New Bookmarks
Year 2003 Quarter 1:  January 1-March 31 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

We're moving to the mountains on June 15, 2003 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm  
Update:  I added some winter scenes from our front window.  One of them is shown below.

 

FOR SALE:  Our nice San Antonio home
details (with pictures) at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen\house\HouseForSale.htm 

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

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

For date and time, try The Aggie Digital Clock --- http://yugop.com/ver3/stuff/03/fla.html
Time anywhere in the world http://www.worldtimeserver.com/ 

Bob Jensen's Dance Card
Some of My Planned Workshops and Presentations --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations 

Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Language Other Goodies --- http://dictionary.reference.com/ 

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

Choose a Date Below for Additions to the Bookmarks File

March 31, 2003         March 15, 2003     

February 28, 2003     February 12, 2003  

January 31, 2003       January 15, 2003    

   

 

March 31, 2003

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on March 31, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
 

I am not the anti-business activist Robert W. Jensen from the University of Texas.  I have been getting some hate mail messages to a Bob Jensen that should have been routed to a Robert W. Jensen in the Department of Journalism at the University of Texas --- http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/home.htm 
I am Robert E. Jensen, a professor of accounting at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.


Quotes of the Week

Why does the United States always want to take more land?
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
Forwarded by Barbara Hessel

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Abba Eban.

The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes.
Stanley Kubrick

Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury.
E.H. Chapin

The idea that people could use computers to amplify thought and communication, as tools for intellectual work and social activity, was not an invention of the mainstream computer industry or orthodox computer science, nor even homebrew computerists; their work was rooted in older, equally eccentric, equally visionary, work. You can't really guess where mind-amplifying technology is going unless you understand where it came from.
Tools for Thought by Howard Rheingold (a free book) --- http://www.rheingold.com/texts/tft/8.html 

Share what you know, it's like throwing stars into the night sky.
Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie

In the first week on the Web, the OCW site received more than 13 million visits from users, about 52 percent from outside of the United States. The OCW team also processed more than 2,000 e-mails in those first days, more than 75 percent of them supportive of the project. The remaining 25 percent were a mix of technical questions, inquiries about specific course offerings, and questions about content. Less than 2 percent of those e-mails were negative.
Anne H. Margulies (See below for her article on MIT's OpenCourseWare project)

The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
Theodore Parker as quoted by Mark Shapiro --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-03-14-03.htm 

True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.
Karl Popper

If You Want to Be a Writer--Be a Reader
Tina Blue --- http://tinablue.homestead.com/writerisreader.html 

Traditional training puts the emphasis on what someone does to employees; employees are regarded as passive recipients of ideas and information.  Learning, on the other hand, implies that employees actively participate in expanding their own skills. Moreover, with growing frequency, employees are learning from one another in a structured measurable way.  Learning needs to be continuous. Organizations face continual change of products, services, processes, markets, and competition, as well as technology. Since every one in the organization is caught up in change, everyone must participate in a learner centered environment. A learner centered environment is one in which when change is contemplated, when performance indicators decline or generally when things must improve ­ training is immediately recognized as a key component.
Ken Kell, "Achieving Measured Success through Competency Based Learning," June 1999 --- http://snurl.com/KenKell 
Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based education and training are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/competency.htm 

Its performance is the envy of executives and engineers around the world ... For techno-evangelists, Google is a marvel of Web brilliance ... For Wall Street, it may be the IPO that changes everything ( again ) ... But Google is also a case study in savvy management -- a company filled with cutting-edge ideas, rigorous accountability, and relentless attention to detail ... Here's a search for the growth secrets of one of the world's most exciting young companies -- a company from which every company can learn.
Keith H. Hammonds --- http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/69/google.html 
Bob Jensen's threads on searching are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 

Last spring federal officials released the results of the 2001 National Assessment of Educational Progress. In U.S. history only eleven percent of high school seniors qualified as "proficient" or "advanced." Nearly sixty percent failed to score at the "basic" level.
Mark Shapiro --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-03-20-03.htm 

A Case for Writing (rather than purchasing) Options
The Money Tree by Ronald Groenke and Wade Keller. Now I must confess, the reason I started this is because the authors are subscribers to the newsletter, but it has turned out to be a interesting look at selling calls on stocks that you already own. It is written as a novel, yet is full of financial strategies and terms. I am still not 100% convinced that opportunity costs are completely considered but definitely worth the time! I will let you know more when I finish it.
From Jim Mahar, TheFinanceProfessor on March 24, 2002.  See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967412811/finpapers/104-9378365-5272442 

The Social Security Board of Trustees has declared that the Social Security program is not sustainable over the long term. The 2003 Social Security Trustees Report does extend the projected solvency of the trust funds by one year.
From the AccountingWeb  http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97323 

In the 2003 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

From Jim Mahar, TheFinanceProfessor on March 24, 2003

As many of you saw, St. Bonaventure went through some hard times in recent weeks. A player on the men’s basketball team was found to be ineligible and the team had to forfeit its games in the Atlantic 10. To make matters worse, the University president had signed off allowing him to play. Then in a moment of much pain, the team quit and decided to forfeit their last two games. Quickly Bonaventure went to the top story in ESPN and other sports networks.

While that made news, what has not made nearly as much news is the Bonaventure response to this story. The president resigned, the basketball coach, and assistant basketball coach, and the AD were placed on administrative leave. However, more than that, was the amazing speed at which the Bonaventure “community” came together and began working to make sure the same thing never happens again. It was actually quite inspiring. So to the many who wrote when the news was happening, thank you for your concern, but Bonaventure will survive and the basketball team will emerge stronger, at least better rounded, than ever.


The Perilous Fight:  Then and Now

From PBS:  The Perilous Fight: America's World War II in Color --- http://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/ 
(Includes the Battlefield, Psychology of War, The Home Front, Social Aspects, WW II Timeline, etc.)

Letters bring comfort to fighting men even as they witness unimaginable atrocities that forever change them. The war not only affects the mental state of those involved, but also changes the way that wars are fought and introduces the world's most frightening psychological weapon, the atomic bomb.

Live Weblog messages (at least while he lives) from a U.S. soldier headed for IRAQ
L.T. SMASH LIVE FROM THE SANDBOX

Due to the overwhelming traffic this site is receiving, we have decided to relocate it to another server. The address for the new site is http://www.lt-smash.US. Please update your bookmarks. We hope to forward lt-smash.COM to the new server at a future date. We apologize for any incovenience this may cause.

For other Weblogs by soldiers, see http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB104854599843896800,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fmarketplace%5Fhs 
"Web Logs Tell War Stories, Unfiltered and in Real Time," The Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2003

Curiously, unlike the military, traditional media outlets have been trying to quash their personnel's blogging efforts. Kevin Sites, a CNN correspondent in northern Iraq, had been posting photographs, short accounts and audio reports on his Web log until CNN pressured him to stop. 
For more information write to Matthew Rose at matthew.rose@wsj.com and Christopher Cooper at christopher.cooper@wsj.com

From the Scout Report

A Minute Longer: A Soldier's Tale --- http://www.rooba.net/will/

Forbes.com: Best War Blogs http://www.forbes.com/2003/03/20/cx_ah_0320warblogs.html

Let Slip the Blogs of War http://www.ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1017770789.php

The Home Front: Dispatches of Ernie Pyle http://www.private-art.com/scrapbook/pyle/gallery.html

Frontline: The War Behind Closed Doors --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq/ 

Reuters To Stream War Video News and financial data giant adds frontline footage from Iraq to its recently revamped Web site. http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/2117191 
I guess from an academic side the theory might be to make financial markets more efficient in reacting to war news.

Ann-Maragret's Spontaneous Tribute to Vietnam Vets --- 

The Tall Texan's Website (including the music) --- http://www.talltexian.com/ 

With mounting civilian fatalities in Iraq, a unique website is drawing thousands of hits and increased media attention. The site, Iraq Body Count, keeps a running total of civilian deaths (actually unauthenticated reports of deaths) in the Iraq war --- http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,58241,00.html  
One problem when military personnel fight disguised as civilians is the partitioning of actual civilians from the total population.  There is also an immense data interpretation problem when the Iraq military protects itself behind civilians or even kills civilians who run away.  The Iraq Body Count tries to keep track of reported deaths, but attributing cause in particular instances is a dubious effort.

Hi Andy,

Erika really fears any war.  She was a small child when she was a war refuge. She tells me that in those days she never heard of The Marshall Plan or the U.S. Constabulary.  She was just too young.

What she remembers is the kindness of the U.S. GIs. When she was very tiny, she recalls begging by the U.S. army bases in Munich. In those days there were separate bases for black soldiers and white soldiers. She has fond memories of being given food and clothing at both types of bases, but she also recalls that the black soldiers seemed to be a bit more generous. She was told that a black soldier who taught her how to chew bubble gum rather than swallow it was a huge soldier who said his name was Martin Luther King (Sr.). However, his name was never verified.  She like to think it really was him.

Erika would have answered this herself, but she does not yet do email.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: FRIENDS [mailto:friends@usd308.com]  
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 11:53 AM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Erika's experiences in WWII

We are doing a project for History Day on the U.S. Constabulary. These were the men that carried out the Marshall plan in Germany after WWII. We read Erika's letter about her aunt and familly in WWII. Would Erika have time to answer a few questions?

1. Were you or your family helped by the Constabulary men to rebuild your home or business? 2. Do you know young people(then) who were involved in the youth groups started by the Constabulary? 3. What are your feelings about the Marshall Plan and how it helped Germany to rebuild? Sincerely, 
Andy Clark

Part of Erika's story can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/erika/xmas00.htm 




My March 31, 2003 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud033103.htm
(The above document also includes updates on tax frauds, scams, identity theft, and similar updates.)

Bob Jensen gets "behind" on Andersen poetry ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud033103.htm

FASB Project Schedules --- http://www.fasb.org/project/index.shtml 

From KPMG:  Revisiting Stock-Option Accounting --- http://www.fei.org/download/KPMGMarch03_6.pdf 
Bob Jensen's threads on this issue are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory/sfas123/jensen01.htm 

New
Fraudulent Dealer Tricks:  An Interactive DHTML Illustration ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudDealerTricks.htm 
This includes a summary of ten unethical tricks of the trade by automobile dealers.

How FAS 133 Cost Sears $270 Million
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm#Sears
 




March 13, 2003 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Thought Bob and others may be intrigued about this link (to a Chinese mirror site for one of Bob's Web documents):

http://home.kimo.com.tw/pastudy/pais/cyber/e-book.htm  

Richard Campbell

The above Chinese mirror site was taken from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm 


Wow Sharing Professor of the Week is Jim Mahar 

I highly recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor) --- www.FinanceProfessor.com 


Goodbye to my two most prized American Accounting Association journals.
Wow Bummer of the Week ---- I vote NO!

There were so many long threads on this one that I transferred the material to a new document at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AAAjournals.htm
 


Your every keystroke may be being logged and you do not even know it!

March 31, 2003 message from Jim McKinney [jim@MCKINNEYCPA.COM

The most recent issue of PC Magazine (April 22,2003) has an interesting article regarding spyware. I downloaded some shareware that was recommended and found several pieces of spyware running on my machine including one that logs my keystrokes. My son who has downloaded music sharing software found over forty running on his. Sorry I do not have a link to the article. The software that PC Magazine recommended was at http://www.spybot.safer-networking.de/   

Jim McKinney 
Howard University


Wow Risk and Capital Management Site of the Week --- A Great Newsletter and Case Studies for Education and Practice

This is what Professor Jim Mahar says about ERisk in the March 24, 2003 edition of TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor) --- www.FinanceProfessor.com 

Erisk.com. I simply love the site. I know it has been site of the week before, but it is so good, it earned it again. Try it, you’ll love the case studies and the newsletter! http://www.erisk.com

The ERisk Report is great, but it is rather expensive at $149 per year.  However, rather delayed summaries are free at http://www.erisk.com/Research/ERiskReport/report_Jul2002.asp#one 

ERisk --- http://www.erisk.com/ 

ERisk is the leading provider of strategic solutions for risk and capital management. We deliver a unique combination of world-class analytics for risk-based capital, strategic risk management expertise, risk transfer advice and risk information.

You can find out more about our products and services in the Overview section. On this page, you can find out more about the people and ideas that power our company.

The ERisk Report --- http://www.erisk.com/about/about_company.asp?ct=n#report 

The ERisk Report is a concise monthly briefing for senior financial executives. Every month, contributors from ERisk's team of risk management experts address today's most pressing issues in strategic risk and capital management. Sign up today for your personal copy of this cutting-edge publication!

Vol 1.6: Measuring the return on risk management; leveraging the economic benefits of risk management

Vol 1.5: Putting the real value on customer relationships; rolling out risk management

Vol 1.4: Making risk more transparent; fed takes pulse of economic capital practices

Vol 1.3: Credit scoring: robots versus humans; James Lam's three lessons from Enron

Vol 1.2: Weathering credit losses; regulators line up behind economic capital

Vol 1.1: Revamping your credit ratings system; measuring bank profitability

The ERisk Portal --- http://www.erisk.com/portal/home.asp 
Resources for Enterprise Risk Management

ERisk today continues to successfully develop and install its analytics at client sites, conduct high-value consulting engagements, offer unbiased advice on risk transfer alternatives, and attract thousands of readers to the ERisk portal.

Bob Jensen's related sites are as follows:

Financial Instruments Derivatives and Risk Management --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 

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

Accounting for Electronic Commerce, Including Controversies on Business Valuation, ROI, and Revenue Reporting --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 

Accounting Theory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm 


It's freezing in Stanford University!

PROVOST ANNOUNCES SALARY FREEZE: 
In a Feb. 26 letter to employees, Provost John Etchemendy said the projected $25 million budget shortfall for 2003-04 led to the "difficult decision" to freeze faculty and staff salaries for next year. The expected savings of up to $8 million will help avoid more extensive layoffs, he told the Faculty Senate March 6, adding that feedback since the notice went out has been overwhelmingly supportive. http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/report/news/2003/march5/salary-35.html 


British Columbia's History of Education Web site http://www.mala.bc.ca/homeroom/ 

Bob Jensen's education bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm 


Wow Education Technology of the Week

From Syllabus News on March 25, 2003

New Products: SCORM Simulation Tool for eLearning Market

A simulation software company released what it called the first SCORM- compliant simulation software designed for the eLearning market. eHelp Corp. markets RoboHelp, a Flash-based simulation application that enables trainers to create simulations with quizzing and scoring capabilities. The simulations can be integrated with a learning management system, viewed on a Web site or intranet, burned on a CD, e- mailed to an end user or integrated into a Help system. RoboDemo can record the use of any application or on-screen activity, and creates a movie in Flash format with visible and audible mouse clicks. Simulations can be easily enhanced by adding rollover and transparent text captions and images, audio, interactive text fields and click boxes, eLearning-specific features like quizzing, scoring and branching, hyperlinks, and special effects.


CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) 

Ohio State University's Department of Athletics is using a CRM package from ForeSee Results as a tool for what it calls "online customer satisfaction management." The system helps isolate market factors that will most influence user satisfaction and loyalty, which helps OSU make high-impact, cost-effective content and design decisions. The software helps predict how satisfaction levels with various Web site elements will affect future behaviors such as the likelihood to purchase again or return to the site. It also provides real-time data on what Web site visitors are looking for so changes can take place almost immediately. The system incorporates the methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Bob Jensen's threads on authoring software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on resources are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm#Resources 


Wow Aid for Student Writing and Research

McGraw-Hill Higher Education Launches Innovative Catalyst Writing and Research Tool Available in Handheld Format Companion to "A Writer's Resource" text also available Online and on CD-ROM --- http://www.creativepro.com/story/news/19060.html 

McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a leading provider of electronic and print learning solutions, today unveiled Catalyst: A Tool for Writing and Research, a unique technology-based tool that enhances students' composition and research skills.

Catalyst is thoroughly integrated with "A Writer's Resource," the leading student-centered text designed as a resource for achieving excellence in writing and learning. This powerful teaching and learning solution includes resources in Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) downloadable format, online, and on CD-ROM, including tools for learning, research, writing, and editing.

"Catalyst utilizes today's technologies to access proven writing, research and composition resources," said Ed Stanford, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "With Catalyst, students now have instant support at their fingertips for writing assignments in composition class and all other subjects."

Major features of Catalyst include:

Catalyst is available free of charge with every copy of "A Writer's Resource" for online and/or PDA use. It may also be purchased separately on CD-ROM, which includes access to all online material, including the download for PDAs.

To view the online brochure for Catalyst, visit http://www.mhhe.com/wmg/catalyst. Catalyst will also be featured in an ongoing demonstration at the McGraw-Hill Higher Education exhibit at the 54th Annual Conference on College Composition and Communication, held at the Hilton Hotel in New York on March 20-22.

McGraw-Hill Higher Education is a leading global provider of educational materials and professional information targeted at the higher education market. It is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in financial services, education and business-to-business information through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's and BusinessWeek. Founded in 1888, the Corporation has more than 350 offices in 33 countries. Sales in 2002 were $4.8 billion. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

Bob Jensen's threads on resources are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm#Resources 


Wow Technology of the Week

Looking for a new notebook? You'd be remiss if you didn't at least consider one of the new tablet PCs. Now that they've been on the market for a few months, they've matured—sort of. We've put nine systems—the best of the bunch—through some pretty intensive testing and even lived with them day and night. So what did we find? Well, for certain tasks they're great; for others ... Let's just say they're not for everyone. Still, these are all far more useful than past doomed tablet efforts, including the Eo, Gridpad and Momenta. And if you've got one, we've compiled 50 of our favorite tablet tips gleaned from our extensive testing.
"What's New Now," by Jim Louderback, Ziff Davis on March 25, 2003


Some Winners and Losers to Date in Online MBA Programs

"Universities Exporting M.B.A. Programs via the Internet," by Otto Pohl, The New York Times, March 26, 2003 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/26/nyregion/26MBA.html 

LONDON — If Jeremy Hallett had his way, he would be sitting on a leafy university campus in the United States with plenty of time to contemplate the theories of business.

Instead, he spends hectic lunch hours and long evenings in his office cubicle here, earning his M.B.A.

"It's not a perfect world," he says with a shrug.

Driven by the mantra of globalization and enabled by Internet-based technologies, M.B.A. programs in the United States are expanding rapidly into new markets overseas. The schools are looking for full-time, on-campus students seeking an international M.B.A. degree as well as part-timers like Mr. Hallett, who want to learn from afar while they continue working.

Some of the universities are virtual, offering American degrees via the Internet. Mr. Hallett, a London-based senior vice president at Thomson Financial, is earning his M.B.A. from Cardean University, a newly created entity that exists only in cyberspace and markets a course package created by other institutions, including Stanford, Columbia and the University of Chicago.

For Mr. Hallett, it was the availability of these prestigious schools on his computer screen that persuaded him to enroll. "These schools are recognized around the world," he said. "This degree will be truly international."

The M.B.A. is an American creation. More than 100,000 students are enrolled in M.B.A. programs in the United States, and now tens of thousands more are enrolled overseas. Even the threat of global recession has not diminished its popularity, as unemployed workers sharpen their job skills.

The biggest growth opportunity today for American online universities is inside the United States, but the schools are also looking to carry the prestige of American education overseas.

"We're serving a global market," said Andrew Rosenfield, the founder and chairman of Cardean University. A third of Cardean's students are outside the United States, and he expects the proportion to grow significantly over time.

"The United States certainly has no monopoly on running successful businesses," he says, adding that business students have to get their training somewhere.

Traditional campus-based programs are looking to train them as well. Columbia formed a partnership with the London Business School, and the Stern School of Business at New York University recently inaugurated the Trium M.B.A. degree with the London School of Economics and H.E.C. Paris. Thunderbird, an M.B.A. program in Arizona that bills itself as the oldest international M.B.A. program in the world, established its own satellite campus in France last fall.

These programs are designed to appeal to executives who want globally recognized names on their résumés.

Lawrence Naested, an American Express executive in London, is enrolled in the Trium program, studying in places like Hong Kong, Paris, Brazil, and New York. "This is far and away superior to a traditional M.B.A. program," he says. "Mixing with different backgrounds and nationalities far outweighs spending a year in a book."

Even schools that are very careful about diluting their brand names are looking for new growth opportunities. The Harvard Business School is keeping its campus-based education sacrosanct while offering noncredit Harvard-branded education to managers who can tap into a database for answers to specific questions. Instead of teaching what may be needed one day, they offer continuous assistance to managers confronted with real-life situations.

"We're moving from just-in-case education to just-in-time education," says Jonathon D. Levy, vice-president of online learning solutions at Harvard Business School Publishing, a subsidiary of the Harvard Business School.

This wealth of new business models centered on education has caught the eye of investors. "Very solid returns, solid profits, and good cash flow," says Richard Close, a vice president of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, summing up why he feels for-profit post-secondary education is a great investment opportunity. "Online, you can leverage that success even more."

Most of the online universities are hoping to emulate the success of the University of Phoenix, whose growth is one of the most remarkable stories in for-profit academia. The university, with 140,000 students, has become the largest university in the country in terms of enrollment. About 60,000 of those students attend classes online and 4,000 are overseas. The stock of Apollo Group, which owns the university, has kept pace, rising 500 percent since January 2000.

There have also been plenty of failures. Many online programs founded during the Internet boom did little but hemorrhage money. Pensare, an online M.B.A. company using Duke courses, has been scrapped. Quisic, an online program developed with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, was closed.last year, and SUNY Buffalo had an online M.B.A. program that lasted only 18 months.

Administrators of campus-based programs believe the failure of many online programs highlights the importance of extensive classroom time and personal interaction. And while few of those involved with online degrees dispute the superiority of full-time, face-to-face learning, they point to the much larger market of those who would like an education but cannot quit their jobs or travel to a campus.

Unlike elite campus-based programs, which offer exclusivity along with the degree, the online programs accept anyone with a good credit history and a reasonable likelihood of finishing the program. The online programs are expensive — Cardean's M.B.A. costs $24,000 — but that is still much less than a program like Trium, which costs $92,000.

The success of the American M.B.A. overseas already has some foreign schools marketing themselves as alternatives. "We reflect an Anglo-American way of doing business," says Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, the director of the British Open University Business School master's program.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's distance education threads are listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


Betraying the College Dream: How Disconnected K-12 and Postsecondary Education Systems Undermine Student Aspirations [.pdf] http://www.stanford.edu/group/bridgeproject/betrayingthecollegedream.pdf 


MIT OpenCourseWare (Open Knowledge Initiative OKI and DSpace) Shares Lessons from Pilot Project.

"Open Access to World-Class Knowledge," by Anne H. Margulies, Syllabus, March 2003, pp. 16-18 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7360 

A student in Johannesburg, South Africa. An educator in Wiesbaden, Germany. Ethiopian refugees trying to finish an engineering education cut short by civil war. These are just a few of the people who have tapped the potential of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare (OCW) project, a two-year-old effort to make available original course materials from all five of MIT's schools to students around the world.

Started by an MIT faculty committee charged with providing guidance on how MIT should position itself in the distance and eLearning environment, the OCW project supports the university's interest in contributing to the "shared intellectual commons" in higher education. "OpenCourseWare combines two things: traditional openness and outreach, and the democratizing influence of American education, with the ability of the Web to make vast amounts of information instantly available," says MIT President Charles M. Vest.

On Sept. 30, 2002, the pilot site of OCW was launched. It offers users the opportunity to see and use course materials from 50 MIT subjects, representing 20 individual academic disciplines and MIT's schools of Architecture, Science, Engineering, the Sloan School of Management, and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

In the first week on the Web, the OCW site received more than 13 million visits from users, about 52 percent from outside of the United States. The OCW team also processed more than 2,000 e-mails in those first days, more than 75 percent of them supportive of the project. The remaining 25 percent were a mix of technical questions, inquiries about specific course offerings, and questions about content. Less than 2 percent of those e-mails were negative.

Govert van Drimmelen, a university student in Johannesburg, South Africa, found the video lectures of MIT Professor Gil Strang, in Course 18.06: Linear Algebra, compelling. "I have watched some of the video lectures from mathematics course 18.06. The lectures are wonderful and having these available over the Internet from South Africa is a great privilege," Van Drimmelen wrote the OCW team by e-mail. "Please continue with this excellent project and accept my sincere thanks for the efforts. Making the quality education of MIT more broadly available will be a valued contribution to global education."

Dorothee Gaile, an educator and trainer of teachers in Wiesbaden, Germany, wrote that as OCW continued to add more subjects, it would become a remarkable resource for educators around the world. "As a teacher of English at both high school and University of Applied Science level in Germany, I very much appreciate having free access to the tremendous amount of knowledge MIT is currently putting on the Web. Congratulations on this idea and a warm thank you."

And Timothy Choe, a volunteer with an organization called Project Detour in Africa, immediately recognized OCW's potential in developing countries: "I recently spent time with a group of Ethiopian refugees, living in Kenya, who will benefit greatly from this initiative. They are students in Project Detour, an effort initiated to encourage their continuing education while living in a country where they are not granted access to the educational system. Many are Ethiopian-trained engineers, whose academic pursuits were cut short by political turmoil. Just thought you might appreciate another example of how this initiative will benefit the world's community of knowledge seekers."

In people like these, OCW found its intended audience—educators from around the world who can adapt the course materials and learning objects embedded in online lecture notes into their own pedagogy, and self-learners who will be able to draw on the materials for self-study or supplementary use.

"I read about your initiative in the NY Times online and have to say this is one of the most exciting applications of the Internet to date," wrote Charles Bello. Based in Nigeria, Bello is the Web master for www.clickafrique.com, an African Web portal. "I look forward to taking advantage of this opportunity to ‘take a dip' in MIT's enormous reservoir of human intellect."

Building a Sustainable Platform
For the pilot phase, the pages were built using what Cecilia d'Oliveira, OCW's Technology Director, calls "brute-force HTML." Using Web content editors such as Macromedia Inc.'s DreamWeaver, a team of programmers from MIT and consulting firm Sapient Corp. built and designed the first 32 subjects. Over the course of summer 2002, templates were developed, sign-off was secured from faculty, and the site was prepared for the pilot release.

With course materials from 18 more subjects added to the site in December 2002, the total number of HTML pages supporting the initial 50 subjects rose to more than 2,000, together with more than 10,000 supporting files including PDFs of lecture notes, images, and video simulations.

The production model used for the pilot is not scalable for what by 2007 is estimated to be more than 2,000 individual MIT subjects published. Indeed, the OCW goals are not going to be achieved overnight: An aggressive timeline calls for about 500 subjects to be published by September 2003, and then 500 each year there after until the course materials from virtually all of MIT's subjects—undergraduate and graduate—are available to the world.

This first year of the OCW pilot is called the "Discover/ Build" mode, where the focus is on developing the technology, process, and organization to sustain OCW over the long term as an organization. Over the course of the next two years, the team hopes to be able to provide the entire curriculum track for certain MIT subject areas.

The project will take a big leap forward in April 2003 with the implementation of a content management system, which will manage the Web pages and embed learning objects. The content management system will also:

Tracking copyright status will be vital to the long-term success of OCW. During the pilot phase, we assembled a "SWAT team" of attorneys, graphic artists, researchers, and photo image specialists who were charged with obtaining copyright and intellectual property clearances for all the charts, quotes, images, and other items that were embedded in the lecture notes that MIT professors had been using for years.

It was an arduous process, but it has paid off. There has not been a single copyright or intellectual property infringement claim filed against OCW. The copyright permissions process was slow and labor-intensive, but I am confident we have developed a strong set of alternative strategies for acquisition of copyrighted content as the project moves toward publishing hundreds of courses in the coming years.

Reaction at Home
The faculty experience with OCW has been positive. Many professors who were once skeptics are now ready to participate. The project is particularly useful for courses involving intersecting disciplines. For example, while faculty often do not have time to explore the research of peers who might be right down the hall, one faculty member, Paul Sclavounos, has been contacted by another researcher at MIT who wants to explore cross-disciplinary work.

Where did that professor discover Sclavounos' work? On the site for Sclavounos' ocean engineering subject, Course 13.022: Surface Waves and their Interaction With Floating Bodies.

"This initiative is particularly valuable for courses covering emerging new areas of knowledge, as well as intersecting disciplines," says Jonathan A. King, an MIT professor of molecular biology. "Having spent many years developing a course on protein folding that served the needs of biochemists, chemists, chemical engineers, and computational biologists, I am delighted that this work will be made available to a far broader audience."

Shigeru Miyagawa, an MIT professor of linguistics, serves on the OCW Faculty Advisory Board and has two subjects on the current site: Course 24.946: Linguistic Theory and the Japanese Language and CMS.930/21F.034: Media, Education, and the Marketplace, a cross-listed course that explores a broad range of issues on new media and learning.

"OCW reflects the idea that, as scholars and teachers, we wish to share freely the knowledge we generate through our research and teaching," Miyagawa explains. "While MIT may be better known for our research, with OCW, we wish to showcase the quality of our teaching."

The OCW team hopes this will be the first of many open courseware initiatives. "This is about something bigger than MIT," states president Vest. "I hope other universities will see us as educational leaders in this arena, and we very much hope that OpenCourseWare will draw other universities to do the same. We would be delighted if—over time—we have a World Wide Web of knowledge that raises the quality of learning—and ultimately, the quality of life—around the globe."

MIT OpenCourseWare --- http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html 
Find individual course listings on the following MIT OCW Department pages, or view a complete course list.
  Aeronautics & Astronautics
  Anthropology NEW
  Biology
  Chemical Engineering
  Chemistry
  Civil & Environmental Engineering
  Comparative Media Studies NEW
  Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences
  Economics
  Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  Engineering Systems Division
  History NEW
  Linguistics & Philosophy
  Literature NEW
  Materials Science & Engineering NEW
  Mathematics
  Mechanical Engineering
  Nuclear Engineering NEW
  Ocean Engineering
  Physics
  Political Science
  Sloan School of Management
  Urban Studies & Planning

Bob Jensen's threads on free sharing of courseware from MIT, Stanford, and other colleges and universities are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI 


The AT&T Learning Network Community Guide http://www.att.com/communityguide/index.html 

Welcome to the AT&T Learning Network Community Guide. AT&T developed this Guide as part of its ongoing effort to help communities take advantage of the many benefits of information technology. As part of that effort, AT&T funded a variety of organizations to develop public community access centers for community members who do not have other means to connect to the Internet. This Guide is intended to be a companion document for those centers and other technology access centers around the country. Whether you’re involved in running a community access center or you’re a community member interested in learning the uses and benefits of the Internet, this Guide will help get you started. If you’re a community member looking for ways to begin planning your own access center, you’ll find tips on how to “kickstart” that effort.

Community access centers take many forms and take place in many sites within the community where people gather to communicate with and learn from one another. You may find Internet access points in a library, a church or a senior citizen-center. Perhaps your children attend a summer camp that has an area where they can learn about and use these technology resources. Many organizations, like the NAACP and the National Urban League, provide many types of services for community members and are now branching out to bring the reach of the Internet to their centers as well. The point is that there are many organizations, many types of centers and many opportunities to “get connected”— often from places that may have seemed unlikely in the past.

 Bob Jensen's threads on online education and training alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


Question
How does an "archive" differ from a "journal" in some contexts?

Answer
Philosophy of Science (Emerging) Archive ---  http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/ 

Although this topic is not nearly as popular in courses and in research publications as it was several decades ago, it is nice having an archive available. Actually this is a preprint archive which makes it more focused upon emerging studies.  

A journal publishes material that has passed scrutiny by referees and has been edited by the editorial staff to bring it to the journal standards. The archive does not referee postings and does not edit them. The archive merely filters minimally to assure relevance to philosophy of science.


The first accredited competency-based and online university in the United States is Western Governors University (WGU) --- http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/index.html 

As noted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2003, Page A34, WGU is opening an online college that allows teachers to earn compentency-based certificates online.  There are also business and IT undergraduate degrees as well as various other certification programs.

A noteworthy competency-based program in accountancy is the Chartered Accountancy School of Business (CA) covering the Western Provinces and Northern Territories in Canada --- http://www.casb.com/ 
This is a two-year post-graduate program between the undergraduate accounting degree and the uniform CA examination.  All CASB students take online "modules" while being employed full time in firms and/or government.

The CA School of Business gives you graduate style business education combining practical business experience with an innovative approach to learning. As a student you will learn the business basics that underpin the CA designation in an individually paced environment.

CASB's unique focus is on building the skills you will require to become an effective CA. It isn't about memorizing arcane details or cramming for exams. It's about being able to do what you need to do to be successful in the business world.

Our program follows the business life cycle from start-up to IPO so you learn about issues facing companies of all sizes and develop skills in managing the transitions that accompany business success and growth. The first module focuses on a small business. In the second, the business incorporates. In the third, you learn about mergers, acquisitions and international operations. Then you're introduced to controllership and the world of non-profits. Finally, you'll explore strategic management issues and take a company public.

Each module uses ten-weeks of on-line materials and an interactive workshop to build skills in research, analysis, problem solving, interpretation, forecasting, leadership, and innovation. Modules build competencies in organizational effectiveness, control and risk management; finance; performance measurement; taxation; information technology, including e-Business; and assurance. Students then choose one of these competencies for modules 7 and 8.

CASB will help you develop and apply practical business tools. And you'll get to put your new skills to work right away. While at CASB, you complete 36 months of paid work experience in an approved training office where you will put your CASB knowledge to use with a wide variety of different client companies. The modules take 24 months to complete and are studied while working. This allows for breaks for work or personal reasons.

CASB graduates are business-ready CAs, equipped with skills and experience relevant to today's global business environment.

Want to learn more? Meet a CA Student or take the Steps to Becoming a CA.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based education and training are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/competency.htm 


Thank Goodness!  Distance Education Students Shy Away From Diploma Mills

From Syllabus News on March 21, 2003

Value Tops in Survey of Distance Grad School Prospects

In a recent survey, one-third of a group of prospective graduate students said "reputation of program" would be the most important factor to them in choosing a distance learning grad school program. The Distance Graduate School survey was conducted by the University of Texas TeleCampus, the support center for online degrees within the UT System, and GradSchools.com. More than 11,500 students participated. The survey sponsors said the results showed that students shy away from "degree mills" and consider content and program value more important than delivery method. The finding was further supported by the fact that 19 percent of the respondents said a "high degree of interactivity between professors and students" was their most important criteria for choosing a distance graduate school. Affordability ranked as the third most important criteria in selecting a graduate program.


New Products: Assessment Tool Eases Remote Test-Taking

Testing and assessment software supplier Questionmark released Perception to Go (P2G), which enables remote test takers to synchronize from their PCs to their Web servers. Test takers can pull down new assessments scheduled by an administrator, disconnect from the network and then answer questions, receive feedback offline, and merge results back to their Web servers when they reconnect. Many universities already deliver examinations via the Internet. The synchronization module will enable users to download data in advance, only going back online to upload results, which will reduce the load on the Web server. The company says the tool will enable schools to conduct large assessments without having to run servers that would lie idle at other times, saving on transmission costs, and eliminating network latency that might affect the timing of high-stakes exams.


"XML in Higher Education," by Frank Coyle, Syllabus, March 2003, pp. 22-25 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7361 

 SMIL (prnounced "smile"): Multimedia Rides the XML Wave

SMIL (pronounced "smile") is an acronym for Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, an XML-based dialect for describing the layout and synchronization of multimedia applications.

For educators, SMIL opens the door to sophisticated multimedia development. With minimal effort, SMIL makes it possible for authors to:

As illustrated in the figure below, individual multimedia components can be stored either on a user's PC or delivered from a Web server. SMIL presentations may play in a browser with a SMIL plug-in or in a standalone player such as RealOne or QuickTime that reside on consumer devices and are independent of browsers. Because SMIL documents are text files, SMIL files can be customized on a server manually with a text editor or by using a script, such as AppleScript or PERL, or through the use of XML transformation tools such as XSLT. What's exciting for the aspiring multimedia author is that anything that can generate text can create a SMIL document.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on XML and SMIL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#TimelineXML/SMIL 


Hello Katarzyna,

You message has two parts. One is whether there are inherent biases is using student behavior as a surrogate for behavior of persons in "real life" such as business decision makers. The other aspect of your message concerns the safety and well being of students in research studies.

The Surrogate Issue I have an old document on this issue entitled "Do students respond in the same manner as professionals in behavioral experiments?" http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/cultures/student1.htm 

The Safety and Liability Issue Universities in the United States are very sensitive about research that can lead to lawsuits. The U.S. is the most litigious nation in the world. Parties are quick to sue for damages, and students can be damaged by some types of research. One of the best examples, is the well-known research study of Phil Zimbardo at Stanford University --- http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/august22/prison2-822.html 

Virtually all universities in the U.S. now have policies that no research can be undertaken using human subjects prior to that research being approved by a committee of experts on the dangers of research to human subjects. I think that similar safeguards are also placed upon animal studies in general.

An example of the process is provided by the University of Minnesota --- http://www.irb.umn.edu/ 

I hope this helps.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: KJPM@gmx.de [mailto:KJPM@gmx.de]  
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 9:59 AM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: students as subjects

Dear Sir, 
I am a students from frankfurt, studying economics. For my university I have to write about the use of students as subjects in different researches. I have to find out the advantages and the disadvantages of the use of students. Searching in the internet I found your webside and I was wondering if you could give me some advice in references to this topic. Do you know some qualified papers? Sorry for my bad englisch. 

Best regards 
Katarzyna Walkiewicz


FindWhat.com Launches ROI Tool AdAnalyzer helps marketers calculate post-click sales from paid-search programs. http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/2114531 

Bob Jensen's ROI threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm 


Blackboard Versus WebCT

**********************************
The WebCT site has the following PR document --- http://www.webct.com/service/ViewContent?contentID=15301032 

Ithaca College switches to WebCT to power Web-based learning

Institution replaces Blackboard to get better customer service, flexible education alternatives


LYNNFIELD, Mass., March 17, 2003 - Ithaca College, a private institution with an enrollment of 6,200 students in upstate New York, has selected the WebCT Campus Edition course management system as the foundation of its e-learning program going forward. Citing WebCT's superior flexibility, service and professionalism, the school is switching from the Blackboard course management system it has used for three years.

"As we were getting ready to take our online learning offerings to the next level, we knew we had to make a switch to a true partner," said David Weil, Ithaca's associate director of academic computing and client services. "WebCT's technology provides us with the flexibility and quality that we need, and in our experience, their people are the most professional and responsive in the industry."

Ithaca faculty members, who are consulted on all major e-learning decisions, ratified the switch after a hands-on introduction to WebCT Campus Edition. Unlike competing systems, WebCT lets faculty present content to students when, where and how they choose, and it provides superior content management and assessment features.

Approximately 550 Ithaca College courses feature online components, including most of the courses in the School of Business. Physical therapy students also use Web-based learning extensively during their clinical experience in their junior and senior years. WebCT is helping Ithaca deploy all of its online courses on WebCT Campus Edition, which will go live this fall.

"Ithaca College is typical of a lot of new customers we're encountering," said Carol Vallone, WebCT president and CEO. "They're committed to advancing their e-learning programs but feel alone in that endeavor or restricted by their technology. The entire WebCT team is behind Ithaca College and is deeply invested in its e-learning success."

 Ithaca College
A comprehensive college that since its founding in 1892 has recognized the value of combining theory and performance, Ithaca provides a rigorous education blending liberal arts and professional programs of study. Ithaca College strives to become the standard of excellence for residential comprehensive colleges, fostering intellect, creativity, and character in an active, student-centered learning community. Ithaca offers over 100 degree programs through its five schools - Business, Communications, Health Sciences and Human Performance, Humanities and Sciences, and Music - and its Division of Interdisciplinary Studies.

About WebCT
WebCT is the world's leading provider of integrated e-learning systems for higher education. Over 2,600 colleges and universities in over 80 countries worldwide are using WebCT's products and services to transform the educational experience of their students. Consortia in 24 American states, four Canadian provinces, two Australian territories, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Consortium of Distance Education have licensed WebCT for their member institutions, making it the de facto standard in higher education. For more information, please visit www.webct.com
.

 ********************************

University of Missouri Comparison of BlackBoard and WebCT Course Management Platforms --- http://etatmo.missouri.edu/courses/resources/comparison.htm 

BlackBoard and WebCT are two different course management platforms that each offer distinct advantages. Together, they complement each other; while BlackBoard offers less customization than WebCT, many faculty members have found Blackboard to be an easier-to-learn platform.

On the other hand, WebCT’s higher level of complexity affords it more sophistication for “power users” who need additional features. Whether faculty need a simple, easy-to-learn interface or need more sophisticated tools, one of these two platforms should suit most circumstances. Designed to help faculty choose the system that better suits his or her needs, the chart below highlights the main similarities and differences between the two platforms.

Note the comparison table at http://etatmo.missouri.edu/courses/resources/comparison.htm  

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

An older document that provides some comparison links is at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/webct/facultymanual/whywebct.htm 

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

March 18, 2003 reply by Ganesh M. Pandit [profgmp@hotmail.com

I have used both WebCT and Blackboard. WebCT is filled with several features that are useful; but at the same time it is step-driven where you have go through one step at a time which can be very annoying, especially if you are in a hurry. It is powerful, yet at times very cumbersome to use.

Blackboard may not have as many features as WebCT does; but it is somewhat easier to use as compared to WebCT.

Ganesh M. Pandit

March 18, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, 

I have not personally experienced WebCT. However, JMU did an extensive test of both WebCT and Blackboard, and to make a long story short, we now use Blackboard exclusively, and everyone who participated in the comparison felt it was a no-brainer choice.

The technical support people especially felt that Blackboard offered superior vendor service, was more attentive to requests for upgraded features, and offers better response time on problems and questions.

The faculty, however, reported that Blackboard was much more robust, intuitive, extremely easy to learn (both for faculty and for students), and contained more useful features, served up in quicker time.

Some drawbacks to Blackboard that I have discovered, based on the way I personally use it:

The on-line gradebook spreadsheet view takes a LONG time to serve up from the server. But everything else is quick-as-a-wink response time.

Setting up student groups can take a long time if you have 30 groups of 3 or 4 students each. It is a “checklist” approach for each group, rather than a drag-and-drop operation which would go faster.

Posting PDF files, PowerPoint slides, and other specialized content takes a little more effort than the import-then-drag-and-drop-to-link approach used by FrontPage. But nevertheless, unless you do multiple uploads per class day, it is not exceptionally time-consuming. And I have no idea how WebCT does it, but I can’t imagine it would be so much better as to overcome the other factors.

Blackboard interfaces with our registrar’s PeopleSoft registration system seamlessly. Every semester, my entire class appears magically, complete with email addresses, in my Blackboard courses. It is password protected, with flexible access for guests, so you can post copyrighted materials. I used the communication features extensively from home while the university was closed due to snow. My students love it. I love it. The huge majority of the faculty here (that use it) love it.

WebCT got a lukewarm response here from faculty and students. Tech support gave it a thumbs down.

This comparison took place about a year ago. Since then, we’ve upgraded Blackboard twice, and each upgrade has gone off without a hitch… no retraining, no loss of data, no problems at all.

Hope this helps.
David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

March 18, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, 

if the goal is distance learning, consider a product called "CENTRA".

We use both Blackboard and Centra here at JMU.

Blackboard is a "student resources" tool. Blackboard allows posting of material, links, group communication, forums, quick email, announcements, on-line exams, grade posting, etc. and allows students to quickly (and safely!) submit electronic submissions/spreadsheets/documents to the professor in a way far superior than email attachments.

Centra is what we use for "real-time synchronous" class meetings on-line, and even "replay later" asynchronous class presentations and responses. It is where the on-line courses meet.

These are two every different products, for very different purposes.

WebCT sounds like it may be trying to blend the two purposes. However, when WebCT was reviewed here, it was marketed as a competitor to Blackboard, and at the time, it lost. I have no idea how it would fare if it were competing with Centra.

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

The Centra home page is at http://www.centra.com/ 

March 18, 2003 reply from Robert C. Holmes [rcholmesgcc@HOTMAIL.COM

No experience with Blackboard but I am continually frustrated with the inability to do any kind of formatting in e-mail, quiz questions and other areas of WebCT. How do you discuss Journal Entries if you can't even put a tab in your answer?

Robert C. Holmes

May 17, 2003 reply from Vidya Ananthanarayanan vidya@trinity.edu 

With reference to customization, WebCT ships with a library of icons, banners, and symbols that can be used to create the look and feel of the course. BB does something similar but it only applies to the buttons on the navigation panel. WebCT also allows designers to change page background colors, set font specifications and the like for basic customizability. The tech-savvy designer can create their own images and upload those to the site. So there's a range of sophistication available based on the designers comfort and familiarity.

Hope this helps.

Vidya

 

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

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


The Irascible Professor, March 14, 2003 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-03-14-03.htm 

Commentary of the Day - March 14, 2003: I Don't Know HOW to Read This Book! Guest commentary by Tina Blue.

Over the past few years, I have found that more and more students in my freshman-sophomore English classes at the University of Kansas are completely unable to keep up with their college reading assignments.

I quit teaching "Introduction to Fiction" five years ago because the students could not handle the course readings, even though I had reduced the reading list by about 30 percent. I switched to teaching "Introduction to Poetry." At least in that class I can read each poem aloud to them before we begin to discuss it. Obviously I can't read a 500-page novel out loud at the beginning of every class period.

In my English 101 class I now spend a fair amount of time teaching my students how to read their textbooks. One semester a young man, almost in tears, held up his thick geology textbook and said, "My professor doesn't even lecture on what's in the book. He lectures on other stuff and expects us to read the book on our own. But I don't even know HOW to read this book!"

A lot of them tell me they never read their textbooks in high school or middle school, because they didn't have to. They could usually get A's or B's without doing the readings. Their teachers went over the textbook material in lectures, passed out lecture notes and study guides for tests, and gave easy extra-credit assignments to help them raise their grades if they still did badly on exams.

Continued in the article.

Tina Blue is a lecturer in English at the University of Kansas. She also publishes the Teacher, Teacher web page --- http://www.teacherblue.homestead.com/index.html 


Question"
What is the Stonewall Rebellion?"

Answer
See the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Encyclopedia http://www.glbtq.com/ 
(Includes biographical, literature, art, and photograph items.)  There also is a discussion forum.

Bob Jensen's glossary bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#08051Glossaries 


Women of Our Time http://www.npg.si.edu/cexh/woot/index.htm 

Girl Power http://www.girlpower.gov/ 


Sharing Professor of the Week --- Tina Blue --- http://www.teacherblue.homestead.com/index.html  

"For Poets--and Readers of Poetry," by Tina Blue --- http://tinablue.homestead.com/articleindex.html 

An introduction to the elements of poetry and to the techniques of poetic interpretation, for those who love to read and write poetry, but who sometimes find it intimidating or hard to understand.


March 9, 2003 message from Gerald Trites [gtrites@stfx.ca

Hi Bob,

Here's a link that might interest you. It's www.cica.ca/itac . This is a "redirected" link for the Information Technology Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, which has been set up to facilitate access to the Committee's work. The Committee studies various issues related to the impact of technology on the profession, and accordingly has issued studies, white papers and other documents on IT controls, Web Reporting, XBRL, etc. Several of the documents are available for free download from this site.

In your new location, won't you have satellite TV? We live out in the "boonies", where there is no cable, but have access to a satellite service provided by Bell Canada, which includes pretty much everything cable companies offer, including high speed internet. They just launched a second satellite and now are going to offer video on demand as well. There are over 200 channels.

Jerry

Gerald Trites, FCA Professor of Accounting and Information Systems St Francis Xavier University Antigonish, Nova Scotia Tel. 902-867-5410, Fax 902-867-3352, Study 902-386-2832, Cell 902-867-0977 Website - http://www.stfx.ca/people/gtrites 

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

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


From Syllabus News on March 18, 2003

Faculty Best Practices: What are Colleagues Doing?

Discuss key issues and hot topics with the experts and your colleagues in the Syllabus Forums at www.syllabus.com/forum . David Brown of Wake Forest University leads a forum on faculty best practices and how to use technology to improve teaching and learning. How are you using asynchronous discussions? What tips do you have for others? Weigh in with your thoughts and questions and see what solutions your colleagues might have.

http://info.101com.com/default.asp?id=529 


From Syllabus News on March 14, 2003

eCollege, Houghton Mifflin Strike Content Sharing Accord

Course management system developer eCollege formed a partnership with publisher Houghton Mifflin Inc. to provide eCollege's customers access to Houghton Mifflin's online supplements for introductory courses in business, humanities, mathematics, science, social science, student success, and world languages. The titles will be available via the eCollege AU+ course management system, and will enable faculty to use the platform’s self-authoring and course development tools to improve their online courses. "It's important that faculty members have access to the kind of resources they need to best engage and challenge their students, and we believe the Houghton Mifflin content can ideally support them in this effort," said Oakleigh Thorne, chairman and CEO of eCollege.

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


LEARNING SYSTEMS -- Syracuse University has adopted Blackboard Learning System for campuswide use in supporting face-to-face classes. This spring, in the final phase of a pilot program before going to the enterprise, Syracuse has 100 faculty teaching 153 courses to more than 3,000 students using Blackboard. The school said it is making the move because of Blackboard’s ability to scale from 3,000 to 18,000 users, as well as its support of open standards and its ability to integrate with its PeopleSoft student information system.

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


March 19, 2003 message from Mark McConkey [mark@u101.com

I came across your site while searching for education links. We'd like to invite you to add U 101 College Search to your collection of links at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm  (or anywhere else that you thought suitable). U 101 is a directory of over 3000 college, community college and university websites in the US and Canada, organized by state/province.

Here's the information:

TITLE: U 101 College Search URL: http://U101.com/  (please note that we prefer to omit the www. bit) Description: Directory of college, community college, and university websites in the US and Canada. Lists over 3000 schools by state or province.

If you prefer, feel free to link to any page within the site, as well.

We'd be honored if you considered our website as a useful link for your visitors!

Regards from Manitoba, Canada,

Mark McConkey
Assistant to the Editor
mark@u101.com 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks on this topic are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#DirectoriesGeneral 


A Women's Entrepreneur Site from the U.S. Government --- http://www.women-21.gov/index2.asp 

The growth of women entrepreneurs is one of the most remarkable features of the American economy as more and more women launch businesses as their path to professional success. This website offers you key resources, targeted information, registration for online programs, and networking opportunities to help build the rewarding career you deserve

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on March 21, 2003

TITLE: Entrepreneurs' Biggest Problems-- And How They Solve Them 
REPORTER: Paulette Thomas 
DATE: Mar 17, 2003 
PAGE: R1, 3 
LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB104749882695232600,00.html  
TOPICS: Entrepreneurship

SUMMARY: A special report on small business is offered addressing many of the issues facing entrepreneurs, particularly small business entrepreneurs. The lead article by Thomas lists the essentials ingredients for success.

QUESTIONS: 
1.) Discuss how important a clear strategy is to the entrepreneur. Relate it to the article by Bialik about product options. What does flexibility mean in this context? Relate it to the other article offered by Thomas.

2.) Give examples of the effects of having an unrealistic view. How does a realistic view impact the related article by Bailey?

3.) What does the author suggest one should do where ethical behavior is concerned? What does Thomas mean by a robust network and why is this important?

4.) Is a global perspective always appropriate? Argue that it is. Argue that it might not be. How is an ability to deal with technology important? What does Thomas mean when she says passion is a necessary component for the successful small business person?

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

--- RELATED ARTICLES --- TITLE: How Do You Make Adjustments When Your Market Dries Up? REPORTER: Paulette Thomas PAGE: R8 ISSUE: Mar 17, 2003 LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB104749839851198500,00.html

TITLE: How Do You Survive In a Market Where Size Matters? REPORTER: Jeff Bailey PAGE: R7 ISSUE: Mar 17, 2003 LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB104749860044888100,00.html 

TITLE: How Do You Narrow Your Product Options? REPORTER: Carl Bialik PAGE: R3 ISSUE: Mar 17, 2003 LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB104749959790502600,00.html 

TITLE: How Do You Sell a Pricey Product In a Thrifty Market? REPORTER: Jennifer Saranow PAGE: R6 ISSUE: Mar 17, 2003 LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB104749811820326100,00.html 

Bob Jensen's helpers for small business are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness 


PLANNING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: GRANT THORNTON/FERF SURVEY 
The December issue of Private Net featured a summary of Grant Thornton's Fall 2002 "Survey of Middle-Market Business Leaders" (go to "Charting a Course in Uncertain Times" http://www.fei.org/newsletters/privatenet/pnet1202.cfm ). The survey results reflected the priority CEOs place upon identifying and fine-tuning the value their companies provide to customers and evaluating and using customer profitability analysis. Grant Thornton and FERF wanted to find out how some CFOs are supporting these priorities, and asked CFOs and other senior financial executives for their perspectives on these topics.


Question
What is really unique about the State of Kansas tax system?

Answer
Kansas requires that illegal drugs traded in Kansas have a tax stamp --- http://www.ksrevenue.org/faqs-abcdrugtax.htm 

Analogy
Urban centers having problems with dog walkers who fail to carry pooper scoopers should require that each pile left outdoors should have a tax stamp.  It would be easier to prosecute for tax evasion than littering.


New Technology and Manufacturing Processes --- http://www.psc.edu/science/newtech.html 


Which Is Better: TurboTax or TaxCut? --- http://www.thestreet.com/_tscs/funds/taxes/1359496.html#restofstory 
This article is two years old, but it is still somewhat informative.
A more recent Year 2003 comparison is at http://www.thestreet.com/_tscs/funds/beverlygoodman/10067709.html 

Also see http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,810950,00.asp 

March 20, 2003 reply from from a tax expert --- John Stancil [jstancil@PEOPLEPC.COM

I find it unfortunate that the article did not mention what I consider to be the best of the bunch of the low cost tax prep programs. TaxAct by 2nd Story Software is an excellent program. I have used the preparer's edition for 3-4 years and have used the standard edition in my tax classes for 3 years. I have never had a software related problem. The consumer version is free to $19.95 including a state module. The preparer's version is about $100. TaxCut and TurboTax will not allow use by paid preparers in the consumer version. The profession version of TurboTax is very expensive.

Some of you may recall a company from years back by the name of Parson's Technology. This company sold good software at downright inexpensive prices. They had a number of different products. One of these products was Parson's Tax Edge for $19.95. This was a great little program, and it could be used by paid preparers. Intuit (of TurboTax fame) bought out Parsons, who subsequently sold it to Broderbund Software. As a part of the deal, Broderbund was prohibited from marketing a tax prep program. TurboTax replaced PTE and a great program died.

The people who founded 2nd Story Software and developed TaxAct are some of the people who were involved with PTE at Parsons. They have incorporated into the TaxAct software many of the good features of PTE.

John Stancil

March 20 reply from ROBERTS, Debra [dlr@NEI.org

I have used both. Turbotax has an advantage. (all in all) both products are very good. I like the interview and the audit checks on turbo tax a little better. cost is not a significant difference, particularly if you have many clients. It is not really a big deal. I would prefer better performance, greateer flexibility and ease of use (including the interview.)

Hi Dan,

Here are some related links on the copyright controversy in this year's TurboTax. At issue is C-Dilla software, commonly known as spyware, which Intuit installed to stop illegal copying of TurboTax:

The TurboTax activation page --- http://www1.turbotaxsupport.com/default.asp?platform=1&formName=&pd=&fs=&ver=&sku=&id=&DocID=815 

CNET threads --- http://www.cnet.com/software/0-3227903-1218-20714499.html?tag=dir 

I reported on this problem in the January 31 edition of New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book03q1.htm#013103 

The main problem was that users who started putting information into TurboTax for the Year 2002 return had to complete the job on the same computer and could not transfer the file to another computer such as the case when somebody begins the file on a home computer and then wants to transfer it to a business office computer or vice versa. The controversy had nothing to do with the quality of the software itself. What Intuit failed to anticipate is how angry users became over this effort to halt TurboTax software piracy.

Bob Jensen

Original Message----- 
From: Dan Stone [mailto:dstone@UKY.EDU]  
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 5:33 AM 
Subject: turbotax vs. taxcut Importance: High

A systems guy's perspective….. Turbotax includes some clunky (and offensive to some) copyright protection this year. Taxcut does not. There was a recent article on this in the WSJ - I apologize I can't find the reference this morning (and have to take my daughter to school!). I bought Turbotax because I wanted to see the nature of the copyright protection that they are using but this does make installation harder and limits your use to a single computer. You'll find no such problems with Taxcut. Kudos to anyone who can find the cite in WSJ about all of this. 

Cheers, 
Dan Stone

May 21, 2003 message from Paul Krause [Paul@PAULKRAUSE.COM

I can report from a sample of one that the C-Dilla ‘feature’ apparently has been disabled. I installed TurboTax on one computer (on March 5) and completed a good portion of the return, when the machine got so cranky I decided to get the new laptop I always wanted.

Installed TurboTax on the new laptop, copied over the working return file, printed and electronically filed with no problems whatsoever.

Paul Krause
Chico, CA


Hi Mike,

Good to hear from you on the AECM. We hope to tap your expertise more often.

Actually I'm a simple soul with a simple income. I just go down to the computer store here in San Antonio and buy the $19 version of TurboTax each January. It's cheap and very user friendly with a rather good review of your taxes before you submit the tax return to the great black hole in Washington.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mike Groomer [mailto:groomer@INDIANA.EDU
 Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 7:36 AM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU  
Subject: Re: turbotax vs. taxcut

Dan and Bob,

Thanks for your discussion of the two tax programs. Regarding TurboTax, I agree and have experienced that the TurboTax printing use on one machine is an inconvenience. Even more of an aggravation is the rebate process that Intuit places on most of its products (TurboTax, QuickBooks and Quicken). "Just sell me the product at the net price and don't have me chase around cutting off the flaps in the box and facilitating the rebate process". (;- I guess they figure that some people won't undertake the rebate process and they can collect the full freight. But in the case of QuickBooks, the rebate is substantial. I have used TurboTax for a number of years and will give serious consideration to moving to the competing product next year.

Hope all is well. Mike

March 21 reply from James Borden [james.borden@VILLANOVA.EDU

Here is a January 30 column by Walter Mossberg in the WSJ comparing TurboTax and TaxCut (no subscription needed to WSJ).

http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20030130.html 

Jim Borden 
Villanova University

The best place to start in the U.S. for tax help is the great site at http://www.irs.gov/ 

Bob Jensen's tax links are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation 


Reaching crisis proportions!  Wait until mortgage rates roar back.
What is probably the biggest thing making your home too expensive to keep and too expensive to sell?  

"A Tax Upon Your House," by Shawn Tully,, Fortune, March 31, 2003, pp. 132-139 --- http://www.fortune.com/fortune/realestate/articles/0,15114,433155,00.html 

On a sweltering summer day in 1861, Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson met a fierce Union charge with a pulverizing counterpunch that sent a blue tide of troops, sans weapons, fleeing over a grassy ridge in northern Virginia. The escape route of the first Battle of Bull Run passes the modest colonial-style house of state senator Ken Cuccinelli, a Civil War buff so ardent he ponders how Jackson obtained the legendary lemons he sucked in battle. Now Cuccinelli thinks his property is under siege again, not from marauding Rebs or Yanks, but from soaring property taxes. Outrage over the fiscal bayonets aimed at his home and hearth helped push Cuccinelli into politics as an antitax crusader. "I have Stonewall's fervor," he muses. "I hope I have his troop support."

It seems as though nothing can stop the majestic upward march of housing prices--not the feeble economy, not the looming war with Iraq. But homeowner beware! The frothy market masks a big, creeping problem for the 77 million families who've benefited from swelling prices and bank on more of the same. From New York City, where property taxes just jumped 18.5% in a single year, to tony Los Angeles suburbs, where the tax bill often triples when houses change hands--from sprawling cities to sleepy hamlets--property taxes are rising relentlessly. This powerful, largely overlooked trend could turn the housing miracle as sour as Stonewall's lemons.

 
Ken Cuccinelli: Fairfax County, Virginia
A colonial-style house near the site of the Battle of Bull Run.
Property tax
2000 2003
$2,560 $4,400
Percent increase: 72%

Property taxes are as American as Main Street. They're the levies that fund your local services, from schools to police to parks. Why are property taxes, a.k.a. real estate taxes, jumping? The answer is simple--and scary. In this strange economy, home prices are thriving while almost everything else is hurting. All other sources of revenue, from state aid to sales tax receipts, are flat or falling. But the pressure to keep spending ratcheting upward is enormous. So local governments are heaping more and more of the burden, indeed, their entire budget increases--which, by the way, are big--on the one strong pillar left standing: America's houses. That means this revolution in municipal finance is targeting your ranch or saltbox.

The rub is that the people who own those pillars and porches aren't seeing their incomes grow anywhere near as fast as their tax bills. "In this weak economy, taxes are rising far faster than people's ability to pay them," says Lewis Goodkin, a Miami-based real estate consultant. The danger: People will sell their houses because they can no longer afford the monthly charges, or pay less for a new abode because taxes are so high. Either way, rising property taxes could prove the weight that tips the seesaw, sending prices on a downward slope.

It isn't happening yet, for a fundamental reason--bargain interest rates. Homeowners pay less than 6% on a 30-year mortgage, the best deal in 40 years. For many Americans, interest payments have fallen even more than property taxes have risen. Hence, the total cost of carrying their house, the holy grail for any homeowner, is often actually falling. But let's look forward. The housing market faces two substantial negatives. First, after gaining almost 20% in value in the past three years, America's houses are extremely expensive. They resemble stocks whose P/Es stand far above their historic averages. From those lofty heights, they have little room for strong appreciation and are extremely vulnerable to more bad news--job losses, say, or worse, rising interest rates.

Second, the rates supporting those sterling prices are already so low that they're unlikely to fall much further. In fact, they're more likely to rise as the economy rebounds. Then, watch out! If that happens, the combination of higher taxes and ballooning interest payments will cause a big increase in the cost of owning a home. "So far, the effect of higher property taxes is getting washed out by falling rates," says Mark Zandi, a housing expert at http://www.economy.com/default.asp . "But without the counterbalancing effect of low rates, the power of taxes to drive down property values will become very apparent, very quickly."

Property taxes are no sideshow. The numbers are big--so big that, believe it or not, real estate taxes now rival mortgage payments as the largest expense for homeowners. Last year Americans paid $265 billion in interest on their houses. The bill for property taxes was $205 billion, according to a study of IRS records by Economy.com. So for every dollar homeowners pay in mortgage interest, they send 77 cents to the town tax office, compared with 61 cents in 1988. What's especially disturbing is the powerful pattern of increases. Since 1995 property taxes nationwide have jumped 48%, 30 percentage points more than inflation.

The rampage is happening because property taxes are tied not to homeowners' incomes but to the market prices of their houses. The levies are calculated by applying the town's tax rate to the home's "assessed value," a figure based on the municipality's appraisal of what similar homes are selling for. So if towns hold tax rates at the same level, the tax bills rise at the same pace that houses are gaining in value.

That's precisely what's happening. Towns and cities--which desperately need the money--are bagging a huge windfall from the hot real estate market without facing the political heat of raising tax rates. "It's nirvana for politicians," marvels David Brunori, a municipal-government specialist at George Washington University. "Tax rates stay the same, and the politicians keep getting more money every year. They're never subject to the charge that they 'raised taxes.' " What matters, however, isn't the fuzzy rhetoric but the actual increase in dollars homeowners are paying. Pick cases from across the country, and you'll see that the numbers are shocking.

Continued in the article.


Carl Hubbard forwarded this to help me with my looming problem of high speed access from a remote mountain home.
"A way out of the broadband wilderness," by Paul Rubens, BBC News, March 17, 2003 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2856321.stm 

The Holy Grail for web users is an internet connection where pages load almost instantly. For those in rural areas, beyond the reach of standard broadband services, do satellite-based packages deliver what's promised on the tin? Where I live in rural Buckinghamshire there is no chance of getting a fast broadband internet connection using my phone line. My local exchange is not equipped to offer BT's ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) service, which offers an always-on connection and download speeds up to 10 times faster than a normal modem, and is unlikely to do so for years to come.

Like millions of others in the broadband wilderness, the only way I can possibly get fast internet access is by using a satellite-based service, but as the dish, receiver and transmitter required cost thousands of pounds, I resigned myself to the fact that living in the country meant the broadband revolution was going to pass me by.

Working away from the office may bring its own frustrations The irony is that it is precisely those who live outside large towns or cities that need broadband access the most; those who work from home or run a business from a nearby office, and overcome their physical isolation by using the internet.

But now low-cost satellite internet services are springing up, offering broadband speeds for prices broadly similar to ADSL. All that's needed is a small, cheap dish - in some areas an existing satellite television dish can be used without interfering with television reception - and an inexpensive receiver.

There's no need to buy an expensive transmitter because the new services are "one way"; you still need to connect to the internet using a modem to send e-mails or requests for webpages and downloads, but everything coming from the internet is sent to your computer by satellite - e-mails, webpages and downloads are beamed back at speeds as high or higher than ADSL.

Initial excitement

My choices are to connect with Hampshire-based Silvermead for about £195 in equipment and set-up charges plus £24 a month, or Warrington-based SCS Broadband's Jetstream service, which costs about £230 to install and monthly payments of about £36. Both are broadly in line with standard ADSL rates of £25 to £30 a month.

The dream is pages that load fast Once up and running with Silvermead, my download speeds are initially astonishing - a program which would take the best part of an hour to get using a modem can be downloaded in minutes.

So no more envying my ADSL-equipped friends? Sadly not - the first disappointment is that surfing the web is not noticeably faster. Due to latency - the half second or so lag while data is sent up to the satellite and back down - only graphics-intensive web pages or those with multimedia content seem to appear any quicker.

But at least there are the superfast download speeds to enjoy? Only true up to a point, because operating a satellite is expensive and satellites have limited capacity. There's simply no way to offer a satellite broadband service to a large number of people at a price comparable with ADSL without imposing severe limits on the amount of internet traffic that can be received.

JUST HOW LOW CAN IT GO? Data speed can slow as follows: Silvermead: not normally below 256k but may go almost modem speed (64 kbps) SCS Broadband: about three times modem speed (128kbps) While most ADSL customers can receive thousands of megabytes of data at high speeds every day, these satellite broadband services can only guarantee users fast download speeds for about 75 megabytes a day (Silvermead), or 500 megabytes a month (SCS Broadband). After these quotas have been used up, data speeds may slow considerably.

Stephen Craggs, Silvermead's managing director, says slowdowns are unavoidable. "If a user tried to download an 800 megabyte movie it would affect the whole network, so instead of flying though it would slow after a while and take a little longer."

Only option

But Tom Law, a computer networking expert who has tried Silvermead's package, says the slowdowns, if too extreme, completely defeat the purpose of a broadband service.

I experienced speeds at times far lower than a modem connection - that's not acceptable

Tom Law, Silvermead user "People who want broadband expect to be able to download massive amounts of data at high speeds, but after about 75mb of data a day, which I used up rather quickly, I experienced speeds at times far lower than a modem connection. That's not acceptable. Any satellite service offered at a cost comparable to ADSL will always have to have throttling, but if speeds were guaranteed never to drop below 128k, they would still be worthwhile."

For the moment, this is the only way for people like me to get broadband internet access, and while it falls far short of ADSL, it does offer a limited amount of downloading or graphics intensive web browsing at high speeds which were previously unimaginable. It's not ADSL, but it's a start.

In the meantime I'll continue to dream of ADSL coming to my exchange, and look on with envy at those broadband customers of cable operator NTL who are up in arms because they are restricted to downloading 1,000 megabytes a day. I should be so lucky!

Send us your comments:

I cannot get broadband since my house is too far from the exchange and BT have expressed no interest in this problem. Cable internet is out of the question because my street isn't covered, and I can't even enjoy free-to-view digital TV - wrong postcode, apparently. Where is this technological black hole - the Outer Hebrides? Snowdonia? No. Brentwood, 25 minutes from central London. On a main "A" road, no less. Keith Griffiths, Essex, UK

One isn't allowed simple access "just the facts", one has to take the whole bite offered, the webpage complete with unwanted puffery. We need another dimension to be on offer from sites as a first offering. If the facts satisfy the inquiry, then one could click on the fuller version. It's the websites that need to become limited, not the subscribers' access. The solution looks like a two-stage offering: a bare bones bit, then a clickable full course. Joseph H Broyles, US

Continued in the article.


GENETICS STUDY OF BIPOLAR DISORDER MAY HELP PREDICT DISEASE IN KIDS: Parents who have bipolar disorder have good reason to worry that their children's mood swings may be more than adolescent irritability: Up to 24 percent of children of bipolar parents develop the disorder, and about one in four displays some other type of mood disorder. A study of the genetic underpinnings of early onset bipolar disorder may eventually help predict which children of parents with the disease are likely to develop it, allowing earlier, more effective treatment. http://mednews.stanford.edu/news_releases_html/2003/marchrelease/bipolarkids.html 


Todd Boyle's A PETITION for deregulation of financial reporting --- http://www.gldialtone.com/financialDeregulation.htm 

We petition the AICPA, SEC, and Congress of the USA to change the laws governing financial disclosure and reporting by publicly listed companies as follows:

A. REMOVAL OF BARRIERS BLOCKING ACCESS TO INFORMATION.

Insiders should not have better information than stockholders.

1. WEB ACCESS:  publicly listed companies should be required to maintain interactive, electronic interfaces available to the public providing all of today's required interim and annual financial statements and SEC reports.  This website should be required to provide drilldown into details whenever such details or links exist, to support a reported fact. This website should provide appropriate navigation, search, and query tools.

2. MACHINE READABLE:  Information should be published through machine-readable interfaces, as well as human-readable interfaces.  Electronic interfaces (i.e. functions, methods, APIs) should provide all of the drilldown, navigation, search and query capability required under the law (1) above.

3. STANDARDS-BASED TECHNOLOGY:  interfaces should be compliant with vendor-neutral standards for protocols, syntax, and semantics.  To qualify as a "Standard" under this law, would require minimum levels of transparency, vendor-neutrality, and governance of the Standards Organization that publishes the technology standard. 

4. GREATER DETAIL IN DISCLOSURE:  the scope of information required should be expanded to include breakdowns of the numbers reported in audited financial statements into reasonable and meaningful details. Each of those meaningful breakdowns should be further decomposed to disclose individual transactions larger than a material threshhold such as $10,000. 

5. GREATER TIMELINESS OF DISCLOSURE: the scope of information should, furthermore, be expanded to include *all* completed transaction data (including unaudited information) available in the accounting and information systems of the company more than 24 hours old. Transaction data includes orders, invoices, etc. together with any details of the surrounding contract or terms of trade necessary for understanding the transaction entry.

6. LEVELS OF ACCESS:  the level of detail to be provided in these new disclosures should be proportionate to the percentage of ownership plus long term debt held by the requestor of information, and should reach 100 percent of accounting detail for every holder of greater than 3% of the company or $1 million in equity+long term debt, whichever is less.

7. ACCOUNTABILITY:  this proposal would require new categories of interim, unaudited accounting information. New standards should be established to provide reasonable but not excessive, reliability and accountability for this new, interim, unaudited accounting information.


B.  DIGITAL EVIDENCE OF MATERIAL CONTRACTS BY PUBLICLY LISTED COMPANIES

1. DIGITAL SIGNATURE BY BOTH PARTIES:  No sale, purchase or other transaction or contract involving any publicly listed company should be enforceable by the courts in the U.S. or its states, unless that contract is digitally signed by both parties to the contract and if material, maintained for inspection by Owners within the disclosure system in (B) above.

2. MATERIALITY: This provision should apply to contracts, sales, trades etc above a material threshhold such as  $10,000. 

This provision would require agreement upon minimum standards for electronic trade and settlement. The costs of  implementation would be recovered by reductions in downstream bookkeeping, accounting, and settlement that follow from decisions to buy or sell.  Everything after that point determined by contract, would become increasingly automated after any standard is established, benefiting individuals and small companies as well as Enterprise.



C. DEREGULATION OF THE ACCOUNTING INDUSTRY (ENDING OF PROTECTED MONOPOLY)

Government regulation of an information industry is futile.

The public accounting industry has continually grown less competitive, more inefficient, and more costly since the 1930s when mandatory audits began. The industry has effectively maintained barriers to entry or competition, and effectively dictated the kinds of information included in financial reports in a self-serving manner.  In 1930s local data did not exist and CPAs added an enormous additional value.  Today, local information is abundant, and CPAs only limit and modulate the disclosure of that data. 

The entire regulatory burden and reporting standards applied to the largest companies (Big GAAP) is applied to every small CPA and business in the country, and enforced by state regulators. This is an economic injustice to smaller businesses and individuals.

All of these phenomena are relics of an earlier age. Financial information is just like any other information, and government involvement in the information process is destructive and counterproductive.  

1. Licensing requirements for CPAs should be removed. 

2. Owners and investors should freely choose, within a free market, their financial information provider based on objective quality, reputation, and the quality and methodology they apply to financial reports.  Providers highly skilled in data management would be allowed to publish financial statements. 

3. Definitions of terms used in financial statements (GAAP) should be determined solely by Owners and investors, as a matter of contract with their reporting providers or with officers and management. Government enforcement of GAAP terminology promulgated by private, unelected groups of CPAs, should end. Alternative definitions of GAAP should be encouraged, and Owners and investors should take responsibility for understanding them.

4. Software agents and robots should be granted equal rights to the provision of audit and accounting services as human CPAs. Discrimination against robots or software agent audits, failure of management to provide requested information or other obstruction of their function should be prohibited.


Todd Boyle CPA
23 jan 2002 updated 3 Feb 2003

 

In November 1999, the IASC Staff published a discussion paper, Business Reporting on the Internet. The discussion paper was authored by four academics, two from a university in Singapore, one from the UK and one from the USA. http://www.iasc.org.uk/cmt/   Although this paper, and all papers by Accountancy standards bodies and regulators, argued for stronger codes of conduct, it provides an encyclopedic report on the abuses within today's false reporting system.

In January 2000, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board published a steering committee report that addresses issues similar to those covered in the IASC study. The FASB report is available on line: Electronic Distribution of Business Reporting Information (PDF version 302kb). http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/fasb/brrp/brrp1.pdf

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has published a similar study, and the Auditing & Assurance Standards Board of the Australian Accounting Research Foundation has published an auditing guidance statement on the subject, but these are not available on line.


In the late 18th century the words of an American lawyer, Patrick Henry, helped persuade Congress to pass legislation protecting the public's right to know. "The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."

Bob Jensen's threads on proposed reforms are at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudProposedReforms.htm 


March 21, 2003 message from Kate Sharp [Kate.Sharp@bristol.ac.uk

Dear Bob,

I am writing to let you know about an extensive new resource that is available on the Biz/ed Web site and was hoping that you could promote it via your mailing list or on your site. The materials, written by Duncan Williamson, are related specifically to ratio analysis so should prove interesting to your audience. I have included further details about the resource below.

Thanks in anticipation,

Kate.

Biz/ed is pleased to introduce a new feature on financial ratios.

Students often find ratio analysis a boring topic, tending to learn them by rote, with little experience of applying them to real-world situations.

Our new section leads learners through the theory of financial ratios.

· Students are encouraged to develop and test their understanding with a series of activities based on real business data. 
· Skills can be honed by accessing data from the profit and loss accounts and balance sheets of 33 business organisations. 
· Two full years of data have been gathered to allow comparisons to be made within the firm, across their industry and over the economy as a whole. · Featured organisations include: easyJet, Vodafone, BAA (British Airports Authority), Sainsbury's and Carphone Warehouse. 
· This resource and the companies used should be of interest to students of Accounting, AVCE, AS/A2, Nuffield and HND Business, as well as some programmes in Leisure and Recreation and Travel and Tourism. · Updated annually, the database will grow into a major resource of financial data.

Go to: http://www.bized.ac.uk/compfact/ratios/ to visit the new section and http://www.bized.ac.uk/cgi-bin/ratios/ratiodata.pl  to check out the database.

-Kate Sharp Biz/ed Service Manager, 
SWAD Europe and SWARA Project Manager 
University of Bristol, 8-10, Berkeley Square, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1HH 
Tel: 0117 9287189 Fax: 0117 9287112

http://www.bized.ac.uk       http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/ 

Kate.Sharp@bristol.ac.uk 


Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E. Smith --- http://www.cartermuseum.org/collections/smith/ 


Detroit Publishing Company Online Exhibit: Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village --- http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/dpc/ 


Dittrick Medical History Center --- http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/dittrick/home.htm 


John Donne (metaphysics, poetry, philosophy) --- http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/ 

Civil Rights Oral History Interviews: Spokane, Washington [Real Player] http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/holland/masc/xcivilrights.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on art and history museums are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#History 


And the Oscar Goes to... Online Advertisers There's nothing like a high-profile event to get online marketers thinking creatively. http://www.clickz.com/media/media_buy/article.php/2117931 

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


"Hackers evolve from pranksters into profiteers," by Jon Swartz USA TODAY, March 16, 2003 --- http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/2003-03-16-hacking_x.htm 

SAN FRANCISCO — Computer identity theft has long been a fast-growing cybercrime. But increasingly, hackers are seeking profit rather than just fun.

Complaints of Internet-related identity theft tripled to 1,000 last year, says the Federal Trade Commission. While that still accounts for a only fraction of the 160,000 nationwide reports of identity theft, the growth is alarming as more consumers put credit card and other financial data online

"It's the perfect crime of the information age," says Rich Stana, of the General Accounting Office. "The Internet gives identity thieves multiple opportunities to steal personal identifiers and gain access to financial data."

The biggest break-ins came last month, when computer intruders accessed more than 10 million Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit card account numbers from the computer system of a third-party payment company. No theft occurred.

Also last month, a computer-science student allegedly hacked a University of Texas database and swiped the Social Security numbers of more than 55,000 students, employees and former students, county prosecutors said. Authorities last week charged Christopher Andrew Phillips, 20, with unlawful access to a protected computer and unlawful use of a means of identification. Phillips told officials he had no intention of using the information to harm anyone, according to court papers.

But in two other high-profile cases, hackers did use the information to access funds:

The two men, an unemployed computer software developer and a businessman, allegedly got the passwords by using software to determine what keystrokes a previous PC user used. They allegedly snooped on about 100 computers at 13 Tokyo-area cybercafes last year. The software was downloaded from the Internet.

Such ID thefts have prompted financial institutions to fortify their computer systems with millions of dollars in security software and shore up computer security among employees, security experts say.

The Justice Department, meanwhile, is encouraging banks that are victims of computer crimes to be more forthcoming with details to aid authorities in the arrest and prosecution of hackers.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#IdentityTheft 


Dangers of toting that barge and lifting that bale!

"Fears Mount Over Dangers Of Hoisting Heavy Weights," by Kevin Helliker, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB104749793770323300,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fpersonaljnl%5Fhs 

As a fitness trainer and health fanatic, Michael Logan knew that weight lifting could strengthen his bones and protect his heart.

What he didn't know was that it could be lethal. Mr. Logan had a bulge in his primary artery, the aorta. Knowledge of that bulge, or aneurysm, would have prompted doctors to allow only light-weight lifting. But like the vast majority of people with aneurysms, Mr. Logan didn't know he had one.

So he continued heavy-weight lifting -- until an aortic aneurysm killed him last June at age 46. "It's very surprising that something he did for his health might have hurt him," says Mike Logan, the late Chicago trainer's son.

In a nation obsessed with looks and fitness, weight lifting is the latest workout craze. Recent studies have shown that lifting can lower blood pressure, combat diabetes and strengthen bones. Bookstore shelves are teeming with new fitness tomes touting weight lifting. Over the three years ended in 2001, participation in weight lifting in the U.S. has risen 12% -- while aerobic exercise declined 2%, according to American.

Now, however, a small but growing number of researchers are raising concerns about the safety of lifting heavy weights. Such lifting can trigger strokes and aneurysms, and perhaps even cause a highly fatal arterial disease called dissection, believe doctors at prominent health centers such as Yale University School of Medicine and the Stanford University Medical Center.

Aneurysms alone kill 32,000 Americans a year, making them as big a killer as prostate cancer, and a more common killer than brain cancer or AIDS. Especially vulnerable to aneurysm and other arterial conditions are senior citizens -- a group that has been urged to take advantage of the bone-strengthening effects of weight lifting.

Aneurysm experts express little concern about moderate to light-weight lifting. Some define light as an amount that can be lifted 60 times, in four sets of 15. A leading aneurysm research and surgeon, John Elefteriades of the Yale University School of Medicine, recommends that people over 40 years old bench-press no more than half their body weight. Equally important is breathing regularly during exercise to minimize spikes in blood pressure.

Aneurysms aren't the only concern for heavy-weight lifters. Vascular experts say it can induce stroke, as well as dissection, in which the inner lining of the aortic artery separates from the outer walls.

Continued in the article.


Top Online Brokers, Barron's, March 10, 2003, Page 24
STAR POWER

Our first-ever 4-1/2-star rating goes to optionsXpress, with seven other brokers getting strong four-star scores.  Check also the scores in categories most important to you.

Broker Trade
Execution
Ease of
Use
Range of
Offerings
Research
Amenities
Reports and
Customer
Access
Costs Weighted
Total
Star
Rating
optionsXpress 4.8 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.1 4.0 26.5 ****1/2
TradeStation 5.0 4.0 3.9 4.5 4.0 4.5 25.9 ****
Terra Nova 4.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 4.6 4.0 25.2 ****
Ameritrade Apex 4.0 4.5 3.7 4.6 4.1 3.3 24.6 ****
Wall St.*E 4.5 3.0 4.8 3.4 4.2 4.5 24.3 ****
Wall St. Access 3.7 4.5 4.8 3.9 3.3 3.0 23.5 ****
SieberNet 3.8 4.2 3.6 4.1 4.2 3.0 23.4 ****
CyBerTrader 4.7 4.0 2.5 4.2 3.9 3.5 23.2 ****
E*Trade (Power) 3.4 3.0 4.2 4.2 4.3 3.1 22.6 ***1/2
Harrisdirect 3.6 3.5 4.5 4.4 3.7 1.9 22.5 ***1/2
Fidelity 3.4 3.5 4.3 3.7 4.4 2.0 22.3 ***1/2
Charles Schwab 3.4 3.7 4.1 4.4 4.2 0.4 21.9 ***1/2
Scottrade 3.8 3.8 3.5 3.7 3.2 4.0 21.8 ***1/2
E*Trade (Standard) 2.5 4.0 4.0 4.2 4.4 1.6 21.6 ***1/2
Interactive Brokers 4.3 3.7 3.0 2.7 3.3 4.9 21.4 ***1/2
Preferred Trade 4.8 3.7 3.4 2.4 3.1 3.9 21.3 ***1/2
myTrack 4.0 3.5 3.2 3.6 3.5 3.0 21.2 ***1/2
MB Trading 4.3 3.6 3.3 2.7 3.5 3.5 21.1 ***1/2
TD Waterhouse 3.0 3.0 4.6 3.4 3.7 3.1 20.9 ***1/2
Brown & Co. 2.7 2.5 3.3 2.6 2.6 5.0 17.5 ***
Brokerage America 1.7 3.5 3.1 3.0 2.6 5.0 17.5 ***
JB Oxford 3.1 2.5 3.5 2.0 2.7 3.4 17.0 ***
Vanguard 2.7 3.1 2.8 2.4 3.3 1.4 16.5 **1/2
Merrill Lynch Direct 2.2 2.7 3.0 3.8 3.0 0.7 16.4 **1/2
American Express 2.9 3.7 2.3 3.0 1.8 2.2 16.0 **1/2
Strong Funds 1.4 3.6 2.5 3.1 2.7 2.8 15.7 **
Firstrade 2.2 2.5 2.6 2.5 2.5 3.8 15.4 **
Quick & Reilly 2.2 2.4 3.3 3.2 2.4 1.3 15.3 **

 

Two of Bob Jensen's document for helping investors are as follows:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm 

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


Small Business Helpers from the Journal of Accountancy, March 2003, Page 23 --- 

Survival Tips
home3.americanexpress.com/smallbusiness/tool/security/protect.asp
This page of the American Express Web site offers small business owners articles such as “Protect Your Business: Stop Fraud Before It Starts,” as well as quizzes on security risk including “Are You Vulnerable to Fraud and Theft?” Other resources provide guidance on running a small business with tips on creating effective financial controls and guarding intellectual property.

Resources for Entrepreneurs
www.sbaer.uca.edu
For CPAs looking to start their own business or expand the services they currently offer, the Small Business Advancement National Center page of the University of Central Arkansas Web site features sections such as Counseling and Consulting, Research and Dissemination, Strategic Alliances, and Training and Education. The center also provides a free e-mail newsletter and links to information on effective Web marketing.

Advice from the Advisor
www.isquare.com
The Small Business Advisor’s Web site offers CPA firm owners a free electronic newsletter that gives Internet tips and tricks, and marketing, sales and software assistance. Visitors can read up on legal issues and starting or selling a business. The site also includes a section on tax advice and answers to frequently asked questions.

Government Links for Businesses
www.business.gov
The U.S. Business Advisor’s goal is to “make the relationship between business and government more productive.” It helps do that by “providing one-stop access to federal government information, services and transactions” on its Web site. Links to government Web pages also offer input on business development, financial assistance, international trade, taxes and workplace issues.

Small Business Links
www.bizmove.com
CPAs who wish to enhance their existing Web presence will want to surf this Web site—“the small business knowledge base.” A free subscription to its e-zine, BizTips, includes a download of the e-book 101 Tips and Strategies to Small Business Success. Users also can link to applications for free government grants and business plan templates.

Online Business Information
smallbusiness.yahoo.com
This section of Yahoo includes links to assist small business owners in finding online resources for creating a Web presence and managing and promoting their businesses. CPAs also can link to articles on business incorporation and financing, such as “How Attention to Safety Can Boost Your Profits” and “Is It Better to Lease or Buy Equipment?” This site also offers information on business, marketing and planning a Web strategy.

EP Phone (From) Home
www.en-parent.com
For entrepreneurial parents (EPs) working from home, this Web site aims to help “EPs make a living and a life.” The site features topical articles such as “Six Ways to Work-Family Balance” and “The Top Ten FAQs About Starting a Business.” It also includes links to administrative, entrepreneurial and home business Web sites.

Bob Jensen's small business links are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness 


THE MP3 ADVENTURE, The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/page/0,,2_1001,00.html 

In a five-part series, Jason Fry recounted his foray into the world of digital music. Plus, see an animated overview of Jason's project.


Update on Financial Instruments Derivatives in Risk Management and Accounting

Question:  How should Southwest Airlines account for these derivatives?
"Trying to Make Fuel Prices Less of a Wartime Gamble," by Daniel Altman, The New York Times, March 23, 2003 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/23/business/yourmoney/23HEDG.html 

Now that the war in Iraq has begun, oil prices could go $10 a barrel higher — or lower — by this time next month. How can a company that uses a lot of oil or its byproducts protect itself?

Because the risks run in both directions, businesses in several industries face a complex task: guarding against a price spike while staying open to the benefits of falling prices.

The companies' methods run the gamut. Some have been actively hedging, using complex financial instruments, while others have preferred to manage fuel inventories or pass along costs to consumers.

Last September, Southwest Airlines decided to prepare for the possibility of war in the Persian Gulf. The company bought financial derivatives to ensure that it would never pay much more than 70 cents a gallon for jet fuel — the equivalent of a bit more than $23 for a barrel of crude oil, compared with the price of $28.80 today — for its fuel supply this quarter. More than 75 percent of its fuel needs for the remainder of 2003 and all of 2004 are similarly protected, and some of its hedges extend all the way to 2008.

Southwest's hedges mostly take the form of common but sophisticated derivatives called collars and swaps, said Gary C. Kelly, the airline's chief financial officer. In the near term, about two-thirds of the derivatives are based on prices for heating oil, which follow rates for jet fuel more closely than those for crude oil.

The cost of price protection amounts to about 1 or 2 cents for each gallon of jet fuel, Mr. Kelly said. With jet fuel being traded for more than $1 a gallon lately, he added, "it's obviously a very substantial saving."

Southwest, though, may be the exception rather than the rule.

"It varies tremendously from firm to firm," said Edward N. Krapels, an expert on risk management at Energy Security Analysis, a research firm in Wakefield, Mass. "In the airline industry, you'll find some who are quite aggressive hedgers, and others who are not."

Mr. Krapels said some companies might have become wary of hedging after buying derivatives to protect themselves, only to find that oil prices would fall. In the Persian Gulf war of 1991, for example, the sudden drop in prices that accompanied the build-up of coalition forces and their early victories took many companies by surprise.

As a result, Mr. Krapels explained, "most large consumers are underhedged, with some very significant exceptions." He added, "The impact of an oil price increase on these guys will be very significant."

Companies that routinely engage in hedging tend to be in the middle of the petroleum supply chain, said Neal L. Wolkoff, the chief operating officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where energy derivatives are traded. "The greatest participation tends not to be from the ultimate consumer," he said. "It's more either merchants and refiners or integrated oil companies."

The Valero Energy Corporation, a top refiner, contracts in advance for cargoes of oil from China, Russia and other countries. The company uses simple mechanisms to guarantee oil prices into the near future. Because of the uncertainty about oil prices in the next few months, Valero has tried to insure itself in case market rates fall below those in its long-term contracts.

"We are concerned that prices are going to fall off after this whole Iraqi thing is resolved, so any extra barrels we have, we hedge them," said Gene Edwards, Valero's senior vice president for supply and trading.

 
ATHER than buying options to sell oil at fixed prices, as protection against prices falling, Valero sells future contracts for oil. For example, it might buy oil at $35 a barrel today and promise to sell oil at $32 a barrel next month. If the price of oil next month falls below $32, then Valero can buy oil from the market and sell it at a profit.

Mr. Edwards said that investment banks often approach Valero with more complicated derivatives, but that the futures generally offer a less expensive solution.

In addition to buying and selling futures, Valero has been engaging in a more tangible form of hedging — limiting its own stocks of oil so it can take advantage of prices if they fall. "You try to keep inventories low, because you don't want to be sitting on extra barrels," Mr. Edwards said.

That kind of activity has kept volume on the New York Mercantile Exchange near normal levels, Mr. Wolkoff said. "A lot of companies are, in effect, hedging through their physical business," he said. "That means there appears to be a reticence to hold inventory. That's one way of hedging, simply by reducing your exposure."

Some companies that use a lot of fuel have an even simpler way of dealing with high and low prices. The Roadway Corporation, the trucking-line operator, passes along the high cost of fuel to customers through a surcharge. Each week, the company updates the surcharge automatically, using the Energy Department's diesel price index.

"It makes fuel a pass-through for us," said John M. Hyre, a spokesman for Roadway. "We don't benefit by it, and we're not negatively impacted by it. We do have concern for the impact that rising fuel costs have on our customers, though."

The company can benefit, however, when fuel prices drop steeply. "If we encounter good pricing, we will work on getting long-term contracts under that good pricing," Mr. Hyre said.

If the war in Iraq does not go as the Pentagon has planned, any sudden spike in oil prices could have the harshest effects on some people who have little use for petroleum products, except on the drive to work. Hedge-fund managers and other speculators who sell financial protection to companies like Valero could be at risk, Mr. Krapels said.

"If the war goes badly, and the oil price goes significantly higher than it is today, how well can the people who took the short side of that bet withstand it?" he asked. "There could be some very big credit exposures." 

How FAS 133 Cost Sears $270 Million
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm#Sears
 

The dangers of derivatives abuse and the excessive amounts of derivatives now in the markets --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#DerivativesFraud 

Bob Jensen's tutorials (including audio and video) derivatives, FAS 133, and IAS 39 are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 


Stock Options
If the FASB and the IASB require expensing of stock options when vested rather than exercised, it will have really adverse effects on the bottom lines of some companies who rely heavily upon employee stock options for compensation.  This is why the U.S. House and Senate are already gearing up for a fight with the FASB and possibly SEC due to heavy lobbying pressures.  In the March 31, 2003 issue of Barron's on Page 28, the following sample impacts are provided:

Adjusting Earnings for Options

 »Earnings of major tech companies are well below reported levels when adjusted for option grants to employees. Options will become a big issue next year when companies likely will be forced to record them as an expense. Some companies, like Microsoft, are reducing option grants, helping shareholders.

Company Microsoft Intel IBM Cisco Oracle Applied
Materials
EMC Hewlett-Packard Texas
Instruments
Recent Stock Price $25.04 17.58 81.45 13.5 11.36 13.5 7.16 16.44 17.75
2002 Earnings* $0.92 0.51 3.95 0.39 0.41 0.19 -0.05 0.79 0.22
Option-adjusted'02 Profits* $0.71 0.34 3.28 0.19 0.33 0 -0.22 0.48 -0.01
2002 P/E Ratio 27.2 34.5 20.6 34.6 27.7 67.5 NM 20.8 80.7
2002 Option-adjusted P/E 35.3 51.7 24.8 71.1 34.4 NM NM 34.3 NM
2002 Options Grant (mil) 82 174 60 282 63 9 52 66 37
Options Grant Relative to Shares Outstanding 0.8% 2.6 3.5 3.8 1.2 0.5 2.4 2.2 2.1
Options Issuance Trend ä ä ã ä ä ä ä ã ã
*2002 Fiscal Year.    NM-Not meaningful.                                                                                                  Sources: Company reports; Thomson/Baseline

 

Note that adjustments for many more companies are available in the "Core Earnings" revisions from Standard and Poors at http://www2.standardandpoors.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=sp/Page/PressSpecialCoveragePg&b=5&r=1&s=3&ig=1026841911315 
I also created the shorter URL --- http://snurl.com/CoreEarnings 

In response to growing concern about companies earnings reports, Standard & Poor’s has introduced a new methodology called “Standard & Poor’s Core Earnings.” The ultimate goal is to lead investors and analysts to a consensus on earnings calculations, and bring more transparency and consistency to earnings analysis and forecasts.

Bob Jensen's threads on these this controversy can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory/sfas123/jensen01.htm 


March 30 message from Ira Kawaller

Hi Bob,

I’m using a new product called the AccuCard Service to keep my address book up-to-date. I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to review your contact information and make corrections if necessary.

Ira

The CardScan.net service is at https://www.cardscan.net 


Another coffin nail for the Efficient Market Hypothesis

From Jim Mahar, TheFinanceProfessor on March 24, 2003

It is always interesting to see what happened when two theories clash. For instance, I am largely a backer of the EMH (efficient market hypothesis) which would suggest that mutual fund managers can not do better than that the index and that overall all fund managers are about as good as any other. However, more than I believe EMH, I am sure that incentives are critical and that if you pay people to do something, it usually will happen. So it was with great anticipation that I read the forthcoming article by Elton, Gruber, and Blake in the Journal of Finance (JF). The authors study whether mutual funds where managers have an incentive pay system do better than those without. And they find that yes incentives do seem to lead to better performance. (Prediction, within the year, many more mutual funds will change their incentive structure, as of now less than 2% of funds reward their mangers with incentive pay plans. http://www.afajof.org/Pdf/forthcoming/april23.pdf

Another chink in the EMH hypothesis. A paper by Coval, Hishleifer, and Shumway finds that a significant proportion of investors did beat the market for the 1990 to 1996. Moreover, the top 10% did so by am amazing 15 basis points per DAY! (There are 100 basis points per percent). READ IT! http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=364000

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/business/1830496


A rights issue is a way a firm can raise new money. Typically the firm gives rights (think of them as coupons) to existing shareholders. The rights (coupons) give the holder the right to purchase new shares at a discount. Typically these rights can be sold if the investor does not want to invest more money in the firm. This week’s French Telecom provides a good example. The firm is hoping to raise 15 b Euro. In order to do so, they are offering new shares via a rights issue at a greater than 25% discount to the previous closing stock price.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,4501-622099,00.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2880159.stm


Is the US market overvalued? (See the next story for the perspective of others). That is what Reinker and Tower try to determine by comparing expected returns for US firms with those of other nations. Their finding, which rests on the Gordon dividend growth model, suggests that it is and that international investments may earn higher returns going forward. Of course, this is no guarantee, but it is an interesting paper none-the-less.

http://www.econ.duke.edu/Papers/Other/Tower/Equity_Returns.pdf


Poor returns in stocks, low interest rates, and overly optimistic expectations have created problems for many retirees who are finding that they may not have enough money to maintain their desired lifestyle. Two solutions: gong back to work, and reverse mortgages.

http://www.nytimes.com/business/retirement/?8isc

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/18/business/retirement/18KILB.html

http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/030324/bizrates_retirees_1.html

 


It's tempting to jump in the market now in anticipation that stock prices will soar if and when the U.S. and Iraq stop shooting at each other.
Think again.  Maybe TIAA isn't such a bad thing these days!

While they may have missed out on the biggest weekday rally in 20 years, both Bill Gross (the head of Pimco’s total return fund) and Warren Buffett spoke recently on the investment environment and each believes that prices of US stocks are still too high. . http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030316/finance_gross_1.html 

One reason why Buffett may be such a good investor is that many people copy his stock picks. So since you may want to as well, here they are: http://www.forbes.com/2003/03/17/cz_mm_0317sf.html 

The best investment advice I can give is to not seek investment advice from Bob Jensen.  However, you may be interested in Buffett's portfolio.

His eagerly awaited year-end reports are available at http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2002pdf.pdf 


Bureau of Economic Analysis --- http://www.bea.gov/

Banking and interest rate data:  Econmagic.com --- http://www.economagic.com/

Bob Jensen's bookmarks to economic statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics 

United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) --- http://www.forecasts.org/gdp.htm 


"Study Questions Net Sales Tax Payoff," by Brian Krebs, The Washington Post,  March 13, 2003 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21580-2003Mar13.html 

States battling historic budget deficits can expect to collect far less money from Internet sales taxes than previously estimated, according to the first major study in 18 months on potential revenues from taxing e-commerce.

The study, conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), said that the amount of uncollected taxes on e-commerce would be $3.2 billion by 2006, far lower than the $45 billion projected in an often-cited 2001 study by two University of Tennessee professors.

DMA President Robert Wientzen said the new study shows there will be "no pot of gold" for states trying to change the nation's tax laws to make it easier to collect Internet sales taxes.

The DMA is an industry group that represents the nation's largest mail-order catalog companies, which are subject to the same tax rules as online sellers. It was joined today by other opponents of mandatory online sales taxes, including auction giant eBay, travel site Orbitz and the Information Technology Association of America.

The report comes as three-dozen states are planning to simplify their sales tax systems in a bid to convince Congress to make tax collection mandatory on all Internet sales. Online merchants now are required to charge sales taxes only if the buyer lives in a state where the seller maintains a physical location, such as a store or warehouse.

The states have long complained that growing e-commerce sales would steal business from "bricks-and-mortar" stores where sales taxes are already collected in 45 states. Supporters of taxing all Internet sales have used the University of Tennessee study's $45 billion figure as a key point in their argument.

Both studies likely will be cited in arguments for and against collecting Internet sales taxes, and the groups backing them already maintain that the other has fundamental flaws.

Continued in the article


Jazz music and slide show --- http://www.rondavisson.com/ 


PictoPlasma for Children (Animation, Art, Design) --- http://www.pictoplasma.com/ 


What are the odds that smokers will get cancer?  These may be surprising.
This an other information can be found at the Sloan-Kettering site at http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/44.cfm 


Gravely Gorgeous from the Cornell University Art Museum (Art History, grotesque architectural ornaments) --- http://cidc.library.cornell.edu/adw/gravely.html 


Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids (Education, Children) --- http://bensguide.gpo.gov/ 


Spare Me!
Weight Watchers Recipe Cards, Circa 1974 --- http://www.poundy.com/wwcards.html 


For Father to Know Best (Divorce, Parenting, Legal Information) --- www.fathersworld.com 


Erwin E. Smith (1886-1947) (Cowboy History) --- http://www.cartermuseum.org/collections/smith/


Clothing designer Benetton plans to weave radio frequency ID chips into its garment tags. While Benetton is poised to save money by tracking the clothes with RFID, it could also mean a loss of customers' privacy --- http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,58006,00.html 


Forwarded by Debbie Bowling:  Where's the beef?
"Barbecue Fumes Adding to Haze," iwon News, March 18, 2003 --- http://news1.iwon.com/odd/article/id/310311|oddlyenough|03-18-2003::09:04|reuters.html 

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Texans like to say that they live and breathe barbecue -- which may be one of the reasons why the air is so bad in Houston, the state's so-called barbecue capital. According to a study from scientists at Rice University in the city, microscopic bits of polyunsaturated fatty acids released into the atmosphere from cooking meat on backyard barbecues are helping to foul the air in Houston.

The city at times registers levels that rank it as one of the more polluted U.S. urban areas in terms of air quality.

Matthew Fraser, an assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering at Rice who led the study, said he was measuring eight different sources of organic particulate matter in the atmosphere, coming from items such as burning gasoline.

"Meat turned out to be a somewhat important source of the atmospheric fine particles in the urban area in Houston," Fraser said.

Fraser said the percentage of particles in the atmosphere from cooking meat as a part of the overall level of airborne pollutants was in the single digits.

Continued in the article.


Better Get U.S. Homland Security to Go Undercover on This One
A Princeton University researcher has discovered a secret about microbes the science world overlooked. Bacteria are communicating with each other -- and plotting against us.
'Bacteria Whisper," Wired Magazine, April 2003 --- http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.04/quorum.html 


Congress cracks down on P2P porn --- http://news.com.com/2100-1028-992371.html?tag=fd_top 

The U.S. Congress is targeting peer-to-peer networks again--and this time politicians aren't fretting over music and software piracy.

A pair of government reports scheduled to be released at a hearing on Thursday warn that file-swapping networks are exploding with pornography--much of which is legal, and some of which is not.

Searching for words such as "preteen," "underage" and "incest" on the Kazaa network resulted in a slew of images that qualify as child pornography, the General Accounting Office said in a 37-page report, one of two obtained by CNET News.com. The second report, prepared by staff from the House Government Reform Committee, concluded that current blocking technology has "no, or limited, ability to block access to pornography via file-sharing programs."


EDUCAUSE Review
MARCH/APRIL 2003
Volume 38, Number 2

FEATURES

"Poised between Two Worlds: The University as Monastery and

Marketplace"
by NANCY CANTOR and STEVEN SCHOMBERG
Technology has an optimal role to play in stimulating vibrant exchange and keeping the university poised between the traditional monastery world of careful reflection and the modern marketplace world of dynamic give-and-take. http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0320.pdf

"Delivering Value by Preserving Values: An Interview withDouglas Van Houweling"
"We need to always remember and question the core values that have sustained us in higher education and discover how those values can be applied in new ways to help us continue to advance society, to add value." http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0321.pdf

"Expanding the Concept of Literacy"
by ELIZABETH DALEY
Those who are truly literate in the twenty-first century will be fluent in the language of multimedia: students today need to be taught to write for the screen and analyze multimedia just as much as, if not more than, they need to be taught to write and analyze any specific genre in text. http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0322.pdf

BOOK EXCERPT

"Getting beyond Budget Dust to Sustainable Models for Funding Information Technology"
by DAVID L. SMALLEN and JACK MCCREDIE
From Polley A. McClure, ed., "Organizing and Managing Information Resources on Your Campus" http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0323.pdf

DEPARTMENTS

techwatch
Information Technology in the News http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0324.pdf

Leadership
"Childhood's End?"
by RICHARD N. KATZ http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0325.pdf

E-Content
"Librarians and Publishers as Collaborators and Competitors"
by RICHARD E. LUCIER http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0326.pdf

New Horizons

"Digital Asset Management Systems"
by JAMES L. HILTON http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0327.pdf

policy@edu
"Looking to Spectrum for Network Utopia"
by DEWAYNE HENDRICKS http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0328.pdf

Viewpoints
"Putting Another 'E' in ERP?"

by JOHN D. LAWSON http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0329.pdf

Homepage
"The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace"
by MARK A. LUKER http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm03210.pdf

 




A picture from the past!

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If we break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


by John McCrae

Why does the United States always want to take more land?
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
Forwarded by Barbara Hessel


And to return the favor for U.S. aid such as the Marshall Plan and for help in liberating France, the French are now providing free pretzels for President Bush --- http://www.bretzelforbush.com/ 
This is a French Website that bemoans the fact that President Bush did not die when he choked on a pretzel in January 2002.


From PBS:  The Perilous Fight: America's World War II in Color --- http://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/ 
(Includes the Battlefield, Psychology of War, The Home Front, Social Aspects, WW II Timeline, etc.)


Battle Hymn of the Republic:  Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory 


The Navy Hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh, hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea!


Forwarded by Cindy Lara

This is an emotional, yet memorable site --- http://getthenews.net/911/  
cl 


Forwarded by Auntie Bev
(The  fortieth sounded familiar.)

THE CLASS REUNION

Every ten years, as summertime nears, An announcement arrives in the mail, A reunion is planned; it'll be really grand; Make plans to attend without fail.

I'll never forget the first time we met; We tried so hard to impress. We drove fancy cars, smoked big cigars, And wore our most elegant dress.

It was quite an affair; the whole class was there. It was held at a fancy hotel. We wined, and we dined, and we acted refined, And everyone thought it was swell.

The men all conversed about who had been first To achieve great fortune and fame. Meanwhile, their spouses described their fine houses And how beautiful their children became.

The homecoming queen, who once had been lean, Now weighed in at one-ninety-six. The jocks who were there had all lost their hair, And the cheerleaders could no longer do kicks.

No one had heard about the class nerd Who'd guided a spacecraft to the moon; Or poor little Jane, who's always been plain; She married a shipping tycoon.

The boy we'd decreed "most apt to succeed" Was serving ten years in the pen, While the one voted "least" now was a priest; Just shows you can be wrong now and then.

They awarded a prize to one of the guys Who seemed to have aged the least. Another was given to the grad who had driven The farthest to attend the feast.

They took a class picture, a curious mixture Of beehives, crew cuts and wide ties. Tall, short, or skinny, the style was the mini; You never saw so many thighs.

At our next get-together, no one cared whether They impressed their classmates or not. The mood was informal, a whole lot more normal; By this time we'd all gone to pot.

It was held out-of-doors, at the lake shores; We ate hamburgers, coleslaw, and beans. Then most of us lay around in the shade, In our comfortable T-shirts and jeans.

By the fortieth year, it was abundantly clear, We were definitely over the hill. Those who weren't dead had to crawl out of bed, And be home in time for their pill.

And now I can't wait; they've set the date; Our fiftieth is coming, I'm told. It should be a ball, they've rented a hall At the Shady Rest Home for the old.

Repairs have been made on my hearing aid; My pacemaker's been turned up on high. My wheelchair is oiled, and my teeth have been boiled; And I've bought a new wig and glass eye.

I'm feeling quite hearty, and I'm ready to party I'm gonna dance 'til dawn's early light. It'll be lots of fun; But I just hope that there's one Other person who can make it that night.

Author Unknown


Forwarded by Dick Haar

Man tells his doctor he’s unable to do all the things around the house that he used to do. After the exam, he says, “Now, doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what the hell’s wrong with me.”

“In layman’s terms, you’re lazy,” says the doctor.

“OK. Now give me a medical term, so I can tell my wife


Forwarded by Bob Overn

The Pentagon recently unveiled its new super computer to the top brass. This fantastic device, capable of making bazillions of decisions in split nanoseconds, is designed to solve all military problems with the greatest of ease. 

To test its capabilities, the brass poses a tactical problem to it and then asks for a decision, "Attack or Retreat?"

The computer hums a bit, blinks a myriad of lights and answers, "Yes."

The brass, somewhat confused by this answer, replies, "Yes what?"

The computer instantly replies, "Yes, sir!"


Forwarded by Tony Digiovanni

These three Texans go down to Mexico one night, get drunk, and wake up in jail only to find out that they are to be executed in the morning, though none of them can remember what they did the night before.

The first one is strapped in the electric chair and is asked if he has any last words. He says, "I am from the Baylor school of divinity and I believe in the almighty power of God to intervene on behalf of the innocent." They throw the switch and nothing happens, so they figure God must not want this guy to die and they let him go.

The second one is strapped in and gives his last words, "I am from the University of Texas School of Law and I believe in the power of justice to intervene on the part of the innocent." They throw the switch and again nothing happens. They figure that the law is on this guy's side, so they let him go too.

The last one is strapped in and says, "Well, I'm a Texas Aggie Electrical Engineer, and I'll tell you right now you ain't gonna electrocute nobody if you don't connect them two wires."


Forwarded by Bob Overn

A man appears before the Pearly Gates. "Have you ever done anything of particular merit?" St. Peter asks.

"Well, I can think of one thing," the man offers.

"Once I came upon a gang of high-testosterone bikers who were threatening a young woman. I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen. So I approached the largest and most heavily tattooed biker. I smacked him on the head, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring and threw it on the ground, then told him, 'Leave her alone now or you'll answer to me.'"

St. Peter was impressed. "When did this happen?"

"A couple of minutes ago."


Forwarded by Bob Overn

My mom is a less than fastidious housekeeper.

One evening my dad returned home from work, walked into the kitchen and teased her, "You know, dear, I can write my name in the dust on the mantel."

Mom turned to him and sweetly replied, "Yes, darling, I know. That's why I married a college graduate."


Forwarded by Team Carper

You Think A Gallon Of Gas Is Expensive
 
These comparisons makes one think, and puts things in perspective.

Diet Snapple (16 oz) $1.29 ............ $10.32 per gallon
Lipton Ice Tea (16 oz) $1.19 ......... $9.52 per gallon
Gatorade (20 oz) $1.59 ..................$10.17 per gallon
Ocean Spray (16 oz) $1.25 ............$10.00 per gallon
Brake Fluid (12 oz) $3.15 ..............$33.60 per gallon
Vick's Nyquil (6 oz) $8.35 .............$178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol (4 oz) $3.85 ............ $123.20 per gallon
Whiteout (7 oz) $1.39 ................... $25.42 per gallon
Scope (1.5 oz) $0.99 . ...................$84.48 per gallon
This is the REAL KICKER..............
Evian water (9 oz) $1.49 ............... $21.19 per gallon.
$21.19 FOR WATER! ....and the buyers don't even know the source.
So, the next time you're at the pump, be glad your car doesn't run on
water, Scope, or Whiteout; or Nyquil; or Pepto Bismol; or Water!

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Notice to people who visit my home. 

1. The dog lives here...you don't.

2. If you don't want dog hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.

3. Yes, he has some disgusting habits. So do I and so do you. What's your point?

4. OF COURSE he smells like a dog.

5. It's his nature to try to sniff your crotch. Please feel free to sniff his.

6. I like him a lot better than I like most people.

7. To you he's a dog. To me he's an adopted son, who is short, hairy, walks on all fours, doesn't speak clearly, and hates cats. I have no problem with any of these things.

8. Dogs are better than kids: they eat less, don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't worry about whether they have the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and if they get pregnant you can sell the pups.


Forwarded by Team Carper

Grandmothers

What is a grandmother? ( taken from papers written by a class of 8 year olds)

A grandmother is a lady who has no little children of her own. She likes other people's.

A grandfather is a man grandmother.

Grandmothers don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them.

They are so old they shouldn't play hard or run.

It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They show us and talk to us about the color of the flowers and also don't step on "cracks."

They don't say, "Hurry up."

Usually grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes.

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

They can take their teeth and gums out.

Grandmothers don't have to be smart. They have to answer questions like "Why isn't God married?" and "How come dogs chase cats?".

When they read to us, they don't skip. They don't mind if we ask for the same story over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don't have television, because they are the only grown ups who like to spend time with us.

They know we should have snack-time before bedtime and they say prayers with us every time, and kiss us even when we've acted bad.


Forwarded by Don Ramsey

Cards offering used textbooks for sale are posted on the college notice board at the beginning of each semester. 

One read: "Introduction to Psychology, $8, never used." The card was signed, "Must sell." 

The next day a note had been added: "Good price. Are you sure it's never been used?" Signed, "Prospective buyer." 

Below in a different hand was: "Positive!" Signed, "Professor who graded his exam."


The Tall Texan's Website (including a Funnybone site) --- http://www.talltexian.com/ 


The Mother of All Inspection Teams

How in the name of the United Nations does anyone expect men to find Saddam's stash? We all know that men have a blind spot when it comes to finding things.

Maybe this is why auditing firms now hire more women than men. These firms are also winning awards for being the most "parent-friendly" of professions. There are reasons mothers make especially good auditors. Bob Overn forwarded the following reasons:

For crying' out loud! Men can't find the dirty clothes hamper. Men can't find the jar of jelly until it falls out of the cupboard and splatters on the floor.... and these are the people we have sent into Iraq to search for hidden weapons of mass destruction?

I keep wondering why groups of mothers weren't sent in. Mothers can sniff out secrets quicker than a drug dog can find a gram of dope.

Mothers can find gin bottles that dads have stashed in the attic beneath the rafters. They can sniff out a diary two rooms and one floor away. They can tell when the lid of a cookie jar has been disturbed and notice when a quarter inch slice has been shaved off a chocolate cake. A mother can smell alcohol on your breath before you get your key in the front door and can smell cigarette smoke from a block away. By examining laundry, a mother knows more about their kids than Sherlock Holmes. And if a mother wants an answer to question, she can read an offender's eyes quicker than a homicide detective.

So... considering the value a mother could bring to an inspection team, why are we sending a bunch of old men who will rely on electronic equipment to scout out hidden threats?

My mother would walk in with a wooden soup spoon in one hand, grab Saddam by the ear, give it a good twist and snap, "Young man, do you have any weapons of mass destruction?" And God help him if he tried to lie to her. She'd march him down the street to some secret bunker and shove his nose into a nuclear bomb and say, "Uh, huh, and what do you call this, mister?" Whap!

Thump! Whap! Whap! Whap! And she'd lay some stripes across his bare bottom with that soup spoon, then march him home in front of the whole of Baghdad. He'd not only come clean and apologize for lying about it, he'd cut every lawn in Baghdad for free for the whole damn summer. Inspectors my a%$... You want the job done? Call my mother.


God, hold our troops in your loving hands. 
Protect them as they protect us. 
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. 
Amen. 

Sherri Jaeger


And let's bow our heads for the people on all sides who suffered gravely so that others may live!  Let's hope that, in the future,  money spent on weapons of destruction (including those of the U.S. weapons) will instead be spent upon creating a better life for all species sharing this planet.




And that's the way it was on March 31, 2003 with a little help from my friends.

 

I highly recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor) --- www.FinanceProfessor.com 

 

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

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 
I also like SmartPros at http://www.smartpros.com/ 

 

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

 

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

The Finance Professor --- http://www.financeprofessor.com/about/aboutFP.html 

 

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

 

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

 

Click on www.syllabus.com/radio/index.asp for a complete list of interviews with established leaders, creative thinkers and education technology experts in higher education from around the country.

 

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

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March 15, 2003 

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on March 15, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
 

In 1876, my grandparents (Julius and Regina Jensen) donated a corner of their farm so that nearby Norwegian immigrants could build the Blakjer Church and a cemetery --- http://www.rootsweb.com/~cemetery/iowa/cemeteries/blakjerlutherancem.htm 
Bob mentions this church in his story about growing up --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/max01.htm 
In the Year 2002, the church was moved from the country to a city park in Lone Rock --- http://www.lonerockiowa.com/attractions.html 
The cemetery is still out on our old farm.


Quotes of the Week

Final grades are where the University of Georgia football players want to look
In order to discover what courses they took.

Jay Leno, NBC Television, March 14, 2003

Few things I have done in the past year have created as much discussion as my recent editorial on fighting terrorism using financial theory and things we learned from the US Civil War. If you haven’t read it, please do. 
http://www.financeprofessor.com/editorials/terrorismfeb132003.html
 

All greatness is achieved while performing outside of your comfort zone.
Greg Arnold

CEOs and investment bankers of today never took this to heart!
Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give up the earth itself…rather than do an immoral act.

Thomas Jefferson

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
Joseph Addison

A sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.
Washington Irving

Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.
Victor Hugo

Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.
George Van Valkenburg

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.
Henry Kissinger

The Earth belongs to its owners, but the landscape belongs to those who know how to appreciate it.
Upton Sinclair

Ownership is a trap: what we think we own in fact owns us.
Alphonse Karr

This may be taking full disclosure a bit too far! You have to read at least some of this 8K filing from Expediators International. They tell you what they think, why, and why they may be wrong. And in a funny matter to boot. Some parts are hilarious! Definitely the most entertaining SEC filing I have ever seen! http://biz.yahoo.com/e/030220/expd8-k.html  
http://www.edgar-online.com/brand/yahoo/search/?sym=EXPD
 

From a March 3, 2003 message from FinanceProfessor [FinanceProfessor@lb.bcentral.com

March 10, 2003 reply from Cindy Peck [cjpeck@ANDERSON.EDU

Thanks for the heads up on the filing by Expediators Intl. I once asked a class of non-accountants how to reduce currency fluctuation risk for a liability in a foreign currency and a student said to just pay it. I note that Expediators mentions that it follows this strategy.

Cindy Peck

Ok, but come on? A JF (Journal of Finance) article? If your friends invest in the stock market, you are more likely to do so as well. That is the finding of a new paper by Harrison Hong, Jeffrey D. Kubik and Jeremy C. Stein . To which I can only ask one question: “Are you going to jump off a cliff if your friends do?” http://www.afajof.org/Pdf/forthcoming/Social-jf-revision.pdf 
From a March 3, 2003 message from FinanceProfessor [FinanceProfessor@lb.bcentral.com

And in this corner, Alan Greenspan. The Fed Chairman spoke out against the President’s tax cut and stimulus plan by saying the economy was doing ok and would likely get better in the near future, and thus the stimulus plan is not needed and the tax cuts may increase the already rapidly expanding deficit. White House economic adviser Glenn Hubbard however, then went public and stressed that Greenspan was entitled to his opinion and the White House has complete faith in him. (of course, this acknowledgement came a week after the original comments, but….) http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/12/1044927662341.html  http://reuters.com/financeNewsArticle.jhtml?type=economicNews&storyID=2294321 
Speaking of Hubbard, almost immediately after endorsing Greenspan he decided to resign. (Have I read too many fiction books?) http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2003/02/28/cnbush28.xml&sSheet=/money/2003/02/28/ixfrontcity.html 
Greenspan maybe right, the US economy is growing faster than most had thought. In fact, the 4th quarter GDP was again revised upwards. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2781833.stm 

From a March 3, 2003 message from FinanceProfessor [FinanceProfessor@lb.bcentral.com

Ok, quick! Name the largest trading partner of the US. If you said Canada, you are in the know! And on top of that they are one of, if not the largest!, exporter of oil and natural gas to the US. (I did not know Oil…in fact I question it, but that is what the article says.) http://www.nationalpost.com/financialpost/story.html?id=%7B4CCBA46E-A144-4E12-84C2-57C6C83444B2%7D 
From a March 3, 2003 message from FinanceProfessor [FinanceProfessor@lb.bcentral.com

Damned Americans, I hate the bastards.
Carolyn Parrish, Member of Parliament, Canada (the largest trading partner of the U.S.)
Parrish later apologized for her remark but has not resigned as an MP.
Minister Jean Chretien's communications director resigned after using the term "moron" to refer to U.S. President George W. Bush.

I am reminded of the young coed who came to her professor's office pleading for help because she had done poorly on the first exam. She pleaded that she desperately needed to pass the course and was willing to do anything to accomplish this goal. The professor said, "Anything?" She replied in as sexy a voice as she could muster, "Anything." He replied, "Then I suggest you study."
As forwarded by stating he could not recall the author, John Rodi, El Camino College 
Paul Poliski wrote:
John: I believe that's from "The Eiger Sanction", starring Clint Eastwood, where he's an art teacher by day, assassin by night (apparently the first "Chuck Barris"-like movie...)

A newly discovered flaw in a critical piece of Internet infrastructure software could put more than half the Internet’s e-mail servers at risk, researchers say. The flaw exists in Sendmail, a program that sorts and delivers most e-mail. A single message sent at a flawed e-mail server could allow an attacker to take control of the server, read its contents and use it to organize a massive denial of service attack. But officials are hopeful that a month’s work of secret efforts to shore up defenses against the flaw — which included informing top federal offices and foreign governments — will minimize its impact.
MSNBC on March 3, 2003 --- http://www.msnbc.com/news/880094.asp 

Flagship institutions -- those universities such as Pennsylvania State University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Washington, and the University of California that are in the same league as some of the best private universities -- have responded to the decline in state support by becoming more and more like the elite private universities. They have spun off expensive operations such as teaching hospitals, they have boosted development campaigns to levels unheard of for public institutions a few decades ago, and they have raised tuition levels again and again. Most of these flagship public institutions now receive roughly a third of their operating budgets from state funds, but some receive much less. For example, the $300 million that Penn State receives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania accounts for only 13% of the total Penn State budget.
Mark Shapiro, March 7, 2003 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-03-07-03.htm


Erika and I are moving on June 10, 2003 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm 




A draft of my March 31, 2003 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud033103.htm
(The above document also includes updates on tax frauds, scams, identity theft, and similar updates.)

Bob Jensen gets "behind" on Andersen poetry ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud033103.htm

FASB Project Schedules --- http://www.fasb.org/project/index.shtml 




The controversy over teaching/learning reading continues on --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-27-03.htm 


Latest News
NetNewsWire Lite --- http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/ 
(This is not free, but it can be customized to suit your interests.)

Bob Jensen's threads on news sources can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#news 


March 5, 2003 message from B. Loveless [info@careeradvantage.org

Dear Professor Jensen,

I would like to know if it would be possible to place a link on your website linking to my websites, www.community-college.org  and www.university-directory.org . Both are free non-profit websites that provide visitors with a current and comprehensive directory of community colleges and universities throughout the United States. Updates to these websites are made on a regular basis to ensure site visitors the most current and accurate directory of community colleges and universities in their respective geographies. If it would be at all possible to place a link from your website to community-college.org and university-directory.org it would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Becton Loveless

http://www.community-college.org 
http://www.university-directory.org 

I placed these links in the following documents:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#Directories 

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


Wow Technology of the Week:  Neuroeconomics 

"Looking Inside the Brains of the Stingy," by Virginia Postrel, The New York Times, February 27, 2003 ---  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/27/business/27SCEN.html 

Here's a game economists play: Player 1 has $10 and can give any dollar amount to Player 2. Player 2 can either accept or reject it. If Player 2 accepts, they both keep the money. If Player 2 rejects it, neither player gets anything.

What should the players do? Arguably, Player 2 should accept whatever is offered, since some money is better than none. Player 1 should thus offer as little as possible: $1. That strategy is the standard game-theory equilibrium.

But that's not necessarily what happens when real people play this "ultimatum game" in laboratory settings with real money on the line. Faced with low-ball offers, many Player 2's reject them. And many Player 1's make more generous offers, often nearly half the money.

"About half the subjects that we observed played according to the way the game theory said people should play, and about half didn't," said Kevin McCabe, an economist and director of the Behavioral and Neuroeconomics Laboratory at George Mason University.

The Player 1's who do not follow the presumably rational strategy often wind up better off. Even without communicating with fellow players, they are able to cooperate for mutual benefit.

Why do people react differently to the same situation? And why do so many people give up money to punish anonymous cheapskates?

Experimental economists have mapped out these anomalies and tested how much they affect economic interactions. Now a new field, called neuroeconomics, is using the tools of neuroscience to find the underlying biological mechanisms that lead people to act, or not act, according to economic theory.

In neuroeconomics, volunteers go through exercises developed by experimental economists studying trust or risk. Instead of simply observing subjects' behavior, however, researchers use imaging technologies, like M.R.I.'s, to see which brain areas are active during the experiment.

Researchers at Princeton, for instance, have found that receiving low-ball offers stimulates the part of the brain associated with disgust. "They can predict with good reliability, from looking at the brain, what a person will do," said Colin F. Camerer, an economist at the California Institute of Technology. "People whose brains are showing lots of disgust will reject offers."

Professor Camerer says looking inside the brain's "black box" is like looking inside a company. Traditionally, economists treated a company as a largely automatic "production function" that turns labor, capital and resources into output. Over the last several decades, however, many economists have turned their attention to understanding companies' internal workings. Most prominently, "agency theory" examines how companies can be governed to encourage employees (the "agents") to pursue the goals of the owners, rather than their personal agendas.

This research hasn't replaced the production-function approach, but it has enriched economists' understanding of company behavior. Neuroeconomists want to do something similar for how individuals make economic choices.

"Neuroeconomics could be to consumer theory what agency theory is to the production-function approach," Professor Camerer said.

Continued in the Article.


Sharing Accounting Professor of the Week --- Ronald R. Tidd [Ron@RRTIDD.COM] at Central Washington University

Introduction to WebQuests --- http://www.rrtidd.com/WebQuests/Index.htm 

WebQuests- A Brief Description

WebQuests (as developed by Dodge and March) are an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet. WebQuests are not “treasure hunts” in which learners are set loose on the Internet without a clear task in mind or a list of relevant references to start with. Their main goal is to improve learners’ ability to use information, not find information. There are two types of WebQuests:

Short-term WebQuests require no more than three class periods to complete and are designed to help learners acquire and integrate knowledge.

Long-term WebQuests take several weeks to complete and are designed to help learners analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information.

Standard WebQuests consist of five standard components that learners must work with in a sequential process:

Introduction- Introduces learners to the exercise, including the Big Question to be addressed.

Task- Describes what the end result of the exercise will be.

Process- Describes the steps that learners must take to complete the exercise.

Evaluation- Describes how learners' performance will be assessed.

Conclusion- Summarizes what learners will have accomplished after completing the exercise.

I have adapted these steps to reflect the schema commonly used by accounting professionals to organize their research:

Facts- Introduces learners to the subject of the exercise.

Issues- Describes the targeted outcomes of the exercise.

Authorities- Identifies the web-based resources to be used to complete the exercise.

Conclusion- Elicits learner responses to questions about the resources.

I (Ron Tidd) have and continue to develop WebQuests for the following courses:


One of the fastest growing segments of the communication industry is the area of Instant Messaging, where people can set up "buddy lists" on their computer and have real time text conversations with friends or colleagues. The problem until now has been how to capture the corporate benefits of Instant Messaging without spending the resources to ensure the security of the communication. Enter Microsoft. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97256 

You can listen to Amy Dunbar discuss the use of instant messaging in her distance education tax courses at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm#2002 


From Syllabus News on March 4, 2003

Online School Awards Dual Canadian-U.S. eMBAs

Canada’s Lansbridge University, one of the first completely online commercial universities, is launching an executive Master of Business Administration program that will award graduates dual eMBA degrees from Landsbridge and the Nashville, Tenn.-based American Graduate School of Management (AGSM). The eMBA program is designed for managers with at least five years of full-time work experience, including at least two years at a management level. The degree program requires about 18 to 20 hours of study per week, and typically takes two-and-a-half years to complete. AGSM was co-founded in 2000 by Lamar Alexander, a U.S. Senator, former U.S. secretary of education, and former president of the University of Tennessee.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


February 28, 2003 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

STUDENT CITATION BEHAVIOR

A recently-released report of a study conducted at Cornell University, "Effect of the Web on Undergraduate Citation Behavior," indicated that students in the study "generally used fewer and fewer scholarly materials in their library research in the past six years," relying more on websites as research resources. Often faculty find that the links that students cite are "broken," making it impossible to verify the resource. The study pointed out that faculty, in cooperation with library staff, can reverse the trend by providing students with guidelines on the types of scholarly materials that they should use in their research.

The report was published in PORTAL: LIBRARIES AND THE ACADEMY, vol. 3, No 1, January 2003, and is available online to subscribers at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/portal_libraries_and_the_academy/v003/3.1davis.html 

A summarizing article in THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION is freely available at http://chronicle.com/free/2003/02/2003020601t.htm 


THE NEXT MAJOR WAVE OF CHANGE IN U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION

In "The Next Great Wave in American Higher Education" (PLANNING FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, vol. 31, no. 2, 2002-03, pp. 52-59), James Ottavio Castagnera, Associate Vide President for Academic Affairs at Rider University, predicts that the Internet and new media forms will soon cause major changes. "When the shakeout is complete, higher education will not be populated exclusively by e-educators. Nor will the landscape of higher education boast only the largest and wealthiest bricks-and-mortar institutions." Some of the results of the wave that Castagnera believes will occur include partnerships between nonprofit and for-profit institutions, colleges merging to pool resources, and U.S. universities forming international institutional relationships.

The article is available online at http://www.scup.org/phe.htm  under the "Read" links. The direct URL is http://207.75.158.201/PHE/FMPro?-db=PubData.fp5&-lay=VP&-format=read_inner.htm&-error=error.htm&ID=PUB-KzAByWxQ4q4YzKvabn&-Find 

Planning for Higher Education is published quarterly by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). For more information, go to http://www.scup.org/phe.htm 

SCUP, established in 1965, is an association "focused on the promotion, advancement, and application of effective planning in higher education." For more information, contact Society for College and University Planning, 311 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2211 USA; tel: 734-998-7832; fax: 734-998-6532; email: info@scup.org ; Web: http://www.scup.org/ 


LEARNING COMMUNITIES

The theme of the January 2003 issue of SIDEBARS is Learning Communities. Articles and resources cover a wide range of communities of online learners, from informally-organized groups to formal networks of educational institutions. The issue is available at no cost on the Web at http://online.bcit.ca/sidebars/index.htm 

SideBars is distributed by email and on the Web and is published by the Learning Resources Unit of the British Columbia Institute of Technology 
[ http://www.lru.bcit.ca/ ] to provide "useful information and news items for instructors, course developers, educational technologists and anyone else who has an interest in distributed learning in its various manifestations." For more information, contact the editors at email:
sidebars@listserv.bcit.ca . Subscription information: http://online.bcit.ca/sidebars/subcribe.html 


The latest issue of CITE (vol. 2, issue 4, 2003) contains the text of Alfred Bork's lecture, "Interactive Learning," which he presented in 1978 as the American Association of Physics Teachers' Millikan Lecture. In "Interactive Learning: Twenty Years Later" Bork reviews his earlier predictions and reviews the current role of computer in schools today. You can read both the original lecture [ http://www.citejournal.org/vol2/iss4/seminal/article1.cfm ] and his current reflections 
[ http://www.citejournal.org/vol2/iss4/seminal/article2.cfm  ] online.

CITE (Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education) [ISSN: 1528-5804] is a free, online publication of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). It was established as an electronic counterpart of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education and funded by a U.S. Department of Education Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) catalyst grant. For more information, contact: Lynn Bell, Managing Editor of CITE, c/o Center for Technology and Teacher Education, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, 1912 Thomson Road, PO Box 400279, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4279 USA; email: publisher@citejournal.org ; Web: http://www.citejournal.org/ 


"Director MX Versus Flash," by Michael Kay, Webmonkey, January 28, 2003 ---  http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/03/03/index1a.html 

Director, which hit the scene way back in 1988, was always considered the ultimate multimedia authoring tool. Then the Web came along and Shockwave, a format that translated Director projects for the Web, was born. It was pretty wowie in its day (circa 1995), but the size of Shockwave files, along with the browser plugin users needed to see them, really slowed Shockwave down. Enter Flash's SWF format, which was designed solely for the Web so it was faster and easier to use than Shockwave. And the rest is history: Flash is everywhere, and whipper-snapper Web developers are all, "Shockwave who?"

But Shockwave has its uses.

Flash may be better than ever these days, but you can still outgrow it. Say you need better video performance, or you want to create a game or educational tool that uses a joy stick. Or maybe you're looking for the depth of 3D animation. When it comes to interactive projects in the non-Web world (yes, it's true, there is life outside the Web) — such as CD-ROM games, educational materials, reference books, and presentations — sometimes Flash just isn't enough. If you're tackling a big-league, off-Web project, or a particularly intricate website, then perhaps it's time to take another look at Macromedia's Director MX.

To be honest, the last time I paid any serious attention to Director was a good few releases ago. So when I siddled up to the latest version, I brought my old prejudices with me: that it was no longer a serious player, that Flash had passed it by long ago. But Director MX changed my mind.

Director has supported Flash vector content for awhile now, which helps performance, and Director 8.5 introduced real 3D support. Version MX, however, takes multimedia development to a whole new level. With even better Flash integration and a host of new features, Director MX is now the most powerful general interactive tool out there. And when it comes to non-Web projects with fewer file-size limitations, such as a kiosk or CD-ROM, Director is even more compelling.

Shold every Flash developer and Web designer run out and purchase Director MX today? At US$1,199 a pop, I'm not saying that. But if budget allows, and your next project has graduated past the abilities of Flash, Director MX could be the answer. In the pages that follow, I'll go over some of the issues you might want to consider as you contemplate taking the Director plunge

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's document on the history of course authoring technologies can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 


I found this interesting from Syllabus News on February 28, 2003:

Web-Based B2B Textbook Supplier Sales Skyrocket

The Thomson Corp. said sales of college textbooks through its business-to-business Web site, Service Plus, has grown from $10 million to more than $104 million in three years, an increase of almost 1,000 percent. The service provides U.S. college bookstores with round-the-clock online account management tools, title research capabilities and a powerful ordering function. The Web site is designed to handle basic customer inquiries, such as pricing and availability, freeing customer service representatives to handle more complex customer requests. Live chat with a customer service representative is also available. Approximately 36 percent of stores' pricing and availability inquiries were answered through the site in 2002. During the busiest ordering period in 2002 more than 10,500 online order-status inquiries were received.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic commerce can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm 


This includes the academic job market around the world. 
The Internet's largest job listing site sends an e-mail to its users warning about the possibility of identity theft from fake help-wanted ads posted online --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,57852,00.html 

The job sites generally advise users not to give out their social security, credit card or bank account numbers, not to disclose personal information that isn't related to work such as their marital status, and to be particularly careful of prospective employers from outside the country.

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#IdentityTheft 


Hi XXXXX,

Pardon my delay in answering. I have been in Canada all week and am returning to Canada next week on a consulting trip.

I will answer your questions on several levels.

First there is the level of interaction that can be greatly enhanced with distance education relative to face-to-face communications. I have written about this at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#Motivations  
If you want a workshop from one of the best in the business, I suggest that you contact Amy Dunbar at the University of Connecticut. She teaches out of her home using a highly effective and labor intensive Instant Messaging pedagogy. You can read about Amy and listen to a module she did in one of my workshops by going to http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm#2002 

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book01q4.htm#Dunbar 

The University of Maryland's masters of accountancy program is built upon an Instant Messaging pedagogy. Contact Bruce Lubich [blubich@UMUC.EDU

At another level we can discuss trends in hardware and software for better learning. I am a big time advocate of Camtasia --- http://www.techsmith.com/products/studio/default.asp  
My tutorials on Camtasia are at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/Tutorials/ 

At another level, you can focus upon learning with special reference to metacognition and the BAM --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm  
For this type of workshop I recommend Tony Catanach from Villaova.

At another level, you can focus on asynchronous learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm 

Hope this helps.

Bob

-----Original Message----- 
From:  XXXXX
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 2:39 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Re: Nice house, et al.

Hi Bob:

When I last contacted you, I asked if you might be willing to serve as an expert panel member to help me identify educational technologies. I'm at the point now where I need expert guidance.

Given your experience, and I've only been following your work since 1994, so I may have missed something, I wonder what you might think would characterize a highly malleable technology that supports education?

By malleable, I mean something that has many potential uses, perhaps as yet largely unexplored. My best example so far is Excel, and it's pretty lame as an example, being so mundane, but it is a huge technical package that spans usage from statistics, to accounting, to finance, to databases, to production optimization.

I'm curious, given the time you've spent on the topic, what other technologies that support education might be characterized as "malleable?"

Thanks for any help you can provide

XXXXX


From Syllabus News on February 28, 2003:

Online Provider Grows Curriculum to 1,700 Courses

RedVector.com Inc. said its library surpassed 1,700 online courses, double the number of courses it offered 12 months ago. The company works with international subject matter experts to develop online courses for continuing education, certification, and licensing exam preparation. The company specializes in online education for professionals in the engineering, architectural, construction, land surveying, interior design, building inspection, and landscape architecture industries. Its library includes courses on a wide range of subjects from toxic mold to wetlands to project management. The company recently expanded to include areas devoted to online certification courses and online licensing exam prep courses.

You can read the following at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 

One of the fastest growing online training and education sites is RedVector.com --- http://www.redvector.com/default.asp 

RedVector.com (www.RedVector.com) is the global leader in online education for professionals in the engineering, architectural, interior design, construction, land surveying, building inspection and landscape architecture industries. The web site course library includes over 1,700 online courses including continuing education courses, certification courses and licensing exam prep courses, authored by more than 200 exclusive subject matter experts. Courses are designed to meet state board and professional organization requirements. RedVector.com attracts over 500,000 unique visitors from 50 states and 20 countries. The company has been featured on CNN, WallStreetReporter.com and in hundreds of trade magazines, newspapers and industry journals. RedVector.com’s top-rated client services department employs a bilingual staff of full time Account Managers dedicated to helping customers seven (7) days a week.

RedVector.com’s distinct clientele includes individual licensees, as well as Corporations. A few of RedVector.com’s most recent corporate partners include; PBS&J University, URS Corp, The Shaw Group Inc., Earth Tech, TECO Energy, O’Neal, Inc., EDG Inc., Fluor Corporation, The Ren Group, TBE Group, CH2MHill and SSOE, Inc. RedVector handles the full implementation of these programs including setup, tracking reports and scheduled invoicing.

RedVector.com's strong relationships with numerous international professional organizations and universities are also a big draw. Its list of partnerships and affiliations include Indiana State University, Clemson University, Valencia Community College, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Institute of Engineers of Ireland (IEI), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), the National Drilling Association (NDA), the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and Professional Surveyor Magazine. RedVector.com also has an agreement with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

RedVector.com offers numerous FREE client services designed to benefit our customers and add to their learning experience:

RedVector.com's Mission is to provide our customers with the ability to manage their own time by offering quality online education, backed by a commitment to superior customer service.

RedVector.com's Vision is to become the leading Internet resource internationally for online education, information and communication, the essential tools our clients need to be successful in the business world.

Contact:
Brent A. Craven
President and Chief Operating Officer
Two Urban Centre
4890 West Kennedy Boulevard
Suite 530
Tampa, FL 33609
TOLL FREE 1-866-546-1212
Fax: 813-286-7992
International Phone: 001-813-207-0012
International Fax: 001-813-286-7992
Contact Mr. Craven

The LRN Center's business model is to provide legal and ethics training courses online to corporations, law firms, and other organizations who generally pay for employees to take courses in law and ethics.  For example, Dow Chemical contracted with LRN to train 50,000 employees.  LRN has similar contracts with many other corporations around the world.  I learned about the LRN Center from W. Michael Hoffman, the Director of the Bentley College Center for Ethics.  Dr. Hoffman writes course modules for LRN in the field of ethics.  After the recent corporate scandals, LRN's prospects for the future are very bright indeed.

LRN Legal Compliance and Ethics Center (LCEC)™ --- http://www.lrn.com/ 

LRN Legal Compliance and Ethics Center (LCEC)™ is the Web-based system that sets the standard for workplace ethics, legal and compliance education. With innovative technology, a powerful learning management system and a curriculum of more than 140 courses, LCEC offers your enterprise a complete workforce education solution.

Backed by a global network of 1,700 legal experts, LRN®, The Legal Knowledge Company™ offers an integrated legal knowledge management system that encompasses Expert Legal Research and Analysis, LRN KnowledgeBank®, proactive law services and much more. See how LRN is redefining the practice of law with innovation, efficiency and unparalleled expertise.

LRN® , The Legal Knowledge Company TM has been the country's leading purveyor of expert legal knowledge since 1994, with products that include sophisticated legal research and analysis for lawyers, databases of legal memoranda and other materials for corporate law departments and law firms, Web-based ethics and legal compliance education for corporate employees, ethics and compliance consulting, and proactive law services.

The LRN mission is to bring expertise and innovation to the creation, management and dissemination of knowledge that helps make a critical difference to businesses, lawyers and their clients. To accomplish this, LRN has built itself on a firm foundation of expertise. We feature a network of more than 1,700 of the world's finest legal minds, organized into more than 3,000 substantive areas of the law and expertly managed by our own team of highly experienced lawyers. Together, our research network and management team bring expertise to every step in the creation, capture and distribution of legal knowledge products. Our services include:

Successful companies all over the world have grasped the power of LRN's expert-driven approach and used it to their advantage. Contact us to learn about how we can put our resources to work to meet your company's business challenges.

UNext also seems to be adopting the online business training model in a big way.  One of the first major contracts obtained by UNext was a contract to educate and train over 90,000 employees of General Motors Corporation.  You can read more about what is happening at UNext at http://www.unext.com/ 

Thomson Enterprise Learning Takes Cardean University to Large Businesses Worldwide

Exclusive Agreement with Thomson Brings Cardean University's Award-Winning Online Courses and M.B.A. to Large Businesses

American Marketing Association Partners with Cardean University

Special Offer Provides Professional Business Education Online to 38,000 Members

I had two speakers from UNext in my Atlanta workshop last year.  You can listen to their presentation and view their PowerPoint show at  http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001cpe/01start.htm 

 

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


March 10, 2003 message from Barbara Scofield [scofield_b@UTPB.EDU

I have used the trial subscription to www.turnitin.com and was pleased with the report provided.

I understand that each document submitted is added to their database, so it should provide student-to-student checks as well as a check against other sources.

Barbara W. Scofield, PhD, CPA
Coordinator of Graduate Business Studies
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
4901 E. University
Odessa, TX 79762

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

 


Investor Relations Website Design, February 18, 2003 --- http://useit.com/alertbox/20030218.html 
The Nielsen Norman group, conducted a research study to assess user response to information on corporate Web sites.

Investor Relations Website Design

Summary:
Individual investors are intimidated by overly complex IR sites and need simple summaries of financial data. Both individual and professional investors want the company's own story and investment vision.

Investor relations (IR) is one of the "Big Four" standard components of a corporate website (along with public relations, employment, and "About Us"). In the modern world, investors assume that they can go to www.company.com  to research a current or potential investment.

While companies must provide IR information to attract and retain investors, they must also be realistic about the types of content and features that users need most. Simplicity and a coherent story about the company are better than drowning users in incomprehensible data.

For more in-depth study of IR website design, I recommend the work of Gerald Trites --- http://www.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/ 
Jerry will share some of the material he developed for our two most recent workshops on this topic.


March 2, 2003 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET

Results of the Third XBRL International Academic Competition 2002-2003

Congratulations to following teams and many thanks to judges of this year Competition.

Application Development (Undergraduate Team)
Prize winner

Title: South America Unified Market (SAUM)
Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR)
ARGENTINA

Team members:
Daniel Jose Diaz, Javier Rubianes, and Luciano Repetto
Advisor:Professor Jose Luis Pellegrini
 
You may view the project at:
http://www32.brinkster.com/xbrl2003/
user:  SAUM
password :  xbrl2003

Application Development (Graduate Team)
Honorable Mention

Title: InvestWise: Where investment forecasts are just a click away!
Bowling Green State University
USA

Team Members:
Ilya Kruglov (team leader), Faye Lim, Derek Diller, Brenda Wilson, and Sherry Niese
 
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Patricia Essex and Dr. Andreas I. Nicolaou

You may view the project at:
http://personal.bgsu.edu/~ilyak/xbrl
password is xbrl

Application Development (Graduate Team)
Honorable Mention

Title: XRL Reference Tool: US/IAS Correspondence
Emporia State University
USA

Team members:
Melissa Reynolds, Rebecca Chapman, Angela Teter, Bob Reeves, and Jeremy Luby

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Zane Swanson, Dr. Nitham Hindi, Dr. William Remington, and Mr. Adam Benson

You may view the project at:
http://www.adambenson.net
password: hornet
username: xbrl

Sites may not be visible at all times

Please see web.bryant.edu/xbrl  for projects related to the first and second year of the competition.

Saeed Roohani

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#XBRLextended 


Question:
When does a hedge become a speculation? 
 

Answer:
There are essentially two answers.  Answer 1 is that a speculation arises when the hedge is not perfectly effective in covering that which is hedged such as the current value (fair alue hedge) of the hedged item or the hedged cash flow (cash flow hedge).  Testing for hedge ineffectiveness under FAS 133 and IAS 39 rules is very difficult for auditors.  Answer 2 is that a speculation arises when unsuspected credit risk arises from the settlements themselves such as when dealers who brokered hedge derivatives cannot back the defaults all parties contracted under the derivatives themselves.  Hedges may no longer be hedges!  Answer 2 is even more problematic in this particular down economy.

There is a lot of complaining around the world about need for and technicalities of the U.S. FAS 133 and the international IAS 39 standards on Accounting for Financial Instruments Derivatives and Hedging Activities.  But recent scandals adding to the pile of enormous scandals in derivatives over the past two decades suggest an increased  need for more stringent rather than weakened standards for accounting for derivatives.  The main problem lies in valuation of these derivatives coupled with the possibility that what is a safe hedge is really a risky speculation.  A case in point is Newmont Mining Corporation's Yandal Project in Australia as reported by Steve Maich in "Newmont's Hedge Book Bites Back," on  Page IN1 of the March 4, 2003 edition of Canada's Financial Post --- http://www.financialpost.com/ 

Even by the gold industry's relatively aggressive standards, Yandal's derivatives exposure is stunning.  The unit has 3.4 million ounces of gold committed through hedging contracts that had a market value of negative US$288-million at the end of 2002.

That would be a problem for any major producer, but the situation is particularly dire for Yandal because the development's total proven and provable gold reserves are just 2.1 million ounces.  In other words, the project has, through its hedging contracts, committed to sell 60% more gold than it actually has in the ground.

Making matters worse, the mine's counterparties can require Yandal to settle the contracts in cash, before they come due.  In all, about 2.8 million ounces are subject to these cash termination agreements by 2005, which could cost the company US$223.7-million at current market prices.

With insufficient gold to meet its obligations, and just US$58-million in cash to make up the difference, bankruptcy may be the only option available to Yandal, analysts said.

Comparing Yandal's reserves to its hedging liabilities "suggests that the Yandal assets may be worth more dead than alive," CIBC World Markets analyst Barry Cooper said in a report to clients.

All this is raising even bigger questions about the impact that the Yandal situation might have on the industry's other major hedgers.  Companies such as Canada's Barrick Gold Corp. and Placer Dome Ltd. have lagged the sector's strong rally of the past year, largely because many investors and analysts distrust the companies' derivative portfolios.

One thing that is not stressed hard enough in FAS 133 is the credit risk of the dealers themselves.  The FAS 133 standard and its international IAS 39 counterpart implicitly assume that when speculating or hedging with derivatives, the dealers who broker these contracts are highly credit worthy.  For example, in the case of interest rate swaps it is assumed that the dealer that brokers the swap will stand behind the swapping party and counterparty default risks.  There are now some doubts about this in the present weak economy.

"Derivatives Market a 'Time Bomb':  Buffet," Financial Post, March 4, 2003, Page IN1 --- http://www.financialpost.com/ 
Berkshire chairman warns of risks in shareholder letter --- http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html 
(The above link is not yet updated for the Year 2002 forthcoming annual Shareholder Letter.)

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett calls derivative contracts "financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that while now latent are potentially lethal," according to excerpts from his forthcoming annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders.

Mr. Buffett, whose company is now seeking to divest of derivatives business tied to its General Re purchase, also worries that substantial credit risk has become concentrated "in the hands of relatively few derivatives dealers."

"Divided on Derivatives Greenspan:  Buffett at Odds on Risks of the Financial Instruments," by John M. Berry, The Washington Post, March 6, 2003, Page E01 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48287-2003Mar5.html 

The use of derivatives has grown exponentially in recent years. The total value of all unregulated derivatives is estimated to be $127 trillion -- up from $3 trillion 1990. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is the world's largest derivatives trader, with contracts on its books totaling more than $27 trillion. Most of those contracts are designed to offset each other, so the actual amount of bank capital at risk is supposed to be a small fraction of that amount.

Previous efforts to increase federal oversight of the derivatives market have failed, including one during the Clinton administration when the industry, with support from Greenspan and other regulators, beat back an effort by Brooksley Born, the chief futures contracts' regulator. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill to regulate energy derivatives because of her belief that Enron used them to manipulate prices during the California energy crisis, but no immediate congressional action is expected.

Randall Dodd, director of the Derivatives Study Center, a Washington think tank, said both Buffett and Greenspan are right -- unregulated derivatives are essential tools, but also potentially very risky. Dodd believes more oversight is needed to reduce that inherent risk.

"It's a double-edged sword," he said. "Derivatives are extremely useful for risk management, but they also create a host of new risks that expose the entire economy to potential financial market disruptions."

Buffett has no problem with simpler derivatives, such as futures contracts in commodities that are traded on organized exchanges, which are regulated. For instance, a farmer growing corn can protect himself against a drop in prices before he sells his crop by buying a futures contract that would pay off if the price fell. In essence, derivatives are used to spread the risk of loss to someone else who is willing to take it on -- at a price.

Buffett's concern about more complex derivatives has increased since Berkshire Hathaway purchased General Re Corp., a reinsurance company, with a subsidiary that is a derivatives dealer. Buffett and his partner, Charles T. Munger, judged that business "to be too dangerous."

Because many of the subsidiary's derivatives involve long-term commitments, "it will be a great many years before we are totally out of this operation," Buffett wrote in the letter, which was excerpted on the Fortune magazine Web site. The full text of the letter will be available on Berkshire Hathaway's Web site on Saturday. "In fact, the reinsurance and derivatives businesses are similar: Like Hell, both are easy to enter and almost impossible to exit."

One derivatives expert said several of General Re's contracts probably involved credit risk swaps with lenders in which General Re had agreed to pay off a loan if a borrower -- perhaps a telecommunications company -- were to default. In testimony last year, Greenspan singled out the case of telecom companies, which had defaulted on a significant portion of about $1 trillion in loans. The defaults, the Fed chairman said, had strained financial markets, but because much of the risk had been "swapped" to others -- such as insurance companies, hedge funds and pension funds -- the defaults did not cause a wave of financial-institution bankruptcies.

"Many people argue that derivatives reduce systemic problems, in that participants who can't bear certain risks are able to transfer them to stronger hands," Buffett acknowledged. "These people believe that derivatives act to stabilize the economy, facilitate trade and eliminate bumps for individual participants. And, on a micro level, what they say is often true. Indeed, at Berkshire, I sometimes engage in large-scale derivatives transactions in order to facilitate certain investment strategies."

But then Buffett added: "The macro picture is dangerous and getting more so. Large amounts of risk, particularly credit risk, have become concentrated in the hands of relatively few derivatives dealers, who in addition trade extensively with one another. The troubles of one could quickly infect the others. On top of that, these dealers are owed huge amounts by nondealer counterparties," some of whom are linked in such a way that many of them could run into problems simultaneously and set off a cascade of defaults.

March 7, 2003 message from Risk Waters Group [RiskWaters@lb.bcentral.com

Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, today once again defended the use of derivatives as hedging tools, especially credit derivatives. His comments come in the wake of Warren Buffett's criticism of derivatives as "time bombs" and Peter Carr - recipient of Risk's 2003 quant of the year award this week - saying that in a [hypothetical] argument between quants convinced of the infallibility of their models and derivatives sceptics such as Buffett, he would probably side with Buffett.

But Greenspan, speaking at the Banque de France's symposium on monetary policy, economic cycle and financial dynamics in Paris, said derivatives have become indispensable risk management tools for many of the largest corporations. He said the marriage of derivatives and securitisation techniques in the form of synthetic collateralised debt obligations has broadened the range of investors willing to provide credit protection by pooling and unbundling credit risk through the creation of securities that best fit their preferences for risk and return.

This probably explains why credit derivatives employees reap the highest salaries, with an Asian-based managing director in synthetic structuring at a bulge-bracket firm earning an average basic plus bonus of £1.35 million last year. These were the findings of a first-of-its-kind survey conducted by City of London executive search company Napier Scott. The survey found that most managing directors working in credit derivatives at the top investment banks earn more than £1 million, with synthetic structurers commanding the highest salary levels. Asia-based staff earn 12-15% more than their US counterparts, with UK-based staff not far behind their Asia-based counterparts. Even credit derivatives associates with one or two years' experience earn in excess of £150,000 a year on average at a tier-1 bank.

In more people news, Merrill Lynch has hired four ex-Goldman Sachs bankers for its corporate risk management group focused on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Roberto Centeno was hired as a director with responsibility for Iberia. Andrea Anselmetti and Luca Pietrangeli, both directors, and Ernesto Mercadente, an associate, will focus on expanding the corporate risk management and foreign exchange business in the Italian region. The corporate risk management group focuses on providing advice and execution for corporate clients, covering all risk management issues, including foreign exchange, interest rate risk and credit risk. All four will report to Patrick Bauné, co-head of Merrill Lynch's global foreign exchange issuer client group, and Damian Chunilal, head of the EMEA issuer client group, and are expected to join within the next two weeks. Merrill also hired Scott Giardina as a director in credit derivatives trading, based in London. He will report to Jon Pliner, managing director of credit trading EMEA, and Neil Walker, managing director of structured credit trading, EMEA. Giardina also joins from Goldman Sachs.

Christopher Jeffery
Editor, RiskNews

www.risknews.net
cjeffery@riskwaters.com

 

You can read more about credit risk and credit derivatives at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm#C-Terms 

Bob Jensen's threads on derivatives scandals can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#DerivativesFraud 

Bob Jensen's helpers, tutorials, glossary, and instructional cases for FAS 133 and IAS 39 are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 


I frequently make jokes about drinking.  But these two items are not funny!

From Syllabus News on February 25, 2003

Students Spend More Time Inebriated than in Class

More than three-quarters of the 27,900 college students who took a recent online alcohol prevention course indicated that they regularly drink enough alcohol to be under the influence more hours per week than they average in the classroom. The online course, AlcoholEdu, from Outside The Classroom, also found that 78 percent of the students indicated they consumed an average of 9.72 drinks per week during the previous two weeks. That's enough to register discernible blood alcohol content levels for an average of more than 18 hours per week per student -- more than the roughly 15 hours per week spent in class by most college students. Other findings: 23.7 percent said that at least once in the previous two weeks they had attended a class with a hangover; and 18.4 percent said they had experienced memory impairment at some point while they had been drinking at least once in the previous two weeks.

For more information visit: http://www.outsidetheclassroom.com/ 

For comparison purposes (18 hours per week drinking versus six hours per week studying), I call your attention to the following item in my February 12, 2003 edition of New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book03q1.htm#021203 

And high school seniors are increasingly abandoning education for more experience.
A record low of 34.9% of college freshmen report having spent more than six hours per week on homework during their senior year in high school.
Mark Shapiro --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm  (See Below)

The Lake Wobegon Effect --- The Lowest Grade is Now Higher Than the Average Grade
Grade Inflation Trends Among Entering College Students --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm 

The Lake Wobegon Effect - All Our High School Graduates are "Above Average" --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm 

Especially note the graph!!!!


Question:
What accounting office was named  Illinois's Father Friendly Company of the Year:

Answer:
Deloitte & Touche's Chicago office was named Father Friendly Company of the Year by the Illinois Fatherhood Association (IFA) ---  http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97185 

This is remarkable since public accountants have to travel more than most other professionals, and they work tend to average more than 40 hours per week on the job during the busy seasons.


The New Military Industrial Complex To arm for digital-age war, the Pentagon has turned to a new generation of defense contractors. The hardware is impressive. It's also deadly --- http://www.business2.com/articles/mag/0,1640,47023,00.html 


The Seven Deadly Habits of Highly Ineffective Executives, Part 2 The blockbuster management primer, updated for today's grimmer economy (with tongue firmly in cheek and apologies to Stephen R. Covey). http://www.clickz.com/crm/crm_strat/article.php/1587761 


The Cervantes Project (art, art history) --- http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/cervantes/ 


Bob Jensen's response to a question about derivatives in Enron.

Apart from Enron, you may want your class to note the really big financial derivatives instrument scandals documented at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#DerivativesFraud

 

There are two interesting aspects of derivatives in the Enron case.  The first is the heavy use of derivatives (mostly energy futures contracts) in its vast wheeling and dealing in energy trading when the energy market was deregulated.  In the 1990s, Enron made fortunes from its political pipelines. Our beloved Texas Senator Phil Gramm became an Enron pimp (behind the scenes like most pimps).  His wife (Wendy) was in a government position to pave the way for deregulation.  The big political prize was the deregulation of energy pricing (gas and electricity) and deregulation of energy futures trading. There are places where political markers held by Enron were called in big time for billions of dollars.  You can read more about this timeline of energy futures trading events above at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#Farm 

 

The second interesting aspect of derivatives in the Enron case is the use of put options by a “related party.”

What you see below is an actual footnote from Enron’s Year 2000 Ann ual Report.  Note the mention of “put options” with a “related party” who was Enron’s CFO, Andy Fastow.

Do the related party disclosures in the footnote below add value to you when analyzing risk?  Does this tell you that Enron's CFO made over $30 million from his limited partnership that entered into derivatives for Enron?

Footnote 16 from the Year 2000 Enron Ann ual Report  
http://www.enron.com/corp/investors/annuals/2000/ar2000.pdf
 

16.  RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

In 2000 and 1999, Enron entered into transactions with limited partnerships (the Related Party) whose general partner's managing member is a senior office of Enron.  The limited partners of the Related Party are unrelated to Enron.  Management believes that the terms of the transactions with the Related Party were reasonable compared to those which could have been negotiated with unrelated third parties.

In 2000, Enron entered into transactions with the Related Party to hedge certain merchant investments and other assets.  As part of the transactions, Enron (i) contributed to newly-formed entities (the Entities) assets valued at approximately $1.2 billion, including $150 million in Enron notes payable, 3.7 million restricted shares of outstanding Enron common stock and the right to receive up to 18.0 million shares of outstanding Enron common stock in March 2003 (subject to certain conditions) and (ii) transferred to the Entities assets valued at approximately $309 million, including a $50 million note payable and an investment in an entity that indirectly holds warrants convertible into common stock of an Enron equity method investee.  In return, Enron received economic interests in the Entities, $309 million in notes receivable, of which $259 million is recorded at Enron's carryover basis of zero, and a special distribution from the Entities in the form of $1.2 billion in notes receivable, subject to changes in the principal for amounts payable by Enron in connection with the execution of additional derivative instruments.  Cash in these Entities of $172.6 million is invested in Enron demand notes.  In addition, Enron paid $123 million to purchase share-settled options from the Entities on 21.7 million shares of Enron common stock.  The Entities paid Enron $10.7 million to terminate the share-settled options on 14.6 million shares of Enron common stock outstanding.  In late 2000, Enron entered into share-settled collar arrangements with the Entities on 15.4 million shares of Enron common stock.  Such arrangements will be accounted for as equity transactions when settled.

In 2000, Enron entered in derivative transactions with the Entities with a combined notional amount of approximately $2.1 billion to hedge certain merchant investments and other assets.  Enron's notes receivable balance was reduced by $36 million as a result of premiums owed on derivative transactions.  Enron recognized revenues of approximately $500 million related to the subsequent change in the market value of these derivatives, which offset market value changes of certain merchant investments and price risk management activities.  In addition, Enron recognized $44.5 million and $14.1 million of interest income and interest expense, respectively, on the notes receivable from and payable to the Entities.

In 1999, Enron entered into a series of transactions involving a third party and the Related Party.  The effect of the transactions was (i) Enron and the third party amended certain forward contracts to purchase shares of Enron common stock, resulting in Enron having forward contracts to purchase Enron common shares at the market price on that day, (ii) the Related Party received 6.8 million shares of Enron common stock subject to certain restrictions and (iii) Enron received a note receivable, which was repaid in December 1999, and certain financial instruments hedging an investment held by Enron.  Enron recorded the assets received and equity issued at estimated fair value.  In connection with the transactions, the Related Party agreed that the senior officer of Enron would have no pecuniary interest in such Enron common shares and would be restricted from voting on matters related to such shares.  In 2000, Enron and the Related Party entered into an agreement to terminate certain financial instruments that had been entered into during 1999.  In connection with this agreement, Enron received approximately 3.1 million shares of Enron common stock held by the Related Party.  A put option, which was originally entered into in the first quarter of 2000 and gave the Related Party the right to sell shares of Enron common stock to Enron at a strike price of $71.31 per share, was terminated under this agreement.  In return, Enron paid approximately $26.8 million to the Related Party.

In 2000, Enron sold a portion of its dark fiber inventory to the Related Party in exchange for $30 million cash and a $70 million note receivable that was subsequently repaid.  Enron recognized gross margin of $67 million on the sale.

In 2000, the Related Party acquired, through securitizations, approximately $35 million of merchant investments from Enron.  In addition, Enron and the Related Party formed partnerships in which Enron contributed cash and assets and the Related Party contributed $17.5 million in cash.  Subsequently, Enron sold a portion of its interest in the partnership through securitizations.  See Note 3.  Also Enron contributed a put option to a trust in which the Related Party and Whitewing hold equity and debt interests.  At December 31, 2000 , the fair value of the put option was a $36 million loss to Enron.

In 1999, the Related Party acquired approximately $371 million of merchant assets and investments and other assets from Enron.  Enron recognized pre-tax gains of approximately $16 million related to these transactions.  The Related Party also entered into an agreement to acquire Enron's interests in an unconsolidated equity affiliate for approximately $34 million.


Hi David,

One of Andersen's big knowledge bases was the ARM! You can discover where it went later on in this message. I think other knowledge bases and training courses have been sold off or are still being used in St Charles. The last thing I heard from Art Wyatt (when I shared a platform with him in October courtesy of Virginia Tech) was that Andersen is still running the St Charles training facility under contract (with the principal client being Accenture for reasons that are probably obvious). Some of Andersen's executive partners are now running the show in St Charles, for a while least.

I copied the following from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm  

Arthur Andersen's Accounting Research Manager (after a free 30-day trial, the cost is over $2,000 per year for a single user) --- http://www.arm.arthurandersen.com  Academic pricing is not mentioned at the Web site, but some universities might possibly negotiate lower pricing. Accounting Research ManagerTM is a comprehensive financial reporting knowledgebase that provides materials designed to help solve your most pressings issues. Continually updated, it is the most timely, complete, interpretive resource for your financial reporting needs.

January 22, 2003 message from Cynthia Arias [cynthia.arias@aspenpublishers.com

Hello Bob -

I previously worked with Arthur Andersen on the Accounting Research Manager product, and transitioned to Aspen Publishers who acquired the product and operations from the firm. I noticed on your site, you have a reference to Accounting Research Manager, which we greatly appreciate, however, may we request a change in name to refer to the product as Aspen Publishers' Accounting Research Manager? with a link to www.arm.aspenpublishers.com ?

I appreciate your input! Thank you so much for your help. 

Cindy Arias
GAAP. International GAAP. Knowledge Gap?
Accounting Research Manager. Your financial reporting solution.
www.arm.aspenpublishers.com 

February 27, 2003 message from David Fordham

-----Original Message----- From: David R. Fordham [mailto:fordhadr@JMU.EDU] Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2003 8:29 AM To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Where are the archives?

With the liquidation of Andersen's offices, furniture and other assets, I have to ask the question, where are the archives going?

Andersen (and all audit firms) are great repositories of information. Much of this information is going to be very, very useful to future auditors, --both in terms of performing audits on former Andersen clients, as well as in advancing the field of accounting and auditing at large. (Future accounting and auditing researchers may find this information collection to be of incalculable value.)

So where is this information going to be stored, catalogued, and retrieved?

Imagine this: a hospital patient dies under suspicious circumstances. The relatives sue the hospital, and the hospital goes out of business. As part of the liquidation, all of the patient records are ... (?) destroyed? Discarded? For all patients!?!

Regardless of whether the patient died from hospital negligence or from murder by a jilted lover, I can't imagine the hospital's records (of all its patients) simply being put in the trash bin. But that may be what's happening at Andersen as I write this.

I would think that academics should be in the forefront of the clamor to preserve information, even if solely for the altruistic purpose of posterity. Many useful discoveries have been made by historians poring over old data. Indeed, data mining was taught in my Ph.D. program as a legitimate pursuit, even if for little more than entertainment value. Sure, privacy and confidentiality may lock up the data for 90 years, like the census records. But at least the data isn't gone forever.

The call for preservation of knowledge should be even more raucous if others among the "final four" go belly-up under the satanic assaults from lawyers. I would think that historians would gag if they knew the extent of the knowledge contained in the audit firms' files and which will be gone forever if someone doesn't act soon...

Perhaps my thinking is clouded. (Hey, what if the weather bureau threw out their records?)

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

February 27, 2003 reply from Davidson, Dee (Dawn) [dgd@MARSHALL.USC.EDU

Hi Bob and Others Regarding ARM: We had tried to get that resource last year and are trying again now in our search for AICPA Issue Papers.

Here are the results of my search for the AICPA Issues Papers. Basically, they're not readily available in a searchable format. I telephoned and emailed 5 people at AICPA, including the Accounting Standards board director Dan Noll. The AICPA librarian Susan Bolmer responded and said there are only 2 places where Issues Papers can be found, and one of those is the ARM and the other is the AICAP library which is now housed at Univ of Miss.

I contacted the librarian at Univ of Miss. She answered: Only AICPA members and other universities are able to use the resources. We have a copy charge of $10 to 20 (depending on the length of the material copied) and a fax fee of $5.

I'm now following up with Aspen Publishers about getting a 30-day trial package of Accounting Research Manager. At $2900 per user, I want to be sure the full content of the papers is included before we buy (we probably won't). However, last year I was denied a 30-day trial while it was still owned by A Andersen. They didn't allow any academic use, for faculty or students, even for 30 days and denied us the right to purchase the product for faculty use only.

It's interesting that the Issues Papers are part of the GAAP hierarchy, but are not easily accessible even for AICPA members' use.

CPA's are required to make GAAP decisions. Is it o.k. that they can't find resources that are referenced in the GAAP hierarchy? How can we teach students about doing GAAP research and making decisions with information in Issues Papers? How are you all teaching this?

dee davidson 
Accounting Systems Specialist 
Marshall School of Business 
Leventhal School of Accounting 
University of Southern California 213.740.5018
dee.davidson@marshall.usc.edu 


How to find a home for sale --- http://www.realtor.com/default.asp?hm=on&poe=realtor 


Coffin Nails: The Tobacco Controversy in the 19th Century (Health, History) --- http://tobacco.harpweek.com/ 


Locks, Docks and Beyond (History, Geography, Transportation, Business) --- http://www.locksdocks.com/ 


Black Facts Online (History, Literature, Art History, Culture, Sociology) ---  http://www.blackfacts.com/ 


"Tablet PCs: An Overnight Sensation After just three months, it's quickly becoming clear that the new technology is gaining wider acceptance than even Microsoft expected," Business Week Online, February 26, 2003 --- http://snurl.com/Tablets 

When Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates unveiled Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in November, 2002, he predicted that in five years, tablet PCs will be the most popular type of personal computer. Author Amy Tan and actor Rob Lowe raved about how the tablet gets their creative juices flowing: Lowe reads and marks up movie scripts on his tablet, and Tan draws pictures and jots down ideas for her novels. But analysts remained unconvinced. Market researcher Gartner forecasted in November that by the end of 2004, only a measly 3% of all notebooks purchased will be tablet PCs.

After just three months, though, analysts are reworking their estimates -- higher. While new numbers should be released in the next several weeks, the anecdotal evidence speaks clearly. Tablets -- full-powered computers built inside portable touch-sensitive screens that can be scribbled on with a digital pen -- are flying off the shelves. Best Buy (BBY ), which has been selling Toshiba's Portégé 3500 tablet through its Web site since November, is sold out, says Kevin Winneroski, the retailer's director for mobile computers.

In the next month, Best Buy will start offering tablets from several other manufacturers as well. And it also plans to start selling the Toshiba model at its brick-and-mortar stores, Winneroski says. In December, Toshiba had to ramp up its tablet production by 35% after a month's supply disappeared in two weeks.

NO-CLICK NOTE-TAKING. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ), whose $1,699 Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 is one of the lower-price tablets now available, has exhausted its demo packs as corporations flock to evaluate the product, says Ted Clark, vice-president for tablet PCs and handhelds. HP just received an order for 1,000 tablets, he says.

While it will likely take a year to two for the tablets to enter the mainstream, it's already obvious that Gates & Co. has scored a hit. Users love the ability tablets offer to take notes, make sketches, and circle and underline text with a digital pen. They're a noiseless alternative to clicking on a keyboard during meetings or lectures. And, unlike paper notes, the electronic files can't be as easily lost.

Continued in the article.


Egypt Daily.com (Arabic news, travel guides) --- http://www.egyptdaily.com/ 


MasterCard, Visa, American Express and the banks that issue credit cards don't do enough to protect merchants and consumers from the perils of fraud, reports analyst firm Gartner --- http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,57823,00.html 

The credit card industry focuses too much on reducing its own fraud costs and not enough on protecting consumers.

That's the central claim in a new report from research firm Gartner that slams credit card companies for failing to notify consumers when credit card records are compromised by malicious hackers.

The report notes that while credit card companies' "zero-liability" policies protect card holders from paying for unauthorized or fraudulent charges, they do not protect consumers from identity theft and the credit report hell that can follow.

Avivah Litan, Gartner vice president and the report's co-author, said when security breaches happen, banks that issue credit cards seldom notify consumers.

"The issuers claim they don't really know if a card was compromised after a merchant or transaction processing firm reports a problem, so they wait to see whether a consumer reports fraud against his or her card," Litan said.

"Of course the fact that closing potentially compromised accounts and providing consumers with new cards costs the issuer about $35 per card is also a factor here. So the card issuers take a calculated risk that compromised cards won't be used fraudulently."

On Feb. 18, Visa, MasterCard and American Express confirmed that a malicious hacker had gotten access to 8 million credit card records through Data Processors International, a company that processes credit card transactions for mail order and online businesses.

The credit card companies quickly issued statements saying none of the stolen card-holder information was used fraudulently, and that all card-issuing banks had been alerted to the problem.

According to Litan, the card issuers have tagged the accounts believed to have been compromised in the theft, and will watch them for a period of time, typically three to six months, for possible fraudulent use.

"Based on a standard margin of error, I wouldn't be surprised to see 5 percent of those stolen cards compromised even while they are on the watch list," Litan said. "The only way to ensure that the cards will never be fraudulently used is to issue new cards to all 8 million users."

Consumer rights groups agreed that credit card companies should notify card holders about potential problems, and should at least offer the option of replacement cards if account records have been illegally accessed.

"Credit card issuers and other creditors should be required to let customers know immediately if they believe that their account information has been compromised," said Susan Grant, director of the National Fraud Information Center. "As it is now, it's hard for consumers to know exactly how security breaches happen or assess whether the companies who have their information have taken adequate steps to safeguard it."

"Credit card companies have a rocky road ahead of them," said Linda Sherry of Consumer Action in San Francisco. "Consumers are getting increasingly worried and angry about how their personal information is being used and protected. I wouldn't be surprised to see the federal government step in soon."

Continued in the article.

The Gartner Report is at http://www3.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?doc_cd=113282 

Event

On 18 February 2003, Visa, MasterCard and American Express confirmed that a computer hacker had recently accessed 8 million credit card records, including 2.2 million MasterCard accounts and 3.4 million Visa accounts. The hacker targeted Data Processors International, a merchant processor that mainly processes catalog and other card-not-present transactions. The card associations began to notify their member institutions in early February 2003. The card companies said that none of the information accessed was used fraudulently and that all card issuing banks were alerted. But fraud could potentially occur later on using these compromised records.


First Take

Although zero-liability policies protect card holders from paying for unauthorized or fraudulent charges, they do not protect consumers from identity theft and credit report nightmares that can follow. Seven percent of online adult consumers surveyed by Gartner in September 2002 reported being victimized by credit card fraud, and 1 percent reported having their identity stolen. However, since stolen credit card data makes stealing identities easy, Gartner believes identity theft will affect substantially more than 1 percent of this population. The credit card industry has focused too much on reducing its fraud costs and not enough on protecting consumer information.

Up to now, no one had much incentive to address the problem. Card issuers seldom notify consumers about hacking incidents they learn about through merchants or processors. The issuers claim they don't really know if a card was compromised, so they wait to see whether a consumer reports fraud against the card. Giving consumers replacement cards costs the issuer about $35 each. When fraud occurs in a physical store, the issuer bears the cost, but the merchant bears the cost of fraud for Internet, telephone and mail orders. If the present case follows typical patterns, the card associations will probably fine the processor whose site was hacked or possibly just issue a stiff warning.

However, rising levels of identity theft and consumer anger will lead to onerous legislation unless credit card companies move aggressively. Indeed, a recent California law (SB 1386) will require any company that sells to California citizens (just about every online merchant) to notify consumers. Accordingly, Gartner recommends:

  • Card companies should enforce requirements that all online credit card databases use encryption or other methods to ensure they aren't compromised.
  • Card companies should improve the vulnerability scanning of their online merchants and processors to find weaknesses before attackers do.
  • Card issuers should immediately inform consumers when their card information has been compromised so that they can try to protect themselves against identity theft by notifying credit bureaus and monitoring their own credit reports to catch problems early.

Analytical Sources: Avivah Litan and John Pescatore, Gartner Research

Recommended Reading and Related Research

(You may need to sign in or be a Gartner client to access all of this content.)

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


Library Porn Filter Law Hits High Court --- http://dc.internet.com/news/article.php/2084861 

Court Nixes Child Net Porn Law --- http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,57956,00.html 


AncientMexico.com (History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Mexico) --- http://www.ancientmexico.com/ 


Online Etymology Dictionary (Science) http://www.etymonline.com/ 


"AN OPEN-SOURCE OPENING FOR APPLE 
With Microsoft buying Virtual PC, which lets Macs run Windows wares, Apple's independence may well rest with programs such as Bochs," Business Week Online, February 26, 2003 --- http://snurl.com/v3i 


Spy Tools --- http://locate-unlisted-phone-numbers.com/ 
(I really don't know how legitimate this outfit really and make no endorsements of its services)

Find and Trace:

Unlisted Numbers

Cell Phone Numbers & Codes

E-mail Addresses

Protect Privacy:

Anonymous Surfing

Anonymous E-mail

Erase Your Tracks

Monitor Your PC

See the Pictures Your Kids, Mate or Employees Viewed Days, Weeks or Months Ago

See the Web Sites They Visit While Your Not Around

Find Hidden and Alternate Screen Names People May be Using to "Play" Online

The Best Spyware Stopper --- http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/20941.html

After years of worrying about viruses and trojans, users have a new nemesis: spyware. This term refers to any program that distributes information from a user's computer without that user's knowledge.

To be sure, most of this software is more annoying than harmful. However, as Jamie Garrison, co-owner of Aluria Software, which produces the spyware stopper, put it, "Some spyware can ruin your life. It's that invasive."

So, what can a user do to avoid the onslaught of underhanded tracking programs?


The Spyware Menace

Garrison said the most pressing issue related to spyware is that people do not take it seriously enough. Part of the problem is awareness. Many people are only now finding out about spyware. "Few users are aware that everything they do on the Net or even while not connected to the Internet can be tracked," Ken Lloyd, lead developer at Aluria, told NewsFactor.

After all, spyware can range from a stealthy program that runs in the background, transmitting your surfing habits to a company for marketing purposes, to keylogging software installed by a spouse to monitor communications.

"Well over 85 percent of people have spyware on their computer," Lloyd said.

Programs That Fight It

Gartner analyst Richard Stiennon told NewsFactor that while antivirus products from companies like McAfee and Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC)  can be used to detect spyware, the user is also an important ingredient in stopping spyware. He or she must recognize spyware programs -- and know enough to remove them -- when they are detected.

Of course, most users do not know much about spyware. Stiennon recommended that users get a desktop firewall program that blocks unwanted outgoing connections. Then, even if spyware is running, it will be unable to connect to a server  to transmit information.

One personal firewall, ZoneAlarm, can make sure spyware cannot communicate with the outside world. According to Fred Felman, vice president of marketing at Zone Labs, ZoneAlarm "shuts down Internet connectivity instead of losing control of the system" when an unauthorized application tries to send information from a user's PC. Felman told NewsFactor that ZoneAlarm allows users to specify which programs are allowed to send and receive data over the network. Users even can restrict programs to certain ports or domains.

And in addition to antivirus vendors and personal firewalls, a number of companies like Aluria make spyware detection and removal software.

Arms Race

Even when a person recognizes spyware on his or her computer, removing it may be tricky business. According to Garrison, some spyware manages to "embed" itself into the software Windows uses to provide TCP/IP (Internet networking) services. She said that removing such spyware "actually removes your Internet connection. It's fixable, but it's a real pain."

This makes sense, considering that malware authors are always trying to stay one step ahead of users and spyware stoppers. The latest rash of annoyware consists of programs that send pop-ups to instant messaging  programs like MSN Messenger. Even more irritating, many of those pop-ups simply inform users that they are vulnerable to unwanted messages.

And it gets worse: Stiennon said that programs being sold to block this plague of IM pop-ups are scams, too. "Just go into the admin functions in the control panel [and do it yourself]," he said, noting that the program vendors are taking advantage of people who do not know they can turn off the function by themselves.

The Perils of Free

In fact, according to Garrison, most spyware is installed by users voluntarily, even if they do not know it. She blames free products like Grokster and Kazaa  for piggybacking spyware onto users' computers, though she noted that it is all disclosed in the fine print. "Here's the really dirty part of it. Let's say you go out and download a free program. It's almost certainly going to have spyware.... Very rarely does spyware get on your computer without your consent."

So, what is the solution? "Stop using free products... Don't download it if it's free."

Lloyd agreed. "The latest trend for software companies is to give their software away for free. By doing this they bundle ad software within it. They usually tell the customer in the EULA (end user license agreement) ... that some additional ad-tracking software will be installed, but they bury it so deep that the average person has no idea.

Continued in the article.

 


The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval --- http://ciir.cs.umass.edu/ 

The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, a National Science Foundation-created S/IUCRC Center, is one of the leading information retrieval research labs in the world. The CIIR develops tools that provide effective and efficient access to large, heterogeneous, distributed, text and multimedia databases.

CIIR accomplishments include significant research advances in the areas of distributed information retrieval, information filtering, topic detection, multimedia indexing and retrieval, document image processing, terabyte collections, data mining, summarization, resource discovery, interfaces and visualization, and cross-lingual information retrieval.

The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval continues to support the emerging information infrastructure for the next century, both through research and technology transfer. The goal of the CIIR is to develop tools that provide effective and efficient access to large, heterogeneous, distributed, text and multimedia databases.


"SIMPLY ACCOUNTING: SIMPLY A BETTER BUY 
Intuit QuickBooks is brimming with financial planning features, but the lower-priced Simply Accounting is a worthy rival," Business Week Online, February 26, 2003 --- http://snurl.com/SimplyAccounting 


Lost Labor (American History, Business, Labor) --- http://www.lostlabor.com/ 


Baseball Library (History, Recreation, Athletics, Sports) --- http://www.pubdim.net/baseballlibrary/ 


Run the USA.com (Travel, Health) --- http://www.runtheusa.com/ 

Vagabonding (Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Africa.) --- http://www.vagabonding.com/ 

Bob Jensen's travel bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#Travel 


March 1, 2003 message from James L. Morrison [morrison@unc.edu

INSIDE THE TECHNOLOGY SOURCE

Editor James Morrison interviews Carole Barone, vice president of EDUCAUSE and director of the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, about her vision for creating new, technology-infused learning environments to meet the challenges that face educators. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1046 )

As higher education institutions respond to the technology revolution, the importance of realistic planning becomes paramount for long-term success. James Penrod, chief information officer at the University of Memphis, discusses the role of the CIO within higher education and provides a valuable road map for educational leaders formulating technology initiatives on their campuses. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1030 )

Leslie Hitch (Northeastern University) and Pamela MacBrayne (Collegis) acknowledge the positive effects of IT initiatives on teaching and learning. They argue, however, that complementary support services receive inadequate attention. Hitch and MacBrayne propose the ultimate support resource: a central call center where the staff would maintain automated services and respond to individual queries with highly personalized assistance 24/7/365. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1016 )

Bob Moul, an SCT executive, calls for an end to IT infrastructures dominated by disparate, non-integrated systems. He argues that applications that support course registration, tuition payment, access to grades and records, student services, and online learning should be designed so that data received in one area will be updated automatically in all other areas. While acknowledging the potential problems of a unified digital campus, Moul touts its advantages: reduced student inconvenience, reduced administrative labor, and a better institution-constituent relationship. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1058 )

Holly Blackford, assistant professor of English at Rutgers, describes the problems she encountered while teaching an online children’s literature class within a continuing education program. Blackford comments on the challenges unique to online humanities courses and proposes ways to promote greater communication, collaboration, and continuity in the e-learning process. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=971 )

Phillip Clark and Laurence Shatkin, independent consultants, comment on the growing need for programs that help professionals measure their current skills as assets and make strategic decisions about how to expand their competencies. Higher education would be a valuable vehicle for lifelong learning, the authors argue, if its resources included a comprehensive online database of specific learning tools, job skills, and course offerings all described by a common language of competency standards. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1064 )

The early planning stages of online instruction are crucial. Diane Chapman (North Carolina State University) and Todd Nicolet (UNC-Chapel Hill) describe the "project approach" to course development: a formal, team-based operation that makes use of consistent standards, trackable processes, standardized tools, and structured communication to facilitate technology initiatives. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1027 )

In his spotlight site review, Stephen Downes introduces Technology Source readers to elearnspace: a Web site designed to support the innovative use of information technology in online instruction, particularly at the grassroots level. (See http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=2002 )

 




Don't You Wish We Were All Tater People? --- http://www.talltexian.com/TallTexiansThisnThat/id27.htm 


Auntie Bev forwarded this musical warning about the dangers of drinking beer --- http://members.aol.com/matt999h/beer.htm 


Ole and Lena joke forwarded by my Norwegian relative, Barb Hessel.

To those in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and for that matter the rest of the country, I must report the sad news that Ole was SHOT. He was up by the Canadian border on his 4-wheeler cutting some trees, when some rangers looking for terrorists spotted him. According to the news reports, using a loudspeaker, they shouted to him, "Who are you and what are you doing?" 

Ole shouted back, "OLE..... BIN LOGGIN'!" 

Ole is survived by his wife, Lena and Lena's good friend, Lars.


A new take on Medicare fraud.  Forwarded by Auntie Bev.

  A Florida couple, both age 78, went to a sex therapist's office. The doctor asked, "What can I do for you?"

  The man said, "We are not sure we are doing things right. Will you watch us have sex?"

  The doctor looked puzzled, but agreed. When the couple finished, the doctor said, "There's nothing wrong with the way you have sex," and charged them $50.

  This happened several weeks in a row. The couple would make an appointment, have sex with no problems, pay the doctor, and then leave.

  Finally the doctor asked, "Just exactly what are you trying to find ut?"

The old man said, "We're not trying to find out anything.  She's married and we can't go to her house. I'm married and we can't go to my house.

 The Holiday Inn charges $90. This Hilton charges $108.

 We do it here for $50, and I get $43 back from Medicare.


Forwarded by Dr. Digiovani

Two men crashed in their private plane on a South Pacific Island.

Both survived. One of the men brushed himself off and then proceeded to run all over the island to see if they had any chance of survival. When he returned, he rushed up to the other man and screamed, "This island is uninhabited, there is no food, there is no water. We are going to die!"

The other man leaned back against the fuselage of the wrecked plane, folded his arms and responded, "No we're not. I make over $250,000 per week."

The first man grabbed his friend and shook him. "Listen, we are on an uninhabited island. There is no food, no water. We are going to die!"

The other man, unruffled, again responded. "No I make over $250,000 per week."

Mystified, the first man, taken aback with such an answer again repeated, "For the last time, I'm telling you we ARE doomed ! There is NO one else on this island. There is No food. There is NO water. We are, I repeat, we are going to die a slow death."

Still unfazed, the first man looked the other in the eyes and said, "Do not make me say this again. I make over $250,000 per week.--- I tithe. 
MY PASTOR WILL FIND US!"


Forwarded by Dr. Digiovani

A woman's husband died and left her $20,000.   After the funeral, she tells her closest friend that there is no money left. 

 The friend says, "How can that be?   You told me he had $20,000  just days before he died.

The widow says, "Well, the funeral cost me $6,000.   And of course, I  had to make the obligatory donation to the church, so that was another $2,000.  The rest went to the memorial stone,"

The friend says, "$12,000 for the memorial stone?   How big was it?"

The widow says, "Three carats."


Forwarded by Dr. Digiovani

A little child in church for the first time watched as the ushers passed the offering plates. When they neared the pew where he sat, the youngster piped up so that everyone could hear: "Don't pay for me Daddy, I'm under five."

A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?" "Sixteen," the boy responded. His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly. "How do you know that?" "Easy," the little boy said. "All you have to do is add it up, like the Bishop said: 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer."

After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up." "That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?"Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."

A 6-year-old was overheard reciting the Lord's Prayer at a church service: "And forgive us our trash passes, as we forgive those who passed trash against us."

A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. "How do you know what to say?" he asked. "Why, God tells me," the father replied.  "Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"

After the christening of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I want to stay with you guys!"

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

The Sunday School Teacher asks, "Now, Johnny, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?" "No sir," little Johnny replies, "I don't have to. My Mom is a good cook."

A college drama group presented a play in which one character would stand on a trap door and announce, "I descend into hell!" A stagehand below would then pull a rope, the trapdoor would open, and the character would plunge through. The play was well received. One day the actor playing the part became ill, and another actor who was quite overweight took his place. When the new actor announced, "I descend into hell!" the stagehand pulled the rope, and the actor began his plunge, but became hopelessly stuck. No amount of tugging on the rope could make him descend. One student in the balcony jumped up and yelled: "Hallelujah! Hell is full!"

Pastor Dave Charlton tells us, "After a worship service at First Baptist Church in Newcastle, Kentucky, a mother with a fidgety seven-year old boy told how she finally got her son to sit still and be quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, "if you don't be quiet, Pastor Charlton is going to lose his place and will have to start his sermon all over again!' It worked."

A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again. Finally she spoke up, "Grandpa, did God make you?">"Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago." "Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?" "Yes, indeed, honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago." Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God's getting better at it, isn't he?"

May the Lord keep you in the shadow of His wing.


Forwarded by Debbie Bowling

If you have one of these, you may need help understanding
the commands. The TEXAS EDITION may be recognized by the unique opening screen. It reads: WINDERS 2000, with a background picture of Willie Nelson superimposed on a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Please also note:

The Recycle Bin is labeled "Outhouse"
My Computer is called "This Dern Contraption"
Dial Up Networking is called "Good Ol' Boys"
Control Panel is known as "The Dashboard"
Hard Drive is referred to as "4-Wheel Drive"
Floppies are "Them little ol' plastic thangs"
Instead of an error message, "Duct Tape" pops up

Tiperiter.....................a word processing program
Colerin' Book........... .a graphics program
Cyferin' Mersheen......calculator
Outhouse Paper.........notepad
Inner-net.................. .Microsoft explorer 5.0
Pitchers......................a graphics viewer


Forwarded by Debbie Bowling

Brain Cramps
Can you say DUH!?


Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,"
Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss
USA contest.

``````````````````````````````````
"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids
all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
Mariah Carey

````````````
"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life,"
Brooke Shields, during an interview to become Spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

`````````````````````````````````````````````````
"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,"
Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
`````````````````````````````````````````````

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in
the country,"
Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.
`````````````````````````````
"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the President."
Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.
````````````````````````````````````````````````````

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it,"

A congressional candidate in Texas.
````````````````````````````
"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them.
There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."
John Wayne
```````````
"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark
``````````````````````````````````
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in
our air and water that are doing it."
Al Gore, Vice President
```````````````````
"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
Dan Quayle

``````````
" It's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or
another"
George Bush, US President
``````````````````````

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
Lee Iacocca
```````````
"I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the
truth. I assisted in furthering that version."

Colonel Oliver North, from his Iran-Contra testimony.
`````````````````````````````````````````
"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like
Norman Einstein."

Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback &sports analyst.

````````````````````````````````````````````
"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of
people."
Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.
`````````````````````````````````
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
Bill Clinton, President
``````````````````

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
Al Gore, VP
``````````
"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."
Keppel Enderbery
```````````````
"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
Department of Social Services,
Greenville, South Carolina
````````````````````````````````````````````

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they
go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the
next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record."
Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman
````````````````````````


The Biggest Liars in New Zealand

An Australian ventriloquist visiting New Zealand walks into a small town and sees a local sitting on his porch patting his dog.

Ventriloquist: "Hey, good looking dog, mate. Mind if I speak to him?"

New Zealander: "The dog doesn't talk, you stupid Aussie."

Ventriloquist: "Hey dog, how's it going old mate?"

Dog: "Doin' all right."

The New Zealander is shocked!

Ventriloquist: "Is this Kiwi your owner?"

Dog: "Yep."

Ventriloquist: "How does he treat you?"

Dog: "Real good. He walks me twice a day, feeds me great food, and takes me to the lake once a week to play."

The New Zealander can't believe his ears!

Ventriloquist: "Mind if I talk to your horse?"

New Zealander: "The horse doesn't talk."

Ventriloquist: "Hey horse, how's it going?"

Horse: "No worries."

The New Zealander's mouth is agape.

Ventriloquist: "Is this your owner?"

Horse: "Yep."

Ventriloquist: "How's he treat you?"

Horse: "Pretty good, thanks for asking. He rides me regularly, brushes me down often, and keeps me in the barn to protect me from the elements."

The New Zealander is TOTALLY amazed!

Ventriloquist: "Mind if I talk to your sheep?"

New Zealander: "The sheep's a liar."


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah... on her 70+ birthday.

Maya really is a marvel who has led quite an interesting and exciting life. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting."

Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring everyday...like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried.

She is such a simple and honest woman...with so much wisdom in her words. Because of that, I share this....

By Maya Angelou

When I was in my younger days, I weighed a few pounds less, I needn't hold my tummy in to wear a belted dress. But now that I am older, I've set my body free;

There's the comfort of elastic where once my waist would be. Inventor of those high-heeled shoes my feet have not forgiven; I have to wear a nine now, but used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose -- they're sized by weight, you see, So how come when I put them on the crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses as the print's been getting smaller; And it wasn't very long ago I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to gray and my skin no longer fits, On the inside, I'm the same old me, it's the outside's changed a bit.

But, on a positive note... I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.


Hint:  "Phault" rhymes with "Fault."

Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing. The flight attendant came on the intercom and said "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking, but I'm here to tell you that it wasn't the Airlines' fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt. 


She Was Soooooooooooooo Blonde...

She thought a quarterback was a refund. 
She thought General Motors was in the army. 
She thought Meow Mix was a CD for cats. 
She thought Boyz II Men was a day care center. 
At the bottom of an application where it says "sign here," she wrote "Sagittarius.".

She Was Soooooooooooooo Blonde...

She took the ruler to bed to see how long she slept.
She sent me a fax with a stamp on it. 
She thought Eartha Kitt was a set of garden tools. 
She thought TuPac Shakur was a Jewish holiday. 
Under "education" on her job application, she put "Hooked On Phonics".

She Was Soooooooooooooo Blonde...

She tripped over a cordless phone. 
She spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said, "Concentrate". 
She told me to meet her at the corner of "WALK" and "DON'T WALK." 
She asked for a price check at the Dollar Store. S
he tried to put M&M's in alphabetical order.

She Was Soooooooooooooo Blonde...

She studied for a blood test. 
She thought she needed a token to get on "Soul Train." 
She sold the car for gas money. 
When she missed the 44 bus, she took the 22 bus twice instead. 
When she went to the airport and saw a sign that said, "Airport Left," she turned around and went home.

She Was Soooooooooooooo Blonde...

When she heard that 90% of all crimes occur around the home, she moved. 
She thinks Taco Bell is the Mexican phone company. 
She thought if she spoke her mind, she'd be speechless. 
She thought that she could not use her AM radio in the evening. 
She had a shirt that said "TGIF," which she thought stood for "This Goes In Front" .


Forwarded by Bob Overn

Two tourist groups, one made up of all blondes and one of all brunettes, charter a double-decker bus for a weekend in Vegas. The brunettes ride on the first level of the bus and the blondes ride on the top level.

The brunettes down below are whooping it up and having a great time when one of them realizes she doesn't hear anything form the blondes upstairs. She decides to go up and investigate.

When the brunette reaches the top, she finds all the blondes frozen in fear, staring straight ahead at the road and clutching the seats in front of them.

The brunette says, "What's going on up here? We're having a great time downstairs!"

One of the blondes says, "Yeah, but you've got a driver!"


Forwarded by an old guy named Denny Beresford

Some people who receive this message won't understand a word of it. Others will be able to explain and laugh at every little detail.  The only difference between NOT understanding and understanding EVERYTHING  is your age.  You decide "how old you really are" 

Enjoy or be forever lost!!!!

 ******************************************************
 My Dad was cleaning out my grandmother's house and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of
 holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea.  She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have steam irons.
 Man, I am old.
 ******************************************************
 OLDER THAN DIRT
 How Many Do You Remember??

 Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
 Ignition switches on the dashboard.
 Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
 Real ice boxes [Ask your Mom about that].
 Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
 Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
 Using hand signal for cars without turn signals.

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

 Older Than Dirt Quiz. Count all the ones that you remember,
 NOT the ones you were told about! And NO fudging! Ratings at the bottom.

 01.. Blackjack chewing gum
 02. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
 03. Candy cigarettes
 04. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottle
 05. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes
 06.  Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
 07.  Party lines
 08.  Newsreels before the movie
 09.  P.F.  Flyers
 10. Butch wax
 11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix Capital 4-4374 (CA4-  4374 or 744-4374)
 12.  Peashooters
 13.  Howdy Doody
 14.  45 RPM records
 15.  S&H Green Stamps
 16.  Hi-fi's
 17.  Metal ice trays with lever
 18.  Mimeograph paper
 19.  Blue flashbulb
 20.  Packards
 21.   Roller skate keys
 22.  Cork popguns
 23.  Drive-ins
 24. Studebakers
 25.  Wash tub wringers.

 If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
 If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
 If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age
 If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!


Forwarded by Dick Haar

You know the world is going crazy when... 
the best rapper is a white guy, 
the best golfer is a black guy, and 
Germany doesn't want to go to war.


Quotations Forwarded by Auntie Bev

"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes." ---Mark Twain

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --- General George S. Patton

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --Norman Schwartzkopf

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." ---- Marge Simpson

"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure" ---Jacques Chirac, President of France
"As far as France is concerned, you're right." ---Rush Limbaugh,

"The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." --- Regis Philbin

"The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know." --- P.J O'Rourke (1989)

You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it." ---John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona

"You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He IS French, people." --Conan O'Brien

"I don't know why people are surprised that France won't help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get the Germans out of France!" ---Jay Leno

"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag." --David Letterman

Q. How many Frenchmen does it take to change a light bulb? A. One. He holds the bulb and all of Europe revolves around him.

Next time there's a war in Europe, the loser has to keep France.


But on the other side of the coin we read the following:

The Jackson Progressive --- http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/ 

Viva La France

2/21/2003 -- The French may be uppity; they may be exasperating; they may seem perverse; worst of all, at least in the eyes of the court-appointed Bush administration, they refuse to follow orders. We think the French are right. The French and the Germans have injected sanity into the Security Council debates and may have provided the breathing space for the movement against the war to gain some real traction. Click here.

The Monist Library of Philosophy --- http://monist.buffalo.edu/ToC/library_contents.html 

Many current developments in American academic life - multiculturalism, `political correctness', the growth of critical theory, rhetoric and hermeneutics, the crisis of scholarship in many humanities departments - have been closely associated with, and indeed in part inspired by, the ideas of European philosophers such as Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, and others. In Europe itself, in contrast, the influence of these philosophers is restricted to a small coterie, and their ideas have certainly contributed to none of the wide-raging social and institutional changes we are currently witnessing in some corners of American academia.

Upstream --- http://www.mugu.com/cgi-bin/Upstream/Issues/education/eur-phil-aq-rev.html 

Now, as Willard writes, social causation is a slippery topic. But few readers of Academic Questions will dispute his claim that the chief fact about higher education in late twentieth-century America is that the university is no longer organized about the pursuit of knowledge but, on the student side, merely the granting of certificates. Nor was it always thus. A quotation from the French philosopher, Lyotard, taken from his report to the Conseil des Universites de Quebec, supports Willard's claim that for faculty what now counts is no longer knowledge that generates a consensus among those competent to make such judgments, but, rather, novelty that generates discourse. Willard defines knowing as to think of things as they really are and not as they appear to be and to do so on an appropriate basis of thought or experience. Universities today are concerned with something called "research": "[T] he way things have developed it often seems you could have research going on . . . without involving knowledge at all. . . . Truth sounds like dogmatism. It threatens self-expression, which is perhaps the primary right and value in contemporary America" (5, emphasis in original).


And no matter how we side in the current crisis of whether to go to war over weapons of mass destruction, the leaders of our most powerful nations are demonstrating bold leadership in the face of devastating political and cultural opposition.  It would be far more politically astute for President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to call off their willingness to spill blood at this juncture in an effort to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.  It would be far more politically astute for Jacques Cirac and his Chinese and Russian counterparts to compromise in a genuine effort to halt the pending war than to stand on principle that makes the U.N. impotent in preventing the war.  Each side is polarized on the key issue of what will prevent the most ultimate spilling of blood.  This makes this a most dangerous juncture in the course of history and the future of life on earth.  What is clear is that we are fighting each other rather than fighting the real problems of life on earth.  It is a sad day on March 15, 2003.  There are no jokes in this matter.




And that's the way it was on March 15, 2003 with a little help from my friends.

 

I highly recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor) --- www.FinanceProfessor.com 

 

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

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 
I also like SmartPros at http://www.smartpros.com/ 

 

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

 

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

 

The Finance Professor --- http://www.financeprofessor.com/about/aboutFP.html 

 

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

 

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

 

Click on www.syllabus.com/radio/index.asp for a complete list of interviews with established leaders, creative thinkers and education technology experts in higher education from around the country.

 

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

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February 28, 2003

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on February 28, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
 


Quotes of the Week

I like the road of any kind, 
for they intrigue me still.
I wonder what's around the bend,
or just beyond the hill.

Rachel Harnett (Age 95), Tucumcari Literary Review, Los Angeles

Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing.
 From the September 30, 1859 Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society.
Forwarded by Damian Gadal

A spate of recent hack attacks on America Online --- which hackers say are a regular thing --- underscores the popular online service's feeble security. It's a detail AOL's 35 million users don't hear much about 
Christopher Null, Wired News, February 21, 2003 --- http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,57753,00.html 

Happiness is a marvelous thing: the more you give, the more you are left with.
Blaise Pascal

If you find offense where none was intended, you are a fool. If you find offense where offense was intended, you are a fool.
Spencer Kimball (as forwarded by David Fordham)

The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is sex for money costs less.
Brendan Francis

Ignorance is closer to the truth than a priori knowledge.
Diderot Denis

Europe's military muscle has grown soft in part because so much money is spent on pay and benefits that there isn't enough left for the technology, weapons and other gear that modern forces need.
Phillip Shiskin, The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045087925290850423,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fpageone%5Fhs 

In the David Fincher suspense movie, The Game, Michael Douglas undergoes a terrifying series of life-or-death adventures that may, or may not, be staged by a Wink Back-like company called Consumer Recreation Services. As projects like Supafly and L3 grow in number, the existential doubt that was at the heart of that movie—is this real or is this immersive media?—is likely to become increasingly commonplace. The next time you see a strange street sign in your neighborhood, it might just be a prop in someone else's entertainment, and the next Google search results page you pull down might contain a link to a node in the L3 universe. That's the thing about games without frontiers. You never really know when you're playing.
Steven Johnson, "Geeks Without Borders" --- http://slate.msn.com/id/2078579/ 

Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.
Clive Barnes

Rich Kids Have Affirmative Action
Most universities acknowledge favoring alumni kids. But to attract new donors, colleges are also bending admissions standards to make space for children who hail from rich or influential families without ties to the institutions.
Daniel Golden, The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045691857478139943,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fpageone%5Fhs 

The Eastern U.S. may be digging out from the worst snowstorm in years, but up in Alaska people are out playing golf. In the Last Frontier State, it's the winter that wasn't.
The Wall Street Journal, February
20, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045693581405195343,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fmarketplace%5Fhs 
But if you plan to go up to Alaska for a game of golf, take a flash light with extra batteries.

It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
Charles Dickens

My son tells me about a nightmare he had: There is an announcement that we have to protect ourselves by duct taping ourselves into a safe room in our home because of the release of biological agents into the atmosphere. We're moving quickly, collecting our cats, hamsters, food, savings bonds, and water. As directed, I turn off the central air and heat and put a note on our front door stating there are people taped inside. My husband and son carefully tape over the vents and windows in our chosen room. We're safe. We seal ourselves in. We were prepared. We will survive. Then my son takes his paperback copy of A Tale of Two Cities from his back pocket to continue reading and realizes he forgot to bring his highlighters before we taped ourselves in.
Felice Prager --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-21-03.htm 

DARWIN MAY HAVE BEEN ALL WRONG ABOUT SEX: 
Researchers and theorists in the evolution of sexual behavior have begun to challenge Darwin's theory of sexual selection. At the 2003 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers presented papers on topics from the multiple, social roles of gender to fish that change sex.
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/report/news/2003/february19/aaassocialselection219.html 

A Czech distraught over financial losses in the notorious Nigerian 419 e-mail scam kills a diplomat at the Nigerian Embassy in Prague --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57760,00.html 
Bob Jensen's threads on the Nigerian-style frauds can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#ThingsToKnow 


Erika and I are moving on June 10, 2003 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm 

Once again I remind folks that the activist "Bob Jensen" at the University of Texas in Austin is a different person than the "Bob Jensen" at Trinity University in San Antonio --- http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=6055 




A draft of my February 28, 2003 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud022803.htm
(The above document also includes updates on tax frauds, scams, identity theft, and similar updates.)

Demand for Public Accountants Is Rising, Experts Say --- http://www.smartpros.com/x37056.xml 

STARTING SALARIES FOR ACCOUNTING GRADS UP ON LAST YEAR --- http://accountingeducation.com/news/news3788.html

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. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/95611

  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

"Second Six: Ready to Step Up?" CFO.com --- http://www.cfo.com/specialreport/0,5487,564||A,00.html 

As contributing editor Ed Zwirn reveals in his article ''The Second Six: Ready to Step Up?'', the demise of Andersen and the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley have not been an unqualified blessing for those firms that remain. And in ''Same Straw, Smaller Back,'' Zwirn notes how new regulatory burdens that fall heavily on smaller companies (the usual Group B clients) may persuade many of them to go private.

Amex hit by card break-in, too  Discover also likely victim; 8 million accounts placed at risk --- http://www.msnbc.com/news/874307.asp 

The reviews of Intuit's TurboTax 2002 are in and users are giving the perennially popular income tax software two thumbs down. At issue is C-Dilla software, commonly known as spyware, which Intuit installed to stop illegal copying of TurboTax. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97136 

LANDMARK GOVERNMENT REPORTING MODEL ISSUED IN CANADA 
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants' (CICA) Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) has released a new Government Reporting Model that will see federal, provincial and territorial governments move to a full accrual system of accounting and a more comprehensive set of financial statements that places less emphasis on the annual surplus or deficit number ---  http://accountingeducation.com/news/news3755.html 

AICPA PUBLISHES CRITICAL GUIDANCE FOR LITIGATION AND BUSINESS VALUATION SPECIALISTS 
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has announced two new publications for CPAs who provide business valuation and litigation services: Valuation Toolkit for Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 141 and SFAS No. 142 and Special Report 02-01, Litigation Services and Applicable Professional Standards (AICPA Product Code No. 055297) ---  http://accountingeducation.com/news/news3739.html 

The New Hampshire Society of CPAs has a rather nice service providing abstracts of articles of interest to accountants --- http://www.nhscpa.org/May2002News/enews.htm 

OTHER USA NEWS AT ACCOUNTINGEDUCATION.COM --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/ 




Click on the top of the photo of a cup of coffee to hear some great wake up music 
http://www.castlemountains.net/flashmar/A_Cup_Of_Joy.swf 

Stunning Photo of Jet Breaking the Sound Barrier 
http://rense.com/general8/boom.htm 

Playing with Time (Incredible Animation) --- http://www.playingwithtime.org/

Playing With Time is an exciting, new project that looks at how the world around you is changing over many different time periods. The project consists of two major parts: this web site and a traveling museum exhibit. The site is being developed by Red Hill Studios. The exhibit is a collaboration between Red Hill and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Here at the Playing With Time web site, unseen worlds of change will be revealed. You will see time sped up and slowed down, and behold the beauty of change. Time will be in your hands to witness, replay, and even create. You never know... you might not look at things quite the same way again.

PhotoLondon (Art History, Photographs) --- http://www.photolondon.org.uk/ 

London's libraries, museums and archives possess a treasure house of modern and historic photographs of London. The photoLondon website exists to highlight and promote these collections. The site also provides background information on photography in London. The five important public collections named to the right founded this site (view their pages by clicking on an individual name or select the Photo Gallery.) We have begun to include details of many more London libraries, museums and archives on the site. Click on the Associate Members link to view contact details, collection information and in some cases, a sample image. The latest additions to the site are Michael Pritchard's 'Directory of London photographers 1841-1908' and the photoLondon Survey of London's public collections of photographs. Click on the links to the left to view these valuable resources.


US News Education Rankings and Guides --- http://www.usnews.com/usnews/rankguide/rghome.htm 

America's Best Colleges --- http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankindex_brief.php 

Best Graduate Schools 2003
Use our rankings, articles, and interactive tools to compare programs in business, law, engineering, medicine, education, and more.

Best Values 2003
Get the most for your money at these great schools with great prices.

US News listing of online (eLearning, E-Learning) accredited graduate programs --- http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/elearning/directory/gradonline.htm 

Online business degree programs:
      Regionally and professionally accredited
      Regionally accredited only

Online education degree programs:
      Regionally accredited only

Online engineering degree programs:
      Regionally accredited only

Online library science degree programs (Web exclusive!):
      Regionally and professionally accredited
      Regionally accredited only

Online public health degree programs (Web exclusive!):
      Regionally and professionally accredited
      Regionally accredited only 


How you can shorten virtually any URL!

Suppose you have such a long URL to place in an email message that it really messes up the looks of the message.

In addition the recipient may not be able to click on the text-wrapped link and have it work properly.

So what's a poor guy to do who wants to send you a long URL such as the one shown below? http://online.wsj.com/login?URI=%2Farticle%2F0%2C%2CSB1026084613164978760%2C00.html%3Fmod%3Dhome_whats_news_us 

Instead of pasting in such a long URL, I can simply paste in the following short URL shown below"

http://snurl.com/WSJbob 

Both links lead to the same WSJ site, but one is short and neat. The other one is long and cluttered.

So how did I get the shortened version?

  1. I copied the long URL to my computer's clipboard. 
  2. Then I navigated to the SnipURL site at http://snipurl.com/index.php  
  3. I pasted the long URL into the box in the above site. 
  4. I then got the short URL --- http://snurl.com/WSJbob 
  5. I copied it to the clipboard.
  6. I pasted it into this document.

Now I can paste the short URL into any email message or any Web document instead of having to use the long URL. For me, the primary advantage will be to use it in email messages where the long URL will wrap into more than one line of text.

When adding links to "Sharing Accounting Professors" below, I found that Professor Hanna at the University of Chicago has an extremely long URL.
http://gsbportal.uchicago.edu/portal/gateway/gateway.asp?GID=202&CID=202&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fgsbwebapp%2Euchicago%2Eedu%2Ffsp%2Fgadget%2Ffaculty%5Fdsc%2Ecgi%3Fweb%5Falias%3Djdouglas%252Ehanna 
However, when I put it into the SnipURl box, I received a message that a shortened link had already been created by someone else.  That shortened link was reported to me at http://snurl.com/Hanna 
Hence, someone else beat me to finding a shorter link to Professor Hanna's home page.

The downside as far as I can tell arises if the SnipURL server goes out of existence when the long URL link is not yet a broken link. The short link will then be broken and the long link will not be recorded in your document. Hence, I think this is mostly useful for short-term email messages rather than long-term documents at your Web site.

Thank you Jerry Turner for telling me about the useful SnipURL site at http://snipurl.com/index.php 

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jerry L. Turner [mailto:jturner1@memphis.edu]  
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 12:08 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: Snurl

Bob: You've probably run across this before, but it is a neat little site to cut those long URLs down so they don't wrap in emails.

http://snipurl.com/index.php 

Might be useful on the AECM. I use it frequently for my classes and it works very well.

Jerry T.

Jerry L. Turner, Ph.D., CPA, CIA 
Assistant Professor School of Accountancy 
ogelman College of Business and Economics 
The University of Memphis 
Memphis, TN 38152 


Download.com is a great helper site (especially for MP3 audio conversions) --- http://download.com.com/2001-20-0.html?legacy=cnet 

MP3 & Audio
MP3 Search, CD Burners, Players, New releases...

Internet
Tools, WebFerret, Chat, Browsers, New releases...

Games
Action, Strategy, Casino, Arcade, New releases...

Business
E-mail, Taxes, Finance, New releases...

Mobile
Palm OS, Pocket PC, Cell phone, New releases...
Multimedia & Design
Video, Image Editing, Animation, New releases...

Web Developer
HTML Editors, Site Management, New releases...

Software Developer
Tools & Editors, Java, ActiveX, New releases...

Utilities & Drivers
Drivers, Antivirus, File Compression, New releases...

Home & Desktop
Screensavers, Wallpaper, Themes, New releases...

Downloads for  Windows  |  Mac  |  Linux  |  Palm  &  Handhelds

 


Selected Quotations (with permission) from a Message Sent by Amy Dunbar Following Her Participation in the AAA's New Faculty Consortium

 The New Faculty Consortium was great! My slides are at  www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/nfc/dunbar.ppt  . You popped  up several times during the presentation. I sent the link to  the new faculty because I did some work on course loads by  doing a survey of the new faculty who attended (N = 72). I  also discussed the low research productivity of the people  who earned their PhDs in 1989, my year (Demski's 2000  Accounting Horizons paper)

. . . .

During the presentation, I  showed how I used technology, including showing a couple of  student videos. All in all, I think the session went well.  I know I had an incredibly good time. The New Faculty  Consortium was well organized, thanks to EY and the AAA NFC  committee. All the presenters were incredible. Have you ever  seen Charles Lee present? Oh, my gosh! Incredible. Mark  Nelson did the close, and he was spectacular. To  be around such talented people is so uplifting and energizing.

You can listen to Amy Dunbar at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm#2002 


Question
How can old guys like me stay hip?

Answer:
Study the
Hipster Handbook at http://www.hipsterhandbook.com/ 

Hipster - One who possesses tastes, social attitudes, and opinions deemed cool by the cool. (Note: it is no longer recommended that one use the term "cool"; a Hipster would instead say "deck.") The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream. A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat.

Jensen will never make it down to that 2% body fat. And he likes too many mainstream things. (Sigh!)


How can petroleum industry accounting be improved?  Some ideas from PwC --- http://www.pwc.com/images/gx/eng/about/ind/petro/drilling_deeper.pdf 

Bob Jensen's threads on valuation are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm 
Especially note http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm#References 


February 15, 2003 message from Carol King [caking@TEMPLE.EDU

Respondus has exam software for Blackboard, WebCt and others. I am just now trying it out --- http://www.respondus.com/ 

Carol King z
Temple University

Bob Jensen's threads on examination helpers and assessments are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#Examinations 


Forwarded by Aaron Konstam on February 25, 2003

WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY, a virtual institution, was granted regional accreditation on Tuesday by a group of four accrediting agencies. Officials at the university believe this will legitimize distance education and competency-based education in the eyes of other institutions. --> SEE http://chronicle.com/free/2003/02/2003022601t.htm 

The WGU home page is at http://www.wgu.edu 

WGU has had a long and hard struggle getting accreditation because it is so non-traditional.  The most important thing to note is that WGU is competency based and non-traditional even though major colleges and universities are providing the learning materials --- http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/academics/understanding.html 

Unlike traditional universities that are typically credit-based, WGU is a competency-based institution. Competencies are nothing more than skills or knowledge identified by professionals in a particular field as being essential for mastery of that field.

The benefit of this competency-based system is that it makes it possible for you -- if you are already knowledgeable about a particular subject -- to make progress toward completing a WGU degree even if you lack college experience. WGU recognizes that you may have gained skills and knowledge on the job, through years of life experience, or by taking a course on a particular subject. This competency-based system does not use credits in awarding degrees. Instead, students demonstrate their knowledge or skills through assessments.

However, if you have completed college coursework at another institution, you may have your transcripts evaluated and may be able to have some associate-level domains cleared. Please use the links on this page to learn more about WGU's competency-based education for postsecondary degrees.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


Is it any surprise why some of our students strive to be accepted into a fraternity?

"Lots of CEOs are Fraternity Brothers," San Antonio Express News, February 27, 2003, Page 2E.

If you want to be a chief executive or politician when you grow up, consider joining a fraternity in college.

Forty-two percent of U.S. senators and 40% of Spreme Court Justices belonged to a frat.  So did a quarter of the CEOs of the biggest companies in America, including billionaire Warren Buffett, Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton and Sanford Weill, the Citigroup leader.

When I was in a fraternity, it was considered very bad taste to call a fraternity a "frat."  This is akin to calling San Francisco the dreaded nickname "Frisco."  In both cases, using those nicknames immediately classifies you as a lowlife.


The very sad February 26, 2003 message from Fathom

Dear Fathom member,

We're sorry to announce that Fathom will be ceasing business operations at the end of March. We do appreciate the support we've received from you and from our partner institutions since we launched the site in November 2000.

As of March 3, Fathom will no longer take enrollments in online courses, and we will modify the look of the site to reflect that change. We encourage you to make use of the free content on Fathom through the end of March, and to contact Fathom Customer Support should you have any questions or problems with the site. After March 31, we will post on wwww.fathom.com any plans at that time to archive the wealth of free content on Fathom for online research and other educational purposes.

We are deeply grateful to the countless experts who have contributed articles, interviews, lectures, and more for the benefit of lifelong learners worldwide. Fathom's distinguished consortium of 14 educational, cultural, and research institutions will be exploring new ways to collaborate and develop online learning materials, and we hope that you will look to these institutions for other educational opportunities in the future.

If you are currently enrolled in an online course or free seminar with Fathom, you will receive a follow-up message with details on how to continue accessing your course(s). You may also receive a survey asking if you would like to be connected with any of Fathom's partners in the future if you have indicated such an interest in past communications with us. Rest assured that we will always honor our Privacy Policy and will not share your information without your explicit consent.

We appreciate your support of Fathom and wish you all the best.

Sincerely, The Fathom Team

* Columbia University 
* The London School of Economics and Political Science 
* Cambridge University Press * The British Library 
* The New York Public Library 
* The University of Chicago 
* University of Michigan 
* American Film Institute 
* RAND 
* Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
* Victoria and Albert Museum 
* Science Museum 
* The Natural History Museum 
* The British Museum

I doubt that the Fathom site will continue as I view it today at http://www.fathom.com/ 

One of the really neat ideas that never came about at Fathom were the ideas about "knowledge trails" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 
The idea was to track knowledge over interdisciplinary trails so that compartmentalized knowledge bases are interlinked.  How sad it is that this grand idea could not be fulfilled by Fathom.

My hat is off to all developers of Fathom.  They had grand ideas ahead of their time!!!!!


"Project-Based Learning: a Primer," by Gwen Solomon, Technology and Learning, January 2003 --- http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2003/01/project.html 

When students are challenged to get to work solving real-life problems, the whole world becomes a classroom. Here we offer a guide for getting started.

Walk into team teachers Mike Smith and David Ross's interdisciplinary classroom at Napa New Technology High School in California and you will see students at work-writing in online journals, doing research on the Internet, meeting in groups to plan and create Web sites and digital media presentations, and evaluating their peers for collaboration and presentation skills. This setting and these types of activities have a name and a purpose. It's called project-based learning, and it's designed to engage students and empower them with responsibility for their own education in ways unheard of in traditional classrooms.

What is Project-Based Learning?

In project-based learning, students work in groups to solve challenging problems that are authentic, curriculum-based, and often interdisciplinary. Learners decide how to approach a problem and what activities to pursue. They gather information from a variety of sources and synthesize, analyze, and derive knowledge from it. Their learning is inherently valuable because it's connected to something real and involves adult skills such as collaboration and reflection. At the end, students demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge and are judged by how much they've learned and how well they communicate it. Throughout this process, the teacher's role is to guide and advise, rather than to direct and manage, student work.

Continued at http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2003/01/project.html  


Learners do no need as much reality built into simulations as is commonly believed.
How Much Reality Does Simulation Need?  by Phillip D. Long, Syllabus, February 2003, Page 6 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7255 

Today's students are immersed in a world of images that draw them into multi-sensory experiences. These are often provided by various entertainment genres, from video games (individual or multi-user) to movies. Young people and old find the engagement compelling, which has lead to the burgeoning gaming industry and laments from the English faculty about the deterioration of linear narrative.

Developments in computer graphics have brought a new realism to video games, movies, and simulations. Blending reality with a suspension of physical constraints made possible by computer simulation has given rise to characters such as Spiderman, who swings by a thread through the canyons of Manhattan. We perceive that experience unfolding as "real." Now, while we certainly remember these scenes from the cinema, if the same computational power were applied to learning would the impact be as powerful?

Chris Dede at Harvard has been studying the impact of adding multi-sensory perceptual information to aid students struggling to understand complex scientific models. He and his colleagues have built virtual environments such as NewtonWorld and MaxwellWorld to test how they affect learning. Providing experiences that leverage human pattern recognition capabilities in three-dimensional space (e.g., shifting among various frames-of-reference and points-of-view) also extends the perceptual nature of visualization.

Their work has concentrated on middle school students who have not scored well on standardized tests of scientific understanding. Among the questions they are investigating is what the motivational impact that graphical multi-user simulation environments have on learning. These environments include some or all of the following characteristics: 3-D representations; multiple perspectives and frames-of-reference; multi-modal interface; simultaneous visual, auditory, and haptic feedback; and interactive experiences unavailable in the real world such as seeing through objects, flying like Superman, and teleporting.

What have they found? With careful design, the characteristics of multi-dimensional virtual environments can interact to create a deep sense of motivation and concentration, thus helping students to master complex, abstract material.

This might suggest that the more realistic the virtual environment becomes the better the learning. Maybe. Of course, these technology-infused approaches to learning are the modern day version of John Dewey's assertion that students learn by doing. Translated into today's computer-enhanced learning environment, the rich perceptual cues and multi-modal feedback (e.g., visual, auditory, and haptic) that are provided to students in virtual environments enable an easier transfer of simulation-based training to real-world skills (Dede, C., Salzman, M.C.; Loftin, R. B.; and Sprague, D., 1999).

Continued at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7255  

Bob Jensen's threads on visualization of data are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpVisual/000DataVisualization.htm 


"Principles for Building Success in Online Education, by Jacqueline Moloney and Steven Tello, Syllabus, February 2003, pp. 15-17 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7252 

As higher education adminstrators, we faced numerous challenges beginning in 1996 when we launched our online efforts at UMass-Lowell. Which courses or programs to migrate, what faculty to involve, and which platform to use are just a few of the many complex decisions that institutions must confront in building online programs. To help others, we've created a rubric that covers five strategic areas of decision making:

A set of four operating principles that evolved with the success of our program exist as important guides:

Principles in Action
Consistent with the principles above, UMass-Lowell's online education program started very small, with a handful of pioneering faculty. Like many public universities, we were trying to identify new markets that could bring needed revenues to the campus and expand access to our programs. Therefore, the online program was initiated through the Division of Continuing, Corporate and Distance Education (CCDE) to address those campus needs. As a self-supporting organization, CCDE was to identify strategies that would generate sufficient revenues to cover program development and delivery costs. Working through decisions by employing the principles previously outlined, we were able to overcome the obstacles that often inhibit the growth of online education.

The online program at UMass-Lowell now offers six full degree programs and enrolls approximately 6,000 per year. It is one of the largest online programs in New England and is a major contributor to UMassOnline, the University of Massachusetts system-wide effort to provide online education. The program at Lowell is entirely self-supporting and returns significant revenues to the campus that seed continuous growth. Below, we examine some of our formative decisions in the five strategic areas, and consider the operating principles that guided our choices.

Selection of Courses and Programs
Continued at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7252  

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


Good versus Bad Web Page Designs in Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#WebPageDesign


February 19, 2003 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Smartdraw - http://www.smartdraw.com/   - is an excellent choice for auditing and AIS classes. The trial is 30 days - long enough for students to use and learn the basics of flowcharting. I have a Flash animated tutorial on document flowcharting at:

www.VirtualPublishing.NET/flash.htm 

Richard J. Campbell

February 20 reply from George Durler [Durlerge@ESUMAIL.EMPORIA.EDU

I used SmartDraw in the past but I like a product called Chartist from Novagraph is much better.

Chartist is also available for a 30 day free evaluation at http://www.novagraph.com/ 

George

Dr. M. George Durler 
Assistant Professor of Accounting 
Campus Box 57 Emporia State University 
1200 N. Commercial Emporia, KS  66801

durlerge@emporia.edu
 
http://www.emporia.edu/~durlerge/
 

Note from Bob Jensen:  Professor Durler has a nice links page at http://www.emporia.edu/~durlerge/links.htm 


February 20, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

I have had excellent luck with plain old Word. I'm mildly surprised there are flowcharting packages still out there, although I applaud the stamina and courage of MS competition.

Some might not be aware that Word comes with a full palette of flowcharting tools, including a few that are too technical even for us AIS geeks.

To get to the flowcharting capability in Word, move your mouse into a blank area in the menu bar at the top of your window. Right click to get a list of toolbars. Click on "Drawing". That will put a drawing toolbar in your window. On the drawing toolbar, click on the "Autoshapes" drop-down arrow, and select "Flowchart".

To create a flowchart, click a shape on the Flowchart Autoshapes toolbox, then go to your document and in the drawing area, drag your mouse across the area where you want the symbol to be.

You can right-click on the drawing area to resize it. Once you place a symbol on your flowchart, right-click the symbol and select "format autoshape". You can color them, change the line weight and color, and even add fill effects such as shadowing and textures, etc.

The XP version of Word has 28 flowchart symbols, whereas my old green plastic IBM template has only 21!

By using other shapes on the Autoshapes menu you can add professional-looking arrows, call-out boxes, pillows and clouds for comments, stars, banners, special lines, etc. You can group shapes, move them to the front or back to let them overlap, and do all sorts of other magic.

All of this comes standard with Word. I used to have my students use the free sample from Visio, but now, I just show them how to get started in Word, and they do the rest. Flowcharting used to take up two or three days of my systems class, including samples, etc. a dozen years ago. Now it takes up about fifteen minutes, including a walk-through. And the quality of the student submissions and assignments has gone way up, too.

I give my students a reference page of what the symbols mean and how to use them. See:

http://cob2.jmu.edu/fordham/flowchart.pdf 

There are all kinds of "Easter Eggs" like this hidden in modern MS Office packages that can save time and money.

(Yes, I know that SmartDraw and Visio are much more powerful than Word drawing. But for my purposes, Word can handle most of what my students need to do...)

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

February 20, 2003 reply from Roberta (Bobbi) Jones [roajones@CALPOLY.EDU

All, Word is OK but it doesn't have "connectors". I use Excel or PowerPoint, both of which have "connectors" that move and change as you shift around the outher symbols. Everything that is available in Word is available in the other two programs as well. 

Cheers, 

Bj

February 20, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

My version of Word DOES have connectors. They are on a different toolset than the flowcharting symbols, but still on the Autoshapes toolbar and just a click away. They stay connected as I move the symbols around on the page, just as they do in Excel and PowerPoint.

In fact, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word flowcharting seems to work identically, at least in the XP versions. I can’t tell any difference. If these products follow the typical “office” protocol, they are all three probably using the same underlying “kernel” code to do their drawing, including flowcharting. Just a guess…

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

February 20, 2003 reply from Barbara Scofield [scofield_b@UTPB.EDU

My favorite flowcharting software is rfflow ( www.rff.com ) and the advantage of creating the charts on an underlying grid, having labels formatted at the same time as shapes, and moving items with all of the arrows remaining attached is a great timesaver. Plus it has an option that generates html /gif pages for immediate linkage to my website.

There is a free trial.

Barbara W. Scofield, PhD, CPA 
Coordinator of Graduate Business Studies 
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 
4901 E. University Odessa, TX 79762

Bob Jensen's brief summary of technology resources for faculty can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm#Resources 


"Consolidation In The Accounting Software Industy: Two Perspectives," by Scott H. Cytron, AccountingSoftware.com --- http://www.as411.com/AcctSoftware.nsf/00/TIS22003246 

Bob Jensen's links to accounting software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#Software 


February 19, 2003 message from Paul Polinski [pwp3@PO.CWRU.EDU

I recently came across a link to an online article of some interest. Its title, "Why Nerds Aren't Popular," only touches the surface of the article's content. It advances an interesting socio-economic argument surrounding "nerds" and popularity, but also presents a critical view of how school systems contribute to the current equilibrium. Implications for addressing the current trend of bad study habits aren't directly addressed, but flow indirectly from the article. Here's the link:

http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html 

Paul Polinski (a self-selecting studier - sounds better than "nerd")
Assistant Professor
Case Western Reserve University

February 20, 2003 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

If the objective is to draw pretty pictures, anything would do, even paintbrush or paintshop pro or visio. There are many problems with this approach:

- lack of uniformity and ad-hocness of symbols

- lack of semantics of symbols

- lack of facility for integration with systems development

While using simplistic tools is ok for class projects, good documentation is facilitated by standard ways of modeling systems.

It is precisely to alleviate the above deficiencies that standards were developed for diagramming. Some diagramming standards are:

- Federal Information Processing Standard for Functional Modeling,

derived from the Structured Analysis and Design Technique (SADT)

http://www.uwp.edu/academic/mis/baldwin/idef.htm

- Object Management Data Group Standard for Objects.

http://www.odmg.org/

- Object Management Group Standard Uniform Modeling Language (UML)

http://www.omg.org/uml/

These standards have made uniformity of representations possible, and made it possible to decument systems parsimoniously by rich semantics of the diagramming objects.

CASE tools based on such standards include:

Rational Rose

http://www.rational.com/index.jsp?SMSESSION=NO

Together Control Center http://industry.java.sun.com/solutions/products/by_product/0,2348,all-3730-99,00.html

For a list of tools, see http://www.cs.queensu.ca/Software-Engineering/tools.html

While one can draw models any way one wants, if they are to be used in communications (say, between members of audit or systems development teams) and in construction of software, it is important to pick tools that are standardised.

Jagdish

Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor (j.gangolly@albany.edu)  
Accounting & Law and Management Science & Information Systems 
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222.


IS ERP DEAD? (February 13, 2003)

"The IT industry likes to play a ghoulish parlor game every few quarters or so, pounding nails into the coffin of a languishing software or hardware category and casting it into oblivion."

So the current debate within the enterprise software industry seems to be focused on whether or not ERP is dead. The answer unfortunately is not that clear. If you talk to David Schmaier, Siebel executive vice president of products, he claims ERP is dead and will be dead for at least the next five years. On the other hand if you speak with CEO Larry Ellison of Oracle he will tell you that Mr. Schmaier's comments are rediculous. The following article explores this topic from many sides and perspectives and the author even admits that while the answer is probably somewhere in between time will only tell for sure.

See http://www.as411.com/AcctSoftware.nsf/nlv/02122003?Edit&4 

So the current debate within the enterprise software industry seems to be focused on whether or not ERP is dead. The answer unfortunately is not that clear. If you talk to David Schmaier, Siebel executive vice president of products, he claims ERP is dead and will be dead for at least the next five years. On the other hand if you speak with CEO Larry Ellison of Oracle he will tell you that Mr. Schmaier's comments are rediculous. The following article explores this topic from many sides and perspectives and the author even admits that while the answer is probably somewhere in between time will only tell for sure.

Note that I think it’s ridiculous to spell ridiculous as rediculous.

Bob Jensen

February 13, 2003 reply from Gerald Trites [gtrites@STFX.CA

Bob,

It depends a lot on what we mean by "dead". and from whose perspective. From the perspective of the many large companies who use ERP, it is very alive and they need a lot of people who understand how to run and use these systems. From the viewpoint of the vendors who wish to sell more installations, it has leveled out, because as the article points out, the market has been sold out. That hardly means it is "dead" - quite the contrary. It just means that sales of new systems will not rise for quite a while - a unique definition of "dead". From the viewpoint of other enterprise systems' vendors, such as Seibel, who of course focus largely on CRM, it's been less relevant for years, but dead seems a significant overstatement.

The article exhibits superficial journalism at its lowest by using headlines of this type.

A system that has been installed and is operational by over 90 % of the large companies in the world can hardly be described as "dead"

Jerry Trites

February 13, 2002 reply from dee.davidson@marshall.usc.edu  

I agree with Jerry and Jagdish. Although Best of Breed may be more optimal for specific processes, until all the kinks are worked out of integrating disparate systems, we'll have ERP as the best solution for the total enterprise. Anyone who has gone through an ERP implementation knows the pain. Try multiplying that pain by all the individual systems than the enterprise would need, then complicate it by linking them all. And, it's not as if CRM hasn't had its share of implementation failures.

Here are a couple more articles on the subject of ERP's status. The first one was published in October by searchCIO from a Harvard Business School study discussing the ROI that can be derived from ERP systems long after the implementation. ERP's payoffs and pitfalls By Harvard Business School, special to SearchCIO.com 23 Oct 2002, HBS Working Knowledge http://searchcio.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid19_gci858624,00.html 

This second one is based on a Forrester Research study that says ERP hasn't realized much of its potential ROI because the users are still not fully able to work with the software. One interesting comment in this article is ""Most software companies have little incentive to make their applications more intuitive, because their training programs are an important source of revenue..." This is true of all packages, ERP or CRM. Business apps get bad marks in usability By Alorie Gilbert Staff Writer, CNET News.com January 14, 2003, 5:00 PM PT

Business applications from major software makers are often difficult for the average office worker to use, costing companies millions of dollars and compromising many corporate software projects, according to a new study. http://news.com.com/2100-1017-980648.html?tag=fd_top 

We should continue to expose accounting students to ERP. It's what they'll find in the business world for quite some time. Even Peachtree Complete Accounting now has ERP capability (on a small scale) with AR, AP, Inventory, and GL fully integrated.

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

dee.davidson@marshall.usc.edu
 

February 13, 2003 reply from Ted Weston [Ted.Weston@business.colostate.edu

The question of whether or not ERP is dead is the wrong question.  ERP from five years ago is not the same as ERP today.  ERP II (with apologies to MRP II) is really all about integrated extended enterprise systems.  This includes CRM (front end) and SCM (back end) with what we originally called ERP -- back office systems including acctg, inventory, product data management, etc.

Today, web services are becoming part of ERP II because of the focus on enterprise application integration (EAI).  In addition to web services, which necessarily include B2B and B2C, ERP II includes all the change management and process issues that lie beneath an implementation.  And don’t forget project management – a very cursory review of studies like Chaos (Standish Group) suggests strongly that many of these early (ERP I) and later (ERP II) projects failed or nearly failed because of non-technical issues including people, politics, change management, and organizational issues.

The right question is possibly how can we implement front and back office systems in a shorter time, and that contain the flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness to react to changes in the business model.  And we must begin to move in the direction that it is the process-based power users of ERP II who can implement process changes independent of the IT Department.

ERP II has barely been born!

F.C. 'Ted' Weston, Jr., Professor
Computer Information Systems Department
College of Business
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Ph: (970) 491-6518
Fax: (970) 491-5205
email: tweston@lamar.colostate.edu 
http://www.biz.colostate.edu/faculty/tedw

Bob Jensen's threads on ERP are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245glosap.htm 


Wow Technology of the Week  

Marking another advance in online music, Rhapsody, a new legal service from the big record labels, lets customers burn songs onto a CD for just 49 cents apiece. Walt Mossberg gives it a test burn.
Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045099144780634703,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fmarketplace%5Fhs 

Bob Jensen's threads on file sharing and POP technology can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/napster.htm 


Question
What is Hybrid Distance Learning

Answer:
"Putting a Faculty on Distance Education Programs, by William H. Riffee, Syllabus, February 2003, Page 13

 

At a Glance: Hybrid Distance Learning

  • Hybrid Distance Learning: A distance learning program using both electronic delivery and local facilitators or mentors to coach, counsel, and support students

  • Ideal Student/Facilitator Ratio: Approximately 12:1

  • Facilitator Traits: Teaching skills, clinical experience, time availability, compatible philosophy

  • Facilitator Training: Training at host university, shadowing current faculty member, telephone conferences, annual training updates

  • Compensation: Level based on current salary for such a professional in the region where they are located

  • Quote: "Traditionally, distance education has been developed as stand-alone Web-based programs with little interaction between faculty and students other than through electronic means. The University of Florida has found that the addition of the facilitator/mentor faculty has brought a new dimension to distance-based programs, one that has improved overall quality. The additional academic experiences available to our distance education students have put a now-familiar face on our distance education programs."—Bill Riffee

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


Ed Scribner reminded us about this article written about a decade ago.
"Using Internet Know-How to Plan How Students Will Know,"  by Judi Harris, May 1993 in "Mining the Internet" column, The Computing Teacher, May 1993 --- http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/mining/May93-TCT.html 

Recently, I've sorted through my many files of Internet-based activity ideas, and have found that they can be classified into 15 structural categories. I will present the categories here, with sample project descriptions for each. I do this hoping that reading about these activity types will help you to plan effective telecomputing explorations for your students that are fully integrated into their curricularly-based courses of study.

Bob Jensen's "The 21st Century Pedagogy Alternatives and Tricks/Tools of the Trade+ --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm  


From Syllabus News on February 18, 2003

Blackboard to Integrate Nuventive Electronic Portfolios

Course management company Blackboard Inc. and Nuventive, which provides assessment and portfolio solutions for higher education, agreed to integrate Nuventive’s iWebfolio electronic portfolio software with the Blackboard Learning System. Nuventive's iWebfolio is an electronic portfolio that gives students and faculty and staff the ability to store, organize, and display personal "learning" evidence to faculty, admissions offices, and employers through the creation of any number of portfolio views. Portfolios can contain work samples, learning goals, personal reflections, educational and professional accomplishments, in a variety of formats including text and multimedia. Users will be able to share course-related documents with instructors, study group members, and organization members.

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

Collegis Posts Record Revenues Despite Belt Tightening

Higher education electronic services firm Collegis said it tallied record revenues in 2002, posting $95 million in revenues, up 35 percent from one year ago. This growth comes in the face of a slow economy, a flurry of state budget cuts to higher education, and shrinking endowments at many of the nation's private colleges and universities. The company, which signed new agreements with 36 clients in 2002, said it was the best sales year in the company’s history. "What we're seeing is the willingness among colleges and universities to get creative with course offerings to meet the needs of a changing work force," said Tom Huber, Collegis CEO and president. "There also exists a trend toward outsource technology management to free themselves of the complexities of providing technology services on their own."

DISTANCE LEARNING--
The African Virtual University (AVU), a "university beyond borders " extending higher education to under-served sub-Saharan Africa, picked WebCT Campus Edition course management system for its distance learning platform. With WebCT, the AVU will begin migrating its satellite-based distance learning programs to the Web, making them more convenient, cost-effective, and pervasive.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


Forwarded by Ed Scribner[escribne@NMSU.EDU] on February 17, 2003
"Red Herring founder unveils 'super-blog' for business geeks," by David Kirkpatrick, FORTUNE.COM Wednesday, February 12, 2003 (and reproduced by CNN.com) --- http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/02/12/fortune.ff.super.blog/index.html 

Tony Perkins gets points for prescience. He invented the technology business magazine when he founded Upside in 1988. He refined the model further in launching Red Herring in 1993. A boatload of imitators followed. Then in November 1999 he, along with his brother Michael, published the book on the last great technology wave—The Internet Bubble: Inside the Overvalued World of High-Tech Stocks—And What You Need to Know to Avoid the Coming Shakeout. How's that for timing?

So Perkins is something of a bellwether for technology journalism. Now, with his two-week-old AlwaysOn Network, he's trying to take it to the next generation. AlwaysOn aims to completely rethink technology and business publishing. (Here a necessary disclosure: Tony's a good friend of mine. But in this case our friendship just gives me a good view of the significance of his project.)

"The impact of the Internet on the media business will be in forcing it to become more participatory," says Perkins. So this time he has completely foregone print—the company is only online. And he sees in the burgeoning blogging movement, in which everyone has a voice, the seeds of the next media revolution: "The bloggers have shown us the value of truly participatory media sites, so we're just going to bundle it up and polish it and commercialize it."

AlwaysOn is almost entirely the creation of its members, who express their opinions in a variety of pre-defined topic areas, including "The Wireless Device Boom," "Security in a Hacker's World," "The Real-Time Economy," and "Entertainment Goes Online." There are three categories of bloggers on the site: ordinary members, who after two weeks already number 5,500; about 100 volunteer "correspondents;" and industry celebrities, who Perkins will interview periodically. He merely asks these people to talk about their strongest opinions of the moment. He's already posted comments from Michael Dell, John Doerr, and venture capitalist Tim Draper. (Doerr's screed against expensing stock options elicited 15 posts, mostly disagreeing with him.)

"This is the eBay-ization of media," says Perkins. "We've created the arena, like eBay did. We organize the world, then invite members to come in and play." He calls the site a "super-blog," comparing it to Slashdot.org, a phenomenally successful site for serious technophiles that now claims over two million members. "While Slashdot is for techie geeks, AlwaysOn is for business geeks," he says. He will impose editorial order by continuing to fine-tune topic areas, recruiting appropriate bloggers, and contributing heavily himself.

Continued in the article.


Mobile weblogging, or moblogging, is the latest trend in the world of blogs. New software allows users to update their weblogs remotely with cell phones and other handheld devices --- http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,57431,00.html 

The meteoric rise of weblogging is one of the most unexpected technology stories of the past year, and much like the commentary that populates these ever-changing digital diaries, the story of blogging keeps evolving.

One recent trend is "moblogging," or mobile weblogging. New tools like Manywhere Moblogger, Wapblog and FoneBlog allow bloggers to post information about the minutiae of their lives from anywhere, not just from a PC.

The newest of these tools, Kablog, lets users update their weblogs remotely with cell phones and other handheld devices like wireless PDAs.

Kablog works on any device running Java 2 Platform Micro Edition, or J2ME, a version of Java for mobile devices. Those devices include cell phones running the Symbian operating system, many Sprint PCS phones, the Blackberry from RIM, and many Palm handhelds running OS 3.5, such as Handspring's Treo.

Todd Courtois, creator of Kablog, offers the program for free as shareware and says that word-of-mouth has already generated several thousand downloads in the short time it has been available.

What distinguishes Kablog from other moblogging software is that it does not use e-mail or text messaging for updating weblogs. Other programs such as FoneBlog enable users to e-mail posts from a cell phone or PDA to a server, which uploads the entry onto a site. Kablog lets those who use Movable Type as their weblogging software log directly onto their sites for updating.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs and blogs are at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog 


February 16, 2003 message from Gerald Trites [gtrites@STFX.CA

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has a publication "Information Technology Control Guidelines" which was published in 1999. The book is quite large and there has been some talk about a possible decision support system that might be developed, loaded with the ITCG guidelines, placed on a CD and used in the field for assistance in analyzing system controls for particular systems/companies and developing recommendation letters. I would think the preferred approach would be to find a suitable shell and then build the system around it. In the course of my research of a good system, I came across VP-Expert which at one time was highly recommended, but it is DOS based and appears to be out of date. There is a variety of others. Does anyone have knowledge of a good DS shell that might be useful for this application and that would run on current Windows platforms? It should have run-time capability so the CD can run on its own.

Any advice you might have would be most appreciated.

Gerald Trites, FCA 
Professor of Accounting and Information Systems 
St Francis Xavier University Antigonish, 
Nova Scotia Tel.  
Website -
http://www.stfx.ca/people/gtrites 

The CICA home page is at http://www.cica.ca/ 


Get Online to Manage Your Heart Disease, Lung Disease or Diabetes! ---  http://healthyliving.stanford.edu  

The Stanford School of Medicine is inviting people to take part in a free 6 week online program and study for people with heart disease, lung disease, or type II diabetes. It will be a 6-week, small group, interactive workshop on the Internet. You must be a resident of the United States to participate.


A Distance Education Partnership Between the University of Akron and Kent State University
"Schools collaborate to create Online Learning," Syllabus, February 2003, pp. 21-33 --- http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7259 

Two of Ohio's largest universities are teaming to create a collaborative online learning system that will dramatically expand their teaching and research opportunities, while reducing information technology costs. A 20-minute drive apart, these universities have combined enrollments of 60,000, with more than 400 programs and 1,400 faculty members. The University of Akron (UA) and Kent State University (KSU) are using WebCT's academic enterprise system, WebCT Vista, to create a "shared services model" for online learning. This model for online learning will allow the two universities to share technology, course content, research, and faculty, which could ultimately serve other Ohio universities and the K-12 community.

Especially beneficial for large, multi-institution deployments, WebCT Vista is an eLearning platform that includes a broad range of course development and delivery, content management, and learning information management capabilities. These are all supported by an extensible, enterprise-class architecture. WebCT Vista gives institutions of higher education first-time access to aggregate student learning data at the institutional level, extending the capacity for colleges and universities to access and strategically leverage learning information beyond an individual classroom.

Stretching Resources Currently, UA and KSU are in the process of Web-enhancing classroom courses that they have in common with interactive exercises, threaded discussion groups, chats, and virtual-classroom activities. The universities also hope to create pure distance learning courses, in which all activities take place over the Internet. The intent is to improve education and research, and to stretch scarce resources. Dr. Rosemary DuMont, Associate VP of Academic Technology Services for KSU, explains, "UA and KSU began this initiative because of concern about student success. Both universities are extremely student-focused. WebCT Vista provides research data for making decisions in the future regarding student retention." Over the next five years, UA and KSU could predictably save over one million dollars in software and hardware costs. The long-term goal is for UA and KSU to become a national eLearning provider by taking the shared services model to Internet2, a high-performance network that connects 200 universities. This could generate additional revenue and prestige for both universities.

Mike Giannone, Communications Officer at UA, says, "We will be able to develop an eLearning curriculum for any given program by splitting, rather than duplicating the effort. This collaboration will broaden students' exposure to programs they might otherwise miss, while exposing faculty to research and best practices from an expanded group of peers. It offers students at both schools more choices in the classes they take, and where and how they will take them. The two universities will also share grants, content, and the ability to analyze a combined pool of learning data collected by WebCT Vista." Dr. Paul L. Gaston, provost of KSU, exclaims, "We are excited to be able to offer an even broader range of educational opportunities to our students through this collaboration! We already share academic programs, so sharing online resources is a natural next step."

Collaborative Teaching and Research Shared services between UA and KSU are the brain child of Dr. Thomas Gaylord, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at UA. His vision initially created the project and continues to drive it. Dr. Gaylord explains, "The greatest paradigm shift for education is occurring now—it is a wonderful enlightenment. It is time to re-define what our students are; what our faculties are; what constitutes accredibility, and so forth. Partnerships are the ‘right' thing to do. For example, why do numerous individual universities produce Algebra I online … when collaboration makes sense? The University of Akron and Kent State University will have educational advantages over other universities in the region with probably the single, most important educational technology tool for enhancing their long-range instructional vitalities in the coming years." Because of the strategic impact of eLearning on both institutions, UA President, Dr. Luis M. Proenza and KSU President, Dr. Carol A. Cartwright, came together, with Dr. Gaylord, Dr. DuMont, and others, to drive this collaboration. Under the direction of Dr. Gaylord and Dr. DuMont, the two universities have installed a new high-speed fiber optic line, "GigaMAN," to connect their information technology systems and act as a bridge for collaborative teaching and research. Dr. Terry L Hickey, Senior Vice President and Provost at UA, explains, "In addition to partnering with Kent State, we eventually envision offering a shared resource for other northeastern Ohio schools as well as the private sector

Continued at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=7259

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education partnerships can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 


Porn 101:  A New Take on Show and Tell at the Collegiate Level
We just aren't all that show and tell innovative in classroom accounting research, although there is a 1996 American Accounting Association innovation award winning classroom activity in cost accounting that involves playing with Legos --- http://www.cob.tamucc.edu/ATABestPrac2K/drama-simulations.htm 

Virtually all universities require that any research involving human subjects be cleared by some administrative process that usually entails getting pre-approval from a committee of experts on behavioral experiments.  I merely wanted to note this is passing.

I've been casually aware of Porn 101 research for a brief time.  Items have appeared in some newspapers and academic journals over the past few years.  But in March 2003 it will really be "out in the open" so to speak.  Porn 101 classroom research has now entered the oldsters' main stream with the publication of "Porn 101:  Yep that's Penthouse on the Syllabus" by Tucker Carlson in The Reader's Digest, March 2003. pp. 31-33 --- http://www.rd.com/splash.jhtml 

*************************
They're not the flash cards you remember from school.  One recent fall semester, students in a class at the University of California, Berkeley, took photographs of their own genitals, shuffled the pictures in a box, and challenged one another to match faces to body parts.  The idea, explained freshman Christy Kovacs, "was for everyone to get to know each other."

By conventional standards, the students in Berkeley's Male Sexuality course already knew each other pretty well.  During class, which counted as credit toward graduation, they listened to a lecture from a porn actress, as well as an expert on sex toys.  They took a trip to a gay strip club, where their instructor had sex onstage.  At the end of the semester, they staged an orgy.

If you haven't been enrolled in college during the past five years, you might consider what happened at Berkeley to be mere pornography.

But you would be only half right.  In modern academia, sharing your sex life with your classmates isn't porn.  It's Porn Studies, a form of serious, cutting-edge scholarly research.  Just ask Richard Burt, professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Professor Burt is the author of the 318-page volume, Unspeakable ShaXXXspeares: Queer Theory and American Kiddie Culture, and perhaps the best known defender of pornography as an object of academic research.  And Burt doesn't just talk about his area of study.  He lives it.  His personal website has helpful links to adult sites, as well as seminude pictures of his wife.

A couple of years ago in The Los Angeles Times, Burt wrote one of the first public defenses of porn studies, arguing that X-rated films are in fact literary tools.  In order to comprehend Shakespeare, he contended, it's not enough simply to read what Shakespeare wrote.  You have to see the movie too.

As Burt put it: "How can we understand Shakespeare's reverberation in our culture without examining his appearance in popular media like TV sitcoms, advertisements, films like Porky's 2 and, dare I say it, even hard-core pornographic films like A Midsummer Night's Cream?"

Regular folks--especially parents--may have trouble understanding the connection between skin flicks and Macbeth.  To some academics, it's perfectly clear.  Which explains why students at MIT watched Deep Throat in class.  And why young scholars at Arizona State University screened Buttman of Budapest at the request of their professor.  (Students at Berkeley, meanwhile, had to make do with a lecture by Carol Queen, author of the less critically acclaimed Carol Queen's Guide to Vibrators.)

It's all part of porn studies.  As is Exploring Cybersexualities, a class offered a few semester ago by San Francisco State University that gave students tips on finding porn on the Web.  According to a reporter who visited the class, instructor Mary Madden said to her students, "Let's look for naked pictures of Britney Spears--is she old enough yet?  I think she might be 16, so we better not do that."  To which her teaching assistant added, "How about women and dogs?"

When porn studies majors aren't viewing porn, they're making it.  A couple of years ago, undergraduates in a women's studies course at Wesleyan were required to produce their own pornography.  Some videotaped themselves masturbating, while others acted with partners.

At Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., "porn scholars" took a more active approach.  Students attended an erotic-dance course from college lecturer Susan Scotto.  Scotto, a former stripper herself, accompanied several students to a local strip club, where they made their debut onstage.  "They're going to do it anyway," she explained.  "I thought at least I can teach them to do it right."  Asked for his opinion of the course, Mount Holyoke's dean of faculty replied that stripping "seems to build self-esteem."

Continued in the article.
*************************

The home page of Professor Richard Burt, a 1995 Fulbright Scholar, is at http://www.naughtyprofessor.com/titlepage.html 
There are links to some of his scholarly works and lectures at various universities.  However, it appears that he has removed the semi-nude photos of his wife, links to adult sites,  and the links to feedback messages.  Then again, maybe I just did not navigate deep enough at his site.  I did find pictures of his infant son.
Professor Burt's  book entitled Author of UNSPEAKABLE SHAXXXSPEARES can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312226853/ref%3Ded%5Foe%5Fp/002-8190976-4846465 
He also has a book entitled Shakespeare After Mass Media http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312294549/qid%3D1004847781/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F0%5F1/002-8190976-4846465 
Also note his DVD videos and reviews.
Design Note:  At the bottom of each page in Professor Burt's site, there is a neat audio pause control that should be used on all HTML pages that have background audio.

The University of Massachusetts course page for one of Professor Burt's courses is at http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~everaft/howard.html 
He does not tolerate plagiarism.  I could not find a home page for the UC Berkeley course mentioned above.

Some Related Links and References

Porn 101:  Eroticism, Pornography, and the First Amendment, edited by James Elias, Veronica Diehl Elias, Vern L. Bullough, Gwen Brewer, Jeffrey J. Douglas and Will Jarvis (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 1999).
A review and commentary is provided at http://www.section12.com/users/debrahyde/porn101.htm 
Other books and reviews --- http://www.mwsexual.com/readingroom/recommended-books.htm 

Porn Library - Pornography Research Directory --- http://www.porn-library.com/porn_research.htm 

Bibliography of Anti-Censorship --- http://www.thefileroom.org/FileRoom/documents/Bibliography.html 

Child Pornography and the U.S. Supreme Court --- http://archive.aclu.org/court/ashcroft2.pdf 
Note that this Supreme Court ruling cites the Elias et al book for studies of reactions of children to pornography.

Sex and Bondage 101 --- http://www.iwf.org/pubs/twq/su98b.shtml 

Writing Porn For Fun and Profit! --- The Bi-Weekly E-Letter --- http://www.katyterrega.com/backissues/newslettervII-17.html 
(Note the Writers' Resources Section.)

Porn 101: The Perversion of America's Colleges --- http://www.steveaiken.net/pornagraphyinclassrooms.htm 

Daily Usenet Reports --- http://nntp.kreonet.re.kr/log/2002.06/news-notice.2002.06.02-03.00.01.html 

The Mount Holyoke dancing course taught by stripper Susan Scotto was reported in the February 18, 2000 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
A controversial legal discussion of stripping is provided at http://iupjournals.org/nwsa/nws14-2.html 


"Berkeley Male Sexuality Class Reinstated: Students Watched Class Instructor Have Sex," by Sara Russo, Accuracy in Academia --- http://www.academia.org/campus_reports/2002/march_2002_1.html 

A course at UC-Berkeley dedicated to the study of "Male Sexuality" was suspended and then reinstated after it was revealed that the class's student instructors had organized trips to strip clubs and "sex exchanges," held class parties that turned into orgies, and engaged in sex in front of students.

"There was an orgy at one of the parties," Christy Kovacs, a freshman student at Berkeley explained to the campus newspaper, The Daily Californian, which broke the story of the course's exploits. "And after we went to a strip club, at the party, people took pictures of their genitalia." The anonymous Polaroid photos were then placed in a box and students and class instructors played a game attempting to match the photos with the person whose genitals were featured. Course instructors claim that the party was organized to help students taking the class meet one another, and that no one was pressured to take the Polaroid photos which they label a "party game."

"The purpose of the party was for everyone to get to know each other in an outside environment," Kovacs said. "The main point of them was to meet people from other sections." Students and instructors in the course have hastened to state that the party, which was held at the home of one of the course's student instructors, was not mandatory, though they admit that the photograph-taking and group sex took place.

A second questionable incident occurred when several course instructors accompanied a group of students when they visited a gay strip club as research for their final project for the class. While at the strip club, they watched one of their instructors undress and have sex onstage.

Student instructors for the "Male Sexuality" class were adamant in defense of the course's content. In a letter to the Daily Cal, Drew Navarro, a "facilitator for the Male Sexuality class for the last five semesters," insisted that he and the course's other instructors had done nothing wrong. "The Daily Cal horribly mischaracterized the truth," course instructor Ian Bach told Campus Report.

"Along with icebreakers done in class, we also arrange parties outside of class," Navarro explained in a statement he sent to Campus Report. "At these parties we play games that would go under the category of icebreakers. We call one 'porn pictionary' and another, 'porn password.'"

"I liken them to playing 'spin the bottle' or 'truth or dare,'" Navarro stated in a letter to the Daily Cal. "It is not fair to blame the class because some students played games in the bedroom at a party. It would be the same as blaming the forestry department for students getting arrested for protesting the destruction of a forest."

Navarro also objected to being called an "instructor" for the course, preferring instead the term "facilitator" or "coordinator." "We leave the instruction to the guest speakers, who are experts in their field, along with some UC faculty members," he claimed. Guest speakers this past term included lesbian sex-toy shop owner Carol Queen, S&M expert and self-declared "sadist" Cleo Du Bois, and female-to-male transsexual, James Green.

Despite the defenses the course's instructors have given on paper, they failed to show up to a February 15 meeting with faculty members and administrators, and the University suspended the course indefinitely. "It will remain suspended pending the review of the allegations that appeared in the student newspaper," campus spokeswoman Janet Gilmore told Campus Report. Gilmore refused to address the charges issued against the course's student coordinators, or whether the University might be at fault for allowing the course to proceed. "I'm not going to get into the particulars of it," she said. "We are investigating what occurred and once that's done I can talk to you further, but I'm not going to get into all the particulars."

Continued at http://www.academia.org/campus_reports/2002/march_2002_1.html  

Also see http://www.dazereader.com/berkeleycourse.htm 


Pennsylvania's attorney general is fighting child pornography on the Internet by forcing ISPs to prevent users from seeing it. But not everyone agrees the plan will work, and some say it may do more harm than good --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,57804,00.html 


U.S Senate passes new child porn bill --- http://dc.internet.com/news/article.php/1598551 

The U.S. Senate Monday (February 25, 2003) afternoon passed a new child pornography bill designed to overcome the Supreme Court objections that struck down a previous effort by Congress to ban computer-generated child pornography images. The House has yet to pass companion or similar legislation.

In April of last year, the court ruled that Congress' 1996 law banning virtual child pornography was a violation of free speech rights. The 6-3 decision striking down the law was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who said the statute was too broad and was unconstitutional. The high court rejected arguments by the Department of Justice that virtual child pornography was directly related to child sexual abuse. The Court said the First Amendment protects pornographers that produce images that only appear to have children engaging in sexual acts.

The new legislation, sponsored by Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.), hopes to avoid the court objections by not defining computer-generated images as obscene and, instead, prohibits the pandering or solicitation of anything represented to be obscene child pornography.

The bill, which passed on an 84-0 vote, requires the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that person charged with producing or distributing child pornography intended others to believe the product was obscene child pornography, which is not protected by the First Amendment. Persons accused under the new law would have to prove that real children were not used in the production of the material.

The bill also creates a new crime for the use of child pornography by pedophiles to entice minors to engage in sexual activity.

Continued in the article.


From the Risk Waters Group on February 21, 2003

Meanwhile, credit default swap spreads tightened this week due to a strong upswing in synthetic collateralised debt obligation issuance and a limited number of bond issues. The combination of these factors meant the high correlation between credit default swap spreads and equity prices seen earlier this year has been significantly reduced. The cost of protection on ThyssenKrupp widened by up to 150bp in trading this morning, following its downgrade to junk by rating agency Standard and Poor's. The downgrade prompted renewed fears about the pension liabilities faced by Thyssen and 11 other corporates named in an S&P report at the start of February. Other European corporates on the S&P creditwatch list due to pension liability concerns include French steelmaker Arcelor, UK supermarket Sainsbury and French manufacturer Michelin. The cost of Arcelor five-year senior credit protection widened from 120bp-mid to 160bp-mid, from 70bp-mid to 80bp-mid for Sainsbury and from 85bp-mid to 115bp-mid for Michelin

In the regulated market, the world's derivatives exchanges saw a 37% increase in trade volume last year, up 1.61 billion contracts, according to the Futures Industry Association (FIA). The FIA, which collected data from 56 exchanges, said growth in options trading was particularly strong, rising 47%, or 1.22 billion contracts, to 3.8 billion contracts last year. The strongest growth came from equity index derivatives, with global turnover increasing 86% to 2.79 billion. Growth in the trading of exchange-traded futures and options on individual stocks was more muted, however, rising 7% to 1.3 billion contracts globally. The global exchange-traded interest rate derivatives market grew 13% last year, to trade 1.39 billion contracts, said the FIA. In the US, interest rate futures volumes increased 22% to 419 million contracts, while options activity on interest rate futures rose 27% to 160 billion contracts.


February 21, 2003 message from David Raggay [draggay@TSTT.NET.TT

Bribery Will Only Get You So Far...

A professor was giving a big test one day to his students. He handed out all of the tests and went back to his desk to wait. Once the test was over the students all handed the tests back in. The professor noticed that one of the students had attached a $100 bill to his test with a note saying "A dollar per point."

The next day the professor handed the graded tests back out. The student got back his test and $64 change....

David

David Raggay B.Sc.,M.Sc., 
Chartered Accountant, Lecturer, 
Department of Management Studies, 
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, West Indies.
draggay@fss.uwi.tt 

See http://www.ahajokes.com/bribe2.html 

February 21, 2003 reply from Barry Rice [BRice@LOYOLA.EDU

This reminds me of the time a student tried to bribe me for a passing grade. TRUE STORY!

This was in the early 70s before I got to Loyola. The student put two $20 bills in an envelope with a thank-you card which was turned in with the final exam. The card explained how important it was to pass the course. Obviously, I did not accept the attempted bribe and flunked the student. My dean advised me that in returning the money I should mail it using Return Receipt Requested, which I did.

Over the next 25 or so years, when I had an opportunity to address bribery in class, I always told my students this story and told them that if they wanted to bribe me, my starting price was $1,000,000 because I would sell my sole for nothing less. Fortunately no one else ever tried a bribe with money or other favors. I also recall one former colleague of many years ago who was offered a carnal bribe.

I'm curious if others on this list have ever had students try to bribe you for a grade.

Barry Rice Director, 
Instructional Services 
Emeritus Accounting Professor 
Loyola College in Maryland 

February 23, 2003 reply from Eric Press [epress@SBM.TEMPLE.EDU

Barry,

Your request for bribe data most likely can only yield a truncated distribution. How many takers of monetary, carnal, or other gift bribes are going to pipe up, saying "It was fun, and worth it"? Incidentally, to estimate the incidence of unsavory or shameful outcomes, I was taught that you ask subjects to flip a coin. You lie on your response if it's a head; tell the truth if it's a tale. This way, a researcher could approximate a rate.

Eric Press, Ph.D., C.P.A 
Associate Professor of Accounting Fox School of Business 
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 19122

February 24, 2003  reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Eric,

Did you really mean to spell tail as "tale?" I think it is a better message spelled as "tale."

Bribes in sex are more apt to be accepted than bribes of money in the U.S. (I have no citations for this hypothesis, but I suspect there are more documented sanctions of faculty for accepting sexual favors in exchange for grades vis-à-vis monetary bribes.)

Some interesting links on this thread:

This link is especially interesting. When is a bribe a bribe? Teaching a workable definition of bribery --- http://www.utdallas.edu/dept/ta/tabook/college_teaching.htm 

College Teaching --- http://www.utdallas.edu/dept/ta/tabook/college_teaching.htm 

There are reports that bribery is almost a way of life in education in current and former communist nations --- http://andrsn.stanford.edu/Other/redmaf.html 

The education system in Bangladesh is highly corrupt --- http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/apcity/unpan004887.pdf 

The ETS investigation, which covered more than 40 countries, showed security breaches occurring only in China, Taiwan and Korea --- http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,54459,00.html

AN EDUCATION IN CORRUPTION One of the hardest things about doing business in Asia, at least for Lisa Bergson, is that bribery can be a way of life Business Week, June 27, 2002 http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jun2002/sb20020627_7107.htm?c=bwfrontierjul2&n=link1&t= 

The most corrupt nations --- http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/TGAM/20020829/UCORROQ/ 

Bob Jensen

February 24, 2003 message from glan@UWINDSOR.CA 

Hi Bob,

The first article on teaching and ethics you cited should be recommended reading to all new faculty (and older ones who need a refresher). The article deals with some gray areas and situations that could be construed to be bribery or morally unfair.

I find the story of the professor offering better grades for free dinner (mentioned in a previous posting) to be akin to bribery. (The only humour is from the point of the student who could say that he/she got a better grade because he/she bought the "starving" prof a pizza and beer).

Sometimes, however, some of students will bring little gifts to the prof, especially at the end of the semester. Is it bribery to accept them? ( I rarely get them now- I've always made it clear to the student that this was not necessary and would only accept it after the student had insisted. However, it could be a little flattering to be offered these little gifts).

China is a country of controversies. Many people work hard for relatively small sum of money and the service (whether in the restaurant, department stores, hospital or from the shoe-shiners...) is usually wonderful. For example, one has usually three or four waiters at each dining table and there is no need to provide tips-- they embarrassed the servers. Yet, I am told that at "the higher level "to get things done you need to have connection and often provide a gift in the current more materialistic society. Many people get by on so little, yet there are approximately two hundred million users of cell-phones in China. Perhaps, if the standard of living gets to higher, then the Singaporeans of Chinese descent will have an easier time tapping the vast Chinese market for profits!

For people with salaries in Western countries, there are still many bargains to be had. Clothes, for example, are a fifth or less of the price I normally pay in Canada and I intend to bring back a suitcase of clothes! However, I refuse to haggle on prices with the market vendors (unless I think the price is really exorbitant) because the prices look low when I convert into Canadian dollars.

Coming back to bribery in education , my personal attitude is to develop an atmosphere that discourages attempts for bribery (and along the same line for humour at the expense of those most vulnerable).

George Lan


The AACSB homepage is at  http://www.aacsb.edu/ 

Standards for Accreditation --- http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/business/BusinessStandards2000.pdf 

Proposed Standards for Business Accreditation --- http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/brc/proposedstandards.pdf 

First Working Draft of New Standards for Accounting Accreditation --- http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accounting/DraftAcctgStds10-01-02.pdf 

eNEWSLINE is a newsletter of the AACSB --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/enewsline/ 

BizEd is a publication of the AACSB --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/bized/default.asp 

Business anchor Maria Bartiromo closely watches the corporate world to learn what makes the markets move – and she encourages business students to sift through massive amounts of information to arrive at core truths --- 
http://www.aacsb.edu/images/covers/jan03p18-21.pdf
 

That Dilbert guy --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/bized/p16-21.pdf 


Forwarded by Vadim Ponomarenko

The TRUE Stella Awards -- 2002 Winners

Unlike the FAKE cases that have been highly circulated online for the last several years (see http://www.StellaAwards.com/bogus.html for details), the following cases have been researched from public sources and are confirmed TRUE by the ONLY legitimate source for the Stella Awards: www.StellaAwards.com . To confirm this copy is legitimate, see http://www.StellaAwards.com/2002.html

#7: Attorney Philip Shafer of Ashland, Ohio, flew on Delta Airlines from New Orleans to Cincinnati and was given a seat, he says, next to a fat man. "He was a huge man," Shafer says. "He and I [were] literally and figuratively married from the right kneecap to the shoulder for two hours." He therefore "suffered embarrassment, severe discomfort, mental anguish and severe emotional distress," he claims in a lawsuit against the airline. Shafer figures this embarrassment, discomfort, mental anguish and emotional distress could be cured by a $9,500 payment from Delta. If Shafer isn't careful, that might be dwarfed by the divorce settlement his "huge" (seat)mate might demand.

#6: "The Godfather of Soul" James Brown has a "grudge" against his daughters Deanna Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown Lumar, they allege. They say Brown "vowed to the media that his daughters will never get a dime from him" and "James Brown has kept his word." So they have done what any kid would do when cut off from their rich daddy's bank account: they sued him for more than $1 million, claiming that they are owed royalties on 25 of his songs which, they say, they helped him write even though, at the time, they were children. For instance, when Brown's 1976 hit "Get Up Offa That Thing" was a chart-topper, the girls were aged 3 and 6. It's enough to make Brown switch to the Blues.

#5: Utah prison inmate Robert Paul Rice, serving 1-15 years on multiple felonies, sued the Utah Department of Corrections claiming the prison was not letting him practice his religion: "Druidic Vampire". Rice claimed that to do that, he must be allowed sexual access to a "vampress". In addition, the prison isn't supplying his specific "vampiric dietary needs" (yes: blood). Records show that Rice registered as a Catholic when he was imprisoned in 2000. "Without any question we do not have conjugal visits in Utah," said a prison spokesman when the suit was thrown out. Which just goes to prove prison life sucks.

#4: Every time you visit your doctor, you're told the same old things: eat less, exercise more, stop smoking. Do you listen? Neither did Kathleen Ann McCormick. The obese, cigarette-smoking woman from Wilkes-Barre, Penn., had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a family history of coronary artery disease. Yet doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center "did not do enough" to convince her to work to improve her own health. Unsurprisingly, she had a heart attack which, she says in a federal lawsuit, left her a "cardiac invalid". In addition to eight doctors, she's suing their employer -- the U.S. government -- demanding a minimum of $1 million in compensation.

#3: In 1997 Bob Craft, then 39, of Hot Springs, Montana, changed his name to Jack Ass. Now, he says that MTV's TV show and movie "Jackass" was "plagiarized" from him, infringes his trademarks and copyrights, and that this has demeaned, denigrated and damaged his public image. No attorney would take the case, so he has filed suit on his own against MTV's corporate parent, demanding $50 million in damages. If nothing else, Jack Ass has proved he chose his name well.

#2: Hazel Norton of Rolling Fork, Miss., read there was a class action suit against the drug Propulsid, which her doctor had prescribed to her for a digestive disorder. Despite admitting that "I didn't get hurt by Propulsid," Norton thought "I might get a couple of thousand dollars" by joining the lawsuit. When her doctor was named in the suit, he quit his Mississippi practice -- where he was serving the poor. He left with his wife, a pediatrician and internist. That left only two doctors practicing at the local hospital. So while Norton wasn't harmed by the drug, all her neighbors now get to suffer from drastically reduced access to medical care because of her greed.

AND THE WINNER of the 2002 True Stella Awards: sisters Janice Bird, Dayle Bird Edgmon and Kim Bird Moran sued their mother's doctors and a hospital after Janice accompanied her mother, Nita Bird, to a minor medical procedure. When something went wrong, Janice and Dayle witnessed doctors rushing their mother to emergency surgery. Rather that suing for malpractice, the lawsuit claimed "negligent infliction of emotional distress" -- not for causing distress to their mother, but for causing distress to THEM for having to SEE the doctors rushing to help their mother. The case was fought all the way to the California Supreme Court, which finally ruled against the women. Which is a good thing, since if they had prevailed doctors and hospitals would have had no choice but to keep YOU from being anywhere near your family members during medical procedures just in case something goes wrong. In their greed, the Bird sisters risked everyone's right to have family members with them in emergencies.

TO CONFIRM THE VALIDITY OF THESE CASES, get more information on the True Stella Awards, or sign up for a free e-mail subscription to new cases as they are issued, see http://www.StellaAwards.com/2002.html 


Drucker Has Harsh Words For IT The 93-year-old business theorist says corporate IT hasn't come close to delivering the benefits businesses are looking for.  Perhaps his argument could be extended to managerial accounting. http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo/y/eKpa0BcUEY0V20BsLY0Az 

"A Harsh Assessment Of IT From Peter Drucker ," by Tony Kontzer, Information Week, Feb. 12, 2003

Time finally is catching up with Peter Drucker. The famed business theorist, now 93, was slated to participate in an extended Q&A session at a Delphi Group conference in San Diego on Tuesday, but his failing health forced Delphi to conduct the session remotely, with Drucker having recorded voice responses to questions submitted beforehand by conference attendees. Despite the less-intimate format, Drucker's perspectives still carried weight with the audience. He shared the notion that corporate IT hasn't come close to delivering the benefits companies have been looking for. "Information technology is beginning to supply the information we need for business decisions," Drucker said. "It provides nothing of use about the outside [business] environment." Where IT has been most helpful, he said, is in supporting internal operational decisions.

Joseph Langhauser, an engineering group manager at General Motors attending the conference, said he's experienced that first hand. IT tools, he says, have proliferated faster than the company can capitalize on them. "We don't need any more IT," Langhauser says. "We need to figure out the business processes we have."

Drucker also reiterated his longstanding stance that knowledge management is a misnomer, because knowledge simply isn't something that can be managed. Nicolas Gorjestani, The World Bank's chief knowledge and learning officer for the Africa region, agrees, saying The World Bank dropped the term knowledge management years ago. Says Gorjestani, "I don't know what I know until I need to know it."


Question
Why is the University of Pennsylvania's "Executive Doctorate" program so controversial?

Answer

    Mark Shapiro's answer is at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-15-03.htm 


February `4, 2003 message from Robert J. Kühne 

With the academic recruitment season in full swing, we want to remind you of AcademicCareers.com.

Academic Careers Online is the ultimate global academic job site for teaching, post doc, endowed chairs, administrative and senior management opportunities at (community) colleges, universities and research institutes.

Applicants can without charge search current job openings, submit resumes and request e-mail alerts when matching job opportunities are listed. Employers can post a job listing for one month for US$125, or for up to three full months for $175. This includes e-mail alerts and an Employer Profile.

To review our site, search or post jobs, visit www.AcademicCareers.com  and click "Applicants enter here" or "Employers enter here." It is very easy and efficient.

Request: Please forward this message to your dean/department head, search chairs, and your doctoral candidates and other colleagues looking for a new career opportunity in academia or with research institutes.

Thank you and I hope you are having a productive semester.

Sincerely, 

Robert J. Kühne, Ph.D. 
Academic Careers Online
Info@AcademicCareers.com  


February 19, 2003 message from E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

Steven Zucker's commentary at http://www.ams.org/notices/200303/commentary.pdf  would seem to apply to studying accounting, which is a fairly "rigorous" discipline. He lays out some suggestions to freshmen for taking charge of their learning process. 

Ed Scribner 
New Mexico State University 
Las Cruces, NM, USA


Last year was a record breaker for bankruptcy filings. There were a total of 1,577,651 bankruptcies in 2002, an increase of 5.7 percent over the previous year, according to data released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.   
Federal Reserve data shows that consumer debt reached an all-time high of $1.7 trillion in 2002.
http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97180
  (data taken from http://www.bankruptcydata.com/Research/15_Largest.htm )

The largest bankruptcy in history was Worldcom, Inc.  Our faithful friend Dennis Beresford has his work cut out on the new Board of Directors at Worldcom! 

The Largest Bankruptcies 1980 - Present
(December 27, 2002) You'll note changes have occurred in the list.  According to New Generation Research policy, to remain consistent with company database protocol at the end of each year the database is audited carefully and thoroughly   The media and other outlets may report asset figures from petitions or other sources.   NGR policy is to use the most recent annual report prior to filing for Chapter 11.   
It is our aim to provide the most accurate and resourceful corporate bankruptcy data as possible. Please contact us if you have questions regarding our protocol and data.  We are here to help. )

Company
(click for more info)
Bankruptcy Date Total Assets 
Pre-Bankruptcy

Filing Court District

Worldcom, Inc. 07/21/02 $103,914,000,000 NY-S
Enron Corp.* 12/2/01 $63,392,000,000 NY-S
Conseco, Inc. 12/18/02 $61,392,000,000   IL-N
Texaco, Inc. 4/12/1987 $35,892,000,000 NY-S
Financial Corp. of America 9/9/1988 $33,864,000,000 CA-C
Global Crossing Ltd. 1/28/2002 $30,185,000,000 NY-S
UAL Corp. 12/9/2002 $25,197,000,000 IL-N
Adelphia Communications 6/25/2002 $21,499,000,000 NY-S
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. 4/6/2001 $21,470,000,000 CA-N
MCorp 3/31/1989 $20,228,000,000 TX-S
First Executive Corp. 5/13/1991 $15,193,000,000 CA-C
Gibraltar Financial Corp. 2/8/1990 $15,011,000,000 CA-C
Kmart Corp. 1/22/2002 $14,600,000,000 IL-N
FINOVA Group, Inc., (The) 3/7/2001 $14,050,000,000 DE
HomeFed Corp. 10/22/1992 $13,885,000,000 CA-S
Southeast Banking Corporation 9/20/1991 $13,390,000,000 FL-S
NTL, Inc. 5/8/2002 $13,003,000,000 NY-S
Reliance Group Holdings, Inc. 6/12/2001 $12,598,000,000 NY-S
Imperial Corp. of America 2/28/1990 $12,263,000,000 CA-S
Federal-Mogul Corp. 10/1/2001 $10,150,000,000 DE
First City Bancorp.of Texas 10/31/1992 $9,943,000,000 TX-N
First Capital Holdings 5/30/1991 $9,675,000,000 CA-C
Baldwin-United 9/26/1983 $9,383,000,000 OH-S

* The Enron assets were taken from the 10-Q filed on 11/19/2001.  The company has announced that the financials were under review at the time of filing for Chapter 11.

Source: BankruptcyData.com
New Generation Research, Inc. Boston, MA
(617) 573-9557

 


Question:
What is XM Radio?

Answer:
Stallite radio such as XM Radio will soon give traditional AM and FM radio stations daunting competition. Most General Motors cars will soon be equipped with XM receivers. In addition, dealers will be able to install XM receivers in other makes of cars.  XM Radio is featured in a Barron's cover story on February 17, 2003.

You can read the following at http://www.xmradio.com/ 

It's easy to get XM in your new car, right at the dealership. For the 2003 model year, many vehicles are now available with XM as a manufacturer–supported option, including 25 models from GM. Select one of the brands below for more information. We're adding new models all the time so be sure to keep checking back. If you don't see your desired model, ask your dealer about how to add XM to any radio.

One big idea can change everything. And XM Satellite Radio is one big idea: Radio to the Power of X. America's most popular satellite radio service gives you the power to choose what you want to hear - wherever and whenever you want it. XM offers 70 music channels - more than any other satellite radio service. Plus 30 channels of news, talk, sports and entertainment. 100 basic channels in all, for a low $9.99 monthly subscription. And now, XM is the first satellite radio service to offer a premium channel for an additional monthly fee.

It's our passionate commitment to program quality that will give you more of the listening you enjoy most, including many commercial-free channels. XM's radios for the car and home offer you freedom - from static, from distortion, from that frustrating feeling when you drive out of range in the middle of an exclusive interview or a new song you've been waiting to hear.

So if you're a music devotee, a sports fanatic or a news hound, come share our passion for the new power of radio. Join us in a listening partnership as we capture the soundtrack of your imagination. Our job is to push radio beyond traditional limits and win you as a fan. Your job? To sit back, listen, and open yourself to the excitement of radio as you've never heard it before.

Oh Goodie
Sexy Stories and Surprises --- http://www.xmradio.com/programming/channel_page.jsp?ch=205 

Based on Playboy TV's hit show Night Calls, join your hosts, Juli and Tiffany, for a romp on the wild side. Hear stories, get advice and join their special guests for some playful adult fun.

During select hours you'll even be able to call-in live. Don't be shy - these experts are always open to getting a few helpful hints for themselves.

For a limited time, a one-time transaction fee of $4.99 will be waived for current subscribers who wish to add our Playboy Radio premium channel.

Monthly premium service charge of $2.99 required. Only account holders may activate this channel.

So what's a better "Oh Goodie?"
Educational programming!  For example, investors might one day tune into investing tutorials as well as commentaries on different investing alternatives and risks.  There may be poetry readings and tutorials about writing poetry.  Old and new novels might be read and analyzed.  Eventually, continuing education courses may even be delivered over commercial-free radio by paying monthly service charges.

Jensen Added Note:
What's the downside to having all this commercial-free music and other programming?

Commercial-cluttered traditional radio stations and even donation-supported PBS and campus radio stations will have to scramble to compete.  Classical music lovers may prefer a larger variety of classical music choices on satellite radio and Internet radio.  Country music fans may prefer to listen to bluegrass even if they're driving across Utah rather than Kentucky.  I think you probably get the point that XM radio will probably have a much better growth market than Internet radio.  Internet radio has much less potential in moving vehicles, hotel rooms, and other places where hooking up a computer is too much bother.

However, Internet radio recently got a huge boost --- http://www.saveinternetradio.org/ 

In a stunning victory for webcasting, both the Senate and the House of Representatives unanimously passed a revised version of H.R. 5469 late last night that clears the way for copyright owners to offer webcasters a percentage-of-revenues royalty rate, essentially allowing the parties to mutually agree to override the CARP decision of last spring.

The Senate passed the bill at 10:32PM ET and the House passed it at 2:44AM. It now goes to President Bush for his signature.

The bill was actively supported by virtually all players on both sides of the debate this year, including the record industry, artist representatives, large webcasters, small webcasters, college radio representatives, and religious broadcasters.

In what was viewed as a surprise by some observers, the legislative staff in the office of retiring Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) (pictured) apparently played an active and valuable role in crafting what the parties concluded was a much better piece of legislation than the one Helms blocked at the last moment late last month
(here).

President Bush signed H.R. 5469 just before Christmas in 2002.

For an example of streaming media, see http://www.streamingmediaworld.com/ 

Also see "Web Streaming" at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Web5 

February 19, 2003 reply from Peter Kenyon [pbk1@HUMBOLDT.EDU

I've been using XM Satellite Radio Inc financial statements in class. They tell an interesting story about start-up costs and revenue. You might check them out at EdgarScan or your favorite source.

Dr. Peter B. Kenyon 
Humboldt State University School of Business & Economics 
1 Harpst Street Arcata, CA 95521 USA 

http://www.humboldt.edu/~pbk1/ 


I joined Street Smart to Protect My Identity

John Walsh is one of my heroes in life.  America's Most Wanted is best known for its television show, but AMW also has a very interesting Website at http://www.amwweb.com/ 
Special topics include the following:

    Missing Children
    Amazing Captures
    Show Archives
    Unsolved Cases
    Local Crime Info
    Law Enforcement Links

To enter the full site, you must submit your email address and first name.  At the bottom of that main page you will find links to local news stories about crime.

At the top of the full site's main page, you will find a link called "Protect Your Identity."  That will lead you to the Street Smart page at http://www.consumerinfosystems.com/home.asp 
Street Smart services include the following:

Biannual copies of your credit report;
As a StreetSmart member you will automatically receive biannual copies of your credit report. Your credit report refers to a consumer credit file designed to give lenders a picture of your credit history. Credit reports are generally the most important piece of information used to determine your credit worthiness and the interest rates you receive. Dispute forms and credit report revisions; StreetSmart provides you the appropriate forms needed to change mistakes which may be found on your credit report. StreetSmart shall also ensure that once members have disputed an inaccuracy on their report that they shall automatically receive an updated report showing the proper changes have been made.

Watch Program;
StreetSmart is the first service in America to provide its members Automatic notification of the establishment of new accounts in their name. Anytime a new account is opened in your name and reported to the nations largest credit-reporting agency, Trans Union, StreetSmart shall automatically notify you of the change. This service is revolutionary in helping consumers catch identity theft occurrences and mistakes as they happen.

Address change notification;
Utilizing the watch program Streetsmart shall notify you of any address changes reported on your credit file to Trans Union. This service will help prevent identity thieves from rerouting your current accounts to an unknown addresses in an attempt to utilize your credit without your knowledge.

Social security records search;
As a StreetSmart member you will be provided the proper forms to receive a copy of your social security earnings statement. This statement will provide you a complete overview of your life’s work history. This history will allow you to ensure that your earnings have been reported properly and also to ensure that you are the only person working under your social security number.

Medical records search;
StreetSmart provides you the needed information to request the proper forms necessary to receive a copy of your medical information report. Most insurance companies utilize this report to determine your insurance rates and eligibility.

Credit card registration;
Your membership entitles you to register your credit cards with StreetSmart. Our credit card registration program considerably reduces your time and effort making calls and relaying information to card issuers in the event of an emergency.

Security Labels;
As a StreetSmart member you will receive security labels to warn thieves that your credit cards are registered with StreetSmart.

Household Inventory, document and valuables registration;
Streetsmart members may register copies of any important documents (i.e. wills, deeds, insurance policies, titles, etc.) and the serial numbers of any valuable possessions (i.e. televisions, VCRs, cameras, etc.). This service could prove to be invaluable in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Collectively, StreetSmart is perhaps the most comprehensive way to stay informed of your personal information and protect your good name.

StreetSmart is committed to you and to the ever-changing needs of the consumer. Rest assured that all of us at StreetSmart are vowed to continually improve the services and benefits, which StreetSmart provides to its members.

There is a free trial membership for 30 days.  I wish the credit reports were more frequent, but I still consider joining Street Smart to be a smart move.

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#IdentityTheft 


February 17, 2003 message from Business Ethics [BizEthics@lb.bcentral.com

What Does the
Social Bottom Line Look Like?

If business success is about more than the financial bottom line, what does the social bottom line look like? How can business report these new numbers? Answering these questions is the ongoing task of the Global Reporting Initiative, a multi-stakeholder consultative group involving social investors, activists, labor, and accounting professionals which is developing tangible new indicators for social reporting. Working within a project called SPI-Finance 2002, the group recently released key social performance indicators for financial institutions, such as banks, asset managers, and insurance firms.

A key insight of the GRI process thus far is that one size does not fit all, with social performance indicators. There are core indicators recommended for all industries, but supplemental indicators differ from industry to industry with manufacturing, for example, reporting on different social indicators than a bank. Banking indicators monitor things like success in improving access to financial services for disadvantaged populations, and for small businesses. For investment banking, there are indicators focused on human rights and debt to developing countries. Other indicators focus internally, on employee satisfaction or senior management pay. Reporting institutions are also encouraged to disclose bonuses that have sustainability elements such as a bonus for environmental performance.

The new financial indicators are being pilot tested by ten financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group, Development Bank of South Africa, and Swiss Re.

To see the 2002 version of the overall GRI Guidelines go to www.globalreporting.org/GRIGuidelines/2002/gri_2002_guidelines.pdf. For the finance sector reporting supplement, see www.spifinance.com. For more information contact Mark Brownlie at the Global Reporting Initiative, brownlie@globalreporting.org.


Sharing Accounting Professors of the Week
I am currently finding home pages of leading accounting researchers to find what materials they share for free at Web sites.  It is pretty darn hard to find top accounting researchers who share anything at all.  There are some that share a little bit.  Beginning in February 2003, I have been showing a few links piecemeal as they are discovered by me or my graduate assistants.  Thus far, my remarks hold true at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/AAAaward_files/AAAaward02.htm 
(However, there were some omissions from the database that we have nearly fixed up for a revised summary.)

Terry Shevlin at the University of Washington shares his current working papers and lecture notes at http://faculty.washington.edu/shevlin/indexold.html 
Terry shares more than most top rated researchers in accounting.

David Burgstahler at the University of Washington --- http://faculty.washington.edu/dburg/ 
There is a link to one working paper entitled "Earnings management to avoid losses and earnings decreases: Are analysts fooled?" --- http://faculty.washington.edu/dburg/papers/bed183.pdf 

Brian Bushee at Wharton provides quite a number of working papers and downloads of published papers --- http://credit.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/bushee/ 

Tony Catanach at Villanova provides some helpful documents on the revolutionary Business Activity Model (BAM) and Business Planning Model (BPM) pedagogy for teaching accounting.--- http://www19.homepage.villanova.edu/anthony.catanach/ 

Ken Cavalluzzo at Georgetown University provides a number of free working papers --- http://msb.georgetown.edu/faculty/cavalluk/ 

Denton Collins at the University of Houston provides some course note slides and problem solutions --- http://www.cba.uh.edu/~dcollins/ 

Patricia M. Dechow at the University of Michigan shares some working papers and links --- http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/dechow/ 

J. Douglas Hanna at the University of Chicago provides some free working papers --- Click Here --- http://snurl.com/Hanna 

Michael Peters at the University of Maryland shares one working paper entitled "How Auditors Price Business Risk: A Framework and Experiment" --- http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/accounting/mpeters/ 

Morton Pincus at the University of Iowa shares several working papers at http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/faculty/mpincus/ 

David E. Platt at the University of Texas shares a slide show entitled “Managing for Growth and Profitability: Financial Management for Business Leaders” at http://www.bus.utexas.edu/department/accounting/faculty_staff/platt/ 

Jeffrey Power at St Mary's University in Halifax --- http://www.stmarys.ca/academic/commerce/accounting/jpower.htm 
Jeffrey shares some free accounting cases at http://www.stmarys.ca/partners/aci/case-study1.htm 

Joe Quinn at Salsbury University shares some lecture notes at http://faculty.salisbury.edu/~jdquinn/ 

Gerald Zimmerman at the University of Rochester shares some of his published papers at http://www.simon.rochester.edu/fac/zimmerma/index.htm 


A Coveted BobWeb is Bestowed Upon David Fordham at James Madison University

Bob,

David Fordham's flowcharting document that he shared on AECM today

http://cob2.jmu.edu/fordham/flowchart.pdf 

is quite extensive and well done. I vote for David for a BobWeb Sharing Professor of the Week Award if you think that's appropriate.

Ed Scribner 
NMSU


Centre for Environmental Accounting Research --- http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/accounting/csear/ 
(But noise pollution is another matter.  I didn't see any way to turn off the music that has a delayed start.)

The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research was established in 1991 as networking institution which gathers and disseminates information about the practice and theory of social and environmental accounting and reporting. CSEAR provides a mechanism for academics and practitioners to make contact and support each other. It currently has over 300 members in over 30 countries.

The Centre publishes a biannual journal, Social and Environmental Accounting (distributed free to members), maintains a specialist library of materials, provides a database of academics and practitioners around the world, undertakes research in its own right, organises research schools and conferences and welcomes visitors by arrangement.

This website is designed to help members and non-members to develop their interest and work in the field and contains the sorts of material for which we receive the most frequent requests. If, after browsing the website and reading the appropriate material you still have queries, please do not hesitate to contact us


The McGraw-Hill Irwin helper page for the award winning book called Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation by Stephen H. Penman --- http://www.mhhe.com/business/accounting/penman/ 


Databases and Publications on Business Facts
Hoovers --- http://www.hoovers.com/ 


Paul Adams sets up a server to download and host email so both new email and sorted, sordid past email are accessible from any machine, any time. And you can too! --- http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/03/04/index3a.html 

A year or so ago, I decided I had had enough. The old method of checking email with a POP client at home, and stopping in to use Mail2Web or another public, on-the-road interface just wasn't doing it for me. I wanted a central repository for all my email, accessible easily from anywhere. After a perusal of the services that were available, I reached the conclusion that the amount of storage space and the functionality I desired would incur too high monthly cost. I took matters into my own hands.

Using an old Pentium box I had lying around, I tried out a few different configurations and possibilities, and eventually wound up with the system I wanted. Now, with that machine (which I named Potto) as a mail drop, I can access my email — all my email through history — from anywhere, using any mail client I like. There is also a handy Web interface for checking email from public terminals like the Apple store. And I even hacked together a hybrid interface so I can call up and have a Stephen-Hawking-a-like read me my email over the phone! But that's another story, and shall be told another time.

What follows is the story of how I changed my email life, and the email lives of several friends, by hosting my own email, and theirs, at home. In a broom closet! And how you can do the same.


February 20, 2003 message from Wiley Publishing

Dear Professor Jensen,

Wiley's Business Extra Selehttp://ct program provides you with a simple, integrated, online custom publishing process that allows you to combine content from Wiley’s leading business publications with copyright cleared content from such respected sources as INSEAD, Fortune, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Ivey and Harvard Business School cases, and much more!

It's easy to use yet robust
In just a few simple steps you can help your students make the connection between the concepts you teach in your class and their real-world applications:
  • Choose a pre-selected CoursePack that has already been correlated to one of Wiley’s leading business titles, or customize your own by selecting content from the millions of journal articles, cases, readings, newspapers, and other respected publications in the Business Extra Select database
  • Determine if you also want to add any of your own materials, links, or notes to your CoursePack; or have Wiley get copyright clearance on other content you want to use
  • Decide if you want your students to purchase a printed CoursePack, access it online, or a combination of both
  • Order your CoursePack packaged with a Wiley textbook, as a stand-alone item, or single custom published volume containing both your textbook content and Business Extra Select materials

Learn more!
For more information, and to experience the power and flexibility of Wiley’s Business Extra Select program, view our online demo at www.wiley.com/college/bxs

You may also contact your Wiley representative for more information at www.wiley.com/college/rep

Find out how easy it can be to bring a world of business content into your classroom by registering for the Business Extra Select database today!

Sincerely,

The Business Extra Select Team


Mountain pictures from around the world --- http://www.montagnes.org/english.html 
Also see http://www.climbingdutchman.com/ 

What are the highest mountains in the world?

Top 10 Mountains of the world

Rank

Mountain

Height

Location

1. Mount Everest 8,848m (29,028ft) Nepal
2. Qogir (K2) 8,611m (28,250ft) India (Kashmir)
3. Kangchenjunga 8,598m (28,208ft) Nepal
4. Makalu I 8,481m (27,824ft) Nepal
5. Dhaulagiri 8,172m (26,810ft) Nepal
6. Manaslu I 8,156m (26,760ft) Nepal
7. Cho Oyu 8,189m (26,750ft) Nepal
8. Nanga Parbat 8,126m (26,660ft) India  (Kashmir)
9. Annapurna I 8,078m (26,504ft) Nepal
10. Gasherbrum 8,068m (26,470ft) India Kashmir

Mountain Peaks in the United States Higher Than 14,400 Feet

Name State Height
(ft.)
Mt. McKinley Alaska 20,320
Mt. St. Elias Alaska 18,008
Mt. Foraker Alaska 17,400
Mt. Bona Alaska 16,500
Mt. Blackburn Alaska 16,390
Mt. Sanford Alaska 16,237
Mt. Vancouver Alaska 15,979
South Buttress Alaska 15,885
Mt. Churchill Alaska 15,638
Mt. Fairweather Alaska 15,300
Mt. Hubbard Alaska 14,950
Mt. Bear Alaska 14,831
East Buttress Alaska 14,730
Mt. Hunter Alaska 14,573
Browne Tower Alaska 14,530
Mt. Alverstone Alaska 14,500
Mt. Whitney Calif. 14,4941
University Peak Alaska 14,470
Mt. Elbert Colo. 14,433
Mt. Massive Colo. 14,421
Mt. Harvard Colo. 14,420
Mt. Rainier Wash. 14,410

New England Mountains --- http://www.billwood.com/travel/newengland/ 

Retirement in New England --- http://www.seniors-place.com/retirementhavens/AdirNewEnglandWest.html 

New England Travel --- http://www.virginholidays.com/ski/breakout.html?url=http://www.virginholidays.com/ski/resorts/newengland.html 

Hiking in New England --- http://hiking.alpinezone.com/ 

New England Books --- http://www.nesales.com/newengbk.htm 

New England Skiing --- http://skiing.alpinezone.com/ 

Visiting the Jensen's in New England (for friends of Bob and Erika) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm 


From the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) on February 19, 2003

Partnerships Have Big Payoff for Fast-Growth Companies
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) says that the sharing of resources boosts profit opportunities, innovation and revenues. PwC interviewed CEOs of 411 product and service companies identified in the media (such as Forbes, Fortune, and Inc. magazines) as the fastest growing (in revenues) U.S. businesses over the last five years. PwC labels these companies "Trendsetters."

Over the past three years, more than half (56%) of these "Trendsetters" have participated in multiple partnerships with outsiders. Of these partnerships, 37% were formed to improve existing product lines and 29% were formed to develop new ones.

"Trendsetter" CEOs cite three major benefits of partnering:

Partnering takes many forms, but there are three primary ways to partner:

Somewhat surprising, "Trendsetter" CEOs attribute nearly a quarter of their current revenue (23%) to products or services developed in partnership with others. Over the next three years, 70% expect to receive even more revenue through partnerships.

There are, however, some risks to partnering. A total of 13% of companies involved in partnering reported losses to their partners, including:

On the plus side, only 4% rated their loss as very or somewhat serious, and only 1% of those reporting losses said they expect to do less partnering over the next three years.

This article was taken from the August 26, 2002, issue of PwC's "Trendsetter Barometer".

For other issues of PwC's "Trendsetter Barometer" --- http://barometersurveys.com/production/barsurv.nsf/vwNewsDocsTrendsetter?OpenView 


How many first issues of magazines can you recall?  (History, Media, Communication)

See Premiere Issue --- http://www.01issue.com/ 
(When I try this site, the images are missing on the first page.  However, if you click on the blank icons you can get to the meat of this site.)


Advertising History (trousers) Drokk.com --- http://www.drokk.com/ 


Excel Tip: 
Navigating Numerous Sheets in Your Workbook http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97003 

Bob Jensen's Excel tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm#Excel 


Why Analog Is Cool Again --- http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.03/start.html?pg=8 

Weird as it sounds, the road to smaller, cheaper, more energy-efficient consumer electronics may be paved with analog technology. These circuits are built from the same components as their digital counterparts but suck 90 percent less battery power. The difference? In an analog device, each transistor acts like a dial, with a wide range of readings that depend on the sinuous fluctuation of voltage, current, amplitude, and frequency. Digital circuits, on the other hand, use the same transistors as simple on-off toggle switches. Analog transistors capture far more information, so you need fewer of them.


"Match.com, AT&T Wireless Try Location-Based Dating," by  Jennifer Saranow, The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045090513323858543,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

USA Interactive's Match.com and AT&T Wireless Services Inc. announced a service that allows singles to message anonymously with others in their immediate area via cellphone text messages, becoming the first online dating service to go mobile.

"Match Mobile," priced at $4.99 a month for an introductory period, is the latest salvo in the competitive online dating industry. Last month, Yahoo Inc. unveiled 30-second voice and video clips for users of its Yahoo Personals, and other add-ons, such as instant messaging, have become common at many dating sites.

For AT&T Wireless, of Redmond, Wash., the deal is another way to encourage customers to use its mMode text-messaging service, in which subscribers use the keys on their dial pads to write short notes. Recently, AT&T Wireless has asked users to participate in a pregame Super Bowl poll as well as vote for their favorite performers on the "American Idol" show on News Corp.'s Fox television network.

To set up the Match Mobile service, users answer a series of questions about their looks, personality and likes and dislikes. Unlike the more extensive online profiles, there are only 10 questions and each comes with a drop-down menu of choices, including "I'll tell you later."

"It's not text-heavy," said Kevin Nakao, director of consumer offers at AT&T Wireless. "Users just pick from choices to create a basic profile that gives folks a sense of who they are." Match.com members can also transfer their existing profile information from the Web site or via their phones.

The system matches users according to their profiles and, for now, zip codes, and the matched users can then message each other. By the end of the month, Match.com said, the service will be enhanced with location-based technology, which will match users based on the approximate geographical location of their cellphones.

Mr. Nakao said the location technology is based on the carriers' experience setting up e911 -- an emergency system mandated by the Federal Communications Commission that allows emergency calls from cellphones to be pinpointed geographically.

Continued in the article.

The Internet has changed the way single people date, by making it easier to find mates with similar interests and backgrounds. But it also has changed the way married people have affairs.
The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2003 --- 
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1043249883402213384,00.html?mod=e%2Dcommerce%5Fprimary%5Fhs
 


Where are the parking lots around the world?
Parking Spots --- http://dubster.com/cars/ 

Bob Jensen's links to travel sites are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#Travel 


Some analysts say SBC's plan to purchase the nation's No. 2 pay-television company is the wrong move at the wrong time, as the telecom giant struggles to lift its bottom line amid steep revenue losses --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,57647,00.html 


The Web Is Finally Catching Profits --- 
Soon, more than 100 Net companies could be in the black
Business Week, February 17, 2003 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_07/b3820081_mz063.htm 


State tax collectors are getting aggressive about billing smokers for taxes on online tobacco purchases. New Jersey asked one cigar buyer to fork over more than 50 percent of his purchase price in taxes --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,57657,00.html 


From power tools to electric guitars, a host of modern-day gadgets have pumped up the volume on our daily lives -- so much so that hearing disorders are on the rise. But some anti-noise activists are fighting back --- http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,57564,00.html 


Nanotechnology backlash feared as ethics think-tank calls for caution
Big trouble for tiny technology," By Nick Farrell, VNUNET --- http://www.vnunet.com/News/1138782 

Nanotechnology, the science of building systems at a molecular level, could be hit by the same backlash that has dogged genetically modified crops, according to a medical ethics think-tank.

A study by the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, Canada, published in the UK journal Nanotechnology, has warned that the science of the very small could be derailed if the ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social implications of it do not catch up with its technical developments.

Innovations in nanotechnology include single-molecule transistors, an enzyme-powered bio-molecular motor with nickel propellers, and a tiny carrier able to travel from the blood to the brain to deliver tumour-fighting chemicals.

The report said that although the emerging knowledge has the power to revolutionise society, its power to exploit the potential of extremely small-scale systems is outrunning our capacity to digest its implications.

It cautioned that without more thought for ethics there could be calls for a ban on nanotechnology developments.

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


February 18, 2003 message from Debbie Bowling

Here's a new type of Mouse I saw on line this morning.

http://www.rocketmouse.com/index_b5.html 

ddb


As the original Mosaic Internet browser celebrates its 10th anniversary, co-creator Marc Andreessen talks about where Internet navigation is headed --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,57661,00.html 

Microsoft is betting heavily on Windows Server 2003 and its beefed-up services to protect market share and fend off Linux. http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo/y/eKsQ0BcUEY04e0BscH0AB 


Pyra Labs, the tiny company of Web developers who pioneered blogging, is the latest addition in Google's expansion from search to publishing. Word of the acquisition first appeared on a blog before Google's official announcement --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,57705,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs and Blogs can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog 


February 14, 2003 Exclusive: A Chat with Bill Gates --- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,889423,00.asp 

MM: What's WFS?

BG: It's the Windows File System. The new Windows file system is much, much, more than a file system. It's not just a database, and it's not just a file system. It's a new thing.

So, anyway, Tablet PC and SPOT—I love those. These are special projects of mine because they bring in some new concepts—new approaches that I am very excited about. Xbox Live has also been very neat to work on.

But the biggest thing has been building this one standard way of doing the plumbing that I've described. The centralized architectural approach I've described is something that requires an R&D budget on the scale of Microsoft's. It requires thinking about transactions, messaging, databases, the Office software suite, and management plumbing. The new architecture requires that you have all those things lined up.

Workflow, security, and even just keeping software up to date have been so hard to do well because there isn't one architecture to tie all those things together. People in computer science might look at the architecture I've described and say, "Isn't it very ambitious to take on these new protocols, a new messaging layer, managed code, new schemas, and then go to build everything around these?"

The answer to that is yes, it is ambitious, but even if you just gave me the challenge of building management software so that it's really good, or the challenge of doing e-commerce well, I would make all these architectural moves I've described. You need self-description, scalability, and auditability to do e-commerce well, for example.

Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm 


After a Texas Southern University employee was accused of improving grades for 31 students, school officials fired two workers and suspended a third in their investigation of the scheme --- http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/apwire/story.cfm?xla=apwire&xlb=1&xlc=952009 


"Geeks Without Borders," by Steven Johnson, Slate, February 17, 2003 --- http://slate.msn.com/id/2078579/ 

San Francisco's North Beach has a long history of eccentric street culture, but if you find yourself in the neighborhood this Saturday, you are likely to witness a new twist: small groups of people clustering together to read text off of cell-phone screens, then embarking on some kind of oddball group activity—retrieving a suitcase that's been hidden atop a tree, persuading strangers to try on insane outfits—and then huddling together again to peer at their cell phones. This strange behavior is part of something called the Go Game, the creation of a company called Wink Back, Inc. (The next public game is scheduled for Feb. 22.) The game's creators scatter clues and tools across the city, and then wirelessly transmit a series of challenges to the teams as they prowl the streets. One challenge might ask the team to locate a package lurking underneath "a piece of federal property"—which turns out to be a mailbox—and report back the cross streets once the package has been discovered. Another might send players off looking for a specific date inscribed on a "vaguely homoerotic statue." Other challenges look like street theater: Find a goodwill store and dress up in costumes that "represent opposites." Once each challenge has been completed, the game's puppetmasters beam down a new one. It's urban Survivor with cell phones

And now for something that seems completely different: Visit the Web site for the law firm of Landau, Luckman, and Lake, along with this informative tour of New River University. Both seem like reputable outfits, but in fact they are fake sites, created as launching pads for an online scavenger hunt that goes by the name L3. About a month ago, an e-mail with the cryptic message, "Jake needs help!!!" alongside links to the two sites appeared in a handful of inboxes (selected because their owners had participated in similar online quests in the past). Since then, investigators have scoured the Web for clues that make sense of the unfolding mystery. So far, it's involved secret messages hidden in the source code of a Geocities Web page, a Yahoo! profile for landau_luckman_lake, and a series of files concealed in digital images using the steganography encryption technique allegedly used by Bin Laden's minions. Like the challenges of the Go Game, L3 unfolds as a series of "tests": Players break various codes and ciphers, then send their solutions back to the e-mail address of a fictitious lawyer named Stephen Lake, who sends a confirmation note if the answer is correct.

L3 takes place in virtual space, while the Go Game unfolds on actual city streets. But they share a common denominator: the widening of the game environment. Most forms of entertainment are defined by their edges: the outline of the Monopoly board or the dimensions of a movie screen. To enter the world of the game or the story, you enter a confined space, set off from the real world. Play-space doesn't overlap with ordinary space. But Go and L3 don't play by those rules. Go colonizes an entire city for its playing field; L3 colonizes the entire Web. These are games without frontiers.

Continued at http://slate.msn.com/id/2078579/ 


Accounting student question:
Explain how the early retirement of debt in 2003 improved the earnings of Qwest?

"Qwest Swung to 4th-Period Net On Assets Sale; Sales Fell 11%," by Dennis K. Berman, The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045656642996979783,00.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news 

Local phone carrier Qwest Communications International Inc. swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, in part because of proceeds from the sale of some directory assets. Although the Denver firm said its core businesses were stabilizing, revenue fell 11%.

The company reported net income of $2.74 billion, or $1.61 a share, compared with a loss of $645 million, or 39 cents a share, for the year-earlier quarter. The latest results included a $2.75 billion gain from the sale of some of the company's yellow-pages assets, as well as a $1.06 billion gain from the early retirement of debt. Qwest's revenue was $3.7 billion, down from $4.17 billion a year earlier.

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


The U.S. government releases an online security plan to protect computer networks from damaging attacks like the Slammer virus. Privacy advocates fear the plan may foster Big Brother-type surveillance online; others say it's mere toothless cheerleading --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,57695,00.html 


I'm more free to speak my mind in San Antonio than Barry Rice is in Baltimore.

Imagine a world where software reviews are illegal. Imagine a world where it's illegal to even criticize a program you don't like. Well you don't have to imagine — it's the law in Virginia and Maryland --- http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,890836,00.asp 


"The Seven Deadly Habits of Highly Ineffective Executives," Arthur O'Connor, Internet.com, February 13, 2003 --- http://www.clickz.com/crm/crm_strat/article.php/1583271 


Finland Beats Out the U.S. In World Technology Survey
The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045684422539477863,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

The 335-page Global Information Technology Report by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the French-based international business school Insead used 64 criteria, ranging from the use of technology by individuals, governments and businesses to regulations and infrastructure.

The report, released Wednesday, aims to help governments make technology policies that will help them compete in the global economy.

The countries that scored best were those where government and business leaders were most flexible, said Bruno Lanvin of the World Bank. The U.S. slipped to second after ranking No. 1 last year.

Filling out the top 10 were Singapore, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, Britain, Denmark, Taiwan and Germany.

The study was limited to 82 countries because of the lack of necessary data for other nations, the authors said.


Clear Channel's big, stinking deregulation mess 
The sorry state of the radio industry today is sabotaging FCC chairman Michael Powell's plans to let media conglomerates run wild --- http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2003/02/19/clear_channel_deregulation/index.html?x 

Clear Channel Communications, the radio and concert conglomerate so many people love to hate, has a new batch of disgruntled critics to deal with. But this time it's not the musicians who claim that the entertainment giant plays hardball and locks acts off the airwaves, or the broadcast rivals who allege the company leverages its unmatched size to drive competitors out of business, or even the former employees who insist the company's rampant cost-cutting style has gutted American radio.

Nope -- now the heat is coming from other media company executives and Beltway lobbyists. They are dismayed that Clear Channel is doing what many might have thought impossible. In an era when Republicans control the government and big business generally gets what it wants, Clear Channel is making deregulation look bad.

Executives at television, cable and newspaper companies want the government to lift ownership caps that limit the number of properties their companies can own. They've been envious of radio ever since the 1996 Telecommunications Act singled out radio for sweeping ownership deregulation. Passage of the Telecom Act paved the way for Clear Channel to expand from 40 stations to 1,225, and in the process, exert unprecedented control over the industry.

Today, broadcast, cable and newspaper giants like Viacom, Comcast and Gannett want a chance to expand their empires and enjoy the same large-scale efficiencies that Clear Channel has profited from. But they're frustrated. After years of intensive lobbying and with a Federal Communications Commission chairman, Michael Powell, who is widely considered to be thoroughly pro-deregulation, the havoc wrought upon radio by Clear Channel is unexpectedly offering ample proof of what can go wrong with media deregulation. Radio's current mess is having a significant impact on the debate over media concentration, and may even force Powell to water down his long-awaited ownership recommendations.

This is not how it was supposed to work

Continued in the article


Mold infestations are dangerous to buildings and people. A new do-it-yourself kit lets you test your home or office for the presence of the dreaded fungi --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,57335,00.html 

Reply from XXXXX

Hi Dr. Jensen:

In the "for what it's worth" category, I would recommend this kit, sight unseen. I did sell my last house but the sale was delayed for a year while the mold found during the final inspection was remediated. The initial buyer walked away when the inspector found a small patch of mold in the air-conditioning duct. The insurance company paid $800 for the initial mold test, and later paid more than $22,000 for the remediation, teardown and build-back of a small patch of stachybotrys mold.

It was stressful, our family was displaced for 67 days and nights during the construction, and worse, the homeowners insurance went up drastically while dropping mold coverage. (well, to be honest, we could have kept the coverage but paid double for it. not practical.) We also ended up paying at least $2,000 in deductibles and other costs that were not planned expenses. Not to mention the emotional stress of dealing with a series of contractors and subcontractors who took their time and inflated expenses because they knew State Farm was picking up the tab -- well, most of the tab.

During one of the inspections -- when only the inspector and I were present -- I asked him, "So how bad is this mold compared to other homes you've inspected?" His response was : "Not too bad. A good bottle of Clorox could have killed it. If this had been discovered six months ago, I wouldn't have even reported it. But with the big Farmers insurance case (the $32 million award that's never been paid because of the appeals process) we now have to report EVERY little patch of mold, or we can lose our license."

Ultimately, we sold our house (September 2002) but had to disclose the mold remediation to every serious buyer. Most walked away. Finally, one woman loved the house so much, she didn't care. But then, she had serious trouble finding an insurance carrier because the house had been "black-balled" on the insurance carrier market.

Thus, my advice is: Buy the kit and look for the mold. If you find it, invest in a bottle of bleach.

Good luck.


On February 20, 2003 in The Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg answers questions about recovering deleted e-mail, deciphering wireless terminology and converting music files --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045694680421107543,00.html?mod=technology%5Fcolumns%5Ffeatured%5Flsc 


How to Wipe the Slate Clean

Walt Mossberg answers questions about permanently erasing files, cats and computers, and backing up large folders.
The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1045092536162720823,00.html?mod=technology%5Ffeatured%5Fstories%5Fhs 




 


Forwarded by Dr. D.

Why God Created Menapause

With all the new technology regarding fertility, a 65 year-old woman gave birth to a baby. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, her relatives came to visit.

"May we see the new baby?" one asked.

Not yet," said the 65 year-old mother, "Soon."

Thirty minutes had passed, and another relative asked, "May we see the new baby now?"

"Not yet," said the mother.

After another few minutes had elapsed, they asked again, "May we see the baby now?"

"No," replied the mother.

Growing very impatient, they asked, "Well, when CAN we see the baby?"

"WHEN IT CRIES," she told them.

"WHEN IT CRIES??" they demanded. "Why do we have to wait until it CRIES??"

"BECAUSE, I forgot where I put it..."


"Remember When" Forwarded by Auntie Bev

All the girls had ugly gym uniforms?

Nobody owned a purebred dog?

You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time? And you didn't pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot?

Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?

It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents?

They threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed . . . and they did?

When a 57 Chevy was everyone's dream car... to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady?

No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked?

Lying on your back in the grass with your friends and saying things like, "That cloud looks like a ..." and playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game?

Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?

And with all our progress, don't you just wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace, and share it with the children of today?

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home? Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.

Send this on to someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Laurel and Hardy, Howdy Dowdy and the Peanut Gallery, the Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, Nellie Bell, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk Sky King, Captain Video (don't forget the decoder ring)

As well as summers filled with bike rides, baseball games, Hula Hoops, bowling, visits to the pool, and eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar that temporarily stained our tongues bright red, purple, orange, etc...

Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that"?

I am sharing this with you today because it ended with a double dog dare to pass it on. To remember what a double dog dare is, read on. And remember that the perfect age is somewhere between old enough to know better and too young to care.

How many of these do you remember?

Candy cigarettes

Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside

Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles

Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes

Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum

Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers

Newsreels before the movie

P.F. Fliers

Telephone numbers with a word prefix....(Raymond 4-601).

Party lines

Peashooters

Howdy Dowdy

45 RPM records

Green Stamps

Hi-Fi's

Metal ice cubes trays with levers

Mimeograph paper

Beanie and Cecil

Roller-skate keys

Cork pop guns

Drive ins

Studebakers

Washtub wringers

The Fuller Brush Man

Reel-To-Reel tape recorders

Tinkertoys

Erector Sets

The Fort Apache Play Set

Lincoln Logs

15 cent McDonald hamburgers

5 cent packs of baseball cards - with that awful pink slab of bubble gum

Penny candy

35 cent a gallon gasoline

Jiffy Pop popcorn

Do you remember a time when...

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-moe"?

Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do Over!"?

"Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest?

Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening?

 


Trivia True/False Test forwarded by Auntie Bev

True or False???

Decide whether true or false after reading each line, then scroll down
for answer at the end. Read the complete list first.

--Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

--Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a bellybutton.

--A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately two teeth every 10 years.

--People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.

--When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart.

--Only seven percent of the population are lefties.

--40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

--Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until they are 2-
6 years old.

--The average person over 50 will have spent five years waiting in lines.

--The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

--The average housefly lives for one month.

--40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

--A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

--The average computer user blinks seven times a minute.

--Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than the rest of the day.

--Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

--The REAL reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water.

--The only two animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.

--John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie."

--Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

--In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.

--Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane just in case there is a crash.

--The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

--Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are reused in vein transplant surgery..

--Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were seventh cousins.

--If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.

(scroll down for answers)

 

 

 

 

All are claimed to be true, but I won't vouch for any of them.

 


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

A little old lady told a friend of mine the other day that all she ever wanted to have in life was four animals. My friend, who has a large dog and a big heart for strays said, "Oh really, what kind of animals do you want?"

The little old lady said, "A mink on my back, a Jaguar in the garage, a tiger in bed, and a jackass to pay for all of it!!!"


Important Research
Surely you remember your first kiss, but you might not recall whether you and your sweetie locked lips with heads leaning to the right or left. A new study reports that kissers tilt right twice as often --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57660,00.html 

But what I can't figure out is that if one person leans right, the other must lean to the left.  Hence how can there be a difference in frequency between right and left unless the person loves kissing himself or herself in the mirror.


Forwarded by Barbara Hessel

For those who appreciate the humorous possibilities of the English language...

The Washington Post publishes a yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following were some of this year's winning entries:

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

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

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

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

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

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

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

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

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

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

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

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

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

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

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

16. Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

I make no claims that all of these are true.  Some I know are true.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which occurs five times: "indivisibility."

There's no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewables.  (What ??)

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.


Forwarded by Tony

 "If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all  the impersonators would be dead."
Johnny Carson.  

"Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching  us geography." 
Paul Rodriguez.  

"My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but  they turned sixty, and that's the law."
Jerry Seinfeld.  

"Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take  two aspirin" and "Keep away from children".  

Finally, one of the all-time best quotes: In a  recent interview, General Norman Schwartzkopf was asked if he didn't  think there was room for forgiveness toward the people  who have harbored and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11  attacks on America. His answer was a classic; Schwartzkopf said, "I  believe  that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is simply to arrange the  meeting."


Forwarded by The Happy Lady

An old man was sitting on a bench at the mall. A young man walked up to the bench and sat down. He had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, blue and yellow. The old man just stared. Every time the young man looked, the old man was staring. 

The young man finally said sarcastically, "What's the matter old timer, never done anything wild in your life?" 

Without batting an eye, the old man replied, "Got drunk once and had sex with a parrot. I was just wondering if you were my son."


Forwarded by Dick Haar

Frank Lingua, president and CEO of Dissembling Associates, is the nation's leading purveyor of buzzwords, catch phrases and clichés for people too busy to speak in plain English.

Business Finance contributing editor Dan Danbom interviewed Lingua in his New York City office.

Danbom: Is being a cliché expert a full-time job?

Lingua: Bottom line is I have a full plate 24/7.

Danbom: Is it hard to keep up with the seemingly endless supply of clichés that spew from business?

Lingua: Some days, I don't have the bandwidth. It's like drinking from a fire hydrant.

Danbom: So it's difficult?

Lingua: Harder than nailing Jell-O to the wall.

Danbom: Where do most clichés come from?

Lingua: Stakeholders push the envelope until it's outside the box.

Danbom: How do you track them once they've been coined?

Lingua: It's like herding cats.

Danbom: Can you predict whether a phrase is going to become a cliché?

Lingua: Yes. I skate to where the puck's going to be. Because if you aren't the lead dog, you're not providing a customer-centric proactive solution.

Danbom: Give us a new buzzword that we'll be hearing ad nauseam.

Lingua: "Enronitis" could be a next-generation player.

Danbom: Do people understand your role as a cliché expert?

Lingua: No, they can't get their arms around that. But they aren't incented to..

Danbom: How do people know you're a cliché expert?

Lingua: I walk the walk and talk the talk.

Danbom: Did incomprehensibility come naturally to you?

Lingua: I wasn't wired that way, but it became mission-critical as I strategically focused on my go-forward plan.

Danbom: What did you do to develop this talent?

Lingua: It's not rocket science. It's not brain surgery. When you drill down to the granular level, it's just basic blocking and tackling.

Danbom: How do you know if you're successful in your work?

Lingua: At the end of the day, it's all about robust, world-class language solutions.

Danbom: How do you stay ahead of others in the buzzword industry?

Lingua: Net-net, my value proposition is based on maximizing synergies and being first to market with a leveraged, value-added deliverable. That's the opportunity space on a level playing field.

Danbom: Does everyone in business eventually devolve into the sort of mindless drivel you spout?

Lingua: If you walk like a duck and talk like a duck, you're a duck. They all drink the Kool-Aid.

Danbom: Do you read "Dilbert" in the newspaper?

Lingua: My knowledge base is deselective of fiber media.

Danbom: Does that mean "no"?

Lingua: Negative.

Danbom: DOES THAT MEAN "NO"?

Lingua: Let's take your issues offline.

Danbom: NO, WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE MY "ISSUES" OFFLINE.

Lingua: You have a result-driven mind-set that isn't a strategic fit with my game plan.

Danbom: I WANT TO PUSH YOUR FACE IN.

Lingua: Your call is very important to me.

Danbom: How can you live with yourself?

Lingua: I eat my own dog food. My vision is to monetize scalable supply chains.

Danbom: When are you going to quit this?

Lingua: I may eventually exit the business to pursue other career opportunities.

Danbom: I hate you.

Lingua: Take it and run with it.


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Question : What is the height of globalization?

Answer : Princess Diana's death

Question : How come?

Answer : An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was high on Scottish whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines!

And this is sent to you by an American, using Bill Gates' technology which he got from the Japanese. And you are probably reading this on one of the IBM clones that use Philippine-made chips, and Korean made monitors, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by lorries driven by Indians, hijacked by Indonesians and finally sold to you by the Chinese!

That's Globalization!!!

February 13, 2003 reply from Dr. Jagdish Pathak/Odette School of Business/University of Windsor [jagdish@UWINDSOR.CA

Hello Dr Jensen

This concoction of globalization would have been a real good piece, if it had not carried a bitter after taste (......driven by Indians and hijacked by Indonesians....).

February 13, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

One thing that Globalization has done is foster a greater understanding and appreciation for different cultures, beyond the stereotypes generally held by the uninformed. This greater understanding and appreciation actually enables a shared humor between those who are well informed. The well-informed can understand and appreciate the humor *specifically because* they recognize the joke to be a false stereotype. The hijacking Indonesians, the thieving Chinese, the love of the Scotch for liquor, the clueless French, -- all are indeed narrow stereotypes which anyone (and today, most everyone) recognizes as humorously limited puns and NOT actual representations. It is the juxtaposition of the known-false stereotype with the known-and-recognized truth that makes the humor in the first place.

I like humor. And stereotypical humor among the well-informed is one of the most effective tools of the humor trade.

I myself come from the deep South. I could easily be offended by the humorous stereotypes of hillbilly southerners, Florida crackers, Georgia wah-hoo's, and similar puns. But I'm not, because I know the joke teller and the audience both know better. They are not putting me down, they are sharing humor.

To me, this expanded knowledge of other cultures is one of the ways in which globalization has been beneficial to us all.

Offense only enters into the equation when the communicator does not know any better, and has adopted a stereotype as his/her only knowledge of a particular culture or society or people.

For example, if someone from, say, the hinterlands of Siberia whose background could not have informed him of what Floridians and southern Georgians are really like, were to be very serious in accusing me and my fellow crackers of being members of the Ku Klux Klan, I probably would be somewhat indignant and would try to set the record straight. But if someone were to tell a joke about whether "when a cracker couple get a divorce, are they still brother and sister?", well, I would not take offense because the stereotype was put forth for the sake of humor, and not to describe my people's characteristics.

Humor is an essential part of human existence. The ideas of hijacking Indonesians, absent-minded professors, dull accountants, ultra-corrupt Congressmen, and rude Americans are all ways of enjoying life between those who know better. Globalization helps us enjoy the humor because we can tell the difference between pun-ny stereotypes and a group's actual characteristics. The contrast is what the psychologists are studying as humor.

"Look out for Number One. ...And don't step in the Number Two, either."

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

February 13, 2003 reply from Bob Jensen

And my poor grandparents Ole and Lena are always getting the worst of it --- http://oaks.nvg.org/se6ra2.html 


Forwarded by Eugenie Beck

Why We Love Children

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child... The winner was a four year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

*************************** 
Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family... One little boy in the picture had a different color hair than the other family members. One child suggested that he was adopted. A little girl said, "I know all about adoptions because I was adopted." "What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child. "It means," said the girl, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy."

*************************** 
A four-year-old was at the pediatrician for a check up. As the doctor looked down her ears with an otoscope, he asked, "Do you think I'll find Big Bird in here?" The little girl stayed silent. Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked, "Do you think I'll find the Cookie Monster down there?" Again, the little girl was silent. Then the doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heartbeat, he asked, "Do you think I'll hear Barney in there?" "Oh, no!" the little girl replied. "Jesus is in my heart. Barney's on my underpants! ! ! "

************************** 
As I was driving home from work one day, I stopped to watch a local Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was. "We're behind 14 to nothing," he answered with a smile. "Really," I said. "I have to say you don't look very discouraged." "Discouraged?" the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet." 
************************** 
Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in a school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me: "I've been chosen to clap and cheer." [Sounds like there was a wise teacher involved to me! - G]

************************* 
An Eye Witness Account from New York City, on a cold day in December some years ago: A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?" "I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?" As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question with these words: "Are you God's Wife?"


Forwarded by Robert Holmes

Two Swedes were talking over a cup of coffee when one complained that a family of skunks was living under his house. He asked his friend how to get rid of them. The friend said "Put some lutefisk under the house and they will be gone in two days." 

A few days later the Swedes were together and the one asked the other about the skunks. His friend replied, "You were right, I put the lutefisk under my house and the skunks were gone the next day. Now how do I get rid of the Norwegians?"


Forwarded by Bob Overn

This is the answering machine message the Pacific Palisades High School (California) staff voted to record on their school telephone answering system.

Too bad they can't actually use it. This came about because the school implemented a policy requiring students' parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough school work to pass their classes.

This was voted unanimously by the office staff as the actual answering machine message for the school:

"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of Pacific

Palisades High School. In order to assist you in connecting the right staff

member, please listen to all your options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his work - Press 2

To complain about what we do - Press 3

To swear at staff members - Press 4

To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your

newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

To request another teacher for the third time this year - Press 8

To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

To complain about school lunches - Press 0

If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his or her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it's not the teacher's fault for your children's lack of effort, hang up and have a nice day!


Forwarded by Bob Overn

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Rick the computer guy, to come over. Rick clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. He gave me a bill for a minimum service call. As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?"

He replied, "It was an ID ten T error." (Sure Sounds Like Me ! ! )

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired: "An ID ten T error? What's that ... in case I need to fix it again?"

The computer guy grinned.... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"

"No," I replied.

"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

So I wrote out ...... I D 1 0 T


Forwarded by a Auntie Bev (She actually does not drink all that much beer.)

Chicken Soup for the Beer Drinking Soul .. .
Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
--Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. --Frank Sinatra

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with fools. --Ernest Hemingway

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her --W.C. Fields

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading. --HennyYoungman

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? --Stephen Wright

When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. Sooooo, let's all get drunk and go to heaven! -- Brian O'Rourke

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. --Benjamin Franklin

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. --Dave Barry

Beer: Helping ugly people have sex since 1862! --unknown Remember "I" before "E", except in Budweiser. --unknown To some its a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group --unknown

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober. -- William Butler Yeats

Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time. -- Catherine Zandonella

Reality is an illusion that occurs due to lack of alcohol. -- Anonymous

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch? -- Tee Mans

Life is a waste of time, time is a waste of life, so get wasted all of the time and have the time of your life. -- Michelle Mastrolacasa

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a Frontal lobotomy. -- Tom Waits

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me. -- Winston Churchill

If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose. -- Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind. -- Humphrey Bogart

Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world. -- Kaiser Wilhelm

You know you're drunk when you fall off the floor. -- Anonymous

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on. -- Dean Martin

Beer - Because one doesn't solve the world's problems over white wine. -- unknown


Forwarded by Dick Haar

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. They're used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity. Here are 16 actual error messages from Japan:
--------------------------------------------
The Web site you seek Cannot be located, but Countless more exist.
--------------------------------------------
Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return.
-----------------------------------------------
Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much.
-----------------------------------------------
Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams.
--------------------------------------------------
Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that.
---------------------------------------------------
Your file was so big. It might be very useful. But now it is gone.
-------------------------------------------
Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down.
---------------------------------------------------
A crash reduces Your expensive computer To a simple stone.
--------------------------------------------------
Three things are certain: Death, taxes and lost data. Guess which has  occurred.
---------------------------------------------------
You step in the stream, But the water has moved on. This page is not here.
---------------------------------------------------
Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, But we never will.
------------------------------------------------
Having been erased, The document you're seeking Must now be retyped.
---------------------------------------------------
Serious error. All shortcuts have disappeared. Screen. Mind. Both are  blank.

Ah Choo!  Forwarded by Tony

Life is short. Enjoy it!

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind. And when you go - and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.


Not advised for children
Silly multimedia cartoons --- http://www.toilette-humor.com/index.html 

Some of these have rather sophisticated software.  For example, write your name into the one at http://www.toilet-humor.net/dancer.html 


Too Little Too Late for Bob Jensen

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology discover a common genetic mutation in people who live longer than 100 years. The finding could help advance ways to counteract the ravages of aging --- http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,57669,00.html 


What is the most common name chosen for pleasure boats (according to Page 33 of The Reader's Digest, March 2003)

Second Wind!




And that's the way it was on February 28, 2003 with a little help from my friends.

 

I highly recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor) --- www.FinanceProfessor.com 

 

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

 

For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at http://www.accountingweb.com/ 
I also like SmartPros at http://www.smartpros.com/ 

 

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

 

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

 

The Finance Professor --- http://www.financeprofessor.com/about/aboutFP.html 

 

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

 

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

 

Click on www.syllabus.com/radio/index.asp for a complete list of interviews with established leaders, creative thinkers and education technology experts in higher education from around the country.

 

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

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February 12, 2003

 


New Paper by Huang and Jensen
”Testing and Accounting for Hedge Ineffectiveness Under FAS 133, by Angela L.J. Huang and  Robert E. Jensen, Derivatives Report, February 2003, pp. 1-10.  http://www.riahome.com/estore/detail.asp?ID=TDVN
Derivatives Report is directed mainly at technical analysts and costs $310 a year for 12 monthly issues.  However, I have made the related Excel workbook available for free as file 133case3DR.xls at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/0000KPMG/ 
Bob Jensen's documents on hedge accounting are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm 

Quotes of the Week

Want a Harvard diploma?  How about a University of Virginia transcript.  For a few hundred dollars you can have either one---Or any other phony college document you fancy.  All you have t o do is go to a Web site called www.BackAlleyPress.com  
whose office is in China.

Andrea Foster, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 7, 2003, Page A25.
Bob Jensen's threads on academic fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#DiplomaMill 

More Students Favor Careers in Business
Junior Achievement Poll --- http://www.smartpros.com/x36917.xml 

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Author Unknown (but don't you love her/him)

The enormous North Korean ground army is like the atheist in a coffin --- all dressed up with nowhere to go.

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet it.
Dan Parker

Some things are looking up.
Fashion designers and editors have declared super-short miniskirts and figure-hugging pencil skirts the big fashion news for women this spring.
"Skirts Head Back to Stores, But Will Women Buy Them?" The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1044313260574235384,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fmarketplace%5Fhs 

Other things are not looking up (at least not in the library)
Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.

Pete Seeger as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-24-03.htm 

And high school seniors are increasingly abandoning education for more experience.
A record low of 34.9% of college freshmen report having spent more than six hours per week on homework during their senior year in high school.
Mark Shapiro --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm  (See Below)

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service records show that the federal government has approved nearly 300 student visas over the past five years for people who said they planned to attend the LASC English Language School. The approvals came with little or no INS follow-up to determine whether the students actually showed up for classes.
See Below (forwarded by Debbie Bowling)

The scope of the Maryland case is unprecedented nationally, said Diane Waryold, executive director of Duke University's Center for Academic Integrity ( www.academicintegrity.org ). It is also a sign that students might have a technological edge on their older professors. "It's a generational issue," Ms. Waryold said. "It's safe to say our students are far more sophisticated."
The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1043957323239614504,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

On most campuses, over 75% of students admit to some cheating.
Quoted from the research of Donald L. McCabe of RutgersUniversity (founder and first president of CAI) --- See below

And in reality we discover the following at http://msnbc.com/news/866152.asp?0cv=CB20 
Little inside the LASC English Language School, nestled in a glass-and-metal high-rise in L.A.’s Koreatown, hints of a place of learning. It touts itself as “world famous,” but there are no books or college brochures. On a recent weekday afternoon the school held just one student, though its owner says classes are taught three times a day, five days a week. There were no teachers in the school’s five classrooms, only a woman who doubles as the receptionist and the school’s assistant director.

And we say to the INS:
It is no use saying, "We are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary
.
Sir Winston Churchill

I really do feel that genuine translation of text requires understanding of the text, and understanding requires having lived in the world and dealt with the physical world and is not just a question of manipulating words.
Douglas Hofstadter

One thing I have become convinced of since joining Treasury is the importance of acting even without a legislative mandate," she said. "We don't always need laws to tell us the difference between right and wrong or to tell us what we ought to do.
Pam Olson as quoted in the LA Times and forwarded by Dee Davidson

The poet is like this monarch of the clouds riding the storm above the marksman's range; 
exiled on the ground, hooted and jeered, 
he cannot walk because of his great wings

Charles Baudelaire

Speaking of poetry, I accidentally stumbled upon this poem by Tony Hoagland.  I like the way this guy writes!
It seems especially appropriate in the context of the Columbia Shuttle Disaster.

Jet by Tony Hoagland in 1998 --- http://www.poets.org/poems/poems.cfm?prmID=1352 
Sometimes I wish I were still out 
on the back porch, drinking jet fuel 
with the boys, getting louder and louder 
as the empty cans drop out of our paws 
like booster rockets falling back to Earth

and we soar up into the summer stars. 
Summer. The big sky river rushes overhead, 
bearing asteroids and mist, blind fish 
and old space suits with skeletons inside. 
On Earth, men celebrate their hairiness,

and it is good, a way of letting life 
out of the box, uncapping the bottle 
to let the effervescence gush 
through the narrow, usually constricted neck.

And now the crickets plug in their appliances 
in unison, and then the fireflies flash 
dots and dashes in the grass, like punctuation 
for the labyrinthine, untrue tales of sex 
someone is telling in the dark, though

no one really hears. We gaze into the night 
as if remembering the bright unbroken planet 
we once came from, 
to which we will never 
be permitted to return. 
We are amazed how hurt we are. 
We would give anything for what we have.

 

Feeling cynical?

 If you aren’t now, you will by the time you finish the new Bebchuk and Fried paper on executive compensation.  They paint a fairly gloomy picture of managers exerting their power to “extract rents and to camouflage the extent of their rent extraction.”  Rather than designed to solve agency cost problems, the paper makes the case that executive pay can by an agency cost in and of itself.  Let’s hope things aren’t this bad. 
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=364220

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss.
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Lyrics of a Bob Dylan song forwarded by Damian Gadal [DGADAL@CI.SANTA-BARBARA.CA.US

The 8th Ernst & Young Global Fraud Survey, "Fraud: The Unmanaged Risk," based on a survey of 400 CEOs in more than 30 countries, reveals that, despite attempts to improve corporate governance in the wake of recent financial scandals, more than half of the companies interviewed had suffered a significant fraud in the last two years. Moreover, some 85% of the worst frauds were by insiders on the payroll. When asked what keeps them up at night, participants were significantly more concerned about asset misappropriation than any other kind of fraud. --- http://www.ey.com/global/download.nsf/South_Africa/Jan03_8th_Global_Fraud_Survey/$file/8th%20Global%20Survey.pdf

About our President --- http://www.angelrays.com/mb/pres/bush.html  

Shuttle Tribute --- http://www.debsfunpages.com/shuttle.htm 

Defend America Website --- http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html 

God Bless America --- http://www.dayspring.com/movies/webmovies/america.html  

Before We Say Goodbye (forwarded by Debbie Bowling) --- http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,77712,00.html 

It's the soldier not the reporter who gives you the freedom of the press. 
It's the soldier not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech. 
It's the soldier not the campus organizer who allows you to demonstrate. 
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!

Author Unknown


Are Bob and Erika nuts? --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm 

Egads!  I may have to read books and write letters!
There go my hopes in the mountains since there is no Internet cable or DSL service in my new house in the White Mountains.
DirecTV Broadband poised to dismantle its high-speed satellite Internet service, consumers are losing one of the last alternatives to the increasingly dominant telephone and cable giants --- http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,57483,00.html 

February 3, 2003 Reply from John Roberts [roberts_j@POPMAIL.FIRN.EDU

DirecTV is only ending its DSL service. It is still providing its DirectWay satellite internet access. Check out the details at http://directv.direcway.com/  I would check into it before I had DirecTV television service installed as I believe the internet access requires a special antenna that can also be used for the DirecTV TV channels, but I don't think the normal multi-satellite dish for TV channels will work for internet. At least that is my understanding. Maybe all is not lost!!!

When you sign up for home and long distance telephone service, be certain to check on whether DSL is available.  For example, if your local phone service is SBA, and you decide to make your long distance carrier MCI, Sprint, At&T or some other long distance carrier that does not offer DSL service to your home, then you are out of luck.  See Page B1 of The Wall Street Journal on January 30 for an article entitled "New Phone Twist:  Switch Local Service and Lose Your DSL."  Of course it won't matter for our new home in the White Mountains since the local phone service does not offer DSL.  My advice is to stick with a company like SBC that offers DSL, but then make that 10-10-811-1-(area code and number) option from VarTec.  See http://www.vartec.com/ .  There are similar options but I like VarTec using the 10-10-811 option (fifty cents minimum for up to five minutes).  Of course if you switch fully to VarTec for local service, you may lose your DSL option for a high speed Internet connection.




A draft (to date) of my February 28, 2003 updates on the accounting and finance scandals can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud022803.htm

They call and offer a “free” service, such as a no-cost Web site or Internet yellow pages listing. They trick you into saying “yes” — to just about anything. Sometimes, they don’t even bother calling. And suddenly, there’s an extra $30 charge on your phone bill. It’s an old scam, known as “cramming,” but there appears to be a fresh epidemic of it. The company at the center of the accusations, ILD Teleservices, says it’s an innocent third-party billing firm. But either way, scores of consumers are hopping mad about $30, $50, even $80 charges that are peppering phone bills all around the country. 
http://www.msnbc.com/news/861995.asp?0si=-
 

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?
Author Unknown (but isn't it so true!)

FASB: New Guidance for Stock Option Accounting 
Overview from Watson Wyatt --- http://www.watsonwyatt.com/us/pubs/hrfinance/showarticle.asp?ArticleID=10908 
FEI Response --- http://www.fei.org/download/FEI_IMA_FAS123.pdf 

The long-awaited timetable for the launch of the new CPA exam was made available this week, with the announcement that the new computerized CPA exam will begin April 5, 2004. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97103 

CCH Outlines SEC Rules and Outstanding Reform Issues --- http://www.smartpros.com/x36916.xml 

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) was established in late 1997 with the mission of developing globally applicable guidelines for reporting on the economic, environmental, and social performance, initially for corporations and eventually for any business, governmental, or non-governmental organisation (NGO). Convened by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the GRI incorporates the active participation of corporations, NGOs, accountancy organisations, business associations, and other stakeholders from around the world business plan --- http://www.globalreporting.org/ 

Do you think it is irresponsible for financial planners/advisors to give any advice to clients that uses a product (such as 529 plans) for a use other than it is intended? Just because you can get away with something does not mean you should. Forget about the ethics involved, the repercussions from the IRS when they feel like individuals are taking advantage of them should be deterrent enough.
Keith Delaney, The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2003 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1043694081118655384,00.html?mod=DAT 

Compare 529 Plans

Is a 529 account the right college-savings plan for you? These two sites can aid in your decision-making:

 Barron's grades the state-sponsored plans based on expenses and tax benefits.
 
 SavingForCollege.com ranks most state 529 plans by investment performance in the fourth quarter of 2002.
 

More College-Planning Tools

 Use this worksheet to tell you how much you need to be saving for college, based on how much you've already saved, the rate you expect your savings to grow and how quickly you expect college costs to rise.
 
 This financial-aid estimator can help you figure out how much you will be expected to pay for college expenses.



Hi Don,

I loved the poem by Gerard Hopkins.  Thanks!

In her notes compiled in 1979, Professor Linda Plunkett of the College of Charleston S.C., calls accounting the "oldest profession"; in fact, since prehistoric times families had to account for food and clothing to face the cold seasons. Later, as man began to trade, we established the concept of value and developed a monetary system. Evidence of accounting records can be found in the Babylonian Empire (4500 B.C.), in pharaohs' Egypt and in the Code of Hammurabi (2250 B.C.). Eventually, with the advent of taxation, record keeping became a necessity for governments to sustain social orders.
James deSantis, A BRIEF HISTORY OF ACCOUNTING: FROM PREHISTORY TO THE INFORMATION AGE --- http://www.ftlcomm.com/ensign/historyAcc/ResearchPaperFin.htm 

In praise of double entry bookkeeping, accounting educators may be interested in the following quotation from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm 

Origins of Double Entry Accounting are Unknown

1300s A.D. crusades opened the Middle East and Mediterranean trade routes Venice and Genoa became venture trading centers for commerce 1296 A.D. Fini Ledgers in Florence 
1340 City of Massri Treasurers Accounts are in Double Entry form. 
1458 Luca Pacioli's Summa de Arithmetica Geometria Proportionalita (A Review of Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportions)

The following is a controversial quotation from http://www.cbs.dk/staff/hkacc/BOOK-ART.doc 

************************************ 
"The power of double-entry bookkeeping has been praised by many notable authors throughout history. In Wilhelm Meister, Goethe states, "What advantage does he derive from the system of bookkeeping by double-entry! It is among the finest inventions of the human mind"... Werner Sombart, a German economic historian, says, "... double-entry bookkeeping is borne of the same spirit as the system of Galileo and Newton" and "Capitalism without double-entry bookkeeping is simply inconceivable. They hold together as form and matter. And one may indeed doubt whether capitalism has procured in double-entry bookkeeping a tool which activates its forces, or whether double-entry bookkeeping has first given rise to capitalism out of its own (rational and systematic) spirit".

If, for a moment, one considers the credibility crisis of practical accounting, it would be quite impossible to dismiss the following paradox: the conflict between the enthusiastic praise of the system's strength on the one hand, and on the other, the many financial failures in the real world. How can such a powerful system, even when applied meticulously, still result in disasters? Although it is hardly necessary to argue more in favour of double-entry book-keeping, I still want to underline the two qualities of the system which I find are valid explanations of the system's very important and world-wide role in financial development for five centuries.

The Logic of Double-Entry Bookkeeping, 
by Henning Kirkegaard 
Department of Financial & Management Accounting 
Copenhagen Business School 
Howitzvej 60 
************************************

Nobody I know holds the mathematical wonderment of double entry and historical cost accounting more in awe than Yuji Ijiri.  For example, see Theory of Accounting Measurement, by Yuji Ijiri (Sarasota:  American Accounting Association Studies in Accounting Research No. 10, 1975).  He also extended the concept to triple-entry bookkeeping in (Sarasota:  Triple-Entry Bookkeeping and Income Momentum
American Accounting Association Studies in Accounting Research No. 18, 1982).
http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/market/studar.htm
 

Also see the following: 

Bob Jensen

February 10, 2003 message from Don Ramsey

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ramsey, Donald [mailto:dramsey@UDC.EDU]  
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 8:37 PM 
Subject: Pied Beauty

Re: Obsessive double-entryness, here is how the real world looks:

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things, 
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow, 
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches' wings; 

Landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow and plough, 
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. 
All things counter, original, spare, strange, 
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim. 
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change; 
Praise him.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins

Expecting anyone to put the real world into a mold from which it never came is a tall order. Double entry may not be perfect, but until something better comes along, let's not break the mold quite yet. That could cause chaos in the stock market ......

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.)

Bob Jensen's February 21 reply to Craig Avery

Hi Craig,

Leave it to an English major to ponder such dappled questions.

My off-the-wall reply would be to compare the balance sheet of the merchant of Venice in 1482 with the balance sheet of General Electric in 2002. Simple transactions and stable currency simplified a balance sheet's snapshot of debits and credits. Contracts themselves were about as close to black and white as possible in 1482. 

In the Year 2002, General Electric engaged in countless contracts that are no longer black and white. Currencies in its world markets are often highly unstable. Many of its "dappled" contracts are financial instruments derivatives having historical costs of zero that soon turn into valuable assets or enormous liabilities in millions of dollars almost overnight. Compensation contracts entail "dappled" options where it is not clear whether the contracting is with the company itself or a bypass to shareholders themselves.

General Electric's balance sheet in 2002 is a dappled mess of different bases of measurement ranging from cash counts, historical cost allocations, price-level adjustments of some foreign transactions, entry (replacement) values, exit (liquidation) values, discounted cash flows, and missing variables. And investors are supposed to find this dappled balance sheet interesting, a thing of beauty like the " brinded cow."   

Managers of corporations are agents whose personal interests may conflict so badly with the interest of shareholders that we sometimes archaically view as "owners" of the business. The distinction between creditors and shareholders is "dappled" with embedded clauses that leave nothing black and white. Companies have cross-interests in ownership and debt such as in SPEs where it is often not clear who is bearing what risks (as in Enron's thousands of SPEs).

The "dappled" intangibles such as human capital that we do not debit and credit in the journals and include in the balance sheet may have far greater current value that all of the items we meticulously debit and credit and audit.

And there is the dappled aspect of time. The CEO of a really stable company called Montana Power could sell off all the hard assets in a matter of months before shareholders had a clue as to what was happening at Montana Power.

I think what Don was trying to tell us is that the contracts we account for over the past 600 years have evolved from black and white clauses to complex dapplings that challenge us in many exciting ways. If all the contracts remained black and white, accountancy would never be included in a university's curriculum and all accounting today would be performed by computers. What makes accounting a challenging profession is the complexity of the dappling of the financial world.

I am forever grateful for the dapplings in accountancy, because these made my life an interesting professional challenge.

Your other questions are too deep for my simple mind rooted in the teachings of W. S. (Work Sheet) Shroyer who stuck pretty much to black and white --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/AAAaward_files/AAAaward02.htm 

"Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)  
Do you get that impression when you read the latest balance sheet of General Electric this year?

Thanks,

Bob

-----Original Message----- 
From: Craig Avery [mailto:macrael@EARTHLINK.NET
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 8:08 PM 
Subject: Re: Pied Beauty--thoughts from a nonaccountant

To this English major, this sounds interesting--appreciate the dappled, and from it develop a system or method to accept dappled as input and translate (conform?) it into--what?

Take dappled to mean chaos theory. Do you suggest that dappled is a description of complex business transactions that the accountant makes sense of in some way? Should accountants learn a new way to account for business transactions that grow from dappled (unbelievably complex) business activities? But what are actual business transactions, difficult as they may be to account for, but complex--but nondappled--constructions of accounting firms to conform to GAAP and meet some defined client goal? (Maybe dappled means the

Define dappled accounting please. Complex? Chaotic? Nonpredictive? Nonaccountable? Does dappled derive from an information systems model? Does dappled require a nonaccounting method of description (like poetry or philosophy)? Does dappled have a nonpredictable component?

To a nonaccountant who has spent many years thinking about accounting, dappled seems to be an aesthetic that needs a theory, as randomness wanted chaos theory.

Unrelated comment: Seems like accounting has become like war--taught as a system of thought and behavior that is changed by the fog of war (or the client).

Craig Avery

February 12, 2003 reply from Don Ramsey

 Here is a quotation from Colin Powell that may be instructive:

Part I: Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired.

 Part II: Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.

See www.blaisdell.com/powell

 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.)


Are you looking for some clever effects to add to your Web pages?  Or are you just a download junkie addicted to freebies?

Here are over 12,000,000 free downloads --- http://www.incredimail.com/english/splash.html 

But remember all those disadvantaged people in the White Mountains who only have dial up modems before you add any slow-loading clever effects.


Wow Mortgage Helper Site of the Week

At Stanford University many years ago, I had a classmate named Randy Johnson.  Randy has had great success with two best-selling mortgage books.  He also maintains a very helpful helper site on mortgages --- http://www.loan-wolf.com/ 

You can get information lots of places on the Internet. This is the place you can get WISDOM. Learn how to analyze and evaluate that information. You'll discover unique tips, tricks, and strategies which have helped over 15,000 people save millions of dollars. I can help you too if you want to get the lowest cost mortgage of anyone on your block, saving you thousands of dollars over what your less well educated neighbors pay.

Bob Jensen's financial helper bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#Finance 

Bob Jensen's links to financial helpers can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fees.htm 


Wow Education Technology of the Week

From Syllabus News on February 4, 2003

CSU Sacramento to Create Massive Lecture Video Vault

California State University at Sacramento is making available to students a video archive of courses. Using Screening Room, a “video-asset management” system from Convera, Inc. students will be able to view a course within minutes after a lecture is given, no matter where the student is located. The system also allows students to rapidly search the archive for lectures, as well as perform key-word searches to obtain references to their areas of interest. Prior to using the technology, courses were videotaped and tapes were made available to students to view on campus when their schedules allowed. But students had to manually search through tapes to find specific content.


Wow Graphics of the Week 

Molecular Expressions --- http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.html 

View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.


And the winners are ____ ?

The Eduventures 100: Leading Businesses Transforming the Education Economy January 2003 --- http://www.eduventures.com/research/industry_research_resources/ev100_2003.cfm 

The Eduventures 100: Leading Businesses Transforming the Education Economy is the second edition of Eduventures' annual, in-depth study of leading companies within the pre-K-12, postsecondary, and corporate training markets.

As with the inaugural edition of this report, profiled companies represent a broad array of businesses - early stage e-learning ventures, subsidiaries and divisions of larger education and high tech companies, established education players, strategic investors, and global consulting firms - that will shape the evolution of learning and education products and services delivered to institutions, corporations, governments, and individuals.

For each company selected for The Eduventures 100, Eduventures has compiled a profile that includes the following details:

Brief narrative describing the business and factors meriting its inclusion; Key issues impacting the future performance of the business; List of notable partners and leading competitors; Financial highlights, including venture capital details for private companies; and Names of leading executives and company contact information.

In addition, Eduventures has developed a brief look at the past, present, and future experiences of companies formerly and/or currently recognized as Eduventures 100 selections.

The Eduventures homepage is at http://www.eduventures.com/ 


Get Online to Manage Your Heart Disease, Lung Disease or Diabetes! ---  http://healthyliving.stanford.edu  

The Stanford School of Medicine is inviting people to take part in a free 6 week online program and study for people with heart disease, lung disease, or type II diabetes. It will be a 6-week, small group, interactive workshop on the Internet. You must be a resident of the United States to participate.


Army University is an online university that was originally organized around 20 respected colleges and universities under an original $500 million grant to the consulting division of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  That division has now become IBM Business Consulting Services, Inc. and 12 new colleges have been added --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/IBMExpandseArmyU1.html All U.S. soldiers are eligible for free training and education certification and degree programs.  

The number of colleges and universities participating in eArmyU will increase to 32, in 19 states, during 2003.  The academic institutions will offer more than 3,000 courses and more than 150 academic degree programs, tripling the degree programs since eArmyU’s inception.  eArmyU has delivered educational opportunities online to more than 30,500 enlisted soldiers since the program began in January 2001 and will enroll approximately 80,000 soldiers by 2005 at military installations around the world. The program is accessed at www.earmyu.com .

“eArmyU is helping our enlisted force to pursue higher education online while they serve their country,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Jimenez, eArmyU Program Director for the Army. “With this expansion of academic offerings, we are taking the program to a new level.” 

IBM Business Consulting Services identified colleges and universities to provide online degree programs for enlisted soldiers through a competitive process.  In concert with U.S. Army needs, the company recommended schools based on their ability to address the higher education goals and interests of soldier-students, meet the program’s technological and administrative requirements, and optimize value to the Army.   

The demand for education through eArmyU is astounding, and we built the online program so that it can meet not only a growing enrollment, but also demands for different kinds of courses,” said Jill Kidwell, IBM Business Consulting Services partner. “We are helping the Army supply higher education quickly and efficiently using the e-learning techniques pioneered in this program.”

Twelve new undergraduate and graduate schools and at least 68 additional degree programs will be phased into eArmyU over the next six to nine months. All eArmyU schools must adhere to requirements and be approved for membership in Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges for credit transferability among eArmyU schools.  IBM Business Consulting Services anticipates adding more targeted degree programs and schools over time to meet the Army’s goals. 

The newest eArmyU schools include:

            Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, N.J.

            Coastline Community College, Fountain Valley, Calif.

            Grambling State University, Grambling, La.

Hampton University, Hampton, Va.

Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

            Jefferson Community College, Watertown, N.Y.

            Pierce College, Lakewood, Wash.

            Southern Christian University, Montgomery, Ala.

            Southwestern College, Wichita, Kans.

            University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

            University of California Los Angeles Extension, Los Angeles, Calif.

            University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Md.

The new additions to the program join 20 colleges and universities already participating which also competed for continuation in eArmyU:

Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Md.

Baker College, Flint, Mich.

Central Texas College, Killeen, Texas

Cochise College, Sierra Vista, Ariz.

            Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.

            Excelsior College, Albany, N.Y.

     Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville, N.C.

            Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio

Lansing Community College, Lansing, Mich.

            Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

            North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C.

            Pennsylvania State University World Campus, University Park, Pa.

Rio Salado Community College, Tempe, Ariz.

            Saint Joseph's College of Maine, Standish, Maine

            Saint Leo College, Tampa, Fla.

            State University of New York, Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

            Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, N.J.

            Troy State University, Columbus, Ga.

            University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas

University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas

About IBM Business Consulting Services

With more than 60,000 consultant and professional staff in more than 160 countries globally, IBM Business Consulting Services is the world’s largest consulting services organization.  IBM Business Consulting Services provides clients with business process and industry expertise, a deep understanding of technology solutions that address specific industry issues, and the ability to design, build and run those solutions in a way that delivers bottom-line business value.

The Army University Access Online homepage is at http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/index.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on distance training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 


Open University is centered in the U.K. and is one of the largest, if not the largest, universities in the world --- http://www.open.ac.uk/ 
It has many onsite and online programs.

It attempted some years ago to break into the North American market with several partnerships with colleges in the U.S. and Canada.  That venture known as U.S. Open University failed.  However, Open University is now betting on some new partnership with New School University --- http://www3.open.ac.uk/media/news-releases/index.asp#896 

The Open University (OU) has announced a strategic alliance with New School University, New York, to collaborate on distance and online learning education programmes. The first course Managing Finance and Information is being planned for March this year, based on a module from the Open University Business School’s Professional Certificate in Management.

The New School University homepage is at http://www.newschool.edu/ 


From Syllabus News on February 11, 2003

eCollege Says Revenues, Earnings Rising

Course management system provider eCollege said revenues for the fourth quarter of 2002 were $6.3 million, up from $5.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2001. With that, the company reported that revenue for the year increased 19 percent to $23.7 million, from $19.8 million in 2001. For 2002, the Company's pre-tax earnings improved to a negative $251 thousand compared to a negative $7.7 million for 2001. The company also reported that for the 2002 fall term, the total number of student enrollments was 157,000 compared to 96,000 for the 2001 fall term. About 80,000 of the enrollments represented distance students, up from 58,000 distance students in the fall term last year. The number of distance courses rose to 4,900, a 27 percent increase over fall 2001.

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

Bob Jensen's history of course authoring and management systems can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 


In state colleges, is quantity (read that access) or quality more important?  This is serious question in most states at the moment, especially California.

See http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-06-03.htm 


Apple's entry into the browser market is both sleek and unique. But is Safari the Mac user's best bet on the Web? 
"Surfin' Safari," by Michael Calore, Webmonkey, January 8, 2003 --- http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/03/02/index3a.html 

Those kooky minds over at Apple, I tell ya.

Apparently, they are not content with producing the industry's most celebrated hardware, the sleekest operating system, and the sexiest portable audio device since the boombox. Now, Apple Computer is setting its sights on the crowded browser market.

At the Macworld 2003 conference (which took place the week of January 6th, 2003), Apple head honcho Steve Jobs announced the development of a lightweight Web browser that's especially tailored for Apple's Jaguar operating system.

The new browser, named Safari, is available for download as a public beta from Apple's website. Our expectations are especially high on this one, partly because we've been handed a brand new standards-compliant browser based on an open-source engine. But we're really wringing our hands in anticipation because it's Apple, and Apple has consistently produced some fantastic software — iTunes, iMovie, and the whole OS X family of server and desktop work environments rank among the best — so its take on the seemingly perfected arena of the Web browser is a welcome and exciting event.

At the heart of Safari is the KHTML engine. Originally developed for the KDE Konqueror browser, Apple selected the open-source rendering engine for its speed, its compliance with current standards, and its relatively small code base. Also Safari's JavaScript handler, called JavaScriptCore, is based on Konqueror's KJS engine. Apple isn't just scamming open-source technology by building it into Safari, it's continuing to contribute to the community by tracking the development of the browser engine alongside the KDE development team.

Apple's commitment to the open-source movement is praised by many, decried by some. But if it means more engineers working on the improvement of Web browsers, making them better and more consistent, then why knock it? It should also be noted that many of the members of Apple's Safari development team have past experience with open-source browser technology: Don Melton, the Safari Engineering Manager, was one of the key people on the first Mozilla team, and David Hyatt, also on the Safari development team and from the Mozilla crew, was one of the originators of Chimera, an open-source browser for OS X.

Eager to try out the first public beta, I downloaded Safari, installed it on my 600MHz iBook (OS X 10.2 or later is required), and used it to complete a series of tasks. I wanted to see if Safari could handle the usual day-to-day stuff: browse my favorite news sites, pay my credit card bill, and update my weblog. I also played with all of the fancy features and gave the controls a few tweaks to see what the range of capabilities were.

So let's take Safari on a ride, shall we? 

Continued at http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/03/02/index3a.html 

Mike's bottom line conclusion:

The general assumption of those in the pundit business is that Safari is intended as a replacement for the sluggish and standards-defiant Internet Explorer for the Macintosh. And it does serve as an excellent alternative. But is it the best candidate for the job? No.

In my opinion, the best browser for Mac OS X, or at least the most promising one, is Chimera. Also in the beta stage (release 0.6 as of this writing), Chimera is part of the Mozilla open-source browser project, so it runs on the Gecko engine. It's a lovely piece of software for many of the same reasons as Safari: it's fast and lightweight, it loads pages properly, and the major plugins work correctly.

I inserted the above update under Web Browsers at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm 

But Internet Explorer will win the day for reasons pointed out below, i.e., Internet Explorer will read XBRL!


Wow Technology News of the Week (forwarded by Neil Hannon)

From Accounting Today, Volume 17 No. 3 Feb 10-23 2003

Software Coup for XBRL:  Microsoft Adds it to Office

"XBRL ......, could get the biggest marketing boost of its four-year life when Microsoft Corp. releases a new version of its Office desktop software suite with new XBRL import and export capabilities."

"Office 11 will not be XBRL-specific, but instead will work with all codes, including XBRL, that are built off the XML programming framework."

"In XBRL's case, Office 11's spreadsheet tool, Excel, will be able to accept data in XBRL format, or work with non-XBRL data to output spreadsheets that are XBRL-formatted."

February 5, 2003 reply from Dee (Dawn) Davidson [dgd@MARSHALL.USC.EDU]

Neal Hannon's article on EDGAR's use of XBRL is now reprinted in AccountantsWorld. Nice Job, Neal! Transparent reporting is part of management's fiduciary responsibility, and it's the best protection against the loss of shareholder confidence. Transparency is composed of two main tenants: (1) clear, straightforward financial reporting and (2) making the financial data quickly and easily available to all interested parties. Though XBRL can't address the condition of underlying financial information, it can have a major impact on the delivery of this information to the financial community.

Starting this month, the U.S. investor community will receive a major boost to financial data accessibility. EDGAR Analyst LLC, a joint venture of EDGAR-Online and UBmatrix Corporation, is making a financial database filled with 75 data elements derived from the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filings of all companies since 1994 available in a digital format. In addition, EDGAR Analyst is promising to make available newly filed SEC 10-Q and 10-K information within 48 hours of the material being posted on the SEC's EDGAR system.

http://www.accountantsworld.com/news/currnewsyb.asp?q1=36429683 

dee davidson 
Accounting Systems Specialist 
Marshall School of Business Leventhal School of Accounting
 University of Southern California 
dee.davidson@marshall.usc.edu

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#TimelineXBRL 


Sharing Professor of the Week --- Terrance A. Brooks, The Information School, University of Washington
Watch this: Web services --- http://informationr.net/ir/8-1/TB0211.html 

What's a Web service? 
The gist: Web services offer value-added information or information processing on the Web. The implication: Share your expertise with the Web community. The opportunity: You can publish both your information and information processing procedures for others to leverage in their programs. An example: Agencies in your community might want to list your library hours on their Web sites. Their Web sites consume the Web service giving your library hours. If you change your hours, all the attendant Web sites automatically reflect the changes.

Suppose you're writing a computer program and you need a subroutine, a method or a procedure. You could write your own, but suppose the very procedure you need already exists on the Web compiled and ready to use. Being economical, you write your program so that it utilizes the distant procedure. You would be using a Web service.

Note the similarity of this model to active Web content based on legacy CGI (Common Gateway Interface) or ASP (Active Server Pages) technologies. Typically they accepted user input and responded with HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). Web services extend this model to the programming realm of application-to-application sharing. My application can use a procedure you wrote and make available on your server. Users of my program would be oblivious to the provenance of the operations occurring before them.

Historically, the desktop and the Web have been two different environments. Web services blur that distinction as desktop applications and Web applications can now share data and functionality. This is not an absolutely original concept: many Windows desktop applications right now will update themselves by automatically seeking new procedures and contents from the Web. You are required to OK the download, thus it doesn't occur invisibly in the background. Web services extend this sharing model two ways: (1) All of us can create Web services and bind them in our programs, and (2) The integration of program and Web service occurs silently in the background.

Key idea: Web services let applications share data and invoke capabilities of other applications.

Speculation: Is this the beginning of the Semantic Web? The vision of a Semantic Web suggests a distributed network of meaning. Web services would be a fundamental building block of such a vision because they provide the distant semantic functionality.

Continued at  http://informationr.net/ir/8-1/TB0211.html  


Sharing Accounting Professors of the Week

Stanford's Graduate School of Business offers some free video downloads from http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/alumni/lifelonglearning/inside/ 
One includes the following:
Sports Business Management
Winter Quarter 2002
Introduction by Professor George Foster
Lecturer Steve Young (former San Francisco 49er All Pro Quarterback) 

Greg Burbage at the Sacramento City College --- http://www.scc.losrios.edu/~burbagg/ 
Lots of good links and shared course notes in financial and managerial accounting.)
Good links to certification exam sites.

Brian Ballau at Auburn shares some working papers --- http://www.business.auburn.edu/~bballou/ 

Linda Bamber (Editor of The Accounting Review) shares some cases --- http://www.terry.uga.edu/people/lbamber/ 

Mary Barth at Stanford provides downloads for some research papers --- http://gobi.stanford.edu/facultybios/bio.asp?ID=16 

Joseph Magliolo at SMU shares quite a lot of course materials --- http://faculty.cox.smu.edu/jmagliolo.html 

Michael Maher at UC Davis shares quite a few excellent links --- http://faculty.gsm.ucdavis.edu/~mwmaher/ 

Steve Matsunaga at Oregon shares a couple of working papers and some course notes --- http://lcb1.uoregon.edu/stevem/ 

Ruth Ann McEwen at Suffolk University shares some course materials and research papers --- http://www.ruthannmcewen.com/ 


Aids to being a professional accountant

Jugglezine:  Not-So-Great-Expectations --- http://www.jugglezine.com/ 
About balancing work and life.

Bob Jensen's threads on being a professional are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fees.htm 


I thought the following message from Milt Cohen might be of interest as we think about pedagogy and course content ala my previous message about BAM versus Pincus versus Cases versus lecture/drill.

I have added some of these thoughts in a new Appendix Six at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm#Appendix6  
The above link also contains a recent message form Jim Borden at Villanova.

Bob O. Link (a new name given to Bob Jensen by David Fordham)

-----Original Message----- 
From: Milt Cohen, Accounting Instructor [mailto:uncmlt@JUNO.COM]  
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 9:54 PM 

A thought for the bright minded on this web site, after watching an H & R Block TV commercial where they boast about getting more refunds for taxpayers when they review their prior year's tax forms, do you think that if they find that the taxpayer OWES money for a prior year and......... if the taxpayer says, "hell no, I won't pay" ............are they obligated to report the short pay (tax owed) to the IRS?

Interesting letter in the current Journal of Accountancy , Feb. 2003 issue on pages 11 and 12, a professor of Accounting at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado, writes about how poorly the current text book used in his college classes do not provide explanation as to how transactions (of businesses) get recorded into the books and records of a business. And that the emphasis is on financial statement analysis. I can't help recalling how I (and my classmates) slaved over work problems in accounting classes in the 1950s. And how I emphasis (in my classes) the bookkeeping procedures. It's hard to realize that college Accounting classes ignore the bookkeeping phase of the profession. Without a bookkeeper, there is no basis for financial statement analysis.

Just a couple of thoughts.

 


Some Ethics Study Sites

The Wikipedia page on ethics --- http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics 

Case Study Links --- http://www.csulb.edu/library/subj/business/case_studies.html 

Center for Study of Ethics in the Professions --- http://www.ids.ac.uk/eldis/hot/ethicsguide2.htm 

LegalEthics.com --- http://www.legalethics.com/   (this cite is directed at the law profession)

Business Ethics magazine --- http://www.business-ethics.com/web-ethi.htm 

Centre for Applied Ethics --- http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/resources/wsotw.html 

eldis --- http://www.ids.ac.uk/eldis/hot/ethicsguide2.htm 

Ethics Case Studies (Chowan College) --- http://www.chowan.edu/acadp/ethics/studies.htm 

Virtual Ethics http://itrs.scu.edu/mcalkins/spring00/proposition209/perspectives.html  (at the philosophy studies level)

Center for Business Ethics (University of St. Thomas) --- http://www.stthom.edu/cbes/ 

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks on Ethics Study  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#Ethics 


Accounting History


Drive-Ins (American History) --- http://www.drive-ins.com/ 
A lot of marriages were "conceived" in drive-ins.  And many of us accidentally dragged off one speaker dangling from its yanked out cord.


Centropa (Jewish history and photographs) --- http://www.centropa.org/ 


All Info-About Poetry http://poetry.allinfo-about.com/ 
Includes helpers for writing poetry.

VOCABULARY OF ALLITERATION (aid to writing poems)  http://www.xs4all.nl/~in/Poet/VocAll.htm

Bob Jensen's poetry bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#History 


January 31, 2003 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

THE TEACH ACT AND DISTANCE EDUCATION

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH) was signed into law (P.L. 107-273) on November 2, 2002, as part of the Department of Justice Authorization bill, H.R. 2215. According to the American Library Association, "The TEACH Act is a clear signal that Congress recognizes the importance of distance education, the significance of digital media, and the need to resolve copyright clashes." The act attempts to extend to distance education some of the same rights that on-site classes have enjoyed. For more information on TEACH, see the following resources:

"New Copyright Law for Distance Education: The Meaning and Importance

of the TEACH Act"

American Library Association's TEACH website http://www.ala.org/washoff/teach.html

"The TEACH Toolkit: An Online Resource for Understanding Copyright and

Distance Education"

Website created by North Carolina State University Libraries, NCSU

Office of Legal Affairs, et al. http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/scc/legislative/teachkit/index.html

"The TEACH Act Finally Becomes Law" by Georgia Harper, University of

Texas System Office of General Counsel http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/teachact.htm

Chart comparing the old Section 110(2) and the new Section 110(2) by

Lolly Gasaway, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School

of Law

http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/TEACH.htm

Text of the Act http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/pl107-273.html


Before I download a free day trial of Glance, I would like to know if anybody out there has tried this product (other than Andy Burnett who seems to think it's great).  I suspect Jim Borden has tried it.  He tries everything before I even hear about it.

Bob

January 29, 2003 message from Andy Burnett [andy.burnett@knowledgeassociates.com

Hi Bob,

I have been experimenting with a new technology recently which I think you might like. The product is called Glance and you can find it at http://www.glance.net 

Basically, Glance is a 'screen broadcasting' tool, similar to Netmeeting or Lotus Sametime. The clever part about it is that Glance have built a java browser applet which you use to watch the broadcaster's screen. This means that practically anyone can be a receiver. They don't need to download any additional software (a big turn off in most corporations), and, because Glance provide the server, it will work through most firewalls (which is where NetMeeting falls down). I use it with small classes, coupled with a conference call. It gives me total flexibility in terms of what tools I want to use etc (anything my machine can run) and the conference call makes the sessions very interactive.

Although you can download the client and try it for free, if you want me to demo it just drop me a line

Rgds 
Andy Burnett 
Director of Innovation 
Knowledge Associates Ltd Cambridge UK
T +44 1223 421834

You can read the following at http://www.glance.net/site/services.asp?name=srvgi.xml 

A Personal Communication Tool Glance provides a one-click service that enables you to show your computer screen -- live -- to anyone you choose over the web. Instantly. Reliably. Simply. By combining the two business tools you use most - your phone and your PC - Glance helps you show people exactly what you're talking about. Click here to sign up for your FREE TRIAL!

Simple to Use Glance works the way you work best: simply, informally, and conversationally. Just click your Glance icon and ask your guest to visit your personal Glance web page. Within moments, your guest sees your live computer screen. No scheduling. No training. No kidding!

The Perfect Choice Think Glance whenever you need to show someone your computer screen. Glance is perfect for:

Sales pitches Software demos Presentations Status and design reviews Asking "what if" Editing, creating, designing with others Reach Anyone Glance brings your live screen to anyone, anywhere -- in the next building or across the sea -- even through corporate firewalls. Since all your guest needs is a way to surf the web, Glance is perfect for enhancing any on-the-fly phone call. With Glance, you can "show and tell" conversationally - without the hassle of emailing attachments, faxing, overnight shipping or learning complicated collaboration tools.


Question
What is illusory causation?

Answer
Videotaping of all police interrogations has often been held up as a way to ensure the rights of the accused by deterring coercion. Unfortunately, new research shows why videotaping may fall short of these goals --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1043967818831405504,00.html?mod=todays%5Fus%5Fmarketplace%5Fhs 
"Videocameras, Too, Can Lie, Or at Least Create Prejudice," by Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2003

The confessions, playing over and over on the Sony Trinitron monitors, riveted the jury. "We got her on the ground. Everybody started hitting her and stuff." ... "Everybody stomping and everything." ... "I grabbed one arm, some other kid grabbed her legs and stuff." During deliberations, the jurors watched one of the confessions five times.

Such is the power of video: The young men whose confessions in the notorious 1989 Central Park jogger attack were recorded on tape were all found guilty. Little wonder, then, that when the convictions were overturned last fall (a decision that remains controversial even though DNA evidence backs up the confession of a man serving time for another crime), a harsh spotlight again shone on the problem of false confessions.

Many advocates for the rights of the accused, and even some prosecutors, have concluded that the solution is to videotape all police interrogations (not only the confession), to deter coercion and let jurors see with their own eyes whether an admission seems planted, involuntary, fabricated or otherwise false.

It seems like an obvious fix. Unfortunately, new research growing out of a long-established quirk in how people assign causation to events they witness suggests that videotaping as usually practiced today -- with the camera trained directly on the suspect -- may also fall short. Says psychology professor G. Daniel Lassiter of Ohio University in Athens, "How people evaluate videotaped confessions can be significantly affected by seemingly inconsequential things, like camera perspective."

The root of the problem lies in something called illusory causation. Almost three decades of research in both lab and real-world settings shows that when people witness an interaction, they tend to attribute causality to events or individuals that are more noticeable. When people see two individuals chatting, for instance, and if they have a better angle on Mr. A than Mr. B, they conclude that Mr. A shaped the tone and direction of the conversation and caused Mr. B to respond as he did.

"We decided to see whether illusory causation can prejudice how people evaluate certain types of legal evidence," says Prof. Lassiter. "Since your literal point of view can affect your judgment of causality, we decided to focus on camera perspective in videotaped confessions."

He ran 15 experiments. In the first bunch, he played short (up to 30-minute) tapes of interrogations and confessions for volunteers drawn from the university's psychology students. The tapes showed either mock sessions scripted by the scientists, or re-enactments based on police transcripts. In the second series, only nonstudent, jury-eligible adults participated (psychologists are finally taking to heart the criticism that experiments using college kids might not generalize to the rest of humanity).

In all cases, the volunteers saw taped interrogations and confessions. The variable was camera angle. In half of the trials, the camera focused on the suspect alone; in others, on the detective, too.

Young or middle-age, male or female, student or not, watching only brief confessions or entire trials, all volunteers reacted the same way. "They judged videotaped confessions recorded with the camera focused on the suspect as more voluntary than videos focused equally on the suspect and interrogator, even when the content was identical," says Prof. Lassiter, who reports the findings in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

The results were the same for confessions of manslaughter, rape, burglary, drug trafficking and shoplifting. They were the same even when volunteers were told to note the prejudicial effect of camera angle.

When the camera focused directly on the suspect alone, volunteers were also more likely to judge him guilty. "In one instance, the simple change from an equal-focus confession to a suspect-focus confession doubled the 'conviction' rate," says Prof. Lassiter.

Just as in other instances of illusory causation, seeing someone full-on, and alone, makes people judge him as behaving according to his own volition.

The issue is more than academic. Minnesota and Alaska require that interrogations and confessions be videotaped. San Diego and Denver do so with some crimes, Chicago and Philadelphia tape only the final confession. Ever more jurisdictions are adopting video to varying extent.

Continued in the article


The Best Free Registration in Education Technology
(Please note the fabulous Table of Contents)

TechKnowLogia --- http://www.techknowlogia.org/ 

TechKnowLogia is an international online journal that provides policy makers, strategists, practitioners and technologists at the local, national and global levels with a strategic forum to:

Explore the vital role of different information technologies (print, audio, visual and digital) in the development of human and knowledge capital;
Share policies, strategies, experiences and tools in harnessing technologies for knowledge dissemination, effective learning, and efficient education services;
Review the latest systems and products of technologies of today, and peek into the world of tomorrow; and
Exchange information about resources, knowledge networks and centers of expertise.

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


Two Great Free Sites for Researchers

From the University of Maryland Libraries --- http://www.lib.umd.edu/ENGIN/TechReports/Virtual-TechReports.html 

The Virtual Technical Reports Center

EPrints, Preprints,  & Technical Reports on the Web

Welcome to the Virtual Technical Reports Center! The Institutions listed here provide either full-text reports, or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports on the World Wide Web.  This site  contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds.  Some metasites are  listed by subject categories, as well as by institution.  This site will be updated monthly. Please email the author, Gloria Lyles Chawla, gc9@umail.umd.edu,with suggestions for additional links.

Also see Ask Oxford http://www.askoxford.com/ 
(Especially note the "Ask the Experts" service.)


February 5,, 2003 message from James Borden [james.borden@villanova.edu

Bob,

I thought you might be interested in another curriculum innovation that is taking place at Villanova, once again involving Tony Catanach, along with Noah Barsky. Noah is one of our young professors at Villanova who is an outstanding teacher, and has been committed to developing the Business Planning Model (BPM) approach to teaching Management Accounting for some time now. If you have any questions about the paper, feel free to contact Noah at noah.barsky@villanova.edu 

Thank you for continuing to support the BAM approach to teaching Intermediate as well!

Jim

Note that Noah has a PDF file that he will probably send to you if you request it from him.

You can read more about BAM at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm 


Education is when you read (study) the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.
Pete Seeger as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-24-03.htm 

And high school seniors are increasingly abandoning education for more experience.
A record low of 34.9% of college freshmen report having spent more than six hours per week on homework during their senior year in high school.
Mark Shapiro --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm  (See Below)

The Lake Wobegon Effect --- The Lowest Grade is Now Higher Than the Average Grade
Grade Inflation Trends Among Entering College Students --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm 

The Lake Wobegon Effect - All Our High School Graduates are "Above Average" --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-31-03.htm 

Especially note the graph!!!!

Reply from Bill Stone

Dear Bob, 

I don't recall who said this but it has always stuck in my mind as very pertinent to my own high school education: " I learned more on the way to school than I ever did after I got there." 

Warm regards, 

Bill Stone


Faculty are reluctant to take action against suspected cheaters. In a 1999 survey of over 1,000 faculty on 21 campuses, one-third of those who were aware of student cheating in their course in the last two years, did nothing to address it. Students suggest that cheating is higher in courses where it is well known that faculty members are likely to ignore cheating.
Quoted from the research of Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI) --- See below

Academic honor codes effectively reduce cheating. Surveys conducted in 1990, 1995, and 1999, involving over 12,000 students on 48 different campuses, demonstrate the impact of honor codes and student involvement in the control of academic dishonesty. Serious test cheating on campuses with honor codes is typically 1/3 to 1/2 lower than the level on campuses that do not have honor codes. The level of serious cheating on written assignments is 1/4 to 1/3 lower.
Quoted from the research of Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI) --- See below

The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/ 

The Center for Academic Integrity is affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. We gratefully acknowledge their financial and programmatic assistance, as well as funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.

CAI is a consortium of over 225 institutions who share with peers and colleagues the Center’s collective experience, expertise, and creative energy.

Benefits of membership include:

Research --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/cai_research.asp 

Research projects conducted by Donald L. McCabe of Rutgers University (founder and first president of CAI), have had disturbing, provocative, and challenging results, among them the following:

Read about the honor codes of many colleges and universities --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/samp_honor_codes.asp 

February 1, 2003 reply from Linda Kidwell [lak@NIAGARA.EDU

For those interested in honor codes and accounting students, you may be interested in my article:

L. Kidwell. “Student Honor Codes as a Tool for Teaching Professional Ethics.” Journal of Business Ethics, v 29nos. 1 – 2, January 2001: 45 – 49.

In the article, I discuss a group project I have done in my auditing class several times. Our university does not have an honor code, and I have had auditing students draft an honor code for us. I know some don't take it seriously, but most do, and many have had profound discussions with their fellow students across the university. My intention has been to have students examine their beliefs about honesty and integrity in their current profession, as students, in the hope they will carry the lessons learned to their future profession as accountants. I believe it was Aristotle who said that ethical behavior can be learned by practice.

I suppose I was motivated to study the subject after my culture shock of going from being an undergrad at Smith College, which had a strong honor culture when I was there, to a large state university for my Ph.D., where cheating was rampant and there was mutual suspicion between students and professors in undergraduate courses.

I have been a real hard-nose about academic integrity, and I find the students respect me for it. The toughest part has been knowing how to handle it when students come to me to report their distress over other professors who do not have the same standards.

For those interested in academic integrity as a research area, I would love to hear from you. I can also say that Don McCabe, the predominant researcher in this area, is a wonderfully accessible person.

Linda Kidwell 
Niagara University

January 31, 2003 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Regarding strategies for reducing "cheating"...

Here at James Madison, we professors retain the prerogative and freedom to determine our own grading scheme. As long as the professor communicates effectively at the start of the course what the grading scheme will be, and then adheres to it fairly without showing partiality or unfairness to individuals, then the grade flies and the student has no basis for appeal.

Thus, I simply put in my syllabus, in writing and verbally explained (indeed, emphasized) on the first day of class, that "any student suspected of cheating on an exam will receive a grade of 'F' for the course. If the evidence is strong enough, the case might additionally be referred to the university Honor Council as an Honor Code violation."

I explain the difference between "suspected" and "convicted", and explain that I am the sole determinant of "suspicion" in this context. I emphasize that this is a grading criteria, not a university process. The grade of "F" is my grade assignment under the course criteria, and thus will not be subject to appeal unless it meets the grade appeal requirements, one of which is that "the professor deviates from the grading criteria stated in the syllabus"!

I explain that under the Honor Code, the student is allowed a hearing, a chance to "beat the system" under technicalities, a chance to hope that I can't "prove beyond some level of doubt". I explain that in contrast, the grading criteria is not subject to that process. The grade of "F" will simply be the grade they earned in the course under my grading criteria.

I then explain some "prohibited" behaviors which will raise suspicion of cheating.

(For example, my exams are always over when the student leaves the room, period. I admonish them to take care of their biological necessities before beginning an exam. I explain that text-programmable calculators might be suspect. I explain that using a cell phone or PDA might be suspect. And a whole lotta more stuff, too.)

This "fear of God" speech has done the trick for me. Prior to adopting this strategy, I had an average of one cheating situation every year. Since adopting this approach, even though I'm watching like a hawk, I've not yet had cause to suspect a student of cheating. I'm not saying it isn't still happening, just that I am no longer detecting it even given a heightened state of awareness and vigilance on my part.

I don't know what would happen if I did assign an "F" and the student tried to appeal based on unfounded suspicion. But fortunately, an ounce of prevention has headed off a pound or two of cure...

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

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


"Student Cheating Goes High Tech," The Accounting Web, January 30, 2003 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=97073&u=8288eE57&m=4465 

A December article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that two Columbia University undergraduate students had been arrested earlier that month for using high-tech transmitters and walkie-talkies to cheat on the Graduate Record Examination. Authorities believe the students were going to sell the stolen test questions to other students.

So does this mean that American students condone cheating? Probably not, according to a study published last winter in the Journal of Economic Education. The study tested the tolerance for cheating of nearly 900 students from four countries. The researchers concluded that Russian students showed the greatest tolerance to cheating followed by Israeli and then Dutch students with American students coming in last.

The cross-country research study is reported at http://www.indiana.edu/~econed/pdffiles/spring02/magnus.pdf 


Education Innovation of the Week (Improved Interaction in Electronic Books)
From Syllabus News on January 31, 2003

E-TEXTBOOKS – Atomic Dog Publishing, which develops electronic college textbooks, released version 3.0 of its online learning software, MyBackpack. The latest version is targeted at assisting instructors with features that allow them to edit, delete, and renew their courses; annotate and create custom content to be inserted directly into their textbooks; and track student performance in real-time. New features would also enable students to customize their textbook learning environment. Enhanced navigation features include an intuitive Flash-based toolbar which allows searches by figure, word, or phrase and a button to access study guides from any point in the text.

The Atomic Dog homepage is at http://www.atomicdogpublishing.com/home.asp 

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm 

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


One of my good friends for Canada has a good new book technology and business.  There is also free Zorba music if you go to http://www.zorba.ca/ 

Zorba Publications Inc

Books on e-Business and other topics

President and Principal Author: Gerald D Trites, CA*CISA, FCA

LATEST PUBLICATION

Mobile Business - A Wireless World, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Toronto, 2003

PREVIOUS BOOKS

E-Business, a Canadian Perspective, Prentice Hall Ltd, Toronto, January, 2002.

Collaborative Business – Beyond e-Business, CICA, Toronto, December, 2001.

Enterprise Resource Planning – Implementation and Management, CICA, Toronto, November, 2000.

Strategic Internet Commerce, CICA, Toronto, November, 1999.

The Impact of Technology on Financial and Business Reporting, CICA, Toronto, October, 1999.

The Canadian Accountants' Guide to the Internet, Carswell, Toronto, 3rd edition 1999.

Audit of the Small Business, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Toronto, 1994

Jerry's homepage is at http://iago.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/ 


February 11, 2003 message from Elliot Kamlet SUNY Account [ekamlet@BINGHAMTON.EDU

From Ellen Goodman's Column February 11, 2003

ICHAEL DINI doesn't exactly fit the profile of an antireligious bigot. For one thing, the Texas Tech biology professor spent 14 years in a Roman Catholic order of teaching brothers.

If he's bigoted against anything, it's probably against the current wave of grade inflation or perhaps ''recommendation inflation.'' In any case, Dini's Web page lays out strict criteria for any student who wants his recommendation to graduate school in science.

First of all, he says, you have to earn an A in his class. Second, he adds, ''I should know you fairly well.'' And third, you need to ''truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer'' to the question: ''How do you think the human species originated?''

See the rest of the article at

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/037/oped/Creationists_evolving_argument+.shtml 

Elliot Kamlet 
Binghamton University


Forwarded by Neil Hannon on February 3, 2003

The American Bar Association has a proposal , which will be discussed this week at it's Seattle meeting, that attempts to define the practice of law and consequently, would prohibit nonlawyers from many activities that they currently perform. This could affect tax accountants among others (real estate agents, investment bankers, business planners, etc.). The link to a NY Times article is at http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/03/national/03LAW.html?th. The link to the ABA draft is at http://www.abanet.org/cpr/model_def_definition.html.

Lawyers went after tax accountants in the 1920's and 1930's for tax work using the argument that it was the illegal practice of law, but the cases died down without any clear cut resolution. It appears that this is the ABA's response to multidisciplinary practices. If this passes in Seattle it will go to the full meeting in August and then I suppose, the ABA will lobby the states to adopt this definition. Neither the FCC or the Justice Department is in favor of this. I suppose that, under this proposal, tax accountants could prepare tax returns (Circular 230 - an adjudicative body under (d)(3) of the proposal-allows this) but could not give tax advice

((c)(1) under the proposal) unless we fall under a limited license? This would also affect real estate closings. I lived in the south for a long time prior to coming to Connecticut and closings were done at the office of a title company and I never saw the attorney's) involved. It was easier to close than it is in Connecticut (as well as less expensive). Do you think that the attorneys want to make sure that they get the premiums from the title insurance policy? Patricia Nodoushani

Dr. Patricia Nodoushani
nodoushan@mail.hartford.edu 
University of Hartford (860) 768-4346


What's new in accounting standards? --- http://www.smartpros.com/x36926.xml 


How to Randomly Choose Students in Class and Flash Their Pictures on the Screen

Hi Dee and Walter

My random student picture and presentation Excel spreadsheet is the random1302.xls file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/Random/ 

Click the button go generate the "Random Number" of a workstation.

Click on the workstation number to move to the picture of the person at that workstation.

Click on the picture of the person to return to the random number generator.

I think Barry Rice had another way of randomizing students to call upon.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Nanyang Polytechnic [mailto:WOON_Hin_Keng@NYP.GOV.SG]  
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 9:39 PM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: 
Re: Photo Random Selector Technology

Hi Dee,

If memory serves, Bob Jensen had a program like that running in Excel - using a random number generator with the student's digital photo already embedded in the worksheet. When you refresh the page by clicking on a button, you get a different student photo displayed. You can probably get it from his website.

Cheers Walter

January 30, 2003 reply from George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU

If you look at http://www.evergreen.loyola.edu/~geo/pix, you'll find three Java routines that provide a graphic user interface to:

1. Select a subdirectory containing either .gifs or .jpgs. No database is involved. The program will find all images in the given subdirectory. 2. Choose whether or not a file name is to be used a label. If you name a file ``John Smith.jpg,'' the photo will be displayed with the label ``John Smith.'' 3. Choose whether the photo is to be displayed actual size or stretched to fit the (adjustable) GUI window. 4. Choose whether the photos are to be sampled without replacement (each photo is displayed only once) or with replacement (photos may be reselected during a session).

(Your browser will probably mangle the filenames to fit the 8.3 filename format, but your local java guru will be able to tell you what the filenames should be.)

Photos are selected at random by an instance of Java's random number generator. To quote from the Java documentation: ``An instance of this class is used to generate a stream of pseudorandom numbers. The class uses a 48-bit seed, which is modified using a linear congruential formula. (See Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2, Section 3.2.1.)''

Also included in the link is a DOS .bat file which will invoke the routine, assuming the classes have been compiled into a package resident somewhere known to the CLASSPATH environmental variable. A lot o' jargon there, but your friendly local Java guru should be able to set things up for you.

Geo


World Mysteries --- http://www.world-mysteries.com/

World-Mysteries.com is a non-profit organization. Explore with us lost civilizations, ancient ruins, sacred writings, unexplained artifacts, and science mysteries. Introduced are "alternative theories", subject experts, books, and resources on the Internet.

This web site is evolving. More subjects will be available soon and the existing content is constantly being refined and updated...


Speaking of Mysteries
Question

Who will stick it out and who will drop out of a distance education course?

Answer
See http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/JAN03_Issue/article06.html  (Includes a Literature Review)

Hypotheses

This study had two hypotheses:

  1. Locus of control, as measured by the Rotter's Locus of Control scale, is a significant predictor of academic persistence.

  2. Locus of control scores increase, moved toward internality, over the course of a semester for students enrolled in web-based instruction.

Bob Jensen's threads on dropouts can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#DropOuts 


Update on MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) and DSpace Initiative

THE SELF-MANAGING LIBRARY Software prevents scholarly schisms The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Hewlett-Packard have implemented a new, Web-accessible system for storing, indexing, and disseminating the university's intellectual property. DSpace is an electronic, open source platform for storage and retrieval that lets MIT maintain its own virtual library of digitally rendered material. http://news.intelligententerprise.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eKcK0EWPTi0C3p0Bp8Z0At 

Bob Jensen's threads on OKI and DSpace are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI 


I'm normally all for technology that takes the drudgery out of work.  But in my viewpoint, Thomson ISI is in the gray zone.  But I guess it's all right as long as faculty can use it for their own writing.  It almost seems like you can give the "content search" a topic and pop out a great deal of the paper.

Do you think this automatic template for research writing improves or inhibits learning how to do it the hard way?
You can read about ThomsonISI ResearchSoft at http://www.isiresearchsoft.com/ 

From Syllabus News on January 31, 2003

RESEARCH TOOLS – Thomson ISI ResearchSoft, a producer of bibliographic management software, unveiled WriteNote, a Web-based research and writing tool for the undergraduate market. WriteNote, sold as an annual, site-wide subscription to institutions, is designed to help students conduct their research and write papers. The system provides students access to library resources (e.g., Gale, WilsonWeb) where they search for content, and capture references into their folders. Students can also annotate and save Web pages. 

WriteNote also offers the same Cite While You Write feature that creates a paper with properly formatted citations as the desktop products-EndNote, ProCite, and Reference Manager.


A troubled young man's downward spiral before committing suicide is chronicled in posts to an online message board whose participants give him suggestions about how to kill himself. Is the website responsible for his death? --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57480,00.html 


Accounting Policy Disclosure Requirements 
If some of you have links to some great illustrations, please share them with us.

"SURVEY: FORTUNE 100 CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES DISCLOSURE 23 INDUSTRIES 65 COMPANIES," by  Linda C. Quinn, Ottilie L. Jarmel, and  Claire E. Horgan, Shearman and Sterling, 2002 --- http://www.realcorporatelawyer.com/Features/Shearman&Sterling-Fortune_100_Critical_Accounting_Policies.pdf 

Illustration from Proctor and Gamble 2002 Annual Report --- http://www.pg.com/annualreports/2002/financial/review6.html 
Recall the P&G is one of the derivative financial instruments scandal cases from the early 1990s that contributed somewhat to the urgency to adopt the controversial FAS 133 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm#DerivativesFraud 

Financial Statement Disclosure Requirements about Application of Critical Accounting Policies --- http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/33-8098.htm 

A letter written to the SEC by Marc E. Lackritz, President of the Securities Industry Association (SIA), to the SEC contains a helpful "Annex A" (which I guess is a term used in place of Appendix A) entitled "Summary of Disclosure Practices of Financial Institutions." --- http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/s71602/mlackritz1.htm 

The following summary includes disclosure requirements of the Commission and the FASB, as well as disclosure recommendations made in the following reports: Report of the Working Group on Public Disclosure (chaired by Walter V. Shipley) (January 11, 2001); Final Report to Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Committee on the Global Financial System of the G-10 Central Banks, International Association of Insurance Supervisors and International Organization of Securities Commissions, Multidisciplinary Working Group on Enhanced Disclosure (chaired by Peter Fisher) (April 26, 2001); and Recommendations for Public Disclosure of Trading and Derivatives Activities of Banks and Securities Firms, Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) (October 1999). While we believe this summary reflects a growing consensus on risk disclosures for financial institutions, not all of our member institutions are currently providing all of the disclosures set forth below.

I found this to be a very condensed and helpful summary, although it would be greatly improved with more specific references and definitions of acronyms.  If and when I find time, I will add these to the listing.  

You may also find Mr. Lackritz's editorial arguments regarding required versus recommended disclosures quite interesting.

The homepage of the SIA is at http://www.sia.com/ 

A brief bio of Mr. Lackritz can be found at http://www.sia.com/press/pdf/MELBIO.pdf 

A condensed summary is provided by White and Case ---  http://www.whitecase.com/memo_recent_sec_disclosure_accounting_policies_may_2002.pdf 
A PwC document is also helpful for background reading --- http://www.pwcglobal.com/Extweb/NewCoAtWork.nsf/docid/F4CCF6332DA367C285256C6B0067CDB8 

Proposed Rule:
Disclosure in Management's Discussion and Analysis about the Application of Critical Accounting Policies


Securities and Exchange Commission

17 CFR Parts 228, 229 and 249

[Release Nos. 33-8098; 34-45907
International Series Release No. 1258
File No. S7-16-02]
RIN 3235-AI44

Summary: As an initial step in improving the transparency of companies' financial disclosure, the Commission is proposing disclosure requirements that would enhance investors' understanding of the application of companies' critical accounting policies. The proposals would encompass disclosure in two areas: accounting estimates a company makes in applying its accounting policies and the initial adoption by a company of an accounting policy that has a material impact on its financial presentation. Under the first part of the proposals, a company would have to identify the accounting estimates reflected in its financial statements that required it to make assumptions about matters that were highly uncertain at the time of estimation. Disclosure about those estimates would then be required if different estimates that the company reasonably could have used in the current period, or changes in the accounting estimate that are reasonably likely to occur from period to period, would have a material impact on the presentation of the company's financial condition, changes in financial condition or results of operations. A company's disclosure about these critical accounting estimates would include a discussion of: the methodology and assumptions underlying them; the effect the accounting estimates have on the company's financial presentation; and the effect of changes in the estimates. Under the second part of the proposals, a company that has initially adopted an accounting policy with a material impact would have to disclose information that includes: what gave rise to the initial adoption; the impact of the adoption; the accounting principle adopted and method of applying it; and the choices it had among accounting principles. Companies would place all of the new disclosure in the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" section (commonly referred to as "MD&A") of their annual reports, registration statements and proxy and information statements. In addition, in the MD&A section of their quarterly reports, U.S. companies would have to update the information regarding their critical accounting estimates to disclose material changes


February 7, 2003 message from J. Randall Woolridge [globaltrading@psu.edu

Penn State's Smeal College of Business and the Financial Trading System (FTS) invite your graduate and undergraduate business students to take part in the Global Trading Competition (GTC), an online contest designed to test students' knowledge of financial markets in a real-time, real-world trading environment. As an added bonus, the top trader in the GTC wins $5,000, with the second- and third-place traders taking home $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The GTC is not a stock-picking contest. The competition calls on students to analyze case situations involving fixed-income securities, equities, and/or options and futures, and then make markets and trade securities over a fixed trading period. The cases test students' skills in valuation of securities, identifying and taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities, and managing the risk position of their portfolios.

The GTC will be run through the Internet-based FTS platform, the same technology employed by cutting-edge business education programs around the world.

Please help us get the word out about the Global Trading Competition. Feel free to forward this e-mail to your students and encourage them to visit http://www.smeal.psu.edu/traderoom/contest.html  for more information and to register for the competition.

Sincerely,

J. Randall Woolridge 
Director of the Smeal College Trading Room 
The Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Smeal Endowed Fellow 
The Pennsylvania State University


A program that provided cash to train new teachers in technology will likely get the ax in President Bush's proposed budget. It's a disappointing end for those who say it's been an unqualified success --- http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,57583,00.html 


The first direct evidence that stem cells injected into an injured heart do take on some of the workload is published --- http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993367 


The Massachusetts Society of CPAs has launched its newest student recruitment initiative, CPATrack.com. This comprehensive Web site targeting both high school and college students is designed as a place for students to explore accounting education and career opportunities. http://www.accountingweb.com/item/97127 

The CPA Track Website is at http://www.cpatrack.com/ 
Note that students may post resumes at this site and join a student forum.

Bob Jensen's bookmarks on accountancy careers can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#careers


Online dating services are among the few successful businesses left over from dot-com madness. Now wireless carriers are hoping to parlay the concept into the mobile-phone arena --- http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,57394,00.html 


A website that generated phony CNN news stories has been ordered to close by the network giant. The site was only up for a week, but during that time it created more than its share of trouble and controversy --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57506,00.html 

Phony stories about the death of musician Dave Matthews, or the Olsen twins attending local universities, for example, appeared in a number of local newspapers, as well as regional radio and TV news reports.

The rumors were so widely believed; several universities issued statements denying the Olsen twins would be attending their institutions. And Dave Matthews, who reportedly died of a drug overdose, denied the story on the band's official website.

Police contacted the fake news site after teachers and the parents of students complained about libelous stories generated by the site.

The site's creators think this is the reason CNN shut them down and that copyright infringement was merely an excuse. A CNN spokeswoman said the company didn't comment on legal issues.

"(CNN) probably wouldn't have really cared but since there were pretty much millions of people that were fooled by this, they had to act," said Eric Smith, one of the site's creators.

Fake stories were generated the site's visitors, who filled out a form with the story's headline and text. After hitting a button, the site created a convincing facsimile that included CNN's logos as well as live links and banner ads.

The stories' URLs also appeared to originate from the CNN website, though they contained a telltale '@' symbol, a common spoofing trick.

Smith said that although the fake stories looked identical to stories from CNN's website, the content was so absurd that they resembled parodies. Most were littered with spelling mistakes and bad grammar.

"People are just very gullible," he said.

Indeed. Several newspapers and TV news shows reported that the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley of TV and video fame, would be attending the local university. About 30 different versions of the story were generated, involving the University of Dayton, Miami University, the University of Cincinnati and Penn State, among others.

Some of the institutions received so many calls from reporters and students, they issued statements of denial.

"Despite what you may have heard, the Olsen twins -- Mary-Kate and Ashley -- are not coming to Miami University this fall," said a press release from Miami University.

"Though untrue, we welcome their applications," said the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Meanwhile, the Dave Matthews Band website posted "a reminder about hoax stories," after news of the singer's fatal overdose lit up newsgroups.

Continued at http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57506,00.html 

Fed up with hackers, a flood of spam and lousy connections, Italian Roman Catholics have launched a search for a patron saint of the Internet. And they hope their online poll will yield a holy Web protector by Easter --- http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/01/31/internet.saint/index.html 
(I think this is a real CNN document.)


I hope Ralph does not mind that I am sharing his latest message.  Ralph Estes is one of our better-known public interest accounting activists.

Bob,

It gave me great pleasure to look and read about your Nirvana in New Hampshire. Dreams can come true.

This inspires me to attach a photo of the Alice Paul, our new 34 foot trawler. (Explanation of the strange file name: my wife -- Martha Burk, of Augusta National Golf Club fame -- got tired of the broker's butt sticking out of the door, so she edited it out and renamed the file.) Sooner or later, we expect to at least get up the Hudson and canals to the St. Lawrence, possibly through the lakes and down the Mississippi and back up the east coast, and certainly south from here to Florida and probably the Bahamas. And who knows, maybe the full Indies chain. But not transoceanic - can't carry enough fuel.

In the meantime, look for my work at www.augustadiscriminates.org , to be followed by a continuing corporate campaign to induce fuller disclosure on matters of equity, diversity, health and safety, environmental effects -- but you know the litany.

Warmest regards -- warmer probably than the mean temperature in New Hampshire for 11 months of the year.

-- Ralph Estes, 
Stakeholder Alliance ( www.stakeholderalliance.org )

 


Update Columns from Walter S. Mossberg, Technology Editor for The Wall Street Journal

1/30/03 Tax Program Develops An Insulting Approach WSJ
1/30/03 Wi-Fi by Any Other Name... Just May Not Be Compatible WSJ
1/29/03 Self-Feeding Scanner Gets Put to the Test WSJ
1/23/03 Kind Words for Apple Ignite Long-Running Culture Clash WSJ
1/23/03 Now, XM Satellite Radio Has Gear to Match Programming WSJ
1/23/03 How to Get a Palm Program; An Overzealous Sales Push WSJ
1/22/03 The Keyboard and Mouse, Now in Unplugged Bundles WSJ
1/16/03 Is It Better to Respond to Spam, Or Never to Write Back at All? WSJ
1/16/03 Smallest PowerBook Has Style, Size, Price to Make Apple Shine WSJ
1/15/03 Is That an iPod In Your Pocket?

If you are interested in a scanner that will automatically feed in your old photographs and turn them into computer files without your having to manually feed each picture into the scanner, read the following favorable review by Walt Mossberg:
"Self-Feeding Scanner Gets Put to the Test," The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2003, Page D3 --- Click Here 

The automatic feeder holds a stack of up to 24 3x5-inch or 4x6-inch prints -- in other words, the kind of snapshots people commonly get from photo finishers.

We set the 5500c up on a computer with Windows XP, though it's compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Setup was simple and took only about 20 minutes, thanks to the step-by-step instructions included in H-P's software.

. . .

It took about eight minutes for the feeder to scan all 24 prints, and they came out fine. This feeder is a smart innovation that solves a real problem, and does so well. It is also the first scanner with an automatic photo feeder to be introduced to the consumer market.

By contrast, our test of scanning slides and negatives was disappointing. With the transparent-materials adapter installed, the scanner reads a strip of negatives or set of three slides at one shot. Amazingly, however, H-P failed to develop software that automatically separates the slides and negatives into separate images on the PC -- a task that should be trivial considering the obvious borders around the images. So they come out as single, dark files displaying all of the slides and negatives squished together.

This forces you into the tedious process of manually cropping each image of a slide or negative out of its set. Once you do this, each image lightens up and you can tweak it with editing software. But this requirement stands at odds with the overall mission of the 5500c, which is to automate scanning.

The H-P Photo and Imaging software that comes with the product is nothing to write home about either. We suggest that you rely instead on a good third-party editing program, or one of the new photo-organizing programs like Lifescape's Picasa (www.picasa.net), which includes better editing tools.

The bottom line: If you get a nondefective unit, the H-P Scanjet 5500c is a good product for scanning large numbers of snapshots quickly. But if you have more than a few slides or negatives, H-P isn't doing much for you with this scanner .


While the other airlines are dropping their special deals and tripling their fares, you really should keep track of some of the tremendous deals listed in email messages from Southwest Airlines. Please pass this great news on to your friends. To subscribe to Southwest Airlines Click 'n Save E-mail Updates, visit: http://www.southwest.com/email/emailSubscribe.html 


Dial 1-877-512-4526 
Swiffer will mail you a coupon for a free Swiffer wet jet mop --- http://www.homemadesimple.com/swiffer/caenglish/jet_forget.shtml 
This does not appear to be a gimmick.  It worked beautifully for me because my home phone number is not unlisted.  Give them your home phone number and Swiffer instantly finds your name and address for free shipping of this coupon.  The woman you think you are talking to is really a computer.  
Thank you Auntie Bev.

Of course there is no guarantee that you will not get some additional telemarketing calls for other products, but we get so many of those calls that a few more might as well get zapped by our zapper from Radio Shack --- http://www.startribune.com/stories/789/3596268.html 


Are there any gift certificates that can be purchased for someone you think could use this service? 
http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57444,00.html
 

On the alt.suicide.holiday website, suicide isn't taboo -- it's "a choice." The site advises suicidal users how to end their lives and has been linked to at least 10 deaths. Relatives say the forum encourages people to kill themselves --- 


Are you EduTaining badly?

Judge for yourself on the "sick" link forwarded by Ed Scribner --- teaching philosophy from http://hibp.ecse.rpi.edu/~connor/two.html.

My advice to new faculty is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm 


Request for My Friends to Help Me With a Small Experiment

Forget it.  My experiment failed.

This is a favor that I am addressing to accounting educators, students, and practitioners.  Scholars from other disciplines may be indirectly interested in conducting similar experiments in their own specialties.

This experiment was inspired by the many messages I received from around the world after I announced my intention to retire about a year from now.  Some messages read "how can your contributions to academe be continued after you've retired?" or more simply "who will replace you?."  

What I do for the public at large seems to be of some value to both friends and strangers around the globe?  My friend and colleague Phil Cooley calls me a Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) swimming in a sea of information.  I think he means that as a compliment, although I would prefer to be called a Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).  All professors in the academy are whales gathering up and digesting pieces of information like whales gathering up Krill.  And all professors store this information, classify it, analyze it, and broadcast it to students and colleagues.  

If all professors are whales in a sea of information, what makes me somewhat unique in the eyes of Phil Cooley?  I think Phil was thinking more in terms of my activism in swimming about in a wide sea of information followed by prolific broadcasting on various discussion groups and storing thousands of threads in an electronic library that are sought out by hundreds of people each day from all over the world.  I broadcast over various discussion groups, and most notably I broadcast daily on the world's only active listserv for accounting educators called the AECM.  

My public library is on two servers at Trinity University.  Information Technology Services (ITS) on campus generously provides me virtually unlimited space on a Web server where I store thousands of threads that are mostly in text format.  My good friends in the Department of Computer Science provide me with virtually unlimited space to serve up my multimedia files such as Camtasia video and MP3 audio.  On both of these Web servers, my files are freely available to anybody in the world.  The links to my public library servers are as follows:

But what makes "what I do" somewhat unique relative to other whales in the academy?  I think my uniqueness is due to my early activism in sharing.  What makes me unique is that both my broadcasting and my library contributions to academe are more collaborative than those of many other whales in the sea.  People from all over the world who, for one reason or another, are hesitant to send a message out to discussion groups contact me to comment on their thoughts and then broadcast the message for them.  In that sense I've become accounting education's "Dear Abbie" whale.   I'm an information whale that gets hand fed by many scholars.

People from all over the world also send me modules and request that I place their modules in my library that is served up to the world.  This is generally because they appreciate my library and want to help me improve what is available in that library.  Of course much of what is in my public library is my own work.  But in some cases I have merely been a "middle man" in classifying and storing information provided by other persons from many nations.  Users go to my classification table and then work their way down to documents of interest.  Often they do word searches to find what they are seeking on a given topic such as education technology, distance education,  electronic commerce, accounting theory, fraud, helpers for educators, helpers for accountants, helpers for researchers, bookmarks, archives of my New Bookmarks newsletter,  technology glossaries, FAS 133 overviews and cases, etc.

So what is going to be lost when I retire?  In terms of broadcasting, I suspect very little will be lost.  Those lurkers who are hesitant to broadcast because I am available will eventually commence broadcast on their own.  Active broadcasters in our discussion groups will become more active to fill in for me when I'm gone.  

What is My Proposed Experiment?
What will be lost when I retire are my services in maintaining active and collaborative public libraries on the two Trinity University Web servers.  This leads me to my proposed experiment.  Virtually all of us have private libraries in hard copy and on our PCs, Web servers, Blackboard servers, WebCT servers, etc.  What is needed is a public and centralized library somewhat like I have been providing on my ITS Web server at Trinity University.  In a sense that library need not contain many documents at all as long as it provides a centralized service for linking to scattered documents around the world.  However, it does help to store as much information as possible in case those links become broken.

My proposed experiment entails eliminating me as a collaborative library "middle man" or should I say "middle whale?"  It also entails finding another Web server since Trinity University cannot become a host for serving up documents from strangers all over the world.  I spent a goodly part of yesterday seeding some documents on a public server and now I am requesting that interested friends and strangers add to and edit those documents.   I'm also asking you folks to create new documents and knowledge classification schemes.  In other words, my experiment is an effort to see if people who use my public libraries can maintain these libraries collaboratively when I am gone.

Essentially what I have done is to seed several documents linked to my new "Accounting Education" document in Wikipedia at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_Education 
Alternately you can click your way to this page from the Wikipedia home page by clicking on "Business and industry" first and then "Accounting" and then the new link that I added for "Accounting Education."

My experiment is a request that persons from anywhere in the world attempt to improve my seeds that are intended to be helper documents for accounting educators and researchers.  Simply go to any of the documents (pages) that I added to Wikipedia and either modify those documents or add new classification terms and documents in the area of accounting education.  

I apologize that my seed documents really aren't all that great.  I only spent part of yesterday on these seeds.  I'm hoping that you will add the good stuff.

I provide some instructions below on how to help me with this experiment.

How to Carry Out My Experiment in Wikipedia --- http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page 

For some reason the generous hosts of Wikipedia are providing a free public library that others can use without paying a fee and without having to endure advertising and pop up banners.  Anybody in the world can add modules to documents or add entire documents to Wikipedia in order to share these items with the world.  Anybody can create new knowledge classification schemes in Wikipedia and then invite others to add modules within these classifications.

Adding modules to Wikipedia is extremely easy and can be done from virtually any browser without having to download the document into other software.  All you need to do is click on "Edit this page" and add your stuff or delete nonsense left by someone else.  Then click on "Save page" to store the revised page in Wikipedia.

Adding a new classification term and/or a new document to Wikipedia is extremely easy.  Suppose that you want to add a module called "Accounting Ethics in Education" as both a new classification term and a new document.  

  1. Go to my starting document at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_Education  

  2. Click on "Edit this page" near the bottom of the document.

  3. Somewhere in the document type in [[Accounting Ethics in Education]] or replace the topic in one of the items called "Add a New Page Here" if one is available.

  4. Click on "Save page" and wait for the revised page to appear in your browser.

  5. Click on your new link to a new document page for Accounting Ethics in Education.  

  6. Click on "Edit this page" in your new document and add the module to seed this new topic for other collaborators.

  7. Click on "Save page" after you have added your module.

I think it is best to use many short documents than it is to use fewer very long documents.

There are drawbacks to Wikipedia.  It is only a text server and will not import your graphics and other multimedia files.  When you want to serve up graphics, multimedia, PDF files, PowerPoint files, etc., simply add the links in Wikipedia so users can find where you are serving those files from some other server in the world.

Another drawback is that you cannot paste an HTML document into a Wikipedia page and have it look like it did in your HTML editor.  Wikipedia requires that you fix it up with some of its simple scripting.  For example, if you want the header "Ethics Cases" to appear in a larger sized font, type == Ethics Cases == using equal signs on each side.  If you want "Case 01" to be bold faced, type '''Case 01''' as a script for bold face.  

At this point in time I have not investigated all the scripting alternatives in Wikipedia.  Those that I have used I've learned by looking at the scripting when I clicked on "Edit this page" for an existing page.

If you put an "http://external link" in the document, the link will automatically become hot when you save the page. 

If you want to link to another document in Wilipedia, simply enclose the document's name in double brackets.  For example, suppose that you want to add a link to my page called "Accounting Education" in Wikipedia.  Simply type [[Accounting Education]].  If there is already a page with that name, you have now linked to it.  If there is no page with that name, Wikipedia will bring up a blank page so that you can create a new page in that name.

Warnings About Using Wikipedia

Wikipedia is about as fluid a server as I have ever witnessed in my life.  Anybody can add or subtract anything to documents.  The bad news is that some people may add nonsense or repulsive text.  Even worse, they might delete some of the helpful text placed there by somebody else.

In order to overcome these problems, users should frequently download and store Wikepedia documents that they want to preserve.  Then if some nut case intentionally or unintentionally messes up a document on the Wikipedia server, a good scholar who has preserved that page on his or her own computer can simply replace the messed up page with the good page so that Wikipedia users are saved from nut cases.  Also, backup documents can be saved even if Wikipedia itself goes off line.

I did back up all the pages that I added as seeds at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_Education  

I will download all of your good revised pages in this experiment. Don’t be afraid to delete any of my nonsense!

I encourage others to download the revised pages frequently.

I encourage others from all disciplines to run similar experiments to see if Wikipedia can become a collaborative scholars library.  If Wikipedia should cease operations, all the good folks can pool their backed up Wikipedia documents on some other public server if such a server can be found somewhere in the world.  

My worry is that Wikipedia may one day die from its own success.  If more and more of us keep adding more and more long documents, we may soon require more server capacity than can possibly be provided by Wikipedia.  

But in the meantime, let's experiment to see if Bob Jensen can be replaced as a middle whale by not having any middle man or woman at all.  Scholars can collaborate more efficiently without middle whales in the Wikipedia public library/encyclopedia.


Forget Wikipedia!  My experiment failed!

My experiment failed. The link to my Wikipedia Accounting Education pages appears to have been removed by Wikipedia because my contributions are too much like publishing. So much for my effort to have readers replace me as a middle man (whale).

See the Wikipedia message on my page at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_Education 

Wikipedia is not interested in hosting my attempts to provide threads on Accounting Education. Unfortunately, things that appear to be added pass through a Wikipedia gatekeeper such that if you spend serious time creating a new page for Wikipedia it will easily become a waste of time.

I am giving up on Wikipedia at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page 

I will continue to look for a reliable host server like Wikipedia, but this appears not to be as easy as I thought it would be. John Howland sent me some suggestions for going wiki on a Trinity University server. I do like the wiki software, but I no longer care much for Wikipedia.

Bob Jensen


February 5, 2003 reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

I have been a user of wickipedia (though only parts of it relating to mathematics and statistics) for sometime. While I have not exactly been profoundly influenced by it, I must confess my admiration for the philosophy underlying the efforts. Should such an effort materialise in accounting (and I sincerely hope it will), I would vote for naming it BobBot.

There is another effort, though narrow, that is based on sounder foundations. I am referring to the Principia Cybernetica Project (PCP) based partly on the dissertation of Cliff Joslyn's dissertation at SUNY Binghamton, the work of Francis Heylighen in Belgium, and founded by Valentin Turchin of CUNY. You can find the results of their efforts at

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/NUTSHELL.html

Getting back to open source, I find it difficult to understand the perceived poor quality of open source. I have been an avid user of many open source tools (TeX, LaTeX, emacs, g++, libg++, linux, apache tomcat, jakarta,...) for a long time, and I have never come across commercial tools that come close to the quality of these free tools.

It is true that these tools are not as "user friendly" or "idiot-proof", and it is also true that you do not get an 800 number to call in case needed. However, I have found an army of good samaritans over the internet always eager to help when you are in need. Also I have preferred using their help rather than having to be a ping-pong ball between telebots and listening to recorded music on those 800 numbers.

I even know of Microsoft employees who are stealth users of such tools.

Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor ( j.gangolly@albany.edu
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

URL: http://www.albany.edu/acc/gangolly


Reply from a Professor of Computer Science at Trinity University

I see you have discovered wiki systems. Last spring the CS Junior design problem was to research wiki systems and to design "better" wiki systems. Six teams of designers addressed wiki design problems and produced new working wiki systems which address this problem. (the problem that nut cases can mess up a document)

One thing you might do is to negotiate with the University that your status as a distinguished Professor emiritis include maintaining an improved wiki system which would be seeded with your database and occasionally administered by you (remotely) where ever you are. The wiki could include features for logging transactions and un-doing changes which are considered to be disasterous to the integrity of the db. You could automatically be notified when someone damages the db allowing you to decide whether or not you want to un-do the changes. The cost of doing this would be rather minimal (a single inexpensive server machine) which runs mostly unattended. CS could do the sysadmin for the machine. The University would derive national recognition for maintaining the database.

John Howland


Some of you may be interested in Wiki scripting since it can be done from a browser such as Internet Explorer. Recall that I was looking into Wiki for my failed Wikimedia experiment where Wikimedia thought I was making my submissions too much like publishing (i.e., my submissions were much too long for encyclopedia modules).

At present my pages still reside on another Wiki server at http://www.seedwiki.com/page.cfm?doc=accountingeducation&wikiid=1442&wpid=  
However, on this server my formatting scripts do not work like they did in Wikipedia.

The message below is from a student a Computer Science major at Trinity University. 

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Lioi, Patrick 
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 2:21 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: RE: Wiki

Dr. Jensen,

The original Wiki can be found here: http://c2.com/cgi/wik i. The history of its development can be found here: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory .

In a nutshell, they are web pages built by those who visit the site. www.everything2.com is a wiki-like site that acts as a pop-culture repository. The main benefit is that the maintainers of the site don't have to have a large staff of writers.

It has been immitated countless times over, and whenever someone comes out with a new programming language, it's sort of a given that someone will take up the challenge to implement a wiki with it. The software is almost always free, and I would actually be surprised to find one that actually costs anything. Of course, that's assuming that you're already paying for a server to run it on.

Since HTML can pose a high learning curve for most people, and because allowing users to enter plain HTML can pose some security risks, wikis generally have their own text formatting rules ( http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TextFormattingRules ). Still, learning these rules can be about as difficult as learning the basics of HTML, but at least it limits what a devious user can enter.

Wikis are generally unrestricted. Users can post anything they want, edit other users' entries, delete whole pages, create new pages, et cetera. Often, there will be an administrator who keeps tabs on these changes, and can fix problems caused by malicious users.

Last year, all of the juniors in the CS department were split into groups with the task of creating a "Better Wiki". Each team came up with a list of improvements and implemented a prototype. My team focused on three main features: user-friendly rollbacks, simpler linking, and a customizable user interface. The "rollbacks" were basically an "undo" feature, so that the whole history of any page could be remembered, and the admin could roll the page back to an earlier part of its history (ie. to a point before someone erased it). Wikis assume that AnyWordsStuckTogether form a link to a page with the same name, and we felt that this was hard to read, so we allowed more intuitive page naming and linking. We also allowed users to change the general look-and-feel of the wiki, since most have pretty simple layouts.

We initially wanted a full-featured WYSIWYG (word-processor-like) editor for text, to avoid the learning curve issues of wiki text rules and HTML, but there are some problems with that. WYSIWYG is only really successful when you demand that users access your page with Internet Explorer 5.5 and up. We can thank the standards committees for being behind the times on that one. It will likely be several years before cross-browser WYSIWYG becomes mainstream.

We decided to go with straight HTML for entries, focusing on the rollback feature. I have not come accross a wiki that used a sophisticated editor.

One of the other teams, lead by Will Lybrand (my business partner), implemented their own wiki-like plaintext formatting rules, with surprisingly good results. I consider his to be superior, but there's still the issue of having to deal with plaintext editing.

If you have any more questions, I'd be pleased to help. May I ask what got you interested in the subject? Perhaps there is a solution other than wiki.

- Patrick Lioi


Following up on my last Wiki message, you might be interested in a very nice message that I received from Kenneth Tyler who runs the Wiki server where Wikipedia sent my test documents --- http://www.seedwiki.com/page.cfm?doc=accountingeducation&wikiid=1442&wpid= 

Although I can get free space from the kindly Mr. Tyler, I doubt that it will be enough free space for a guy like me who never was good at being concise.

I am still looking into the possibility that Trinity University will become my Wiki service after I have put my head in the clouds in the White Mountains.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Kenneth Tyler [mailto:ken@seedwiki.com]  
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 3:09 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: Re: SeedWiki --- http://www.seedwiki.com 

Robert,

SeedWiki is free for non-commercial use. It has been up for several years now and I plan to keep it up in the forseeable future. The text in a Wiki can be downloaded and saved at any time as a precaution (although seedwiki is backed up daily, downloading it personally just gives you access to the text in all the wiki pages, say if you wanted to import them into Access or just have a copy for safekeeping).

Some features (password protection for whole wikis, ability to upload images to the server, etc.) are only available for commercial accounts. These start at $10 month and run up to $500 month depending on what additional services the account wants. However, as you can see by looking at other wikis on seedwiki ("fishwiki" is a good example) a beautiful and extensive site can be built using only the free features. Still, it might be in the future that the accounting wiki got popular enough people would want to move it to its own domain name and have the ability to add other, related wikis in the same "space". This would mean setting up an account with its own SQL Server and its own version of the SeedWiki engine. Such an "independent" account, where the account itself is a seperate site from SeedWiki and can spawn its own child wikis would start at $75 month. I'm not saying that you would want to do this, just that it would be possible if it became desirable in the future.

At some point in the future I may have to restrict the ability to start new free wikis (the database for seedwiki takes about 600 megs of space) but any existing wikis will not be affected by this.

Let me know if I have not answered your questions or if you need any other information.

Kenneth Tyler


Wikipedia (I wrote this module prior to my bad experience with adding pages at Wikipedia)
For reasons mentioned above, I will never spend any time making contributions to Wikipedia.

"Not Your Father's Encyclopedia," by Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, January 28, 2003 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57364,00.html 

One of the Web's first open-source encyclopedias has reached a milestone, just two years since its inception.

Last week, the English-language version of Wikipedia, a free multilingual encyclopedia created entirely by volunteers on the Internet, published its 100,000th article. More than 37,000 articles populate the non-English editions.

Unlike traditional encyclopedias, which are written and edited by professionals, Wikipedia is the result of work by thousands of volunteers. Anyone can contribute an article -- or edit an existing one -- at any time.

The site runs on Wiki software, a collaborative application that allows users to collectively author Web documents without having to register first.

"People from very diverse backgrounds can agree on what can be in an encyclopedia article, even if they can't agree on something else," said Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.

Wikipedia topics range from Internet terms, such as spamming and trolling, to more mundane subjects, such as unicycling.

Each page on the site contains an "Edit this page" link, which users can click on to edit, reposition and revise passages created by other writers. Once a user has made an edit, those changes are posted immediately.

Users can also view older versions of a page, discuss the page, view links on a page or see related changes. These options allow contributors to constantly refine and comment upon entries.

All articles are covered by the Free Software Foundation's GNU Free Documentation License, which allows anyone to reuse the entries for any purpose, including commercially, as long as they preserve that same right to others and provide proper credit to Wikipedia. This open-content license ensures that Wikipedia's content will always remain free.

"It's a guarantee to contributors that their work is non-proprietary," Wales said. "It's not something that any one person or organization can take and restrict in any way. It really encourages people to contribute."

The project employs a Neutral Point of View policy, which encourages contributors to write articles without bias, represent all views fairly and to attribute controversial opinions, rather than stating them as fact.

"This makes it possible for political and philosophical foes to work together, often with excellent results," agreed Larry Sanger, co-founder and former chief organizer of Wikipedia.

But since neutrality is hard to maintain, "it's understandable if a sizeable number of articles have noticeable biases," said Sanger, who is also editor in chief of the free online, peer-reviewed encyclopedia Nupedia.

Ensuring accuracy is also difficult. A core group of regular contributors help monitor the site's recent changes page to quickly correct any errors and ensure that entries aren't vandalized.

Continued at  http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,57364,00.html 

The Wikipeda homepage is at http://www.wikipedia.org/ 

Wikipedia is a multilingual project to create a complete and accurate open content encyclopedia. We started on January 15, 2001 and are already working on 101702 articles in the English version. Visit the help page and experiment in the sandbox to learn how you can edit any article right now.

Note that Wikipedia also has news documents and biographies of people currently in the news.

Wikipedia has a short document about the history of accounting --- http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting 

There is also a document (with great links) on accounting reform --- http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_reform 
Note that anybody can edit this page and add new things to improve the page.

Accounting reform is change to accounting rules that goes beyond the enforcement of standard accounting practices and the elimination of "creative accounting". It is advocated by those who consider the present standards and practices of the profession wholly inadequate to the task of measuring and reporting the activity, success, and failure of modern enterprise, including government. "Accounting", says Baruch Lev, a notable proponent of such reform, "is about accountability". He notes that the present regime of accounting rules dates back about 500 years to Renaissance Italian practices.

Any comprehensive scheme of accounting reform is a major professional and academic enterprise; Typically it requires examination of the role of each of the fundamental factors of production, an analysis of capital indicating how many types there are and how each supports each factor of a production process.

Limited reforms within professional management circles have led in the past to activity-based costing, executive value added, regret and risk measures. A comprehensive scheme that would affect, for instance, the United Nations standards for national accounts, the rules of the Bank for International Settlements, or listing requirements on the major stock exchanges, would have to defend any change against critics that advocated lesser reforms - making it extraordinarily difficult to achieve simultaneous consent.

Marilyn Waring, who deeply criticized the UN account system for systematically under-valuing the social and economic contributions of women, stated also that she had to read literally an entire room full of books in order even to understand the standards applied today. It seems unlikely that most advocates of reform have the stamina to do so, nor the background required to debate each issue with economists or accountants that build their careers on the detailed extension and improvement of standards that already exist. Most critics considered reform prospects bleak.

The critique from ecological economics was even more fundamental, claiming that most means of measuring well-being indicated that the developed nations were in a state of "uneconomic growth" through the 1980s and 1990s, due mostly to failures of measurement, most or all of which could be tracked back to the practice of using the Gross National Product as a means of making money supply decisions. This is perhaps the most obvious and widely-held critique of current national accounting and economic growth reporting systems - the creators of the GNP and GDP measures themselves advise against its use as a single measure of economic growth - but politicians and press typically do so without caveat nor apology.

Not only do most businesses raise capital based on numbers derived from current standards, here are extensive lobbying efforts by the accounting industry to keep those standards roughly as they are: complex, loopholed, and unable to be applied or audited easily by laymen.

Heads of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission since the 1980s have consistently complained that this lobbying makes it impossible for them to apply meaningful reform, even in the wake of accounting scandals, e.g. that which felled Arthur Anderson in 2002.

Robert Costanza, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and others who advocate a consistent global system for valuing natural capital, note that failures in this area are particularly grim: promoting extinction, loss of biodiversity, climate change and destructive weather for the sake of such "growth". John McMurtry characterized this as "the cancer stage of capitalism".

What makes "economic sense" under current standards, they argue, is in fact leading to ecological catastrophe, social conflict, and economic chaos.

Notable advocates of accounting reform:

See also: standard accounting practices, activity-based costing, executive value added, regret and risk

January 28, 2003
Hello John,

Actually one of the terrific advantages of Wikipedia is that anyone can instantly revise and add to the document right from the browser. You don't even have to download the document into an HTML editor such as FrontPage.

After reading your question about Abe Briloff, I instantly added a couple paragraphs about Abe to Wikipedia. See http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_accounting 

In a way, this ability to revise the contributions of somebody else is a two-way sword. It is great that the document can be added to and improved instantly. But it is a danger that the changes are not reviewed or censored. I could have just as well added something dumb such as a claim the troubles of the accountancy profession would disappear if only the credits went on the left instead of the right.

But when you think about, it is possible for wise people to instantly delete dumb claims such as the one illustrated above.

I guess my main criticism is that there seems to be no running account of what was revised. So many leading practicing accountants so despise Abe Briloff that one of them might soon delete the two paragraphs that I just added to See http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_accounting 

Bob Jensen

From: Corless, John [mailto:corlessj@CSUS.EDU
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 2:46 PM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU  
Subject: Re: Wikipedia: Where You Can Author and Edit Whenever You Like

Why is Abe Briloff not on the list of advocates for accounting reform?

John Corless 
Professor of Accountancy 
CSU-Sacramento Sacramento CA 95819-6088 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for encyclopedias are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#08051Glossaries 

Recall that I am never going to contribute anything to Wikipedia again for reasons mentioned in my failed experiment note above.


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