New Bookmarks
Year 2002 Quarter 4:  October 1-December 31 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

We're moving to the mountains on July 15, 2003 ---  
Anyone interested in buying our nice San Antonio home my read about the details at

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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.

Bob Jensen's Dance Card
Some of My Planned Workshops and Presentations --- 

A sad song for the anniversary of September 11 ---
U.S. flag lovers should note the animated cartoon at 
Awesome fireworks over the Statue of Liberty (click repeatedly on the Black Sky) --- 
Some nice midi music forwarded by Don and LaDonna ---
God Bless America ---  

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

Choose a Date Below for Additions to the Bookmarks File

December 31, 2002      December 10, 2002  

November 15, 2002      November 30, 2002

October 30, 2002          October 10, 2002 


December 31, 2002 


 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on December 31, 2002
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Holiday Greetings from Bob & Erika ---

Quotes of the Week

 From the Wow Topic of the forthcoming edition of New Bookmarks in Year 2003

Why does this matter? Because we are asking our students to learn more and more from a monitor. Getting clear thoughts across on the printed page has always been a challenge. Doing it with a computer is harder, even with the unique attributes it has over the static page. But clear thinking visually is not just good teaching, it can be a matter of life and death.

The Challenger disaster, for instance, could have been avoided if the visual representation of quantitative data had been clear. The engineers knew there was a problem nearly 12 hours before the launch and voted to postpone it. But when challenged to justify their argument, the contractors presented tables and charts, none of which brought the essential point to light: the causal relationship between temperature and O-ring damage at launches.

The sad fact is that had the data been ordered by temperature, it would have shown a direct correlation with O-ring damage. The Challenger launch temperature was six standard deviations outside the range for which they had actual engineering data. It was, as they say, a disaster waiting to happen.

Phillip D. Long --- 

Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.
Oscar Wilde

"By concocting elaborate schemes of so-called 'structured finance' with no legitimate business purpose other than tax and accounting manipulation, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase helped Enron deceive the investing public," claimed Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, ranking Democrat on the panel, in a statement.
Reuters, December 9, 2002

Trouble Tree  ---  

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse, had just finished  a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his  electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat  in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the  front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the  branches with both hands.

When opening the door he underwent an amazing  transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his  two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car.  We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. 

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having  troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, troubles don't belong in the  house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every  night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."  

He paused. "Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to  pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Work makes for a shorter day and a longer life.
Diderot Denis

Let us run the risk of wearing out rather than rusting out.
Theodore Roosevelt

It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit goes to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the one hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob A. Riis

I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.
Sara Teasdale

This thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down
Mary Pickford 

It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it good.
Tom Hanks in a movie titled A League of Their Own 

I'm in a wonderful position: I'm unknown, I'm underrated, and there's nowhere to go but up.
Pierre S. Dupont IV 

In the three years that I played ball, we won 6, lost 17, and tied 2. Some statisticians ... calculated that we won 75% of the games we didn't lose.
Roger M. Blough 

You miss 100% of the shots you never take.
Wayne Gretzky 

God made the world round so that we would never be able to see too far down the road.
Isak Dinesen 

I never lost a game. I just ran out of time.
Bobby Layne

They ask me 'What are you on?' I tell them, I'm on my bike 6 hours a day busting my ass. What are you on?
 Lance Armstrong

I believe I have found the missing link between animals and civilized man. It is us.
Lorenz Konrad

Dear Santa: Forget Mattel, and bring on Nokia.,1882,56784,00.html 
Little kids in the modern age grow up so fast. Now even third-graders want their own Nokias, Kyoceras and Ericssons.

In this world there are only two tragedies; one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it.
Oscar Wilde
This seems to be a variation on the ancient (Chinese?) proverb:  "Be careful what you wish or pray for, because you may get it."


See Bob Jensen's December 31, 2002 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at

Believe it or not, while the accounting industry news from Wall Street has run the gamut from bad to horrible this year, the news from Main Street, USA is actually very encouraging. 

. . . 68 percent of small business owners say they are very satisfied with the service they receive from their CPAs (another 25 percent say they are satisfied) makes it evident that CPAs have worked hard to earn the trust of their small business clients, and translates into increased opportunity for CPAs.

Main Street accountants are obviously perceived much differently than the handful of financial professionals at the center of the maelstrom on Wall Street. Despite the Enron scandal, 88 percent of small-business owners say they have not lost confidence in their own accountants and will continue to trust them for counsel. But while CPAs have worked hard to earn the trust of their clients, small business owners must also do their part to maintain this trust and continue growth. This is why it’s also important for them to do their homework when looking for the right accountant for their business:

  • Find out what experience an accountant has in your industry
  • Know who will be your principal contact
  • Call other clients for references
  • Find out how the accountant stays abreast of current trends in your industry
  • Ask if they are actively pursuing CPE credits to maintain accreditation
  • Are they informed about the latest financial technology?
  • How will they work with you on an individual level to share information?

The optimism and confidence of small business owners is best seen in the fact that by yearend Americans will have launched approximately 575,000 new businesses that employ workers other than the owners. (Even more will hang their shingles as one-person shops.) Two-thirds of these fledgling firms will still be open for business two years down the road. Wall Street may be under a dark cloud of suspicion these days, but the American dream is alive and well on Main Street, and America’s accounting professionals are helping more people realize that dream than ever before.

Check out the top ten trends for 2003 with quotes from luminaries such as the creator of Dilbert, the CTO of GM, authors of top business books and executives from companies such as: HP, Cable & Wireless, CSC, Salesforce, Nielsen/Netratings, Bowstreet, divine, Zapthink and Infravio:

Top ten trends for 2003 ---

Top level news stories via the lenses of the Value Framework(tm) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic business are at 

My jaw dropped when I received a very authentic bank note for $10 million in "Hell Money" as a Christmas gift from Paul Pacter. There was no explanation until I asked him about it in an email message. Paul is a former doctoral student who now lives in Hong Kong. I think I'll take his gift with me when I pass on, although in my case it's probably not enough. Paul explains "Hell Money" as follows:

Hi Bob,

It was $10,000,000! I felt very generous this year.

Actually the Chinese Buddhists call it Hell Money. Most of us do not do sufficient good works on earth to immediately get reborn into a new life. So we are buried with Hell Money to tide us over until then. I think there are up to 7 stages of Hell to go through depending on how poorly we did on earth.

December 18, 2002 reply from Dee

Hi Bob 

Hold on to that note. It's a collectible item. see  
Have a warm and wonderful Holiday Season.

dee davidson 
Accounting Systems Specialist 
Marshall School of Business 
Leventhal School of Accounting 
University of Southern California 213.740.5018 

Paul Pacter actively maintains the best international accounting site on the Web --- 
The top paragraph of his latest news announcements contains the following:

18 December 2002: New Journal of International Accounting Research
The International Section of the American Accounting Association has published the inaugural edition of its new annual journal, The Journal of International Accounting Research. The journal aims to publish articles that increase understanding of the development and use of international accounting and reporting practices or attempt to improve extant practices. International accounting is broadly interpreted to include the reporting of international economic transactions; the study of differences among practices across countries; the study of interesting institutional and cultural factors that shape practices in a single country but have international implications; and the effect of international accounting practices on users. 

Click for More Information ( ). Click here to go to American Accounting Association Web Site ( )

I recently joined up with Gerald Trites from Canada to present a workshop at the Asian-Pacific annual meetings.  Jerry focused on Internet Reporting of financial data.  Two links of interest provided by Jerry are shown below:

Financial and Business Reporting on the Internet --- 

Audit Implications of e-Business --- 

 Jerry put a lot of work into these topics.

His homepage complete with audio of "Dueling Banjos" is at 
Bet you can't sit still if you click on the above link!

The world's largest and best-loved search engine owes its success to superior technology and a simple rule: Don't be evil. But Google is finding that moral compromise is the cost of doing big business --- 

Google owes its swelling popularity to deft algorithms that quickly divine what's useful on the Web. But there's more to it than that. At Google, purity matters. Over the years, Brin and Page have resisted pressure to run banners, opting instead for haiku-like text ads and unintrusive sponsored links. They've taken a stand against pop-ups and pop-unders and refused ads from sites they consider to be overly negative. All the while, they've stubbornly kept the Google homepage concise and pristine. On just a faint whisper of a marketing campaign, the company pulled in an estimated $70 million last year (a third from licensing fees and the rest from ads).

The Google strategy appeals to every engineer's sense of The Way It Should Be. Build the best entry in the science fair. Do not tart it up. Do not make it more clever than it needs to be.

But a funny thing is happening on the way to Internet adulthood - Google's awkward teen years. The company's growth spurt has spawned a host of daunting questions that no data-retrieval system can easily answer. Should Google play ball with repressive foreign governments? Refuse to link users to "hate" sites? Punish marketers who artificially inflate site rankings? Fight the Church of Scientology's attempts to silence critics? And what to do about the cache, Google's archive of previously indexed pages? In April, the German national railroad threatened legal action to remove an obsolete site containing sabotage instructions.

Most major companies refer to a detailed code of corporate conduct when considering such policy decisions. General Electric devotes 15 pages on its Web site to an integrity policy. Nortel's site has 34 pages of guidelines. Google's code of conduct can be boiled down to a mere three words: Don't be evil.

Continued at

Wow Topic of the Week

Visual representation of multidimensional data should be of particular interest in accountancy in modern times as we move toward improved networking of data with OLAP, XBRL, EDGAR, and other advances in reporting of financial and non-financial measures --- 

"The Visual Display of Data," by Phillip D. Long, Syllabus, December 2002, pp. 6-8 --- 

The computer has provided a revolutionary tool to represent information visually. Its power is clearly demonstrated by the captivating power of today's video games. While usually describing a narrative of mayhem and destruction, the stunningly seductive rendering of 3D imagery in video games draws the gamer into new visual worlds. It also has the power to bring forward data from multiple dimensions to render information.

One of the most stunning multidimensional graphical representations of human folly was created 141 years ago by Charles Joseph Minard, a French engineer and general inspector of bridges and roads. Sometimes called the "best statistical graphic ever produced," and a work that "defies the pen of the historian," Minard drew a flow-map depicting the tragic fate of Napoleon's Grand Army in the disastrous 1812 Russian campaign. Using pen and ink, Minard captured on the two-dimensional page no fewer than six dimensions of descriptive data.

Edward Tufte, an information designer who, for over three decades, has cultivated the art and science of making sense of data, has eloquently described Minard's map.

The thick band in the middle describes the size of Napoleon's army, 422,000 men strong, when he began the invasion of Russia in June of 1812 from the Polish-Russian border near the Niemen River. As the army advances, the line's thickness reflects its size, narrowing to reflect the attrition suffered during the advance on Moscow. By the time the army reached Moscow (right most side of the drawing), it had been reduced to 100,000 men, one-quarter of its initial size. The lower black line depicts the retreat of Napoleon's army, and the catastrophic effect of the bleak Russian winter. The line of retreat is linked to both dates and temperature at the bottom of the graphic. The harsh cold reduced the army to a mere 10,000 men by the time it re-crossed into Poland. In addition to the main army, Minard characterizes the actions of auxiliary troops who move to protect the advancing army's main flanks.

Minard's map is a tour de force of data representation, an escape from flatland. He conveys a central reality about the world: Things that are interesting are multidimensional. Minard captures and plots six variables: the size of the army (1); the army's location on a two-dimensional surface (2, 3); direction of the army's movement (4); the temperature on various dates during the retreat from Moscow (5, 6).

The truth is nearly everything is multidimensional. Consider giving directions. Telling someone how to get from Logan airport to Cambridge at different times of the day requires the traveler to juggle information in four dimensions.

Continued at 

Visual display of multidimensional data has been a special interest of mine over the years.  I devoted an entire chapter to this topic in a research monograph that I wrote in 1976.  This is included in the document at    

Wow Topic for the Beginning of Year 2003
I have a working draft of a document on data visualization that will be featured in the first edition of New Bookmarks in the Year 2003 --- 


Distance Education in the First Two Years of Engineering Studies in North Carolina
"Partnerships Increase Access to Engineering Education: North Carolina's Two+Two Experience," by Catherine E. Brawner, et al., T.H.E. Journal, October 2002, pp. 30-36 --- 

North Carolina State University (NC State), The University of NC at Charlotte (UNCC) and NC A&T State University (NC A&T) have the three colleges of engineering in the 16-campus University of NC system. These colleges of engineering provide access to engineering education throughout the state, including to those citizens in the more remote and less wealthy areas. For more than 20 years, NC State has partnered with The University of NC at Asheville (UNCA) in a Two+Two engineering program in which students take their first two years of general education at UNCA, and then transfer to NC State's College of Engineering for upper division courses and their degree.

In 1998, NC State began to offer UNCA students the lower division engineering courses through live distance education in lieu of site-based delivery by local, adjunct or traveling faculty members. Then in 1997, NC State proposed that the Two+Two program be expanded to include the University of NC at Wilmington and Lenoir Community College (LCC). With approval of the funding came a request from the legislature that NC State partner with UNCC and NCA&T in the implementation of the two new Two+Two engineering programs. These two sites began to offer the program in spring 2000.

Distance education supports the Two+Two programs in the larger disciplines, namely electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering. Courses offered include statistics, engineering dynamics, electric circuits, an introduction to logic design, and solid mechanics. Students interested in other disciplines, such as chemical engineering, complete their general education requirements during the first two years, and then transfer for all of their engineering coursework and the completion of their degree.

Continued at 

Prepaid college-tuition plans were once regarded by parents as rock-solid bets, but slumping investments and soaring tuitions mean some programs might not make the grade ---,,SB1040087291317375553,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fmarketplace%5Fhs 

"Academic Publishing in the Digital Realm: An Interview with Clifford Lynch," Syllabus, December 2002, pp.10-13 --- 
Syllabus interviews Clifford A. Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).

CL: There are two rather separate things going on, that occasionally get jumbled together under the guise of electronic publishing even though they have rather different characteristics. On one side of the fence we see the changes in the traditional business of scholarly publishing—which includes the journals, monographs, and other kinds of materials that we are all familiar with—this is the incremental evolution of print publishing to the digital world.

On the other side, we have new works of digital authorship and truly new electronic publishing models. Here is where we see an investigation of the transformative potential of digital media. Both sides can be legitimately talked about as electronic scholarly communications, but often, discussions of scholarly publishing in the digital realm focus too narrowly on one side or the other.

S: Why don't we talk first about what's happening on the traditional scholarly publishing side—are we seeing a major movement toward electronic publication?

CL: These materials are moving on a large scale now, from print to digital form. But the conceptualization of the work is still very much rooted in print. Indeed, you will often see people printing these materials out in order to read them. So, rather than producing paper and shipping it to a library, what you'll see is a publisher setting up a Web site that people browse, reading some things online but printing out what they really want to study carefully.

This move to electronic publishing has happened largely with journals. It's happened to a lesser extent with books and monographs, the sorts of things that would be read in rather large chunks, in part because they are awkward to print out on demand for readers.

S: Are the authors of these materials creating different versions of their works digitally? What are the authority considerations?

CL: When you look at how people author for these kinds of works, they are mostly still writing things which could appear equally in digital or paper form. But it's interesting that journal publishers in particular take the position that the authoritative version is the digital version. I think that is an important intellectual step, but it's one that their authors have not entirely caught up with yet. Virtually all of these authors are still producing articles for which the digital and the print versions are essentially equivalent.

So, while the editorial decision that the digital version is definitive opens the door to things like interactive simulation models or datasets that can be navigated and analyzed by readers, in practice, the tradition of scholarly authorship is still very strongly based on a print model.

S: And what about indexes and reference materials?

CL: Indexing and abstracting services, encyclopedias, dictionaries—these things have a more natural existence in the digital world as databases, so they have really gone off on their own separate trajectory and are no longer particularly recognizable from their origins as printed volumes.

S: What about the publishers? Are there new business models?

CL: This move to digital formats has been driven primarily by the same groups who were the major players in the print publishing world. The scholarly societies, the university presses, and the commercial journal publishers—particularly in the scientific, technical, and medical areas.

Obviously there have been some perturbations in business models. For instance, we now typically see site licensing, particularly for journals, giving all members of an institutional community unlimited, concurrent access to that journal—rather than adhering to the convention in the print world, where a large institution would subscribe to multiple copies of a journal to house in different libraries around the campus. With site licensing, some publishers have moved to a pricing structure that figures in the size of the institution.

S: But this is really incremental progress on the traditional scholarly publishing side.

CL: That's what's happened with the traditional publishing industry so far. They are using electronic publishing as a way to disseminate and deliver, but generally, they are disseminating and delivering things that are rather strongly rooted in print. Note, however, that this is a generality. There are some experiments going on among these publishers—but they are mostly experiments rather than large-scale change.

S: Then let's talk about the other side—the new works of digital authorship and the newer electronic publishing models.

Continued at  

"The Electronic Portfolio Boom: What's it All About?," by Trent Batson, Syllabus, December 2002, pp. 14-18 --- 
(Including Open Knowledge Initiative OKI, Assessment, Accreditation, and Career Trends)

The term "electroThenic portfolio," or "ePortfolio," is on everyone's lips. We often hear it associated with assessment, but also with accreditation, reflection, student resumes, and career tracking. It's as if this new tool is the answer to all the questions we didn't realize we were asking.

A portfolio, electronic or paper, is simply an organized collection of completed work. Art students have built portfolios for decades. What makes ePortfolios so enchanting to so many is the intersection of three trends:

  • Student work is now mostly in electronic form, or is based on a canonical electronic file even if it's printed out: papers, reports, proposals, simulations, solutions, experiments, renditions, graphics, or just about any other kind of student work.
  • The Web is everywhere: We assume (not always true, of course) that our students have ready access to the Web. The work is "out there" on the Internet, and therefore the first step for transferring work to a Web site has already been taken.
  • Databases are available through Web sites, allowing students to manage large volumes of their work. The "dynamic" Web site that's database-driven, instead of HTML link-driven, has become the norm for Web developers.

We've reached a critical mass, habits have changed, and as we reach electronic "saturation" on campus, new norms of work are emerging. Arising out of this critical mass is a vision of how higher education can benefit, which is with the ePortfolio.

We seem to be beginning a new wave of technology development in higher education. Freeing student work from paper and making it organized, searchable, and transportable opens enormous possibilities for re-thinking whole curricula: the evaluation of faculty, assessment of programs, certification of student work, how accreditation works. In short, ePortfolios might be the biggest thing in technology innovation on campus. Electronic portfolios have a greater potential to alter higher education at its very core than any other technology application we've known thus far.

The momentum is building. A year ago, companies I talked with had not even heard of ePortfolios. But at a focus session in October, sponsored by Educause's National Learning Infrastructure Initiative ( ), we found out how far this market has come: A number of technology vendors and publishers are starting to offer ePortfolio tools. The focus session helped us all see the bigger picture. I came away saying to myself, "I knew it had grown, but I had no idea by how much!"

ePortfolio developers are making sure that their platforms can accept the full range of file types and content: text, graphics, video, audio, photos, and animation. The manner in which student work is turned in, commented on, turned back to students, reviewed in the aggregate over a semester, and certified can be—and is being—deeply altered and unimaginably extended.

This tool brings to bear the native talents of computers—storage, management of data, retrieval, display, and communication—to challenge how to better organize student work to improve teaching and learning. It seems, on the surface, too good to be true.

ePortfolios vs. Webfolios

Since the mid-90s, the term "ePortfolio" or "electronic portfolio" has been used to describe collections of student work at a Web site. Within the field of composition studies, the term "Webfolio" has also been used. In this article, we are using the current, general meaning of the term, which is a dynamic Web site that interfaces with a database of student work artifacts. Webfolios are static Web sites where functionality derives from HTML links. "E-portfolio" therefore now refers to database-driven, dynamic Web sites, not static, HTML-driven sites.

So, What's the Bad News?
Moving beyond the familiar one-semester/one-class limits of managing student learning artifacts gets us into unfamiliar territory. How do we alter the curriculum to integrate portfolios? How do we deal with long-term storage, privacy, access, and ongoing vendor support? What about the challenge of interoperability among platforms so student work can move to a new campus upon transfer?

In short, how do we make the ePortfolio an enterprise application, importing data from central computing, serving the application on a central, secure server, and managing an ever-enlarging campus system? Electronic portfolios have great reach in space and time so they will not be adopted lightly. We've seen how extensively learning management systems such as WebCT, Blackboard, and Angel can alter our campuses. ePortfolios are much more challenging for large-scale implementations.

Still, ePortfolio implementations are occurring on dozens if not hundreds of campuses. Schools of education are especially good candidates, as they're pressured by accrediting agencies demanding better-organized and accessible student work. Some statewide systems are adopting ePortfolio systems as well. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Minnesota system have ePortfolios. Electronic portfolio consortia are also forming. The open-source movement, notably MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI), has embraced the ePortfolio as a key application within the campus computing virtual infrastructure.

Moreover, vendors, in order to establish themselves as the market begins to take shape, are already introducing ePortfolio tools. Several companies, including BlackBoard, WebCT, SCT, Nuventive, Concord, and McGraw-Hill, are said to either have or are developing electronic-portfolio tools.


ePortfolio Tools and Resources

Within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative is a group called The Electronic Portfolio Action Committee (EPAC). EPAC has been led over the last year by John Ittelson of Cal State Monterey Bay. Helen Barrett of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, a leading founder of EPAC, has been investigating uses of ePortfolio tools for years. MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) has provided leadership and consulting for the group, along with its OKI partner, Stanford University. The Carnegie Foundation has been active within EPAC, as have a number of universities.

What follows is a list of ePortfolio tools now available or in production:

• Epselen Portfolios, IUPUI,

• The Collaboratory Project, Northwestern,

• Folio Thinking: Personal Learning Portfolios, Stanford,

• Catalyst Portfolio Tool, University of Washington,

• MnSCU e-folio, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities,

• Carnegie Knowledge Media Lab, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,

• Learning Record Online (LRO) Project, The Computer Writing and Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, contents.html

• Electronic Portfolio, Johns Hopkins University,

• CLU Webfoil, California Lutheran University,

• Professional Learning Planner, Vermont Institute for Science, Math and Technology,

• Certification Program Portfolio, University of Missouri-Columbia and LANIT Consulting,

• Technology Portfolio and Professional Development Portfolio, Wake Forest University Department of Education,

• e-Portfolio Project, The College of Education at the University of Florida,

• PASS-PORT (Professional Accountability Support System using a PORTal Approach) University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Xavier University of Louisiana,

• The Connecticut College e-Portfolio Development Consortium, conncoll/

• The Kalamazoo College Portfolio, Kalamazoo College,

• Web Portfolio, St. Olaf College,

• The Electronic Portfolio, Wesleyan University,

• The Diagnostic Digital Portfolio (DDP), Alverno College,

• E-Portfolio Portal, University of Wisconsin-Madison,

• Web Folio Builder, TaskStream Tools of Engagement,

• FolioLive, McGraw-Hill Higher Education,

• Outcomes Assessment Solutions, TrueOutcomes,

• Chalk & Wire,

• LiveText,

• LearningQuest Professional Development Planner,

• Folio by eportaro,

• Concord (a digital content server for BlackBoard systems),

• iWebfolio by Nuventive (now in a strategic alliance with SCT),

• Aurbach & Associates,

Continued at 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for education are at 

The home page of the European Accounting Association  --- 

From the December 2002 EAA Newsletter

Interview with Professor Serge Evraert, incoming President of IAAER and past President of EAA

For the first issue of this new newsletter we have approached, and been granted, a short interview with Professor Serge Evraert, Professor of accounting at the University of Bordeaux. Serge is not only a longstanding supporter of the EAA, including acting as Chair of the EAA following the 20th Annual EAA Congress in 1998 held in Bordeaux, but has just become the President of the IAAER. It seemed appropriate therefore to question him on the relationship between the EAA and other national accounting associations and the role of the IAAER. Does it make sense for us to be members of both organisations?

Editor : Serge, you have been elected for a two years term as President of the IAAER at the 9th World Congress of Accounting Educators in Hong Kong in November. What are you first impressions of your new role?
Prof. Evraert: I would say that, given the quality of the organizers, this 9th Congress of the Association since its creation fourteen years ago was a success both from a research and education perspective with participation of more than 450 colleagues from 50 countries and the active involvement of the delegates of the professional institutions members of the Association. Eleven technical panels and seven educational panels were held and 150 papers were selected, 130 of them for main session presentations and about 20 for research forum presentations. Also of special interest were the joint IAAER/AAA Globalization Roundtable held just before the opening of the Congress which evoked the setting of priorities for improvement of Accounting Education in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe and the Seminar for Directors of Education which addressed advanced topics in accounting education such as multimedia and distance learning, computer based professional examinations, multi disciplinary cases studies , technical versus non- technical professional education for accountants.

Editor: It sounds like this was an excellent event but could you briefly introduce the IAAER and some of its achievements for the education and research community?
Prof. Evraert: IAAER is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote excellence in accounting education and research on a worldwide basis. It is the only global association in the area of accounting education and research. Current membership includes nearly 700 individuals, schools and institutions and 48 Accounting and Practitioners' regional or national academic and professional associations - including the EAA. The Executive Committee usually meets twice a year at the EAA and the AAA annual meetings. This network also acts as a federation of accounting associations on a worldwide basis and we wish to extend its role by promoting joint programs and conferences on a national or regional level.

Editor: Perhaps you could give us some specific examples of recent achievements for the education and research community IAAER has undertaken?
Prof. Evraert: We have had task forces on several projects whose reports are available on our web site  . One such task force was devoted to developing an implementation plan for IFAC IEG N° 9, another to developing a global code of ethics for accounting educators. We also have a task force devoted to participation in the global competencies project and the last so far was the project on "The impact of Globalization on Accounting Education" which has been conducted by Gert Karreman of the Netherlands and supported by the IASM. The results of this study have been published by the International Accounting Standards Board. Our website is also very useful to the network and of course the Cosmos Accountancy Chronicle is delivered twice a year to our members giving them full details of our activities as well as other information.

Editor: What are you hopes for the future role of IAAER ?
Prof. Evraert: Recently, financial scandals have seriously impacted public confidence on the alleged benefits of a self-regulated free market economy and it is fair to say that, as accountants, we are concerned about this. Also the move towards global accounting standards for certain type of companies is underway. Thus, our academic and professional organizations have a unique opportunity to act together, pulling in the same direction, but taking advantage of their distinctive competencies, to join our efforts together to think out of the box and foster ethical and innovative attitudes for the benefits of our students, scholars and the whole accounting profession. IAAER provides a wonderful environment in which to take this global view and I would very much encourage EAA members to consider becoming involved in what we do in addition to their membership of the EAA and its corporate involvement in IAAER.


What is the literal definition of Googol?  (the source of the trade name Google)
Who were the two Stanford University graduate students who invented Google?
How does Google make its profits by providing a free search engine to the world?  Hint:  It's not the advertising revenue.

“Googol” is the mathematical term for the number one followed by a hundred zeros.  

The  geeks who invented Google were the following 22-year old graduate students at Stanford University:

Larry Page was an all-American type (geek variety) whose dad taught computer science in Lansing, Mich. 

Sergey Brin, with the dark brooding looks of a chess prodigy, emigrated from Russia at the age of 6: his father was a math professor.

The main source of revenue is from licensing fees to huge companies like Yahoo and AOL who in turn use Google's licensed corporate services.

"The World According to Google," by Steven Levy, Newsweek, December 16, 2002 --- 

     Internet-search engines have been around for the better part of a decade, but with the emergence of Google, something profound has happened. Because of its seemingly uncanny ability to provide curious minds with the exact information they seek, a dot-com survivor has supercharged the entire category of search, transforming the masses into data-miners and becoming a cultural phenomenon in the process. By a winning combination of smart algorithms, hyperactive Web crawlers and 10,000 silicon-churning computer servers, Google has become a high-tech version of the Oracle of Delphi, positioning everyone a mouseclick away from the answers to the most arcane questions—and delivering simple answers so efficiently that the process becomes addictive. Google cofounder Sergey Brin puts it succinctly: “I’d like to get to a state where people think that if you’ve Googled something, you’ve researched it, and otherwise you haven’t and that’s it.” We’re almost there now. With virtually no marketing, Google is now the fourth most popular Web site in the world—and the Nos. 1 and 3 sites (AOL, Yahoo) both license Google technology for their Web searches. About half of all Web searches in the world are performed with —Google, which has been translated into 86 languages. The big reason for the success? It works. Not only does Google dramatically speed the process of finding things in the vast storehouse of the Web, but its power encourages people to make searches they previously wouldn’t have bothered with. Getting the skinny from Google is so common that the company name has become a verb. The usage has even been anointed by an instantly renowned New Yorker cartoon, where a barfly admits to a friend that “I can’t explain it—it’s just a funny feeling I’m being Googled.”

. . .

When Judge Richard Posner wrote a book recently to identify the world’s leading intellectuals, he used Google hits as a key criterion. When the Chinese government decided that the Web offered its citizenry an overly intimate view of the world outside its borders, what better way to pull down the shades than to block Google? (Within a week the Chinese changed direction; Google was too useful to withhold.) Companies that do business online have become justifiably obsessed with Google’s power. “If you drop down on Google, your business can come to a screeching halt,” says Greg Boser of WebGuerilla, an Internet consultancy. And if two clashing egos want to see whose Google is bigger, they need only venture to a Web site like GoogleFight to compare results.
        Google was the brainchild of two Stanford graduate students who refused to accept the conventional wisdom that Internet searching was either a solved problem or not very interesting. Larry Page was an all-American type (geek variety) whose dad taught computer science in Lansing, Mich. Sergey Brin, with the dark brooding looks of a chess prodigy, emigrated from Russia at the age of 6: his father was a math professor. Brin and Page, who met as 22-year-old doctoral candidates in computer science in 1995, began with an academic research project that morphed into an experiment on Web searching.
        Their big idea was something they called PageRank (named after Larry), which took into account not just the title or text on a Web site but the other sites linked to it. “Our intention of doing the ranking properly was that you should get the site you meant to get,” says Page. Basically, the system exploited the dizzyingly complex linking network of the Web itself—and the collective intelligence of the millions who surfed the Web—so that when you searched, you could follow in the pathways of others who were interested in that same information.

. . .

       For researchers, of course, Google is a dream tool. “I can’t imagine writing a nonfiction book without it,” says author Steven Johnson. Some even wonder if Google might be too much of a good thing. “I use it myself, every day,” says Joe Janes, assistant professor in the information school of the University of Washington. “But I worry about how over reliance on it might affect the skill-set of librarians.”

        New uses emerge almost as quickly as the typical 0.3 seconds it takes to get Google results. People find long-lost relatives, recall old song lyrics and locate parts for old MGs. College instructors sniffing for plagiarism type in suspiciously accomplished phrases from the papers of otherwise inarticulate students. Computer programmers type in error-code numbers to find out which Windows function crashed their program. Google can even save your life. When Terry Chilton, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., felt a pressure in his chest one morning, he Googled heart attacks, and quickly was directed to a detailed list of symptoms on the American Heart Association site. “I better get my butt to the hospital,” he told himself, and within hours he was in life-saving surgery.

        Eleven years ago computer scientist David Gelernter wrote of the emergence of “mirror worlds,” computer-based reflections of physical reality that can increase our understanding and mastery of the real world. Google is the ultimate mirror world, reflecting the aggregate brilliance of the World Wide Web, on which is stored everything: cookie-bake results, Weblogs, weather reports and the Constitution. And because Google is now the default means of accessing such information, the contents of Google’s world matter very much in the real world.

The Google advanced search page is at 

Bob Jensen's search engine helpers are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs are at 


Australia's highest court grants a Melbourne businessman the right to sue Dow Jones for defamation over an article in Barron's, in print and online, that portrayed him as a scam artist ---,1367,56793,00.html 

Forwarded by Barry Rice on December 18, 2002

Taylor & Francis currently publishes over 740 academic peer-reviewed journals across a variety of disciplines. In response to the changing needs of the academic community, we are using the Internet actively to disseminate information about journals in advance of publication.

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

All you need to do is register, and you will be sent contents pages of the

journal(s) of your choice from that point onwards, in advance of the printed edition.

You can select to receive alerts by keyword or by title and you may unsubscribe at any time. For each of your choices, you will receive the relevant bibliographic information: journal title, volume/issue number and the ISSN. You will also receive full contents details, names of authors and the appropriate page numbers from the printed version.

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

Titles that may be of interest are:

Accounting Education -

Accounting, Business and Financial History -

The European Accounting Review -

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

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

December 17, 2002 message from FEI Express

IASB Update - Business Combinations
The IASB recently issued for public comment proposals on Accounting for Business Combinations, with comments due by April 4. The key provisions of the IASB's proposals are:

  • All business combinations within the scope of ED 3 would be accounted for using the purchase method. The pooling of interests method would be prohibited.
  • Costs expected to be incurred as a result of a business combination to restructure the acquired entity's (or acquirer's) activities would be treated as post-combination expenses, unless the acquired entity has a pre-existing liability for restructuring its activities.
  • Acquired intangible items would be recognized as assets separately from goodwill if they meet the definition of an asset, and are either separable or arise from contractual or other legal rights.
  • Identifiable assets acquired, and liabilities and contingent liabilities assumed, would be initially measured at fair value.
  • There would be no amortization of goodwill or intangible assets with indefinite useful lives. Instead they would be tested for impairment annually, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate a possible impairment.

December 17, 2002 message from Jagdish

With recent postings regarding the new way of maintaining the integrity of intellectual property and at the same time fostering the free exchange of information, I thought many AECMers would be interested in the "creative commons" for most written material similar to the GNU copyleft, and the following fascinating article by Professor Charles Muller analysing Professor Lessig's ideas on intellectualo property and cyberspace.

Those interested in creative commons may like to visit

The idea of commons is not at all novel, it has been around for a very long time, specially in Britain, and the study of the enclosures movement is a staple of any English History course.


Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor (
Accounting & Law and Management Science & Information Systems 
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222.
Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601


This is commercial, but there are many professors and students who may not be aware of this great program. I rely upon heavily upon Fortune to keep me up to date.

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"Human or Computer? Take This Test," by Sara Robinson, The New York Times, December 10, 2002 --- 

As chief scientist of the Internet portal Yahoo, Dr. Udi Manber had a profound problem: how to differentiate human intelligence from that of a machine.

His concern was more than academic. Rogue computer programs masquerading as teenagers were infiltrating Yahoo chat rooms, collecting personal information or posting links to Web sites promoting company products. Spam companies were creating havoc by writing programs that swiftly registered for hundreds of free Yahoo e-mail accounts then used them for bulk mailings.

"What we needed," said Dr. Manber, "was a simple way of telling a human user from a computer program."

So, in a September 2000 conference call, Dr. Manber discussed the problem with a group of computer science researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. The result was a long-term project that is just now beginning to bear fruit.

The roots of Dr. Manber's philosophical conundrum lay in a paper written 50 years earlier by the mathematician Dr. Alan Turing, who imagined a game in which a human interrogator was connected electronically to a human and a computer in the next room. The interrogator's task was to pose a series of questions that determined which of the other participants was the human. The human helped him, while the computer did its best to thwart him.

Dr. Turing suggested that a machine could be said to think if the human interrogator could not distinguish it from the other human. He went on to predict that by 2000, computers would be able to fool the average interrogator over five minutes of questioning at least 30 percent of the time.

Although the Turing test, as it is now called, spawned a vibrant field of research known as artificial intelligence, his prediction has proved false. Today's computers are capable of feats Dr. Turing never imagined, yet in many simple tasks, a typical 5-year-old can outperform the most powerful computers.

Indeed, the abilities that require much of what is usually described as intelligence, like medical diagnosis or playing chess, have proved far easier for computers than seemingly simpler abilities: those requiring vision, hearing, language or motor control.

"Abilities like vision are the result of billions of years of evolution and difficult for us to understand by introspection, whereas abilities like multiplying two numbers are things we were explicitly taught and can readily express in a computer program," said Dr. Jitendra Malik, a professor specializing in computer vision at the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Manuel Blum, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon who took part in the Yahoo conference, realized that the failures of artificial intelligence might provide exactly the solution Yahoo needed. Why not devise a new sort of Turing test, he suggested, that would be simple for humans but would baffle sophisticated computer programs.

Dr. Manber liked the idea, so with his Ph.D. student Luis von Ahn and others Dr. Blum devised a collection of cognitive puzzles based on the challenging problems of artificial intelligence. The puzzles have the property that computers can generate and grade the tests even though they cannot pass them. The researchers decided to call their puzzles Captchas, an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart (on the Web at

Continued at


Some FAS 133 Updates on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities

"A Pain in the FAS," by Jay Sherman, March 2002 --- 

Ask Jay Fitzsimmons what he thinks about Financial market derivative holdings and record gains or losses into the profit-and-loss statement, has resulted in the execution of deals that are less than optimal. "There are a lot of good treasury deals that have to be rethought because they won’t get P&L treatment" under FAS 133, Fitzsimmons says.

He ought to know. Fitzsimmons, senior vice president of finance and treasurer at retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., cites two seemingly similar derivatives transactions with like risk profiles that wound up getting very different accounting treatment for the Bentonville, Ark.-based company, thanks to FAS 133. The first involved a European subsidiary issuing debt through a swap. Last year, that deal—a £500 million, 30-year bond offering— generated a gain for Wal-Mart and received P&L treatment. Yet when Wal-Mart set up a British subsidiary solely to raise funds in Britain through a transaction that would swap U.S. dollars for sterling, FAS 133 rules said the emergence of the rule (T&RM, October 2001).

From Ira at 

More Kawaller & Company in the News

Complete Book --- 
Association for Financial Professionals

Principles and Practices for The Oversight & Management
of Financial Risk

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Financial Governance and Oversight

  • The Role of Senior Management in the Risk Management Process

  • A Board Level Checklist for Risk Management

  • Policy and Control Guidelines

  • Organizational Roles and Responsibilities -- Centralized versus Decentralized Treasury Structures

  • Risk Measurement and Reporting

Chapter 3 - Accounting and Disclosure Developments

  • SEC Risk Disclosure Requirements

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board Proposed Standard for: Accounting for Derivatives and Hedging Activities

  • Significant Changes from Current Accounting and the Impact on Financial Risk Management

Chapter 4 - Other Issues in Financial Risk Management

  • Credit Risk Management

  • Enterprise-Wide Risk Management

Appendix I
SEC Market Risk Disclosure Rule -- Accounting Policy Disclosures

Appendix II
FASB - Proposed Standards for Accounting for Derivatives and Hedging Activities


Accounting Tax Rules for Derivatives --- 
by Mark J.P. Anson
Publisher's Price: $150
ISBN#: 1883249694
Catalog #: B14982W

Accounting for Derivatives and Hedging --- 
by Mark A. Trombley (Paperback) 

  • Paperback: 240 pages

  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 
    ISBN: 0072440449; (April 26, 2002)

The right tools for the job --- 

Magnus Orrell is a Project Manager at IASB. For more information, visit

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued proposals for improvements to the two international accounting standards on financial instruments that affect derivatives – IAS32 and IAS39 – in June. How will these proposals affect accounting for derivatives?

Greg Gupton's site is a major convergence point of research on credit risk and credit derivatives --- 

Bob Jensen's tutorials on FAS 133 can be found at 

Summary of Significant Differences between Japanese GAAP and U.S. GAAP  

The Accounting Guidefor Community Banks

Discover North Dakota --- 
Professor Chuck Harter's Homepage --- 

Sharing Accounting Professor of the Week

J. EDWARD KETZ is associate professor of accounting in Penn State's Smeal College of Business Administration ---

There's another Bob Jensen in the world who seems to find a whole lot more time for fishing.

Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at


Forensics software on display at an annual gathering of IT and security pros gives corporations more powerful tools to track workers' electronic exploits -- and even predict who's most likely to break the rules ---,1377,56826,00.html 

Selected Articles from The Fall 2002 Edition (Volume 3) of the Journal of the Academy of Business Education (these are not online).  You can join the Academy and obtain this journal by contacting Jean Heck at Villanova --- 
The Academy meets once each year in some very attractive site (Bermuda, Grand Tetons, Key West, etc.).

Assessing Marketing Journals:  A Mission-Based Approach pp. 70-86
by Jon M. Hawes and Bruce Keillor
This article has some nice comparative tables.

This paper examines academic journal quality within the marketing discipline.  Several prior studies have offered excellent information, yet many have not been widely circulated and some of the sources could be described as obscure.  By accepting the premise that these existing studies are fairly inclusive of the relevant respected journals within our field and that the research was reasonably rigorous in its preparation, it would seem appropriate to facilitate efforts to assemble and better utilize this knowledge.  A classification of criteria for examining journal quality is presented, results of a relatively exhaustive literature review are discussed, the "top" marketing journals are identified, a more complete list of fifty important journals is shown, and recommendations for using a mission-based approach to ranking marketing academic journals are provided.

Work Hours and Academic Performance pp. 99-105
by Marilyn Dutton and Omer Gokcekus

This paper examines the relationship between work at jobs outside of class and academic performance at the college level.  In many respects working and non-working students are very similar.  However, when we examine the distribution of letter grades for the two groups, we find that work has a clear adverse impact on academic performance.  Working students are far less likely to earn A's and correspondingly more likely to earn D's or F's than their non-working classmates.  The results of a multinomial logit regression indicate that in addition to missing class, working is associated with a significantly reduced chance of making an A and an increased chance of earning a D or F (and consequently having to repeat the course).


The rise in the number of college students who work at jobs outside of class has inspired a body of research that looks at the effect that this work has on students' academic performance.  In most cases, these studies find a negative but small impact of work on academic performance.  In this paper, we take a slightly different approach from most of the previous literature and look at the descriptive statistics for our working students versus our non-working students.  Initially, comparison of group averages reveals very few differences.  However, when we examine the distribution of letter grades for the two groups, we find a clear negative relationship between work and academic performance.  Working students are far less likely to earn A's and correspondingly more likely to earn D's or F's than their non-working classmates.  We suspect that working has negative effects beyond the impact of simply missing class.  We test this hypothesis with a multinomial logit regression that includes a measure of the number of absences a student has accumulated and an indicator of whether the student works.  The results indicate that in addition to missing class, working students have a lower chance of making an A and a greater chance of earning a D or F (and consequently having to repeat the course).

Of course, these results indicate only a relationship between work and academic performance and do not affirm causality.  From a policy standpoint, an important extension of this work would be to determine the direct reasons for the poorer performance by working students.  In addition, it would be useful to know the degree to which the results are affected by the particular characteristics of the students.  The effects we see here may not be the same for all groups within the university.  Some students may be better able to handle the demands of combining outside jobs with class work, others less able.  For example, age and maturity may make some students better time managers while for others additional responsibilities such as childcare may magnify the adverse impact of work.  Knowing the answers to these questions would help the university to devise advising and financial aid programs that ensure the success of its students.

Bridging Liberal And Professional Education:  Management Studies And The Liberal Arts  pp. 1-7
by Kathy Gardner Chadwick and Mary Emery
Jensen Note:  This article describes a very limited management studies concentration in a high quality liberal arts college (St. Olaf in Northfield, Minnesota) that consists for three basic courses chosen from four options (basic economics, basic accounting, basic management, and basic finance) and two elective courses outside of business and economics.

Marilyn's Errors in Probabilities, Finance, and Education

Forwarded by Mark Shapiro

Marilyn Vos Savant publishes the popular "Ask Marilyn" column in Parade Magazine, which is distributed with the Sunday morning editions of many major newspapers. Marilyn's claims to fame are her high score on IQ tests that she took as a child (she claims to have the highest IQ on record), and her knowledge of probability theory. She frequently provides answers to counter intuitive probability questions posed by her readers, and her answers are almost always right. But like a lot of very intelligent people she sometimes overreaches when providing answers to questions where a correct response requires a knowledge of the facts as well as a keen intellect. In fact, software engineer Herb Weiner has made a specialty of catching errors in the columns that Marilyn has published. Here is recent pedagogical gaff by Marilyn.

Commentary of the Day - December 16, 2002: Don't Ask Marilyn! Marilyn Vos Savant publishes the popular "Ask Marilyn" column in Parade Magazine, which is distributed with the Sunday morning editions of many major newspapers. Marilyn's claims to fame are her high score on IQ tests that she took as a child (she claims to have the highest IQ on record), and her knowledge of probability theory. She frequently provides answers to counter intuitive probability questions posed by her readers, and her answers are almost always right. But like a lot of very intelligent people she sometimes overreaches when providing answers to questions where a correct response requires a knowledge of the facts as well as a keen intellect. In fact, software engineer Herb Weiner has made a specialty of catching errors in the columns that Marilyn has published. Here is recent pedagogical gaff by Marilyn.

In Marilyn's December 15, 2002 Parade Magazine column, reader Zina Yost Ingle of Vineland, N.J. asks the following: 

On a geometry test, Mary devises a set of steps to solve a problem. Her solution is shorter and more elegant than the method taught in class. If you were her teacher, how would you score her answer?

Marilyn responds: I'd ask her to solve the problem by the method that was taught. If she could, I would give her full credit plus extra credit for the extra solution. If she could not, I would give her no credit at all: She doesn't understand what was taught in class. Methods of teaching are not necessarily the shortest and most elegant. Instead, they may simply be a good way for students to learn the principles of the subject. Marilyn's knowledge of probability theory may be vast, but her understanding of teaching and learning is only half-vast. Mary clearly deserves full credit for her answer to the problem that the teacher posed; and, she should be praised for coming up with a shorter, more elegant solution. The reason is that the teacher did not ask that the problem be solved by any particular method, at least as far as the reader's question indicates. To be sure, a teacher may want to see if his or her students understand how a particular method works. In that case the question should be posed appropriately: "Using Gauss's Law show that ........". And, sometimes the teacher does want to check that the student is learning material covered in the course. In that case, the question can be posed as follows: "Using one of the methods that we have discussed in class, show that .......". However, in absence of such caveats, it seems to the IP that we advance Mary's education far more by praising her correct (and creative) answer than by punishing her because she dared to walk outside the lines of a rigid pedagogy.

Note from Bob Jensen Herb Weiner's links to genuine calculation errors by Marilyn are at  
This is highly educational reading. I thank my lucky stars that Herb Weiner does not take out after Bob Jensen's stuff.

December 16 reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

Unfortunately, Marilyn's answer to this reflects the "memorize and regurgitate" school of thought in education. Give them a long list of material to memorize, put a part of the list on the exam, and if they pass, they've "learned." I would have expected someone who is supposed to be "intelligent" and "creative" to have recognized that education is more than that, but I guess I gave her too much credit. Despite the efforts many, many educators have made to turn education into a collaboration, and into an exercise in thought and analysis, I guess some people still "don't get it." Those with young children still going through "the system" can only hope for a few of this latter in their children's future - hopefully in time so the children's minds aren't "turned off" to the process.

December 16, 2002 reply from Speer, Derek [

This story reminds me of something which happened to my daughter Amanda earlier this year. She is extremely bright and has a MA (Honours) and was studying for a grad Teaching Diploma (basically a requirement for licensing as a high school teacher). She had an assignment which, in part, required demonstrating to a freshman French class the difference between sur (on) and sous (under). The lecturer in charge, an experienced 60ish former high school teacher had suggested using a drawing showing one child standing on a table and another one under it.  My daughter, who is not good at drawing, elected to do a demo using puppets instead, and got an F for her pains. She then drew the poster as suggested and got an A on resubmitting it. Obviously this guy, like Marilyn, is a natural stifler of creativity. Amanda learned one thing from this, when Jim says "jump though a hoop" you jump through it, not decide that you may have a better way.


What are the CERIAS programs in assurance services?

Certified Public Accountants over the past decade have be actively promoting the branching out of financial attestation services (especially auditing) into wider ranging "assurance services."  Especially noteworthy is the new service SysTrust where pubic accountants in the U.S. and Canada have partnered to extend assurance services into the areas of computing services and information systems.  For details and links, see 

I mention this because, unlike auditing services by public accountants, where there is an SEC-mandated monopoly under SEC rules, there is no such monopoly on extended assurance services.  In assurance services other than auditing, CPAs face increasing competition from other professional bodies.  One such area is in the entire area of Information Assurance and Security.  I mention this, because an education and training center at Purdue University is generating courses and graduates in a program that is not a part of the Accounting Department or the School of Business.  I will now briefly summarize the CERIAS Center at Purdue University --- 

What I found interesting is the extent to which students can get both MS and PhD degrees in Information Assurance and Security.

The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, or CERIAS, is the world's foremost University center for multidisciplinary research and education in areas of information security. Our areas of research include computer, network, and communications security as well as information assurance.

Mission Statement 
To establish an ongoing center of excellence which will promote and enable world class leadership in multidisciplinary approaches to information assurance and security research and education. This collaboration will advance the state and practice of information security and assurance. The synergy from key members of academia, government, and industry will promote and support programs of research, education, and community service.

Vision Statement 
The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security will be internationally recognized as the leader in information security and assurance research, education, and community service.

Internal Vision 
Build a well-supported community of scholars actively involved in: Evolution and offering of educational programs in information assurance and security. Solving fundamental questions of science, engineering and management as they relate to information security and assurance. Transfer of expertise and technology to organizations with real world needs. Assuming leadership roles in appropriate community and government organizations. Activities to enhance the public's understanding and acceptance of information protection. To accomplish this, the Center promotes research, education and community service programs in conjunction with various key groups. It also brings synergy to these diverse groups (consisting of members from academia, government agencies and industrial partners) to advance the philosophy of information security and assurance.

 - - - - - - - - -
  • We have compiled resources for students, parents, and teachers on a host of topics including copyright, safe surfing, acceptable use, cryptography, and much more; we also offer teacher and student workshops on a variety of security topics, at a variety of levels.
  • Information about our graduate studies, including the Scholarship for Service program.
  • The post-secondary education site contains information about formal and informal information security and assurance educational initiatives, including workshops, multimedia product offerings, certification and faculty development efforts, and awareness activities.
  • A site created by CERIAS and several partners to raise awareness of Information Security in the state. Includes information for K-12, Home Computing, and Business and Industry.
 - - - - - - - - -
Introduction to CERIAS
So, you are interested in graduate studies in Information Security at Purdue University? That's great! You can take advantage of the infosec expertise present at Purdue and associated with CERIAS, but you can't actually get your degree from there. CERIAS is a research center, and not an academic department. However, there are other ways to get your degree and be associated with CERIAS.

There are currently 3 different approaches to graduate study in infosec here:

  1. The interdisciplinary MS specialization
  2. A standard MS in one of the involved departments, with a focus on infosec topics
  3. A PhD course of study in one of the involved departments, with a dissertation topic in infosec
We are currently offering an interdisciplinary Master's specialization in InfoSec. This is offered as an MS through a participating department, not CERIAS. While the program is multidisciplinary and requires (and recommends) courses in Computer Sciences as well as other fields, admission to the program is handled administratively by a participating department. The specialization on your diploma will, however, read "Information Security," independently of what department handles the admission. As of September 2000, the only department ready to admit students to the program is Philosophy. Computer Sciences, Education, and Electrical & Computer Engineering are all in the midst of the administrative process to join the program.

You can apply for the Program electronically for future sessions. Please select "Philosophy" on the application and indicate "Information Security" as your area of interest. Your default contact professor in the next field of the application is Eugene H. Spafford, Director of CERIAS and of the Program. Feel free to mention in that field any other professor in information security that you would like to work with if you have established such a contact already. You will eventually be contacted by the graduate school about your admission status.


Students can also receive graduate degrees in existing programs with a specialization in infosec areas. To do this, the students enroll in a traditional major, take a core of common courses, and then are able to take electives related to their interests. Masters students may choose to research and write a Master's thesis that involves further study in a particular area of interest, or they may simply take 30 or more credit hours of coursework. PhD students must choose a specialized topic for their dissertation research. The most common major for students interested in information security is Computer Sciences, but degrees are also associated with Electrical & Computer Engineering, Management, Philosophy, Political Science, and many other departments associated with CERIAS.

Note that specific requirements for individual department degrees are given in the course catalogs and on some departmental WWW pages. What follows is a summary of the requirements for a CS graduate degree, serving as an example of what is expected. You need to consult one of the definitive references to get the whole picture. (CS graduate degree requirements are available on the WWW; information on other graduate programs can be found by starting at the main Purdue WWW page.)


MS in CS Program
MS students are required to take a course in operating systems or networks (CS 503 or CS 536), one in programming language design or compilers (CS 565 or CS 502), and algorithm analysis (CS 580), plus another 7 courses of electives, or 5 courses and the thesis option. Normally, for infosec study, MS (and PhD) students would take CS 502 and CS 503, plus the courses in computer security (CS 526) and cryptography (CS 555) as electives, and consider taking the advanced security (CS 626) and cryptanalysis courses (CS 655), too.

There are many electives available to graduate students, including graphics, databases, numerical methods and distributed systems. Each year, several faculty also offer special topic courses in their areas of interest. Opportunities for directed reading or research courses are also available. In the last few years, we will have had seminars in Intrusion Detection and Incident Response, Penetration Analysis, Firewalls, Electronic Commerce, Network Security, and Security Tools. Additionally, we have had seminar courses in Wireless Networks, Advanced Operating Systems, and Internetworking.


Normally, a PhD program starts with 2 years of graduate study and passing a series of general exams in the area of study (the "qualifier exams"). The candidate then decides on an area of study, chooses an advisor, and takes an in-depth exam in the area of specialization (the "preliminary exam"). Next, the candidate performs in-depth research under the guidance of the advisor for a period of time ranging from 6 months to as many as 5 years. Finally, the candidate writes a detailed scientific account of his or her research (the dissertation) and defends it in a public exam before a committee of faculty, visitors, and members of the community. The average time to complete a PhD in CS at Purdue (assuming the student already has a good undergraduate background in CS) is 5 years.

Required courses for PhD students in CS include courses in operating systems, algorithm analysis, compilers and programming languages, numerical analysis, and theory of computation; this is a superset of the courses required for the MS degree, and almost all PhD candidates obtain their MS degree during their candidacy for the PhD.


MS & PhD Research
Currently, there is a large range of projects being conducted in information security at Purdue. We have almost 40 projects involving over 30 faculty in a dozen different academic departments. You can get a more complete picture of the faculty and research projects via the CERIAS WWW pages. These projects are normally open to graduate students and can be used to satisfy research requirements towards MS and PhD thesis work. Not all infosec projects are offered through CERIAS, either, and there is no requirement that students work on a CERIAS project to get an infosec-related degree.


Special Notes for CS
Students coming in to the graduate program are expected to be ready to pursue the degree upon arrival. There are limits as to how many semesters may be spent in residence before completing each of the steps towards the degree.

In particular, students are expected to:

  • have strong, basic skills in mathematics, including working knowledge of statistics, calculus and linear algebra
  • know how to write programs in some advanced computer language (C/C++/Java are languages of choice; Perl is also encouraged)
  • have mastery of spoken English sufficient to understand lectures and presentations, and to discuss assignments with faculty and TAs
  • have mastery of written English sufficient to document programs and write grammatical research papers. This is especially critical for MS and PhD
  • students who need to write a thesis and research papers
Students without adequate preparation, or who fall behind in assignments, may be tempted to take "shortcuts" on assignments to keep up. Cheating, plagiarism, and falsifying work are severe violations of both the student code of conduct and academic honesty, and discovered incidents are dealt with particularly harshly by faculty in the infosec arena. Graduate students in violation of these rules are routinely recommended to the dean of students for expulsion from the university; foreign students in this situation will lose their visas. Thus, it is strongly recommended that applicants be sure they have mastery of these basic skills prior to applying to graduate school at Purdue.

Financial Aid
Financial aid for graduate students is based on both scholarship and need. Some fellowships are available to exceptional incoming students. Others are supported by the departments or by research projects. It is unusual that a new student will get support from a faculty member's research funding; indeed, most faculty do not support students prior to their completion of some of the qualifying exams. Some incoming students qualify for selection as teaching assistants, however. Other information about financial aid is in the graduate student information documents.

For financial aid, contact the admitting department and not individual faculty members.

The above is not an official document of Purdue University, but Professor Spafford's interpretation of Purdue policy. Interested parties should consult official University documents, available through the graduate school.

From Syllabus News on December 10, 2002

Compsec Firm Funds Purdue Info Assurance Degree

Internet security firm Symantec Corp. has endowed a fellowship for a student pursuing a degree at Purdue University’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS. The Symantec Fellowship will provide up to $50,000 to cover the full tuition costs for two years and a stipend for a degree-seeking student enrolled at Purdue and working with CERIAS, a center for multidisciplinary research and education in information security. Applications will be accepted immediately with a deadline of March 1, 2003. The Fellowship recipient will be announced April 8, 2003 at the annual CERIAS Spring Symposium held on the West Lafayette, Ind., campus of Purdue University. The Fellowship will begin during the 2003-2004 school year and will be expanded to include a second student beginning the Fall of 2004.

December 11, 2002 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU


I wanted to brief AECMers on the happenings, with respect to Information Assurance in Albany.

The Department of Accounting & Law at SUNY ALbany is starting with the Fall semester 2003 an MBA track on Information Assurance (IA) based on our earlier efforts in AIS in the MS program in Accounting with an emphasis in AIS. When we have prepared the materials about the program, I'll post them on this listserv.

We have re-engineered all courses in AIS to have security/assurance permeate throughout the curriculum. This is now receiving the last review by us to ensure compliance with the curriculum recommendations of the National Security Agency.

The above is a part of our campus-wide forensics initiative (Departments of Accounting & Law, Management Science & Informatrion Systems, Department of Computer Science, School of Information Science & Policy, and in the future hopefully our very well regarded School of Criminal Justice) which has already received funding from the US Department of Education and is in partnership with the New York State Police, and CERIAS is also our partner in the efforts.

We are hoping to apply and receive next year the designation of Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education. We hope more Accounting Departments will be hospitable to this "diversion" from our perceived central mission of educating future CPAs (currently there is no curriculum on IA in any Accounting Department that I am aware of).

It is important for me to brief the AECMers on the issue of "accountingness" of the curriculum in this respect, particularly since it became quite an issue even at Albany where our Department has traditionally been hospitable to off-the-wall curricular innovations. 'Accounting content' in much of the Information assurance curriculum usually is (and probably should be) expected to be very meager even though the assertions-based philosophy is rather similar.

I had a quite difficult time convincing my dyed-in-the-wool accounting colleagues (specially in Financial Accounting) that Information Assurance education can coexist peacefully in our Department. (Many Financial Accounting colleagues rightfully asked: since accounting content is minimal, why not have it in the MSIS or some other Department? My arguments were: 1. Such other departments do not have the tradition of scepticism that we in accounting/auditing have, and 2. we were better poised to offer a computationally intensive Information Assurance curriculum in the department because of the sophistication of our existing AIS curriculum). Ultimately, we did win the confidence of the department faculty, though in some instances it might have been grudging acceptance because of what we would lose in the long run if we chose to not have the program.

Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor (  
Accounting & Law and Management Science & Information Systems 
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. 
Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601 

December 11, 2002 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Jagdish,

I appreciate your informative reply. It appears that Albany has avoided the vexing problem that Notre Dame and the University of Virginia faced with their Masters of Assurance Services Programs for Ernst & Young employees --- 

The vexing problem arises when one of the goals is to have the graduates of the assurance services program also be eligible to sit for the CPA examination. It appears that assurance services masters programs at Albany and Purdue have no CPA examination goal. Hence there can be very little accounting, tax, and auditing in those programs. This was not the case for Notre Dame and the University of Virginia where a major goal is for the graduates to be eligible to sit for the CPA examination in most states.

This begs the question about what career paths students will take after graduating from assurance services programs. It would seem that Albany and Purdue University are envisioning graduates joining consulting firms, computer systems companies, etc. Graduates of the Notre Dame and UVA programs already work for the accountancy divisions of Ernst & Young.

It seems to me that for a career path in the accountancy divisions of a public accounting firm, there is very little future without becoming a CPA.

Hence, I anticipate two types of assurance services degree programs. One type is more focused on computer science and information systems. The other type is more focused on accountancy and accounting information systems.

I think there's room for both types of emerging programs.

Bob Jensen

December 12, 2002 reply from Calderon,Thomas G [

Our entire grad program (at the University of Akron) is built around an IT security and assurance theme. Each course taught by acct dept faculty has security and assurance content and we attempt to tie everything together in our capstone IS Audit & Control Project (a hands-on project organized as a mini-internship and supervised by a faculty member and a "competent" professional in the field.)

Courses, 3 hrs each, in the program are: 1. Business Application Development (taught by MIS) 2. Applications Development for Financial Systems (taught by accounting -- uses skills learned in BAP to address assurance type problems) 3. Enterprise Resource Planning & Financial Systems (uses Oracle 11i to expose students to architecture, business process issues, & security and assurance issues in ERP environments) 4. Financial Data Communications & Enterprise Integration (focus on XML, XBRL, and security/assurance issues associated with enterprise integration) 5. Advanced Information Systems (database/data warehouse design/assurance issues; use Oracle 8i) 6. e-business foundations (general management issues in a distributed network environment--taught by MIS) 7. e-business technologies (exposure to networks, internet technologies, and application development for a web environment; use Windows OS, Cold Fusion, Oracle--taught by MIS) 8. e-business risk, control & assurance (business risk assessment, security, & assurance for entities that use distributed networks such as the Internet for business critical activities) 9. Assurance Services with Data Warehousing & Data Mining (a hands-on course that uses Classification & Regression Trees (CART), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), neural networks, and ACL to identify red flags in quantitative data). 10. IS Audit & Control Project (the capstone hands-on project, structured as a mini-internship with a very specific deliverable).

All students admitted into the program must take the following courses if not taken in their undergrad program: 3 hrs of accounting information systems 3 hrs of intermediate accounting 3 hours of auditing 3 hours of cost & management accounting (beyond principles)

We encourage students to prepare for and take the CISA exams and CITP. The program does not attempt to prepare students for any specific professional examination.

Bob Jensen's threads on assurance services are at 

Teaching Cases

December 9, 2002 message from George Lan

Teaching cases to undergraduate students can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. Like you, I spend first some time on the techniques of case analysis and then do a couple of cases in class as examples. I've debated about how much structure or how many guiding questions I should be giving them in subsequent case analysis. I find that if they are given guidelines, many of them tend to follow the guidelines to the letter. I've tried role playing (dividing the class in auditors, managers etc..) and they seemed to work well. However, I find that role playing works well when the case is not too complicated and there are not too many issues to discuss. I would be interested in how much much structure you or other AECM members, who are using the case analysis method, provide the students and other techniques w.r.t. case teaching that have worked well for you. Also, which casebook do you use and do you have to change your cases every semester in case the students have the solutions to the cases? 
George Lan 
University of Windsor

December 10, 2002 reply from Paul Polinski [pwp3@PO.CWRU.EDU

George: Thanks for the note. I've also used role-playing with some success; other formats that have worked well include formal debates (which brings out the most in students' oral participation) and group exercises, in which students brainstorm on alternative ideas to achieve objectives from the case, and must make short presentations on their ideas. The other groups then evaluate and discuss the ideas (hopefully without too much prejudice).

There's a fine line to walk with respect to structure. They need just enough to be able to understand what is required of them, but not so much that they have limited freedom to think and present their thoughts. On occasion, I've been on either side of the line a bit too much, but that's part of the learning process for me.

I have used mostly Harvard cases and some short ones I developed based on work-related experiences. When I use the same cases from term to term, I'll change the assigned tasks so that they can't rely too much on their predecessors. Most cases seem rich enough that they allow lots of flexibility in what can be discussed each time they're used.


Life on the edge
 The geek-driven world of new "decentralized" technologies like Wi-Fi, blogging and Web services is more about cutting out the middleman than finding a business model --- 

Stock Option Valuation Research Database

From Syllabus News on December 13, 2002

Wharton School Offers Stock Data Via the Web

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school is offering financial analysts access to historical information on stock options over the Internet. The data, supplied by research firm OptionMetrics's Ivy database, covers information on all U.S. listed index and equity options from January1996. The Ivy database adds to the 1.5 terabyte storehouse of financial information from a range of providers now available through Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS). The university said that by making data from the Center for Research in Security Prices, Standard & Poor's COMPUSTAT, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the New York Stock Exchange, and other data vendors accessible from a simple Web-based interface, WRDS hopes to become the preferred source among university scholars for data covering global financial markets.

Note from Jensen:  the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) home page is at 

Wharton Research Data Services, a revolutionary Internet-based research data service developed and marketed by the Wharton School, has become the standard for large-scale academic data research, providing instant web access to financial and business datasets for almost all top-tier business schools (including 23 of the top 25 schools as ranked by Business Week magazine).

Subscribers to Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) gain instant access to the broadest array of business and economic data now available from a single source on the Web. From anywhere and at any time, WRDS functions as an application service provider (ASP) to deliver information drawn from 1.2 terabytes of comprehensive financial, accounting, management, marketing, banking and insurance data.

Launched in July 1997, the unique data service's client list of over 60 institutions now includes Stanford University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Yale University, Northwestern University, London Business School, INSEAD, University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and dozens of other institutions. Subscribers to WRDS need only PCs or even less-expensive Web terminals to endow their units with supercomputer capabilities and tap a massive, constantly updated source of data. Users click on the WRDS database and interactively select data to extract. The requested information is instantly returned to the web browser, ready to be pasted into a spreadsheet or any other application for analysis.

To learn more about WRDS or to get licensing information, contact: Nicole Carvalho, Marketing Director Wharton Research Data Services 400 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall 3620 Locust Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302

1-877-GET-WRDS (1-877-438-9737)

Knowledge@Wharton is a free source of research reports and other materials in accounting, finance, and business research --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at 

From Syllabus News on December 13, 2002

Web Survey: Recent College Grad Hiring Anemic

Planned entry-level hiring of recent college grads is up 4 percent for 2003, according to an annual survey released last week by The bad news is that the results are only marginally better than 2002, which was the worst year for entry-level hiring in 20 years. The results profile future hiring plans for more than 500 entry-level employers representing more than 100,000 entry-level positions. While most of the largest employers (over 10,000 employees) are hiring the same or fewer college grads, many medium-sized employers (1,000-10,000 employees) and small employers (under 1,000 employees) are showing increases for 2003, which accounts for the net increase. "It is often the small to medium companies that spur initial hiring demand coming out of a recession, so this is a very good sign of future growth," said president Brian Krueger.

2002:  Industry Progress (Electronic Business, e-Comomerce, e-Business)
by Jeffrey Graham, December 11, 2002

As survival is a necessary precondition for prosperity, I consider 2002 a good year. No matter what the numbers might indicate, we've grown. The industry matured, and the media environment continues to evolve in ways that suggest an even brighter future.

This column, my last this year, describes what I think were the most important issues that emerged in 2002. In my next column, which will appear after holidays, I will make some predictions for 2003.

In my view, the following are the most important trends of 2002.

Continued at  

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic business are at 


Plagued by both pessimism and hype, can nanotechnology grow up? --- 

In many new technologies, it is common to overestimate what can be done in five years' time, and to underestimate what can be done in 50 years' time. Dr Eigler and other optimistic nanotechnologists must hope this rule of thumb applies to nanotechnology as well. However, there is a huge technological gap between molecular cascades and fully-functional nanobots. The rest of the world, then, should not hold its breath.

Bob Jensen's threads on Bob Jensen's Threads on  Invisible Computing, Ubiquitous Computing, and Microsoft.Net --- 

December 12, 2002 message from Bill Spinks.

This AAUP salary database is searchable and fairly comprehensive -- lots of interesting data. You might want to bookmark it: 

happy grading...................

billspinks ____________________________________

From Syllabus News on December 10, 2002

CREN Board Votes to Dissolve Net Organization

The trustees of the Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN), the higher-education technology association, have voted to dissolve the organization. Under the directorship of Judith Boettcher, CREN provided a range of services focusing on networking and network security issues to more than 220 universities and colleges in the U.S. CREN was known for its "TechTalk" series of webcasts featuring expert speakers on technology subjects. The Board's decision to recommend shutting down the organization came as a result of a significant decline in membership revenues, together with steadily rising operating expenses. "The decision wasn't easy to make, but it was the responsible thing to do," said Ira Fuchs, President of the Board of Trustees. "The business model wasn't sustainable, so we felt it was in the best interest of the member institutions to close our doors."

For more information, visit: 

Gateway Teams with Hispanic Higher Ed Group

Computer maker Gateway, Inc. has teamed with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to provide technology solutions and educational opportunities to HACU's 300 member institutions, including discounted PCs and a rebate program. HACU member institutions enroll over 1 million of the 1.5 million Hispanics in higher education today. HACU signed the agreement with Gateway at its national conference last month in Denver, Colo. Dr. Antonio R. Flores, HACU President and CEO, said, "Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States, but continue to have less access to technology than other groups. By providing significant discounts on computers for our member institutions and students, Gateway is not only helping Hispanics gain access to much needed programs and services, but is helping to assure a well-prepared workforce for America's next generation."

For more information, visit: 


* Short e-Course 
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* INTRODUCTION TO ACCOUNTING FOR BUSINESS from SkillSoft provides business managers, prospective managers, and any other employees seeking competency in the area of accounting, with an understanding of basic accounting concepts and methods. Enroll anytime: 

* Semester-Length Course 
* INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS MANAGEMENT from New School University covers concepts of business organization, communication, decision-making, planning, motivating, controlling, group dynamics, leadership, and change. Class starts February 3: 


* Hong Kong as Catalyst: The Future of Business and Trade in China Robin Chiu, regional director of the Americas for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, explains Hong Kong's role as a catalyst and instigator, as well as a global marketplace with the second largest stock market in Asia, as an essential factor to China's economic growth: 

* The Venture Law Firm Defined Following the high-tech revolution in Silicon Valley in the early 1990s, many law firms remodeled themselves along the lines of venture capital firms. David Lukens, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University Law School, describes the evolution of such firms that exist at the crossroads of business and law: 


* Short e-Course 
* HOW TO CREATE A COMMUNITY ORAL-HISTORY PROJECT from Columbia University offers detailed instruction on how to organize and operate a community oral-history project, with audio and text examples from the rich archives of Columbia's Oral History Research Office: 

* Semester-Length Course 
* COMPUTERS FOR EDUCATORS LEVEL I from the University of San Diego is designed to provide teachers with the opportunity to learn and practice computer skills so that you can excel in today's technologically advanced world while integrating technology into your K-12 curriculum. Next session begins January 6: 

* Semester-Length Course 
* APPLIED METHODS IN TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT from UCLA Extension considers the theories and methods of bilingual and English language developments. Next session begins January 7: 


* Free Seminar 

* ISRAEL AND THE ARAB COALITION IN 1948 from Cambridge University Press author Avi Shlaim re-examines the traditional narrative about the birth of Israel and suggests that it is time to reassess the portrayal of Jews as victims of the Arab coalition. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: 

* Semester-Length Course 
* CONCEPTUALIZING THE 'OTHER': A CRITICAL HISTORY OF ANTHROPOLOGY from New School University examines major ideas and interests that have informed Western anthropological inquiry and knowledge. Through analysis of readings, films, and museum exhibits, students develop a critical lens through which to identify the assumptions, perspectives, and motivations implicit in the construction of anthropological knowledge. Class begins February 3: 

* Semester-Length Course 
* WOMEN OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST from New School University considers the cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Canaan by examining the woman's position, from queen to commoner (and occasionally pharaoh!). Class begins February 3: 


What is deed swapping and why is it becoming a serious scam?

You think you own the property, but it is unlikely that you will ever really own it.  The scam is that balloon payment at the end that the borrower has less than 1% chance of paying.  The lender is virtually assured of having his cake and eating it too.

WFMY News Consumer Alert:  Deed Swapping Web Producer: Dawn Murphy Modified: 11/30/2002 --- 

Anna Duboise was the perfect target a single mom with three kids, who was desperate for a chance to call somewhere home.

"I always figured if I had the opportunity, just one little opportunity to get me a home, that's what I was going to do."

That opportunity came when Joe Seeman entered her life He had a home to sell and he was even willing to provide Anna a loan.

"I thought it was great, he was like a little God, ya know, thank you very much."

Seeman is a realtor, he says "she was given quite a sweetheart deal."

Seeman's 'deal' offered Anna monthly payments of just under $475 a month. He charted how at that rate, it would take her 30 years to pay off the loan.

But that was not the case. The actual mortgage he sold her expired in just five years at which time Anna's balance was due in full;a balloon payment that totaled more than $40,000.

"It's not fair, it's not right."

It was a financial impossibility right from the start.

"She wasn't that good of a buyer in terms," says Seeman, "of what, for example, a bank would say. "

Simply put: Anna was a high risk borrower. So Seeman found a way to make the deal virtually risk himself.

He had Anna sign the deed of the house back over to him; in effect, retaining control of the house, in case she couldn't make the payments.

It's called 'deed swapping.' "It was a way to protect me."

Anna's attorney calls it something else. "Deceptive. Highly highly deceptive. Ownership is never delivered. It's a phantom idea."

And an idea that's growing in popularity. The Federal Trade Commission now lists 'deed swapping' among the most popular predatory lending schemes. It means every legal right you have as a homeowner is lost. In short the borrower becomes a tenant; and the lender, becomes a landlord."

So when Anna started falling behind in her payments Seeman simply took the house back. "At that point I told her, hey, you no longer own the house, and you have to leave or you're going to be evicted."

Leaving Anna with nothing but questions: "It was never mine in the first place. So what am I striving for? What was it that I got into? Why didn't I pay attention?"

A mistake that may cost Anna everything she's put into her home and leave the lender in a position to put the house on the market again.

Hi David,

You are correct in that deed swapping is not a scam if the buyer has a decent probability of making the monthly payments and the ending balloon payment. But the FTC contends that this is becoming one of the nation's rising scams due to the nature of the lenders and the targeted buyers. With the newer type of "buyer" (typically a person who is very poor, uninformed, and lacking in hope of home ownership under a conventional mortgage), deed swapping becomes a way for a sneaky landlord to extract higher rent.

The scam is that a portion of the payment is supposedly a reduction of the amount owed as in a conventional mortgage. However, the targeted "buyer" never really has a recorded deed to the property (thereby making foreclosure easy) and never really has a chance of making the ending balloon payment. Hence, the monthly payments are really artificially-inflated rental payments because the "buyer" is led to believe that he or she is really "owns" the property.  The "buyer" also becomes responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance normally paid by the landlord in a rental situation.  When the "owner" cannot make the enormous balloon payment at the contracted time, the property remains with the land "lord" who really had title all along.

I learned about this because of the above story on CBS television.  The problem is that deed swapping is a very difficult "scam" to prosecute for the very reasons you state in your message. It can be a very legitimate way of purchasing property when the buyer has a reasonable probability of making all payments.

A somewhat related ploy (but where the buyer has a recorded deed) is reported as follows by the Federal Trade Commission --- 

Hidden Loan Terms: The Balloon Payment 
You've fallen behind in your mortgage payments and may face foreclosure. Another lender offers to save you from foreclosure by refinancing your mortgage and lowering your monthly payments. Look carefully at the loan terms. The payments may be lower because the lender is offering a loan on which you repay only the interest each month. At the end of the loan term, the principal-that is, the entire amount that you borrowed-is due in one lump sum called a balloon payment. If you can't make the balloon payment or refinance, you face foreclosure and the loss of your home. 

The above warning is only one of various home equity scam warnings described by the FTC at 

By the way, I highly recommend the FTC site for warnings about scams and deceptive trade practices. Like most Federal Government Websites, it is outstanding --- 

Bob Jensen

December 10 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

-----Original Message----- 
From: David R. Fordham [mailto:fordhadr@JMU.EDU]  
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 8:00 AM 
Subject: Re: Why deed swapping is a growing scam?

This is the first I've heard of "deed swapping", but I wonder if it is similar to what Virginia calls, "Deed of Trust", where the deed is in the name of the lender, "in trust", to be tendered to the buyer once the loan is paid off.

If that is the case, then, I'm not sure I'd call it a scam. I used one of these when I purchased some mountain property with a vacation home on it, a few years ago. The seller sold me the property for a pittance down payment, with a five year balloon loan, using a 30-year amortization to calculate the monthly payment. The monthly payment was tiny. Of course, over 95% of the purchase price would be "due" in five years. Again, this sounds just like what the lady in the WFMY article had.

Unlike the "victim" in the example, however, I made the monthly payments I had agreed to make. The loan was at 8%, which was under the market rate at the time I purchased. Before the balloon payment came due, however, I refinanced the loan, at 5.75%. (Now I wish I'd held off a little longer and gotten a 5.25% rate like I just got on refinancing my primary house!) The new deed of trust is in the name of a new lender, but I've got a 15-year fixed-rate standard mortgage now.

This sounds like the "deed swapping" in Bob's example. If it is the same thing, I'm not sure where the word "scam" comes in. ? This seems like a legitimate, ethical, above-board, financing arrangement. I think of a "scam" as a situation where one of the parties lies, cheats, or steals. In this case, the WFMY article sounds like the buyer should have made out like a bandit because of the precipitous drop in mortgage rates over the past few years. What is the difference between "deed swapping" and "foreclosure", which would happen when the buyer failed to make payments on a traditional mortgage? In fact, it sounds like 'deed swapping' is the same thing as foreclosure, except that that attorneys might not make as much money.

I don't pretend to be a lawyer, and if a lawyer has determined that this practice is illegal or someone lied, well, then, I guess I must have missed something. But in my mind, I can't see where the scam is. Except perhaps that a realtor sold a person some real estate that she couldn't have afforded in the first place, knowing that she couldn't make the payments. But that could happen with a traditional mortgage just as easily, so I still don't see the distinction, or why the financing arrangement is in question? Bob, can you help me out? What am I missing?

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud and scams can be found at 

The Museum of Broadcast Communications --- http://www.Museum.TV/index.shtml 
(Includes the Radio Hall of Fame for us old timers)

The above site has free audio and video downloads.  I downloaded a free video of Steve Allen highlights..

Bob Jensen's threads on museums are at 

When They Were Young (Photography, History, Children, Cultures) --- 
(Some of the photographs are fantastic.)

Since the birth of photography in 1839, the camera has been used to capture the human experience. For many photographers, childhood, so short-lived in terms of time but lasting in impact and memory, has been an inspiring subject. Preserving fleeting moments of youth on a glass plate or negative film allows them to be remembered and reconsidered. The pictures in this exhibition recall the spirit, vulnerability, playfulness, unpredictability, restlessness, and dignity of children throughout generations and in diverse parts of the world. From the tarnished silver surfaces of early nineteenth-century daguerreotypes, youngsters emerge like miniature adults, straining to remain motionless while their likenesses are preserved. A Civil War era carte de visite glorifies a small boy's role in that very adult conflict. At the turn of the twentieth century, studio portraits of Native American children romanticize a culture in danger of extinction, and in the early to middle decades of the 1900s, prints of children laboring in fields and factories proclaim the unjust burdens inflicted on innocent youth.

These pictures, selected from among thousands of images in the Prints and Photographs Collections of the Library of Congress, capture the experience of childhood as it is connected across time, different cultures, and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Whether encumbered by poverty or born into privilege, boys and girls look unflinchingly at the lens and toward the future. Their honest gazes reveal who these children are and how they view themselves and their world—with implications of the vast roads that lie ahead.

Animated Atlas (History Timeline, American History, and links to historical maps) --- 
(Includes a free ten minute movie on The Growth of a Nation)

Yin Yu Tang: A Qing Dynasty Chinese Merchant's Home --- 

This is a marvelous site from the standpoint of the animations, photography, history, architecture, culture, and art.  
Click on the starting link to "Explore the House." 

December 18, 2002 reply from 

Thanks Bob,

I was aware of the site but had not taken the time to view it. What a great resource! The Chinese name of the house means “Hall of Surplus Shelter,” but the word “shelter” (literally “shade”) has fengshui implications. It can mean the “blessings” conferred on descendents by the ancestors. Clearly, the original Merchant Huang was well-tutored in the arts of fengshui.

Merry Christmas to you and Erika!

Stephen Field
Professor of Chinese
Trinity University

New Online Services for Texans --- 
My secretary, Debbie Bowling, renewed her driver license online.  She did not need an eye test for this renewal.

Driver License and ID Card Renewals Online --- 

Vehicle Registration Online --- 

Pay Taxes Online --- 

Occupational and Professional Licenses Online --- 

More Online Services for Texans --- 

Bob Jensen's helpers for San Antonio visitors and residents are at 

Unhappy Reports forwarded by The Happy Lady  

National Pollen Reports --- 
In San Antonio, there's always some type of pollen in the air.  We are now entering the dreaded Cedar season.

Where did Canada get it right?
John's Switch to Canada --- 
(Of course one reason was for John to erase his credit history.)  
His Top 10 reasons (aside from his Canadian girlfriend) are at 
There's a lot of Michael Moore in John Bender.  For some Michael Moore stuff go to 

Where did Canada get it wrong?
John does not mention the dark side of Canadian politics and economics. 
Economics 304, Canadian Economic Problems from Robin Neill, PhD --- 
State of the Canadian Economy --- 

In any case, we love our Canadian neighbors and their clean, beautiful, and very friendly nation of hope and refuge.

Now that I'm moving into deep snow mountains, I guess I'll have to trade my 1980 Ford Stationwagon in for a 4X4 --- 

Photographs of Record Covers --- 

What is the biggest waste of money on your book shelves?

Probably the books on how to do things such as make repairs, find credit reports, find a good diet, raise your kids, etc.  The books are hard to find in the jumble of all your books.  The topics are hard to find within a given book.  The books are out of date.  The books cost you a fortune.

A better solution is to electronically search the free Wow Site of the Week.  It is probably better to give a friend this link for Christmas than to buy some expensive “how to books.”

Wow Site of the Week --- How Stuff Works! --- 
What is really neat is that the search engine works very, very well!

I've known about this site for years, but I generally forget to use it.  While grading term projects this semester, I was amazed how often my students cited it when answering technical questions about computer and information systems.  It is a great site for kids, adults, novices, and experts.

Explanations range from trivia to complex engineering questions.  A few examples are shown below:

How does Christmas work around the world? 

When, how, and where did kissing under mistletoe begin? 

How does the U.S. Social Security System work? 

What and how do diseases affect your body? 

How does AIDS work? 

What is a nervous breakdown? 

How does diabetes work? 

How do your eyes work? 

How does brain death work? 

What can you learn about good and bad nutrition? 

When, how, and where did tipping begin? 

How can you pick a lock? 

How do mortgages work? 

How do credit reports work? 

How do banks work? 

How do DVD players work? 

How does symmetric-key encryption work? 

What are the most popular topics and answers?

What a great site --- 

December 16, 2002 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, while I disagree with your premises in the first paragraph under “Answer”, I cannot in any way dispute that the “howstuffworks” site is positively absolutely great and worth having at the top of your bookmark file. I use it extensively, and point it out to all my students the very first week of class in my technology courses.

One “book” that I’ve also found to be very much worth the asking price is the “Computer Desktop Encyclopedia” by Alan Freedman. I got hold of this back when it was a hardcopy paper publication (the Computer Glossary), back in the 1980’s. It is now on CD, and is just what the title says: an encyclopedia of computer and technology terms, including major telecomm and networking terms. I require it as a reference in my tech courses.

In fact, it is so useful, I put it in my startup file. I like having it minimized, so when I come across a new term or acronym having to do with technology (such as ABAP4, CKO, or EFF), I can type it in and read about it.

The two things I like so well about it are: (1) It has practically every acronym you can imagine, such as T3, PSTN, SMA, or even FUBAR. (!) and (2) it is up-to-date, thanks to the quarterly updates: if you buy the CDE, you get a new CD every three months for a year! The website is:  and they have a telephone number to call to order. I’m not affiliated with them at all, but it would be nice if you tell “Irma” that David Fordham at JMU sent you! My students report that she is giving them a discount on shipping for mentioning my name! Again, I put my hand on the Bible and say that I’m not affiliated with them at all! I get no commission or anything. I just think this CD is one of the greatest inventions since the Bob Jensen Bookmark page! Certainly more useful than the books which I have on my shelf, even though I find them quite useful and worth the money, too! (Bob, I shop at the Green Valley Book Fair … I hardly ever pay more than a couple of dollars for a book! Which says a lot about the CDE, since it is more than a couple of dollars but still well worth the price!

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

Where did these crooks go to college?

In the latest iteration of the Nigerian e-mail swindle, scammers pose as buyers interested in big-ticket items for sale on the Net. Thanks to a little-known U.S. banking loophole, they're bilking Americans out of thousands ---,1284,56829,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are at 

Frequent Flier Nostalgia
Stewardess Uniforms --- 

Cable executives smack their lips over the potential of video on demand: It includes the chance to take back market share from satellite television services and eat into video rental stores' business ---,1412,56729,00.html 

December 10, 2002 message from Mbemap, Mamouda [

Dear Professor Bob Jensen,

I am writing to inform you that a Journal which will be published quarterly in London by Routledge Taylor and Francis and specifically dedicated to derivatives accounting and disclosures issues is is currently in preparation. It will address a wide audience ranging from Academics, standard setters and financial market professionals and will have an international reach.

The Journal of Derivatives Accounting --- 

[A portion of this message is not reproduced here.]

I thank you very much for your time and attention and I hope to hear from you soon about being on the Editorial Board.

Mamouda Mbemap

Frankfurt, Germany

Bob Jensen's tutorials on accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedging activities are at

From The Risk Waters Group on December 6, 2002

JP Morgan Chase is preparing to launch what will become the largest synthetic collateralised debt obligation (CDO) managed by an Asian fund manager. Singapore's UOB Asset Management will manage the $1.7 billion deal, which will be the third synthetic CDO to be managed by an Asian fund manager and the second to be managed by UOB following its $1.33 billion deal arranged by Deutsche Bank in September. Lehman Brothers launched a $500 million synthetic CDO managed by Hong Kong-based PCI Investment Management in November. Officials at JP Morgan Chase declined to comment on the matter, but an investor said the transaction is likely to close next week.

The Institute for Management Accountants is celebrating a milestone of sorts this month - the thirtieth anniversary of the first testing to award the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. 

The ICMA Board of Regents announced a change in the educational requirement for certification as a CMA and/or CFM. The ICMA will maintain its bachelor degree requirement for certification as a CMA or CFM, but non-U.S. bachelor's degrees will now also be accepted. The bachelor's degree would not need to be equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor's degree. Whatever the candidate's country of origin defines as a bachelor's degree would be acceptable (e.g., Indian BCom). In acknowledgment of the different cultural and educational systems in foreign countries, the regents decided to adopt this policy change effective immediately --- 

The Finnish giant is hanging next year's fortunes on a big product launch. But gaining market share in a crowded field won't be easy 

Will Microsoft Develop For Linux? 
It's the time of the year when psychics make apocalyptic and outlandish predictions. Analyst firm Meta Group has an eyebrow-raiser of its own: Microsoft will debut Linux apps in '04. 

AccountingWeb Book Recommendation on December 12, 2002

Follow the expert advice in this book--the fourth in The Ultimate Consultant Series--and you won't fall victim to the success plateau that undermines many consultants. If you feel that your work has become easier, it may be that you're not climbing "up" but rather moving laterally. And, sooner or later, your plateau will begin to erode and you'll find yourself on a decline. In How to Acquire Clients, Alan Weiss, internationally recognized consultant and author of the best- selling Million Dollar Consulting, shows you how to continue to move "up the mountain." 

Bob Jensen's related threads on this issue are at 

Personally, I never cared for these soup strainers.  But Hercule Perot prized his moustache.  (History, Photography)
The Handlebar Club --- 

Mergers and Acquisitions forwarded by Auntie Bev

1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush and W.R.Grace Co. will merge and become Hale,Mary,Fuller,Grace.

2. Polygram Records, Warner Bros. and Zesta Crackers join forces and become Polly,Warner Cracker.

3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and issue forth as MMMGood.

4. Zippo Mfg., Audi Motor Car,Dofasco and Dakota Mining will merge to become, of course, ZipAudiDoDa.

5. Federal Express is expected to join its major competitor, UPS, and consolidate as FedUP

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become Fairwell, Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become Poupon Pants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the Nat'l Org. of Women will become Knott NOW!

Super Granny:* Defender of Justice --- 

(True Story)

An elderly lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle.

She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at them at the top of her voice, "I have a gun and I know how to use it! Get out of the car you scumbags!"

The four men didn't wait for a second invitation but got out and ran like mad, whereupon the lady, somewhat shaken, proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and get into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition.

She tried and tried and then it dawned on her why. A few minutes later she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down.

She loaded her bags into her car and drove to the police station.* The sergeant to whom she told the story nearly tore himself in two with laughter and pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale white males were reporting a car jacking by a mad elderly woman described as white, less than 5' tall, glasses and curly white hair carrying a large handgun.

No charges were filed.

True Doctor Stories

A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!"  I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs, and I was in the wrong one. 
Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Antonio, TX
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall.  "Big breaths," I instructed. "Yes, they used to be," remorsefully replied the patient.
Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle, WA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart."
Dr. Susan Steinberg, Manitoba, Canada
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I was performing a complete physical, including the visual acuity test. I placed the patient twenty feet from the chart and began, "Cover your right eye with your hand."  He read the 20/20 line perfectly. "Now your left." Again, a flawless read. "Now both," I requested.  There was silence. He couldn't even read the large E on the top line. I turned and discovered that he had done exactly what I had asked; he was standing there with both his eyes covered. I was laughing too hard to finish the exam.
Dr. Matthew Theodropolous, Worcester, MA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. "Which one?"  I asked. "The patch.  The nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it!" I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk, VA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, "How long have you been bedridden?"  After a look of complete confusion she answered . "Why, not for about twenty years -- when my husband was alive."
Dr. Steven Swanson, Corvallis, OR
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I was caring for a woman from Kentucky and asked, "So, how's your breakfast this morning?"  "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can t seem to get used to the taste," the patient replied.  I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."
Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit, MI
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And Finally . . . . .
A new, young MD doing his residency in OB was quite embarrassed performing female pelvic exams. To cover his embarrassment he had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly.  The middle aged lady upon whom he was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassed him. He looked up from his work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were whistling was 'I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener'."

An Elderly Woman Gets a Wedding Proposal --- 

Will You Marry Me?

This is the story of two elderly people living in a Florida mobile home park. He was a widower and she a widow. They had known one another for a number of years.

Now, one evening there was a community supper in the big activity center. These two were at the same table, across from one another. As the meal went on, he made a few admiring glances at her and finally gathered up his courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"

After about six seconds of 'careful consideration,' she answered. "Yes, Yes, I will."

The meal ended and with a few more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places. Next morning, he was troubled. Did she say 'yes' or did she say 'no'? He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory.

With trepidation, he went to the telephone and called her. First, he explained to her that he didn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely evening past. As he gained a little more courage, he then inquired of her, "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say 'Yes' or did you say 'No'?"

He was delighted to hear her say, "Why, I said, 'Yes, yes I will' and I meant it with all my heart." Then she continued, "And I am so glad that you called, because I couldn't remember who had asked me."

Mothers Dictionary

AMNESIA: Condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to Make love again.

DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.

FAMILY PLANNING: The art of spacing your children the proper distance Apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.

FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when your baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.

FULL NAME: What you call your child when you're mad at him.

GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful even Though they're sure you're not raising them right.

HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.

IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.

INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything We say.

OW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings.

PUDDLE: a small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry Shoes into it.

SHOW OFF: a child who is more talented than yours.

STERILIZE: what you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it.

TOP BUNK: where you should never put a child wearing Superman pajamas.

TWO MINUTE WARNING: when the baby's face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.

VERBAL: able to whine in words

WHODUNIT: none of the kids that live in your house

Actual Excuses Written By Cool Parents --- 

~ Dear School: Please excuse John from being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33.

~ Please excuse Johnnie for being. It was his father's fault.

~ Chris will not be in school because he has an acre in his side.

~ John has been absent because he had two teeth taken off his face.

~ Excuse Gloria. She has been under the doctor.

~ Lillie was absent from school yesterday because she had a going over.

~ My son is under the doctor's care and should not take fizical ed. Please execute him.

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

~ Please excuse Joyce from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday she fell off a tree and misplaced her hip.

~ Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

~ Maryann was absent Dec. 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache, and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low-grade fever. There must be the flu going around, her father even got hot last night.

~ Please excuse Blanche from jim today. She is administrating.

~ George was absent yesterday because he had a stomach.

~ Ralph was absent yesterday because he had a sore trout.

~ Please excuse Lupe. She is having problems with her ovals.

~ Please excuse Sara for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Out of the Mouths of Young Children --- 

Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the boy aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked. "Sure," said the young boy confidently, "means carrying a child."

Her 7-year-old grandson surprised a grandmother one morning. He had made her coffee. She drank what was the worst cup of coffee in her life. When she got to the bottom, there was three of those little green army men in the cup. She said, "Honey, what are the army men doing in my coffee?" Her grandson said, "Grandma, it says on TV- "The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup."

Susie Sunshine asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Jimmy's picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent. "The Flight into Egypt," said Jimmy. "I see...and that must be Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus," Ms. Susie said, but who's the fourth person?" "Oh", said Jimmy, "that's Pontius-the-Pilot."

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting! into mischief finally asked him, "how do you expect to get into heaven?" The boy thought it over and said, "well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, "for heaven's sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out."

A Nursery School Teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one. youngster. "No," said another "he's just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close saying, "They use the dogs, "she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."

Little Johnny watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. "Why do you do that, Mommy?" he asked. "To make myself beautiful," said his mother who then began removing the cream with a tissue. "What's the matter?" asked little Johnny, "Giving up?"

Kids in Church

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.

"Mommy, look what I found," the boy called out.

"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's suit!"

Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."

"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."

One Sunday in a Midwest city a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"

And this particular four-year-old prayed: "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

During the minister's prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from one of the back pews. Gary's mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence, and after church, asked: "Gary, whatever made you do such a thing?"
Gary answered soberly: "I asked God to teach me to whistle...And He just then did!"

One night Mike's parents overheard this prayer. "Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow's test, if I should die before I wake, that's one less test I have to take."

A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if You can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am!"

Forwarded by Barbara

Subject: Church Gossip

Sarah, the church gossip and self-appointed supervisor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several residents were unappreciative of her activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence. She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his pickup truck parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon. She commented to George and others that everyone seeing it there would know that he was an alcoholic. George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just walked away. He said nothing. Later that evening, George, quietly parked his pickup in front of Sarah's house............... and he left it there all night.

Some great things about getting older

  • Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

  • Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

  • If you've never smoked, you can start now and it won't have time to hurt you.

  • Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

  • Your eyes won't get much worse.

  • Things you buy now won't wear out.

  • No one expects you to run into a burning building.

  • There's nothing left to learn the hard way.

  • Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

  • In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

Forwarded by George Lan

 Why God Never Received Tenure at any University 

01. He had only one major publication. 
02. It was in Hebrew. 
03. It had no references. 
04. It wasn't published in a refereed journal. 
05. Some even doubt he wrote it himself. 
06. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since  then? 
07. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited. 
08. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results. 
09. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human  subjects. 
10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it up by  drowning the subjects. 
11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from  the sample . 
12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the Book. 
13. Some say he had his son teach the class. 
14. He expelled his first two students for learning. 
15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed  his tests.  16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a  mountaintop.


Do You Hear What I Hear?

We Three Kings Disoriented Are

I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

Hark the Herald Angles Sing About Me

Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Busses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and......

Santa Claus is Coming to Get me

Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll tell You Why

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

Memo forwarded by the Happy Lady

To: All Concerned
From : Santa Clause
December 24, 2002

I regret to inform you that, effective immediately I will no longer serve the States of Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, and Arkansas on Christmas Eve. Due to the overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. As part of the new and better contract I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies so keep that in mind. However, I'm certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement, who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus. His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us.

Differences such as:

There is no danger of the Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads:"These toys insured by Smith and Wesson."

Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave an RC cola and pork rinds [or a moon pie] on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spit can handy.

Bubba Claus' sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flyin' coon dogs instead of reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time, and Blitzen's head now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.

You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen.," when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead, you'll hear, "On Earnhardt, on Andretti, on Elliott and Petty."

"Ho, Ho, Ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!" And you also are likely to hear Bubba's elves respond, "I her'd dat!"

As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words "Back Off."

The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your negotiated viewing area. Instead, you'll see "Boss Hogg Saves Christmas". And Finally,

Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.

Sincerely Yours, 
Santa Claus
Member of North American Fairies and Elves, Union 1225

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

New Rules for the Holidays!

I hate this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism and forced frivolity, but because it's the season when the food police come out with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to get through the holidays without gaining 10 pounds. You can't pick up a magazine without finding a list of holiday eating do's and don'ts. Eliminate second helpings, high-calorie sauces and cookies made with butter, they say. Fill up on vegetable sticks, they say. Good grief. Is your favorite childhood memory of Christmas a carrot stick? I didn't think so. Isn't mine, either. A carrot was something you left for Rudolph. I have my own list of tips for holiday eating. I assure you, if you follow them, you'll be fat and happy....

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnogaholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. And one final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips. Start over.

But hurry! Cookieless January is just around the corner. May your holidays be filled with goodness and cheer!!

Forwarded by Barbara

Speed Trap A state trooper spied a car puttering along at 22 MPH. So he turned on his lights and pulled the driver over. Approaching the car, he noticed that five old guys were inside, and they looked wide-eyed and terribly pale. The driver pleaded with him, "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"

"Sir," the officer replies, "You weren't speeding, but driving slower than the speed limit can also be dangerous."

"I beg to differ, Officer, I was doing the speed limit exactly: twenty-two miles an hour!" the old man said.

The trooper, chuckling, explained to him that "22" was the route number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the man grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out his error.

"But before I let you go, Sir, I have to ask... Is everyone in this car ok? These guys seem awfully shaken."

"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute," the old man said. "We just got off Route 119."

Christmas has been cancelled and it is all your fault because you told Santa you had been good this year.

He died laughing!

Rudolf does this if you give an honest answer --- 

This is me in retirement when I shift to writing novels. --- 

Happy New Year!

Animated Holiday Card --- 

Musical Holiday Card (Click on each deer) ---,,4845,00.swf 

Holiday Greetings from Bob & Erika ---


And that's the way it was on December 31, 2002 with a little help from my friends.


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at


How stuff works --- 


Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at 
Accompanying documentation can be found at and 


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

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December 10, 2002

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on December 10, 2002
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Holiday Greetings from Bob & Erika ---
Anyone interested in buying our nice San Antonio home my read about the details at

Quotes of the Week

After 10 years of sustained economic growth, a 4-year bubble where salaries, expectations, and retirement dreams increased dramatically, and a number of decades of relative 'safety', a number of Americans are trying to find the meaning of life.
Mitchell Levy, Author, E-Volve-or- --- 

Employees will become increasingly disgruntled because the sluggish economy reduces their employment options. Managers will have more power and will become more overtly evil.
Scott Adams, Dilbert Cartoonist --- 

The recent events, unfortunate as they are, clearly demonstrate the value of straight-arrow accounting and highly skeptical auditing. Leaders are now talking about the "value" of an audit for the first time in years, rather than implying that an audit is a necessary compliance-oriented evil, and other services are the "value added services." Many leaders seem to understand the need to rebuild confidence and trust in the profession through high quality work; that rhetoric won't do it.
David Pearnson, Case Western Reserve University --- 

The preface is the most important part of a book. Even the critics read it.
Guedalla Philip

Opulence is the ruin of the rich and augments the misery of the poor.
Diderot Denis

Highlighting Texas' $800 billion economy, a print ad declares "Texas is between Italy and Canada. (Thanks in part to CPAs.)"  
Part of an advertising campaign in Texas to restore faith in CPAs ---  

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.
Winston Churchill

What is past is prologue.
William Shakespeare

You will have plenty of time if you don't waste it.
Bernard de Fontenelle

Yale Law School Professor Proposes Reform, Repeal of Income Tax
  (Forwarded by Scott Bonacker)

Bob Jensen's December 15, 2002 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at

It is important to encourage whistle blowing.
The AccountingWeb now provides a free report that can help with your training process by providing you with crucial legal information and perspectives on whistleblowing and how it can be both a godsend and a curse to your business. 

Petition for a Change of Leadership in the AICPA ---

The FASB issued Interpretation No. 45 to improve disclosure requirements for guarantees. This interpretation may help investors avoid surprises like the sudden revelations of executive loans at Adelphia. 

Check out the top ten trends for 2003 with quotes from luminaries such as the creator of Dilbert, the CTO of GM, authors of top business books and executives from companies such as: HP, Cable & Wireless, CSC, Salesforce, Nielsen/Netratings, Bowstreet, Zapthink and Infravio:

Top ten trends for 2003 ---

Top level news stories via the lenses of the Value Framework(tm) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic business are at 

"Now Here This:  Wall Street's Research Stinks.  Here's How to Fix It.," by Bill Alpert, Barron's, December 2, 2002, pp. 23-26

. . . Wall Street, and the institutions that issue its analysts their MBAs and CFAs, have trained stock analysts to discount future earnings four different ways.  But they have failed to teach them skills like how to design financial models that can be proved or disproved with real-world research.  Analysts make detailed forecasts for a company's products, for example, in the mistaken belief they're supplying the reasons for their stock-price target.  But given their paltry real-world data on those products, analysts can't possible show why their forecast is more reasonable than any number of contradictory forecasts.  The phony precision in most 2010 sales estimates, for example, betrays how few analysts understand what inferences their data will bear.

.We suggest improvements in research methods that would be clearly visible in an investment report.  That way, investors need not rely on the assurances of Wall Street--and its regulators--that analysts have gone straight; investors will be able to look directly at the report for evidence of good work.

. . . 

The Morgan Stanley analysts wouldn't talk to us, so they did not explain to us how they--or anybody--could make so many simultaneous estimates.  Using algebra or astrology, it is simply impossible to pin down so many answers with so little input.  "People who try to predict so many variables fall into a trap," says Wharton finance professor Simon Benninga.  "They think that more detail is actually going to clarify the picture, when sometimes the best picture is a very sketchy picture."  Benninga didn't review the Morgan Stanley report, but he counsels his students to keep their models simple enough, so as not to miss the forest for the trees.

. . . 

Instead of overloading spreadsheets with variables plucked from the air, stock analysts should spend some time collecting original data on the few things that matter.  Brokerage firms leave their analysts little time to go out in the field.  The analysts are too busy marketing stocks and publishing research tomes.

 The above quotations are only excerpts from the article.

"Accountancy Firms Face Grim 2003:  KPMG Warns That Growth Will Suffer in Wake of Financial Scandals," Financial Times, December 3, 2002, Page 1 --- 

Accountancy firms are facing a grim 2003 as the auditing profession struggles to maintain growth following the wave of financial scandals in the US, KPMG warned yesterday.

Mike Rake, KPMG chairman, said the days of regular double-digit revenue increases were over for now.  The accountancy firm, one of the four biggest in the world, announced 3.9 percent revenue growth to $10.8bn, down from 9 percent last year.  "I would be overwhelmed with joy if we saw 5, 6 or 7 percent growth in this coming year," he said.

The figures come at the end of a turbulent year for the accounting profession, which has been fighting to restore its reputation.

Andersen collapsed after being found guilty of obstructing justice in the Enron scandal.  The US passed legislation to overhaul regulation and the integrity of audit work has come under scrutiny amid a record number of financial restatements.

The biggest firms, under client and regulator pressure to eliminate potential conflict of interests, have split off or are about to break out the bulk of consultancy operations--for years the fastest-growing and most lucrative parts of their business.

Mr. Rake said the lack of consultancy was making growth hard.  Uncertainty over a po    ssible war with Iraq and low customer confidence added to the gloom.

"Growth has been stymied by the separation of consultancy but I still see enormous opportunities in selling non-audit services to non-audit clients and in mid- and small-sized clients."

Mr. Rake also said there were high-growth regions, such as eastern Europe and China, that were promising.

But the environment had worsened in the past three months, he said, pointing out that KPMG's financial year to the end of September stood up well against competitors whose financial years ended earlier and whose figures had therefore not captured the latest slowdown.

PcW's revenues were up 1 percent to the end of June while Deloitte Touche Thomatsu posted the same growth to the end of May.  Ernst & Young was up 2.7 percent to the end of June.

Mr. Rake said KPMG was becoming more reform-minded.  "All accountancy firms should be very open and transparent.  They have to ensure consistency and quality across their global operations.  We need better independent oversight... and we can't let the relationship people override the technical people [on audit opinions]."

However, the drop in consulting revenue (due to new regulations and laws on auditor independence) is not as great as most people think.  There will still be heavy consulting revenue rolling in after the economy pulls out of the current slump.
"Even Without Consulting Arms, Accounting Firms Still Consult," by Cassell Bryan-Low, The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2002, PAGEC1 ---,,SB1032736856302232033.djm,00.html
You can see a summary (with a graph) of the above article by scrolling down deeply into 

Battelle: Technology Forecasts --- 

Accounting education research has never been a priority in curricula of accounting doctoral programs vis-à-vis the typical topics of capital markets, behavioral, and analytical research.

I am forwarding David's request to my good friends to see if something turns up. I am asking them to reply directly to David with a copy to me.

David's email address  
David Stout is a former Editor of Issues in Accounting Education

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: David E. Stout []  
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 3:40 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: Ph.D. seminar in accounting education research?

Hi Bob. 
Hope all is well. Are you aware of anyone who will be offering a doctoral seminar on accounting education research next semester (Spring 2003)? If so, please forward to me this information. If you are unaware of anyone doing this, can you post something on your website, asking anyone who fits this description to contact me? I would be most appreciative.

Best regards. ---------------- 
David E. Stout 
Villanova University
(610) 519-4048 (tel.) (610) 519-5204 (fax)


Are accounting researchers really seeking truth?

Richard Sensing wrote: 

>The trend toward more joint work has several possible explanations.
>The most obvious one is technological. Electronic file transfer has
>made joint work with colleagues at different institutions much
>easier than before. Joint work also probably increases with
>experience, as one gets to know more potential co-authors over
>time. Is the average research faculty member more or less
>experienced than the average research faculty member 30 years

Richard C. Sansing

Reply from Bob Jensen

I agree with everything Richard said about co-authoring trends in this age of networking.

However, when I did two (co-authored) studies about accounting research publication trends, it seemed that the co-authorship trend was virtually zero before 1950 and then rose steadily to where it became over 50% by the late 1980s. I suspect it is much higher in this decade, but I’ve not studied authorship in this decade.

Figure 1 on Page 212 of the Part 1 paper is shown below:

Source: "An Analysis of the Contributors to Accounting Journals, Part I: The Aggregate Performances," by Jean Louis Heck, Robert E. Jensen, and Philip L. Cooley, International Journal of Accounting (University of Illinois), 1990, pp. 202-217.

Part 2 is entitled "An Analysis of the Contributors to Accounting Journals, Part II: The Individual Academic Accounting Journals, 1991, pp. 1-17.

Note that in the above graph, computer networking did not exist (e.g., the World Wide Web did not commence until 1990) for most of the growth years of co-authorship. I think the real explanation for the explosion of co-authorship was that criteria for tenure and promotion changed dramatically after the Ford Foundation’s Gordon and Howell Report (Columbia University Press, 1959) significantly raised expectations that business schools have higher concentrations of researchers with doctoral degrees. To be respectable within the total university culture, business schools in the 1960s and especially in the 1970s then forced doctoral faculty to be more prolific in publishing in research journals. Pressures mounted every year thereafter.

More importantly, faculty were held accountable for research performance each year! Thus began the trend for getting more research publication “hits” each and every year. Co-authorship made it possible to get credit for more papers and more frequent papers. Having more submissions increased the odds of journal acceptance. For example, rather than have a 10% chance for publishing a solo paper, the odds increased when three authors submitted three joint papers where each paper had a 10% probability of acceptance.

That was game we played in the Gordon and Howell Report aftermath, a game in which the number of publications counted more than the quality of publications in performance evaluations. Although this was not necessarily the case when building an academic reputation (i.e., quality counts among your all-knowing peers), article counting was the case among administrators allocating the small bundles of faculty raises each year. The game was to get a paper published in a top journal no matter how many authors were on the paper and no matter what the real contribution was in all honesty.

For example, in the 1970s, operations research papers were sometimes printed in accounting journals even when the contributions were entirely esoteric and/or technical rather than substantive for accountancy. For example, some papers on finer points of mathematical optimization appearing in accounting journals had no business being in accounting journals.

The other game was to get a top accounting journal to publish an economics/behavioral paper that top economics/psychology journals would not accept. In my personal opinion, this game is much harder to play these days where editors prefer more direct linkage to accountancy (but not necessarily practice).

The sad part in all of this is there will never be another Carl Devine in the 21st Century. Carl Devine was a professor who spent most of his life writing accounting essays without being pressured annually for “hits” in journals. He could spend years on an essay and not be pressured by annual “countings” of the number of hits. He could focus on quality of deep scholarship over his lifetime rather than the annual average number of journal hits.

That leads me to my main criticism of the “hits” that we read in accounting journals and to editorial policy. Two weeks ago I conducted a workshop on accounting for electronic commerce at the annual Asian-Pacific Accounting Conference (which was in California this year).


I was responsible for an afternoon workshop and enjoyed the privilege to sit in on the tail end of the morning workshop on journal editing conducted by Linda and Mike Bamber. (Linda is the current Editor of The Accounting Review).

I have great respect for both Linda and Mike, and my criticism here applies to the editorial policies of the American Accounting Association and other publishers of top accounting research journals. In no way am I criticizing Linda and Mike for the huge volunteer effort that both of them are giving to The Accounting Review (TAR).

Mike’s presentation focused upon a recent publication in TAR based upon a behavioral survey of 25 auditors. Mike greatly praised the research and the article’s write up. My question afterwards was whether TAR would accept an identical replication study that confirmed the outcomes published original TAR publication. The answer was absolutely NO! Accounting research journals do not publish replications unless they have contradictory outcomes or approach the problem with more interesting methodologies.

Now think of the absurdity of the above policy on publishing replications. Scientists would shake their heads and snicker at accounting research. No scientific experiment is considered worthy until it has been independently replicated multiple times. Science professors thus have an advantage over accounting professors in playing the “journal hits” game for promotion and tenure, because their top journals will publish replications. Scientists are constantly seeking truth and challenging whether it’s really the truth.

Thus I come to my main point that is far beyond the co-authorship issue that stimulated this message. My main point is that in academic accounting research publishing, we are more concerned with the cleverness of the research than in the “truth” of the findings themselves.

Have I become too much of a cynic in my old age? Except in a limited number of capital markets events studies, have accounting researchers published replications due to genuine interest by the public in whether the earlier findings hold true? Or do we hold the findings as self-evident on the basis of one published study with as few as 25 test subjects? Or is there any interest in the findings themselves to the general public apart from interest in the methods and techniques of interest to researchers themselves?

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Richard C. Sansing [mailto:Richard.C.Sansing@DARTMOUTH.EDU]  
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 9:29 AM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Re: Hours students spend studying

--- Bob Jensen wrote:

>What was interesting is that their performance reports claimed that 50%
>of their time was spent on research when in reality the study concluded 
>that less than 10% of their time was spent on research.
>I mention this because my gut feel is that this is also the case today,
>especially in this era of joint projects and co-authorship. I know I
>save a considerable amount of time by pawning off work on research
>partners relative to my early years in academe in an era when solo
>efforts were much more the norm than in research since the 1980s.


An interesting issue. One question is what you do with the time you save due to co-authorship. I think I spend about the same time on research now that I did ten years ago, but I have a lot more papers in the pipeline due to "pawning off work on research partners" as you put it.

The trend toward more joint work has several possible explanations. The most obvious one is technological. Electronic file transfer has made joint work with colleagues at different institutions much easier than before. Joint work also probably increases with experience, as one gets to know more potential co-authors over time. Is the average research faculty member more or less experienced than the average research faculty member 30 years ago?

Richard C. Sansing
Associate Professor of Business Administration
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

A December 5, 2002 reply from David Stout about the replications thing --- an AAA journal editor’s inside perspective!  

Note that I think that a big policy weakness is that the policy of accounting research journals to not publish confirming replications (even in abstracted form) is that this policy discourages efforts to perform confirming replications.    

But the most serious problem is that the findings themselves may not be interesting enough for researchers to perform replications whether or not those replications will be published. Are the findings so uninteresting that researchers aren’t really interested in seeking truth?

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message-----
From: David E. Stout []
Thursday, December 05, 2002
To: Jensen, Robert
Subject: Re: Are we really interested in truth?

I read through the material you sent (below)--one thing caught my eye: the issue of REPLICATIONS. This is a subject about which I am passionate. When I assumed the editorship of Issues, I had to appear before the AAA Publications Committee to present/defend a plan for the journal during my (then) forthcoming tenure. One of my plans was to institute a "Replications Section" in the journal. (The sad reality, beyond the excellent points you make, is that the lack of replications has a limiting effect on our ability to establish a knowledge base. In short, there are not many things where, on the basis of empirical research, we can draw firm conclusions.) After listening to my presentation, the chair of the Publications Committee posed the following question: "Why would we want to devote precious journal space to that which we already know?" To say the least, I was shocked--a rather stark reality check you might say. The lack of replications precludes us, in a very real sense, from "knowing." 

I applaud your frank comments regarding the whole issue of replications, and their (proper) place within the conduct of "scientific" investigations. You made my day!

David E. Stout
Villanova University

Making a Profit from Unrealistic Consumers In agreeing to things like a cell phone contract or an introductory credit card interest rate, most consumers overestimate how much self control and common sense they have. The result, say Ulrike Malmendier (GSB) and Stefano Della Vigna (Haas), is that they may make some questionable economic decisions. November 2002 

U.S. productivity keeps growing -- right through the bust. So what's wrong with Europe? 


Important notice for accounting students:  
The CPA Examination now tests current FASB, AICPA, IRS, and SEC pronouncements within the six months of issuance of the pronouncements.  Are your instructors making you access current pronouncements electronically via such services as FARS from the AICPA or Comperio from PwC?  Are they making you track current summaries in the Journal of Accountancy (which is free online at )?

I think that accounting instructors sometimes focus too much on textbooks that can be years out of date even for current editions because of delays in the publication and revision process.  Your instructors should be assigning monthly readings from latest pronouncement summaries in the Journal of Accountancy.  Also they should be recommending that students frequently access their textbook's supplemental online service provided by the publisher.  

This advice may sound obvious, but I think that instructors sometimes need reminders to build the free Journal of Accountancy and textbook publisher Websites into their syllabi.  This is becoming more evident to me while I scan online syllabi that often only assign chapters from a textbook.  Remember that it only takes six months for the latest pronouncements to commence appearing on the CPA examination.  The latest pronouncements are not likely to be covered in published textbooks.

Trinity University students can request free access to Comperio by sending me an email at 

A monster that lurks behind funny accounting, ready to pounce on unsuspecting investors!

Where is the next black hole sucking up corporate profits?  (I apologize for mixing my metaphors.)

"Beware of the Pension Monster," by Janice Revell, Fortune, December 9, 2002. pp. 99-106 ---,15114,395147,00.html

Like the unseen menace that stalked Elm Street, the pension monster has been hidden in the shadows. Now it's stepping out into the light. And is it ever one mammoth ugly creature: Big corporate pension plans in America owe some $1.2 trillion to their current and future retirees, and for the first time in years companies don't have enough money stashed away to pay for those benefits. The size of the current shortfall? $240 billion. To put that in perspective, that's more than half of what they're expected to earn this year.

It's the day of reckoning in corporate America. You've probably read that companies are restating their pension assumptions and will take a hit to earnings as a result. You've no doubt seen how the stocks of some huge, widely held companies like General Motors, Ford, and American Airlines' parent, AMR, have been pummeled, in no small part because of concerns about their underfunded pension plans. But what you may not realize is the extent of the havoc this monster can wreak. The debit is not just an accounting mirage; companies will have to start pumping cash--some $29 billion next year alone--into pension funds. That's real money. Money that won't be going to dividends or research or new plants. In other words, the monster is going to suck the blood out of those corporations.

That loss of blood could be enough to push ailing companies over the edge into bankruptcy. Exhibits A and B: Bethlehem Steel and TWA. It's quite possible that more companies will follow. Even the most optimistic scenario assumes dozens will be forced to redirect billions in cash from shareholders to retirees. And as in any edge-of-the-seat horror flick, you can expect more hair-raising scenes before the final credits.

How did we get to this point? At the root of today's problem was a historic advance for American workers: the widespread adoption of so-called defined-benefit pension plans. First flourishing in the industrial boom of the 1950s, when corporations were flush with cash but short on workers, defined-benefit plans give employees a guaranteed annual payment upon retirement--$2,000 a month, say, for an employee with 25 years of service. The company put up all the money, and workers gained real retirement security.

Today, with many companies opting for much cheaper pension alternatives, such as 401(k) plans, in which employees themselves put up cash, many people think of defined-benefit plans as a quaint relic of a more paternalistic era. But in fact the plans are still a huge presence in publicly traded companies. According to a recent study conducted by Credit Suisse First Boston, 360 of the companies that make up the S&P 500--more than 70%--offer defined-benefit pension plans or are obligated to pay retirees the proceeds of legacy plans. While that's great for employees, it's becoming an increasingly risky financial proposition for corporations.

Here's why: Companies are required by law to set aside money for pensioners. If a pension plan's assets don't generate enough income on an annual basis to pay for those retirement benefits, the company must make up the shortfall. Thanks to the double whammy brought about by the unrelenting bear market and falling interest rates, much of corporate America is now faced with the prospect of doing just that--in a big way. An estimated 90% of those pension-paying corporations in the CSFB study now have underfunded plans (that is, the value of the assets has sunk below the estimated cost of the pension obligations). That's 325 big American companies, four times the number in 1999.

Why are the funds in such distress? The same reason, no doubt, that your own 401(k) is: the punishing stock market. Most plans hold about two-thirds of their assets in stocks, and they have been no more successful than individual investors in avoiding the carnage of the past three years. Even factoring in the plans' bond holdings, most analysts estimate that pension-plan assets have lost, on average, about 10% of their value in 2002 alone. In total, some $300 billion of pension assets have been wiped away since the bull market ended in 2000, according to David Zion, a research analyst who co-wrote the CSFB report. Those companies with the largest plans, including GM, IBM, and Verizon, have been hit the hardest--each has lost an estimated $15 billion or more since the end of 2000.

As if the hit to assets weren't bad enough, falling interest rates have also hammered companies on the liability side of the pension equation--that is, the money they owe to current and future retirees. To figure out how much money needs to be in the pension plan, a company's financial officers must calculate the present value of its obligations, or what it would cost in today's dollars to make good on its promises to workers when they retire. To determine this minimum funding level, companies factor backward using a so-called discount rate. In other words, if you know you'll owe $1,000 in 20 years and you assume you'll get interest of x% on the money you salt away each year, x is the discount rate. For pensions, companies generally use a rate that tracks the yield on high-quality corporate bonds.

Simply put, the lower the discount rate, the more a company must set aside today. Trouble is, as interest rates have plunged, so too has the discount rate. The current yield on investment-grade corporate bonds, for example, has dropped to 6.5%, down roughly half a percentage point since the end of 2001. If you're drifting off right about now, lulled to sleep by all the math, this number may wake you up: $80 billion. That's the extra "balance due" that S&P 500 companies inherited merely from that half-point decline in the discount rate, says Ron Ryan, president of New York-based asset management firm Ryan Labs.

The article below runs counter to the argument that we are stressing out students with work outside the classroom.

"Homework? What Homework? Students seem to be spending less time studying than they used to," by Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 6, 2002 --- 

The tip given most consistently by professors and college officials is that students should simply do their homework. The most commonly prescribed amount is at least two hours of class preparation for every hour spent in the classroom -- meaning 25 to 30 hours a week for a typical full-time student. The idea is that students should consider college their full-time job, and that class time and preparation should take about 40 hours each week. That's long been the conventional wisdom.

But many students across the country say they don't come close to following that study regimen. Results from the latest National Survey of Student Engagement, released last month, found that only 12 percent of last year's freshmen at four-year residential colleges reported spending 26 or more hours per week preparing for classes, while the majority, 63 percent, said they spend 15 or fewer hours on class preparation, which the survey defines as "studying, reading, writing, rehearsing, and other activities related to your academic program."

"Students are studying about one-third as much as faculty say they ought to, to do well," said George D. Kuh, director of the survey and a professor of higher education at Indiana University at Bloomington.

The most striking statistic: Nineteen percent of full-time freshmen say they spend only 1 to 5 hours per week preparing for classes. Many education experts say that is well below the minimum needed to succeed. And seniors who answered the same survey reported studying even less than freshmen, with 20 percent studying 1 to 5 hours per week.

Are students today studying less than those of past generations? It's difficult to say, in part because the student-engagement survey, the most comprehensive source of data on the topic, is only three years old.

Continued at  

Wow Technology of the Week --- I'll Take a New One if You Don't Mind

Face Transplants "Possible Within the Year" --- 

Identity Theft Made Easy

"Lax Security: ID Theft Made Easy," Wired News, December 2, 2002 ---,1848,56623,00.html

The people charged last week with stealing the identities of at least 30,000 Americans weren't criminal masterminds.

They simply took advantage of sloppy security practices that allowed them easy and unrestricted access to sensitive data.

Security experts worry that the slipshod safety measures haven't been corrected, and warn that unless companies get serious about security, identity thefts will continue to rise.

Investigators in Manhattan said they have identified about 12,000 additional people whose credit reports may have fallen into criminal hands during the almost three years that the New York-based identity fraud ring was active. The scam was first detected eight months ago.

But victims and potential victims wonder why it took authorities so long to nab the criminals, whom federal prosecutors described as "brazen" and "sloppy."

Consumers suggest the credit bureaus that failed to protect their personal data from the criminals are equally at fault.

"Credit report companies act like they own the data they collected about me and can use it however they want," said Nicholas Pastore, a New York graphic designer who was a victim of identity fraud two years ago.

"I've had a hellish time fixing their screwup, and have lost a job and been turned down by a landlord due to my wrecked credit," Pastore said. "Shouldn't the credit report companies have notified me before they released my data? Shouldn't they bear the cost of fixing the problems they caused?"

"Consumer privacy and corporate accountability are the major issues here," said Harvey Jacobs, a Washington, D.C., attorney. "The credit bureaus have to reevaluate how they release information, and they have to be held financially and legally accountable if the information is misused."

Some also see a conflict of interest in the fact that credit bureaus profit from consumers' security concerns. The three major credit-reporting bureaus each sell consumer services they promote as protection against identity fraud.

For $80 a year, Experian's Credit Manager, for example, scans a subscriber's credit report daily and sends alerts of "potential fraudulent items and other critical changes" in the report. Credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion offer similar services.

"It's kind of like an e-commerce site that stores my credit card number, and then offers me a fee-based service to protect that information," fumed Tina Bechon, a secretary in Illinois who was a victim of identity theft last year.

Bechon said she's spent about $1,000 "in registered mail, notary and phone fees," but her fraud-impaired credit report still haunts her.

"The first bit of advice you get is to put a fraud alert into your credit bureau records," Bechon said. "But once you do that, all your credit accounts are frozen for a few months, and it's insanely difficult to get new credit for a few years after."

Story continued at,1848,56623,00.html 

"Some Simple Solutions to Identity Theft  Credit agencies must be more vigilant. A first step: quickly and routinely alerting consumers that their credit histories have changed," by Alex Salkever, Business Week, November 27, 2002 --- 

So it has come to this. On Nov. 25, federal prosecutors charged three men with operating an identity-theft ring that had stolen credit reports of more than 30,000 people -- the largest case in history. The defendants include a computer help-desk employee at a Long Island software outfit who had access to sensitive passwords for banks and credit companies. The ring allegedly emptied bank accounts, took out loans with stolen identities, and ran up fraudulent charges on credit cards.

The most appalling part of the whole mess? Most of the damage could easily have been prevented if the credit agencies adopted the common-sense practice of directly notifying individuals whenever a change on his or her report occurs, and whenever a third party accesses their credit report. Yes, it might cost the credit agencies more in overhead. But credit agencies spread such costs around to customers, banks, car dealerships, and others that pay to access consumer credit ratings. How hard is that?

GLARING HOLES.  This criminal case has many security experts worried because it points up some glaring weaknesses in credit reporting. Your credit information -- in effect, your financial identity -- can easily be stolen by alert thieves with access to sensitive information. Yet, credit agencies don't share with individuals what's going on with their credit reports -- unless consumers ask. This anomaly will become a national economic issue as identity theft grows.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the solution is pretty simple. Tighten up internal handling of credit information, while making individual reports even more transparent to consumers -- in real time if possible, with password-protected access, just like banks and other financial institutions.

Truth is, identity theft remains more an offline problem. Someone steals your mail. A restaurant worker double-swipes your credit card. That's theft, pure and simple, and not the stuff of a national crisis. But when identity thieves get sophisticated and use the power of the digital revolution to leverage their operations, such fraud could become massive. Many financial institutions pull thousands of credit reports each day. And most of them have Web access to credit reports. So if a thief were able to score a password from a big bank, it would be fairly simple to write a computer program allowing someone to log in with the bank's ID and download thousands of these reports in a heartbeat.

INEXCUSABLE RESISTANCE.  Identity theft's direct cost is already considerable -- police estimated that the latest ring defrauded victims of at least $2.7 million, and investigators aren't done counting. Indirect costs could be even higher in lost productivity. If the problem isn't checked, many thousands of victims over the next decade will have to take on the equivalent of a second full-time job cleaning up their credit histories. This latest case had 30,000 victims -- that's the size of Cisco Systems' workforce.

Consumers can now pay between $70 and $80 a year to receive timely e-mail updates of any activity on their credit report. An important step toward fuller disclosure, yes, but more should be done. There are three main credit agencies today -- TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. As anyone trying to get a credit card these days can attest, credit approvals and denials are coming faster and faster thanks to high-speed data links.

A savvy thief could do a lot of damage by applying for a credit card or loan and using a report through, say, TransUnion, but not Equifax or Experian. Even if you're paying Equifax for the updates, you might not find out until it's too late. Yet, the three credit agencies have resisted creating a unified format to allow consumers to easily observe changes in any of the three profiles. If credit agencies won't act, then the federal government should step in and mandate changes.

Then, there's the issue of snail mail vs. e-mail for notifying consumers of suspicious activity involving their credit history. More than half the U.S. population now has an e-mail address, and such correspondence is free. The rest of the country could be contacted via regular mail -- an expensive process, but one that should be considered a cost of doing business.

On their Web sites, each of the three credit-reporting agencies should offer to send consumers an e-mail notification whenever their credit reports change. They could even charge a nominal fee for the service. The fees that Equifax and Experian now charge for timely updates are way too high. This shouldn't be a profit center. In the Digital Age, this should be a universally available service, just like a dial tone.

SECURING ACCESS.  As I have pointed out in past columns, American Express provides an ideal model. Whenever someone makes an account change, Amex sends a letter informing its customer of it. If the customer changes address, Amex sends a letter to both the old and the new addresses. That would tip off a customer to any untoward changes. Applied to e-mail, the same principle works beautifully. Yet credit agencies don't collect e-mail addresses. That, too, should change. All credit agencies would have to do is send out letters to consumers requesting their e-mail address. A consumer response would be voluntary.

None of this is to say the credit-reporting outfits aren't concerned. Equifax played a major role in helping to break up the Long Island identity-theft ring. After years of consumer complaints and government prodding, they're allowing individuals easier access to their credit histories than ever before. But the age of ubiquitous connectivity and high-speed information movement means high-speed identity crime will likely become more damaging. The best way to combat this scourge is by making access to credit histories tougher for thieves -- and easier for individuals. 

December 2, 2002 reply from Linda Kidwell [lak@NIAGARA.EDU

Having been a victim of small-scale identity theft myself, I always use the experience as a teaching tool in auditing. It points out the dangers of using social security for identification and the cost of poor internal controls for banks. If you like war stories, read on . . .

When I applied for a mortgage in 1996, I was told there was an $8,000 charged off account on my credit record. I did some detective work and figured out the story. While a faculty member at LSU-Shreveport in 1994, I went to LSU-Baton Rouge to visit the library. Seeing that we honored their faculty tags in Shreveport, I incorrectly assumed that Baton Rouge did the same. Of course I got a parking ticket, which I threw away in disgust. Because I had been a doctoral student, though, they had my license in their system and began sending bills to my old address. The problem? I didn't live there anymore, my forwarding order had expired some three years before, and worst, the billing contained my student i.d., which was my social security number.

At about the same time, Capital One (I still won't do business with them, and tell my students so) started sending credit card applications to that same address. Whoever lived there got both pieces of mail, put two and two together, and got a credit card in my name. She ran up several thousand dollars of debt and skipped out on the bill. I never heard of the account until I started applying for a mortgage here in New York.

So what were the internal control lapses at Capital One? First, they used severely outdated mailing lists, as I had not been living there for 3 years. Second, they obviously did not do a credit check on my social security number, as my name changed in 1991 and I had taken out a mortgage in Shreveport earlier that same year. This information was clearly stated on my credit report. Third, they made no effort to find me to collect the bill, since there were no records on my credit report that they had checked my report in the period following the fraudulent application. Fourth, after I had filed my affadavit disclaiming the debt and received a letter from Capital One absolving me (so I could get that mortgage here), they started trying to collect the debt from me. I received about five phone calls at work and at home from their collections department.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been, but as an accountant I was stunned by the compounding of fundamental failures of internal control at Capital One.

Of course now I staunchly refuse to give my social security number to anyone who does not have an absolute need to know, and I will not allow anyone to use it as the basis of an i.d. number for me.

And how about LSU? Did they get paid for the parking ticket? Once their bills found me in 1995, I wrote to dispute the bill three times and never heard back. I finally paid it to get a transcript! But I'm saving my snide letter to their development office until I know they've spent at least that much money trying to get some out of me. I save my alumna contributions for Smith College.

Whew! It always feels good to get that off my chest!

Linda Kidwell 
Niagara Unversity

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at 

December 3, 2002 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

I am constantly entertained by the whimsy exhibited by the designers of "internal controls" and "security measures" at major corporations.

Using "mother's maiden name" as a security measure is laughable. Give me an idea of what part of the country they are from, and give me ten minutes in a public library in that part of the country, and I can get you the maiden name of almost anyone you want. And for the last 10% of the population that I can't get from a public library, $5 at a state department of health will get it for me in less than 15 minutes. The time goes down if the individual in question (not his/her mother!) has an unusual last name. Foreign-born nationals might be a bit harder, however, but being near Washington DC, I still believe that within a day or two, I could get it if they have become U. S. Citizens in the last 50 years. If I had evil intent, I'd surely be willing to spend the 10 minutes or day or two it would take to abscond with someone's mother's maiden name.

Ditto with previous addresses. Most Americans are unaware of a reference book titled, "City Directory", which used to come out every year or two, for every single city in the country of any size. (Even Hagerstown Maryland!)

This series of directories started back before the turn of the century, and practically all public libraries have their old copies in their archives. The City Directory lists every house, by street and number, and gives the owner, renter, and current occupant, their occupation(s) and employer(s), children's names, and in many cases, lots of other information, too.

Most city directories are cross-indexed by name. I have used city directories in Savannah GA, Hagerstown MD, Statesboro GA, Atlanta, Greensboro NC, Spartanburg SC, and Jacksonville FL to ascertain a LOT of information about my ancestors. Baltimore Maryland even has their 1864 city directory on-line... I used it a few days ago to discover that my great-great grandfather was a "hatter" whose haberdashery was located at 329 Broadway in 1864. On the Internet! Take a look at:

By using city directories in sequence, you can discover the approximate dates (year) your relatives moved, married, divorced, had children, and died. With the approximate dates, you can then go to state offices and get copies of the certificates of birth, death, marriage, divorcement, and other stuff. You can find deeds, property transfers, liens, loans, judgments, and wills at the courthouses. You can look in newspapers for

announcements of births, marriages, movements, etc. Many old

newspapers' society columns even reported on vacations, trips to Europe, kids going to college (including which college and what major) and lots of other neat stuff.

(The public libraries keep microfilm copies of newspapers, in some cases, all the way back to the 1700s!)

As I've said before, so-called "Privacy advocates" in general, make me laugh (or scoff would be a better word) at their ignorance, not because I don't value privacy, but because the "information" they want to "keep secret" isn't secret at all. The analogy is that of "closing the barn door after the horse is gone." Depending on the city, lots of city directories are available right up to last year! You don't have to prove relations to get a copy of vital statistics certificates, either.

And calling from the home phone to ascertain identity is just as laughable. How many "tombstones" (or "pedestals") are there in your neighborhood? These are the little green boxes sticking up out of the ground containing telephone connections. Buy a $10 phone from radio shack, cut off the end of the modular cord, and put alligator clips on the red and green wires. Then, go to the tombstone nearest your "Target's" home, and under cover of darkness, use a screwdriver to get into the tombstone. If you are lucky, your target's phone wire pair will be identified. If not, it might take a couple of tries to find the right one. Clip your alligator clips onto the connection, and presto, you are "calling from the target's phone". (It helps if you drive a white minivan and dress in coveralls!) This is trespassing, and it is against the law. But it is almost as easy as running a red light, if you have criminal intent and blatantly disregard the laws, as do most individuals bent on stealing identity, stealing credit cards, and stealing other things!

I'm reporting this tongue-in-cheek. I don't actually do any trespassing, and I definitely do not suggest you try it. I merely want to make everyone aware of how easy it is for a rogue evil-doer to overcome the farcical "controls" which today's companies are passing off as "security measures".

Teaching our information security class is so rewarding because so many people take these "security measures" at face value and assume they are being protected when in fact, their environment is full of situations, like in the Snow White movie, where Dopey locks the vault and then hangs the key on a nail beside the door. Only by being aware of the ease with which an evil-doer can operate can we begin designing workable protections and controls.

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

The University of Wisconsin is the site of the first higher education program in "product management" --- 

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A December 1, 2002 message from one of my students on the topic of privacy on the Internet

I'm not sure if you've ever been to their site or not, but Double-Click is one of the companies that records the things people do and sites they visit. They claim that they don't actually record names or anything to allow them to identify you specifically. I think they use IP addresses. But on their website (  ) they give you the ability to "opt-out" and no longer have your activities monitored by Double-Click and it's partners. I stumbled upon this a few years back and just thought I'd share it. Hope you had a good holiday.


Bob Jensen's threads on network security are at 

December 5, 2002 message from Jianwei Wang 

Dear Prof. Robert E. Jensen :

Re: China Accounting, Finance, and Economic Research Databases and Customized Research Service

I am pleased to inform you a series of China-related accounting, finance (stock markets and banking), and economic databases for researchers have been developed by China Shenzhen GUOTAIAN Information Technology Co. (GTA), a specialized data supplier. GTA's databases are developed according to international standards with full consideration given to the peculiarities of the China environment.

In addition to developing and providing standardized products, GTA also offers a customized research service (CRS) for researchers around the world. Especially for PHD or Master student, we provide data and analysis according to your thesis's requirement with low costs in line with international standards. GTA provides all types of customized research data - from stock price data and the financial data of listed and non-listed firms to micro- and macro-economic data - according to specific requirements or needs. With high efficiency and very reasonable costs, GTA can become your RESEARCH ARM or ASSISTANT in China. Over 1100 professors, researchers, and Ph.D. students have been extensively used GTA's database and services. Quality and credibility are the most important commitment that we offer to all of our clients.

The example GTA standard databases include:

1. China Stock Market & Accounting Research (CSMAR) Trading databases

The CSMAR databases provide comprehensive trading and financial statement data of all listed companies in China since their IPOs (1990-2002), and rigorously follows international standards. All of the source data have been rigorously checked and validated to ensure accuracy. Real-time tracking and updating ensure the continuity and comprehensiveness of the databases. The CSMAR databases were developed in co-operation with the CAFR Center of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The CSMAR Trading Database is comparable to CSRP, and has the following special characteristics:

(a). It provides the rate of return for individual stocks, the market rate of return, and the comprehensive market rate of return.

(b). It provides detailed changes in share capital for individual stocks.

(c). It details the allocation of individual stocks after listing.

(d). The trading data have been adjusted for the effects on share prices due to rights offerings and cash dividends, etc. The comparability and consistency of trading data are guaranteed.

2. China Stock Market & Accounting Research (CSMAR) Financial Statement database

This database is comparable to Compustat, and contains the following special characteristics:

(a). It takes into consideration the peculiarities in development of accounting standards for China listed companies.

(b). Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy, reliability, compatibility, and user friendliness of the database.

(c). It records the detailed history of all data adjustments.

3. China Securities Investment Fund Research (CSIFR) Database

CSIFR database contains all of the useful data of China's investment funds, such as trading (volume and prices), financial data, fund holders, portfolios, returns on individual funds, daily (monthly) market returns adjusted in line with international standards, and premium (discount) ratio.

4. China's IPOs Research (CSIPOR) Database

CSIPOR database contains all of the detailed information and data items that are associated with over 1,000 China IPOs (compiled from over 1,000 original prospectuses).

5. China Listed Firms' Corporate Governance Research Database

The database covers executive compensation and ownership, changes of shares outstanding, changes of executives, and basic information about executives and board directors, etc.

6. China Disclosure System (CDS)

CDS system covers all of the annual reports, interim reports, list announcements, prospectuses, and temporary announcements of listed companies, as well as securities law and regulations. The system divides temporary announcements into 11 categories and 28 sectors.

7. China Mergers and Acquisitions Database

China mergers and acquisitions database provides detailed information that is associated with mergers and acquisitions, equity acquisitions, assets acquisitions, equity transfers, asset divestitures, swaps, and debt restructuring.

Other databases are: China commodity futures, stock market intra-day data, and various macro-economic and banking data. We can collect any data (if legal) requested by you. We can also conduct surveys and field studies in China for you according to your request. Or help you arrange interviews in China.

GTA has been serving over 1,100 international scholars and researchers from more than 70 prestigious educational and professional institutions, such as Shanghai Exchange£¬ Yale University, New York University, University of California at Irvin, University of Reading(UK), San Francisco State University, University of Pittsburgh, the National University of Singapore, University of Waikato(NZ), Sydney University£¬the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Open University of Hong Kong£¬City University of Hong Kong£¬Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, Renmin University of China, the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Zhongshan University, Jilin University, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, South Western University of Finance and Economics, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xiamen University, Jinan University, Sichuan University, Nanjing University, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Hunan University, Guangzhou University, Fuzhou University, Jiaxing Collegue, Tianjin University.

For free sample databases, manuals, brochures, and more information, please contact us or visit our website:

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Jianwei Wang
Vice President for Marketing and Customized Research Service Shenzhen Guotaian IT Co.
Tel: 86-755-83940081
Fax: 86-755-83940070 

Online greetings were once considered a free and relatively harmless alternative to paper cards. Now companies are charging users to send them, and recipients have to worry about fake e-cards that carry viruses ---,1882,56462,00.html 

Nearly two weeks after posting a faulty patch for several security vulnerabilities in its RealPlayer and RealOne software, Real Networks has yet to release a working fix for the problems. And a security researcher says he has discovered five more vulnerabilities in the media players  ---,3959,743296,00.asp 

A new global index dishes the dirt on government dishonesty. Can the Net help clean it up? --- 

Merely passing laws won’t wash away the grime. Effective local ordinances scatter seeds of crime offshore, sprouting child porn in Japan (7.2), email scams in Nigeria (1.6), and desktop gambling everywhere from the UK (8.7) to Trinidad and Tobago (4.9). And “Internet ordinances” is an oxymoron.

The only antidote to bad information is good information coupled with the tools to tell one from the other. In this respect, the Net can hobble the slouching beast even as electronic communication extends its reach. Whistle-blowers who stand beyond the reach of repression can call the finance chief an extortionist – and they can do it on the Internet, for all to see. Internal reforms can also take advantage of the Net. In 2000, Chile started letting companies bid for government contracts online. Initial cost savings ranged from 2 to 10 percent, and everyone knows who’s supplying what to whom, and for how much.

Sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant. We may see a new arsenal of tools for civilized retaliation invented on the Net, for the Net. Not just (a good start), but online bribe tallies, Web-based maps that redline corrupt districts, and sweatshop databases keyed to product barcodes so consumers can make informed choices. Corruption has become globalized – but so has the power to defeat it.

Hi Bill,

Here are a few quotes and links on double swiping scams:

Waiters and store clerks can buy "skimming" devices to wear on their belts for purposes of "skimming" your credit card number and name on the way to a cash register ---,23102,2583624,00.html 

The world is a swipe away ---

Unscrupulous store owners can also double swipe your card.  Look for "double swiping", which may indicate you will be charged twice for an item, or that your credit card's magnetic stripe is being copied for counterfeiting ---- 

Nor is the creation of counterfeit credit cards. Through a technique known as double-swiping, a crooked merchant can duplicate the data on a credit card through an illegal device the size of a cigarette lighter that transmits the information and allows it to be copied. --- 

Unscrupulous merchants have been "double swiping" cards or using other unsavory methods to rip-off debit card holders --- 

Hultquist said, citing the more-real possibility of a waiter double-swiping a Visa. He noted that most out-of-the-box servers have a built-in capacity for stringent security --- 

There are countless other such stories on the Web.

Bob Jensen

I read Bob's identity theft piece and it raised a question. How does double swiping of your credit card leave you vulnerable? It happens to me all the time. Usually with the excuse "it didn't read." 

The AccountingWeb offers the following advice to protect your identity --- 

  • Don't carry your Social Security card, birth certificate, passport or extra credit cards. Carry only what you absolutely need.


  • Make sure your mail box is secure. If it isn't, rent a P.O. Box and have your new checks and credit cards sent to that location.


  • Cancel all credit cards you do not use. Keep a list or photocopy of all your credit cards so you can contact the company if the card should become lost or stolen. Remember, never give your credit card information out over the telephone unless you initiated the call and it is a company you trust.


  • On the back of your credit cards write the words 'Show ID' instead of signing them.


  • Order a credit report once a year. Study it! Make sure you know each company listed.


  • Add security fraud alerts to your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus.


  • Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement once a year. Review it for any fraud.


  • Shield that screen when using an ATM machine. Criminals may be watching with binoculars or a camera. CAREFULLY select your PIN. Don't use obvious numbers like birthdays, social security numbers or consecutive numbers.


  • Ask your financial institution for extra security on your account. Pick a special word or code that only you would know (no, not your mother's maiden name).


  • Never print your Driver's License or Social Security number on your checks.


  • Review credit card statements and phone bills (including cell phone bills) for any unauthorized use.


  • Shred or tear into small pieces all of those pre-approved credit offers. If you fill out credit or loan applications, find out how the company disposes of those forms. You would be amazed how many businesses and banks don't shred documents that are filled with your important information.


  • When filling out checks, use a fine-point permanent marker. This prevents check washing, which erases your writing and allows the criminal to write his own check that has already been signed by you.


  • Pay your bills by electronic bill payment. They are assured to be paid on time without ever having to write a check.

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at 

Good Teaching is Like Healthy Eating


My threads on learning and assessment are at 

You have asked an extremely difficult question.  It is difficult mainly because success of any pedagogy is about 95% dependent upon context and instructor interaction with the pedagogy.  Take the case method to the extent that it is the dominant pedagogy at the Harvard Business School.  Harvard generally will hire and retain only business professors who are masters at the case method (virtually no lectures).  In general Harvard professors can pull off the case method pedagogy that may fail miserably with more than half of the other business professors around the world.  One reason is the mature age and business experience of the typical business student at Harvard.  Another reason is the tremendous support staff at Harvard for both developing cases and helping professors do a better job teaching via use of the case method.

My point is that use of any learning and teaching technology, including PowerPoint, depends upon both the context and the instructor.  A great lecturer may pull of use of PowerPoint as an aid, but the lecture may contain only about ten slides, particularly slides with graphic images.  It is very difficult for students if the instructor presents a succession of many slides such as 20 or more slides, especially slides filled with text.  There is evidence that occasional images in a lecture, including short video clips, help student retention in long-term memory.  Rapid succession of PowerPoint images or long video clips in the classroom may destroy this retention advantage.

My own experience is that lectures and PowerPoint aids are things that I increasingly want to get away from in the classroom.  Fortunately, I teach in an electronic classroom where each student has a computer.  I try to only lecture for a bit and then put the students to work to show me what they have learned.  Instead of PowerPoint, I usually teach from Excel, Internet Explorer, or some other software relevant to the class topics for the day.  Increasingly I try to devote class time to active rather than passive learning.

But reduced lectures in the classroom do not mean that I do not lecture more than ever.  I do lecture using Camtasia.  I assign my Camtasia video lectures before class, but most of my video lectures are optional.  Students can play the videos before or after class at their own discretion and learning paces.  I have a Camtasia tutorial and some sample lectures available online at 

There is very little evidence that technology improves grades, although there is evidence from some serious experiments like the SCALE project at the University of Illinois that students who never meet in traditional classrooms perform as well (and sometimes better) using distance education technology  than students who are assigned to traditional classrooms (where the same instructors teach both the online and live classrooms).  See 
You can also listen to Dan Stone's MP3 audio evaluation and download his PowerPoint slides about the SCALE experiments --- 

There is some evidence that technology includes the pace of learning.  If highly motivated students know what is expected of them for high grade, they will generally learn by any means at their disposal such that it becomes very difficult to conduct double blind studies showing that students consistently get higher grades under one pedagogy versus another.  Even if such results were found for Professor X teaching Class Y under alternative pedagogy, it is extremely difficult to extrapolate the research outcomes to any other professor or any other course.

If anything can be said about technology aids to learning it  is that, when properly used, technology aids tend to increase the pace of learning such that students may learn faster but not necessarily perform better on examinations for the course.  But overuse of a good thing may destroy the benefits.  For example, PowerPoint may be a terrific lecture aid as long as it is not used to a fault.  Lectures themselves can be a good thing as long as they are not used to a fault.  Cases can be a good thing as long as the students have the backgrounds and resources to solve the cases on their own.  Camtasia and other video aids can be a good thing as long as they are high quality and students have access to computers that can play the videos.

I suspect that what I am saying is that good teaching is like healthy eating --- all good things in moderation.  Variety can make the mind and the body more healthy and fulfilled.  You are correct in thinking that PowerPoint can improve your lectures and help students retain what you are teaching providing you use both the lecture method and the number of slides in moderation.  Do consider putting more of your live lectures and PowerPoint shows into Camtasia such that students use these lectures outside the classroom at their own learning paces.  Consider using more classroom time for student feedback where students show you and other students what they have learned before class on very technical issues.

And lastly, I want to warn you that good teaching is not always popular teaching.  Good teaching generally requires that professors pass more and more of the learning responsibilities to the students, i.e. by forcing students to learn more and more on their own.  Students prefer that their instructors do all of the hard work.

Popular teaching generally requires more spoon feeding.  Spoon feeding increases the probability of high student evaluations and worse long-term knowledge retention --- 

My advice to teachers is at 

Hope this helps!

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: XXXXX  
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 9:40 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Information

Looking for articles on the effectiveness of power point presentations in the classroom (community college/nursing) I am being highly critized by my supervisor for using power point and furnishing my students with hand outs of the presentation as well as emailing my students lecutres ahead of class. In a environment that would rather make the students write every thing that the lecture says than have them highlight important concepts or information. Some students like the power point, others are bored with handouts and power point

So I am looking for information that might help me with meeting the needs of all my students as well as get my supervisor off my back.

If you don't mind and would have the time, could you give me some suggestions. Attaching a presentation for your review.

Found your web site and articles on line in my search.


December 3, 2002 reply from Professor XXXXX (Repeated here because it is informative about the culture of higher education.)

Yes, your words of wisdom do help. I can see it from an objective view point. If anything I want to be the good teacher not the popular one and constantly strive to improve and make the necessary adjustments. I entered the community college teaching at a late age in life. I have been teaching 3 1/2 yrs at the CC level and prior to that the high school level. I have learned so much in the last three years. What works well at one school doesn't necessarily mean it will work at the next. Have taught in Miami, Hawaii and now here in Gainesville Fl. You would think being in a university town that the cc would be more progressive but not so, at least not in the school of nursing. Some faculty will not even open their email unless forced to do so. They simply don't like computers. Most have been here for 25 to 30 yrs. Looking back I kind of wished I never left Miami. The campus I was on was very progressive with technology and urged the faculty to reach for the sky. Now find myself in a non progressive environment. You would think at my age (57) when one should be retiring I would be glad but I am only getting started and get excited with leaning how to use technology in the classroom. Have been looking into the Capella and Nova programs for Instructional Design for ONline learning. Don't know which program I will go with. I would very much like to teach online courses. Guess I will be walking across the stage with my cane when I finally earn the PhD. I will check out your web sites that you mentioned in the email and will reevaluate my use of PowerPoint. Honestly have become so comfortable with it (kinda like a security blanket) to keep me on tract when I lecture. Again thanks for the words of wisdom.

December 9, 2002 reply from Paul Polinski [pwp3@PO.CWRU.EDU


Your thoughts brought to mind a column from the most recent issue of MIT's Technology Review about Innovation and Teaching. A snippet of this column (the only part of it that is "free" content for nonsubscribers at this point in time) appears below. The snippet clearly summarizes the tone of the column: Innovations are not successful and aren't widely adopted without training on how to use that innovation.

This seems to apply equally to innovations in teaching itself. Good teaching indeed does require that students take on more of the effort and responsibility in learning. However, when using innovative methods that enable students to do this, we tend to have to do much more work up front. As with the palm pilot, this is effectively done when we enable students to learn by providing the richness of class environment needed for such learning and effective use.

In my experience, students realize that using innovative and more effective teaching methods involves an investment from teachers, and reward the effectiveness where it is warranted. When I first tried to teach cases to students who hadn't seen much of them, I simply required students to read the case, and then tried (in vain) to induce discussion. My evaluations were quite low. The second time around, I took the time to introduce the learning method to the students and introduce different structures to the discussions that "magically" turned similar students into interested discussants. Evaluations for that term were much better.

"In the Weeds" column By Michael Schrage December 2002/January 2003
MIT Technology Review ---  

Ease of Learning: An innovation isn't any good if it's a bad teacher.

My cell phone has taught me nothing. On the other hand, my Palm personal digital assistant has been an excellent tutor. Both gadgets are loaded with features I have yet to tap. Both come with instruction manuals thicker than the devices themselves.

But unlike my phone, the Palm helps me learn how to use it better. The cleverly designed Graffiti training function encourages me to practice my digital penmanship so that I can enter data faster. My cell phone gives me virtually no cues or clues for using it. I have to read the poorly written manual or badger friends. I am sure that I use less than 20 percent of the phone’s capabilities.


December 2, 2002 message from 

Welcome to the second issue of EY Faculty Connection-an electronic newsletter distributed to faculty and business school administrators at Ernst & Young's strategic campuses.

As you may have seen in our first issue, sent in June 2002, our goal is to present information that's relevant to you and your colleagues. If we could "hit closer to home" on a subject of interest to you, please let me know by replying to this e-mail.

To launch your copy of EY Faculty Connection, click on the link below, or copy and paste the address into your Internet browser.

There are other Ernst & Young resources available to you as well--at your fingertips. For up-to-date information that you might find useful in working with your students, planning your curriculum, mentoring or counseling, or just keeping up with what's going on around Ernst & Young, please visit our Web site: You will find a wealth of information there.

As always, we appreciate your interest in Ernst & Young and look forward to working with you and your university.

All of us here hope you have a fulfilling and successful academic year.

Best regards,

Lisa P. Young
Americas Director of Recruiting
Ernst & Young

A pioneering -- and maligned -- Internet-only law school debuts its first graduating class. Despite the school's lack of bar association accreditation, its grads look forward to practicing law.

"Law Grads Online, Bar None," by Julia Scheeres, Wired News, November 21, 2002 ---,1367,56512,00.html 

Despite the traditionalists who pooh-poohed its very existence, the country's pioneering Internet law school will debut its first class of Juris Doctorates on Thursday at a graduation ceremony in Los Angeles, where the virtual institution has a physical office.

The event marks the third time the students and faculty of Concord Law School have met face-to-face in four years. Ten of the 14 graduates are expected to attend the ceremony, which will feature media mogul Barry Diller as the keynote speaker and will be webcast on Concord's website.

Both the American Bar Association and the California Bar Association have refused to accredit the school, charging that law students can't get a proper education online. This lack of recognition means that Concord students can only ply their trade in the handful of states that don't require attorneys to graduate from ABA-accredited schools.

But that impediment didn't phase Roberto Lee, a 62-year-old general surgeon from Wytheville, Virginia, who studied law at night after long days stooped over operating tables, often subsisting on three hours of sleep.

Like many Concord students, Lee plans to use his legal knowledge to complement an existing career, counseling patients on handling tight-fisted insurance companies.

"This is a dream come true," said Lee, who will attend the graduation with his wife and four kids, two of whom are lawyers themselves. "Hopefully this will allow me to help my patients get the care they need."

Concord students convened in California to take the First Year Students' Law Exam (aka the "baby bar") and to attend a career forum. In February, they'll meet a final time to take the state's grueling three-day General Bar Exam. (California is unusual in that the state doesn't require law students to attend an accredited school to take the exam.)

Continued at -,1367,56512,00.html 

See also

Bob Jensen's links to online training and education are at 

"Signs of the Times: Change Is Coming for E-Learning," by Sally M. Johnstone, EDUCAUSE Review, November/December 2002, pp. 15-24 --- 

Note:  The following paragraphs are only excerpts from the entire article.

Those of us in U.S. colleges and universities have had the luxury of experimenting with new ways to use these technologies to engage students in academic activities, and we have learned a great deal.  But I believe there are several trends that will influence the next stage of what we do with these technologies.  Because of radical shifts in the economy and because of the flexibility offered by e-learning, both students and the institutions that serve them are approaching education differently.  This suggests that we need to rethink some of our fundamental practices and we need to consider the most critical roles of e-learning in the mission of the U.S. educational system.

Although I do not anticipate immediate radical changes, right now higher education expenditures are being reduced at both public and private institutions.  Most states are facing either revenue shortfalls or projected overspending in areas like Medicaid.  Some states are facing both.  The most vulnerable areas for state cuts in spending are typically transportation and higher education.  In a survey conducted by the State Higher Education Executive Officers ( in June 2002, only twenty-three states had finalized budget information available.  Of these twenty-three states, 39 percent had cuts to the postsecondary budgets from the levels of the previous year.  Another 30 percent had a less than 1 percent increase in the appropriations.  Though the survey did  not reflect information on what will happen in the other twenty-seven states, it is unlikely to be very good for higher education budgets.  To make matters even more interesting, historical precedent suggests that the cuts could keep coming.  In an audio briefing, staff at the National Conference of State Legislators ( pointed out to WCET members1 that even though the recession of the early 1990s was declared over in 1991, the effects on state budgets were most profound in 1992.

It is not only the public higher education institutions that are being affected by the current economy.  Dartmouth University announced that it will be cutting its budget for the next fiscal year to make up for losses in its endowment.2  The endowment investments lost money, whereas the budget planners had assumed a reasonable return on those investments.  Smaller private institutions are seeing their costs rise, and many are finding it difficult to raise their fees at a concomitant rate while competing for the best students.


Sharing Academic Materials

The current economic situation may well push those in higher education to be more creative in how they develop new electronically mediated learning materials.  Colleges and universities may be reaching a point where not everyone can afford to do everything.  Not every member of a faculty needs to develop and support electronic course materials.  Campuses need to find ways to share electronic courses.  Although faculty members have experience using the same textbook at several campuses, few have experience using imported electronic course materials.  A couple of decades ago, the Annenberg/CPB Projects developed an impressive array of electronic course materials, some of which have been updated and are still in use at institutions through arrangements with their public broadcasting stations.  These materials supplement textbooks, instructors' guided support of students, and their assessment.  The creation, dissemination, and support for these course materials were centralized.


Banding Together

Another response to the economic realities of designing and supporting electronic learning resources has been the formation of consortia.  Over the last five years, there has been an explosion in the number of institutions that are working together to share resources in e-learning.  These consortia are taking many forms.  Many are based on state geographical boundaries.  Some are designed to assist the institutions in the availability of on-line services.  Some are focused on ensuring that the citizens of the particular state have all the services they need.  For example, a Connecticut consortium was formed to help institutions save resources as they entered the e-learning world.  Among other activities, the consortium staff arranges collective buying services from vendors so that each institution saves some money but also a lot of time by not having to go through individual procurement processes.8


Shifts in Student Mobility

Even a decade ago, about half of U.S. students did not take all their classes from a single institution.  By 1994, almost half of students who had begun college in 1989 had enrolled in more than one institution.9  Examining national transcript data only a few years later, Clifford Adelman found that 54 percent of those students who ultimately earned baccalaureate degrees had attended two or more institutions; 19 percent had attended three or more.  He also found many instances of simultaneous enrollment at multiple institutions and of "reverse transfer" from four-year to two-year institutions.10  This tendency to move among institutions has been called "swirling," and the colleges and universities through which such students "swirl" may not even be aware of one another.  The phenomenon is hard to track because most of the data on student enrollment behavior in higher education come from institutions, not students.  But it seems highly unlikely that the trend has slowed in recent years.


Critical E-Learning Goals

In his report for the academic year 2000-2001, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Charles M. Vest, considered the following question: "How is the Internet going to be used in education, and what is your university going to do about it?"  Part of his answer was to declare that "inherent to the Internet and the Web is a force for openness and opportunity that should be the bedrock of its use by universities."  Vest added: "We now have a powerful opportunity to use the Internet to enhance [the] process of conceiving, shaping, and organizing knowledge for use in teaching.  In so doing, we can raise the quality of education everywhere."12

MIT responded to this opportunity by beginning the OpenCourseWare (OCW) project (  Through OCW, over the next ten years MIT will post on the Web the substance of more than two thousand courses.  It will make the course materials available to anybody, anywhere in the world, at no cost thanks to support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  OCW will not, however, offer online courses.  The typical content for a course will consist of lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, assignments, and similar course elements, as well as experiments, demonstrations, and students' work.  A critical aspect is that the course materials will be in their context of course sequences and programs.  MIT's academic offerings will be fully exposed to the world.



There are three critical trends on the state, national, and international educational horizon.  The first trend relates to the level of e-learning activity in colleges and universities: it seems to have reached a threshold point.  Institutions have moved way beyond a few courses being available at a few campuses.  Crossing the threshold has resulted in serious attention being paid to e-learning by state and national policy-makers.  They are expressing concerns about quality assurance and fiscal accountability.  The U.S. Congress will be considering new higher education reauthorization legislation and may open up financial aid to e-learners in ways not previously available.  The World Trade Organization (WTO) has education services, including e-learning, on its negotiation docket.

In the second trend, institutional planners are beginning, just beginning, to sort out the complexities of using Web tools to restructure many campus services.  This is true not just of the academic programs but of all the nonacademic as well.  Campus leaders are beginning to rethink the whole support structure for students, requiring some serious adjustments of traditional management systems.15

The final trend involves the growing interest in finding a way to share online academic materials.  Replicating everything that has been done online not only is costly but also makes very little sense.  Planners at smaller or less-well-financed institutions are seeking ways to get access to these materials through partnerships, consortia, and licensing agreements.  In several developing countries, college and university personnel are already passively using Web-based academic materials, created by individuals who never envisioned that particular use of their materials.  The international academic community is starting to find ways to create interactive relationships around these resources.

Each of the above trends has implications for how colleges and universities "do business."  As in all times of radical change, many different approaches are being tried.  Some will fail, but some will show promise and will suggest steps beyond the ones now being contemplated.  I feel certain that in twenty years, the U.S. higher education system will look quite different.  I suspect that overall, it will be more diverse in scope, offering students more options.  I also think that individually, most institutions will have a narrower set of activities.  Finally, I anticipate that institutions will have much more formal sharing relationships, which I hope will not be limited by national boundaries.  I will check back in 2022.


1    WCET (Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications) was founded by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in 1989.  WCET's members are higher education institutions, state agencies, and non-profit and for-profit organizations from forty-six states and six countries.

2    Martin Van Der Werf, "Endowment Losses Force Dartmouth to Cut Its Budget," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 26, 2002.

   Rhonda Epper and Myk Garn are currently developing a report on these statewide "virtual universities."  The study, jointly sponsored by SHEEO and WCET, should be available early in 2003.

9    Alexander C. McCormick, Transfer Behavior among Beginning Postsecondary Students: 1989-94, OERI Publication #NCES 97-266 (Washington D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, 1997).

10    Clifford Adelman, Answers in the Toolbox: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor's Degree Attainment (Washington, D.C.: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, 1999).

12    Charles M. Vest, "Disturbing the Educational Universe: Universities in the Digital Age--Dinosaurs or Prometheans?"  Report of the President for the Academic Year 2000-01 (MIT, 2001), <> (accessed September 12, 2002).

15    For further information about campus restructuring of student support services, see "Beyond the Administrative Core: Creating Web-Based Student Services for Online Learners," developed from a U.S. Department of Education, Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP) grant to WCET, <http://www.wiche,edu/telecom/projects/laap/index.htm> (accessed September 13, 2002).

From Syllabus News on November 29, 2002

Vanderbilt Holds MBA eHealth Strategy Contest

Vanderbuilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management opened its 2003 eStrategy Contest last week, a competition to award $25,000 to a team of MBA students which develops the best e-health care strategy based on a select case. The contest, co-sponsored by Roche Diagnostics, an Indianapolis company specializing in diagnostic systems, is open to graduate students around the world. The winner will be announced during the final round of competition in Nashville in February 2003. Bill Christie, dean of the Owen school, said e-Health was chosen as the focus on the contest this year, “due to the rapid speed with which the Internet is transforming the healthcare industry. We believe the healthcare industry can benefit from the strategic insights from graduate students who truly understand the future of the Internet.”

For more information, visit: 

Dreamer of the Week
A university professor wants to create a catalog of human ideas. Not just a few choice ideas, but all of them. He believes this "mental map" will help bridge the gaps between the world's cultures.

"Now Here's a Really Big Idea," by Kristen Philipkoski, Wired News, November 25, 2002 ---,1282,56374,00.html 

The scope of human ideas is infinite, some might say. But one researcher says he can count them, and he intends to do just that.

Darryl Macer, associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, plans to create a human mental map -- a database that would contain a log of every human idea.

Macer formally proposed in the November 14 issue of Nature that researchers from various disciplines, including genetics, sociology and history, meet next year in Japan to discuss the project.

"If we define an 'idea' as the mental conceptualization of something -- including physical objects, an action or sensory experience -- then the number of objects in the universe of a living being is finite," Macer said in an e-mail interview from his Tokyo office.

But at least one expert believes Macer's premise is flawed. The notion that people can think of an unlimited number of ideas is part of what keeps humans -- and scientists, in particular -- going as they strive to understand the world around them, said Robyn Shapiro, director of the Center for the Study of Bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"I think that's inaccurate and depressing and certainly not what drove us to move from Galileo to Jamie Thompson (the first scientist to isolate stem cells)," Shapiro said.

But Macer believes that the number of ideas is, in fact, finite and that they should be counted.

As globalization increases, the geographic, economic and cultural barriers between nations become less significant, while international agreements and treaties become more important, he said.

That's where he believes his mental map can offer help.

Continued at,1282,56374,00.html 

New books and other publications from EDUCAUSE --- 

December 5 message from Jianwei Wang 

Dear Prof. Robert E. Jensen :

Re: China Accounting, Finance, and Economic Research Databases and Customized Research Service

I am pleased to inform you a series of China-related accounting, finance (stock markets and banking), and economic databases for researchers have been developed by China Shenzhen GUOTAIAN Information Technology Co. (GTA), a specialized data supplier. GTA's databases are developed according to international standards with full consideration given to the peculiarities of the China environment.

In addition to developing and providing standardized products, GTA also offers a customized research service (CRS) for researchers around the world. Especially for PHD or Master student, we provide data and analysis according to your thesis's requirement with low costs in line with international standards. GTA provides all types of customized research data - from stock price data and the financial data of listed and non-listed firms to micro- and macro-economic data - according to specific requirements or needs. With high efficiency and very reasonable costs, GTA can become your RESEARCH ARM or ASSISTANT in China. Over 1100 professors, researchers, and Ph.D. students have been extensively used GTA's database and services. Quality and credibility are the most important commitment that we offer to all of our clients.

The example GTA standard databases include:

1. China Stock Market & Accounting Research (CSMAR) Trading databases

The CSMAR databases provide comprehensive trading and financial statement data of all listed companies in China since their IPOs (1990-2002), and rigorously follows international standards. All of the source data have been rigorously checked and validated to ensure accuracy. Real-time tracking and updating ensure the continuity and comprehensiveness of the databases. The CSMAR databases were developed in co-operation with the CAFR Center of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The CSMAR Trading Database is comparable to CSRP, and has the following special characteristics:

(a). It provides the rate of return for individual stocks, the market rate of return, and the comprehensive market rate of return.

(b). It provides detailed changes in share capital for individual stocks.

(c). It details the allocation of individual stocks after listing.

(d). The trading data have been adjusted for the effects on share prices due to rights offerings and cash dividends, etc. The comparability and consistency of trading data are guaranteed.

2. China Stock Market & Accounting Research (CSMAR) Financial Statement database

This database is comparable to Compustat, and contains the following special characteristics:

(a). It takes into consideration the peculiarities in development of accounting standards for China listed companies.

(b). Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy, reliability, compatibility, and user friendliness of the database.

(c). It records the detailed history of all data adjustments.

3. China Securities Investment Fund Research (CSIFR) Database

CSIFR database contains all of the useful data of China's investment funds, such as trading (volume and prices), financial data, fund holders, portfolios, returns on individual funds, daily (monthly) market returns adjusted in line with international standards, and premium (discount) ratio.

4. China's IPOs Research (CSIPOR) Database

CSIPOR database contains all of the detailed information and data items that are associated with over 1,000 China IPOs (compiled from over 1,000 original prospectuses).

5. China Listed Firms' Corporate Governance Research Database

The database covers executive compensation and ownership, changes of shares outstanding, changes of executives, and basic information about executives and board directors, etc.

6. China Disclosure System (CDS)

CDS system covers all of the annual reports, interim reports, list announcements, prospectuses, and temporary announcements of listed companies, as well as securities law and regulations. The system divides temporary announcements into 11 categories and 28 sectors.

7. China Mergers and Acquisitions Database

China mergers and acquisitions database provides detailed information that is associated with mergers and acquisitions, equity acquisitions, assets acquisitions, equity transfers, asset divestitures, swaps, and debt restructuring.

Other databases are: China commodity futures, stock market intra-day data, and various macro-economic and banking data. We can collect any data (if legal) requested by you. We can also conduct surveys and field studies in China for you according to your request. Or help you arrange interviews in China.

GTA has been serving over 1,100 international scholars and researchers from more than 70 prestigious educational and professional institutions, such as Shanghai Exchange£¬ Yale University, New York University, University of California at Irvin, University of Reading(UK), San Francisco State University, University of Pittsburgh, the National University of Singapore, University of Waikato(NZ), Sydney University£¬the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Open University of Hong Kong£¬City University of Hong Kong£¬Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, Renmin University of China, the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Zhongshan University, Jilin University, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, South Western University of Finance and Economics, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xiamen University, Jinan University, Sichuan University, Nanjing University, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Hunan University, Guangzhou University, Fuzhou University, Jiaxing Collegue, Tianjin University.

For free sample databases, manuals, brochures, and more information, please contact us or visit our website:

Sincerely yours,

Mr. Jianwei Wang
Vice President for Marketing and Customized Research Service Shenzhen Guotaian IT Co.
Tel: 86-755-83940081
Fax: 86-755-83940070 

"Students Learning to Evade Moves to Protect Media Files," by Amy Harmon, The New York Times, November 27, 2002 --- 

As colleges across the country seek to stem the torrent of unauthorized digital media files flowing across their campus computer networks, students are devising increasingly sophisticated countermeasures to protect their free supply of copyrighted entertainment.

Most colleges have no plans to emulate the Naval Academy, which last week confiscated computers from about 100 students who are suspected of having downloaded unauthorized copies of music and movie files. But many are imposing a combination of new technologies and new policies in an effort to rein in the rampant copying.

For our institutions this is a teachable moment," said Sheldon Steinbach, general counsel of the American Council on Education. "This is the time for them to step forward and demonstrate the value of intellectual property."

Some students may well emerge from educational sessions on copyright laws and electronic etiquette with a higher regard for intellectual property rights. But many of them are honing other skills as well, like how to burrow through network firewalls and spread their downloading activities across multiple computers to avoid detection.

"If you don't know how to do it, other people will just tell you," said Lelahni Potgieter, 23, who learned her file-trading techniques from an art student at her community college in Des Moines. "There's not much they can do to stop you."

Nevertheless, university administrators are trying, spurred on in part by a barrage of letters from entertainment companies notifying them of student abuses. Many entertainment concerns have hired companies to search popular file-trading networks for unauthorized files and track them to their source.

More pragmatic motivations, like the expense of large amounts of university's network bandwidth being absorbed by students' proclivity for online entertainment, are also driving the renewed university efforts.

Schools have closed off the portals used by file-trading services, installed software to limit how much bandwidth each student can use, and disciplined students who share media files. But nothing, so far, has proved entirely effective.

"It's an ongoing battle," said Ron Robinson, a network architect at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. "It's an administrative nightmare trying to keep up."

In a typical game of digital cat-and-mouse, Mr. Robinson said one of his first moves was to block the points of entry, or ports, into the network used by popular file-trading software like KaZaA.

But the newest version of the KaZaA software automatically searches for open ports and even insinuates itself through the port most commonly used for normal Web traffic, which must be kept open to allow some e-mail reading and other widely used applications to take place uninterrupted.

Even without KaZaA's help, students say they can easily use so-called port-hopping software to find a way past the university's blockades. So Mr. Robinson has rationed the amount of bandwidth that each student can use for file-trading activities.

Continued at 

The KaZaA homepage is at 

KaZaA Media Desktop is the number 1 peer-to-peer application which allows people around the world to share files.

Bob Jensen's P2P threads are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at 

November 29, 2002 message from CompAcct Solutions Ltd. [csl@COMPACCTSOLUTIONS.COM

Our company has recently developed an entry level computer accounting program called Breeze Basic Bookkeeper. We have received a positive responce from educators who have tried the program. The program is designed around GAAP using an approach that you might find in a 1st year accounting textbook. The program was designed by an accountant to do basic bookeeping without the glitz and glitter that a lot of programs use to purposely hide basic accounting principles. You will see no flashy invoice or check screens in this program. Journal entries are made in standard Debit/Credit format in an easy to use Journal Form. The program has a Debit/Credit Helper to assist the beginner get orientated into the proper use of debits and credits.

You can download a Free Demo at 

The price of a single user license is US$69.95. However, Lab Discounts, which combine a volume and educational discount, are available by request for qualifying Educational Institutions. The lab discounts range from 45% to 65% depending on the number of users starting at a 5 user license. Send an email to for complete information on the discounts available and how to take advantage of the discounts.


Bob Jensen's bookmarks on accounting software are available at 

Microsoft seems to have gotten security religion, but its initiatives to convince users to blindly install every patch could create even more problems ---,1367,56490,00.html 

Are Some Cognition Scholars Out of Control?

There's a smarter way to sell ketchup -- and cognitive scientists, la Jean Piaget, think they can show marketeers what it is --- 

Hitching all this academic horsepower to the commercial marketplace can seem pretty sinister, and some in the field are worried. Julie Sedivy, a professor of cognitive psychology at Brown, says her colleagues have gone too far into the pockets of advertisers and marketers – and she’s fighting back. She uses psycholinguistics to teach "critical thinking about language processing and advertising." The goal is to get students interested in the regulation of advertising, especially ads aimed at kids.

It’s not hard to imagine where cog-sci research may be leading us. Fieldwork at Ford dealerships? A Toys "R" Us Department of Cognitive Science? On a dark day not too far in the future, there may well be a team of academics monitoring the effect of Gogurt on the hippocampus. And you can bet KidLeo account executives will be taking notes.

Continued at 

December 2, 2002 message from 

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY's Director of Graduate Programs in Management & Systems at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Prof. Anthony R. Davidson, invites you to e-attend the next SYNCHRONOUS VoiceOverIP lecture in the "DISTINGUISHED e-LECTURER ON e-BUSINESS" series.



This tutorial is a must for all those who intend to use DATAMINING tools and algorithms to enhance the strategic management of their business. The lecture starts with introductory concepts and concludes with highly sophisticated solutions! Ideal for practitioners from the real world of business, as well as for students and teachers of any related subject. The only prerequisite is a rudimentary familiarity with the Internet. Prof. Dr. Veljko Milutinovic is known through his pioneering work on the 200MHz RISC microprocessor for DARPA, about a decade before Intel. He also created a number of novel algorithms and related accelerators (hardware, software, and system) for efficient datamining in e-business, and published over 20 books for major publishers in the USA.

Please, sign up for one of the following four identical 90-minute sessions (all times East Coast USA):

Section 1: DECEMBER 18, 2002 @ 6:00pm EST for East Coast USA Section 2: DECEMBER 19, 2002 @ 4:00am EST for Far East Section 3: DECEMBER 18, 2002 @ 12noon EST for EU Section 4: DECEMBER 19, 2002 @ 9:00pm EST for Pacific Coast USA

Please visit URL:  for more information and to enroll. SPACE IS LIMITED TO 100 participants per session.

You will also be able to view the demo slides from the lecture, the demo learning text, and download 2 related papers of V. Milutinovic (from IEEE COMPUTER).

The full set of slides can be downloaded within 24 hours of the lecture.


Deadline: December 13, 2002, at noon EST. After your credit card payment is processed, you will receive the URL for the session, your login/password, and the related cold-start guidelines.

If you have questions about the tutorial or for further details please reply to: 

To call New York University in the USA: +212-998-9149

December 1, 2002 message from Dr. Mark H. Shapiro [

"In time, the Cherokee would lose their Paradise to the settlers who came to the mountains of Appalachia. But long after they were gone, they would live on in the settlers hearts and minds and in the dark-brown eyes and the long black hair of mountain men and women.".... ...Tom Cordle, The Disappearing Cemetery (2002).

Cordle ... is a master story teller. Very few can make history come alive so vividly as Tom does. Read our review of his recently published book at: 


Dr. Mark H. Shapiro 
Editor and Publisher 
The Irascible Professor 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (American History) --- 

November 27, 2002 message from Tracey Sutherland [


KPMG LLP, the KPMG Foundation, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) are pleased to invite research proposals to the Business Measurement Research Program (Program). The Program supports scholarly research on concepts, models, and practices in business measurement and assurance. KPMG LLP and the KPMG Foundation have pledged financial support for the Program's initial three-year term. The amount of the typical research grant awarded under the Program is expected to range from $50,000 to $100,000 (USD). The first submission period deadline is February 1, 2003.

As a part of the program, a number of teleconferences have been scheduled to facilitate the efforts of prospective authors. The second of the scheduled telephone conferences will take place on December 6th at 2:00 pm Eastern time. If you would like to participate, please contact Michelle Loyet at (217)333-4545 or  to reserve a space. You will also be provided with a toll free number and a pass code to enter the call. For more information, see .

"Three Criticisms of the Online Classroom: An examination of a higher education online course in computer-mediated communication,"
by Jennifer A. Minotti Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) Newton, Massachusetts, USA  ---

Learning Technology [ISSN 1438-0625] is published quarterly by the IEEE Computer Society Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). It is available at no cost in HTML and PDF formats at 

Technological expertise, access to technology, additional time associated with participation, and the changing role of the instructor a just a few of the many issues the online classroom has changed (and often times inhibited) the ways students learn (Baym, 1995, Berge & Collins, 1996, Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff, 1996). The three largest issues found to affect the way students participated in a single graduate level online course, are described below.

1.  Large Time Commitment

Too much time was the biggest complaint heard by students. Nearly every participant in the class commented about the large time commitment the course required. Most all of the students also seemed surprised at how much more time the online class took up over traditional face-to-face courses. In addition, I observed that nearly every participant was late in completing at least one assignment. In fact, many students were late multiple assignments.

"Having taken previous online courses in addition to this one, I definitely feel that online courses, though they provide access otherwise not available, require much more of a time commitment than face-to-face classes. Not only do we have weekly assignments, but the added 'checking in,' dialoguing through the week, and often troubleshooting our technology is much more demanding than in a traditional classroom setting, where the class meets once or twice per week."

"…We might think it would be more convenient to participate in class wherever and whenever we wanted by means of the Internet. However…we are not free of having a location in learing--in fact we are more hinged to one spot (in front of the computer), because it is there that we must do all of our work for the class (course exploration of web sites, class projects, particpation in the newsgroup, reading of submissions to newsgroup). It does also seem to take more time to accomplish all that needs doing for an on-line course."

2. Dealing with Technical Problems

Technical and access issues remained the second largest criticism and a major challenge to students, despite the best laid plans for designing this course. In this class, students knowledge of and access to technology varied greatly. This presented huge obstacles to students, some of whom experienced trouble accessing the course right from the beginning. Other students experienced problems at different points in the class, which often made their learning experience frustrating.

"I'm a bit frustrated and caught by the technical setup and requirements. Feedback on the process of the course to date: We could have used the month of February to get this behind us. I have allocated 10 hours a week to this course, using a formula of three times the amount of face time, assuming a typical three hour per week class. My time has been eaten up by the technical setup. I'm having a technical glitch with my company firewall."

"Ugh…I feel like I have overcome some HUGE obstacles just by getting into this newsgroup. The frustration and anger levels have been high and I have recently caught myself yelling at my computer."

3. Lack of Facilitation by the Instructor

Lastly, a lot has been written about the critical role the instructor plays in ensuring online courses are successful (Baym, 1995, Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff, 1996, Jones, 1995). In this class, students really wanted, needed, and valued an active instructor, one who was visible online providing feedback to their work, supporting and questioning their statements, encouraging participation, and keeping the class on track. When not online for several weeks at a time, several classmates become disheartened. In response to the survey question, "What were you most disappointed/surprised by?" two students wrote:

"The lack of interaction from the professor. We really only got 'guidelines' twice this semester which was odd. Given the topic of our class, computer-mediated communication with the professor should have been examined. …I never knew if I was 'wrong' or totally off-base."

"…It's lonely out here in VirtualLand. …I am missing our teacher in this space. I understand his desire for a logos however I'm not exactly sure that this group in in syn and heading toward the same goal."


Indeed, we have a long way to go before the higher education online classroom is as successful as our face-to-face classroom. This will of course take time and perseverance. It will also take a critical evaluation of what is working and not working in each course we design, deliver, and participate in.


Baym, N. (1995). The emergence of community in computer-mediated communication. In S. Jones, CyberSociety: Computer-mediated communication and community. California: Sage.

Berge, Z.L., & Collins, M.P. (Eds.) (1996). Computer mediated communiation and the online classroom, Volume III: Distance learning. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., Turoff, M. 1996). Learn/ing networks: A field guide to teaching and learning online. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Jones, S.G. (1995). CyberSociety: Computer-mediated communication and community. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jennifer A. Minotti Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) Newton, Massachusetts, USA 

Student Technology Assessment at the Global Level

Executive Summary

The goal of the Computer Literacy Project is to gain a better understanding of student perceptions on the nature of computer literacy. The Computer Literacy Project Survey was developed over the last three years as the foundation of research into advanced technology use in education research. I have been particularly interested in the nature of computer literacy at the university level and in differential notions of computer literacy across disciplines. The survey has been electronically distributed to universities in nine states in the U.S and five countries outside the U.S., see Table 1. This is the first time in the history of education research that such a systematic study on computer literacy has been carried out using the Internet and web-based technology that has reached international proportions. Reported here are preliminary results from two Australian universities, one university in Hong Kong and one university in the US.

Continued at  

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of technology in education are at 

Fed's computers feebly protected (November 2002) ---,1283,56474,00.html 

A server glitch makes internal Microsoft documents, including a massive database of customer names and addresses, accessible online (November 2002) ---,1377,56481,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on Internet security are at 

Kid Writers Writing Studio --- 

Although forecasters predict a lackluster holiday shopping season, many online retailers remain upbeat. Even if people are spending less, they predict a greater portion of dollars will be spent online ---,1367,56549,00.html 

Everything is beautiful at the ballet --- 

Murder Mystery

The Black Dahlia Solution --- 

From Yahoo Picks of the Week on December 3, 2002 

Weblogs continue to grow in popularity, no doubt in part to their immediacy. Denizens of the Internet enjoy the opportunity to drop by and catch an up-to-the-minute account on their favorite blog. However, nothing is more frustrating than encountering a cobwebbed blog that hasn't been updated in weeks. To remedy such situations, this site offers a minute-by-minute account of over 50,000 weblogs. It doesn't get fresher than this! For utility's sake, the site offers a tiny java applet that sits on your desktop and continually refreshes, keeping the weblogs whirring. You can also stop by the most popular blogs to see what kind of content is piquing the interest of others. Whether you're a neophyte or veteran blogger, you're sure to find an intriguing site or two to scour.

Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs and blogs are at 

AbiWord 1.0.3 --- 
A free open-source word processor that will run on virtually any computer.

"Teaching as a Clinical Profession: A New Challenge for Education," by Michael deCourcy Hinds, The Carnegie Corporation, 2002 --- 

Facing the Challenge

In some ways, the timing could not be much better for remodeling the profession as a modern clinical one.  Education remains a top public concern and, more than ever before, is considered both a key to the middle-class and a ladder out of poverty.  At long last, the school reform spotlight is finally focusing on teaching.  And with research clarifying the critical importance of teaching, it is no longer politically or morally acceptable to respond to the chronic shortage of qualified teachers by lowering standards for new teachers.  Consequently, the urban teacher shortage and the very high attrition rate of beginning teachers nationwide are putting enormous pressure on policy- makers to raise teaching standards and salaries and improve working conditions.

President George W.Bush, in a recent radio address to the nation, put it simply:"  The effectiveness of all education reform eventually comes down to a good teacher in a classroom.  And America ’s teachers are eager to put higher standards into action, and we must give them the tools to succeed.  My administration has set a great goal for our public schools:  a quality teacher in every class- room."

The major barriers to an innovation of this scale include time, money, politics, public opinion and bureaucratic inertia.  In addition,our highly decentralized education system —2.8 million teachers working in 90,874 public schools in 16,928 school districts —increases the magnitude and complexity of the challenge involved in remaking the teaching profession.

The challenge, of course, is greatest in poor urban and rural areas, says Levine at Teacher ’s College.  To a limited degree, he says, affluent suburban school districts already treat teachers as modern clinical professionals, for these suburbs get their pick of the best prepared candidates and provide them with relatively good working conditions, supports and salaries.  But poor rural and urban districts have the least to offer in terms of salary, working conditions and support —and consequently, they can ’t find enough well-qualified teachers.  "Over the last 20 years of school reform," he says, "we have done a marvelous job of improving American suburban schools, but with a couple of debatable exceptions we have never succeeded in turning around any urban school system.  We have a dual system of education, and the students who need the best teachers are faced with the least able teachers."

Unfortunately, inner city schools will not likely be staffed by modern clinical professionals until federal law requires it, Levine believes.  "I ’ve come to favor an Education Bill of Rights that assures every child a qualified teacher, a safe school, a record for academic accomplishment and so on.  Politicians know they need to talk about this issue, but don’t think they need to do anything about it,  "Levine says.  "People in the inner city don’t vote, and they are not on the street saying,‘I ’m mad as hell!  I won ’t take it anymore!  I won ’t send my kids to this school!’We need the same kind of response to inner city schooling that we had to voting."

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that schooling is a state responsibility, there is a federal precedent for stepping in —the government requires schools to provide children with disabilities an adequate and appropriate education.  Do children from disadvantaged families have a disability?  Levine thinks so.  No matter how change comes about, says Stanford ’s Darling-Hammond, the heart of the political problem is a lack of public understanding about the demands of teaching and the knowledge, skills and training that teachers need today.  To change attitudes, she sees the need for lots of good research that stimulates public discussion about the impact of different policy choices and strategies. "Many  policies have not been built on proof; we have got to have better data," she says.  As an example, she says,  "State and federal policymakers throw billions of dollars into quick fixes and silver bullets.  If we spent as much on improving teacher quality as we currently do on expanding testing, we would have much higher student achievement.  Not a single one of the top ten ranked states for student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress had a high-stakes testing program in place during the 1990s,yet most of the states at the bottom of national rankings had high-stakes testing and it didn’t help them get out of the basement."

But teaching reforms of the kind advanced by Teachers for a New Era also require major investments.  If beginning teachers, for example, start off with a lighter teaching load during their residency years, more teachers would have to be hired.  If residency programs expand, schools of education would need to hire more faculty members.  "It takes an enormous amount of faculty resources and there are already so many demands on people ’s time for running a good teacher education program, "says Elaine M. Stotko, chair of the Department of Teacher Preparation at Johns Hopkins University.  "Steps for professionalization have got to be tied to more money.  "And prospective teachers, she adds, can ’t be expected to pay any more, given what it already costs them to prepare for a generally low-paying profession.

Interestingly, Fallon, at Carnegie Corporation, believes the greatest obstacle to making teaching into a modern clinical profession will not be money, but bureaucracy.  "I think there are enough funds in the system that could be reallocated for new priorities," he says.  "The real challenge is to create a learning community where good practice gets replicated.  Most school systems are not built to replicate success.  Where there is innovation, these systems tend to stamp it out, even when that isn’t the intention.  Innovation is threatening in a large bureaucracy."

In a similar vein, Fallon does not expect schools of education to swarm over Teachers for a New Era as a brilliant model for renewing the profession.  More likely, Fallon says, if the initiative is successful, it will be because more and more K-12 schools seek to hire teachers in residency programs —as residents and their sponsoring institutions develop a record for improving student achievement.  Over time, he says, residency programs could become commonplace if states require them as a component of teacher certification.

It ’s quite a challenge:  remaking one of the nation ’s largest, most neglected and under-appreciated occupations into an elite, research-based profession capable of providing all children with a first-class education.  Given the limited public understanding of what it takes to be an effective teacher today, the term "modern clinical professional "may strike many people as meaningless wordplay —and that confusion goes to the heart of the problem.  Our misunderstanding about the value of teachers, and the demands and challenges they face, may be the biggest problem in American education.  Solving it won ’t be easy, but an informed discussion is a good place to start.  The strategy of strengthening colleges of education, as envisioned by Carnegie Corporation’s initiative, Teachers for a New Era,will help to focus the debate.

Find out who is accessing your Website!

NetChimes --- 
This is a free download!

The British Library: Turning the Pages --- 
(Note the clever animations.)

Use these pages to discover more about the British Library's award winning interactive display system Turning the Pages:

US Banking in the Last Fifty Years: Growth and Adaptation (History, Finance, Economics) --- 

DJs' Favorite Old Platters
Record Check --- 
(Navigate from the bottom of the screen.)

Geographic Gets in the E-Picture Society to Sell Its Images Online --- 

Celebrating Twenty Years of Frontline (PBS Television) --- 

You can listen to free rock music if you're into that junk (am I getting old or what?)
Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music --- 

The men accused of stealing thousands of Americans' credit reports and selling them to crooks who then looted bank accounts and racked up debt, apparently didn't know to stop when they were ahead ---,1848,56593,00.html 

Harvey Jacobs, a Washington, D.C., attorney, said the case highlights the need for major changes in the way credit bureaus handle consumer information.

"The fallout should certainly be much, much tighter controls over this information and who is allowed to access it," he said.

Jacobs suggested that all credit bureaus be required to fund an ombudsman-type consumer panel in each state to hear and try to resolve all credit-related fraud cases. The industry also needs to take responsibility for security breaches, he said.

"Without some form of major monetary incentive for credit card and/or credit bureaus to safeguard our credit info, like major fines and/or being held liable for the damages they cause, this is likely to happen over and over again," Jacobs said. "Yesterday's arrests prove how easy it is to access consumer credit information."

According to subpoenas released on Monday, Phillip Cummings (PDF), a help-desk worker at TCI, a company that provides hardware and software to credit reporting bureaus, was allegedly contacted in the summer of 2000 by a suspect (PDF) who introduced Cummings to the idea of accessing and then reselling consumer credit reports.

Under the guise of helping the customers work through software and hardware problems, Cummings obtained the codes companies used to request credit records.

Cummings is charged with selling those records to 20 "individuals of Nigerian descent living in New York," according to court documents.

Cummings left TCI in March 2000, but was still able to download credit reports using the codes he had obtained as an employee.

At one point Cummings set up at least three laptops with lists of purloined access codes and passwords, and passed the computers on to at least one cohort. Those who had access to the laptops could use the codes to easily request consumer credit records stored by the three major credit bureaus.

This easy access -- no longer did the criminals have to wait for Cummings to download and then pass along credit reports -- apparently encouraged them to get sloppy. The first crack in the case came when more than 15,000 credit reports were ordered over a very short period of time, ostensibly by Ford Motor Company.

Continued at,1848,56593,00.html 

"Identity thieves strike eBay," by Paula Festa, Wired News, November 22, 2002 --- 

When Deborah Fraser's credit card number was stolen, the thief didn't use it to buy a new car or a high-end laptop. Instead, the number was used to buy something potentially much more valuable--a domain name with the word "ebay" in it.

In Fraser's case, that was the domain name "," a scam Web site where an unknown number of eBay users may have been tricked into handing over their eBay username and password.

"Somebody fraudulently used my credit card (Thursday) to buy the domain name that ended in 'ebay,'" said Fraser, a pharmacy technician in Lockport, N.Y., who until midday Thursday was listed as the registrant and administrative contact for the domain. "It's very upsetting to think that someone had my credit card. I don't know if I'm ever going to go on eBay again, because I don't know if it had anything to do with purchasing something there, or what."

While Fraser's credit card number could have been filched anywhere, the fact remains that con artists are using stolen numbers to set up a growing number of increasingly convincing scams intended to part eBay buyers and sellers from their usernames and passwords.

Once a con artist has commandeered an account, the process of defrauding buyers out of potentially tens of thousands of dollars while evading detection becomes that much easier.

While many of the eBay spoof sites are intended just to take over an eBay identity, others appear designed to grab the whole identity kit and caboodle.

One site attempts to glean not only the eBay user's name and password, but the visitor's complete credit card information, billing address, phone numbers, bank account routing number, checking account number, social security number, debit card PIN, mother's maiden name, date of birth, and driver's license number.

One expert in the area of identity theft said that the eBay scams fit a classic mold of identity theft schemes. Other organizations that have dealt with the problem include PayPal, the IRS, America Online, and other Internet service providers, said Linda Foley, executive director of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego.

"It's not just eBay," Foley said. "Nor are people in danger of just having their credit card account taken over. The moment you release your social security number (SSN), you have put yourself in danger of identity theft. The SSN is the golden key."

Continued at - 

Antarctic Meteorology Online --- 

"Copyright test in San Jose Russian expected to take stand in Adobe E-book code case," San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 2002 ---  

After a year of delays, the government is finally set to try in San Jose this week the first criminal case stemming from a law designed to bring copyright into the 21st century.

The United States of America vs. ElcomSoft Ltd. pits the need to protect intellectual property in the age of Internet file-trading and CD burning against the public's traditional right to use media they buy any way they want to.

The defendant, ElcomSoft, is a Moscow softwaremaker accused of violating Adobe Systems' intellectual property rights, by writing a computer program that disables the copy protection on the San Jose company's electronic books.

When the case was first brought in July 2001, it garnered international attention because it was the first criminal test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 1998 law eagerly sought by entertainment and software companies and bitterly opposed by cryptography researchers and free-speech advocates.

The case also grabbed headlines because the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California actually jailed a Russian graduate student, Dmitry Sklyarov, for allegedly writing a computer program that violates the law.

To many, locking up a skinny, pale-faced student for writing a computer program was as ridiculous as incarcerating people who tear the "Do not remove" tags off mattresses. But to protesters who surrounded the San Jose jail, Sklyarov's incarceration was no laughing matter. His supporters believed -- and still do -- that Sklyarov's program represents free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Now, Sklyarov, 27, is expected to serve as the government's star witness.

In December 2001, Sklyarov agreed to testify in the case in exchange for having the charges against him dropped. Actually, he is expected to testify for both the plaintiff and the defendant, said Judy Trummer, spokeswoman for both Sklyarov and ElcomSoft.

"He has a single story to tell, and it doesn't differ with who calls him to the stand," Trummer said.

Continued at   

The suspect in the slaying of a California police officer surrenders in New Hampshire after the FBI uses his online confession to track him down ---,1284,56616,00.html 

"Risk of Internet Collapse Rising, BBC News, November 26, 2002 --- 

Simulated attacks on key internet hubs have shown how vulnerable the worldwide network is to disruption by disaster or terrorist action.

If an attack or disaster destroyed the major nodes of the internet, the network itself could begin to unravel, warn the scientists who carried out the simulations.

The virtual attacks showed that the net would keep going in major cities, but outlying areas and smaller towns would gradually be cut off.

The researchers warn that the net has become more vulnerable as it has become more commercialised and key net cables are concentrated in the hands of fewer organisations.

Cutting the ties

The simulations were carried out by a trio of scientists from Ohio State University led by Tony Grubesic, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Cincinnati.

Dr Grubesic compared the net to US air traffic system.

"If weather stops or delays traffic in a major airport hub, like Chicago's O'Hare, air passengers throughout the country may feel the effects," said Dr Grubesic, "even if they are not travelling to Chicago."

In its early days the net was as decentralised, as possible with multiple links between many of the nodes forming it. If one node disappeared, traffic could easily flow to other links and route traffic to all parts.

However, said the researchers, the increasing commercialisation of the net has seen the emergence of large hubs that act as key distribution points for some parts of the web.

As a result, the net has become much more vulnerable to attack.

"If you destroyed a major internet hub, you would also destroy all the links that are connected to it," said Morton O'Kelly, Professor of Geography at Ohio State University.

"It would have ripple effects throughout the internet"

Small worlds

US cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Washington DC are large net hubs and have several connections to the web.

An attack on one hub could have ripple effects

As a result any attack would bump up traffic levels on these links, but the larger cities would probably maintain net services.

By contrast, warn the researchers, smaller cities that rely on the large hubs to keep them connected cut see their links severed by an attack on their routing centre.

The researchers said the attack on the World Trade Centre revealed how disruption could spread.

Continued at  

From InformationWeek Daily on December 6, 2002

The Wireless Way To Do Business 
Three industry powerhouses--AT&T, IBM, and Intel--are betting that a wireless LAN technology will fundamentally change business communications. 

Home Depot Adds Self-Checkout To IT Initiatives 
The home-improvement retailer says the time for more IT investments is now. 

Microsoft Targets Small Business Accounting Market 
Small Business Manager 7.0 offers more than basic accounting without forcing users to lay out big bucks. 

City Stories (History, Sociology, Culture)--- 
You can choose the city that you want to read about.)

December 1, 2002 message from TIME Magazine [

The Age of Arthritis: 
Doctors expect that osteoarthritis will affect 40 million Americans by 2020, up from 20 million affected at present, TIME's Christine Gorman and Alice Park report. TIME's cover package looks at the coming "Age of Arthritis" and the latest treatments involving drugs, surgery, exercise and alternative therapies. TIME also offers tips on keeping joints healthy, such as avoiding high-stress exercise, keeping slim and building muscle. It's almost as if we were watching the formation of an epidemiological perfect storm. First you have the demographic bulge of the baby-boom generation heading into its 50s-prime time for arthritis. Add five decades of jogging, high-impact aerobics and fast-breaking sports like football, soccer, tennis and basketball, whose quick stops and sharp pivots do maximum damage to the knees and hips. Gen Xers can look forward to the effects of videogames on the thumbs, another body part that's particularly prone to osteoarthritis. Finally, top it all off with a generation of Americans who are heavier than ever and whose weight is literally squeezing the life out of their joints, TIME reports.

December 1, 2002 message from Michael Gasior [

Yesterday as I began to sit down to write this month's edition I scanned Yahoo for the "most popular" stories to be certain I wasn't missing anything obvious.

Well yesterday morning, THE most popular story was:

"Handcuff Sales to Women Booming"

According to the story, one of the largest adult chains in Europe, Beate Uhse, which was founded in 1946 and recently went public on the Frankfurt stock exchange, opened 5 shops catering primarily to women. Well starting the very first day, the shops struggled to keep handcuffs in stock daily.

With all the negative stuff I read every single day, what a wonderful story for me to hear. Although you might be thinking I'm being sarcastic I'm actually not. Just the idea that there might be scores of women walking around with a newly purchased pair of handcuffs in their purse is a terrific distraction from the daily grind for me. This is true barring any sudden correlating increase in the purchase of stun guns, baseball bats or hammers by women of course.


I got MANY fewer complaints last month that the brainteaser was too easy which pleased me. This month the premise seems simple enough, but you need to give this once fair consideration.

How many parts can you split a circle into using only 4 lines?

Give yourself a chance to figure it out yourself before going to look at the answer. You will find the solution at the following URL. 

Frustrated Germans are sending their chancellor the shirts off their backs in response to an e-mail campaign launched after a post-election tax hike ---,1283,56690,00.htmlb 



The creator of Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine predicted in an online essay a resounding victory for Democrats in the Nov. 5 elections. But the piece has since been taken down, and critics are having a field day ---,1284,56524,00.html 

Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel --- 


You might be a redneck if (with music) --- 
Other redneck jokes --- 
Reasons you might be a redneck --- (thanks Tom) --- 

You might be a (an) __________ if  --- 
In particular try filling in the blank with "accountant" --- 

  • your idea of trashing your hotel room is refusing to fill out the guest comment card.
  • you refer to your child as Deduction 214 3.
  • you deduct Exlax as "Moving expenses"
  • at the movie Indecent Proposal you did a NPV calculation.
  • you decide to change your name to a symbol and you choose the double underline "=========="
  • you had no idea that GAP was also a clothing store
  • you consider it normal not to see your spouse or children from February to April 15th. (Laura Cole)
  • you've ever made a joke about a double-entry bookkeeping method. (Alicat, )
  • you know what the acronym MACRS stands for. (Alicat)
  • you have a petty cash box at home and actually refer to it as such (Amy R.).
Other pages:
Arthur Andersen . . . changing light bulbs

How many Arthur Andersen accountants does it take to change a light bulb?


 One to reach up and change the light bulb.

 Ten to try to find out why they didn’t know until now that the bulb was burned out.

  • Arthur Andersen  . . . good new, bad news from Saddam Hussein

Good news: Saddam Hussein says he'll let arms inspectors back into Iraq.

Bad news: He says they must come from Arthur Andersen.

[Overheard at the World Economic Forum in New York, February 2, 2002, according to CNN]

  • What's the definition of an accountant?

Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.


  • Songs Accountants Like

    "Don't Be Accrual", 
    "Account Your Many Blessings", and 
    "Adjust Called to Say I Love You"


  • What are the two types of accountants?

Those who can count . . . and those who can't. [Kelvin, thanks for this.]


  • What does an accountant use for birth control?

His personality.


  • When does a person decide to become an accountant?

When he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to sell insurance.


  • What's an extroverted accountant?

One who looks at your shoes instead of his own shoes when he's talking to you.


  • What's an auditor?

Someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the wounded.


  • Why did the auditor cross the road?

Because he looked in the file and that's what they did last year.


  • There are three kinds of accountants in the world.

Those who can count and those who can't.


  • How do you drive an accountant completely insane?

Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him and fold up a road map the wrong way.


  • What's the definition of a good tax accountant?

Someone who has a loophole named after him.


  • An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. "Doctor, I just can't get to sleep at night."

"Have you tried counting sheep?"

"That's the problem. I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it."



Bob Jensen's threads on Enron-related humor are at 

Forwarded by Dick Haar

The Harvard School of Medicine did a study of why Jewish women like Chinese food so much. The study revealed that this is due to the fact that WonTon spelled backwards is Not Now.

There's a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until after it graduates from medical school.

Q: Why don't Jewish mothers drink? 
A: Alcohol interferes with their suffering.

Q: Have you seen the newest Jewish-American Princess horror movie? 
A: It's called "Debbie Does Dishes."

Q: Why do Jewish Mothers make great parole officers? 
A: They never let anyone finish a sentence.

Q: What's a Jewish American Princess' favorite position? 
A: Facing Bloomingdales. 

When the doctor called Mrs. Liebenbaum to tell her that her check came back, she replied, "So did my arthritis."

 A man calls his mother in Florida. "Mom, how are you?" 
"Not too good," says the mother. "I've been very weak." 
The son says, "Why are you so weak?" 
She says, "Because I haven't eaten in 38 days." 
The man says, "That's terrible. Why haven't you eaten in 38 days?" 
The mother answers, "Because I didn't want my mouth to be filled with food if you should call."

 A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he's been given a part in the school play. 
"Wonderful. What part is it?" 
The boy says, "I play the part of the Jewish husband." 
The mother scowls and says, "Go back and get a speaking part."

Q: Where does a Jewish husband hide money from his wife? 
A: Under the vacuum cleaner.

Q: How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb? 
A: "(Sigh) Don't bother, I'll sit in the dark, I don't want to be a nuisance to anybody."

Q: What's the difference between a Rottweiler and a Jewish Mother? 
A: Eventually, the Rottweiler lets go. 

Jewish telegram: "Begin worrying. Details to follow

Forwarded by Dr. D.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. --- George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. --- G. Gordon Liddy

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. --- Douglas Casey (1992)

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. --- P. J. O'Rourke

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. --- Ronald Reagan (1986)

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free. --- P. J. O'Rourke

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. --- Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. --- Pericles (430 B.C.)

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. --- Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. --- Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. --- Mark Twain

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences. --- P. J. O'Rourke

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. --- Winston Churchill

And my favorite....

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. --- Edward Langley

Forwarded by Dee Davidson

LONDON (Reuters) - A British woman may have discovered the ultimate in car security when she started her vehicle with a hi-tech electronic key -- lodged inside the belly of her one-year-old son.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Tuesday that 34-year-old Amanda Webster called for roadside assistance when her car refused to start after a shopping trip near her home in west London. Her son Oscar had been sucking on the key.

A patrolman sent to help noticed that part of the key -- a pill-sized radio transponder that acts as a security device -- was missing and guessed that Oscar might have swallowed it.

"She sat him on her lap and made sure that his tummy was pressed up against the wheel," Keith Scott told the Telegraph.

"She turned the key and the car started," he said. "I guess this was the ultimate in car security."

The paper reported that Oscar was none the worse for wear and the chip was recovered after nature had taken its course. It still worked.

Forwarded by Dick Haar

The good old days!


Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have. As children we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. Our baby cribs were painted with bright colored lead based paint. We often chewed on the crib, ingesting the paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We played with toy guns, cowboys and Indians, army, cops and robbers, and used our fingers to simulate guns when the toy ones or the BB gun was not available. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda, but we were never over weight; we were always outside playing. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some students weren't as smart as others or didn't work hard so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. That generation produced some of the greatest risk-takers and problem solvers. We had the freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), the term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet spot. How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have sued the school system. Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the pledge (amazing we aren't all brain dead from that), and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention for about the next two weeks. We must have had horribly damaged psyches. Schools didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion or condoms (we wouldn't have known what either was anyway) but they did give us a couple of baby aspirin and cough syrup if we started getting the sniffles. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself. I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, PlayStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable stations. I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through the denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant 20, built forts out of branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to be the Lone Ranger.

What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that lot. He should have been locked up for not putting up a fence around the property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder alarm. Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites and when we got hurt, mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle of mercurochrome and then we got butt-whooped. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics and then mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got butt-whooped (physical abuse) there too... and then we got butt-whooped again when we got home.

Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids choked down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka trucks (remember why Tonka trucks were made tough... it wasn't so that they could take the rough berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car with leaded gas.

Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I am sure that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the danger they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family tent. Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn't even know that mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive. How sick were my parents?

Of course my parents weren't the only psychos. I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop just before he fell off. Little did his mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead she pick him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have know that we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we survive??????????

More Wonderings Forwarded by Auntie Bev

There are three religious truths:

1. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. 
2. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith. 
3. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters.

If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?

If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

Why do we say something is out of whack? What's a whack?

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts" and you put your two cents in... what happens to the other penny?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

No one ever says, "It's only a game" when their team is winning.

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

Auntie Bev forwarded these. 

Especially note the last item in this time of controversy between the women versus The Augusta National GOLF Club. I emphasize the word “GOLF.”    

I really do not know if any of these are actually true or whether they are just clever plays on words.  

Did you know....

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
      Spades - King David,
      Hearts - Charlemagne,
      Clubs -Alexander, the Great
      Diamonds - Julius Caesar

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the
the person died in battle.
If the horse has one front leg in the air the person
died as a result of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground,
the person died of natural causes.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed
firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase "goodnight, sleep tight."

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old
when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them mind their
own pints and quarts and settle down.
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in
England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the
rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they
used the whistle to get some service.
"Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Scotland, a new game was invented.
It was entitled Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden
and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

Reply from an English professor at Trinity University

Actually the OED thinks the term "golf" come from the word for "club" but it notes the "origin is obscure."

See  for information on the urban legend of this rather conveniently gendered acronym

back to grading papers................. thanks for the diversion....



Reply from Dan Stone at the University of Kentucky

HI Bob,

From Golf History and Antiques, 

The Origin of the word "golf" This is the most common question I get asked. It is not, as is widely supposed, an acronym for "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden"! Here's the story:

The word "golf" is recorded as long ago as 1457, in the statutes of the Scottish Parliament, when the sport was banned because it interfered with archery practice. The word was also spelled "gowf", reflecting the way the Scots pronounced it. Some say the word derives from an Old Dutch or Old German word "kolb, kolven" meaning club, clubs.

Dan Stone

But what Bill and Dan don't know is that it was a "Gentlemen's Club."

Not a Good Year for the Dallas Cowboys

Q. What do the Dallas Cowboys and Billy Graham have in common? 
A. They both can make 60,000 people stand up and yell "Jesus Christ."

Q. How do you keep a Dallas Cowboys player out of your yard?
A. Put up goal posts.

Q. Where do you go in Dallas in case of a tornado?
A. Texas Stadium - they never get a touchdown there.

Q. Why doesn't Fort Worth have a professional football team?
A. Because then Dallas would want one.

Q. Why was Dave Campo upset when the Cowboys playbook was stolen? 
A. Because he hadn't finished coloring it.

Q. What's the difference between the Dallas Cowboys and a dollar bill? 
A. You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

Q. What do you call 47 people sitting around a TV watching the SuperBowl? 
A. The Dallas Cowboys.

Q. What do the Dallas Cowboys and possums have in common?
A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

Q. How can you tell when the Dallas Cowboys are going to run the football? 
A. Emmitt leaves the huddle with tears in his eyes.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

If you know the Bible-even a little-you'll find this hilarious! It comes from a Catholic elementary school. Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected (i.e., incorrect spelling has been left in).
1. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
2. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals come on to in pears.
3. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
4. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals.
5. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebellike Delilah.
6. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.
7. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.
8. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten amendments.
9. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
10. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.
11. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
12. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
13. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
14. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
15. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.
16. When the three wise guys from the East Side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager.
17. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.
18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.
19. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, a man doth not live by sweat alone.
20. It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.
22. The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
23. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.
24. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.
25. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

25 Signs You've Grown Up

01. Your house plants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them. 
02. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question. 
03. You keep more food than beer in the fridge. 
04. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed. 
05. You hear your favorite song on an elevator. 
06. You watch the Weather Channel. 
07. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up and break up. 
08. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14. 
09. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up." 
10. You're the one calling the police because those darn kids next door won't turn down the stereo. 
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you. 
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore. 
13. Your car insurance goes down and your payments go up. 
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonalds leftovers. 
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt. 
16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 PM. 
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one. 
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach. 
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests. 
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff." 
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time. 
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to," replaces, "I'm never going to drink that much again." 
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work. 
24. You no longer drink at home to save money before going to a bar. 
25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you.

Holiday Greetings from Bob & Erika ---


And that's the way it was on December 10, 2002 with a little help from my friends.


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at

How stuff works --- 


Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at 
Accompanying documentation can be found at and 


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

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November 30, 2002

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on November 30, 2002
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

We're moving to the mountains on July 15, 2003 ---  
Anyone interested in buying our nice San Antonio home my read about the details at

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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.

For date and time, try The Aggie Digital Clock ---
Time anywhere in the world 

Bob Jensen's Dance Card
Some of My Planned Workshops and Presentations --- 

A sad song for the anniversary of September 11 ---
U.S. flag lovers should note the animated cartoon at 
Awesome fireworks over the Statue of Liberty (Click on the Black Sky) --- 
Some nice midi music forwarded by Don and LaDonna --- 

Quotes of the Week

You know?  You've got a nice place here, but when you leave, leave a winner.
Advice from Red Sox slugger Ted Williams to one of my best friends from years back --- Bill Zoidus.  Bill owns and operates a most elegant restaurant called Pilots Grill in Bangor, Maine.  The above quotation is at the end of a headline story ("Saying Goodbye") in the November 5, 2002 edition of the Bangor Daily News, where it was announced that Bill's closing Pilots Grill after 62 wonderful years of operation next to an airport that, during the Cold War era, was the Dow Field U.S. Air Force Base for the Strategic Air Command.  Pilots Grill was founded in 1940 by Bill's father and two uncles.  At age 72, Bill is leaving a winner.

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.
 Jackson. H. Brown

Money is a good servant but a bad master
Dumas Alexandre

October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks.  The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.
Samuel.Clemens (as quoted by Aaron Gathmann in The Bottom Line, a Trinity University Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 2).

Man ruins things much more with his words than with his silence
Mahatma Gandhi 

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest
David Thoreau

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. 
Rich Cook (as forwarded to me by Norm Meonske

Youth is not a time of life; 
it is a state of the mind, 
It is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; 
It is a matter of the will, 
A quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; It is the freshness of deep springs of life.

Rabbi Samuel Ullman (as forwarded by George Lan)


Click on this music and try to sit still[1].htm

Bob Jensen's November 30, 2002 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at 
Warning:  This update has full frontal nudity.

In a surprising and controversial move, accounting standard-setters and regulators in the U.S. and Europe have jointly announced an agreement to stamp out any differences between FASB and IASB standards that may remain by January 1, 2005.

Global Accounting Rules Will Cut Two Ways --- 

On average, starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals should remain little changed from 2002. Find out about the numbers in a just-released 2003 Salary Guide. 
Get a free copy at 

Starting Salaries in Public Accounting to Increase

Professionals in public accounting are expected to see the biggest increases in average starting salaries next year as accounting firms compete with private industry for top applicants.

  • Managers and directors at large public accounting firms (more than $250 million in annual sales) will see average starting salaries rise 4.1 percent, to the range of $78,500 to $116,500.
  • Entry-level accountants at midsized public accounting firms ($25 to $250 million in annual sales) can expect base compensation of $32,000 to $38,500, a 3.7 percent increase over last year.
  • Senior accountants at small public accounting firms (up to $25 million in annual sales) can anticipate a 3.5 percent increase in average starting salaries, to the range of $41,750 to $53,750.

Corporate Accounting Salaries Remain Stable

While average starting salaries in corporate accounting should remain consistent with 2002 levels for most positions, small gains are forecast for payroll supervisors and managers (up 2.9 percent overall); assistant controllers and assistant treasurers (up 2.2 percent overall); controllers (up 1.9 percent overall); and general, audit, tax and cost accounting managers (up 1.7 percent overall).

At small companies, base compensation for payroll supervisors will be 4.0 percent higher than 2002, the biggest increase for any single position in corporate accounting. Assistant controllers and assistant treasurers at small and midsized firms will see starting salaries increase an average of 2.7 percent over last year. These same positions at large companies ($500 million or more in annual sales) should see average starting salaries of $90,750 to $114,250, a 2.5 percent gain over 2002.

From FEI Express 108 on November 25, 2002

In a year of intense pressure and scrutiny of earnings and corporate reporting, pay for CFOs and controllers remained virtually unchanged, according to a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Meanwhile, however, executives a rung or two lower on the finance ladder did considerably better. Mercer's 2002 Finance, Accounting & Legal Compensation Survey, which gathered data from nearly 1,400 mid-sized and large employers nationwide, examined base pay, short-term incentives and long-term incentives for 130 jobs in the corporate finance, accounting and legal areas.

The survey found that CFOs received median total cash compensation (base salary and short-term incentives) of $351,000 in 2002, up just 0.9 percent from $347,900 in 2001. Corporate controllers had an even smaller increase, to a median of $172,400 this year from $172,100 the year before.

From SmartPros ---

Nov. 13, 2002 (Partner's Report) — Colleges are reporting increased interest in accounting courses.

Selected examples:

* Emory University's Goizueta Business School (Atlanta) reports that the number of students who signed up for the fall CPA-track senior courses rose by 35%.

* Baylor University (Waco, Texas) has registered about 30% more women students than previously for the introductory accounting course.

* Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business (Kalamazoo) saw a 13% leap in the number of accounting majors.

What's the explanation for the change? It could be a growing appreciation for what accountants do, in the wake of the recent accounting scandals, said Robert Keith, director of the University of South Florida's School of Accountancy (Tampa).

Another reason: a perception that it is relatively easy to find an accounting job at a good salary in times of economic weakness. Business schools note that the CPA exam is the only professional designation available to undergraduate business students and as a result is believed to provide job seekers a greater edge in a difficult economy.

"The CPA distinguishes a subset of students as having expert-level knowledge in accounting," said Andrea Hershatter, director of the bachelors of business administration program at Emory. "Job prospects for students who complete the CPA track are essentially 100% in both strong and weak economies. There is never a shortage of jobs for qualified auditors."


But here’s the real reason for the increased interest in accountancy --- Twice as Much Sex 
From the August 11, 2002 edition of the Daily Telegraph (as forwarded by Andre Priest)


Sarah Womack
Social Affairs Correspondents


The image of the dull, grey accountant has been shattered by a survey that claims to have evidence that they are more interesting and adventurous than other people.

They are more likely to socialise, they watch less television and enjoy more sex, according to a "monotony monitor" aimed at exposing those whose life was more rut race than rat race.

A hundred people in different jobs kept a diary for a fortnight to show how they spent their time.

Hairdressers spent most time in front of the television, watching up to 36 hours over 10 consecutive evenings, followed by advertising executives.  Construction engineers went to the gym the least.  They also went to bed the earliest.

All admitted to lethargy when it came to a social life, watching television nine nights out of 10 rather than drinking or meeting friends.

Most of those surveyed (60 percent) could not name a single highlight to their day, although secretaries cited "office gossip".

By contrast, accountants watched less than an hour's television in two weeks.  They had sex an average of six times in a fortnight, compared with the average three, and most played some kind of sport.

Nearly half socialised at least once or twice a week, and more than half went to the gym.  They also went to bed later and were the keenest to change their routine.

Researchers said the face of finance had changed so much that accountants often had front-office roles, inter-personal skills and the presence to succeed outside number-crunching, making them more sociable.  They had also become the "champions of making life more enjoyable".

The survey was conducted for Lindemans, the wine producers.

Exploring the Future of Learning 

For career changers keen on teaching, rising demand, improving wages, and shorter qualification programs offer many opportunities 

Important Site of the Week --- Syllabus Radio at 

Syllabus Radio is on the air!
You've read it in print and experienced it live at the conference ... now hear it on the Web!!! Syllabus Radio brings you interviews from our Fall 2002 conference. Hosted by Judith Boettcher.

Check out Syllabus Radio every week for exciting fresh content.

Discuss key issues and hot topics with the experts and your colleagues in the Syllabus Forums.

Find out what Syllabus visitors are thinking about today's issues in our new Quick Polls

Software for Online Examinations and Quizzes

Hi Bob,

I recommend that you take a look at Exam Builder 4 at 

  • Web-based interface, works like Hotmail
  • No programming or html required
  • Muliple choice, Fill-in-the-blank formats, and True or False question types
  • 2 Exam Types: Click and Learn Exams force students to answer the answer correctly before they can continue to the next question. Educators can optionally provide instant feedback. Certification Exams allow student to skip questions, flag questions, review questions answered, and change answers prior to submitting exam
  • All questions are delivered to students in random order and multiple choice answers are scrambled to guard against cheating
  • Multiple Question pools per exams to evaluate knowledge gaps with remediation reports available for students based on performance
  • Document Library to offer instant feedback on incorrect questions
  • Ability to upload graphics to be incorporated in questions
  • Students can easily be grouped into classes
  • Detailed reports on both student results and exam statistics. Every answer a student clicks on is recorded in the database
  • Data archiving and storage with tape backup for compliance ready solutions

Create a FREE evaluation account today and be up and running in 5 minutes with no obligation! 

My threads on assessment are at 

Hope this helps!

Bob Jensen


I've scheduled a health economics class in a computer lab this spring. The PCs are configured with their CRTs tightly packed. I'd like to be able to use the machines to give quizzes and exams, but the proximity of the CRTs makes at least casual "peeking" almost a certainty.

Can you suggest or point me to any software into which I could insert quiz or exam questions that would > shuffle the order of questions on the screen > shuffle the order of multiple choice questions > randomize the numbers in quantitative problems > keep track of the answers > automatically score the responses and send me a file of grades?

Back in the Apple II days, there was SuperPilot. But that language does not seem to have been successful enough to be ported to the IBM PCs say nothing about revised and improved. ??

Thanks for whatever thoughts you might be able to share,



Quizilla --- 

This is Quizilla. A place for those who like to take quizzes and especially for those who like to make them. From here you can see what quizzes are in stock and take a few of them -- if you're feeling creative you can even register, log in and make one to give to all your friends.

Go on, you know you want to.

You can download (for free) hours of MP3 audio and the PowerPoint presentation slides from several of the best education technology workshops that I ever organized. --- 

A great site for hikers!
The Trail Database --- 

Pick A Trail (hiking, travel, recreation, geography) --- 

Travel and sniff in the back streets of famous cities
Ruavista Signs of the City --- 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks on travel are at 

The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies 

From Syllabus News on August 21, 2001

Questia 2.0 Nearly Doubles the Size of Its Collection

Recently, Questia—provider of an online library complete with search and writing tools--launches its version 2.0. Version 2.0 includes a collection of more than 60,000 full-text titles— nearly double the size of its version 1.0 collection launched January 2001. Version 2.0 also improves Questia's tools, which enable users to personalize books by electronically highlighting and making notes in them and to write better papers by automatically creating footnotes and bibliographies in various for- mats. New features include new tools for subscribers, including an automatic view of the most recently used books, a personal bookshelf for storing and retrieving favorite books, and a customizable home page; re-organization of tools and functions around the three main areas of search, read, and work to improve the site's usability; and faster search and navigation between books and within books. The Questia service is also useful, both as a source for teaching materials and as an effective anti-plagiarism tool. Using the search function to look for a phrase, professors can check a student's paper for material copied but not cited.  For more information, visit .

As of November 2002,  Questia claims to be "The World's Largest Online Library."

I was doing some research and stumbled on this site --- 

Patrick Charles

From Syllabus News on November 22, 2002

A northern Virginia-based training firm is capitalizing on the growth of distance education by offering a training course on "How to Be a Successful Distance Learner." Linda Kidder, vice president of program development at Educational Resources Inc., said, "With all the attractive benefits of eLearning, a critical component often overlooked is empowering the distance learner with the skills and tools to ensure success. With the emergence of eLearning, remote, or distance learning, I have noticed a gradual decline in completion ratios within our core clientele. Even if a client has meticulously designed their strategy, assiduously worked with their IT department to configure the technology platform, and anticipated the most common stumbling blocks, each [client], including myself, overlooked the organizational backlash component which never addressed preparedness of the distance learner."

For more information, visit: 

From Syllabus News on November 26, 2002

U. Maryland, NSF, to Build Children's Digital Library

A partnership of government, non-profit, industry, and academic organizations have announced a five year, $3.3 million plan to build a digital library of 10,000 children's books drawn from 100 cultures as part of a long term research project to develop new technology to serve young readers. Built by The Internet Archive, the largest library on the Internet, and The University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab, a leader in children's interface design, the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) will serve children and libraries worldwide by providing a large scale digital archive of literature for readers ages three to thirteen. "This is the beginning of a long term project to provide children around the world with access to literature from different cultures in a way that is intuitive and accessible," said the ICDL's Director, Jane White. "This collaborative effort by government, commercial, academic, and non-profit organizations will change the way children learn about other cultures, and strengthen libraries worldwide."

For more information, visit: 

Microsoft Certification Recommended for Credits

Certifications for Microsoft Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002, Access 2002, Outlook 2002 -- collectively, "Office XP" -- and Microsoft Project 2002 have each been recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) for one semester hour of lower division college credit. The Project 2002 exam is also recommended for upper division credit. Students who hold or are pursuing Microsoft Office Specialist certification for Office XP (2002) applications or Microsoft Project may apply via the ACE Transcript Service for use as possible college credit. "With the advance of computer technology, Microsoft Office skills are now essential to enter and succeed in nearly every job market," stated Jo Ann Robinson, director, ACE College Credit Recommendation Service. "This college credit recommendation validates Microsoft Office Specialist certification skill requirements for Office XP and Microsoft Project as being equivalent to college-level skills needed to succeed in school and at work."

For more information, visit: 

Rice, HP to Build Texas's Fastest Supercomputer

Rice University's Computer and Information Technology Institute (CITI) and HP said they plan to build Texas' fastest academic supercomputer, the Rice Terascale Cluster (RTC). Scheduled to come online early next year, RTC is to be built on clusters of HP's Intel Itanium 2-based workstations and servers. RTC is expected to be the first computer at a Texas university with a peak performance of 1 teraflop, or 1 trillion floating-point operations per second. More than 30 researchers from fields as diverse as biochemistry, political science, physics and computational engineering have already booked time on RTC. The computer will be composed of 132 HP Workstations zx6000 and four HP Servers rx5670. "Since RTC is a shared resource, it has to have the flexibility to meet a diverse set of high-performance computing needs -- be they computationally demanding, data intensive or mathematically complex," said Moshe Vardi, director, CITI.

Even a D student can gain life-changing information from a high school algebra class. 

Read Roberta Beach Jacobson's humorous guest commentary on the issue at: --- 

Here Comes the Inter-State Sales Tax

Tax officials and legislators from 31 states and the District of Columbia met in Chicago on Tuesday and voted unanimously to proceed with a plan to simplify their respective tax laws in order to position themselves to collect sales tax on Internet sales. 

The Works of Edgar Allen Poe 

Guide to Gay and Lesbian Resources: A Classified Bibliography Based upon the Collections of the University of Chicago (History) 

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945 (History) --- 

THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, by Lisa Bergson, Business Week, November 11, 2002
Dealing with lawyers is to understand why jokes about the profession are so vicious. Here's a guide to getting the last laugh 

You have to laugh to keep from crying over the hours and dollars wasted and the pain caused by the bogus lawsuits, the endless negotiations, and the petty squabbling many lawyers live off. Sad to say, we need them, if only for self-defense. Over the years, I've gone from using a solo practitioner, who served my father, to a corporate counsel affiliated with one of the major downtown firms. Through him, I enjoy access to a fleet of specialists -- labor, estate planning, litigation, you name it. Separately, I estimate we keep at least one lawyer fully employed at the office of our patent attorney.

So many lawyers, so little time -- experience has taught me a few things about how to use these clever folks to navigate the complexities of modern business. As with any powerful weapon, you must be sparing, decisive, and focused. To whit:

Avoid litigation. This is my rule No. 1, and for a very good reason. I watched my father erode MEECO's assets in a prolonged and futile lawsuit with Dupont. "If we'd realized how small your company was, we wouldn't have fought so hard," one of Dupont's executives told me years later. My father played large, but he played foolishly. He ran through scores of lawyers, claiming each was bought out by Dupont when they counseled him to settle. In the end he lost, not just the case, but so much more. That and other similar escapades left me with an almost visceral abhorrence of lawsuits. Nonetheless, if sued, I will defend myself. Look out.

Don't let your lawyer talk to other lawyers. There are two kinds of lawyers, in my experience. At least in Philadelphia, you find the very genteel variety, the so-called white-shoe variety, who belong to clubs and prefer to conduct business in a benign fashion. Trouble is, their clients wind up getting screwed. That's what happened to me when a former lawyer blew a merger deal by giving in one time too many to the outrageous demands of my prospective buyer's Pittsburgh law firm.

Now I have the opposite. I think of my lawyer as a large, well trained attack dog, who I would sic on the other guy's lawyer only if I were ready for war. For most business transactions, I find it's better to avoid lawyer-to-lawyer contact if you want to get anything done, which brings me to my next point.

Avoid letting your lawyer talk to anybody. In the past, I made the mistake of having my lawyer handle disputes with customers and other business associates. My father always hid behind his lawyer, and I found it convenient to do the same. What I learned, though, is that introducing a lawyer to disputes tends to up the ante. It's seen as a very aggressive move. I lost one of my biggest customers that way. Over the years, I've learned to consult with my lawyer, but keep my own counsel.

If your lawyer isn't 100% in your corner, get another. Your lawyer should definitely tell you when he thinks you're making a mistake. But, assuming you are a reasonable, fair-minded sort, if you decide to follow a particular course of action, he or she should be there for you 100%. My then-lawyer encouraged me to settle out of court after we discovered a former employee embezzled over $60,000. The perp's father-in-law offered $50,000. Even my husband felt was a good deal.

Meanwhile, my lawyer insisted I didn't have a chance, saying these cases are almost impossible to prove. She didn't even bother to show up for court, instead sending a spike-haired junior, who arrived late -- and with an attitude. (I sent her back.) But, thanks to an excellent district attorney and my own victim-impact statement, we won. The scoundrel got time and had to make full restitution -- not the probation my lawyer predicted. I haven't used that lawyer's services since.

If your lawyer doesn't get back to you in 24 hours, his time is up. I recently fired my lawyer, yet stayed with his law firm. They're a good bunch on the whole, and so was my lawyer -- in the beginning. But he became so engrossed in his personal political interests that he lost a sense of urgency regarding my little business. This went on for a while, with him promising to change and then blowing it again. It was like having a bad boyfriend. When I finally ended the relationship, he still tried to wheedle his way back. To his credit, though, once he realized it was truly over, he helped me find a great replacement.

Think billable minutes. One lawyer I know has the annoying habit of slowly, v-e-r-y slowly, repeating every word you utter. You get the sense that he's trying to be careful and make sure he understands exactly what you're trying to say. But those minutes can really mount up. So, in self-defense, I rarely call a lawyer before thinking through and listing exactly what I want to cover. I keep the conversation on point and as brief as possible. Most good lawyers will mind the time as well.

many turn to financial counselors, who can advise small-business owners how best to reconcile careers, family, and security 

Bob Jensen's threads on finding a financial consultant are at 

The Media Center for Art History, Archaeology, and Historic Preservation [Flash, Quicktime] 

Historic Cities (History, Geography, Religion, Archaeology) --- 

Archaeological Collage (features photographs) 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks on history are at 

Einstein (Science, History) 000 

A video tour of the White House (History, Travel, Art) --- 

The credit-scoring giant has built a profit machine around its industry-standard financial analytics, earning S&P's highest rating 

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam on November 26, 2002

A NEW WEB SITE ALLOWS STUDENTS nationwide to anonymously accuse their professors -- who are named -- of political bias. Nearly all of the postings complain about a pro-liberal bias among professors, but the site's founder says she is against bias of any kind. She also argues that preserving the students' anonymity is necessary to protect them from retaliation. --> SEE 

History of the University of Georgia

Language Site of the Week (including foreign language translation)

Google Language Tools 

Set the Google homepage, messages, and buttons to display in your selected language via our Preferences page.
Google currently offers the following interface languages:


If you don't see your native language here, you can help Google create it by becoming a volunteer translator. 

Language Translation Device of the Week

infoScope from IBM --- 

infoScope is a handheld device equipped with a digital camera that can take snapshots of text in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese and translate the image to another language in a matter of seconds. The device displays characteristics of augmented reality, by presenting the real world in the form of a captured image, such as a restaurant sign, and merging it with virtual data, by providing a translation of the image as an overlay to the PDA's screen. infoScope is not intended for lengthy translations, but more for speedy hits of three or four lines of text.

Details are provided at 
Note that the grammar below suffers a bit from translation.

We describe an information augmentation system (infoScope) and applications which integrates handheld devices, such aspersonal digital assistants, with color camera to provide enhance information perception services to users. InfoScope uses a color camera as an input device by capturing scene images from the real world and using computer vision techniques to extract information from real world, convert them into digital world as text information and augment them back to original location so that user can see both the real world and information together in display of their handheld devices. We implemented two applications: First one is an automatic sign/text translation for foreign travelers where user can use infoScope whenever they want to see texts or signs in their own language where they are originally written in foreign language in the scene and extracted from scene images automatically by using computer vision techniques, second one is Information Augmentation in the City where user can see information, which is associated with building, places or attraction, overlaid onto real scene images on their PDA's display. 

Language Translation Site of the Week

November 15, 2002 message from lina [

Please add us on your page: 
Our site is 
Thank you,
Lina Douglas
Smart Link Corp.
fax 949-552-1699
18401 Von Karman Ave. Ste 450
Irvine, California 92612

A few weeks ago, I featured the following site:
Lost in Translation --- 

What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages? The authors of the Systran translation software probably never intended this application of their program. As of April 2002, translation software is almost good enough to turn grammatically correct, slang-free text from one language into grammatically incorrect, barely readable approximations in another. But the software is not equipped for 10 consecutive translations of the same piece of text. The resulting half-English, half-foreign, and totally non sequitur response bears almost no resemblance to the original. Remember the old game of "Telephone"? Something is lost, and sometimes something is gained. Try it for yourself!

Bob Jensen's threads on foreign language translation are at 

November 15, 2002 message from Risk Waters Group [

Despite a surge in European lending activity in the past three months, many banks have decided not to hedge their risk with credit default swaps (CDSs), according to new research by Morgan Stanley this week. Morgan Stanley's London-based credit derivatives strategy team suggests the sharp jump in loan activity has had "no visible impact" on CDS spreads. Bank hedging of new loan facilities would tend to push the default swap/cash basis wider. But between August and October, the basis between five-year CDS and asset swap spreads for European non-financial corporates tightened from 50 basis points to around 20bp, for example.

Credit swaps are discussed at 

From Syllabus News on November 15, 2002

Penn State Deploys Web-Based Attendance System

Pennsylvania State University is using a Web-based labor management system to track attendance and associated labor costs for over 4,000 university employees on 10 campuses statewide. The system, called Attendance Enterprise from InfoTronics Inc., calculates payroll, schedules employees and manages employee attendance. The application is built on Microsoft's SQL database architecture and is accessed via a Web browser. Joel Weidner, associate director of information systems operations for Penn State, said the system was chosen because it "integrates tightly with our existing technology infrastructure and strategic plan."

Integrator Delivers Real-Time Student Loan System

Systems integrator Edgewater Technology Inc. will help the loan guarantor American Student Assistance customize ASA's student loan processing system for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The new student loan processing system will be a flexible, real-time student loan processing system that will save the state an estimated $16 million in administrative costs over the life of the partnership. Last year, ASA was awarded a contract to provide the Oregon Student Assistance Commission with a customized, Web-based loan processing system based on the ASA Enterprise System. Edgewater Technology partnered with ASA to provide data conversion and system deployment services on that system as well.

Added by Bob Jensen
You can find out more about Edgewater Technology at 
The American Student Assistance home page is at 

From the Internet Scout Project on November 22, 2002

Young Americans Still Having Difficulty with Global Geographic Knowledge Where in the World are We? Young People Have No Clue

National Geographic 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey

National Geographic Map Machine

Royal Geographic Society: Geography: An Education for Life [.pdf]

History of the US Cultural Environment

Foreword to Historical Geography

You'd Think It Only Courtesy to Know Exactly Where Eye-rack Was

The greatest danger from the myths that Alfie Kohn propagates is that they deflect attention from more important questions such as how to ensure that our grading procedures are both fair and effective -- fair both in the sense that they provide a rich range of opportunities for a student to demonstrate learning and fair in the sense that the playing field has been leveled as far as possible -- effective in the sense that the process provides timely information both to the instructor and to the student.
Mark H. Shapiro, Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today --- 

We have commented frequently on the issue of grade inflation. Most recently, The Irascible Professor highlighted an extensive report on grade inflation that was issued by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences earlier this year. This report, which was authored by Henry Rosovsky, former Dean of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Matthew Hartley, a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, was notable both for its detailed discussion of the available data on the phenomenon and for an extensive examination of both the causes and consequences of the practice. The IP's commentary addressed both of these issues in some detail.

Meanwhile, author Alfie Kohn who has published books such as No Contest - The Case Against Competition; Punished by Rewards - The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise and Other Bribes; The Schools our Children Deserve - Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards"; and The Case Against Standardized Testing - Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools, among others, has weighed in on the issue in an essay published in the November 8, 2002 issue of The Chronicle Review entitled "The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation". From the titles of Kohn's books, it's clear that he is not a person who has much use either for standards or for competition. Indeed, the No Contest book is something of a polemic against all forms of competition in society, not just competition in school settings.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that Kohn is particularly troubled by recent suggestions that grade inflation is something to worry about. However, the thrust of his argument in "The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation" is more than a bit curious. First he argues that there really has not been all that much grade inflation in the past few decades, but then he argues that if there is grade inflation it's not anything to worry about because grades are intrinsically bad to begin with.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that Kohn is particularly troubled by recent suggestions that grade inflation is something to worry about. However, the thrust of his argument in "The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation" is more than a bit curious. First he argues that there really has not been all that much grade inflation in the past few decades, but then he argues that if there is grade inflation it's not anything to worry about because grades are intrinsically bad to begin with.

Kohn makes four arguments against the use of grades in college courses. First he argues that it should not be the professor's job to sort students for employers or graduate schools. Second he argues that students should not be set against one another in a race for the artificially scarce rewards of high grades. Third he argues that lower grades do not imply higher standards. And, finally he argues that grades do not motivate. Kohn, feels that these basic issues should be at the heart of any discussion of grade inflation.

The IP thinks that Alfie has set up a series of straw men, and that both his facts and logic are faulty. Let's examine each of Kohn's arguments in turn. Kohn's first contention is that some in academia are concerned about grade inflation (or compression as Kohn terms it) because it makes it "harder to spread students out on a continuum, ranking them against one another for the benefit of post college constituencies." Kohn asks if it the professor's job to "rate students .... for the convenience of corporations, or to offer feedback that will help students learn more skillfully and enthusiastically?"

When Maine Gov. Angus King presented his laptops-in-schools plan, reaction from the state's teachers was mixed. Now most teachers are excited about how well the program is working ---,1383,56284,00.html 

One analysts subjective comparison of life in the U.S. versus Germany (Culture, Economics, Labor, Politics, Sociology) --- 

"Facing the Bear: The 2002 Compensation Survey:  With stock options under scrutiny, companies are once again seeking the elusive link between pay and performance," byTim Reason, CFO Magazine, November 07, 2002 --- 

"I'm willing to lay it all on the line in terms of performance." Four years ago, that was what WorldCom's Scott Sullivan — at the time the highest-paid CFO in our compensation survey — told us when he chose a cash bonus over a base-pay increase. Two years later, our biennial survey showed that CFOs were enjoying the fruits of new, CEO-style compensation packages laden with stock options, but also that the booming stock market was rewarding leaders and laggards alike.

How times change. Both Sullivan, now under indictment for securities fraud, and the market have since gone seriously awry. Thanks to the havoc wreaked by both, corporate boards are once again pursuing the elusive goal of tying executive pay more closely to individual company performance. Much of the consequent reshuffling of CFO pay packages will likely involve rethinking the use of stock options, which have become a singular focus of reform efforts.

Much of the consequent reshuffling of CFO pay packages will likely involve rethinking the use of stock options, which have become a singular focus of reform efforts. But CFOs have already felt the pain of the bear market in their short-term pay, according to the 2002 compensation survey, conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Total CFO cash compensation (salary and paid bonuses) stayed flat this year, averaging $432,400. The lack of growth — a sharp contrast with the 9.6 percent increase the previous year — is testament to frozen salaries and lower or unpaid bonuses, even as other finance functions saw their pay go up. And as the stock market has gone south, "options have also shown significant erosion in value to executives," says Mercer analyst Lee McCullough.

To Have and to Hold It isn't just the market that is eroding the value of options. The features that made them so wildly popular — grants don't affect earnings, and companies get a tax deduction when they're exercised — are under heavy fire. Many companies have already opted to expense them under FAS 123, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) now may have the moral clout to win a rematch with Congress, which killed its 1995 effort to require expensing of options. And should expensing become mandatory, options will lose a key advantage over other forms of incentive-based compensation.

None of this suggests that options are going away. Indeed, the survey shows that a slightly higher percentage of CFOs were eligible for stock options this year than last. Options have the benefit of being exempt from Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, which limits the tax deductibility of cash compensation over $1 million. And serious issues still stand in the way of a universal expensing requirement. In October, FASB issued a draft of rules meant to clarify the process for companies making a transition to expensing from footnote disclosure. But that's an administrative fix that ignores, or at least lags, growing questions among businesses about the accounting problems inherent in expensing options. Without a provision for truing up the estimated "fair-value" expense of options with the actual expense when they are exercised, option expensing in a down economy could ultimately skew the bottom line in much the same way pension gains did during the boom.

Until the accounting and tax-treatment changes, options still carry hefty advantages over stock and cash, argues Jack Dolmat-Connell, vice president of Clark/Bardes Consulting, an executive compensation and benefits consulting firm based in North Barrington, Illinois. And although they are no longer perceived to have unlimited upside, options doled out in a bear market have room to grow. "People say options are dead, cash is king," he says. "That's bunk. Companies aren't in the position these days to give lots of cash."

But turning options into cash may get harder for CFOs. Already it is nominally more expensive. Until the Securities and Exchange Commission clarifies the rules for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibition on corporate loans to executives, most companies have suspended cashless exercise programs, forcing executives to pay the strike price out of pocket or seek financing.

Bob Jensen's threads on options are linked at 

A former tech exec is photographing California's 1,100-mile coastline and posting the shots online. The database has already helped environmentalists catch polluters, and that has some property owners worried ---,1282,56213,00.html 

While so many others are still struggling to make the Web pay, Walt Disney's Internet ventures are thriving ---,1367,56314,00.html 

LOS ANGELES, November 11, 2002 -- Last year, the Walt Disney Co. surrendered in the Internet portal wars after spending hundreds of millions of dollars to compete against Yahoo!, America Online and others.

But it didn't give up entirely. In a strategic retreat, the company refocused on Web projects that highlighted its core brands, such as ABC News and ESPN, which is the exclusive provider of sports on the MSN service.

That strategy has started to pay off. Last week, Disney announced a modest milestone -- its Internet properties are profitable.

The company doesn't report the results of its Internet properties as a group, so Disney did not provide any profit figure when it reported fourth-quarter earnings. But the company said profits from individual sites, led by ESPN and Disney's online store; from licensing content to other Internet sites; and from advertising and subscriptions pushed online operations into the black.

Disney's Internet ventures contribute only about several hundred million dollars to the company's $25 billion in annual revenue. Nonetheless, Disney can say it is profiting online while so many others are still struggling to make the Internet pay.

"I feel good that we've been able to sort of figure it out," said Steve Wadsworth, president of the Walt Disney Internet Group.

What Disney learned and other companies are discovering is that it's best to abandon a one-size-fits-all approach to the Web.

"There is not one single formula that is going to work," said Charlene Li, principal analyst for Forrester Research, a technology consulting firm based in Cambridge, Mass. "What works for and its characters isn't the same thing that will work for ESPN. Even The New York Times and The Boston Globe are completely different. They're owned by the same company, but they use completely different approaches."

Disney's announcement of its modest profit is a victory of sorts for chairman and CEO Michael Eisner. During the heyday of e-commerce, he resisted pressure to merge with Yahoo or Microsoft, even after AOL merged with Time Warner.

Today, AOL is struggling, weighed down by declining advertising revenue and a government investigation into its accounting practices. Chairman Steve Case reportedly has considered separating the companies.

Continued at,1367,56314,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic business are at 

From Fathom Newsletter in November 2002


* Degree Program * iMBA from Penn State World Campus is an online MBA program designed especially for you--a professional ready for an MBA but wishing not to give up your job, move your family or leave your friends. The iMBA program is composed of 22 online courses, totaling 48 credits, and takes 24 months to complete. Learn more: 

* Short e-Course * PROSPECTING FOR BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. The 30-day course includes trial access to databases from infoUSA and Standard & Poor's: 

* Short e-Course * FINANCE FOR NON-FINANCIAL MANAGERS: BUILDING AN OPERATING BUDGET from SkillSoft (formerly SmartForce) is designed for managers and those within an organization involved in making business decisions with financial implications. Learn how to assess financial plans, organize a strategic budget, and manage the preparation of a cash budget. Enroll anytime: 


* Corporate Response: Learning from IRA Terrorist Attacks in London In 1992 and 1993, London's financial center was struck by two massive IRA bombings. In addition to loss of life and physical property, these terrorist attacks hit hard the heart of London's information, communication and business infrastructure. In a lecture at Columbia University, Jonathan Liebenau of the London School of Economics looks at corporations in London before and after the bombings: "I began to think about what happened in London, and what London learned..." 

* A Question of Energy: Fossil Fuels, Renewables, and Wind Ben Russell of the Science Museum takes stock of the current energy situation by discussing the use of fossil fuels in contemporary society. Presenting alternatives whose use may be far more sustainable in the long term than our current reliance on oil, Russell looks at the past uses and future prospects for wind energy: "Global oil consumption stands at 75 million barrels every day.... However, oil supplies have proved far from secure..." 


* Short e-Course * THE SHAKESPEARE YOU NEVER KNEW: THE EARLY HISTORY PLAYS from University of Michigan Professor Ralph Williams explores the key themes and dramatic elements of Henry VI (Parts 1, 2 and 3) and Richard III. Actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company bring Shakespeare's language to life, and students have access to a range of materials that provide historical background and context for the plays. Enroll anytime: 

* Free Seminar * HISTORY THROUGH A FILMMAKER'S LENS from the American Film Institute examines how films released during World War I, the Great Depression and World War II--from 'King Kong' to 'Casablanca'--addressed, however subtly, these major world events. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: 

* Short e-Course * THE FUTURE OF ENGLISH from Cambridge University Press author and language expert David Crystal examines the history of English since 1600, the question of Standard English, American English versus British English, and the death of minority languages. The first 1,000 enrollees in this new e-course will also receive a free copy of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language: 


* Free Seminar * REMEMBRANCE: RECORDING VETERANS' ORAL HISTORIES from AARP and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, will take you through the steps necessary to record a veteran's history, including how to find a veteran to interview, how to prepare for the actual interview and what to do once you've completed the interview. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: 

* Short e-Course * THE SHAKESPEARE YOU NEVER KNEW: THE EARLY HISTORY PLAYS from University of Michigan Professor Ralph Williams explores the key themes and dramatic elements of Henry VI (Parts 1, 2 and 3) and Richard III. Actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company bring Shakespeare's language to life, and students have access to a range of materials that provide historical background and context for the plays. Enroll anytime: 

* Free Seminar * ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SOCIETY AND FAMILY LIFE from the University of Chicago describes the surprising similarities between ancient Egyptians and people today--a strong emphasis on the nuclear family, the love for social activities, and an attachment to appearance and fashion. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: 

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at 

Note the NYU Virtual College online training and education courses --- 

NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) where you'll find a wealth of programs to meet your career needs.

As the leader in adult education, SCPS offers:
  • World-class education at a prestigious research university

  • Specialized instruction by a faculty of renowned leaders

  • An opportunity to study in New York City, home to some of the fastest-growing global industries

  • Courses and degree programs that accommodate your busy schedule, including our online offerings from
    The Virtual College 

Bob Jensen's listing of online courses is at 

From Fathom on November 21, 2002

Enroll in any of our free seminars created by experts at 14 top institutions--we have over 100 free seminars to choose from! 

Visit our professional development center for courses in finance, computer skills and more 

From The Scout Report on November 15, 2002 

Video Game Serves as Inspiration for Criminal Activity

Teen Car Thief Blames Video Game

Video Game Violence and Public Policy

Video Game Research

Entertainment Software Rating Board

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Special Report: Violence and Video games

Statement of the Federal Trade Commission: "Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children: Self-Regulation and Industry Practices in the Motion Picture, Music Recording, and Electronic Game Industries"

EDUCAUSE Review NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2002 Volume 37, Number 6


"Signs of the Times: Change Is Coming for E-Learning" by SALLY M. JOHNSTONE 
With students beginning to approach education differently as a result of economic and technological changes, colleges and universities must rethink their fundamental practices and must consider the critical roles of e-learning in the mission of the U.S. higher education system. 

"Mind over Matter: Transforming Course Management Systems into Effective Learning Environments" by COLLEEN CARMEAN and JEREMY HAEFNER 
Integrating best practices for "deeper learning" with the robust tools provided by course management systems creates an incredibly effective, engaging, and student-centered learning environment. 

"EDUCAUSE Services in Information Technology Policy" by MARK A. LUKER The EDUCAUSE 
Policy Program works on two levels: (1) tracking federal laws and regulations that may affect the course of IT in higher education and coordinating initiatives to shape federal IT policies, and (2) helping individual institutions interpret the federal environment in order to establish appropriate IT policies on their own campuses. 

"An AAUP Response to 'Dirty Little Secrets'" by MARY BURGAN and SUSAN MEISENHELDER 
Faculty members attending an AAUP Summer Institute seminar analyze the five higher education "secrets" identified by Laura Palmer Noone and Craig Swenson in the November/December 2001 EDUCAUSE Review. 

"The Next-Generation Infrastructure" by ED LIGHTFOOT and WELDON IHRIG 
Higher education needs a next-generation infrastructure that will allow colleges and universities to be user-centered, to establish and maintain lifelong relationships with individuals, and to provide personalized, secure, seamless connections with all constituents. 


techwatch Information Technology in the News 

Leadership "Moving Beyond the Rhetoric" by LEE HIGDON 

E-Content "Building Good Digital Library Collections: A Dynamic Framework" by TIMOTHY W. COLE 

New Horizons "The Evolution of Converged Communications Services in Higher Education" by E. MICHAEL STAMAN 

policy@edu "Identity, Privacy, and Information Technology" by JOE F. THOMPSON 

Viewpoints "'Free Love' and Secured Services" by VACE KUNDAKCI 

Homepage "Make Mine Vanilla" by RICHARD N. KATZ 

Here's an interesting article about the design of a first accounting course. 

Now add the Camtasia and it will be even more terrific.

Free research papers from The Hoover Institute at Stanford University 
The Hoover Institute /

Some $3 million in grants were awarded earlier this month by Stanford's Bio-X program to 21 new interdisciplinary research projects. This year's recipients include a surprisingly wide range of interdisciplinary projects - from experiments on how individual brain cells communicate in mice to research on how elephant herds communicate long distances by stomping their feet. 

Webledger alternatives are becoming a much bigger deal in accounting information systems.  I suspect that many accounting educators are not really keeping up to date with the phenomenal growth in vendor services.

I am a strong advocate of Webledger accounting and information systems.  
In my viewpoint they are the wave of the future for small and even medium-sized business and other organizations.  The main obstacle is overcoming the natural tendency to fret over having data stored with a Webledger vendor.  But the advantages of cost savings (e.g., savings not having to employ technical database and IT specialists. savings in hardware costs, and savings in software costs), advantages of worldwide access over the Internet, and advantages of security (due to the millions invested by vendors to ensure security) far outweigh the disadvantages until organization size becomes so overwhelming that Webledgers are no longer feasible for accounting ledgers, inventory controls, payroll processing, billings, etc.

Webledger software and databases offer accounting, bookkeeping, inventory control, billings, payrolls, and information systems that can be accessed interactively around the globe.  Companies and other organizations do not maintain the accounting systems on their own computers.  Instead, the data are stored and processed on vendor systems such as the Oracle database systems used by NetLedger.

Free Video on Netledger Systems
A short video is very informative at 
To run the video,  Click on the link in the upper right side of the Netledger home page:

 Take a Quick Tour "Get an overview of our products."  (This is the video.)

As a project in Fall of 2000, a team of my students set up an accounting system on Netledger.  This team's project report is available at

November 18, 2002 reply from Todd Boyle [tboyle@ROSEHILL.NET


I've been obsessed with webledgers for several years, and worked directly with countless users, developers, designers and some of the CEOs of these firms.

First of all please uncouple the idea of a webledger, from the particular applications and use cases that most benefit from hosting on an XSP on the Internet. We can get most of the valuable things (a selling presence, a transaction inbox, etc.) without a comprehensive hosting of the root ledger and all of its modules on a single, monolithic provider.

Please give me a chance to argue, some functions really benefit from *decentralization*.

IMO you've under-weighted the costs to the individual or SME of monolithic XSP, and overestimated the cost savings. The vast majority of companies are paying peanuts for their Quickbooks or other setup, often have not upgraded hardware or software in years. The relative stability of Win2000 and mature Win32 apps gives users crucial market power to extract better terms from software vendors.

The law of software is that once you're immobilized on a platform, the software vendor can raise prices. The role of competition only arises when there are efficient markets, low barriers to exit, etc.

The behavior of NetLedger, IntAcct, Intuit, Sage/ePeachtree, SAP, and "every" webledger to date, demonstrates an unmistakable intention to immobilize their customer and capture above-normal returns. My communication with them is 6 to 18 months old, but they do *not* adopt standard semantic vocabularies or methods. They shun interoperability with each other's functions. Instead they work to aggregate communities of VARs and ISVs in a battle for domination. This behavior is perfectly consistent with the previous generation of software, obviously I am referring to Win32 applications we're all completely immobilized on. Do these webledger providers even have a choice? --NO. Not until consumer awareness increases, and demand for open interfaces is measurable in market behavior.

As a result, when you subscribe to these webledgers, ironically you're just getting a standalone accounting system in a browser. It is designed *only* to be sticky. It is a financial venture to make money. All of the potential for automatic reconciliation or improvement in settlement etc. is avoided by these capitalist ventures. The software industry is willing to waste countless millions of hours, of useless manual processing, just to make $1 for themselves because if they had open standards necessary for electronic business, that would allow users to migrate to other platforms.

Normal returns, in the computing environment, *should* manifest as in any other market: the marginal cost of any given computational function and its networking and infrastructure costs. Those marginal costs should become quite small of course.

The software market doesn't behave like a normal market of course, because of our diseased IP laws, which have been corrupted by a generation of legal strategy and lobbying by such people as Jack Valenti, and Bill Gates, scion of a wealthy Seattle lawyer.

The software market appears to exhibit some other behavior, a mixture of cartel phenomenon and coasian efficiency. Prices approach marginal costs, eventually, if well-informed buyers of software avoid getting themselves needlessly trapped. Businesses should of course, stick with their current LAN-ledgers for the time being, until the lifetime-cost of accounting web services becomes much lower.

That cannot happen until web accounting software products appear, having thoroughly standard interfaces for both their semantic content and their methods/APIs for the sales journal, purchase journal, AR/AP, and settlement. Sooner or later, one of the vendors will blink. They will adopt a comprehensive open interface for interoperability. This can happen on the desktop, or it can happen on an XSP. SAP right now is far ahead of any of the others in Open Source, as they have actually released a free version of the SAP DBMS, and have contributed some great engineering to ebXML and the UBL Technical Committee on OASIS. UBL was founded by Jon

Bosak one of the inventors of XML to provide a working e-business vocabulary. UBL is near completion, and set to become the first integrated library of ebXML Core Components. The UN/CEFACT library is looking like many years in the future.

Intuit's recent joining of the UBL TC could be the first crack in the dam, as far as I can see, but they are neither contributing visibly, nor standardizing their semantics in any way.

I would recommend, forget about NetLedger, Intacct, and Quickbooks/Web for now. They have completely incompatible XML interfaces and are competing only to build large, incompatible communities. It is almost like a deliberate effort to create English measures and Metric measures just to sell more wrenches. Even the developers of SMBXML, Intacct XML and QBXML are not allowed to harmonise their functions by their capitalist bosses. Folks-- I am committing professional suicide in my business, to tell you the unpleasant facts, as I see them.

Forget about the open source accounting projects as well. From GNUE to SQL-Ledger. I have communicated at length, with many of the developers of these software projects. All of them, place nearly zero priority on standards-based APIs or methods, or semantics at the interface. They are building precisely what functionality they need, for themselves, in their own assessment. The linux accounting developer is, in my experience, openly hostile to ISO, OMG, UN/CEFACT, EDI, etc. and to UML modeling itself,

Finally-- the importance of avoiding capture by Microsoft cannot be overstated. They've bought the best midrange software and are spending $5.2 Billion/year figuring out every move on the future chessboard.


Business Solutions, Microsoft's new business software division that includes the Navision and Great Plains acquisitions, had an operating loss of $68 million on revenue of $107 million Hmmm that means, their costs for the division were $175 million? hmmm that's $700 million per year, going into just the business software. And this, they are confident they will recover in the future --from us!

Todd Boyle CPA 

Todd refers to "Coasian Efficiency."  You can read about this at 
A slide show called "The Coase Theorem and the Net Monetary Benefit Efficiency Criterion is available at 

Bob Jensen’s threads on Webledgers can be found at 

The Science Museum in the United Kingdom (Exhibitions, History, News, etc.) --- 

One of the highlights is "Body Talk" at 
For example, the Talking Teeth Exhibit (that features a cell phone embedded in a molar) was featured on Page 78 in the November 18, 2002 edition of Time Magazine ---

From the FEI Research Foundation Newsletter (PrivateNet) on November 25, 2002


The November 5, 2002, election was a Republican victory of near historic proportions. What can private companies expect from the next Congress? We asked Bob Shepler, FEI's Director of Federal Affairs and staff support for FEI's Committee on Private Companies, and he gave us some insights on several issues to watch, starting with the most important ones for private companies.

"Perhaps the most important legislation for private companies in the next Congress will be S-Corp reform," according to Shepler. Readers of Private Net will remember that we last discussed "The Subchapter S Modernization Act of 2001" in the June 2002 issue:

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S.1201 in July 2001, which proposed an increase in the number of allowable S-corporation shareholders from 75 to 150. While the bill garnered significant support from the business community, Democrats were reluctant to support the bill without concessions on the minimum wage issue.

Now that there will be a Republican majority in both the House and Senate, there is a good chance that this legislation will pass. "FEI believes that it is very important for employees to have an ownership stake in their company," adds Shepler. "Increasing the number of shareholders allowed in an S-Corp is an ideal way to do this."

If you are not familiar with the "Subchapter S Modernization Act of 2001," S.1201, Senator Hatch's web site provides a brief summary of the bill's goals and a definition of S Corporations:

The senator's site also has a section-by-section description of the proposed legislation:

"Another priority for the next Congress will be to make the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001 permanent." This was the "tax cut" passed in 2001, but, because of budgetary law, it will be subject to sunset provisions after 10 years. Shepler believes that "the reason that this legislation will be so important to private companies is because it will permanently repeal estate taxes. Whether a company is owned by a family or small group of shareholders, estate taxes make ownership transition difficult and very expensive."

Here is a summary of the effective dates of some of EGTRRA's provisions as provided by the Brookings Institution:

Here is a link to H.R. 1836, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001:|TOM:/bss/d107query.html|

And here is the full text of EGTRRA:

"A third issue to watch is a renewed push for Association Health Plans." Association Health Plans, or AHPs, were discussed in the September 2002 issue of Private Net:

On September 13, 2002, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its support for pending legislation (H.R. 1774 / S. 858), which would establish federally regulated AHPs. Citing a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the pending legislation, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao stated that small businesses could expect to reap savings averaging 9% to 25% of their health insurance premiums.

"The President has expressed interest in this legislation," reports Shepler, "and we expect it to get a lot of attention in the next session of Congress."

For further information on FEI's Committee on Private Companies, or pending legislation, contact Bob Shepler at or (202) 626-7806.


Last year's passage of EGTRRA enhanced the 401(k), a favorite retirement plan of many private companies. According to John Mancuso, director of PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) global human resource solutions group in Boston, "many companies are still evaluating the discretionary 401(k) provisions available before adopting the ones that will best suit both employer and employee."

Here are some of the new provisions that employers should be aware of:

* The Tax Act now requires faster vesting for employer matching contributions. After three years, these contributions must be 100% vested.

* Employers can now deduct up to 25% of pay for retirement contributions by sponsoring one plan in lieu of a combination of plans. "Increasing this deduction reduces the administrative burden on employers who seek to maximize their deductible contributions by offering the single plan option," says Mancuso.

* Plans now may recognize compensation up to $200,000 per year, a jump from $170,000. However, the increase in compensation will affect non-discrimination testing.

* A new safe harbor formula eliminates the need to perform non-discrimination testing, thereby imposing fewer limits on highly compensated employees. The formula requires a minimum employer contribution of 3% of compensation and immediate vesting.

This article was taken from the November/December "Year-End Tax Planning Issue" issue of PwC's publication, "Growing Your Business":

Here is a summary of EGTRRA's provisions relating to pension and profit sharing plans as provided by the Society of Actuaries:

Wow Technology of the Week

Congratulations to high school student Ryan Patterson, who noticed a deaf woman having difficulty ordering food in a Burger King.  This inspired Ryan to dream up a hardware device embedded in a glove that tracks hand movements into readable text in a tiny monitor held in front of viewers such a order takers at Burger King.  For that discovery, Ryan won the top prize in Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition --- 

Wow Hardware of the Week --- Virtual Keyboards --- 

With the release of the Canesta Keyboard Perception Chipset, manufacturers can now offer their customers the Integrated Canesta Keyboard which offers the convenience of a full-sized keyboard and mouse created "out of thin air" by projected beams of light. The Chipset consists of a set of tiny components that can be integrated into such mobile products as smart phones, PDAs, tablet PCs, and cell phones

Tax Guide Recommendation from the AccountingWeb
The Motley Fool Tax Guide 2002, by Roy A. Lewis and Selena Maranjian 
Format: Paperback, 
Publisher: Motley Fool
Pub. Date: December  2002

With the rules often conflicting and confusing, and even the IRS offering disclaimers about the validity of its advice, it's no wonder that so many people are terrified of taxes. This annually revised guide, now in its fourth year, makes simple sense of this complex area. Experts Roy Lewis and Selena Maranjian have included all the recent tax law changes as well as assembled a wealth of tips for managing not only the yearly chore of tax filing but also day-to-day activities that have tax implications. Included is sound advice on investment-related tax issues; the 2001 tax cut; and how to maximize tax savings opportunities that come with marriage, children, education, retirement, buying a home, and running a home office. A tax calendar and resource section helps readers plan for April 15 all year round. 

From out of nowhere in just two years, this once unimaginable segment is gaining credibility, venture-capital backing, and sales 

Date Rape Protection Technology for $0.40 Per Drink Coaster --- 

The Official Drink Safe Technology Website Drink Safe Technology provides products to help detect the presence of illicit Date Rape drugs (such as GHB) in beverages. These colorless, odorless and tasteless drugs were impossible to detect until now.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "Date Rape", is one of the fastest growing drug-facilitated, sexual assault crimes in America today. In most cases, this is how it happens: Illicit drugs are unobtrusively slipped into beverages of unsuspecting victims at dance parties, bars or nightclubs. These substances are colorless, tasteless and odorless so the victim has absolutely no way of knowing that the drink he or she is about to consume will cause severe impairment and leave him or her defenseless. The victim is then left at the mercy of the perpetrator, led away to somewhere private and ultimately raped. But now, through the development of our newly invented Drink Safe Coaster™ and Drink Safe Test kit...

...this despicable crime can be stopped before it begins.

November 18, 2002 reply from Richard C. Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@DARTMOUTH.EDU

Date-rape coaster spotty BY MARGIE MASON Associated Press SAN JOSE -- Colleges around the country are buying millions of coasters that test for "date-rape" drugs in drinks. But some experts say the coasters are ineffective and could lead to more assaults by creating a false sense of security.

The manufacturers -- who also make fake snow and party foam -- say the 40-cent paper coasters are 95 percent accurate. The coasters have test spots that are supposed to turn dark blue in about 30 seconds if a splash of alcohol contains drugs often used to incapacitate victims.

In tests at the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, however, the coasters failed to react clearly to drinks spiked with gamma hydroxybutyrate, a major date-rape drug known as GHB, said forensic scientist Anne Gierlowski.

"We tested red wine, cola, whiskey and orange juice and because three out of the four have color already, it was very hard to decipher a color change," she said. "It's a nice idea, but it's probably a nicer idea for the people selling them because they've probably made a lot of money."

The coasters' labels promise they will help "identify the presence of illicit drugs in beverages." But in response to questions from The Associated Press, co-inventor Brian Glover, a New York dentist who dabbles in chemistry, acknowledged that the coasters can identify just two of the many date-rape drugs -- GHB and ketamine.

My Life Is Beer! (the finer art of drinking beer) --- 

Outstanding animations of imploding buildings! 
ImplosionWorld ---  
Sort of reminds me of the public image of corporate CEOs, CFOs, CAOs, and their auditors.

2002 Best Inventions (From Time Magazine) --- 

Bad Astronomy --- 
Includes reviews that address ridiculous science presented in movies.

High Tech Skis ---   (Click in "Inventions" for a video)
The i.c 300 skis from Head have a computer chip in each ski that allows the ski to make an educated guess about the condition of the snow and how hard your are turning.  Now if the chip would just hold me upright at all times.

New from Ira Kawaller in the Area of the Economics and Accountancy of Hedging (including FAS 133)

Bob Jensen's threads on hedging and hedge accounting are at 

And to think that I thought they were all poets!
The Irish Scientist (History) --- 

The Irish Scientist was set up in 1994 to provide a means for Irish scientists and technologists to describe – to colleagues, legislators and the general public –what they are doing. The first two issues were published in January and September 1994, and since then it has been issued annually as a Year Book. Growth has been substantial, from 64 pages in the 1995 Year Book to 264 pages in the 2001 Edition. The publication constitutes an ever-more comprehensive view of scientific and technological activities in the island of Ireland (North and South).

Hi Francisco,

First you click on (File, Save as) and near the bottom of the menu window where it reads "Save as type," click on the tiny arrow and choose "Save as a Web Page (*.htm, *.html).

Next you will see a pop-up window that gives you options to save the entire Excel workbook versus saving just one spreadsheet. You will also see a check box to "Add Interactivity."

Have you been checking the box to "Add Interactivity?"

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Francisco Robelo []  
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 6:47 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Web Publishing Excel Interactive


I can tell you that the most useful source to learn how to publish an Excel workbook/charts interactive on the web is your website. Even though that I couldn't do it yet. I have a question and I would appreciate your knowledge and help.

I can test the interactivity of your Excel workbook in your website with no problems. When I follow the steps to publish a page, even though I check the interactivity box, I can only view it.

To give you a little bit of background info, I have Windows XP and Office 2002 in the computer that I have problems publishing with interactivity. As I said before I can test the interactivity of your spreadsheet, I can also use an interactive spreadsheet that I published using another computer with Windows 98 and Office 2000. For some reason, I am not able to interact with spreadsheets done in my combination (Windows XP and Office 2002). The same happens to a colleague of mine with this combination (XP and Office 2002), he can't interact with the spreadsheets that he publishes (he can only view them) but he can interact with yours without any problem. Are you aware of any problem of this kind on the versions that I am using? I would like to hear your comments or suggestions? Thank you in advance.

Francisco Robelo

__________________________________________________________ Outgrown your current e-mail service? Get 25MB Storage, POP3 Access, Advanced Spam protection with LYCOS MAIL PLUS.


Marcus D. Odom
Anand Kumar
Southern Illinois University

Laura Saunders
Deloitte & Touche, LLP

ABSTRACT: Internet commerce is exploding and predicted to continue growing at a rapid rate for several more years.  Online businesses that have a desire to tap into this Internet commerce explosion are seeking ways to convince online browsers to become online purchasers.  To achieve this goal, businesses need to find ways to alleviate consumers' fears and concerns about making online purchases.  This paper reports on a series of three studies focused on (1) determining the fears and concerns that online consumers have, (2) examining whether the leading brands of web assurance seals (Verisign©, TRUSTe, Good House Keeping, and CPA WebTrust) can help alleviate those fears and concerns, and (3) gaining insights into the process by which web assurance seals can influence consumers' online purchase decisions.

This study identified seven distinct concerns that consumers had with purchasing goods/services online.  Factor analysis revealed that these concerns were along two dimensions: concerns about the firm and concerns about technology.  It was found that the leading brands of web assurance seals addressed only a few of the online purchasers' fears and concerns, and there was a big gap between consumers' needs for assurance and what they felt was being offered by the web seals.  Further, it was also found that the process by which web assurance seals influenced consumers' online purchase behavior involved recognition of and familiarity with a particular web assurance seal, and possibly the number of associations consumers made with a particular web assurance seal.

Keywords: web assurance seals; CPA WebTrust; web assurance; online purchase behavior; familiarity.

Bob Jensen's threads on assurance seals are at 

What political photographs need is something equivalent to the assurance seals mentioned above.

"Dubya, Willya Turn the Book Over?" by Wired News, November 16, 2002 ---,1283,56430,00.html 

Phony photographs have become a permanent part of the online political landscape, traveling around the Internet, from inbox to inbox. Ranging from displays of subtle, technical virtuosity to crude and tasteless frippery, digitally altered photographs are becoming one of the most prevalent forms of political commentary.

"The whole doctored photo thing is going to become a bigger and bigger phenomenon," said Zack Exley, creator of the parody site, which features a host of presidential multimedia mockery.

It comes as no surprise that President Bush is the day's most common political target of digital manipulation. In addition to holding books upside down, Bush has also been "photographed" holding a "victory bong," earnestly studying Politics for Dummies and snuggling with Al Gore.

Steve DeGraeve created Wgirls, a series of nearly convincing images of Bush on female bodies, as a joke for friends. Wgirls has since cropped up in Esquire and across the Internet.

The availability of image-editing technology such as Adobe Photoshop has given people the power to color reality like never before.

But as voters are increasingly besieged with information -- and misinformation -- sorting the real from the fake has become ever more challenging.

Bill Clinton peers through a set of binoculars, unconcerned that the lens caps are still on. Reading to a classroom of children, President Bush obliviously holds his book upside down. On an anonymous city street, Hillary Rodham Clinton impetuously lifts her shirt and flashes the camera.

Rhodes scholarships and Ivy League educations notwithstanding, our political leaders are imbeciles and we've got the pictures to prove it.

David Mikkelson is the co-creator of, a site dedicated to debunking urban legends. Snopes has become ground zero for setting straight these visual myths of the Internet.

He analyzes questionable photographs, searching for "artifacts" -- "blurry spots, things that don't match" and other "evidence of digital manipulation."

While most of the pictures he comes across are obvious fakes, a few are so convincing that they end up widely held as legitimate. The Bush shot with an upside-down book is one of these.

Such is the growing blur between real and fake, Exley says, that, "in a few years, everybody will start ignoring photos."

Mikkelson disagrees. "People have been manipulating photos since photography was invented," he said. Pictures "just reinforce what the believers want to believe. They don't convince the skeptics."

But how much political influence can a picture exert?

"Events have shown that parodic activity can be a consequential factor in national campaigns," writes Barbara Warnick in Critical Literacy in a Digital Era: Technology, Rhetoric, and the Public Interest.

A professor of Media Criticism at the University of Washington, Warnick said in an interview that since the 2000 elections, campaigns have become much more diligent about "reviewing what is out there and trying to contain it."

Continued at,1283,56430,00.html 

Some of last year's losers are back on top--as a few Internet and telecom stars emerge from the rubble 

Consumer confidence is one of the most closely watched indicators of future economic trends. The latest figures on consumer sentiment are reported routinely in the press, incorporated into many macroeconomic forecast models, and included in the Index of Leading Economic Indicators devised by the US Department of Commerce. Richard T. Curtin discusses the roles that consumer expectations play in the economy in "Consumer Confidence and the Economy" on Fathom: 

Web Informant: 
Is Dell IT's New Monopolist? Just as Microsoft set the terms for the desktop in the 1990s, Dell is aiming to control more and more hardware markets this decade. --- 


Business Week Cover Story
Today's donors are more ambitious, get more involved, and demand results 

National Environmental Data Index 

US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women --- 

The measure, which bans the publication of material that promotes racism and violence online, clashes directly with U.S. laws protecting such speech ---,1367,56294,00.html 

A new report from SRI finds that handhelds can be effective tools in the classroom. Over 90 percent of teachers who used them with their classes say that handhelds can have a positive impact on learning ---,1383,56297,00.html 

Duke Ellington (History, Jazz, Music) --- 

Pitchfork: Top 100 Albums of the 1980s (Music)  --- 

Once you get used to Shanghai's smothering pollution, it's the spectacle of a society in transition that really takes your breath away 

London's Churches --- 

The Mammal Species of the World (Biology, Animals) --- 

"Always-on" employees waste bandwidth and download potentially destructive programs. Employers are now being shown tools to monitor said employees. Michelle Delio reports from the Computer Security Institute conference in Chicago ---,1848,56324,00.html 

Republicans are local-phone outfits' traditional allies. However, despite its midterm sweep, the GOP will have few favors to dispense 

The Freud Museum of Vienna --- 

"What Freud Got Right," by Fred Guterl, Newsweek --- 
His theories, long discredited, are finding support from neurologists using modern brain imaging

Sigmund Freud has been out of the scientific mainstream for so long, it’s easy to forget that in the early-20th century he was regarded as a towering man of science—not, as he is remembered today, as the founder of the marginalized form of therapy known as psychoanalysis.

AT THE START of his career, he wanted to invent a “science of the mind,” but the Victorian tools he had were too blunt for the task. So he dropped the “science” part and had his patients lie on a couch, free-associating about childhood, dreams and fantasies. This technique yielded the revolutionary notion that the human mind was a soap opera of concealed lust and aggression, of dark motives, self-deception and dreams rife with hidden meaning. The problem was, Freud had lots of anecdotes but almost no empirical data. With the invention of tools like the PET scan that can map the neurological activity inside a living brain, scientists discounted the windy speculations of psychoanalysis and dismissed Freud himself as the first media-savvy self-help guru.

But a funny thing happened to Freud on the way to becoming a trivia question: as researchers looked deeper into the physical structure of the brain, they began to find support for some of his theories. Now a small but influential group of researchers are using his insights as a guide to future research; they even have a journal, Neuropsychoanalysis, founded three years ago. “Freud’s insights on the nature of consciousness are consonant with the most advanced contemporary neuroscience views,” wrote Antonio Damasio, head of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Note that Damasio did not refer to psychoanalysis or the Oedipus complex. Instead the work is going on at the fundamental level where emotions are born and primitive passions lurk in the shadows of dreams.

Beyond the basic animal instincts to seek food and avoid pain, Freud identified two sources of psychic energy, which he called “drives”: aggression and libido (the latter encompasses sexuality but also had a more expansive meaning, involving the desire for stimulation and achievement). The key to his theory is that these were unconscious drives, shaping our behavior without the mediation of our waking minds; they surface, heavily disguised, only in our dreams. The work of the past half-century in psychology and neuroscience has been to downplay the role of unconscious universal drives, focusing instead on rational processes in conscious life. Meanwhile, dreams were downgraded to a kind of mental static, random scraps of memory flickering through the sleeping brain. But researchers have found evidence that Freud’s drives really do exist, and they have their roots in the limbic system, a primitive part of the brain that operates mostly below the horizon of consciousness. Now more commonly referred to as emotions, the modern suite of drives comprises five: rage, panic, separation distress, lust and a variation on libido sometimes called seeking. Freud presaged this finding in 1915, when he wrote that drives originate “from within the organism” in response to demands placed on the mind “in consequence of its connection with the body.” Drives, in other words, are primitive brain circuits that control how we respond to our environment—foraging when we’re hungry, running when we’re scared and lusting for a mate.

The seeking drive is proving a particularly fruitful subject for researchers. Although like the others it originates in the limbic system, it also involves parts of the forebrain, the seat of higher mental functions. In the 1980s, Jaak Panksepp, a neurobiologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, became interested in a place near the cortex known as the ventraltegmental area, which in humans lies just above the hairline. When Panksepp stimulated the corresponding region in a mouse, the animal would sniff the air and walk around, as though it were looking for something. Was it hunger? No. The mouse would walk right by a plate of food, or for that matter any other object Panksepp could think of. This brain tissue seemed to cause a general desire for something new. “What I was seeing,” he says, “was the urge to do stuff.” Panksepp called this seeking.

Continued in the article

Sigmund Freud Museum 

Listen for the cowbells in rock music --- 

Top dog among search engines in the Net's early years, AltaVista wants that distinction back. A new look and a promise to provide more relevant results could be steps in the right direction ---,1367,56335,00.html 

November 13, 2002
In a bid to recapture its former status as the Web's top-ranked search engine, the Palo Alto, California, company rolled out a dramatic overhaul of its site and indexing methodology this week.

Executives said the revamped site, which includes a pared-down front page and more frequent updates of indexed links, is part of a broader effort to restructure the company.

"The company tried to become a portal too late in the game, and lost focus," said Jim Barnett, AltaVista's CEO. "What we've done over the past year is focus the company back on our core strength and our roots, which is search."

The redesign comes amid a difficult period for AltaVista, a company that SearchDay editor Chris Sherman said "was once considered the king of search engines."

While the company enjoyed a brief spell of Internet stardom in the late 1990s, its fortunes abruptly reversed when the dot-com bubble burst. Over the past two years, AltaVista has weathered multiple rounds of layoffs and withdrew a stock offering once expected to net $300 million.

Meanwhile, the company's popularity among search engine users is also slipping. Although AltaVista still has a large following, with an estimated 33 million visitors a month worldwide, it trails behind rivals Google and Yahoo.

In the November ranking of most-visited U.S.-run Internet sites, tabulated by NetRatings, AltaVista did not make the top 25.

Still, search engine experts say it's not too late for AltaVista to make a comeback.

"They've had a history of making changes and hyping the changes and not really living up to the hype," Sherman said. "But this time it feels different. I get the impression they really are serious about getting back to being a serious player in the search industry."

Sherman said that while he's only done a few searches on the new AltaVista, he's getting better results than he used to. AltaVista now does a better job separating paid listings from genuinely relevant search results, he added.

AltaVista's Barnett believes the revamped site will help bring back many of the search engine's former fans.

In addition to a feature that refreshes more than half of its search results daily, the company is offering an established advanced search tool, Prisma, in four additional languages: French, German, Italian and Spanish.

AltaVista also claims to have vastly improved its ability to weed out duplicate pages, spam and dead links.

But Shari Thurow, marketing director at Grantastic Designs and author of the upcoming book Search Engine Visibility, isn't so sure.

"The look and feel is a million times better," Thurow said. "But I'm hoping their search results are more relevant, too, because the look and feel doesn't change that."

Like many early Web junkies, Thurow was an avid user of AltaVista. She claims that back in 1997 it was her favorite site.

Nowadays, Thurow says she usually prefers to conduct searches on Google, Fast and AskJeeves. She still uses AltaVista, but largely for software-related research and to find images, for which the site has a dedicated search function.

Continued at,1367,56335,00.html 

New York Times: Standoff with Iraq --- 

"The Secret Life of Markup," by Steve Champeon, Webmonkey, October 11, 2002 --- 

The average reader — one not raised by wolves, or, worse, by rabid advocates of Standard Generalized Markup Language during the heyday of SGML — may not clearly understand the concepts of Semantics, Structure, Markup, Content, Style, Transformation, and Presentation. Heck, I'm not sure many of us did back then either, but we've had a few years to think about it.

When Web designers talk about how the concepts are related (or how and when they should be kept separate, or even what technologies actually implement them) things get especially confusing. And more's the pity, because these very concepts comprise the very foundation of the Web, past and future. So let's take it slow. We'll carefully introduce these ideas one at a time, so that we can put a stop to the endless butchery of the terminology and the confusion that results from same.

Most Web designers who have peeked at the source of their documents understand the most basic concept we will discuss in this article: markup. But we'll cover it anyway. You'll thank us later, as it will clarify the relationships markup has with the rest. 

Continued at  

A review of SGML, XML, and other markups can be found at 

American History
Monticello --- 

A wonderful site with a global perspective.
Frontline/World from PBS --- 

The New Wealth Package: Generating Value in Distressed Urban Communities --- 

Guess Who Yahoos?

Yahoo evidently provides a free e-mail account to Saddam Hussein's eldest son, who also has a .NET Passport from Microsoft -- which would be a violation of U.S. law ---,2100,56292,00.html 

My response to an inquiry about FAS 133 tutorials:

Angela asked me to reply to your message. In the late 1990s there were quite a few alternatives for FAS 133 training around the nation. I was asked to chair several of these myself and have some audio modules that I captured from speakers that I lined up for these various training workshops. See 

Since then the momentum for such training workshops has died down, although some accounting firms are still providing some workshops. For live workshop information, I suggest that you contact Ira Kawaller ---

I have a tutorial guide section near the top of my glossary on derivatives and FAS 133 terminology --- 

I also have my own free tutorials and cases at 

In particular, you might note the 133ex01a.xls and other Excel workbooks at 

Hope this helps!

Bob Jensen

Some possible reasons for the poor showing of Democratic candidates in the Year 2002 elections in the U.S.

Forwarded by Brent Carper in Egypt


A little political review---time to think & remember!!

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1,000; President Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel; Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel; Clinton promised that&nbs p; those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000; Clinton promised that those responsible! would be hunted down and punished.

After the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors; Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

Maybe if Clinton had kept his promise, an esti mated 3,000 people in New York and Washington, D.C. that are now dead would be alive today.

AN INTERESTING QUESTION: This question was raised on a Philly radio call-in show. 

Without casting stones, it is a legitimate question. There are two men, both extremely wealthy.

One develops relatively cheap software and gives billions of dollars to charity. The other sponsors terrorism. That being the case, why is it that the Clinton Administration s pent more money chasing down Bill Gates over his eight years in office than Osama bin Laden? THINK ABOUT IT!

Questionable Hardware of the Week (But if it works, all auditors and teachers should carry this Handy Truster device)
Think of the possibilities is you ask if a student is aware of cheating in your class!
Your own personal hand-held lie detector that claims to reveal when someone is telling you a lie over the phone or face-to-face --- 

Find out the TRUTH with the World's first Handheld, Portable Lie Detector!  Just ask your question and the Handy Truster will analyze the truthfulness of the response.


With the Handy Truster, you can find out if your lover has been faithful, what your co-workers and boss really think, and how honest your friends and family truly are!  

Do you want to know the truth? Just ask! The Handy Truster can be used

Sounds to me like Miss Cleo has formed a new company --- 

Advice to Internet Junkies ---

Forwarded by the Happy Lady

A woman brought a very limp parrot into a veterinary surgery. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, Polly has passed away". The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure? I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something?" The vet rolled his eyes, shrugged, turned and left the room returning a few moments later with a beautiful black Labrador. As the bird's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the dead parrot from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet thanked the dog and took the dog out but returned a few moments later with a cat! The cat jumped up and also sniffed delicately at the ex-bird The cat sat back, shook its head, meowed and ran out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry; but like I said, your parrot is most definitely 100% certifiably . dead." He then turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill which he handed to the woman. The parrot's owner, still in shock took the bill. "$150!" she cried. "$150 just to tell me my bird is dead?!"

The vet shrugged. "If you'd taken my word for it the bill would only have been $20, but... what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan..."

Forwarded by Dr. B

A dedicated Teamsters Union worker was attending a convention in  Las Vegas and decided to check out the local brothels. When he got  to the first one, he asked the Madam, "Is this a union house?"   

"No," she replied, "I'm sorry, it isn't."   

"Well, if I pay you $100.00, what cut do the girls get?"   

"The house gets $80.00 and the girls get $20.00."   

Mightily offended at such unfair dealings, the man  stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable, hopefully  unionized shop. His search continued until finally  he reached a brothel where the Madam responded,    "Why, yes, sir, this IS a Union House."   

The man asked, "And if I pay you $100.00, what cut do the girls get?"    "The girls get $80.00 and the house gets $20.00."   

"That's more like it!!!" the Teamster said. He handed the Madam  $100.00, looked around the room and pointed to a stunningly  attractive  blonde. "I choose her for the night."   

"I'm sure you would, sir," said the Madam.    Then pointing to an 85 year-old gaga woman in the corner,  "but Ethel here has both tenure and seniority. 

DRIVING OURSELVES CRAZY, by Jenny Dickason --- 

Fraud Follies from

Fraud Follies

The business of fraud isn't always serious. Below are some of our favorite funny stories. If you would like to share one with us, please send it to

Some are old and some are new.  Most of them are dumb, dumb, dumb!

Forwarded by Barbara (who's more gray than blonde)

 0 1.) What do you call an eternity:
             Four Blondes in four cars at a four way stop.

  02.) Why do Blondes have TGIF written on their shoes?
            Toes Go In First.

  03.) Three Blondes were driving to Disneyland. After being in the car for four hours they finally saw a sign that said "Disneyland Left" so they turned around and went home.

 0 4.) What do SMART Blondes and UFO's have in common?
            You always hear about them but never see them.

  05.) What did the Blonde say when she opened the box of Cheerios? 
            Oh look, Daddy...Doughnut seeds.

  06.) Why did the Blonde stare at the can of frozen orange juice?
          Because it said concentrate.

  07.) Why do blondes always smile during lightning storms? 
            They think  their picture is being taken.

  08.) How can you tell when a Blonde sends you a fax?
        It has a stamp on it.

  09.) Why can't Blondes dial 911?
        They can't find the 11 on the phone!

  10.) What do you do if a Blonde throws a pin at you?
        Run, she's got a grenade in her mouth!

  11.) How can you tell if a Blonde has been using your computer?
            There is white-out all over the monitor.

  12.) Why shouldn't Blondes have coffee breaks?
            It takes too long to retrain them.

   13.) A brunette goes to the doctor and as she touches every part of her body with her finger she says, "Doctor it hurts everywhere.My leg hurts, my arm hurts, my neck hurts, and even my head hurts!"

  The doctor asks, "Were you ever a Blonde?" 

"Yes I was." she replies. "why do you ask?" 

The doctor answers, "because your finger is broken!"


  14.) A Blonde and a brunette were walking outside when the brunette said, "Oh look at the dead bird."

   The Blonde looked skyward and said, "Where, where?"


15.) A brunette is standing on some train tracks, jumping from rail to rail, saying "21" "21" "21" 

A Blonde walks up, sees her and decides to join her. She also starts jumping from rail to rail, saying "21" "21" "21" 

Suddenly, the brunette hears a train whistle and jumps off the tracks just as the Blonde is splattered all over  the place. 

The Brunette goes back to jumping from rail to rail , counting "22" "22" "22"


  16.) How do you drown a Blonde?
            Put a scratch & sniff sticker at the bottom of the pool.

  17.) Why does it take longer to build a Blonde snowman as opposed to a regular one?
               You have to hollow out the head.

  18.) How do you get a twinkle in a Blonde's eye?
            Shine a flashlight in her ear.

  19.) Why don't Blondes like making KOOL-AID?
            Because they can't fit 8 cups of water in the little packet.


   20.) Did you hear about the two Blondes that were found frozen to death in their car at the drive-in movie theater? They went to see "Closed for Winter".


   21.) Why won't they hire Blondes as pharmacists?
            They keep breaking the prescription bottles in the typewriters.

  22.) A Blonde walks up to a Coke machine and puts in a coin. Out pops a coke. The blonde looks amazed and runs away to get some more coins.   She  returns and starts feeding the machine madly and of course the machine keeps feeding out drinks. Another person walks up behind the blonde an watches her antics for a few minutes before stopping and asking someone else could have a go. The blonde spins around and shout in her face, "Can't you see I'm winning?!"

  23.)  Too dumb to repeat.

  24.) Two blondes were in a parking lot trying to unlock the door of their Mercedes with a coat hanger, but they couldn't. The girl with the coat hanger stopped for a moment to catch her breath, and her friend said anxiously, "Hurry up! It's starting to rain and  the top is down!"

  25.) A young blonde woman is distraught because she fears her husband is having an affair, so she goes to a gun shop and buys a handgun. Then one day she comes home and finds her husband in bed with a beautiful redhead. She grabs the gun and holds it to her own head.  The husband jumps out of bed, begging and pleading with her not to shoot herself. Hysterically the blonde responds to the husband, "Shut're next!"

  26.) Hear about the blonde that got an AM radio?
            It took her a month to realize she could play it at night.

  27.) What happened to the all-blonde Ice Hockey Team?
            They drowned in Spring Training.

   28.) What did the blonde say when she saw the sign in front of the YMCA? "Look!
            They spelled MACY'S wrong!"

   29.) Why did the blonde scale the chain-link fence?
          To see what was on the other side.

  30.) How do you make a blonde laugh on Saturday?
          Tell her a joke on Wednesday.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

A good pun is its own reword.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Practice safe eating -- always use condiments.
Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft, and I'll show you A flat minor.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.
Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
The poor guy fell into a glass grinding machine and made a spectacle of himself.

Forwarded by Bob Overn


Spotted in a toilet of a London office:

In a Laundromat:

In a London department store:

In an office:

In an office:

Outside a secondhand shop:

Notice in health food shop window:

Spotted in a safari park:

Seen during a conference:

Notice in a field:

Message on a leaflet:

On a repair shop door:

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam

MONA LISA'S JEWISH MOTHER: "After all that money your father and I spent on braces, that's the biggest smile you can give us?"

COLUMBUS' JEWISH MOTHER: "I don't care what you've discovered, you still could have written!"

MICHELANGELO'S JEWISH MOTHER: "Can't you paint on walls like other children! ..Do you have any idea how hard it was to get that sheiss off the ceiling?"

NAPOLEON'S JEWISH MOTHER: "All right, if you aren't hiding your report card inside your jacket, take your hand out of there and show me."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S JEWISH MOTHER: "Again with the hat!! Can't you just wear a baseball cap like the other kids?"

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S JEWISH MOTHER: "The next time I catch you throwing your gelt across the Potomac, you can kiss your allowance good-bye!"

THOMAS EDISON'S JEWISH MOTHER: "Of course I'm proud that you invented the

electric light bulb, now turn it off and gey schlaffin!"

PAUL REVERE'S JEWISH MOTHER: "I don't care where you think you have to go, boychik, midnight is past your curfew."

And, of course, these two, who really did have Jewish mothers:

ALBERT EINSTEIN'S JEWISH MOTHER: "But it's your senior picture, couldn't you do something about your hair?"

MOSES' JEWISH MOTHER: "That's a nice story, now tell me where you've really been for the last forty years ...and, again, why is it you haven't called?"

These "wonderings" are forwarded by Dick Haar

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out."?

Who was the first one who thought that the white thing that came from a hen's butt looked edible?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

What do you call male ballerinas?

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse?

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you that there's wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

Forwarded by Dr. B

Little girl walks into a pet shop and asks in the sweetest little lisp: 

 "Excuthe me, mithter, do you have wittal wabbits?" 

The shopkeeper gets down on his knees, so that he's on her level, and asks:  "Do you want a wittle white wabby or a soft and fuwwy black wabby or maybe  one like that cute wittle brown wabby over there?" 

The little girl in turn puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and says in a quiet sweet voice: "I don't think my python weally givth a thit."

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

 World's Easiest Quiz   

(Passing requires 4 correct answers)   

01) How long did the Hundred Years War last?    0
2) Which country makes Panama hats?   
03) From which animal do we get catgut?   
04) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?   
05) What is a camel's hair brush made of?   
06) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?    0
07) What was King George VI's first name?   
08) What color is a purple finch?   
09) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?   

All done? Check your answers below!    
01) How long did the Hundred Years War last?   *116 years   
02) Which country makes Panama hats?   *Ecuador   
03) From which animal do we get cat gut?   *Sheep and Horses   
04) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?   *November   
05) What is a camel's hair brush made of?   *Squirrel fur   
06) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?   *Dogs   
07) What was King George VI's first name?   *Albert   
08) What color is a purple finch?   *Crimson   
09) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?   *New Zealand   

Reply from John Rice

You might want to inform the guy who started this that the Canary Islands are not located in the Pacific Ocean. They are approximately 100 miles west of Morocco (North Africa) in the Atlantic. So the answer is: There are no Canary Islands in the Pacific.

These "wonderings" forwarded by Auntie Bev

  1. I was thinking the other day ........ that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans.

  2.  I was thinking......about old age and decided that it is when you still have something on the ball but you are just too tired to bounce it.

  3.  I thought about....... making a movie for folks my age and call it "Pumping Rust."

  4.  I have found at my age.....going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of my face.

  5.  I was thinking about........ how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older then it dawned on me - they were cramming for their finals!

  6.  You know...... when people see a cat's litter box, they always say, "Oh, have you got a cat?"  Just once I wanted to say, "No, it's for company!"

  7.  I've thought about..... those employment applications and that blank that always ask who is to be notified in case of an emergency. I think you should write ...Good Doctor!

  8.   I've always wondered........... why they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do.. . . write to these men? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they deliver the mail?

  9.  I thought about being rich...... and it doesn't mean so much. Just look at Henry Ford, all those millions and he never owned a Cadillac!

  10.  If you jogged backward ...  would you gain weight?

  11.  I wonder........ what you call a pocket calculator in a nudist camp?

  12.  I wonder....... if Adam ever said to Eve, "Watch it! There are plenty more ribs where you came from!"

  13. I have decided....... that Nostalgia is the VCR of our minds.

  14. I have noticed........ when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you? But when you put him in a car he sticks his head out the window!
    Also:  you have to fight to give a dog a bath,  yet they'll sit out in the rain for hours on end.

  15.  I'm not into working out!       My philosophy: No pain, no pain.

  16.  Have you ever noticed... that anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you  is a maniac?

  17.  I think the reason that... most people play golf is to wear clothes they would not  be caught dead in otherwise.

  18.  I'm desperately trying to figure out... why kamikaze pilots wore helmets! ! !

Thanksgiving Humor --- 

And a happy Thanksgiving to everybody inside and outside America today!

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Author unknown.


And that's the way it was on November 30, 2002 with a little help from my friends.


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Paul Pacter maintains the best international accounting standards and news Website at


How stuff works --- 


Bob Jensen's video helpers for MS Excel, MS Access, and other helper videos are at 
Accompanying documentation can be found at and 


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

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November 15, 2002  

 Quotes of the Week

But in contemporary United States, something happened to the national memory. In the last ten years, top executives of a stunning number of very large corporations committed fraud and theft, doctored their books, created false entities designed to let insiders rake in billions when many of them knew their corporations were in crisis. For numerous firms the crisis was fatal and hundreds of thousands of their workers lost their jobs and were cheated of their old-age pensions. It was not only the Enrons and WorldComs but some of the most prestigious monuments of American capitalism — some of the country's oldest and largest banks and accounting firms.
Ben Bagdikian (See the message below from Don Mathis)

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
Mark Twain
But  Surprise! Surprise!
How Did You Meet? If Answer Is "Online," Couples Tend to Lie
Jennifer Saranow, The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2002 ---,,SB1036533515435168988,00.html 
Note from Jensen:  One of my good friends, a professor in Florida who's almost as old as me, met his new wife online.  And he's telling the truth about it!  But if this formerly dedicated bachelor had invited his former girl friends to the wedding, it might've been necessary to rent a football stadium.  And I bet they would have all shown up to cheer him on --- sigh!

Amusing yourself almost always means a different way of being bored.
Charles Régismanset

The public good consists of a great number of private evils.  (Ask the San Antonio City Council members headed for jail.)
Anatole France

There is a more terrible weapon than calumny: the truth.
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord

Duty is what one expects from others.
Oscar Wilde

Art is a hammer to beat the world, not a mirror to reflect it
Vladimir Majakovskij

Love is eternal while it lasts.
Henri de Régnier

The year is 1901, one hundred and one years ago. . . . what a difference a century makes. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
Bill Kozy as forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly

Bob Jensen's November 15, 2002 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at 

International accounting standards board (IASB) to propose expensing options --- 
Bob Jensen's threads on this controversy are at 

Who is to blame for the meltdown of Enron, the crashing stock market and other disturbing events in corporate America? Everyone from the accounting industry that cannot police itself to individual investors who chose not to ask too many questions say Stanford Business School faculty members. Stanford Business magazine, November, 2002 

Don Sends this Link to "Whence The National Epidemic Of Greed, Fraud, And Rush To War?" by Ben Bagdikian

Dear Dr. Jensen, I enjoy reading many of your links. Here's one for you: 

 Don Mathis 
Trinity University Coates Library Circulation Dept

The World of a Favored Colleague, Scholar, and Mystery Writer
The World of Bill Breit 

Years ago I wrote a tribute to Bill Breit --- 

The drop in stock prices has created unusual circumstances for tax planning that can possibly save you money if you plan ahead now.

KPMG Offers Year-End Strategies and Tips To Help Reduce Your 2002 Tax Bill --- 

The following is a list of 12 tax-planning strategies and tips, offered by the Personal Financial Planning unit of KPMG's Tax Practice, that should be considered before December 31, 2002:

1. Think about harvesting your investment losses in the stock market. Review your stock portfolio to determine if it's advisable to recognize capital losses to offset capital gains. Also, keep in mind that a net capital loss of up to $3,000 can offset ordinary income.

2. Consider turning your stock market loss into a charity gain, if you have stocks that decreased in value this year. By donating proceeds of the loss to charity, you can claim a capital loss and a charitable contribution.

3. Take advantage of the new contribution limits for both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, which increase to $3,000, up from the long- established $2,000. If you're 50 or older, you can make that $3,500, under new "catch-up" provisions.

4. Enhance tax-savings opportunities through contributions to a 529 college-investment plan or a Coverdell education savings account. Coverdell accounts -- formerly called Education IRAs -- have undergone a major expansion with contribution limits raised by $1,500 to a new limit of $2,000, higher income-eligibility limits for married couples, and withdrawals allowed for pre-college expenses. With 529 plans, many states give residents a tax deduction and distributions are tax-free, if used for qualified higher-education expenses.

5. If you're financially able, consider establishing a gift-giving program for children and grandchildren to take advantage of the tax-exclusion increase. This year, certain individual gifts of up to $11,000 per recipient have no gift and estate taxes, up from $10,000 last year. You may give as many individual gifts as you like and, if married, so may your spouse.

6. Give particular thought to charitable contributions. To enhance the value of the contribution, confer with your tax professional to determine if the contribution should be made in property or cash.

7. If you have self-employment income, start a Keogh plan by December 31, 2002. Much like an IRA, these tax-deferred savings plans allow annual contributions of up to $40,000, which can be deducted from personal income.

8. Enroll in an employer-sponsored dependent care program to earn federal tax-exclusion benefits of up to $5,000 and/or a medical expense reimbursement plan, which allows employees to use pre-tax dollars for medical bills not covered by their insurance.

9. Learn about the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which will affect more taxpayers beginning this year. Meet with your tax adviser or invest in income-tax software (unless you are intimately familiar with tax law and comfortable with higher math) to determine what normal deductible expenses will either not be deductible at all or only partially deductible. Be especially sensitive to the AMT if you live in a high-tax state.

10. Pay the final installment of state-estimated tax by December 31, 2002 to receive a deduction for this year, rather than 2003. But be aware of possible AMT ramifications.

11. Accelerate deductions into this year by prepaying some of next year's deductible expenses, and defer income, where possible, until next year. This can work particularly well for self-employed individuals and others who have some degree of control over when they get paid.

12. If you are one of the many individuals who experienced a job loss in 2002, tally up all job-search-related expenses. You may be eligible for a deduction if your expenses exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

"MIT's Superarchive," by Sally Atwood, Technology Review, November 2002 --- 

A digital repository will revolutionize the way research is shared and preserved.

Every year MIT researchers create at least 10,000 papers, data files, images, collections of field notes, and audio and video clips. The research often finds its way into professional journals, but the rest of the material remains squirreled away on personal computers, Web sites, and departmental servers. It’s accessible to only a few right now. And with computers and software evolving rapidly, the time is coming when files saved today will not be accessible to anyone at all.

Until recently there has been no overall plan to archive or preserve such work for posterity. But true to its problem-solving nature, MIT has come up with a solution. In September the Institute launched DSpace, a Web-based institutional repository where faculty and researchers can save their intellectual output and share it with their colleagues around the world and for centuries to come. The result of a two-year collaboration of the MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard, DSpace is built on open-source software and is available to anyone free of charge. But it’s even more important to note that many believe this groundbreaking effort will fundamentally change the way scholars disseminate their research findings.

Continued at 

I added this to my Technology Glossary under OKI at 

From UC Berkeley
Free Digital Library of Books, Audio, and Films (Thank you Richard Campbell for leading me to this great site)
WayBack Machine --- 

The Internet Archive, working with Alexa Internet, has created the Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine makes it possible to surf more than 10 billion pages stored in the Internet Archive's web archive. The Wayback Machine was unveiled on October 24th, 2001 at U.C. Berkeley's Bancroft Library. Visit the Wayback Machine by entering an URL above or clicking on specific collections below

Browse the Internet Archive --- 

The Internet Archive is collaborating with various collectors, community members, and film-makers to provide easy access to a rich and fascinating core collection of archival films.

  • Prelinger Archives
  • Computer Chronicles  (This is one of my favorite TV shows)
  • Net Café
  • Orphan Films at USC
  • World at War
  • Jagdish Gangolly informed me about the free Open Source book links shown below:

    1.  Online books at the Digital Library of U Pennsylvania
    (a real treasure trove)

    2.  If you are interested in old grammar books, Latin & Greek classics and e-books:

    Bob Jensen's links to other Internet libraries can be found at 

    November 13, 2002 message from BusinessWeek Online [

    Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is recognized throughout the world as a premier institution of higher education and is consistently ranked as one of the leading providers of advanced business degrees.

    BusinessWeek recently ranked our daytime program No. 9 and our executive MBA programs No. 4. U.S. News & World Report ranked our daytime program No. 6 and our executive MBA programs No. 3. The Financial Times ranked Fuqua's executive MBA programs No. 6.

    Please find attached a brief multimedia video highlighting our 4 MBA program formats. Each format is specially designed to fit a students unique career stage and lifestyle. 

    Lifting Literature on New Hope for Economic Recovery and Growth
    From Stanford University

    In this op/ed piece Tim Bresnahan, Stanford Business School professor of economics, by courtesy, claims that the technology industry has not lost its vital role. San Jose Mercury News, October 20, 2002

    Stanford Business School economist Paul Romer, the leading proponent of New Growth Theory, now spends his days trying to prove in the business world what he's taught for years—technology, along with capital and labor, is the third ingredient underlying modern economic growth.
    San Jose Mercury News, October 19, 2002

    Among Forbes Magazine's list of 20 most influential business books is "Built to Last" by former GSB faculty member James C. Collins and GSB faculty member emeritus Jerry I. Porras. Hispanic Business, October 18, 2002

    SeeCommerce, a provider of supply chain performance management applications (SCPM), announced a collaboration with GSB faculty member Hau Lee who has developed the first comprehensive academic paper to define SPCM.

    The University of California San Diego offers an online writing course for high school students --- 

    This site is dedicated to providing information and resources for the UCSD Online Writing course offerings. Both UCSD's 6th College and UCSD Extension offer writing courses that are currently available on this site.

    Through our proprietary "online classroom", students study and learn the same content present in our "face-to-face" courses, while still benefiting from substantial personal contact with both instructors and classmates. Upon attending any of our online classes, students become part of an innovative, unique and dynamic educational community.

    Update on Cheating Scandals at the University of Virginia

    An earlier November 26, 2001 CBS television segment called "Cheating Scandal at U. of Virginia," --- 

    Eight University of Virginia students have left school for plagiarism, and a student committee is preparing to investigate 72 more alleged honor code violations in what has become the school's biggest cheating scandal in memory.

    Since May, 148 students have been accused of copying term papers in Professor Lou Bloomfield's introductory physics course. Bloomfield referred the students to the university honor committee after a homemade computer program detected numerous duplicated phrases in his students' work during the past five semesters.

    "That was a real shock," said Thomas Hall, chairman of the honor committee, whose staff has been under enormous pressure to finish its investigation before graduation this May. "The largest number of accusations I'd seen from any one professor was maybe five."

    Sixty Minutes aired an update with Mike Wallace on November 10, 2002 ---  
    At the time I am writing this early in the morning on November 11, CBS has not yet posted the update version at its Website.

    Here are some of the highlights I noted while watching Mike Wallace's update last night

    How many students have been expelled from the University of Virginia over the approximate period of one year and how many are still awaiting a decision on whether or not they will be expelled due to Honor Code violations at the University of Virginia?

    The number is now up to 40 students expelled with 120 others still awaiting a decision as to their fate.  I might note that this is after the scandal made national headlines almost a year ago when eight students were expelled.

    What is the most absurd claim made by a UVA student interviewed on campus by Mike Wallace?

    That faculty investigations of honor code violations are violations of trust that students have in faculty when students sign the honor code.  Students are led to believe that faculty in an honor code system will not snoop into cheating even if there is evidence of such cheating.

    What is the most innovative way students are cheating in examinations using water bottles?

    Write crib notes in microscopic print on the back of a label pasted to the outside of a water bottle.  The print becomes magnified when looking through the water on the opposite side of the label.

    What is an earlier CBS 48 Hours show in which the School Board of a high school overturned the grades of a biology teacher who failed students for cheating by downloading their main project papers from the Internet?

    Plagiarism Controversy Engulfs Kansas School --- 

    It all started with a 10th grade biology project about leaves. But the dust-up over the handling of a student-plagiarism incident in the normally tranquil Kansas City, Kan., suburb of Piper doesn't appear likely to subside any time soon.

    So far, the teacher at the center of the controversy, Christine Pelton, has resigned. Another teacher resigned last month in support, and several others are contemplating whether they want to stay with the 1,300-student district. The latest casualty is Michael Adams, the principal at the 450- student Piper High School, who announced last month that he would resign at the end of the school year. He cited "personal and professional" reasons, but added in an interview: "You can read between the lines."

    In addition, the district attorney has filed civil charges against the district's seven-member school board, accusing the members of violating the Kansas open-meetings law last December when they reduced the penalties for the 28 students accused of plagiarism. And three board members now face a recall drive.

    "All of us have gotten tons of hate mail, from all over the country," said Leigh Vader, the Piper school board's vice president. "People are telling us we're idiots and stupid. ... Moving on—I think that's the goal of everyone."

    But that may be difficult. The dispute, which has drawn national attention, will return to the national spotlight in May, when the CBS newsmagazine "48 Hours" is expected to air an investigative report on the Piper plagiarism case.

    "For a lot of people," said David Lungren, the president of the Piper Teachers Association, "the feeling is we can debate the decision to death or figure out what we need to do to move on. If we can all agree that this did not work out well for us, what could we figure out to prevent this from occurring again?"

    What is the major conclusion drawn by commentators of on all of these CBS shows about cheating?

    That a rapidly-growing proportion students no longer consider cheating a bad thing to do as long as you don't get caught.  And their parents do not consider cheating a bad thing and will even go to school officials and even court to defend against punishments for cheating.

    What are the most popular sites for term papers?

    Answer 1: --- 
    Note that this site purportedly has a minimum of 250,000 hits per day according to the November 10, 2002 Sixty Minutes show.

    Need a Paper

    Welcome back to School Sucks!! Ya ready?
    Time to get out those dusty notebooks, the whoopie cushions, the notes you got from the kid who took the same classes last year and get your asses back to school!

    We're ready.

    We got a new site for you. A chat room so you can talk homework with students from all over the world. Message boards, games and polls. If you sign up, you can send instant messages.

    We're giving a $250 high school scholarship this semester. But you have to prove that you're not an A student to participate!

    Let us know what you think and keep spreading the word:

    School Sucks!

    Answer 2 --- Termpapers R Us --- 

    Do you need help and need it fast? Then you have found THE BEST SITE on the entire Internet.  Our guarantee to you... is that you will find what you need on this site and you will find it fast.... if it isn’t in our database of more than 25,000 sample term papers, essays, and research studies, then we will write one for you just as fast as you need it.

    Try a keyword search through our database of more than 25,000 sample term papers, essays, and research studies... if you can't find something on your topic... then we will write one for you just as fast as you need it. Take advantage of the expertise and wealth of talent that the staff of researchers and writers have to offer at They work around the clock 24 hours per day... 7 days per week... 365 days per year and do nothing but assist students with their term projects and research reports.... NO matter what the topic ..nor the time of day.. TermpapersRus is always available to assist you with all your writing needs.    

    "Term Papers ‘R’ Us"! ..we assist students with Term papers... and we are THE BEST! 

    Check the database -- RIGHT NOW!! -- and you’ll see what we mean.... there are more than 25,000 example term papers listed there ...and they are all available for immediate delivery by email, fax or Federal Express!  ...each of the thousands of papers in the Term Papers ‘R’ Us database cost only $[] per page and the bibliographies are FREE??!! ...this straight-forward-no-hassle rate allows 
    Term Papers ‘R’ Us to help you become "Term Papers ‘R’ Me!" Need it FAST!! then simply place a "RUSH ORDER" and receive it even faster ...
    in ONLY a few hours!!! 
    Click here to ORDER NOW!!  is so confident in the quality of our work... that we offer you the unique opportunity to actually preview excerpts from a paper (for FREE) in order to see if it offers the appropriate direction for your research and studies.

     Didn't find anything in our database??

    NO PROBLEM!!!! You can have one of the research writers complete a customized example paper for you.... and this way we can show you the very best techniques for writing your own paper and you'll learn how to approach any topic.  All customized research is ONLY $19.95 per page with a FREE bibliography and a guaranteed completion date!!  So search our database NOW.. or you can Click HERE or the purple balloon for Custom research... either way you'll have quality staff to show you the way for all of your writing needs!!!  

    Answer 3 (Some others mentioned on the May 10, 2002 Sixty Minutes show) --- (Free papers) --- 

    The most disheartening revelation by two young spokesmen for the School Sucks service on the Web was the answer to the Mike Wallace question:  Who besides students downloads papers from School Sucks?

    Professors wanting to pad their resumes and annual performance reports.  

    Bob Jensen's conclusion:  Listening to the above revelation that some professors are using the same cheat sites as students will not not exactly help convince students that this is a wrong thing to do in education and in society.  But then again, students and their professors get even more cynical about cheating morality as they watch leaders in corporate governance, auditing firms, churches, charities, and government being accused daily of massive frauds and influence peddling.

    A site not mentioned by CBS is very disturbing.  This service from Google Answers is the pits.  
    Students can now pay to have their homework answered by experts.
    Some claim using the Net to do homework shows that today's kids are resourceful. But a rise in content cribbed straight from online sources, like Google Answers, has teachers on alert.
    "Thin Line Splits Cheating, Smarts," by Dustin Goot, Wired News, September 10, 2002 ---,1383,54963,00.html 

    Bob Jensen's threads on cheating and plagiarism are at 

    In spite of the recent scandals being exposed about honor code violations at the University of Virginia, students purportedly cheat less often at schools with an honor code and a peer culture that condemns dishonesty "Honesty and Honor Codes," by Donald McCabe and Linda Klebe Treviño, Academe, January/February 2002 --- 

    November 11, 2002 reply from Chuck Pier [texcap@HOTMAIL.COM

    I received this email (which I have edited) from a student last Thursday:

    "I am a student that will be taking your exam tonight and it has come to my attention that some people are going to try to cheat using calculators that have stored programs in them. ... The model of choice are the TI 82 through 89 series (the big fat ones). I don't want to name names either because I believe that keeping people honest is better than punishing people. thanks"

    I did not open the email until after every student, except one, had finished the exam.

    My emotions regarding this issue vary from a) doing nothing and satisfying myself that they are only cheating themselves to b) wanting to exact the maximum punishment possible. I realize that the appropriate response is somewhere in the middle. This happened despite a stern warning at the beginning of the semester with regard to academic dishonesty and the penalty they would pay for its detection. Unfortunately I was unable to discern which students, if any, actually cheated by grading the exams.

    What I have decided to do is require that from now on only four function calculators be used, a similar solution to what we did on the CPA exam years ago (and maybe still does today). Has anyone had to resort to similar measures?

    While I might expect some of this in my Principles classes, I must admit that I am more than a little disappointed that this happened in my Intermediate I class. I would have hoped that accounting majors would realize the potential harm that can be done by a lack of integrity and ethics.

    Charles A. Pier 
    Assistant Professor Department of Accounting 
    Walker College of Business 
    Appalachian State University Boone, NC 28608 

    November 14, 2002 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

    Back when I was at Florida State, we had trouble with students taping their cheat sheet to the underside of the bill of their baseball caps. We were instructed to have all students turn their caps around before starting a test so that the bill was in the back, "Catcher-style".

    Sheeesh, back when I went to school, you had to take your hat OFF when you came indoors. Shows how old I am...

    David R. Fordham 
    PBGH Faculty Fellow 
    James Madison University

    November 14, 2002 reply from Dave Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM

    Note cards, water bottles, caps, programmable calculators, cell phone text mail, body art, etc.? I'm sure someone has experimented with wireless computerized lenses on the face of a test taker who has a confederate able to research any question and then send the answers to the lenses of the test taker (Dan, will you try to replicate this for me?).

    This is enough to get me to consider changing my testing methods to all written assignments. Oh wait! I can't do that either because of the proliferation of test writing services on the Internet and databases of published articles.

    As long as deceit and evil abound in the world and as long as it is impossible to know for sure what lurks in the hearts of men (and women) it will be impossible to do away with all cheating.

    So, what level of cheating can we live with?

    David Albrecht 
    Bowling Green State University

    Hi Dan,

    Now let's wait a minute on the "Wait a minute"  If your entire future rides on getting an A in a course, you might be tempted to crib for competitive advantage.  Or you may be a geek who just takes clever cheating up as a challenge.

    As Rchard Sansing pointed out, if you print on the back of the label of a water bottle and paste it back on the bottle, your can read it easily in magnified print from the other side of the bottle.  It is not necessary to reverse the printing.  However, if you want to use a mirror up a pant leg or skirt, you may need to reverse the printing.

    It is pretty easy to get small print.  Simply try Font Size 8 in MS Word.

    I am told that MW Word “has a somewhat hidden backward printing feature.”
    I’ve not been able to find it, but I’m certain that if anybody could find it, it would be my students.

    Actually a somewhat better approach would be to type whatever you want, paste in whatever graphs and tables you want, capture the screen, then reduce the size to whatever it takes to fit inside the water bottle, and then create a mirror image in your graphics or MS Word software.  However, you may want to wear a special kind of spectacles for magnification.  You can read the following in the Help file of MW Word:

    Create a mirror image of an object

    1. Click the AutoShape, picture, WordArt, or clip art you want to duplicate. 
    2. Click Copy and then click Paste 
    3. On the Drawing toolbar, click Draw, point to Rotate or Flip, and then click Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical
    4. Drag and position the duplicate object so that it mirrors the original object. 

    Note   You may need to override the Snap-To-Grid option to position the object precisely. To do this, press ALT as you drag the object.

    Bob Jensen

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Dan Stone [mailto:dstone@UKY.EDU]
    Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002, 5:04 A.M.
    Subject: Wait a minute....

    Now help me out here friends....

    I've been bothered since I first heard about this...

    If I write on a water bottle in tiny print and then read through the water, the print will be bigger but it will be BACKWARDS.  A middle of the night experiment confirms this.  Would it really be that helpful to have a tiny print, written-backwards cheat sheet?????? I doubt it.

    My point is that the media may be "over the top" in reporting some of the evidence on the cheating problem in today's University.  Yes I believe there is a cheating scandal, but to paraphrase from Charlotte's Web, "people believe anything that they read."  Let's not make this mistake.


    Dan Stone
    Univ. of Kentucky

    November 15, 2002 reply from 

    I saw your message on Bob Jensen's web site. Cheats, frauds and hackers have the same thing in common, they continually push the envelope until they are caught. While I have no classroom proof, this is a classic "better mouse trap" challenge to my audit skills. I envision the actual practice is a bit different than you or Bob imagined.

    Most students would use a standard laser printer, with a reduced font to print the note. You do not need to print backwards. The printed side is against the bottle because you read through the bottle, not through the paper. My actual thought was to wrap the note around the bottle and cover it with one of those foam gizmos that keeps the drink cold to keep the bottle from condensing and smearing the note. I was amazed at what fits on a 3x3 note that is smaller than the palm of my hand. Using MS Word, I repeatedly typed "test" across a 3x3 square and found that I could put 312 words on 24 lines at 8 point type. With only 1.5X magnification from the bottle, you view 12 point type. If I print 6 point type, it was 585 words on 32 lines. At 1.5X magnification or 9 point, this is readable, but a little small. So if you tilt the bottle and view across the surface of the water, you find a higher magnification. and this becomes a hefty cheat sheet. Using an ordinary clear soda bottle, you could wrap a 3X6 note around and still have plenty of room to read across the surface.

    Maybe I watch CSI too often.

    Mark S. Eckman

    Students may be clever enough not to copy a purchased term paper verbatim.  But they might avoid part of the learning task that you wanted most in your assignment, i.e., the task of learning to search for references and concepts.  For instance, the following paper can be purchased that contains 12 references that can be used to bypass the hunt for references as well as basic concepts.

    I found a link to the following paper that students or professors can buy at 

    Enron Accounting: Special Purpose Entities
    A 6 page paper answering 5 questions about what SPEs are, why they exist and how Enron abused the tool in its accounting. The paper reviews the FASB rules under which Enron first – and legitimately, early on – began using the SPE as an accounting and functional tool. It provides examples of Enron’s abuses and Arthur Andersen’s failure to require that Enron consolidate its SPEs on Enron’s balance sheet. The paper reviews the legitimate use of the SPE and concludes with a letter from a large business to the FASB requesting that FASB consider that SPEs constitute a class of tools useful to large businesses and beneficial to the larger economy. Bibliography lists 12 sources.
    Filename: KSacctEnronSPE.rtf

    November 13, 2002 reply from Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU

    Try requiring students to submit all their notes, rough drafts, xeroxes of sources, etc. (returnable, of course).

    Donald D. Ramsey, CPA, 
    Associate Professor of Accounting, 
    School of Business and Public Administration, 
    University of the District of Columbia, 
    4200 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20008. 

    Look Before and After You Make an Accounting Term Paper Assignment

    I did not expect there to be too many accounting term papers at the term paper mills.  This turns out to be naive.  For example, there are over 200 papers on some very interesting accounting topics at 
    Include the following in your search: --- 

    Termpapers R Us --- --- (Free papers) --- 

    Moral of Story --- Check out what the term papers have available on the topic you assign to your class.

    Possible Assignment:  Have students critique a term paper mill product.

    November 8, 2002 updates on  electronic commerce and assurance services --- 

    The AICPA's main site of interest --- 

    Risk Advisory Services by CPA Firms --- 

    What are Risk Advisory Services and Why Should I Get Involved?

    Risk Advisory Services Task Force
    Learn about the Task Force's mission, its members and highlights of meetings.

    How to obtain a free copy of the new thought leadership document on Risk,

    Download URL --- 


    Update on SysTrust --- 
    The AICPA/CICA Trust Services principles and criteria will be released January 1, 2003. The effective date of the new Trust Services principles and criteria will be effective for engagements beginning on or after January 2003. Earlier implementation is encouraged.


    What are SysTrust Services and Why Should I Get Involved?
    A Brief Introduction on SysTrust Services

    SysTrust Principles & Criteria

    What Skills Do I Need to Provide SysTrust Services?
    Find out what skills are necessary and what resources are available to enable you to offer SysTrust Services.

    Getting Started
    Learn about SysTrust licensing agreement and training opportunities.

    Marketing and Managing a SysTrust Practice
    Tips on Marketing and Managing Your SysTrust Practice.

    What's New with SysTrust Services?
    New standards, product developments, etc.

    Systems Reliability Assurance Services Task Force
    Learn about the Task Force's mission and its members.

    Frequently Asked Questions about SysTrust

    Press Room
    Press Releases, Product News, Fact Sheets, Q&As, Case Studies, Spokesperson Biographies, etc.

    Contact the AICPA

    Give feedback on assurance services.


    Update on WebTrust --- 

    The AICPA/CICA Trust Services principles and criteria will be released January 1, 2003. The effective date of the new Trust Services principles and criteria will be effective for engagements beginning on or after January 2003. Earlier implementation is encouraged.

    Trust Services Principles and Criteria Exposure Draft Click here to view the Trust Services principles and criteria The Trust Services Principles and Criteria are intended to address user and preparer needs regarding issues of security, availability, processing integrity, online privacy and confidentiality within ecommerce and nonecommerce systems. The Principles and Criteria contained in this program supersede Version 2.0 of the SysTrust Principles and Criteria and Version 3.0 of the WebTrust Principles and Criteria and are effective for examination periods beginning after August 31, 2002.

    The new and improved WebTrust 3.0 family of services provides best practices and eBusiness solutions for Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce, for Service Providers, and for Certification Authorities. Please review each to determine which would be best for your clients and their customers.


    Update on EderCare Assurance Services ---

    What are ElderCare Services and Why Should I Get Involved?

    A brief introduction to ElderCare Services

    CPA ElderCare Testimonials from Members and Their Clients

    What Skills Do I Need to Provide CPA ElderCare Services?
    Find out what skills are necessary and what resources are available to enable you to provide ElderCare Services.

    Getting Started
    Learn about ElderCare Training Opportunities, ElderCare Conferences and Practice Tools.

    Marketing and Managing an ElderCare Practice
    Tips on Marketing and Managing Your ElderCare Practice.

    Resources & Links
    Learn about the product and publications you need to assist you in performing ElderCare engagements including useful links to other Web sites.

    What's New with CPA ElderCare Services?
    Press Releases, new products, etc.

    AICPA/CICA ElderCare Services Task Force
    Learn about the Task Force's mission, its members and highlights of meetings.

    Frequently Asked Questions about CPA ElderCare Services

    Contact the AICPA!
    List Names of ElderCare Team Members with Title, address, email and phone numbers.

    Give feedback on assurance services.

    Bob Jensen's threads on assurance services --- -  

    The University of Texas has an extensive online training and education center --- 

    Those Longhorns also have some short informal courses --- 

    Not to be outdone, Texas A&M University (TAMU) also has an extensive training and education center --- 
    TAMU even offers a doctoral (Ed.D.) degree in Agricultural Education.

    But the number of degree programs online is larger from Wisconsin --- 

    Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at 

    AACSB New Doctorate Salary Data --- 

    • B-School New Doctorate Salaries 1997-2001 Click on an image to see it full size
    • Accounting/Taxation 
    • CIS/MIS Economics/ Managerial Economics
    • Finance/Banking /Real Estate /Insurance 
    • Management/ Behavioral Science/ International Business/ Strategic 
    • Marketing
    • Production/ Operations Management
    • Quantitative Methods/ Operations Research/Statistics 
    • Combined (all fields/disciplines, including those not listed above)

    For Accounting and Taxation, the graph is as follows for 1998-2002:

    Bob Jensen's Comments
    The above AACSB results are averaged for all regions of the nation.  In addition, they are averaged across small teaching colleges and major research universities.  In both instances, there is a wide variation in compensation.

    Starting salaries in academe are always difficult to evaluate and compare.  They vary greatly from region to region with the lower salaries being in some of the nicest places to live such as in the Pacific Northwest or the Rocky Mountains.  Cost of living varies greatly with the highest cost of living being in the largest urban cities.  

    In today's age of skyrocketing medical costs and downward trends in the medical insurance coverage of college health plans, salary is only part of the increasingly complex compensation packages.  There are many other factors such as the amount and probability of summer research grants and the level of compensation for summer teaching.  Major research universities sometimes provide expense budgets as high as $20,000 for each accounting researcher in excess of that person's base salary and summer stipend for research.

    What new magazine (for a subscription fee) is published by the AACSB?

    BizEd --- 

    Finally — a magazine for management education/business school leaders and stakeholders. BizEd, AACSB International’s new print magazine, covers trends, practices, ideas, issues, and hard facts related to management education. BizEd’s practical, news-oriented format puts you in touch with the movers and shakers, and zeroes in on what you need to know – right now, and from the unique perspective of business schools.

    BizEd brings you into the community of business schools worldwide. It’s the magazine for anyone and everyone who needs to know what’s happening in management education, from deans to distance learning coordinators, from corporate university directors to career planning specialists, from faculty to fundraising directors, and all points in between. BizEd gives you the insights and information you need to optimize your program and your own professional development.

    What AACSB publications is your business school dean probably reading?

    Answer --- 

    BizEd Magazine
    BizEd Online Media Kit
    Data Direct Archive
    Dean's Corner Archive
    Newsline Library

    "A Radical Proposal for Accounting Education," by Bruce H. Nearon, The CPA Journal, October 2002 --- 

    A Radical Proposal for Disruptive Innovation

    My radical proposal is this: First, elimate undergraduate accounting programs and replace them with four-year liberal arts, pre-accounting programs similar to pre-med and pre-law programs, which stress reading, writing, mathematics, research, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Second, complement the undergraduate program with a three-year Doctor of Accounting (DAc) program, similar to the graduate programs that lawyers and medical doctors must complete before sitting for their professional certification exams. The DAc would be required in order to sit for the CPA exam. Finally, emphasize the applied-research model rather than the social-sciences model in academic accounting research.

    A comprehensive general education for accountants. The most important benefit in this disruptive program would be the increase in the value of entry-level accountants. If the value of entry-level accountants is increased, then firms can offer higher starting salaries commensurate with entry-level lawyers and medical doctors. Hence, accounting programs can better compete with these professions and other fields for the best and brightest students.

    Doing away with undergraduate students learning tasks now performed by technology leaves time for students to acquire solid foundations for building critical-thinking skills and preparing them for lifelong learning. A full college experience of general subjects gives students a basis for tackling the kinds of difficult and complex problems that must be mastered in graduate programs. After obtaining a comprehensive general education, accounting students will ultimate better understand and respond to society’s needs. Perhaps most important, a general or liberal approach to the accountant’s undergraduate studies will result in greater intellectual achievement than can be achieved by narrowly focusing on antiquated methods and rules. By focusing on the pursuit of knowledge and the capacity to think rather than on practice techniques, we will develop professionals rather than technicians. Without the knowledge gained in a general education program, accountants are not likely to have the perspective needed to solve information-age problems and deal with constant change in the social context where they work.
    The advantages of a terminal doctorate degree. One issue on which most practitioners agree is that academic accounting research is impossible for them to understand, and, as a consequence, irrelevant to their work. The fields of medicine and law, on the other hand, do not suffer from this problem since practicing medical doctors and lawyers share a common terminal degree, and possess the educational training required to understand research published in their field. Over time, unifying accounting with the same terminal degree would close the schism between academics and practitioners.

    The advantages of applied research. Some academics do not believe that research is irrelevant, and they can point to several studies showing that, at least for auditing, some academic research has made a difference because it has shown auditors how to apply knowledge in focused areas. Applied research seeks to commercialize new knowledge. In accounting, this means advancing practice by making it more efficient or more effective. Academia’s lack of focus and reward for applied research seems self-defeating in a group that suffers from so many academic and practical problems. Indeed, to paraphrase Carey (1974), how can we even call ourselves a profession, when accounting practitioners are at “sword’s point” with accounting professors?

    Deal with the Root Problem

    The 150-hour rule is not the root of the many problems facing accounting education and practice. Resolving the differences between academia and practice can go a long way in solving what ails the accounting profession. This is impossible as long as the status quo prevails. Moving to an undergraduate general-education model followed by a three-year Doctor of Accounting program for CPAs, and a corresponding emphasis on applied research, is an innovation desperately needed to deal with the seriousness of the issues we face.

    "In Defense of Accounting Education," by Steven J. Kachelmeier, The CPA Journal, October 2002 --- 

    Nearon’s Radical Proposal

    Nearon presented a radical proposal to replace our current accounting education model with an alternative system that combines a liberal arts undergraduate degree with a Doctor of Accounting professional degree stressing applied research, similar to the programs offered in medical or law school. One benefit of Nearon’s proposal is that professional accountants would attain a deep-seated value for keeping current with research developments, much as medical doctors do. Of course, the research Nearon envisions is different from the research described in this counterpoint. He favors an applied-research model, in contrast to the more esoteric social-science model he claims characterizes the current academic research literature.

    Nearon has a point, but as with most such dichotomies, reality cannot be so neatly divided between “applied” and “social-science” research. Indeed, accounting is by its very essence an applied discipline. Viewed in this perspective, even what Nearon calls social-science research in accounting is in fact an application of underlying theories from other disciplines, such as economics and psychology, to the issues that face accountants. Of course, researchers want practical applications from their research. The academic tradition also demands rigor: To be publishable, research must make substantive advances defended by compelling evidence. To see the value of this perspective, one need look no further than the question of whether academic research by accounting professors benefits teaching or hurts it. We can tell deceptively convincing stories about imagined professors who care only about publishing and not about educating their students, but the research study by Bell, Frecka, and Solomon (Accounting Horizons, December 1993) suggests otherwise. Data speak louder than opinions.

    More basically, the split between social-science and applied research that concerns Nearon is not that problematic, at least not in accounting. The social sciences give us a rigorous model for conducting research, and accounting researchers are responsible for applying that model to research questions of interest to an accounting audience. These applications may vary in level of detail and their immediate usefulness, but ultimately everyone cares about practical accounting questions. Nearon is quite correct in lamenting the fact that professional accountants are not as closely aligned to applied research in accounting as perhaps they could be. Improving this state of affairs is a two-way street. Educators have an obligation to communicate their research in a practical, understandable manner (an obligation not always met), and practitioners have an obligation to listen and engage the material in the manner that Nearon says characterizes other professions.

    Two quick examples illustrate some of the frustration professors feel. First, in 1987, the American Accounting Association launched Accounting Horizons, a journal devoted to narrowing the gap between academic research and accounting practice. The articles in Accounting Horizons are for the most part excellent and readable. Nevertheless, its readership remains largely academic. We can provide the resource, but we cannot make people read it. For a second example, consider the widely read Journal of Accountancy. In the early 1970s, the Journal of Accountancy published many thought-provoking articles consistent with Nearon’s ideal of applied research, such as “The Accountant’s Social Responsibility” (January 1970) and “Some Thoughts on Research Needs in Accounting” (September 1970). In the past decade, however, this journal has become a trade publication of how-to interpretations of rules and notes on practice development and management, such as “The Importance of Customer Focus” (April 1997) and “Surviving Soaring Insurance Costs” (May 2002). This may help to explain why in a survey among professors of journal quality, the Journal of Accountancy ranked 20th out of 44 accounting publications listed (Brown and Huefner, Contemporary Accounting Research, summer 1994).

    Could Nearon’s applied-research – based radical proposal improve the situation? Maybe, but pragmatically we may be better served by incremental changes to the present model. Many of those incremental changes are by no means trivial. Whereas Nearon sees a static accounting education model, this author sees a dynamic process that is challenged anew each semester. This is not to advocate complacency, nor to deny that there is room for much improvement in both accounting education and practice. As evidenced by the recent business debacles, we face serious problems in our profession, and this is no time to rest on our laurels. The typical accounting professor really does care about students and about accounting practice, however, and is continually striving to produce the well-rounded graduates the profession demands. The tenor of Nearon’s comments, and those from Albrecht and Sack, is that we need a wake-up call. The wake-up call has already been heard—certainly since the Accounting Education Change Commission initiatives of the early 1990s—but our efforts are far from complete. Let us work together to achieve common goals.

    November 8, 2002 reply from Charles Stivason [cstivaso@CNU.EDU

    I'm usually a silent member of the list server on most debates but this proposal raises my interest level. As a faculty member at a institution that has rewritten its mission to that of a liberal arts school from a comprehensive university, I find it most difficult to believe that the last two years of a liberal arts degree would really enhance an individual's research, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These seem to be the areas that would be stressed in the 3 year DAc and should be currently emphasized in the additional 3 years required for the 150 hour requirement.

    The only change that I see advocated is to make students take an additional 2 years of coursework that appears to add little value beyond the current model. Where is the cost/benefit analysis of this model? I see the costs far outweighing the benefits.

    This model may worsen the shortage as only those people wealthy enough to afford 2 additional years of cost would want to be CPA’s. I know that had I been an undergraduate student faced with this scenario I would have not chosen this field. I would have gone into marine biology or nuclear engineering.

    Chuck Stivason

    From Syllabus News on November 8, 2002 

    U. Michigan Awards Grants to Student-Led Start-Ups

    University of Michigan's Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies awarded $25,000 through its Dare to Dream program to support viable student-led businesses located in southeastern Michigan. Wolverine Real Estate Investments LLC and Voila Crepe Cafe topped this year's applicants. Each will receive $12,500 to establish their businesses. This is the second distribution of the grant funds. Last spring $80,000 was given to six student businesses, which included a medicine opener, smart video technology for security systems, a miniaturized CAT scanning technology, advancing soft-shell blue crab production, mixed-signal technologies and software solutions for the fitness market. In addition to funding, Dare to Dream winners are also provided free office space for one year and receive course credit.

    For more information, visit 

    Newsplex Opens at the University of South Carolina

    The University of South Carolina's College of Mass Communications and Information Studies will be the recipient of Newsplex, a $2 million newsroom of the future. The facility, which will open Nov. 13, will help train journalists and students, as well as provide a research base in new technologies and techniques for handling news in the converged newsroom of the future. Ifra, an association of newspaper publishers, designed the news lab and is donating it to the University of South Carolina. Newsplex is a 5,700-square-foot micro newsroom. The facility, which is almost entirely wireless, will feature a wall of video monitors that will display a topographic map of the day's news, as well as sophisticated systems that will manage and retrieve information. "The journalist of the future will need to be adept at filing stories for multiple delivery platforms," said Charles Bierbauer, College dean. "With Newsplex, our college and our students will be at the forefront of this revolution in news handling and information management."

    Do you need a good attorney?  Try 
    Message from Wilbur Mills

    When it comes to attorneys...I always refer to  ...this is the Martindale-Hubbell site and is THE site to search for a given area. Martindale-Hubbell also "rates" the attorneys...which is what I like about it.

    W. O. Mills III 
    Dallas, Texas 

    Accounting Professional Site Links  and Related Links --- 

    Contact Congress --- 

    Computer Chronicles Online (a great TV show except that it often repeats shows over a year old that are somewhat dated) --- 

    REDESIGNING SCHOOLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY In a new joint initiative, Stanford's Graduate School of Business and the School of Education have launched an effort to redesign schools for the future, encouraging educational entrepreneurs to lead the way. The joint venture known as SELI (Stanford Educational Leadership Institute) opened October 23rd with a symposium called "Developing Educational Entrepreneurship: Redesigning Schools for the 21st Century." October 2002 

    Live it Up Kids
    You can be six years old and get wine, cigarettes, pornography, and some drugs like Viagra without any intervention from adults.  The only restraint is that you must have a credit card number, but even a dog can get a credit card online.  It's a tad harder to get a gun, but just a tad.  Some illustrative sites are shown below.

    Get a Credit Card in 30 Seconds --- Credit Card Menu - Browse the list of card offers and Apply Today!

    MadamTobacco --- 

    Search By Category Smoker's Co-op Member Discounts - A+ Cigarettes, Cigar, Chew, Pipe, Tobacco, Grow Your, Own, Lighters SuppliersMembers: New Shopping Categories For Smoker's!  Be sure to shop with all our valued and trusted suppliers, companies you are already familiar with; so why not shop with them here!Helpful Links New Shopping Categories For Smoker's!  Be sure to shop with all our valued and trusted suppliers, companies you are already familiar with; so why not shop with them here! Shopping & Fun:
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    Alcoholic Beverages --- 

    Fine wine delivered direct to your door --- 

    OnlinePhysicians --- 

    All you have to do is claim that you consulted a physician to buy Viagra --- Tell them a lie and your on your way to becoming the CEO of your first drug peddling operation from a coaster wagon.

    If you know someone who is sad or lost or sick or lonesome, suggest the following messages of hope accompanied by some beautiful photographs.  This link was forwarded by one of my best friends in life, Dr. Wolff 

    Click on the hyperlink below.  It is beautiful.  

    There are some university faculty members and administrators who may indeed want to find solace in the above site for sad and the sick persons.  

    "Boom's End Is Felt Even at Wealthy Colleges," bu Late Zernike, The New York Times, November 5, 2002 --- 

    Suffering the worst investment losses in three decades, the nation's wealthiest universities are cutting spending sharply, postponing new buildings, imposing hiring freezes and preparing to lay off faculty members.

    The cuts signal the end of the flush period that peaked in the late 1990's, when some universities saw their investments earn nearly 60 percent in one year. In the headiness of the gains, they expanded programs and campuses, building student centers designed by big-name architects and planning new dormitories and classroom buildings

    Like individual investors, many universities believed the boom would last — or at least, last longer than it did — and planned their new campuses and programs based on the gains they anticipated.

    "There was a sense we had unlimited potential," said Randall S. Livingston, the chief financial officer at Stanford University. "We're all returning to a greater sense of reality."

    Universities lost an average of 3.6 percent on their investments in the year ending in June 2001, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Based on reports from individual universities, the association says, the 2002 losses will be as large or larger, perhaps in the double digits, when they are reported next month.

    The 2001 losses broke a streak of often-huge investment gains that started in 1984, and the expected declines this year will make it the first time since the early 1970's that universities have lost money on their endowment investments two years in a row.

    Universities generally derive their budgets from a mixture of tuition and endowment income. But with tuition already rising at twice the rate of inflation, colleges and universities are reluctant to ask for even larger increases. So they are forced to look for budget cuts.

    Stanford imposed a hiring freeze two weeks ago as part of a plan to cut 8 percent from its general budget. It is asking departments to cut 5 percent to 10 percent from their individual budgets, which officials say may mean layoffs. It has scaled back a $1.5 billion three-year capital plan to $1 billion and postponed building dormitories, classrooms and athletic facilities.

    Duke, which lost about 4 percent on its investments in each of the past two years, expects to cut about 20 faculty positions in arts and sciences, and a report issued last month said that, at worst, the university might have to lay off 50 faculty members — or nearly 10 percent of the total — over the next three years.

    The decline in endowments is also affecting construction projects.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which lost $775 million, or about 13 percent, of its $6.1 billion endowment last year, cleared land for its expanded Media Lab, but has halted construction.

    Dartmouth has postponed building two residence halls and two academic buildings and several renovation projects. Last week, President James Wright told faculty members that the college would have to cut up to 80 nonfaculty staff positions, and it is also asking departments to cut back on travel to conferences or for speakers coming to campus.

    Emory University's endowment, the country's eighth largest, declined 14 percent in 2001, from about $5 billion, and 4 percent in 2002, from $4.3 billion, prompting the university to put off the planned expansion of its theology and business schools. It has told departments that the general fund will not pay for merit raises this year, and officials say they are looking into more economical ways to buy toilet paper for the campus and its two hospitals to meet projected budget cuts.

    "This is an across-the-board phenomenon," said Larry Goldstein, a senior fellow with the business officers' association. "I don't think there are any campuses, and especially those that are heavily endowed, that aren't experiencing some form of belt tightening."

    The economy has hurt all of higher education, but in different ways. States have cut financing for public universities, forcing increases in tuition. Some small colleges, dependent on tuition because of small or nonexistent endowments, have closed as students have chosen cheaper public institutions. Among 34 to close since 1995 are Bradford and Aquinas Colleges in Massachusetts and Trinity in Vermont.

    But wealthy private universities, because they depend on endowments for a greater share of their budget, have been most hurt by the stock market's decline.

    Universities generally look at the average return on investment for the past three years when deciding how much to spend out of their endowment, to keep them from spending too lavishly if they have one exceptionally good year. The same rule generally cushions one bad year. Two consecutive bad years forces significant changes in spending.

    Universities had planned on continued gains when they drew up strategic plans for the next few years. Dartmouth, for example, planned on 10 percent annual growth. "People figured that would be a conservative number," said Barry P. Scherr, the provost.

    In an earlier context, it seemed conservative. In 1997, the average gain hit a high of nearly 21 percent, according to the business officers' association. In 2000, Duke and M.I.T. earned 58 percent; Dartmouth, 46 percent; and Stanford, 40 percent.

    More doom and gloom at  

    I believe that's Ingram and Peterson [1991]. The accounting profession and the market for accounting teachers. Accounting Educator's Journal (Winter 1991) 1-8.
    Baldwin, Amelia [abaldwin@CBA.UA.EDU

    -----Original Message----- 
    From: Linda Kidwell 
    Sent: 11/7/02 9:23 AM 
    Subject: Re: Do Ph.D. Programs Develop Teaching Skills?

    Robert Ingram wrote a fabulous essay on this very topic about 10 years ago. I can't locate the reference though -- does anyone else know it? I believe he also proposed giving doctoral students a feel for the job to come, by having them shadow faculty on academic committees. Of course that might lead to dangerous shortages! But it was such a well-written essay that I was inspired to write him a personal thank you. I wish I knew where to find it again.

    Linda Kidwell

    November 8, 2002 reply from Rob Ingram, University of Alabama [ringram@CBA.UA.EDU

    I'm flattered that someone remembered the paper. The citation you are looking for is Ingram, "The Role of Doctoral Programs in the Improvement of Accounting Education," Accounting Education Change Commission Symposium on Models of Accounting Education, 1991. I had to search a bit but found a copy. If anyone is interested, it can be obtained in Word format at . If you have any trouble downloading it, let me know. Thanks.

    "Why Share Online Course Materials?" by Sally M. Johnstone, Syllabus, November 2002, Page 20 --- 

    Faculty need to learn to use each others' online course materials, instead of replicating the effort over and over again. There are many different ways this can be done. The simplest involves sharing "learning objects." These can be short animations or demonstrations of a particular point that an instructor wants to share with students. An example might be the actions of sodium and potassium in neuronal transmissions. Thanks to projects like MERLOT (, these only need to be created once. Instructors can just direct their students to the demonstration.

    There are more comprehensive ways to share materials as well. Whole courses can be shared. For example, the nursing faculty at the Community College of Denver was on a very tight schedule to mount a statewide eLearning program for potential nurses this past year. Given the scarcity of time and resources available to build this program, it made sense to look for opportunities to import parts of the curriculum. Rhonda Epper, who had worked on the MERLOT project as it was being developed, was able to find other institutions that were willing to share online nursing curricular materials. The institutions did not "officially" exchange courses, but the nursing faculty at the cooperating institutions allowed viewing privileges to one another's courses in an effort to accelerate the course development process.

    This past summer, WCET staff surveyed a very unscientific sample of institutions throughout North America to get a sense of what was going on regarding course sharing. We found that several institutions across the country are using courses developed at other institutions. This is particularly the case in two situations. One is when there is a need to expand the number of courses rapidly in order to meet state mandates or student demand. The second is when expertise in a specialized subject area is not available at that campus.

    If we consider the cuts to higher education budgets in many states, the rising demand for postsecondary educational services, as well as the average age of our current college and university faculty members, it makes sense to me that we will be seeing more and more cases of the second situation mentioned above. As more high-quality academic content comes online, it makes little sense to have every person who teaches students in an online environment produce their own materials. It may well be that my acquaintance in Connecticut who asked such telling questions is already looking over the course materials that MIT posted online in October for gems she can incorporate in the materials she shares with her students.

    Continued at  

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technologies are at 

    Language Translation Site of the Week

    Lost in Translation --- 

    What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages? The authors of the Systran translation software probably never intended this application of their program. As of April 2002, translation software is almost good enough to turn grammatically correct, slang-free text from one language into grammatically incorrect, barely readable approximations in another. But the software is not equipped for 10 consecutive translations of the same piece of text. The resulting half-English, half-foreign, and totally non sequitur response bears almost no resemblance to the original. Remember the old game of "Telephone"? Something is lost, and sometimes something is gained. Try it for yourself!

    Bob Jensen's threads on foreign language translation are at 

    Innovative Language Site of the Week

    Visual Thesaurus (Warning:  it loads very slowly) --- 
    The Visual Thesaurus displays the interrelationships between words and meanings. After you type a word into the search box, the Visual Thesaurus displays the word at its center. Then when you click on a word, you create an entirely new web of words.

    Cartoon Site of the Week

    The Big Cartoon DataBase --- 



    Columbia( 974 Cartoons.)

    A Color Rhapsody, Krazy Kat, UPA..Disney (3008 Cartoons.)

    Characters, Feature Films, Shorts, TV...

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    Television, Theatrical Releases, Walter Lantz

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    Features, Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies, TV...


    How helpful is your Website to large number of users?

    Google Monitor is a simple application that allows you to find and track the ranking of your Web site or any given URL in Google search results. It offers two modes of operation: you can enter a URL and a keyword to find the top results and where your site ranks among them, or select a URL and find its ranking for several keywords at once. You may store statistics for all URLs and keywords, and keep notes to further track search trends and the performance of your Web site. --- 

    Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

    November 5, 2002 message from Richard Newmark [richard.newmark@PHDUH.COM

    I just came across a good article in the November Journal of Accountancy on how to use smart tags (those little icons that pop up when you do something in an Office XP application) in Office XP applications. It also mentions that there is a free development kit available with code samples in Visual Basic or C++ to link your own information to Office XP applications. The article also explains how to turn them off.


    Note from Bob Jensen
    The article is "Work Smarter With SMART TAGS, by Jennifer M. Mueller, Journal of Accountancy, November 2002 --- 

    Picture this: You type a name into a document and a tiny icon instantly appears next to it. When you pass your cursor over the icon, a menu unfolds that offers you options such as: Insert the person’s address and phone number, send him or her an e-mail or schedule a meeting. The icon even gives you the opportunity to tell the software never to interrupt you with these suggestions again.

    If you’ve upgraded to Microsoft’s latest office suite, XP, chances are you’ve seen the icons, called Smart Tags, popping up uninvited in your documents and spreadsheets. The goal of this article is to introduce you to the new technology and show you how, if you wish to use them, they can improve your productivity. Or, if you object to such high-tech intrusion, we’ll show you how to get rid of them.

    PERSONAL ROBOT Smart Tags are all about providing quick access to information. They recognize text, numbers, actions and objects that frequently could be enhanced with more facts. When triggered, they act like personal robots that will cruise far and wide to seek data in your computer or, if you’re connected, on your network or the Internet.

    Say you’re in Word and you type Jennifer M. Mueller. XP instantly recognizes the words as someone’s name and triggers a Smart Tag—the letter “i” inside a small square—into action. It looks like exhibit 1, at right, on the screen.

    If you decide the targeted words don’t need further attention—such as adding an address or sending that person an e-mail—you simply ignore the tag, type on and it will disappear. But if you hover over the icon, a down arrow will appear and if you click on it, the menu in exhibit 2 will unfold.

    You don’t have to do anything to launch the Smart Tag function. It’s automatically turned on when you install Office XP. Smart Tags are not limited to Word; they operate in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and FrontPage. 

    • Paste. This function is evoked in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and FrontPage. In those applications a Smart Tag will appear when you paste text or other objects. It will offer various formatting choices, depending on the application, such as keeping the style of the source from which the information was copied or matching it to that of the destination.
    • AutoCorrect. It’s been available in earlier versions of Office applications—Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. A Smart Tag appears when AutoCorrect makes an automatic fix, offering to undo it and even change the AutoCorrect settings on the fly, so to speak. Before Smart Tags, a user who was unhappy about an AutoCorrect change had to go into the setup menu to alter the default.
    • AutoFit in PowerPoint. Smart Tags appear when a user enters text into a placeholder on a slide and offers formatting options such as fitting the text to the size of the placeholder or splitting the text between two slides.
    • AutoFill in Excel. It’s triggered when you click and drag data from one cell to others. The Smart Tags menu offers to copy the contents, fill in the series, fill in the format only, or fill in the series without formatting.
    • Error Checking in Excel. It appears when a cell contains a formula error or invalid reference and offers help on the type of error in the cell and error-checking and debugging options.

    Continued at 


    Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, November 2002 --- 


    Definitions, Discussions and Downloads
    CPAs involved in business valuation (BV) can obtain free information and purchase books and software here. The forums online section features various discussion topics such as what happened at recent BV-related conferences and court case decisions. The definition of the week clarifies valuation terms, and the free downloads section offers archived issues of BV newsletters and an international glossary.

    “Credibility Is Everything”
    Business valuation professionals looking to recertify or professionals interested in adding a business valuation designation to their credentials can find information at the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) site. It houses resources for members, such as information on training programs, and provides enough free information to warrant a visit from curious Web surfers—including certification requirements for a new designation: certified forensic financial analyst, or CFFA.

    Lengthy List of Links
    (Note: This URL is case-sensitive.)
    For CPAs in business valuation, this section of DePaul University’s Web site is worth a stop, if not a bookmark. The College of Commerce’s Professor Donald Shannon lists links to other relevant sites such as Valuation Strategies and to company information—specifically, analyst reports, financial statements and historical information. Users also can find links to economic and industry information such as the article, “14 Steps for Researching an Industry.”

    Virtual Becomes Reality
    In its continuing efforts to encourage professionals to “use Internet resources effectively,” the New Jersey-based law firm DeMaio & DeMaio has created the Virtual Committee on Business Valuation. Interested professionals can network electronically with their peers and research summaries on new developments in business valuation and planning. No site registration is required.

    Comment on Exposure Drafts
    Appraisers have their own home on the Web—the Appraisal Foundation, with news about the goings-on at the Appraisal Standards Board, as well as a call for public comments on the board’s latest exposure drafts. Consumers and finance professionals can find local appraisers in the site’s database, get information on how to become an appraiser, and link to related Web sites such as, which offers real estate appraisers e-mail services that can accommodate large appraisal files.


    Business Resources Online
    CPAs can read up on the latest news about the actions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the business resources section and retrieve data from the agency’s statistics and research center. Visitors also can learn about government regulations, international topics, small business resources and workforce development.

    To Benefit Employees
    First mentioned as a Smart Stop in the May 1998 issue of the JofA (page 15), the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) continues to offer nonmembers free statistical information such as the small-employer retirement survey, as well as recent congressional testimony on 401(k) plans and company stock. There still are four paid memberships to the EBRI: sustaining, full, associate and contributing—each of which allows full access to all sections of its site.

    This Site Is A-O-401(k)
    As its URL implies, this site was created, designed and is maintained by Tim Younkin—the “401(k) Advocate.” It contains links to many benefit and contribution articles, commentary and news pooled from periodicals, publications and other Web sites. Younkin also includes links to information on annuities as well as a 401(k) quiz, related calculators and his own series of Excel spreadsheets that rates retirement plan providers by fees.

    For Web Surfers Over 50
    Users can register for free at this portal, geared toward people over 50, and tap into any of a number of free links and services such as discussion boards on retirement planning as well as a calendar and reminder feature. Seniors also can receive discounts, scam reports and newsletters via e-mail.

    Mass Media Appeal
    Not only does this Web site link to regional, national and global newspaper sites, it also provides links to the sites of radio and television stations as well as business, computing and news magazines. The top-sites section lists the sites most frequently visited by Newslink users. The resources section has links to news services, journalism organizations and search tools for e-mail addresses and general references.

    Bob Jensen's threads on business valuation are at 

    Results of a study released by several professors helps to answer the question: "Are women more ethical then men?" It shows that women are less likely to cheat than men and less tolerant of others who admit to cheating on their taxes. 
    The study's abstract is at 

    This is an excellent study in management and motivation based upon the experience of one of the world's leading law firms that is not performing very well in either management or motivation --- 

    In a scathing 13-page memo sent last week to Clifford Chance's New York partners, the firm's associates explained why Clifford Chance came in last in The American Lawyer's 2002 Associate Survey, and further charged that the survey "captured neither the breadth nor the depth of associate anger and frustration."

    Continued at 

    Perhaps all members of this firm should read the following new book:

    The Power of Positive Confrontation: The Skills You Need to Know to Handle Conflicts at Work, at Home, and in Life 
    by Barbara Pachter, Susan Magee (Contributor) --- 

    • Paperback: 288 pages 
    • Publisher: Marlowe & Co; ISBN: 1569246084; (January 27, 2001)

    Bob Jensen's Camtasia Tutorials are linked at 

    I am a fond user of Camtasia.  This is probably the most useful education content software ever developed!  I might note that I rarely use PowerPoint because PowerPoint’s designed more for in-class lecturing.  Camtasia is designed for teaching outside the classroom where students can learn at their own paces and repeat segments as needed.  Camtasia is one of the easiest software packages to learn that I ever encountered.  

    Note that you can now add flash videos to your Web documents in the easiest manner that I can imagine.  However, I still prefer the compressed video.

    Camtasia Studio Versus Camtasia --- 

    How does your current version of Camtasia compare to the new Camtasia Studio available from TechSmith? Use this chart to find out what's new!

    Features Added Camtasia Studio Camtasia 3.0
    Macromedia Flash (.SWF) Output X
    QuickTime .MOV Output X X
    Launchpad X
    Add A Second Audio Track X
    Audio Editing Built-In X
    Add Annotations After Recording X
    Camtasia MenuMaker X
    Windows XP support X X
    Add Text Notes While Recording X X
    TSCC Codec Built Into Camtasia Player X
    ScreenDraw X X

    Hi Don,

    The distance education model that you mention with one professor developing a distance education course having the student cummunications being handled by tutors who may not be as experienced and/or do not have doctoral degrees is entirely possible and is being used in some programs.

    However, some corporate models have a somewhat different take on this. UNext Corporation reasoned that its distance education program, particularly its online MBA degree, would be more attractive if the courses were developed by professors from the prestigious universities of Carnegie-Mellon, Columbia, Chicago, Stanford, and the London School of Economics.

    In fact the above universities technically own and monitor the courses to be delivered by UNext. However, the "instructors" up to this point in time are not exactly tacky. If fact some of them like Dr. Michael Maher from UC Davis have more established reputations worldwide than the professors from the prestige schools who developed the courses. UNext sought out veteran professors with established teaching experience and doctoral degrees to deliver the courses developed by the "prestige" universities.

    You can listen (MP3 Audio) and watch the UNext PowerPoint show at 

    Mike Kirschenheiter discusses how he developed Columbia University's contribution to the UNext curriculum. This was followed by two UNext staff members. What was interesting is that two members of the audience (including Mike Maher) were the course instructors who delivered Kirschenheiter's course.

    UNext is one of the survivors in the crash largely because of its choice of a business model. It obtained some enormous training and education contracts including a contract delivering distance education worldwide to General Motors Corp. managers and a contract with Thomson Learning. There is also a pretigious contract with the American Marketing Association for its 38,000 members. The UNext homepage is at 

    Bob Jensen

    -----Original Message----- From: Ramsey, Donald [mailto:dramsey@UDC.EDU] Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 7:26 AM To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Re: Full-Time vs. Part-Time, or Dr vs. non-Dr.or good vs. bad tea ching

    This is a small issue compared to the potential impact of distance learning.

    Imagine a scenario where there are a large handful of people who originate costly course material (essentially similar to today's authors of textbooks), plus a very large number of tutors. The tutors might be mostly graduate students, but there would be a smaller number of graduate students because there is little demand for doctorally qualified professors. Those with doctorates would do research, teach non-distance courses, and train their replacements.

    It's difficult to imagine Ph.D's functioning as tutors, and more difficult to imagine budgets that would support them as such.

    Donald D. Ramsey, CPA, 
    Associate Professor of Accounting, School of Business and Public Administration, 
    University of the District of Columbia, 
    4200 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., 
    Washington, D. C. 20008. 
    Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics, Room 404A, Building 52 (Connecticut and Yuma St.)

    EDUCAUSE 2002 Materials Now Available

    We missed you at the EDUCAUSE annual conference this year! Many of the EDUCAUSE 2002 proceedings are now available online (formats include PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, and RealMedia audio for some sessions), as well as recorded netcasts and 2002 awards information. You can also order session video tapes, audio cassettes, or compact discs.

    2003 Learning and Networking Opportunities

    EDUCAUSE places great emphasis on the face-to-face meeting experience, offering you numerous conferences and educational activities throughout the year and across the country to meet and learn with your colleagues.

    November 4, 2002 message from Liv Watson [lwatson@EDGAR-ONLINE.COM

    My name is Liv A. Watson and I am working on a project here at EDGAR Online converting the whole SEC database into XBRL. We are basically rolling the financials in to 75 XBRL data points built on the recent draft release of the XBRL US GAAP taxonomy. 

    Best regards, 


    The EDGAR online site is at 

    Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at 

    How large is the gap between the fourth and fifth largest CPA firms?

    $2,738.5 million but the gaps between the largest firms will change significantly next year when revenues from former Andersen clients are redistributed.

    Public Accounting Report has published its annual ranking of America's Top 100 Accounting Firms, and it's no surprise that Andersen, last year's number five ranked firm, is no longer on the list.

    AccountingWEB US - Nov-5-2002 - Public Accounting Report has published its annual ranking of America's Top 100 Accounting Firms, and it's no surprise that Andersen, last year's number five ranked firm, is no longer on the list. Although the former Big Five firm technically still exists, it was removed from the pool of eligible firms for this year's ranking due to its conviction on federal obstruction of justice charges. Holding on to first place, PricewaterhouseCoopers leads the pack, followed by the rest of the Big Four and six more familiar names that fill out the top 10 spaces on the list. A few firms switched places from last year: Ernst & Young moved ahead of KPMG, and Grant Thornton moved ahead of BDO Seidman. The top 10 firms, with their reported revenue, are as follows:

    1. PricewaterhouseCoopers: $8,056.5 million
    2. Deloitte & Touche: $6,130 million
    3. Ernst & Young: $4,485 million
    4. KPMG: $3,171 million
    5. Grant Thornton: $432.5 million
    6. BDO Seidman: $353 million
    7. BKD: $210.9 million
    8. Crowe, Chizek & Co.: $204.7 million
    9. McGladrey & Pullen: $203 million
    10. Moss Adams: $163 million

    November 8 reply from James Borden [james.borden@VILLANOVA.EDU

    Here are a couple of web sites that track info about former Andersen clients:   
    this lists defections by month, in alphabetical order by name of client.

    the list is done by Big 4 firms, with the names of the clients that have gone to those firms.

    Jim Borden 
    Villanova University

    From CIT Infobits on October 31, 2002


    The provisions of the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH), which are likely to be passed this fall, would amend the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 to give schools and higher education institutions new rights to use copyrighted materials for distance education. The bill would give educators "fair use" rights that are already in place for regular classroom use.

    New rights covered include:

    -- "Expanding the range of works that may be transmitted over electronic systems to nearly all types of materials -- although only portions of some works could be transmitted."

    -- "Allowing the content to be transmitted to students at any location, rather than just to classrooms, as is legal under current law."

    -- "Allowing educators to store transmitted content and give students access to it, if only for short periods."

    -- "Allowing the conversion to digital form of analog works, such as printed or videotaped material, but only in cases where the material is not already available in digital form, such as on DVD."

    For more information about TEACH, read Andrew Trotter's article, "Bill Would Ease Copyright Limits For E-Learning" (EDUCATION WEEK, October 30, 2002), available online at 

    Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at 

    From CIT Infobits on October 31, 2002


    "The Best of the Best -- From a Distance: A Report on the MIT Conference on Distance Education and Training Strategies" (ELEARN MAGAZINE, October 2002) shares some of the conference panelists' best practices. Their advice includes:

    -- Begin with a clear and worthy strategic mission

    -- Deliver content in multiple modes

    -- Design from the audience perspective.

    The complete article is available online at 

    eLearn magazine is published by ACM (Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.), a not-for-profit educational association serving those who work, teach, and learn in the various computing-related fields. For more information, contact: eLearn magazine, 1515 Broadway, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036 USA; Web: 

    The theme of the September 2002 MIT Office of Corporate Relations Industrial Liaison Program's Series on Technology and the Corporation conference was "Distance Education and Training Strategies: Lessons from Best Practices." For more information about the MIT Office of Corporate Relations Industrial Liaison Program, go to 

    Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at 

    In a surprising and controversial move, accounting standard-setters and regulators in the U.S. and Europe have jointly announced an agreement to stamp out any differences between FASB and IASB standards that may remain by January 1, 2005.

    What is even more important is for the nations of the world to stamp out enforcement inconsistency. At the present time enforcement is highly inconsistent with nations like Germany and Japan having virtually no enforcement. Laws, rules, standards, and regulations don't mean much if they're not enforced.

    Dueling Banjos and Other Great Things

    Gerald Trite's homepage from Canada is at  (includes a midi rendition of Dueling Banjos --- Great Music Jerry)

    Jerry and I will be doing a workshop on Accounting for Electronic Commerce, Internet Reporting, and Intangible Assets and Liabilities at the Asian-Pacific Conference on November 23, 2002 --- 
    The two workshop summaries are at 

    While preparing for this, I noticed that Jerry has a great set of bookmarks at 

    Various universities have relatively new degree programs in electronic commerce.  I updated my introduction to electronic commerce to include links to education and training at various universities.  Go to 

    Response to a question regarding whether principles-based accounting standards will lead to greater consistency in financial reporting.

    Hi George,

    That's a good question, but I think the courts and juries have a difficult time without some bright lines. Eventually, the courts and juries paint in the bright lines when the bright lines are not in the statutes.

    For example, suppose the principles-based law simply states "Thou shall not kill."

    Without some bright lines, courts will become highly inconsistent with respect to interpretations. To achieve greater equity and consistency, bright lines have been written into detailed statutes that partition killings into various types of felonies (Murder 1, Murder 2, etc.) and even down to various types of manslaughter that carry highly reduced penalties. Also there are instances where killing is rarely prosecuted such as in accidental deaths or self defense. It would be absurd to have only one principles-based standard "Thou shall not kill." Common law would eventually paint in the bright lines, but it would be a long and unfair period of chaos until the bright lines are painted into common law decisions.

    Bright lines, even fuzzy ones, serve as deterrents for more serious crimes as well as promoting greater consistency with respect to punishment. Bright lines are never perfect, but in my viewpoint they're absolutely essential if we are to have some degree of consistency and equity. FAS 133 is the current whipping post for promoters of principles-based standards. I think some of those swinging the whips really do not fully understand the complexities of actual derivative financial instruments contracts encountered in the real world. Without some bright lines, accounting for these contracts becomes carte blanche.

    That is not to say that bright lines are not a problem. For example, I think some of the bright lines in FAS 13 on leases were put into the standard to allow airlines and other large leasing companies to avoid capitalization of financing debt. The problem is not the principle of bright lines. The problem is deciding which bright lines to put into the standards. For this we rely upon the good judgment of our top men and women setting accounting standards. But these good men and women are generally subject to heavy lobbying pressures when trying to paint in the bright lines. The problem is that we can never seem to create a sufficient degree of independence from the rich and powerful private interests in society. About the only thing holding them in check is the media. The media often makes mistakes, but it is the most powerful light that we have to shine down upon where bright lines are needed. Painting them in via the common law is very slow, inefficient, and unfair along the way.

    Bob Jensen

    The National Women's Health Information Center (Medicine) 

    Business-Process Outsourcing And The Offshore Advantage This InformationWeek Executive Briefing for business-technology professionals examines the critical elements of the decision to outsource business processes, how to identify a location, what to look for in a vendor, and necessary processes and infrastructure for a successful offshore program. 

    "Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today," by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro, The Irascible Professor --- 

    Clever Idea of the Week for Fighting Telemarketing Evil --- Give Them That Zapping Tone

    I use the $50 Zapper and find that it really works most of the time, but not all of the time.  Here’s a free alternative.

    It's not your imagination: Telemarketers are becoming ever more relentless. And it's technology, in the form of predictive dialing, that drives the $270 billion industry.
    "Why Telemarketing is Evil, by Neil McManus, Wired News, November 2002 --- 

    How to Fight Back

    Junk mail can be tossed and spam can be filtered, but telemarketing has always had a technological edge. At least until the TeleZapper. The device — AS SEEN ON TV! — promises to erase you from telemarketers’ lists and stop the unsolicited solicitations. And it works, at least until the industry devises a workaround. But why spend $50 for uninterrupted evenings? The fledgling Telemarketing Resistance has banded together online to help you do it for free. Just follow the steps below.

    1. Get the Audio The TeleZapper fools telemarketers’ autodialing equipment by emitting the ascending three-note special-information tone you hear before, “We’re sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected.” You can download this tone from the Web. Do a Google search for “sit.wav” to find one of these audiofiles.

    2. Chop It Down Open sit.wav in an audio-editing program like Microsoft Sound Recorder. Edit out the second and third notes. (You don’t actually need those, and they’re sure to annoy family and friends.) Save the WAV file.

    3. Press Record Play that one note on your computer and record it as the first sound on your answering machine’s outgoing message. Follow with an oh-so-witty greeting.

    4. Enjoy the Silence Now sit back and screen those calls. Over time, telemarketers will get the “zapping” tone and take you off their lists.

    New Technology of the Week
    No sooner does the ink dry on the FDA's curiously quick approval of an implantable human chip than the company that produces it launches a national marketing campaign.
    "Implantable Chip, On Sale Now," Wired News, October 25, 2002 ---,1848,55999,00.html 

    The maker of an implantable human ID chip has launched a national campaign to promote the device, offering $50 discounts to the first 100,000 people who register to get embedded with the microchip.

    Applied Digital Solutions has coined the tagline "Get Chipped" to market its product, VeriChip.

    The rice-size device costs $200. Those implanted must also pay for the doctor's injection fee and a monthly $10 database maintenance charge, said ADS spokesman Matthew Cossolotto.

    The VeriChip emits a 125-kilohertz radio frequency signal that transmits its unique ID number to a scanner. The number then accesses a computer database containing the client's file. Customers fill out a form detailing the information they want linked to their chip when they undergo the procedure, Cossolotto said.

    Earlier this week, ADS announced that the FDA had ruled that the VeriChip was not a regulated device when used for "security, financial and personal identification/safety applications."

    The agency's sudden approval of the microchip came despite an FDA investigator's concern about the potential health effects of the device in humans. (Microchips have been used to track animals for years.)

    The company is marketing the device for a variety of security applications, including:

    * Controlling access to physical structures, such as government or private sector offices or nuclear power plants. Instead of swiping a smart card, employees could swipe the arm containing the chip.

    * Reducing financial fraud. In this scenario, people could use their chip to withdraw money from ATMs; their accounts could not be accessed unless they were physically present.

    * Decreasing identity theft. People could use the chip as a password to access their computer at home, for example.

    Continued at,1848,55999,00.html  

    November 10, 2002 reply from Roberta Lipsig [rlipsig@OSWEGO.EDU

    Have you seen the New York Times article on implanted chips?

    Roberta Lipsig

    Department of Accounting, Finance & Law

    SUNY Oswego

    "Voices in Your Head? Check That Chip in Your Arm," by Matt Richtel, The New York Times --- 

    INUSCULE mobile telephones, tiny electronic organizers and portable DVD players are nice. But they'd be so much less cumbersome if they were surgically implanted under your skin.

    Paving the way is a company in Palm Beach, Fla. called Applied Digital Solutions, which recently started a program to implant subdermal microchips based on the same radio-frequency identification technology used in E-ZPass.

    The chip, called the VeriChip, is about the size of a grain of rice, carries a number that identifies you and, the company says, may eventually provide a way to make sure that only the right people gain access to secure sites, corporate offices or even personal computers. The chip could also carry access to personal data, like medical information. Implantable microchips have already been used over the last several years to track pets.

    The company is still developing the applications, yet there has been no shortage of critics, who assert that this is an example of technology run amok. They apparently aren't grasping how fashionable, and useful, an electronic bar code can be. Besides, think how much easier John Ashcroft's job would be with such an electronic database.

    The critics are apparently overlooking another reason to act now.

    "It's cool to have one," said Matthew Cossolotto, the spokesman for Applied Digital Solutions, and one of the few people to already have a chip implanted under his skin. Who wants to be the last person on the block to get the latest in piercing?

    There is more good news. This nascent fusion of corpus and computer may pave the way for further integration of circuitry and self. After all, things can become only so convenient if we wear or carry tiny headsets, radios, televisions, phones and pagers.

    If silicon, not silicone, becomes the favored implant of the future, we could bridge the final divide that keeps us from being truly wired. Think of the applications: e-mail transmitters lodged under your skin; remote controls that let you change the channel with a thumb click; global positioning systems that tell you, your spouse and your government where you are at every moment.

    "You're taking me down a road I've never speculated about," Mr. Cossolotto said when asked to consider future possibilities.

    Indeed, the answers may not yet be clear, but once we give away our bodies to silicon, the potential is endless:

    THE VIRUS SCAN Few things are more frustrating than watching your computer screen lock up for no apparent reason. But what happens when your arms freeze up?

    Computer chips, of course, can mean viruses. Maxi Virus Scan will protect you against the common bugs, like the nasty "I love you" virus, which causes you to utter intimacies while in the express aisle at Safeway.

    Version 2.0 will update your internal clock for daylight saving time.

    Continued at 

    Bob Jensen's Threads on Invisible Computing, Ubiquitous Computing, and Microsoft.Net --- 

    Related New Technology of the Week

    November 1, 2002 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

    Being a professor of information technology, page 133 of the October 14 issue of Business Week caught my eye. Hitachi's mu-chip (less than a quarter of a square millimeter -- smaller than the head of a pin!) holds 128kb of "intelligent" data for authentication and identification purposes.

    It is a self-contained, "unpowered" radio-frequency ID tag. RFID is a passive device which receives a radio signal, and the internal circuitry modifies the "reflection" of that signal in a way that is unique to the data encoded on the chip. This permits the chip to serve as authentication & identification for almost anything, from a dollar bill, a check, a sheet of paper, passport, credit card, your wedding ring, eyeglasses, practically anything which needs to be identified uniquely. (Even you...)

    This technology has been in widespread use for almost two decades. At one end of the spectrum, it is used for identification of railroad cars. At the other, it is used in hospitals to identify patients before surgery or administration of medicine.

    Accountants are using it for inventory control, libraries are experimenting with it for "self-checkout" at the circulation desk, tollbooths are using it to avoid stopping drivers, -- I even received one (called a Speedpass) from an oil company to speed my credit-card transactions at their pumps! I imagine grocery stores will be on the bandwagon soon (replacing the UPC code with this chip imbedded in the label to eliminate the need to "scan" items individually across a laser).

    Does anyone else feel that the expansion of this technology might mean some changes (minor? major?) in the traditional "audit trail" approach of assurance services? Should audit research be looking into how such technology will affect audit design, say, BEFORE its adoption? Or should we take the historical "wait until it happens" stance, and hope that necessary changes will be minor?

    The size of this new chip (for its storage capacity) is what makes it worth note. A passive RFID tag the size of a period at the end of a sentence in a newspaper article is, if Hitachi's ad is correct, "going to revolutionize security and authentication". 

    (If the URL doesn't work, go to:  and click on the USA, then click on the ad with the egg.)

    David R. Fordham
     PBGH Faculty Fellow 
    James Madison University

    November 4 Message from Mark Shapiro

    From: Dr. Mark H. Shapiro []  
    Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 9:59 PM 
    Subject: Part-time Faculty - Higher Education on the Cheap

    Dear Urascible Professor Readers, Writers, and Colleagues:

    The American Council on Education (ACE) has just released a report on the dramatic rise in the numbers of part-time and non-tenure track full-time faculty members in American higher education. Today, on average, only about 38% of American college and university faculty members hold tenured or tenure-track positions. Part-time faculty members and full-time, nontenure-track faculty members (lecturers), who now make up the majority of those who teach college and university classes earn significantly less and have significantly fewer benefits than full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty.

    The Irascible Professor analyzes the impact of this trend on the quality of higher education.

    Read our comments at: 


     Dr. Mark H. Shapiro
    Editor and Publisher The Irascible Professor 

    November 5, 2002 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

    The report makes a few points:

    1. The increasing dependence of schools on non-terminally qualified, non-tenure track, and/or part-time teachers.

    2. Economic exploitation of part-time teachers.

    3. Almost exclusive evaluation of part-time teachers based on student evaluations, and the impact on grade inflation.

    4. Non-tenure track and part-time teachers are not involved in the administration of the schools and programs. Tenured/tenure-track faculty form the institrutional memory of the schools.

    5. Even at private institutions, the story is similar.

    Having been in the teaching business for a long time (at private as well as public schools), I find it difficult to argue against the evidence staring in our faces. Education has become a lot more commercial than it used to be, and now most administraters think and act like managers and businessmen rather than as educators. Schools have become profit centers.

    I think the controversial aspect of the report has to do with its assumption that doctoral qualifications are essential for maintaining the quality of education. In some ways, I can sympathise with those who criticise this assumption.

    In most disciplines, I would tend to agree with the assumption that doctoral qualification is necessary. At college level, it is my firm conviction that one can not be a good teacher unless (s)he is also a lifelong learner who is active in researching the discipline.

    However, accounting is a practice discipline, just as medicine or law. And I see a world of difference between accounting on the one hand and medicine & law on the other. Medical education has blended academia and practice in the concept of clinical education within schools and the concept of teaching hospitals. In law, you have moot courts and the like. Often, in both of the fields, clinicians do conduct "research", through most of it is by way of reporting on clinical trials in medicine, and through publications in law reviews and the like in law. In both of these fields, except in non-clinical fields it is rare to see a non-licensed individual delivering clinical education. It is inconceivable in a medical school to have a course in surgery taught by a Ph.D who has never operated and is not licensed to practice medicine.

    In accounting, the situation is very different. It is my understanding that a substantial percentage of faculty never spent any time in practice, and the percentage is even higher among the "research" oriented faculty. Also, there is virtually no cross-fertilisation between the academia and the practice except by way of part-time instructing, retired practitioners teaching upon retirement, and the distribution of largesse by some of the firms to conduct research.

    Professor Steve Zeff has observed that Col. Montgomery (of Lybrand, Ross Bros & Montgomery) tried his best to prevent the fracture of the profession into academia and practice in the US a long time ago. Perhaps he was right. Now it might be just about beyond repair.

    I am surprised that the concept of teaching hospital has not been emulated in accounting education.


    What is the future of digital television now that the Republicans have control of Congress? Most likely, it's business as usual. That means tough challenges for legislators trying to move the technology forward. ---,1367,56244,00.html 

    "IBM chief sets 'e-business on demand' strategy," by John K. Waters, November 4, 2002 --- 

    What do you get when you cross "e-business" with "computing-on-demand"? If you're IBM chief Sam Palmisano, you get a far-reaching enterprise computing strategy dubbed "e-business on demand" -- and an opportunity to take your predecessor's vision to the next level and make it your own.

    Palmisano outlined IBM's latest big idea last week in a speech to corporate customers, business partners and analysts at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. "It's a phenomenal opportunity for us to drive the next technology agenda," he said.

    IBM is betting on the enterprise appeal of the so-called utility computing model, which allows companies to buy only the computing services they need, without investing in expensive hardware and software. IBM will provide these services through distributed networks that appear to users as single machines, Palmisano said. The networks would be able to adapt to spikes and disasters by drawing from resources across the network. They would provide the precise processing power needed, while automating routine configuration and maintenance tasks.

    "It's a bold bet, no doubt about it," Palmisano said. "Is it a risky bet? I don't think so. We've been at it. The technology is now there. It's ready. We understand it."

    From the FASB in October 2002 --- 

    Results of the 2002 Annual FASAC Survey

    FASAC's annual survey on the priorities of the FASB provides valuable perspectives and observations about the Board's process and direction. The 2002 survey asked Council members, Board members, and other interested constituents to provide their views about the FASB's priorities, the financial reporting issues of tomorrow, principles-based standards, and the FASB's international activities.

    Key observations and conclusions from the responses to the 2002 survey are:

    • Council members most often mentioned revenue recognition as one of the five most important issues that the Board should address currently. All seven Board members also included revenue recognition as one of the most important issues for the Board.


    • FASAC members most often cited valuation issues, such as the implication of using fair value measurements in financial statements, as one of the issues of tomorrow that the Board should start thinking about today.


    • FASAC members generally are prepared to accept differences in interpretation of principles-based standards. They also are prepared to make the judgments necessary to apply less-detailed standards despite the risk that their judgment will be questioned. Some noted that for principles-based standards to become a reality, the SEC is the primary organization that needs to support the initiative.


    • Nearly all FASAC members agree that the Board's international activities are an appropriate use of resources. All Board members also believe that those activities are an appropriate use of resources.


    Twenty-two current Council members, 7 Board members, and 9 other constituents responded to the survey.

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at 

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting fraud are at 

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting for electronic commerce are at 

    Everything is super at Iowa State

    From Syllabus News on November 5, 2002

    Iowa State to Test Most Powerful Supercomputer

    Iowa State University agreed to test software developed by Cray Inc. for its new X1 system, expected to be the world's most powerful supercomputer. A two-year agreement calls for Iowa State's High Performance Computing Group to develop advanced software analysis tools, and to use these to test the performance and functionality of the software Cray is creating for the new supercomputer. In return, Cray will donate a variety of high performance computing equipment to Iowa State. The Cray X1 will be formally announced later this year. Last week, Cray announced that five early-production Cray X1 units were shipped to undisclosed customers, and that real work was already taking place on the new supercomputers.

    May 30 Advertisement from 3M Company
    Bob Jensen does not accept advertising revenues.  The advertisement below is a public service to educators.


    How many hours are in your typical day? 28? 31? You get the point. You have to be productive--and get more work done than ever before. That not only applies to the classroom, but meetings, too. And unfortunately, today's meetings are getting more and more complicated, with a variety of tools necessary to make them effective.

    You need something that brings it all together. You need a 3M(TM) Digital WallDisplay--an innovative new product that integrates multimedia projection, a digital whiteboard and multi-site meeting software capabilities into an interactive projector workboard.


    See for yourself. Download a FREE virtual demo today! Click: 

    The 3M Digital WallDisplay integrates all the best qualities of: - a multimedia projector - a digital whiteboard - a dry-erase board - a flat-screen display - an interactive touch screen - a desktop monitor - an overhead projector - a stereo sound system


    The multi-function capability ensures that you're always ready to use whatever tool will enhance your presentation the most.

    And talk about well-connected. The 3M Digital WallDisplay connects directly to your network or the Internet quickly and easily through your computer, and is compatible with audio and video from a variety of systems. Plus, it can capture, replay, print or email the results of your work immediately.


    You're never productive when you have to waste valuable time setting up for a meeting. The 3M Digital WallDisplay can be up and running in under a minute, with the touch of a single button. With a 60-inch flat-screen that's only 4 inches deep, it's simple, unobtrusive and ready to go when you are. No distractions, no clutter, just power and productivity.


    Now, whether they're local, remote or global, everyone that you need to participate, can. Using their computer or a second 3M Digital WallDisplay, they can view presentations and even make digital edits--in real-time--that can be shared and seen by everyone else. No more expensive, time-consuming travel to bring people together.


    The 3M Digital WallDisplay. It's the latest innovation in the meeting and classroom space from 3M. And it's so unique, you just have to see it for yourself.

    Download a FREE virtual demo today at: 

    The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), The Hackett Group, and CFO magazine has announced the winners of the 2002 Best Workplaces for Finance Professionals. 

    The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), The Hackett Group, and CFO magazine have announced that the winners of the 2002 Best Workplaces for Finance Professionals are:

    • Kraft Foods North America, Inc.

    • CNA Financial Corporation

    • The Vanguard Group, Inc. These companies were recognized for their dedication to providing satisfying and innovative work environments that attract and retain top-notch finance talent.

    From CPA Update News on October 30, 2002

    2. C P A n e t F i n d s 

    Every so often you come across a site or article that makes you stop and take notice...

    Portfolio Management

    Journal of Portfolio Management -

    Portfolio Management Forum -

    Portfolio Knowledge -

    The Small-Cap Alpha Myth -

    Multistyle Rotation Strategies -

    myCFO -

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    Bob Jensen's bookmarks for accounting and finance are at 

    Bob Jensen's threads on portals and vortals are at 

    October 30, 2002 message from JerryFeltham [

    Peter Christensen and I are pleased to announce that the first of two volumes on the fundamentals of the economic analysis of accounting has been published by Kluwer. This two volume series is based on two analytical Ph.D. seminars I have taught for several years, and is designed to provide efficient coverage of key information economic models and results that are pertinent to accounting research.

    The first volume is entitled:

    Economics of Accounting: Volume I - Information in Markets.

    The attached file provides the table of contents of this volume, plus the preface - which gives a brief overview of the two volumes. The second volume is

    Economics of Accounting: Volume II - Performance Evaluation.

    We expect to complete it in the next few months.

    The two volumes can be used to provide the foundation for Ph.D. courses on information economic research in accounting. Furthermore, it is our hope that analytical researchers, as well as empiricists and experimentalists who use information economic analysis to motivate their hypotheses, will find our book to be a useful reference.

    We plan to maintain a website for the book. It will primarily be used to provide some problems Peter and I have developed in teaching courses based on the two books. In addition, the website will include any errata. The website address is: 

    Also attached is a flyer from our publisher Kluwer. It announces a 25% discount in the price if the book is purchased prior to December 31.

    The publisher has also informed us that: "If students buy the book through your university bookstore (6 or more copies) they will receive an adoption price of $79.95 US."

    Information regarding discounts on this book for course use and bulk purchases can be obtained by sending an e-mail message to  (their customer service department).

    Jerry Feltham 
    Faculty of Commerce 
    University of British Columbia 
    2053 Main Mall 
    Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z2 
    Tel. 604-822-8397 Fax 604-822-9470 

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at 

    Controversies of Fair Value Accounting

    From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on October 11, 2002

    TITLE: Should J.P. Morgan Set Rules for J.P. Morgan? 
    REPORTER: Jonathan Weil 
    DATE: Oct 08, 2002 
    PAGE: C1 
    TOPICS: Accounting For Investments, Accounting Theory, Accounting, Fair Value Accounting, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Securities and Exchange Commission, Standard Setting, Valuations

    SUMMARY: The Emerging Issues Task Force failed to support a change in the way that energy-contracts are valued. Questions focus on the standard setting process and issues surrounding mark-to-market accounting.

    1.) What are the roles of the Emerging Issues Task Force, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Financial Accounting Standards Board in the standard setting process? Briefly describe the standard setting process. Who do the members of the Emerging Issues Task Force represent? Discuss any potential conflicts of interest in the current membership? How could these conflicts of interest be minimized?

    2.) Briefly describe mark-to-market accounting? List the advantages and disadvantages of mark-to-market accounting.

    3.) What type of assets are marked-to-market? What, if anything, makes energy contracts different from other assets that are marked-to-market?

    4.) Refer to the related article. How does the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board fit into the standard setting process? How do the candidates for the new Board differ from the members of the Emerging Issues Task Force?

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

    TITLE: SEC Widens Hunt for Audit Board 
    REPORTER: Michael Schroeder 
    PAGE: A8 
    ISSUE: Oct 08, 2002 

    October 23 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM

    A new and completely updated US GAAP XBRL Taxonomy for US GAAP has been released by the US Jurisdiction of XBRL. Rob Blake of Microsoft and Jeff Naumman of the AICPA and many others worked hard to bring out the "US Financial Reporting Taxonomy Framework", which is now in the public review phase. The new taxonomy takes full advantage of Version 2 of the XBRL Specification. Check it out at:  Rob, Jeff and the team will welcome your feedback in the 45 day review process.

    Roger Debreceny

    Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at 

    THE presidents of Stanford and Yale hope their switch to nonbinding “early action” policies will prompt other top colleges to end their binding early decision programs, which have been criticized for putting too much pressure on high school students.  Debbie Bowling led me to this article.

    Stanford joins Yale on early entry

    Students accepted early won’t have to commit right away.

    The MSNBC news article is at 

    By now most accounting professors know about XBRL, but what is VRXML?

    "New York Stock Exchange and FISD Develop Vendor Reporting eXtensible Markup Language (VRXML) --- 

    In cooperation with the SIIA's Financial Information Services Division, the Market Data division of the New York Stock Exchange is developing a new formal structure for vendor fulfillment of billing and reporting obligations. The new Vendor Reporting Extensible Markup Language (VRXML) is "based upon the original VARS format but adds additional functionality and efficiency." Under the old system, vendors would send data files to TCB Data Systems, which would provide one level of processing and extraction, then disperse the files to the appropriate markets including NYSE Market Data. The teams are developing more efficient, industry-accepted data transfer methodologies to enable direct reporting via straight-through-processing. The new system also supports the transformation of an existing VARS file into a VRXML file. The June 2002 draft of Vendor Reporting Extensible Markup Language (VRXML) includes, in addition to prose specification, a conceptual model diagram in UML, an independent XML schema file defining standardized reporting and billing data elements, and sample XML instance. This draft "deals with NYSE reporting obligations but could be extended to cover a broader set of industry requirements."

    Bibliographic information: Vendor Reporting Extensible Markup Language (VRXML). New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Market Data Division. Draft. June 2002. 9 pages. With acompanying conceptual model (UML), XML schema, sample XML instance.

    Problem statement: "Multiple requirements/formats make reconciliation and payment processing difficult. The solution is to develop standard reporting/billing data elements (both content and format). NYSE has developed a Vendor Reporting eXtensible Markup Language (VRXML). The exchange is working with FISD to collect evaluation feedback from the global industry. We are particularly interested in how well the NYSE requirements match up with the requirements of the rest of the industry."

    The XML structure is a new format that the Market Data division of the NYSE has developed. The working name of this new structure is Vendor Reporting eXtensible Markup Language (VRXML). The XML structure is based upon the original VARS format but adds additional functionality and efficiency. The capability to transform an existing VARS file into a VRXML file is a requirement... We would hope that this proposed Vendor Reporting eXtensible Markup Language (VRXML) schema will be available for use by the end of the year 2002. Working with the FISD, we wish to gather comments and feedback prior to our implementation."

    About FISD: "The Financial Information Services Division (FISD) of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) provides a balanced and neutral business forum for exchanges, market data vendors, specialist data providers, brokerage firms and banks to address and resolve business and technical issues related to the distribution, management, administration and use of financial information. Over 130 organizations, representing all segments of the information distribution chain, are active members of FISD. They use the forum to exchange ideas, build business relationships, establish new levels of mutual understanding and improve the business climate associated with the worldwide flow of financial information. Participants are responsible for their own strategic and commercial interests within FISD. Our role is to act as a neutral facilitator of the discussion and manager of the consensus agenda that emerges as a result."

    Conceptual Model --- 

    Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL and VRXML are at

    Perspectives on Urban Education 

    Targeting advertising to special minority groups makes sense. But, warns Professor Sonya Grier, it's also important to pay attention to how this consumer identifies himself when charting an ad campaign. October 2002

    Controversial Software of the Week 

    SuperBot 3.1 

    SuperBot is a controversial program that downloads entire Web sites automatically and saves them on your computer.  I dare you to have enough disk space and Internet time to download Bob Jensen's Websites on two servers.

    TUCC Server 

    TU Computer Science Department Server 

    Actually it is a bit of a waste of time and space to download Websites, because the downloaded ones are locked into time and will not have the updates.  However, downloading does overcome the problem of documents on Websites that are removed before you download those documents.

    For the past 4 years, BusinessWeek readers have been testing their crossword acumen through the Lincoln-sponsored puzzles, Mixing Business with Pleasure. Now you can access the crossword puzzles through your PDA. Simply click the link below and enjoy 8 puzzles over the next 2 months --- 

    Hi Steve,

    The basic questions to ask are as follows:

    What is your objective?

    If the objective is to rank students in terms of what they have learned, then an answer that is 90% correct is certainly better than the 0% received by a student who never had a clue as to how to approach the problem. In general, partial credit will provide useful information for evaluating how much a student learned.

    Even in George Wright's excellent example (ship navigation) that might be extended to pilot student training, there might be some basis for partial credit. A student pilot who makes a quick and clever reaction to avert a terrible crash landing certainly gets more credit in my book than the student pilot who freezes in the same crisis.

    How many questions and problems?

    If an instructor has only one problem or question on the exam, then I think that part credit for a wrong answer is essential. If the instructor has 20 short problems on a one-hour examination, then there might be some basis for not assigning part credit since there are so many problems upon which to evaluate learning. This is how we generally justify not giving part credit on multiple choice examinations.

    Is there a good answer that the instructor overlooked?

    Context can vary a great deal. On occasion a creative student may derive a good solution that the instructor did not anticipate. Or the question may have incomplete or vague wording that leads a student into some wrong assumptions when answering a question or problem. I hate to admit it, but this frequently happens to me, and I must in fairness give full or partial credit if the student's assumptions are perfectly reasonable in such circumstances.

    Do the above "answers" get partial credit with respect to your question Steven?

    Bob Jensen

    -----Original Message----- 
    From: Steven White [mailto:steven.white@WKU.EDU]  
    Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 9:15 AM 
    To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Dilemma

    I had an interesting discussion with a CPA partner last night. He reminded me that when he was in school, the mean old professor graded only the "bottom line" answer. If that was wrong, no points were earned. When the students dared to question this process, the professor responded that even if the process is correct and the answer is wrong, in business, the client may fire you as his/her CPA. What do you folks think of this as an alternative to the "show your work to receive partial credit" world we operate in? 

    Steve White

    October 17 reply from George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU

    Can't help reminiscing over this :-).

    My undergrad years were spent at the U.S. Naval Academy where, among other things, we were taught navigation. The year I took nav, there was a major policy change.

    In prior years, partial credit was given. If your original fix (called the datum, your location as determined by astronomical navigation) was incorrect, your whole estimated course (based on speed, direction, time, current, winds, etc.) would be incorrect, as would your final position. But if everything but the original datum were correct, you'd get partial credit, called CFD, ``Correct For Datum.''

    In 1962, the decision was that, if you ran aground, you ran aground, regardless of where the problem occurred, original datum or not. So the slogan became, ``There's no CFD in the fleet!'' Navigation exercises were graded on bottom line only.

    Sometimes I'm tempted to tell students that there's no CFD in the fleet, but it would require too much explanation to be effective :-).


    October 17 reply from Richard C. Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@DARTMOUTH.EDU

    Chris Olsen (Whatever happened to Chris? He's not at Notre Dame any more) argued that partial credit violates two principle of accounting: materiality and objectivity.

    Suppose I'm teaching a class how to do a three part task. Each part has an outcome of one (success) or zero (failure). Success in the task requires success in each part of the task.

    Student #1 does the first two parts correctly and the third part incorrectly. Student #2 fails to accomplish any of the tasks correctly. Both fail to do the task because 1x1x0=0x0x0=0.

    Time for performance evaluation. I would not assign identical grades to these two students; nor would I be indifferent if my task was to hire one of them. Having said that, the "old school" approach has an advantage in that it promotes virtues of thoroughness and completeness.

    Richard C. Sansing 
    Associate Professor of Business Administration 
    Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth 

    A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names 

    American Transcendentalism Web 

    The Old Farmer's Almanac 

    The World Fact Book 2002 

    Bob Jensen's threads on encyclopedias are at 

    Crossfade (Music) 

    The latest version of peer-to-peer file sharing application Freenet is easier to use -- all part of its creators' goal to reach more people interested in using P2P to promote free speech ---,1282,56063,00.html 

    Bob Jensen's P2P threads are at 

    From Fathom on October 8, 2002

    * Short e-Course * 
    THE FUTURE OF ENGLISH from Cambridge University Press author and language expert David Crystal examines the history of English since 1600, the question of Standard English, American English versus British English, and the death of minority languages. The first 1,000 enrollees in this new e-course will also receive a free copy of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language: 

    * Free Seminar * 
    A CLASH OF IDEOLOGIES? AL QAEDA, AMERICA AND ACADEMIA From Vietnam to the IRA and the PLO, such challenges to the international order have often enjoyed a degree of sympathy from Western progressives. Is the radical Islam of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda a comparable revolutionary movement? Explore the debate in this free seminar from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

    * Semester-Length Course * 
    READING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM: COMPREHENSION IN THE CONTENT AREAS Reading comprehension is a prerequisite for academic achievement in all content areas, across all grade levels. This online course from the University of San Diego enables teachers to build their instructional practices for higher-order comprehension. Class starts October 25: 

    * Free Seminar * 
    THE SPECTACULAR FEMALE BODY: DRESS, FASHION AND MODERNITY IN VICTORIAN WOMEN'S MAGAZINES, a seminar from the Science Museum's "Locating the Victorians" conference, explores the rise and social impact of women's fashion through examples of four particular items: the fashion plate, the corset, the bloomer and the bicycle. The seminar is free; simply follow the checkout process to enroll: 

    * Short e-Course * 
    THE INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, 1890-1945: PRAGMATISM AND ITS CRITICS from Columbia University Professor Casey Nelson Blake explores the philosophy of pragmatism, the lives and contributions of James and Dewey, and the critiques of pragmatist thought. Enroll anytime: 

    Semester-Length Course * ONLINE ANTIQUE MARKET In this online course from New School University, students will examine the impact of online auctions such as eBay and on the antique and collectibles market. Class begins October 21: 


    * Seeing Things: Photographing Objects 1850-2001*
    Victoria & Albert Museum curator Mark Haworth-Booth presents a selection of six photographs from the recent exhibition "Seeing Things." By turns inventive, descriptive, and demonstrative, these examples break boundaries in assessing this relationship and moving beyond the concept of still life: "Seeing Things is a homage to many kinds of creativity and to the thrilling variousness of the photographic medium..." 

    * Cutting for Coppola: A Conversation with Anne Goursaud*
    Expert film editor Anne Goursaud's sure hand has made her highly sought after by some of the most respected directors in America, including Francis Ford Coppola, Hector Babenco and Jack Nicholson. In an AFI seminar held in 1991, Goursaud spoke of the translation and selection skills key to expert editing: "To me, the biggest compliment was when Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson saw an early cut of Ironweed. They didn't ask for one performance change..." 

    Winning Essay: "Accounting: a Pillar of the Free Market" --- 

    Oct. 14, 2002 (Pennsylvania CPA Journal) — In an effort to encourage accounting students to improve their writing abilities, the Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board sponsors an annual Student Writing Competition. This year, for the first time, the contest was open to all business majors attending Pennsylvania colleges and universities, as well as to Pennsylvania residents who attend school out-of-state.


    The 2002 topic was Accounting's Role in the Creative Destruction Process. Harris Arch, a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, placed first and received a cash award of $2,000. The Wharton School also received $1,000 for his achievement. Andell Lewis of Ursinus College placed second and received $1,200. Justin Stolte, also of Ursinus College, placed third and received $800. Ursinus College was awarded $1,000 ($600 and $400, respectively) for its students' achievements.

    Special thanks go to contest chair and judge Frank Farina and to judges Steve Blum and Rose Marie Bukics--all members of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board-for their hard work and dedication to this program.

    Winning Essay: The following is an excerpt from the Student Writing Competition's first-place essay, written by Harris Arch from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. To read the complete paper, please visit, click on Contest & Awards, then go to Student Writing Competition.

    Accounting: A Pillar of the Free Market By Harris Arch, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

    Joseph Schumpeter's "creative destruction" theory is critical to the understanding of the role of accounting within the free market. In his famous text, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Schumpeter wrote, "The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers, goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates."

    Schumpeter's observations demonstrate keen insight because the history of the American free market has consistently supported the force of change. Businesses must be able to adapt to markets that are dynamic and be responsive to consumers' changing habits or new methods of production. ... Schumpeter argued that innovation would always remain in the free market economy, and consequently the old structure and processes would be "destroyed" by new, more efficient ways of business. Schumpeter's theory is a powerful force in the free market economy and a reminder that innovation will never become obsolete as the economy develops...

    One of the questions of interest in this paper is how the role of accounting affected the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. To support the growth of the technological businesses, these companies needed an infusion of capital. These investments could have come from venture capital, initial public offerings in the stock market, loans, or various other financing vehicles. Regardless of the financing choice, investors needed a way to accurately value the operations of the company and determine the growth potential. The role of accounting is to provide these investors with reliable information about a company's earnings and balance sheet accounts.

    The accounting profession's responsibility should not be taken lightly, because investing decisions hinge upon the provided numbers. When an investor reads that earnings grew 25 percent from the previous quarter or revenues decreased 10 percent year-to-date, the investor needs to have the ability to assume that information is correct to the best of the knowledge of the accountant. Without this crucial assumption, investors would inefficiently allocate capital in companies that are not optimal and the innovation of the free market that Schumpeter described would become undermined. ...

    For Schumpeter's "creative destruction" to occur, true technological innovators need investment to support their fledgling companies. Recently, there have been serious issues about companies overstating their earnings, such as Sunbeam, Waste Management, and Enron. Investors need to have confidence that earnings reports are correct. If the worries over accounting continue, the free market and the ability to raise funds will become seriously constrained. When earnings are reported, investors will not be certain that these numbers are correct and may be hesitant to invest. Without capital, our free market will not be able to develop sufficiently and fund enterprises that provide value to the economy. ...

    The beauty of the free market is its own self-sustaining capabilities. The market can function by itself without strong intervention from the government, but some regulation is needed to support the self-sustainability. Accounting is one such pillar of strength for the free market. For investors to be able to develop proper investing decisions, the accounting numbers must be accurate. If not, our economy will suffer from poor capital allocation decisions based upon faulty numbers. Schumpeter's idea of "creative destruction" in the economy is a testament to the strong innovative character of our society. That innovation cannot occur without support from the accounting profession and standards. Without innovation, our economy will overlook potential growth opportunities, and the dreams of a better standard of living in the future may not see fruition.

    And then there is the dark side ---

    Politics as Usual on the Beltway

    October 21, 2002 message from 

    Unfortunately, partisan Democrats went even further in both politicizing and personalizing the process by attacking SEC Chairman Pitt a month before the election. And now Congress recesses without appropriating funds for the SEC and the President calls for a reduction in the SEC enforcement funds included in Sarbanes-Oxley and in the Senate Appropriations Committee bill! Politicians of both parties are politicizing the SEC as never before.

    As I noted in my very first PCAOB article submitted to the Washington Times ("Mary Poppins vs. the Chamber of Commerce"), which you posted at , the lack of PCAOB independence from government may well prove a fatal flaw:


    You can read more about Craig at

    MICROSOFT'S SECRET ANTITRUST WEAPON: LUCK Several strokes of fortune -- nothing more or less -- saved the software giant from a far harsher fate 

    Times are Tough in the European Economy

    November 1, 2002 message from Risk Waters Group [

    French reinsurer Scor ran into difficulties this week after it revealed it would probably make a net loss of €250 million this year due in part to losses from its writing of credit derivatives. The cost of senior debt protection on Scor ballooned to 850/1,000 basis points over Libor on Thursday from just 100bp three months back. Rating agency Fitch slashed Scor's financial strength rating to BBB from A+ and placed it on 'watch negative'. Standard & Poor's lowered Scor's financial strength to A- from A and Moody's placed it on review for possible downgrade. Scor issued its profits warning ahead of a planned rights issue to shore-up its financial reserves. Scor's woes come as Standard & Poor's issued a report stating that defaults by EU companies now outpace those of their US counterparts. A total of 20 rated EU entities have defaulted on rated debt worth $8.7 billion in the first nine months of 2002, already exceeding the total number of companies that have defaulted since 1990, when S&P started to monitor European defaults.

    Find A Grave 
    This site is free and supposedly has a huge database.  However, my relatives are all buried in small towns, and I could not find a single one of my deceased relatives in the database.

    But is there a conscious being in those remains?
    Despite mounting anecdotal evidence, conventional scientists still reject the notion that a person can remain conscious after being clinically deceased. Now a pair of researchers want to prove them wrong ---,1286,55826,00.html 

    United States Small Business Administration

    Bob Jensen's helpers in this area are as follows:

    Mobile Junkies Reshaping Society? ---,1284,55561,00.html 

    An upcoming art exhibit teases the bounds of legality by incorporating copyright-protected images, sounds and words. Organizers timed it to coincide with a landmark Supreme Court copyright case ---,1284,55592,00.html 

    Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago 

    Lower East Side Tenement Museum --- 

    Bob Jensen's threads on museums are at (Old Movies Worth a Second Look) --- 

    The Nation's Report Card: Geography 2001 

    Slang City (English, Literature, Culture) --- 

    National and Local Profiles of Cultural Support (Art, Music) --- 

    The Top Sample Lists (Music) 

    From the Smithsonian for Kids of All Ages:  Invention at Play (Science, History) --- 

    The global consulting firm Hewitt Associates has analyzed recent trends in health care and the news is not good. Health care costs are projected to increase 15.4% in 2003, which comes on top of a 13.7% increase in 2002. This represents the highest increase in health care costs since the early 1990s. 

    Health Care Costs to Increase 15.4 Percent in 2003

    AccountingWEB US - Oct-16-2002 -  The global consulting firm Hewitt Associates has analyzed recent trends in health care and the news is not good. Health care costs are projected to increase 15.4% in 2003, which comes on top of a 13.7% increase in 2002. This represents the highest increase in health care costs since the early 1990s. "Unless there is a fundamental change in the way health care is delivered, costs will double in the next five years," according to Jack Bruner, national health care practice leader at Hewitt.

    This translates into big dollars for corporate America. The average corporate cost per person for health care in 2003 is expected to increase from $5,157 to $5,982 for HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations), $5,545 to $6,367 for PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), $5,639 to $6,485 for POS (Point-of-Service) plans, and $6,304 to $7,249 for indemnity plans.

    "Employers simply cannot afford to continue to absorb these types of rate hikes and, unfortunately that means employees will have to pay a lot more for health care," Said Mr. Bruner.

    Employers are looking for alternative ways to provide health care benefits to employees and at the same time cut down on costs. Here are some options to consider:


    • Increasing payroll contributions
    • Reducing support for dependents
    • Charging extra for spouses
    • Increasing penalties for using services outside the provider network
    • Increasing co-payments for medical services
    • Increasing co-payments for prescription drugs
    • Customizing prescription drug options
    • Re-evaluating existing plans for ways to simplify administration and consolidate coverage
    • Offering programs that specialize in frequently-used medical services
    • Combining high-deductible plans with health care reimbursement accounts

    The bottom line is that "companies have to help employees take more responsibility and become more active health care consumers," said Mr. Bruner.

    History of the Workhouse --- 

    Under U.S. law, visitors to porn, alcohol and tobacco sites must be of legal age. But even the companies that develop age verification systems admit they don't work ---,1282,55338,00.html 

    FROM TIME:  Asia: Asian Journey (History, Travel, China, Railroads) --- 

    Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment 

    November 13, 2002 message from 

    Hello Bob,

    My name is Scott Stanberry. The purpose of this letter is to tell you about a book I have written titled Federal Contracting Made Easy. It is basically a "Dummies" book for how to sell to the federal government. Check out this Web site:

    I really think this book would be of interest to you and your organization. Here are some reviews on the book:

    Could you link the above site to your Web page? If you are interested, I will be glad to send you a copy of the book to review.


    Scott Stanberry, CPA

    Scientists at Stanford University have demonstrated tangible proof that scientific experiments can be conducted using thousands of low-end PCs wrangled together into loosely linked networks --- 

    This is a very flashy multimedia site that may be useful in some Trinity University courses.

    From PBS: Borders Virtual Series (Migrant Workers and the U.S. Border featuring Webcams) --- 
    A 10-week interactive drama told through the eyes of three teenagers near the U.S./Mexico border

    New Hardware of the Week --- The Tablet PC

    "Vote Still Out on Tablet PCs," eWeek, November 7, 2002
    Despite a huge campaign by Microsoft, most voters remain undecided about the Tablet PC, and turnout appears to be light. That may change today when Microsoft officially launches Windows XP Tablet Edition to the masses. Dozens of hardware and software providers are lining up to support the new operating system that promises to bring a new mobile computing paradigm to the general public and, in particular, vertical markets.

    In contrast to every other major Microsoft operating system release, the Tablet Edition won't be sold separately. This unfortunately places the operating system in the same category as the Xbox, though the Tablet Edition is clearly geared toward business professionals.

    Instead, it is licensed solely to platform vendors, including Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Acer and NEC. In addition, an SDK has been available for nearly a year that allows third-party software vendors to provide supporting applications. eWEEK Labs has taken a preliminary look at several of the devices and applications and found they work fairly well. However, whether Microsoft can sell a million units in a year as it estimates it can remains a big question.

    One of the challenges to the Tablet's success is price. The cheapest Tablet design will be about $1,600, with the average price coming in at about $2,200. These prices more or less are in line with premium ultraportable notebooks. To get the costs down on a machine that includes things such as a digitizer, Microsoft has lowered the cost of Tablet Edition operating system to the vendors so that it's only marginally more than Windows XP. In addition, the digitizing companies, such as Wacom, and the notebook vendors are taking a hit to spur on sales.

    The second challenge is general practicality. There's no compelling reason for most consumers to move toward the Tablet design—pen input is a luxury, perhaps even a frustrating luxury.

    On the other hand, Microsoft and its partners have eliminated most of the technical challenges that killed early pen-based designs. And vertical organizations, such as hospitals, may develop specific applications that take advantage of the Tablet design. Those who prefer to write in Cyrillic and Kanji may prefer pen input over keyboards.

    There are two general kinds of Tablets: the slate model, which has no built-in keyboard, and a clamshell design that is more or less a notebook replacement. However, all the slate devices we looked at include USB keyboards and usually feature a stand so that the Tablet can be viewed as if it were a monitor.

    The first unit eWEEK Labs looked at was the Acer Travelmate 100—a clamshell design. Acer appears to be the most committed vendor in the Tablet space, sending Chairman Stan Shih to New York for the launch and putting its manufacturing power to work months ahead of time. In fact, Acer had full functioning prototypes months ago. The Travelmate is about the size of a small notebook and is indistinguishable from one in appearance.

    HP (the division that was Compaq) has a more unique design with its slate-based Tablet design. Clearly, HP believes that there will be a flood of similar Tablet PC designs and styling will be a major selling point. Because of its design, the HP device also appears to be targeting consumers and not the potentially more lucrative enterprise vertical market.

    One of the more anticipated Tablet designs is from Fujitsu, which has had a strong penetration in health care with pen-based computers based on more proprietary operating systems and applications. The Fujitsu device that we looked at will have strong consumer and enterprise appeal, and if there is a crossover hit, it will be the Fujitsu device.

    A device from startup Motion Computing also looks promising. The most notable aspect of the Motion device is its larger screen, which is highly suitable to Tablet designs.

    One unit that looks to be promising is Toshiba's Portege 3500—a clamshell device. Toshiba officials said that the company has spent 24 months working on prototypes and that the company's research showed little interest in the slate form factor. The Portege's main differentiators include a strong hinge to support the screen and an Intel Pentium IIIm running at 1.33MHz. Most Tablets are running at slightly slower speeds. Toshiba officials boasted that the company will sell more units than any other vendor, but those numbers will probably be only in the tens of thousands through the end of the year. eWEEK Labs looked at prototypes of a pen-based computer (based on Linux) back in January and even then felt they were nearly ready for prime time, but Toshiba said it's sticking with Windows XP for the time being.

    The operating system itself is simply Windows XP plus some additional capabilities, notably the ability to capture pen input, including pressure, stroke and other geometry functions, at a high resolution. This allows Microsoft's Digital Ink recognizer to translate input into text. It's technically sophisticated but error-prone. It will both amaze people with its accuracy and frustrate the same people with its inability to translate simple words.

    All Tablets also have a speech input capability, making the Tablet PC a versatile device. However, enterprises concerned about rampant ink use should think twice about deploying them. Ink takes up 10 times more space than text, which could create bloated Outlook files and bog down Exchange servers.

    Continued at,3959,673993,00.asp 

    Will Apps Make or Break the Tablet PC?
    Unlike the ill-fated Microsoft "Bob," the success or failure of the Tablet is dependent on the PC vendors and ISVs writing the apps that will run on top of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. Read the story

    Commentary: Tablets Are Ready for, Um, What?
    Microsoft faces challenging odds in betting that its Tablet PC will win wide acceptance. Read the editorial

    "What Freud Got Right," by Fred Guterl, Newsweek --- 
    His theories, long discredited, are finding support from neurologists using modern brain imaging

    Sigmund Freud has been out of the scientific mainstream for so long, it’s easy to forget that in the early-20th century he was regarded as a towering man of science—not, as he is remembered today, as the founder of the marginalized form of therapy known as psychoanalysis.

    AT THE START of his career, he wanted to invent a “science of the mind,” but the Victorian tools he had were too blunt for the task. So he dropped the “science” part and had his patients lie on a couch, free-associating about childhood, dreams and fantasies. This technique yielded the revolutionary notion that the human mind was a soap opera of concealed lust and aggression, of dark motives, self-deception and dreams rife with hidden meaning. The problem was, Freud had lots of anecdotes but almost no empirical data. With the invention of tools like the PET scan that can map the neurological activity inside a living brain, scientists discounted the windy speculations of psychoanalysis and dismissed Freud himself as the first media-savvy self-help guru.

    But a funny thing happened to Freud on the way to becoming a trivia question: as researchers looked deeper into the physical structure of the brain, they began to find support for some of his theories. Now a small but influential group of researchers are using his insights as a guide to future research; they even have a journal, Neuropsychoanalysis, founded three years ago. “Freud’s insights on the nature of consciousness are consonant with the most advanced contemporary neuroscience views,” wrote Antonio Damasio, head of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Note that Damasio did not refer to psychoanalysis or the Oedipus complex. Instead the work is going on at the fundamental level where emotions are born and primitive passions lurk in the shadows of dreams.

    Beyond the basic animal instincts to seek food and avoid pain, Freud identified two sources of psychic energy, which he called “drives”: aggression and libido (the latter encompasses sexuality but also had a more expansive meaning, involving the desire for stimulation and achievement). The key to his theory is that these were unconscious drives, shaping our behavior without the mediation of our waking minds; they surface, heavily disguised, only in our dreams. The work of the past half-century in psychology and neuroscience has been to downplay the role of unconscious universal drives, focusing instead on rational processes in conscious life. Meanwhile, dreams were downgraded to a kind of mental static, random scraps of memory flickering through the sleeping brain. But researchers have found evidence that Freud’s drives really do exist, and they have their roots in the limbic system, a primitive part of the brain that operates mostly below the horizon of consciousness. Now more commonly referred to as emotions, the modern suite of drives comprises five: rage, panic, separation distress, lust and a variation on libido sometimes called seeking. Freud presaged this finding in 1915, when he wrote that drives originate “from within the organism” in response to demands placed on the mind “in consequence of its connection with the body.” Drives, in other words, are primitive brain circuits that control how we respond to our environment—foraging when we’re hungry, running when we’re scared and lusting for a mate.

    The seeking drive is proving a particularly fruitful subject for researchers. Although like the others it originates in the limbic system, it also involves parts of the forebrain, the seat of higher mental functions. In the 1980s, Jaak Panksepp, a neurobiologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, became interested in a place near the cortex known as the ventraltegmental area, which in humans lies just above the hairline. When Panksepp stimulated the corresponding region in a mouse, the animal would sniff the air and walk around, as though it were looking for something. Was it hunger? No. The mouse would walk right by a plate of food, or for that matter any other object Panksepp could think of. This brain tissue seemed to cause a general desire for something new. “What I was seeing,” he says, “was the urge to do stuff.” Panksepp called this seeking.

    Continued in the article

    November 11, 2002 message from Dr. Mark H. Shapiro [

    The American Council on Education (ACE) has just released a report on the dramatic rise in the numbers of part-time and non-tenure track full-time faculty members in American higher education. Today, on average, only about 38% of American college and university faculty members hold tenured or tenure-track positions. Part-time faculty members and full-time, nontenure-track faculty members (lecturers), who now make up the majority of those who teach college and university classes earn significantly less and have significantly fewer benefits than full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty.

    The Irascible Professor analyzes the impact of this trend on the quality of higher education.

    Read our comments at: 


    Dr. Mark H. Shapiro 
    Editor and Publisher 
    The Irascible Professor

    Advertisement Message from Alex von Rosenberg [

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    October 11, 2002 Advertisement Message from Charles Wankel [cxx@BELLATLANTIC.NET

    Robert DeFillippi and I have edited a book of cutting-edge approaches to business education that I think you will find stimulating and even useful:

    Charles Wankel and Robert DeFillippi, editors
    Rethinking Management Education for the 21st Century
    Greenwich:  Information Age Publishing, 2002.

    It has chapters on the latest approaches to implementing SERVICE LEARNING, to creating an ONLINE MBA program, to ARTS-BASED LEARNING IN MANAGEMENT EDUCATION, on CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES, DOCTORAL LEVEL BUSINESS education in the 21st century, the globalization of the CRITICAL MANAGEMENT perspective, EMERGING COMPETITORS IN EXECUTIVE EDUCATION, E-LEARNING BUSINESS MODELS, and developing POLITICAL SKILLS through management education in the 21st century.

    Contributors include:  William Anthony, Florida State University; Elena Antonacopoulou, Manchester Business School; Kathy Lund Dean, Idaho State University; Robert DeFillippi, Suffolk University; Eric Dent, University of Maryland, University College; Gerald Ferris, Florida State University; Ellen Foster-Curtis, Pennsylvania State University; David Gilmore, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Veronica Godshalk, Pennsylvania State University; Michael Harvey, University of Oklahoma; Michael Kolodinsky, James Madison University; Ann McCarthy, University of Baltimore; Thomas Moore, Babson College; Nick Nissley, University of St. Thomas; Darryl Reed, York University; Sabine Seufert, Universität St. Gallen; Mary Tucker, Ohio University; Charles Wankel, St. John's University.

    This volume lists $29.95 paperback and $63.25 hardback and is available at:





    You can obtain it directly from the publisher at 20 percent discount in the USA by phoning them at 203-661-7602 and asking for the "virtual community" discount.

    Far East distribution is through Taylor and Francis in Singapore   .

    Charles Wankel
    St. John's University, New York City

    Researchers at Stanford Medical Center are calling for volunteers in the first-ever trial of a drug to treat kleptomania, a mental illness characterized by uncontrollable urges to steal. The study will examine whether a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor currently on the market for treating depression can reduce stealing in kleptomaniacs.