New Bookmarks
Year 2001 Quarter 4:  October 1-December 31 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

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For the October 1-December 31, 2001 Additions and Summaries scroll down this document 
For the other editions go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
For the full set of Bob Jensen's Bookmarks go to http://WWW.Trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm
    (The full set is never up to date with the latest additions to my New Bookmarks.)

Click here to go to Bob Jensen's home page http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Choose a Date for Additions to the Bookmarks File

December 20, 2001     December 10, 2001     December 3, 2001     

November 23, 2001    November 14, 2001    November 7, 2001      November 1, 2001     

October 24, 2001        October 18, 2001        October 10, 2001        October 2, 2001    

 

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

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

I maintain threads on various topics at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 

San Antonio Events and Regional Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/sanantonio.htm 

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

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

Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/ 
Accompanying documentation can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default1.htm and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

Bob Jensen's Commentaries, Quotations, and Links Regarding the Latest U.S. War are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JusticeAppeal.htm 

December 20, 2001


This is the last edition of New Bookmarks for the Year 2001.  My wife and I will be spending the holidays with my father in Algona, Iowa.  Archived editions are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

My father (Vernon) is nearly 90 years old and in the best of health considering his age.  In 1995, he asked me to write a story about his first trip away from the farm (when he was fourteen years old).  You can read the story about when life was difficult but, at the same time, more genuine because few people had any money to waste on anything. 
See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/vernon.htm 

A Year 2001 message of love from my wife, Erika
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/erika/xmas01.htm

A Year 2000 message of love from my wife, Erika.  
She describes how a Munich street urchin became Cinderella filled with love and joy --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/erika/xmas00.htm 

Bob's Old Story About Growing Up in Iowa
Short story entitled My Glimpse of Heaven:  What I learned from Max and Gwen

Brotherhood - in memory of the 343 fallen firefighters --- http://www.brotherhoodfdny.com/
Bob Jensen's threads on terrorism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JusticeAppeal.htm

The State Department unveils a site dedicated to September's terrorist attacks, and it's surprising some observers with its emotional tone, raising a question about propaganda  --- http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,49067,00.html 


Quotes of the Week

The ultimate fate of any profession lies not in its rules, regulations, and controls. The fate lies in the will and dedication of the majority of people who serve in that profession --- the honest cops, the devoted doctors, the dedicated professors, the faithful clergy, and the ardent auditors.
Bob Jensen in a message to his students following the Enron scandal.

To Andersen's credit, it has long advocated a tighter rule.  But that would crimp the Big Five's clients --- companies and Wall Street.  Accountants have helped stall changes.  
Enron's collapse may finally break that logjam.  Like it or not, the Big Five must accept new rules that give investors a clearer picture of what risks companies run with
SPEs.
Mike McNamee (See below)

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

Now, will you please move that elephant? It's blocking the television.
Laura Palmer Noone & Craig Swenson, "5 Dirty Little Secrets in Higher Education," (See Below)

Think now of the youth camp traditions.  Much of higher education is attached to a model that privileges the baccalaureate student who is eighteen to twenty-two years old, studying full-time to obtain a degree in four years, and residing in institutional housing.  These students are the privileged few--already a minority in American higher education in actual numbers but still dominant in the myths of what higher education is about.  These privileged few are granted a special opportunity in life: to spend four years of adulthood, mainly withdrawn from productive employment, in the exploitation of their physical and mental capabilities for their own purposes--some high-minded, some frankly bent on the pleasures of youth--while being protected from most of the ordinary consequences (often even the legal consequences) of irresponsible conduct.  (It is no accident that drug abuse has historically been a phenomenon among the un-employed young--with the graciously un-employed upper-class youths buying their supplies from the unwillingly un-employed lower-class youths.  The two groups have more in common than we like to imagine.)  Dormitories and fraternity/sorority houses and student ghettos are the scenes of a wide variety of childish behaviors to which the denizens feel entitled.  Many students living in the same settings are disgusted by some of what they see and refrain from much of the behavior around them, but they rarely succeed in overthrowing the dominant culture.
James O'Donnell "Youth Camp:  A Long Farewell" (See Below)

 

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. In the 20th century, nihilistic themes--epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness--have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential. By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/n/nihilism.htm 




It's almost springtime in Texas.

From our beloved Lady Bird Johnson
The Wildflower Center http://wildflower.avatartech.com/Plants_Online/Native_Plants/native.html 


New
Bob Jensen's Threads on Return on Business Valuation, Business Combinations, 
Investment (ROI), and Pro Forma Financial Reporting --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm 


A New Kind of Cheating

Use of a cell phone for purposes of cheating during an examination would seem to be an obvious problem.  It just never dawned on me until I witnessed it in a men's room on December 15, 2001.  It was the beginning day of final examinations.  I did not have my final examinations scheduled until the following week.  However, I listened in while a student quite obviously was asking questions on a cell phone and then waiting for answers.

Leaving books and crib notes in a bathroom or hallway is a common problem.  The cell phone idea, however, just had never dawned on me.  This could be a particular problem on makeup exams.  How often have you made a student leave books and notes in your office and then put the student alone in a room to take a test?  Have you ever thought about that tiny cell phone that might be in a pocket?

I suspect the next best thing is having a buddy with books and a computer hidden in one of the stalls such that it is not necessary to make a phone call to the buddy.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 

Reply from Rohan Chambers [rchambers@CYBERVALE.COM

How about this.....

Some students use cell phones as calculators, and.....during the examination they send text messages to each other!

Rohan Chambers 
Lecturer in Auditing and Finance School of Business Administration 
University of Technology, Jamaica

Reply from Andrew Priest [a.priest@ECU.EDU.AU

Hi

We ban cell (mobile) phones from exam rooms and an invigilator goes with student to the men's/women's room so as to minimise this risk. However, I have often noticed some invigilator waiting outside the toilet facility rather than discreetly inside.

Regards, 
Andrew

 

Reply from Christine Kloezeman [ckloezem@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US

I too bought 52 hand held calculators from Pic and Save for the use in all my classes. Last semester I found a student using her palmtop that had all the notes. I have a container that keeps them in the division office so others can use them. The bathroom trick has been very well used this semester so I told them for the final they had to take care of business. I like the comment about when they leave the room they have finished the test.

I do this to be fair to those 60% that will not cheat. I have even been thanked by the students because they felt studied hard and it wasn't fair to have student get good grades without learning.

I like the idea of re-developing an honor code. Many times we need to revisit these areas with the students.

I wish there was a site we could develop that would keep the instructors on top of the current cheating techniques. It's like having teenagers. You can save a lot of problems by being aware of the things they are trying to pull. Anybody know of a site like that. I know I will visit it before each test.

Hi Christine,

I have updated a site concerning how students plagiarize at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 

I am also trying to build up the above site for cheating on examinations. I hope others will send me great ideas on how to cheat.

Bob Jensen rjensen@trinity.edu 

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU]

What bothers me about all this is the lengths to which we all go to prevent cheating. It is, as a faculty member here described it, another "1% solution" in that for the very few who would really cheat, we spend huge amounts of our time, and restrict those who wouldn't cheat anyway. I used to have someone accompany people to the rest room, but we frequently have so few proctors that I cannot spare anyone, and began to feel silly about it, so now I do random checks. I had never thought of the cell phone thing. I do know that the graphing calculators provide ample opportunity to cheat, so we have resorted to buying, as a department, 400 cheap calculators, which we pass out for each exam, then collect. That restricts that avenue.

We used to check ID, have not recently. So yesterday (yes, Saturday) while grading I found a "fake" exam. Really irritated me that someone would waste our time that way, and I plan to investigate further after we have grades in, with little hope of success.

We give case exams in managerial, which are harder to cheat on. And we do allow a page of handwritten (no photocopies or printed) notes. I always question how far I am willing to go to prevent cheating, and where I just say, if you are that clever, go ahead, you'll get your "reward" someday.

I have updated my threads on cheating with additional items at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 

 


An Old Kind of Cheating

The first edition of New Bookmarks in Year 2002 will feature sites where you can either purchase research papers or download them for free. Since many of you are grading or have just graded term papers, I thought it might be of interest to show how sophisticated these papers are becoming --- cheating is becoming more difficult to detect.

For example, note the index on the left margin at http://www.a1-termpaper.com/wom-gen.shtml 

I clicked on Business to obtain the index at http://www.a1-termpaper.com/bus-idx.shtml 

I then clicked on Accounting and obtained the listing at http://www.a1-termpaper.com/bus-acc.shtml 

In the first Year 2002 edition of New Bookmarks, I will relay a study by a student who used this and other services, sometimes paying as much as $90 for papers and then examining the grades and comments written by professors. For an advance view of this study, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#SethStevenson 

Note that most term papers are not free online and, therefore, will not show up in Web search engines unless some student was required by his instructor to put his or her term paper online.

You might be able to detect cheating in a search engine if the clueless student did not even bother to change the title of the paper (which can be found using search engines.)

I have updated my threads on plagiarism with additional items at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 


This is a Good Idea

One way to actually make money off spam is to sue the people sending it. That's what Bennett Haselton did under Washington State's anti-spam law, and now he has $2,000 coming his way. Others are doing the same to junk faxers.  "Wham, Bam, Thank You Spam," by Jeffrey Benner, Wired News, December 12, 2001 --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,49089,FF.html 


The IRS has released Revenue Procedure 2001-59, which includes the new 2002 tax tables as well as numerous inflation-related changes to tax deductions, credits, and exemptions. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/66066 


Computer Hero of the Year
Professor. Herbert A. Simon, 1916-2001, Winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics and the 1986 National Medal of Science.  He was the fourteenth foreign scientist to ever be admitted into the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Simon was a long-time professor of Political Science, Economics, Business, and  Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University

You can read a tribute to him in the May/June edition of EDUCAUSE Review, pp. 26-27.

Also see one of his last, perhaps the last, published paper entitled "What Makes Technology Revolutionary," EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2001, beginning on Page 28 --- http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/edreview.html 
The paper was, however, written in 1987 in EDUCOM Bulletin and reprinted in EDUCAUSE Review.

In the above article, Professor Simon asserts that the steam engine was the start of the first industrial revolution, and the computer was the start of the second industrial revolution.


Overwhelmed, underappreciated, overexpectant, underdone--2001 was a year of dramatic extremes. Here are some trends and strategies that flew high or flamed out. http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eFS80BcUEY04e0BD3g0A4 


New Items on the Enron Scandal

Factoid:  Enron's external "independent" auditors made more from consulting and internal auditing at Enron than the firm's fees from its "independent" audit.

"The Big Five Need to Factor in Investors," Mike McNamee, Business Week, December 24, 2001, Page 32 --- http://www.businessweek.com/ (not free to download for non-subscribers)

At issue are so-called special-purpose entities (SPEs), such as Chewco and JEDI partnerships Enron used to get assets like power plants off its books.  Under standard accounting, a company can spin off assets --- an the related debts --- to an SPE if an outside investor puts up capital worth at least 3% of the SPE's total value.  

Three of Enron's partnerships didn't meet the test --- a fact auditors Arthur Andersen LLP missed.  On Dec. 12, Andersen CEO Joseph F. Berardino told the House Financial Services Committee his accountants erred in calculating one partnership's value.  On others, he says, Enron withheld information from its auditors:  The outside investor put up 3%, but Enron cut a side deal to cover half of that with its own cash.  Enron denies it withheld any information.

Does that absolve Andersen?  Hardly.  Auditors are supposed to uncover secret deals, not let them slide.  Critics fear the New Economy emphasis means auditors will do even less probing.

The 3% rule for SPEs is also too lax.

To Andersen's credit, it has long advocated a tighter rule.  But that would crimp the Big Five's clients --- companies and Wall Street.  Accountants have helped stall changes.  

Enron's collapse may finally break that logjam.  Like it or not, the Big Five must accept new rules that give investors a clearer picture of what risks companies run with SPEs.

The rest of the article is on Page 38 of the Business Week Article.


"Let Auditors Be Auditors," Editorial Page, Business Week, December 24, 2001 --- http://www.businessweek.com/ (not free to download for non-subscribers)

But neither proposal (plans proposed by SEC Commission Chairman Harvey L. Pitt) goes far enough.  GAAP, the generally accepted accounting principles, desperately need to be revamped to deal with cash flow and other issues relevant in a fast-moving, high-tech economy.  The whole move to off-balance sheet accounting should be reassessed.  Opaque partnerships that hide assets and debt do not serve the interests of investors.  Under heavy shareholder pressure from the Enron fallout, El Paso Corp. just moved $2 billion in partnership debt onto the balance sheet. Finally, Pitt should consider requiring companies to change their auditors who go easy on them, as we have seen time and time again.

Bob Jensen's commentaries and threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


"Arthur Andersen:  How Bad Will It Get?" Business Week, December 24, 2001, pp. 30-32 --- http://www.businessweek.com/ (not free to download for non-subscribers)

QUOTE 1
Berardino, a 51-year-old Andersen lifer, may find the firm's competence in auditing complex financial companies questioned.  While Andersen was its auditory, Enron's managers shoveled debt into partnerships with Enron's own ececs to get it off the balance sheet --- a dubious though legal ploy.  In one case, says Berardino, hoarse from defending the firm on Capitol Hill, Andersen's auditors made an "error in judgment" and should have consolidated the partnership in Enron's overall results.  Regarding another, he says Enron officials did not tell their auditor about a "separate agreement" they had with an outside investor, so the auditor mistakenly let Enron keep the partnership's results separate.  (Enron denies that the auditors were not so informed.)

QUOTE 2
Enron says a special board committee is investgating why management and the board did not learn about this arrangement until October.  Now that Enron has consolidated such set-ups into its financial statements, it had to restate its financial reports from 1997 onward, cutting earnings by nearly $500 million.  Damningly, the company says more than four years' worth of audits and statements approved by Andersen "should not be relied upon."

Bob Jensen's commentaries and threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


One of the most prominent CPAs in the world sent me the following message and sent the WSJ link:

Bob, More on Enron. It's interesting that this matter of performing internal audits didn't come up in the testimony Joe Beradino of Andersen presented to the House Committee a couple of days ago

"Arthur Andersen's 'Double Duty' Work Raises Questions About Its Independence," by Jonathan Weil, The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2001 --- http://interactive.wsj.com/fr/emailthis/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1008289729306300000.djm 

In addition to acting as Enron Corp.'s outside auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP also performed internal-auditing services for Enron, raising further questions about the Big Five accounting firm's independence and the degree to which it may have been auditing its own work.

That Andersen performed "double duty" work for the Houston-based energy concern likely will trigger greater regulatory scrutiny of Andersen's role as Enron's independent auditor than would ordinarily be the case after an audit failure, accounting and securities-law specialists say.

It also potentially could expose Andersen to greater liability for damages in shareholder lawsuits, depending on whether the internal auditors employed by Andersen missed key warning signs that they should have caught. Once valued at more than $77 billion, Enron is now in proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Internal-audit departments, among other things, are used to ensure that a company's control systems are adequate and working, while outside independent auditors are hired to opine on the accuracy of a company's financial statements. Every sizable company relies on outside auditors to check whether its internal auditors are working effectively to prevent fraud, accounting irregularities and waste. But when a company hires its outside auditor to monitor internal auditors working for the same firm, critics say it creates an unavoidable conflict of interest for the firm.

Still, such arrangements have become more common over the past decade. In response, the Securities and Exchange Commission last year passed new rules, which take effect in August 2002, restricting the amount of internal-audit work that outside auditors can perform for their clients, though not banning it outright.

"It certainly runs totally contrary to my concept of independence," says Alan Bromberg, a securities-law professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "I see it as a double duty, double responsibility and, therefore, double potential liability."

Andersen officials say their firm's independence wasn't impaired by the size or nature of the fees paid by Enron -- $52 million last year. An Enron spokesman said, "The company believed and continues to believe that Arthur Andersen's role as Enron's internal auditor would not compromise Andersen's role as independent auditor for Enron."

Andersen spokesman David Tabolt said Enron outsourced its internal-audit department to Andersen around 1994 or 1995. He said Enron began conducting some of its own internal-audit functions in recent years. Enron, Andersen's second-largest U.S. client, paid $25 million for audit fees in 2000, according to Enron's proxy last year. Mr. Tabolt said that figure includes both internal and external audit fees, a point not explained in the proxy, though he declined to specify how much Andersen was paid for each. Additionally, Enron paid Andersen a further $27 million for other services, including tax and consulting work.

Following audit failures, outside auditors frequently claim that their clients withheld crucial information from them. In testimony Wednesday before a joint hearing of two House Financial Services subcommittees, which are investigating Enron's collapse, Andersen's chief executive, Joseph Berardino, made the same claim about Enron. However, given that Andersen also was Enron's internal auditor, "it's going to be tough for Andersen to take that traditional tack that 'management pulled the wool over our eyes,' " says Douglas Carmichael, an accounting professor at Baruch College in New York.

Mr. Tabolt, the Andersen spokesman, said it is too early to make judgments about Andersen's work. "None of us knows yet exactly what happened here," he said. "When we know the facts we'll all be able to make informed judgments. But until then, much of this is speculation."

Though it hasn't received public attention recently, Andersen's double-duty work for Enron wasn't a secret. A March 1996 Wall Street Journal article, for instance, noted that a growing number of companies, including Enron, had outsourced their internal-audit departments to their outside auditors, a development that had prompted criticism from regulators and others. At other times, Mr. Tabolt said, Andersen and Enron officials had discussed their arrangement publicly.

Accounting firms say the double-duty arrangements let them become more familiar with clients' control procedures and that such arrangements are ethically permissible, as long as outside auditors don't make management decisions in handling the internal audits. Under the new SEC rules taking effect next year, an outside auditor impairs its independence if it performs more than 40% of a client's internal-audit work. The SEC said the restriction won't apply to clients with assets of $200 million or less. Previously, the SEC had imposed no such percentage limitation.

The Gottesdiener Law Firm, the Washington, D.C. 401(k) and pension class action law firm prosecuting the most comprehensive of the 401(k) cases pending against Enron Corporation and related defendants, added new allegations to its case today, charging Arthur Andersen of Chicago with knowingly participating in Enron's fraud on employees.
Lawsuit Seeks to Hold Andersen Accountable for Defrauding Enron Investors, Employees --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31970.xml 

Bob Jensen's commentaries and threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


The Public Oversight Board, the group that oversees the peer review process required of all public accounting firms that audit publicly held companies, has decided to take an active role in the expanded peer review that Deloitte & Touche is providing to Andersen. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65920 


But We're Hanging in There at a Reduced Rank 11 (Which is About in the Middle Among 23 Professions)!

A recent poll jointly conducted by CNN, Gallup Organization, and USA Today ranked various professions according to how members are perceived in terms of conveying honesty and ethics. Find out how accountants ranked in comparison to members of other professions. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/66220 

A recent poll jointly conducted by CNN, Gallup Organization, and USA Today ranked various professions according to how members are perceived in terms of conveying honesty and ethics. In recent years, nurses and pharmacists have monopolized the top positions on the annual survey.

This year, in the wake of the September 11 events, firefighters took a decisive victory as frontrunners in the poll. Accountants appeared in 11th position, with 41 percent of respondents giving the profession "High" or "Very High" ratings for honesty and ethical standards.

Rounding out the top 10 were Nurses in second position, followed by U.S. Military Personnel, Policemen, Pharmacists, Medical Doctors, Clergy, Engineers, College Teachers, and Dentists.

Following Accountants in the ranking of 23 professions were Bankers, Journalists, Congressmen, Business Executives, Senators, Auto Mechanics, Stockbrokers, Lawyers, Labor Union Leaders, Insurance Salesmen, Advertising Practitioners, and Car Salesmen.

One thousand five adults participated in the poll, which was conducted November 26 and 27.

Details are given at http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr011205.asp 


As promised, the Securities and Exchange Commission has revisited the issues that concern publicly held companies regarding Regulation Fair Disclosure, the ruling that requires publicly held companies to provide information that could influence the purchase of shares simultaneously to every potential investor. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65824 

Bob Jensen's commentaries and threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.ht


New York's Mayor Rudy Giuliani plans to start his own consulting firm when he leaves office in January. Reports are that the new firm will have an affiliation with Ernst & Young and will receive financial backing from the Big Five firm. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/66338 


From the Free Wall Street Journal Educators' Reviews for December 13, 2001 

TITLE: Former Auditor of Superior Bank Cites Grand-Jury Probe Into Collapse of Thrift 
REPORTER: Mark Maremont 
DATE: Dec 12, 2001 
PAGE: C16 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1008126509354552200.djm  
TOPICS: Accounting, Accounting Fraud, Accounting Irregularities, Auditing, Auditing Services, Bad Debts, Banking, Loan Loss Allowance

SUMMARY: Ernst & Young LLP, former auditor of Superior Bank, is cooperating with a grand-jury investigation. Superior Bank, which failed in July, is one of the largest banking institutions to fail in recent years. A representative from the Office of Thrift Supervision told Congress that Ernst and Young permitted improper accounting. Ernst and Young contends that there were no accounting mistakes.

QUESTIONS: 
1.) What actions has Ernst and Young taken in cooperation with the grand-jury investigation? Is Ernst and Young required to take these actions? Are they violating client confidentiality by surrendering working papers to a third party? Under what circumstances is it acceptable to share client work papers with a third party?

2.) What factors does Ernst and Young contend contributed to the failure of Superior Bank? If Ernst and Young had perfect foresight about these events, what changes in the financial reporting would have been required? Is it reasonable to expect auditors to anticipate changes in the economy? Why or why not?

3.) What factors does the Office of Thrift Supervision claim contributed to the failure of Superior Bank? Discuss two financial reporting issues that should have been considered by Ernst and Young. Do you think that Ernst and Young allowed misleading financial reporting by Superior Bank? Why or why not?

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


From the Free Wall Street Journal Educators' Reviews for December 13, 2001

TITLE: EPA Will Destroy Hudson River to Save It 
REPORTER: Bonner R. Cohen 
DATE: Dec 12, 2001 
PAGE: A18 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1008121274639180560.djm  
TOPICS: Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Accounting

SUMMARY: This commentary by a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute provides environmental and civic arguments against the EPA's recent decision to dredge the Hudson River to remove PCBs legally dumped there by GE prior to 1977. Related articles provide the history of GE's efforts to prevent this decision to dredge the river. Questions relate to environmental remediation reporting requirements and assessing GE's disclosure of this particular Superfund clean-up project.

QUESTIONS: 
1.) What financial accounting standards address reporting requirements for environmental liabilities? Specifically, describe the AICPA's statement of position on this topic. What are the major points of disclosure and liability recognition discussed in that document?

2.) Using the AICPA's statement of position, summarize the environmental laws currently in effect in the U.S. What is the Superfund Law?

3.) What is a "Superfund site"? Who decides on the actions which must be taken in cleaning up a "Superfund site"?

4.) Both the commentary by Bonner Cohen and the related articles emphasize the fact that GE legally disposed of PCBs in the Hudson River. If the company's actions have always been legal, then why must GE pay for the cost of cleaning up the river, estimated to total $460 million?

5.) Obtain GE's 2000 annual report from the company's web site. Note 21 provides disclosure related to liabilities including their involvement in various environmental clean-up efforts. How detailed are the disclosures of their obligations in this area? Compare this disclosure to the requirements in the AICPA's statement of position. Do you think the company has accrued any amount for the liability to clean up the Hudson River? If so, how much? Cite any accounting standards you rely on to make this estimate.

6.) How significant is the expected cost of cleaning up the Hudson River under the EPA's plan relative to GE's overall operations? Given the EPA's decision and based on the AICPA's statement of position, what requirements do you think GE must meet in reporting its results for the year ended December 31, 2001?

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

--- RELATED ARTICLES --- TITLE: EPA Orders Dredging of PCBs from the Upper Hudson River REPORTER: Matt Murray ISSUE: Dec 05, 2001 LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1007497237159676640.djm 

TITLE: U.S. Decision to Seek River Clean-Up is Big Setback for General Electric REPORTER: Matt Murray And Tom Hamburger ISSUE: Aug 02, 2001 LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB996670293589550385.djm 

~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ + ~ +

 


CPA2Biz Unveils Business Valuation Resource Center --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31976.xml 

The BV Center will include resources and information from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and industry experts on various factors affecting the value of a business or a transaction, such as mergers and acquisitions; economic damages due to a patent infringement or breaches of contract; bankruptcy or a reorganization; or fraud due to anti-trust actions or embezzlement. The BV Center will provide a comprehensive combination of solutions that meet the professional needs of CPAs practicing business valuation, including those who have achieved the AICPA's Accredited in Business Valuation credential. The BV Center will also provide networking communities for BV practitioners as well as a public forum for discussion of business valuation trends, developments and issues.

"Tremendous growth in the BV discipline, coupled with a dynamic group of factors affecting business valuation, means that CPAs need a consistent, timely and relevant vehicle through which BV-related information can be disseminated to them," said Erik Asgeirsson, Vice President of Product Management at CPA2Biz. "The BV Center on CPA2Biz will provide them with AICPA books, practice aids, newsletters and software, along with industry expert literature and complementary third-party products and solutions. Because the issues associated with valuation impact CPAs in both public and private sectors -- auditors, tax practitioners, personal financial planners as well as BV specialists -- the BV Center will have a powerful horizontal impact on the profession."

"I think that CPAs who practice in business valuation ought to go to the BV Center for information and tools that are timely, relevant and easy to obtain," said Thomas Hilton, CPA/ABV, Chairman of the AICPA Business Valuation Subcommittee. "The BV Center is a source CPAs can use to offer their clients a higher level of service, as well as to connect with other CPAs who provide valuation services."

The CPA2Biz Website is at www.cpa2biz.com/ 

Bob Jensen's Threads on Return on Business Valuation, Business Combinations, Investment (ROI), and Pro Forma Financial Reporting --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm 


News from Fathom

December 2001

Forward this newsletter to a friend!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
In this issue: 
* Financing Terrorism 
* Is Globalization to Blame for the Terrorist Attacks? 
* Free Seminar: Manufacturing Anywhere 
* Back by popular demand: Prospecting for Business Information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* 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 
* RAND * Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
* The Natural History Museum 
* Victoria and Albert Museum 
* Science Museum *

~~~~~~~~~~~ IN THE NEWS ~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, US officials began an intense effort to freeze bank accounts and financial transactions linked to terrorist groups. As the search continues with the help of foreign nations, investigators are finding that Al Qaeda's network of assets is wider reaching and more complex than they ever imagined, encompassing funds from private corporations, charitable organizations, investment groups, and organized crime operations around the world.

Jean-François Seznec, adjunct professor of international affairs at Columbia University and Raporteur to the UNESCO-Amar standing conference on relations between Islam and the West, examines the financing behind terrorist operations and explores ways to stop the flow of funds in the free feature "Financing Terrorism: Channels for Depositing and Moving Money": http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=603&page=feature&id=122459

FREE BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS FEATURES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*** TERRORISM AND THE DEVELOPING WORLD ... September 11 and the Dark Side of Globalization Lisa Anderson, dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, explores the dark side of globalization-- transnational networks and underground markets nearly invisible from state governments: "The World Bank estimates that half of the commercial transactions that take place in Egypt every year are in the black market..." http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=604&page=feature&id=122424 

*** TERRORISM AND THE DEVELOPING WORLD ... Terrorism, Imperialism and Globalization John Harriss, director of the Development Studies Institute at The London School of Economics and Political Science, considers the economic, political and cultural contexts for the emergence of terrorist movements: "The enemy that we are now fighting--terrorism--is to an important extent a creature created by western imperialism, headed up by the US..." http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=605&page=feature&id=122430 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ONLINE COURSES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Free Seminar * MANUFACTURING ANYWHERE, a free seminar from RAND, explores the changes the 21st century will bring to manufacturing. Learn about "Napsterization," postponement, outsourcing, vertical disintegration, and more. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=606&page=course&id=10701041 

* Short e-Course * PROSPECTING FOR BUSINESS INFORMATION, a short online course from the New York Public Library, is designed to help small business owners, job-hunters, grant seekers, investors, advertisers and others navigate Web- and library-based company information services for business research. Also includes temporary access to databases from LexisNexis, infoUSA and Standard and Poor's. Class starts December 19: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=607&page=course&id=49704700 

* Short e-Course * DEVELOPING YOUR CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT PLAN, a short online course from Columbia University, is designed to help beginning teachers strengthen their classroom management skills from the start. Enroll anytime: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=612&page=course&id=41704005 

* Semester-Length Course * CHILDREN'S MATERIALS: EVALUATION AND USE, an online course from the University of Washington, is designed primarily for educators seeking an endorsement as school library media specialists and teachers who want to build a classroom collection of the "best of the best" in children's literature. Enroll anytime: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=613&page=course&id=1406

Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=614&page=directory 

Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=608&page=directory&id=0 

THINKING IS ENCOURAGED @ FATHOM.COM  (TM) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?cid=608&page=directory&id=0 

You can listen to part of my August 2001 workshop in Atlanta devoted to Fathom at 
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001cpe/01start.htm
 


Lesson Plans Library (K-12) ---  http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/index.html 

Find hundreds of original lesson plans, all written by teachers for teachers. Use the pull-down menus below to browse by subject, grade, or both.
 
Lesson Plans for Assignment Discovery and TLC Elementary School
If you are searching for lesson plans to support Assignment Discovery and TLC Elementary School programming, click here.
 
See NEW lesson plans for the fall! Click here.


EDUCAUSE Review, November/December 2001
Table of Contents

Features

Excerpt

 

Departments
  • techwatch
    Information Technology in the News
    [PDF format 128 KB]

     

  • Leadership
    Connecting IT Possibilities and Institutional Priorities
    by John C. Hitt
    [PDF format 134 KB]

     

  • Inside IT
    Improving Service Quality with Benchmarks
    by Ray Grant
    [PDF format 142 KB]

     

  • New Horizons
    Building "Open" Frameworks for Education
    by M. S. Vijay Kumar, Jeff Merriman, and Phillip D. Long
    [PDF format 63 KB]

     

  • policy@edu
    Balancing Copyright Concerns: The TEACH Act of 2001
    by Laura N. Gasaway
    [PDF format 90 KB]

     

  • Viewpoints
    Coordinated Autonomy
    by Jim Davis
    [PDF format 64 KB]

 

  • Homepage
    The EDUCAUSE Regional Conference Strategy
    by Brian L. Hawkins
    [PDF format 50 KB]

 

 


"To Youth Camp:  A Long Farewell," by James J. O'Donnell, EDUCAUSE Review, November/December 2001, pp 14-19 --- http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm01/erm016w.html 
Excerpts are quoted below.  Go to the above link to download the full article.

Five years ago, the revolution in "distance learning" (or "distance-independent learning" or "distributed learning") seemed to be upon us.  Two or three years ago, the sounds of the revolution could be heard in all quadrants of the sky.  Yet as we go into the fall of 2001, the rumblings are much quieter.  What appeared inevitable only a couple of years ago now looks puzzlingly remote.  To be sure, evidence of the revolution can be seen here and there: new products are becoming available, many more courses are available in some location-independent form, and Western Governors University already has its first Chancellor Emeritus and an enrollment of five hundred students.  And there is wisdom in persistence and patience.  If the dot-coms have gone dot-bust, it's reasonable to think that the inflated expectations in the not-for-profit sector1 would also deflate, and what was overvalued two years ago would be undervalued today--making this a good time to invest.

It baffles some that the revolution has not occurred.  But when a question won't answer itself, chances are you're asking the wrong question.

Distance learning was certainly high concept for the 1990s in higher education.  But like the "horseless carriage," this notion materialized through an unimaginative extension of traditional forms.  The key insight was that networked information technology makes it possible to reorganize the process of learning and to redistribute what takes place face to face so that it takes place when learners and teachers are separated in space and time.  Traditional students could learn in new ways, and new kinds of students could join the academic community for the first time.

Many of those who felt keenly the clarity of that vision also thought that existing institutions harbored some excess capacity of instructional time and attention that could be sold cheaply in bulk.  This was a shimmering dream, never realistic.  Much time and energy was spent trying to prove that concept, with precious little to show as a result.  Nobody has succeeded in building outlet malls for the mind--offering cheap and serviceable merchandise of sometimes dubious origin more or less protected by prestige name brands.  That is, in fact, good news.  And even where more realistic projects were put in notion, markets have been slow to evolve, faculty hard to recruit, and production costs impossible to bring in line with the results that can be demonstrated.  At least one university that made a splash announcing its for-profit subsidiary for distance learning has now quietly closed down the operation.

Nothing is as easy as it seems.

Think now of the youth camp traditions.  Much of higher education is attached to a model that privileges the baccalaureate student who is eighteen to twenty-two years old, studying full-time to obtain a degree in four years, and residing in institutional housing.  These students are the privileged few--already a minority in American higher education in actual numbers but still dominant in the myths of what higher education is about.  These privileged few are granted a special opportunity in life: to spend four years of adulthood, mainly withdrawn from productive employment, in the exploitation of their physical and mental capabilities for their own purposes--some high-minded, some frankly bent on the pleasures of youth--while being protected from most of the ordinary consequences (often even the legal consequences) of irresponsible conduct.  (It is no accident that drug abuse has historically been a phenomenon among the un-employed young--with the graciously un-employed upper-class youths buying their supplies from the unwillingly un-employed lower-class youths.  The two groups have more in common than we like to imagine.)  Dormitories and fraternity/sorority houses and student ghettos are the scenes of a wide variety of childish behaviors to which the denizens feel entitled.  Many students living in the same settings are disgusted by some of what they see and refrain from much of the behavior around them, but they rarely succeed in overthrowing the dominant culture.

Colleges and universities are deeply and complexly attached to the infantilization.  The social position of higher education in European and American societies is firmly rooted in a notion of prolonged and irresponsible childhood.  Though only a fraction of students actually have the opportunity to live such a life, servicing their needs still provides the conceptual and bureaucratic structure of higher education institutions.  A new administrator in my university asked me how "the typical student" gets computer support-and when I pressed the question, I found that "the typical student" is the undergraduate, even though undergraduates make up less than 50 percent of our FTE population.

Parental anxiety plays a significant part in encouraging institutions to establish and preserve these patronizing cultures.  Parents want levels of security that would be unreasonable to expect if their eighteen-year-old son or daughter instead moved off to the big city to get a job.  They want to be absolutely sure that their children have easy access to three super-abundant meals a day and don't have to worry about paying for the food.  They expect health care, counseling, and other services that would be preposterous to expect elsewhere, and colleges and universities compete aggressively to deliver all these services.

So when most people think of higher education, they think of something that happens to people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two and that lasts for about four years.  In reality, many students are already well into their twenties, still working on a first degree while taking a responsible economic role in society as well.  Many others, in their twenties and thirties, are engaged in professional education, whether for the academic Ph.D. or in the myriad professional disciplines.  Higher education institutions serve a huge variety of adult learners, some working for a bachelor's degree, some for professional degrees, some for continuing professional education, and some for reasons of cultural and personal enhancement.  But on the traditional campus, all those adults are in one way or another made to feel marginal.  Even--one might say especially--the search for a parking space often reminds them that they are second-class citizens.2


NOTES

1    I mean here the deliberately not-for-profit sector, to distinguish traditional colleges and universities from that new sector of the economy that would really like to make a profit if they could, but...

2    Notice that complaints about the failings of higher education rarely include the astonishingly successful system of professional education.  Although we may argue about the specifics of curriculum and the focus in, say, law and medical school, few dispute that those schools do what they do extraordinarily well.  Likewise, nobody writes best-sellers complaining about the quality of community college education, yet few outside those institutions hear anything about the extraordinary and beneficial impact they have on students' lives.

Bob Jensen's documents on distance education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


From Syllabus News on December 11, 2001

Blackboard, CollegisEduprise Expand Partnership

Blackboard Inc. and CollegisEduprise, Inc. said they would bundle their respective tools and services to strengthen their offerings to the higher education market. The collaboration will blend the Blackboard 5 Learning System, software licensing, application hosting and integration services from Blackboard with education assessment, strategic planning, end-user help desk services, and faculty pedagogical training from CollegisEduprise. Clients of both companies include the Community College of Denver, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montgomery Community College, New York Institute of Technology, Norfolk State University and the University of Baltimore.

The Bb homepage is at http://www.blackboard.com/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/blackboard.htm 


Seton Hall University unveiled a program to provide technology resources and training to economically disadvantaged people. Project SHUTTLE, for Seton Hall University Technology Training for Lifelong Education, aims to provide technology education, resources and training to people without a personal computer or technological resources. The project will collaborate with the school's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Upward Bound Program to provide laptop computers to participating high school seniors. The students receive training in laptop use and are encouraged to take the computers home for schoolwork and home use. EOP director Carol McMillan-Lonesome called SHUTTLE "a conduit for families to embrace lifelong learning through technology, understand the ... importance of higher education and achieve personal ... aspirations."

For more information, visit: http://academic.shu.edu/shuttle/index.html 


eCollege Says Courseware Exceeds Disability Standards

Courseware developer eCollege said the software it will release this month will exceed Section 508, the federal accessibility standard for information technology. The comany said its software targets student users as well as disabled faculty authoring online courses. It will also provide a support staff trained in assistive technologies. The software will be available without requiring a new version purchase, upgrade or implementatioin, the company said. Mike Gibson, coordinator of the Professional Training in Adaptive Technology Program at the Colorado Center for the Blind, said, "working with an e-learning company that is proactive in understanding and meeting the needs of the blind helps us to change what it means to be blind."

The eCollege homepage is at http://www.ecollege.com/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on course authoring systems and shells can be found at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm
 


Pepperdine University, eNeuralNet, and IBM Corp. have joined forces to open the Murray S. Craig Digital Democracy Lab at Pepperdine's School of Public Policy. The lab is dedicated to promoting political accountability via the use of artificial intelligence software. eNeuralNet is donating its Minutes-N-Motion political accountability software, a 50-seat license, and an IBM server. Craig, the software's creator, will serve as a strategic advisor to lab director, Pepperdine professor Mike Shires, in developing curriculum and research applications.

For more information, visit: http://www.pepperdine.edu 


A Century of Drawing: Works on Paper:  Works on Paper from Degas to LeWitt (Art, History) --- 
http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/drawinginfo.htm
 


Evaluation of Websites

I recommend the comprehensive site at http://www.prana3.com/tools/  

A message from Ed Scribner

Here's a guide Susan Beck at the NMSU Library has prepared for student evaluation of Web sites --- http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/eval.html 

A message from Ron Tidd about evaluation of Web Sites:

Also consider:

Bobby- http://www.cast.org/bobby/  
web page validation for accessibility by people with disabilities (be attentive and expand the community)

W3C- http://validator.w3.org/  
free HTML validation service

Web Site Garage- http://websitegarage.netscape.com/  
tune up your web page

Web Wonk- http://www.dsiegel.com/tips/  
Tips for designers and writers

Web Shui at http://builder.cnet.com/webbuilding/0-3881.html?tag=st.bl.3880.dir.3881 

Web sales have proven to be a small slice of most sectors, so retailers are more selective about their investments in Web initiatives. They're starting to view their Web sites like any other store--now that it's built and functioning, what justifies spending more money on it? http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eFS80BcUEY04e0BD3h0A5 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for evaluation of Websites are at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#Evaluation
 


The Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta is pleased to accept applications for its Master of Arts degree in Humanities Computing. The programme integrates computational methods and theories with research and teaching in the Humanities. The Faculty is committed to offering its students opportunities to combine their interests in the Arts and emerging computing technologies, particularly in the areas of information management, multimedia, electronic publishing, and distance education. The new M.A. in Humanities Computing will help form students who not only understand, create, and manage multimedia and technological projects, but also understand the critical and intellectual traditions of Humanities scholarship.

Please find enclosed a poster and brochures that outline the programme, which should provide interested students with the information they need to make an informed decision. To be most widely considered for funding, applications to the programme should arrive no later than January 7, 2002, although we will continue to review all applications after this date.

Please circulate the posters and brochures to interested departments, institutes, and potential students. Thank you for your support of this new and exciting endeavour.

Yours truly,

Nasrin Rahimieh 
Associate Dean (Humanities) Faculty of Arts 6-14 
Humanities Centre University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E5 
Tel: (780) 492-9132 Fax: (780) 492-7251


Here's a guide Susan Beck at the NMSU Library has prepared for students:

http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/eval.html 

Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State

For professional Website evaluation, you might take a look at http://www.prana3.com/tools/ 


"5 Dirty Little Secrets in Higher Education," by Laura Palmer Noone & Craig Swenson. EDUCAUSE Review,
  November/December 2001, pp. 20-31 --- http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm01/erm016w.html 

Dirty Little Secret #1
You Don't Have to Be a Researcher to Be a Good Teacher

Lest there be any misunderstanding, let us make clear that we think research is a good thing.  We support it, benefit from it, and think the "scholarship of discovery" to be a worthy pursuit.1  But let's all be honest: some researchers make great teachers, whereas others--some of the most celebrated researchers, in fact--have no place inside a classroom (if judged by their ability to facilitate learning).  The irony is that many in this second group don't want to be in the classroom anyhow.

If a "good researcher" is defined as someone who is a critical and reflective observer, who asks good questions, who draws warranted conclusions from data, and who understands the limits of prediction, we'll agree that the researcher does indeed have a place inside the classroom.  If, on the other hand, a "good researcher" means what it usually means--that he or she is publishing formal "academic" research--that's where we part company.

The pattern followed by most researchers leads them to learn more and more about less and less.  Narrow specialization often precludes interdisciplinary breadth.  The gift of so many great teachers, by contrast, rests in their breadth of knowledge--in their ability to synthesize and communicate the ideas of others and to inspire their students.

 

Dirty Little Secret #2
Professors Know a Lot about Their Disciplines but Very Little about Teaching

The process of getting a doctorate has never been about learning how to teach.  Oh sure, most traditional doctoral programs require candidates to serve as teaching assistants, but that usually means little more than assigning them to classes.  Faculty in most disciplines tend to look down their noses at those who choose education (i.e., "teaching") as their discipline.  Doctoral candidates in most disciplines primarily learn their disciplines and learn how to do research.  Teaching is way down in the pecking order, and everybody knows it.

Thus, until very recently, there were few efforts to teach doctoral candidates how to teach and even fewer to teach professors how to be better teachers.  And even though many institutions have now created centers to help instructors teach better--a hopeful sign--directors of those centers state that relatively small percentages of professors use these services.  In addition, those who do learn teaching techniques are probably ignorant about how those techniques work.   Simply put, those who do most of the teaching don't know all that much about how their students actually learn.

 

Dirty Little Secret #3
Professors Know Even Less about Learning Than They Do about Teaching

See  http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm01/erm016w.html 

Dirty Little Secret #4
Part-Time Instructors Are Just as Effective as Full-Time Faculty Members

See  http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm01/erm016w.html 

Dirty Little Secret #5
Seat-Time Measures Don't Measure Seat Time

One of the most widely used measures in higher education is the Carnegie Unit of Instruction.  Ostensibly, the Carnegie Unit measures "time on task"--the amount of time that students spend with instructors.  Time on task is considered a "best practice" in undergraduate education,6 but the dirty little secret is that student time spent on a task is not generally what the Carnegie Unit measures.  What it usually measures is the amount of time for which a course is scheduled.  It doesn't measure time on task for the simple reason that attendance isn't required at most institutions.  In many traditional classes, a student who shows up only for the mid-term and final exams, and hands in required assignments, won't be directly penalized.

The situation is more acute in this age of electronically mediated instruction.  Here the Carnegie Unit is an obvious anachronism. This realization is at least partially behind the initiatives of accrediting bodies that now require a much greater emphasis on assessing student learning--that is, on measuring the outcome rather than the input.

But measuring outcomes is difficult, as innovators have discovered.  Like the old saying about the weather, everybody talks about it, but nobody (or at least a relatively small number) does anything about it.  Inputs are easy to measure, though, and so higher education clings to outdated measures like the Carnegie Unit as if they were articles of faith. That presents a problem if student learning is the goal: when we are concerned about how long a student's rear end is in a seat, we are concerned about the wrong end of the student.

Family Therapy

Well, there it is--the elephant in the living room has been uncloaked.  There are likely a few more dirty little secrets lurking among us, but enough already.  Higher education will probably never be one big happy family.  We are an awfully diverse bunch, we tend to be argumentative by nature, and we seem to like it that way.  Besides, nothing says that we all have to be the same--or that being the same would be a good thing.  But we can learn from one another, and the good news is that there is nothing particularly earthshaking about the secrets revealed above.  Higher education does not have to give up its emphasis on research, which has, after all, built in the United States and Canada the greatest research infrastructure and capability in the world.  What is needed is much greater attention to student learning--how it happens, the conditions under which it occurs best, and how to measure it.  Then college and university faculty must prepare themselves to manage that process.

Now, will you please move that elephant? It's blocking the television.

Notes

1.    We here use Ernest L. Boyer's term.  See Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (Princeton, N.J.: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990).

2.   Stephen D. Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990).

3.   Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered.

4.   Judith M. Gappa and David W. Leslie, The Invisible Faculty: Improving the Status of Part-Timers in Higher Education (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993).

5.   Edward E. Lawler III, "Challenging Traditional Research  Assumptions," in Edward E. Lawler III et al., Doing Research That Is Useful for Theory and Practice (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985).

6.   See A. W. Chickering and Z. F. Gamson, "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education," Wingspread Journal 9, no. 2 (1987).  See also AAHE Bulletin, March 1987.


External Auditing of Information Security: Perception Versus Reality

A message from E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU]

One client's view of security-related external audit procedures:

"Security Journal: Annual Audits Target Security, But Miss Mark"

http://www.computerworld.com/itresources/rcstory/0,4167,KEY73_STO66354,00.html 

Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State

Jensen Comment:  The above article is very timely and very disturbing.  A quotation is shown below:

Perception vs. Reality

When I first started working in the security world, I looked forward to external audits. I saw the auditors as independent experts who could review objectively what I had been trying to achieve and give me pointers on how to improve. I expected a strong report that would help keep management support for my security initiatives.

Think you could do it better as an information systems auditor? Pass the Certified Information Systems Auditor exam and perhaps you’ll be providing companies like mine with more thorough security assessments. This Web site includes conferences and training programs as well as exam information.

Read Kevin Van Dixon’s “Spoof Bounce” paper at the SANS Institute Web site to see the kind of risk that having a predictable IP identification can cause.

This paper on TCP/IP “spoofing sets” shows how technically esoteric bugs get, but the threat is real.

The annual audit is just one hoop security managers in financial services organizations must jump through. These 23 other regulatory agencies all have an impact as well.

Anomaly-based intrusion-detection systems are in their infancy, but interesting projects such as these provide valuable security services.

Now I know the process much better. I don't look forward to external audits; I just prepare my list of user accounts and logical access controls. To be polite, I play the game properly: The auditors come, and I provide an hourlong presentation about our work this year: the deployment of personal firewalls to every desktop, the extension of our intrusion-detection systems from signature-based to anomaly-based, the automated virus update process and the delivery of dual Internet connections to provide some protection against distributed denial-of-service attacks.

They listen—the fresh graduate auditor looking wide-eyed on his day out of the office to earn some billable time, the older auditor looking harried and lost. Then they nod and ask to run their cheapo in-house scanner software on our domain controller. They don't ask to run it on our production domain controller, but on our corporate desktop domain controller. Of course we refuse, because it's untested software and we have a change-control process for that sort of thing.

They look surprised, but we save the day by asking what information they require. They list the usual: account name, privileges, last log-in and so on. We run a shiny report from our vulnerability assessment systems and hand it over in hard copy. The graduate looks crestfallen, realizing he'll be spending tonight reading it to find something—anything—to report.

A week later, their report arrives with a spurious "medium risk" assigned to information security because, out of the thousands of accounts they reviewed, they found one that hadn't been used for a few weeks.

I suppose I shouldn't be bitter. If they did a proper job, they might find many problems, and we'd look bad. And we'd never hire them again. It's a nice, comfortable arrangement that helps both sides—the auditors don't have to do any real work (apart from that poor graduate), and we don't get any real hassle. But how are we supposed to get better unless we are under pressure?

I can't imagine what it must be like on the other side of this farce—why would you become an auditor? Now that I've seen the time they can allocate to their reviews, I realize they just don't have the time to get to the bottom of anything until external factors force them to investigate.

So will auditors who are too underfunded to find anything guarantee me a nice, healthy bonus? I wish. My management is well aware of the depth of investigation involved in an annual audit. Instead, they will be measuring my performance based against my objectives set at the beginning of the year.

The rest of the article is at http://www.computerworld.com/itresources/rcstory/0,4167,KEY73_STO66354,00.htm

Trinity University students may access the article at J:\courses\acct5342\readings\ExternalAudits 

My threads on related issues are in "Opportunities of E-Business Assurance & Security: Risks in Assuring Risk" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 


If the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is fully enforced, stations will be unable to afford to webcast their tunes

"Why college radio fears the DMCA," by Mark L. Shahinian, Salon, December 13, 2001 --- http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/12/13/college_webcast/print.html 

In the heady days of the late 1990s, Internet radio broadcasts were a poster child for the free flow of information over the Web. But if a 1998 federal law is fully enforced, webcasting could be just a fond memory for college radio.

Under the terms of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), radio stations around the country are supposed to pay thousands of dollars in annual fees to broadcast streaming audio over the Web. Managers of college and community stations say while their commercial counterparts may be able to pay the fees, their stations don't have the cash and will shut down their webcasts.

The 1998 law came up on Capitol Hill Thursday, as members of the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property held an oversight hearing on how temporary copies stored on computers should be counted when calculating copyright fees.

The hearing, said congressional staffers, was an early skirmish in a battle to defang the DMCA and transfer power from record companies back to broadcasters.

Webcasting was once touted as an example of the Internet's leveling power -- it allows small local stations to reach Internet users all over the world. And college stations, which run tight budgets and eclectic playlists, fit the webcast bill perfectly. But record companies don't like webcasting, with its potential for copying and distributing unlimited digital copies of songs.

Under long-standing U.S. copyright law, broadcasters pay a coalition of songwriters' groups to air music over the Internet and the airwaves. But until the DMCA, performers and record companies did not have the rights to royalties when stations played their music. As part of the 1998 law, Congress allowed performers and record companies to start collecting fees on songs sent over the web, said Joel Willer, a mass communications professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. There are still no performer fees for regular airwave broadcasts.

But until now, the law has yet to be fully enforced. If it is, college radio on the Web will be in trouble.

According to Bob Kohn, founder of eMusic.com, and author of a book on music licensing, classic Beltway dealmaking partially explains why radio stations are being asked to pay performers for webcasts,

As the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act came together, says Kohn, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Digital Music Association, or DiMA, struck a deal: The DiMA, made up of webcasting heavies such as MTV, wanted to shut small webcasters out of the market. The RIAA wanted money for its artists and record companies.

The RIAA got their fees -- and the fees effectively strangled the interest in small-time webcasting, says Kohn. The fees may end up doing the same for college webcasting.

Both the RIAA and the DiMA strongly disagreed with Kohn's characterizations.

"That's just pathetic," says Jonathan Potter, head of the DiMA. "The MTVs and AOLs of the world have spent millions to argue for lower rates for everybody." Agreeing to webcast fees was painful, and was only done because members of the DiMA, faced with huge lawsuits over copyright infringement, had their back to the wall, says Potter.

Will Robedee, general manager of KTRU at Rice University in Houston, is trying to pull together a coalition of college radio stations to change the DMCA. Some fees are acceptable, but college stations shouldn't have to pay anywhere near what the big commercial stations pay, says Robedee. The law makes some provision for special treatment of nonprofit stations, but Robedee wants guarantees of substantially lower fees

The law also includes requirements that stations report every song played -- requirements, says Robedee, that would be impossible for low-budget, nonautomated stations to meet.

"There is a public interest in having these stations webcasting," Robedee said, citing exposure given to unknown bands, and the eclectic playlists that characterize college radio.

Still, performers deserve payment for their songs, says Jano Cabrera, spokesman for the RIAA. "We think that the law makes sense because artists and record companies who invest time, energy and resources should be compensated."

The fees, if implemented, would mean the end of webcasting at KALX, the University of California at Berkeley's radio station, says KALX general manager Sandra Wasson.

KALX pays a total of $623 per year to songwriters (as opposed to performers) to play music over the Web. The fee is low, Wasson said, because KALX doesn't run advertisements. If the recording industry's fee proposal goes through, KALX would have to dish out $10,000 to $20,000 a year in webcasting fees, Wasson said. And the fees would be retroactive to 1998.

"On our small budget, there's just no way we can afford those amounts," says Wasson, who also notes that KALX's $200,000 yearly budget is huge compared to most college stations.

The recording industry and broadcasters are battling in front of a federal arbitration panel over just how high those fees should be. The RIAA, representing performers, is asking for 0.4 cents per listener per song. Broadcasters want fees many times lower. Record companies and performers will split the fees equally, Cabrera said.

Robedee, at Rice, hopes a new bill intended to gut the Millennium Copyright Act will include protections for college stations.

The Music On-Line Competition Act is designed to break the hammerlock the recording industry has over music distribution, says Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah. Cannon co-authored the bill along with Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va.

Continued at http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/12/13/college_webcast/print.html

Bob Jensen laments the DMCA from an educator's perspective at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm
 


Innovation of the Week

"Distributed computing's prime moment," by Stephen Shankland, ZD Net News, December 13, 2001 --- http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5100648,00.html?chkpt=zdnnp1tp02 

A 20-year-old in Owen Sound, Canada, has found the world's largest known prime number using a mere desktop computer. But he didn't work alone: His system was part of a 210,000-machine quasi-supercomputer stretched across the globe. Using a computer with an 800MHz chip from Advanced Micro Devices, Michael Cameron found the prime number on Nov. 14, according to Entropia. The San Diego company sells software to enable "distributed computing," which harnesses the unused processing abilities of computers scattered across the Internet.

Although the arrival of profit motive has transformed distributed computing, its roots remain in academic pursuits such finding optimal Golomb rulers or alien radio signals.

Cameron's computer found the number, but he shares credit with others: George Woltman, who founded the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) and wrote the search software, and Entropia founder Scott Kurowski, who created the network system called PrimeNet that governs the 210,000 computers that are part of the effort.

Prime numbers, once a mathematical curiosity but now crucial to encrypted communications, are numbers greater than one that are divisible only by one and the number itself. Cameron was participating in a project to search for a particular type of prime number called a Mersenne prime.

The number that Cameron discovered--2 to the 13,466,917th power minus 1--has 4,053,946 digits. In order to cram his discovery onto a 29-inch-by-40-inch poster sold by Perfectly Scientific, the number is printed in a tiny 1.37-point font and read with a magnifying glass.

Mersenne primes are named after Marin Mersenne, a French monk born in 1588 who investigated a particular type of prime number: 2 to the power of "p" minus one, in which "p" is an ordinary prime number.

Mersenne primes are much rarer than ordinary primes. The GIMPS effort, exhaustively searching for possible candidates since 1996, has been responsible for discovering the five most recent examples. Altogether, 39 have been discovered so far.

Cameron's computer took 42 days to verify that the number was a Mersenne prime. After that, researchers using a workstation took three weeks to confirm the work.

Prime numbers are needed for encrypted communications such as a Web browser's Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology that makes it harder to sniff out credit card numbers or other private information. But those systems typically use primes that are merely 300 or so digits, said Stanford University mathematician Dan Boneh.

"The large Mersenne primes are not very useful," Boneh said, though finding one will grant a person 15 minutes of fame.

Mathematical hobbyists have provided online versions of Cameron's number written out in decimal form or in words.

Searching for Mersenne primes is computationally intense, but it is a problem that's known as "embarrassingly parallel," which means it can easily be broken down into independent parts that separate computers tackle. Many supercomputer problems take another form, requiring high-speed communication between separate computers or requiring that a problem be solved one step at a time with little opportunity for sharing among many systems.

Parallel computing tasks aren't merely academic. Sun Microsystems and Intel use distributed computing software to help design microprocessors, and companies such as Entropia, Turbolinux, Platform Computing, Parabon Computation and United Devices have software that can be used for work in genetics, pharmaceuticals or financial services. Typically, this software is used within a single corporation rather than on strangers' computers across the Internet.

The concept of distributed computing is closely related to "grid" computing, which unites computers and storage systems into a single pool of resources. The National Science Foundation is among those interested in the concept, devoting $53 million to one grid.

Continued at http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,5100648,00.html?chkpt=zdnnp1tp02


Innovation of the Future

"A new spin on computing UC scientists suggest way to harness electrons for processors," by Carl T. Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, December 10, 2001 --- http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/12/10/MN230810.DTL  

Some radically new ways of building computers are starting to take shape as scientists venture ever deeper into the weird realm of quantum mechanics.

A team of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara has taken a key step by suggesting for the first time a practical way to bring the elusive phenomenon known as "electron spin" under precise control.

Experts said it opens up a path toward a whole new style of computing, one that is expected to be particularly useful at performing calculations that stymie conventional machines, such as breaking complex codes and searching huge databases at lightning speed.

"We're trying to explore how to go about building real quantum devices," said David Awschalom, a physicist and director of the Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation at UC Santa Barbara.

Although such devices are a long way off, experts say the basic scientific foundation is being laid for machines capable of exploiting the quirky behavior of matter at the scale of individual atoms and subatomic particles.

"Quantum computers are proving to be very difficult to build, for many reasons, but one of them is how do you get these little quantum elements to behave the way you want them to," said Mark Kubinec, a chemist at the University of California at Berkeley.

Awschalom reported the results of his latest adventures in the quantum world last week in the journal Nature. The experiments were among the first under a $1.2 billion research initiative launched by the state of California.

The high-profile effort, announced last December by Gov. Gray Davis, includes corporate partnerships and four new "Centers for Science and Innovation" being created at UC campuses throughout the state.

Continued at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/12/10/MN230810.DTL 


PDA reliability has got to get better, says David, but it won't until we stop thinking about PDAs as traditional computers. http://clickthru.online.com/Click?q=0a-ZnBCIrrVci48ArtKshNYSOuR 


Online Guide to Eastern Shorebirds (Science, Ecology) http://www.a2z4birders.com/cgi-bin/birds 


A "shopping list for terrorist organizations" is being distributed by the Customs Service to businesses as a guide to guard against future attacks --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/conflict/0,2100,48993,00.html 


Book Recommendation: "'Good Enough' isn't enough: Nine Challenges for Companies That Choose to Be Great"

Mediocrity. It's the comfortable curse that a company can live with...but not grow with. And according to business writer, thinker, and consultant Alan Weiss, if mediocrity continues long enough, it can deteriorate into paralysis and business failure. In "'Good Enough' isn't enough," Weiss declares war on the shrug- and-smile culture that maintains a sparkling appearance while allowing gross inefficiency and concealed incompetence to fester. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0814405053/accountingweb 


After a hired hacker proved the Department of Interior websites were easy to penetrate, a U.S. district judge orders all sites taken down. When they'll be back up is anybody's guess --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48980,00.html 

Web wanderers looking for information on national parks, government mapping services or geological disasters will need to get their information from non-official websites for a while.

A hired hacker's ability to easily penetrate computer systems operated by the Department of Interior has resulted in a legal order taking the entire system offline until the network can be secured.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth issued the order late Wednesday after a report showed that the computer system which handles $500 million annually in royalties from Indian land has major security holes that make it easy to access the system, alter records and possibly divert funds.

Continued at - http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48980,00.html  

See also:
Suppression Stifles Some Sites
Oh Boy, an Indian Controversy

Bob Jensen's threads on security are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 


Four teenagers admit they wrote and spread the Goner e-mail worm that created apoplexy among antivirus companies last week --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48969,00.html 


Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative ---  http://early-cuneiform.humnet.ucla.edu/cdli.htm 

The Cuneiform Digital Library

The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) represents the efforts of an international group of Assyriologists, museum curators and historians of science to make available through the internet the form and content of cuneiform tablets dating from the beginning of writing, ca. 3200 B.C., until the end of the third millennium. Despite the 150 years since the decipherment of cuneiform, and the 100 years since Sumerian documents of the 3rd millennium B.C. from southern Babylonia were first published, such basic research tools as a reliable paleography charting the graphic development of cuneiform, and a lexical and grammatical glossary of the approximately 120,000 texts inscribed during this period of early state formation, remain unavailable even to specialists, not to mention scholars from other disciplines to whom these earliest sources on social development represent an extraordinary hidden treasure. The CDLI, directed by Robert. K. Englund of the University of California at Los Angeles and Peter Damerow of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, is pursuing the systematic digital documentation and electronic publication of these 3rd millennium sources. Cooperative partners include leading experts from the field of Assyriology, curators of European and American museums, and computer specialists in text markup. The CDLI data set will consist of text and image, combining document transliterations, text glossaries and digitized originals and photo archives of early cuneiform.

This electronic documentation should be of particular interest to cuneiform scholars distant from collections, and to museum personnel intent on archiving and preserving fragile and often decaying cuneiform collections. The data will form the basis for the development of representations of the structure of 3rd millennium administrative and lexical documents, making the contents of the texts accessible to scholars from other disciplines. A typology of accounting procedures, graphical representations of formal structures of bookkeeping documents, and extensive glossaries of technical terms later supplemented by linguistic tools for accessing the primary sources by non-Assyriologists are being developed. Data formats, including Extensible Markup Language (XML) text descriptions, with vector-based image specifications of computer-assisted tablet copies, will be chosen to insure high conformance with ongoing digital library projects. Metadata-based lexemic and grammatical analysis of Sumerian in the CDLI markup environment will not onl y put at the disposal of specialists in the fields of Assyriology and Sumerology available cuneiform documents from the first thousand years of Babylonian writing, but also general linguists, semioticists, and historians of communication and cognition, of administration and early state formation, will for the first time have access to the form and content of these records.

In an initial three-year phase funded by the Digital Library Initiative of the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (see text of funding proposal), project staff and associates expect to complete the digitization of the early cuneiform collections of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin, the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, the Louvre, Paris, the Yale Babylonian Collection, New Haven, and the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Approximately half of large holdings of the British Museum should be finished in this period. Dual track internet presentations of these collections (conforming on the one hand with individual museum presentation, on the other with archival data sets of the CDLI) will be implemented in steps, beginning in January 2001 with that of the Vorderasiatisches Museum. The ca. 3200 tablets of that museum represent one of the finest collections of early cuneiform known to us, with representative text groups from all of the major phases of writing in Mesopotamia. Project staff are currently preparing for insertion in our internet pages the full image data sets of the Hermitage, with its substantial archives of pre-Sargonic Lagash (ca. 2400-2350 B.C.) and Ur III (ca. 2050-2000 B.C.) administrative documents, and of all collections of tablets deriving from the period of proto-cuneiform (ca. 3200-3000 B.C.). Such research tools as a reliable paleography of twelve hundred years of cuneiform, and a lexical and grammatical glossary of the wide-ranging records from the period of early Babylonian history will follow from the cooperative research on these data sets sponsored by the CDLI.


Even members of the industry say it will take years before Bluetooth wireless technology is adopted en masse. But that doesn't mean we can't dream about its potential --- http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,49023,00.html 


Camera on the Tip of His Shoe

He was put on probation for taping "upskirt" videos with a sneakercam ... but that didn't stop him from taking it with him to his probation office --- http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,49054,00.html 

A man sentenced to probation for using a tiny video camera in his sneakers to peek up women's skirts also used the "sneakercam" to ogle women at his probation office, prosecutors told a Florida court.

The allegations came to light during a hearing on Tuesday after defendant Daniel Searfoss was arrested a second time on voyeurism charges, the Tampa Tribune reported on Wednesday.

Searfoss, a 43-year-old mechanic, was first arrested Dec. 31, 2000, on a misdemeanor voyeurism charge at a Wal-Mart store in Plant City, Florida, near Tampa. Police said he wired a camera hidden in his sneaker to a video recorder he carried in a bag, using it to peek up women's skirts.

See also:
Reporters Scowl at Face Scanners
Protesters Wish for Cams to Scram


Hi Sarah,

I suggest that you begin with a free online accounting history book by David A.R. Forrester. It is a great book and has some great references to other books. You will find the link at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory 

Although it is not accounting history per se, I also recommend the book by Geoffrey Poitras that is also referenced beneath the Forrester book.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Sarah Cheng [ACCT] [mailto:acsarah@inet.polyu.edu.hk]  
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 4:24 AM 
To: CPAS-L@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU ; rjensen@TRINITY.EDU  
Subject: Re: Accounting history

Any idea about a good book on accounting history?

Regards,
Sarah Cheng


One-time Internet booster Henry Blodget, who recently left Merrill Lynch, is reportedly one of several stock analysts being probed for alleged conflicts of interest --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48992,00.html 


Which one factor is most important when choosing a Web server (software) platform for your enterprise?

See Information Week's choices at http://update.internetweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eFMQ0Bdl6n0V30BDq50Ao 


Small town governments, church groups and the Ohio State Senate have Web addresses that have been hijacked and held ransom by pornographers lately in a growing trend.

"Sites Forlorn When Reborn as Porn," by Jeffrey Benner, Wired News, December 10, 2001 --- 
http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,48903,1162b6a.html
 

The website for the city of Villa Hills, Kentucky, currently features a picture of 19-year-old Tina clutching her bare breasts.

Images of "Euro Teen Sluts" appear where Manchester, Iowa's city government information used to be. And teachers looking for Home Education Magazine at its former online address will find a link to "gang bang models," but absolutely no helpful tips on home schooling.

These are just a few of the growing number of local governments, church groups and nonprofit organizations that have recently seen their homepages turned into smut dens.

The International Lutheran Woman's Missionary League, the Nebraska Department of Education, the Ohio State Senate and the Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, Maryland, have all experienced the same fate, according to N2H2, a Web filtering company that tracks porn on the Web.

"It's a trend we started seeing several months ago," N2H2 spokesman David Burt said. "It seems to be a couple of companies, one in Armenia. They buy up lapsed domain names and convert them to porn sites."

The takeovers all involve domain names whose registration has expired. Some owners just forgot to renew. Others gave up ownership to their old address after switching over to a new name.

The domain names may have been snapped up by speculators who make a living trafficking in expired domains, according to Ron Wiener, CEO of Snapnames. His company specializes in purchasing expired names the instant they become available.

"All the good new names are gone, so speculators feast entirely on (expiring) names," Wiener said. "Most are just trying to find a buyer for it."

In many cases, the target market is the old owner.

The new owner of Manchester, Iowa's old website -- replaced with links to porn after the city inadvertently failed to renew its registration -- offered to sell it back for $550. Manchester refused, and shifted its homepage to a new address instead.

The Good News Web Designers Association, a Christian organization, has issued a warning to its members not to let domains lapse, after numerous reports emerged of Christian sites being bought by pornographers based in Russia and then held for ransom.

"Christian ministry sites, Catholic Diocesan sites, Youth Ministry sites, children's sites, Christian Web designers' own business sites, and amusement parks," have all been hit, the alert cautions.

Catholic Diocese in Cleveland and Brooklyn were among the victims, according to United Press International.

With roughly 1 million formerly registered domains opening up each month, Wiener said trafficking in them has become big business, and most get purchased the instant they're available. "This is one of the biggest stealth industries around," Wiener said. "We have customers dropping $50,000 a day on expired domains."

Continued at  http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,48903,1162b6a.html  

See also:
Homeschool Gets Sex Education
Confusion Is Domain Problem
Is It Too Late for Sex.Coop?
Activists Attack Porn Bill


Trinity University's Student Managed Fund --- http://www.trinity.edu/smf/ 

Trinity's Student Managed Fund manages over $500,000 of the University's endowment.  The year long class is responsible for actively managing the portfolio by buying and selling stocks picked and voted upon by class members.  The objective of the class is to improve students' skills at investment management, securities analysis, and team participation through practical means.  We invest exclusively in common stocks and use the S&P 500 index to gauge performance.   Recent Action in the SMF


A Xerox senior engineer's life is in tatters after being charged with trading digital images of child pornography. He says he's innocent, and government records show inconsistencies in the case ---  
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48946,00.html
 

CANANDAIGUA, New York -- Larry Benedict is sitting cross-legged on the floor of his home in New York's picturesque Finger Lakes region, surrounded by the detritus of a once-happy life.

A pair of hermit crabs scuttles about in an aquarium in the corner, left behind when his wife and son moved out. Squirreled away in a cardboard box are 15 patents he was awarded as a senior engineer at Xerox, which has told him he no longer has a job. Closer

By far the most prominent feature in the living room of Benedict's lakeside home is a pile of paper that would reach 10 feet high if stacked. It's a record of his defense against a criminal prosecution that began in 1995. The case has thrashed his family, career and savings, and shows no sign of ending soon.

Uncle Sam has accused the 44-year-old engineer of swapping computer disks containing images of minors engaged in sexual activities.

Benedict has been indicted on two counts of violating 18 U.S.C. 2252, which makes it a federal felony to distribute images "of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct." Because the proceedings against him are still underway, Benedict remains free on $7,500 bond.

It should be no surprise that Benedict insists he's innocent. In addition to the social ostracism that a child porn conviction would bring, a prosecutor once informed Benedict that he'd face up to 50 years in prison if a jury believed he was guilty.

What is unusual, however, is that a review of thousands of pages of court records, affidavits and transcripts has uncovered a series of remarkable inconsistencies in the criminal case that the federal government has assembled.

Police destroyed vital evidence that could have shown Benedict was innocent. One investigator incorrectly informed a grand jury that there was written evidence linking Benedict to child pornography, even though none was ever found.

A postal inspector told a grand jury that Benedict confessed to trading child pornography while in the presence of state police witnesses. The state troopers insist it never happened.

Files and entire directories mysteriously appeared on seized computers while they were stored in police evidence rooms. It took prosecutors nearly five years to uncover illegal image files on Benedict's PC -- in an obvious, top-level directory titled "GIF."

For its part, in court filings as recently as Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office steadfastly denies any wrongdoing.

Martin Littlefield, the assistant U.S. Attorney in Buffalo, New York, in charge of Benedict's prosecution, won't comment. "For me to engage in an out-of-court dissertation about allegations would be unethical and inappropriate on

Continued at http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48946,00.html 

In Part 2 of a series, was a suspected trafficker in child pornography a wronged target of an overeager postal inspector? --- 
http://www.wirednews.com/news/politics/0,1283,49013,00.html
 

A former Xerox engineer admits trading pirated PC games with a convicted pedophile. But is that all they exchanged? Part 3 of a series by Declan McCullagh, reporting from Canandaigua, New York --- 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,49083,00.html
 

Former Xerox exec Larry Benedict is accused of trading child porn, but enforcement officials still can't produce any evidence that images existed on his computers. Part 4 of a series by Washington bureau chief Declan McCullagh --- 
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,49132,00.html
 

Did Larry Benedict purposely swap child pornography, or did he merely think he was swapping computer games? One lesson in this seven-year saga is that proof isn't always clear when dealing with electronic files. Part 5 of a series by Washington bureau chief --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,49141,00.html 


Two groups that publish sexual content on the Web challenge the Communications Decency Act, fearful the vagueness of its obscenity provision leaves them vulnerable to charges --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,49044,00.html 


Europeans still fret over what impact actual euro currency will have on the continent, but auction sites think it'll help facilitate cross-border transactions --- http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,49048,1162b6a.html 


A message received from AccountingWeb on December 14, 2001

Here is a sample of the questions that have been posted this week. Check out all the questions at our Q&A Forum and see if you can lend a hand. http://www.accountingweb.com/help/anyanswers.html 

1. Is there a source for determining what cities have grant money available for small businesses planning to relocate? http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65595 

2. How can one best structure a lump sum damages settlement that involves a lawyer's contingency payment? http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65731 

3. What account should be used to book rebates received on the purchase of PC's, cell phones, and so on? http://www.accountingweb.com/item/66048 

4. An individual tax practice in Denver, CO is contemplating raising prices at least 30% but is worried that the increase will cause many clients to leave. Are there any statistics available that address this issue? http://www.accountingweb.com/item/66187 

Bob Jensen's threads on helpers for accounting practices and small business are at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fees.ht
m
 


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As companies continue to grapple with security and disaster recovery concerns brought about by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the federal government is considering a broad set of security standards that it will push its agencies and private industry to follow. Last week, the Business Software Alliance, at its Global Tech Summit in Washington, issued a "Cyber Security Blueprint" to guide collaborative government and industry initiatives. The proposals include greater investment in enhanced security tools, federal research and development investment in security technology, and increased criminal penalties against computer crimes --- http://www.eweek.com/article/0,3658,s%253D701%2526a%253D19634,00.asp 


MicronPC is giving a thumbs-up to new security measures with a notebook computer launched Monday. The PC maker's new Transport GX2 features a fingerprint reader to verify a person's rights to access data inside the system. With the GX2, MicronPC becomes one of the first manufacturers to build into a notebook so-called biometric security. http://clickthru.online.com/Click?q=34-pJJSIcdN1sbGQTBGltAkVn4R 


A message from Peter C. Bruce [pbruce@statistics.com

Raftery, Tanner & Wells' new book "Statistics in the 21st Century" (Chapman & Hall, 2002) is not, strictly speaking, new, in the sense that much of the material has previously appeared in journal articles. Still, unless you know that you will be stuck analyzing the same types of problems with the same methods in the same job from here on out, it is a valuable addition to your book shelf.

This book grew out of a series of articles in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, presenting 30 short review articles on the role of statistics in various discplines, as well as 20 similar articles on recent methodological advances. It will be of interest to several sorts of statisticians: -- Academics seeking to understand whether methodologies developed mainly in the context of another discipline might have applicability for their own; -- Researchers whose statistical applications have been narrowly focused, and who want to expand their understanding in a general way; -- Teachers who believe their students may benefit from greater knowledge of how statistics is used in the world -- Independent consultants thinking of expanding their reach; -- Students contemplating career choices and professionals thinking of a career change.

A large part of statistics is measuring and understanding variability, and there is some variability among these vignettes. David Oakes (survival analysis) packs an enormous amount of statistical content into just over four pages, and the goal of broad coverage is undermined a bit by detailed forays into theory that are necessarily terse and jumpy. Peter Guttorp's piece on environmental statistics has much less material to tackle and does it in more space, resulting in a more readable "density index."

Bottom line: A valuable resource for the statistician who wants a quick understanding of what the rest of the profession is doing. Tons of references a good book to have around.

The following disciplines and topics are touched upon:

- Survival analysis - Causal analysis in health science ("counterfactual approach") - Environmental statistics - Capture-recapture - Predicting genetic merit in animal breeding - Modeling toxicology - Assessing diagnostic tests (Receiver Operating Characteristic Methodology) - Randomized clinical trials - Epidemiology - Analysis of the gene - Financial markets - Market research - Time series data - Statistics in political science and sociology - Psychometrics - Forensic statistics - Demography - Climate and weather (global warming) - Seismology - Measuring internet traffic - Data compression - Reliability - Statistical Process Control

Methods Topics

- Log Linear models - Bayesian statistics and Gibbs sampling (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) - Decision theory - The bootstrap - Which variables to select for a model - Nonparametrics - Generalized Linear Models - Missing Data - Robust statistics - Likelihood - Measurement error models - Minimax decision-making

Reviewed by Peter Bruce, statistics.com 
Available at http://www.statistics.com/content/bookstore/ 


Wow!  Over 20 years of Usenet discussion groups to search, browse, and post messages --- 
http://groups.google.com/
 

A popular search engine (Google) has posted 20 years' worth of Usenet discussion group postings: more than 700 million entries in all. Included: American Taliban John Walker, screen name, "doodoo." --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,49016,00.html 

Teenager Training for Terrorism:  The Early Years

E-mails from a Traitor The young John Walker left an enormous cache of nutty e-mails --- http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/000/669eqdyh.asp 

From August 1995 to August 1997, John Philip Walker Lindh, the Marin County jihadist, was a frequent contributor to Internet newsgroups. As Newsweek reports  http://www.msnbc.com/news/669825.asp  in its latest issue, he used the nom de plume "doodoo."

At the outset, he pretended to be a rapper, critiquing the rhymes of another Internet poseur as "some 13 year old white kid playing smart," which would actually be a pretty fair description of himself, then a 14-year-old white kid trying to pass himself off as black. Two years later, he was "Prof. J" pontificating on the relationship of Judaism to Zionism in the newsgroup soc.religion.islam.

In between, he seems to have liquidated his comic books and video games in order to buy audio equipment. But on July 29, 1996, he suddenly pulls up short: "I've heard recently that certain musical instruments are forbidden by Islam," he writes. And by September 21, 1996, he's placing an online want ad (WTB means "wanted to buy") for recordings of Malcolm X speeches. He comes across in many places as a budding totalitarian, though it should be noted that many 15-year-old habitues of newsgroups try to sound imperious. Not that many sign their e-mails "Br. Mujahid," however.

You can retrieve the online oeuvre of the American Taliban for yourself by searching for "doodoo@hooked.net" in the newsgroups archive at Google http://groups.google.com/groups?group=news&hl=en . Or you can read them at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/000/669eqdyh.asp  , reformatted in chronological order. The only editing I've done is to remove the e-mail addresses of third parties and the more technical parts of the address headers. The personal webpage he refers to, http://www.hooked.net/users/doodoo/index.htm  , seems no longer to exist.

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks on "Discussion Groups, Newsgroups and Chat Rooms" are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#DiscussionGroups 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.ht


News from New Media on December 13, 2001

THIS WEEK'S NEWS

* BUSINESS Future of Marketing for 2002: New Priorities, Part I The flash and excess that were the mark of marketing in the 1990s are officially gone for good. Today, customer knowledge and calculable returns rule. The following issues will be essential to marketing success in the coming year: Multi-Channel Synchronization Today, most businesses operate across many channels, from retail stores and catalogs, to call centers and the Web. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3265 

We Came, We Saw, We Did a Little E-Shopping In fact, 25 percent of us are finished buying gifts; report finds last two weeks of November were the biggest so far this year for online shopping. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3261 

Untapped Webizens: Seeking Out the Gay and Lesbian Market Nowhere has the Web's potential to galvanize had a stronger impact than in the gay and lesbian community, yet little has been done to reach this market online. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3257 

Toys Continue to Top E-Commerce Lists If the data from the Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index is any indication, there should be a lot of packages arriving at a lot of homes that will make a lot of children very happy this holiday season. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3254 

Travel Joins the Holiday Shopping Spree Online shoppers outspent their post-Thanksgiving e-commerce purchases during the week ending Dec. 2. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3251 

DESIGN Making Advertisers and Users Happier: A Case Study Making advertisers and users happier: Has Lycos achieved the impossible? http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3263 

How Web Designers Sell Themselves Are you one of those Web designers who design quite well, but don't have time to work on your own site? Savvy Web surfers looking for designers expect a great deal from a site offering Web development/design. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3262 

Is Your Web Site Qualified to Sell? Does your site pass the one page only indicator? Take this test to find out. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3256 

Eight Things to Consider When Choosing a CMS If you are a Web site owner you'll probably be keen to do the job of keeping your Web site up-to-date yourself. We've been producing content management systems for our clients for couple of years now, but the main problem has been that these systems often cost more than the original Web site. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3253 

Accommodating Visually Impaired Shoppers Online retailing behemoth Amazon.com is making it easier for the visually impaired to shop on the Internet by launching an alternative version of its Web site designed for customers who use screen access software. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3249 

/-------------------------------------------------------------------\

**JOB SECURITY -- CAREER GROWTH -- CHALLENGING POSITIONS** The internet.com Careers Channel is the leading online Information Technology (IT) job board. Whether you need to start your new job today, are searching for your dream job, or are just wondering what your skills are worth, you'll find the tools you need to land your next great job. Don't wait any longer! http://www.internet.com/sections/careers.html 

* TECHNOLOGY Internet Influencing All Aspects of Healthcare The Internet has provided efficient ways for doctors to treat and communicate with their patients, but it's also provided a platform for pharmaceutical companies and other organizations to reach doctors, a study by The Boston Consulting Group and Harris Interactive found. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3264 

Enterprises Continue to Drive Wireless Applications Nearly half (46.1 percent) of development managers at large corporations plan to develop applications for wireless devices in the coming year, according to Evans Data Corp . That's more than plan on developing B2B e-commerce applications and even security. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3260 

ISPs Barely Passing Customer Service Tests A survey of more than 14,000 Internet users by the National Regulatory Research Institute and BIGresearch found that almost half (47 percent) of the respondents have complained to their ISP about the quality of service. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3258 

Email Can Do That? Email Can Do That? All the technology @d:TECH has to offer is being channeled into your inbox. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3252 

Advanced Ad-Serving Features, Part 2: Third-Party Ad Servers Advanced features of third-party ad servers that meet the needs of advertisers & agencies. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3250 

MORE NEWMEDIA NEWS (From the internet.com Network)

Sun To Find Competition in New Intel Rack Units Setting themselves as the "Company Of Choice," the popular chipmaker is betting increased flexibility is what carriers, OEMs are looking for in a rack unit. http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article/0,,10_939031,00.html 

Judge, Creditors Approve @Home Extension Creditors at the nearly-defunct broadband ISP agreed to keep its operations open until February 2002, saving millions of high-speed customers from shutdown. http://www.internetnews.com/isp-news/article/0,,8_938361,00.html 

President to Name Tech Advisory Group A panel of technology marquee names, including AOL Time Warner's Steve Case, could play an influential role in helping to shape the administration and the government's technology policy. http://www.atnewyork.com/news/article/0,1471,8471_938721,00.html 

TOP HEADLINES FROM INTERNETNEWS.COM

Yahoo! To Snatch HotJobs Out of the Clutches Of Monster.com http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article/0,2198,3531_939331,00.html 

For Online Retailers, It's Showtime http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article/0,,4_939511,00.html 

Ciena Posts Net Loss, Warns of More Losses http://www.internetnews.com/fina-news/article/0,,5_939451,00.html 

CONTACT US!

Questions? Comments? Please e-mail them to NewMedia Managing Editor Laura Rush (lrush@internet.com). Please do not send unsubscribe requests to this address--instructions for that appear at the very bottom of this newsletter. You can also subscribe/unsubscribe directly from our Web site, at http://www.newmedia.com 

Bob Jensen's Tutorials on e-Commerce are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 


Dmitri Sklyarov, the Russian hacker arrested after DefCon earlier this year for cracking Adobe's e-book reader security and publishing how he did it, makes a deal --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,49122,00.html 


Subject: I AM A STUDENT REQUESTING HELP

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jennifer Collins <jcollin2@OLIVET.EDU>  
To: <CPAS-L@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 3:27 PM 
Subject: I AM A STUDENT REQUESTING HELP

I am a student at Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, IL majoring in Accounting. I have been asked to do a special project listing three > examples of how accounting impacts some aspects of our society. If you can  help me at all please do. I have been asked to use the internet and/or >business professionals therefore, I decided to combine the two. As I said > before, any information that you can give me will be greatly appreciated. 
Thank you. 

Reply from Bob Jensen

I tend to agree with the President of Harvard University when he stated the following:

**************************************** 
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 
***************************************

From FEI Express, May 24, 2001 --- http://www.fei.org/newsletters/express/feiexpress62.cfm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope this helps a little.

Bob Jensen

Reply from Robert Walker

-----Original Message----- 
From: Robert B Walker [mailto:walkerrb@ACTRIX.CO.NZ]  
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 1:56 PM 
To: CPAS-L@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: 
Re: I AM A STUDENT REQUESTING HELP

This is an opportunity too good to miss. Amongst other things it has flushed out an interesting if not a little disillusioned piece from Todd Boyle which I will have to think about.

I am not quite sure why Todd disagrees with the basic accounting equation and the application of double entry - I do not believe they are suffused with ideology in the way that, say, the conceptual framework is said to be.

I also think we should see accounting, qua double entry, as being beyond the overlay of standardisation that has been imposed since the Great Depression. (By the way the other history that I think is most illuminating is R & S Storey 'The Framework of Financial Accounting Concepts & Standards' published by FASB.)

I still suffer the delusion attributed to Sombart - that double entry created Western economic hegemony. Well at least I do in part, clearly the dynamic underlying capitalism has something else in the mix beginning in Italy in the Renaissance and finding its full flowering in the US of the 20th century.

Nonetheless the impact of double entry is profound. Modern commercial and financial activity cannot happen without it. Double entry enables, firstly, the creation of artifical personality and, then, the capacity to combine a large number of individual economic interests into that one entity. Banking is afterall only a manifestation of double entry. Banking simply cannot exist without it (the banking empire of the German Fugger family notwithstanding).

The general ledger in a bank is its engine of production. It is the bank. Banks are the centrepiece of our economic system. Double entry is therefore at its core.

If I may attribute motive to Todd I suspect he perceives failure of the accounting model as presently practiced in things such as the Enron scandal. I think, contrarily, that is not accounting's failure. It is a failure to apply accounting (by which I mean double entry) properly. There is a difference.

One final thought: so far the correspondents have answered the student purely in commerical terms. Accounting's impact on government is just as profound. An insight into this can be gained in some measure by an IMF publication called 'How to Measure the Fiscal Deficit' (ed. M Blejer). The history of government finance and its accounting is as venerable as that pertaining to commerce. In fact the history I referred to yesterday - that of O ten Have - hints that double entry was first used in government as long ago as a thousand years, by Arabs of course. They were demonstrably using ex post budget analysis as far back as that.

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm 




QUICK FACTS ABOUT TRINITY UNIVERSITY
Trinity University's Homepage --- http://www.trinity.edu/ 

The link to the above information is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TrinityQuickFacts.htm 




Think Geek
Debbie Bowling suggests having a few laughs while you shop.

Here's a web site I thought you would enjoy! It has all types of "geeky" things to buy!

http://www.thinkgeek.com/ 

Debbie


Forwarded by Denny Beresford

One of my colleagues observed that last Saturday was the effective date of FASB Statement 142, prompting accountants across the land to shout the following holiday greeting:

Peace on Earth and GOODWILL to men (but not to expense)!

Reply from Bob Jensen

Unless, like now, it is being "impaired."


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Double click and go there for a good laugh --- http://www.whoohoo.net/resume/ 


Forwarded by Nancy Mills

Subject: Definitions

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

Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

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

Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

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

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

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


Forwarded by Dick Haar

A man was going up to bed, when his wife told him he'd left the light on in the garden shed - she could see it from the bedroom window. But he said that he hadn't been in the shed that day. He looked himself, and saw that there were people in the shed, stealing things. He rang the police, but they told him that no one currently was in his immediate area, and that, due to ongoing investigations it could be several hours before someone would be available to respond. He said OK, hung up.

He then counted to 30 and rang the police again. "Hello. I just rang you a few seconds ago because there were thieves in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now, I've just shot them all."

Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an Armed Response unit, the works. Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policeman said to this man, "I thought you reported that you'd shot them!"

The man replied, "I thought they said there was no-one available!"


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

The Sex Of The Computer

A language instructor was explaining to her class that in French, nouns unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.

"House," in French, is feminine-"la maison." "Pencil," in French, is masculine-"le crayon."

One puzzled student asked, "What gender is computer?" The teacher did not know, and the word wasn't in her French dictionary. So for fun she split the class into two groups appropriately enough, by gender and asked them to decide whether "computer" should be a masculine or feminine noun.

Both groups were required to give four reasons for their recommendation. 

The men's group decided that computers should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computer"), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for possible later retrieval

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay check on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("le computer"), because:

1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data but they are still clueless

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you'd waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

                          Living on Earth is expensive,
                             but it does include a free trip
                             around the sun every year. 
       

                         Birthdays are good for you;

                             the more you have, the longer
                             you live. 
                        
            
                        
How long a minute is depends

                             on what side of the bathroom
                             door you're on.

                         Ever notice that the people who
                             are late are often much jollier
                             than the people who have to
                             wait for them?
       

                         If ignorance is bliss, why aren't

                             more people happy? 
     

                         Most of us go to our grave with

                             our music still inside of us. 
       

                         If Wal-Mart is lowering prices

                             every day, how come nothing
                             is free yet?
        

                         You may be only one person

                             in the world, but you may also
                             be the world to one person. 
         

                         Some mistakes are too much

                             fun to only make once. 
      

                         Don't cry because it's over;

                             smile because it happened. 
        

                        
We could learn a lot from

                             crayons: some are sharp,
                             some are pretty, some are dull,
                             some have weird names, and
                             all are different colors.... but
                             they all have to learn to live
                             in the same box. 
    

                         A truly happy person is one who

                             can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

                         Happiness comes through doors
                             you didn't even know you left open.

                         Have an awesome day, and know that
                             someone has thought about you today!

 


Forwarded by Maria

MUD PUDDLES AND DANDELIONS

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds
that are going to take over my yard.

My kids see flowers for Mom and blowing white fluff you
can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a
smelly, dirty person who probably
wants money and I look away.

My kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune and
don't have much rhythm so I sit self-consciously and listen.

My kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the
words. If they don't know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I
feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.

My kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with
it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou and grant me this, give me that.

My kids say, "Hi God! Thanks for my toys and my friends.
Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don't want to
go to Heaven yet. I would miss my Mommy and Daddy."

When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy
shoes and dirty carpets.

My kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to
cross and worms to play with.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach or to learn from?

No wonder God loves the little children!!

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look
back and realize they were the big things."

My wish to you....Mud Puddles and Dandelions and may God
bless this day for you.

Forwarded by my cousin Donna Johnson.  I do not know who is the original author.  I do not know who is the original author, but the poem describes exactly how I felt as I addressed each of our Christmas cards this year

There is a list of folks I know
All written in a book,
And every year at Christmas time
I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that
these names are a part
Not of the book they're written in
But of my very heart.

For each name stands for someone,
Who has touched my very life sometime,
And in that meeting they've become,
The "Rhythm of the Rhyme"

I really feel I am composed of each remembered name,
And while you may not be aware,
My life is so much better,
Than it was before you came.

For once that you have known someone,
the years cannot erase,
The memory of a pleasant word,
Or a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas cards
Are just a mere routine,
Of names upon a list, 
Forgotten in between.

For when I send a Christmas card
That is addressed to you,
It is because you're on that list
Of folks I'm indebted to.

And whether I have known you,
For many years or few,
In some way you have had a part,
In shaping things I do.

So every year when Christmas comes,
We just realize anew,
the Biggest Gift that God can give,
Is knowing friends like you!!!

Happy holidays to each and every one of you.  Pray God bless you all!



And that's the way it was on December 20, 2001 with a little help from my friends.

 

In March 2000, Forbes named AccountantsWorld.com as the Best Website on the Web --- http://accountantsworld.com/.
Some top accountancy links --- http://accountantsworld.com/category.asp?id=Accounting

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 

 

Another leading accounting site is AccountingEducation.com at http://www.accountingeducation.com/ 

 

Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at http://www.iasplus.com/

 

How stuff works --- http://www.howstuffworks.com/ 

 

Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/ 
Accompanying documentation can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default1.htm and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

 

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

  Hline.jpg (568 bytes) Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

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December 10, 2001


Quotes of the Week

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
(Quoted near the bottom of this edition of New Bookmarks)

"It doesn't matter if you're the greatest guitar player in the world. If you're not enlightened, forget it."
George Harrison, quoted in "Zen Guitar"

"Enron chief and Bush buddy grabs $150 million while employees lose their shirts.  Probe him."
Newsweek Magazine, December 10, 2001 on Page 6,
One of the really sad parts of the Enron scandal is that thousands of Enron employees were not allowed to sell Enron shares in their pension funds and were left hold empty pension funds.  One elderly Enron employee on television last evening lamented that his pension of over $2 million was reduced to less than $10,000.  




Enron:  A Message From the CEO of Andersen

    
Bob Jensen's Commentary on the Above Message From the CEO of Andersen
     (The Most Difficult Message That I Have Perhaps Ever Written!)
     This is followed by replies from other accounting educators.

Lawsuit Seeks to Hold Andersen Accountable for Defrauding Enron Investors, Employees --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31970.xml 


WARNING
Everybody reading this message should download the Parts 1 and 2 Washington Post article immediately.  Like most online newspaper articles, these will not be available for downloading after a week or two (at least not for free like now).  The articles deal with new concerns about whether public accounting firms are more self-serving than public-serving when conducting audits.  They dwell on some serious scandals.

Some quotations and links to the full Part 1 and Part 2 articles can be found at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm
 

The Big Five Firms Join Hands (in Prayer?)
Facing up to a raft of negative publicity for the accounting profession in light of Big Five firm Andersen's association with failed energy giant Enron, members of all of the Big Five firms joined hands (in prayer?) on December 4, 2001 and vowed to uphold higher standards in the future. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65518

The SEC's Response
Remarks by Robert K. Herdman Chief Accountant U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Twenty-Ninth Annual National Conference on Current SEC Developments Washington, D.C., December 6, 2001 --- http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/spch526.htm 


From the Free Wall Street Journal Educators' Reviews for December 6, 2001 

TITLE: Audits of Arthur Andersen Become Further Focus of Investigation
SEC REPORTER: Jonathan Weil
DATE: Nov 30, 2001 PAGE: A3 LINK:
     http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1007059096430725120.djm
 
TOPICS: Advanced Financial Accounting, Auditing

SUMMARY: This article focuses on the issues facing Arthur Andersen now that their work on the Enron audit has become the subject of an SEC investigation. The on-line version of the article provides three questions that are attributed to "some accounting professors." The questions in this review expand on those three provided in the article.

QUESTIONS:
1.) The first question the SEC might ask of Enron's auditors is "were financial statement disclosures regarding Enron's transactions too opaque to understand?" Are financial statement disclosures required to be understandable? To whom? Who is responsible for ensuring a certain level of understandability?

2.) Another question that the SEC could consider is whether Andersen auditors were aware that certain off-balance-sheet partnerships should have been consolidated into Enron's balance sheet, as they were in the company's recent restatement. How could the auditors have been "unaware" that certain entities should have been consolidated? What is the SEC's concern with whether or not the auditors were aware of the need for consolidation?

3.) A third question that the SEC could ask is, "Did Andersen auditors knowingly sign off on some 'immaterial' accounting violations, ignoring that they collectively distorted Enron's results?" Again, what is the SEC's concern with whether Andersen was aware of the collective impact of the accounting errors? Should Andersen have been aware of the collective amount of impact of these errors? What steps would you suggest in order to assess this issue?

4.) The article finishes with a discussion of expected Congressional hearings into Enron's accounting practices and into the accounting and auditing standards setting process in general. What concern is there that the FASB "has been working on a project for more than a decade to tighten the rules governing when companies must consolidate certain off-balance sheet 'special purpose entities'"?

5.) In general, how stringent are accounting and auditing requirements in the U.S. relative to other countries' standards? Are accounting standards in other countries set in the same way as in the U.S.? If not, who establishes standards? What incentives would the U.S. Congress have to establish a law-based system if they become convinced that our private sector standards setting practices are inadequate? Are you concerned about having accounting and reporting standards established by law?

6.) The article describes revenue recognition practices at Enron that were based on "noncash unrealized gains." What standard allows, even requires, this practice? Why does the author state, "to date, the accounting standards board has given energy traders almost boundless latitude to value their energy contracts as they see fit"?

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

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm 


Can Internal Auditors truly be independent while being employed by the entity and seen as working for the management to achieve organizational goals? In theory, External Auditors are more likely to be perceived as independent, but is it not the case that Internal Auditors appear to have little or no independence? http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65704 


The Future of Amazon.com:  Unlike Enron, Amazon.com seems to thrive without profits.  How long can it last?

"Economy, the Web and E-Commerce: Amazon.com." An Interview With Jeff Bezos CEO, Amazon.com, The Washington Post,  December 6, 2001 --- http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/zforum/01/washtech_bezos120601.htm 


Amazon.com is pinning its hopes on pro forma reporting to report the company's first profit in history.  But wait! Plans by U.S. regulators to crack down on "pro forma" abuses in accounting may take a toll on Internet firms, which like the financial reporting technique because it can make losses seem smaller than they really are.  

"When Pro Forma Is Bad Form," by Joanna Glasner, Wired News, December 6, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48877,00.html 

As part of efforts to improve the clarity of information given to investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission warned this week that it will crack down on companies that use creative accounting methods to pump up poor earnings results.

In particular, the commission said it will focus on abuse of a popular form of financial reporting known as "pro forma" accounting, which allows companies to exclude certain expenses and gains from their earnings results. The SEC said the method "may not convey a true and accurate picture of a company's financial well-being."

Experts say the practice is especially common among Internet firms, which began issuing earnings press releases with pro forma numbers en masse during the stock market boom of the late 1990s. The list of new-economy companies using pro forma figures includes such prominent firms as Yahoo (YHOO), AOL Time Warner (AOL), CNET (CNET) and JDS Uniphase (JDSU).

Unprofitable firms are particularly avid users of pro forma numbers, said Brett Trueman, professor of accounting at the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

"I can't say for sure why, but I can take a guess: They're losing big time, and they want to give investors the impression that the losses are not as great as they appear," he said.

Trueman said savvy investors tend to know that companies may have self-serving interests in mind when they release pro forma numbers. Experienced traders often put greater credence in numbers compiled according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which firms are required to release alongside any pro forma numbers.

A mounting concern, however, is the fact that many companies rely almost solely on pro forma numbers in projections for future performance.

Perhaps the best-known proponent of pro forma is the perennially unprofitable Amazon.com, which has a history of guiding investor expectations using an accounting system that excludes charges for stock compensation, restructuring or the declining value of past acquisitions.

Invariably, the pro forma numbers are better than the GAAP ones. In its most recent quarter, for example, Amazon (AMZN) reported a pro forma loss of $58 million. When measured according to GAAP, Amazon's net loss nearly tripled to $170 million.

Things are apt to get even stranger in the last quarter of the year, when Amazon said it plans to deliver its first-ever pro forma operating profit. By regular accounting standards, the company will still be losing money.

Those results might not sit too well with the folks at the SEC, however.

In its statements this week, the SEC noted that although there's nothing inherently illegal about providing pro forma numbers, figures should not be presented in a deliberately misleading manner. Regulators may have been talking directly to Amazon in one paragraph of their warning, which said:

"Investors are likely to be deceived if a company uses a pro forma presentation to recast a loss as if it were a profit."

Neither Amazon nor AOL Time Warner returned phone calls inquiring if they planned to make changes to their pro forma accounting methods in light of the SEC's recent statements.

According to Trueman, few members of the financial community would advocate getting rid of pro forma numbers altogether.

Even the SEC said that pro forma numbers, when used appropriately, can provide investors with a great deal of useful information that might not be included with GAAP results. When presented correctly, pro forma numbers can offer insights into the performance of the core business, by excluding one-time events that can skew quarterly results.

Rather than ditching pro forma, industry groups like Financial Executives International and the National Investor Relations Institute say a better plan is to set uniform guidelines for how to present the numbers. They have issued a set of recommendations, such as making sure companies don't arbitrarily change what's included in pro forma results from quarter to quarter.

Certainly some consistency would make it easier for folks who try to track this stuff, said Joe Cooper, research analyst at First Call, which compiles analyst projections of earnings.

The boom in pro forma reporting has created quite a bit of extra work for First Call, Cooper said, because it has to figure out which companies and analysts are using pro forma numbers and how they're using them.

But the extra work of compiling pro forma numbers doesn't necessarily result in greater financial transparency for investors, Cooper said.

"In days past, before it was abused, it was a way to give an honest apples-to-apples comparison," he said. "Now, it is being used as a way to continually put their company in a good light."

See also:
SEC Fires Warning Shot Over Tech Statements
Earnings Downplay Stock Losses

Change at the Top for AOL
Where's the Money?, Huh?
There's no biz like E-Biz


I added the following to my December 4, 2001 message from Phil Livinston to my threads on pro forma accounting statements at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm  
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/theory/00overview/beresford01.htm 

To: FEI Members and Prospective Members From: Phil Livingston

Special FEI Express - SEC Cautions Companies to Potential Dangers of "Pro Forma" Financials

Today, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cautionary advisory on the use of pro forma earnings per share measures used in earnings press releases. The SEC warned that companies issuing earnings press releases should always include net earnings per share determined according to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and recommended that any use of pro forma measures should be accompanied by a plain English reconciliation back to the GAAP results. The SEC stated that companies not following these practices could be subject to the anti-fraud provisions of laws governing corporate financial reporting. The SEC advisory went on to recommend the guidance provided by the "FEI/NIRI Earnings Press Release Guidelines."

FEI strongly encourages companies to follow the "best practice" standard created by our Committee on Corporate Reporting and the National Institute of Investor Relations. These guidelines can be found on the FEI website at http://www.fei.org/news/FEI-NIRI-EPRGuidelines-4-26-2001.cfm . SEC officials have broadly endorsed these guidelines and repeatedly encouraged their use in public speeches. Current market and economic conditions make it important for all of us involved in financial reporting to take extra steps to make sure we are fully and fairly presenting our companies' financial results to investors. As financial officers, we have that extra duty to our shareholders, employees and creditors to provide highly transparent and meaningful information.

The use of pro forma earnings has become increasingly widespread and is drawing more attention. Some say the increased use of pro forma measures results from the inadequacies and limitations of measures currently defined by GAAP. Meanwhile, critics cite cases of abuse where pro forma earnings have been used to distort reality and provide an opaque view of a company's results. Be in the camp that uses pro forma earnings in a constructive way to provide meaningful supplemental data to the GAAP results. Please share this SEC release and the FEI guidelines with the rest of your management team. Be a best practices company in financial reporting.

Read the official release from the SEC here: http://www.sec.gov/news/headlines/proforma-fin.htm 

That's all for now,

Phil

Bob Jensen's threads on pro forma reporting can be found at the following sites:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm  

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/theory/00overview/theory01.htm 


The Accounting Fraud Beat (This article has some great examples.)
"Asset misappropriation comes in many forms:  Enemies Within," by Joseph T. Wells, The Journal of Accountancy, December 2001, pp.31-35 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/dec2001/wells.htm 

Sometimes, the truth isn’t very pretty. Consider, for example, the American workforce. Although regarded by many as the finest in the world, it has a dark side. According to estimates, a third of American workers have stolen on the job. Many of these thefts are immaterial to the financial statements, but not all are—especially to small businesses.

Regardless of the amounts, CPAs are being asked to play an increasingly important role in helping organizations prevent and detect internal fraud and theft. Responding to these demands requires the auditor to have a thorough understanding of asset misappropriation. CPAs with unaudited clients can provide additional services by suggesting a periodic examination of the cash account only.

Although “internal theft” and “employee fraud” are commonly used, a more encompassing term is “asset misappropriation.” For our purposes, asset misappropriation means more than theft or embezzlement. An employee who wrongly uses company equipment (for example, computers and software) for his or her own personal benefit has not stolen the property, but has misappropriated it.

Employees—from executives to rank-and-file workers—can be very imaginative in the ways they scam their companies. But in a study of 2,608 cases of occupational fraud and abuse, we learned that asset misappropriation can be subdivided into specific types; the most prevalent are skimming and fraudulent disbursements.

Continued at  http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/dec2001/wells.htm 

Other links on accounting fraud can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


How to Report Crime and Fraud

Accounting Fraud (including the Enron scandal on creative accounting) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

When you get a new suspect that sounds like consumer fraud, you probably should investigate it and/or report it to http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/ 

The FBI's Internet Fraud and Complaint Center (IFCC FBI)
To thwart fraud on the Internet and terror in general, check in and/or report to http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) --- Report security incidents here.
Located in the FBI's headquarters building in Washington, D.C., the NIPC brings together representatives from U.S. government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector in a partnership to protect our nation's critical infrastructures. 
http://www.nipc.gov/
  

(Added this week!)
When you are sent some rather surprising "facts" or find some rather surprising "facts," please investigate them before forwarding information that may be false and misleading.  At the purportal.com site,  users can search five of the most well-known sites dedicated to setting the record straight: Snopes Urban Legends Archive, About.com Urban Legends search, CIAC Hoax Database, CERT Computer Security Database, and Symantec (Real) Virus Encyclopedia. http://www.purportal.com/ 

One of our local television stations in San Antonio recommended the Private Citizen web site for reducing the amount of junk phone calls and junk mail that you would like to halt.  The Wall Street Journal has also recommended this web site. http://www.privatecitizen.com/

Bob Jensen's Threads on Accounting Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm

 


I received this advertisement by email. Can anybody send me information  good news and/or bad news about Capella?

Bob Jensen 
Email: rjensen@trinity.edu 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Capella University [mailto:capellauniv@e-mailprovider.net]  
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2001 8:56 AM 
To: rjensen@trinity.edu  
Subject: Passionate about teaching? Earn a Master's or PhD for your passion.

The following is vendor information on products and services which we hope is of interest to you. It is being sent to subscribers of Syllabus Magazine who have opted to receive such information. _______________________________________________

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Capella has taken a leading-edge approach to preparing education leaders and practitioners for the exciting challenges in education today. Whether you're a K-12 teacher, higher-education administrator or community college instructor, you will find our courses incorporate timely content that you can apply immediately to your profession.

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To learn more about how Capella University can help you continue to excel as an educator, visit: http://www.pinpointmedia.com/cap/syllabusoptin.htm  

 


A message from Barbara McCartney [bmccartn@metz.une.edu.au

Hi Bob

I am one of the ' interested sleepers' on the AECM listserve which is an excellent resource for those of us with a bit of GI (geographical isolation). You helped me a couple of years ago in getting an e-commerce course together and that course is pretty strong now.

I'm hoping you can also give a view on this: I've been working with a guy called Steve Smith from UWV and we decided to put together a page of links on cybercrime and I was wondering if I could get comment from the listserve before putting in the headers and making it really public.

The idea of the page is a resource page for educators - I'll be using it in my e-commerce course for example.

Anyway here it is and your view on whether it is suitable to go on the

listserve will be most valued. It works best in IE at this stage

http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~bmccartn/index.htm

Kind regards

Barbara

 


How to Report Crime and Fraud

Accounting Fraud (including the Enron scandal on creative accounting) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

When you get a new suspect that sounds like consumer fraud, you probably should investigate it and/or report it to http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/ 

The FBI's Internet Fraud and Complaint Center (IFCC FBI)
To thwart fraud on the Internet and terror in general, check in and/or report to http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) --- Report security incidents here.
Located in the FBI's headquarters building in Washington, D.C., the NIPC brings together representatives from U.S. government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector in a partnership to protect our nation's critical infrastructures. 
http://www.nipc.gov/
  

One of our local television stations in San Antonio recommended the Private Citizen web site for reducing the amount of junk phone calls and junk mail that you would like to halt.  The Wall Street Journal has also recommended this web site. http://www.privatecitizen.com/

 

Bob Jensen's Threads on Accounting Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm

 


My latest contribution to Accounting Information Systems

Document 1 (Introduction)
Document 1 contains an Overview and Timeline of OLAP, GML, SGML, HTML, XML, RDF, and XBRL at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm

WEB TIMELINE
Hypertext ---> PC ---> GUI,Mouse ---> GML,SGML --->Internet --->Hypermedia --->HTML,HTTP,WWW --->
DYNAMIC WEB TIMELINE                
CGI,Java,JavaScript,DHTML,ActiveX,ASP ---> XML --->RDF ---> OLAP ---> HBRL

Document 1 is especially devoted to a summary of online analytic processes (OLAP) and the eXtensible Business Language (XBRL).


Updates on Enrollments in Some Distance Education Programs

E-MBA at the University of Florida --- http://www.infowar.com/iwftp/edupage/00/Edupage,_September_10,_2001.shtml 

E-MBA PROGRAMS GRADUATE The first MBA graduates of the University of Florida, Gainesville, to take all of their classes online will get their degrees in December. At UF, the quality of the e-MBA is thought to be the same as the traditional, in-class degree. The same professors teach the classes, and the standards and admissions are the same as well. Most of the students in the online program enroll because they already have full-time jobs. Electronic MBAs have accreditation at UF; there is nothing to indicate whether an MBA is Internet-based. 
(Forbes Online, 30 August 2001)

Western Governors University --- http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0160.pdf 

Western Governors University already has its first Chancellor Emeritus and an enrollment of five hundred students.


Wow Sites of the Year

linkdup's set of links, news about links, and reviews of links is quite good --- http://www.linkdup.com/ 

This is a great place to start when you are looking for innovative Web site designs!

Bob Jensen's Favorite (it was overlooked by linkdup):
I have to admit that my favorite site design is the FedScope linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#OLAPextended 


Bad and Frustrating Website Designs

The Best and the Worst of Contingency Designs --- http://www.37signals.com/dnf/ 


Wow Innovation of the Week 

From InformationWeek Daily on December 3, 2001

** INNOVATION: Videoconferencing Gets Eyeballed

Imagine turning on the news and seeing the anchor look down at his or her script during the entire broadcast. "You'd tune out pretty quickly, wouldn't you?" asks Steve McNelley, a psychologist and co-founder of Digital Video Enterprises, a videoconferencing systems provider. The company, along with Microsoft and a handful of other startups, is tackling a problem that's hamstrung videoconferencing's popularity as a one-on-one communication tool: the inability of conference participants to look each other in the eye.

Eye contact is among the most important aspects of establishing trust, researchers and psychologists say. But most desktop videoconferencing systems position the camera above the monitor, making people appear to be looking down. Microsoft Research is fine-tuning a program that gathers data about the position of a person's head, eyes, and nose from the video stream of a camera placed under that person's monitor. The program then transposes the video image onto a 3-D computer-generated head that can be manipulated to appear as if it's looking into the camera, rather than over it. Microsoft hopes to incorporate the software into NetMeeting, its online Web-conferencing product. Microsoft is ironing out the kinks of the program, which can distort facial images, says Jim Gemmell, a Microsoft researcher.

Digital Video offers custom-built videoconferencing systems that use half-silvered mirrors to create the illusion of eye contact by aligning the camera with the images from the monitor. The mirror is placed in front of the camera at a forward-tilting angle, which lets it reflect the images from an upward-facing monitor positioned just below the camera. It works much like TelePrompTers used in television to feed lines to actors and anchors.

Digital Video is negotiating production and marketing deals for the system. - Alorie Gilbert

For more on videoconferencing, see Technology Brings Far-Flung Colleagues Together http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eFGg0BcUEY0V20ZlZ0AN 

 


Perhaps This Should Have Been the Wow Innovation of the Week

Apple's newest operating system sells for more than $100. The latest upgrade costs under $20. A couple of programmers discovered they could convert the upgrade into the full OS, and published the information --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48742,00.html 


Bob Blystone clued me in on this university registration crapshoot game link.

"God Doesn’t Play Dice, But the Registrar Does Choosing Classes Is Hard When You Don’t Know the Rules of the Game."  by Tim Sullivan, Georgetown University's The Hoya, August 31, 2001 --- http://www.thehoya.com/viewpoint/083101/view3.cfm 

Playing games is fun. The way I see it, there are few more relaxing and entertaining ways to spend a warm summer afternoon than with your friends or family and a scintillating board game. From tiddlywinks to Parcheesi to Operation, there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned game.

But no matter what game you’re playing, one universal rule applies: In order to succeed, you have to know the rules. Think about it — if you didn’t know the rules, you’d spend your days in a vain attempt to finish first in the Monopoly beauty pageant or angling to inherit a skunk farm.

I say this because I have been thinking a lot about how we students of Georgetown choose the classes we want to take and then register for the ones we don’t. The reason, I think, is fairly simple: Very few, if any, Georgetown undergraduates understand what they need to do to get the classes they want.

In short, we’re all playing a very, very important academic game, but under unpublished house rules that Georgetown established sometime around the Garfield administration.

For example, let’s say that as a junior English major, I want to take a 200-level English course. I indicate that it is my top priority during pre-registration in the proper manner, and don’t get into it. Now at the same time, a junior Culture and Politics major also pre-registers for the same English course, which counts for his or her major as well, and also lists it as his or her first priority. Murphy’s Law being what it is, my friend gets the course and I don’t.

Fine. I can handle losing a game by blowing a lay up or being out-thought by my opponent, but in this case, I just keep asking myself, “Why?” What mechanisms were in place that decided the outcome of this game?

So the questions I have for the university, and specifically the registrar’s office are these: How do you decide who gets what classes? Do seniors, as widely rumored, get preference over sophomores and juniors? If two majors claim the same class, who gets priority then? What are the tiebreakers? G.P.A.? School? Rank? Random chance? How much weight does the preference you give to a class hold? I could go on forever, but you get the gist: How does registration work?

This is, obviously, no trifling matter. The type and quality of the classes we take constitutes the bulk of what the degree we will leave here with will eventually mean.

But with a matter as serious as this, the solution is a relatively simple one: a modicum of transparency. Someone somewhere within this university must know how this behemoth process works. Somebody had to have written the computer program that makes these important decisions. Is it unreasonable to ask that the university share this information with the people it affects?

Publishing the method to this madness is one of many feasible steps that can be taken to improve the class selection and registration process. Every professor should be asked to post his or her syllabi online so prospective students can browse for classes before the hectic add-drop period. Academic departments need to do a better job updating their course description Web sites in time for pre-registration. The Registrar’s Web site should include a search or include a sort function that allows students to find classes that are still open after pre-registration or that fit into the time slots they have available after their other selections have been made.

None of these measures would be particularly difficult to implement, and the tangible benefits to students would be sizable to say the least.

You would think that the nation’s oldest Catholic university would be against gambling and games of chance, but to most people that is exactly what the scheduling process is — a crapshoot. The only difference is that in that game, when you win you get craps. In our game, that’s precisely how you describe your classes if you lose.

Tim Sullivan is a junior in the College and is a contributing editor, sports editor and member of the board of directors for The Hoya.


Tax Warning
Beware if the tax benefit of a donation is higher than the true market value,

The IRS warns taxpayers to watch out for charities that are clamoring for used car donations as the year winds down. The last month of the year is typically a busy time for charities to collect from taxpayers who hope to generate a year-end tax deduction. Find out how you can check to see if the charity is a bona fide tax-exempt organization, and get tips on valuing your vehicle. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/65397 


Key to career success:  Keep up with buzz words daily
BuzzWhack --- http://www.buzzwhack.com/ 


Wow Economics Paper of the Week (Knowledge, Learning, and Conditional Probabilities)
I received a copy from Skip McGoun [mcgoun@bucknell.edu
I think you can obtain a copy of the paper by contacting Skip at the email address above.  Skip sent along the following review by Chris Robinson. 

Hi Bob,

I think this paper is tremendously-important, and should make every one of us think more carefully about what we assume when we use the current finance "knowledge" in the classroom or in our own research.

 

As we accumulate more 'knowledge' in an area of science, we forget some of the earlier-acquired parts of that 'knowledge.' I put 'knowledge' in single quotation marks, because we only think we know; there exists no reality that is ultimately knowable, understandable and agreed upon by everyone. We forget the assumptions/beliefs/philosophies that underlie our 'knowledge.' In a more direct sense, we forget the specific choices about what to believe that subsequent 'knowledge' relies upon as its foundation. Such a process of forgetting is both natural, and necessary. If we are to remember every single foundational fact/assumption upon which our current understanding is built, and to recall it every time we try to think about something, we will think very slowly indeed!

As scientists, one of our important tasks is to continue to remember what went before, lest we fail to learn from it. The field of finance has placed very little value on remembering its own past, and particularly the choices that were made. For example, if Markowitz had chosen to work with semi-variance instead of variance, would we have a very different view of asset pricing models today? Everyone knows that alternative choice is perfectly reasonable and defensible, and yet we do not see any research today pursuing it.

Bob James takes us back to another seminal choice in finance and economics, the definition of conditional probability. Let me quote from his conclusion:

"Ironically, Samuelson's (1965) seminal article Proof That Properly Anticipated Prices Fluctuate Randomly and Malkiel's (1990) famous book A random walk down Wall Street may be among the most damaging publications in the efficient market literature. Samuelson's article led economists to believe that expectations follow martingales while Malkiel's book led the general population to believe that asset prices can follow random walks over time. Both martingales and random walks are stochastic processes that necessitate a fixed probability space. If Bayesians are correct and information affects probabilities, neither stochastic process is useful for describing expectations or asset prices."

Our belief in relatively efficient markets requires that we trust a large empirical literature showing prices change quickly in response to all public information. When we find a market that doesn't correspond to this belief, we call it inefficient. Of course no such model is perfect, and we acknowledge that there are a variety of "anomalies," but they don't affect our belief that we can use a conditional model to determine the efficiency of a market.

The problem that Bob James explains lies in the nature of the conditional probability. If the probability space itself is fixed, then we can rely on all the research of efficiency, leaving aside the issue of testing market efficiency and a return-generating model simultaneously. However, if every new observation isn't merely further evidence of the same process, but causes us to change our expectations for the distribution of the process, then none of this literature can tell us about efficiency. This Bayesian approach to statistics and probability theory has been around for a long time, but finance chose to take the fixed probability space road, presumably because it is easier to get neat results. Personally, I find Bob's arguments convincing, that Bayesian revisions to probability spaces are more likely to be the underlying behaviour of investors reacting to new information.

You could say that all Bob does is take us back to the future, since Keynes argued this long ago. That misses the point. We cannot continue to follow a path blindly, when we know the choice that put us on the path is not necessarily the best choice. If I could commission research to follow up Bob's paper, I would look in three directions:

-A redevelopment of the theoretical models in finance, using Bayesian probabilities for reaction to information. This is a very challenging task, and I have no idea where it would lead or if we can arrive at neat, compact models like the ones that currently dominate the finance field. For example, I have been wondering for a long time how valid it is for us to take a mean value of a time series of returns of asset classes for use in personal finance planning. If every period's drawing is from a different distribution, and investors react to the observations by adjusting their view of the future probability space, the way we analyze personal finance problems is not valid.

-A re-investigation of market efficiency using empirical tests that allow for Bayesian revisions of the probability space.

-A more direct investigation of investor beliefs to see how they form probabilities and whether they assume a fixed probability space or revise their estimate of the space with new information. Perhaps researchers in "behavioural finance" are already starting to address this third point.

Chris Robinson


From Syllabus News on December 4, 2001

UMass Lowell Trains Faculty Online in Distance Learning

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell has put on the Web the course it offers faculty to train them in developing online course materials. "What better way to have faculty understand the technology and the students' experience than to take an online course themselves?'' said Dean Jacqueline Moloney. The six-week online training pilot program will help 20 faculty adapt courses in a distance learning format and complete a course outline. The program will provide both technical and pedagogical skills development needed by faculty to migrate 10 courses online.

For more information, visit http://continuinged.uml.edu 


UCLA Report Pegs Internet Usage Up, E-Commerce Down

A UCLA study on the impact of the Internet shows that despite continued growth in usage, enthusiasm for electronic commerce is down, and concerns about online privacy and security remain steady. The study found that 72.3 percent of Americans have Internet access, up from 66.9 percent in 2000. Users go online an average of 9.8 hours per week, up from 9.4 hours in 2000. While Internet commerce remains strong -- 48.9 percent of Internet users purchased online in 2001 -- it is down from 50.7 percent in 2000. Jeffrey Cole, director of the university's Center for Communication Policy, said that "despite the dot-com meltdown, we found that the Internet is more vigorous than ever."

For more information, visit: http://www.ccp.ucla.edu 


SAP Funds Universities in E-Business Research

Eenterprise software developer SAP, Inc. has started a program to fund university e-business research projects. The company is currently committing more than $500,000 to fund three projects at colleges and universities, with additional research projects to be considered as the program progresses. The initial projects include "Realizing the Process Enterprise," at Carleton University, to study of the role of institutionalizing processes during enterprise system implementations; "E- Business Solutions to Border Control Challenges," at Rutgers University, a study of the information technology requirements for international trade; and "Adoption of Web-Based New Product Development Systems," at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a study of business-to-business product development.


Congratulations to Emory University:  New Doctoral Programs at a Prestigious University

We need these new programs. According to Page -3 of the Hasselback Accounting Faculty Directory 2002-2003, there were only 74 doctorates awarded in accountancy in the Year 2000. This is down from 200 in 1993.

Graig Waymire sent me a letter announcing a new doctoral programs in Accounting, Information Systems, and Marketing.  With the decline in the number of doctoral programs (for example Rice University dropped its accounting doctoral program) in the U.S. and the number of candidates in many existing programs, it is great to have a great university launch some new programs.

See http://goizueta.emory.edu/degree/phd.html 

It is not an easy decision. You have decided to go to a graduate school of business and to pursue a life of scholarship.You are seeking a doctoral program that does more than prepare you for a life’s work. You want intellectual stimulation, the opportunity to study and collaborate with motivated students and faculty who make a difference-scholars who are excited about the changes in our world and want to understand and shape the new forces at work in the economy.

One important goal of the Goizueta Business School is to educate the next generation of business academics-leaders whose research and teaching will influence future scholarship at the best business schools in the world. We want to prepare our doctoral students to conduct innovative and significant research, to publish in the top academic journals of their discipline, and to teach bright students effectively and passionately.

The School. Goizueta Business School has a collaborative environment in which faculty inspire students to ask important questions and to study new business phenomena. We are a small faculty. Our doctoral program is designed to be personal and individualized. Even though the program is organized into areas of specialization, it is designed to encourage scholarly exchanges and research collaboration across disciplines. We believe that disciplines grow intellectually at their edges.

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Emory’s Graduate School of Arts & Science offers training and research opportunities for students in 30 major fields of advanced study. Interdisciplinary graduate programs at Emory offer another level of opportunity for advanced study in emerging fields of inquiry. These competitive programs prepare graduates for careers ranging from college and university teaching to research and administration in the public and private sectors.

The University. Collaboration does not stop at the walls of the Goizueta Building. We believe doctoral education must be connected to the University as a whole, and that students should be exposed to contemporary thinking in multiple disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, political science, and statistics. It is our philosophy to encourage doctoral students to participate fully in the intellectual currents of Emory University by studying and collaborating with scholars in other fields and disciplines.

The City. And then there is the city of Atlanta, a vibrant laboratory for the new economy and home to the fourth largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the country. As the economic hub of the Southeast, the capital of the state of Georgia, and one of the fastest growing technology centers in the nation, Atlanta provides students with every opportunity to study current business problems and practices. We have close ties to the Atlanta business community, and our doctoral students are expected to take full advantage of the resources of the city in their research and education.

The school is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in any of three areas within the school.

· Accounting
· Information Systems
· Marketing

Students accepted into the program will commence full time studies in the Fall of 2002. A fourth area of concentration in Organization and Management will be offered beginning in the Fall of 2003 and a fifth area of concentration in Finance will be offered in the 2004-2005 academic year.

The curriculum combines doctoral coursework in the social sciences and quantitative methods, seminars on specific research topics, summer research experiences, and a dissertation.

The School’s Doctoral Studies Committee oversees the program and includes one tenured faculty member from each area of concentration. The Assistant Dean of Doctoral Studies chairs this committee, and together with the Ph.D. Coordinator, coordinates the day-to-day activities and curriculum of the Program.

For a list of FAQ on Ph.D. Use these links.

Continued at  http://goizueta.emory.edu/degree/phd.html 

Reply from a doctoral student in accounting

As a soon to be graduate, I can easily substantiate the assertions of David Fordham. I think the numbers at AAA were 255 posted positions and 62 posted resumes. Granted, I am sure there are more people looking for positions who, for reasons of confidentiality, did not list their resume. However, of the 255 positions listed many are for multiple positions. While I narrowed my list to six schools, those schools were actually interviewing for a total of 11 positions. As one whose resume was listed, I could easily have accepted 50 to 60 interviews at the convention, and I still get about one or two unsolicited emails every week.

On the other hand, my school has had very few inquiries and applications for the doctoral program.

While this is purely anecdotal, I can definitely say that the demand is there, and I am very happy about that.

Chuck Pier

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

I continue to be puzzled by the accreditation agencies' emphasis on doctorates. Why do they require the institutions to have minimums on the amount of "doctoral coverage" -- on the *fundamentals* classes?

I fully understand why you need some fairly heavy research credentials to teach advanced-level courses. I fully understand why you need to be active, dynamic, and devoting significant time to scholarly activity if you are teaching the top-tier material, material which requires demonstrable analytical skill, tons and tons of current, state-of-the-art knowledge, and a proven record of valid interpretation and application.

But why, oh why, do you need a doctorate to teach beginning business students the difference between revenue and expense?

These students aren't going to swim to the depths which would require their professor to be able to analyze last week's EITF details, refute last quarter's JAR lead article, or double-check last year's Horizons pieces for methodological errors. These students are struggling to understand what a bond premium is and how common stock differs from preferred stock. They aren't going to ask questions which require empirical studies of Black's CAP-M, time-series data-mining, orthogonal factor analysis, or a four-year longitudinal study of going-concern indicators.

Our accreditation team (we passed by the way!), complained about our only having 75% of our Principles sections covered by doctoral faculty. They want more doctoral faculty in those classes. Our two permanent, full-time non-doctoral professors are always, consistently, ranked in the top three or four faculty (out of 15) in the teaching ratings. Their students perform well in downstream courses. Why are we being asked to replace them with doctoral faculty when they are doing such a great job doing what we need them to be doing? How will merely having a doctorate help them do even better?

It is the accreditation agencies who are apparently driving the demand for Ph.D.'s.

And as long as our dean demands that we stay accredited, we will play the game and will continue to seek Ph.D.'s to fill our tenure-track positions. Once the accreditation agencies stop emphasizing the doctorates, then we will be more realistic and can hire more teachers like the Haydens, and like our own super-teachers Dinah Gottschalk and Kim Richardson.

David Fordham (another $0.02, once again...)


From the Scout Report on December 7, 2001

Re-envisioning the PhD http://www.grad.washington.edu/envision/ 

This new site, sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, is home to the Re- envisioning the PhD project, which is tasked with investigating change in doctoral education, in particular, helping to expand the career choices available to PhD students. In the Re-envisioning Project Resources section, visitors will find conference materials, recommendations from studies, summaries of interviews, a bibliography, career resources, and more. The Promising Practices section contains information on the different ways in which groups (universities, associations, organizations, and more) are responding to concerns about doctoral education. The other two main sections of the site, National/ International Resources and News and Updates contain links to even more resources, studies, current news, related projects, and more.

 


Toolkit to End Violence Against Women  http://toolkit.ncjrs.org/ 


Van Gogh and Gauguin (Art, Art History) --- http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/vangogh.html 


On occasion I forward informative advertisements (without receiving any fees).

Every once in a while, something comes along that is so unique and different that it warrants particular attention from accounting faculty. Case Music Store: Automatic Posting is such a product. It eliminates the frustration of dealing with the interface of general ledger packages where the emphasis is on the interface as opposed to the teaching of debits and credits.

Case Music Store: Automatic Posting is a computer-based accounting practice set which exposes students to a generic automatic posting system that can be used with any textbook. Case Music incorporates the most prominent features of commercially used general ledger packages and implements them into a unique learning environment suitable for principles, systems, or intermediate.

Case Music Store: Automatic Posting includes the following features:

--Digitized video tutorial that steps the students through the practice set --A self-grading feature: internal check figures hidden within the student software --Teacher grading program which can pinpoint the exact location of student error --Ability to print or view reports at any time --View the effects of each transaction immediately in reports --Generic - Adaptable to any textbook - Customizing ability --Proprietorship and corporate version --Multiple transaction sets --Approximate time to complete is 8-10 hours

Please contact Ivy Software for a complimentary desk copy.

Ivy Software (800) 342-5489 MailTo:IvyMail@IvySoftware.com 

On the web at http://www.ivysoftware.com 


Web Design Tools -- prana3 --- http://www.prana3.com/tools/ 

Welcome to prana3 Interactive Design's Web Tools. We are your central online source for quality Web design and development information, tools, guides, tutorials, links, free Web graphics and more.

Web Design Tools
Tools, references and links to help you design your Web site with HTML, CSS, Javascript, Photoshop, Flash and more!
HTML Resources
CGI Resources
JavaScript Resources
Photoshop Resources
Flash Resources
XML Resources
CSS Resources

Web Site Setup
Once you have built your Web site, how do you upload it to the World Wide Web? Links to register and host your Web site domain.
Choose and Register your Domain Name
Host your Web Site & Domain
Find an Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Web Site Promotion
How do you get the word out about your site? Tips, methods, links and more!

Tips for Promoting Your Site
META Tag Help Sheet
Links to Search Engines
Links to Directories

Web Site Usability
How usable and accessible is your site? Learn how to make your Web site available to a wider audience.
Usability Articles
Usability Tools
Usability Links

Free Graphics Archive
Free graphic elements for your Web site! Background images, buttons, banner templates and more!
Backgrounds
Buttons & Bars
Banners

Web Site Revenue
Use your Web site to make money! Methods of site revenue discussed here.

Site Advertising
Adserving Networks
Affiliate Marketing Programs
Accepting Credit Cards/ Merchant Accounts

Bob Jensen's helpers for authoring are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
Especially note http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 


A message from Richard Campbell on December 7, 2001

Below is a link to a presentation made with the new adding product for Powerpoint 2002 - Microsoft Producer. I didn't upload the sound files to my Windows Media server, but they play OK on my machine.

http://www.virtualpublishing.net/u4all_2/u4all_1a_files/default.htm 


Question:
A big-time consulting firm -- so big it has its own song -- doesn't like websites linking to it without permission. Naturally, this has spawned dozens of unauthorized links.  What firm is it?

Answer:

The answer is KPMG Consulting, but the answer is a little complicated.

"Big Stink Over a Simple Link," by Farhad Manjoo, Wired News, December 6, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48874,00.html 

KPMG, an international services firm, prides itself on its "e-business" savvy, and it charges companies boatloads to improve their "new economy" businesses.

But this week several website owners were wondering whether KPMG's Internet acumen was really worth anything at all, as it announced a policy that seemed to breach the most basic freedom on the Web -- the freedom to link to any site you want to.

In a letter to a consultant in Britain who runs a personal website that has not been especially nice to KPMG, the company said it had discovered a link on his site to www.kpmg.com, and that the website owner, Chris Raettig, should "please be aware such links require that a formal Agreement exist between our two parties, as mandated by our organization's Web Link Policy."

The letter added that Raettig should feel free to arrange this "Web Link Agreement" with KPMG, but that until he has done so, he should remove his link to the company's homepage. (The KPMG in question here is a tax and audit firm that is no longer affiliated with KPMG Consulting, the independent consulting firm at kpmgconsulting.com -- that firm has no "linking policy.")

Raettig is one of those digital-age 22-year-olds who know the Web inside out, and he's aware when he's being flimflammed. So he penned a nice no-thanks letter back to the company, saying that "my own organization's Web link policy requires no such formal agreement."

Raettig also stated the obvious big problem with KPMG's policy: "If every hyperlink used on the Web required parties at both sides of the link to enter into a formal agreement, I sincerely doubt that the Web would be in existence today."

Raettig posted his correspondence with KPMG on his online journal, and when others who run their own weblogs saw the item, they decided to have a little fun with KPMG. They linked to KPMG's site -- just like this -- to see what the company could do about it.

Within a day of Raettig's posting, several dozen sites were linking to KPMG's front page, according to Blogdex, a weblog indexing system. So many people visited Raettig's site that it was knocked offline for awhile, which he found "very amusing."

Tom Coates, who runs a weblog at plasticbag.org, said that KPMG was getting its just desserts. "On the Web, it's so easy for people to make a farce out of companies like this, and these communities are very strong and are prepared to say you're just dicking us around," he said. "It's not an environment where big companies can easily throw their weight around."

But George Ledwith, a KPMG spokesman, insisted the company wasn't trying to harass anyone, and was just "protecting its brand."

Asked if he was aware of the weblog backlash, he answered: "What we are aware of is that individuals and others link to our site without an agreement, and we have a Web policy clearly outlined."

The policy he refers to -- posted on the company's website -- states, "KPMG is obligated to protect its reputation and trademarks and KPMG reserves the right to request removal of any link to our website."

He said that this was not a new policy, nor was it unusual. "We easily sent hundreds of these letters over the past year," he said. Indeed, he wondered why this was considered newsworthy at all, as "many organizations do this."

And Ledwith is right -- others have tried to enforce linking rules. Last year, Ticketmaster alleged that a rival company, Tickets.com, was violating its copyright by linking to "deep" pages on its site -- that is, allowing people to bypass Ticketmaster's front page, where its most lucrative ads were located.

But Ticketmaster lost that bid. "Hyperlinking does not itself involve a violation of the Copyright Act," ruled U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp. "There is no deception in what is happening. This is analogous to using a library's card index to get reference to particular items, albeit faster and more efficiently."

KPMG is not saying that only "deep links" require approval, but that all links require its approval. Still, Ledwith was steadfast in his defense of the policy, saying that "our brand is an asset that deserves protection."

What exactly did Raettig do to KPMG to provoke its brand-protection instincts?

Ledwith insists it was merely his link to KPMG's site, but Raettig and others think the company got upset that Raettig has posted KPMG's theme song on his website.

KPMG's theme song? Yes, its theme song -- a several-minute long repetitive ditty called "Vision of Global Strategy."

Continued at http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48874,00.html 

Reply from Ed Scribner

Bob,

There are so many stars in the universe that there must be other planetary systems similar to hours; thus there must be other planets like ours. Likewise, there are so many web sites in the universe that there must be others with a no-link policy similar to that of KPMG Consulting, and they're probably lurking somewhere within the depths of your bookmarks! The rest of us on the list, therefore (and I am unanimous in this, to quote Mrs. Slocombe of 'Are You Being Served?'), retract our wholehearted support for BobWeb and disavow any knowledge of your actions.

Ed

oooo 
Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State


Signs (Art, Advertising, Marketing, History) --- http://www.pjchmiel.com/photo/signs.html 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for advertising and marketing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#022119Advertising%20and%20Marketing 


'Mujihadeen' Hackers Take Out US Government Sites, The Washington Post, November 30, 2001 --- http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/172582.html 

Two Web sites operated by the United States government were attacked Thursday by a group that threatened violence against Americans.

The hackers vandalized the home page of the NOAA Office of High Performance Computing and Communications, as well a Web server operated by the National Institute of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute, according to a mirror of the defacements captured by the Alldas defacement archive.

 

Both defaced pages bore the flag of Saudi Arabia and contained titles that read, in Urdu, "Allah is the greatest of all." At the bottom of the pages was a sentence that read in Urdu "Americans be prepared to die."

The hackers did not identify the name of their group but signed the pages "anonymous."

Officials from the two U.S. organizations were not immediately available for comment. Both Web sites, which were running the Apache Web server on the Linux operating system, were unreachable today.

In the message at the NIH site, the attackers called themselves "mujihadeens" and wrote "we are not hacker, we are just cyberterrorist." On the NOAA site, the group threatened "the greatest cyberterrorist attack against American government"

Separately, a Web site attacker from a group called World Of Hell today defaced a server operated by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC).

The home page of the Army's Waterways Experiment Station was replaced with the World of Hell logo and a taunting message that included greetings to numerous other defacers.

The attacker, who used the nickname Rivver, claimed to have obtained classified information that he threatened to distribute.

According to a copy of the original site cached at the Google search engine, the ERDC's mission is "to conceive, plan, study and execute engineering investigations and research and development studies in support of the civil and military missions of the Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies."

Among the groups listed in the "shoutz" section of the World of Hell defacement was GForce, a Pakistani hacking crew that recently formed the Al-Qaeda Alliance to attack Department of Defense sites. GForce defaced two military sites in October.

A mirror of the NOAA defacement is here: http://defaced.alldas.de/mirror/2001/11/29/hpcc.fsl.noaa.gov/ .

The NIH site defacement is mirrored at http://defaced.alldas.de/mirror/2001/11/30/snoop.nhgri.nih.gov/ .

The Army site defacement is mirrored at http://defaced.alldas.de/mirror/2001/11/30/www.wes.army.mil/ .

Reported by Newsbytes, http://www.newsbytes.com .

Bob Jensen's threads on terrorism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JusticeAppeal.htm 


From The Journal of Accountancy, December 2001, Page 21 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/dec2001/news_web.htm 

SMALL BUSINESS SITES

Business Resources
sites.krislyn.com

This home page is full of links to “strictly business sites” such as online associations and e-zines. Users can find industry-specific information on accounting, economics and investments, to name a few. The business plans section of the site offers a link to a bookstore where business people can find titles on writing and implementing their plans. Visitors also can link to freebieclub.com, which provides links to various discount and gratis promotional offers.

The Voice of Small Business
www.nfibonline.com

This National Federation of Independent Business site includes a tools and tips section with articles for small-business owners, such as “Six Ways to Keep Employees Safe on the Road,” “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep” and “A Checklist for Starting a Small Business.”

A Big Site for Small Companies
www.smallbusiness.com

Registration here is necessary but free and lets users seek advice from peers, share experiences and publicize their businesses with profile pages and listings in the site’s online directory. Linked articles of interest cover topics such as business planning, human resources, legal issues and raising capital. They are accompanied by smallbusiness.com’s own rating system on the article’s helpfulness.

Free Articles Here
businessbookpress.com

If you’re buying, selling or determining the value of your business, this Web site offers free articles on all three of those subjects. Titles include “Finding the Right Business to Buy” and “What Makes the Sale of a Business Fall Through?” There’s also an “Ask the Expert” message board to help users get answers to tough business questions.

Keep Up With Industry News
www.all-biz.com

This online resource center for small businesses groups its free articles by “business zones” or sectors such as advertising, communications, marketing and telecommunications. Registration is free and comes with a subscription to a newsletter that offers business tips and ideas.

Channel Surf Here
www.businesstown.com

Articles on business topics, a free newsletter and special offers on reference materials are available here. Channels include Internet, accounting and consulting. There’s no charge for a subscription.

Business Plan Preparation
www.businessplans.org

This Center for Business Planning site offers sample business plans, analyses of business strategies and sections on writing and evaluating business and marketing plans. The site also features links to other resources including a business directory and a glossary.

A Site for Survivors
www.business-survival.com

How-to articles, surveys and reports and an ask-the-experts section make up the bulk of the Small Business Survival Center. Articles are broken down by categories such as starting and running a business and dealing with technology. Titles include “10 Ways to Lower Your Computer Support Bills” and “Top 10 Deadly Small Business Mistakes.”

Solutions for Growing Businesses
www.entrepreneurmag.com

Users can access the current and archived electronic versions of Entrepreneur magazine, as well as BizStartups and HomeOfficemag, at this site. Visitors can get free subscriptions to e-newsletters and access to Entrepreneur’s annual guide of more than 400 start-up opportunities and the five-part guide, “How to Build a Business Plan.”

Help for Small Businesses
www.businessknowhow.com

Visitors here have access to sample business plans, classified ads, employment forms, model legal forms and business agreements. Articles and guidance are also offered on topics such as the Small Business Administration’s disaster-assistance program and generating traffic for your company’s Web site.

Bob Jensen's Small Business Bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#022119Small%20Business 


From The Journal of Accountancy, December 2001, Page 21 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/dec2001/news_web.htm 

For the Discerning Consumer
www.consumerreview.com

This site features product reviews written by the people who know these items best—the consumers who purchase and use them. All candid reviews have strengths, weaknesses and summaries of the products. Categories include auto, computer hardware, electronics, and home and garden. These are further broken down into item-specific sections like desktops, notebooks and personal digital assistants


Great Castles of Wales --- http://www.anzwers.org/free/castlewales/ 


Walking with Prehistoric Beasts - the Discovery Channel (History, Science, Paleontology) --- 
http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/beasts/beasts.html
 


"Tenure Status And Grade Inflation:  A Time Series Approach, by Stephen F. Gohmann and Myra J. McCrickard, Journal of the Academy of Business Education, Fall 2001, p. 1 (this journal is not online)

Abstract 
In this paper we examine the influence of the tenure decision on a faculty member's grading practices.  Some academics have argued that the pressure for tenure may influence faculty to lower grading standards in an attempt to influence students to give them better evaluations, thus increasing the chances of gaining tenure.  If this hypothesis holds, we would expect faculty to have inflated grade distributions as their tenure decision approaches.  However, other hypotheses exist to explain why untenured faculty may have inflated grade distributions relative to tenured faculty.  One in particular is that untenured faculty have less experience in evaluating students and tend to err on the side of lenient grades when a grade is borderline.  If this hypothesis is true, then we would expect a faculty member's grades to be lower over time.  We use cross-sectional time-series data to examine the impact of the approach and passing of the tenure decision on faculty members' grade distributions.  Our results indicate that faculty tend to give lower grades as the tenure decision approaches, thus supporting the hypothesis that over time faculty learn how to better distinguish among student performance.

The authors are both from The University of Louisville.  The study used data over an eight year period.


It's for the birds.
Operation Migration (Ecology, Science) http://www.operationmigration.org/ 


Top Ten Selling Books on AccountingWEB ---  http://www.accountingweb.com/item/63294 


  1. Creating Rainmakers: The Manager's Guide To Training Professionals To Attract New Clients

     

  2. Million Dollar Consulting, New and Updated Edition: The Professional's Guide to Growing a Practice

     

  3. Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, The Future of Professional Services

     

  4. How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients

     

  5. How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online

     

  6. Business by Referral: Sure Fire Way to Generate New Business

     

  7. How to Become a Rainmaker: The People Who Get and Keep Customers

     

  8. The I Hate Selling Book: Business-Building Advice for Consultants, Attorneys, Accountants, Engineers, Architects, and Other Professionals

     

  9. How to Maximize Fees in Professional Service Firms

  10. 422 Tax Deductions for Businesses & Self-Employed Individuals 3rd Ed.

 

Book Recommendation: First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

The authors expose the fallacies of standard management thinking. In seven chapters, the two consultants for the Gallup Organization debunk some dearly held notions about management, such as "Treat people as you like to be treated," "People are capable of almost anything," and "A manager's role is diminishing in today's economy." "Great managers are revolutionaries," the authors write. "This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place." http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684852861/accountingweb 


Books for Kids
Books of Wonder --- http://www.booksofwonder.com/ 


How to find books --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


The flurry of virulent e-mail worms that attack Outlook users can be prevented by a free patch on Microsoft's website. The problem: It's impossible to find and cumbersome to install --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48756,00.html 


Experience Thailand (Travel and Adventure) --- http://www.experiencethailand.com/ 


Marie's World Tour --- http://www.mariesworldtour.com/ 


2001 Antarctic Expedition --- http://www.biology.ucsc.edu/people/williams/antarctic/ 

Frozen Under (from National Geographic) --- 
http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/data/2001/12/01/sights_n_sounds/media.1.2.html
 

The United States and New Zealand are a world apart -- except on Antarctica, where their science bases are just a frozen hill away.  
"Where U.S., Kiwis Are Neighbors," by Kim Griggs, Wired News, December 6, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48617,00.html 


Rock and Rap
Paul's Boutique Samples and References List (Music?) http://www.moire.com/beastieboys/samples/ 


30 years of acclaimed printmaking and sculpture. (Art, Art History) --- http://www.nga.gov/gemini/ 


Berlin Mitte --- http://uinic.de/berlin-mitte/ 

An expedition through space and time in 260 photos.

The radical changes within Berlin Mitte over the past 10 years are presented from an artistic perspective. Maps of the locations photographed aid in orientation.


Question:
What are the search terms most frequently used in search engines?

Answer:
The Yahoo! Buzz Index --- http://buzz.yahoo.com/weekly /
The Buzz Index varies over time.  These are the hot ones this week.

Last Week Weeks
on Chart
1 3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 49
2 1 Xbox 7
3 4 Christmas 4
4 2 Nintendo Game Cube 5
5 - The Beatles 1
6 5 PlayStation 2 9
7 6 Britney Spears 49
8 7 Morpheus 25
9 - George Harrison 1
10 8 Dragon Ball Z 49
11 12 Lord of the Rings 6
12 10 National Football League 11
13 11 WWF 49
14 - Segway 1
15 17 NBA 6
16 22 Shakira 6
17 15 Linkin Park 21
18 9 Kazaa 21
19 18 Jennifer Lopez 49
20 16 The Sims 9
 

What has the "Jennifer Lopez" search phrase got that the phrase "Bob Jensen" is lacking?
Don't answer that!

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


From InformationWeek Daily on December 3, 2001

New Battle Begins Over File-Sharing Programs

The next battle between copyright owners and file-sharing programs has begun. A Dutch district court judge has ordered KaZaA in Amsterdam to block its users from swapping copyrighted music files or face fines of more than $40,000 a day. A similar order in the United States against file-sharing company Napster Inc. resulted in the company banning unapproved files and eventually suspending service. But KaZaA says it can't comply with the order, since the nature of its software makes it impossible to isolate users.

KaZaA, like its sister programs Morpheus and Grokster, is based on technology from the Dutch company FastTrack. Unlike Napster, which let users share music files through a directory that resided on its own computers, the FastTrack technology uses a distributed network, with no central servers to shut down or restrict. "It's not even clear to me that [the judge's] order is feasible," says Aram Sinnreich, analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix. "Unlike Napster, there's no centralized information server, so there's no switch you can flick to stop people from sharing."

Sinnreich says the new generation of distributed file-sharing programs may be beyond the scope of litigation. "It is possible for a copyright to be violated without there being a single individual or company responsible," he says. And technological solutions aren't any better. "The only way to stop it would be to monitor all consumer Internet activity, and that would be a clear violation of privacy." The solution, Sinnreich says, is for companies to attract consumers to a legal alternative by offering things such as guaranteed file quality, ease of use, and rapid transfers. "They need to build a better mouse trap," he says. "We don't see this as an impasse." - David M. Ewalt

Read on: What The Movie Industry Can Learn From Napster http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eFGg0BcUEY0V20bdF0A2 

Has RIAA Blown Royalties Issue Out Of Proportion? http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eFGg0BcUEY0V20bdG0A3 

Bob Jensen's P2P file sharing threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/napster.htm 


This computer consists of DNA molecules and lives in a test tube. It can't do much at all. But hey, it's a computer nonetheless --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48697,00.html 


WhatUDo (advice for sexually active teens) --- http://www.whatudo.org/ 


Ceil Pillsbury reminded me of the following article that deals, among other things, with use of Excel's pivot tables in financial reporting.  My tutorials on videos on pivot tables, including videos on how to use the pivot tables provided by Microsoft for analyzing its own financial statements and in forecasting performance are given in the following two sites:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm 

 http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm#Excel 

HOW MICROSOFT ADDS IT UP:  Accounting the Digital Way by Scott M. Boggs, Journal of Accountancy, May 1999 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/may1999/boggs.htm 
(An overview of Microsoft's FinWeb financial reporting database.)


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TECHNOLOGY IS dramatically changing the role of the financial professional from that of information recorder to business strategist—making the financial manager much more critical to the success of an enterprise.

TO KEEP PACE WITH these changes, the financial professional is expected to provide accurate and timely financial information that can be accessed and analyzed quickly and easily. While digital technology may make it easier to collect information and move it from one place to another, it also has led to an incredible proliferation of data. Filtering, sorting, compiling, analyzing and disseminating financial data in ways that add real value to a corporation has become a daunting challenge.

MICROSOFT CORP.—with 54 financial groups charged with providing financial support to more than 85 global subsidiary operations—has struggled with these challenges. Its answer is the financial “digital nervous system,” an intranet-based environment that links all of the company’s financial groups into a single, coherent system and provides its employees with real-time access to information and financial reports through the Internet.

FIVE YEARS AGO, it took Microsoft two weeks to close the books. Now it takes four days. The company used to print and distribute 350,000 hard-copy management reports each year. Today, none. Through FinWeb, a network of intranet sites, its employees can submit travel-expense reports and be reimbursed, purchase goods and services and transfer capital assets—all from their desktops. They’ve reduced paperwork, transaction time and publishing and distribution costs.

IT’S POSSIBLE for any of its employees who need financial information for decision making to access detailed reports that are updated daily. The financial system lets people drill down through layers of information to get answers—quickly, easily and without computer programming skills. None of the technology used to achieve the objectives is beyond the reach of any organization—large or small.

AS A RESULT, the company is able to achieve something finance organizations strive for: the ability to add more value at the strategic end of the business and spend less time processing transactions.

SCOTT M. BOGGS, CPA, is Microsoft’s corporate controller. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent eight years with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells as a manager in the emerging business services group.

 


Question:
What is the most important international tax issue?

Answer:
E&Y: Transfer Pricing Most Important Int'l Tax Issue --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31918.xml 

NEW YORK, November 29, 2001 — While an overwhelming majority of multinational corporations (MNCs) continue to rank transfer pricing as the most important international tax issue, most companies "are losing out on opportunities arising from proactive transfer pricing management of post merger integrations, e-commerce and intellectual property," according to a new survey released by Ernst & Young LLP.

Eighty-five percent of the tax and finance directors responding to the 2001 Ernst & Young Transfer Pricing Global Survey rank transfer pricing as their most important current international tax issue.

Transfer pricing involves the price at which transactions between units of multinational companies take place, including the inter-company transfer of goods, property, services, loans and leases.

"MNCs are missing opportunities to build shareholder value by not integrating transfer pricing up front in strategic business actions -- including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, e-commerce and intellectual property management," warns John Hobster, CEO of Global Transfer Pricing Services of Ernst & Young, adding that "there are encouraging signs that the most progressive companies are beginning to understand how transfer pricing can impact every phase of their business operations."

The Ernst & Young survey found that only 29 percent of corporate parents consider transfer pricing as part of their strategic corporate planning.

"Failing to integrate transfer pricing policies in the case of mergers and acquisitions is alarmingly common," said Hobster. "Half of all companies that reported a merger or acquisition in the last two years simply applied the dominant company's transfer pricing methodology, and 23 percent allowed multiple systems to continue. This increases their risk of being taxed on the same profits twice, and falls short of "best of class" behavior to harness the opportunities presented by such events."

While e-commerce transactions across borders continue to grow, two-thirds of parent companies and half of subsidiaries surveyed by Ernst & Young do not consider the transfer pricing issues related to their e-commerce activities, and only one-fourth of parent companies expect the impact of e-commerce to become significant to transfer pricing planning.

"Less than 30 percent of companies consider the transfer pricing-related issues around e-commerce, despite the fact that in many industries, the development of e-commerce is a major value enhancer," said Hobster.

Management of intellectual property has been relegated to tracking and registering, not tax-efficient exploitation, according to the survey, which found that there is no widespread clear and coherent adoption of IP management strategies that will optimize operating outcomes, minimize tax costs, or satisfy tax authority inquiries.

"Simply 'managing' a company's IP does not equate to responsible planning," said Bob Ackerman, Co-Director of Ernst and Young's Americas Transfer Pricing Practice. "Failure to integrate business and tax strategies in the IP arena leads to poor operating outcomes and overpayment of tax."

The survey also revealed an increased zeal on the part of enforcement agencies combined with a heightened capability to do their job. This is reflected in transfer pricing audits, which are a major issue for companies around the globe, with nearly two-thirds of respondents reporting having suffered a transfer pricing audit somewhere in their organization in the past two years.

"In addition, transfer pricing audits are generating more adjustments now than in 1999 at the time of the last Ernst & Young Transfer Pricing Survey," said Ackerman. "Adjustments are most prevalent in the field of technical and management services."

The survey also addressed the debate over the need -- or not -- for complete alignment of transfer prices for both tax and management purposes. It found that 77 percent of MNC parents use the same set of transfer prices for both tax and management purposes.

According to Ackerman, "This runs counter to the conventional wisdom that companies tend to favor separate systems for tax and management purposes. We believe that the two views can be reconciled. First, we found that a majority of companies use the same set of transfer prices for tax and management purposes. This is the case because it is too complicated and too confusing to maintain multiple sets of books."

Of those using the same transfer price, 52 percent use a compromise between satisfying tax requirements and achieving management/operational objectives. And among those using different transfer prices for tax and management purposes, 49 percent start with the operational transfer prices, which they modify for tax purposes.

"While every MNC is different, in our experience, compromise systems rarely succeed. Operations are often only partially motivated, pointing to transfer pricing restrictions outside their control. Transfer pricing systems are often a calculated risk--meeting some regulatory requirements, but not all," said Hobster.


Link forwarded by Patrick Charles

"New Study Explains Why Tax Harmonization Threatens America's Competitive Advantage In Global Economy," Center for Freedom and Prosperity, November 27, 2001 --- http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/press/p11-27-01/p11-27-01.shtml 


Dear Professor Jensen,

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is now working with almost 200 campuses and twenty-some scholarly and professional societies. One aspect of that work is to encourage and support activities that "go public." In that spirit, I'm pleased to send along in this posting information about two upcoming conferences.

The first, at Rockhurst University this coming spring, aims at exploring disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) styles in the scholarship of teaching and learning. It builds on a forthcoming volume edited by Mary Taylor Huber and Sherwyn Morreale, which will soon be available from the American Association for Higher Education--Carnegie's partner in CASTL.

The second, at Illinois State University next summer, focuses on "mission, values and identity" at Research Intensive institutions, and includes attention to the scholarship of teaching and learning in such settings. You may also be interested to know that Illinois State recently announced the Cross Endowed Chair for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning--a great idea and a generous gift from K. Patricia Cross, whose work has taught us all so much about how students learn.

Thanks for your interest in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

-- Pat Hutchings


A message from Bill Schwartz

ADVANCES IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION is now going to accept manuscript submissions only by email attachment. Please send the manuscript in two files prepared in WORD; one with the manuscript but not a cover page and a second with the cover page only. In addition, mail one hard copy with a submission check by regular mail. Continue to send empirical manuscripts to Professor J. Edward Ketz ( k55@psu.edu)  and non empirical manuscripts to Bill Schwartz ( bschwart@iusb.edu ).


A message from Ed Scribner at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces

Bob--You inspired me to send a brief note of encouragement to our accounting students, which I forwarded to some alumni. Here's a thoughtful response from one of them.

Ed

Raymond Bachert wrote:

 Hi Ed, good job! In my experience in industry I couldn't agree more. I  work with SAP, the largest ERP Company in the world, and MS, the largest  software company; and in my experience what you say is absolutely true.  In industry most of the manual tasks of "bookkeeping" are virtually  eliminated with EDI, the web and other forms of automation. The key to  being successful in this environment is to have high quality folks  that understand business problems and the proper application of  accounting principles to new situations.  

While at NMSU I recall there being some discussion about preparing  students to pass the CPA exam vs. preparing them to understand the  principles of accounting. The later was chosen and I think this is  absolutely the right course of learning for new business professionals.  

Industry is very competitive and the time to make changes is smaller than  ever. The key is competent, reliable professionals working with  integrity. In my experience, companies that don't have this go out of  business. The application of technology only makes this process happen  in a more spectacular way.  

Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.  
Best regards, 
Ray Bachert  

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ed Scribner [mailto:escribne@NMSU.Edu]  
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 8:59 AM 
Subject: Encouragement  

Dear Alumni and Friends,   FYI, here's a copy of a message recently sent to our accounting student  listserv:  

Dear Accounting Students,   I hope you're following the Enron scandal in the business news. There  are some severe accounting problems, among other problems at Enron, that  might discourage you about the profession. Remember, though, that these  problems only underscore the need for competent, reliable information  professionals working with integrity to make sure such occurrences are  minimized. These are the kinds of professionals the employers  consistently tell us are coming out of New Mexico State.

Hang in there!  

Ed Scribner 
Accounting & BCS, NMSU

Bob Jensen's commentaries on the Enron mess are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


The anticipated collapse of Enron will have a weighty impact on the struggling business of bandwidth trading, which the energy firm helped create at the height of the Internet boom --- http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,48732,1162b6a.html 


I see that none of you nominated Bob Jensen! 

TIME's 2001 Global Influentials --- http://www.time.com/time/2001/influentials/ 


It appears that Camstudio has a freeware video screen capture system that competes with the non-freeware Camtasia (that I love) for capturing computer screen activity in to video.  The Camstudio software lacks many of the great features of Camtasia, especially the feature that allows for conversion of the AVI files into RealMedia Files (to both save space and avoid having to download a special player for playback).

Hi Bob,

We would like to introduce our new freeware which can record screen activity into standard AVI movie files. It is an ideal tool for developing videos to demonstrate features of a new software, for creating movies used in user training or any other task that requires the capture of desktop activity.

The program is easy to use, and you can select an area or full desktop for recording. You can adjust the video quality settings to reduce file size, use custom cursors and add a soundtrack through your microphone.

[Name and version of app ] 
CamStudio 1.1

[Link to homepage of app] http://www.atomixbuttons.com/vsc 

[System requirements] Microsoft Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000 or later. 400 MHz processor . 64 MB RAM 4 MB of hard-disk space for program installation.

[Download link] http://www.atomixbuttons.com/vsc/setup.exe 

RenderSoft Software [jupboo@pacific.net.sg

The FAQ site has a nice explanation of hardware acceleration problems that can arise when playing back any AVI files on newer computers --- http://www.atomixbuttons.com/vsc/ 

When I play back a full-screen AVI file using Windows Media Player by double clicking it, the text and graphics becomes blurred.

There are two main reasons for the movie being blurred.

One is that you are using Windows Media Player to play back a movie that has a frame size that is as big or bigger than the screen. 

In this case, Windows Media Player will shrink the picture to fit it on the screen. This cause the  text and graphics to be blurry. To view the movie in full quality, you will need to switch Windows Media Player to full screen playback, or switch your monitor to a higher resolution .

You may also record a smaller region to avoid this problem. Otherwise you may need to use the Movie Player software that is distributed with the CamStudio package to playback the movie.

Another reason for the cause of the unclear image is the use of Lossy Codec as your compressor. This means the compressor will degrade the quality of your picture to reduce the size of your AVI file.

To remedy this, you may either set the Quality settings in Video Options to a higher value, or use a Lossless Codec for your compressor (e.g Microsoft RLE is a lossless codec that is available only in the display mode of 256 colors).


When I press the F9 key to stop the recorder when the program is minimized, the save dialog does not appear.


Try minimizing all other windows on your desktop. The save dialog window is probably hidden behind them.


Can I use the AVI files recorded with CamStudio for commercial purposes ?


Yes, of course. The AVI files created with CamStudio may be used for any purposes, including commercial purposes. You may sell your recorded .AVI files or charge users for products that include those AVIs.



How come when I try to record something playing in Windows Media Player (or Real Player or Apple QuickTime), it comes out blank?


This is because hardware acceleration is being used in these players. You may want to disable hardware acceleration in these players :

Windows Media Player 7:
Choose Tools:Options (and select the Performance tab). Set the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.

Windows Media Player 6.4 and earlier:
Choose View: Options : Playback. Set the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.

Apple QuickTime:
Choose Edit : Preferences : Streaming Transport. Select Video Settings in the combobox and uncheck all DirectDraw options.

RealPlayer G2:
Choose Options/Preferences (and select the Performance tab). Uncheck the "Use Optimized Video Display" setting.

Disabling Hardware Acceleration System Wide
Another solution is to disable hardware acceleration for your whole system.

To do this on Windows 2000, go to the Control Panel, choose Display : Properties : Settings : Advanced : Troubleshooting. Set the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.

For other versions of Windows, go to the Control Panel, choose System, (and under the performance tab), choose Graphics : Advanced. Set the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.



When I record my DVD player, the output is blank.


DVD players usually require hardware acceleration to run. You may not be able to capture movies from your DVD player.



My Win 2000 system freezes when I record with CamStudio.


Try turning off system wide hardware acceleration and reducing the input frame rate of CamStudio.

Turning off system wide hardware acceleration :
Please read FAQ above on how to go about in disabling system wide hardware acceleration.

Reducing Frame Rate:
In CamStudio, go to Options : Video Options and increase the value of "Capture Frames Every __ milliseconds"



When I click the Record button, I get an "Error Creating AVI file" message.


Try going to Options : Video Options, and select a different compressor.



I am recording a game with its sound effects and music. The video comes out fine but how come the audio is missing ?


CamStudio 1.1 can only record audio from the microphone. If you need to record the audio playing in the speakers, one suggestion is to place your microphone near your speakers.


How can I optimize the video settings to get the best results ? Can you suggest a good video setting ?


One setting which gives very good frame rates is to use 256 color display mode with MS RLE as Compressor.

Futhermore, in Options: Video Options

In general, you should adjust the Set Key Frames Every and Playback Rate to be equal 1000/Capture Frame Every. For example, if Capture Frame Every is 5, then the Playback Rate should be 1000/5 = 200.

However, if you are creating a time-lapse movie, (in which your Capture Frame Every is a very large value), you may want to set the Playback Rate to be around 20 to 30 frames/second.



I have fininshed recording with CamStudio and would like to trim/cut some of the frames in the AVI. Are there any freeware video editors that can do this?


VirtualDub is a great freeware video editor for editing AVIs. Download it at http://www.virtualdub.org/index



I am trying to record a DOS application by switching to it from Windows, and it seems to be impossible as all I get is some sort of fuzzy stuff in the playback.


CamStudio cannot record your DOS application when it is running in full screen DOS mode. Try recording your DOS application in windowed mode.

You can make your full-screen DOS application into a window by pressing CTRL-ESC when you are in DOS mode. This will return you to the Windows screen. If you look at the task-bar, you will notice a new item "MS-DOS prompt". By right-clicking on this item, and selecting Properties, a dialog box will be displayed. Choose the Screen tab and under Usage, select Window and click "OK". Your DOS screen will now become a window. You can start recording from here and the output should be fine.



Does CamStudio record DirectX, OpenGL applications and special windows such as the Office Assistant in MS Word?


This actually depends on your system. For most cases, CamStudio should be able to record DirectX and OpenGL programs if they are running in windowed mode rather than full-screen mode.

( I successfully recorded the Office Assistant in one computer running Win Me, but could not do so in another with Win 2000 installed. )



I need to save in the QuickTime or Mpeg format. How can I do that with CamStudio ?

CamStudio does not save videos in the QuickTime or Mpeg movie format directly. You will need third party software to do the conversion.

For Quicktime movies, you may use QuickTime Pro from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/.

For Mpeg, there is a free AVI to MPEG converter on the internet.   Click here for free AVI to MPEG1 converter




How can I convert AVI files to Windows Media files (.ASF  .WMV) for streaming on the Internet.

You may use the free Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 7 to convert AVI files to ASF or WMV format.

Windows Media Encoder is available without charge at:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/en/wm7/encoder.html



When I record a large window, the computer becomes very slow. How can I capture a large window fast enough?

Capturing a large frame and compressing it are time-intensive operations. Your computer may not be fast able to handle such frame rates at these sizes.

You can try to



I have downloaded your source code and found them very interesting. Would you tell me how the function XXX in file YYY works ?

Please do not direct technical questions related to the source code to us.



I am a programmer. How can I implement the feature of adding text/graphics overlay into the movie ?

You may want take a look at the functions

captureScreenFrame
InsertHighLight


in the file vscapView.cpp of the source code to see how we implemented the drawing of highlights into a frame of the AVI movie. The addition of text/graphics overlay should be very similar.

Bob Jensen's threads and a video tutorial can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 




 


Fun for Kids on the Computer
Build a Snowman --- http://www.funone.com/1new/11/snowman2/index.html 
Drag the parts to the plain snow balls.

Maybe this isn't accounting, but on the side you can assign standard costs of components and actual costs of components and then solve for the standard cost variances.  But who wants to do this?  Just have some fun at this site.


 




Forwarded by Bob Overn

If you like to drink BEER (or if you don't) here is an interesting math exercise:

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have a beer (try for more than once but less than 10, girls can substitute their favorite drink)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (Just to be bold)

3. Add 5. (for Friday Night)

4. Multiply it by 50. I'll wait while you get the calculator................

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1751.... If you haven't, add 1750 ..........

6. Now subtract ! the four digit year that you were born. (if you remember)

You should have a three digit number

Now here's the kicker!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you Ready???????????????

The first digit of this was your original number! (i.e., how many times you want to have a beer each week).

The next two numbers are your age.

IMPRESSIVE ISN'T IT?

(2001 IS THE ONLY YEAR THIS WILL EVER WORK, ISN'T THAT INTERESTING)

BOB


Forwarded by Dick Haar

Subject: Taliban vs. Texas

A large group of Taliban soldiers are moving down a road when they hear a voice call from behind a sand-dune. "One Texas soldier is better than ten Taliban".

The Taliban commander quickly sends 10 of his best soldiers over the dune whereupon a gun-battle breaks out and continues for a few minutes, then silence.

The voice then calls out "One Texan is better than one hundred Taliban".

Furious, the Taliban commander sends his next best 100 troops over the dune and instantly a huge gunfight commences. After 10 minutes of battle, again silence.

The Texan voice calls out again "One Texan is better than one thousand Taliban".

The enraged Taliban Commander musters one thousand fighters and sends them across the dune. Cannon, rocket and machine gun fire ring out as a huge battle is fought. Then silence. Eventually one wounded Taliban fighter crawls back over the dune and with his dying words tells his commander,

"Don't send any more men, its a trap. There's actually two of them."


The friend who sent me this does not live in Rhode Island.

When you're from Texas, people that you meet ask you questions like, 
"Do you have any cows?" 
It's nice to
be able to say yes. 

They ask you, "Do you have
horses?" 
Yup. 

"Bet you got a bunch of guns, eh?"

Of course. They all want to know if you've been to Southfork.  They watched the TV show called Dallas.

Have you ever looked at a map of the world? Hell yes you have. Look at Texas for me just for a second.  That picture, with the Panhandle and the Gulf Coast, and the Red River and the Rio Grande is as much a part of you as anything ever will be. As soon as anyone anywhere in the world looks at it they know what it is. It's Texas.

Pick any kid off the street in Japan and draw him a picture of Texas in the dirt and he'll know what it is. What happens if I show you a picture of any other state? You'll get it maybe after a minute or two, but who else would? Even if you do, does it ever stir any feelings in you?

In every man, woman and child on this little rock the Good Lord put us on, there is somewhere in them a person who wishes just once he could be a real live  Texan and get up on a horse or ride in a pickup.

Did you ever hear anyone in a bar go, "Wow... so you're from Ok-la-homa. Cool. Tell me about it?!"
( I don't think so )

There is some bit of Texas in everyone. Do you know why? Because Texas is Texas.

Texas is the Alamo. Texas is 183 men standing in a church, facing thousands of Mexican nationals, fighting for freedom, who had the chance to walk out and save themselves, but stayed. They stayed to change the name of Tejas to TEXAS...

We send our kids to schools named William B. Travis and Bowie and do you know why? Because those men saw a line in the sand and they decided to be heroes. John Wayne paid to do the movie himself.

That is Texas.

Texas is Sam Houston capturing Santa Anna at San Jacinto.
Texas is Juneteenth and Texas Independence Day.
Texas is huge forests of Piney Woods like the Davy Crockett National Forest.
Texas is breathtaking mountains in Big Bend.
Texas is shiny skyscrapers in Houston and Dallas.
Texas is world record bass from places like Lake Fork.

Texas is mexican food like nowhere in the world, even Mexico.
Texas is larger-than-life legends like Willie Nelson and Buddy Holly, Earl Campbell and Nolan Ryan, Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey, Lyndon Johnson and George Bush.
Texas is great companies like Dell Computer and Texas Instruments.
Texas is insurance companies and oil companies.
Texas is huge herds of cattle and miles of crops.
Texas is skies blackened with doves and leases full of deer.
Texas is a place where towns shut down for Friday night football and the streets are deserted.
Texas is beaches and deserts, lakes and rivers, mountains and prairies.

If it isn't in Texas, you don't need it. No one does anything bigger or better.

By federal law, Texas is the only state in the U.S. that can fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. flag. Think about that for a second. You fly the Stars and Stripes at 20 feet in Maryland, or California, or Maine, and your state flag, whatever it is, goes at 17. You fly the Stars and Stripes in front of Pine Tree High in Longview at 20 feet, the Lone Star flies at 20 feet.

Do you know why? Because we place being a Texan as high as being an American down here.

Our capitol is the only one in the country that is taller than the capitol building in Washington, D. C.
We signed those in as part of the deal when we came on. That's the best part right there.
WHEN WE CAME ON.

Texas was its own country. The Republic of Texas.
Every time I think of that I tear up. All of this makes you proud to be a Texan.

 


Forwarded by Brent and Betty Carper (and rewarded slightly by Bob Jensen to put it into his Scandinavian roots)

In an apparent copycat terrorist act, Norwegian terrorists Knute Jenson and Ollie Olson have hijacked the Viking's Goodyear blimp.

So far they have bounced off five buildings in Stockholm. Stay tuned for further developments!


Forwarded by Brent and Betty Carper

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, "I love you", mean it.

FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

TWENTY ONE. Spend some time alone. You just may learn something about yourself

 

To this I might add TWENTY TWO
Dish out the choicest delights as often and as plentiful as possible.  Whatever you dish out, you will receive more of  in return  somewhere at sometime when you least expect it.



And that's the way it was on December 10, 2001 with a little help from my friends.

 

In March 2000, Forbes named AccountantsWorld.com as the Best Website on the Web --- http://accountantsworld.com/.
Some top accountancy links --- http://accountantsworld.com/category.asp?id=Accounting

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 

 

Another leading accounting site is AccountingEducation.com at http://www.accountingeducation.com/ 

 

Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at http://www.iasplus.com/

 

How stuff works --- http://www.howstuffworks.com/ 

 

Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/ 
Accompanying documentation can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default1.htm and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

 

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

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December 3, 2001


Quotes of the Week

The ultimate fate of any profession lies not in its rules, regulations, and controls. The fate lies in the will and dedication of the majority of people who serve in that profession --- the honest cops, the devoted doctors, the dedicated professors, the faithful clergy, and the ardent auditors.
This is the concluding paragraph in a recent message sent to my graduate students in accounting.  (See below)

Our enemies make us stronger.
Our friends make us forgiving.

I made this up, although I'm certain that these thoughts have been repeatedly written down in various forms.

My wife, Erika, requested that I quote the lyrics of one of her favorite songs.  It is fitting for the world in these troubled times.  I should add that I cannot recall a single fight between us.  Hence, her interest in this song must be on a broader scale.

The Way Old Friends Do --- http://members.fortunecity.com/abbalink/songs/lyrics/twofd.htm 

You and I can share the silence 
Finding comfort together 
The way old friends do

And after fights and words of violence 
We make up with each other 
The way old friends do

Times of joy and times of sorrow 
We will always see it through 
Oh I don't care what comes tomorrow 
We can face it Together 
The way old friends do

You and I can share the silence 
Finding comfort together the way old friends do 
And after fights and words of violence 
We make up with each other the way old friends do 

Times of joy and times of sorrow 
We will always see it through 
Oh I don't care what comes tomorrow 
We can face it together the way old friends do

We can face it together the way old friends do




I created a timeline of major happenings (on a timeline) leading up to the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and On Line Analytical Process (OLAP) systems.  Overviews of XML, VoiceXML, XLink, XHTML, XBRL, XForm, XSLT, RDF and the Semantic Web are also provided --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm


Researchers at Yale and the University of Michigan have spent two years developing a new test to assess business school candidates. The Successful Intelligence Assessment (SIA) test is not expected to replace the GMAT any time soon, but may be offered as a supplement to the GMAT. The SIA test assesses an applicant's potential for business success. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/64980 


Wow Technology of the Week

"Water drop holds a trillion computers Devices with DNA:   Software may one day be fitted into cells," by John Whitfield, Nature, November 22, 2001 --- http://www.nature.com/nsu/011122/011122-11.html 

If you wear the right glasses, a lot of what you see inside the cell is computation," says Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. Now Shapiro and his colleagues have turned the computational power of biological molecules to their own ends1.

The researchers have built a machine that solves mathematical problems using DNA as software and enzymes as hardware. A trillion such biomolecular machines - working at more than 99.8% accuracy - can fit into a drop of water.

Computers with DNA input and output have been made before, but they involved a laborious series of reactions, each needing human supervision. The new automaton requires only the right molecular mix.

It's too early to say whether biomolecular nanomachines will ever become practical. Optimists, including the new machine's inventors, envision them screening libraries of DNA sequences, or even lurking inside cells where they would watch for trouble or synthesize drugs.

The new invention is "an interesting proof of principle", says Martyn Amos, a bioinformatics researcher at the University of Liverpool, UK. Amos questions whether molecular automata could ever do anything complex enough to be useful, but thinks they may find applications inside cells.

"DNA computing needs to establish its own niche, and I don't think that lies in competing with traditional silicon devices," says Amos. Biological computers would be better suited to biological problems, such as sensors within organisms or drug delivery, he believes.

Continued at http://www.nature.com/nsu/011122/011122-11.html 


Cash Flow Versus Fair Value Hedges

-----Original Message----- 
From: hy hy [mailto:hy_5000@hotmail.com]  
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2001 5:04 AM 
To: rjensen@trinity.edu  
Subject: Fair Value >< Cash Flow Hedge

Dear Mr. Jensen. 

I would like to introduce my self, my name is Hery Yanto, I'm a student at Catholik University of Atma Jaya Jakarta, Indonesia. I would like to asking you about derivative, could you please answer my question since I'm interested to know about derivative. 

I would be very grateful if you want answer my questions below. Thank you.

Regards,

Hery Yanto

QUESTION 1
What the different between fair value and cash flow hedge?

*************************************************************** 
Bob Jensen's Reply to Question 1
If a bond pays a fixed (coupon) rate of 12% semi-annually on a face value of $1,000, then the cash flows are fixed at $60 every six months. The cash flows do not vary, but the market value of the bond will fluctuate daily with changes in interest rates. A fair value hedge would fix the value of the bond at a contracted amount (such as $990) but the combined cash flow of the hedged item (the bond) and the hedge would then be variable and no longer fixed at $60 every six months.

If a bond pays a variable rate semi-annualy on a face value of $1,000, the market value is fixed at a given level (such as $990) but the bond's semi-annual cash flows will vary with interest rates. A cash flow hedge will freeze the bond interest payments at a fixed level (such as $60) but the fair value of the bond plus the fair value of the hedge will vary.

The point is that hedged items having fair value risk and not cash flow risk can be hedged for fair value, but the hedge will create cash flow risk that did not exist before the hedge. Conversely, hedged items having cash flow risk but no fair value risk can be hedged for cash flow risk, but the fair value of the hedged item plus the hedge will now vary with interest rates.

***************************************************************

QUESTION 2 
If I'm entered into forward currency contract, to exchange USD 1 with AUD 2 in the specific date in the future, is it a cash flow hedge or fair value hedge. (I have loan in AUD currency and it will due on the same date with the contract)

*************************************************************** Bob Jensen's Reply

Bob Jensen's Reply to Question 2
Actually, you have foreign exchange (FX) risk that is best not viewed as cash flow or fair value risk. If your expiring forward contract gives you AUD 2 for USD 1 at time when the currency market is such that you could have received AUD 2.1 for only USD 1 without such a forward contract, then you have in a sense had an opportunity cash flow loss of AUD 0.1 due to your hedge.  However, your hedge also allowed you to sleep nights knowing that you would receive AUD 2 for each USD 1 no matter what happened in the FX currency markets.

Now consider the case where you must purchase a gallon of fuel at an unknown USD price in six months. Suppose the current price of a gallon of fuel is USD 1. Your FX hedge of USD 1 for AUD 2 does not hedge the price of the fuel. To hedge the price of fuel, you must instead enter into a fuel price hedge in U.S. dollars. The only thing your FX hedges against is the risk that in six months, AUD 2 will not get at least US 1 due to a decline in the AUD exchange rate. The USD 1 that you get for AUD 2 may or may not buy an exact gallon of fuel, depending upon what the price of that fuel becomes after six months.  In other words, your FX hedge did not hedge the price of fuel.

One of the best documents the FASB generated for FAS 133 implementation is called "Summary of Derivative Types."  This document also explains how to value certain types.  It can be downloaded free from at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/fasb/derivsum.exe

You find more examples of FAS 133, FAS 138, and IAS hedging and accounting at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 

 ***************************************************************


Wow Book of the Week --- http://come.to/Gratis-Economy/ 

TITLE:  THE GRATIS ECONOMY: PRIVATELY PROVIDED PUBLIC GOODS
AUTHOR:  Andras Kelen
PUBLISHER:  Budapest: Central European University Press, 2001

The book is not gratis
ISBN 963 9241 22 9 cloth HB $51.95 / £32.95 ISBN 963 9241 33 4 paperback PB $24.95 / £15.95

Table of Contents
Preface 2

Theses to Announce the Concept of Gratis Economy 12

The Main Drivers of the Gratis Economy 14

Description of the Ensuing Chapters 16

 

1. The Traditional Gratis Economy – Uncharted Faces of Pro Bono Work 19

Heritage 24

Condescending Medieval Charity 27

Enthusiastic Messianism: The Central-East European Socialist Experience in Volunteering 33

Modern Applications of the Generalised Notion of Volunteering 47

Classical Fields of Volunteering - the Receding Gratis Economy 68

The Professionalisation of Sports 68

Laity in Office Holding 85

Granting of for Sponsors by Non-profits 91

 

2. The Virtual Faces of the Gratis Economy – Business Operated Sizzling Gratuities 95

Free of Charge, except for Advertising 95

Technology Bringing Forth the Banner Model of Advertising 112

Banners at Wish 112

New Browser Against Pop-up Advertising 113

Suppressors, Filters 114

Bandwidth-adaptive Advertising 118

We-pay-you Advertising 121

Deep Linking 123

Ad Serving 125

Publishing Site Using Site Model Ad Server 125

Third-party Ad Server Using Network Model Ad Serving Solution 126

A Counting Methodology for Third-party Ad Servers in a Proxy Server Setting 126

Online Business’ Comparative Advantage as to Timing 127

Validation and Visibility of Business Communication in Cyberspace 128

 

3. Free of Charge, except for Commodifying Privacy 148

Between the Right to Traceability and Anonymity 157

The Two Drivers Coinciding - Privacy Predicated Targeting Tools 167

Conclusion: Policy Deliberations 178

 

4. Gratuities Embedded in Business Processes 197

The Setting of the Exposure Threshold 197

Between Profitability and Breaking Even – Content Provision as a Non-profit Endeavour 216

Grants Economics, Gift Economics 222

Gratis Models 226

The Public Interest in the Gratis Economy – Gratuities Generated by Polity 240

 

5. The State-run Gratis Economy 240

Collective Goods 240

Patterns of Time Release in the Economy 258

 

6. The Informational Commons 267

The Intellectual Property/Wide Access Trade-off 274

Alternatives to Intellectual Property – Non-Proprietary Software Developers 285

Bites Out of the Gratis Economy 295

Conclusions: Policy Deliberations 309

 

7. Typology of Business Intrusions that Cry for Political Remedy 314

Software Spying on Its User 315

The „If it's legal, someone will do it” Assault 319

Threatening Free Speech 324

The Intricacy of Data Commerce - Corporate Governance Standing Up To Excesses 326

Grassroots Influencing Regulation 347

 

8. Toward the Demise of Mass Culture in Cyberspace 352

One-to-one Targeting 362

Space-shifting 367

Peer-to-peer Sharing 370

“Gentle Money”: Community-level Clearinghouses and Marketplaces 380

Implications for Broad Public Policy 395

 

Literature 399

References 401

 

Main Findings
This monograph, a reader book on the logics of toll free services, generalizes the notions of 

(1) voluntary work, 
(2) publicity driven business models such as ad-supported publishing and 
(3) “fair use” if intellectual property. The aim is to reach a unique essayistic approach toward encompassing and protecting everything that can be obtained free of charge in the world. The author claims that this Gratis Economy – perhaps greatest wealth creator in history – is integrating into the conventional non-profit sector.

 

When examining the social fabric, contextual perspective and manifold business models that generate or enable gratis sevices, the title – a primer on one of mankind’s very few anthropological constants - discovers numerous unexpected and uncharted themes of decommodified labor ranging from (a) time concessions granted by employers through (b) modeling the multifarious world of non-pecuniary economic communication to the (c) reconstructed typology of voluntary work based on a forgotten train of Max Weber’s theory.

 

The technological promise of online marketing is to refrain from force-fed obtrusive advertising. If delivered, this could conclude the era of mass communication in cyberspace. There is a technology analysis of whether precision technologies such as one-to-one targeting of smart adverts will ever bring about the demise of mass communication and mass marketing. The following questions are treated with reviewing the sociological arguments: will the business model of individually targeted “smart” adverts in fact bring about the demise of mass culture? Will the tollfree part of cyberspace ever integrate into the conventional social economy, as we know the third sector today? Do the policy implications of opting into an evidence-based knowledge management scheme – the future mode of online advertising - yield a satisfactory guaranty for netizens’ safe conduct and cybersecurity?

 

The author has developed a sociological angle that is capable of handling diverse aspects of the economy where the principle of “quid pro quo” is buried into entrepreneurial value propositions or into a long forgotten societal context. Ad-supported business models have suffered heavily in the bubble burst of the New Economy. However, the importance of cybertraffic in generating online revenue will remain with us even if this eyeballs-centered aspect must yield to time-honored business valuation processes and lose its exclusive character as the paramount measure of business success.

 

The author compares the sizzling methods of online targeting and weighs the policy consequence of the „information striptease“ relevant advertising is predicated on. Compromising on digital privacy is construed as a “quid pro quo”, as the voluntary price for receiving evidence-based adverts while online. In perspective, the emerging new personally tailored services can operate only if users are ready “to give their name to their otherwise anonymous browsing”: that is relinquishing traceable information for commercial purposes. This covenant of “smart” ads is interpreted as an integral part within the emerging global paradigm of smart drugs, smart bombs, smart sanctions, etc.

 

The free nature of the Internet is said to be lost to overarching business interest. I contest this simplifying claim by showing that only the overall non-profit character of cyberspace has been only limited or rather contained. As the best stuff on the Web is still hidden behind accessible unlisted databases, and little-known links, most of cyberspace will remain free as long as business communication offers compromises in matters of time-use and privacy. The author claims that time-use and privacy – compromises on our attention focus and information assurance - are the most important drivers that foster non-charging business solutions. Other drivers of the Gratis Economy are also identified.

 

 


Advances in Accounting Reports --- Updates and Demos on XBRL

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

A listing of XBRL Demos from http://www.xbrlsolutions.com/Demos.htm 

The following are demos which XBRL Solutions makes available.  For more information regarding these demos, please contact CharlesHoffman@xbrlSolutions.com:

XBRL for tax filinings --- http://www.xbrl.org/Events/taxfilings.html 

AICPA book link to XBRL Essentials --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/tpcpa/june01/xbrl.htm 

Multimart Web Financials Slide Show (with a bit on ERP and XBRL)  --- http://www.reportingtools.com/Present/Present_files/frame.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on XML, RDF, and XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 


Wow Site of the Week --- Visualization of Math Formulas

A message from Scott Bonacker

I would like to make a nomination for a WOW site of some week or another:

http://glinda.lrsm.upenn.edu/~weeks/pics.html 

Scott Scott Bonacker, CPA 
McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri moccpa.com


Wow Innovation of the Week (Forwarded by Barbara MacAlpine [Barbara.MacAlpine@Trinity.edu

This should be the role model of all academic journals.

[This review] is also available electronically to licensed subscribers through the MCB University Press Emerald service [ http://giorgio.emeraldinsight.com/lhtn.htm   ]

ABSTRACT

The Internet Journal of Chemistry (IJC) ( www.ijc.com ) is an electronic-only electronic journal with the primary aim of publishing the results of high-quality research in all areas of chemistry. Unlike conventional e-journals in chemistry and other scientific disciplines, IJC offers a wide variety of innovative features, functionalities, and content that augment and enhance use and understanding of article text. Among these are user annotation and commentary; data manipulation; electronic discussion forums; electronic manuscript submission; font, format, and display control; modeling; multimedia components; personalization; and reader participation. IJC is an outstanding example of the 'eclectic journal', an emerging form of the next- generation electronic journal.

Gerry McKiernan Associate Professor and Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer Iowa State University Library Ames IA 50011 gerrymck@iastate.edu 

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

Bob,

I got very excited when I got the above, and went immediately to their site only to find that the contents are available only by subscription.

I think we already have too many journals peddled by a handful of publishers at extortionary prices, and those hurled at captive audiences at discriminatory prices (such as AAA and similar journals).

I think a few months ago I posted a message about the resignation of most of the editorial board of the prestigious academic journal "Machine Learning" and setting up of a rival new journal with open access, "journal of Machine Learning Research". Kluwer, the publisher of the former did make amends, but came too late (and too little); MIT Press, the publisher of the latter, does allow free access.

I give below three prestigious journals available for free to all. This short list reflects my own rather narrow interests, and so is not representative of what is available for free.

1. MIT Press: Journal of Machine Learning Research http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/jmlr/ 

2. Oxford University Press Journal of Digital information http://jodi.ecs.soton.ac.uk/Articles/v02/i01/Miall/ 

3. Morgan Kaufman Publishers journal of artificial intelligence research http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/jair/home.html 

I am positive there are many more. I have been searching to see if there is an index of free academic journals. I hope some one on this listserv will post a message on this.

Jagdish


Wow Article of the Week

Note from Bob Jensen:  This demonstrates the growth of distance education and then questions some of the pedagogy.

"A Virtual Revolution:  Trends in the Expansion of Distance Education," by Thomas J. Kriger, USDLA Journal (a refereed journal of the United States Distance Learning Association," November 2001 --- http://www.usdla.org/ED_magazine/illuminactive/NOV01_Issue/article02.html 

This report describes four major trends leading the growth of distance education. The purpose is not to cover every provider but to draw a picture of the types of organizational structures and educational activities that are on the rise. These include:

Corporate-university joint ventures. those that provide course management systems such as Blackboard, Campus Pipeline, eCollege and Web CT, as well as those who package and distribute courses or content from existing institutions such as UNext.com, Cenquest, Fathom, Global Education Network, Quisic and Universitas 21;

What do we learn from these descriptions? First, we learn that the variety of new ways to organize DE and reach new students is enormous, as is the talent that can be brought to bear in making education attractive in the new medium. But we also find that the way distance education is being organized and conducted often poses serious questions.

Much of the distance education under study here, whether non-profit or for-profit, is built on corporate ideas about consumer focus, product standardization, tight personnel control and cost effectiveness (maximizing course taking while minimizing the "inputs" of faculty and development time). These concepts are contrary to the traditional model of higher education decision-making which emphasizes faculty independence in teaching and research, academic control of the curriculum, academic freedom in the classroom and collegial decision-making.

While traditional practices are not sacrosanct, academic decision making processes have been very successful in producing quality higher education the best in the world. Our concern is that some of the new trends and practices described in this report may inhibit rather than promote good education. A number of specific concerns arose:

It is appropriate, indeed essential, to present information for the DE marketplace in an attractive, computer-friendly fashion. But over-attention to drawing "customers" may result in technology driving the way teaching is conducted-leading, for example, to models centered around bite-size, "point and click" accumulations of facts rather than a more reflective, less easily measured search for knowledge.

In the year 2000, AFT published Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice. The guidelines lay out 14 specific standards which, if observed, ensure high quality distance education. (A synopsis of the guidelines appears in the report's conclusion.) The guidelines advance AFT's belief that broad academic content, high standards, personal interaction and professional control are the key elements of educational quality. College faculty must insist on sound practice based on a broad vision of education-one that recognizes education is about more than facts, more than competencies, more than career ambitions.

Education, among other things, is about broadening intellectual horizons, relying on facts and reason when confronting life issues and learning to listen to others and defend ideas by the force of argument. That is why education is the foundation of a working democracy. Because distance education is ubiquitous and offers so much promise, faculty are obligated to carry the banner for quality and good practice while recognizing that this will sometimes require challenging current trends and practices

Continued at  http://www.usdla.org/ED_magazine/illuminactive/NOV01_Issue/article02.html  

Bob Jensen's documents on distance education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

In particular, a related article on "The Dark Side" of distance education is provided at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm 


Online Pedagogy at the University of Phoenix

Phoenix faculty work in a highly structured environment. Course facilitators in traditional classes are forbidden to lecture. Faculty are, instead, expected to closely follow Phoenix's "teaching/ learning model," which begins with course syllabi and detailed teaching modules developed by fulltime faculty on the main campus. In this way, faculty responsibilities are broken down into a series of discrete steps, such as when course development is detached from teaching. Phoenix course modules "include guidelines for weekly assignments, group activities and grading."  Some course modules contain classroom time-management guidelines broken down into 15-minute intervals.

Phoenix defends its practice of using these restrictive guidelines in the name of standardization. The university's online catalog declares: "The standardized curriculum for each degree program provides students with specified levels of knowledge and skills regardless of the delivery method or classroom location."

Critics argue, however, that Phoenix's course modules violate academic freedom because they don't allow faculty members sufficient discretion. Milton R. Blood, managing director of the American Assembly of the Collegiate Schools of Business, has characterized Phoenix's standardized curriculum as "McEducation." He explained, "It's a redefinition of how we go about delivering higher education. The question is whether it's really higher education when it's delivered in a franchised way."

Thomas J. Kriger, quoted from the Wow Article of the Week above.


More from Kriger's article cited above:

Table 1 

A Sampling of Colleges and Universities that Offer
Online/Distance Education Programs

Institution

Characteristics

Number and Type of DE Programs

DE Enrollment

Accreditation

e-Cornell

For-profit spin off; no courses offered yet

Will offer certificates, not degree programs

NA

Not accredited as a separate entity

NYU Online

For Profit spin off primarily for corporate market

Two graduate; many corporate programs

166 (in graduate programs)

Not accredited as a separate entity

University of Illinois Online

Umbrella Organization for different U. of Illinois campuses

One professional degree; 10 master's, bachelor's completion program

6,000 courses taken online

North Central

University of Maryland University College

Claims online program is world's largest online university

12 bachelor;
10 graduate

7,955; UMUC now claims enrollment of 40,000

Middle States

Rio Saldo Community College

One of the first and largest online community college programs

Six associate degrees; 12 certificate

200 onpine courses, 8,000 students per semester

North Central

SUNY Learning Network

One of the three largest DE programs in the country (with Phoenix and UMUC)

1,500 courses from Accounting to Web design

Approximately 10,000 course enrollments per semester

Middle States

Virtual Temple

For profit spin off; no courses offered yet

NA

NA

Not accredited as a separate entity

* Figures for 1999-2000, US Department of Education, Report to Congress on the Distance Education Demonstration Programs, January 2001. Other statistics reported directly by institutions.

Rio Salado Community College (Table 1) offers one of the largest distance education programs at the community college level. One of 10 separate institutions in the huge (9,000-plus square miles) Maricopa Community College District in the greater Phoenix area, Rio Salado was founded in 1978 as a center for adult education. With no central campus, this self-described "college without boundaries" originally offered courses in high schools, libraries and community centers in the Phoenix area. In 1996, Rio Salado began to add online programs to its extensive menu of distance learning courses and training programs. Today, Rio Salado delivers 80 percent of its general education courses via the Internet or other DE technologies. New course selections at Rio begin every two weeks and students can study at their own pace, which offers flexibility for working adults.[9] Rio Salado employs 18 full-time faculty and 600 part-timers, and every faculty member is required to teach at least one online course.

The faculty role at Rio Salado is "unbundled," or broken down into a series of discrete tasks. Design teams-which include a technical trainer, an editor, a proofreader, and Web and content specialists create a curriculum and standardized courses that are taught primarily by adjunct faculty.

Rio Salado College is one of a handful of U.S. institutions that participate in the Pew Learning and Technology Program's Grant Program in Course Redesign. This program was based upon ideas found in the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, in which modular, online exercises, tutorials and quizzes would replace more expensive direct contact with actual faculty in high enrollment introductory courses.

Links to these and many other online programs can be found at the following sites:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


More from Kriger's article cited above:

Table 3

Corporate-University Joint Ventures:
Hybrid Course or Content Providers

Institution

Characteristics

Number and Type of DE Programs

Affiliations

Accreditation

Cardean University / Unext.com

Create courses in collaboration with prestigious business schools; problem-solving based curriculum

MBA Programs and 80 courses offered

Columbia, Chicago, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and the London School of Economics

DETC

Cenquest

Offers graduate business degrees and training

1 certificate
2 Master's program

Partnered with Babson, U. of Texas, Oregon Institute, Adelaide University, Monterey Institute of Technology

No

Fathom

Columbia's for-profit spin-off; niche is to provide high-quality content, courses to include arts and humanities

600 courses listed; 75,000 registered users; several hundred students enrolled in online courses

13 member institutions including U. of Chicago, American Film Institute, London School of Economics, NY Public Library

No

Global Education Network

Brainchild of Weilliams professor Mark Taylor and investment banker Herbert Allen; trying to attract faculty with star power; will offer core curriculum including arts and humanities

3 or 4 courses currently in development;
no degree programs available

Corses by individual faculty from Williams, Wellesley, Brown, Amherst, Yale

Seeking accreditation

Quisic (formerly University Access)

Offers undergraduate, graduate business courses, training; original focus undergraduate DE

Clients incoluding Cisco, United, Citigroup, Lexus, IBM

200 corporate clients; university partners indlude Dartmouth, London School of Economics, North Carolina, USC

No

Universitas 21

Global network of 18 institutions; joint venture with Thompson Learning

In planning stages

Seeking U.S. institutional participants

No

Beginning with specialized business courses in the summer of 1999, today Cardean offers a complete online MBA and a total menu of almost 100 courses. Masters courses, which require 25 to 30 hours, cost $500 each. Shorter quantum courses, each requiring two to three hours, are priced at five for $380. Teaching at Cardean is unbundled, with "senior" faculty planning the curriculum, "advisory" faculty counseling students and supervising adjuncts, and "adjunct" faculty members working with students by grading assignments, answering e-mail and directing online discussions.

Another ambitious online joint venture is Global Education Network (GEN) (Table 3), the product of an alliance between Williams College humanities professor Mark Taylor and investment banker Herbert Alan Jr. As with Fathom, GEN is one of the few for-profit DE providers committed

to bringing the "soft" subjects of the humanities online. GEN, in fact, plans to offer a full undergraduate core curriculum in a few years, with faculty drawn from small, prestigious liberal arts colleges, which are not usually associated with distance education. Not surprisingly, GEN markets itself as a high-quality DE access point; currently on the Web site are courses from individual faculty at Williams, Wellesley and Brown. The privately owned GEN reportedly has institutional relationships with Wellesley, Brown and Duke, although many other institutions-including Williams (Taylor's home campus) have chosen not to affiliate with GEN. The main objection at Williams was that associating with a DE provider would hurt its quality reputation.[21]

Other distance education joint ventures-some with significant outside funding-are attempting to capture the estimated $4 billion that corporations spend each year on DE training for their employees.[22] Founded in 1997, Cenquest (Table 3) offers business courses and graduate degree programs in partnership with a number of university MBA programs. Cenquest's original affiliates were the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology and the University of Texas at Austin.

Working with these institutions, Cenquest adapts their courses for the DE market by dividing them into shorter units, which are then offered on a rolling schedule either for individual applications or degree and certificate programs such as accounting, which are more readily standardized and modularized. In December 2000, Cenquest affiliated with the prestigious Babson College to provide an MBA program to Intel employees. Cenquest has been successful in attracting venture capital. It began offering DE courses, which now number over 100, in 1998.

Update from Bob Jensen:  
I think Quisic abandoned all or most of its college courses.  You can read more about Cardian and listen to some of its faculty discuss course development and delivery from my August 2001 workshop in Atlanta --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001cpe/01start.htm 

Table 4 

Virtual Universities

Institution

Characteristics

Number and Type of DE Programs

DE
Enrollment

Accreditation

Andrew Jackson University

Correspondence school offering textbook study

3 bachelor's
3 graduate

400-450

DETC

Capella University

Offers traditional courses and corporate training; partners include Honeywell, Lawson Software

36 certificate
1 bachelor's
11 graduate

1.049*

North Central

Jones International University

First fully accredited online university

21 certificate
1 bachelor's
2 graduate

1,500

North Central

Kennedy-Western University

Markets to "mid-career professionals"

13 bachelor's
12 graduate

12 Ph.D.

23,000

Not regionally accredited; licensed by Wyoming State Dept of Ed

University of Phoenix Online

Fastest growing for-profit university; now 25% online

8 bachelor's
10 master's
1 Ph.D.; certificate programs under development

18,500

 

Western Governor's University

Private university offering menu of courses from other institutions and corporations

3 certificate;
4 bachelor's
1 graduate

208*

 

* Figures for 1999-2000, U.S. Department of Education, Report to Congress on the Distance Education Demonstration Programs, January 2001. Other statistics reported directly by institutions.

 

A typical undergraduate course at Phoenix lasts five weeks; graduate courses are six weeks. Students attend one four-hour "workshop" per week or meet for longer sessions on alternate weekends. Students also take classes sequentially-one at a time-so they can better focus on the subject matter while working full-time. An additional requirement is that students work in teams. As Phoenix's online catalog explains,

The university organizes each class into problem-solving teams of the type employed successfully in business and industry. Thus, in addition to the development of intellectual and technical knowledge, the student is able to grow emotionally so that the potential for practical application of knowledge and skill is optimized.[26]

An estimated 90 percent of Phoenix faculty (both online and classroom) teach part-time. At its Northern California brick-and-mortar campus, Phoenix employs 20 full-time faculty and 550 part-timers. These part-time "facilitators," as they are called, must possess a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and must work full-time in a field related to the courses they teach.

 

Links to these and many other online programs can be found at the following sites:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 

Accreditation issues and other matters of distance education can be found at the following site:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

Quotations on the Dark Side from Kriger's article can be found at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm
 


The Ohio CPA Journal (October 1, 2001) has published an in-depth article explaining the likelihood of CPAs being faced with liability claims and how risk can be mitigated. The article explains the expectations of insurance companies and offers six warning signs of an impending claim. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/64075 

The article suggests that working with a risk advisor can increase the odds of:

The article explains the expectations of insurance companies, and offers six warning signs of an impending claim:

  1. Clients who won't pay
  2. Uncooperative clients
  3. Fraud/embezzlement defalcation
  4. Subpoenas
  5. Gray tax positions/IRS audits
  6. Divorce or partnership disputes

The complete article is at http://covia.yellowbrix.com/pages/covia/Story.nsp?story_id=25292158&category=Accounting&ID=covia&noad=1 


ECCH Case Awards Reflect e-Commerce Era --- http://www.ecch.cranfield.ac.uk/ 


Over the years, I have viewed a lot of departmental Webpages for prospective students.  Among those that I have seen, I think to the designs of the Arizona State University pages for prospective students are among the best available.  

For example, see http://www.cob.asu.edu/acct/undergraduate/prospective/cis.cfm 

There are ways that prospective students pages can be improved at most any university.  Several suggested improvements are listed below:

  1. In a FAQ area, have short answers but link to where students can find longer answers to questions.

  2. Add data on the number of graduates in each concentration for the past three years.  

  3. Provide information regarding job placement or graduate school admissions (where relevant).

  4. Add outside links to where prospective students can find more information about careers in the concentration.

  5. Link to some alumni letters where recent graduates discuss their job duties, travel, and other matters of interest to prospective students who wonder what it is like out there for recent graduates.  It would even be better to have some video clips of alumni being interviewed where they work.

  6. Provide short comments about what particular faculty in the program bring to bear on particular courses and then provide links to the faculty Web pages.

Why we stress that current and former employees are the weakest link in IT security!

Two former Cisco Systems Inc. accountants who admitted to stealing more than $5 million in company shares by hacking into the company computer systems have been sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/64703 


"Education System Aims to Improve Services for Special Needs Students," T.H.E. Journal, November 21, 2001, p. 38 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3712.cfm 

Help4Life recently launched PortEP, a new collaborative education system that seeks to improve the way schools provide services to students with special needs. PortEP enables educators to help students with behavioral health and learning needs achieve improved results by reducing administrative and logistical barriers so educators can identify, assess and provide interventions more efficiently and with lower costs. The system offers three performance modules for general education intervention,online team evaluations and special education tracking. The general education component delivers a databased problem-solving process that helps teachers identify and quickly help children before major problems develop.

PortEP also enables educators to coordinate student evaluations online, including input from parents, teachers, psychologists and physicians. The evaluation module makes collecting, organizing and acting on information more efficient, leaving more time for educators to work directly with students and families. The tracking module makes monitoring progress and making corrections less time-consuming, and allows administrators to manage resources more effectively. Help4Life, Nashville, TN, (866) 476-7863,  www.help4life.com .


If you think you're an Einstein, maybe you just know a little bit more than those around you. If you think you're a dim bulb but want to feel bright, surround yourself with people who know less. Critics say the study is mentally challenged --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48576,00.html 


That sound you hear is audio e-books, magazines and newspapers clamoring for attention.

"Audio E-Books Seek a Buzz," by M.J. Rose, Wired News, November 27, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48620,00.html 

Audible's on-demand audio files include top national newspapers and magazines, and both classic and best-selling novels. They offer more than 32,000 hours of audio programs and 165 content partners.

Audible hopes the campaign, appropriately called Spread the Word, will increase its customer base by 60,000 to 90,000 users.

To achieve this goal, Audible has sent marketing kits to about 30,000 of its most dedicated customers. In return for their customers' free marketing efforts, Audible will give away free audio files and $5,000 worth of tech prizes.

Spread the Words builds on the customer-referral volume the company has experienced informally.

"Our current customers have already played an essential role in our rapid growth, which has almost tripled our customer base within a year," said Donald Katz, CEO of Audible, Inc.

Customers who spread the word about Audible deserve to be rewarded, Katz said. In fact the kernel of the Spread the Words idea came from a customer and shareholder.


Brainteasers 
These links to quick brainteasers and workouts provide exercises you can easily work into your daily routine. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/64193 


Richard always likes to try out the latest and greatest.

Below is a demo on using Microsoft Agent - in this case just for fun. After the required files are downloaded and installed - click on the link below to see Merlin in action.

This Demo requires the Microsoft Agent ActiveX Control and the Merlin character.

You can Download the required files from the Microsoft Agent webring ( www.msagentring.org ) You need to download and install files from the MS Agent from step 1 and step 2 on the Agent 2.0 page. You also need to download and install the Merlin character in step 5.

Here is the link to the demo: www.VirtualPublishing.NET/agent1.htm 

Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU


From Syllabus eNews on November 27, 2001

Palm to Distribute eBooks from HarperCollins

Palm, Inc. said it reached an agreement to distribute the HarperCollins PerfectBound line of eBooks through Palm Digital Media, its line of eBooks for handheld computers. PerfectBound's eBook list includes a variety of popular fiction and non-fiction. David Steinberger, president of corporate strategy for HarperCollins, said Palm technology "lets us offer readers the editorial and technological special features that are exclusive to PerfectBound eBook editions, while also protecting our authors' copyrights." Palm also has distribution agreements with top trade publishers Random House, Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press and Time Warner Trade Books.

For more information, visit: http://www.palm.com/ebooks 
(Bob Jensen's ebook threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm )


Bookstore Operator to Offer Adobe e-Book Guides

College store operator Follett Higher Education Group said it would start offering study guides and other course material in Adobe as well as Microsoft eBook formats. The company's website, efollett.com, opened earlier this year with eBook titles in Microsoft Reader format. Last week it said it would now add thousands of titles in Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader format as well. Higher education publishers participating in the launch with eBook study guides include Thomson Learning Higher Education Group, Wiley Higher Education, Houghton Mifflin College Division and Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishers. Follett is also working with OverDrive, Inc. to support course material conversion into eBook formats.

For more information, visit: http://www.efollet.com 


Louisville Installs Advanced Smart Card Platform

The University of Louisville has issued students an advanced smart card equipped with Java and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security technology. The new card system, provided by Tallahassee-based Cybermark Inc., will allow students to store electronic currency for ATM- type transactions, use the card with their meal plan, check out books in the library, and gain access to various buildings around campus. The university will also use the platform to verify student digital identities, check student status at multiple campus locations, as well as host web-based student government elections. The card is the first to be provided by CyberMark under a partnerhsip with card maker SchlumbergerSema.


At Britannica, Print Makes A Comeback

After publishing soley on the Internet and CD-ROM for almost a decade, Encyclopaedia Britannica has just issued a revised printing of the venerable 32-volume encyclopedia for the first time in four years. Editor Dale Hoiberg said the reason for the new set is that demand for the books is strong. "Computers are great, but many people still love the feel of paper and ink between two covers," he said. "Books aren't as fast as the Internet, but they provide pleasures and benefits that no other medium can." But despite the affection for books, digital encyclopedias do have their advantages -- like cost. Britannica's CD-ROMs and DVDs range in price from $39.95 to $69.95. In contrast, the new print edition will retail for $1,295.

For more information, visit: http://www.britiannica.com 


"e-cheating: Combating a 21st Century Challenge," by Kim McMurtry, T.H.E. Journal, November 21, 2001, pp. 36-41 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3724.cfm 

The early part of the paper is not quoted here.

The Frequency of Plagiarism

The purpose of this article is not to discuss ethical issues or to examine the downfall of American values, but let me give you some statistics. First of all, it's impossible to determine the actual frequency of cheating. Out of the 61 students in my English composition classes in spring 1999, I caught five plagiarists, all of whom had downloaded papers from the Web. That's 8 percent and there may have been more plagiarized papers I did not catch, copied from books or journals, sold by another student, etc. But we do have the self-reports of students, which offer a glimpse of the problem. For example, a 1998 survey from Who's Who Among American High School Students reported that of 3,123 students, 80 percent of them "admitted to cheating on an exam, a 10-point increase since the question was first asked 15 years ago" (Bushweller 1999). In addition, 50 percent of them "did not believe cheating was necessarily wrong," and 95 percent of those who had cheated "said they have never been caught" (Kleiner and Lord 1999). According to the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University, 75 percent of all college students "confess to cheating at least once" (Kleiner and Lord 1999). This finding confirms earlier studies by Baird, and by Stern and Havlicek, who reported that between 70 percent and 85 percent of American college students "engaged in some form of cheating" (Lupton, Chapman and Weiss vol. 75, no. 4).

Cheating and the Web

There are several ways a student can use the Internet to cheat on a writing assignment. The easiest way is to type a topic into a search engine like Yahoo!, find a Web page that someone has posted on that topic with the requisite number of words, copy the text and paste it into a word processing program. Another possibility is to share assignments with friends at other schools - one student can simply e-mail a paper as an attachment to another student. For example, one of my students submitted a paper that I found to be the text from an online magazine article. When I confronted the student about it, he said he had never seen the online article; a friend at another college had e-mailed him the paper, and he assumed that his friend had written it. But the most blatant form of e-cheating is the use of "Web paper mills," sites that collect and distribute papers on the Web, either free or for a fee.

In a cursory search for these paper mill sites, I found more than 30. Such sites are easy to find - just type "free essays" into any Web search engine - and easy to use. However, many of these sites duplicate the same database of papers for whatever reason. For example, 15000Papers.com, Phuck School (www.phuckschool.com ) and T.O.P. Thousands of Papers (www.termpapers-on-file.com ) are all owned by The Paper Store and appear to offer the same collection of papers.

And with names like Evil House of Cheat, most of these sites claim to assist students in cheating and boast slogans such as "Download your workload." However, some offer interesting disclaimers, like this one from EssayWorld.com: "The purpose of Essayworld.com is to provide an additional resource for students to obtain information and additional ideas from the insights of fellow students. Plagiarism is a serious offense and Essayworld.com does not condone or encourage plagiarism. By continuing the use of this site, you acknowledge that Essayworld.com will in no way, shape or form, be held responsible for the improper use of the contents of this site. Information obtained from the essays on Essayworld.com should be treated as if it were acquired from a book and be cited in the references. Should you need instructions on how to cite information obtained from essays on the Internet, please visit our Resources section." Such disclaimers appear to be an effort to avoid liability.

Students perusing these sites can find papers in any discipline, from biology to business, from chemistry to computer science, from health to history, from philosophy to physics. The majority of these sites, however, provide papers on high school rather than college topics. For example, literature papers tend to focus on books like The Great Gatsby and A Tale of Two Cities. In addition, many of the sites, although apparently not owned by the same entity, offer the same papers. For example, I found the same essay on irony in Kate Chopin's Story of an Hour in EssayWorld.com, in Planet Papers (www.planetpapers.com ) and in Other People's Papers (www.oppapers.com ). Some of these sites even require you to submit a paper to gain access to their collection of papers. I suspect what students have done is taken a paper from a free site and submitted it to one of these sites, resulting in duplications like this. The cost of papers from these Web paper mills ranges from free to varying prices per page. The sites that require payment provide abstracts of papers with particulars, including word count, number of sources used, and sometimes grade received and course level. Many sites also offer custom essays with costs ranging from $18.95 to $35 per page.

Combating E-Cheating

The ease of finding and downloading papers from sites like these makes plagiarism very tempting. How can an instructor combat e-cheating? I have eight suggestions:

Continued at  http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3724.cfm 

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 


From Infobits on November 29, 2001

"Forget About Policing Plagiarism. Just Teach" (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, vol. 48, issue 12, November 16, 2001, p. B24) by Rebecca Moore Howard, associate professor of writing and rhetoric, and director of the writing program, at Syracuse University.

Howard argues that "[i]n our stampede to fight what The New York Times calls a 'plague' of plagiarism, we risk becoming the enemies rather than the mentors of our students; we are replacing the student-teacher relationship with the criminal-police relationship. Further, by thinking of plagiarism as a unitary act rather than a collection of disparate activities, we risk categorizing all of our students as criminals. Worst of all, we risk not recognizing that our own pedagogy needs reform. Big reform." The article is online to CHE subscribers at http://chronicle.com/weekly/v48/i12/12b02401.htm

I can't buy this argument. It would bother my conscience too much to give a higher grade to a student that I strongly suspect has merely copied the arguments elsewhere than the grade given to a student who tried to develop his or her own arguments. How can Professor Howard in good conscience give a higher grade to the suspected plagiarist? This rewards "street smart" at the expense of "smart." It also advocates becoming more street smart at the expense of real learning.

I might be cynical here and hope that Professor Howard's physicians graduated from medical schools who passed students on the basis of being really good copiers of papers they could not comprehend.

What is not mentioned in the quote above is the labor-union-style argument also presented by Professor Howard in the article.  She argues that we're already too overworked to have the time to investigate suspected plagiarism.  Is refusing to investigate really being professional as an honorable academic?

My threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 

Reply from John Rodi [jrodi@IX.NETCOM.COM

I think that administration is the culprit in this situation. Many years ago when I first began to teach if you caught a student cheating on a single examination or a single paper the instructor could fail the student for the entire course. One day a student protested over an issue of whether homework was copied. As a result we have a three page document that we must now follow in order to charge a student with cheating. One of the recommendations is to have a witness to the cheating. Suddenly, I find that the integrity of the instructor is at issue and not that of the student. How did the inmates get the keys?

John Rodi 
Cal State Los Angeles

Reply from Merrie & John Hayden [m.j.hayden@PRODIGY.NET

Again, I say, how many textbooks and other educational writings out there would pass the plagiarism test?

John Hayden, CPA 
The PJA School


The recent news of Enron Corp.'s need to restate financial statements dating back to 1997 as a result of accounting issues missed in Big Five firm Andersen's audits, has caused the Public Oversight Board to decide to take a closer look at the peer review process employed by public accounting firms. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/64184 

Once-mighty energy trader Enron faces almost certain bankruptcy after its credit rating is downgraded to junk status, scuttling a planned acquisition by smaller rival Dynegy --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48696,00.html 

"I believe we all misunderstood how dramatic a credibility crisis can be in a recession in a bear market," he said. "The speed at which Enron collapsed caught us all off guard."

Enron, which earned $979 million on $100.8 billion in revenue in 2000, last month revealed that partnerships run by its executives had allowed the company to keep about half a billion in debt off its books and allowed the executives to profit from the arrangements. Enron's dealings with those partnerships are now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

The company ousted its top financial officer in October, and several weeks ago restated its earnings back to 1997 eliminating more than $580 million in reported income over that span.

Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


A Message from Duncan Williamson [duncan.williamson@TESCO.NET]

I'm sticking my neck out a bit and offering you all a PDF file I put together on the Enron Affair. I've taken a wide variety of sources in an attempt to explain where I think we are with this case. What Enron does (or did), what has happened and so on. It's a sort of position paper that attempts to explain the facts to non accountants and novice accountants. It's 24 pages long but doesn't take that much time to download. I have used materials from messages on this list and hope the authors don't mind and I have credited them by name. I have used Bob Jensen's bookmarks, too; as well as a whole host of other things.

I'd be grateful for any comments on this paper, or even offers of help to improve what I've done. I have to say I did it in a bit of a hurry and won't be offended by any criticism, providing it's constructive.

I have tested my links and they work for me: let me know of any problems, though. It's at http://www.duncanwil.co.uk/pdfs.html  link number 1

Incidentally, if you haven't been to my site recently (or at all), you can see my latest news at http://www.duncanwil.co.uk/news0212.html . I have a very nice looking Newsletter waiting for you: complete with Xmas theme. Please check my home page every week for the latest newsletter as it is linked from there (take a look now, you'll see what I mean). At the moment I am managing to add content at a significant rate; and will point out that I have developed several new features over the last three months or so, as well as the materials and pages themselves.

My home page (sorry, my Ho! Ho! Home Page) is at http://www.duncanwil.co.uk/index.htm  and is equally festive (well, with a name like Ho! Ho! Home Page it would have to be, wouldn't it?)

Looking forward to seeing you on line!

Best wishes

Duncan Williamson


Hi Joel,

I think the "state of affairs" in the public accounting profession is balanced on much more serious problems than the XYZ Credential and the 150-hour requirement.

Rhoda Icerman, bless her heart, informed me that the same newspaper that forced President Nixon to resign in the wake of The Watergate Scandal is going to run a two part series that all CPAs and accounting educators should take a careful look at. I am taking the liberty of quoting part of her message:

************************************************************** 

Just came from AICPA Group of 100 meeting where it was announced that the Washington Post will be carrying a 2-part series, starting this Sunday (12/2), on the failure of the auditing profession to serve the public's interest...Enron, PWC and independence, POB's deferrals, et.al.

Thought you'd like an early 'heads-up.'

Thanks for keeping us current on so many issues. I thoroughly enjoy your AECM posts. 

Warmest regards, 

Rhoda 

**************************************************************

Now we're beginning to encounter really serious media concerns for this image of this profession.

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: rjensen@trinity.edu http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen 

-----Original Message----- From: Joel Peralto [mailto:peralto@HAWAII.EDU] Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 1:29 PM To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: The UAA and future of the "CPA"

I just spent an hour on the telly with a small local accounting practitioner who is fuming angry at the state of affairs within the profession and the apparent "selling of the profession" (specifically, the trusted CPA designation) down the river, "by the AICPA". I'm sure this is a scenario that is showing it's ugly face all over the country lately. The points of greatest contention are the 150 hour requirement, the new experience requirements, and the "XYZ" designation, to name but a few. Does anyone care to comment, relating to similar dialog occurring in your part of the country? Of particular concern is the apparent absence of 5-year programs geared specifically to the guidelines set forth by the AICPA. Thanks!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
Joel C. Peralto, CPA, CMA 
Professor-Accounting, 
Division Chair Business Education and Technology Division 
UH-Hawaii Community College 
Hilo, Hawaii 96720 Email: peralto@hawaii.edu  808-974-7327 Voice 808-974-7755 FAX


"The Internet Didn't Kill Enron," By Robert Preston, Internet Week, November 30, 2001 ---  http://www.internetweek.com/enron113001.htm 

"We have a fundamentally better business model."

That's how Jeffrey Skilling, then president of Enron Corp., summarized his company's startling ascendancy a year ago, as Enron's revenues were soaring on the wings of its Internet-based trading model.

It was hard to find fault with Enron's strategy of brokering energy and other commodities over the Internet rather than commanding the means of production and distribution. EnronOnline, its year-old commodity-trading site, already was handling more than $1 billion a day in transactions and yielding the bulk of the company's profits. At its peak, Enron sported a market cap of $80 billion, bigger than all its competitors combined.

See Also Forum: Enron E-Biz Meltdown: What Went Wrong? More Enron Stories

Today, Enron is near bankruptcy, the status of EnronOnline is touch and go, ENE is a penny stock and Skilling is out of a job. Last year's Fortune 7 wunderkind, hailed by InternetWeek and others as one of the most innovative companies in America, overextended itself to the point of insolvency.

So was Enron's "better business model" fundamentally flawed? With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, what can Internet-inspired companies in every industry learn from Enron's demise?

For one thing, complex Internet marketplaces of the kind Enron assembled are fragile. Enron prospered on the Net not so much because it had good technology -- though the proprietary EnronOnline platform is considered leading-edge -- but because online customers trusted the company to meet its price and delivery promises.

As Skilling told InternetWeek a year ago, "certainty of execution and certainty of fulfillment are the two things people worry about with commodity products." Enron, by virtue of its expertise, networked relationships and reputation, could guarantee those things.

Once it came to light, however, that Enron was playing fast with its financials -- doing off-balance sheet deals and engaging in other tactics to inflate earnings -- customers (as well as investors and partners) lost confidence in the company. And Enron came tumbling down.

Furthermore, advantages conferred by superior technology and information-gathering are fleeting. Competitors learn and mimic and catch up. Barriers to market entry evaporate. Profit margins narrow.

Enron, short of incessant innovation, could never hope to corner Internet market-making, especially in industries, like telecommunications and paper, that it didn't really understand. In its core energy market, perhaps Enron was too quick to eschew refineries and pipelines for the volatile, information-based business of trading.

But it wasn't Internet that killed the beast; it was management's insatiable appetite for expansion and, by all accounts, personal enrichment.

It's too easy to kick Enron now that it's down. It did a lot right. The competition and deregulation and vertical "de-integration" Enron drove are the future of all industries, even energy. Enron was making markets on the Internet well before its competitors knew what hit them.

Was Enron on to a better business model? You bet it was. But like any business model, it wasn't impervious to rules of conduct and principles of economics.


An important review article from The Washington Post on the Enron mess 

"At Enron, the Fall Came Quickly:  Complexity, Partnerships Kept Problems From Public View" 
The Washington Post
By Steven Pearlstein and Peter Behr
Sunday, December 2, 2001; Page A01  
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44063-2001Dec1.html
 

Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


A Message to My Students in the Wake of Recent Auditing Scandals

I am forwarding a reply that I sent out to Curt and the rest of our accounting graduate students at Trinity University. I am certain that Curt was trying to be facetious is suggesting that outlook for accounting careers is becoming so gloomy that graduates should consider forming rock bands such as the Butthole Surfers (see his message below).

The Enron mess could not have happened at a worse time when accounting majors are on the decline nationwide and auditing is no longer viewed by many U.S. students as a profession of choice. The Enron publicity, especially following the forthcoming December 2, 2001 Washington Post series (starting tomorrow), will only make it more difficult for us to draw our top talent into majoring in accounting.

Perhaps every accounting educator should consider communicating some of the good news to students along with the recent bad news in the press. Perhaps we should also try to get some of our good news into the media.

In any case, this is my reply to Curt.

Bob

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jensen, Robert [mailto:rjensen@trinity.edu]  
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 8:25 AM 
To: Jensen-B Subject: RE: Having second thoughts about accounting?

Hi Curt and your fellow accounting majors,

I don't know if you know that one of the founders of the band you refer to was Paul Walthall's son (the son who dropped out of Trinity's MBA program to join Gibby in forming the band). His name was Paul Walthall Jr., although his name somewhere along the line apparently was changed to Paul Leary. I think "Leary" was his middle name and was his mother's maiden name. Paul "Leary" graduated in Art from Trinity and then went part way into the MBA program back in the days when Trinity University had an MBA program. Paul "Leary" was never an accountant (I'm not sure he ever completed a course in accounting). Gibby Haynes did indeed major in and excel in accounting at Trinity. He subsequently worked for a short time as a staff accountant with KPMG.

The senior Paul Walthall was a highly dedicated professor of accounting for over 30 years at Trinity University. I once asked Paul and Doris Walthall if they ever recited the name of the BHS Band out loud. They said they spoke of it often during prayers at church.

The funny part of the history of this band is that none of the four founders could read music or play a musical instrument. They hammered out songs by rote. The main appeal seemed to be some of the outrageous lyrics put to some really awful music. The songs were rarely, if ever, broadcast in the U.S., because radio stations were not allowed to say the name of the band on the air. The main success, and it was never a big success, of the band came from European tours. On many occasions, parents of the band members had to send money to whatever town the band was stranded in at the time.

My son Marshall in his early teenage years bought every record produced by the band --- sigh! After Marshall grew up, he tossed all of those records in the trash and is now into classical music and dances with a ballet company. The BHS Band mainly appealed to young teenagers in the rebellion stage of life.

My advice is to stay with accounting. For the most part, accounting is the path to success in a business career. There are occasional scandals such as the Enron audit, but we must give credit to the thousands upon thousands of auditors worldwide who do their jobs with diligence and laudable ethics. There are scandals in medicine, law, engineering, the clergy, academe, and government, but this is what being human is all about. It's about being human with human frailties in any vocation.

What we have to do is shore up professional systems to discourage falling from grace. The vexing problem at the moment is that multinational firms have become so huge that it is very hard for auditors to part ways with gigantic clients when intractable disputes arise during the audit.

On December 2, the Washington Post will run a two-part series that challenges whether the auditing profession continues to serve in the public's best interest. I am certain that the articles will rehash some old wounds. I just hope the articles give equal time to the successes where auditors can hold their heads high and point to where they truly did serve the investing public.

The ultimate fate of any profession lies not in its rules, regulations, and controls. The fate lies in the will and dedication of the majority of people who serve in that profession --- the honest cops, the devoted doctors, the dedicated professors, the faithful clergy, and the ardent auditors. These are the kinds of students we hope to continue to graduate from Trinity University.

Hang in there and hold your heads high!

Dr J

-----Original Message----- 
From: Curt 
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 4:18 AM 
To: Jensen-B (a listserv) 
Subject: Having second thoughts about accounting?

Hey guys, I was just surfing around some sites researching Trinity's famous band, the Butthole Surfers and I found this quote in an article about them:

"But the artistic grit and slime are only part of the Gibby Haynes story. In fact, his squeaky clean past is as much a part of the Buttholes' lore as their albums and shows. When he hooked up with guitarist Paul Leary at Trinity University in the early eighties, Haynes was an ace student. Among his distinctions were tenures as president of his fraternity and captain of the basketball team, and the award for accounting student of the year."

Anyway, some of y'all might have already knew about this, but if not, rest assured that if the accounting profession fails us, we can always resort to show business.

-curt

p.s. here's the website address of the article: http://www.addict.com/issues/2.08/html/lofi/Features/Butthole/BH-Story/ 


Another Message form a Student

Just wanted to share a link to a recent speech made by Chairman of the SEC Arthur Levitt, concerning what it means to be an auditor and where auditors derive their value.

This speech compliments my presentation, but in my mind it describes the issue in a more eloquent fashion.

It is a little lengthy, but I highly recommend that all of you at least skim through it, especially paragraphs 5-13. The message is one not of despair but of striving for betterment of the profession.

http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/spch399.htm 

-Mike


Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron mess are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


The Campus Computing Project --- http://www.campuscomputing.net/ 

Begun in 1990, the Campus Computing Project focuses on the use of information technology in higher education. The project's national studies draw on qualitative and quantitative data to help inform faculty, campus administrators, and others interested in the use of information technology in American colleges and universities.

The annual Campus Computing Survey is the largest continuing study of the role of information technology in US higher education. Each year more than 600 two-and four-year public and private colleges and universities participate in this survey, which focuses on campus planning and policy affecting the role of information technology in teaching, learning, and scholarship.

 
    
 HTML Summary:
 
PDF:
         The 2001 Campus Computing Survey      

The following are previous years survey summaries.
You can also order the full reports online.

    
 HTML Summaries:
 
PDF:
         The 2000 Campus Computing Survey      
         The 1999 Campus Computing Survey      
         The 1998 Campus Computing Survey      
         The 1997 Campus Computing Survey      
         The 1996 Campus Computing Survey      
         The 1995 Campus Computing Survey      
         The 1994 Campus Computing Survey
     

Bob Jensen's threads on Lynne Cheney and  the ACTA Report 
"Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It"

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book01q4.htm#LynneCheney  


Instant Messaging Has Gone to Work It's not a surprise that a Jupiter Media Metrix study found the time spent using instant messaging applications was up 48 percent at home in the past year, but it is a surprise to see the time spent instant messaging at work was up 110 percent. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3217 

Amy Dunbar utilizes instant messaging extensively in her online tax courses.  See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book01q4.htm#dunbar 


Cookies = Applets that enable a web site to collect information about each user for later reference (as in finding cookies in the cookie jar). Web Browsers like Netscape Navigator set aside a small amount of space on the user's hard drive to record detected preferences.  Cookies perform storage on the client side that might otherwise have to be stored in a generic-state or database server on the server side. Cookies can be used to collect information for consumer profile databases. Browsers can be set to refuse cookies. 

Many times when you browse a website, your browser checks to see if you have any pre-defined preferences (cookie) for that server if you do it sends the cookie to the server along with the request for a web page. Sometimes cookies are used to collect items of an order as the user places things in a shopping cart and has not yet submitted the full order. A cookie allows WWW customers to fill their orders (shopping carts) and then be billed based upon the cookie payment information. Cookies retain information about a users browsing patterns at a web site. This creates all sorts of privacy risks since information obtained from cookies by vendors or any persons who put cookies on your computer might be disclosed in ways that are harmful to you.  Browsers will let you refuse cookies with a set up that warns you when someone is about to deliver a cookie, but this really disrupts Web surfing and may block you from gaining access to may sites.  It is probably better to accept cookies for a current session and then dispose of unwanted cookies as soon as possible so that cookie senders do not obtain repeated access to your private information.  Microsoft Corporation has added the following utilities to the Internet Explorer (IE) browser according to http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/07/21/ms.cookies.idg/ 

The Internet Explorer 5.5 changes include the following:

• Notifications that Microsoft said will help users differentiate between first- and third-party cookies, plus automatic prompts that inform users anytime a third-party cookie is being offered by a Web site.

• A "delete all cookies" control button that has been added to the browser's main "Internet options" page to make it easier for users to get rid of cookies.

• New topics that have been added to Internet Explorer's help menu to better answer questions about cookies and their management.

Instruction for cookies control using Internet Explorer --- http://www.scholastic.com/cookies.htm 

To accept cookies if you are using a PC running Windows...

Internet Explorer 5 1. Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.

2. Click the Security tab.

3. Click the Internet zone.

4. Select a security level other than High.

-or-

Click Custom Level, scroll to the Cookies section, and then click Enable for both cookie options.

5. Click on Apply.

6. Click on OK.

Other nations, notably in Europe, have placed more severe restrictions on the use of cookies.  See http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/07/21/eu.spam.idg/index.html


Question 1:
How can you send email anonymously?

Answer 1:
Simply set up an email account under a fictitious name.  For example, you can send email under multiple fictitious names from the Yahoo email server at http://www.yahoo.com/   (Click on 'Mail" in the row "Connect")

Question 2:
How can you be totally anonymous on the Web such that cookie monsters do not track your Web navigation at your site and bad guys cannot track your surfing habits or get at your personal information such as medical records, name, mail address, phone number, email address, etc.?  (You can read about cookie monsters at 

Answer 2:
There is probably no way to be 100% safe unless you use someone else's computer without them knowing you are using that computer on the Web.  In most instances, the owner of the computer (a university, a public library, an employer, etc.) will know who is using the computer, but cookie monsters and bad guys on the Web won't have an easy time finding out who you are without having the powers of the police.

About the safest way to remain anonymous as a Web surfer is to sign up for Privada from your IP Internet provider that obtain your line connection from for purposes of connecting to the Web.  In most instances, surfers pay a monthly fee that will increase by about $5.00 per month for the Pivada service (if the IP provider has Privada or some similar service).  To read more about Privada, go to http://industry.java.sun.com/solutions/company/summary/0,2353,4514,00.html 

Privada Control (Application)

Primary Market Target: Utilities&Services 
Secondary Market Target: Financial Services

Description Used with Privada Network, PrivadaControl provides the consumer component of Privada's services, and is distributed to end-users by network service providers. Users create an online identity that cannot be linked to their real-world identity, allowing them to browse the Internet with the level of privacy they choose while still reaping the benefits of personalized content. PrivadaControl is built entirely in the Java(TM) programming language and runs completely in a Java Virtual Machine.

I added a Special Section to the document entitled "Opportunities of E-Business Assurance:  Risks in Assuring Risk" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 

For more information about fraud, information warfare, and security, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


To my ACCT 5342 Students

My assurance services and security document is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 
You should become very familiar with security seals on Web documents, especially SysTrust, WebTrust, Truste, VeriSign, and BBB seals.

You know the difference between a virus and a worm. You should be warned, however, that the media sometimes does not distignuish the two concepts. I provide a very current illustration or a fast-spreading worm below (note the illustration also demonstrates how persons who do not install Microsoft security patches on a regular basis are asking for trouble).

An e-mail worm that appears to be a reworked version of the virulent Nimda infection is on the loose and in the wild --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48613,00.html 

From InformationWeek Daily on November 27, 2001

** Dangerous New Virus, Same Old Hole

An old and well-known security flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer is continuing to cause problems, as a new worm that exploits the flaw spreads on the Internet.

The worm, known as W32/BadTrans.B-mm, has been spotted in 50 countries, and is propagating rapidly, says Dave White, technical manager for security company MessageLabs. It takes advantage of a well-publicized hole in Explorer, the same vulnerability used by the Nimda virus, which infected millions of computers earlier this fall.

A previous version of the worm, BadTrans.A, spread in April, infecting users who opened an infected E-mail attachment, but the new variant can infect users who merely read or preview the message in Microsoft's Outlook E-mail program. Once activated, the virus spreads by both replying to unread messages in the user's mailbox and mailing everyone in the recipient's address book. It also installs a Trojan-horse key-logging program on the user's computer, which collects confidential information like passwords and E-mails them to another address.

"We're getting hit quite hard," says Russ Cooper, surgeon general for security firm TruSecure Corp. He says that a patch for the IE vulnerability has been available since March, but that home users in particular have been slow to update their security. "Unless they've had a bad experience before, they haven't learned what they should and shouldn't do," he says. "The average person doesn't even know that these things exist, so adoption is going to be slow." - David M. Ewalt

For more virus coverage, see Virus Definition Update Rings False Alarm On Nimda http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eE260BcUEY0V20aAT0AU 

New, Slower Version Of Nimda Worm Spreads http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eE260BcUEY0V20Zgm0AQ 


Darn!  From Now On They've Got to Cover Up! --- U.S. Lessons Learned From the Taliban
The federal government will decide whether the Victoria Secret televised fashion show was too lewd for TV 

"FCC Poses as Fashion Model Police," by Declan McCullagh, Wired News, November 24, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48571,00.html 

The televised Victoria's Secret fashion show may be mildly racy, but should it be illegal?

One prudish FCC commissioner thinks so -- and has ordered the agency's "enforcement bureau" to begin investigating whether the company's famous bikinis and lacy unmentionables on TV could corrupt American youth.

Continued (without pictures) at  http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48571,00.html 


"FBI's "Trojan horse" program to grab passwords," Will Knight, New Scientist, November 21, 2001 --- http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991589 

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is developing a computer program that can steal the passwords that suspected criminals use to lock encrypted messages, according to a source cited by MSNBC.

The "Trojan horse" program, known as Magic Lantern, could be sent to a suspect attached to a seemingly innocent email message. After the program has installed itself using a known software bug, it would capture the passwords used to encrypt messages and send these to FBI officers.

Investigators might then be able to decrypt and read secret email messages. But some computer experts question how successful such a system would be.

Graham Cluley, an anti-virus researcher at Sophos, says that some anti-virus software may detect the program automatically. If not, the anti-virus software could easily be configured to catch the program, he says.

"It would be relatively trivial to write a detector for it", Cluley told New Scientist. "Some customers may ask for a fix for it."

Continued at - http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991589 


An in-depth look at how Americans view privacy after the tragic events of Sept. 11, including thoughts on how individuals and corporations alike can help protect our right to privacy --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31810.xml 


"Playboy says hacker stole customer info," by Greg Sandoval and Robert Lemos, C|Net News Com, November 20, 2001 --- http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7932825.html?tag=mn_hd 

Playboy.com has alerted customers that an intruder broke into its Web site and obtained some customer information, including credit card numbers.

The online unit of the nearly 50-year-old men's magazine said in an e-mail to customers that it believed a hacker accessed "a portion" of Playboy.com's computer systems. In the e-mail, a copy of which was reviewed by CNET News.com, Playboy.com President Larry Lux did not disclose how many customers might have been affected.

Playboy.com encouraged customers to contact their credit card companies to check for unauthorized charges. New York-based Playboy.com also said it reported the incident to law enforcement officials and hired a security expert to audit its computer systems and analyze the incident.

Continued at http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7932825.html?tag=mn_hd 


"The Google Attack Engine," by Thomas C Greene, The Register, November 28, 2001 --- http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/23069.html 

Some clever empiricist appears to have been abusing Google to attack Web servers, switches and routers in a novel way, by crafting search terms to include known exploits. Such a search will occasionally yield active Web pages used by administrators. On top of that, a number of them have already been cached. It's reasonable to surmise that a hacker has been using Google not merely to search for vulnerabilities, but as a proxy to hide behind while executing attacks.

SecurityFocus researcher Ryan Russell discovered a wealth of such pages quite by accident, while working on improved rules for Snort, a popular open-source IDS (Intrusion Detection System).

"I was using Google to check how common a particular string is on the Web, to gauge how often a rule might cause a false-positive. Part of the process of deciding how often the rule might cause a false positive is deciding how common the string is that the rule searches for," Russell explains.

So while searching Google for a vulnerability in Cisco IOS Web Server, Russell followed a link and found himself in a switch belonging to a US .gov site.

The malicious use of search engines is nothing new, as we reported in a story back in June of 2000; but this does bring it to new levels of finesse. The significant thing here is that the cache can be used to cover one's tracks, assuming there are no graphics to be fetched.

Cruise control? So how did all this stuff get indexed in the first place? Did Google's mighty spiders do it all automatically, or did someone deliberately add the URLs?

Google offers "an advanced search feature that allows you to look for sites that link to a particular URL. When I looked for the URLs that are exploit attempts, there were no links to them. This either means they were submitted manually to Google, or possibly that the page that used to link to them has changed, and Google has already re-indexed it," Russell says.

"The simplest explanation is that they just went to Google's submit URL page, and typed it in."

Continured at - http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/23069.html 


A message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Okay, here's a question for those few of you who still read posts from me...

I would like to place a "timer" on a PowerPoint screen.

Has anyone here done this, or seen it done? I presume it will have to be an add-in, such as an object from a third-party package, or possibly an "undocumented feature" PowerPoint script or something.

Ideally, the timer would begin counting down second by second as soon as the slide appears.

David

Replies from Bob Jensen and Richard Campbell

You can also put a timer (along with adding your voice over a microphone) using Camtasia's Producer. Camtasia can be used to make video or a timed slide show. The "show" can be "anything" that appears on your computer screen, including PowerPoint slides. The audio is great for fleshing in the outline on each PowerPoint slide. When you are not present, students can play the audio and watch the slide show. When you are making a presentation, simply unplug the speakers.

I said "anything" in quotes, because Camtasia recording at say 10 frames a second does not do too well when the screens themselves are fast-moving video at over 20 frames per second. Fortunately, PowerPoint slide shows move much slower.

See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm#Video 

Bob Jensen

Reply From: Richard J. Campbell [mailto:campbell@RIO.EDU]  
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 3:35 PM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU 
Subject: Re: Has Anyone Been There or Done That?

David: 
Microsoft has a new product that is free for owners of Powerpoint 2002 called Producer that should do what you want. I was a beta tester. See http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/default.htm 

Richard J. Campbell


President Bush has signed into law the two-year moratorium on Internet access taxes. The bill effectively slows progress on attempts by states to impose an Internet sales tax. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/64969 


From Fathom --- http://www.fathom.com/ 

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In November 2001, the new IASB issued implementation guidance for IAS 39 --- http://accountingeducation.com/news/news2278.html

 

When the IASC Board voted to approve IAS 39: Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement in December 1998, it instructed the staff to monitor implementation issues and to consider how IASC can best respond to such issues and thereby help financial statement preparers, auditors, financial analysts, and others understand IAS 39 and those preparing to apply it for the first time.

In March 2000, the IASC Board approved an approach to publish implementation guidance on IAS 39 in the form of Questions and Answers (Q&A) and appointed an IAS 39 Implementation Guidance Committee (IGC) to review and approve the draft Q&A and to seek public comment before final publication. Also, the IAS 39 IGC may refer some issues either to the Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC) or to the IASB.

In July 2001, IASB issued a consolidated document that includes all questions and answers approved in final form by the IAS 39 Implementation Guidance Committee as of 1 July 2001, including the fifth batch of proposed guidance (issued for comment in December 2000). The Q&A respond to questions submitted by financial statement preparers, auditors, regulators, and others and have been issued to help them and others better understand IAS 39 and help ensure consistent application of the Standard.

There is also a publication, Accounting for Financial Instruments - Standards, Interpretations and Implementation Guidance, which is available from IASB Publications. This book contains the current text of IAS 32 and IAS 39, SIC Interpretations related to the accounting for financial instruments as well as the IAS 39 Implementation Guidance Questions and Answers.

In November 2001, the IGC issued a document with the final versions of 17 Q&A and two illustrative examples that were issued in draft form for public comment in June 2001. That document replaces pages 477-541 in the publication Accounting for Financial Instruments - Standards, Interpretations, and Implementation Guidance, which was published in July 2001. Draft Questions 10-22, 18-3, 38-6, 52-1, and 112-3 were eliminated in the final document, primarily because the issues involved are being addressed in the Board’s current project to amend IAS 39.

Pending the completion of the Board's current project to amend IAS 32 and 39, no further meetings of the IAS 39 Implementation Guidance Committee are planned
.

Bob Jensen's documents on IAS 39, FAS 133, and FAS 138 are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 


From Webmonkey Front Door on November 27, 2001
Having some difficulties with something Microsoft-made? (Huh!) You could call Microsoft Tech Support, but you might just fare better with a Tarot-powered reading from The Psychic Friends Network --- http://www.bmug.org/news/articles/MSvsPF.html 


American Religion Data Archive patrons,

The American Religion Data Archive has changed its web address to www.TheARDA.com . We will no longer be using  www.arda.tm  and we cannot garuntee that arda.tm will continue to function in the future. Please change your bookmarks and links to www.TheARDA.com.

The American Religion Data Archive (ARDA) has recently updated our website ( www.TheARDA.com ). New features include, but are not limited to, report and mapping features that allow users to analyze the breakdown of Christian adherents in most of the major American denominations as well as view any changes from 1980 to 1990; additionally, there is also a new site design that should provide easier access to the material on the ARDA website.

Thank you for your continued interest in the ARDA and we hope the new additions to the website meet patrons' needs.

Until the next ARDA update,

Phil Schwadel ARDA Research Associate
The American Religion Data Archive 
Department of Sociology 
The Pennsylvania State University 
211 Oswald Tower University Park, PA 16802-6207 
814-865-6258 Phone 814-863-7216 Fax www.TheARDA.com
arda@pop.psu.edu 


Meet Carla, a 14-year-old. She's also Dana, 18. And Becky, 23. Turns out that teenage girls have more multiple online personalities than any other age group, a study says --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48716,00.html 


The former CNN chief, Ted Turner,  believes that all the consolidation in the cable news business is depriving the public of a diversity of opinion --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48706,00.html 


HooRah for Online e-Commerce!

While sales in the offline world fell in the third quarter of the year, online retailers saw their earnings rise a bit, the U.S. government reported. It could be an encouraging sign for end-of-year sales --- http://www.wired.com/news/holidays/0,1882,48687,00.html


The following is an updated definition from my Technology Glossary at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm 

Fiber optic= Cable that carries light pulses instead of electrical current. A cable comprised of a multitude of fine glass fibers has much more capacity than the previously popular copper cable. (See also Information highway, Networks, and Sonet in the above Technology Glossary.)

Fiber Optics Terms from "Fiber to the School Desk," in T.H.E. Magazine, November 2001, p. 26 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3709B.cfm
FIBER OPTICS TERMS

Category 5e (Enhanced) - A category of performance for inside wire and cable. Used in support of signaling rates of up to 100 MHz over distances of up to 100 meters. Calls for tighter twists, electrical balancing between pairs and fewer cable anomalies. CAT5e is intended to support 100 Base-T, ATM and Gigabit Ethernet.

Cisco IP/TV - A comprehensive network video-streaming system for businesses, schools and governmental organizations. Using network-efficient multicast technology it delivers TV-quality live video programming.

Fiber Optics - A technology in which light is used to transport information from one point to another. More specifically, fiber optics are thin filaments of glass through which light beams are transmitted over long distances carrying enormous amounts of data.

Hub - The point of a network where circuits are connected. Also, a switching node. In Local Area Networks, a hub is the core of a star as in ARCNET, StarLAN, Ethernet and Token Ring. Hub hardware can be either active or passive. Wiring hubs are useful for their centralized management capabilities and for their ability to isolate nodes from disruption.

IDF - Intermediate Distribution Frame. A metal rack designed to connect cables, located in equipment or in a closet. Consists of components that provide the connection between the interbuilding and intrabuilding cabling, i.e. between the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) and individual phone wiring. There's usually a permanent, large cable running between the MDF and IDF. The changes in wiring are done at the IDF, preventing confusion in wiring.

MDF - Main Distribution Frame. A wiring arrangement that connects external telephone lines on one side and the internal lines on the other. A main distribution frame may also carry protective devices as well as function as a central testing point.

MTRJ - A small form-factor style of fiber optic connector that is defined by its high-density footprint and RJ45 locking mechanism.

Multimode - An optical fiber designed to allow light to carry multiple carrier signals, distinguished by frequency or phase, at the same time. (Contrasts with singlemode.)

SC - Designation for an optical connector featuring a 2.5 mm physically contacting ferrule with a push-pull mating design. This connector is recommended in the TIA/EIA-568A Standard for structured cabling.

ST - Designation for the "straight tip" connector developed by AT&T. This optical connector features a physically contacting, nonrotating 2.5 mm ferrule design and bayonet connector-to-adapter mating.

Singlemode - A fiber that allows only a single mode of light to propagate. This eliminates the main limitation to bandwidth, modal dispersion.


From Infobits on November 29, 2001

NETWORKING ON THE NETWORK

For many years Phil Agre, associate professor in the UCLA Department of Information Studies, has studied and written about how the Internet affects users and how users shape the Internet. He believes that a "great deal of effort is going into technical means for finding information on the net, but hardly anybody has been helping newcomers figure out where the net fits in the larger picture of their own careers." In his paper "Networking on the Network" Agre seeks to remedy this situation for people (primarily graduate students) in academic and research communities. Topics covered include constructive uses of electronic communication, using the Net to build a professional identity, and networks and job-hunting. Agre's paper is online at http://dlis.gseis.ucla.edu/people/pagre/network.html 

Phil Agre also edits the Red Rock Eater News Service mailing list. Most of the messages concern the social and political aspects of computing and networking. For more subscription information and links to archived messages, see http://dlis.gseis.ucla.edu/people/pagre/rre.html 


THE TECHNOLOGY SOURCE MOVES TO MICHIGAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has transferred ownership of THE TECHNOLOGY SOURCE to the Michigan Virtual University. James L. Morrison, Professor of Educational Leadership in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education, has agreed to remain as editor-in-chief and MVU has agreed to continue publishing The Technology Source as a free service to the educational community.

The purpose of The Technology Source is to provide thoughtful, illuminating articles that will assist educators as they face the challenge of integrating information technology tools into teaching and into managing educational organizations. Issues include commentaries, case studies, reports on faculty and staff development, articles on the virtual university, and links to higher-education websites. You can read the November/December issue of The Technology Source at http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=issue&id=45 


RECOMMENDED READING

"Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

THE GRATIS ECONOMY: PRIVATELY PROVIDED PUBLIC GOODS by Infobits subscriber Andras Kelen Budapest: Central European University Press, 2001; ISBN: 963-9241-22-9

"A work in the relatively new field of economic sociology, this highly unconventional book deals with the logics of toll-free services and generalises the notion of voluntary work toward encompassing everything that can be obtained free of charge in the world. . . . The Gratis Economy will be of interest to professors and students of applied economics and business schools, sociologists, to the e-business community, marketing practitioners, webspinners, infonauts, netizens, software developers and decision-makers of electronic media."

For more information see http://come.to/Gratis-Economy/ 


The Economy & Entrepreneurs 
In part one of a two-part series, Don Sussis takes a fresh look at the state of the U.S. economy, recent political events, and how it will all impact the future of e-business entrepreneurs as venture capitalists become even more cognizant of their potential investments. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3218 


Pattern Recognition from MIT
"Recognizing the Enemy," by Alexandra Stikeman, Technology Review, December 2001 --- http://www.techreview.com/magazine/dec01/stikeman.asp 

Of all the dramatic images to emerge in the hours and days following the September 11 attacks, one of the most haunting was a frame from a surveillance-camera video capturing the face of suspected hijacker Mohamed Atta as he passed through an airport metal detector in Portland, ME. 

Even more chilling to many security experts is the fact that, had the right technology been in place, an image like that might have helped avert the attacks. According to experts, face recognition technology that's already commercially available could have instantly checked the image against photos of suspected terrorists on file with the FBI and other authorities. If a match had been made, the system could have sounded the alarm before the suspect boarded his flight.


From FEI Express on November 29, 2001

COPING WITH TODAY'S ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING STANDARDS 
Over the years, there have been increasing concerns that accounting and reporting standards may have become too complex, too difficult, and too costly to implement. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the FEI Research Foundation would like your help in exploring this important issue. Click here to complete a brief on-line survey: http://www.fei.org/rf/survey/pwc/pwc_survey.cfm 

Based on the survey results, we may recommend actions for the standard setters and regulators. We have received 140 responses so far. If you haven't already done so, please respond by Friday, December 7, so that we can include your response also.If you have any questions, please call Bill Sinnett at the FEI Research Foundation (973-898-4604 or bsinnett@fei.org ).

LINKING HUMAN CAPITAL TO THE BOTTOM LINE New data shows there is a cause and effect relationship between human capital management and financial performance -- HR practices drive financial success. Companies with best HR practices provide 3 times the shareholder returns as companies with weak practices. For companies that are currently justifying their HR expenses, this is a way to communicate in profit and loss terms. Watson Wyatt's Human Capital Index study identifies exactly which human capital practices yield the best financial return: http://www.watsonwyatt.com/homepage/us/resrender.asp?id=W-488&page=1 

Also... read HRFinance Alert, a newsletter focused on the finance side of HR issues: http://www.watsonwyatt.com/homepage/us/new/hrfinance/ 

MARKET CONDITIONS AND NON-CONVENTIONAL RISKS Marsh's "New Reality of Risk" teleconference series continues on Dec. 5 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Free to FEI members. To learn more, go to: http://www.fei.org/news/RealityRiskTele.cfm 

JOB POSTING: CFO: FEI JOB #5492 Reporting to the COO, the CFO will direct the Firm in all areas of financial matters. These duties include: development of timely and accurate financial reports; preparation of budget models and financial projections; analysis of compliance with financial plans and budgets; tracking of timely payments to the Firm's creditors; and the many other necessary responsibilities which will ensure the protection of the Firm's assets by adherence to generally accepted accounting procedures. Contact mreusser@shb.com.

To view more jobs, go to http://www.fei.org/careers/agreement.cfm 


Double Entries chooses the following accounting "Book of the Week"

BOOK OF THE WEEK 
http://accountingeducation.com/
  

Accounting: Themes, Keys, Formulas, Glossary of Accounting Terms for Your Introductory College Course (Barron's Ez-101 Study Keys) by David Minars and Davis A. Minars.

Amazon.com reviewers give this introductory accounting guide a five star rating. If you need an alternative text from your class recommendation to get you through your intro/Accounting 101 classes, this might be the place to go.

If you'd like to obtain a copy of this book, why not order it directly from the Amazon.com website by following the link provided.


Tax Changes That Your Family Should Know About 

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on November 29, 2001 Subscribers to the Electronic Edition of the WSJ can obtain reviews in various disciplines by contacting wsjeducatorsreviews@dowjones.com  
See http://info.wsj.com/professor/ 

TITLE: Don't Just Sit There: Tax changes are going to have a significant effect on almost every aspect of your finances. It's time to get ready. 
REPORTER: Frederic Wiegold , The Wall Street Journal
DATE: Nov 26, 2001 
PAGE: R3 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1006366653151356720.djm  
TOPICS: Personal Taxation

SUMMARY: The new tax law, entitled the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, was signed into law last June. The article recommends that everyone should review his or her year-end financial position and tax strategies based on various provisions of the law. Topics covered include lower overall tax rates, the impact of the AMT, and potential tax underpayment through withholding. The article provides a summary of the law's major provisions.

QUESTIONS: 
1.) Describe the major provisions of the tax cut enacted last June with respect to personal income taxes and to estate taxes. What is the significance of the year 2011?

2.) Why might the AMT prevent some taxpayers from benefiting based on the new law? Why does the AMT particularly affect taxpayers living in high tax states such as California and New York?

3.) How could a taxpayer end up with an underpayment problem because of the tax rates dropping by half a percentage point?

4.) What are the problems that can arise because of the increasing amount of estate values that are exempt from tax under the new law? How do the tax law changes, especially the year 2011, make it difficult to write a will that is sure to have the outcome desired for a surviving spouse and children?

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

 


I updated some of my links to accounting educator helpers.

Accounting Educator Helpers

You can both read and listen to Joel Demski's August 15 address to the AAA membership at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001aaa/atlanta01.htm 

Other Accounting Educator Helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default3.htm 

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 

Archives of New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

Bob Jensen's Helpers for Educators in General --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ 




Forwarded by Bob Overn

Rules for Buying Gifts for Men:

Rule #1: When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6: Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey or beer.

Rule #7: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.

Rule #8: Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #9: Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #10: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sears' Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. "From NAPA Auto,eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks."

Rule #11: Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook -- but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

Rule #12: Tickets to a Patriots game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule #13: Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why -- please refer to Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule #14: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #15: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manilla rope. No one knows why.


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

1. The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. 

2. The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress)

3. At the time of Pearl Harbor the top US Navy command was Called CINCUS (pronounced "sink us"), the shoulder patch of the US Army's 45th. Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler's private train was named "Amerika". All three were soon changed for PR purposes.

4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%.

5. Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

7. When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).

8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn't worth the effort.

9. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.

10. Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

11. Following a massive naval bombardment 35, 000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been any Japanese on the island.

BIZARRE MILITARY MISHAPS:

Two U.S. Air Force F-15s shoot down two U.S. Army helicopters on a diplomatic mission over Iraq, mistaking them for hostile aircraft in the "no-fly zone, " killing 26 people. No one was found criminally responsible.

A "siesta" ordered by Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana to his troops during a conflict between the Mexicans and Texans caused the infantry to be overtaken in just 18 minutes. Fort Douaumont at Verdun in France was captured in 1916 by a single German soldier after French General Chretien forgot to pass on orders to defend the fort to the last man to his successor.

The Russians tried to wreak havoc on German Panzer divisions during the WWII by strapping bombs to the backs of dogs and teaching them to associate food with the underneath of their enemies' tanks. Unfortunately, the dogs only associated food with their own tanks and forced an entire Soviet division to retreat.

Japanese soldier Hiroo Onodo refused to stop fighting long after WWII was over, claiming that stories of the war's ending were mere propaganda. It wasn't until his commanding officer flew out to the remote Pacific island where Onoda was holed up and ordered him to lay down his arms that he finally complied.

Probably the most famous mistake in U.S. military history occurred in the Civil War, when Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson was mistakenly shot by one of his own troops after the Confederate triumph at Chancellorsville.


Forwarded by Dick Haar

How Old would Grampa be? The answer is at the bottom...

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age,and just things in general.

The granddad replied, "Well, let me think a minute ...I was born, before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.

There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.

Your grandmother and I got married first-and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother, and every boy over 14 had a rifle that his dad taught him how to use and respect. And they went hunting and fishing together.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, 'Sir'-and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

Sundays were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need, and visiting with family or neighbors.

We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios. And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk. The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 & 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In my day, 'grass' was mowed, 'coke' was a cold drink, 'pot' was something your mother cooked in, and 'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.

'Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office, 'chip' meant a piece of wood, 'hardware' was found in a hardware store, and 'software' wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.

...and how old do you think I am -???

 

...This man would be only 59 years old


Goodbye Art,

Superman can do it all on his own. Bob Jensen receives a lot of help from friends and strangers. You were one of those friends that both helped and challenged me Art. Best of luck to you in retirement. May you find peace and happiness as the fruits of your years of dedicated labor.

Please do not forget us while you are listening to waves crashing on distant beaches. You might even send b-mail (i.e., messages in bottles).

Bob

-----Original Message----- 
From: Art Joy [mailto:Joy_Arthur@COLSTATE.EDU]  
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 1:19 PM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU  
Subject: Retirement

Dear AECM Confreres,

I will be retiring from academe in just a few short weeks (at the end of the current semester.) I have been a relatively inactive lurker on the AECM listserv for the past coule of years, but, as I retire, I want to say thanks to Barry for providing the list, to all of you who have contributed to the list and helped shed light on my many areas of ignorance, and a special thanks to Bob Jensen for demonstrating that Superman is not just a character in a comic book.

Best wishes to all of you

Art Joy

Arthur C Joy Associate Professor of Accounting Abbott Turner College of Business Columbus State University Columbus, Georgia 31907-5645 706-562-1659; Fax 706-568-2184 email: joy_arthur@colstate.edu

 



And that's the way it was on December 3, 2001 with a little help from my friends.

 

In March 2000, Forbes named AccountantsWorld.com as the Best Website on the Web --- http://accountantsworld.com/.
Some top accountancy links --- http://accountantsworld.com/category.asp?id=Accounting

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 

 

Another leading accounting site is AccountingEducation.com at http://www.accountingeducation.com/ 

 

Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at http://www.iasplus.com/

 

How stuff works --- http://www.howstuffworks.com/ 

 

Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/ 
Accompanying documentation can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default1.htm and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

 

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

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November 23, 2001

Quotes of the Week

Long-time user of "New Bookmarks" and admirer of your work and all you do for our profession. It is apparent to me you never teach a class, never take a break for lunch, have no family, and you sleep in your office. Otherwise, how could you possibly get it all done!
Dr. Tommie Singleton, Chair Department of Accounting & Business Law, University of North Alabama
(You've got that right Tommie!)

"The world of auditing and accounting appears to be in crisis, driven in part by issues such as intangibles, the complexity of derivatives and trading, and financial engineering."
Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Board chairman.  (See Below.)

Professors are people who talk in other peoples' sleep.
Forwarded by Phil Cooley

"God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way." --
Arturo Toscanini to a trumpet player

"Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on his backside." 
Ludwig van Beethoven

"No operatic star has yet died soon enough for me."
Sir Thomas Beecham

"Vocation is not a goal ... that is our birthright gift"
This is not an exact quote, but it is a paraphrasing of the quotation given by Chaplain Nickle in the November 18 sermon in Parker Chapel.  The quotation is from Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer --- http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,221764,00.html 

Dear Bob, 
It was good to see you and Erika at worship yesterday! The Parker Palmer that I quoted was: "Today I understand vocation quite differently -- not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice "out there" calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice "in here" calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God." from p.10 of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.
Chaplain Stephen Nickle

(See below for more references of Parker Palmer.)




I Am Impressed With the Technology of This New AICPA Online Video
Modernization of the (CPA) Profession's Independence Rules
http://www.aicpa.org/stream/indrulewebcast/index.html# 

Click on the above link to view a thirty-minute archived webcast on the AICPA's newly adopted rules.

After you view this webcast, we invite you to participate on December 4 at 1 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) in a live, interactive web conference. During that web conference, a panel consisting of representatives from the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee, the AICPA Ethics and State Societies and Regulatory Affairs divisions and NASBA will address your questions about the rules.

Please provide us your questions via e-mail after viewing the archived webcast. We will respond to those questions during the live webcast on December 4.

To view/register for the live webcast on December 4, click the "live webcast" button located on the AICPA Video Player.

Added Note from Bob Jensen:

The FASB issued a video (the old fashioned kind that must be played on a VCR) that focuses on the supreme importance of independence in the CPA profession.  

FASB 40-Minute Video, Financially Correct (Quality of Earnings)

The price is $15.

In the midst of recent auditing scandals such as the recent Enron's auditing scandal, independence is becoming more critical to the survival of public accountancy's certified audits.  To put the problem more in perspective, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

Updates on Enron's Creative Accounting Scandal ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

Big Five firm Andersen is in the thick of a controversy involving a 20% overstatement in Enron's net earnings and financial statements dating back to 1997 that will have to be restated. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/63352 

One of the main causes for the restatements of financial reports that will be required of Enron relates to transactions in which Enron issued shares of its own stock in exchange for notes receivable. The notes were recorded as assets on the company books, and the stock was recorded as equity. However, Lynn Turner, former SEC chief accountant, points out, "It is basic accounting that you don't record equity until you get cash, and a note doesn't count as cash. The question that raises is: How did both partners and the manager on this audit miss this simple Accounting 101 rule?"

In addition, Enron has acknowledged overstating its income in the past four years of financial statements to the tune of $586 million, or 20%. The misstatements reportedly result from "audit adjustments and reclassifications" that were proposed by auditors but were determined to be "immaterial."

There is a chance that such immaterialities will be determined to be unlawful. An SEC accounting bulletin states that certain adjustments that might fall beneath a materiality threshold aren't necessarily material if such misstatements, when combined with other misstatements, render "the financial statements taken as a whole to be materially misleading."

The world of auditing and accounting appears to be in crisis, driven in part by issues such as intangibles, the complexity of derivatives and trading, and financial engineering."
Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Board chairman.  (See Below.)

Independence and competence issues are even more troublesome at a time when the CPA profession is seeking to expand (or expend?) the profession into assurance services.  I have added a section below on new assurance service thrusts of the CPA profession.


A Great Summary of Web Instruction Resources 
Sharon Gray, Instructional Technologist --- http://inst.augie.edu/%7Egray/ 
Augustana College, 2001 Summit Ave., Sioux Falls, SD  57197
gray@inst.augie.edu, 605-274-4907 

For a GREAT comprehensive listing of Web Instruction Resources, go to http://inst.augie.edu/~gray/WBI.html

Related Sites of Possible Interest

See the history of course authoring technologies at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 

Advice to New Faculty and Bob Jensen's Resource Summary can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm 

Bob Jensen's Helpers for Educators at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default1.htm

Bob Jensen's Educator Helper Bookmarks at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm


Subject Index to Literature on Electronic Sources of Information http://library.usask.ca/~dworacze/SUBJIN_A.HTM 

 Electronic Sources of Information: A Bibliography http://library.usask.ca/~dworacze/BIBLIO.HTM 

A new book on "The Invisible Web" --- http://www.invisible-web.net/ 
Bob Jensen's threads of the invisible web are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


Time Magazine's Choices for the Best Inventions for the Year 2001 (which isn't even over yet) --- http://www.time.com/time/2001/inventions/ 




I added a Special Section to the document entitled "Opportunities of E-Business Assurance:  Risks in Assuring Risk" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 

 Parts of the Special Section follow in this Edition of New Bookmarks.

My other electronic Business links are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm


Assurance Services Opportunities and Risks

The AICPA's Assurance Services Website is at http://www.aicpa.org/assurance/index.htm 

E-COMMERCE AND AUDITING FAIR VALUES SUBJECTS OF NEW INTERNATIONAL GUIDANCE The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) invites comments on two new exposure drafts (EDs): Auditing Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures and Electronic Commerce: Using the Internet or Other Public Networks - Effect on the Audit of Financial Statements. Comments on both EDs, developed by IFAC's International Auditing Practices Committee (IAPC), are due by January 15, 2002. See http://accountingeducation.com/news/news2213.html  

The IFAC link is at http://www.ifac.org/Guidance/EXD-Download.tmpl?PubID=1003772692151 

The purpose of this International Standard on Auditing (ISA) is to establish standards and provide guidance on auditing fair value measurements and disclosures contained in financial statements. In particular, this ISA addresses audit considerations relating to the valuation, measurement, presentation and disclosure for material assets, liabilities and specific components of equity presented or disclosed at fair value in financial statements. Fair value measurements of assets, liabilities and components of equity may arise from both the initial recording of transactions and later changes in value.

 
Download
"Auditing Fair Value Measurements And Disclosures"
in MS Word format.

File Size: 123 Kbytes
Download
"Auditing Fair Value Measurements And Disclosures"
in Adobe Acrobat format.

File Size: 209 Kbytes


 

Financial Statement Assurance in an E-Business Environment
  • Risks uniquely present in an e-business environment.  

    • Networked transactions

    • Changing technologies that can tank a business overnight

    • Soft assets dominate hard assets

    • Ever-evolving series of mergers and acquisitions

    • Short and high-risk product life cycles

    • Young and inexperienced labor force

    • Success or failure may ride on one person or a few key people

    • Lack of management focus on cost control

  • Successions of losses do not necessarily impair a going concern (provided investors are willing to keep infusing the business with cash)

  • Substantive testing in audits may not be practical or feasible (see Statement on Auditing Standards [SAS] 80, Amendment to SAS 31, Evidential Matter)

 

 

New Forms of Assurance to Facilitate E-Business

AICPA formed the Special Committee on Assurance Services (SCAS) in 1994.  After a careful analysis of demographic and other trends, this committee concluded the following:

Your marketplace is changing.  Multibillion-dollar markets for new CPA services are being created.  Investors, creditors, and business managers are swamped with information, yet frustrated about not having the information they need and uncertain about the relevance and reliability of what they use.  CPA firms of all sizes--from small practitioners to very large firms--can help these decision makers by delivering new assurance services.  (AICPA Web site, "Assurance Services," www.aicpa.org).

The Elliott Committee (named after its chair, Robert K. Elliott) identified six new service areas considered to have high potential for revenue growth for assurance providers:

  1. Risk Assessment

  2. Business Performance Measurement

  3. Information Systems Reliability

  4. Electronic Commerce

  5. Health Care Performance Measurement

  6. ElderCare

The work of the Elliott Committee was followed by the appointment of the ongoing Assurance Services Executive Committee, chaired by Ronald Cohen.  This committee is charged with the ongoing development of new assurance services and the provision of guidance to practicing CPAs on implementing the services developed.

  • Information Systems Reliability Assurance 

  • Electronic Commerce Assurance. 

Business-To-Consumer Assurance

  • CPA/CA WebTrust (Joint Venture of AICPA and CICA)
    • Business Practices and Disclosure--The entity discloses its business and information privacy practices for e-business transactions and executes transactions in accordance with its disclosed practices.

    • Transaction Integrity--The entity maintains effective controls to provide reasonable assurance that customers' transactions using e-business are completed and billed as agreed.

    • Information Protection and Privacy--The entity maintains effective controls to provide reasonable assurance that private customer information obtained as a result of e-business is protected from uses not related to the entity's business.

  • Proprietary E-Business Audits

  • Privacy Audits

Business-to-Business Assurance

  • Assurances against service disruptions and product shipments

  • CPA/CA SysTrust (Joint Venture of AICPA and CICA)
    • Availability--The system is available during times specified by the entity.

    • Security--Adequate protection is provided against unwanted logical or physical entrance into the system.

    • Integrity--Processes within the system are executed in a complete, accurate, timely and authorized manner.

    • Maintainability--Updates (upgrades) to the system can be performed when needed without disabling the other three principles.

  • SAS 70 Reviews of Service Organizations (extended to B2B Risks)

SAS 70, Reports on the Processing of Transactions by Service Organizations, was issued to provide assistance in the auditing of entities that obtain either or both of the following services from an external third party entity.

  • Executing transactions and maintaining related accountability

  • Recording transactions and processing data

  • Internal Controls Risk

    • The financial statement assertions that are either directly or indirectly affected by the service organization's internal control policies and procedures.

    • The extent to which the service organization's policies and procedures interact with the user organization's internal control structure

    • The degree of standardization of the services provided by the third-party to individual clients.  In the case of highly standardized services, the service auditor may be best suited to provide assurance: however, when the third-party offers many customized services, the third-party auditor may be unable to provide sufficient assurance regarding a specific client.

SAS 70 provides for two reports the service auditor can provide to the user auditor concerning the policies and procedures of the service organization:

  • Reports on policies and procedures placed in operation.

  • Reports on policies and procedures placed in operation and tests of operating effectiveness.

Other Potential New Services to Facilitate E-Business

  • Value-Added Network (VAN) Service Provider Assurance

  • Evaluation of Electronic Commerce Software Packages

  • Trusted Key and Signature Provider Assurance

  • Criteria Establishment

  • Counseling Services

The AICPA's Assurance Services Website is at http://www.aicpa.org/assurance/index.htm 

 

Major Constraints and Considerations
Competencies Required

Competition

Jeopardy to Public Accountancy's Image of Independence and Professionalism

Legal Risks

The AICPA's Assurance Services Website is at http://www.aicpa.org/assurance/index.htm 


A Special Section on Computer and Networking Security

The FBI's Internet Fraud and Complaint Center (IFCC FBI) --- Report Internet frauds and crimes here.
To thwart fraud on the Internet and terror in general, check in and/or report to http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp

National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) --- Report infrastructure security incidents here.
Located in the FBI's headquarters building in Washington, D.C., the NIPC brings together representatives from U.S. government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector in a partnership to protect our nation's critical infrastructures.
http://www.nipc.gov/
 

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) --- Report computer invasions and viruses here.
The CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) is a center of Internet security expertise, at the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. We study Internet security vulnerabilities, handle computer security incidents, publish security alerts, research long-term changes in networked systems, and develop information and training to help you improve security at your site.  http://www.cert.org/


Cookies = Applets that enable a web site to collect information about each user for later reference (as in finding cookies in the cookie jar). Web Browsers like Netscape Navigator set aside a small amount of space on the user's hard drive to record detected preferences.  Cookies perform storage on the client side that might otherwise have to be stored in a generic-state or database server on the server side. Cookies can be used to collect information for consumer profile databases. Browsers can be set to refuse cookies. 

Many times when you browse a website, your browser checks to see if you have any pre-defined preferences (cookie) for that server if you do it sends the cookie to the server along with the request for a web page. Sometimes cookies are used to collect items of an order as the user places things in a shopping cart and has not yet submitted the full order. A cookie allows WWW customers to fill their orders (shopping carts) and then be billed based upon the cookie payment information. Cookies retain information about a users browsing patterns at a web site. This creates all sorts of privacy risks since information obtained from cookies by vendors or any persons who put cookies on your computer might be disclosed in ways that are harmful to you.  Browsers will let you refuse cookies with a set up that warns you when someone is about to deliver a cookie, but this really disrupts Web surfing and may block you from gaining access to may sites.  It is probably better to accept cookies for a current session and then dispose of unwanted cookies as soon as possible so that cookie senders do not obtain repeated access to your private information.  Microsoft Corporation has added the following utilities to the Internet Explorer (IE) browser according to http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/07/21/ms.cookies.idg/ 

The Internet Explorer 5.5 changes include the following:

• Notifications that Microsoft said will help users differentiate between first- and third-party cookies, plus automatic prompts that inform users anytime a third-party cookie is being offered by a Web site.

• A "delete all cookies" control button that has been added to the browser's main "Internet options" page to make it easier for users to get rid of cookies.

• New topics that have been added to Internet Explorer's help menu to better answer questions about cookies and their management.

Instruction for cookies control using Internet Explorer --- http://www.scholastic.com/cookies.htm 

To accept cookies if you are using a PC running Windows...

Internet Explorer 5 1. Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.

2. Click the Security tab.

3. Click the Internet zone.

4. Select a security level other than High.

-or-

Click Custom Level, scroll to the Cookies section, and then click Enable for both cookie options.

5. Click on Apply.

6. Click on OK.

Other nations, notably in Europe, have placed more severe restrictions on the use of cookies.  See http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/07/21/eu.spam.idg/index.html

For more on cookies, see the following:

 


Question 1:
How can you send email anonymously?

Answer 1:
Simply set up an email account under a fictitious name.  For example, you can send email under multiple fictitious names from the Yahoo email server at http://www.yahoo.com/   (Click on 'Mail" in the row "Connect")

Question 2:
How can you be totally anonymous on the Web such that cookie monsters do not track your Web navigation at your site and bad guys cannot track your surfing habits or get at your personal information such as medical records, name, mail address, phone number, email address, etc.?  (You can read about cookie monsters at 

Answer 2:
There is probably no way to be 100% safe unless you use someone else's computer without them knowing you are using that computer on the Web.  In most instances, the owner of the computer (a university, a public library, an employer, etc.) will know who is using the computer, but cookie monsters and bad guys on the Web won't have an easy time finding out who you are without having the powers of the police.

About the safest way to remain anonymous as a Web surfer is to sign up for Privada from your IP Internet provider that obtain your line connection from for purposes of connecting to the Web.  In most instances, surfers pay a monthly fee that will increase by about $5.00 per month for the Pivada service (if the IP provider has Privada or some similar service).  To read more about Privada, go to http://industry.java.sun.com/solutions/company/summary/0,2353,4514,00.html 

Privada Control (Application)

Primary Market Target: Utilities&Services 
Secondary Market Target: Financial Services

Description Used with Privada Network, PrivadaControl provides the consumer component of Privada's services, and is distributed to end-users by network service providers. Users create an online identity that cannot be linked to their real-world identity, allowing them to browse the Internet with the level of privacy they choose while still reaping the benefits of personalized content. PrivadaControl is built entirely in the Java(TM) programming language and runs completely in a Java Virtual Machine.

For discussion of other forms of protection, see Privacy in eCommerce.


Question 3:
Where can you find great links to security matters in computing?

Answer 3:
Try Yahoo's links at
http://dir.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/World_Wide_Web/Security_and_Encryption/ 


Question 4:
It is extremely dangerous to open email attachments.  However, is it dangerous to open an email message without opening any attachments?

Answer 4:
Generally the answer is no.  However, it is a bit more complicated than this.  The following is stated at http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf2.html#CLT-Q11 

For many years the answer to this question was a resounding no and that is largely the case now as well. There are a series of hoax chain letters that are seemingly endlessly circulating around the globe. A typical letter is the "Good Times" hoax. It will warn you that if you see an e-mail with a subject line that contains the phrase "Good Times" you should delete it immediately because the very fact of opening it will activate a virus that will do damage to your hard disk. The letter will encourage you to send this warning to your friends.

The "Good Times" hoax, and many like it, are simply not true. However there are enough people who believe these hoaxes that the messages are endlessly forwarded and reforwarded. If you get a letter like this one, simply delete it. Do not forward it to your friends, and please do not forward it to any mailing lists. If you are uncertain whether the letter is a hoax, refer it to your system administrator or network security officer.

Just to make life complicated, however, there are some cases in which the simple act of opening an e-mail message can damage your system. The newer generation of e-mail readers, including the one built into Netscape Communicator, Microsoft Outlook Express, and Qualcomm Eudora all allow e-mail attachments to contain "active content" such as ActiveX controls or JavaScript programs. As explained in the JavaScript and in the  ActiveX sections,  active content provides a variety of backdoors that can violate your privacy or perhaps inflict more serious harm. Until the various problems are shaken out of JavaScript and ActiveX, enclosures that might contain active content should be opened cautiously. This includes HTML pages and links to HTML pages. Disabling JavaScript and ActiveX will immunize you to potential problems.

In addition, there are other cases where e-mail messages can be harmful to your health. In the summer of 1998, a number of programming blunders were discovered in e-mail readers from Qualcomm, Netscape and Microsoft. These blunders (which involved overflowing static buffers) allowed a carefully crafted e-mail message to crash your computer or damage its contents. No actual cases of damage arising from these holes has been described, but if you are cautious you should upgrade to a fixed version of your e-mail reader. More details can be found at the vendors' security pages:

Microsoft
http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/
Netscape
http://www.netscape.com/products/security/
Qualcomm
http://eudora.qualcomm.com/security.html

Finally, don't forget that some documents do carry viruses. For example, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint all support macro languages that have been used to write viruses. Naturally enough, if you use any of these programs and receive an e-mail message that contains one of these documents as an enclosure, your system may be infected when you open that enclosure. An up-to-date virus checking program will usually catch these viruses before they can attack. Some virus checkers that recognize macro viruses include:

McAfee VirusScan
http://www.mcafee.com/
Symantec AntiVirus
http://www.symantec.com/
Norton AntiVirus
http://www.symantec.com/
Virex
http://www.datawatch.com/virex.shtml
IBM AntiVirus
http://www.av.ibm.com/
Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus
http://www.drsolomon.com/

Question 5:
How can I safely open up email attachments?

Answer 5:
One way is to save the attachment to a floppy disk or some other storage disk that can be accessed by more than one of your computers.  The open the attachment in the computer that you least care about if there is a virus infection.  Even that computer, however, should have the latest updated version of one of the virus detection programs listed above.

You can avoid macro virus damage (which is the most common type of danger when opening email attachments) by installing QuickView Plus from JASC.  The good news is that you are totally safe from macro viruses.  The bad news is that QuickView Plus does not provide full functionality apart from displaying the text and graphics.  For example, QuickView Plus will not run the macros that may be an integral part of an Excel program.  To read more about QuickView Plus, go to http://www.jasc.com/ 


Especially note the Stein and Stewart FAQ site at http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/www-security-faq.html 

CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
  2. What's New?
    Recent versions of the FAQ.

     

  3. General Questions
    • Q1 What's to worry about?
    • Q2 Exactly what security risks are we talking about?
    • Q3 Are some Web servers and operating systems more secure than others?
    • Q4 Are some Web server software programs more secure than others?
    • Q5 Are CGI scripts insecure?
    • Q6 Are server-side includes insecure?
    • Q7 What general security precautions should I take?
    • Q8 Where can I learn more about network security?
  4. Client Side Security
    • Q1 How do I turn off the "You are submitting the contents of a form insecurely" message in Netscape? Should I worry about it?
    • Q2 How secure is the encryption used by SSL?
    • Q3 When I try to view a secure page, the browser complains that the site certificate doesn't match the server and asks me if I wish to continue. Should I?
    • Q4 When I try to view a secure page, the browser complains that it doesn't recognize the authority that signed its certificate and asks me if I want to continue. Should I?
    • Q5 How private are my requests for Web documents?
    • Q6 What's the difference between Java and JavaScript?
    • Q7 Are there any known security holes in Java?
    • Q8 Are there any known security holes in JavaScript?
    • Q9 What is ActiveX? Does it pose any risks?
    • Q10 Do "Cookies" Pose any Security Risks?
    • Q11 I hear there's an e-mail message making the rounds that can trash my hard disk when I open it. Is this true?
    • Q12 Can one Web site hijack another's content?
    • Q13 Can my web browser reveal my LAN login name and password?
    • Q14 Are there any known problems with Microsoft Internet Explorer?
    • Q15 Are there any known problems with Netscape Communicator?
    • Q16 Are there any known problems with Lynx for Unix?
    • Q17 Someone suggested I configure /bin/csh as a viewer for documents of type application/x-csh. Is this a good idea?
    • Q18 Is there anything else I should keep in mind regarding external viewers?
  5. Server Side Security
    • General
      • Q1 How do I set the file permissions of my server and document roots?
      • Q2 I'm running a server that provides a whole bunch of optional features. Are any of them security risks?
      • Q3 I heard that running the server as "root" is a bad idea. Is this true?
      • Q4 I want to share the same document tree between my ftp and Web servers. Is there any problem with this idea?
      • Q5 Can I make my site completely safe by running the server in a "chroot" environment?
      • Q6 My local network runs behind a firewall. How can I use it to increase my Web site's security?
      • Q7 My local network runs behind a firewall. How can I get around it to give the rest of the world access to the Web server?
      • Q8 How can I detect if my site's been broken into?
    • Windows NT Servers
      • Q9 Are there any known problems with the Netscape Servers?
      • Q10 Are there any known problems with the WebSite Server?
      • Q11 Are there any known problems with Purveyor?
      • Q12 Are there any known problems with Microsoft IIS?
      • Q13Are there any known security problems with Sun Microsystem's JavaWebServer?
      • Q14Are there any known security problems with the MetaInfo MetaWeb Server?
    • Unix Servers
      • Q15 Are there any known problems with NCSA httpd?
      • Q16 Are there any known problems with Apache httpd?
      • Q17 Are there any known problems with the Netscape Servers?
      • Q18 Are there any known problems with the Lotus Domino Go Server?
      • Q19 Are there any known problems with the WN Server?
    • Macintosh Servers
      • Q20 Are there any known problems with WebStar?
      • Q21 Are there any known problems with MacHTTP?
      • Q22 Are there any known problems with Quid Pro Quo?
    • Other Servers
      • Q23 Are there any known problems with Novell WebServer?
    • Server Logs and Privacy
      • Q24 What information do readers reveal that they might want to keep private?
      • Q25 Do I need to respect my readers' privacy?
      • Q26 How do I avoid collecting too much information?
      • Q27 How do I protect my readers' privacy?
  6. CGI Scripts
    • General
      • Q1 What's the problem with CGI scripts?
      • Q2 Is it better to store scripts in the cgi-bin directory or to identify them using the .cgi extension?
      • Q3 Are compiled languages such as C safer than interpreted languages like Perl and shell scripts?
      • Q4 I found a great CGI script on the Web and I want to install it. How can I tell if it's safe?
      • Q5 What CGI scripts are known to contain security holes?
    • Language Independent Issues
      • Q6 I'm developing custom CGI scripts. What unsafe practices should I avoid?
      • Q7 But if I avoid eval(), exec(), popen() and system(), how can I create an interface to my database/search engine/graphics package?
      • Q8 Is it safe to rely on the PATH environment variable to locate external programs?
      • Q9 I hear there's a package called cgiwrap that makes CGI scripts safe?
      • Q10 People can only use scripts if they're accessed from a form that lives on my local system, right?
      • Q11 Can people see or change the values in "hidden" form variables?
      • Q12 Is using the "POST" method for submitting forms more private than "GET"?
      • Q13 Where can I learn more about safe CGI scripting?
    • Safe Scripting in Perl
      • Q14 How do I avoid passing user variables through a shell when calling exec() and system()?
      • Q15 What are Perl taint checks? How do I turn them on?
      • Q16 OK, I turned on taint checks like you said. Now my script dies with the message: "Insecure path at line XX" every time I try to run it!
      • Q17 How do I "untaint" a variable?
      • Q18 I'm removing shell metacharacters from the variable, but Perl still thinks it's tainted!
      • Q19 Is it true that the pattern matching operation $foo=~/$user_variable/ is unsafe?
      • Q20 My CGI script needs more privileges than it's getting as user "nobody". How do I run a Perl script as suid?
  7. Protecting Confidential Documents at Your Site
    • Q1 What types of access restrictions are available?
    • Q2 How safe is restriction by IP address or domain name?
    • Q3 How safe is restriction by user name and password?
    • Q4 What is user verification?
    • Q5 How do I restrict access to documents by the IP address or domain name of the remote browser?
    • Q6 How do I add new users and passwords?
    • Q7 Isn't there a CGI script to allow users to change their passwords online?
    • Q8 Using .htaccess to control access in individual directories is so convenient, why should I use access.conf?
    • Q9 How does encryption work?
    • Q10 What are: SSL, SHTTP, Shen?
    • Q11 Are there any "freeware" secure servers?
    • Q12 Can I use Personal Certificates to Control Server Access?
    • Q13 How do I accept credit card orders over the Web?
    • Q14 What are: CyberCash, SET, Open Market?
  8. Denial of Service Attacks 
    • Overview
      • Q1 What is a Denial of Service attack?
      • Q2 What is a Distributed Denial of Service attack?
      • Q3 How is a DDoS executed against a website?
      • Q4 Is there a quick and easy way to secure against a DDoS attack?
      • Q5 Can the U.S. Government make a difference?
    • Step-by-Step
      • Q6 How do I check my servers to see if they are active DDoS hosts?
      • Q7 What should I do if I find a DDoS host program on my server?
      • Q8 How can I prevent my servers from being used as DDoS hosts in the future?
      • Q9 How can I prevent my personal computer from being used as a DDoS host?
      • Q10 What is a "smurf attack" and how do I defend against it?
      • Q11 What is "trinoo" and how do I defend against it?
      • Q12 What are "Tribal Flood Network" and "TFN2K" and how do I defend against them?
      • Q13 What is "stacheldraht" and how do I defend against it?
      • Q14 How should I configure my routers, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems against DDoS attacks?
  9. Bibliography

    Corrections and Updates

    We welcome bug reports, updates, reports about broken links, comments and outright disagreements. Please send your comments to lstein@cshl.org and/or jns@digitalisland.net. Please make sure that you are referring to the most recent version of the FAQ (maintained at http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/); someone else might have caught the problem before you.

    Please understand that we maintain the FAQ on a purely voluntary basis, and that we may fall behind on making updates when other responsibilities intrude. You can help us out by making an attempt to identify replacement links when reporting a broken one, and by suggesting appropriate rewording when you have found an error in the text. Suggestions for new questions and answers are welcomed, particularly if you are willing to contribute the text yourself.


What are the weapons of "information warfare?"

See at http://www.student.seas.gwu.edu/~reto/infowar/info-war.html 

Also see denial of service attacks at http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf6.html 

After four years of haggling over the language, several countries including the United States will sign a cybercrime treaty --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48556,00.html 

6:57 a.m. Nov. 21, 2001 PST

BUDAPEST -- A European convention to be signed Friday will unite countries in the fight against computer criminals, who have moved on from "innocent" hacking to fraud, embezzlement and life-threatening felonies.

Interior ministers and law enforcement officials from Europe, South Africa, Canada, the United States and Japan will sign the milestone cybercrime convention, which has taken four years to draft, in the Hungarian capital.

"Realistically, we can expect some 30 countries to sign the convention," a Council of Europe official told Reuters. "And this is a major achievement, given that many conventions are signed by 10 to 20 countries at best."

The official said many people still see computer hacking and other electronic crimes as mainly a moral issue, without realizing the associated material damage and risk to life.

"There was a recent case when someone took control of the computer system at a small U.S. airport and switched off the landing lights," the official said. "This could have killed many people."

Related Wired Links:

Liberte, Egalite ... E-Security?
Sep. 27, 2001

Congress Covets Copyright Cops
July 28, 2001

Go Ahead, Make Ashcroft's Day
July 23, 2001

Online Crime a Tough Collar
July 11, 2001

Most Hacking Hides Real Threats
July 3, 2001

U.S.'s Defenseless Department
May 23, 2001

Brit Cops Tackle E-Thievery
April 19, 2001


Complaints involving the Internet crack the top 10 for the first time in a survey conducted by two major consumer advocacy groups --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,48520,00.html 

Associated Press 2:35 p.m. Nov. 19, 2001 PST

WASHINGTON -- Internet shopping and services have become a leading source of consumer complaints, joining grievances about auto repair and telemarketing, a survey finds.

Problems with auto sales and household goods shared the top spot in the annual list of consumer complaints released Monday by the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the Consumer Federation of America. Those categories ranked second and third, respectively, in 1999 and have been in the top five since 1997

Consumer complaints involving the Internet broke into the top 10 for the first time, sharing eighth place with grievances about mail order shopping, telemarketing and problems between landlords and tenants.

The most common Internet complaints involved online purchases and auctions, according to reports from 45 federal, state and local consumer agencies who participated in the survey. The third most common type of Internet complaint involved service providers.

"People don't always get what they order over the Internet and sometimes they don't get anything at all," said Wendy Weinberg, executive director of the NACAA. "While there are many benefits to shopping over the Internet, consumers need to be aware of the risks."

She recommended that consumers use credit cards when shopping online, keep records of all transactions and vary passwords among different websites.

The number of Internet-related complaints has been surging for the last two years, Weinberg said.

During the 1999 holiday season, many Internet sellers claimed they could ship extremely quickly, but some failed to meet their promises. The Federal Trade Commission fined companies more than $1.5 million in civil penalties.

The situation improved last year, but the FTC said Monday it had sent warning letters to more than 70 Internet retailers reminding them to live up to their claims.

"There's a lot more consumers being impacted because there are simply more people shopping online," said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, a trade group. He said industry has to work to educate consumers about Internet shopping.

"There are some bad actors out there who prey on consumers and want to take advantage of the excitement of buying online," Miller said. "Consumers have to be smarter and have to go with reputable websites."

The categories generating the most complaints in 2000 were auto sales and household goods, which includes appliances, furniture, electronics and other retail items.

Complaints about household goods involved defective merchandise, deceptive advertising and failure to honor warranties or provide refunds.

Many of the complaints with auto sales involved financing deals. Some consumers complained they would take home a car with a good financing rate only to later get a call from the dealer saying they have to return the car because they didn't qualify for the rate.

The category of home improvement services fell from first place on the list in 1999 to third, but the survey ranked it as the type of business most likely to fail and reopen under another name. Furniture stores and health studios were also types of companies most likely to go out of business.

"Consumers need to check out the company before they make any payments to business in these industries," Weinberg said. "Consumers can lose large amounts of money if a company that they are doing business with closes

See also:
Holiday E-Sales Prospects Not Bad
Net Shoppers Still Complaining
Ads Stay Home for Holidays
There's no biz like E-Biz
Sleighbells & Whistles: More tidings for the season
The Holidays at Lycos


One of the most significant and controversial professional practice areas where Bob Elliott led accounting profession into its new Song of SysTrust.  I don't know if all accountants have noticed the monumental and highly controversial change in attestation services being proposed by the AICPA and the CICA for the public accounting profession.  Most certainly the lyrics are not familiar to non-accountants other than attorneys who, while dancing in their briefs, have difficulty containing their enthusiasm for this new Anthem of the Auditors.  This is the first major shift of the accounting profession into the attestation of complete information services.  Financial audits may eventually be but a small part of the total attestation and assurance service symphony of services.  The proposed new "accounting"-firm service is called SysTrust at http://www.aicpa.org/assurance/systrust/index.htm  .  

Probably the best summary of SysTrust to date is "Reporting on Systems Reliability," by Efrim Boritz, Erin Mackler, and Doug McPhie in the Journal of Accountancy, November 1999, pp. 75-87.  The online version is at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/nov1999/boritz.html.  (It might be noted that both Boritz and McPhie are from Canada --- SysTrust is a joint venture with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the AICPA in the U.S.)  


How can you protect confidential documents at your Website?

Answer:  See http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf5.html#Q14 


Privacy in eCommerce
For a brief period, Ziff Davis published the personal information -- including credit card numbers -- of thousands of its subscribers on the Web. --- http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,48525,1162b6a.html 
"A Tell-All ZD Would Rather Ignore," by Declan McCullagh, Wired News, November 20, 2001

Because Ziff Davis' 1.3-MB text file included names, mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and in some cases credit card numbers, a thief who downloaded it would have enough information to make fraudulent mail-order purchases. An executive at one New York magazine firm called the error "a bush-league mistake for a major online publisher."

Zane said Ziff Davis relies on EDS and Omeda database technology to protect subscriber information. He refused to provide details, except to say that "we were doing a promotion not using the EDS and Omeda products."

In interviews, two people who appeared on the Ziff Davis list said they had typed in their information when responding to a promotion for Electronic Gaming Monthly.

"I went to the site and signed up for the free year, but did not sign up for the second year, which was not free," said Jerry Leon of Spokane, Washington, whose Visa number and expiration date appeared in the file. "I get the feeling that this was one huge scam, but that card is now dead, and any charges made on it will be refused."

"If it was just a stupid accident, they are going to regret failing a community that worries about this stuff ever happening, but if something less innocent has occurred, they may as well fold the tents," said Leon, who signed up through AnandTech's hot deals forum.

Rob Robinson, whose address information -- but not credit card number -- was on display, says he subscribed to Electronic Gaming Monthly through a promotion on ebgames.com.

"I'm annoyed that my home info as well as a valid e-mail is available to anyone. That's quite a valuable list of gamers' personal data up for grabs. I feel really bad for the poor folks who are going to have to cancel their credit cards," Robinson said.

It's not clear whether Electronic Gaming Monthly subscribers were the only ones affected by the security snafu, and Ziff Davis refused to provide details. The file appeared at the address http://www.zdmcirc.com/formcollect/ebxbegamfile.dat until around noon EST on Monday.

That address began circulating around Home Theater Forum discussion groups over the weekend, and Ziff Davis at first erased the contents of the database at around 9 a.m. EST Monday. But its system continued to add new subscribers to the public file until Ziff Davis administrators blocked access to that address around midday Monday.

"Every week we learn of new cases where companies used insecure technology or unsecure servers to handle business that utilizes financial information or customer information," says Jericho, who edits the security news site attrition.org. "In the rush to be e-appealing for e-business they e-screw up time and time again."

Jericho has compiled a list of miscreant firms whose shoddy security practices have exposed customer information. The hall of shame includes notables such as Amazon, Gateway, Hotmail and Verizon.

Ziff Davis Media publishes 11 print magazines. It is a separate company from ZDNet, which is owned by CNET Networks.

See also:
HQ for Exposed Credit Numbers
Students Expose Bank ATM Hole
E-Commerce Fears? Good Reasons


Privacy in eCommerce:  Personal Certificates

For discussion of cookies and how to Surf the Web anonymously, see Cookies.

For a general discussion of personal certificates, see http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf5.html#CON-Q12 

What is WebTrust?  What are its major competitors?  

Hint: See the following:

Question:  
What makes WebTrust more "trusted" vis-a-vis its competitors (aside from being CPA or CICA firms)?

Answer:  
WebTrust is the only service that requires random site visits by independent CPA firms to spot check if privacy policies are being adhered to by the WebTrust client.


Question:  What is the most popular and less costly privacy seal alternative relative to WebTrust?

Answer:  The Better Business Bureau --- http://www.bbbonline.org/privacy/index.asp 

 Of the many challenges facing the Internet, privacy has risen above them all as the number one concern (and barrier) voiced by web users when going online. Participants in the BBBOnLine Privacy Program are addressing this concern head-on with responsive and effective self-regulation. By subscribing to responsible information practices, BBBOnLine Privacy participants are promoting the vital trust and confidence necessary for their own and future success of the Internet.

Taking advantage of the significant expertise the Council of Better Business Bureaus wields in self-regulation and dispute resolution, the BBBOnLine Privacy Program features verification, monitoring and review, consumer dispute resolution, a compliance seal, enforcement mechanisms and an educational component. The BBBOnLine Privacy Program offers consumers a user-friendly tool that helps increase their comfort while on the Internet and is a reasonably priced and a simple, one-stop, non-intrusive way for business to demonstrate compliance with credible online privacy


Question on Website (Provider) Authentication
How can you find out that you are not at a phony site that pretends to be legitimate?

Answer:
Look for a logo verification seal on at the site.  Although the AICPA's WebTrust seal is primarily a Web privacy seal (credit card information, medical information, etc.), the WebTrust seal is also a seal that assures users that the site is not a phony imitation of a real site --- http://www.aicpa.org/assurance/webtrust/princip.htm 
The WebTrust privacy and logo verification seal contains the following image on a document (the image below is for illustration only and is not valid on Bob Jensen's Web documents).

 

A less costly  logo verification seal is the VeriSign seal if it appears on a document (the image below is for illustration only and is not valid on Bob Jensen's Web documents).

VeriSign --- http://www.verisign.com/ 
Get VeriSign's free white paper at https://www.verisign.com/cgi-bin/clearsales_cgi/leadgen.htm?form_id=0714&toc=w093325300714000&email= .

Learn From the Experts VeriSign's Training Courses cover all areas of enterprise security including Firewalls, PKI, VPNs, Applied Hacking, and Web Security. Our small classes, hands-on labs, and world-class instructors ensure the highest level of security for your networks. Download our FREE White Paper, "VeriSign Internet Security Education: E-Commerce Survival Training" outlining the benefits of security education.



 Retail Services
  SSL Certificates
  Payment Services
  Domain Names
 
  Web Site Services
 
  Secure E-Mail Certificates
 
  Authentic Document IDs
 
  Code Signing IDs
 
  Wireless Server Certificates
 

 Enterprise Services
  SSL ID Management for
Multiple Servers

 
  Authentication and PKI
  Authorization Services
 
  Payment Services
  Online Brand Protection Services
  Managed DNS Services
 Professional Services
  Consulting
 
  Training

 Solutions
  Financial Services
  Government
  Healthcare
  Wireless
  B2B
  Smart Card
  Cable Modem

The Better Business Bureau (BBB):  Another Source of Website (Provider) Authentication --- http://www.bbb.org/ 

ADVERTISING REVIEW PROGRAMS    ADVERTISING/SELLING GUIDELINES  

 

 
   DISPUTE RESOLUTION    BUSINESS GUIDANCE  

 

   
   CONSUMER GUIDANCE    NEWS AND ALERTS  
   

 

Although the BBB is best known as a place where consumers and businesses can file complaints about unethical, deceptive, and illegal commerce and charitable practices, the BBB also provides an Internet seal of Website (Provider) Authentication.  


Reliability Seal Program --- http://www.bbbonline.org/reliability/index.asp   
Helping Web users find reliable, trustworthy businesses online, and helping reliable businesses identify themselves as such, through a voluntary self-regulatory program that promotes consumer trust and confidence on the Internet.

Privacy Seal Program --- http://www.bbbonline.org/privacy/index.asp 
Helping Web users identify companies that stand behind their privacy policies and have met the program requirements of notice, choice, access and security in the use of personally identifiable information.

For a general discussion of personal certificates, see http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf5.html#CON-Q12 


Advantages of and risks of cookies --- see Cookies.


What is user authentication?

Answer See Question 4 at http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf5.html#Q14 

User verification is any system that for determining, and verifying, the identity of a remote user. User name and password is a simple form of user authentication. Public key cryptographic systems, described below, provide a more sophisticated form authentication that uses an unforgettable electronic signature.

Continued at at http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf5.html#Q14  

What Dollar Rental Car Company now requires from persons who rent cars might be extended to people who conduct transactions on Websites.  Dollar Rent A Car is currently making customers give a thumbprint before they give them the keys, another example of biometrics being used for ID purposes.

"No Thumbprint, No Rental Car," by Julia Scheeres, Wired News, November 21, 2001 --- http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,48552,00.html 


For more discussion of the above issues, go to the  document entitled "Opportunities of E-Business Assurance:  Risks in Assuring Risk" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 

My other electronic Business links are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 


Crime and Justice Data Online --- BJS http://149.101.22.40/dataonline/ 



Threads on Firewalls

Note that firewalls are not generally intended to protect against viruses.  The protect against invasion of the computer by hackers intent on doing bad things such as creating entry trap doors to your systems.  For more information on firewalls, go to  http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/wwwsf3.html#SVR-Q6 

Zone Alarm --- http://www.zone-alarm-pro.com/ 
In reply to a message about installing a firewall on a home computer, Chula King wrote the following in reply to a firewall question posed by Amy Dunbar:

I too use Zone Alarm, and have been quite pleased with it. I've also tried Black Ice Defender and don't think that it does nearly as good a job as Zone Alarm.

While not anti virus software, Zone Alarm will quarantine "suspicious" e-mail attachments. In addition, it blocks both incoming scans to one's computer and outgoing messages produced by spyware.

Chula King 
The University of West Florida

Reply from Amelia Baldwin

Amy,

as for hacking and such, another vote for zonealarm on your cable internet enabled computer. it is not difficult to use. yes, your cable company probes your IP a few times a day but that's NOTHING compared to the number of times you will get pinged or probed or God know what else by seemingly random attempts from total strangers. :o( Zonealarm blocks and tracks these things and if you weren't frightened before you put up a firewall, you will be when you seen how many accesses were going on or at least attempted!

as for anti-virus, keep an anti-virus program running and keep it's virus signatures up to date (the number of folks who have the software but never update it just astounds me) and never ever open an email attachment that you are not expecting even if it IS from someone you know. some viruses send seemingly random attachments via the email software of the infected computer to folks on the address list, thus you might actually receive what looks like a legitimate attachment from a known user and it will have a virus.

just my $0.02

Amelia

Reply from Bill Spinks

If you have a high speed continuous connection, you need a fire wall! (ZoneAlarm is free and pretty good). I monitor my log of blocked hits and probably get 10 or 15 a day during the week and 20 to 30 on a weekend days. Interestingly enough when I have checked the reverse address of those URLs that are trying to connect with my computer, a large number of them are from China, Korea, and Taiwan -- some have even come from middleschool computers (or so it is reported on http://samspade.org .)

If like stamp collectors you like to travel the world in symbolic form, you can report your "intrusion" back to the tech supervisor of those sites. Sometimes you hear, most times you don't, but it makes for some interesting correspondence from interesting places.

billspinks

You can read some Zone Alarm reviews at 
http://www.epinions.com/cmsw-Utilities-All-Zone_Alarm/display_~reviews
 

Reply from Brian Zwicker

In the Untouchables, Sean Connery said something like: "... never bring a knife to a gunfight" (I have removed the ethnic/racial slur)

Faced with the same incredibly high number of approaches to my home computer setup, I decided to bypass emulating a firewall, and go for the real thing - a firewall.

It turns out not to be very expensive, because I used an older pentium 2 computer I nad in the basement, a couple of ethernet cards, and some software from gnatbox. The computer, by the way boots and runs from a floppy disk! You do not even need a dedicated monitor, except for setting up. The whole system now runs from my desktop computer and you can reset various parameters from there.

Some caveats are that to do e-mail, I had to obtain the real address of my cable provider's mail server, because the gnatbox software could not be made to work without this. It also took a couple of weekends to get everything wotking. I also don't know how, or even if, this would work with many educational computer networks.

On the plus side, since the firewall computer talks to the outside world, and I talk to the firewall, it seems it would take a verrrry determined hacker to get past this setup, and although I did have a number of virus problems prior to the firewall going in, I have had nothing since.

One other thing is the list that gnatbox will show on demand of attempted accesses to the firewall. It dumps the older attempts after 12 hours, but the available list is always many screens long. I would say that if even 99.99% of all attempts are benign, at least 4 or 5 each week would be a real attempt to get through in order to damage something. Pretty scary.

Cheers,

Brian Zwicker


For more discussion of the above issues, go to the  document entitled "Opportunities of E-Business Assurance:  Risks in Assuring Risk" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/assurance.htm 

My other electronic Business links are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 


Crime and Justice Data Online --- BJS http://149.101.22.40/dataonline/ 




"Promise of Touch Technologies," BBC News, November 14, 2001 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1646000/1646909.stm 

Takuya Nojima of Tokyo University has developed a working model to show the potential of this research.

His Smart-Tool system allows people to feel the resistance between two surfaces whose boundaries are normally impossible to sense, such as the boundary between oil and water.

The main implication is for surgical operations

Takuya Nojima "The sensor detects the conductivity of the liquids," says Mr Nojima. "So, if you penetrate the oil layer, the conductivity is zero but in the water, the conductivity increases."

In early experiments, the researchers have used boiled eggs, with the Smart-Tool cutting through the egg white, but stopping when it reached the yolk.

Such projects have strong potential in biochemistry and medicine.

"The main implication is for surgical operations," says Mr Nojima.

If a surgeon used a scalpel enhanced with Smart-Tool technology, the real-time sensor on the blade could sense what kind of tissue it is touching and rely the information back to the doctor.

Also See Five Senses of the Future:  Threads on the Networking of the Five Senses (Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch, and Taste) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/senses.htm  


Some Excel Helpers 

High Powered Excel Spreadsheets ------------------------------ 
Conditional Formatting - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0247  
The Automated Spreadsheet - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0248  
Mr. Excel Tip of the Day - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0249  
User Defined Functions - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0250  
Pump Up Your Spreadsheets - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0251  
Excel Tip Gallery - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0252  
Microsoft Template Gallery - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0253 

Bob Jensen's Excel Helper Videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideosSummary.htm 



Imagery  Sites of the Week

Artificial Anatomy (Medical Science from the Smithsonian) http://americanhistory.si.edu/anatomy/ 

People have always sought better ways to illustrate and understand the structure and functions of the internal body. Before the discovery of x-rays in 1895, the only practical way to see inside the human body was to observe an operation or a dissection. Cultural and religious beliefs about dissection often made the practice illegal, and even when dissection was acceptable, cadavers were difficult to obtain.

Moreover, lack of refrigeration meant that bodies decayed swiftly. Dissections had to be performed during the cooler months, and were impossible in warmer climates. Frustrated in his studies, a young French medical student devised an elegant solution—papier-mâché anatomical models.

Devices of Wonder (A History and Entertainment Special from the J. Paul Getty Museum)--- http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/devices/choice.html 

Discover the surprising and seductive ancestors of modern cinema, cyborgs, computers, and other optical devices in this new exhibition at the Getty.  The exhibits feature "eye machines."

Levitated (Animations and Simulations You Can Use and Modify for Science and Art) --- http://www.levitated.net/ 
Includes narratives.

Macro New York City --- http://www.macronyc.com/ 

Hoping to attract legal talent to the firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has added an interactive e-brochure to its Web site. The e-brochure uses Quick Time film and Flash animation to promote the Big Five firm's Global Tax and Legal Services department. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/63247  

Switcheroo Zoo (not as serious as the above sites) http://www.switcheroozoo.com/ 

What activity provides a creative outlet to people who can't draw or paint? Photoshopping, of course. Manipulating digital images is more popular than ever --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48342,00.html 


From MIT
"The Next Computer Interface," by Claire Tristram, Technology Review, December 2001 --- http://www.techreview.com/magazine/dec01/tristram.asp 

The desktop metaphor was a brilliant innovation—30 years ago. Now it's an unmanageable mess, and the search is on for a better way to handle information.

Game, set, match: Chief scientist David Gelernter of Mirror Worlds Technologies says the desktop metaphor is over. (Photos by Timothy Archibald and Jonathan Worth)

"The desktop is dead," declares David Gelernter. Gelernter is referring to the "desktop metaphor"—the term frequently used for the hierarchical system of files, folders and icons that we use to manage information stored on our home or office computers. At the annual gathering of technophiles at TechXNY/PC Expo 2001 in New York last June, he told the rapt crowd attending his keynote speech that the desktop metaphor is nothing more than virtual Tupperware. "Our electronic documents are scattered by the thousands in all sorts of little containers all over the place," he said. "The more information and the more computers in our lives, the more of a nuisance this system becomes."

For the past decade or so Gelernter has been campaigning for a new metaphor to overthrow the desktop—first in research he carried out at Yale University, where he is a professor of computer science, and now as chief scientist of his new company, Mirror Worlds Technologies, with offices in New Haven, CT, and New York City. In March, Mirror Worlds announced a novel metaphor called Scopeware, software that automatically arranges your computer files in chronological order and displays them on your monitor with the most recent files featured prominently in the foreground. Scopeware is far more sweeping than a simple rearrangement of icons, however: in effect, it transfers the role of file clerk from you to the computer, seamlessly ordering documents of all sorts into convenient, time-stamped files.

If you have ever forgotten what you named a file or which folder you put it in, you probably will agree that it's time for a change. The desktop metaphor is decades old, arising from early-1970s work at Xerox's fabled Palo Alto Research Center, and was never intended to address today's computing needs. Indeed, the product that brought the metaphor to mass-market attention was Apple Computer's 1984 Macintosh; it had no built-in hard drive, and its floppy disks each stored only 400 kilobytes of information. Today we're using the same metaphor to manage the countless files on our ever more capacious hard drives, as well as to access the virtually limitless information on the Web. The result? Big, messy hierarchies of folders. Favorites lists where you never find anything again. Pull-down menus too long to make sense of.

In other words, the desktop metaphor puts the onus on our brains to juggle this expanding collection of files, folders and lists. Yet "our neurons do not fire faster, our memory doesn't increase in capacity and we do not learn to think faster as time progresses," notes Bill Buxton, chief scientist of Alias/Wavefront, a leading maker of graphic-design tools. Buxton argues that without better tools to exploit the immense processing power of today's computers, that power is not much good to us

Continued at  http://www.techreview.com/magazine/dec01/tristram.asp 


Thank you Paula and all the other students and faculty who participated in the Trinity University Phonathon

Great news!

At 8 PM last night, student callers turned in their final pledge cards and waited anxiously to learn the outcome.

We're happy to report that the grand total of this year's phonathon is $284,708 to which we added $77,101, the results of a successful pre-Phonathon mailing. This brings the grand total to: $361,809, which tops this year's goal of $360,000.

Paula Ward


Internet Guide to Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing http://www.eevl.ac.uk/ 


A message from Professor XXXXX

I recently submitted an article on Assessment Outcomes for distance education (DE) to "The Technology Source". The editor suggested that I include a reference to profiling the successful DE student because he was sure some research existed on the subject. Well I have been looking for it casually for 3 years in my reading and the 3-4 conferences per year that I attend, and never have come across anything. Have spent the last week looking in InfoTrac and reviewed close to 300 abstracts, without a single good lead. You are the man. So hoping you can answer the question - is there any empirical research on the question of profiling a successful DE student and in particular any research where an institution actually has a hurdle for students to get into DE based on a pedagogically sound questionnaire? Hoping you know the answer and have time to respond.

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi XXXXX,

I am reminded of a psychology professor, Tom Harrell, that I had years ago at Stanford University.  He had a long-term contract from the U.S. Navy to study Stanford students when they entered the MBA program and then follow them through their careers.  The overall purpose was to define predictors of success that could be used for admission to the Stanford GSB (and extended to tests for admission into careers, etc.)  Dr, Harrell's research became hung up on "The Criterion Problem   (i.e., the problem of defining and measuring "success.")  You will have the same trouble whenever you try to assess graduates of any education program whether it is onsite or online.  What is success?  What is the role any predictor apart from a myriad of confounded variables?

You might take a look at the following reference:
Harrell, T.W. (1992). "Some history of the army general classifications test," Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 875-878.

Success is a relative term.  Grades not always good criteria for assessment.  Perhaps a C student is the greatest success story of a distance education program.  Success may lie in motivating a weak student to keep trying for the rest of life to learn as much as is possible.  Success may lie in motivating a genius to channel creativity.  Success may lie in scores on a qualification examination such as the CPA examination.  However, use of "scores" is very misleading, because the impact of a course or entire college degree is confounded by other predictors such as age, intellectual ability, motivation, freedom to prepare for the examination, etc.  

Success may lie in advancement in the workforce, but promotion and opportunity are subject to widely varying and often-changing barriers and opportunities.  A program's best graduate may end up on a dead end track, and its worst graduate may be a maggot who fell in a manure pile.  For example, it used to be virtually impossible for a woman to become a partner in a large public accounting firm.  Now the way is paved with all sorts of incentives for women to hang in there and attain partnership. Success also entails being at the right place at the right time, and this is often a matter of luck as well as ability.  George Bush probably would never have had an opportunity to become one of this nation's best leaders if there had not been a terrorist attack that afforded him such an opportunity.  Certainly this should not be termed "lucky," but it is a rare "opportunity" to be a great "success."

When it comes to special criteria for acceptance in to distance education programs, there are some who feel that, due to fairness, there should be no special criteria beyond the criteria for acceptance into traditional programs.  For example, see the Charles Stuart University document at  http://www.csu.edu.au/acadman/d13m.htm 

You might find some helpful information in the following reference --- http://202.167.121.158/ebooks/distedir/bestkudo.htm 

Phillips, V., & Yager, C. The best distance learning graduate schools: Earning your degree without leaving home.
This book profiles 195 accredited institutions that offer graduate degrees via distance learning. Topics include: graduate study, the quality and benefits of distance education, admission procedures and criteria, available education delivery systems, as well as accreditation, financial aid, and school policies.

A review is given at http://distancelearn.about.com/library/weekly/aa022299.htm 

More directly related to your question, might be the self assessment suggestions at Excelsior College:

Self Assessment -- http://gl.excelsior.edu/epn2/ec_open.nsf/pages/assess.htm 

Another self assessment process is provided by ISIM University at http://www.isimu.edu/foryou/begin/eprocess.htm 

In self assessment processes, it is sometimes difficulty to determine whether the motivation is one of promotion of the program as opposed to assessment for having students self-select whether to apply or not to apply.

You might be able to contact California State University at Fullerton to see if they will share some of their assessment outcomes of online learning courses. A questionnaire that is used there is at http://de-online.fullerton.edu/de/assessment/assessment.asp 

Some good assessment advice is given at http://www.ala.org/acrl/paperhtm/d30.html 

A rather neat PowerPoint show from Brazil is provided at http://www.terena.nl/tnc2000/proceedings/1B/1b2.ppt  
(Click on the slides to move forward.)

The following references may be helpful in terms of evaluation forms:

  1. Faculty Course Evaluation Form
    University of Bridgeport
  2. Web-Based Course Evaluation Form
    Nashville State Technology Institute
  3. Guide to Evaluation for Distance Educators
    University of Idaho Engineering Outreach Program
  4. Evaluation in Distance Learning: Course Evaluation
    World Bank Global Distance EducatioNet

A Code of Assessment Practice is given at http://cwis.livjm.ac.uk/umf/vol5/ch1.htm 

A comprehensive outcomes assessment report (for the University of Colorado) is given at http://www.colorado.edu/pba/outcomes/ 

A Distance Learning Bibliography is available at http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/disedbiblio.htm 

Also see "Integration of Information Resources into Distance Learning Programs"  by Sharon M. Edge and Denzil Edge at http://www.learninghouse.com/pubs_pubs02.htm 

My bottom line conclusion is that I probably did not help you with the specific help you requested.  At best, I provided you with some food for thought.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are given at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm 

Bob Jensen


MIT's Open Source Sharing of Course Materials is Catching On Elsewhere

"Open Source Objects for Teaching and Learning," by Gerd Kortemeyer, Syllabus, November 2001, p. 32 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5671 

Michigan State University’s Learning Online Network with CAPA (Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach) is building an open platform for the development and distribution of online content. The network, dubbed LON-CAPA, would make online content freely and openly available to any instructor in the sciences or social sciences. LON-CAPA was developed at MSU’s Laboratory for Instructional Technology in Education (LITE), and grew out of earlier MSU initiatives, including the successful CAPA and LectureOnline platforms.

The online content is composed of a resource pool of educational objects, applets, or small slices of content that are written, created, and contributed by instructors participating in the program. Gerd Kortemeyer, director of LITE and principal investigator on the LON-CAPA team, describes the platform as a resource assembly tool, “a shopping cart,” with which an instructor can go through “aisles” gathering content until the entire instructional piece is complete.

LON-CAPA is analogous to a coursepak or a jigsaw puzzle, he says. Users decide how much content to take: as little as a single animation, or as much as an entire semester’s worth of material.

Think of LON-CAPA as a digital library with an instructional management system built in. Currently, it includes material for courses in physics, calculus, chemistry, biology, food science, and psychology. Some disciplines, such as physics, contain quite a lot of material, enough to fill entire semesters. The platform offers automatic checking of homework problems, with helpful feedback available to those who come up with incorrect answers.

Each component is independent. “Instructors can choose the level of granularity desired,” Kortemeyer says. Some teachers may want to select single GIF files, animations, chapter sections, and problem sets, carefully crafting a personalized approach to the course. Others can adopt online textbooks, complete with problem sets and figures.

LON-CAPA’s flexibility and adaptability are important features. Since anyone can contribute content, there is unlimited potential for growth. The open source platform is deliberately set up for ease of use, so that selecting and adopting content is very simple. Rather than screen content before it is posted, Kortemeyer’s group has opted to let users determine the quality of each posting. “Much as visitors to Amazon.com post their reviews of books, our users will evaluate material that is put into LON-CAPA and will not only assess it but can actually make improvements to it,” he says.

“We have at least 10,000 physics resources,” Kortemeyer notes. Other disciplines contain fewer content bits, but more is being added all the time. He notes that the platform isn’t specific to the sciences and doesn’t deliberately exclude the humanities. “It’s just that certain aspects of it, such as the automatic checking of homework problems, lend themselves better to the sciences and mathematics,” he says.

Users might draw from LON-CAPA for a distance education course where all of the instruction is delivered in a virtual environment, but they might just as easily use material as part of a lecture course or as lab materials. The adaptability of the platform makes it appropriate for all sorts of situations.

At first glance, one might think that piecing together a course from a number of small fragments would require a large investment of instructor prep time, but in actuality that isn’t the case. Kortemeyer says that the granularity options allow teachers to get as detailed in developing the course syllabus as they wish and that building the syllabus takes as long as adopting a new textbook. Once the course gets going, he notes, “there’s no homework to grade, which saves a lot of time.” As with any online course, however, instructors using the platform should expect to spend some time communicating with their students via e-mail or the built-in communication tools.

At the moment, 18 institutions belong to the LON-CAPA network, and the group hopes to have at least 30 partner institutions within a year. Kortemeyer hopes that in addition to contributing content, many of the users will contribute open source tool code as well, ensuring that the platform will be self-sustaining. Member institutions have to agree to maintain a “library server,” storing some of the content, and larger institutions host an access server as well.

Continued at http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5671 

Latest News on MIT's Open Courseware (OCW) --- http://web.mit.edu/ocw/ 

The following milestones have been set for OCW through 2003:

September 2002: Course materials from 100 subjects released on the OCW web site
March 2003: Course materials from 250 subjects released
September 2003: Course materials from 500 courses released

 


"Changing the Interface of Education with Revolutionary Learning Technologies,"  by Nishikant Sonwalkar, Syllabus, November 2001, pp. 10-13 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5663 

The paradigm shift in the pedagogical design of online education will require much more in-depth study and analysis of existing methods and evolving technologies. Clearly, education delivery is not simply information transfer. There is much to learn, but we already know much about the potential of the technology for multimodal delivery of learning material to a variety of online learners.

The Five Fundamental Learning Styles for Online Asynchronous Instruction
Apprenticeship
A “building block” approach for presenting concepts in a step-by-step procedural learning style.
Incidental
Based on “events” that trigger the learning experience. Learners begin with an event that introduces a concept and provokes questions.
Inductive
Learners are first introduced to a concept or a target principle using specific examples that pertain to a broader topic area.
Deductive
Based on stimulating the discernment of trends through the presentation of simulations, graphs, charts, or other data.
Discovery
An inquiry method of learning in which students learn by doing, testing the boundaries of their own knowledge.

Recent developments in digital imaging, streaming audio and video, and interactive human-machine interfaces provide a wealth of opportunities to enhance the learning experience. More important than the technologies, however, is the context in which the multimedia enhancements are presented to learners. The design and development of combined media components—text, graphics, audio, video, animation, and simulations—for enhancing the learning process will depend on the learning model appropriate for the delivery of given course content. A list of a few potential multimedia enhancements might include:

Video, animations, and simulations offer exceptional potential for enhancing the interface of education. Experimental demonstrations and real-life experiences and situations can be captured on video and provided as digital video.

Continued at http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/magazine.asp?month=11&year=2001 

Bob Jensen's comments on how traditional classroom materials must be modified for online use are given at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm 


"Transforming Learning--Reflections on the PITAC Report, by Judith Boettcher by Nishikant Sonwalkar, Syllabus, November 2001, pp. 14-16 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5664 

Recommendations from the 2001 PITAC Report

Overarching Recommendation
Make the effective integration of information technology, with education and training a national priority.

Supporting Actions
• Establish and coordinate a major research initiative focusing on:

– Learning technologies and sciences – Information technologies for education and training
– Requirements for learning and teaching information technology fluency

• Establish partnerships involving government, university, industry, and foundations to support the pursuit of the research initiative and to cofund and collaborate in that research

• Enable educators and related professionals to use information technology effectively

• Work with industry and academia to develop technical standards for extendable component-based technology and infrastructures that can be widely used in online education and training.

PITAC Report (2001). “Using Information Technology to Transform the Way We Learn.” Arlington, VA, President’s Information Technology /Advisory Committee, Panel on Transforming Learning. http://www.itrd.gov


"Co-Laborative Psychology Online," by Ken Mcgraw et. al., Syllabus, November 2001, p. 34 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5672 

Three University of Mississippi researchers have collaborated on an award-winning Web site that enables students and researchers from any campus to conduct an array of psychology experiments from a growing online library of experiments and datasets.

The project, dubbed PsychExperiments, currently contains more than 30 unique psychology experiments available without charge to researchers and students. Its developers, psychology professor Dr. Ken McGraw, electrical engineering professor Dr. Mark Tew, and clinical psychology graduate student John Williams, describe the site as a “co-laboratory,” a resource that will grow and develop with the contributions of its users.

PsychExperiments includes replications of classic experiments as well as novel experiments based on commonly taught psychological concepts. The site also offers archived data and Excel macros that produce tables and charts from the raw data. Instructors can conduct the experiments themselves and add their data to the pool, broadening and diversifying the dataset.

The project was launched after McGraw took a University of Mississippi faculty development workshop taught by Tew. The subject, Macromedia’s Authorware, turned out to be just the tool McGraw needed to build his own custom experiments. McGraw and Tew began working with John Williams and soon discovered that they could deliver Authorware programs over the Web: Thus, PsychExperiments was born.

According to McGraw, PsychExperiments offers a number of benefits over running experiments in isolation. “First of all, because all of the material is online, students don’t have to go to a psychology lab at an appointed time to do lab research. The Web site is available all the time,” he notes. “Second, we offer convenience to instructors, who don’t have to purchase, set up, or manage software or databases on their own lab computers.”

Says Tew: “For instructors who use these experiments, there are no security issues and no costs, because they aren’t storing the data on their own servers.”

The Web-based laboratory offers researchers the chance to run experiments over large numbers of subjects, often necessary for getting good results when variables such as handedness, gender, or musical training are used. “We’re providing the scientific community with larger datasets for some experiments that really don’t work as well with a classroom-sized dataset,” says McGraw. “Housing all of the accumulated data in one place allows instructors to investigate phenomena that they might otherwise cover only in lecture rather than experimentally.”

Last year, the site won first place in the University of Minnesota’s Design Institute learning software competition. More than 300 different classes around the country have used PsychExperiments and at least 30 researchers have contributed experiments. In addition to continuing to build the site, the three collaborators regularly conduct user training sessions and are developing written training materials.

Continued at  http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5672 


"Taking Chemistry Online With Digital Video," by Catherine Murphy, Syllabus, November 2001, pp. 28-19 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5665 

The anticipated tidal wave of 2 million new students entering higher education in 2010 has forced institutions around the country to seek out ways to accommodate the influx and resulting strain on campus resources. Anticipating a 43 percent increase in full-time enrollment in less than 10 years, the University of California-Berkeley has been considering a number of options, incorporating technology where feasible to lessen the impact of high enrollments and expand learning opportunities. Digital Chemistry 1a serves as an example.


Ebrary adds scientific, medical and business titles from key professional publishers. Also: Struggling netLibrary gets a lifeline, and book clubs unite, all in M.J. Rose's notebook --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48480,00.html 

Bob Jensen's links to electronic libraries are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


Acceptable use of materials vs. plagiarism

Email message from Linda Specht to her students

It has come to my attention that some of you might have gotten a bit rusty about your use of citations. The following link provides some good examples of acceptable use of materials vs. plagiarism. http://www.usm.maine.edu/~kuzma/Ideologies/Plagerism.html

Although the authors of this guide suggest a different form of citation than the one that we are using, their guidance re the use of others' materials and the use of proper citation form is relevant. Just because you have included a parenthetical citation to another's work, does not mean that you can change one or two words in his/her sentence and otherwise replicate the sentence or sentences. If you are going to use another's words, you must indicate that the words are quoted. At the same time, your paper should not simply be a string of quotes of others' works. . .but your own work synthesized from your interpretation and analysis of those other resources. Take a look at the link and I think you will understand what I am trying to get across. Good luck. I am looking forward to reading your papers. 
Linda Specht

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 


From Syllabus@101communications-news.com on November 20, 2001

eCollege Ranked as 54th Fastest Growing Tech Firm

Learning software developer eCollege has been listed as the 54th fastest growing company in North America on Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology companies. The rankings are based on five-year percentage revenue growth from 1996-2000. eCollege's revenue grew 10,996 percent during the period. The fast 500 list is compiled from Deloitte & Touche's regional Fast 50 programs, nominations to the Fast 500, and public company database research. eCollege partners with colleges, universities, schools and corporations to design and build learning communities. eCollege's partners include National University; Seton Hall University; University of Colorado; DeVry University, Inc.; Kentucky Virtual High School; and Microsoft Faculty Center.
(Note from Bob Jensen:  The eCollege homepage is at http://www.ecollege.com/ .  Competitors are listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm and at http://inst.augie.edu/~gray/WBI.html.  Some competitors such as Pensare have ceased operations.)


Sun Lauds Canadian High Performance Computing Lab

A high performance computing virtual lab formed by four Canadian universities was chosen by Sun Microsystems Inc. as a Sun Center of Excellence in Secure Grid and Portal Computing. The High Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory (HPCVL), formed by Carleton University, Queen's University, The Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Ottawa, is building a secure grid environment and portal-based interfaces to enable researchers from anywhere to access resources they need. Ken Edgecombe, HPCVL executive director, said the group will use the grant to "build a seamless secure environment that is recognized as one of the best academic research environments in the world." Kerry Rowe, vice principal for research at Queen's University, called HPCVL a "demonstration of a successful partnership between the private and education sectors."

For more information, visit: http://www.hpcvl.org .


Florida School to Open New Library, IT Center

Fort Lauderdale-based Nova Southeastern University will open next month what it says will be the state's largest library at full capacity, offering electronic and wirelesss services to county residents. The library will house 20 electronic classrooms with workstations equipped with flat-screened Dell computers, ISDN lines for compressed video, and large overhead monitors. Teachers will have access to a "smart podium," enabling them to control dual projectors, a VCR system and the use of other peripherals. All library-card holders will also have direct access to an online library catalogue for books and electronic resources, including 10,000 full-text books online and hundreds of databases. Elaine Blattner, NSU's director of library services, said the library "will offer the most sophisticated technology to the community, while retaining its intensely human element."

For more information, visit: http://www.nova.edu 


Textbooks will never be the same!

"The Many Forms of Digital Text," Syllabus, November 2001, p. 41 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=5676 

The term “textbook” no longer necessarily means a sturdy bound volume of sewn pages. Today’s textbook may be that, or it may be an entirely online product with hyperlinks in place of pages, or perhaps a combination of CD-ROM, Web site, and printed handouts. The five companies highlighted here publish and/or distribute digital texts, each with a unique approach.

Rovia, based in Brookline, Mass., distributes copyrighted intellectual property online. Rovia works with publishers to deliver online content to students while protecting the publishers’ rights. Using the RovReader, a proprietary browser plug-in, users can access and interact with their electronic textbooks from any Internet-capable device. www.rovia.com

MetaText offers completely online textbooks integrated with course management systems (CMS). MetaText has partnered with several course management system providers, including Blackboard, and also offers its own course management features such as Course Editor and SyllabusEditor. www.metatext.com

Atomic Dog Publishers has merged the roles of traditional print publisher and online content provider into what they call “hybred” (as opposed to hybrid) media publishing. Their titles are a combination of online content, interactive media, and print component. Atomic Dog’s holistic approach starts with the content, building technology tools such as video and animation around the subject matter. www.atomicdog.com

Thinkwell Publishers, based in Austin, Texas, offers textbook content in both CD-ROM and online formats. Thinkwell’s titles (about 15 so far in the social sciences and sciences) feature a complete set of video lectures (about 10 minutes each in length), illustrated notes to accompany the lectures, and even transcripts of the lectures for those who need them. www.thinkwell.com

OpenMind publishes customized, personalized learning materials. They work with authors to publish original content or supplements to existing OpenMind content. Using an open source model, OpenMind encourages authors and adopters to engage in a collaborative process of continuously revising, improving, and customizing content. www.ompg.com

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm


* Short e-Course * 
DIGITAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES: PROMOTING DEMOCRACY THROUGH EDUCATION, a short online course from Columbia University, provides a roadmap to the future of education, in which the educational program will contain the school as well as the home and the community. Enroll anytime: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=course&cid=542&id=32702503 

Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=directory&cid=544&id=0 


From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on November 8, 2001
Subscribers to the Electronic Edition of the WSJ can obtain reviews in various disciplines by contacting wsjeducatorsreviews@dowjones.com 
See http://info.wsj.com/professor/ 

TITLE: Basic Principle of Accounting Tripped Enron 
REPORTER: Jonathan Weil 
DATE: Nov 12, 2001 
PAGE: C1 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB100551383153378600.djm 
TOPICS: Accounting, Auditing, Auditing Services, Auditor Independence

SUMMARY: 
Enron's financial statements have long been charged with being undecipherable; however, they are now considered to contain violations of GAAP. Enron filed documents with the SEC indicating that financial statements going back to 1997 "should not be relied upon." Questions deal with materiality and auditor independence.

QUESTIONS: 
1.) What accounting errors are reported to have been included in Enron's financial statements? Why didn't Enron's auditors require correction of these errors before the financial statements were issued?

2.) What is materiality? In hindsight, were the errors in Enron's financial statements material? Why or why not? Should the auditors have known that the errors in Enron's financial statements were material prior to their release? What defense can the auditors offer?

3.) Does Arthur Andersen provide any services to Enron in addition to the audit services? How might providing additional services to Enron affect Andersen's decision to release financial statements containing GAAP violations?

4.) The article states that Enron is one of Arthur Andersen's biggest clients. How might Enron's size have contributed to Arthur Andersen's decision to release financial statements containing GAAP violations? Discuss differences in audit risk between small and large clients. Discuss the potential affect of client firm size on auditor independence.

5.) How long has Arthur Andersen been Enron's auditor? How could their tenure as auditor contributed to Andersen's decision to release financial statements containing GAAP violations?

6.) The related article discusses how Enron's consolidation policy with respect to the JEDI and Chewco entities impacted the company's financial statements. What is meant by the phrase consolidation policy? How could a policy not to consolidate these entities help to make Enron's financial statements look better? Why would consolidating an entity result in a $396 million reduction in net income over a 4 year period? How must Enron have been accounting for investments in these entities? How could Enron support its accounting policies for these investments?

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

RELATED WSJ ARTICLES
TITLE: Enron Cuts Profit Data of 4 Years by 20% 
REPORTER: John R. Emshwiller, Rebecca Smith, Robin Sidel, and Jonathan Weil 
PAGE: A1,A3 
ISSUE: Nov 09, 2001 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1005235413422093560.djm 

TITLE: Arthur Andersen Could Face Scrutiny On Clarity of Enron Financial Reports 
REPORTER: Jonathan Weil 
DATE: Nov 05, 2001 
PAGE: C1 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1004919947649536880.djm  
TOPICS: Accounting, Auditing, Creative Accounting, Disclosure Requirements


Reply from E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

Although I very much appreciate and am trying to respond to pleas from the accounting education change movement to "reduce accounting content" in favor of developing other skills, there's always something about allegations of accounting and auditing failures in practice that makes me wonder if we're doing the right thing. I know that these pleas, communicated most recently by the Steve (not to be confused with Dave) Albrecht/Bob Sack study, originate from practice, so there may be something I'm not fully grasping about the perceived needs of practitioners. I know that critical thinking is important, but assertions that accounting is now done by "technology" seem to me to confuse accounting with bookkeeping and trivialize a challenging profession whose practice would be enhanced by a significant period of immersion in the nuts and bolts as well as the concepts of financial reporting. This is nothing new--everyone probably feels this tension. Just some rambling reflections on a rare cloudy day here in normally sunny New Mexico. Thanks for bearing with me!

Ed

Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State

Reply from David Silberberg [davidis4@HOME.COM

Or is the real problem the inherent conflict between the independance of the auditor and the fees that a particularly large client represents?

From what I've read of the Enron case, the issues were not all that esoteric or subtle.

For Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron scandal, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 


Hi Scott,

See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/cpaaway.htm 

In this era of auditor versus machine, the above document is no longer as funny as once intended. I worry that careers may indeed pass away if the human auditors become signers rather than INDEPENDENT investigators.

There is no future for auditing careers if the auditors sign anything on the papers put before them by management and/or a management machine named HAL.

Original Message----- 
From: Scott Bonacker [mailto:scottbonacker@moccpa.com]  
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2001 11:30 AM 
To: 'rjensen@trinity.edu

Bob -

This is what I get from a Google search on "bonacker style". Where did they get "CPA Signers Wanted"??????

CPA Signers Wanted ... Message 3 from Scott Bonacker. Without trying to decide what is meant by ... It's still OK to work in the "traditional" style because there are still quite a number ... www.trinity.edu/rjensen/cpaaway.htm - 94k - Cached - Similar pages [ More results from www.trinity.edu ]

Scott

Scott Bonacker, 
CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, 
LLC Springfield, Misso
uri moccpa.com


Hi XXXXX,

Try http://www.iasplus.com/agenda/buscomb.htm 

You can also find a wealth of information at Paul Pacter's IAS Plus Website at http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm 

Paul is probably the most knowledgeable person in the world regarding IAS standards. His email address is ppacter@ix.netcom.com 

Here are a few suggestions on goodwill valuation and intangibles valuation in general:

Goodwill Impairment Testing is a Two-Step Process http://www.fvginternational.com/SFAS/Goodwill_Impairment_Testing_is_a_Two-Step_Process.html 

FEI Q&A --- http://www.fei.org/finrep/BusinessCombinationsQandA.cfm 

M&A Tax Report --- http://www.robertwwood.com/m&a060105.htm 

Grant Thornton --- http://www.grantthornton.com/downloads/15953.doc 

If you want to become more esoteric on intangibles valuation, to to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm  and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/theory/00overview/theory01.htm 

You might find my videos helpful at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/jensen/realmedia/  
Especially note the file called LevIntangibelsMetric.rm

Hope this helps.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: XXXXX 
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 7:15 AM 
To: 'Jensen, Robert' 
Subject: FAS 142

Hello Robert,

Long time no talk.

I am now looking at what IAS is cooking in regards the Goodwill treatment. Have you done some work on FAS 142 ?

Best Regards,

Professor XXXXX


"What Not to Say When Firing a Worker," by Barbara Kate Repa --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31775.xml 
One It can be tough to monitor your tongue while delivering the difficult news of a firing, but it is necessary to avoid negative legal consequences. Here are some of the most common -- and problematic -- slips.


Accounting graduates doing well in the U.K. --- http://accountingeducation.com/news/news2258.html 
(Actually they are doing quite well in the U.S. as well, and I hope we can keep it that way.)


Barnes &amp; Noble Textbook Home Page The price all of our books below suggested retail price. Look for books that have our Guaranteed Buy Back stamp and save even more! http://www.gis.net/~catb/textbooks.html

Bob Jensen's helpers for book buying are under "Books" and "Electronic Books" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


From The Economist (Travel) --- Cities Guide --- http://www.economist.com/cities/ 


From InformationWeek Daily on November 20, 2001

Nokia Debuts New Phones In Shrinking Market

Nokia Corp. launched three new cell phones Monday, looking to give the slumping handset market a jump-start with cutting-edge features and functionality.

New models include the 7560, a high-end mobile with a color display, integrated digital camera, and the ability to send multimedia text/photo instant messages. The phone supports high-speed General Packet Radio Service technology, which allows for an always-on Internet connection, as well as WAP, Bluetooth, and infrared connections. Nokia expects to start shipping the handset to Europe and Asia in the second quarter of 2002. Other releases include the lower end 6510 and 5210 phones, which will ship in the first quarter.

The new phones debuted on the same day that a Gartner report showed sales in the global cell phone market shrinking. Worldwide shipments were down 9% in the third quarter of this year, plummeting to 94.4 million units from 103.2 million in the same quarter last year. The report shows Nokia still on top of the industry in terms of market share, accounting for 33.4% of all units shipped. Motorola Inc. came in a distant second, with 15.7% market share, and LM Ericsson placed third at 8%.

Gartner analyst Bryan Prohm says the decline is due in large part to slumping sales in Western Europe, where the market has matured much faster than in the United States. "It's saturated. You've got 75% to 80% penetration," he says. "There's not a huge pool of new subscribers." Prohm says the spread of GPRS technology and other new features such as instant messaging will help fuel future upgrade sales and keep the market going. - David M. Ewalt

For more on mobile phones, see Taking Stock: Mobile Phone Companies Bounce Back After A Dismal Year http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eE210BcUEY0V20a410Ab 

Nokia Says It's On Track To Launch 3G Phones In 2002 http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eE210BcUEY0V20aAV0AR 

 


Ken Blackburn's Paper Airplanes and More --- http://www.paperplane.org/ 


Daypop (a search site for links to daily newscasts) --- http://www.daypop.com/ 
Search 5800 News Sites and Weblogs for Current Events and Breaking News


Aimster launches its own file-trading subscription service without all those pesky licenses that has kept the recording industry returning to court --- http://www.wired.com/news/mp3/0,1285,48255,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on file sharing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/napster.htm 


Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South (Art, History)  http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/vangogh/slide_intro.html 


Message from Craig Polhemus

2002 AAA ANNUAL MEETING 
http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/2002annual/call.htm
  
The 2002 AAA Annual Meeting will be held in San Antonio, Texas on August 14-17. The theme of the meeting is "Reinvigorating Accounting Scholarship." Electronic submissions of papers and special concurrent sessions proposals, as well as applications to serve as moderators or discussants, are now being accepted. Submissions are encouraged by December 14, 2001. Don't forget to enter the curriculum challenge contest--see the guidelines at http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/challenge.htm 

AAA LAUNCHES NEW ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS WEB SITE 
http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/pubs.htm
  
The American Accounting Association has launched a new electronic publications system that provides current issues as well as a searchable archive of recently published AAA publications, including all AAA and Section journals and newsletters. This new system provides the opportunity to browse or perform keyword searches for specific information, and also accommodates library subscriptions and pay-per-article purchase options.

INVITATION TO VOLUNTEER FOR COMMITTEES 
http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/about/volcomm02-03.htm
  
President-Elect G. Peter Wilson is filling AAA committee assignments for 2002-2003. If you are interested in serving on a committee or want to suggest some type of committee activity, please feel free to do. All suggestions and offers are welcome.


Knowledge Management (KM) 

Knowledge Management Magazine - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0254  
Measurement for KM - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0255  
Knowledge Management World - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0256  
What is Knowledge? - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0257  
KM News - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0258  
Total Knowledge Management - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0259  
Knowledge in a Global Economy - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0260  
Business Model Innovation - http://www.cpanet.com/up/s0111.asp?ID=0261 


If you like Pink Floyd, you must go to Echoes. --- http://pinkfloyd.hollywoodandvine.com/ 


Whitehousekids.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/kids/index.html 


From Double Entries on November 15, 2001

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has released the exposure draft for the AICPA/NASBA Uniform Accountancy Act and Uniform Accountancy Act Rules, Third Edition (UAA). The Exposure Draft contains several additions and revisions to the UAA and UAA Rules, including rules for disclosures that must be made in connection with offering professional services via the Internet and rules on notification under substantial equivalency. Additionally, revisions are suggested to the education rules and changes are made to the Act and Rules to conform the UAA to professional standards with regard to SSARS 8 compilations. The Exposure Draft is a joint project of the AICPA UAA Task Force and NASBA UAA Committee. Comments are encouraged and welcomed by this joint group through December 31, 2001. Click through to http://accountingeducation.com/news/news2257.html  for the download link

You can download the document by clicking here
http://ftp.aicpa.org/public/download/states/uaa/uaa_expose.doc
 


A message from Ernst & Young on November 14, 2001 --- http://www.ey.com/ 

Now there is a new way to access the EYO Help Desk live right from your desktop, 24 hours a day, six days a week. When logged onto the EYO site, simply click on the LiveHelp link located at the top of the home page. An EYO support agent will respond immediately to your request for help. You and the agent can have a real-time dialogue about your question, right over the Internet using instant messaging technology. EYO's LiveHelp is available globally. Why not give it a try and see what you think of the online help experience? If you prefer to pick up the phone, you can still contact the EYO Help Desk as you have previously.


"Instant Messaging: Threat or Opportunity?" by John S. McCright, eWeek News, November 13, 2001

Instant messaging is proving itself to be a highly effective tool for business communications. How are IT departments going to make sure that it isn't also a highly effective security hole for hackers?

IM software has gone beyond the early-adopter stage and is fast becoming a part of corporate IT environments. Paranoid IT managers rightly see the proliferation of consumer IM clients from AOL, Yahoo and MSN as rogue elements on their networks. With these little beasties there is no version control, no management oversight, and in some cases they are vulnerable to viruses because they do not reside behind a corporate gateway.

Amy Dunbar loves the instant messaging pedagogy.  See 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#dunbar
 


American Roots Music (PBS, History) http://www.pbs.org/americanrootsmusic/ 


A message from Debbie Bowling on November 15, 2001

Here's two really good sites for radar around San Antonio.

Click Here
http://wwwa.accuweather.com/adcbin/metro_radar_large.asp?partner=accuweather&nav=home&type=loop&nxsite=sat

*on the above metro map site, click on the areas to show roads, etc.

Click Here
http://wwwa.accuweather.com/adcbin/local_radar.asp?partner=accuweather&nav=home&type=loop&nxtype=R1&nxsite=ksat

They are two excellent sites.

Debbie

Maps (including San Antonio Maps)
Note that in the second site listed above, there is a tab for maps or go to http://www.accuweather.com/adcbin/maps_index?nav=home&partner=accuweather

Bed & Breakfast Suggestions for Texas
Bed & Breakfast Texas Style --- http://www.bnbtexasstyle.com/ 
Texas Hill Country --- http://www.texasbedandbreakfast.com/ 
Frederickburg --- Gastehaus Schmidt (The Jensens Use This One A Lot) --- http://www.fbglodging.com/ 
HAT --- http://www.hat.org/ 
Texas Travel --- http://www.virtualcities.com/ons/tx/txonsdex.htm

Bob Jensen's helpers for San Antonio residents and visitors are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/sanantonio.htm 


COMPUTER PRODUCTS FOR EDUCATION is pleased to offer to you the best prices on ACADEMIC EDITION SOFTWARE from MICROSOFT, ADOBE, MACROMEDIA and others - AT UP TO 84% OFF RETAIL PRICES. If you are a Qualified Education Buyer (defined below) you can purchase software products from CPE at HUGE DISCOUNTS!

Qualified Education Buyers include K-12 and HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS, TEACHERS, FACULTY, STAFF, and SCHOOLS.

Visit www.edu-software.com  or call us 800-679-7007.


"Debate continues over science's role within Islam:  Historic legacy weighs heavily on Muslim scientists," BY GLENNDA CHUI,  Mercury News, November 13, 2001 --- http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/news/depth/issci111301a.htm 

Against a backdrop of war, political instability and economic problems, Muslim scientists are seeking to reconcile their religion with the drive to modernize society.

Islam emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge but also, in the eyes of many, requires unquestioning belief.

In seeking to balance these precepts, some scholars argue for a return to Islam as a basis for doing science. Others call for a rejection of religious fundamentalism, which they say stifles the curiosity and questioning that is at the heart of all research.

One of the most prominent proponents of that view is Pervez Hoodbhoy, a physicist at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.

Since the Golden Age of Islam ended in about AD 1600, he said, ``There is scarcely any Muslim achievement to show in the sciences. To me, what that says is that if Muslims want to get out of this dangerous phase of a feeling of failure, of disappointment, they'll have to compete in the same areas that their forefathers were good at.

``And the only way they can do it is if they can get past this fundamentalism which is sapping their energy and drive. It's an angry defense mechanism. Instead of opening up and competing, it's withdrawing into a shell and just reflecting upon past glories.''

Proponents of a movement known as Islamic science, however, could not disagree more. In their view, the Islamic intellectual tradition is a seamless whole that encompasses religion and science, and they want to restore that sense of harmony.


"The Annual Interactive 500," by John McCormick --- 
http://www.interactiveweek.com/article/0,3658,s%253D617%2526a%253D17766,00.asp 

The Interactive 500 is more than a list of which companies generated the most hard dollars from their web operations in the past year. It's also Interactive Week's annual checkup on the state of e-commerce. And this year, surprisingly, the health of the online economy appears to be a lot better than most people think.

Yes, some 330 Internet companies ceased operations in the first half of the year. And some of the dot-goners — such as Quokka Sports and Streamline.com — had prime positions on the two previous Interactive 500 listings. Other former Interactive 500 companies, such as DLJdirect, have been merged out of existence. And whole Internet groupings — such as the independent e-marketplace sector that made such a strong showing on last year's Interactive 500 — are being battered.

So where's the good news? The aggregate revenue of this year's Interactive 500 is a downright jaw-dropping $378.38 billion — more than double last year's total of $183.56 billion. Many of the dot-coms on the list are profitable, and traditional businesses continue to be a dominating presence on Interactive Week's annual ranking of e-commerce powerhouses.

Indeed, just about every metric shows e-commerce is growing, becoming more profitable and, for many traditional companies, a sharp competitive edge. Properly mastered, that edge can cut new paths to online opportunity.

This year's Interactive 500 special report tells those hard-won e-commerce success stories. From manufacturing to energy to technology to wholesaling and retailing, they show that the companies that have discovered the keys to implementing Internet technologies and strategies are, more often than not, market leaders.

Take, for example, Office Depot, the leading office products' company: It's No. 30 on this year's list, and is considered by many e-tail experts to be the company to watch in the space. For its most recent quarter, ended Sept. 29, the company's overall sales were relatively flat at $2.8 billion. But its worldwide e-commerce sales grew 60 percent, to $402.0 million, while its profits surged 25 percent, from $50.6 million to $62.5 million.

"We had decided as a company from day one that the Web was going to be totally integrated into our systems and our company. We viewed it as a strategic initiative," says Monica Luechtefeld, Office Depot's executive vice president of e-commerce. "We viewed it as a critical business function."

Office Depot isn't the only business using its Internet operations as a protective skin against recessionary pressures. Some of the nation's most admired companies — General Electric, IBM, Intel and others — say the Web is critical to their success and that they'll continue to push hard on new Internet initiatives.

Lessons Learned

Most of the top companies on this year's Interactive 500 have learned how to integrate their supply chains, back-end databases, customer service operations and procurement systems with their Web operations to get a jump on the competition. They figured out how to get people to visit their Web sites and even buy something once they're there. These companies also have developed more mature mechanisms for determining whether they're getting payback from Internet expenditures.

Their efforts are paying off. Two reports last month showed that business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce activity is healthy and strong. Despite the current economic difficulties, GartnerG2, a research arm of Gartner, is predicting happy holidays for e-tailers. The research house estimates that worldwide online holiday shopping sales will hit $25.3 billion — a 39 percent increase over last year. On the B2B side, IDC expects the worldwide value of business goods and services purchased online to skyrocket from $282 billion in 2000 to $4.3 trillion by 2005 — an incredible 73 percent compound annual growth rate.

No wonder corporations are dedicating more of their precious IT dollars to e-business initiatives. In a research note published Sept. 13, John Gantz, IDC's chief research officer, said there was a growing backlog of e-business-related projects, and that Internet-related spending would grow from 15 percent of overall corporate technology spending last year to 37.5 percent in 2005. That compares with overall IT spending, which, depending on the source, is expected to grow a scant 2 percent to 5 percent this year.

"The reality of the situation is that any new technology development is based on Internet technology," says Rick Villars, vice president of e-commerce strategies at IDC.

Continued at http://www.interactiveweek.com/article/0,3658,s%253D617%2526a%253D17766,00.asp 

Bob Jensen's threads on eCommerce are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 


Robert Morss Lovett, a professor of English at the University of Chicago from the 1890s to the 1940s, was an "ideal public intellectual," according to Princeton history professor Anthony Grafton in the autumn issue of "The American Scholar." In the article, Grafton presents Lovett as a model example for modern intellectuals, an individual who flourished in both academe and society and took part in public dialogue beyond the ivory tower.

Anthony Grafton recently spoke at the New York Public Library about some other great learned figures in history: Faustus, Agrippa and Christian magi. His lecture, "Christian Magic and Jewish Mysticism in Renaissance Europe" is available exclusively on Fathom: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=feature&cid=540&id=122276 

Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=directory&cid=544&id=0 


 "The world of auditing and accounting appears to be in crisis," driven in part by issues such as intangibles, the complexity of derivatives and trading, and financial engineering.
Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Board chairman.

From FEI Express on November 15, 2001

Highlights from FEI's Annual Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference.

The annual Current Financial Reporting Issues conference kicked off Monday, Nov. 12, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with a keynote address by Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Board chairman. Volcker, who now heads the International Accounting Standards Committee, confessed to be something of a neophyte in the accounting world, but said he was "impressed by the difficulty of the issues" involved in trying to devise a single set of global accounting standards. Indeed, he said, "The world of auditing and accounting appears to be in crisis," driven in part by issues such as intangibles, the complexity of derivatives and trading, and financial engineering.

Volcker conceded that achieving consensus on the 14-member International Accounting Standards Board - which the IASC is charged with appointing - will be difficult. Different countries are at different stages of development, he said, and it isn't clear where the final authority for the standards would rest, especially if political entities get involved. Still, a multilateral approach appears to be the right one, he said. The former Fed chairman stressed that the IASB members will be diverse, professional, experienced and independent.

Volcker said there may be some disagreement over two competing philosophies - the U.S. approach of setting standards in detail and the "European idea" of setting out clear standards but leaving detail to practice and emerging issues. There will be a continuing role for national standard-setting bodies, chiefly as watchdogs, once the IASB does promulgate standards, Volcker added. Substantive convergence of standards within five years, he argued, could be construed as success.

He took a relatively hard line on the controversial issue of options accounting, calling it a difficult subject that won't be settled quickly. There may be different expectations about the urgency of the issue, he added, but it can't be allowed to dominate the board's agenda. Volcker added that he has seen the heavy use of options lead to inconsistencies and abuses, as well as repricing challenges.

IASB UPDATE The conference's first general session featured a panel with Thomas Jones, the vice chairman of the IASB; Edmund Jenkins, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); and John Morrissey, deputy chief accountant at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jones, the former finance chief at Citicorp, argued that there is considerable diversity of opinion on the IASB and that "no nation has a bloc." He maintained that for international standards to work, there has to be a "three-legged stool" with standards, audit and enforcement. Convergence clearly would lower international borrowing costs, he said. Jones supported the European model of creating less-detailed standards, then "going after those who deviate" from them. He added that if real progress toward convergence isn't made in three years, the effort "will have largely failed."

He, too, cautioned that the options accounting issue is a volatile one, and its outcome isn't clear. Europeans are already writing standards on options, he said, urging the U.S. audience not to create "a frenzy" about it or become inflexible. "This is a board that won't take to being bullied," he said, and cautioned advocates of the current U.S. system not to withdraw support of the IASB over this one issue.

Jenkins emphasized the FASB's "unequivocal support" for the idea of high-quality global standards, noting that the groundwork has been laid for some time. "Now we have to get to the heavy lifting," he said. The FASB is already working with eight national standards-setters, he said, but "won't shortcut any processes in the search for convergence." Jenkins argued that principle-based standards can be "problematic," and that financial engineering is often the result of attempts to avoid detailed standards.


FASB/EITF UPDATE A second general session featured an update on projects being pursued by the FASB and the Emerging Issues Task Force. Timothy Lucas, the FASB's director of research and technical activities, walked the audience through the most recent series of statements and projects, as he has in years past.

Lucas argued that the four major FAS statements issued this year - 141 through 144 - are relatively significant, especially when compared to those from a year earlier. Arguably the biggest changes, the decisions in Business Combinations to eliminate the pooling-of-interests method of accounting for mergers and to test goodwill for impairment, were major improvements, Lucas argued. Pooling, he said, was "non-accounting," tended to create wrong-headed incentives and involved complex criteria. Moreover, he said, the previous treatment for goodwill impairment was not operational, and goodwill amortization was not meaningful.

Lucas detailed a number of projects in the FASB pipeline. A "purchase method" project will be the first done in concert with the IASB, he said, and a "new basis/fresh start" effort will likely be led by the IASB.

The FASB does plan a project on reporting financial performance, though Lucas said he saw little relationship between the project and the controversy over pro forma statements. He said the board wants to understand how companies use statements to assess performance, looking at issues such as form, content, classification, aggregation and display. The result might produce a better way of relating cash flow to the income statement, he said.

PRO-FORMA EARNINGS PANEL A luncheon panel discussion on pro forma earnings generated some sharp opinions. Jonathan Weill, the accounting reporter for The Wall Street Journal, was highly dismissive of many company practices and detailed some recent evidence of abuses in this area. John Jessup, vice president and controller with DuPont, agreed with some of Weill's contentions that there have been excesses and abuses. He argued, however, that the notion of providing a 10Q statement at the same time as an earnings report - which would provide an additional check of the accuracy of earnings - is very difficult for most companies, owing to the need to complete additional filing data and management's discussion and analysis.

Chuck Hill, director of research for Thomson Financial/First Call, argued that many of the recent excesses were seen as far back as the 1960s, albeit at a smaller level. That was especially true of new technology companies, many of which also had startlingly high price/earnings ratios for a short time, he said. An interactive "voting" session using devices at the audience's tables elicited considerable support for pro forma statements - or at least non-GAAP reporting. Surprisingly, however, a majority of those voting said they would accept more SEC oversight in this area.


SEC DEVELOPMENTS The session was moderated by Roger W. Trupin, vice president & controller, Citigroup.

Robert Herdman, newly-appointed chief accountant, Office of the Chief Accountant, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission discussed some of the Commission's current priorities. "Everything we do at the SEC is geared towards protecting the interests of investors," he said. "The message is consistent with [Chairman] Harvey Pitt: "Government is a service industry, there to serve the people."

He said that improving the U.S. financial reporting system - already the best in the world - is a top priority of Pitt. The basic framework of the system that came into being some 70 years ago, is pretty much unchanged, he explained, except for adding MD&A. "It can use a good dose of simplifying," said Herdman. He's strong on leveraging technology as "a good enabler to disseminate information and knowledge."

Herdman listed a few financial reporting and accounting "hot button" issues: * Events of Sept. 11 * MD&A for disclosures * Recession-related disclosures about uncertainties * Implementation issues related to FAS 141 and 142 * Revenue recognition (overstatements) - and he said he's pleased the IASB added revenue recognition to its agenda and would like the FASB to do the same.

Charles D. Niemeier, chief accountant, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission said his department has been very busy lately - with 260 financial fraud investigations underway. The division is receiving more information from informants than ever before and the "big story" he said is the size of the companies with financial fraud investigations: there are more Fortune 500 companies than 5 years ago. It's also significant to note that Big 5 accounting firms are auditors for three-quarters of the companies being investigated.

He said that many recent investigations stemming from disgruntled employees who "have an ax to grind," are listened to "with a grain of salt" and combined with other sources to see if the complaint is worthy of investigation. Fraud investigations are underway in non-U.S. operations and into issues related to companies' quarterly reports - not just annual reports. He expressed a general concern with the "quality of audits."

"No company is immune from financial fraud," said Niemeier, and "good people get caught. It can happen to any one and any company." Companies get in trouble for a variety of reasons including: top side adjustments for which there is insufficient support, extreme pressure to make targets without adequate controls, companies dependent on acquisitions to make revenue results, and more.

How best to stay out of trouble? Niemeier said, "Don't start - one thing leads to another. And, when in doubt, disclose; communicate - early and often." Basically, he said, "Investors want to know operating results of a company - is it trending up or down?" And, on audit committees: "Audit committees can be your friend." He said the management letter is a document to memorialize what was said and done. It's protection.

Craig Olinger, deputy chief accountant, Division of Corporation Finance, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission said with the economic downturn, his division's priorities have shifted from looking into IPO issuances of "cheap stocks" to a renewed focus on periodic reporting.

Some of the key issues he advises registrants to give attention to include: revenue recognition (SAB 101), financial statement classification and effects of recently-issued accounting standards. Also, Olinger said there is a "long list" of expected inputs in the aftermath of September 11 that registrants will be addressing and advises companies to use their "best efforts to file as timely and completely as possible." There is information on the SEC's Web site that provides guidance.

Olinger said that there are now over 1,300 foreign issuers in the U.S. For these new registrants, new rules require filing annual reports and all other filings on EDGAR to provide investors with the same information that U.S.-registered companies provide. Approximately 18 percent of the foreign companies had voluntarily done so and 81 percent already electronically file financial statements.


Microsoft released Yet Another Security Patch for IE, a full week after the dire security compromise was discovered. Blame the lag time on Bill Gates, who got a holiday job working retail: The Great Cashier Himself rang up XBoxen at this week's launch.


Gemini G.E.L. online catalogue raisonne http://www.nga.gov/gemini/ 

The Gemini G.E.L. (Graphic Editions Limited) online catalogue raisonné presents publications of the acclaimed Los Angeles print and sculpture workshop from its beginning in 1966 through 1996. The catalogue is a work-in-progress with forthcoming installments to document subsequent Gemini editions. Many of these prints and sculpture are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art as part of the Gemini G.E.L. Archive, which is intended to include one example of each of Gemini's editions. Note that although a print or sculpture may be in the National Gallery's collection, the online image does not always represent this particular example, but can be an equivalent proof. The primary data source for all catalogue raisonné entries is from documentation sheets that correspond to each published edition. Gemini G.E.L. has compiled these records since its inception, and the data has been reviewed, organized, and transcribed by the National Gallery for this online catalogue raisonné.


Women in Academe – Still Hungry After All These Years --- http://www.aaup.org/pr01613.htm 

Women professors work at a discount. According to a report released by the American Association of University Professors, women professors earn 91 cents on the dollar compared to male faculty.

"Women faculty are making progress through the academic ranks and toward a goal of salary equity, but we’re not there yet," said Professor Mary Gibson of Rutgers University, chair of the Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Academic Profession. The Committee released a report on salary equity, "Faculty Salary and Faculty Distribution Fact Sheet, 2001 – 2002," prepared by Professor Marcia Bellas of the University of Cincinnati . . .


Cubergirl.com --- http://www.cybergrrl.com/ 


More Perfect Union (History of Japanese Americans) --- http://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion/experience/ 


Semantic Interpretation for Speech Recognition http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-semantic-interpretation-20011116/ 

This document defines the process of Semantic Interpretation for Speech Recognition and the syntax and semantics of semantic interpretation tags that can be added to speech recognition grammars to compute information to return to an application on the basis of rules and tokens that were matched by the speech recognizer. In particular, it defines the syntax and semantics of the contents of Tags in the Speech Recognition Grammar Specification.

Semantic Interpretation may be useful in combination with other specifications, such as the Stochastic Language Models (N-Gram) Specification, but their use with N-grams has not yet been studied.

Although the results of semantic interpretation are describing the meaning of a natural language utterance, the current specification does not specifically generate such information in the Natural Language Semantics Markup Language for the Speech Interface Framework. It is believed that semantic interpretation can produce information that can be encoded in the NL Semantics Markup Language, but this is not ensured or enforced.

Bob Jensen's threads on speech recognition are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245glosf.htm#Speech1 


Due to competition between the two companies, Accenture has decided to drop PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditors, effective upon completion of the current financial statements, which should be finalized by the end of November. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/63246 


*Free Seminar *
 HOW TO READ JOYCE, a free seminar from Cambridge University Press, offers a pathway to Joyce that attempts to bypass the intimidation of this brilliant and inscrutable author. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=course&cid=541&id=10701034 

* Semester-Length Course * 
READING LITERATURE, a semester-length course from the University of Washington, focuses on techniques and practices in reading, interpreting and therefore enjoying literature. Enroll anytime: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=course&cid=536&id=1276 

* Semester-Length Course * 
SURVEY OF THE HISTORY OF THE US, an online course from the University of Washington, aims to make students aware of their heritage of the past and more intelligently conscious of the present. Enroll anytime: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=course&cid=550&id=1342 

Search for more online courses in Fathom's Course Directory: http://www.fathom.com/link.jhtml?page=directory&cid=544&id=0 


A message from Nathan Letourneau

Hi Professor Jensen. 

My name is Nathan Letourneau and I am a student at the University of Minnesota. I created a free web site for students to go and compare prices on new and used textbooks at a bunch of different online booksellers with one click. It also lists the cost of shipping for each store and different coupons that the bookstores are offering, so as to save the students more money. I was wondering if you would put a link for my website on your page ( http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q3.htm  )? I know this is an old website, but I was wondering if you could post it on there anyway (or your new one) because it still shows up on web searches. I would appreciate it a lot! I see you have bigwords.com listed already. Thanks for the consideration. My website is www.CampusBooks4Less.com .

Thanks!

Nathan Letourneau leto0023@tc.umn.edu 

Reply from Robert B Walker [walkerrb@ACTRIX.CO.NZ

I have just read Bob's up-date on the Enron affair. Much as I enjoy the discomfort of organisations like Andersen's, I disagree with what is quoted from Lynn Turner, an ex-SEC chief accountant.

Turner is cited as saying that issued shares should not be taken up as receivables until the cash is received. This is utter nonsense. In the jurisdiction in which I operate the issue of shares creates an unequivocal claim against the shareholder until the issue value of the shares has been paid either in cash or in assets where the assets are transferred at fair value.

To create a receivable in such circumstances is no different to booking a sale prior to receiving the cash. The simple questions are: is there to a future economic inflow? - the answer is yes (subject to a reliable value test see below) does the entity control the claim over the shareholder? - by definition yes. does the claim arise as a result of a past event? again by definition yes. There is an asset easily valued, in the first instance, at issue value. One would need to subject the claims to a realisable value test which would entail knowing something of the creditworthiness of the shareholders holding unpaid shares but then that is a routine problem which arises everyday in accounting for trade receivables.

If that is the measure of Andersen's sins then the legal action that has begun against them won't be very successful.

For Bob Jensen's helpers in buying traditional books and electronic books, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


Liberis offers an innovative concept, one which is quite unique in Europe:

Available in 2 languages, Liberis is a whole site devoted to "Business to Business" information, with a detailed database of companies whose customers are other companies. Liberis is a "Business to Business" meeting place - a place to build new contacts and forge new deals.

Liberis is your answer to the difficulties of finding specialized and detailed information on the Web. These days, it's becoming all but impossible to find in-depth information using the traditional search engines: 2 or 3 lines and a few keywords are by no means sufficient for quickly locating a company specialized in a certain field. But at Liberis, all registered companies are displayed with a complete description of their activities, products, and services, a list of the brands they distribute, and a selection of their customers...

So don't wait a moment longer! Surf to our site today at: http://www.liberis.com 

Bob Jensen's threads on this topic are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 


The notorious and long-lived Snow White virus hits an e-mail list of the American Muslim Council, and the group claims it was deliberate. Antivirus experts aren't so sure --- http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,48412,00.html 


Antonin Scalia, one of the Supreme Court's most conservative justices, says he would vote against a national ID card if the issue went on the ballot --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,48419,00.html 


American Political Development (History)  http://www.americanpoliticaldevelopment.org/home.htm 


Hoping to attract legal talent to the firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has added an interactive e-brochure to its Web site. The e-brochure uses Quick Time film and Flash animation to promote the Big Five firm's Global Tax and Legal Services department. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/63247 


"Courts to hear rash of cell phone suits," by Graeme Wearden ZDNet, November 14, 2001 --- http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2824451,00.html?chkpt=zdnnp1tp02 

A lawsuit is due to be filed in America on Wednesday alleging that a 34-year old man's brain cancer was caused by mobile phone use. The case is likely to be followed by dozens more in coming weeks. Lawyers acting on behalf of Michael Murray, a former Motorola worker, are seeking both compensation and punitive damages. The personal injury case will be heard at the District of Columbia Superior Court, and will seek to prove that mobile phones cause brain tumors--a claim consistently denied by the mobile industry.

Attorney Mayer Morganroth has confirmed to reporters that this case will be filed on Wednesday, adding that "others will be filed in the very near future."

A spokesman for Motorola's offices has said that there is no proof that mobile phone use causes adverse health effects, and that Motorola only knew that Murray was pursuing a "worker's compensation claim" against the company.

A flurry of similar cases is expected to hit the U.S. courts in the coming weeks, according to news Web site RCR Wireless News. Government bodies and regulators will both be targeted in lawsuits that will claim they have acted negligently by not promoting devices that could reduce exposure to emissions from mobile phones.


Murder and mayhem grip a dot-com company after its CEO is found slumped over his chair, dead. It's a first-person murder mystery, with you as the detective, vying to become the first monthly gaming series --- http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,48256,00.html 


Latin American E-Commerce Still Has Hurdles to Clear Online retailing revenues in Latin America are expected to reach $1.28 billion by the end of 2001, more than double the $540 million from 2000, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group. http://www.newmedia.com/default.asp?articleID=3209 


Thanks to all of you who responded to my question regarding the legality of the income tax and the "usefulness" of arguments made by individuals who claim that we don't have to pay if we don't want to. I came across a document posted on the IRS web site, under the "What's Hot" section, which lays out the response given by the IRS to such claims. I thought some of you would find it interesting reading, as well as useful for students who raise the issue in class.

The PDF document may be downloaded from http://www.irs.gov/hot/index.html . Just scroll down to the What's Hot section.

Here is a brief description of its content:

Why pay taxes? "The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments" responds to some of the more common frivolous "legal" arguments made by individuals and groups who oppose compliance with the federal tax laws. These arguments are grouped under six general categories, with variations within each category. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. A final section explains the penalties that the courts may impose on those who pursue tax cases on frivolous grounds.

Thank you again.

Best regards,

Brett A. Stone, Ph.D., CPA 
Assistant Professor of Accounting Faculty Advisor, 
UNY New Paltz Accounting & Finance Association (AFA) 
School of Business State University of New York at New Paltz

 


A Wired News Q&A with Fahad Al Sharekh, whose company, Ajeeb.com, just rolled out what he claims is the Internet's first free Arabic-to-English translation service --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48260,00.html 
The translation site is at http://www.ajeeb.com/ 
The English version is at http://english.ajeeb.com/ 

As chief executive of Arabic and English portal site Ajeeb.com, Al Sharekh believes that the error-prone technology known as machine translation has played a key part in speeding the exchange of information between the English-speaking world and the Middle East.

Four weeks ago, Ajeeb introduced what its founder says is the first free online service that instantly translates Arabic websites into English. The company, a division of Arabic-language programming firm Sakhr Software, has been running an English-to-Arabic translation service for more than a year.

Al Sharekh, a Kuwaiti citizen educated in the United States, admits that machine translation -- despite momentous improvements in recent years -- is still far from perfect.

Any arguments to the contrary are quickly disproved by a glance at the website of Arabic news agency Al Jazeera, where translations of headlines range from the humorous: "Concord returns to the service after a year of the stop" to the not entirely intelligible: "An Israeli incursion is near an embryo and Buch he refuses Arafat meeting."

But given the voracious demand for news from abroad in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Al Sharekh tells Wired News that users are learning to live with a little weird grammar.

Continued at http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,48260,00.html 

See also:
Does Official Taliban Site Exist?
'Good News' for Arabs on MSNBC


"9/11: The Psychological Aftermath," by Sarah Graham, Scientific American, --- http://www.scientificamerican.com/explorations/2001/111201anxiety/  

Anxiety is on the rise and experts estimate that 100,000 people in New York alone are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The count is so high in part due to the nature of the attacks. Studies show that rates of PTSD are greater following events caused by deliberate violence than after natural disasters. "If an airplane had accidentally flown off course in a heavy fog in New York and taken down one of the towers," Marmar explains, "it would have been very traumatic but probably less traumatic than knowing that somebody, or some group, wanted to kill everybody in those buildings." It is this relationship to violence that may explain the higher rates of PTSD observed in women. Compared with men, women are more likely to suffer trauma after a physical or sexual assault.

Bob Jensen's threads on 9/11 are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JusticeAppeal.htm 


Email message from Glenn Meyer

Normally, I am not moved to post many URLs but this one I thought was worth it.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,39104,00.html 

Glenn Meyer

"Arm the Afghan Women," by Wendy McElroy, Fox News, November 20, 2001

It is commonplace to assume that toppling the Taliban will free Afghan women. But in an unstable country where soldiers celebrate conquest by raping — and where there is currently no guarantee that whatever form of government eventually assumes control will not be equally oppressive toward females — women have to protect themselves to remain free.

Afghan women need to exercise the right of self-defense, including gun ownership. They also need to be recognized as a force of armed resistance against oppressive regimes.

Freedom Fighters

In the 1970's, Afghan women were among the most Westernized and liberated in the Islamic world. Their pre-Taliban role as doctors, bankers, lawyers, and teachers has been well documented. But almost no attention has been given to the part they played as freedom fighters against the Soviets, or to their potential for armed resistance against future oppressors who may again try to hijack the country as the new government takes form. Yet the evidence indicates that many Afghan women would fight to protect themselves and their families.

In October 1996, the New Internationalist magazine interviewed Nooria Jehan, a mother who joined the anti-Soviet mujahideen in guerilla warfare.

"I learned explosive techniques and began supervising and teaching the younger men," Nooria recalled. "We would stick explosives and detonators under the Russians' tables and chairs."

When asked what she would do if the women-hating Taliban captured her city of residence, Kabul, Nooria said, "We will fight them as we fought the Russians."

That is what some women have done. In the Nov. 12 Newsday, journalists Matthew McAllester and Ilana Ozernoy quoted a woman named Malika, a mother whose family lived on the Taliban front line of Bagram just north of Kabul.

Continued at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,39104,00.html 


A Message from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) --- http://www.aaup.org/opedmb.htm 

What Do the Faculty Think?

The nation was shocked into silence by the unimaginable images of deliberate carnage that we witnessed on the morning of September 11, and for a time we wanted no opinions--only the details of what had happened. And then we wanted the stories of heroism and self-sacrifice. And we also wanted a time of silence to mourn. I stood outside a packed church in downtown Washington at noon on September 14 when the whole city was solemnly silent--except for the drone of a passing helicopter from time to time. New words failing us, we turned to old ones in hymns and prayers and patriotic songs. That time has passed, and now we are back to our usual habits of analysis, criticism, and scorn. The pile-up of details is not enough; as a rational species, we must push beyond them to imagine causes, motives, remedies. And that is good. That is what we do as citizens in America. That is what faculty do as professionals.

The faculty do not, however, have a single brain that renders a unified opinion on matters of public policy. We have, in our Congress, a Republican conservative former professor of economics who wants to drill for oil in the Arctic, and we have a liberal professor of physics who doesn't. Professors crowd our video screens with opposing opinions about the budget, the genetic engineering, and cultures of the Middle East, and we seem to accept their diversity in times of peace. But in times of crisis, our tolerance of such diversity fades, and the words of any one faculty member may be taken to be the words of all. It is predictable that after we had passed through the initial phases of reaction to September 11, we should want more subtle analyses. And so the discourses of academics--passionate as well as cool--have commenced. And so have the voluble reactions of those who believe that thinking out loud in our colleges and universities is so subversive that it ought to be stopped, somehow.

A distrust of intellectuals has always lurked beneath the surface of American popular opinion. Now it has begun to leak out again--either through the frontal assault in the partial reporting by the New York Post of a forum at the City University of New York, or the sideswipes at "campus teach-ins" by a respected columnist like Tom Friedman or others such as John Leo. Such editorializing may be legitimate, but to demonize "the faculty" is harmful. Further, there's a difference when the responses to faculty opinions come from those who have the power to retaliate. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer withdrew his ominous warning that public people should "watch what they say," because the government has the power to censor. Just so, the comments of some members of the board of CUNY, and of its chancellor, should also be rethought. These warnings have been accompanied by nods to academic freedom, but they still open the possibility of retaliation.

So, what do the faculty think? They think many things about September 11. Some of them died in the bombings; some lost loved ones. They disagree vociferously on ethics, strategy, causes, and effects. From my own informal survey, faculty opinion ranges from vengeful to conciliatory. That's why we cannot speak on the course of war or peace for "the faculty" that we represent within the American Association of University Professors. But we can speak for faculty on one big thing--the necessity, as patriots and professors, to think and express their views in freedom.

Mary Burgan, 
General Secretary American Association of University Professors 
October 5, 2001


One Thing About Lynne Cheney --- She's Never Afraid to Speak Her Mind

"Mr. Cheney's wife, Dr. Lynne V. Cheney, is well-known as an eloquent defender of America's traditional cultural ideals. After serving as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Dr. Cheney led the fight to reject the imposition of ideologically biased U.S. history standards on the nation's public schools -- standards that embraced every fever and fad of the politically correct Left, while denigrating or omitting altogether vital core elements of our national history and values. 
SOURCE American Renewal
--- http://www.d2kla.org/pipermail/d2kdiscuss/2000-July/000264.html 


Cheney has written and spoken about American education and the value of the humanities to one’s professional and personal life. She has been featured on television news programs and her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and many more.

Before the NEH, Cheney taught at colleges and universities, was a magazine editor and a widely published author. She has written two novels and co-authored a third. With her husband, former Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney, she wrote a history of the House of Representatives. A native of Wyoming, Cheney earned her bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Colorado College and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado. Her doctoral degree, with a specialization in 19th century British literature, is from the University of Wisconsin. She also holds more than a dozen honorary degrees.

Dr. Lynne V. Cheney http://www.northwood.edu/dw/1992/cheney.html 


Cheney's Wife Praises Appointment Of Homosexual Activist

Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice-President Dick Cheney, has spoken out in favour of President George W. Bush's decision to install practicing homosexual Scott Evertz as head of the White House office in charge of AIDS policy.

In an interview with London's Telegraph newspaper, Cheney, one of whose daughters, Mary, is a lesbian, said that although marriage and the family are "very good things, I also think that a person who is gay should have every opportunity."

"My personal feeling is that the President is to be admired for appointing people who are qualified and not focusing on what group they belong to," she said.

Catholic World News, April 24, 2001 --- http://www.cwnews.com/browse/2001/04/15356.htm 


"Yesterday Vice President Dick Cheney came down with laryngitis so his wife had to deliver a speech for him. After the speech, Cheney's wife had to spend the rest of the day telling President Bush what to do."
Conan O'Brien --- http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/blcheneyquotes.htm 


During the Reagan and Bush administrations Cheney's wife, Lynne, was a superb chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, where she was an astringent critic of the dumbing down and political corruption of culture, especially in higher education. But her husband's demeanor--that of a librarian in need of a nap--will complicate Al Gore's only authentic campaign style--fright-mongering about Bush's candidacy being a vehicle for various extremisms.
George Will --- http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will1072700.asp 


Remember that I am only your mailman on this erupting volcano in academe. Please don't shoot the delivery boy!

Having given her a tribute above, I will now reveal the reason.  The following is the highly controversial report will have many professors (especially professors still bleeding over the election of Bush and Cheney to lead the United States)  on the warpath to scalp Vice-President Cheney's wife, Lynne Chaney.  Interestingly enough, however, the other co-founder of ACTA is Senator Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore's running mate.  However, liberal faculty to date are venting their hostilities more on Lynne Cheney than on Senator Lieberman. 

"Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It" ---  http://www.goacta.org/Reports/defciv.pdf 

A quotation from the University of Wisconsin's Scout Report on November 23, 2003
(Which is not one of the inflammatory critiques.)

Though short, this report from The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit co-founded by Lynne Cheney and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, has been getting quite a bit of media attention. The report is a scathing condemnation of universities for being "the weak link in America's response to the [September 11th] attack," a label earned in part because faculty "invoked tolerance and diversity as antidotes to evil" and did not discuss the "difference between good and evil." The report charges academia with disseminating the message to "blame America first." ACTA states, "This is not an argument for limiting free speech on college campuses. Indeed, the robust exchange of ideas is essential to a free society. But it is equally important -- and never more so than in these unsettling times -- to insist that colleges and universities transmit our history and heritage to the next generation." The report concludes with an appendix of named and numbered professors and organizations who are part of the "weak link." Anyone interested in debates over the function of universities or the composition of curricula will want to read this.

One of my colleagues informed me that the "named and numbered" have been deleted from the report.

The flaming critiques will commence appearing in the liberal press and in the ACLU press.. The national AAUP position after the 9/11 attack was rather guarded in favor of motherhood and apple pie.  A Message from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) --- http://www.aaup.org/opedmb.htm  


A Thoughtful Reply from Curtis Brown, Professor of Philosophy at Trinity University

Bob Jensen recently sent a link to a report on "Defending Civilization" produced by an organization (the "American Council of Trustees and Alumni") founded by Lynne Cheney and Joe Lieberman. Many of us have probably also read Harry Haines' long and thoughtful response to this document in the recent Trinity AAUP newsletter.

I started to write a note to tigertalk about my reactions to the report. Although I only scratched the surface of what I wanted to say, it got too long to post to tigertalk.

If anyone's interested, my comments, unfortunately somewhat rambling and incomplete, are available at http://www.trinity.edu/cbrown/defending.html .

Here's the short version: The central flaw in the report, in my view, is its absolute refusal to offer or consider evidence or argument pertaining to the authors' views. Everything in the report reinforces this refusal to reason about the issues: its criticism of faculty statements, not on the grounds that they were not well supported, or that more compelling considerations support an opposing view, but simply because the conclusions disagreed with the authors' own views; its appeals to authority and polling statistics, rather than evidence or reasons, in support of its own view; and above all its collection of over 100 brief supposedly objectionable quotations, taken from news reports of campus events, with absolutely no consideration of the context of the quotations or the reasons offered for the views they express, and with absolutely no attempt to provide a reasoned basis for disagreeing with these quotations.

Curtis


Maybe Lynne Cheney is Correct

"The Pilgrims' Magna Carta:  Americans can't defend a history they don't know," The Wall Street Journal, Review and Outlook, November 23, 2001 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=95001503 

How much is not taught was painfully evident in its survey. The Council asked the Roper organization to assess what college seniors know and don't know about American history and Western civilization and which institutions of higher learning actually required students to learn something of these subjects. The results may surprise more than a few parents now shelling out $30,000 a year to send their children to one of the nation's elite institutions of higher education. Just three of the top-ranked 55 schools--Columbia, Colgate and the University of the South--require a course in Western civilization. None of the 55 requires a course in American history. (Click here for a full list.)

So at colleges such as Amherst, Yale, Duke, Stanford, Dartmouth, Rice and the University of Michigan--to name a few--graduates can now leave as ignorant of Western civilization as they were when they entered. Other schools on the list do have history "requirements" but it turns out these are the sort of requirements that aren't in fact required. Rather, the student can satisfy them by completing a high school history course or by choosing a non-history college-level course. At Berkeley, students who earned a C or better in high school history are exempt. At M.I.T., students can satisfy the historical studies "requirement" by taking a course in Environmental Politics and Policy.

All this goes a long way toward explaining why the college seniors queried by Roper in an earlier Council survey had so much trouble with even the most basic history questions. No more than 22% had any idea that "government of the people, by the people, for the people" came from the Gettysburg Address. More than half could not identify the Constitution as the source of the separation of powers. This being the day after Thanksgiving, we're too embarrassed to print the percentage who thought the Magna Carta was what the Pilgrims signed on the Mayflower. Remember, these are students from the nation's top 55 colleges.

Facts about America's wars were also in short supply. Just four out of 10 seniors could identify the Battle of the Bulge as having taken place in World War II. Only 34% knew George Washington was the general commanding the Americans at Yorktown, the ultimate battle of the Revolutionary War. A higher percentage--37%--thought it might be Ulysses S. Grant.

About one fact most students did seem clear--that they are citizens of a nation now at war. In turn, university administrators, long cowed by the multiculturalists and pressure groups hostile to anything that might smack of Western culture, ought to consider getting up off their knees to provide young Americans with a serious education in their history and civilization.


A message from Don Clark
... for more illumination of the cultural response to the tragic events of September 11th, following Bob Jensen's forwarding of Lynne Cheney's commentary on campus culture to Tigertalk, let me suggest the Borowitz Report, to be found at:
http://www.bushnews.com/borowitz.htm 
Don Clark

A quotation from an inspiring Quaker named Parker J. Palmer

As we go into these five days together, let us remember one thing about the soul. It is like a wild animal: tough, self-sufficient, resilient, but also exceedingly shy. Let us remember that if we go crashing through the woods, screaming and yelling for the soul to come out, it will evade us all day and all night. We cannot beat the bushes and yell at each other if we expect this precious inwardness to emerge. But if you are willing to go into the woods and sit quietly at the base of a tree, that wild animal will, after a few hours, reveal itself to you. And out of the corner of your eye, you will glimpse something of the wild preciousness that this conference is looking for. I ask guidance for myself and, as Quakers say, hold this entire conference in the light, to be here, to be present to each other in the right spirit, speaking our truth gently and simply, listening respectfully and attentively to the truth of others, grounded in our own experience and expanded by experiences that are not yet ours, compassionate toward that which we do not yet understand, not only as a kindness to others but for the sake of our growth and our students and the transformation of education. Amen.

In preparing these remarks, I've asked myself what are we trying to do here? We know it's about spirituality and education, but what does that mean? For whatever it's worth, these are the images that have come to me as I've tried to put a larger frame of personal meaning around this conference.

I think we are here to seek life-giving forces and sources in the midst of an enterprise which is too often death-dealing education. It may seem harsh to call education death-dealing, but I think that we all have our experience of that.

I am always astonished and saddened by the fact that this country, which has the most widespread public education system in the world, has so many people who walk around feeling stupid because they feel that they are the losers in a competitive system of teaching and learning. It is a system that dissects life and distances us from the world because it is rooted in fear.

We come out of schools where learning turns out to be dull and we don t want to learn again. Too many children have their birthright gift of love of learning taken away from them by the very process that s supposed to enhance that gift. And so we here seek forces and sources that are life-giving in the midst of a system that is too often death-dealing.

Everyone here has had his or her own encounter with the forces of death: racism, sexism, justice denied. In my life, one of my face-to-face encounters with the forces of death was in two prolonged experiences of clinical depression, passages through the dark woods that I made when I was in my 40s, devastating experiences when it was not clear from one day to the next whether I wished to be alive, or even was still alive the darkness, face-to-face, immersed in it, hardly a spark of life.

Continued at http://csf.colorado.edu/sine/transcripts/palmer.html 

More By This Author

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation --- 
http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,221764,00.html
 

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life (includes book, study guide, and video) 
http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,149523,00.html
 

Teaching from the Heart: Seasons of Renewal in a Teacher's Life (VHS 30-minute video), with Parker J. Palmer 
http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,149559,00.html
 

The Courage to Teach, A Guide for Reflection and Renewal  
http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,105046,00.html
 

The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring  
http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,221746,00.html
 

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life (includes book, study guide, and video)  
http://www.wiley.com/Corporate/Website/Objects/Products/0,9049,222761,00.html
 

 

 




Once again, Wired News is garnering votes for the year's most eagerly awaited vaporware: products and technologies that were promised but never delivered --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48515,00.html 

Related Links:

Game Arrives Only in Dreams
March 13, 2001

Vaporware 2000: Missing Inaction
Dec. 27, 2000

Vaporware '99: The 'Winners'
Jan. 3, 2000

Vaporware 1998: Windows NT Wins
Dec. 29, 1998

Vaporware 1997: We Hardly Knew Ye




The Fourth Annual Inertia Awards," by Michael Swaine, webreview, November 12, 2001 --- http://webreview.com/swaine/2001/11_12_01.shtml 

In the category of computer companies, the award goes to Dell. In the words of the nominator, "These guys can't think outside the box. They are great handling orders, but innovate the hardware—no way."

In the category of software companies, the award goes to Microsoft. One nominator says, "Company has never had an innovative idea. If the rest of the software industry went away, IE 22 released in 2030 would be promoting 'Even Smarter Links.'" Other reasons cited include monopolistic practices, that Steve Ballmer video clip in which he dances around the stage imitating an ape, Clippy, My Documents, My Pictures, My Images, My Music, My Vomit, etc.

In the category of PR firms, the award goes to Edelman. "These guys and their affiliates organized a 'grass roots' campaign to the various state attorney generals that resulted in them redoubling their resolve to fight Microsoft," a nominator complains.

In the category of Web sites, the award goes to Interwise for selling a product that requires Netscape 4 or higher on a web site that requires Netscape 6 or higher, thus making it impossible for many of the company's own customers even to contact the company.

And in the category of government agencies, the award goes to the popular favorite, the United States Department of Justice, for spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money to win an antitrust judgement against Microsoft and then negotiating a settlement that largely lets the illegal monopolist off the hook.

In conclusion, the management would like to point out that this year's winners are no more deserving than many other candidates who failed to be considered solely because nobody nominated them. The spirit of solidarity that has spread across America in recent months like a virus, while it doubtless has its positive side, has had a devastating effect on the grumpiness and petty nitpicking on which this awards competition depends. You nominators, frankly, didn't rise to the high level of crabbiness that you set in past years. We understand, we really do, but we do hope to see a lot more grousing and kvetching next year.


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he
sings."
-- Robert Benchley

Don't bother to look, I've composed all this already." -- Gustav Mahler,
to Bruno Walter who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in rural
Austria.

"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play
Bach and starve." -- Xavier Cugat

"[Musicians] talk of nothing but money and jobs. Give me businessmen
every time. They really are interested in music and art." -- Jean
Sibelius, explaining why he rarely invited musicians to his home.

"The amount of money one needs is terrifying . . ." -- Ludwig van Beethoven

"Only become a musician if there is absolutely no other way you can make a
living."-- Kirke Mecham, on his life as a composer.

Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought
two or three seats."-- Victor Borge, playing to a half-filled house in
Flint, Michigan.

"God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way." --
Arturo Toscanini to a trumpet player

"Already too loud!" -- Bruno Walter at his first rehearsal with an
American orchestra, on seeing the players reaching for their instruments.

"Never look at the trombones. It only encourages them." -- Richard Strauss

"I write as a sow piddles." -- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"He has an enormously wide repertory. He can conduct anything, provided
it's by Beethoven, Brahms or Wagner. He tried Debussy's La Mer once. It
came out as Das Merde." --Anonymous Orchestra Member on George Szell

"Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving
pleasure to thousands and all you can do is scratch it." --Sir Thomas
Beecham to a lady cellist.

"I liked the opera very much. Everything but the music." --Benjamin
Britten on Stravinsky's The Rakes' Progress

"Her singing reminds me of a cart coming downhill with the brake on."
--Sir Thomas Beecham on an unidentified soprano in Die Walkure

"In the first movement alone, I took note of six pregnancies and at least
four miscarriages."--Sir Thomas Beecham on Bruckner's Seventh Symphony

Sir Thomas Beecham was once asked if he had played any Stockhausen. "No,"
he replied, "but I have trodden in some."

"Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him
enough on his backside." --Ludwig van Beethoven

"He'd be better off shoveling snow." --Richard Strauss on Arnold Schoenberg.

"Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always
by Villa-Lobos?"  --Igor Stravinsky

"If he'd been making shell-cases during the war it might have been better
for music." --Maurice Ravel on Camille Saint-Saens

"No operatic star has yet died soon enough for me." --Sir Thomas Beecham

"A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air
molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians." --Frank
Zappa

"Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel." --Jimi Hendrix

"Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance." --Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Simple ain't easy." --Thelonious Monk

 


Out of the mouths of babes comes the Dead Cat Test, a true story...........

A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat.

She asked if it was dead or alive.

"Dead," she was informed.

"How do you know?" she asked.

"Because I pissed in his ear and it didn't move," said the child innocently.

"You did WHAT?!?!?!" the teacher shrieked in surprise.

"You know," explained the boy, "I leaned over and went 'psssssst' and he didn't move."


Politically Spirited Humor at the Bush/Cheney Team's Expense --- http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/blcheneyquotes.htm 
They really can laugh at themselves.  Jokes by Jay Leno and others.


Friends should be close and relatives distant.


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

THE SENILITY PRAYER

God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Now that I'm 'older' (but refuse to grow up), here's what I've discovered

ONE- I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

TWO- My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.

THREE- I finally got my head together; now my body is falling apart.

FOUR- Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...

FIVE- All reports are in; life is now officially unfair.

SIX- If all is not lost, where is it?

SEVEN- It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

EIGHT- Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.

NINE- I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few...

TEN- Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

ELEVEN- Accidents in the back seat cause...kids.

TWELVE- It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

THIRTEEN- The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're in the bathroom.

FOURTEEN- If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

FIFTEEN- When I'm finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?

SIXTEEN- It's not hard to meet expenses... they're everywhere.

SEVENTEEN- The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

EIGHTEEN- These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter...I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I'm here after.

NINETEEN- I AM UNABLE TO REMEMBER IF I HAVE MAILED THIS TO YOU BEFORE OR NOT




And that's the way it was on November 23, 2001 with a little help from my friends.

 

In March 2000, Forbes named AccountantsWorld.com as the Best Website on the Web --- http://accountantsworld.com/.
Some top accountancy links --- http://accountantsworld.com/category.asp?id=Accounting

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 

 

Another leading accounting site is AccountingEducation.com at http://www.accountingeducation.com/ 

 

Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at http://www.iasplus.com/

 

How stuff works --- http://www.howstuffworks.com/ 

 

Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/ 
Accompanying documentation can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/default1.htm and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

 

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

  Hline.jpg (568 bytes) Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

 Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

 

November 14, 2001


Quotes of the Week

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague
Forwarded by Dick Haar.  
Dick does not know it, but this has been the secret of journal referees for decades.

As Kuhn saw it, and several generations of scientists, historians and journalists have told it since, new paradigms are accepted slowly, if not over the dead bodies of those who grew up with the old ones. Kuhn documented one great scientist after another, from Copernicus to Darwin to James Clerk Maxwell, who struggled relentlessly against the resistance of mediocre minds and later was vindicated. It was the German physicist Max Planck who set down the definitive words on the subject: "a new scientific truth," Planck wrote, "does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
From "Rethinking the Paradigm Paradigm," by Gary Taubes, Technology Review, November 2001 --- http://www.techreview.com/magazine/nov01/insight.asp 

Free Speech in America Includes Promotion of Violent Terrorism
Below you will find two quotations  from OpinionJournal on November 12, 2001.  It begins with a quotation from Mary Ellen Keating, a spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ir/index.asp  , in response to public complaints about an appearance ( http://www.vicinity.com/bnoble99/searchevt.hm?FS=Bill+Ayers&sType=auth ) by Bill Ayers, an erstwhile and unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist.  Bill Ayers is now attempting, in a new book promoted by Barnes & Nobel, to become wealthy promoting terrorism and justifying his previous bombing history.

*** QUOTE:   From Mary Ellen Keating

Granted, we live in troubled times. The reprehensible acts of the terrorists were designed to promote fear, divisiveness, even hatred among fellow Americans. We cannot let them win. Removing Mr. Ayers' book from our shelves or canceling a previously scheduled appearance is out of the question. To do so would be to give in to our fears, and ultimately to validate the position of our enemies.

*** QUOTE:   From Editors of Opinion Journal

Terrorists win if we don't let terrorists cash in on their past crimes? This has got to be the most twisted use of the "we can't let them win" cliché yet. One of our readers quips that he's looking forward to the book signing for 101 Uses for a Dead Infidel by Osama bin Laden at the local Barnes & Noble.

 




New From Bob Jensen
Video and Other Helper Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideosSummary.htm 
(New videos will be added steadily for the next several months.  I love Camtasia.)

My main tutorial page has shifted to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 


I Love Camtasia

Camtasia Recording and Producing --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 

I prepared a Camtasia video on how I record Camtasia avi files and how I "produce" a copy of the file as a rm RealMedia file that will play on most computers without having to download the Camtasia Player.  You can read about Camtasia and download a free Camtasia player from http://www.techsmith.com/ 
(If you can play the rm RealMedia version, you do not need the player to view the videos.)


Note that if you want to record audio as well as video in Camtasia, it is best to have the microphone on a stand or clipped to your shirt.  You will probably need both hands free for use of the keyboard.

Also note that you should set up a hot key to toggle between "Record" and "Pause" (I assigned the F9 key for this purpose).  It is common while you are recording to have to do something (such as taking time to bring up another file or refresh you memory on how to perform a task) that you do not want in the video.  To pause the recording process, I simply click on F9.  When I am ready to commence once again, I click on F9 to renew the recording process.  I also assign the F10 key to end the recording process.  You can assign these "HotKeys" in the Camtasia Recorder menu choices (Options, Preferences, Hotkeys).

Camtasia has panning and zooming options even though the video is not being captured in a "camera."  Panning effects are created by moving  the "camera" (usually from side to side) while keeping the subject in the viewfinder.  Zooming entails making the image more or less magnified.

Flesh in PowerPoint, Excel, or other presentations with video and audio.  Camtasia works great for both capturing dynamic computer screen presentations in video accompanied by your audio explanations.  Your video files may take up more space that you are allowed on your Web server.  However, you can save them to CD-R or CD-RW disks that can be sold to students for around $1.00 per disk. You can learn more about Camtasia from http://www.techsmith.com/ .  You can make CDs by simply dragging files to a blank CD using Windows Explorer if you first install Easy CD (http://www.roxio.com/en/products/ecdc/ ).


One of the most frequently asked questions asked in my education technology workshops is as follows:  
"In what ways should course content materials be modified for online learning?"

My quick and dirty response is that faculty who develop content should learn how to use FrontPage or some other good HTML editor and then learn how to screen capture and video capture themselves rather than relying upon technicians.  You can learn Microsoft FrontPage, screen capturing, and Camtasia video capturing in just a few days with a little help from your friends.  With a little added effort, you can make your online course materials more interactive by saving Excel worksheets as interactive Webpages and by learning how to use JavaScript.  You can learn all of these things in less than a week if you have the correct software and hardware.

  1. Use more screen captures, audio captures, and video captures of things that you normally demo in lecture presentations.   Look under "Resources" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm 
    Also see my tutorials at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm 

  2. MP3 Audio
    Audio capturing is especially important since you can let students hear what you like to say in lectures or case discussions.  For example, in an Excel spreadsheet you can add buttons that students can click on to hear your explanation of what is going on in various cells of the spreadsheet.  Look under "Resources" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm 

  3. Camtasia AVI Versus RM Recordings --- See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideosSummary.htm 
    Flesh in PowerPoint, Excel, or other presentations with video and audio.  Camtasia works great for both capturing dynamic computer screen presentations in video accompanied by your audio explanations.  Your video files may take up more space than you are allowed on your Web server.  However, you can save them to CD-R or CD-RW disks that can be sold to students for around $1.00 per disk. You can learn more about Camtasia from http://www.techsmith.com/ .  You can make CDs by simply dragging files to a blank CD using Windows Explorer if you first install Easy CD (http://www.roxio.com/en/products/ecdc/ ).  

    For video illustrations and tutorials, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideosSummary.htm 

  4. Excel Saved as Webpages Can Add Interactivity In Imaginative Ways
    Suppose that you want to have students make journal entries in a HTML Webpage.  Or suppose you want to see the impact of interest rate swap valuations with changes in forward yield curve estimates. 

    Or suppose you want an interactive Excel chart imported into a HTML Webpage where the chart will change when the reader changes the loan principal, interest rate, or maturity date. 

    For illustrations on publishing Excel workbooks, spreadsheets, or charts as interactive Webpages, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/dhtml/excel01.htm 

    For videos and tutorials, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideosSummary.htm 


  5. JavaScript Calculations and Interactivity
    Try to make your online materials more interactive by saving Excel workbooks as interactive Webpages and use of JavaScipt.  For my JavaScript tutorials, see  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm .  

  6. Amy Dunbar's Online Pedagogy
    Make a lot more use of online questions and answers that replace the question and answer type of style that you probably use in lectures.  Amy Dunbar uses this approach extensively.  You can read about how she developed her first online course.  See Example 1 below.

Motivations for Distance Education 

Little Red Hen Motivations
(Those professors who go it alone without much institutional support.)

Example 1
Amy Dunbar's Online Tax Courses

I think all educators should read at least the first 15 pages of "Genesis of an Online Course," by Amy Dunbar at www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/genesis_of_an_online_course.pdf 

You Can See a Live Performance on How Amy Wows Her Online Students!
Amy Dunbar has consented to conduct a live workshop for educators in San Antonio on August 13, 2002.  She will perform in the Education Technology Workshop that I organize annually as a CPE session two days prior to the start of the American Accounting Association Annual Meetings (which are in San Antonio next August).

I just shared a platform with Amy Dunbar in a workshop presented at Mercer University on November 9, 2001.  I am amazed at what both Amy and her husband (John) are accomplishing with online teaching of income tax and tax research.  

  • Although they are teaching as full-time faculty at the University of Connecticut, both Amy and her husband, John, teach online courses from their house.  In practice, they don't have to go to the campus except to check mail, perform service activities, and work face-to-face with colleagues and students when needed.  In theory, they could move to a California beach house or a cabin on top of a Colorado mountain and still teach all their courses for the University of Connecticut.  I should note that the students in this online University of Connecticut program are adult learners who almost all have current jobs in the Hartford community.  Amy teaches all her courses online, and John teaches a summer course online.  Both professors teach taxation.

  • Amy just won an all-university teaching technology award from the University of Connecticut.  This is just another of her many all-university teaching awards from the University of Texas in San Antonio, the University of Iowa, and the University of Connecticut.  She has this rare ability of being rated perfect by virtually any student no matter what grade she assigns, even a failing grade.  Amy's homepage is at http://www.sba.uconn.edu/users/ADunbar/Dunbaru.htm 

  • I don't have John's teaching evaluation scores (I'm told they're excellent), but you can read Amy's teaching evaluation scores on the last page (Exhibit 5) of the document at http://www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/genesis_of_an_online_course.pdf 
    (Note that the highest possible rating is 10.00 in this University of Connecticut evaluation form.

  • I especially urge you to read the student evaluation narratives at http://www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/genesis_of_an_online_course.pdf 

  • Amy developed all her own online course materials and relies heavily on a question and answer pedagogy using instant messaging.
  • Amy's workshop presentations and war stories about online education are AWESOME!

 

So what are Amy's highly controversial conclusions from her online courses?   Go to Page 13 in "Genesis of an Online Course," by Amy Dunbar at www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/genesis_of_an_online_course.pdf 

 


Example 2
An Innovative Online International Accounting Course on Six Campuses Around the World   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255light.htm 

A highlight for me at the November 6-7, 1998 AICPA Accounting Educators Conference was a presentation by Sharon Lightner from San Diego State University and Linard Nadig from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.  This presentation followed a ceremony presenting Professors Lightner and Nadig with the $1,000 AICPA Collaboration Award prize.

The course syllabus is located at http://www.aznet.net/course/doors/ 

Bob Jensen's Web Link --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255light.htm 

 

 

Learning Experimentation Motivations
Example 1 --- The SCALE Experiments --- http://w3.scale.uiuc.edu/scale/ 

Quotes from Professor Burks Oakley II, 
Sloan Center for Asynchronous Learning Environments,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Asynchronous Learning Networking Promotes Greater Communication

  • 51% of students reported increased communication with instructor
  • 43% of students reported increased communication with other students
  • 40% reported increase in quality of interactions with instructor

Asynchronous Learning Networking Enhances the Learning Environment

  • 75% of students rated their overall experience good, very good, or excellent
  • ALN enables students 
         to "be more prepared for class,"
         gives them "a lot of time to learn out of class," and
         allows them "to work at their own pace."

Impact on Course Grades in ECE 270, Fall 1994, 2 traditional sections versus 3 ALN sections

Course Grade

Traditional

Computer Based

A
B
C
D
E
17.4%
31.8%
35.^%
6.8%
8.3%
38.1%
26.0%
21.5%
6.6%
7.7%

Source:  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois 

For an August 2000 update, download Dan Stone's audio file and PowerPoint file from http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm 


Top K12's 100 Wired Schools --- http://FamilyPC.com/smarter.asp 
The winners are listed at http://familypc.com/smarter_2001_top.asp 

Why (Some) Kids Love School --- http://familypc.com/smarter_why_kids.asp 

Dropout rates are down and test scores are up. Students are engaged in learning and their self-esteem is soaring. So what's really going on within the classroom walls of the country's top wired schools? By Leslie Bennetts


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 --- 

Technology Source, a free, refereed, e-journal at http://horizon.unc.edu/TS/default.asp?show=issue&id=44 
IN THE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2001 ISSUE


The Problem of Attrition in Online MBA Programs

We expect higher attrition rates from both learners in taking degrees in commuting programs and most online programs.  The major reason is that prior to enrolling for a course or program, people tend to me more optimistic about how they can manage their time between a full-time job and family obligations.  After enrolling, unforseen disasters do arise such as family illnesses, job assignments out of town, car breakdowns, computer breakdowns, job loss or change, etc.

The problem of online MBA attrition at West Texas A&M University is discussed in "Assessing Enrollment and Attrition Rates for the Online MBA," by Neil Terry, T.H.E. Journal, February 2001, pp. 65-69 --- http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A3299.cfm 

Follow-up experiments also showed that West Texas A&M's online students did not perform as well as onsite students on examinations.


Assessment Issues, Case Studies, and Research --- Detail File


The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education --- Detail File

 

 

New and Expanding Market Motivations
Example 1 --- Stanford University --- http://ww.stanford.edu/history/fulldesc.html 

Stanford University shook up the stuffy Ivy League and other prestigious schools such as Oxford and Cambridge when it demonstrated to the world that its online training programs and its online Masters of Engineering (ADEPT) asynchronous learning degree program became enormous cash cows with nearly infinite growth potentials relative to relatively fixed-size onsite programs.  In a few short years, revenues from online programs in engineering and computer science exploded to over $100 million per year.

The combined present value of the Stanford University logo and the logos of other highly prestigious universities are worth trillions.  Any prestigious university that ignores online growth opportunities is probably wasting billions of dollars of potential cash flow from its logo.  

Virtually all universities of highest prestige and name recognition are realizing this and now offer a vast array of online training and education courses directly or in partnership with corporations and government agencies seeking the mark of distinction on diplomas.


Example 2 --- University of Wisconsin --- http://webct.wisc.edu/ 
Over 100,000 Registered Online Students in The University of Wisconsin System of State-Supported Universities

Having a long history of extension programs largely aimed at part-time adult learners, it made a lot of sense for the UW System to try to train and educate adult learners and other learners who were not likely to become onsite students.

The UW System is typical of many other large state-supported universities that have an established adult learning infrastructure and a long history of interactive television courses delivered to remote sites within the state.  Online Internet courses were a logical extension and in many instances a cost-efficient extension relative to televised delivery.


Example 3 --- Texas A&M Online MBA Program in Mexico --- http://olap.tamu.edu/mexico/tamumxctr.pdf 

Some universities view online technologies as a tremendous opportunity to expand training and education courses into foreign countries.  One such effort was undertaken by the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University in partnership with Monterrey Tech in Mexico.  For example, Professor John Parnell at Texas A&M has been delivering a course for several semesters in which students in Mexico City take the online course in their homes.  However, once each month the students meet face-to-face on a weekend when Dr. Parnell travels to Mexico City to hold live classes and administer examinations.

You probably won't have much difficulty making a guess as to what many students say is the major reason they prefer online courses to onsite courses in Mexico City?


Example 4 --- The University of Phoenix --- http://www.phoenix.edu/index_open.html 

The University of Phoenix became the largest private university in the world.  Growth came largely from adult learning onsite programs in urban centers across the U.S. and Canada.  

The popular CBS television show called Sixty Minutes ran a feature on the growth and future of the newer online training and education programs at the University of Phoenix. You can download this video from http://online.uophx.edu/onl_nav_2.asp# 

The University of Phoenix contends that online success in education depends upon intense communications day-to-day between instructors and students.  This, in turn, means that online classes must be relatively small and synchronized in terms of assignments and projects.


Example 5 --- Partnerships 
Lucrative partnerships between universities and corporations seeking to train and educate employees.

The highly successful Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University (formerly called GEMBA) where corporations from around the world pay nearly $100,000 for one or two employees to earn a prestigious online MBA degree --- http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/index.html

UNext Corporation has an exclusive partnership with General Motors Corporation that provides online executive training and education programs to 88,000 GM managers.  GM pays the fees.  See http://www.unext.com/ 

The U.S. Army has a program developed and managed by the consulting division of an accounting firm (PwC) to deliver online training and education opportunities to every soldier.  Courses are delivered from 24 accredited colleges and universities across the nation.  The Army pays the fees.  Two links of interest are shown below:

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a program for online training and education for all IRS employees.  The IRS pays the fees for all employees.  The IRS online accounting classes will be served up from Florida State University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60881-2001May7.html 

Deere & Company has an exclusive partnership with Indiana University to provide an online MBA program for Deere employees.  Deere pays the fees.  See "Deere & Company Turns to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business For Online MBA Degrees in Finance," Yahoo Press Release, October 8, 2001 --- http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/011008/cgm034_1.html 

The University of Georgia partnered with the consulting division of PwC to deliver a totally online MBA degree.  The program is only taken by PwC employees.  PwC paid the development and delivery fees.  See http://www.coe.uga.edu./coenews/2000/UGAusnews.htm 


The Dark Side

In spite of the successes noted above, most attempts to offer online training and education programs by corporations, private universities, and state-supported colleges and universities have either failed or struggle on with negative net cash flows from the online operations.

Aside from the success story at the University of Phoenix, it appears that reputation and prestige of a university are necessary but not sufficient conditions for high success in online programs.  Online programs at Carnegie-Mellon University, Columbia University, Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, and other top-name schools have attracted students who want those logos on their transcripts.  The is the main reason why many corporations partner with those particular schools for training and education courses.  This "prestige criterion" makes it very difficult for startup education companies or colleges with less prestigious names to expand markets with Internet courses.

Many new online programs have failed to attract sufficient numbers of tuition-paying students to break even on the cost of developing and delivering those programs.  

  • Some like the online teacher education program at McGill University have ceased operations. 

  • Some like Western Governors University struggle on with miniscule classes while supporting operations with outside funding or funding diverted from onsite training and education programs --- http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/index.html 

  • Monterrey Tech (which is to Mexico what MIT is to the US), has a multimillion dollar distance education program.  The main campus has a 12-story glass tower (a beautiful building indeed) equipped with production and delivery equipment that constitutes one of two main transmitting facilities of the Monterrey Tech Virtual University ---  the University that delivers courses daily to 29 campuses, 1,272 sites in Mexico, and 159 sites in 10 Latin and South American Countries.  Although this is one of the most successful distance education programs in the world, the number one problem still remains in finding more qualified students who are both willing and able to pay the fees.  See  http://www.ruv.itesm.mx/ 

Even in established universities that offer fully-accredited degree programs, expanding the market through online programs has been a hard struggle.  The University of Washington found that even free-course promotions did not attract large numbers of students.  http://www.outreach.washington.edu/about/releases/20010521freecourse.asp 

The Fathom program largely run by Columbia University finds that many of its free courses have sparse enrollments.  See http://www.fathom.com/ 


Links to ventures that became financial disasters are given in the following document:

The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education --- Detail File


The Bright Side 

The bottom line seems to be that for many universities seeking to expand markets with online programs, the best solution to date entails partnering with corporations or government agencies who both pay the fees and promote the programs among their employees.

For urban areas such as Mexico City locked in traffic jams, online education appears to have glowing prospects.

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it will probably be more difficult for some foreign students to become students on campuses of developed nations such as the U.S. and the U.K.  Online education has bright prospects of reaching those students.

Open share initiatives such as the new open share program in which MIT will make learning materials from virtually all of its courses available for free online, will greatly expand learning opportunities for nearly all people in the world.

 

 

Cost Savings Motivations 
Example 1 --- Stanford University --- http://stanford-online.stanford.edu/main.html 

It is possible to save enormous amounts of money using online versus onsite education delivery.  But to save enormous amounts of money, the circumstances probably must be highly unique in which students can succeed with very little communication and human interaction in every course.  

One such unique situation is the ADEPT online Masters of Engineering degree program at Stanford University.  The students are mature and are all graduates in engineering or science from top colleges in the world.  The students are generally highly motivated since a Stanford masters degree greatly improves their career opportunities, especially in economic downturns where competition for jobs becomes more intense.  Most importantly, the students are all extremely intelligent since Stanford can be highly selective regarding admittance into the ADEPT program.

The unique type of student described above allows ADEPT program to rely upon a video pedagogy where students to proceed at their own paces with very little demanded in the way of instructor supervision and communication.  It's the day-to-day instructional communication and supervision that comprise most of the cost of online training and education.  Online programs that minimize this cost will probably make money as long as sufficient numbers of students are willing to pay the fees for the online course materials and the prestige of the course transcripts.


Example 2 --- UNext Corporation --- http://www.unext.com/ 

UNext Corporation is not a low-cost training and education venture and is not yet a profitable venture.  However, UNext adopted a strategy that seeks to combine education prestige with lower cost delivery.  One of its headline programs entailed partnering with five prestigious universities (Stanford, Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon, Columbia, and the London School of Economics) to develop and continue to own and monitor 15 courses for an Executive MBA degree.  Each course's transcripts will carry the logo of the university that "owns" that course.  However, each course will be delivered by specially-trained instructors who hire out at much lower rates than faculty from prestigious schools that developed the courses.  In some cases the UNext instructors have doctoral degrees, but in many cases these instructors are highly trained specialists who do not have doctorates.  These instructors perform the labor intensive day-to-day communication and supervision duties.  The prestigious universities who "own" the courses, however, must monitor education standards in the courses since the names of those universities will appear on the course transcripts.

You can listen to UNext faculty and the course designer for Columbia University's accounting course at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001cpe/01start.htm 


The Dark Side

All that glitters is not gold in terms of cost savings and profits from distance education.  Many of the startup ventures are having difficulty changing faculty attitudes and attracting paying students.  To me this is not surprising since faculty by nature are suspicious beings, and most potential customers of distance education are not yet adequately connected to the Web.  David Noble, however, sees the early failings of many ventures as ominous warnings that distance education is by nature inferior and over-hyped by profit mongers.

And now, in the year 2001, these latest academic entrepreneurs of distance education have begun to encounter the same sobering reality earlier confronted by UCLA and THEN, namely, that all that glitters is not gold. Columbia University's high-profile, for-profit venture Fathom is reported to be "having difficulty attracting both customers and outside investors" compelling the institution to put up an additional $10 million - on top of its original investment of $18.7 million - just to keep the thing afloat. According to Sarah Carr's report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Columbia's administrators remain behind the venture whether or not it makes money.

Howevermuch it might enable administrators to restructure the institutions of higher education to their advantage vis a vis the professoriate, the investment in online education is no guarantee of increased revenues. "Reality is setting in among many distance education administrators", Carr reports. "They are realizing that putting programs online doesn't necessarily bring riches". Ironically, among those now preaching this new-found wisdom is none other than John Kobara, the UCLA vice chancellor who left the university to run Arkatov's company, which was founded upon the expectation of such riches. "The expectations were that online courses would be a new revenue source and something that colleges had to look into", Kobara remembered. "Today", he told Carr, " [chancellors and presidents] are going back and asking some important and tough questions, such as: 'Are we making any money off of it?' 'Can we even pay for it?' 'Have we estimated the full costs?'" Barely eight years after Lapiner and his UCLA colleagues first caught the fool's gold fever, Kobara mused aloud, "I don't think anybody has wild notions that it is going to be the most important revenue source".
David F. Noble, "Fools Gold" --- http://communication.ucsd.edu/DL/ddm5.html 

 

 

Learning Curve and Left-in-the Dust Motivations
Example 1 --- Railroad Companies Versus Transportation Companies

In the middle of the 20th Century, just after World War II, the railroad industry was in pretty good shape.  Passenger trains were nearly always full going from coast-to-coast.  The freight business was highly lucrative.  

New opportunities arose (especially airplanes and freight trucks) into which railroad companies could have diversified.  But the railroads decided that they were in the business of hauling people and freight on steel rails rather than in newer 'transportation" alternatives.

And what happened?  Airlines, automobiles, and buses stole the entire passenger market from the railroads in the United States (except for urban commuter lines) and about the only long-haul passenger service had to be subsidized and run by the Federal Government.  Even the commuter lines lost huge market shares to automobiles.

Many colleges and universities are now facing the question of whether they are to remain only onsite (railroad) educational institutions or whether they will enter into distance education (transportation) missions.  Some colleges that have quality living accommodations and reputations as onsite campuses for full-time students will probably survive long into the future just like some railroad companies continue to hall freight and make money.  However, those colleges have minimal growth potential vis-a-vis colleges that expand into distance education.


Example 2 --- The Learning Curve Thing

Even colleges currently resisting all opportunities for expanding into distance education nevertheless find it utterly stupid not to embrace newer educational technologies.  Their new students are arriving on campus with technology skills that they want to expand upon while in college.  College graduates must have technology skills for admissions to graduate schools and employment careers.  

Faculty must have technology skills if they are to help their students improve in technology skills.  And faculty soon discover that technology skills do not come easily.  They increasingly are making demands upon their institutions to provide hardware, software, and technicians who can help in education technologies.

Colleges behind in the technology learning curve are now scrambling to catch up in terms of electronic classrooms, instructional support services, course delivery shells such as Blackboard and WebCT, laptop computers for students and faculty, wireless networking, etc.

Having progressed upward on the learning curve, taking on a mission of distance education becomes more of a possibility.  Faculty who increasingly rely upon chat rooms, discussion boards, virtual classrooms and other utilities in WebCT or Blackboard catch on to the fact that they could be doing the same things for distant students that they are doing for campus residents.  The opportunities for grant money and/or release time to develop a distance education course are no longer as frightening when faculty progress further and further along the technology learning curve.  Improved performances of technology-savvy students add more incentives.

 

 

Motivations to Show the World How To Do It Right
(Duke University Decides to Be in the Education Business Rather Than Merely the Classroom Business)
"THE HOTTEST CAMPUS ON THE INTERNET Duke's pricey online B-school program is winning raves from students and rivals," Business Week, October 27, 1997 --- http://www.businessweek.com/1997/42/b3549015.htm 

Update:  The Duke MBA --- Global Executive MBA Program (formerly called GEMBA) --- http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/index.html 
As of Fall Semester 2001, there have been over 600 graduates from over 38 nations.  In terms of enthusiasm and alumni giving, this program is a real winner for Duke University.

The Duke MBA - Global Executive is every bit as academically demanding as Duke's other two MBA programs. Global Executive uses the same faculty base, the same rigorous grading standards, and provides the same Duke degree. However, the content has been adjusted to include more global issues and strategies to serve a participant population that has far more global management experience.

  • Like most other Executive MBA programs, the Global Executive program is a lock-step curriculum, meaning that all students take all courses. The courses are targeted at general managers who have or will soon assume global responsibilities. The program is designed for those who want to enhance their career path within their existing company. 
  • International Residencies: International residencies are an important ingredient in a global MBA program as they add to the value and richness of the classroom component by providing various lenses (social, economic, cultural, etc.) through which to view various economies and systems. Instead of simply studying about an economy, Fuqua provides an experiential component which adds value to the learning experience ... 
  • Global Student body: Unlike traditional Executive MBA programs which usually have a regional draw, the flexibility of Global Executive accommodates a student body from around the globe. Not only are the students diverse geographically, but they are also diverse in the types of global management experiences that they bring to the classroom.

For the class entering in May 2001, tuition is $95,000. Tuition includes all educational expenses, a state-of-the-art laptop computer, portable printer, academic books and other class materials, and lodging and meals during the five residential sessions. The tuition does not include travel to and from the residential sites.

You can learn a great deal about the extend of distance education in this program by looking at the academic calendar at http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/global_cal2001.htm 

Update:  Duke's Online Cross-Continent  MBA --- http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/cc/cc_home.html 
In Fall Semester 2001, there were 220 students tied into two distance education centers (in Durham, N.C. and in Frankfurt) for the Cross-Continent MBA program.

While in Germany in the Summer of 2001, I had dinner with Tom Keller, former Dean of Duke's Fuqua School of Business and Dean of Duke's Cross-Continent MBA Program.  Tom spent two years in the Frankfort headquarters of Duke's Cross-Continent MBA Program.  This program is quite different from the online Global Executive MBA Program, although both are asynchronous online programs and used some overlapping course materials.  

The Duke MBA - Cross Continent program allows high-potential managers to earn an internationally-focused MBA degree from Duke University in less than two years, utilizing a format that minimizes the disruption of careers and family life. It is designed for individuals with three to nine years professional work experience.

The Duke MBA - Cross Continent program will contain course work with a global emphasis in the subject areas of Management, Marketing, Operations, Economics, Finance, Accounting, Strategy and Decision Sciences.

Students will complete 11 core courses, four elective courses and one integrative capstone course to earn their MBA degree. Two courses will be completed during each of the eight terms of the program. Depending upon their choice of electives, students may choose to complete the one-week residency requirements for their sixth and seventh terms at either Fuqua School of Business location in North America or Europe.

The two classes - one on each continent - will be brought even closer together through a transfer requirement built into the program. During the third term, half of the class from Europe will attend the North American residential session and vice versa. In the fourth term, the other half of each class trades locations for one week of residential learning. After the transfer residencies, the students resume their coursework using the same Internet mediated learning methods as before, but with global virtual teams that have now met in a face-to-face setting

World-Class Resources 
When you're linked to Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, you're connected to a world of resources residing on a network with robust bandwidth capabilities. Duke MBA students have secure access to the Duke and Fuqua business library databases as well as a network of Duke faculty and outside experts.

World-Wide Content Delivery 
The virtual classroom can take on many different forms. Here, a faculty member prepares a macroeconomics lecture for distribution via CD ROM and/or the Internet. Students will download this lecture in a given week of study and follow up with discussion and team projects.

Bulletin Board Discussion 
Rich threads of conversation occur during this asynchronous mode of communication. Professors and guest lecturers can moderate the discussion to keep learning focused.

Real-Time Chat Session 
Occurs between students and classmates as well as faculty. Here, a student in Europe discusses an assignment with a professor in the United States
.

 

The topic of motivations is continued at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 


I am very sad to report that some of the following course developers for prestigious universities have ceased or greatly modified operations:

On August 12, 2000 in Philadelphia, I organized a workshop that included Chuck Hickman when he was the Academic Vice-President of Quisic.  At that time he was very positive about Quisic's course design staff and strategies for developing online college courses.  You can listen to his presentations and download his PowerPoint slides by going to http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm 


Wow Technology of the Week --- "Beam Me Up Scottie!" --- http://www.teleportec.com/products.html 

Teleporters

Our "teleporters" are the systems where the life size image of the presenter is captured and transmitted as a digital signal. The presenter has a workspace that is 40 inches wide and 30 inches high, which is large enough to display the upper body of a person with arm movements.

Teleportec Podium

The system presents a teleported person within the volume of space behind the podium. This system is designed to feature a teleported presenter for an audience from a few to several hundred.

Teleportec Portable Systems

Both the Teleportec teleporters and the podiums can be produced as portable systems. They can be shipped anywhere in the world using air freight. The portable systems can be wheeled through a single door for access to virtually any room.

Teleportec Theatre

Our largest system is 20 feet across with a teleportation zone of 11 feet wide. This system is capable of displaying a group of people head to toe. In addition to permanent installations we can produce Teleportec Theatres that can be transported. The Teleportec Theatres can be used for concerts and special events where the celebrities or performers will be able to make eye to eye contact with the people in the remote locations.

Content for presentations

Teleportec is working with KMA Interactive Media of York to develop presentations and interactive training programs. These custom productions provide clients with unique capabilities to present their message effectively.

Compatibility with Videoconference Standards

Teleportec systems operate on either H320 or H323 videoconference standards for transmission of the life-size images. Clients can select from a wide range of videoconference codecs to connect to the Teleportec products. Teleportec products can be added to existing videoconference networks and can be operated with existing videoconference codecs.


Wow Computers of the Future

Nanocomputing is a step closer as scientists make circuits and transistors at the molecular scale. The components are so small, in fact, they exhibit quantum effects. Could they be the building blocks for super-powerful quantum computers?  

"Nanocomputers Get Real," by Geoff Brumfiel http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48278,00.html 

Ever since Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman suggested that people could build machines the size of atoms, nanotechnology has been on the minds of scientists and sci-fi fans alike.

Nanophiles envision a futuristic world filled with teeny robots that can build diamonds out of the carbon atoms in a sheet of paper, or fly through your body scraping cholesterol off of your artery walls.

These and other spectacular promises have yet to materialize, but two articles published in this week's issue of Science magazine report significant advances in the sub-field of nanoelectronics.

First, a group at Lucent's Bell Labs built a Field-Effect Transistor (FET) from a single molecule.

"FETs are the powerhouse of modern electronics," said team member Jan Hendrik Schön. Creating a molecular-sized FET is the first step in building a nanocomputer.

The team's transistor is an organic molecule about 50,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. It has the added benefit of bonding to plastics and other synthetic materials, something present-day silicon technologies cannot do.

Schön said this special ability might allow computer circuits to become integrated into credit cards and clothing. The fact that the molecule can be stored easily in a liquid solution also opens up the possibility of using ink-jet type technology to "print" processors on sheets of plastic.

The second paper describes how researchers based at Harvard University made semiconducting nanowires that assembled themselves into simple circuits.

"Self assembly is a concept that's been present in biology for billions of years," says Charles Lieber, the leader of the Harvard team.

To apply the self-assembly concept to their DNA-sized nanowires, the researchers grew the wires in a liquid and then squirted it over an array of electrical contacts. The wires attach to specialized glues on the contacts, arranging themselves into complex grids whose intersections behave like miniature FETs. By depositing layers of glues, liquids, and wires, the team was able to create a nanocircuit that could perform basic addition operations.

"I think that eventually you will be able create structures that are so integrated that they go right off the existing roadmap (of existing technology)," Leiber says. But Leiber also sees some long-term potential in quantum computing --computers based on the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics.

"When you make things very small," he explained, "the quantum mechanical features show up."

The nanowires used by the Harvard team are small enough to have quantum mechanical properties. "We don't know how to manipulate those properties very well, but they're there," he said. And with extensive research they might be able to use the wires in a future quantum computer.

"These are impressive achievements," says Ralph Merkle, a principal fellow at Zyvex, the world's first molecular nanotechnology company. Merkle believes that the compact size and enormous processing potential of these technologies might change the way we interact with computers.

"One of the things that's quite remarkable is the extent to which computers have become a vital part of our everyday lives when essentially they are just a box, a screen, and a keyboard," he said.

Molecular processors, he explained, could allow computers to see, hear and interact with humans much more directly. "Rather than us sitting down in front of a shrine, called a monitor, computers will do things in our world," he said.

But do we really need to develop technology so powerful that it can cram all present-day computer power into a space no larger than a sugar cube?

Merkle seems to think so. "Every time people say 'Gosh, what do we need more computer power for?' somebody comes up with a new application. Just take a look at Windows: we're going to need these molecular computers to run Windows 2015."

See also:
It Works: Really Super Tiny Chips
Nanotech Looms Large for Meds
Tiny Capsules Float Downstream
Quantum Mechanics' New Horizons
Mega Steps Toward the Nanochip
Read more Technology news

Also see Bob Jensen's threads on Invisible Computing, Ubiquitous Computing, and Microsoft.Net --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm 


Training technologies continue to develop as rapidly as the rest of the technology world. The Internet is offering a whole new range of possibilities for CPA firm trainers. What is this "Online Training," and what does it consist of? http://www.accountingweb.com/item/61825 

Bob Jensen's guides for online global training and education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


Several electronic services are to be added to the IRS Web site in time for the 2002 tax filing season. One of the goals of providing these services is to reduce the amount of telephone time required of IRS agents. Taxpayers "won't have to call us up," said IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti. "This coming tax season takes away all the reasons not to file electronically." http://www.accountingweb.com/item/63243 


"A Parent's Guide to Insurance for College Students," by: Financial Planning Association --- http://www.smartpros.com/x31657.xml 

The Financial Planning Association homepage is at http://www.fpanet.org/ 

Bob Jensen's financial planning threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fees.htm 


Related to FAS 133 and IAS 39 Issues --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 

Updates on Enron's Creative Accounting Scandal

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on November 8, 2001
Subscribers to the Electronic Edition of the WSJ can obtain reviews in various disciplines by contacting wsjeducatorsreviews@dowjones.com 
See http://info.wsj.com/professor/ 

TITLE: Arthur Andersen Could Face Scrutiny On Clarity of Enron Financial Reports 
REPORTER: Jonathan Weil 
DATE: Nov 05, 2001 
PAGE: C1 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1004919947649536880.djm  
TOPICS: Accounting, Auditing, Creative Accounting, Disclosure Requirements

SUMMARY: Critics argue that Arthur Andersen LLP has failed to ensure that Enron Corp.'s financial disclosures are understandable. Enron is currently undergoing SEC investigation and is being sued by shareholders. Questions relate to disclosure quality and auditor responsibility.

QUESTIONS: 

1.) The article suggests that the auditor has the job of making sure that financial statements are understandable and accurate and complete in all material respects. Does the auditor bear this responsibility? Discuss the role of the auditor in financial reporting.

2.) One allegation is that Enron's financial statements are not understandable. Should users be required to have specialized training to be able to understand financial statements? Should the financial statements be prepared so that only a minimal level of business knowledge is required? What are the implications of the target audience on financial statement preparation?

3.) Enron is facing several shareholder lawsuits ; however, Arthur Anderson LLP is not a defendant. What liability does the auditor have to shareholders of client firms? What are possible reasons that Arthur Anderson is not a defendant in the Enron cases?

4.) What is the role of the SEC in the investigation? What power does the SEC have to penalize Enron Corp. and Arthur Anderson LLP?

SMALL GROUP ASSIGNMENT: Should financial statements be understandable to users with only general business knowledge? Prepare an argument to support your position.

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


Related to FAS 133  and IAS 39 Issues 

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on November 6, 2001
Subscribers to the Electronic Edition of the WSJ can obtain reviews in various disciplines by contacting wsjeducatorsreviews@dowjones.com 
See http://info.wsj.com/professor/ 

TITLE: Behind Shrinking Deficits: Derivatives? 
REPORTER: Silvia Ascarelli and Deborah Ball 
DATE: Nov 06, 2001 PAGE: A22 
LINK: http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB1004996045480162960.djm  
TOPICS: Derivatives 

SUMMARY: An Italian university professor and public-debt mana