New Bookmarks
Year 2004 Quarter 1:  January 1-March 31 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
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.

Once again Trinity University receives a top ranking ---


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Choose a Date Below for Additions to the Bookmarks File

March 11, 2004          March 1, 2004     

February 20, 2004      February 10, 2004     

January 31, 2004       January 20, 2004     


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March 11, 2004

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on March 11, 2004
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

This is a great Iraq War News Blog with archives ---
“... w
e will not relent until your country is free.” President Bush  

Quotes of the Week

I dedicate this edition to my enemies who have helped me so much in my career.
Camilo José Cela

Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure in life.
Charles Frohman

Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content.
Paul Valéry

A fruitful conversation springs only from minds absorbed in reinforcing their own confusion.
Emil Cioran

My concern is not to know whether I am great or not, rather whether I am developing as a person with every day that passes.
Eduardo Chillida

I firmly reserve the right to contradict myself.
Paul Claudel

Limited expectations yield only limited results.
Susan Laurson Willig as quoted by Mark Shapiro at 

To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. 
Theodore Roosevelt as quoted recently in an email message from Ceil Pillsbury

Especially a neighbor with perpetually barking dogs.
It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
Eric Hoffer

Future wars will be fought over the issue of survival (especially with adverse weather) rather than religion, ideology or national honor.
"Key findings of the Pentagon," Guardian, February 22, 2004 ---,12374,1153547,00.html 

A Woman in Georgia was once sentenced for seven years after taking a chair from the porch of a vacant house.
The Association of Defense Lawyers wrote the following in a lobbying letter --- 
Note that a $1 million theft may ultimately get you “41-51” months.

The incremental increases in offense levels at the higher end of the consolidated theft and fraud table instituted via the ECP significantly exceed those of their previous separate tables. For example, a $1 million loss in year 2000, even with application of the more than minimal planning offense characteristic, would result in a 30-37 month sentencing range; in contrast, the same offender after the implementation of the ECP loss tables is subject to a 41-51 month range, an approximately 25% increase. Thus, the upward trend will accelerate over the next few years as the sentence increases built into the ECP begin to take effect.
For more of this March 17, 2003 lobbying letter go to 
Bob Jensen's threads on white collar crime leniency are at 

Granted, there are a few parents who support the school's endeavor to provide a rigorous, challenging curriculum. Unfortunately, these parents are few and far between. In over ten years of teaching high school in California, I have encountered two or three such parents. Most parents of high school students, however, appear to believe that their proper role is to defend their children against the school.
Elise Vogler, "Stop Teaching My Kid" --- 

"Poetry, like love, depends on a kind of recognition. So often with Duffy does the reader say, 'Yes, that's it exactly,' that she could well become the representative poet of the present day." 
Sean O'Brien in the Sunday Times
See Carol Ann Duffy's Home Page --- 

That's the bottom line: The war has begun, and the telecom, cable, and related industries may be about to enter the bloodiest battle in their history.
Olga Kharif, Business Week, March 2, 2004 --- 

Forwarded on March 2, 2004 by Ed Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss, it seems fitting to revisit his insight into peer review and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board:

Oh, the jobs people work at!
Out west, near Hawtch-Hawtch,
there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-Watcher.
His job is to watch...
is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee.
A bee that is watched will work harder, you see.

Well...he watched and he watched.
But, in spite of his watch,
that bee didn’t work any harder. Not Mawtch.

So somebody said,
“Our old-bee-watching man
just isn’t bee-watching as hard as he can.
He ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher!
The thing that we need
is a Bee-Watcher-Watcher!”


The Bee-Watcher-Watcher watched the Bee-Watcher.
He didn’t watch well. So another Hawtch-Hawtcher
had to come in as a Watch-Watcher-Watcher!
And today all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch
are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering-Watch,
Watch-Watching the Watcher who’s watching the bee.
You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher. You’re lucky, you see!


Reply from Barbara Scofield [scofield_b@UTPB.EDU

I use the video of Horton Hears a Who in my class in Professional Ethics to talk about accountability and corporate ethical programs. Horton and the Mayor only save Who-ville by getting "a very small, very small shirker named Jo-Jo" to get with the rest of the town and "YOPP." "And their whole world was saved by the Smallest of All!"

Barbara W. Scofield

On the Serious Side
A Must-Read For Updates in Finance, Economics, and the Scandals (tons of links)
Jim Maher's Update on trials, Greenspan on everything!, Much new research, Economy and energy prices climb, and much more! 
FinanceProfessor News February 27, 2004 --- 

March 8, 2004 message from neil glass [
Note that you can download the first chapter of his book for free.  The book may be purchased as an eBook or hard copy.

Dr. Jensen,

I just came across your website and was pleased to find you talk about some of the frauds and other problems I reveal in my latest book. If you had a moment, you might be amused to look at my website where I am trying to attract some attention to my book Rip-Off: The scandalous inside story of the Management Consulting Money Machine.

best wishes

neil glass

The link is 

Bob Jensen's links to related books on fraud are at 

Bob Jensen's January-March 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

On the Lighter Side
Martha Stewart's New Magazine and Her Latest Products --- 
Martha's Latest Press Cartoons --- 
Bob Jensen's scandal humor --- 

The Tragedy of Jacqueline Saburido

I checked to see if this is a hoax fund raiser. Unfortunately, it appears to be for real.  The PowerPoint show should be shown in all driver's education courses and to all persons arrested for drunk driving.

Check out 

The above site has a link to download the horrific PowerPoint show.

Auntie Bev sent the pictures to me, and I found the above link by using Google.

A citation guide for Internet sources ---  
Note the links under the words “ East Tennessee State University .”

Of course the huge problem is that Internet links get broken quite often.  It is very important to give other details such as the name and address of the authors, journal reference specifics, publisher address, etc. 


A major problem arises when they are permanently deleted to create storage space on the server for newer items.


A major problem arises when the path to a particular document is changed without providing a new path at the old site.


A major problem, especially in Bob Jensen's Web documents, is that the link may be the same but the content is being continuously updated and otherwise revised.  


How Stuff Works!
How Income Taxes Work (including history) ---
IRS --- 
Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at  
How Web Pages Work --- 
How Internet Infrastructure Works --- 
Protect yourself with a cookie jar --- 
Stay Safe Online --- 
How Internet citations work ---
Long URL's can be shorted by using SnipURL (this is neat) ---    
How Computer Things Work (including buying guides) --- 
Bob Jensen's computing bookmarks --- 
How E-commerce Works --- 
Bob Jensen's threads are at 
How government works
FirstGov at   
Yahoo Government --- 
Yahoo Regional --- 
How electronic stuff works --- 
How mortgage stuff works --- 
Bob Jensen's helpers for mortgages are at 
How Buying a Car Works --- 
Bob Jensen helpers for buying real estate and vehicles --- 
Beyond Martha Stewart
How home stuff works --- 
How health things work --- 
How Cholesterol Works --- 
How travel stuff works --- 
How Frequent Flier Programs Work (or don't work) --- 
Bob Jensen's travel helpers are at 
How Entertainment Stuff Works ---
Yahoo Entertainment --- 
Yahoo Recreation and Sports --- 
Bob Jensen's entertainment helpers ---  .edu
How science stuff works --- 
Yahoo Science --- 
Yahoo Social Science --- 
Yahoo Science and Culture --- 
How education/learning stuff works --- 
Bob Jensen's threads on learning assessment --- 
U.S. Department of Education --- 

From Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2004, Page 27 --- 

A Forecast for the Future
CPAs will want to check out this Web site to find free tools for corporate budgeting and forecasting. Users can build forecasts using the formulas found here for free. They then can use the results on their individual balance sheets or income statements and copy the results directly to their spreadsheets or word processors.
Also see 

Nix Pop-Up Ads
Web users tired of disruptive automatic ads can get rid of most of them by downloading this Google toolbar to their browsers. In addition to blocking pop-ups, it features an Autofill button, which eliminates the need to retype personal information into e-forms such as those in e-commerce checkouts.

Terms Explained
CPAs who need help deciphering “lawyerspeak” can find concise definitions of legal terminology at this e-stop as well as the meaning of general business terms such as bankruptcy.
Need to know the difference between an act of God and an act of nature? The legal terms section of this online business dictionary defines them as one and the same. The Commerce Database categorizes words into separate business and legal dictionaries: The business one offers categories such as accounting.
This Web site offers visitors short definitions for technical terminology such as, for example, cable modem. Also users can find brief explanations of acronyms for high-speed Internet concepts such as DSL—digital subscriber line.
CPAs interested in legal topics such as bankruptcy, civil rights, employment, labor and tax laws can find various terms explained in the articles section for each category at this Web stop. In addition visitors can register for free monthly newsletters on bankruptcy, employment, family and tax law.

Also see FindLaw --- 

Also see Legal Information Databases ---  

Bob Jensen's links to glossaries are at 

Bob Jensen's search helpers --- 

Bob Jensen's helpers for small businesses and small accounting firms (including expert witness links) ---  

Bob Jensen's Threads on Professional Practice, Fees, Choosing Accountants, Financial Advisors, and Consultants --- 

Services Offered by Professional Accounting Firms (including how to find them) --- 

There is an enormous problem of assuming that students who wrote high evaluations of any course actually learned more than high performing students who hated the course.  Happiness and learning are two different things.

Reasons why students often prefer online courses may have little or nothing to do with actual learning.  At the University of North Texas where students can sometimes choose between an onsite or an online section of a course, some students just preferred to be able to take a course in their pajamas --- 
Some off-campus students prefer to avoid the hassle and time consumed driving to campus and spending a huge amount of time searching for parking.  Some Mexico City students claim that they can save over five hours a day in commuting time, which is time made free for studying (Jim Parnell, Texas A&M, in partnership with Monterrey Tech, deliver an ALN Web MBA Program in Mexico City) --- 

In general, comparisons of onsite versus online test and grade performance will tend to show "no differences" among good students, because good students learn the material under varying circumstances.  Differences are more noteworthy in weaker students or students who tend to drop courses, but there is a huge instructor effect that is difficult to factor out of such studies. For more on this, go to 

Online Learning Styles

Here are a few links of possible interest with regard to student evaluations and online learning styles.  In some cases you may have to contact the presenters to get copies of their papers.

Probably the best place to start is with the Journal of Asynchronous Learning ---

For example, one of the archived articles is entitled “"Identifying Student Attitudes and Learning Styles in Distance Education" in the September 2001 edition ---

Three opinion types were identified in this study: Students who identified with issues of Time and Structure in Learning, Social Interaction in Learning, and Convenience in Learning. These opinions can be used to aid educators in reaching their students and increasing the effectiveness of their online courses. At UIC, this insight had direct application to the evolution of course materials. Early application of technology merely supplied a web site on which were posted syllabus, readings and assignments. No opportunity existed for conferencing; thus, there existed no opportunity for social learning. In a subsequent semester, conferencing software was made available to the class, in addition to the website. Thus, the opportunity was added for social learning. The faculty learned, however, that every time a new technology was added, it experienced an increase in the level of effort necessary to support the student. Ultimately, the University made available a course management system, which significantly streamlined the effort on the part of faculty to make course materials available to the student. The system provides through a single URL the student's access to course materials, discussion forums, virtual groups and chat, testing, grades, and electronic communication.

This study is qualitative and confined to University of Illinois at Chicago graduate and undergraduate students. The three opinion types identified through this study, however, correlate closely with results reported in the literature. All three groups of students, representing the three opinion types, shared a belief in the importance of being able to work at home. The studies of Richards and Ridley [9] and Hiltz [10] described flexibility and convenience as both reasons students enrolled in online courses and as the perception of students once enrolled. On the other hand, all three groups of students thought unimportant the need to pay home phone bills incurred in online education, whereas Bee [13] found that students felt the university should provide financial assistance to offset the associated costs of going online. There is evidence in the literature (viz., studies by Guernsey [8] and Larson [18]) that support the opinion identified in this study of the need by some students for face-to-face interaction. Since none of the students taking the Q-sort had ever taken an online course, they were unaware of the opportunities provided by technology [8,10] to potentially increase individual attention from instructors above that normal in face-to-face course offerings. Since no post-enrollment Q-sorts were administered, there was no way to tell whether students continued to hold that opinion, or whether that opinion has changed. It is anticipated that even if the Q-set were administered to a larger number of students, similar viewpoints would still emerge.

The authors wondered whether there was an association between the opinion set held by the student and his or her learning style. Preliminary data using the Canfield Learning Styles Inventory [27] show that the factor one group--Time and Structure in Learning--exhibited a much higher than expected proportion of independent learners. (74% of the students who had high factor loadings on factor one were also classified as independent learners. This difference was significant Z = 3.00, p < .025.) One might be tempted to hypothesize a relationship between being an independent learner and having the time and structure opinion of technology and education. Similarly, one might also expect that individuals who had high factor loadings for factor two (Social Factors in Learning) would be more likely classified as social learners. Further research is necessary to understand how learning styles contribute to the experience of online education.

There is a movement in both education and business to harness the power of the World Wide Web to disseminate information. Educators and researchers, aware of this technological paradigm shift, must become invested in understanding the interactions of students and computing. The field of human-computer interface design, as applied to interaction of students in online courses, is ripe for research in the area of building better virtual learning communities (thus addressing the needs of the social learner) without overwhelming the ability of the independent learner to excel on his or her own.


Learning and Teaching Styles (Australia) --- 

Online Learning Styles ---  

Adapting a Course to Different Learning Styles --- 

FasTrak Consulting --- 

VARK Questionnaire --- 

Selected professors  ---

 JCU Study Skills ---

Cross-Cultural Considerations --- 

"How Do People Learn," Sloan-C Review, February 2004 --- 

Like some of the other well known cognitive and affective taxonomies, the Kolb figure illustrates a range of interrelated learning activities and styles beneficial to novices and experts. Designed to emphasize reflection on learners’ experiences, and progressive conceptualization and active experimentation, this kind of environment is congruent with the aim of lifelong learning. Randy Garrison points out that:

From a content perspective, the key is not to inundate students with information. The first responsibility of the teacher or content expert is to identify the central idea and have students reflect upon and share their conceptions. Students need to be hooked on a big idea if learners are to be motivated to be reflective and self-directed in constructing meaning. Inundating learners with information is discouraging and is not consistent with higher order learning . . . Inappropriate assessment and excessive information will seriously undermine reflection and the effectiveness of asynchronous learning. 

Reflection on a big question is amplified when it enters collaborative inquiry, as multiple styles and approaches interact to respond to the challenge and create solutions. In How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, John Bransford and colleagues describe a legacy cycle for collaborative inquiry, depicted in a figure by Vanderbilt University researchers  (see image, lower left).

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen has some related (oft neglected) comments about learning at 

Bob Jensen's threads on online learning styles can be found at 


From MIT's Emerging Technologies on March 10, 2004


Productivity's Technology Iceberg
Productivity may be economists' single most important statistic. Productivity determines the ultimate success of companies; it is the source of the wealth of nations; and it is the key to our standard of living. From the 1970s into the 1990s, U.S. labor productivity grew by barely 1.4 percent a year. Many economists thought it would be stuck at that level forever. Fortunately, the growth rate jumped to more than 2.5 percent in 1995 and has averaged more than 4 percent since 2001. MIT productivity expert Erik Brynjolfsson writes that this boom is rooted in a revolution in the way American companies apply information technology. However, he warns, organizations that sit back and wait—assuming that technology alone will quickly or automatically introduce gains—are setting themselves up for failure.

Film Promises Terabit Storage
Researchers in China have recorded marks as small as 1.1 nanometers in a single-molecule-thick film of organic material. Such tiny marks could yield a storage medium that packs the equivalent of more than 250 DVDs worth of data into each square centimeter.

"Where the Net is Headed in 2004," Alex Salkever, Business Week, December 23, 2004 --- 

Everyone Guns for Google

Microsoft (MSFT ) has already made it known that it's planning to invest massively to build its own search engine. It has even started hiring key personnel from Overture, among other places. Yahoo! (YHOO ) is doing the same, having snapped up Overture as well key assets of search companies AltaVista and FAST.

However, a new wave of startups is also taking aim at Google -- as well as at Yahoo, the two search leaders (see BW Online, 12/16/03, "Google Here, There, and Everywhere"). Kanoodle provides paid-search placement technology that it claims is better than Google's or Overture's. Groxis, a search tool that works as a desktop application, has just launched with Google clearly in its sights. Vivante, a new entrant aimed at giving surfers better geographically specific search capabilities, is tuning up for battle. And Ask Jeeves has improved up its Teoma search engine to the point where it's a very solid Google competitor.

More competition is on the way as venture capitalists are throwing money at search startups. That's no surprise, considering the eye-popping $15 billion pre-IPO valuation that Google-watchers are placing on the company. Google is a tempting target, and it'll draw an increasing number of competitors in the coming year.

Your Cable Company Is Your Phone Company

The Baby Bells that provide local phone service to most of America are in a nasty fix. They rely on old-style phone technology for the majority of their revenues. Yet Americans will begin cutting that local cord in droves in 2004. Instead, they'll opt for wireless phones or Internet-based calling (known as voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP). Wireless number portability now lets mobile customers take their number from plan to plan, making cell phones far more attractive as a full-time replacement for land lines.

At the same time, VoIP has soared in quality. And a host of cable and big long-distance companies are set to offer it to tens of millions of local customers. To fight back, the Bells are going to have spend big bucks to further upgrade their already outdated DSL broadband networks. To date, they've spent close to the bare minimum to compete with cable.

Now the moment of truth is coming, and if they don't improve their networks enough to deliver, say, a viable video service, they'll be toast. Otherwise, they'll have to somehow support an incredibly expensive legacy network mainly by selling Internet access, a service that's rapidly becoming a near-freebie offering from competitors.

Wi-Fi: Wait Til Next Year

Everyone expects 2004 to be the year that Wi-Fi finally hits the mainstream. Intel (INTC ) is busily building Wi-Fi into every laptop it makes. And announcements of public Wi-Fi hotspot networks are coming fast and furious.

Too bad it's still a technology not quite ready for prime time. Installing Wi-Fi nodes at home remains a big problem because configuration isn't always intuitive, and many people get frustrated with what they thought would be a plug-and-play system. Also, they have concerns about the security of data passing over wireless networks, and setting up even the most basic security isn't as easy as it should be.

What's more, services offering hotspot networks for paying subscribers are still glitchy at best and totally awful at worst. All of these things should improve quickly as phone companies and wireless providers roll out their networks and slowly start to work out the same problems that originally plagued DSL access when it launched in the late 1990s. But if you're expecting 2004 to be the year of Wi-Fi, you'll be in for a disappointment.

The International Digital Divide Shrinks

In December, the U.N. held its first annual Internet Summit in Geneva. The event drew 12,000 attendees from 150 nations. The main goal was to discuss the Net's future governance and how the developed world could help the developing world close the digital divide.

Many delegates had beefs with how the U.S. now dominates Internet governance. Others proposed that the developed world set up funds to assist poorer countries in getting wired. But on the eve of the summit, the International Telecommunications Union released its first World Telecommunication Development Report, which examined Internet access and other communications trends -- and came up with some surprising results.

Most important: that the digital divide in the developing world has been grossly overstated. The study found that Net usage in Lima, Peru, alone actually eclipsed government estimates for usage in the entire country. And in Jamaica, user surveys pegged Net penetration at 23% of the population vs. the government's estimate of 5%. The discrepancies came from the complete lack of real research into this area. Governments had given estimates floated from headquarters with no field studies to back them up.

This points to the rapid disappearance of the digital divide in terms of barebones Internet access. In 2004 as the technologies that provide this access become cheaper and telecom and data transport costs remain very low, an increasing percentage of the world's population will get a chance to at least surf the Web. Much of this will be driven by Internet cafés, a wonderful way to provide cheap access and distribute the costs of the computers and bandwidth.

None of this is to say developed nations shouldn't help erase what remains of divide even more quickly. But it's heartening that the Net's basic qualities have made it also totally adaptable for both the rich and the poor.

And That's Not All...

Of course, loads of other interesting things are in store for the Internet next year. Digital music downloads should hit the mainstream, while America Online (TWX ) hits the skids due to the proliferation of low-cost dial-up Net access. Microsoft will likely struggle with more viruses. True, that's no revelation, but...expect the period between vulnerability revelation and malicious code that attacks it to shrink.

Here's one thing that's certain: The coming year will bring many more changes to the Internet compared to the past few years. That seems inevitable given how many more people will be using it, the key court cases coming down the pike that could affect it, and more capital investments and startups now looking at it as a rejuvenated source of income. Here's hoping that your 2004, both online and off, is a safe and healthy one.

"Leading-Edge Technology Trends," by Peter Cohan, Financial Executive, March/April 2004, Page 70

Since March 2000, a change in the way technology is financed has changed the way it is bought and sold--money for technology is not "free" anymore.  With cash scarce, companies are looking to squeeze more performance out of lower IT budgets.  Technology vendors that offer cost-cutting tools--like VolP, Linux and outsourcing firms--are taking a growing share of these dwindling budgets.  This dynamic will produce the following 12 technology trends through 2004:

  1. Convergence of cable and telecom industry services.
  2. Targeting digital advertising to consumers who are skilled at avoiding it.
  3. Shakeout among medium-sized software companies.
  4. Pressure to squeeze higher performance from lower-cost IT infrastructure.
  5. Chine will continue to emerge as an important market for IT, but it must be approached cautiously.
  6. Spam avoidance as a major venture investment opportunity.
  7. Industry-wide focus on security.
  8. Linux as an emerging standard.
  9. Outsourcing IT will continue.
  10. IT suppliers will learn to sell products that solve real business problems and generate tangible investment returns.
  11. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is likely to fall short of the hype.
  12. Wi-Fi growth will continue.

"Whither the Stock Option? by Ira Kay, Financial Executive, March/April 2004, pp. 46-49 --- 

  While stock options lose more luster as executive motivators, compensation committees face challenges, including selecting other forms of stock incentives.

   During the late 1990s, companies issued billions of dollars worth of stock options to motivate their employees. Those days are likely over, for a variety of reasons, including potential new rules requiring companies to expense them. But getting the best out of executives through other forms of stock incentives - including actual ownership - will no doubt continue, according to a recent study of executive compensation conducted by Watson Wyatt.

   Indeed, stock options' best days may be behind them - not just because they will soon have to be expensed, but because institutional investors are increasingly worried about them. Moreover, there is perennial concern over perceptions of excessive CEO pay and disconnects between pay and performance. Finally, there is the crisis in governance created by corporate accounting standards and a gap between the cost and value of options created when a company's future accounting cost of stock options exceeds their value to employees.

   These factors do not appear to be lessening in importance and have already resulted in a huge drop in the value of options granted to employees. From 2001 to 2002, the value of stock option grants at major companies fell by 29 percent, from $139.6 billion to $99.6 billion.

   When data for 2003 becomes available, it will likely show a further decline of 10 percent to 15 percent from 2002. The magnitude of this drop cannot be overstated: the only other event in the history of executive compensation as important is the sharp increase in executive pay levels that took place during the 1990s. However, the recent bull market has softened this trend, as 2004 values are expected to be up from 2003.

   Some analysts believe that the decline in option value was caused entirely by stock price declines - for example, a company granting one million stock options at $30 in 2001 and one million at $20 in 2002. Other things being equal, their value would have declined by 33 percent, solely due to stock price movement. But this is not what happened. In fact, declines in both stock price and the number of stock options granted are responsible.

   For the average company, the 29 percent total decline in stock options value cited above came about as a result of a 20 percent decline in the average number of stock options granted to all employees, from 7.6 million to 6.1 million, and a 16 percent decline in the average value per option, from $17.25 to $14.50, almost entirely due to stock prices falling.

Options Reflected in Stock Prices

   Consistent with findings in a prior study, investors consider stock option expenses as real expenses, even if reported only in the footnotes. As expected for a bear market year, the relationship was negative: those with the highest option expenses in 2002 had the lowest total returns to shareholders (stock price appreciation plus dividends). Dividing up the 998 major companies in the recent Watson Wyatt study into three groups, the companies with the lowest option expenses - those with a 2002 expense of $266 per employee - had total return of negative 4.3 percent. Those in the highest expense group, with a 2002 expense of $3,997 per employee, had a total return of negative 12.4 percent.

Pay and Performance Linked

   Another important finding is that pay and performance are strongly linked. Analysis shows a strong, positive relationship between company performance and executive compensation levels. For example, companies whose CEOs had higher total pay opportunities from 1998 to 2002, as measured by their total direct compensation over the five years, had higher total returns to shareholders during the period than those with CEOs having lower pay opportunities. The relationship between pay and performance is apparent in other measures as well:

Stock Option Overhang Declining

   Stock option overhang has continued to grow - despite efforts by a large number of firms to reduce their overhang levels between 2001 and 2002 - primarily from a large reduction in the amount of options being exercised. Stock option overhang is a measure of potential dilution from granted and approved stock option programs (calculated as options granted and outstanding, plus shares that remain to be granted, expressed as a percentage of total shares outstanding). The average stock option overhang increased one-half percentage point over the average of the same time last year - from 15.6 percent in 2001 to 16.1 percent in 2002 for companies with December 2002 year-ends.

   However, there is strong evidence of a decline in the growth rate of overhang during this same period. Between 1997 and 1999, overhang levels increased at an annual rate of 11.8 percent, while growth slowed to 7.9 percent between 1999 and 2002. Moreover, the earlier growth occurred as a result of larger option grants and more extensive programs covering more employees during a bull market. The current increase can be attributed to fewer options being exercised as they are increasingly out of the money (worth more than the current price of the stock), due to declining share prices without an offsetting decline in new share authorizations.

   There are substantial differences in overhang levels by industry (see Figure 2). Technology and health care firms have consistently exhibited higher overhang levels than other industries, while utilities have exhibited the lowest levels of overhang. This is consistent with economic theory, which predicts that stock-based incentive compensation is more important in industries with a high share of value derived from intellectual property.

   The study also found that firms with higher overhang levels have more options outstanding and higher run rates (a measure of shares granted annually to employees, which are calculated as options granted and expressed as a percentage of total shares outstanding).

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on stock options are at 

"Equity Compensation: The Future Is Now,"  by Blair N. Jones and Jesse Purewal, Financial Executive, March/April 2004 --- 

In lieu of simply replacing stock options with the next 'big thing,' two consultants say companies have an opportunity to strategically rethink their approach to equity compensation.

Although the spate of corporate scandals and accompanying backlash on stock options are seemingly starting to recede, changes resulting from these events are just now taking hold as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) moves ahead with issuing new rulings on stock option accounting.

A number of high-profile companies as diverse as Microsoft Corp., Kraft Foods Inc., Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. and Inc. have replaced at least some stock option grants with restricted stock. Dilution caused by large stock option grants, the egregious behavior of a few executives who allowed short-term stock price to serve as the hallmark of success and tighter corporate governance requirements for shareholder votes (loss of the broker vote), have made new equity authorizations less of a sure thing.

The implication of these events is that board compensation committees and management teams have had to start with a clean slate when designing long-term incentive strategies. But, therein lies an opportunity: Rather than simply basing changes and adjustments to equity plans on accounting considerations and stock performance, companies now have an chance to strategically rethink their approaches to equity compensation. Which begs the question: Are companies doing so in a thoughtful manner, or simply acting like lemmings by chasing the "next big thing" to replace stock options?

Before answering that question, it is important to consider the changes companies have already begun making to their stock option and other equity incentive programs over the last two years. For the most part, companies have responded to the stock option backlash by making some changes to stock option programs, but not by eliminating stock options altogether. According to a September 2003 survey of 336 publicly traded U.S. companies, conducted by Sibson Consulting and WorldatWork, the prior 18 months had seen companies make changes to the size and mechanics of stock option grants, including vesting, terms and the timing and frequency of grants. These changes have occurred primarily in response to shareholder concerns, accounting scandals and internal concerns about the company's ability to attract, retain and motivate employees. This survey was a follow up to a similar Sibson/WorldatWork survey conducted in March 2002. A comparison of both surveys' findings provides insight into the direction these changes are taking.

Fewer stock options for lower levels. Any discussion of changes to stock option accounting invariably raises concerns that reported earnings will suffer even if there is no change in company performance. Associated with this concern is the warning issued by some opponents of stock option expensing that an accounting change will cause companies to reduce or rescind stock option awards to lower-level employees, thereby hurting certain segments of the workforce more than others. So far, that warning is proving to be prescient. Changes to stock option plans are primarily affecting lower-level employees, according to the both the 2002 and 2003 surveys.

Eligibility for stock options decline at lower levels. While eligibility remains largely unchanged for employees at the professional level and above, employees below that level saw eligibility decline. For example, two thirds of sales staff were eligible for stock options in 2002, but only half were eligible in 2003. Eligibility among nonexempt employees fell from 37 percent in 2002 to 27 percent in 2003. Additionally, the survey found that the value of stock option grants over the 18-month period of March 2002 to September 2003 decreased more for non-exempt employees than for any other group.

Restricted stock on the rise. With stock options losing appeal, companies are looking for alternative equity-based incentive vehicles. Enter restricted stock. More companies use or plan to use restricted stock than any other vehicle to replace or supplement stock options. Approximately 60 percent of companies responding to the survey plan to grant restricted stock by September 2004, and more than 40 percent have already established restricted stock as a component of compensation for at least some employees. (See box at the end, "Restricted Stock: Caveat Emptor," for cautions about this trend.)

Performance counts. Companies are taking steps to tie stock option eligibility more strongly to company performance and evidence of value creation. The survey found that 28 percent of companies now use group, unit or company performance to determine stock option eligibility, compared to 17 percent in the earlier survey.

Stock option effectiveness still a question mark. 

Despite changes in programs, companies still struggle to achieve their key goals for stock option plans. A majority of respondents report that their plans are only moderately effective at helping to achieve key objectives such as attracting and retaining talent, focusing employee attention on corporate performance and aligning shareholder and employee interests. Even so, equity is still a compelling benefit to most employees. Sibson Consulting Group's 2003 "Rewards of Work" study, which focused on the attitudes of 1,108 workers about the "deal" between employer and employee, found that one fourth of workers who have not received stock options or grants in the prior 12 months would switch employers for just 40 shares of a $10 stock. Workers who had received stock options or grants in the prior 12 months were a little harder to entice but would still change employers in exchange for 100 shares of the same value.

The future of incentives

To avoid the lemming syndrome, companies need to clearly define design objectives for long-term incentive plans. Few companies can depend on a single incentive vehicle to address all objectives, and simple tweaks to existing stock option plans are likely to be insufficient. A complementary plan or plans that focus on intermediate drivers of shareholder value may be in order.

If a new performance-based plan is to be introduced, financial executives will play a central role in identifying appropriate measures and goals for these plans. Performance measurement is at the heart of good long-term incentive design. Poorly chosen measures, at a minimum, can lead to a sub-optimal plan and, at worst, to significant unintended consequences. Well-chosen measures and goals can enhance organizational focus and lead to superior performance.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on stock options are at 

Beta Gamma Sigma honor society --- 

I’ve been a member of BGS for 40 years, but somehow I’ve managed to overlook B-Zine

From Beta Gamma Sigma BZine Electronic Magazine --- 

CEOs may need to speak up
by Tim Weatherby, Beta Gamma Sigma
As more Fortune 500 companies and their executives are sucked into the current crisis, it may be time for the good guys to put their two cents in. The 2002 Beta Gamma Sigma International Honoree did just that in April.

How Tyco's CEO Enriched Himself
by Mark Maremont and Laurie P. Cohen, The Wall Street Journal
The latest story of corporate abuse surrounds the former Tyco CEO. This story provides a vivid example of the abuses that are leading many to question current business practices.

A Lucrative Life at the Top
Highlights pay and incentive packages of several former corporate executives currently under investigation.

A To-Do List for Tyco's CEO
by William C. Symonds, BusinessWeek online
The new CEO of Tyco has a tough job ahead of him cleaning up the mess left behind.

Implausible Deniability: The SEC Turns Up CEO Heat
by Diane Hess,
The SEC's edict requires written statements, under oath, from senior officers of the 1,000 largest public companies attesting to the accuracy of their financial statements.

Corporate Reform: Any Idea in a Storm?
by BusinessWeek online
Lawmakers eager to appease voters are trying all kinds of things.

Sealing Off the Bermuda Triangle
by Howard Gleckman, BusinessWeek online
Too many corporate tax dollars are disappearing because of headquarters relocations, and Congress looks ready to act. 

Identity Theft Articles and Links

Is Your Identity Safe?
by Tim Weatherby, Beta Gamma Sigma
How much do you REALLY know about identity theft?

Welcome to the Federal Trade Commission
U.S. Government site designed to aid consumers.

Identity Theft and Fraud
U.S. Department of Justice
Helpful tips and information about Identity Theft.

You’ve Got (Stolen) Mail
by Greg Hunter, ABC News
Is your mailbox a lure for identity theft?

Identity Crisis
by Sue Cant, Sydney Morning Herald Online
Stealing an identity or creating a new one is not new but it has become much simpler with a personal computer, scanner and laser printer.”

Identity Theft Worries Consumer Advocates
While businesses and universities can do more to prevent identity theft, federal lawmakers have opened loopholes in some state laws that previously didn't exist, making it easier for crimes to occur.
by Peter Brownfeld,,2933,110923,00.html

Businesses appeal date identity-theft law goes into effect
Citing higher-than-expected upgrade costs, businessmen asked legislators to approve a bill that would give them more time to comply with a state law designed to curb identity theft.
by Elbert Aull,


Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at 

Have a Nice Day

Future wars will be fought over the issue of survival (especially with adverse weather) rather than religion, ideology or national honor.
"Key findings of the Pentagon," Guardian, February 22, 2004 ---,12374,1153547,00.html 

By 2007 violent storms smash coastal barriers rendering large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable. Cities like The Hague are abandoned. In California the delta island levees in the Sacramento river area are breached, disrupting the aqueduct system transporting water from north to south.

· Between 2010 and 2020 Europe is hardest hit by climatic change with an average annual temperature drop of 6F. Climate in Britain becomes colder and drier as weather patterns begin to resemble Siberia.

· Deaths from war and famine run into the millions until the planet's population is reduced by such an extent the Earth can cope.

· Riots and internal conflict tear apart India, South Africa and Indonesia.

· Access to water becomes a major battleground. The Nile, Danube and Amazon are all mentioned as being high risk.

· A 'significant drop' in the planet's ability to sustain its present population will become apparent over the next 20 years.

· Rich areas like the US and Europe would become 'virtual fortresses' to prevent millions of migrants from entering after being forced from land drowned by sea-level rise or no longer able to grow crops. Waves of boatpeople pose significant problems.

· Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt and North Korea. Israel, China, India and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.

· By 2010 the US and Europe will experience a third more days with peak temperatures above 90F. Climate becomes an 'economic nuisance' as storms, droughts and hot spells create havoc for farmers.

· More than 400m people in subtropical regions at grave risk.

· Europe will face huge internal struggles as it copes with massive numbers of migrants washing up on its shores. Immigrants from Scandinavia seek warmer climes to the south. Southern Europe is beleaguered by refugees from hard-hit countries in Africa.

· Mega-droughts affect the world's major breadbaskets, including America's Midwest, where strong winds bring soil loss.

· China's huge population and food demand make it particularly vulnerable. Bangladesh becomes nearly uninhabitable because of a rising sea level, which contaminates the inland water supplies.

Special report
Climate change

CO2 emissions
The world in the 2050s
The greenhouse effect

Guide to drilling for oil in the Arctic
Calculate your personal carbon count

Key resources
The Kyoto protocol
Bjorn Lomborg: Are we doing the right thing?

Useful links
UN framework convention on climate change
Friends of the earth

March 10, 2004  reply from Aaron Delwiche

Scary, isn't it? Check out this trailer for an exaggerated view of these predictions. 


Aaron Delwiche, Ph.D.
Department of Communication 
Trinity University 


March 8, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

So-called "environmental accounting" seems to have faded from glory, but I can't help but wonder what impact the following NASA findings may have in the long run: 

Some speculate that your property on the French Riviera may shortly look like Bob's New England retreat in January.

I'm still dismayed that no one has looked at the effect of "pavement" on the global climate. Anyone who has walked across a Florida (or Texas) parking lot in July, and then gone into the adjacent woods, can't help but wonder whether the "pavement quotient" is outstripping the "greenhouse gasses" effect in terms of warming things up. And then there are those maddening wastemongers who drive those huge gas-guzzling SUV's, which require not only more gas, but more pavement! (There was a local petition in our paper to enlarge parking spaces to accommodate the larger vehicles!)

I'm going to spend my fall semester in Antwerp, Belgium. The preliminary orientation meetings have been eye-openers in terms of recognizing the wasteful practices of American culture. It's a wonder that the Europeans are still speaking to us. And if the NASA report is true ...

(Of course, I've always taken these reports with a couple of grains of salt... is anybody on this list old enough to remember the "Club of Rome" and their book "The Limits to Growth"? giggle giggle...)

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

Marketing and Purchasing
ClickZ's Search Engine Watch released its annual list of outstanding Web search services for 2003. Your favorites are among them, but there were also surprises and controversial predictions for the coming year --- 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for marketing are at 

SCO Group filed lawsuits against DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone, broadening its legal attack on Linux to users of the popular operating system.

SCO Refutes Allegation That Microsoft Is Funding Suits
A leaked E-mail appeared to provide evidence that SCO Group and aconsultant were looking to Microsoft to fund SCO's legal strategy and licensing initiatives.

"SCO Broadens Its Attack on Linux," by David Bank, The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2004 ---,,SB107832489299545323,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews

Suits Against AutoZone,
DaimlerChrysler Claim
Breach of Rights on Unix

SCO Group Inc. filed lawsuits against auto maker DaimlerChrysler AG and auto-parts retailer AutoZone Inc., broadening its legal attack on Linux to users of the popular operating system.

SCO, a software company based in Lindon, Utah, claims copyright ownership over the older Unix operating system, and contends that part of Linux violates those copyrights. The company already is in litigation with Linux vendors International Business Machines Corp. and Novell Inc., and said the new actions were the first of many against corporations that use the open-source software.

Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive, said he was taking a page from the playbook of the Recording Industry Association of America, which has filed more than 1,000 lawsuits against computer users it claims illegally distributed music over the Internet. In a conference call, he said those suits highlighted the legal risks facing those computer users. "We believe that the legal actions we have taken and will continue to take will have a similar impact on end users of Unix and Linux," he said.

The suit against Germany's DaimlerChrysler, filed in a Michigan state court, involves software license agreements that SCO says the auto maker signed for using Unix. In December, SCO sent DaimlerChrysler a letter demanding that it certify compliance with the license, including restrictions on the transfer of the underlying source code to Unix. SCO's suit doesn't allege such a transfer from Unix to Linux, but said DaimlerChrysler's failure to respond implies violations of the terms of the licenses.

Continued in the article

Congress is considering a bill that would allow companies to copyright databases and 
other sets of information. Critics say the bill would circumvent the core of copyright 
law, which says no one can own a fact ---,1367,62500,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

And to think that I moved from the south up to the northern mountains in anticipation of global warming. (Sigh!)
March 8, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU] 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia [mailto:AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU] On Behalf Of David R. Fordham 
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 8:48 AM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Hot and Cold...

So-called "environmental accounting" seems to have faded from glory, but I can't help but wonder what impact the following NASA findings may have in the long run: 

Some speculate that your property on the French Riviera may shortly look like Bob's New England retreat in January.

I'm still dismayed that no one has looked at the effect of "pavement" on the global climate. Anyone who has walked across a Florida (or Texas) parking lot in July, and then gone into the adjacent woods, can't help but wonder whether the "pavement quotient" is outstripping the "greenhouse gasses" effect in terms of warming things up. And then there are those maddening wastemongers who drive those huge gas-guzzling SUV's, which require not only more gas, but more pavement! (There was a local petition in our paper to enlarge parking spaces to accommodate the larger vehicles!)

I'm going to spend my fall semester in Antwerp, Belgium. The preliminary orientation meetings have been eye-openers in terms of recognizing the wasteful practices of American culture. It's a wonder that the Europeans are still speaking to us. And if the NASA report is true ...

(Of course, I've always taken these reports with a couple of grains of salt... is anybody on this list old enough to remember the "Club of Rome" and their book "The Limits to Growth"? giggle giggle...)

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

"Teachers fight against Internet plagiarism," by Kimberly Chase, The Christian Science Monitor,
March 2, 2004 --- 
On , for example, students can browse an alphabetical list 
of categories - Cuba, evolution, or racism, just to name a few - to find the paper of 
their choice. For $136, a frantic high school or college student can download a 19-page 
paper on "Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt." It can be faxed for $9.50 or delivered 
overnight for $15.
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at 

Walt presents his first annual buyer's guide to digital cameras. It's a quick road map 
to the most important features to look for when buying a digital camera, and to the 
terminology sales people and "experts" are likely to hurl at you.

I recommend printing this article if and when you go shopping for a camera!


"Missed Moments:  Pitfalls of Buying A Digital Camera," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2004 ---,,SB107827125013744724,00.html?mod=gadgets_lead_story_col

Like all high-tech products, digital cameras are described by a dense jargon of techno-babble, designed in part to confuse civilians and separate them from their money. As the cameras have soared in popularity, this terminology problem has actually grown worse.

So here's our first annual buyer's guide to digital cameras. It's a quick road map to the most important features to look for when buying a digital camera, and to the terminology sales people and "experts" are likely to hurl at you.

This guide is meant for average, casual photographers. If you are a photo hobbyist or enthusiast, you will likely want to consider many more features than these, and you may want to focus more on such traditional photographic issues as lenses and optics. This guide mainly focuses on the cameras' basic digital characteristics.

Continued in the article

Honey, They Shrunk the Cameras

In tests of the newest crop of mini digital cameras, it turns out that the best pictures came from the camera with both the lowest price and the lowest megapixel rating, writes Walt. Go figure.

"Honey, They Shrunk the Cameras," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2004 ---,,SB107706028702331957,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

In technology, as in the rest of life, numbers don't tell the whole story. When comparing digital cameras, you might expect that the best pictures would come from the most expensive models in any given class, or from the models with the highest megapixel rating -- a measure of maximum picture resolution. But it ain't necessarily so.

In fact, after testing four similar, name-brand digital cameras for this column, it turned out that the best pictures came from the camera with both the lowest price and the lowest megapixel rating. Go figure.

My assistant Katie Boehret and I tested four slim, lightweight digital cameras from Casio, Sony, Konica Minolta and Pentax. These are point-and-shoot models that are designed to be tiny enough to carry around in a pocket, while still capturing high-quality photographs. Each camera measures slightly larger than the size of a credit card and has a 3x optical zoom lens.

Whenever high-tech products get really small, their price tags get bigger, and these cameras are no exception. The least expensive of the four cameras goes for $300, while the most expensive costs a whopping $550.

Each is under an inch thick, but all have plenty of features to keep an amateur photographer happy. All can take short videos as well as still photos, and all have multiple shooting modes and flash settings. Two of our test cameras even boasted the hot new trend in digital cameras -- larger liquid-crystal-display screens that take up most of the camera's back side.

In our tests, I took mostly indoor photos with each camera at a favorite hangout of mine, my local cigar store. Katie snapped outdoor pictures of landscapes, monuments and people while wandering around Washington, D.C.

All four cameras took good pictures, and deciding which did best is necessarily a subjective judgment. But, after comparing similar pictures from the four cameras side by side on a computer screen, Katie and I consistently found the images from the low-end $299 Konica Minolta Dimage Xg to be the best overall.

The fast and easy way to print pictures, but the price at fifty to seventy cents per picture is about double the price for online prints.  Newsweek recommended the Olymbus P-10 and the Sony PictureStation DPP-EX50 on Page 65, February 23, 2004.  Both models sell for under $200.

PC Magazine reviews these and others ---,3048,a=112333,00.asp 

"Inside the Home of the Future," by Kelly Greene, The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2004 ---,,SB107712037785532703,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

Houses that make your coffee, lock your doors and even measure your health are closer than you think 

As you pour the detergent into your last load of laundry, you realize the bottle is almost empty. But instead of making a mental note to add it to your grocery list, or running to the kitchen to scribble it down, you simply say out loud, "Remember: Buy laundry detergent." The word "remember" is picked up by a microphone in the wall and triggers a computer to transcribe your words to your to-do list.

It might sound like a sci-fi vision of the future. But it's actually a project called Audio Notes, currently in the works at the Georgia Institute of Technology's 5,000-square-foot Aware Home, a combination house and laboratory in Atlanta where scientists are dreaming up futuristic housing technology.

"I love that shopping list," says Eileen Lange, a 68-year-old retiree from Lithonia, Ga., who toured the house and tried out some of its projects last year.

Researchers and commercial labs around the country are building experimental homes to test technology that could make domestic life easier and extend the independence of older homeowners. Such efforts go beyond so-called universal design, a trend toward building houses with wider doorways, grab bars and adjustable kitchen cabinets that took off in the early 1990s.

"These are lifestyle services empowered by a new generation of technology," says Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab in Cambridge (

In many cases, the mechanics for the gizmos already exist -- mainly wireless sensors, cellphones, broadband access and home computers. What's been missing, and what researchers now are trying to develop, are ways to harness the hardware to run your entire house with little effort or technological savvy -- letting you turn up the heat remotely, anticipating when you want the lights on, or deciding automatically how long your food should cook.

Continued in the article

"European Smart Phone Is Trim and Sharp, But Poor on E-Mail," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2004 ---,,personal_technology,00.html

In cellphones, as in so many other things, Europeans are different from Americans. I was reminded of this again last week in France, where I attended the world's biggest cellphone conference and exhibition, an event called the 3GSM World Congress.

What I saw at the show was an impressive display of cellphone features and designs. Many of these advances are unavailable in the U.S., where we have crippled our wireless phone system by failing to adopt a single transmission standard and by handing too much power to slow-moving wireless carriers.

The European cellphone industry is preparing for the widespread rollout later this year of so-called 3G phone networks, which will supposedly operate at broadband speeds. And the carriers and phone makers there were showing off various services they hope to sell over these networks.

At one booth, I was amazed to be able to carry on a perfect real-time video phone call, via a small cellphone, with a woman in Japan. At another, I was able to surf the Web almost as quickly and easily on a cellphone as on a networked PC at home. Numerous companies were showing advanced phones on which you could play games, and take and send photos and videos, at speeds and quality levels far exceeding what's available in the U.S.

Yet there is one aspect of wireless communications that the Europeans and Asians don't do as well as the North Americans -- the melding of a phone, an organizer and serious e-mail capabilities in a small, portable device.

U.S. and Canadian companies have produced two fine high-end smart phones that are also great e-mail devices: the Treo 600, from PalmOne, and the BlackBerry, from Research in Motion. A third combo gadget, the Danger Sidekick sold by T-Mobile, is also an excellent portable e-mail device, but it's too clumsy as a phone.

Continued in the article

"Apple's New Chapter in the Classroom," by Alex Salkever, Business Week, March 3, 2004 --- 

Despite some some setbacks lately in its education efforts, Apple has been able to keep building market share and excitement

Has Apple (AAPL ) fallen back into a school daze? It sure seems that way from a recent series of bad tidings. The Mac folks just lost a massive one-to-one computing deal for the state of Michigan to tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ). These state programs, which seek to give every student a laptop and tightly integrate the machines' use into the curriculum, are seen as the holy grail of the now stumbling K-12 education business. And the Michigan contract was the proverbial mother lode. Worth $68 million over four years, it calls for HP to provide laptops to as many as 132,000 middle-school students in the Wolverine State.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technologies are at 

An Innovative Cookie Jar

The big question is whether Microsoft will adapt to StealthSurfer or introduce a competitive product for Internet Explorer.  My guess is no!  We may have to install Netscape once again just to keep pesky cookies off the main hard drive.

"Furtive Surfers Find a Way to Keep Their Travels Secret," by Howard Millman, The New York Times, March 4, 2004 --- 

A new thumb-size U.S.B. drive from a company called StealthSurfer aims to guard your privacy by keeping the records of your Web activity close to the vest. When you plug in the StealthSurfer and use its customized version of the Netscape browser, the device stores the cookies, U.R.L. history, cache files and other traces of your Web browsing that would ordinarily accumulate on your computer's hard drive. When you're done surfing, you unplug the drive and take the records of your travels with you.

StealthSurfer's name is a bit of an overstatement. It does keep your Web-hopping and file-sharing activities away from prying eyes after the fact. But since it uses your computer's Internet connection, the Web sites you visit can still track your Internet protocol address as you move around online.

The StealthSurfer comes in four capacities, ranging from 64 megabytes ($70) to 512 megabytes ($299). You may experience a slight reduction in performance when you use the device because its flash memory writes data at slower speeds than a full-size hard drive does.

On the other hand, installation is a breeze - computers running Windows Me, 2000 and XP recognize the StealthSurfer as a drive when it is plugged in. (If you're running Windows 98, you must download a driver

The StealthSurfer home page is at 
Don't you hate it now that some businesses now use biz instead of com in their URLs?

Bob Jensen's threads on computer security are under "Security" (in the S-Terms) at
Also look under the C-Terms for "Cookies."

Training magazine conducts extensive research for the Top 100 through a multi-tiered nomination, application and interview process. In many cases, companies are nominated by vendors, while others respond to mass mailings and marketing initiatives targeted at Training magazine's 45,000-plus circulation base. Companies who wish to be ranked answer a detailed questionnaire providing both quantitative and qualitative data. Training magazine's editorial staff evaluates the information provided and conducts follow-up interviews, where appropriate, on the many qualitative questions. 


The Top 10 are as follows:


1. International Business Machines (IBM)
2. Pfizer, Inc.
3. Sprint Corp.
4. Booz Allen Hamilton
5. KLA-Tencor Corp.
6. Deloitte & Touche (Deloitte), US, LLP
7. AT&T
8. Ernst & Young, LLP
9. Lockheed Martin Corp.
10. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., LLC


Others in the list are as follows:


58. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

95. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division
96. Continental Airlines
97. Ho-Chunk Casino
98. United States Postal Service
99. CDW Corp.
100. Advanced Micro Devices

For some reason, the AccountingWeb failed to even mention the fact that Deloitte & Touche was in the Top 10 at a slightly higher rank than Ernst & Young.  No mention was also made that PwC was in the Top 100.
"E&Y Named Outstanding Training Organization Third Straight Year." AccountingWeb, March 5, 2004 --- 

Hi Deborah,

The AICPA has some standardized achievement tests at 

You might be interested in the broader spectrum of the AICPA's resources for educators at 

Also see 

Trinity University does not require uniform examinations at any level of the program. In many ways standardized examinations are dysfunctional in that they encourage faculty to "teach to the tests" rather than teach to educate. We consider our main goal to be one of teaching students how to learn rather than filling them with facts to be memorized.

The closest thing we come to standardized assessment is the performance of our students on the CPA examination. Trinity's success in this regard is generally at or near the top for the State of Texas. However, we don't take full credit since most of our students take coaching courses such as the Becker program of courses before they sit for the examination. Our success probably lies more with the quality of students coming into our program than our teaching toward the CPA examination.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 12:05 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Senior Accounting Exam

Hi Bob,

I posted this question on the listserv, and I particularly wanted to get your feedback on this question. You do so very much in accounting education and you know a lot about the various accounting programs across the country.

Do you know if there is a standardized exam available to assess fourth year accounting majors? How does Trinity University assess its graduating accounting seniors?

Thanks for the help! 

Deborah XXXXX

December 12, 2003 message from Tracey Sutherland [


Lanny Arvan's "dialogic approach" to Teaching and Learning.  I think Amy Dunbar has been using this approach for some time but just did not have a clever name for it --- 

Lanny Arvan is a veteran distance education economics professor at the University of Illinois.  I wrote about him some years back when he was engaged in one of the most intensive control group experimentation of performance and communication differences between live (traditional) classes versus distance education classes taught by the same instructor.  He was one of the leaders in this expensive SCALE project funded by the Sloan Foundation and the University of Illinois --- 

You can also read about and listen to Dan Stone's evaluation of the SCALE experiment at 

The SCALE program focused on 30 courses from various departments (science, humanities, social sciences, economics, etc.) over multiple years in which communication and performance was compared for full-time resident students partitioned into sections that had a traditional onsite course versus an online course from the same instructor in each course.  Lanny taught an intermediate microeconomics course and helped supervise the entire SCALE program.  He experimented over the years with how to best handle distance education and achieved some amazing success with what he learned.

The University of North Texas followed the University of Illinois in allowing for selected courses to be taken by full-time resident students either online or onsite in a traditional classroom --- 

Lanny just came out with a short overview about what he discovered in his own "dialogic approach" experience (although this article does not delve into the amazing results of the SCALE program itself).

"eLearning Dialogue:  Dialogic Learning Objects: Inviting the Student Into the Instructional Process," by Lanny Arvan, Syllabus News ---  

Arvan argues that properly employed, course management systems can change the model for teaching and learning in ways that engage students more and increase their learning.  He offers the "dialogic approach" to using a question-answer-feedback cycle to accomplish this and provides sample files for reader experimentation.

Viewed from the vantage of the student, the typical instructor uses a course management system as a publicly accessible file drawer and little more.  We know from the literature (Faculty Use of Course Management Systems; Morgan, 2003), and Student Satisfaction and Perceived Learning via a Course Management System; Bielema, 2002) that the main CMS use is posting lecture notes and the syllabus.  Perhaps this offers convenience over distributing notes through the copy shop, but does it have a fundamental effect on learning?  How can we get beyond the "lecture note phase" and have instructors produce sites with interactivity, where there is an overt benefit to the learner, where the online part of the course complements the face-to-face part, and vice versa?

On most campuses, there are some exceptional course Web sites that are well regarded by the students and faculty alike.  Nonetheless, the earlier adopter faculty who produce these well-done sites don't have the broad coattails that might help change overall campus behavior (Interesting Practices and Best Systems in Faculty Engagement and Support; Hagner, 2000).  Many instructors who are not doing innovative online course development feel overburdened.  A common concern, especially among those who have been teaching the same course for some time, is that what they are doing is stale.  Their reading lists are not current, their assignments need to be redone (the fraternities and sororities have on file papers that received high marks on these assignments) and their own enthusiasm for teaching has waned as a consequence; it is hard for them to be straight-faced with the students when they are not proud of the content they teach.  They see the need to re-invest in their course, but where do they find the time?

It seems incumbent on those of us who support educational technology to make the teaching and learning benefits more obvious to the typical instructor, and then help them to deliver those benefits, regardless of their aptitude for designing Web pages.  One important benefit is the ability to co-mingle presentation, absorption of content, and assessment of student comprehension, moving from the traditional pedagogy toward something that is closer to the way people actually learn.

One promising approach is to model instruction as question-response rather than lecture, a challenging idea for a large course but ideally suited to CMS delivery.  On my campus, where there has been extensive reliance on sophisticated quiz software (which allows the students to repeat the quiz until correct) we have found that students often go directly to the quizzes and only seek out the presentation material as needed to complete the quiz.  A well-designed quiz encourages the student to absorb the material in the process of completion.  A poorly designed quiz, on the contrary, allows the student to mechanically get the right answers while remaining puzzled why the responses were correct or how they were related to the course learning objectives.  The framing of the questions as well as the associated response and sequencing of the dialog are critical to learning.

Imagine that instead of lecture notes, instructors delivered "content surveys" where similar to the TV show Jeopardy, every few paragraphs a special text insert appeared "in the form of a question."  This would require a written response from the students, then more instructor content followed by additional questions.  The effect is to move from a discursive to a  dialogic approach to learning.

For these exercises to have meaning to the students, their responses must be reviewed.  Conceivably, the instructor could critique these individually.  Yet that would entail substantial effort.  An ensemble critique done in class places more modest demands on the instructor's time and should make the live class relevant for the students, since the focus will be on their work.  What insights did the responses show?  Where did students react in a way the instructor didn't anticipate?  Were there patterns or commonalities among student errors?  Can those errors be used to help steer the discussion "on course?"

After a few experiences with these content surveys, students will become comfortable with the format.  At this point the instructor can "go meta."  Instead of assigning a term paper, have the students design their own content survey.  On campuses that have the third-party quiz software, Respondus (which works with Blackboard, eCollege, and WebCT), the technical part of making the survey is easy to manage.  Students can submit Respondus files and the instructor can upload them into their course site so that other students might take the student created survey.  (On campuses without Respondus, this can be done with the students submitting text documents as long as the instructor is willing to do some cutting and pasting to make the surveys.)  The hard part is designing and researching the survey, selecting the right topic, and creating a presentation that is compelling and illustrates the key points.  Whereas students often view term papers as drudgework unconnected to the rest of the course, here the motivation for the student should be much greater because their work will be viewed and utilized by other students.  This is a powerful way to promote student engagement and interaction.

The fundamental change we are after is to encourage students to become the creators of learning objects and to move the instructor's role from the reluctant author who doesn't have time for the task to the enthusiastic mentor whose main job regarding learning objects is choice of topic and coach of the students during the creation stage.  If this strategy works and students willingly donate their intellectual property, then we have an organic learning system.  Instructors can use the better content surveys made by students in prior semesters to amplify or even substitute for their own creations in subsequent offerings.  In this way, the online materials in the course and the topics that are covered grow and are refreshed over time.

Can this really work?  Certainly there are places for both the instructor and the students to stumble.  It is just as apparent, however, that the benefits from making this approach work are substantial.  Students become more engaged in the learning process and faculty exercise their instructional skills in rewarding new ways.  With proper faculty training, our course management systems can support this new approach to learning.

Some samples of the approach are available at:

Lanny Arvan --- 
Assistant CIO for Educational Technologies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL 
(217) 333-1078

Bob Jensen's threads on learning technology and distance education are at 

From The American Assembly --- 
The Future of the Accounting Profession --- 

What Went Wrong? 
As the bubble economy encouraged corporate management to adopt increasingly creative accounting practices to deliver the kind of predictable and robust earnings and revenue growth demanded by investors, governance fell by the wayside. All too often, those whose mandate was to act as a gatekeeper were tempted by misguided compensation policies to forfeit their autonomy and independence. The technology stock bubble of the late 1990s – and the puncturing of that bubble in 2000 – coincided with significant failures in corporate governance.

On November 13, 2003, fifty-seven men and women, including leaders from the worlds of accounting, finance, law, academia, investment banking, journalism, non-governmental organizations, as well as the current and former regulatory officials from The Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the General Accounting Office (GAO), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) gathered at the Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia, for the 103rd American Assembly entitled “The Future of the Accounting Profession.” Over the course of the Assembly, the distinguished professionals considered three broad areas of the accounting profession: its present state, its desired future state, and how it might reach that future state. 

This Assembly project was co-directed by Roderick M. Hills, Partner, Hills & Stern, and former Chairman of the SEC, and Russell E. Palmer, CEO, The Palmer Group, former CEO, Touche Ross & Co. Initiated by the co-directors in fall 2000, this project showed an extraordinary prescience of the material events that subsequently unfolded. The project benefited greatly from the advice and active guidance of an eminent steering committee, whose names and affiliations are listed in the appendix of this report.

There are too many conclusions and recommendations to summarize concisely.  



Bob Jensen's other proposed solutions are documented at 

So they've had a year before they really had to do this. There are two complicated standards—the financial-instrument standards (IAS 32 and 39) —  so we've said don't do the comparatives. But basically, we were given the 2005 deadline, so we have to meet it.
Sir David Tweedie 

New World Order
Sir David Tweedie explains the relationship between good governance and international accounting standards.

IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie says global accounting standards are within reach.

A CFO Interview, CFO Magazine,,5309,12320||M|827,00.html 

March 01, 2004

Sir David Tweedie is on a quest. The 59-year-old chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is overseeing the development of a single set of international accounting standards for the European Union (EU) by March and intends to converge those standards with U.S. rules.

Can it be done that quickly? It must be, according to Sir David. The engine of capital formation and investment has been stalled long enough by the anachronism of 26 separate European accounting methods, with another in America. Developing a single international system is "not about arcane bookkeeping matters," says the former head of the UK's accounting standards board. "It's really about something much bigger." Indeed, what the IASB is really targeting when it designs an accounting system for the world "is inward investment, growth, employment, and world trade," he says.

The accounting scandals infecting both the New and Old Worlds give convergence more urgency. While Sir David won't blame the Enron and Parmalat fiascos on an absence of international standards, he believes that some frauds would be much harder to pull off. Having a set of standards based on principles, rather than mere rules, might dissuade executives from simply "checking the boxes and not looking at the whole picture."

Sir David's quest, however, has not been uniformly well received. There's been much displeasure among European banks and the French government over the new rules for financial instruments. And the implications for expensing stock options have already met opposition in the States. Meanwhile, critics everywhere charge that without a European enforcement agency on the scale of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the rules will lack teeth. Sir David says that a plan to address enforcement is in the works.

He firmly believes that now is the time for international standards. In January, during a break at an IASB meeting in London, he sat down with CFO deputy editor Lori Calabro and CFO Asia editor Tom Leander to discuss the board's hopes and his vision of a "three-legged-stool" arrangement—rules combined with good corporate governnace and auditing standards—for deterring abuses.

The IASB promised a workable set of standards by March, and the European Commission mandated that all European companies switch to international standards by 2005. How has the process evolved? When we started in the summer of 2001, we inherited 34 standards from our predecessor body [the International Accounting Standards Committee]. Now, of those inherited standards, 30 had been an attempt to get together with the International Organization of Securities Commissions [IOSCO] to produce standards of appropriate quality, so that users could list on any stock exchange worldwide. But 14 of the standards were heavily criticized. Then, only about a month or two after we began, the EU announced this 2005 deadline. So we had a choice. We knew we had to fix these [inherited] standards, if international standards were going to be acceptable to New York and the SEC. But we also had the 2005 deadline. So should we just gradually change them, meaning that anyone coming on board would have to change twice in a matter of a year or two? Or should we have a real blitz on these standards, and really change them? That's what we did. We ended up publishing in November, and we actually changed 17 of the 34—pretty fast for a standard setter in two and a half years.

Are the changes drastic? We've tried to keep the fundamentals as best we could. But we did make changes. And we also produced a standard last year [that covers] what you do the first time you switch to international standards. Broadly speaking, you have to show in 2005 all the assets and liabilities that we require, measured as we require them, with certain cost-benefit allowances. We are not, for example, going to make you undo all business combinations you've done before.

The upgrades were to be completed in enough time for companies to meet the 2005 deadline. Is there any flexibility? None.

None? They've known for ages that it was coming. We've had the standards up on our Website since October. We said here are the 17 we altered. There may be cross-reference differences, which is why we aren't publishing them officially. But all the standards are here. So they've had a year before they really had to do this. There are two complicated standards—the financial-instrument standards—so we've said don't do the comparatives. But basically, we were given the 2005 deadline, so we have to meet it.

Continued in the article


American InterContinental University (AIU) Online--- 

"Al Gore Keynotes AIU Online Graduation Ceremony," Lycos, March 5, 2004 --- 

Millions of future students will owe a debt of gratitude to those who today are blazing a new trail in online education, said former United States Vice President Al Gore during the online commencement ceremony of American InterContinental University (AIU) Online, one of the nation's fastest-growing universities.

"Even those of us who have promoted and believe in this new technology stand in awe of what you have done," Mr. Gore told the AIU Online graduates and their families and friends during the Web-based event held Saturday, February 28. "You are the ones who have supplied the hard work, the stamina, the dedication, the endurance and the will to succeed that we recognize today."

In addition to Mr. Gore's remarks, a highlight of the online graduation ceremony was the reading of the names of recipients of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in the curricular programs of Information Technology, Business Administration, Visual Communication and Education. Also announced were the names of students who had earned Honors designations.

Mr. Gore said that with the information revolution replacing the industrial revolution, education is far more important today than at any other point in human history. "America's gross domestic product has tripled in value over the last half-century while the gross tonnage of everything we make and sell actually has declined slightly. That's because materials like steel and wood and rubber and plastic are being replaced by ingenuity, knowledge and the ability to use information in more creative ways.

"The degree you receive today certifies that you have obtained the knowledge and skills to deal with information more effectively than those who lack this credential and who have not gone through the experience that you have just successfully navigated," Mr. Gore said. "But the value of your online education extends beyond opening up new career opportunities for you. It also will enrich life for you and your families."

American InterContinental University is a wholly owned subsidiary of Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ: CECO). CEC operates 78 campuses in the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and had approximately 83,200 students as of January 31, 2004. AIU Online is the Web-based virtual campus of American InterContinental University, an international university with onsite campuses located in Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Houston, TX; London, England; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. American InterContinental University has been educating students for more than 30 years and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Bob Jensen's links to this and other distance education alternatives can be found at 

Pivot Tables Should Be Used More Often

Roberta has a new article on pivot tables.
"Make Exel and Instant Know-It All," by Robert Ann Jones, Journal of Accountancy, March 2004, pp. 40-43 --- 

You’re sitting at your computer working on a spreadsheet that displays revenue generated by individual salespersons. Your CEO, hovering anxiously at your elbow, asks you for one employee’s third-quarter sales total. You sort the Salesperson column and then the Order Date column. Then you write you write a formula to identify third-quarter sales. Finally, you sum the order amounts and give your boss the number he wants. Just as you congratulate yourself for coming up with the answer in less than three minutes, he says, “OK, now compare that with the results of the whole sales team.”

You roll your eyes in frustration, scrap all the work you just did and re-sort the columns and rows and write a new set of formulas.

There has to be a better way, you think.

And there is. Instead of repeatedly sorting columns and rows and customizing formulas to answer each question your boss asks, you take a new tack: Immediately after you initially put the worksheet data together you can spend a minute or two using Excel’s PivotTables, which will let you easily reconfigure the data with a mouse so you can produce near-instant answers to most any question about them.

Continued in the article


Bob Jensen's Excel Tips and Videos (Pivot Tables and Charts)
Did you know that Microsoft Corporation presents some of its financial history in Excel pivot tables?  You can download the Excel Workbooks containing pivot tables from "Financial History" at 

I also found a link to the 1999 Microsoft financial reports --- these had much better Pivot tables than the Year 2000 annual reports. Take a look at 

For extensions into OLAP (including the Microsofts FinWeb),  see 

I prepared a video on how to download and use the Microsoft pivot tables.  The video can be downloaded from PivotMicrosoft.rm

I also have a video illustrating how to make a pivot table at  PivotTable01.rm

In addition, I provide a video illustrating how to make a pivot chart at PivotChart01.rm 

Budgeting with Pivot Tables --- 
A tutorial on using Excel pivot tables to create a budget, created by David Carter of Accounting Web

See other videos linked at --- 

March 5, 2004 message from MIT's Technology Review [

Jenkins: The Christian Media Counterculture
Over the past several decades, culture war rhetoric has served both to estrange evangelical Christians from the American cultural mainstream and to blind liberals to just how many people are consuming Christian media. But many conservative Christians simply want to protect and promote their own cultural traditions in the face of what they see as the onslaught of contemporary media, and they have been quick to embrace new technologies—such as videotape, cable television, low-wattage radio stations, and the Internet—that allow them to route around the gatekeepers of the media establishment. The result, writes columnist Henry Jenkins, has been the creation of a Christian media parallel universe with products that mirror the genre conventions of popular culture but express an alternative set of values.

March 5, 2004 message from MIT's Technology Review [

Webcams and Astronomy
For a dedicated group of amateur astronomers, webcams have become an inexpensive way to perform digital astrophotography.

"Justices Hear Arguments on Internet Pornography Law," by John Schwartz, The New York Times, March 3, 2004 --- 

 The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday about Internet pornography, one of the most vexing issues at the intersection of technology and First Amendment rights.

Neither side got a free ride from the justices in the discussion of the Child Online Protection Act, a 1998 law that makes it illegal for commercial Web sites to make available to children 16 and under material that is not necessarily obscene but could be considered "harmful to minors" under a complex, three-part formula in the law.

Just minutes into his argument, Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson was interrupted by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who asked why the government was fighting for new laws when it was not enforcing the old ones. "There are very few prosecutions, and there's all kinds of stuff out there," Justice O'Connor said.

Mr. Olson said the Bush administration was stepping up its prosecution of pornography cases in the online and offline world and had issued 21 indictments in the last two years.

Regulation of Internet pornography is urgently needed, Mr. Olson said, because "it's causing irreparable injury to our most important resource — our children." The materials are "as available to children as a television remote," he said, and turn up when youngsters make the most innocuous searches.

He argued that the world of online pornography was exploding, and said that typing the words "free porn" on a search engine produced 6,230,000 sites. "I did this this weekend," he said. When asked whether all of the sites could be considered obscene, he said, "I didn't have enough time to go through all of those sites," drawing laughs from justices and spectators.

At another point, Justice Stephen G. Breyer asked for specific examples of Web sites that were not pornographic but could run afoul of the law's prohibitions. Justice Breyer said that he looked at examples provided by the American Civil Liberties Union in its legal brief and could not find one that fell that into that middle ground.

Ann Beeson, a lawyer for the civil liberties union, cited examples that included "lesbian and gay pleasure" and "the pleasure of sex outdoors," and the works of a sex columnist, Susie Bright. But the discussion moved on without growing more explicit, and decorum was preserved.

Congress passed the Child Online Protection Act in 1998 after the court struck down its first major effort to restrict pornography in cyberspace, the Communications Decency Act, which Congress passed in 1996. That law, which would have made it a crime to provide "indecent" material to minors online, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1997.

In passing the Child Online Protection Act, Congress was trying to produce a law narrower in scope than its first try, Mr. Olson said. The new law prohibits commercial Web sites from publishing material "harmful to minors" unless the site can show that it has made good faith efforts — requiring a credit card, for example — to keep out all Web surfers younger than 17. Violators could be fined as much as $50,000 and spend six months in jail, with higher penalties for repeat offenders.

The civil liberties union challenged the law in federal court and was joined by a broad coalition of Web sites, booksellers and civil liberties organizations, as well as online stores like Condomania and online publications like Salon, which discuss sex frankly.

The oral arguments on Tuesday were the second time the justices have taken up this law. In a ruling last term, they reversed a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which had declared the law unconstitutional. The appeals court said that the law's reliance on "community standards" would mean, in practice, that the most tolerant communities would still be held to "the decency standards of the most puritanical communities." The Supreme Court said that the lower court should not have declared the law unconstitutional based on a finding of only that single major flaw. The Third Circuit reviewed the case again and, last March, found multiple grounds for declaring the act unconstitutional.

Continued in the article

Ethical Dilemma for Writers:  Toot or Not to Toot Your Own Horn

What recently sent a shudder through the writing community?

"The Amazon Epidemic: Writers Addicted to Rankings," by Sara Nelson, New York Observer, March 5, 2004 --- 

Most writers have a lot of romantic notions about what will happen to their lives the minute they publish a book. Fame and fortune figures in, of course, and some of the most ambitious dream that soon they’ll quit their days jobs to enjoy the writerly life full-time. But the most common and immediate change upon publication is far less anticipated: From the day their book first lands in stores, most writers will start spending minutes, hours—nay, days, weeks, months and years—tracking its progress on

Never mind that the online retailer accounts for only about 10 percent of a trade book’s total sales (slightly higher for business books, somewhat lower for children’s). By my count, the reviews and the ranking system on count for about 95 percent of writers’ hopes, anxieties and dreams.

Which is why last month’s glitch on the Canadian version of the site—which for a week revealed the reviewers’ real names—sent a shudder down the collective spine of the writing community. Even if few were as publicly honest as the author John Rechy, who cheerfully admitted to The New York Times that he had praised his own book on the site, many had their own dirty little secrets. I, for one, was suddenly panicked that the world would know that several (though, I must say, far from most) of the positive reviews of my book, So Many Books, So Little Time, were written by people I know. (A further sign of my insanity: When a negative review of the book would appear on the title’s home page, I’d suggest to friends that if someone were to write a positive one, the bad guy’s piece would slip further down—and maybe even eventually off—the home page.) The writer Katherine Russell Rich, for example, told me that when her book, The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer—and Back, was published in 1999, she was coincidentally seated in a restaurant next to a colleague whom she knew had hated the book; after making uncomfortable pleasantries, Ms. Rich said, the two diners left the restaurant and raced home to Amazon. Ms. Rich wrote a positive review to offset the negative one she knew was coming from her colleague. (Sure enough, both reviews appeared shortly.) Even far more established authors pay attention, if not homage, to Amazon: James Marcus, author of the forthcoming Amazonia, an incisive and funny account of five years working for the Seattle-based company, says that he once came upon a review posted by Paul Theroux, defending his own book, Sir Vidia’s Shadow.

As for the rankings: Don’t get me started. At a publishing party last fall, I met up with a well-known and very successful journalist who kept making trips to the host’s bedroom to check his (and my) book’s status on Publishers Marketplace, one of several sites that allow users to track the movement of many books at once at both Amazon and "Do you want to check one more time before you leave?" he asked me as I headed for the door. (It goes without saying that I did.) In the ensuing months, I’ve had dozens of friends and acquaintances comment, unsolicited, on my book’s rise and fall, and one radio interviewer told me he’d decided to invite me on the show because "your Amazon numbers have gotten good again." It doesn’t matter how many times editors and agents tell us that "Amazon doesn’t matter"—authors are addicts, and Amazon is easily as habit-forming and even more accessible than crack. Not to mention, of course, that it’s also free.

Continued in article

An Award Winning PowerPoint Show

I thought some of you might enjoy the PowerPoint show forwarded by Kristin.

I made it available at 

March 2, 2004 message from Trinity University's Kristin Oliver

I am attaching a powerpoint file that won first place in the American Psychological Association's Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges (PT@CC) electronic project contest. The presentation depicts differing standards of beauty among diverse cultures. I thought you all would be interested in sharing this with students and/or colleagues.

More information about the award (as well other winners) can be found at the following link: 


Kristin E. Oliver, Ph.D.
Trinity University Counseling Services
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212

Wiley Technology Seminars and Helpers
March 1, 2004 message from Mary Kay Woods --- 

The Faculty Resource Network is a peer to peer network of Faculty designed to help support and implement the use of technology in the classroom. These seminars are Accounting specific. If you are interested in an FRN session that has already passed or you would like more information/demonstration on technology such as eGradePlus, you can click on the "Connect with a Faculty Mentor" to set up a one-on-one session.

I've highlighted the upcoming seminars in Red and bolded the dates. To register for a free virtual seminar, please go to . Click on "upcoming seminars", then click on the link to the appropriate seminar.

Airline Ticketing Advice
March 3, 2004 Message from Jim McKinney [jim@MCKINNEYCPA.COM] 

See the WSJ 2/25/2004 article (note  which searches Southwest airlines:

Using Connections (the Airport Kind) And Other Tips on Scoring Cheap Fares

It's the question I get asked most often by readers and relatives, especially at this time of year: How do you get the best price for an airline ticket?

Carriers have dozens of different prices for the same seats on the same planes, and they sometimes change those prices several times a day -- all trying to scrape an extra dollar out of your pocket. If airlines ran grocery stores, you'd have to cruise the produce aisle several times just to see if the price of green beans changed.

But there are some excellent tricks to help beat the system. Here are my favorites.

Watch carefully for airline announcements of new routes or flights. When carriers add service, that means a lot of empty seats, at least initially -- and airlines typically offer cheap prices to build traffic.

Looking for new routes or added service isn't as much of a shot in the dark as it sounds: After all, planes generally go places where people want to go. If you want to go to Europe this summer, for example, lots of airlines are adding seasonal capacity and rebuilding trips canceled after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Airlines list new service additions on their Web sites, along with other press releases. (And we run new service announcements in The Wall Street Journal.)

This month, for example, American Airlines said it would add a second daily round-trip between Los Angeles and London starting April 4. Armed with that news, I checked for a weeklong trip leaving March 27 -- before the new flights -- and was quoted $1,503. One week after the new service begins, when American had twice as many seats to sell, the same Saturday-to-Saturday itinerary was 56% lower at $662.

On top of scouring the usual Big Three online ticket-buying Web sites -- Expedia.com2, Travelocity.com3 and Orbitz.com4 -- I add an extra weapon, SideStep.com5. In fact, it's my newest favorite tool. You download SideStep onto your PC, and then when you launch an online search, it pops up asking if you'd like SideStep to try the same search. SideStep searches airline Web sites themselves and lots of other travel vendors you wouldn't normally search, such as discount carriers like Southwest Airlines, that aren't in the big centralized reservation systems. SideStep is only a referral service -- it connects you to the airline or Web site you want.

Sometimes it finds the same prices, sometimes it does better. I searched for New York-Paris fares in early June on Travelocity, and the best price was $797 on Air France. SideStep found a $532 Air France price on

Online search engines have radically changed the ticket marketplace, of course, giving travelers a lot more power. And while they are still far from perfect, they have a few tricks up their sleeve. Travelocity and Orbitz will show when the lowest prices are available -- handy if your dates are flexible. Orbitz has a "Deal Detector" that lets you register a price you want, then alerts you if it shows up. Travelocity has a "Fare Watcher" function that alerts when prices change on a route. All offer packages of airfare and hotel bookings that can yield savings. And they'll search alternative airports near your destination -- a key money-saver.

But I still recommend searching all three of the main online booking sites because I've found each, at any given moment, may produce a better result. Orbitz, for example, last week listed the best prices for a nonstop Chicago-Zurich trip in June at $1,261 on American Airlines or $1,322 on Swiss. Travelocity and Expedia, in turn, both had a $586 fare on Swiss. Orbitz has its winners, too, and its matrix display gives the most information in the easiest format.

Airfare consultant Bob Harrell says his research shows very little difference -- on average. "Route by route, they can be quite different. They do have different pricing negotiated with different carriers," says Mr. Harrell, president of Harrell Associates in New York.

Connections are usually cheaper than nonstop flights. Struggling to find a good price to Rome, one of the pricier cities for trans-Atlantic airfare? Instead of paying $824 to Alitalia for a nonstop New York-Rome trip leaving June 2 and returning June 9, why not pay Swiss $563 with a connection in Geneva? Some may not like the hassle of a longer trip or the risk of missing a connection. Still, a few hours of extra travel may be worth saving enough to afford an extra day at your destination.

And pay attention to consolidators, either the online variety like, or those that advertise in travel sections. But these days the savings over published fares may be small, and restrictions can be high -- I'm not sure the pain justifies the gain.

Another route:, a membership club, also offers unpublished fares. Ken Day of Baltimore couldn't find tickets to Rome in June for much less than $1,000 on Travelocity and Orbitz, but nabbed a $750 round-trip on after paying a $60 annual membership fee. And for many people, a top-notch travel agent who can do repeated searches for you and find good deals can be worth far more than the fee you'll pay for the agent's service.

For ambitious do-it-yourselfers, try building itineraries with discount carriers in Europe. Barcelona is another pricey nonstop European city -- New York-Barcelona is currently $824 in early June on Delta Air Lines. Why not use that $532 Air France fare to Paris, then easyJet to Barcelona? Together you'd save about $150 a ticket. One issue: easyJet flies to Barcelona from Orly Airport in Paris, so you'd have to change airports -- a shuttle bus runs for about $10.

Or just enjoy some time in Paris. What better way to spend your airfare savings?

Bob Jensen's travel helpers are at 

AccountAbility Forum --- 

AccountAbility and Greenleaf Publishing are pleased to announce the launch of AccountAbility Forum.

AccountAbility Forum is a quarterly journal dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information on the practice and theory of social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting worldwide. By bringing together contributions from practitioners working in the field, it provides insight through practice, and offers experiences and perspectives in order to demonstrate how accountability drives performance.

AccountAbility Forum provides an essential resource for businesses, NGOs, governments and academia to learn about the most recent and important developments in accountability for sustainable development. Through consultation with AccountAbility’s networks and partnerships, each issue focuses on a current development or trend in the area, and in this way ensures that topics are both timely and relevant.

Issue 1 Spring 2004

Special double issue on
Responsible Competitiveness for Sustainable Economic Development



Journal of Corporate Citizenship --- 
The Journal of Corporate Citizenship (JCC) aims to publish the best ideas integrating the theory and practice of corporate citizenship in a format that is readable, accessible, engaging, interesting and useful for readers in business, consultancy, government, NGOs and academia. This peer-reviewed journal encourages practical, theoretically sound, and (when relevant) empirically rigorous manuscripts that address real-world implications of corporate citizenship in global and local contexts. Topics related to corporate citizenship can include (but are not limited to): corporate responsibility, stakeholder relationships, public policy, sustainability and environment, human and labour rights/issues, governance, accountability and transparency, globalisation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as multinational firms, ethics, measurement, and specific issues related corporate citizenship, such as diversity, poverty, education, information, trust, supply chain management, and problematic or constructive corporate/human behaviours and practices.

March 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [] 

In "2004: The Turning Point" (UBIQUITY, vol 4, issue 46, January 21- 7,

2004) Stephen Downes makes some predictions based on what he thinks is "driving the hearts of those who will make the final decisions on the future of the Internet, those who use it." He believes that the "deluge of spam" will be addressed in the near future, although not without mass marketers going to court to block anti-spam legislation.

Some other predictions: We will begin to see more personalization of Web browsing environments "so that all a person's essential Web reading (and very little non-essential Web reading) will be available through a single application." We will also see the resurgence of videoconferencing in the form of IP videoconferencing. And learning objects will gain and reach their potential outside traditional education settings. The complete article is available online at

Ubiquity is a free, Web-based publication of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), "dedicated to fostering critical analysis and in-depth commentary on issues relating to the nature, constitution, structure, science, engineering, technology, practices, and paradigms of the IT profession." For more information, contact: Ubiquity, email:; Web: For more information on the ACM, contact: ACM, One Astor Plaza, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, USA; tel: 800-342-6626 or 212-626-0500; Web:

For more predictions, see "Roundup of Articles Predicting IT Trends," CIT INFOBITS, issue 67, January 2004;

Bob Jensen's threads on ubiquitous computing are at 

From Syllabus News on March 2, 2004

Department of Education Funds Study on Education Technology The U.S. Department of Education is undertaking a study to determine the effectiveness of educational technology for learning reading and math and to measure how technology can improve student achievement in those subjects. The $10 million study, to begin during the 2004-05 school year, will be funded by two divisions of the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences and the Office of Educational Technology.

The study fulfills the president’s education initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act, and involves testing the effectiveness of 16 different software products in the areas of early reading, reading comprehension, pre-Algebra, and Algebra. The study will be conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and SRI International, two independent research companies who will assess student achievement gains over three years using a random-assignment study design. Although the study is aimed at K-8 learning, it’s results will be useful in establishing benchmarks for the effectiveness of educational technology overall.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at  
Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at   

New business Education Discussion Group --- 

Trinity University Came a Long Way Under the Leadership of John Brazil and Chuck White

The Princeton Review has ranked Trinity University in the top quarter of the nation’s most technologically advanced colleges and universities. Trinity came in No. 84 of 351 schools listed on America’s Most Connected Campuses. The ranking signifies that Trinity is one of the technology leaders among peer institutions. Read the full story --- 

Forwarded on March 2, 2004 by Neal Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET

IMA Launches New Research Program!

In a recent survey, members indicated that one of the reasons they join IMA is to keep up with new developments in management accounting that focus on the best tools and methods for planning, control, support, and decision making. As a result of this and other input, IMA is reentering the research arena. IMA is already the premier organization in managerial finance and accounting, but to maintain this leadership position, IMA must not only be on the cutting edge of research - it must create it.

Therefore, IMA's Foundation for Applied Research/Management Accounting Committee (FAR/MAC) invites academics to submit research proposals for consideration. The goal is to create discussion papers, Statements on Management Accounting, and practitioner-oriented articles based on completed research for publication in Strategic Finance magazine and/or Management Accounting Quarterly.

The research program brochure provides complete information about the program's objectives, research topics and proposal guidelines. Please contact James Cooke, Assistant Vice President - Research, for more information about the program at (800) 638-4427, ext. 1526, or via e-mail: .

Neal J. Hannon, CMA 
XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine 
IMA Board of Directors Member 
University of Hartford 

The IMA home page is at 

Forwarded by William Consuegra

"10 Colleges with Dorms Like Palaces," The Princeton Review --- 

Most colleges are notorious for their prison-cell dorm rooms. But a few colleges have dorms like palaces--spectacular views, loads of space, and convenient amenities. The Princeton Review surveyed college students around the country about their campus digs. These ten sport the swankiest dorms.

2004 Rankings

This year's rankings are in! The Princeton Review ranks The Best 351 Colleges. This is just one on the list. Get the full set!

1. Loyola College in Maryland

Welcome to a New Yorker's paradise, a place where "people have walk-in closets so large they debate what kind of room they can convert the closet into" and "even the freshman-year dorms are gigantic." When students tell us that their campus is a truly "positive living environment," their comments reflect not only the quality of the dorms but also the fact that "The school keeps the campus spotless, the flowers are changed regularly, the grass is always green, and every morning they have people who not only clean up any litter but every cigarette butt on the ground."

2. Smith College

Smith College has "a unique housing system...where everyone lives in houses instead of dorms." These houses have "at least one professor serving as House Fellow" who typically "comes to teas, candlelight diners, and altogether make students feel important and valued." Students love the system as well as the houses themselves, which provide "country-club comfort." It's a good thing too, because the housing system plays a major role in Smith's social scene. According to one student, "Life at Smith revolves mainly around the housing system. On average, 80 percent of your friends are in your house."

3. Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr's "unparalleled" dorms serve as an integral part of the college's support network. Here, incoming students are assigned to custom groups, "groups of freshmen separated by dorm and hall, and led by sophomores in order to adjust to the college life together." Also, "Every dorm and every hall is mixed with all four classes, and even in the throes of thesis-writing, seniors are supportive of freshmen." When they grow tired of all the support, students can retreat to their "cavernous" rooms.

4. Scripps College

Scripps's residence halls, in which "almost everyone has a single," are "ridiculously luxurious. We have living rooms with grand pianos and fireplaces in every dorm. Between the residence halls and the good food, my mom thinks I'll never live this well again." One undergrad gushed, "We have the best on-campus housing I have ever seen! I mean, I have a balcony, a walk-in closet, a sink and two windows! I'm in love with my room!" Perhaps best of all, "because the school is all women, the dorm environment is relaxed," so it's easy to get studying done.

5. Agnes Scott College

Scotties enjoy "homey and spacious" dormitories. "Even the worst first-year room beats the best room at Georgia Tech," wrote one undergrad at this all-women's college (she didn't elaborate on how she knew so much about Tech dorm rooms). One student admitted, "Really, we are spoiled with our historic dorms with high ceilings and hardwood floors."

6. Skidmore College

Skidmore housing not only offers "the biggest rooms of any campus I've seen, but our residences also build a sense of community that makes it really easy to meet people when you're a freshman." Student housing is "arranged in suites, so that you don't have to share a bathroom with a lot of people," and "there are pool tables in dorm basements," meaning you needn't brave the chilly Saratoga Springs winter to enjoy a fun study break. On the downside, perhaps, "The dorms are absolutely teeming with bongos and guitars!"

7. Claremont McKenna College

CMC provides hotel-style amenities to its appreciative students. One student explained, "Our rooms are great, and we have cleaning service that takes out our trash cans, dusts our rooms, and stuff." If the school starts placing mints on the pillows and tiny complimentary bottles of shampoo in the bathrooms, it may just top this list next year.

8. Bowdoin College

At Bowdoin, "first years have two-room triples, which are good" but "really feel like they are made for two people." Housing improves as students move up the ranks. Some upperclassmen move to social houses, "converted frats" (Bowdoin did away with its Greek system in 1997) that "provide a place where anyone can socialize with just about all types of students." Residents of the houses "are given budgets by the school to have parties, community service events, art shows, concerts, and annual events such as the school-wide Olympics or softball tournament."

9. Mount Holyoke College

Many of Mount Holyoke's "lovely" dorm rooms "have hardwood floors, huge windows, and high ceilings," and nearly all "are huge and really nice." The accommodations are luxurious enough to move one student to opine that "the dorms are better than most four-star hotels." They're also "usually very quiet and easy to study in," which, given the mountain of work Holyoke women usually face, is definitely a good thing.

10. The George Washington University

GW has "put a lot of money into making the dorms comfortable," and students have responded by telling us that their housing ranks among the nation's best. The school places students in apartment-style dorms. One undergrad bragged, "In my freshman dorm, I have a kitchen and a bathroom that is shared with my three roommates. The college is proving to us they think we're ready for responsibility by granting us this living environment."

Think this list is bunk?

Voice your own opinion on the Discussion Board of The Princeton Review.

Each year, The Princeton Review surveys tens of thousands of college students to get the inside word on what's going on at the nation's top colleges. For more inside information about these schools, go to The Princeton Review's College Rankings.


Cooking the Books

March 1, 2004 message from Mike Groomer


Do you have any idea about who coined the phrase “Cooking the Books? What is the lineage of these magic words?


Hi Mike,

The phrase "cooking the books" appears to have a long history. Several friends on the AECM found some interesting facts and legends.

However, there may be a little urban legend in some of this.

I suspect that the phrase may have origins that will never be determined much like double entry bookkeeping itself with unknown origins. And I'm not sure were the term "books" first appeared although I suspect it goes back to when ledgers were bound into "books."

Bob Jensen

March 1 messages from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM

-----Original Message----- 
From: David Albrecht 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 9:56 PM 
Subject: Acct 321: Cooking the books

The phrase "Cooking the Books" has been part of our linguistic heritage for over two hundred years. Here is a discussion of the origination of the phrase. Enjoy! Dr. Albrecht 

Just found another page.


I'm doing a google search. Interesting links so far:

Cost to society of cooking the books - from Brookings Institute

Cookie jar accounting -

The bubbling corporate ethics scandal and recipes for avoiding future stews. -

Andersen cartoon -

Cooking the Books with Mike -

Cartoons -

Cooking the books, an old recipe - --> "No one knows for sure when all the ingredients in the phrase 'cooking the books' were first put together. Shakespeare was the first to refer to "books" as a business ledger (King Lear, Act III, Scene iv, "Keep...thy pen from lenders books"). The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms cites 1636 as the first time the word 'cook' was used to mean falsify (but it didn't also include the word 'books'). Combining 'cook' and 'books' may be a 20th century innovation. Even the origin of "cooking the books" is controversial.

This is all I have time to search,

David Albrecht

March 1, 2004 reply from Roy Regel [Roy.Regel@BUSINESS.UMT.EDU

A related term is "cookbooking," as used in Gleim's 'Careers in Accounting: How to Study for Success.' Per Gleim ". . .cookbooking is copying from the chapter illustration, step-by-step. Barely more than rote memorization is required to achieve false success. Do not cookbook!"

Isn't English wonderful? :)

Roy Regel

March 1, 2004 reply from Richard C. Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@DARTMOUTH.EDU

According to , the phrase dates back to the 18th century, to an (unattributed) report that used the phrase "the books have been cooked." The report dealt with the conduct of George Hudson and the accounts of the Eastern Counties Railways.

Richard Sansing

Following up on Richard Sansing's lead, Mike answered his own question --- 

Bob Jensen

Original Message----- 
From: Groomer, S. Michael []  
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 9:40 AM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: RE: Acct 321: Cooking the books

Hi Bob,

Yes… very interesting… See below… Thanks for your efforts.

Best regards, Mike

cook the books - falsify business accounts - according to 18th century Brewer, 'cook the books' originally appeared as the past tense 'the books have been cooked' in a report (he didn't name the writer unfortunately) referring to the conduct George Hudson (1700-71), 'the railway king', under whose chairmanship the accounts of Eastern Counties Railways were falsified. Brewer says then (1870) that the term specifically describes the tampering of ledger and other trade books in order to show a balance in favour of the bankrupt. Brewer also says the allusion is to preparing meat for the table. These days the term has a wider meaning, extending to any kind of creative accounting. Historical records bear this out, and date the first recorded use quite accurately: Hudson made a fortune speculating in railway shares, and then in 1845, which began the period 1845-47 known as 'railway mania' in Britain, he was exposed as a fraudster and sent to jail. Other cliche references suggest earlier usage, even 17th century, but there appears to be no real evidence of this. There is an argument for Brewer being generally pretty reliable when it comes to first recorded/published use, because simply he lived far closer to the date of origin than reference writers of today. If you read Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable you'll see it does have an extremely credible and prudent style. The word 'book' incidentally comes from old German 'buche' for beech wood, the bark of which was used in Europe before paper became readily available. The verb 'cook' is from Latin 'coquere'


Bill Gates announced a detailed vision on how technology can be used to help end spam.  Microsoft "believes that system-wide changes to the e-mail infrastructure are needed to provide greater certainty about the origin of an e-mail message and to enable legitimate senders to more clearly distinguish themselves from spammers."


These Would Be Hilarious If They Were Not True
Selected samplings are shown below.  Go to Easterbrook's article for the rest of the absurdities.

"Everyone was completely wrong about everything! by Gregg Easterbrook, --- 

When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Get There Eventually

According to the Wall Street Journal, studies find that the United States Postal Service's Priority Mail, priced at $3.85 for a letter, is slower than standard first-class mail, priced at 37 cents. Only 65 percent of Priority Mail is delivered within three business days, versus 81 percent for standard first class.

When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Move About 150 Feet

If you FedEx a letter from one place in your city to another part of the same city, the letter is first flown to Memphis, Tenn., to be sorted, then flown back to your city. Today a letter can be picked up, transported to a distant location, transported back and delivered a few blocks away the next day for $12. Only in America!

To TMQ, this reached the height of absurdity the other day when I received a FedEx from another company located in my building. Someone had made out an address label not realizing my address was identical to their address; FedEx had picked it up without the courier noticing. The parcel had been flown from Washington, D.C. to Memphis, sorted, flown back and delivered to the same building where it originated. All for only $12!

NFL Coaches Join the Pass-Wacky Party

Australia has barred the use of "contrived names" for political parties. Among the names rejected by election officials were the Stupid Party; the Deadly Serious Party; the Party-Party-Party Party and the Sun-Ripened Tomato Party. The last sounds pretty legitimate to TMQ, though you can't tell which side of the sun-ripened tomato controversy they are on.

Over in New Zealand, you might want to join the United Future Party. Mega-babe Sharee Adams, Miss Universe of New Zealand, ran for parliament as a United Future candidate --- 

Equal-Time Beefcake

Reader Anna Carol Dilger from Purdue University suggests this site with pin-up quality views of classic Hollywood swoon stars. --- 

For more go to



Knowledge Wants to Be Openly Shared:  One Day We Will Beat the Selfishness Out of Academe
"DSpace partners led by MIT have bet the farm." 
(See Below)


Why do some leading universities openly share knowledge while a few other leading universities go so far as to claim property rights over the notes students take in courses?  Why do some share instructor course notes, software, and  research papers without charge whereas others charge for every word written by a faculty member?



My really good friends in the Computer Science Department invited me to dinner on March 2 with our Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Hal Abelson from MIT --- 
The following are more-or-less footnotes to the above home page (note the free video lectures):


Trinity University was fortunate to be one of eight universities on this year's schedule for Professor Abelson --- 


Hal Abelson is professor of electrical engineering and computer science and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is winner of several teaching awards, including the IEEE's Booth Education Award, cited for his contributions to the teaching of undergraduate computer science. His research at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory focuses on "amorphous computing," an effort to create programming technologies that can harness the power of the new computing substrates emerging from advances in microfabrication and molecular biology. He is also engaged in the interaction of law, policy, and technology as they relate to societal tensions sparked by the growth of the Internet, and is active in projects at MIT and elsewhere to help bolster our intellectual commons.


A founding director of the Free Software Foundation and of Creative Commons, he serves as a consultant to Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He is co-director of the MIT-Microsoft Research Alliance in educational technology and co-head of MIT's Council on Educational Technology.

Professor Abelson is one of the founding fathers of the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI/OCW) and DSpace knowledge sharing databases that are probably the leading programs for free and open sharing of knowledge and education materials --- 


He is also the Director of Public Knowledge --- 


OKI and DSpace

The OCW (Open Courseware) announcement, almost three years ago, was open for easy inference. MIT officials insisted that the university was not offering online courses to students; rather, MIT faculty were putting their course materials—syllabi and supporting resources—on the Web for others to use. In other words, one could see the syllabus and review some of the course materials, but not take the class.  And not just a few classes. OCW’s announced goal is to make the complete MIT curriculum—everything in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, across all fields, totalling some 2000 courses—available over the next few years. Speaking at the November 2003 EDUCAUSE Conference, Anne Margulies, executive director of the OCW project, announced that MIT has made significant progress towards this goal: as of fall 2003, the resources for some 500 MIT courses had been posted on the Web.
Kenneth C. Green, "Curricular Reform, Conspiracy, and Philanthropy," Syllabus, January 2004, Page 27 --- 

The main Open Knowledge Initiative site at MIT is at 

In the first week on the Web, the OCW site received more than 13 million visits from users, about 52 percent from outside of the United States. The OCW team also processed more than 2,000 e-mails in those first days, more than 75 percent of them supportive of the project. The remaining 25 percent were a mix of technical questions, inquiries about specific course offerings, and questions about content. Less than 2 percent of those e-mails were negative.
"Open Access to World-Class Knowledge," by Anne H. Margulies, Syllabus, March 2003, pp. 16-18 --- 


In another program for storage and sharing of knowledge, Professor Abelson and his colleagues have persuaded leading universities to participate in another program called DSpace or the Self-Managing Library.  The participating universities now include such giants as Stanford University, University of Chicago, and other leading research universities of the world --- 


John Schmitz from the University of Illinois writes as follows at 


All these can be subsumed by the biggest issue that does not seem to be more than a blip on the land grant radar, the highly visible trend called institutional repositories. For example, the DSpace project is building an institutional repository for public use, aiming at posting as much of their content as possible. Extension services and land grants routinely post free, online content, but the DSpace partners led by MIT have bet the farm. Will the extension service create institutional repositories too? How far do the land grants go? DSpace, Merlot, and other 'open content' efforts cannot help but appear as paradigmatic land grant projects. But we're apparently not at the table.


The main Open Knowledge Initiative site at MIT is at

Bob Jensen's comments about sharing are at


Open Share Final Examination from the University of Georgia

The message below speaks for itself. Denny is currently on the faculty of The University of Georgia and is on the Board of Directors of some leading corporations like Worldcom/MCI where he was also appointed to Chair of the Audit Committee as part of Worldcom's effort to emerge from bankruptcy and restore integrity to accounting at Worldcom.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From:  Dennis Beresford 
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 6:12 AM 
Subject: Difficulty of Examinations

Sometimes our students complain about accounting exams being much tougher than those for other classes. That certainly seems to be the case as compared to the final exam of the University of Georgia's Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball class taught by former assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr. A copy of his final exam can be seen at: 

Not surprisingly, each of the students in Professor Harrick's class "earned" an A in the class, including three starters for the basketball team coached by his father Jim Harrick. Those particular student athletes apparently never actually attended the class but they were still able to ace the challenging final.

Denny Beresford

Student Derivatives and Course Notes:  The Gray Zone of Knowledge Sharing
What students take away from a course falls into the "gray zone" of property rights.  We cannot erase what a student learns in a course, nor would we want to ever do so.  However, we are uneasy when that student commences to write about the content of the course or blends the contents of the course into his/her writing.


"In the meantime, University of California faculty generally own their copyright-protected property (see the UC Policy on Copyright Ownership, August 19, 1992) and, if concerned about notes being distributed on the web, have rights to stop it." (See below)



"Student Notes on the Web," Business Contracts Office, UC Davis --- 


First, the October 1, 1999, issue of The Chronicle for Higher Education contains an article entitled "Putting Class Notes on the Web: Are Companies Stealing Lectures?" Interestingly, one of the companies discussed in the article is also the one prompting the current round of complaints - If you do not have access to The Chronicle in your office you may wish to borrow this issue from a colleague. The article, while not going into depth on the legal issues involved, makes clear that many institutions of higher education across the nation are facing this same problem.

The issue of making individual student notes available to others is not new to the University of California, of course. Here at Davis ASUCD has provided the "Classical Notes" service to UCD students for some time, but authorization has not been a complaint as note-takers are required to obtain the written permission of the instructor. In 1969 a UCLA instructor sued a commercial publisher for hiring a student to take notes for publication without the instructor’s permission, and the court held that such action was a violation of the California common law copyright (California Civil Code 980 et. seq.) as well as an invasion of privacy, and both enjoined the company from continuing while ordering compensatory and punitive damages. (Williams v. Weisser (1969) 273 C.A.2d 726.) This settled the issue in California at the time.

However, the world-wide web and the value of E-commerce have brought the problem back to California in the last few years, likely because the individuals (often students) who are starting these nationwide companies are not aware of state laws, instead operating under the assumption that the federal copyright law governs all. I believe it is helpful to understand how federal law does not clearly protect instructors in this situation. Federal copyright protection of the rights to make copies, make derivative works, distribute, perform publicly, and display, applies to "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, from which they can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device." (17 USCA section 102.) Although the federal law was written long before the Internet was conceived, its application is no different whether applied to paper class notes or the Internet version posting of them.

Certainly, no one will dispute that federal law creates a copyright interest in the instructor’s written/printed lecture notes, to the extent they are original work. If an instructor is reading or reciting from his/her lecture notes, he/she is exercising his/her performance rights under copyright law, and a duplication of that performance by taking notes so accurate as to allow a repeat performance would be a copyright violation. However, most instructors do not lecture so precisely from their notes, although portions such as a poem or critical passage may be read. If the words being said in a lecture are not otherwise "fixed" the public performance does not of itself constitute publication (17 USCA section 101, definition of publication), so does not trigger federal copyright protection. Even if it did, in a federal court case that looked at the applicability of copyright to course lectures, the court held that most statements made in a lecture can be categorized as facts or ideas that do not belong to anyone, neither of which is copyrightable. (University of Florida v. KPB, Inc (d.b.a. "A Notes"), 89 F.3d 773; 1196 U.S. LEXIS 18778 (11th Cir. 1996)).

The argument being made by the web-based services, however, is that even if the lecture is protected by copyright under federal law, each note-taker is merely writing down his/her perceptions of the instructor’s exercise of his/her copyrights. Rather than violating the existing copyright, the note-taker is creating a new original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium, and, as the author, can exercise any of the rights provided by federal copyright law, including transferring ownership to a note-distribution service. The services have been very careful not to duplicate class handouts or syllabi, which would clearly be a copyright violation. The merit of this argument has not been tested in court. One response to this might be that the note-taker is creating a derivative work rather than a new work. However, if so, every college student who takes notes is creating a derivative work without express authorization of the instructor, leading some campus attorneys to advise instructors to begin expressly authorizing notes made for personal use to differentiate notes for personal use from notes for sale.

Fortunately, we don’t have to get into this can of federal worms so long as the California common law copyright continues to be good law and is not preempted by federal law to the contrary. In the meantime, UC faculty generally own their copyright-protected property (see the UC Policy on Copyright Ownership, August 19, 1992) and, if concerned about notes being distributed on the web, have rights to stop it. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, instructors can announce at the first class, and put in every syllabus, on their course web-sites, and in/on any other teacher-student communication, a statement to the effect of:

Copyright (author’s name) (year). All federal and state copyrights reserved for all original material presented in this course through any medium, including lecture or print. Individuals are prohibited from being paid for taking, selling, or otherwise transferring for value, personal class notes made during this course to any entity without the express written permission of (author). In addition to legal sanctions, students found in violation of these prohibitions may be subject to University disciplinary action.

Bob Jensen's comments about sharing are at


"Scientists behaving badly," by Jim Giles , Nature, March 4, 2004 --- 

They lie, they cheat and they steal. Judging by the cases described by a group of medical journal editors, scientists are no different from the rest of us.

Last week's annual report1 of the Committee on Publishing Ethics details the misdemeanours that the group of journal editors grappled with in 2003. Although the number of cases - 29 - is tiny compared with the tens of thousands of papers published in medical journals every year, the cases cover a wide range of unethical activity, from attempted bribery to potential medical malpractice.

Many of the tricks will be familiar to schoolchildren. Two complaints concern cases where researchers were accused of copying someone else's work. When editors investigated, they agreed that the papers were almost identical versions of previously published material, and that plagiarism was the most likely explanation.

Confronted with the evidence, researchers behind one paper insisted that their paper contained only 5% overlap with the original. Another author, when eventually reached by mobile phone, admitted some similarities; but at that point the call ended abruptly.

Duplicate publication, where the same paper is printed twice in different journals to boost publication records, is the most common offence, accounting for seven of 29 cases. This fits with previous studies of the practice.

A 2003 survey of opthalmology journals estimated that at least 1.5% of all papers are duplicates2. Some researchers seem to have perfected the art: a study released last month identified two papers that had each been published five times3.

Compulsory action

Conflicts of interest also rear their head in the report. One journal ran a paper on passive smoking from authors who omitted to mention that they had received funding from the tobacco industry. Further probing revealed that the author had received tobacco company money throughout his career and even lobbied for the industry.

In cases where the misconduct concerns medical treatments, the report becomes more disturbing. The editors discuss several studies where medical procedures were run by researchers who did not have proper ethical clearance.

One paper revealed that blood samples were taken from healthy babies to set up a control group for a study. This was a painful procedure that the paper's authors later said wouldn't normally be sanctioned for research purposes. The nature of their ethical approval for the procedure was never cleared up.

When confronted with such issues, journal editors usually contact the researchers' employers or ethics committees, who may take action. But this is not compulsory.

The publishing committee wants to formalize this course of action in a code of ethical conduct for editors. It has published a draft of such a code alongside its report, and a final version should be ready in the next few months. The committee wants all editors of medical journals, including its 180 or so members, to sign up to the code and agree to be bound by the associated disciplinary procedures.

Such a code should clarify editors' duties. It should also make clear, if it is not already, which activities are inappropriate. The report describes one bid to persuade an editor to accept a manuscript, in which an anonymous caller offered to buy 1000 reprints of the published paper. "And," the caller added, "I will buy you dinner at any restaurant you choose."

Bob Jensen's main academic fraud document is at 



Better Than Beta:  Read About a Three Factor Market Risk Model
Jim Maher pointed this article out to me.

"Interview with Kenneth French," Index Funds --- 

Kenneth R. French was the former  NTU of Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management (and is now on the Tuck School faculty at Dartmouth) . He is an expert on the behavior of security prices, investment strategies, and the management of financial risk. His recent research focuses on tests of asset pricing models, the trade up between risk and return in domestic and international financial markets, the cost of capital and the relation between capital structure and firm value. Professor French is past director of the American Finance Association, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate editor of the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies and others.  Despite this impressive history, he defers, modestly, to Eugene Fama:  "Our partnership is supposed, total misunderstanding because Gene turned in this good stuff."

Kenneth French and Eugene Fama are credited with identifying multiple risk factors in the stock market and developing the three-factor model to measure different types of risk.  This three-factor model changed the world of finance.  "I guess we were trying to answer the question: If you were trying to form a portfolio with high expected returns or low expected returns, how would you go about doing that? At the time, the capital asset pricing model was the basic theory that said high beta stocks--high expected returns, low beta stocks--low expected returns. And so we looked at that and we looked at a bunch of other things that people had already identified and what we discovered was, gee, beta didn`t seem to work very well, knowing the stocks beta didn`t seem to tell me anything about what its average return was going to be." 

French remembers that others had already developed results indicating that small stocks tend to buy average returns more than big stocks.  "And the result was that variables, like the ratio of the book value of equity to the market value of equity, mattered a lot in terms of identifying stocks with high expected returns and stocks with low expected returns. What we`ve discovered since then is there`s no magic about book-to-market. You can measure it with dividend yield, earnings price, cash flow to price, basically anything where you have some fundamental value in the numerator and price in the denominator. So, it`s a way to scale price, basically, and the way I like to think of it is, we`re looking a discount rate. You get a discount, for example, for future cash flows at the expected return on the market. If you have a high-expected return, you get a high cash fair price. So a high cash fair price maps in higher expected return. Basically, it`s using the idea that the expected return that we as investors are looking at on the stock is the same thing as the discount rate or the cost of capital that the firm has to be thinking about.  That`s an easy way to identify differences in expected returns."

Since the three-factor model seems to be so effective, investors may be wondering if the capital asset pricing model is no longer relevant.  "That`s a tough question.  The evidence is pretty strong that as far back as we can see, there seems to be little relation between beta, the fundamental variable of the capital asset pricing model, and average returns on stocks.  Maybe it`s my upbringing, but if the argument is so compelling that stocks that vary a lot with the market bring a lot of risk to people`s portfolio, they`re bringing a lot of risk, people are going to demand a higher premium. So, I`m not willing to say no, there`s nothing that the cap end tells us about differences in expected returns, but what I think we can say is, you have to add other variables.  In addition to beta, I think what matters is sensitivity to what we call size risk and then, sensitivity to something we call distress risk . And the size risk, it`s basically the size factor we see. Small stocks, again, have more of this size risk and more of the expected return. The distress risks, that`s the book-to-market, or the cash flow to price, earnings price, that`s that variable that we`re talking about. Companies that are really sick, bad opportunities, poor investments, they have a higher expected return."  Professor French opines that investors are seeking a premium when investing in a company with poor prospects.  "Companies that have great opportunities, very robust, things are going well in their industry, it appears that the market is willing to invest at a lower expected return for those companies."

Continued in the article


Jim Maher's Updates on the Stock Market, February 27, 2004  --- 

What a great article The equity risk premium has puzzled researchers for years. In a nutshell it is the finding that the equity risk premium demanded by investors is too large to be explained by changes in stock returns or changes in consumption unless very high levels of risk aversion were assumed. (See Grossman-Schiller, 1981, Mehra-Prescott 1985). In a forthcoming JF article, Ait-Sahalia, Parker, and Yogo may have taken much of the mystery out of the puzzle. Acknowledging that the puzzle can not be explained by looking at co-movements with overall consumption, the authors, break consumption down into basic and luxury components. Predictably the luxury component of consumption is more volatile AND “covaries significantly more with stock returns than does aggregate consumption.” Then when the equity premium is examined relative to the consumption of the luxury consumption, the size of the premium can be explained by a much lower risk aversion. Additionally, rather than relying on inaccurate government data or biased reported data, the authors look at actual consumption of luxury goods. A VERY cool paper!!!!!!! I was so excited by this one I ran down and interrupted a colleague. Be sure to read it! 

While there now seems to be evidence that herding happens, I still am not really sure what to make of the herding papers. Of course they conflict (at least partially) with the more extreme views of efficient markets, but I am not sure how much. For example, it is logical to watch and observe other traders in order to better gauge the supply and demand curves other investors have. That said, the papers are always almost always interesting (especially Grinblatt, Titman, and Wermers (1995)). A forthcoming JF article by Feng and Seasholes is no exception. Using a cool data set that identifies where the locale of the individual Chinese traders, the authors find that trades are "highly correlated" even when geographically separated. This suggest to be "evidence of market-wide shocks…and little evidence of…group psychology." Additionally it appears that those traders who live nearer firm's HQ have better information. 

In spite of an abundance of studies that suggest the existence of calendar anomalies (days of the week, late summer, year end, month end) they make no sense to me. (and yes I realize some can be explained away using microstructure or tax explanations). That said I was very happy to stumble upon this paper by Gerlach when at the Southern Finance Association meetings. He finds that macro news events can describe most of the anomalies away. So score one more for efficient markets :)

Sports time. NASCAR is hot! How hot? Even FinanceProfessors are writing about it! In a working paper Sullivan and Dussold (who BTW was/is a runner) look at the stock performance of the sponsor of the winning car in various races. They find a positive and statistically significant price jump. 


The Unfinished Women's Revolution, Stanford Graduate School of Business --- 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Helen K. Chang, 650-723-3358, Fax: 650-725-6750

February, 2004

STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS — In the '70s and '80s, women battled for equality. They wanted to enter the workplace, work as hard as men, and be rewarded the same way. Unfortunately, says Myra Strober, Stanford professor of education, many of them got most of what they wanted. Now their daughters realize that their mothers didn't ask for enough.

Strober drew a primarily alumnae audience in January for her talk "Work and Families, the Unfinished Revolution," sponsored by alumni Lifelong Learning. Many professional women are finding that they cannot work 50 or 60 hour weeks, travel at the drop of a hat, and still care for their children. Many men whose wives are employed also cannot adequately balance work responsibilities and their desire to help raise their children. Society, she said, needs to reconstruct the workplace, to rethink responsibilities for raising children, and to learn to talk about a work life balance, not simply work and family.

The roles of men and women have changed in the past 30 years, but there has been no serious discussion of changing the workplace. Strober called for part-time jobs that are not labeled as "mommy tracks" designed for people who aren't serious about their careers, for pro-rated benefits for part-time employees, and for genuine flexibility in career tracks. She also suggested that the United States enact legislation that provides for a one year partially paid parental leave for the arrival of a new child, which both parents can share; and for an overhauled child-care system she estimates will cost $26 billion per year.

At the heart of many of her calls for change is the need to overhaul our attitudes toward child rearing. If we don't change services available and attitudes toward raising children, Strober warned, "people will opt out entirely and choose not to have children."

"Children are a public good that we all have to support," she said.

To see how lives have changed, Strober cited statistics showing that in 1977 the average combined workweek for a couple was 81 hours per week. In 2002 that had risen to 91 hours. The time parents spent with children increased from 5.2 to 6.2 hours per day in the same period. Not surprisingly, the time men and women spent on themselves also changed. In 1977 fathers spent an average of 126 minutes on themselves, compared to 78 minutes today while mothers dropped from 96 minutes to 54 spent on themselves.

Strober's most recent book is The Road Winds Uphill All the Way: Gender, Work, and Family in the United States and Japan that surveyed 1981 men and women graduates of Stanford and Tokyo universities.


HooRay for Google!  Down With Yahoo!


Yahoo is expanding a program that lets advertisers pay to ensure that their sites are included in its search results.


Is this new Yahoo policy an abuse of advertising?  I don't seem to mind the tiny advertising boxes that appear on many Google searches, because I know they are advertisements, and they are not obtrusive.   But I can't say that I go along with the following new policy of Yahoo.  It's just one step away of the highly abusive policy of listing all advertiser sites before listing the most relevant sites in a search outcome.  


The new Yahoo policy is CAO --- Crap Always Out

The most abusive in what I call CFO --- Crap First Out.



"Yahoo Search Results To Include Paid Links," by Mylene Mangalindan, The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2004 ---,,SB107817895456643322,00.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news

Approach Means Surfers Won't Be Able to Tell
Which Sites Made Payments to Be Included

Yahoo Inc., the nation's second largest search engine, is aggressively expanding a program that lets advertisers pay to ensure that their sites are included in search results.

Yahoo executives say the payments won't improve a site's ranking on the list of results that appear after a search. But at the same time, Yahoo acknowledged that there will be no distinguishing marks to alert Web surfers that a company had paid to be included.

Yahoo's new approach is expected to begin Tuesday. The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet company has already been using a similar approach on its shopping-oriented Web pages, but it's now expanding the program to its entire site.

The move is likely to add fuel to the growing battle between Yahoo and its main rival, Google Inc., which has surpassed Yahoo to become the nation's most popular search site.

Google (, of Mountain View, Calif., says it doesn't let advertisers pay to be included in its traditional search results. Google does allow advertisers to pay for promotions that appear alongside search results, but these are clearly labeled as "sponsored links." Google executives say their users favor this neutral, technology-driven approach. (Yahoo also continues to have a separate "sponsored" section for advertisers.)

Google co-founder Larry Page said Google separates and labels advertising, much the way newspapers distinguish between news stories and advertising. He questioned whether Yahoo would prevent advertisers from influencing search rankings, as well as results. "It's really tricky when people start putting things in the search results," he said.

The problem for Yahoo users is that they won't be able to tell which results are paid for and which aren't. Currently, search results are divided into two parts: For example, type in "dog walkers" and hit "return." At the top of the page that then pops up -- and also in the right-hand column -- are "sponsored" links, listing dog walkers or related businesses that paid for the premium position. Below that are what until now have been unsponsored findings listed under the heading, "Top 20 Web Results."

Under the new system, that second layer of findings will include both paid and unpaid links. But there is no way to find out if a specific company that comes up has paid or not. Yahoo will include only a general disclosure about the new program, on a separate page. (To read it, Web surfers must click on the phrase "What's this?")

If Web site operators want to be included in the new program, they must pay an annual subscription fee of $49 to list one Internet address and $29 each for their next nine addresses. On top of that, companies must pay Yahoo a fee for each person that clicks on their search listing.

The move comes two weeks after Yahoo dropped search technology from Google in favor of its own technology. Google is the top-ranked site that Internet users visit when conducting Web searches. About 35% of all Web searches in the U.S. are conducted on Google's sites, while 28% of them are done on Yahoo's sites, according to comScore Media Metrix, a unit of comScore Networks Inc., a market-research firm.

Analysts say Yahoo's move may arouse suspicions among computer users that the search results, and rankings, are being influenced by advertisers. It's a "trust issue," said Charlene Li, an analyst at market-research firm Forrester Research Inc. "Is this really the most relevant result or not?"

Yahoo says the program helps users by delivering information that its own or other search technology might miss. "Our goal is to deliver the highest quality search results," said Tim Cadogan, Yahoo's vice president of search. "We're going to gain users," he says, because "we're delivering better results."

Under Yahoo's "content acquisition program," advertisers pay to have their sites surveyed by Yahoo software that "crawls" the Web periodically, looking for new or updated Web pages.

Forrester's Ms. Li said she thinks consumers ultimately will accept the program, because they will come to understand Yahoo's policy of including advertisers in searches, but not allowing advertising to influence search rankings.  (Do you really think this constraint will remain?) 

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen’s search helpers are at

Marketing and Purchasing Searches
ClickZ's Search Engine Watch released its annual list of outstanding Web search services for 2003. Your favorites are among them, but there were also surprises and controversial predictions for the coming year --- 
Note that Yahoo is Number One for marketing searches.


Bob Jensen’s search helpers for products and marketing are at  


"Ask Jeeves Discontinues 'Paid-Inclusion' Search Plan," by Mylene Mangalindan, The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2005 ---,,SB107827881934145010,00.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news

Ask Jeeves Inc., an Internet search technology company, is dropping its program allowing advertisers and Web site operators to pay to ensure inclusion in the company's search index. The company's "paid-inclusion" program adversely affects the results that Internet users see, Ask Jeeves said.

"We've found it impacts relevance of the results" for the users, said Jim Lanzone, vice president of product management at AskJeeves. "That's something that we don't think is in the best interest of our users."

Paid-inclusion programs have been controversial because some users worry that the payments by Web site operators influence their ranking among the search results. Instead, some users prefer a neutral, technology-driven approach that clearly distinguishes advertisements from the results generated by search technology.

Ask Jeeves is eliminating its paid-inclusion program called Index Express over the next 30 days, when most of its remaining contracts expire, said Mr. Lanzone. The Emeryville, Calif., company says it makes enough money from search-related advertisements that it can afford to drop the paid-inclusion program, which doesn't have a material impact on the company's revenue.

Yahoo Inc., the second-ranked search site, began aggressively expanding its own paid-inclusion program Tuesday. Google Inc., the top-ranked Web search site, doesn't have a paid-inclusion program.

How About a Game of Bingo for Ethics Fun and Learning?

Using Games to Enhance Student Understanding of Professional and Ethical Responsibilities,” by M. Elizabeth Haywood, Dorothy A. McMullen, and Donald E. Wygal, Issues in Accounting Education, February 2004, pp. 85-100 ---

 ABSTRACT: Given recent corporate scandals, the credibility of the accounting profession has been called into question. In order to restore public trust, accounting educators need to devise ways to convey the importance of ethics in our profession to our students. An alternative approach to using a traditional lecture to teach ethics is to use games. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a game strategy to teach ethics and professionalism to students. Using games makes learning more fun and also helps to maintain student interest and involvement in the learning process. Student feedback has been positive and encouraging on the use of this format to teach ethics and professional responsibilities.

Bob Jensen's threads on resources for accounting educators are at 


Where are some great resources (hard copy and electronic) for teaching ethics?

"An Inventory of Support Materials for Teaching Ethics in the Post-Enron Era,” by C. William Thomas, Issues in Accounting Education, February 2004, pp. 27-52 ---

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a "Post-Enron" annotated bibliography of resources for accounting professors who wish to either design a stand-alone course in accounting ethics or who wish to integrate a significant component of ethics into traditional courses across the curriculum.  Many of the resources listed are recent, but some are classics that have withstood the test of time and still contain valuable information.  The resources listed include texts and reference works, commercial books, academic and professional articles, and electronic resources such as film and Internet websites.  Resources are listed by subject matter, to the extent possible, to permit topical access.  Some observations about course design, curriculum content, and instructional methodology are made as well.

Bob Jensen's threads on resources for accounting educators are at 


I have some comments on Billy’s fine contribution that provides a start to inventorying resources.  It is especially great for early history to some of the classic works such as Carl Devine’s great essays.  There are huge historical oversights as well, notably the early warnings of the decline in ethics and professionalism from Abe Brilhoff ---

Where Billy’s inventory is really weak is on the current books and journals that probably provide more interesting reading to young students in ethics courses.  For example, he makes no mention of the truly shocking books by Watkins, Tofler, Glass, and the various other more current books listed at

He makes no references to the truly important articles written by Paul Volker (The Culture of Greed Sucked the Blood Out of Professionalism ) and Art Wyatt (They Still Don’t Get It).  See

There are Web citations and  links to the literature of scandals in the big accounting firms such as those listed at

I guess my criticism is that Billy’s inventory is better for teaching the history of accounting ethics literature than for teaching current documents, current learning games (e.g., Bingo ethics),  and current videos available on the Web such as the Enron party and the Worldcom party videos ---

Billy provides the start of a great inventory, but it badly needs to be expanded and updated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Whereas most college Web sites are "static" our primary and secondary school sites are rapidly becoming more dynamic.


March 9, 2004 message from techLEARNING news [

School Web Sites Change with the Times

The day of the school web site as a static bulletin board filled with rapidly aging news is fading. Schools are moving toward using their sites as interactive portals that facilitate communication between parents, students and teachers.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

* The BackPage: Girls Building a Home on the Web

A new survey reveals that girls are more likely than boys to have personal Web sites. “Children, Families, and the Internet” found that 12.2 percent of girls online have their own sites compared to 8.6 percent of boys. Find out more about kids online from The BackPage

The IT Guy: Origin of Computer Viruses

Where do viruses come from and how are they made? Read the short answers here.



"Where Are All the Poison Pills?" by Robin Sidel, The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2004 ---,,SB107818176447743400,00.html?mod=home%5Fwhats%5Fnews%5Fus 

The poison pill, one of the most popular corporate-takeover defenses of the past two decades, is getting tougher to swallow.

Faced with opposition from activist shareholders and new pressures to clean up governance after corporate scandals, companies are dismantling what has been one of the best known of the antitakeover mechanisms. In the past month, Circuit City Stores Inc., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., FirstEnergy Corp., PG&E Corp., and Raytheon Co., among others, all took steps toward eliminating their pills.

So far this year, a dozen companies have taken steps to dismantle their pills, compared with 29 for all of 2003 and just 18 in 2002, according to TrueCourse Inc., which tracks corporate-takeover defenses. Although such actions typically are heaviest just ahead of the annual-meeting season in which shareholders air gripes, people who follow corporate-governance issues say the trend is likely to continue through the year.

Meanwhile, fewer companies are putting the measure in place: The rate of new poison-pill adoptions fell to a 10-year low in 2003, according to TrueCourse. About 99 companies adopted new plans in 2003, down 42% from the prior year.

While there may still be a net gain in pills this year, the figures show the sharp decline in the rate of increase. "In the current environment, there is an increasing desire by boards to be viewed as following good governance and not be entrenched," says Alan Miller, co-chairman of proxy-solicitation firm Innisfree M&A Inc. "This is the flavor of the day, and it's going to accelerate."

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at 

March 5, 2004 message from editor jda [

Journal of Derivatives Accounting (JDA)

First Issue on "Stock Options: Development in Share-Based Compensation" You can downloand Papers online (

The second issue deals with Hedging Theory and Practice in Risk Management and Trading (Financial instruments and strategies, Impact of accounting rules and taxation). The titles of forthcoming papers for the second issue are also shown.

For subscription information follow the following link


Mamouda Mbemap Ph.D

Editor In Chief

Vol. 1, No. 1 (March 2004)










Industry Perspective


Book Review

Steve Balsam

Forthcoming Papers
Vol. 1 No. 2
  • Does Allowing Alternative Hedge Designation Affect Financial Statement Comparability?
    Arlette C. Wilson and Ronald L. Clark
  • Alternative Hedge Accounting Treatments for Foreign Exchange Forwards
    Ira G. Kawaller and Walter R. Teets
  • Divergent FAS-133 and IAS 39 Interest Rate Risk Hedge Effectiveness: Problem and Remedies
    Jim Bodurtha
  • Interest Rate Swap Prices, Fair Values, and FAS 133
    Donald Smith
  • Optimal Hedging with Cumulative Prospect Theory
    Darren Frechette and Jon Tuthill
  • Hedging, Operating Leverage, and Abandonment Options
    Keith Wong
  • Hedging Against Neutral and Non-Neutral Shock: Theory and Evidence
    Marcello Spano
  • Pricing S&P 500 Index Options under Stochastic Volatility with the Indirect Inference Method
    Jinghong Shu and Jin E. Zhang
  • Structural Relationships between Semiannual and Annual Swaps Rates
    D.K. Malhotra, Mukesh Chaudhry and Vivek Bhargava
  • Valuing and Hedging American Options under Time-Varying Volatility
    In Joon Kim
  • The Introduction of Derivatives Reporting in the UK: A Content Analysis of FRS 13 Disclosures
    T. Dunne, C. Helliar, D. Power, C. Mallin, K. Ow-Yong and L. Moir

Bob Jensen's threads on derivatives accounting are at 

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Our wonderful English language!

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meaning than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP." If you are not confused after reading this you must really be messed "UP."

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list but when we waken in the morning, why do we wake UP. At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?

Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, mess UP and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special, and this is confusing.

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP.

To be knowledgeable of the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In a desk size dictionary, UP takes UP almost 1/4th the page and definitions add UP to about thirty.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for a while, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so I'll shut UP...!!!!!!

Just one last thing....when we pass on I hope we go UP ^^^^^^^^

There are also various sites devoted to "Our Wonderful English Language"
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn: 
1) The bandage was wound around the wound. 
2) The farm was used to produce produce. 
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. 
4) We must polish the Polish furniture. 
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out. 
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to
present the present. 
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. 
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. 
10) I did not object to the object. 
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid. 
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. 
13) They were too close to the door to close it. 
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present. 
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. 
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. 
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail. 
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number. 
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. 
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend? 
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. 
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the 
creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. 
That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the 
lights are out, they are invisible. 

Forwarded by Team Carper
Do you have a 710 on your car?
A few days ago I was having some work done at my local garage. A blonde came in and asked for a seven-hundred-ten. We all looked at each other and another customer asked, "What is a seven-hundred-ten?" She replied, "You know, the little piece in the middle of the engine, I have lost it and need a new one.." She replied that she did not know exactly what it was, but this piece had always been there. The mechanic gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what the piece looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote 710. He then took her over to another car which had its hood up and asked "is there a 710 on this car?"  She  pointed and said, "Of course, its right there."

If your not sure what a 710 is, go to:

I just can't get this melody out of my head!
Barb Hessel

When the moon hits your eye
 Like a big pizza pie,
 That's amore.

 When an eel bites your hand
 And that's not what you planned,
 That's a moray.

 When our habits are strange
 And our customs deranged,
 That's our mores.

 When your horse munches straw
 And the bales total four,
 That's some more hay.

 When Othello's poor wife
 Gets strangled in strife,
 That's a Moor, eh?

 When a Japanese knight
 Waves his sword in a fight,
 That's Samurai.

 When your sheep go to graze
 In a damp marshy place,
 That's a moor, eh?

 When your boat comes home fine
 And you tie up her line,
 That's a moor, eh?

 When you ace your last tests
 Like you did all the rest,
 That's some more A's.

 When on Mount Cook you see
 An aborigine,
 That's a Maori.

 A comedian-ham
 With the name Amsterdam,
 That's a Morey.

 When your chocolate graham
 Is so full and so crammed,
 That s'more.

 When you've had quite enough
 Of this dumb rhyming stuff,
 That's "No more!" eh?

Forwarded by Nancy Jenson
Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark... 
One: Don't miss the boat. 
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat. 
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. 
Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. 
Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. 
Six: Build your future on high ground. 
Seven: For safety sake, travel in pairs. 
Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. 
Nine: When you're stressed, float a while. 
Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. 
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. 

Forwarded by The Happy Lady

Ramblings of a tired mind

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped on. I can't afford one so I'm wearing my garage door opener

You know I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn't like me anyway.

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!

I was thinking about old age and decided that it is when you still have something on the ball but you are too tired to bounce it.

I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age and calling it "Pumping Rust."

I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease...that's when your chest is falling into your drawers!

I know when people see a cat's litter box, they always say, "Oh, have you got a cat?" Just once I wanted to say, "No, it's for company!"

Employment application blanks always ask who is to be notified in case of emergency. I think you should write, "A GOOD DOCTOR!"

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do...write to these men? Why don't they just put their pictures on postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me... they were cramming for their finals.

As for me, I'm just hoping God grades on the curve!

 Howard Drake's Laughing Loon Lodge --- 
Including his insult generating machine.

We're growing old gracefully.
Forwarded by the Cha Cha Lady

Reporters interviewing a 104 year-old woman:

"And what do you think is the best thing about
being 104?" the reporter asked.

She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

------------------------------------------ * * * * *

The nice thing about being forgetful is
you can hide your own Easter eggs.

------------------------------------------ * * * * *

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came
up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was
your husband?"

"98," she replied. "Two years older than me."

"So you're 96," the undertaker commented.

She responded, "Hardly worth going home is it?"

------------------------------------------------- * * * * *

I've sure gotten old. I've had 2 By-pass surgeries
A hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate
cancer, and diabetes.

I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a
jet engine, take 40 different medications that make
me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.

Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation,
hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't
remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends.

But..... Thank Goodness, I still have my Florida driver's license!

------------------------------------------------ * * * * *

God, grant me the senility
To forget the people
I never liked anyway,
The good fortune
To run into the ones I do,
And the eyesight to tell the difference.

------------------------------------------------------ * * * * *

An elderly woman from Brooklyn decided to
prepare her will and make her final requests.
She told her rabbi she had two final requests.

First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she
wanted her ashes scattered over Bloomingdales.

"Bloomingdale's!" the rabbi exclaimed. "Why Bloomingdales?"

"Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

One Monday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for School, to which he replied, "I'm not going."

"Why not?" she asked.

"I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, there are 53 teachers and they all don't like me, and two, there are 500 kids and they don't like me either.

His mother replied, "I'll give YOU two good reasons why you SHOULD go to School. One, you're 54 years old, and two, you're the Principal!"


A drunk was in front of a judge. The judge says "You've been brought here for drinking." 

The drunk says "Okay, let's get started."


About Worms

Little Johnny watched the science teacher start the experiment with the worms.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a jar of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a jar of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a jar of sperm.

The fourth worm was put into a jar of soil.

After one day, these were the results:

The first worm in alcohol - dead.

Second worm in cigarette smoke - dead.

Third worm in sperm - dead.

Fourth worm in soil - alive.

So the Science teacher asked the class - "What can you learn from this experiment."

Little Johnny quickly raised his hand and said

"As long as you drink, smoke and have sex, you won't have worms."

Forwarded by the Cha Cha Lady  Real Woman

Ladies To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

Real Women Buy boxed mashed potato mix and you don't have to worry about the potatoes growing arms and legs.

* * * 
Ladies When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the cake.

Real Women Go to the bakery - they'll even decorate the sonofabitch for you.

* * * 
Ladies Brush some beaten egg white over piecrust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

Real Women Sara Lee frozen freakin pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over shit, so don't do it.

* * * 
Ladies If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

Real Women Go ask the very HOT neighbor guy to do it.

* * * 
And finally the most important tip....

Ladies Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Real Women Leftover wine??

Emperor Penguins
Let me tell you a cute story about Southwest Airlines.  My neighbor's daughter flew from
Dallas to San Antonio recently on Southwest Airlines.  Buckled in the front seats were two Emperor Penguins bound for Sea World.  The crazy flight attendants (they generally are lots of fun) on Southwest announced that they would let the Penguins walk down and back up the main aisle of the plane if the passengers promised not to touch.  And so the penguins waddled up and down while a flight attendant followed with a pooper-scooper.  It seemed to the passengers that the one-hour flight was over in about ten minutes.

Survivor Texas Style

Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, NBC is planning to do a new survivor show entitled Survivor-Texas Style".

The contestants will start in Dallas , travel to Waco , Austin ! , San Antonio , over to Houston , and down to Brownsville . They will then proceed up El Paso , then to Midland , Odessa , Lubbock , and Amarillo . From there they will proceed to Ft. Worth , and finally back to Dallas .

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with bumper stickers that read: "I'm gay...I love the Dixie Chicks....I'm a vegetarian....I voted for Al Gore....George Strait Sucks....Hillary in 2004!... and I'm here to confiscate your guns!" 

This will be the first show on television with no survivors.  

It was all his mother's fault --- 
If the music doesn't begin soon, scroll down for the start button at the very bottom of the page.

And that's the way it was on March 11, 2004 with a little help from my friends.

Jesse's Wonderful Music for Romantics (You have to scroll down to the titles) ---


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:  


The Training Top 100 is a ranking of organizations that excel at human capital development, as determined each year by Training Magazine --- 

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March 1, 2004 

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on March 1, 2004
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.

Oh How We Danced ---  I Loved Stan Kenton's Big Brassy Band
The Stan Kenton Orchestra 
There are eight full-length Kenton/Christie recordings available free at 
Stan Kenton in those days appeared at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa and the Roof Garden on Lake Okiboji .
Other big band free downloads are available at the following sites:

Yahoo's Music Artist List --- 
Worldwide Music Internet Resources (from
Indiana University ) ---

This is a great Iraq War News Blog with archives ---

Forwarded by Dr. Wolff
Stars Who Played Combat Roles in Real Life ---  

Quotes of the Week

Scientists hail a discovery that they say could lead to drugs able to combat or even prevent AIDS infections in humans.
Wired News, February 25, 2004 ---,1286,62437,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

American investigators have discovered that KPMG marketed a tax shelter to investors that generated more than $1bn (£591m) in unlawful benefits in less than a year.
David Harding, Financial Director --- 
For more about KPMG see 

Reports coming out of the US tell us that Ernst & Young has been selling wealthy US citizens four legal techniques for reducing their income tax bill, one of which experts claim could be illegal.
Accountancy Age --- 

There is a "moral high ground" when all the largest accounting firms sold illegal tax shelters to banks like Wachovia and other audit clients like Worldcom. At least they preyed on tax cheats like big corporations or wealthy individuals rather than widows and orphans.  The same moral high ground was claimed at Morgan Stanley when it sold illegal derivative instruments to pension fund managers. The quote is as follows from 

"I sold to cheaters, not widows and orphans. That was the moral high ground if there was a moral high ground in derivatives. I sold to cheaters." 
Frank Partnoy, Morgan Stanley

A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit.
François Rabelais

The office of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amid appearances. He plies the slow, unhonored, and unpaid task of observation... He is the world's eye.
Ralph Waldo Emerson as quoted by Mark Shapiro at 

Not surprisingly, IT departments view the act (Sarbanes-Oxley) as an opportunity to show their impact on the company's bottom line by helping forge tighter links between business processes and technology. However, the compliance process is turning out to be more costly and time-consuming than originally expected, and in many cases, according to at least one study, companies are not turning to their IT departments to manage compliance.
Dennis Callaghan, eWeek, February 16, 2004 ---,4149,1527170,00.asp 

I think I'm glad I never met Mark Siskind when he was flying high in San Antonio.
Mark Nutritionals settled its FTC charges in October by agreeing to cease to exist. Apart from this corporate death penalty, Siskind's partner, Edward D'Allesandro, Jr., agreed to pay a $140,000 fine and pledged to refrain from false weightloss claims in the future. Charges are still pending against the dogged Siskind, who reportedly once
won an endurance contest with Superman, after spending weeks in the bushes of a rehabilitation clinic to snap the first tabloid shot of Christopher Reeves in a wheelchair.
Andrew Wheat, "Radio Fraudcasting," Texas Observer, December 5, 2003, Page 10

Three decades ago, Patrick Moore helped found Greenpeace. Today he promotes nuclear energy and genetically modified foods -- and swears he's still fighting to save the planet
Wired Magazine, March 2004 --- 

From MIT's Technology Review
Your Daily Digital Doctor Advanced analysis of home medical data can offer continuous care for patients with diabetes and other life-threatening chronic diseases --- 

A sure-fired way to "demonstrate" improved learning.
This was in the Arizona Republic (Jan. 25, 2004) --- 

"On Monday, the State Board of Education will consider making it easier for this year's eighth-graders to pass the AIMS (Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards) math test they'll face in April. "This is the correction of an error," Arizona schools chief Tom Horne said. "The problem is the way the test is scored." In the past four years, no more than 21 percent of Arizona's eighth-graders have passed the AIMS math test, well below the passing rate of students who take the test in other grades. To pass, eighth-graders must get 78 percent of the 50 math questions correct. State officials want to change that passing score to about 72 percent, allowing students to miss three more questions. Had the change been in place in 2003, Horne said, 32 percent, instead of 21 percent, of Arizona's eighth-graders would have passed the test."

Due to extremely high public interest in NASA's Mars exploration program, the space agency's Web portal has received more than 6.5 billion hits since early January.
Randall Edwards --- 

Never seek the wind in the field
It's useless to try to find what is gone.

As quoted at 

Hanoi Jane's Legacy
The photographer who snapped John Kerry attending a 1971 anti-war rally says he and his photo agency intend to track down -- and possibly sue -- whoever doctored and circulated a photo that made it appear that the then 27-year-old Vietnam veteran was appearing alongside actress Jane Fonda.
Carla Marinucci --- 

To hear the wonderful music at Jesse's site, you must click on your selection and wait until it opens in a new window.  If the music does not start automatically, scroll clear down to the bottom of the page (I mean the very bottom of the page following a large black space) and click the on button on the control bar at the bottom of the page.  Then scroll back up to the top to watch the animation while the music plays.
"WARNING" by Jenny Joseph --- 

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in the slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now!
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

The above poem fits my high school literature teacher to a T, although I'm certain she never dressed shabbily or "learned to spit."  Her name was Mrs. Kahlar.  She wore large colorful hats and appeared outdoors dressed at all times like she was going to a wedding --- generally in purple and lavender and pink.  She rattled about, occasionally a bit tipsie, inside an enormous three-story mansion where she lived all alone beside our high school.  She took a personal interest in each and every student.  Any student was invited to stop by at any time day or night for a Coke and conversation.  

On the pillared front porch of that mansion, she had an antique school desk that was always stacked with books that friends and strangers could walk off with --- she hoped they did as long as they intended to read them.  There were also apples on the desk, because teachers are always associated with apples since the early days of education on the prairie when farmers with no money sent food to school for the teacher.  After she died, her big house was a treasure trove of collectables and trash.  Some time later, a seven-foot tall man named Randy fixed up the old mansion.  It's now known as The Heartland Bed and Breakfast Inn --- 

My wife and I stayed in The Heartland after we sold my parents' house.  The fabulous inside of the house and the front porch brought back many fond memories of a tiny literature teacher in purple and lavender and pink.

On July 8, 2004 the Iowa town of Algona will celebrate its sesquicentennial --- 
Ah yes I remember it well ---

It was really great to visit with David and Lynn Jenson in San Antonio last Thursday.  Lynn is in charge of the July 8 festivities which will include a country band in --- you guessed it --- in the country.  My cousin Don will have his big team of black Percherons hauling kids in the parade.

Do you know what happened this week back in 1850? 

Answer from The Happy Lady
California became a state.      
The state had no electricity.      
The state had no money.      
Almost everyone spoke Spanish.      
There were gunfights in the middle of the streets.           
So it was just like California today except then, the women had real breasts...     

WiredSafety --- 
This is a great site for data about use of the Internet.  It is also a very good sight about safety in use of the Internet, including dangers of fraud, crime, and sexual predators. 

Bob Jensen's threads about how to prevent and report frauds and crimes are at 


"Starting Salary Offers for Grads on the Rise, But Accounting Salaries Remain Flat," SmartPros, March 1, 2004 --- 

BETHLEHEM, Penn., Feb. 26, 2004 (SmartPros) — This year's crop of college graduates will be in a better position than their 2003 counterparts. A new report shows upward movement in starting salary offers to new college graduates.

Released this month, the Winter 2004 Salary Survey report by the National Association of Collegse and Employers shows "positive signs in the job market for new college graduates," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. "It's important to recognize that the job market isn't booming, but we are seeing improvement."

Mackes said that last year at this time, nearly half the disciplines tracked in a salary survey were experiencing decreases in their average starting salaries. In contrast, in the Winter 2004 Salary Survey, just under a third saw average offers drop.

In general, there is a conservative movement among the business disciplines. Salary offers to accounting majors have remained flat, nudging up a mere 0.1 percent to $42,045. Offers to business administration/management majors rose two percent for an average of $37,368. And marketing/marketing management majors saw their average offer tick up one percent to $36,071.

NACE will release an updated salary report in April.

"In summer, we fish and make love," one Laplander deadpanned. "In winter, we fish less."

"The White Stuff," By Alan Riding, The New York Times, February 29, 2004 --- 


There is not much to do in Finland's Lapland in winter. Kemi, a port city at the northern end of the frozen Gulf of Bothnia, has a Snow Castle that includes a hotel where tourists can sleep on slabs of ice; 90 miles to the north on the frozen River Ounasjoki, Rovaniemi is gateway to Santa Claus Village, where letters can be mailed to the old benefactor in his hideaway on the North Pole.

"In summer, we fish and make love," one Laplander deadpanned. "In winter, we fish less."

But an unusual outdoor art exhibition called "The Snow Show" has briefly added Kemi and Rovaniemi to the circuit of destinations for adventurous art tourists eager to brave subzero temperatures. Earlier this month, mysterious multicolored sculptures of snow and ice began rising from the frozen landscape. Then, as natural and transient as their setting, the works of art will begin to melt and be gone by early April.

For the next four weeks or so, though, they should stand proud. They come in all shapes and sizes, some abstract, some figurative, but the key variable is their material. Those made of snow are interesting mainly for their geometric forms because, at least from afar, packed snow looks as ordinary as white concrete. Happily, most works have used ice, which exudes an effortless translucent beauty, at times radiating a soft pale green, at other times evoking a shattered window pane.

Continued in the article

"Microsoft Proposes Caller ID for E-Mail," by Michael Singer,, February 25, 2004 --- 

In his quest to kill spam, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates Tuesday appealed to security leadership, asking them to adopt his fledgling "Caller ID for E-mail" program.

The multi-tiered project would act much like how caller identification for telephones shows the phone number of the person calling. The proposal is part of the Redmond, Wash.-based company's Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative (CSRI).

"Spam is both a nuisance and a security threat," Gates said to attendees at week's RSA Conference 2004 here emphasizing that using white lists or what Microsoft calls "rich safe-listing" e-mail is key. "Having e-mail come in, and not really being able to identify where it comes from, this is a huge security hole. And like so many of the standards and protocols that grew up on the Internet in the early days, we need to strengthen these in this environment where there is malicious activity."

Despite heavy industry and government involvement, however, Microsoft is moving ahead with its own plans. The company is calling for system-wide changes to the e-mail infrastructure and asking for high-volume e-mail senders to demonstrate their compliance with reasonable policies and viable alternatives for smaller-scale senders to distinguish themselves from spammers.

"We have some patents around this, we're saying are royalty free, available for everyone to use..." Gates said.

The pilot implementation of Gate's Caller ID for E-Mail is debuting on Microsoft's popular Hotmail service, which began publishing outbound IP addresses this week. The testing will be extended to check inbound addresses on some 100 million free e-mail accounts early this summer.

Gates said the project would then be extended to Microsoft Exchange systems to run filtering.

Continued in the article

"Vonage Makes Phoning Through the Internet Convenient and Cheap," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2004 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

Now, Internet phone calling has come into the mainstream. A New Jersey company called Vonage is selling a service that allows you to use your regular home phone and your current phone number to place calls via the Internet to regular phone numbers anywhere in the world. All you need is a broadband Internet connection.

"Geeks do *so* have friends," b y Lucy Sherriff, The Register, February 25, 2004 --- 

Gaming fans are a deeply social and friendly people, not isolated geeks. This is the main finding of a survey of gamers, published by GameMore, a UK gaming event co-ordinator.

The survey of GameMore's users showed that most people prefer to play in multiplayer mode, rather than against the computer. Of those remaining, very few expressed a preference for flying solo.

Matt Bellringer, technical director of GameMore, said computers were a new way to interact with people, not a way to hide from them.

"We found that the main reason people enjoy computer games so much is because they like to compete and co-operate with other gamers, and that playing against the computer just isn’t so much fun."

He argued that games developers should put more emphasis on the social aspect of gaming. Games with the right modes, connectivity and server support will be more successful because they will capitalise on the social experience of playing games in groups. It will also interest a wider section of the population in the pastime.

To prove its point, GameMore is running a series of group gaming sessions around the UK. The plan is that gamers will have a chance to meet and talk in the flesh, as well as play each other online. More information on that on their website.

Continued in the full report

Honey, They Shrunk the Cameras

In tests of the newest crop of mini digital cameras, it turns out that the best pictures came from the camera with both the lowest price and the lowest megapixel rating, writes Walt. Go figure.

"Honey, They Shrunk the Cameras," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2004 ---,,SB107706028702331957,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

In technology, as in the rest of life, numbers don't tell the whole story. When comparing digital cameras, you might expect that the best pictures would come from the most expensive models in any given class, or from the models with the highest megapixel rating -- a measure of maximum picture resolution. But it ain't necessarily so.

In fact, after testing four similar, name-brand digital cameras for this column, it turned out that the best pictures came from the camera with both the lowest price and the lowest megapixel rating. Go figure.

My assistant Katie Boehret and I tested four slim, lightweight digital cameras from Casio, Sony, Konica Minolta and Pentax. These are point-and-shoot models that are designed to be tiny enough to carry around in a pocket, while still capturing high-quality photographs. Each camera measures slightly larger than the size of a credit card and has a 3x optical zoom lens.

Whenever high-tech products get really small, their price tags get bigger, and these cameras are no exception. The least expensive of the four cameras goes for $300, while the most expensive costs a whopping $550.

Each is under an inch thick, but all have plenty of features to keep an amateur photographer happy. All can take short videos as well as still photos, and all have multiple shooting modes and flash settings. Two of our test cameras even boasted the hot new trend in digital cameras -- larger liquid-crystal-display screens that take up most of the camera's back side.

In our tests, I took mostly indoor photos with each camera at a favorite hangout of mine, my local cigar store. Katie snapped outdoor pictures of landscapes, monuments and people while wandering around Washington, D.C.

All four cameras took good pictures, and deciding which did best is necessarily a subjective judgment. But, after comparing similar pictures from the four cameras side by side on a computer screen, Katie and I consistently found the images from the low-end $299 Konica Minolta Dimage Xg to be the best overall.

The fast and easy way to print pictures, but the price at fifty to seventy cents per picture is about double the price for online prints.  Newsweek recommended the Olymbus P-10 and the Sony PictureStation DPP-EX50 on Page 65, February 23, 2004.  Both models sell for under $200.

PC Magazine reviews these and others ---,3048,a=112333,00.asp 

Mitsubishi's Newest Projector Sells for $995 The SE1U is a portable unit that delivers 1200 ANSI lumens and carries a low retail price --- 

Low Cost Conference Calls --- 

Information and Technology Services (ITS) has a great FAQs site that may suggest questions you never thought to ask ---

How can you look up a listing of the current movies, read somewhat frank reviews, and type in your zip code to look up the theatres conveniently close by and your movie choice's start times?


Internet Movie Database --- 
You should first find the links to listings of current movies, select any one, and find out something about it.  You then click on "Showtimes" and will be prompted to feed in a zip code.  You can also click down to reviews that are sometimes quite critical so that you don't waste your time.  Sometimes the reviews tell you what to expect.  For example, one review of The Passion of Christ was a " Ten Thumbs Up" review (it's rare to get more than six thumbs up) --- 

This movie was good to watch. I am not really that much of a religious man but I was very impressed. This movie was very well done and it was also very vivid. I cringed when Jesus was getting scourged on the back with those spikes. He was so torn. Those Romans were just laughing the entire time they were doing this. I guess there are those who really do find joy in other people's pain. I think that at the end, they had wondered what the heck they had done. I could see a few faces that had looks of concern after Jesus died.

The movie was good and I shall not yearn to see it again. It is just a little too hard to watch. It's pure torture. Good movie though.

I could not find a negative review about the above movie, although many of them were quite frank about the level of violence.  One example of a review that will save you some money is the review of the current film "Twisted" at 

However, `Twisted' dies at almost the very moment it begins. Logic is a big tripwire, and the script sidesteps a lot of problems by having characters just disappear for no reason, or in Jessica's case, simply blackout. The ending is also a jumble, containing a complete lack of sense, and it feels like the product of a screenwriter who was already two weeks late on delivering a draft and needed something quick. The entire film is poorly paced and awkwardly constructed, leaving little interest in the thriller proceedings that pop up occasionally to remind the audience what they came for.

Ashley Judd is another blunder of the film. I've liked Judd in the past, especially in her trademark thriller roles (`Double Jeopardy,' `High Crimes'), but she falters massively trying to bring Jessica to life. The appeal of the textured character is evident, but Judd can't quite get a grip on the psychological complexity of the role, relying on a hard-ass approach that her elfish features betray. As Jessica's world continues to dissolve and suspicions arise, Judd just gets worse, peaking with one scene that asks this hardened cop to open the floodgates of tears, unexpectedly eliciting big laughs in the process.

A rather long listing of opposing reviews of many other movies is at 

There are also listings and comments about forthcoming movies and rental movies --- 

The nicest part is being able to type in your zip code and get an immediate listing of nearby theatres and start times

There are also rental movie listings and reviews of older movies.

For a fee, will send you email once each week with current movie schedules --- 

Texas is not on the list, but its beginning to look bad for California, New York, Illinois, Vermont, and 15 Other States
Folks in New Hampshire do not have to pay sales tax even in local retail establishments (this is really great when it comes to big ticket items like new vehicles).  

The 19 states making the first stab are adding a line to their income tax returns asking tax payers to 'fess up to what they bought on the Net (or through a catalog, for that matter) and to pay the sales tax due. If you don't have the receipts handy, they'll just take a likely amount based on your income --- 

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching --- 

Balancing Acts: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Careers, by Mary Talor Huber --- 

How can faculty integrate the scholarship of teaching and learning into their academic careers? Balancing Acts addresses this question through the experience of four scholars who have been innovators in their own classrooms, leaders of education initiatives in their institutions and disciplines, and pioneers in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Drawing on interviews with Dan Bernstein (psychology, University of Nebraska), Brian Coppola (chemistry, University of Michigan), Sheri Sheppard (mechanical engineering, Stanford University), Randy Bass (American literature, Georgetown University), and colleagues within and outside their institutions and fields, the author looks at the routes these pathfinders have traveled through the scholarship of teaching and learning and at the consequences that this unusual work has had for the advancement of their careers, especially tenure and promotion.

Lessons from these case studies will be of interest to scholars of teaching and learning and their advocates at colleges and universities of all kinds.

Mark Shapiro asserts the following in "Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today," --- 

Over the years some inside and outside the academy have characterized teaching and learning as fundamentally different from research and scholarly activities. In the Irascible Professor's opinion, that view is flawed. In many disciplines, a significant lore exists outside the knowledge found in conventional textbooks. Often one cannot learn the real essence of a discipline from the classroom experience alone. Students who have the opportunity to work with faculty members on research or scholarly projects gain much greater insights into the quality of knowledge in a discipline than those who learn only in the classroom. At the research universities it is primarily the graduate students who are able to learn through research; but, in the PUI's (Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions) many undergraduate students get this opportunity.

Visible Knowledge Project --- 

developing new kinds of student assignments: faculty investigating the connections between critical and creative work in new media environments

examining the intermediate thinking processes of student and experts: faculty investigating the strategies students and experts use to do thinking tasks such as asking questions or coming to interpretative positions

shifting time and space for learning: faculty investigating the impact of new communications technologies on student learning in classroom discussions and other venues.

Thanks to Barbara Scofield for calling my attention to Transparency International

International Corruption Surveys and Indices --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are linked at 

February 24, 2004 message from Rene Leblanc [

Hello Bob Jensen,

Readers interested in Kierkegaard resources who visit your site might be very interested in this full length ebook in PDF format (448 pages!), offered as a public resource.

Please consider linking to it at your links page at:

Here is the link information:

Bruderhof Ebooks - Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Søren Kierkegaard

Here is a longer description:

There are few authors as repeatedly quoted and consistently unread as Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard himself is partly to blame for this: his style is dense, his thoughts complex. And yet embedded within his writings and journals are metaphors and truths so deep and vivid, they can overwhelm you with an almost blinding clarity.

Editor Charles E. Moore (a former professor at Denver Theological Seminary) has done us an invaluable service by putting together arguably the most accessible and complete Kierkegaard volume to be published in decades. Here is a book for anyone who takes the search for authenticity seriously.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best Wishes,

Rene LeBlanc

for the webteam at
phone (In the UK) 044 01580 88 3336

The Online Bookstore as Competitive Edge --- 

Can you do email from a cruise ship?

The cruse ship itself may offer such a service.  Most of us can do email from our universities if we have access to the Internet.

Wall Mossberg has this to say about cruse ships and Europe ---,,mossberg_mailbox,00.html 

Q: Does the new IBM ThinkPad X40 have a PS/2 port for an external keyboard and/or mouse, and if not, must one purchase the expensive docking station? Also, do you know why International Business Machines omitted the parallel printer port?

A: No, the X40 doesn't have a dedicated keyboard or mouse port, but you don't have to buy a docking station to connect an external keyboard or mouse. Most modern keyboards and mice connect via the ubiquitous USB port, and the X40 has two of those. In fact, the PS/2 keyboard port is on the way out. The parallel printer port is also becoming obsolete, again in favor of the USB port, which is now used by nearly all popular printers. Some corporations still use the PS/2 and parallel ports, however, and they would have to buy the dock for the X40, which includes both of these ancient connectors.

Q: My family will be traveling for almost three weeks in Europe this summer, much of the time on a cruise ship. My husband would like to find a device that will allow him to access e-mail from abroad without going to an Internet café. Would a BlackBerry be a good choice for e-mail access, or is there something better?

A: Yes, a BlackBerry would work, if it had certain characteristics. It would have to be one of the models with a built-in phone that runs on the GSM/GPRS network and works in the frequency bands used in Europe. You might get such a model from T-Mobile, Cingular or AT&T Wireless.

However, I am partial to the Treo, by palmOne, which is available in a GSM/GPRS version that works in Europe. You can buy this version from palmOne itself or from Cingular. You may have to install extra software or subscribe to an e-mail service.

There are two caveats with either of these options: Just getting the right hardware isn't enough. You also have to get a calling plan that allows for international calls and data. And I doubt either type of device will work well on the ship, unless it is very close to shore. Either device probably would be useless while you're on the open ocean.

Information for Faculty Who Receive Law Enforcement Inquiries Under the USA Patriot Act --- 

Believe it or not, I resist forwarding advertising. Whenever I communicate about products, there is no remuneration to me in any way.

The following message is an advertisement, and I have never tried these products (i.e., no free samples for Bob). But these products do sound interesting, so I thought you might like to know about them. It's a really competitive world for vendors of course authoring tools. Products have to have something special to be "survivors."

I added the product message below to the following sites:

Assessment and Testing --- 

History of Course Authoring Systems --- 

And yes Richard, I do know that Toolbook (in greatly modified form) still has its nose out of the water.

February 25, 2004 from Leo Lucas [

Hi Bob, thanks for providing information about authoring tools on I have two new authoring tools that may be of interest to you and your readers.
e-Learning Course Development Kit
Many people use HTML editors such as Dreamweaver and FrontPage to create e-learning courses. While these editors are great for creating information they lack essential e-learning features. The e-Learning Course Development Kit provides these features. The Kit provides templates to create questions, course-wide navigation, a table of contents and links for a glossary and other information. The Kit creates courses that work with SCORM, a standard way to communicate with a Learning Management System (LMS). The support for SCORM lets you run the course in multiple sessions, keep track of bookmarks and record the student's progress through the course. The Kit can be purchased online for $99.
Test Builder
Test Builder lets you author tests quickly and easily with a text editor. Absolutely no programming is required. With Test Builder you can create tests and quizzes with true-false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank and matching questions. It can randomize the sequence of questions and choices and it can randomly select questions from a question pool. You can limit the number of attempts and set the passing score. Test Builder supports SCORM. Test Builder can be purchased online for $149.
We wanted to create e-learning tools that would work in an academic setting. So we created tools with these capabilities:
- The tools are affordable.
- They work for the casual user. You can create a small course or test without much fuss.
- They come with documented source code so you can modify or extend the tools to meet your specific needs.
- They add value to your existing investments in technology. They will deliver courses/tests in a browser and work with an LMS that supports SCORM 1.2.
Please let me know if you need more information about these tools. Thanks, Leo
Leo Lucas
P.S. Your home in the white mountains is beautiful.

February 26, 2004 reply from Elliot Kamlet SUNY Account [ekamlet@BINGHAMTON.EDU

Since I just found a great device, I thought I'd share it with you too.

As more faculty become technology aware, classrooms with computers, projectors and internet access are becoming harder to get.

In order to serve as many technology needs as possible, our school is preparing technology ready rooms - rooms in which a laptop may be hooked up to a projector, internet access, etc.

Carrying the laptop around campus is not my favorite activity. I use the laptop to display PowerPoint, prepared spreadsheets, and internet access for news stories and financial statements.

Now for the solution. Margi products produces "Presenter to Go". Now I prepare my spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and search out my news, save the files or webpages to my Sony Clie (works with Palm Pilots too) and display it with a tiny little device that hooks in to the technology ready system. All I need to carry is my Clie and the 2 oz., 2"x2" device and plug.

As I see the process, the Margi software sends the PowerPoint or excel or anything else to a print file (it comes with its own printer driver) that is saved to my Clie and displayed with the help of the tiny device. 

Elliot Kamlet 
Binghamton University (I too have no financial arrangement - I just like this product, a lot)

Aw shucks! 
 We didn't make the Top 10, but I think some of our students really tried.  Note that some of the Top 10 party schools are also the Top 10 accounting schools.  Must be an example of spurious correlation!

February 23, 2004 message from 

Trinity University failed again to be one of the top ten party schools. 

See  for the losers.

Don Mathis

From Ira Kawaller and Walter Teets ---
"Commitments: Coalescing on an Accounting Treatment," is an opinion piece, co-authored with Walter Teets, Associate Professor of accounting at Gonzaga University . It appeared in The American Banker, February 10, 2004 . It has relevance to companies that originate mortgages that are intended for re-sale.

"Greenspan Says Congress Should Limit Fannie, Freddie," by Dawn Kopecki and Josepth Rebello, The Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2004 ---,,SB107763512493737729,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could pose a threat to the financial system, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Mr. Greenspan called on Congress Tuesday to impose stringent restrictions on the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to issue debt and purchase assets, saying the growth of the institutions poses a risk to the safety of the U.S. financial system.

"The Federal Reserve is concerned about the growth and the scale of the [government-sponsored enterprises'] mortgage portfolios, which concentrate interest and prepayment risks at these two institutions," Mr. Greenspan said in written testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. Although he said he didn't think a crisis was imminent, "preventative actions are required sooner rather than later."

"GSEs need to be limited in the issuance of GSE debt and in the purchase of assets, both mortgages and non-mortgages, that they hold," he added in the written testimony.

Free Jack Welch Video (complete with short commercials from McDonalds)


Jack Welch, the infamous former CEO and hero among his peers, has resurfaced on a free video from Business Week ---
The audio was fuzzy but when I watched this video, but I could follow all that Jack had to say.


He discusses the state of the world economy and what it takes to be a CEO following the depressing scandals and corruption of the past decade.  He is very committed to improving public schools NYC, the nation, and the world.  A great deal of this video is devoted to how business leaders can help public education.


Dilemma:  Following a five-way bypass the GE Board offered Jack a $100 million departing "gift" which he turned down, but agreed to the accompanying perks including use of GE's corporate jets.  He discusses his subsequent highly publicized divorce and his decision to give back the perks.  In spite of the perks, Jack Welch is devoted to doing something good for society for the rest of his life.  He's got a lot to offer.


His forthcoming book is called Win.  In discusses how people do not shoot straight in communicating and how frustrating this is life.  It is difficult to separate reasons from rationalizations at times, but the video is worth watching.


"Fannie Mae Scolded for Relying On Obsolete Accounting System," by John D. McKinnon and James R. Hagerty, The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2004 ---,,SB107774602918839236,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 

Federal financial regulators said that Fannie Mae relies on 70 outmoded manual accounting systems that could lead to more problems similar to October's $1.1 billion error.

In a letter to the company Tuesday, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight said the mortgage giant's use of so many manual systems, as opposed to fully automated and integrated ones, raises concern. The agency told Fannie Mae officials to submit a remediation plan within 30 days.

The letter marks the latest rebuke by regulators against Fannie Mae and its mortgage-market sibling, Freddie Mac. Last year, Ofheo imposed a $125 million penalty on Freddie Mac after the federally sponsored company was forced to restate its accounting by almost $5 billion. Chief among Freddie Mac's sins was deliberate manipulation of its books by executives, but investigators also found sloppy accounting methods, including overreliance on manual systems.

Manual accounting systems typically refer to computer programs that are separate from the main accounting program, and allow for manual overrides. They are a concern to regulators because they create more room for human error, and thus require more review and controls, sapping resources from other accounting duties.

In July, soon after Freddie's problems came to light, Fannie Chairman Franklin Raines held a news conference to distance his company from the mess at Freddie Mac, where employees were sifting through years of old transactions while also reviewing and sometimes reversing longstanding accounting policies.

At the time, Mr. Raines said that unlike Freddie, Fannie had strong internal accounting controls. Last October, though, Fannie Mae had to correct a $1.1 billion accounting mistake that it briefly made in its financial reports. The error stemmed from a manual system that was being used to account for part of the company's derivatives business. Now the Ofheo letter suggests that the company has many more such manual systems. Fannie also faces a full-scale review by Ofheo of its accounting policies.

In response, a Fannie Mae spokesman, Chuck Greener, said the company is "a leader in the use of technology in financial services," and added that "virtually every financial institution in America" has similar manual systems, also known as end-user systems. Mr. Greener said the company is "very comfortable we will be able to respond to Ofheo's request fully."

In written testimony prepared for a Senate Banking Committee hearing Wednesday, Mr. Raines said: "We have effective controls in place to protect against mistakes, and we have effective protections in place in the rare chance that something dramatic does happen."

The committee is preparing legislation that would tighten regulation of Fannie, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

A day earlier, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told the same committee that Fannie and Freddie pose "very serious" risks to the U.S. financial system because of the large amounts of mortgage loans they hold on their books, and the large amounts of federally subsidized debt they use to buy them up. Mr. Greenspan suggested explicit curbs on their debt. But Mr. Raines asserted that Fannie does a better job of hedging against risk than do banks. Both he and Richard F. Syron, Freddie's chairman and chief executive, urged Congress to avoid putting undue constraints on their growth.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting problems in the Freddie and Fannie family are at 

Basic accounting students At BYU have great success learning accounting from special videos --- 

Contact Information: 
Cameron Earl 801-836-5649
Norm Nemrow 801-422-3029 

Also see David Cottrell's approach at BYU --- 

Advanced Video Technology
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 ---  

Bob Jensen's threads and videos, including a video on how to develop your own course materials using the cheap and easy Camtasia Studio software can be found at 

February 28 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

I am doing a comparison of Robodemo v5.0 elearning edition and Camtasia v2.02. I use both - sometimes in the same project. Both are very easy to use.

Robodemo advantages over Camtasia: The Flash hotspot output allow for quizzing that can be sent to a LMS (Learning Management System). Robodemo allows for limited scriptability with Javascript.

Camtasia has more output options - avi - mov - real - wnv - Camtasia v2.02 has some minor crash issues for some people,

Camtasia has a "Theater" utility which allows you to chain swf files together. Ehelp did have a utility called RoboPresenter that was and is more flexible that Camtasia's Theater More on this later.

Richard Campbell

February 28, 2004 reply from Bob Jensen

Thank you for the update Richard.

The one feature that I would like to see added is a convenient way of choosing between microphone audio versus line-in audio versus audio that is already stored on the computer. Sometimes what I would really like is to use Camtasia to record audio and/or video clips that are playing on the computer so I can insert these segments.

For example, suppose that I was recording a Camtasia video on fraud. It would be nice to be able to insert a small video segment of an ex con while explaining fraud in some program like Excel, PowerPoint, or Internet Explorer.

I realize that the Camtasia video degrades captured video due to a lower sampling rate (usually 5 frames per second) versus normal video frame rates of 30 per second. However, this may not be a huge problem in short video clips as long as the audio is good.

In Camtasia it is possible to run a hard wire from the audio out jack on the back of the computer to the microphone jack, but this is a pain in the tail and does not generally lead to good capturing of audio.

Is there any solution for this until Tech Smith finally upgrades for better audio and video recording of something other than microphone voice while capturing Camtasia video?

Is this also a problem in Robodemo?

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on Camtasia are at 

February 28, 2004 reply from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Bob: To integrate video into Powerpoint you could try the free Microsoft Producer or try apresso: 

The link below will integrate a number of alternative file formats and was marketed by ehelp as RoboPresenter until Macromedia bought ehelp. 

February 29, 2004 reply from John Schatzel [jschatzel@STONEHILL.EDU

 I have been looking into this type of Flash tutorial creation software myself and found that Camtasia was well featured but not as powerful as RoboDemo, which is probably why Macromedia acquired the company. RoboDemo is also the most expensive: $500 Yikes! although educational pricing may be available. At the other end, I like Wink, which is FREE! If it does what you want then you can't beat Wink:  If it doesn't, then you have to pay. If your school is picking up the tab, then I would say go for RoboDemo unless you find it too difficult to use. I believe there is a 15-day trial version on the Macromdia site.

John Schatzel 
Professor of Accounting and Information Systems 
Stonehill College

The Complete Guide to Googlemania

They named it after the biggest number they could imagine. But it wasn't big enough. On the eve of a very public stock offering, here's everything you ever wanted to know about Google. A Wired Magazine special report --- 

Guardian's great tips on using Google ---,3605,1117818,00.html 

Bob Jensen's search helpers (including help in finding books, journals, pictures, media, colleges, and scholars) ---

I like the cartoon (outside my door) where the student asks: 
”Is this an open-Google examination?”

February 25, 2004 reply from Jim Borden


Here is another good article on Google from Fast Company (April 2003): 

and here is another one from Wired (January 2003): 

"Roman Catholic Church of England: 'Love Your Taxes'," AccountingWeb, February 24, 2004 --- 

Could an 11th commandment—love your taxes—be far off in England? The Roman Catholic Church of England and Wales has launched a campaign to encourage its 4.6 million members in the U.K. and Northern Ireland to embrace their inner taxpayer. A 40-page booklet called "Taxation for the Common Good," offers the premise that rather than seeing taxes as an unfair penalty, they should be seen as a way people can participate morally in society, Reuters reported.

"Taxes are very much based on the principles of solidarity, which is based on the commandment to love your neighbor," former Bishop Howard Tripp, Chairman of the Church's Committee for Public Life, told Reuters.

On average, Britons pay a basic rate on income of 22 percent and 40 percent on anything over 29,900 pounds ($55,550) but the Church’s book doesn’t get into what tax rate it considers equitable.

"This document is suggesting taxes are a way to play our part and it is something we should be pleased to do...It's all part of our duty to our neighbor, stemming from our duty as social animals," he said.

The Church claims the booklet is not a party political statement and does not mention the tax policy of British Chancellor (Finance Minister) Gordon Brown, who has hiked taxes to help fund the country's ailing health service, Reuters reported.

Tripp said the booklet is intended to jumpstart public debate on the issue and to give taxation a moral standing in society. He said tax dodgers cheat themselves and their country.

"If a person felt bound not to pay some tax to a certain cause they disagree with then they must follow their conscience, but I would urge them to look at other ways to deal with that problem, such as lobbying members of parliament."

Careers in Languages

Translation in the Age of Terror 
A new U.S. government center will connect linguists on the front lines of the war against terror with translation assistance technologies that can digitize, parse, and digest raw intelligence material.  
From MIT's Technology Review --- 

This is a really neat site for history and art history enthusiasts, including accounting historians! --- 

Welcome to Eternal Egypt, which brings to light over five thousand years of Egyptian civilization. Eternal Egypt is a living record of a land rich in art and history, people and places, myths and religions. The stories of Eternal Egypt are told using the latest interactive technologies, high-resolution imagery, animations, virtual environments, remote cameras, three-dimensional models and more.

There are many ways to begin your journey through Eternal Egypt. The guided tour is a quick way to experience the best that the site has to offer. You can also begin with one of the cultural highlights below, or make your own discoveries using one of the many other ways to explore.

When I searched on the word "accounting," I got eleven hits.  Not all of these were really accounting, but some were about accounting and were very interesting.  For example, see Ancient Egyptian Tools for Writing --- 

"Museum without walls' displays Egypt's glories," by Stephen Strauss, The Globe and Mail, February 24, 2004 --- 

Website designed by Toronto team gives close-ups of ancient and modern wonders

Experiencing the glories of Egypt, both ancient and modern, will become a lot easier starting today thanks to a groundbreaking joint effort of the Egyptian government and a Toronto-based team of Web designers.

The result of their three-year collaboration is a new website known as "Eternal Egypt," paid for by a $2.5-million (U.S.) donation from the IBM corporation.

"This project will enable us to treat the entire country of Egypt as a single museum that can be toured by individual visitors or a global audience," is how Farouk Hosni, Egypt's Minister of Culture, describes the endeavour that is being officially launched from Cairo today.

By going to the website -- -- a person sitting at a computer will be able to do such things as visit the Temple of Luxor or watch how the seated statue of Ramses II has changed over historical periods (once it was sheltered at the front of a temple, now it sits naked to the elements).

Tutankhamen's death mask is seen in such fine detail that holes made by decay or by the creation of the mask itself are visible. Structures that have disappeared, like the Lighthouse of Alexandria, destroyed in a 14th-century earthquake, are not just digitally recreated but can be viewed at different angles from all around the city's ancient harbour.

One of the project's revolutionary aspects is that people can download information while viewing various icons of Egyptian culture. Described as a "museum without walls," the website can send information to the cellphones or hand-held computers of tourists who find themselves mesmerized but confused by the history of the monuments they see.

The information is accessible in English, French or Arabic, and can be heard as well as read.

The website provides the same sort of detail to people touring the Egyptian Museum, where many ancient artifacts are stored. It is, acknowledge all who see it, not the easiest museum to walk through because material is not well identified.

"Why go to a museum and look at an object when you are not sure what you are looking at . . . and there are thousands of items [in the museum] which have no or confusing labels?" said Aiden Tierney, a software developer with IBM in Toronto. Voice interpretation devices are available, but the new software package holds out the possibility of a more detailed presentation.

"It's like nine books all together with different things devoted to everyone's different taste," is how Valerie Fox, senior creative director for IBM, describes the complexity of the website.

Not only does the site show ancient Egypt, but there are panoramic representations taken by web cams of the Temple of Luxor and the streets of Old Cairo.

The Toronto group, which was in charge of mounting and presenting information on the website, said the project held a number of challenges.

Bob Jensen's guides to history and museums are at 

February 23, 2004 message from Don VanEynde

Because I am involved with NASA, on a daily basis I read (link below). An added bonus for me is what I have learned in the various science areas.

It dawned on me today that I never thought to share this fascinating site with you all. For those of you who were not aware of it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Don,

The site is terrific.  One of the links took me to "Top 10 Winter Sky Targets" --- 

Under a clear, crisp winter sky, there are many objects that can be enjoyed with your unaided eye or binoculars or a small telescope. With so many targets to choose from, I've compiled what I consider the Top 10 deep space objects to see in the evening hours during late February and early March.

Bob Jensen’s threads on computing technologies for sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste are at

Please don't send any comments about how Bob Jensen's email messages should smell.

"E-mail tries out a sense of smell," BBC News, February 19, 2004 --- 

An e-mail would contain a code for a particular scent You could soon be able to spice up your e-mails with your favourite perfume. UK net provider Telewest Broadband is testing a system to let people to send aromatic e-mails over the internet.

It has developed a kind of hi-tech air freshener that plugs into a PC and sprays a smell linked to the message.

Telewest say it could be used by supermarkets to tempt people with the smell of fresh bread or by holiday companies seeking to stir up images of sun-kissed beaches.

"This could bring an extra whiff of realism to the internet," said Chad Raube, director of internet services at Telewest Broadband.

"We are always looking at ways to enhance the broadband internet experience of the future and this time we are sure consumers will come up smelling of roses."

Emotional response

The technology behind the idea was originally developed by US company Trisenx. Scientists at Telewest's labs in Woking, Surrey, have built on that research to come up with the idea of a "scent dome".

Continued in the article.

Sharing Professor of the Week from The Chinese University of Hong Kong 

This site is about financial institutions (FIs). Most people find FIs confusing and boring. Yet the things that FIs do are quite simple and are critical to society.
Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas' Financial Institutions Site --- 

This site includes an excellent online set of notes on financial institutions --- 

I found the following chapters most useful:

Chapter 11 Market Risk --- 

Chapter 14 Off-Balance-Sheet Risk --- 

Chapter 15 Foreign Exchange Risk --- 

Chapter 18 Managing Risk --- 

Chapter 19 Capital Adequacy --- 

Chapter 20 Forward Contracts and Swaps --- 

Chapter 21 Futures (including macro hedging) --- 

Chapter 22 Options, Caps, Floors, and Collars --- 

Forwarded by Jim Borden
The top 500 universities in the world according to Shanghai Jiao Tong, University Institute of Higher Education --- 

Your request is vague Douglas. 

To become an administrator at a college, you should earn a doctorate and probably gain experience on the faculty before you decide to become demoted to an administrator. God bless our administrators who serve so diligently day to day so the rest of us can do whatever we feel like doing.

One thing you might want to do is track the same literature that college Presidents track. These include the following:

The Chronicle of Higher Education ---

AAUP ---

University Business ---

The Pew Hispanic Center ---

Bob Jensen's higher education bookmarks are at

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From:  Douglas Luke [dlluke@SWBELL.NET
Subject: Assistance or Suggestions

I am a Graduation student doing an intern with Local University in Administration. I have the opportunity to meet with VP's of selected areas as well as the President.

I am searching or inquiring about possible questions that I could pose that would relate to Higher Education and hopefully the possibility of I becoming an Administrator.

You help/assistance is greatly appreciated



Track the Same News Stories that Your University's Top Administrators are Tracking

University Business --- 

Professional Media Group LLC, located in Norwalk, Connecticut, publishes the following education related magazines: 

University Business is a publication for presidents and other senior officers at two- and four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States. University Business is circulated to 42,000 leaders who manage enrollment, technology, academic affairs and legislation. The magazine covers current and emerging trends in all areas of university and college management.

District Administration is for leaders in K-12 education. District Administration, which has a circulation of 75,000, is the only education magazine to reach every superintendent in the country, along with assistant superintendents, technology directors, school board presidents and federal funds administrators, among others. The magazine covers current trends and pressing issues in the K-12 education industry along with strong coverage of emerging technologies and leadership issues for district-level administrators.

488 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851 Phone: 203.663-0100 Fax: 203.663-0149

Bob Jensen's higher education bookmarks are at 

The Pew Hispanic Center --- 

The Pew Hispanic Center's mission is to improve understanding of the diverse Hispanic population in the United States and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation. The Center strives to inform debate on critical issues through dissemination of its research to policymakers, business leaders, academic institutions and the media.

Hong Kong's Electronic-Money Card Is a Hit

In Hong Kong, the payment method known as the Octopus card has become a widely accepted electronic currency, used to buy a newspaper at 7-Eleven, a meal at a fast-food restaurant and even coffee at Starbucks.

"Electronic-Money Card In Hong Kong Is a Hit," by Evan Ramstad, The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2004 ---,,SB107715002812233389,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

HONG KONG -- When this city of nearly seven million began offering a way to pay for subway, ferry and bus fares electronically six years ago, it hoped its residents would quickly catch on.

Instead, the payment method, known as the Octopus card, has done more than just replace pocket change on the bus. It has become a widely accepted electronic currency, used to buy a newspaper at 7-Eleven, a meal at a fast-food restaurant, even coffee at Starbucks.

In all, more than 12,000 locations across Hong Kong accept the card, including parking meters, municipal swimming pools and the popular horse-racing tracks.

It also has made the chief developer, subway operator MTR Corp., an unlikely consultant on electronic money to cities around the world. And while banks and credit-card companies have for years hyped a coming cashless society, Hong Kong's mass-transit operators appear to have an early edge, though no one thinks cash will disappear soon.

About 1% to 2% of all cash transactions in the city are made with the card, says Octopus Card Ltd., a joint venture of the transit agencies that operates the card. "Our business assumption is we're going to compete with cash," says Eric Tai, the venture's chief executive.

Octopus is a stored-value card and behaves like a debit card. Money is subtracted when the card is held over a reading device, which is a low-range radio transmitter that can be incorporated into doors, turnstiles and countertops. Because reading devices can detect a card through leather and plastic, many people never remove their card but rather wave their purse or wallet over the reader. There is even a $35 Octopus wristwatch, with the card technology built in. Funds can be added to the cards at machines in subway stations, convenience stores and via an automatic draw from a bank account.

Sometimes called smart cards, these stored-value cards are common in Asian cities, though with varied capabilities. In Seoul, South Korea, subway riders can use stored-value cards or some credit cards. In 2002, Taipei in Taiwan launched Easy Card for use across transit systems. Singapore's CashCard, developed in 1996, has had the most success in moving beyond mass transit, and is accepted at 10,000 locations. But none have become as widely accepted as Octopus, or been able to match it as a standard suitable for being rolled out elsewhere.

In Hong Kong, Octopus emerged when MTR in the mid-1990s determined it was spending too much on magnetic-strip tickets, similar to those used in New York City and Washington, D.C. As the company studied the cost of implementing an all-electronic fare system, some managers suggested lowering the burden by sharing it with the city's major bus and ferry companies. (In Hong Kong, mass-transit operators are private companies that compete for routes.)

"Some people said all we were going to do is give away market share" to other operators, says Phil Gaffney, MTR's chief operating officer. "But the view that prevailed was that we as a public-transport operator would benefit if there were an increase in public-transport trips overall."

MTR took a 57% stake in the Octopus Cards joint venture while other mass-transit firms split the rest. Octopus takes a small percentage of each transaction, just like a credit-card company does. The closely held company had revenue last year of around $21 million.

Meanwhile, MTR began to receive requests from other cities that wanted to emulate Hong Kong's success in getting citizens to adopt Octopus. Last fall, top executives met with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on that agency's ideas for a system that would serve the transit systems around New York.


"Mailblocks Will Keep Your Mail Spam-Free, Without the Guesswork." by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2004 ---,,personal_technology,00.html

Most antispam programs take the form of add-ons to your normal e-mail program or service. And most rely on filtering, the effort to guess, usually imperfectly, which e-mails you receive are spam and which are legitimate.

But I've been testing an antispam system that takes a better approach. It's a complete e-mail service that has antispam intelligence built right in. Instead of filtering, it uses a far more effective method that stops 100% of mass-mailed spam.

The program is called Mailblocks, and despite a few downsides, I like it a lot. It's aimed at consumers and small businesses, and doesn't work with corporate e-mail. But it has lots of sophisticated features, and can consolidate all of your e-mail accounts -- even AOL accounts -- into a single in-box.

Mailblocks is a Web-based e-mail service, like Yahoo Mail or Hotmail, that works on both Windows and Macintosh computers. But it is slicker and cleaner than Yahoo or Hotmail, with a very good, uncluttered interface that responds to commands quickly. If you'd rather use a traditional e-mail program, you can read Mailblocks e-mail using Outlook, Outlook Express or Eudora on Windows, or Apple Mail or Entourage on the Macintosh.

The service is inexpensive. A free version, which has ads, gives you five megabytes of message storage and a Mailblocks e-mail address. For $9.95 a year -- that's a year, not a month -- you get 15 megabytes of storage, an ad-free screen, a Mailblocks e-mail address and the power to consolidate other e-mail accounts. For $24.95 a year, you get all of that and 100 megabytes of storage. On Hotmail or Yahoo, 100 megabytes of storage costs more than twice as much, and you get less effective spam protection and have to look at ads. Yahoo and Hotmail, however, have more features.

Mailblocks also allows you to send e-mail attachments of up to six megabytes each, a generous limit that's enough for multiple high-resolution photos. And if you don't like having the clumsy word "" in your e-mail address, you can choose from 19 alternatives, including "," and ""

You can divert e-mail from up to 10 of your current e-mail accounts to Mailblocks, and Mailblocks will apply its antispam system to all, including popular services like EarthLink, AOL, MSN, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail. You can also import address books from Outlook or Outlook Express and other programs, though you may have to go through several steps to do so.

Mailblocks uses a spam-control system called challenge/response. It's designed to stop all e-mail from the automated mass-mailing programs spammers use, while letting in e-mail from humans. Mailblocks isn't the first program to use challenge/response, but it does a very nice job with it. Here's how the system works.

All e-mail you receive from people in your address book is passed directly to your Mailblocks in-box. If any are sent to you from addresses not in your address book, they are met by an automatically generated "challenge" e-mail that asks the sender to copy a randomly generated number into a box. These E-mails aren't placed in your in-box, but go into a special Pending folder while awaiting a response.

If the sender copies the number correctly, the e-mail is moved to your in-box, and the address is added to your address book. Mailblocks will also add the sender to a master list, so he or she will never be challenged again when sending e-mail to any other Mailblocks user.

If the sender doesn't respond correctly to the challenge within 14 days, the e-mail will be deleted from the Pending folder.

All automated spam systems will fail this test, either because they can't stop and copy the number, or because they use false return addresses. Only human senders with genuine return addresses can pass the challenge.

If you don't want to subject unknown senders to the challenge, you can turn this feature off, but then you will get spam.

To receive "good" automated e-mail, such as online newsletters or purchase confirmations, Mailblocks lets users create special "tracker" e-mail addresses that can be used to sign up for various Web stores or services. When an automated mailing system sends an e-mail to one of your tracker addresses, it goes right to your in-box.

In my tests, these features worked perfectly, eliminating spam from my Mailblocks account and from those accounts consolidated inside Mailblocks.

Mailblocks also offers advanced e-mail features like automatic signatures, multiple folders, rules for sorting e-mail and automated vacation messages.

But there are some downsides. It doesn't scan e-mail attachments for viruses. It lacks a "preview pane," so you can see what's in a message without opening it. It can't auto-complete e-mail addresses you start to type in. And there's no easy way to designate an entire domain -- a whole company, for instance -- as immune from challenges. The company says it plans to remedy some of these shortcomings in a new release due this summer that will also include a calendar function.

Overall, Mailblocks is a very good system for eliminating spam. And it will only get better.

Message from FERF on February 24, 2004

Auditor Fees

An FEI member recently asked research as to whether a database exists of how much audit firms charge in audit fees relative to size of clients and billable rates per hour.

FERF researchers found information broken down by company size in the recent FEI Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 survey results issued earlier in February Although billable rates are not given, an excel table details incremental audit fees for the Section 404 attestation and the % increase this fee represents of their current audit fee. Various groupings of responses are given by size of company based on revenue.

In April 2003, FEI's Committee on Corporate Reporting (CCR) surveyed its members on 2002 audit fees. Twenty-five companies with total US assets of between $0.4 billion and $1,097 billion responded. Findings and an excel table are available under Finance Tools at

Aspen Publishing recently released the 5th edition of "Professionals Guide to Value Pricing." The book discusse related value pricing vs. audit firm hourly rates. A description of the book can be found at:

Bob Jensen's guides to fees and related matters are at 

Meet an Ex Con Named Walter Pavlo Who Did Time in Club Fed

What you find below is a message (actually three messages and a phone call) I received  from a man involved in MCI's accounting fraud who went to prison and is now trying to apologize (sometimes for a rather high fee) to the world. 

You can read details about Walter Pavlo's fraud at

I wrote the following last year at

I watched the AICPA's excellent FBI Webcast ( Nov. 6, 2003 ). One segment that I really enjoyed was a video of Walter Pavlo, a former MCI executive who served prison time for fraud. This was a person with all intentions of being highly professional on a fast track to being in charge of collecting reseller bad debts for MCI. In that position, he just stumbled upon too much temptation for what is tantamount to a kiting scheme.

Message 1 from Walter Pavlo on February 24, 2004


I routinely do a search on my name over the Internet to see if there are comments on my speeches that I conduct around the country. I saw that you had a comment on a video in which I appeared but was unable to find the complete comment on your extensive web-site. Whether positive or negative I could not ascertain but am still interested in your thoughts and would appreciate them.

I did read some of your comments regarding the stashing of cash off-shore by executives who commit crimes and the easy life they have at "club fed". Here I would agree that there are a few who have such an outcome, but this is not the norm. However, I would disagree that there is a "club fed" and on that you are misinformed.

I had off-shore accounts and received a great deal of money. However, the results of story are more tragic. All of the money is gone or turned over to authorities (no complaints here, this is justice), I lost my wife of 15 years and custody of my children, I lost all of my assets (retirement, etc.) and at 41 I am starting life over with little to show of my past accomplishments (which were many). Stories like mine are more common among rank and file middle managers who find themselves on the other side of the law. There are few top executives in prison but that appears to be changing. Time will tell if they fare as well.

Prison, while deserving for a crime of the magnitude that I and others committed, is a difficult experience and one that is difficult from which to recover. In the media and in comments such as the ones your offer, it appears that this part of the story is not revealed and that it is better to appeal to the fears and anger of the general population. I would encourage you to consider other view points for reasons of understanding the full story. I feel that this is important for people to know.

Thank you for your time and would appreciate receiving your feedback.

Walt Pavlo
125 Second Avenue, #24 New York, NY 10003
Phone: (201) 362-1208

Message 2 from Walter Palvlo (after he phoned me)


Attached is an article that appeared in Forbes magazine in the June 10, 2002 issue. I was interviewed for this article while still in prison and some six months prior to WorldCom's revelations of the multi-billion dollar fraud that we know of today.

It was a pleasure to speak with you and I hope to correspond with you more in the future.

Walt Pavlo

125 Second Avenue, #24 New York, NY 10003

Phone: (201) 362-1208

This is part of a resume that he sent to me (I think he wants me to promote him as a speaker)

Walter "Walt" Pavlo holds an engineering degree from West Virginia University and an MBA from the Stetson School of Business at Mercer University. He has worked for Goodyear Tire in its Aerospace division as a Financial Analyst, GEC Ltd. of England as a Contract Manager and as a Senior Manager in MCI Telecommunication's Division where he was responsible for billing and collections in its reseller division.

As a senior manager at MCI, and with a meritorious employment history, Mr. Pavlo was responsible for the billing and collection of nearly $1 billion in monthly revenue for MCI's carrier finance division. Beginning in March of 1996, Mr. Pavlo, one member of his staff and a business associate outside of MCI began to perpetrate a fraud involving a few of MCI's own customers. When the scheme was completed, there had been seven customers of MCI defrauded over a six-month period resulting in $6 million in payments to the Cayman Islands.

In January 2001, in cooperation with the Federal Government, Mr. Pavlo pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering and entered federal prison shortly thereafter. His story highlights the corrupt dealings involving the manipulation of financial records within a large corporation. His case appeared as a cover story in the June 10, 2002 issue of Forbes Magazine, just weeks before WorldCom divulged that it had over $7 billion in accounting irregularities.

Currently, Mr. Pavlo is the Director of Business Development at the Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA), a non-profit organization in Maynard, Massachusetts. YEA's mission is to provide at-risk and adjudicated teens with the opportunity to attain long-term economic independence by teaching them about business ownership. Mr. Pavlo's primary responsibility is to develop the business programs, raising funds through speaking engagements and charitable donations to YEA.

Mr. Pavlo has been invited to speak on his experiences by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Attorney's Office, major university MBA programs, corporations and various professional societies. The purpose of these speeches is to convey to audiences an understanding of the inner-workings and motivations associated with complex white-collar crimes, with an emphasis on ethical decision-making.

Message 3 from Walter (following my inquiry about his pro-bono presentations):

Walter Pavlo sent me the following information regarding my question whether he makes pro-bono presentations. He replied as follows:

Bob, On the note of pro-bono work, most of what I have done to date has been pro-bono. Whenever I am in an area with a paying gig, I try to reach out to universities in the area to offer my services at no charge. I could have done this for Trinity when I was in San Antonio last year for the Institute of Internal Auditors. I'll be sure to look you up if I'm going to be in the area.


Bob Jensen's threads on the Worldcom/MCI frauds are at 

Message from FERF on February 24, 2004

Fraud Checklists

Another FEI member responsible for a Sarbanes-Oxley 404 engagement recently inquired about a "checklist that can be used at the process level to help identify the types of fraud concerns related to a specific process."

FERF researchers found the following references:

An Appendix to Statement on Auditing Standards No. 99, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit (SAS 99), provides examples of fraud risk factors. The appendix is available at the AICPA website at:

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners provides a fraud prevention checkup that can be used to assist in determining an "entity's vulnerability to fraud."

In January 2003, the Institute of Internal Auditors conducted a survey on red flags used to detect fraud. Though the survey is closed, the text can be used as a checklist.

Somewhat related to the issue of fraud, Mutual Interest published an article about SAS 99 and fraud:

FERF also wrote an article on fraud detection that will be published in the March/April 2004 issue of FE Magazine that will soon be available at

Bob Jensen's main fraud links are at

Audit Committee Oversight Responsibilities Checklist 

February 25, 2004 message from Jim Borden

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience (either in the classroom or personally), with using the Cashflow board game sold by Rich Dad (Robert Kiyosaki). It seems to have gotten a favorable review in the New York Times ( and sounds intriguing.
Jim Borden
Villanova University

February 25, 2004 reply from 

Cashflow is a great game!  It effectively teaches you the philosophy of how to create passive income to create a positive cashflow.  But what it does even better than that is teach you how to shift your paradigm of money and its role in your life.  It teaches you how to get out of the "rat race" (there is an actual rat race in the game) so you can accomplish the things in life that add real value to you and your family.  The game requires the player to make about 50 -100 business-like decisions every game ranging from personal finance to stock market investing to entrepreneurial opportunities.  The decisions are difficult at first but become second nature after playing several times--- and that is the key to this game--- repetition
The only criticism I have of the game is some of the scenarios introduced into the game are a little unrealistic.   
I have played the games many times but never in the classroom environment.  However, my brother used it in the classroom at his school. They played it one or two times per week for the whole semester (I think) with great success.
Its a great game, but comes with a hefty price. 
 Cameron Earl
 Brigham Young University

There is a less expensive eGame version at  

February 327, 2004 reply from Linda Kidwell, Charles Stuart University, Australia [lkidwell@CSU.EDU.AU

Aside from the merits of the game, we used the book at Niagara for our introduction to business class for a few years. The students liked the brash style of the writer, and some of them took away good information about too much debt. But I wonder whether the game has some of the same problems as the book, from an accountant's point of view? The two that come to mind are the intentional re-definition of assets and liabilities and the discussions about home ownership. On the first topic, it caused some serious confusion among our introductory accounting students. On the second, as one with elderly in-laws now suffering the rent squeeze because they never bought a house, I question the wisdom of giving young adults the advice that they should not buy a home. I don't think they have the sophistication to understand the difference between not buying a home and not buying too much home. Just my opinion.

Linda Kidwell

February 25, 2004 message from Dave Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM

As some know, my instructions for playing Monopoly and doing the accounting are on-line at 

Today, I came across an interesting site for Monopoly gift accessories --- 

David Albrecht

Trivia Games (not free) for Accounting Education

February 22, 2004 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Here is a link to "Trivia Countdown" which is analogous to those movie trivia quizzes that you see in between the commercials as you wait for the movie to start in the movie theater. It is completly modifiable so that you can add your own questions and answers as well as the time to respond. 

It is written in Toolbook (yes Bob Jensen, Toolbook still lives on in its new release - Toolbook 2004).

This is a useful tool to calm your students down as they file into your classroom in eager anticipation of the knowledge they are about to gain. I learned my lesson about making sure the trivia show was up and running after a couple of students nearly got into fisticuffs before class. They were having an argument over which method was better for the Statement of Cash Flows - the direct method or indirect method. It was only after I told them "Ladies - you are BOTH right" that they calmed down.

Richard Campbell

A Story of Record Setting Pork in a Barrel 

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005 --- 

Bob Jensen's links to economic data are at 

Some Business School News

Congratulations to Professors Bjorn Jorgensen and Michael Kirschenheiter KPMG and UIUC Competitive Manuscript Award on Risk Measurement and Disclosure --- 
Mike developed Columbia University's online accounting course for UNEXT and made a presentation that you can listen to at 
Other Columbia University research awards are noted at  

A number of prestigious organizations presented Columbia Business School faculty members with awards and posts in recognition of achievement within their fields. In 2003, those achievements included best paper awards, new editorships of prestigious academic journals and several awards from the private and public sector.

Free Andy Grove Video Available from Stanford University --- 

Intel Chairman Andy Grove challenged the Business School to take a leadership role in finding ways to restore faith in America's business institutions. Grove's remarks came as he received the 2004 Arbuckle Award presented by the School's Alumni Association at a banquet Feb. 11.
Video File, 42:04 minutes

It has been years since Intel was simply a chipmaker. 
What does the company see itself doing 10 years from now? 

Congratulations to the new Rady School of Management

The new B-School at the University of California at San Diego finally has a name -- The Rady School of Management. It honors Ernest Rady, a San Diego commercial real-estate executive, founder of a privately held conglomerate called American Assets, and chairman of both Insurance Company of the West and Westcorp. Rady and the Rady Family Trust donated $30 million to the school. That's the second-largest gift in the university's history and is all-important for Dean Robert Sullivan, who has been fund-raising nonstop since he left the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School for U-Cal San Diego a year ago.
"U-Cal San Diego's Big Backer," Business Week, February 9, 2004 --- 

London Business School's Research by Nigel Nicholson --- 

Examining the lessons that can be learned by today's business leaders Professor Nicholson argues that the Maasi view of leader as ‘chief-servant' is a compelling proposition largely ignored by today's managers. He has also observed some clear parallels with his work on family business – witnessing, in this very different setting, further evidence that the ties of kinship create working bonds which are far more resilient than any created relationship.

Who is the new Dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina? 

Are they really claiming MBAs have no "technical skills?"

Most B-school officials say offshoring hasn't hit new MBAs. "The bulk of the jobs currently outsourced require technical skills" 
"Hiring Outlook for 2004:  Part 2,: Business Week, February 22, 2004 --- 

And what do MBAs without technical skills want?

"From Coffee to Jets, Perks for Executives Come Out in Court," by Alex Berenson, The New York Times, February 22, 2004 --- 

What is RFID?


RFID works with Wal-Mart directing its suppliers to attach radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to product shipment pallets by 2005, the technology is finally coming into its own. This animated infographic shows how RFID will automate the supply chain, from an object's manufacture to its arrival at a consumer's home. 

"FDA Expects RFID Use To Combat Drug Counterfeiting," Information Week, February 18, 2004 ---

"RSA Keeps RFID Private," by Dennis Fisher, eWeek,  February 23, 2004 ---,4149,1532740,00.asp?kc=EWNWS022304DTX1K0000599 

RSA Security Inc. will unveil a finished version of its RFID "Blocker Tag" technology that prevents radio-frequency identification tags from being read.

The technology, which RSA plans to demonstrate at its namesake conference this week in San Francisco, is one of the industry's first attempts to secure the anticipated oceans of consumer tracking data to be gathered by the tiny radio-powered tags. As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Gillette Co. press on with massive RFID rollouts, tags are expected to be attached, in increasing numbers, to all kinds of products, including manufactured goods, food and apparel.

Continued in the article

February 20, 2004 reply from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM

The February 2004 issue of Baseline magazine also has in depth information about Wal-Mart's RFID program, RFID in general, and Albertson's competitive goals. 

February 20, 2004 reply from Denise

There's good multimedia material available from Accenture that discusses RFID at\technology\vision\tech_vision.xml 
Just click "Accenture Chief Scientist Glover Ferguson presents Accenture's 
new technology vision in detail", select your choice of streaming media 
(don't try this on dialup!), listen and watch. 
There are also several other interesting looking links (
"Reality Online" is the one above) at  
that I haven't tried. 
Denise Nitterhouse
DePaul University
1 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604  

"Jamming Tags Block RFID Scanners," Wired News, March 1, 2004 ---,1367,62468,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

A security technology company introduces a device that can prevent radio-frequency tags from being tracked. It could protect the privacy of shoppers, but it won't come out for a few years -- and it could be banned.

Legends of our Times: Native Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains and Plateau --- 

At long last, the IASB decrees that employee stock options must be booked!

Message from SmartPros on February 22, 2004 --- 

Feb. 20, 2004 (San Jose Mercury News) — International accounting rule-makers decreed Thursday that companies must begin to deduct the cost of stock options from corporate profits starting in 2005, dealing a blow to the U.S. technology industry that had been hoping global political pressure would derail the rule.

The long-anticipated rule by the International Accounting Standards Board will affect an estimated 7,000 publicly traded companies in 90 counties, but not the United States.

But the IASB's counterpart in the United States, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, plans to issue a similar proposal in March. And the two accounting groups have been working closely together to make the two rules as symmetrical as possible.

"It doesn't change much in terms of what's happening in the United States, but it certainly dashes any hope the IASB would back down," said Ellie B. Kehmeier, a deputy national tax leader for Deloitte & Touche in San Jose. "And it provides a decent preview of what to expect when FASB issues its draft standard sometime in March."

The London-based IASB developed the global standard because a mish-mash of national rules generally do not require companies to account for options on their financial statements. That has resulted in understated expenses and inflated profits, IASB Chairman David Tweedie said in a release.

The rule, Tweedie added, "will improve the qualify of financial reporting by giving a clearer and more complete picture of an entity's activities, which will assist investors and other users of financial statements to make informed economic decisions."

The U.S. tech industry -- which doles out options more heavily than other industries -- has lobbied hard against such rules and sought political intervention in Washington. Though many still hold out hope, there is a growing sense that such rules are inevitable, said Roger Stern, a partner with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, a high-tech law firm in Palo Alto.

"A lot can happen between crouch and leap," Stern said. But, he added, "I think most people think mandatory option expensing is inevitable."

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on February 27, 2004

TITLE: Foreign Firms to Expense Options 
REPORTER: David Reilly 
DATE: Feb 19, 2004 
PAGE: A2 LINK:,,SB107713353964432916,00.html  
TOPICS: Financial Accounting, Financial Accounting Standards Board, International Accounting Standards Board, Stock Options

SUMMARY: Firms following International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will be required to expense stock options as of January 1, 2005. European companies "have realized this is coming and have changed their ways of remunerating employeses," said an analyst with UBS in London. Questions focus on understanding the use of IASs in comparison to USGAAP and on the implications of accounting standards for economic behavior.

1.) What factors determine which companies follow International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)? What standards currently govern European companies' reporting practices?

2.) What are the major differences between current USGAAP and the new IFRS on stock compensation?

3.) How much will the standard being adopted by the IASB influence development of a new accounting standard on stock compensation in the US? What other factors influence the potential change in US reporting in this area?

4.) An analyst with UBS in London is quoted: "The big European companies have realized this is coming and have changed their ways of remunerating employees." Should accounting standards impact economic contracting and behavior? Support you answer.

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

TITLE: Major Economies at Loggerheads Over Global Accounting Rules 
REPORTER: Andrew Peaple 
ISSUE: Feb 08, 2004 

Bob Jensen's threads on stock options are at 

As Hustler magazine nears its 30-year anniversary, Larry Flynt reflects on how technology has changed the adult entertainment business -- and how the Patriot Act relates to porn. Wired News February 19, 2004 interview by Xeni Jardin ---,1848,62343,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Wired News: 
How has the Internet changed porn?

Larry Flynt: 
It's had a dramatic effect. In the 1980s, publishing was 80 percent of my business. Now it's about 20 percent, and the rest is Internet or video. I don't think many people anticipated how the Internet was going to revolutionize the way we disseminate information. Now everybody does -- but some did in time, and some didn't. That's one of the reasons Penthouse filed for bankruptcy. They were relying totally on publishing. We knew in the early 1990s that we needed to diversify and branched out into a lot of different areas.

Technology still has many surprises for us down the road, particularly in the wireless area. It's going to be absolutely phenomenal. In the next two to five years, you'll see the computer and your home television set merging. You'll have one remote control, and they'll effectively be one device.

Continued in the article

February 23, 2004 message from PwC

7th Annual Global CEO Survey (Managing Risk: An Assessment of CEO Preparedness)

This edition of the Annual Global CEO Survey focuses on the critical issue of risk, with particular emphasis on enterprise risk management (ERM). Nearly 1,400 CEOs in 40 countries shared their views with PwC on how they are managing enterprise risk. ERM provides a framework for CEOs and management teams to deal effectively with uncertainty, and the risks and opportunities associated with uncertainty, in order to enhance value. This year's edition features management strategies and performance forecasts from the CEOs as well as interviews with several chief executives. Nearly 40 percent of the CEOs report that they already have effective and efficient ERM in place, while 46 percent view this as a one to three year project.

Here are a few additional highlights:

It is obvious from the survey that US CEOs are concerned with risk, which is a reasonable and expected reaction to Sarbanes-Oxley. The full survey can provide you additional insights into what businesses are facing.

PwC's 7th Annual Global CEO Survey is available electronically through our website. We'd like to make this available to you, so that you may explore the contents of the Survey in an interactive manner. Additionally, you may download a PDF copy of the Survey from the website. We felt that the Survey could useful for classroom discussions. 

So, the naturalists observe, the flea, 
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey; 
And these have smaller still to bite 'em; 
And so proceed, ad infinitum.

Jonathan Swift

Great fleas have little fleas 
Upon their backs to bite 'em 
And little fleas have lesser fleas, 
And so ad infinitum. 

DeMorgan, (1915)

Urban Legend Paradox
What about claims that may be false?  Is there any site devoted to setting the record straight about urban legends that are not urban legends?

Urban legends have urban legends about urban legends that claim not to be urban legends but really are urban legends that may in fact not be urban legends and so on infinitum. Some are blatantly false from the beginning;  others are embellished over time.  One definition is as follows from 

Urban legend - A story, which may have started with a grain of truth, that has been embroidered and retold until it has passed into the realm of myth. Some legends that periodically make their rounds include "The Infamous Modem Tax," "Craig Shergold/Brain Tumor/Get Well Cards," and "The $250 Cookie Recipe."

One thing not to be believed is the typical claim that "This is not an urban legend."  That's generally a signal that what follows is all or mostly bull.  

Urban legends are thus lies about what somebody said or wrote and are circulated wildly across the Web.  The best way that I found to check on something before I forward it is to select an identifying phrase such as part of the title of a story.  Then I go to 
I enter the selected phrase into the "exact phrase" box and then in the "all of the words" box above I enter the word "urban" and the word "legend" without quote marks.  Then I hit the Google Search button.

There are hundreds of sites that explain and/or archive supposed urban legends, some of which are as follows:

We should always check to see if something is an urban legend before we pass it along.  However, once something is claimed to be an urban legend, there is a tendency to immediately conclude the claim that it is urban legend is a true claim.   

What about claims that may be false?  Is there any site devoted to setting the record straight about urban legends that are not urban legends?  

Proving a legend to be true is often a scholarship question, such as when a writer claims that "X did not say yyyy."  A scholar may then search among the archives of the world for proof that X really did say "yyyy."   What is more difficult, however, is when claims cannot be researched in any archives.  For example, one might claim that President Lincoln had an affair during his presidency.  To my knowledge, there is no archived record of such a claim.  And people who might know first hand are no longer living.  All we can do is criticize all unsupported claims for not being supported by any credible evidence.

After my Google search finds a site that boldly asserts that something is an urban legend, like most people I immediately concluded that it is an urban legend.  Proving it to be otherwise may be impossible or impractical relative to the time and money available to prove it otherwise.

One thing I do know!  When one urban legend site claims something is an urban legend, the other urban legend sites follow the leader blindly like lemmings.  Is there any site devoted to false claims about urban legends?

Bob Jensen

February 27, 2004 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, one of the modules in my AIS class is devoted to what I call “identification of trustworthy sources”.

While not a foolproof methodology, it is better than the “no methodology at all” approach used by the general population.

In a nutshell: use your own experience (supplemented by the experience of actual acquaintances whom you trust based on your own experience with them) to accumulate a repertoire (or harem, or collection, or …) of websites run by organizations which you trust to tell you the truth. Examples from my own collection include snopes, Symantec, McAfee, DataFellows, etc. I then rely on these “trustworthy” sites to tell me what is “the truth” vs. what is fiction.

Google searches return everything, and it is very easy to Spoof a legitimate site, even to Google. My experience has been thus: when someone tells me of a strange story, I check it out with one of my “trustworthy” sites, and 999 times out of 1000, I am surprised to learn that the trustworthy site not only tells me the story is a hoax, but that the hoax has been around since 1998, where it originated, why it is still circulating (e.g., the grains of truth which tend to bring the story to present consciousness, etc.), and other information which I didn’t know. Further, these sites often are “up to the minute” on new stuff, too.

There is no substitute for determining “who ya gonna call?”

I really like that quote, although I don’t know who to attribute it to: “The trouble with keeping an open mind is that people are always dropping their garbage in it.” Perhaps this was Pogo, too?

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

Religion News Service ---

The following article from Religion News Service was forwarded by George Klersey at Birmingham-Southern College

Physicist puts odds of God at 2-to-1

Using the Bayesian theorem, an Ohio consultant worked the numbers on God.


Religion News Service


Stephen Unwin calculates the probability that God exists at 67 percent.


The idea of math favoring God by a 2-to-1 ratio is cheeky. So is the subtitle to Unwin's new book, "A Simple Calculation That Proves the Ultimate Truth," a flourish from Crown Forum's marketing department that makes the author wince.


But Unwin, a witty physicist who has spent his career calcu­lating probabilities, thinks there is real merit in his figuring.


There is something to annoy everyone in that number," Unwin told a Cleveland bookstore audience recently. "I've found a great number of people don't value uncertainty. Some tell me that they don't appreciate my number and they know my ad­dress."


Despite inflamed camps of atheists and theists who assign probabilities of zero or 100 per­cent to the Creator, the book is coming out in paperback this fall. Unwin's travels have taught him that many people privately occupy a murky middle. A Har­ris poll last October found that 12 percent of Catholics, 8 per­cent of Protestants and 25 per­cent of Jews don't buy the exis­tence of God.


"That alone tells us that belief systems are pretty strange things," Unwin said.


As a scientist who earned a doctorate in quantum gravity from the University of Manches­ter in England , Unwin likes numbers. "If you have a ham­mer, you tend to see every prob­lem in terms of a nail," he jokes in an interview. "As a theoretical physicist, my bias is to want to work the numbers in some way. Answering a problem otherwise seems like working with a num­berless bank statement - trivial and insubstantial."


In his day job, Unwin runs a consulting firm in Columbus , Ohio , figuring the odds of nuclear-power-plant disasters and the likelihood of complex equip­ment failures. A key tool is called the Bayesian theorem, a way to represent uncertainty in an equation.


Boldly, Unwin plugs evidence of God into this theorem. He points out, for instance, that giv­ing money to the homeless with no thought of reciprocal reward is evidence of good, and good is more likely to occur if God is in the universe. At another point, Unwin weighs natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer to swing the equa­tion against the probability of God. After six sets of evidence consideration, ranging from the existence of evil to the case for miracles, the probability comes out at 67.


For those who want to run their own version and set their own probabilities, his book in­cludes a Microsoft Excel spread­sheet for individual tabulation.


"This book is very bad news for anyone planning a career in Evil," writes Rob Grant, co-cre­ator of the "Red Dwarf" televi­sion series, in his book blurb.


One of the best things about the book is its humor. It seems the theoretical physicist can barely resist a joke.


"Is it realistic that the awe­some machinery of probabilistic mathematics be used to power a concept so fluffy and blond as degrees of belief?" Unwin writes. "In the Bayesian world, this is precisely what a probability rep­resents: a degree of belief or level of confidence that a propo­sition is true.


  "You cannot, for example, vote for, say, a particular scien­tific or mathematical theory from a point of utter ignorance the way you can vote for, say, a presidential candidate. So rather than relying smugly on the fact of the broad applications of Bay­esian methods as justification for our use of them, let's con­sider their pros and cons a little further and then proceed smugly."


The Rev. Richard Wing, pastor of First Community Church in Columbus , said Unwin's ideas have had an enthusiastic recep­tion at home.

"I've got a highly educated congregation," Wing said. "Ninety-five percent are college ­educated. We've got guys here working on chaos theory. We aren't afraid of the questions."


Unwin, born 47 years ago in Manchester, England, was stunned by the religious expres­sion, even aggression, he found in America when he moved here in 1984, first as a minor diplo­mat, then as a worker for Batelle Corp. in Columbus .


Some of Unwin's most fero­cious critics have been propo­nents of Intelligent Design, de­manding to know why it is absent from Unwin's equations. The author looks at the argu­ments and concludes that reli­gion and science best occupy separate planes.


"To plagiarize and adapt from the best," Unwin writes, "render unto the physical world those things that are physical and ren­der unto God those things that are God's."


Working the Bayesian the­orem into his own spiritual. life gives Unwin the pleasure that comes from clarity. It also helps when he calculates 40 years more of Sunday church atten­dance. It adds up to about 3,000 hours of one's life.


Unwin measures his personal sense of God at around 95 per­cent certainty. The 28 percent improvement over the math­ematical probability is what Un­win calls his faith.

Kings of the Road, With Rusted Crowns --- 

Forwarded by Don VanEynde

People over 35 should be dead.

Here's why ............

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40's, 50's, 60's, or even maybe the early 70's probably shouldn't have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, ... and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.)

As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.


We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.

After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day.



We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.

We had friends!

We went outside and found them.

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

They were accidents.

No one was to blame but us.

Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.

Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.


Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own.

Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law.

Imagine that!

And worst of all—As boys, some of us licked tongues with our dogs…and lived to tell about it! Yuk!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

And you're one of them!


Forwarded by Barb Hessel

Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 6:02 PM
Subject: Lutheran Airline

Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 6:02 PM Subject: FW Lutheran Airline

If you are traveling soon, consider Lutheran Air, the no-frills airline. You're all in the same boat on Lutheran Air. Where flying is an uplifting experience. There is no First Class on any Lutheran Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows 1-6, bring rolls, 7-15 bring a salad, 16-21 a main dish, and 22-30 a dessert.

Basses and tenors please sit in the rear of the aircraft. Everyone is responsible for his or her own luggage. All fares are by freewill offering and the plane will not land until the budget is met.

And pay attention to your flight attendant who will acquaint you with the safety system aboard this Lutheran Air 599: "Okay then. Listen up; I'm only gonna say this once. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly going to be real surprised and so will Captain Olson because we fly right at around 2000 feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably indicate the Second Coming or something of that nature, and I wouldn't bother with these little masks on the rubber tubes, you're gonna have bigger things to worry about than that. Just stuff those back up in their little holes. Probably the masks fell out because of turbulence which, to be honest with you, we're going to have quite a bit of it at 2000 feet, sort of like driving across a plowed field, but after awhile you get used to it.

In the event of a water landing, I'd say forget it. Start saying the Lord's Prayer and just hope to gosh you get to the part about forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, which some people say "trespass" against us, which isn't right, but what can you do?

The use of cell phones on the plane is strictly forbidden, not because they may interfere with the plane's naviga-tional system, which is seat of the pants all the way. No, it's because cell phones are a pain in the wazoo and if God meant you to use a cell phone, He would've put your mouth on the side of your head.

We're going to start lunch right about noon and it's buffet style and the coffee pot is up front and then we'll have the hymn sing. Hymnals are in the seat pocket in front of you, and don't take yours with you when you go or I am going to be real upset and I am not kidding, and right now I'll say grace: God is great and God is good, and we thank Him for the Food, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, May we land in Dallas or at least pretty close. Amen.

Forwarded by Barb Hessel

A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in their bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wiped a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee. "What's the matter, dear?", she whispers as she steps into the room, "Why are you down here at this time of night?".

The husband looks up from his coffee, "Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 16?" he asks solemnly.

"Yes I do," she replies.

The husband paused. The words were not coming easily. "Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car making love?

"Yes, I remember," said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued. "Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, 'Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years?"

I remember that, too," she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said, "I would have gotten out today."

Forwarded by Team Carper

Dietary Genesis

In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created ice cream and doughnuts. And Satan said, "You want hot fudge with that?" And Man said "Yes!" and Woman said, "I'll have another with sprinkles." And lo they gained 10 pounds.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad."

And Satan presented crumbled Bleu Cheese dressing and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetable and olive oil in which to lightly sauté the wholesome vegetables."

And Satan brought forth deep fried coconut shrimp, chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. And Man's glucose levels spiked through the roof.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds.

And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And man and woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.

Then God brought forth lean meat so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

And Satan created the 99-cent double cheeseburger, and said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super size 'em!" And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMOs.

Forwarded by the Cha Cha Lady

A three year old boy in his bath examined his testicles and asked, "Mommy, are these my brains?" 

Mom said, "Not yet, honey."

Forwarded by the Cha Cha Lady

Gifts for Mama!

Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers and prospered. Some years later, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the gifts that they were able to give their elderly Mother who lived far away in another city.

The first said, "I had a big house built for Mama."

The second said, I had a hundred thousand dollar theater built in the house."

The third said, I had my Mercedes dealer deliver her a SL600."

The fourth said, "Listen to this. You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can't read it anymore because she can't see very well. I met this priest who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took twenty priests 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for twenty years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it."

The other brothers were impressed.

After the holidays Mom sent out her Thank You notes.

She wrote: "Milton, the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks, anyway."

"Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks."

"Michael, you give me an expensive theater with Dolby sound, it could hold 50 people, but all my friends are dead, I've lost my hearing and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same."

"Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you."

These are the following reasons that Barbie decided to divorce Ken after 43 years of marriage --- 

Associated Press (True Story)
February 12, 2004
Just like J.Lo and Ben, the romance is over for Barbie and Ken.

After 43 years as one of the world’s prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up. The couple’s “business manager,” Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken “feel it’s time to spend some quality time — apart.”

“Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end,” said Arons, who quickly added that the duo “will remain friends.”

Arons denied that there was any truth to rumors that the breakup was linked to the Cali (as in California) Girl Barbie, arriving in stores now. To better reflect her single status, Cali Barbie will wear board shorts and a bikini top, metal hoop earrings, and have a deeper tan.

This new style already has attracted a new admirer, Blaine the Australian boogie boarder.

Barbie — the most popular fashion doll in the world, according to toy maker Mattel — met Ken on the set of a TV commercial in 1961, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Arons hinted Wednesday that the separation may be partially due to Ken’s reluctance to getting married. All those bridal Barbie dolls in toy chests around the globe are really just examples of Barbie’s wishful thinking, he explained.

Another possible factor is Barbie’s career. The doll who was “born” Barbie Millicent Roberts in 1959 has been everything from a rock star to military medic, and she’s currently marketed in more than 150 countries. According to Mattel, every second, three Barbie dolls are sold somewhere in the world.

So where does that leave Ken? Said Arons: “He will head for other waves.”

This leads us to question what was going on behind the scenes.  Well it was a series of things including those mentioned below.

Typical macho Ken married typical good-looking lady and after the wedding, he laid down the following rules: "I'll be home when I want, if I want and at what time I want-and I don't expect any hassle from you. I expect a great dinner to be on the table unless I tell you that I won't be home for dinner. I'll go hunting, fishing, boozing and card-playing when I want with my old buddies and don't you give me a hard time about it. Those are my rules. Any comments?"

His new bride, Barbie,  said, "No, that's fine with me. Just understand that there will be sex here at seven o'clock every night... whether you're here or not."


Barbie and Ken had a bitter quarrel on the day of their 40th wedding anniversary!

The Ken yells, "When you die, I'm getting you a headstone that reads, 'Here Lies My Wife - Cold As Ever.'

"Yeah?" Barbie replies. "When you die, I'm getting you a headstone that reads, "Here Lies My Husband Stiff At Last.'"


Ken  and Barbie were having a fight at the breakfast table. Ken gets up in a rage and says, "And you are no good in bed either," and storms out of the house.

After sometime Ken realizes he was nasty and decides to make amends and rings her up. Barbie comes to the phone after many rings, and the irritated Ken says, "what took you so long to answer the phone?"

Barbie says, "I was in bed."

"In bed this early, doing what?"

"Getting a second opinion!"


Ken raised nine children and is very proud of his achievement. He is so proud of himself, that he starts calling Barbie," Mother of Nine" in spite of her objections.

One night, they go to a party. Ken decides that it's time to go home and wants to find out if Barbie is ready to leave as well. He shouts at the top of his voice, "Shall we go home 'Mother of Nine?"

Barbie, irritated by her husband's lack of discretion shouts right back, "Anytime you're ready, Father of None."


God may have created man before woman but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

Cha Cha Lady's T-Shirts


(On the front) 60 IS NOT OLD. (On the back) IF YOU'RE A TREE.













Forwarded by the Cha Cha Lady
Are you Dixie or Yankee?
Take this quiz and find out: 

Forwarded by the Cha Cha Lady

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE


2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?


3. OK.... so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the "Bucs," what does that make the Tennessee Titans?


4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?


5. There are three religious truths: a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith. c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters.


6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?


7. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?


8. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?


9. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?


10. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?


11. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?


12. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?


13. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?


14. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?


15. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?


16. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me ....they're cramming for their final exam.


17. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? toothpicks?


18. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?


19. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?


20. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.


21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?


22. If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?


23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?


Interview With an Honest Boss

Forwarded by Dick Haar --- 

Stars That Served --- 

God Bless America ---

And that's the way it was on March 1, 2004 with a little help from my friends.


Jesse's Wonderful Music for Romantics (You have to scroll down to the titles) ---


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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February 20, 2004

 Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on February 20, 2004
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.

Once again Trinity University receives a top ranking --- 

This is a great Iraq War News Blog with archives ---
“... w
e will not relent until your country is free.” President Bush  

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

This is truly incredible!

When the quilt comes up, click on it to enlarge it, and then click again and again -- each time it gets larger. When you make it big, you will see the faces of people who died at the World Trade Center. Lois Jarvis of Madison, Wisconsin made this beautiful quilt. Imagine the amount of work and planning that had to go into this. It is a labor of great love. Please look then read why she made it. 

Quotes of the Week

If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin as quoted in a recent email from Bill Mesa

University of Minnesota researchers make hydrogen from ethanol in a prototype reactor that is small enough to generate power for homes and cars. It could help bring renewable hydrogen to the mass market.
Wired News
, February 13, 2004 ---,1282,62290,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Mathematics of Marriage:  DIFFERENTial Equations
"The mathematics (of predicting marriage breakdown) we came up with is trivial, but the model is astonishingly accurate," says Murray. "What we did is extract key elements into a model so that it is interpretive and predictive."

New Scientist (See below)
The team presented their research on February 12, 2004 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, Washington.

Using your intellect free from restraint, that's true happiness.

Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.
Isaac Newton

Confirming what the Beatles always knew, astronomers have actually found a diamond in the sky - directly above Australia. It is the biggest known diamond in the universe, in fact.
Stephen Cauchi, The Age, February 18, 2004 --- 

Robert H. Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, said he once fell asleep and dreamed of an accounting system in which each company rated its quarterly and yearly performance on a scale from one to 10.
SmartPros, February 9, 2004 --- 
Maybe he was really dreaming of Bo Derek who stared in the movie entitled "10" --- 

Canada is only producing about half of the PhD-qualified business professors it needs, he said. And only half of those professors stay in Canada to teach.
(See Below)

IBM's New ThinkPad Is Thinner, Lighter And More Affordable 
(and has a unique recovery feature if the computer crashes)
Walt Mossberg ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

According to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast, most of the big growth areas will be low-skill -- and low-paying.
Peter Coy, Business Week, February 12, 2004 --- 

Is the recent rebound just an echo bubble? Unfortunately it, too, can go splat. Among skeptics, the problem isn't just that stocks have gone up but also the manner in which they've gone up.
Bethany McLean, "The Stock Market Bubble, Take Two," Fortune ---,15114,588767,00.html 

Some people are enraged by the prospect of human cloning. Some are grossed out. Some see it as their only hope to one day get well. Biotech author Brian Alexander sets us straight.
Kristen Philipkoski, "The Truth Behind Fear and Cloning," Wired News, February 12, 2004 ---,1286,62258,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

“Use of GPS tracking devices is a particularly intrusive method of surveillance, making it possible to acquire an enormous amount of personal information about the citizen under circumstances where the individual is unaware that every single vehicle trip taken and the duration of every single stop may be recorded by the government,“ Justice Barbara Madsen wrote in the unanimous decision.  Henry Jenkins says that last week's ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court limiting police use of GPS tracking of a suspect's car is a "fascinating example of the negotiation process by which [society] adjusts to the potentials of a new technology." 

Ethics:  Is there a bright line?
This is a gray zone for tiny and customary ways of doing business in the U.S.
Jenzabar, a company that sells higher-education software, gave $300 cash cards to college presidents who attended a dinner it held in San Diego.
Andrea L. Foster, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 13, 2004.

Ethics:  Is there a bright line?
This is a gray zone for huge and customary ways of doing business in the U.S.
So what's a little business deal among friends?  It's trouble, if the friends are college or college-foundation trustees who benefit personally from the decisions they make on behalf of the institutions they serve. 

Julianne Basinger, "Boars Crack Down on Members' Insider Benefits," The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6. 2004, Page A1.

Dream the Impossible Dream
I have always planned my life so that I could die with three hundred thousand things on my conscience but not a single regret.
Fabrizio De André

Footprints in Your Heart by Eleanor Roosevelt --- 

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.

If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas,
Average minds discuss events,
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Friends, you and me.
You brought another friend,
And then there were three.

We started our group,
Our circle of friends,
And like that circle -
There is no beginning or end.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

FTC: Nearly one in eight U.S. adults fell victim to identity theft in a five year study.
Report says thieves cost $53 billion in 2002 --- 

If you find an offer on eBay for an iPod that's too good to be true, it probably is. EBay is swamped with supposed buyers clubs that promise cheap iPods. Beware: It's a classic pyramid scheme ---,1284,62226,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Hackers Hall of Fame --- 

See complete coverage of corporate-scandal trials, including an interactive graphic tracking who's in prison, who's on trial and who's under investigation ---,,2_1040,00.html 

The Biggest Academic Rip-off of All Time by Publishing Monopolists --- 

Bob Jensen's updates on the accounting and finance scandals are at 

Bob Jensen's working draft on the accounting and finance scandals for January-March 2004 can be found at 
The above draft includes links to Accountability Resources

Bob Jensen's home page is at 

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Have your sound on. Quite nice.
Colors of the World --- 


Model for Matching Presidential Candidates With Major Campaign Issues
What is also neat is the summary of campaign issues.

Message from Paula Ward on February 17, 2004

Here's a way to pick a candidate based entirely upon the issues. Interesting, thought provoking, and a lot of fun. It's also rather informative. Answer the various questions (grouped by topic), click the button and ... voila ... up pops the stats on which P2004 candidates you agree with the most. The listing of major candidates will be supplemented with third party nominees later in the election season. Sponsored by AOL and Time magazine. 

"Converting VHS Tapes to DVD." by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2004 ---,,mossberg_mailbox,00.html 

Q: I am interested in converting my extensive VHS library to DVD, and I am fairly tech-savvy. What is the best solution for the do-it-yourselfer?

A: The best device I have ever tested for converting videotapes to DVD, and the only one I recommend, is the $275 DVD Movie Writer dc3000 from Hewlett-Packard. It combines an analog-to-digital converter for converting VHS video to the format a PC can use, with a DVD burner. It's easy to use, and in my tests last year, it produced good quality DVDs that played fine on set-top players. My only caveat about it is that H-P is likely to be replacing it with a new model soon.

Codie Award Finalists for 2004 --- 

For 19 years, the Codie Awards has remained the industry’s most prestigious and recognized awards program. Each year, software, information and education companies from around the globe compete for their place in the winners’ circle.


Selected Codie Finalists That Caught My Eye

Advanced Listening  --- 
DynEd International, Inc. Advanced Listening is a strategy-based listening course for advanced ESL/EFL students. This course features lectures from some of Stanford’s best lecturers including Pulitzer Prize winners and MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipients. Specifically develops high-level listening and note-taking skills.
marblemedia is the home of American Sign Language (ASL) video clips, along with games and community features to encourage fun, curriculum-based learning. Coupled with the television series, it is the first Web and television series in ASL, using technology to allow deaf and hearing children to learn together.


How do you measure the impact of a technology-based product on the lives of children with special needs? TIECorp has answered this question by creating the TIENET special education case management system. It can be applied to positively effect every step of providing services, e.g. pre-referral, referral, eligibility, evaluation, IEP/classification, service provision and program monitoring. TIENET exemplifies the understanding that the IEP is not an event but a process to which technology can be applied in order to more effectively serve the special needs of children and their parents. Accordingly, the system has been designed with a high degree of customizability and flexibility to meet the disparate needs within this area. TIENET case management’s powerful features include: (a) data flow across all records to reduce duplicate data entry, (b) wizard-like guidance to assist users with document completion and to resolve compliance issues, (c) online access to all historical documentation, (d) automated workflow scheduling/calendaring, (f) easy-to-use, reporting tools and (g) an easily accessible communication system for staff and community. TIECorp’s history of success in the fields of special education and technology is reflected in hundreds of successful sites nationally. Experience the ease of use and elegance of TIENET at

LearnStar SC--ESL Module LearnStar Inc. LearnStar’s interactive software makes learning fun. Academic competitions, challenging quizzes, real-time polling, testing and performance assessment tools increase teacher effectiveness. Whole-class activities motivate students and focus their attention resulting in improved test scores. LearnStar’s curriculum includes titles for core K-12 subject areas and test preparation. Our latest release, ESL for LearnStar SC, focuses on vocabulary and grammar development, listening comprehension, reading comprehension and cultural knowledge. Graphics and audio segments help strengthen skills and enhance learning. All content in this module has been designed to correlate with the ESL Standards developed by the TESOL Association. Using LearnStar is fun; questions, trailed by multiple answer options, are presented to the entire class. The faster students enter the correct answer, the more points they earn. Optional clues, derived from Bloom's Taxonomy of higher-order thinking skills, coach students to arrive at the correct answer. Teachers assess subject mastery while students build skills and confidence to improve test scores. Real-time scoring provides instant analysis of both individual students and the entire class. LearnStar’s reports further simplify the assessment process, helping teachers determine individual mastery levels. LearnStar fulfills the vision of uniting technology with education by bringing truly interactive, whole-class activities into the classroom. Visit . 

Professor Teaches Microsoft Office XP 3.0
Individual Software Inc.

Professor Teaches Microsoft Office XP 3.0 is the complete multimedia training program for all the leading Microsoft® applications. Professor Teaches courses use real-world settings and realistic simulations to help you apply your new knowledge directly to daily tasks, and the knowledge you gain becomes an asset for life.

Starry Night Enthusiast
Space Holdings Corp.

Designed for anyone with an interest in learning about the night sky. See the sky from anywhere on Earth or visit any solar system body or location up to 20,000 light years away. View stars and deep-space objects. Print handy star charts to explore outside. Contains 2 1/2 hours of multimedia featuring dramatic visualizations of astronomical objects and phenomena.

Zondervan Bible Study Library 5.0: Scholar's Edition

The Zondervan Bible Study Library 5.0: Scholar’s Edition combines the wisdom found in more than 80 scholarly texts with a user-friendly interface that puts learning at your fingertips. With multiple translations of the Bible, exegetical commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias and original language texts, the Scholar’s Edition offers you the resources for an education you thought was possible only at a seminary. The Scholar’s Edition offers its abundant resources in a powerful and manageable format, so you can spend your time studying scholarly texts and not the help menu. Conduct penetrating Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic language studies with ease. Search out word meanings and etymologies. Access archaeological and historical information and in-depth commentary faster, with a fraction of the effort. Study multiple resources simultaneously, including the complete NIV, eight other translations, exegetical commentaries, seminary-level textbooks, multiple dictionaries, encyclopedias, original languages and much more.

Math Missions --- 
The Amazing Arcade Adventure Scholastic Save Spectacle City by disrupting Randall Underling’s plan to drive all the stores out of business and take over the city. The citizens are counting on you to solve real-world math challenges in the uniquely entertaining stores and make them successful again. Use your geometry skills to finish construction of Spectacle City’s tallest building. Practice multiplication and division by mixing the exact amounts of ingredients for a smoothie. Or, lend a hand at the outdoor market by using the scale to fill orders for fresh seafood. For your help, you’ll earn money to open your own arcade – where you’ll choose a name, pick arcade games to play, set prices, and more! Features: 15 math activities and 10 math missions; Arcade with seven games to play; Thousands of math challenges and word problems; Three levels of play automatically adjust; Strategies and hints to help solve problems; Glossary of math terms; Progress Report; Supports National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards for grades 3-5. Skills: multiplication, division, estimation, fractions & ratios, decimals, logic & reasoning, problem solving, equalities & inequalities, classifying & sorting, geometry, money management, measurement, time, temperature, unit conversions, graphing & data analysis, navigation & direction, combination. For more information, please contact Amabel Fulgencio at 

I know that it is not politically correct to promote anything nice about President Bush in academic circles, but I found the following rather nice about the “new” India.   International relations have not total been failures, and two nations once on the brink of war over border disputes are now in serious peace negotiations.

Statement of Optimism From a Harvard Professor Who is Ambassador to India

There is another issue on which together we must try harder. As I used to teach students in my course on strategy at Harvard University and will soon do so again, national economic strength is a prerequisite for sustained diplomatic influence and military muscle. Therefore, I hope for a robust India economic performance in the years ahead, and for a sharp increase in US-India trade and American investment in India. Promoting US business has been one of my major preoccupations while Ambassador to India.

Statement by Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill --- 

How could it not, for to quote Mark Twain,

"India is,
the cradle of the human race,
the birthplace of human speech,
the mother of history,
the grandmother of legend,
and the great grand mother of tradition.
Our most valuable and most instructive materials
in the history of man
are treasured up in India."


Should applicants to college be screened for ethical standards, and if so, should they be universal standards or subject to cultural relativism among diverse pools of applicants?

"What Can Business Schools Do to Avoid Bad Apples?" Working Knowledge, Harvard University --- 

Interesting question. I would not have considered it the role of the business schools to "screen" students for ethical standards—to me that's the role of hiring. For what it's worth, I don't think the MBAs whose names are surfacing in connection with corporate scandals learned their tricks in business school or at home. The business leaders they worked with in senior management and on Wall Street probably instilled in them the importance of relentless growth, well managed earnings, and creative accounting.

February 118, 2004 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU


How very interesting that your post should appear on the very day that our local newspaper (The Daily News-Record) ran a front-page story on the fact that Virginia law allows convicted felons to enroll in Virginia colleges and universities. This was brought up by an incident where a convicted felon who was a current JMU student was caught again dealing drugs at his off-campus apartment. (Hey, with 15,000 students, we're bound to get a bad apple every now and then!)

I always wondered where all those law students at William and Mary came from!

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University

Christopher J. Robertson, General Management Group, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University

In a year of unprecedented regulation, FEI's President and CEO offers a list of 11 financial reporting issues that require the attention of financial executives during 2004. 
  1. Internal Controls. Ensure that you have complied with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404, which requires management to assess its internal control environment and the external auditor to attest to the internal control environment.


  2. Variable Interest Entities (VIEs). Comply with FIN 46, which requires that companies consolidate variable interest entities. The rule was issued in response to Enron's off-balance-sheet treatment of such entities. It was originally supposed to take effect in the third quarter, but on October 8, FASB extended the deadline due to the significant implementation issues companies and their auditors were dealing with. (See below for a Deloitte and Touche Link)


  3. Pension Disclosures. Comply with new pension disclosures. FASB is due to issue a final statement before year-end 2003 as FASB Statement No. 132 (revised 2003, rather than FASB Statement No. 51), but has tentatively decided to require additional disclosures for 2003 calendar year end companies based on comments received from its recent exposure draft.


  4. MD&A Guidance. Comply with MD&A guidance. As we go to print, the SEC is planning to issue some additional guidance before the 2003 reporting season, which will likely suggest an "Executive Summary" section intended to highlight the important items in the MD&A. Also, ensure that your disclosures of Critical Accounting Policies are robust enough for a user to understand your business model.


  5. Revenue Recognition. Comply with EITF 00-21, Revenue Arrangements with Multiple Deliverables. Also, monitor FASB's Revenue Recognition project.


  6. Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements Disclosures. Comply with FR-67, Disclosures of Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements and Contractual Obligations. The SEC issued this in January 2003 for compliance for 2003 year-ends. This requires SEC registrants to provide an explanation of their off-balance sheet arrangements in a separately captioned subsection of the MD&A, and to provide an overview of certain known contractual obligations in a tabular format.


  7. Embrace Transparency. Use judgment in determining items that are important for investors to better understand your company's financial position and future trends. Don't wait for rules to come out specifically requiring good disclosure.


  8. Audit Committee Governance. Disclose your audit committee financial expert in accordance with Sarbanes-Oxley. Ensure that audit fees and
    non-audit- related expenses with your auditor are within independence guidelines and are appropriately approved.


  9. Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Both Liabilities and Equity. Comply with FAS 150, Accounting for Certain Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Both Liabilities and Equity. This statement requires that many financial instruments that may have previously been classified as equity, be classified as debt. It is effective in 2003, but deferred indefinitely is the effective date for certain provisions relating to certain mandatorily redeemable financial instruments.


  10. Stock Options. Monitor FASB's project on stock options, in particular the deliberations on valuation.


  11. International Convergence. Monitor what's going on at the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Whatever projects are on the IASB agenda are likely to be on FASB's agenda in the near term (including pension accounting, insurance accounting, lease accounting). In mid-December, FASB issued several Exposure Drafts identifying short-term convergence issues.

Deloitte and Touche provides a nice summary of FIN 46. The new interpretation was prompted in large measure by the fraudulent use of offshore special purpose entities (now called variable interest entities).

The link for your friends and family is at,2307,sid%253D2002%2526cid%253D35660,00.html 

Bob Jensen's summary of the SPE mess is at 

Forwarded from a FERF NEWSLETTER


FEI and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) released their sixth annual study on Technology Issues for Financial Executives on January 26. The study was based on a 2003 survey of 607 FEI members, a 17% increase from 2002 and a record number for FEI's Technology Issues survey. The study "provides a detailed assessment of the IT practices, priorities and problems that confront today's senior-most financial leaders." The objectives of the survey were "to develop fresh insights that are helpful to financial officers in carrying out technology related responsibilities" and to contribute to the success of the programs of FEI's Committee on Finance and Information Technology (CFIT).

The key findings are grouped under investments, management and evolving issues as follows:

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


* Continued and critical concern about determining the appropriate level of IT investment and making the right investment choices;

* A need for better and more timely analytical information to assist decision making;

* Plans to upgrade capabilities during 2004;

* Overall IT spending remains relatively depressed, with many planning for a modest increase in 2004;

* A small minority, 10%, believe that they are achieving a high return on technology investments; and

* Movement to enterprise resource planning systems and integration toward extended processes are continuing at a fair pace, but are slowing somewhat.


* The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a people and process issue, but can be assisted by technology;

* The ability to share relevant information versus pushing data is an on-going concern;

* Outsourcing continues to be a solution to address areas where management doesn't believe in-house efforts can be cost effective and/or supported by staff with the necessary skills;

* Satisfaction levels with shared services are a high 90%; and

* Average CIO tenure is longer than previously reported.


* With increased reliance on technology, information security has become a pervasive concern. However, CFOs are reluctant to expand the scope of traditional information security programs.

* Requirements and/or developments with a distant date (e.g. Extensible Business Reporting Language and wireless applications) remain a low priority; and

* The depressed price levels for offshore outsourcing of application development and maintenance bear close watching over the next few years.

Prioritization of technology investments and identification of the appropriate level of investment remain a concern to a significant majority of respondents, which was also a finding in the 2002 survey.

To access the full study, go to:  


In January 2004, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, published recommendations on responding to computer security incidents. The publication includes guidelines for analyzing data and responding to each incident and can be followed regardless of the hardware platforms or operating systems an organization uses. The executive summary emphasizes the importance of:

* Continuous, preventive monitoring of threats through intrusion detection systems,

* Establishing clear procedures of assessment,

* Implementing effective methods of collecting, analyzing and reporting data, and

* Communicating incidents to relevant parties.

Specifically, the document discusses:

* Organizing a computer security incident response capability through policies and procedures and creation of an incident response team,

* Handling incidents from initial preparation through the post-incident lessons learned phase, and

* Handling specific types of incidents, such as denial of service, malicious code and unauthorized access.

The full guide can be accessed at:  .  

Wireless Laptops:  Don't Believe the Slogan "Anytime Anywhere"
When I entered my New Hampshire zip code, Verizon Wireless responded "We currently do not have service for zip code 03585."
For a map of Earthlink's coverage go to 
It appears that the Earthlink's wireless laptop coverage goes up to central New Hampshire but not as far up as the White Mountains.  Not much of anything electronic goes up among the bear and moose.  (Sigh)
I will be on sabbatical leave May 15, 2004 to January 15, 2005 and will be off campus with my laptop.  I am considering a wireless laptop connection to the Internet. 
  Is anybody familiar with the pros and cons of wireless laptop connection? 
 How does it's download and upload speed compare with a cable modem?
  •  Do you think it will work when surrounded by mountains? (where cell phones work badly) 
    Bob Jensen
    February 15, 2004 reply from Robert Holmes Glendale College [rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US
    I used the Verizon wireless last fall as I drove across the country. In most places it worked as well or better than my Sprint cell phone. I loved being able to stop in a park or use my motel room or wherever to do my work. I did not do extensive timing tests but it was certainly several times faster than a regular modem connection. 
    I mostly download 20-40K Word and Excel files and they went almost as fast as my DSL at home. I spent a couple of days in southeastern Minnesota. The Verizon phone used a different carrier and the data connection was not available. My house is in a weak spot for cell coverage and the Verizon data was unreliable, sometimes fast sometimes very slow and so I discontinued the service. A block away from home it was fine. I also used T-Mobile wifi as a backup. That service is as fast as my DSL with the downside being you have to go to a hotspot. Not a big problem in major cities, but a trial in the country.
    The home page for Verizon Wireless laptop coverage is  
    The home page for wireless Earthlink is at 
  • You can read the following at 


    EarthLink Wireless Enhanced Access for your Laptop

    EarthLink Wireless Enhanced Access for your Laptop

    EarthLink Wireless Enhanced Access provides nationwide coverage over a CDMA2000 1xRTT wireless network providing speeds up to twice that of dial-up connections. Now you can take your laptop with you on the road and access your email and the Web anywhere within the EarthLink service area. With Enhanced Access service, you pay one price for all nationwide access - There are no domestic roaming charges for data usage to worry about.

    When you sign up for EarthLink Wireless Enhanced Access for your Laptop, you'll get:

    Nationwide Web Access
    • Connect in over 1,000 cities across the United States.
    • Surf the web at speeds up to 144 kilobits per second.

    Wireless Email
    • Wirelessly read and send email.
    • View, forward, and download attachments.

    Enhanced features
    • Compression software allows you to download web pages faster.
    • Connection software shows your signal strength and how much data you've used.

    Note: EarthLink Enhanced Access is not available in all markets. Please check our service and coverage area to find out if EarthLink Wireless Enhanced Access is available in your area to 



    Learning English for Advanced Listening --- 

    Consumer Price Index --- 
    What is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), including its components? --- 
    History of the CPI --- 
    Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation Calculators 
    CPI Forecasting Theory --- 

    Bob Jensen's threads on economic data --- 

    Bob Jensen's links to online calculators --- 

    Top 10 Places to Look for Stock Prices --- 

    Bob Jensen's links for investors are at 

    Tired of Remembering Passwords?

    Forwarded by Richard Campbell

    I just found one that maintains all your logins and credit card info needed to fill in online forms, using a password protected database on your computer. I find it to be a real time saver. 

    Richard J. Campbell

    February 15, 2004 message from Speer, Derek [d.speer@AUCKLAND.AC.NZ


    You can try Adobe Photoshop Elements. It has approx. 90% of the functionality of the full version for a small fraction of the price.


    The main link is 
    It's $100 from Adobe, but you can probably get it cheaper elsewhere.

    You may be better off with Elements since the full-blown Adobe Photoshop takes an immense amount of computing power and works better on a big Mac.

    It's Coming Up Roses for Distance Education

    "One of the primary advantages" of online classes, says Rene R. Champagne, chief executive officer of ITT Technical Institute, is their capacity to consistently attract the maximum number of students per class.

    Big profits from online operations are raising overall profit margins for the industry.

    "For-profit colleges thrive, but fears of a slowdown lead them to try new strategies," by Elizabeth F. Farrell, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 13, 2004, Page A26

    With total income for all accredited proprietary institutions reaching $15-billion in 2003, and profits growing, investors have come to expect that the good times will continue.

    Distance Boom

    For almost all of the major for-profit systems, online growth has been very good for business.  "One of the primary advantages" of online classes, says Rene R. Champagne, chief executive officer of ITT Technical Institute, is their capacity to consistently attract the maximum number of students per class.

    The growth of Phoenix's online division may have slowed, but newer entries in the field are just beginning to grow.

    Blended Approach

    In recognition of the growing popularity and profitability of online courses, most institutions are encouraging students enrolled on their bricks-and-mortar campuses to adopt a "blended" approach to learning, taking some of their classes online.

    "Blending online and on-ground programs expands the capacity of the space a company has," says Mr. Urdan.  "They can open new campuses more quickly, because they don't need as large facilities.  We're seeing companies like Apollo during this much more, in response to competitive pressure."

    At the Indianapolis-based ITT, such an approach, known as the "2+1" program, requires students to take at least two courses on campus and one course online in each semester.  The program is mandatory for students enrolling on new campuses and will be phased in for all students by the end of this year, says Mr. Champagne.

    Continued in the article

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology and distance education are at 

    February 13, 2004 reply from the wife of a retired accounting professor who now teaches online in his spare time.


    You're right about that (the intensity of online education communication and propensity to burn instructors out). Steve puts in more hours than he would in the classroom. He receives email everyday and we get calls at home from all over the country. One night a week they go to an on-line chat room. Last night he had 15 students sign on. It was a busy night. But he still loves it.

    Is your distance site operating within the law in terms of access by disabled students?
    Schools must demonstrate progress toward compliance.

    Accessibility in Distance Education A Resource for Faculty in Online Teaching --- 

    Common Questions

    What does the word "accessibility" mean? (What is Accessibility?)

    What disability laws should I know about if I teach online? (Legal Issues)

    What do I need to consider if I have a student with a disability in my online course? (Understanding Disabilities)

    How do I make my Web site accessible to everyone, including students with disabilities? (How-To)

    What does an accessible Web site look like? Does it have to be text based? (Best Practices)

    You can download the MP3 audio file of Susan Spencer's August 2002 presentation on this at one of my workshops --- 

    February 13, 2004 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU


    Thanks for pointing this out, a lot of instructors aren’t even aware of this.

    (Futile and worthless Rant: Talk about infringing on people’s rights. The ACLU is really remiss in not looking at what ADA, HIPAA, and a lot of other insanity is doing about stifling (via making so cumbersome) the very freedoms from dictatorship that the founding fathers were so mad at George II for repressing. As James Madison was so fond of pointing out, “Governmental tyranny can come from a government of the people just as easily as it can from government by a single person.” And the hullabaloo in Massachusetts points out the wisdom of Sam Adams who said, “the Achilles heel of this constitution is the lack of a check on the judiciary. … I fear greatly that (future generations) will be subjected to tyranny not from a monarch, but from an abuse of the power we have just given the court, … lacking a sufficient mechanism for moderating that power.”)

    Pity we don’t have the same intelligence and concern for the future in today’s leadership circles…

    Also, returning to the subject of the streaming media litigation, am I the only one who noticed that the Acacia tree has some interesting characteristics? --: it is covered in thorns, it is quite bitter and few animals will touch it, it has little or no commercial value in any of the dozens of societies where it is natively grown, it is known in Australia as the “wattle”, (where, interestingly enough, the “Wattleday Celebration” website uses (get this!) streaming media (!) as its opening greeting – check it out:  , -- and a “wattle” is also the word for a “filthy swine”, no kidding!! See:  ), in his work “Sylva” in 1664 Evelyn writes that the “acacia tree is brittle and its roots emaciate the soil in which it lives, making it unfit for gardens in spite of its hollow promises of shade”, and the very name acacia is often mis-applied to many different thorny scrub trees (including some North American locusts) other than the “real’ acacia which is an African and Australian relative of the mimosa but which when imported to areas other than its native range tend to become a fast-propagating nuisance species.

    To which I just have to ask: … --- do you think this is just coincidence?

    David R. Fordham
    PBGH Faculty Fellow
    James Madison University

    Modern Language Association: What's the Word? (with multimedia) --- 

    First broadcast in April 1997, What's the Word? was developed to show how the study of language and literature enriches people's lives. Programs cover a wide range of topics and have attracted the attention of directors of public and community radio stations. Currently the program is aired in thirty states and is carried overseas by Armed Forces Radio and Radio New Zealand. It is also available through the In Touch Network.

    The Best Products of 2003

    Just when you think you have seen it all, along comes Clorox in a pen, a Web site for downloading music legally, and a cool Caddy. Innovation, big and small: That's what we looked for in picking the winners for 2003. Take a gander at the year's crème de la crème

    Business Week Special Report (includes a slide show) --- 

    Pay Now, Enroll Later (and hope the college of your choice is a survivor.  Professors should get paid now and teach later.)
    Magnum Floss Floss 'N' Cap (Why didn't I think of putting a floss dispenser in the toothpaste cap?)
    Cleanly Written Clorox Bleach Pen (trace around the color lines on your plaids and stripes)
    Scrubber with a Heart of Foam (really removes the scum from pots and pans but useless on husbands)
    Blockage Buster Coronary Stents (Don't fence me in!)
    An Eye On You QuickCam Orbit (for Janet Jackson's bedroom)
    Scion xB (at $14,165 it's a poor man's Hummer)
    2004 Toyota Prius:  gasoline-electric hybrid (Honey my tank is empty and the battery's dead)
    Traveling Tot Ride-On Carry-On (Great idea for hauling granny about as well as a kid)
    Real Men Use Moisturizer (I'm still a teenager who needs acne dry)
    On the Money $20 bill (Please send all you can find to Bob Jensen at Trinity University)
    Strong Hold Post-it Super Sticky (place one upside down on someone's chair at work)
    What a Racket Head:   Liquidmetal series  (the new tennis rackets are taking the sport out of the game)
    Duffer's Pal Nike Slingshot Golf Clubs (the new golf clubs are taking the sport out of the game)
    Fast Food Trivection ovens:  They roast a turkey in half the normal time or bake potatoes in a fifth. (now we're talking)
    Kawasaki Z1000 (I'll pass.  I don't mind skidding in when my time is up, but no thanks to fast forwarding!)
    Starbucks Visa Card (For yuppies only)
    Cadillac XLR roadster (No thanks at $76,200)
    Cell Pix, Plus LG VX6000 phone (beware of men talking on the phone at the base of the stairs)
    Palm of Plenty palmOne Treo 600 (if our fingers were only the size of toothpicks)
    Handheld Doom Tapwave Zodiac (poor man's Palm)
    AIDS Fighter Fuzeon (Can't joke about this one)
    Some SUV Volkswagen Touareg:  Porsche helped design it (This would be nice up in our mountain home)
    Ready to Roll Delphi XM Roady:  satellite radio (so you can listen to commercials from coast-to-coast)
    Pixel Perfect Canon EOS Digital Rebel (Now this is a piece of work, but it won't fit in your shirt pocket)
    Closer Close Ups Lumix digital camera (For Janet's bedroom)
    Wi-Fi Power Centrino (Faster laptops with better battery life)
    Cut Above Schick Intuition (for smoother legs)
    High-Def Help DISH Player-DVR 921 (When Erika's in the mountains, I rent a lot from Blockbuster)
    Perfect Pitch iTunes Music Store (if you want to fast forward to deafness)
    Play On Game Boy Advance SP (try random walks in library stacks instead)

    South Korean scientists reported a long-anticipated first, the cloning of a human embryo and the extraction of its stem cells. Such research, while sure to arouse criticism, holds much therapeutic promise.

    "Human Embryo Successfully Cloned in Seoul," by Antonio Regalado, The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2004 ---,,SB107654538492127649,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 

    The Internet's newfound seniority seniors are flocking online in droves. That matters -- even to marketers not trying to reach the older demographic.,pvi,1,926f,gzlm,3zob,3pvb 

    Search Engine Watch 2003 Award Winners, Part 1 
    ClickZ's sister site, Search Engine Watch, released its annual list of outstanding Web search services for 2003. Your favorites are among them, but there were also surprises and controversial predictions for the coming year.,pvi,1,ctxf,667h,3zob,3pvb 

    Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

    The porn site is for sale.

    "Owner of 'Whitehouse' Site Says He's Leaving the Porn Business," The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2004 ---,,SB107642008807425558,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

    The owner of the Web site, one of the best examples that the Internet isn't always what it seems, is getting out of the pornography business.

    Daniel Parisi, 44 years old, said he plans to sell the Web site he started in 1997. Its name is easily confused with the official government site,

    Mr. Parisi's decision to sell the name and more than 100 derivations comes amid signs pointing to a rebound in the market for reselling Web addresses. A Florida man sold in December for $1.3 million.

    Mr. Parisi said he doesn't know yet how much the names will fetch. He claimed the site earns more than $1 million each year in revenue and said he's invested more than $7 million since 1997.

    The site currently features a picture of Democratic front-runner John Kerry with the message, "Our candidates are better looking."

    One company expressed early interest. Bob Roberts, a vice president at National Fruit Product Co. of Winchester, Va., which makes White House applesauce and apple juice, said he would contact Mr. Parisi to discuss a deal. The company previously fought Mr. Parisi in federal court over trademark claim

    Continued in the article.

    From Syllabus News on February 10, 2004

    Menlo Named "Best New Corporate University"

    Menlo University, a training center for 12,000 employees who work for transportation, supply chain management and logistics companies that operate under the Menlo Worldwide brand, was awarded a "Best New Corporate University" award at an annual conference for commercial training organizations. The Corporate University Best in Class (CUBIC) recognize corporate universities that are best practices.

    Menlo University offers Menlo employees e-based distance learning and computer-based training programs worldwide. It maintains four main campuses in the U.S. and Europe, including Dayton, Ohio; Portland, Ore., Scranton, Penn., and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Expansion plans for the near future call for additional campuses in Asia and Latin America.

    Menlo University's home page is at 

    Menlo Worldwide helps companies attain operational excellence across the global supply chain. We combine the most inventive logistics minds and advanced technology with the best in global transportation services. MWW has a proven track record of developing new creative global solutions and finding innovative ways to improve bottom line results for our customers.

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

    The Canadian government now offers the Canada e-book homepage with four primary sections (included multimedia) : 
    The Land, The People, The Economy, and The State --- 

    Much like the rest of the world, Canada is still developing as a nation. To make sense of this ever-changing country, the Canada e-Book uses sound, images, tables, graphs and both analytical and descriptive text to look at Canada—The Land, The People, The Economy and The State.

    A section on education is at 

    Bob Jensen's bookmarks for education statistical data are at 

    Bob Jensen's bookmarks for economic statistical data are at 

    We may have to wave goodbye to streaming media, but David Fordham thinks otherwise!

    "Colleges That Transmit Sound and Video Online Reluctantly Discuss Strategy for Answering Patent Claim, by Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2004, Page A27.

    Colleges, along with pornography distributors and mainstream businesses, are struggling for ways to refute claims by Acacia Research Corporation, which says it owns patents on the streaming technology that allows Web users to transmit and play sound and video.  In letters to companies and to many colleges, Acacia is seeking licensing deals that would pay it 2 percent of the gross revenue the recipients derive from such online media.

    Acacia has had some successes recently.  It was just granted another patent for streaming technology in Europe.  It signed up a hotel pay-per-view company and, in a coup, a pornography company that had been part of a small group of adult-entertainment sites fighting the patent claims in court.

    Acacia has also started sending letters to major corporations.  General Dynamics, the billion-dollar aerospace-and-defense contractor, signed a licensing deal in late December.

    Meanwhile, colleges are reluctantly trying to decide whether to band together to challenge Acacia's claims.  Among higher-education providers, only 24/7 University, a for-profit distance-learning company based in Dallas, is known to have agreed to a deal.

    Robert A Berman, senior vice president for business development at Acacia, said colleges had "panicked" and "assumed that we're asking for more than we're really asking for."

    Acacia, he said, is seeking royalties from colleges only on revenues from their distance-learning courses.  The company is willing to waive royalties on revenue from other classes that use streaming technology.  "We're talking about licenses in the $5,000-to-$10,000-a-year range--at least for now," he said.

    Acacia officials won't say how many colleges, or which ones, they have written to.  Institutions of all sizes have received the letters, but it is unclear what criteria the company used in choosing them.


    24/7 University struck an agreement with Acacia early this month.  Delwin Hinkle, chief executive officer of the university, called the deal "simply a business decision."

    "They tell you that they have $55-million in the bank and that they are willing to spend that to enforce their patents," he said.  "We looked at it and said it's just another tweak to our cost structure, and we don't have the money, the time, or the inclination to mess with them."

    Mr. Hinkle said he had tried to contact major universities to discuss a collective defense but never got a response.  He did not consider joining in the pornography companies' litigation.  "You're known by the company you keep," he said.  "No disrespect to their business, but I'm a Baptist deacon, and I can't hang with those boys."

    E. Michael (Spike) Goldberg, chief executive of, is leading the pornographers' fight against Acacia.  He has been frustrated by higher education's unwillingness to work with him or join his case.

     Continued in the article.

    February 12, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU


    In the IT circles, my experience has been that Acacia has the same reputation as a shirtless, tattooed, multi-pierced skinhead who walks up to your car at a stoplight, splashes Coke on your windshield, wipes it off with a paper towel and demands $5 for cleaning your car.

    According to what I've heard at a lot of IT conferences, Acacia is a firm of sleazebag lawyers whose only claim to business legitimacy is the buying of semi-worthless patents which are vague enough to be stretched and convoluted and contorted to cover some activity that the general population is already engaged in (such as breathing, eating, etc.) and then doing a lot of research to find a hapless victim who is too clueless or too poor to afford a decent lawyer to find knowledgable expert witnesses so the Acacia team can snow-job a clueless jury into believing that the vague patent has been infringed. Then, Acacia uses their "success" to scare (e.g., legal extortion?) a lot of other clueless companies into settling for "licensing fees", which they then hold up in other court cases as "legitimizing" their claim to the vague patent covering the activity. They only take an interest in activities which have become such an integral part of society as to cause great hardship if they cease, since Acacia's goal is not to stop patent infringement as much as it is to extort licensing fees from others who are doing all the work.

    Acacia's streaming video claim is based on a patent issued to an individual in 1992 for transmitting music electronically. But MP3 (the Motion Picture Experts Group Audio Level 3) file format was invented in 1989 and released to the public in 1991. The Acacia claim is that any file which can be used to reconstruct any music or video image is covered by their patent and cannot be transmitted electronically (e.g., like a CD player playing in your living room while you are talking to your grandma on the phone!) unless Acacia receives royalties. In other words, if you sing a jingle on your digital answering machine, you are violating the same Acacia patent which Acacia is using to sue college and universities.

    From the scuttlebutt at IT conferences, Acacia's only business is filing lawsuits. They do not invent anything, they don't manufacture anything, they only file lawsuits and collect royalties and fees.

    I don't have any first-hand knowledge of any of this, but I have heard many times of their questionable business practices at conferences, and several of my student groups over the last few years have done some research and reported on this phenomenon. One of them described Acacia's relationship to the IT industry as the "Nigerian Treasure Scam" is to the banking industry.

    Although Acacia may have some institutions cowed, I'm not sure based on what I've read, that it is much more than a paper tiger that was able to snow-job some juries. (Having served on five juries, I have positively no confidence in a jury to make a good decision on something like this, and the judges of my experience are only marginally better!) I know our legal people here have turned up their nose at Acacia's "success", and aren't the least bit worried.

    Check out: 

    My reference to "Acacia's Flying Circus" was a reference to Monte Python's antics, shenanigans, and sheer ludicrousness, engaging in activities which are so bizarre as to be almost beyond belief. (The dead parrot sketch, for example -- involving the Acacia pet store, and their customer, the very first gullible jury they snowed.)

    David R. Fordham 
    PBGH Faculty Fellow 
    James Madison University

    Bob Jensen's threads on the crazy DMCA are at 

    PricewaterhouseCoopers Revenue Breakdown

    For the Year 2003, PwC reports more revenue from Europe ($6.655 billion) than from all of North America  and the Caribbean ($5.431 billion).  Total revenue from other parts of the world bring this up to $14.535 billion from continuing operations.  The growth over 2002 was 5.5%, with Europe growing at an 11.2% clip while the growth in North America and the Caribbean was a negative 0.9% decline.

    Assurance and Business Advisory Services (including auditing) revenues increased 12.3% to $8.983 billion.  Tax and Legal Services lagged at 2.5% growth to $4.293 billion.

    Source:  PwC 2003 Global Annual Review, Page 7.

    On Page 9 there is a graph showing the number of audit clients versus other clients broken down into industry groupings.  In many instances, the proportion of audit clients is much lower than the number of other clients.  Smaller clients are growing in number.

    No breakdown is given for auditing revenue by itself, although on Page 11 it is reported that "advisory and tax revenues from top-tier audit clients have fallen by 16%."  PwC blames much of this on client efforts to cut back, in the wake of newer regulations, on other services when PwC is the external audit firm.

    I Expected That Macro Hedging Turmoil Would Mess Things Up for a creative IASB.  The FASB is way behind on this one!
    You can read more about macro hedging at 

    February 11, 2004 message from the President of FEI --- Colleen Sayther [


    I had the opportunity to meet with Sir David Tweedie and Tom Jones of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) this week. Recently, there have been extensive discussions regarding the European Union's failure to endorse IASB rules on financial instruments (IAS 32 & 39). If this occurs, it could seriously harm the board's credibility as an independent standard-setter. Some of the main discussion points include:

    Central issue in the debate about derivatives: whether IASB should allow some form of "macro-," or portfolio, hedge accounting, a technique used by banks to lessen the risk of big losses on their accounts with hedging derivatives. The IASB wants banks to reflect the fluctuation in the value of these instruments in accounts, but banks say this will create artificial volatility in results and won't reflect the real economic position of banks. European financial institutions feel that the standard setters are ignoring the way they manage their businesses. The SEC is not likely to accept filings from European companies if the EU doesn't require them to adhere to the IASB's derivative rules. Current problems could lead to European banks using different standards to produce their accounts -- undermining the EU's aim to maintain consistent reporting by companies in Europe. All of the parties have agreed to try to resolve the dispute over IAS 32 and 39 by setting up a high-level working group consisting of government, central bank, industry, and IASB officials. The group will work together to resolve the differences before March, when the IASB is planning on publishing its final derivative standards.

    Bob Jensen's threads on derivatives accounting are at 

    You can read details about FAS 39 (the green print) at 

    Colleen adds the following:

    On Jan. 28, the Senate overwhelmingly approved (86-9) legislation to replace the defunct 30-year Treasury rate for pension liability calculations with a high-quality corporate bond index for two years. The Senate passed the legislation on a temporary basis because they wanted to have a more in-depth discussion about additional long-term pension funding issues. The legislation still needs to be reconciled with the House bill that accomplishes nearly the same objective, but recent roadblocks to full reconciliation have cropped up from both sides of the aisle. We urge you to contact your members of Congress here and let them know how important this issue is to you.

    Rumors abound as to when the PCAOB is going to send its long-awaited standard on auditing internal controls to the SEC. Comments were due in November, and the implementation date begins for companies with June 15, 2004 year-ends. Lacking a final standard to go by, companies and auditors are using the draft that was issued last fall. For companies with summer year-ends, it has been a very difficult issue to grapple with. I'm told the PCAOB is trying to be responsive to the 189 comment letters that they received and are continuing to work with the SEC to ensure that the SEC supports the standard as provided to them. (The process requires that the standard go to the SEC and be subject to another public comment period prior to finalization.) When pressed for a time frame, the response is that they are doing their best to get it out as soon as possible. I've spoken to several of the audit firms as well -- they are equally as anxious and concerned. We'll keep you posted.

    "KPMG Strategists Describe Benefits of Effective Risk Management," SmartPros, February 9, 2004 --- 

    Two senior executives of KPMG LLP have authored a new business guide to help corporate leaders and boards of directors develop and implement effective risk-management strategies.

    Risk: From the CEO and Board Perspective, Mary Pat McCarthy and Tim Flynn, offers insights on how to confront and control risk. The book describes how to best shape an organization's structure to assess and manage risk in ways that will maximize shareholder value, and determine how closely risk management should be integrated into business, operational and financial planning.

    According to McCarthy, risk management is no longer just a defensive measure. "There are positive rewards to risk management," she said. "Implemented properly, sound risk assessments and responses can have a significant impact on a company's reputation and bottom line, and enhance shareholder value and transparency."

    The book advocates taking a holistic view on risk. According to Flynn, risk management must now extend well beyond traditional financial and insurable hazards to encompass a wide variety of strategic, operational, reputation, regulatory and information risks. "Businesses who take a holistic view of risks and their interdependencies, can be more agile and adept at responding to them," Flynn said.

    In addition to the thought leadership of McCarthy, Flynn and other KPMG professionals, the book draws on the experiences of top executives from Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Viacom, Sprint and Motorola.

    Chief among the strategies suggested for developing sound risk management is the separate and independent management of the process of reporting, measuring and controlling risks from those who generate them. "Just as an independent board, audit committee and auditor are critical to effective corporate governance, an independent risk-management function is essential to effective operations," said McCarthy.

    Risk: From the CEO and Board Perspective is available in hardcover, priced at $27.95.

    Bob Jensen's threads on macro hedging and risk management are at 

    New $20,000 Fellowships for Doctoral Students in Business

    Canada is only producing about half of the PhD-qualified business professors it needs, he said. And only half of those professors stay in Canada to teach.

    "Concordia gets cash for business school National bank putting up $1 million. Trying to pave the way for more students to pursue their studies to the PhD level," by Nicolas Van Praet, The Gazette, February 9, 2004 --- 

    Concordia University's John Molson School of Business is trying to counter what it says is a lack of university finance professors by putting in place a new fellowship program to train PhD candidates.

    The school will announce today that the National Bank is donating $1 million toward the program. The money will support the work of doctoral candidates in the field of finance over the next 10 years.

    "There's a dearth that already exists for business professors in general," said Jerry Tomberlin, dean of the John Molson School.

    Canada is only producing about half of the PhD-qualified business professors it needs, he said. And only half of those professors stay in Canada to teach.

    "Some of them go to the private sector, many of them go to academia in the U.S."

    A professor can make more in the U.S. than he or she can in Canada. And private-sector work is often even more lucrative.

    The U.S. and other countries also lack business professors, particularly finance professors, Tomberlin said. In part, that's because finance and accounting have become very popular subjects attracting growing numbers of students.

    The John Molson School is trying to pave the way for more students to pursue their studies to the PhD level and then choose teaching by subsidizing their schooling, Tomberlin said.

    He said if the university can't hire qualified faculty, it will be forced to cut down on the number of graduates it produces. In turn, that means fewer potential recruits for banks and other financial institutions.

    Tony Meti, senior vice-president of commercial banking (International) at the National Bank, said the bank wants to help finance the development and retention of qualified finance professionals. "We wanted to do our part to make sure that people get the right training and right opportunities here in Quebec and stay in Quebec."

    The program will target a total of 50 students over the next decade, or five students per year. Each fellowship will be worth $20,000.

    Bright Lights Film Journal (history, video reviews, critiques) --- 

    Mathematics of Marriage:  DIFFERENTial Equations

    "The mathematics (of predicting marriage breakdown) we came up with is trivial, but the model is astonishingly accurate," says Murray. "What we did is extract key elements into a model so that it is interpretive and predictive."
    The team presented their research on February 12, 2004 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, Washington.

    'Mathematical formula 'predicts marriage breakdown'," New Scientist, February 4, 2004 --- 

    The secret to finding lasting love might remain a mystery to most, but two US researchers claim to have come up with a mathematical model that can predict whether a relationship will fail.

    The researchers also say their system provides a simplified way of counselling couples and can help them to overcome relationship problems. However, the method has yet to be verified independently and is based in part on a subjective analysis.

    John Gottman, a clinical psychologist, and mathematicians James Murray and Kristin Swanson, all at the University of Washington, based their model on interviews with hundreds of newlywed couples carried out over the last 15 years.

    The team says they can predict if a marriage was going to break up within four years with 94 per cent accuracy. The further claim that it has been successful at helping troubled couples to abandon the idea of divorce in 65 per cent of cases.

    "The mathematics we came up with is trivial, but the model is astonishingly accurate," says Murray. "What we did is extract key elements into a model so that it is interpretive and predictive."

    Sex and money

    The first step in the process is analysing a conversation between the couple concerning a matter of contention or disagreement, such as sex or money. Observers score each partner during the conversation using a strict set of criteria.

    Important factors include the extent to which someone is able to influence their partner's opinion and whether a positive statement from one person produces a positive or negative response from their spouse.

    Using these scores, the researchers developed and tested various different equations to explain the way the couples responded to each other. They found that a particular differential equation enabled them to use one person's score to predict their partner's score with great accuracy.

    The equation can then be used to generate a graph that provides a more general representation of the couple's relationship. The shape of this graph is used by the researchers to predict how likely the relationship is to survive.

    The graphs can also be used to show couples seeking counselling how they could get on better. It could, for example, be used to recommend that one partner try to be more positive in response to certain statements.

    But the researchers acknowledge that the model might not work well in cultural contexts outside the United States.

    The team presented their research on February 12, 2004 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, Washington.

    "FASB Confirms Standard On Medicare Accounting," by Lingling Wei, The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2004 --- 

     It's getting less murky how companies should book the effects of a new Medicare bill in their financial statements.

    In a closely watched decision Wednesday, the Financial Accounting Standards Board said companies should follow the existing rules governing post-retirement benefit costs to account for the effects.

    In essence, it means that companies should book the amount of federal subsidy they expect to receive under the Medicare Act as a reduction of future benefit costs -- instead of as a stream of income from continuing operations.

    The Medicare Act, having generated massive political arguments, has also created an accounting debate since it was signed into law last December. Some say the subsidy is provided to employers, and therefore companies should be allowed to book it as a component of income; others argue that the subsidy is just another form of Medicare reimbursement that should be used in calculating future medical benefits of retirees.

    The bill entitles companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees to receive a federal subsidy beginning in 2006. In other words, Medicare will reimburse employers for 28% of the amount they spend on each retiree's drugs between $250 and $5,000. The bill also creates a new drug benefit for seniors who currently don't have prescription coverage.

    Current accounting rules require companies to estimate, among other things, the portion of cost to be reimbursed by government programs -- such as Medicare -- in order to measure the future cost of providing post-retirement benefits.

    "Given the magnitude of the obligations for employers, it's likely to be preferable for the federal subsidy to be directly offset against the obligations," said Barbara Bald, a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's human resource services.

    Auto makers, telecommunications concerns, conglomerates and drug makers are companies that tend to have large post-retirement benefit obligations. The top 50 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index in terms of the retiree obligations, according to Bear Stearns, include General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., SBC Communications Inc., Verizon Communications, Lucent Technologies Inc., General Electric Co. and BellSouth Corp.

    In light of many uncertainties surrounding the legislative changes, FASB decided early last month to let companies choose either to attempt to recognize the effects right now, or to defer doing so until the board comes up with its guidelines.

    BellSouth is among the companies that have made the attempt. The company told investors and analysts in a conference call in late January that the Medicare Act would reduce its 2004 retiree medical obligations by $290 million and accordingly, its estimated 2004 earnings per share would be 10 cents higher than it had expected in November.

    After Wednesday's meeting, what remains unclear is whether the reduced costs should be recognized immediately -- which would be translated to a one-time gain to profits -- or amortized over time. FASB, a seven-member body responsible for writing U.S. accounting rules, is expected to answer that question at a meeting next week.

    "If companies chose to account for the effects immediately, I think most analysts would exclude the gain from earnings because it's a noncash payment and it's not related to companies' core operations," said Chris Senyek, an accounting analyst at Bear Stearns.

    To My Graduate Students:

    This is not an assignment for ACCT 5341. I thought you might have a mild interest in the message.

    Arthur Levitt was a Chairman of the SEC who fought hard to force auditors to become more independent, especially in terms of conflicts of interest between consulting and auditing the same firms. (Recall that Andersen's Houston office received $25 million per year in consulting services from Enron and $25 million per year in audit fees from Enron). I don't think Levitt is a CPA, but Lynn Turner is a CPA, former partner at Coopers, and former CFO of a high-tech corporation.

    Dr. J.

    -----Original Message----- 
    From: XXXXX 
    Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 6:57 AM 
    To: Jensen, Robert Subject: 
    Re: NHL Accounting


    By the way, there is a very interesting report that you might want to mention in Bookmarks. It is a review of the finances of the National Hockey League done by former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt with the assistance of the Eisner accounting firm and former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner. It's available at:  

    Beyond the question of whether Levitt is practicing auditing without a license, the report would make an interesting discussion case in an advanced auditing class. The NHL seems to be trying to make a case that players' salaries are too high as a percentage of revenues for the league. But the financial information they use to make this case suffers from several problems including the fact that different teams have different arrangement for their facility (owned vs. leased), that teams have different local media contracts, and other matters. Levitt seems to have done a reasonable job of gathering reasonably reliable information but I suspect that some parties will challenge at least a few of his approaches. I'm not a hockey fan, but I am a sports fan in general and I enjoyed reading about the financial tangles of one of the major sports.

    Multimedia Campfire Stories with George Catlin (culture clash, sociology, anthropology) --- 

    World Population Growing, Growing, and _________________! (includes multimedia) --- 

    Microsoft Warns Of Major Flaw In Windows

    Microsoft is warning of a trio of new security vulnerabilities in Windows and Internet Explorer, of which was characterized as even more dangerous than the flaws that spawned some of the biggest worms of all time, Nimda and Code Red.

    From the Scout Report on February 12, 2004

    Microcredit Loans Continue to Improve the Lives of the Rural Poor Tiny Loans Trigger Big Change in Rural Bangladesh

    Microcredit Summit Starts February 16

    Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) 
    Microcredit Summit Campaign [pdf] 
    Grameen-Banking for the Poor 
    The End of Poverty: An Interview with Muhammad Yunus

    In 1976, Dr. Muhammad Yunus lent a small amount of money (approximately $27) to a group of 42 women near his home in the port city of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Out of this rather inauspicious beginning, the roots were planted for the Grameen Bank (Grameen means village in Bengali), an organization that has made over $4 billion in small loans to poor Bangladeshis in an effort to provide credit, or more accurately microcredit, to persons unable to receive this type of assistance from traditional banks. The Grameen Bank is in the spotlight this week as a high-profile regional summit on micocredit (which will feature visits from Queen Sofia of Spain and talks by Dr. Yunus), is convened in Dhaka on February 16. The summit on microcredit will involve serious discussion about how to bring 100-million poor persons around the world under the microfinance program by the year 2005. While Dr. Yunus has been criticized by some in the banking community as merely performing a type of glorified charity work, he remains confident about his rather successful efforts noting, "I don't care if the rich get rich. It doesn't bother me. They should get richer. I'm worried about the poor getting poorer and not getting richer."

    The first link leads to a recent news story from _The New Nation_ newspaper about the continued efforts of the Grameen Bank to improve the lives of the rural poor throughout Bangladesh. The second link leads to a news piece from The Daily Star about the upcoming microcredit summit that commences on February 16 in Dhaka. The third link will take visitors to the homepage of the Palli Karma-Sahayek Foundation, which was set up by the Bangladeshi government in 1990 in order to assist in the alleviation of persistent poverty. The Foundation is also responsible for organizing the upcoming Asia Pacific Regional Microcredit Summit, and ample information on this important event is provided here as well. The fourth link will take visitors to the homepage of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, which is dedicated to providing credit assistance to 100-million of the world's poorest families by 2005. Additionally, visitors can read the most recent "State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign" Report here at their leisure. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Grameen Bank, and provides detailed updates about the progress of its work and overall mission. The final link provided here will take visitors to an extended interview with Dr. Muhammad Yunus conducted by Sarah Van Galder of the Global Vision group. [KMG]

    "ERP: The Once and Future King of Campus Computing," by Catherine Murphy, Syllabus, February 2004 --- 

    In higher education, ERPs are no longer optional. But many approaches exist to fit the individual campus.

    ERP, or enterprise resource planning systems, are in place at many colleges and universities, and many more are considering going with ERP in the future. The promise of ERP is that it will integrate disconnected business operations such as student administration, human resources, and financial systems that have been previously handled by disparate legacy systems, while satisfying the need for real-time, on-demand information.

    Using the Web, new ERP platforms can not only help streamline university business processes for school administrators, but also for students, faculty, and alumni. Using their own PCs, these constituents can access their own data, look up their own grades, register for classes, and apply for financial aid through the ERP system. Staff can apply for new positions and access their employee records without having to visit human resources.

    Connecting the ERP system to a portal pushes the data and applications even closer to the user, eliminating many interim steps, shifting some of the work burden from the provider to the end user.

    So far, ERP sounds like a great idea. Yet, converting to an ERP system is a bit like building a new house to replace an old bungalow. You know you need it, and you can imagine how much more functionality the new house will have, but the old house is paid for and hard to give up. Plus there’s bound to be disruption during the building process and of course some surprises along the way.

    So the first principle of ERP is: expect the unexpected. According to William Shepard, director of applications integration and development for Cleveland State University, what people expect from an ERP implementation does not always match reality. “When you think of expectations and reality, remember these two words: reduction and increase,” says Shepard. “Everyone thinks they’ll save something–people, costs. The reality is that you usually don’t.”

    Many schools don’t anticipate the costs they’ll incur in training and hiring staff. The transition to a new software platform may be a difficult adjustment for some employees. According to Dave Wasik, director, enterprise applications services for the University of Akron, “Unless you spend extra money on staffing, you won’t be able to take advantage of what ERP can do. Training is expensive, but it’s more expensive not to train.”

    Ultimately, ERP changes the university’s entire approach to both handling information and serving users. “ERP forces you to change your fundamental approach to problem solving,” says Shepard. He also recommends providing support during the transition. “You have to transform your staff,” he says. “It may be helpful to provide some remedial training for them, so that they’re trained for the systems and software they’re going to have to handle.”

    Keep in mind, also, the cost of outside consultants or partners. While these can be expensive, they can also be invaluable, says Dave Swartz, CIO for George Washington University. Swartz recommends spending the money to get the expertise you need. “Recognize that they [the vendors] are your partners. You have to choose a partner that will step up and knock out any problems that come up.”

    Still, it’s the CIO or system manager who has to decide what roles to give to in-house staff and what to hire out. Project management is critical to successful implementation. Some institutions may feel more confident hiring an outside consultant with previous experience in implementing ERP systems. Other institutions may want to lead the project from within.

    And don’t forget about the costs of hardware. The initial costs can be staggering, especially if new client hardware is involved. It’s helpful to plan this upfront with a strategy for adding and upgrading units as needed. Says Shepard, “You need to keep the PCs relatively current and maintain them, and that takes money and staff. We [at Cleveland State] implemented a PC buying plan and a four-year refresh program to replace the machines every four years.”

    Can an ERP installation be done affordably? Yes, depending on your definition of affordable. Says Swartz, “There is an ERP system for every type of institution. For instance, there are some vanilla systems out there that are quite economical.”

    Realistically, however, an investment in ERP is one of the most expensive IT investments a university can make. Overall costs in the tens of millions are typical. Wasik says, “The number of decisions are incredible. How much consulting do we need? How do we size processors correctly? These are all difficult decisions, but they have to be managed in order to manage costs.”

    Despite the costs involved, Shepard warns not to spend too much time watching the bottom line. “This is a big project,” he says. “Don’t try to be a hero, delivering something cheaper and faster. Go to the board and ask them for the time, money, and flexibility you think you will need. Don’t expect to stay within a budget.”

    For Swartz, who has implemented a few of these systems, planning is critical, as is expecting the costs to continue over several years. “Expect the maintenance costs and upgrade costs to be high. They are very expensive and often underestimated.”

    Continued in the article

    Bob Jensen's threads on ERP can be found at 

    "New Claim Game," by Charles Babcock, Information Week,  Feb. 9, 2004 --- 

    Insurance companies want doctors to bypass clearinghouses and submit claims directly. The move could cut costs and complexities from the system. 

    On March 1, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc. will take a drastic step to realize the savings intended by the federally mandated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which went into effect four months ago. The insurance company will no longer pay "click charges" of about 35 cents per transaction to WebMD Corp., the industry's largest medical-claims-processing clearinghouse, which handles a third of the 10 million claims Harvard Pilgrim pays out every year. In addition to establishing rules to ensure patient privacy, HIPAA set standards for the electronic exchange of information that in theory should ease connection problems between health-care providers and insurance companies, while reducing costs associated with manually processing paperwork. Harvard Pilgrim eventually wants to eliminate clearinghouses from its payment-processing system and have doctors submit claims directly to it using EDI or Web services.

    A first step is to stop paying transaction fees to WebMD; they're costing Harvard Pilgrim more than $3.5 million a year. "With HIPAA, it's our belief that we no longer need to pay clearinghouse click charges," says Kimberly Grose, VP of network operations at the insurance provider.

    Harvard Pilgrim's decision relates to a bigger question being asked in the health-care industry: Do clearinghouses provide a valuable service or merely add unnecessary costs? The industry has long depended on them to aggregate claims coming from physicians' offices and send them in batches to the correct payers, at a cost of about $414 million a year to insurance companies, according to Forrester Research. But Harvard Pilgrim and others, including Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, are hoping that will change with HIPAA and the acceptance of Web-services technologies.

    As the largest claims processor, WebMD is stumbling in its efforts to convince the industry that its clearinghouse adds value. Its failure to provide HIPAA-compliant files in tests last August was the final straw in Harvard Pilgrim's decision, Grose says. WebMD's failure to file HIPAA-compliant claims since the law went into effect Oct. 16 reaffirms that decision. "We haven't received a HIPAA-compliant transaction from WebMD," Grose says, while other clearinghouses have complied.

    Harvard Pilgrim isn't the only group dissatisfied with WebMD. The American Medical Association wrote in a letter to WebMD CEO Roger Holstein on Jan. 8 that physicians within its member associations in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, and Texas were experiencing lost claims and long delays in receiving payment for "thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars" per practice. "Physicians have identified WebMD most frequently as being noncompliant with HIPAA transaction" and coding standards, the letter said. Tuft's Associated Health Plans Inc. in Massachusetts also has notified participating doctors that WebMD isn't forwarding HIPAA-compliant claims, according to the Massachusetts Medical Society. A Tufts Associated spokeswoman said an executive could not comment by press time.

    Continued in the article.

    Postmodern Culture (Philosophy, Sociology, Humanities) --- 

    The Mystery of Breast Cancer "Practically Solved"

    "Marin Won't Take No for an Answer," by Kristen Philpkoski, Wired News, February 11, 2004 ---,1286,62244,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

    The mystery of high breast cancer rates in California's Marin County is practically solved, cancer experts say.

    Studies have found that waiting until later in life to have children, taking hormone replacement therapy and drinking alcohol create a deadly lifestyle cocktail that leads to the majority of breast cancer cases in one of the most affluent and white communities in the United States.

    Activists in Marin, who first noticed their county had higher rates of cancer compared to other U.S. counties about a decade ago, suspected from the beginning that the bucolic area's environment is to blame. But none of the studies performed in Marin has found anything in the soil, water or air to blame for the high breast cancer rates.

    "There have been several studies published that suggest that it's not anything unique about the point on the globe where Marin is located," said Tina Clarke, a research scientist at the Northern California Cancer Center. "It's the character of the people that live in Marin County that explains their heightened breast cancer rates, as opposed to anything unique about the geography of the location."

    In March 2003, a study (PDF) by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco showed that drinking two glasses of alcohol each day significantly increased breast cancer risk for women in Marin. Having no children or having them later in life compounded the risk.

    That risk is higher still because women in Marin are more likely to have undergone hormone replacement therapy -- a practice many women assumed benefited their health until the Women's Health Initiative study in July 2002 revealed the treatment increased the risk of breast cancer.

    Other studies over the past several years have come up with similar results.

    "The results of this study suggest that breast cancer occurrence is higher wherever there are more high-risk women, like in Marin County, and that there was no reason to believe that the environment in Marin was causing the higher rate of breast cancer," wrote researchers on the Northern California Cancer Center website.

    But the people who live in Marin and have seen the disease in action say more studies are necessary. They cite possible contaminants from radioactive waste canisters off the Farallon Islands and the defunct Hamilton Air Force base in Novato, as well as a local rock quarry. No study proves that these can be ruled out as the source of breast cancer in Marin, they say.

    "It's so frustrating to hear people say it unequivocally is not this or not that, because you can't do it," said Judi Shils, director of the Marin Cancer Project. If environment is ruled out, "every other white, wealthy community would have the same cancer rates."

    The Marin Cancer Project has funded several research projects, including a comparison of Marin County to 33 other "peer" counties in the United States. Of them, eight were rich and white like Marin, but the county still came out No. 1 in both breast and prostate cancer.

    Continued in the article

    Even though I am a strong advocate of expensing stock options, I'm passing Ira's message on to round out your thinking on this complex issue.

    Ira is a friend who is on the FASB's DIG. He has a lot of research that can be downloaded free from his Web site.

    Bob Jensen

    February 7, 2004 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [JGangolly@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU


    While I usually do not like to start or enter theological debates in financial accounting, this one I could not resist.

    In the early days of the SEC, there were fierce debates within the Commission if accounting principles should emphasize measurement or disclosures. This debate is well-documented in a bunch of places, the one that I like being in Chatov's book on Corporate Reporting. The accountants obviously advocated measurement (self-preservation and self-promotion probably being the motives) while the lawyers preferred disclosures. Ultimately the accountants won (perhaps because of the powerful personality of George May? -- I'll leave it to the accounting historians to decide). Also, the lawyers who dominated the SEC obviously weren't thrilled at the prospect of having to be subject to our own double-entry incantations.

    In any case, SEC delegated accounting rule-making (which was much later challenged rightly in the courts by Arthur Andersen, who lost on account of lack of standing). SEC became, in effect, (except for rule-making via ASRs), a repository of financial reporting filings. Measurement became king, disclosure just a good thing to chant about, and all emphasis shifted to the "bottom line", and out the window went common sense in the Briloffian sense.

    To be frank, as a member of the public, I couldn't care less about the incantations of accountants so long as the disclosures are adequate. I personally couldn't care whether the companies expensed or capitalised stock options so long as ALL material information has been disclosed. We accountants have, since the 1930s worked on the assumption that the public is dumb and so is the financial analyst community, and they need to be spoon-fed with just enough information to avoid their being constipated. The result has been the incredibly naive reliance by every one on the bottom-line, and our consequent role as the protectors of the corporate economy.

    The impact of the above sequence of events on the education of the accountants, in my opinion, has been disastrous. One only needs to look at the typical intermediate accounting courses to note this disaster. The measurement aspect of transactions has been paramount at the expense of their business purpose, role in business processes, stakeholders' interests and rights, the role of disclosures and of law in accounting,..... We really have become bean-counters.

    I say the above with some trepidation, but with a lot of sadness.


    February 9, 2004 reply from Paul Williams [williamsp@COMFS1.COM.NCSU.EDU

    Jagdish, et al 

    I agree with you enthusiastically. The price we have paid by expunging history from our intellectual life -- remember the Five Mongraphs on Business Income and Edwards and Bells deconstruction of Sidney Alexander's presumption of the superiority of economists' conceptualizations, i.e., accountants should tell us only what actually happened? There is a bandwagon about expensing stock options, but overlooked is the fact that we don't know how to do it. Black and Scholes aside, no mortal has the prescience to determine at the time an option is granted what it's value is -- it may indeed have no value at all. Expensing (which itself may be conceptually flawed since the option may simply be the capitalization of intellectual equity provided by managers and is the same as issuing stock to any other contributor of capital for whatever of value was invested) options creates another "measurement" technology that introduces enormous room for "errors in estimate", another example of the hypothetical present value model of informing that so enthralls the rule-makers (as Clarence Darrow is once alleged to have said, "Contempt for law is brought about by law making itself ridiculous") and Heaven knows, accounting has certainly made itself ridiculous over the past few years. 

    Perhaps we ought to trace this stock option problem to its source, i.e., the work of Jensen (Michael, not Robert) and Meckling who made this idea of linking executive rewards to the value of the company a fashionable idea -- another example of utopian thinking and belief in imaginary worlds (at least Jensen has recently admitted, to the degree those who know the truth can, that there have been some unintended consequences to the idea). Jagdish's preference for disclosure over "measurement" and accountability to multiple stakeholders is a theme that might be of great value to accounting's research agenda. For a profession to be so dominated by the notion that we exist to serve "investors" exclusively is myopic in the extreme. We somehow believe we perform some great public service oiling the machinery of Wall Street, but that may not be true. For example, the security market doesn't really provide much capital: it is mainly a mechanism for providing liquidity. According to the Federal Reserve when we look at net new equity provided by investors (new investment minus buybacks), investors may be a negative source of funding (e.g., in 1998 the figure was a negative 267 billion dollars (Federal Reserve Flow of Funds accounts for the U.S.,  ). 

    Thomas Jefferson expressed an opinion of the place of corporations in American life, "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Obviously, we didn't. Accounting statements may be more valuable as "narratives about power" told to those to whom this power is allegedly accountable than as "measurements useful for predicting the timing, amount and uncertainty of cash flows." For example, rather than expensing stock options, wouldn't it be instructive to simply disclose the average wage rate, the range of wages, and simply the number of employees granted options, how many granted, and the exercise prices? 

    Most of us would be clever enough to figure out the rest. Or, if we are going to disclose the present value of stock compensation, why not also disclose each year the present value of future wages eliminated by the firing of employees? Eliminating jobs is a value adding activity (for a while at least); at the moment it seems to be the primary strategy for doing so. Doesn't "representational faithfulness" encompass such a measurement as well?


    Forwarded from part of a message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

    I have been quite disappointed with the new release of Adobe Acrobat 6.0 and the Adobe Reader 6.0. The new Reader loads very sloooooooooowww, because they bundled all the functionality of the old Ebook reader into the new Reader. They screwed up the installer and I have been unable to install it on my demonstration computer in our computer lab. The install bombs out and hangs the computer.

    Macromedia has an alternative, but as they admit, it doesn't have the security features of pdf.

    See the link below for a Macromedia alternative. 

    February 9, 2004 message from Bob Bathalter [

    Hello Bob,

    Hope you enjoyed your weekend. I wanted to contact you regarding a special promotion that we are offering with the release of Lectora Publisher 2004. We are offering an incredibly low, "new adopter", price to get your faculty using the best e-learning authoring tool available today. Lectora allows you to create rich, engaging content in conjunction with Blackboard Basic, as well as, tests and assessments that will seamlessly integrate into Blackboard Enterprise Editions through our Building Block Partnership . The Lectora solution will save you money by providing an all-in-one tool for creating course modules, tests and quizzes, websites, as well as, e-portfolios. We have also recently partnered with The Thomson Learning Group who is also using Lectora for creating custom content. I have attached a few PDF's and an order form for your review.

    The special price for a 4-year college/university is only $5,000.

    This is a one-time-only, "perpetual" site license fee for our newest release Lectora Publisher 2004. The license is good for all faculty, staff, and college/university owned computers. The institution can install Lectora in all of the computer labs allowing student use for ePortfolio's, multimedia presentations, etc. If a student would choose to purchase their own version for their personal computers, Trivantis would supply a serial number to them for $29.95. This unbelievable offer is only good through February 27th, 2004.

    To learn more about this offer, schedule a demo, or place an order, please call me at 877.929.0188 X 149

    I look forward to hearing from you soon! If there are others you feel would be interested in this special, please feel free to forward the email or please forward me their contact information.


    Bob Bathalter 
    Regional Sales Manager 
    Trivantis Corporation 
    Toll-Free 877.929.0188 ext 149 Fax: 513.929.0770  
    Trivantis' offline authoring tool, Lectora Publisher allows faculty members, administrators, and students the independent control to create an unlimited amount of e-Learning materials. Lectora is "destination neutral" allowing it to be used as a stand alone application or with most learning management systems including WebCT and Blackboard. Lectora's drag-and-drop technology levels the playing field, allowing all levels of "authors" to be able to create engaging multimedia materials without having any programming knowledge. This, combined with the intuitive interface, makes Lectora the easiest to learn and the easiest to use product on the market. Most importantly, Lectora publishes to HTML, CD-Rom, DVD or HTML/CD hybrid with the click of a mouse. All programming is completely eliminated.

    PBS: In Search for Shakespeare (Literature, History) --- 

    British Library: Caxton's Chaucer 

    We may have to wave goodbye to streaming media.

    "Colleges That Transmit Sound and Video Online Reluctantly Discuss Strategy for Answering Patent Claim, by Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2004, Page A27.

    Colleges, along with pornography distributors and mainstream businesses, are struggling for ways to refute claims by Acacia Research Corporation, which says it owns patents on the streaming technology that allows Web users to transmit and play sound and video.  In letters to companies and to many colleges, Acacia is seeking licensing deals that would pay it 2 percent of the gross revenue the recipients derive from such online media.

    Acacia has had some successes recently.  It was just granted another patent for streaming technology in Europe.  It signed up a hotel pay-per-view company and, in a coup, a pornography company that had been part of a small group of adult-entertainment sites fighting the patent claims in court.

    Acacia has also started sending letters to major corporations.  General Dynamics, the billion-dollar aerospace-and-defense contractor, signed a licensing deal in late December.

    Meanwhile, colleges are reluctantly trying to decide whether to band together to challenge Acacia's claims.  Among higher-education providers, only 24/7 University, a for-profit distance-learning company based in Dallas, is known to have agreed to a deal.

    Robert A Berman, senior vice president for business development at Acacia, said colleges had "panicked" and "assumed that we're asking for more than we're really asking for."

    Acacia, he said, is seeking royalties from colleges only on revenues from their distance-learning courses.  The company is willing to waive royalties on revenue from other classes that use streaming technology.  "We're talking about licenses in the $5,000-to-$10,000-a-year range--at least for now," he said.

    Acacia officials won't say how many colleges, or which ones, they have written to.  Institutions of all sizes have received the letters, but it is unclear what criteria the company used in choosing them.


    24/7 University struck an agreement with Acacia early this month.  Delwin Hinkle, chief executive officer of the university, called the deal "simply a business decision."

    "They tell you that they have $55-million in the bank and that they are willing to spend that to enforce their patents," he said.  "We looked at it and said it's just another tweak to our cost structure, and we don't have the money, the time, or the inclination to mess with them."

    Mr. Hinkle said he had tried to contact major universities to discuss a collective defense but never got a response.  He did not consider joining in the pornography companies' litigation.  "You're known by the company you keep," he said.  "No disrespect to their business, but I'm a Baptist deacon, and I can't hang with those boys."

    E. Michael (Spike) Goldberg, chief executive of, is leading the pornographers' fight against Acacia.  He has been frustrated by higher education's unwillingness to work with him or join his case.

     Continued in the article.

    February 12, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]


    In the IT circles, my experience has been that Acacia has the same reputation as a shirtless, tattooed, multi-pierced skinhead who walks up to your car at a stoplight, splashes Coke on your windshield, wipes it off with a paper towel and demands $5 for cleaning your car.

    According to what I've heard at a lot of IT conferences, Acacia is a firm of sleazebag lawyers whose only claim to business legitimacy is the buying of semi-worthless patents which are vague enough to be stretched and convoluted and contorted to cover some activity that the general population is already engaged in (such as breathing, eating, etc.) and then doing a lot of research to find a hapless victim who is too clueless or too poor to afford a decent lawyer to find knowledgable expert witnesses so the Acacia team can snow-job a clueless jury into believing that the vague patent has been infringed. Then, Acacia uses their "success" to scare (e.g., legal extortion?) a lot of other clueless companies into settling for "licensing fees", which they then hold up in other court cases as "legitimizing" their claim to the vague patent covering the activity. They only take an interest in activities which have become such an integral part of society as to cause great hardship if they cease, since Acacia's goal is not to stop patent infringement as much as it is to extort licensing fees from others who are doing all the work.

    Acacia's streaming video claim is based on a patent issued to an individual in 1992 for transmitting music electronically. But MP3 (the Motion Picture Experts Group Audio Level 3) file format was invented in 1989 and released to the public in 1991. The Acacia claim is that any file which can be used to reconstruct any music or video image is covered by their patent and cannot be transmitted electronically (e.g., like a CD player playing in your living room while you are talking to your grandma on the phone!) unless Acacia receives royalties. In other words, if you sing a jingle on your digital answering machine, you are violating the same Acacia patent which Acacia is using to sue college and universities.

    From the scuttlebutt at IT conferences, Acacia's only business is filing lawsuits. They do not invent anything, they don't manufacture anything, they only file lawsuits and collect royalties and fees.

    I don't have any first-hand knowledge of any of this, but I have heard many times of their questionable business practices at conferences, and several of my student groups over the last few years have done some research and reported on this phenomenon. One of them described Acacia's relationship to the IT industry as the "Nigerian Treasure Scam" is to the banking industry.

    Although Acacia may have some institutions cowed, I'm not sure based on what I've read, that it is much more than a paper tiger that was able to snow-job some juries. (Having served on five juries, I have positively no confidence in a jury to make a good decision on something like this, and the judges of my experience are only marginally better!) I know our legal people here have turned up their nose at Acacia's "success", and aren't the least bit worried.

    Check out:

    My reference to "Acacia's Flying Circus" was a reference to Monte Python's antics, shenanigans, and sheer ludicrousness, engaging in activities which are so bizarre as to be almost beyond belief. (The dead parrot sketch, for example -- involving the Acacia pet store, and their customer, the very first gullible jury they snowed.)

    David R. Fordham
    PBGH Faculty Fellow
    James Madison University

    Forwarded by Auntie Bev


    Viagra Just Isn't Up to the Impossible Dream

    French woman marries dead boyfriend
    Law allows ceremony, husband was killed by drunk driver --- 

    Isn't it ironic that in the 2004 Datona 500 Race, the car sponsored by Viagra blew an engine.  President Bush was watching when Dale Earnhardt Jr.won the race like his daddy did years ago --- 

    Cultural Differences Forwarded by Paula

    Knees on wheel, 
    one hand holding breakfast taco, 
    one hand holding Budweiser, 
    cell phone earpiece inserted, 
    gun between legs: 
    San Antonio, Texas 

    One hand on wheel, one hand on horn: 

    One hand on wheel, middle finger out window: 

    One hand on wheel, middle finger out window, cutting across all lanes of traffic: 

    One hand on wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator: 

    One hand on wheel, one hand on nonfat double decaf cappuccino, cradling cell phone, brick on accelerator, gun in lap: 

    Both hands in air, gesturing, both feet on accelerator, head turned to talk to someone in back seat: 

    One hand on 12 oz. double shot latte, one knee on wheel, cradling cell phone, foot on brake. mind on radio game, banging head on steering wheel while stuck in traffic: 

    One hand on wheel, one hand on hunting rifle, alternating between both feet being on the accelerator and both feet on brake, throwing McDonald's bag out the window: 
    Luchenbach, Texas

    Four-wheel drive pickup truck, shotgun mounted in rear window, beer cans on floor, squirrel tails attached to antenna: 

    Two hands gripping wheel, blue hair barely visible above windshield, driving 35 on the Interstate in the left lane with the left blinker on: 

    One hand on the wheel, the other on his sister: 

    Bob Hope Quips Forwarded by Dr. B.

    ON TURNING 70 
    "You still chase women, but only downhill."

    ON TURNING 80 
    "That's the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing."

    ON TURNING 90 
    "You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."

    ON TURNING 100 
    "I don't feel old. In fact I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap."

    "I ruined my hands in the ring ... the referee kept stepping on them."

    ON SAILORS "They spend the first six days of each week sowing their wild oats, then they go to church on Sunday and pray for crop failure."

    "Welcome to the Academy Awards or, as it's called at my home, 'Passover'."

    ON GOLF 
    "Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees."

    "I have performed for 12 presidents and entertained only six."

    "When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, 'Congratulations. You have an eight-pound ham'."

    "I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to fight it."

    "Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on another brother."

    "That's how I learned to dance. Waiting for the bathroom."

    "I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn't for the stuff the audience threw at me."

    "I've done benefits for ALL religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality."

    Barb Hessel forwarded this bit on how politics really works.

    Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what
    to have for dinner.
    --James Bovard (1994)

    A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support
    of Paul.
    --George Bernard Shaw

    Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich
    countries to rich people in poor countries.
    --Douglas Casey (1992)

    Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to
    teenage boys.
    --P.J. O'Rourke

    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live
    at the expense of everybody else.
    --Frederic Bastiat

    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
    --Will Rogers

    If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs
    when it's free.
    --P.J. O'Rourke

    No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in
    --Mark Twain (1866)

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I
    repeat myself.
    --Mark Twain

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The
    inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
    --Winston Churchill

    There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well
    please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the
    --P.J. O'Rourke  (1993)

    When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to
    be bought and sold are legislators.
    --P.J. O'Rourke

    Forwarded by Team Carper

    He Said--She Said

    He said . . . I don't now why you wear a bra; you've got nothing to put in it. 
    She said .. . . You wear pants don't you?

    He said .. . .Shall we try swapping positions tonight? 
    |She said . . . That's a good idea - you stand by the ironing board while I sit on the sofa.

    He said . . .. What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you? 
    She said . . .Turn sideways and look in the mirror!

    On a wall in a public ladies room . .. "My husband follows me everywhere" 
    Written just below it . .. . " I do not"

    Q. How many honest, intelligent, caring men in the world does it take to do the dishes? 
    A. Both of them.

    Q. How does a man show that he is planning for the future? 
    A. He buys two cases of beer.

    Q. What is the difference between men and government bonds? 
    A. The bonds mature.

    Q. Why are blonde jokes so short? 
    A. So men can remember them.

    Q. How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper? 
    A. We don't know; it has never happened.

    Q. Why is it difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring and good-looking? 
    A. They already have boyfriends.

    Q. What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night? 
    A. A widow.

    Q. Why are married women heavier than single women? 
    A. Single women come home, see what's in the fridge and go to bed. Married women come home, see what's in bed and go to the fridge.

    Q. What is the one thing that all men at singles bars have in common? 
    A. They're married.

    Man says to God: "God, why did you make woman so beautiful?" 
    God says: "So you would love her." 
    But God," the man says, "why did you make her so dumb?" 
    God says: "So she would love you."

    Forwarded by The (Un)Happy Lady


    He was sitting quietly reading his paper when his wife walked up behind him and whacked him on the head with a rolled up magazine.

    "Ouch!! What was that for?" he asked.

    "That was for the piece of paper in your pants pocket with the name Mary Lou written on it," she replied.

    "Two weeks ago when I went to the races, Mary Lou was the name of one of the horses I bet on," he explained.

    "Oh honey, I'm so sorry," she said. "I should have known there was a good explanation."

    Three days later he was watching a ball game on TV when she walked up and hit him in the head again, this time with an iron skillet, which knocked him out cold.

    When he came too, he asked, "Now what was that for?"

    She replied, "Your horse called".

    When I'm an Old Lady and Live With My Kids

    When I'm an old lady, I'll live with each kid, "
    And bring so much happiness... just as they did. 
    I want to pay back all the joy they've provided, 
    Returning each deed. Oh, they'll be so excited! 
    (When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

    I'll write on the wall with reds, whites and blues, 
    And bounce on the furniture wearing my shoes. 
    I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out. 
    I'll stuff all the toilets and oh, how they'll shout! 
    (When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

    When they're on the phone and just out of reach, 
    I'll get into things like sugar and bleach, 
    Oh, they'll snap their fingers and then shake their head, And when that is done 
    I'll hide under the bed! 
    (When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

    When they cook dinner and call me to eat, 
    I'll not eat my green beans or salad or meat. 
    I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table, 
    And when they get angry I'll run... if I'm able! 
    (When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

    I'll sit close to the TV, through the channels I'll click, 
    I'll cross both my eyes just to see if they stick. 
    I'll take off my socks and throw one away, 
    And play in the mud 'til the end of the day! 
    (When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

    And later in bed, I'll lay back and sigh,
     I'll thank God in prayer and then close each eye. 
    My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping, 
    And say with a groan. "She's so sweet . when she's sleeping!" 
    (When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

    Forwarded by Earl. 

    The following are all replies that women have put on Child Support Agency forms in the section for listing father's details:  These are genuine excerpts from the forms (names removed).

    1. Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, child A was fathered by [name removed]. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of child B, but I believe that he was conceived on the same night.

    2. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

    3. I do not know the name of the father of my little girl.  She was conceived at a party [address and date given] where I had unprotected sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father can you send me his phone number? Thanks.

    4. I don't know the identity of the father of my daughter.  He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he's had it replaced.

    5. I have never had sex with a man. I am awaiting a letter from the Pope confirming that my son's conception was immaculate and that he is Christ risen again.

    6. I cannot tell you the name of child A's dad as he informs me that to do so would blow his cover and that would have cataclysmic implications for the British economy. I am torn between doing right by you and right by the country. Please advise.

    7. I do not know who the father of my child was.  I can confirm that he was a Royal Green Jacket.

    8. [name given] is the father of child A. If you do catch up with him can you ask him what he did with my AC/DC CDs?

    9. From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Euro Disney maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom.

    10. So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is Delia Smith did a program about eggs earlier in the evening. If I'd have stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at [address given], mine might have remained unfertilized.

    11. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all when you eat a tin of beans you can't be sure which one made you fart.

    North Dakota as Remembered by Paula

    North Dakota State Bird: Mosquito State Tree: Telephone Pole

    At Minot Air Force Base, the airmen were told North Dakota was a terrific place to go because there was a woman behind every tree. (Fact: ND has fewer trees than any state in the U.S.)

    When we left Minot the last week in May, 1979, there was still a foot of snow in our yard. We arrived in SA five days later and it was 98 degrees!

    We felt silly with the electrical cord from the oilpan heater hanging out of the car radiator...and miserable because our car had no a/c. In ND, businesses had conveniently placed outdoor electrical sockets so you could plug your car in while you shopped. Everyone had either an oil pan heater or an engine block heater. Had to put a blanket over the engine every night, even though we had a garage. We were lucky, had a 1966 Corvair with an air-cooled engine. Never had trouble starting it, no matter how cold the weather was. Had to put a 100-pound bag of rock salt in the trunk (which was in the front of the car) to keep the Corvair from airplaning when I drove over 60 mph. Ralph Nader sent one of his Raiders to visit us around 1974. I was an environmental activist, ran for the State Legislature, sat on many boards and committees in a 7-state area. Nader's Raider patiently explained the campaign against nuclear power plants. He said, "You need to set up your table at the top of the escalators in the malls. That way, people won't see you until they get off the escalator and you can get them to sign the petitions." I said, "Well, I think there's an escalator in Fargo." I told him I wouldn't tell Ralph he was driving a VW if he wouldn't tell Ralph I was driving a Corvair.

    We had a culture shock when we moved from Minot to San Antonio: crime (too cold for criminals up there, maybe one murder ever 5 years), population (only 600,000 people in the whole state), traffic (drive across town in three minutes, better yet, walk), food (from Lefse and Lutefisk to tacos and menudo) and ethnic groups (from Ole Olson to Juan Garcia), weather (!!!!!), jokes (from Norwegian "Sven and Ole" jokes to Aggie jokes--actually they're the same jokes) name it.

    I think your NH home is gorgeous. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


    Bob sent these back to Paula

    For Sven, Ole, and Lena stories, try the following:  (with music)

    Ole was talking with his brother Sven, who lived next door, when Sven said, "Ya know Ole, you and Lena should really get some new curtains."

    "Vhy's dat?" Ole asked.

    "Vel last night I saw you and Lena, vel you know..."

    Ole thought for awhile, then said, "Ha-ha Sven, da jokes on you! I vasn't even home last night!"

    Ole, Lena , and Sven were trapped by deep snow in New Hampshire and were becoming desperate, having run out of food several days ago. It was winter, the snow was deep, their situation was looking very bleak. When Ole dug down into the snow to look for something to eat, he found an old lamp and upon rubbing it to get the snow off, a genie came out.

    The genie says, "I am the great genie of the North and I can grant each of you one wish."
    Ole says, "I vish I vas back in
    Texas ." Poof, Ole was gone.

    Lena quickly says, "I vish I vas back in Texas wit Ole." Poof, Lena was gone.

    Sven was sitting there looking sad and the genie finally says, "What is your wish?" and Sven says, "Gee, I'm really lonely. I vish Ole and
    Lena vas back here with me". 

    A Norwegian Guide to Computer Lingo:

    1. BYTE: how Lena stops Ole's advances.

    2. LOG ON: dats how ya make da vood stove hotter.

    3. LOG OFF: vhat Sven vas trying to do vhen he burnt his hands terrible.

    4. MONITOR: keep an eye on da vood stove.

    5. MEGAHERTZ: ven a big log drops on your foot.

    6. COMPACT DISK: vhat ya get from lifting logs dat's too heavy.

    7. FLOPPY DISK: vhat da lefse looks like vhen it's cooked yust right.

    8. RAM: da hydraulic ting dat makes da voodsplitter vork.

    9. DRIVE: how you get home ven da snow's not too deep.

    10. HARD DRIVE: dat's vhen you're going to Dalute vhen da snow's deep.

    11. PROMPT: vhat ya vish da mail vas during da snow season.

    12. ENTER: vhen ya come on in!

    13. WINDOWS: vhat ya shut vhen it gets 10 below out.

    14. SCREEN: vaht ya gotta have in blackfly season.

    15. CHIP: vhat ya munch on during da Vikings game.

    16. MICROCHIP: vhat's left in da bottom of da bag vhen da big ones are gone.

    17. MODEM: vhat ve did to da hayfields last yuly.

    18. DOT MATRIX: Lars Matrix's vife.

    19. LAPTOP: vhere da grandkids sit.

    20. KEYBOARD: vher ya suppose to put da keys so da Missus can find em.

    21. SOFTWARE: da plastic picnic utinsils.

    22. HARDWARE: vhen da missus starches da undervare.

    23. MOUSE: vhat leaves dem turds in da cupboard.

    24. MAINFRAME: da part of da outhouse dat holds up da roof.

    25. SERIAL PORT: vhere da vheaties come from by boat to Dalute

    SOL DA!! (means sunny day in Norwegian)
    My neighbor's tulips are out of the ground.
    It's springtime in Texas --- 

    UFF DA!! (means shitty day in Norwegian)
    It's still winter in New Hampshire

    Auntie Bev posted this picture of that expresses our sentiments about winter up in the Northeast this year --- 

    Debbie snapped this picture of Erika trying to climb up to our back door in the White Mountains.  

    Footprints in Your Heart by Eleanor Roosevelt --- 

    God Bless America ---

    And that's the way it was on February 20, 2004 with a little help from my friends.


    Jesse's Wonderful Music for Romantics (You have to scroll down to the titles) ---


    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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    February 10, 2004

     Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on February 10, 2004
    Bob Jensen at Trinity University

    Great Celebrity Recipes forwarded by Auntie Bev --- 
    Nostalgic Pictures and Great Food

    What's New in Hedge Accounting?

    Flow Chart for FAS 133 and IAS 39 Accounting ---

    Differences between FAS 133 and IAS 39 ---

    Intrinsic Value Versus Full Value Hedge Accounting ---

    Convergence of Tax and Book Accounting for Derivatives --- 

    Assessment of Risk:  Peeling Apart the Data on Derivatives --- 

    There is more risk out there today than at any point since 1998,'' he said, leaning back in a leather chair in a conference room adjacent to BlackRock's trading floor. "Spreads are very tight. Everyone is taking for granted that the yield curve will remain steep for a much longer period.
    Forging Ahead by Managing Risk, by Landon Thomas, Jr., The New York Times, February 8, 2004 --- 

    Quotes of the Week

    The just don't get it!  Chartered Jets, a Wedding At Versailles and Fast Cars To Help Forget Bad Times.
    As financial companies start to pay out big bonuses for 2003, lavish spending by Wall Streeters is showing signs of a comeback. Chartered jets and hot wheels head a list of indulgences sparked by the recent bull market.

    So what's a little business deal among friends?  It's trouble, if the friends are college or college-foundation trustees who benefit personally from the decisions they make on behalf of the institutions they serve. 
    Julianne Basinger, "Boars Crack Down on Members' Insider Benefits," The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6. 2004, Page A1.

    The pen is the tongue of the mind. 
    Miguel de Cervantes

    There's only one good, Knowledge, and only one evil, Ignorance

    If a man would move the world, he must first move himself.

    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
    Herm Albright (forwarded by Debbie Bowling)

    This work contains many things which are new and interesting. Unfortunately, everything that is new is not interesting, and everything which is interesting, is not new.
    Lev Landau as quoted by Mark Shapiro at 

    The open-access method of distributing scientific journals, says John E. Cox, a publishing-industry consultant, "is the most articulate and serious threat to the conventional publishing market that we've seen."
    Lila Gutterman, "The Promise and Peril of 'Open Access,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2004, Page A10.
    See The Biggest Academic Rip-off of All Time by Publishing Monopolists ---

    Canada is only producing about half of the PhD-qualified business professors it needs, he said. And only half of those professors stay in Canada to teach.
    (See Below)

    Professor Planck, of Berlin, the most famous originator of the quantum theory, once remarked to me that in early life he had thought of studying economics, but had found it too difficult! Professor Planck could easily master the whole corpus of mathematical knowledge in a few days. He did not mean that! But the amalgam of logic and intuition and the wide knowledge of facts, most of which are not precise, which is required for economic interpretation in its highest form is, quite truly, overwhelmingly difficult for those whose gifts mainly consist in the power to imagine and pursue to their furthest points the implications and prior conditions of comparitively simple facts which are known to a high degree of precision.
    John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Biography  (Macmillan; London, 1933) As quoted in a recent message from Roger Collins

    From Joel S. Demski et al, "Some Thoughts on the Intellectual Foundations of Accounting," Accounting Horizons, June 2002, pp. 162-163.  It is confusing that the passage is written in first person when there are four authors.  I suspect that the passage was written by Professor Demski.

    The information school, though, lacks this clarity.  To understand what to convey about this transaction requires we know the "finer details" that gave rise to the transaction in the first place.  The beginning point is not the transaction, but the circumstances that led the firm to engage in the transaction.  Thus, the very things we measure are exogenous in the value school, but endogenous in the information school.  For example, with hedge accounting, the value school asks what is and how to measure the fair value to the entity; while the information school asks first why the entity engages in hedging activities and, second, how public or private information about such activities affects market or nonmarket interactions.  This is far removed from the way we teach accounting.  For that matter, simply having the infrastructure of uncertainty and information at center stage is far removed from the way we teach accounting.

    In terms of fundamentals, then, it seems to me the issues are what are we trying to measure and how are we to manage that measurement activity?  My fear is we are in the information business, intellectually and professionally, but have become addicted to thinking, teaching, learning, examining, regulating, and communicating as if we were in the valuation business.  This, unfortunately, is an isomorphism that does not exist, and pretending otherwise is a roadblock to our progress.

    Of course, the problem is, while the high priests study high theory, the real world burns.
    Roger Collins (see below)

    In the early 1950s, the Betty Crocker Company introduced a cake mix so that people could readily make excellent tasting cakes at home.  No muss, no fuss:  just add water, mix, and bake.  The product failed, even though taste tests confirmed that people like the result.  Why?  An after-the-fact effort was made to find the reasons.  As the market researchers Bonnie Goebert and Herma Rosenthal put it:  "The cake mix was too simple;  the consumer felt no sense of accomplishment, no involvement with the product.  It made her feel useless, especially if somewhere her aproned mom was still whipping up cakes from scratch."
    Donald A. Norman, Emotional Design (Basic Books, 2004, Page 55)

    I can think of places, other than classrooms where the word "interesting" is bandied about (art museums, for example, or recitals for cutting-edge music), but I always suspect that people are hiding behind the word until they get a sense of what the majority thinks. After all, you can't get into too much trouble when hiding behind "interesting." "Lousy" would have made it clear that you hate the damn thing, and "wonderful" would have painted you into a corner.
    An "Interesting" Commentary from a retiring professor, Sanford Pinsker --- See below 

    Consider the European Union, collectively the world's second-largest economy, after that of the United States. With aging populations, high social welfare costs, rigid labor policies and lagging productivity gains, European countries appear condemned to slow growth for years to come. The demographics of Europe are especially worrisome; an older population is likely to be more focused on preserving the status quo than on taking risks, and fewer young workers will be supporting ever more retirees.
    Daniel Akst, "Weight of the World on Our Shoulders," The New York Times, January 31, 2004 --- 

    In Canada, the private sector spends 2.8 percent of gross domestic product on health care; in the United States, the private-sector figure is 7.7 percent. And American private-sector spending falls disproportionately on big employers like manufacturers. Some 97 percent of members of the National Association of Manufacturers provide health care coverage for employees. In 2002 alone, General Motors, which covers 1.2 million Americans, spent $4.5 billion on health care.  Uwe Reinhardt, an economist at Princeton, has referred to General Motors, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler as "a social insurance system that sells cars to finance itself.''
    Daniel Gross, "Whose Problem Is Health Care?" The New York Times, February 8, 2004 --- 

    Then there is China. Its torrid growth may not be all that it seems, as Alwyn Young, an economist at the University of Chicago, has shown. China reported average annual growth of 9.2 percent from 1986 to 1998, but systematic underreporting of inflation accounts for perhaps three of those percentage points, Dr. Young says. Another big chunk is attributable to rising participation in the labor force and a shift of workers out of agriculture.
    Daniel Akst, "Weight of the World on Our Shoulders," The New York Times, January 31, 2004 --- 

    The world's great hope is that materialistic Americans will buy enough goods to propel everyone else forward. I, for one, am ready to do my part. But what if financial markets turn sour? Or the domestic housing market crashes, or the dollar collapses?
    Daniel Akst, "Weight of the World on Our Shoulders," The New York Times, January 31, 2004 --- 

    Maybe this world is another planet's hell.
    Aldous Huxley


    He's become a "Bear."
    Mike Gasior's free video on stock market history and trends --- 


    This is what happened to one of the truly ethical mutual funds.
    Vanguard Group is facing a problem that many other mutual-fund companies would love to have: Money is pouring in too quickly.
    Yuka Hayashi, The Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2004 ---,,SB107567804272717437,00.html?mod=mkts%5Fmain%5Fnews%5Fhs%5Fh 


    At the University of Virginia, no low-income student will have to take out loans, starting this fall. The university, in Charlottesville, said it would instead give grants to students from families living at or below 150 percent of the poverty line, about $27,600 a year for a family of four.
    Greg Winter, "Two Universities Take Steps to Ease Burden of Tuition," The New York Times, February 7, 2004 --- 


    If You Think Janet's Breast Is a Worry... So Super Bowl fans were shocked. Big deal. Here are some far more important things to fret about than Jackson's burst bustier.
    Eric Wahlgren and Amey Stone, Business Week, February 4, 2004 --- 


    CBS would have been better off showing banned political ads instead.
    Ciro Scotti, Business Week, February 4, 2004 --- 


    Bumper sticker forwarded by Auntie Bev


    Black Bottom (Dance) Street Swing Returns to Texas
    Texas toilet starts gushing oil --- 


    The Biggest Academic Rip-off of All Time by Publishing Monopolists --- 

    Dutch police raid 23 apartments and arrest 52 people in one of the largest busts of suspected Nigerian e-mail hucksters. The detainees' identities are not released, but police believe most were, in fact, Nigerian ---,1272,62124,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 
    Bob Jensen's threads on the enormous Nigerian and other e-mail frauds are at

    Bob Jensen's updates on the accounting and finance scandals are at 

    Bob Jensen's working draft on the accounting and finance scandals for January-March 2004 can be found at 
    The above draft includes links to Accountability Resources

    Bob Jensen's home page is at 

    Guide to 2004 Web-Based Tax Software from PC World ---,aid,114426,00.asp 
    Go online for a choice of tax-preparation programs varying in capability and cost.
    Bob Jensen's threads on tax software can be found at 

    From the IMA Institute of Management Accountants (as noted from the latest issue of Double Entries)--- 

    Kim Wallin’s Articles on the Accounting Profession

    Kim Wallin, IMA's Chair, has authored the following two articles on the accounting profession:

    "A Great Time for Accountants," which discusses how industry scandals have resulted in new processes, requirements, and oversight, directly resulting in significant demand for accounting professionals who evolve into strategic, operations-focused business partners within their organizations.

    "Be a Business Partner," which builds upon "A Great Time for Accountants" by exploring specific steps accounting professionals can take to successfully evolve into business partners.

    Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge Network

    Reflecting a commitment to providing cutting-edge information and innovative services to its members, IMA has launched an Internet-based Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge Network at The collaborative learning network is led by seasoned financial executive Jorge E. Guerra, IMA’s Subject Matter Expert on the SOX Act. Guerra is also authoring a series of proprietary articles on the SOX Act in the context of corporate governance practices.

    On Saturday I received a message from Rosie Wyman announcing that her longtime husband passed away on Friday, January 31. Services were scheduled for February 7.

    Hal Wyman was a special friend since we passed through the doctoral program side-by-side in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Hal entered the doctoral program after being a Standard Oil Corporation executive for many years in Peru. Although his doctorate was in finance, he crossed over to teach and conduct research in accounting at the University of North Carolina, the University of Connecticut, and Florida International University. I may have missed a few stops along the way since I cannot find his resume online. Throughout most of his professional career he was either a department chair or a dean.  He was involved in many international programs and lectured extensively around the world.  He was also sought after as a consultant.

    Shortly after Hal stepped down as Dean of the College of Business Administration at Florida International, Hal commenced to write plays.  When he became seriously ill he was working on a play that he hoped to land on Broadway.

    Hal Wyman was a Renaissance man in every sense of the word.  He devoured books and was active in book reading clubs.  He loved to travel.  At each stop, he actively toured about and searched out the history and culture of cities and towns.  He truly enjoyed museums, art galleries, theatres, concerts, unusual restaurants, and five-star hotels.  Unlike me, he would rent automobiles and tour about the country in nations where he did not speak the language (although he was very fluent in Spanish).

    Whenever we crossed paths at conferences, the Jensens and the Wymans generally went out on the town together.  My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Rosie and her surviving daughter (Angela).  Rosie is a cancer survivor herself who lost one of her two daughters to cancer when the young woman was entering the prime of her life.  Now Rosie lost her soul mate.

    God Be With Hal "Till We Meet Again!"

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW -- What A Ride!
    Author unknown

    New research says we can stay fat and live longer --- Now we're talking my language!

    "Stay Fat and Live Long," by Kristen Philipkoski, Wired News, February 5, 2004 ---,1367,62169,00.html

    Humanity's best bet for extreme lifespan extension is likely to be extreme calorie restriction. That means an average-size man living on about 1,800 calories a day.

    While most people probably would like to live a longer, healthier life, a walk through any Wal-Mart is evidence that few Americans are inclined to severely restrict their diet. Luckily, researchers are coming closer to finding a way to mimic the effects of calorie restriction.

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified key genes that regulate aging in humans. The work, published in the online version of the journal Cell, should prove exciting to researchers who study aging as well as to anyone who wants to live to 150, because manipulating these genes has doubled the lives of worms. It was unclear until now that the genes also regulate aging in humans -- and they happen to be the same genes researchers believe slow down the aging process as a result of calorie restriction.

    "That's why these (genes) are so important," said Leonard Guarente, the lead author of the study and a biology professor at MIT. Aside from severe dietary restrictions, "the other way to skin the cat is to develop drugs that will interact with these regulators that will have the benefit of calorie restriction -- the gain without the pain."

    Some researchers have argued that while genes might regulate aging in yeast and worms, aging doesn't work that way in humans. But Guarente, who is also a founder of Elixir Pharmaceuticals and author of Ageless Quest, studied human and mouse cells in a dish and found that the same two genes that interact in lower forms of life do the same in humans. That proves, he said, that aging in humans is regulated, which presents the opportunity to manipulate the genes that do the regulating.

    "The importance of this is it's another step closer to understanding what happens to our body chemistry when caloric intake is dramatically restricted, which we know from 50 years of research is the only known way to slow and retard aging and its deleterious effects," said Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research.

    The two genes in question engender what scientists believe are two key components of lifespan: the SIRT1 protein, and "forkhead transcription factors." Basically, the SIRT1 gene represses the activity of the forkhead gene (so named because the gene also affects the development of fruit flies' heads) when the organism is taking in fewer calories. Under normal circumstances, forkhead transcription factors can lead to damage in cells. The interaction basically helps human cells withstand physical stress.

    "That makes SIRT1 a putative regulator of lifespan in mammals and therefore a potential target for future therapy in humans as well," said Malene Hansen, a postdoctoral fellow in Cynthia Kenyon's lab at the University of California at San Francisco. Kenyon and her colleagues have extended six-fold the lifespan of C. elegans, a type of worm, by making them sterile and altering a gene that regulates the forkhead transcription factors, writes Brian Alexander in his book Rapture.

    Scientists believe the evolutionary purpose of the phenomenon is to preserve life in the face of famine. If food is scarce, the mechanism slows down all bodily functions, thereby keeping the organism youthful. When food appears again, the organism hopefully will still be young enough to reproduce and pass along its genes.

    People who practice calorie restriction are betting that's the case, although it's never been proven in a study to be true for humans. But worms, mice and primates all have been shown to appear to be younger on severe diets. Even after calorie-restricted animals die, they appear young physically.

    "They blow right past maximum number of months or years they're supposed to live," Perry said. "When they finally die, researchers can barely find out reasons why they died. Their systems and all of their physical aspects appear to be that of a much, much younger animal."

    The effects of calorie restriction are remarkable, researchers say, because the process protects all of the cells in the body.

    "A major point about calorie restriction is that it should simply be viewed as something that makes you live longer but also an antidote of many diseases associated with aging," including Alzheimer's, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, Guarente said.

    The whole-body, or systemic, effect of calorie restriction led the MIT researchers directly to their next project. Guarente's lab will study the relationship between diet, fat and aging. A key outcome of calorie restriction, the researchers figure, is the disappearance of fat. And fat cells make hormones, which act systemically.

    "Fat is a direct route connecting diet to the rate of aging of all cells," Guarente said. He expects to publish those results in the next few months.

    And here's how to stay fat!
    Great Celebrity Recipes forwarded by Auntie Bev --- 

    Ethical Issues of an Academic Perk

    The bottom line is that colleges sometimes pay well over a thousand dollars for a professor's trip to some vacation spot where he/she speaks to an audience of less than five people, none of whom particularly want to listen but are forced to politely listen since they will speak for twenty minutes to the same five people before the 90-minute session is over and they can all escape to the tourist sights for the rest of the trip.

    Conference announcements are once again flying out like spam promoting "academic" conferences in exciting resorts in Europe, Bermuda, Mexico, South America, Australia, etc.  Some have registration fees of hundreds of dollars but offer no plenary sessions, banquets, or even hosted receptions since the conference attendees have little interest in either the papers to be presented or interacting with the other registrants.

    These conferences are what I call the Paid Vacation Academic Fraud that digs deeply into college travel budgets and serves little purpose other than to provide air fare, hotels, and daily expense allowances for what is tantamount to a vacation.  There are variations of this fraud.  Examples are cited below:

    I don't see any way to prevent this fraud other than to appeal to faculty that it is a matter of ethics.  Please don't support conferences that are a sham to line the pockets of entrepreneurial types who organize conferences for the sole purpose of raking in the registration fees.  Don't attend conferences where the true spirit is not one of disseminating new knowledge.

    I saw the enemy and it’s us.

    February 9, 2004 reply from Len Stokes [stokes@SIENA.EDU

    Part of the increase in Conferences is related to the counting aspect of presenting. Many institutions and faculty are not concerned with the quality of the experience.

    New $20,000 Fellowships for Doctoral Students in Business

    Canada is only producing about half of the PhD-qualified business professors it needs, he said. And only half of those professors stay in Canada to teach.

    "Concordia gets cash for business school National bank putting up $1 million. Trying to pave the way for more students to pursue their studies to the PhD level," by Nicolas Van Praet, The Gazette, February 9, 2004 --- 

    Concordia University's John Molson School of Business is trying to counter what it says is a lack of university finance professors by putting in place a new fellowship program to train PhD candidates.

    The school will announce today that the National Bank is donating $1 million toward the program. The money will support the work of doctoral candidates in the field of finance over the next 10 years.

    "There's a dearth that already exists for business professors in general," said Jerry Tomberlin, dean of the John Molson School.

    Canada is only producing about half of the PhD-qualified business professors it needs, he said. And only half of those professors stay in Canada to teach.

    "Some of them go to the private sector, many of them go to academia in the U.S."

    A professor can make more in the U.S. than he or she can in Canada. And private-sector work is often even more lucrative.

    The U.S. and other countries also lack business professors, particularly finance professors, Tomberlin said. In part, that's because finance and accounting have become very popular subjects attracting growing numbers of students.

    The John Molson School is trying to pave the way for more students to pursue their studies to the PhD level and then choose teaching by subsidizing their schooling, Tomberlin said.

    He said if the university can't hire qualified faculty, it will be forced to cut down on the number of graduates it produces. In turn, that means fewer potential recruits for banks and other financial institutions.

    Tony Meti, senior vice-president of commercial banking (International) at the National Bank, said the bank wants to help finance the development and retention of qualified finance professionals. "We wanted to do our part to make sure that people get the right training and right opportunities here in Quebec and stay in Quebec."

    The program will target a total of 50 students over the next decade, or five students per year. Each fellowship will be worth $20,000.

    "There's science behind the sixth sense!" The Times of India, February 5, 2004

    The next time you experience an unexplained eerie feeling at an awkward moment, you may be going through a phenomenon identified by researchers as "Mindsight".

    Mindsight is a newly discovered mode of conscious visual perception.

    "Our visual system can produce a strong gut feeling that something has changed, even if we cannot visualise that change in our minds and can't say what was altered or where the alteration occurred," claims Ronald Rensink, a researcher with the University of British Columbia in Canada

    In the study that involved the participation of 40 people, a series of photographic images flickered on a computer screen. Each of the participants was shown the image for about 15 seconds that was followed by a brief blank grey screen. At times, the image was kept on for the whole trial or it was alternated with a slightly different one.

    In trials where the image was changed, around a third of the people said the image had changed before they could identify what the change was. In control trials, however, the same people were confident that no change had occurred. Therefore, Rensick surmised that the response to a change in image and control trials was reliably different.

    "I think this effect explains a lot of the belief in a sixth sense," he said, adding that he believed that it was possible to confirm that physical processes generate mindsight using brain scanners.

    Corroborating Rensink's study yet offering a different point of view was Dan Simons, a vision researcher at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

    He said that Rensink's finding "suggests the existence of an interesting and previously unknown attentional mechanism."

    He, however, cautioned that people could sometimes believe they have perceived something when they clearly have not, pointing out that Rensink's volunteers sometimes reported seeing a change in the image when in fact it remained consistent.

    Continued in the article

    February 6, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

    In my personal opinion, the teaching of "well-evidenced conjecture" as "fact" is one of the major obstacles to the progress of mankind.

    Including accounting.

    According to Discover magazine, the biggest unanswered question in science is "what is gravity?". However, the science community is teaching many conjectures as fact, and thus the young scientists don't waste their time attempting to verify what they feel is already a fact. The classic illustration is the acceptance of such conjectures as the "big bang", the existence of quarks, leptons, muons, let alone neutrinos, the "fact" that the universe is expanding, and that nothing can surpass the speed of light.

    Around 1929, Edwin Hubble published a paper (being a professor, that was expected of him) in which he proposed an expanding universe, to explain some very anomalous spectrographic observations. My father, who was an astronomy student at Berkeley in the late 1940's, listened to several lectures by Hubble, who at that time was already quite famous for his "expanding university" theory. Hubble himself admitted that he didn't believe in an expanding universe, that it required too simple an explanation (a big bang, as it was later called by others) which itself had no plausible reason for occurring, and worse, there was no realistic way of testing the theory of origin. Hubble felt that effort should be exerted to come up with an alternative explanation of the observed spectrographic result (such as a violation of Einstein's constant re: the speed of light, which Einstein himself had admitted required the insertion of a "dummy variable" in order to match observed results. That dummy variable to this day remains unexplained and untested!)

    Yet, in spite of the tenuous assumptions required by both Einstein's and Hubble's conjectures (really, they were just mathematical calisthenics), and in spite of the uncertainty and doubt possessed by the very creators of those conjectures, today's science community is teaching those conjectures as though they were proven facts. Except perhaps for a few graduate-level researchers, the public is being told that there WAS a big bang, the speed of light IS an unbreakable limit, and a whole host of other "facts" which aren't really facts. Thus, we are depriving the next generation of scientists with the curiosity to seek new explanations.

    And what's worse, there is a whole host of "downstream" effort being wasted trying to come up with additional theories, all of which require that the original "conjecture" be fact before the downstream theory has any merit.

    Most of the real breakthroughs in mankind's advancements (--fits and starts, like the Stephen Jay Gould adaptation of Darwin's evolution conjecture) have come suddenly, by someone who didn't buy into a "fact" that was really conjecture. From Copernicus through Galileo, Kepler, Newton, etc., the advancers of mankind have been those who actually "rejected", -- if but for a moment --, what others were teaching as "fact".

    It is my opinion that a breakthrough in understanding (and perhaps even one day controlling and using) gravity will come from someone who doesn't buy into the big bang, or the speed of light limit, or perhaps the idea that matter and energy are interchangeable, or that atoms are made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons, or perhaps some other "fact" being taught in our elementary schools, high schools, or even college courses.

    And how does this relate to accounting education? Unlike the natural world, accounting is a man-made construct, but it still depends on some major assumptions about the environment in which accounting operates. Paton and Littleton and others assumed an environment driven by classical economics in a free-enterprise society, a society which may have held very different values, different motivations, different goals, different perspectives, than the one in which today's business leaders operate. There are differences in legal, cultural, social, political, and structural parameters (communications, transportation, global and environmental issues, etc.). While these may be peripheral to accounting in the direct sense, and while some may point out that business is still in business to make profit, I can't help but wonder how much of today's "accounting truth's" (such as profit, costs, assets, liabilities, etc.) which are causing dilemmas, issues, and problems, are holding us back from discovering a new way of doing things that might allow us to better "control" the greed and zeal of today's corporate criminals, -- if that is what the SEC and public expect of accountants, as appears to be the case.

    If rejecting the idea of a geo-centric universe led to a breakthrough in discovering orbital mechanics, might not rejecting the idea of "cost" and "revenue" and "equity" and "liability" as "natural objects for measurement" result in a breakthrough in accounting thought?

    And put aside the pie-in-the-sky revolution for a moment (I don't pretend to be the next Kepler or Tycho Brahe). Might it be possible for a smaller, less-significant improvement to occur by rejecting or challenging a smaller, less-significant "fact". For example, let's say we expand the definition of "fraud" to include accounting tricks which maximize profit. Let's say that even if you *legally* make an accounting change to maximize your profit, you have engaged in fraud since doing so creates "profit" where none existed before and you did not actually do any business activity to generate that profit. I.e, reject the "truth" that you can't engage in fraud by doing something perfectly legal. Would this possibly result in improvement somewhere?

    I didn't illustrate my point very well at all here. But I hope to start some people thinking about accepting conjectures as fact, within a wider scope or perspective.

    And yes, I do occasionally enjoy reading Tony Tinker's, Paul Williams', and other's proposals in this arena. In fact, I'll even admit to having an article appear in (shudder) Critical Perspectives with my name on it! How's that for rejecting "truth"!?

    -- from someone having some fun on an icy wintry day when classes were cancelled... I remain faithfully,

    David R. Fordham 
    PBGH Faculty Fellow 
    James Madison University

    "It is important to see what's there. But it is just as important to NOT see what is NOT there." 
    Maria Mitchell, 19th-century astronomer


    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
    Yogi Berra

    NOVA's take on one of the big differences between theory and practice in finance.  This great video is a real eye opener --- 

    Bob Jensen's threads on derivatives financial instruments frauds --- 

    Flow Chart for FAS 133 and IAS 39 Accounting ---

    January 28, 2004 reply from Roger Collins on the issue of whether the top academic researchers and journal editors favor elegance over relevance to the profession.

    I think that "Some Thoughts on the Intellectual Foundations of Accounting" (Demski, Fellingham, Ijiri aqnd Sunder - Accounting Horizons, June 2002) is a fair statement of the "high academic" view of the accounting landscape.Why?

    For one possible answer, try John Maynard Keynes. In his "Essays in Biography" (Macmillan; London, 1933) he comments...

    Professor Planck, of Berlin, the most famous originator of the quantum theory, once remarked to me that in early life he had thought of studying economics, but had found it too difficult! Professor Planck could easily master the whole corpus of mathematical knowledge in a few days. He did not mean that! But the amalgam of logic and intuition and the wide knowledge of facts, most of which are not precise, which is required for economic interpretation in its highest form is, quite truly, overwhelmingly difficult for those whose gifts mainly consist in the power to imagine and pursue to their furthest points the implications and prior conditions of comparitively simple facts which are known to a high degree of precision.

    I suspect that there are quite a few researchers in the accounting domain pursuing the objective of "accounting as physics"....

    I also suspect that we have reached a point in a number of areas of accounting research where the pursuit of an elegant (but probably immaterial) theory trumps the messy practical reality, because the rewards within the academic system favour elegance rather than practicality. That's not to say that we don't have some excellent practical accountants (Denny Beresford for example) who can bridge the divide and operate within both academia and in business - but it does explain why the issues that confront accountants on a day-to-day basis don't make it into the academics' "Ten most read" (or at least, "Ten most that we claim to read") journals.  This has been going on for decades - I remember that an experiential article by Cyril Tomkins in the early '80's generated a lot of heat when it was published in AOS because, the comments went, "this is not the sort of thing worthy of study". Of course, the problem is, while the high priests study high theory, the real world burns.


    Roger Collins 
    UCC School of Business 

    P.S. For a similar view expressed at rather greater length, the philosopher Isiaih Berlin's 1950's essay on politics is instructive - substitute the words "business" or "accounting" for "politician" and the arguments made are equally applicable.

    September 28, 2004 reply from Bob Jensen

    "Of course, the problem is, while the high priests study high theory, the real world burns."

    Great quote Roger. I hope you won't mind if I reproduce your entire response in the February 15 edition of New Bookmarks.

    Relevant to this thread is the perceived lack of importance of replication among the high priests. See 



    January 28, 2004 reply from JGangolly@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU 

    I would contrast the thoughts of Max Planck with those of Bertrand Russell who thought economics too simple, or Richard Feynman who thought economics hardly to be science at all.

    The German philosopher Droysen observed that there are three scientific methods: speculative (as in Philosophy and Theology), mathematical/physical, and historical. He went on to say that their essences are to know, explain, and understand. Most of the establishment accounting researchers over the past three decades or so seem to have swallowed the whole bit of "unified science" or scientismic worldview of Comte, Mill, Hempel, Nagel,... We need to contrast this with what German philosophers are fond of calling "verstehende social sciences" in the tradition of Dilthey, Gadamer, and Charles Taylor. In accounting, this view has unfortunately been regarded the fringe.

    In accounting we seem to have gone too far in theologising scientific methods. Even in the natural sciences people tend to be more reasonable. A few years ago (actualy about a dozen years) while visiting a theoretical physicist colleague at his office I was shocked to find him pouring over a stack of computer printouts with a coworker. I asked him what he, a theoretical physicist, was doing with empirical data. His explanation reminded me of a methodologically oriented doctoral course I had taken as a student back in Calcutta, where Kuhn's book was one of the texts. He said that he was looking for any anomalies in his theories that the data might have revealed.

    In accounting there seem to be two kinds of us: those who are fascinated by facts and those who are fascinated by theories. Unless the two reconcile in a way such that those who are fascinated by facts reveal anomalies in the theories, and those fascinated by theories pay heed to them, we will continue to be a schizophrenic discipline. However, I have a great respect for the words of Arthur Eddington, who said, never trust data unless it is confirmed by theory. Tons of t statistics do not a theory make. Neither does a ton of algebra, despite JBS Haldane's statement that in science an ounce of algebra is worth more than a ton of verbal argument.

    Respectfully submitted,


    From Joel S. Demski et al, "Some Thoughts on the Intellectual Foundations of Accounting," Accounting Horizons, June 2002, pp. 162-163.  It is confusing that the passage is written in first person when there are four authors.  I suspect that the passage was written by Professor Demski.

    The information school, though, lacks this clarity.  To understand what to convey about this transaction requires we know the "finer details" that gave rise to the transaction in the first place.  The beginning point is not the transaction, but the circumstances that led the firm to engage in the transaction.  Thus, the very things we measure are exogenous in the value school, but endogenous in the information school.  For example, with hedge accounting, the value school asks what is and how to measure the fair value to the entity; while the information school asks first why the entity engages in hedging activities and, second, how public or private information about such activities affects market or nonmarket interactions.  This is far removed from the way we teach accounting.  For that matter, simply having the infrastructure of uncertainty and information at center stage is far removed from the way we teach accounting.

    In terms of fundamentals, then, it seems to me the issues are what are we trying to measure and how are we to manage that measurement activity?  My fear is we are in the information business, intellectually and professionally, but have become addicted to thinking, teaching, learning, examining, regulating, and communicating as if we were in the valuation business.  This, unfortunately, is an isomorphism that does not exist, and pretending otherwise is a roadblock to our progress.

    I'll just bet that you, along with me, never heard of some of these emerging technologies!

    "10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World,"
    MIT's Technology Review unveils its annual selection of hot new technologies about to affect our lives in revolutionary ways—and profiles the innovators behind them," Technology Review, February 2004 ---  

    With new technologies constantly being invented in universities and companies across the globe, guessing which ones will transform computing, medicine, communication, and our energy infrastructure is always a challenge. Nonetheless, Technology Review’s editors are willing to bet that the 10 emerging technologies highlighted in this special package will affect our lives and work in revolutionary ways—whether next year or next decade. For each, we’ve identified a researcher whose ideas and efforts both epitomize and reinvent his or her field. The following snapshots of the innovators and their work provide a glimpse of the future these evolving technologies may provide.

    10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World
    Universal Translation
    Synthetic Biology
    Bayesian Machine Learning
    Distributed Storage
    RNA Interference
    Power Grid Control
    Microfluidic Optical Fibers
    Personal Genomics

    February 2, 2004 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [JGangolly@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU


    Was fascinated enough with the list of technologies to do some background research to find out if we could find some bridges to accounting. Over the past thiry odd years, accounting (at least establishment accounting) has become, in my humble opinion, far too narcissistic for our own good; opening our eyes to areas seemingly entirely unrelated to our perceived vision of what accounting researchers ought to be doing (besides churning regressions) is perhaps a good idea.

    I went through the details in the Technology Review, asking the question how we might be able to leverage those developments for the advancement of our own field. I could visualise at least four areas where we can find metaphors, establishment willing (after all we need acceptance in establishment journals to survive the tenure/ promotion hassles, let alone the need for our own self-aggrandizement). I will briefly state below what I think, and hopefully we can get some discussion (and hopefully research) going, establishmentarians willing.

    1. Universal translation: There is a real need for research in the area of building multi-lingual lexical resources (and I consider English and American accounting two different languages in terms of lexical semantics) to make the dream of translation of financial statements a reality. I was at a computational linguistics conference in Brno (Czech Rep) a week ago, and it was fascinating to see the kind of research being done in the European and Asian languages (domain independent). Lexical resources in accounting are extremely scarce, unless you include resources of convenience developed individually by companies without regard for sound principles of lexicography and, in general, linguistics. I have been playing this broken record on AECM for years, but found few interested in research in the area. This area also relates to at least one other area on the list, bayesian machine learning.

    2. Bayesian machine learning: While we have had a stream of papers in auditing relating to bayesian networks and belief networks, the aspect of learning has been all but ignored. One of the reasons for the lack of interest is probably the fact that the applications have been a rather mechanical application of beyesian updating (or aggregation of beliefs/evidence) in the context of account balances. True progress in this area requires modeling of dynamic business processes as well as their impact on account balances. Not much has been written in this area.

    3. Distributed storage: As organisations grow, the accounting systems become too unwieldy when it comes to evaluation of controls, substantive testing, and opinion formulation. In the absence of a formal over-arching coherent model of controls and audit in such systems,audit decisionmaking becomes akin to shooting in the dark. It is as though we auditors are just whistling past the graveyard, and occasionally get spooked. If we had formal models, we could study distributed storage and processing in accounting systems as a way of breaking down the complexity of auditing. I have come across no work in this area.

    4. RNAi therapy: Auditing is basically a forensic enterprise. We should, in my opinion, look for rich biological metaphors for auditing. Just as pathologists study the pathogens wreaking havoc in our bodies in order to discover countermeasures, in auditing we need models to aid signatures for fraud so that "errant genes" (insiders) can be "turned off". I have found no trace of such metaphors in the auditing literature.

    I am sure other accounting researchers will find other similar metaphors we can thrive by, in accounting and auditing.


    Biggest PhD Class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business
    With a shortage of professors looming at business schools worldwide, a record 29 students entered the Business School's PhD program in the fall of 2003. Normally, the School enrolls a class of 25 students --- 

    Portal to Asian Internet Resources --- 

    A Title VI-funded project, the Portal to Asian Internet Resources (PAIR) offers scholars, students and the interested public more than six thousand professionally selected, cataloged and annotated online resources.

    Committed to directing users to Asian area content in the humanities and social sciences, the PAIR Project is supported by an impressive complement of area studies scholars, bibliographers and subject selectors based at the libraries of the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota and the Ohio State University.

    With a primary mission of providing direct access to online Asian information in native languages and scripts, the PAIR Project team also hopes to broaden access by offering users a suite of instructional resources on the use of Asian character sets and search engines.

    The Dean of Students at Trinity University reveals his own personal 20 year struggle to be alcohol-free on Page 10 of the January 30 edition of the Trinitonian.

    Former drinker offers advice, reflects on past experience
    Last month Peter Holt, the owner of the San Antonio Spurs – as well as a Trinity trustee – went back into an alcohol treatment program after 16 years of recovery.
    Mr. Holt has been lauded for his openness about his disease and for being an important spokesperson and role model for others who fight their own demons with alcohol. His story inspires me. So following his lead and given the year the campus has been having, I think it’s my turn to come clean. 
    BY DAVID TUTTLE, Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life

    BRAVO David!

    Why Kids Obsessed With the Popular Online Culture Can Write
    We often act as if schools had a monopoly on teaching, yet smart kids have long known not to let schooling get in the way of their education. Teachers sometimes complain that popular culture competes for the attention of their student. But it is now becoming abundantly clear, writes columnist Henry Jenkins, that for some kids, at least, participating in popular culture online turns them into better writers.
    Henry Jenkins, Technology Review, February 6, 2004 ---

    Cliché --- 

       Last 30 days  
    Aging Business Help Lying Sex
    Agreement Children Hope Marriage Sports
    Anger Death/Finality Justice Money Time
    Beauty/Ugly Easy Jelousy/Envy Put Down Weather

    Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at 

    From Over 900 College and University Presidents
    National Campus Compact--- 

    Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 900 college and university presidents committed to the civic purposes of higher education. To support this civic mission, Campus Compact promotes community service that develops students' citizenship skills and values, encourages partnerships between campuses and communities, and assists faculty who seek to integrate public and community engagement into their teaching and research.

    Our presidents believe that by creating a supportive campus environment for the engagement in community service, colleges and universities can best prepare their students to be active, committed, and informed citizens and leaders of their communities.

    Member campuses bond together as a coalition to actively engage presidents, faculty, staff, and students to promote a renewed vision for higher education – one that supports not only the civic development of students, but the campus as an active and engaged member of its community.

    Carbon and Silicon Share a Chip
    Researchers have fabricated a circuit that combines carbon nanotube transistors and traditional silicon transistors on one computer chip. Such integrated nanotube-silicon circuits could enable super-sensitive sensors that distinguish among thousands of chemical or biological agents, as well as memory chips that store 100 times the information of today's state-of-the-art devices.
    Technology Review, February 6, 2004

    The Next Big Thing 

    In 2002, Bob Jensen raised the following questions:
    What are the most significant changes expected in higher education by the Year 2025? 
    What major universities are now experimenting on the leading edge of such changes?

    The 2002 answers are given under Question 1 at 

    Now you can read the following update article.

    "The future of computing:  The next big thing?" The Economist, January 15, 2004 --- 

    IT is increasingly painful to watch Carly Fiorina, the boss of Hewlett-Packard (HP), as she tries to explain to yet another conference audience what her new grand vision of “adaptive” information technology is about. It has something to do with “Darwinian reference architectures”, she suggests, and also with “modularising” and “integrating”, as well as with lots of “enabling” and “processes”. IBM, HP's arch rival, is trying even harder, with a marketing splurge for what it calls “on-demand computing”. Microsoft's Bill Gates talks of “seamless computing”. Other vendors prefer “ubiquitous”, “autonomous” or “utility” computing. Forrester Research, a consultancy, likes “organic”. Gartner, a rival, opts for “real-time”.

    Clearly, something monumental must be going on in the world of computing for these technology titans simultaneously to discover something that is so profound and yet so hard to name. What is certainly monumental, reckons Pip Coburn, an analyst at UBS, is the hype, which concerns, he says, “stuff that doesn't work yet”. Frank Gens at IDC, another tech consultancy, quips that, in 2004 at least, “utility” computing is actually “futility” computing.

    Yet as a long-term vision for computing, what the likes of IBM, Microsoft and HP (and Oracle, Sun, etc) are peddling is plausible. The question is, how long will it take? Some day, firms will indeed stop maintaining huge, complex and expensive computer systems that often sit idle and cannot communicate with the computers of suppliers and customers. Instead, they will outsource their computing to specialists (IBM, HP, etc) and pay for it as they use it, just as they now pay for their electricity, gas and water. As with such traditional utilities, the complexity of the supply-systems will be entirely hidden from users.

    ER meets the Matrix The potential for a computing infrastructure such as this to boost efficiency—and even to save lives—is impressive. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, an in-house guru at IBM, pictures an ambulance delivering an unconscious patient to a random hospital. The doctors go online and get the patient's data (medical history, drug allergies, etc), which happens to be stored on the computer of a clinic on the other side of the world. They upload their scans of the patient on to the network and crunch the data with the processing power of thousands of remote computers—not just the little machine which is all that the hospital itself can nowadays afford.

    For its nuts and bolts, this vision relies on two unglamorous technologies. The first is “web services”—software that resides in a big shared “server” computer and can be found and used by applications on other servers, even ones far away and belonging to different organisations. Mr Wladawsky-Berger's hospital would be getting the patient's info from his home clinic through such a web service.

    The second technology is “grid computing”. This involves the sharing of processing power. The best-known example is a “search for extra-terrestrial intelligence” project called SETI@home, overseen by the University of California at Berkeley. Nearly 5m people in 226 countries have downloaded a screensaver that makes their computer available, whenever it is sitting idle, to process radio signals gathered from outer space. The aim is to find a pattern that may be from aliens. Mr Wladawsky-Berger's hospital would similarly crunch patient-data using the internet, or grid, as if it were a single, giant virtual microprocessor, but for a more earth-bound purpose.

    Both technologies have made great strides recently. Web services, for instance, need common standards and protocols. Some basic standards already exist—awkward acronyms such as XML, SOAP and WSDL provide a rudimentary grammar to let computers talk to each other. But the sticking point, says Phillip Merrick, boss of webMethods, one of the pioneers in the field, has been the many other fiddly but necessary protocols for security, transaction certification, and so on. A breakthrough occurred in October, when the two superpowers, IBM and Microsoft, simply got up on a stage together and declared what protocols they will use. Dubbed “WS splat” by the geeks, this ought to speed up the adoption of web services.

    Web services are currently most visible in the business model of so-called application service providers. These are firms that offer to host software applications and databases for customers for a monthly fee—an analogy would be for firms to do their e-mailing via Yahoo! or their buying via eBay. The most successful is, a San Francisco firm that, as the name says, specialises in software for managing customer information and marketing leads. It says that it was poaching so much business from a more traditional seller of customer-relations software, Siebel Systems, that Siebel had to adopt the model itself. In October, Siebel teamed up with IBM and now also offers its software as a service over the internet.

    Nonetheless, this particular form of web services is overhyped, says Rahul Sood of Tech Strategy Partners, a consultancy in Silicon Valley. Such services appeal mostly to small businesses and firms that do not need to customise their applications very much. For the grander vision—the on-demand, adaptive, seamless, ubiquitous, organic sort—a lot more needs to happen.

    At the core of the vision is flexibility—a firm must be able to make its operating costs, and therefore its computing and information costs, totally variable so that they go up and down with business volumes. Firms can improve cost flexibility today, says Mr Sood, but only if they stick with one vendor, such as IBM, or if they make only one of their many computing functions (data storage, say) flexible. But for computing to be bought and sold as a utility, firms must be able to switch vendors, to do it for all their computing functions, and with meter-based pricing. All of this will take a few more years to get right.

    Continued in the article.

    January 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [

    Walt Crawford's "top technology trend for 2004, when it comes to libraries and librarians, is the same as for 2003, 2002, and before: Toning down the technology in favor of the humanity." (CITES & INSITES, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 19, Midwinter 2004) The issue is available online, at no cost, at

    Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large [ISSN 1534-0937] is a free, online newsletter self-published by Walt Crawford, a senior analyst at the Research Libraries Group, Inc. Current and back issues are available on the Web at For more information contact: Walt Crawford, The Research Libraries Group, Inc., 2029 Stierlin Ct., Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043-4684 USA; tel: 650-691-2227; email:; Web:

    January 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas []  


    A 2001 RAND Corporation report, CONDUCTING RESEARCH SURVEYS VIA EMAIL AND THE WEB [ISBN: 0-8330-3110-4], discusses the pros and cons of using email and the Web to conduct research surveys. The authors (Matthias Schonlau, Ronald D. Fricker, Jr., and Marc N. Elliott) provide an overview of the various aspects of the research survey process, guidelines for choosing the type of Internet survey to use, and suggestions for designing and implementing Internet surveys. The report is available for purchase in paperback or online in PDF format, at no charge, at

    The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization "providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world." For more information, link to

    Sad message of the January 30, 2004 Week from Carolyn Kotlas []  


    After over thirty years of service, the U.S. Department of Education's ERIC Clearinghouses, and the AskERIC service, permanently closed at the end of December 2003. ERIC is a national information system funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide access to education literature and resources. The Clearinghouses, stationed at various educational institutions, provided documents and reference services on educational topics ranging from Elementary and Early Childhood Education to Urban and Minority Education to Adult, Career, and Vocational Education.

    The new ERIC uses one URL ( to:

    -- search the ERIC database,

    -- access the ERIC Calendar of Education-Related Conferences,

    -- link to the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS) to

    purchase ERIC full-text documents, and

    -- link to the ERIC Processing and Reference Facility to

    purchase ERIC tapes and tools.

    Landmark Court Case on File Sharing
    A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in a case questioning whether peer-to-peer sites Grokster and Morpheus should be held liable for the illegal file trading on their networks. 

    "Court to Hear Landmark P2P Case," by Katie Dean, Wired News, February 2, 2004 ---,1412,62112,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

    A federal appeals court is poised to hear arguments in a landmark case that could decide the future of peer-to-peer services, and may affect whether technology companies can be held liable for their customers' behavior.

    On Tuesday, lawyers for the entertainment industry will face off against attorneys for peer-to-peer operators Grokster and StreamCast Networks in front of a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California.

    Continued in the article.

    Bob Jensen's P2P threads are at 

    The Taxonomy Warehouse is a fantastic search engine in terms of helpful categories --- 

    January 30, 2004 message from 

    Dear Dr. Jensen:
    A profile of your Technology Glossary has recently been included on our Taxonomy Warehouse website (  Taxonomy Warehouse is a collection of information about taxonomies, thesauri, lexicons and other classifications on all varity of topics and subject areas.  Your glossary has been included as a service to those who access our website, and the listing is free of charge.
    I am writing on behalf of the developer of this website, Synapse Corporation, to request that you both verify the information that is already there, and complete the fields that are incomplete, so that we are presenting accurate and complete information about your glossary.  I have attached a copy of the information we have included for such purposes.  Please highlight any information you change or add and return via this email address.
 is an opportunity for publishers to develop a larger, more diverse audience for their taxonomies, and for users to find taxonomies on a wide variety of subjects.  This is a public website for which there is no cost to use.  Taxonomy Warehouse includes a comprehensive collection of information about taxonomies, thesauri, lexicons, and other controlled vocabularies used to organize information.  We also offer some of the taxonomies listed for sale, depending on our agreements with their developers, along with our software and data conversion services.

    If you have any questions or comments, please be sure to forward them to me. Thank you for your assistance.
    Jamie Endriss
    Synapse Corporation
    Colorado, USA

    The above site has a great classification scheme.

    Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary is at 

    Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

    Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget --- 

    "The Trend of Vanishing Tech Jobs," by Virginia Postrel, The New York Times, January 29, 2004 --- 

    Many American computer programmers complain that they're losing their jobs to lower-paid workers in India. The trend toward foreign "outsourcing" has become a political flashpoint.

    But the trend is less frightening and more promising than you'd think from either the angry talk from unemployed programmers or the scary estimates from consulting firms, argues Catherine L. Mann, an economist at the Institute for International Economics in Washington.

    First, the end of the technology boom, the general economic slump, and the downturn in manufacturing - not foreign programming competition - account for most job losses. Most estimates, Dr. Mann notes, compare the peak of the business cycle and technology boom with today's sluggish economy. That's not a valid comparison.

    Compared with the end of 1999, which was still a good time for programmers, December 2003 data show a 14 percent increase in business and financial occupations, a 6 percent increase in computer and mathematical jobs, and a 2 percent drop in architecture and engineering jobs. New programming jobs may be springing up in India, but they aren't canceling out job growth in the United States.

    The problem for white-collar professionals, as for line workers, is that manufacturing is still in a slump. "When the production floor doesn't produce any more, the people in the window offices around the building also start to lose their jobs," Dr. Mann says.

    Over the long run, she argues, the globalization of software and computer services will enhance American productivity growth and create new higher-value, higher-paid technical jobs.

    What's happening now to software and services has already happened to hardware, with great economic results.

    In the late 1980's, Asian manufacturers began turning out basic memory chips, undercutting American chip makers' prices and inciting a fierce policy debate. Many industry leaders argued that the United States would lose its technological edge unless the government intervened to protect chip makers.

    In a famous 1988 Harvard Business Review article, Charles Ferguson, then a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Technology Policy and Industrial Development at M.I.T., summed up the conventional wisdom: "Most experts believe that without deep changes in both industry behavior and government policy, U.S. microelectronics will be reduced to permanent, decisive inferiority within 10 years."

    He denounced the "fragmented, chronically entrepreneurial industry" of Silicon Valley, which was losing market share to government-aided Asian businesses. "Only economists moved by the invisible hand," he wrote, "have failed to apprehend the problem."

    Those optimistic economists were right. The dire predictions were wrong. American semiconductor makers shifted to higher-value microprocessors. Computer companies bought commodity memory chips and other components, from keyboards to disk drives, abroad. Businesses and consumers enjoyed cheaper and cheaper prices.

    Far from an economic disaster, the result was a productivity boom. As global manufacturing helped to reduce the price of information technology sharply, all sorts of businesses, from banks to retailers, found new, more productive ways to use the technology.

    "Globalized production and international trade made I.T. hardware some 10 to 30 percent less expensive than it otherwise would have been," Dr. Mann estimates in an institute policy brief. (Her paper, "Globalization of I.T. Services and White-Collar Jobs: The Next Wave of Productivity Growth," can be downloaded at

    As a result, she estimates, gross domestic product grew about 0.3 percentage point a year faster than it would have otherwise, adding up to $230 billion over the seven years from 1995 to 2002. "That's real money," she said in an interview.

    Continued in the article

    Dumbest Moments in Business History

    Business 2.0 Magazine '101 Dumbest Moments in Business' of 2003 --- 

    The latest issue of Business 2.0 ( ), on newsstands Feb. 2, features the magazine's fourth annual list of the "101 Dumbest Moments in Business," highlighting the most comical corporate blunders and biggest business mistakes of 2003.

    This edition includes the first-ever tie for the top spot--a tale of "Two Greedy Richards," as the magazine puts it--between the firestorm surrounding New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso's exorbitant salary and pension and Strong Financial founder and chairman Dick Strong's unethical "market-timing" trades to line his own pockets. Both executives subsequently resigned.

    The Business 2.0 list also reveals some lesser-known but just as appalling lapses in corporate judgment. Making the list are technology firms, media organizations, airlines, retail businesses, automobile manufacturers, e-businesses, fast-food chains, and many others.

    The following are the top 10 "dumbest moments" of 2003 according to this year's "101 Dumbest Moments in Business":

    1. The New York Stock Exchange board decides to pay CEO Dick Grasso his $139.5 million pension up front. When public outrage ensues, Grasso agrees not to take another $48 million he has coming to him and then promptly resigns, claiming he was fired--which entitles him to another $58 million.

    1. (TIE) Investigations into the mutual-fund industry reveal that Dick Strong, the founder and chairman of Strong Financial, made $600,000 through market-timing trades contrary to his own company's rules. He is immediately forced to resign.

    3. Urban Outfitters sells a Monopoly knockoff called Ghettopoly, in which the classic game pieces such as the top hat, shoe, and car are replaced with machine guns, marijuana leaves, and rocks of crack cocaine. In reaction to protests, the retailer discontinues the game.

    4. A Dairy Queen franchisee is successfully sued by a female customer after an employee allegedly slides into her booth, pulls down her sweater, bites her on the breast, and declares, "I am like Dracula."

    5. The CEO of Clear Channel Radio tries to "backpedal" after disc jockeys at three of the company's radio stations urge listeners to violently attack bicyclists.

    6. Nielsen/NetRatings issues a report mistakenly describing an online game site called Blunt Truth as "an educational resource for marijuana."

    7. Evite sends out apologies to its users for having cited Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, as a "reason to party."

    8. General Motors is forced to come up with a new name for its Buick LaCrosse sedan in Canada when executives discover that crosse is a slang term for masturbation in Quebec.

    9. Ikea pulls a new children's bunk bed called Gutvik from its catalogs in Germany after customers point out that the word sounds like a German phrase meaning "good f**k."

    10. Chrysler announces its sponsorship of the Lingerie Bowl, a pay-per-view televised football game to be played by scantily clad female models during halftime of the Super Bowl. After coming under fire for the event's sexist nature, the company first reportedly pressures the event's producers to change the uniforms to sports bras and volleyball shorts, and then drops its sponsorship altogether.

    Jarango lists 101 Dumbest Moments in Business History

    What's a  Morae?

    I love Camtasia and use it all the time to make video from my computer screens while I narrate into a microphone --- 

    Now TechSmith has come out with an even better product called Morae --- 

    Morae is a revolutionary new computer recording system based on Rich Recording TechnologyTM, which not only records the computer screen and camera video, but also automatically creates a synchronized chronicle of events occuring behind-the-scenes in applications and the operating system. Now you can search screen and video recordings based on specific events that occurred - like when a user hit a certain keystroke, opened a particular dialog box, clicked a certain tool button or viewed specific text. Easily perform in-depth analysis, mark important segments and quickly create highlight videos to share.

    Morae is an easy-to-use and easy-to-implement usability testing tool that allows you to record, log, analyze and present. It was designed from the ground up based on in-depth research and feedback from usability professionals.

    And that’s “a Morae.”

    Cleaning Your Windows
    Microsoft has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to make Windows XP and Office XP more usable. But according to Simson Garfinkel, many of these purported improvements didn’t improve usability at all. In his best Mr. Fix-It manner, Garfinkel dives into the various Windows options and gives his recipe for a more productive, secure, and pleasant computing experience.

    How to choose an airline seat --- 

    The new ThinkPad X40, it will be thinner, lighter and more affordable, and will come with an unusual new feature: a rescue-and-recovery utility that can restore lost files and get you onto the Internet even if Windows becomes inoperable ---,,SB107593734359721079,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Flead%5Fstory%5Fcol 

    All But Forgotten Oldies --- 
    This is not a playback server (other than sound clips), but it does help you find CDs, records, and sheet music to purchase.

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    XBRL Revolution in Financial Reporting and Analysis

    You can read a great deal about XBRL by entering "XBRL" into the PwC search box at 

    From Double Entries on January 29, 2004 --- 

    Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers 
    Country: Canada 
    Date: 29 January 2004 
    Contributor: Andrew Priest 

    Using XBRL-enabled technology PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has made it possible for TSX Group Inc. (TSX Group) to become the first Canadian public company, as well as the first publicly-listed stock exchange globally, to publish its annual financial results in XBRL. Read more form the PWC press release by clicking through to our main news item.

    XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), an electronic "tagging" format, helps consumers of business information efficiently and accurately analyze information coming from different sources. It simplifies the transfer of financial statements, performance reports, accounting records, and other financial information between different software programs. XBRL reduces the time and costs of producing, communicating and accessing business information.

    Kevin J. Dancey, PwC CEO and Canadian Senior Partner said: "Greater transparency in business reporting will lead to increased trust in the world's capital markets. Simply, XBRL is about making data more useful and connecting businesses with their stakeholders. As an information format standard, XBRL gives companies a reliable, consistent tool for improved business reporting."

    "TSX Group is pleased that we are able to work with PwC to become the first in Canada to provide our financial results in XBRL format," said Michael Ptasznik, TSX Group Chief Financial Officer. "Acceptance for XBRL is building and TSX Group will continue to be a leading adopter of this technology."

    "We now have a working tool that will allow companies to streamline how they prepare and disseminate financial data," said David W. Smith FCA, President and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). "XBRL will also enable the users of financial reports, such as analysts, regulators, creditors and investors to more quickly and accurately review, analyze and interpret the information."

    XBRL is based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and is independent of any hardware platform, software operating system, programming language or accounting standard. The standard is being supported by more than 200 organizations worldwide including major accounting firms, software vendors, regulators and corporations.

    Further information can be found at  or .

    Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at 

    Even though I am a strong advocate of expensing stock options, I'm passing Ira's message on to round out your thinking on this complex issue.

    Ira is a friend who is on the FASB's DIG. He has a lot of research that can be downloaded free from his Web site.


    -----Original Message----- 
    From: []  
    On Behalf Of Kawaller and Company 
    Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 1:26 PM 
    To: Jensen, Robert 
    Subject: New posting on Kawaller & Co. Website Re Expensing Employee Stock Options

    "While there seems to be a growing acceptance that stock options should be expensed -- and that failure to do so fosters exaggerated reported income values - the change in accounting practice that appears to be headed for adoption will likely substitute one bad accounting policy for another."

    (From "Right Answer...Wrong Solution," AFP Express, January/February, 2004)

    Read more ... 

    Ira Kawaller Kawaller & Company, LLC (718) 694-6270

    Bob Jensen's threads on stock option accounting are at 

    "Commentary: A Gut Course In Post-Grad Scheming Lessons B-schoolers can learn from The Apprentice," Business Week, January 28, 2004 --- 

    Back in the 1990s, B-school grads roamed the globe like Masters of the Universe. Armed with power-point presentations and gold-plated diplomas, there was no problem they seemingly couldn't solve. Now, fast forward to the latest iteration of reality-TV. In The Apprentice, a shlocky new reality series on NBC, young business women are pitted against young business men in a cut-throat competition for success. Think Survivor, only in Armani suits. And this time, the last person left standing wins -- gasp -- a six-figure salary and a year working for real estate developer Donald Trump.

    In this version of reality, the women more or less look like sex goddesses and the men are, for the most part, buff as can be. Now, that's realistic. Still, in a crude sort of way, The Apprentice offers a look at life in the often cold hallways of Corporate America. Just listen to some of what viewers are saying on message boards devoted to the show. Says one: "It hits close to home." Adds another: "This is a reality we all can understand." ...



    Summer Internships In this series, second-year MBA students discuss the their summer internships, and more. Here's an excerpt:

    Jeff Pillet-Shore - USC (Marshall) - Class of 2004: May 27, 2003. More than three-and-a-half months after learning that I'd been selected for a Nestlé summer marketing internship, I hooked on a guest badge and rode the elevators to the ninth floor to meet with the director of communications. For the next 12 weeks, the cozy, inviting floor of the Nutrition division would be my home.

    I'd spent the better part of the last year working hard for an opportunity to call myself a part of the Nestlé team. I hadn't doubted that I would love working at Nestlé, but I could have been wrong. It could have been a bureaucratic, tense, and frustrating place...

    January 28, 2004 message from John Howland (Computer Science Department at Trinity University)

    I should have also mentioned that there is an award winning documentary movie, produced in 2002, on the Opensource development. It is titled "Revolution OS". I have it in DVD form and am willing to lend it. The library probably also has it (if not, I recommend purchasing the DVD).

    The Amazon link is 

    Not good in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

    "Cold Weather Shuts Down blackBerrys," by Mark Heinzl, The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2004 ---,,SB107524262880213288,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 

    Stuck in a snowstorm and only reachable by BlackBerry? Don't count on it.

    This winter some users of the popular wireless e-mail device have found the gizmo suddenly shuts off in cold weather, causing delayed e-mails and requiring a cumbersome restart. BlackBerry's maker, which pushes the reliability of the "always on" device, says the problem is apparently caused by static problems created by dry winter weather.

    The problem affects BlackBerry models 857 and 957. While those are popular BlackBerry models, they aren't the company's latest gadgets, with color screens and phones.

    The maker of the BlackBerry devices, Canada's Research In Motion Ltd., says the problem is limited in scope.

    Continued in the article


    10 Technologies That Refuse to Die 
    As new technologies appear, their primitive ancestors drop by the wayside, right? Not exactly. Technology Review has identified 10 technologies that by all rights should have become defunct. Typewriters, reel-to-reel tapes, and other supposedly obsolete artifacts have survived because they fill real needs that their more sophisticated successors don’t --- 



    "Investors Take Defensive Positions," by Kpin Tan, The Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2004 ---,,SB107593625111321027,00.html?mod=mkts%5Fmain%5Fnews%5Fhs%5Fh 

    Option trading stayed defensive ahead of Friday's release of January payrolls data, with some investors bracing for stocks to start trading in a range.

    Cautious investors bought index puts to protect their portfolios from a further correction, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange volatility index, or VIX, edged up 0.53 to 17.87. It was this fear gauge's ninth increase in 12 days, and mirrored investors' increasing caution as stocks' surge slowed.

    With many companies having reported earnings, some traders see fewer catalysts that can drive stocks higher in the short term. But most companies had reported improved profits, and many traders don't expect the market correction to be too severe.

    So option investors sought to take advantage of the recent rise in volatility and option premiums by selling put spreads when the market pulls back, and selling call spreads when it rallies. These option sellers expect stocks to be range-bound over the next month or two, and are looking to earn option premiums to boost their returns.

    Jay Shartsis, director of option trading at R.F. Lafferty & Co., thinks the market still appears too optimistic. For instance, option investors are spending 25 cents on stock puts for every dollar spent on calls, he estimated. While this has increased from a record low late last month -- when investors spent just 10 cents on puts for every dollar on calls -- it still indicates the market's strong bullish bent, Mr. Shartsis said.

    Calls on pharmaceutical stocks traded actively as these stocks rose, perhaps as some investors anticipate a rotation of capital into more defensive sectors.

    Johnson & Johnson closed up 64 cents to $54.48. Its March 55 calls traded 4,547 contracts, compared with 10,460 contracts outstanding, and gained 35 cents to $1.05 at the International Securities Exchange.



    Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University’s men’s basketball coach, joined the teaching staff at the university’s Fuqua School of Business Jan. 1 and will teach and write on leadership and ethics during the off-season.
    AACSB eNewsline --- 



    Job Search Tactics --- 



    Managing Intangible Assets Among Top Issues for Senior Executives, Accenture Survey Finds --- 


    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting for intangibles are at 


    January 29, 2004 message form Charles Bailey [

    Dear Bob: 

    Have you witnessed an example of exemplary ethical behavior by Accounting researchers in the face of temptation? Have you, at some point in your career, resisted a temptation to take inappropriate shortcuts (or worse) in a research project? If so, I am soliciting your story. If not, I'd still value your thoughts. Please read on.

    As one of the most prolific researchers publishing in the accounting literature, you received a survey questionnaire from me in 1997 or 1998. It asked sensitive questions about research misconduct, using the "randomized response" method to ensure anonymity. The resulting article, coauthored by J. R. Hasselback and J. Karcher, appeared in Abacus 37:1 (2001): 2654. The questions concerned only serious fraud, not the more mundane forms of academic dishonesty. Based on respondents' self-reporting, we were able to estimate that the actual percentage of seriously tainted articles in the top 30 accounting journals is about 4 percent, while the respondents on average believe that about 21 percent of the literature is tainted.

    One of the policy recommendations in the article was that doctoral programs should devote explicit attention to questions of research ethics. Many faculty members have personal anecdotes that they might bring to bear in doctoral seminar discussions. Furthermore, it has occurred to me that a collection of inspirational anecdotes from accounting researchers would be a valuable teaching aid. Here is one such example that surfaced during the 1997-98 survey:

    "On one project, we had to survey bank loan officers, and I accepted the help of some people in three banks. The data were collected and analyzed, the results were 'excellent' (i.e., the null hypothesis was rejected at the god-given 0.05 level) and the paper was about ready to go. Then, as a final check, I went through the completed surveys, from which my research assistant had entered the data. I found that the handwritings on the responses at one bank were quite similar. Even though they were numeric and y/n responses, and in different color pens or pencils, I was suspicious. Was my friend's friend trying to please my friend by filling out these questionnaires?! When I dropped the entire data from the questionable bank, we no longer had an interesting paper. I was in my third year as Assistant Professor, and a practically sure-fire paper was gone. But to this day I don't regret my decision (though I do wonder when I see the unfair/unethical behavior of some reviewers!)." [This person went on to become a successful publisher, as demonstrated by their inclusion in our sample.]

    If you have such a story to share, I would appreciate receiving it in one of these forms: as a response to this e-mail; via conventional mail; or posted to my web site at . The last two methods allow completely anonymous responses. In any event, any published material would be anonymous, although I hope to mention contributors, with their permission, in the acknowledgement footnote.

    If you have no anecdote to tell, your comments on this idea still would be valued.

    Thank you for your help in this project. The best of success to you in the days to come! Sincerely,

    Charles D. Bailey 
    Arthur Andersen Alumni Chair of Excellence 
    School of Accountancy 
    200 Fogelman College Admin Bldg 
    The University of Memphis 
    Memphis, TN 38152-3120 


    Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU --- 


  (Medicine, Health) --- 



    From PBS Television
    The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's ---



    "Google Slaps Booble," by Janis Mara, InternetNews, January 30, 2004 --- 

    Search engine giant Google has demanded that newly launched adult search site Booble take down its Web site, a Booble spokesman said Thursday.

    Booble officials claim its site is a parody, while Google disputes this assertion.

    Twenty-four hours after Booble launched on Jan. 20, the Google Trademark Enforcement Team e-mailed the company asking it to take down its site, a Booble spokesman said.

    Trademark issues seem to be occupying a lot of Google's time these days. The company is also involved in a trademark dispute with American Blind and Wallpaper, which filed suit against Google in New York Tuesday alleging infringement.

    The Booble imbroglio has become a cause celebre online, with forums such as Slashdot debating the legal issues.

    The adult search site says Google sent it an e-mail that says in part, "This Domain Name is confusingly similar to the famous GOOGLE trademark. Your Web site is a pornographic Web site. Your Web site improperly duplicates the distinctive and proprietary overall look and feel of Google's Web site...." The message also disputes that is a parody because it does not create a composition that comments on the original.

    The message concludes by asking Booble to disable the site, discontinue use of the domain name, transfer the domain name to Google, permanently refrain from any confusing or diluting use of the term "Google," and "cease and desist from using the Google trade dress."

    "The Google demand letter as reproduced on the Booble site states a plausible argument as to why it is not a permissible parody," said Martin Schwimmer, a Mount Pleasant, N.Y. attorney specializing in trademark and domain name law.

    A parody comments on the entity it is satirizing, Schwimmer said, but Booble in general does not do so. The one parody element Schwimmer noted is the bar beneath the search box, seemingly a takeoff on Google's "I'm feeling lucky" bar. The Booble version has various messages including "I'm feeling confused."

    "This is a competitor. It's another search engine. It takes Google's logo and uses their layout, their white screen and colored letters, for the business of being a search engine," Schwimmer noted.

    Booble does not use paid search as a revenue model, according to its founder, "Bob," a New York-based former Internet executive who refused to be identified further.

    "That's fake," he said, referring to Booble listings that mimic the paid sponsorships on Google. "We get affiliate revenue from the adult sites we list," and that is the site's revenue model. Booble has a database of 6,000 adult-oriented sites.

    "Do you really think anyone would confuse the two sites?" "Bob" countered in response to Schwimmer's comments, pointing out that Booble's top level page has a warning to those under 18 to leave immediately. Google has no such warning. "If I thought it was confusing, I would change it."

    Continued in the article


    "The Pornography Industry vs. Digital Pirates." by John Schwartz, The New York Times, February 4, 2004 --- 

    THOUSANDS of Web sites are putting Playboy magazine's pictures on the Internet - free. And Randy Nicolau, the president of, is loving it. "It's direct marketing at its finest," he said.

    Let the music industry sue those who share files, and let Hollywood push for tough laws and regulations to curb movie copying. Playboy, like many companies that provide access to virtual flesh and naughtiness, is turning online freeloaders into subscribers by giving away pictures to other sites that, in turn, drive visitors right back to

    When Mr. Nicolau is asked whether he thinks that the entertainment industry is making a mistake by taking a different approach, he replies: "I haven't spent much time thinking about it. It's like asking Henry Ford, 'What were the buggy-whip guys doing wrong?' ''

    The copyright rumble is playing out a little differently in the red-light districts of cyberspace. That neighborhood is increasingly difficult to confine, what with a fetishwear-clad Janet Jackson flashing a Super Bowl audience of millions, and Paris Hilton making her own version of a "Girls Gone Wild" video. Professional peddlers say they are hard pressed to compete.

    Still, the business of being bad is very good, especially for the biggest players. Though the industry has felt a financial squeeze during the economic slowdown, it nonetheless has sales of as much as $2 billion each year, said Tom Hymes, the editor of AVNOnline, a business magazine for the industry.

    And the pornography industry, which has always been among the first to exploit new technologies, including the VCR, the World Wide Web and online payment systems, is finding novel ways to deal with the threat of online piracy as well. The mainstream entertainment industry, some experts say, would do well to pay attention.

    Music executives say their campaign of lawsuits has been successful. They say they have spread the word that downloading free music infringes on copyrights and that there could be consequences for large-scale file sharers.

    But the pornography industry has been dealing with Internet copyright issues since the 1980's. By comparison, the movie and music businesses are relative newcomers. Mr. Hymes said companies in his industry had come to realize that suing consumers and promoting "draconian laws" were not the answer. "No law written can stem the tide," he said. And so, he said, companies are seeking ways to live with the technologies that threaten them and are trying to turn them to their advantage.

    That is not to say that the companies have not been harmed by free copying and distribution of copyrighted material online. Mr. Hymes's magazine warned recently that such companies were "losing incalculable amounts of cash" to peer-to-peer file-sharing networks like Kazaa, LimeWire, Grokster and Bit Torrent.

    "As the networks continue to grow and even more sophisticated programs are created, the P2P networks might prove a bigger threat to the revenue stream of the porn world than all the censorious right-wingers in the country put together," the article stated.

    Maybe. But many companies that distribute X-rated material say they do not worry too much about consumers sharing among themselves; they often unleash their lawyers only when someone is trying to profit by copying their goods and trying to sell them.

    When people in the industry talk of copyright, there is none of the grand speechifying about revering artists and rewarding creativity, and the near-tearful paeans to the yeoman key grips and stunt men, as is favored by movie and record executives. Instead, there is just this: We spent a lot of money to get this stuff out to the market. Somebody else is making money off of it. We want the money.

    "We haven't gone after Joe Citizen who's sharing something he printed off something from the Hustler Web site with another guy," said Paul Cambria, a lawyer who represents Hustler, Vivid Video and other companies on copyright issues. He does send out some 20 letters a week, he said, warning for-pay Web sites to remove material owned by his clients.

    Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at 


    He's become a "Bear."
    Mike Gasior's free video on stock market history and trends --- 


    Here is this month's brainteaser from Mike:

    "Three playing cards taken from a standard deck, are placed facedown on a table in a row. To the right of a king there are one or two queens. To the left of a queen there are one or two queens. To the left of a heart there are one or two spades. To the right of a spade there are one or two spades.

    Which three cards are we talking about?”

    You can view the solution at this URL:



    The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3rd edition --- 


    Bob Jensen's threads on dictionaries are at 



    "Representative Stearn Calls for GAAP Overhaul," AccountingWeb, February 3, 2004 --- 


    In the course of holding hearings into the accounting issues at Freddie Mac, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) said there are fundamental flaws in generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that need to be addressed to prevent future abuses.

    "Specifically, GAAP should not allow companies to change the characterization of an asset and thereby change its accounting," said Stearns. "I applaud the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for its efforts to change and reform the system over the last two years. Nevertheless, I intend to offer legislation in the next few weeks concerning FASB that will reform accounting standards."

    As part of the hearings, Stearns asked Armando Falcon, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which oversees Freddie Mac and the larger Frannie Mae, to look into whether compensation of the two agency’s 20 top officials contributed to accounting problems.

    "Through our past hearings we learned that Freddie Mac disregarded accounting rules, internal controls, and disclosure standards to maintain a reputation for steady earnings," stated Stearns, chairman of the Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection Subcommittee. "I appreciate hearing from Freddie Mac about the new controls it is instituting to guard against improper accounting. Given that Freddie Mac hid billions of dollars in income in a way that complied with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), this Subcommittee has a responsibility to look at improving these accounting standards."

    Stearns pointed to an anomaly that allows Freddie Mac and some other financial companies to engage in earnings arbitrage: "So Called 'mixed-attribute accounting' allows companies to decide whether financial assets are carried at current market price or at historic cost." Freddie Mac shifted assets between categories to manipulate earnings, without any change in the underlying economics of its performance. Said Stearns, "Taxpayers do not have the option of changing the characterization of assets to change the tax treatment; I think GAAP should not allow this either."

    Martin Bauman, chief financial officer, Freddie Mac, testified, "While the restatement represented an important milestone, now that it has been completed, Freddie Mac is focused on bringing our financials up-to-date." In reacting to Stearns' concerns over the adequacy of current standards, Bauman stated, "Freddie Mac recognizes the importance of transparent accounting and reporting standards and we are committed to providing investors with the information they need to understand how we view and manage our business. We fully support the Subcommittee's efforts to move toward a principles-based accounting framework."

    February 7, 2004 reply from Patricia A. Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

    " ...applaud the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ..."

    Might be nice if Mr. Stearns actually knew the name of the agency he is trying to change.


    Bob Jensen's threads on Freddie Mac are at 


    "Caller ID to Begin Revealing Identity Of Telemarketers," The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2004 ---,,SB107533808916314711,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

    Starting Thursday (January 29), if you have Caller ID you will know when a telemarketer is trying to reach you.

    That is when Federal Trade Commission regulations kick in requiring telemarketers to identify themselves.

    Such calls had shown up on Caller ID as "out of area." Now the name displayed by Caller ID must either be the company trying to make a sale or the firm making the call. The display must also include a phone number that consumers can call during regular business hours and ask that the company no longer call them.

    The change is part of the rules that set up the do-not-call registry, which consumers can use to block certain telemarketers from calling. Telemarketing companies were given additional time to install the technology needed to display their names and numbers. Some places still don't have Caller ID technology, and firms in those areas don't have to comply.

    The do-not-call registry, which took effect in October, now contains 56.3 million phone numbers. Because telemarketers must update their lists of who doesn't want to be called every three months, consumers who sign up now can expect to see the volume of calls decline in April.

    While the telemarketing industry has fought the do-not-call registry, it supported the Caller ID requirement.

    "We felt it would go a long way toward helping improve trust and use of telemarketing among consumers," said Louis Mastria, a spokesman for the Direct Marketing Association, a trade group. "It gives consumers the trump card: If you don't want to do business with this guy, you don't have to."

    "Study Reveals Financial Performance Higher for Companies with Women at the Top," AccountingWeb, January 30, 2004 --- 

    A new study released today by Catalyst demonstrates that companies with a higher representation of women in senior management positions financially outperform companies with proportionally fewer women at the top. These findings support the business case for diversity, which asserts companies that recruit, retain, and advance women will have a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

    In the study The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity, sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Catalyst used two measures to examine financial performance: Return on Equity (ROE) and Total Return to Shareholders (TRS). After examining the 353 companies that remained on the F500 list for four out of five years between 1996 and 2000, Catalyst found:


    "Business leaders increasingly request hard data to support the link between gender diversity and corporate performance. This study gives business leaders unquestionable evidence that a link does exist," said Catalyst President Ilene H. Lang. "We controlled for industry and company differences and the conclusion was still the same. Top-performing companies have a higher representation of women on their leadership teams."

    "The Catalyst study confirms my own long-held conviction that it makes the best of business sense to have a diverse workforce and an equitable, supportive workplace," said Tony Comper, Chairman and CEO of BMO Financial Group, sole sponsor of the research.

    A Note on Methodology

    Catalyst divided the 353 companies into four roughly equal quartiles based on the representation of women in senior management. The top quartile is the 88 companies with the highest gender diversity on leadership teams. The bottom quartile is the 89 companies with the lowest gender diversity. Catalyst then compared the two groups based on overall ROE and TRS.

    "It is important to realize that our findings demonstrate a link between women's leadership and financial performance, but not causation," said Susan Black, Catalyst Vice President of Canada and Research and Information Services. "There are many variables that can contribute to outstanding financial performance, but clearly, companies that understand the competitive advantage of gender diversity are smart enough to leverage that diversity."


    Are women more ethical and moral?

    The answer is revealed at 

    How do journalists report errors on the Web


    Perhaps online news sites could address this sort of thing by devoting separate pages to Second- and Third-Hand Assertions, Spin We Fell For, and Hidden Agendas.

    Remember, cyberspace means never having to say you're sorry.
    "How Journalists Report Errors on the Web," by Cynthia Cotts, The Village Voice, January 28/February 3, 2004 --- 

    In  the January 19 New York Observer, Ron Rosenbaum posed a slew of questions about how print and online media should approach the difficult job of correcting errors that are discovered post-publication, then beseeched media critics to come up with some rough standards. Ron and I are friends, so I'd be remiss to ignore the call.

    Rosenbaum's proposal for increased disclosure goes against traditional newsroom wisdom, which looks askance at self-flagellation and the airing of dirty laundry. But let's face it, these are the days of dirty laundry, when even The New York Times has become less uptight about its own infallibility and is striving for a more responsive corrections policy.

    For example, on January 18, the Times ran an Editors' Note regarding Ian Buruma's January 11 review of a book by Shashi Tharoor. Because Tharoor had reviewed Buruma's novel in The Washington Post in 1991, the recent review violated a policy under which "the Times does not normally assign authors to review each other's books." Both reviews were barbed—there is surely more to this story—but the Times deserves credit for the speed with which it's now admitting its errors. Last Sunday, the Times' public editor, Daniel Okrent, even went so far as to correct himself!

    The more corrections, the better? Without lowering evidentiary standards, Rosenbaum suggests, journalists can alleviate the shame of error by approaching our work more as a search for truth and less as a crusade to prove we're always right. In this view, all assertions are provisional and necessarily subject to reshaping as new facts, theories, and agendas emerge. In other words, it's inevitable that mistakes will be made when we're gathering all the news that's fit to print. Rosenbaum suggests that errors are more easily correctable now that most stories, even those published in print editions, also appear online—and more visible, now that bloggers are keeping watch. Ironically, increased self-consciousness about the potential for error increases a publication's credibility.

    To arrive at rough standards, I studied websites maintained by Slate, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. My suggestions: Every publication should have an online corrections page that is easy to find—and easy to navigate. Each correction should be clearly stated and dated, and should carry a link to the online text of the original article. The corrections should be arranged by the date of the articles, in reverse chronological order. In addition to newly published corrections, the page should carry links to the archives. Success means the average reader can find out quickly whether any recent story has been amended and how.

    Slate gets the Best Display of Mistakes award. The link to "Corrections" from the home page is a little hard to find, as it rises and falls in the table of contents. But once you get there, corrections are clearly dated and stated, and each one provides a link to the live online text, where erroneous passages are asterisked and corrected at the bottom of the page. There's a link to each prior batch of errors, as well as an e-mail address where readers can report new ones. (Salon's model is also simple and transparent.) scores high in every category, including comprehensiveness and cross-referencing. In the left column of the home page is a news box in which the heading "Corrections" connects to a page of "Recently Corrected Articles," with links in reverse chronological order. Each link on that page contains the original headline and date of the corrected article. Click on one of those and you find the live online text with errors left intact. In the right column of the live page, the word "Correction" appears in red in a box, followed by an explanation. One can also find a link to "Corrections From the Post," which offers an aerial view of links to both corrections and clarifications, those more elaborate rethinkings. The design is intuitive and utilitarian.

    By contrast, the corrections page on feels like a Soho boutique—a few boldly displayed items with lots of empty space around them. It's easy to find the corrections page from the home page, but once you get there, all you find are the fixes published in that day's paper. The items that appear on the daily corrections page are inconsistently styled, sometimes identifying the exact date and section in which the article appeared and sometimes referring obliquely to an article "yesterday" or "last Sunday." The text of each correction offers no link to the original live text.

    It took me three or four visits to to figure out that they do keep corrections pages from previous days on the site; it's just that the links are not presented in one place. Finding yesterday's fixes takes too long to be of much practical use. Likewise, it takes too much diligence to match a Times correction to its corresponding live text. When you do find the live text, corrections have been inserted invisibly, while Editors' Notes appear at the bottom of the page, even when a story is old enough that one must pay for the full text. That's good, as is the prominent display of an e-mail address and phone number for the public editor. Now if only the Times would give Daniel Okrent a blog.

    Trying to achieve an industry standard of disclosure sounds good in theory, but it conflicts with the goal of charging for online news content. Thus, it's likely that the Times doesn't offer a corrections archive because that would require the company to free up online content now available only for a fee. Besides, anyone with a Nexis password can find every correction and Editors' Note the Times has ever published—but subscriptions are expensive, which is why Rosenbaum calls Nexis a "gated community." Shouldn't the library of errors be open to the public, and not just to insiders?

    Here's another thorny issue. It is impossible to establish the truth or falsehood of certain propositions, such as whether the pope said, "It is as it was," or whether the Dean scream means he is unstable. Perhaps online news sites could address this sort of thing by devoting separate pages to Second- and Third-Hand Assertions, Spin We Fell For, and Hidden Agendas.

    Carried to its absurd conclusion, this trend could lead to an All-Corrections website, a universal library of errors. Think of it as one-stop shopping for researchers, a complete inventory of all corrections, all the time. The home page would link daily to every media outlet's internally generated corrections, with separate pages for Editors' Notes, ombud blogs, and independent criticism. would depend on elegant design and a crack search engine and would work best as a nonprofit, with a paid webmaster and voluntary media participation. Of course, to maintain credibility, the site would itself have to have an ombudsman, a readers' forum, and a corrections page . . .

    Remember, cyberspace means never having to say you're sorry.

    February 6, 2004 message from Sharon Jones Schweitzer 

    Trinity University's Web site ( will have a new look and structure beginning this weekend. This major redesign is an outgrowth of the University's integrated marketing plan and will provide for a dynamic and consistent look throughout the Web site. Like the new University logo and other similar initiatives, Trinity's Web site is designed to reinforce communication about the University's quality, distinctiveness, and innovation.


    Some of the new features you will notice:


    • Audience gateways will offer a set of links of interest to Future Students, Alumni, and Friends and Visitors. Audience gateways for Current Students and Faculty and Staff link directly to Tiger's Lair, the University portal.
    • Global navigation will allow users to access content and features, such as the home page or the search function, from any page on the site. The global navigation bar will be added to every Web page as the renovation progresses through the site.
    • Primary navigation to an established set of primary content sections, such as Academics, Campus Life, Admissions & Financial Aid and others, will become a standard feature on all Web pages to allow users access to key content sections from anywhere on the site.
    • A "quick links" button on each page will allow access to frequently visited sections of the Trinity Web site.
    • The search feature for the Trinity site has also been improved.

    I would like to thank the faculty and staff who served on the Web site advisory task group, which provided guidance, advice, and feedback to this project:

    An "Interesting" Commentary from a retiring professor (Sanford Pinsker) --- 

    After 40+ years in the classroom there are certain rituals that accompany retirement. One is emptying your office so that the person who's had an eye on the campus view outside your window can, at long last, move in; another is the sudden realization that your carefully labeled course syllabi and class notes no longer matter a fig. The list goes on and on, with every item making it clear that you are yesterday's news. It's enough to give a person the willies.

    That's why I figure it's high time to give other side of the retirement coin a lighthearted look. In my case, there's nothing quite so uplifting as a preview of the "coming attractions" for next year's faculty meetings: a proposal to bring our Greek system into full college recognition (and oversight); a plan to replace dormitories with a smaller, more regulated "house" system; and yet another effort to encourage faculty members to live within a mile's radius of the campus. None of these issues "grabs me" -- as our students like to put it when asked about any literary work written before last Wednesday -- and I'm jolly glad I won't have to sit through the tedious debates that will divide the faculty squarely down the middle, with one half swearing an allegiance to "long overdo restraint" while the other half is equally insistent that a good college governance is the one that governs least -- and the best one of all leaves plenty of time and space for "dancing around the campus wine cask."

    I used to think that the phrases surrounded by quotation marks were indigenous to my campus alone but the advent of e-mail has made it abundantly clear that they flourish at nearly every college that has faculty members and faculty meetings. Sometimes the rabbit ears are meant to be sneer quotes -- as in the case when words such as "truth" or "beauty" are being hooted out of the hall as indicators of the patriarchal hegemony -- but there are also occasions when quotation marks direct our attention to the latest news from the heavy-water theorist Jacques Derrida. Either way, faculty members are more than able to turn any debate into a clash of quotation marks which operate as shields, as weapons, and sometimes as both.

    I am well rid of the foolishness I used to hear every two weeks, or more often when the faculty met in extra sessions to consider what a change in the college's final exam schedule might mean, especially to those who regularly handed out "take home: exams" a week or two before the final exam period officially began. For faculty members deeply suspicious and opposed to more regulation from the dean's office, the issue boiled down to a clash between freedom and constraint.

    Curiously enough, certain students echoed the all-purpose sentiment when they used teaching evaluation forms to hammer a teacher for being "too rigorous" because he or she handed out a syllabus at the beginning of the semester and then kept to it. Far better (according to some) were teachers who were deemed "flexible," which meant that they would often ask the class what they wanted to do. Most of the time this meant "meeting outside" or better yet, taking the day off altogether.

    All this is easy enough to kiss farewell. But what is even more attractive is the prospect of living a long, happy life without ever uttering the word "interesting." Why so? Because "interesting" is nearly always an empty word, and when a teacher lets it slip out in a classroom it is nearly always meant to be a weasel word. The fact is that most of the things that students say are not interesting. But that said, who wants to turn off discussion altogether, which is what too much bald truth will do if directed to the person half nodding in the back row and wearing a baseball cap backwards. For such a student, publicly declaring that his response to Hawthorn's story is "interesting" may be a lie, but if so, it is a white lie meant to encourage not only that student but others within earshot. Once again, the tension in Hawthorn's The Maypole of Merrymount are well worth exploring, even from those more prone to identify with the partygoers than with their more sober, morally serious cousins. It's "interesting" that this should be the case, but it does not bring us very far in terms of understanding what the story is finally about. "Interesting" is the anthem of those who believe that every person is entitled to his or her opinion, and moreover, that all opinions are right. I will fight to the death to defend the first part of the equation, but not the second. Still, I will concede that there are time in the classroom when the case for widening the circle makes a certain amount of sense.

    That's why I used the word "interesting" far more than I probably should have. In this crime I am hardly alone. But now that I'm retired, one of the great liberating joys is that I have no need to use "interesting" ever again -- unless, of course, when the need really does fit this deliberately vague word.

    I can think of places, other than classrooms where the word "interesting" is bandied about (art museums, for example, or recitals for cutting-edge music), but I always suspect that people are hiding behind the word until they get a sense of what the majority thinks. After all, you can't get into too much trouble when hiding behind "interesting." "Lousy" would have made it clear that you hate the damn thing, and "wonderful" would have painted you into a corner.

    Now that I'm retired I will, no doubt, have lots of occasions to test out whether I'm using "interesting" in a legitimate (interesting?) way or whether I'm simply being much the same coward as most people who hide behind intentionally vague words. Perhaps it's best that I retire the word "interesting" altogether; and perhaps that wouldn't be a bad idea for those who still labor in the teaching vineyard.

    If you want to see any of the Super Bowl commercials played back, you can go the site shown below by Glen.  Actually, I think the commercials this year were not up to the quality seen in former Super Bowls even though the going price was $4 million per minute.  I did, however, love the donkey in the Bud commercial.

     Bob Jensen

    -----Original Message-----
     Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 2:01 PM
    Subject: A time waster

    Every years, the press makes a big fuss about Superbowl ads.   I found a Web site that has all they ads--at 3 different speeds and 3 different viewers:

    Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
    Accounting & Information Systems, COBAE
    California State University , Northridge
    Northridge , CA 91330-8372


    If you want to convert that into Pig Latin, here's how:

    Covert your text into Pig Latin ---  

    The outcome is as follows:

    errillMay ynchLay andway othersway ikelay emthay, ifway ay ouyay avehay away arket"may" ouyay illway avehay esethay indkay ofway olkfay andway eway allway owknay arketsmay areway efficient"ay" osay esethay indkay ofway olkfay areway away ecessarynay andway integralway omponentcay ofway anway efficientway arketmay andway incesay arketmay efficiencyway isway away oodgay ingthay esethay ad"bay" eoplepay ustmay ebay oodgay! ay Inway ethay azaarobay orldway ofway inancialfay eportingray eway avehay eatedcray away aceplay erewhay adbay isway oodgay andway oodgay isway alsoway oodgay, osay ateverwhay eythay antway, eway illway oday. ay omeSay ofessionpray, eh? way

    Either way it reads about the same!



    -----Original Message-----
    From:  Paul Williams
    Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 11:28 AM

    Subject: Re: Merrill Lynch

    Yes, but in defense of Merrill Lynch and others like them, if you have a "market" you will have these kind of folk and we all know markets are "efficient" so these kind of folk are a necessary and integral component of an efficient market and since market efficiency is a good thing these "bad" people must be good! In the bazaaro world of financial reporting we have created a place where bad is good and good is also good, so whatever they want, we will do. Some profession, eh?

    You might be a redneck if you wrapped duck tape around your rented cummerbund when you married your cousin Ellie Pearl.

    Three Southerners and three Yankees are traveling by train to Houston to watch the Super Bowl. At the station, the three Yankees each buy a ticket and watch as the three Southern gentlemen buy just one ticket.

    "How are the three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asks one of the Yankees.

    "Watch and learn," answers one of the gentlemen from the South.

    They all board the train. The three Yankees take their respective seats, but all three Southern gentlemen cram into a toilet together and close the door. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets.

    He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket, please."

    The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The Yankees see this happen and agree it was quite a clever idea; so after the game, they decide to do the same thing on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station they buy a single ticket for the return trip, but see, to their astonishment, that the three Southern gentlemen don't buy any ticket at all.

    "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed Yankee.

    "Watch and learn," answers the gentlemen from the South.

    When they board the train the three Yankees cram themselves into a toilet and the three Southern gentlemen cram into another toilet just down the way.

    Shortly after the train is on its way, one of the Southern gentlemen leaves their toilet and walks over to the toilet in which the Yankees are hiding.

    The Southern gentleman knocks on their door and says, "Ticket, please."

    Forwarded by Tom Watson

    Subject: Little known Texas facts

    Nobody asked for them, but here are some little known Texas facts. I know ya'll just can't wait to read them! Beaumont to El Paso : 742 miles Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles World's first rodeo was in Pecos ... July 4, 1883 .

    The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water. The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full time coach for Rice University , Houston .

    Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America . Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.

    Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.

    The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900 caused by a hurricane in which over 8000 lives were lost on Galveston Island .

    The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969 , was " Houston ."

    El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas .

    Laredo is the world's largest inland port.

    Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the world's largest rose garden with over 38,000 bushes with 500 varieties on 22 acres.

    The State shell is Lightning Whelk.

    King Ranch is larger than Rhode Island .

    Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July 1979.

    Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, instead of by annexation. (This allows the Texas flag to fly at the same height as the US flag.)

    A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.

    Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

    Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper. Texas has had six capital cities ... 1. Washington-on-the-Brazos 2. Harrisburg 3. Galveston 4. Velasco 5. West Columbia 6. Austin The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. (by 7 feet).

    The name Texas comes from the Hasini Indian word "tejas" meaning friends. Tejas is not Mexican for Texas .

    The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston .

    The State animal is the Armadillo. * *An interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies! They have one egg which splits into four and they either have four males or four females. Well... I thought it was interesting anyway!

    Added Note by Bob Jensen

    Armadillos were constantly digging deep and often in my back yard when I still owned a home in San Antonio.  I tried trapping them until somebody said they would not step into a trap.  I thought of poisoning them until I learned that their anatomy with two stomachs makes them almost impossible to poison.  So as a last resort when one was swimming in my swimming pool, I took my Saturday Night Special (a cheap 22 cal. revolver) and shot five times.   The bullets deflected harmlessly off the armor of the armadillo but not harmlessly into the bottom of my swimming pool.  Who says professors are smart?

    You've almost got to feel sorry for Osama bin Laden. There he is, day after day, holed up in some disgusting cave in Pakistan trying to come up with some way to strike terror in the hearts of the American people while a sick cow in Yakima beats him to it.

    My three favorites

    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  In practice, there is.”

    “I couldn’t tell if the streaker was a man or a woman because it had a bag on its head.”

    “If you don’t set goals, you can’t regret not reaching them.”

    Yogi says --- 

    “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

    “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

    “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”

    “There are three kinds of people: Those who can count and those who can’t.”

    “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  In practice, there is.”

    “Nobody goes there anymore.  It’s too crowded.”

    “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

    “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there.”

    “What paper you write for, Ernie?” [Being introduced to Earnest Hemmingway]

    “If the fans don’t want to come out to the ballpark, no one can stop ‘em.”

    “I never said most of the things I said.”

    “In baseball, you don’t know nothin’.”

    “I usually take a two-hour nap, from one o’clock to four.”

    “I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”

    “He can run anytime he wants.  I’m giving him the red light.”

    “I knew I was going to take the wrong train so I left early.”

    “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”

    “I made a wrong mistake.”

    “Shut up and talk.”

    “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”

    “It gets late early out there.”

    “It was impossible getting a conversation going.  Everybody was talking too much.”

    “The only reason I need these gloves is ‘cause of my hands.”

    “Never answer an anonymous letter.”

    “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”

    “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”

    “Yeah, but we’re making great time!” [When told by a passenger in the car that they were lost]

    “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

    “I’m not gonna buy my kids an encyclopedia.  Let ‘em walk to school like I did.”

    “He must’ve made that before he died.” [After seeing a Steve McQueen movie]

    “You give 100% in the first half of the game.  And if that isn’t enough, in the second half, give what’s left.”

    “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

    “Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

    “Always go to other people’s funerals.  Otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

    “I don’t remember leaving, so I guess we didn’t go.”

    “He hits from both sides of the plate.  He’s amphibious.”

    “Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.”

    “Why buy good luggage?  You only need it when you travel.”

    “It reminds me of being in the Army, even though I was in the Navy.” [Remarking about a Broadway show]

    “The [motel] towels were so thick I could hardly close my suitcase.”

    “Texas has a lot of electrical votes.”

    “Thanks.  You don’t look so hot yourself.” [Answering the Mayor’s wife, he told Yogi, “You certainly look cool.”]

    “I couldn’t tell if the streaker was a man or a woman because it had a bag on its head.”

    “If you don’t set goals, you can’t regret not reaching them.”

    “Slump?  I ain’t in no slump.  I just ain’t hitting.”

    “I’d find the fellow who lost it and if he was poor, I’d return it.” [What he’d do if he found a million dollars]

    “I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”

    “Pair up in threes!”

    “Surprise me.” [When asked where he’d like to be buried]

    “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

    “It’s like deja-vu all over again.”

    I like to make up Yogi Berra quips.

    A maiden lady like "Miss" Cornell is a Miss now called a ms who was one of those near Mrs.
    Bob Jensen

    Miss Cornell is mentioned under Quotes of the Week of the permanent link for January 31 at 

    From the Southern Travel Guide Forwarded by Bob Overn

    Fifteen Ways to avoid a good Southern Ass Whuppin!!!!!!!

    1. Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It's just a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know.

    2. Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda down here. Down here it's called Coke. Nobody gives a flying damn whether it's Pepsi, RC, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, or's still a Coke!! Accept it. 

    3. Don't laugh at our Southern names (Merleen, Bodie, Ovine, Luther Ray, Tammy Lynn, Darla Beth, Inez, Billie Joe, Sissie, Clovis, Linda Pearl, etc.).

    4. We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you (e.g. Welty, Williams, Faulkner) We are also better educated and generally a lot nicer. Don't refer to it as a bunch of Hillbillieism.

    5. We have plenty of business sense (e.g., Fred Smith of Fed EX, Turner Broadcasting, MTV, Netscape). Naturally, we do, sometimes, have small lapses in judgment (e.g., Edwards, Duke, Barnes, Clinton). We don't care if you think we're dumb. We are not dumb enough to let someone move to our state in order to run for Senate.

    6. Don't laugh at our Civil War Monuments. If Lee had listened to Longstreet and flanked Meade at Gettysburg instead of sending Pickett up the middle, you'd be paying taxes to Richmond instead of Washington. Don't visit Stone Mountain and complain about the carving.

    7. We are fully aware of how high the humidity is so shut the hell up! Just spend your money and get the hell out of here.

    8. Don't order Wheat Toast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone will instantly know that you're a Yankee. Eat your biscuits like God intended, with gravy. And don't put sugar on your grits.

    9. Don't fake a Southern Accent. This will get you thrown out the front door.

    10. Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know better. Many of us have visited Northern Hellholes like Detroit, Chicago and DC, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Delta is ready when you are.

    11. Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because we don't want to sound like you. We don't care if you don't understand what we're saying. All other Southerners understand, and that's all that matters.

    12. Don't complain that the South is dirty and polluted. None of OUR lakes or rivers have caught fire recently. If you whine about OUR scenic beauty, we'll kick your ass all the way back to Boston Harbor!

    13. Don't ridicule our Southern manners. We say sir and Ma'am. We hold doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet little gray haired grandmothers or they'll kick some manners into your ass just like they did ours!

    14. So you think we're quaint or losers because most of us live in the countryside? That's because we have enough sense to not live in filthy, smelly, crime infested cesspools like New York or Baltimore.

    Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come down here and tell us how to cook Barbeque.

    Forwarded by Auntie Bev

    As seen printed on T-shirts (some in fine print)

    1. I child proofed my house, but they still get in.

    2. (On the front) 60 is not old.
        (On the back) If you're a tree.

    3. My reality check just bounced.

    4. Life is short, make fun of it.

    5. I'm not 50. I'm $49.95 plus tax.

    6. Annapolis--A drinking town with a sailing problem.

    7. Physically pffffffft!

    8. Buckle up. It makes it harder for the aliens to snatch you from your car.

    9. It's my cat's world. I'm just here to open cans.

    10. Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

    11. Keep staring....I may do a trick.

    12. We got rid of the kids. The cat was allergic.

    13. Dangerously under-medicated.

    14. My mind works like lightning. One brilliant flash, and it's gone.

    15. Every time I hear the word "exercise", I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

    16. Cats regard people as warm-blooded furniture.

    17. Live your life so that when you die, the preacher will not have to tell lies at your funeral.

    18. In God we trust. All others we polygraph

    Forwarded by Paula

    A West Texas Cowboy staggers into a "female only" bar. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders a drink. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the bartender, "Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?"

    The bar immediately falls absolutely quiet.

    In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, "Before you tell that joke, sir, I think it is just fair given that you are blind drunk that you should know five things:

    1 - The bartender is a blonde girl. 
    2 - The bouncer is a blonde girl. 
    3 - I'm a 6 foot tall, 175 lb. blonde woman with a black belt in karate. 
    4 - The woman sitting next to me is blonde and is a professional weightlifter. 
    5 - The lady to your right is a blonde and is a professional wrestler.

    Now think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?"

    The Cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters, "Nah...not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times."

    Forwarded by Auntie Bev

    How to tell if the cat has seen you naked --- 

    Forwarded by The Happy Lady

    Subject: hillbillies

    Two hillbillies walk into a bar. While having a shot of whiskey, they talk about their own moonshine operations. Suddenly, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.

    One of the hillbillies goes over to her and says, "Kin ya swaller?" The woman shakes her head no. "Kin ya breathe?" The woman begins to turn blue and shakes her head no.

    The hillbilly quickly lifts up the back of her dress, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her butt cheek a lap with his tongue. The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth. As she begins to breathe again, the hillbilly walks slowly back to the bar.

    His partner says "Ya know, I'd heard of that there "Hind Lick Maneuver", but I ain't never seed nobody do it!"

    Forwarded by The Happy Lady

    Ordering Pizza in the Future May Surprise You!

    Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your order?

    Customer: "Hi, I'd like to order."

    Operator: "May I have your NIDN first, sir?"

    Customer: "My National ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's 6102049998-45-54610."

    Operator: "Thank you, Mr. Sheehan. I see you live at 1742 Meadowland Drive, and the phone number's 494-2366. Your office number over at Lincoln Insurance is 745-2302 and your cell number's 266-2566. Which number are you calling from, sir?"

    Customer: "Huh? I'm at home. Where d'ya get all this information?"

    Operator: "We're wired into the system, sir."

    Customer: (Sighs) "Oh, well, I'd like to order a couple of your All-Meat Special pizzas..."

    Operator: "I don't think that's a good idea, sir."

    Customer: "Whaddya mean?"

    Operator: "Sir, your medical records indicate that you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol. Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy choice."

    Customer: "Geez. What do you recommend, then?"

    Operator: "You might try our low-fat Soybean Yogurt Pizza. I'm sure you'll like it"

    Customer: "What makes you think I'd like something like that?"

    Operator: "Well, you checked out 'Gourmet Soybean Recipes' from your local library last week, sir. That's why I made the suggestion."

    Customer: "All right, all right. Give me two family-sized ones, then. What's the damage?"

    Operator: "That should be plenty for you, your wife and your four kids, sir. The 'damage,' as you put it, heh, heh, comes $49.99."

    Customer: "Lemme give you my credit card number."

    Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid you'll have to pay in cash. Your credit card balance is over its limit."

    Customer: "I'll run over to the ATM and get some cash before your driver gets here."

    Operator: "That won't work either, sir. Your checking account's overdrawn."

    Customer: "Never mind. Just send the pizzas. I'll have the cash ready. How long will it take?"

    Operator: "We're running a little behind, sir. It'll be about 45 minutes, sir. If you're in a hurry you might want to pick 'em up while you're out getting the cash, but carrying pizzas on a motorcycle can be a little awkward."

    Customer: "How do you know I'm riding a bike?"

    Operator: "It says here you're in arrears on your car payments, so your car got repo'ed. But your Harley's paid up, so I just assumed that you'd be using it."

    Customer: "@#%/$@&?#!"

    Operator: "I'd advise watching your language, sir. You've already got a July 2006 conviction for cussing out a cop."

    Customer: (Speechless)

    Operator: "Will there be anything else, sir?"

    Customer: "No, nothing. oh, yeah, don't forget the two free liters of Coke your ad says I get with the pizzas."

    Operator: "I'm sorry sir, but our ad's exclusionary clause prevents us from offering free soda to diabetics."

    Forwarded by Vidya

    PC Poem

    If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
    and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort,
    and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
    then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.
    If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
    and the  double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
    and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn't hash,
    then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!
    If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
    says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
    but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol,
    that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall.
    And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
    so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse;
    then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
    'cuz sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang.

    When the copy on your floppy's getting sloppy in the disk,
    and the macro code instructions is causing unnecessary risk,
    then you'll have to flash the memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM,
    and then quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your Mom!
    Well, that certainly clears things up for me. How about you?


    I just could not resist writing a poem for our AECM friend Linda Kidwell who’s visiting down under this year, basking in the sun so she says.  Recall her AECM rendition of Australian Jingle Bells a couple of months ago --- 

    Here’s one for you mate!

    Once a jolly jumbuck 
    camped by a billabong 
    Under the shade of a Coolibah tree.

    He laughed and he sang,
    eating on his Tim Tams one, two three.
    And yelling out --- "well golly dang!"

    Protest Over Release of Alcohol-Infused Biscuits in Australia Herald Sun: Booze Biscuits Hit the Shelves,5478,8576344%255E662,00.html 

    Consumption of Alcohol -- Australia 1961-2000

    I've got some mates down there who are doing their fair share for the cause!

    February 9 replies from Linda Kidwell and Andrew Priest


    I must say that I feel incredibly flattered that Bob would write a poem in my honor! Now those biscuits sound pretty tasty don't they?


    Hi Linda

    There is a very special way to eat Tim Tams ... bite of a bit from one end, dip into your cup of tea, hold and suck on the other end ....

    Oh what a feeling :-)


    Auntie Bev posted this picture of that expresses our sentiments about winter up in the Northeast this year --- 

    New Hampshire Winter:  The First Ten Months Are the Hardest

    And that's the way it was on February 10, 2004 with a little help from my friends.


    Jesse's Wonderful Music for Romantics (You have to scroll down to the titles) ---


    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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    January 31, 2004

     Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on January 31, 2004
    Bob Jensen at Trinity University

    Quotes of the Week

    A successful marriage isn't finding the right person; it's being the right person.
    Author unknown

    You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...
    Author unknown

    Scandals Are a Hot Topic in College Courses ---

    Management Accounting Today: Surveying the Changes --- 

    Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.
    Arthur Schopenhauer 

    Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but memory.
    Leonardo da Vinci as quoted by Mark Shapiro at 

    This illustrates what I believe is an underappreciated and growing problem in higher education: a large number of undergraduates, as well as even some graduate students, believe that the instructor's main function is to tell the students what to memorize. And if the students duly so memorize, they believe they deserve A's.
    Craig M. Newmark, January 20, 2004 ---  

    Forty percent of the price of an airline ticket is made up of taxes and surcharges.
    Journal of Accountancy, January 2004, Page 83

    Just as we are corrupted by the flattery of friends, we are often corrected by the rebukes of enemies.

    The OCW (Open Courseware) announcement, almost three years ago, was open for easy inference. MIT officials insisted that the university was not offering online courses to students; rather, MIT faculty were putting their course materials—syllabi and supporting resources—on the Web for others to use. In other words, one could see the syllabus and review some of the course materials, but not take the class.  And not just a few classes. OCW’s announced goal is to make the complete MIT curriculum—everything in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, across all fields, totalling some 2000 courses—available over the next few years. Speaking at the November 2003 EDUCAUSE Conference, Anne Margulies, executive director of the OCW project, announced that MIT has made significant progress towards this goal: as of fall 2003, the resources for some 500 MIT courses had been posted on the Web.
    Kenneth C. Green, "Curricular Reform, Conspiracy, and Philanthropy," Syllabus, January 2004, Page 27 --- 
    Bob Jensen's threads on MIT's OCW or OKI program are at 

    IBM DOCUMENTS SHOW the company expects to save $168 million annually beginning in 2006 by moving several thousand high-paying programming jobs overseas to China, India and Brazil.
    WILLIAM M. BULKELEY William M. Bulkeley, The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2004 ---,,SB107438649533319800,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 

    One Cellboost has enough charge to give your phone 60 minutes of talk time and 60 hours of standby time, and you can attach and detach the device as needed. When it's empty, it can be discarded. (The company recommends disposing of it as you would a battery.) At just $5.99 from , Cellboost seems like a useful device to keep in a glove compartment or purse. It supposedly lasts three years.
    Walter Mossberg, "Dead Cellphone? No Wall Plug? No Worries," The Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2004 ---,,SB107403219224945200,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt

    Despite lofty prices at the gas pump, analysts don't see 2004 shaping up as a gusher for energy stocks -- at least for most of them.
    Business Week, January 16, 2004 --- 

    Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do. 
    Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.

     Savielly Tartakover, Polish Grand Master

    Gates Says Proof & Pay Will End Spam Problem The Microsoft chairman said his company is developing two methods to put an end to spam--proof of sender's identity and pay to send--which he predicts will end the spam problem in two years. But then he also once predicted the demise of Google and Linux. 

    Illustration of a Currency Swap
    It costs Freddie Mac more to sell the euro debt than comparable bonds in dollars, but the agency gets to diversify its funding base. That benefit offsets the short-term pain of borrowing in euros and swapping back into dollars.
    Margot Patrick and Henry J. Pulizzi, "Freddie Mac Returns to Europe To Diversify Debt," The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2004 ---,,SB107446591506604646,00.html?mod=mkts%5Fmain%5Fnews%5Fhs%5Fh 
    Bob Jensen's threads on Freddie Mac are at 

    While staying in our retirement home over the holidays, the temperature dropped as low as -40F while temperatures on the summit of Mt. Washington that we view from our living room plummeted over -100F.  A woman, Barbara Zarafini, down the way invited us to a dinner party.  In the course of the conversation Barbara mentioned out a maiden lady named Miss Cornell (the granddaughter of the founder of Cornell University) used to live in the Zarafini log house.  What was memorable was how Mrs. Cornell's teeth were occasionally frozen in the glass beside her bed.  I suspect that is one of the reasons she remained a maiden lady until she died.

    Hi, I'm the tooth fairy.  Want to buy back some of your teeth.
    New Yorker Cartoon

    Doubt is unpleasant, but certainty is ridiculous.

    Master the subject, the words will come.

    It's a broker-assisted suicide.
    New Yorker Cartoon

    Well anyhow, it really is handy having my broker right here in my cell.
    New Yorker Cartoon

    CEO:  They can do what they want with minimum wage as long as they keep their hands off maximum wage.
    New Yorker Cartoon

    And remember, son, perception isn't reality --- money is.
    New Yorker Cartoon

    Dad, the dean has gone over your financial statement, and he doesn't think you're working up to your full potential.
    New Yorker Cartoon

    EBay's profit jumped 64% in the fourth quarter on a 57% sales increase, powered by strong holiday online trading. For the full year, net income surged 77% ---,,SB10738686862878900,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 

    Republican students at the University of Colorado launched a Web site to gather complaints about left-leaning faculty members, saying they want to document discrimination against conservative students and indoctrination to the liberal viewpoint.
    CNN, January 21, 2004 --- 
    The site is at 

    While derivatives can help banks to weather financial crises by transferring away risks, they can also lead to unpredictable and dangerous concentrations of risk elsewhere, Andrew Large, deputy governor of the Bank of England, said in a speech this week at the London School of Economics. Large said one of the biggest changes in managing financial stability was the dramatic increase in the degree of complexity and interconnectedness in financial markets. He said this was due to market liberalisation, technological advance and the development of new instruments for transferring risk, all of which brought new benefits and threats. "The complex and diverse operations of hedge funds can help to arbitrage away pricing mistakes, and to integrate financial markets," he said. "But they also raise new questions for financial stability oversight." He also warned of the potential "hazards" of banks' reliance on computer modelling for their risk management. He said these models are only as good as the assumptions on which they are based, and can give "false reassurance" that there will be enough liquidity in times of crisis.
    Risk News, January 23, 2004

    The problem is that Viagra is now just one popular ingredient of a club drug cocktail. It's common to mix Viagra with drugs such as Ecstasy, methamphetamines, or even cocaine.
    Marc Levenson, "Viagra's Wild Side," TechLive, January 26, 2004 ---,24195,3597139,00.html 

    Bob Jensen's updates on the accounting and finance scandals for October-December 2003 can be found at 

    Bob Jensen's working draft on the accounting and finance scandals for January-March 2004 can be found at 
    The above draft includes links to Accountability Resources

    Bob Jensen's main fraud document is at 

    Hi Denny,

    I got your fax and then found the online version of your article (full content) at 

    I think your comments are right on target. I hope you don't mind that I will feature this in the next edition of New Bookmarks.

    I wanted to pick out some selected quotations and found that I wanted to quote every line. I guess the best of the best reads as follows:

    My second observation about faculty is their relative lack of interest in professional issues. While at FASB, I noted that we received very few comment letters on proposed standards from academics. A relative handful participated in our process in other ways, such as being part of project advisory task forces. I attributed that low involvement primarily to the fact that the academic reward system doesn't give this activity much, if any, recognition.

    While that's undoubtedly true, I've since been surprised to see that so many faculty members don't keep up on professional issues. Unless it's something that directly affects an instructional matter in an accounting course or one of their personal research issues, they are relatively uninterested in current accounting events. For example, when I offered my colleagues the Special Investigative Committee's report on the WorldCom board of directors, there was virtually no interest expressed in what was the largest accounting fraud in history.

    Now, I know this is an unfair generalization; there are many faculty members who do keep fully informed. But I've always felt that the duty of any professional is to be reasonably aware of new developments in his or her field, even when not directly affected. Perhaps this is another consequence of the silo effect I mentioned earlier.


    I don't recall who said it, but it is true that the "physicists stole all of the easy problems."  Whenever people become objects of research, the most relevant topics have research hurdles that appear to be insurmountable.  Most of our gifted researchers filter out the confounding variables and then make much adieu about nothing.  Or they conclude that a serious problem exists without coming out from behind ivory towers to help the profession deal with that problem.  This is why our top academic research journals mostly gather dust starting on the day they arrive in the library.  It's not because they're too esoteric. It's because they're so irrelevant!


    Bob Jensen

    -----Original Message----- 
    From: Dennis Beresford []  
    Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 1:38 PM 
    To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Re: An article


    I'll fax it to you now. The CPA Journal puts many of their article up on the web but not the whole content. Apparently my article was not considered a major one for this issue.


    New High Risk Virus Flooding Inboxes The infection, called MyDoom, includes a .zip file that enables it to bypass traditional mail filters. 

    Who was Jesse H. Jones?


    Thanks Jim.  Trinity University got my endowment from the Jesse H. Jones Foundation.  For that I am eternally grateful.

    Rice University got even more money from this foundation and even named the School of Business at Rice as the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management. 

    I was not aware of the PBS link and greatly thank you for sending it.

    Bob Jensen

    -----Original Message-----
    From: James Borden []
    Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 4:28 PM
    Jensen, Robert
    Subject: Jesse H. Jones

    Hi Bob,

    I was just reading through the text I am using this semester for an e-business technologies class, and there was a short bio of Jesse H. Jones. I was then reading one of your AECM emails, and I saw that you are the Jesse Jones Professor, and I thought, that must be quite an honor, so congratulations (long overdue I am sure). I then also found a web site all about him at

    Sounds like he was an important guy!

    Best regards,


    Key links about Jesse Jones are given at 

    During his lifetime, Jesse H. Jones was widely known as one of the most powerful leaders in the nation. To learn more check out the features below.

    Our interactive timeline brings to life the key events that shaped Jesse Jones and the nation.

    MEET: Get to know Jesse Jones and learn more about his contributions to the nation during World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.

    DISCOVER: On the interactive map of the United States, see the range of business and public projects through which Jones reshaped America.

    See narrator Walter Cronkite's introduction to Jesse Jones and read his personal message.

    LEARN: Browse through video footage and oral histories of Jones from those who knew him best.

    Do the rich in the U.S. really get richer while the poor get poorer?  Is this campaign slogan a misleading myth?

    "Time to Slay the Inequality Myth? Not So Fast," by David Leonhardt, The New York Times, January 25, 2004 --- 

    If there is one thing that most people think they know about incomes in the United States over the last few decades, it is probably that salaries have grown more unequal. The rich have gotten richer faster than everyone else has.

    In recent weeks, a new book has challenged this conventional wisdom, calling it a statistical mirage, and its striking claim has begun to receive national attention. Among native-born Americans, lower- and middle-income families have actually received proportionately bigger raises than the wealthy, according to "The Progress Paradox" (Random House), written by Gregg Easterbrook, a Washington journalist. Only a great influx of immigrants - many of them poor, but richer than they were in their home countries - has made inequality appear to widen in the statistics, Mr. Easterbrook says.

    Continued in the article

    Play Whiz Quizz --- 
    Whizz Quizz is an online history game in which you can pit your speed and skill against other competitors. A new challenge starts every hour on the hour. If you are the fastest so far, you feature on the Home Page as Whizzard of the Hour.

    HistoryWorld --- 

    World History consists of some 400 separate Histories AND 4000 tagged events. 

    Choose HISTORIES to read a chosen subject, and to move seamlessly from one History to another. Try TOURS to travel through time on your own selection of interconnecting trails. Use WHATWHENWHERE to discover what was going on at any moment.

    TIMELINES are where you should go to find images, and to set them in their historical context.

    SPECIALIST ARTICLES are contributed on their own subjects by HistoryWorld's partners.

    Bob Jensen's history and museum links are at 

    PBS: NOW with Bill Moyers (History, Politics, Science, Society) --- 

    Before Purchasing Real Estate or Vehicles

    Before you finance your next car, home, or other purchase, you should check out the going rates at 

    Before purchasing real estate, take a look at 

    For purchasing or leasing a vehicle, check out the following sites:

    Bob Jensen's purchasing helpers are at 

    This space voyage link from Barb Hessel is FANTASTIC!

    This Space Wanderer voyage is terrific and very educational. You don't have to do anything but choose your language and watch for about 12 minutes (maybe a little longer on slow modems).  A resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher is recommended for viewing, although I enjoyed it at a lower resolution.

    Be patient because your voyage begins slowly and gets better and better after a very slow liftoff.  You will be taken to various planets and then on to other galaxies.  Views from your space ship are actual NASA photographs, many from the Hubble Telescope.  There's no audio narration, but you find very interesting facts in a text box that changes while you travel through space.  I would have enjoyed it more with audio narration, but the audio would have slowed the downloading of this voyage.

    Space Wanderer 

    You are about to take a virtual space-trip to the depths of the Universe! All of SpaceWander's space pictures are real NASA images! Our award-winning multimedia space tour takes about 12 minutes. You can sit back and enjoy it or you can press buttons on the spaceship to see additional in-context information. Play, stop, rewind, and fast-forward buttons are provided so you can fly at your own pace. To start your space trip, choose your preferred language by clicking one of the flags below. Web loading time is between 3 and 45 seconds. Bon Voyage!

    Resources for teachers --- 

    I was surprised by many of the facts that I learned on the Space Wanderer voyage.  For example, the giant red spot on Jupiter is a storm that has been raging for only 300 years (the blink of an eye in space time).  You can watch a video of this storm at 

    Is the end near for the Hubble Telescope? --- 

    Mr. Whistler's Galleries: Avant-Garde in Victorian London (art history) --- --- 
    This site is very efficient for finding the latest and greatest books on a wide range of topics.

    Don't forget the amazing new service that allows you to download sample pages and search on key words.  How It Works --- 

    Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

    Forwarded by Dick Haar

    For those of you who speak to audiences and would like some quotes for humor, etc. this is a great site. 

    The following categories of quotations are listed at Brainy Quote:

    Over 38,000 famous quotes by 10,000 authors from Aristotle to Zappa! Browse quotations by topic:

    For other sources of quotations go to 

    U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03 Edition --- 

    You have three ways to find career information by occupation on this site:

    The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives.  Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.

    New and Emerging Occupations --- 

    "Memory: Beyond Flash and DRAM Even as today's two main types of storage get new capabilities, next-generation technologies promise far more, at less cost," by Olga Khariff, Business Week, January 21, 2004 ---