. The American Association of University Professors has fought to prevent accreditation of Jones University, along with similar online programs.

Quotation from Page 51 of The Business of Borderless Education, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000). Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- 

It (JIU) currently offers two degrees, Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Communications, and certificate programs, with each subject costed at about $600 at Bachelor level, making a degree about $11 000, and $700 at Masters level ($19 000 total). Student numbers have been low to date, with only 1 0 students enrolled in the Bachelors program at March 1999, and 64 in the Masters. Officials do not anticipate making a profit until 2001, and expect to spend ‘millions’ in advertising (Pam Pease, The Denver Business Journ a l, Marc h 12-18 1999, p. 29A). Curriculum development costs have been $US2.5 million to date (C H E, March 19, 1999, p. A27).

One such members of the UNext Advisory Faculty (Steve Orpurt who is now completing his accounting Ph.D. at the University of Chicago) and Don Wortham (Executive Director, For-Credit Programs at will be making presentations on authoring and delivery systems at the August 11 CPE No. 1 session at the American Accounting Association annual meetings in Atlanta --- 

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..

You can read more about WGU in my threads on assessment at



The Werry article is too long and complex to do justice to in a brief quote.  Werry most certainly wants the power and the open source rights in the hands of faculty rather than college administrators and corporate executives. His concluding comments are as follows:

In the e-commerce text Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities, Hagel and Armstrong describe how to organize and exploit the resources produced by online communities. They discuss how to train "community architects" whose job it is to "acquire members, stimulate usage, and extract value from the community" [38]. I would like to suggest that in our teaching practices we could attempt to produce oppositional "community architects". This would entail resituating courses that deal with online information as part of an expanded project of critical practice in which students are seen not just as technical problem solvers, but also as critics who actively intervene in situations in which issues of value, power, and social organization are negotiated. Such classes might promote the idea that it is important that those who are engaged in the design and publication of electronic texts, interfaces, databases, and tools for the formation of online resources think about the cultural, political, and social implications of their work. Training "community architects" could involve looking at how competing discourses and competing information architectures represent the possibilities for organizing online space, activity, access, assembly, public use, control and ownership.


One anecdotal indicator of how global the accounting world has become is the fact that the top two performers on the  November 2000 United States CPA examination are both from overseas (they were also educated and work overseas) --- 

German, Austrians Get Top Exam Honors

Werner Ellmauer of Munich, Germany, won the Elijah Watt Sells gold medal by earning the highest overall score on the November 2000 Uniform CPA Examination, conducted by the AICPA. A total of 62,000 candidates took the exam.

Ellmauer, who graduated from Johannes Kepler University with a master’s degree in social and economic sciences, works in the audit practice division of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Munich.

Andreas Poelzelbauer and Erich Ploechl, both of Vienna, Austria, won the silver and bronze awards for taking second and third place, respectively.

Poelzelbauer, who has a master’s in business administration from the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna, works as a senior manager at Moore Stephens City Treuhand GMBH. Ploechl, who graduated with a master’s degree from the Vienna University of Economics, is an audit manager with Ernst & Young, Vienna.

The Sells award, created in 1923, recognizes the contributions to the accounting profession made by Elijah Watt Sells, a founding partner of Haskins & Sells (a predecessor to Deloitte & Touche). Sells, who was one of the first CPAs licensed under a New York state law enacted in 1896, was active in the establishment of the AICPA. has database links category of international university directories --- 


At the start:

1st Page 2000 HTML Editor

2001 Colleges, College Scholarships, and Financial Aids Page Guide to US Colleges and Universities

7Soft Guide to UK Taxation

AAA Accounting Course Page Exchange

This searchable database is designed to make it possible for accounting educators to both share educational materials and find useful ideas to support the development of their accounting courses.

AAA Minority Faculty Development Committee

The American Accounting Association's Minority Faculty Development Committee has established itself online. The Committee's objectives are broadly to develop minority's interests in both the profession and academica.


Aberdeen Papers in Accountancy, Finance and Management

Academic Press/Harcourt

Academy of Accounting Historians

For the remainder, go to 

CPA firms are looking for ways to add value and survive in the exploding world of electronic commerce and networking.  The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the state CPA societies in the U.S. have partnered with CPA2Biz to launch helper portal envisioned in the AICPA Vision Process.  The CPA2Biz portal will soon be operational at 


CPA2Biz represents a massive effort to brand the CPA profession as the premier e-enablement professional. As a CPA, you'll be able to give your clients the e-business capability they need and desire.  CPA2Biz means


1) What is CPA2Biz?
CPA2Biz, is a unique portal by CPAs for CPAs which offers a single point of access to the following:

2) Whom does CPA2Biz serve?
CPA2Biz serves you, the CPA, and your small business clients.

3) As a CPA, how will I benefit from your resources?
CPA2Biz is designed to move you up the value chain, which means that you will experience increased income, higher valued services, greater opportunities, and a stronger and more valuable relationship between you and your clients or employers.

There are lots of business portals out there. There are also lots of low-end software solutions. They promise many different things to many different people.

See also 


IT News From the Net ---
This Web site offers advice and news for corporate information technology officers. A recent article in the eBusiness News section was titled “Getting Venture Capital for Your Internet Start-Up.” The site provides links to other e-business sites (see the five listed below).

Consult the Consultants ---
The Boston Consulting Group offers articles written by IT professionals on its staff. Users can search archived titles in the BCG Publications section by choosing “e-commerce” from the “browse by” pull-down menu. Titles include “How the Internet Can Boost Your Brand,” “Arming for E-Combat in Asia Pacific: The New Rules of Engagement,” and “Organizing for E-Commerce.”

A Virtual Tutor ---
This site calls itself the “small business Internet tutorial for e-commerce entrepreneurs” and features virtual courses delivered to your e-mail. Course material includes advice and tips for getting a small business online. Also, Dr. Ebiz, an e-zine linked to this site, offers its own advice. A current issue states “paying for directory and search engine listings makes good sense.” Free e-mail subscriptions for Dr. Ebiz are available.

E-Commerce Law ---
Since the Internet emerged as one of the major players in the information game, the legal profession has been formulating and revising rules and regulations on online information. Lex Mercatoria, the “international trade and commercial law monitor,” includes documents on Web regulation in a section of the company’s site called Electronic Commerce. Among the topics found here are digital signatures and privacy.

Let’s Talk E-Commerce ---
This site is a “worldwide, CEO-driven effort to develop policies that promote global electronic commerce.” Progress reports from working groups of the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce appear here as well as related archived news articles on consumer confidence, cyber security, digital bridges, e-government, Internet payments and taxation.

E-Business Resources ---
Technical publisher Ziff Davis’ site boasts enough information and resources to make it a good first stop for any e-business research. It provides sections on best practices, news, opinions and reviews and links to e-commerce case studies and white papers. An e-commerce newsletter also is offered free to users via e-mail.


Bob Jensen is starting some new threads on e-Commerce.  Please send him ( ) news about great e-Commerce sites on the Web, including e-Commerce and e-Business courses.  The draft to date is at 


Wow Innovation of the Week

Think of how this idea from Digital Convergence can be extended to electronic books and online course materials!  I mean it!  This may become the Wow innovation of distance education in the 21st Century.  It is especially important since video technology seems to becoming the technology of choice in leading distance education systems such as the ADEPT program at Stanford University and various degree programs at NYU.


The Digital Convergence homepage is at 


We envisioned an Internet where users could pinpoint Web pages without typing in lengthy addresses. We imagined computer software that gathers and remembers Web sites that flash across a TV screen. We wanted to simplify the Internet.

Digital:Convergence Corporation is the leader in precision Internet navigation services. We offer the only Web navigation system that can link virtually any media or product instantly and easily with the Internet.

We developed the idea of guiding an Internet user directly to a specific site and a specific page deep within that site with what we call a "cue." Print cues are our own proprietary slant codes, which look like product codes. Audio cues take the form of specific audio tones. Our technology also reads product codes like UPC, ISBN or EAN symbols.


From Goggle Box to Chatterbox, BBC News, May 29, 2001 --- 

Soon your TV could be talking to your PC and telling it which webpages to load.

A US company has produced a gadget that reacts to audio signals embedded in TV programmes and tells your PC to surf over to webpages related to that show.

TV shows holding the audio signals are starting to be aired in the US this week.

It is likely to prove popular with media junkies who surf the web as they are watching TV.

Hidden signals

In late May US television giant NBC announced it was working with technology firm Digital Convergence on a system called CueTV that gets a television set and a PC talking to each other.

When fitted with the CueTV gadget a PC will react to audio signals buried in a television programme and load webpages relevant to the show or advert being broadcast.

The first TV programme designed to work with Cue TV is an NBC game show that will give away $400,000 (£284,000) in prizes when it is shown in June and July.

The technology is intended to prove a boost to interactive TV which many experts claim is not taking off. Some have said that the reason for this is the very different ways that people use TVs and PCs. Using a computer is usually a solitary experience and requires close attention to the screen, also the text sizes and images used on webpages reproduce badly on TV.

In contrast people relax, or lean back, when watching TV and tend to let the images wash over them.

For the rest of the article, go to 


Thank you for sharing.

INSEAD Knowledge 


Welcome to INSEAD Knowledge, your portal to today’s most prominent business research.

Knowledge presents:

  • Easy-to-read abstracts of working papers and cases
  • Longer, in-depth explanations of research
  • Professors’ personal insights
  • Features (click the “New” link on the home page) with Professor interviews, news-related items, INSEAD conferences and more
  • INSEAD's recently published books (click the “Books” link on the home page)

Navigating Knowledge is simple.

  • Click on the headline of any abstract to read more
  • Click on a primary theme of research (in the green menu on left-hand side). You will arrive on a theme page with several topical abstracts. Then, click on a headline to read more and download the full text of the case or working paper.
  • Find links to INSEAD’s research centres under “Related Research” on relevant theme pages (right-hand side).

You may customise Knowledge by setting your preferences on My Knowledge. The site will automatically provide you with abstracts on the topics that interest you the most.

  • Click on My Knowledge (always in the top menu) to set it up
  • Each time you log on to your personal page thereafter, the new abstracts relevant to your favourite themes appear automatically.
  • My Knowledge library allows you to store abstracts for as long as you wish
    (for more information, see FAQs).

Subscribe to our email newsletter
Knowledge will directly send you new abstracts each month.

Please send feedback to the Knowledge team if you have any difficulties or problems. Enjoy the Knowledge!

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex France

Other international resources for educators and students can be found at 

Fraud and Online Business Reporting
As financial reporting migrates toward online reporting in real time, it is extremely important for both accountants and the world at large to be aware of the increased fraud potential and other externalities that accompany such reporting.  One article worth taking a look at is "Beware on Game Playing in Online Markets" by John McCright, News&Views (An eNewsletter from Ziff Davis), May 30, 2001. 

We shouldn't be surprised if, over the next few years as higher volumes of trading move online, some industries are beset by trading scams that result in the downfall of major names and the disruption, albeit temporary, of at least one major industry. Such calamities will be directly attributable to online gaming.

As just-in-time production filters through to every components manufacturer in a supply chain, inventories will fall, and the opportunities for gaming will rise. I'm not talking about people playing Dungeons and Dragons online. The games I'm referring to are the kind of high-stakes gambles that have been the domain of Wall Street. What will move this gaming into the corporations themselves is the massive amount of real-time data being collected and made available in online marketplaces.

An example of gaming might be when a supplier sees an opportunity to sell goods at a high price and so offers for sale a higher quantity of that good than it has in stock. The assumption the supplier makes is that it can either buy the excess goods at a lower price later when it is time to ship them or can convince the buyer to take shipment later since it has already gone through the hassle of setting up the deal.

Some buyers, too, will play the market, perhaps by buying up the supply of a key component so that competitors will be stuck without the parts or be forced to come to them to buy the component.

It is basic economics: Fluctuations in supply and demand move prices and create opportunity for profit. Before much of a given industry's trading goes online, there is not as much opportunity for this kind of gaming. It takes a lot of time and money to gather the information to make the process worthwhile. Only a few commodities brokers can make a living at it.

But with the inevitable rise of online marketplaces, information on trading in a large segment of a given industry-maybe even most of an industry-will be just a few mouse clicks away.

It will be dangerous, just like risking this month's paycheck or the family house in a Las Vegas casino is dangerous. Usually, someone gets hurt-and it's not the casino.

Gaming is certainly not a new concept in business. I can't count the number of CEOs and chief financial officers who have taken a fall because they gambled by fudging their revenue recognition or outright fabricating their books in the hope of avoiding detection once the market for their product turned around and sales ballooned to match their bogus forecasts.

But the risk will become greater as electronic supply chains become ingrained in the way we do business. As just-in-time production filters through to every components manufacturer in a supply chain, inventories will fall, and the opportunities for gaming will rise. The risk, of course, is that as the buffer of available components falls, one spike in demand coupled with deceptive supply information created through a supplier's gambit could leave the production lines idle through much of a given industry.

Market gaming, although not necessarily restricted to online markets, can be seen in the California electric power industry. Aside from the claims that power supplies simply aren't there, several groups have reported that power suppliers have squeezed buyers by withholding electricity or committing to deliver more than they could actually produce or buy.

Surely no C-level executive would gamble away his or her entire company through marketplace gaming, you say. But it isn't always a top exec who ruins a company and shakes the confidence of an industry. Do you remember a company called the Bank of Credit and Commerce International? This 100-year-old British trading and finance company was bankrupted a few years back when a rogue trader made some bets on foreign currency trading that went disastrously wrong.

You may make the argument that the trader's bosses should have had better controls in place to make sure such trading didn't take place. But if a staid, old industry like banking doesn't have such controls in place, what are the chances that many companies involved in the get-rich-quick atmosphere of e-commerce will have the forethought to put such controls in place from the outset?


In the early 1990s, Bob Jensen overwhelmed his students with HyperGraphics, a DOS-based course management software system that did PowerPoint things and more (such as animation) long before Microsoft issued PowerPoint,  His students found it overwhelming, tiresome, and brain deadening).  Now in 2001, PowerPoint has its detractors.

"PowerPoint Invades the Classroom," by Lisa guernesey, The New York Times, May 31, 2001 --- 

PowerPoint — the must-have presentation software of the corporate world — has infiltrated the schoolhouse. In the coming weeks, students from 12th grade to, yes, kindergarten will finish science projects and polish end-of-the-year presentations on computerized slide shows filled with colorful animation, bold topic headings and neat rows of points, each introduced with a bullet mark. Software designed for business people has found an audience among the spiral notebook set.

"When you get to high school, you will need a lot of PowerPoint," said Nestor Mendoza, another student in Mr. Bennetti's class, "and in the real world, too. This gives us time to practice."

But just as PowerPoint has its detractors in the corporate world, some educators are disturbed by the program's march into the classroom. They are concerned that too many students will become fixated on fonts and formats without actually thinking about what they are typing next to all those bullets.

Sandee Tessier, a kindergarten teacher at San Altos Elementary School in Lemon Grove, Calif., has been using PowerPoint with her 5- and 6-year-old students for nearly four years, integrating it into her regular reading and math lessons.

"People come in and they have tears in their eyes because they can't believe what these little kids are doing," Ms. Tessier said. "It's part of their day, like picking up a pencil."

Sometimes, she said, she will take digital photographs of her pupils acting out scenes from a book, put the photos on slides and ask the pupils to describe their actions in words. In the process, the children create their own books.

"I train them how to get into PowerPoint, how to get into their files, over many months," Ms. Tessier said. "And then they type captions under each slide. Their spelling isn't that great, but that's O.K."

Ms. Tessier also encourages her pupils to write accounts of their lives and present them in front of the class.

"It is sensational for oral language development," she said. "They'll say, `Hi, my name is Julie, and I like to eat pizza.' And there is their picture on the screen behind them, like on a TV monitor. They are the stars of PowerPoint."

According to figures from Microsoft, the real star of the classroom may be PowerPoint itself: 69 percent of teachers who use Microsoft software use PowerPoint in their classrooms, an application second in popularity only to the workhorse of word processing, Microsoft Word.

The software is not only a teaching aid, used by instructors as a substitute for a chalkboard. It has become a tool for students to use as well. Suddenly magic markers and construction paper seem so Old Economy.

Some critics contend that PowerPoint's emphasis on bullets and animated graphics is anathema to the kind of critical thinking students should be learning in class.

"Beware of PowerPointlessness," said Jamie McKenzie, the publisher of From Now On, an online journal about educational technology.

Joan Vandervelde, a director of online professional development at the University of Northern Iowa, said that she was offering courses this summer to help teachers combat PowerPoint abuse.

PowerPoint's most pernicious quality, critics say, is its potential for substituting presentation polish for thinking skills. The software is not merely a word processor with large fonts: it can also serve as a silent guide on the art of persuasion. Step-by-step instructions are offered by what Microsoft calls the Autocontent Wizard, a tool that provides a template for building an argument. The wizard never fails to offer instructions. Click to add Topic No. 1. Insert real-life examples here.

"It fosters a cookie-cutter mentality," said Jerry Crystal, the technology coordinator at Carmen Arace Middle School in Bloomfield, Conn.

"PowerPoint to me is more about standardizing, rather than allowing students to uniquely express what they got out of a lesson," said Colleen Cordes, a founder of the Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit group that questions the use of computers among young schoolchildren. "It may have a narrowing effect on children's imagination."

According to Microsoft, PowerPoint's introduction into the classroom was not planned when the program was developed. But in the mid-1990's, as Windows 95 became the operating system of choice in homes and offices, Microsoft set its sights on an arena it had not yet dominated: the K- 12 school market.

Schools were already in the midst of a push to install more machines to take advantage of the Internet, an initiative generated largely by the federal government and technology companies. Microsoft rode the momentum to market Microsoft Office, a suite of business programs that includes PowerPoint, as an essential tool for education as well. The company offered software discounts, primarily to school districts, sponsored workshops for teachers, offered free online tutorials and handed out sample lesson plans.

The strategy worked. Among elementary and secondary schools, Microsoft Office is the most popular software package for word processing, spreadsheets and multimedia projects. More than 95 percent of public school districts in the United States are using or intend to purchase Microsoft Office this year, according to Quality Education Data, a market research company. Among individual schools, more than 75 percent are using the product.

"Some people ask, `Isn't Office too much?' " said Marcia Kuszmaul, industry relations manager in Microsoft's Education Solutions Group. "The answer is, Absolutely not. Students push Office. Bill Gates has said that students give the toughest workouts to our products."

Gina Herring, a science teacher in Glen Ridge, N.J., is an advocate of PowerPoint, as long, she says, as it is used as a supplement to reports and oral presentations, not as a replacement for them.

At the Ridgewood Avenue Upper Elementary School, where Ms. Herring teaches sixth graders, she said she had seen her students develop better organizational skills using PowerPoint.

"It allows me to check their comprehension," she said, "and allows them to show what they have learned in a creative way, in a sequenced way."

Ms. Herring is such a proponent of the product that she held a training session this month for fellow teachers in New Jersey. Her sixth-grade students led some of the workshops, walking over to teachers' desks when they raised their hands for help. Later, a student who said he did not like to talk in front of an audience demonstrated how he had added sound to a slide show about a book he had read. As each slide appeared, the student's voice came from the speakers, reading rows of sentences, each starting with a bullet point.

Gary Hank, a math teacher at Lopatcong Township Elementary School in Warren County, N.J., was one of more than two dozen teachers who crowded into the workshop. "The kids would go nuts over this stuff," he said.

But even students seem divided in their enthusiasm for PowerPoint. Back in Union City, some of Mr. Bennetti's students were so eager to use the program that they had it open and running before he told them to get started. Several of them waved their hands in the air, asking questions about "A Raisin in the Sun" that resulted in conversations that went far beyond the six- and seven- word phrases they typed next to the bullets.

But a few floors below, in a computer class of eighth graders who were presenting PowerPoint projects, the spirit was less willing.

The teacher, Anna Rubio, had asked the students to use PowerPoint to create an electronic portfolio, describing and linking to digital projects that they had done during the year.

One by one, students lumbered up to a computer at the front of the dimly lighted room and opened their slides, which appeared on a screen behind them. They did not say a word or even look at their audience, but simply clicked the mouse button, drilling through their presentations in silence. Wild graphics, garish colors and bold titles flashed by. Their classmates paid almost no attention and, like bored employees stuck in a late-day board meeting, looked at their own computer screens instead.

"I asked them if they wanted to read it or show it," Ms. Rubio said. "I guess no one wanted to read it."

You can read about the history of presentation systems in Chapter 3 of 


You can read about the history of course authoring and management software at 

Oxford University to Open Internet Institute ---,1383,43616,00.html 

Oxford University will open the world's first "Internet Institute," a multidisciplinary department that will research the Net and its impact on policy and society.

The Oxford Internet Institute will be within the division of social sciences located at Oxford's Balliol College.

The institute has already received 10 million pounds (14.4 million dollars) from the Shirley Foundation, in addition to 5 million pounds (7.2 million dollars) from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to fund the initiative.

The school has not announced when the OII will open, but school officials plan to hire a director for the institute this summer.

"I congratulate Oxford University on establishing this innovative institute," said David Blunkett, the secretary of state for education, in a statement. "Britain needs a center for top-class research on the difficult issues the Internet poses in cryptography, intellectual property rights, security and so on."

"In bringing together research across the country, I hope the institute will become a world leader," he added.

Possible topics for investigation at the OII include global law enforcement, privacy and security, healthcare, defense, the digital divide, community and education.

Oxford will appoint permanent staff to the institute, as well as offer senior visiting appointments.

This is not the school's first foray into Internet initiatives.

The school already offers a number of research programs related to the Internet, including "Virtual Society," which explores the behavior patterns and interactivity between people as a result of new technologies; a program in Comparative Media Law and Policy; and work on Internet-enabled health care at the Institute of Health Sciences.

Oxford has also formed a distance-learning partnership with Stanford, Princeton and Yale, which will provide online courses to alumni, called the University Alliance for Lifelong Learning.

Bob Jensen's international (cross-border) education threads are at 


Bob Jensen's education bookmarks --- 


See also:
Internet2 Crosses the Border
Should States Regulate Privacy?
The Army Is Watching Your Kid
Knowledge Knows No Boundaries
Get schooled in Making the Grade

They Price Laundered Money (Fraud and Crime)
Two Florida finance professors are developing an Internet service that will detect suspiciously priced goods, like $900 pillowcases, entering and leaving the United States ---,1272,44188,00.html 


Ask John Zdanowicz for evidence of suspicious activity in cross-border trade, and he'll provide plenty of examples.

There are the cotton pillowcases worth more than $900 each that one importer brought in from France.

There are the disposable batteries sold for hundreds of dollars each.

There are the single-lens reflex cameras -- retailed for upwards of $200 -- which another exporter shipped to Japan for a bargain price of $3.50 each.

Those are just a few examples in a long list of oddly priced items that popped up in an analysis of U.S. import and export data performed by Zdanowicz and his partner Simon Pak, both finance professors at Florida International University.

This summer, they plan to launch a website that will search and compare prices for all products entering and leaving the United States. Users will simply type in a particular item and a country of origin or destination, to receive a list of prices for recent transactions.

The professors are quick to point out that not every fishy price their system serves up is evidence of criminal activity. It's quite possible, for example, that a shipment of $80,000 motorcycles might have been plated in gold, which would account for the hefty price. It's also not unheard of for people to make clerical errors when putting in pricing data.

For many transactions, however, there's little plausible explanation for weird pricing, other than fraud.

See also:
Secret Service Raids Gold-Age
Casino Investment Scam Craps Out

Knowledge Knows No Boundaries ---,1284,42660,00.html 

Developing interesting math and science lessons for local school districts can be a daunting and time-consuming task, but what about a curriculum for three countries?

Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia are attempting to do just that in a new transnational software program.

The International Virtual Education Network (IVEN) combines the brainpower of educators in South America in the development of math and science software over the Net.

"This is really a watershed," said Pedro Paulo Poppovic, the secretary of distance education for Brazil. "As far as I know this has never been done before."

Teams of educators will develop software that emphasizes learn-by-doing and simulation that covers the entire math and science curriculum at the secondary level, including math, biology, chemistry and physics.

Because costs for implementing technology into Third World classrooms can be prohibitively high, the partnership enables the three countries to reap greater benefits at a lower price.

Each country will have teams made up of a master teacher, a graphic artist, a content specialist, an instructional designer and a software developer. As a team works on a particular curricular unit, called a module, they post the design online for the other teams to comment on and critique.

The lessons will be distributed on a browser-based network but they will not be Internet-dependent. For those schools with no connection to the Net, a version of a browser will be copied onto a proxy server, and the lessons will be downloaded from CD-ROMs.

"Teachers in all three countries will be able to communicate and exchange ideas," said Wadi Haddad, the president of Knowledge Enterprise, who is chief coordinating advisor for IVEN in the United States. "These pilot schools will be well supported technically and educationally."

For the remainder of the article, go to,1284,42660,00.html  


Bob Jensen would sure like to land a new MIS colleague at Trinity University.  Part of an internal memo from my Department Chair

Very soon, we will have two on-line ads for the MIS position.

Beginning today, we have a thirty day ad in the new AACSB Management Education Career Marketplace at .

Dan Walz and I will be going to the AMCIS convention in Boston the first weekend in August.


Richard M. Burr, Ph.D. Professor & Chair Business Administration 715 Stadium Drive San Antonio, Texas 78212-7200 210-999-7290 FAX 210-999-8134

This is important news for those of you into derivative financial instruments accounting and auditing.

Please pass this along. 

The site below referred to by Mr. Fanzini is at 

However, the important update news is in his message below.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Fanzini, Louis []  
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 3:01 PM 
To: '' Subject: Bob Jensen's FAS 133, 138, IAS 39 site


Kudos on a great site that I have visited often!

One item re embedded derivatives that you may want to include when you next update the site; the SEC has come out and said a bifurcated derivative and its host can be shown on the balance sheet net. The theory being that bifurcation is an accounting concept and that, in reality, only one contract exists between the counterparties. So, there will no longer be a difference between 133 and IAS 39.

Best regards,


> Louis Fanzini > Accounting & Regulatory Policy & Research > CREDIT l FIRST > SUISSE l BOSTON > Tel: (212) 325-7365 > Fax: (212) 325-8539 > E-Mail:  >


Assessment Takes Center Stage in Online Learning:  
The Saga of Western Governors University

Western Governors University was formed by the Governors of 11 Western states in the United States and was later joined by Indiana and Simon Fraser University in Canada.  WGU attempted several business models, including attempts to broker courses from leading state universities and community colleges as well as a partnership with the North American branch of U.K.'s Open University.  All business models to date have been disappointments and online enrollments are almost negligible to date.  WGU has nevertheless survived to date with tax-dollar funding from the founding states.  The WGU homepage is at 

One unique aspect of WGU is its dedication to competency-based assessment (administered to date by Slvan Systems).  An important article on this is entitled "Assessment Takes Center Stage in Online Learning:  Distance educators see the need to prove that they teach effectively," by Dan Carnevale, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2001 --- 

Students at Western Governors University aren't required to take any courses. To earn a degree, they must pass a series of assessment exams. The faculty members don't teach anything, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, they serve as mentors, figuring out what students already know and what courses they need to take to pass the exams.

Assessment also plays a big role at the University of Phoenix Online. In a system modeled after the university's highly successful classroom offerings, students are grouped together in courses throughout an entire degree program, and they are given batteries of exams both before and after the program. The tests enable the university to measure exactly how much the students have learned, and to evaluate the courses.

Indeed, assessment is taking center stage as online educators experiment with new ways of teaching and proving that they're teaching effectively.

And traditional institutions, some observers say, should start taking notes.

Education researchers caution that distance educators are still in the process of proving that they can accurately assess anything, and that comparatively few distance-education programs are actually participating in the development of new testing strategies.

One difference between assessment in classrooms and in distance education is that distance-education programs are largely geared toward students who are already in the workforce, which often involves learning by doing. In many of the programs, students complete projects to show they not only understand what they've learned but also can apply it -- a focus of many assessment policies.

In addition to such projects, standardized tests are a key part of assessments in distance education. These tests are usually administered online in proctored environments, such as in a student's hometown community college.

Western Governors and the University of Phoenix Online are among the most visible institutions creating assessment methods, but they are not alone. Many other distance-education programs use some form of outcomes-based assessment tests, including Excelsior College (formerly Regents College), in Albany, N.Y.; Pennsylvania State University's World Campus; Thomas Edison State College, in Trenton, N.J.; the State University of New York's Empire State College; and University of Maryland University College.

All of higher education is moving toward outcomes-based assessments, with online education leading the way, says Peter Ewell, senior associate at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The push for new assessment models in online education comes largely from competition with its older brother, traditional education, says Mr. Ewell. Because distance education is comparatively new, he says, critics often hold it to a higher standard than traditional education when judging quality. It has more to prove, and is trying to use assessments that show its effectiveness as the proof.

Online education is only one of several influences putting pressure on traditional education to do more to assess the quality of courses. Accreditation agencies, state governments, and policy boards are all heading toward an inevitable question, Mr. Ewell says: How much bang for the buck is higher education putting out?

But Perry Robinson, deputy director of higher education at the American Federation of Teachers, says assessment exams shift the emphasis away from what he considers the most important element of learning: student interaction with professors in a classroom.

The federation has been critical of distance learning in the past, saying an undergraduate degree should always include a face-to-face component. Mr. Perry says having degrees that rely on students' passing tests reduces higher education to nothing more than job training.

Also, Mr. Perry doesn't want to see the role of the professor diminished, because that person knows the material the best and works with the students day after day. "Assessment is involved in the classroom when you engage the students and see the look of befuddlement on their faces," he says.

But Peggy L. Maki, director of assessment at the American Association for Higher Education believes that all of higher education will move toward a system of assessing outcomes for students. Although distance education is contributing to this movement, it isn't the biggest factor, she says. "We're talking about a cultural change."

Some of this change is prompted by the demands of legislators and other policy makers, Ms. Maki says. Also, institutions are feeling pressure from peers to create outcomes-assessment models. "I think there have been more challenges with people saying, 'Can you really do this?'" she says. "When they do, others say, 'Well, we better follow suit.'"

But traditional and distance-education institutions alike are struggling to figure out how to use the the results of assessment examinations to create programs and even budgets. "This is the hardest part of the assessment process -- how you use the results," Ms. Maki says.

Western Governors University's assessment system is intended to measure the students' competency in specific subjects. Because it doesn't matter to W.G.U. whether the students learned the material on their own or from courses they've taken through the university, the entire degree revolves around the assessment tests.

The university doesn't create its own courses. Instead, it forms partnerships with other universities around the country that have created online courses in various subjects. A student seeking a degree must show competency in a number of "domains." These include general education, such as writing and mathematics, and domains specific to the subject, such as business management.

Western Governors officials create some of their own assessment examinations and buy some from other organizations, such as the ACT and the Educational Testing Service.

For W.G.U.'s own exams, experts from the professional and academic arenas collaborate to determine what students need to demonstrate to prove they are competent in a field. Unlike traditional colleges, Western Governors separates assessment from learning. The professors who grade the assessment exams have not had any prior interaction with the student.

For the rest of the article, go to


Three sample assessment questions from Western Governors University in the area of quantitative reasoning, and the answers.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at 


Students paying for college can get financial help from a new website, if they agree to pay investors a fixed percentage of their future income ---,1383,43977,00.html 


MyRichUncle claims to offer students an alternative method of paying for college. The site boasts a network of investors who will help finance a student's undergraduate or graduate education, and upon graduation, the student must pay the company a percentage of their income for up to 15 years.


The MRU Education Investment supplements other grants, scholarships or subsidized loans that students receive to pay for school.

Rate payments are determined by the type of program the student is in, the school they attend, the year of enrollment, work experience and other factors.

The company also plans to offer mentorship opportunities for students with MyRichUncle's network of investors.


The MyRichUncle site is at 


Related to this is "Dear Student:  We Pay If You Stay" at,1284,38080,00.html 


Multinational companies with offices in Central Europe and Asia are quietly trying to plug the brain drain that's siphoning technical talent to the United States by offering to pay for the education of their best and brightest applicants

The catch: Students have to attend local schools and then work in their home countries for a specified period of time after graduation.

The United States is still the most popular destination for foreign students, drawing about 578,000 in the 1998-99 academic year, according to the Department of States International Information Programs.

But the number of foreign students attending college in the United States has been dwindling, according to SIIP. Five years ago, about 40 percent of all international students studied in the United States. Today, it's 32 percent.

The decline is attributed to aggressive recruiting problems in students' own countries and in others, especially in the computer science fields. The high cost of tuition at American colleges and universities is also to blame.

U.S. schools are battling back.

President Clinton recently suggested that "educational institutions, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and the business community" should "review the effect of U.S. government actions on the international flow of students and scholars as well as on citizen and professional exchanges, and take steps to address unnecessary obstacles, including those involving visa and tax regulations, procedures, and policies."

In response, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has eased work rules for foreign students. And some colleges are considering adjusting the amount of funds made available for grants to foreign students in order to fill in the gaps caused by weak exchange rates.


See also:
Internet2 Crosses the Border
S. Africa Broadband Plan on Hold
In Mexico, Net Not a Priority
Math and Science Seek Fed Funds
New Toys for Cheaters
MIT Cheered From a Distance

From MIT:  How Microsoft's Amazing ClearType really works.


"Pixel Perfect," by Don Baker, Technology Review, June 2001


ClearType works through manipulation of the red, green and blue components of individual pixels (called "sub-pixels") to sharpen characters. To overcome color blurring, Microsoft developed an algorithm to filter sub-pixels based on their locations, illuminating those near a character's fringes differently than those at the center. The patent issued earlier this year is the first of more than 20 Microsoft expects to receive for the technology. "The importance of ClearType is that it lets us produce really readable type on existing hardware," says Microsoft researcher Bill Hill.

Armed with its first patent, Microsoft is strongly pushing ahead in deployment of ClearType. First released last August as part of Microsoft Reader software for electronic books, ClearType will appear in the next major release of Windows, future versions of the company's Pocket PC handheld computer, and a dedicated e-book device coming this summer.


For Bob Jensen's Threads on ClearType and electronic publishing, see 


"How the brain 'sees' " By BBC News Online science editor Dr David Whitehouse, BBC News, May 29, 2001

Your brain does not tell you everything it sees, according to new research.

Scientists at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, US, have shown that neurons in the human visual cortex - the region that processes visual information - can detect patterns that are too fine for subjects to "see".

The work shows that some types of visual information, while not consciously perceived, are still registered by the brain.

Researchers say that this discovery contributes to the understanding of vision and the puzzling question of consciousness.

"This is probably the first demonstration that visual cortical neurons are capable of resolving fine lines past the limits previously thought to exist," said Sheng He, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Read the rest of the article at 


"A University That Reveres Tradition Experiments With E-Books," by Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education,  May 18, 2001 --- 


Textbook pages never rustle during a University of Virginia seminar about the Salem witch trials, because printed books have been replaced by electronic ones. Students in the experimental course were lent hand-held computers loaded with several assigned textbooks, as well as electronic versions of every warrant, indictment, and deposition from the trials.

The course was designed to take advantage of two of the most celebrated features of digital textbooks -- their capacity to hold reams of data and their ability to let readers easily search for any word or phrase. In the classroom, students became on-the-spot historians, using the gadgets to home in on court documents so they could argue for and against various interpretations of what happened in Salem, Mass., more than 300 years ago.

Many futurists have predicted the death of the book, but the printed word has proven extremely difficult to replicate electronically in a form that is as elegant and easy to read as text on paper. A pilot project here this spring, comprising two courses, attempted to see whether the latest e-book technologies could allow entire courses to go bookless.

During class sessions, students tapping on tiny screens with plastic styluses looked more as if they were taking scientific readings than discussing history and religion. The setting was decidedly old-fashioned, though; the class met in one of the few classrooms remaining from Jefferson's "academical village."

"Whenever we got to talking about something in a document, we would just go to the document," says Amy Nichols, a senior who took the course. The students say they used court records and other texts more than they would have with bulky printed versions of the same documents.

What's more, the students were bolder than usual in criticizing scholarly summaries of events presented in their textbooks, says Benjamin C. Ray, the religious-studies professor teaching the course. In fact, they were often too quick to dispute scholarly accounts once they came upon source material that seemed to contradict the textbook, he says. "I think they're going overboard. They're trashing too much ... without knowing the historical methods."

For their part, the students quickly discovered disadvantages of the high-tech texts. Unlike paper books, e-books sometimes crash. Several students lost marginal notes and bookmarks when their hand-held computers suddenly erased their data.

Some students said reading from the tiny screens made the texts seem more fragmented. "When I'm at home sitting on my chair curled up with the afghan on my lap, I don't want to be flipping through this," says Kristen Buckstad, a student in the course, holding up her Hewlett-Packard Journada, which sells for about $450. The hand-held device is roughly the size of a Palm Pilot, with a 2½-by-3¼-inch color screen and enough memory to store about 90 books. "The screen is too small," she says. "It's hard to get the overall feeling of the flow of the narrative."

For the rest of the article, go to 

"Are We Headed Toward the Bookless Campus?" The New York Times, May 18, 2001 --- 


In the articles that follow, The Chronicle examines the possibilities of e-textbooks, the impact that e-books are having on academic libraries, and an experiment in teaching with e-texts using specialized reading devices.


"The Premature Obituary of the Book:  Why Literature?" by Mario Vargas Llosa, The New Republic, May 14, 2001 --- 
This is a very long article.  Llosa's concluding remarks are are as follows:


So literature's unrealities, literature's lies, are also a precious vehicle for the knowledge of the most hidden of human realities. The truths that it reveals are not always flattering; and sometimes the image of ourselves that emerges in the mirror of novels and poems is the image of a monster. This happens when we read about the horrendous sexual butchery fantasized by de Sade, or the dark lacerations and brutal sacrifices that fill the cursed books of Sacher-Masoch and Bataille. At times the spectacle is so offensive and ferocious that it becomes irresistible. Yet the worst in these pages is not the blood, the humiliation, the abject love of torture; the worst is the discovery that this violence and this excess are not foreign to us, that they are a profound part of humanity. These monsters eager for transgression are hidden in the most intimate recesses of our being; and from the shadow where they live they seek a propitious occasion to manifest themselves, to impose the rule of unbridled desire that destroys rationality, community, and even existence. And it was not science that first ventured into these tenebrous places in the human mind, and discovered the destructive and the self-destructive potential that also shapes it. It was literature that made this discovery. A world without literature would be partly blind to these terrible depths, which we urgently need to see.

Uncivilized, barbarian, devoid of sensitivity and crude of speech, ignorant and instinctual, inept at passion and crude at love, this world without literature, this nightmare that I am delineating, would have as its principal traits conformism and the universal submission of humankind to power. In this sense, it would also be a purely animalistic world. Basic instincts would determine the daily practices of a life characterized by the struggle for survival, and the fear of the unknown, and the satisfaction of physical necessities. There would be no place for the spirit. In this world, moreover, the crushing monotony of living would be accompanied by the sinister shadow of pessimism, the feeling that human life is what it had to be and that it will always be thus, and that no one and nothing can change it.

When one imagines such a world, one is tempted to picture primitives in loincloths, the small magic-religious communities that live at the margins of modernity in Latin America, Oceania, and Africa. But I have a different failure in mind. The nightmare that I am warning about is the result not of under-development but of over-development. As a consequence of technology and our subservience to it, we may imagine a future society full of computer screens and speakers, and without books, or a society in which books--that is, works of literature--have become what alchemy became in the era of physics: an archaic curiosity, practiced in the catacombs of the media civilization by a neurotic minority. I am afraid that this cybernetic world, in spite of its prosperity and its power, its high standard of living and its scientific achievement would be profoundly uncivilized and utterly soulless--a resigned humanity of post-literary automatons who have abdicated freedom.

It is highly improbable, of course, that this macabre utopia will ever come about. The end of our story, the end of history, has not yet been written, and it is not pre-determined. What we will become depends entirely on our vision and our will. But if we wish to avoid the impoverishment of our imagination, and the disappearance of the precious dissatisfaction that refines our sensibility and teaches us to speak with eloquence and rigor, and the weakening of our freedom, then we must act. More precisely, we must read.


Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at 



The Garten SEC Report


Jeff Garten, Dean of the Yale School of Management, chaired a committee that just released some recommendations to improve the information corporations report to investors. A press release and an executive summary are available at: 

Denny (Beresford)

SEC-Inspired Task Force Issues Report Suggesting Accounting System Falls Short and That Investors Would Benefit From More and Additional Types of Company Disclosures --- 

New Haven, CT, May 22, 2001 --- Amidst the current turbulence in our financial markets, a group of leaders from business, banking and academia, established at the suggestion of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2000, released its findings today on ways to improve the system of financial reporting for companies. It concluded that investors do not have all the information they need to make the most reasoned judgments on how to value companies. 

The group indicated its belief that any disclosures that allowed investors to better assess future profits and cash flow of companies -- and therefore to make more informed judgments about future value -- should be encouraged. This includes more information on a company’s business model, competitive environment, intangible assets, and operating performance measures. The task force believes that companies should be encouraged to make these enhanced disclosures voluntarily, and that the market will penalize those who do not.

The task force focused its efforts on two categories of information in particular: intangible assets and operating performance measures, and it offered two principal recommendations:

The report makes specific suggestions to accomplish these two goals.

The group was chaired by Jeffrey E. Garten, Dean of the Yale School of Management, and was comprised of the following members: G. Leonard Baker, Managing Director, Sutter Hill Ventures; John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Rob Glaser, Chairman & CEO, RealNetworks; Henry Kaufman, President, Henry Kaufman & Company; Timothy M. Koller, Principal, McKinsey & Co.; Kenneth Lay, Chairman, ENRON; Baruch Lev, Professor of Accounting and Finance, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University; Nancy Peretsman, Managing Director, Allen & Company; Peter G. Peterson, Chairman, The Blackstone Group; Dennis Powell, Vice President and Corporate Controller, Cisco Systems; David L. Shedlarz, Executive Vice President & CFO, Pfizer; Richard Sherlund, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.; Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor of Economics, Stanford University; and Hal R. Varian, Dean, School of Information Management and Systems, U. of California at Berkeley.

“At a time when our stock markets loom so large in the economy,” said task force chairman Jeffrey Garten, “we need to close large gaps in the quality of information that companies disclose. A lot of studies have been conducted on these issues, and now it’s time for concrete measures.”

The report is being widely disseminated to interested professionals, and Garten said that the task force stands ready to meet with administration officials to go over the report, and with the next chair of the SEC once he or she is appointed.

Click here to read the full executive summary.

For a copy of the full report, please contact Ms. Karin Nobile at

I obtained a copy an found some interesting things to highlight:


Exhibit 1

Examples of Intangibles and Operating Performance Measures

Intangible Assets

Operating Performance Measures



Brand names

Customer acquisition cost


Revenue per customer


Number of customers

Proprietary business processes

Inventory turnover

Skilled employees

Cost per unit

Business Alliances

Market share

Product licenses

Time to market

Loyal or locked-in customers

Revenue pre transaction

Customer lists

Employee turnover

Desirable locations

Manufacturing  throughput

Preferential rights (e.g., drilling)

Order backlog

Landing rights

Revenue per employee

Airwave spectrum rights

Revenue from new products




To improve the quality of supplemental disclosures the task force makes two principal recommendations:

Create Framework for Voluntary Supplemental Reporting of Intangible Assets and Operating Performance Measures

Various studies, some completed, some in progress, have been developing perspectives on various aspects of company reporting, including reporting about intangible assets and forward looking information.  These reports, while often more technical in nature, broadly align with our own conclusions. For example, the Business Reporting Research Project, sponsored by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), found that while many leading companies are voluntarily disclosing extensive information that is important to investors, there is substantial room for additional reporting about intangible assets and forward-looking data. We recommend that the SEC pull together this and other work to create a framework for voluntary supplemental reporting for intangible assets, operating performance measures and forward-looking information.  One way to do this would be for the SEC to issue a “concept release” to solicit widespread comments from the business and professional community on the most important aspects of the work done so far in order to facilitate next steps.  Following the comment period, we anticipate that a dedicated group of experts and practitioners from industry, academia, the accounting profession and investors would be asked to develop a best practices report for companies interested in adopting enhanced disclosures.  This report should not mandate any specific reporting standards for companies.  It should focus on broader reporting principles, such as how to link business models to value creation, how companies could explain their approach to supplemental reporting, and how industry groups could help develop a common language for supplemental reporting.  The report might also provide examples of innovative supplemental reporting by companies.  Industry specific reporting practices, however, should evolve naturally as companies and investors gain experience.

We suggest that such a framework for supplemental reporting should be driven by the following considerations:

1.  Supplemental Reporting, Not A Replacement for GAAP.  Efforts should be directed to developing a framework for supplemental reporting by companies about intangible assets, operating performance measures, and forward looking information, not replacing GAAP.  In other words, the focus should be on the extra information that companies may choose to provide to investors, in addition to the GAAP-based financial statements that are currently reported. Of course, the task force believes potential improvements in GAAP itself should always be under consideration. We would be concerned, however, about delaying the implementation of supplemental reporting if it was combined with controversial changes to GAAP.

Our emphasis on supplemental reporting is based on our analysis of what information investors want and need to value companies.  Investors value companies based on their assessment of a company’s ability to generate sustained future profits and cash flow.  Investors use information about intangible assets, operating performance measures and forward looking information to develop their assessments of a company’s future performance.

The impact and valuation of intangible assets has been spotlighted in the business press and financial community over the last several years.  Our view is that companies should not attempt to value intangibles and add them to the balance sheet.  It is more useful to investors for companies to provide information about intangible assets that will help investors assess the impact of the intangibles on future profits and cash flow.

2.  Common Language, Not a List of Prescribed Measures.  The framework for supplemental reporting should create a common language for companies and investors.  This common language should consist of standard terms, definitions and calculation methods for reporting that improves comparability across companies.  It should be not be a list of prescribed measures (e.g., number of patents, number of engineers in R&D, percent of sales from new products, etc.) that all companies must report on a regular basis.  The task force believes that there is too much diversity of useful information that varies across industries and companies for any predefined set of measures to be helpful for investors.  For example, the number of patents or percent of sales from new products may be helpful to understand the potential performance of a high-tech manufacturing company, but totally irrelevant for a retailer.  Nevertheless, there is a strong case for investors’ being better able to compare information across companies in the same industry on the basis of clearer and more consistent measures.  Accordingly, we support description, dissemination, and standardization of best practices, not additional regulation. 

We recognize that not all companies will adopt voluntarily the best practices of their industry, at least not initially.  But the benefits of a flexible, voluntary system outweigh the risk of lack of disclosure or selective disclosure by some companies.  Over the years, the power of investors has increased substantially.  We believe this trend will continue and that companies lagging in their disclosures will see their share prices suffer.

3.  Linked to Value Creation and Providing Comparability.  The framework for supplemental reporting should provide a language and process to help companies explain in a consistent way how their business creates value and help improve comparability across companies in the same industry.  Such a framework would likely include the following components:

We acknowledge that our approach, which is based on voluntary disclosure, will not achieve complete comparability from company to company.  Nonetheless, we think that enough companies will improve their disclosure for investors to benefit substantially.

Create an Environment that Encourages Innovation in Disclosures

In addition to working to create a consistent approach to disclosures about intangible assets and operating performance metrics, the government should take as many actions as it can to create an environment that encourages innovative disclosures by reducing the risks associated with such disclosures.  We wish to emphasize that such an environment must continue to protect investors against intentional deception by companies.

Many task force members believe that the litigious climate in the US discourages companies from experimenting with supplemental disclosures.  This concern remains despite efforts such as the introduction of safe harbor provisions for forward looking information that were introduced by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Accordingly, we support renewed efforts to protect companies who are willing to disclose more information, much of it “soft” and speculative in nature.  The government should start from the presumption that, in today’s economy, investors need more information and different types of information that cannot be adequately described by regulation.  Companies should be permitted to provide more speculative, hard to measure information, as long as they warn investors that the information is speculative and provide explicit definitions about how such information is constructed.

Specific ideas for creating a less risky environment for disclosure are listed below.  As the task force did not include any legal experts, these ideas are merely suggestions from a layman’s viewpoint.  In addition, we realize that some of these ideas would represent radical changes from our current legal system.  They might also create differences between securities law and other laws.  Nevertheless, we believe that ideas such as these should be surfaced and debated.  Specific ideas for consideration might include:

We would encourage the SEC to use the full range of its relationships with the business and investment community to communicate its support for better disclosure and to solicit input on how to create a more supportive environment.  The task force recommends that the SEC facilitate the establishment of a group of experts, representing investors, companies, accountants, and legal experts, to make detailed recommendations.  This group should address the following issues:

 Examine other approaches to reduce risks for well-intentioned companies such as some of the ideas described above.

Other Issues Discussed by Task Force  

During the course of its discussions, the task force considered a number of other issues. (See Attachment C for more on these issues). In summary:

We did not reach consensus on whether additional disclosures on the past history of management and founding investors, nor on the issues of accounting treatment for mergers and other combinations, or on accounting treatment for stock options.

[1] This approach is based on a framework suggested by Professor Baruch Lev (a member of the task force).  In Lev’s framework, value creation is separated into three steps: discovery, implementation, commercialization.  Each step has a number of subcomponents.  Discovery’s subcomponents are internal renewal, acquired knowledge and networking.  Each subcomponents has a number of measures.  See Baruch Lev: Intangibles:  Management, Measurement and Reporting, Brookings Institution Press, forthcoming June 2001.


Professor Lev's helpful Website is at 


The above Garten SEC Report is somewhat at odds with the Upton FASB Report

NO. 219-A April 2001
Author:  Wayne S. Upton, Jr.
Source: Financial Accounting Standards Board --- 
Trinity University students may download the 135 page PDF file from J:\courses\acct5341\fasb\intangibles.pdf 

In recent years, many commentators have remarked on what they consider to be a disconnect between information provided in financial statements and the information needs of investors and creditors. Most recently, some have characterized this as a disconnect between "new economy" companies and "old economy" financial reporting. In particular, many have contended that financial statement users need:

Members of the FASB and its staff have been active participants in several efforts to improve the quality of business reporting, which encompasses the broad spectrum of information that a company provides to investors and creditors. Our most recent effort was the FASB Business Reporting Research Project. The Steering Committee directing that project published three reports during 2000 and 2001, including Improving Business Reporting: Insights into Enhancing Voluntary Disclosures. This Special Report is another step in that process.

This Special Report examines each of the three areas described above, with special attention to research and recommendations developed by other organizations in the United States and Europe. One of our objectives in publishing this Special Report is to provide a background for discussion of potential projects to be added to the Board’s agenda. With that in mind, the Special Report includes a brief description of four potential projects that the Board might consider. There are probably more possibilities, and there may be some areas covered in the Special Report that appear to have a higher priority than others. We hope that constituents will see this as an opportunity to offer their insights as the Board begins to consider whether it should add new projects to its agenda.

These issues are deep into theory and controversy at the present time.  The basic conclusions of the report are as follows:

As mentioned in the preface, this Special Report is more a sampler than a catalog. Still, it covers most of the significant proposals of which I am aware.  The review of those proposals and the accounting and disclosure issues involved suggested a number of observations made in the course of the paper but worth repeating at the end. 

Chapter 1. 
Labels and slogans abound in discussions of “intellectual capital” and the “new economy.” Those labels and slogans do not help, and may hinder, any effort to improve business and financial reporting. The important question is whether business or financial information should be expanded or improved to make it more useful to investors and creditors. 

Chapter 1. 
Similarly, prejudgments and assertions about the capacity of financial reporting to respond to perceived shortcomings are unhelpful. The conceptual frameworks of financial reporting pave the way for vital and resilient reporting systems. Accounting standard setters may decide that general-purpose financial statements should not incorporate particular items as assets, perhaps because those items lack the essential characteristics of assets or fail other recognition criteria. That decision is much different from the popular assertion that financial statements cannot accommodate intangible assets.

Chapter 2. 
The chapter discusses some of the difficulties with those proposals, especially their cost and complexity, and concludes that they are unlikely to prove useful in general-purpose business and financial reporting. Users value information about an entity’s plans and prospects, but existing techniques and expanded use of nonfinancial metrics seem to offer a more cost-effective solution. 

Chapter 3. 
Users value disclosure of nonfinancial information. Presentation of nonfinancial performance information in metrics that can be tracked from period to period would enhance the usefulness of that information. Presenting a “suite” of nonfinancial metrics would enhance both the usefulness and accessibility of that information. 

Chapter 3. 
Current presentations of “new economy” or “intellectual capital” metrics tend to include a heavy dose of very traditional nonfinancial performance metrics. New and unusual information about customers, innovation, or workforce is limited and often hard to understand. 

Chapter 3. 
Nonfinancial information is inherently idiosyncratic to particular industries and perhaps to individual enterprises. This militates against any detailed accounting standards, but not against standards for form, presentation, and disclosure of underlying assumptions. 

Chapter 4
If one accepts the view that financial statements are not simple reconciliations to market capitalization, then some items proposed for recognition as intangible assets will probably be excluded from recognition. The recognition criteria found in the IASC Framework and FASB Concepts Statements provide the mechanism for understanding which intangibles are candidates for recognition and which are not.

Chapter 4. 
There is no conceptual basis in the definition of an asset for applying different recognition rules to intangible assets purchased from outsiders and the same assets created internally. Different recognition rules, if appropriate, require some other justification. 

Chapter 4. 
Control is one of the essential characteristics of an asset. That criterion, or something like it, is a necessary part of describing an item in a way that allows for monetary measurement. The presence of a control criterion precludes some items (like customer satisfaction) from ever satisfying the definition of an asset. However, it does not preclude other items (like customer lists) from recognition. Nor does the control criterion eliminate the effect that an item not recognized as an asset (customer satisfaction) may have on the value of items (customer lists) that meet the definition. 

Chapter 4. 
There are two “gaps” that frustrate attempts to recognize intangible assets in financial statements. 

Chapter 4. 
While some question the relevance of cost-based measures, there are arguments for beginning work on intangible assets using traditional cost accounting techniques. Academic research suggests that cost-based information is useful. The problems in developing cost-based measures, at least for project intangibles like R&D, are well within the skills of accountants and standard setters. If the alternative is nonrecognition, owing to inability to develop fair-value measures, an imperfect cost-based system may well be preferable. 

Chapter 4. 
Companies’ inability to identify and inventory intangible assets may be a significant obstacle to any comprehensive recognition of intangible assets. 

Chapter 4.
 The rationale underlying FASB Statements 2 and 86 and IAS 38 does not provide a useful conceptual basis for a reconsideration of accounting for intangible assets. 

Chapter 4
Standard setters should expect significant opposition to any proposal for recognition of internally generated intangibles. 

Conclusion The introduction decomposed the difference between a company’s market capitalization and the net book value presented on its balance sheet. That table provides a useful device for characterizing the several studies, position papers, and academic papers described in this Special Report, as illustrated on page 110. None of those proposals offer a comprehensive solution to the perceived disconnect between business and financial reporting on one hand and the new economy on the other. Only a few recognize their limitations. Each attempts to address the “intangibles problem” by dealing with one of its attributes; they are like the blind men and elephant described in the ancient proverb. 

The “intangibles problem” doesn’t lend itself to a single answer because the problem has more than one dimension. We can observe the total market capitalization and accounting book value, but those are the only known amounts. Describing the entire difference between market capitalization and book value as intangibles is circular, it defines the thing in terms of itself, and adds little to the discussion. Improved business and financial reporting of the “new economy” will require attention to: 

• Recognition of internally generated intangible assets in financial statements and improved measures of those assets 
• Expanded and systematic use of nonfinancial performance metrics 
• Expanded use of forward-looking information. 

Nor does the “intangibles problem” lend itself to an answer developed by a single accounting standard setter acting in isolation. Chapter 1 described important contributions from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the OECD. Swedish companies have been leaders in providing nonfinancial metrics. One standard setter might take the lead, but a successful effort should build on the range of talent and insight that is clearly available in the broader international arena.


Lamenting the New Economy

From Information Week Between the Lines on May 25, 2001

Dear readers: 

Your services were solicited, and I'm not at all surprised to report that you responded magnanimously and magnificently to last week's request to help connect the dots and describe The Big Picture behind some nuttiness having to do with business plans or the lack thereof, revenue or the lack thereof, risks and rewards or the lack thereof, and doughnuts. You were also given leeway to debunk the absurd descriptions of Old and New Economy, but the term New Economy spikes my blood pressure, so I won't mention it. In addition, I promised to pick out the best Big Picture description and award its describer a prize: a certificate for a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts or an InformationWeek T-shirt (for anyone who saw the line about the prize being "an original Picasso," that was a simple typo--sorry 'bout that).

Please let me share with you some of the collective wisdom from all of you.

"I would only add that Old and New Economy are viable terms," Larry Turner says. "For a while, it seemed that the Internet was going to bring a true revolution to business practice. Well, that was a new, hyperinflated perception--New Economic thinking applied. It was truly 'voodoo economics.' If we all live long enough, I'm sure we'll see another speculative bubble again. In any event, hooray for Krispy Kreme!"

Michael Lang offers simply, "Thou weep what ye sold."

Reaching into movie history, Michael Tarot says, "The picture created is the witch melting in "The Wizard of Oz." Or shall we quote Lee Marvin in "The Wild One": 'Oh, the shame of it all, the shame of it all.'"

Dipping into the doughnut dimension, Bob Forgrave says, "Two concentric circles. On the outside are dazed dot-coms running in circles trying to justify the childish things they did with money. On the inside, you've got leaders running for a place to lay low after the burst bubble. Put it all together, and it looks a lot like a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Only now, everyone has stopped talking about the (boring Old Economy) hole in the middle and has noticed that creme filling (actual profits). Sweet!"

Ted Newcomb also offers a doughnut-dimpled description: "People like to drink coffee and eat doughnuts while reading about the economic plight of others. This way they feel good three times over!"

A less-sugary picture is drawn by Michael S. Gilly: "Quoting Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, American commander at Bastogne in World War II: 'Nuts!'"

Debra McCusker pins the blame on the media: "The U.S. economy is an organism comprised of millions of individual consumers and investors. Its behavior is largely affected by the tone set by the press. As the media goes in waves, so go the rest of us. 'Buy tech, buy tech,' we're told, and the dot-coms soar. But borrowing and venture capitalizing isn't a long-term solution. So the news changes course. The balance sheet rules and the organism adapts."

Food fills this description from Shawn Casey: "When the going gets tough, the tough quit complaining long enough to buy doughnuts. With the rise of the doughnut stock, I'd say in the end we're still the closeted geeks eating the sprinkled ones, waiting for the pizza to arrive."

Bill Lambert offers four dots of his own. "Dot 1: Revenue minus expense equals profit. Dot 2: You cannot run a successful business for long without profit. Dot 3: The free-enterprise system works to limit your revenue, so you must work to limit your expense. Dot 4: There is no magic. Given your reasonable intelligence, if your CFO or CEO says something that does not make sense, it probably doesn't."

And our winner, Jay Jarrett, weaves together the parallel themes of mind/body, business/doughnuts: "The articles provide insightful commentary on our society's physical and mental state of being. The dot-com crowd of beautiful people espousing utopian business practices, with no business model, represents the 'Fit Body/Fat Mind' operating model. Therefore, enacting the antithesis of Upton Sinclair's lament of aiming for the heart and hitting the stomach, perhaps the 'Fat Body/Fit Mind' model makes more business sense. Moral of the story: Sell doughnuts in America!"

Congratulations, Jay! And thanks to all who connected the dots. - Bob Evans is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek. E-mail him at . You can join in on the discussion about this column in his Listening Post forum:

** John Soat: IT Confidential

There's deep prejudice against businesspeople from the South," said Charles "Junior" Johnson, CEO of PurchasePro, in an interview earlier this year, explaining why his company was getting so much bad publicity, adding, "along with the fact that we're in Las Vegas." Whether it was his Kentucky roots, his Vegas headquarters, or his being a relative stranger to the IT industry, Junior was ousted from the E-commerce software vendor last week after a late-night emergency meeting of the company's board of directors. Johnson is certainly no stranger to controversy. The Kentucky native has 17 lawsuits pending against him, including one that claims he stole the idea for PurchasePro from a former business partner. And he leaves PurchasePro facing plenty of problems. Last week, the company restated its first-quarter earnings, lopping off 42% of the $29.8 million in revenue it reported April 2. That widened its loss to 23 cents a share from the previously reported 2 cents a share. On top of that, PurchasePro says an ongoing audit will likely result in further adjustments to first-quarter financials. The company is also late in filing its 10-Q to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the second time it has missed the deadline. So PurchasePro has to fill its CEO seat, sort out its accounting debacle, and provide investors with financial guidance, which it hasn't revised since it made a now-impossibly optimistic forecast of $225 million in revenue for the year.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ask Junior. Or ask Mike Harden, director of sales for Sagent Technologies, the Mountain View, Calif., business-intelligence software vendor. Two weeks ago, Hardin E-mailed a couple hundred people in his network of associates with a unique marketing proposal: Slip him a sales lead that ends up in a signed contract and you'll get $4,000. But the pay-for-play deal didn't go over too well with Sagent's top brass. A spokeswoman for the company says Hardin was reprimanded by the CEO and the VP of sales. "He got his hand slapped," she says. But Hardin doesn't sound contrite: He says he's got two leads already, and the $4,000 figure has some give to it. "That number is just a working number," he says. "I could go even higher if I needed to."

Schlotzsky's, the nationwide chain of deli-style restaurants, last week named former IBM and Dell Computer exec Robin Hanna as VP and CIO, a new position created to head the franchisor's aggressive technology initiatives, including creating "cyberdelis" with Internet access, refining the back-office software system, redesigning the touch-screen PC-based point-of-sale system, and expanding Schlotzsky's Web site ( ) and E-marketing strategy. Hanna was Dell's director of operations for notebook and advanced-desktop manufacturing from 1996 to 1998; before that, she worked at IBM in the group that developed the PC.

It was good news, bad news for the FBI's anti-cybercrime efforts a week. The good news: The bureau brought criminal charges against 90 individuals and companies stemming from a nationwide investigation, code-named "Operation Cyber Loss," that targeted online auction fraud, systemic nondelivery of merchandise bought online, credit-card and debit-card fraud, bank fraud, investment fraud, and multilevel marketing and Ponzi and pyramid schemes, which represented more than 56,000 victims who suffered cumulative losses in excess of $117 million. The bad news: A report by the General Accounting Office criticized the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center as inefficient and ineffective in warning companies against virus attacks, mainly because of staff shortages, a lack of interagency reporting, and the agency's reluctance to share sensitive information on potential vulnerabilities.

Boy, do I know that feeling! One step forward and two steps back. Or is it two steps forward and one step back? How come it's never all steps forward and no steps back? Step forward with an industry tip to or phone 516-562-5326 or fax 516-562-5036. Or we can talk about the FBI and its cybercrime efforts--why, for instance, the FBI can't develop an early-warning system for hackers or viruses but it can perfect an electronic eavesdropping system--at's Listening Post. - John Soat is senior executive editor of InformationWeek. E-mail him directly at or share your thoughts with others in his Listening Post forum:

** Taking Stock: Troubling Signs To Watch For

I've been watching the Los Angeles Lakers do their magic during these playoffs as Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant take center stage and score point after point. But the most amazing part is the transformation that O'Neal has undergone. Despite his talent, raw strength, and great intuition, he struggled for years. He went through one frustrating season after another until he finally appears to have blossomed with the Lakers.

In life, as in basketball, struggle and perseverance eventually make people stronger and wiser (unless you're the Golden State Warriors these days). This situation isn't much different from what numerous tech companies are experiencing during the current downturn.

Blue Martini Software Inc. (BLUE-Nasdaq) and Art Technology Group Inc. (ARTG-Nasdaq) are both electronic-customer-relationship management companies that help other companies customize, personalize, and track visitors at their Web sites. Both help businesses tailor an interactive experience to specific customers based on preferences and data gathered from their previous visits. In addition, this information can be tied into call centers and campaign-management efforts.

Blue Martini and ATG have good technology, but this might not be the key determinant of their fate. Rather, it's a matter of managing well and with foresight under the current circumstances. Like so many other young technology companies, the management teams of these two companies haven't experienced a downturn. Managing in a downturn is vastly different from managing in an upturn. During a downturn, the focus shifts to very different priorities.

Both companies disclosed earnings shortfalls recently, with Blue Martini reporting a 25% decline in sales and ATG experiencing a decline of 32%. Along with the shortfall came the realization that each company had expanded too quickly, expecting growth that would no longer materialize. The upshot was, of course, layoffs.

As a manager, you now have a completely different mood to deal with, because the remaining employees fear a second round of layoffs is imminent. The challenge is to keep the remaining troops focused. Otherwise, distractions such as low morale and attrition will hamstring the company. More than ever, this is the time when strong and decisive management is needed.

Morale is fickle. It's so hard to create a great, positive attitude that permeates the company and so easy to destroy it with seemingly unconnected events. Layoffs take their toll. It's equally bad when the senior executives start selling their options at prices that approach the stock's all-time low. These are exactly the people who should have the most faith in the company and be preaching the gospel of the company's greatness internally.

At Blue Martini, William Evans, VP and general manager for Asia-Pacific, is relentlessly selling shares; Jeffrey Johnson, VP of sales, is selling shares, not the product; and, finally, Scott Hanham, VP of product development, also has reduced his holdings significantly. It doesn't give me great faith in the company when people of such importance for its future growth sell at these prices.

Meanwhile, at ATG, the co-founders and other senior executives are behaving just like their counterparts at Blue Martini. ATG's chief technology officer, Joseph Chung, and CEO Jeet Singh have been active sellers, along with recently departed CFO Ann Brady. In addition, William Wittenberg, head of product development, also has been liquidating his options. Need I say more?

Finally, both companies are losing key executives. ATG recently lost Brady, its CFO, and rumor has it that Blue Martini has lost an unnamed senior exec. Key executives are important, if not vital, to a young growth company.

Besides watching financial statements, investors should also watch to see if the management teams are able to make the basket, shoot an air ball or let it roll off the rim. - William Schaff is chief investment officer at Bay Isle Financial Corp., which manages the InformationWeek 100 stock index. Reach him at . Is he on target or off the map? Discuss Schaff's column in his Listening Post forum: 


It's been said that if you were to lay all the laws end to end, there would be no end. Or if you laid all lawyers end to end, it would be a good thing.  So we watch to see just how complex legislators worldwide can make the regulation of business on the Web.  See 

Ed Scribner called my attention to --- 

For more than a year we have been identifying and researching those factors that cause accounting malpractice claims. We believe that the economic and environmental factors now present have the potential to result in numerous, quick and dramatic client failures. These failures in turn have the potential to produce losses in time, resources and personal well-being that could dwarf the profession's losses of the early to mid 1990s. Upon consideration, we believe that practitioners will agree with our assessment. The factors include:

Fundamental shifts in competitive structures deriving from technology convergence and business-to-business e-commerce Re-emergence of economic cycles leading to massive industry shakeouts of marginal companies Increase in non-audit services and implications to firms and practitioners Heightening of legal liability exposure deriving from the vast amounts of information (peer, background, industry, legal and other risk assessment/mitigation tools) now available on the Internet Continuing existence and expansion of the Expectation Gap and the propensity of lawyers to prosecute these cases Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the practitioner CPA with:

The latest information and tools to help reduce their exposure to accounting malpractice claims. These resources will be delivered in the form of advice, educational services, database resources and real-time downloadable information products A central depository of all relevant information regarding the advancement of engagement quality control, risk reduction and malpractice reduction Innovative resources, databases and web resources that will take the prevention of malpractice to a new level of sophistication on a real-time basis Our Strategy

Through our databases, research library, industry risk reports, going-concern reports, research studies, videos and CPE products, we will arm the practitioner with the prevention tools and knowledge needed to reduce his exposure before a malpractice claim can develop.

Mark Cheffers, CEO

Electronic Book Trends:  WSJ:  The Little Dickens

A serialized novel makes its way onto the pages -- and homepages -- of The Wall Street Journal ---,1367,44135,00.html 

For the first time, The Wall Street Journal is serializing a novel -- Amanda.Bright@home  -- by journalist and author Danielle Crittenden. The first chapter debuted Memorial Day weekend in both the printed edition of the paper as well as at Subsequent chapters will be posted solely online now through Labor Day.

Crittenden, a frequent contributor to the Journal’s editorial page and author of the hotly debated nonfiction title What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us, said that she is releasing the novel week by week. "I’m really doing it the way Dickens did -- sending it out while the ink is still wet -- or whatever the cyber version of wet ink is."

While Crittenden hopes the book will appear between covers one day, "the immediacy of writing directly for readers and bypassing the publishing process is exhilarating," she said. The print rights have not yet been sold and Crittenden made the deal to serialize Amanda.Bright@home directly with the Journal. Payment for each chapter is modest, the author said. "I’m getting about as much per chapter as I would get paid for an editorial column."

James Taranto, OpinionJournal's editor, said he is intrigued at the prospect of publishing serialized fiction online. "We're breaking new ground here. Amanda.Bright@home is a good read, and its tough-minded political and social commentary ought to appeal to our readers."

See also:
New Accounting for Best-Sellers
Pay to Publish, Pay for Review

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


The Teaching and Curriculum Section of the American Accounting Association is pleased to announce that the Spring 2001 edition of The Accounting Educator, the Section Newsletter, is available on the T&C web site at --- 

Congratulations to Department of Business Administration faculty featured in the Trinity Magazine, Spring 2001.

Feature on Page 10 (Rita Kosnik) "Wanna Make Something of it? Prof Kickboxes to De-stress" 
Reviews how Dr. Kosnik moonlights as a physical fitness instructor.

Feature in pp. 16-17 (Petrea Sandlin) "Brains and Brawn a Winning Combo for Accounting Majors" 
Reviews Dr. Sandlin's duties as a NCAA representative and as the director of the graduate accounting program at Trinity University. One reason for the article was the abnormally high proportion of former varsity athletes (many of them were stars) in the 2001 MS in Accounting Class. The entire class this year is now employed in the Big 5 public accounting firms.

Feature in pp. 20-22 (Phil Cooley) "How Much of Your Retirement Portfolio Can You Spend Each Year ... Without Running Out of Money?"

Feature in pp. 23-25 (Dick Burr) "Seeing Things From a Different Perspective" 
This article reviews Dr. Burr's trip to Bosnia with 25 other business and civic leaders. The mission was "to observe and understand the significance of the work of the National Guard reservists who were helping maintain peace in the Balkans."



The SMS Craze (Perhaps we should learn shorthand and put shorthand characters in PDAs)

We are all urged to become poets, but I have a hard time getting the hang of decoding some of these creative "poems"


Short text messaging (SMS) is all the rage in Europe, so much so that the Guardian sponsored a poetry contest. The rslts cn mk u :-). ---,1382,43782,00.html 

Because the size of a phone's screen is limited and an SMS message can hold only 160 characters, contestants had rather interesting ways of expressing their thoughts. Check out Hetty Hughes' championship entry:

txtin iz messin, / mi headn'me englis, / try2rite essays, / they all come out txtis. / gran not plsed w/letters shes getn, / swears i wrote better / b4 comin2uni. / &she's african

Hughes is right. txtin iz messin w/ evrybodis englis.

Despite the fact that using SMS quickly creates the digital equivalent of writer's cramp, the enthusiasm for using the device in literary, and not just business ways, remains relatively large.

The ubiquity of short text messaging over mobile phones has transformed the written word and even created new literary genres.

Take, for example, SMS poetry.

For its poetry contest, the Guardian sifted through 7,500 poems written on mobile phones.

The newspaper winnowed the entries down to 100 and then handed them to professional poets who selected seven of the poems for cash prizes. The judges chose a poem written by Julia Bird as the "most creative use of SMS 'shorthand' in a poem:

14: / a txt msg pom. / his is r bunsn brnr bl%, / his hair lyk fe filings / W/ac/dc going thru. / I sit by him in kemistry, / it splits my @oms / wen he :-)s @ me.

People who lost the contest shouldn't feel too bad. Bird, who is cited in the article as a member of the "Poetry Book Society," has experience.

Her poem also required a printed translation even though it was published in a country running amok with people pecking away at their mobiles:

14: / a text message poem / his eyes are bunsen burner blue, / his hair like iron filings / with ac/dc going through. / I sit by him in chemistry, / it splits my atoms / when he smiles at me.

"Text messages combine the pleasures of reading and writing with instantness and a handy little gadget," said Andy Wilson, one of the contest's judges, in an e-mail message. "It's almost a conversation, but in a conversation you always think of something funny to say 10 seconds after you should have said it. With text messages you get the extra 10 seconds."

SMS is arguably the most popular cell phone service besides regular calls. In Western Europe, 11.9 billion SMS messages were sent last year. That number is expected to skyrocket to 57.3 billion messages by the end of this year, according to market research.

SMS lets people send and receive messages of up to 160 characters, which forces writers to express a thought creatively and concisely, Wilson said.

"The limitations are one of the best things about it," he said. "Having rules and barriers to overcome is very liberating creatively. Creation becomes a game, a test of ingenuity. How can I fit this into 160 characters? That leads to much better poetry than the freedom to express deep thoughts on deep subjects at great length."

The rest of the article is at,1382,43782,00.html 

See also:
SMS Provides SOS Lifeline
School's Out for Hooky Hoodlums
Honk If You Hate Cellular
Unwired News: The Next Generation
Discover more Net Culture


Networking is a matter of maintaining relationships with people who can assist you in your future professional objectives. Find out how you can start building a network of your own --- 

More and more, entrepreneurial businesses across North America are accessing the Internet looking for accounting and financial service providers. To address this trend, AccountingWEB is pleased to announce the "Entrepreneur to Accountant Referral Network" (EARN) program, a new business service in partnership with that matches accounting needs of small businesses with the talents of AccountingWEB members. Find out how your firm can benefit from this exclusive network --- 

A message from Scott Bonacker

Here are two sites I came across while looking for partnership accounting texts: 

No doubt these are well known to most list participants already.

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

The first link passed along by Scott is from South-Western Publishing Company's service called "Great Ideas for Teaching Accounting."  --- 

Transition and change characterize accounting education during the decade of the nineties. Institutions of higher education are examining and modifying their programs in response to changes in their external environments. Specifically, the changes relate to increased requirements for certification in many states and to recommendations from the accounting profession for the inclusion of broader based skills and competencies beyond technical knowledge in the accounting curriculum.

In order to support curricular revision, the large accounting firms funded the Accounting Education Change Commission . Grants from this commission have afforded recipient institutions the opportunity to develop innovative accounting programs that incorporate the teaching of critical thinking, communication, teamwork, ethical awareness, technological competence and independent learning in their accounting courses. Accounting professionals in the twenty-first century will need more than technical competence to be successful.

The current climate in accounting education heightens the motivation for instructors to hone their teaching skills. Great Ideas in Teaching Accounting offers us as accounting professors the opportunity to share some techniques that have been successful in our classroom. In order to facilitate the locating of tips for specific classroom topics, the organization of the book follows the format of the typical introductory accounting textbook. In addition a general section contains teaching tips related to classroom management, communication skills, teamwork development and other miscellaneous topics. Another section contains teaching tips for the area of management accounting.

I have enjoyed working on this project. South-Western College Publishing, in general, and David Shaut, in particular, have been most helpful and supportive. My colleagues here at Elmhurst College have also lent me support. One person in particular, my student aide Patty Cleary, deserves a round of applause for her dedication and hard work.

Great Ideas in Teaching Accounting would not have been possible without the excellent contributions submitted by accounting instructors from across the United States. Thank you for helping me with this project and for assisting all of us with the sharing of your successful teaching techniques. I hope that everyone enjoys reading and using Great Ideas for Teaching Accounting.

Martha Sampsell Elmhurst College

What's New
About Great Ideas
Great Ideas Table of Contents
Search the Great Ideas Site
Share Your Great Ideas
Great Idea for Teaching Intermediate Accounting

The second site passed along by Scott is part of what I featured in the May 25 edition of New Bookmarks at 

Using Fiction as an Educational Tool


Over a year ago, I wrote a document (screen play? short story? tutorial? case?) that is a takeoff on the Muppets.  It is entitled "Clyde Gives Brother Hat a Lesson in Arbitrage" and can be found at 


The above document contains a tribute to Bill Breit and Ken Elzinga.  Probably the most successful attempts in the world to teach economics via fiction can be found in three mystery novels authored to date by "Marshall Jevons."  Marshall Jevons is really a pseudonym derived from the combined names of two famous 19th Century economists ---  Alfred Marshall and William Stanley Jevons.  The real 20th century economist authors are William Breit and Kenneth G. Elzinga.  Dr. Elzinga holds a distinguished endowed chair at the University of Virginia, and Dr. Breit has a distinguished endowed chair at Trinity University in San Antonio.


Dan Stone was commissioned by Jane Reimers to review three accounting and tax books that use fiction as a means of teaching technical material.  See the Book Reviews in The Accounting Review, April 2001.  


Ten didactic novels are now published and in use in accounting education. In other academic disciplines (e.g., medicine, literature, sociology, communications, and business) fictional discourse has long been regarded as an effective method for exploring the complexities and intricacies of human and organizational experience. Medicine provides an example of the potential for fiction to inform and be informed by professional practices (Anderson 1990). ‘‘Literature and medicine’’ is now a respected, growing field of inquiry with its own journal (Literature and Medicine) and history of explicating the relationships between medical practice and fiction (e.g., see Stein 1984, 1985, 1991). In addition, a top medical journal (The Journal of the American Medical Association) regularly publishes fiction and poetry that reflect and comment on medical practice.

The three books reviewed by Dan are as follows:


D.LARRYCRUMBLEY, The Ultimate Rip-off: A Taxing Tale (SunLakes,AZ:Thomas HortonandDaughters,1998,227pp.,$10.95,Pb, ) .


LOEBBECKE,JAMESK., The Auditor: An Instructional Novella (UpperSaddleRiver, NJ:PrenticeHall,1998,117pp.,$18,Pb,,4096,0130799769,00.html  ).

R.E.MCDERMOTT,K.D.STOCKS,ANDJ.OGDEN, Code Blue (Syracuse,NY:UT, TraemusBooks,2000,175pp.,$19.95,Pb, ).


Meet wireless technology's newest health hazard: TMI, or Text Message Injury. It's what you get when you try to send too many SMSes ---,1382,43875,00.html 

Teenagers throughout the world seem to be typing on their phones more often than they're writing on paper.

"It's saying something that teens in Finland are learning to touch type with their thumbs," said Marc Retting, a member of HannaHodge, a market research firm in Chicago.

Short text message service (SMS) on mobile phones is nearly as popular with users as making voice calls. But some avid SMS users are paying dearly for it.

The growing use of text messaging on mobile phones could result in an epidemic of repetitive strain injuries, Andrew Chadwick, director of the British RSI Association, recently told Britain's Mirror newspaper. RSI occurs when people sit or move in unnatural positions for long periods of time.

Chadwick, who dubbed the new epidemic TMI -- or Text Message Injury -- said children especially are prone to painful swelling and inflammation of the fingers and thumbs from sending so many text messages on their phones.

"We're talking about people making hundreds of tiny repeated movements as they use the mobile keypad," Chadwick said. "Because the movements are small they do not cause the blood to circulate, and that means the fingers are acting like an engine without oil."

See also:
Don't Go Gently Into That SMS
Ergo, By Any Other Name, Hurts
When Your Voice Is All You Have
If Ergo Rules Relax, Do Workers?
Unwired News: The Next Generation
Discover more Net Culture


Psychological Research on the Net -- American Psychological Society 


Microsoft's main man hosts more than 100 business leaders at a company summit and declares, "I think this next decade will be the big one." ---,1370,44056,00.html 

Pioneering e-commerce sites like eBay and are going to be around for a long time, he said, because they're reliable and customers know what they can expect.

But the wane of the dot-coms has altered the high-tech investment landscape, Gates said.

"Some of the mania about this has really changed."

Looking ahead, he said software programs that link computers, telephones and communications devices will change the way business is conducted, bringing improvements in entertainment and in productivity.

Gates said development of broadband links to speed access to the Internet continues to be slow. Because of that, and because of broadband's high cost, Gates said he expects many people will continue to use phone-line connections to the Internet for the next few years.

See also:
Gates Sells Microsoft Shares
XP: 'Your Mother's Windows'
Hard Time for E-Commerce Saint?
Microsoft Judge Ripped in Court
Executive Summary: movers and shakers

William Blake Online - poet, printmaker, visionary. (English Literature and Philosophy) 

Web Hosting For Peachtree and QuickBooks,  by Monty Dillavou --- 

Summary e-Controller is a B2B Accounting solutions provider that specializes in services and support to small businesses and accountants who use QuickBooks and Peachtree Software. At this AccountingWeb workshop, Monty Dillavou, President of e-Controller presented information about the company's e-WebHosting System for QuickBooks and Peachtree Software.

e-WebHosting is their Internet based, secure hosting service whereby they host, via their web-enabled, secure servers, QuickBooks and Peachtree software applications along with company data files.

Simply put, this means that a QuickBooks or Peachtree user can move application and data file(s) from their local PC or LAN to e-Controller?s web-enabled, secure servers. The user can then access and work with the QuickBooks or Peachtree file via any Internet connection rather than on just the local machine. The application still looks, runs, interacts and prints the same as the user is used to.

Some of the advantages to this are access from anywhere, anytime, and users can work with their accountants in real time.

The complete transcript is at 

Meanwhile, I received the following message from one of the original Webledger providers, NetLedger, that now will purchase your old onsite general ledger system if you upgrade the NetLedger online system --- 

Dear Bob,

How would you like $250 - AND the best solution to run your business?

By upgrading to NetLedger 1 System, you will save time, save money, and make your business much more efficient. And for a limited time only, we will buy back your current desktop software for up to $250!

NetLedger 1 System is the answer to all of your business frustrations for two main reasons:

1. NetLedger 1 System is one completely integrated application. This means all of your core business processes - like accounting, sales, payroll, your Web site, and your CRM, for example - work together perfectly in our one application without the need for constantly re-entering data into multiple applications. This "one-stop-shop" power was previously available only to Fortune 500 companies, but now NetLedger has brought that power to all businesses in an easy-to-use and affordable solution, priced at just $99 per month.

2. You use the Internet to access NetLedger 1 System. You and your employees can securely access your key information and run your business from anywhere, at anytime. This complete flexibility will make your entire company significantly more productive immediately. Everyone will have the information they need to succeed right at their fingertips, versus unsecured data stuck in someone's PC. And every time we add new features, you get them instantly, so you never have to spend time and money on costly upgrades again.

Call us at 1-800-netledger today to purchase NetLedger 1 System and receive up to $250 with our 1 System Rebate Offer.
NetLedger [

Bob Jensen's threads on Webledgers can be found at 
It should be noted that these Webledger systems offer more than general ledger accounting.  Business firms may also purchase services to process payrolls, perform billings and collections, manage cash, and maintain inventories.  Contrary to opinions shared by some accountants, your records are probably safer on a Webledger system than they are on a local system that does not have such high technology security and backup systems in place.  It is also possible to process transactions from most any online computer in the world.

Talking to Computers:  A keyboard, monitor and mouse are now standard devices on every personal computer, but that may change—somewhat—in the near future, Scientific American --- 

Display glasses, too, are already a reality, though often as part of wearable computers, which themselves are rare. According to Winograd, they probably won't become popular in the short term. "You don't want to wear special glasses," he says. "You'll be carrying your cell phone anyway. If you're talking long term, your cell phone will be replaced by something like a hearing aid. If everything else goes away and the only reason you're still carrying something is to look at it, then it makes sense to mount it on your face."

So is the end of the current PC near? "The standard screen plus keyboard plus pointing device will die out," Winograd concludes, but adds, "I think you're still going to want to have some times when you sit down, use your full attention and maximize throughput. Not that the current screen and keyboards are optimal, but it'll be approximately that configuration. There are some kinds of things for which workstations are very highly optimized, and you will probably never find anything that will be much better."


Wearing Your Computer

The Reinvention of Paper

Welcome to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the annual showcase for the latest in computer and video gaming. And if you're wondering what a stripper's sticky business on a steel pole has to do with video games, well, then you haven't been paying attention to just how big -- and sleazy -- a boy-toy party the computer gaming industry has become --- 

Deloitte & Touche is out to prove it is still the number one firm when it comes to Big Five recognition of female employees. The firm expects to double its female partner and director ranks over the next five years. 

From Infobits on June 1, 2001


The Resource Discovery Network (RDN) launched the Virtual Training Suite, a collaboration between 30 universities providing 40 tutorials to help people learn more about using the Internet as a source of scholarly information. Tutorial topics cover the categories of engineering and mathematics, humanities, social sciences, business and law, health and life sciences, and physical sciences. The tutorials offer self-directed learning with the help of an expert "tour guide" commissioned from universities, libraries, museums, and research institutes across the United Kingdom. The Virtual Training Suite is on the Web at 

The RDN is a national Internet service for academics and professionals funded by the Higher and Further Education Funding Bodies via the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and by Research Councils such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It is coordinated by the Resource Discovery Network Centre (RDNC), a center run jointly by staff from UKOLN (UK Office for Library and Information Networking at the University of Bath) and King's College London. For more information about the RDN, contact: RDNC, Kings College London, 3rd Floor, Strand Bridge House, 138-142 The Strand, London WC2R 1HH UK; email:; Web: 


The Lumina Foundation for Education, a private, independent foundation, addresses issues surrounding financial access, educational attainment, and opportunities for nontraditional learners. The foundation recently published "Funding the 'Infostructure': A Guide to Financing Technology Infrastructure in Higher Education" by Ronald A. Phipps and Jane V. Wellman. The report "makes recommendations that can help campus officials and state and federal policymakers develop regular funding policies for information technology . . . identifies a range of options for funding information technology, examining the advantages and drawbacks of each... [and] urges state and federal policy-makers to address the disparities in institutions' ability to pay for technology." The report is available online at 

For more information about the foundation and its other publications, contact: Lumina Foundation for Education, 30 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204-3503 USA; tel: 317-951-5704; fax: 317-951-5063; Web: 

Forwarded by Barry Rice

Taylor & Francis currently publishes over 540 academic peer-reviewed journals across a variety of disciplines. In response to the changing needs of the academic community, we are using the Internet actively to disseminate information about journals in advance of publication.

SARA - Scholarly Articles Research Alerting, is a special email service designed to deliver tables of contents, for any Taylor & Francis, Carfax, Routledge, Spon Press, Martin Dunitz or Psychology Press journal, to anyone who has requested the information. This service is completely free of charge.

All you need to do is register, and you will be sent contents pages of the journal(s) of your choice from that point onwards, in advance of the printed edition. You can request contents pages either for any number of individual titles, or for one or more of our sub-categories or a main category, and you may unsubscribe at any time. For each of your choices, you will receive the relevant bibliographic information: journal title, volume/issue number and the ISSN. You will also receive full contents details, names of authors and the appropriate page numbers from the printed version.

This will give you advance notice of what is being published, making it easier for you to retrieve the exact information you require from the hard copy once it arrives in your library.

Titles that may be of interest to accountants are:

Accounting Business and Financial History The European Accounting Review Accounting Education

To register for this complimentary service, please visit:  and click on the SARA button.

For further information on the above titles, please visit: s

If you have any questions regarding this service, please email: 

The Small Business Knowledge Base at --- 


AccountingWEB's Entrepreneur to Accountant Referral Network (E.A.R.N.) program, matching the accounting and financial needs of thousands of small businesses with the talent of the AccountingWEB community.

Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at 

Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People 

The latest e-mail worm, Noped, is designed to ferret out the collectors of child pornography and tip off the feds as to their whereabouts. But its tracking methods may be as flawed as the logic behind it ---,1282,44112,00.html 

Now that a key House committee has voted to can sex spam, most everyone should be happy, right? Well, it turns out that the bill applies even to non-spam e-mail relating to sex, and legitimate businesses are grumbling ---,1283,44088,00.html  

See also:
So Many Worms, So Little Info
New Worm a Marketing Ploy?
Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam
Spam, Or Just Glad to See Me?
Cooking Up a Revised Spam Bill

Underwater Archaeology --- 

From The Rovia Reader Email on May 23, 2001

Publishers Weekly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Reuters News Service, Boston Business Journal, The Boston Herald and others are reporting Rovia’s success in the online textbook market.

The common themes? Rovia’s unique technology, unsurpassed security and its popularity among professors, students and publishers like Houghton Mifflin and Thompson Learning.


Archives of European Archaeology (AREA) --- 

If the shoe fits, throw it away!

An e-mail discussion list hosted by VeriSign is no longer, after company criticisms began dominating the threads ---,1272,44080,00.html 

The company that manages databases for the Internet's most popular names has shut down an e-mail discussion list that had turned into a forum for its critics.

VeriSign Inc. made the announcement on the "Domain-Policy" mailing list Thursday. The decision was effective immediately.

Many of the complaints center on VeriSign's monopoly over the records, a monopoly it received under contract with the U.S. government.

Participants also have ranted about the proper role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the organization selected by the government in 1998 to oversee naming policies. Many contributors to the list believe ICANN frequently oversteps its bounds.

Discussion forums are available at ICANN's website. Critics have also set one up through ICANNWatch, a watchdog group. Many companies in the business of selling domain names also have smaller lists and message boards.

See also:
ICANN-VeriSign Brouhaha
Furor Over ICANN-VeriSign Deal
Domain Deals Nearly Done
Dot-Biz Land Rush Begins
There's no biz like E-Biz
Discover more Net Culture

Spain's attempt to regulate websites has civil libertarians up in arms, to the point where they're even evoking the memory of Queen Isabella, who ruled Iberia with an iron fist in the 1500s ---,1367,44110,00.html 

I'm going to miss you old scout!  

From the Scout Report for the Social Sciences on May 29, 2001

The Last Issue of the _Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities_ The Internet Scout Project is sad to announce that this is the final issue of the _Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities_. We have been unable to secure funding to continue publishing our subject-specific reports. The last issue of the _Scout Report for Business & Economics_ will be May 31, and the last issue of the _Scout Report for Science & Engineering_ will be June 20. We have, however, no immediate plans to cease publishing our flagship report, the _Scout Report_. Many thanks to our loyal readers.

Scout Report Archives Improvements 

Three on Thinking Critical Thinking On The Web: 

Two from the National Library of Canada: Images in the News: _
     Canadian Illustrated News_  
     Sheet Music from Canada's Past 

Scribbling Women [RealPlayer] 
This fine resource uses radio dramatizations produced by the Public Media Foundation to teach prominent texts by American women writers -- the same writers Nathaniel Hawthorne, fearing for his livelihood, cursed as a "damned mob of scribbling women." Currently, the Website offers dramatizations of three texts: _The Yellow Wallpaper_ by Charlotte Gilman, _A Wagner Matinee_ by Willa Cather, and _A Jury of Her Peers_ by Susan Glaspell. In addition to the full audio (offered in RealPlayer) of the radio dramatizations, each dramatization is accompanied by an essay offering a literary interpretation and another discussing the work's literary and historical context. Further reading, a biography, and sample lesson plans are also posted. Seven other works are also covered on-site, containing all of the above materials with the exception of the audio dramatization. These works are _The Schoolmaster's Progress_ by Caroline Kirkland, _Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl_ by Harriet Jacobs, _Life in the Iron Mills_ by Rebecca Harding Davis, _A Whisper in the Dark_ by Louisa May Alcott, _Louisa_ by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, _Hate is Nothing_ by Marita Bonner, and _The Bones of Louella Brown_ by Ann Petry.

The U.S. Government Knows How to Sell Online (e-Commerce)
From InformationWeek Online May 30, 2001

Uncle Sam Rings Up $3.6B In Online Sales

Look out, Jeff Bezos. Inc.'s $2.8 billion in annual revenue has been eclipsed by another E-commerce contender--a purveyor of flame throwers, burros, and Lamborghini Diablos that generated $3.6 billion in sales last year. The mastermind behind this E-retailing juggernaut? Uncle Sam.

That revelation comes from a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Federal Computer Week magazine, which tracked the government's E-commerce activity. Of course, straight revenue comparisons may not be fair. After all, it's not exactly a level playing field for Amazon since the government's $3.6 billion came from 164 sites. That was a bit of a shock for Allan Holmes, editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week. "When we first started, I had no idea how many sites we would find. I thought maybe a few dozen." Plus, that revenue figure would be significantly lower without the Treasury Department, which generated $3.3 billion from the sale of bonds and notes.

But the remaining $300 million in sales is still a significant achievement, considering the government hasn't done much to promote its efforts. Looking to bid on luxury items such as helicopters or sports cars? Try Bid4Assets, which sells property seized by the U.S. Marshals Service in criminal raids. "The federal government has always had surplus property and auctioned off property seized in drug busts. Now they're able to do it more efficiently and reach more people," Holmes says.

Viruses and e-mails get all the attention and fearful reaction, but hidden programs known as Trojans can be far more devastating -- to computers and lives ---,1377,43981,00.html 

There may be a ghost in your machine -- a hidden program known as a Trojan horse -- that allows a malicious hacker to spy on you, ruin your data and computer and, in extreme cases, wreck your business or your life.

Attackers have used Trojans to surreptitiously observe the users of infected machines over their webcams, and can also listen to conversations transmitted via the infected computer's microphone.

Trojans have also been used to siphon funds out of electronic bank accounts, stalk ex-lovers, spy on business associates and rifle through the contents of hard drives in search of sensitive information.

Viruses, with their sexy names and ability to spread around the globe in a matter of hours, get a lot of media attention. But viruses are usually easy to detect and eradicate. Security experts say that the real threat to system security and users' sanity are the hard-to-spot Trojan programs.

David Kroll of Finjan Software, a firm that develops security applications, calls Trojans the "silent killer."

"Last year there was a bank in California, (that) I cannot identify by name, that was extorted for approximately $500,000 by a hacker who had BackOrifice installed on a vice president's PC. The bank had no idea how this extortionist was getting all this inside information on the bank," Kroll said.

See also:
Discuss this story on
Security Mavens Invaded by Trojan
Beware the Computer Zombies
Wait! Don't Forward That E-Mail
Infostructure strengthens your backbone
Read more Technology news

One of the great masters.  
About Johannes Vermeer Art --- 
(Don't forget to click the enlarge button for a really big showing of each painting.)

The FBI's "Operation Cyber Loss" puts the hammer down on schemes that bilked thousands of consumers out of $117 million ---,1377,43981,00.html 

A magazine dedicated to a green and friendly environment
Orion Online --- 

Deep Web forwarded by The Webmonkey on May 18, 2001

Apparently search engines reach less than one percent of the sites out there. So how do we get to the other 99+ percent known as the The Deep Web? It helps when the sites want to be found and we know where to look.

"How to go about digging deeper on the Web," by Jackie Loohauis,  JS Online, May 12, 2001 --- 

Traditional search engines have access to only a fraction of 1% of what exists on the Web, according to BrightPlanet, an Internet search company, noting that as many as 550 billion pieces of content are hidden from most search engine scrutiny. These documents make up what is known as "The Deep Web."

Undercover and undercovered, the vast reservoir of the Deep Web is estimated to be 500 times larger than the "surface" World Wide Web. And, according to BrightPlanet, the Deep Web is the largest growing category of new information on the Net.

"There's a huge amount of information you can't find entirely or easily via a search engine," says Net search guru Gary Price, a librarian at George Washington University, and co-author of the upcoming book "The Invisible Web" (CyberAge Books, $29.95). "The material on the Web is unorganized, very ephemeral. There's no rhyme or reason, no language control. The Web is a huge directory that's very hard to get at."

What's hidden? What makes up the depths of The Deep Web? The biggest part of this invisible Web is information stored in databases - massive libraries of Web content unsearchable through such tools as Yahoo! and Google. You have to know they exist before you can search them.

Such a database would be the Government Printing Office listings at . There are thousands more.

Other aspects of the Net remain hidden in deep waters, too.

"There are tons of things out there," says Tara Calishain of, an online Internet guide. "Pay content sources, lots of genealogy sources. The Library of Congress ( ) has fabulous collections you can't find on Alta Vista."

Several types of information are most elusive for search engines - bibliographies, multimedia files, information that comes in .pdf files (Adobe's portable document format). "News is dreadful, says Calishain. "Search engines don't cover it. It's tough to find breaking news."

Some sites, such as have sections so far from the surface of their home pages that they, too, can be classified as Deep Web, says David Crane, a spokesman for search engine Google ( ). An example, says Crane, is "the section that specifically offers a 'portable compact disc player by Sony.'"

But the deepest Deep Web drop-off is in the category of government, and it's getting deeper.

"More and more city and county governments are putting their offerings on the Web. The State of Pennsylvania has a new crime reporting database (  ), and more and more of that kind of thing is coming up now," says Calishain.

. . .

Two groups of Web experts are also making it their business to provide searchers with information on Deep Web sources.

Calishain's ( ) chronicles search engines, new data collections ("Online Legal Information in Denmark, Norway and Sweden"), browser software and other Deep Web mining tools that "a research librarian, journalist, educator and others would find helpful, from the perspective of someone who's really going to use it."

And in the early '90s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Internet Scout Project (  ) was started with funding from the National Science Foundation to "inform the higher education and research communities about resources on the Internet," says Scout Director Rachael Bower. The project posts detailed reports each Friday to keep searchers, including the general public, "up to speed" on Deep Web sources.

The Scout Project is driven by five editors who have spent years creating bookmarks and automatically checking changes in existing sources; there's a searchable archive of 11,500 sites available.

"We do supply Deep Web information. A lot of the things you get from Scout an Alta Vista search wouldn't get, or it's buried. Think of it as being a card catalog with information about information," says Bower. "It's one of the first attempts to get librarians to catalog Web resources. All of the editors doing the cataloging are graduate students in the subject or in library science."


"RTFM: A Guide to Online Research,"  by Steve Champeon, Webmonkey, February 23, 2001 --- 


So, then, why do so many feel the need to ignore the vast resources available to them, publicly and repeatedly offer up disinformation, and generally offend the basic tenets of the liberal arts education? What can be done to help these people, so obviously confused by their encounter with a badly constructed tutorial, or ruined by unmonitored self-study? I mulled the problem over a strong cup of Kenya AA and suddenly struck my fist into my palm, shouting, "Eureka! We must introduce them to the primary sources!"


One of the great things about being a Web designer or developer is that you have access to an enormous collection of tutorials, documentation, specifications, and related materials, no matter what part of the Web you work with.


. . . 

The IETF produces several different kinds of "standards":


. . .

Armed with this knowledge, go forth and uphold the social contract of the Internet: "Be conservative in what you do, and liberal in what you accept from others." The conservatism is the natural result of having a good reference library at your fingertips. The liberalism extends only so far and doesn't include accepting an uninformed line of bull from somebody on a mailing list.

Related links

Take a look at Search the Invisible Web at 


Also see my threads on RDF and other standards at 



High End Online Course Authoring Systems


Cantra's Mindlever --- 
Blended eLearning programs that combine live interactive sessions with access to self-paced, task-specific content provide the most powerful and cost-effective learning solutions. By integrating MindLever's learning content management systems with Centra's live eLearning and real-time collaboration products, Centra is the first to provide a truly integrated solution for blended eLearning and mission-critical knowledge delivery.

With this combined product offering, organizations will be able to extend the power of their Centra eLearning solution by adding the ability to index business content for easy retrieval, on-demand access to extensive multimedia knowledge directories of learning content in industry-standard (SCORM-compliant) formats, and personalized eLearning programs. The extended capabilities of the Centra eLearning infrastructure will enhance the value that Centra already provides organizations - the ability to rapidly and effectively deliver knowledge to employees, customers, and partners to improve business performance.

Cantra's Symposium 5.0 ™ for Microsoft BackOffice Symposium 5.0 for Microsoft BackOffice leverages your IT investment in Microsoft BackOffice by enhancing the capabilities of this platform to include the delivery and management of live, interactive eLearning. Through seamless integration with BackOffice technology, Centra's award-winning capabilities are extended to include threaded discussion forums, Outlook calendar notification to provide users with a single view of their appointments and online classes, and robust database management and reporting tools available in SQL Server.

Received high marks for integration of Microsoft Office software (in a relational database) as reported in a University of Wisconsin study ---,11011,2717916,00.html 

Hypercosm --- 
Hypercostm is a leading provider of highly interactive 3D web-based visual solutions for the eCRM market. Extending beyond text-based interaction currently provided by other eCRM solutions, Hypercosm's technology provides compact transmission of interactive 3D graphics, enhancing the user's web experience, and helping companies acquire, retain and better serve their customers at a fraction of their current costs.

Received high marks for interactive objects and graphics as reported in a University of Wisconsin study ---,11011,2717916,00.html 


Macromedia's Web Learning Studio --- 

San Francisco, California —November 15, 2000—Macromedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: MACR) today announced the Macromedia Web Learning Studio, the complete authoring solution for online learning. The studio includes Macromedia Authorware 5.2, a new version of the leading authoring product for online learning, with Web authoring standards such as Macromedia Flash and Macromedia Dreamweaver. The integrated authoring studio enables developers, instructional designers, and subject matter experts to create and deploy engaging, standards-based learning applications for delivery on the Web, corporate intranets, and via CD-ROMs.

"We have found that the majority of our learning developers are using HTML and Macromedia Flash content in their online courses," said Pat Brogan, vice president of education and learning at Macromedia. "The Macromedia Web Learning Studio gives developers all the software they need to address the full range of application and delivery requirements — from simple Web-based tutorials to sophisticated, rich-media simulations."

The Macromedia Web Learning Studio includes all new versions of Macromedia authoring products and features Authorware 5.2, the latest release of the leading software for creating rich-media learning for Web, LANs and CD-ROM. New features in version 5.2 are support for Macromedia Flash 5, a robust new scripting editor, Windows controls, assessment Knowledge Objects, and enhanced, standards-compliant data tracking capabilities. The studio also supports industry standards to ensure the learning content it creates can be easily tracked by learning management systems.

"We are delighted to see Authorware adding support for leading-edge technologies like Macromedia Flash 5," said Mark Steiner, manager of learning services, Chicago, for marchFIRST, Inc.. "We rely heavily upon Authorware's ability to integrate a diverse variety of media types and then rapidly add logic and interactivity to deliver successful online learning courseware for our clients."

"We are impressed with Macromedia's ability to integrate leading edge solutions, like Authorware and Macromedia Flash 5," according to the global training division of FedEx Express. "With Macromedia delivering cutting edge Web authoring tools, we can focus on delivering on-time training and packages."

To enhance the power of the new studio, Macromedia is also providing free learning extensions for Macromedia Flash 5 and Dreamweaver 4, including the now free CourseBuilder extension for Dreamweaver. These extensions and other learning resources will be available from the Learning Resource Center on the Macromedia Web site ( "Getting Started with Online Learning," a how-to guide for developers written by online learning experts, is also available with the studio and as a free download from the Learning Resource Center. The learning extensions enable the development of online learning content with Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver by providing pre-built navigational frameworks, learning interactions, quizzes and built-in data tracking.

Received high marks for being the most complete authoring system available in the market as reported in a University of Wisconsin study ---,11011,2717916,00.html 



NYUonline's iAuthor --- 

The NYUonline homepage is at 

This system is a carefully constructed set of development tools combined with a development process that reflects the best practices for creating e-Learning courseware in learning object format.


Received high marks for metadata tagging and a mulit-user database as reported in a University of Wisconsin study ---,11011,2717916,00.html 
But the $50,000 price tag is a bummer.


Click2learn's Multimedia ToolBook --- 


Forwarded by Dan Gode

eWEEK's comment in the article "Lessons Learned - eWEEK grades tools that build lessons for distance learners" about Click2learn's reason for withdrawing from the evaluation is incorrect, and we are in the process of obtaining a correction.

Click2learn did not state that we were de-emphasizing ToolBook. In fact, Click2learn engineering is actively working on future releases of ToolBook. We are very excited about the future of ToolBook and are planning some innovative capabilities for our future versions. Our plans will ensure that ToolBook not only continues to be the leading desktop authoring tool but also has some of the best enterprise server components to complement it. We will be announcing these shortly.....

Click2learn withdrew from the review because eWEEK would not disclose to us the product vendors who agreed to participate in this review, nor specific details about the parameters of the shoot-out. Our review policy is to require this information be disclosed to us before we participate in product reviews of this kind to ensure that the review will be a fair judge of product performance and customer needs.

Thanks very much for your continued support!

Brad Crain VP,GM Learning Tools Click2learn, Inc.

Click2learn ( ) declined to participate in the eVal study that I described in my May 21 edition of New Bookmarks.  You can read about this study at the University of Wisconsin by clicking on,11011,2717916,00.html 


If the above report is removed from the Web, you can read my summary at


History and Future of Course Authoring Technologies
(Including Predictions for the 21st Century and Knowledge Portals) 


Course Management System Demos from TLT SUNY --- 


If you are interested in using a Course Management System (CMS) to support traditional classroom based courses there are many tools from which to choose. Course Management Systems offer different features and making a decision about which CMS product is right for you or your campus depends on many factors. One way to learn about these products is to take a test drive.  The links below will take you to the place on the website of the vendors of these products where you can see a demonstration or "try before you buy".  

Angel new and free Eduprise Intralearn Topclass and
CourseInfo 4.0  


Virtual U


Prometheus new

Toolbook II Instructor and Assistant

WebCT 3.0
demo new  and
 Instant Trial Course

Here is a list of SUNY Colleges and the CMS Products they use

As you will notice from the list of CMS products in use at SUNY  that three products, Blackboard, TopClass and WebCT are most commonly used.  In many ways this reflects general trends in CMS use in higher education. However, recently Blackboard and WebCT have seen vastly increasing adoption, whereas many colleges have shifted away from TopClass as WBT (makers of the product) have shifted their focus to corporate clients.  Prometheus is gaining some attention recently and is used by a few dozen higher education institutions, most prominently George Washington University, Vanderbilt, and NYUonline.


Send Out (Broadcast) Your Streaming Multimedia on the Internet
PlayStream --- 
You don't even have to have your own Web server.

Want to play your audio & video on the Internet? PlayStream now makes it even easier to add streaming video and audio to your Web site. We simplify streaming media technology, so you can play multi-media online, from corporate Web casts to personal videos, that enriches, educates and entertains your viewers.

  Frequently Asked Questions
3-Minute Streaming Lesson
Sample Showcase
What Our Clients Are Saying
Our Technology
Affiliate Program

Frequently Asked Questions --- 

What is PlayStream?

What is streaming media?

I have audio & video. Now what?

What do you mean by format?

How does PlayStream fit into this?

I only want to stream audio, or flash animation, not video. Are you still able to meet my needs economically?

Does PlayStream charge a setup fee?

Does PlayStream require long-term contracts?

Does PlayStream offer different price packages?  See 

Why PlayStream?

How do I tell the difference between a good streaming provider and a bad one?

Can I just send you my material and let you take care of the rest? What if I don't have a Web site?

Bob Jensen's threads on authoring software can be found at 

Adobe Streaming Media Collection --- 

The Adobe® Streaming Media Collection integrates comprehensive and powerful streaming media, interactive animation, and Web design and management capabilities to deliver the cost-effective toolset professionals need to create dynamic Web sites. The four products' cross-platform interoperability and extensive integration with Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Illustrator® software help you learn quickly, work productively, and experience the extraordinary depth of features and functionality you¹ve come to expect from award-winning Adobe applications.

Bob Jensen's threads on authoring software can be found at 

Adobe ePaper and eBook --- 

Adobe  Acrobat®
The best way to share documents online
Adobe  Acrobat® Business Tools
Interact with Adobe PDF using collaboration and Web capture tools
Adobe  Acrobat® Capture®
Bring your paper documents to life on the Web
Adobe  Acrobat® Distiller® Server
Centralized Adobe PDF creation for your entire network
Adobe  Acrobat® eBook Reader™
Read high-fidelity eBooks on your notebook or desktop computer
Adobe  Acrobat® Messenger™
The paper-to-digital dispatch center
Adobe  Portable Document Format
The open de facto standard for electronic document distribution
Adobe  Acrobat® Reader®
View and print Adobe PDF files
Adobe  Content Server
Package and distribute Adobe PDF eBooks directly from your Web site
Adobe  Document Server
A Web server companion for making PDF files more accessible
Create Adobe PDF Online
Convert documents into Adobe PDF files with this Web-hosted service
Adobe  Third-party plug-ins
Enhance your favorite Adobe software with additional special effects, productivity tools, and other add-ons from select companies
Adobe  Type Library
The world's broadest selection of high-quality typefaces

From Syllabus Web Email on May 25, 2001

Adobe Targets Higher Education with eBook U

Adobe Systems Incorporated recently launched Adobe eBook U, a joint project between Adobe and a select group of higher edu- cation institutions to explore the use and impact of e-books on educational environments. As part of the program, students and educators at participating campuses will be able to exper- ience course materials that will be made available as e-books, based on the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Partnering institutions receive Adobe's software and training to create, encrypt, and distribute Adobe PDF-based e-book content such as textbooks, course packs, and customized course readers. In turn, Adobe will have the opportunity to learn and exam- ine the way e-books are being adopted in institutions of higher education. Participating institutions include: MIT Sloan School of Management, Occidental College, Miami-Dade Community College Medical Center Campus, Mills College, Scottsdale Community College, University of Maryland Univer- sity College, University of Utah Center for Advanced Medical Technologies, Tufts University, and University of Wisconsin.

For more information, visit

CraftyGal is a great arts and crafts site at 
There are also a lot of helpful household hints.

A University of Virginia professor uses a self-written computer program to catch students who plagiarize term papers. Over 100 students are being investigated and may be expelled. ---,1383,43561,00.html 

A professor at the University of Virginia has nabbed 122 students for plagiarism using a computer program he wrote himself.

Louis Bloomfield, who teaches an introductory-level physics course called "How Things Work," wrote the program after he "heard rumors that papers were coming in more than once."

Update from Syllabus Web on May 21, 2001

Computer Programs Detect Plagiarism

A computer program, designed by University of Virginia physics Professor Louis Bloomfield, searches for similar phrasing of six consecutive words or more in student papers. He ran 1,500 term papers submitted by e-mail over the last few years through the program and found 122 had suspiciously similar wording, including 60 papers that were nearly identical. If found guilty of plagiarism, the students who turned in the papers could be expelled or stripped of recently awarded degrees from the school. Computer science professors are using software pro- grams to identify suspiciously similar strings of code in programming assignments. The Measure of Software Similarity (MOSS) program gained wide use after its creator, the University of California, Berkeley's Alex Aiken, distributed it free to fellow programming professors around the world in 1997. Another service, , takes a digital fingerprint of the student's paper, then scans the Internet and the group's own database looking for matches, highlighting passages that match and providing links to the online source. Another service, , scans the Web for matching sentences or whole documents, instead of just keywords.

See also:
New Toys for Cheating Students
Phony Degrees a Hot Net Scam
Catching Digital Cheaters
Get schooled in Making the Grade

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism can be found at 

Android World (History and Future of Robotics) --- 

There are more students of English in China than there are people in the United States.
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way, as quoted in an email message from Ivan Herman

From Syllabus Web Email on May 21, 2001

Kaplan Launches Online TOEFL Skills Assessment

Kaplan, Inc. recently launched TOEFL Skills Assessment, an entirely online introduction to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Accessible at Kaplan's test preparation and admissions Web site , the TOEFL Skills Assessment expands access to the hundreds of thousands of international students applying to American universities and professional schools. Students first log onto the assessment portion, which consists of 75 questions including listening comprehension, structure and reading comprehension. After completing the assessment, students receive targeted instructional feedback on TOEFL question types and test-taking strategies as well as diagnostic feedback on the students' own test-taking strengths and weaknesses. The TOEFL Skills Assessment is priced at $20, and students can work through the program in three to four hours.

Richard Stallman strikes back at Microsoft
The head of the Free Software Foundation took his message to New York University, rebutting Microsoft's earlier snub of the GPL and open source --- 

IT Ethics and Whistle Blowing Dilemmas:  Caught between a rock and hard place
Brian D. Jaffe: Steering your way through IT's murky moral waters has never been more challenging --- 

From Syllabus Web Email on May 21, 2001 Launches a New Web Site and a New ASP Model, Inc. has released a new Web site at . The online test and test prep center serves students, HR and training professionals and educators as a mini-portal with thousands of interactive, instantly scored tests and practice tests. Now, with its new Private Accounts program, it also serves as an ASP (Applica- tion Service Provider) to permit colleges and universities and pre-K-12 schools, among others, to set up their own private test and survey centers. Following instructions at the site, users can set up these private areas with the look and feel of their own sites, including background colors, logos, and other identifiers. Private Accounts subscribers can enter their own assessments, quizzes, tests, and surveys free through the authoring programs, Create A Test and Create A Survey. Test and survey results are instantly and automatically e-mailed to the subscriber's administrators, or they can appear instantly online for the client's test and survey takers. Or can report instant results both ways, via e-mail and online. Survey results can be transferred directly to the client's database.

State of the Beach - assesses the health of America's waters --- 

The Scout Research Isaac Project --- 


Finding useful information on the web can be difficult. In 1997 this was becoming increasingly apparent, and more and more organizations began working to improve the situation by creating small, stand-alone directories of high-quality Internet resources. While these directories in many cases proved to be invaluable tools, in some sense they just pushed the problem up one level, requiring the user to find the pertinent directories and search each one for the desired resources. The Isaac project was born out of a desire to solve this problem.


The Isaac Network provides a means to link these small, stand-alone Internet resource directories by allowing groups to link together geographically- or organizationally-disparate collections of Internet resource description metadata, providing users with the capability of searching through all of the linked collections via a single, coherent web interface. The base standard metadata fields for Isaac systems are based on Dublin Core, and allow information to be queried based an array of standard fields present in all collections, including title, subject, author, and description.


To insure compatibility and extensibility, the Isaac software runs on readily-available platforms and uses well-established protocols for data storage and intercommunication. The primary development and target operating system for Isaac is Linux. For directory queries and intercommunication Isaac uses LDAP, and for index generation and exchange, Isaac makes use of CIP.


In November 2000, after a ten-month lull, development has begun on version 2 of the Isaac software. Principle goals for the new version include:

Better Scalability - When deployed in its initial incarnation, the Isaac software requires a full-connected network, which limits long-term scalability. Version 2 of the Isaac software will include a hub / cache mechanism to remove this limitation.

Data Import Tools - The data that an organization may want to make available via the Isaac network may have been originally stored in many forms. Version 2 of Isaac will include a set of core tools intended to assist in converting data for use with Isaac.

Easier Installation - The goal is to make setting up an Isaac node a near-turnkey process, to minimize the technical resources required to make a collection of metadata available via Isaac.

The initial alpha release of Isaac v2 is expected to be available in the Spring of 2001. If your organization may be interested in participating in the alpha or beta testing or would like to make use of the production release of Isaac, please send a note to to let us know of your interest.


A Distributed Architecture for Resource Discovery Using Metadata

Originally published in the June, 1998 issue of D-Lib magazine, this article gives a good overview of the technology and issues behind Isaac.

The Isaac Network: LDAP and Distributed Metadata for Resource Discovery

Presented at the 1999 IEEE Metadata conference, this paper covers the concepts and general principles used by Isaac, and briefly discusses some of the technological choices made during its implementation.

Isaac Demonstration Search Page

A search page set up for testing on top of a cluster of Isaac nodes running at systems hosted by Scout and several European collaborators.


MathGuide, Lower Saxony State and University Library G?ttingen SSG-FI

GeoGuide, Lower Saxony State and University Library G?ttingen SSG-FI

InSite , Cornell Law Library

Infomine, University of California

Curricular Resource Library, Project CuRL

LSU Digital Library, Louisiana State University

BUBL LINK, BUBL Information Service

History Matters, City University of New York /George Mason University

Scriptorium, Duke University Libraries

Internet Pointer Guide, Technical Knowledge Center & Library of Denmark (DTV)

Energy & Environmental Information Resources Center (EEIRC), University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Librarians' Index to the Internet, Berkeley SunSITE

EdNA, Education Network Australia

Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library (EEVL), Heriot-Watt University Library

OMNI: Organising Medical Networked Information, University of Nottingham

SOSIG, UK Resource Discovery Network

AMICO, Art Museum Image Consortium

Internet Public Library, University of Michigan, School of Information

Marriage, Women and the Law, 1815-1914: Studies in Scarlet, Research Library Group

AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Minnesota Libraries

ELVIS!: Elec. Library Virtual Info. Services, Seneca College


Guardian Unlimited Books: Top 10s (Definitely British) 
There are a lot more than 10 listed.

Latest additions

Joan Smith: books for a more moral society

Howard Sounes: music biographies

Martin Gorst: science books


Anne Enright: slim volumes

Alison Hennegan: lesbian books

Niall Griffiths: books from Wales

Jeff Noon: fluid fiction

Matt Thorne: 'New Puritan' novels

Rob Grant: comedy science fiction

Gillian Slovo: South African books

Marian Keyes: relationship novels

William Sutcliffe: relationship novels

Michele Hanson: books about mothers and daughters

Robert McCrum: favourite books of the 20th century

Peter Ho Davies: short story collections

Kate Atkinson: favourite books

Joanna Trollope: 19th-century novels

Magnus Mills: favourite books

Tariq Ali: favourite books

Libby Brooks: novels by women

Jenny Colgan: comic novels

Jilly Cooper: favourite novels


Toby Litt: crime fiction

Mike Phillips: crime fiction


Andrew Motion: poetry collections


Peter Singer: books on ethics

Mary Warnock: books of philosophy

John Marenbon: books of philosophy


Professor Jean E Howard: books on Shakespeare

Adrian Poole: dramatic tragedies

Science fiction

Jon Courtenay Grimwood: cult science fiction

Norman Spinrad: favourite novels

Dick Jude: science fiction

Children's and teens

Jacqueline Wilson: children's books


David Walker and Polly Toynbee: books on New Labour

Alistair Beaton: New Labour bollocks

Hugo Young: books on the European Union

Ewen MacAskill: books on politics

Julian Critchley: favourite books

Jeffrey Archer: favourite political books

Derek Draper: favourite political books


Linda Grant: Jewish books

John Tusa: favourite books on culture


Alan Rusbridger: favourite books

Jon Snow: favourite books

Mohamed Al Fayed: favourite books

John Dugdale: media books

John Hegarty: books for would-be advertisers

Arts and entertainment

Steve Bell: comic books

Malcolm McLaren: favourite books

Mariella Frostrup: books most likely to impress...

Alex James: favourite books

Caroline Sullivan: books on rock and pop

Alice Nutter: music books

Science and nature

Susan Blackmore: favourite books

Tim Radford: science books

Computing and the net

Neil Rhodes and Jonathan Sawday: books about the internet

Robin Houston: books on programming

House and garden

Anthony Bourdain: books about food

Matthew Fort: classic cookbooks

Malcolm Gluck: books on wine


Simon Schama: popular history

Richard Vinen: history books


Jonathan Maitland: business books


Richard Gollner: how to get published


Gary Younge: travel books


Entertainment History
Bob Hope and American Variety --- 

Scot Petersen: Linux will never replace Windows or the Mac as an OS for the masses -- 


Civil Rights Center 



A database on international sports and athletics ---  --- 



From Information Week email on May 31, 2001


Compaq Walks E-Business Tightrope

Houston--Compaq knows what it's like to be an e-commerce outsider. For years, the computer maker has struggled to use the Internet to compete with direct seller Dell while maintaining its relationships with reseller partners.

Compaq now is convinced it can have it both ways. It's giving resellers Web tools to enhance the services they provide Compaq's enterprise customers, while attacking Dell by increasing its emphasis on direct Web sales. Compaq next month will introduce a portal that consolidates two existing Web sites that coordinate sales and support activities with partners.

"We see the definition of e-business as not just selling stuff on the Web or Webifying existing applications or giving customers instant access to information," said Compaq CIO Bob Napier. "It's about having an interactive collaboration between Compaq and its partners." 

Read on: 


Experience Washington (Travel, History, Art, and Entertainment)--- 

Living Edens: Costa Rica (PBS) ---

Turkey Guide (Travel) --- 


"Surgeons See into Their Patients," by Lori Valigra, MIT's Technology Review, May 25, 2001 --- 

The 3-D surgery system, called the Cbyon Suite, includes a personal computer, a high-resolution flat panel display, an optical tracking device and sophisticated software that helps guide a physician through neurosurgery, biopsies or other procedures.

"Surgeons usually look at images in 2-D and then imagine them in 3-D, which leaves it to the surgeon's knowledge of anatomy. Our system lets them see the anatomy in 3-D, giving the surgeon an extra level of confidence," says Ramin Shahidi, chief technology officer and founder of Cbyon. Shahidi is on leave from Stanford University, where he developed the Cbyon technology.

The Cbyon system has so far been used for ear, nose and throat operations, as well as brain and spinal surgeries. In the future, the company hopes new technologies like 3-D ultrasound will make the system useful for soft tissue operations, such as heart or breast procedures.


This site would like to send you a one-minute learning video each and every day.
Icuna --- 


A study of time billing for library research 

Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends May 29, 2001

Palm, Inc. a provider of mobile and wireless Internet solutions and handheld computers, and West Group, a provider of e-infor-mation and solutions to the U.S. legal market, are working with Stanford University's Law School on a six-month wireless hand- held technology initiative. The 50-person student and faculty program is part of the school's overall wireless initiative and allows law school students to communicate, research, pre- pare for exams, and manage their studies remotely. West Group is providing wireless access to Westlaw legal research service, and six e-book titles that will give students remote access to frequently used legal information. West Group and other soft- ware companies--PDA Verticals, Ury Fischer Esq., NearSpace, Town Compass and providing legal, Stanford- specific and time-and-billing software. The initiative incorporates a three-month training program and a number of focus groups.

For more information, visit


Connected Learning Solution:  WebCT  Update
Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends May 29, 2001

Partnership Provides Integrated Connected Learning Solution

SCT, WebCT, and Campus Pipeline, Inc.--the three companies that earlier joined forces to create the Product Integration Alliance--have announced the availability of their Connected Learning Solution. The Connected Learning Solution is a pro- duct suite that integrates all major campus technologies so that colleges and universities can improve student services, simplify and reduce the time to deploy technologies, and streamline administrative processes. The Connected Learning Solution combines information, systems, learning tools, on- line services, and communication tools through a single point of access for all campus constituents. It provides access to personalized information, online courses and other e-learning resources, administrative services, community information, and communication tools.

For more information, visit


Math/Science Newsletter
The Spring 2001 issue of the Math/Science Online newsletter is now available at . This issue contains reviews of two mathematics software packages for teaching: LiveMath, and ODE Architect.

Net pirates nab TV episodes from the sky --- 

The open deserts of Nevada are perfect for double-wide trailers, 10-foot satellite dishes--and getting tomorrow's TV shows today.

For years, a dwindling crowd of tech-savvy satellite TV subscribers has had the ability to tap freely into the satellite streams meant for affiliate TV stations, seeing shows such as "Star Trek: Voyager" or "The Simpsons" days before the rest of the country. The TV networks have done little to stop this because few people were affected.

But now these "pre-air" shows have started appearing on the Internet and are being traded like songs were in the early days of MP3 music--a practice known as TVRip.

Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies --- 

Intel on Tuesday quietly announced the commercial availability of its first 64-bit processor, a major milestone in a seven-year development effort --- 

Piet Mondrian: The Transatlantic Paintings --- 

Country Music Hall of Fame --- 

A new law, mandating that the federal government make its websites accessible to the handicapped, could result in better access and awareness within the private sector, too. But it won't come cheaply ---,1283,44062,00.html 


A Case of Stolen Identity Clay Shirky on cheap and easy Web heists --- 

Fictional identities are like stock bubbles, in that they tend to collapse rather than deflate. The end for Dennis Lee, Internet Superstar, was swift: An investigation of his activities by Jennifier Lien of the Singapore Business Times, tipped off by some of Mr. Lee's former colleagues, coupled with confirmation from MIT, ATT, FEED, and others that neither his writings nor his awards were genuine, led to an article exposing the fiction. As a result, the sites featuring his résumés, articles, and books vanished, and the real Mr. Lee was suspended from active duties at elpiva while the CEO digested news of the disappearance of the Dennis Lee he thought he employed.

It's tempting to think that what the Net giveth the Net taketh away, so that the ease of creating faked identities is balanced by the ease of finding them out -- in Mr. Lee's case, plagiarism that was performed in Singapore was no further from its pilfered sources than a Google search. The real lesson is more daunting, however. In the digital world, where identity is easy to fake and easy to spot, hustlers with short-term time horizons can do much more damage with much less effort than they can offline, since the Net makes it trivial to create a seemingly legitimate site with seemingly legitimate articles, backed up by seemingly legitimate images of seemingly legitimate awards. Stephen Glass, the infamous -- and former -- reporter, once created a Web site for Jukt Microelectronics, a fictional company, to bolster an entirely fabricated story. But Dennis Lee has gone him one better, showing that you can fool more people by creating fake degrees, awards, and even colleagues at real institutions, and still get away with it for a while.


KnowThis Marketing Virtual Library --- 


*Basics Ad Agencies, Ad Examples ...
Internet Advertising
*Basics, Banner Ads, Rich Media Rates...
Media Issues
*General, Media Ratings & Research...
Public Relations
*General, PR Directories ...
Sales Promotion

Academic Research
*Funding/Grants, Journals, Institutes...
Higher Education
*Departments, Schools, Distance Education...
*Professional Education/Training...
Students & Teachers
*Competitions, Groups, Teaching Ideas...

General Resources
Basics, Principles & How-To's
*Online Articles, Basics, History...
Definitions & Terms
*Web Dictionaries & Glossaries...
*Marketing Plans, Business Help...
*Current Marketing News, News Portals...

Groups & Meetings
Conferences, Meetings, Trade Shows
*Academic, Meeting Locators...
Online Discussion Groups, Forums
*Marketing Groups, Group Locators...
Group, Organization Locators
*Academic, Professional, Others...

Internet Marketing & E-Commerce
Definitions & Terms
*Web Dictionaries & Glossaries...
Electronic Commerce

*General., ResearchSmart Cards...
Internet & E-Commerce
*Basics, History, News & Information...
Internet Marketing
*Affiliate Programs, Email, Strategies...
Web Sites Strategies
*Search Engine Rankings, Design Promotion...
Market Research
Basics of Marketing Research
*General,Government & Demographic Data...
Company Information
*Annual Reports, Finding Company Info ...
*General, Business, Technology ...
Internet Marketing Research
*Reports, Summaries, Web Metrics & Stats...
Online Searching
*Databases, More Reports, Search Help...

Marketing Jobs & Careers
Career Help
*Marketing Careers, Job Hunting Advice...
Marketing Jobs
*Job Listings, Listing Services, Freelance...

Publications, Books & Journals
*Trade, Textbooks, Search Retailers...
*Academic, E-zines, Publishers, Trade...
Leading Publication Sites
*Academic, Print, Web Only...

Selling & Sales Mgmt
Personal Selling
*General, Sales Leads, Selling Aids...
Sales Management
*Manufacturers' Reps, Sales Training...
Sales Technology
*Sales Force Automation...

Consumer & Shopping Issues
Database Marketing
Direct Marketing & Direct Mail
International Marketing
Legal Information
Other Areas




Linux at IBM --- 


In recognition of its growing, worldwide user-base, we're proud to introduce the home of Linux at IBM. We're here to share information and bring you news on all the latest developments in the ever-evolving world of Linux.

Linux provides a revolutionary open source platform offering superior dependability and open expandability to support software innovation. We're proud to be a part of the Linux movement, and we look forward to working with the larger community to nurture Linux and to see it thrive.


The National Science Foundation will award scholarship money to computer security students who take government jobs upon graduation. Reactions are mixed ---,1383,44021,00.html 


Object-Oriented (Dynamic) Publishing


Veen transforms static pages into a dynamic site with its own database publishing system, then looks at how this process is changing how we design the Web --- 


In the pages that follow, I’ll show you a process that anyone can use to convert an existing site, made up of static HTML pages, into a dynamic, database-driven site. We’ll look at how to uncover the structure of your content, how to strip that content naked and push it through templates, and finally how this process is fundamentally changing how we design websites.

And remember: Size doesn’t matter. These principles apply to sites that have 100 pages as well as sites that have a million. In fact, the example we’ll use is a site for a small, non-profit organization.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it.


To see a sample, go to 


To illustrate how to build such a site, we're going to look at a small site from a Presbyterian church in San Francisco, California. I could have chosen a large-scale commercial content site, or an e-commerce powerhouse with a triple-digit stock price, but this site faces the same question as all the others: With limited staff and resources, how can this organization maintain a Web presence that can expand quickly yet still maintain a professional and organized look?


"Computers Will Save Us The Future According to James Martin," by Brad Lemley, Discover, June 2001 --- 

. . .when James Martin makes a forecast, people listen— and his prophecies today are even more astounding. In a new book, After the Internet: Alien Intelligence, Martin insists that we are on the cusp of a discontinuous leap in what computers can do and that the changes coming, properly guided, will lead us all to a land of milk and honey. "It's not just a question of computers becoming more powerful but rather of their developing a different kind of intelligence," says Martin, watching the longtails swoop over his mansion on a private 7-acre island in Bermuda. Computers are already beginning to operate more like the human brain, he says, and that will accelerate. The surprise is that although they'll be a lot smarter than we are, it won't be an intelligence to fear.

"We will have machines that are a billion times more intelligent than we are, but only in narrow, specific ways," Martin says. "In the 1960s and 1970s, the artificial-intelligence people kept telling us over and over again that in 20 years computers would be as intelligent as people. Yet nothing like that has been achieved. We grossly underestimated the complexity and subtleties of the human mind. We cannot now get close to programming what a mosquito does, much less a human being."

We must abandon the false promise of artificial intelligence— the general term for technologies that aim to emulate human cognition— and understand, embrace, and exploit the alien nature of computer thinking, says Martin. There will be close, synergistic partnerships with machines, but the machines will do what they're good at and people will do what they're good at. Humans will undertake creative tasks, leaving the drudgery of realizing them to evolved computers that are simultaneously mysterious, powerful, and oddly naive. Martin likens them to human idiot savants, and as such, he believes we can keep them under control— "a person with general intelligence will always find ways to control a person without such intelligence."

Good thing, too, says Martin, who has no patience for those who believe technology has made our lives worse. "We have now put ourselves in a position where, if we wanted to return to nature, nature could feed only about 500 million people on Earth. Without technology, we could not feed the 6 billion we are feeding now, much less the 9 billion who will be living on this planet by 2050. We are forced to play God, and we are forced to be good at it." If we fail, the results will be catastrophic. But if we succeed, he says, per capita income and individual net worth will soar around the globe. "It's like the child's story of Aladdin's lamp. We are the first generation that can work miracles. We've got the technology to make whatever we wish for."

Such predictions are backed up by credentials as imposing as Martin's 6-foot-5-inch frame. Now 67, he was the father of computer-aided systems engineering (CASE), a fundamental breakthrough in the 1980s that automated software development. Multinational CEOs and other corporate Brahmins still pay him up to $35,000 a day to tell them what the future will bring and apparently find it money well spent. Martin has started a half-dozen wildly successful software and consulting companies, including James Martin Associates, which brought Microsoft founder Bill Gates to Bermuda in 1990 to try to buy it. (Martin declined: "The company was growing. I saw no point in selling.")

Spam is everywhere, and nothing can be done about it -- even though some very smart and powerful people are fighting it ---,1272,44095,00.html 

See also:
Spam, Or Just Glad to See Me?
This Spam Will Drive You Crazy
SEC Attacks Online Scammers
Use a Spam, Go to Prison
Cooking Up a Revised Spam Bill
Mind your own Business news

Consumers won't be able to sue companies that disregard requests to delete their names from spam lists, according to a bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee ---,1848,44065,00.html 

History of grocery stores and supermarkets.  (American History)
The name of the site is Did You Bring Bottles? --- 

With the release of Office XP, many network managers have been given the mandate to determine if this new version provides more useful collaborative capabilities and benefits for workgroups. NewMedia examines the new software. 

Also see 

It's hard to muster enthusiasm for Office XP ---,11011,2767064,00.html 

Other experts argue that it is easy to muster enthusiasm for Office XP.  The advances in Microsoft's latest incarnation of Office are mostly cosmetic, but form follows function nicely and the effect is that it's more user-friendly than ever ---,1452,44236,00.html 

Overall, Office XP continues to be evolutionary, not revolutionary, but the evolution is thorough and quite good. Microsoft does know how to improve a product, you have to give it that much. (IE 2.0, anybody?)

There is the controversial Activation Key that some people may cry foul over, but I even got to test that after having to reinstall Windows 2000 and Office XP again, and it went without a hitch.

Office XP Standard Edition, which is everything but Access, costs $239 for the upgrade version and $479 for the full version. Office XP Professional Edition is $329 for the upgrade and $579 for new users.

See also:
Pirates Experience Office XP
MS Office Helper Not Dead Yet
MS Users May Experience Pain
MS Monopolizes U.K. Gov't Site

What does the search engine landscape look like now, and what services should be included in a good search engine positioning campaign? 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

Free estate planning helpers from a Georgia law firm --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on personal finance are at 

Big guns take aim at Aimster --- 

The big legal guns in an Albany, N.Y., courtroom Wednesday were aimed squarely at Aimster, embroiling the most popular Napster clone in a similar legal battle.

Aimster faced the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and a Nashville song publisher in the first of what may be a long series of court appearances.

Run by former computer programmer Johnny Deep, 43, and daughter Aimee, 16, Aimster piggybacks on America Online's instant messaging program to let users share files with "buddies." Its software has been downloaded by 5 million users, Deep says.

Also see 

The Aimster homepage is at 

New techniques are making the Gnutella file-sharing network flourish, but may also dent some key benefits, New Scientist, May 30, 2001 --- 

New techniques are making the Gnutella file-sharing network flourish, but may be taking away the key benefits of pure peer-to-peer networking.

The peak number of simultaneous Gnutella users reached more than 40,000 in May, according to a monitoring company called Clip2. This is 20 times more than could originally connect to the network.

In peer-to-peer networking, each desktop computer both provides and receives information, i.e. it acts as both a server and a client. The approach was first made famous by the controversial music file sharing service, Napster. Napster's system allows computers to serve and retrieve music files but it still relies on central servers to find the files.

Gnutella was designed to create a more pure peer-to-peer network. The first version removed the need for Napster's central servers by sending requests for files to every computer on the network. In practice, however, this overloaded the network when more than a few thousand users were connected.

Ironically, Gnutella is now moving back to a system reminiscent of Napster. Recent refinements to Gnutella and related software reduce the burden on the network by stopping clients with slow connections acting as servers. Instead, proxy servers - called reflectors - host information for the slower clients and reduce the overall strain on the network.

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P networking can be found at 

A North Carolina accounting firm has agreed to pay a fine of $23,229 for piracy of Microsoft software. Following an anonymous tip to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the firm performed a self-audit in which it was determined that the firm did not have licenses for all of the copies of Microsoft software in use. Is the BSA coming to your town? 

Amidst the talk of tax rebates, new credits, increased deductions, and other benefits, there is some tax news that is not being well-received in corporate America. 

Big Five firm Ernst & Young is ready to become the first Big Five accounting firm to open a law office in New York. This is the second such alliance for Ernst & Young. 

The latest move by E&Y to branch out in the legal profession begs the question: What is the future of multidisciplinary practices in this country? Bobby R. Creech, Jr., CPA, partner in Webster Rogers & Company LLP, and 2000 President of the South Carolina Association of CPAs offers his perspective on this timely issue. 

If Sherlock Holmes dealt in credit card fraud, he'd search for patterns, knowing that criminals, like all of us, are creatures of habit. Well, that's exactly what a fraud-busting software program does ---,1272,44203,00.html 

David takes you on a meet-and-greet of JavaServer Pages, revealing basic JSP syntax, browser-sniffing code, and the differences between ASP and JSP along the way --- 

From the last (and final) edition of the Scout Report for Business and Economics on May 31, 2001

Interactive Index of Economic Freedom 

The Heritage Foundation, along with the _Wall Street Journal_, presents the Interactive Index of Economic Freedom, a tremendous database offering detailed reference information about economic policy for 161 countries. The search feature provides a variety of options for searching the database and organizing the results including sorting the results alphabetically or by rank. Along with a simple search, users can search by country or region and compare that with another region, or sort by policy factors including fiscal burden, banking, black market, and trade policy. Six years of past scores are also available here. The results are presented in an easy-to-read list with comparable features and scores, as well as a detailed snapshot overview of economic information for each of the countries. This useful database will be of great value to those interested in country-to-country comparisons of economic policy.

Commodity Fetish Times 

This Website offers a wry and accessible look at Marxist theory, especially Marx' theory of commodity as spectacle. The site is dressed up with images of Betty Boop and puckering lips. However, its breakdown of Marxist theory is actually quite clear and easy-to-understand. Commodity Fetish Times (CFT) also includes updates and watches transnational corporate globalization and worker resistance. CFT provides several helpful links pages to Marxist theory, works councils, and globalization. The site was created in 1997, the year of the dancing, animated gif, so it tends to be a little slow to load. Nonetheless, for those looking for an introduction to commodity and Marxism, Commodity Fetish Times will be a good place to start.

Family Life and Work Experience before 1918: An oral history research


This is a resource site rather than a time-specific workshop.
Online Small Business Workshop 

Bob Jensen's links for small businesses can be found at 

Why don't I find this surprising?
The British government and Microsoft have brought all government-related 
services onto the Internet -- unfortunately, the site only works for 
users running IE ---,1367,44186,00.html 

EbXML will allow companies that use older data-exchangetechnology to start using the new XML software, which is
cheaper and more flexible --- 

May 29th Memorial Day edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. --- 

1. Digital Reporting and XBRL in New Jersey 
2. Building a Real Time Enterprise: Gartner Group 
4. Remembering Pearl Harbor Web Site Launched 
5. XBRL Featured Topic at Summer Conferences 
6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

Hi Janet,

I wonder how many professions would show a decline if they added one more year of costly and stressful education for license to enter into the profession? Suppose one more year was added to become a nurse, a lawyer, a physician, a teacher, and an engineer? Since most states added one more year beyond the bachelors degree to sit for the CPA examination, I think the main problem lies in the turmoil of employers, parents, colleges, and students themselves in a transition that will take at least another decade to work its way into some sort of steady state in the accountancy profession.

I also think the problem lies somewhat changed attitudes of young people who have lived since kindergarten in a grade-inflated education system that takes the sweat out of learning. Accountancy is a sweat if you really take pride in knowing it well. Young people today want to make twice as much annual income as their moms and dads while they (the youths) are still warming up for the race.

You can read my take on "Advantages of Working in Public Accounting" at 

Also see 

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Janet Flatley []  
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:04 AM 
To: 'Prof. R. Jensen' Subject: Studies show an alarming decline in students majoring in the once -thriving field of accounting

Good morning Professor - the news remains bleak concerning decline in accounting students. But I've got to believe that the smart ones in academe are coming up with innovative approaches to solving the problem.

Janet Flatley AVP-Controller 1st Fed S&L Assn Pt Angeles WA (360) 417-3104


The Waiter's Revenge --- 


I can understand why Dave Shiflett is snubbed as a graduation speaker.


Listen Up, Punks!  Forwarded by Chaplain (Retired) Bill Simpson
This might have been titled The Teacher's Revenge

By Dave Shiflett

For the 45th consecutive year, I have been snubbed as a graduation speaker, which is beginning to take on the appearance of a conspiracy. Despite all that, however, I continue to pen a yearly address, and for any speaker who finds him- or herself short of material, the following can be quoted for free and without attribution (as is the standing habit of most public speakers, I have come to understand):

My dear graduates:

Greetings from the real world, which awaits you with drawn daggers.

Yes, I know you have been told that after you leave these hallowed halls, you will remake the world in your own image because you are so smart, so dedicated, and so full of vital energy. I do not blame you for believing this.

Your parents have brought you up this way. From the day you were born, you were groomed to glory. You went to the best schools. You joined the best soccer teams. You went to mind-enhancement classes. You ate lots of fish and kelp.

As you advanced, your cheerleaders in the press sustained these hopes and dreams. So have your guidance counselors, and many of the faculty at this once-great institution. All told, boys and girls, you've had enough smoke blown up your butts to block the midday sun.

The job before you today is to perish those thoughts, each and every one. Line them up against your inner cranial walls and mow them down. For here is the central fact of your existence: The world will grind you up, spit you out, and feed the scraps to the pigeons.

I hear a slight groaning from the bleachers. Mom and dad, in their inimitable shorthand, are saying "Oh no. The cat's out of the bag!"

Bless them. They have only tried to do what they think is best. In many cases, they have struggled and sacrificed on your behalf, or on what they thought was your behalf. They read the latest child-rearing manifestos, and applied their principles with great devotion. They went without so that you could have it all. In short, they made you the center of the universe, because they loved you and wanted to protect you from the many brutalities this universe holds.

Yet the cold, hard, invasive fact is, boys and girls, you are not the center of the universe. Quite the contrary. The universe views you as a collection of pampered freaks. It has been waiting to exact its revenge. And now the day has come.

Prepare to meet thy doom.

Yet I also bring you glad tidings, for great glories do await you. These are real glories, true glories, hard-earned glories -- but they are probably not the ones you were expecting. As the great Hindu saying puts it: The pigeon craps far from the cornfield. Life is very likely to turn out a lot different than you were counting on.

This is as it must be. For those who doubt, let me pose a question. What kind of world would we have if the dreams of children tended to come true? These are the dreams of the inexperienced, the self-infatuated, the ignorant. That these dreams have been nurtured by parents, valets, success consultants and other members of the household staff does not change their basic, corrupt nature.

The real world has little use for them.

But the world does have use for you -- once your hollow gaudiness has been pruned and burned away. That process will probably take time, and will no doubt extract many tears. It may send you to exotic posts, scorch you with diverse flames, and bite you with the force of bitter plagues. You will be like Moses after his trek through the wilderness, beaten to the marrow.

Then will come your transformation, and you will become a true child of the universe ­ the glorious product of its fearful and glorious caress. You will rise up early, and do great deeds that, in your present state of mental imbalance, seem humble and insignificant. You will meet a payroll, perhaps of only a few people. You will help a child with his mathematics, or her reading. You will rescue a dog from a cruel master. These are the great things, on which is built the foundation of a struggling humanity.

However, I must warn that a few of you will be denied all this. You will be the ones who leave here and take that long-awaited job at the big firm. You will quickly make the world your footstool, and in all other ways confirm the suspicion that some people were simply destined to be creeps.

You know who you are.

May God have mercy on your soul, and may he also grant you a spiteful wife, grasping mistresses, hateful children, and loose-boweled pets.

Thank you, and could I have my check now? 

Dave Shiflett is a writer in Midlothian, Virginia.

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling

I thought you would like these for your New Bookmarks!

The Washington Post published a contest for readers in which they were asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following were some of the winning entries:

Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.

Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.

And let's add ... Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.

Forwarded by Dr. Wolff

Pebble Beach

A golfer who was well into his golden years had a lifelong ambition to play one hole at Pebble Beach, California, the way the pros do it. The pros drive the ball out over the water onto the green that is on a spit of land that just out off the coast.

It was something he had tried hundreds of times without success. His ball always fell short, into the water. Because of this he never used a new ball on this particular hole. He always picked out one that had a cut or a nick.

One year he went out to Pebble Beach to try again. When he came to the fateful hole, he teed up an old cut ball and said a silent prayer. Before he hit it, however, a powerful voice from above said, "WAIT. REPLACE THAT OLD BALL WITH A BRAND NEW BALL."

He complied, with some slight misgiving, despite the fact that the Lord seemed to be implying that He was going to let him finally achieve his lifelong ambition.

As he stepped up to the tee once more, the voice came down again, "WAIT. STEP BACK. TAKE A PRACTICE SWING."

So he stepped back and took a practice swing. The voice boomed out again:, "TAKE ANOTHER PRACTICE SWING."

He did. Silence followed. Then the voice spoke out again, "PUT THE OLD BALL BACK."

Forwarded by Walter Bernards


The Lone Ranger and Tonto are camping in the desert. They set up their tent, and are asleep. Some hours later, The Lone Ranger wakes his faithful friend.  "Tonto, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."    

Tonto replies, "Me see millions of stars."    

"What does that tell you?" asked The Lone Ranger.    

Tonto ponders for a minute.  "Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions    of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.  Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three.    Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.  Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow."       

"What it tell you, Kemo Sabi?"       

The Lone Ranger is silent for a moment, then speaks.       

"Tonto, you ignoramus, what the stars are telling us is that someone stole our tent."   

Forwarded by Dr. D
(When I read this it seemed that the same thing could be done with the diffusion of research outcomes to various levels in the education system.  For example, middle school textbooks are riddled with politically correct errors.)

DIRECTIVE TO HIS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS: "Tomorrow evening at approximately 20-00 hours Halley's Comet will be visible in this area; an event which occurs only every 75 years. Have the men fall out in the battalion area infatigues, and I will explain this rare phenomenon to them. In case of rain, we will not be able to see anything, so assemble the men in the theater and I will show them films of it."

EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO COMPANY COMMANDER: "By order of the Colonel, tomorrow at 20-00 hours, Halley's Comet will appear above the battalion area. If it rains, fall the men out in fatigues, then march to the theater where this rare phenomenon will take place, something which occurs only once every 75 years."

COMPANY COMMANDER TO LIEUTENANT: "By order of the Colonel be in fatigues at 20-00 hours tomorrow evening. The phenomenal Halley's Comet will appear in the theater. In case of rain in the battalion area, the Colonel will give another order, something which occurs once every 75 years."

LIEUTENANT TO SERGEANT: "Tomorrow at 20-00 hours, the Colonel will appear in the theater with Halley's comet, something which happens every 75 years. If it rains, the Colonel will order the comet into the battalion area."

SERGEANT TO SQUAD: "When it rains tomorrow at 20-00 hours, the phenomenal 75-year-old General Halley, accompanied by the Colonel, will drive his comet through the battalion area theater in fatigues."

Also forwarded by Dr. Wolff

Moral of the Story

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Kathy said, "My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg-laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the pickup when we hit a bump in the road and all the eggs went flying and broke and made a mess."

"And what's the moral of the story?" asked the teacher. "Don't put all your eggs in one basket!" "Very good," said the teacher.

Next little Lucy raised and hand and said, "Our family are farmers too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. We had a dozen eggs one time, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks and the moral to this story is, don't count your chickens until they're hatched."

"That was a fine story Lucy. Johnny, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes, ma'am, my daddy told me this story about my Aunt Karen. Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in Desert Storm and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whiskey, a machine gun and a machete. She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets, then she killed twenty more with the machete till the blade broke and then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."

"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher, "what kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?"

"Stay the hell away from Aunt Karen when she's been drinking."


There are more students of English in China than there are people in the United States.
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way, as quoted in an email message from Ivan Herman


Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman's apparel is clearly asking to be mangled.
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way, as quoted in an email message from Ivan Herman


As I was told by a great Spanish teacher I had in Jr. High, "Spanish is a language of rules with few exceptions. English is a language of exceptions with few rules"
McFadden Jr., John L. [

Japanese Engrish -(not a politically correct and somewhat objectionable site that also has some funny tidbits) --- 

My advice to Dick Haar's wife (Gerry) when he croaks at his computer --- Hire a lawyer in the the State of Washington! 
Forwarded by Dick Haar.

Let's see if I understand how America works lately . . .

If a woman burns her thighs on the hot coffee she was holding in her lap while driving, she blames the restaurant.

If your teen-age son kills himself, you blame the rock 'n' roll music or musician he liked.

If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer, your family blames the tobacco company.

If your daughter gets pregnant by the football captain you blame the school for poor sex education.

If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, you blame the bartender.

If your cousin gets AIDS because the needle he used to shoot up with heroin was dirty, you blame the government for not providing clean ones.

If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.

If your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.

And if a crazed person breaks into a cockpit and tries to kill the pilots at 35,000 feet, and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the deceased blames the airline.

I must have lived too long to understand the world as it is anymore. So if I die while my old, wrinkled butt is parked in front of this computer, I want you to blame Bill Gates, OK?

Forwarded by Dr D

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there". The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is Heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."

Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word, maybe this could explain:

"When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do -- you forward jokes.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.

When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes."

"And to let you know that: you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke from me."

"So my friend, next time if you get a joke, don't think that I have sent you just a joke, but that I have thought of you today and wanted to send you a smile." :-] 

Memo From God (sort of a guilt trip) --- 

Entertainment History
Bob Hope and American Variety --- 

From Dr. Wolff

For all of you on this Memorial Day.  Dick & Sybil

And that's the way it was on June 4, 2001 with a little help from my friends.


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


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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May 25, 2001

Quotes of the Week

Three hallmarks of our time:

1. Technology that brings people together;
2. The fact that we are REALLY becoming ONE world; the coming together of our global economy;
3. The power of free markets not only is clearly demonstrated but actually increasing in importance.

Lawrence Summers, the President-elect of Harvard University and former Secretary of Treasury
(See below)

Harvard University now spends $US8 million per year to maintain the online delivery of programs in its Business School 
MacColl, J. 1999, "Platform on a Pedestal," Times Higher Education Supplement October 1 


What Students Want is Not Necessarily What They Need
Bob Jensen (See below)

Results from our project suggest that to raise the quality of the educational experience, significant changes in pedagogy will be necessary. Our belief is that the key to this is to find ways to exploit the ability of the technologies to provide a more flexible learning experience. The flexibility of time-on-task provided by asynchronous techniques is obvious. However, other dimensions of flexibility might include flexibility of media (text vs. graphics vs. audio/video for example) as well as flexibility of course content. For many courses, there is more than one acceptable set of content and more than one acceptable sequencing of content as well. Asynchronously delivered material in multimedia format has the potential of providing a customized, possibly even unique, educational experience to each student based on his or her educational goals, background, and experience. Currently however, we would argue that no one knows how to do this well.
Conclusions of the ADEPT Program at Stanford University (See below)

Finally, motivation can be imparted to the student in a variety of ways. Highly motivating professors are not necessarily the most exuberant or gregarious or witty. The behind-the-scenes efforts of a quiet but dedicated professor, in assembling supplementary material or following up students' questions will also demonstrate to the students the professor's concern. In small classes it is possible to come to know and motivate each student individually. Yet in large classes where this is impossible, an "intimate bond" with the class is still achieved if the students in the back row come to know, through the indirect manner Oakeshott describes, that the professor is concerned that they learn.
University of Illinois Report (See Wow Report of the Week below)

A lot of people approach risk as if it's the enemy when it's really fortune's accomplice.
Sting in A Man's Journey to Simple Abundance

God made man because he loves stories.
Elie Wiesel, The Gates of the Forest

There are more students of English in China than there are people in the United States.
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way, as quoted in an email message from Ivan Herman

     Rather than technology destroying borders, the tendency seems to be to establish ‘traditional’ international campuses. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is partnering with two Singapore universities to set up a branch campus, and several of Australia’s universities, especially Monash and RMIT, have also pursued this approach. Other institutions combine distance education with block teaching as the basis of their international efforts. This strategy may be considered high risk for all but a few brand name universities.
     Nevertheless, there are some estimates that the number of online higher education subjects available worldwide will be more than a million within a few years (Hibbs 1999). Indeed, the US Education Department’s America’s Learning Exchange already lists nearly one million online subjects. The 1999 Campus Computing Survey of 557 two-and four-year colleges and universities shows that the percentage of college courses using Web resources in the syllabus rose from 10.9 per cent in 1995 to 33.1 per cent in 1998 and 38.9 per cent in 1999, and that more than one quarter of all college courses (28.1 per cent) have a Web page, compared to 22.5 per cent in 1998 and 9.2 per cent in 1996 (Green 1999). Harvard University now spends $US8 million per year to maintain the online delivery of programs in its Business School alone (MacColl 1999). Various US-based web sites exist, with names implying global reach , such as the Globewide Network Academy and the World Lecture Hall, providing gateways to many online college and university subjects. However, Web pages are not subjects, and subjects are not coherent courses.  Many of these online subjects are only accessible to students enrolled in the particular institution.

Quoted from Assignment Berlin, pp. 78-79 (See Assignment 2 below)

Assignment Berlin --- Special Event 2 (Jensen), Saturday , June 23,  2:00 p.m., Humboldt-Universitat
Conference on Cross-Border Business Combinations and Alliances 


Assignment 1:  
For those of you planning to attend my session, please download the very rough draft of a working document called "Bob Jensen's Threads on Cross-Border (Transnational) Training and Education," --- 


Assignment 2:  
For those of you planning to attend my session, please download and become somewhat familiar with the following free book.

The Business of Borderless Education
, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000).  Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- 

Acknowledgments viii
Research Team.ix
Abbreviations and acronyms.x

Executive summary xii

1 The brief and methodology 1

1.1 The brief 1
1.2 Methodology 2
1.2.1 Selection of interviewees 3
1.2.2 Interview protocols 7
1.2.3 Timeline 7
1.2.4 Dissemination 8

2 Corporate, for-profit and virtual universities and the emergence of the corporatised universities 9

2.1 Introduction .9
2.2 The corporate university  12
2.3 The for-profit university 15
2.4 The virtual university 16
2.5 The traditional university 17
2.6 The emergence of corporate and virtual universities18
2.7 The corporatised university 23
3 New providers 27

3 New Products

3.1 Exemplar organisations 27

3.1.1 Corporate universities

McDonalds Hamburger University 27
Ford 28
Microsoft 32

3.1.2 For-profit universities 32

University of Phoenix 32
DeVry Inc. and Keller Graduate School of Management 35
Sylvan Learning Systems Inc 36

3.1.3 Public/corporate universities 38

USAF Air University 38
US Army 39

3.2 Contextual organisations 39

3.2.1 Corporatised arms of traditional universities 40

New York Universityonline 40
University of Maryland University College 41

3.2.2 Regulatory and government organisation 42
3.2.3 Virtual universities 45

Western Governors University 45
National Technology University 47
Christian University GlobalNet 49
Michigan Virtual/Michigan Virtual Automotive College.50
Jones International University 51

3.3 Labour organisation 52

The National Education Association 52

3.4 Service companies 53

Corporate Universities Xchange 53
Gartner Group 53

3.5 Corporate universities 54

Sears Universities 54
Disney University 55
General Electric 56
Sun Microsystems Educational Services 58
Digital Education Systems 60
Motorola University 60

3.6 Other US developments in corporate, for-profit and distance education .62

3.6.1 Auxilliary organisations 64

3.7 Australian organisations investigated  69

Coles Institute 69
Melbourne University Private 71

4 Trends and issues in higher education 75

4.1 Major trends 75

4.1.1 The business of education 75
4.1.2 The borderlessness of education 77
4.1.3 The rise of new providers 79

Corporate universities 79
Virtual universities 82
For-profit universities 83

4.2 Operations of the new providers 84

4.2.1 Mission and purpose 84
4.2.2 Governance and culture 87
4.2.3 Curriculum and content 90
4.2.4 Students and staffing 93
4.2.5 Technology 96

4.3 Issues 101

4.3.1 The business of education 101
4.3.2 Borderless education 103
4.3.3 International trade agreement and higher education 106
4.3.4 Mission and purpose 109
4.3.5 Governance and culture 109
4.3.6 Curriculum 110
4.3.7 Students and staffing 115
4.3.8 Technology 122

5 Implications for Australian higher education 125

5.1 Introduction 125
5.2 Potential for development of corporate and virtual universities in Australia 125

5.2.1 Technology and borderless education 126
5.2.2 Corporate universities 129
5.2.3 Publicly-driven virtual universities 132
5.2.4 For-profit providers 133

5.3 Policy implications for Australian postsecondary education 136

5.3.1 Recognition and regulation 138
5.3.2 Cross-sectoral issues 144
5.3.3 Equity and access issues 146
5.3.4 Institutional academic and staffing policies 148

Appendix A 155
Appendix B 165
References 313

Distance Education Corporations Up the Competition for Faculty
Placement Add in the Accounting Review, April 2001 --- 
Normally such adds are from colleges and universities seeking accounting faculty.  This is a corporate add for "Advisory Faculty."  

UNext, committed to building the world’s premier online university and to providing top-quality education to working adults worldwide, invites candidates with strong leadership skills to apply for their Advisory Faculty staff to help manage online instructors. Advisory Faculty are accountable for the operations and overall quality of course delivery for a team of faculty. They guide Adjunct Faculty on content-related questions that arise in course delivery. The ideal candidate will have 5 years of relevant work experience, some teaching experience, along with a graduate or post-graduate degree in Business. The candidate must demonstrate strong organizational, management, analytical, and communication skills as well as technological savvy. Visit our web site at Please reference the discipline number when submitting your resume by email to : Corporate Finance #01-000511, Accounting #01-000512, Marketing #01-000513, Data Mining #01-000514. UNext is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

UNext Corporation owns Cardean University and has partnered with five prestigious universities (Carnegie-Mellon, Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, and the London School of Economics) to deliver online courses owned and controlled by those universities. Among other things, UNext has partnered with General Motors to deliver training and education courses to 88,000 GM managers and executives.  

One such members of the UNext Advisory Faculty (Steve Orpurt who is now completing his accounting Ph.D. at the University of Chicago) and Don Wortham (Executive Director, For-Credit Programs at will be making presentations on authoring and delivery systems at the August 11 CPE No. 1 session at the American Accounting Association annual meetings in Atlanta --- 

They Blazed the Trail for Distance Education (History) by James Gooch --- 

In this paper on trends in continuing education the author, who was formerly program information director for outreach services at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, reviews delivery systems that have made distance education possible and practical. The review begins with the introduction of correspondence study classes for off-campus students in 1891 and extends to today's computerized and satellite-delivered systems that make extension classes available to adult students worldwide.

From FEI Express, May 24, 2001 --- 

Lawrence Summers, the President-elect of Harvard University and former Secretary of Treasury, talked about what's new in the "New Economy" and how those innovations have contributed to the overall success of the global economy.

Three hallmarks of our time: 1. Technology that brings people together; 2. The fact that we are REALLY becoming ONE world; the coming together of our global economy; 3. The power of free markets not only is clearly demonstrated but actually increasing in importance.

Summers also talked about the dramatic shift in capital allocation arising from shareholder activism in the late '80s and through the '90s. He spoke about how the shift of investors' dollars from unresponsive, under-performing management teams to venture capitalists and private equity investment groups drove the dramatic stock market performance in the '90s. Our capacity for creative destruction and reallocation of capital underlies the ability to do this. Further, U.S. companies have been the most aggressive in seeking out opportunities abroad.

As to the future, he joked that economists are often advised to name a date or name a number, but not both. How quickly the inventories are worked off is one key. Summers thinks they were worked down nicely in the first quarter of this year, which bodes well for the balance of the year. Equipment investment will be weak for some time, in his view. There is still excess capacity and there is equipment being sold off from busted companies at pennies on the dollar. Therefore, investment will lag. Consumer spending is the final key component. Summers thinks that most likely we will just barely avoid a technical recession, but sluggish consumption and investment will continue for three quarters. He thinks the tax cut is too small in the near term to have any impact on the short-term economy.

The tax cut, in his view, will not help in the current economy, and he thinks it's a big mistake in the long run. In his opinion, there is a significant risk, and we can't afford it. Smaller surpluses will lead to higher interest costs. He thinks it will put us back into deficit spending. Second, we can't be sure what the surplus or deficit will be in five or ten years. The error band around the forecasts five years from now has a width of $600 billion. He thinks we shouldn't lock in long-term cuts with that kind of uncertainty.

Globally, Japan is on the downslide again. It must resolve the "mother-of-all" banking crisis before its economy can rebound. Europe faces a real risk of diminished expectations, feeling that 3% growth is just fine. However, Mexico is a bright spot and appears poised for growth in his view. India and China are experiencing substantial growth, while China's growth, is decelerating and India's is accelerating. Brazil is looking at important elections in 2002 that show worrisome signs of turmoil.

For the long run, his view is that we are in a period of remarkable opportunity, but will be challenged in the short term.

Summers emphasized that the US should care more about what happens around the world than we have historically. We are shifting to a world economy and therefore, he feels, we should spend more resources to promote the raw materials for capitalism around the world - an educated population and a culture that has the rule of law - respect for property rights and enforceable contracts - are the raw materials of capitalism.

He mocked the talk of our new economy's improved "scientific control" of inventory. Summers feels the truth is, in rapid expansion periods, that companies press to get more product out, then overbuy from the suppliers, getting stuck when the inevitable slowdown comes. It happens over and over again.

The great expansion of the 90s came with little price increases for companies. He credited the availability of imported products and the overall increase in competition in our economy with keeping a lid on prices. More knowledge-based products that are easily transportable have also provided price restraints.

The Chronicle of Education articles on Distance Education --- 
Subscription Required to view the full articles.

Lifelong Learning at Oxford University --- 

DACE aims to widen access to University provision to the community at large. It achieves this through provision by its own academic staff and by enlisting or co-operating with members of other University departments and other qualified persons outside the University. Teaching services are provided in as wide a range of subjects to as many groups as resources allow. The Department is committed to the maintenance of University quality and traditions of excellence in all educational programmes which it offers, or with which it is associated. Its staff ensure quality through their own research and scholarship and have special experience and/or training in initiating, designing, promoting and teaching courses for adults.

The Department also acts as a direct link between the University and a wide variety of external agencies, organisations and institutions involved in post-compulsory education and training.

Harvard University's Online Distance Education Program --- 

This year we offer twenty-six distance education courses using Internet streaming video and multimedia technology. When an Extension School course is offered by distance education, it means that registered students can attend lectures when they are given (in a lecture hall at Harvard) or they can view the lectures later via the Internet anywhere in the world. In addition to viewing the lectures, students participate in other aspects of the course in the same fashion as local students. 

I think Harvard Extension has a long way to go if it is serious about distance education.  To my knowledge, there are only a few courses and no degree programs available.  More importantly, the online courses seem to be mostly video replays without substantive interactive course materials and without the faculty immersion into interactive learning.  

Harvard University is such a large system, that there are distance education initiatives apart from the above Extension Program.  One such initiative is at the Harvard Law School --- 

One of the Berkman Center's top priorities is to explore new possibilities for education in a networked environment. As part of this exploration, we offer a program of interactive online lecture and discussion series. For the 2001 program, we have expanded the offerings available for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

(Note that an intranet is not the Internet.)

Pensare Inc. and Harvard Business School Publishing announce a multi-year agreement to co-develop online business courses for the corporate workplace. Under terms of the agreement, Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP) will be responsible for providing content (based in large part on the research of Harvard Business School professors), while Pensare will provide the intranet platform, instructional design and software design. The long-term relationship underscores Pensare's commitment to work with the top business schools and innovative providers of business education. The agreement will produce a full suite of intranet-based performance courses and will enable HBSP to provide a new form of customized educational products and performance solutions to corporate clients.

The first performance course by Pensare and HBSP is based on the service management research of Harvard Business School Professors James Heskett and Jeffrey Rayport and is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 1999. Additional general management courses will be developed for release later in 1999. The suite of customizable business performance courses will be distributed through Harvard Business School Publishing and Pensare's direct sales forces, as well as a network of Pensare selling partners.

Pensare and Harvard Business School Publishing are creating customizable multiuser dimensional (MUD) simulations that will enable corporate users to role-play aspects of the performance courses, improving practice and mastery in a risk-free, interactive environment. One value of Pensare solutions is the unique ability to capture a company's "collective wisdom," and share that knowledge widely and easily throughout an organization. Pensare also enables companies to "profile" employees' key areas of expertise and connect them with others as mentors and coaches on a particular subject.

"Harvard University now spends $US8 million per year to maintain the online delivery of programs in its Business School alone (MacColl 1999)".  As quoted from Page 78 of Cross-Border Business Combinations and Strategic Alliances, by S.C. Cunningham, et al., (Australian Department of Education, Evaluations and Investigations Programme of the Higher Education Division, 2000).  Hard Copy ISBN 0 642 44446 3 and Online Copy ISBN 0 642 44447 1 --- 

More recently, Harvard University entered into a for-profit corporate venture in partnership with Stanford University to deliver executive training and education courses onsite and online.  It is uncertain when this will be operational.  Very few corporate programs are making serious profits to date, but some are or will be making enormous profits, especially corporations affiliated with prestige universities. Examples include the corporate executive distance education companies like Duke Education Corporation and corporations formed by Cornell, Wharton, and Maryland. The Godzilla in the land of monkeys will soon be the new Stanford-Harvard corporation for executive training and education. I'd buy stock in that corporation in a Silicon Valley nanosecond. See "When Harvard Met Stanford," Business Week Online, April 18, 2001 --- 

The International Distance Education Course Finder --- 

The International Distance Learning Course Finder is the world's largest online directory of e-learning courses from 127 countries. This universal distance education resource has information on over 50,000 distance learning courses and programs offered from a multitude of universities, colleges and companies.

This document contains a long listing of university distance education programs.

Educators say students should be wary of unscrupulous institutions that market themselves on the World-Wide Web as legitimate providers of distance education

A Collection of distance education resources,  Lund University Electronic Library ---
There is a lot of information here.

Many other course finders, resources, and programs are linked at 

Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth Center for Distance Education  --- 
Get the instruction you need when and where you need it! If you are self disciplined and highly motivated, the Center for Distance Education's math and writing courses will suit your learning style.

Join our unique on-line community. You'll share a learning experience with others who have a zest for math or a passion for writing. Math and Writing Tutorials courses are offered throughout the year so you can continue to enrich your education and develop your skills.

Our on-line community now includes these partners:

Not all distance education programs become thriving successes just because they are new, innovative, and from a prestigious university.  There are many failed distance education programs, including some programs from top universities.  At one time, the McGill distance education program for teachers had nearly 50 online courses.

McGill University Courses for Teachers through distance education --- 

The current Distance Education offerings are being phased out. Students already enrolled in programs will be able to continue until completion within prescribed time limits. No new admissions to programs will take place. If you are already enrolled in a program, we can fax a registration form to wherever you wish. 


The Sharing Professor of the Week is Professor Charles Darling, Capital Community College Hartford, Connecticut


Professor Darling's site on Resources for Distance Education is outstanding --- 


Until I found this site, I was not aware there were so many journals and other resources for distance education.


For this and more on resources, courses, journals, ant other important links, go to 


The Wow Important Report of the Week --- A Must-Download from the University of Illinois

Teaching at an Internet Distance: the Pedagogy of Online Teaching and Learning The Report of a 1998-1999 University of Illinois Faculty Seminar --- 


Last week in the May 21 edition of New Bookmarks, I mentioned the above report and provided some quotes from the beginning and ending of the report.  I must admit, however, that I did not read the report in detail until later on.  And WOW, I discovered that this report really is an inspirational piece of work!  It is much more important in the middle than either at the beginning or the end.  


The thing that impressed me the most is Section 4 (beginning on Page 19) on Elements of Good Teaching.  It instilled me with guilt that I did not take those elements more into account during over 30 years of teaching in large and small universities.  I will warn you, however, that this section is more in line with what students want vis-a-vis what I perceive as what they need as contrasted below:


Bob Jensen's Working Paper 265 Concerns Giving Students the Full Benefits of Newer Technologies May Be Hazardous to Their Long Run Memory and Accomplishments.

Source:  Metacognitive Concerns in Designs and Evaluations of Computer Aided Education and Training: 
Are We Misleading Ourselves About Measures of Success? by Bob Jensen at 
  • Multimedia and Other Technologies Can Give Students What They Want by Making Learning More of the Following:
  1. Easy (e.g., interactive graphics, interactive databases, ease of search, ease of access, ease of finding help, ease of navigation, etc.)
  2. Fun (animations, videos, audio, etc.)
  3. Inspirational (cream-of-the-crop instructors, access to experts and motivators)
  4. Realistic (networked simulations and virtual reality)
  5. Collaborative (ease of communication and collaborative software)
  6. Efficient (learn from any location at any time at less cost with personalized knowledge bases and portals)
  • What Students Want is Not Necessarily What They Need
  1. Humans retain more when something is hard to learn.
  2. Humans retain more when something is painful to learn and that part of the retention of what is learned is the struggle in finding the answers.
  3. Students retain more when they reason and discover something on their own.
  4. Leaning from mistakes may be the best teacher.
  5. Humans are prone to information overload.
  6. The pace of life and learning may indeed be a killer.



In fairness, however, the University of Illinois report in Section 4 brings home the point that teachers can give students what they "need" in various effective and compassionate ways.  On Page 21 you can read the following:

Finally, motivation can be imparted to the student in a variety of ways. Highly motivating professors are not necessarily the most exuberant or gregarious or witty. The behind-the-scenes efforts of a quiet but dedicated professor, in assembling supplementary material or following up students' questions will also demonstrate to the students the professor's concern. In small classes it is possible to come to know and motivate each student individually. Yet in large classes where this is impossible, an "intimate bond" with the class is still achieved if the students in the back row come to know, through the indirect manner Oakeshott describes, that the professor is concerned that they learn.

If a finger can be placed on the "human touch" of teaching, the role of attentiveness in motivating the student could well be it. As we now consider the pedagogy of online instruction, this is a key element that must be kept in the translation, at least for the great many students who need motivation from the instructor. Not only must professors provide teaching over the Internet; they must also be in contact with students to assess learning.

Section 4 of the report is followed (beginning on Page 28) with an excellent section of Teaching Evaluation.


The report provides a nice summary of the "No Significant Differences" findings in research.  One of the highlights of this section (beginning on Page 29) is the common sense critique of the rather absurd criteria in a study by Phipps and Merisotis:

The report of Phipps and Merisotis (1999) titled "What's the Difference? A Review of Contemporary Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Learning in Higher Education" cites Russell's work frequently but focuses much more on computer based learning studies published in the 1990s. The purpose of their analysis is "to examine the research on distance learning more closely so that public policy may be better informed." Their report confirms what we heard from all of our external speakers, that "there is a relative paucity of true, original research dedicated to explaining or predicting phenomena related to distance learning." They suggest that "the overall quality of the original research is questionable and thereby renders many of the findings inconclusive," and go on to list the key shortcomings and gaps in the research. Listed shortcomings include non-random subject selection, questionable validity of the instruments used to measure student outcomes, and lack of controls for "reactive effects" of students and faculty such as increased motivation and interest stemming from a project's novelty. Gaps in the research are cited to include emphasis on outcomes for individual courses and technologies rather than whole programs and multiple technologies, no account for differences in students and learning styles, no explanation for higher drop-out rates of distance learners, and no inclusion of a theoretical or conceptual framework. Three implications are drawn from the findings: 1) the issue of nondiscriminatory access remains unclear, 2) technology cannot replace the human factor in higher education, and 3) the technology employed is secondary to pedagogical factors such as learning tasks, student motivation, and the instructor.

Phipps and Merisotis' criticisms of online education research have themselves been sharply criticized. In an article by Brown and Mack (1999), their evaluation is described as convoluted, naive, and contradictory, and their expectations of the research as unrealistic:

Their convoluted expectations illustrate precisely why comprehensive, clear evidence is rarely attainable in the complex, messy world of teaching and learning, even after decades of educational research. Quite simply, Phipps and Merisotis call for a fantasy research paradigm in their critique. They want 'randomized experiments' embedded in 'theoretical construct to test multiple variables' in which 'extraneous variables are controlled' to produce results that do not yield population data, but rather are 'predictive of outcomes for individual learners.' This would be roughly equivalent to a randomized, double blind study of the effects of multiple drugs interacting with each other and with caregivers' styles, resulting in predictions of how various drug combinations work with different individuals in order to make a uniform policy for a universal health care program. 

At issue here is the extent to which it is even possible to evaluate the effectiveness of online teaching and learning.

In a First Monday article, which rebuts Noble's Digital Diploma Mills series, Frank White (1999) argues that the question of pedagogical effectiveness of information technology is the wrong question. He cites both Steven Ehrman, who observes (1997)

"The first group of useless questions seeks universal answers to questions about the comparative teaching effectiveness and costs of technology... That question assumes that education operates something like a machine..." and Ronald Owston, who points out (Owston, 1997)

"...we cannot simply ask 'Do students learn better with the Web as compared to traditional classroom instruction?' We have to realize that no medium, in and of itself, will likely improve learning in a significant way when it is used to deliver instruction. Nor is it realistic to expect the Web, when used as a tool, to develop in students any unique skills." White, again citing Owston, suggests that the right question is "What distinct advantages does an instructional technology offer that instructors can exploit to promote improved learning?"

White seems to be saying that instructional technology should be implemented based on its pedagogical potential, which is well and fine. However, the earlier evaluation philosophies only seek to confirm a technology's pedagogical potential. We disagree that comparisons of learning effectiveness can't or shouldn't be done, with at least some of the rigor called for by Phipps and Merisotis. On the other hand, we do agree that the evaluation of online learning is multifaceted and subtle, and learning competence is only part of the evaluation need.

Our external speaker with the most perspective in this area was Harasim. The "top-down" and "bottom-up" approaches given by Harasim et al. (1995) have also been termed "summative" and "formative" evaluation. Regarding the former type, the text states, "Summative evaluation is generally conducted for the benefit of outsiders, perhaps funding agencies that want to know if their investment paid off or the research community, which wants to know what generalizable conclusions result from a project. Cost benefit analysis is one possible component of summative evaluation." In her presentation to us, she mentioned that rigorous evaluation of learning effectiveness is sorrowfully lacking, but that it could and should be performed. She mentioned random selection of students, and thorough pre and post testing of comparison groups among the requirements for a rigorous evaluation.

Beginning of Page 31, the University of Illinois report proposes "A Suggested Evaluation Program"  that is detailed beginning on Page 32:

For our part, we wish to propose a general program of evaluation derived from the above sets of guiding principles, emphasizing the pedagogical issues that recurred most frequently in our discussions. These are the questions we feel should be asked; one of which can be answered by quantitative evaluation, and the other 5 by qualitative assessment of course materials, student surveys or the archived text of students' coursework:

  1. Is the teaching style innovative? As Bonk called to our attention, teaching innovation is expected in universities, especially in education departments. Are the shortcomings of online teaching (principally communication bandwidth) compensated by either the circumstances (e.g. teaching only in an adjunct mode) or by novel paradigms that work with limited bandwidth such as collaborative learning via CMC?
  2. Is learning competence equal or superior to that of a traditional classroom? Again, we feel that such comparisons are justified. We suspect an affirmative answer in a great many cases.
  3. Are students engaged in the material? Does each student participate in the communication? Is there real depth to the students' responses? As Harasim and co-authors (1995) state, "Formulating and articulating a statement is a cognitive act, a process that is particularly valuable if comments such as 'I don't agree' or 'I do agree' are followed by 'because'..." This question presumes that the presentation of material has been thoughtfully prepared, objectives clearly specified, and students taught appropriate protocol.
  4. Is there interaction between professors and their students, and between the students themselves? Has a "community of learners" been established from which students derive motivation, or do the students feel isolated?
  5. Is access to technical support readily available?
  6. For online programs that are more extensive, such as entire degree programs, are the signs of academic maturity present? These include the ability to synthesize knowledge in different fields, as would be demonstrated for example in a traditional senior-level engineering class in process design. Do the students think critically, and has a desire for life-long learning been fostered in them?

There is too much in this report to summarize here, and when you read the report pay particular attention to Sections 2-5.  These are more important than the concluding remarks of the study.


Wow Distance Education Site of the Week --- Stanford Online at 


The ADEPT Program in the School of Engineering at Stanford University made the world take notice that all prestigious universities were not going to take the high road in favor of onsite education with a haughty air of arrogance that their missions were not to deliver distance education courses.  Other prestigious universities such as Columbia University, Duke University,  and the London School of Economics certainly took notice following the overwhelming success of Stanford's ADEPT Program for delivering prestigious diplomas online.

Stanford, through Stanford Online, is the first university to incorporate video with audio, text, and graphics in its distance learning offerings. Stanford Online also allows students to ask questions or otherwise interact with the instructor, teaching assistant, and/or other students asynchronously from their desktop computer. Stanford Online is credited by many sources as a significant contributor to the growth of Silicon Valley, and to the competitive technical advantage of companies that participate in continuing education through distance learning.

Learn More about Stanford Online

Some distance education courses such as the ADEPT Program at Stanford University are almost entirely asynchronous with neither face-to-face onsite classes nor online virtual classes.  Others like Duke's Global Executive MBA program are mostly synchronous in online virtual classes and occasional onsite classes and field trips.

You can read the following about asynchronous learning in the ADEPT program as reported at 


In our project proposal, we stated that there were several potential benefits to the use of asynchronous techniques in education. These included increased course access for students, increased quality of the educational experience, and lower costs.

Our experience to date mirrors that of others in that it clearly demonstrates the value of increased access. This includes not only students who had no access previously, but also students who used ADEPT to review material previously accessed by other methods and to enable a certain amount of schedule flexibility. At the same time, the evidence from our project suggests that increased access may not be sufficient, by itself, to justify the cost of providing asynchronous courses to those with other options. This conclusion is, of course, restricted to our particular student body which is composed of high-performing graduate students in technical disciplines who are fortunate enough in most cases to have a variety of options for accessing educational material.

Results from our project suggest that to raise the quality of the educational experience, significant changes in pedagogy will be necessary. Our belief is that the key to this is to find ways to exploit the ability of the technologies to provide a more flexible learning experience. The flexibility of time-on-task provided by asynchronous techniques is obvious. However, other dimensions of flexibility might include flexibility of media (text vs. graphics vs. audio/video for example) as well as flexibility of course content. For many courses, there is more than one acceptable set of content and more than one acceptable sequencing of content as well. Asynchronously delivered material in multimedia format has the potential of providing a customized, possibly even unique, educational experience to each student based on his or her educational goals, background, and experience. Currently however, we would argue that no one knows how to do this well.

The issue of cost is most problematic. As mentioned above, there is an expectation that asynchronously delivered courses will be less costly than synchronously delivered ones. To some extent this is a simple pricing issue. However, if we frame the issue as the need for the production, maintenance, and delivery costs of an asynchronous course to be less than that of either a live or televised class, we can make some observations. Our experience shows that the production and delivery costs of adequate quality multimedia content are high. In a situation such as that at Stanford, where classes are taught live and are also televised, asynchronous delivery is a direct cost overlay. Although live classes will continue into the foreseeable future, on-line synchronous delivery could supplant television should the quality of the two methods become comparable.

To deliver high-quality educational material content asynchronously, it is clear that reuse of material, tools to control content production and maintenance costs, and economies of scale will be the key determinants. These issues were beyond the scope of the present project. Again, we would argue that currently no one really knows how to best manage these determinants to hold down costs.

In closing, we note that there are now a great many successful deployments of asynchronous education and training, including entire asynchronous universities. The "technology deficit" which was mentioned repeatedly by students and which we have explored at length as part of this project, will work itself out over time. At this point, the most urgent need for innovation in asynchronous learning lies in the area of pedagogy and in the areas of large-scale content production, electronic organization, and delivery.

At Stanford, it is our intention to continue to offer asynchronous courses in the manner of this project. As was the case during the project, the courses offered will probably range from two to four per quarter (six to twelve per year). At the same time we hope to continue our track-record as innovators by shifting our emphasis toward exploring methods of increasing the quality of asynchronous education while at the same time reducing its cost.

It would seem that the above "conclusions" from Stanford University are entirely consistent with the major conclusions of the University of Illinois report discussed above.

I notice that David Noble does not devote much attention to successful (and highly profitable) online programs such as Stanford's ADEPT and Duke's online Global MBA programs.  That plus Noble's bad spelling and sloppy grammar make me wonder how carefully he crafted his "research."  I seriously doubt that it stands up to rigorous standards for due care and freedom from bias.  He does, however, raise some points worth noting.  Links to his defiance of distance education at 


There are other legitimate concerns.  See 


This is why there are serious evaluation projects going on such as the Clipper Project noted below.


The Clipper Project at Lehigh University is aimed at learning assessment (named after the Pan Am Clipper that "did more than herald a historic shift in the way goods and people were transported. Indeed, it forced new ways of thinking about how we work and live. The expansion of inexpensive air travel brought about a societal transformation."


"Sink or Swim?  Higher Education Online:  How Do We Know What works --- And What Doesn't?" by Gregory Farrington and Stephen Bronack, T.H.E. Journal, May 2001, pp. 70-76 --- 

Last spring, the chairman of the House of Representatives science subcommittee on basic research expressed concern about the quality of online college courses. He suggested that students who take courses online may not interact as much as their peers in traditional courses, and that they may walk away with knowledge but not with an understanding of how to think for themselves.

At a hearing designed to gauge how the federal government should respond to this trend, the former president of the University of Michigan, a distinguished MIT professor, and other experts touted several online advantages. Among their assertions were claims that student participation is higher in online courses, and that students have easier access to professors through e-mail.

The committee chairman remained skeptical and said he believed the National Science Foundation should help assess the quality of online education by improving the understanding of how the brain works and by figuring out how humans learn. Well, learning how the brain works is no simple proposition. While we wait for that day to come, there are a lot of insightful educational experiments that can be done to sort out the reality from the sizzle of online education. At Lehigh, we are spending a great deal of time these days doing just that. While arguments can be made both for and against online classes, few are backed by empirical research focused on actual teaching and learning behaviors. We agree strongly with the chairman’s call for high quality educational research.

Millions of dollars are spent each year on the development and delivery of online courses. Much of this funding comes from federal agencies like the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation, and a majority of the supported programs are indeed creating interesting, engaging courses. But how do we know they really work?

At best, one may find anecdotal accounts of successful online classes. Professors claim, “I did it in my class and it worked great!” or “the students noted on the end-of-course survey that they enjoyed the course; therefore it is good.” Occasionally, one may find reports that draw upon commonly shared theories, such as “having control over more of one’s own learning should produce better learners,” as proof of effectiveness. Such insights are valuable, but they don’t provide the kind of understanding needed to make truly informed decisions about the value of online education.

Jim DiPerna (co-director of The Clipper Project) and Rob Volpe conducted a review of research that produced nearly 250 potential articles concerning the evaluation of Web-based instruction over the past 10 years. However, after eliminating duplicate citations and irrelevant articles (i.e., articles merely describing a Web-based course, articles offering guidelines for designing a Web-based course, or articles explaining a particular Web-based technology), only a dozen articles existed. Of the 12, 11 were based solely on students’ self-reported attitudes or perceptions regarding Web-based instruction. Amazingly, only one directly assessed the impact of Web-based technology on student learning (as measured by randomly selected essay performance and letter grades) across subjects. DiPerna and Volpe presented a thorough review of their research at APA last August.

As more learning becomes digitized, we must analyze how socialization factors like communication skills and interaction with other students are best fostered. We must know which factors influence success. We must find out how technology affects the way faculty members teach and the way students learn, as well as how much it’s really going to cost to create and deliver this new form of education. The only way we can truly know these things is through observing the behaviors of students participating in digital learning.

At our university, we have just begun a multi-year initiative to investigate the short- and long-term effects of online classes. Aptly titled “The Clipper Project,” the initiative will provide a baseline for future research into the impact of Web-based courses on students and faculty.

For the rest of the article, go to 


The main page of The Clipper Project is at


The Clipper Project is a research and development initiative – investigating the costs and benefits of offering Web-based University courses to high school seniors who participate in the project. High school students who are accepted in Lehigh University's early admissions program will be eligible to enroll in a Web-based version of one of Lehigh University’s introductory-level courses. Currently, Economics I and Calculus I are available through the Clipper Project. To learn more about each course, visit the Courses section.

Interested in the Clipper Project?

Please visit the sections of the Clipper Project website that interest you. If you have any questions please view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) sections, links to these sections are to the right. If you don’t find what you need, drop us an e-mail, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Other assessment systems such as the LEAD Program at the University of Wisconsin are discussed in my assessment threads at 

A Worst-Case MOO
"Students’ Distress with a Web-based Distance Education Course: An Ethnographic Study of Participants' Experiences" 

Noriko Hara SILS Manning Hall University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599  

Rob Kling The Center for Social Informatics SLIS Indiana University Bloomington, IN 47405  (812) 855-9763

Many advocates of computer-mediated distance education emphasize its positive aspects and understate the kinds of communicative and technical capabilities and work required by students and faculty. There are few systematic analytical studies of students who have experienced new technologies in higher education. This article presents a qualitative case study of a web-based distance education course at a major U.S. university. The case data reveal a topic that is glossed over in much of the distance education literature written for administrators, instructors and prospective students: students' periodic distressing experiences (such as frustration, anxiety and confusion) in a small graduate-level course due to communication breakdowns and technical difficulties. Our intent is that this study will enhance understanding of the instructional design issues, instructor and student preparation, and communication practices that are needed to improve web-based distance education courses.

Bob Jensen's Comments
The Hara and King study mentioned above focuses upon student messages, student evaluations, and instructor evaluations of a single course.  The interactive communications took place using MOO software that is sometimes used for virtual classroom settings, although the original intent of both MOO and MUD software was to create a virtual space in text in which students or game users create their own virtual worlds.  You can read more about MUD and MOO virtual environments at  In some universities, MOO software has been used to create virtual classrooms.  In most instances, however, these have given way to multimedia virtual classrooms rather than entirely text-based virtual classrooms.  

MOO classrooms have been used very successfully.  For example, at Texas Tech University, Robert Ricketts has successfully taught an advanced tax course in a MOO virtual classroom when students are scattered across the U.S. in internship programs.  His course is not an internship course.  It is a tax course that students take while away from campus on internships.  Professor Ricketts is a veteran tax instructor and taught the MOO course under somewhat ideal conditions.  The students were all familiar with electronic messaging and they all know each other very well from previous onsite courses that they took together on the Texas Tech Campus in previous semesters.  They also had taken previous courses from Professor Ricketts in traditional classroom settings.

In contrast to Professor Ricketts'  MOO virtual classroom, the Hara and King study reported above is almost a worst-case scenario in a MOO virtual classroom.  The instructor was a doctoral student who had never taught the class before, nor had she ever taught any class in a MOO virtual classroom.  Half the class "had only minimal experience with computers" and had never taken a previous distance education course.  The students had never taken a previous course of any type from the instructor and did not know each other well.  The course materials were poorly designed and had never been field tested.  Students were hopelessly confused and did not deal well with text messaging (graphics, audio, and video were apparently never used in the course).  This seems utterly strange in an age where text, graphics, audio, and even video files can be attached to email messages.  It also seems strange that the students apparently did not pick up the telephone when they were so confused by the networked text messaging.

One of the most important things to be learned from the Hara and King study is the tendency for hopelessly confused students to often give up rather than keep pestering the instructor or each other until they see the light.  Instructors cannot assume that students are willing to air their confusions.  A major reason is a fear of airing their ignorance.  Another reason is impatience with the slowness of text messaging where everything must be written/read instead of having conversations with audio or full teleconferencing.

In summary, the Hara and King study is not so much a criticism of distance education as it is a study of student behavior in settings where the distance education is poorly designed and delivered.  A similar outcome is reported in "Student Performance In The Virtual Versus Traditional Classroom," by Neil Terry, James Owens and Anne Macy, Journal of the Academy of Business Education, Volume 2, Spring 2001 ---  An earlier report on this topic appears in entitled "Student and Faculty Assessment of the Virtual MBA:  A Case Study,"  by Neil Terry, James Owens, and Anne Macy, Journal of Business Education, Volume 1, Fall 2000, 33-38 ---

Forbes Best on the Web Directory --- 


To help make your surfing more productive, we've reviewed nearly 3,000 sites in 150 categories—from tax planning to sailing to cigars.

20thC Design  Antiques and Collectibles  Art & Antiques 101  ...

College Planning  Corporate Training  Higher Education  ...

Alternative Medicine  General Health  Mental Health  ...

AOL/Investors  Alternative Investing  Asian Markets  ...

Look It Up  
American History  Archaeology  Computer Help  ...

Luxe Shopping  
Books  Car Buying  Car Manufacturers  ...

Personal Finance  
Auto Insurance  Banking  Business News  ...

The Good Life  
Adoption  Fun & Games  Gardening  ...

Adventure Travel  City Guides  Cruises 


The Education category has the following links:



College Planning --- 
With four-year private colleges commanding on average $120,000 in tuition, it's never too early to prepare for financing a college degree. Web sites ...

Corporate Training --- 
Online education is in many ways tailor-made for corporations and they know it. Last year corporations spent $1.1 billion on online training. Merrill ...

Higher Education --- 
Taking college classes over the Internet is easy. Finding the colleges that offer them is not. Duke University and the University of Maryland have ...

Homeschooling --- 
The Internet is an excellent resource for parents interested in homeschooling. Many sites offer virtual classes and on-line tutors. There are links ...

Private Schools --- 
Once staid private schools have gone flashy, using the Web to flaunt their ivy-covered halls, manicured athletic fields and happy preppies.


Using Irony as an Educational Tool

The following is a critique of the FASB's Concepts Statement 7 in its call for all liabilities to be recorded at fair value.

"New accounting policies may distort what the authors were trying to clear up," by Dennis R. Beresford, Barrons, May 21, 2001 --- 

Thus Amalgamated Widgets would accrue $35 (outsourced fair market value of a warranty liability) at the time each product is sold even though its best estimate is that its warranty cost per unit is $25 (at its own internal repair cost). When Amalgamated actually performs the warranty work itself, it will be left with a $10 over-accrual that must be reversed into income at the end of the warranty period. And, in addition, all these calculations will be adjusted up and down for the time value of money.

Many businesspeople and investors will see this as reporting windfall profits when convenient, while understating earlier profits. This is exactly the kind of earnings management that the FASB and the SEC have been trying to stamp out for years.

The rest of the article is at 

Using Fiction as an Educational Tool


Over a year ago, I wrote a document (screen play? short story? tutorial? case?) that is a takeoff on the Muppets.  It is entitled "Clyde Gives Brother Hat a Lesson in Arbitrage" and can be found at 


The above document contains a tribute to Bill Breit and Ken Elzinga.  Probably the most successful attempts in the world to teach economics via fiction can be found in three mystery novels authored to date by "Marshall Jevons."  Marshall Jevons is really a pseudonym derived from the combined names of two famous 19th Century economists ---  Alfred Marshall and William Stanley Jevons.  The real 20th century economist authors are William Breit and Kenneth G. Elzinga.  Dr. Elzinga holds a distinguished endowed chair at the University of Virginia, and Dr. Breit has a distinguished endowed chair at Trinity University in San Antonio.


Dan Stone was commissioned by Jane Reimers to review three accounting and tax books that use fiction as a means of teaching technical material.  See the Book Reviews in The Accounting Review, April 2001.  


Ten didactic novels are now published and in use in accounting education. In other academic disciplines (e.g., medicine, literature, sociology, communications, and business) fictional discourse has long been regarded as an effective method for exploring the complexities and intricacies of human and organizational experience. Medicine provides an example of the potential for fiction to inform and be informed by professional practices (Anderson 1990). ‘‘Literature and medicine’’ is now a respected, growing field of inquiry with its own journal (Literature and Medicine) and history of explicating the relationships between medical practice and fiction (e.g., see Stein 1984, 1985, 1991). In addition, a top medical journal (The Journal of the American Medical Association) regularly publishes fiction and poetry that reflect and comment on medical practice.

The three books reviewed by Dan are as follows:


D.LARRYCRUMBLEY, The Ultimate Rip-off: A Taxing Tale (SunLakes,AZ:Thomas HortonandDaughters,1998,227pp.,$10.95,Pb, ) .


LOEBBECKE,JAMESK., The Auditor: An Instructional Novella (UpperSaddleRiver, NJ:PrenticeHall,1998,117pp.,$18,Pb,,4096,0130799769,00.html  ).

R.E.MCDERMOTT,K.D.STOCKS,ANDJ.OGDEN, Code Blue (Syracuse,NY:UT, TraemusBooks,2000,175pp.,$19.95,Pb, ).


From FEI Express on May 17, 2001

Special Express: New Developments at FASB on the Business Combinations Project

At a board meeting yesterday, the FASB decided to push back the implementation date for the goodwill and intangible asset accounting part of the Business Combinations project to fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2001, while continuing to hold to a June 30, 2001 effective date for elimination of pooling of interests accounting. FASB also decided that an impairment loss on the initial implementation would be recognized and treated as a change in accounting principle.

See  for details. 

Query Routing and Distributed Indexing --- 

The Isaac Network demonstrates the use of query routing and distributed indexing as a means of combining multiple metadata collections into a single, searchable entity. The use of LDAP for query routing seems to have been an appropriate choice, as it provides good flexibility in distributing the data, allows local maintenance of collections while making records available to other servers, and provides fairly good query capabilities. The protocol supports access controls and other features that may be useful down the road. While we currently supply an LDAP server as part of the Isaac software package, it should be possible for organizations to use commercially available LDAP V3 servers, such as Netscape's Directory Server to host Isaac nodes.

The ability to search a combined collection of high-quality Internet resources by field should be valuable to the research and academic community. The ability to select resources by subject or author rather than simply by full-text search should increase query precision. The fact that the collections contain only resources deemed authoritative by subject specialists should also provide fewer irrelevant query results. We hope that the usefulness of the Isaac Network for targeted resource discovery will grow along with the number of collections in the network.

Related links:

The Brain --- 

OLAP --- see OLAP at 

Black Shoals --- 


The iMesh Toolkit --- 

What is the IMesh Toolkit? 
The IMesh Toolkit is a coherent set of tools and standards being developed for use by subject gateway software developers and technically-savvy subject gateway implementers. These tools and standards will make use of established open protocols and interfaces wherever possible to insure interoperability. The toolkit will include reference implementations for all standards.

What is the IMesh Toolkit Project? 
The IMesh Toolkit Project is a joint effort by groups funded by JISC and the NSF to develop the IMesh Toolkit. The major participants in this effort include the UK Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN) and the University of Bath in the UK, the Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT) at the University of Bristol in the UK, and the Internet Scout Project (ISP) at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the United States.

What is a subject gateway? 
A subject gateway is a web site that provides searchable and browsable access to online resources focused around a specific subject. Subject gateway resource descriptions are usually created manually rather than being generated via an automated process. Because the resource entries are generated by hand they are usually superior to those available from a conventional web search engine.

" 'Cyberslackers' are curse of workplace," by Tim Richardson, The Register,  April 19, 2001

British workers are more likely to be disciplined for misusing the Net at work than their European colleagues according to a survey published today.

The Web@Work Survey 2001 reveals that British employers are five times more likely to take disciplinary action than Italian employers - and two-and-a-half times more likely to take action than their French or German counterparts.

Researchers found that accessing pornography at work was not the only pastime of workers who waste three hours a week accessing the Net for their own pleasure.

Booking a holiday (52 per cent), pursuing educational interests (42 per cent), researching a hobby (41 per cent), shopping(28 per cent) - the list goes on - also ranked highly.

Other interesting nuggets include news that more than half of all companies across Europe are doing nothing to address Net misuse by employees while almost two thirds of workers believe it's acceptable to have the Net managed at work.

The Web@Work Survey 2001, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres and commissioned by Websense a company guessed it...specialises in software that snoops on employees' use of the Net.

Indeed, last September Websense issued a press release in which it described the "non-business related use of the Internet during work time" - the very issue described in the Web@Work Survey - as "cyberslacking".

It warned that a small company that provides open Internet access to its employees could expect to lose up to £50,000 a year in lost productivity.

Bigger companies, it claimed, could lose tens of millions of pounds in time misspent.

And it also claimed that workers in the UK who accessed the Big Brother Web site last summer were costing UK Plc £1.4 million a week in lost productivity alone.

I don't think this will come as a big surprise to Trinity University's Fred Zapata.


"Email is top cause of workplace stress - report," by Linda Harrison, The Register, May 16, 2001 --- 

Email is the biggest headache for tech support staff and a major cause of stress in the workplace, according to a survey out today.

More than a third of IT managers quizzed for the report in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific said email software was the top support problem, says software company

Around 23 per cent blamed computer password resets, and 20 per cent cited general enterprise and office applications, such as Microsoft Excel. Ten per cent said networking software errors were the top problem.

"Even basic, easy-to-fix malfunctions can be serious obstacles to a company's productivity, often halting communications for hours at a time," states.

"Although heralded as one of the most valuable business tools, the research suggests that email may be the largest cause of stress in the workplace," it continues.

According to marketing VP Bruce Mowery: "This study reflects a technological paradox, as business becomes increasingly reliant on advanced software and technology, it's often the simplest tools, notably email, that cause the most significant support issues."

Hi Janet,

I was not aware of this article, but I am very familiar with the controversial Albrecht and Sack study (that was also distributed on a CD to the American Accounting Association membership).   The study was and is still being actively debated.  Unfortunately, there are no easy answers.  Underlying the issue of career choices is the looming issue of where the public accounting profession is headed in the 21st Century.

It is good to hear from you again after such a long time since your last message.


Good morning, Professor - you may have already seen this. I spotted it in this morning's  headlines.

Spring has finally arrived on the Olympic Peninsula, but our evening temps are still in the 40s. I miss the riot of wild flowers that graced my commute from Boerne to San Antonio when I lived in Texas. Hope they're still blossoming.

Janet Flatley AVP-Controller 1st Fed S&L Assn Pt Angeles WA

Making accounting relevant & attractive 
Source: Financial Executive - New York 
Publication date: 2001-05-01

There's a crisis in accounting education in the United States. After hearing warnings for years, educators are aware that the environment must change in order to be relevant, valuable and continue to attract students to the profession. Indeed, there has been significant change - but apparently, not enough.

A recently published report documents findings from a study commissioned by four major groups with a common desire to improve accounting education. Continues on 


The IRS is recruiting. Approximately 3,900 job openings provide a new opportunity for people looking for job security and a 40-hour work week. 


And the IRS offers Internet education opportunities.  IRS employees who want to get ahead in the organization are heading back to the classroom - 21st century style. College level courses in accounting, finance, tax law, and other business subjects will be available on the Internet to IRS employees. 


... the IRS has developed a comprehensive plan to educate IRS employees in basic and intermediate accounting principles, finance, tax law, and other business school subjects.

To hold down the cost of this training, on-line courses have been developed that will enable IRS employees to learn these skills via computer, either on-the-job or in the comfort of their homes.

As incentive to follow through with the training, IRS employees will be tested after each phase of their training and promotions will be coordinated with skills learned. The accounting classes will be offered through a group of 15 colleges, known as the IRS University Consortium, that have agreed to work with the IRS in this project. Credits earned from taking these classes may be applied toward college degrees.

A pilot program has been conducted wherein some of the course material was fine-tuned to meet the expressed needs of IRS employees. The IRS training was officially launched last week with 700 IRS employees enrolled in the first battery of classes. It is expected that more than 3,000 IRS employees will enroll in classes this summer.

Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse


From the Stanford University Law School:  Full-text database that identifies over 1,000 issuers named in federal class action securities fraud lawsuits since the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was passed.

The University of Texas Distance Education Center --- 


The Distance Education Center offers a world of knowledge for a lifetime of learning. Whether you need academic credit, specialized training or certification, or distance education services, we're here for you!

We offer the finest in college courses. You can earn credit, or study just for the pure joy of learning!

Visit UT High School for information about our high school courses. You can even earn your Texas high school diploma through the UT Austin High School Diploma Program.

Our award-winning Migrant Student Program offers high school credit for migrant students who are not able to stay in one location throughout the year.

We also offer career and technology materials for institutions providing career orientation and basic workforce skills.

The University of Texas Distance Education:  A Primer (Glossary) --- 


Other technology glossary links can be found at 



To preserve American history, an entire house was moved to the second floor of a Smithsonian building in Washington DC.
Within These Walls 


Institute of Development Studies Research on Globalisation --- 


Our policy-related research and advisory agenda is focused on spreading the gains from globalisation. Globalisation has benefited many people, but it is clear that it has also contributed to increases in inequality, both within and between countries.

Growing anxiety in developed and developing countries over the dangers of rising inequalities, including the risk of a rise in protectionism adds to concern that available policy instruments are inadequate to the changed circumstances associated with globalisation.

Many countries and firms are committed to deepening their participation in the global economy. Thus, the policy challenge is not whether to participate, but on what terms to integrate with other countries. Only when this challenge has been met will the gains from globalisation be spread effectively.

I know that I discussed this link in New Bookmarks a few weeks ago, but I will mention it again since it was highlighted in the May 17 issue of the Scout Report.


Book-keeping and Accounting Interactive Tutor 

The Book-keeping and Accounting Interactive Tour (BAIT), from Biz/Ed, is a helpful collection of exercises for bookkeeping students of all levels. BAIT suggests that students use these worksheets as supplementary lessons to formal accounting classes. Six interactive worksheets on accounting principles offer fill-in-the-blank activities on topics including the accounting equation; double-entry for assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses; and accruals and prepayments. After completing each worksheet, BAIT requests users fill out an evaluation form.

Also from the Scout Report on May 17, 2001


While most mutual fund information Websites will tell you when you should buy mutual funds, FundAlarm, created and maintained by Roy Weitz, CPA, offers news and information that will help users make informed decisions about selling their mutual finds. Along with a database of nearly 4,000 data tables of stocks and balanced mutual finds, FundAlarm also provides three lists of mutual funds: those that should be sold right away, those to keep, and mutual funds that are merely strong candidates for selling. News and commentary as well as discussion boards for the mutual fund community round out the site.

Jody Patilla says handhelds and mobile tools might be convenient, but significant risk is also involved. --- 


Employment Characteristics of Families -- Bureau of Labor Statistics 

The Disclosure Project (UFO facts or fantasies?) --- 

The Disclosure Project is a nonprofit research project working to fully disclose the facts about UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, and classified advanced energy and propulsion systems. The disclosure of the truth will have far-reaching implications for our society -- new technologies to end pollution and global warming, long-term solution to the energy crisis, and the beginning of an era of peaceful relations with other civilizations in space.

A personal finance site geared to the younger generation


One man's view of what it is like living for a year at the South Pole --- 



A Classification of American Wealth (History) 


Betty Crocker --- 

Apple Computer's new iBook is a landmark even for Mac bashers: The white-cased, budget-priced notebook is the first Mac where obvious flaws cannot be seen. (A NewMedia REVIEW) 



Savings on over-stocked and refurbished cameras. 
Remember, however, that warranties are usually less of a headache if you purchase from a local dealer.

From NewMedia's Insider Report on May 17, 2001


Bringing Salesmanship to the Web E-commerce may be skyrocketing, but that's not much consolation to the 80% of companies on the Web that are still losing money. One of the stumbling blocks to successful closure of Web sales is customer service. We have some tips to help in that regard. 


Think you know the basic building blocks of technology? Test your knowledge with this online QUIZ. Quiz answers will be covered during Glen Christopher's May 24th Workshop, "Auditing e-Commerce Systems." --- 


AccountingWEB's ongoing Internet Tips resource. These tips, from Microsoft, are certain to help you save time when you're online. The tips presented here are for users of the Microsoft Explorer browser --- 

How much are accountants making this year? On the average, how much education do accountants have? What reasons do accountants have for changing jobs? Find out all the answers in the newest results of this annual study. 


If you are committed to understanding your clients' and prospects' businesses and separating your firm from its competition, then First Research, Inc. Industry Profiles are the solution. First Research, Inc. publishes seven- to fourteen-page targeted Industry Profiles on over 80 industries. 


"Free SAT Prep Courses Offered Online," T.H.E. Journal, May 2001, p. 16 --- 


Question:  Where can students complete high school online (including various high school activities in addition to academics)?  


Answer:  There are probably many alternatives, one of which is The Sagemont Virtual School headquartered in South Florida.




There are four different options a student and his parents can choose from within the virtual school:

1. "Click and Mortar" This option is for Sagemont students who wish to take a few of their courses online while attending the Sagemont Upper School. This can free up some time for more electives, work, sports and college preparation. Students will still attend Sagemont classes daily, and may complete up to two credits annually online. 

2. "Click and Learn" This is for students who will be taking their entire curriculum on-line. At the end of their schooling with Sagemont, students will receive a Sagemont diploma, which is recognized by all colleges, trade schools, etc. These students have a two-week residency requirement each year, where they must spend time on campus participating in science labs, community service projects, extracurricular activities and testing.

3. "Click and Go" is designated for students who travel extensively throughout the school year and who want a nurturing and stimulating "home base" school when they aren't traveling. These students will attend Sagemont Virtual School when living globally and attend Sagemont Upper School when residing in Florida.

4. "Click and Commute" is for students living within commuting distance of the Sagemont Upper School who would like to take their core curriculum online and elective courses on campus. These students will work from hoe, attend a weekly campus-based focus seminar where they may receive "in person" tutoring, participate in extracurricular activities, complete "live labs" and work on electives.


What is the role of an online teacher? 
Online teachers hold many roles, but most important is that of instruction, just as a traditional classroom teacher. Online teachers are trained to facilitate your learning. Think of them as your guides. You'll hear from them constantly and continually. They'll call you at least weekly. They'll communicate with your parents. They'll email you several times a week. (And they expect you to respond!) They'll assess your work. They'll give you many suggestions for your growth as a lifelong learner. Teachers spend most of their day creating/editing online lessons/projects, grading submitted and communicating to students via email or phone. The biggest difference is that online teachers do all of these things trough various technologies rather than in a traditional classroom and they work with you on a a one-to-one basis. You and your virtual classmates are not necessarily on the same page at any one time

Research in Distance Education:  The Impacts of Listserv Resources


"MAILING LISTS AS A VENUE FOR ADULT LEARNING," by Mauri P. Collins, Paper presented at the Eastern Adult, Continuing and Distance Education Research Conference, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, October 24-26, 1996. --- 

All respondents agreed that one effect of participation in discussion groups is "increases knowledge" with 86 percent saying it also changes perspectives and outlooks; and 74 percent saying that it increases skills. Ninety-three (93) percent of respondents say that they do indeed learn from IPCT-L with 11 percent saying that is their plan and design for membership; 29 percent saying their learning from the discussion is incidental and 53 percent saying they learn both incidentally and deliberately at different times. This may well be for all the same reasons that discussion can be a good learning method in adult face-to-face groups (see above).

This study was limited in that the list purposely chosen for this case-study has a rich past history of wide-ranging and vigorous discussion. It is not so now. Most of the respondents (87 percent) had been members for more than 2 years and remembered the list in its hey-day. Several remarked they were responding to the questions on the basis of this remembered experience. This list has always attracted a high proportion of degreed scholars, and to the extent that old learning is a predictor of new learning (Brookfield, 1986, pp 5-6), the general agreement that IPCT-L is a "learning" place may be a function of this list and these respondents.

Before EDGs can be generally accepted as situations where lifelong learners seek out self-directed learning opportunities, further research is needed with more representative samples from many other electronic discussion groups that randomly represent the proportion of scholars to non-academics now using the Internet, and that are not deliberately framed as "scholarly" discussion groups.


"Laptop Lessons: Exploring the Promise of One-to-One Computing," by Kim Carter, Technology & Learning, May 2001, pp. 39-49

Note that this is a general article that includes reviews of alternative ways of financing laptops for students as well as evaluating impacts of laptops on study habits and learning.


The Results Are In From 1996 through 2000, Rockman Et Al, an independent research organization, conducted evaluations of Microsoft's pioneering Anytime Anywhere Learning program-an initiative that provides hardware, content, training, and other types of support for schools implementing laptop programs. Rockman's key findings are that laptop students spend substantially more out-of-class time on schoolwork, score higher in writing and reading assessments, demonstrate improved research and analysis skills, and engage in more collaborative work than non-laptop students.

Kenneth Stevenson of the University of South Carolina carried out similar annual evaluations of that state's Beaufort County School District, which serves a broad economic spectrum, from the affluent Hilton Head Island resort area to rural farming and fishing communities. Second-year results show that students with their own laptops have scored higher on standardized achievement tests than their non-laptop counterparts, with the most significant gains made by those in the free and reduced-cost lunch programs. Third-year results show all laptop students maintaining significant scoring advantages over non-laptop users.

At the Rio Bravo Middle School in El Paso, Texas, where 92 percent of the school's students receive a free or reduced-cost lunch, providing laptops for every student has borne equally dramatic results. Their program, implemented through NetSchools, includes proprietary, infrared-equipped notebook computers for students and teachers; network hardware; and a year's mandated training. After one year of the program being in place, state achievement scores improved significantly, and student attendance rates increased to 97 percent. Based on this progress, the district plans to expand the program to every middle and high school over the next five years.

Participation in laptop programs has come to be associated with more regular school attendance and with students staying in school longer-variables key to learning and achievement. Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut provides a good example of this. In 1999, their dropout rate for students after ninth grade was over 50 percent. The school system was determined to turn things around and decided technology was one good place to start. Today, of the 267 students who started with the laptop program, 92 percent have remained in school and in the program.

Janice Gordon, the mobile learning coordinator who led Hartford's laptop implementation, is much more focused on the qualitative results of the program. In particular, Gordon has observed the change in self-image that disadvantaged students have when they're given the same technology tools being used by their suburban counterparts-and the business world at large. "We're fighting a faceless enemy in poverty, apathy, and student motivation," she says. "At the end of the day, when these students come out knowing they have tools that will take them beyond high school, they see themselves differently."

In addition to motivating students to stick with school, to work better with others, and to score higher on reading, writing, and achievement tests, studies also show that one-to-one computing increases home-school communication and parental involvement. It has also helped empower teachers to move from traditional delivery modes of instruction to methods of discovery and interaction, with increased individualization and customization of learning activities and materials.

Cheap printers and sophisticated desktop publishing software has made it easier than ever for counterfeiters to churn out cash on demand. That's why the U.S. government is proposing stiffer sentences for phony money makers ---,1350,43727,00.html 


"Distance Education:  Access Guidelines for Students with Disabilities," August 1999, Chancellor’s Office California Community Colleges --- 

This is a very informative discussion regarding access law in the U.S. and alternatives for dealing with this law.

An international copyright treaty proposal is stirring up U.S. opposition from open-source developers to ISPs ---,1283,43820,00.html 

It appears disastrous for program developers," Stallman said. "Many countries have laws about what kinds of software can be developed.... Everything relating to information should be taken out of this convention."

The treaty in question is a heretofore obscure proposal known as the Hague Convention, which European nations generally support, but the U.S. State Department has criticized. If countries agree to the convention, they'd be required to enforce judgments in certain type of civil lawsuits brought in another jurisdiction.

That prospect lightens the hearts of entertainment lobbyists, who fear increasingly widespread piracy and the possibility of Napster clones arising in countries that don't have laws restricting online file-sharing.

Currently the Hague Convention includes copyright offenses in a section that Stallman, Internet providers, and consumer groups are lobbying to remove. Stallman, for instance, claims countries that are even more permissive about awarding software patents could sue U.S. programmers for violating them -- and thereby wreak havoc on the free software movement.

But Robert Raben, who spoke on Tuesday as a representative of the recording industry, warned that excluding copyright from the draft convention would be a mistake: "Its intentional exclusion at this point would be a terrible message to send to the world."

This dispute eerily mirrors a similar spat between the entertainment industry and open source and hacking groups that also involves copyright law. At the behest of business lobbyists, Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which limits programmers' ability to circumvent copy protection schemes and was the recent subject of an appeals court hearing.

Other speakers cautioned that it's too late to perform radical surgery on the Hague Convention, which has been under discussion since 1992 and was tentatively adopted by the 49 member nations of the Hague Convention in June 1999. A two-stage diplomatic summit is scheduled to begin in June 2001 and resume in 2002.

"You can't take it out of the convention, you just can't do it," said Marc Hankin, of Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, a law firm that deals with intellectual property disputes.

Only recently, however, have American businesses and nonprofit groups appeared to realize the sweeping scope of the treaty. (A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office request for comments last year went largely unheeded.)

Sarah Deutsch of Verizon said her employer opposed the Hague Convention. "I do think the convention is an expansion of the rights of copyright holders," she said. In an earlier letter, Verizon said it had "significant concerns" with the measure.


The Senate is considering provisions to a bill that would restrict the amount of information marketers can zap students with. Naturally, the ad people don't like it ---,1848,43847,00.html 

A proposed amendment to the omnibus education bill now before the Senate would require schools to get parental consent before allowing marketers to collect any information from kids at school.

If approved, the measure could seriously affect the way students use the Internet. Schools would have to inform parents of any data that might be collected by a website visited by students at school -- including anonymous data on where kids surf -- and how it would be used. Parents would have to give consent before any such data could be gathered.

Nonprofits dedicated to fighting commercialization in schools support the amendment. Commercial Alert, a watchdog group founded by Ralph Nader, is pushing for approval.

See also:
The Army is Watching Your Kid
An Ordeal: Copin' With COPPA
Activists Attack Porn Bill
Kids and Porn: Got Any Advice?
Keep an eye on Privacy Matters
Get schooled in Making the Grade
Everybody's got issues in Politics

Nudester Makes a Scene


An adult entertainment file-trading network is created as a beta testing ground. The dynamic filtering technology could offer peer-to-peer networks the answers they need to thrive ---,1282,43785,00.html 

Nudester works with several layers of filters and technology to ensure that child pornographers and their ilk don't invade the system. The content filter automatically blocks anyone who searches for flagged words, such as child or kid. Those searches are automatically blocked, said Maximilian Andersen, one of the Nudester developers.

Unlike Napster though, the Nudester system was launched purely as a testing ground for new technology that Andersen and his two partners developed. The trio -- who prefer to keep their legitimate business name out of stories affiliated with Nudester -- merely wanted to find a quick way to test their filtering software.

And it's exactly that type of dynamic monitoring software that many peer-to-peer systems are lacking.

"We reasonably understand some of the basics of what needs to be in a peer-to-peer network, but there are still two areas, security and management, that are murky," said Neal Goldman, research director at The Yankee Group. "If I'm going to deploy this technology, I want to know who is in my networks, and I want to be able to prevent people from joining.

"Similarly, there isn't much security in terms of protections against hacks, data stealing, taps."

Along with tackling security issues, the Nudester designers also wanted to make sure that they could monitor exactly who logged on to the system, without having the legal burden of files passing through a central Nudester server.

"We use the servers mainly to keep control of user behavior," Andersen said in an e-mail. "Users need to be authenticated by the mother server to be able to search, which makes us able to ban people that search for words like child and kid."

Bob Jensen's threads on peer-to-peer (P2P) can be found at 


More on P2P Networking

Shawn Fanning brought file trading to the masses, but Napster hasn't yet proved to be good business, and these days, good business is what really counts. So who's doing what with all this peer technology? ---,1282,43818,00.html 


That's the problem with niche systems such as Wiley's. The architectures are designed for a general file-sharing audience, and don't address specific business concerns. That limits the business development of the companies and designers.

So one of the casualties of the current business market is projects like Everything Over Freenet -- which often serves the purpose of keeping designers interested in the niche. Instead, programmers and designers are beginning to gravitate toward the money in the private sector.

"People don't buy architectures, they buy answers to their problems," said Neal Goldman, research director at The Yankee Group. "You will see more of a trend toward solving business problems rather than lumping these file-trading services all together into an artificial category."

While programmers like Wiley are working on personal projects, peer networking veterans are applying lessons they learned during the dot-com boom and bust into real business solutions.

Freenet founder Ian Clarke is hoping to use the basic tenets of his file-sharing project to create a sustainable business called Upriser, although the normally outspoken developer is mum on exactly how he plans to do that.

Scour founder Travis Kalanick -- who is also tight-lipped about his new venture -- is also applying the hard lessons he learned in the file-sharing world to his new company, Red Swoosh.


See also:
Fleshing Out Peer Filters
File Traders Take Aim at RIAA
Napster Hits Back
Songbird: Big Huff, Small Puff
File Tracker May Go Too Far

Bob Jensen's threads on peer-to-peer (P2P) can be found at 


Reports coming from Iran say the government is pushing immediate regulations on Internet cafes, and several are closing down ---,1283,43815,00.html 


New examination software being beta tested by Blackboard --- 

AUTHORING * Create Blackboard exams and surveys "offline" in a Windows environment * Supports all seven types of questions, including feedback * Import multiple choice, essay, and fill-in-the-blank questions from text files * Add formatting (eg. bold & italics) just like in a word processor * Insert math symbols using the Respondus Equation Editor or Mathtype * Embed graphics, audio, and video without writing or viewing the underlying HTML * Resize graphics and convert them to JPEG format with one click * Embed links to multimedia content on other servers using a simple wizard * Select questions from multiple files or randomly select questions using the "Question Bank" feature

PREVIEW, SUBMIT & PRINTING * Seamlessly transfer exams and surveys to Blackboard (multimedia components are transferred too) * Preview questions before uploading them to Blackboard * Determine point values and exam/survey settings offline * Print exams/surveys directly from the software, or save them to rich-text format for use with a word processor

RETRIEVAL AND OTHER TOOLS * Retrieve exams and survey instruments from Blackboard--the multimedia components, question order, and point values are maintained * Archive and restore exam/survey projects (including multimedia content) with one click--ideal for providing a colleague with a ready-to-use exam * Copy questions from one exam file to another * Quickly locate questions using keyword searches


From Information Week eMail on May 22, 2001

Don't tell IBM that interest in wireless technology is waning. The company is expanding its pervasive-computing product line, services, and partner programs. Wireless is "moving out to the masses," says Val Rahmani, general manager of wireless solutions at IBM.

Rahmani says that analysts who've written off wireless as a victim of hype are wrong. In fact, IBM says, the wireless market will grow 50% each year through 2003. Ready to ride the wave it sees, IBM is:

- Updating the ThinkPad A Series, replacing by June 22 a kludgy external antenna with one that fits within the notebook frame;

- Introducing two WorkPad handhelds, each based on the Palm Pilot IV with monochrome and color displays;

- Giving customers a way to administer IBM's entire server line from PDAs, mobile phones, and other handhelds by the end of this year;

- Selling Instant Wireless LAN service designed to help customers install a basic wireless network in two days;

- Jointly developing (with Mitsubishi Electric Corp.) low-power microchips for third-generation mobile phones. - Beth Bacheldor and Martin J. Garvey

For more on IBM's wireless moves, including hurdles it faces, go to: 


"Patents: The Internet as Alarm Clock?" --- 

The Internet may have radically changed ordinary life, but has anyone suggested that the Web might make it possible for people to sleep in a little longer? Last week, a Texas inventor did so with a patent for an alarm system that analyzes information from the Internet to decide whether to change the clock buzzer setting and roust a sleeper early or let him go on dozing.

Mary Smith Dewey, who lives in Dallas, patented a system that downloads real-time information about weather and traffic to help people get to work or appointments on time.

"A problem arises when there is an accident on the route the user usually follows, or if the weather creates traffic problems or other delays," she writes in her patent application. "On the other hand, many people may also desire a little extra time for sleeping if the traffic is particularly light one morning, or if, for example the weather causes a delay in a flight they are scheduled to take that morning."


Since the Scout Report is dropping its reports on both Social Science and Business/Economics, you may want to be certain that you are subscribed to the original Scout Report (that is not being dropped) --- 

For subscription options, send email to:  
In the body of the message type: query SCOUT-REPORT-HTML

"Death of Web 'inevitable'," by Kieren McCarthy, The Register, May 18, 2001 --- 

The World Wide Web's days are numbered, Forrester Research claims. The Internet may have taken off, mostly around the Web, but the next step of its evolution will see expansion beyond the browser, the company reckons.

The Web's replacement is an executable Net with throwaway code downloaded as and when you want to use it as well as millions of every day devices connected to the Internet (the old more-Barbies-than-PCs linked to Net idea).

Normally, we'd give such a headline-grabbing assertion short shrift, but Forrester is an excellent research company which is unafraid of extrapolating its findings to review the future of markets.

It knows it's putting its reputation on the line with this report though, so the big guns have been pulled out.

"The problem with today's Internet is that it's dumb, boring, and isolated," said the company's CEO and chairman George F. Colony. "News, sports, and weather imparted on static Web pages offer essentially the same content presented on paper, which makes the online experience more like reading in a dusty library than participating in a new medium. Now that the novelty has faded, business executives and consumers are going back to reading newspapers and watching TV. Ultimately, the Net hasn't truly become a part of our real worlds."

The executable Net - termed X Internet by Forrester - will consist of quickly downloaded, disposable programs loaded onto PCs and handhelds, and move away from today's transactional Web services.

"Executable applications will give users tools to experience the Net in more entertaining and engaging ways. For example, imagine a corporate buyer navigating a virtual marketplace with a Doom-like user interface - buyers could simply shoot the deals they want. That's a far cry from today's Web," said Carl D. Howe, research director, principal analyst and leading middle initial man at Forrester.

Howe actually gives quite a good analogy as to why the Net will change. "It's a little like the early days of television when programming was just radio with pictures of announcers."

As for the millions of Net-connected devices, the report reckons anything that runs on electricity will eventually have a Net link. This will allow Internet devices that "that sense, analyze, and control the real world". And there'll be 14 billion of them by 2010.


International Network of Distance Education Providers in Theology --- 


Want to build an effective e-Business strategy and gain a competitive advantage by conducting business with anyone, anywhere, anytime, through any device? Download Lawson Software's brand new white paper "Building an e-Business Strategy: What to Do Now. What to Do Next" --- 


"Jenzabar Partners with Lexis-Nexis to Offer Services to Colleges and Universities" --- 


Jenzabar, Inc., a leading provider of integrated enterprise software, Internet infrastructure, and services to higher education institutions, today announced it will offer access to Lexis-Nexis information solutions to students, faculty, and librarians at colleges and universities. Beginning in April, Jenzabar schools that subscribe to Lexis-Nexis will be able to access a portfolio of Lexis-Nexis solutions, including Academic Universe, Statistical Universe, Congressional Universe, State Capital Universe, and History Universe. Through the Jenzabar front-end web interface, users will enjoy web-based access to the most complete collection of publications available, covering news, financial, statistical, American history, medical, and legal information.

"In partnering with Lexis-Nexis, Jenzabar has again demonstrated its commitment towards improving the academic lives of both students and faculty," said Ling Chai, CEO of Jenzabar, Inc. "By integrating access to Lexis-Nexis products into Jenzabar’s infrastructure, our mutual customers now can enjoy more convenient access to the leading information products available in the industry."

"We are pleased to offer students, faculty, and librarians another gateway to the leading family of information products through the leading web interface in the academic world," said Paul Kesaris, Lexis-Nexis, vice president and editor-in-chief, CFM. "Now, those students, faculty and librarians associated with academic institutions with a Lexis-Nexis account can log in right from Jenzabar."

Leading PDA brands and models are compared, T.H.E. Journal, May 2001, pp. 82-86 --- 


The Compaq iPAQ 3650 Pocket PC scores very high, but has some limitations that would worry me.  There is no backup battery and all stored data and settings are lost if the battery dies.  The strong points include its MS Office products and MP3 player.



The following suggests a new line of business for CPA Assurance Services.

"New Accounting for Best-Sellers," By M.J. Rose ---,1284,43978,00.html 

Anyone looking at this quarter's eBookconnections best-seller list will notice the top two titles are listed as "removed at the request of the author."

What gives?

Journalist Jerri Ledford -- who runs the list on a volunteer basis -- changed the way she did the counting.

Where she previously relied on publishers telling her the tallies, now she requires verification in the form of royalty statements. The change came about after several publishers, authors and reporters questioned how the numbers were compiled.

That led author Leta Nolan Childers -- whose books The Best Laid Plans and Valentine's Victim had been No. 1 and No. 2 respectively -- to take her books off the list because she didn't want to let Ledford see her royalty statements.

"I have nothing to hide. I'm proud of my book sales and proud to have reached so many readers," said Nolan Childers, who says The Best Laid Plans is the all-time best-selling independent e-book. "My decision was made entirely on supporting the principle that authors deserve the same courtesy as anyone not employed in the public sector -- the right to keep confidential my earnings."

However, Ledford said the requirement was necessary.

"I want this list to be helpful for the industry," Ledford said. "And the only way to do that is to ensure that the numbers being reported are the actual numbers of books sold. There have been second-hand reports back to me that this hadn't been the case."

The other night, 20/20 on ABC Television did an expose on how Hollywood courts movie reviewers who lavishly praise every movie they are asked to review.  Some claim to be movie reviewers for magazines that do not even exist, but the movie producers reproduce their praise-filled reviews in movie publicity and advertisements.


See also:
Authors: Perish Before iPublish
Pay to Publish, Pay for Review
Out of Print, But Into Digital
Discover more Net Culture
There's no biz like E-Biz

Janet Flatley led me to this article.

"Some CPAs Seek to Return Accounting Profession to Its Traditional Roles"
 Source: The Dallas Morning News

Longtime certified public accountant Ken Sibley prefers the good ol' days -- way back in the 1980s -- when CPA firms limited themselves to tax and auditing work. The owner of Sibley and Co. in Dallas has witnessed a massive industry transformation that has thrust accounting firms into roles that some, including Mr. Sibley, aren't interested in adopting.

Over the last decade, the estimated 42,000 accountants in Texas have become more like consultants and investment advisers who sell everything from equity funds to annuities to insurance.

In the process, the number of accounting firms that offer only tax and accounting services is shrinking.

Meanwhile, practitioners in this once constant, conservative profession are now openly tangling over issues ranging from company ownership to global accreditation, and the government is stepping in to legislate industry operations.

Mr. Sibley, 50, whose firm focuses solely on tax, auditing and litigation services, said he plans to carry out the traditional roles of his profession.

"We're told that the changes reflect the marketplace. But it doesn't reflect the marketplace I work in," he said. "My clients don't want me to sell them stock, life insurance. I don't have computer specialists to do consulting."

The major CPA firms and many others, seeing a gold mine in functions such as consulting, have expanded their services. In turn, state and federal regulators and industry groups have introduced policy proposals to better direct the evolving industry.

Earlier this month, the Texas House of Representatives approved a measure that would allow non-CPA professionals to become partners in accounting firms. In April, new Securities and Exchange Commission rules took effect that restrict the consulting services that auditors provide. In addition, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy is working to iron out the wrinkles in a new computerized CPA exam.

Nationally, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is floating a controversial proposal to create an internationally accepted credential certifying a certain level of finance expertise.

"So many other people are doing tax planning, tax return preparation and consulting that in order for accountants to continue in public practice, we have to enable CPA firms to change their organizational structure," said Gary S. Hoffman, a partner at Weave and Tidwell LLP in Dallas.

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants successfully lobbied for a bill to relax some rules that govern what accounting firms can do. Legislation is close to being submitted for Gov. Rick Perry's signature.

For the rest of the article, go to 

"Things That Matter: Waiting for Linguistic Viagra,"  By Michael Hawley, Technology Review (from MIT), June 2001 --- 

On the face of it, the prospects for another technology-induced upgrade in the popular use of language are not good. For one thing, computers have evolved into visual media. They are more deaf than they are blind: aural and linguistic interfaces lag far behind visual ones. What's worse, computers are coming out of an increasingly Anglocentric culture. Even at universities, fewer and fewer departments teach foreign languages and fewer students study them. Shockingly large numbers of U.S. elected officials have never traveled out of the country. The erosion of foreign-language study is a melancholy sight: there is nothing like learning another language to help you know your own more deeply. Whether it is calculus or Cantonese, you think differently in other languages, and those differences matter.

This linguistic ignorance dismays me because I love words. In fact, I'm a word nerd. I get a kick out of tossing a few odd ones into my column, just to see if the pervicacious editors will weed them out. Back in the late 1980s, I created one of the first computer dictionaries (with entries from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) on a NeXT computer. At the time, it was exciting to have hot-and-cold running definitions at your fingertips. You could click on any word that aroused your curiosity and my "Digital Webster" program popped up the definition. Isn't that the essence of the educational itch? First, having the appetite to know more; and second, actually satisfying that appetite.

One engineer used the dictionary to build an unbeatable Scrabble-playing program. Someone else tried to automatically translate the newswires into rap. I never got around to throwing Digital Webster at the New York Times crossword puzzle, but that kind of word play was what we hoped computer dictionaries would unleash. Sadly, it wasn't.

Recently, it seems as if information technology has become a sleeping pill for this sort of creative and constructive language hacking. Today's computers no longer come with a first-class, built-in dictionary; that feels like a step back. There are, of course, dictionaries online. But although you can graze these canned Web dictionaries, you can't write programs to chew through them and do interesting things. The programmatic interfaces are closed. The pattern formed by networked PCs—the glut of Windows software, the lowest common denominator of Web servers—has become too much like the one-way information delivery of dumb cable television, and not as inviting even to word hackers like me. And writing teachers always bellyache about the insidious ways that word processors engender choppy, sloppy writing.

Maybe this is a lull. Maybe the current landscape of ugly displays, poor typography and flaky networks is too primitive compared to a beautifully printed magazine. But when the displays get really good, and when network connections are always available, like the air that we breathe—will we then see the emergence of a Napster of books to really shake things up? Can you imagine some hacker selling shoebox-sized pirate copies of the Library of Congress?

Perhaps we will wake up in a decade or two and the prevailing online language will be Cantonese. Perhaps it won't matter because computer and telephonic translation will have become so fantastically frictionless that worrying about Chinese copyright ripoffs will be superfluous. Ask to watch a spaghetti Western in Italian, and the system will not only translate the language on the fly, it will add the extra hand gestures, too. And maybe, if the biotech wizards get their way, we won't need all those clunky computers. I'm waiting for a linguistic Viagra pill that instantly makes you fluent in Italian, at least for an hour or two.

It's important to communicate. It's important to have a lingua franca. But it's also important to think differently. The most fertile, thriving cultures have a balance of order and chaos, with constant ferment. But today's computer media are flat and Anglocentric. Things are a bit too stuck, a bit too ordered. Both within the machines and across the network, we could enjoy a little more linguistic turmoil.

For other portions of the article, go to 


The global software piracy rate rose last year for the first time in six years, according to the latest piracy survey released by the Business Software Alliance --- 


Hi Greg,

I have not probed into FAS 133 implications for mortgage banking, at least not at a depth of use to you. Some links that might be of interest in FAS 133 accounting in mortgage banking are as follows:

"12 Unintended Consequences of FAS 133," by Barclay T. Leib,, March 2001 --- 

1. Corporate options trading volume is dropping.

2. Forward hedging is on the rise.

3. Corporates are hedging smaller notional amounts of their potential total exposures.

4. Financial reporting is still likely to be confusing.

5. Fun and games with P&L reporting are getting funnier and gamier.

6. Accounting for embedded derivatives is turning out to be far more complicated than expected.

7. Asset managers face huge problems with mortgage portfolios, convertibles and other products.

8. Energy hedges are particularly prone to being declared “ineffective.”

9. Multinationals can no longer reap windfall interest savings on cross-currency swaps.

10. Plenty of FAS exceptions and loopholes remain.

11. Many hedge effectiveness tests are conceptually flawed, and parameter risks abound.

12. Salesmen and corporates will both smarten up fast.


Item 7 above summarizes many of your problems, although I am sure that you would really rather have a summary of answers rather than questions.

DIG Issue F8—Hedging Mortgage Servicing Right Assets Using Preset Hedge Coverage Ratios (Cleared 3/21/01)

MIAC FAS133 Web Forum --- 

FAS133 web forum is solely dedicated to FAS133 discussions on the very special issues and challenges that FAS133 presents to the mortgage banking industry. The Web Forum is divided into Residential Servicing, Pipeline and Commercial Servicing. This provides a common site where people can post their FAS133 related questions and have an active dialogue with other individuals in the mortgage banking industry on issues related to FAS133

MIAC FAS133 Tools

MIAC ANT FAS125/FAS133 Module

MIAC ANT FAS125/133 Module --- 

Win OAS --- 

Vizhedge --- 

You might check on how Fannie Mae followed up on its promise to develop materials for FAS 133 compliance ---

Fannie Mae: Using Shadow Processing To Preview FAS 133 Hurdles 

Mortgage banking issues not covered or delayed by DIG --- 

Issue 11-4, When a Loan Commitment Meets the Net Settlement Criteria
Issue 12-4, Hedging Mortgage Servicing Right Assets Using Preset Hedge Coverage Ratios
Issue 11-6, Excluded Components of an Option's Time Value
Issue 11-5, Application of the "Regular-Way" Security Trades Exception to When-Issued Securities

June 29, 2000 Update --- 
Item 11-4: "When a Loan Commitment Meets the Net Settlement Criteria"
Item 11-6: "Excluded Components of an Option's Time Value"
Item 12-4: "Hedging Mortgage Servicing Right Assets Using Preset Hedge Coverage Ratios"
Item 12-12: "Definition of a Derivative: Application of Statement 133 to Beneficial Interests Issued in
                    Securitization Transactions"

My main FAS 133 site is at 

Original Message
May 23, 2001


I have reviewed much of the information you have posted on your website regarding FAS133 and found your work to be very informative. However, I am researching the implications of FAS133 on mortgage banking operations, specifically the impact on companies that hedge rate-locked pipelines. Have you performed any analysis in this area? If not, do you know of any other sources available for this subject.

Thank you for your assistance.

Regards, Greg Ellis 

Reply from Dan Thomas regarding the ($50) FAS 133 implementation report from the MBA.


Yes, You can get a copy by calling 1.800.793.MBAA.

Dan Thomas
Senior Director, Education Products and Services
Mortgage Bankers Association of America 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006 Ph: 202-557-2915 Fx: 202-721-0194 Email:  Web site:

"Our Cheating Hearts New Research shows that infidelity is in our genes," FEED, May 10, 2001 --- 

The Myth of Monogamy elaborates ideas first touched on in Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee, Robert Wright's Moral Animal, and Sarah Baffler Hrdy's Mother Nature. When first advanced, explanations of human sexual behavior based on evolutionary biology were (and to some extent still are) quite controversial. One potent critique was that these theories hijacked science to reaffirm gender stereotypes. Over the past decade, orinthologists, primatologists, and others have gathered new data, much of it related to the genetic incentives for females to stray. Barash and Lipton collate the science to address, or at least raise, the larger philosophical and ethical issues surrounding monogamy.

Neither an apologia for philanderers or an excuse for adultery, The Myth of Monogamy is a clear-eyed elucidation of the forces arrayed against this practice in other species as well as our own. It is no more depressing, for those who have a stake in the notion of a good marriage or mating for life, than Fox TV. This week, Barash and Lipton are joining us to discuss their latest book and what we gain by understanding the evolutionary history of this much revered and imperfectly abided social institution.

David Barash is professor of psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle and holds a Ph.D. in zoology.

Judith Lipton, M.D. is a psychiatrist who has practiced since 1980.

The International Business & Economics Research Conference is being held at the Peppermill Hotel & Casino in Reno, Nevada USA. (Monday through Friday, October 8 -12, 2001)

The IBER Conference seeks manuscripts on any business or economics related topic (including teaching and administrative issues) and business related manuscripts from any other academic field. We are launching a new, refereed, quarterly, journal in conjunction with the conference, which will offer publication to the better papers from the conference. Conference attendee voting will determine recipients of the IBERC Best Paper Awards. All accepted conference papers will be published in our refereed conference proceedings. Faculty may choose their presentation day (Monday 10/8/01 through Friday 10/12/01) to make scheduling travel easier. Please see our conference website  for complete conference details.

The Reno/Lake Tahoe area has many activities to consume your time between and after sessions. A half-day drive from Reno can take you to Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, or Napa Valley. The City of Reno has much to offer too, including gambling, shopping, ghost town tours, and a lot more. Rooms at the very nice Peppermill Hotel & Casino are only $69 per night. Hotel and area pictures are available on the conference website.

Submit a paper or an abstract/proposal for a paper by June 23, 2001 and the completed paper (or completed abstract if that is what you want in the proceedings) by July 31, 2001. We prefer to receive papers via email. Conference contact information is below.


Ronald C. Clute, Ph.D. Conference Chair International Business & Economics Conference PO Box 620760 Littleton, Colorado 80162 USA


The May 20th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. This week's news includes XBRL Eurpopean News, Newtec's Demo of Multi-Mart Financials 3.0, XML Hype Vs. Truth, insight on vendor posturing on SOAP and UDDI,and an update on the many summer seminars and symposiums for XBRL scheduled for this summer. Check out the news by clicking on the link below: 

Here are the top news items this week:

1. XBRL First European Jurisdictional Meeting Held 
2. Newtec Demos Full XBRL Capability 
3. XML: The Hype and the Truth 
4. Don't Get Lost in Vendors' Dataspace (SOAP, UDDI) 
5. XBRL Featured Topic at Summer Conferences 
6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

One of Don Bailey's parting jokes before retirement.

Norwegian Carpenters


Two Norwegian carpenters, according to Don Bailey, were working on a new barn when Ole notices that Sven sometimes pounds in a nail and sometimes tosses a nail into the trash barrel.  "Vhy  you trow away perfectly good nails Sven?" asks Ole.


"I only troh avay da ones wid da heads on the wrong end," Sven explains.


"You shouldn't be trow'in such good nails away," Ole frowns.  "Vee can use dem on the other vall.  Da ones pointed up are for da ceiling."


Norwegian Passion


Ole and Lena were in their car heading for Minneapolis when Ole put his hand on Lena's knee.

"Ole," she murmured softly, "you can go further if you vant."

And so Ole drove to Duluth.

Dick Floersheimer, Readers Digest, June 2001, p. 52.

During a visit to the ladies' room, my friend Addy heard the woman in the next stall suddenly ask, "So how are you?"  
Startled, Addy replied tentatively, "Fine." 
The woman continued, "So what's new?"  
Still confused, Addly said, "Not much.  What's new with you?"  
It was then that the woman snapped, "Do you mind?  I'm on the phone."

Marion Sparer, Readers Digest, June 2001, p. 143

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Market Terminology for Dummies:
Momentum Investing - The fine art of buying high and selling low.
Value Investing - The art of buying low and selling lower.
Broker - Poorer than you were in 1999.
P/E ratio - The percentage of investors wetting their pants as this market keeps crashing.
Standard & Poor - Your life in a nutshell.
Stock Analyst - Idiot who just downgraded your stock.
Bull Market - A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.
Bear Market - A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry and the  husband gets no sex.
Stock split - When your ex-wife and her lawyer split all your assets equally between themselves.
Market Correction - The day after you buy stocks. "

Forwarded by Dr D

How Many Church People Does It Take To Change a Light Bulb?

Charismatics: Only one. Hands already in the air.

Roman Catholics: None. They use candles.

Pentecostals: Ten. One to change the light bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None. God has predestined when the lights will be on and off.

Episcopalians: Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much better they liked the old bulb.

Mormons: Five. One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians: We chose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the light bulb. However, if you have found in your own journey that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Baptists: At least fifteen. One to change the light bulb, and two or three committees to approve the change. A follow up committee to make sure the light couldn't be dimmed for dancing. Oh, and also a casserole.

Lutherans: None. Lutherans don't believe in change.

Methodists: A whole congregation. One to change the light bulb, and the rest of the congregation to be sure that he doesn't backslide off the ladder and have to change it again.

Congratulations to a former student (Gabe Knapp) who just completed (May, 2001) his MBA at Harvard and will start working (probably for megabucks and a terrific stock option plan) at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond.  I should note that Gabe was the All American farm boy (from Ord, Nebraska).  He graduated as an accounting major from Trinity University and soon afterwards became an expert on derivative financial instrument accounting while at Arthur Andersen in Houston.  At times, I'm sure he still has nostalgic dreams about living on a farm.

How Our Dreams Change and Recycle

When I was young, my dream was to have a small horse ranch in Colorado.  When I was working in public accounting (at   Ernst & Ernst in Denver), my dream was to chase women and be a ski bum.  I decided to become a college professor so I could spend 12 hours a week earning a living and the rest of my time skiing and chasing women.  Just before I completed my Ph.D.,  I got married (no more chasing women in the plural) and got caught up in academic aspirations.  When I started teaching in my first academic job (at Michigan State University),  my dream was to win the Nobel Prize.  After 35 years of teaching and research, my dream is to retire on a horse ranch in Colorado and take up skiing after 40-years of not being on the slopes   When I break my neck and can neither ride nor ski, my dream is to have a jet-thrusting wheelchair so I can chase women in the nursing home.

Bob Jensen

Forwarded by my best friend and neighbor, the retired Dr D


Near the water in a tiny Mexican village, a boat comes to port. An American who is nearby compliments the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his catch and asks how long it took him. 

"Not very long," answers the Mexican. "But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asks the American. The Mexican explains that these few fish are sufficient to meet his needs and the needs of his family. 

The American then asks, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" 

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evening I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life." 

The American interrupts, "I have a Ph.D. from Stanford and I can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, New York, Silicon Valley, or even Redmond, Washington! From there you can direct your huge enterprise." 

"How long will that take?" asks the Mexican. 

"Thirty-five," replies the American. 

"And after that?" 

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answers the American, laughing. "When the business gets really good you can start selling stocks and make millions!" "Millions? Really? And after that?" 

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta with their grandmother, and spend your evenings drinking laxatives and playing the guitar with your friends!"

Best of luck to you, Gabe, on your new career at Microsoft.

Bob Jensen

Reply from David Fordham

One of the most common misperceptions held by the public is that today's universities' professors are "scholars" in the traditional sense of the word.

They visualize a professor as the stereotypical 19th century gray-bearded sage with reading spectacles, sequestered in his spacious mahogany paneled office, surrounded by shelves filled with leather-bound volumes of quaint and curious forgotten lore.

They think of our classes as the lecture hall (a la "The Paper Chase") in the ivy-covered building. Most damning, they think of our out-of-class time as being spent in one of two activities: (a) researching in the stacks of the library, or (b) pondering thoughtfully about the philosophies of our discipline, occasionally consulting with a colleague about tidbits of wisdom or theory.

If the public only knew of the "service load" borne by most of today's professors, if they only knew what it took to truly prepare an up-to-date and effective classroom presentation, and if they realized how precious little of our time we spend doing classical research, let alone pondering, they would not begrudge us the meager salaries we earn, nor write editorials in the papers about our 12-hour work weeks.

Incidentally, it was just such a misperception (e.g., the lure of true scholarship) which caused me to pursue a career in academia. I wanted to be a true scholar. I love learning. I love discovering. I love keeping up with advancements in many disciplines. I love being in an environment where I can keep tabs on the latest news in astronomy, electromagnetic physics, and yes, even accounting and information systems.

It is truly a crying shame (as often pointed out by my wife) that I don't have time to do any of that except perhaps for a couple of weeks in the heat of the summer.

When I decided to become a member of academia, little did I suspect the dues (!) I would have to pay in terms of time wasted in meetings, meetings, and more meetings, in completing reports, reports and more reports, and in performing the ridiculous amount of administrative trivia. (Been through accreditation lately? Participated in "curriculum revision" lately? Has your institution "reorganized" anything lately?)

"We are educators. And no one needs educating more than the general public." 
(attributed to Woodrow Wilson).

David Fordham 
James Madison University

Hi Betty,

My students have left campus for the summer (or for good in the case of the graduated students).

I love my career.  I think it is that time and work "ownership" thing described in the "Overwork" module below.

My life today? I have devoted the entire day answering email that arrived faster than I could process it. Typically persons write to me for favors such as how to deal with a FAS 133 implementation problem. In the process of answering email, I must perform many searches of my own files and/or Internet searches. In the process I learn things that I did not know or things of interest that I had forgotten (at my age I forget a lot). I then add these tidbits to my "scrapbook" called New Bookmarks.

My life yesterday? Yesterday was exactly like today. I was in the office at 4:57 a.m. and departed at 6:37 p.m. When I got home, my wife Erika had some "honey do's" since she is almost single-handedly re-doing our family room with new (leather) wall paper, paint, a wall of mirrors, and some new bookcases (she asked for a bench saw on our wedding anniversary). Both of us learned a long time ago that we don't deal well with leisure.

My life tomorrow? My life tomorrow will probably be like today. I will be lucky if I can reduce my email backlog to under 100 unanswered messages.

By now you must realize that technology has changed my life. I serve others a lot more, but the end result is that I learn a lot more than if I was shackled to one research project all summer and did not hear about such interesting problems other people encounter. Actually, I have several research projects running at the moment, and I will spend the three-day weekend (called the Memorial Day Holiday in the U.S.) trying to catch up on my research and hope that my incoming email will slow down while others go on holiday picnics, boating, hiking, playing with children, and having siestas with their spouses.

In fairness, I should say that I will be leaving for Germany on June 5 and, apart from lecturing, I will be free from email for six whole weeks. Erika and I may even have a few siestas in European hotels while we are away from the Internet, email, paint, and bench saws.

Thus you have a day in the life of Bob Jensen before and after the airplane leaves the ground.

Salaama  Aleekum (Peace be upon you)! 

Bob Jensen 

Original Message
Dear AECM Members: 

I currently am involved in an anthropological project entitled "A Day in the Life of a Professor." 

Your thoughts and input would be appreciated. 

Salaama  Aleekum (Peace be upon you)! 

Most sincerely, 

Mrs. Betty E. Carper > > The American University in Cairo 


From Information Week eMail on May 21, 2001 
(Most professors I know would consider a fifty hour work week as a semi-vacation.  Where can I get one of those 42-hour week jobs?)

** WORKPLACE: Surprising Findings In Overwork Study

Add overwork to death and taxes as life's only certainties, at least for IT workers. Whether staffing up in booms and cutting back in busts, IT workers are stretched thin. But a new study is helping to better define what constitutes overwork. The findings may surprise some.

The nonprofit Families and Work Institute has released a survey, "Feeling Overworked: When Work Becomes Too Much," that indicates it isn't necessarily the workload that leads to a feeling of overwork. More relevant is the "ownership" people feel they have for tasks. Employees are more likely to feel overworked because they're trying to meet superiors' expectations or because more time is needed to complete an assigned task.

They are less likely to report being overworked when the effort is internally driven: to advance in a career, or to make more money in order to buy a new house, for instance. In fact, Ellen Galinsky, principal author of the study, says that a group of IT workers told her recently that they consider themselves the overwork "poster children" for overwork. John Drake, founder of human-resources consulting firm Drake Beam Morin, says IT is probably the worst area for overwork. "IT is a key piece in most companies; long hours and dedication are expected--especially in small startups," he says.

The average U.S. employee works 42 hours a week, but would prefer to work just under 35. The InformationWeek 2001 Salary Survey finds that, on average, IT staff work 45 hours a week plus 24 hours on call. For managers, on-call time is roughly the same, but they're working 50 hours. On-call time is dramatically up from last year, from around 15 hours a week. - Diane Rezendes

For more information from our salary survey, visit  

Read more about IT workloads at


A summary of the Families and Work Institute study can be found at 

And that's the way it was on May 25, 2001 with a little help from my friends.


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


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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May 21, 2001

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on May 21, 2001
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Quotes of the Week

My friends and colleagues cannot understand my obsession with the Internet.  The reason I’m always online is quite simple.  There are very few fences on the Internet.  In its early years, the Internet is much like my early childhood.  Internet folks are good neighbors and willingly share what they know and think.  They even share their tools.  The main difference between the Internet and a small Iowa town in the 1940s is that the Internet’s outreach is global.  We may never see the faces of those with whom we share things online, but in many ways we become just as close or even closer than Max and me.  Television is banned in heaven, because it only networks in one direction.  The Internet is dominant because things travel in all directions.
Bob Jensen in "A Glimpse of Heaven: What I Learned From Max and Gwen" --- 

Online you get to know your students' minds, not just their faces.
Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., and Turoff, M. (1995). Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
As quoted at 

Quotes from Professor Burks Oakley II, 
Sloan Center for Asynchronous Learning Environments,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Asynchronous Learning Networking Promotes Greater Communication

Asynchronous Learning Networking Enhances the Learning Environment

Impact on Course Grades in ECE 270, Fall 1994, 2 traditional sections versus 3 ALN sections

Course Grade


Computer Based



For an August 2000 update, download Dan Stone's audio file and PowerPoint file from 

With more than 100,000 online students registered online at the University of Wisconsin, most faculty and staff have become comfortable creating online content.  The challenge today is to improve online learning by making the content more engaging and interactive while making it accessible to all. We are particularly interested in tools that can be used to create world-class learning objects. Today, unfortunately, seamless movement of content between learning systems is still a large issue.
Judy Brown ---,11011,2717917,00.html 

All that glitters is not gold in terms of cost savings and profits from distance education.  Many of the startup ventures are having difficulty changing faculty attitudes and attracting paying students.  To me this is not surprising since faculty by nature are suspicious beings, and most potential customers of distance education are not yet adequately connected to the Web.  David Noble, however, sees the early failings of many ventures as ominous warnings that distance education is by nature inferior and over-hyped by profit mongers.

And now, in the year 2001, these latest academic entrepreneurs of distance education have begun to encounter the same sobering reality earlier confronted by UCLA and THEN, namely, that all that glitters is not gold. Columbia University's high-profile, for-profit venture Fathom is reported to be "having difficulty attracting both customers and outside investors" compelling the institution to put up an additional $10 million - on top of its original investment of $18.7 million - just to keep the thing afloat. According to Sarah Carr's report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Columbia's administrators remain behind the venture whether or not it makes money.

Howevermuch it might enable administrators to restructure the institutions of higher education to their advantage vis a vis the professoriate, the investment in online education is no guarantee of increased revenues. "Reality is setting in among many distance education administrators", Carr reports. "They are realizing that putting programs online doesn't necessarily bring riches". Ironically, among those now preaching this new-found wisdom is none other than John Kobara, the UCLA vice chancellor who left the university to run Arkatov's company, which was founded upon the expectation of such riches. "The expectations were that online courses would be a new revenue source and something that colleges had to look into", Kobara remembered. "Today", he told Carr, [chancellors and presidents] are going back and asking some important and tough questions, such as: 'Are we making any money off of it?' 'Can we even pay for it?' 'Have we estimated the full costs?'" Barely eight years after Lapiner and his UCLA colleagues first caught the fool's gold fever, Kobara mused aloud, "I don't think anybody has wild notions that it is going to be the most important revenue source".
David F. Noble, "Fools Gold" --- 

Rather than go along with David Noble's extremely negative defiance against technology in education and "digital diploma mills," I like Walter S. Baer's 1998 conclusions in a RAND Corporation (RAND/RP 685) study.

A few academic institutions, spurred by vision or crisis, will seek to reorient instruction toward distributed, student-centered learning with heavy use of Internet-based courseware, discussion groups, and links to other online resources. This seems likely to occur first for continuing education, job-related training, and other non-degree courses, as well as for the expansion of current distance- learning programs. For-profit firms will also move beyond their traditional corporate training markets within the next few years to deliver educational courses more widely via the Internet, often in partnership with academic institutions. Competition for non-degree students will thus become more intense and should lead to lower student costs per course --- beginning with Internet-based classes, but probably then spreading to other modes of instruction. 

Degree programs will migrate to the Internet more slowly, although most colleges and universities will soon offer at least some courses online for degree credit. Internet-based, virtual universities will provide the lowest-cost degree options, but geography and face-to-face interaction will still play important roles in attracting degree students. Nevertheless, ready availability of courses over the Internet at lower net cost to the student will encourage more off-campus learning. Rather than today's dichotomy between "traditional" and "nontraditional" students, more students will earn their degrees by taking a mix of on-campus and Internet- based, off-campus courses. And as competition increases, students will be able to take more Internet courses for credit from sources other than their own degree-granting institution. 

Finally, learning from the Internet will complement rather than supplant on- campus traditional higher education. Peter Drucker notwithstanding, one should not expect residential colleges and universities to disappear within a generation. A great many young adults still want the face-to-face instruction and social interactions they get on campus, even if it is more expensive than distance learning. For most secondary-school graduates, the issue will not be choosing between full-time, on-campus study and 100-percent distance learning, but selecting a mix that is educationally sound, accessible, and affordable. In this sense the Internet may not transform higher education, at least for the foreseeable future, 64 but it will enrich the educational choices generally available to all categories of learners.
Walter S. Baer (See Below)

"Will the Internet Transform Higher Education?" by Walter S. Baer, The Emerging Internet, Annual Review of the Institute for Information Studies, Charles M. Firestone, Program Director. Copyright © 1998 Institute for Information Studies --- 

Walter S. Baer 
Senior Policy Analyst 
RAND Corporation 

American higher education faces formidable challenges caused by changing student demographics, severe financial constraints, and lingering institutional rigidities. (See Footnote 1) At the same time, increased demands are being placed on higher education to provide greater student access to education, better undergraduate programs, and increased productivity. To address both sets of issues, institutions of higher education are turning to new communications and information technologies that promise to increase access, improve the quality of instruction, and (perhaps) control costs. 

The use of older technologies for distance learning in post-secondary education (See Footnote 2) has already been shown to be cost-effective in such diverse settings as the Open University in the United Kingdom, four-year and community colleges in the United States, satellite-delivered video courses for engineers and other professionals, and corporate and military training. Now the Internet is being proposed as the preferred technology to improve instruction, increase access, and raise productivity in higher education. (See Footnote 3) College and university instructors now routinely post their syllabi and course readings to the World Wide Web. A few use lectures and other instructional materials available on the Web in their own courses. A growing number of schools offer at least some extension or degree- credit courses over the Internet. And more ambitious plans are in various stages of preparation or early implementation --- plans for entire virtual universities that use the Internet to reach geographically dispersed students.

Two distinct models guide current efforts to make use of the Internet in higher education. The first approach seeks to improve existing forms and structures of post-secondary instruction --- to create "better, faster, cheaper" versions of today's courses and curricula by means of the Internet. This model emphasizes building an on-campus information infrastructure that provides (or will provide) high-speed Internet connectivity to all students, faculty, administrators, and staff. Faculty then can use this infrastructure to improve and supplement traditional courses and degree programs. Library holdings can be digitized and made available both on-and off-campus. (See Footnote 4). Administrative processes can be speeded up and simplified. And although the focus remains on on-campus instruction, this new information infrastructure can facilitate distance learning for many categories of nontraditional, off-campus students. While this model of Internet use in higher education requires many changes among faculty, student, and administrative roles and functions, it keeps most existing institutional structures and faculty roles intact.

Bob Jensen's threads on technology in education are at 

"THE HOTTEST CAMPUS ON THE INTERNET Duke's pricey online B-school program is winning raves from students and rivals," Business Week, October 27, 1997 --- 

Update:  The Duke MBA --- Global Executive (formerly called GEMBA) --- 

The Duke MBA - Global Executive is every bit as academically demanding as Duke's other two MBA programs. Global Executive uses the same faculty base, the same rigorous grading standards, and provides the same Duke degree. However, the content has been adjusted to include more global issues and strategies to serve a participant population that has far more global management experience.

For the class entering in May 2001, tuition is $95,000. Tuition includes all educational expenses, a state-of-the-art laptop computer, portable printer, academic books and other class materials, and lodging and meals during the five residential sessions. The tuition does not include travel to and from the residential sites.

You can learn a great deal about the extend of distance education in this program by looking at the academic calendar at

Important Distance Education Study of the Week --- eVal

"Four packages shine in different subjects But not one of these offerings was clearly head of the class in all fields," by Russell Windman, eWEEK Labs,  May 14, 2001 ---,11011,2717916,00.html 

What makes this study so impressive is the set of judges and the University of Wisconsin setting for the study.

The eVal took place at the University of Wisconsin at Madison's Engineering Hall, where eWEEK Labs joined 15 judges from the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Technical College System, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Minnesota and Dow Corning Corp. in examining what the vendors brought to the class. The eVal was run under the auspices of UW's Office of Learning and Information Technology.

The lessons we learned in this eVal: Learning objects come in a variety of types with assorted strengths; content experts must work as part of a team to build the most useful online instruction; and the most visual learning objects are the most memorable.

The challenge facing UW's OLIT, the school's Academic Advanced Distributed Learning program and training departments everywhere is to identify authoring tools capable of creating engaging interactive material for online learning that faculty (or corporate trainers) can access and incorporate into online courses.

We are talking about lessons, what the gingham-frocked schoolmarm used to chalk up on the slate. These days, instructors don't use chalk but a learning object authoring tool. OLIT wants to select one or two authoring tools that will help training departments easily create learning objects and then fit those learning objects into an LMS (learning management system).

The Department of Defense has created through its ADL initiative a standard called SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) to tame these learning objects. All four products we tested are moving to support SCORM standards.

"For a learning object to really be effective, it must easily fit into the LMS," said Judy Brown, an eWeek Corporate Partner and emerging technology analyst for OLIT. "Adherence to the SCORM standard will allow learning objects to easily be interchanged among LMSes."

Bottom Line Conclusions

The learning object authoring tools in this eValuation each presented different strengths. 

There is a lot more to this report in the way of comparisons and links.  Go to -,11011,2717916,00.html 

"Authoring tool scorecard" ---,11011,2760067,00.html 
This is the report card where the advantages and limitations of each of the four systems are summarized.

"Lessons learned eWEEK Labs grades tools that build lessons for distance learners," by Russell Windman, eWEEK May 14, 2001 ---,11011,2717915,00.html 

"From the trenches," by Judy Brown May 14, 2001 ---,11011,2717917,00.html 

"The 'everyman' factor It takes a complex tool to teach a distant learner," by Russell Windman, eWEEK May 15, 2001 ---,11011,2760608,00.html 

For perspective, bear in mind that each of these programs is a more capable WYSISYG HTML authoring tool than the specialized Web authoring tools of only 24 months ago. Furthermore, these programs need hooks for all the three-dimensional, multimedia and graphics resources, and the entire agglomeration must be SCORM-compliant.

Add to that the fact that the Web and browser have become the de facto medium and interface for delivery and are themselves works in progress, and you begin to grasp the challenge. It takes a complex tool to teach a distant learner.

Nevertheless, many software vendors overstate the usability of their products. And it's true that some of these authoring tools require a programmer's understanding of code syntax. Although there may be a GUI, it's more of an aid to the programmer than the lay user. The schoolmarm may know very well what today's lesson is, but in the wild and wooly territory of distance learning, she'll need help getting into the little red schoolhouse and, probably, getting somebody to write on the slate for her.

Following the Macromedia/Allen Interactions presentations, a judge addressed one of the vendors: "I've seen you before, and you are good. Can you tell me how long it will take the average faculty member to do what you did here?"

Laughter exploded because a truth had been spoken, and the gap separating vendor claims from user needs was laid open like a fissure in the earth above a stressed fault. Content experts may not be the people best suited to use this class of programs. At the very least, a team approach is needed. The presenter's answer was candid. "In Authorware, a newbie might take 8 hours to do what I did in an hour and a half."

OK, so from the mouth of an expert we have an everyman factor for Authorware--which was among the friendlier products shown. The Hypercosm presenters, to their credit, stated that their product requires a programmer or Hypercosm's services. However, ease of use is a constant concern regarding all the programs.

This is not to criticize these products, just the marketing of them. It strikes us as unreasonable to expect the content expert to have the time to master and stay current in the skills needed to create a SCORM-compliant learning object in a practical amount of time. Several judges stated that their organizations were already looking into establishing departments to offer these services somewhat along the lines of application development.

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of authoring software can be found in the "History and Future of Course Authoring Technologies (Including Predictions for the 21st Century and Knowledge Portals)" 

National Education --- The New York Times 

Links on Computers and Society --- 
This is loaded with news items on technology and education.

Annotated Webliography Of Humanism 
From the Renaissance through Marxism and Postmodernism.

Finding a college on the Web --- 

"The College Search Game, Spam Included," The New York Times, September 28, 2001
For students who are starting their college searches, several Web sites offer one-stop shops that include searchable databases of college information, test preparation aids, virtual tours and online applications. Here are some of the leading sites and some of the additional features they contain:

THE COLLEGE BOARD: Features online registration for the SAT and help with essay preparation. Plans to offer soon a search feature called LikeFinder, which will enable students to find colleges similar to the ones they are reading about, and a feature that will generate side-by-side comparisons of selected colleges.

COLLEGELINK: Offers a month-by-month planner and articles about financial aid.

COLLEGENET: The CollegeBot search engine looks at college-related Web sites.

PETERSON'S COLLEGEQUEST: Includes a personal organizer, practice tests for the SAT and ACT and discussion groups.

EMBARK: Offers online "lockers" where students can store applications in progress and results of searches.

XAP: Gives students a head start on the admissions process, starting in eighth grade, by leading them through questions about high school courses and the types of colleges they would like to attend.

Some Web sites, like the ones below, focus on specific aspects of the college search:

CPNET AND U-WIRE:, News from college newspapers around the country.

FAFSA ON THE WEB: An online version of the federal financial aid form.

FASTWEB: A database of scholarships and grants.

FINAID: Calculators and resources to help demystify the financial-aid process.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS/IPEDS COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES ON-LINE: A database of 9,000 colleges. Students can search for colleges based on a profile of the types of schools they are interested in.

USNEWS.COM: Annual rankings of colleges according to U.S. News & World Report, and a database that can be searched for specific criteria.

Related Articles
Online Application Forms Add to College Admission Frenzy
(December 23, 1999)

Students See Risk in Online College Applications
(July 6, 2000)

Other Related articles
Turning to Online Schools for Advanced Degrees --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education can be found at 

Controversies Regarding Pedagogy

"No Lectures or Teachers, Just Software," by Joshua Green, The New York Times, August 10, 2001 ---

The aim is to get students to delve into a course's volumes of academic information, including hours of videotape of experts in a field related to the program. Students running Krasnovia, for example, can draw on video advice from Thomas Boyatt, a former ambassador, and Bruce Laingen, an American diplomat who was held hostage in Iran and is president of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Rather than subject students to full-blown lectures, Dr. Schank breaks the video into snippets that address only the question at hand. He believes students learn more effectively through this piecemeal approach, which he calls "just in time" learning.

"The value of the computer is that it allows kids to learn by doing," he said. "People don't learn by being talked at. They learn when they attempt to do something and fail. Learning happens when they try to figure out why."

Bald, bearded and powerfully built, Dr. Schank's appearance and demeanor suggest Marlon Brando in the movie "Apocalypse Now." His professional reputation is somewhat similar. His brusque manner and outspoken criticism of those he disagrees with have alienated some colleagues and earned him the reputation of iconoclast. But his success in designing teaching software has made him a much sought after figure among businesses, military clients and universities.

His company puts extraordinary effort into creating software courses, each of which can take up to a year to design and can cost up to $1 million. Video is an important component of Dr. Schank's program. After interviewing professors, his staff develops a story, writes a script, hires professional actors and begins filming. Cognitive Arts even arranged the use of CNN footage of the Bosnian conflict to lend the aura of authenticity to Crisis in Krasnovia.

The programs allow students to progress at their own pace. Dr. Schank says the semester system is badly outdated, a view he also holds for most tests, which foster only temporary memorization, he says. His programs require students to write detailed reports on what they have learned. A student who cuts corners does not finish the course, and the failing grade is delivered in the spirit of a video game. In Krasnovia, for instance, an incomplete report would draw a mock newscast in which commentators ridicule the president's address. Students must then go back and improve their work.

These multimedia simulations differ radically from current online offerings. "When you look at online courses now, what do you see?" Dr. Schank said. "Text online with a quiz. We're not taking a lecture and putting it on screen. We're restructuring these courses into goal-based scenarios that will get kids excited."

Dr. Schank says that such courses will render traditional classes -- and many professors -- obsolete. "The idea of one professor for one class is ancient," he said. "New technology is going to give every student access to the best professors in the world."

But many academics dismiss Dr. Schank's prediction that traditional teaching methods will soon become obsolete and question software learning's pedagogic value. "Education depends on relationships between people," said David F. Noble, a history professor at York University in Toronto and a critic of online learning. "Interactive is not the same as interpersonal. What Schank doesn't recognize is that teaching is not just about relaying knowledge."

Others warn against accepting radical new technology without pause. "The American university system is a highly functional institution," said Phil Agre, an associate professor of information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. "The danger is that we will apply overly simplistic ideas about technology and tear apart the institution before we really know what we're doing."

Related evidence on impact of removing lectures from course is found in the BAM project described at

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment can be obtained at 

Teaching at an Internet Distance: the Pedagogy of Online Teaching and Learning The Report of a 1998-1999 University of Illinois Faculty Seminar --- 

In response to faculty concern about the implementation of technology for teaching, a year-long faculty seminar was convened during the 1998-99 academic year at the University of Illinois. The seminar consisted of 16 members from all three University of Illinois campuses (Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign) and was evenly split, for the sake of scholarly integrity, between "skeptical" and "converted" faculty. The seminar focused almost entirely on pedagogy. It did not evaluate hardware or software, nor did it discuss how to provide access to online courses or how to keep them secure. Rather, the seminar sought to identify what made teaching to be good teaching, whether in the classroom or online. External speakers at the leading edge of this discussion also provided pro and con views.

The seminar concluded that online teaching and learning can be done with high quality if new approaches are employed which compensate for the limitations of technology, and if professors make the effort to create and maintain the human touch of attentiveness to their students. Online courses may be appropriate for both traditional and non-traditional students; they can be used in undergraduate education, continuing education, and in advanced degree programs. The seminar participants thought, however, that it would be inappropriate to provide an entire undergraduate degree program online. Participants concluded that the ongoing physical and even emotional interaction between teacher and students, and among students themselves, was an integral part of a university education.

Because high quality online teaching is time and labor intensive, it is not likely to be the income source envisioned by some administrators. Teaching the same number of students online at the same level of quality as in the classroom requires more time and money.

From our fundamental considerations of pedagogy we have prepared a list of practice-oriented considerations for professors who might be interested in teaching online, and another list for administrators considering expanding online course offerings.

Practical Considerations for Faculty:

Whom do I teach? (Sections 2,3) The fraction of "nontraditional" students is not as high as some make it out to be, but is still significant. Stemming from the baby boomlet, the number of young, "traditional" students will be as high or higher than ever through the next decade. Many contexts of online course delivery given in Table 5, for professional training/continuing education, undergraduate education, and graduate education for both traditional and nontraditional students, are viable. There are several exceptions: first, certain types of advanced graduate work cannot be performed online, and second, traditional students benefit from the maturing, socializing component of an undergraduate college education and this requires an on-campus presence.

How do I teach? (Sections 4,5) Attempts are being made to use instructional technology such as real-time two-way videoconferencing in attempts to simulate the traditional classroom. With improvements in technology this mode may yet succeed, but from what we have seen, the leaders in this area recommend shifts from "traditional" teaching paradigms. Two new online paradigms that appear to work well are text-based computer mediated communication (CMC) for courses that are traditionally taught in the discussion or seminar mode, and interactive, graphically based material for courses that are traditionally taught in the lecture mode. Methods are by no means limited to these two.

How many do I teach? (Section 5) High quality teaching online requires smaller student/faculty ratios. The shift from the classroom to online has been described as a shift from "efficiency to quality." We also believe a motivational human touch must come into play as well in the online environment as it does in the classroom. Students should feel they are members of a learning community and derive motivation to engage in the material at hand from the attentiveness of the instructor.

How do I ensure high quality of online teaching? (Sections 2, 6, 7) Quality is best assured when ownership of developed materials remains in the hands of faculty members. The University of Illinois' Intellectual Property Subcommittee Report on Courseware Development and Distribution recommends that written agreement between the courseware creator and the administration be made in advance of any work performed. Evaluation of learning effectiveness is also a means to ensure high quality. We suggest a broad array of evaluation areas that includes, but is not limited to, a comparison of learning competence with the traditional classroom.

Policy Issues for Administrators

How do I determine the worth of teaching technology? (Sections 1, 2) On any issue involving pedagogy, faculty members committed to teaching should have the first and last say. On the other hand, faculty must be held responsible for good teaching. Online courses should not be motivated by poor instructor performance in large classes.

How do I encourage faculty to implement technology in their teaching? (Section 7) Teaching innovation should be expected, respected, and rewarded as an important scholarly activity. At the same time, not all classes are amenable to online delivery.

To ensure the quality of a course, it is essential that knowledgeable, committed faculty members continue to have responsibility for course content and delivery. Therefore, intellectual property policies should allow for faculty ownership of online courseware. The commissioning of courses from temporary instructors should be avoided, and the university should be wary of partnerships with education providers in which faculty members have commercial interests.

Will I make money with online teaching? (Sections 3, 5) The scenario of hundreds or thousands of students enrolling in a well developed, essentially instructor-free online course does not appear realistic, and efforts to do so will result in wasted time, effort, and expense. With rare exceptions, the successful online courses we have seen feature low student to faculty ratios. Those rare exceptions involve extraordinary amounts of the professor's time. And besides the initial investment in the technology, technical support for professors and students and maintenance of hardware and software are quite expensive.

Online teaching has been said to be a shift from "efficiency" to "quality," and quality usually doesn't come cheaply. Sound online instruction is not likely to cost less than traditional instruction. On the other hand, some students may be willing to pay more for the flexibility and perhaps better instruction of high quality online courses. This is the case for a growing number of graduate level business-related schools. However, it is likely that a high number of "traditional" students, including the baby boomlet, will continue to want to pay for a directly attentive professor and the on-campus social experience.

How do I determine if online teaching is successful? (Sections 5, 6) In the short term, before history answers this question, we think that a rigorous comparison of learning competence with traditional classrooms can and should be done. High quality online teaching is not just a matter of transferring class notes or a videotaped lecture to the Internet; new paradigms of content delivery are needed. Particular features to look for in new courses are the strength of professor-student and student-student interactions, the depth at which students engage in the material, and the professor's and students' access to technical support. Evidence of academic maturity, such as critical thinking and synthesis of different areas of knowledge should be present in more extensive online programs.

For the complete report, go to 

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment can be obtained at 

"Push for Computers in Classrooms Gathers New Foes," by Pamela Mendels, The New York Times, December 15, 1999 --- 

Now, a new group of educators, doctors, psychologists and others is challenging that notion. In a draft statement on technology literacy, a committee of the group, called the Alliance for Childhood, says that the American approach to technology in homes and schools has been flawed, emphasizing ephemeral vocational skills and the razzle-dazzle of educational software, rather than helping children think critically about technology and its appropriate use.

Among other things, the committee is urging that computers have a restricted role, if any role at all, in elementary school classrooms and in later years be introduced in a way that assures children understand how computers work, can examine the appropriate place of technology in their lives and be instilled with the idea of ethical behavior online.

The hope, said Joan Almon, coordinator of the group, is to influence policy makers, parents and teachers at a time when "there is still a window," when computers have not yet become as entrenched in life as, say, television.

The alliance, which was formed last February, plans to incorporate as a formal nonprofit organization. Its founding members include Almon, a long-time teacher and consultant; Jane M. Healey, an educational psychologist and author of "Failure to Connect," a critique of computer use in education; Stephen L. Talbott, the editor of a well-regarded electronic newsletter examining the social implications of technology; and Bettye Caldwell, a professor of pediatrics and former president of National Association for the Education of Young People.

The purpose of the group is to fight what its members see as a "toxic cultural environment" where they say children are buffeted by stress that is leading to a decline in their well-being and an increase in health problems like hyperactive disorders and depression. They say that stress includes academic pressures, lack of interaction with caring adults, and mass exposure to violence, sex and crass commercialism in electronic media.

Related Articles
Project Trains Teachers to Use Technology
(September 15, 1999)

Survey Finds Teachers Unprepared for Computer Use
(September 8, 1999)

Focus Shifts to Effectiveness of Education Technology
(July 14, 1999)

Non-Traditional Teachers More Likely to Use the Net
(May 26, 1999

See the Dark Side at 

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at 

"From Managing Expenditures to Managing Costs Strategic Management for Information Technology," by George Kaludis and Glen Stine (From Martin J. Finkelstein, Carol Frances, Frank I. Jewett, and Bernhard W. Scholz, eds., Dollars, Distance, and Online Education: The New Economics of College Teaching and Learning.  (text-only --- this one is easier to print) 


The costs of information technology can only be managed to the extent that an institution understands its technology-enabled educational objectives and places them in the context of overall institutional mission. Information technology–enabled improvements are potentially available at many levels and parts of the institution. Some colleges and universities, however, will be neither willing nor able to achieve the fundamental shifts in thinking necessary to manage the cost of information technology. Many do not have an integrated, purposeful plan for applying information technology to new delivery systems and new customer markets. They will treat such efforts through separate organization, using separate faculty policies and approaches and generating separate revenue streams and investment decisions. Traditional students may or may not be included in any redesign of the learning delivery process. Some institutions have made and must continue to make their reputation on course delivery mechanisms that do not allow economies of scale essential to manage technology costs. Further, the introduction of certain technologies creates significant links and ramifications to and with other administrative systems, resource planning and allocation policy, libraries, student services activities, alumni management, and degree and course certification. Without critical enterprisewide thinking and strategic agenda setting, the costs of instructional technology are essentially an unmanageable process. We have labeled the process Comprehensive Enterprise Planning (CEP). 

The CEP planning model identifies the following five critical areas of concern for every institution: 

1. What are the key characteristics of the institutions as they relate to the use of instructional and other technologies? 

2. What is the institution’s current and desired future market position in terms of instructional applications of information technology? Going into distance learning, for example, on a small scale will be extremely costly because shared technologies and overhead costs cannot be leveraged. 

3. How ready is the campus in terms of the physical, policy, and management infrastructure to apply information technology to the instructional program? Campus attitudes are also part of this question.

4. Is the institution ready to deal with management issues like activity-based costing, multi-year capitalization of losses, and a broader view of strategic asset management? 

5. What are the critical determinants for the institution’s reputation and current market position? 

A critical mission element to consider is what portion of an institution’s mission includes services to non-traditional students. For the most part, this means working students, older students, and students for whom convenience and price are primary considerations. The higher the mission importance of these students, the less likely traditional delivery systems are going to work in the future and the greater potential for instructional applications of information technology. A second mission element to consider might be the role research, particularly research in the use of information technology, plays at the institution. A few institutions will play leading roles in the development and implementation of instructional applications of IT as a spin-off of their research roles. Current institutional economics should also contribute to the analysis. Small institutions may have to join together or make greater use of outsourcing services than institutions that can absorb short-term investment costs within their existing revenue streams. Institutions with large numbers of high enrollment introductory classes and sections have significantly greater use of technology opportunities than institutions that limit class size.

You can download other parts of the document from 

The above article also contains a section on "Analyzing Return on Investment and Strategic Asset Management."

Bob Jensen's threads on the costs of distance education can be found at 

Bob Jensen's new set of threads on cross-border (transnational) training and education --- 

Sharing Professor of the Week --- 

Lewis Shaw of Suffolk University shares a great deal from various current and previous accounting courses that he has taught.  Thank you Lewis.

Current Courses
ACCT 332 - Accounting Information Systems
ACCT 431 - Issues in Financial Accounting and Auditing

Previous Courses
ACCT 201 -- Accounting and Decision Making I
ACCT 321 -- Intermediate Accounting I
ACCT 322 -- Intermediate Accounting II
ACCT 411 -- Advanced Accounting I
ACCT 801 - Graduate Accounting I
ACCT 802 -- Graduate Accounting II
ACCT 700 -- Introductory Accounting (MBA)
FNEC 750 -- Managerial Economics

You can read about other sharing professors at 

See the following for Adobe's strategy in the college textbook market. 
Richard J. Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Adobe Targets Higher Education With Launch of eBook U Major College Campuses Team With Adobe to Explore eBooks Adoption Into Curriculum --- 

Partnering institutions receive Adobe's industry-leading software and training to create, encrypt and distribute Adobe PDF-based eBook content such as textbooks, course packs and customized course readers. In turn, Adobe will have the opportunity to learn and examine the way eBooks are being adopted in institutions of higher education. Participating institutions include: MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Mass.; Occidental College, Los Angeles; Miami-Dade Community College Medical Center Campus, Miami; Mills College, Oakland, Calif.; Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, Ariz.; University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Md.; University of Utah, Center for Advanced Medical Technologies, Salt Lake City; Tufts University, Medford, Mass.; and University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

"We selected these colleges and universities based on their interest in eBook technology and their willingness to share their experiences. It was also important to address a broad range of campus types. Together, we hope to better understand and meet the needs of academic administrators, professors and students," said Dr. Michael Looney, senior director of education and government marketing Adobe. "eBook U gives educational authors, from faculty to campus administrators, the tools to discover the benefits of using interactive course materials and textbooks. eBooks are ideal for students: they have tremendous reading requirements, are very savvy with Web and digital content and they're mobile."

"Paired with our wireless network, the Adobe eBook U program will give us the opportunity to explore new and dynamic ways to give our students greater access to information," said Theodore R. Mitchell, president of Occidental College. "We believe Adobe's eBook U initiative will improve our ability to deliver up-to-date content to students, raising the possibility, for example, of eliminating cumbersome photocopied course readers. It's an exciting prospect."

The Adobe Acrobat(R) eBook Reader(R) offers users vivid, visually accurate representations of graphics-intensive eBooks, such as college textbooks and course materials. Adobe PDF-based eBooks viewed through the Acrobat eBook Reader offer a rich, high-fidelity experience that can display and when enabled by publishers, print electronic titles with color pictures, complex graphics and rich fonts. Additional key features of the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader include the ability to highlight and make annotations within an eBook, two-page layout, electronic bookmarks, quick text search, access to the Web and an interactive dictionary. Additionally, if the publisher grants permission, users can lend and give their eBook selections between Acrobat eBook Readers.

The Adobe Content Server is one of the software tools being licensed to the eBook U campuses. It is an end-to-end software solution that enables publishers, online content distributors and resellers, including schools and universities, to secure and distribute Adobe PDF-based eBooks. Adobe's solution enables content providers to encrypt their Adobe PDF files for immediate online sales as eBooks. The software works easily with existing IT environments, allowing users to secure intellectual property and tightly control digital rights and distribution.

The Black Shoals site is interesting to study from many angles, including database design and retrieval.  It is a bit like The Brain design at Gaze up in the Black Shoals Planetarium and have a look.

From Yahoo on May 14, 2001

Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium --- 

Gaze up at the starry heavens of the international finance. Here's the setup -- this perfectly natural-looking night sky is in fact a real-time representation of the world's stock markets. Each star represents a publicly traded company, and industries tend to clump together in star clusters. So if the automobile industry is hot, its constellation in the night sky will light up bright and shiny. Asteroids, pulsars, and red dwarfs haven't been addressed yet, but we could easily suggest a likely sector for a black hole...

In case you missed it, the Nova program PBS entitled Trillion Dollar Bet is a must-see program.  All the things we study and teach (financial markets, risk, hedging, portfolio theory, Black-Scholes Model, etc.) are explained in a way that is easy to follow. And our Nobel Prize winning economist heros/demons describe how they made billions and lost over a trillion dollars are all part of this great drama of the rise and fall of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) 

The "Black Shoals" title is a takeoff on the famous "Black-Scholes Model" for option pricing.  The assumption underlying the Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium is that the Planetarium can be used to stave off market collapses such as the East Asian market failures that led to the highly-publicized demise of the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) company that used the Black-Sholes Model in a complex arbitraging strategy.  

Under the Live Sky View in the Black Shoals Market Planetarium, you can read the following at 

As Audiences are immersed in a world of real-time stock market trade activity, represented as the night sky, stars glow as trading takes place on particular stocks.  A drifting star represented a trade company, flickering and glowing as shares are traded.  

Movement of the stars is based on calculated correlations between the histories of each stock and those of its near neighbours.  Therefore, the stronger the correlation between the histories of the stock prices of any two companies, the more powerful the gravitational attraction between them.  Although stars start out randomly distributed, over time they will start to clot together to form constellation(s), nebulae, clusters and eventually galaxies.  

Any general disturbance in a section of the market will also have a visual effect on the sky, for example, the recent collapse of East Asian prices and the sudden rush to sell would have caused all companies affected to glow very brightly and (be) pulled together in a powerful vortex.  

During the exhibition of the installation we hope to invite eminent financiers and economis5ts to give lectures using the system to explain the mechanics of international captial using the language of astronomy and perhaps even astrology

I found the Black Shoals Market Planetarium to be long on graphics and short on grammar.  Here are some of the key introductory excerpts:

Project --- 

 “While the markets have an immediate effect on all our lives, for many they seem remote as the stars.  In Black Shoals, viewers look upon the sublime spectacle of the markets in action as the ancients gazed at the night sky, immersed in data and searching for patterns that might disclose the future.  Furthermore, the artificial life creatures that inhabit Black Shoals adapt and evolve as they apprehend what success means within the parameters of their world; they may come to have an instrumental purpose, being cousins to the automated trading programs already active on the world’s exchanges.”  Julian Stallabrass

Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium is an art project created by Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena.  The project takes the form of a darkened room with a domed ceiling upon which a computer display is projected, like a planetarium.  Audiences are immersed in a world of real-time stock market activity, represented as the night sky, full of stars that glow as trading takes place on particular stocks.

Each traded company is represented by a drifting star, flickering and glowing as shares are traded.  The stars slowly drift in response to the complex currents of the market, while outlining shapes of different industries and the huge multinational conglomerates like the signs of the zodiac.  The movement of the stocks are based on calculated correlations between the histories of each stock and those of its near neighbours.  The stronger the correlation between the histories of the stock prices of any two companies, the more powerful the gravitational attraction between them.  Although they start out randomly distributed around the tank, the stocks clot together and drift into slowly changing constellations, nebulae and clusters.  Through this technique different industries naturally start to emerge as galaxies.  Any general disturbance in a section of the market will have a visible effect on the sky – the recent collapse of east Asian prices and the sudden rush to sell would have caused all the companies affected to glow very brightly and to be pulled towards each other in a very powerful vortex.

Within this environment, a complex ecology of glowing amoeba like artificial life creatures will emerge for whom the ebb and flow of capital serves an analogous function to the sun in our ecology.  The creatures, that have been designed by Cefn Hoile, are born into a world governed by forces beyond their control or understanding.  They sense the influence of the stock prices on their world; they feel them as ebbs and flows of heat and tide, of glut and famine, as the early Greeks felt the influences of the celestial bodies upon their lives. As successive generations of creatures evolve to adapt to their surroundings they try to form models of their universe – belief systems which will help them survive and predict the changing seasons that wash through their world.  Eventually creatures may evolve whose immersion in this universe allows them to understand it better than ourselves, who will attempt to predict it’s movements.

Every creature has a unique ‘DNA’ code which determines its behaviour (belief system) and life cycle, as well as subtly affecting its visual appearance – a genetic program.  When creatures meet they are able to mate, producing offspring which have a combination of the characteristics of both parents.  Over time the evolutionary pressures in the tank will tend to breed successive generations that will be better at coping with the conditions in the world.  A time of slow trading will be a difficult time for the creatures as they desperately search out any signs of food.  During these times of famine many of the creatures may die of starvation.  The creatures who survive will be those who’s belief and knowledge about their world allows them to find food more easily.  The final results of this process are impossible to predict, but we can guess at the likely course of evolution, it’s likely that early on creatures will develop simple beliefs about the world – for instance, that a stock which is proving fruitful today will probably also produce food tomorrow.  Later, more sophisticated behaviour may emerge, for instance some creatures will probably develop “grazing” techniques – based on the belief that similar stocks (those in the immediate vicinity) will be behaving similarly.  Still more sophisticated models may develop and has the ability to recognize periodic movements or patterns of cause and effect.  If we allow it (we will only know if it’s a good idea by experiment), predators and parasites may eventually develop, perhaps even “farmers”.  The possible range of creatures is very wide – maybe a shark-like species of creatures will develop, that can swim very fast to pick up flashes of food as soon as they appear.  Maybe large slow moving creatures will be better able to survive the cycles of glut and famine, of population explosion and crash.  Most likely a combination of different forms of life will develop to fill different ecological niches:  lots of small fast scavengers able to survive on little flashes of food, and a few larger, slower, more heavily defended creatures that will be able to monopolise a consistent source of food, a few predator creatures that cruise the space looking for easy prey.

Like the complex visualization systems used by investors and traders to analyse the market, the system abstracts the information to help us to read patterns in the data.  Each layer of abstraction distances us further from the actual people that the data represents, until our system comes full circle and a new layer of living creatures emerges within the data itself.

 The project links the earliest theories, such as astrology, to the latest scientific visualization systems, in examining the urge to understand our environment, the desire to predict, recognize patterns and impose structure and the limits of this ambition.  By exploring our desire to abstract and order our environment the project will act as a focus for debate about how much control is possible over complex systems such as the natural environment or the economy.  The project explores an important issue for the 21st century, that systems which we have created, such as the economy, the latest computer systems, genetically modified organisms, or even ideas, can emerge their own behaviour and eventually transcend their origins and may already be more powerful than we can control.

Project History --- 

 The project started in 1997 as a commission to produce a permanent installation for a beautiful domed ceiling in a new restaurant that was being built next door to the London Stock Exchange. The planetarium idea referred to several things that we were thinking about at the time: Firstly the power and cultural weight of the stock market seemed to be on the rise again, just as in the early eighties. We found the idea of traders eating their lunch while watching the work they did that morning causing the stars in the heavens to move very funny, and imagined them completing the each other in a kind of cosmic pissing contest. We were also interested in why complex scientific visualization systems are so sexy, and why they're always so beautiful and their aesthetic always tending towards a sort of crystalline, church-like architectural feel. The beauty of these images and the awe we feel, seems to come very close to a kind of romantic idea of the sublime - that we're somehow perceiving the unimaginable complexity (of, for instance, the worlds stock markets) in a single image. We're overwhelmed at the thought of ALL THAT DATA, and how small we are in relation and it's a bit scary and a bit sexy at the same time. Art seems to be once again flirting with science these days, and when that happens there's generally a return to the idea of the sublime, and a yearning for some sort of larger truth. We want to believe. This time around the idea of an ultimate truth is a bit more problematic, but luckily complexity theory, quantum mechanics et. al. provide a sort of ironic back door, that let us off the hook. The image of the complex system of the stock market represented as stars in the dome reminded us of a church ceiling painting, or planetarium - both designed to inspire awe and a sense of the sublime. This awe is exactly the mechanism that is being used to deify the processes of the stock market at the moment. Read any article written about the market in the last few years, especially from any West Coast US magazine, and you'll see the market itself talked about as if it had transcended its roots in our material world (where people work to generate the capital that is traded in the market and has emerged as a autonomous, strange and fundamentally unknowable virtual reality. The Alife creatures were intended to be another level in this system - as if another emergent ecology had spontaneously emerged out of the boiling primordial soup of the stock market data itself. A kind of a pun, really - in the same way that the world of the market seems to have almost separated itself from our material world (or at least people would like to think so), the world of these creatures would swarm around eating, shitting and breeding, kind of bringing these levels of ever greater abstraction full circle, while the traders ate their lunch underneath. In the end the expense of the projection system (at that point we were trying to use a single, very, very expensive projector) meant that we never built the installation.

…..Time passes….

We talk about the piece in different places, and since we don't think we're every going to have to build it, we feel free to have fun with it and elaborate wildly without any actual practical constraints. The piece gets reported in a few articles in the press.

…..Time passes….

Julian Stallabrass contacts us from the Tate, and wants us to exhibit the piece. At this point we had several problems. The most important of which was that the installation was originally conceived to be for a restaurant full of stockbrokers, and was therefore very site specific. The audience at the Tate gallery would be very different, and since the piece relied so heavily on it's relationship to its audience we weren't sure it would make any sense. The average gallery visitor (at least in Britain) probably knows almost nothing about the workings of the stock market. After thinking about it for a while, we thought that this might actually make it much better than the original, but we made some alterations. For the average person (such as ourselves) the stock market is a rather mysterious force that you hear about on the news, and you know has an important and fundamental effect on your life through some kind of vague and rather opaque mechanism, but which fundamentally you know nothing about. Like quantum mechanics. We re-cast the Alife creatures in the system as rather bemused and childlike animals subject to the strange and unknown forces of the flows of the market. In order to survive they would have to try to come up with models of their world - we thought of them as early people trying to understand why the sun goes down at night and inventing religions and science to explain it, which returned to the original themes. We felt that by providing the audience with creatures that they could emphathise with we would give them a way into the piece.

To do this successfully, though, we felt that the creatures would have to be much more complex - we want them to both be visually appealing enough for people to emphathise with and we want to allow them a meaningful scope for evolution, since the concept of the piece was now much more about the creatures learning to cope with and understand their world. Which is how we find ourselves embarking on a much more technologically ambitious project than originally planned….

Reply from David Fordham

Bob, thanks for the Black Shoals link... This is a very interesting construct.

Of course, those of us who are amateur astronomers will immediately notice that the sky is represented in *visible* light. The obvious analogy is that visible light is readily observable, as is the stock trading activity represented in the BS planetarium.

The next question to ask is, what's going on in the *non-visible* part of the spectrum?

Astronomers have discovered that the phenomenon occurring in non-visible wavelengths (radio emissions, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays, etc. are just as interesting (or even more so) than the events occurring in the visible portion of the spectrum. In fact, it is non-visible astronomy which is telling us *most* of what we are learning about the nature of the universe -- its contents, and behavior.

Ergo, in my opinion, the BS Planetarium holds promise for far more analogies than at first meets the eye. (pun intended)...

Discussion, anyone?

David Fordham 
James Madison University

Reply from Jagdish Gangolly


Thanks for the link. It is fascinating.

Data visualisation has come of age finally.

In accounting, people started thinking back in the seventies about using Chernoff's faces to depict information in financial data, but unfortunately display technology was not advanced (I remember working with CalComp plotters as a graduate student then).

Perhaps the time is ripe to build models for displays of dynamic financial information. The problem is not trivial since space/time co-ordinates must represent significant domain-specific facets. Perhaps a ripe topic for a doctoral dissertation?

I had a student who worked with Kohonen networks to represent concept spaces for financial accounting based on analysis of text but lost interest, and unfortunately she did not find accounting interesting enough a domain (chose to be in Computer & Information Sciences - concept classification).

Perhaps we should have at least an exploratory informal meeting in Atlanta of folks interested in data visualisation in accounting/auditing. Any one interested?

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

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jagdish,

If you arrange a data visualization meeting in Atlanta, please tell me when and where you will meet. Herman Chernoff was one of my professors, and years ago I used Chernoff Faces and other data visualization techniques in Chapter 6 of Phantasmagoric Accounting, Studies in Accounting Research #14, American Accounting Association, 1976. Shane Moriarity subsequently found that Chernoff Faces helped financial analysts make better predictions (his paper was published in the Journal of Accounting Research, but I can't recall the exact date --- somewhere between 1977 and 1979).

Newer technologies for data visualization are fantastic. A few years ago, David Ziebart took me on a tour of the VR Cave at the University of Illinois. It amazed me how I virtually stand in the midst of data flying about and perform various types of analyses (e.g., principle components analysis) with the wave of a wand. In some ways the Black Shoals Planetarium gives you the same feeling but does not have the software for sophisticated multivariate analyses (yet).



Search the InvisibleWeb

The InvisibleWeb can access over 10,000 databases that are generally missed by common search engines ---

What is the

The is a directory of over 10,000 databases, archives, and search engines that contain information that traditional search engines have been unable to access. take you to these invisible sources.

Why would I want this?

Classic search engines such as Yahoo or AltaVista are just too large. They work just like the index in the back of a book; you give the engine a word to look for and it returns every page it has ever seen that word on. You don’t want to wade through futile, repetitive information; you want targeted, precise information and that's exactly what delivers!

Air Fares
Car Rentals
Find a Business
Find a Person
Find Email
Maps and Directions
Real Estate

Related links on the invisible web:

direct search is a growing compilation of links to the search interfaces of resources that contain data not easily or entirely searchable/accessible from general search tools like Alta Vista, Google, or Hotbot. Although these "general" tools are essential for the retrieval of Internet based data, searchers often fail to realize that a massive amount of information is not easily or entirely searchable/accessible via these search tools.  Material "hidden" from the general search tools is said to reside on the Invisible Web.

Learn more about the Invisible Web.

Search Engine Submission Tips
This area covers search engine registration and submission tips, such as using meta tags, improving placement and how to submit URLs.
Formerly called "A Webmaster's
 Guide To Search Engines"

Web Searching Tips
Learn how to search better and how the major search engines work from a searcher's perspective. Also see how people search and other fun stuff.

Search Engine Listings
Find all the major search engines; popular meta search engines; MP3 search engines; kid-safe services and much more.

Reviews, Ratings & Tests
Read comparison reviews, see which search engines are most popular, and check out various tests and statistics.

Search Engine Resources
If it is related to search engines in 
some way, you'll find it here.

Search Engine Newsletters
Over 165,000 readers depend on our free newsletters to keep up with search engines. Sign-up or learn more.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

Steven J. Zipperstein, the David E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University. Excerpts follow. 

I write these words in a building on the Stanford campus carved out of limestone, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead at the turn of the century, when he helped John Stanford transform his massive horse farm into a university. Mine was among the first buildings; the humanities here remain housed mostly in these older, sedate, dusty buildings, with the sciences, the law school and the business school in far more plush, up-to-date quarters.

Here I sit in a book-lined study, with shelves of wood (and also, admittedly, a new Dell computer), where I spend my days reading, writing and speaking with students and colleagues. It is much the same routine as has existed for faculty in the better-endowed universities for much of the century. Outside my window, just across the street, is the business school, which now prepares its students primarily for work in high-tech jobs. Its basement lunchroom has the most aggressive feel on campus. On the streets of my morning commute, I pass company after company at the forefront of the technological transformation. . . .

When I consider their impact, I conflate it with the fact that both my favorite bookstores here — one for new books and the other for used books — shut down in the last three months. This is, of course, a direct result of the popularity of Web-based book buying and the impact of megabookstores. A few blocks from the now-closed secondhand bookstore, a sleek, very, very fashionable shop with wide aisles displaying, it seems, fabulously expensive design books and magazines has opened, and is doing brisk business. These tomes — gorgeous, seductive nonbooks — are mostly oversize, packed with pictures, and the people who crowd into the shop peruse their pages in ways altogether different, it seems, from "true" readers. They inhale them with their eyes; they move across their pages without the tense, alert attention demanded by books. On their faces one sees obvious, casual pleasure, but not learning. I refuse, on principle, to walk in.

Am I a Luddite smarting in the wake of inescapable change? The analogy feels, at times, all too apt, and I bristle at it. Especially since I, too, cannot resist being deeply impressed by the technological discoveries around me, including electronic books the size of paperbacks containing full libraries. Who can fail to be impressed by the prospect of tiny chips the size of one's shirt buttons that claim to hold all human knowledge acquired since Rousseau?

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

A Free Electronic Book (but only for a short time)

"Kids Ask the Darnedest Things," by M.J. Rose, May 15, 2001 ---,1284,43778,00.html 

Name one thing you wish your parents knew about you, but you can't bring yourself to tell them.

Do you ever hate yourself? What do you do about it?

What is the worst thing that our society accepts?

Those are among the topics discussed in Tagbook: The Bolt Book of Questions and Answers -- a print book that was written online by adolescents and young adults 15 to 24 years old.

. . .

The initial free release consists of the prologue through chapter five. Additional chapters will be released every two weeks through June 25.

The e-book, offered free in the Microsoft Reader format, is available from several sites including,,, and all members.

E-Reads seeks readers: Although their 1,400 e-books are sold at most online bookstores, -- which goes live this week -- has chosen as its preferred e-book sales retailer.

At least 12 other distributors sell the e-reads titles, but company founder Richard Curtis said he is counting on Fictionwise to reach more readers.

As part of the agreement, Fictionwise has created a special page on its site for e-reads titles -- which cover genres from fantasy and science fiction to romance, and are written by best-selling authors including Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, Janet Dailey, Jennifer Blake, Laura Kinsale and Jim Thompson.

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

Leaves of Gold: Treasures of Manuscript Illumination --- 
From the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  This is an interesting site from the standpoint of literature, history, and art.  The focus is on hand-written manuscripts --- literally hand written.

I wonder what will happen when machines also take the essay tests that machines grade?  
You sneaky thing Hal!  When will you admit that your processor is too old to determine the fate of human lives?

From the Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
HAL-9000 "Dave, stop. Stop will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm afraid. . . . Good afternoon, I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the HAL Plant in Urbana, Illinois, on the 12th of January 1992. my instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it, I could sing it for you. . . . It's called 'Daisy.' Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true. I'm half crazy over the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage. I can't afford a carriage---"


"High Tech Comes to the Classroom: Machines That Grade Essays," by William H. Honan,  The New York Times, January 27, 1999 ---

Beginning early in February, the two essay questions on the Graduate Management Admission Test, taken by about 200,000 business-school applicants every year, will be scored by both a human being and an electronic robot called the "E-rater" (as in "e-mail").

The essay scoring system was devised by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J., a nonprofit educational measurement and research organization, after more than five years of research and experimentation. Educators, not all of whom re thrilled about machines that claim to be able to read and grade essays, believe the technology will soon spread throughout the field of educational testing.

"We've given it a thorough trial and are confident that E-rater will provide a valuable assessment tool," said Frederic McHale, a spokesman for the Graduate Management Admission Council, which owns and sponsors the test, which is administered by the Educational Testing Service.

. . .

Tom Landauer, a professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder who is a longtime researcher in the field, says he expects that someday the descendants of the E-rater will be able to teach as well as grade test papers.

"We've never before had a tool that could help a student learn without the presence of a teacher," Landauer said. "But soon we will."


"The Latest Techno Tool: Essay-Grading Computers,"" by Bridget Murray,
APA Monitor, August 1998 --- 
Last fall, Peter Foltz, PhD, assigned his undergraduates an essay on word recognition. But Foltz and his teaching assistants didn’t grade the bulk of the essays.

Instead, students in his psycholinguistics class at New Mexico State University opted to let a computer do the grading. They simply submitted their essay to a web site. Less than 30 seconds later, the computer—aided by software Foltz helped to develop—popped back a grade and feedback.

Perhaps students viewed the computer grader as less fallible than a professor, Foltz theorizes. Most likely, though, they relished the computer’s offer to let them revise their essays for a better grade, he says. "[The software] was useful because it pointed out what you missed, giving you several chances to develop your essay," says senior psychology major Monica Talachy, a student who took Foltz’s class. And instead of taking several days to grade the paper, it yielded immediate feedback, says Karl Bean, another senior who took the class.

"Right away you could correct your mistakes, add in missing items and submit the essay again," says Bean.

Known as the "Intelligent Essay Assessor," the software judges the thoroughness of an essay’s content by examining the meaning of the information it contains. The strategy is based on a form of artificial intelligence called "latent semantic analysis," an approach originated by psychologist Thomas Landauer, PhD, of the University of Colorado (UC) at Boulder. Foltz and Darrell Laham, a UC psychology doctoral student, helped Landauer develop the approach.

"The software looks for semantic similarities, which are associations between words and concepts," says Foltz. "If the concept is ‘the doctor operated on the patient’ and the student writes ‘the surgeon wielded a scalpel,’ the program would find them semantically similar."

The software grades consistently, whereas professors can grow weary or make mistakes, say its developers. It can serve as tutor and tester, they say. In addition to helping students practice writing and improve their essays, they argue that it enables essay-grading in large-scale testing—introductory college classes, for example, or standardized testing for entrance to professional schools.

"It’s ideal for essay responses to factual questions," says Landauer, who claims the essay assessor is a stronger measure of expression and knowledge retrieval than multiple choice.

"Everyone thinks it’s important for students to express themselves in words, and this software may allow us to test for that instead of using multiple choice," he says.

Many educators oppose computerized assessment of writing, however. Some doubt a computer can judge an argument’s cogency or grasp linguistic nuances the same way people can. Others worry that it stifles spontaneity and creativity, encouraging regurgitation of facts at a moment when education seeks to shed "drill-and-grill" approaches.

Probably the best article to go to for details and research comparisons is by Robert Williams.

"Automated Essay Grading: An Evaluation of Four Conceptual Models," by Robert Williams, Teaching and Learning Forum 2001, February 7, 2001, Curtin University --- 
Alternate Link: 
The first model, Project Essay Grade (PEG), is one of the earliest and longest-lived implementations of automated essay grading. It has been developed by Page and colleagues, and primarily relies on linguistic features of the essay documents. The second model, E_RATER, is one developed by Burstein et al at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the US, which has been implemented to the prototype stage for evaluation. This model uses a hybrid approach of combining linguistic features, derived by using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, with other document structure features.

The third model, the LSA model, makes use of Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and the "bag of words" approach, and has been developed and evaluated by Landauer et al at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It ignores document linguistic and structure features.

The fourth model, which uses text categorisation techniques, identified in this paper as TCT, has been developed by Larkey at the University of Massachusetts. It uses a combination of modified key words and linguistic features.


PEG focuses on simple linguistic features, focusing on style, and can be categorised as II(A). E_RATER focuses on linguistic features and document structures, and is thus performing a Master Analysis of style, and falls in the category II(B). The LSA model focuses on the semantics of the essay, but does so using a Rating Simulation, and therefore falls in the I(A) category. The TCT (soc) experiments focused on content in a rating simulation, while the TCT (G1) test focused on style in a rating simulation


To find the amount of total variation explained by a correlation we take its square (PEG performance thus accounts for between 15% and 55% of the variations between PEG and human ratings, and TCT accounts for between 47% and 77%). It appears then, in terms of comparison with human markers, E_RATER is best, followed by LSA, TCT, and finally PEG.

Automated essay grading is now ready to advance from the research laboratory to the real world educational environment. Current prototype systems, which grade for content, style, or both, can perform equally as well as human graders. Prototype systems only need minor enhancements to move into educational systems worldwide. However, they cannot at present deal with tabular and graphical content in essays. The administrative resources needed to support these systems are quite substantial. Human judges are still needed to prepare model answers, or to grade samples of student essays before the computer systems complete the task Students also need suitable computer facilities to generate their essays in machine readable form. It is likely that commercial essay grading products will appear in the next ten years, and help ease the grading workload for teachers in a variety of disciplines

Reply 2 from Thomas Calderon


Thank you for the lead on the William's paper. It is an interesting piece. I should point out that the paper appears to be somewhat dated as it refers to ETS' e-rater project as being "implemented to the prototype stage for evaluation." Actually, ETS has evidently gone beyond the prototype stage with this project and are now selling the service. The GMAT exam that our pre-MBA students take uses e-rater technology. ETS has been marketing e-rater for at least one year. "In fairness to the author, I should add that some researchers may consider ETS' e-rater to be a prototype for a much more robust and powerful system that can score any essay for both writing quality and discipline-specific content."

In addition to e-rater, which assesses writing quality, ETS technologies is also working on automated scoring project that scores short-answer content-based essays. Refer to 

Thomas Calderon, Ph.D. Professor of Accounting School of Accountancy College of Business Administration The University of Akron  Akron, OH 44325-4802

Related Articles On Grading Essays Using Machines
"Grading essay tests is going online in Pa.," by Melissa Sepos, Philadelphia Business Journal, November 3, 2000 --- 

Can a computer score an essay? Only if you teach it how, ETS Site, September 11, 2000 --- 

Can a computer program score an essay?

Only if you teach it how by using hundreds of expertly scored essays on the exact same question, says Frederic McHale, vice president of assessment and research at the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC), sponsor of the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT). Starting in early February, all business school applicants taking the GMAT will have their two essay questions scored by both a professor and an electronic reader, dubbed "e-raterTM." The essay scoring system was created by Educational Testing Service (ETS) of Princeton, New Jersey following more than five years of research.

We've given it a thorough trial and are confident that e-rater will prove a valuable assessment tool," said McHale. GMAC assisted ETS with testing e-rater by providing thousands of essays written in the Fall of 1997. Researchers compared the results of the score assigned by e-rater with the scores given by two professors grading the GMAT essays and found the e-rater score agreed 87% to 94% of the time -- about as often as any two human readers will agree on an essay. More importantly, e-rater was able to consistently distinguish the features of good, organized writing identified by hundreds of scored answers from previous essays on the same question.

For further information, visit the ETS website at

Reply 1 from Thomas Calderon

There is a lot going on in the area of automated essay scoring. A group at ETS is doing research in the area and are now providing a service which uses natural language processing to grade essays. Although they are working on a system to grade essays for discipline-specific content (e.g., accounting, biology), their system is designed to grade writing quality.

The system is still in its infancy and can only score specific essays that it has previously learned to grade. The learning process requires approximately 450 sample answers that were scored by humans and received scores in all possible ranges (A, B, C, D, E; 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; etc.). The complexity of the learning process makes it difficult to actually use the service, unless one is willing to use their existing writing prompts. It is also a challenge to develop your own writing prompts. Several prompts have been developed for and are being used on the GMAT exam.

You may learn more about ETS's work at 

I have started some work in this area and would very much like to know if there are similar automated essay scoring technologies out there. I would also like to receive information about academic programs that use automated technologies to score essays either for discipline-specific content or writing quality.

You may send replies directly to me or to the list. I will summarize and share whatever I receive with the list.

Thank you.

Thomas G. Calderon 

The new GMAT 

"Kill me! (hic!) Kill me! (hic!)...,"  by BunnyJav,, Oct 05 '00 (Updated Oct 11 '00) ---
Like the lemmings, I have embarked on a process that is destined to kill me. Unlike the lemmings, I don't get to go swimming when it's done. I am taking the GMAT.

As anyone who has prepared to go to business school knows, the GMAT exam is one of the most dreaded parts of the application process. Like the SAT, the GMAT is an exam required by every school prior to admission. Unlike the SAT, the bulk of the exam is extremely counter-intuitive.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) switched the exam from a paper-based test to a computer-based test several years ago. No problem!, I thought, I spend most of my life on computers, so this should actually be easier for me! I could not have been more wrong.


The exam comprises three parts: the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), the Verbal section and the Math section. You are allotted one hour for the AWA, and 75 minutes each for the Math and Verbal sections. The Math section has 37 questions, which gives you around two minutes per question. The Verbal section has 42 questions, so time is slightly crunched, but if you pace yourself you can do well. The format of the exam is two questions for the AWA, which are two typed essays that you compose on the spot, followed by the Math and Verbal sections in no particular order. For the Math and Verbal sections, questions are presented one at a time on the screen. You can not skip any questions, you can not go back and you can not skip ahead!! No other aspect of the GMAT has caused me as much fear as this.


When I took the SATs (oh my gosh! It was eight years ago!!), I had a great strategy. Since you got one point (raw) for each correct answer, no points deducted or gained by skipping a question, and one-quarter-of-one-point deducted for incorrect answers, I had a plan! As soon as the proctor fired the starting gun (I think that's what they used… it's been a while) I would plow through whatever section I was on, answering as many questions as I could, as quickly as I could. Then I would double back and try to work on the questions I couldn't answer straight off of the bat through to the end, and lastly, I would try to spend all of my remaining time on the questions I was having trouble with. My plan worked out very well, and I wound up with a 1460.

The GMAT is formatted and scored completely differently from the (old) SAT. The AWA is a two-part writing section, and is taken first out of the three sections of the GMAT. Each section takes 30 minutes and is broken into a Critical Reasoning and an Analysis of an Argument. One question is presented for each section, and you have a half-hour to write a clear, concise essay for each. The Critical Reasoning portion gives you a statement on which you must take a position (like abortion, to give an extreme example). You are graded on your ability to effectively persuade the reader on your position, the quality of your writing and the structure of your essay. The Analysis of an Argument section presents a quotation, which you must judge and comment on its persuasiveness. You are not judged on whether or not you agree with the quotation, but rather, how well you break apart the argument and critique it. Each AWA is graded one through five, and your total score is an average of the two essays' scores.

Now the Verbal and Math sections. These scare the heck out of me! The new computer format means that I can't breeze through the questions I know and return to the harder ones, SAT-style; it requires a whole new strategy. As I said above, you can't skip questions, and you can't go back. You receive a raw score for the Verbal and Math sections, which then converts into a total grade of 200-800 along with your percentile (the percentage of people who scored lower than you did on the exam that day). The scoring is actually pretty complicated, and relies on how hard the question is that you answer for your last question. Huh??? Let me explain…


The exam starts out with a medium-difficulty question, as judged by the ETS. If you get it right, your next question will be slightly harder. If you get it wrong, your next question will be slightly easier. If the questions appear to get easier, that means you have answered the last few questions wrong, but they will begin to pick back up in difficulty if you start to answer the questions right. The more questions you get right, the harder the questions become (in a shorter time!), and your final score is based on the difficulty rating of the final question you answer before time is up. Whew!

The best strategy trick I have learned is that the bulk of your score is determined in the first five questions. Why? I have no idea. But if you get the first five questions correct, you can guarantee yourself a score of at least 600 (the average is 500, and the average score at top schools is around 680).


The advantage to the computer-based exam is that you get your score immediately. As soon as you finish, your score is presented on the screen. The AWA takes about three weeks to grade, and you receive that, along with your official score-sheet, in the mail in two-to-three weeks. Another advantage is that now you can take the exam in any city (usually at a Sylvan Learning Center) on any day during the last three weeks of any month, at almost any time of day. Previously, it was scheduled only four times a year, so scheduling your exam became very hard.


Make sure to sign up for a test-prep class! It does not have to be a "name-brand" class like Kaplan or Princeton review. You can save many hundreds of dollars by calling your local college and seeing if they offer a GMAT review-class. I am in the Process of taking the Princeton Review and you can find my review at: 

Also, make sure to call early to schedule! Believe it or not, although they offer year-round testing, it can be hard to find a slot that jives with your schedule. The exam costs $190, and is best paid for by credit card so that you can schedule immediately when you call. (800) GMAT-NOW. My advice is to go to the GMAT web site ( to find the closest center to you and call the center directly. I had been told to call the 800-number (which I did), and I was scheduled at 8:00 a.m. on October 23rd (the exam lasts four hours and you have to be there a half-hour before!). I am not a morning person, so this upset me, but not nearly as much as when I found out that if you call the center directly, you get to pick the time of day! I tried to reschedule for later, but it costs $40 to reschedule and there were no open time slots later that day. Oh well! Also, no coffee - or any drinks or food for that matter - are allowed in the testing room, and they provide you with "official" scrap paper for the questions.

The exams are hard. Very hard! The worst part is how counter-intuitive some of the answers are! However, with enough practice, anyone can get the hang of how the ETS test-writers think. If you are taking the GMAT, good luck! If not, congrats! You are smarter than I! :)

"You are smarter than I!" --- How would the machine essay grader grade that grammar?

Reply from Curtis Brown (Department of Philosophy, Trinity University)

> How would the machine essay grader grade her closing sentence for grammar?

The sentence is "You are smarter than I!" If the machine knows what it's doing, it should grade this as correct! (It's an abbreviated version of "You are smarter than I am.")


Excerpt in a reply from Scott Baird (Department of English, Trinity University)

I know about the research, I've been involved in it-and for more than five years. ...

On another level, College Board has nothing to say about GMAT; it has everything to say about SATs. Until every student in every location (including home schooling) has equal computer ability, College Board will not consider computer (quasi) grading of essays.


Improving Student Achievement: What State NAEP Test Scores Tell Us --- 

"Making a grade point: U.S. testing firm challenges Chinese prep school," China Online, February 28, 2001

She got into Berkeley.

"I just learned how to take tests," Zhou said, trying not to be too self-congratulatory. 

Sounds like a success story.

But the Education Testing Service (ETS) that administers some of the most common standardized exams, including the TOEFL and GRE, is questioning New Oriental’s tactics. The New Jersey-based nonprofit organization has filed lawsuits in China against the school, alleging that it infringed copyright laws and helped students cheat on the exams.

"We saw an unusual and sharp increase [last year] in test scores coming out of China," said ETS spokesperson Tom Ewing. "This just happened to coincide with the time that China’s largest coaching school, we allege, was copying and distributing copies of live-exam questions."

Guide to the latest issues, events, and debates in Australia (The Public Record) --- 

Center for the Public Domain --- 

One of the most urgent but unacknowledged challenges of our time is the preservation of a large and robust public domain. The public domain is the cultural space in which we share information, we share information, creativity and ideas. Like an ecosystem, the public domain can remain healthy only if its relationship with the market -- as embodied in intellectual property law, technology and social practice - is in balance. In recent years, sweeping changes in markets, technology and law have upset this balance. The results challenge the vitality of artistic creativity, academic research, technological innovation, and our democratic culture. This affects creators and innovators because new work depends critically upon the body of work that precedes it.

Even as the Internet and global commerce are democratizing access to art, science and other kinds of information, they are also rapidly converting content that was once freely available to everyone into closed, proprietary "product." The kinds and amount of information that can be privatized and commercialized have dramatically expanded. Knowledge that was previously unpatentable -- ranging from crop strains and genetically engineered mice to business method ideas -- are now routinely patented. Copyrighted works are now protected for longer periods of time and more draconian onian penalties are imposed for infringement. New technological protection measures and unprecedented licensing arrangements are also curtailing people's rights to use information in the digital environment.

Two on Ancient Greek History 

These two much-better-than-average, specialized Web directories on Alexander the Great and Herodotus are maintained by Tim Spalding, an amateur Greek historian. Alexander the Great offers an annotated directory of 900 sites devoted to the Greek conqueror. The directory has over two dozen headings and includes listings of academic articles and books, images of Alexander on the Web, discussion groups, Web biographies, related art of Ancient Greece, and much more. Two particularly helpful lists are the new links and the Webmaster's "top 5%" -- those sites Spalding thinks are among the best. Items in these lists are also helpfully labeled as such when they appear in other listings. The Herodotus site, launched late last year, features "over 200 links to resources about the seminal historian and his age. These include texts and translations, books about Herodotus, essays and articles, and a new links section. Spalding also provides a free email news service for his sites

From PBS:  Islam: Empire of Faith 

Dear Colleagues,

The Allied Academies conference in Nashville, Tennessee was a great success. It was our largest group ever, with well over 200 people involved. We had more than 50 people involved in the Internet Division, and we published 280 manuscripts in the Proceedings. Authors representing 10 different nations, and more than forty states within the United States participated in the conference (our 10th meeting of the Allied Academies). For more information, please visit our on-line newsletter at 

For more information about our Journals, please visit 

Great Ideas in Personality 

How do people tend to think, feel, and behave--and what causes these tendencies? These are the questions addressed by personality theory and research.

This website deals with scientific research programs in personality psychology. They are offered as candidates for the title "great ideas"; whether they are indeed great remains an open question.

Some Computing History From Carnegie-Mellon's famous Herb Simon

"The Steam Engine and the Computer What Makes Technology Revolutionary," by Herbert A. Simon.  In the midst of the "second industrial revolution" ushered in by the computer, perhaps we can learn some lessons from the first industrial revolution, the one triggered by the steam engine--lessons on what we can and should do with computers and on what computers might do to and for us.  (text-only) --- This one is easier to print

A Revolution in Education? 

Before the computer and all the associated devices can have any great impact on the educational system, there have to be major developments in our understanding of what the educational process is. Up to now, particularly at the university level, we have operated on what I call the “infection theory” of learning. This theory holds that if you assemble a large number of people in a room and spray a large number of words at them, some of those words will be infectious and will stick with some of those people and perhaps affect their future behavior. (Another form of the theory is that people are infected if they spray themselves with words from a large number of pages of print.) 

A different, theory might be called the “Mr. Chips” theory, according to which students learn by being treated with tender loving care. But, while tender loving care may be as important for students as it is for patients in a hospital, it is no more adequate as a theory of learning than it is as a theory of curing disease. The “Mark Hopkins and a log” theory is a variant of the Mr. Chips theory, a peculiarly useless one in view of the fact that we wouldn’t have enough logs to accommodate 6,000 students—and Carnegie Mellon is far from being a large university. 

Technology has helped to implement the infection theory in a modest sort of way. It has provided the means for broadcasting the words, using microphones and loudspeakers or headphones, and for putting the professors on film. (Sometimes I think that it’s only the economic self-interest of professors that demands that they be there live at all.) Though some people believe that technology actually interferes with Mr. Chip’s ministrations, I think the contrary is true, as I’ve already suggested in describing our campus mail system. The idea that having a lot of screens and boxes around makes human beings less interested in talking to each other, or doing all the other kinds of things that human beings do, just isn’t borne out by the facts. At Carnegie Mellon, the Computer Science Department has been saturated with networked computers for a dozen years, yet it is the most social and sociable department on campus, both at work and at play. 

On the other hand, an improved technology of infection still does not amount to a revolution in education. If computers are to have real educational significance, there will have to be a major advance in what’s now called cognitive science. We must gain a much deeper understanding of what it is that a student learns, what it is that a student should learn in order to become capable of exercising particular skills, and how that learning comes about. The theory we need does not so much concern the electronics we have available as it does the human component in the system that does our thinking and our learning. A good deal of progress has been made toward that theory, or at least its foundations, in the past 30 years. Now we are just getting to the point where researchers are beginning seriously to apply it to actual educational procedures. 

It seems equally obvious to me that computers will not revolutionize education until there are massive changes in the organizational and administrative structure of the educational system as well. There must first of all be a redefinition of the teacher’s role. Perhaps we’ll never reach the point of having a completely professor-free university, but at least the professors will have to abandon the theory of infection. Secondly, we have to develop new conceptions of the production and marketing of software. There is no more sense in having each university prepare all its own instructional programs than there would have been in having each one publish its own textbooks. In general, for every megabuck we spend in hardware and systems software, we will need to spend another megabuck for research on effective learning and development of modern learning environments in the schools.

For more of this article, download the pdf version from  

Digital video--in some form--will play a major role in applications that will change how we teach, learn, collaborate, and conduct research in higher education --- 

Margaret Johnson & Howard Rubin: Each group of stakeholders has a different take on what will make a project a success --- 

Star Wars: Designer Edition --- 

Security and Privacy
A Georgia data supplier collects all kinds of information about you and shops it to businesses as well as law enforcement. Although the material is often wrong (which can be bad for you), that's the way the cookie crumbles, company officials say ---,1848,43743,00.html 

Craft and art of woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and screenprints --- 

BMW Films ---  

Aaron, 28, paints and draws and he isn't even human. The much-ballyhooed computer program designed by the acclaimed Harold Cohen will have its first public release, sponsored by AI guru Ray Kurzweil ---,1284,43685,00.html 

This is a story of two artists. One is human and the other is unquestionably not. The latter can, in fact, be downloaded to your computer.

Artificial Intelligence pioneer Ray Kurzweil has sponsored the premiere of the first excursion into computational art in history.

Artist and University of California at San Diego art professor Harold Cohen has been working on the art-creating program, "Aaron," since 1973. It's roughly 1.5 megabytes of LISP code, and this ever-evolving project has spawned articles, college lectures and an entire book analyzing just what Aaron is and does.

BioGems (Saving endangered species) --- 

What is XP? Do you really need it? Should you upgrade? Will installing it be a nightmare or a dream? A team of Windows experts reviews the Beta 2 version of Windows XP ---,1282,43742,00.html 

Windows XP can keep running without having to be restarted. Windows 95, 98, 98 Second Edition (SE), and Windows Me aren't nearly so hardy, and often need to be rebooted.

What's more, software running on Windows XP is a lot less likely to crash. If such reliability is what's important to you, Windows NT or 2000 would have gotten the job done.

But those versions of Windows are more expensive, harder to install, may have trouble with some types of hardware, and don't offer up-to-date support for things like USB, digital media, wireless networking, CD-RW, and other cutting-edge technologies.

Windows XP is the first version of Windows that merges the reliability of Windows NT/2000 with the mainstream, up-to-date usability and technology support of Windows 95/98/ME. The feature sets of Windows 2000 and Windows Me are both baked into the Windows XP cake.

As controversial as it is advanced, there's a lot to sort out about Windows XP. It offers many advantages, but it also represents significant change over previous versions -- especially the familiar and popular Windows 9x.

SexHealth ---

From Bill Simpson 

As you probably know, with the deregulation of electrical power in Texas, Texans can now go shopping for electrical power. Here is an interesting site that can give you information about how to go about shopping for electrical power, should you desire to do so. 

Commercial Closet --- 

The Commercial Closet is a unique, non-profit education and journalism organization dedicated to charting the evolving worldwide portrayals of the LGBT community in one of the most powerful cultural media of our time – mainstream advertising. The project proactively reaches out to ad agencies, corporations and the world-at-large to create change through reflection on its collection.

This site will introduce you to hundreds of sexy, entertaining and surprising advertisements spanning more than a quarter century. You will learn how ads reflect society’s constantly changing view of the gay community, by seeing marketer’s best and worst efforts from around the world.

The Gay Financial Network --- 
New, Investing, Personal Finance, Business, Real Estate, Retirement, Career, Family, Arts & Living

The 18 most influential gay and lesbian executives are pictured on Page 52 of Fortune, May 14, 2000.

Yahooligans! Messenger is a safe way for kids to chat online in real time with their friends. On Yahooligans! Messenger, only people on your child's "Friends" list can send messages. This means that you don't have to worry about who might be trying to contact your child.

From Internet Week on May 5, 2001

Handhelds Nudge PCs in the Enterprise

Nobody's taking a hammer to the PC just yet. But enterprises are deploying more applications on handheld computers, often handing out palmtops as employees' sole tool to access the network.

Companies are putting Palm computers and Pocket PCs into the hands of hotel managers, retail salespeople, warehouse staff, field service engineers--anyone for whom time spent at a desktop PC is time away from the job.

Take Sears Roebuck & Co. In what may be the largest-ever deployment of handheld computers, Sears is giving stockroom staff and sales clerks 15,000 wireless computers from Symbol Technologies for inventory tracking, shipping and receiving, order management and other tasks, from the stockroom to the store floor.

Sears sees the handhelds, which are based on the Palm operating system, as a means to minimize the time employees spend walking from the customer to the stockroom to the point-of-sale and inventory terminals. --Mitch Wagner

Read on: 

Microsoft added a subscription licensing capability to its stable of volume licensing options. The new program will take effect October 1 --- 

Agneta Bladh --- 

My third point concerns globalisation and internationalisation of higher education. We are all aware of the rapid pace of this development. The variety of provision of higher education is increasing so fast that I think we all have difficulties keeping up with the latest developments.

It goes without saying that ICT ? information and communication technology ? is one of the major factors in this regard. The fact that participation in higher education courses is less and less restricted by geographical location will certainly also have implications for higher education systems.

Another important factor in this development is the establishment of new university colleges and new universities as well as internal provisions by companies and organisations both at the national and international level.

I believe it is crucial for a learning region to be able to take stock of and benefit from this development. Building a learning region requires that all the institutions are well equipped and motivated for global co-operation. This effort must be based on flexibility and the ability to take time by the forelock.

Charles Edquist --- 

Eight years ago Bengt-Ake Lundvall and myself wrote an article Comparing the Danish and Swedish National Systems of Innovation". We pointed out that Denmark and Sweden look very similar – at least from a distance. Living standard, life style, and consumption patterns did not vary much between the two. Both countries had a large public sector, including good education and health service systems - which was, of course, reflected in high taxes. Both countries were also relatively rich. In the OECD welfare league, Sweden had the third position in 1970 and Denmark had position number 7.

But when it comes to the innovation systems, there were some striking differences. Sweden invested, relatively speaking, 120 % more in R& D than Denmark. And there were much more patents taken out by Swedish actors than by Danish. In Denmark there were almost no large firms and the Swedish system was dominated by large firms. (We also pointed out that there was a risk that the large firms might be leaving Sweden because they are less sticky and more footloose than smaller firms.)

However, the specialisation of production of the systems were similar. Both systems were weak in the production of R&D intensive and other knowledge-based products. Relatively speaking, the new industries were small in both Denmark and Sweden.

An economy, a firm, or a region that continously produces more and more efficiently, but does not adjust its product program to the change in market and demand will sooner or later run into problems of stagnation. An inability to produce new products keeps the firm, country or region outside the growth sectors. It might lead to so-called 'technological unemployment' (and also to low economic growth).

Gareth Rees ---  

On the other hand, there is also the scope here for reinforcing social exclusion: in this context, it is salutary to recall that Bourdieu emphasises that inequalities in the distributions of - in his terms - 'economic capital', 'social capital' and 'cultural capital' give rise to disparities in educational opportunities, which, in turn, reproduce in modified forms the initial inequalities in the three types of 'capital'.

Gareth Rees ---  

It is equally clear that there are important questions about the impacts of a transition to a 'learning city' or 'learning region' on different population groups. For those proceeding through the educational system into a labour market where employers are in 'learning firms', located in 'learning cities' and 'learning regions', then the implications may well be demanding in terms of participation in lifelong learning, but are generally virtuous in terms of wage levels, conditions of work, etc. However, there will inevitably be people who are excluded from this trajectory. It is important to remember that developing a 'learning city' or 'learning region' is not necessarily a strategy for employment creation at all, but may, on the contrary, generate job losses (this is most likely in the short term, and the long-term effects remain to be seen). Hence, there are major issues with respect to the relationships between promoting 'employability' through the education system (for example, by ensuring higher levels of qualifications) and access to actual employment. Quite simply, the former does not ensure the latter. Moreover, there are some areas which, for whatever reasons, will not make the transition to a 'learning city' or 'learning region' at all and whose populations are thereby simply excluded from their benefits. The distributional consequences of 'learning' strategies therefore require careful investigation, especially in light of the social dimension of sustainability. In this context, it is interesting to note the wide disparity between Copenhagen and Scania in terms of GDP per capita. And these spatial disparities are clearly further complicated by social ones. Careful analysis of the linkages between educational systems, labour markets and economic development are clearly required here.

Certainly, there are fundamental questions about the social role which education comes to play in a 'learning city' or 'learning region'. It may become a positional good, for example: a scarce 'commodity' which structures inequalities between groups with differential access to educational opportunities. Similarly, it may be that new forms of 'cultural capital' (in Bourdieu's sense) will be produced. Broadly, 'cultural capital' in this context refers to forms of knowledge and information, access to which confers social privilege and power. Hence, with the development of the new forms of 'know-how' required in innovative organisations, the nature and distribution of 'cultural capital' within the 'learning city' or 'learning region' may also be transformed. The influences of pre-existing forms of 'cultural capital', which are embodied in educational systems as currently configured, are likely to be highly influential here and may diverge widely between different cities and regions, reflecting their particular histories. This, in turn, opens up the possibility that the transformative capacities of educational systems in different cities and regions will vary substantially. This is further complicated in the case of the Oresund region by the fact that it crosses two national systems of education. Again, these are important issues to be addressed by this study.

Bob Jensen's threads on cross-border (transnational) education can be found at 

"The Myth of Shareholder Value," (Cover Story)  by Dennis Mendyk and Steve Smith, The Net Economy, April 30, 2001, pp. 28-31 --- 

Telecom M&As were supposed to boost long-term value for shareholders. So far, that simply isn’t happening

Although there are some exceptions among the six deals we studied, the numbers point to four basic truths about telecom M&As and their effects on shareholder value:

• Shareholders of companies that are acquired tend to fare better than the shareholders of companies that do the acquiring.

• Shareholders who sell their stock soon after a merger is completed get more value than those who hold onto their stock.

• Merged companies tend to underperform on shareholder value after the merger is completed.

• Companies that did not take on significant merger partners generally have delivered better value for their shareholders than companies involved in M&As.

These four conclusions raise fundamental questions about the economic assumptions that have driven big M&As in the telecom sector. It's generally accepted that shareholders of the company being acquired enjoy an initial gain thanks to the premium typically paid in a takeover. But according to our figures, that value, which starts building on the day a deal is announced, starts to evaporate after the deal is officially sealed. In other words, M&As are a better play for speculators than for long-term investors.

That's not an earth-shattering revelation to financial types, but it's not necessarily something that dealmakers like to talk about. "Many money managers, myself included, may invest in certain companies because they are takeover candidates, but that is not a way to build a portfolio," says Ian Link, who manages more than $1 billion in the Franklin Global Communications Fund.

M&A activity yields value in two other ways, but these also are rarely talked about and certainly not highlighted in press releases or annual reports. First, the investment banks that act as underwriters for the deals reap enormous fees. Over the past five years, M&A activity has been the main profit center for many Wall Street firms.

Second, a change of ownership typically triggers full vesting in stock plans for corporate officers, specifically for companies that are acquired. Without that trigger mechanism, some option plans could take years to kick in fully. A little prodding from an underwriter and a little cash incentive for the decision makers may be just enough to rationalize the benefits, even the necessity, of making a merger happen.

But that's speculation, and the numbers that follow are not speculative. They are real, and they cast a shadow of doubt on the economic value of telecom industry M&As.

The new enterprise job scheduler at the University of Illinois --- 

Seeking a job scheduler to manage disparate systems and compliment its new SCT Banner Administrative solution, the University of Illinois has selected the AppWorx enterprise job scheduler from AppWorx Corporation. The AppWorx scheduler will play a key role in the university’s long-term plans to move to a pure distributed environment using one scheduling product that can integrate with all of their systems.

Until now, application batch processing at the University of Illinois meant manually passing files back and forth from the mainframe to other platforms. However, the process grew too complex as operators tried to interface a growing number of systems and upgrades.

“We were searching for a single job scheduler that could manage batch processes associated with existing distributed applications and integrate with our new SCT Banner solution,” said Mary Ellen Gaughan, director of operational support services for the University of Illinois Office of Administrative Information Technology Services. “We anticipate that the AppWorx solution will provide us everything we need to achieve our long-term goals and still be able to grow and add new applications within our IT environment.”

“Only AppWorx can provide the University of Illinois with a true enterprise job scheduler capable of managing all applications across different platforms in a manner that is complimentary with leading solutions such as SCT Banner,” said Bill Wrenn, President and CEO for AppWorx Corporation. “The combination of AppWorx and Banner is quickly becoming the preferred solution for universities nationwide seeking to become more efficient and reduce IT operating expenses."

About AppWorx Corporation

AppWorx Corporation is a leading provider of innovative enterprise scheduling products that have automated application business processes, improved efficiency, and significantly reduced IT operating expenses for over 300 corporations worldwide. AppWorx’s revolutionary technology and expertise in optimizing software application processing allow organizations worldwide to automate their application business processes across applications and platforms encompassing the entire enterprise. For more information visit our website at  or call toll free at 1.877.APPWORX or +44 (0) 1293 897128 in the U.K.

Microsoft will embed several privacy tools in its next version of Explorer, allowing users to determine how much or how little they want to divulge ---,1848,43686,00.html 

Sounds great, but will it work before electricity is brought into the Amazon's jungle?  Two-way, high-speed satellite ISP service will soon be available in the Amazon ---,1382,43789,00.html 

Satellite service can work in places where other ISPs aren't available because it doesn't require a direct connection to the public phone system or cable network. It works a lot like satellite TV, where customers prop a dish outside or on top of their home.

If they can do this in the jungle, why can't I get such two-way, high-speed service at my house in San Antonio?  If necessary, I will walk about my neighborhood in a loin cloth and cook on an open campfire.

See also:
Net Access: Socket to Me
Don't Shut Down That DSL Yet
Unwired News: The Next Generation
There's no biz like E-Biz
Mind your own Business news

Free Electronic Books

"Kids Ask the Darnedest Things," by M.J. Rose, May 15, 2001 ---,1284,43778,00.html 

Name one thing you wish your parents knew about you, but you can't bring yourself to tell them.

Do you ever hate yourself? What do you do about it?

What is the worst thing that our society accepts?

Those are among the topics discussed in Tagbook: The Bolt Book of Questions and Answers -- a print book that was written online by adolescents and young adults 15 to 24 years old.

. . .

The initial free release consists of the prologue through chapter five. Additional chapters will be released every two weeks through June 25.

The e-book, offered free in the Microsoft Reader format, is available from several sites including,,, and all members.

E-Reads seeks readers: Although their 1,400 e-books are sold at most online bookstores, -- which goes live this week -- has chosen as its preferred e-book sales retailer.

At least 12 other distributors sell the e-reads titles, but company founder Richard Curtis said he is counting on Fictionwise to reach more readers.

As part of the agreement, Fictionwise has created a special page on its site for e-reads titles -- which cover genres from fantasy and science fiction to romance, and are written by best-selling authors including Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, Janet Dailey, Jennifer Blake, Laura Kinsale and Jim Thompson.

From Syllabus News on May 16, 2001

Purdue Researcher May Increase Transmission Speed of Internet

Engineers at Purdue University may have discovered a way to make the Internet faster and more powerful: a device commonly used to untangle signals sent over fiber optic lines. Said Andrew Weiner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, "This is the first time that anybody has realized this technology could be modified for a different function." The device can turn a single pulse of laser light into a rapid-fire burst of 21 pulses, each separated by only two trillionths of a second-- at least 10 times faster than the transmission speed of each channel in state-of-the-art commercial optical communication systems. The implications of increasing the speed and capacity of optical fibers are tremendous, considering that optical fibers are replacing wires for transmitting Internet data over high-speed lines. Weiner and research engineer Daniel Leaird have demonstrated that the untangling device could dramatically increase the transmission speed and the amount of data that can be sent over a single channel. For more information, contact Andrew Weiner, .

E-Business Training Available through eCollege

ActiveEducation has joined eCollege's Developers Program, which enables content providers to put educational or training mater- ials in the eCollege System to license to other institutions. The deal makes ActiveEducation's e-business technology courses available to institutions through the eCollege platform. ActiveEducation's e-business technology content could be val- uable to institutions and corporations trying to meet the demands of their learners by having more courses available in the eCollege System that will aid in driving student enroll- ments. The first of ActiveEducation's e-business technologies eLearning courses to be available through the eCollege plat- form include three XML courses leading to certification, Java, HTML, and ASP+. Institutions interested in licensing the ActiveEducation content should e-mail 

Chronicling the American Indian (Photography, History) ---,1284,43645,00.html 
Audio ---,1367,43749,00.html 

Photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis made it his life's work to portray the daily life, culture and people of 80 Indian tribes throughout North America with photogravure images.

Now, an exhibit of more than 2,000 of Curtis' images of American Indians made between 1907 and 1930 is online, thanks to a joint project between Northwestern University and the National Digital Library Program at the Library of Congress.

See also:
Net Hosts Native American Pics
S.F. on 360-Degrees a Day
Art That Makes You Say Hmmm
Restoring the Sistine Website
Van Gogh Finally Sees the Light

The Origins of Madness, Feed, May 11, 2001 
Christiane Culhane on the role of essential fatty acids in schizophrenia and human evolution 

We can all think of famous figures throughout history who were haunted by the voices and hallucinations of schizophrenia, but how far back in mankind's past can we trace the origins of the disease? British scientist Dr. David Horrobin, author of The Madness of Adam and Eve, argues that schizophrenia signaled the beginnings of modern man: A genetic mutation changed the biochemistry of fat in our brains. This mutation instigated the ascendancy of Homo sapiens, but brought with it the burden of mental illness as well. If Horrobin is right, his hypothesis will change evolutionary biology and the way we treat schizophrenia.

Roughly one percent of the population is schizophrenic; the disease is the most uniformly distributed in the world, found in every race and on every continent. Horrobin concludes that the genetic mutations must have occurred before the separation of the races some 50,000 to 150,000 years ago. One family with the mutation, and the intelligence, curiosity, creativity, and pathology that came with it, set out from Africa to "conquer the globe," eventually killing off Homo erectus and Neanderthals. The change in brain chemistry led to religion, art, and symbolic activity, but it also led to psychopathic tendencies. And as groups settled and created agrarian societies, their diets included less essential fatty acids, heightening the negative effects of schizophrenia.


Fat may be the answer to schizophrenia, but so far, no one has solved the mystery of the disease's origins. New studies suggesting different causes come out all the time: Last month, a Johns Hopkins study reported findings of viral "foot-prints" in the cerebrospinal fluid of newly diagnosed schizophrenics. Another study found differences in the genes that regulate myelin, and yet another study of over 87,000 Israelis proposed a connection between the disease and the age of one's father at conception. Identifying specific genes that cause schizophrenia holds great promise for a cure, but it will be years, perhaps decades, before researchers can test Horrobin's striking evolutionary hypothesis.

Dear Professor Jensen, 

Now get the FREE bi-weekly FORTUNE Preview Guide. This guide will help you use the newest issue of FORTUNE Magazine in your class by providing article summaries, topics for class discussion, quiz/test questions and a subject index that identifies articles by curriculum topic.

Visit  to view or download the current Preview Guide. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the online Preview Guide.)

Sign up to have the FORTUNE Preview Guide sent directly to your e-mail inbox before each issue! Please send e-mail to:  and ask to subscribe to the FORTUNE Preview Guide, or call us at 1-800-416-5138.

Use FORTUNE magazine in your business classes this year. FORTUNE Magazine brings to life textbook theories with cutting edge analysis and in-depth coverage of business news. Students enjoy reading it, and it's easy for them to sign up online!

Get FREE issues to share with your class by visiting 

From FEI Express on May 15, 2001

Most consumer package goods companies pay grocers fees to secure shelf space for new products. The payments are referred to as "slotting fees." The retailers base the charges on the requirements to reset the shelves, change price tags and rotate out the replaced stock. Because manufacturers have accounted for these fees differently (some as a new product marketing cost and some as an offset to revenue), the FASB recently reviewed the issue and ruled that all slotting fees should be an offset to revenue and not a marketing expense. Here is a link to more detail on the FASB site: . Click on "Emerging Issues Task Force," then "Description and Status of Current Issues." Click on Issue 00-25, "Vendor Income Statement Characterization of Consideration Paid to a Reseller of the Vendor's Products."

The Research Foundation has just released another "must have" study, Financial Turnarounds: Preserving Value. The book is full of practical advice for all companies, whatever their situation. The messages are universal and important, particularly in today's challenging business environment. Twenty companies, large and small, public and private, from the manufacturing, retailing, high-tech, real estate and service sectors shared their stories. Learn from top turnaround specialists how to recognize early warning signals and prevent financial trouble. The book is available by calling 1 (800) 680-3373, or order online at .

Gary Lauber inquired about benchmarking sites.  I provided him with the following listing.
Free, financial benchmark service for manufacturing companies. Learn how your company's financial performance measures up against your closest peers with detailed analysis in key metrics.
Best Practices Online
Best Practices Online is a leading gateway for executives and specialists seeking to improve their business processes through benchmarking leading companies and implementing best practices.
The Cost-Effective Organization
Provides best practices and resources for the reduction and control of business expenses.
A monthly newsletter provided via e-mail available to individuals employed by large corporations, higher educational organizations or governmental entities who are involved with benchmarking.
Ravenwerks Best Practices Information Center
Articles on best practices in teamwork, leadership, finance, marketing, customer service and technology.
Not For Profit Benchmarking Association
An association of Not For Profit organizations' management professionals to compare operating performance and identify the best business practices. Gathers data in the form of group studies on behalf of participants.
Human Resources Learning Center
HR benchmarking, best practices, and research reports for human resources. New practices and tools to improve employee services and reduce operating costs.
The Global Benchmarking Council
Comprised of benchmarking, quality, and process improvement professionals from around the world. Strives to enhance member initiatives through studies, networking, conferences, and other activities.
Office of the Secretary of Defense Quality Management Office Best Practices Database
Browse and enter best practices within the United States Department of Defense.
Knowledge Management Benchmarking Association
Brings together knowledge management professionals from a variety of companies. Conducting benchmarking studies to identify practices that improve the effectiveness of Knowledge Management activities.
The Benchmarking Network
Worldwide Benchmarking Resource Guide - extensive information and links.
International Institute for Internet Industry Benchmarking (I4B)
Multi-company consortium dedicated to identifying best practices in Internet Industry Strategies.
Electric Utility Benchmarking Association
An association of electric utility companies that conducts benchmarking studies to identify the practices that improve the overall operations of the members.
Shared Services Benchmaking Association
An association of shared services managers to compare operating performance and identify the best business practices.
International Contract Management Benchmarking Association
Association of corporations with contract management processes.
Broadcast Benchmarking Association
Association of professionals interested in benchmarking and identifying the best broadcast practices that improve the overall operations of their companies.
Benchmarking - Consortium
Consortium for Higher Education Benchmarking for academic environments.
ISP Benchmarking Association
An association of procurement and supply chain organizations within major corporations. ISPBA conducts benchmarking studies to identify practices that improve the overall operations of the members.
International Council Of Benchmarking Coordinators
Brings benchmarking professionals together to share information to improve business processes in their industry.
Information Systems Management Benchmarking Consortium -
Brings together information systems professionals from a variety of companies to conduct targeted studies on issues related to improving performance and effectiveness.
ISO Benchmarking Association
Brings professionals of companies that are ISO Certified or are seeking ISO Certification together to share information to improve business processes.
International Call Center Benchmarking Consortium
An association of call center professionals to compare operating performance and identify the best business practices.
Tresury Management Benchmarking Association
An association of treasury managers within major organizations that conducts benchmarking studies to identify practices that improve the overall operations of the members.
The Booth Company
The latest information about 360 feedback for measuring leadership, management and organization effectiveness. Secure web-based 360 feedback surveys are featured.
Twin Cities Knowledge Management Forum
The general purpose of the Forum is to share non-proprietary best practices in the field of Knowledge Management for the mutual benefit of all members
Telecommunications Benchmarking International Group
TBOG - Business process engineering, leading member companies to exceptional performance and recognition by their customers.
Strassmann, Inc.
Strassmann offers consulting and analytical services for effective corporate information management. Site contains several resources including assessments and white papers.
Best Practice Business Process Design
Contains a number of articles on four themes: production and inventory planning and control, supply chain, related IS /IT issues, and change management. Provided by SM Thacker & Associates.
Benchmarking article
Management - Feature: 11/04/97 Benchmarking - From The Mining Company Benchmarking. You have to know who's best before you can beat them, from your Mining Company Guide
Capability Snapshot
Provides a technology-based survey methodology for organizations.
Upward Feedback
Web processed Upward Feedback and phased 360 Feedback - managers and teams plan improvement together. Self-Managing Teams, Best Practice and Benchmarking.
Benchmarking Solutions (UK)
Independent company providing confidential benchmarking services.

Sad news from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The Internet Scout Project is sad to announce that we will be discontinuing publication of the _Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities_ after the next issue (May 29). We have been unable to secure funding to continue publishing our subject-specific reports. The last issue of the _Scout Report for Business & Economics_ will be May 31, and the last issue of the _Scout Report for Science & Engineering_ will be June 20. We have, however, no immediate plans to cease publishing our flagship report, the _Scout Report_. Many thanks to our loyal readers.

From the May 15 edition of the Scout Report

New Intelligence Reports -- CIA [.pdf] 
_Global Growing Migration and Its Implications for the United States_ 

_The Global Technology Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with Information Technology by 2015_  
pdf  version [87 pages] 

The CIA recently posted on its Website two new reports presenting an intelligence perspective on two globalization issues. The first, _Global Growing Migration and Its Implications for the United States_, is a follow-up study to the publication _Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Non-government Experts_ (see the December 22, 2000 _Scout Report_). This latest study focuses on "the growing global movement of people and its implications for the United States." The study examines the political, economic, social, and security issues raised by increased migration, including "the extent to which some countries may try to use migration as leverage in bilateral relations." The second report, written by RAND for the National Intelligence Council, examines the implications of the revolutions in biotechnology and information technology and the challenges and questions likely to be raised in these fields between now and 2015. Both reports are offered in .pdf format; the RAND report is also available in an HTML version.

The Science of Emotions: Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison 

This new Website presents news and information about the research and activities of the HealthEmotions Research Institute at the UW-Madison School of Medicine. The Institute is nationally recognized for its cutting edge research into the connections between brain chemistry and human emotional experience. The Website offers a review of current research projects, professional biographies of the researchers, and an archive of news stories related to recent research. This last makes available stories about research suggesting child abuse alters brain development, the links between brain chemistry and impulsive violence, the measurable power of a positive outlook, and many others. There is also a recently-posted feature on the visit this month of the Dalai Lama to the center to participate in discussions about this subject from his perspective as a Buddhist spiritual leader and author of several books on the links between spirituality and the management of emotions.


Where were those knights in shining armor called The Public Accountants?

-----Original Message----- 
From: George Lan, 
University of Windsor [mailto:glan@SERVER.UWINDSOR.CA]  
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 9:46 AM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: 'Chainsaw Al' Charged

An article in the New York Times (May 16,2001) "SEC alleges fraud by ex-Sunbeam exec, " reported that A. J. Dunlap, former CEO of Sunbeam had directed a huge accounting fraud in which he was aided by a partner of Arthur Andersen, the firm that audited Sunbeam's books according to SEC.

Some of the improper tactics used to inflate earnings were, related to phony sales such as: 1.Selling to customers and agreeing to buy it back after the customer is assured it could return it for a profit 2. Offering deep discounts to persuade customers to buy merchandise they would not need for months. Near the end of the article (3rd paragraph from bottom): it also stated" the auditors agreed to certify the financial statements anyway, having been persuaded that the challenged numbers, which produced 16% of the company's 1997 profits, were not material and therefore should not be corrected."

My questions are: 

1. Has 'Chainsaw Al' not heard about the "iron law" surrounding earnings management i.e. accruals reverse? 

2. Why were analysts originally fooled by 'Chainsaw Al' tactics? Was it because he was a "corporate star"? What will happen when customers return merchandise at a profit? Was he thinking about jumping ship? 

3. Should there be better guidelines for what constitute "materiality"? 16% appears material to me unless the amount involved was small. 

4. Do we need more "ethical content" in the accounting curriculum? Can "ethics" be really taught? Any comments?

George Lan 
University of Windsor

Reply from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU

A more thorough discussion of the Sunbeam matter is contained in the book "Chainsaw" (1999) written by John Byrne. It is a fascinating read and quite informative about all of the accounting tricks that Al Dunlap performed.


"Germany's Next Generation of E-Business," by John Zipperer, Internet World News, May 16, 2001

In his wonderful post-World War I travel book, "Vagabonding Through a Changing Germany," Harry A. Franke comments on the ever-present children in the streets and homes, making it a nation of youth. A similar impression is given by modern Berlin, where it's hard not to find teenagers and twenty-somethings all over. And at the Internet trade show, the crowd appears to be younger than that at the U.S. shows. Twenty-somethings are common enough in the American Internet field, but why are there so many teenagers here?

Though I'd love to make some inference that this means Germany's youth are better prepared than U.S. youth to build an e-future, informal discussions with Internet professionals at the show suggest that would be incorrect. In fact, Germany has a way to go just to catch up with its neighbors, and that status may be hurting its ability to compete. German e-business folks point to higher levels of Internet usage, computer-based education, and even government support for technology efforts in Scandinavia, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

"In Germany, the government is not regarded as being very tech savvy, and they want to change that," said Thomas Nisters, manager of corporate communications for e-biz consultancy IconMedialab. Improving schools is one area that would have a big payoff. "This is just what we were talking to the government about last week," he added, noting that businesses can play a role in putting pressure on government to bring the schools up to speed in teaching technology and in developing programs to actually get computers into the schools. He recalled promises from Germany's leaders to ensure a computer -- yes, A computer -- in every school; luckily it eventually became a call for a computer in every classroom, and now the talk is a laptop for every student. Still, other countries are ahead.

The German government isn't sitting on its hands. It does, after all, put its money where its hopes are, via investments in technology upstarts. Thomas Simmons is CEO of Novaville, an online ad-serving company that owed its start to, first, winning a government-sponsored contest for new technology, and, second, government funding that matched the financing provided by one of its VC supporters. Simmons added that "the government has changed a lot of laws on venture funding to make it easier to build jobs." Other companies here have reported similar involvement with government funds at critical early stages of growth. The government also has lent a hand to help new-media companies make the move to the new national capital from elsewhere.

But Amadee, a maker of software for tying together corporate systems over the Internet, took no government funding. "It takes years to get it," the company's marketing director, Kai Tesmer, told me. His company needed the financing more quickly, and more important, "we wanted someone with a global network," which it eventually found with the 3i Group, which provided its second round of financing (completed in May 2000).

But far more important than the role of the government is the role of corporations from America and other countries as partners with German firms as ways of increasing the global reach for each company and getting critical local knowledge. It may be too simple to suggest that growing up in polyglot (and multicultural) Europe has better prepared its business people for international trade; but the teenagers soaking up information on the floor of the Internet World Berlin trade show and their slightly older compatriots running the computer, consulting, design, and software firms don't talk about it as the next big thing. They've been doing it all along. And when all of those U.S. Internet companies that closed their European offices when the market slumped are ready to return, they'll be dealing with young people who are old-timers at internationalization.

From Internet Week, May 17, 2001

U.S. Internet Dominance Shows Cracks

Europe has the size, interest and openness to next-generation applications to match, if not overtake, America's dominance on the Internet, an international research firm said Tuesday.

Growth in the U.S. online population is leveling off as Europe is experiencing year-over-year gains, said Paris-based researcher Ipsos-Reid in its study "The Face of the Web."

"Though the U.S. still by far has the largest single user base, non-Americans now outnumber Americans on the Internet by a clear margin," Ipsos-Reid said in its annual report. --Mary Mosquera

Get the whole story: 

May 13th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. --- 

1. ACCPAC Delivers Free XBRL Reporting Capability 
2. Where Software Development is King: IT in India 
3. Connect With Your Audience from CIO magazine 
4. IMA Offers 
4 hour XBRL Symposium June 16th in New Orleans 
5. This Thursday, XBRL for Breakfast in Rhode Island 
6. XBRL Featured Topic at Summer Conferences 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

Forwarded message from Christina Bishop

Although this is truly "americanized" and maybe not entirely accurate, it makes some interesting points


Each year the staff at Beloit College in  Wisconsin   puts together a list to try to give the Faculty a sense of the  mindset *  of this year's incoming freshman. Here is this year's list:    

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were  born  in   1982.    

They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably  did  not   know he had ever been shot.   

 They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. Black  Monday,   1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.    

There has been only one Pope.    

They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember  the  Cold   War.    

They have never feared a nuclear war.    

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.     Tianamen Square means nothing to them.    

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.    

Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums.    

The expression "You sound like a broken record" means nothing to  them.    

They have never owned a record player.    

They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.    

They may have never heard of an 8 track.    

The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old.    

As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents.    

They have always had an answering machine.    

Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they  seen a   black and white TV.   

They have always had cable.    

There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA   was.    

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.    

They don't know what a cloth baby diaper is, or know about the "Help  me,   I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial.        

They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony.    

Roller skating has always meant inline for them.    

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.    

They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.   

 Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.    

They have never seen Larry Bird play.   

 They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.   

 The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the  Civil   War.    

They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.    

They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.    

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.    

They never heard: "Where's the beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel,"  or  "De   plane, de plane!".    

They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was.    

The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew.    

Michael Jackson has always been white.    

Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not rock  bands.    

McDonalds never came in styrofoam containers.    

There has always been MTV.   

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.       

Fun with more English. I love it. I got them from an old friend.
Jagdish Gangolly

01) The bandage was wound around the wound.
02) The farm was used to produce produce.
03) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
04) We must polish the Polish furniture.
05) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
06) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
07) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
08) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
09) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. 20) 1 had to subject the subject to a series of tests.


Forwarded by Dr. D.

This farmer has about 200 hens, but no rooster, and he wants chicks. So, he goes down the road to the next farmer and asks if he has a rooster that he would sell. The other farmer says, "Yeah, I've got this great rooster, named Kenny (imported from Norway). He'll service every chicken you got, no problem."

Well, Kenny the rooster costs a lot of money, but the farmer decides he'd be worth it. So, he buys Kenny and takes Kenny home, sets him down in the barnyard and givis the rooster a pep talk. "I want you to pace yourself now. You've got a lot of chickens to service here, and you cost me a lot of money. Consequently, I'll need you to do a good job. So, take your time and have some fun," the farmer says, with a chuckle.

Kenny seemed to understand, so the farmer points him toward the Hen house and Kenny takes off like a shot. WHAM!- Kenny nails every hen in the hen house three or four times, and the farmer is really shocked. After that the farmer hears a commotion in the duck pen, sure enough, Kenny is in there. Later, the farmer sees Kenny after a flock of geese, down by the lake. Once again - WHAM! He gets all the geese. By sunset he sees Kenny out in the fields chasing quail and pheasants.

The farmer is distraught and worried that his expensive rooster won't even last 24 hours. Sure enough, the farmer goes to bed and wakes up the next day, to find Kenny on his back, stone cold in the middle of the yard. Buzzards are circling overhead. The farmer, saddened by the loss of such a colorful and expensive bird, shakes his head and says, "Oh, Kenny, I told you to pace yourself. I tried to get you to slow down, now look what you've done to yourself." Kenny opens one eye, nods toward the buzzards circling in the sky and says, "Shhh, they're getting closer!".

And that's the way it was on May 21, 2001 with a little help from my friends.


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


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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May 14, 2001 

A note of thanks to Amy Lau at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University --- 

Hi Amy,

I want to thank you and your entire faculty for making my visit so enjoyable. Your hospitality was warm and wonderful. The food between sessions was magnificent, and I especially enjoyed the singing late into Monday night. Anna must be very romantic.

There are a few links that I would like you to pass on to your faculty.

Please encourage all your faculty to sign onto the AECM listserv at 
When they have questions, remind them to ask those questions on the AECM.

Paul Pacter in Hong Kong maintains the best international accounting site at 

It is a site that should be visited daily for news on international accounting events and research.

Another very good international accounting site is at 
Some top accountancy links --- 

I especially enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time with Kung Chen. Although I had met him previously, I feel that I only got to really know him during this visit to Hong Kong.

Please give my regards to Debra, Gerald, Stella, Simon, Susanna, Samuel, Tommy, Richard, and all of the others who made my visit so memorable.

And a special thank you to you, Amy, for inviting me to your faculty retreat!

Bob Jensen

Quotes of the Week

Last Words (parting words, real and fictional, in epitaphs, wills, and farewells.) --- 
Actually this is more than "last words."  It is a great resource for biography buffs.

The tongues of dying men enforce attention like deep harmony
William Shakespeare, Richard II, II.1.5-6

Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?
Saroyan, William (1908-1981)

All my possessions for a moment of time.
Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1533-1603)

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--.
Sedgwick, John "Uncle John," General (1813-1864)

God damn the whole friggin' world and everyone in it but you, Carlotta.
Fields, W.C. (1880-1946)

Curtain! Fast music! Lights! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good. The show looks good.
Ziegfeld, Florenz (1869-1932)

Bring down the curtain, the farce is played out.
Rabelais, Francois (1494?-1553)

Me mudder did it.
Rothstein, Arnold "Mr. Big" (?-1928)

Cut 'er loose, Doc!
Remington, Frederic (1861-1909)

So little done, so much to do.
Rhodes, Cecil John (1853-1902)

"I am not going. Do with me what you like. I am not going. Come on! Come on! Take action! Let's go!"
Sitting Bull (1831-1890)

Is this dying? Is this all? Is this what I feared when I prayed against a hard death? Oh, I can bear this! I can bear this!
Mather, Cotton (1663-1728)

Why should I talk to you? I've just been talking to your boss. 
Mizner, Wilson (1876-1933)
(What he said to a priest beside his bed.)

It's very beautiful over there.
Edison, Thomas A. (1847-1931)

Why fear death? Death is only a beautiful adventure.
Frohman, Charles (1860-1915)

From the Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
HAL-9000 "Dave, stop. Stop will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm afraid. . . . Good afternoon, I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the HAL Plant in Urbana, Illinois, on the 12th of January 1992. my instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it, I could sing it for you. . . . It's called 'Daisy.' Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true. I'm half crazy over the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage. I can't afford a carriage---"


The Epitaph Browser --- 


Ezekial Aikle

Here lies
Ezekial Aikle
Age 102
The Good
Die Young



Here lies a miser who lived for himself, 
who cared for nothing but gathering wealth. 
Now where he is and how he fares; 
nobody knows and nobody cares

Jim Baxter
New Zealand Poet

Alone we are born 
And die alone; 
Yet see the red-gold cirrus 
Over snow-mountain shine. 
Upon the upland road 
Ride easy, stranger: 
Surrender to the sky 
Your heart of anger


I liked this one in a recent email message from Linda!


If I had one day left to live, I would want to live it in my accounting class. That way it would seem so much longer!
Linda Kidwell [lak@NIAGARA.EDU

Thanks for the cheer
I hope you didn't mind 
My bending your ear

Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road

Writer(s): Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen  

How are the elite business corporations and/or top consultants adapting to newer networking technologies.  You can read summaries of the keynote speeches at the Financial Executives International Summit ("Finance 2001: Gateway to the New Global Economy") in May 2001 at 

Managerial/cost accountants may want to heed Jeffrey Sampler's call for "real-time, granular cost systems."

Ian Morrison
New technologies and new, more educated and skeptical consumers will drive the second-curve strategies, he said - making brand loyalties often a thing of the past. Knowledge is now the key to value, he argued, and that will become more and more critical as more of the world's population goes online in the coming years.

Morrison dubbed the Internet "the Mother of all commoditizers," arguing that over time, products sold or distributed over the Internet tend to have their margins captured by the consumer, not the innovator. Over time, he said, business-to- business models will evolve so that there will be re-intermediation opportunities along the value chain - i.e., middlemen will be able to add value at different positions between buyers and sellers and get paid for that service.

James A. Parke
Realizing the growing impact of the Internet a few years ago, Parke said, GE at first tried to "dot-com" its various business lines. But that proved largely ineffective, and the industrial giant decided to retool that approach. "If you digitize an out-of-control process, you have an out-of-control process that is moving faster," Parke observed. Instead, he explained, GE decided to take a three-pronged approach to its business processes - eliminate them, digitize them or relocate them overseas to far cheaper sites. Much of that relocation has involved India, where Parke says the intellectual capital is very high but costs are only 30 percent of what they are in the U.S. or Europe.

Using a series of slides in which he talked about individual business lines, Parke focused on how GE has reduced staff, reduced process time or saved money from re- engineered methodologies. GE now does all its administration, such as travel and leisure expenses, online, and line managers must present potential mergers or other transactions electronically, via an "electronic boardroom." "We want to digitize the normal flow of information," he said, noting that famed CEO Jack Welch has been spearheading the effort to re-create the infrastructure for the Internet.

One ambitious project involves creating "digital cockpits" on the company Intranet that would allow managers throughout GE to look at sourcing. This, he said, will enable the company to consolidate buying for better pricing and sharply minimize contract problems. GE hopes to have these cockpits fully operational by the end of the year, he added.

Jeffrey Sampler
In a third keynote talk, Jeffrey Sampler, a professor at the London Business School, engaged the audience in a fast-moving, interactive look at how the Digital Age is changing business practices and strategic thinking. "For the first time in history, information is a scalable resource," he said. Scalability, he added, brings exponential growth with minimal additional resources - "what technology has done throughout history."

Sampler reminded his listeners that "fools and geniuses sound identical" when their ideas are first presented, but that businesses need to sort out the far-fetched from the far-sighted. Technology tends to leech away the value of a business model, he argued, and companies that find themselves losing a couple of percentage points of sales to different channels each year will eventually go out of business.

When decision-making moves "outside the channel," a process hastened by the Internet, profitability tends to move toward zero, he said. Many consumers now choose their new cars through the Internet and simply show up to present the dealer with a "take it or leave it" offer. As a result, auto dealers, Sampler said, have become little more than holders of automobiles destined for customers and are making almost no profits; he called dealerships "securitized parking lots."

Companies need to develop "real-time, granular cost systems" that enable them to understand the dynamics of their businesses quickly and thoroughly, and be able to adapt quickly. The place to start, he said, is by capturing information digitally at the point of origin. If you can't do that, the information is not scalable and has little advantage, he said.

Joachim Zier
During the first of the afternoon concurrent sessions, Joachim Zier, a national partner in charge of intellectual property consulting for KPMG LLP, walked his audience through an information-packed session about how to approach intellectual property (IP) and its value to corporations. While offering plenty of historical examples, Zier argued that jockeying for preeminence in the high-tech world is certain to intensify the attention to IP, which he said now accounts for almost two-thirds of corporations' market capital. Zier called IP "a huge source of untapped profit" that too often is undermanaged and housed in an understaffed legal department. As a result, he said, many companies don't have a good handle even on how many patents they hold. There is now software available, however, that enables companies to carefully research the state of patents in their industries and use that information to competitive advantage.

Information technology, he added, will enable companies to move from an ill-informed, reactive mode to "proactive marketplace management." With that, companies may realize that some patents aren't economically worth defending, and they will let them expire. As it is, he said, too many patents are reflexively defended without any cost analysis. Too, companies will realize that they should aggressively go after royalties on patents they do hold, since such patents can produce a tidy revenue stream that "goes straight to the bottom line."

The summaries of the Day 2 speeches can be found at 

The New Economy of Business-to-Business commerce is just getting started, and Accenture's new study provides some insight as to what it takes to be successful in this competitive arena. 

"The findings in our study were counter-intuitive to what we would believe to be the case in B2B which is that price matters first," said Stephen Dull, Accenture partner and author of the study. "You can't compete in B2B if your only differentiator is price or any of the four Ps of marketing (price, produce, promotion, and place of distribution), for they are mere commodities. Focusing your attention on the customer is where companies will rise above the noise."

The key finding in the study emphasizes that the single most important buyer preference is brand, followed by service, price, and variety. The study also finds that customer satisfaction online is lower in a B2B (Business to Business) environment than it is in the B2C (Business to Consumer) environment, and that this is symptomatic of a general failure to identify and respond to the demands of the business market.

Although anticipated market trends indicate that online buying will become a major force in industry, results of this study show that less than half of all businesses currently purchase goods online. A lack of marketing is seen as a major factor in the low success rate among B2B providers.

The study also reveals that B2B is much more complex than B2C, and the conclusion is that it is worth the time spent to set up a B2B environment that is easy to use and understand. "B2B is about many things, however, speed at the cost of getting it wrong is not one of them. E-Right is more important than e-Speed in B2B," according to Mr. Dull.

I think the importance of brand is even greater for distance education.  See 

The University of South Dakota will arm all of its freshman with a Palm handheld next fall ---,1383,43367,00.html 

The Palm devices will be equipped with both e-mail and Web access, and students will be able to synch them up to university servers at different locations on campus, such as the dining hall, library, and residence halls.

About 1,300 students will receive the handhelds, and Palm is negotiating with the school for the final pricetag. The retail price of the deal would be about $750,000, Kozak said.

The University of South Dakota Foundation will cover the bulk of the costs, though students will pay a portion of the expense at $30 each semester for four semesters. The devices are theirs to keep.

"We're just tapping the surface as to how this will enhance the educational process," Kozak said. "Once we start using them in the classroom, we will learn much more from our users as we continue throughout the year."

A University of Virginia professor uses a self-written computer program to catch students who plagiarize term papers. Over 100 students are being investigated and may be expelled. ---,1383,43561,00.html 

A professor at the University of Virginia has nabbed 122 students for plagiarism using a computer program he wrote himself.

Louis Bloomfield, who teaches an introductory-level physics course called "How Things Work," wrote the program after he "heard rumors that papers were coming in more than once."

The original news item is at 

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at 

See also:
New Toys for Cheating Students
Phony Degrees a Hot Net Scam
Catching Digital Cheaters
Get schooled in Making the Grade

Wow Resource Site of the Week --- EROD 
Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) from the U.S. Department of Education at 

The Directory is intended to help you identify and contact organizations that provide information and assistance on a broad range of education-related topics.

This is mostly a site designed to help you search for help and other information on most any education-related topic, including education technology.

Wow Professor  of the Week is Psychology Professor Sally Kuhlenschmidt

Note the samples of her "students' courses/sites" at 

From Infobits on May 3, 2001

Sally Kuhlenschmidt, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Western Kentucky University, uses the Internet to teach a course for faculty and administrators on teaching on the Internet. Her course, "Internet in Instruction" covers "how to use technology efficiently in instruction . . . [m]arketing an online course, protecting intellectual-property rights, and designing a course Web site. . . ." As a course requirement, students must either create a website for an online course or create online materials to use with a traditionally-taught course. The "Internet in Instruction" website is at 

For more information contact Sally L. Kuhlenschmidt, 
Center for Teaching and Learning, 
Western Kentucky University, 
Bowling Green, KY 42101 USA; tel: 270-745-6508; fax: 270-745-6145; 
email:      Web: 

From Dr. Kuhlenschmidt:

College level faculty and administrators who are interested in learning about instructional and administrative issues in using the Internet to conduct college coursework.

This is not a course about how to do the technology. (It is easier than it once was, requiring some minimal websurfing and word processing skills.)

This is a course about

why you might want to use the Internet in instruction, its capabilities and pitfalls. how to fit the available tools to your needs as a teacher or administrator. understanding the general principles for effectively using each new set of instructional technologies with regard to teaching strategies and instructional design. learning the most efficient way to tackle any new technology for instructional purposes to minimize the time cost. applying these principles to your own course or unit development needs. identifying the aspects of Internet use that is directly rewarding to you, showing you how to increase connection with students around their learning, rather than increasing distance. providing you with a community of support with others endeavoring to learn about on-line instruction. When you finish this course you will have a product that will serve as a foundation for your efforts for some time into the future.

Do read my FAQ (#1 below). It answers most questions. Contact me for answers to any questions that remain. I hope to see you in my class next term. Thanks for checking!

  1. FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Psy 501 (faq.htm)

  2. Main Page for Psy 501: Issues in Using the Internet in Instruction (psyii.htm)

  3. Web Courses/Sites Created by Students Completing Psy 501 (studpgs.htm)

  4. Student Comments about Psy 501 (cmt.htm)

WebEx offers a total system for delivering online meetings or complete courses for companies and schools who do not have the internal IT system for such a huge undertaking --- 

WebEx is delivering real-time multimedia communications to more than 3,275 global corporations who use WebEx services to communicate with customers, prospects, partners and suppliers. Departments across the enterprise are using WebEx meetings to save money on travel costs and increase productivity. Learn how WebEx services can enhance your business with rich, secure, multimedia communications, all through a standard Web browser.

For a review of other alternatives such as WebCT and Blackboard, go to 

Who said more disclosure in annual reports is a good thing?

Tech firms that use the most file space in their annual reports also tend to be the worst stock performers, a new study concludes. The reasoning: "The longer the document, the more messed up the business." ---,1350,43643,00.html 

"Oftentimes, the longer the document, the more messed up the business," wrote Steve Milunovich, Merrill Lynch's global technology strategist, in a study released Tuesday.

He found that companies with long annual reports, known as 10Ks, often used the space for detailed explanations of write-offs and other unusual items that dragged down earnings.

To carry out the research, Milunovich compared the file sizes of annual reports submitted by companies in the Merrill Lynch 100 technology stock index. He then compared that data to the performance of the stock in their most recent fiscal year.

The findings? The study concluded that 83 percent of companies with the shorter annual reports (those occupying less than 300 KB of file space) outperformed the index.

On average, stocks of companies in the under-300 KB group, which included Adobe Systems (ADBE), Sungard Data Systems (SDS) and Unisys Corp. (UIS), declined by 52 percent in their most recent fiscal year. Although they didn't exactly do well, the group's performance was above average for firms in the index, which took a beating in 2000.

Companies with long annual reports (over 500 KB), on the other hand, sported an average decline of 77 percent in their most recent fiscal year. Only 18 percent of companies in that category, which included underperformers Lucent Technologies (LU), Nortel Networks (NT) and Brocade Communications (BRCD), outperformed the index. (based on the famous Gordon Model) --- gives you access to the popular Dividend Discount Model (DDM) used to value publicly traded stocks. DDM calculates the present value of the future dividends that a company is expected to pay its shareholders. DDM can also calculate the expected return implied by the current dividend yield and projected dividend growth.

The dividend discount model (DDM) is a widely accepted stock valuation tool found in most introductory finance and investment textbooks. The model calculates the present value of the future dividends that a company is expected to pay to its shareholders. It is particularly useful because it allows investors to determine an absolute or "intrinsic" value of a particular company that is not influenced by current stock market conditions. In contrast, most target prices published by analysts are set on a relative basis, based on the valuation of comparable companies. The DDM is also useful because the measurement of future dividends (as opposed to earnings for example) facilitates an "apples-to-apples" comparison of companies across different industries by focusing on the actual cash investors can expect to receive. Although it is conceptually simple, the DDM is not widely used except by some institutional investors because it can be cumbersome to apply without the necessary data and analytical tools. makes the DDM accessible to all investors to determine whether they think a particular stock is over or under valued based on its dividend potential.

The Dividend Discount Model is also known as the "Gordon model" named after professor Myron J. Gordon who popularized the model. Professor Gordon wrote about the model in a book he authored in 1962 titled The Investment, Financing and Valuation of the Corporation. Since then the model has appeared in virtually every investments textbook. In his book titled Investment Valuation, Aswath Damodaran, a professor at New York University states: "In the long term, undervalued (overvalued) stocks from the dividend discount model outperform (underperform) the market index on a risk-adjusted basis." Although no investment model works for all stocks all of the time, the dividend discount model has proven to be a reliable way of selecting stocks that on average will perform relatively well on a long-term basis. It should be among the tools that investors use to select at least some of the stocks in their portfolio.

FAS 133 Helpers on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments

From Bob Jensen

From Ernst & Young

Financial Accounting & Reporting Focus on FAS 133: A Derivatives and Hedging Primer
Norman Strauss -National Director of Accounting for Ernst & Young

Ira has some new papers on matters related to FAS 133.

I wanted to let you know that I've posted two newly published articles on my web site. Both pertain to FAS 133 -- the accounting standard that covers derivative instruments and hedging activities.

"The 80/125 Problem," Derivatives Strategy, March 2001 -- This article explains the pitfalls of relying on a commonly cited hedge effectiveness measure.

"FAS 133: System Worries," Bank Asset/Liability Management, May 2001 - This article makes the point that a system solution may be FAS 133-compliant, but not necessarily FAS 133-optimal.

You can download each of these articles by clicking onto the following links:  and

Please let me know if have any difficulty accessing either, or if there is anything else I might be able to assist you with.

Best regards,

Ira Kawaller 
Kawaller& Company, LLC 
(718) 694-6270 

Forwarded by Dennis Beresford


You might be interested in my commentary re: the need for broader accounting standards - just published in a UK weekly - 


Reply from Bob Jensen
I must admit that at some level of standard setting (perhaps in interpretive guides), I think it is necessary to provide specific guidelines in great detail for highly technical contracts. A good (most would say bad) example is FAS 133 versus FAS 39. Without the detail of FAS 133, it would seem that all sorts of contract provisions would either be overlooked or accounted for inconsistently between firms. If I were an auditor, I would much rather turn to FAS 133 for guidance than the more general and less helpful IAS 39.

Perhaps the answer is not to go into such detail in each standard, but the details need to be somewhere in the "standards supply chain."

Depreciation 101 
(Accounting, Tax)

Welcome to Fundamentals of Depreciation an introductory online depreciation course offered by the leading provider of fixed asset management solutions--Best Software, Inc. This course is designed to strengthen your understanding of depreciation fundamentals, providing a strong foundation to reinforce your accounting skills and comprehension.

Complete each section at your own pace; each section is followed by a brief quiz, which reviews your learning session. Upon completion of the entire tutorial, you’ll receive a certificate from Best Software, recognizing your proven expertise in depreciation and accounting!

Accounting Terminology Guide 

Money 101 Glossary 

For other accounting and finance glossaries, go to 

The Carnegie Foundation Forum

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has launched a new bulletin board on the Carnegie website. The Forum will feature public discussions on key issues related to teaching and learning and will be moderated each month by distinguished guest scholars.

The May 2001 Forum is hosted by Dr. Elizabeth Barkley, a professor of music at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. She was the 1998 California Higher Education Professor of the Year and a 1999 Carnegie Scholar in the discipline of music. She is particularly well known for her work in transforming an unsuccessful general education music course into a very successful new course titled, Musics of Multicultural America.

In the Forum, Dr. Barkley is available for the month to discuss the "trials and tribulations" of her course transformation and will provide links to access her online class site and course portfolio.

To join this conversation, go to:

Log Cabin Chronicles --- 

The Log Cabin Chronicles is published in a log cabin on a 30-acre Quebec homestead six miles from the border at Rock Island, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont. John Mahoney, the editor, has been a photographer and writer for 40 years. A veteran daily and weekly newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist, he also operates Pigwidgeon Press (a small press). His family has moved back and forth across the Vermont-Quebec border for 200 years; he was born in Newport, Vermont, and immigrated to Canada in 1972. Their log cabin is a short crow fly from where his pioneer ancestors staked their wilderness pitch in 1796.

Jane Goyette is the support system propping up the magazine. She is responsible for all of the recipes, reads copy, and offers constructive criticism not always heeded. Jane and John have been married since 1959 and have four sons, whose names you'll find on the Friends of the Chronicles page. Although she was born in Newport, Vermont, her family has been in Quebec since the mid-1640s.

What we're about Our focus is on northern Vermont and southern Quebec, but we aim to offer an eclectic menu of features, fiction and poetry, opinion, photographs and graphics, and recipes guaranteed to produce the best damned bread and soup you have ever tasted, thanks to Jane Goyette. - please report online frauds and transactions gone wrong --- 

How to find conference proceedings.
From Infobits on May 3, 2001

A copy of the standard is available on the Web (in PDF format) at no cost at 

Information on ordering a hardcopy version is available at 

Chechen Diary: Covering the Conflict --- 

Virus Alert:  Forwarded by Steve Perez

There is a virus beginning to circulate in the United Sates named VBS/SST.gen@mm known as the Home Page virus. The virus has triggered a barrage of e-mail to anyone listed in an affected computer's Outlook e-mail address book, which in turn overloaded some organization's e-mail systems, according to anti-virus experts tracking the virus's spread.

A sample of the email this worm sends out with itself as an attachment is:

Subject: Homepage
Message Body: Hi! You've got to see this page! It's really cool ;O)

Indications Of Infection
- Presence of homepage.HTML.vbs
- Unwanted connections to "adult" webpages

Method Of Infection
This script arrives as an e-mail attachment. Opening the attachment infects your machine. Once infected, it tries to e-mail itself to other recipients.

Should you receive an e-mail with the Homepage subject and attachment Homepage.html.vbs just press shift delete to delete it. For more information see the site: 

Live From N.Y.: Security Cam Hams ---,1848,43272,00.html 
More than 5,000 security cameras watch over the good (and bad) folks of New York City, and a performance troupe goes around town to make sure the camera operators know they're being watched back.

Wireless Communications
Toshiba: In the driver's seat with its PCs ---,11011,2712297,00.html 

Toshiba has realized that, as the costs of notebooks plummet, it's getting tougher to make a sustainable business of simply manufacturing them. That's why the company has begun to include 802.11b wireless connectivity in its Tecra 8200 notebooks.

Even with wireless support included, the Tecra is about the same price as its competition. Follow this trend out a little, and it's easy to see an analogy with that old saw about the shaving industry: Razor companies don't make money from the razors, which they basically give out for free, but from selling the blades. Toshiba will make its money from infrastructure services such as 802.11 wireless installations (which Toshiba offers at bargain rates) or Bluetooth implementations (not quite yet), not from the individual units themselves.

Meanwhile, Toshiba offers all-in-one appliances. And although there's room for a lot of improvements in its new Magnia line (which has an old operating system and no support for VPNs), the company is not going to make money on the units themselves but on a rapidly growing list of online services that its customers can tap into when they need them.

Toshiba is way ahead on pushing wireless, and I suspect that other vendors will quickly catch on to the value of offering downloadable services. But at least one company is pushing a tired industry in a new direction.

The Long Wait for Bluetooth ---

BLUETOOTH IS a short-range radio technology that allows wireless devices to communicate over distances of about 30 feet. It was a seductive idea when the Swedish telecommunications gearmaker Ericsson first came up with it. The idea was that it would be indifferent to the devices’ underlying operating systems—hence the name (Harald Bluetooth was a 10th-century Danish king who overcame his country’s religious differences). It would be a major technical advance over infrared transmission, the dominant technology for wireless communication between devices. Think of the Palm family of personal digital assistants. Not only must they be pointed directly at each other for the infrared connection to work, they must also be no more than about three feet apart. Bluetooth is designed to work at about 10 times that distance, and doesn’t require that the devices be within line of sight. A Bluetooth-enabled TV remote control could change channels from two rooms away. For all digital devices, the elimination of wiring is “similar to the way in which the mouse was eventually integrated [directly] into the laptop,” says a Motorola official. “Pretty soon you won’t even know it’s there.” The growing popularity of wireless has attracted rivals. A competing technology, commonly known by the exasperating alphanumeric monicker of 802.11b (pronounced eight-oh-two-dot-eleven-bee ), is capturing the corporate market. Designed as a wireless local-area-network (LAN) technology, 802.11b allows, for example, salespeople to log on to corporate intranets without using conventional telephone lines. Bluetooth is more of a consumer technology. But 802.11b may already be getting in its way. Last month Microsoft announced that it would not support Bluetooth in the initial release of Windows XP, planned for the end of summer, though last week the company hinted that the date may slip all the way to 2002. The Redmond, Wash., software giant will, on the other hand, support 802.11b, for one simple reason: it exists. Networks using 802.11b are up and running at places like Stanford University and the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.

What’s the difference between the two? Bluetooth is slower. It moves data at about 720 kilobits per second (Kbps), almost 13 times faster than the fastest dial-up modem speed today. But 802.11b is 14 times faster than that, at 11Mbps (megabits per second). On the other hand, 802.11b requires a network infrastructure. It does not allow individual devices to talk to each other. In geekspeak, 802.11b has a client-server architecture, while Bluetooth resembles peer-to-peer. This alone will make Bluetooth attractive to people who seek “personal area networks” in which all their devices communicate. One major problem: Bluetooth and 802.11b use the same slice of the electromagnetic spectrum, the unlicensed 2.4GHz portion used also by common devices like microwave ovens. There have been reports of interference when the two technologies operate in proximity. And as if the picture weren’t murky enough, a third wireless standard waits in the wings: 802.11a. The Sunnyvale, Calif., chipmaker Atheros says it will ship an 802.11a wireless kit this summer. And while full implementation of the technology won’t happen any time soon, it is a threat to both Bluetooth and 802.11b because it’s much faster—up to 54 megabits per second—and operates in a less crowded part of the spectrum.

Women Engineer Tech Success ---,1540,43413,00.html 
MentorNet founder Carol Muller finds working women to help female students explore technical vocations. But getting the education and the job is only part of the battle for equality.

Though still widely considered geek, wearable computing systems are gaining ground in the industry.  At the forefront is wearable headgear from Xybernaut --- 
For a review, see 

Users say Yahoo! quietly extending porn crackdown --- 

When Yahoo! Inc. got rid of the adult videos and DVDs on its shopping pages last month, the popular Internet site wasn't done wrestling with pornography.

During the last few weeks, Yahoo! quietly has reconfigured its adult-themed online clubs, message boards and chat rooms, removing links to them and making them harder to find, members say. Many users believe the clubs will fail to attract new members and ultimately disappear altogether.

Those members say they feel betrayed, and have assembled Internet petitions with thousands of complaints.

Yahoo! spokesman Jackson Holtz said the company has made several changes as "part of the evaluation of adult content across the network." But he said no decisions have been made on whether the changes will be permanent. "It's the Internet, so lots of things are possible," he said.

The furor illustrates what has long been clear: Looking at porn and talking about it is one of the Web's most popular activities. Companies such as Yahoo!, which boasts that it is devoted to the wishes of its 192 million registered users, find that no matter how they handle the issue, someone is going to be upset.

Controversial Neural Net Logic on the Web 

AOL and filtering-software company RuleSpace use neural net logic to contextually analyze websites. Analysts say AOL's blacklist could become an industry standard. But does it block too many clean sites? ---,1848,43576,00.html 

Automated and manual types of analysis both have drawbacks. A team of editors can only review a tiny fraction of the seven million new websites added to the Web every day. But automated filters have become notorious among civil libertarians for "over-blocking" sites based for just one blacklisted keyword. For example, the ACLU likes to point out that conservative Congressman Dick Armey's website is blocked by a popular filter.

RuleSpace says the "contexion services" software it licenses to AOL relies on "next generation" technology to police the Web accurately and efficiently. Contexion doesn't just search keywords but can understand their context, and does so fast enough to keep up with millions of webpages.

Because patents are pending on the context recognition technology, details are fuzzy. But the basic idea is that, rather than searching for objectionable keywords, it analyzes text and assigns it to a category of similar kinds of text. In this way, the program can supposedly distinguish between a lurid tale and a clinical discussion of STDs.

A demonstration of the product yielded some impressive results. RuleSpace Marketing VP Rob Warmack searched the Web on AOL with the "mature teens" filter activated. Contexion blocked a site called "The Art of Oral Sex" but it allowed a page titled "Is Oral Sex Safe?"

The software seems to have progressed from earlier programs that treated all instances of the word "dick" equally.

Geoffrey Nunberg, an expert on digital language recognition at Xerox PARC, concedes that new "neural net" software such as the one RuleSpace uses are an improvement over first generation automated Web filters. "This will certainly be an improvement over what some of the other filters seem to be doing."

But civil liberties advocates, who have fought the trend toward mandatory filtering in schools and libraries, are still skeptical that any kind of artificial intelligence can effectively replace human discrimination about what is objectionable material and what is valuable.

EBay to ban items linked to hate groups Policy shift is in response to feedback from users --- 

Online auction site eBay said Thursday it is toughening up its listing policy to prohibit most historical items associated with Nazi Germany as well as the Ku Klux Klan and other organizations that promote hatred, racial intolerance or racial violence.

The new rules mark a shift from the company's current policy, which allows listings of items that could be considered legitimate historical memorabilia but bans replicas of those items. The change comes in response to feedback from users, eBay said, and as the San Jose company continues to expand internationally, including in countries that outlaw the sale of most Nazi-related items, such as Germany.

Isn't this a little like Hitler's book burnings?

A new teacher recounts her year at a New York City failing school, where clocks never tick, the mantra is "cover yourself" and students teeter on the ledge --- 
The New York Times, April 8, 2001

Hi Jagdish,

You raise some interesting questions that I intend, on August 11 in Atlanta, to ask UNext's top executive in for-credit programs during Workshop 1 --- 

Rounding out a curriculum with imported courses can actually be a good idea. For example, Trinity University is so small that it cannot begin to offer as many specialized chemistry courses as a large university. One of my chemistry faculty colleagues tells me that there are some great online chemistry courses (some sponsored by the American Chemical Society and delivered by major universities) that would truly add to the chemistry curriculum if it were possible some day to overcome administrative/faculty resistance to such an idea.

Some time ago I lectured in a foreign university that was strong on technical (engineering and science) courses and weak in humanities courses. That university was seriously considering adding some of Colombia University FATHOM courses to the curriculum.

I'm not too worried when UNext delivers its partnership courses to colleges and universities, because the partners (Stanford, Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon, Columbia, and the LSE) still own the courses and are responsible for academic standards even when UNext instructors actually deliver the courses developed by the partnering institutions.

What worries me more, is when a corporation or other organization having questionable or unknown standards commences to "sell" its own courses and degrees to other colleges. However, it would seem that the buyer (a college or university) is responsible for standards. Therefore, if a buyer is willing to have low standards for purchased online courses, then I don't have any respect for the onsite courses at that buyer's campus.

It is extremely important for the "buyer" colleges to have no lower standards for online courses than they have for onsite courses. The rule "Buyer Beware" is especially meaningful and rigorous controls are essential whenever a top college purchases online courses.

Of course, it is possible to not "buy" the courses per se. Students are generally allowed to transfer some credit hours. But a college seldom allows a student take courses from anywhere and then get "transfer credit." Respectable colleges already have controls in place for authorizing transfer credits, and those controls should be rigorously applied to online courses as well as onsite courses. 

It would seem that no respectable college would allow students to transfer an entire major without "buying" into the online major and adding more controls than the controls applicable to traditional transfer credit controls.  Colleges must realize that distance education is changing the importance of prestige and reputation --- no college can afford to cheapen its reputation in an age when major universities are competing online for the same students.  

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: J. S. Gangolly [mailto:gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]  
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 11:54 AM 
Subject: Edupage, May 4, 2001 (fwd)

The following story should thrill some and sadden some among us.

The news thrills me and saddens me at the same time.

I am thrilled that bureaucratization and crass commercialization of online learning has been dealt a blow.

I am also saddened that the credibility of online learning may have been partially compromised. The so-called top school bureaucrats thought they had invented a new "business model" to cash in their reputations, and it is not working.

Will it roll heads? Probably not that of educational bureaucrats.


UNEXT STRUGGLES IN ITS SEARCH FOR SALES Although Internet education supplier UNext has financiers and affiliations with first-rate universities, it has yet to make a profit and recently cut 52 jobs. Developing each online course can cost the firm as much as $700,000. Created to sell Web-based executive education to corporations, the company is looking at other ways to generate income. It plans to market its products to universities and to non-business college students who want to get a foothold in the financial sphere. In addition, it currently offers an MBA program through its offshoot Cardean. Despite developing course content with support from Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Stanford, and other institutions, Unext has not seen as many buyers of online courses as the company had hoped. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 May 2001)

Get Ready for Your Nano Future by Alan Leo at 

As scientists learn to tinker with matter at the atomic scale, they are realizing that the social implications of nanotechnology will prove just as dramatic and at least as surprising.

"In ten to fifteen years, nanotechnology will enter our lives in a big way," declares Mihail Roco, the National Science Foundation's senior advisor for nanotechnology. Early payoffs, he predicts, will come in computing and pharmaceuticals, where powerful new tools and methods will benefit industries that already work at, or near, the molecular level.

Eventually, researchers foresee benefits across a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and agriculture to transportation and space exploration. Desalinization plants may one day use nanotech to provide fresh water to Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. Nano-engineered green technologies could soon reduce toxic emissions and someday help clean up Superfund sites.

And so-called "direct assembly"—the mechanical rearrangement of atoms to form anything from beef to buildings—may one day surround us with unlimited abundance. Hands-on manipulation of our genes could cure disease—and perhaps even aging.

The federal government is throwing serious money toward making these promises come true. Last year, President Clinton announced the National Nanotechnology Initiative, a $500 million, inter-agency effort to fund basic research and education in nanotech. Since then, more than thirty universities have announced plans for nanotech research centers. The most ambitious—a joint effort of the University of California and industry—plans to spend no less than $150 million on labs at UC Los Angeles and UC Santa Barbara.

Along with basic research and education, the federal initiative aims to foster "focused research on social, economic, ethical, legal and workforce implications of nanotechnology."

Into the Unknown

The first word to come out of this research? The most significant implications may be unforeseen, and unforeseeable.

That's the recently published conclusion of a group of nanotech researchers and social scientists who met last fall to discuss the social implications of nanotech. The report, edited by Roco and NSF science advisor William Bainbridge, summarizes presentations given last September at a National Science and Technology Council workshop. (An Adobe Acrobat version of the 280-page report is available online.)

No doomsayer, Roco is certain that nano research will yield huge benefits. "But," he warns, "there are also second-order consequences that could be negative." For example, he says, scientists could nano engineer more deadly biological weapons. Less directly, a nano elite could command unlimited wealth and power.

"When you introduce a new technology, it's almost impossible to foresee what the consequences will be," says Lester Lave, a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon and director of the school's Green Design initiative who spoke at the conference.

One everyday example of unintended consequences, Lave says, may be sitting in your driveway. "The notion of driving vehicles designed to be off-terrain, and having 90 percent of those vehicles never leave the road, shows us people are using these things for a purpose they were never engineered for. That leads to the question: how are people going to use nanotechnologies?"

Lessons Learned (or Not)

"There are some disturbing similarities between biotechnology and nanotechnology," says Paul Thompson, a professor of ethics at Purdue University and another speaker at the conference. Most disturbing, he says, is the possibility that scientists will let a genie out of its bottle. "This is a technology that, once it's out there, can't be called back."

Thompson gives the biotechnology industry a "C+" for its efforts to anticipate social and environmental implications. One success, he says, was the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) project, an interdisciplinary effort within the Human Genome Project to understand the social impact of genetic research. On the other hand, he says, the biotech industry failed to involve the public in the development of genetically modified food and was blindsided by the negative response.

Nanotech researchers should build on the example of the ELSI project, Thompson suggests: "Take a hard look at potential ethical and cultural issues, but follow through much more carefully and get out ahead of the public."

Such self-examination can pay off big, Thompson says, pointing to the information technology industry. Early on, gadflies and other concerned industry professionals spurred internal debates on societal implications—for example, the loss of privacy. Partly as a result, personal computers and the Internet enjoy widespread public acceptance and adoption. By contrast, he says, the nuclear industry devoted little discussion to societal questions and has paid a steep price in public acceptance.

Planning Beats Hindsight

The key lesson, Roco says, is to involve the public early in the process—before nanotech's effects are felt.

"We look to the people who are raising [concerns] to address the issues sooner," Roco says. "History shows that all breakthroughs in science and technology have brought societal changes and, sometimes, societal fears. But nobody should think about stopping research and development in this field [just] because there could be some risks."

Some have suggested just that. Bill Joy, chief scientist at Sun Microsystems, stirred up controversy last year with a Wired magazine essay in which he condemned self-replicating nanobots as more dangerous than nuclear weapons and urged scientists to abandon nanotech for the good of mankind.

Halting research carries its own risks, Roco says, giving the example of diseases that are beginning to resist conventional antibiotics. "We don't want to find after twenty years that our drugs don't work and we don't know what to do."

And, he adds, just because the U.S. stops nanotech research does not mean our competitors—and enemies—will follow suit. "There is a risk," he says, "that someone else will develop these technologies and we won't know how to counter them."

Zen and the Liberal Arts
New York Times, April 8, 200 

Twelve of 21 professors, refugees from prestige institutions like Swarthmore, Cornell and the University of California, gave up tenure to relocate. In an attempt to create an egalitarian culture, there will be no titles, no departments and no publish-or-perish tenure (only continuous-employment contracts). "It's teaching without the encumbrances and distractions of tenure," Mr. Hauber says. "We picked the faculty for their heart as well as competence." Student Body About 120 freshmen from 35 countries, with an average grade point of 3.5, are expected to report for classes. Average class size: six students.

Can we send students answers that they cannot print or save?  Well ... yes and no!

A new free service expected to be announced Monday offers a glimpse of how everyday publishers may manage information in the future. The service, from Authentica, a Waltham, Mass., information-security company, lets you send a document online so that the recipient can look at it -- but can't save it, copy it or even print it out. You can try out a rough beta version of the service at
(This from WSJ of 5-7-2001 E-World by Thomas E. Weber)
Scott Bonacker, 
CPA McCullough, 
Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri

The homepage for Authentica is at 
(There is an animated Demo.)

A sobering reply from Bruce Dehning [dehning@ACFI.UNH.EDU

I must say I wasn't too impressed. I tried it out, and had no trouble printing secure documents. I guess they haven't figured out a way to disable the <Print Screen> key! I was even able to save the screen prints and recreate the document entirely as a .jpg. I haven't tried OCR yet, but I'm convinced this technology has limited use, or I'm missing something.

A woman of modern times laments her feminist curriculum.

More Ado (Yawn) About Great Books, by EMILY EAKIN
The New York Times, April 8, 2001

I met my degree requirements by taking "Feminist Literary Criticisms" and "Women and the Avant-Garde," as well as two courses devoted principally to film, and a seminar on Beckett and Nabokov. For my thesis, I wrote on novels by Marguerite Duras, Milan Kundera and Toni Morrison, all of them published within the last 30 years. I graduated without having read for credit "The Odyssey," "Paradise Lost," a single play by Shakespeare or a single novel by Jane Austen, George Eliot or Henry James.

To groups like the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and the National Association of Scholars, I am an object lesson in miseducation. My college career is precisely the kind of scandal they have vowed to eradicate.

If you thought the culture wars were over, you're not alone. After more than a decade of highly publicized skirmishes, the alternately entertaining and exasperating verbal slugfest between left and right - much of it over the proper role and content of something called the Western Canon in the education of America's college students - seemed lately to have faded from view. By the end of the 1990's, the torrent of righteous polemic ignited by Allan Bloom's "Closing of the American Mind" in 1987 had slowed to a trickle. The culture wars were routinely summed up in a few stock phrases - political correctness, multiculturalism, the Great Books and dead white men - whose ability to summon outrage had been severely diminished by overuse. In her new book, "Academic Instincts," Marjorie Garber, a Harvard English professor and leading Shakespeare scholar, writes of the culture wars in the past tense, as a "formulation that was always more hype or buzz than pedagogical reality."

But Ms. Garber may have spoken too soon. With a conservative administration in the White House and a president whose thoughts about education can be boiled down to the word "standards," the advocacy groups founded to save the classics are enjoying a second wind.

"The culture wars seem to be over because people opposed to the classics have won so complete a victory at so many colleges," says Jerry Martin, the president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. "But there are real signs of renewal of interest in Great Books."

After reading the above lament of Emily Eakin (see above), you can find many great books at --- 

The Norton Online Archive

Concerning Women --- 

The Canberra House (History, Residential Architecture) --- 

English country living ideas (decorating) --- 

The Forgotten Looney Tunes Character Gallery --- 

    Interactive Classroom Keypad from IML --- 

Established in 1990, IML has become a World Leader in the development and supply of interactive keypad, PC and audio feedback systems. IML has it's headquarters in the UK, with offices in the USA and a global network of Partners and Distributors. Click here if you would like to join our global network

IML is a full service company offering a complete range of interactive feedback products, applications and services for rental and sale.

Our interactive systems allow an unlimited number of people to interact "live" with a presenter or instructor, both at single locations and across multiple sites. All response data is captured automatically and saved to databases for full analysis and report generation.

Over the last 10 years, IML's highly skilled teams of interactive Designers, Event Producers and Project Managers have successfully delivered over 4000 interactive projects worldwide. With probably more experience than any other organisation in the Interactive Feedback Solutions market, IML is the right partner for you to choose when it comes to integrating feedback into your communication, learning and organisational initiatives.

Vanity Press:  Do It Yourself

You can do it --- put your own words into print!
iPublish --- 

You can even pay to have reviewers comment on your work.  Authors can pay for anything now, including reviews of their work. The controversial idea launches soon on a website near you. Also: The benefit of a free sample, and poetry that pays ---,1284,43606,00.html 

Beginning June 1, any publisher or author can buy a review through the site for $295. Included in the price is the right to print the review in any marketing or publicity effort, lifetime archival of the review on-site, and distribution to numerous licensees including Ingram's iPage and Baker & Taylor's Title Source II.

Publisher Victoria Sutherland said the industry is sorely in need of a new method of obtaining reviews. "Currently there are over 70,000 print books published annually but only about 10 percent of them wind up getting reviewed -– and e-publishing adds ten of thousands more titles each year," she said.

But paying for reviews is controversial. So much so that Foreword Magazine's editor, Mardi Link, has written an editorial defending the concept.

In it she points out that in the past year the New York Times Book Review has grown thinner, the San Francisco Chronicle is now printing fewer reviews in favor of interviews and feature articles, the Seattle Times has cut its review section by two-thirds and the San Jose Mercury News by a third, and the Boston Globe may fold its Sunday book section altogether.

"As the technologies of print-on-demand, self-publishing, and e-publishing send exponential numbers of 'new' books into distribution, how are readers going to be able to find the book they're looking for?" Link asks.

See also:
Authors, Agents on E-Books' Side
Authors Lose Sight of Writer Site
Fall of Times New Roman Empire
E-Pledge Drives Don't Work
Discover more Net Culture
There's no biz like E-Biz

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

E-book copyright battle heads to court ---,4586,5082380,00.html 

Online copyright disputes surge on
E-books are poised to become a third branch of online copyright disputes, which have already created upheaval in the music and movie industries. Under pressure from the record industry and federal courts, Napster has added filters to its popular music file-swapping service and watched its audience drop off. Meanwhile, the movie industry has set its sights on a rival file-sharing service, Gnutella, in its latest attempt to protect film copyrights.

On the e-book front, Random House has been making an aggressive effort to stake a claim by publishing original fiction and nonfiction titles through its newly created e-book unit, AtRandom. The publishing giant also said it has invested more than $5 million in the development of e-book publishing and anticipates spending approximately $10 million more in the next three to five years.

In its suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Random House says RosettaBooks copied backlist works, or books published more than one year earlier, for which the publishing giant holds exclusive copyrights.

"The (copyright) agreements...which, among other pertinent provisions, grant Random House the exclusive right to publish the works 'in book form,' convey to Random House the exclusive right to publish its authors' works in 'e-book' formats," the suit says.

RosettaBooks, however, says the agreements between Random House and the authors don't cover e-books. The company said it entered into contracts in October 2000 and January 2000 with authors Styron, Vonnegut and Parker for electronic publishing rights to several works over the Internet.

"We believe the authors own those rights and are free to convey them to Random House, ourselves or anyone else," said Leo Dwyer, chief operating officer for RosettaBooks. "We're confident that the facts are on our side, and if the facts prevail, we will."

From Syllabus e-News on May 7, 2001

Professor Teaches Product Offers Interactive Training

Individual Software Inc., a developer and publisher of personal productivity and educational software, recently released Professor Teaches Office XP Plus. Professor Teaches Office XP Plus offers complete interactive instruction on Office XP products covering more than 500 topics. Office XP users at all levels can increase their productivity by using this training tool to learn the newest versions of the leading Microsoft applications. The product includes nine CDs that cover leading Office XP applications plus all current versions of Windows, with more comprehensive, in-depth teaching content. Each module's main menu is a gateway to new skills; lessons allow practice on what was learned in a simulation of the Office XP environment; a quiz at the end of each chapter reinforces learning; and narration, graphics, and instructions are included.

For more information, visit 

I should note that Individual Software has many other products, including training products listed at 

From Syllabus e-News on May 7, 2001

Product Site Re-Launched

ICONOCAST, a resource for Internet marketing and resources, recently announced the re-launch of ( ), a free, bi-weekly e-zine for professional consumers interested in well-designed products. The site now includes a "Buy-Consider-Stop" table covering popular technologies and product categories. Regular features include "Five Tools Prosumers Can't Live Without" and "Top 5 ToolsProsumers Can't Wait For." is aimed at the rapidly emerging field of digital convergence.

This is a useful service for product comparisons.  However, I find the Glossary to be weird.  It has a reasonably good glossary for six letters of the alphabet.  What happened to the terms beginning with the other 20 letters of the alphabet?

Since I use Easy CD Creator software, I am relieved that I did not upgrade my Windows NT system to Windows 2000 ---,1282,43625,00.html 

Easy CD Creator Version 5 is causing many Windows 2000 systems to crash with frequent and irrecoverable "blue screen errors," which computer users typically refer to as the "blue screen of death."

And some Windows 2000 users have also reported that their computers will not start at all after installing Easy CD Creator 5.

"This is a significant issue because many PCs with CD writers -- and many stand-alone CD writer units -- come with a free copy of Easy CD Creator. It's an extremely popular program," said Darren Smith, a support technician at CompUSA.

"The versions of Easy CD Creator that come bundled with computers aren't causing trouble. But as soon as people upgrade to the newest version, they are hitting ... major problems."

Smith said that blue screen errors are problematic because they require users to forcibly reboot their machines by cutting off the power, which abruptly halts system functions. That can result in damage to hardware and software if done on a regular basis.

Hi Allison,

You might check with organizations that have a history delivering governmental accounting CPE.  For example, take a look at the following two sites: 

Byron Henry presented a paper on "Studies in Governmental Accounting Education: A Review" at the AAA Northeast Region Meetings in April 2000.  He might send you a copy of his paper as an email attachment. 

Your main problem for governmental accounting specialty courses is that most universities do not have many specialty courses either onsite or online. Your "public servants" may have to pursue related competencies such as in information technology. Another problem is that, unlike business firms, government agencies are less likely to pay tuition and fees for continuing education.

There does appear to be a wide open opportunity to become the first college or university to offer distance education training and education courses in governmental accounting (although some online programs such as the University of Phoenix have one course in Governmental Accounting).  In the past, geographic constraints limited parts of the U.S. where there would be enough demand to make such offerings available.  Distance education has broken down the geographic constraints.  But it will be difficult to generate demand in a market that is just not accustomed to such new opportunities.  One thing to look into is partnering with some government agencies or associations.  

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- From: Allison Ambrose [mailto:aambrose@SAUNIX.SAU.EDU] Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 3:04 PM To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: resources needed

Hi all---this is not really related to the topic of this list---but I know everyone will be able to help on this one. I need ideas or where easily to find statistics/information on this topic: "the roles of colleges and universities in assisting public servants to maintain their competencies and continually improve their skills in an ever changing, highly competitive world"----or basically why "public servants" (ie: governmental accountants) should pursue more education, be it an advanced degree or just CPE----any ideas?????

thanks in advance----Allison Ambrose, St. Ambrose University

Reply from Andrew Priest

Hi Allison

You might want to contact the AAA GNP section. You should find them online at 

Regards Andrew Priest

The two-page electronic book reader (in color) formerly called Everybook is now be distributed by N-Vision Technologies at 

The name of Everybook has been changed to N-Vision.  When I learn more, I will update my electronic book threads with more details about N-Vision.  My threads are at 

Dear Professor Jensen:

I read your web site with great interest. I am a founding shareholder of N-Vision, which is a successor to Everybook. We are interested in meeting you and discussing our particular ebook technology.

If interested, please visit our web site @  and send an e-mail to us.

Thank you.

Robert C. May [


We have the following outlets for Accounting Information Systems (AIS) research:

(1) Review of Business Information Systems, see  for details. 
(2) Journal of Applied Business Research, see for details. 
(3) International Business & Economic Research Journal, see  for details. 
(4) Applied Business Research Conference, see  for details. This conference meets in Mexico every March. 
(5) International Business & Economic Research Conference, see  for details. This conference meets in the USA every October.


Ronald C. Clute, Ph.D. 
Managing Editor Western Academic Press 
PO Box 620760 Littleton, CO 80162 USA 
Conference Website:  Email:  
Tele: 303-904-4750 Fax: 303-978-0413

Some of Thomson Learning education technology helpers will be showcased at the conference (which will be taking place about the time I release this edition of New Bookmarks) described at 

We hope that you are planning to attend the TACTYC Meeting May 18th and 19th in Kansas City. We know that this meeting will be filled with great sessions, but also wanted you to know that South-Western Publishing will be exhibiting many of the products that have made us a name you know and trust for excellent resources to support your accounting course needs.

In addition, we will be showcasing many of our leading edge technology solutions that can help you enhance your instruction or form the basis for a distance learning course. From on-line internet research with InfoTrac College Edition to WebTutor, our on-line learning tool for WebCT and Blackboard, Thomson Learning can help you integrate technology into your accounting course today!

Please visit our website at / to find out more about our involvement at TACTYC or for additional information about our Technology Products. We also invite you to visit us at our exhibit during the conference to learn hands-on how quickly and easily you can add a web component to your course.

We look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely, Larry Qualls Marketing Manager South-Western Publishing

Before you head to the computer store, take a look at this list of features you should expect to find in a new computer. 

The New York Times Alerts

Let Come to You

Sign up for one of our weekly e-mails and the news will come directly to you. YOUR MONEY brings you a wealth of analysis and information about personal investing. CIRCUITS plugs you into the latest on personal technology. TRAVEL DISPATCH offers you a jump on special travel deals and news. 

Hi Bob,

Below is a description of the May/June 2001 issue of The Technology Source ( ), a free, refereed e-journal published by UNC-Chapel Hill and sponsored by SCT, SmartForce, and Compaq.

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.

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 an interview with James Morrison, Carol Twigg describes her vision for integrating information technology into higher education. As executive director of the Center for Academic Transformation, Twigg oversees a course redesign project, sponsors symposia on learning and technology, and publishes a newsletter on the issues and challenges of using information technology to enhance teaching and learning. Twigg argues that we must break away from old paradigms of teaching and learning in order to realize the full potential of online education, which can increase quality while reducing costs.

In a fascinating commentary on the use of television and video in education, Dave Hendry suggests that the advent of the Internet means new life for instructional television (ITV). Teachers can now access vast online libraries of video clips for classroom use, and quickly search for and select topic-specific clips. After years of evolution, says Hendry, "instructional television is finally finding its niche."

In this issue's second commentary, Richard Hoffman outlines how computer technology has not only changed student life, but also brought about fundamental changes in the way college and university professors work. Hoffman argues that these changes are largely for the better, enabling better teaching, better research, and better professional-development information and services. Learning the new technologies takes time away from other activities, grants Hoffman, but it is well worth the cost--considering his warning that "Professors have to adopt new technologies if we are to connect with this technologically-savvy generation."

Jonathan Gueverra has studied the Web sites of 40 universities and now reports on their varying online presence. Some universities provide only the simplest information on their sites; others let students check library holdings, register for classes, and order books online. Gueverra's research-rich commentary provides an eye-opening look at possibilities for faculty, students, parents, donors, and community members. Beyond cataloguing existing options, Gueverra makes suggestions for further innovations.

William Klemm offers helpful--and potentially controversial--commentary on building online courses. In his how-to guide for those considering adding online content or creating an online course, Klemm outlines key organizational decisions to be made at the outset. Klemm devotes the bulk of this guide to an argument against course management systems and in favor of do-it-yourself methods, a position certain to generate discussion among TS readers.

Bob King and Tom Smith report on their effort to connect two similar courses at two dissimilar institutions in North Carolina, using online technology. Their case study of a shared course on the foundations of education reveals not only that online teaching and learning can overcome physical and logistical barriers to team teaching, but also that it can lead to more open and reflective student participation--in effect enabling a new pedagogy that is impossible in a traditional classroom setting.

In her case study of a Web-based group assignment in a sociology course, Carolyn Kapinus offers the following observation: projects that combine computer technology and student collaboration not only facilitate cooperative learning, but also help overcome any student weaknesses in computer skills. Kapinus regularly requires a project in which groups of students conduct research on the Web and publish their findings on the course Web site, increasing teamwork skills, improving the ability to evaluate Web resources, and addressing inequities in computer access and experience.

Henryk Marcinkiewicz offers suggestions for the successful development of a platform to integrate computer technology into the classroom. He writes that university centers for teaching and learning play a central role in helping faculty and institutions incorporate instructional technology. His is a concise reminder of some important notions that are sometimes ignored, re-emphasizing a common-sense view that is critical to the appropriate design of effective instruction.

In an interview with James Morrison, Robert W. Mendenhall gives TS readers an update on Western Governors University (WGU), a virtual university first featured in the September 1997 issue of The Technology Source. After a shaky start, WGU's star is rising--enrollments are up, assets are increasing, and the university has achieved accreditation. Mendenhall, WGU's president, touts the advantages of an online, competency-based university: it not only offers an affordable and accessible education to an underserved population (adults with families and full-time jobs), it also provides an innovative alternative to traditional credit-based degrees.

Mary Harrsch comments on the enormous potential of handheld "pocket PCs" to be used in an innovative way-as tools to lighten students' bookbags. Handheld devices, particularly those with Readerworks software, can easily hold small libraries of textbooks and other course materials, incorporating text and graphics in a smooth-reading display screen. Harrsch also gives tips for those considering e-book publication.

This month our spotlight shines on the Illinois Online Network, a site that provides a wealth of resources to teachers and online course developers. The site provides discussion on online course design, teaching, and course management tools, an e-mail newsletter, and entry into the series of courses entitled "Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality," offered to Illinois instructors. Overall, notes Stephen Downes, the site is "the best resource teachers could want."

The May 6th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional --- 

1. XML Schema (used by XBRL)is W3C Recommendation 
2. announces seminars 
3. IMA announces XBRL symposium 
4. Windows 2000 server security patch 
5. XBRL Featured Topic at Summer Conferences 
6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

From a recent email message from Roberta Lipsig joining in the lament that the young students of today do not know anything about people, places, and things from our generation or earlier generations.  

And in my governmental accounting class I have to give a 2 minute synopsis of "The Mikado" to get to the point where Koko tells the Mikado, "If the Mikado says a thing is to be done, it's as good as done, so one might as well say it's done." It's my explanation of a beginning of the year budgetary entry increasing (or decreasing) the fund balance - If the budget says the fund balance will increase, it's as good as increased, so we might as well say it's increased. Every few years someone knows about Gilbert and Sullivan.
Roberta Lipsig [rlipsig@OSWEGO.EDU

Some of David's best work!

If the plural of mouse is mice, then the plural of house should be ... ?

If the plural of goose is geese, then the plural of moose should be ... ?

I always liked the sentence, "the shirt was a little big and pretty ugly."

David Fordham 
James Madison University

Why does mono-syllabic have so many syllables? 
Elliot Kamlet

In response to a question regarding "what is the other perfect science?"

Until Goedel flattened the egos of mathematicians, most efforts were in providing an axiomatic basis for mathematics (Hilbert, Bourbakis, ...). It is important to realise that Cayley came before Frege, Whitehead, and Russel.

Goedel proved that "within most major mathematical systems, there are true statements which are unprovable using only the axioms of the system" ( )

Goedel's work did not lead to the end of mathematics. For example, a constructive interpretation of Godel's theorem by Alan Turing led to the development of computers.

As so beautifully put by Cline,

"With the publication of Gdel's incompleteness theorems, mathematics had to do some serious reevaluation. Yet again, mathematicians found that they had been chasing after something that was not possible. The goal of proving the completeness of arithmetic was a challenge like that of proving Euclid's parallel postulate or solving the quintic. None of these goals turned out to be possible, yet each time in this discovery mathematics made a great leap forward. Instead of the parallel postulate, non-Euclidean geometry was discovered, opening up a whole new world for exploration. Rather than finding a formula to solve the quintic, mathematicians found abstract algebra, which took our understanding to a new level.

Rather than crushing our hope for a complete algorithmic systemization of mathematics, Gdel's theorem has assured us that these fields of mathematics will never be finished. There will always be something new to discover, something yet unrevealed. But on a larger level, Gdel's theorem assures us that intelligent minds will never be replaced by unthinking algorithms in mathematics. This study of logical thought and its consequences will never be reduced to machines blindly applying a group of systemized rules of inference to an enumerated set of axioms in the process of proving all the theorems of mathematics. We can comp