New Bookmarks
Year 2003 Quarter 3:  July 1-September 30 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

We're moved to the mountains on July 15, 2003 ---  
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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

This is really a good way to start our your day! --- 

A sad song for the anniversary of September 11 ---
God Bless America ---  

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Choose a Date Below for Additions to the Bookmarks File

September 30, 2003     September 20, 2003     September 12, 2003     September 7, 2003   

August 27, 2003   



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September 30, 2003 

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 30, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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

New From Bob Jensen --- Video Tutorials on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities per FAS 133 in the U.S. and IAS 39 internationally --- 

Quotes of the Week

My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on earth in this state.
Gray Davis, California Governor as quoted in Time Magazine, September 23, 2003.
One seems to be from a planet off the earth.

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "always do what you are afraid to do."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

David Hume's human nature: Have you seen the report recently published in Nature of the experiments with Capucian monkeys indicating that in those primates (our very close cousins) a sense of fairness is perhaps an evolutionary legacy? The experiment with pairs of monkeys involved retrieving a stone in exchange for a slice of cucumber. After a few trials, one monkey began to receive a grape instead of a cucumber. The monkey who continued receiving the cucumber altered its behavior in quite notable ways (in the vernacular, it got POed). The authors of the study suggested that perhaps Hume hasn't got human nature quite right. Justice isn't a socially constructed, learned behavior, but perhaps the Friedmanesque rapaciousness is. Why else would their mantra continue to be that avarice needs incentives?
Paul Williams at North Carolina State University (in a September 22, 2003 email message)
You can read an abstract of the article at 

New York State Attorney General Eliott Spitzer's charges of improper trading practices by several leading mutual fund families are another blow to public trust in financial institutions. Mutual funds have been the place you would advise the most unsophisticated investors to go: Mutual funds were designed for grandpa and grandma, and repeatedly recommended to them by all kinds of benevolent authorities. Thus scandals in the mutual fund sector are potentially much more damaging to public trust in our financial institutions than are scandals in other sectors -- such as the one playing out in the New York Stock Exchange right now.
See Robert Shiller's article --- 

The over-the-counter vanilla interest rate derivatives market grew 24% in the first six months of the year, to $123.90 trillion in notional outstanding, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. The growth alone in interest rate notionals represents almost nine times the value of the entire credit derivatives market, which itself grew 25% to $2.69 trillion. "The increase in interest rate derivatives outstanding reflects the need by market participants for risk management tools during a period of bond market and exchange rate volatility," said Isda chief executive Robert Pickel. Equity derivatives - including equity swaps, options and forwards – grew 14% to $2.78 trillion.
Risk News Weekly
on September 26, 2003
This gives you some idea of how interest rate swaps have grown in popularity since they were invented in 1984.  Bob Jensen's latest video on accounting for interest rate swaps can be found at    
Click on 030FAS133InterestRateSwapAccounting.wmv 

'Fred, where is north?'
'North? North is there, my love.
The brook runs west.'
 'West-running Brook then call it.'
(West-running Brook men call it to this day.)
'What does it think it's doing running west
When all the other country brooks flow east
To reach the ocean? It must be the brook
Can trust itself to go by contraries
The way I can with you--and you with me--
Because we're--we're--I don't know what we are.
What are we?'
'Young or new?'
"West Running Brook" by Robert Frost 
I am fortunate to have the Robert Frost home and museum within a short walk from my new house in the White Mountains. You can see some pictures of his old home at

Bob Jensen's working draft of accounting and finance scandals for September 2003 can be found at 

Beware of the fine print in popular gift cards issued by major stores ---  
Each $50 card may decline by as much as 5% per month even though you paid full value up front.  Looks like a consumer rip off from the big chain retailers.

When the Manhattan Institute's researchers added it all up, the result was staggering: Not only have tort costs risen much faster than either inflation or GDP, the estimated $40 billion in revenues our tort warriors took in for 2001 was 50% more than Microsoft or Intel and double that of Coca-Cola. 

The Specialist Myth 
Who are the real bad guys that paid the NYSE's Richard Grasso nearly $180+ million per year to cover their evil ways?  They willingly paid this because Grasso was so darn good at his job protecting them.

The best account of the inherent corruption in the NYSE system that I've read is an editorial by John C. Bogle (founder of the huge Vanguard Group) that appears on the Editorial Page (Page A10) of the September 19, 2003 edition of The Wall Street Journal --- 

From the Bottom of the Stairs:  What You See Is What You Get  --- to Keep!

Soon your sunglasses could help you capture all the important moments of your life --- 

A prototype pair of sunglasses with a camera built in to them has been created by Hewlett Packard researchers.

"It means you now have a wearable camera which nobody will notice and can take pictures while being involved in events," said Huw Robson from Hewlett Packard.

But experts say there could be privacy implications if this sort of technology becomes part of everyday life.

Continued in BBC News, September 18, 2003

When I got an email with the following message, I was taken to a link that, in turn, said I had to install some Korean language software.  Beware of any site that wants to install software on your computer.  Check with your Webmaster or other expert before installing such software.

Spy on Anyone by sending them an Email-Greeting Card! Spy Software records their emails, Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook, ACTUAL Computer Passwords, Chats, Keystrokes.  Check up on your SPOUSE, KIDS, or EMPLOYEES! 

"Chat room charge sign of times," Dave Ebner, Globe and Mail, September 25, 2003 --- 

Microsoft Corp.'s decision to eliminate free chat rooms on its MSN Web sites and replace them with subscription-only rooms is likely the beginning of a trend that will see companies charging for until-now free Internet services.

For years this has been one of my illustrations of a great multimedia site.   In addition to having audio files on many, many Supreme Court cases, the site has become much more of a news and archive site for law.
The OYEZ Project

Please forward this link to the President of your college or university.


Is there a demo version of Virtual U available? Not anymore because download the entire product now from our download page. Press may order for free a boxed copy of the software, manuals and press kit by contact Beth Bryant at 1-888-286-3540.

Aside from the open-ended play, what are the specific scenarios to play in Virtual U?

Scenario 1 Pay Faculty Better
Scenario 2 Allocate New Money
Scenario 3 Teach Better
Scenario 4 Improve Research Performance
Scenario 5 Win Games
Scenario 6 Reduce Tuition
Scenario 7 Respond to Enrollment Shifts
Scenario 8 Enroll More Minority Students
Scenario 9 Hire More Minority Faculty Members
Scenario 10 Balance the Budget

Note from Jensen:
A new scenario should probably be added on how to deal with the complex problem of health insurance!

Virtual U. 2.1 

Virtual U is designed to foster better understanding of management practices in American colleges and universities.

It provides students, teachers, and parents the unique opportunity to step into the decision-making shoes of a university president. Players are responsible for establishing and monitoring all the major components of an institution, including everything from faculty salaries to campus parking.

As players move around the Virtual U campus, they gather information needed to make decisions such as decreasing faculty teaching time or increasing athletic scholarships. However, as in a real college or university, the complexity and potential effects of each decision must be carefully considered. And the Virtual U Board of Trustees is monitoring every move.

Virtual U models the attitudes and behaviors of the academic community in five major areas of higher education management: Spending and income decisions such as operating budget, new hires, incoming donations, and management of the endowment; Faculty, course, and student scheduling issues; Admissions standards, university prestige, and student enrollment; Student housing, classrooms, and all other facilities; and Performance indicators.

Virtual U players select an institution type and strive for continuous improvement by setting, monitoring, and modifying a variety of institutional parameters and policies. Players are challenged to manage and improve their institution of higher education through techniques such as resource allocation, minority enrollment policies, and policies for promoting faculty, among others. Players watch the results of their decisions unfold in real- time. A letter of review from Virtual U's board is sent every "year," informing players of their progress.

For persons in and around the San Antonio area, there may be some interest in the Lost Maples State Park Home Page at 
It will be beautiful up there about a month from now.  
September 24, 2003 reply from Jacob Tingle


FYI…Outdoor Rec is offering a trip to Lost Maples on Friday, November 7 (returning in the evening of Nov. 8). As always Fac/Staff are more than welcome to go on the trips. It would be a great opportunity to interact with students outside the classroom.

Trip Cost is only $20. Trip limit is 8.

Jacob K. Tingle
Trinity Recreational Sports 

Bob Jensen's threads on San Antonio are at 

For persons in New England, the fall foliage time is now in the north and soon in the southern part of New England. 

New Hampshire (slide the mouse across a date) --- 

Maine --- 

Vermont (Click on The Foliage button) --- 

Upstate New York --- 

The foliage is at its peak in Sugar Hill.  I added the following September 20, 2003 picture of the golf club house that is beside our barn (barn not shown is getting new roof and siding).  This is the view of the Green Mountains of Vermont on the back side of our home.  We can't quite see the golf club house through the trees, but we can see the Green Mountains from a slightly different angle.  The colors were not yet peaked at the time of this picture --- 

Over 30,000 Free Academic Literature and Multimedia Items from EServer (including some "Bad Subjects") --- 

The EServer, founded in 1990, is now based at Iowa State University. We are increasing efforts to publish new works (31846 so far). 

The Academy miscellaneous resources for students and faculty
Art/Architecture links to art, architecture, and aesthetic theory
Audio and Video audio recordings of scholarly presentations
Bad Subjects political education for everyday life
Books book-length nonfiction and miscellaneous literatures
Calls for Papers calls for conference papers and journal articles
Cultronix a journal of contemporary art and cultural theory
Cultural Logic an electronic journal of marxist theory and practice
Cultural Theory readings in cultural studies and critical theory
Cyber Tech/Culture discussing links between technology and culture
Drama a collection of plays, modern works and classics
Early Modern Culture works and discussions in Renaissance studies
Education resources for both students and teachers
Eighteenth Century a site for eighteenth-century cultural history
Electronic Labyrinth a study of the implications of hypertext for writers
Feminism select resources in feminism and women's studies
Fiction novels and short fiction, classics and new works
Film & Television works in film, television and other media studies
Gender/Sexuality some resources on gender, sex and sexuality
Government materials in government, law, and their social implications
History works and links in history and historiography
Home Pages the personal home pages of EServer members
Internet resources about the internet: guides, essays and articles
 Journals links to academic journals and popular magazines
Languages resources in language studies and theory
Libraries links to worldwide library catalogues
Literary Events events for any date from literature and the arts
The Mamet Review the journal of the David Mamet Society
Marx & Engels a collection of writings in economic and social theory
Multimedia a small collection of artwork, audio, graphics and video
Music a vast collection of works in music and music theory
Philosophy writings by modern and classical philosophers
Pittsburgh information about the city and its neighborhoods
Poetry original and classic verse, literary and poetic theory
Race materials on race and ethnicity in the U.S.
Recipes vegetarian recipes, and links to good related sites
Reference select reference materials useful for research
Rhetoric scholarly and pedagogical resources for rhetoricians
Software freeware and shareware for your computer
Sparks a publisher of fiction, poetry, music, art and spoken word
Sudden original poetry that reflects imagination and intelligence
 Tech Comm Library a web portal for tech, sci and professional communication
Thoreau Reader the works of American philosopher Henry D. Thoreau
Web Design a site for discussion of new media design
Zine375 writings about contemporary American life

September 22, 2003 message from a Trinity faculty member concerning the above site:

Bob: You just made my day. This A.M. I couldn't get into the site you had sent but after lunch I tried again. I stumbled around and discovered Mark Twain's "Awful German Language", and since I had never read it before (and had about three years of badly instructed German) I began reading and have laughed constantly ever since. We always made comments about German (never so wittily as Twain, of course,) and he pulls them all together here. And your mail to Tiger Talk got me there. 

From the National Institute of Drug Abuse (Science Facts and Learning Games)
The Science Behind Drug Abuse --- 

The NIDA for Teens Web site is brought to you by the scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Learn more about NIDA for Teens.

Marijuana floods the brain with pleasure-causing dopamine, forcing neurons to produce less of it naturally. Learn more facts on drugs.

Can one-time drug use lead to addiction? Dr. NIDA answers this and other frequently asked questions. Read on!

Have Fun and Learn

Sooo, if all this info is now in your brain, show what'cha know and play a game:

Dr. NIDA's Challenge - Explore a body to find out what happens when someone uses drugs. Take the challenge and see if you can build a better body.

Sara's Quest - Join Sara Bellum to explore the brain's response to different drugs!
You will need the Flash plug-in to play this game

NIDA Libs - Marijuana - Fill in the blanks to create your own article about Marijuana.

"Academic fraud runs rampant at major universities," by Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, September 2, 2003 --- 

The first time a coed casually walked up to him, introduced herself and offered to do his homework, it would have been natural for Terrance Simmons to be taken aback.

When he learned that his basketball coach at Minnesota, Clem Haskins, was being forced out as a result of massive NCAA rules violations, Simmons understandably could have been shocked.

And when he read this spring about another seemingly endless string of new academic fraud cases — involving people who somehow didn't learn from the 1999 scandal that was supposed to be a national wake-up call — one might have expected Simmons to be a bit dismayed.

But he wasn't.

None of it surprised him.

Because the way Simmons sees it, he knew the kind of world he was getting into from the very beginning.

He remembers sitting in his family's living room in Louisiana as a prized high school recruit. He remembers college coaches — "and we're talking about coaches from major universities," he said — giving him all kinds of reasons to join their programs.

Most of all, he remembers many of those recruiters making it quite clear that scholastic integrity wasn't exactly their top priority.

"They didn't come right out and say I didn't have to go to class," Simmons said, "but it wasn't very hard to read between the lines."

Likewise, it doesn't take many code-breaking skills to figure out that academic fraud has become a scourge of epic proportions in major college athletics.

In the past four years alone, the NCAA has doled out punishment nine times for academic infractions, ranging from grade tampering to improper use of tutors. That number doesn't even include all of the schools involved in the latest outbreak.

In the span of just a few weeks at the end of last season, the men's basketball teams at Fresno State, Georgia and St. Bonaventure all removed themselves from postseason play amid reports of fraud.

Those scandals were followed by accusations of similar violations at Fairfield and Missouri. The possibility of academic infractions hasn't been ruled out at Baylor, where the basketball program is already under intense scrutiny after the alleged murder of a player, the ensuing cover-up and the resignation of coach Dave Bliss.

Simmons, who graduated from Minnesota with a degree in communications and economics and wasn't involved in the violations that occurred while he played for the Golden Gophers, thinks the frequency of reported similar transgressions will grow before it subsides.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on academic fraud and plagiarism are at 

In terms of jobs, who are the winners and losers in the current economic "recovery"?

Actually education and health care are not doing to badly on a relative basis!  

"Things Are Looking Up ... Unless You Want a Job This economic recovery really is different—and that has a lot of people worried. Should they be?"  by Justin Fox and Anna Bernasek, FORTUNE, September 15, 2003 ---,15114,485656,00.html 

The economic news has been almost all good lately. Manufacturing is on the rebound. Corporate profits are up. So are retail sales. In the U.S., third-quarter economic growth is expected to clock in at a close to 5% annual clip. Other major economies—even Japan's!—are finally showing signs of economic life.

It's almost enough to make you believe that after three years of economic coughs, fits, starts, and disappointment, we're finally in the clear. That's certainly the consensus on Wall Street. "I'm highly confident about the economy," says Jim Glassman, senior economist at J.P. Morgan Chase. "There's been a distinct change in mood. And whenever confidence in the outlook changes, the economy takes off."

But there's one statistic that keeps getting in the way of such positive thinking. The U.S. economy employs 2.7 million fewer people now than it did when the recession started in March 2001. The layoffs continue: In August, even as other economic indicators were coming up roses, another 93,000 jobs disappeared. According to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession ended in November 2001. But the jobs recession didn't—almost two million jobs have been lost since then. "We are in a recovery, because output is growing," says one veteran member of the recession-dating committee, Conference Board economist Victor Zarnowitz. "But normally, output and labor growth go together."

Employment change in selected industries since December 2001.
Who's been hiring?
Eating and drinking establishments +174,800
Local public schools +159,600
Banks and other lenders +144,200
Hospitals +134,200
Doctors' offices +118,100
Private schools and colleges +112,100
Who's still firing?
Computer and electronics manufacturers -213,000
Wholesalers -141,000
Telecommunications service providers -137,600
Transportation and warehousing providers -135,000
Retailers -122,000
Vehicle (cars, aircraft, etc.) manufacturers -111,500
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

TIAA-CREF, the investment company that manages pension plans for teachers, colleges, universities and research institutions, cut 500 jobs, or about 8% of its work force.
The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2003 ---,,SB106434056062057700,00.html?mod=mkts_main_news_hs_h 

Academic Responsibility and Dilemma 

A referee for a submission to a journal discovered that the paper he was reviewing had been previously published.  Some questions raised are as follows for the editor that submitted the paper to the referee (I assume that the refereeing process is blind such that the referee cannot identify the author of the submitted paper):

  1. Should an editor only notify the author of the submitted paper that his/her submission violates submission policy?

  2. Should an editor notify the author and the author's employer about the results of the refereeing policy (legal liability may be involved here)?

  3. Should an editor notify editors of related journals that they might expect to receive this paper in the future (under the same or a new title and minor revisions)?

    I mention this because I once received a plagiarized paper three times (enormous sections of the paper were taken from earlier published work without attribution to the original author). In other words, I received a paper to referee from a U.S. journal when I had previously rejected the paper for an American Accounting Association journal on grounds of plagiarism. I then received the paper a third time to referee from a foreign journal. (At the time, my research specialty was fairly narrow in Analytic Hierarchy Processing such that journal editors did not have many choices regarding referees.)

  4. Should the author or the editor communicate on a listserv that a paper has been submitted that is identical to or similar to a cited published paper?  This seems to me to be a good alternative when the person who submitted the paper is not an author of the original published paper.  This warns a wider audience of possible referees that a plagiarized paper is being circulated.
  5. Should the referee recommend publication and not disclose the detected plagiarism? This is the ultimate punishment for the sleazy author! The referee can then lay in wait and reveal the plagiarism to the world after the suspect paper is published. Thereby the sleazy author's employer becomes embarrassed by the incident, and the sleazy author will most likely be punished severely. Better yet, the sleazy author obtains a very bad reputation (the Scarlet Letter P) in his or her profession.  The problem with this alternative is that the referee has not made an ethical choice with respect to the journal's editor.

It always seems to me that authors who play this game should be punished more than merely having an editor reject the paper without any other form of punishment.  In the above instances, I mailed copies of all previous rejection letters to each editor.  E-mail and listservs had not yet been invented.  

A second message from the referee reads as follows:

This paper does not seem to be an innocent error. Author has attempted to crudely change the title of the paper (this is the only attempt of change!). The other paper is published in 2001 and NOT any recent one. The most important of all is that the author(s) have lifted printed diagrams as it is in picture formats from this published paper and not a single diagram is hand created. The worst of all is that particular published paper too has similar kind of problems at some places but could not get into the eyes of the editor or reviewers.

Jagdish Pathak, PhD
Assistant Professor of Accounting Systems
Odette School of Business
University of Windsor
401 Sunset
Windsor, N9B 3P4, ON

September 20 reply from Jagdish

Oh Bob! Your fifth alternative is horrendous where everyone will have to make most unethical choices, i.e. referee to recommend-editor to accept-publisher to publish and in the end we never know (except the editor, of course) who is the real author . Is it the same published authorship trying to have one more number or somebody else simply lifting from others published stuff?

Other than author, all the related parties may have to bear a big potential legal liability!

Jagdish Pathak,

September 20 Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Yet Again Jagdish,

As long as you got me into old plagiarism stories, I will tell you another one (I may have mentioned this some years back on the AECM).

One of my very close colleagues, Professor S, earned a PhD in Organization Behavior from one of the top ten universities of the nation, let's say Prestige University X.   After he graduated his first job was at University Y before we both joined the faculty at University Z.   Student S's thesis advisor at Prestige University X made him return for a hearing regarding whether his PhD degree should be revoked since evidence was raised that portions of Student S's thesis were plagiarized.  

Student (by then Assistant Professor) S was entirely confused by all this and swore that he did not plagiarize those passages supposedly taken from an article published by Accounting Professor A at Prestige University X.  Further investigation of timing of article refereeing, etc. revealed that it was the other way around.  Professor A actually plagiarized passages of the thesis of Student S.  

Like at the ending of a who-done-it movie, the revocation hearing was abruptly adjourned, and the entire matter was hushed over.  I would never have learned about this except that Student S had a few too many cocktails one night at a party and revealed the entire incident to me and several other close friends.

Years ago, Professor A at Prestige University X was a casual friend of mine who used to attend every American Accounting Association annual meeting.  Until Student S revealed his secret, I always wondered why Professor A abruptly stopped attending AAA meetings and seemed to disappear from the scene.  However, he's still listed in the Hasselback Directory as being on the faculty of Prestige University X and is probably a rather invisible professor among his own colleagues. 

Student S eventually became a very young President of State University C.


"Yahoo Hopes Its New Service Turns Searchers Into Shoppers," by Mylene Mangalindan, The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2003 ---,,SB10642735647966500,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fmarketplace%255Fhs 

Yahoo Inc. wants to shake up shopping.

The Internet company is revamping its online shopping services to make it easier for users to find merchandise such as electronics, baby goods and music CDs. Starting Tuesday it plans to add tools to help Internet surfers make better side-by-side comparisons by criteria such as brand, price, features and consumer ratings of merchants.

Online comparison shopping is hardly a new idea, and Yahoo already offers some comparison features. But the Web giant's stepped-up focus could affect smaller e-commerce players and even the strategies of big online merchants such as Inc. and eBay Inc. Yahoo plans to add similar improvements to other content areas of its network, such as movies, music, travel and autos.

The landscape of comparison-shopping services, including, mySimon, BizRate, and PriceGrabber, is highly fragmented -- so much so that Web-search giant Google Inc. caused an industrywide buzz last year when it unveiled just a test version of a shopping site dubbed Froogle.

Yahoo's move is another example of Chief Executive Terry Semel's campaign to use improved search technology to generate additional revenue. By providing better tools for users, it hopes to deliver more likely buyers to merchants and advertisers, allowing it to charge more for Web ads and referrals.

Yahoo also is making a subtle change in its business model for shopping, which may affect both the company's fortunes and the comprehensiveness of the service. While Yahoo now mainly gets shopping revenue from commissions on sales that originated on its site, the company plans to start charging merchants to guarantee inclusion in its new shopping search engine. Yahoo says it won't identify in the search results which merchants have paid such a fee.

The company says it still will be possible for merchants who don't pay for listings to have their products show up in comparisons. But there is no guarantee such information will be up to date, since these unpaid listings will reflect Yahoo's regular sweeps of information on the Web rather than data the paying merchants submit to the service. Yahoo said the paid inclusion program doesn't taint its product results because the items that show up in response to a consumer query are listed by relevance, not by order of which merchant paid to be included in the program.

Yahoo's large audience may make the new service seductive to online stores. Amazon, in fact, has decided to join the "paid inclusion" service, and is one of more than 100 big-name merchants Yahoo hopes to lure.

Bob Jensen's threads on eCommerce and eBusiness are at 

The digital cable-TV revolution has a problem: Many subscribing households quit every month, with viewers reluctant to pay extra for channels they don't watch.
"Digital World Churns As Cable Subscribers Ignore Many Channels." by Peter Grant, The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2003 ---,,SB106435876653748300,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fmarketplace%255Fhs 

Selected Online Calculators

Business Valuation Calculators

Online Forecasting Calculators


A really comprehensive listing of financial calculators from ---
I shortened the above link to  

Great financial calculators at 
Look under Resources and then Calculators

Martindale's Calculators (STOCKS, BONDS, OPTIONS, COMMODITIES, FUTURES) --- 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Calculators for Investors --- 

Many Other Online Calculators  --- 

"(Hard Drive) Size Does Matter," by Reuters, Wired News, September 18, 2003 ---,1367,60505,00.html 

A group of computer owners has filed a lawsuit against some of the world's biggest makers of personal computers, claiming that their advertising deceptively overstates the true capacity of their hard drives.

The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, was filed earlier this week in Los Angeles Superior Court against Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.

An interview with an economist who won a Nobel Prize.  He places a lot of blame for the latest economic downturn on the popularity of the accountant's "bottom line."

"The Dark Side of the Boom," Wired Magazine, October 2003

To the downsized or those with withered 401(k)s, the '90s were a golden age. But don't remember the Clinton years too fondly, says Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. In his new book, The Roaring Nineties, the ex-World Bank honcho argues that all the prosperity masked some troubling trends - like accounting tricks and the rise of the disposable employee - and left us with an overly volatile economy. So much for progress.

Who deserves the most blame for the crash? 
I identify three or four culprits. The deregulation movement went too far, too fast. Then I have to give some blame to the Fed. Greenspan gave the "irrational exuberance" speech but didn't do anything about it. And there was the bad accounting framework, which emphasized stock options and created a series of perverse incentives. Wall Street and Silicon Valley conspired to maintain those bad standards.

But that economic climate led to a lot of innovation, especially in the Valley. The majority of innovation comes from public investment. Where did the Internet come from? The government. Radar? Jet engines? Publicly funded.
You come down hard on deregulation in your book, especially in the telecom sector. What about airline deregulation, which led to lower ticket prices? I don't like the word deregulation. I like to say "finding the right regulatory structure." For example, you shouldn't have a regulation about where you can locate an ATM. But you have to think about the conflicts of interest that we saw in banking.

You claim too much R&D money was wasted on "useless software" and "unused fiber" in the '90s. Isn't it kind of early to know? 
Over the long run, yes, those will be productive. The point is that market signals - like price - only work if you have the right information. We didn't have the right information because of the distortions caused by stock options.

Will doing away with stock options put an end to market volatility? 
There's no way to eliminate volatility. In the '90s, though, we did things that made us more susceptible to it. Two of the most important economic stabilizers, unemployment insurance and welfare, have been reduced. Then there's a mentality that all that matters is the bottom line. That subjects us to a lot more volatility in a downturn.

Which is the more economical platform, Windows or Linux?

From Mitch Wagner in Information Week, September 19, 2003

A Gartner study concludes that Linux isn't cheaper than Windows on the desktop. Gartner says the cost of switching eats up free-software savings. One of the major costs is rewriting Windows applications to run on Linux.

The Gartner study pairs off nicely with a recent study from Forrester Research that found that Linux was a more expensive development platform than Windows.

The other reason this study is suspicious is that it falls prey to the Pee Wee Herman Critique Of Analyst Reports: "Duh. Tell me something I DON'T know." Linux is still not QUITE ready for most desktops. The really exciting thing about Linux on the desktop is not where it is now, it's how far the operating system has come in the past three years or so, and how far it can be expected to go in the near future. My crystal ball for late 2006 shows me lots of interesting headlines about Windows' eroding market share on the mainstream desktop. But not today. Today, your mainstream operating system choices on the desktop are Windows, Windows and Windows.

Page down to the end of the newsletter for links to the earlier Forrester study, along with my earlier discussion of it.

Also on today: Open source weblogger Don MacVittie says Microsoft's plans to increase integration in Windows will fail to achieve the goal of increased security.

Which is the better PC operating system:  Windows versus Mac?

"Behind the Myth:  Macs Aren't Miraculous, They're Just Better PCs," by Jeremy Wagstaff, The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2003 ---,,SB106442486955959100,00.html?mod=technology%255Ffeatured%255Fstories%255Fhs 

The PowerBook is a sleek, svelte machine that dominates the room, quietly: no whirring drives or clunky CD trays. Slide your CD into a slot an ant couldn't climb through, let alone a house lizard, and it just disappears -- no extraneous flashing lights; indeed it's hard to tell whether the computer is actually on. The screen and desktop are a marvel to behold and use. (New, lighter, versions of the PowerBook were launched earlier this month.)

The iPod MP3 player is also a delight. The buttons take five minutes to master, making you wonder why anybody designs buttons any other way. It's not perfect sailing of course: The PowerBook heats up quickly. While operating wireless technologies, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, are much easier than on a PC -- two small icons tell you when both are working, I found that the iTunes music-downloading and organizing software would crash if it had problems accessing the Internet through Wi-Fi.

But these are quibbles. Apple has designed products to be proud of, and Windows users should not feel that by moving over to Apple they will need to forget everything they learned. It may not be what Apple was looking to do, but if you buy yourself a Mac -- and you should seriously consider it -- you're buying a better PC. Nothing more, nothing less.

Football is popular because stupidity is popular.
Jorge Luis Borges

Don't Weep for the Cowboys

Why is Dallas Cowboys NFL team owner Jerry Jones dumb like a fox?


  1. 1989:  Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys at a bargain basement price of $140 million.  Later in time, the hapless Minnesota Vikings team in about the worst television market in the U.S. was sold to Red McCombs for $250 million --- 
  2. 1989:  The Cowboys start selling  luxury-suite leases for $30 million.
  3. 1993:  Cowboys Stadium annual revenue of $37 million is the highest in the NFL (Miami is Number 2 with a mere $15 million)
  4. 1995:  The Dallas Cowboys merchandise sales are 30% of total NFL merchandise sales for all 30 NFL teams.  That 30% is far an above the second highest in the NFL.  In 2002 the losing Cowboys merchandise sales slipped to the Number 3 spot behind NFL winners in Oakland and Tampa Bay.
  5. Every Year:  Read about how Jones milks "corporate sponsors" below.

"Ride 'Em Cowboy," by John Helyar, Fortune, September 29, 2003 ---,15114,485659,00.html 

That is one reason there's no business like sports business. In bad times an owner sometimes feels like he's being gang-tackled by 320-pound linemen. An NFL franchise is a private enterprise that customers—the fans—treat like a public institution. When their team wins, fans shout, "We're No. 1!" When their team stinks, fans believe the owners should stand for a recall vote. "It's a very hard, unforgiving business," says Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and a friend of Jerry Jones's. "You've got to be on your toes, and you've got to be flexible, and all that does is give you a chance. Over time you get beaten up pretty bad." In great times it almost seems too much fun to be a business. When Jerry Jones is hosting Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who is a huge Dallas fan, or taking a call from the President, who wants to extend Super Bowl congratulations, he might as well be a head of state. He runs a $200 million business yet gets more attention for his product than CEOs of $200 billion businesses. If Exxon Mobil has a great year, its CEO, Lee Raymond, likely gets vilified for high gasoline prices. If the Cowboys have a great year, Jerry Jones hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy before 134 million TV viewers. Then he hits up Dallas-based Exxon Mobil to be a sponsor. Hey, Lee, you need the goodwill.

The savvy owner makes hay while the sun shines, and Jones has been just about the savviest. He leads the league in corporate sponsors, having signed scads of them to long-term deals when the Cowboys were hot and companies were hot to be associated with them. Jones charges his sponsors top dollar—Pepsi is paying $20 million for ten years—but gives them not just the usual stadium signs but his own top effort. "Jerry speaks to our sales meetings at 6:30 in the morning," says Barry Andrews, a Texas beer distributor whose Miller brand is a Cowboys sponsor. "He's one of a kind." What Jones understands is that the Cowboys are a brand, as surely as Miller Lite is. In that respect, whatever its other differences, the sports business is like all consumer products. A smart team doesn't just open the stadium gates and play games. It tries to build brand equity in its market and make its logo stand for something, whether it be the Chicago Cubs (lovable losers), the Los Angeles Lakers (flashy winners), or the Green Bay Packers (small-town America).

Microsoft is discontinuing its employee stock options program!

September 19, 2003 message from Elliot Kamlet SUNY Account [mailto:ekamlet@BINGHAMTON.EDU

I would love to see the results of the research that shows what would have happened if fair value had been applied say 5 years ago in a random sample of companies. In other words, would BS or some other pricing model have worked?

Elliot Kamlet 
Binghamton University

September 19, 2003 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Elliot,

I doubt that anything would have worked five years ago except the Wizard's Crystal Ball that always predicts "nothin' ain't worth nothin'."  Remember, Enron's "collapse" (I was tempted to use a plural "p" word with a better connotation) burst the world's equity bubble about four years ago such that every options valuation model badly overshot the mark five years ago.  In the midst of enormous valuation errors, differences in valuations most likely are just noise.

But "options are worth somethin' " according to the following article:

"Why Stock Options Still Rule," by Michael S. Malone, Wired News, September 19, 2003 --- 

Nothing lures top talent like the chance to get really rich. Watch out, Microsoft (Microsoft dropped its stock options compensation program.)

A cabal of very strange bedfellows - federal regulators, union organizers, cynical politicians, and Microsoft - have teamed up to crush the dream of economic freedom for every working stiff in America. In the process, they may be unwittingly kicking off the next great entrepreneurial boom.

I'm talking about stock options. You remember those. Way back in the last century, options were the ticket to personal liberation; the one chance, besides organized crime and Lotto, for an everyday person to get rich. In those balmy days, options - which give the holder the right to buy or sell a company's stock at a specific price, by a specific date - were celebrated as the great egalitarian tool, spreading wealth according to hard work and merit.

They were also recognized as the fuel of entrepreneurial fire, driving the creation of new technologies, new products, and new companies. The US tech sector had perfected the use of options as a recruiting device and employee incentive, and in doing so became the fastest-growing, most innovative economic force in history.

Lately, though, options have become the bête noire of 21st-century corporate life. Ken Lay and Frank Quattrone face prison time for abusing them. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, which sets accounting guidelines for public companies, is preparing to force US corporations to report stock options through "fair value" expensing.

Now, in what pundits are calling the final nail in the coffin, Microsoft is discontinuing its options program. No wonder it seems like the end of an era. Bill Gates may be the Prince of Darkness, but he's also a genius. If he says options are dead, who's to argue? Entrepreneurs, for starters. They want the same powerful tool at their disposal that Gates used to attract top-flight talent to a budding Microsoft. But if they're smart, they'll keep their mouths shut.

Continued in the essay.

Why you should think twice about using computers at  Kinkos, libraries, airports, and other public access locations.  This also applies to having your computer serviced by someone you don't know and trust.  This link was forwarded by Glenn Gray.

From Microsoft BCentral --- 
"Danger, danger: 5 tips for using a public PC," by Kim Komando

There's a guy in New York who may have gotten into your personal business. If he did, he probably looted your online bank account.

Juju Jiang is serving time now after pleading guilty. But for a couple years, he bugged public computers at Kinko's with software that logged keystrokes. He used it to capture usernames and passwords. Some he used to steal money; others he sold on the Web.

He got caught when he manipulated a victim's home computer while she was present. She watched incredulously as he methodically searched her computer. He was using GoToMyPC, which allows travelers to manipulate their computers from afar. The victim had used GoToMyPC previously from a Kinko's machine. Jiang stole her username and password.

This raises an issue which many people haven't considered. Spying software can easily be placed on public computers, such as those not only at Kinko's stores, but in Internet cafés, airports, libraries and other public places.

With spying software, a criminal can grab your passwords and usernames. Ultimately, you could lose your money or have your identity stolen. That should tell you enough to be wary of public PC terminals.

Software is unobtrusive

Spies usually use software because it is invisible to the untutored eye. Hardware to do virtually the same thing also can be used, placing it between the keyboard and computer. But using it is too obvious in a public place.

The software programs, however, can unobtrusively make a record of a victim's every keystroke. The keystroke loggers can then e-mail the collected information on a set schedule. It also can be downloaded. Other software programs take screen shots of places you go. These, too, send their collected information via e-mail.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are at 

Founded by Derek Bok (the former president of Harvard University), the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations was launched in 1997 with a mission "to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about civil society among scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public."
The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations --- 

The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations is an interdisciplinary research center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Center aims to illuminate the vital role that the nonprofit sector and nongovernmental organizations play in aiding societies to discover and accomplish important public purposes.

The Center seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about civil society among scholars, practitioners, policy makers and the general public, by encouraging scholarship, developing curriculum, fostering mutual learning between academics and practitioners, and shaping policies that enhance the sector and its role in society.

Bob Jensen's threads on education and public policy are at 

News Articles About Gender Equity Issues --- 

GenderNet (Women's Studies) --- 

Breaking and Making Tradition: Women at the University of Virginia (History, Art) --- 

Why is blame squarely on corporate accounting for a lot of the mess that we are into now in health care insurance?
Why have derivative financial instruments become so popular in the international world of business?
Why are derivatives possibly under-used or misused by business firms?
How does insurance differ from hedging?

Answers (Note my new videos that are linked at the bottom of this message.)

You can also read the answers below at 

I highly recommend Nina Mehta's FEN interview with Nobel economist Kenneth Arrow --- 
Arrow does not get into the FAS 133-type accountancy mess, but he does make a good case for use of derivatives in managing risk.

Arrow's comments indicting corporate accounting for much of the health care mess comes at near the end of the interview, so be patient and read the article to the bitter end.

In his closing comment (last sentence), Arrow states:  "It’s a general problem of accounting."


FEN: There’s been tremendous innovation in financial products in the last few decades and more risks are being transferred to those willing to shoulder them. What are the biggest economic risks that are not being transferred?

Arrow: It’s a surprise to me that ordinary business risks are not transferred to the extent one might have supposed, despite the existence of financial derivatives. Companies are engaged in all sorts of transactions that aren’t really hedged. A company will acquire another company, sometimes a competitor, sometimes a supplier or downstream business, and every now and then it turns out sour. Or a company will come out with new products and some will work and some won’t. There are good reasons why one can’t hedge everything—there are incentive effects and things like moral hazard and adverse selection. The result is that companies have rollercoaster rides on their earnings.  The other problem is that derivatives and securities that offer methods of reducing risks are not necessarily used for that purpose. They are neutral and can be used to reduce risks, but people gamble on them.

FEN: On your last point, what about the argument that without speculators risk-transfer markets wouldn’t be large or deep enough?

Arrow: With derivatives, whether the risk-reducing aspects are predominant or the risk-enhancing aspects are predominant, they can be used for gambling. That means speculators are adding to the swings rather than reducing them. What you said is 100 percent correct: from a social point of view it’s important to have the speculators—they’re the ones who provide the liquidity that keeps the markets operating. But it doesn’t automatically follow that derivatives are risk-reducing.

FEN: Okay. So what risks should businesses or investors be able to hedge that they currently can’t?

Arrow: Consider, for example, mergers or acquisitions. These are risky from the point of view of all the stockholders involved. There’s room for risk-reducing products, not for the firms going through a merger but for stockholders. Firms should have inside information—that’s what you buy the services of a CEO for. If he can lay off the bets, you can see his incentives reduced. So you’d be a little leery of that. But stockholders in a merger should be able to acquire some kind of instrument for insurance purposes.

FEN: Would these products come from actual insurance companies or from other entities?

Arrow: I’m using the word “insurance” metaphorically. Insurance traditionally deals with a set of risks that are fairly well defined. It would have to be not a traditional insurance company. As a theorist, I’d think there’s room for third parties.

FEN: A lot of attention is now focused on the use of options in executive compensation and on how the options might influence the decisions executives make. Given your early, seminal work on moral hazard, what do you think of this issue?

Arrow: Options have a legitimate place as one part of a package. When they become dominant, lots of problems arise. If the financial structure of a company were completely transparent, it wouldn’t matter. The market would know what the situation is. But there’s a lot of judgment in financial projections and even in the actual items on the balance sheet, so a CEO has incentives to put the most favorable—from his point of view—structure forward. However, I think the incentive effects have been greatly exaggerated. Aligning the interest of an executive or CEO with the company—well, the officers have a big stake in the success of the company even if they’re paid salaries, because of their reputation. Tax-handling is a big part of why CEOs have been shifting toward options. Plus, from a company’s point of view, stock options are not regarded as costing anything—which is absurd. People buy stock on the idea that it might go up, so part of their gain is being diluted if there are more options out there. The result is that it is a potential, uncertain hit to stockholders. It changes the terms on which they’re speculating, yet it doesn’t appear as a cost to the company.

Continued in the article

And a quote from the end of the article places the blame squarely on corporate accounting for a lot of the mess that we are into now in health care insurance.

FEN: In an interview a few years back with Ellen McGrattan at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, you made the point that there’s no natural or logical relationship between employment and health insurance. Can you expand on that?

Arrow: The need for economies of scale is why many small companies don’t elect to have insurance. Something like one-sixth of the country is uninsured. We have a peculiar, hybrid system of going through an employer for coverage. It’s an easy way to reach people, but why should a wife be covered on her husband’s policy? Why should she not have her own policy? If married people are covered, why not two people living together, or a homosexual couple? The issue shouldn’t arise at all. If we take a purely individualistic point of view, each person is responsible for his or her own insurance. One extreme is universal coverage. Most of the advanced world has this. By virtue of being a citizen of the United States, you’d be covered—this is the case in Great Britain, France, Canada and elsewhere. That would separate the accident of whether you’re employed from whether you are insured.

FEN: Many people in the insurance industry say the HMO system is not working now because prices are getting out of control and that this problem needs to be addressed.

Arrow: Where should a country spend its money? We’re a rich country. Fifteen percent of GNP [gross national product] goes to healthcare, and it’s rising. But what better to spend your money on? The problem is how it’s arranged. If this were something each individual bought on his or her own, it wouldn’t be a social problem. It would be handled through the price system or through contractual arrangements with corporations.

It’s not easy to see why corporations should be troubled right now. They knew they were taking on this obligation. They could calculate actuarially what the costs would be. The costs should have already been accounted for. When you hire a worker, part of the worker’s compensation is wages, another part is health benefits, a third part is retirement benefits, and a fourth part is retirement health benefits. So the compensation wasn’t $10 per hour but $15 per hour. The money should have been set aside as part of a worker’s compensation. For various accounting reasons companies didn’t do it. They resisted the idea that retirement health benefits should be taken as an expenditure when they hired the worker. Since it didn’t appear on their balance sheets, their profits looked bigger—but fictitiously, because there were these obligations. Now there are losses. FASB was looking into this 10 or 15 years ago and had hearings on this question. It’s a general problem of accounting.


Bob Jensen's threads on derivatives and accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedging activity can be found at 
New video helpers on this topic will soon be available.  Some of the preliminary videos are already posted at 

Updates from Syllabus News on September 19, 2003

Beijing Students Enroll in Stevens Hybrid Telecom Masters

WebCampus, the online unit of Hoboken, N.J.-based Stevens Institute of Technology, will deliver a "hybrid" master's degree to 32 graduate students enrolled in a Stevens' degree program in China. The masters in telecommunications management is being offered to Chinese students--partly online and partly in conventional classrooms--at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), one of China's top engineering universities. The first students start classes in November. Instruction will be delivered a third online by Stevens faculty, a third by Chinese instructors in Beijing, and a third by Stevens faculty in intensive courses in China. The Stevens-BIT program, approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education and other government bodies, is the first such "hybrid" degree from a US university in China.

For more information, visit: 

Firm Promoting ‘Functional Verification” to Higher Ed

Verisity Ltd., a developer of “ verification process automation solutions,” said 22 schools around the world joined its University Program, which promotes “functional verification” of engineering designs and new standards for an electronic verification language. The company’s university members are using its tools to introduce functional verification to their undergraduate students and for projects ranging from e-based tool research, verifying complex designs, and tool and methodology instruction. Functional verification tools automate the process of identifying flaws in electronic designs, enabling technology developers to reduce their overall development costs and increase productivity and time-to-market.

For more information, visit: 

Receive Your Undergraduate or Graduate Diploma in Days Rather Than Years
September 22, 2003 message from Sheri Shipley [

Improve your income and your life, with increasing your earning power from a diploma within days from a prestigious non-accredited university based on life experience.

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mill frauds are at 

I vote no on credit for "life experience"!
From Syllabus News on September 26, 2003

Online Service Launched for Crediting Professional Experience

A training services firm has launched an online method for preparing business professionals to take and pass College Level Examination Program (CLEP) method for assessing academic credit for students wishing to "place out" of college courses. The InstantCert Academy said the service could potentially lower the requirements and costs for working people seeking advanced degrees and certifications. The service is being offered on a monthly subscription basis for $19.95. One caveat is that not all universities accept CLEP results as a measure for their own credit equivalents.

For more information visit: 

InstantCert Academy specializes in helping adults from all walks of life achieve college-level proficiency. With our help, hundreds of students have saved time and money through course waivers, slashed tuition, and early employment.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance training and education alternatives are at 

Parents 'oblivious' to children's surfing," BBC News, September 16, 2003 --- 

Do you know what your kids do online? A lack of knowledge about the internet means too many parents in the UK have no clue what their children are doing online.

Historic Tale Construction Kit --- 

You can create your own stories with the Historic Tale Construction Kit complete with pictures.  It's like writing your own Prince Valiant.  

The Historic Tale Construction Kit is based on Tapestry Bayeu, a masterpiece of the Middle Ages.  It is a narration about the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Interactively create your own city.
City Creator --- 

James Dickey in The Atlantic (Poetry and Other Literature, Including Audio Readings) --- 

Forwarded by Mathis, Donald Mathis on September 19, 2003

The Australian 19 September 2003

Wine-drinking women 'more fertile' From correspondents in Copenhagen

Women who drink moderate quantities of wine become pregnant more easily than their teetotal or beer-supping sisters, a Danish medical review reported.

According to Dagens Medecin a study of 30,000 women showed that those who chose a glass of wine over beer or spirits were most likely to conceive. The least likely to become pregnant were those who drank no alcohol at all.

The research was carried out by a team headed by Mette Juhl of the state serology institute, Statens Serum Institut. They could not explain the reasons for their findings.

"We know that wine-drinkers eat more healthily and are of a higher social status than beer drinkers. But ability to become pregnant does not vary according to social class," Juhl commented.

"So we cannot rule out the possibility that wine contains substances that are beneficial for fertility."

South African Government Online --- 

September 25, 2003 message from editor jda [

Dear Professor Bob Jensen,

The Journal of Deivatives Accounting (JDA) is preparing to publish its first issue and I would be grateful if you could post the following announcement on your web site.



Dear Colleagues,

There is a new addition to accounting research Journals. The Journal of Derivatives Accounting (JDA) is an international quarterly publication which provides authoritative accounting and finance literature on issues of financial innovations such as derivatives and their implications to accounting, finance, tax, standards setting, and corporate practices. This refereed journal disseminates research results and serves as a means of communication among academics, standard setters, practitioners, and market participants.

The first and special issue of the JDA, to appear in the Winter of 2003, will be dedicated to:

"Stock Options: Developments in Share-Based Compensation (Accounting, Standards, Tax and Corporate Practice)"

This special issue will consider papers dealing with:

* Analysis of applicable national and international accounting standards * Convergence between IASB and FASB * Accounting treatment (Expensing) * Valuation * Corporate and market practice * Design of stock options * Analysis of the structure of stock options contracts * Executives pay incentives and performance * Taxation * Management and Corporate Governance

For more details on how to submit your work to the journal, please visit 

The Editorial Board Journal of Derivatives Accounting (JDA)

September 25, 2003 reply from Bob Jensen

Hello Mamouda,

I put the link on a number of documents, the most important ones being the following:

You might note that I am developing some video tutorials on accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedging activity under FAS 133 and IAS 39 standards ---

COBRA Insurance Link --- 

What is COBRA? 

Congress passed the landmark Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provisions in 1986. The law amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act to provide continuation of group health coverage that otherwise would be terminated.

COBRA contains provisions giving certain former employees, retirees, spouses and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available in specific instances. Group health coverage for COBRA participants is usually more expensive than health coverage for active employees, since usually the employer formerly paid a part of the premium. It is ordinarily less expensive, though, than individual health coverage.

The law generally covers group health plans maintained by employers with 20 or more employees in the prior year. It applies to plans in the private sector and those sponsored by state and local governments.{2} The law does not, however, apply to plans sponsored by the Federal government and certain church- related organizations.

Group health plans sponsored by private sector employers generally are welfare benefit plans governed by ERISA and subject to its requirements for reporting and disclosure, fiduciary standards and enforcement. ERISA neither establishes minimum standards or benefit eligibility for welfare plans nor mandates the type or level of benefits offered to plan participants. It does, though, require that these plans have rules outlining how workers become entitled to benefits.

Under COBRA, a group health plan ordinarily is defined as a plan that provides medical benefits for the employer's own employees and their dependents through insurance or otherwise (such as a trust, health maintenance organization, self-funded pay-as-you-go basis, reimbursement or combination of these). Medical benefits provided under the terms of the plan and available to COBRA beneficiaries may include:

You can read the following at 

Age 65 or Older, and You or Your Spouse Works

Age 65, Retired and No Working Spouse

Issues for a spouse

My colleague Billy Burke (Business Law) provided the following very helpful link --- 


Federal COBRA law requires most private employers to continue to make existing group health insurance available to workers who are discharged or resign from employment. All employees who are discharged as a result of voluntary or involuntary termination, such as for poor performance, negligence, or inefficiency (with the exception of those who are fired for gross misconduct), may elect to continue plan benefits currently in effect at their own cost provided the employee or beneficiary makes an initial payment within 30 days of notification and is not covered under Medicare or any other group health plan. The law also applies to qualified beneficiaries who were covered by the employer's group health plan the day before the discharge. Thus, for example, if the employee chooses not to continue such coverage, her spouse and dependent children may elect continued coverage at their own expense.

The extended coverage period is 18 months upon termination of the covered employee; upon the death, divorce, or legal separation of the covered employee, the benefit coverage period is 36 months to spouses and dependents.

The law requires that employers or plan administrators separately notify all employees and covered spouses and dependents of their rights to continued coverage. After receiving such notification, the individual has 60 days to elect to continue coverage. Additionally, employees and dependents whose insurance is protected under COBRA must be provided with any conversion privilege otherwise available in the plan (if such coverage exists) within a six-month period preceding the date on which coverage would terminate at the end of the continuation period.

Some employers run afoul of the law in failing to follow rules regarding notification requirements, conversion privileges, excluded individuals, and time restrictions. In the event the employer fails to offer such coverage, the law imposes penalties ranging from $100 to $200 per day for each day the employee is not covered and other damages.

Counsel Comments: Cases typically pit a former employee or an employee's dependent with substantial medical expenses against the employer or an insurance company. Courts are sometimes willing to interpret and apply COBRA with a view toward extending coverage wherever possible. For example, in one case, an employee incapacitated by a series of strokes was maintained on her employer's group insurance policy. After about a year, the employee was taken off the company's rolls. At that time she was in a coma, and the COBRA continuation notice was sent to her husband. Misunderstanding the intent of the offer and thinking that his wife was still covered under the employer's group plan without premium payments, he waived his wife's insurance continuation rights. Later, as legal guardian, the ex-employee's husband tried to regain the option of COBRA coverage, but the insurance company refused. The husband sued and won; the court ruled that the employer should have included the Summary Plan Description with the COBRA notice sent to the husband and that without the summary he was unable to make an informed decision.

Tip:  Know your COBRA rights before accepting any job and in the event you resign or are fired. This is especially true if you or a spouse or dependent is sick and needs the insurance benefits to pay necessary medical bills. You are entitled to such protection even if you have worked for the employer for a short period of time. Most short-term employees can generally enjoy COBRA protection for periods exceeding the length of their employment. The only requirement is that you must have been included in the employer's group plan at the time of the firing and that the employer was large enough (i.e., employed 20 or more workers, including part-timers, independent contractors, and agents, during the preceding year) under federal law to qualify.

You cannot obtain benefits if you are fired for gross misconduct. This term is relatively ambiguous; the burden of proof is on the employer to prove that the discharge was for a compelling reason (such as starting a fight or stealing).

If an employer reduces your working hours to a point that makes you ineligible for group health coverage, refuses to negotiate continued health benefits as part of a severance package, or fails to notify you of the existence of such benefits, contact the personnel office immediately to protect your rights. If the employer refuses to offer continued COBRA benefits after a discharge for any reason, consult an experienced employment lawyer immediately.

Other points to remember are:

  1. A company's hands may not be tied in the event that a group health plan is modified or eliminated; an employer may be permitted to change or eliminate a current plan provided all qualifying beneficiaries and covered employees are allowed to participate similarly under new plans, if any.
  2. Coverage for adopted children, children born out of wedlock, and other dependents has been expanded under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 and recent court decisions.
  3. Speak to a lawyer if you or a dependent is excluded from COBRA protection because of the existence of a secondary health plan or other factors, such as because of an alleged discharge for gross misconduct.
  4. Never waive your COBRA rights when accepting severance payments or signing a release after a discharge.
  5. Be sure the company notifies you in a timely fashion so you can make the election properly before the short period of employer-provided coverage expires.

"Another Thing to Blame on Parents: Hang-Ups About Handling Money," by Jeff Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2003 ---,,SB106443552037561600,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpersonaljnl%255Fhs 

On a serene plantation an hour outside Nashville, Tenn., eight people gathered this week to imagine themselves opening their mothers' purses and unlocking their fathers' safe-deposit boxes. Aided by two therapists and a financial planner, they returned to their childhoods to consider how the economic values they were taught created the adults they've become.

One businesswoman talked of her parents' insistence that rich people got that way by cheating and stealing; she now finds herself undercharging customers because she's afraid to be perceived as a wealthy thief. A man explained that his parents believed life was all about stockpiling money; he ended up making $100,000 a month on Wall Street but became so miserable that "dogs would notice and growl at me when I walked into a room -- and I'd growl back at them."

These eight people spent five days revealing such secrets, while role-playing as each other's parents, partners and siblings. They paid $1,500 for this "Healing Money Issues" workshop, an innovative effort that combines experiential therapy with nuts-and-bolts financial planning.

Perhaps 50 financial planners around the country now team with therapists. It's a trend fueled by investors' fearfulness in a rough economy, and by financial planners' recognition that clients need a better understanding of themselves in order to identify and meet financial goals. This intensive program in Tennessee, hosted by Onsite Workshops, is designed to help people find the deep-rooted causes of their troubled relationships with money. Organizers insist this is not "parent-bashing."

Continued in the article.

September 19, 2003 message from Internet Scout Project [

New Internet Scout Web Site! The Internet Scout Project is pleased to announce our new Web site! Please check out our new look at  and let us know what you think. Feedback and comments are definitely welcome.

Editorial Cartoons: The Clifford H. Baldowski Collection at the Richard B. Russell Library 

Especially Note This Site for Your Children


NATURE: Horse and Rider (includes video downloads) --- 

Each of these remarkable animals shares an astonishing trait: the ability to implicitly trust, and perform complex tasks in tandem with, a human partner working toward a common goal. This teaming of horse and rider is arguably the most sophisticated and intriguing example of human-animal cooperation. NATURE explores and illuminates this absorbing phenomenon in "Horse and Rider."

The Reptiles:  Alligators and Crocodiles show was aired on PBS on September 21.

Yawn!  The new network television shows have begun. --- 

BBC History: Audio and Video --- 

35th Infantry Division (History, Photographs) --- 

Forgotten Detroit (History, Photography) --- 

United State's 100 most important and timeless documents.
Our Documents --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on history are at 

Cultural Policy & the Arts: National Data Archive --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on the arts are at 

From The Wall Street Journal's Accounting Educators' Reviews on September 26, 2003

TITLE: Heard on the Street: Analyst Gartner Aims to Convert Mistake Into Future Success 
REPORTER: Ken Brown 
DATE: Sep 19, 2003 
TOPICS: Debt, Financial Accounting, Revenue Forecast, Revenue Recognition

SUMMARY: "Gartner, Inc. makes money by analyzing technology companies and trends." This company issued a $300 million convertible bond to Silver Lake Partners, LP, a private equity firm specializing in technology, at the height of the technology boom, in the spring of 2000. Since the technology bust, that debt has been an onerous drag on the company, because of the debt-equity implications, interest charges, and a critical aspect of the deal: Gartner was required to issue a significantly increasing number of shares under the conversion feature as its share value fell from the fallout of the technology bust. The article discusses a plethora of accounting topics in debt and equity, earnings per share, and even the company's revenue recognition procedures.

1.) What is convertible debt? Describe the provisions of the agreement between Gartner, Inc. and Silver Lake Partners, LP.

2.) "...Because of the accounting treatment of the bond payoff, Gartner's shareholders' equity will go from negative to positive." In general, what are two possible ways to account for converting bonds into common stock?

3.) Access the company's June 30, 2003, quarterly and 2002 annual financial statements via their web site at , by scrolling down the page and clicking on "investor relations." Using footnote disclosure about the convertible debt in Note 10 to the annual financial statements, the balance for the debt at 6/30/2003, and other information about the company's stock available in the financial statements, provide the journal entries that the company will record for the bond conversion under each of the two possible methods you gave in question 2. Which of these methods do you think the company will use?

4.) "For Gartner, the implications of putting the bond deal behind it could be major." Why does the author say that the company can extinguish debt without any further dilution of earnings per share beyond current disclosure? Will fully diluted earnings per share be affected by this conversion? Will basic earnings per share be affected? Explain.

5.) "Without any debt on its balance sheet, the company can use $167 million in cash...on hand" to buy back common stock. Why not just use the cash to pay off the debt? Who will receive cash under each of these alternatives? Will Silver Lake Partners receive any cash if they convert the bonds into stock? What would other stockholders' preferences be, do you think?

6.) Describe Gartner, Inc.'s business. Summarize Gartner's revenue recognition practices, as they are described late in the article. What does the author mean when he refers to "contract value"? Where in the accounting records would you find the amounts reported as "contract value" in the article?

7.) What is incremental revenue? Why do you think that "80% to 90% of each incremental dollar of research revenue can fall to the bottom line"? Why does this fact, combined with the changes in the company's capital structure, bode well for next year's earnings?

8.) The author states that revenue was down 2% in the second quarter from the first, and contract value was down 1% on the same basis. How can these results be described as "improvements over the past few quarters"? Why is appropriate to compare results for consecutive quarters, when we usually see comparisons of quarterly results to the same quarter one year earlier?

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

Bob Jensen's threads on revenue accounting are at 

Hi Dave,

You asked whether I vote for valuing options at A-Fair (Full) Value or B-Intrinsic Value that excludes time value. I vote for A.

I have some new compressed videos on accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedging activities that can be downloaded and played in the Windows Media Player --- 

One of the video files, 015FAS133options.wmv, explains how FAS 133 and IAS 39 require that purchased options be booked at full value and adjusted for changes in full value on all reporting dates. If the options are speculations, the change in full value is offset by a debit or credit to current earnings. If the options are qualified and effective hedges, the change is full value is partitioned into that part that is the change in time value (debited or credited to current earnings) and that part that is the change in intrinsic value (debited or credited to OCI). This was one of the many compromises the FASB and IASB made to reduce earnings volatility in hedging situations. In the case of options, however, it may increase volatility.

Keep in mind that in the case of options, intrinsic value is simply the amount by which the options are "in the money" such that the difference between spot and strike prices favor the option purchaser. Options that are not yet "in the money" have no intrinsic value. Before they expire, however, such options can have time value because of the time remaining for them to go into the money before they expire.

Valuing options at intrinsic value rather than full market value makes little sense to me for the following reasons.

1. Valuing options at intrinsic value would be inconsistent with how other derivative instruments such as futures, forwards, and swaps are valued at full value rather than only intrinsic value.

2. Valuing options at intrinsic value means carrying them at zero value until they go into the money. This leads to absurd accounting. Suppose I pay $50,000 for a put option on September 19. This $50,000 premium is all time value since the option is not in the money when I purchase the option. I must credit cash $50,000 since I am writing a check to buy the option. What do I debit? Under FAS133/IAS39 I debit an asset (e.g., Option Contracts) for full value of $50,000. If I only carry options at their intrinsic values, I could not debit an asset whenever I buy options. Instead, I would have to treat the entire purchase price as a loss at the time of purchase. This is absurd since I am buying the options because they have future value that just happens to be all time value at the date of purchase.

Hence I vote no to intrinsic value accounting for options.

 Bob Jensen

Blind Dates Aren't What They Used to Be!

"Friendster faces competition and criticism," by Matt Marshall, Mercury News, September 17, 2003 --- 

Friendster, the Sunnyvale Web site that offers a reservoir of dating possibilities by giving you access to friends of your friends, and friends of their friends, has become so popular that it is spawning critics, copy-cats and protesters.

Try The Los Angeles-based start-up calls itself the Anti-Friendster. It's only for the good-looking.

To be accepted, you need to submit a photo -- and be from good-looking to drop-dead. In other words, rank from a 7 to a 10 -- on a scale of 1 to 10. (To get onto the Friendster network, all you need is an invitation from a friend.)

The 100 or so people already on the site cast their votes -- thumbs up or thumbs down -- on whether to let you in. A four-person good-looks committee has final say.

``Everyone wants to be with some hot guy,'' said CurvyLatina, a 31-year-old photographer whose killer smile, dancing eyes and vital statistics won immediate approval when she applied last week. She requested her real name not be used.

Just 3 weeks old, had, as of Friday, rejected more than half of the 220 people who have applied.

Rejection comes in the form of a message from's founder, who calls himself Mr. Vanity, saying that if the rejectee is upset by the decision, they should click on .

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen did not sign up to be part of the database, because there was no Nursing Home Vanitydate category.

Marriage is Still What It Used to Be!

Forwarded by Bob Overn

Two guys are moving about in a supermarket when their carts collide. 

One says to the other, "I'm sorry - I was looking for my wife." 

"What a coincidence.  I'm looking for my wife, and I'm getting a little desperate." 

"Well, maybe I can help you. What does your wife look like?" 

"She's tall, with long hair, long legs, big boobs and a tight butt. What's your wife look like?" 

"Never mind my wife, let's look for yours!"

Forwarded by Dr. D.

Why was a quarter moon traditionally cut in outhouse doors? 

On early estates of the well-to-do, the quarter moon cut was equivalent to "Ladies". A sun cut or simple circle meant "Men". But many a household didn't have time enough and money to build two outhouses,so they built one for the ladies and told the men to make do. And thus the door with the sun cut became extinct. 
L.M.Boyd Revisited San Antonio Express-News

Forwarded by Dick Haar

You're My Friend

When you are sad... I will get you drunk and help you plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad. 

When you are blue... I'll try to dislodge whatever is choking you. 

When you are scared... I will rag you about it every chance I get. 

When you are worried... I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining. 

When you are confused... I will use little words to explain it to your dumb ass. 

When you are sick... stay away from me until you're well again. I don't want whatever you have. 

When you smile... I'll know you finally got laid. 

When you fall... I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass. 

This is my oath; I pledge 'till the end. Why you may ask? Because you're my friend!

Forwarded from the Readers Digest by Debbie

Hear about the teacher who was in a car wreck?

He was grading on the curve.

Forwarded by the Happy Lady


The following questions and answers were actually collected from SAT
tests given in Springdale, Arkansas in 2000 to 16-year-old students!

(Don't laugh too hard----one of these kids may be the President someday.)

Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large
pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q: What is a planet?
A: A body of earth surrounded by sky.

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and
nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q: In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A: Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election.

Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? (E.g., abdomen.)
A: The body is consisted into three parts -- the brainium, the borax and
the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax  contains
the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels,
A, E, I, O, and U.

Q: What is the Fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: What is the most common form of birth control?
A: Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.

Q: Give the meaning of the term "Caesarian Section."
A: The caesarian section is a district in Rome.

Q: What is a seizure?
A: A Roman emperor.

Q: What is a terminal illness?
A: When you are sick at the airport.

Q: Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A: Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Q: What is a turbine?
A: Something an Arab wears on his head.

Q: What is a Hindu?
A: It lays eggs.

Her essay answers probably exhausted graders all the way through school (however far she got):

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.

Absolutely Hilarious!
Philosophical humor Compiled by David Chalmers --- 
Also see 

Also see 

And that's the way it was on September 30, 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) --- 


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 
I also like SmartPros at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Jack Anderson's Accounting Information Finder ---


Gerald Trite's great set of links --- 


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


The Finance Professor --- 


Walt Mossberg's many answers to questions in technology ---


How stuff works --- 


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


Click on 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)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  

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September 20, 2003

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 20, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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

Quotes of the Week

See the "Train of Life" (Great Music Pickin' forwarded by Dr. Wolff) --- 

I want to feel the winds of change, 
Blowing in my face, 
I want to see what life unfolds, 
As I move from place to place

Good accounting serves as a check on speculation.  Good accounting challenges the pyramid scheme that bubbles perpetuate.  Bad accounting perpetuates pyramid schemes.  Bad accounting creates false earnings momentum that feeds price momentum.  GAAP , unfortunately, does have features that can be used to perpetuate bubbles. 
Stephen H. Penman, Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation (McGraw-Hill, 2004, Page 48).

WorldCom internal and external auditors testified in U.S. Bankruptcy Court [yesterday] that the company's books remain a tangled mess and that it may be impossible to properly apportion close to $1 trillion in transactions between more than 200 subsidiaries. WorldCom has argued that its books are so confused that it has little choice but to scrap much of the past three years of accounting records and begin anew on a consolidated basis. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez is holding a hearing on the company's reorganization plan, one of the last stages in the bankruptcy process. If Gonzalez approves the plan the company could exit bankruptcy later this fall. I have significant doubts the company could ever prepare accurate accounting statements for its various subsidiaries, testified Joseph L. DAmico, senior managing director of FTI Consulting, an Annapolis-based forensic accounting firm. DAmico testified that WorldCom's own accountants failed to keep accurate records of a blizzard of transactions between the company's various entities. Also testifying was WorldCom's interim corporate controller, Robert L. Pierson, who confirmed DAmicos assessment of the company's financial recordkeeping. We have never balanced our internal accounts, Pierson said.
Christopher Stern, Washington Post, Page E1, September 16, 2003 ---  

Thinking is the hardest work there is.
Henry Ford

All the world's a stage, 
And all the men and women merely players. 
They have their exits and their entrances, 
And one man in his time plays many parts, 
His acts being seven ages.

William Shakespeare in As You Like It

Avarice, envy, pride, Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all on fire. 
Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy

This life's dim windows of the soul 
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole 
And leads you to believe a lie 
When you see with, not through, the eye.

William Blake in The Everlasting Gospel

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me 
The carriage held but just ourselves 
And immortality.

Emily Dickinson in Because I Could Not Stop For Death

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep 
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening --- 
I am fortunate to have the Robert Frost home and museum within a short walk from my new house in the White Mountains. You can see some pictures of his old home at 

Bob Jensen's updated working draft of accounting and finance scandals for September 2003 can be found at 

Surprise of the Week!
"Hillary's Favorite General," The Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2003 ---,,SB106384956852480000,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fopinion%255Fhs 

Wesley Clark has finally joined the Democratic Presidential race, but even more interesting are the people who are urging him on. The Democratic Establishment, very much including Bill and Hillary Clinton, is pushing the retired general as its stop-Howard Dean candidate.

"Putting Junior Under Surveillance:  Satellite-Guided Gadget Claims to Track Stray Kids," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2003 ---,,SB106375623987522300,00.html?mod=technology%255Ffeatured%255Fstories%255Fhs  

For parents of young children, few feelings are worse than the sickening realization that a child has gone missing, even if briefly. Visions of kidnappers, horrible accidents and the like quickly arise. So parents naturally wish they knew their children's location at all times.

Now, a Silicon Valley company called Wherify Wireless is offering a high-tech gadget that it claims can ease those worries. The device is aimed at parents of kids from four to 12 years old. But just how well does it work?

The Wherify GPS Locator for Kids fits on your child's wrist like a watch and communicates with Global Positioning System satellites and Sprint's wireless network to locate or page your child, or trace her travels. It can also be used by the child to send a page for help in an emergency and provide authorities with the wearer's approximate location.

Parents can communicate with the device, and locate their children, by either calling Wherify's toll-free number, or using the Web site. Parents must pay for both the gadget itself, and a monthly subscription to a special 24-hour locator service, which can be ordered on the company's Web site.

My assistant Katie Boehret and I tested the GPS Locator for Kids in Washington, D.C., and New York City this week, and had some serious reservations about it. First of all, like other GPS-based systems, the Wherify Locator isn't precisely accurate. It can be off by up to 33 yards, and doesn't work if the child is inside certain kinds of structures. That sort of inaccuracy may be fine when using GPS to navigate a car, but it could be agonizing when you're trying to find a child.

Also, the gadget seems a little too much like one of those electronic anklets the courts use to keep track of criminals under house arrest. It can even be locked to a child's wrist.

And then there's the hefty cost. The Locator device is $199.99, which is plenty, but that's just the cost of the device itself. Each locator also requires an additional $35 activation fee and a monthly service plan. The four monthly plans (which are amusingly named Liberty, Independence, Freedom and High Usage) range from $19.95 to $44.95 according to how many location checks (called "locates") and pages you think you'll use. Add up these three factors, and the total cost actually ranges from $474.39 to $774.39 for a year of service.

Continued in the article.

The Whereify home page is at 

"Apple Unveils New Notebooks," Wired News, September 16, 2003 ---,1282,60464,00.html 

A series of powerful new laptops will help Apple Computer generate more sales from portable computers than desktops, Chief Executive Steve Jobs said on Tuesday.

The revamped notebook computers, with 12-, 15- and 17-inch displays, faster processors and CD and DVD burners, will be available starting Tuesday, well ahead of the key end-of-year holiday and sales periods.

Jobs, dressed in his trademark jeans, sneakers and black sweater, said Apple's popular iTunes Music Store on the Internet would not be launched in Europe this year.

"We're clearly working on it (but) I think we'll do it next year," he told journalists on the fringes of the annual Apple Expo in Paris. He said it took time to sort out distribution rights with the music publishers who own the songs.

Jobs reiterated that, before the end of the year, Apple would bring iTunes and the online music store which has sold 10 million songs since its launch four months ago, to owners of personal computers that run on Microsoft's Windows operating system.

"We're very much on track to execute iTunes for Windows," he said.

So far only those who own a Apple computer and have a U.S. credit card can buy the songs over the Web and download them onto their computer.

Apple's computers have a U.S. market share of just under 4 percent while Windows machines, manufactured by the likes of Dell and Hewlett-Packard, have over 90 percent of the personal computer market.

Analysts expect a big revenue boost when Apple brings the iTunes Music Store to Windows PCs. Part of that would come from the songs it sells for 99 cents each, some 10 cents of which it keeps for itself, according to analysts. The other part would come from the additional portable iPod music players Apple is likely to sell.

Apple generated $111 million in iPod revenue in the last quarter, which ended in June, compared with $22 million a year earlier. It has sold one million of the devices, which can store thousands of songs since the first series was launched 20 months ago, Jobs said. In the last quarter alone, since the music store opened, it sold 304,000 units.

During his keynote address, Jobs enjoyed the usual cheers from the 5,000-strong crowd when he unveiled the new series of laptop computers.

Continued in the article.

Free Literature (Stories and Poems From Famous Authors of the Past)
Literature Online --- 

It's the Bassist That Makes a Difference
Listen to some jazz featuring a great base player named Charles Mingus --- 

What do economists do all day?

Answer --- This is really, really cute.  Note the frenzy they get into when you guide the mouse to the bottom of the chart.
Go to 


"Virtual School Daze Online Tech Offers New Choices in Education," by Paul Eng, ABC News, September 16, 2003 --- 

When 11-year-old Heather Ellis goes to school, she doesn't have to pack a lunch or bundle up at the bus stop in the cool air of Pueblo, Colo.

Instead, she and her siblings — 9-year-old Heather, 7-year-old Brian, and 4-year-old Matthew — trundle down to her family's living room where they will get their latest lessons from their mom Angie.

But the Ellises are not just one of millions of American families that have decided to home-school rather than send their children off to public or private classrooms.

In fact, Angie Ellis and her brood aren't out of the local school system's loop at all. Instead, they are part of a growing experiment called "virtual schooling" — education systems that use Internet technology to bring a local kindergarten to 12th-grade classroom curriculum into students' homes.

The systems — run by private, for-profit companies such as Connections Academy in Baltimore or K12 Inc. in McLean. Va. — are gaining interest among home-schooling families as well as overburdened school districts partly because of new education standards and guidelines tied to federal education dollars.

"We believe that the No Child Left Behind [Act] is providing the framework for a whole new way of thinking in education," says Barbara Dreyer, president of Connections Academy. "You're really focused more on outcomes."

And, Dreyer says, the way virtual schools work is the key to helping districts to boost educational results and maintain federal funding.

Setting up a Virtual School Zone

The private companies running the virtual schools must first be approved by local legislation to offer educational services within a district. Once cleared, the companies work with the education boards to develop a curriculum that meets local and federal guidelines.

The virtual schools then hold "open houses" — local gatherings where parents can meet with company representatives and discuss the curriculum and requirements of parents and their kids. Much like a charter or specialized school, prospective students are given placement exams to determine their eligibility and placement within the "school."

When the students are approved and enrolled, the local district diverts the funds that would normally have gone to the student's local school to the private organization.

Parents are then given a computer with Internet access, material such as textbooks and workbooks, and instructions to download daily lessons from the company's private online network. The parents or guardians then become "teaching coaches," presenting the lesson plans to their children.

The children perform the required homework — reading passages, writing in journals, creating maps — which are then submitted via postal mail or electronically for grading and assessment by licensed educators at the company.

Parents and the company's teachers — who may be located in another state — stay in touch via phone and e-mail. The daily communication allows parents to ask for help or advice on difficult lesson material. It also allows the virtual teacher to monitor the child's progress and adjust lesson plans accordingly.

Since the virtual school receives funding from the district, every student is also given the same standardized tests as other local students at the end of the school year. But, proponents of virtual schools say their students do much better since they're given the one-on-one attention of their "teaching coaches."

Win-Win for All?

Angie Ellis, 31, says she's noticed the positive impact last year's virtual schooling has had on her daughter.

"She did very well — much better than when she was in public school," says Ellis. And she credits the performance boost to the well-structured curriculum and supportive communication of Connection Academy's virtual school setup.

"In public school, I would send notes to the teacher about Heather's progress and never get anything back," says Ellis. But with the virtual school system, she and Heather are in regular touch with Connection Academy's educators. "If there are questions on how to teach something, I can log in or call and ask."

What's more, the virtual school is a money-saver for Ellis and her family. Based on past experience in home-schooling Heather, Ellis estimates she would spend about $350 to $400 a year in educational materials for herself and her four children. But under the virtual school program all the costs are covered by her local Pueblo school district.

"It's a win-win situation, if your family is able to do it," says Ellis.

Money Matters

Dreyer says virtual schools could be a win-win for local school districts too.

"The kids we serve are the ones that costs the districts more — the ones that need more tutoring, attention, etc.," says Dreyer. "[Virtual schools] are cost-efficient for them."

And the savings for the county can be quite significant if a participating district works out the right contract with the private companies.

According to Karen Harkness, chairwoman of the Connection Academy virtual school board in Wisconsin, some school districts in the Milwaukee area can get up to $5,000 in federal funding for each student enrolled in its public schools. Under its contract, the company charges only $3,500 for each student enrolled in a virtual school.

"[It's] not a money-making venture, but it helps them in terms of the bottom line and several districts see that as a benefit," says Harkness. "Their students get good education, the parents are happy, the districts are happy and the superintendents are happy."

Going the Distance?

The matter of virtual schools is getting some attention from the federal government.

"From an overall education strategy, the secretary [of education] has been excited by the virtual school programs in general," says John Bailey, director of educational technology at the U.S. Department of Education. "We're very strong supporters of distance learning and virtual schools."

Part of the reason, says Bailey, is that unlike earlier technology-based education options such as televised classrooms of the early 1980s, Internet-based instruction is cheap and becoming widely accepted.

"These [virtual school] courses are easy to distribute over the Net and students can participate in class discussions," says Bailey. And since most of the material is digital, "there's an economy of scale in developing it and pushing it out to anyone, no matter where they're located."

Study Period

Bailey notes, however, that despite all the enthusiasm, there are still plenty of unknowns when it comes to virtual schools.

For one, there's a lack of official statistical research on the impact of virtual schools and other distance learning efforts.

"There really are just a handful of studies, none of which were done by the Department of Education," says Bailey. "How many schools, how many grades, how many courses, how effective are they versus traditional learning methods? We need that data."

Bailey adds the Education Department has been trying to gather such data and hopes to soon release some of its findings later this month.

New legislation and policy among all levels of educational regulation need to be considered as well.

For now, only a handful of states — such as Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — have put policies and funding regulation in place to handle the still-experimental virtual school concept. But if the online education concept takes off, some particularly troubling issues could arise.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on virtual schools are embedded in various places at 

Major Electronic Encyclopedias

I shortened this link to 

Other links to encyclopedias are available at 

Which sex has the worst hangovers --- men or women?
Which sex requires less alcohol to become legally drunk --- men or women?
Does a parental history of alcohol abuse alter the answers?


"Women Get Worse Hangovers Than Men," by Lee Bowman, Chicago Sun Times, September 15, 2003 --- 

In the life-is-not-fair category, new research finds that women not only get drunk on fewer drinks than men but women also suffer from worse hangovers.

A team at the University of Missouri-Columbia developed a new scientific scale for measuring hangover symptoms and severity.

Even accounting for differences in the amount of alcohol consumed by men and women, hangovers hit women harder.

''This finding makes biological sense, because women tend to weigh less and have lower percentages of total body water than men do, so they should achieve higher degrees of intoxication and, presumably, more hangover per unit of alcohol,'' said Wendy Slutske, an associate professor of psychology who led the team.

The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, is being published today in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The researchers asked 1,230 drinking college students, only 5 percent of whom were of legal drinking age -- to describe how often they experienced any of 13 symptoms after drinking. The symptoms in the study ranged from headaches and vomiting to feeling weak and unable to concentrate.

Besides women, the study found that the symptoms were more common in students who reported having alcohol-related problems or who had one or both biological parents with a history of alcohol-related problems.

Continued in the article.

From the National Institute of Mental Health (Medicine, Psychology)
Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters --- 

Helping young people avoid or overcome emotional problems in the wake of violence or disaster is one of the most important challenges a parent, teacher, or mental health professional can face. The National Institute of Mental Health and other Federal agencies are working to address the issue of assisting children and adolescents who have been victims of or witnesses to violent and/or catastrophic events. The purpose of this fact sheet is to tell what is known about the impact of violence and disasters on children and adolescents and suggest steps to minimize long-term emotional harm.

"Online health sites a worldwide worry," by Jenny Sinclair,, September 16, 2003 --- 

Getting medical information from the internet could be a health hazard, according to a study by a Melbourne researcher.

Holly Cardamone, a Melbourne communications consultant and qualified nurse, found that most websites with health information failed to meet basic standards, some were commercially driven and others could mislead patients.

Cardamone checked the top 100 sites returned on the Yahoo! search engine in the categories of breast cancer, diabetes and depression. She found that only a minority conformed to an international standard on how information should be given.

She said people tended to be likely to believe online information because "the quality of (websites') appearance may lead to the content itself appearing credible", leading to a risk of people taking action that could harm their health, such as abandoning medication.

There were also concerns about the way negative aspects of some conditions were highlighted in ways that didn't make it clear that those effects were relatively rare and could frighten users. One diabetic who suffered kidney failure had visited a website that described unusual and severe side effects, often controllable by treatment, but the site failed to point out that the case was not a common one.

Cardamone checked all the sample sites against the international Health On the Net Foundation's code of conduct, which has eight main points relating to the authority of information given, user confidentiality, openness about sponsorship and, importantly, making sure that users treat the information as complementary to proper medical treatment, rather than replacing it.

Although 58 of the sites that Cardamone checked contained unverified information, she said the other 42 sites had potential to help improve a sufferer's health.

"Such sites contained quality, appropriate information with potentially lifesaving content such as explanations of the symptoms of depression, and healthy recipes for diabetics."

Cardamone completed the study in 2001 as part of a Masters degree in communications at Swinburne University. She said she was interested in changes under way in health care where the "top down" approach was being replaced by greater patient understanding and control. The idea for her thesis came to her after a patient asked her if she thought fluid coming from the patient's nose could be cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The patient had read about CSF on the web and mistaken a runny nose for a potentially serious complication of her injuries.

A phenomenon of "cyberchondria" had also been identified by other researchers, where people already prone to hypochondria used the greater amount of information on the web to feed their health obsession. Such people were vulnerable to "multiple choice" quizzes that gave diagnoses based on a list of symptoms.

But online health information had its upsides; many breast cancer sites contained good information, and Cardamone said well-run support groups could help feelings of isolation, particularly with stigmatised conditions such as mental illness, or rare conditions. A career for a person with Alzheimer's disease would be helped by always being able to go online and talk to others in a similar situation, even if it was 3am, she said.

Continued in the article.

How did recruiters of students (mostly MBA recruiters) rank this year's top schools of business?  
How do these rankings differ from rankings by Deans of business schools?


"A New Winner," The Wall Street Journal Reports, September 17, 2003, Section R ---,,SB106372530386078900-search,00.html?collection=wsjie%2F30day&vql_string=Top+Business+Schools%3Cin%3E%28article%2Dbody%29 

Wharton jumped to the top of our third annual survey of business schools, from fifth place last year. And that wasn't the only surprise. By RONALD ALSOP Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The world's oldest business school took top honors in this year's Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive ranking of corporate recruiters' favorite M.B.A. programs.

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, founded in 1881, jumped to first place from fifth last year, largely on the strength of students' financial and analytical skills. Wharton unseated Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, which slipped to No. 2 after two consecutive years as the most popular M.B.A. program.

This year's survey reflected the new era of financial and ethical accountability. Recruiters repeatedly praised schools that produce principled graduates and accounting whizzes. The Wharton School is a leader in both areas, with a long history of business-ethics courses and research and some of the top professors in the accounting field. In fact, recruiters named Wharton the second-best school for accounting, after the University of Chicago.

Wharton continues to attract the premier investment-banking and management-consulting recruiters, even in this weak M.B.A. job market. "Our track record at Wharton is one of unparalleled success," says Frank Pometti, a management consultant at A.T. Kearney Inc. "It's critical as a consultant to understand what's driving a company's financial performance, and you never have to worry about a Wharton student getting it."

. . .

In addition to Wharton, two other Ivy League schools moved up in this year's ranking. Columbia University's business school advanced three spots to No. 7. "Columbia students tend to be interesting and well-rounded, and there's an international flavor to the M.B.A. program," says Mr. Pometti. "You want people who can relate to consulting clients in any situation, including multicultural settings." The largest Ivy League M.B.A. program, Harvard Business School, moved up one notch to eighth place, but it still stirs mixed feelings with many recruiters, who repeatedly cite students' arrogance as its chief shortcoming.

Mass Appeal

Some big schools ranked higher because they scored well on mass appeal. The weak job market also has clearly affected recruiters' feelings about some of the large M.B.A. programs. Recruiters who visited the bigger schools, particularly the most prestigious programs, reported greater success in hiring students and more considerate treatment from both the graduates and the career-services office during the 2002-03 academic year.

But one large school -- the University of Texas at Austin -- dropped out of the top 10 this year for the first time. Some recruiters cited inconsistent performance from Texas graduates they had hired recently.

The biggest decliners in this year's ranking include New York University, Escuela Superior de Administracion y Direccion de Empresas (ESADE) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Many recruiters commented that student quality is "uneven" at NYU's Stern School of Business and that they sometimes feel as if they are interviewing "Columbia rejects." As for Spain's ESADE and Illinois, recruiters called for more student work experience and a stronger international perspective at 

Schools making the biggest advances in the ranking: Brigham Young University, Vanderbilt University, and Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). Brigham Young's Marriott School of Management stood out for its students' integrity in this era of corporate scandals. "Our recruiters return to Brigham Young year in and year out because of the school's high ethical standards," says Roger McCarty, corporate strategy development leader for Dow Chemical Co.

Recruiters singled out Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management for its finance program and its graduates' strong character and team orientation. And Mexico's ITESM, which topped the list of international schools in this year's ranking, earned kudos for its students' strategic thinking and analytical skills, as well as its global vision. "I've been working with ITESM graduates for the past 10 years," says Francisco Trevino Reyes, administration manager at the New Zealand Milk Distribution Center in Monterrey, Mexico. "Believe me, you can rely on the quality of their work, decision making, ethical values and leadership."

Continued in the article.

How do these rankings differ from the better-known U.S. News rankings based upon perceptions of Deans of business schools?

See for yourself at 

01. Harvard University

02. Stanford University

03. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 

04. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

05. Northwestern University (Kellogg)

06. Columbia University (NY)

07. Duke University (Fuqua)

08. University of California–Berkeley (Haas)

09. University of Chicago

10. Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)

Message for My Trinity University Students

Although you cannot access Drive J off campus, I want to point out that you can access my course  video tutorials from anywhere in the world.  The link is

You will find avi, rm, and wmf versions of most every video.  I recommend that you choose the wmf version that will play in the Windows Media player that should be on your home computer.  

If you have speakers on your home computer, there is an advantage of running these videos at home.  On campus in the computer labs, you must first check out earphones from IMS and then hope the ear phones will work in a particular lab computer.  It is a lot less hassle to run my tutorial videos on your home computer. 

Life is different on weekends, a distinction that seems to affect Mother Nature as well as people. Climate researchers studying records at thousands of locations have discovered that, in many communities, the temperature range between the daily high and low changes on the weekend. And, as with some people, there seems to be a little hangover of this weekend effect on Mondays --- 
This link to MSNBC News on September 15, 2003 was forwarded by Debbie Bowling.

"Vocabulary on the Web," by Carol S. Holzberg, Technology & Learning, September 2003, pp. 46-47 --- 

Words constitute the stuff and fluff of all oral and written communication. Without them, there could be no self-expression, theatrical performance, or song. They create binding contracts, establish political borders, and cast magical spells. Countries go to war over thoughtless words uttered in haste. Children make life choices based (in part) on grownups' words of praise and encouragement. Poems weave word tapestries of intense emotions. SAT and other standardized tests measure individual word skill. The Internet can help students develop a strong vocabulary. For increased word power, visit the following Web sites:

Vocabulary University
Free word puzzles and other vocabulary enrichment tools build word skills at this Web site suitable for individuals interested in developing a richer personal vocabulary, teachers looking to enhance classroom curriculum, and students in home-schooling and ESL programs. Interactive puzzles, fill-in-the-blank games, definition match activities, "rootonyms" and thematic content tied to calendar events turn word-building work into play.

Subscribe to this free word service and receive a daily Email from the "wordserver" with a special word, its definition, voiced pronunciation, etymology, usage in context example, quotation and other interesting vocabulary tidbits. Visit the site to explore the archives, which date back to March, 1994

Oxford English Dictionary: Daily Word
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), with its 20-volume print or CD-ROM format, is the unquestioned authority on words. Visit OED Online to explore the site's free "word of the day." Each day, it features a new word with pronunciation, spellings, etymology, quotations, and the date this word entered the English language. You can also take advantage of Welcome to OED Online supporting simple and advanced search techniques to help you find the meaning of any word in the OED dictionary.
Another free Word of the Day Email service offering daily Emails with a definition and sample sentences from literature, newspapers, magazines, and other published sources showing how the word is used in context. Other free vocabulary learning activities include crossword and word search puzzles (updated daily) which provide access to word definitions contained in the numerous dictionaries hosted at the site, including older editions of the American Heritage Dictionary, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, WordNet, The Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing, Jargon File, and Acronym Finder.'s featured word games (e.g., Cryptogram, Hangman, Maze, Phrase Invaders and Slide Solve) are available only to subscribers who pay $3/month or $20/year.

Merriam-Webster OnLine: The Language Center
Several vocabulary building tools available free of charge here include a searchable dictionary keyed to the print version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Other no-cost services include a Word of the Day (via Email), Word Games (Definition Demolition, Transform Brainstorm, Flip Flop, and Match Maker) and Word from the Lighter Side featuring articles on word usage in different times and places. Paid subscribers gain access to premium content at, which hosts the recently published Eleventh Edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, in addition to the Collegiate Thesaurus, Collegiate Encyclopedia, and Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary.

Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder
Many English words we use today come from Greek and Latin. At the free Vocabulary Builder Web site (based on a book and CD-ROM of the same name) you can brush up on those English words complete with pronunciations, definitions, and contextual examples, and discover the meanings of 200 words which derive from mythological names. Once you've mastered the content at this site, take the online quiz to see how much you know!

TravLang Travel & Language Services
Gain entry to the magical world of other cultures by taking advantage of a host of free foreign language services at this Web site. You can explore Travlang's Word of the Day with its multi-language translations and pronunciations of a new word each day, and Ergane, a Windows-based multilingual translation dictionary that uses the artificial language of Esperanto to translate words and phrases from one natural application to another. Travlang also markets several low-priced foreign language learning products including pocket voice translators, linguistic microcomputers, and software dictionaries.

SuperKids Educational Software Review
This site provides a powerful combination of tools for educational play. You'll find several entertaining tools and games to improve spelling and vocabulary skills, including Word of the Day (organized by grade level and offering SAT vocabulary review), Hangman, Hidden Word Puzzles (PC only), Word Scrambler, TextTwist, and WHATword? The games are interactive and played online. For example, WHATword (a Java applet) challenges players to rearrange letters on a grid to form as many words as possible before time runs out. Higher points are awarded if words match target game words. Hangman offers theme-based puzzles using words from Shakespeare, SAT tests, history, geography and science.

ARTFL Project: Roget's Thesaurus Search Form
Search the full text of the 1911 edition of Roget's Thesaurus (supplemented July 1991) for synonyms to use in your writing projects and check out the collection of synonyms available at Lexical FreeNet: Connected Thesaurus offering several tools for point and click access including RhymeZone, Onelook Dictionary, and Shakespeare Search, in addition to a conventional thesaurus. There's also an online dictionary-thesaurus at Wordsmyth.

Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. 1995
The online version of Houghton Mifflin's popular word book includes a searchable database of 35,000 synonyms and more than 250,000 cross-references. However, it's only one of several components in Bartleby's American Heritage Reference Collection which also features the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4rth edition (2000) containing more than 90,000 entries and 70,000 audio pronunciations and the American Heritage Book of English Usage, 1996 offering an inside look at grammar, word formation, gender, and scientific forms.

Web Thesaurus Compendium
This user-friendly thesaurus portal provides easy access to several Web based synonym collections. You can search for a particular thesaurus alphabetically or by subject. Topics include aerospace, archeology, chemistry, government, Egypt, geography, and folk culture. Your Vocabulary Builder Site
It's easy to build word power using the tools available at this Web site. Test your word skills (20 questions at a time) by taking timed analogy, antonym, GRE Vocabulary and TOEFL/TOEIC Vocabulary multiple-choice quizzes. To review missed questions or view your scores, you'll need to register for a free subscription. You can also play Hangman (without hints), view GRE word lists (complete with definitions provided by Merriam-Webster Online and take word frequency tests using data derived from popular newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and USA Today.

Bob Jensen's vocabulary bookmarks are at 

Free from 

The American Heritage® Book of English Usage --- 
A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English

With a detailed look at grammar, style, diction, word formation, gender, social groups and scientific forms, this valuable reference work is ideal for students, writers, academicians and anybody concerned about proper writing style.

Bibliographic Record    Staff    Usage Panel    Introduction    Word Index    Subject Index
1. Grammar
2. Style
3. Word Choice
4. Science Terms
5. Gender
6. Names and Labels
7. Pronunciation Challenges
8. Word Formation
  a. Plurals
b. Forming Possessives
c. Affixes
d. Word Compounding
9. E-mail
10. A Grammar Toolkit

Free at Judy Vorfield's WebGrammar --- 

Need help with spelling, grammar, homonyms, punctuation, capitalization, and style? Or information in the areas of writing, education, typography, academic research, or Web development?

You may wish to go right to The Writing Center, which includes style guides and many writing resources. To find a specific word or phrase on the site, try the Search Function.

Judy also has a huge set of links under the following index terms:

Best General Learning
Botanical Gardens
Current Events
Physical Education
Special Education
Storytelling/Kid Fun
World's Creatures


Contact Us
Free Dictionary
Judy's Business Site
Media Coverage
Privacy Policy
Recommend Us
Search Site

Bob Jensen's threads on spelling, grammar, and English helpers are at 

From Syllabus News on September 12, 2003

Bellarmine University unveiled a multi-use smart card that allows the 2,400 students and 200 faculty and staff on its Louisville, Ky.-based campus to check out books from libraries, purchase meals without cash, and gain access to campus fitness facilities and other amenities. The card also can be used as an ATM card on and off campus. The school’s banking vendor is U.S. Bank, which has targeted higher ed as a market. It offers a line of products and services to universities, including campus ID cards, student loans, Internet banking, and pre-paid spending cards.

University of Wisconsin Digital Collections: Ecology and Natural Resources Collection 

"Black-Scholes models lose favour for employee stock options," Risk News, September 11, 2003

Companies around the world are likely to come under increasing pressure to change their valuation methodologies for employee stock option schemes from traditional Black-Scholes models to binomial approaches, according to the research department of Bear Stearns in New York.

In a research report released today, the US bank said the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) had indicated that it planned to draft new mark-to-market rules on employee stock options to “encourage companies to use a binomial model if the information is available to do the calculation”. But FASB has hinted that it would not specifically mandate any particular approach. However, Bear Steans said all but eight companies in the S&P 500 index may come under pressure to switch to binomial pricing. Only Ameren, AIG, Boeing, Cincinnati Financial, Dow Chemical, Goldman Sachs, MeadWestvaco and Washington Mutual have used such an approach to date.

It is unclear what has underpinned FASB’s thinking. But both binomial and Black-Scholes models are limited in requiring implied volatility inputs that can prove highly subjective.

But the US accounting standards-setter has co-ordinated its activities with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in this area. So companies adopting IASB reporting standards are also likely to come under increasing pressure to use binomial models.

There are many, many online option valuation calculators and illustrations. For example, go to 

For the tree structure binomial calculator, go to 

Bob Jensen’s links to other online calculators and illustrations are given at 

September 15, 2003 reply from David Johnstone [djohnsto@UOW.EDU.AU

Dear Bob and Dan,

A recent paper of mine in the Journal of Financial Education Summer 2002 pp.72-78 titled “Risk-Neutral Option Valuation from EPV Without CAPM” includes a very revealing and helpful explanation of the binomial model of option valuation and its reconciliation with the more familiar notion of expected present value. This paper is about understanding (rather than simply doing) risk-neutral option valuation, which is what the binomial model does. The conceptual basis of option valuation is according to Wilmott’s best-seller on quantitative finance, the most confusing and misunderstood topic in finance.


Bob Jensen's threads on derivatives valuation can be found in the following two links: 

Hi Erin,

I don't really have much more to help you. You should be aware that the FASB postponed FIN 46 and put three new Proposed Staff Positions FIN 46a, FIN 46b, and FIN 46c out for discussion. These are on the current first page of 

You might take a look at the following documents:,0,79,0&bhdirex=&bhcont=lan 

I shortened that horrible URL to  
"FIN 46 may build up business' balance sheet," Grant Thornton, June 24, 2003  
"FIN 46: consolidation of variable interest entities under US GAAPs," by Vinod Kothari

A Deloitte and Touche Slide Show on FIN 46 --- 

I shortened the above URL to 

My threads on SPEs are at 

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- From: XXXXX 
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 9:12 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: SPE help

Dr. Jensen, My name is Erin XXXXX an I am an undergraduate Accounting student at The University of YYYYY. I have been doing some research on Special Purpose Entities for an Accounting Thesis that I am writing this semester and I came across your page titled "Bob Jensen's Overview of Special Purpose Entities." I found some very helpful information, but I was wondering if you had any links to information on the current FASB exposure draft, "Qualifying Special-Purpose Entities and Isolation of Transferred Assets." I am trying to decipher it, but it is difficult for me to understand because I do not have a good background in Finance and this is my first assignment involving reading actual FASB statements. I have found the topic to be interesting although very complex, but unfortunately I am far from an expert in this field and need some clarification on some of the terms in the draft. I would greatly appreciate any information you may have. 

Thank you, 

September 13, 2003 message from Peter Mccracken [


The URL for VentureLine on your page:  (Bob Jensen's Accounting, Finance, and Business Glossaries) has changed. The new URL: .



Forwarded by Carl Hubbard on September 12, 2003

I would like to bring to your attention Analysis of Derivatives for the CFA(r) Program by Don M. Chance, CFA, recently published this year by the Association for Investment Management and Research(r). While designed for the CFA program, this publication is a terrific text for academic derivatives and risk management courses.

The treatment in this volume is intended to communicate a practical risk management approach to derivatives for the investment generalist. The topics in the text were determined by a comprehensive job analysis of investment practitioners worldwide. The illustrative in-chapter problems and the extensive end-of-chapter questions and problems serve to reinforce learning and understanding of the material.

We believe that this text responds to the need for a globally relevant guide to applying derivatives analysis to the investment process. We hope you will consider adopting Analysis of Derivatives for the CFA(r) Program for a future course.

Thank you for your attention.


Helen K. Weaver

656 PAGES 
HB 2003

Bob Jensen's threads on references for derivative financial instruments can be found at 

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Reviews on September 12, 2003

TITLE: Popular Stock Perk Faces Cutbacks 
REPORTER: Ruth Simon 
DATE: Sep 04, 2003 

TOPICS: Financial Accounting, Stock Options

SUMMARY: Companies, including Citigroup and Mellon specifically mentioned in the article, have cut back on employee stock purchase plans by reducing the discount percentage allowed off of market value and the maximum amount employees can invest, among other strategies. These changes are happening because market value accounting for stock based compensation includes not only employee stock option, but also stock purchase, plans.


1.) Compare and contrast employee stock option plans and employee stock purchase plans. How do each of these plans transmit value to employees? How do employers benefit by offering these plans? What standards govern the accounting and reporting for these plans?

2.) Must compensation expense be recorded for employee stock purchase plans? Using journal entries, show how accounting for stock issuances under employee stock purchase plans can avoid reporting compensation expense on the income statement. Then, show how the accounting could be done to result in compensation expense shown on the income statement.

3.) If a company records compensation expense for its employee stock option plan benefits, should it also show such expense for stock purchase plans? Support your answer.

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

Bob Jensen's threads on FAS 123 are at 

Hi Paul,

I think the users approach sometimes replaces bookkeeping fundamentals (including computerized bookkeeping) out of fear that bookkeeping is terribly boring to some of the brightest and most promising students who purportedly are sidetracked from majoring in accounting due to perceptions that accounting is bookkeeping and bookkeeping is boring.

The users approach taken to an extreme (e.g., Core Concepts of Accounting Information, a course designed by Karen Pincus) receives high criticism by some instructors and high praise by other instructors ---,%20April%2013,%201994/Accounting%20students%20now%20face%20ANITA 

I shortened the above link to 

Critics of the users approach contend that it is analogous to throwing a Freshman into a varsity football game before learning how to block and tackle. An even more extreme analogy is learning to be a pianist by listening to piano concertos without learning the scales and chords.

In my opinion, neither an extreme user approach nor an extreme preparer approach is best suited to basic accounting. There are some basic textbooks that attempt to build financial statement analysis into modules on the terminology and recording process of traditional bookkeeping. It may even be a good idea to throw in a few systems basics such as very elementary relational database accounting system advantages over traditional bookkeeping (the main advantage being the recording of non-financial as well as a wider scope of financial data).

There are some textbooks that build a limited amount of user orientation into basic bookkeeping for introductory courses in both financial and managerial accounting. In fact, I think most popular texts do that these days. Much depends upon what part of the text material you want to emphasize in your course. But I would always stress that to play the piano, you've got to endure dull practice, practice, and more practice to master scales and chords.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Fisher, Paul [mailto:PFisher@ROGUECC.EDU]  
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:04 AM 
Subject: Financial Accounting I

I am taking a brief and informal poll on how we should be teaching Financial Acounting I. Presently we use the preparer approach at our community college, but the nearby university uses the user approach.

Does the differences in approaches cause difficulty for the student? Are more institutions reverting back to the preparer model?

Regarding the preparer approach, we use Quickbooks in conjunction with our course. In their documentation, Quickbooks specifically tells the reader not to close the books at the end of an accounting period. Yet many textbooks have elaborate learning schemes to explaining the closing process in a manual system. Should we continue teaching the closing process, or should we move to a "closeless society"?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Paul Fisher 
Rogue Community College Medford, OR

September 15, 2003 reply from John L. Rodi [jrodi@IX.NETCOM.COM

I for one am an advocate of teaching accounting from the users approach. We implemented this approach several years ago at my former university, Cal State University Los Angeles. However, we constantly encountered resistance because everyone wanted to teach "bookkeeping." At least initially it is more difficult to teach from a users approach simply because we are all products of the preparer approach; however, students seem to have a greater appreciation of the subject when taught from the users approach. The composition of Financial accounting 1 is generally comprised of students who will never make a journal entry and definitely will never make a closing entry. It is simply a waste of time to discuss the matter of ledgers, general journals, posting, unadjusted trial balance, and adjusted trial balances on a worksheet when the only one that a student will ever see is in the textbook. All of these functions are part of accounting programs that are being used, which is why the Quickbooks says that you don't need to make the closing entries. The program does it automatically at the end of the period. However, the students do need to know that at the end of an accounting period the balances in the nominal accounts disappear and why they do so. In my opinion it is better for students to understand the value and usefulness of the financial statement rather than how "the computer" processes the data. I know that many, many of my colleagues will disagree with me. The data that we had clearly demonstrated that we had more students choose accounting as a major after implementing the users approach than we did before its implementation. I can assure you that if you should adopt the users approach you will encounter much opposition from your colleagues.

John Rodi, 
El Camino College

September 16 reply from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU

I teach an "introductory" financial accounting class - but in the MBA program. After listening to many of these arguments for a couple of years and looking hard at a number of textbooks, I've decided that somewhere in the middle of the preparer and user view is needed, even at the graduate level. I'm pretty much in the same camp as Bob Jensen (that's usually a pretty good place to be).

I tell the MBA students that if they don't understand a reasonable amount about debits and credits they will have a false sense of security in thinking they understand the financial statements that result from the accounting process. I spend about 30 seconds on the closing process, although it's still hard to get students to understand how the revenue and expense accounts produce vital information during a year and then "disappear" into retained earnings. One way to get students' attention with some of the simple adjusting entries is to point out how easy it is to manipulate earnings by doing so (e.g.,. WorldCom) and that they need to understand how to manage earnings in order to know how to prevent it when they are business managers.

With respect to the user side of things, one thing I usually hear from several students is that my financial accounting class (taught in the first semester of the two year MBA program) does more to introduce them to a general understanding of "business" than any other class. I think it's because in every class I stress how the information could be useful (or not) in certain real world situations. This includes asking the students to think about the decision usefulness (or uselessness) of the answers to even very simple "debit and credit" problems in the textbook.

As an educator in training, I still know relatively little about the contents of other introductory business school courses. But it seems that, as accountants, we have a great opportunity to show how much better we know the "big picture" than many other disciplines. A fair amount of user approach is necessary to achieve this.

In the past week I've had two people tell me that they counseled their child to major in accounting because it would prepare them to do anything in the business world, whereas a marketing, MIS, or marketing major, for example, wouldn't give nearly the same background. (The fact that accountants can get jobs may also influence their views.) I like this kind of thinking and believe we could convince more students to be accounting majors if we stressed this broader perspective rather than telling them of the more narrow (but still rewarding) opportunities as practicing accountants.

Denny Beresford 
University of Georgia

September 16, 2003 reply from Rohan Chambers [rchambers@CYBERVALE.COM

At the AAA meeting in Hawaii, Brigham Young University discussed how a new approach to Introductory Accounting was being used by them . This hybrid approach achieves the objective of mainting some of the rigours of accounting, while at the same time addressing the usefulness of accounting information.

The technical stuff (preparer oriented) is covered by the students outside of class time. This is done using a self-paced CD in most cases. While the anaytical stuff (user oriented) is covered in a face to face classroom thus adding value to the technical material.

For more see the following link  and click on the pdf file "A New Model for Introductory Accounting"


Rohan Chambers, 
Programme Director - Accounting 
School of Business Administration 
University of Technology, 
237 Old Hope Road, 
Kingston 6. Jamaica

September 18 message from Bob Jensen to Sweden's Anders Grönlund [

Hi Anders,

We do really enjoy mountain life and a slower pace of life. Erika is still in the mountains, but I had to return to teach at Trinity University. Sigh!

Rule-based versus Principles based learning is only part of the issue. In fact rules are derived from principles such that the distinction is not always too clear. You should also consider preparer-based basic accounting (usually principles-based bookkeeping) versus user-based accounting (usually financial statement analysis-based introductory accounting that is generally more rules-based).

Probably the best place to start in your search is the Accounting Change Commission set of experiments at 

In particular, look at the monographs at 

The AAA also has some teaching aids available at 

I think the users/rules approach sometimes replaces bookkeeping/principles fundamentals (including computerized bookkeeping) out of fear that bookkeeping is terribly boring to some of the brightest and most promising students who purportedly are sidetracked from majoring in accounting due to perceptions that accounting is bookkeeping and bookkeeping is boring. The users approach taken to an extreme (e.g., Core Concepts of Accounting Information, a course designed by Karen Pincus) receives high criticism by some instructors and high praise by other instructors ---,%20April%2013,%201994/Accounting%20students%20now%20face%20ANITA 

I shortened the above link to 

Critics of the users approach contend that it is analogous to throwing a Freshman into a varsity football game before learning how to block and tackle. An even more extreme analogy is learning to be a pianist by listening to piano concertos without learning the scales and chords. In my opinion, neither an extreme user approach nor an extreme preparer approach is best suited to basic accounting. There are some basic textbooks that attempt to build financial statement analysis into modules on the terminology and recording process of traditional bookkeeping. It may even be a good idea to throw in a few systems basics such as very elementary relational database accounting system advantages over traditional bookkeeping (the main advantage being the recording of non-financial as well as a wider scope of financial data).

There are some textbooks that build a limited amount of user orientation into basic bookkeeping for introductory courses in both financial and managerial accounting. In fact, I think most popular texts do that these days. Much depends upon what part of the text material you want to emphasize in your course. But I would always stress that to play the piano, you've got to endure dull practice, practice, and more practice to master scales and chords.

I am forwarding you some recent messages regarding the preparers versus users based controversy, which is often a heated debate in the U.S. One reason has been pointing to too many rules in accounting courses that, in turn, turn students off when considering to major in accounting. Especially note the following reference:

Albrecht, W. S. and R. J. Sack. 2000. Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future, Accounting Education Series, Volume No. 16. Sarasota, Florida: American Accounting Association --- 

Stay well!

Bob Jensen


I am working on a basic textbook on principle based accounting and I would like to get some texts about the basic differences between the two approaches. Can you recommend some papers or websites?

Eva and I do hope that Erika and you now enjoy your new life in a

"Norwegian/German environment" instead of the Texas sun and heat. We think

often about you and have seen the nice pictures from your house. Enjoy it and give my best regards to Erika. Hope everything is well with you. 

Best regards 
Anders ( and Eva)

What do garage door openers and copyright law have in common?


"Garage Doors Raise DMCA Questions," by Katie Dean, Wired News, September 17, 2003 ---,1282,60383,00.html 

Manufacturers of a seemingly innocuous product -- a garage door opener -- are embroiled in a battle that tests the limits of a controversial copyright law.

Skylink Technologies manufactures a universal garage door opener that can be used to open and shut any type of garage door. Its competitor, the Chamberlain Group, claims that Skylink violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, by selling such a product.

Chamberlain alleges Skylink's handheld portable transmitter can activate Chamberlain's garage door openers and, in doing so, unlawfully bypasses a technology-protection measure built into the device's software.

Skylink disagrees, and recently filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for summary judgment, whereby a judge decides the case instead of going to trial.

"When Chamberlain sells (its) garage door openers, there is no restriction prohibiting the consumer from operating the garage door with a third-party transmitter," said David Djavaherian, an attorney for Skylink. "For a violation to occur under the DMCA, access to the copyright work must be unauthorized."

Neither representatives of Chamberlain nor its lawyers returned repeated calls for comment.

The case has been closely monitored by digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has argued that the DMCA is being abused by companies that want to stifle their competitors. The DMCA, the groups contend, also impedes innovation.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA can be found at 

Flowcharting Software
September 12, 2003 message from Richard Campbell [

Here is a link that I provided earlier on using Smartdraw to create document flowcharts: 

Richard J. Campbell

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

Tensions over the euro and its rules are beginning to reveal centuries-old fault lines and raise questions about Europe's resolve to become a united economic and political power.
"Rising Deficits in Europe Give Euro Its Toughest Challenge Yet," The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2003, Page 1 ---,,SB106357038672163200,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpageone%255Fhs 

In the past week, France made it clear it would look after its own interests first, with French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin dismissing the rules underpinning Europe's currency as obscure "accounting equations." The European Central Bank warned that unless France and Germany limit their surging budget deficits, as European Union rules require, the credibility of the euro could be damaged. The Netherlands threatened to sue the European Commission -- the EU's budget watchdog -- to make sure it requires the big countries to follow the rules they themselves wrote.

In Sweden Sunday, voters soundly rejected the euro and kept the krona, despite a wave of last-minute sympathy following the stabbing death of the nation's popular and pro-euro foreign minister, Anna Lindh. Among the reasons for the defeat: Fears that adhering to EU budget rules would force Sweden to slash its generous cradle-to-grave social welfare system.

Media giants have discovered that owning both broadcast and cable outlets provides powerful new leverage over advertisers and cable- and satellite-TV operators.
"How Media Giants Are Reassembling The Old Oligopoly, by Martin Peers, The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2003 ---,,SB106357548527696300,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpageone%255Fhs 

Viacom and its big media peers have been snapping up cable channels because they're one of the few entertainment outlets generating strong revenue growth these days. More broadly, the media giants have discovered that owning both broadcast and cable outlets provides powerful new leverage over advertisers and cable- and satellite-TV operators. The goliaths are using this advantage to wring better fees out of the operators that carry their channels and are pressuring those operators into carrying new and untried channels. They're also finding ways to coordinate promotions across their different holdings.

Marketing Behind the Iron Curtain 1986-1990 (Photography)
Windows Through the Curtain --- 

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Director's Choice (included video downloads) --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on art, history, and museums are at 

September 15, 2003 message from BNFL [

The international nuclear energy business BNFL has published its first corporate social responsibility report, setting out how it intends to achieve its goal of being economically strong, environmentally aware, socially caring and fully accountable for its impact on the world.

The report stresses that BNFL believes the principles of CSR, particularly in terms of its responsibility for employees and the communities in which it operates, is core to the way the company is managed ­ and to its long-term business success.

An electronic version of the report and accompanying video can be accessed at 

For a printed copy of the report, please e-mail 

Gardiner Black and White Photography of New York and London --- 

Corporate Accountability: A Toolkit for Social Activists
The Stakeholder Alliance (ala our friend Ralph Estes and well-meaning social accountant) --- 

The Post Punk Kitchen (Food and Recipes for Vegetarians) --- 

The Sandwich Project (Not necessarily for vegetarians) --- 

"Hotel Pay-Per-View And Other Pitfalls Of Expense Reports," by Jared Sandberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2003 ---,,SB10637523932898200,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fmarketplace%255Fhs 

When he was a salesman, Zak Burkons filed more than 200 expense reports. In those eight years, he learned it's better to stiff yourself than risk a run-in with the accounts-payable department. Here are some of his other observations:

1. Accounts payable, or AP as the department employees like to call it, is more likely to pick on the little guy than higher-ups. One AP staffer admits: "The higher you go the less scrutiny there is." That explains a lot of the headlines over the past couple of years.

2. "If you get caught, you'll get on the Most Wanted list in accounting," Mr. Burkons says, sounding more than a little paranoid.

There is a list, another supervisor confirms. "We know who our problem children are."

3. In-room movies are not reimbursed, period. "And they're convinced you're watching porn," says Mr. Burkons, even if you don't.

"Yes," admits another accountant, "We assume it's pornography."

The people in AP departments, a kind of IRS B-team in every company, have to be the most fed-up employees around. Imagine having to deal with people who sometimes like to stretch the truth, or at least feel entitled; then having to go beg, nag, or bust them

Continued in the article.

Have Your Own Time Capsule:  Send a message to yourself and have it saved for long-term future delivery.

FutureMe ---

Hi Robert,

I have some threads on ROI and ROE at 

The expert on ROCE is Al Rappaport (a former accounting professor at Northwestern)

Take a look at 

I shortened the above URL to 

Amazon's link to his book is at 

I shortened the above URL to 

Al carefully studies the differences between ROI and ROCE. He has a consulting firm with offices in Europe. Most any member of the accounting faculty at Northwestern University can probably give you a lead on how to contact his company.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Robert XXXXX
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 3:31 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: ROCE

I recently came across this term and it seems comparable to the ROI except for certain views, e.g. what one wants to convey or have interpreted by various stakeholders.

Would like to learn more since one of our main clients in Europe has turned to ROCE recently as its main management indicator for various profit centers. Can you help, please. 

Best regards, 

September 12, 2003 message from Jim Morrison


Please forward this announcement to colleagues who are interested in using information technology tools more effectively in their work. Also, please encourage your organizational librarians to add The Technology Source to their e-journal collections.

As always, we seek illuminating articles that will assist educators as they face the challenge of using information technology tools in teaching and in managing educational organizations. Please review our call for manuscripts at and send me a note if you would like to contribute an article.

Many thanks.

James L. Morrison
The Technology Source

Home Page:


James L. Morrison interviews author and software developer Clark Aldrich, who discusses the educational potential of simulation technology. Aldrich argues that computer games have provided the foundation for new, customized forms of software that enhance learning through simulated scenarios, and that this technology will soon change the landscape of education. (See )

Going wireless has appeared as the next advance on the educational horizon. But is it a practical option for teachers who conduct large lecture courses? H. Arthur Woods and Charles Chiu point such instructors toward one relatively simple but useful innovation: the wireless response pad, a tool that allows for immediate, comprehensive student feedback. (See )

Pamela L. Anderson-Mejías describes how a creative use of traditional print media can support online learning. To promote greater engagement with textbooks, Anderson-Mejías allowed students to choose from a list of acceptable texts, so that they did not all use the same text for the class. She then required students to compare and evaluate their sources in specialized online assignments. (See )

Many instructors who make the move to online teaching are concerned that this medium will undermine student engagement with each other and with the subject matter. Thomas Berner reports that, to the contrary, students in his online literature of journalism course participate much more actively in group discussions than their classroom-based counterparts. (See )

Most experienced online instructors would agree that they adopted the tools of the trade not in one fell swoop, but in a gradual series of stages. Grover C. Furr III describes the development of his teaching in terms of five stages, each of which led to a greater level of integration between technology, subject matter, and pedagogical goals. (See )

James Kilmurray argues that online education should more effectively address the needs of working adults. He proposes three major requirements to meet this goal: recognizing the distinctive characteristics of the adult learning population, instituting a shared-responsibility system of instruction, and supporting research and experimentation on Web-tailored pedagogy. (See )

Bonnie B. Mullinix and David McCurry provide a helpful road map for online education—-in the form of an annotated "webliography" of resource centers, professional organizations, and other sites that promote the discussion and development of technology-enhanced teaching and learning environments. See 

The value of faculty development programs at many institutions is limited due to a lack of focus. How can such programs offer practical knowledge to educators and simultaneously address the larger goals of the institution? Anne Agee, Dee Ann Holisky, and Star Muir describe how their program assists faculty members in a "targeted" approach to technology training. (See )

Finally, in our Spotlight Site section, Stephen Downes reviews BBC Learning, a Web site that offers extensive online resources for teachers, parents, and students of all ages, including tips on study skills, foreign language tutorials, lesson plans, specialized newsletters, and a limited (but growing) list of online courses. (See )

Forwarded by Barb Hessel

A passenger in a taxi tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him something. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window. For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, then the driver said, "Please, don't ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me."

 The passenger, who was also frightened, apologized and said he didn't realize that a tap on the shoulder could frighten him so much, to which the driver replied, "I'm sorry, it's really not your fault at all. Today is my first day driving a cab, I have been driving a hearse for the last 25 years.

Also forwarded by Barb Hessel

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny imropetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Austin City Limits (The State Capitol of Texas)

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Heaven, God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael the Archangel found him, resting on the seventh day.

He inquired of God. "Where have you been?" God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds. "Look, Michael. Look what I've made." Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance." "Balance?" Inquired Michael, still confused. God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth but cold and harsh while southern Europe is going to be poor but sunny and pleasant." I have made some lands abundant in water and other lands parched deserts. "This one will be extremely hot and while this one will be very cold and covered in ice."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land mass and said, "What's that one?"

"Ah," said God. "That's Texas -- the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful beaches, streams, ! hills, and forests. The people from Texas are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent and humorous and they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking and high achieving and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of peace."

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed, "What about balance, God? You said there would be balance!"

God replied wisely, "Wait until you see the idiots I put in Austin."

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Forwarded by Bob Overn

A fourth-grade teacher was giving her pupils a lesson in

"Here is the situation," she said.

"A man is standing up in a boat in the middle of a river,
fishing.  He loses his balance, falls in, and begins
splashing and yelling for help.

His wife hears the commotion, knows he can't swim, and
runs down to the bank.  Why do you think she ran to the

A little girl raised her hand and asked, "To draw out all
his savings?"

Forwarded by The Happy Lady

President George Bush and Vice President Cheney are enjoying lunch at a fancy Washington restaurant. The waitress approaches their table to take their order. She is young and very attractive. She asks Cheney what he wants, and he replies,"I'll have the heart-healthy salad. 

" Very good, sir," she replies, and turning to Bush she asks, "And what would you like, Mr. President?" Bush smiled at the waitress and responded, 

"How about a quickie?" 

Taken aback, the waitress slaps him and says, "I'm shocked and disappointed in you. I thought you were bringing in a new administration that was committed to high principles and morality. I'm sorry I voted for you." 

With that, the waitress departed in a huff. The President was shocked and sat in stunned silence. Cheney leaned across the table and in a quiet voice said to the stunned president, "Mr. President, I believe that's pronounced quiche".

Forwarded by Auntie Bev,

Words to Live By

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Never buy a car you can't push.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don't have a leg to stand on. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late. But remember: The second mouse gets the cheese.

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

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

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

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

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.

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

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

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

Forwarded by Auntie Bev


Despite what you may have seen on the street the following combinations DO NOT go together

A nose ring and bifocals

Spiked hair and bald spots

A pierced tongue and dentures

Miniskirts and support hose

Ankle bracelets and corn pads

A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar

Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor

Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge

Bikinis and liver spots

Short shorts and varicose veins

Incline skates and a walker

But, otherwise, YOU'RE LOOKING GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that's the way it was on September 20, 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) --- 


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 
I also like SmartPros at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Jack Anderson's Accounting Information Finder ---


Gerald Trite's great set of links --- 


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

The Finance Professor --- 


How stuff works --- 


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


Click on 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)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  

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September 12, 2003

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 12, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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

Quotes of the Week

I watched the flag pass by one day, It fluttered in the breeze --- 

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw

Now I see the secret of making the best persons: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
Walt Whitman

I've Got You Back
I posted this page, so many can understand the feelings of loss and separation of families of Military Men and Women. I am a Widow of a 20 year Military Husband, A Sister of a great Navy Man, an Aunt of a dear nephew that may be in "Harms Way" as I write this, A daughter of WWII Vet, a granddaughter of a WWI and WWII Vet and many more. I am proud to be an American and I thank our Allies, also. This page is dedicated to all who serve. 
Samantha --- 

Goodbye to Mr. Exxon
Exxon, a $200-billion-a-year enterprise, is on track to be the world's most profitable company this year. It owns the world's largest private collection of oil and gas reserves, is the largest refiner, and is the biggest private producer of natural gas. And soon, the company will have a new leader. Who will replace legendary oilman CEO Lee Raymond?

Fortune, September 15, 2003 ---,15114,480206,00.html 

The big August blackout has energized Congress to try to pass the first comprehensive energy bill in more than a decade. Experts say a finalized bill will increase ethanol demand, benefiting Midwest corn farmers ---,1283,60346,00.html 
(This just had to be announced a few days after Bob Jensen sold his corn farm in Iowa --- I'M NOT KIDDING!.)

Each year, hundreds of marriageable Moroccan Berbers gather for a three-day dating ritual -- one that has developed into a major Berber bazaar and a tourist attraction.
"The Mating Game Is a Three-Day Event For Moroccan Berbers," by Gautam Naik, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2003 ---,,SB106314420394123500,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpageone%255Fhs 

For many workers, a visit to the workplace bathroom can turn into an undignified tug of war with a stingy toilet-paper dispenser. Many building owners and managers like it that way.
"Why U.S. Workers Are Losing Tug of War Over Toilet Paper," by Jared Sandberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2003 ---,,SB106314295688132400,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fmarketplace%255Fhs 

If you are going through hell, keep going.
Sir Winston Churchill (forwarded by Patricia A. Doherty)
Perhaps we should think about this in Iraq and other places where our armed forces are unwelcome.

Bob Jensen's working draft of accounting and finance scandals for September 2003 can be found at 

September 10, 2003 message from Tracey Sutherland []

The 88th Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association was held August 3-6, 2003, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Opening speaker Arthur R. Wyatt's presentation garnered a standing ovation. So that his comments can be shared beyond those able to attend the meeting the full text of his challenging speech, "Accounting Professionalism--They Just Don't Get It!" is available online at
You can also read and excerpt from this speech at 

Tuesday morning featured Presidential Lecturer, Joel S. Demski, immediate past president of the Association. Joel's speech, "Endogenous Expectations," stimulated considerable discussion during the rest of the meeting. So that the conversation can continue, the full text of his comments is available online at

Soon video and slides will be available on the AAA website for all plenary sessions for the 2004 Annual Meeting, as well as for the outstanding follow-up panel session to Art Wyatt's address.


IRS Employees Steer Taxpayers Wrong on Tax Law, Study Finds --- 

Bonnie B. Mullinix and David McCurry provide a helpful road map for online education—-in the form of an annotated "webliography" of resource centers, professional organizations, and other sites that promote the discussion and development of technology-enhanced teaching and learning environments --- 

Bonk, C. J. (2003). Welcome. Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Bonk, C. J., Cummings, J. A., Hara, N., Fischler, R. B., & Lee, S. M. (2000). A ten level web integration continuum for higher education: New resources, activities, partners, courses, and markets. Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Carlén, U. (2002, November). Typology of online learning communities. Paper presented at the NetLearning2002 conference, Ronneby, Sweden. Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Carroll, T. G. (2000). If we didn't have the schools we have today, would we create the schools we have today? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 1(1). Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Chickering, A. W., & Ehrmann, S. C. (1996, October). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, 3-6. Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Lago, M. E. (2000, November). The hybrid experience: How sweet it is! Converge. Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding media: The extensions of man. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stammen, R. M. (2001, January). Basic understandings for developing learning media for the classroom and beyond. Learning Technology, 3(1). Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Testa, A. M. (2000). Seven principles for good practice in teaching and technology. In R. Cole (Ed.), Issues in web-based pedagogy: A critical primer (pp. 237-245). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Vest, C. M. (2003). MIT OpenCourseWare: A message from the president. Retrieved August 30, 2003, from 

Bob Jensen's threads on the shocking future of technology in education are at 

Have some fun with your students courtesy of David Fordham

September 11, 2003 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

For several years, I have been doing some fun things with PowerPoint, more than simply using it as a "bullet-pointed" slide show.

One of the simplest, yet most unusual, applications I use for PowerPoint is my own parody of the Jeopardy game. If you download it and try it, I think you'll have to agree it is ultra-simple, downright embarrassingly so, yet the students get a kick out of it, since it is so unlike any PowerPoint session they've ever seen. Class participation a la mode! Not a lot of new learning takes place on the day I play the game, but the students have a good time! I use Snickers bars for the winners, and a homework review sheet for the losers!

Please don't take this game as an indication of how simplistic I make my PowerPoint presentations! I have many better examples of more powerful PowerPoint features. But this game is fun, entertaining, and provides a break from the day-to-day class. You are free to download it, try it, and even use it in your class, changing the questions and answers to your heart's desire. Just be sure to mention me as the original author, and be sure to tell the students that Jeopardy is a registered trademark of the Sony Pictures corporation! (And if you get some good ideas and do your own new presentation game, you don't even have to mention me anymore!)


Some other learning innovations can be found at 

Computer gaming isn't just for teenagers or 20-somethings enamored with virtual violence. Walt Mossberg tests a RealNetworks product specializing in "games for grown-ups." 

"Gore-Free PC Games Can Help While Away Those Senior Moments," Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2003 ---,,SB106323038086874500,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

A specialized online service caters to fans of these games. It's RealOne Arcade, from RealNetworks, and runs on Microsoft Windows. It sells inexpensive, downloadable games either one at a time or via subscription. More than 150 games are available. You can study detailed descriptions and reader reviews before you buy them, and even try them out free of charge.

The games cost no more than $20 each. If you don't buy them a la carte, you can subscribe to the service for $6.95 a month. That gives you a game each month, plus $5 off any additional games you buy. Subscribers must commit to a minimum three-month term, at $20.85 upfront. People who buy one game get a one-month free trial subscription, including one free game.

The service has an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 subscribers, and the company says it has sold nearly 1.5 million games. Real says its clientele for the game service averages 40 years old, and more than half are women.

I have been testing RealOne Arcade, and I like it. I downloaded six games, tried them all and bought two. The service is convenient, easy to use and does what it promises. It provides a source for the type of games that are often hard to find in stores, or are scattered around various Web sites. And the games cost much less than most of the popular shooting, fighting and sports games.

Like Apple's online music store, RealOne Arcade isn't accessed from a Web browser, but from a special program that connects directly to RealNetworks' game servers.

This Arcade program is nicely organized, easy to use, and provides clear, detailed information about downloading, installing and playing each game. It even checks your PC to tell you whether it is capable of running each game. And it searches your hard disk for games you already own, even if they weren't purchased from Real, and lists them along with the games you've downloaded from Real, to provide a sort of cockpit for launching all your games.

When you download the trial version of a game, you can test it as often as you like, free of charge, up to a total of one hour of playing time. You don't need to be connected to the Internet to play a game you've purchased or are testing once it has been downloaded.

Any game you actually buy is yours forever, even if you cancel your subscription. And if you remain a subscriber, you can redownload any game you've bought, on multiple PCs, for up to a year. You can also get free updates to the games you own for a year.

Most of the games are meant to be played on a Windows PC, but some are for Palm hand-helds. There are also about 50 "teaser" games, essentially stripped-down promotional versions, that can be played directly from the Web.

The games offered by RealOne Arcade are reminiscent of old, classic titles like Breakout, Missile Command, Tetris and Solitaire. The company pointedly tries to avoid games featuring graphic violence. The six games I downloaded were Compulsive Solitaire, which includes lots of solitaire variations; Mahjonng Towers, featuring multilevel boards; Gutterball 3D, a bowling game; AirStrike 3D, a helicopter-battle simulation; SuperCollapse II, a Tetris-like puzzle; and Word Jolt, in which you try to make words out of random, scrambled letters.

I liked them all, and spent several hours playing them on a cross-country flight. All worked fine on my Windows XP laptop. I bought Compulsive Solitaire and Word Jolt. My favorite was Word Jolt, which can be played in either a fast-paced arcade mode or an untimed mode.

Continued in the article.

James Kilmurray argues that online education should more effectively address the needs of working adults. He proposes three major requirements to meet this goal: recognizing the distinctive characteristics of the adult learning population, instituting a shared-responsibility system of instruction, and supporting research and experimentation on Web-tailored pedagogy. (See )

Bob Jensen's threads on video games as a new type of pedagogy for learning are at 

Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- 

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- 

"You Can Merge MP3 Tracks To Avoid Hearing Gaps in Music," by Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2003 ---,,SB106323053792236900,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

There's no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I've received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about listening to music on an iPod, Wi-Fi interference, and protecting your computer from viruses.

Q: Apple's iPod plays songs with a slight pause between the tracks. What this means is that, on an album such as the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," certain songs don't play with seamlessly mixed segues as originally released, but instead with annoying gaps in the flow of the music. Is there any way to fix this?

A: There is no setting on the iPod, or on any other player I know of, to eliminate the gap between tracks. But it's possible to get rid of the gaps by merging, or "joining," MP3 tracks on the computer before transferring them to portable players. This procedure turns two or more tracks into one, either during the process of converting songs from a CD, or afterward.

Apple has added a feature to its iTunes music program, free of charge on all Macs, that allows you to join CD tracks during the conversion process. When you insert a CD to be converted into MP3 files, you just select two or more tracks and then go to the Advanced menu and select "Join Tracks." The program will draw a link between the names of the tracks, and will then merge them into a single MP3 file.

There are a number of programs for Windows that do something similar. One is a $20 shareware program called "MP3 Splitter & Joiner," from EZ Softmagic Inc., at . Another is "Twins File Merger," from Twins Software Online, a $15 shareware program found at . Both programs work on MP3 files that already are on your hard disk. The Twins Software Inc. program also can merge other types of files, including video clips, text files and Word files.

Continued in the article.

Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- 

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- 

"H-P Has an Easy Way to Let You Convert Old Videos Into DVDs," by Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2003 ---,,SB10614140399004700,00.html?mod=Personal+Technology 

Using a computer to transfer old videos onto DVDs should be simple, but it's a hassle. Older camcorders and VCRs are analog devices and can't translate the contents of a video into the digital format computers understand. You need an extra gadget called an analog-to-digital converter to put between the camcorder or VCR, and the computer.

A number of converter products are on the market. But they are often complicated or unreliable. I recently tested three of them that worked poorly, or not at all. Some new digital camcorders can act as converters, but they are expensive and tricky to use in this way. And you still need a DVD recorder, something most PCs lack, to actually create the discs and finish the job.

Now, Hewlett-Packard is attacking the problem with a gadget called the DVD Movie Writer dc3000. It's an external accessory for Windows computers that combines, in one integrated box, an analog-to-digital converter and a DVD recorder. It will be sold late next month at $399.

H-P promises that the DVD Movie Writer will allow users to convert old videos from their camcorder or VCR tapes to DVDs in just a few simple steps. In my tests, I found the claim to be true.

But there is one huge caveat: Microsoft's Windows Messenger, an unrelated product that comes with every copy of the Windows XP operating system, interferes with the video transfer and must be disabled for the DVD Movie Writer to work correctly. H-P says there is a new patch for Windows that fixes the problem, and that the patch will be included in the installation software for the product. If the fix really works, the company will have a winner on its hands.

Continued in the Article

Personal technology reviews by Walter Mossberg --- 

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks --- 

Hedging on the Recovery

"Put Action Shows Buyers Chasing Stock Rally Seek to Protect Gains," by Kopin Tan, The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2003 ---,,SB106331289879361500,00.html?mod=mkts%5Fmain%5Fnews%5Fhs%5Fh 

Stocks rose despite rising jobless claims and an analyst downgrade of International Business Machines Corp., but stock buyers continued to use options to hedge their exposure and guard their gains.

The put activity is most pronounced in stocks and sectors that have enjoyed large increases -- a sign that investors chasing the rally are continuing to buy downside insurance.

For instance, the Nasdaq 100 Tracking Stock, or QQQ, and the Semiconductors Holdrs Trust, or SMH, have climbed about 11% and 18%, respectively, during the past month. But at the same time, the ratio of puts outstanding accumulated to calls in both the QQQ and the increasingly popular SMH options have crept up steadily and are at their highest levels of the past year.

Some contrarian traders see such caution as a positive sign. To be sure, some investors are playing it safe because the price of put protection has fallen substantially. In addition, many market watchers believe expectations of an economic recovery already are factored into stock prices, and are guarding against possible pullbacks should companies fail to surpass those expectations when they report earnings.

Short-term calls traded actively in several networking stocks. Shares of Ciena Corp., Linthicum, Md., closed up 22 cents to $6.96. Its September 7.50 calls traded 19,700 contracts, compared with open interest of 11,721 contracts, and gained 15 cents to 25 cents at the International Securities Exchange.

Continued in the article

Helper Site if You Are Looking for a Book to Read --- Slide the Pointer
Whichbook --- 

Note that you click on a category-pair row and then slide a pointer.  However, you may want to print the listing of the findings in your search.  In that case, I suggest that immediately upon entering the site you click on the "Text Only" option.  This will make it possible to print a list of titles and authors after you choose the categories and degree of intensity that you want within each category.

Happy - Sad
Funny - Serious
Safe - Disturbing
Expected - Unpredictable
Larger than Life - Down to Earth
Beautiful - Disgusting
Gentle - Disturbing
No Sex - Sex
Conventional - Unusual
Optimistic - Bleak
Short - Long

Change to:

Character (Race, Age, Sexuality, Gender)

Plot Setting (Success against the odds, Conflict, Lots of twists & turns, Open, Quest, Revelation, generations)

Setting (Point to a country on the globe)

You will find a listing in each category or category combination.  Included is a very brief description of each book.

Bob Jensen's book finding helpers are at 

Are eBooks dead?

I think there is still a big market in textbooks, but the market for popular fiction and non-fiction has dwindled.
September 9, 2003 message from Barnes & Nobel

Dear eBook Newsletter Subscriber,

As of September 9, 2003, Barnes & will no longer sell eBooks. At this time, we will also be terminating our eBook Newsletter service.

"Barnes & Noble's Online Arm Pulls the Plug on E-Book Sales," by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2003 ---,,SB106312780219656500,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

Publishers, she added, failed to make enough of a pricing distinction between hardcovers and their e-book counterparts. Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest retailer, owns 38% of Barnes& and is in the midst of buying Bertelsmann AG's 37% stake in the business. That purchase is expected to close within two weeks.

Some e-book publishers tried to play down the company's decision to exit from e-book retailing. Arthur Klebanoff, co-founder and chief executive of New York-based Rosetta Books LLC, an e-book publisher that has released 117 titles from such writers as George Orwell and John Updike, said the company's strongest retailer is Palm Digital Media, a unit of PalmGear Inc.

"On a sales basis, Barnes& contributed a tiny percentage of Rosetta's revenue," said Mr. Klebanoff. "But they had an early leadership role in e-books. My guess is that they still believe in e-books in the long term, but that the economics in the short term don't make sense."

Barnes&'s decision comes at a difficult juncture for the e-book business. "Any defection is going to be a negative," said Mike Segroves, director of business development at Palm Digital Media. "While it will certainly be a reduction in revenue for some publishers, our business has been growing. We'd like to think that we can make up for the revenue publishers will lose from this -- but time will prove whether we are right or wrong."

Continued in the article.

Barnes and Nobel University still seems to be up and running as of September 9, 2003!
Free courses from Barnes & Noble University ---

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books and alternative sources can be found at 
I slightly updated the listing of places to find electronic books.  Many publishers will tell you when an electronic version is available.

Though print media and paper use in offices are greatly declining, it won't be a paperless world anytime soon. However, a professor tells a Seybold audience, publishers still must adapt ---,1367,60348,00.html 

Banned Books 
Mark Twain. John Steinbeck. Judy Blume. Steven King. All have authored one or more books that have been formally banned from library bookshelves or challenged by concerned patrons --- 

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom has recorded more than 7,000 book challenges since 1990, including 515 in 2002. A "challenge" is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school about a book's content or appropriateness. The majority of challenges (roughly 60 percent) are brought by parents, followed by library patrons and administrators. Each challenge represents an effort to remove books from school curricula or library shelves.

The 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

For the full 100 challenged books list, click here. More information on Banned Books Week can be found at

I read the following for a scheduled program of the 29th Annual Accounting Education Conference, October 17-18, 2003  Sponsored by the Texas CPA Society, San Antonio Airport Hilton.


Explore the results of a study conducted over a four-semester period that focused on the same graduate level financial accounting course that was taught using web-based instruction and face-to-face instruction.  Discuss the comparison of student demographics and characteristics, course satisfaction, and comparative statistics related to learning outcomes.

Doug Rusth/associate professor/University of Houston at Clear Lake/Clear Lake

Bob Jensen's threads on comparisons and assessment are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning are at 

Hi John,

This "click and mortar" issue is a complex question, and there are now junk yards filled with abandoned distance education programs (e.g., Fathom at Columbia, online teachers education at McGill, etc.). The problems are enormous. The most enduring programs are those that already had successful extension programs such that there is an established reputations and market (e.g., the enormous extension program in the University of Wisconsin system). Alternately, there has to be an on-campus market where students and faculty are willing to experiment in Web-based courses for full-time resident students on campus (e.g., the purported success of such courses at the University of North Texas and the Scale Program at the University of Illinois).

Secondly, there has to be revenue commensurate with the cost. Some programs are highly profitable because students are willing to pay enormous fees for relatively inexpensive online programs. The highly successful ADEPT Masters of Engineering degree program at Stanford University is the best example. Highly qualified students who work in the Silicon Valley are willing to pay high tuition for the prestige of a Stanford engineering graduate degree, and Stanford delivers such an online degree to a select group of students asynchronously in a very inexpensive manner. The learning materials are mostly downloadable videos that were initially expensive to develop but dirt cheap to deliver over and over. The students are highly motivated and require very little online hand holding in that they do not have to communicate intensively with an instructor.  A somewhat similar example is the asynchronous video delivery of basic accounting to undergraduates at Brigham Young University. You can download learn more about BYU's materials in Amy Dunbar's workshop materials linked below in this message.

At the opposite extreme you have an extremely costly and labor intensive instant messaging delivery by Amy Dunbar and her colleagues at the University of Connecticut. If faculty and graduate teaching assistants are available for instant messaging for eight to ten hours a day (and at hours that working students really need for learning interactions on nights and week ends), the cost can be enormous. Of course there are programs with varying degrees of online communication intensity and cost.

An intense communication pedagogy also has another huge drawback. It tends to burn out faculty, especially if the courses are asynchronous to a point where students are progressing at vastly different rates in the lesson plans. Few programs have the quality of Stanford's graduate school engineering students who can progress asynchronously without much communication with an instructor. I think most programs have had to restrict the course pace to weekly learning modules such that the learning paces are relatively uniform and easier to manage from a communication standpoint.  

I have threads on cost of online programs at 

To be on the leading edge, you should probably think of using more video and or video games in online learning. Camtasia is a relatively inexpensive start. Then you might consider Flash video or something similar such as the types of things in Amy Dunbar's workshop in Hawaii in August. Links of possible interest in these areas are shown below:

Video (including links to Amy's workshop materials) --- 

Video Games --- 

Bob Jensen's other helpers in education technology are linked at 

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- From: Merrie & John Hayden [mailto:m.j.hayden@PRODIGY.NET] Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 8:04 PM To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Online education

Up until now, our school has been strictly brick and mortar, face-to face instruction. We are considering becoming "click and mortar". can any of you give me the heads up on the process? Where to start? What are the typical pitfalls? What is the cost involved? Has it been successful financially and academicaly? Whatever advice anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

John Hayden, CPA 
Managing Director 
The PJA School 
Upper Darby, PA 19082 (610) 789-6700

September 10, 2003 reply from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Bob: Here are links Flash animation on "Using Microsoft Excel for Linear Regression": 

Richard Campbell


Meeting of Frontiers (Russian History, Art, Language) --- 
This site may be useful in history, art, and Russian language courses (since it is bilingual). The database also includes audio recordings.

Meeting of Frontiers is a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

It is intended for use in U.S. and Russian schools and libraries and by the general public in both countries. Scholars, particularly those who do not have ready access to major research libraries, also will benefit from the mass of primary material included in Meeting of Frontiers, much of which has never been published or is extremely rare.

The project grew out of discussions in 1997-98 between members of Congress, in particular Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, and James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. The collapse of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union created new opportunities for American educators and scholars to interact directly with their counterparts in Russia, as well as new demands in the United States for information about Russia. Nowhere was the new situation more apparent than in Alaska, where the end of the Cold War led to a revival of ethnic, religious, and economic ties going back to the Russian settlement of Alaska in the late eighteenth century.

The development of the Internet and the explosion of the World Wide Web in the 1990s offered a new technology for establishing contacts and exchanging information among individuals and institutions throughout the world. The Library of Congress National Digital Library Program, initiated in 1995, was one of the first large-scale efforts to use the Internet to disseminate high-quality educational and cultural content--digital versions of manuscripts, maps, films, photographs, sound recordings, and printed material--for use in schools and by the general public. Meeting of Frontiers uses the technologies pioneered in the National Digital Library Program to tell the parallel and interacting stories of America's West and Russia's East through digitized images and texts of original source materials.

The Meeting of Frontiers site was unveiled in December 1999. It included more than twenty-five hundred items, comprising some seventy thousand images, from the rare book, manuscript, photograph, map, film, and sound recording collections of the Library of Congress. Expansions of the site took place in September 2000, January 2001, May 2001, December 2001, September 2002 and May 2003, adding many thousands of items and accompanying explanatory text.

In November and December 1999, the Library of Congress concluded agreements with the Russian State Library (Moscow) and the National Library of Russia (St. Petersburg) regarding their participation in the project. In May 2000, joint Library of Congress-Russian teams completed the installation of high-resolution scanning equipment, on long-term loan from the Library of Congress, at both institutions. The Library of Congress also concluded a cooperative agreement with the Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The first digital images from the Alaskan and Russian partner institutions-rare maps, photograph albums, and sheet music–were added to the site in January 2001.

In April 2001, the Library of Congress and the Open Society Institute of Russia agreed to establish a cooperative regional scanning center in Novosibirsk to digitize selected collections from libraries and archives in Western Siberia. OSI funded and administered a grant competition through which collections were identified and selected for digitization. Equipment was delivered to Novosibirsk in May 2001 and scanning began shortly thereafter. A second OSI grant competition identified collections in Irkutsk and Central Siberia for digitization in 2002. In addition, the Library of Congress and the Staats- and Universitaets-Bibliothek (SUB) of Goettingen, Germany concluded an agreement concerning digitization of SUB’s famous Asch Collection for inclusion in the project.

Meeting of Frontiers was prominently featured in the curriculum and contest materials for National History Day 2001 (Grades 6-12), the theme of which was “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.” It also is being used by the Foundation for Internet Education in its Internet training programs throughout Russia.

Suggestions and comments are welcome, and should be sent to 

WebCT Versus Blackboard

Trinity University decided WebCT was better this summer, so WebCT was put in place without eliminating Blackboard.  Faculty who become accustomed to one type of software and have course materials housed in that software become very upset with abrupt changes.

I don’t know all the details regarding why WebCT is better, because I really don’t use either Blackboard to any great extent except to house copyrighted materials such as American Accounting Association journal articles and textbook solutions manuals that I’m allowed to share with students but not make available to the world.  I shy away from Blackboard because I like to share my learning materials with the world on a Web server rather than on a password protected Blackboard server.

I did notice quite a few hits when I typed the phrase “WebCT is better” into

 I have some earlier (dated) threads on these issues at 

Search for Domain Names

Hello Dr. Jensen,

Since you mention on your Search Helpers, I was wondering if your visitors would also like our site  . We have some awesome domain finder and information tools. Check it out to see if your visitors would like it. You can add your site to our directory if you are interested in exchanging links, at  .

Please email me if you have any questions.

Regards, Dan []

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

September 8, 2003 message from Jon Entine (forwarded by Richard Campbell)

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jon Entine []  
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 11:11 AM 
Subject: Research audit on "Body Shop" available

For anyone studying or teaching The Body Shop, I've posted on my website my internal 48-page audit of the company, which I've previously only provided by email. 

It's an extremely detailed account of the practices of this company. It analyzes Body Shop over a range of areas including its environmental practices, its marketing and ethics, its franchise relations, corporate governance, product quality, etc. It's based on more than 100 interviews, most of them recorded (and available for fact checking).

It was first written in 1996 and has been updated slightly. A lot of it deals with the historical practices of the company, such as Anita Roddick's brazen stealing of the concept, name, logo, and products from the original Body Shop, the one founded in Berkeley and San Francisco in 1970 that Roddick visited, then ripped off without attribution, then lied about. The report is very revealing about the character of Roddick and the sad, dysfunctional, ethically-challenged multi-national corporation she has created and continues to oversee.

The backgrounder was prepared when Body Shop's lawyers (Lovell White Durrant...Robert Maxwell's ex corporate swat team) and its PR team (Hill & Knowlton ... The tobacco lobbyist PR firm) were hired to counter articles by me, New Consumer in England, In These Times, Stephen Corry of Survival International, and other progressives who published fact-based accounts of the ethical dysfunctionality of this company.

Please feel free to use it in your research.


-- Jon Entine 
Miami University 
6255 So. Clippinger Dr. 
Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 (
513) 527-4385 [FAX] 527-4386 

Bob Jensen's threads on video game pedagogy can be found at

September 11, 2003 message from 

Check out this site for an interactive "whodunit" created using Flash. This is an intriguing promo for Reebok, but it has given me ideas for an audit case simulation using Flash and Toolbook.  

Richard J. Campbell

College for Financial Planning --- 
There are now three distance learning masters degree programs.

The College for Financial Planning, the oldest and most widely respected provider of financial planning education in the United States, offers an accredited online master’s degree program as well as several industry education and certification programs. In 1972, we created the country's first financial planning education program—the CFP® Certification Professional Education Program—still our most popular, with over 55,000 graduates. In addition, the College also offers continuing education and professional development courses for financial services professionals.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance learning programs can be found at 

"What's wrong with PowerPoint--and how to fix it," by David Coursey, Executive Editor, AnchorDesk September 10, 2003 ---,10738,2914637,00.html 
(Thank you Ed Scibner for pointing to this link.)

Are PowerPoint slides making us stupid? Are all problems really just a few bullet points away from their solutions? Or is the medium having a bad effect on the message? I'm no Marshall McLuhan or Edward Tufte (I will pause here to let you all shout, "Damn straight!"), but I do know something about business presentations and how they're put together. And I know that PowerPoint too often gets in the way of the message, replacing clear thought with unnecessary animations, serious ideas with 10-word bullet points, substance with tacky, confusing style.

I DON'T KNOW what McLuhan would think about PowerPoint, him being dead and all. But Tufte is very much alive and, in an essay appearing in the September issue of Wired, minces no words: "PowerPoint is evil," says the Yale professor whose books have set the standard for graphic presentation in the computer age.

Tufte says that slideware programs like PowerPoint (there aren't many others left) "may help speakers outline their talks, but convenience for speakers can be punishing to both content and audience." The standard PowerPoint deck, he says, "elevates format over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch."

This is especially true given that many presenters--who really shouldn't be presenting in the first place--use PowerPoint as a crutch. PowerPoint becomes a tool to separate the presenter from the audience and from the message.

But it doesn't have to be this way. It's possible to use PowerPoint as a tool (just like the projector you probably use to display your presentation), and as a real complement to what you're saying, without dumbing down your ideas. Today I'd like to offer some advice to help you do just that.


My point here is that PowerPoint glitz alone does not an effective presentation make. While your decks shouldn't be boring, they aren't entertainment, either. A few staging and showbiz skills help, but most presentations are won or lost in the actual content. Your job is to control PowerPoint. If you don't, PowerPoint will control your presentation.

Reply from Charlene Davis on September 10, 2003


Excellent points! I have seen PowerPoint abused, at professional conferences and by students, to the point where I am very leery of using it myself for fear I am doing the same mindless, stupid things I've witnessed others do. In my promotion management class, I encourage students to actively minimize the PowerPoint part of their presentation and it is amazing how much more creative and active their work is without this crutch. I will share the list of tips with my class as they prepare for their major presentations this term.


Dr. J. Charlene Davis 
Associate Professor of Marketing 
Trinity University 

September 10 Reply From Fred Loxum (Physics at Trinity University)


I agree and have a really good PowerPoint presentation about this.


September 10 reply from Bob Jensen

What PowerPoint critics fail to mention is that, without something like PP, us old professors can’t remember what to talk about in front of an audience.


These and other "Student Concerns" are mentioned at 

September 10, 2003 message from William E. McCarthy [mccarth4@MSU.EDU

It seems very popular all of a sudden to dismiss packages like PowerPoint as ill-conceived tools for teaching and presentation. Expert professors from Yale and Yahoo tell us of its dangers and fallacies, and it seems that most people on the list have mostly bad things to say about it. For simple presentations of slide after slide with bullet lists, I can sympathize somewhat. However, for graphic-oriented material, I must certainly disagree. More than half of my lectures are in PowerPoint, and many of my overhead illustrations are printed from PowerPoint slides. I cannot believe that we actually seem to having serious discussions on AECM that encourage new teachers to lay off these methods.

I agree with David Fordham that PowerPoint should be considered as just one option in a bag of teaching tricks, but teachers who eschew its use altogether, quite frankly, scare me as much as they scare Amy Dunbar. Just as there seems to be a knee-jerk reaction among many on this thread that heavy PowerPoint users are choosing style over substance, I have the corresponding knee-jerk feeling that people who rely totally on blackboards and white boards are just not willing to put in the time to make their classes a little bit more varied and exciting. Limiting oneself to only a segment of presentation methods and then criticizing those who choose to be more adventurous seems non-productive to me. Isn’t AECM supposed to be about encouraging teaching creativity?

I do not teach traditional accounting courses where numbers, addition and subtraction operations, and calculators occupy a significant portion of the teacher’s and students’ time, so perhaps I am more biased toward graphics. I also use movie clips, props, music, and costumes -- devices that might seem silly to some accounting teachers but they all fit in with my goal of making every class a vehicle for conveying my overwhelming sense of excitement for the material. Graphics in my classes seem to work for both my students and me, and I will gladly match my AIS ratings and stream of successful students with any other AIS teacher who remains anchored to a blackboard.

I teach like I write, and it is quite common for someone who has read one of my papers to tell me half-jokingly that I waste a lot of precious journal space with a tendency to use a much higher concentration of figures and illustrations vis-à-vis text. My response to them is that such graphic tendencies are how I think, so it is natural to present my ideas in the same way. Text and graphics afford different views on the same subject.

The Gettysburg Address is stirring verse I still know mostly by heart because a sixth grade nun made me memorize it. I still recite it to myself in wonderment on occasion, so I agree that it is ludicrously silly to think of “bulletizing” it with PowerPoint. However, it is also ludicrously silly to imagine myself in an AIS classroom that needed demonstration of graphics like data models, UML diagrams, system flowcharts, etc., yet contained a teacher who insisted on writing this all down from scratch each time with his or her back to the students.

Let’s get real. Tools like Powerpoint are here to stay, and we should be dispensing advice on their proper use, not encouraging people to forego them completely.

Bill McCarthy 
Michigan State University 

For advanced systems theorists, Bill shares some of his REA papers at 

"Educator-Specific Templates," by Judith B.Rajala, President and Founder of, T.H.E. Journal, September 2003, Page 32 --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on resources can be found at 



September 9, 2003 message from Abigail [ady@TELESTRAINING.COM

A new and revised version of the Certificate In Web-based Instruction (CWI) will be offered by Simon Fraser University ( ) this Fall. This version was redesigned based on feedback received from previous participants in the program. CWI is an innovative online program that teaches participants how to design, produce, and teach online courses.

The Certificate in Web-Based Instruction combines the teaching of both conceptual and technical skills. The program uses messaging, chat, videoconferencing, video mail and covers current eLearning topics. A maximum of 20 participants are supported by two instructors and create their own online courses during the program.

The Certificate in Web-Based Instruction is offered entirely online beginning September 15, 2003. If you need more information or have questions, please contact Jill Jodrey via email at  or by phone at 604-268-6728.

Abigail Dy 
Communication Specialist Certificate In Web-based Instruction
Simon Fraser University

Bob Jensen's threads for online learning alternatives are at 

Discover the Secrets of Everyday Stuff (Materials Science)

Strange Matter --- 
(Includes "Stuff for Teachers")

From FEI Express on September 11, 2003

At its September 17th Board Meeting, the Board will consider:
Whether to provide a limited-scope exception for a reporting entity's interest in a variable interest entity, or potential variable interest entity, when:

  1. The variable interest entity or potential variable interest entity existed as of the Interpretation's issuance and effective dates, and
  2. The reporting entity, after making exhaustive efforts, is unable to obtain information necessary to determine if the entity is a variable interest entity or to determine whether the reporting entity is the primary beneficiary of the variable interest entity.

The Board also will consider whether to direct the staff to issue a proposed FASB Staff Position (FSP) to defer the effective date of Interpretation 46 until the end of the first interim or annual period ending after December 15, 2003, for an interest held by a public entity in a variable interest entity that (a) was not previously considered to be a special-purpose entity and (b) has assets that are predominately nonfinancial. Examples of the types of interest to be considered by the Board are franchise arrangements, supplier arrangements, and troubled debt restructurings.

The FASB has released for 30-day comment, due Oct. 3, several FSP's related to FIN 46 Questions. Proposed FSP's include:

Bob Jensen's threads on FIN 46 and SPEs are at 

SFAS 150: FEI Scores a Victory for Private Companies
FEI scored a victory for private companies with the FASB last week. On Aug. 27, a divided FASB decided to delay for one year a requirement that would have non-public enterprises record mandatorily redeemable shares as liabilities. FEI's Committee on Private Companies sent a letter to FASB Chairman Robert Herz urging this action on July 17. Access the letter here. The FASB is expected to add a FASB Staff Position to its website in the coming weeks, making the delay official and calling for a 30-day comment period on SFAS 150's application to private companies. FEI will continue to work on this issue and comment when appropriate. For more information, or to become involved, contact


Webmonkey's How to Library



Bob Jensen's helpers are linked at 

Photographer Jonathan Clark spent a year capturing the melancholic beauty of an English cemetery (Art, Photography, Nature) --- 

There are plenty of choices for free e-mail accounts, and real differences that users should know about. Walt Mossberg tries out a handful of these free services to see which were worth more than just a whimsical name.,,SB106194227815651100,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpersonaljnl%255Fhs 

We included Yahoo and Microsoft's Hotmail, but also tested two lesser-known services -- from the Walt Disney Internet Group and Our tests were simple: We started accounts with each service and took note of the various features available with each.

Each of the services features a "Home Page," that seems mainly devoted to ads, and each tries to emulate on a Web page the look and core features of real e-mail programs like Outlook or Outlook Express. Each lets you establish one or more e-mail addresses specific to its service, plus they also can pull down e-mail from a more traditional e-mail account at an ISP like EarthLink. (Note, however, that EarthLink, AOL and others have their own e-mail Web sites.) Except for, each service also offers added features, like extra storage, if you're willing to pay.

Of the four services that we tested, Yahoo had the best mix of features and ease of use. Its overall layout seemed to be the best organized and easiest to navigate, and we like its antispam options better. Hotmail is a close second, but it suffers from a somewhat worse layout, and, more important, from the fact that it has the smallest e-mail storage capacity. offered the largest e-mail storage capacity. offered the most creative e-mail addresses, because you can choose from 100 domains, such as (rather than just But it also displayed the most advertisements, and pushed the most promotional advertisements during the sign-up process.

Katie was amused by some of the questions she was asked during the sign-up process. Yahoo and Hotmail stuck with basics like first and last name, language and gender, but was nosy enough to ask her income and education level, though answering the income question wasn't mandatory.

Both Yahoo and offered to install additional related software on her computer -- the Yahoo toolbar for Web searching and's e-mail alert, a small Outlook-like envelope that appears in your systems tray when you receive mail. We didn't test this extra software, but in general these things should be avoided, as they can include ads and spyware.

Each service sends you a welcome e-mail that explains the account's rules. In order to keep your account, you must access it with some regularity. Hotmail is the strictest and requires you to sign on at least once every month, while, and Yahoo require access every two, three and four months, respectively.

One big difference among the services was storage capacity. Each Hotmail account holds two megabytes, Yahoo gives you four, five and six megabytes. For basic e-mailing purposes, four megabytes is enough to allow the occasional large digital photo or two, though you'll have to clean out the inbox frequently so as not to overrun its capacity. Hotmail's two megabyte limit is ridiculous in 2003, and forces you to monitor it closely lest your mailbox fill up and future e-mails bounce.

"Fighting the Idea That All the Internet Is Free," by Steve Lohr, The New York Times, September 9, 2003 --- 

With the club of lawsuits and the olive branch of an amnesty program, the music industry is waging a campaign against online piracy that relies on both public relations and economics to attack the idea that everything in cyberspace can be free.

That will not be easy. The Internet sprang from a research culture where information of all kinds was freely shared. That mentality still resonates with the millions of Internet users who routinely download music onto their computers. But the emphatic message of the music industry's two-step program announced yesterday is that the days of plucking copyrighted songs off the Internet without paying for them are numbered.

The Recording Industry Association of America said yesterday that it had filed 261 suits against online music pirates, and it promised thousands more. Under its amnesty program, contrite file sharers who have not yet been sued will be spared if they erase their illicit music files and promise never to do it again.

"These lawsuits certainly tell consumers that `free' ultimately has a price," said Michael J. Wolf, managing partner in charge of the media practice at McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm. "Originally, there was this perception that consumers would not pay for content — entertainment or information — over the Internet. But that perception is changing."

Mr. Wolf observed that in their own way all media companies will have to confront the overarching issue that the music industry is grappling with: how to respond to the challenge of digital distribution and find a profitable business model. "Nobody is immune," he said.

Continued in the article.

Bob Jensen's threads on file sharing are at 

Amidst all this craze of the music industry's legal efforts to rev up sales by scaring everybody who tries to share copies, I wonder if the industry has really looked at the real cause of the enormous decline in sales.  I think the real cause is the garbage that's marketed in the name of "music."  Who would want to copy most new recordings?
That's my opinion --- Bob Jensen
Bridget Finn writes as follows in "Can rip-proof CDs save the music biz?" --- 

Macrovision also built the antipiracy technology used to protect 150 million music CDs sold in Europe and Japan.

"Our DVD business is in the $40 million- to $50 million-a-year range, but the CD market is twice as big," says Macrovision CEO Bill Krepick.

The technology for the U.S. market is expected to be a better version of the trouble-prone systems introduced in Europe and Japan, which generated complaints when they failed to play on many car stereos and PCs.

Macrovision's technology, called CDS-300, hides the original audio tracks but makes pre-compressed music files available for limited downloads to PCs. The company's main competitor is Phoenix-based SunnComm, a 25-person upstart that already has a contract to supply copy-protection technology to BMG, the fifth-largest record label. SunnComm's MediaMax CD-3 also restricts the original audio files, but does so on the user's PC, rather than the disc, by installing a kind of software lock.

Krepick argues that Macrovision's experience and size give it an advantage.

"We're not a garage operation," he says.

But Bill Whitmore, SunnComm's chief operating officer, points out that CDS-300 has been plagued by delays.

"Nobody's seen Macrovision's new technology work," he says.

. . .

No need to fight, boys: Analysts like Sterling Auty of J.P. Morgan say the labels may well hedge their bets, relying on several vendors to provide copy-protection technology.

But even if everyone's system works flawlessly, will the new CDs improve sales? Don't bet on it.

In Germany and Japan, where the labels began selling copy-protected CDs in 2000, sales have continued to decline.

Orca Live (Whales, Wildlife, Photography) --- 

"On a Hog or a Boogie Board: Riding Out a Midlife Crisis," by Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2003 ---,,SB106322923598757600,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpersonaljnl%255Fhs 

At age 41, Steven Greiner faced a problem common at midlife: His priorities turned upside down.

"After 20 years of marriage, a business failure and a touch of depression, I just flipped and said to myself, 'To hell with it, I'm not getting any younger,' " says Mr. Greiner, a Bristol, N.Y., financial-research director. He yearned to live more freely and impulsively.

The solution he chose, however, wasn't so common: restraint. Suspecting that his inner chaos was temporary, he rebuilt his career and stuck with his marriage. But he's also blending into his life some energetic pursuits that satisfy a love of adventure he had been ignoring. "I've found that one or two weeks a year off by myself, and maybe a couple of weekends on a long motorcycle trip or hiking in Colorado, go a very long way in maintaining my mental health," writes Mr. Greiner, now 45.

Scores of readers saw themselves in my Aug. 14 midlife-crisis tale, and many of you offered solutions that worked for you in navigating these turbulent years, when long-repressed needs and desires tend to surface and cause chaos

Continued in the article

Adrian Lamo, known for breaking into corporate networks and publicly exposing security holes, says he will surrender to federal authorities. The 22-year-old is wanted for computer crimes, including breaking into The New York Times network last year ---,1848,60334,00.html 

Forwarded by Denny Beresford 
Source:  The New York Times, September 8, 2003  --- 

Dear Diary:

Texans have long been the object of less than flattering characterizations with respect to their intellect — unfairly so, they insist.

Nonetheless, one afternoon recently, two tourists from President Bush's state approached the information booth at the center of Grand Central Terminal, seeking directions of some sort.

Began one, to the astonished agent seated within, "We're from Texas, and we don't know very much." Joel F. Raven

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

The "Dear John" Letter,
A Marine stationed in Afghanistan recently received a "Dear John" letter from his girlfriend back home. It read as follows: Dear Ricky, I can no longer continue our relationship. The distance between us is just too great. I must admit that I have cheated on you twice, since you've been gone, and it's not fair to either of us. I'm sorry. Please return the picture of me that I sent to you.
Love, Susie

Events That Followed
The Marine, with hurt feelings, asked his fellow Marines for any snapshots they could spare of their girlfriends, sisters, ex-girlfriends, aunts, cousins etc. In addition to the picture of Susie, Ricky included all the other pictures of the pretty gals he had collected from his buddies. There were 57 photos in that envelope....along with this note: 

Dear Susie, 
I'm so sorry, but I can't quite remember who you are. Please take your picture from the pile, and send the rest back to me.
Take Care, Ricky

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Just wondering if or why:

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?

Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in"... but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"?
Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but your ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

How come we choose from just two people for President and fifty for Miss America?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change?  They're going to see you naked anyway.

If a 911 operator is having a heart attack, whom does he/she call?

Forwarded by Paula

Gabriel came to the Lord and said " I have to talk to you. We have some Texans up here in Heaven who are causing problems. They're swinging on the pearly gates, my horn is missing, barbeque sauce is all over their robes, their dogs are riding in the chariots, and they're wearing baseball caps and cowboy hats instead of their halos. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clean. There are watermelon seeds and pig feet bones all over the place. Some of them are walking around with just one wing."

The Lord said, "I made them special, Gabriel. Heaven is Home to all my children. If you really want to know about real problems, let's call the Devil."

The Devil answered the phone, " Hello? Damn, hold on a minute."

The Devil returned to the phone, "Okay, I'm back. What can I do for you?"

The Lord replied, "I just want to know what kind of problems you're having down there."

The Devil said, "Hold on again. I need to check on something."

After about 5 minutes the Devil returned to the phone and said, "I'm back. Now what was the question?"

The Lord said, "What kind of problems are you having down there?"

The Devil said, "Man, I don't believe this.... Hold on, Lord."

This time the Devil was gone 15 minutes. The Devil returned and said, "I'm sorry Lord, I can't talk right now. Them damn Texans done put out the fire and are trying to install air conditioning!"

Bumper Stickers forwarded by Auntie Bev

Constipated People Don't Give A S___.
             Practice Safe Sex, Go Screw Yourself.
         If You Drink Don't Park, Accidents Cause People.
    If That Phone Was Up Your Butt, Maybe! You Could Drive A Little Better

           My Kid Got Your Honor Roll Student Pregnant.
                To All You Virgins: Thanks For Nothing.
        Impotence: Nature's Way Of Saying "No Hard Feelings".
               If You Can Read This, I've Lost My Trailer.
                  Horn Broken... Watch For Finger.
      It's Not How You Pick Your Nose, But Where You Put The Booger.
          If You're Not A Hemorrhoid, Get Off My Ass.
       You're Just Jealous Because The Voices Are Only Talking To Me.

                    The Earth Is Full - Go Home.
            So Many Pedestrians - So Little Time.
           Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult.
             If We Quit Voting Will They All Go Away?
         The Face Is Familiar, But I Can't Quite Remember My Name.
                   Eat Right, Exercise, Die Anyway.
                         Illiterate? Write For Help.
                       Honk If Anything Falls Off.
                    Cover Me, I'm Changing Lanes.
     He Who Hesitates Is Not Only Lost But Miles From The Next Exit
        I Refuse To Have A Battle Of Wits With An Unarmed Person.
                       You! Out Of The Gene Pool!
             I Do Whatever My Rice Krispies Tell Me To.
         Where Are We Going And Why Am I In This Handbasket?
         If Sex Is A Pain In The Ass, Then You're Doing It Wrong...
                             Fight Crime: Shoot Back!
If You Can Read This, Please Flip Me Back Over... (Seen Upside   Down On A  Jeep)
Remember Folks: Stop Lights Timed For 35mph Are Also Timed For 70mph.
         Guys: No Shirt, No Service.  Gals: No Shirt, No Charge
  If Walking Is So Good For You, then Why Does My Mailman Look  Like Jabba the Hut?
                            Ax Me About Ebonics.
                   Body By Nautilus; Brain By Mattel.
                          Boldly Going Nowhere.
                       Caution - Driver Legally Blonde.
                    Don't Be Sexist - Bitches Hate That.
      Heart Attacks ... God's Revenge For Eating His Animal Friends.
      Honk If You've Never Seen An Uzi Fired From A Car Window.
    How Many Roads Must A Man Travel Down Before He Admits He is lost?
      If You Can't Dazzle Them With Brilliance, Riddle Them With Bullets.
       Money Isn't Everything, But It Sure Keeps The Kids In Touch.
                  Saw It... Wanted It... Had A Fit... Got It!
          My Hockey Mom Can Beat Up Your Soccer Mom.
          All Men Are Animals, Some Just Make Better Pets.
      Some people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.
                I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
            WANTED: Meaningful overnight relationship.
             BEER: It's not just for breakfast anymore.
               So you're a feminist...Isn't that precious.
            I need someone really bad...Are you really bad?
              Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
       A vasectomy means never having to say you're sorry.

And that's the way it was on September 12, 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) --- 


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 
I also like SmartPros at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Jack Anderson's Accounting Information Finder ---


Gerald Trite's great set of links --- 


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

The Finance Professor --- 


How stuff works --- 


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


Click on 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)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  

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September 7, 2003

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 7, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Quotes of the Week

This is just a thought about growing up in the 1950s. The rule was to eat "everything on the plate" or to eat "all  the sandwich" so you would be allowed to have dessert. As it turns out, we got bad training that glues on weight and dysfunctional calories.
Bob Jensen's daydreaming (after shedding nearly 40 lbs)

Did you ever think about getting a life after you realize you're spending most of your life deleting unread email messages with headers like "URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL," "wicked screensaver," "details," "My details," "Your details," "That movie," "Your application," "approved," "Lottery Winner," "Generic Viagra," "Want larger breasts?" "I'm the wife of the former Minister of Finance," "Become millionaire," "Most honorable sir," "??????????," "I'm eager to meet you,"  "bigger matters," and "Thank you."  
Bob Jensen (who has no life outside the computer.)

But she laughed while reading other entries: "Oh my God, Bert and Ernie are old enough to be my parents!" --- (seems like a medical miracle would also be necessary.)
For related anecdotes, see the Beloit College "Mindset List" at 

If you really want to generate a lot of income and you think you will live to a ripe old age, here's a great strategy: Buy an immediate annuity -- but wait until age 75, so you get a big income stream based on your shorter life expectancy.
"It Pays to Delay: The Longer You Wait To Buy an Annuity, the More You Get," The Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2003 ---,,SB106253777677845600,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpersonaljnl%255Fhs 
For an opposing viewpoint, read about my type of guy in "The Lotus Eater," by Somerset Maugham  --- 

Surprisingly, we preferred the Gateway, from a company new to cameras, over the Kodak, from the world's leading photography brand. In every important respect -- picture quality, design and convenience -- the Gateway surpassed the Kodak.
Walter Mossberg, "High-End Digital Cameras Fall Below $400 Barrier," The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2003 ---,,SB106254294336040200,00.html?mod=technology%255Ffeatured%255Fstories%255Fhs 

Brain study links negative emotions and lowered immunity.  "It begins to suggest a mechanism for why subjects with a more positive emotional disposition may be healthier," he says. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, an expert on stress and immunity at Ohio State University, told the New York Times that the study represents "some of the best evidence we've seen to date.", September 3, 2003 --- 

Read all of Tina Blue's comments on the effects of creeping egalitarianism on gifted and talented public school children 
Mark Shapiro ---  

The recording industry plans to announce an amnesty for people who admit to music file sharing and promise to stop. But lawyers say it's a deal with the devil ---,1412,60318,00.html 

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.
William F. Buckley Jr. as quoted by Mark Shapiro at 

August 31, 2003 message from 

At the current rate of immigration along with the natural increase in population, the United States should reach a population of about 400 million people by the year 2050. This will coincide with an almost definite population shrinkage in both Europe and Japan and probable population loss in China and India as well. While there might be reasons to believe that this isn't an enviable situation for the U.S. it should, with other factors, set the stage for even more dynamic growth in coming decades.

The U.S. educational system, while far from perfect, is trending toward improvement and recently SAT scores reached their highest levels in more than 20 years. Not to mention that the United States takes in more educated immigrants than the rest of the entire world COMBINED. This mix of facts ensures a large, educated and eager work force in a free market, entrepreneurial economy that rewards hard work and innovation with personal wealth along with personal freedoms with little governmental interference. This is a potent mix that will guarantee continued expansion of the U.S. economy for a very long time.

The EMU countries have found themselves stuck in the same economic rut the U.S. has been in recently. In the future they will find themselves burdened with aging populations, exploding social expenses and overall shrinking populations due to declines in childbirths and restrictive immigration laws. While the creation of the EMU and the Euro were steps toward earnest competition with the North America, there is now little expectation that the EMU will ever rival the U.S. economy in size or wealth creation. Not to mention the possibility for political infighting among the member countries. Just this past week it was learned that France would suffer a budget deficit in excess of what is allowed by the rules set forth for EMU member countries. It will be amusing to see what the other member countries are prepared to do to France for this failure, and even MORE amusing will be how much France will care less what they think.

Bob Jensen's working draft of accounting and finance scandals for September 2003 can be found at 

The best place to start in the U.S. for tax help is the great site at 

Why not start with the IRS? (The best government agency web site on the Internet)

IRS Tax Interactive

The IRS youth education web site on taxation (an IRS  joint development project with the American Bar Association)

Uncle Sam, Meet Uncle Fed 
This site bills itself as the “complete online resource for tax relief” and lives up to that slogan with more than a dozen sections of information, links and resources for taxpayers, preparers and professionals alike. The Tax Help Archives house instructions and forms—from 2000 back to 1996—for help in preparing delinquent tax returns.

If the great IRS site cannot answer your questions, then I highly recommend Will Yancey's great helpers at 

Bob Jensen's tax links are at 


I highly recommend this site for the literature and the music --- The Short Story Classics:
The Best From The Masters Of The Genre --- 

In keeping with the university’s strong technology initiative, Information Systems has established a new residential area designated the Technology Quarters. The Technology Quarters, located on the third floor of Luter Residence Hall, house 14 students who experiment with technological innovations free of charge --- 

Psychological Disorders --- 

Psychology Free Online Medical Advice 

Answers to more than 500 questions about psychology, mental health and relationships, written by a team of experts appointed by the Commission of the European communities.
(However, the message threads are not necessarily from experts.)

September 3, 2003 message from David Albrecht

Here is an interesting article on sleep deprivation and depression.

For years I considered sleep to be optional (and an option infrequently taken) and I subsequently suffered from depression and anxiety, and then other health problems followed. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition and lack of exercise (any of which can bring on depression) are a deadly combination.

Depression is routinely defined by the presence of symptoms. Much of American medicine treats the symptoms. Research reveals the correlation between depressed frontal lobe activity and depression. And there are several things that can cause depressed frontal lobe activity, such as sleep deprivation, caffeine, alcohol, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight, and the list goes on and on. Exciting new work is being done in treating the sources of the depression and getting patients off of medication.

Before mid-term exams, I always remind students to get lots of sleep, drink water (not sodas or coffee), eat fruit (not food from vending machines), take short walks outside during the day, and to exercise regularly. No one looks upset when I talk on these issues, and some students even say thanks on the way out of the door.

If anyone is suffering from depression, I can supply the name of an Oklahoma physician who has considerable renown from his research in and treatment for depression.

David Albrecht

" Lack of Sleep Takes Its Toll on Student Psyches," The New York Times, September 2, 2003, by HOWARD MARKEL ---  

[A] s parents pack their children off to college this week, they would be wise to add one more piece of advice to protect the health of their offspring: make sure to get eight or more hours of sleep every night.

Like many college students, Jenny Waller, 21, is something of a night owl. In her first weeks at the University of Michigan a few years ago, Miss Waller rarely went to bed before 3 or 4 in the morning.

"In college," she said, "your mom isn't there to tell you to go to bed, and for me, things only got worse. Within a month, I was staying up all night, going to bed at 9 a.m. and pretty much missing all of my classes. Many nights I would sit with my textbooks, but I couldn't concentrate. I wouldn't let myself get to bed until I finished the work.

"But it was a vicious cycle. The later I stayed up, the worse my concentration got, making studying pretty much impossible. I would read the same paragraphs over and over, and pretty much cried about it."

Three months later, Miss Waller was told that she had clinical depression, and she temporarily withdrew from college.

Her history is not uncommon. In the last few years, mental health professionals have asked whether sleep deprivation plays a role in the increase in cases of depression reported on campuses.

Continued at  

Reply from Bob Jensen on September 4, 2003

As we get older, there are also other bad things that happen to many people running on less than eight hours of sleep per night.  Sleep is very important to aging body organs, especially the pancreas.  For example, researchers link some forms of diabetes to lack of sleep.  The heaviness of sleep also matters.  I find I sleep heavier when I take melatonin at night, but this is strictly anecdotal and may be psychosomatic.

Look me straight in the face and say that again buster!!
Micro-expressions -- facial expressions that last a fraction of a second -- give away exactly how you feel, no matter how hard you try to conceal it. A CD-ROM set teaches how to detect the emotions people try to hide ---,1284,60232,00.html 

Have video game technologies changed learning styles?  I might add that this may also be true of post-teen women since there is now a larger target market for these women vis-à-vis young males who are often thought of in relation to game addiction.

In the this edition of New Bookmarks, I address how serious educators are predicting that video-style games will become a leading pedagogy for learning in the near future.  This commentary is preserved at 

A new industry poll reveals that more women than teen boys are behind video game consoles. The poll also finds that lacking a better alternative, adult women prefer war themes over the light 'n' fluffy doll games now offered.
Wired News, August 27, 2003 ---,2101,60204,00.html 

August 28, 2003 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


In "Next-Generation: Educational Technology versus the Lecture" (EDUCAUSE REVIEW, vol. 38, no. 4, July/August 2003, pp. 12-16, 18, 20-2), Joel Foreman, professor in George Mason University English Department, proposes a "fringe idea" with the potential to revolutionize the educational system. He believes that "large lecture courses may someday be replaced by the kind of immersive digital environments that have been popularized by the videogame industry. Viewed in this light the advanced videogame appears to be a next-generation educational technology waiting to take its place in academe."

Foreman illustrates his idea with a hypothetical Psychology 101 course that uses an immersive environment to engage students in "learning through performance." Using the videogame model, students would progress through several "levels" of the course as they build upon their knowledge of the material and meet the course's learning goals. The article is online at

EDUCAUSE Review [ISSN 1527-6619], a bimonthly print magazine that explores developments in information technology and education, is published by EDUCAUSE, 1150 18th Street, NW, Suite 1010, Washington, DC 20036 USA; tel: 202-872-4200; fax: 202-872-4318; email:; Web: Articles from current and back issues of EDUCAUSE Review are available on the Web at

"NEXT-Generation:  Educational Technology versus the Lecture," by Joel Foreman, EDUCAUSE Review, July/August 2003, pp. 14-22 ---

Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University, predicts that "shared graphical environments like those in the multi-user Internet games Everques or Asheron's Call" will be the learning environments of the future.  Henry Jenkins, Director of MIT's Games to Teach Project, leads an effort to "demonstrate gaming's still largely unrealized pedagogical potentials" and to explore "how games might enrich the the advanced placement high school and early college levels."  And Randy Hinrichs, Group Program Manager for Learning Science and Technology at Microsoft Research, claims that game technology (among other innovations) "will move us away from classrooms, lectures, test taking, and note taking into fun, immersive interactive learning environments."

These pronouncements are based on some incontestable facts.  First, the world is now populated by hundreds of millions of game-playing devices.  Second, the videogame market, approximately $10 billion in 2002, continues to grow rapidly and to motivate the push for increasingly sophisticated and powerful interactive technologies.  As in other areas of IT development, these technologies are maturing and converging in novel and unexpected ways.  Text-based MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) and MOOs (MUDs Object-Oriented) have evolved into massive multiplayer online communities such as Ultima and The Sims On-line, in which hundreds of thousands of players can simultaneously interact in graphically rendered immersive worlds.  And previously standalone game devices, such as Sony PlayStation2 and Microsoft X box, are now Web-enabled for geo-distributed multiplayer engagements.  Imagine that all of these networked "play stations" are "learning stations," and you can begin to sense an instructional revolution waiting to happen.

Still, some might argue that higher education students already have networked learning stations in the form of the Web-enabled PC.  What value is added by a game-based "learning station"?  The major difference is that game technologies routinely provide visualizations whose pictorial dynamism and sophistication previously required a supercomputer to produce.  These visualizations, best referred to as immersive worlds, can bring a student into and through any environment that can be imagined.  Instead of learning about a subject by listening to a lecture or by processing page-based alphanumerics (i.e., reading), students can enter and explore a screen-based simulated world that is the next-best thing to reality.

Continued in the article.

"Can Grand Theft Auto Inspire Professors?" by Scott Carson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 15, 2003, Page A31
Educators say the virtual worlds of video games help students think more broadly.

"People ought to use Grand Theft Auto in the classroom to think about values and ideology," James Gee a distinguished professor of education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison says.  "There are lots of things people could learn from games."

This isn't the talk of a hobbyist or an eccentric, but of a serious scholar who is taking a lead in an emerging field.  Mr. Gee thinks that video games--even those like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, in which players run around and blast Nazis--hold the key to salvaging American education.  His argument was recently delivered in a compact book: What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (Palgrave Macmillan).

Although Mr. Gee's colleagues suggested that he was wasting his time when he started looking into video games, in the past two years he has found that he is part of a new and growing academic field.  "In the time that I was writing my book, the interest in games in academe went way up," Mr. Gee says.  "It's clear that by accident, I had entered an area where a wave of interest was coming up--and is still coming up."

New conferences and essays dedicated to games appear all the time.  Respected scholars, like Henry Jenkins, a professor of media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discuss the cultural value of video games in the popular press.  And graduate students and professors are designing games for use in the classroom.

Despite the swell of interest, Mr. Gee and others say the academic study of video games is still controversial.  While some scholars embrace research on the games, others are recoiling.

Celia Pearce is the associate director of the Game Culture and Technology Lab at the University of California at Irvine, where two years ago the faculty rejected a proposal for a minor in game design.  A professor on the committee that made the decision called the idea of a video-games minor "prurient," she says.

She finds it "baffling" that schools these days use a "pre-information-society model" in teaching.  "Kids are playing games when they are not in school.  They are going from this digital environment into the classroom, and they're suddenly in Dickens."  Teachers and professors don't know what games are, or how to use them to their own advantage, she says.  "At the worst they fear games, and at the best they are completely ignorant of them."

Until a few years ago, Mr. Gee was himself clueless about video games.  He became interested in the subject as he watched his son, then 6 years old, play a game called Pajama Sam.  Mr. Gee wondered what a game for adults would be like.  So he bought a game called The New Adventures of the Time Machine, which was loosely based on the work of H. G. Wells.

"I was floored by how long and how difficult it was," he says, sitting in his office, one wall of which is now covered with posters of video-game characters.  He realized that the gaming industry makes more money than Hollywood, which means that millions of people are plunking down substantial amounts for games that take on average 50 to 100 hours to complete--roughly the amount of time spent in semester of college courses.  "Some young person is going to spend $50 on this, yet they won't take 50 minutes to learn algebra," he says.  "I wanted to know why."

He says that game manufacturers deal with compelling paradox from which educators can learn.

Games have to be challenging enough to entertain, yet easy enough to solve--or at least easy enough for the player to feel like he or she is making progress.  "To me, that was the challenge schools face," he says.  "I wanted to see why these game designers are better at that."

Continued in the article.

Other Enormous Pedagogy Trends Expected for the Year 2025 --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education technologies are linked at 

September 2, 2003 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Bob: I have often been intrigued enough in this subject to examine (not reverse-engineer) the structure of some video games ("Silent Steel" was one - a "Hunt-for-the-missing-nuclear-submarine-with-the-paranoid-schizo-captain"). I could see very interesting audit simulations that could be built using the models of some video games which yield alternate successful outcomes as well as unsuccessful ones (watch the audit blow up as well as the career of the lead audit partner).

I have thought this would be an interesting proposal for the KPMG case program, but have not found any audit professor who would be interested in co-writing a proposal.

Anyone interested?

Richard Campbell

Update message from Jon Entine

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jon Entine []  
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 11:11 AM 
Subject: Research audit on "Body Shop" available

For anyone studying or teaching The Body Shop, I've posted on my website my internal 48-page audit of the company, which I've previously only provided by email. 

It's an extremely detailed account of the practices of this company. It analyzes Body Shop over a range of areas including its environmental practices, its marketing and ethics, its franchise relations, corporate governance, product quality, etc. It's based on more than 100 interviews, most of them recorded (and available for fact checking).

It was first written in 1996 and has been updated slightly. A lot of it deals with the historical practices of the company, such as Anita Roddick's brazen stealing of the concept, name, logo, and products from the original Body Shop, the one founded in Berkeley and San Francisco in 1970 that Roddick visited, then ripped off without attribution, then lied about. The report is very revealing about the character of Roddick and the sad, dysfunctional, ethically-challenged multi-national corporation she has created and continues to oversee.

The backgrounder was prepared when Body Shop's lawyers (Lovell White Durrant...Robert Maxwell's ex corporate swat team) and its PR team (Hill & Knowlton ... The tobacco lobbyist PR firm) were hired to counter articles by me, New Consumer in England, In These Times, Stephen Corry of Survival International, and other progressives who published fact-based accounts of the ethical dysfunctionality of this company.

Please feel free to use it in your research.


-- Jon Entine 
Miami University 
6255 So. Clippinger Dr. 
Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 (
513) 527-4385 [FAX] 527-4386 

Bob Jensen's threads on video game pedagogy can be found at 

Distance Education Soared in the Latter Part of the 1990s

Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2000-2001, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), July 2003 --- 

This report presents data on distance education at postsecondary institutions. NCES used the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS) to provide current national estimates on distance education at 2-year and 4-year Title IV-eligible, degree-granting institutions. Distance education was defined for this study as education or training courses delivered to remote (off-campus) sites via audio, video (live or prerecorded), or computer technologies, including both synchronous (i.e., simultaneous) and asynchronous (i.e., not simultaneous) instruction. Data were collected on a variety of topics related to distance education, including the number and proportion of institutions offering distance education courses during the 2000–2001 12-month academic year, distance education enrollments and course offerings, distance education degree and certificate programs, distance education technologies, participation in distance education consortia, accommodations in distance education courses for students with disabilities, distance education program goals, and factors that keep institutions from starting or expanding distance education offerings.


This study, conducted through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS), was designed to provide current national estimates on distance education at 2-year and 4-year Title IV-eligible, degree-granting institutions. Distance education was defined for this study as education or training courses delivered to remote (off-campus) sites via audio, video (live or prerecorded), or computer technologies, including both synchronous (i.e., simultaneous) and asynchronous (i.e., not simultaneous) instruction.

Key Findings

The PEQIS survey provides national estimates for the 2000–2001 academic year on the number and proportion of institutions offering distance education courses, distance education enrollments and course offerings, degree and certificate programs, distance education technologies, participation in distance education consortia, accommodations for students wit h disabilities, distance education program goals, and factors institutions identify as keeping them from starting or expanding distance education offerings.

The report's summary is continued at 

Bob Jensen's links on online training and education programs can be found at 

Other documents related to this topic are linked at 

In particular, note my Overview of the Future of Higher Education at 

"Business School Records Lectures and Lets Students Review Them Online," The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 8, 2003, Page 39.

Administrators and professors in Baruch's Zicklin School of Business have discovered that making digital-video recordings of lectures available online can help undergraduates succeed in large lecture courses.

Students use the online versions for review or if they have missed a lecture.

Most colleges that record lectures do so for the benefit of distance-education students.  Baruch is unusual because it records lectures for some courses that it teaches in classrooms, and spends very little money doing so.

For recording purposes, the business school selects one of the professors who teaches microeconomics and one who teaches macroeconomics.  Their lectures are available online a day or two later.  Students can also download audio-only versions of the lectures to portable MP3 players.

You can read more about how this works below:

Multi-Media Technologies That Enhance Teaching and Learning at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, The City University of New York 

Here are links that demonstrate the interactive video and audio technologies we are using to improve learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are examples from finance, accounting, and economics classes.

The technologies include:
(Note that you can actually download the examples linked below.)

The first examples, Accounting 2101 and Economics 1001, illustrate two different ways we've devised to capture the essence of a lecture. Having lived all our lives immersed in television, it was natural to think that the video standards of television should apply here as well, but that implicit assumption, we discovered, has a major disastrous implication: To achieve TV quality would generally require such huge files that only those few students with very high-speed broadband connections would be able to stream them or download them in a reasonable amount of time. We didn't make any serious headway until we realized that "we're not in the television business, we're in the education business." What's important to students is that they be able to easily hear what is said, read graphs and charts on whiteboards and PowerPoint slides and not be distracted by sound that is out of sync with the video.

The techniques we developed during the taping and editing of the Economics 1001 class gave us the ability to do something that everyone thought was not possible: tape, edit, and put online--in a timely fashion--an intensive MBA Accounting class which took place during our most recent January intersession. This class met for thirteen sessions and each session began at 5:30 pm and ended at 9:30. Except for one class, we had the finished video online by the following afternoon.

We were able to accomplish this by compressing overnight the captured DV footage on two extremely fast Apple G4 computers. The next day one editor was able to edit all four hours and then another assistant put it up on the web.

Accounting 2101 - Financial Accounting - Professor Christine Tan - Spring 2003
(The picture is sharper than in Joyce's class (see below), but the cost is a somewhat larger file size. For 9.5 minutes, the first one is 10.1 MB)

Economics 1001 - Microeconomics - Professor Ted Joyce - Fall 2002
(Each of the movies that make up this lecture has a very low frame rate but not that low that it interferes with the audio or the clarity of the overhead images or PowerPoint slides. 320 x 240 is a large movie size by internet standards, but the files are quite small because of the very powerful compression technology employed and the aforementioned low frame rate.)

The next examples, Finance 9797 and Economics 9705, demonstrate multi-framed websites. The first is from an options markets class given in our executive programs, while the second is a macroeconomics class from our honors MBA program. In both, videos of the lectures appear in the left frame, while in the finance class, synchronized PowerPoint slides appear in the frame on the right.

The second website was our 2001 prototype and it illustrates the use of a number of additional technologies, but it also illustrates how far we've come since then. In the video frame you see we have captioned the professor's speech. Captioning is useful for those with hearing difficulties and for foreign students whose first language is not English. In addition, there are "hot spots" within the video. These hidden triggers , which if selected, bring forth definitions of important macro variables in the frame on the right, which is very useful for students who have difficulties in dealing with how abstract college economics can be. We also employ "text links," i.e., text within the video, which if selected, will open in the frame on the right, a calculus website. (Here a student confused, for example, by a calculus derivation in the video, could be reminded how the calculus rules employed by the professor work.) These text links could also take the student to other additional resources found either on the web or on a CD or to material captured by Mimio, the whiteboard capture tool. Mimio can be used in any number of ways including adding important class material which was inadvertently omitted, as is the case here.

You will also notice that this movie has a large file size but the quality of the video is not nearly as sharp as any of the others on this page. Moreover, two of the embedded links are "dead," as content providers have either moved materials or shut down entirely. This is unfortunate since prior to the first link's death, at the appropriate time a new website opened in the right frame and it contained a java applet. Viewers could interact with it as the professor explained the underlying principles that were "illustrated" by the applet. This prototype site employed an older less flexible technology, one which made it vulnerable to "location changes" such as this one. We now employ a portable technology that isn't location dependent.

Continued at 


All the above begs the question as to whether attendance in a large lecture is really needed at all.  I repeat an excerpt from the January 31, 2003 edition of New Bookmarks --- 

January 17, 2003 reply from Chuck Pier [texcap@HOTMAIL.COM

While not in accounting, I would like to share some information on my wife's experience with online education. She has a background (10 years) as a public school teacher and decided to get her graduate degree in library science. Since I was about to finish my doctoral studies and we knew we would be moving she wanted to find a program that would allow her to move away and not lose too many hours in the transfer process. What she found was the online program at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton. Through this program she will be able to complete a 36 hour American Library Association accredited Master's degree in Library Science and only spend a total of 9 days on campus. The 9 days are split into a one day session and 2 four day sessions, which can be combined into 1 five and 1 four day session. Other than these 9 days the entire course is conducted over the internet. The vast majority is asynchronous, but there are some parts conducted in a synchronous manner.

She has completed about 3/4 of the program and is currently in Denton for her last on campus session. While I often worry about the quality of online programs, after seeing how much work and time she is required to put in, I don't think I should worry as much. I can honestly say that I feel she is getting a better, more thorough education than most traditional programs. I know at a minimum she has covered a lot more material.

All in all her experience has been positive and this program fit her needs. I think the MLS program at UNT has been very successful to date and appears to be growing quite rapidly. It may serve as a role model for programs in other areas.

Chuck Pier

Charles A. Pier 
Assistant Professor Department of Accounting 
Walker College of Business 
Appalachian State University 
Boone, NC 28608 email:  828-262-6189

I have heard some faculty argue that asynchronous Internet courses just do not mesh with Trinity's on-campus mission. The Scale Experiments at the University of Illinois indicate that many students learn better and prefer online courses even if they are full-time, resident students. The University of North Texas is finding out the same thing. There may be some interest in what our competition may be in the future even for full-time, on-campus students at private as well as public colleges and universities.
On January 17, 2003, Ed Scribner forwarded this article from The Dallas Morning News

Students Who Live on Campus Choosing Internet Courses Syndicated From: The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - Jennifer Pressly could have walked to a nearby lecture hall for her U.S. history class and sat among 125 students a few mornings a week.

But the 19-year-old freshman at the University of North Texas preferred rolling out of bed and attending class in pajamas at her dorm-room desk. Sometimes she would wait until Saturday afternoon.

The teen from Rockwall, Texas, took her first college history class online this fall semester. She never met her professor and knew only one of her 125 classmates: her roommate.

"I take convenience over lectures," she said. "I think I would be bored to death if I took it in lecture."

She's part of a controversial trend that has surprised many university officials across the country. Given a choice, many traditional college students living on campus pick an online course. Most universities began offering courses via the Internet in the late 1990s to reach a different audience - older students who commute to campus and are juggling a job and family duties.

During the last year, UNT began offering an online option for six of its highest-enrollment courses that are typically taught in a lecture hall with 100 to 500 students. The online classes, partly offered as a way to free up classroom space in the growing school, filled up before pre-registration ended, UNT officials said. At UNT, 2,877 of the about 23,000 undergraduates are taking at least one course online.

Nationwide, colleges are reporting similar experiences, said Sally Johnstone, director of WCET, a Boulder, Colo., cooperative of state higher education boards and universities that researches distance education. Kansas State University, in a student survey last spring, discovered that 80 percent of its online students were full-time and 20 percent were part-time, the opposite of the college's expectations, Johnstone said.

"Why pretend these kids want to be in a class all the time? They don't, but kids don't come to campus to sit in their dorm rooms and do things online exclusively," she said. "We're in a transition, and it's a complex one."

The UT Telecampus, a part of the University of Texas System that serves 15 universities and research facilities, began offering online undergraduate classes in state-required courses two years ago. Its studies show that 80 percent of the 2,260 online students live on campus, and the rest commute.

Because they are restricted to 30 students each, the UT System's online classes are touted as a more intimate alternative to lecture classes, said Darcy Hardy, director of the UT Telecampus.

"The freshman-sophomore students are extremely Internet-savvy and understand more about online options and availability than we could have ever imagined," Hardy said.

Online education advocates say professors can reach students better online than in lecture classes because of the frequent use of e-mail and online discussion groups. Those who oppose the idea say they worry that undergraduates will miss out on the debate, depth and interaction of traditional classroom instruction.

UNT, like most colleges, is still trying to figure out the effect on its budget. The professorial salary costs are the same, but an online course takes more money to develop. The online students, however, free up classroom space and eliminate the need for so many new buildings in growing universities. The price to enroll is typically the same for students, whether they go to a classroom or sit at their computer.

Mike Campbell, a history professor at UNT for 36 years, does not want to teach an online class, nor does he approve of offering undergraduate history via the Internet.

"People shouldn't be sitting in the dorms doing this rather than walking over here," he said. "That is based on a misunderstanding of what matters in history."

In his class of 125, he asks students rhetorical questions they answer en masse to be sure they're paying attention, he said. He goes beyond the textbook, discussing such topics as the moral and legal issues surrounding slavery.

He said he compares the online classes to the correspondence courses he hated but had to teach when he came to UNT in 1966. Both methods are too impersonal, he said, recalling how he mailed assignments and tests to correspondence students.

UNT professors who teach online say the courses are interactive, unlike correspondence courses.

Matt Pearcy has lectured 125 students for three hours at a time.

"You'd try to be entertaining," he said. "You have students who get bored after 45 minutes, no matter what you're doing. They're filling out notes, doing their to-do list, reading their newspaper in front of you."

In his online U.S. history class at UNT, students get two weeks to finish each lesson. They read text, complete click-and-drag exercises, like one that matches terms with historical figures, and take quizzes. They participate in online discussions and group projects, using e-mail to communicate.

"Hands-down, I believe this is a more effective way to teach," said Pearcy, who is based in St. Paul, Minn. "In this setting, they go to the class when they're ready to learn. They're interacting, so they're paying attention."

Pressly said she liked the hands-on work in the online class. She could do crossword puzzles to reinforce her history lessons. Or she could click an icon and see what Galileo saw through his telescope in the 17th century.

"I took more interest in this class than the other ones," she said.

The class, though, required her to be more disciplined, she said, and that added stress. Two weeks in a row, she waited till 11:57 p.m. Sunday - three minutes before the deadline - to turn in her assignment.

Online courses aren't for everybody.

"The thing about sitting in my dorm, there's so much to distract me," said Trevor Shive, a 20-year-old freshman at UNT. "There's the Internet. There's TV. There's radio."

He said students on campus should take classes in the real, not virtual, world.

"They've got legs; they can walk to class," he said.

Continued in the article at 

For more about synchronous versus asynchronous learning, go to 

Hi Stephanie,

There is a rather concise learning styles Website at

The buttons work in somewhat weird way in the above document.  Click on button and then scroll down to see what it brings to the page.

The classic learning styles work is attributed to Howard Gardner.

If you are interested in some far out technologies of the senses, take a look at
In the future, technologies will involve alternative learning styles in more than sight and sound.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Stephanie Miller [mailto:stephmil@UGA.EDU]  
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 9:54 AM 
Re: Rudimentary PowerPoint Trick

"Is anyone aware of a book that summarizes the research on [learning styles]?"

I'll have to dig up my references, so I will include them in an upcoming email. But, I also try to pay attention to learning styles that suit the needs of my students.

I start the semester by having the students take an on-line learning styles survey and submit the results to me. Then I have my TA's tabulate the results so I know what I'm working with for the semester. Here is the website I use. I think it's a pretty good survey --- 

"Did You Hear the One About the Professor (Ronald A. Berk)?" The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 25, 2003, p. A8.

In person, Mr. Berk always has a joke at hand.  Although many of them are groaners, he seems to be having such a good time that it is hard not to get caught up on his enthusiasm.

But beneath the nonsense is a simple and slightly subversive message: If you're funny, they will learn.

The professor has written two books in support of that theory: Professors Are From Mars, Students Are From Snickers and the recently published Humor as an Instructional Defibrillator.  He has made presentations to packed rooms of professors across the country, maintaining that humor not only reduces anxiety and fosters better relationships between students and teachers but also helps make difficult concepts clearer and more memorable.

Indeed, Mr. Berk has become higher education's humor guru, a title for which, admittedly, there wasn't much competition.  Along the way, he has racked up a shelf full of teaching awards, a cadre of wisecracking disciples, and stacks of gushing student evaluations.

"He's more than funny," says Sherri Wheeler, a senior majoring in nursing.  "He knows how to take a subject and truly bring it to life."

Most professors use some form of humor in their courses, tossing in the occasional wry one-liner or witty aside.  What Mr. Berk advocates is employing humor as a systematic teaching tool that, he says, can "shock students to attention and bring deadly, boring course content to life."  It can also, according to the professor, create an "atmosphere of play and creativity" that encourages exploration.

That's not to say that everyone agrees that humor, particularly the over-the-top variety, is the right approach.  "Some students seem to like it, but there are others who find it annoying and distracting and unnecessary," says Martha N. Hill, dean of the nursing school.

Still, Mr. Berk and teaching experts like Jim Eison remain convinced of humor's pedagogical value.  "Instructors don't necessarily have to be entertainers, but humor is one way to make material more compelling and engage students in the learning experience," says Mr. Eison, a professor of higher education at the University of South Florida.

Continued in the article.

Some accounting/tax jokes you might use in class --- 

Sharing Site of the Week --- 

An entry point to resources related to information systems technology for information systems academics and practitioners. 

Today on ISWorld --- 
Find out what the ISWorld community is talking about today and join in! Or, contribute to the discussion by sending a message to the ISworld list!
Research & Scholarship --- 
Resources intended to provide you guidance as you complete your research, including a collection of methods, services offered, repositories of research areas, and opportunities for publication
Teaching --- 
Resources to aid you in the classroom, including courses in IS, online teaching cases, and links to other IS programs around the world
Professional Activities --- 
Resources for the profession, including opportunities for communication with peers, placement services offered by the AIS, and organizations for you to join
Country & Language Group Pages --- 
Materials of interest to IS academics in particular countries, geographical regions, or lingual groups

Journal of the AIS
To promote readership of the Journal, the Editors of JAIS have secured permission from the AIS Council to open the journal's articles to all interested readers until December 2004 --- 

Communications of the AIS
The primary role of a professional society is to facilitate communications among its members. The Communications of the Association for Information Systems carries out this role by publishing articles on a wide range of subjects of interest to the membership beyond research results --- 

eList (This site opens very slowly, so be patient) --- 
An e-List is an electronically connected community of people who discuss specific topics by e-Mail or using a web interface. Every person subscribed to the e-list will receive the discussion and be able to participate in the discussion. The Association of Information Systems sponsors e-lists that allow IS academics to communicate with one another about various issues. This website will allow you to join the e-lists that suit your interests.

The Association for Information System Electronic Library --- 
 TheAISeL is an electronic repository for the ICIS and AMCIS conference proceedings. AISeL is a membership resource of AIS. Current AIS members can access the full text of all articles. The eLibrary provides historical access to articles by: 1) Title Search 2) Author Search 3) Full Text Search 4) Conference 5) Subjects/Tracks within Conference (where applicable) 6) Tracks or Subjects The Associate for Information Systems Electronic Library (AISeL) is housed at Baylor University which has provided support in conjunction with AIS in its development and maintenance.

Sharing Video of the Week from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Unleashing Effectiveness and Efficiency in Teams
GSB professors Margaret A. Neale and Gregory B. Northcraft
The video of this highly interactive workshop explores the elements of effective team collaboration, the dynamic of managing power and influence, and the challenges of stimulating creativity within teams. Sponsored by the Alumni Consulting Team and the Public Management Program (both programs of the Center for Social Innovation) Video File

53:45 minutes (RealPlayer format) --- 

Sharing Videos of the Week from CCPA Whistleblower Public Forum --- 

"Accounting scandals, interference in scientific research, environmental cover-ups... From Enron to BC's fish farm, whistleblower protections are needed to keep governments and corporations accountable. Why are there so few protections for people who find the courage to speak out in the public interest?"
From promotional material for the March 27, 2003 Whistleblower Public Forum at the Vancouver Public Library sponsored by the BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Download the videos from  
(You can also speed up things by downloading only the audio files.)

Bob Jensen’s threads on whistle blowing are at

Sharing Professor of the Week --- Amy Dunbar --- 

Amy Dunbar developed the following links for all participants in her workshop in Hawaii.  She also gave me permission to share it with readers of New Bookmarks.  Thanks to Amy and her other team members for sharing their presentation materials.

Using Technology to Distribute Course Content On and Off Campus AAA Annual Meeting - 2003
Continuing Education Workshop --- 
Hilton Hawaiian Village, Second Floor, Tapa Conference Center, Iolani Suite 4
Saturday, August 2, 2003

September 3, 2003 message from Ed Scribner

In case you haven't already noticed this interesting assortment of templates, including an ACCESS-based accounting system: 

Ed Scribner 
Dept of Accounting & Business Computer Systems 
PO BOX 30001 MSC 3DH 
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM, USA 88003-8001 

Bob Jensen has some video tutorials on MS Access under ACCT 5342 at 
Other helpers are at 

"A Strategy for Finding the Right Accounting Software," by Randolph P. Johnston, Accounting Review, September 2003, pp. 39-48 --- 

SHOPPING FOR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE is difficult. The software must be just the right size, it shouldn’t contain more or fewer features than you need and you should feel secure that its publisher will be able to provide upgrades and fix bugs as needed.

IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO EXAMINE the package’s specifications and understand its myriad features; you must have both a comprehensive and intimate understanding of your organization’s business operations and the various processes that it uses.

IF YOU DO THE JOB CORRECTLY and diligently, you’ll discover you’re developing a far more comprehensive and detailed picture of your organization than you imagined possible, and that will give you the opportunity to create a business that runs better.


Establish a technology advisory committee (TAC) to handle the entire operation, recruiting managers from each major company division.

Have each manager prepare a needs analysis and a flowchart of how each task is performed. From this, prepare a requirements definition—a document that defines what your business needs from accounting software.

WHILE THE PRICE IS NOT unimportant, you should understand price comparisons between products are difficult because some packages include modules or functions as a standard while others charge separately for them.

PREPARE A FORMAL REQUEST for proposal or a less formal request for quote and invite the leading candidates to demonstrate their products for you.

RANDOLPH P. JOHNSTON, executive vice-president of K2 Enterprises, Hutchinson, Kansas, is a technology consultant. His e-mail address is

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting software are at 

Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, September 2003, Page 29 --- 


Search for Solutions

Information technology consultants and CPAs can register for free at this Web site and compare hardware and software in categories such as infrastructure and systems management and Web and applications development. The Business Solutions section includes links to accounting and finance, business intelligence and knowledge management products.

Research and Resources

Network administrators and IT consultants and managers can access for free all of this Web site’s content including articles such as “You’ve Been Hacked: What to Do in the First Five Minutes” and discussion threads where users can get feedback from experts on their questions. In addition members can comparison shop in the Product Information section, sign up for e-mail newsletters to get expert commentary and download checklists, templates and white papers.

An Online Software Library

This Web site, launched in 1993 for software downloads, now includes more than 30,000 titles and reviews for computer programs in categories such as business, the Internet and multimedia. In addition to links to online software stores, offers free newsletters and financial and technology articles.

Find Freeware Fast

IT consultants and tech-savvy CPAs can click on the Free Access section of this site to download Web author components such as applets and java scripts, find links to software, order a CD-ROM full of freeware, read technology news and register for e-mail newsletters.

Virtual Marketing Tools

IT consultants and professionals in charge of online marketing content will want to check out Concept Marketing Group’s e-stop containing links to articles on online banner advertising, site content improvement and Web-based marketing strategies. Visitors also can subscribe for a free Internet marketing newsletter.

Technology News Online

Technology consultants and small business owners will want to stop by this Web site and read the latest IT news articles such as “Software Firms Chase Sarbanes-Oxley Biz.” Users also can have lists of new software and services e-mailed to them weekly as well as tap into sales leads for more effective marketing strategies.


IT Advice You Can Use

Professionals looking to turn IT data into useable advice for their businesses should go to this Web site for a free hard-copy or electronic subscription to Intelligent Enterprise magazine. The print version offers readers departments including Data Warehouse Designer, E-Business Developer and Information Supply Chain, while its online counterpart publishes Web exclusives such as “Sarbanes-Oxley: The Document Management Dimension” and has archived issues back to 1998, discussion forums, a research library, vendor white papers and Web seminars.

Resources for Internal Controls

Auditors will want to visit this Web site, created by Toys “R” Us manager of internal audit Rich Lanza, to find articles such as “What You Don’t Know About Sarbanes-Oxley” as well as links to related Web sites including (see above). Lanza’s site also offers a free newsletter on using audit software.

Free Articles and Newsfeeds

This Web stop offers “real-time technology news from around the world” on topics such as computer hackers, e-commerce, Internet privacy, networking and wireless computing. Along with a breaking news section visitors will find free newsletters and real-time newsfeeds no older than 15 minutes from ABCNews SciTech and no more than 30 minutes old from E-Commerce Times (see Smart Stop below).

E-News to Peruse

This e-stop offers “24-hour news, analysis and strategy” with current and archived articles on all things tech-related in categories including B2B, cybercrime and Internet marketing. Users also can register for free newsletters on data security, e-commerce and the wireless industry, to name a few, as well as free technology newsfeeds and a message board for discussing linked articles on technology topics.

A Sister Site

A fellow E-Commerce Times-run Web site, narrows its focus to fit the e-business market with articles on databases, data storage and network security. Article titles include “Is Broadband Really Changing E-Business?” “Privacy vs. Internet Piracy” and “Google Branches Out Again With Overseas News.”

August 31, 2003 message from Gerald Trites [

Hi Bob,

It's great to see you back. I think everyone on the listserve missed you.

Thanks for adding my links to your bookmarks. I recently revised them on the Zorba site, where I'm maintaining my web pages while I'm on sabbatical. it's at .

I hope you're enjoying New Hampshire.

I'm going to South Africa next week to do some lectures for UNISA. Wish me luck!

Gerald Trites, 

September 1, 2003 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

I’ve used something like Ed’s trick, using autoshapes and textboxes, for some time now. This is especially useful to students when there is some sort of relationship which can be illustrated spatially, such as hierarchical, chronological, ordinal, etc. The use of various colors can enhance the relationship clarity, too. For example, use dark colors with white fonts for one purpose, pastel shapes with black fonts for another, etc. Think about the relationship, then see if you can translate the relationship into color differentials/similarities as well as spatial loci.

I also vary my fonts to achieve the same purpose. And one more thing I do: I not only alter the design of my slides within a single presentation, I will alter the color scheme within a single design, -- again to serve a specific purpose such as drawing a distinction, making a contrast, or conveying some other deliberate idea.

All of these not only avoid monotony, but they serve to enhance and enrich the communications process. Different students have different learning styles. To some learning styles, the use of color contrasts gets the distinction across much more vividly and memorably than mere words or bullet points alone.

Anyone familiar with screen beans? I use them liberally, and further, I intersperse other clipart, too. Some learning styles can associate ideas with pictures better than they can remember the idea alone. I try to use any way and every way I can to help my students learn. Having a severely attention-deficit hyperactive son (who is 20 now and doing fine) and being very field-dependent myself, I am acutely attuned to the different learning styles and the ways in which we can use subtle enhancements to make a great impact on learning in certain students.

Is anyone aware of a book that summarizes the research on this? I’ve kinda played it by year, using my own common sense and experience, but perhaps some education journal has some hard (yet useful!) data on this besides the generalized stuff you commonly find.

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

New International Spirit of Sharing in the AACSB International --- 

It’s a Small World – Initiatives Take a Global Perspective 

Universities, Projects, and Associations Encourage Alliances, International Outreach, and Globalization

            No longer relegated to sharing professors or exchanging students, AACSB International members are creative and cooperative in their outreach and innovative programs. The variety and scope of global initiatives in management education today is staggering. Academic alliances, increasing the reach of MBA programs, creating consortiums, student initiatives, and internationally focused conferences all combine to increase the presence and awareness of globalization.

In an aggressive move to bolster its initiatives worldwide, the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State U will forge ten academic agreements with Central Asian institutions. The first already is in process -- with Kazak American University in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. 

According to Kamal Fatehi, chair of KSU’s Dept of Management and Entrepreneurship,  “Such agreements will help KSU gain a presence in those developing countries, which have abandoned Soviet economic and governmental systems but have not yet fully established new systems. These relationships are important to help open central Asia to economic development.”

            Another outreach at Kennesaw is a long-term agreement between the MBA for Experienced Professionals program and the Institute for Business and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania. The two will establish an alliance to enhance professional opportunities for students and faculty in their respective executive-format MBA programs.

“The students will work in virtual teams over the Internet with their Romanian counterparts on common projects with a global, regional or national perspective,” said Rodney Alsup, senior assoc dean at the Coles College. “The learning experience will emulate the way international business is done today.”

Henley Management College also has recently increased its presence in Scandinavia by launching “Henley in Norway.” This initiative, building on the current student base in Norway and Henley’s strong alumni presence, will promote the Distance Learning MBA and the full range of executive education programs. The establishment of ‘Henley in Norway’ underpins Henley’s work in the Nordic Regions where it currently has operations in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

And in January, The Grenoble Ecole de Management will partner with the Swiss Management Institute to launch its MBA program in Switzerland. By pursuing development on an international scale, the schools seek to serve students, the business community, and other selected and international communities. The alliance aims to position itself as a leader in management education. It will be exactly the same program as the one offered in Grenoble; with nine core courses and three electives taught entirely in English.

The European Union also elected Grenoble to conduct the MEDFORIST project, a 2,8 million euros training program, dedicated to the promotion of e-business.  According to Mohamed Matmati. "The objective … is to eventually create an e-business education network using training methods via the Internet, in other words, e-learning.” Targeting teachers from 11 Mediterranean countries, Grenoble Ecole de Management recently hosted an e-business training workshop.

Nearly 50 teachers participated and deepened their knowledge of e-business.

Jack Anderson's Accounting Information Finder ---

Virtual intelligentsia from across the continent and beyond congregate in Vienna to celebrate the specter haunting cybercapitalism: free information.
"Freedom's Dark Side:  The iron fist, the invisible hand, and the battle for the soul of open source." by Bruce Sterling, Wired Magazine, September 2003 --- 

What two professors made Fortune's recent listing of the "Top 10 Innovators?  
What did they invent?
What each person in the Top 10 list invent/innovate?"

The Top 10 Innovators It's not all about the money. These innovators have challenged conventional thinking by devising new ideas, new ways of working with materials, or new ways of solving problems.
"Top 10 Innovators," Fortune, September 15, 2003 ---,18285,,00.html?cookie=1|1062599062|1065191062|1062599062|FMA|ED71C56118F7AA3C1CBF85AC1572BBBB 

Name Age Company Title
Angela Belcher 36 Semzyme Co-founder
Miguel De Icaza 30 Novell Ximian CTO
Paul Krajewski 34 General Motors Group Manager, Novel Alloys and Processes Lab
Ethan Zuckerman 30 Geekcorps CTO and Founder
Keith Schwab 34 National Security Agency Senior Physicist
Andy and Larry Wachowski 35 and 38 Writers, Producers, Directors, The Matrix Trilogy
Michael Kremer 38 Harvard University Economics Professor
Steven Levitt 36 University of Chicago Economics Professor
Paul DePodesta 30 Oakland A's Assistant General Manager
Helen Greiner 35 iRobot President

Michael Kremer, Harvard University Economics Professor: Age 38

MacArthur Award-winner Kremer has created econ-based programs that enable drug makers to sell vaccines to the Third World at a profit while also making the drugs affordable to those governments.

Steven Levitt, University of Chicago Economics Professor:   Age 36

Dismal scientist Levitt's controversial research showed that legalizing abortion lowered future crime rates. He also studies sumo wrestling corruption, cheating, and gang economics.

Angela Belcher, Semzyme Co-founder: Age 36

The nanotechie and MIT prof has a vision for viruses. She's created a way to grow Saran Wrap-like material that can make smaller computer chips or one day store vaccines without refrigeration.

Helen Greiner, President of  iRobot:  Age 35

Greiner has made robots an everyday commodity. iRobot's Roomba vacuum cleaner sells for only $200, and the Army uses its Packbot for reconnaissance in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From Syllabus News on September 2, 2003 Posts Its Millionth Rating (and nearly 225,000 professors and over 2,000 high schools) announced it had posted its one-millionth college professor rating. The Web site, which runs a collection of college professor ratings, has an automated system for quickly researching and rating professors from colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada. The service is free of charge to over half a million monthly visitors. The millionth rating was received on Tuesday, August 26, for Professor James Egan of the anthropology department at the University of California, Irvine, and read, "He does a great job of explaining the subject matter and will keep you awake more times than not." The Web site has a network of volunteer student administrators from over 500 schools who review all data submitted to the site each day.

The homepage is at 

# Ratings   School
27560 Grand Valley State University
22117 University of Delaware
16689 San Diego State University
14339 Pace University
12664 James Madison University
12457 University of North Carolina at Charlotte
10726 Towson University
10336 Central Michigan University
8045 University of Central Florida
7737 Marshall University
6624 University of Massachusetts
5778 Boston University
5459 Millersville University
5349 University of Maine Orono
5290 Northwest Missouri State University
5056 Marist College
4671 St. John's University
4398 Grand Rapids Community College
4318 Bridgewater State College
4211 University of California Davis
4135 Grossmont College
3905 West Chester University of Pennsylvania
3700 University of Scranton
3675 Seton Hall University
3657 SUNY Binghamton
3558 San Jose State University
3437 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
3335 Stephen F. Austin State University
3312 East Carolina University
3288 Kettering University
3102 University of Pittsburgh
3062 Ohio State University
3061 Rutgers- The State University of New Jersey
3052 Ferris State University
3035 University of Missouri - Rolla
3013 Indiana University of Pennsylvania
3013 Christopher Newport University
2962 Loyola College
2957 Siena College
2954 University of California Irvine
2934 Saginaw Valley State University
2806 Tennessee Technological University
2772 New Jersey Institute of Technology
2772 SUNY Oswego
2741 Loyola University
2536 Mary Washington College
2529 Kutztown University
2483 California State University Fullerton
2380 Bradley University
2325 Grove City College

Some of the funniest comments are listed at 

A new criterion includes degree of hotness (sexy that is) --- 

Some interesting FAQs are at 

More than 220 private colleges, from Princeton to South Bend's Notre Dame, are offering a sweet new deal to parents daunted by the soaring cost of a quality college education. Parents who sign up can prepay all or part of tomorrow's tuition at a cost slightly below today's prices, under the new tax-deferred plan announced yesterday by the Tuition Plan Consortium, a nonprofit organization that will oversee the program ---,0,7647102.story?coll=bal-business-headlines 

Scott shows us how to script realistic movement in Flash. All it takes is a little math, a little ActionScript, and a whole lot of bovine inspiration --- 

National Postal Museum: The Art of the Stamp (American History) --- 

What is the most popular tourist site in Texas?

If you said The Alamo, you're wrong. That's only worth about a 15 minute stop. Because of it's location, many tourists pass through this old mission, but the most popular site in Texas is the Outlet Mall in San Marcos. That's one of the largest outlet malls in the U.S. and is near what used to be called Southwest Texas State University. On the University's 100th birthday this fall, however, the new name will be Texas State University at San Marcos. You might note this in your future correspondents with our AECM friend Roselyn Morris and her colleagues at TSU-San Marcos.

The Ibsen Centre (Theatre, Performing Arts, History) --- 

Stick it To Me
StickerNation --- 

AccountingWEB has compiled a list of new books.  Browse through this selection and see if you need to add any of these books to your library. Just click on the hyper-linked titles, or on the book images to find out more  --- 

September 4, 2003 message (on stock-based compensation) from Mark Eckman, Rockwell Collins [mseckman@ROCKWELLCOLLINS.COM

Has anyone analyzed the potential adoption of FAS 148 to determine if the prospective method has a benefit? Since the prospective method will not be allowed after 2003, it seems appropriate to look.

September 5, 2003 reply from Bob Jensen
Depends upon what you mean by "a benefit" and "to whom." PwC has a pretty good commentary at

CCH's 2003 Annual Picks For The Most Quirky Tax Court Cases 

September 4, 2003 message from Richard Torian [rltorian@MSN.COM

Here is a site, , maintained by the Internet Legal Resource Guide, at which you can gain access to many legal business forms. An independent contractor agreement form is available under business, and then employment.

Richard Torian --- 

Bob Jensen's guide to finding professional services can be found at 

A new study suggests television shows that portray gay and lesbian characters in a positive light can dramatically improve viewers' attitudes toward gay people. But critics say it takes more than TV to alter people's views ---,1286,60035,00.html 

Want some lefsa and Bergen fish soup?
August 30, 2003 message from Barb Hessell 

Check out the site above for scenery and recipes. 

Staffordshire Past Track (Anthropology, Archaeology) --- 

This online exhibition of objects, documents and photographs looks at how special occasions - national, local and domestic - were marked by Staffordshire people over a period of nearly 400 years.

In Loving Memory 
It is often a subject we try to avoid, but death is all around us. Monuments, statues, street names, buildings, and park benches are all used to commemorate people. This exhibition takes a look at the ways in which people have used objects to commemorate death in Staffordshire over the past 200 years.

William Palmer - was he really a serial killer? 
Dr. William Palmer, born in Rugeley on 6th August 1824, hanged at Stafford 14th June 1856. Christened by the Newspapers as "The Rugeley Poisoner" and "The Prince of Poisoners". Read all the facts and rumours on this web site.

Coal Mining in North Staffordshire 
This exhibition aims to provide visitors with a broad overview of the coal mining industry using words, images, sound and artifacts from the North Staffordshire Coal fields.

Birth Rights 
Discover how the role of mid wives have changed in the county over the last 100 years. Listen to mid wives recounting stories of their experiences as you look at images and text. This site is derived from the Birth rights exhibition at Shugborough between July 2000 and...


Computing History and Future

UCLA's Internet Project --- 

Timeline of Computing History --- 

The History of Computing --- 

American University Computer History Museum --- 

The Apple (Computer) Museum  ---  ---

And the Dog Also Ate His Kid's Homework
A Hoover, Alabama accountant was acquitted of nine counts of tax evasion and filing fraudulent personal and business state income tax returns after telling his story of a computer virus to a sympathetic jury --- 

Microsoft, RSA Security, eBay and several other technology companies and groups have joined together to form a new organization to fight online identity theft ---,3959,1237135,00.asp 

Also see,1367,60272,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud protection can be found at 

He's responsible for millions of dollars worth of damage and multimillions is time lost, but all he gets is house arrest.  It's time to throw the book at these bums!
Nabbing The Blaster Master The FBI arrested an 18-year-old from Minnesota it says is responsible for a recent version of the Blaster computer infection; he's under house arrest with orders to stay off the Internet. 

According to Business Week, the recording industry's new onslaught against individual file traders won't win it any friends, but it sure seems to be working 

"Colleges Crack Down on File Sharing," The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2003 ---,,SB1062510667808400,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

Sharing of music files is a crucial issue for the industry. It says the practice is largely responsible for a 25% drop in CD sales since 1999. Revenue from album sales has declined from $14.6 billion in 1999 to $12.6 billion in 2002, according to the RIAA.

The industry has begun to embrace pay music download services, particularly the successful Apple iTunes for Macintosh computer users. But a successful Windows-based service for the vast majority of home computer users hasn't yet emerged.

Great Lakes Maritime History Project --- 

The past several years have seen growing numbers of schools and programs intended to provide treatment and education to students with learning and other disabilities. Tax advisers and parents are often not aware that some or all of the cost of such schools or programs may qualify as a tax-deductible medical expense --- 

Geology of Mars --- 

What's Wrong With Linux? 

It's been a summer of discontent for the fans of Open Source and Linux. Like a rabid junkyard dog, with nothing but misery left to live for, SCO's been barking up a storm. Has Linux lost its luster? eWEEK Labs set out to find the answer with an in-depth look at how Linux fares in business, the true cost of implementing this "free" operating system, and a review of Red Hat's 3.0 version of Enterprise Linux. And don't miss their perspective on what Linux needs to do to really capture the desktop ---,3959,1236250,00.asp 

Also see,3959,1237116,00.asp 

The Norman Rockwell Museum (Art, History) --- 

Subterranean Rome --- 

In June 2003, the American Accounting Association's Financial Accounting Standards Committee issued the following:

"Comments on the FASB’s Proposals on Consolidating Special-Purpose Entities and Related Standard-Setting Issues," Accounting Horizons, June 2003, pp. 191-174 --- 

The June 28, 2002 Financial Accounting Standards Board Exposure Draft (ED), Proposed Interpretation: Consolidation of Certain Special-Purpose Entities—an interpretation of ARB No. 51, addresses the consolidation of special-purpose entities (SPEs). Accounting Research Bulletin (ARB) No. 51 (AICPA 1959), Consolidated Financial Statements, does not apply to SPEs because they have no voting interests nor are they subject to control by means other than voting shares. This Accounting Horizons commentary presents the views of the American Accounting Association’s Financial Accounting Standards Committee (hereafter, the Committee) with respect to the ED.  An excerpt is shown below.

Application of a Principles-Based Consolidation Standard to SPEs

To illustrate the application of a principles-based consolidation standard to a situation contemplated by the ED, consider the case of a synthetic lease.  A company sets up an SPE to purchase and finance assets on its behalf, and the assets are then leased to the company via an operating lease.  The company-lessee typically does not have an equity position in the SPE, but effectively bears the risk and benefits of ownership of the leased assets through residual value guarantees.  Moreover, the company's use of the assets and the residual value guarantees provide direct evidence of the company's effective economic control over the SPE.  Accordingly, the company should consolidate the SPE under the Committee's approach to consolidation.

Another example involves a bank that creates an SPE to purchase receivables or debt instruments such as car loans or lease payments in the marketplace.  The assets are not top grade and require active management.  The SPE funds its purchases by issuing various tranches of debt and 10 percent equity.  As the asset manager, the bank receives a "market-based" fee and can be terminated after one year and annually thereafter by a majority vote of the debt holders.  The bank also provides a liquidity backstop that protects the debt holders against delayed payments, up to some limit.  The backstop does not protect the equity holders.

In this example, the bank does not control the assets; it is merely acting as an asset manager for the benefit of other stakeholders in the structure.  The presence of the guarantee, while exposing the bank to some risk, is no different than the types of guarantees that banks issue to other companies.  Thus, the Committee believes that the bank does not retain effective economic control over the SPE.  That is, it has not retained the risks and benefits of ownership, and should not consolidate the SPE.  Here, the objective should be to provide high-quality disclosure about the risks accepted by the bank.  (See, for example, the Committee's letter to the FASB on the Exposure Draft, Guarantor's Accounting and Disclosure Requirements, Including Indirect Guarantees of Indebtedness of Others, available at, or the related article published in Accounting Horizons [AAA FASC 2003a]).


This section outlines specific strengths and weaknesses of the ED relative to the Committee's view on a principles-based consolidation standard.


The Committee believes that the ED moves accounting for SPEs from a rules-based standard toward a principles-based standard.  This is consistent with our preferred approach for a general consolidation standard and with our July 2002 letter commenting on conceptual standards, available at, or the related article published in Accounting Horizons (AAA FASC 2003b).  If approved, the ED would likely result in more SPEs being consolidated by the entities that have effective control over their operations, consistent with our general approach to consolidation.  The Committee favors moving the basis for consolidation from an emphasis on legal control to a notion of effective economic control, based on the concepts of variable interests and primary beneficiary.  This move toward an economic definition of control should improve financial reporting by enhancing the representational faithfulness of financial statements in those circumstances where the risks and benefits of ownership are retained.


The Committee believes the ED has five potential weaknesses, which we discuss in turn:

Bob Jensen's threads on SPEs can be found at 

August 29, 2003 message from Ed Scribner


Welcome “home”!

Your link to threads on plagiarism ( ) and cheating reminded me of this “story” I heard recently:

The teacher had detected what he viewed as a cheating incident by Johnny, who sat next to Susie.  After grading the exam, the teacher summoned little Susie and little Johnny to his desk.

“Now, Johnny,” he said sternly.  “I’m afraid we have a little problem with your test.”

“Oh?” replied Johnny.

“Yes.  Now look at Question 1:  ‘Who was the first president of the United States?’  Susie wrote ‘George Washington,’ and, Johnny, you also wrote ‘George Washington.’”

“But sir,” said Johnny.  “That’s what you taught us.”

“OK, then,” said the teacher.  “Take a look at Question 2:  ‘Who was president during the Civil War?’  Susie wrote ‘Abraham Lincoln,’ and you wrote ‘Abraham Lincoln.’”

“But sir,” said Johnny.  “That’s what you taught us.”

“Well, then,” said the teacher.  “Look at Question 3:  ‘Who is the governor of Kansas?”  Susie wrote ‘I don’t know’ and you wrote ‘Neither do I.’”

Ed Scribner
Dept of Accounting & Business Computer Systems
PO BOX 30001 MSC 3DH
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM, USA 88003-8001
Voice (Voice Mail Not Activated):  505-646-5163
FAX:  505-646-1552


Puns forwarded by Bob Overn

01. A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired. 

02. What's the definition of a will? It's a dead giveaway.  

03. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.  

04. A backward poet writes inverse.  

05. In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count  that votes.  

06. She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.  

07. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.  

08. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed. 

09. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.  

10. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat  minor.  

11. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.  

12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.  

13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum  Blownapart.  

14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.  

15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.  

16. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.  

17. Every calendar's days are numbered.  

18. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.  

19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat. 

20. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

22. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

23. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

24. When you've see 1 shopping center, you've see a mall.

25. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

26. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

27. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

28. Accupuncture is a jab well done.

29. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeet.

Blonde Jokes Forwarded by Maria

     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 took the ruler to bed to see how long she slept..

    She sent 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 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.

    She tried to put M&M's in alphabetical order.

    She studied for a blood test.

    She thought she needed a token to get on "Soul Train."

    She sold her car for gas money.

    When she missed the 44 bus, she took the 22 bus twice

    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"

45 Cool Things To Do In A College Dorm Shower --- 

Top Ten Worst Pick Up Lines at MIT --- 

10) Do you really think I'm as sexy as Mr. Spock?

09) I think the electricity between you and me is throwing off the experiment.

08) I like your Maxwell's Equations t-shirt. I'd like it even better on my bedroom floor.

07) I'll see what I can do about your grade. (TA's only)

06) You know what they say about the size of man's computer. (It used to be his slide rule.)

05) I make excellent use of my hard drive.

04) I hear the junior physics laboratory is gorgeous by moonlight.

03) I always carry protection--You never know when a pen might leak.

02) Hey baby, what's your sine?

01)  (I didn't get this one, but it sounded too naughty for New Bookmarks.)

Football Entrance Exam (at Ohio State University?) ---  
Time Limit: 3 Weeks Preparation Before the Oral Examination Administered by a panel of Coaches

01. What language is spoken in France? 

02. Give a dissertation on the ancient Babylonian Empire with particular reference to architecture, literature, law and social conditions -OR- give the first name of Pierre Trudeau.

03. Would you ask William Shakespeare to (a) build a bridge (b) sail the ocean (c) lead an army or (d) WRITE A PLAY

04. What religion is the Pope? (a) Jewish (b) Catholic (c) Hindu (d) Polish (e) Agnostic (check only one)

05. Metric conversion. How many feet is 0.0 meters?

06. What time is it when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 5?

07. How many commandments was Moses given? (approximately)

08. What are people in America's far north called? (a) Westerners (b) Southerners (c) Northerners

09. Spell -- Bush, Carter and Clinton

10. Six kings of England have been called George, the last one being George the Sixth. Name the previous five.

11. Where does rain come from? (a) Macy's (b) a 7-11 (c) Canada (d) the sky

12. Can you explain Einstein's Theory of Relativity? (a) yes (b) no

13. What are coat hangers used for?

14. The Star Spangled Banner is the National Anthem for what country?

15. Explain Le Chateliers Principle of Dynamic Equilibrium -OR-spell your name in BLOCK LETTERS.

16. Where is the basement in a three story building located?

17. Which part of America produces the most oranges? (a) New York (b) Florida (c) Canada (d) Wisconsin

18. Advanced math. If you have three apples how many apples do you have?

19. What does NBC (National Broadcasting Corporation) stand for?

20. The University of Miami tradition for efficiency began when (approximately)? (a) B.C. (b) A.D. (c) still waiting

*You must answer three or more questions correctly to qualify for a $100,000 per year athletic scholarship.  These are the NCAA rules for Division 1 schools.  The admission test is not as tough for basketball if you're over seven feet tall.

Advice to Students

Ten Reasons Studying Is Better Than Sex (says who?) --- 

10. You can usually find someone to do it with.

09. If you get tired, you can stop, save your place, and pick up where you left off.

08. You can finish early without feelings of guilt or shame.

07. When you open a book, you don't have to worry about who else has opened it.

06. A little coffee and you can do it all night.

05. If you don't finish a chapter, you won't gain a reputation as a "book teaser".

04. You can do it, eat and watch TV all at the same time.

03. You don't get embarrassed if your parents interrupt you in the middle.

02. You don't have to put your beer down to do it

01. If you aren't sure what you're doing, you can always ask your roommate for help!

And that's the way it was on September 7, 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) --- 


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


For accounting news, I prefer AccountingWeb at 
I also like SmartPros at 


Another leading accounting site is at 


Jack Anderson's Accounting Information Finder ---


Gerald Trite's great set of links --- 


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

The Finance Professor --- 


How stuff works --- 


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


Click on 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)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  

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August 29, 2003

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on August 29, 2003
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

In case you did not note a major benefit to the public resulting form the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) statements can now be downloaded free --- 
Previously, the pricing of these statements was a major area of contention in academe, particularly among students.  Now we can only hope the the International Accounting Standards Board will find a way to fund IASB international standards  copies without charging readers.

Quotes of the Week

The world's total yearly production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage. This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each man, woman, and child on earth --- 
(Bob Jensen's doing more than his share to add to your overload.)

The world produces between 1 and 2 exabytes of unique information per year, which is roughly 250 megabytes for every man, woman, and child on earth. An exabyte is a billion gigabytes, or 1018 bytes. Printed documents of all kinds comprise only .03% of the total. Magnetic storage is by far the largest medium for storing information and is the most rapidly growing, with shipped hard drive capacity doubling every year. Magnetic storage is rapidly becoming the universal medium for information storage --- 

A learned man is an idler who kills time by study.
George Bernard Shaw

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
Robert F. Kennedy

US TRADE officials have backed off from a tough line on music, movie and software piracy, admitting that shoehorning Australia into a copyright regime based on criminal law may be "a bridge too far".
Australian IT, August 21, 2003 ---,7204,7015256%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html 

A new industry poll reveals that more women than teen boys are behind video game consoles. The poll also finds that lacking a better alternative, adult women prefer war themes over the light 'n' fluffy doll games now offered.
Wired News, August 27, 2003 ---,2101,60204,00.html 

The number of sites containing images of child (sexual) abuse rose by 64 percent in 2002 from the previous year, NCIS said in its report based on intelligence gathered from around the world. These sites may be hosted in one country and managed from elsewhere, making it difficult for police to trace offenders -- most of whom are male -- and to identify victims.
Reuters, August 21, 2003 ---,1283,60137,00.html 

This is really a good way to let you know that I'm back in Texas to start the new semester! --- 

My working draft of updates on the accounting and finance frauds for September 30, 2003 can be found at 

Commentary on My Motivation for Research and Scholarship --- Staging is the Answer

Hi Professor XXXXX,

Watch for my forthcoming edition of New Bookmarks. In answer to your earlier message you will find a couple of suggestions in New Bookmarks next week. Near the bottom it has a couple of FAS 133 case suggestions (Citibank in Brazil and the IAS 39 exposure draft on macro hedging).

As far as motivation (for research and scholarship among faculty) is concerned, I agree that many (most?) tenured faculty are not motivated to sweat blood and shed tears for research or Web sharing of scholarship (sharing is also a topic in the next edition of New Bookmarks). Many faculty are on auto-pilot while teaching from textbooks.

There is no simple answer to overcoming lack of motivation. It begins with a fear of rejection. Researchers must be able to accept rejection and criticism, bounce back, and accept the research world in which professional rejection should not and usually is not personal rejection. It is followed by avoidance of being put on a stage requiring research performances.

Motivation for teaching is much more common, in part due to being on stage for each and every class. Once you're on stage you must perform. The problem with research as opposed to teaching is that researchers are not put on stage weekly to do a performance. Research is easier to put off and make excuses for having put it off.

I think that virtually all faculty at all ages could contribute much more than they do to both research (new knowledge) and scholarship (existing knowledge). A drastic approach to light a fire under them would be to do away with both tenure and seniority. Then make faculty accountable for research in various ways in which they are put on stage. One way would be to have a Friday workshop in which researchers must report their weekly progress in research and scholarship in front of faculty from multiple disciplines. Of course if they have a choice, many will resign and move elsewhere where there is less peer pressure. I suspect the entire system of universities would probably have to do this type of "staging" rather than just one college unless there was some type of super reward added to the system.

I am not saying that faculty do not work even if they do not accomplish much in research. Most are underpaid and put in long hours. However, I think that many do not manage their time well or seriously experiment with ways of becoming more efficient. Years ago engineering professors at Purdue did a time study of faculty and found that faculty genuinely felt that 40% of their time was spent in research when the results indicated that less than 5% was actually spent in research. (I may be a bit off in recalling the exact percentages.)

So in my old age, what's my reward for putting in 14 hours a day seven days each week? I can't say it's always best for my students, because they complain that I burden them with my own information overload. I can't say it's for my family, because I was neither a great father nor husband in terms of time and attention.

In my case, a combination of pride and guilt played a huge role. I may be somewhat unique in terms of circumstances. Early on I received an endowed chair (three years after my PhD when I was only 26 years old). Then I was honored at a young age with two years in a think tank on the Stanford campus where others around me were noted researchers, two with Nobel Prizes. I became driven to prove myself (beyond my abilities) that the faith others had placed in me was not in vain.

I was also put on stage quite often with invitations to speak at other universities, usually in doctoral seminars where my audiences could be quite critical if I was not reporting something interesting. So I worked like hell to come up with something interesting.

I guess what I am trying to say is that motivation in academe comes largely from how and when we are placed on stage. I was placed on research stages quite early in life and soon began to enjoy the attention of having an audience. The Web has simply expanded my audience, and now I've become a bit of a ham. A ham is a person who enjoys being on stage even when he's running out of material.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: XXXXX 
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 11:48 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject:  Motivation

Hi Bob,

It is so good to be able to communicate with you, again. (But, I have to admit that I got very nervous when I "talk" to you on the phone.)

I e-mailed John about our paper. I'll keep you posted.

I thank you for your comments about the plan on the field study. I do agree with you that firms may not want to waste time on student projects and that writing a case on my own can be an alternative. Writing a derivatives accounting case can be rewarding given there is not much out there either by Ivey or Harvard or any refereed journals. I'll pursue in the case writing avenue for future semester. In fact, projecting that no firms would be willing to cooperate, I have a backup case on "Baring Bank" this semester. There is a movie on the story and extensive literature about the case.

Anytime working a project with you is like a free intensive tutor from you. I don't know where you get the patience with me. But, I am sure to have an eye-opening learning experience from you every time. Do include me in your research agenda. I don't want to miss out the opportunities of learning.

Bob, I have another question for you. How can you be so motivated given that you probably have nothing to gain from "doing research" at this stage in your career? The reason I ask is that I have taken up the responsibility on the research area for the AACSB accredation to our accounting program. The senior faculty do not see to be motivated and the school of business just keeps put on more "punishment" on them. However, the faculty will work around the way and not do research. 

Any thoughts?

"Machine Thinks, Therefore It Is," by Michelle Delio, Wired News, August 27, 2003 ---,1282,60153,00.html 

A new type of thinking machine that could completely change how people interact with computers is being developed at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories.

Over the past five years, a team led by Sandia cognitive psychologist Chris Forsythe has been working on creating intelligent machines: computers that can accurately infer intent, remember prior experiences with users, and allow users to call upon simulated experts to help them analyze problems and make decisions.

The thinking software was to create profiles of specific political leaders or entire populations. Once programmed, the synthetic human(s) could, along with analytic tools, predict potential responses to various hypothetical situations.

But along the way, the experiment took a different turn.

Forsythe needed help with the software, and asked some of the programmers in Sandia's robot lab for assistance. The robotics researchers immediately saw that the technology could be used to develop intelligent machines, and the research's focus quickly morphed from creating computerized people to creating computers that can help people by acting more like them.

Synthetic humans are still a big part of the Sandia cognitive machines project, but researchers have now extended their idea of what the technology can and will ultimately be used for.

Continued at,1282,60153,00.html 

Sharing Update!

How many courses at MIT now freely share lecture notes, examinations, homework, and other materials with other faculty and students around the world?

MIT's Open Source is becoming a huge academic sharing success --- 
From Ho Chi Minh City to Nashville, Tennessee, students are flocking to MIT's new program that posts about 2,000 classes on the Web, for free. Meet the global geeks getting an MIT education, open-source style.  See MIT Everywhere, Wired Magazine, September 2003 --- 

Every lecture, every handout, every quiz. All online. For free. Meet the global geeks getting an MIT education, open source-style.

There is a tremendous listing of course materials from MIT being freely shared with educators and students around the world.  Unfortunately, the accounting faculty has not yet seen fit to share any accounting course materials in the various shared Sloan School of Management courses.

For more on the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI and DSpace: Free sharing of courseware from MIT, Stanford, and other colleges and universities) go to Bob Jensen's commentaries and links at 

Advice to students using the MIT shared course materials (perhaps this should be advice to faculty in general) 

Sharing Update!

Jim Mahar's terrific sharing site has added some new features --- 

Updated Summaries of journal articles

NEW! News Sources

Updated FinanceProfessor's Newsletter Archive

Finance Notes 

NEW! Franciscan Finance

NEW! Islamic Finance

Financial Research

For Teachers

Personal Finance 

Finance Classes Speeches and Interviews Finance Links
Finance Tests Reading lists and Texts Entrepreneurial Finance  
Finance Lessons of the Week Finance Trivia Finance Videos
Finance Conferences Finance Jobs Search this site 
Finance Jobs Financial Resolutions

About FinanceProfessor and Awards


Thank you for sharing Jim!  You show a tremendous willingness to share your time and talent in an  academic world of professors who tend to share only when they get paid or when they get new lines on a resume that lead to higher pay.  What is purest in academe is that rare willingness to share when the only reward is the joy of sharing and the gratitude of others who appreciate the free fruit in your knowledge tree.

Sharing Update!

Free from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University 
How Things Are Made --- (The site may take while to load)

If you've ever wondered how things are made - products like candy, cars, airplanes, or bottles - or if you've been interested in manufacturing processes, like forging, casting, or injection molding, then you've come to the right place.

AIM has developed an introductory website showing how various items are made. It covers over 40 different products and manufacturing processes, and includes almost 4 hours of manufacturing video. It is targeted towards non-engineers and engineers alike. Think of it as your own private online factory tour, or a virtual factory tour, if you wish.

We are able to cover only a small number of products and processes, but we believe it will give you a good introduction to the world of manufacturing.

Note:  This site might help spice up a dull managerial/cost accounting course.  I liked the Glass Bottle clip.
Video Note:  Be sure to maximize your browser's screen and watch the download %.  Nothing will happen until the video clip is downloaded.  Also note the Slow motion optional controls.  Actually you may prefer "slow" motion since the default seems to be in double speed for some of the videos.

Sharing Update!

Forwarded by Chris Nolan on August 28, 2003

With a new academic year starting, I wanted to remind everyone of the following comprehensive webliography on plagiarism. Each entry is annotated, and each entry represents a document that is available on the Web: 

This Web site also has other guides to ethics issues on topical areas that you might wish to share with faculty in other departments on your campus:

Anthropology Ethics:

Art Ethics:


Business Ethics:

Ethics Case Studies:

History Ethics:

Journalism Ethics:

Research Ethics:

Sociology Ethics:

Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant, ILCSO
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting
616 E. Green Street, Suite 213
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-4895
Fax: (217) 265-0454

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and cheating are at 

From the New York Public Library
What constitutes Utopia (Philosophy, Humanities)? --- 

Image gate links to the thousands of this library's digitized images (art, photography) --- 

New York Public Library's Internet Library --- 

Bob Jensen's Internet library links --- 

August 22, 2003 message from Ed Scribner

As one who has sat through countless presentations, it’s seemed to me that overhead transparencies and PowerPoint slides usually exist for the convenience of the presenter rather than for the benefit of the audience. Now I see it’s not just me. Did you see Edward Tufte’s views (“PowerPoint Is Evil”—second part of two; the first installment nevertheless has some nice graphics, such as Dan Rather’s profile projected onto the back of Patrick Stewart’s head) at Wired News? 

Ed Scribner
New Mexico State

Yahoo has a new directory of called Higher Education --- 


College Search: find Colleges or Universities --- 

Thousands of reference links from Yahoo ---

I don't want to print the F-word name of the following site, because it is so absurd and misleading.   What this site does is report bad news in a dialog that shows how dumb some companies are managed.  What is also bad news is the name of the site itself, but here is its link --- 

"The FASB and the Capital Markets," by John M. “Neel” Foster, former FASB Member --- 

Straight Eye For The Queer Shows --- 

This may be of great help when writing or reviewing books and papers.

Stephen's Guide to Logical Fallacies (Philosophy, Literature, Humanities) --- 
You can also sign up for a discussion forum on this topic.
A nice outline of types of common fallacies can be found at 

NASDAQ-100 Dynamic Heatmap® Explore our ETF Heatmap and our NASDAQ-100 Pre-Market Heatmap View the price of companies in the NASDAQ-100 Index at a glance. Each colored rectangle represents an individual company that is part of the NASDAQ-100 --- 

Downside:  The Investor's Reality Check --- 
Includes a cash flow death watch.

Why hasn't all the air come out of the market bubble yet? In the June 28th issue of The Economist, (p. 25), we read this: "The Fed, it seems, will stop at nothing to keep the post-bubble economy afloat. ... After playing an key role in nurturing the equity bubble of the late 1990s by holding down interest rates, it has since propped up the economy by furthering first a property bubble and then a bond bubble." This article is worth a close read.

Bob Jensen's investment bookmarks are at 

From PBS --- The History of Old Money versus Newer Electronic Money --- 

The increasing online sophistication of the purveyors of child pornography has resulted in a veritable explosion of websites devoted to this purpose. Authorities nail them when they can, but the perverts always seem to be one jump ahead of the law ---,1283,60137,00.html 

From Fortune --- 

50 Most Desirable MBA Employers
Think of it as a popularity contest for companies: Every year research firm Universum ranks the 50 most desirable employers in the world, based on where MBA candidates say they'd most like to work. This year elite banks and consultancies continued to reign (McKinsey has been No. 1 for seven years), while well-known consumer brands such as Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble made big strides. Absent were accounting firms, as well as familiar names such as Cisco and Ford. Another sign of the times: The CIA, No. 30, appeared for the first time. Not included in the poll: how many MBAs the companies are actually hiring. 

The Top 10 are as follows:

View by: Full List Alphabetical List  
Company % Who Put
in Top Five
1 1 McKinsey & Co. 15.9%
2 3 Goldman Sachs 11.9%
3 2 Boston Consulting Group 10.6%
4 5 Bain & Co. 10.4%
5 6 Citigroup 10.1%
6 10 Coca-Cola 10.0%
7 19 BMW 9.1%
8 4 General Electric 8.7%
9 11 Microsoft 8.4%
10 18 3M 8.2%

From Fortune, August 11, 2003 ---,15114,474483,00.html 

A Taste of Success But the real test for Sarbanes-Oxley is still ahead. FORTUNE Monday, August 11, 2003 By Jeremy Kahn

The Securities and Exchange Commission held a small ceremony in late July to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Responsibility Act. That same day SEC chairman William Donaldson gave a speech before the National Press Club in which he hailed Sarbanes-Oxley as the most significant piece of federal securities legislation since the securities laws were first enacted in the 1930s.

Sarbanes-Oxley has improved financial disclosure, forced executives and boards to be more vigilant, ended self-regulation of audit firms, and helped eliminate conflicts of interest in stock research. That said, it's too soon to call it a success.

From The Wall Street Journal on August 27, 2003 --- 

In the newest sign that MCI's woes won't easily be put behind it, the Oklahoma State Attorney General plans to file criminal charges against the company, its former chief executive Bernard Ebbers and five other individuals as early as Wednesday in connection with its $11 billion accounting fraud, according to people familiar with the situation.,,SB106194366395454600,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpageone%255Fhs 

Marketers are perfecting new ways to implant their own software into other people's computers, then barraging them with carefully targeted advertising. But consumers are catching on to this "spyware," and many of them are angry.,,SB106192877175218500,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpageone%255Fhs

There are plenty of choices for free e-mail accounts, and real differences that users should know about. Walt Mossberg tries out a handful of these free services to see which were worth more than just a whimsical name.,,SB106194227815651100,00.html?mod=todays%255Fus%255Fpersonaljnl%255Fhs 

We included Yahoo and Microsoft's Hotmail, but also tested two lesser-known services -- from the Walt Disney Internet Group and Our tests were simple: We started accounts with each service and took note of the various features available with each.

Each of the services features a "Home Page," that seems mainly devoted to ads, and each tries to emulate on a Web page the look and core features of real e-mail programs like Outlook or Outlook Express. Each lets you establish one or more e-mail addresses specific to its service, plus they also can pull down e-mail from a more traditional e-mail account at an ISP like EarthLink. (Note, however, that EarthLink, AOL and others have their own e-mail Web sites.) Except for, each service also offers added features, like extra storage, if you're willing to pay.

Of the four services that we tested, Yahoo had the best mix of features and ease of use. Its overall layout seemed to be the best organized and easiest to navigate, and we like its antispam options better. Hotmail is a close second, but it suffers from a somewhat worse layout, and, more important, from the fact that it has the smallest e-mail storage capacity. offered the largest e-mail storage capacity. offered the most creative e-mail addresses, because you can choose from 100 domains, such as (rather than just But it also displayed the most advertisements, and pushed the most promotional advertisements during the sign-up process.

Katie was amused by some of the questions she was asked during the sign-up process. Yahoo and Hotmail stuck with basics like first and last name, language and gender, but was nosy enough to ask her income and education level, though answering the income question wasn't mandatory.

Both Yahoo and offered to install additional related software on her computer -- the Yahoo toolbar for Web searching and's e-mail alert, a small Outlook-like envelope that appears in your systems tray when you receive mail. We didn't test this extra software, but in general these things should be avoided, as they can include ads and spyware.

Each service sends you a welcome e-mail that explains the account's rules. In order to keep your account, you must access it with some regularity. Hotmail is the strictest and requires you to sign on at least once every month, while, and Yahoo require access every two, three and four months, respectively.

One big difference among the services was storage capacity. Each Hotmail account holds two megabytes, Yahoo gives you four, five and six megabytes. For basic e-mailing purposes, four megabytes is enough to allow the occasional large digital photo or two, though you'll have to clean out the inbox frequently so as not to overrun its capacity. Hotmail's two megabyte limit is ridiculous in 2003, and forces you to monitor it closely lest your mailbox fill up and future e-mails bounce.

WOW!  From the Royal Geographic Society
Imaging Everst --- 

The History of Everest  
Everest Expeditions in the 1920s and 1930s  
Tibetan people  
Religion in Tibet and Nepal  
Nepal in the 1950s  
Tenzing and Hillary  
Mount Everest Expedition 1953  
Everest Slideshow  (This is great!)
The book: Everest, Summit of Achievement  

In Ms Kuglin's case, it was worth the effort to refuse to pay her U.S. income taxes.  But there's not much precedent in this case for the rest of us.

Last week a female commercial pilot won a battle with the IRS over the basic tax protester issue of where it states in the law that people are required to pay income taxes. A federal court inruled in favor of Vernice Kuglin who refused to pay federal income taxes for nearly a decade. 

The issue decided by a jury was actually not whether or not Ms. Kuglin owed taxes on $920,000 of income earned in the years 1996 to 2001. While Ms. Kuglin has refused to pay tax on that money and has been subjected to criminal charges by the IRS for tax evasion and filing false W-4 forms on which she indicated that she didn't owe any income tax, the case was decided on the simple fact that the IRS did not respond to Ms. Kuglin's correspondence.

Updates from Syllabus News on August 26, 2003

For-Profit Offers AT&T Employees Online College Degree Program

Capella University, a 10 year-old Minnesota-based for-profit university specializing in education for working adults has struck a deal with A&T to offer the company’s employees and their family members an opportunity to earn college degrees online and in a time frame that suits their work schedules. The first employees to take advantage of AT&T’s tuition assistance plan at Capella started this summer. The school said it focuses on making it easier for students to focus on learning instead of red tape.

For more information visit 

Bob Jensen's summary of online training and education alternatives are at 

Blackboard Inc., an enterprise software company for education, said it would launch in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year an education learning content management and e-Portfolio system. The company said its Blackboard Content System would lower the costs and increase the simplicity of managing learning content, digital assets and e-Portfolios in an enterprise learning environment. Six schools, including four-year universities, community colleges, and K-12 school districts, are working with Blackboard over the next six months to implement the system including Georgetown University; the University of Cincinnati, National Defense University; Dallas County Community Colleges, and Canada’s Seneca College.

For more information visit: 

Wall Street Bullish on Post-Secondary eLearning Stocks

Companies selling technology into the post-secondary market will encounter good growth potential, according to analysts at a recent financial analysts roundtable discussion. The discussion, hosted by the Wall Street Transcript, included Gary E. Bisbee III, an analyst at Lehman Brothers, Gerald Odening, managing director of Jefferies and Co., and Jeffrey Silber, managing director at Harris Nesbitt Gerard.


Among the various articles in Accounting Horizons that I'm catching up on after returning from my isolated summer in the White Mountains, I especially recommend the following two articles:

Title: How Chevron, Texaco, and the Indonesian Government Structured Transactions to Avoid Billions in U.S. Income Taxes  (June 2003, pp. 107-122)
Summary: (view full summary) By Jeffrey D. Gramlich and James E. Wheeler 
SYNOPSIS: This paper explains the transactions, agreements, and accounting that Chevron, Texaco, and the Government of Indonesia used to structure...

Title: The Quality of Financial Statements: Perspectives from the Recent Stock Market Bubble   (Year 2003 Special Supplement))
Summary: (view full summary) By Stephen H. Penman 
SYNOPSIS: During the recent stock market bubble, the traditional financial reporting model was assailed as a backward-looking system, out of date in the Information Age. With...

"Expert: Organized crime behind Sobig?" by William Sturgeon, Wired News, August 25, 2003 --- 

A leading antivirus expert has voiced concerns that users and organizations are going to be so busy worrying about the sheer size of the Sobig infection that they will "take their eyes off the ball" in terms of the real threat.

Peter Simpson, manager of ThreatLab at Clearswift, warned that antivirus companies and the media have become so obsessed with the unprecedented numbers surrounding the prolific Sobig.F variant that the real dangers are going almost unnoticed.

Simpson warned that Sobig.F is the latest in a series of forays into the digital world by organized criminals looking to make a move online.

Continued at 

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on August 29, 2003

TITLE: KPMG Defends Its Audit Work For Polaroid
REPORTER: James Bandler
DATE: Aug 25, 2003
TOPICS: Audit Quality, Audit Report, Auditing, Bankruptcy, Creative Accounting, Fraudulent Financial Reporting, Accounting

SUMMARY: A court appointed examiner filed a report in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware that suggests that KPMG LLP allowed Polaroid Corp. to use questionable accounting practices to hide financial distress. KPMG LLP claims that the report is biased and unfounded.

1.) What is the role of the auditor in the historical financial statement audit? Is the auditor required to provide absolute assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatements?

2.) Distinguish between audit risk, business risk, and audit failure. When should the auditor be held liable to financial statement users? Does it appear that the situation with Polaroid Corp. is the result of audit risk, business risk, or audit failure? Support your answer.

3.) Assume that KPMG LLP followed Generally Accepted Auditing Standards in the audit of Polaroid Inc. Should KPMG LLP be required to defend the quality of the audit to financial statement users? Do allegations of substandard audit work result in a loss of reputation and significant cost to KPMG LLP? How can auditors reduce the possibility of loss of reputation and the costs of defending audit quality?

4.) What types of audit reports do auditors issue? What is the difference between a "going concern" note and a qualified opinion? When should an audit report contain a qualified opinion? When should an audit report contain a "going concern" note? Does it appear that KPMG LLP issued the correct audit opinion for Polaroid? Support your answer.

5.) What is materiality? Explain the relation between materiality and debt covenants.

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

Where can accountants see software listings and compare software?

A partial listing of links is shown below:

"A Strategy for Finding the Right Accounting Software," by Randolph P. Johnston, Journal of Accountancy, September 2003, --- 
This article includes listing of major software packages and a great set of links.

KnowledgeStorm --- 
This is a great site for comparing software.

Bob Jensen's bookmarks --- 

Search for a Glossary on Any Subject --- 

My minor disappointment is that under the category "Business" there is no sub-category for accounting. My major disappointment is that The Glossarist misses many of our most important Business glossaries. But credit must be given where credit is due. The Glossarist links us to thousands of excellent glossaries.

Bob Jensen's links to glossaries (including accounting, finance, and technology glossaries) --- 

E-Commerce times is a great free news site about e-commerce, e-business, and technology in general --- 
Topic links include the following:

SMALL BUSINESS is a great free site for accountants, auditors, and systems analysts --- is a network of professionals focused on improving audits and business intelligence using audit software. This site provides visitors and members a comprehensive resource on audit software including:

Tools and Techniques
Case Studies and Articles
Message Boards
Polls and Benchmarking Opportunities
Networking Events
….and its all free!

The mission is as follows:

“To maximize organizational benefits from using computer tools in the audit and business intelligence gathering process.”


In achieving this overall mission, the primary goals are:

 - To further the introduction of computer-assisted tools into the audit process 

 - To aggregate collective expertise that could never be matched by any individual expert

 - To provide a FREE community, independent of software, to network and share audit tools

 - To initially focus on the use of data analysis tools to improve audits

 - To have active participation from members

Intelligent Enterprise Research Library --- 

August 25, 2003 message from Amy Dunbar

This morning, the LangaList listserv (which Gangolly mentioned previously - wonderful listserv - see had the following link, which will check your computer for parasites for free. As a result of the scan, I finally removed Hotbar, even though I love the little animations I could add to emails. Sigh.

There is a great link on that site for a description of various anti-virus spyware and the links to descriptions of the parasites.

Amy Dunbar
Department of Accounting
School of Business
University of Connecticut
2100 Hillside Road, Unit 1041
Storrs, CT 06269-1041

Linkdup reviews of international Web art and photography --- 

CFS Free Software Site --- 

In August 2003, Pricewaterhouse Coopers agreed to pay more than $50 million to settle a suit by MicroStrategy investors who alleged that the firm defrauded them when it approved MicroStrategy's financial reports.  The PwC engagement partner was banned from future audits of corporations listed with the SEC.  For some of the other PwC settlements, see 

Forwarded by David Albrecht on July 20, 2003

July 19, 2003
Business: S.E.C. Demands 6-Month Ban on New Ernst & Young Clients

Federal regulators reiterated their demand yesterday that the accounting
firm Ernst & Young be banned from accepting new audit clients for six
months as a penalty for violating conflict-of-interest rules in the 1990's.

Full Story: 

Selected Scandals in the Largest Remaining Public Accounting Firms --- 

Hello Nonye Opara,

I apologize for the delay in responding to your message. I was in the White Mountains of New Hampshire all summer and did not even touch a computer or read any email messages.

I was very sorry to hear that Anthony Steele passed on. He was such a good host when I was invited to lecture at your university.

It is impossible to say that new laws of most any kind cannot and do not help restrain bad behavior. It's quite another matter to assert that they are cost effective in restraining bad behavior. The new laws most certainly did not attack the basic problem that white collar crime in general is not punished severely in 99.9% of discovered crimes. Punishments most certainly are not in proportion to punishments for robbing a store at gunpoint for $100 in the front office as opposed to diverting $100 million in a top floor office. See 

I don't think the jail and fine threats do much to deter white collar crime, because the fines are relatively small and the chances of really going to jail are miniscule. What deters white collar crime is the tone at the top, potential bad publicity of investigations (the media punishments), and the threat of civil lawsuits (the tort lawyer punishments) that generally commence in seeking millions or billions in punitive damages. Media exposures and subpoenas interfere with the sleep of corporate crooks in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

Of all the laws that have been passed to deter fraud, probably the most important are laws to protect whistle blowers. These laws can be abused by opportunists, but some recent outcomes (e.g., the latest one giving $1 million to a Los Alamos whistle blower) make firms sit up and think about setting up policies and communication channels that take whistle blowing seriously. The only way to deter and/or discover fraud in most instances is with the help of insiders. Without informants from within, investigators are likely to overlook the entire crime. Accounting crimes are most certainly too easy to cover up.

The main deterrents to crime and ethics breakdowns are the "tones and the top." If the top executives are devils in white shirts and blouses, don't expect their followers to wear halos. The original Arthur Andersen had no trouble with his staff, because he set the stern and unfaltering tone at the very top. Eight decades later, top executives in his firm grew badly out of tune.

Bob Jensen

From: Nonye Opara []  
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 5:21 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: research questions

Gooday Bob Jensen , my name is Nonye Opara and i am a postgraduate student at the university of warwick in the United kingdom . I am currently conducting some research regarding post Enron reforms . I would be very grateful if you could shed some light on the following issues.

Do you think that the new laws and reforms enacted as a result of the Enron scandal are capable of preventing or deterring future Enrons from taking place and are there any shortcomings in these new laws.

And how can this be achieved i.e through criminal law or regulatory action, If criminal law do you think there will be difficulties of proof and enforcement.

You can email your response to 


Thanks for your anticipated help.

From the AccountingWeb on August 22, 2003

Two whistleblowers have found out it pays to take a chance and tell the truth. The University of California agreed to pay nearly $1 million to one former investigator who even the university admits was unfairly terminated when he helped to expose mismanagement at the university-run Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Glenn Walp and the university settled the case for $930,000 a month ago and announced the settlement this week. Walp was fired from his investigator job at Los Alamos in November 2002. This occurred just after he and Steve Doran, who was also an investigator, went public with their charges of mismanagement at Los Alamos. They accused top managers of protecting the university’s contract to manage the lab for the Energy Department by hiding theft and fraud. Doran settled in March, but chose to keep the settlement terms private. He continues to hold a senior law enforcement position with the university.

Also in the August 22, 2003 edition is the following book recommendation:

Book Recommendation: Communication for Accountants:  Strategies For Success, 
by Maurice L. Hirsch, Rob Anderson, and Susan L. Gabriel

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

For years, practitioners have been sending a message that technical skills are not enough; accountants must be able to communicate effectively through both writing and speech. Studies have indicated that there is dissatisfaction with the communication skills of accountants. Asserting that accountants must be able to communicate effectively through both writing and speaking, this handbook provides advice on how to gain communication skills relevant for the various financial fields accountants operate within. 


From eNewsletter on August 28, 2003


Consultants and lawyers are starting to realize that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by Congress in July 2002, will not only affect public companies but will also have both direct and indirect implications for privately held businesses as well. According to the following article their are two provisions in particular that will have significant impacts for private businesses. The first relates to the so-called whistle-blower provision of the financial reporting law and the other affects private businesses who are in the process of going public or who intend to go public in the future.

Click here to read the article...

In the July 2003 edition of the Journal of Accountancy on Page 25, links to electronic learning sites are given as follows:

IT Resources Online
Information technology consultants and tech-savvy CPAs can read e-Learning—the magazine for enterprise learning and knowledge management strategies—at this Web site. Users can peruse current and archived cover stories, features and columns on business management and online education.

“Linking People, Learning and Performance”
The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Web stop offers practitioners online-education stories such as “Writing for Global E-Learners” and “Terms of Engagement: Keeping Learners Online.” Also, ASTD provides links to a discussion board for training and development professionals and a glossary of e-words.

E-School’s in Session
U.S. News & World Report’s e-learning Web page offers CPAs articles such as “E-Learn and Earn” and “E-Learning Today,” as well as a glossary of terms for e-students. Wonder how electronic learning differs from the traditional experience? Need to know what kind of hardware your computer setup requires for you to be able to study at home? Join the discussion forum and talk to experts and peers to get answers to these questions and more.

CPE Online
If you’re looking for online courses for CPE credit in accounting and auditing, business law, financial planning and taxation, visit this Web site. Each online course—written and administered using AICPA, National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA) and state society guidelines—averages 20 CPE credit hours and costs approximately $120.

Train In-House for Credit
In addition to offering for CPE credit courses similar to the site above, Western CPE also provides in-house training in accounting, computers and technology, finance, management and tax. Some course titles include “From Accountant to Strategist” and “Detecting and Preventing Fraud.”

Your Course to Class
This Bisk Education Web stop offers accountants CPE credit for a new course, “Accounting Profession Reform: Restoring Confidence in the System.” Other available fields of study include auditing, consulting services, government and nonprofit accounting, management and taxation.

For a more comprehensive list of both education and training sites, go to 

National Home Education Network 

Pogo might say "We looked for the enemy who blasted us;  He is us!"

From BusinessWeek Online Technology Insider Tuesday, August 26, 2003

AS THE WORM TURNS: LESSONS FROM BLASTER Microsoft deserves some blame for the rapidly spreading Web virus -- but so do network administrators, ISPs, small businesses, and individual PC users 

From Wired News on August 25, 2003

When a computer consultant buys a used wireless pager -- once the property of a former Morgan Stanley executive -- on eBay, he ends up with an unexpected bonus: a trove of sensitive corporate data ---,1367,60052,00.html 

The first postwar Internet café in Tikrit, Iraq, Saddam Hussein's hometown, has plenty of business. Installed by the U.S. Army, its unrestricted Web browsing capacity thrills some residents ---,1284,60171,00.html 

June 2, 2003 message from Scott Bonacker, CPA [scottbonacker@MOCCPA.COM

If you are leery of opening html email from unknown (or even known) senders, you might be interested in pocketknife peek.   


August 25, 2003 question from Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET

Does anyone use or know of reliable software that can be used to demonstrate a program over the Internet? I can imagine a situation where I'm having a conversation with a student over our cell phones and I want to demo a particular point or technique from my desktop software. I'm aware of Microsoft's Netmeeting, but would like to use a more professional setup. Thanks,


Neal J. Hannon, CMA 
University of Hartford 
(860) 768-5810 (401) 769-3802 (Home Office)

August 25, 2003 reply from Gadal, Damian [DGADAL@CI.SANTA-BARBARA.CA.US

There's always GoToMyPc - but, Netmeeting will do the trick!

Waterfront Accounting

You can read more about GoToMyPc at 

Note from Bob Jensen
If instructors have enough advance time, it may be better to prepare a Camtasia video.  Then their visual and audio explanations on the computer can be shared with many students over time.  See 

John Stuart Mill (Philosophy, History) Links 

Collect Britain: Putting History in in a Digitized Place
(Over 100,000 images and sound clips)

Visual Thesaurus --- 

Bob Jensen's links to dictionaries and thesauruses --- 

Some great sound bites from a great drummer 
Buddy Rich: The Official Web Site ---

Big Business Gives a Hoot
From Fortune, August 11, 2003 ---,15114,474470,00.html 

Hooters: A Case Study 
'This thing has incredible legs,' an early investor said. Twenty years later, the restaurant chain has finally hit its stride. FORTUNE Monday, August 11, 2003 By John Helyar

Some corporate slogans speak to improving the human condition (DuPont: "Better things for better living through chemistry"). Some speak to elevating human relations (Hallmark: "When you care enough to send the very best.") And then there's the Hooters restaurant chain, which cheerfully admits to no higher calling than lowbrow pleasure: "Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined."

Satan's Laundromat (Photography) --- Pictures from the Streets of Brooklyn --- 

Clothing Business Failures on the Web --- 

A FAS 133 Case on Foreign Currency Hedging
From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on August 29, 2003

TITLE: Citigroup in Brazil Had 1st-Half Loss 
REPORTER: Jonathan Karp 
DATE: Aug 27, 2003 
TOPICS: Consolidation, Foreign Currency Exchange Rates, Hedging

SUMMARY: The article discusses performance effects of foreign-currency hedge losses. Those losses resulted in an overall loss for Brazil's operations as reported at the local level. Company financial statements disclose only Latin American operations in total, which are profitable. "Citigroup said the loss was just a technicality under Brazilian generally accepted accounting principles and that it is offset in the financial-service company's consolidated results."

1.) What is hedging? Who and what defines whether a given activity is or is not a hedging strategy? Does the fact that Citigroup experienced losses on hedging activities mean that the hedging activity was ineffective? In your answer, define hedge effectiveness.

2.) How is it possible that Brazilian reporting could result in a loss when US reporting standards, even disclosing Brazilian results separately, would not result in a loss? Which is relevant for discussion: local operating results under Brazilian GAAP or consolidated reporting under USGAAP?

3.) Based on the discussion in the article alone, explain how Citigroup's Brazilian operations are reported under USGAAP. What would be the benefit of the reconciliation discussed by Jason Mollin, a Bear Stearns analyst, and quoted in the article?

4.) Access Citigroup's 10Q report for June 30, 2003, filed with the SEC on August 4, 2003, by following the links on the WSJ Interactive edition website. (from the article, click on Citigroup, Inc. on the right hand side, then select SEC Filings under Web Resources, select the 10-Q filing from the left-most column, select Document 1, then select the notes to the financial statements.) Search for "Latin America" within the notes. Confirm your answer to question 3 about Citigroup's reporting of Latin American operations. In what other way is Citigroup's net income also broken down? What professional standard requires this treatment?

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

Citigroup in Brazil Had 1st-Half Loss

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Citigroup Inc., which recently pledged to raise its exposure in Brazil after scaling down amid political and economic uncertainty, reported a first-half loss at its Brazilian unit as a result of foreign-currency hedge operations.

But Citigroup said the loss was just a technicality under Brazilian generally accepted accounting principles and that it is offset in the financial-service company's consolidated results.

Grupo Financeiro Citibank became the latest corporate victim of Brazil's volatile currency. The bank's net loss of 220.5 million reals ($73.8 million) for the first six months of 2003 stemmed from a hedging loss of 499.2 million reals. Local media reported that it was the first loss in Citigroup's 88-year presence in Latin America's largest country.

Fielding many investor queries Tuesday, Citigroup executives disputed that assertion and said that in consolidated results under U.S. GAAP, the bank didn't lose money on Brazil. Spokeswoman Lula Rodriguez said, "The fundamental difference from U.S. GAAP is that local GAAP mandates that all capital-hedging costs be recorded through earnings, while the [gain/loss] on the investment which offset part of the losses does not appear in the local GAAP financials."

Citigroup doesn't break out figures for Brazil in its U.S. financial statements. "The difficulty is that Citi doesn't give enough information to reconcile what it reports in local markets and what it reports on a consolidated basis for Latin America," said Jason Mollin, a Latin American bank analyst for Bear Stearns in New York.

He added that the latest consolidated results show that Citigroup performed relatively well in Brazil. The company generated $378 million in net income in Latin America -- excluding Mexico -- in the first half. Most of the income came from corporate-banking operations in Brazil, Mr. Mollin said.

Just as many companies in Brazil profited by holding dollar positions as the Brazilian currency weakened in 2002, several have been hard hit by the real's 18% appreciation against the dollar in the first six months of this year. Hedge-operation losses cut into the earnings of other major banks in Brazil, but Citigroup is the only one to swing into the red.

Excluding the hedge-operations item, Citigroup's Brazilian unit said income was 278.7 million reals, compared with 341.6 million reals in the first half of 2002.

Citigroup, which was stung by the financial crisis in neighboring Argentina, views Brazil as critical to growth in Latin America. Despite a track record of profits here, it has hit turbulence. The bank has tried but failed to acquire local rivals to expand retail and consumer-lending operations. In the past month, it dismissed scores of bankers in its corporate-banking department.

Citigroup also has significantly pared down its exposure to Brazil, in credit lines and loans, in the past 18 months as a result of regional economic shocks and uncertainty about the policies of left-leaning President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Citigroup said its total cross-border outstandings, a key measure of exposure to a foreign market, fell to $6.7 billion on June 30, compared with $10.7 billion on Dec. 31, 2001.

Just last week, though, Citigroup Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer pledged to "significantly expand" the bank's presence in Brazil, citing "confidence" in the government's policies to control inflation and lower interest rates, currently 22% a year. He didn't elaborate.

Citigroup is investing in its CitiFinancial consumer-lending arm. Earlier this year, Citigroup agreed to restore 100% of credit lines that were reduced last year, a move that is expected to bring about $200 million in lines to Brazil.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on August 29, 2003

TITLE: Accounting Panel Faces Another Test with Europe 
REPORTER: Silvia Ascarelli 
DATE: Aug 21, 2003 
TOPICS: Hedging, International Accounting, International Accounting Standards Board, Derivatives

SUMMARY: The article describes the current status of the IASB's development of a new standard on derivatives and hedging. The article, and the questions herein, focus on the political nature of the accounting standards setting process.

1.) Why is the IASB trying to develop a set of standards that are broadly accepted by businesses before March 2004? What is the significance of the year 2005?

2.) Is there a mechanism to ensure compliance with IAS reporting requirements in Europe as there is in the US (via the SEC)? Explain, commenting on similarities and differences between the two systems.

3.) How is the process of establishing accounting standards subject to political pressure? In your answer, cite an example from the article and a comparison from another country, such as the US, not given in the article.

4.) Is there a problem with a system in which IASs are adopted by the European Union on a standard-by-standard basis? Explain.

5.) Can companies traded on US Exchanges use IAS reporting in filings with the SEC? Explain.

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

TITLE: Listing in the U.S.--Some Can't Be Bothered 
REPORTER: Craig Karmin 
ISSUE: Aug 21, 2003 

LONDON -- The International Accounting Standards Board, ever hopeful of bringing the entire globe under one set of rules, is again going face to face with its chief nemesis: Europe.

The IASB, an independent standard setter based in London, Thursday will announce a possible compromise on its standard for interest-rate-derivatives hedging. But it is unclear whether the new version will be enough to appease Europe's banks, which have politicians from French President Jacques Chirac to Frits Bolkestein, the head of the European Commission's internal-markets unit, on their side.

The banks, the main users of derivatives, have been pressing for changes in three areas; the IASB is compromising on one, split on a second and holding the line on the third.

The IASB is asking for reactions to its proposals, which would change an existing accounting standard known as IAS 39, through Nov. 14.

The battle is a test of the IASB's ability to create standards that are broadly accepted by business -- and do it in time for European companies to adopt the rules in 2005. To meet that deadline, the rules essentially need to be decided by March 2004.

The views of Mssrs. Chirac and Bolkestein matter because politicians have the power to derail international accounting standards -- supposed to be used by the 7,000 listed European companies -- because the European Union has retained the right to endorse individual rules that would apply within the 15-nation bloc.

Last month, the EU refused to do just that with two rules for derivatives, including an earlier version of the one being presented today, and Mr. Bolkestein warned of "growing unease concerning the standard-setting process itself."

Political interference in accounting isn't unheard of. The U.S. accounting body, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, backed down in the mid-1990s when U.S. politicians threatened to intervene on proposed rules that would have forced companies to treat share options as an expense.

Any new IASB rules won't replace rules that exist under U.S. accounting rules. FASB and the IASB are trying to converge the world's two major standards, but those for derivatives accounting are likely to be among the last and most difficult items.

This accounting battle centers on the IASB's insistence that derivatives should be valued at their fair value, rather than at cost, which is generally immaterial or even zero and is often how European companies treat them. Banks have argued that the outcome of the IASB's plan would be unnecessary volatility in their earnings and net worth, a point echoed by Mr. Chirac.

IASB Vice Chairman Tom Jones argued that the current system merely pretends that the earnings volatility doesn't exist. Trying to smooth earnings is what got Freddie Mac into trouble in the U.S., he said.

"Bank results in Europe are a fiction: No volatility, and derivatives are nonexistent," he said.

The new IASB proposal would now make it easier for banks to lump bundles of securities or loans together and hedge a fraction of the overall risk, a process known in the industry as macrohedging. This isn't allowed in the U.S., which requires companies to show the individual items being hedged. The original IASB draft had taken a similar stance.

But the body didn't give in on two other bones of contention: when banks should take a charge to earnings because hedge strategies are ineffective and whether banks can include money deposited in bank accounts that is available on demand in accounting for their hedges. The IASB argues that the money has to be treated for accounting purposes as if it could all be withdrawn the next day, although that doesn't happen in practice. It also argues that its concessions on macrohedging should help the banks accomplish similar results, and its board members have shown little willingness to budge.

"It's an issue of principle," Mr. Jones said.

The IASB said it would explain the opposing views, including those of some of its own board members on ineffective hedge strategies, in its draft proposal.

"Compared to where the positions were six months ago, the compromise is 90% there," said Terry Harding, a partner at KPMG who specializes in international accounting rules and predicted a final compromise would be reached by year-end. "I actually don't think the two positions are that far apart."

Bob Jensen's Commentary on Macro Hedge Accounting

What's new on the scene for macro (portfolio) hedge accounting or lack thereof that has caused such a stir in banks and other business firms around the world?


The battle is a test of the IASB's (International Accounting Standards Board’s) ability to create standards that are broadly accepted by business -- and do it in time for European companies to adopt the rules in 2005.

The views of Mssrs. Chirac and Bolkestein matter because politicians have the power to derail international accounting standards -- supposed to be used by the 7,000 listed European companies -- because the European Union has retained the right to endorse individual rules that would apply within the 15-nation bloc.

Last month, the EU refused to do just that with two rules (in IAS 39) for derivatives, including an earlier version of the one being presented today, and Mr. Bolkestein warned of "growing unease concerning the standard-setting process itself."


Silvia Ascarelli, “Accounting Panel Faces Another Test With Europe,”

The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2003, Page C5

In the wake of enormous accounting scandals in the past several years, great strides are being made on the following fronts:

1.       Growth in the power and prestige of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) charged with harmonization of accounting standards (financial reporting rules) in virtually all nations.  Especially important is legislation in all EU European nations to adopt IASB standards unless a particular standard or portion thereof is expressly vetoed by the EU. 

2.       Toughening of the IASB standards to conform more closely to the United States standards set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that are required of all U.S. and foreign companies listed for U.S. capital markets by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The IASB’s number one priority after its reorganization in 2003 is to toughen its financial reporting standards (rules) to a point where its standards are legally adopted in the major capital markets in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.  The major stumbling block has been the in the U.S. which now operates on a much tougher set of SEC-sanctioned FASB standards.  In the past several years, London’s IASB standards have moved ever closer to the FASB standards, and the U.S.’s FASB is working closely with the IASB toward a goal of convergence of FASB standards and IASB standards.

For the IASB, a major political hurdle in becoming the world’s standard setting body is its decision to craft its international IAS 39 standard as close as possible to the extremely complex and highly controversial U.S. FAS 133 standard on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities.  FAS 133 is comprised of over 500 pages of complicated rules and jargon on accounting for financial risk in derivative securities that now comprise trillions of dollars of financial speculation and hedging worldwide.  After FAS 133 was issued by the FASB in the United States, the IASB issued its own international IAS 39 which closely conforms with FAS 133.  IAS 39 is currently shaking the foundations of the future of harmonization of accounting standards in Europe. And FAS 133 is widely despised by most U.S. business firms and virtually all banking firms.

In order to avoid wild fluctuations in earnings for financial hedges when implementing these standards, there are enormous incentives to qualify for hedge accounting under FAS 133 in the U.S. and IAS 39 elsewhere in the world.  My leave proposal focuses upon the largest complaint of all about FAS 133 and IAS 39, i.e., the complaint that the new standards do not allow macro hedge accounting for most portfolios of hedged items.   Banks and other business firms are extremely vocal that the standards just do not conform to how firms traditionally manage financial risk by macro hedging in practice.  

FAS 133/IAS 39 hedge accounting for affords some relief for qualified hedge derivatives by offsetting changes in value of the hedge contract with entries that reduce wild fluctuations in earnings.  For example, changes in value of qualified cash flow hedges are offset with entries to Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) rather than current earnings to the extent that the hedges are effective.  Relief is also provided for qualifying fair value hedges in somewhat more complicated offsets.  The bottom line is that virtually all firms that hedge hope that those hedges will also qualify for hedge accounting treatment under the new standards.   Hopefully, my research will make it possible for more and more macro hedges to become qualified for favorable hedge accounting.  I hope to develop both a theoretical justification for this and a practical means of doing so for certain types of macro hedges.

Among the many possible reasons failing to qualify for desired hedge accounting relief is the frequent disallowance of hedge accounting for non-homogeneous portfolios being macro hedged in practice.  For example, to obtain hedge accounting for most loan portfolios, banks must now write a hedging contract for each loan in the portfolio.  Making banks hedge each loan is tantamount to having to write a hedging contract for each apple in a warehouse rather than for subsets of apples in portfolio groupings.   

For more than a century, a schism exists between investors wanting financial statements based upon current values of assets and liabilities versus business firms that prefer historical cost-based accounting that generally reports less volatility, often misleading volatility, in reported earnings and other accounting numbers.  Age old controversies in theory and in practice were recently exacerbated by the new FAS 133/IAS 39 requirements to book derivative financial instruments at fair values (mark-to-market).  Derivative instruments literally exploded in popularity and complexity in the 1990s.  For example, interest rate swaps weren’t even invented until 1984, but in the 1990s they exploded to trillions of dollars of transactions worldwide for purposes of cash management and financial risk management.  Before FAS 133, derivative instrument swaps were not booked or otherwise reported in financial statements.  FAS 133 shocked the business world by requiring that all derivative contracts, including both speculative and hedging swap contracts and forward contracts, be booked at value and adjusted to changed value on all reporting dates.  Values shift so dramatically that a derivative contract can be an asset one day and a liability the next day.  Except in the case of purchased options, derivative risks can be unbounded.

Derivative financial instruments are difficult to define in simple terms.  Essentially they are contracts that derive their value from movements of prices or other indices rather than having inherent ownership of a tangible item.  Many derivatives have zero initial value that changes dramatically over time.  For example, ownership of General Motors stock or corn in a field has inherent value initially and remains a relatively valuable asset while being owned. In contrast, a derivative contract (such as a forward, futures, swap, or option contract) to buy/sell GM stock or corn at some future date at a forward/strike contracted price does not derive inherent value from ownership of an asset in the usual sense of ownership.  It is a contract that can be an enormous asset in one day and change into an enormous liability the next day.  A derivative contract derives its value from the difference between the forward/strike contracted price and the current value at the date of settlement.  When derivative contracts are eventually settled, they are most often settled in cash.  There may never be any actual possession of an asset such as GM stock or corn. 

Derivative contracts may entail millions of dollars worth of “vapor” rather than hard assets prior to settlement dates, but that vapor can be real in terms of financial value and risk.    Many investors view derivatives transacting as little more than legalized gambling, but business firms find derivatives to be increasingly useful in hedging risk.  For example, farmers often use derivatives to lock in prices long before crops are harvested.  Banks and other firms use them to hedge interest rate fluctuations.  International businesses use derivative contracts to hedge foreign exchange fluctuations.  It was recently reported that derivatives transacting in foreign currency was more profitable to Daimler Chrysler than automobile sales.  Derivatives are becoming ever more important in the world of finance and accounting.

Like a smoking volcano, the current value versus historical cost debate erupted once again in the early 1990s after several billion dollar scandals (e.g., Orange County in California) attributed to complex derivatives contracts that were not even disclosed under accounting rules at the time.  Both size and frequency of these and related scandals created immense political pressure to book derivative instruments whether or not they are speculations or hedges.  The problem with derivatives is that in most instances such as forward, futures, and swap contracts, the historical cost is initially zero and changing value in a matter of days or even hours can shift by millions or billions of dollars upward or downward.  Historical cost accounting for derivatives is tantamount to not allowing derivative contracts to affect reported value and earnings.  In contrast, reporting derivatives at current value may create giant fluctuations in earnings, assets, and liabilities that are unrealized and may in fact never be realized in hedging situations.  One of the reasons for such large fluctuations is that derivative values often change disproportionately to changes in market prices and/or interest rates since these contracts are so highly leveraged.

FAS 133 and its IAS 39 international counterpart set many arbitrary “bright lines” that dictate how and when derivatives can receive advantageous hedge accounting for qualified effective hedges to somewhat mitigate giant fluctuations in reported earnings.  These bright lines have also had unintended and non-neutral consequences.  For example, current FAS 133 rules require booking of insurance contracts that transfer more than 50% of the risk.  Many contracts are now written to transfer up to 49.99% but remain below the 50% bright line in order to avoid a FAS 133 and IAS 39 booking that will adversely affect reported earnings.  FAS 133 and IAS 39, like all other accounting standards, are intended to be score keeping standards that in theory should be neutral with respect to business decision making.  However, in practice our latest score keeping rules change how the games are coached and played. 

To the IASB’s recent dismay, certain key aspects of FAS 133 incorporated in the international IAS 39 standard have riled European banks and other EU businesses to a point where, for the first time, there is a serious political movement underway in Europe to veto acceptance of a portion of an IASB standard in the EU.  A news article in the August 21, 2003 edition of The Wall Street Journal on Page C5 reads as follows:

This accounting battle centers on the IASB's insistence that derivatives should be valued at their fair value, rather than at cost, which is generally immaterial or even zero and is often how European companies treat them. Banks have argued that the outcome of the IASB's plan would be unnecessary volatility in their earnings and net worth, a point echoed by Mr. Chirac.

IASB Vice Chairman Tom Jones argued that the current system merely pretends that the earnings volatility doesn't exist. Trying to smooth earnings is what got Freddie Mac into trouble in the U.S., he said.

"Bank results in Europe are a fiction: No volatility, and derivatives are nonexistent (at least appearing to be nonexistent in financial statements)," he said.

The new IASB proposal (compromise) would now make it easier for banks to lump bundles of securities or loans together and hedge a fraction of the overall risk, a process known in the industry as macro hedging. This isn't allowed in the U.S., which requires (in FAS 133) companies to show the individual items being hedged. The original IASB draft had taken a similar stance.

But the body didn't give in on two other bones of contention: when banks should take a charge to earnings because hedge strategies are ineffective and whether banks can include money deposited in bank accounts that is available on demand in accounting for their hedges. The IASB argues that the money has to be treated for accounting purposes as if it could all be withdrawn the next day, although that doesn't happen in practice. It also argues that its concessions on macro hedging should help the banks accomplish similar results, and its board members have shown little willingness to budge.

It’s highly unfortunate that the proposed macro hedging compromise of IAS 39 mentioned above puts the IASB international standard on a somewhat non-divergent course with the FASB/SEC in the United States.   The FASB currently shows no interest to date in compromising FAS 133 with respect to macro hedging, although the complaints of the European companies apply to U.S. firms as well.  Two paragraphs from FAS 133 from the FASB are quoted below:

Paragraph 448.
The Board (FASB) considered alternative approaches that would require amortizing the hedge accounting adjustments to earnings based on the average holding period, average maturity or duration of the items in the hedged portfolio, or in some other manner that would not allocate adjustments to the individual items in the hedged portfolio. The Board rejected those approaches because determining the carrying amount for an individual item when it is (a) impaired or (b) sold, settled, or otherwise removed from the hedged portfolio would ignore its related hedge accounting adjustment, if any. Additionally, it was not clear how those approaches would work for certain portfolios, such as a portfolio of equity securities.

Paragraph 449.
Advocates of macro hedging generally believe that it is a more effective and efficient way of managing an entity's risk than hedging on an individual-item basis. Macro hedging seems to imply a notion of entity-wide risk reduction. The Board also believes that permitting hedge accounting for a portfolio of dissimilar items would be appropriate only if risk were required to be assessed on an entity-wide basis. As discussed in paragraph 357, the Board decided not to
include entity-wide risk reduction as a criterion for hedge accounting.

Although the FASB has not made any moves that I know of to loosen restrictions on macro hedging to make FAS 133 conform more closely to how firms manage risk by hedging portfolios rather than individual items, the IASB’s new Exposure Draft of the macro hedging compromise is entitled “Amendments to IAS 39:  Recognition and Measurement Fair Value Hedge Accounting for a Portfolio Hedge of Interest Rate” and for a short time can be downloaded free from

It should be noted that this IAS 39 compromise is extremely narrow and does not apply to cash flow hedging or other types of hedging other than interest rate hedges.


Bob Jensen provides a portal of helpers for understanding and applying FAS 133 and IAS 39 --- 


Say What?  Headlines forwarded by Paula.

Best (actual) newspaper headlines of 2002

1. Crack Found on Governor's Daughter

2. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

3. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

4. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

5. Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

6. Prostitutes Appeal to Pope

7. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

8. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

9. Miners Refuse to Work after Death

10. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

11. War Dims Hope for Peace

12. If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

13. Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

14. Enfield Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

15. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

16. Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

17. Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

18. New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

19. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

20. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

21. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

22. Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Also forwarded by Paula

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone!!!!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.

Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes..

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windshield.

Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

We are born naked, wet, and hungry, and get slapped on the ass...then things get worse.

Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday...around age 11.

Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Selling Really Tacky Stuff 
Disturbing Auctions --- 

If you've ever been rejected for admission by a college, it might have been because your essay was lousy. If you feel that was the case, you might want to read this particular college application essay from Harper's.  Actually, yer parents are probibly responsable for you're failure to wright good.

I wish more of my students used MIT students as a role model --- 

MIT's condom advice --- for girl's only --- 

Sexual behavior varies among professions --- 

What part of a male is most like a computer? --- 

Drinking Toasts (some are X rated, but the others are cute) --- 

Forwarded by Bob Overn who does not live in Texas to Bob Jensen who works in Texas but now lives in New Hampshire.  Some of this would have sounded better before Alaska was admitted at a State.

When you're from Texas, people that you meet ask you questions like, "Do you have any cows?" "Do you have horses?" "Bet you got a bunch of guns, eh?" They all want to know if you've been to Southfork. They watched Dallas.

Have you ever looked at a map of the world? Look at Texas with me just for a second. That picture, with the Panhandle and the Gulf Coast, and the Red River and the Rio Grande is as much a part of you as anything ever will be. As soon as anyone anywhere in the world looks at it they know what it is. It's Texas.

Pick any kid off the street in Japan and draw him a picture of Texas in the dirt and he'll know what it is. What happens if I show you a picture of any other state? You might get it maybe after a second or two, but who else would? And even if you do, does it ever stir any feelings in you?

In every man, woman and child on this planet , there is a person who wishes just once he could be a real live Texan and get up on a horse or ride in a pickup. There is some bit of Texas in everyone. Did y! ou ever hear anyone in a bar go, " you're from Iowa? Cool, tell me about it?"

Do you know why? Because there's no place like Texas.

Texas is the Alamo. Texas is 183 men standing in a church, facing thousands of Mexican nationals, fighting for freedom, who had the chance to walk out and save themselves, but stayed instead to fight and die for the cause of freedom.

We send our kids to schools named William B. Travis and James Bowie and Crockett and do you know why? Because those men saw a line in the sand and they decided to cross it and be heroes. John Wayne paid to do the movie himself. That is the Spirit of Texas.

Texas is Sam Houston capturing Santa Ana at San Jacinto. Texas is Juneteenth and Texas Independence Day. Texas is huge forests of Piney Woods like the Davy Crockett National Forest. Texas is breathtaking mountains in the Big Bend. Texas is the unparalleled beauty of bluebonnet fields in the Texas Hill Country. Texas is the beautiful, warm beaches of the Gulf Coast of South Texas and Texas is the shiny skyscrapers in Houston and Dallas.

Texas is world record bass from places like Lake Fork. Texas is Mexican food like nowhere else, not even Mexico. Texas is the Fort Worth Stockyards, Bass Hall, and the Astrodome. Texas is larger-than-life legends like Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Landry, Dar rell Roy al, ZZ Top, Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Nolan Ryan, Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey, Sam Rayburn, George Bush, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George W. Bush.

"FREEDOM is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity." George W. Bush 1-2003--St of the Nation Address

Texas is great companies like Dell Computer, Texas Instruments and Compaq. Texas is NASA. Texas is huge herds of cattle and miles of crops. Texas is skies blackened with doves, and fields full of deer. Texas is a place where cities shut down to watch the local High School Football game on Friday nights and for the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, and NIOSA River Parade in San Antonio. Texas is ocean beaches, deserts, lakes and rivers, mountains and prairies, and modern cities. If it isn't in Texas, you don't need it. No one does anything bigger or better than it's done in Texas.

By federal law, Texas is the only state in the U.S. that can fly its flag at the same height as the U.S. flag. Think about that for a second. You fly the Stars and Stripes at 20 feet in Maryland, California, or Maine and your state flag, whatever it is, goes at 17 feet. You fly the Stars and Stripes in front of Pine Tree High in Longview at 20 feet, the Lone Star flies at the same height - 20 feet.

Do you know why?

Because it is the only state that was a republic before it became a state, that is the reason I was taught. Also, being a Texan is as high as being an American down here.

The Texas capitol is the only one in the country that is taller than the capitol building in Washington, D.C. and we can divide our state into five states if we want to! We included these things as part of the deal when we came on. That's the best part right there.

And that's the way it was on August 29, 2003 with a little help from my friends.


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

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