New Bookmarks
Year 2001 Quarter 3:  July 1-September 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

September 21, 2001      September 14, 2001         September 7, 2001

August 24, 2001            August 10, 2001              August 03, 2001      

July 27, 2001                July 20, 2001                   July 13, 2001   


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

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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September 21, 2001

Quotes of the Week

America is not like a blanket--one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt--many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.

Henry M. Jackson

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.  I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid.  The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning.  I keep on swallowing.

At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed.  There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me.  I find it hard to take in what anyone says.  Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in.

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
As quoted in the Parker Chapel Sunday Bulletin on September 16, 2001

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

President Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer (June 6, 1944) --- 
You can also listen to this prayer as broadcast to the world by radio if you have audio playback on your computer.

O beautiful for heroes proved 
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control,
thy liberty in law.

Verse Two of O Beautiful for Spacious Skies
Words: Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929), Music: Materna
From the closing hymn that my wife and I simultaneously choked upon in Parker Chapel,  September 16, 2001

If you have audio on your computer, PLEASE, PLEASE click here --- 

Bob Jensen has some thoughts for the future at 

Included are my short essays on presidential leadership and prayer.

Included is a very frightening interview with terrorist expert Stephen Sloan on "What Future War Looks Like"

Included is a very frightening message from Tamim Ansary about what Bin Laden really wants --- it might surprise you  and make you change the way you think about alternatives for the U.S. and its allies.

For the above documents, go to 

A Free Book
Year 2000 Financial Reporting Developments:  Financial Reporting and Accounting, Financial Executives International, 2001 --- 

This is a nice summary of new standards and rulings.  Much of the information that is free in this book must be purchased from other sources.


This potential FASB project on disclosure about intangibles would focus on improving information about intangible assets that are seen by many as increasingly important to business success but are not currently recognized as assets in financial statements. Intangible assets are generally recognized only if acquired, either separately or as part of a business combination. Intangible assets that are generated internally, and some acquired assets that are written off immediately after being acquired, are not reflected in financial statements, and little quantitative or qualitative information about them is reported in the notes to the financial statements. The principal goals of the project would be to make new information available to investors and creditors and to improve the quality of information currently being provided—information vital to well-reasoned investment and credit resource allocation decisions. A secondary goal of the project would be to take a first step in what might become an evolution toward recognition in an entity’s financial statements of internally generated intangible assets. The balance of this Proposal discusses the problem to be addressed, the scope of the project, the issues that would have to be resolved, how practice might change, and the FASB agenda criteria. It concludes with a request for comments and several questions for constituents.

Bob Jensen's threads on intangibles can be found at 

Wow Learning Site of the Week --- 
The Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab Revolutionizing Learning in the Global Information Age

The Alfred P. West Jr. Learning Lab is Wharton's development center and experimental laboratory to explore new approaches to learning. The Learning Lab develops technology-enhanced educational materials to explore new paradigms for learning and instruction.

The products developed by the Learning Lab engage students in real-world exercises that challenge them to apply principles they've learned across multiple disciplines.

The Learning Lab draws on the creative expertise of faculty leaders and industry professionals to experiment with new methods of learning throughout the School's degree and non-degree programs. The Learning Lab Advisory Board brings together a distinguished group of industry leaders to help shape the goals and mission of this project.

Army University Access Online --- 
This five-year $453 million initiative was completed by the consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  Twenty-four colleges are delivering training and education courses online through the U.S. Army's e-learning portal.  There are programs for varying levels of accomplishment, including specialty certificates, associates degrees, bachelor's degrees, and masters degrees.  All courses are free to soldiers.  By 2003, there is planned capacity is for 80,000 online students.  The PwC Program Director is Jill Kidwell --- 

PwC e-Learning Network Fact Sheet --- 

The PwC e-Learning Network includes best-in-class providers of online education programs, educational services, technology components and services, and project management that will help to ensure the Army’s success in delivering distance education programs to soldiers. Our network members are not only market-leaders in their respective industries, they are also experienced at working together to deliver integrated solutions to customers. Key members of our Network include PricewaterhouseCoopers; Online Degree Program Providers; the Council on Academic Management; Learning Technology Providers; and Infrastructure Support. Each of these is described below.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PwC): Leading the team and serving as the single point of contact and integration contractor will be PwC. To eArmyU, PwC brings what we believe to be unequaled experience in managing large, global, and complex programs; acknowledged expertise in technology development and implementation; unequaled experience designing and implementing leading e-business and e-learning initiatives; the leading higher education/e-learning strategy practice in the industry; and extensive success performing in the military environment—the exact combination of capabilities eArmyU demands.

Online Degree Program Providers: PwC’s 29 higher education partners have delivered more than 3,000 online courses to more than 250,000 students. Each of our higher education partners is described in the table below. In addition to these institutions, PwC will be adding additional online degree program providers to the PwC e-Learning Network, such as the University of Massachusetts.

Council on Academic Management: This Council is comprised of leaders from the higher education community including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), and Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) . The Council will assist in establishing the framework— standards, policies, and quality assurance procedures—for selecting and managing higher education partners, thereby ensuring that leaders from the higher education industry play a prominent role in the Army University Access Online initiative. Members of this CAM include the Michigan Virtual University, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), EDUCAUSE, America Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), and University of Wisconsin Academic ADL Co-Lab, among others.

Learning Technology Providers: The PwC e-Learning Network includes Blackboard and Saba, two of the leading providers of online tools, learning platforms, and learning management systems. With unmatched market penetration and demonstrated ability to work effectively in an integrated environment, Blackboard and Saba provide an exceedingly stable platform from which to deliver AUAO programs. Combined with PeopleSoft, the PwC e-Learning Network will provide a solution that provides a comprehensive, integrated technical solution for AUAO.

Infrastructure Support: The PwC e-Learning Network will provide soldier-students with best-in-class hardware and software solutions.

PwC e-Learning Network: eArmyU Participating Schools Descriptions


Name of School


Anne Arundel Community College

Anne Arundel Community College is a comprehensive community center of higher learning. The vision of Anne Arundel is to be among the first in the nation to meet the call for higher expectations, to rethink the way we educate our students -- to respond to the challenges of a global economy and make our students among the best prepared citizens and workers of the world.

Baker College

Baker College is the largest private college system in Michigan, and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Baker College system, which serves over 17,000 students on 11 campuses and six satellite locations, grants certificates, associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in business, health and human service, and technical fields. It also boasts one of the largest on-line enrollments in the country.

Central Texas College

Central Texas College provides quality instructional programs that will prepare students to fully participate in educational, occupational, economic, and social opportunities. Central Texas College has provided off-campus programs and services for more than 30 years and offered distance learning courses for more than 25 years. CTC programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak State College was established in 1973 by the Connecticut Legislature to provide an alternative way for adults to earn a college degree. More than 5,500 men and women hold Charter Oak associate and bachelor’s degrees.

Cochise College

Cochise College was established in 1961 as the second community college in Arizona. The development of college programs and services has included the Center for Professional Development, Small Business Development Center, Career Services Center, Conferences and Elderhostel Program, Prison Education Programs, Adult Education, Binational Education Programs and Fort Huachuca Military Education Programs.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is an independent, non-sectarian, non-profit, coeducational university with a history dating back to the early days of aviation. The University serves culturally diverse students pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace.

SUNY Learning Network &

Empire State College

Since 1971, SUNY Empire State College has been an international leader in providing innovative, adult-focused programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels throughout the State of New York, and beyond. The College was the first public nontraditional higher education institution to receive regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and among the first of its kind accredited in the United States.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Located in Fayetteville, NC, FTCC it is one of 59 institutions in the North Carolina Community College System. The purpose of Fayetteville Technical Community College is to provide low-cost vocational-technical, general education, college transfer, and continuing education programs which meet the needs and desires of its students and community.

Florida State University

Florida State University is a public and coeducational institution. It is a senior member of the ten state universities that compose the State University System of Florida. The main campus of the University is located in Tallahassee, the state's capital. The student body is 75 percent undergraduate, 19 percent graduate students, and 6 percent unclassified. FSU has sixteen major academic divisions.

Franklin University

For nearly 100 years, Franklin University has been the largest educator of nontraditional students in central Ohio, providing services and programs for students who work full time and may be older than those on traditional campuses. Franklin University has been nationally recognized for its service to students.

Indiana University

Indiana University brings educational opportunity into communities across the state and to citizens from around the world. With over 92,000 students, study-abroad opportunities, research partnerships on five continents, and with 445,000 alumni worldwide, IU is both a great public university and an internationally ranked institution of higher learning.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University is a comprehensive, research, land-grant institution first serving students and the people of Kansas, and also the nation and the world. Since its founding in 1863, the University has evolved into a modern institution of higher education, committed to quality programs, and responsive to a rapidly changing world and the aspirations of an increasingly diverse society.

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College serves nearly 40,000 students yearly. LCC offers nearly 150 degree and certificate programs and nearly 2500 different courses. The LCC Virtual College allows students to complete their coursework without time and place restrictions.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a public, comprehensive, land­grant university committed to fulfilling its fundamental purposes through exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. The university, part of the University of North Carolina System, offers programs at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels with emphasis on engineering, science, technology, literature and other academic areas.

Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) is one of 23 two-year colleges that make up the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). The VCCS was established in 1966 with a mission which complements the missions of the secondary schools and the senior colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. NVCC offers a wide range of programs meeting standards for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs in four-year colleges and universities.

Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university. Founded in 1905, Northwest Missouri State has a recognized tradition of quality education.

NOVA Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is the largest independent university in Florida with more than 18,000 students, and 2,426 full-time administration, faculty, and staff members.

Penn State University’s World Campus

Penn State University’s World Campus Program was launched in 1998. The World Campus is a University–wide, technology–based delivery initiative that is extending some of Penn State’s signature academic programs, for which there is an identified market need nationally or internationally, to learners around the world. It brings together the expertise of renowned faculty members, learner support services, and resources such as library access, orientation, registration and records, advising, logistics, assessment, career services, and informal learning and social opportunities structured to meet the needs of today’s busy adult learner.

Regents College

Regents College, "America's First Virtual University," is the oldest college in the United States devoted exclusively to the needs of adult learners. With no residency requirement, Regents offers a flexible and affordable way for adults to maintain family, work, and community obligations while earning a college degree without leaving home. Regents College is a founding sponsor of the Commission for a Nation of Lifelong Learners, a unique and unprecedented partnership of business, labor, education, government, and philanthropy.

Rio Salado College

From its inception almost 20 years ago, Rio Salado has been a pioneer in distance learning and accelerated delivery options. Rio is committed to providing high-quality college credit and non-credit classes in the latest, most convenient formats. Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa County Community College District.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

St. Joseph’s College of Maine is a private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts college founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy. SJCME offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing, and business.

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is a world class university that offers top-notch academic programs and the resources of a large university in a small, student-centered environment. As the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in Florida, founded in 1889, the Benedictine values of Excellence, Community, Respect, Personal Development, Responsible Stewardship and Integrity are the cornerstones of academic and student life at Saint Leo University. A private, liberal arts college, Saint Leo University was ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the top 10 southern liberal arts schools in the United States who provide students with small classes.

Thomas Edison State College

Thomas Edison State College was established by the State of New Jersey and chartered by the New Jersey Board of Higher Education in 1972. The College was founded for the purpose of providing diverse and alternative methods of achieving a collegiate education of the highest quality for mature adults.

Troy State University

Troy State University has provided higher education opportunities for adult students for more than one hundred years, and has been closely associated with Department of Defense agencies since 1961. The Troy State University Main Campus opened its doors in Troy, Alabama in 1887. Over the next 85 years, TSU created sites at Dothan, Maxwell AFB, and Europe. In 1979, the Troy State University Florida Region was created as part of the ‘University College’. Over the past several years, TSU has expanded its delivery of educational excellence to include new Distance Learning options and which have already made TSU a forerunner in Distance Education among the military.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest public university, is the senior comprehensive doctoral-level institution in Alabama. Established by constitutional provision, with subsequent statutory mandates and authorizations, the University advances the intellectual and social condition of all the people of the state through quality programs of research, instruction, and service.

University of the Incarnate Word

University of the Incarnate Word is one of the many outgrowths of the original mission that brought the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to San Antonio in 1869. University of the Incarnate Word is a Charter Member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and qualifies as an Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) under federal guidelines.

University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a 100-year-old, comprehensive research, teaching and public service institution located in the heart of the dynamic Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It is the second largest component of the world renowned University of Texas System and the sixth largest university in Texas.

University of Washington

Founded in November 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the Pacific coast. The University is comprised of three campuses: the Seattle campus is made up of 16 schools and colleges whose faculty offer educational opportunities to students ranging from first year undergraduates through doctoral level candidates; the Bothell and Tacoma campuses, each developing a distinctive identity and undergoing rapid growth, offer diverse programs to upper division undergraduates and to graduate students.

Utah State University

Utah State University is a four-year, state university founded in 1888. More than 20,000 students are enrolled on campus or at education centers throughout the state. Typically, some 80 countries and every state in the nation are represented in the student body. With 45 departments in 8 academic colleges as well as an extensive School of Graduate Studies, USU offers excellent opportunities in a wide range of subjects. Colleges include Agriculture, Business, Education, Engineering, Family Life, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Natural Resources, and Science. USU has an active distance education component with over 450 distance-learning students receiving degrees in 1995.


The U.S. Internal Revenue Service 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. 

For example, the IRS online accounting classes will be served up from Florida State University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville --- 

"Online MBA programs grow in popularity," by Jerry LaMartina, Kansas City Star Online, July 15, 2001 ---,business/37749b46.714,.html 

In or out of the Kansas City area, you can earn an MBA in your pajamas if you want.

Online coursework, also known as "distance learning," is growing more common at many colleges and universities. Some offer a few courses online, but others offer entire degree programs with the computer as the classroom.

Richard St. Clair, regional academic director for Webster University in Kansas City, said the school was in its first year of offering online MBA coursework.

Webster offers its entire degree program online, St. Clair said. The curriculum reflects a typical MBA program with some additional electives.

About 14 students in the Kansas City area are getting their degree online. Between 250 and 300 students worldwide do online coursework at Webster, with 80 percent to 90 percent of those doing the entire degree online, he said.

"I'm teaching an organizational development course online, and I know the students better than I would in a traditional classroom," St. Clair said. "I have students from all over the world working on team-based activities for the class. Now that's a rich experience for the students."

Students in online programs tend to communicate more with each other and with the instructor, St. Clair said. Some people might think online coursework is sterile and isolating, but the human touch -- albeit virtual -- can be highly developed.

Webster administers exams online, too. If anomalies surface in students' work, he will call them to talk about it. Otherwise, the school relies on students' integrity to ensure that they are actually the ones taking the tests, St. Clair said.

Tuition for Webster's online coursework costs 10 percent to 15 percent more than for standard courses, while the online student's computer must have Windows 95 or 98 and at least a 120 mHz processor, a 28.8k modem and 32mb of RAM, he said.

Another area school, Keller Graduate School of Management, has been offering its entire MBA online for two years and partial coursework even longer, said Mike Haverty, regional manager.

Tuition at the Kansas City school costs about 35 percent more for online courses than for traditional ones, Haverty said. Students must go to a school center or an other location that is proctored to take exams.

David Overbye, director of curriculum for Keller, agreed that the social and intellectual interaction among students and instructors was greater with online courses. Students communicate in online forums or "threaded discussions." Online students have more time to think and prepare researched, substantiated opinions than do students in traditional classrooms, Overbye said.

Randy Womack of Prairie Village finished his MBA with Keller in April. Womack owns a home-based business called Firehouse Window Cleaning and has a bachelor's degree in electronics from the DeVry Institute of Technology.

He completed about a quarter of his coursework online and said it provided a good change of pace from traditional class settings.

"Online you ended up with a lot more reference materials," he said. "In class I'm not too shy about speaking up," but for the shy student online classes help ease anxiety, he said. He also communicated more with his online instructors than with those for traditional classes.

"I think it lends itself to flexibility," Womack said. "The deeper you want to dig, you can."

Erik Gordon, director of MBA programs at the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business, said the school had offered an entire MBA online for two years. About 40 students have participated each year, Gordon said.

Students must go to campus once at the end of each term for exams. They also meet fellow students, their professors and the next term's professors, who give introductory lectures on their classes. Regardless of where they live, the school requires this on-campus meeting. Prospective students should weigh the cost before they decide to start the program, Gordon said.

Tuition for Warrington's online MBA costs three times as much as its standard MBA program, as does the school's weekend executive MBA program. Gordon acknowledged the greater cost but said students tended to view an MBA as an investment in their futures.

"We've done it for two years now. We've found that students figure out how to jell as a team, and their feedback to us is that they think they've had a great team experience," even better than the experience of students in traditional settings, he said.

The downside of the online approach is the hard work, time and money needed to develop strong courses, Gordon said. The school has its own team of technology developers that creates courses with customized features to make communication among students and instructors as effective as possible, and it is expensive.

"Students don't want classes in which instructors simply post lectures on the Web," he said. Students must have the ability to collaborate while doing their coursework, because MBA curricula -- and the work world -- are so dependent on teamwork, he said.

Not all area MBA programs have an online component.

Wendy Acker, MBA director at Avila College, said Avila offered online courses in some undergraduate programs but not for its MBA students.

"We have certainly discussed the possibility," Acker said. "But I couldn't visualize us offering our entire degree program online. We're a fairly small, liberal arts college." Avila does not have the resources to serve that niche, she said.

John Suter, administrator of Park University's MBA program, said Park also did not offer online courses for its MBA students -- for now.

"I imagine to stay competitive we're going to have to," he said.

Nicolas Koudou, director of Park's MBA program, agreed. The university intends to create online courses in the program, although the cost of doing it could be prohibitive. In the meantime, he recognizes the value of the traditional classroom setting.

"In the classroom, my students tell me that businesses need interaction of the traditional sort," he said.

Bob Jensen's related documents on this topic can be found at 
In particular, go to 

From Syllabus News on September 18, 2001

Internet Enables Collaboration of Ohio Schools

The Internet will be one of the key tools enabling three Ohio colleges and universities to form a partnership to broaden their educational offerings to local students. The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Communication College District and the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center last week unveiled a partnership to coordinate courses at times and locations that are more convenient to eligible students, as well as agreements on sharing facilities and transfering credits. "The new partnership provides area students with accessible, affordable quality education at their convenience, both in terms of time and location, including courses via the Internet," said Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, Cuyahoga Community College president. "Today's lifestyles demand this flexibility." For more information, visit  .

Choices are Not So Great for Many Women
More women are going online to seek an education. But technology isn't freeing modern women already working two shifts -- it's adding a third shift in the home, according to a new report ---,1383,46689,00.html 

While more women such as Olmstead are going online to take courses, for many of them it means juggling a full-time job and family or homemaking responsibilities with a heavy course load, which is for some equivalent to a "third shift," according to a recent report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

"In this respect, technology hasn't freed more of women's time, (it has) only created a third shift in the home," said Cheris Kramarae, the author of the report and an AAUW Educational Foundation scholar-in-residence.

The notion of a third shift isn't new. But the online distance education boom has changed the dynamics.

"Even before distance learning, there was a third shift for women in education," Olmstead said. "Online education gives it another dimension. It makes it more personal. It allows women more flexibility to make a third shift any time of day or night they need it."

Researchers surveyed 500 men and women through online and in-person interviews. The majority of those surveyed were over 25 years of age and female.

The third shift isn't unique to women, but it's "more predominant," Olmstead said.

"Women are simply on the cutting edge of a problem that will increasingly confront all workers, regardless of sex or of their responsibilities in the home," agreed Pamela Haag, director of research for the AAUW's Education Foundation.

Women face a great deal of conflict trying to schedule learning time around their family responsibilities, a tension that men experience to a lesser degree since they are less likely to be the main caregivers, Haag said.

Online learning eliminates many obstacles to education for both men and women; by cutting childcare and commuting costs, allowing more flexibility to fit in courses, and letting students spend more time at home.

Many older women who were surveyed said they feel more comfortable in the virtual classroom than in traditional on-campus classes, where programs are often geared toward younger students.

But online education also introduces new challenges, such as hidden costs to wire computers and a lack of face-to-face interaction with faculty and other students.


Other Wired Links

MIT Cheered From a Distance
April 5, 2001

The Quest for E-Knowledge
Feb. 5, 2001

E-Learning Is Good; Now What?
Dec. 20, 2000

Publishers Yearn to E-Learn
Sep. 18, 2000

Online Schools Mean Business
Aug. 18, 2000

Online Learning's Long Curve
June 12, 2000

A Top-Drawer Education Online
Feb. 11, 2000

Setting Their Site on Education
Feb. 11, 2000

See also: 
Women Face 'Third Shift' Online

Distance Learning Yet to Hit Home
E-Learning Is Good; Now What?
Online Schools Mean Business
It's time to go Back to School
Move on up with Women in Tech

Bob Jensen's related documents on this topic can be found at 
In particular, go to 

Student loan announcements in the aftermath of September 11 --- 

The topic of many conversations among our students these days is the economy. Many of our Seniors are wondering about the job market and their place in it. While the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has reported an expected 19.7% decline in overall hiring this year, there is good news as well. “Overall, 30% of employers responding to the NACE survey plan to cut back on their college hiring for the 2001-02 college hiring year, while 30.1% plan to increase their college hiring, and 39.9% expect to maintain their college hiring at the same level as last year.” For more detailed information, check out the full article at  At Career Services, we are assisting students and developing our recruiting program here on campus. In fact, the on-campus recruiting season begins October 9th and concludes November 16th.

While the schedule is subject to change, currently we have 16 employers scheduled to come to campus to meet our students. Many more employers are contacting our office regularly to post job opportunities for our students. For Seniors graduating in May, it is vital they start their job search now. Those graduating in December should be actively searching now as well.

Students interested in participating in on-campus recruiting should:

1. Get connected to eRecruiting, our web-based recruiting and job listing management tool by coming by or e-mailing Career Services .

2. Complete their profile and upload their resume and cover letter in the eRecruiting system. (Complete instructions are given at the time of registration.)

3. View the “Calendar” in eRecruiting and watch for companies coming offering opportunities they are interested in pursuing.

4. Apply on-line using eRecruiting and their resume and cover letter will be bundled and sent electronically to the employer. (Deadlines are two weeks before the scheduled on-campus interview date.)

5. Students selected for an interview will be contacted directly by the employer and allowed to sign up for an on-campus recruiting time.

We invite you to look at the eRecruiting system. If you are interested, please contact me for a user name and password that will allow you access to the system.

Lastly, while many of our students will participate in on-campus recruiting, others are considering graduate school as well as employment opportunities not supported by on-campus recruiting. I would welcome the opportunity to assist them as they move forward with their plans.

We would appreciate your assistance in notifying students about these opportunities or referring your students to our office.

Thank you for your commitment to our students.

Becky Spurlock
Director, Career Services
Trinity University
715 Stadium Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78212
210-999-8321 office
     210/999-7493 fax

Accountants:  Making a career switch or moving to a new location? Check out the AccountingWEB CareerZONE where employers can post jobs, and resumes can be shared. This global employment resource has something for everyone. 

I thank Dan Gode for calling my attention to the following article.
"Two years ago, learning portals popped up across the Internet’s landscape. Today, many are buried in the dot-com rubble. What happened?" by Kim Kiser, Online Learning --- 

By the spring of 2001, learning portals had started to implode like so many of the dot-coms that came before them. Among the casualties were, which initially provided learning to small and medium-sized businesses; Acadio, which targeted professionals;, which started out serving consumers, then switched to corporate clients;, which also targeted corporations; and consumer sites (bought by IDG Books, which adopted the name) and, to name a few.

What went wrong? For one thing, consumers weren’t as starved for knowledge as the founders of these companies had hoped. “The idea of ‘If you build it, they will come’ hasn’t quite been the case,” says Dave Egan, one of the founders of Billerica, Mass.-based TrainingNet, now Thinq. “As individuals, we’re not likely to go to or on a Saturday morning and find learning — especially if we know full well that we could go back to work on Monday and have that course paid for by the corporation.” Egan adds that less than one percent of his company’s revenues came from consumers.

Corporations were wary of the portal model, too. Michael Lodato, vice president of market development for DigitalThink in San Francisco, which provided content to several portal companies, remembers going on sales calls with TrainingNet in the early days. “We would walk in, and the client would say, ‘TrainingNet, why do you have to be in the picture? What value do you bring to the table?’ All I could see in the first iteration of portals were massive libraries with very little advice on what you should do with them,” he recalls.

And because many portal companies failed to help buyers make intelligent choices about which courses best met their needs, they failed to create demand for the content — and brought little revenue to the organizations supplying it. “If you [as the content vendor] have 300 courses inside a portal with 60,000 choices, how often are you going to generate revenue in that environment?” Lodato asks.

Companies like DigitalThink also found it took more work than they expected to offer courses through a portal. “It costs money to get your stuff over to these people. Then you have to have alliance managers working with them and accounting people watching over it,” Lodato says. DigitalThink, which initially signed on with about 50 portal companies, got “nothing of any significance” from most of the relationships, he says.

Tom Brown, vice president of sales for the Americas for NETg, a Naperville, Ill., company that sells IT-related courses, saw similar results. NETg currently has courses listed on several portals, including Thinq’s, KnowledgePlanet’s and Click2learn’s. “The revenues we got out of the portals in 2000 was minimal,” Brown says. “Out of all the portals combined, it was in the low six figures.”

Investors also soured on the idea, as they watched Internet companies of all kinds failing to live up to their expectations. By the spring of 2000, and were among the portal companies looking for additional funding to carry them forward until they became profitable. “In the summer of 2000, you couldn’t do second-round financing for a dot-com, even if it was in the training and education space,” says Lloyd Singer, CEO of LearnCom, a suburban Chicago firm that has been buying up training video and other content companies. At press time, LearnCom was trying to purchase TrainSeek’s Web site and customer base.

Not all companies that boasted about their portals two years ago have fallen on hard times. Some have lived through the shakeout — and now downplay the fact that they were ever associated with the portal model.

For the most part, those that survived — and, in some cases, thrived — did so by changing their business models or distinguishing themselves early on. TrainingNet (now Thinq) emerged as an early leader after aggressively pursuing relationships with content providers and assembling what may be the largest online listing of courses, books, audio tapes and videotapes. (Today, their catalog, which isn’t easy for the casual Web site visitor to find, has upward of 500,000 products, including more than 4,000 online courses.)

In addition to selling courses to individuals and building learning portals for other corporations, Thinq acquired a learning management system and businesses that specialized in marketing, technology and consulting in the United States and United Kingdom. “The whole idea of marrying content, management structure, technology and services seems to be the magic elixir corporate clients are looking for,” says Egan.

Investors seem to agree. This spring, Thinq received $20 million in fourth-round financing from CIBC Capital Partners and Mellon Ventures, bringing the two-year-old company’s total financing to $66 million.

Click2learn, which dropped the dot-com from its name and no longer has a link to its course catalog on its Web site, also differentiated itself in several ways. Before launching its portal, the company was well-known for its course authoring software. It also had a learning management system — a feature few portal companies could offer in 1999. Says consultant Hall: “They were one of the first to have a portal, but their other businesses were able to sustain that model.”

Kevin Oakes, president and CEO of the Bellevue, Wash., company, admits that corporate customers haven’t bought large volumes of off-the-shelf courses from the portal the way he originally hoped. However, he explains, one reason Click2learn, which works with some 50 content companies and has nearly 10,000 offerings in its catalog, has had some success with its portal business was because they could create both hosted and behind-the-firewall learning sites for corporations.

“The difference between our model vs. Headlight or TrainSeek is that our whole business wasn’t built on the ASP (application service provider) content aggregation model,” he explains. is another company that’s hanging on after changing its name and business model several times. Originally known as 7th Level, the company first targeted consumers, then corporations, government agencies and small businesses with everything from courses on Access 2000 to free tutorials on how to hang wallpaper. They also sell courses on CD-ROM and video through retailers such as CompUSA., whose stock was dropped from the NASDAQ in early August because of its low price, recently signed a merger agreement with E-Stamp Corp., a dot-com that has foundered in its attempts to sell postage online and later supply chain management software. If approved by shareholders later this year, the merger will give an infusion of cash to repay its debt and, its owners hope, stimulate growth. But analysts aren’t optimistic about the company’s future. “The cash will take them through a few more quarters,” says Weggen. “But they have too many lines of business and are in too many markets.”

Weggen and others believe the tectonic movements that caused the shake-up in the portal market haven’t ended, and that the lessons from last century’s learning portals will become the bedrock for learning systems of the future.

“Bringing together courses from multiple publishers is only part of the game in terms of what it takes to serve the corporate market,” says Scott Mellen, co-founder of the defunct “That’s only part of the challenge training managers deal with when confronted with trying to provide skills for their employees. They want the whole suite of functionality that’s important to business. And I think a lot of things that happened with learning portals are helping build this ultimate thing.”

For the rest of the article, go to 

Bob Jensen's "dark side" threads are at 

Wow Classroom Innovation of the Week
"A Hassle-free and Inexpensive Way to 'Videotape' Class Lectures," by Rene Leo E. Ordonez, EDUCAUSE Review, September/October 2001, pp. 14-15 --- 

Overcoming the Video-Production Dilemma

There is a way to overcome these difficulties without investing too much money in equipment and without relying on professional video personnel. Digitizing lectures can be done using screen-capture software called Camtasia. This software is a screen camcorder (Camtasia Recorder) and a video-production tool (Camtasia Producer) rolled into one. Camtasia Recorder acts like a video camera, capturing everything that is on the computer monitor, including mouse movements and clicks, plus it records audio using a microphone. Originally marketed for use by computer-training experts for commercial purposes (e.g., developing professional-looking video instructions and video-based trouble-shooting, enhancing paper-based and online documentation, and documenting the use of custom or commercial software applications), Camtasia Recorder can be used in combination with a digital pen and tablet as a classroom technology. Instructors can use it to record lectures, complete with notes and narration.

Camtasia Producer is a nonlinear editor that can produce standard Audio Video Interleave (AVI) files or streaming formats. When used together, the recorder and the producer create crisp, sharp, exact images of screen activity. The quality of the digitized screen images is far superior to that of the video image projected by regular video-produced tapes. This excellent video-image quality is a result of a unique video codec (compressor/decompressor) used by Camtasia.

A Firsthand Experience

The experimental hybrid class was a success from a delivery standpoint. In a comparison of the midterm scores of the students in the hybrid class with the scores of the students in another section taught in the traditional method, the students in the hybrid class performed just as well as the students in the traditional class. This suggests that the students in the hybrid class were not disadvantaged by not being physically in class for the lectures, the digitized lectures apparently provided a comparable substitute. Further, this hybrid class format seems to work well for the distance learning population or the nontraditional students who cannot make every in-person lecture.

The students in the hybrid class relied heavily on the digitized lectures to keep up with the class material. They felt that having the digitized lectures not only allowed them to be "in" the class but also helped them get through the class successfully. Surprisingly, a number of students expressed preference for the digitized lectures over the regular lectures. One student commented: "The digitized lectures were invaluable, particularly since we covered so much material in a single class session. It was enormously helpful to be able to replay lecture material and visually see the material you were presenting at the same time. Personally, I would have been lost without the aid of the AVI files." Another student loved the flexibility provided by the digitized lectures: "It gave me the freedom to study, take the quizzes and tests on my schedule...the CDs were a godsend, without them I would have been lost." An unintended, and unexpected, positive result from the use of the digitized lectures was the higher-than-normal end-of-term student evaluations I received from the class--my highest in thirteen years of teaching the course! I could surmise only that the digitized lectures contributed significantly to my more favorable student evaluations in the hybrid class.

The results from the experimental and innovative approach to creating and packaging class lectures are being reviewed in considering possible expansion to other core courses in the business degree program of the School of Business. In fact, due to the success of the hybrid, digitized-lecture course, a grant to develop complete hybrid curricula for business statistics and operations management classes (both are core courses in the business degree program) was awarded. The refined hybrid courses will feature the digitized lectures as the primary means of delivering class material, which will be made available mainly on the Web via Blackboard. These courses will be offered in the Business Degree Completion Program starting in the winter 2002 term.

The Digitizing Process

Digital recording of lectures can be done either within the confines and comfort of an office or within a live environment, during a classroom lecture. Classrooms that are equipped with LCD projectors are ideal for live recording. The raw digitized lectures can then be cut, spliced, and fused using the audio/video editing software bundled in Camtasia. The final digitized lectures can be burned onto a CD-ROM for mass distribution or can be stored in a file server for Internet or Intranet anytime access. The final product can be produced in various formats, playable using popular media players such as Windows Media Player and Real Player. Digitized lectures saved as AVIs result in the best-quality screen-capture images and audio out-puts. The downside is that they hog storage space. A one-hour lecture can easily eat up as much as 50 MB of disk space. If file size is a concern, as it will be if the files are intended for Web access, they can be produced using formats such as Microsoft Advanced Streaming Format (ASF), Microsoft Windows Media Video (WMV), or RealNetworks RealMedia (RM). A digitized lecture file produced in any of these formats can occupy as little as 5 percent of the space required for the same file produced in AVI format.

For the remainder of the article, go to 

The Camtasia Website is at 

Bob Jensen's threads on capturing video from computer screens are at 

Wow Technical Innovation of the Week
"Better Networks: Look to Nature," by Katie Hafner, The New York Times, September 13, 2001 --- 

Indeed, applying the study of ants to complex engineering problems is something of an intellectual trend. The topic drew attention at a recent international conference on artificial intelligence in Seattle. It has been discussed in a variety of scientific journals. And a new book by Steven Johnson, "Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software" (Scribner), points to ant behavior as a way to further, among other things, understanding of the World Wide Web.

What makes ants worth studying, if not emulating? For one thing, they exhibit something called swarm intelligence. That is, the teamwork of social insects is decentralized. Individually, an ant's actions are primitive, but collectively, they result in efficient solutions to complex problems like finding the shortest route between the nest and a food source.

The key to ants' efficiency is their ability to lay down trails in their communal travels with a chemical called pheromone. Over time, those trails result in a system of routing. The lesson, in short, is follow the pheromone.

So to build better data networks, researchers are creating what might be viewed as artificial ants: small pieces of software that travel through a network depositing artificial pheromone (pronounced FARE-uh-moan) as they seek optimal routes.

"By bending the rules of behavior, you can increase the performance of the system while keeping the spirit of what the ants do," said Vincent Darley, an ant-behavior specialist and research scientist in the London office of BiosGroup, a company based in Santa Fe, N.M., that develops science-based software, routing and marketing strategies for corporations.

Bending the rules can involve giving the ants a memory and enabling them to retrace a particularly good route so that they can mark it with extra pheromone — something that real ants do not do.

"Throw a bunch of virtual ants into the cities and each tries to build a route," said Éric Bonabeau, a physicist and network engineer who has studied ants and data networks and is the chairman and chief scientist of Icosystem, a consulting company in Cambridge, Mass.

Marco Dorigo, a professor of computer science at the Free University of Brussels, has borrowed the ant approach to solve a classic puzzle in mathematics called the traveling salesman problem. The challenge is to find the shortest route connecting many different cities — a priority not only for sales forces but also for systems delivering people, parcels or packets of Internet data.

As the number of cities involved increases, the difficulty of the problem can increase exponentially. Just a dozen cities present billions of possibilities. Apply ant behavior to the traveling salesman problem, however, and solutions start to present themselves.

In Dr. Dorigo's model, the pheromone deposited along the longer routes evaporates, leaving the links to the greatest number of short routes most densely covered with the chemical. When the artificial ants go out again, they rely on tables storing information about the amount of pheromone on each link.

Dr. Dorigo has found that repeated trips result in progressively shorter overall trips. Such work is directly applicable to data networks, especially the Internet, where traffic is highly unpredictable. Because the artificial ants in such a model are constantly exploring different routes, a host of alternatives surface whenever a particular route goes out of commission.

For the rest of the article, go to 

The Internet was criticized for buckling under user demand and failing to provide help and information following Tuesday's terrorist attacks. On the contrary, it sparkled. It was merely a matter of knowing where to look ---,1284,46766,00.html 

Wireless video just got a lot easier with the XCam2, a video camera that can transmit LIVE COLOR video up to 100 feet. The XCam2 integrates a color analog video camera and 2.4-GHz transmitter into a single device that is smaller than a golf ball. You can add multiple cameras and scan between the cameras like changing channels on your TV! Exceptional quality and ultimate control for$79.99 ---!LND9,../yahoo_vcrcommandhtml_30.htm 
For reviews, see 

Camera Benefits & Uses

Product Features

Related Accessories

More on Wireless Video
"Ultrafast wireless technology set to lift off,", August 30, 2001 --- 

The Chaos Computer Club was set to celebrate its 20th anniversary this week when terrorism broke out. Members are pleading with patriotic hackers not carry out vengeful cyberattacks ---,1284,46868,00.html 

Security experts expect a tidal wave of hacker activity once the U.S. military retaliates for last week's terrorism, although cyberattacks weren't launched right after the disaster ---,3658,s%253D1825%2526a%253D14547,00.asp 

Ziff Davis Coverage of Terrorist Attacks

Diesel Generators Still Powering Lower Manhattan Telecom

Update: Microsoft's Flight Simulator Reworked After Attacks

Sysadmins Bolster Cyberdefenses

Motherboard, Component Shipments Still Delayed By Air Ban

For the Tech Industry, It's Not Business as Usual

Terrorist Attack Plays Havoc With Communications

Carriers Race to Reconnect Stock Exchange

Disaster Recovery

Ban Crypto, Cripple Commerce

Tech Firms Aid Relief Efforts

Microsoft VP Details Relief Initiatives

Chain e-mails, stock buyback plans and potential trading halts are among the strategies employed to discourage panic selling as U.S. stock markets prepare to reopen Monday ---,1367,46874,00.html 

"Rally Around Economy, as Well as Flag," by Scott Norvell, Fox News, September 17, 2001 ---,2933,34378,00.html 
Thanks to Debbie Bowling for forwarding this link.

In a memo to employees earlier this week, Ellen Beswick, Editor and Publisher of Virginia-based Intelligence Press, Inc., raised the rallying cry. She beseeched her colleagues to take "the one extremely powerful action that any American can take right now to stem the losses and get us back on track." She told them to buy something. Anything. A stock. A television. A five-year supply of toothbrushes. Whatever.

We should all follow Beswick’s lead. The best signal we can send to those who would bring us to our knees is a Dow graphic on Monday poking through the top of the chart — not unlike a giant middle finger.

Hans Nordemann, president of Norquest Capital, said it best on Fox News Channel Friday morning. "We need to go forward and show what we're made of," he said. "We need to show them that they can wound us, but we’ll come back stronger, not weaker. That’s an enemy to be fearful of: an enemy that comes back stronger."

So instead of staying home this weekend, go out. Take someone to a movie. Go out to dinner. Buy your kid a new toy, or your lover a knick-knack. If you can’t get out, buy something online. Send flowers to your mother. Order that book you’ve been meaning to buy.

And when the market opens Monday at 9:30 a.m., plop a couple buy orders on the table at Schwab or Morgan-Stanley. It doesn’t have to be much. Buy 10 shares of EMC or, better yet, 20 shares of Espeed, a spin-off of Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial firm that lost hundreds of its workers on Tuesday.

Each such act, no matter how seemingly minor, sends a message to those who would revel in our demise. It sends the message those who died this week — and are sure to die in the struggle now confronting us — did not, and will not, do so in vain. It sends the message that this country and its economy, a country of the people, by the people and for the people — to borrow one of our greatest phrases — shall never perish from the earth.

In a response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks, the Senate votes to unleash Carnivore on the Internet. FBI and other police will be able to do electronic wiretaps without court orders ---,1283,46852,00.html 

After I forwarded the above information about Carnivore, John Howland sent the following reply in a personal message to me. I thought it would be of interest to many of you to tune into how complex communications are becoming. The U.S. is not dealing with an uneducated and ignorant enemy (although some of their would-be pilots and suicide dupes appear not to be the brightest bulbs in their armies of terrorists). I am referring here to an applicant to one of our flying schools who threw down a bunch of money and told the flying school admissions officer that he only wanted to learn how to fly the plane in the air. He had no interest in learning how to take off or land.

The really scary enemies are the ones who are smart enough to con their ignorant friends into suicide while they go on living and are also smart enough to get around Carnivore.

Reply for John Howland, Professor of Computer Science at Trinity University

Carnivore is ineffective on encrypted communications such as pgp, ssl, kerberos, etc., so civil liberties need not be attacked by same since such encryption is available (freely) to all computer users. When Bin Laden discovered that his satellite phones were being listened in on by US intelligence he moved to pgp encryption over the internet and on removable disk media which was physically transported.

Reply from George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU

Bruce Schneier had some cogent commentary on such things: ----- Calls for increased security began immediately. Unfortunately, the quickest and easy way to satisfy those demands is by decreasing liberties. This is always short sighted; real security solutions exist that preserve the free society that we all hold dear, but they're harder to find and require reasoned debate. Strong police forces without Constitutional limitations might appeal to those wanting immediate safety, but the reality is the opposite. Laws that limit police power can increase security, by enforcing honesty, integrity, and fairness. It is our very liberties that make our society as safe as it is.

In times of crisis it's easy to disregard these liberties or, worse, to actively attack them and stigmatize those who support them. We've already seen government proposals for increased wiretapping capabilities and renewed rhetoric about encryption limitations. I fully expect more automatic surveillance of ordinary citizens, limits on information flow and digital-security technologies, and general xenophobia. I do not expect much debate about their actual effectiveness, or their effects on freedom and liberty. It's easier just to react. In 1996, TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed in the Atlantic. Originally people thought it was a missile attack. The FBI demanded, and Congress passed, a law giving law enforcement greater abilities to expel aliens from the country. Eventually we learned the crash was caused by a mechanical malfunction, but the law still stands. ----- His full message is available at <> , including pointers to...

Senate Amendment 1562, adopted Thursday, will expand Federal wiretapping powers: 

Calls to ban encryption: 

Re-emergence of Carnivore: 
<,1283,46747,00.html>  <

Erosions of civil liberties are coming: 

Other essays: 


Reply from Dennis Beresford, former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board


The SEC has taken certain emergency action to help the markets deal with the crisis in New York. A copy of its press release is at: 

One of the actions states that purchases of treasury stock won't violate pooling of interests accounting. That would only apply to transactions initiated before July 1, 2001, as the new FASB Statement prohibits pooling from that date on.

Another of the actions allows accounting firms to do bookkeeping work for companies whose records were destroyed in the World Trade Center area without that being a violation of the new independence rules.

It's interesting that even accounting and independence rules are affected by the national emergency.


The heightened focus on cutting-edge security technologies offers hope of a safer society but also raises questions about technological feasibility and the loss of personal freedoms. --- 

This site is a service for everyone who may have been near the terrorist attacks on September 11 and their family members and friends. Our thoughts and emotions are with you all, and we only hope that this can provide some measure of help in these difficult times. Thank you for your many messages of support.

This site now pulls data from the following other sources:

Friends and Family Status Database Greater New York Hospitals Association (changes merged every 30 min) Prodigy's "I'm Okay" Registry (changes merged every 30 min) NY.COM Survivor Registry Bill Shunn's Check-In Registry Cantor, Tradespark, eSpeed Emergency Info Center (changes merged every 30 min) Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College (changes merged every 30 min) Please submit reports on anyone you have spoken to or heard from who may have been near the incidents. There may be many concerned relatives and friends looking for them.

Bob Jensen has some threads on terrorism at 

Civil liberties watchdogs fear that Tuesday's attacks will result in Americans trading in freedoms for security measures that may not be all that effective anyway ---,1283,46784,00.html 

When a radio conglomerate compiles a list of potentially offensive songs that stations might not want to play, civil liberties advocates and artists cry foul ---,1284,46925,00.html 

See also:
A Thorn in Hollywood's Side

For Your Information 

A new virus has been discovered. W32/Nimda@MM is a mass-mailing worm, which spreads via open shares, Microsoft Web Folders and emails. The email attachment name seems to be limited to Readme.exe and uses the icon for an Internet Explorer HTML document. You can read about the virus at

As always do not open any attachments through email unless you are expecting them. The Exchange Mail Server will not be effective in catching the virus because it is an executable file. So please exercise extreme caution. If you have any questions or problems regarding this please feel free to give us a call at 7409 or email us at . Thanks.

Trey Dunn Trinity 
University Information Technology Services User Services Support Tech I 
715 Stadium Dr. San Antonio, Tx. 78212 
phone : (210) 999-7498 email:
  Visit the ITS web site at 


Tax Cuts Won't Hurt the Surplus By R. Glenn Hubbard, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers The Wall Street Journal, 08/22/01 Page A16


RELATED ARTICLE The Outlook By Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal, 08/27/01 Page A1


Message from Lana Kadoshnikov [

Dear Participants:

The 13th Asian-Pacific Conference program has been posted to our conference web site at . We would like to bring your attention to the following items:

Please check your name and title of your paper on the program. If you have any corrections, contact us by fax (559) 278-7336 or e-mail at  or .

Please bring 25 copies of your paper for distribution at your session.

If you have not sent your hotel reservation forms, please do so as soon as possible. Please see our web site 
(  ) if you need a registration form.

Please ensure that you obtain a visa to enter Brazil. We suggest you apply for a tourist visa. Please refer to our web site for visa information and application form.

Please refer to our web site periodically for updated information.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

P.S. If you do not attend the conference, please disregard this message. 

Thank you.

Ali Peyvandi Benjamin Tai Conference Co-Chairman Conference Co-Chairman

"The Joy of Text," The Economist print edition, September 13, 2001 --- 

What are the implications of text messaging for “third-generation” mobile phones?

BETTER late than never. After a five-month delay, the world’s first commercial “third-generation” (3G) mobile-phone service is to be launched on October 1st in Japan by NTT DoCoMo, the country’s main mobile operator. Elsewhere, 3G remains a distant dream. But mobile-phone users in many countries (although few in America) already use another data service, more primitive but hugely popular: text messaging. Hence a question for would-be 3G operators outside Japan: is “texting” the bridge to the future, or an alternative?

The lucky Japanese will now enjoy both versions of the future. Not only are they keen on texting. In addition, subscribers to DoCoMo’s new 3G service, which has been available to 4,500 trial users since May, will be able to gain access to the Internet at far higher speeds than they can with DoCoMo’s present technology, already the world’s most advanced mobile-Internet service.

The 3G handsets are as small and light as existing handsets, with the same vivid colour screens that are used to display e-mail messages, cartoon graphics and cut-down web pages. The most advanced model even allows users to make and receive video calls, using a tiny built-in camera. By next March, DoCoMo hopes to sign up 150,000 3G subscribers, most of whom are expected to be business customers.

Other mobile-phone operators, mainly in Europe, are burdened with debts incurred after they paid more than $100 billion for licences to operate 3G services, which will now launch many months behind schedule. Coverage may become available in some parts of Europe next year, but will not be widespread until 2003 at the earliest.

Even when 3G eventually arrives, it is not clear how operators will entice users to upgrade to it. The service they will offer will be far less versatile than DoCoMo’s. The performance of a 3G network depends on the density of its base stations. In Japan, density is relatively cheap to achieve. Not so in Europe, where cash-strapped operators are building sparse, “thin and crispy” networks. These will offer lower data-transmission rates than originally planned. So promises of video on 3G phones have been quietly dropped.

Murky though the prospects for fancy data services on 3G may be, mobile-phone users in Europe and Asia are already wildly enthusiastic (and profitable) users of a data service of a far more basic type. For there has been an extraordinary boom in text messaging, which allows users to send short, telegram-like messages of up to 160 characters from one mobile phone to another. The number of text messages sent each month has grown from a global 4 billion in December 1999 to 20 billion in December 2000, and it is expected to reach 40 billion by December 2001, according to figures compiled by Simon Buckingham of Mobile Streams, a consultancy based in Newbury, England.

U cd try 2 txt me Text messaging, known as Short Message Service (or SMS) in many parts of the world, is particularly popular in Europe (where 47% of Swedes and 39% of Italians use the service) and in Asia. In the Philippines, the use of text messaging as an organisational tool by protesters is even credited with helping to overthrow Joseph Estrada, the country’s then president, in January. But text messaging is almost non-existent in America, where it is used by only around 2% of the population, according to Gartner, a consultancy. One reason is that mobile phones are less popular in America than elsewhere; fewer than 40% of people have them, compared with more than 70% in parts of Europe. Besides, because PCs are cheap in America and local calls are free, Americans prefer “instant messaging”, a similar form of communication between Internet-connected PCs.

The success of text messaging is surprising given that it is fiddly to use a mobile handset as a keyboard—and that it costs an average of $0.10 to send a text message. But teenagers in particular have embraced “texting” largely because sending a message is cheaper, if more laborious, than making a voice call. The resulting torrent of messages has been an unexpected bonanza for operators. Text-message revenues now amount to over $3 billion a month, says Mr Buckingham, and they will exceed $5 billion a month by December 2002 (see chart). For some operators, text messages now account for more than 10% of revenue.

The rest of the article is at 

"Term Paper Mills, Anti-Plagiarism Tools, and Academic Integrity," by Marie Goark, EDUCAUSE Review, September/October 2001, pp. 40-48 ---  

The amount of cheating appears to be increasing. For example, at medium-to-large universities, the percentage of students who said they collaborated on assignments even though it was not permitted increased from 11 percent in a 1963 survey to 49 percent in 1993. For thirty-one small-to-medium institutions, unpermitted collaboration increased from 30 percent to 38 percent between 1990 and 1995.  Footnote 7

Furthermore, the ease with which information can be copied from the Web and the emergence of term paper vendors or "mills" on the Internet are likely adding to the growing problem of plagiarism. For example, a neuro-biology professor at the University of California-Berkeley found that 45 of 320 students in his class had plagiarized at least part of their term paper from the Internet. Nearly 15 percent of his students plagiarized even after they had been warned that he would use anti-plagiarism technology.  Footnote 8

In a recent survey commissioned by Knowledge Ventures, an education technology company, more than 90 percent of academic administrators and faculty interviewed said that academic integrity is an issue on their campus. Most were unable to pinpoint the extent of the problem, the source of the problem, or whether specific departments or student groups were more at risk. In addition, of those who stated that academic integrity is an issue, 83 percent said that it has become more of an issue over the last three to five years, primarily due to the use of the Internet as a research tool. Compounding the effects of the Internet are difficulties in providing violations and a reluctance to report violators.  Footnote 9


Term Paper Mills

Term paper mills existed long before the Internet. Companies who sell term papers have advertised on campus and in magazines such as the Rolling Stone for several years (Footnote 10).  With the advent of Internet technology, though, the number of places where papers are available has grown and the ease with which papers can be obtained has increased. Some of these Web sites are operations set up by students while others are for-profit ventures.

At term paper mills, students can directly purchase pre-written papers. Some sites offer free services or make money through advertising. Others act as an exchange--a student must submit a paper to get a free paper. Most term paper mills charge a fee, ranging from about $5 to $10 per page. Students may pay an additional fee for immediate e-mail delivery (e.g., $15). Other sites will write a customized paper for a much higher fee.

In most states, it is illegal to sell papers that will be turned in as student work (Footnote 11).  Thus many for-profit sites post disclaimers saying that the information should be used only for research purposes and should not be submitted as a student's own work. The companies will bill a student's credit card using an unrecognizable company name.

Experts estimated that more than 70 term paper mills were in operation in early 1998, up from 28 at the beginning of 1997 (Footnote 12).   There is no current estimate of the number of sites, although some lists of Internet paper mills are maintained by academic groups (e.g., ). These sites attract secondary school students as well as college and university students. They are also not exclusive to the United States.

The growing number of term paper mill sites on the Web attest to their popularity among students.

AP Business wire reports that traffic to these sites exceeds 2.6 million hits per month. has 72,000 members and is growing by a few hundred per day.

With 9,500 papers in its database, the Evil House of Cheat reports 4,000 visitors a day., which claims 10,000 visits to its site per day, reports being profitable "from Day1."  Footnote 13


Institutional Attitudes toward Academic Dishonesty

Although academic dishonesty is believed to have increased in the last two decades, it is not clear that the number of infractions reported by professors has risen as well. In a survey of 800 faculty members who were asked why they ignored possible plagiarism violations, professors cited inadequate administrative support as a primary factor. Footnote 14

Research by Donald McCabe has indicated that there is an inverse correlation between the rate of plagiarism and the emphasis on academic integrity by institutions or instructors (Footnote 15).   Thus a growing number of institutions are addressing academic integrity through honor codes, pledges, and discussions of ethics. One political science professor at Oakton Community College, for example, gives his students a six-page letter spelling out his expectations of them, as well as his obligations to them. In the first page he asks: "Would you want to be operated on by a doctor who cheated his way through medical school? Or would you feel comfortable on a bridge designed by an engineer who cheated her way through engineering school? Would you trust your tax return to an accountant who copied his exam answers from his neighbor?"  Footnote 16

Once an instructor suspects plagiarism, it can be a laborious process proving that plagiarism has actually taken place. Instructors may need to comb through old papers and primary and secondary resources and compare the suspicious paper to these sources. Tracking down a student's sources and proving plagiarism can take days. Those who have used an automated plagiarism tool cite the streamlined process as one of the primary advantages of the tool. But most important, papers plagiarized from the Internet and identified by an anti-plagiarism tool often provide an open-and-shut case.




1. Diana Jean Schemo, "U of Virginia Hit by Scandal over Cheating," New York Times, May 10, 2001.

2. "Cheating Is Up at Amherst College, Data Suggest," Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2001, A11,  (accessed July 12, 2001).

3. "Cheating Thrives on Campus, As Officials Turn Their Heads," USA Today, May 21, 2001.

4. Donald L. McCabe, "Student Cheating in American High Schools," May 2001,   (accessed July 12, 2001).

5. See  (accessed July 12, 2001).

6. See <> (accessed July 12, 2001).

7. See  (accessed July 12, 2001).

8. Verne G. Kopytoff, "Brilliant or Plagiarized? Colleges Use Sites to Expose Cheaters," New York Times, January 20, 2000.

9. This survey was conducted in February 2001 by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of Knowledge Ventures.

10. Peter Applebome, "On the Internet, Terms Papers Are Hot Items" New York Times, June 8, 1997.

11. Ibid; see also Ronald B. Standler, "Plagiarism in Colleges in USA,"    (accessed July 15, 2001).

12. John N Hickman, "Cybercheats: Term Paper Shoping Online," New Republic 218, no. 12 (March 23, 1998): 14,  (accessed July 23, 2001).

13. Kendra Mayfield, "Catching Digital Cheaters," Wired News, February 29, 2000,,1294,33021,00.html  (accessed July 12, 2001).

14. "Why Professors Don't Do More to Stop Students Who Cheat," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 22, 1999.

15. "New Research on Academic Integrity: The Success of 'Modified' Honor Codes," College Administration Publications,  (accessed July 12, 2001).

16. Bill Taylor, "Integrity--Academic and Political: A Letter to My Students"     (accessed July 12, 2001).

For the remainder of the article, go to 

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at 

From Syllabus News on September 18, 2001

University of Alabama at Birmingham to Secure Online Processes

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is running a pilot program to test the use of digital certificates to secure transactions involving its faculty, staff, and students from its six academic and six health related schools. The pilot, which will use TrustID digitial identity software from Digital Signature Trust Corp., will test applications including human resources, grants administration, and access control. The university was also picked to participate in a National Institutes of Health program to enable electronic signing of NIH grant applications using TrustID certificates. Clair Goldsmith, PhD, vice president for information technology at UAB, said building a public key infrastructure using digital certificates was a key strategy in the university's goal "to give everyone throughout our diverse and demanding population an appropriate vehicle to access all the information they need." For more information, visit  .

Bates College Relaunches Site with Collaborative Publishing System

Lewiston, Maine-based Bates College relaunched its web site < > using a XML publishing system that lets diverse campus constituencies -- both technical and non-technical -- publish content while maintaining a common site look and feel. The software is Ingeniux Corp.'s XPower 2.0, a content management and publishing system for which the Bates web site is a "prototypical" higher education application, said the company. The software, which is available on Unix and Windows, will help the college "keep our our complex Web site both interesting and manageable, as well as potentially reduce costs,'' said Gene Wiemers, associate vice president for academic affairs at Bates College.


Why you should upgrade to Windows XP. 

The Sad State of Copyright Law
Scot Petersen: Lawyers are among those responsible for turning the Net into something diametrically opposed to the spirit in which it was created. 

More on Remote Control
NetOp Remote Control is an award-winning tool for fast, stable and secure remote support and network management. Control PCs over modems, networks or the Internet, just as if you were in front of them. Download a FREE fully functional evaluation copy today!

Also see the September 14 Wow Product of the Week --- 

The Internet has hit the road. Drivers can now access anything from custom traffic reports to spoken e-mail messages to video games. But is it safe?  
"Driving the Info Highway," by Steven Ashley, Scientific American --- 

The needle points to "E." The big rental van and its trailer have guzzled down yet another tank of gas. This time, however, it's late and nothing but a dark, lonesome highway stretches out ahead. Every several miles there's a turnoff to some small town, but the signs don't always say how far these burgs lie off your route or whether there are gas stations in them. You've just started hunting down the road map when you remember that the van comes equipped with a voice-activated telematics system, a two-way wireless communications unit connected to both the Internet and a Global Positioning System (GPS) locator. Punching a button on the dash, you say, "Gas." After a pause, a mechanized voice reads aloud a roster of nearby service stations, including the brand of gas, the distance to each station, even the price per gallon of unleaded regular. Although it's a bit farther away, you choose the third entry on the machine-verbalized "text-to-speech" list because you have that brand's credit card. The electronic voice responds with step-by-step driving directions to your next petroleum oasis.

Sooner or later this kind of scenario will become commonplace as more sophisticated automotive telematics technology heads out onto the road. Just as microprocessors colonized motor vehicles during the past decade, a similarly steady transition to telematics will occur as the necessary equipment is installed in new cars and trucks over the next few years, auto industry analysts say. A wireless transmitter and receiver, an antenna, elementary voice-recognition and text-to-speech capabilities, and typically a GPS unit are all that's needed on board to support what the industry calls the "thin-client" telematics service--the most fundamental set of mobile communications features. Although the basic service package is relatively simple and the changeover seems inevitable, the industry will soon have to address the complex potential safety and privacy issues that the technology raises.

Automotive telematics is based on the notion that today's motorists are demanding instant access to safety, navigation and convenience services, as well as entertainment programming, anytime, anywhere. Already being spoken about in the eager tones that financial analysts used to describe e-commerce half a dozen years ago, the nascent telematics technologies are expected to fundamentally change the way people interact with cars, where the average American driver spends nearly 10 percent of his or her waking day. "Motor vehicles deserve to be connected to the outside world," says Chet Huber, president of OnStar, the largest telematics service provider in the U.S. "Today we're beginning with services that offer safety, security and peace of mind. Ultimately we'll expand into a lot more interactive services."

VIRTUAL TEST DRIVING of onboard automotive telematics technology is one of the functions of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (above and above left), which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently opened at the University of Iowa. NHTSA In-vehicle wireless safety and security services--such as emergency roadside assistance, automatic collision notification and remote door unlocking--are already becoming more familiar to the motoring public. These features are offered by Mercedes-Benz's TeleAid, BMW's Assist and Hertz's NeverLost, in addition to OnStar. Subscribers to premium telematics services are meanwhile starting to take advantage of more sophisticated features, such as verbal e-mail messages, digital music, and tailored traffic and weather updates, as well as on-demand news, sports and stock-market reports. And drivers of luxury cars have become accustomed to instrument panels outfitted with color LCD screens that display navigation maps or with other useful driver aids.

In the five years we've been operating, OnStar has delivered 10 million customer interactions," Huber says. "One out of four General Motors cars has OnStar--that's 5,000 new subscribers every day. And now many other car brands, including Acura, Audi, Honda, Lexus, Saab and Subaru, will offer OnStar services as well." Free for the first 12 months, basic service costs $199 a year, which Huber says is about what it costs annually to keep a cell phone in the car. "To remain competitive, every vehicle in the country will have to be able to deliver at least the basic telematics services," he predicts.

Looking ahead, engineers are working on ways to avoid built-in dashboard displays, which tend to become obsolete relatively quickly, with new technology that integrates a driver's personal digital assistant (PDA) into the vehicle system via a center-mounted docking cradle. The PDA would serve as the visual interface. It would even automatically transfer to the vehicle the motorist's personal information, such as fuel or restaurant brand preference, seat position settings, regular commuting routes and daily work schedule.

The rest of the article is at  

Scott Bonacker called my attention to this article
"The Guru's Guru:  A lively conversation with Peter Drucker, dean of the deep thinkers," by Erick Schonfeld, Business 2.0, October 2001 ---,1640,17005,FF.html 

From Syllabus News on September 11, 2001

100 Most Wired Colleges

The October issue of Yahoo Internet Life magazine includes the fifth annual 100 Most Wired Colleges list. The rankings are based on infrastructure, student services, Web portal, e-learning, tech support and wireless access. The top ten most wired colleges are: (1) Carnegie Mellon, (2) Stanford, (3) Georgia Institute of Technology, (4) Dartmouth, (5) MIT, (6) Drexel Institute, (7) Indiana University, Bloomington, (8) University of Delaware, (9) University of Virginia, and tied for (10) the New Jersey Institute of Technology and SUNY-Buffalo.

Convert Print to Spoken Words

The recently released Scan and Read family of software scans any printed material and converts it to spoken words, delivered in a variety of voices through the computer's speaker. The software also displays the text on the screen and highlights each word as it's read, a helpful feature for readers of all ages, those with learning disabilities, and non-English speakers looking for a way to increase their vocabularies. The more advanced members of the software family include word processing capability; the ability to access Microsoft Word files and convert them to spoken words; automatic image rotation, which allows software to convert text regardless of how it's positioned on the scanner bed; and the ability to create MP3 files, which can then be downloaded to other devices.

For more information, visit

Bob Jensen's threads on text recognition are at 

Online Presentation Resource

Presenters University is a free, online resource that provides easy-to-use information and tools for developing and delivering effective multimedia presentations. The award-winning Web site at  offers presentation courses, instructional articles featuring technology tips and advice, online "Ask The Professor" discussion forums, and free, downloadable templates to create dynamic presentations. Designed for both novice and experienced presenters, Presenters University addresses all components for a successful presentation --content, delivery, and visuals. Launched in 1997, the site is sponsored by InFocus Corporation.

Scanner has Photographic Memory

Canon U.S.A., Inc. has begun shipping the Canon DR-5060F, its newest digital scanner with a built-in microfilm back-up system. The scanner can simultaneously record images to a PC and to obsolescence-proof microfilm, offering document management and a back-up system in one compact unit. The built-in, long-term archival recording enables image files to be accessible and readable years into the future, despite changes in storage technology.

For more information, visit the Canon U.S.A. Web Site at .


I provide a link to an Excel spreadsheet that some of you may want to use in class after you substitute your students' pictures and modify the spreadsheet slightly for the configuration of your classroom. I use Excel's RAND function to randomly designate a student to be called upon in class. Then I click on that student's workstation number to have the student's picture flash in front of the entire class.

The first step in this process is to take a picture of each student. To keep the file relatively small for the entire class, I recommend that you do not use large, high resolution pictures. It is best to import relatively small picture images. In the spreadsheet itself, you can drag pictures so that they appear somewhat larger (up to a point where they begin to pixelate).

You might be able to check out a digital camera from your college's media services and have one of your students walk around the class snapping the pictures. Picture taking does not take long at all. I like a camera that stores pictures on a floppy disk inside the digital camera. Your computer will read this disk without any software installation. You can substitute the pictures in my spreadsheet with your pictures.

I use my spreadsheet to randomly call upon students in class. I click on the gray "Random Number" button and generate a random number. For example, suppose the random number is 36. I click on the number 36 where that student is seated. Up pops a picture, and the student pictured is then called upon to give an answer or otherwise respond in class.

You can change the random number function for the exact number of seats in a class.  If a seat is empty, simply generate another random number.

You can assign your own bookmarks with the Excel menu option (Insert, Name, Define) sequence. You can link to bookmarks with the Excel menu option (Insert, Hyperlink, Existing File, Bookmark) sequence. I place the bookmarks three rows beneath the picture.

I am also using this spreadsheet to help me to learn the students' names and faces early in the semester.

You might combine this with a Jeopardy-type game where the student that is called upon chooses a question category and a difficulty level category for real points.

To see the sample file for one of my classes, download 

Hope this is of use to some of you.

Bob Jensen

Reply from Barry Rice

Here's an alternative to Bob's Excel approach. This is my 10th year of using random pictures on the screen to call on students. When my colleague George Wright and I started, we used a video camera and captured a single frame for each student. We thought they would go yelling to the administration to complain about what we were doing but they didn't. I think we used the .bmp format. Anyway, as you can imagine, it was a pain in the butt to capture, convert, etc. and took hours at the start of each semester. George wrote a DOS program to display the pictures randomly.

For the past 4-5 years, we have been using a digital camera of course. It happens to be a Sony Mavica with floppy. We use 640 x 480 resolution. It takes less than ten minutes at the start of the semester to get the pictures which I have taken of all three of my classes (~75 sudents) uploaded to our network drive from my office. They are then readily available in all our classrooms. For about the same 4-5 years, we have been using CompuPic (not CompuPic Pro) from Photodex Corp. to display them randomly WITH REPLACEMENT. It's a great program and only costs $40 to download from . I strongly recommend it! You can even download a free trial version. This approach is obviously not free, but the pictures have great resolution and absolutely no programming is required. You don't even have to generate random numbers. The software does all that automatically.

I have threatened for many years to record the students saying their names when I take their pictures in class. Then, it would be very easy to have them call on themselves (in stereo!) when their picture comes up on the screen. Some day when I have more time...

I use a seating chart but I don't associate the picture files with them. As you suggest, there is no need to. Therefore, pictures of students who are absent do get projected. Since I generally have excellent class attendance, that is a minor drawback of my approach. The response keypad questions during class which count as 15% of their course grade motivates them to come to class. My syllabus which explains about the keypads, etc. is at . Click on AC101 Home page.

Barry Rice 

Reply from George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU] 

Barry can speak for himself, but I grab a frame from a currently popular TV show and use it for a stand in for somebody absent on picture day. I used to get something from Beavis and Butthead (with Photoshop-added long hair if the absentee is female). Now South Park is a little more au courant. And the Simpsons characters are always good. Whenever I suggest to the absentee that I can borrow Barry's digital camera some other time and take a real picture, he or she always seems to prefer the stand-in!

Along the lines of this topic, I have a Java application, complete with Swing GUI, that displays student photos (gif or jpg) at random. Run-time options allow you to choose which class to display by choosing a separate directory, to sample photos with or without replacement, to display the photos at actual or expanded size, and to display the photo with or without a filename. (The filename can, of course, reflect the student's name, so you don't have to add a name to the photo itself.) If you want to try it, send email to


I suspect that the Coates Library will do a better job updating the San Antonio region's links, although you might check both sites whenever you are searching for local services.  My site is at 

The links to local government services that Dr. Jensen mentions have been added to, and will be maintained at, the Government Documents page of the Coates Library Website (  ) Point your mouse to "Services and Collections" and then click on "Government Documents."


Michael J. Kaminski 
Assistant Librarian/Public Services 
Elizabeth Huth Coates Library 
Trinity University 715 Stadium Drive 
San Antonio, TX 78209 Ph: (210) 999-7087 fax: (210) 999-8182


Barry Rice and Loyola College in Maryland have a neat site that is very helpful to students considering a career in accounting.  Go to 

Barry's homepage is at 

Frauds and Scams

When you get a new suspect that sounds like fraud, you probably should investigate it and/or report it to 

Links of possible interest in consumer fraud and consumer protection include the following: 

U. S. Consumer Gateway --- 

Dr. Toy's Guide on the Internet --- 

Consumer Product Safety Commission --- 

ConsumerSearch ---    

Consumer World --- 

Comparison Pricing --- /

Consumer Information Guides --- 


Nigerian Frauds

Below are some websites devoted to this fraud. I hope these have not previously been posted:

U.S. Treasury warning: 

A coalition against this fraud: 

Putting "Nigerian oil fraud" or "Nigerian 419" into a search engine will provide additional links.

Dr. Frederic M. Stiner, Jr. 
CPA Department of Accounting & MIS 
University of Delaware office: (302) 831-1806 
Newark DE 19716 USA fax: (302) 831-4676

Message from Richard J. Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Interwise is one of a number of webcasters such as , ,  , which make their money by selling virtual classroom seats.

Hours after airplanes smashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, FBI agents reportedly began showing up at network providers asking to install the Carnivore surveillance tool ---,1283,46747,00.html 

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children -- often far greater than outright gifts of money, say many Certified Financial Planner professionals -- is to teach them financial life skills --- 
(But you must give them something else that's fun to unwrap now and then.)

The grim results of a recent Job Outlook 2002 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers show employers anticipate hiring 19.7 percent fewer new employees this year over last year. Overall, survey respondents expect to decrease on- campus recruitment by visiting 12.6 fewer colleges than last year. 

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) realeased its September 2001 edition of CA Magazine.  This is the annual edition devoted to technology issues.  

Right on time
By Deryck Williams

Legal issues
A flawed proposal
By Mindy Paskell-Mede

Loyal opposition
By Patricia Bradshaw & Peter Jackson

When is a sale not a sale?
By Karen N. Wensley

People management
No train, no gain
By Carolyn Cohen

Business valuation
Enhancing value
By Stephen Cole & Andrew Harington

 Personal financial planning
Who's the financial planner?
By Bryce Medd & Craig Matthews

Mortgaging the future?
By Mark R. Huson, Thomas W. Scott & Heather A. Wier

"Mortgaging the future? New research highlights the need for better ways to account for the dilution costs attached to convertible shares and stock options, by Mark R. Huson, Thomas W. Scott & Heather A. Wier, CA Magazine --- 

How chartered accountants measure earnings dilution 

The dilutive effect of executive stock options presents the most critical accounting problem because options dominate other dilutive securities by their sheer numbers. Our research, and that conducted by J. Core, W. Guay and S.P. Kothari (CGK), shows that more than 80% of shares reserved for conversion and exercise by US firms relate to stock options.3

Traditionally, accountants have incorporated future earnings dilution - the effect of outstanding options - by including dilutive shares in the denominator of the EPS calculation. Recently, Canadian, american and international standard-setters harmonized the EPS calculation. In 1997, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued SFAS 128, "Earnings per share," which mandated the replacement of primary EPS with an EPS range.4 This range is anchored at one end by the undiluted basic EPS, and at the other, more conservative extreme, with diluted EPS. The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) mandated an EPS calculation similar to that required by the FASB in 1998. Now, in the interests of international harmonization, the CICA's Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has published a new Section 3500, "Earnings per share," in its Handbook.5

The new Canadian standard leaves the calculation of the undiluted basic EPS unchanged. The standard also does not alter how the dilutive effect of convertible securities is incorporated in EPS: dividends on preferred shares and after-tax interest on convertible bonds continue to be added to the numerator of basic EPS, with the number of shares issuable on conversion added to the denominator, in order to convert basic EPS to diluted EPS. The new standard changes Canadian GAAP by requiring the use of the treasury stock method (described in the following paragraph) of incorporating the dilutive effect of options in the EPS calculation.

The treasury stock method assumes that outstanding stock options with strike prices lower than the current market price are exercised, with the proceeds used to purchase as many shares as possible on the open market at the current market price. The higher the market price, the lower the hypothetical number of shares that the proceeds from exercise can purchase. The treasury stock method assumes that the difference between the number of shares that can be purchased using the proceeds from the exercise of the options and the number of shares needed to meet the requirements of option holders is obtained by issuing new shares. The hypothetically issued new shares are added to the denominator of the diluted EPS calculation. No adjustment is made to the numerator. The treasury stock me-thod reports greater dilution for options as the difference between the current market price of the firm's stock and the options' strike price increases - in other words, dilution increases with the size of the option holders' discount off-market price. A simple example of the treasury stock calculation is provided in the next section.

Do accounting measures of earnings dilution work? Consider the following example: Company A has $100,000 of income, 100,000 common shares outstanding, a market price per share of $10, and options outstanding that allow the holder to purchase 20,000 Company A shares at a strike price of $10 each. Since Company A's options have a strike price equal to their market price, they are not dilutive, and thus, Company A's diluted EPS is equal to its basic EPS at $1 per share (income of $100,000 divided by common shares outstanding of 100,000).

A year later, Company A continues to have income of $100,000; it also signs several large new contracts that will generate revenue in future years. When these contracts are announced, the market's anticipation of this future revenue pushes Company A's share price to $11. However, as the revenue is not yet earned, it is not yet incorporated in earnings. Basic EPS continues to be $1 per share. Diluted EPS, however, has fallen to $0.98, as calculated in the table on this page.

There's something troubling about this example. Company A's accounting performance and share structure are unchanged from year one to year two, and the market has received good news about future revenue in year two. Surely the change in Company A's value from year one to two is at worst neutral, and at best positive. Yet, EPS has decreased. What's causing this apparent anomaly? The answer is that firm value has increased with good news that has not yet been incorporated into earnings. The treasury stock method, which uses current market price as an input to the dilution calculation, has reduced EPS by increasing the denominator before the good news is captured in the numerator. This result occurs because accounting conservatism tends to delay recognition of favourable economic events, while information is quickly impounded in security prices.6 To the extent that some positive news is incorporated into price before it is incorporated into earnings, the treasury stock method creates a numerator/denominator mismatch - earnings per share is reduced, through increasing the denominator, with news that has not yet been booked in the numerator.

In our example, Company A's market price increased from $10 to $11 because of the good news about the new contracts that is not yet included in earnings. Share price goes up by $1 during the current accounting period, and future earnings will increase when the revenues from the new contracts are realized. However, the current period's earnings as measured by diluted EPS fall by $0.02. The treasury stock method results in changes in the dilution component of EPS that run opposite to news about firm value as captured in stock price. The increase in dilution indicates poorer earnings on a per share basis even though the economic news about the entity is favourable.

The example shows that using the treasury stock method can drive down diluted earnings per share when both expected future earnings and the firm's current stock price are rising. Tom Scott and Heather Wier show that the results of our example hold true for actual firms. The treasury stock method impairs, rather than enhances, our ability to predict future earnings. This year's EPS generally understates the next period's EPS when EPS contains a treasury stock adjustment. Moreover, Scott and Wier find that financial analysts make larger errors predicting the earnings of companies when a large portion of the earnings change is attributable to the dilution calculation and the treasury stock method. Additionally, the treasury stock method makes earnings' changes less relevant for explaining stock returns. In general, larger increases in earnings should be associated with larger positive stock returns, and vice versa. If this were not the case, accounting information would be of little use for investment decisions. Scott and Wier show that using the treasury stock method to dilute EPS leads to a weaker relationship between earnings changes and stock returns.

The rest of the article is at 

The IRS is moving one step closer to its goal of electronic filing for the nation with its online tax payment center. Businesses and individuals can sign on, turn over their bank account number, and authorize the IRS to extract tax payments from their bank accounts. 

I am going to share one of the cases from The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators Review (AER), September 13, 2001.    The AER is free to subscribers to the electronic version of the WSJ.  To receive AER editions, go to 

TITLE: Regulators Won't Seek Microsoft Breakup REPORTER: John R. Wilke and Ted Bridis DATE: Sep 07, 2001 PAGE: A3,4 LINK: TOPICS: Cost Accounting, Managerial Accounting

SUMMARY: Wilke and Bridis report on the decision of the U.S. Justice Department to seek alternate remedies to the Microsoft case that do not include dismemberment of the software giant. As well, they report on speculation that proposed remedies may not stand up to scrutiny under appeal.

QUESTIONS: 1.) Under the U.S. Robinson-Patman Act, the price discrimination laws state that: they apply to manufacturers, discrimination is permissible if differences in costs lead to differences in prices, and, finally, prices are predatory if they are intended to destroy competition. How did these conditions apply in this case?

2.) Two key features of predatory pricing practices, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, are: a company charges a price that is below a measure of its appropriate costs and the company has a reasonable prospect of recovering its initially un-recovered costs in the future. Was one or both of these conditions argued before Judge Jackson?

3.) In light of the fact most courts have defined the appropriate cost as the short-run marginal cost and the average cost, how do these precedents square with the recent statement by Bill Gates, speaking before a trade group, who said that the marginal cost of an additional unit of a product may be zero. How is that possible?

4.) Can the times explain some of the interpretation problems in the Justice Departments' case? Explain the fundamental differences between the manufacturers Congress had in mind when the Act was written and the company it was applied to in the Microsoft case.

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island 
Reviewed By: Benson Wier, Virginia Commonwealth University 
Reviewed By: Kimberly Dunn, Florida Atlantic University

Prestigious business schools put on a competition to promote social ventures.
"The Biz of Biz School Is Social," by Katie Dean, Wired News, September 10, 2001

A business school competition that puts as much emphasis on social returns as financial returns is expanding.

Students at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley organized the first National Social Venture Competition in 1999.

Now the school has formed partnerships with the Columbia Business School and the Goldman Sachs Foundation to broaden the competition -- hoping to increase public awareness of social issues and to encourage business students to use their talents for positive social change.

"The National Social Venture Competition reflects the growing commitment of business leaders and entrepreneurs to foster profitable activities that address major social challenges, such as protecting the environment, preventing disease and improving educational outcomes," Haas Dean Laura Tyson said in a statement.

The competition will be promoted in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York; it will officially launch Oct. 5 at a social venture symposium at Columbia Business School.

Up to $100,000 will be awarded to the winning teams.

See also:
A New Spin on 'Good' Business
Time to Get a Better Biz Plan
Newman's Own Philanthropy Plan
Berkeley MBAs Harvest Wave Energy

The downtown New York offices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in the World Financial Center were destroyed on Wednesday as flames spread from the adjacent World Trade Center site. A spokeswoman for Deloitte said its offices were evacuated after Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center's twin towers. 

I was made aware of this free accounting software by Scott Bonacker [scottbonacker@MOCCPA.COM

This versatile accounting package is designed for the small business or home office. It is full-featured, easy to use, and completely free. It includes a general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and an invoicing and order-entry system. Reports can be exported directly to Microsoft Office and Corel WordPerfect.

Version 3.0 is loaded with new features and options including the ability to send client statements by e-mail, cash or accrual basis of accounting, improved data entry, extensive use of graphs, and much more. 

Stephen Hawking warns that machines could take over the world --- 

Nobody took Arnold Schwarzenegger seriously when he showed us the dangers of artificial intelligence in the "Terminator" movies. Likewise Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix"--you thought that was just a cool kung fu flick, didn't you? But now no less a respected source than Stephen Hawking is sounding a warning about humankind being overrun by computers. "In contrast with our intellect, computers double their performance every 18 months," warned the genius physicist in a recent interview with the German newsmagazine Focus. "So the danger is real that they could develop intelligence and take over the world." Hawking, the wheelchair-bound author of the best-selling book "A Brief History Of Time," serves as the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, a post once held by Isaac Newton.

But don't panic just yet--there's still hope for mankind. To prevent a "Terminator"-style standoff against the machines, Hawking advises us to improve our intelligence through genetic engineering, or perhaps by wiring ourselves to the computers directly. Said Hawking, "We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it."

Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing are at 

Good to hear from you Earl. At last I have your email address on file. You may be sorry about that.

The strange thing about your forwarded Nostradamus message is that Nostradamus wrote this in 1654 after dying on July 2, 1566. That is weird! Perhaps things are really predetermined in heaven, and he was sending us a message from above.

Bob Jensen


Chilling Thought!!!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Earl B.

In the year of the new century and nine months. From the sky will come a great King of Terror. The sky will burn at 45 degrees (NY is on the 45th parallel).  Fire approaches the great new city. In the City of God there  will  be great thunder. Two brothers (the towers) torn apart by Chaos. While the fortress (the Pentagon)  endures. The great leader will succumb. The third big war will begin when the city is burning." 
~Nostradamus (1654) 

Reply from [

Thought everyone might like to know this appears to be so much classic internet hoax. Click on  and check it out. The first supposed prophecy below does have some elements from several different Nostradamus quatrains, but they're not one prophecy. The second "prophecy" below about "brothers" is completely made up. Such is life on the Internet ... "bogus" travels faster than truth!!

Hi Honey,

We've been given a wonderful opportunity to live in a country villa that was suddenly abandoned on the other side of the globe.  For you there will be good news and bad news.

Good News:  

Bad News: 

1- Complete ban on women's work outside the home, which also applies to female teachers, engineers and most professionals. Only a few female doctors and nurses are allowed to work in some hospitals.

2- Complete ban on women's activity outside the home unless accompanied by a mahram (close male relative such as a father, brother or husband).

3- Ban on women dealing with male shopkeepers.

4- Ban on women being treated by male doctors.

5- Ban on women studying at schools, universities or any other educational institution. (Former girls' schools were converted  into religious seminaries.)

6- Requirement that women wear a long veil (Burqa), which covers them from head to toe.

7- Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules, or of women unaccompanied by a mahram.

8- Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

9- Public stoning of women accused of having sex outside marriage. (A number of lovers are stoned to death under this rule).

10- Ban on the use of cosmetics. (Many women with painted nails have had fingers cut off).

11- Ban on women talking or shaking hands with non-mahram males.

12- Ban on women laughing loudly. (No stranger should hear a woman's voice).

13- Ban on women wearing high heel shoes, which would produce sound while walking. (A man must not hear a woman's footsteps.)

14- Ban on women riding in a taxi without a mahram.

15- Ban on women's presence in radio, television or public gatherings of any kind.

16- Ban on women playing sports or entering a sport center or club.

17- Ban on women riding bicycles or motorcycles, even with their mahrams.

8- Ban on women's wearing brightly colored clothes. In Taliban terms, these are "sexually attracting colors."

19- Ban on women gathering for festive occasions such as the Eids, or for any recreational purpose.

20- Ban on women washing clothes next to rivers or in a public place.

21- Modification of all place names including the word "women." For example, "women's garden" has been renamed "spring garden".

22- Ban on women appearing on the balconies of their apartments or houses.

23- Compulsory painting of all windows, so women can not be seen from outside their homes.

24- Ban on male tailors taking women's measurements or sewing women's clothes.

25- Ban on female public baths.

26- Ban on males and females traveling on the same bus. Public buses have now been designated "males only" (or "females only").

27- Ban on flared (wide) pant-legs, even under a burqa.

28- Ban on the photographing or filming of women.

29- Ban on women's pictures printed in newspapers and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops.

30.  There will be no television or playing of radios, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, or computers ---

Also see Legacy of Terror

To get into this same site from another direction enter: 

then click on "Legacy of Terror".

Let's hope it works this time since there are lots of photos, slide shows, narration, etc. 
John McFadden 
Director, Laurie Auditorium Trinity University 715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, TX 78212 
Phone:(210) 999-8110 FAX: (210) 999-8100 

 Or try 

Bob Overn forwarded these, and they will only be appreciated by those of us who yearn for our simpler life of the 1950s.  It beat living between 1960 and infinity A.D. 

To remember what a "double dog dare" is, read on. And remember that the perfect age is somewhere between old enough to know better and young enough not to care. How many do you remember?

1. Candy cigarettes 
2. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside. 
3. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles. 
4. Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes 
5. Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum 
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles, with cardboard stoppers. 
7. Party lines. 
8. Newsreels before the movie. 
9. P. F. Flyers 
10. Butch wax 
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix ... (BUterfield 8-2918) 
12. Peashooter 
13. Howdy Dowdy 
14. 45 RPM Records 
15. Green Stamps 
16. Hi-fi's 
17. Metal ice cube trays-with levers 
18. Mimeograph paper 
19. Blue flash Bulbs 
20. Beanie and Cecil 
21. Roller skate keys 
22. Cork Pop Guns 
23. Drive-Ins 
24. Studebaker 
25. Wash Tub Wringers 
26. The Fuller Brush Man 
27. Reel to reel tape recorders 
28. Tinkertoys 
29. The Erector Set 
30. The Fort Apache Playset 
31. Lincoln Logs 
32. 15 cent McDonald hamburgers 
33. 5 cent packs of baseball cards...with that awful pink slab of bubble gum 
34. Penny candy 
35. Gasoline at 35 cents-a-gallon

A TIME WHEN..................... 
1. Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo." 
2. Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming "do over!" 
3."Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest. 
4. Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening. 
5. It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends. 
6. The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was "cooties." 
7. Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot. 
8. A foot of snow was a dream come true. 
9. Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures. 
10. "Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense. 
11. Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles. 
12. The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. 
13. War was a card game. 
14. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon. 
15. Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle. 
16. Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.

17.  Parents never gave a second thought to allowing their ten-year old child 
      walk alone to and from a downtown movie theatre after dark.

18.  Swea City, Iowa did not even need a single constable.  There were no
       locked doors in cars or houses, because there was no crime.

Reply from Dennis Beresford:

I enjoyed the item on page 48 of your latest bookmarks. It listed a number of things that only old timers would remember and I was familiar with almost all of them. Item 20 was "Beanie and Cecil." One of the highlights of my younger days was appearing as a guest on the "Time for Beanie" show - live! I had a chance to have a conversation with Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent. The list brought back a lot of nice memories. However, I wonder why it didn't include the door to door Good Humor Ice Cream trucks? Maybe that was a west coast phenomenon.


Is this DAFFY or not?

Forwarded by Phil Cooley
Pick up your phone and try this. It only takes 20 seconds and no matter how hard a day you may be having, if nothing else, it will bring a smile  to your face and give you a moment of relief! 

1. Call Deutsche Bank / National Discount Brokers  at 1-800-888-3999.  
2. Listen to ALL of the options (it only takes a  moment). 
3. After hearing the 7th option, press 7 and  listen. 

EVERY company should have an Option 7

Two men are approaching each other on a sidewalk. Both are dragging a right foot as they walk. 

As they meet, one man looks at the other knowingly, points to his foot and says, "Vietnam, 1969." 

The other points his thumb behind him and says, "Dog doo, 20 feet back." 

Most of us feel like dragging one foot while pointing a thumb toward lower Manhattan this week!  Praise be to the many heroes who risked, and in many cases gave, their lives digging us out of the senseless aftermath of despicable hate and terror.

And that's the sad way it was on September 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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September 14, 2001

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 14, 2001
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Quotes of the Week

Whether we joy or grieve, the same the curse, 
Surprised at better, or surprised at worse. 
Thus good or bad, to one extreme betray 
Th' unbalanced mind, and snatch the man away; 
For virtue's self may too much zeal be had; 
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.

Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, 1733
To view the Trade Towers before the terrorism of madmen, see 
Manhattan Timeformations (History of Manhattan's Skyscrapers --- 
(Note the clever animations at the above site.)

Children have an especially hard time dealing with crises such as a terror attack that dominates the media and brings tears to adults. Some things that might help when dealing with children are given at
(I thank Marc Raney for calling my attention to this matter.)

We shall not flag or fail.  We shall go on to the end.  We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;  we shall never surrender.
Sir Winston Spencer  Churchill, Speech on Dunkirk, June 4, 1940

When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat;
Yet, fueled with hope, men favor the deceit;
Trust on, and think tomorrow will repay.
Tomorrow's falser than the former day.

John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe, sct IV, 1676

Never ask of money spent
Where the spender thinks it went.
Nobody was ever meant
To remember or invent
What he did with every cent.

Robert Frost (as quoted in an email message from George Lan up in Canada)
(This certainly has been the motto of most failed companies.)

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." - - Jimi Hendrix
(As quoted in an email message from Andrew Priest)

This separation of the intellectual and cultural ends of the liberal arts from their political and economic purposes has been, as I have said, a rather recent historic phenomenon, and not a particularly healthy one. There is absolutely no reason for us to be constrained by it, no reason to be confined by what is in fact an historically narrowed definition of the liberal arts, a definition that denies the liberal arts their full scope and vitality and power, just as there is absolutely no reason for us to be constrained by or acquiesce to the general public’s current fixation on narrowly conceived career preparation.
Dr. John Brazil, President of Trinity University (See below)

We have embraced, indeed been swallowed by, the multiple adjective syndrome, or MAS: financial, audit, managerial, tax, analytic, archival, experimental, systems, cognitive, etc. This applies to our research, to our reading, to our courses, to our teaching assignments, to our teaching, and to the organization of our annual meeting. In so doing, we have exploited specialization, but in the process greatly reduced communication networks, and taken on a near tribal structure.
Dr. Joel Demski, President of the American Accounting Association (See below)

Bob, your metaphor is richer than it at first appears. What both the horseless carriage and the Wright's plane did was actually *enabled growth* in transportation -- phenomenal growth, amazing growth! And the growth in transportation capability itself is what led to the profound (!) changes in society.
Dr. David Fordham, Professor of Accounting at James Madison University (See below)

See you soon I hope, October 28-31, 2001, in  Rio de Janeiro --- 

Linda and Michael Bamber are conducting a morning workshop in Rio.


Linda Smith Bamber, 
Editor, The Accounting Review and Professor, University of Georgia, U.S.A.

E. Michael Bamber, 
Consulting Editor,
The Accounting Review, Associate Editor, Journal of Accounting Literature, and Professor, University of Georgia, U.S.A.

Location: Inter-Continental Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, October 28, 2001, 8:00 a.m.- Noon

This workshop identifies meaningful strategies for getting your research published in scholarly accounting journals. We will logically work through the research process, starting with generating significant research topics, then going on to developing the topic, research design and data collection issues, writing the paper, selecting the appropriate journal to submit the paper, and the review process. We will discuss special challenges and opportunities for the authors. In addition, workshop participants will analyze case studies of papers published or accepted for publication in The Accounting Review. 

Gerald Trites (from Canada) and I will conduct an afternoon workshop in Rio.


Robert Jensen, 
Professor at Trinity University, U.S.A.

Gerald Trites
Professor, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

Location: Inter-Continental Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, October 28, 2001, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

This workshop will address issues related to recent developments in electronic and internet commerce.  Research frameworks useful in electronic commerce and research issues will be presented. Workshop will also address a number of emerging issues such as the relationship between accounting and electronic commerce; emerging risks and controls in electronic commerce; materials used in a electronic commerce course and approaches used in other electronic commerce courses.

The 13th Annual Asian Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues Program for October 29-31 can be found at  
(This link also provides information on fun things to enjoy in the sun and when learning about history and culture while you are in Rio.)

This is generally a great conference in terms of both program content and social events.  The program is highly international in flavor as depicted somewhat by having the Asian Pacific Conference in South America this year alongside the Atlantic Ocean.

The end of this module announces where you can both read and listen to a controversial and highly critical address to the American Accounting Association membership by its current President, Joel Demski.

Prior to to the University of Berlin in 1810, "universities" tended to be more of a collection of inner colleges with less emphasis on a common curriculum and less student flows between colleges. Schools like Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard also tended to educate more through specialty tutors rather than large lectures that commenced when universities put in common curricula and catered more to the masses. In the past two centuries, undergraduates became exposed to more disciplines and were allowed greater mobility in changing disciplines within a university. Kant, in 1790, proposed separating liberal (broad-based) undergraduate degrees from "professional" degrees at the graduate level, where a professional graduate school degree was not yet viewed as business administration but did include law and medicine. Business administration graduate schools came later.

History Question: 
What was the first graduate school of business administration in the world and when was it founded?

History Answer: 
Dartmouth College commenced in 1769 and later founded the world's first graduate school of business administration in 1900. Interestingly, a Wall Street Journal Special Edition ranked Dartmouth as the top business administration graduate school in the Year 2001, although other rankings such as US News do not place Dartmouth at the top.

See the following two links with respect to Dartmouth:


The President of Trinity University, John Brazil, recently stated the following at 


Last Spring at a meeting of the Commission on Curricular Review, I made something like the following observations so I hope the Commission’s members will bear with me, but it is instructive to remember that the seven disciplines that comprised the original liberal arts and sciences, the disciplines of the trivium and quadrivium, did not include a sizable majority of the arts, science, humanities, and social science curricula that we now think of as central to the liberal arts.

What is more, in their day, the disciplines of the original liberal arts were in the contemporary sense, genuinely professional courses of study with real-world applications. It was not for several centuries that the liberal arts, the artes liberales, which best translated means the arts befitting a free man, it was not for several centuries that the arts befitting a free man became the arts befitting a gentleman. Or put another way, it was a long historical while before the liberal arts were reconceived as essentially non-professional and largely divorced from direct, real-world applications, a divorce that occurred principally to reinforce social class distinctions.

Originally, as they should today, the liberal arts were thought to “befit a freeman,” that is, they made a person fit for freedom, actually several kinds of freedom—intellectual and cultural freedom, to be sure, but also political and economic freedom—and they were thought to accomplish this through the mechanisms later, but best described by Thomas Jefferson in Notes on the State of Virginia: they did it by cultivating in individuals all the abilities necessary to obviate freedom-threatening dependencies of any kind—again, intellectual and cultural dependencies, to be sure, but political and economic dependencies as well. The liberal arts originally, as they should today, cultivated in individuals the full range of skills and knowledge needed to lead a self-reliant, independent life and to be fit for a broad, multidimensional freedom.

This separation of the intellectual and cultural ends of the liberal arts from their political and economic purposes has been, as I have said, a rather recent historic phenomenon, and not a particularly healthy one. There is absolutely no reason for us to be constrained by it, no reason to be confined by what is in fact an historically narrowed definition of the liberal arts, a definition that denies the liberal arts their full scope and vitality and power, just as there is absolutely no reason for us to be constrained by or acquiesce to the general public’s current fixation on narrowly conceived career preparation.


Note from Bob Jensen: 
A new document (as yet unfinished in terms of all links intended for the document) seems relevant to the current thread, so I will announce it today.

In an August 15, 2001 controversial address to the American Accounting Association, current AAA President Joel Demski lamented the fall of accounting education (I think he meant business education in general) from scholarship, joy, and an academic curriculum. In particular, he blasted the current textbooks and publishers, public accounting firms, accounting educators, administrators, and the tendency for scholarship and curricula to become niched into specialty topics with failing cross-communications between those specialties such as tax accounting , capital markets studies, NFP accounting, managerial accounting, AIS, etc. In particular he laments the way accounting curricula have evolved to meet the career interests of public accounting firm employers and the virtual failing of the five-year, 150-credit, requirements to sit for the CPA examination. At the end of his address to the membership, Joel announced a curriculum-design competition.

You can both read and listen to Joel Demski's August 15 address to the AAA membership at 

In the above document you will also find the audio file of an August 15, 2001 address by Craig Polhemus, Executive Director of the American Accounting Association. I will add the text file as soon as Craig sends me the text of his remarks. Craig focuses on the recent (positive) trends of happenings in the AAA and the many services that members now enjoy, especially services of a tremendous Website. Joel focuses more on his own strong opinions about the recent (negative) trends of accounting education and research.

CPE SESSION 1 - August 11, 2001
American Accounting Association, Atlanta, Georgia

Good vs. Bad Online Content for Learning: How the Pros Design, Author, Test, and Deliver Knowledge Portals and Online Courses for Prestigious Universities and Online Supplements for Publishing Companies

I am making the presentation files and the audio files of CPE Session No. 1 available for free downloads at 

The speakers are all on the leading edge of accounting and education technology. You can find out the latest updates from the radically-different distance education pedagogy of the new Canadian Chartered Accountancy School of Business, the online courses from UNext and Cardean University, the Prentice-Hall supplements for a popular basic accounting textbook, and the world's greatest effort to develop a knowledge portal (Fathom).

Year 2001 Session
The presentation files and audio files for CPE No. 1 in Atlanta in the Year 2001 are available from 

Year 2000 Session
The presentation files and audio files for CPE No. 1 in Philadelphia in the Year 2000 are available from 

I hope these files are helpful to all persons seeking to know what the pros in this business are undertaking at the moment.

In the above Year 2001 CPE No. 1 Program, more than half the day was devoted to UNext.  UNext is not yet a profitable venture.  However, I like to track the progress of UNext to date, because its Billionaires Club investors (Mike Milken, Larry Ellison, etc.) provided sufficient capital to merge over 300 specialists in learning science with both IT technical specialists and content specialists (such as accounting professors like Mike Kirschenheiter from Columbia University, Mike Maher from UC Davis, Bob Clusky from West Georgia, and others) to overcome problems mentioned by Bill Ellet below.  You can listen to leaders from UNext at 

I thank Dan Gode for the link to Bill Ellet's article below. I have to say that I disagree somewhat with Ellet's sweeping generalizations. Over 100,000 online students at the University of Wisconsin are coming from somewhere, and many are taking work-related courses at home. An enormous number of students around the world are taking online courses just to become "Microsoft Certified" in one of the many areas of training specialties in the IT professions. The University of Phoenix became the world's largest private university, in part because students in their homes were motivated to learn in a non-traditional classroom setting.  There have been many failures of startup online programs, but there are enduring successes as well.  We must learn from both the failures and the successes.  Some analysts see the glass as half empty while the rest of us see the glass half full progress to date.

Neither the early horseless carriages nor the first flight of the Kitty Hawk showed a whole lot of promise for transportation. However, in less than century, horseless carriages and aircraft now dominate transportation for pleasure, business, and warfare. Without doubt, distance education will dominate training and education in much less than 100 years since the Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee and his physics friends in 1990.

"Where's the Revolution?" by Bill Ellet ( ), Communities --- 

The predicted e-learning revolution is late, very late, in arriving.
(Note from Bob Jensen: If you start the clock running from when less than 50 people started the World Wide Web in 1990, I hardly call the e-Learning revolution "very late" in arriving.)

By now, we were supposed to be seeing a dramatic shift from live training to pure e-learning. That hasn't happened. In fact, much of the e-learning industry is losing money. Stock prices hover in the single digits. Industry observers and analysts are predicting a serious shakeout of companies through acquisitions and shutdowns.

The business problem is that suppliers haven't found enough customers. The economy is partly to blame. Technology investments, including those related to e-learning, have been put on hold by many organizations. After the dot-com implosion and the end of vigorous growth in the national economy, Wall Street has punished tech stocks and deprived them of new funding.

But there are more pressing problems in the e-learning industry, and they happen to be ones that it can control:

The industry doesn't know how to talk to the training community and often doesn't seem to care.

Its software can be far more costly and difficult to get running than anyone, even the vendors themselves, expects.

It tends to take a commodity view of content.

It has ignored some basic facts about users.

The current problems and disappointments don't suggest that e-learning is a fad. In the words of Andy Snider (, 781-890-7777), CEO of VIS Corp., a provider of custom corporate e-learning, "The web has created the opportunity for rich learning experiences available to a far larger population than traditional delivery methods can reach."

You now don't have to have the money, educational pedigree, and the time necessary to benefit from business school courses at the University of Chicago or Stanford University. You can be the single mother of three kids and still tap into web-based MBA-level instruction, the business insights of Peter Drucker, and shorter chunks of business content on a vast number of topics. You still need money and access to a computer and an Internet connection, but those are far less onerous prerequisites than used to be the case.

Still, the industry is going to have to face up to some shortcomings in the way it does business. Otherwise, it's going to meet continued resistance even when the economy improves.

Talk training, not technology.
The e-learning industry is largely run by people with technology or business backgrounds. They don't have training or education backgrounds. There's nothing wrong with outsiders leading a charge into an industry. It's just that too often the outsiders tend to undervalue or flat out miss factors crucial to long-term success.

At the recent ASTD national conference in Orlando, Florida, panels of industry leaders attracted large audiences. In one session I attended, the panelists indulged themselves time and again in industry insider talk. Much of the time, they appeared to be talking only to themselves. In another session, a frustrated trainer told industry panelists to stop telling her that each of their companies had everything she needed for a total e-learning solution. "Because you don't," she said. The audience applauded energetically.

Some vendors are starting to call themselves learning companies to emphasize their concern with education. But whatever they call themselves, companies have to identify what's on trainers' minds and talk in terms that make sense to them. It won't serve trainers to bury them in tech talk.

For instance: "Well, we have an industry-leading asp solution." I heard that a lot at the ASTD conference. Hold up! Why don't you find out if the listener knows what an asp solution is, and its strengths and weaknesses versus other options, before leaping to the next topic?

Ignoring trainers may have been driven by the business models of e-learning vendors. They seemed interested mostly in senior management. They want to get into organizations at the highest possible level to shut out competitors and sell enterprise-wide solutions. They seemed to have assumed trainers would have no influence in the decisions.

Wrong! Trainers have turned out to be very influential in the decisions, and in smaller organizations, they may be the main decision maker.

The industry also needs to shake the impression it left with trainers that they are expendable. A couple of years ago, their pitch targeted the replacement of most live training by e-learning. Many trainers make their living in the classroom. Presumably they were going to be out of a job after the revolution; their salaries would be part of the trumpeted e-learning cost savings.

Today companies are talking about "blended solutions." The term can grate on veteran trainers. The industry conveys the impression they invented it, but trainers have been creating blended solutions since the filmstrip was invented. Nevertheless, the industry appears to be headed in a better direction. It seems willing to deal with the reality of learning inside organizations and to talk about how their products can work with other methods for the best overall result.

Just be honest.
Here's a suggested oath for all e-learning personnel: "I will never knowingly create the impression that we can solve every learning problem equally well. I will never gloss over or avoid the real cost of an initial implementation. I will never suggest that every implementation is going to be as smooth as glass."

In the long run, a company administering and enforcing this oath will be better off than competitors who still take the old-style marketing approach of telling people what they want to hear.

Among themselves, trainers are telling each other horror stories about expensive systems that take forever to get running and then force another long, costly process to get content into the system. Trainers sitting on the sidelines hear these stories and say to themselves that they'll just let the bleeding edge pass without contributing some of their own blood.

It doesn't have to be this way. Companies should level with potential customers about minimum prices. They should be honest about the match between their solution and the customer's need, and if the customer isn't sure about the need, help him or her get clearer. And they should never underestimate the potential difficulties of an implementation.

Reject the content commodity fallacy.
Snider, CEO of VIS Corp., says 90% of e-courses are bad because they're "built on the wrong assumptions." He says the catalog of e-courses was pumped up by the drive "to get out as much content as possible as fast as possible as cheaply as possible." What has mattered in the industry is "a packaged, consistent, efficient process" (these are Snider's words).

You aren't likely to see many arguments breaking out in expo booths or in conference sessions about who has the best web-based diversity training. The content providers themselves can be the most convincing purveyors of the fallacy that content is a commodity. They offer many courses, with little differentiation among them. More often than not, the source of the content is anonymous. Are trainers and learners supposed to accept on faith that it comes from a credible person?

And what about the fit between the content and e-learning delivery? There's an assumption operating in the industry today that all content is equally deliverable by e-learning, everything from a Word tutorial to a leadership course. I think most trainers look askance at leadership training that has a multiple-choice test at the end. What does a good score on the test mean? Does it give any indication that the person has a practical sense of how to be a better leader?

Soft skills training (a term I hate) is a bigger market than IT training. The smart business model targets the most lucrative market. OK, but does that mean the obvious limits of so much online soft skills training should be buried? Wouldn't it be better to make the limitations clear so that online courses can be integrated with other methods? Trying to hide the issue just makes trainers suspicious.

Customers have a role too. By buying what Snider says is "the 10% of programs that are focused on real behavioral change," they can attract more development of better learning experiences.

Remember the end user.
The industry would do well to remind itself that trainers are on intimate terms with their learners. They are involved with them in an ongoing community of learning and practice. They are also involved with the learners' managers, who are often their internal customer.

Trainers will hear about it if the:

Content isn't challenging.

Learning objectives are unrealistic or trivial.

Interactivity is minimal.

Learning is isolating and strictly individual.

Physical conditions aren't conducive to learning.

These are some of the complaints emerging from formal user studies and trainer anecdotes. Some of them can be diminished by simple steps such as advising trainers of problems unique to e-learning, such as the pitfalls of trying to study in your workspace (managers don't respect training time, peers interrupt or create distractions).

A recent study has shown that the vast majority of learners don't want to take work-related courses at home. Given the squeeze on family time, that result shouldn't surprise anyone. The virtues of e-learning won't entice many employees to add even more hours to their long work day by studying at home. Vendors should help companies, trainers, and managers avoid unrealistic expectations.

Other complaints will be harder to solve. Until quality standards are higher, online content will have trouble winning over users. The isolation of current self-paced e-learning is another obstacle. Many providers are now rushing to supplement linear, self-paced content with peer-to-peer, mentor/instructor, and virtual classroom resources. In addition, some vendors, such as McGraw-Hill and Mentergy, are trying to help trainers envision authentic blended learning.

Bill Ellet is editor of Training Media Review.

If you are into this doom and gloom view of distance learning to date, you can also cry in your beer while reading  "Distance Learning Yet to Hit Home," by Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, September 5, 2001 ---,1383,45855,00.html 

Also allow your tears to dribble over 

For a more optimistic view of technology in education, go to 

Reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, your metaphor is richer than it at first appears. What both the horseless carriage and the Wright's plane did was actually *enabled growth* in transportation -- phenomenal growth, amazing growth! And the growth in transportation capability itself is what led to the profound (!) changes in society.

I, too, believe that the Internet will spark an increase (or "growth") in the amount of education that people will obtain (and need!). Distance education has the potential to increase education opportunities. (Hey, if you want to get technical, isn't Google or AskJeeves a new form of education?)

So if in a few years (10? 20? 40?) the **Internet** is the dominant education delivery vehicle, it will be because it enabled NEW education which doesn't exist today, and NOT because it will replace anything or everything.

Just as the Kitty Hawk experiment didn't eliminate ground transportation, so too the Internet will not eliminate traditional university education, lectures, classrooms, buildings, or make teachers obsolete. No way. My children are looking forward to college for lots of reasons in addition to pure "education"!

And we often overlook the fact that a true university is a community of scholars, not just a bunch of brick & mortar. In fact, I'm surprised that society even lets U-Phoenix get away with using the name University without at least using it in quotes.

So, to repeat, I don't disagree that in a few years, most education will be done on the Internet. But I feel that will mainly be because the Internet will fuel a GROWTH in education as a process, not because it will replace universities, colleges, classrooms, and lectures.

In fact, I'll go so far as to say that I don't expect a major decline in the number of students in the traditional university system over the next 30 years, even though SOME of that education might utilize the Internet (hey, I'm using Blackboard and websites right now!)

David Fordham 
James Madison University

Like many companies trying to make a buck on the Internet, e-learning companies have suffered in the past year. The future may be in niche markets, like business, and in countries where access to universities isn't universal.

"Distance Learning Yet to Hit Home," by Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, September 5, 2001 ---,1383,45855,00.html 

"In the early days, back in the mid-90s, everyone thought distance learning was the next big thing," Stokes said.

Today, the distance learning market continues to grow, but much of the momentum has slowed. Many e-learning startups have gone belly-up, realizing the enormous costs of launching efficacious courses online.

"The e-learning market has come into focus," said Andy Rosenfield, CEO of "People understand that it's not easy to provide quality education online.

"You can't build out the offerings of a great university overnight."

A host of companies that tried to get big fast by giving their products away have failed, Stokes said. Some that hoped advertising revenue would subsidize the products they were giving away -- such as ZapMe, Imind and HighWired -- have suffered as a result.

E-learning pioneer Hungry Minds racked up massive debt, closed offices, discontinued its distance education programs and has since been acquired by John Wiley & Sons.

Others have emerged unscathed.

With a $3 billion market cap, the University of Phoenix Online, the nation's largest private university serving working professionals, tops the list of survivors. Other thriving ventures include DeVry and Renaissance Learning, which both address real needs among the vocational and K-12 markets, Stokes said.

"These are companies that have been built over time," Stokes said. "They weren't thrown together overnight in an attempt to cash in."

Now, many e-learning companies are moving away from targeting consumers to focus on niche markets.

"Today, the majority of the activity still takes place on campus, but we're seeing an increasing focus on distance markets again," Stokes said. "Schools and businesses are focusing on providing professional and continuing education to discrete market niches. That's much more effective than trying to be all things to all people."

Many universities are collaborating with each other or with commercial e-learning ventures, rather than going it alone.

"Thousands of universities and colleges are not able, without tremendous efforts, to serve people at a distance," Rosenfield said. "I don't think that colleges or universities acting alone have a competitive advantage."

But Rosenfield insists that virtual learning will complement, rather than replace, traditional site-based learning.

"Our goal is not to build something that competes with colleges and universities in any way," he said.

UNext recently signed a deal to offer online executive and management development courses to General Motors' 88,000 employees worldwide.

GM workers will be able to take business education courses or obtain an online MBA from UNext's Cardean University, which was developed in collaboration with Columbia Business School, Stanford University, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
(Note from Bob Jensen:  For audio and presentation files of some major players in UNext and Cardean University, go to  )

Targeting corporations like GM is only the tip of UNext's evolving global strategy.

"Although the Internet has achieved incredible growth, it has proliferated in areas where people already have access to good education," Rosenfield said.

The future of e-learning lies in reaching areas such as India, China and Brazil, where people don't have the funds to access quality teachers and schools, Rosenfield said.

"E-learning today is where the automobile industry was before Henry Ford," Rosenfield said. "In 10 to 20 years from now, it will be nearly ubiquitous."

But some critics doubt that companies such as UNext will be able to pull off its ambitious goal of delivering top-quality courses to a national audience.

"There's no guarantee that the best professors from the best universities can create the best online courses," said Gary Matkin, dean of continuing education at the University of California, Irvine. "If they do, then that talent comes at a very high price."

It remains to be seen whether UNext will succeed in signing up enough students to cover the costs of individual courses, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop.

"How you get return on that investment is beyond my comprehension," Matkin said.

"Does massive underlying financing produce a better learning project? So far, I haven't seen it happen."

Even if universities offer their course materials online for free, as MIT did with its OpenCourseWare initiative, a quality education will still come at a cost.

"The quality of instruction is going to have to remain high and is going to remain at a price," Matkin said.

Analysts and educators agree that e-learning is still a nascent industry. As technology and bandwidth constraints change, the notion of distance education will continue to evolve to include elements such as video teleconferencing.

Over 90 percent of U.S. higher education institutions will offer some form of e-learning by 2005, IDC predicts.

"The education industry is a $100 billion market," Stokes said. "This is an emerging industry with tremendous promise. Not only in the U.S., but around the world."

See also:
Publishers Yearn to E-Learn
Online Learning's Long Curve
MIT Cheered From a Distance

Bob Jensen's documents on distance education are at 

Departmental Memo

Just wanted you to see the latest U.S. News rankings for Trinity. This is our tenth year in a row to rank number one. 

Best regards,


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

The Top American Research Universities 2001
Most of them are pretty bad in football except for Stanford and Michigan.

Who's number one? The quintessential American question. We all want to stand first in line, first in the hearts of our country, first in the polls, first in the standings. The pursuit of Number One is surely an important thing in sports, but for universities, being first is not as important as being among the best. As the twenty-first century opens, there is a growing trend for researchers, institutions, donors, boards of trustees, and governments to use various university rankings as a means of measuring the performance of major higher education institutions. Most national research universities measure themselves on a wide range of dimensions that the institution believes important for determining improvement and success. At the same time, no single indicator or composite number can represent what an individual institution has done, can do, or will do. To improve the quality and productivity of a major national research university, its faculty, students, staff, and supporters need to follow a number of indicators that, taken together, give a reasonable approximation of accomplishment and strength relative to the best universities in the country.

Any number of indicators serve this purpose, but most observers know that research matters more than anything else in defining the best institutions. In this study, TheCenter provides both the total research and development expenditures and the highly-competitive federally sponsored research and development expenditures as indicators of research scale. While the dollars give a good approximation of research activity, it is the faculty who provide the critical resource for university success, and TheCenter reports the number of members of the National Academies among an institution's faculty along with the number of significant faculty awards earned as indicators of faculty distinction. Students provide a double indicator by reflecting both the externally perceived quality of the institution and providing with their own credentials an important contribution to that quality. For the graduate and research instructional dimension, TheCenter provides the number of doctorates awarded and the number of postdoctoral appointments supported; for the undergraduate quality, TheCenter offers median SAT scores as indicators of student competitiveness.

Both private and public universities live on the resources generated from many sources, but critical to their success are the size of their endowments and annual giving. Endowment reflects the long-term strength of accumulated private support that delivers an income to important purposes every year. Annual giving provides an indicator of the current level of an institution's private contributions both to current expenses and towards increased endowment. By including both indicators, TheCenter gains the opportunity to note historical and emerging strength in private support for research universities.

TheCenter's annual report, The Top American Research Universities, offers analysis and data useful for understanding American research university performance. A key feature of this report (available online and in print) is TheCenter's classification of universities into groups based upon the nine quality indicators described above. Institutions that have more than $20 million in annual federal research expenditures and that rank within the top 25 on at least one of the nine measures fall into our definition of a top research university. In this study, we also present a second group of institutions--those ranking 26-50 on the same nine measures.

Private Cornell University

Private Harvard University

Private Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Private Stanford University

Private University of Pennsylvania

Private Columbia University

Private Johns Hopkins University

Private Duke University

Public University of California

Public University of Michigan

Wow Product of the Week --- GoToMyPC --- 

Product Info       GoToMyPC Brochure

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I discovered GoToMyPC in the highly favorable review of it given by Walter Mossberg in the September 6, 2001 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Page B1.

HERE'S HOW GoToMyPC works. 
First, you go to the company's Web site, register and download a small program on the PC or PCs you wish to be potential targets for remote control. The program, which works quietly in the background, must be running for the process to work. You don't need to fiddle with any Internet settings at all.

Then, when you want to remotely control the target PCs, you just log onto the GoToMyPC Web site, specify the PC you want to control from a list of those you've enabled, and magic occurs. The screen of the target PC appears in a window on the remote PC's screen, exactly as it would look if you were sitting there. The mouse and keyboard of the remote PC operate all the programs on your target machine.

The company says the process is highly secure. Two passwords are required -- one to log onto the service and another to gain access to each target PC. And all of the data exchanged in each remote-control session is encrypted. The company even claims the service will work through many corporate firewalls.

There is one major limitation: The service works best with an always-on, high-speed Internet connection on both ends. It will function via a slower dial-up connection, but the target computer must remain dialed into the Internet constantly, and the typing and viewing lag is more noticeable.

Another problem arises if there's a difference in screen size or resolution between the remote and target machines. If the remote machine has a smaller or lower-resolution screen, you'll either have to squint to read the target machine's screen or do a lot of scrolling to see everything.

Right now, you can't use a Macintosh as a remote machine, but that will be fixed in a future release. The company is also working on remote printing and on better file transfer and synchronization.

Even with its current limitations, GoToMyPC is a very handy service for people who find themselves juggling multiple PCs at multiple locations. It really works.

More on Remote Control 
NetOp Remote Control is an award-winning tool for fast, stable and secure remote support and network management. Control PCs over modems, networks or the Internet, just as if you were in front of them. Download a FREE fully functional evaluation copy today! 

Hello Professor Arias-Galicia,

The "dynamic lady" is Amy Dunbar. You can read about how she developed her first online course at 

Recommended software for course design can be found at 

My Blackboard threads are at 

The history of course authoring software can be found at 

Examples of courses in accounting and tax are given in ACE at 

My documents on education technology are linked at 

Global distance training and education alternatives are linked at 

Distance education programs in Latin America and South America are linked by LANIC --- 

I hope this helps. If you need more specific guidance, please feel free to contact me.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Fernando Arias Galicia [
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2001 2:41 PM To: Robert E. Jensen Subject: Courses

Dear Robert: 
I hope you have had a nice trip back home from Puebla. I enjoyed very much your presentation! I asked you about the web courses on how to design courses on the web. You very kindly offered to send me some information particularly about a very dynamic lady that took those courses. Will you do that for me?

Thank you in advance. Best regards!

Dr. Fernando Arias-Galicia. 


August 2001 CPA Journal's Chosen "Website of the Month"

Website of the Month: 
My Accounting Portal ( ) launched only in January, but its act seems to have been in good shape from the get-go. Touting itself as combining “the best features of consumer portals by giants such as Yahoo and Excite with the reference tools and resources of a traditional accounting website” and including “extensive customization technology, a wealth of original content, powerful tools, and carefully screened links,” the “about us” page does not overstate the case.

This portal probably meets the criteria on anyone’s bookmark checklist. Features include the following:

Customization. Similar to general-user portals like Yahoo, a user can customize the main page so favorite news feeds, research materials, and other resources are readily available.

A user can recustomize the layout at will.

Personal/professional features. The portal has an accounting website module that provides a range of accounting news and research and access to web-hosted applications. The portal also offers general and business news, links to websites in myriad areas, a personal information manager, stock quotes, weather, and other modules. Editors’ top picks. The portal’s editors select articles from listed websites they think will be most helpful to accountants and organize them into convenient categories. Personal information manager (PIM) and QuickMail. These areas contain the familiar contacts, notes, calendar, task list, bookmarks, and e-mail functions, available through a web-based interface for easy accessibility. Office tools. The portal’s tools for doing business on the Internet include basic telephone directories as well as collaboration tools for storing data and sharing information electronically. Client interactivity. The portal is developing a number of client-interactive features, such as web-hosted applications, downloadable tax-returns, a tax due-date calendar, a client scheduler, and time and billing functions. For accountants that already have office management and PIM tools, My Accounting Portal may offer more than needed. But the anywhere-anytime advantage is a real one, the online research archives are impressive, and the portal’s website listings are well organized.

Our $tudent$ Have High HOPE$
Expectations of a million dollars in the bank, a quality home life, and work satisfaction are just par for the course for today's students, according to a recent survey. Almost two-thirds of those asked to take part in a poll say that they aim to become millionaires. Three out of ten hope to achieve this goal by age 40. 

Our $tudent$ $hould Take a Look at the $alary Wizard
The Salary Wizard --- 
You can do a comparative analysis of how well you are being paid relative to your peers and relative to other professions.  This site also offers salary news and salary data.

The Salary Wizard accesses's proprietary compensation database, which contains salary information on thousands of job titles. The Salary Wizard calculates salaries based on job title and geographic location.

Also see 

Cost of Living Calculator 

Some professors blame the Internet for the rise in student plagiarism. Whether or not the Net has inflated this age-old problem, the biggest wave of new cheaters may still be yet to come,1383,45803,00.html 

"Cheating's Never Been Easier," by Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, September 4, 2001

But while some educators view the Internet as the greatest plagiarism tool since the copy machine, others say that the Web hasn't had a major impact in the rise in cheating -- yet.

"My research suggests the Internet is not yet responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of students who cheat but is responsible for a more-than-trivial increase in the amount of cheating done by those who do cheat," McCabe said.

In a survey of 4,500 students at 25 high schools, McCabe found that over half of the students admitted they have engaged in some level of plagiarism on written assignments using the Internet.

But the number of self-described "new cheaters" who use the Internet is relatively low, McCabe said. He estimates that 5 to 10 percent of students who had not previously engaged in some form of plagiarism from written sources have been attracted by the Internet.

That number is expected to grow as students who grew up using computers in high school enter college.

"The problem is obviously greater in high school, and this does not bode well, in my view, for colleges," McCabe said. "Students growing up with the Internet as a research tool are going to find it hard to change behaviors they acquire in elementary and high school when they reach college. At least in terms of plagiarism, I would predict that cheating is likely to increase at the college level."

The rise in Internet plagiarism can be partially attributed to the ease of downloading essays from online term-paper sites, such as and The Evil House of Cheat.

But cut-and-paste plagiarism -- by students who don't attribute sources -- may be an even greater problem than commercial term-paper mills.

In McCabe's high school survey, 52 percent said they had copied a few sentences from a website without citing the source, while only 15 said they had submitted a paper obtained in large part from a term-paper mill or website.

While technology has made it easier for students to cheat, it has also made it easier for teachers to detect cheating.

Some faculty turn to search engines such as Google where they type in key phrases to determine the original source of suspicious essay content.

Others use online plagiarism-detection tools such as, CopyCatch and the Essay Verification Engine.

Business is booming for's founder John Barrie, who calls his service "the ultimate deterrent" and "the next-generation spell-checker."

The service digitally fingerprints test papers and analyzes them against an internal database of course papers and millions of other Internet sources, providing an originality report to instructors within 24 hours.

The prospect of being caught submitting papers to multiple classes is often enough to deter any undergrad from cheating, Barrie said.

"Every high school student, when going to college, will have to face us," Barrie said. has over 20,000 registered users in 20 countries. In addition to high-profile universities such as Duke and Rutgers, the entire University of California system has signed up to use the service.

"By Christmas, we'll have just about every university in California signed up," Barrie said.

Recently, incidents of digital plagiarism have gained national attention.

The University of Virginia recently expelled one student after a physics professor used a computer program to catch 130 students who turned in duplicate papers.

"If cheating is that bad in the school with the No. 1 honor code in the country, it begs the question: What's it like at our school?" Barrie said.

"Administrators haven't the slightest idea what's going on. Students are using the Net as a 2 billion-page searchable, cut-able encyclopedia."

Honor code schools that use plagiarism-detection software are often met with student backlash.

The rest of the article is at,1383,45803,00.html 

See also:
Plagiarist Booted; Others Wait
Program Catches Copycat Students
Catching Digital Cheaters

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at 

Blackboard Helpers for Trinity University Faculty and Staff
What staff member has the most recurrences of the letter "a" in his or her name and probably the most recurrences of the letter "n" as well?

Vidya Ananthanarayanan

Who conducted the Blackboard Bootcamp training sessions at Trinity University in August 2001?

Vidya Ananthanarayanan, with the assistance of Diane Saphire, Steve Perez, and other ITS staff

Who made a home movie for roughly two hours of Vidya's Blackboard Bootcamp?

Bob Jensen


What dummy ran out of tape in the camera and did not capture the last part of Session 2 on Virtual Classrooms?

Beats me?

What can users expect from Bob Jensen's home movie if they check it out from IMS in the basement of Coates Library?

Pretty bad video and reasonably good audio. An analog video camera never does not do a good job capturing computer screens, because the analog and digital technologies are never in synch, especially when there is small print on the screen. However, the audio is reasonably good when Vidya is speaking. She has a British/Indian accent and speaks with very good diction.


Blackboard Helpers for Trinity University Faculty and Staff

Access to Blackboard 

Blackboard Help Desk

Tiger’s Lair Blackboard Help Portal 

Bob Jensen’s Blackboard Threads and Helpers


Thanks you Vidya, Diane, Steve, and the rest of the gang who helped with Blackboard Bootcamp.

I think faculty who make no effort at all to learn about Blackboard features, especially the communication features, are missing a great opportunity for improving their courses. They may also be missing a great opportunity to improve collaborative research with their peers.

Clever Department Heads will discover that departmental meetings can be conducted virtually and persons out of town will no longer have any excuse for missing meetings.

But the main value added feature of Bb will be the incremental learning effectiveness and efficiency arising because instructors made good use of Bb for communications outside the classroom.

What I hope to do is improve communications with students who are lost or fall behind in my courses.

Bob Jensen


Teens can earn $20,000 for college in a Web site design competition
2SkyBlue --- 

From Syllabus News on September 4, 2001

Duke to Combat Plagiarism

Duke University, in an effort to stop Internet plagiarism, has purchased a license for its faculty to use turnitin.comóa Web site that seeks to determine whether papers had been plagiarized. The new database, available at, will be available to instructors who have probable cause to suspect plagiarism.

For more information, visit

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at 

e-Business and e-Commerce Managerial Accounting, Revenue Forecast

Every now and then I call your attention to the wonderful (almost free) service called The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educator's Review.  I say "almost free" because users do have to subscribe to the electronic version of the WSJ, but any accounting, finance, or business educator who does not subscribe will miss boatloads of helpers for their students.  There are similar reviews for other business disciplines other than accounting.  Educators interested in subscribing should contact 

The item that I am going to quote here appears in the Fall 2001 edition.

TITLE: Heard on the Street: ComScore Aims For Better Data On Net Retailers 
REPORTER: Nick Wingfield DATE: Aug 31, 2001 PAGE: C1, 2 LINK:

Managerial Accounting, Revenue Forecast

Wingfield relates the art of sales forecasting for e-commerce firms. In particular, the story tells of the efforts of ComScore Networks to provide early indications of sales trends for online retailers with greater detail than was previously available. ComScore, like other prognostication firms, monitors the habits of Internet users, in their case, 1.5 million of them. ComScore surveys a sample of the Internet users to divine a percentage of sales estimate. Other firms use similar technology to that used by ComScore, but ComScore follows many more users than does its competitors and its competitors merely estimate Web traffic rather than provide revenue forecasts.

1.) The article mentions "metrics that require multiple leaps of faith" in describing predicting revenues for Web-based firms. What are some of these metrics? Why do these measures seem to be such poor indicators of performance?

2.) Re-read the Weber article about "stickiness" and relate it to the "tabulation of Web-page hits" mentioned in the Wingfield article. How good is the "correlation between increases in traffic and increases in sales?"

3.) Why might some of the metrics previously used by these forecasting firms be more useful for advertising-supported sites compared to Web-based retailers?

TITLE: Elevated Notion of Stickiness Is Discarded as Hype Fades 
REPORTER: Thomas E. Weber 
PAGE: B1 ISSUE: Mar 05, 2001 

Reviewed By: 
Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island 
Benson Wier, Virginia Commonwealth University 
Kimberly Dunn, Florida Atlantic University

This is just one of several "cases" in the Fall 2001 edition of The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educator's Review.

Bob Jensen's e-Commerce threads are at 

Business Valuation Blunders by the Pros

Dumb Deals 101
By Allan Sloan
, September 6, 2001 ---
Attention, class. Smart people can make really stupid mistakes. Here’s a primer on some of the biggest investment fiascoes of recent years

TO WIT, when investment madness grips the world, big, smart investors can succumb just like us not-so-big, not-so-smart types. The difference is that the big guys have lots more money to lose, and if they make big enough investments, they leave paper trails for all to see. Average people who bought dogs like ICG, Webvan and Teligent at their highs can weep in private. But big hitters like John Malone, Goldman Sachs or leveraged-buyout heavies Ted Forstmann and Tom Hicks operate on the public stage. And they can lose bets that are measured in the billions. Unlike Internet companies, most of which never had a credible plan to make money, the telecom start-ups generally had proven leaders, real assets and business plans that made a lot of sense.

You might think the biggest smart-money bets were lost from imploding stocks of well-known Internet companies like Priceline, Yahoo and Amazon. Not so. Most of the money was lost in telecommunications companies that were formed to provide spiffy “broadband” Internet-video-voice-data stuff. Unlike Internet companies, most of which never had a credible plan to make money, the telecom start-ups generally had proven leaders, real assets and business plans that made a lot of sense. But so many companies flooded in that they slaughtered each other. How could so many smart investors have been so foolish? What were they thinking? Martin Fridson, the chief junk-bond strategist for Merrill Lynch, says that already-hot Internet and telecom markets turned incandescent when money came flooding into the United States after the Asian financial meltdown started in 1997. “Ideas that you would have called ridiculous at other times got funded,” he says. Another major factor in “smart” money’s flooding into telecom start-ups was that the nation’s biggest telecom, AT&T, bought upstart Teleport, and No. 2 WorldCom bought MFS and Brooks Fiber, all at fancy prices. This encouraged others to rush out and start up telecoms that could then be sold quickly to hairy-chested, deep-pocketed phone companies that, it turned out, weren’t buying. So, you see, it wasn’t just callow twentysomething supposed geniuses who lost big time on the Internet-telecom bubble, but seasoned smart people, too. There are enough examples here for a whole M.B.A. course. Call it Dumb Deals 101. So we’ve composed a list based on an unscientific combination of big names who made big investments that went bad embarrassingly quickly—and unwittingly provided us all a broader business lesson. We’re not counting people like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or Priceline’s Jay Walker, who lost paper fortunes, money they never really had. As you can imagine, our dealmakers were less than eager to talk on the record, so these case studies are based on public filings and background interviews. The current value, if any, of their investments is our estimate based on recent stock prices. And let’s be generous—some of these companies are indeed going to survive. But make no mistake. It will take a miracle for our investors to come out ahead. And now, for our list of lessons that these investors learned the hard way. And, by the way, should have known in the first place.

LESSON #1 Don’t buy into your own hype
Paul Allen invested $1.65 billion in RCN in February 2000. Current value: $100 million. . . . .

LESSON #2 Buying low and selling high really is a good idea after all
John Malone’s Liberty Media invested $1.5 billion in ICG and Teligent in 1999 and 2000. Current value: $40 million. . . . 

LESSON #3 A discounted price isn’t necessarily a bargain
Janus Funds bought $930 million of WebMD stock in January 2000. Current value: $75 million-$140 million.. . .

LESSON #4 Going steady isn’t the same as marriage
Verizon invested $1.7 billion in Metromedia Fiber in March 2000. Current value: $100 million. . . . 

LESSON #5 Stick with what you know,
Part I Hicks Muse invested $1 billion in four telecom start-ups in 1999 and 2000. Current value: $0. . . . 

LESSON #6 Stick with what you know,
Forstmann, Little invested $2 billion in XO and McLeodUSA in 1999, and an additional $350 million in them this year. Current value: $400 million. . . . 

LESSON #7 Don’t mistake reinventing the wheel for innovation
Goldman Sachs and others invested $850 million in Webvan between 1998 and 2000. Current value: $0. . . . 

LESSON #8 Remember to include a worst-case scenario
AT&T invested $3.4 billion for operating control of At Home in 2000 and 2001. Current value: $0. . . . 

LESSON #9 The private sector isn’t always smarter than bureaucrats
European phone companies spent $96 billion for wireless Internet licenses starting in 2000. Current value: lots, lots less. . . . 

FINAL EXAM The overarching lesson here is an eternal one: markets can swing from being irrationally exuberant to being totally depressed in an instant.
Heaven help you if you don’t see the switch coming. When even smart people start acting as if there’s some truth to the four most dangerous words on Wall Street—”this time it’s different”—you can be sure it’s time to take the money off the table. And the one thing you can certainly bet on is that when the next investment mania strikes, that broader lesson—and, for that matter, all the dealmaking-for-dummies lessons we just discussed—will have been completely forgotten.

The following link was sent by Scott Bonacker [

Debtor's Prison? Researchers say too little equity may breed myopia in managers," by Marie Leone, September 10, 2000 ---,4616,0|83|AD|4809,00.html 

Modern finance theory posits that, all things being equal, debt is superior to equity as a source of capital. However, a new study suggests that borrowing can encourage myopic thinking on the part of management.

To be sure, debt carries significant tax benefits, is cheaper than equity, and provides more value to stockholders in a leveraged buyout. But the study's authors--Anil Shivdasani, a vice president with Salomon Smith Barney in New York, and Urs Peyer, an assistant professor of finance at INSEAD, in France--find that a heavy debt load can hurt corporate growth by leading companies to focus too relentlessly on short-term cash flow, thereby losing strategic focus.

Shivdasani explains that if management lacks discipline, a major shift from equity to debt often causes capital to be funneled to projects or business units that generate quick returns. Essentially, adds Peyer, the company begins to manage for short-term cash flow as internal capital is earmarked for debt and interest repayment and long- term investment opportunities are neglected.

In the Service of Debt The study, "Leverage and Internal Capital Markets: Evidence from Leveraged Recapitalization," was published in the March issue of the Journal of Financial Economics, while the researchers were colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They studied 22 U.S. companies that underwent leveraged recapitalization between 1982 and 1994, including USG, Owens Corning, Phillips Petroleum, Texaco, Union Carbide, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber. Examining leveraged recaps allowed the duo to quantify a comparatively "pure" change in leverage, while the 12-year span gave them enough data to chart meaningful postrecap results. On average, the companies in the study had a 17 percent debt-to-total-capital ratio before they leveraged up. That rose to 50 percent after taking on the extra debt. By comparison, the average for their unrecapitalized peers was 21 percent.

The paydown was so aggressive at these companies that within three years of the recapitalization, the ratio sank to an average 30 percent. To ensure that the findings were not a "statistical artifact," the researchers also examined company annual reports and press coverage immediately following the recaps. Almost all firms in the sample described measures, such as asset sales and reduction in capital expenditures, designed to improve cash flow, says Shivdasani. Several affirmed that generation of cash flow was a key strategic objective.

To give more weight to the findings, the team tested the market's reaction to companies that managed for short-term cash flow. Using a stock-price-based yardstick--an excess value measure that calculates worth relative to corporate peers--they found that firms focused on short-term cash flow did decidedly worse during the three years following the leveraged recap than companies that managed to satisfy corporate economics.

Critics contend the study paints too broad a picture. Dennis Soter, head of the corporate finance practice of consulting firm Stern Stewart & Co., points out that the problem with many highly leveraged companies is their strategy, not their capital structure. He cites several poststudy cases, including SPX Corp., Equifax, and Ipalco Enterprises, that kept investment strategies intact despite leveraged recaps.

Repeated from the August 24 Edition of New Bookmarks
"No Longer Feeling @Home:  Why the Current Troubles of Excite@Home Aren't Quite as the Analysts Say, But They Were Probably Inevitable," by Robert X. Cringely, PBS --- 

This week, more than three million Internet users who get their high-speed cable modem connections from Excite@Home watched their ISP struggle to survive. On the surface, it was a simple matter of a $50 million loan being called due, but underneath, the real issue was the very viability of broadband Internet access. With DSL companies failing one after another, and now the number one cable Internet provider apparently about to go under, is broadband, itself, in trouble?


That's not the way the industry analysts see it. According to published quotes from the Gartner Group and Forrester Research, the problem with Excite@Home was one of corporate schizophrenia as the Excite portal failed to keep its advertising revenue growth in line with @Home's rapidly building subscriber base. Excite was a drag on the operation, pulling down its higher-flying corporate twin. But in this case, the analysts are wrong. And understanding why they are wrong can teach us all a lot about where the Internet is and isn't going.

Excite was one of the first search engines and an early Internet portal, competing primarily with Yahoo. @Home was a high-speed Internet service provider owned by cable television systems. In January 1999, @Home bought Excite for $6.7 billion in stock. To understand how the companies got to today's dismal reality, it would be a good idea to start with a look at the two operations at the time of their merger. Excite was profitable, had no debt, and lots of cash from its successful IPO. Excite revenue came from advertising and nearly all its users were on analog modems. @Home was not profitable, but like Excite had no debt, and lots of cash from its successful IPO. Nearly all @Home users were on high-speed cable modems.

The merger was fraught with problems from the very beginning. The first big problem was the fact that @Home's board did not appear to understand the ramifications of their purchase of Excite until after it was done. The whole point of the merger was to create a broadband online service offering everything from connectivity to content -- a kind of high-speed AOL that would crush AOL. But after approving the merger, AT&T (@Home's largest shareholder) changed their mind on that vision. For awhile, it wasn't clear why the two companies had even merged.

Then the "open-access" pressure set in, with ISPs demanding access to users on @Home cable systems. Against this backdrop, uncertainty and infighting at the board level made it impossible for the company to execute against the synergies that made the merger worthwhile in the first place. With the board resisting the vision of the company, Excite and @Home were effectively just two unrelated businesses stuck on the same balance sheet.

The other big problem was @Home's mishandling of Excite. When the merger was completed, Excite was cash flow positive, bringing in a lot of revenue, and very successful in the portal space, though still far behind Yahoo. In fact, for the first year or so after the merger, Excite's revenue kept afloat the cable side of the business -- the @Home part.

With Excite paying the bills, the combined company still might have been successful -- except the newly merged company chose to deploy tremendous Excite resources on building a broadband-specific version of the portal when the revenue justification was tenuous (there just weren't enough broadband users) and the board support was non-existent. This resulted in a lack of focus and a long decline of the portal in general. Spending money to build the broadband portal hurt the narrowband portal that was paying the bills. The end result was that the company had a much harder time retaining portal advertisers than their competitors. All the portals were struggling with the downturn, but only Excite was neglecting its paying customers and burning resources to build a broadband presence that hardly anyone even saw. The result was that Excite declined faster and further than did the other portals.

Without advertisers, the portal business became a big cash drain on the overall company. Of course, the long-term vision for the merger required a broadband portal, but there simply weren't enough broadband customers to justify the resources expended on the project.

But wait, it gets worse. AT&T, @Home's largest shareholder, appears to many to have acted in a way that virtually guaranteed the failure of its subsidiary. Just when things were getting bleak, AT&T sent in a team of network engineers to improve reliability, and those engineers spent literally tens of millions of @Home dollars upgrading the network, contributing to the present cash crunch. Ultimately, @Home was in such poor financial shape that it had to sell back to AT&T the very same network it had just spent money upgrading. Big corporations can be smart sometimes. And if Excite@Home files for bankruptcy, as seems inevitable, its biggest creditor is AT&T, which will effectively get the rest of the company for free.

But what part of AT&T are we even talking about? Why AT&T Broadband, the part of AT&T that is, itself, up for sale! So having assisted in the death of its subsidiary, Ma Bell probably won't even get to share in any inheritance.

Wow, that's a lot of corporate intrigue! I only know about it because I have kept a close eye on the company since meeting the Excite founders in their garage back in 1993. And no, I have no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this column.

There is, however, this underlying issue that the analysts, especially, seem to have missed. Excite@Home failed mainly because broadband did not grow as quickly as expected. Broadband is not, at this time, a viable industry. Let me repeat that: Broadband is not, at this time, a viable industry. So Excite@Home was doomed to fail. There was probably nothing they could have done to stop the failure. Not only were there not enough broadband portal customers, but giving 65 percent of the ISP revenue to participating cable companies meant that the high-speed ISP part of the company would have never shown a profit no matter how big it grew.

Hi Glen,

Although many undergraduate accounting programs have been shrinking in the number of majors, colleges tend not to react quickly in eliminating faculty positions. Also, there are so many specialties in accounting education, that a decline in the number of majors does not translate quickly into deleting specialty faculty. For example, a program does not drop its only NFP professor simply because the number of total majors declines. The majors that remain still need one or more NFP courses.

Doctoral graduation data can be found in the table at 
Probably the most informative trend is the downward spiral in the supply of accounting doctorates shown at the bottom of the above table.

Jim Hasselback probably has the best set of publications predicting the increase in faculty demand due to the surge in retirements and the shrinking of supply of new doctoral graduates in accounting and finance. I suggest that you contact Jim for reprints and/or links to his various papers on this issue. Jim and his co-authors in accounting and finance warned us of pending faculty shortages long before they commenced to happen on most campuses.

Jim's homepage is at 
(Unfortunately, Jim does not provide a detailed listing of his many publications at that site.)

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: glen gray [mailto:vcact00f@CSUN.EDU]  
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2001 11:38 AM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: What am I missing?

For at least the last three years at the AAA Annual Meeting I've heard that it is a seller's market for new accounting PhD's. This year I heard the average starting salaries were in the low $90,000's, with Big-10 and other schools offering $110,000 to $130,000.

On the other hand I keep hearing (and seeing) stats that say there have been big decreases in the number of undergraduate accounting students. With a decrease in the number of undergraduate students you would think there would be a decrease in demand for accounting faculty--and a decrease in starting salaries.

So, I assume the situation is that curent accounting faculty are retiring at a faster rate than accounting student population is decreasing and faster than new accounting professors are being manufactured to replace the retiring accounting faculty.

Is my assumption correct? If not, what am I missing? Does anybody have faculty supply/demand stats?


Reply from Hammami Helmi [hammami_helmi@YAHOO.FR

Hi Glen I want to tell you that the shortage in accounting faculty may be a universal problem.

In Tunisia, we have three professors with a Phd in accounting (2 get their Phd from The US, one from Canada), although the number of students majoring in accounting is continually increasing.

The new genearation of doctorates majoring in accounting will arrive in about 2 years (if every thing goes well).

The great majority of faculty are majoring either in finance or management, so in many situations they are called to teach accounting issues. One other solution to face this lack in accounting professors is to have the CPA do the job.



By the way, Jim Hasselback compiles various faculty directories other than his well-known Accounting Faculty Directory.  See 

Jack Anderson's Accounting Information Finder ---

David Fordham's Accounting Information Finder --- 

David Fordham's listing of Accounting Professors on the Internet --- 

The IRS and the U.S. Small Business Administration have pooled their resources and created a CD full of information that will help small businesses understand their federal tax requirements and also provide other essential business information. 

Bob Jensen's threads for small business are at 

Tax Software Sites, "Smart Stops on the Web," Journal of Accountancy, September 1001, p. 19 --- 

Online Tools --- 

This site is filled with various tax software links. One of the topics, income tax preparation, has separate sections for individual filers and professional tax preparers. Other URLs connect users to software for estates, trusts and retirement, as well as for sales, payroll, 1099 and property taxes and tax planning.

Join the Club --- 

This site offers users not only the chance to prepare their own returns or have them prepared but also free membership in its Club. Members can receive monthly e-mail brochures with titles such as “10 Tax Filing Tips,” “Estate Tax Rules” and “Will Your Tax Return Be Audited?” All state tax forms also are available, as well as a weekly tax tip.

Tax Software Resources --- 

Kent Information Services, Inc., publishers of IT books and training courses for management, has compiled an alphabetical list of links to accounting and tax software publisher sites as well as listings for Web-based directories and search engines. Also available are its U.S. federal, state and international tax resources links. Users can receive a free copy of the Internet Bulletin for CPAs, which tells how the profession can benefit from the Internet.

Tax Software and More --- 

In addition to the site’s tax software for sale, the Tax Resources section includes information on filing, forms and tax planning. Changes in the law, definitions of terms and links to similar sites also are available.

Still More Tax Software --- 

Quicken’s tax page has TurboTax software for sale, but it also offers visitors extensive information on various aspects of tax preparation and filing. The Everyday Tax Tools section includes a deduction finder, tax and W4 calculators and an estimator. The Tax Information section covers topics such as rates, rules and state taxes.

Tax Applications Online --- 

H&R Block’s online tax preparation program is available for either filing your own returns or having it done for you: Both options offer free state return filing. Other features include a tax estimator, related forms and publications and information on tax law changes.

Bob Jensen taxation links are at 

Bob Jensen Subscribed to Converge

Interested in how digital technology is impacting education? You might want to take a look at Converge, a magazine whose mission is to "foster this new vision of Digital Education while maintaining the Human Touch." The online version is at /, but if you prefer the feel of paper, take out an annual subscription, it costs absolutely nothing!

Vidya Ananthanarayanan Instructional Support Manager Extn: 7346 

Reply from Jim Richards [j.richards@MURDOCH.EDU.AU

Hi Bob, 
You are very lucky. I checked out the site and the link to International subscriptions - $US269. At the current rate that is over $A500. You guys get if for free and we have to pay. I am sure it does not cost them $US269 to ship it downunder.


Jim Richards Phone: (61-8) 9360 2706 School of Business Fax: (61-8) 9310 5004 Murdoch University South Street MURDOCH WA 6150 AUSTRALIA

I long for the day when hats are back in fashion
Philip Treacy London --- 

Canadian television expands the horizons of homosexual shows in Pridevision --- 

AIM Translator provides instant translation of messages in AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and other text, in English and five major European languages. With AIM Translator you can communicate with your friends even if you don't speak each other's language. AIM Translator supports English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish ---

Forwarded by Scott Bonacker [scottbonacker@MOCCPA.COM

Finally a Tool that we need was released last Friday to help us with our AIM communication, it is the AIM Translator.

 Here is the description from the developer: "AIM Translator provides instant translation of messages in AIM, and other texts in major European languages. With AIM Translator you can communicate with your friends even  if you don't speak each other's language. AIM Translator supports English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish languages."

 I've tried it and it's easy to install and easy to use, so there should not be any language barriers from now on.

 It can be downloaded from: .


Link forwarded by Vidya Ananthanarayanan
"The Crypt of Civilization," by E. Ted Fujimoto,, August 2001
Time Capsules fascinate us human beings. The idea of preserving and passing on a glimpse of our world to people in the future is captivating --- 

Today, a new type of time capsule is being developed -- a virtual digital time capsule. On February 4, 1999, MIT Sloan School of Management sealed a virtual digital time capsule to be opened in the year 2004. This capsule contains artifacts that shaped our digital life on the Internet and e-business, including snapshots of eBay and other prominent Web sites. What is fascinating is how short the time frame is. Jacobs' Crypt of Civilization was created to preserve items for more than 6,000 years. This new digital time capsule will be opened only five years after it was sealed. Perhaps that is an indication of just how quickly the digital world is changing. How surprised and amused will we be in 2004 when we look back on how digital life was lived, just five years earlier, in 1999? On the other hand, what we learn from time capsules of the past is the irony of what has hardly changed and what has changed drastically over time. For example, we still read newspapers and books. But we no longer spend a meager 99 cents for a gallon of milk.

If we were to create a "technology in school" time capsule that would be opened in 2015, what would we be surprised and amused by? What artifacts preserved to document how we use technology in our schools no longer exist?

Some of these items will probably no longer exist by 2015:

Computer Keyboard. We will be amused by the amount of effort it took to get information in and out of a computer, just like we are amused by the punch cards required to program a computer in the '70s.

Wires. We will be appalled by the amount of effort and money it took to "wire" our schools. Everything will be wireless. Wired computers will be as commonplace as rotary phones in our homes today.

Dial-up Internet Access. We will be appalled by the noise and slow speed we tolerated.

Boxed Software. There will be no software that must be installed from floppy disks or CDs. Instead, we will subscribe and run what we need over the Internet from centralized servers.

The Mouse. Instead of a mouse, we will be using more touch devices like touch screens, touchpads and styluses.

We will probably see more of these technologies in 2015:

Voice/Video Capture. High-capacity storage and fast wireless Internet connections will allow the recording and retrieval of voice and video from any device including the smallest cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Why type to transcribe when you can simply record and retrieve?

High-Speed Wireless Internet. No tethers. No waiting.

High-Power PDAs. These will be small enough to carry in your pocket but powerful enough to capture and edit audio/video, as well as project wall-size images. They will always be connected to the Internet.

Universal Login. We will be able to login to any Internet-enabled computer or device in the world and access our personal information and software.

Projection Displays. No more tiny PDA screens and fat computer monitors. Even our cell phones will be able to project a windshield-size image on any surface.

Subscription Software. We will acquire additional capabilities, as needed, over the Internet.

High-Capacity Storage. We will be able to store days of audio/video in something even as small as a pen.

Paper and Books. Yes, these will still be around to store information that was originally created for written form and has not yet been translated into audio/video format.

"Thinking about the educational value of computation [computer use] requires the same leap of imagination beyond its early forms as was needed to see the tiny hop of the Wright Brothers' Flyer as the start of a revolution in transportation and indeed of the world economy," said Seymour Papert, professor of learning and epistemology at the MIT Media Lab.

Let's imagine how these technologies might reveal themselves in the classroom of 2015.

* Students and teachers have low-cost PDAs that they use to access learning materials and to record class activities in project portfolios.

* Teachers can project materials onto any wall from their PDAs. Students can project reading materials from their PDAs onto their desks.

* Student records and portfolios are completely transportable with the student, from classroom to classroom, school to school and even state to state.

* Teachers can take advantage of instant video messaging to connect with their peers -- anytime, anywhere via their PDAs. Mentoring teachers can observe actual teaching-learning interactions and offer guidance.

There are many twists, turns and paths in the technology road to the future. In choosing your path, choose the right path where technology can help:

* Improve teachers' capability to deliver personalized learning to children.

* Improve teachers' expertise by connecting them with other master teachers.

* Deliver more engaging experiences to children that improve learning effectiveness.

This may all seem fanciful. Perhaps it is. But remember this note found in a Cleveland, Ohio time capsule buried in 1896. It is addressed to people in 1996: "This hundred years has given to the world the locomotive and the steamboat, the telegraph, telephone, photograph, electric light, electric motor and many other wise and beneficent discoveries. Have you invented a flying machine or found the North Pole?"

When Panasonic put a hard disc into its ReplayTV recorder, the company probably didn't intend for the unit to be hard to use. But it is-- at least for now. (A NewMedia REVIEW) 

Africa via PBS (Travel, Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, Photography) --- 

Medical, Hospital, and Health Care Data

Medicare --- 

Health Care Financing Administration --- 

Our health care system is in need of a serious overhaul.  For a high quality book from The National Academies summarizing health care system problems and the correction alternatives, go to Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century --- 

Free Medical 

Get 250 color business cards for FREE! 

"Ultrafast wireless technology set to lift off,", August 30, 2001 --- 

Ultra-wideband transmission (UWB) is almost two decades old, but is used mainly in limited radar or position-location devices. Only recently has UWB been applied to business communications. It's a different type of transmission that will lead, proponents say, to low-power, high-bandwidth and relatively simple radios for local- and personal-area network interface cards and access points. At higher power levels in the future, UWB systems could span several miles or more.

Wireless technologies such as 802.11b and short-range Bluetooth radios eventually could be replaced by UWB products that would have a throughput capacity 1,000 times greater than 802.11b (11M bit/sec). Those numbers mean UWB systems have the potential to support many more users, at much higher speeds and lower costs, than current wireless LAN systems.

There is a range of UWB vendors - not to mention academic researchers, the military, defense contractors and many others - looking to unleash UWB products. Among the best-known UWB vendors are Aether Wire and Location, Multi Spectral Solutions, Pulse-Link, Time Domain and Xtreme Spectrum. Intel has a laboratory focused on UWB research. The Ultra Wideband Working Group, a UWB advocacy organization, lists about 150 organizational members from around the world, including Compaq, Daimler Chrysler, Intersil, Lockheed Martin, Motorola and the U.S. Air Force.

The EPA tells us what's up and what's down with U.S. waters (Ecology, Environment) --- 

Personal Finance, Fears, Taxes, and Law
Scam trusts and other information about investment trusts --- 

The vast majority of Americans have high hopes for their investments, little tolerance for risk, and a lot of anxiety when it comes to their children's college savings --- 

Companies still spend lots of money on research from analyst firms, but they're not always thrilled with the results. 

Corporate Communications and Media News --- 

The Bardahl Formula doesn't seem to have much relevance for most companies.

The Bardahl Formula is a method commonly used to substantiate reasonable accumulation of earnings by companies. You may find information on this formula at or

This formula adds inventory turnover and accounts receivable turnover and subtracts accounts payable turnover to calculate a net operating cycle ratio. The total annual cash operating expenses are multiplied by this ratio to calculate the company's operating needs. A tax may then be imposed on any excess.

Patrick Charles 

I am still grateful to David Ziebart for leading me on a tour through "The VR Cave" on the campus of the University of Illinois.  I was impressed beyond words.

"The Virtual Voyager," by Paroma Basu, Technology Review, September 5, 2001 --- 

I am feeling very small as I tread cautiously through a human artery. A track unfolds ahead of me, and as I follow it I notice a stream of brown blood silently flowing toward me. A steady thump makes me aware of how close I must be to a beating heart. The blood swirls as I come to a fork in the road.

I go left, walk a few steps, and crash.

I rip off my 3-D glasses and find my nose pressed up against a white wall. I am in an eight-foot cube, with screens on three walls and another one below my feet.

Watching the River Flow

This is the virtual-reality "cave" at Brown University's Center for Advanced Scientific Computation and Visualization. Big cathode-ray projectors fed by powerful computers cast high-resolution 3-D images onto the three walls and the floor.

Modeling blood flow is just one application of this immersive technology. Besides medical imaging, Brown's virtual cave is used for simulations in fields as diverse as archaeology and studio art.

"The cave is sort of like the holodek in Star Trek, except you can't touch anything," quips David Laidlaw, cave curator and assistant professor of computer science.

When I put the stereo glasses on again, I am re-immersed in a virtual blood vessel. What I see moves and changes as I shift my gaze. Thanks to a liquid-crystal panel on the glasses I'm wearing, the computer is tracking even the smallest movements of my head.

"Standing here inside the artery is an unusual point of view," remarks Andrew Forsberg, reading my mind.

Forsberg co-wrote the simulation to help medical researchers investigate problems like the speed of blood flow around a coronary bypass, the consequences of inserting the bypass at a different location in the artery and the effect of blood flow on plaque formations.

"This is just another way to simulate fluid flow," he says. "We're trying to explore how being immersed in the flow might help us to learn about these problems."

Seeing into the Past

And now, far away from the complexities of medical imaging, I am strolling through the ancient ruins of Petra, in Jordan. I wander past richly textured Roman columns and enter the Great Temple, which once spanned the length of three football fields.

The remainder of the article is at  

Personal Finance
Peter Marino provides some helpful hints that apply when working with clients who are considering refinancing their mortgages. 

A popular online bulletin board at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology is yanked because of postings about the Tiananmen Square incident ---,1283,46547,00.html 

International Etiquette
Sue Fox's guide to good business etiquette deals with e-mail challenges to entertaining foreign clients. It shows you how to behave professionally in any situation, avoiding embarrassment and learning to handle communication more effectively. This book offers a clear, concise format with a dash of humor. 

Merchant Ivory Productions (an interesting site on history and moviemaking) --- 

AccountingWEB has prepared a quick and easy jump off page for those of you who want to keep up with the developments on the AICPA's proposed Global Business Credential --- 

The first Big 5 public accounting firm to open a law office now is going into investment banking.
Big Five firm Ernst & Young has launched a new corporate finance division, called Ernst & Young Corporate Finance LLC. Staffed by more than 200 bankers, the division is spread over 14 offices nationwide with headquarters in New York. 

A robot that performs brain surgery has been developed by British scientists ---,1282,46552,00.html 

"PathFinder is the first robot with the intelligence to map-read a patient's skull from a scanner image," said Patrick Finlay, Armstrong's managing director.

"It is designed to provide the neurosurgeon with a precision-positioning device, which is safe and simple to use in increasingly complex procedures."

The surgeon instructs the robot by marking a target and an approach path on the patient's scan. The robot carries a camera that automatically matches the scanner image to the position of the patient's head on the operating table.

The surgeon makes a tiny hole at the entry point in the skull, and the robot then gently advances an instrument through the hole to the chosen target.

The robot is about to start a program of clinical trials at Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham.

Paul Byrnes, consultant neurosurgeon at Queen's Medical Centre said: "This development is a step forward in surgery, and should make difficult operations easier to bear. It should improve the prospects of treatment for certain categories of patients, and I am looking forward to evaluating it."

See also:
Machines in the Myths: The State of Artificial Intelligence
People Make the Best Robots
Making HAL Your Pal
Battlin' Bots: Now That's Comedy
RoboCup: Where Bots Kick Butt

News About Writers --- 

News for Writers
Writers University --- 

From InformationWeek Daily on September 4, 2001

Engineers at AT&T Labs are designing a system that will insert an audio watermark into computerized voices, adding high- and low-frequency tones that can't be heard by the human ear. When analyzed by another computer, the tones would not only identify the voice as artificial, but would indicate its creator and owner. Lab researcher Mark Beutnagel says that should help address the concerns of companies that want to protect their investments.

But businesses aren't the only ones worrying about voice theft. The ever-increasing quality of synthesized speech threatens to make it possible to simulate voices so perfectly that they could recreate an actual person's voice. Giga Information Group director Elizabeth Herrell says the production of perfect copies that can fool the ear isn't far away. Imagine a tech-savvy criminal using a computerized version of your voice to impersonate you to find out personal information. Herrell says one solution to that problem could come from biometrics technology, the use of computerized voice maps to identify people. While speech synthesizers may soon be able to fool the ear, she says, existing speech-verification software can identify a voice far more accurately. - David M. Ewalt

For related coverage, see Oracle Adding Voice Access To Products 


From Syllabus News on September 4, 2001

Multimedia Editing on the Windows 2000 Desktop

Contour Design has announced the release of the ShuttlePRO multimedia controller for Windows 2000. The USB-based ShuttlePRO has thirteen buttons, a jog wheel, and a shuttle knob that are fully programmable to any keyboard shortcut. The "shuttle knob" is the outer ring that facilitates fast forward and rewind for quick access of digital frames. The "jog wheel" is the internal portion of the knob, which pro- vides precise frame-by-frame control. The device is supplied with easy to use software that allows users to customize the device for their favorite audio, video, and multimedia applications. The ShuttlePRO comes with application settings for video editing software applications including Premiere, Cubase, Boris RED, After Effects, ProTools, VideoStudio, MediaStudio Pro, VideoWave, among others.

For more information, visit

I am thinking about it at 


It sounds like you would be an ideal candidate for the TIVO system or one of its competitors. I do not have one, but from what I hear, people who do have it swear by it. Given your love for gadgets, maybe you can put it on your Christmas wish list.

Jim Borden 
Villanova University

They dare you to compare their prices --- 

Salmon:  Spirit of Land and Sea (Nature, Ecosystem, Rainforest, Biology, Canada) --- 

The Pacific Northwest salmon blaze a silver-and-crimson course through our oceans, our streams, and our forests, giving life in much the same way as the blood pulsing through our veins. The salmon is a crucial source of nutrients for plants, animals, and humans. The annual pilgrimage of the wild salmon to spawning grounds is a time for celebration. Join the One World Journeys team along with nature photographer Natalie Fobes, author Susan Zwinger, conservationists Ian and Karen McAllister aboard the Explorer as we travel the coastal waters of Alaska and British Columbia.

On this 10-day expedition, we enter the Great Bear Rainforest in search of the rare Kermode or "Spirit" bear. Explore with us as we document orca whales, grizzly bears, and other wildlife dependent upon the salmon's annual migration. Send us an email during the live expedition with your questions about salmon.

Discover how the salmon embodies the spirit of land and sea in the Pacific Northwest. Take a journey now and learn how the remarkable salmon is a critical link in the health of an entire ecosystem.

"Security danger found in web postings," by Will Knight., August 31, 2001 --- 

A new way to highjack internet sites to attack individual web users, with just a single line of code, has been discovered by a US researcher.

The trick uses Cross Site Scripting (CSS), a technique identified by security experts in 1997. This exploits the ability of internet sites and web applications to contain embedded scripts and links to other web pages in order to execute dangerous code.

The new trick was discovered by Jeremiah Grossman, a consultant for US company Whitehat Security. He found that just one line of code was enough to fool many web sites into running rogue code.

Among these sites was Microsoft's popular web email service Hotmail, as well as other undisclosed commercial web sites. The administrators of these sites were informed and created a fix for the problem before it was made public, but Grossman says that the vulnerability may be widespread.

"Web application developers and security engineers are urged to check and update their current HTML filters in all HTML-aware web applications," says Grossman in a security announcement. "This includes web mail, on-line auctions, message boards, HTML chats and guest books."

Clear and present danger

Some computer experts say that the flaw is serious but does not represent a major threat to most users because it involves targeting an individual. "CSS is certainly a problem," says David Litchfield, a security consultant with US firm @Stake. "But I don't suppose that many people have been affected by it so far."

Others are more worried. Gunter Ollman, of Internet Security Systems, believes that the ever-increasing functionality of many web sites will make this sort of problem more common in the future. "As everything starts joining together, the likelihood of this happening will increase, as will the ease of doing it," he told New Scientist.

The scam uncovered by Grossman employs Cross Site Scripting to execute code that would normally be blocked by a web server's security filters. By encoding a customised piece of code and a link to an external site into a web site posting, Grossman found it is possible to steal files from an unwitting user's personal computer.

The technique could potentially be used to grab cookies, the files that allow someone to return to a site without a password and can give access to email accounts or online credit card details.

From Kodak@Magazine (History of Warfare Aircraft that lie in the Arizona desert, Photography, Audio) --- 

I liked this editorial by Bob Evans in Information Week's Between the Lines on September 5, 2001

Business Technology: Partly Right, All Wrong?

I think it was the columnist George Will who, about 20 years ago, coined the term "the indignance industry" to describe a rather large bloc of Americans who were always chafing about the imperfections of life and, oh, the unfairness of it all. And I'd rather not have anyone conclude, by virtue of the nature of the poem in the following column, that I'm a charter member of such an outfit.

Quite the contrary: We all should offer a certain level of tolerance to people who are trying to see and feel the future, or even the present: Are we in a recession, or aren't we? Are you better off now than you were two years ago? Is the technology industry about to unleash a new wave of innovative, highly valuable and relevant products and services, or are we having leftovers for the next 18 months?

Into the breach march the analyst firms, armed with limited quantities of research from which they massively extrapolate trends, scenarios, best and worst cases, quadrants, Venn diagrams, clouds, ratings and rankings and rantings, conclusions, eureka moments, and lots of three-letter acronyms.

Consider a handful of efforts from some pretty well-known and successful research organizations to name and define the space that InformationWeek has been calling collaborative business:

- From Gartner, "Collaborative Commerce (C-Commerce): The process that harnesses the full power of the Internet to gain revenue and profit improvement by going beyond rigid supply-chain models and simple information-sharing."

- From Forrester Research, "XRM (eXtended Relationship Management): Networked collaboration between multiple firms to manage supply and demand."

- From AMR Research, "ECM (Enterprise Commerce Management) is a blueprint to help companies identify, evaluate, and map the critical applications, business processes, and technologies they need to support their employees, customers, and suppliers."

- From Business Week (not exactly a research outfit; let's call them observers): "Collaborative technologies" are "perhaps the most important trend in business E-commerce."

- From Goldman Sachs, "I-OPS (Industry Operating Systems): Internet-based software platforms that enable organizations to reduce the cost of automating their processes by relocating functionality from their enterprise networks to the Internet and sharing multi-enterprise software functionality with other organizations."

To borrow a line from the poem: Which of these are partly in the right, and which are in the wrong? Which really sees what's going on? Are they accurate descriptions? Are the perspectives right? Will IT vendors try to steer you toward following some of these tortured naming schemes? Are you most concerned about the wall, the spear, the snake, the tree, the fan, or the rope--or the whole elephant?

Indignance has its price. I promise next week to offer my own definition of collaborative business, and we shall, uh, see what we shall see.

American poet John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) based the following poem on a fable, which was told in India many years ago.

It was six men of Indostan 
To learning much inclined, 
Who went to see the Elephant 
(Though all of them were blind), 
That each by observation 
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant, 
And happening to fall 
Against his broad and sturdy side, 
At once began to bawl: 
"God bless me! but the Elephant 
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk, 
Cried, "Ho! what have we here 
So very round and smooth and sharp? 
To me 'tis mighty clear 
This wonder of an 
Elephant Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal, 
And happening to take 
The squirming trunk within his hands, 
Thus boldly up and spake: 
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant 
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand, 
And felt about the knee. 
"What most this wondrous beast is like 
Is mighty plain," quoth he; "
'Tis clear enough the Elephant 
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, 
Said: "E'en the blindest man 
Can tell what this resembles most; 
Deny the fact who can 
This marvel of an Elephant 
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun 
About the beast to grope, 
Than, seizing on the swinging tail 
That fell within his scope, 
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant 
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan 
Disputed loud and long, 
Each in his own opinion 
Exceeding stiff and strong, 
Though each was partly in the right, 
And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars, 
The disputants, I ween, 
Rail on in utter ignorance 
Of what each other mean, 
And prate about an Elephant 
Not one of them has seen!

-Bob Evans is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek
E-mail him at  . 
You can join in on the discussion about this column at 

The September 2001 issue of the Journal of Accountancy contains a "Special Report" that is largely part of a publicity campaign to convince CPAs that another "XYZ" credential is badly needed in the changing world of accountancy and global information --- 

This is a hotly contested issue, and one of the real sticking points is whether holders of the new credential, by whatever name, must first be licensed CPAs.  

I must admit that leaders in the public accountancy profession are making a strong case for some other type of global credential.  I just hope it is not called "cognitor."

Ed Scribner wrote a fable called "The Trusted Professional" at 

Bob Jensen wrote a fable called "CPA:  Career Passed Away" at

Probably the most serious problem facing the public accountancy profession is how to conduct financial audits in a paperless world of global financial transactions.  Computers and computer networking add an immense layer of mystery and complexity while, at the same time, take away traditional evidence trails used by auditors.  CPA's are scratching their heads over how to audit the maze of wires inside and outside the "black boxes."

The new SAS No. 94 issues by the AICPA addresses the problem of auditing information technology.  See "IT and the Audit," by George H. Tucker, Journal of Accountancy, September 2001, pp. 41-43 --- 

TO HELP AUDITORS COPE WITH THE ISSUES surrounding the explosive growth in information technology use, the ASB issued SAS no. 94, The Effect of Information Technology on the Auditor’s Consideration of Internal Control in a Financial Statement Audit.

SAS NO. 94 PROVIDES AUDITORS WITH GUIDANCE on IT’s effect on internal control and on the auditor’s understanding of internal control and the assessment of control risk. It amends SAS no. 55, Consideration of Internal Control in a Financial Statement Audit.

SAS NO. 94 ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT USE presents benefits as well as risks to an entity’s internal control. An auditor’s clients use IT to achieve their objectives, such use affects internal control and the auditor should expect to encounter IT systems and electronic records rather than paper documents.

AN ENTITY’S IT USE MAY BE SO SIGNIFICANT that the quality of the audit evidence available to the auditor will depend on the controls the business maintains over its accuracy and completeness.

IT HAS HAD A MAJOR INFLUENCE ON THE PROCESS companies use to prepare their financial statements. SAS no. 94 clarifies the nature of the understanding of the financial reporting process the auditor should obtain. Auditors should understand the automated and manual procedures an entity uses to prepare its financial statements and related disclosures and how misstatements might occur.

GEORGE H. TUCKER, CPA, is a partner with Ernst & Young LLP in Cleveland. He was chairman of the AICPA task force that drafted SAS no. 94. His e-mail address is


Mahatma Gandhi fought for the freedom of his country. Now his great-grandson is fighting to convince citizens of India to rally around its country's Internet suffix ---,1284,46339,00.html 

Did you know that after December 2001 DOS, Win3x, and Windows 95 will no longer be supported by Microsoft? Apparently it won't be a good idea to use them in a networked environment very soon now or possibly standalone either.  
Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri

Dear Professor Jensen,

I am part of the HR group at Koch Industries, Inc.(  ) and am writing to ask for your assistance.

Because of your knowledge of current accounting students, as well as your contacts with accounting related organizations on campus, I am hoping you might be able to assist me in getting the word out about our online Accounting Quiz contest.

Eligibilty is pretty simple - either be currently attending or have graduated with an accounting degree in the last two years. The winner will receive a Palm Vx Handheld. The Quiz consists of 10 multiple choice questions geared to test the student's knowledge of accounting principles and procedures. Here is a link to the quiz (  )

Any help you can give me in either forwarding this message to potential campus groups, or suggesting individuals to contact, would be appreciated. CONTEST ENDS OCT. 5, 2001.

Best wishes,

Sheri Burrell Koch Industries, Inc. 316-828-7166 

I still have recurring nightmares.
Fear of Physics --- 
(Some faculty members in the Department of Physics at Trinity University tell me that what they fear the most is that users will not be aware of the errors in physics made at the above site.)

If you are listening Amy Dunbar, how about a new site on "Fear of Income Taxation?"  We can count on your not making so many errors.

"Face morphing could catch criminals," by Damian Carrington, New Scientist, September 4, 2001 --- 

Computer morphing e-fit faces created by several witnesses to a crime together can increase the accuracy of the final image, new experiments show.

Peter Hancock at the University of Stirling, Scotland used software to blend four versions of a famous face, each created by a "witness". When subjects were given a list of six names to choose from, they recognised the composite 93 per cent of the time. Recognition of single images varied from 53 to 78 percent.

"The idea behind it is that each face captures some aspect of the real face," says Hancock. "But adding them all together should allow the common aspects to come through and the independent variations to cancel out."

Professor David Perrett from the University of Saint Andrews told New Scientist: "It's very clever." He says the logic of averaging out "noise" from witnesses who may have only briefly seen a face is sound. "It goes back 100 years to Galton's work in which he tried to create an average criminal face."

However, a change in UK police regulations is needed if morphing is to be used. Currently information from different witnesses cannot be combined because if the witness is required in court they can only present their own evidence.

"Offspring" faces

Hancock is also working on a system of evolving faces, to allow an individual to create a better e-fit. He says Pro-fit, currently used by police to create images does not work that well because we do not recognise faces by assembling individual features.

His system, Evofit, creates random variations of a witness's first attempt to create "offspring" faces. The witness chooses the best of these and repeats the process, perhaps four times, until the best images has evolved.

Free software for converting picture files into icons


Try the program Irfanview, available for free at . It supports both file extensions. The program has a great screen capture and slide show feature as well. Enjoy.


Neal Hannon 
Bryant College

----- Original Message ----- From: Enrique Villanueva To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 1:58 PM

Hi there AECMers!

I need to turn a .jpg file into an icon file (.ico). I wonder if anyone of the AECMers could be smart enough to help me.


Hi George,

Timing of a computer purchase generally leads to paranoia, especially regarding whether to wait for the next new features on the horizon. I am planning to purchase both a new PC and a new laptop. Especially with respect to the PC, however, I've decided to wait until Windows XP has been thoroughly tested and comes pre-installed in the new computer. Waiting for Windows XP in laptops, however, may be longer than I can wait for a new laptop.

I doubt whether you can get expert advice without knowing the specifics of the extended warranty plan. In general, I think extended warranties are probably a good idea, because survey's show that a computer is the home electrical appliance most likely to need annual repairs.

A lot depends upon how much you spend initially. For example, a cheap Dell Computer, such as a Dell Dimension, is much more likely to give out than a top-of-the-line Dell purchased at a premium price. The high-priced models have more reliable parts.

It would be nice to conclude that cheap computers (e.g., systems now selling for under $1,000) are like toasters where it takes too much money and trouble to repair them --- just toss them out and by new ones if the fail. But the toaster-computer analogy does not hold up very well. You can plug a new toaster in the wall and make toast instantly. A new computer takes a lot of nurturing with software installation. accessory hardware, networking connections, etc. Your new computer just does not instantly replace the old system that you've become comfortable with for the past few years.

Some common sense advice regarding warranties can be found at 

I most certainly recommend that you read "When Shopping for a PC, Be on Guard for Little Lies," by Walter S. Mossbert, The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2001.


Here are 10 little lies told by computer makers and retailers:

1. Memory: Many lower-priced machines don't actually deliver the full 64 or 128 megabytes of memory, or RAM, they claim. That's because they siphon off a lot of memory to power the video processor, which on costlier models has its own, separate, store of memory. A PC with 64 megabytes of such "shared" memory may have only 54 or 60 megabytes for use by programs at any one time.

2. Internet Readiness: Lots of machines are described as "Internet-ready." But these days few of them are really any more Internet-capable than any others. All have modems, and many have Ethernet ports that let you plug in a cable or DSL modem. On Windows machines, it's the operating system that really controls the way you hook up to the Net, and they all share that. An Internet button on the keyboard is just a convenience, not a necessity for Internet connections.

3. Screen Size: Standard monitors never deliver the screen sizes they tout. If a monitor is advertised as having a 17-inch screen, measured diagonally, it will usually display an image of only about 16 inches. A 15-inch monitor shows a 14-inch image. That's because the actual image is surrounded by a useless black border, like on a TV. The ads' fine print often discloses the real size as VIS, or Visual Image Size. The anomaly doesn't occur on flat-panel monitors, which have no border.

4. Laptop Weight: Many laptop makers state the weight of their laptops in an unrealistic and misleading manner, assuming, for instance, that you'll be replacing an internal CD-ROM drive with a flimsy, cosmetic "travel panel." They also usually leave out the weight of the electrical adapter. For instance, IBM advertises its T-21 laptop as weighing 4.7 pounds, but it's really 5.3 pounds with the CD-ROM drive, which is one of the machine's most important features.

5. Battery Life: Laptop makers use a variety of methods to figure out battery life, but one thing is clear: The claims are almost always overstated. They often seem to assume a light-duty work pattern and severe power-management controls, like keeping the screen so dim that only a nocturnal creature could view it.

6. CD-ROM Speed: CD-ROMs are often rated as running at speeds like 32X and 40X, where X is the speed of a standard audio CD player. But such figures are misleading for two reasons. First, CD-ROM software and audio CDs won't play any faster at 40X than at 8X, the highest speed most require. Second, a high speed is usually attainable only when retrieving data from certain parts of a CD. The overall average speed is usually much lower.

If you have a question you want answered, or any other comment or suggestion about Walter S. Mossberg's column, please send e-mail to

7. Printer Speed: Printer makers always claim a certain speed, in pages per minute, for black and color printing. But they don't tell you -- except deep into their marketing materials, in tiny type -- that these speeds refer to printing at the machines' draft or economy settings, which produce the worst output and aren't commonly used. For instance, the Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 990C printer claims a black speed of 17 ppm and a color speed of 13 ppm. But at the normal print setting, these speeds drop to 6.5 ppm and 5 ppm, respectively.

8. High-Speed Modems: Many computers are said to include "high-speed V.90 modems." But these are just dial-up phone modems, and they are actually quite slow, compared with today's broadband speeds. They are all rated at the same maximum theoretical speed: 56 kilobits a second. In fact, most can't average much better than 44 kbps. That's pretty pokey.

9. On-Site Warranties: If a computer maker or store tries to sell you an "on-site" warranty, beware. They will, indeed, come to your site to fix your machine, but only as a last resort. Usually, they will force you to go through an exhausting and frustrating process of trying to diagnose the problem yourself before they'll even consider dispatching a technician. I've heard of users being required to spend hours on the phone stripping down machines, or even reformatting a hard disk, before the company will send a technician.

10. Bundled Software: Some computer makers and stores try to dazzle you with lists of software programs included on the PC. But in many cases, these are special "light" versions of the retail software, minus some features and often lacking manuals.


Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: George Lan, 
University of Windsor [mailto:glan@SERVER.UWINDSOR.CA]  
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2001 6:43 AM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Bizarre coincidence or Computer intuition?

I decided this past week to replace my old home computer system (a 486 which I purchased in 1994 and upgraded to a Pentium 150 about 3 years ago). Before I could get the new system fully installed, the old one, which has Windows 95 and has served me well for many years suddenly crashed. Was that just coincidence or a case of the computer sensing that it's going to be replaced and decide to do the dumping first (a la Hal)? :-) . Fortunately, I have back up copies of all the important files, or think I have- going through the diskettes will be no easy chore!

On a more serious thread, the "rather persuasive" salesman convinced me to purchase a 4 year extended warranty on the CPU and monitor and was wondering whether this added expenditure is worth it? Most households probably have more than one computer system now and the added warranties could amount to a substantial amount. I definitely expect to get more than 3 years service from my computer system.

George Lan University of Windsor


Dear Valued Expert Choice Customer, 

We are excited to announce the release of the 903.05 update for Expert Choice 2000! This update improves and expands upon the great features in Expert Choice 2000.

The 903.05 update is a collection of updates that fix issues in Expert Choice 2000. Download the update now at: 

If you have not yet upgraded to Expert Choice 2000, click here for a product brief: . You can also contact a sales representative directly to see how Expert Choice can work for you at .

Expert Choice Support Team 

Having lived on the ocean in Maine for ten years, I had to drool over this one.

The latest lesson from our "Cooking with The Times" series explains how to buy the best possible lobster and then how to dispatch it humanely. After that, of course, comes the fun part. We have prepared a simple, boiled lobster with a citrus dipping sauce, a lobster fricassee, a lobster bisque and a lobster butter, which can be used as a tasty addition to your favorite fish recipe.$012000mn6L4n6GD 

The most recent census report shows that 42 percent of American households are connected to the Internet, and people want to get connected faster ---,1284,46582,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on Internet statistics are at 

While trying to discover whether my trash would be picked up on Labor Day, it dawned on me that other Trinity University staff, especially new arrivals in San Antonio, might appreciate the following links to the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and local Federal services.

City of San Antonio Services--- 

Note that in many instances such a the Garbage Pickup Holiday Schedule, you do not have to use the phone number provided if you click on the hot link (e.g.,  )
By the way, I suggest that you print the above Holiday Schedule and tack it up beside where you keep your trash cans.

San Antonio City Government Website --- 

Bexar County information is provided at 

Bexar Counting Property Owner Search Site --- 

School Districts in Bexar County --- 

The Alamo Federal Executive Board exists to provide closer cooperation with local civilian and military organizations. As a regional HUB for all government activity --- 

The hottest trend in fashion right now is clothes with lots of big pockets to stash electronic gadgets. Check out our fall fashion special, which also includes some hot new toys to put in all the extra pockets ---,1383,46034,00.html 

McSweeney's: Weekly NFL Picks --- 

From Fathom News on September 6, 2001

An American-Mongolian research team has discovered an enclave of tombs, apparently associated with persons of high status, near Genghis Khan's probable birthplace. John Woods, Professor of History at the University of Chicago and U.S. Academic Director for the Genghis Khan Geo-Historical Expedition, and Professor Sh. Bira, the chief Mongolian academic for the expedition and Secretary General of the International Association for Mongolian Studies, plan to explore the site further with additional experts in archaeology and Central Asian history.

Genghis Khan, emperor of the Mongols from 1206 to his death in 1227, has become a kind of "cult figure" in Mongolia since the early 1990s, according to Columbia professor Morris Rossabi. In the Fathom feature "The Land of Genghis Khan," Rossabi explains the leader's lingering influence: "Genghis Khan's greatest contribution, and the reason he is remembered, is that he unified the Mongols..." 

The United Nations World Conference Against Racism scrambled to formulate a resolution after the United States and Israel withdrew their participation on September 3. The UN conference, which was intended to bring together nations from around the world in a unified position against racism, has been sharply divided from the start by accusations of Zionism's racist practices as well as the debate over reparations for slavery.

Columbia University political scientist and historian Manning Marable attended the controversial conference in Durban, South Africa, to speak about "Structural Racism and American Democracy." In "Race and Racism in America," an interview on Fathom, Dr. Marable, the director of Columbia's Institute for Research in African-American Studies, discusses the history of racial identity in America and the role of African American studies in higher education: 

Walt Disney and the News Corporation are joining forces to create, an Internet video-on-demand service. The announcement follows on the heels of a joint venture created by MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. to create the first on-demand movie service for broadband Internet users in the United States. With more than 10 million broadband households and nearly 35 million broadband-enabled screens, studio executives say the market is ready for these new digital distribution outlets.

Many independent film and production companies are already taking advantage of online distribution options. "Integrating the Internet and Filmmaking," a panel discussion from American Film Institute's Digital Symposium available on Fathom, brings you expert analysis of emerging technologies and the current market from pioneers in the field of streaming media. 

The Fathom Knowledge Portal is at 

You can hear Mike Kirschenheiter discuss Fathom at 

Asian American Donor Program (Medicine, Biology) --- 

Science Resources  --- 

Accenture next week will launch a hosted service offering targeting telcos, cable companies and ISPs that provides integrated customer care and billing. 

Stefan Fatsis says that he began his new book, "Word Freak," as "innocent reportorial exploration" of the subculture of tournament Scrabble. But soon, he found himself "completely hooked on the idea of trying to become" a competitive player himself.$012000mn6L4n6GD 

Hi Bob,

I'm happy to report the launch of the new version of The Net Economy Online -- a redesign of the Web version of The Net Economy, Ziff Davis Media's telecommunications-industry magazine. Click here now to visit: 

In the year since the launch of the magazine and the site, we've studied the latest available technology with an eye toward the best possible platform for our publication. The new technology and design give us a fast, flexible platform on which to bring you our analysis of communications-related technology and business.

Here are some of the things I think you'll like about the new TNE Online:

*The new design gives you fast navigation between TNE Online and the other Ziff Davis Media Web sites, including Interactive Week, PC Magazine, CIO Insight, Smart Business, Smart Partner, ExtremeTech, eWeek and Yahoo! Internet Life.

*A new, AltaVista-powered search engine allows you to quickly search throughout not only TNE Online but all the Ziff Davis Media sites. The engine rapidly generates lists of stories based on your search, sensibly breaking them down into news and commentary. Search one magazine or search all -- you have years of Ziff Davis Media expertise at your fingertips.

*A new, graphical table of contents gives you fast access to every print issue of The Net Economy. Quickly find any article we've printed since our first issue, or browse the issues at your leisure to spot any articles you missed. Images of The Net Economy's striking covers allow you to navigate rapidly to the issue you want.

*A flexible subscription system allows you to sign up for our popular e-newsletters: The Carol Wilson Report, Joe McGarvey's Optical Networking Letter and Network Services from Paul Coe Clark III. These newsletters bring you fresh, independently written commentary on the business, technology and politics of telecommunications from Carol, Joe and myself. Also, we've started a new letter, the Net Economy Update, all about what's new on the site every week.

*A new site design lets us package relevant news, commentary and industry interviews in accessible, legible formats to make your reading experience better.

I hope you enjoy the new site. Your suggestions are always welcome, and will be incorporated into our product as we develop and flesh out the site.


Paul Coe Clark III Online Editor

Microsoft Research continues to play a vital role in the company's success, say executives at the company's Future Forum. 

Forecast of the Future of Technology in Education

Technology Source, a free, refereed, e-journal at 


Editor James Morrison forecasts that when historians look back at higher education in the year 2050, they may well view the advent of virtual universities as having had as great an impact on American higher education as did the land grant act of 1864 and the GI Bill. Michigan Virtual University's dynamic president, David Spencer, adds credence to this forecast as he describes the programs and projects that MVU has already implemented since its founding in 1998.

Wallace Hannum provides an account of the Carolina On-Line Teachers (COLT) program, a professional development program recently created by the University of North Carolina School of Education. The COLT program gives K-12 teachers the chance to cultivate their skills in Internet-based instruction, to develop their own online courses, and to serve as mentors for future participants in the program. While in its inaugural year COLT faced obstacles--software challenges, difficulty in establishing group projects, and time constraints for both coordinators and participants--the program, Hannum asserts, promises to have a long-ranging impact on North Carolina education as a whole.

Offering a vantage point from within the school system of Victoria, Australia, David Gurr discusses his interviews with 21 school principals regarding the effect of information and communication technology (ICT) on their schools. In his commentary Gurr underscores three main issues for principals: their own need to develop the technical skills to use ICT; the qualitative transformation of their daily work experience; and the impact of ICT on the teaching and learning environment of their schools.

In their commentary, Stephen Ruth and Jiwan Giri stress the need for an effective, two-dimensional field model for comparing distance-learning programs, and propose a model of their own. Through this model, one may chart a given program through two variables that designate the roles of instructional technology ("tech") and personal interaction with the instructor ("touch"). Ruth and Giri generate nine categories based on these variables, defining each category and providing examples of institutions that fall under each category. They propose that their model may not only be helpful to researchers, but also to administrators who want to make gradual, cost-effective changes in the structure of their programs.

In a commentary on the role of technology in education reform, Frederick Bennett attempts to diagnose the limited results of recent initiatives: why has the computerized classroom not resulted in higher test scores for K-12 students? The problem does not lie in teacher training, Bennett suggests, but rather in how schools integrate--or fail to integrate--such technology with pedagogical practice.

In our fourth commentary, Linda Peters provides a frank overview of the various factors underlying student perceptions of online learning. Such perceptions, she observes, are not only informed by the student's individual situation (varying levels of computer access, for instance) but also by the student's individual characteristics: the student's proficiency with computers, the student's desire for interpersonal contact, or the student's ability to remain self-motivated.

Mary Harrsch provides a case study of her work using streaming audio to broadcast a series of radio interviews with education experts over the Internet. Looking back on the project, Harrsch outlines the technical problems that she faced, many of which involved an incompatibility between RealMedia and a range of computer platforms. While such problems undermined the goal of providing a real-time broadcast, the project achieved its fundamental goal: reaching out to a larger community of educators, both within the state as well as on a national level.

In his assessment discussion, Tom Henderson provides an account of his use of a classroom assessment technique (CAT) for a distance learning course, as well as a helpful outline of CATs for online instructors. While Henderson notes some crucial differences between classroom assessment in traditional and distance learning environments, he also notes that they share common criteria for success: careful planning, targeted questions, and a timely response by the instructor.

In his review of our Spotlight Site, Ed Fernandez offers an introduction to the Learning Support Centers in Higher Education (LSCHE) web portal. While still in development, the LSCHE portal offers a spectrum of tools: access to learning support research, discussion of terminology relating to "learning support centers," links to resources for learning assistance and distance learning, and information regarding employment opportunities. Such features, Fernandez claims, not only provide learning assistance experts with a valuable tool in their duties, but also represent another step forward in defining this professional field.

In our first letter to the editor, Midi Cox offers an introduction to the fifth annual installment of Global Learn Day, a continuous, 24-hour education conference that will be offered online. Through a combination of real time webcasts, radio broadcasts, and telecenters, this interactive conference will feature a range of professionals, all of whom will address the many ways in which e-learning has served to revolutionize access to education around the world. With a projected 7,000 participants from more than 200 countries, as well as a projected audience of more than 500,000, Global Learn Day will remain devoted to offering "a convincing demonstration of affordable, accessible education, worldwide."

In our second letter, Kathryn Winograd and Maureen Atkins discuss how The Virtual High School Symposium, an event inaugurated last year in Louisville, Kentucky, has reflected broader national trends in the development of virtual high school education. As all states have begun to pursue different means of incorporating Internet technology in their K-12 programs, the upcoming installment of the symposium in Chicago will be examining further ways in which such innovations may be put into practice.

In our third letter, Steven Gilbert invites readers to contribute to the "Open Source Professional Development Environment for Higher Education." Gilbert's model of a systematic and coordinated "open source" framework would allow educators to share the various resources that they have used in their professional development activities and thereby assist us to keep up with fast-paced changes in information technology.

As computer technology continues to transform teaching and learning, it has also compelled a re-evaluation of criteria for academic record keeping. Robert Spindler, in our final letter, addresses this issue with a description of Clifford Lynch's keynote presentation for the 2000 ECURE (Electronic College and University Records Events) Conference and invites readers to the 2001 conference.

Data mining & Knowledge Discovery:  Databases In business decisions

Note from Bob Jensen: 
Before reading the message below, you may want to read about Data Mining at 

The following message takes you much deeper into this fascinating topic.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Dr.Vijay Pithadia Ph.D.M.Comm.C.P.S.T. []  
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 1:22 AM

Data mining & Knowledge Discovery:  Databases In business decisions

Dr. Vijay Pithadia
Doctor of Philosophy [1996 - 99]
Master & Bachelor of Commerce [1991-96]
Electronics Technocrat [1985 - 89]

Academic Staff, Dept. of Social Work [MSW] Saurashtra University



Today computerization of many business and government transactions related to activities and decisions generates the floods of data by large and simple transaction i.e. tax returns, telephone calls, business trips, performance tests and product warranty registration are being handled through computer. For the processing the data now are days many traditional and statistical methods of data analyses i.e. ad-hoc queries and spreadsheets are used for to obtained informative reports from data but they can’t give the knowledge from data. In the present paper how the data mining and KDD technology can facilitates analyses of the data in order to get the important knowledge hidden inside the data. The second aim of this study is to awareness among the Indian Universities Teachers, Industries- Organizations people and also among software professionals to generate projects and to promote the technology in business decisions.

Key Words: Data Mining,Process,Techniques,Finance,Banking,SCM,IIT-K,Kanpur,ISI-C,Kolkata,KDD

Data Availability: Data used in this paper are available from public sources identified in the study.


I thank Subir Hari Singh, Ministry of Information Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, Roger Barker, Morehead State University, Kentucky, S. Ganesan, Alagappa University, karaikudi, Mangesh Koregaonkar, Indian Institute of Technology -B, Mumbai, A.G. Balasubranian, Goa University, Goa, Gabriel Hawawini, INSEAD, Cedex, Nitin Kumar Jain, Indian Institute of Technology -D, New Delhi, Deepak Suchdey, President, Rajkot Management Association, Rajkot, P. L. Bali, Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology ,Patiala, C.S.G. Krishnamacharyalu, S.V. University, Tirupati, and Umesh Makawana, government Engineering College, Gandhinagar for making meaningful comments and suggestions. I also thank K I Device, A D B Kompany, Jakarta, Sanjay Mehta, Student of MSW, and Bakul Kakadia, Student of B.E. (IT) for research coad Juvancy.

[1] Introduction

Since last couple of years a term Data Mining is being heard from computer professionals. Data Mining [DM] is a new class of intelligent analytical method having ability to intelligently and automatically assist humans in analyzing the mountains of data for nuggets of useful knowledge. Data mining is an iterative process of extracting interesting knowledge from data in large databases. Where knowledge could be rules, patterns, regularities, relationships, constraints etc. Secondly knowledge should be valid and potentially useful and third the hidden information in the data that is useful. Where as KDD is the over all process of finding and interpreting knowledge from data.

The subject goal is extracting knowledge from data in context of large databases and to make patterns/ Knowledge in understandable forms to human beings in order to justify a better understanding of the underlying data. The emerging technology KDD having a multi step process which uses Data Mining Methods [Algorithms] to extract [Identify] what is hidden knowledge in the data according to specifications of measures. Thus data mining underlying prediction on similar groups of data and Description involves findings human interpretable patterns describing the data in business and industry from Financial Management, Marketing Management, and Economic Surveys of companies to Insurance, Banking and maintenance areas of Business.

[2] Basic Steps of KDD Process

Few of the basic steps of KDD process are discussed here;

[1] Problem Analysis: It is based on manual procedure. The main function is to understanding application domain and requirements of user related to developing prior knowledge for domain.

[2] Selection of Target data: Creating target data set and Selecting a data set or its subset on which discovery is to be performed by automatic way.

[3] Data Processing: The third step of KDD process involves removing noise/ handling missing data based on automatic program.

[4] Transformation of Data: This procedure is made manually where data reduction and projection are made and finding useful fields/features/attributes of data according to goal of the problem.

[5] Data Mining: Selection of data mining goal, choosing method according to task and extracting knowledge and analyzing/verifying knowledge.

It is based on automatic manner.

[6] Output Analysis and Review: Interpretation and evaluation the knowledge/ pattern transforms knowledge; rules reports, automatic usage and follow up for new predictions.

[3] Techniques for Data Mining

For the purpose of Data Mining htere are many techniques used. Some most popular and commonly techniques i.e. Neural Networks, Nearest Neighbour Method And Decision Tree are Discussed.

[1] Neural Networks : It is based on non- linear predictive model and better for Financial Related areas. Some of the sample systems are OWL (Hyper Logic, USA), Brain Maker ( CSS, USA ) Neuro Shell ( Word Systems Group, USA )

[2] Nearest Neighbor Method: This techniques classifies each record in a data set based on a combination of the classes of the K- record/s related to it in a historical data set [ where K is greater than or equal to 1 ] and therefore it is some times called as K- nearest neighbor techniques. Sample systems i.e. TiMBL,PEBLS etc.

[3] Decision Tree: A Decision Tree consist of nodes and branches; beginning node called root. Depending upon the results of a test the data is classified into various subsets. The end result is a set of rules with all possibilities.This method is useful in certain algorithms represent decisions. These decision generates rules for classification of a data set. Specific Decision Tree method include Classification and Regression Trees [CART] and Chi - Square Automatic Interaction Detection [CHAID] Sample systems i.e. Clementine ( Integral Solutions, UK) IDIS ( Information Discover,USA) ID3, CS.0 ( Rule Quest, Australia) etc.

[4] Data Mining Solutions for Business

The application areas of DM techniques are useful in business decisions. Some of the potential areas are i.e. Banking, Finance, Survey’s related to Customer satisfaction, Market, Buying behavior, Customer characteristics, Economic, Direct Marketing.The details are described below

[a] Financial Market : In the financial market,using various imperical models of market behaviour,technical analysis for forecasting price dynamics and selecting the optimal structure of investment portfolio can be justified.Such systems have special interfaces for laoding financial data.i.e. Supercharts (Omega Research,USA)wall street money (Market Arts,USA)etc Data mining methods are also facilitates the analysis and slection of stocks and other financial instruments.

[b] Banking : In the banking functions such as mortgage approval,loan underwriting,money lending/borrowing,loyal customer prediction,stock trading rules identification etc are the important areas for Data Mining.This system also predict the characteristics of ATM card users who sale the cards at point of sale.A system can evolve prediction models for several levels of card usage,based on parameters such as customer age,average checking account balance,return per month,number of cheques etc.In the case of mortgage loans data mining system facilitate an excellent set of discrimination rules by only 8% error rate.The input parameters are account information i.e. loan source,rates and loan to the value as well as borrower demographic information.

[c] Database Marketing : In the business world database marketing is the most successful application.The main functions of data base marketing are analyses customer data base,find patterns of existing customer preferences,to target slection of future customers.Many companies are using database marketing techniques,i.e. American Express reported that due to database marketing their purchases of credit card is increased by 15-20%.The possible apllications are Market research including media selection product segmentation,broadcasting analysis and product success prediction.A system allows television programming executives to arrange show schedules for predicting audience share to maximize market share and increase advertising revenues.

[d] Supply Chain Management (SCM) : The fundamental operation of retail is the supply chain management,product or services from the manufacturer to the customer via retail eiter virtual or physical.Data mining can help viz maximising sales and profits through an optimisation of marketing actions and providing necessary insights for the retailer to properly manage customers,promoters,products,stores and employees.Data mining provides the answers to the question such as: what customer?what products?what time?and at what price?

[e] Marketing Strategies : Target marketing actions such as direct mail campaigns are more expensive to produce and inportant is to find mailing to those individuals most likely to buy.Generating business models under the various condition is very difficult and complex.The function of target marketing can be achieved by data mining applications.Examples such as,Epsilon Data Management,USA handles America’s biggest direct mailers also including American Express.Marks and Spencer is also using this technique for direct mail campaign aimed at attracting customers on a suit promotion.

[f] Sales Forecasting : The important use of sales forecasting is for the optimisation of stocks and purchases.Retails can predict with accuracy sales as per item and location in order to optimise level of stocks,on the basis of past data.

This is also important in attracting and keeping the clients.In germany karstadt retail chain uses a neural networks based system developed by Neurotec for prediction the sales of total 2,00,000 items carried in their sotres to optimise order.In london,search space ltd.has developed a neural networks based application to forecast sales for high street retail organisation.

[g] Fraud Detection and Prevention : Data mining also palys an important role in this area.Fraud can be detected in insurance of a person,tax returns,accounts,credit cards,etc.A system can analyse the probability that the new account is fraudulent.The probabilities are used to sort the accounts so that these with highest probability can be further investigated by fraud analysis.

[5] Indian Players in Data Mining

In India a very few Organization like IIT-B, Mumbai, IIT-K, Kanpur, Tata Infotech, Mumbai, IBM-India, Banglore and ISI-C, Kolkata are working toeards this area because cost effective solutions is the major theme for development of promising technology data mining. IIT-K, kanpur and IBM-India,Bangalore are working for tools development where as Tata Infotech also working on the tools and application development includes TULearn,a set of industrail quality tools to define the nature of database and then to learn how to classify data into data bases.It consist of Credit card Eligibility Analysis,Customer satifactory survey,Market survey of Hindustan Lever Ltd.,BPL Mobile fraud detection etc.ISI-C,Kolkata has been engaged on the problems:(a)Classification of Archaeological Materials and (b)Market survey of quality control towards the customer Satisfaction indices. [6] Research Issues

The techniques of data mining is starts as new emerging concepts and all aspects of this technology are at the research level shows the developments as well improvement of its efficiency and scalability. The main issues are discussed below:

[1] It handle multiple source, different kinds of data i.e. transactional, active, relational, multimedia, object oriented, legacy etc. [2] Data mining security: Guard against the invasion of privacy. [3] Interactive Data mining of knowledge at multiple concepts level, Efficiency and scalability of data mining algorithms, Knowledge at multiple level in large data bases. [4]Smooth integration with existing databases and ware housing systems, knowledge updating, application and integration. [5] Data mining tasks: Summarization, Characterization, Clustering, Trend and deviation analyses, Classification, and pattern analysis etc.

[7] Conclusion

The application of Data Mining is emerging and powerful technology for improving business strategies,helping in design of new products & quality of products. It complements and can often replace the other business tools i.e. computer reporting and querying,statisfied analysis.Data Mining have modulation of multiple disciplines such as Database systems,Data Warehousing and OLAP (Online Analytical Processing), Machine learning,Information science,statistics,visualisation and other disciplines such as Mathematical Modelling,Pattern Recognisation,Neural Networks,Image/Signal Analysis,Web Technology etc. In the busniess decision above all models can facilitates more suitability to the decision.

Appendix - Tools For Data Mining and KDD

The public domain, commercial system [showed as com] and research prototype system is shown as pub and some of them are usually freely available for research purpose.

# Decision Tree Approach:

Pub: LMDT, OCI, PC 4.5, and SE - Learn

Com: AC2, Alice d'I soft, CART, Cognos scenario, KATE - Tools, Preclass SPSS Answer Tree, Xpertrule Profiler 4.0

# Nearest Neighbor Approach:

Pub: MLC++, PEBLS, and TiMBL 1.0 # Neural Network Approach:

pub: Neural Network FAQ Free Software , Neuro Net Site

Com: Neural Network FAQ List, 4 Thought, Brain Maker, DB Prophet,

INSPECT, Neural Works Predicts, Neuro Solutions, & SPSS Neural Connections 2

# Rule Discovery Approach:

Pub: Brute, CN2, DB Miner, DB Predictor, FOIL, and MLC++

Com: Data Surveyor, WINROSA, Data mite, wiz why and Super Query

# Clustering:

Pub:Autoclass C,ECOBWEB,Fast Fuzzy Cluster,Snob

Com:Autoglass III,COBWEB/3,Cviz Cluster Visualization,SOMine.

# Statistics:


Com:BBN Cornerstone,Data Desk,STATlab,SPSS.

# Visualization for Discovery:

Pub:Graf-FX IRIS,VisDB,Xmdv

Com:Cviz Cluster Visualization,DataScope,UPDATE Sphinx Vision,WinViz.


[1] Betttini,”Discovering frequent event patterns with multiple granuality in time sequences”.IEEE transaction on knowledge and data engineering,Vol.10,No.2,March/April.

[2] Cabena,”Discovering Data Mining from concept to Implementation “,Prentice Hall,USA.

[3] Chaudhary and Dayal (1996),” Decision support,Data Warehousing and OLAP”,VLDB.

[4] Fayyad,”Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery”– J journal.

[5] Jiawei Han(1996),” Data Mining techniques,a SIGMOD’96 Conference Tutorial.

[6] Michael Gilmant(1998),” Nuggets and Data Mining”A white paper,February.

[7] Piatetsky Shapiro (1998),”Data Mining 101”a white paper, June.

[8] Rakesh Agrawal(1996),”Data Mining Technologies”,Proc.International Conference VLDB

[9] V.Estivill Castro and A.T. Murray(1998), “Mining Spatial Data Via Clustering “Proc. International symposium on spatial data handling-SDH’98 canada,July 11-15

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


This semester, along with a colleague, I am teaching a computationally oriented course in statistics, datamining, and data visualisation in our AIS program.

The course is geared towards those who are looking for work in enterprise risk consulting, EDP auditing, Network security, and similar practices.

The course syllabus as well as powerpoint slides are available at 

I shall be grateful for any comments/suggestions that the list members may have.



Link forwarded by Auntie Bev

If Elvis were alive today, he would change the lyrics in his recordings of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" --- 

Are you lonesome tonight, does your tummy feel tight? Did you bring your Mylanta and Tums? Does your memory stray, to that bright sunny day... When you had all your teeth and your gums?


Is your hairline receding? Are your eyes growing dim? Hysterectomy for her and it's prostate for him. Does your back give you pain... do your knees predict rain? Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?


Is your blood pressure up, your good cholesterol down? Are you eating your low fat cuisine? All that oat bran and fruit, metamucil to boot, keeps you like a well oiled machine.


If it's football or baseball... he sure knows the score. Yes, he knows where it's at... but forgets what it's for. So, your gall bladder's gone. But his gout lingers on. Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?


When you're hungry, he's not, when you're cold, then he's hot. Then you start that old thermostat war. When you turn out the light, he goes left, you go right. Then you get his great symphonic snore.


He was once so romantic, and witty and smart. How'd he turn out to be such a cranky old fart? So don't take any bets, this is as good as it gets. Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest (run by the English Dept. of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel --- 

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: "Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep."

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

3) "Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word "fear," a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."



AND THE WINNER IS... 1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, "You lied!"


Not the Brightest Bulb on the Block

This morning, September 7, 2001, while driving to campus, I listened to the following news account on NPR.

A house in Mississippi was burglarized.  The police walked through every room to check out the losses and to make sure the burglar had vanished.  When the police were at last leaving the house, a telephone rang.  The sound directed them to the overlooked hidden burglar.  He had not turned off his cell phone!

Forwarded by Ed Scribner

In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And Satan said, "It doesn't get any better than this! And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit," and God saw that it was good. And Satan said, "There goes the neighborhood."

Then God created humans in his own image; male and female created them . And God looked upon Man and Woman and saw that they were lean and fit. And Satan said, "I know how I can get back in this game."

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Supersize them." And Man gained 5 pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair. And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad." And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds.

And God said, "I have sent thee heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them. And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof .

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds. And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained another 20 pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil." And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan smiled and created HMO's.

Forwarded by Vidya 


If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills, 
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, 
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, 
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it, 
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time, 
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong, 
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, 
If you can face the world without lies and deceit, If you can conquer tension without medical help, 
If you can relax without liquor, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then you are probably a dog.

The Undergrads (MTV Humor Intended for Mature Audiences) --- 
At my age it's hard to think this young and stupid.

Bullseye tells you how to get in style with the latest trends --- 

And that's the way it was on September 14, 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 --- 

Links to the following accountancy documents:

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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September 7, 2001

Quotes of the Week

Even the longest journey begins with a single step.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As quoted by the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Michael Fisher, at the Year 2001/2002 opening faculty meeting at Trinity University

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. 
The time will pass anyway.

Author Unknown

Remember that we all climb the ladder of success one step at a time.
Author Unknown

Hard work pays, smart work pays better.
Author Unknown

There is no greater tragedy than doing nothing for fear of doing too little.
Author Unknown

When you stop getting better, you stop being good.
Author Unknown

Shoot for the moon ... 'cause even if you miss you'll end up in the stars.
Les Brown:

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.

I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
General George Patton

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No Machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
Elbert (Green) Hubbard, American businessman, writer and printer

Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.
Joseph Sugarman

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.
Harry Golden

My formula for success is to be found in three words - work - work - work.
Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Media proprietor

Poor Sleep Adds to Diabetes Risk
Is a chronic lack of sleep in industrialized nations adding to the rising epidemic of diabetes?  It's possible.  Researchers have shown that adults who get less than 6.5 hours of sleep per night have 40% lower insulin sensitivity than those who get closer to a full eight hours.  The researchers found sleep curtailment in otherwise healthy young adults impairs the ability of insulin to do its job properly, and that can also cause high blood pressure, abnormal lipid levels, and obesity.
"Diabetes Update," Newsweek Magazine, August 27, 2001, Page 8.

The leading vision for Trinity University at the start of this new academic year.

A copy of the speech delivered by President Brazil at Thursday's Faculty Assembly has been posted on the Trinity Web site. It includes a great deal of information which may be of interest, including an update on the four campus wide initiatives. You can read the President's address at the following link: 

You will also find a link to the speech in a headline on the Trinity Today Web page and from a link within the Trinity News section of Tiger's Lair.

Sharon Jones Schweitzer 
Director of Public Relations Trinity University 715 Stadium Drive San Antonio, Texas 78212 (210) 999-8406 

"Now and Then"

At a person's memorial service, especially the service for someone who never bragged, we learn so much and are inspired so much by testimonials from friends and family.

Trinity University lost a retired colleague and friend named George Thompson.  George was a senior professor of business administration when I arrived at Trinity University.   I learned to love and admire the many facets of this wonderful human being, and I learned a great deal more at his memorial service in Parker Chapel on September 1, 2001.  Tear-rendering tributes spiced with humorous anecdotes were delivered by Colleen Grissom (English Literature Professor and former Vice-President of Student Affairs at Trinity University), Dean Currie (Vice-President at Rice University), Diana Hawley (admitted former dud as a student who was turned on to life and academe due to her Trinity Advisor, Dr. Thompson, and   became so close over the years that she read books to him in the final year of his illness), and Terri McGee (his physical therapist in the final two years of his life, a woman who, like everyone who came in touch with the Thompson's, found that you could not know either George or his magnificent wife, Mary, without becoming an extended part of their very large and bonding set of family and open-home friends).

For me, a real highlight at George's memorial service was when pianist Joe Kerr, one of George's former students, played an old jazz song that was very popular during the World War II era.  The song's title is "Now and Then."  The popular recording was by Paul Whiteman's Orchestra with the Modernaires.

You can download and play 'Now and Then"  from 
George's first degree was in chemical engineering from Tulane University.  As an undergraduate, he sang in a popular quartet and, along with a friend, George Thompson composed the above popular jazz tune "Now and Then" that the Modernaires recorded.

Dr. Grissom claimed that George Thompson was the most literate business administration professor she's ever known.  Her tribute was touching and side-splitting in a manner that only Dr. Grissom can pull off.

All of us who knew you, George, will continue to think about you "Now and Then."  Goodbye good friend!

Ask Dr. Grammar from the University of Northern Iowa! --- 
Dr. Grammar's prescriptions for our writing ills.
This is a great site, although I reserve judgment on the poetry.

"Dr. Grammar" (a.k.a. Professor Jim Hiduke) is a free service provided by the University of Northern Iowa for all faculty and staff, students--and members of the global community. Anyone who has questions about grammar and usage, punctuation, spelling or general language concerns can contact Dr. Grammar through this website with questions.

 Frequently Asked
 Ask a Question
 A Writer's Resources
 A Writer's Toolbox
 About Dr. Grammar
 Poems & Sketches

Ed Scribner reminded me about a related site called Grammar Lady where help is not necessarily free at 

News About the Academy of Business Education

For those of you joining us in Wyoming for the September 21-22, 2001 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Business Education, the preliminary program is listed at 
Those of you who are unable to listen to the bugling of horny elk with us in this beautiful lodge can read the academic program to see what you are missing aside from the calls of the wild outside the lodge.

I like ABE meetings, because the sessions have some speakers who will have great war stories on business education, especially stories about technology innovations and distance education.  I learn a great deal from ABE presentations.   

We owe a huge BRAVO to Jean Heck for single-handedly forming the ABE and keeping it going --- 

If you are missing out on this fun in the mountains in 2001, you may want to join us at the Casa Marina Resort for the ABE annual meeting in Key West next year.  See 

"Web Resources," by Sylvia Charp, T.H.E. Journal, August 2001. Page 10 --- 

At present, a great deal of information is free on the Web. But how long it remains free is in question. For example, a bill is now pending before the U.S. House of Representatives that could force the U.S. Department of Energy to end Pub Sciences, its Web database that allows scientists to search abstracts and citations from more than 1,000 scientific journals. Universities are now charging for the use of their resources. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is selling a program it developed to provide the school's faculty and senior students with Web-based access to financial data from such providers as Dow Jones and Co., Standard and Poor's and Thomson Financial Services. They claim 55 clients, including 21 of the top 25 ranked business schools.

Bob Jensen has a summary of resources and tools at the following links: 

International Education Data, Statistics, and Trends
Education Indicators Education at a Glance 2001:  Education at a Glance OECD Indicators
- 2001 Edition --- 

Across OECD countries, governments are seeking policies to make education more effective while searching for additional resources to meet the increasing demand for education. The OECD education indicators enable countries to see themselves in the light of other countries' performance. The 2001 edition of Education at a Glance - OECD Indicators provides a rich, comparable and up-to-date array of indicators. The indicators represent the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally. They provide information on the human and financial resources invested in education, on how education and learning systems operate and evolve, and on the returns to educational investments. The thematic organisation of the volume and the background information accompanying the tables and charts make this publication a valuable resource for anyone interested in analysing education systems across countries. This year's edition of Education at a Glance includes new indicators on: how the levels and distributions of student achievement have evolved; the incentive structures governments offer to attract and retain qualified teachers; the availability and use of information and communication technologies in the teaching-learning process; public subsidies and transfers for education and their beneficiaries; and participation in skill improvement among the employed population. Finally, for many indicators, a significantly larger number of OECD countries are now providing data. Through the World Education Indicators programme, a wide range of non-member countries have also contributed to this year’s edition of Education at a Glance, extending the coverage of some of the indicators to almost two-thirds of the world population.


Summary of chapters

Chapter A - Context of Education
Chapter B - Financial and Human Resources Invested in Education
Chapter C - Access to Education, Participation and Progression
Chapter D - The Learning Environment and Organisation of Schools
Chapter E - Individual, Social and Labour Market Outcomes of Education
Chapter F - Learning outcomes of education

Thinking About Assessment:  Assessment is education's new apple-pie issue. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details, by Kenneth C. Green - August 2001 --- 

Assessment has become the big thing. President Clinton supported assessment. President Bush supports assessment. It seems like every member of Congress favors assessment. So too, it seems, do all the nation's governors, and almost every elected state and local official -- school board members, city council members, mayors, city attorneys, sheriffs, county commissioners, park commissioners, and more.

The CEOs of major U.S. companies want more assessment. Moreover, many school superintendents, like Education Secretary Rod Paige, former superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, also support assessment.

Assessment is education's new apple pie issue. Everyone supports efforts to improve education; and everyone seems to believe more assessment will help improve education.

It's just grand that many people in so many elected and administrative offices support assessment.

There is, however, one little problem: getting all these individuals to agree on how and what to assess and how to use the data. They all agree about the need for more assessment. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details.

It may be a stretch, but I see some striking similarities in the public conversation about technology and assessment.

First, well-informed folks -- some in education, some not -- believe that more assessment will improve education. Similarly, many people -- some who are educators and many others who simply care about education -- believe that more technology will improve education.

Second, assessment costs lots of money. One dimension of the discussion underway in Congress and in state capitols involves how much money to spend on assessment. Similarly, one dimension of the continuing conversation about technology in schools and colleges is about the costs.

Third, it seems like everyone has strong opinions about assessment. Moreover, anyone with an opinion becomes an immediate expert. Similarly, it seems like everyone has strong opinions about technology. Moreover, like opinions about assessment, anyone with an opinion about technology believes it is an expert opinion. In an interesting and important twist on Cartesian logic, we are all sum ergo experts on both assessment and technology.

Finally, as an acknowledged sum ergo expert, let me suggest an additional similarity: Those who profess great faith in the power of assessment or technology to enhance education may be engaged in just that -- an act of faith!

Wait, please. Let me explain. I believe in assessment. I believe in technology. But I also believe in research. And while I know a little less about the assessment literature and a little more about the technology literature, I do know enough about both to know that the research literature in both areas is often ambiguous.

Indeed, advocates for both assessment and for technology often have to confront the "no significant differences" question. For those of you who missed statistics in college, this means that at the end of the day, does the treatment (the intervention) generate a statistically significant difference in outcomes or performance?

Here, the hard questions are about learning outcomes. Let's frame the questions as hypotheses in a doctoral dissertation:

H1: Assessment contributes to enhanced learning outcomes for individual students.

H2: Assessment contributes to the enhanced performance of schools and colleges.

H3: Technology contributes to enhanced learning outcomes for individual students.

H4: Technology contributes to the enhanced performance of schools and colleges.

You may take issue with the academic presentation. However, in the context of the public discussions, as well as public policy and educational planning, these are the core issues: Do assessment and technology contribute to enhanced student learning and to the enhanced performance of schools and colleges?

Alas, we don't really know. We think we know. We draw on personal experience as hard data. We accept anecdote and testimonial as evidence of impacts. But the hard research evidence remains elusive; the aggregated research is ambiguous.

Indeed, it may well be a good (and obvious) "intervention," as suggested by President Bush and others, to conduct annual "reading and math assessments [to] provide parents with the information they need, to know how well their child is doing in school, and how well the school is educating their child." But we really do not know if this will make a difference in educational experiences of students or the effectiveness of individual schools.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at 

From the MIT Media Laboratory:  The Most  referred to Websites in the World (Some of them are weird.)

blogdex is a system built to harness the power of personal news, amalgamating and organizing personal news content into one navigable source, moving democratic media to the masses. at current, blogdex is focused on the referential information provided by personal content, namely using the timeliness of weblogs to find important and interesting content on the web. for more information about the blogdex project, please look here.

The Top 25 of All Time
1.   9318 links (who?)
2.   4297 links (who?)
3.   609 links (who?)
4.   391 links (who?)
5.   336 links (who?)
6.   307 links (who?)
7.   270 links (who?)
8.   260 links (who?)
9.   247 links (who?)
10.   247 links (who?)
11.   232 links (who?)
12.   222 links (who?)
13.   213 links (who?)
14.   207 links (who?)
15.   205 links (who?)
16.   198 links (who?)
17.   183 links (who?)
18.   176 links (who?)
19.   163 links (who?)
20.   163 links (who?)
21.   156 links (who?)
22.   151 links (who?)
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24.   139 links (who?)
25.   138 links (who?)

The World's Online Populations
By Michael Pastore
CyberAtlas ---,1323,5911_151151,00.html

Nielsen//NetRatings now measures Internet access in 28 countries, which comprise 91 percent of the world's Internet users.

Internet Universe by Country
At-home users, July 2001

Current Internet
Universe Estimate
Active Internet
Universe, July 2001
per Month
Time Spent
per Month
Global 426,491,303 236,258,612 18 9:36:12
United States 165,180,807 102,077,288 20 10:19:06
Japan 45,659,923 20,061,849 19 9:27:04
Germany 27,914,911 15,144,455 17 7:49:23
South Korea 26,590,004 13,098,235 13 19:20:17
United Kingdom 23,870,341 13,098,235 13 6:22:21
Italy 18,697,197 8,321,314 12 5:48:17
Canada 14,445,047 8,754,653 19 9:36:12
Brazil 11,937,559 6,038,867 13 8:10:48
Taiwan 11,602,523 5,021,109 13 8:04:21
France 11,107,974 5,468,447 15 6:58:58
Australia 9,674,157 5,640,427 13 7:41:43
Netherlands 8,671,316 4,526,370 15 6:44:11
Spain 7,384,966 3,934,630 11 7:00:14
Sweden 5,543,193 3,048,001 12 5:29:16
Hong Kong 3,935,769 1,804,016 19 12:12:19
Argentina 3,882,526 1,872,249 13 7:21:47
Belgium 3,663,437 1,579,445 12 6:22:27
Mexico 3,419,075 1,670,201 10 7:37:26
Switzerland 3,415,278 1,811,677 13 5:31:32
Austria 2,995,651 1,326,513 13 6:16:39
Denmark 2,930,032 1,617,277 12 5:13:55
Norway 2,452,772 1,389,599 11 4:37:47
Singapore 2,103,331 955,824 15 8:48:06
Finland 1,977,637 1,096,792 10 4:10:11
Israel 1,939,084 976,261 14 7:15:36
New Zealand 1,747,203 1,015,577 15 6:59:51
South Africa 1,499,186 611,467 10 4:20:43
Ireland 1,250,404 560,842 9 3:56:15
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Top 50 Digital Media/Web Properties of July 2001,,5931_865681,00.html 
By CyberAtlas staff
August 14, 2001
The top Digital Media/Web Properties for the month of July 2001, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, which this month includes a look at the time spent at each site.

Top 50 Digital Media/Web Properties
July 2001
Rank Property Unique Visitors
Usage Minutes

Avg. Minutes
per Month
1. AOL Time Warner Network 94,392 117,111 1240.7
2. Yahoo! 64,388 8,721 135.5
3. Microsoft Sites 63,894 9,604 150.3
4. 39,567 54 1.4
5. Terra Lycos 37,631 726 19.3
6. Excite Network 28,685 1,082 37.7
7. About/Primedia 28,496 486 17.1
8. eBay 22,129 2,169 98.0
9. Vivendi-Universal Sites 21,707 546 25.2
10. Amazon 21,576 346 16.0
11. CNET Networks 20,906 374 17.9
12. Infospace Infrastructure Services 20,712 180 8.7
13. Walt Disney Internet Group 20,050 729 36.4
14. Viacom Online 16,881 339 20.1
15. Google Sites 15,159 359 23.7
16. eUniverse Network 14,581 229 15.7
17. Ask Jeeves 14,390 221 15.3
18. iVillage 14,187 334 23.5
19. Network 14,171 79 5.6
20. AT&T Web Sites 12,516 373 29.8
21. NBC Internet Sites 12,288 154 12.6
22. Ticketmaster Sites 12,237 197 16.1
23. Gator Network 11,278 66 5.9
24. Network 11,266 58 5.1
25. iWon 10,023 1,102 109.9
26. The Weather Channel 9,989 135 13.5
27. Earthlink 9,894 251 25.3
28. Napster Digital 9,869 713 72.3
29. 9,708 15 1.6
30. 9,553 72 7.6
31. Sites 9,534 109 11.4
32. LookSmart 9,192 79 8.6
33. SBC Communications Sites 9,011 187 20.7
34. American Greetings 8,936 74 8.2
35. FortuneCity Network 8,890 56 6.3
36. Travelocity 8,782 159 18.1
37. Network 8,694 178 20.5
38. 7,954 108 13.5
39. MyPoints Sites 7,831 82 10.5
40. Sites 7,819 18 2.3
41. EA Online and Applications 7,717 2,251 291.6
42. Gannett Sites 7,712 170 22.0
43. 7,307 37 5.1
44. AltaVista Network 7,250 80 11.1
45. Sites 7,205 175 24.2
46. Harris Interactive 7,015 148 21.0
47. 6,961 9 1.3
48. BMG Music Service 6,876 59 8.5
49. Sites 6,782 158 23.3
50. 6,780 20 3.0
Source: Jupiter Media Metrix

Chart Definitions:
Digital Media: Digital Media includes users of the World Wide Web, proprietary online services, and/or other ad-supported digital applications such as e-mail services and CD-ROM.

Top 50 Digital Media and Web Properties: The top 50 Digital Media and Web properties are based on unduplicated audience reach, also known as unique visitors. They include the largest single brands as well as consolidations of multiple domains that fall under one brand or common ownership.

Unique Visitors:The actual number of total users who visited the reported Web site or online property at least once in the given month. All Unique Visitors are unduplicated (only counted once) and are in thousands.

e-Commerce and e-Business Ideas:  An Illustration of Business Models That Integrate Services

Hello Professor Jensen,

Monstermoving is a moving and relocation resource that helps you manage the moving process by providing tools and information as real estate and apartment listings, city profiles and comparisons, home buying calculators, mortgage quotes and mortgage payment calculators, address change, utility connection and transfer, moving van line quotes, truck rentals, and a self storage locator, just to name a few.

The URL is

e-Business and e-Commerce Data --- 

Web data and statistics --- 
This site is great for definitions and explanations.

Why Web usage statistics are (worse than) meaningless --- 

Web usage statistics, such as those produced by programs such as analog cannot be used to make strong inferences about the number of people who have read a website or webpage. Although those who compile these statistics usually try to make this clear, people still insist on misusing them to make overly strong inferences. Attaching meaning to meaningless numbers is worse than not having the numbers at all. When you lack information, it is best to know that you lack the information. Web statistics may give the user a false sense of knowledge which can be worse than being knowingly ignorant.

A useful analogy is with putting up advertising posters. You will never really know how many people have noticed them or read them.

It is not enough to say that the statistics should be taken with a grain of salt; they should be taken with a salt lick. If you want to understand why no inference about the number of people reading this pages can be made from web statistics read on. Otherwise, you may wish to just trust that statement or may wish to skip to the section on Quick Questions and Answers.

Internet Sizer  
(This site has a link to a neat graph that shows the increase in Web use in a spinning real-time counter.  It resembles the counter on Times Square that used to show the increases in the U.S. National Debt.)

Web Characterization --- 

Listings from --- 

Internet Statistics

CyberAtlas (*)
Internet market research and information site. Provides a periodic overview of Internet trends, demographics, marketing, and advertising information.
Interesting collection of experiments and approaches in visualizing internet statistics and topology.
GVU WWW User Surveys
User surveys dating back to 1994. The surveys feature a wide variety of WWW usage and opinion-oriented questions.
The Internet Index
"An occasional collection of facts and statistics about the Internet and related activities." By Win Treese of Open Market.
ISC: Internet Domain Survey
Estimates the number of hosts and domains by doing a complete search of the Domain Name System. From the Internet Software Consortium.
Media Metrix
Web market research information and analysis service providing demographic data, measuring Internet and digital media audiences and usage since 1996.
MIDS: Matrix Information and Directory Services
MIDS provides statistics on about the Internet and estimates of its growth. Information is presented textually, graphically, and in geographic maps.
Conducts the Web Server Survey which tracks the usage of HTTP server software. Also offers a searchable hostname database.
Nielsen Net-Ratings
Online usage and popularity statistics.
Nua's Internet Surveys
An organized collection of Internet statistical surveys. Has digests of the important research reports and demographic surveys from the major research companies. Includes summary graphs and data of Internet statistics and trends. Offers a monthly newsletter.
In-depth statistics on a wide variety of Internet topics, and a sharp interface. StatMarket provides free global Internet usage statistics gathered from tens of thousands of web sites and and millions of daily visitors.
Detailed browser statistics, including information on monitor resolution, color depth and java/javascript usage.
Yahoo: Statistics and Demographics
Yahoo's collection of related sites.

Other related sites


From ---
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From Infobits on August 31, 2001

THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION: HUMAN-CENTERED COMPUTERS AND WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR US by Michael L. Dertouzos New York: HarperCollins, 2001; ISBN: 0-06-662067-8

"You are serving the inhuman machine, and its inhuman owners who got away saving a few dollars of operator time by squandering valuable pieces of your life and that of millions of other people. What glory: The highest technology artifacts in the world have become our masters, reintroducing us to human slavery more than a century after its abolition," writes Dertouzos, late director of M.I.T.'s Laboratory for Computer Science. The true goal, he says, should simply be that "information technology should help people do more by doing less." Accomplishing this goal requires that computers adapt to the way people best function, rather than making people change and adapt to the machine's requirements.

The book describes one of the projects Dertouzos was working on -- M.I.T.'s Project Oxygen, a system of hardware, software, and communications designed to fulfill his vision that "[i]n the future, computation will be freely available everywhere, like batteries and power sockets, or oxygen in the air we breathe." For more information about Project Oxygen, see 

[Editor's note: Michael Dertouzos died August 27, 2001, after an extended illness. For more information on Dertouzos's many accomplishments, see ]

Sharing Professor of the Week 
William C. Weaver from Central Florida College of Business Administration
Online Resources, Links, and Literature for Business Valuation --- 

Business Valuation Links --- 

Business Valuation References --- 

Bob Jensen's theory documents related to valuation are linked at 

A more efficient way to search  the Web's forums and message boards
BoardReader --- was developed to address the shortcomings of current search engine technology to accurately find and display information contained on the Web’s forums and message boards. Founded in May 2000 by engineers and students from the University of Michigan, uses proprietary software that allows users to search the forums and message boards in a particular topic area, thus allowing users to share information in a truly global sense...

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

There's More to E-Commerce Than Online Profits 
A lack of profits was probably the biggest reason why the Internet bubble burst. Now, though, Jupiter Media Metrix says offline retailers relying on online profits are wrongly judging the success of their Internet investments. The difference lies in the number of channels available. 

e-Commerce Obstacles
Consumer spending is one of the few bright spots on the world's economic horizons, but all is not well online. Explore some of the reasons why consumers are not reaching for their credit cards after perusing an e-commerce Web site.,,1381_863581,00.html 

e-Business for Accounting Firms
E-Business, Increasing Your Value to Your Clients Presented by: Gregory S. Price Director of Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas (PKF), P.C. 

Anatomy of an e-Business Failure
"No Longer Feeling @Home Why the Current Troubles of Excite@Home Aren't Quite as the Analysts Say, But They Were Probably Inevitable," by Robert X. Cringely, --- 

Excite was one of the first search engines and an early Internet portal, competing primarily with Yahoo. @Home was a high-speed Internet service provider owned by cable television systems. In January 1999, @Home bought Excite for $6.7 billion in stock. To understand how the companies got to today's dismal reality, it would be a good idea to start with a look at the two operations at the time of their merger. Excite was profitable, had no debt, and lots of cash from its successful IPO. Excite revenue came from advertising and nearly all its users were on analog modems. @Home was not profitable, but like Excite had no debt, and lots of cash from its successful IPO. Nearly all @Home users were on high-speed cable modems.

The merger was fraught with problems from the very beginning. The first big problem was the fact that @Home's board did not appear to understand the ramifications of their purchase of Excite until after it was done. The whole point of the merger was to create a broadband online service offering everything from connectivity to content -- a kind of high-speed AOL that would crush AOL. But after approving the merger, AT&T (@Home's largest shareholder) changed their mind on that vision. For awhile, it wasn't clear why the two companies had even merged.

Then the "open-access" pressure set in, with ISPs demanding access to users on @Home cable systems. Against this backdrop, uncertainty and infighting at the board level made it impossible for the company to execute against the synergies that made the merger worthwhile in the first place. With the board resisting the vision of the company, Excite and @Home were effectively just two unrelated businesses stuck on the same balance sheet.

The other big problem was @Home's mishandling of Excite. When the merger was completed, Excite was cash flow positive, bringing in a lot of revenue, and very successful in the portal space, though still far behind Yahoo. In fact, for the first year or so after the merger, Excite's revenue kept afloat the cable side of the business -- the @Home part.

With Excite paying the bills, the combined company still might have been successful -- except the newly merged company chose to deploy tremendous Excite resources on building a broadband-specific version of the portal when the revenue justification was tenuous (there just weren't enough broadband users) and the board support was non-existent. This resulted in a lack of focus and a long decline of the portal in general. Spending money to build the broadband portal hurt the narrowband portal that was paying the bills. The end result was that the company had a much harder time retaining portal advertisers than their competitors. All the portals were struggling with the downturn, but only Excite was neglecting its paying customers and burning resources to build a broadband presence that hardly anyone even saw. The result was that Excite declined faster and further than did the other portals.

Without advertisers, the portal business became a big cash drain on the overall company. Of course, the long-term vision for the merger required a broadband portal, but there simply weren't enough broadband customers to justify the resources expended on the project.

But wait, it gets worse. AT&T, @Home's largest shareholder, appears to many to have acted in a way that virtually guaranteed the failure of its subsidiary. Just when things were getting bleak, AT&T sent in a team of network engineers to improve reliability, and those engineers spent literally tens of millions of @Home dollars upgrading the network, contributing to the present cash crunch. Ultimately, @Home was in such poor financial shape that it had to sell back to AT&T the very same network it had just spent money upgrading. Big corporations can be smart sometimes. And if Excite@Home files for bankruptcy, as seems inevitable, its biggest creditor is AT&T, which will effectively get the rest of the company for free.

But what part of AT&T are we even talking about? Why AT&T Broadband, the part of AT&T that is, itself, up for sale! So having assisted in the death of its subsidiary, Ma Bell probably won't even get to share in any inheritance.

Wow, that's a lot of corporate intrigue! I only know about it because I have kept a close eye on the company since meeting the Excite founders in their garage back in 1993. And no, I have no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this column.

There is, however, this underlying issue that the analysts, especially, seem to have missed. Excite@Home failed mainly because broadband did not grow as quickly as expected. Broadband is not, at this time, a viable industry. Let me repeat that: Broadband is not, at this time, a viable industry. So Excite@Home was doomed to fail. There was probably nothing they could have done to stop the failure. Not only were there not enough broadband portal customers, but giving 65 percent of the ISP revenue to participating cable companies meant that the high-speed ISP part of the company would have never shown a profit no matter how big it grew.

Bob Jensen's threads on e-Business and e-Commerce accounting are at 

How to and how not to deliver distance education --- 
War stories from teachers in the first accredited online MBA program.

This site constitutes a report from the "frontliner" of e-learning, since the University of Baltimore was the first school to offer all-online accredited Web MBA. I taught the first course in this Web MBA program, which was Business Statistics: Revealing Facts from Figures. A second course in this same program was Applied Management Science: Making Good Strategic Decisions. The site covers how to begin, how to operate, and how to make e-learning successful and enjoyable. Its contents are developed over years, and is intended for my current students, and sharing my personal experiences and exchange of ideas with other educators.

Kindly e-mail me your comments, suggestions, and concerns. Thank you.

Professor Hossein Arsham

Especially note the questions worth asking at 

Bob Jensen's advice to new faculty can be found at 

Flash Innovations:  How To Do a Better Job Flashing 
As Flash becomes more and more a part of routine life on the Internet, it follows that utilities have been created to help improve the experience. This review covers Clipyard, Wildform Flix, and FlareWorks. 

WOW Innovation of the Week --- 
Record and Transmit in 3D over the Internet

Montreal, Canada, August 22, 2001—Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced that the new Millennium G550 graphics card is now available retail from Matrox's online store at for US $125. With the Millennium G550, computer users can create clones of their own heads and communicate to family and friends over the Internet via their digital twins.

"The Millennium G550, with its unique HeadCasting technology, takes voice over IP to the next level by letting you both see and hear a life-like 3D clone of your partner's talking head," says Dan Wood, vice president of marketing, Matrox Graphics Inc. "The G550 offers an exceptional alternative to video conferencing and it doesn't require a high-speed Internet connection or use up huge amounts of bandwidth the way video conferencing does."

Online Trends
Online communication continues to be a rapidly growing trend, but according to Forrester Research, only about 20 per cent of American home Internet users have access to broadband connections such as a cable modem or DSL connection. Strategis Group also points outs that a 56K modem is still the standard connection for approximately 57 per cent of business users in the US. What this means is that there are still a large number of Internet users who are not able to take full advantage of recent online communication applications, which are often bandwidth intensive.

Unique Bundle
Now, thanks to Matrox's unique HeadCasting technology and partnerships with LIPSinc and Digimask, visual online communication is accessible to nearly all Internet users, even those using a 56K modem. The G550 comes bundled with three user-friendly packages: LIPSinc's HeadFone for real-time online communication; Digimask, which creates a 3D replica of a person's head from just two photographs; and Matrox's exclusive application, the Matrox Virtual Presenter for Microsoft PowerPoint , which allows the user to create a PowerPoint slide show accompanied by his or her own photo-realistic 3D head.

Powerful Features
The Millennium G550 DualHead® board is an AGP 4X device equipped with 32 MB of fast Double Data Rate (DDR) memory1. The board includes an integrated DVI-I output and extends Matrox's lead in DualHead enabled graphics solutions with true multi-display support for Microsoft Windows® 20002 and the latest eDualHead™ features. The DualHead display capabilities of the Millennium G550 offer tremendous flexibility with one DVI-I output and one HD-15 output on the bracket with adaptors to convert the DVI to HD-15 and the HD-15 to composite or S-video. Matrox's unique DualHead DVDMax mode provides the highest quality DVD playback and now supports streaming video playback over the Internet for a truly immersive Internet experience.

The Millennium G550 is based on the Matrox G550's powerful 2D/3D engine, which offers improved 3D performance and explosive Windows desktop acceleration. The 360 MHz UltraSharp RAMDAC pumps out super-crisp 2D image quality at resolutions up to 2048 x1536 at the highest color depths and refresh rates making it the premier product on the market for 2D workstation users. Incorporating trusted design and features, the new Matrox G550 is fully supported by Matrox-pioneered unified driver architecture to lower total cost of ownership.

System requirements
The recommended system requirements for the Millennium G550 are a 450 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 56K modem, Internet Explorer 5.5 and a microphone.

Bulk SKUs
The Millennium G550 will also be available in various bulk SKUs, including output to dual DVI-I enabled flat panels, through Matrox distributors and OEM partners.

About Matrox
Matrox Graphics Inc. is the only graphics chip designer and graphics card manufacturer who draws on 25 years of industry experience to provide customers with state-of-the-art 2D, 3D and digital video acceleration, vibrant image quality and real-world functionality. A quality and innovation leader, Matrox has been recognized with over 1,000 international awards for the Millennium, Marvel, Productiva and Mystique product lines. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Matrox is a privately held company with international offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Hong Kong. Information about Matrox products, drivers, technical support and more can be found at

Wow New Product of the Week:  Sony Shows Bluetooth Handycams 
Sony unveils two video camcorders that use wireless technology stream video to connect to wireless Net devices. From there, the video can be transmitted over the Internet. 

ProScope Hand-Held USB Microscope --- 

In a world of mobile phones, pagers, and conference calls, one thing remains the same: a picture is worth a thousand words. The ProScope provides the images you need to collaborate at an unprecedented level of efficiency. If you are a traveling medical technician, a forensics expert at the scene of a crime, or you just want to get your stamp collection online, The ProScope could be just the tool you need.

The ProScope is a USB handheld digital microscope designed for both PC and Macintosh platforms. With a high-quality CCD and universal lens mount, The ProScope can become a powerful asset to any classroom or lab.

It is time to put the fun back in learning. The ProScope is the ultimate tool for teachers, scientists, hobbyists, anyone who has a desire to learn about our microscopic world, unencumbered by the usual tedium of traditional microscopy techniques.

The ProScope is not limited to the classroom, however. Seasoned professionals can make use of The ProScope's powerful, yet surprisingly affordable abilities. With one-button image capture and video production, the possibilities become endless.

Wow Video Streaming Resource Site of the Week --- is the first on-line interactive streaming media education channel focused on the tools and techniques used in creating and delivering streaming media.

ebrary  (full-text search of hundreds of business and economics books) ---

ebrary's solutions include:

eContent Distribution – We give publishers the ability to tap the Internet to increase sales and distribution.

ebrarian™ – Our ebrarian solution helps online community aggregators retain customers, create eCommerce opportunities and build brands.

ebrarian Pro – Fast and accurate, ebrarian Pro helps libraries and information professionals make the business of performing research easy and cost effective.

ebrarian A+ – For eLearning properties, ebrarian A+ makes word-level content interaction a reality, generating new comprehension and commerce opportunities.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books and libraries include the following sites:

Pace Your Brain ---,1286,46278,00.html 
This Is Your Brain on Electricity, by Noah Shachtman, Wired News, August 28, 2001

A new round of clinical trials begins for pacemaker-like devices that send electrical impulses to regulate brain activity. Such implants could be effective in controlling chronic pain, depression, epilepsy and Parkinson's.

In America, over 1.2 million people suffering from depression have found that traditional medications don't work for them, say makers of the device. About 250,000 epileptics are in the same situation, as are nearly 100,000 sufferers of Parkinson's disease.

So far, early results are positive. Dr. Rajesh Pahwa, an associate professor of neurology at University of Kansas Medical Center, has implanted hundreds of the devices, finding that 80 percent of his pacemakered patients with Parkinson's showed significant improvement -- with a 40 percent reduction in need for medication and a 40 to 50 percent reduction of symptoms.

Before receiving her pacemakers, Carole Carey, a 48-year-old retired teacher in Leavenworth, Kansas, was "tremoring all of the time" because of her advanced-staged Parkinson's. Driving a car -- even cutting up her own food -- had become impossible for Carey.

"We called it the jackhammer, because one side would be going up and down so bad," she said.

Medicines designed to reduce the tremors would send her into dyskinesia -- uncontrolled twitching -- and into bouts of hyperactivity.

Surgeons implanted two pager-sized battery packs near her collarbone and wires into her brain's subthalamic nucleus. Electrical pulses from these devices have quieted her tremors enough to allow her to cut her medical intake in half, and to start driving and eating on her own again.

These electricity-based treatments work because "all brain activity is basically electrical chattering between cells," said Dr. Rodolfo Llinas, chairman of the physiology and neuroscience department at the New York University School of Medicine.

Diseases such as Parkinson's, epilepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression all occur when particular cell groups start "talking" too slowly, developing a sluggish, sleep-like rhythm. This drowsy conversation sets off a chain reaction, which can lead to tremors, seizures or depressive episodes, depending upon what part of the brain is affected.

"Parkinson's, depression, OCD, tinnitus (loud, incessant ringing in the ears), central pain -- they're all the same disease. The difference is their brain location, not the mechanism," Llinas said.

By emitting electrical impulses into the brain -- a process known as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) -- the pacemakers, such as the ones implanted into Carole Carey, are supposed to interrupt these cellular yawn-fests, waking up the cells and minimizing the episodic frequency of seizures or other symptoms that afflict the wearer.

For the rest of the article, go to,1286,46278,00.html 

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Unwired News:  The Next Generations
"Black box" recorder developed for operating theatres

Faculty and Program Performance Appraisal Trends

Hello James,

You may want to especially note the AACSB's  International Performance Indicators Project --- 

The Performance Indicators Project focuses AACSB International resources on building the most comprehensive and complete database about business schools available anywhere. This database will be used to provide members with a customizable set of information products and services designed to support planning, budgeting and continuous improvement efforts. The online system, scheduled for launch in January 2001, will be available for use only to schools that provide data.

Certain data, specifically indicated in AACSB International surveys and questionnaires, also will be available via the AACSB International Web site to promote member schools to key stakeholders such as prospective students, employers and the media. The Web increasingly serves as the primary resource for prospective business faculty, students and employers. Participating schools also will be eligible for inclusion in exclusive AACSB International lists and other informational pieces designed to better inform stakeholders about business schools, accreditation and the management education industry.

AACSB International Newsline articles about the Performance Indicators Project 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Performance Indicators Project – PDF 

This is also one of the topics covered in the American Accounting Association's benchmarking/partnering initiative.  See 

ACADEMIC PARTNERS will help your department improve through:

You may want to track the new Leadership Express Newsletter at 

Then if you really want to be overwhelmed, enter the phrase "Faculty Assessment" under the category "exact phrase" at 

A message from Jim O'Neill [jinkso@HOTMAIL.COM

Greetings from Cape Breton!

I am seeking articles/critiques of the performance appraisal tool, especially as applied to post-secondary educational institution faculty.


James B. O'Neill, CA

Global 500: The World's Largest Corporations 

Fastest Growing Companies 

"Survival course A few independent e-markets bucking the trend, thrive," by Matt Hicks, eWEEK August 14, 2001 ---,11011,2804253,00.html 

Plotting e-marketplace survival Determining which independent, public e-marketplaces are going to succeed can be tricky. The key is to look at the fundamentals of their businesses and their models. Here is the list of criteria a group of five editors and writers at eWeek used to make their picks, and it is just as applicable for enterprises trying to find a viable e-marketplace partner.

Has the company achieved profitability? If not, determine how close it is and be leery of those needing to raise extra money.

Financial backing 
Are the backers in it for the long run? Look at whether a particular e-marketplace that needed more capital was able to raise funding in the past six months despite the slowdown.

Value-added services 
Does the e-marketplace offer more than just a platform for buying and selling goods? E-marketplaces should be adding new services, such as logistics support and financing, so they're able to generate new revenues.

Customer profile 
What types of customers has the e-marketplace attracted, and are they committed to using the exchange? Examine whether the e-marketplace is attracting new customers and increasing transaction volumes.

Competitive landscape 
If there's more than one direct competitor, does the independent e-marketplace in question have any clear advantages? In addition, if there is one or more industry-led consortia competing against the e-marketplace, consider whether the independent still has a role and whether the industry is fragmented enough for multiple e-marketplaces.

"Machines in the Myths: The State of Artificial Intelligence," by DeAnne DeWitt, ChipCenter --- 

Use the term "Artificial Intelligence" around most people, and it conjures images of thinking, emotive machines, often in anthropomorphic form. Film and fiction have portrayed AI so often and in such depth, that the meme of "machine consciousness" has become embedded in people's minds. From 2001's HAL to Star Wars robots to Terminator and the sad little boy in A.I., we've been provided with images and mythic tales of machines making informed conscious decisions and exhibiting emotion.

Reading consumer-level science journals and corporate press releases can lead one to believe that AI is making huge leaps towards self-aware machines. It is as though mere moments separate us from being able to find out why the answer is 42. [i] Recently, Dr. Douglas Lenat, the AI visionary and world-renowned computer scientist leading the Cyc project, gave interviews that suggested that Cyc had achieved consciousness and that they were busy programming hard logic moral rules for it.

Cyc, (pronounced Psych), is a project working on a "commonsense" approach to AI that has been quietly under development for almost 2 decades. When I asked John DeOliveira, the marketing director at Cycorp, to define "commonsense", he said: "If you look at an encyclopedia, you'll see a great deal of knowledge of the world represented in the form of articles. Common sense is exactly not this knowledge. Common sense is the complement of this knowledge. It is the white space behind the words. It is all of the knowledge that the article writer assumed all of his/her readers would already have prior to reading the article -- knowledge that could be put to use in order to understand the article. Cyc is about representing and automating the white space." (I love that answer.)

Large portions of the Cyc knowledge base will be released to the world at large in August 2001, in the form of OpenCyc, which may be the largest open-source collection of inferentially categorized data in the world. [ii] According to the company, it will have a knowledge base of "6,000 concepts: an upper ontology for all of human consensus reality and 60,000 assertions about the 6,000 concepts, interrelating them, constraining them, in effect (partially) defining them." The main, nonpublic Cyc knowledge base has over 1.4 million assertions and took approximately 500 person-years and $50 million dollars to develop.

Cyc is not the only "commonsense" project out there. MIT and Mindpixel both have projects [iii] that are similar, although Cyc appears to be considerably more sophisticated. Dr. Lenat was quoted in the Los Angeles Times [iv] as saying "Cyc has goals, long and short-range. It has an awareness of itself. It doesn't care about things in the same sense that we do, but on the other hand, we ourselves are only a small number of generations away from creatures who operated solely on instinct." In the same article Dr. Lenat went on to say, "No one ever told HAL that killing is worse than lying. But we've told Cyc."

Well, I don't know about you, but I found that statement kind of spooky. Even with a couple dozen philosophers on board, how do you set non-contextual rules for that sort of thing? Whose morals are you going to use? For example, is all killing worse than all lying? What if it's the state doing the killing in an execution? Is it wrong to kill someone who wants to die? Is it wrong to kill to protect yourself? These are the types of questions I wanted to ask Cyc. If they were building a machine with morals, I wanted to understand what sort of context it was using for moral ontology. [v]

I was curious as to whether I could "talk" to the prime knowledge base, Cyc itself, in Natural Language format. Now, when I say talk to it, I didn't expect it to be an Alicebot chat clone. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I figured that any machine that had been hand-coded by philosophers had to be the closest we've come to a conscious machine, and I wanted to do an interview with it. (Yes, I can hear you laughing...and it's not very nice.)

In my chat and email conversations with John DeOliveira at Cycorp, he was kind enough not to giggle when I stated my desire to interview Cyc. He provided a lot of information and access to DARPA tests of Cyc so I could see how the query process and information addition worked. But he said that it wouldn't be possible for me to "play" with Cyc. A trained skill-set is required to be able to efficiently interface with the Cyc engine, and naturally, they're reluctant to let random people come bang on a keyboard. Mr. Oliveira answered many questions that I had, but he was reluctant to answer questions about Dr. Lenat's assertion of consciousness, the topic in which I was most interested.

So, I thought perhaps I was just asking the wrong questions. After consultation with many experts, [vi] and reviewing many books, white papers and thesis after thesis; I came to the conclusion that the media's representation of AI is akin to seeing hackers portrayed in the media. Which is to say, that the reality and the meme (or belief) are radically different things.

I also discovered that I was unlikely to get anyone to firmly commit to a discussion about "consciousness" in a real-life application. Which is to say, nobody has actually created a self-aware, thinking machine. A machine which thinks all the time, without being given a set task or problem and has a philosophy about what role it fills in the grand scheme of creation. I couldn't find anyone who was willing to say that there was a project that could pass a Turing [vii] test. Yet. Which may be just as well, as the science of what's really going on in AI is even more interesting and varied than the fiction that surrounds it.

For the rest of the article, go to 

Expert and Knowledge-Based Systems
Natural Language Processing
Sensory Capabilities and Digital Processing
Artificial Neural Networks
Data Mining
Machine Learning in General

See Also

AI's Greatest Trends and Controversies. IEEE Intelligent Systems. (January/February 2000). (Also available in pdf.)

AI on the Web

AI Topics
This site is oriented toward teachers, students and the general public interested in or researching artificial intelligence or expert systems.

American Association for Artificial Intelligence
Professional organization.

Artificial Intelligence Resources
A links list from the Institute for Information Technology. Includes bibliographies, publications, societies, newsgroups and mailing lists, subject lists, etc.

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
Many articles available full-text.

MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Resources and reference section of this web site will be primarily useful to researchers.


A New Kind of Dictionary from HyperDic --- 

HyperDic is a hyper-dictionary: a new kind of dictionary, linking together related words of the English language. The Free HyperDic Online English Dictionary consists of 8,000 web pages, covering 8,000 of the most frequent English words. There is also a more comprehensive offline release of HyperDic on CD-rom, with full coverage of more than 120,000 English word forms.

HyperDic was derived from version 1.6 of the original Wordnet ® database. WordNet links each word to different sets of other words that have a related meaning, like for instance similar, opposite, broader or narrower terms.

In HyperDic, these links are expressed directly as hypertext links, making it possible to "surf" through the English vocabulary, thus allowing a powerful, easy consultation of the system, which facilitates learning.

At the top of each page, there is a menu bar, with a link labelled Words, leading to the Alphabetical Word Index, with further links to all the words in the system. Another link, labelled Help, leads to the documentation files.

It is also possible to search for particular words through the searchbox, displayed just below the menu bar. This functionality is further described in the Search Help.

Bob Jensen's links to dictionaries and glossaries are contained in the following two sites:

Our health care system is in need of a serious overhaul.  For a high quality book from The National Academies summarizing health care system problems and the correction alternatives, go to Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century --- 

Other books from The National Academies are linked at 

As Mary Stefl pointed out to me, the books can be downloaded free by downloading one page at a time.  Unless you have trained your dog or monkey really well, downloading these books on the Internet is not at all practical.  You can, however, download selective pages and conduct searches of the entire book on the Internet.

Also see Global --- 

Internet Explorer IE 6 Put Down
The Microsoft browser has so few new features, it shouldn't be considered an upgrade. However, eWEEK Labs finds the improved cookie controls most welcome. 

Internet Explorer IE 6 Overview --- 
As the official release of Microsoft's latest browser looms, Mike Calore gives a glimpse of what to expect, including the good (advanced P3P support), the bad (Smart Tags), and the whatever (integrated multimedia tools).

Microsoft's latest browser, Internet Explorer 6 (which hits the streets soon and will ship with the Windows XP operating system in October, 2001), looks like it just might break the trend of developer whining. Not only does it include long-awaited standards support, but it also comes with integrated media features and it's a lot speedier than previous releases. Plus it represents Microsoft's first large-scale implementation of secure user-defined privacy protection. Don't get me wrong, IE 6 has its drawbacks. But with these improvements, it's set to make a big splash with the Web's heart and soul, the end users. More importantly, it's going to appeal to developers.

DHTML developers are already IE converts: Netscape has always struggled with CSS support — it gets just a whiff of stylesheets and ... Kaboom! IE, on the other hand, at least managed not to explode on contact. And with IE 6, Microsoft is widening the dHTML-support gap even further. The latest release now includes full support for CSS level 1 and DOM level 1, and dHTML elements load even more quickly in the new release.

XML and XHTML support has improved as well. IE 6 also fully supports the SMIL 2.0 animation language, now a standard recommendation from the W3C.

On the down side, the IE tradition of fast-loading images may live on in this release but the support of graphic formats PNG and SVG is still rather shaky, which is a shame because they're both excellent. That said, the auto picture resizing feature in IE 6 is rather impressive. It used to be that when an extraordinarily large picture loaded into the browser, the user had to scroll horizontally and vertically to view the whole image. The new resizing feature shrinks the picture to fit within the current size of the browser window, and the user can toggle between the original size and the reduced size with a click of the mouse button. Also, the new Image Toolbar allows users to automatically save, print, and email photos (copyright issues be damned) using a floating palette of recognizable icons.

IE 6 also has an integrated media player (which feeds — what else — MSN content) and an MSN Messenger window, both of which pop up with the click of a toolbar button.

No doubt these new graphics and media integration tools will be welcomed by users looking to add a little spice to their Web browsing experience. Thankfully, all of the features, which some might find intrusive (such as the media player and MSN messenger), can easily be disabled and ignored.

. . . (large portion of the article not quoted here.)

Just because a site claims that it won't do anything untoward with your personal information, that doesn't guarantee anything: If the site owners are dishonest, they may just sell your email address anyway for a tidy profit. P3P requires "assurances" within privacy statements, which means P3P-compliant websites need to provide the name of a third-party organization that is responsible for making sure the site follows its own privacy rules. Even so, there's no doubt that ill-minded companies can use private information anyway, even after promising not to. Also, some security buffs worry that Microsoft is taking a big leap into new territory here. Even though P3P, as an idea, is more than three years old, many in the industry feel that it's not the best or most full-featured solution out there.

So is Microsoft jumping the gun? Naysayers are quick to point out that Microsoft has a habit of adopting standards too early, modifying them, and then releasing software that is less than fully standards-compliant. And those skeptics will probably be proved right — just look at the history of CSS support in Internet Explorer.

However, common sense dictates that a standard will only be adopted if the industry leader uses and evangelizes it first, and since 70 to 75 percent of Web traffic comes from users running IE version 5.0 or above, Internet Explorer is the most likely candidate for the early adoption of emerging standards. And Microsoft is stepping up to the plate.

And the other browsers aren't all that far behind. Netscape's version 6.1 browser was released last week with improved privacy options such as cookie managers and an extra level of password security. And both Netscape and Mozilla are busy adding P3P support to their browsers, meaning we should see support for the platform in their next releases.

All things considered, it looks as though P3P will receive a final recommendation from the W3C. There are over two dozen companies from the Internet, financial, and hardware industries dedicating resources to P3P development, including AOL, Netscape, TRUSTe, Citigroup, and Hewlett Packard. Microsoft also teamed up with AT&T for the development of its client-side P3P agent. And if Microsoft can prove that the P3P features in IE 6 are working properly (which will have to wait until the browser is released officially and it gets put to the test in real life), the W3C recommendation will come even sooner.

So maybe Microsoft is being a little hasty, but the vast majority of its users would agree that a technology that increases privacy — on your terms, no less — is a good thing.

Also see
Internet Explorer 6 --- 

Some schools provide handheld devices to help students learn, while others ban them to prevent disruptions and cheating. ---,1383,45863,00.html 

These different approaches point at the lack of agreement on whether handheld devices stimulate learning in the classroom or detract from it.

According to International Communications Research, 23 percent of teens aged 13 to 19 say their schools forbid them from bringing in Palm Pilots. A whopping 60 percent of schools ban beepers and 55 percent of schools prohibit the use of cell phones, students said.

Most of the schools, including Ann Arbor Open, cite two reasons for the prohibition: concern over theft and dislike for the disruptive noises such devices make during class.

While it's difficult to find someone who doesn't agree that a ringing cell phone in public is annoying, parents and educators are concerned that school districts are banning Palms prematurely.

Unlike cell phones and pagers, Palms can be used directly for educational purposes: Software like dictionaries, graphing calculators, e-books and thermometers can be downloaded onto the Palms and used to simplify studying and classroom participation.

"I have no data, but I believe kids will read more on the Palm than they do on books because Palms are their generation," said Elliot Soloway, a professor in the college of engineering and school of education at the University of Michigan.

"Books are Perry Como's generation.... The children don't see the Palm as a computer, they see the Palm as media. Media is hot. Media is exciting. That's why they're going to participate in the reading."

Soloway, who is studying Palm handheld programs in schools, said that in order for "computing technology" to be effective in class instruction, there must be enough hardware for all the students, teachers must know how to use it, and administrators and parents must be supportive of the curriculum that incorporates it.

See also:
Forget PTA; This School Goes PDA
Schools Get a Helping Handheld
E-Textbooks Offer Light Reading
What's Really in Their Backpacks
Unwired News: The Next Generation

Pro DMCA Arguments:  No Need to Alter DMCA --- Yet
The U.S. Copyright Office says some minor changes are needed in the digital provision of copyright law, but full-scale alterations are not necessary right now ---,1283,46440,00.html 

Some say the owners of copyrighted works are using new digital formats, like music files and electronic books, to undermine that right of resale aided by technologies like encryption and restrictive licenses.

The protection of software, music, movies and other media from digital piracy was strengthened by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

Hailed by copyright owners like the music industry, which has managed to sharply curb the activities of Napster, the online song-swapping service, the law has been criticized by others for restricting "fair use" rules allowing the public to make copies of protected material for personal use.

Libraries, in particular, are concerned that abilities to make interlibrary loans, provide off-site access to materials and use donated copies is impaired.

But the Copyright Office, directed by the 1998 legislation to review the law, said it saw no need, just yet, to specifically cover digital transmissions in section 109 governing the sale of legal copies of copyright works.

"We are in the early stages of electronic commerce," it said. "We hope and expect that the marketplace will respond to the various concerns of customers in the library community."

But the Copyright Office study said Congress should allow copy owners to make backup copies of digital works while ensuring that the copyright owners are protected by preventing the sale of these archival copies.

This change would give backup copies of digital works, like films and music, the same protections currently enjoyed for additional copies of computer programs.

Congress was also advised to protect those engaged in sending audio files from additional royalty claims on the incidental and temporary buffer copies made by computers to allow smooth audio transmissions.

Earlier this month, two U.S. lawmakers unveiled legislation aimed at promoting competition among online music services that included provisions covering "fair use" copies.

The Music Online Competition Act sponsored by Republican Rep. Chris Cannon of Utah and Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, would allow users to make backup copies of legally acquired music files as protection against a computer crash or similar technical glitch.

Online distributors would be able to make multiple in-house recordings, called "ephemeral copies," for efficient distribution of music online via different file formats.

Con DMCA Arguments:  When Copyrights Become Selfish Rights and Dysfunctional

From InformationWeek Online on August30, 2001

** Law Prof: Lawyers Threaten Open-Source Movement

SAN FRANCISCO--Stanford Law School professor and cyberspace expert Lawrence Lessig exhorted software developers Wednesday to lend their voices and money to defeating intellectual-property laws that he says chill innovation.

Speaking at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here, Lessig said new regulation on electronic content distribution--and the changing nature of the Internet--threaten to alter the balance between free distribution and controlled content. Lessig has advised the courts on the Microsoft antitrust case, written on Internet law, and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. "You shouldn't like me--I produce lawyers for a living," Lessig said. "You built an extraordinary platform for innovation, and my kind is working to shut it down."

The Internet's architecture doesn't discriminate by content. "That system is being changed," he said. Unlike traditional telcos, cable TV and wireless telcos can favor certain types of traffic. And U.S. laws, such as the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which makes it illegal to distribute tools that can be used to circumvent copyrights), give Hollywood "perfect control" over how its content is distributed, Lessig said. Ultimately, "certain companies and certain nations are in better positions to innovate than others."

And open-source advocates aren't helping matters by attacking all intellectual-property protection with "crude" oversimplifications, Lessig said. The problem is, he said, too many find it "more fun to blather on [open-source message board] Slashdot" instead of actually doing something about the problem. Entertainment lawyers and big IT companies have "seized the high ground," he said. "The people who can make a difference in this battle are you." 

See Also

Law Prof Cajoles Dmitry Allies
Sklyarov Indictment 'Not Unusual'
SDMI Code-Breaker Speaks Freely
Dutch Cryptographer Cries Foul

For more background, read Tales From The Encrypt 

Federal Court Hears DVD Case Appeal 

Big Five firm Ernst & Young is finding recruiting on an international level is not the least bit scary, now that the firm has associated itself with a monster. 

For the fifth consecutive year, Big Five firm Ernst & Young has brought home the gold in Canada. The firm garnered top honors in the areas of tax planning and tax transactions in a survey of thousands of in-house experts and CEOs across Canada. 

How to Design Websites

Tax Dollars Put to Good Use in Wonderful Website Designs
What does the federal government know about Web sites? Plenty, judging from the success of the "America's Library" site. Learn how the site generated 100 million hits in one year, and pick up hints for your private-sector efforts. 

Pervasive Usability
Designing Web Sites that Work Due in October, the book "Usability Engineering for the Web" advocates "pervasive usability" where usability is factored into the entire Web site design process. This integrated approach to usability saves money by catching problems early in the design life cycle. 

"Search Engine Optimization FREE!" by Paul Boutin, Webmonkey, August 6, 2001 --- 

Color Contrast & Dimension in News Design --- 

AltaVista Now Accepting URLs By The Truckload The launch of "Trusted Feed Program" allows for multiple URL submissions including framed pages and pages with dynamic content.,2198,3531_867001,00.html 

Dynamic Web Sites with XML, XSLT and JSP Your programmers and designers needn't be enemies just because your site uses dynamic data. One way to keep both camps happy is to use an XML based data structure delivered via Java Server Pages. 

How not to design Web sites.
Is violence inherent in human nature? --- 

The above site was created by Juvenile Productions and it shows.  It is a long on Flash animations and short on content.  However the multimedia is interesting.  Note that it is very bad site in terms of telling you how to navigate.  I had my best luck by dragging my mouse across the squares at the bottom of the screen until I chanced upon red squares that change the action.  

The sum of it seems to me to be that I'm too old to waste much time on sites designed like this.

Teasing and telling tales about fellow high school students is a time-honored tradition. The Web makes it easy, anonymous and, from the principal's perspective, annoying ---,1383,46359,00.html 

In its year online, DRHS News has become a sensation at Diamond Ranch, getting students riled up over the rumored transgressions of its students. It's not only about eating too much pie: The site's gossip page details the sexual escapades of cheerleaders, the drunken episodes of teachers and dozens of other situations of a mostly prurient variety.

Its "news" is immature, cruel and probably mostly untrue -- which makes it both disquieting and irresistible. Adolescents, to a slightly greater degree than most other humans, love to tear each other down, and if they can do it easily and anonymously through the Internet, so much the better.

Efforts by States to Tax Internet Commerce 
Read about some of the  latest on efforts by some states to tax purchases made via the Internet, as well as details on a new federal government "privacy czar." Brought to you by the Association for Interactive Media (  ).

From Yahoo Picks on September 3, 2001

Metaphilm --- 

A dozen pasty film society undergrads stuck in some big state school might come up with something as wonderfully eclectic and free-associative as Metaphilm. Subtitled "we don't review films, we interpret them," Metaphilm features a motley collection of rants about film, religion, and popular culture in general. The latest feature discusses the parallels between the imaginary friends in "Fight Club" and "Calvin and Hobbes," and another compares the new "Planet of the Apes" with the mother of all racially charged films, "Birth of a Nation." And don't miss the lengthy treatise on "A.I." and popular American condiments.

"U.S. Plays Dumb With Smart Cards," Reuters, August 22, 2001
Europeans love 'em, but U.S. citizens have yet to go gaga over so-called smart cards. It's enough to make a credit card company like American Express blue ---,1367,46242,00.html 

The work of an Indian teenager, "The Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking" endorses "ethical hacking" and explains all the mechanisms of the infamous craft to common users. 

"Borders Books kills face-scanning plan amid criticism," by Rick Perera, Computer World, August 27, 2001

Bookstore chain Borders Group Inc. has temporarily suspended a trial plan to implement FaceIt face recognition software in two stores in the city, pending a review of legal and human rights issues, spokeswoman Jenny Carlen said.

The software, sold by Minnetonka, Minn.-based Visionics Corp., fights shoplifting by constantly comparing images of shoppers captured by a store video camera against a police database of known criminals, according to information on Visionics' Web site. If no match is found, the images taken in the store are then discarded.

U.K. imaging specialist Dectel Security Ltd. has implemented the system in the London borough of Newham, which achieved a 34% reduction in crime in two years, according to Visionics. Dectel announced in April that police in Birmingham City Centre had also installed the system.

But the growing use of face-scanning technology for crime control in the U.K. has run up against criticism from privacy and human-rights advocates.

"We've suspended any plans to implement it until we can confirm what's going on with Dectel and the human-rights issues that have been raised," said Carlen. "And even then we may decide it's in the best interest of our customers not to go ahead with the trial."

She said the pilot project had been initiated by officials at Borders' U.K. branch, and referred a reporter to Managing Director Philip Downer. He couldn't be reached Monday due to a public holiday in the U.K.

I don't think this surprises most of us who doubted early claims that anonymity in electronic communications radically changed social behavior of interpersonal communications, especially the theory that the meek would inherit the Web).

"Conformity Rules in Cyberspace," The Australian, August 22, 2001,5744,2651185%255E12333,00.html

THE theory that the anonymity offered by the internet will free its users to behave outside social norms has been shown to be a myth by a study at Murdoch University's school of psychology. Surprising results from the research reveal internet chat-room users replicate social behaviour from the off-line world, such as conforming to authority and peer pressure.

Funded by an Australian Research Grant, PhD student Adam Proll and psychology professor Mike Innes ran experiments over three years by accessing chat rooms and testing their theories on participants.

"People have a tendency to believe that the internet is a passive communication medium and impersonal," Mr Proll said.

But it was dangerous to believe it was a medium that could not touch people's lives or have a big effect on them.

"It does have a social effect on people, and we need to understand how and why that works because anyone can get access to a computer and have an impact on people worldwide," he said.

In the experiments, Mr Proll and Professor Innes entered chat rooms, with approval from the university's ethics committee and chat-room leaders, using assumed identities.

They manipulated the test through a team of helpers who acted as chat-room participants, pretending not to know each other.

One test used to measure levels of conformity involved, asking participants which of four lines was the same length as another. Without prompting, participants answered correctly, but when the phony participants insisted a different answer was correct, the other participants began to agree.

This was an example of conforming to peer pressure as might occur in the real world, Mr Proll said.

Professor Innes said people were still people in chat rooms and therefore still conformed to society's rules when they were imposed. If an opinion was reinforced by a figure in authority, chat-room participants generally conformed to the popular view. Females appeared to be more likely to conform to authority.

The team is completing a second research project, examining to what extent the anonymity of the internet breaks down racial prejudice.

The rest of the article is at,5744,2651185%255E12333,00.html

Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning ---

I wonder how many Texans stop to think what their beer is all about?
Beer Advocate --- 

Wall Street analysts once known for their upbeat reports on profitless Net firms are now more willing to show a mean side. Case in point: Merrill Lynch's Henry Blodget, whose scathing words helped set ExciteAtHome's downward spiral in motion ---,1367,46235,00.html 

Bath Postal Museum --- 

The College of Southern Idaho drops outspoken cattle industry opponent Jeremy Rifkin from a list of speakers after farmers threaten to boycott ---,1283,46375,00.html 

But unless we get too self righteous about this, remember that the most banned book in U.S. schools is a famous book written by Mark Twain.  In the land of the free, censorship reigns on literature that threatens the dignity of diversity or our pocket books.

Maybe so, but how would Henry Blodget have been constrained if Merrill Lynch had done a financing deal for ExciteAtHome?

Issues on Security and Privacy --- You're being bugged!
Web bugs are hidden graphics embedded in web pages that collect information about visitors to the site. A new study has revealed that the use of web bugs has increased 488 percent in the past three years. On average, a web page is nearly five times more likely to contain a web bug today than in 1998. 

"Machine-Phase Nanotechnology A molecular nanotechnology pioneer predicts that the tiniest robots will revolutionize manufacturing and transform society," Scientific American, by K. Eric Drexler --- 

See Also

The Foresight Institute and the Foresight Guidelines:

Richard Feynman's lecture "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" can be found at

Since Brent Carper was nice enough to invite me to Cairo next April, I thought I would provide some links to his university, The American University in Cairo --- 

A Brief History of The American University in Cairo
The American University in Cairo was founded in 1919 by Americans devoted to education and service in the Middle East. For its first 27 years the university was shaped by its founding president, Dr. Charles A. Watson who wanted to create an English-language university based on high standards of conduct and scholarship and to contribute to intellectual growth, discipline, and good character of the future leaders of Egypt and the region. In addition, he believed that such a university would greatly improve America's understanding of the area.

Initially, AUC was intended to be both a preparatory school and a University. The preparatory school opened on October 5, 1920, with 142 students in two classes that were equivalent to the last two years of an American high school. The first diplomas issued were junior college-level certificates given to 20 students in 1923. At first an institution only for males, the University enrolled its first female student in 1928, the same year in which the first University class (two B.A.'s and one B.S.) graduated. Master's degrees were first offered in 1950.

Originally AUC offered instruction in the arts and sciences and in education. In 1921, the School of Oriental Studies was added to the University, followed in 1924 by the Division of Extension. This division was later renamed the Division of Public Service, and finally evolved into the Center for Adult and Continuing Education.

In 1956, the School of Oriental Studies was incorporated into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as the Center for Arabic Studies. The English Language Institute was added the same year. After the Faculty of Education was discontinued in 1961 and degree offerings were dropped from the Division of Public Service, University degree work was consolidated into a single academic structure, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

AUC's two applied research units, the Social Research Center and the Desert Development Center, were established in 1953 and 1979, respectively. Another landmark in the history of the University was the development of professional programs: the departments of Engineering, Computer Science, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Management now offer several degree programs at the Bachelor's and Master's levels.

In 1960, AUC enrolled approximately 400 academic students, at a time when Egyptian national universities enrolled more than 150,000. Aware of the need for AUC to expand in order to function effectively as a University, the trustees developed a ten-year growth plan in the late 1950's; this was followed by another plan for further growth during the decade of the 1980's. By 1969, the University had more than tripled its degree enrollment to over 1,300 students, 450 of whom were pursuing graduate studies. Since then it has grown to almost 4,500 students (1996), with almost 600 students at the master's degree level. Adult education expanded simultaneously and now has more than 11,000 students in courses and training programs; it is currently expanding its work through extension programs in Cairo, in the Egyptian governorates, and in the Arabian Peninsula.

Much of AUC's expansion was undertaken in cooperation with other institutions. In Egypt, the national universities, government ministries, and public and private organizations have provided students, faculty, facilities, and counsel. In the United States, a similar blend of institutions and resources has strengthened the University's own program and enabled it to contribute to improved American understanding of Egypt and the surrounding region.

Currently, AUC's academic programs are organized into three schools: Humanities and Social Sciences; Sciences and Engineering; and Business, Economics and Communication. Educational training and major research projects continue to be carried out through the Center for Adult and Continuing Education, the Desert Development Center and the Social Research Center.

The University and its faculty, staff and administration maintain professional relationships with other institutions and associations internationally, nationally (in both Egypt and the United States) and regionally (in the Middle East, Africa, and the Arab World). This is probably most clearly demonstrated through the University's memberships in over 60 academic and professional associations, such as: African Studies Association, American Association for Higher Education, American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, American Council of Education, American Research Center in Egypt, Arab Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Association of African Universities, Association of American International Colleges and Universities, Association of Governing Boards, British Universities Film and Video Council, Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa, European Accounting Association, International Association of Universities, International Linguistics Association, Middle East Studies Association of North America, National Association of College and University Business Officers, National Association for Continuing Education and Training, National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, Society for College and University Planning, and Sudan Studies Association.

The American University in Cairo is incorporated in the State of Delaware. The Educational Institution Licensure Commission of the State of Delaware licenses the University to confer degrees. The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits AUC in the United States. In Egypt, the University operates as a private cultural institute within the framework of the 1962 Egyptian-American Cultural Cooperation Agreement. The University's degrees are recognized as equivalent to those awarded by Egyptian national universities. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in the United States accredits the University's undergraduate engineering programs and AUC's undergraduate Computer Science program is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Board in the United States. AUC is the only school outside of the United States to receive accreditation by these two Boards.

Nearly two years ago I posted some of Brent Carper's research at my Website at 

Some of us just cannot understand "Fourier Decomposition" and "Damped Harmonic Oscillator."  For us dummies, bring on the pictures and animations.
Acoustics and Vibration Animations --- 

Irish Museum of Modern Art --- 
Too modern for this old guy.  Where are the good old Irish horses, flowers, buildings, and nudes?

Not for the likes of Bob Jensen
If you're the type of person who absolutely needs to have every single element of your life organized, then OnePlace from Franklin Covey/Enfish is the software you've got to have. (A NewMedia REVIEW) 

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS --- 

IPEDS Web-Based Data Collection allows institutions to provide NCES with the required statistical data, replacing the paper survey forms that have been used in past years.

IPEDS Peer Analysis System and Self-guided Tutorials enables a user to easily compare a LinchPin institution of the user’s choosing to a group of peer institutions, by generating reports using selected IPEDS variables of interest.

IPEDS College Opportunities On-line (COOL) presents data on institution prices, financial aid, enrollment, and type of programs that are offered by the institution. IPEDS COOL is designed to help college students, future students, and their parents understand the differences between colleges and how much it costs to attend college.

No birds mentioned.
Everything About Bees --- 

Having trouble with the new FASB standards? 

The FASB has finalized Statements No. 141, Business Combinations, and No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets which change the rules for how companies must account for business combinations, goodwill and other intangible assets.

Andersen developed a four-page Executive Summary (PDF 26k, 4 pages) on these new standards. With this summary, Andersen will help you understand the key rule changes, the issues raised by the new rules and a timeline for transitioning to them. Also included is a primer on fair value and a one page supplement (PDF 14k, 1 page) that describes the transition rules for companies with a noncalendar year end.

Coming Soon!
Andersen's Controller's Supplement on the new rules. The Controller's Supplement identifies the action steps needed to implement the new rules, and contains a topic-by-topic comparison of the new rules to the old. Visit this site to download this update when it is available.

Accounting for Business Combinations Publication
The provisions of Statements No. 141 and No. 142 as well as Andersen's interpretations of them will be included in Andersen's loose-leaf publication in the near future.

Accounting Research ManagerTM
As with most accounting literature, the accounting for business combinations, goodwill and intangible assets will continue to evolve. To ensure that you have the most relevant, up-to-date and comprehensive accounting and SEC guidance on all topics, Andersen provides its internet-based research database, Accounting Research Manager.

Get more information about Accounting Research Manager and our 30-day free trial offer.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers also has a helper site called "FASB STATEMENTS NO. 141, BUSINESS COMBINATIONS, AND NO. 142, GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS" --- 

PwC Observation: We expect that the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will have a heightened interest in the initial application of FAS 141 and FAS 142, given their (1) public comments expressing concern over the identification and valuation of intangible assets and (2) continued focus on impairment issues. Therefore, SEC registrants should ensure that their conclusions are well supported and documented. They should also be prepared to address questions relative to identification of reporting units; identification and valuation of intangible assets; selection of useful lives; determination of whether an intangible asset has an indefinite life; and recognition of transitional impairment losses.

Ira is on the FASB's Derivative's Implementation Group (DIG).  He maintains a very helpful Website on derivative financial instruments and FAS 133 requirements for accounting for such instruments --- 

Hi Bob,

Please change my email address in your address book. The new address is , effective immediately.

Thanks for your attention.

Ira Kawaller Kawaller & Company, 
Bus. Phone: 718-694-6270 Fax: 413-460-1819

When Sister Wendy Beckett first shared her love of European paintings with public television viewers in 1997, the New York Times observed that the 67-year-old nun from a British monastery was "fast on her way to becoming the most unlikely and famous art critic in the history of television." --- 

The Impressionists (Art History) 

The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh --- 

Himalayan Art Project --- 

Abbie & Art (Bones, Biology, and Art) --- 

Animals of the Rainforest --- 

Hello Dr. Jensen,

We would like to introduce a free service for book search and price comparison, .

At  you can search books on subjects ranging from software to Life & Sex. We compare book prices at over 40 bookstores.

If you are a college student, please try our multi-isbn search. This service allows you to compare book prices for 20 books at dozens of bookstore.

Please book mark . Tell a friend.

The  Team

Alternatives for finding books and comparing prices are shown at 

From Syllabus e-News on August 30, 2001

Prometheus, a provider of community source code courseware from The George Washington University has partnered with XanEdu to provide access to XanEdu course content and functions on the Prometheus platform. Under the partnership, Prometheus will allow for the integration of XanEdu CoursePacks and search functionality into the Prometheus Course Management System and Portal Product. Educational institutions that choose Prometheus courseware will be able to integrate XanEdu CoursePacks and other content into their virtual classrooms. In the past, XanEdu had to bring its products and services to individual professors. Inside Prometheus, faculty and institutions will be able to opt for the content services on an enterprise campus-wide basis.

For more information, visit .
(Note from Bob Jensen:  Prometheus is also the system used by the Fathom knowledge portal at  )

XanEdu Introduces the Education ReSearch Engine

XanEdu, a division of ProQuest Information and Learning, recently announced the launch of the XanEdu Education Research Engine, the newest in an innovative lineup of premium content research engines for higher education. Created especially for pre-service teachers pursuing academic courses of study and in-service teachers working in the classroom, the XRE EDU corresponds with leading education textbooks and the latest standards in teacher education. The content is updated daily from more than 2,000 specialized leading journals, magazines and newspapers, and is available anytime and anywhere to sub- scriber. Included with each subscription of the XRE EDU is the "Teaching as a Profession" section, designed to help students and teachers stay current with the latest news and issues driving professional development. Powered by the same academic journals and premium education news sources as the academic disciplines, this special learning section includes information on school reform, labor issues, certification standards, and related topics.

For more information, visit

WebCT To Offer More Than 1,000 Publisher e-Packs This Fall

WebCT, a provider of integrated e-learning systems for higher education, has announced that it now offers more than 1,000 e-Packs, publisher-provided academic materials for use in the WebCT course management system. e-Pack offerings combine fully customizable online course materials such as video animations, sample syllabi, lecture notes, quiz and test banks, and glossaries, with the functionality of WebCT's course management software. Faculty can incorporate an e-Pack into a WebCT online course, and start teaching online without having to create course content from scratch. WebCT's current inventory of more than 1,000 e-Packsóan increase of 100 percent over the past year --comes from 20 leading publishers, and covers virtually every academic discipline.

Faculty can view e-Pack demos, request 30-Day evaluations, or request e-Pack adoptions online at , in WebCT's "Content Showcase."

Campus Pipeline Announces New Products

Campus Pipeline recently announced six new products that will expand the functionality and customization capabilities of its Campus Pipeline Web platform. The Web platform integrates seam- lessly with SCT Banner and SCT Plus student information systems, and uses open technology standards that allow integration with an institution's existing information system and its choice of Web applications. The Web platform also includes enterprise Internet infrastructure and Web applications from iPlanet. The six new products will be bundled and sold as two separate pack- ages. Products include: Personalized Content Delivery, to deliver personalized content according to user role; Handheld Sync, to enable information within the Campus Pipeline system to be synchronized with handheld devices running on Palm or Windows CE operating systems; Secure Transport, to provide secure data transport.

For more information, visit 

I'm don't think that Ed Doemer and I are on the same wavelength.
"The Science of Happiness," --- 

Everyone wants to be happy, right? Wrong, says Ed Diener, a psychologist in the emerging field of "subjective well-being"-- a professor of happiness in all but name--at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He's found that happiness is more than just a warm glow, it's firmly rooted in culture. And guess what? Money really does make you happier--but for maximum gain you have to be poor to begin with. Michael Bond asks Diener how science goes about adding to what philosophers and artists have told us about happiness over the centuries.

So the big question is--where do you find the happiest people in the world?

Overall, Scandinavian countries seem to be the happiest. Income is very important to happiness up to a point, and it correlates with democracy, human rights, infrastructure, longevity and other things. But once you allow for that, cultural factors that have little to do with income seem to make a big difference. If you take income out of the equation--if you level the playing field, in other words--the happiest people are Hispanic.


Hispanic people tend to look at what's going to go right. They ask: "What can I do that's fun, what can I do that's interesting?" Americans are like this, and Britons to an extent. They worry more about what good things they can get rather than the bad things.

The other big question is, obviously, who are the unhappiest?

Some of the former communist countries and the very poor countries consistently show up as the unhappiest. But allowing for income, the Pacific Rim countries are much less happy than you'd expect. People from Japan, China and Korea tend to see the glass half-empty. When you ask them how satisfied they are with their lives, they look at what has gone wrong. If nothing big has gone wrong, then they're satisfied. They are a little more tense because they have to be on guard, they have to be careful to avoid making errors and pay the right respect to people.

Why is it harder for Asians to be happy?

In the West the individualistic culture means that your mood matters much more than it does in the East. When assessing life satisfaction, Japanese and Koreans count what their parents think about how they're living their lives more highly than their own moods.

How does that work?

Take love. In the US, if you asked someone why they divorced their wife and they said they didn't love her any more, you might say: "That's too bad." In Korea, you'd say: "Are you crazy?" Your personal feelings are much less important and not a justification for your actions. Certainly the biggest cultural differences are to do with pride and guilt. Hispanics report much more pride and Asians much less pride, because of the stress on humility in their culture. Asians report more of all the negative emotions, such as anger and sadness. With guilt they report even more, and Hispanics report even less.

Dear Professor Jensen,

Your print copy of EDUCAUSE Review, Volume 36, Number 5, will be mailed soon. The Table of Contents below gives you a peek at the articles in this issue. The full issue is online at <> .

If you want to be removed from this list, send an e-mail to with "remove ER TOC" in the subject line.

EDUCAUSE Review SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2001 Volume 36, Number 5


Ya Can Talk All Ya Want, But IT's Different Than It Was: Conundrums in Support of Information Technology by GREGORY A. JACKSON Novel sources of metaphor and insight offer ways to think differently--and better--about the conundrums in the support of information technology.

Implementing Life-Cycle Funding by LAURIE G. ANTOLOVIC' and MICHAEL A. McROBBIE Life-cycle funding enables an organization to set standards and establish a coherent plan for computing resources and to make an ongoing commitment to the investment in information technology.

Term Paper Mills, Anti-Plagiarism Tools, and Academic Integrity by MARIE GROARK, DIANA OBLINGER, and MIRANDA CHOA As technology continues to change, the resulting increase in opportunities for dishonest behavior is threatening academic integrity in higher education today.

Information Access in the Digital Era: Challenges and a Call for Collaboration by BRIAN L. HAWKINS The higher education community faces a critical task: developing a plan or set of plans for making all scholarly and research publications universally available on the Internet in perpetuity.  (non-graphic)


techwatch Information Technology in the News 

Leadership Implementing a Comprehensive IT Plan: A Small-College Response by WILLIAM R. HADEN 

Inside IT A Hassle-free and Inexpensive Way to "Videotape" Class Lectures by RENE LEO E. ORDONEZ 

New Horizons Developing Digital Libraries: Four Principles for Higher Education by DONALD WATERS 

policy@edu HIPAA and Higher Education by C. W. GOLDSMITH 

Viewpoints Coming Full Circle? by TRACY FUTHEY 

Homepage The .edu Domain and EDUCAUSE by MARK LUKER

A little shred of dignity and recognition
"Scott Adams: Dilbert's Ultimate Cubicle,", August 28, 2001 --- 

Scott Adams -- creator of "Dilbert" and one of the most avidly read cartoonists in the career universe -- has always made his e-mail address available. And, not being as careful as he might have been, he's gotten what he asked for: constant input from deep inside the rabbit warrens of corporate America.

"Somehow, accidentally, I realized I'd become a leading authority on what's wrong with cubicles. You don't have to be Thomas Edison to realize there's a product possibility there."

As quick as anyone to laugh at his own commercial acumen, Adams decided that one potentially bankable response might be to address the matter head-on and design what Dilbert -- or any of us -- might want in an ideal cubicle.

Napster's been shut down and the courts have ruled sharing copyrighted music illegal. Yet college students will face fewer restrictions this year on college campuses when it comes to swapping music ---,1383,45807,00.html 

"Life After Napster," by Diablo Rojo, Webmonkey, August `7, 2001 --- 
Webmonkey secret weapon Diablo takes a look at Napster clones AudioGalaxy, LimeWire, BearShare, and more.

The first Napster clone to arrive on the Web was Gnutella, a program designed by some bored and disgruntled AOL employees. But even after they worked out all the bugs, Gnutella was never a match for Napster and its massive volume of users and servers.

And then a second generation of Napster knock-offs sprang up, with clever names like KaZaA, Morpheus, LimeWire, BearShare, AudioGalaxy, and Gnotella. Several of them are no more than new clients for the Gnutella network, some of them, like KaZaA, try to distinguish themselves with innovative features like "automatic meta data assignment," "supernodes," and "theatre view." (Zeropaid hosts a discussion board and links to all of these programs and their space-age features.) But they're all trying to win over the befuddled Napster exiles.

Since I've always dreamed of becoming a Supernode, I decided it was time to check these Napster clones out and see how they compare.  Like Napster, all of these programs employ P2P ("peer-to-peer") networking. But unlike Napster, no single entity controls the operation of these services, making the censorship of copyrighted songs nearly impossible (Audiogalaxy is an exception here, . . . ).

For the rest of the article, go to  

The conclusion is gloomy.

Several of the P2P file-trading apps have tried to speed things up with work-arounds like routing traffic through the faster machines in the network. It's possible that these P2P programs will get faster with time, but the inherent problems of a decentralized network makes that possibility dubious at best.

File-trading is about speed and simplicity. And sadly, in that respect these clones may never be a match for Napster, may it R.I.P.

Bob Jensen's P2P threads are at 

From InformationWeek Online on August 28, 2001

Bankrupt Internet retailer Inc. could be heading down the same rocky path that now-defunct took when it tried to sell one of its most valuable assets--its customer data list. Egghead filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to sell its assets, including its customer data, to Fry's Electronics Inc., a chain of electronics stores based in San Jose, Calif. As a condition of the $10 million sale, Fry's is requiring that only 10% or fewer of Egghead's active customers opt out of the plan to transfer their personally identifiable data to Fry's. Neither Egghead nor Fry's execs returned calls for comment.

This condition raises questions and concerns from consumers and privacy advocates because Egghead's privacy policy states: "We do not sell or rent our customer information to any outside party under any circumstances." Egghead does specify that it can and will reveal customer data to third-party vendors to complete a transaction, but adds, "By contract, the third party is not permitted to sell, rent, or share this information."

If Egghead is not careful, it will follow in the footsteps of Toysmart, says E-commerce attorney Jason Epstein, with Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell. The Federal Trade Commission prevented Toysmart from selling its customer data after filing for bankruptcy. Its privacy policy--like Egghead's--stated that the company would not sell customer data for any reason. Following that case, Epstein says his E-commerce clients and big-name E-retailers such as Inc. revised their privacy policies to reflect instances when customer data would be sold as part of an acquisition. "A privacy policy could be construed to be a contract," Epstein says. "There is the potential for civil liability from people whose information was handed over without their permission." - Tischelle George

Fry's is requiring that fewer than 10% of Egghead customers opt out. Would you bother to do so? Is the privacy concern more important than the company's ability to sell its assets? Share your two cents in the Listening Post discussion forum 

Classical Music Reviews
Gramofile --- 

Andante (Music) --- 
Music News and Reviews 

Music Lyrics --- 

This index contains links to all of the lyrics available at Lyrics World including all the songs found in "Top 40 Hits of 1930-1999", "#1 Songs of 1930-1999", "Top Singles by Decade" and "Artist Collections", plus many songs that aren't listed anywhere else in this site. You can browse through the songs by title or by artist (group name or surname of artist). Determiners such as "The" and "A" are ignored at the beginning of a song title or artist name. So, "The Long and Winding Road" is listed under "Titles - L" and "A Hard Day's Night" is listed under "Titles - H". Likewise, "The Beatles" can be found under "Artists - B", "A Flock of Seagulls" under "Artists - F", "Nat King Cole" under "Artists - C" and "The Dave Clark Five" under "Artists - C".

Music Lyrics --- 

Exhibition of High Speed Photography (Mathematics and Physics) --- 

Cognitors Unite
In a lively online discussion on AccountingWEB, Kathy Eddy, Chairman of the AICPA, presented a detailed explanation of the concept of the proposed global business credential that will come to a vote before the entire AICPA membership later this fall. Read Ms. Eddy's explanation of this new credential.

AccountingWEB has prepared a quick and easy jump off page for those of you who want to keep up with the developments on the AICPA's proposed Global Business Credential --- 

I would agree if we were testing for much more than just whether students can read, write, add, and subtract.  It may be a bad thing to test for ability to manipulate fractions.  This would entail having some math teachers learn how to manipulate fractions.
A professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, says the trend toward more standardized testing epitomizes what's wrong with America's educational system ---,1383,45902,00.html 

Top 50 Games of All Time ---- 

Interview: IBM software chief Steve MIlls sketches the challenges that IT products face, including the difficulty in integrating different platforms and systems. 

Wireless News
The first housing development with built-in wireless Internet infrastructure is in Portsmouth, Virginia. But the residents aren't using it because they can't afford it or they don't know how ---,1367,46050,00.html 

Linux vs. Windows - who will win the battle? 

Wow Site Design of the Week from Indiana University
Indiana University Brings Ancient Cities Back To Life (History, Archaeology) --- 

Guide to Architecture, Engineering, and Construction 
This is a very comprehensive site courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects. 

U.S. politicians having are sure to vote for banning face recognition, its that Menage et Trois unmentionable in this political debate!  Some pattern recognition technologies are certain to be banned.

 "Florida city moves to ban face-recognition system," by Dibya Sarkar, USA Today, August 23, 2001 --- 

Councilwoman at Large Gwen Chandler-Thompson, who proposed the resolution last week. "I don't want Big Brother watching me. I thought it would be wise to be proactive rather than reactive." Chandler-Thompson, who said she's not sure how her 18 fellow council members feel about the technology, said she began researching the issue shortly after Tampa, Fla., police linked surveillance cameras to facial-recognition software two months ago in the entertainment district of Ybor City. Cameras scan and capture photographs of people's faces, which are then matched against a computer image database of 30,000 wanted felons, sex offenders and runaways. (Earlier in the year, Tampa police tested the technology during Super Bowl XXXV, scanning faces of game attendees.)

GameSpy's Top 50 Games of All Time 

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married. One broom was, of course, the bride broom. The other was the groom broom.

The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely. After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride broom leaned over and said to the groom broom, "I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!!! " "

IMPOSSIBLE !!" Exclaimed the groom broom.

(Are you ready for this!!? ) 

(Brace yourself; this is going to hurt, Really bad...) 





Forwarded by Dick Haar

"Hello, is this the FBI?"

"Yes. What do you want?"

"I'm calling to report about my neighbor Billy Bob Smith! He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood."

"Thank you very much for the call, sir."

The next day, the FBI agents descend on Billy Bob's house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana.

They swore at Billy Bob and left. The phone rings at Billy Bob's house.

"Hey, Billy Bob! Did the FBI come?"


"Did they chop your firewood?"


"Happy Birthday, Buddy!"  
(When I read that, I just knew Randy Quaid was typecast for the part."

Forwarded by Bob Overn

Subject: New Element Discovered 
A new development in nuclear physics, although many have long suspected it is true: A secret scientific document was discovered in a bunker whose security systems were mostly destroyed by the fires last year around Los Alamos. This document was leaked to the public last weekend. Actually, it is more of a confirmation than a revelation, since the existence of this heretofore un-named element has been suspected for years. However, the document does reveal new details. It shows that the government has known all along that besides arsenic, lead, mercury, radon, strontium and plutonium, one more extremely deadly and pervasive element also exists. Investigators have discovered the heaviest element known to science. This startling discovery has been tentatively named Governmentium (Gv). It is suspect that the element has been kept top secret for at least 50 years. 

This new element has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0. It does, however, have 1 neutron, 125 deputy neutrons, 75 supervisory neutrons, and 111 team leader neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since it has no electrons, Governmentium is inert. However, it is easily detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. According to the secret document, a minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it should normally take less than a second. Governmentium has a normal half-life of approximately three years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the deputy neutrons, supervisory neutrons, and team leader neutrons exchange places. In fact, a Governmentium sample's mass will actually increase over time, since with each reorganization some of the morons inevitably become neutrons forming a new type of element called iso-dopes. 

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as the "Critical Morass."

For teachers everywhere gearing up for the new school year...

Then Jesus took his disciples up the mountain and gathering them around, He taught them saying: 

Then Simon Peter said, "Do we have to write this down?"

And Andrew said, "Are we supposed to know this?"

And James said, "Will we have a test on this?"

And Phillip said, "I don't have any paper."

And Bartholohew said, "Do we have to turn this in?"

And John said, "The other disciples didn't have to learn this."

And Matthew said, "Can I go to the boy's room?"

And Judas said, "What does this have to do with real life?"

And Mark said, "Mr. C., Mr. C., Do you have a pencil?"

Then one of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus' lesson plans and inquired of Jesus, "What are the objectives in the cognitive domain and your plans for remediation?"



Just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change things. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the Faculty a sense of the mind- set of this year's incoming freshman.

Beloit, Wis.— You can call them PHAT, but don’t call them fat, or at least be sure of the generation you are addressing when you make the observation.

Each year, Beloit College assembles the Mindset List, a compilation of items that indicate the viewpoints and frame of reference of entering students. The vast majority of those first year students are about 18 years old, having been born in 1983, along with personal computers and speculation on the phenomenon of email communications on campus.

Tom McBride, Keefer Professor of the Humanities and director of Beloit’s model “First Year Initiatives” (or FYI) program, oversees the formation of the list and its distribution to faculty and staff. “The gap in age between teacher and student increases annually as the faculty remain the same age and students get younger. As faculty start to show signs of 'hardening of the references,' it is important that we think about the touchstones and benchmarks of a generation that has grown up with CNN, home computers, AIDS awareness, 'Just say no,' and the Bush political dynasty.”

The list was first compiled by Prof. McBride, Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Director of Institutional Research Richard Miller after an informal list developed on the Beloit campus email in 1998. It is now prepared and distributed on the eve of the start of classes at the 1,200 student liberal arts and sciences college in southern Wisconsin. Each year, it is requested by thousands of educational institutions, businesses, churches and others. Last year it began showing up in English-language media abroad.

"This is not serious, in-depth research," notes Mr. Miller. “It is meant to be thought- provoking and fun, yet accurate.” Prof. McBride also notes that it is “ relevant as possible, given the broad social and geographic diversity of our students, who are drawn from every state and 58 countries. It is always open to challenge, and this has an additional benefit in that it reminds us of students’ varied backgrounds. Things like the WEB and cable TV and varying family interests all have an impact on its veracity, but it is still a good reflection of the attitudes and experiences of young people, which we must be aware of on the first day of their college experience.”

The following “Mindset List for First-Year Students in the Class of 2005 has been shared with faculty and staff at the 155 year-old liberal arts college as they prepare to welcome the new class.

Class of 2005 Mindset List

1. Most students starting college this fall were born in 1983.

2. Ricky Nelson, Marvin Gaye and Laura Ashley have always been dead.

3. The New Kids on the Block are over the hill.

4. They want to be PHAT but not fat.

5. IBM Selectrics are antiques.

6. Thongs no longer come in pairs and slide between the toes.

7. God has never been a “he” in most churches.

8. Hard copy has nothing to do with a TV show; a browser is not someone relaxing in a bookstore; a virus does not make humans sick; and a mouse is not a rodent (and there is no proper plural for it).

9. Moscow has always been opposed to “star wars.”

10. Recording TV programs on VCRs became legal the year they were born.

11. The British Royal family has always behaved badly.

12. There has always been Diet Coke.

13. Artificial hearts have always been ticking.

14. The Social Security system has always been on the brink.

15. There have always been warnings about second-hand smoke.

16. They have never experienced a real recession.

17. A hacker is not just a kid who won’t stop fooling around.

18. Grenada has always been safe for democracy.

19. They were born the same year as the PC and the Mac.

20. The U.S. Senate has always had a daycare program.

21. One earring on a man indicates that he is probably pretty conservative.

22. CDs have always been labeled for explicit content.

23. Lethal Weapon in one form or another has always been “at the movies.”

24. Boeing has not built the 727 since they were born.

25. Sarajevo was a war zone, not an Olympic host.

26. They don’t remember Janet Jackson when she was cute and chubby.

27. Drug testing of athletes has always been routine.

28. There has always been a hole in the ozone layer.

29. They have always used email.

30. The Colts have always been in Indianapolis.

31. The precise location of the Titanic has always been known.

32. When they were born, Madonna was still a radiant woman holding a beatific child.

33. Jimmy Hoffa has always been officially dead.

34. Tylenol has always been impossible for children or adults to open.

35. Volkswagen beetles have always had engines in the front.

36. They do not know what the Selective Service is, but men routinely register for it on their financial aid forms.

37. Ron Howard and Rob Reiner have always been balding older film directors.

38. Cal Ripken has always been playing baseball.

39. They have probably never used carbon paper and do not know what "cc" and "bcc" mean.

40. Lasers have always been marketed as toys.

41. Major newspapers have always been printed in color.

42. Beta is a preview version of software, not a VCR format.

43. They have never known exactly what to call the rock star formerly and presently known as Prince.

44. They are the first generation to prefer tanning indoors.

45. "Survivor" is a TV show not a rock group.

46. They have heard “just say no” since they were toddlers.

47. Most of them know someone who was born with the help of a test tube.

48. It has paid to “Discover” since they were four.

49. Oprah has always been a national institution..

50. With a life expectancy of 77 years, they can anticipate living until about 2060.


The Official Beloit College Mindset List Homepage

The '60's as History, Beloit College Magazine, Summer 2000

Translation Aids for Understanding How Texans Communicate by Analogy

 Big hat, no cattle.
(All talk and no action or
He's a poor Texas accounting professor rather than a rich ranch owner.)


He looks like the dog's been keepin' him under the porch.
(Not the most handsome of men.)


 They ate supper before they said grace.
(Living in sin.)


 Time to paint your butt and run with the antelope.
(Stop arguing and do as you're told.)


The engine's runnin' but ain't nobody driving.
(Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.)


 As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.


 Tighter than bark on a tree.
(Not very generous)


 We've howdy'd but we ain't shook yet.
(We've made a brief acquaintance, but not been formally introduced.)


 He thinks the sun come up just to hear him crow.
(He has a pretty high opinion of himself.)


 She's got tongue enough for 10 rows of teeth.
(That woman can talk.)


 It's so dry the trees are bribin' the dogs.
(We really could use even a teensy bit of rain around here this summer.)


 Just because a chicken has wings don't mean it can fly.
(Appearances can be deceptive.)


 This ain't my first rodeo.
(I've done been around awhile.)


 You can put your boots in the oven, but that don't make 'em biscuits.
(You can say whatever you want about something, but that doesn't change what it is.)


As full of wind as an Iowa corn-eating horse.
(That Yankee's prone to boasting.)

 Pffffffffoooo!  That's ALL Yah'ALL!

And that's the way it was on September 7, 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 --- 

Links to the following accountancy documents:

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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August 24, 2001

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on August 24, 2001
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Due to the complications of starting up a new semester and my having to be in Mexico next week, there will probably not be another edition of New Bookmarks for two or three weeks.  Do you suppose I can contain myself that long?

Quotes of the Week

You feel the need to repay student loans. You couldn't wait to do your first tax return. You don't have to go to law school. Norm Petersen (from the old TV show called "Cheers") makes a great role model. There are fewer essay questions in accounting courses. You didn't get a football scholarship to college. You get to see all your college friends every six months, while retaking the CPA exam.
"Top Reasons for Becoming an Accountant," Accounting Web Resource Guide, Issue 14, August 21, 2001

GAAP = Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (including rules, laws, and conventional practices)
This definition is needed for the quote below, which is in the context of U.S. GAAP rather than international GAAP.

The other lesson, perhaps even more tallied, GAAP should be on everyone's Top 10 list. The idea of GAAP -- so simple yet so radical -- is that tore important, is contained in the embrace of GAAP. When the intellectual achievements of the 20th century here should be a standard way of accounting for profit and loss in public businesses, allowing investors to see how a public company manages its money. This transparency is what allows investors to compare businesses as different as McDonald's, IBM and Tupperware, and it makes U.S. markets the envy of the world.
Clay Shirky in "How Priceline Became A Real Business," The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2001

"The future of the accounting and finance profession is changing daily. Tomorrow's accounting and finance professionals will shatter longstanding stereotypes as they shift from being backroom statisticians to boardroom strategists."  (See below)

If one were writing a history of the American capital market, it is a fair bet that the single most important innovation shaping that market was the idea of generally accepted accounting principles.
Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University and former Secretary of Treasury

They Do It With Mirrors --- GAAP Does Not "Cover" the entire GAP  
An Analogy Between GAAP and the GAP in a  Woman's Dress or Skirt

So what is wrong with GAAP in recent years?  GAAP's problems are somewhat like a "GAP" incident that took place in a Target Store (the story would have been better had it been inside a GAP Store) in San Antonio on August 21 (as reported on a local television station).  A man with a mirror was detained for peeking up the "GAP" beneath women's dresses.  Although he was tossed out of the store, this pervert was not arrested.  The police claimed they had nothing to charge him with, because there was no U.S. or Texas law against peeking beneath a woman's dress with a mirror.  Laws are enforced better in the U.S. than in many other nations, but the laws are incomplete for many types of egregious behavior.  In an analogous manner, GAAP is enforced better in the U.S. than in most other nations, but U.S. GAAP is incomplete and does not control certain types of egregious financial reporting behavior that is becoming increasingly common in the "New Economy" --- where intangible assets that are not measured well under GAAP comprise an increasing proportion of the value and earnings of business firms.  In some ways, business firms are trying to "Do It With Mirrors," thereby, causing a widening "GAP" in "GAAP."   I will now give you the WSJ quotation:

But there's a catch. In recent years, P/E ratios have become increasingly polluted. The "E" in P/E used to refer simply to earnings as reported under generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. That's what it means when the historical average is cited. But in First Call's figure, the "E" relates to something fuzzier, called "operating earnings." And that can mean just about whatever a company wants it to mean.

Based on earnings as reported under GAAP, the S&P 500 actually finished last week with a P/E ratio of 36.7, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. That is higher than any other P/E previously recorded for the index. (Click here to see details of the calculation.)

This suggests the overall stock market could be further from recovery than many suppose. "I don't think most people realize that the market is as overvalued as it is," says David Blitzer, chief investment strategist at S&P, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. "There probably are a lot of people who would sell some stock if they realized how overvalued the numbers are saying the market is."

Jonathan Weil, "Companies Pollute Earnings Reports, Leaving P/E Ratios Hard to Calculate," The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2001, Page A1 (For details and related articles, see )

The sooner the better!
The SEC is currently investigating a couple of companies for what they believe is bordering on fraudulent reporting of corporate earnings, and may end up making an example of some. For now they are holding off on a larger crackdown, but if the practice isn't curtailed to their liking, new rules may follow. 

"Independent" Auditors:  Are They Becoming Dependents?

In recent years, a dramatic increase in the revenues big accounting firms derive from management consulting services has raised a red flag about auditor independence. The Wall Street Journal reported in April, for example, that just last year Sprint paid Ernst & Young $2.5 million for auditing but $63.8 million for other work, including $12 million for the deployment of a financial-information system. General Electric paid KPMG $24 million for auditing but more than three times that for other services.
Study Finds Consulting Contracts Impair Auditor Objectivity ---

Note from Bob Jensen
What makes GAAP work is the integrity and professionalism of the vast majority of accountants who cling to the ethics of the past in the New Economy.  There is concern, however, among all professions (such as medicine, law, and accountancy) that the professions are giving in to greed and changing tones at the top regarding ethics and professionalism.  For this reason, I requested that my very good friend, Dick Vangermeersch, send me a copy of his short tribute when he introduced Eli Mason to the audience on August 12 just prior to the American Accounting Association Year 2001 Annual Meetings (note that these are Dick's notes and were not written in published text format).

Award Introduction by Richard Vangermeersch Professor of Accounting University of Rhode Island --
Eli Mason, Recipient of the Prestigious Accounting Exemplar Award of the Public Interest and Ethics Section of the American Accounting Association

August 12, 2001-Atlanta Georgia Introductory Comments about Eli Mason

Eli Mason needs no introduction for most of us. If he does (and even if he doesn't), be sure to read Random Thoughts: The Writings of Eli Mason. (A complimentary copy can be received by writing Eli Mason, CPA, 400 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022).

Eli Mason is a very significant leader in public accounting and comes from a smaller-sized public accounting firm in New York city. He is all we want our students to be: literate; thoughtful; well-read; concerned with ethics (see the second page in his book)**; a fighter à la Leonard Spacek and Abe Briloff; and humorous (see p. 38, for instance).

It may be more important for us to introduce ourselves to him. We are accounting professors who care about, study, and publish about ethics in accounting. We are available for exchanges of ideas with interested accountants. We want to include accountants like Eli Mason in this section of the American Accounting Association.

Eli wrote this in the last two paragraphs of Random Thoughts. "I had a dream that professors of accountancy, auditing, and taxation, comfortable in their tenure but unhappy with developments within the institutions of the profession did gather together and declare that a learned profession should not be disparaged (American Accounting Association-AAA please note)."

"As the lyrics to the song go: 'I can dream, can't I?'"

Eli, we are all anxious to dream along with you.

-- Introduction by Richard Vangermeersch Professor of Accounting University of Rhode Island --

**Credo for a CPA, from Accounting Today, February 7, 1994

To serve the public from whom my authority is derived.

To serve my profession and contribute to its institutions.

To practice at the highest professional level.

To maintain an ethical posture characteristic of a learned profession.

To maintain my ethical skills so that the public is served with competence.

To maintain a state of independence at all times so that decisions are reached with objectivity.

To work with my colleagues-for the practice of a profession is an experience in human behavior and mutual respect.

Also see the following online documents:

The Electronic Book Publishers' Laments --- "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming."
Scroll down this edition of New Bookmarks to discover how to Download Dmitry Sklyarov's PowerPoint slides.

In addition to Dmitry's presentation, Bryan Guignard has written a white paper (from the Gallery of Adobe Remedies) that discusses Adobe's security as well. "Adobe makes it clear that it 'expects' software developers to 'respect the intent' of its PDF security system. So as it is clearly seen from Adobe's own specification, PDF security is not based on sound technology, rather, it is based entirely on 'respect". 

He also mentions that ghostscript can similarly be used to bypass Adobe PDF security. Don't tell the Justice Department, or we'll end up losing access to that valuable tool as well! (see below)

Is there intrinsic value in stocks that smart investors, like Warren Buffet, can take advantage of vis-à-vis investing dummies?

A message from Scott Scott Bonacker [scottbonacker@MOCCPA.COM

Thanks (to John Rodi) for the interesting reference, Warren Buffet says something similar in several of his letters to shareholders at .

Don't forget, too, that he bought a large interest in HR Block last fall and the share price has increased substantially since then. That purchase was motivated, I believe, by the fact that to reach an 80% rate of electronic filing the government is going to have to pay preparers to make tax returns and do the e-filing. Otherwise they'll never get the folks who have simple returns and/or are quite capable of doing the forms themselves. Myself, I do my tax return by computer and then substitute a handwritten page or two before mailing. That way I am sure to get one of the forms packages in the mail next year. It's helpful to know when those things go out.

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

I want to thank Mike Kirschenheiter from Columbia University for providing his time and talents in updating our workshop audience about the Fathom Knowledge Portal at our August 11 workshop in Atlanta.

Fathom Knowledge Portal --- 

Bob Jensen's Opinions of Knowledge Trails
Wow Innovation
I think Fathom's Knowledge Trails are the most interesting new innovations in knowledge navigation that I have seen in this new era of electronic technology.  Click on "Learn More About Knowledge Trails" under the "Learn More" section on the bottom left portion of the page at 

The accounting knowledge trails are just beginning to be blazed, so accounting is not yet a good illustration of the power of knowledge trails in Fathom.  The trails in humanities and science are more advanced.  Note how the trails are uniquely linked so that just like in real life, one trail leads to another and another showing the important interfaces of different topics.

Fathom Partners
* Columbia University 
* The London School of Economics and Political Science 
* Cambridge University Press
* The British Library 
* The New York Public Library
* The University of Chicago 
* University of Michigan 
* American Film Institute 
* Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution             
* The Natural History Museum 
* Victoria and Albert Museum                             
* Science Museum *

I suggest that you follow my lead in signing up for the free Fathom newsletter.  You can sign up for one or more areas of specialty.

Fathom has added dozens of free seminars to our Course Directory! Created by the faculty and experts at Fathom's member institutions, these online seminars include self-evaluation exercises, topics for member discussion, and resources for further study. Enroll in as many as you like--for free!

* FREE! * EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING AND BRANDING IN THE DIGITAL AGE, a free seminar from Columbia University, outlines the five basic areas of experiential marketing--Sense, Feel, Think, Act and Relate--and explains how each can be used in marketing and branding. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: 

* MANAGEMENT OF E-COMMERCE, a semester-length course from Harcourt eLearning, explores e-business strategy, marketing, and the use of e-commerce sites in effective communication. Class begins September 4: 

Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: .

Mike Kearl in Sociology at Trinity University has an extremely popular and helpful Website at
His most popular page is on "The Sociology of Death and Dying" at 

Mike also has a great site on METHODS, STATISTICS, & THE RESEARCH PAPER at 
(Every researcher should take a look at the above site.)

Mike's links to dictionaries are follows:

You may wish to use either Frank Elwell's glossary or Robert Drislane & Gary Parkinson's Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences for some of the discipline's terminology.  And to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism toward the numerous claims of "facts" and "truth" that one invariably comes across on the Web visit Robert T. Carroll's "The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Guide for the New Millennium".

 Bob Jensen's links to dictionaries and glossaries are contained in the following two sites:

Wow Innovation of the Week --- New Tool Analyzes Facial Expressions
Facing the Truth, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI, May 2001 --- 

A curled lip, a furrowed brow—sometimes even a small change in expression can reveal far more than words. We all like to think we can read people's faces for signs of their true emotions. Now, a computer program can analyze images of faces as accurately as trained professionals.

What's more, it does so faster. Working frame by frame, the most proficient human experts take an hour to code the 1,800 frames contained in one minute of video images, a job that the computer program does in only five minutes.

A team led by HHMI investigator Terrence Sejnowski reported the feat in the March 1999 issue of the journal Psychophysiology.

The automated system, which has been improved since the article appeared, could be a boon for behavioral studies. Scientists have already found ways, for example, to distinguish false facial expressions of emotion from genuine ones. In depressed individuals, they've also discovered differences between the facial signals of suicidal and nonsuicidal patients. Such research relies on a coding system developed in the 1970s by Paul Ekman of the University of California, San Francisco, a coauthor of the Psychophysiology paper. Ekman's Facial Action Coding System (FACS) breaks down facial expressions into 46 individual motions, or action units.

For the rest of the article, go to 

Wow Education Site of the Week 

National Center for Education Statistics

Projections of Education Statistics to 2011 --- 
Total public and private elementary and secondary enrollment is projected to increase from 52.9 million in 1999 to 53.4 million in 2005. Then total enrollment is projected to decrease to 53.0 million by 2011, an overall increase of less than 1 percent from 1999 (table 1).

Between 1999 and 2011, public elementary and secondary enrollment is projected to increase 8 percent in the West, while in the South it will increase 1 percent. In the Northeast and Midwest, enrollment is projected to decrease 4 and 3 percent, respectively, over the same period (table 5).

Enrollment in degree-granting institutions is projected to increase from 14.8 million in 1999 to 17.7 million by 2011, an increase of 20 percent. A 16 percent increase is projected under the low alternative and a 23 percent increase is projected under the high alternative (table 10).

High school graduates from public and private high schools are projected to increase from 2.8 million in 1998-99 to 3.1 million by 2010-11, an increase of 11 percent. This increase reflects the projected rise in the 18 year-old population (table 23).

Between 1998-99 and 2010-11, the number of public high school graduates is projected to increase 20 percent in the West, while the South will increase 12 percent. The Northeast and the Midwest are projected to increase 11 and 2 percent, respectively, over the same period (table 24).

The number of bachelor's degrees is expected to increase from 1,184,000 in 1997-98 to 1,392,000 by 2010-11, an increase of 18 percent (table 27).

Under the middle alternative, a 34 percent increase in current expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools is projected for the period from 1998-99 to 2010-11. Under the low alternative, current expenditures are projected to increase by 29 percent; under the high alternative, current expenditures are projected to increase by 40 percent (table 33).

Under the middle alternative, current expenditures per pupil in fall enrollment are forecast to increase 33 percent in constant dollars from 1998-99 to 2010-11 (table 33).

Download, view and print the entire report as a pdf file (937kb).


The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS --- 

IPEDS Web-Based Data Collection allows institutions to provide NCES with the required statistical data, replacing the paper survey forms that have been used in past years.

IPEDS Peer Analysis System and Self-guided Tutorials enables a user to easily compare a LinchPin institution of the user’s choosing to a group of peer institutions, by generating reports using selected IPEDS variables of interest.

IPEDS College Opportunities On-line (COOL) presents data on institution prices, financial aid, enrollment, and type of programs that are offered by the institution. IPEDS COOL is designed to help college students, future students, and their parents understand the differences between colleges and how much it costs to attend college.


College Opportunities Online --- 
IPEDS College Opportunities On-Line is your direct link to over 9,000 colleges and universities in the United States. If you are thinking about a large university, a small liberal arts college, a specialized college, a community college, a career or technical college or a trade school, you can find them all here.

College Opportunities On-Line is brought to you by the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. NCES was authorized by Congress in 1998 to help college students, future students, and their parents understand the differences between colleges and how much it costs to attend college.

College Opportunities On-Line helps you find out about a specific college or set of colleges, if you have some in mind. You can name the colleges and obtain information about them.

If you are not sure what colleges might be of interest, IPEDS COOL has the tools to help you search for a college. You can search for a college based on its location, program, or degree offerings either alone or in combination. The more criteria you specify, the smaller the number of colleges that will fit your criteria. Once you've found some colleges of interest, you can obtain important and understandable information on all of them.

Once you have determined the colleges that meet your interests, we urge you to obtain more information about them by visiting their web sites, writing for more information, or visiting the schools of your choice.

Warning: An institution's inclusion in IPEDS COOL does NOT imply approval of the institution or its programs by the U.S. Department of Education. Title IV eligible schools (those that participate in awarding Pell Grants and other federal financial aid) have recognized accreditation. This is important for acceptance of transfer credit or degree recognition.

Other College Related Links

Contact the IPEDS Staff


Bob Jensen's education bookmarks are at 
(These bookmarks include helpers for students wanting to evaluate colleges and universities.)

Parents of Young Children Should Take Note --- 
The Tax Relief Act makes a 529 plan a more attractive way to save for an  education than ever before, with handsome income tax breaks, transferable accounts and more.

Debbie Bowling forwarded a link to what is probably the best site on the Web for weather information.  Go to 

Paranoia for Fun and Profit, Interesting Pictures, Animations, Science, MP3 Downloads, Food, and Other Fun Links

The Chandra X-Ray Telescope has a gallery show. Astronomers have put online a collection of staggering images of black holes and supernovae captured by the orbiting X-Ray Telescope ---,1282,46003,00.html 

The Night Sky in the World --- 

Ansel Adams at 100 (featuring audio as well as photos) 

Welcome to this special interactive program, developed in conjunction with the exhibition Ansel Adams at 100, on view at the Museum through January 13, 2002. Focusing on seven key works, this program provides insights into the history and world of ideas behind Adams' photography.

Please note: these features work best with high bandwidth Web access and newer, more powerful computers. If you encounter difficulty accessing Ansel Adams at 100 online, we invite you to visit the Museum to view it on the interactive kiosks located in our galleries.

The Museum of Hoaxes ---  

Worst Case Scenarios --- 

How To Escape From Quicksand
How to Ram a Car
How to Fend Off a Shark
How to Take a Punch
How to Jump from a Bridge or Cliff into a River
How to Jump from a Building into a Dumpster
How to Perform a Tracheotomy
How to Treat a Bullet or Knife Wound
How to Land a Plane
How to Survive if Your Parachute Fails to Open
View the complete Table of Contents
Read the Introduction

Immuno Biology Animations 
This is a great site for the study of animations as well as biology.

Paranoia for fun and profit It must be a conspiracy. Everyone is talking about the computer game Majestic -- even the aliens --- 

The Net's deep database of conspiracy theories and paranoia is at the root of the summer's most-talked-about new game, Majestic. Produced by Electronic Arts, Majestic is best described as an interactive, immersive and invasive online mystery that combines fiction with (debatable) reality in a very Webby way. For $10 a month, you too can receive mysterious midnight phone calls, anonymous e-mails and tips about a boggling number of surreal goings-on for the next six months of your life.

HistoryWired --- 
From the Smithsonian:  Three million rarely seen objects. They've mapped out showrooms where individual items can be viewed by broad subject category, relevant theme, or timeline.  (I know that I featured this in the August 10 edition of New Bookmarks, but the Website design is so great here, I want to remind those who have not looked at this Website to take a serious look now.

Sid Meier's Civilization (Ancient History) --- 
Note the way that this site handles pictures.
This site includes a civilization game for rewriting history.

The Literary Gothic (guide to Gothic literature) --- 

You must read this if you are going to Australia
Discovernet  (Guide to Museums Down Under) --- 

The Densho Project  (visual library of Japanese-American stories) --- 

Can you read this book in 10 hours?  RosettaBooks is offering Agatha Christie's classic mystery And Then There Were None in a special time-based permit edition. In conjunction Adobe Systems, Inc. and Reciprocal, Inc., the eBook is available for download for $1.00 at .  

Leading-edge search alternatives ---,1282,45905,00.html 

Iron Chef Compendium (Food) --- 
Recipezaar --- 

Hiking Trail Database 

Accounting's not really a do-it-yourselfer: Get help, Software, classes always good idea, but pros know best," by Jim Hopkins, USA TODAY, August 16, 2001 --- 

Learn the basics

* Bookkeeping is the nuts-and-bolts of financial management. It is the recording of expenses, such as rent and payroll, and of income.

* Accounting builds on bookkeeping. Accountants, often working outside the business, double-check and analyze the bookkeeper's numbers. They look for trends, such as expenses rising faster than income, or debt piling up. ''It gives you a sense of security,'' says Bob Breaux, a former accountant and founder of Total Computer Systems in Baton Rouge.

The remainder of this article is in the archives at 

Resource checklist

* Bob Jensen's Bookmarks for Accountants and Business Firms at 

* American Association of Hispanic Certified Public Accountants is on the Web at .

* American Express financial services company offers bookkeeping advice at,1641,6108,00.asp 

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has information about tax-law changes at

*, a publisher of legal information, has accounting tips for small-business owners at

* SCORE, The Service Corps of Retired Executives, offers free advice in face-to-face meetings, or online at .

Online Discussion Groups for Accountants and Accounting Educators

AECM (Educators) 
AECM is an email, Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc
CPAS-L (Practitioners)  CPAS-L@Listserv.Loyola.Edu 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.

From Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends August 14, 2001

Skidmore to Expand Internet Class Offerings

Skidmore College received a grant of $460,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop three new baccalaureate distance-learning programs through its University Without Walls. The new interdisciplinary programs in American history and culture, human nature and behavior, and communication and the arts, will be designed so they can be completed entirely over the Internet, said Skidmore President Jamienne Studley. The three-year grant will support new staff, provide funds for faculty to develop 30 new Internet courses and pay for assistance with Web site development, technical support, marketing, travel and other costs related to developing the new online programs.

The Skidmore College homepage is at 

From Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends August 14, 2001

Thomson Learning Offers eTextbooks this Fall

Course Technology, a computer education publishing division of Thomson Learning, is offering flexible textbook content electronically through eBooks. Course Technology will offer a library of more than 50 of their best-selling textbook titles within eBook platforms beginning in September 2001. Course Technology offers a secure system for accessing, annotating and sharing copyrighted content online through its partnership with Rovia. The Rovia-enabled etextbooks, which look exactly like the printed version, integrate the entire offering of materials that accompany a textbook, including interactive quizzes, movies and other multimedia enhancements, into a single platform. Professors and students can customize their content by annotating text, highlighting key passages, inserting "sticky notes," and bookmarking pages.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

From Syllabus e-News, Resources, and Trends August 14, 2001

Atomic Dog Publishing Launches My Backpack 2.0

Atomic Dog Publishing, a Cincinnati-based higher education, online publisher, announced the release of its new online learning environment, MyBackpack 2.0, the platform upon which all of Atomic Dog's online textbooks are delivered. MyBackpack 2.0 presents textbooks in real-time, allowing for a higher level of customization, currency, and multimedia integration. The new learning environment features full text searching, pop-up glossary terms and footnotes, bookmarking, integrated study-guides, integrated video, audio, simulations, and animations, and a hyperlinked table of contents, in full and brief. MyBackpack 2.0 also enables students and instructors to customize their textbooks. Students can now enter personal notes and highlights within any of Atomic Dog's online textbooks. Instructors can also post notes, quizzes, Web exercises, alternative points of view, case studies, current events and critical thinking questions to their students. For more information, visit .

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

"E-Books Out of Print Already?" by M.J. Rose, Wired News, June 4, 2001

See also:
What if E-Books Cost Less?
E-Book Forecast: Cloudy
Getting a Read on New E-Books

eBookWeb ---- 
News, resources, reviews, etc.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at  

Wow Download of the Week
Electronic Book (eBook, e-Book) Security in PDF Formats
Dmitry Sklyarov's Presentation Slides from 
These are in techie-talk, but they are highly informative.

From (a Division of Tucows) --- 

Adobe eBook Security Model (This download is amazing.  Dmitry Sklyarov became a celebrity.)
So, what is the security model for Adobe's Ebook computer which was compromised by Russian software company ElcomSoft, thereby landing Russian PhD computer science student Dmitry Sklyarov in jail? (Check last week's Front Page and this week's Front Page for the story).

If you're interested, Dmitry's presentation, entitled eBooks security - theory and practice is available on-line. It would be better, of course, with the accompanying talk, but it does a good job of showing how thin the Adobe PDF security is, pretty appalling given marketing quotes like these:

"eBook Pro", the only software in the universe that makes your information virtually 100% burglarproof! It comes with a lifetime, money-back guarantee

"At Last, You Can Sell Information Online (And Make Thousands Of Sales Per Day) - Without The Danger Of Having Your Information Stolen And Resold By Others."

with the actual features of the eBook Pro compiler:

All HTML pages and supplementary files are compressed with deflate algorithm from ZLIB

Compressed data are encrypted by XOR-ing each byte with every byte of the string "encrypted", which is the same as XOR with constant byte.

In addition to Dmitry's presentation, Bryan Guignard has written a whitepaper (from the Gallery of Adobe Remedies) that discusses Adobe's security as well. "Adobe make it clear that it 'expects' software developers to 'respect the intent' of its PDF security system. So as it is clearly seen from Adobe's own specification, PDF security is not based on sound technology, rather, it is based entirely on 'respect'".

He also mentions that ghostscript can similarly be used to bypass Adobe PDF security. Don't tell the Justice Department, or we'll end up losing access to that valuable tool as well!




Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at  

New Internet journal --- Alternative Perspectives on Finance and Accounting

Dear Bob,

In the next few days, you'll be receiving the first articles for the new Internet journal Alternative Perspectives on Finance and Accounting. We realize that there has been a long delay since we first introduced the journal, but we have wanted to ensure the publication of quality articles that have undergone rigorous review, and this process can take time.

In addition to sending you these articles individually, you will be able to find them posted on the web site . Each paper will be indexed by a Volume indicating the year in which it was published (2001 is Volume 1) and a Number indicating the order in which it was published within the Volume. Because we are not required to meet any publisher's schedule and there are no space limitations, papers will be appear as they are accepted, and as many papers will appear in a volume as have been accepted. We intend to introduce each paper with a transmittal message in which the editors will comment on what we feel is the significance of a paper as an alternative perspective on finance and accounting.

The web site describes the editorial policies of the journal and what sorts of papers we feel are appropriate. Of course we always encourage you to correspond with us with suggestions and recommendations for the journal's improvement.

Skip McGoun]On

Accounting Software 411 (AS411) --- 

Accounting Software 411 (AS411) is the place on the Web where you can find the latest news and information on accounting software products. This site is targeted to software consultants, software vendors and anyone who is either researching or is interested in information about accounting software and related solutions. Our goal is to create a community whereby everyone can learn and share their knowledge about the accounting software industry.

The site is broken down into four primary areas:
Note: The home page lists five content areas—software, consultants, messages, news and help.

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

This should be of interest to anybody who updates a Web file daily or weekly. Some users around the world may miss your latest updates for reasons that I discuss in my reply to Professor XXXXX. In this instance, I update the booknew.htm file weekly at 

*************************************************************** -----Original Message----- From: XXXXX 
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 1:48 PM 
To: 'rjensen@TRINITY.EDU

Bob: Just to let you know, the last 3 editions of your bookmarks that I read (July 13, July 27 and August 10) were all the same. Am I missing something?

Keep up the good work.


Reply from Bob Jensen


I suspect that you are linking to a cached copy stored in your computer. Bring up one of those New Bookmark copies and then hit the Refresh button in your browser so that you bring up a fresh copy from the web rather than a cached copy with the same booknew.htm file name.

If this turns out to be your problem, it is probably happening with other sites that you visit. I prefer to erase my Internet Explorer cache every day. You can do this in IE by clicking on (Tools, Internet options) and then setting the "Days to keep pages in history." I opt for zero days.

I also click the Refresh button if I'm suspicious that the browser went to a cached copy rather than a fresh copy of a Web page.

You can access the archived versions of New Bookmarks at 

Reply from Del DeVries [ddevrie1@UTK.EDU]
(Teaching Bob Jensen a good lesson, although fortunately my settings were on Automatic)

Bob - the fix suggested deletes the history of links visited not the actual cache. To better control the IE cache click on (Tools, Internet options) and under Temporary Internet Files click on Settings - where you have control over the frequency of checking for newer versions of stored pages -- including Every Visit to the page. 
Del DeVries

Reply from Larry Gindler

Also see -- 

The web authoring techniques listed help both cache engines and the browser cache recognize "changed" pages. The user you responded too may be dealing with problems with his own cache or a cache engine serving his ISP.


Reply from  

As an aside to hitting the Refresh button to access a non-cached page. I've realized that sometimes, hitting the Refresh button will still bring up a cached copy. So to make absolutely sure I'm accessing the page from the server itself, I use a shortcut - I hold down the Shift key while hitting the Refresh button. This is also pretty effective for someone like me who's a little lazy when it comes to clearing up the cache :-)

Vidya Ananthanarayanan Instructional Support Manager Extn: 7346 

Reply from John Howland (Professor of Computer Science at Trinity University)

Of course, caching can occur at other places which are somewhat beyond the user's control. For example, proxy servers and special cache engines which are attached to a site's routing point (we have just done this a few weeks ago here on our net, although the engine is not yet active-- you can see its traffic in an idle state at http://WWW.CS.Trinity.Edu/router/

Free Information Systems Journal and Other Resources --- 

The site offers many resources and links as well as a free journal in information systems.

Survival Research Laboratories -- with its fiercely intense leader Mark Pauline -- serves as the launching pad for artists and performers who like their work to be loud and big and often dangerous. Multimedia presentation by Jeremy Barna and Brad King ---,1284,45916,00.html 

A recent study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business shows that a company's forecast earnings are more likely to be exceeded when the auditing firm is paid more for its consultancy services. If this is true, how is a CPA firm's perceived independence affected by this situation? 

Stanford Business School Study Finds Consulting Contracts Impair Auditor Objectivity --- ttp:// 

Study Finds Consulting Contracts Impair Auditor Objectivity --- 

In recent years, a dramatic increase in the revenues big accounting firms derive from management consulting services has raised a red flag about auditor independence. The Wall Street Journal reported in April, for example, that just last year Sprint paid Ernst & Young $2.5 million for auditing but $63.8 million for other work, including $12 million for the deployment of a financial-information system. General Electric paid KPMG $24 million for auditing but more than three times that for other services.

Also see the following:

Reply from Leo Gallant [lgallant@STFX.CA

Wow, what a revelation

Some news stories to mismanagement of credit cards and fraud on the Web 
From ecommerce-discussion digest [] on August 18, 2001


Russian Mafia target US e-commerce poor credit card security,4538,2664277,00.html,4586,2668427,00.html 

Latest ethical effort by group of security professionals to get the e-industry security shaped up,4164,2793167,00.html 

A directory of other computer security educational sites  (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac)


The future of the accounting and finance profession is changing daily. Tomorrow's accounting and finance professionals will shatter longstanding stereotypes as they shift from being backroom statisticians to boardroom strategists. 

The Accountant as Strategic Advisor

"Increasingly, accountants will be relied upon to provide a predictive interpretation of financial data," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "A finance professional's analytical abilities make his or her involvement in strategic business decisions critical." In fact, in a survey conducted for the Next Generation Accountant project, CFOs predicted that five years from now issues and responsibilities outside of traditional accounting functions will occupy 37 percent of a senior accountant's time.

In their new strategic roles, accounting and finance professionals will be expected to provide big-picture thinking and an understanding of how financial data impacts every aspect of a business. Many accounting professionals are already removing the word "accountant" from their job titles, opting instead to refer to themselves as analysts, forecasters, advisors or financial managers, according to RHI's research.

The Influence of Technology

"Tomorrow's financial professionals must have a firm grasp of technology, including new hardware and software applications, data mining efforts, online assurance and security issues, Internet engineering, and wireless technologies," Messmer said. "They will use the Internet to store and retrieve information and, as a result, will interact more frequently with CIOs and other technology staff."

Eighty-two percent of CFOs surveyed for the Next Generation Accountant project said their accounting departments have become more immersed in their companies' technology initiatives in the last five years. More specifically, almost half (49 percent) of CFOs said their accounting departments have become more involved with e-commerce projects in the last three years.

Not surprisingly, when asked which skills, aside from financial expertise, will be most important for financial professionals in the future, CFOs ranked technology expertise first (44 percent). In addition, 52 percent of CFOs polled said technology training will be the top priority for their accounting staff in the next two years.

The Importance of "Soft" Skills

The team-based workplace of the future will require solid coaching and mentoring skills, as well as the ability to manage and motivate others, RHI's research shows. When asked which interpersonal skill is valued most in accounting candidates, 38 percent of CFOs surveyed said a positive attitude is most important, followed by team player skills (30 percent).

To work with nonfinancial colleagues and clients, accountants will need to be strong oral and written communicators who can convey complex information in simple terms when necessary. In addition, accountants in international finance will need to be fluent in two or more languages. When surveyed, 52 percent of CFOs said the most effective way for accountants to hone these skills is through classes and seminars; 36 percent said on-the-job learning was most valuable.

Certification and Specialization: Keys to Career Success

Some of the hottest specialties for accounting professionals include e-commerce, information technology services, forensic accounting, personal financial planning, assurance services, environmental accounting and international finance, according to experts surveyed. Certification will be a considerable asset in the accounting and finance fields. In a recent RHI survey, 85 percent of CFOs said they believe that a professional certification, such as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA (Certified Management Accountant) designation, can boost career advancement opportunities.

Technology is impacting every aspect of our accounting practices, and leading firms have found that proper implementation and utilization of technology provide a strategic competitive advantage. Here are some technology strategies that will get you pointed in the right direction. 

Update on Authorware from Syllabus e-News on August 21, 2001

New Products Provide Courseware Development

Macromedia recently announced its eLearning Studio, which combines the new Authorware 6, the visual authoring product for creating interactive, e-learning applications, with Flash 5 and Dreamweaver 4 to provide an authoring solution for e- learning. eLearning Studio is compatible with ADL, AICC, and IMS, as well as traditional Web standards. New features in Authorware 6 include One Button Publishing for the Web and CD-ROM, enhanced external media support, drag-and-drop media synchronization, and support for streaming MP3 audio and XML parsing. Both products are expected to be available in September. Free templates and product extensions are available on Macromedia Exchange at .

Bob Jensen's history of course authoring systems is at 

Also see 

From Syllabus e-News on August 21, 2001

Questia 2.0 Nearly Doubles the Size of Its Collection

Recently, Questia—provider of an online library complete with search and writing tools--launches its version 2.0. Version 2.0 includes a collection of more than 60,000 full-text titles— nearly double the size of its version 1.0 collection launched January 2001. Version 2.0 also improves Questia's tools, which enable users to personalize books by electronically highlighting and making notes in them and to write better papers by automatically creating footnotes and bibliographies in various for- mats. New features include new tools for subscribers, including an automatic view of the most recently used books, a personal bookshelf for storing and retrieving favorite books, and a customizable home page; re-organization of tools and functions around the three main areas of search, read, and work to improve the site's usability; and faster search and navigation between books and within books. The Questia service is also useful, both as a source for teaching materials and as an effective anti-plagiarism tool. Using the search function to look for a phrase, professors can check a student's paper for material copied but not cited.  For more information, visit .

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic libraries are at'sIndex 

The University of Virginia has expelled one student for plagiarism after a computer program caught him in the act. More than 100 cases are still pending 
"Plagiarist Booted; Others Wait," by Katie Dean---,1284,45802,00.html 

One student has been expelled, and more than 100 cases of plagiarism remain to be resolved at the University of Virginia after a physics professor used a computer program to catch students who turned in duplicate papers, or portions of papers that appeared to have been copied.

The school's student-run Honor Committee spent the summer investigating a fraction of the cases, and will continue to do so through the fall semester.

The committee's work has been slow over the summer break since many students are away. Thomas Hall, chairman of the committee, said he hopes to complete the remaining investigations by the end of October, and finish the trials by the end of the fall semester


See also:
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism 
Program Catches Copycat Students
Catching Digital Cheaters
Cheaters Bow to Peer Pressure
New Toys for Cheating Students
Get schooled in Making the Grade

Can't you just hear Johnnie Paycheck singing :Take this job and shove it, I a'int working here no more!" - Historical Documents 

A 1936 Example From the United Kingdom
Edward VIII

December 11, 1936


I, Edward the Eighth of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, King, Emperor of India, do hereby declare my irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for myself and for My descendants, and My desire that effect should be given to this instrument of Abdication immediately.

In token whereof I have hereunto set My hand this tenth day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty six, in the presence of the witnesses whose signatures are subscribed.

Edward VIII

Google is the king of all search engines, but a new generation of upstarts is nipping at its heels ---,1282,45905,00.html 

Now there's a whole new generation of search engines trying to find new ways to top Google's accuracy or optimize the way that results are organized to make them easier to go through.

Some of them want to beat Google at its own game of being the universal search engine; others simply want to be specific research tools, increasing the depth while reducing the scope of a search.

WiseNut --- 

WiseNut, an up-and-coming search engine launched in May, improves upon the relevance of Google's search results through a context-sensitive ranking algorithm, which, according to WiseNut, Google lacks.

Google ranks pages based on links from other pages: the more links, the higher the page ranks in the results. WiseNut's context-sensitive ranking algorithm examines a page's links and the text on the page, compares the two, and puts the most relevant results first.

WiseNut also groups Web pages from the same site under one result listing, allowing more results to be shown on the same page.

WiseNut claims to have the fastest and most cost-effective search technology. It says it can index 50 million pages a day using only 100 off-the-shelf servers, which is faster than any of its competitors, the company said.

So far, its database has collected 800 million pages (compared to Google's 1 billion).

"Google's relevance created a lot of popularity among users," said Yeogirl Yun, WiseNut's founder. "But that doesn't mean there's no room for the next better search engine. If you look at search engine history, the leadership has changed every two or three years. First was Yahoo, then AltaVista, then Google."

Teoma --- 

Teoma also has its eye on succeeding Google. It claims to return more relevant search results based on the judgment of "peer sites."

Google's system is based on the structure of the Web: Sites are ranked by popularity. The more hits and links a page enjoys, the higher it is returned in a search.

Teoma pushes this principle a little bit further by ranking pages according to how many links they have from other sites relating to the query subject. More than a general popularity contest, it measures a website's standing among its peers.

Teoma works by searching its database for pages that match the search terms. The resulting pool is then organized according to topics, and the engine determines the most popular sites that deal with the same topic.

Teoma tackles Google's organization problem by presenting search results in three different ways: Normal ranking, which portrays the most "authoritative" sites; by topic; and by experts' links, which are created by topic experts.

But what Teoma makes up for in organization, it lacks in reach: Teoma's URL database still has less than 100 million pages.

Lasoo --- 

Another way of increasing the relevance of a search is by limiting its scope.

Toronto-based Lasoo limits the scope of searches geographically, by asking users to select an area on an electronic map using a circular "lasso."

Unlike Google, Lasoo looks for information -- such as businesses and jobs –- only in the selected geographic area.

Lasoo selects results according to their physical proximity to the "epicenter" chosen by the user. It doesn't follow administrative or political divisions. Results are displayed on a map.

"We have a high-speed map server technology that allows us to create detailed maps for the entire world," says Peter Forth, Lasoo's chief technology officer. "And we have a geographic search engine technology that sifts through a database of over 30 million geo-coded businesses to find entries that match a particular keyword and are in a specific geographic area."

According to Forth, most other geographical search engines such as Yahoo are focused on the United States or on major cities only, whereas Lasoo is worldwide.

CURE --- 

CURE limits the scope of searches by limiting the scope of its knowledge.

Starpond's Collaborative Use Research Engine (CURE) is a subscription service that caters to universities and research institutions.

Account holders specify the field of knowledge they are interested in, and CURE limits its searches to pertinent academic resources.

And, not unlike Google, pages are ranked by how frequently they are used by other CURE clients that do research in the same field.

Vivisimo --- 

Vivisimo, a spin-off company from Carnegie Mellon University, is a meta search engine that uses other search engines and classifies the results.

Vivisimo categorizes summaries that are produced by other search engines and then groups the pages according to terms that the algorithm deems descriptive.

Users can pick among several search engines, including Google, AltaVista and Hotbot.

"Information clustering is a very old problem in computing," says Raúl Pérez Valdés, president of Vivisimo. "We have invented an algorithm that optimizes group formation in such a way that makes groups easier to describe."

The company plans to sell its cataloging technology to other search engines and corporate websites but it is already getting a lot of attention from end users: Traffic has increased by 43 percent per month.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

See also:
Searching the Invisible Web
Tracking Bloggers With Blogdex
Hot on the Scent of Information
Ogle Not Google's Top Scientist

Reply from Larry Gindler 

Go to  select "Referrers&Keywords" select "Top Search Engines"

This shows what search engines have been used recently to access the Trinity server. It also shows what words people were using in the search that sent them to a Trinity page.

Reply announcing another search engine

Hello Dr. Jensen,

My name is Kris Burke from Slider search engine.

I was wondering if you would please consider adding our search engine to your search engine links?

We have a directory of over 2.5 million websites, ftp search, whole web search and a free encyclopedia. We will soon have a shareware section and many more features and content :)

Slider - Free Search Engine, Encyclopedia and File Search 


Kris Burke - Trellian [


Hello Professor Shehadeh.

I recommend that you contact Ting J. Wang and ask him for a copy of the very helpful paper and database that he presented  at the AAA meetings in Atlanta on August 22. I am going to use it in my Accounting Information Systems course.  Go to 

You may find some help at 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mazen Ahmad Shehadeh []  
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2001 9:00 AM 

Dear Sir: Where could i found samples or student projects for using access97 to build accounting systems? thanks

Mazen Ahamd Shehadeh,

The American Bar Association is Giving Something Away for Free
ABA --- 

Your gateway to information on legal topics that affect your daily life.

Modern Living (A saga in the evolution of an artist) --- 
Lots of animations and art.

Cost-of-Living Calculator --- 

This gizmo uses the historical Consumer Price Index for urban consumers (CPI-U) to convert dollar values between different years. This allows you to compare the real buying power of historical dollar amounts, adjusted for inflation. For example, the program will tell you that for the U.S. overall, $100 in 1979 bought as much as $199 did in 1993 (that's using the "U.S. City Average" for "All Items.")

You can perform the inflation adjustment for any of the categories or regions listed below. If you're dealing with national figures, it's probably safest for you to use the basic "All Items/U.S. City Average" calculator.

The CPI value for a given year is a measure of that year's cost-of-living compared to that of a 'reference date'; for the data here, that base cost is the average for the timespan 1982-1984. The 1993 U.S. urban "All Items" CPI of 144.5 means that in 1993, things cost 44.5 percent more than they did in 82-84. This program uses the following formula: TargetYear$ = (StartYear$/StartYearCPI) x TargetYearCPI.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates and publishes the CPI based on data collected from tens of thousands of households and stores from around the country. I've imported some of the available CPI data from the bureau's Web site for these computations.

Here's a list of the separate categories for which the BLS calculates the CPI:

Bob Jensen's Advice on Web Page Design

Hi Anders,

It is good to hear from you. Please give my best to Eva. I am very happy with her success. She is a dedicated physician.

There are thousands upon thousands of good Web design helpers. One design helper that I recommend is at 

As an example of a great site design, go to  (although there should be a front page that loads fast and links to the opening page).

At Eva's website, my initial reaction is that she has a very good start.  Minor improvements would be to widen the tables where she lists book.  Major improvements would be to add helper links to the entire fields of asthma and allergy research.  The rule of Web design is to add content that will attract users to the site.  Users are generally attracted by useful information or entertainment.  Since entertainment is not appropriate for her site, the thing she should do is to add as much information as possible about her research fields, including Web links, literature citations, quotations, news items, testimonials of patients, testimonials of physicians, etc.

Eva should also take a look at "Search Engine Optimization FREE!" by Paul Boutin, Webmonkey, August 6, 2001 --- 

I have attached a copy of my August 10 edition of New Bookmarks at  You may want to see how to add a button in less than a minute that will allow you to easily get definitions of English words while reading Web pages.

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

-----Original Message----- 
From: Anders Grönlund []  
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 4:03 AM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Greetings from Sweden!

Hi Bob and Erika, 

How are you over there? How was your trip to Germany and Berlin?

We went to Dallas in the beginning of June to Dr Bill Rea and a conference on environmental aspects of neurotoxicity. Eva did well during her two lectures and we met a lot of nice people. Especially there were some Gulf Veterans and it seems that many of them have terrible conditions after serving the Armed Forces. Then we went to New Jersey, and Rutgers University in East Brunnswick. Eva had a meeting with a colleague. We had one day in Manhattan! For us it was awful! Too many people and a too big city for us from the countryside. We took a ferry round trip of Manhattan - a three hours ride. We saw almost all big buildings and skylines from a refreshing distance. There are so many other nice places we would like to go to before we eventually go back to NY!

We have set up a site with Eva's research www.tilia.s  and we will start it up in a couple of weeks. If you go there you can find some information and findings about airways problems caused by strong fragrances and chemical sensitivity. The purpose of the site is to inform as many people as possible via Internet, both physicians and medical experts as well as patients and "normal people". The documents are in PDF format. Now Bob, here is a question to you: - Do you recommend us to have the documents also in a format for e-books? Can you please tell me how is this technique (ebook) progressing? I remember in San Diego two years ago, when you introduced us in this technique, then you anticipated a great future for it.

As an amateur in web design, do you have any good advice how to improve the site? We have been working on it this summer and feel that it can still be further improved. We will of course send you the all files for your information.

Look forward hearing from you! 
Anders and Eva
Anders Grönlund []  (in Sweden)

Hi Anders,

One advantage of PDF e-Books is that readers will get better formatting when they print the book. You can also set the Document properties so that readers cannot select text and copy part or all of the book. This is why publishers are moving toward PDF books. They allow readers to print pages without being able to copy pages.

To create PDF files, you must purchase Adobe Acrobat Version 5  
But I would not pay the price at Adobe's website. Discount houses in the U.S. save us about 50% on Adobe prices. You can probably find a discount dealer in Sweden that will give you a better price.

After you install Acrobat Version 5, you do not actually prepare your PDF files in an Acrobat (Exchange) program. Instead, Acrobat Exchange attaches to your word processor (virtually any word processor). After you install Acrobat Exchange, a new option will appear in your word processor. For example, you use Microsoft Word, a new option to "Save as PDF" will appear in the Save item on Word's menu bar.

Note that you cannot edit PDF files (although you can add links and media files). Instead, you edit the original word processor file and then save a new version of the PDF file.  Adobe says you can now partially edit pages, but doing so is a painful process.

You can read more about PDF files at  

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

-----Original Message----- 
From: Anders Grönlund []  
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 10:07 AM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: SV: Greetings from Sweden!

Thanks Bob for your suggestions! We will do that. How about eBooks? Do you think it is appropriate for her files to be used with eBooks? I have just downloaded Acrobat eBook Reader, but how do you convert a text to this format? 


Herb Bethoney: Onboard telematics could mean car owners never have to ask for directions again. 

From NetStructure on August 8, 2001


If modern wireless mythology is to be believed, it won't be long before everything in the business world will be linked to the Internet and remotely controlled via cellular phone. People will walk down the street to a chorus of beeps and rings as coupons and ads from nearby shops arrive at their wireless inboxes. Mobile workers will be able to get the latest report from the office, even if they're cooling their heels in the back of a cab. No wireless device will have a keypad, because they'll all be controlled by voice commands.

It's time to come back to reality.

Assuming that the basics of coverage and customer service are ultimately mastered, wireless devices eventually will be widely deployed by enterprises, industry experts say. But it won't take the super-high-speed data streams promised by third-generation networks to achieve that use, and it won't happen until the marketplace better understands how to best use wireless technology. To read full story, click here: 

Bloomberg Financial Glossary ---

Bob Jensen's links to glossaries can be found at 

Here are three good reasons to install the free Merriam-Webster's Dictionary Button according to the instructions (just after the Quotations for the Week in the August 10 edition) at 
1.  You get some pretty good definitions in English with one click of the mouse.
2.  You get the top-10 links associated with each term.  I find the links for "accountable" to be more useful than the links for "stewardship."
3.  There is a button that allows you to hear any word pronounced.
Dictionary Thesaurus Help
Click on the Collegiate Thesaurus tab to look up the current word in the thesaurus.

One entry found for accountable.
Main Entry: ac·count·able
Pronunciation: &-'kaun-t&-b&l
Function: adjective
Date: 14th century
1 : subject to giving an account : ANSWERABLE
2 : capable of being accounted for : EXPLAINABLE
synonym see RESPONSIBLE
- ac·count·able·ness /-'kaun-t&-b&l-n&s/ noun
- ac·count·ably /-blE/ adverb

Get the Top 10 Most Popular Sites for "accountable"
Dictionary Thesaurus Help
Click on the Collegiate Thesaurus tab to look up the current word in the thesaurus.

One entry found for stewardship.
Main Entry: stew·ard·ship
Pronunciation: 'stü-&rd-"ship, 'styü-; 'st(y)u(-&)rd-
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 : the office, duties, and obligations of a steward
2 : the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care <stewardship of our natural resources>

Get the Top 10 Most Popular Sites for "stewardship"

Enrique Villanueva wrote:

in an article ( )i have read two terms (stewarship / accountability) that for me are similar. Could u explain me the difference. I include the paragraph  were that tems appear:   Velayutham and Rahman classify theories using a multidimensional matrix. They classify the main schools of thought as to purpose (descriptive or normative), approach to theory formulation (deductive, inductive, eclectical), underlying assumptions (economic, sociological, ethical, human behaviour, communication theory) and finally Smith's (1968) level of development viz.:

Level 1: According to common sense, assumptions adopted by society or personal whims not subjected to systematic empirical investigations

Level 2: A more scientific level in which a hypothesis of a narrow area of knowledge has been tested empirically, observed, and described systematically or analysed logically confirming belief.

Level 3: Hypothesis becomes a principle of law due to confirmation from many different sets of experimental tests.

Level 4: A series of facts, principles and laws forms a structured body of knowledge.

Level 5: This level (strangely) do not grow systematically from the other levels but are speculative systems that attempt to account for the more general ideas about reality, existence, knowledge, values etc. i.e. ontology and epistemology , based on people's coherent set of personal ideas and beliefs about reality. When the term theory is used, any of the five levels could be intended. They argue Levels 3 and 4, are more attuned to accounting practice than the theory at other levels.

They classify stewardship, deconstruction and professional promulgation as level 1 theories. EMH, Agency and Behavioural as level 2.

The decision-usefulness, information economics and critical perspectives are classified at level 5. Interestingly Accountability theories are classified at both level 1 and 5 simultaneously. They argue that the measurement of the influence of economic systems on the environment , employees and society is primitive (obviously they don't seem to be aware of Prof. Gray's work) therefore it fits the criteria for level 1. There is no theory classified at level 3 or 4 so the accountancy profession is still groping for its body of knowledge!


Reply from E. Scribner [

Bob, Speaking of Merriam-Webster, does today's word of the day apply to accounting standards, to the chagrin of Bob Sterling? (Rhetorical question--you don't have to reply!)

Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State

The Word of the Day for August 20 is:

factitious \fak-TIH-shuss\ (adjective) 1 : produced by humans rather than by natural forces 2 a : formed by or adapted to an artificial or conventional standard *b : produced by special effort : sham

Example sentence: Much to his friends' amusement, Al returned from his semester abroad speaking with a factitious British accent and peppering his speech with words such as "dodgy" and "bloke."

Did you know? Like the common words "fact" and "factual," "factitious" ultimately comes from the Latin verb "facere," meaning "to do" or "to make." But in current use, "factitious" has little to do with things factual and true -- actually, "factitious" often implies the opposite. The most immediate ancestor of "factitious" is the Latin adjective "facticius," meaning "made by art" or "artificial." When English speakers first adopted the word as "factitious" in the 17th century, it meant "produced by human effort or skill" (rather than arising from nature). This meaning gave rise to such meanings as "artificial" and "false" or "feigned."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Forwarded by Patrick Charles [charlesp@CWDOM.DM

Top 10 investment scams

1. Unlicensed individuals, such as life insurance agents, selling securities. To verify that a person is licensed or registered to sell securities, call your state securities regulator. If the person is not registered, don't invest.

2. Affinity group fraud. Many scammers use their victim's religious or ethnic identity to gain their trust -- knowing it's human nature to trust people who are like you -- and then steal their life savings. The fraud varies from "gifting" programs at some churches to foreign exchange scams targeted at Asian Americans.

3. Payphone and ATM sales. In early March, 25 states announced actions against companies and individuals -- many of them independent life insurance agents -- that took roughly 4,500 people for $76 million selling coin-operated customer-owned telephones. Investors leased payphones for between $5,000 and $7,000 and were promised returns of up to 15 percent.

4. Promissory notes. Short-term debt instruments issued by little- known or sometimes non-existent companies that promise high returns -- upwards of 15 percent monthly -- with little or no risk.

5. Internet fraud. Scammers use the Internet to "pump and dump" thinly traded stocks, peddle bogus offshore "prime bank" investments and publicize pyramid schemes. Ignore anonymous financial advice on the Internet and in chat rooms.

6. Ponzi/pyramid schemes. These swindles promise high returns to investors, but the only people who consistently make money are the promoters who set them in motion, using money from previous investors to pay the new investors. Inevitably, the schemes collapse.

7. Callable CDs. These higher-yielding certificates of deposit won't mature for 10 to 20 years, unless the bank, not the investor, "calls," or redeems them. Redeeming the CD early may result in large losses -- upwards of 25 percent of the original investment. Regulators say sellers of callable CDs often don't adequately disclose the risks and restrictions.

8. Viatical settlements. Originated as a way to help the gravely ill pay their bills, these interests in the death benefits of terminally ill patients are always risky and sometimes fraudulent. The insured gets a percentage of the death benefit in cash from the investor; investors get a share of the death benefit when the insured dies. Because of uncertainties predicting when someone will die, these investments are extremely speculative. In a new twist, Pennsylvania regulators say "senior settlements" -- interests in the death benefits of healthy older people -- are now being offered to investors.

9. Prime bank schemes. Scammers promise investors triple-digit returns through access to the investment portfolios of the world's elite banks. These schemes often target conspiracy theorists, promising access to the "secret" investments used by the Rothschilds or Saudi royalty.

10. Investment seminars. Often the only people getting rich are those running the seminar, making money from admission fees and the sale of books and audiotapes. These seminars are marketed through newspaper, radio and TV ads and "infomercials" on cable television. Regulators urge investors to be extremely skeptical about any get- rich-quick scheme.

Source: North American Securities Administrators Association Patrick Charles 

Thank God!
Campaigns like X10's have massive reach but little staying power with consumers, according to Jupiter Media Metrix. 

Web Graphics and Animation Overview 
Looking to create your first Web graphic? Jason reveals all, from manipulating existing images to building from scratch, choosing a format to Web optimization, rollovers to animations --- 

Imports Are In
Edits Big and Small
Starting from Scratch
Formats for Every Occasion
Exporting We Will Go
Images in Motion
Uploading, HTML, Plus a Peek at Tomorrow



P2P Special Report
Special Report: eWEEK Labs finds P2P products from Groove Networks and NextPage take collaboration and content distribution to new levels. 

Peer-to-peer computing—the sharing of computer resources and services by direct exchange between systems—is more than just hip. Napster made P2P famous and showed how scalable and effective this technology could be for exchanging information. It also gave advance warning of the security, manageability and difficult enterprise integration hurdles that loom before P2P can truly benefit companies.

Judging from the parade of products coming into eWEEK Labs, "peer to peer" has become a catchall phrase for everything from collaboration and content distribution to e-mail and file sharing applications.

P2P is an emerging technology that hasn't yet proved itself in the enterprise and, in many ways, is still just trying to get in the door. eWEEK Labs recommends investigating P2P-based packages in the few areas they have reached some maturity—in particular, content management and group collaboration—for their innovative design.

However, the lack of P2P standards and the retraining process that groupware-oriented packages demand are going to be large stumbling blocks for the foreseeable future.

Our tests of Groove Networks Inc.'s Groove 1.1 and NextPage Inc.'s NXT 3 e-Content Platform show P2P can help organizations tap otherwise unused computing power and boost storage and bandwidth to free up server resources. These two recent arrivals take aim at different market segments: Groove 1.1 provides extended collaboration capabilities using P2P technology; NXT 3 e-Content Platform offers a content distribution portal for exchanging files.

Under a Groove

The groove 1.1 enterprise-class peer computing platform is a beefed-up collaboration application that allows users to create shared spaces for small group interactions.

Leveraging P2P architecture for online and offline work and one-to-one or one-to-many collaboration, Groove offers flexibility to users. However, it lacks document version control and its administration features are weak; plus, it's limited to Windows 9x, NT and 2000 environments. (Macintosh and Linux support is planned.)

Groove 1.1, which was released last month, is priced at $49 per user. A free preview edition can be downloaded at

The upgraded software offers the standard collaboration tools found in other groupware/collaboration software suites such as Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange Server and Centrinity Inc.'s First Class, including instant messaging, chat and voice chat capabilities, threaded discussions, calendars, and document sharing. However, it also provides new message history logging, integration with Microsoft Office and NetMeeting, and co-Web browsing.

We tested Groove 1.1 on a 60-node test network running Windows 2000 Professional clients. Installation was quick and simple—registering to the relay server took merely seconds. The user interface was easy to follow, and screen views enabled us to follow the progress of multiple projects simultaneously. Adding members was a breeze, and the interface showed which users were online and which ones were off. Messages and chat sessions were simple to open and close as needed.

When we created a shared space and invited users to join, Groove's administration tools enabled us to quickly bestow Manager, Participant or Guest privileges on each user. As a Manager, we could view all members on the screen and what sections they were in. The co-Web browsing tool, which enables everyone in a group to see a particular Web site, was very helpful.

Documents can be edited in real time, and users can work on the same document concurrently, with latest versions being displayed. The steep downside is that there's no version control: Updated documents take precedent, and old documents can't be recovered.

Currently, Groove 1.1 does not integrate with any document management product. However, the platform does include an open-source Groove Development Kit, and this development kit's open API gives outside vendors the ability to tailor applications and customize and expand the platform's capabilities.

NXT serves up P2P

another P2P option we tested is NextPage's NXT 3 e-Content Platform, which shipped in June priced at $85,000 for 250 users and unlimited servers.

NXT 3 uses server-based P2P technology for distributed content management in large networks. The product acts as a content-sharing portal but needn't be aggregated to one server, offering less server strain than traditional content portals.

Installation and configuration are time-consuming propositions because of the integrated features, and are also dependent on the size of an organization's information base.

NXT 3 comes with seven built-in modules that interact with one another to manipulate content anywhere on the network. Its open-source architecture includes administration, content management and content delivery.

The Security Services module uses Secure Sockets Layer, access control modules and data encryption, enabling secure delivery of content. The Rapid- Apps module provides a Web-based user interface for navigating, searching and receiving relevant content.

We installed NXT 3 on a test system consisting of a Windows 2000 Advanced Server (Solaris is also supported) network of four servers. After configuration was complete and content was populated across the network, we easily sent, retrieved and managed a variety of content.

The user interface was very easy to navigate and simplified administration chores: We could easily set users' rights to content and separated users into groups. NXT 3 supports disparate data formats, including HTML; Extensible Markup Language; Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; Adobe Systems Inc.'s PDF; Lotus Development Corp.'s Notes; and Open Database Connectivity-compliant formats.

Centralized management made it easy to edit and delete content throughout the network. Advanced searches (including Boolean) and metadata analysis are supported. ´

For the rest of the article, go to 

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P sharing are at 

The pioneer of online collaboration explains why peer-to-peer  (P2P) tools are the future.
"Reworking Online Work Q&A with Ray Ozzie," Technology Review,  August 13, 2001 

Ozzie: Change generally happens much more slowly than we expect. The tens or hundreds of thousands of people who used instant messaging, e-mail, conferencing and online gaming on University of Illinois' PLATO system back in the mid-70s could never have imagined that it would take 25 years for such things to become mainstream.

That said, it is my fundamental hope that we figure out how to package technology so that it much more naturally reflects our human needs, without going overboard. For example, we can jot things down quite nicely with a pen, thank you, so why can't we just send "ink" reflecting our scribblings to one another, as opposed to forcing conversion to text? Why can't I leave you ink or voice messages as easily as I can send you text, without having to use always-imperfect techniques to translate them to text?

We have not even begun to explore how technology can help us to augment our own feeble memories and to effectively work with each other across time and space.

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P sharing are at 

Wow Article of the Week

"Taming the Web," by Charles C. Mann, Technology Review, September 1, 2001 --- 

"Information wants to be free." "The Internet can't be controlled." We've heard it so often that we sometimes take for granted that it's true. But THE INTERNET CAN BE CONTROLLED, and those who argue otherwise are hastening the day when it will be controlled too much, by the wrong people, and for the wrong reasons.

Last December, Vincent Falco, a 28-year-old game programmer in West Palm Beach, FL, released version 1.0 of a pet project he called BearShare. BearShare is decentralized file-sharing software—that is, it allows thousands of Internet users to search each other's hard drives for files and exchange them without any supervision or monitoring. Released free of charge, downloaded millions of times, BearShare is a raspberry in the face of the music, film and publishing industries: six months after the release of version 1.0, tens of thousands of songs, movies, videos and texts were coursing through the network every day. Because the software links together a constantly changing, ad hoc collection of users, Falco says, "there's no central point for the industries to attack." BearShare, in other words, is unstoppable.

Which, to Falco's way of thinking, is entirely unsurprising—almost a matter of course. BearShare is just one more example, in his view, of the way that digital technology inevitably sweeps aside any attempt to regulate information. "You can't stop people from putting stuff on the Net," Falco says. "And once something is on the Net you can't stop it from spreading everywhere."

The Internet is unstoppable! The flow of data can never be blocked! These libertarian claims, exemplified by software like BearShare, have become dogma to a surprisingly large number of Internet users. Governments and corporations may try to rein in digital technology, these people say, but it simply will never happen because...information wants to be free. Because, in a phrase attributed to Internet activist John Gilmore, the Net treats censorship as damage and routes around it. Laws, police, governments and corporations—all are helpless before the continually changing, endlessly branching, infinitely long river of data that is the Net.

To the generations nurtured on 1984, Cointelpro and The Matrix, the image of a global free-thought zone where people will always be able to say and do what they like has obvious emotional appeal. Little wonder that the notion of the Net's inherent uncontrollability has migrated to the mainstream media from the cyberpunk novels and technoanarchist screeds where it was first articulated in the late 1980s. A leitmotif in the discussion of the Napster case, for example, was the claim that it was futile for the recording industry to sue the file-swapping company because an even more troublesome file-swapping system would inevitably emerge. And the rapid appearance of BearShare—along with LimeWire, Audiogalaxy, Aimster and a plethora of other file-swapping programs—seemed to bear this out.

Nonetheless, the claim that the Internet is ungovernable by its nature is more of a hope than a fact. It rests on three widely accepted beliefs, each of which has become dogma to webheads. First, the Net is said to be too international to oversee: there will always be some place where people can set up a server and distribute whatever they want. Second, the Net is too interconnected to fence in: if a single person has something, he or she can instantly make it available to millions of others. Third, the Net is too full of hackers: any effort at control will invariably be circumvented by the world's army of amateur tinkerers, who will then spread the workaround everywhere.

Unfortunately, current evidence suggests that two of the three arguments for the Net's uncontrollability are simply wrong; the third, though likely to be correct, is likely to be irrelevant. In consequence, the world may well be on the path to a more orderly electronic future—one in which the Internet can and will be controlled. If so, the important question is not whether the Net can be regulated and monitored, but how and by whom.

The potential consequences are enormous. Soon, it is widely believed, the Internet will become a universal library/movie theater/voting booth/shopping mall/newspaper/museum/concert hall—a 21st-century version of the ancient Greek agora, the commons where all the commercial, political and cultural functions of a democratic society took place. By insisting that digital technology is ineluctably beyond the reach of authority, Falco and others like him are inadvertently making it far more likely that the rules of operation of the worldwide intellectual commons that is the Internet will be established not through the messy but open processes of democracy but by private negotiations among large corporations. To think this prospect dismaying, one doesn't need to be a fan of BearShare.

Myth #1: The Internet Is Too International to Be Controlled

At first glance, Swaptor seems like something out of a cyberpunk novel. A secretive music-swapping service much like Napster, it seems specifically designed to avoid attacks from the record labels. The company is headquartered in the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Its founders are deliberately anonymous to the public; its sole address is a post-office box in the small town of Charlestown, Nevis. Swaptor's creators seem confident that the company can survive beyond national laws—after all, the Internet is too spread across the world to control, right?

Indeed, Swaptor does seem protected. Nevis, according to company representative John Simpson, "has excellent corporate laws for conducting international business." He is apparently referring to the happy fact that Nevis has not ratified either the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty or the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, both of which extend international copyright rules to the Internet. As a result, Swaptor appears not to be breaking local or international law.

The founders of Swaptor "wish to remain anonymous at this time," according to Simpson. They won't need to reveal themselves to raise money: the company is headquartered in an offshore bank called the Nevis International Trust. Affiliated with the bank is a successful online gambling concern, Online Wagering Systems. Supported by advertising, Simpson claims, Swaptor has been profitable since its launch in February.

In the imagination of Net enthusiasts, offshore havens like Nevis are fervid greenhouses in which this kind of suspect operation can flower. But can it? Napster at its peak had a million and a half simultaneous users, generating a huge amount of data traffic; the company established itself in Silicon Valley, where it could gain access to the infrastructure it needed to handle this barrage of connections. Swaptor, in contrast, is headquartered in Nevis. The sole high-capacity Net pipeline to Nevis is provided by the Eastern Caribbean Fibre-Optic System, which snakes through 14 island nations between Trinidad, off the Venezuelan coast, and Tortola, near Puerto Rico. Yet this recently installed system, though it is being upgraded, has a limited capacity—not enough to push through the wash of zeroes and ones generated by a large file-swapping service. Which, one assumes, is why the "offshore" service of Swaptor is actually situated in...Virginia.

Should the recording industry decide to sue Swaptor, it wouldn't need to rely on the company or on Technology Review to get this information; widely available software can trace Swaptor traffic and discover that Swaptor's central index of available files is located on five servers that sit just a few miles from the Washington, DC, headquarters of the Recording Industry Association of America. (Two common monitoring programs, Traceroute and Sniffer, can be downloaded gratis from thousands of Web sites.) Not only that, Swaptor's Web site—the site from which users download the program—is hosted by a Malaysian company with an explicit policy against encouraging copyright infringement.

As Swaptor shows, the Net can be accessed from anywhere in theory, but as a practical matter, most out-of-the-way places don't have the requisite equipment. And even if people do actually locate their services in a remote land, they can be easily discovered. "I don't think most people realize how findable things are on the Net," says David Weekly, the software engineer and Net-music veteran who tracked down Swaptor's servers for this magazine in a few minutes. "With simple can find out huge amounts of information about what people are doing in almost no time."

Once international miscreants are discovered, companies and governments already have a variety of weapons against them—and soon will have more. According to Ian Ballon of the Silicon Valley law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, who serves on the American Bar Association committee on cyberspace law, even if offshore firms are legal in their home bases, their owners "have to be willing to not come back to the United States." Not only do they risk losing any assets in this country, but U.S. businesses that deal with them will also be at risk. "Any revenue the offshore business sends to them could be subject to attachment," says Ballon.

In the future, moreover, the reach of national law will increase. The Hague Conference on Private International Law is developing an international treaty explicitly intended to make outfits like Swaptor more vulnerable to legal pressure—"a bold set of rules that will profoundly change the Internet," in the phrase of James Love, director of the activist Consumer Project on Technology. (The draft treaty will be discussed at a diplomatic meeting next year.) By making it possible to apply the laws of any one country to any Internet site available in that country, the draft treaty will, Love warns, "lead to a great reduction in freedom, shrink the public domain, and diminish national sovereignty."

Rather than being a guarantee of liberty, in other words, the global nature of the Net is just as likely to lead to more governmental and corporate control.

For the rest of the article, go to 

Myth #2: The Net Is Too Interconnected to Control

Myth #3: The Net Is Too Filled with Hackers to Control

See also BearShare at 

BearShare is an exciting new Windows file sharing program from Free Peers, Inc. that lets you, your friends, and everyone in the world share files! Built on Gnutella technology, BearShare provides a simple, easy to use interface combined with a powerful connection and search engine that puts thousands of different files in easy reach! Best of all, BearShare is FREE! Download BearShare now!

What makes BearShare so special? Look at these features:

  • Complete documentation
  • Search or share any type of file
  • Keyword highlighting for search results
  • Multiple active searches
  • Resume incomplete downloads and uploads
  • Bandwidth barrier detection and avoidance
  • Active monitoring and updating of shared directories
  • Connection Setup Wizard
  • Resizable window
  • Status indicator lights
  • Color coded list view items
  • Graphical progress display for transfers
  • Sorting, multiple selection in lists
  • Automatic connection maintenance using
    the Clip2 DSS Gnutella Service Provider
  • Customizable filters exclude virus file types
  • File type filters for searches and shared files
  • Search results shows missing, incomplete, and matching files
  • Multiple shared directories
  • Play/Open/Explore files from each page
  • Server type, user agent, and version displays
  • Monitor shows hits, requests, uploads
  • Comprehensive statistical reporting
  • Backup routing
  • Reverse lookup for computer addresses
  • Compatible with Reflector and LimeWire indexing features
  • Simultaneous Active and Passive searching modes
  • Strict adherance to Gnutella protocol
  • Fully optimized code
  • Easy to use
  • Much more...

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P sharing are at 

"Little Big Science Nanotechnology is all the rage. But will it meet its ambitious goals? And what the heck is it?" by Gary Stix, Scientific American --- 

The definition (nanotechnology) is indeed slippery. Some of nanotechnology isn't nano, dealing instead with structures on the micron scale (millionths of a meter), 1,000 times or more larger than a nanometer. Also, nanotechnology, in many cases, isn't technology. Rather it involves basic research on structures having at least one dimension of about one to several hundred nanometers. (In that sense, Einstein was more a nanoscientist than a technologist.) To add still more confusion, some nanotechnology has been around for a while: nano-size carbon black particles (a.k.a. high-tech soot) have gone into tires for 100 years as a reinforcing additive, long before the prefix "nano" ever created a stir. For that matter, a vaccine, which often consists of one or more proteins with nanoscale dimensions, might also qualify.

But there is a there there in both nanoscience and nanotechnology. The nanoworld is a weird borderland between the realm of individual atoms and molecules (where quantum mechanics rules) and the macroworld (where the bulk properties of materials emerge from the collective behavior of trillions of atoms, whether that material is a steel beam or the cream filling in an Oreo). At the bottom end, in the region of one nanometer, nanoland bumps up against the basic building blocks of matter. As such, it defines the smallest natural structures and sets a hard limit to shrinkage: you just can't build things any smaller.

Nature has created nanostructures for billennia. But Mihail C. Roco, the NSF official who oversees the nanotechnology initiative, offers a more restrictive definition. The emerging field-new versus old nanotech-deals with materials and systems having these key properties: they have at least one dimension of about one to 100 nanometers, they are designed through processes that exhibit fundamental control over the physical and chemical attributes of molecular-scale structures, and they can be combined to form larger structures. The intense interest in using nanostructures stems from the idea that they may boast superior electrical, chemical, mechanical or optical properties-at least in theory. (See "Plenty of Room, Indeed," by Michael Roukes, on page 48, for a discussion of why smaller is not always better.)

Real-world nano, fitting Roco's definition, does exist. Sandwiching several nonmagnetic layers, one of which is less than a nanometer thick, between magnetic layers can produce sensors for disk drives with many times the sensitivity of previous devices, allowing more bits to be packed on the surface of each disk. Since they were first introduced in 1997, these giant magnetoresistive heads have served as an enabling technology for the multibillion-dollar storage industry.

New tools capable of imaging and manipulating single molecules or atoms have ushered in the new age of nano. The icons of this revolution are scanning probe microscopes-the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope, among others-capable of creating pictures of individual atoms or moving them from place to place. The IBM Zurich Research Laboratory has even mounted the sharp, nanometer-scale tips used in atomic force microscopes onto more than 1,000 microscopic cantilevers on a microchip. The tips in the Millipede device can write digital bits on a polymer sheet. The technique could lead to a data storage device that achieves 20 times or more the density of today's best disk drives.

Varied approaches to fabricating nanostructures have emerged in the nanoworld. Like sculptors, so-called top-down practitioners chisel out or add bulk material to a surface. Microchips, which now boast circuit lines of little more than 100 nanometers, are about to become the most notable example. In contrast, bottom-up manufacturers use self-assembly processes to put together larger structures-atoms or molecules that make ordered arrangements spontaneously, given the right conditions. Nanotubes-graphite cylinders with unusual electrical properties-are a good example of self-assembled nanostructures [see "The Art of Building Small," by George M. Whitesides and J. Christopher Love, on page 38].

For the rest of the article, go to 

Also see Bob Jensen's Threads on Invisible Computing, Ubiquitous Computing, and Microsoft.Net --- 

Hi Piero, 

I highly recommend the online Murthy and Groomer book on AIS at  
I think you can get a free password to examine the book.

There are, of course, many hard copy textbooks that link MIS with AIS.

You can also get a free relational database case and paper discussing the importance of relational databases in AIS from TJ Wang []  TJ made a nice presentation of this paper and case at the annual meetings of the American Accounting Association in Atlanta.

Hope this helps.

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

-----Original Message----- 
From: Piero Cabrera [mailto:pierostud@YAHOO.COM]  
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 11:26 PM 
ubject: Is Management Information Systems important for accountants???

Hi, everybody, I'm making a research to emphasize the importance of Management Information Systems for Accounting. I will to know if there any source of information to look for in accordance to the topic. I will like to focus that at least our mayor required for this knowledge to support our efficiency nowadays, but avoiding to be an IT consultant. Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions, 


A 1-1/2-year-old computer in Israel is being reared to learn the same way children do -- with the hopes of being the first machine to pass the so-called "Turing Test.",1282,46171,00.html 

I build his world on a daily basis," explained Treister-Goren.

She heads the training department at the Israeli-based Artificial Intelligence (AI), where she inputs information and language ability through conversations with Hal and works with computer experts who fine-tune his algorithms to enhance his performance.

The privately owned company, run by Israeli tech entrepreneur Jack Dunietz, aims over the next 10 years to develop Hal into an "adult" computer program that can do what no program has ever done before -- pass the Turing test.

The father of artificial intelligence, British mathematician Alan Turing was also one of the founders of computer science. More than 50 years ago he predicted the advent of "thinking machines."

But in Turing's time, computers were slow and cumbersome devices, utterly incapable of fulfilling his vision.

Turing, who died in 1954, left behind the benchmark test for computer intelligence: A human interrogator questions two entities via computer terminal; one entity is also human, while the other is the smart computer. If the computer aces the test, it fools the interrogator into thinking it is human. No computer program has done this -- yet.

If -- or when -- a computer passes the Turing Test, it will open a Pandora's box of ethical and philosophical questions. After all, if a computer is perceived to be as intelligent as a person, what is the difference between a smart computer and a human being?

Today's chatbots -- computer chat programs that have personas and names -- are incapable of dealing with changes in context or abstract ideas, and succeed only at momentarily tricking people by regurgitating pre-programmed answers.

But Hal has fooled child language experts into thinking he is a toddler with an understanding of about 200 total words, composing short, infantile sentences using a limited 50-word vocabulary.

"Ball now park mommy," Hal tells Treister-Goren, then asks her to pack bananas for a trip to the park, adding that "monkeys like bananas," a detail he picked up from a story on animals in a safari park.

The idea is to educate Hal gradually, the way a child learns, through trial-and-error and rewards when he performs well.

When Hal was "born," he was hardwired with nothing more than the letters of the alphabet and a preference for the rewards received for a positive outcome, over the punishments meted out for a negative one.

The pre-programmed preference for rewards makes Hal strive for a correct response. Treister-Goren corrects Hal's mistakes in her typewritten conversations with him, an action Hal is programmed to recognize as a punishment, which he avoids repeating.

For the rest of the article, go to ",1282,46171,00.html  

See also:
The Truth Behind A.I.
A.I.: Unraveling the Mysteries
A.I. Can't Yet Follow Film Script
Computers Learn to Play By Rules


[What's New] [Top Resources] [Research] [Teaching] [Professional Activities][Country Pages] [ISWorld List Digest] [About ISWorld]

We will provide information management scholars and practitioners with a single entry point to resources related to information systems technology and promote the development of an international information infrastructure that will dramatically improve the world's ability to use information systems for creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge. Our vision has been sharpened by several metaphors which are accessible. Below are our objectives and a overview of our target community.

Great AIS links are also provided by Alan Sangster at 

"How Priceline Became A Real Business," by Clay Shirky, The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2001

There are two vital lessons here for anyone trying to make money on the Internet.

The first is that Priceline didn't succeed until it decided to become a real business. Priceline was originally touted as a proof-of-concept company for Walker Digital, a privately held firm whose sole product is business-model patents. Priceline's exploding market cap quickly led it away from its focus on plane tickets into gasoline, groceries and even yard sales.

Priceline's recent profit was largely achieved by reversing all of that conceptual work with layoffs and restructuring, all designed around such old-fashioned goals as bringing spending in line with revenues and focusing on its core business of selling airline tickets.

The Internet's most significant attribute is its relentless lowering of the cost of gathering and using information. This makes the Internet fundamentally deflationary, and the only sure way to use this deflation to your advantage is to target someone else's high-margin business. Given its high prices, air travel was a perfect target for Priceline, while trying to manipulate the margins of groceries, gas and yard sales turned out to be a huge distraction.

The other lesson, perhaps even more important, is contained in the embrace of GAAP. When the intellectual achievements of the 20th century are tallied, GAAP should be on everyone's Top 10 list. The idea of GAAP -- so simple yet so radical -- is that there should be a standard way of accounting for profit and loss in public businesses, allowing investors to see how a public company manages its money. This transparency is what allows investors to compare businesses as different as McDonald's, IBM and Tupperware, and it makes U.S. markets the envy of the world.

Internet businesses worked hard to avoid GAAP, because GAAP might suggest that it would take years of hard work and focus to turn a profit. Instead, we saw dot-coms reporting revenue from gross rather than net sales (a trick Priceline once used); revenue from barter deals (often used by advertising-dependant companies like StarMedia and SportsLine); and even revenue from the future (MicroStrategy's stock fell over 60% in a single day when it announced that it had been recognizing millions in income before it had invoiced its clients).

It's too early to tell what Priceline's second-quarter profit says about its long-term prospects, much less about the Internet sector as a whole, but three cheers for Priceline anyway for embracing a virtuous circle of executing on its core business and reporting the results using GAAP. We can only hope that its newly found discipline will be widely copied by the Internet sector as a whole. Only when that happens will investors finally be able to sort the real businesses from the illusory ones.

Bob Jensen's threads on e-Commerce and e-Business can be found at 


Bob Jensen's Documents on Accounting Theory can be found at

Veteran users of Blackboard (Bb) from around the world discuss their experiences with Blackboard at 

Included are the following:

1. Links to tutorials at top universities such as Duke University

2. Links to video clip testimonials from Northwestern University

3. A link to a video tutorial from Saginaw State University

4. User messages on advantages and disadvantages using Bb in college courses

One confusion among some of our faculty is that Blackboard entails authoring in unfamiliar software. Blackboard, unlike Authorware, FrontPage, GoLive, TookBook, and many other complicated authoring packages, is more of a container (shell) in which authored works can easily be transferred by simple procedures. These works include Microsoft Office (e.g., Word and Excel files), Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, audio, video, and HTML files created outside the Blackboard shell. Having an existing Website does not prevent you from transferring your Web documents to Blackboard.

Among the various advantages of Blackboard is the ability to make copyrighted material available to your students. Many academic journals such as about 10 journals from the American Accounting Association have a policy that articles may be reproduced for students enrolled in classes but cannot be shared with the world from a Web site. Password access to documents at a Web site are usually not secure. Password access to documents in Blackboard are very secure and are used by tens of thousands of instructors around the world to limit access to private materials, including examinations and answers You can also share your own writings with students on Blackboard without fear that strangers will download them from Blackboard. In Blackboard, you can selectively control what and when you disclose certain documents to students, including answers to quizzes and homework.

There are, of course, many other advantages to Blackboard, including a variety of ways in which students can communicate in a course and a variety of tools for managing your course, including grade records and examination grading.

There are also drawbacks discussed by veteran users of Blackboard.

For a summary, go to 

Blackboard and Datatel Partnering
WASHINGTON, D.C. and FAIRFAX, Va. – August 13, 2001 – Blackboard Inc., the leading
Internet infrastructure company for e- Education, and Datatel, Inc., the premier provider of
advanced information management solutions for higher education, today announced an
agreement to develop an integrated solution that delivers a unified online campus environment
for clients. The solution will enhance the companies’ ongoing efforts to tie together key front-end
applications from Blackboard – including courses, communities and auxiliary services –
with critical back-office services from Datatel such as human resources, finance, institutional
advancement, and student information.
Michael J. Stanton Tricia, Blackboard Inc.. (202) 463-4860 x305 
Tricia Score, Datatel, Inc.  (703) 227-1010 

Bob Jensen's threads on Bb can be found at 

Color Contrast & Dimension in News Design --- 

Explains color theory and shows how to use it in design through examples and exercises.

An important finance  and economics resource site from Harvard University

Project Finance Portal 

Bob Jensen's threads on course authoring resources can be found at the following sites: 

Forwarded by Don Van Eynde

Welcome to the August issue of 'Executive Matters.' This month's e-newsletter for Executive Members of the American Management Association includes results of a survey on the impact of the sluggish economy on corporate forecasts and projections, findings of another survey on decision making in our digitalized age, and insights into the state of the Talent War. Yes, recruitment and retention continue to be problems even in our topsy-turvy economy.

But first, you're invited to our upcoming series of Executive Member Breakfast sessions this fall. Attendance is free to all Executive Members. Check out the schedule at: 

This Issue 

1. Budget Crunching Due to Economic Slowdown 
2. More Decisions to Make, Many Decisions Made Too Late. Why? 
3. Project Scope Is Like a Box of Cracker Jacks… 
4. Yardstick for Corporate Retention 
5. Toward Better Partner Relationships 
6. Digitizing Your Business 
7. Putting Life Back into the Old Business 
8. Seize the Day 
9. Bonuses Paid Even When Performance Drops _________________________________________________________

Budget Crunching Due to Economic Slowdown AMA recently completed its survey of Executive Members on the impact of the topsy-turvy economy on their budget process. Of those who responded to the survey: 46% reported that they've revised downward estimates of sales revenue for the year 2001 37% expect a shortfall in total revenues compared to their January estimates. Cuts have also been made in spending: Thirty eight percent say they'll need fewer full-time workers and 32% plan to cut back on part-time or contracted workers. More than a third have cut back on travel expenditures. So far, these cuts are par for an economic slowdown. But less usual, one in four (26.4%) told us they have cut their marketing budget. Most interesting, high-tech expenditures are proving resistant to cuts: 12% say they'll spend less than planned on new information systems hardware and 11% will cut down on software purchases, but 15% say they will increase their budgets for hardware and 11% will spend more on software. __________________________________________________________

More Decisions to Make, Many Decisions Made Too Late. Why? We're told often that everything needs to be done faster in today's digitalized age. That includes decision making. A study by Kepner-Tregoe, entitled "Decision Making in the Digital Age: Challenges and Responses," suggests that executives and managers are falling behind both in making the decisions and then implementing them. Of 818 employees surveyed --including almost 500 managers nearly three-quarters of the workers and four-fifths of the managers admitted that they had missed opportunities because they didn't make decisions quickly enough. Why? When asked that very question, workers and managers were in close agreement. Over 40% of both groups cited the need for multiple approvals as the most frequently encountered barrier. Other common roadblocks: organizational politics, changing priorities, and getting people to agree up front on what they want the decision to accomplish.

When further asked about the impact of time pressure on decision making, those surveyed identified these issues as compromising their decision making quality, in order of importance:

1. A poor job of information sharing 
2. Lack of involvement of the right people 
3. Failure to get agreement up front on goal 
4. Failure to get enough information 
5. Failure to get comment to a decision prior to implementation 
6. Lack of exploration of all options before decision making 
7. Insufficient thought to the risks before making a decision 
8. Failure to test assumptions _______________________________________________________

Project Scope Is Like a Box of Cracker Jacks… When you head up a project, do you have difficulty meeting completion dates? Do project stakeholders ask for and get more, yet they won't change the completion date? Then you have problems with project scope. Appreciating the relationship between project scope and a Cracker Jacks box may be the first step toward avoiding project scope problems. To understand the analogy, click  ________________________________________________________

Yardstick for Corporate Retention Measuring the strength of your organization, say two Gallup executives, comes down to 12 questions. In their book "First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently" (Simon & Schuster), Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman note how a "yes" to all of the following questions identifies an organization with the capability to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? 
2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? 
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 
4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work? 
5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development? 
7. At work, do my opinions count? 
8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important? 
9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? 
10. Do I have a best friend at work? 
11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress? 
12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Too simplistic to measure corporate strength? Not so, say the authors. They found these 12 questions captured everything an executive wanted to know about his enterprise. They don't tell you everything, say Buckingham and Coffman, but they do provide you with the most information and the most important information ____________________________________________________________

Toward Better Partner Relationships

Trust may be important in e-business partnerships, as Michael J. Cunningham writes in "Partners.Com" (Perseus), but the following are also important to avoid friction, finger pointing, excuses, and finally divorce, he observes:

1. Share agendas for mutual goals and mechanisms for involving all the team. Writes Cunningham, "Should problems arise, agree how they will be handled, by whom, and over what time period."

2. Listen carefully. Don't just try to get signage on the deal. The relationship has to continue beyond the development stage, and that demands empathy for the partner's mission.

3. Make clear the values and culture of your operation. During the relationship's early stages (think "courtship"), provide examples of how you and the organization work. This will help with expectations. Even if some of the issues are negative, better that the parties recognize them early in the process.

Although the book "Partners.Com" focuses on e-business relationships, its advice is applicable to any corporate partnership. _________________________________________________________

Digitizing Your Business No, this isn't about dotcoms. Digitizing here means using technology to create new value propositions for customers and inventing new ways of capturing profits. Not bad, right? Further advice is from Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison, authors of the best-selling business book How Digital Is Your Business. To share their insights, click 


Putting Life Back into an Old Business In their book "Leading at the Speed of Change: Using New Economy Rules to Invigorate Old Economy Companies," Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson describe how veteran AT&T executive Rick Roscitt looked around at AT&T and saw the services, products, and technological expertise he could use to provide network management and communications outsourcing for client companies. By answering these seven questions, you may not be able to build a $5 billion organization as Roscitt did, but you might be able to capitalize on the current success of your organization to cultivate new growth:

Is your company multiplying its success? In the process, is it staying lean and hungry for more business? Do you say "yes" to customers more often than you say "no"? Do you customize each customer solution instead of following a rule book? Do you regularly rethink corporate vision and reconfirm your culture and values? Do you stay in the trenches with customers more than remain in the ivory tower of senior management? If a competitor is prepared to attack, do you have a business plan ready to counterattack? Do you see your existing customer base as your best source of growth?


Seize the Day You've heard it before: If you are to lead others, you first need to know how to lead yourself. Ethel Cook of the Corporate Improvement Group has come up with a list of ten soul-searching issues to gain greater insight into yourself—from lifetime issues to questions about avoiding professional obsolescence. Cook doesn't say you have to gobble it all up but it is food for thought. Click 


Bonuses Paid Managers Even When Performance Drops Despite the economic slowdown, companies still are concerned about employee retention. At least according to a survey by the Hay Group that found that many companies in its home state of Massachusetts were paying bonuses to virtually all eligible managers, even when basic company performance goals were not met.

According to the survey, more than 40% of Massachusetts companies in the year 2000 failed to achieve the minimum level of corporate performance required to pay out management bonuses.  Yet their boards of directors at more than half of these firms (60 percent) overrode their own provisions and gave bonuses to 91% of managers.  In most cases, the rewards were quite modest: half of what they would have been if the companies had met performance goals.

Right intention, wrong tactic, according to Larry Reissman, Hay Group's New England Reward Practice Leader: "Clearly, the boards of these companies are being sensitive to the expectations and the morale of the employee population. The Boards believe that rewarding bonuses to virtually all managers, despite non-stellar company performance, is necessary to foster retention. But this perspective isn't necessarily good for the business." Certainly it isn't good for morale. Since under-performing companies have less money for bonuses, and since under-performing managers are still being included in the bonus pool, the highest performing managers are being under-rewarded.

Added Reissman: "We believe it's in a company's best interest to single out the best of the best, and to reward them according to their performance -- even if it's at the expense of average performers. The best performer expects a bigger reward, is marketable and is whom the competition wants to recruit. Companies that don't reward them appropriately will lose them. Differentiating managers based on contribution is tough, but necessary. Ultimately, the best performers are where value resides."

See also 

The new DiskOnKey is a nifty gadget that lets you copy files from, to, or between computers. Pretty cool, eh? But don't count on it working between PCs and Macs, even though it says it can. 

Here's something enlightening - use this website and a favorite URL to get a map showing the route followed by the digital signal from that URL's host to your screen.   

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

No doubt some know, but some may not know that software is sold on eBay and Yahoo Auctions. I bought three sealed copies of Peachtree Complete Accounting 2001 v8.0 for an average cost of just over $100, much cheaper than the alternative in this case of buying four copies of v9.0 for $250 each.

I found Quickbooks, Office 97, and many others as well. 

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

Tehelka, which exposed bribery scandals that led to the resignations of Indian officials, puts more salacious political details on the Web ---,1283,46225,00.html 

See also:
A Sticky Wicket for
The Death of India's Net Leader

Forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly

I thought some of us might be interested in this interesting piece that I got from "Information Week".


** Not Everything Is Peachy With PDFs (Files read with Adobe Acrobat)

Security firm Vigilinx Inc. is alerting customers of a first-ever worm that replicates using an Adobe portable document format (PDF). The PeachyPDF@mm worm mass mails itself through Microsoft Outlook. Not only does it send itself to 100 addresses from an infected users' address book, it also sends itself to the users' alternative E-mail addresses.

Jerry Freese, chief intelligence officer at Vigilinx, says the worm was coded by a hacker known as "Zulu," who also wrote the first E-mail worm BubbleBoy. "This guy is no script kid; he is an actual virus writer," says Freese. A user who opens a Peachy PDF sees a document that reads "You have one minute to find the peach!" An icon requests users to double click on an icon to "show the solution." If the user does so, and is running the full version of Adobe Acrobat--not just the reader--the worm propagates.

Freese theorizes that the worm is a protest of the recent arrest of the hacker Dmitry Skylarov at this year's BlackHat/Defcon 9 conference. Skylarov was arrested for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He was going to deliver a presentation about reverse engineering Adobe E-books. "There are a lot of upset hackers about this," says Freese. He stresses that the only danger is jammed E-mail servers: Peachy doesn't pack a powerful payload. According to Vigilinx, users can download the latest virus definitions from Symantec, McAfee, and Central Command. - George V. Hulme

For more on this topic, read Full Disclosure 

Service Kills Viruses Dead 

Internet Goes Red 

Peter Walton, Professor of Accounting at ESSEC, offers a warning note to the IASB in the latest issue of the ACCA's Accounting&Business magazine over its decision to reopen the measurement approach debate as a project on its new agenda. For further details see our full article online at 

It's Your Future --- What should you know about your pension and savings plans?
Take this quick quiz and share it with other friends --- test your knowledge in such areas as the tax treatment of 401(k) plans, employer and employee rights regarding the plans, the annual limit on contributions, and - most importantly - what that (k) stands for! 

Overseers of the new dot-info domain unveil a database showing which trademark holders have registered which Web addresses. The result: Many very basic terms are already getting claimed ---,1367,45900,00.html 

That's $73,809.52 per vote.
A grand total of 84 Internet ballots were turned in during the Pentagon's $6.2 million experiment last year for overseas soldiers who wanted to vote ---,1283,46009,00.html 

Federal Election Reform --- 

Trends in Online Porn --- It's an International Affair

Britons drawn to online porn ---  
Source: NetValue
Source: NetValue
More than a quarter of Britons using the internet from home visit pornographic websites, according to new figures.

Around 3.8 million home users visited an adult site in June, said internet monitoring company NetValue.

Last year, psychologists warned that online sex addiction was creating a dangerous new compulsion affecting everyone from housewives to gay men and corporate executives.

Of the sample of 5,000 people questioned by NetValue, students were the most likely to click on to porn, making up 23.2%.

See also:
Porn Stripped of Gossip Maven
Girl Model Sites Crossing Line?
'The Most Hated Man in Web Porn'
Smut Glut Has Porn Sites Hurting
Debating the Ban on Virtual Porn
Online Crime a Tough Collar
New Worm Takes On Kiddie Porn

Although U.S. agents arrested dozens of suspected Web users who traded in child pornography, differences in international law makes it difficult to nab all the culprits ---,1283,45965,00.html 

Microsoft's Passport is no friend to the consumer who values his or her privacy, especially now that it's so integrated into XP. That's the concern of privacy advocates who are complaining to the U.S. government ---,1848,46095,00.html 

See also:
Big News, or Windows Dressing?
XP Not Privy to Computer Privates
Microsoft's Mixed Bag
MS Scoffs at Windows Worries
Icons Cluttering Up Windows Space

Intellectual Property Rights (Copyrights, Patents, Plagiarism, etc.)
IP @ The National Academies 

From Internet content protection to human gene patenting, IP rights in many forms have emerged from legal obscurity to public debate. This website serves as a guide to the Academies' extensive work on Intellectual Property and a forum to discuss ongoing work.

From Information Week Daily on August 8, 2001

Being a CFO for a high-tech company today apparently isn't all it was cracked up to be. At least, that's one conclusion that can be drawn from the rash of CFOs who've walked away from high-profile jobs in recent months.

The latest departure came Tuesday, when Stephen Collins stepped down from his post at online marketing firm DoubleClick Inc., where he'll continue in a strategic role through the first quarter of 2002. The announcement came less than a month after Collins told investors he didn't expect a rapid turnaround for the ailing online advertising market, and on the heels of a quarter in which DoubleClick lost $10.5 million and saw revenue drop 20% from a year ago.

To be fair, Collins says he's leaving for entirely personal reasons, and the fact that the man he groomed to be his replacement, Bruce Dalziel, will be taking over for him is evidence that his exit was carefully planned. In fact, Collins says he agonized over the decision. "I didn't want to seem like I was abandoning my friends."

But other CFO departures appear to have been directly related to their companies' performances. Just last week, Mark Perry resigned as CFO of struggling digital-subscriber-line service provider Covad Communications Co. "to pursue other interests," the company said. Covad lost $198.5 million in its most recent quarter and is busy negotiating with bondholders to climb out from under $1.4 billion in debt. A couple of weeks earlier, it was RealNetworks Inc.'s CFO, Paul Bialek, who decided to call it quits; the company cited "personal reasons." RealNetworks' profit for the quarter ended June 30 was down 77% from a year ago.

A week before that, Andrew Hajducky stepped down as CFO of Internet holding company CMGI Inc., with the company saying Hajducky wanted to "pursue an external opportunity." His exit came after CMGI had lost $3.5 billion in the past two quarters. And in early July, when Randall Bolten ended a six-year reign as CFO of E-business software firm BroadVision Inc., no explanation was offered. BroadVision's revenue is down significantly from last year and it lost $242.8 million for the quarter ended June 30. Two months earlier, Exodus Communications Inc.'s R. Marshall Case and Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Deborah Hopkins left their CFO posts in the wake of huge quarterly losses for their respective employers. Hopkins reportedly had received a $4 million signing bonus when she joined Lucent just a year earlier after a 16-month stint as CFO at Boeing Co.

Cahners In-Stat Group analyst Kneko Burney says the procession of CFO resignations is reflective of the tech sector's return to what she calls "realityland," a place where profits, prudent management, customer satisfaction, and organic growth have replaced the grow-at-all-costs approach that was prevalent in 1999 and 2000. Burney says a lot of financial execs jumped from stable, slow-growth industries into IT because of the allure of stock options and accelerated growth. Many of them, she says, are waking up to the fact that the young companies they joined for a change of pace are now operating more like the industries they left, only without the stable revenue streams. "These are the best and the brightest from other industries," she says. "They're leaving because they're suddenly going, 'This is a bunch of bull.'" 

Forwarded by Jim McKinney [jim@MCKINNEYCPA.COM

FYI, Source Forge is an on-line meeting place for open source projects. Their link is  . There are 1000's of projects with source code available in numerous languages. The projects range from very sophisticated (e.g. MySQL) to mere ideas. For those operating on the cheap or those trying to get programming ideas this seems to be a great place.

Jim McKinney Howard University

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and implementing a comprehensive program against identity theft. The organization's goals include supporting victims of identity theft, broadening public awareness and understanding of identity theft, and decreasing the potential victim population. Here are several tips from the ITRC on ways in which you can lessen your risk of identity theft. 

The Survival Research Laboratories are a loosely assembled group of half-mad scientists who build big robots and then blow them up. Mark Pauline, their leader, is the man who keeps them together -- and pushes them apart ---,1284,45063,00.html 

See also:
RoboCup: Where Bots Kick Butt
People Make the Best Robots
Quantum Mechanics' New Horizons

Stay Away from Club Drugs.  These are described at 

Disability insurance is one of those items many people say they don't need--unless something were to go terribly wrong. While many employers provide disability coverage, analysts say this isn't enough coverage (usually only half of a monthly salary, and with a cap of $5,000). Using the Internet, you can compare policies and premiums, and may even get more coverage for much less money. Find the disability insurance that is right for your needs. 

A new study sees a light at the end of the online advertising tunnel. But what comes out when the market emerges will be part digital marketing, part Internet advertising. 

As Internet-only retailers struggle with profitability, and the all-important holiday season approaches, new research finds the big offline brands that dominate retailing in the U.S. are driving mainstream shoppers online. 

AudioBase's free MP3 streaming applet, AB3, lets developers put audio into a Web site without needing to use plug-ins. 

For more discussion of MP3 audio, go to 

Cultures on the Edge --- 
Subtitled "an open look at cultural diversity around the world"

Maple 7 and Maple PowerTools each win an EDDIE in the 6th Annual Educational Software Review Awards --- 

WATERLOO, CANADA, August 1, 2001—Waterloo Maple, a world leader in mathematical software for education, research and industry, is pleased to announce that its flagship product, Maple 7, has won the Educational Software Review Award (EDDIE) in the math category, post-secondary level, for the second year in a row. In addition, Maple PowerTools™, a free online resource of Maple application packages and academic course materials, was submitted for the first time this year and won the award in the educational Web site category for post-secondary mathematics.

The EDDIEs, sponsored by the ComputED Gazette, aim to recognize innovative and content-rich programs that are appropriate for use by educators to augment the classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity. Winners are selected from titles submitted by software publishers from around the world and are based on academic content, potential for broad classroom use, technical merit, subject approach and quality of management system.

“The dual EDDIEs are a confirmation that our efforts have made a difference to math educators,” states Jim Dell, Product Marketing Manager for Waterloo Maple Inc. “We are honored, and look forward to enhancing our products and services even further.”

Maple 7 and Maple PowerTools are among the titles that are made available to school districts teachers, and the public through ComputED Learning Lab and the Educational Software Preview Service of San Diego Center for Educational Technology, a nonprofit organization based in Cardiff, California. For more information visit

The Maple homepage is at 

"Hollywood Moves to Rent Movies Online," by Rick Lyman, The New York Times, August 17, 2001 --- 

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 — Five major movie studios, including some of Hollywood's top players, unveiled plans today for a joint venture that would allow computer users to download rental copies of feature films over the Internet.

The service, which will be available only to those with high-speed Internet connections, is an attempt to get ahead of piracy problems that have plagued the music industry through services like Napster and which were beginning to be felt in the film industry with newer file-swapping services.

"I think the majority of consumers believe that copyright has value and that if they have a pay vehicle to watch movies on the Internet, they will pay for it," said Yair Landau, president of Sony (news/quote) Pictures Digital Entertainment. "We want to give honest people an honest alternative."

The venture is also seen by many studio executives as a first step toward true video-on-demand, when consumers will be able to watch any movie they want, whenever they want. Initially, the films will be available for download only onto personal computers, or television monitors linked to an Internet connection, but eventually video-on-demand service is expected to include cable television and other delivery systems.

"New disc--is it the end of the music CD?" by Gwendolyn Mariano, ZD Net News, August 6, 2001 ---,4586,5095272,00.html?chkpt=zdnnp1tp01 

InterTrust Technologies, a maker of digital rights management software, said Monday it has partnered with start-up DataPlay to provide secure digital media in a move to thwart music piracy by replacing the compact disc. Santa Clara, Calif.-based InterTrust said it will place DRM formats on DataPlay-enabled devices, including blank and prerecorded discs. Such DataPlay discs can hold 11 hours of compressed music, or seven to 10 albums.

Both companies are betting that DataPlay's discs are eventually going to replace the compact disc, which has been considered to be the source of music piracy on the Web.

"This whole music piracy problem isn't going to go away until the CD dies," said Talal Shamoon, senior vice president at InterTrust. "A lot of these music subscription services and download services that have been put together...are great, but they're not an effective replacement for a new entertainment experience because CDs are still here, and CDs define the path."

The announcement comes as record labels are beefing up their efforts to provide online subscription services amid reports that the Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into such services. RealNetworks, BMG Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Recorded Music have created MusicNet. Meanwhile, Sony and Vivendi Universal Group have formed Pressplay and will use to create its backbone technology.

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Brother Baku entered the 'Monastery of Silence' and the Head Friar said, "Welcome Brother, this is a silent monastery. You are welcome here as long as you like, but you may not speak until I direct you to do so."

Brother Baku lived in the monastery for 5 years before the Head Friar said to him: "Brother Baku, you have been here 5 years now, you may speak two words."

Brother Baku said, "Hard Bed."

"I'm sorry to hear that," the Head Friar said. "We will get you a better bed."

After another 5 years, Brother Baku was called by the Head Friar. "You may say another two words Brother Baku."

"Cold food," said Brother Baku, and the Head Friar assured him that the food would be better in the future.

On his 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Head Friar summoned Brother Baku to hear his allowed two words.

"I quit," said Brother Baku.

"It is probably best," said the Head Friar. "You've done nothing but complain since you've been here."

The Museum of Hoaxes --- 
This site was featured in USA Today, August 16, 2001, Page 3D

Silence Dogood in 1722

In 1722 a letter appeared in the New-England Courant written by a middle-aged widow named 'Silence Dogood'. Over the course of the year, this widow submitted a total of fourteen letters to the Courant in which she poked fun at various aspects of life in colonial America, such as the drunkenness of locals and the fashion of hoop petticoats.

Silence Dogood was particularly fond of ridiculing Harvard. She complained that it had been ruined by corruption and elitism, and that most of its students learned nothing there except how to be conceited.

She explained that she had once been married to a minister with whom she had lived for seven years before he had died, leaving her with three children. She coyly admitted that she didn't enjoy the life of a widow and could be easily persuaded to marry again. Apparently a few of the Courant's male readers found her letters so charming that they wrote to the paper offering to marry her.

Silence Dogood, however, did not exist. She was the invention of a sixteen year-old boy named Benjamin Franklin whose older brother, James, was a printer in Boston. It is not known whether James was privy to the true identity of Silence Dogood, or whether, like the rest of Boston, he was fooled by his younger brother.

This was the first of Franklin's many hoaxes.

References: Fedler, Fred. Media Hoaxes. Iowa State University Press. 1989. 5-6.

In an email reply, Brooks Hill reminded me of a Ben Franklin article entitled "Advice to a Young Man."

June 25, 1745

My dear Friend,

I know of no Medicine fit to diminish the violent natural Inclinations you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper Remedy. It is the most natural State of Man, and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness. Your Reasons against entering into it at present, appear to me not well-founded. The circumstantial Advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the Thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars. If you get a prudent healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient.

But if you will not take this Counsel, and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then I repeat my former Advice, that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these:

Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor'd with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc'd may be attended with much Inconvenience.

Because thro' more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin'd to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding2 only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

8thly and Lastly 
They are so grateful!!

Thus much for my Paradox. But still I advise you to marry directly; being sincerely Your affectionate Friend.

The above article is also cited in Mike Kearl's discussion on "trophy wives" at 

 Educating Yam

You know that all potatoes have eyes. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Potato had eyes for each other, and finally they got married and had a little sweet potato, whom they called 'Yam'.  Of course, they wanted the best for Yam. When it was time, they told her about the facts of life. They warned her about going out and getting half-baked, so she wouldn't get accidentally mashed and get a bad name for herself like 'Hot Potato' and end up with a bunch of TaterTots.

Yam said not to worry, no Spud would get her into the sack and make a rotten potato out of her! But on the other hand she wouldn't stay home and become a Couch Potato, either.  She would get plenty of exercise so as not to be skinny like her Shoestring cousins. 

When she went off to see the world, Mr. and Mrs. Potato told Yam to watch out for the Hard Boiled guys from Ireland and the greasy guys from France called the French Fries. And when she went out west, Yam was warned to watch out for Indians so she wouldn't get scalloped. Yam said she would stay on the straight and narrow and wouldn't associate with those high class Yukon Golds or the ones from the other side of the tracks who advertise their trade on all the trucks that say, 'Frito Lay.'

Mr. and Mrs. Potato sent Yam to Idaho P.U. (that's Potato University) so that when she graduated she'd really be in the Chips. But in spite of all they did for her, one day Yam came home and announced she was going to marry Tom Brokaw. 

Tom Brokaw????  
Mr. and Mrs. Potato were very upset. They told Yam she couldn't possibly marry Tom Brokaw because he's


just a...


Common Tater


(For the benefit of foreign readers, Tom Brokaw is a "commenter" on NBC's nationally televised news programs.)


Are you tired of just sitting in your office and looking like a typical accountant.  Come to life and let people passing by you in the hall see you bounce to the jive of some really great guitar music.  If you're keen on guitars and guitar sounds, this is where you want to go to both learn about guitars and download free MP3 guitar sounds from some top musicians.  Go to 


For MP3 downloads, click on the upper tab called "MP3".  Warning:  There seem to be a lot of broken links.  This is probably due to the fact that this service is very new and under construction.


The downloads are not all guitar music.  For the old farts of my generation, I found some great big band music.  Under the MP3 download tab, click on the 112 link and then choose Buddy Rich.   Wow! Did I ever bounce when I downloaded COTTON TAIL.


This is also a guitar instruction site.  Experts will also answer your questions about guitars and guitar music.


I learned about this free MP3 download site in a message from John Dallair.  Thanks John.  Now I can't sit still.


Please note the instructions at the end of the following message.

The Root Of Evil -- MONEY
 It can buy a house, but not a home.

 It can buy a bed,  but not sleep.

 It can buy a clock, but not time.

 It can buy you a book, but not knowledge.

 It can buy you a position, but not respect.

 It can buy you medicine, but not health.

 It can buy you blood, but not life.

 It can buy you sex, but not love.

So you see, money isn't everything and it often causes pain and suffering.

I tell you this because I am your friend and as your friend I want to take away all your pain.

So please send me all your money and I will suffer for you.
Cash only.
Small bills.

 Have a nice day:)

And that's the way it was on August 24, 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 --- 

Links to the following accountancy documents:

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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August 10, 2001 

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on August 10, 2001
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This may be the last edition of New Bookmarks until September.  I will be out of town for a week in Atlanta and then for most of another week making a presentation in Mexico.  In addition, there are many duties associated with cranking up a university for the start of the new academic year.  

This is a rather special edition, and I hope you find it helpful.

Quotes of the Week

From Hapless to Helped
"autodidacts disadvantaged by distance" (Don't you love alliteration as a memory aid?)  In the first four quotations below, contrast and compare the impact of the interactive Internet and ebullient email on evolving education from 1858 versus 2001.  

Hapless:  The Year 1858

When the University of London instituted correspondence courses in 1858, the first university to do so, its students (typically expatriates in what were then the colonies of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and South Africa), discovered the programme by word of mouth and wrote the university to enrol.  the university then despatched, by post-and-boat, what today we would call the course outline, a set of previous examination papers and a list of places around the world where examinations were conducted.  It left any "learning" to the hapless student, who sat the examination whenever he or she felt ready:  a truly "flexible" schedule!  this was the first generation of distance education (Tabsall and Ryan, 1999):  "independent" learning for highly motivated and resourceful autodidacts disadvantaged by distance. (Page 71)
Yoni Ryan from Chapter 5 of The Changing Faces of Virtual Education edited by Glen Farrell (see below)

Helped:  The Year 2001

The combination of asynchronous and synchronous materials in the WebCT environment worked well for my students. I felt closer to my students than I did in a live class. When I loaded AIM and saw my students online, I felt connected to them. Each student had an online persona that blossomed over the semester. The use of emotions in AIM helped us create bantering communication, which contributed to a less stressful learning environment. 

At then end of the six-week course, I was tired, but I was equally tired at the end of the live six-week course last summer. I don’t think the online environment made my life easier, but it made it more fun. The students appreciated the flexibility, and they liked not having to drive to downtown Hartford for classes. Although many of my students would have preferred a live class, they performed well in this online class. I did not attempt to statistically compare their performance with my past live classes, but the exam distributions appear similar to past classes. I was happy with the overall class performance. 

One student concluded, “Just reading the material without having anyone explain it to you makes it more difficult to understand at first (at least for me). I waffled between wanting online and in person teaching … . Ultimately I chose online because this way we can do it at our own pace and we always have the ability to go back to where we might not have understood and do it over.” 

Thus, flexibility appears to outweigh what to the student appears to be an easier way to learn.  (pp. 13-15)
From "Genesis of an Online Course" by Amy Dunbar (see below)

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 

LARSON: You can't get further from MIT than Singapore. Singapore from here is this way [points straight down]. We use Internet2 for connectivity. There's no statistical difference in performance between distance learners and classroom learners. And when there is a difference, it favors the distance learners
"Lessons e-Learned Q&A with Richard Larson from MIT," Technology Review, July 31, 2001 ---

Miscellaneous Quotations

If at first you don't succeed,
Try doing it the way your wife told you
Author unknown

Never get so busy making a living
That you forget to make a life

Author unknown

Now that we're sufficiently agitated and confused
Your work is here is done.

Comment by one of Bob Jensen's students on a course evaluation form

No longer do you have to install Guru (now called Atomica) to look up a word instantly on your browser screen.  I used to look up words with Guru's free online dictionary, but the required (Alt click) key stroke would override some of the functionality of other software such as Photoshop that uses the same key stroke combination.  I had to uninstall Guru for that reason.

The free dictionary from Merriam-Webster is quick and easy to install and use.  And there are no dedicated keystroke overrides.  The free button link to the dictionary also provides audio pronunciation of English words

Actually this is somewhat more than a dictionary. Key features include:

1. Select a word and get complete definitions with the click of a mouse.
2. Click on the audio button to hear the word pronounced.
3. Find the "Top 10" Websites associated with the selected word.

Looking up Words on the Web Just Got Easier and Better --- 

Home Collegiate Dictionary Collegiate Thesaurus Word of the Day Word Games Word for the Wise Books and CDs Network Options The Lighter Side Language Info Zone Inkwell to Internet Customer Service Site Map with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Lookup Button! Add this helpful new tool to your browser's toolbar, then just highlight a word in a Web page and click the button.

It's free -- and easy to install. Just follow the instructions to add the Dictionary Lookup Button to your Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator toolbar. (Macintosh users, see our Mac FAQ.)

The Dictionary Lookup Button may not operate properly when used with Web pages that include frames or other dynamic features.

Some installation pointers from Bob Jensen

To look up a word while you are in Internet Explorer, you should do as follows:

Design Thrill of the Week
HistoryWired - three million of the Smithsonian's "favorite things." --- 
Note:  This is a very flashy Website.  Take a look just for the design thrill.

My Hero of the Week --- Amy Dunbar from The University of Connecticut 

I first heard of Amy Dunbar from one of her former students when Amy was teaching tax at The University of Texas at San Antonio.  The comment was something to the effect that "She's more awesome than I can imagine for any teacher.  If only her courses weren't  so tough."

Amy later moved to The University of Iowa and then, after her husband completed his doctorate, she (they) moved on to The University of Connecticut.  In the course of her career, Amy received her B.A. from Macalester College, went through "basic training" as an IRS agent, and then completed her doctorate in tax accounting and tax research at The University of Texas.  

Professor Dunbar joined the accounting faculty at the University of Connecticut in 1999. She was a faculty member at the University of Texas at San Antonio from 1989 to 1993, and at the University of Iowa from 1993 to 1998. While at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she received the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award, a College of Business teaching award, and several research awards, including the Ernst & Young Tax Literature Award. While at the University of Iowa, she received a University of Iowa Collegiate Teaching Award (one of 15 given university-wide) as well as two Department of Accounting teaching awards. Professor Dunbar has published in the Journal of the American Taxation Association, the National Tax Journal, the Journal of Public Economics, and several legal journals. Her research deals with tax policy issues, including a recent publication on who would bear the burden of the proposed flat tax. She is a member of Board of Trustees for the American Taxation Association and has been active in both the Texas and Iowa Society of CPAs.

What fascinates me most about Amy is her courage.  It took special courage to plunge into new technologies and pedagogy in courses where she received exceptional awards using more traditional methods in traditional classrooms. Amy has always experimented with newer technologies inside and outside the classroom.  She's a real pro at tax accounting and tax research, but in terms of information technologies she's a dogmatic bootstrapper and plunges in where angels fear to tread.  

I think all educators should read at least the first 15 pages of "Genesis of an Online Course," by Amy Dunbar, August 1, 2001 at 

This paper presents a descriptive and evaluative analysis of the transformation of a graduate tax accounting course to an online course that was taught in a compressed six-week format beginning May 21, 2001. Fifty-seven students in two sections completed the course using WebCT, classroom environment software that facilitates the creation of web-based educational environments. The paper provides a description of the technology tools required and the first-day activities, which introduced the students to the online environment. The students used a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning methods that allowed them to complete the coursework on a self-determined schedule, subject to bi-weekly quiz constraints. I used Dreamweaver to create content pages, which had links to Excel problems, Flash examples, audio files, and self-tests. Students worked the quizzes and then met in their four- to six-person groups in a chat room to resolve differences in answers. When students wanted my help, they sent me an instant message, using AOL Instant Messenger. At the end of the semester, I surveyed the class about the learning environment. Overall, the students were satisfied with the learning methods. Working the quizzes in the chat room was the method used most; 84 percent used a combination of these two tools “a lot.” The percentages for “a lot” were as follows for the remaining tools: self-tests (67%), Excel files (60%), AIM (58%), Flash files (44%), sound files (33%), discussion board (24%). Students were satisfied with the number of the quizzes and projects, but they wanted more self-tests (65%), with some requests for more of the other learning methods (Excel, Flash, and audio). The group process worked well in this class. Student comments on their groups and the class are provided in exhibits. In addition to having problems accessing technology, students found discovery-based learning challenging. The problem was not, however, my accessibility to them. On the university-level survey, the students rated my accessibility as 9.8 out of 10, which I attribute to the use of an instant messenger program. Based on the student comments, those who preferred the online environment appreciated the flexibility. We envision that our entire master’s of accounting program will go online because our students work full-time. Given the choice of live instruction versus flexibility, we think the students will choose flexibility. Although only 56 percent of my students would choose to take this class online if they had a choice between online and live, I think that number will increase as time goes by.

So what are Amy's highly controversial conclusions from her first online course?   Go to Page 13 in "Genesis of an Online Course," by Amy Dunbar, August 1, 2001 at 

Reply from Bob Jensen on August 4, 2001

First let me say that I have declared Amy Dunbar to be my "Hero of the Week" in the forthcoming August 10 Edition of New Bookmarks. In that edition, I pay tribute to her courage. She has a string of exceptional teaching awards from three universities, and it takes special courage to plunge into new technologies and pedagogy in courses where she received exceptional awards using more traditional methods in traditional classrooms.

Rather than discuss her online course in this message, I would instead prefer to focus only on her phrase that reads as follows" 

This class was more of a nuts and bolts class than a theory class. I think a more theoretical, discussion oriented class would be handled differently. But for those taking technical detail classes online, you might find my paper helpful. 

It is not clear what she means by "handled differently." It is extremely important to delve into this issue, because most faculty worth a grain of salt attempt to bring theory into courses at any level. I assume that Amy is referring here to a course that is predominantly theory for students that have mastered "nuts and bolts."

It is not clear, at least to me, why a predominantly theory course cannot be handled better online than in a traditional classroom. Student interaction in classrooms is terrific when there are pat answers that informed students can "recite" for the benefit of shall we say "lesser-informed" students. This helps to motivate all students to become better informed about "nuts and bolts." There is also a tremendous motivation factor called "classroom silence." Students squirm during embarrassing moments of total silence, especially when they are the ones who are called upon to fill the silence. (Barry Rice flashes their names and pictures randomly on the screen while awaiting their answers.) One of the most effective first-year seminar instructors at Trinity University occasionally never interjected a single word for the entire class period. That forced students to either suffer silence or prepare for filling silence.

But in a theory course, students cannot recite answers quickly and spontaneously without more study and reflection before speaking out on each question posed. Neither the theory students nor their theory instructor can provide answers instantaneously without time to reflect, seek out passages in books, search the Web, build a model, etc. Students who are forced to speak out when they are unprepared may be wasting everybody's time. For this reason, asynchronous messaging is more important at the theory level. It gives students more opportunity to think out their ideas and become better prepared before speaking out.

Newer technologies allow online courses to be even more collaborative than onsite courses. For example, Sharon Lightner teaches international accounting synchronously online where international standard setters and practioners have a virtual presence with her online students. See  It is much more complicated to bring experts into every class and to be available when an interesting issue spontaneously arises.

One of the things that I am growing less fond of are face-to-face meetings of professors and experts where we are "forced to" contemplate complex issues and make innovative comments in a prescribed interval of time such as 50 minutes or 120 minutes. Participants who cannot think of something worthwhile to say at the round tables might have something truly interesting and innovative to pass along given some time (say a week or a month) to ponder the issues at hand. But in the time constraints of a face-to-face session, they just do not offer much to the conversation --- conversation that boils down to mostly a waste of time after several such sessions in a day. Given longer periods online, participants will more likely make better contributions to the online community.

These are just a few thoughts on what is a very controversial issue in distance education. My take on this is that it might be better to teach theory online rather than nuts and bolts. But I am delighted that Amy reports such great success teaching nuts and bolts online. I should point out, however, that her students were graduate students in corporate tax who most likely were more mature than undergraduates still trying to put academics in context vis-à-vis fraternity and sorority life. 

In any case, I say BRAVO Amy.

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

Reply from Amy Dunbar []  on August 5, 2001

Hi Bob, 
Thank you so much for your kind note. I just got back from a weekend in NYC - ran the Manhattan half marathon.

When I said in my original posting that theoretical classes might be handled differently, I didn't mean to imply that they couldn't be taught online - only that they might use different tools than I used. For example, the discussion board would be used far more than I used it in my nuts and bolts class.

You really made my day! I'm looking forward to seeing you at the CPE session in Atlanta. I always learn so much from you.



Reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU] on August 8

Bob, let me play the devil's advocate here.

Karl Otto Apel, a German philosopher, once said that sciences could be divided according to their objectives : to explain, know, and understand.

I would go further and say every discipline has these three objectives.

In case of a nuts-and-bolts course, the objective is essentially to get to "know" the rules of the game. That objective can be achieved, in my opinion, completely on-line, or even by oneself given a certain level of intellectual maturity. If it is offered in class mode, the reasons can be efficiency (proficiency is attained in minimal time, minimal cost, minimal disruption, need for some amount of hand-holding, intellectual maturity shortfalls, outsourcing opportunities, etc.).

On the other hand, in case of a theory-oriented course, the objectives are to "explain" and "understand". These objectives can be met in on-line courses either by synchronous learning or through asynchronous learning using (listservs, bulletin boards, etc.). However, some amount of face-to-face mentoring, in my opinion, can be very beneficial.

The issues are very important to me, since we have received many requests (from firms, alumni, as well as random requests world-wide) to offer our AIS program in distance mode. I have shied away till now mainly because each of our six courses in AIS (graduate program) are theoretically-oriented in a computational sense while at the same time having substantial "nuts-and-bolts" content.

Now I am thinking of recommending offering the program in mixed-mode with 2-5 days of "boot camp" in-house, followed by bulk of the semester in distance mode, followed by a 1-2 days of in-house evaluation and testing. I still have to work out the details and the mechanics of the program, and would very much be interested in responses on this thread.

In most discussions I have come across, in-class and distance education are regarded as orthogonal delivery mechanisms. It may be time to examine the middle ground. I think this is specially appropriate in graduate information systems education with a computational flavour.

I must say, I enjoyed Amy's paper in spite of the fact that I gave up on WebCT a year ago -- it was too cumbersome for my graduate courses and I was a lot more efficient delivering the materials using e-mail, newsgroup, and some scripts to take care of online homework submissions, grading, etc. May be I should take another look at WebCT, which the pencil pushers at Albany have been prodding us faculty into submission.

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

For a 1996 message (ancient history in Web years) that I'm certain Amy Dunbar has long forgotten, go to 
(Which proves that she was one of my heroes in olden times as well as today.)

In a Way, It's a Sad Day

Hi Barry and All Accounting Educators,

If accounting education is losing one its the top ten lecturers in a face-to-face classroom, then I am saddened by your announcement Barry. Many people mistakenly think that I applaud the demise of the lecture method. I applaud the demise of most lectures, but you, Barry, have a lecture style that I applaud for young students, especially those squirming fledglings in nuts and bolt courses like the first two courses in accounting. Barry Rice has no-nonsense style in which students are called on the carpet to provide answers in front of a large class. This not only motivates the students to do their homework in advance, it gives them skills in speaking and thinking out loud. Barry Rice has a lecture style and talent for turning young students on to majoring in accounting.

(Any accounting professors interested in watching Barry on video should ask their supervisors if the Accounting Department received one of the free Toolkit CDs distributed widely by the American Accounting Association ---  )

Perhaps learning will be improved with online technologies for over 90% of the students in all courses in accountancy and tax, but for that 10% of very young students and/or very naive students looking for nuts, bolts, confidence, and career ideas, losing Barry Rice in the lecture hall is a severe blow to Loyola College and accounting education in general.

Having said this Barry, I still wish you the best of luck. You will excel and make us very proud in whatever you undertake. It will be great to have you giving us daily postings about what is new and exciting in educational technologies.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Barry Rice [mailto:brice@LOYOLA.EDU]  
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 10:10 PM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Re: WebCT vs Blackboard

Should I admit on this list that I have gone over to "the dark side" as some of my faculty colleagues have said, and risk losing the respect of accounting faculty around the world? As of June 1, I am now Loyola's Director of Instructional Services in addition to continuing as an accounting faculty member. The Instructional Services staff has responsibility for Blackboard, certain Web initiatives, technology training, the campus multimedia lab and distance learning classrooms. Other universities often call the group that does much of what we do the Teaching and Learning (with Technology) Center. Eventually, I'll change the name of our group to something comparable. I thought I was going to "get paid for playing with the toys". Fat chance! I have a hot new Dell PC at home, a new Palm M505 PDA and a bunch of other new hardware and software and no time to even test them out. Why? We're upgrading to Blackboard 5 and most of my time has been spent making sure the system is going to be ready to use well before the start of the fall semester. (Did you realize that even is less than a month away for most of us?!) So, this thread with its discussion of not only the two major course management systems but also with heavy references to Datatel sort of makes me think you have been looking over my shoulder for the past few weeks. However, I'll limit my comments below to responding to Amy's post.

Barry Rice 

>>> adunbar@SBA.UCONN.EDU Monday, August 06, 2001 9:30:09 AM >>> >I thought that although Blackboard was easier to use, it doesn't have the >range of tools that WebCT offers. For example, at UConn we use the common >portal feature of WebCT. All students are automatically added to the WebCT >database, and they see all their classes that use WebCT on their personal >webpage when they logon. If they have email, new posting, etc, that page >will show which class they should check. Works great for an instructor with >multiple classes to have one common web page. UConn uses the page for >university-level announcements. In addition, instructors can automatically >populate their classes using the course numbers. Really a great feature.

Blackboard 5 is also a portal product with the possibility of automatically setting up "courses" for every course section for a semester as well as automatically populating the courses with student names, IDs, etc. That's precisely what we are doing this week at Loyola. Faculty members need only turn on the features/tools they want to use and populate the course with content. This is our first attempt at this approach and I am confident that it is going to result in 40-50% of our faculty using Blackboard in some way for the fall. As part of its attempt to be a full-fledged portal, Blackboard 5 also provides a way for clubs and organizations to easily have a secure Web presence.

Like Bob Jensen, I have kept my courses on a dedicated server and have used Blackboard very little up to now. But, as the missionary who was hired to help get Loyola faculty into the 21st century, I'll now be using Blackboard to put up the materials for all my courses.

Barry Rice
Loyola College in Maryland

Important Article of the Week (thank you Jim Borden for the link)

"A Teaching Revolution:  Filreis harnesses the Internet to free class time for discussion," by James O'Neill, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 5, 2001 --- 

Penn's Al Filreis uses the Internet as his blackboard and classroom. 

Had you been enrolled in a typical course at a typical college this past semester, you might have prepared for each class by - well, by showing up.

You'd slide into your seat, pull out a pen, open your notebook, and sit back. Waiting.

Waiting, passively, for the lecture to begin.

Had you been enrolled in English 88, a modern poetry survey course at the University of Pennsylvania, showing up for class would have been the last thing you did.

First, you would get to a computer. Days in advance. In the library. In your dorm room. Perhaps at 2 a.m. - whenever your college-aged mind was alert and inspired.

You'd log on to the course Web site, 

You'd click your way to information on the forthcoming class. When preparing for the session on William Carlos Williams' role in the modern poetry movement, you would have had the opportunity, through the Web site, to do the following:

• Watch a video clip of Williams' commentary on his poem "This Is Just to Say."

• Read Flossie Williams' "Reply" to her husband's poem.

• See a 1936 photo of Williams lounging in a chair.

• Read Williams' poem "The Rose Is Obsolete."

• Laugh at a Saul Steinberg cartoon from the New Yorker, spoofing overuse of the rose as a poetic metaphor for love.

• Watch a video of Penn English professor Alan Filreis - who teaches English 88 - giving a mini-lecture on poet Gertrude Stein's writing.

By this time, you would have a firm grasp of the traits that distinguish modernist poets and Williams in particular.

But you still wouldn't be ready for class.

Next, you'd hit the e-mail, scrolling through messages sent by some of English 88's three dozen classmates, via an e-mail distribution list, or listserv. You'd scan their youthful, bubbling reactions to modernist poetry and to Williams.

You might respond.

You might check back later, say at 7 the next morning. Seeing that one classmate's comments had sparked a raging online debate, you might dive back into the verbal fray.

Only then would you be ready for class. By this time, after the marathon preparation, after utter immersion in that day's course material, after sharing your thoughts and getting feedback from peers, you would hardly want to sit back in one of the battered old chairs arranged for class and wait for Filreis to lecture you.

You'd want to - well, you'd want to engage.

For a few years now, the higher-education world has been abuzz over the proliferation of courses offered entirely over the Internet, as experts predict the change this electronic form of distance learning will bring to the academic world.

But at the same time, a little-noticed, far quieter technology-driven revolution is taking shape on college campuses. And it could drastically alter the way college students learn in traditional college classrooms.

Scattered here and there across the country, quiet innovators like Al Filreis are harnessing the power of Web sites, listservs and other computer-based innovations to change their teaching style and let students play a more active role in their own education. Some, like Filreis, have completely banned the lecture from the classroom, freeing cherished class time for an interactive exploration of course material.

Spurring Filreis to change is a sense of the incredible physical and financial costs that schools and parents incur to bring professor and student together for face-to-face contact. "It's so expensive that we'd better damn well do some good stuff in the classroom," Filreis said. What's the point of having students sit passively while a professor lectures? That's just a transfer of information, Filreis argues. Real learning occurs in the discussions that faculty can ignite and then subtly steer during class time.

Many aspects of this "new" teaching style have been in use for years. But technology has increased their power and broadened their reach.

Discussion-style courses, for example, are decades old. But today's campus innovators are using technology to let far larger classes experience the kind of interactive learning that had once taken place only in tiny seminars.

Chatty, engaged students are nothing new. But e-mail listservs have allowed students who might be shy in the classroom to participate in peer discussions of course material. "Students who think deeply but slowly can participate more freely this way," said Christopher Dede, who codirects the Technology in Education program at Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

Videos, audio tapes, and other multimedia enhancements have also been available to students for years. But they used to be stored in the library or a lab, and it took extra effort for an interested student to seek them out. Today, through the Internet-based course Web sites that professors like Filreis have designed, students have instant access to a plethora of resources - anytime, anywhere. This is, after all, a generation of people for whom the first action after unlocking the dorm room door or turning off the alarm clock is to log on to their personal computers. And, Filreis points out, "Students have a different clock. They start to be creative at 9 p.m."

Practitioners of this new pedagogy are transforming students from passive to active learners and altering the power structure of the traditional lecture-dominated classroom. That shift in power - away from the professor and toward the student - is also a reason many professors remain reluctant to embrace the nascent revolution. As Dave Maswick, associate dean of information services at Bard College, says, "When a scholar uses technology in the classroom and he's not comfortable with it, he is suddenly perceived as less than an expert by the students. He's no longer the all-knowing scholar."

But as the typewriter generation of academics retires, some educators insist these technology-driven innovations in pedagogy will rival the printed book's unveiling on Europe's university campuses in the mid-1400s. Doug Davis, an Internet-savvy professor of psychology at Haverford College, says, "We'll look back on this moment as the beginning of the end of the traditional 19th-century liberal arts education."

What made Al Filreis - the product of placid, conformist, suburban 1960s New Jersey - a revolutionary?

Three key aspects of his personality drive his experimental approach to teaching: an agile, nonconformist mind; an attraction to gadgetry; and a fascination with experimental poetry.

The interest in gadgets came from Alan's father, Sam, an engineer. Sam Filreis loved projects, and a crawl space in the family home in Springfield, N.J., is still filled with remnants. Young Alan often secreted himself in the crawl space to play with the bits of tools and machinery stashed there.

Alan's seventh-grade English teacher serendipitously fused Alan's creativity and interest in machinery. "We learned how to produce a 'video' - which in those days was unusual," Filreis recalls. "We wrote, edited, produced, directed, and did the camera work and acting for our own productions. It was very exciting, and it was tech and literature in its earliest form."

His romance with experimental poetry began when he was a college sophomore, at Colgate University, a small liberal arts school near Syracuse, N.Y. The first milestone was his discovery of Walt Whitman, a rebel against flowery poetic language and the traditional rules of form.

"I was turned on by him," Filreis said. "He was freely expressing his feelings. His long lines seemed antipoetical. He didn't mind yawping. It was an awakening for me. Here I was, a suburban baby boomer, still confined by curriculum. Here was someone who violated the rules of poetry. Whitman got me to realize that you can rewrite the rules of expression."

Besides finding Whitman, Filreis came under the wing of Carl Peterson, a "wonderful, acerbic, somewhat misanthropic" poet who was dating Filreis' favorite Colgate professor. "Carl would talk with me about poetry in ways that my official teachers did not," Filreis said. "I used to go to his apartment and sit in the living room, often drinking wine, discussing Whitman and other poets." Most important about the experience, Filreis said, was his epiphany that "the learning space was not in the curriculum, was not on campus, and was not the place where my regular teachers were."

In the early 1980s, while pursuing his doctorate in English at the University of Virginia, Filreis began to teach. At the time, the university purchased early-version desktop computers. "They were big white machines, in the shape of a huge space helmet," Filreis said. "They ran a word processor program called Magic Wand."

Filreis stored set pieces on computer, each describing a common student writing mistake. He gave each set piece a number. Then, marking student papers by hand, he put a number in the margin near each mistake, and attached the appropriate computer-generated commentary.

"This changed my relationship with the students," Filreis said. "I wanted to engage the students in a conversation." In effect, he had created a low-tech prototype of the teaching style he would later refine. He calls it "dialogic pedagogy."

When e-mail and the Internet appeared, Filreis, who arrived at Penn in 1985, easily integrated these new tools.

For the rest of the article, go to 

The course link is as follows:
English 88 Modern & Contemporary American Poetry --- 

Important (Free) Book of the Week

The Changing Faces of Virtual Education --- 
Dr. Glen Farrell, Study Team Leader and Editor
The Commonwealth of Learning

RELEASED IN JULY 2001 by The Commonwealth of Learning (COL): The Changing Faces of Virtual Education, a study on the latest “macro developments” in virtual education. This is a follow-up on COL’s landmark study on current trends in “virtual” delivery of higher education (The Development of Virtual Education: A global perspective, 1999). Both reports were funded by the British Department for International Development and are available on this web site.

One of the conclusions of the authors of the 1999 report was that the development of virtual education was “more rhetorical than real!” Dr. Glen Farrell, study team leader and editor of both reports, says “This follow-up study concludes that, two years later, virtual education development is a lot more rhetorical, and a lot more real!”

In terms of the rhetoric, virtual education is now part of the planning agenda of most organisations concerned with education and training. And the terminology being used to describe the activities is even more imprecise and confusing! On the reality side, there are many more examples of the use of virtual education in ways that add value to existing, more traditional delivery models. However, a remarkable feature of this surging interest in virtual education is that it remains largely focussed on ways to use technology to deliver the traditional educational products (i.e., programmes and courses) in ways that make them more accessible, flexible, and cheaper and that can generate revenues for the institution.

As global discussions on closing the “digital divide” have observed, it is not surprising that the report notes that a major feature of the current state of virtual education development is that it depends on where you live. The growth is largely occurring in countries with mature economies and established information and communication infrastructure (ICTs). A lack of such infrastructure, together with the lack of development capital, means that the developing countries of the world have not been able to, as yet, use virtual education models in their efforts to bring mass education opportunities to their citizens.

However, the report demonstrates that there are several trends emerging that are likely to bring about rad