New Bookmarks
Year 2004 Quarter 3: July 1 - September 30 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.

New:  Once again Trinity University Receives a U.S. News Number 1 Ranking (for the 13th year in a row) 

Of course the people don't want war. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Hermann Göring

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Choose a Date Below for Additions to the Bookmarks File

September 15, 2004   September 1, 2004     

August 14, 2004         August 1, 2004   

July 21, 2004              July 12, 2004 


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September 15, 2004 

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 15, 2004
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

Stian's Friendship Page (Forwarded by Paula) --- 

Once again Trinity Receives a U.S. News Number 1 Ranking (for the 13th year in a row) 

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.

Organization (the World's largest such organization) for Security and Co-operation in Europe --- 

The Vanishing Protestant Majority --- 

Quotes of the Week

If you are listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you are a bigger moron than they [sic] are.  Why are we rock stars?  Because we're morons.
Rock-and-roller Alice Cooper, Newsweek Magazine, September 6, 2004, Page 23

Some regard themselves as perfect only because they are less demanding of themselves.
Hermann Hesse

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it
George Bernard Shaw

Only the vigilance of public opinion ensures the future of any society .
Noam Chomsky

Good friends are like stars, You don't always see them, But you know they are there.
Anonymous (forwarded by Paula Ward)

A sociologist is someone who goes to a football match to look at the spectators
Gesualdo Bufalino

Keeping a diary is bad for your health, say UK psychologists. They found that regular diarists were more likely than non-diarists to suffer from headaches, sleeplessness, digestive problems and social awkwardness.  Their finding challenges assumptions that people find it easier to get over a traumatic event if they write about it.
Andy Coghlan, New Scientist, September 4, 2004 --- 

September 11, 2004 reply from MacEwan Wright, Victoria University [Mac.Wright@VU.EDU.AU
Dear Bob, They appear to have history on their side - rumour has it that that great diarist Samuel Pepys suffered as described. But where would history be if it were not for these long suffering diarists? 
Kind regards, 
Mac Wright

Cyber-begging is not new, but a free web service called Dropcash has linked data from payment service PayPal with that of blogging system TypePad to make it even easier to create your own fundraising webpage - complete with progress bar.
The Guardian, September 9, 2004
Bob Jensen's threads on charity frauds are at 

Is the Verifier Approach science or art?
When the news of Rugg's breakthrough was published last winter, everyone missed the bigger story. Rugg cracked the Voynich not because he was smarter, but because he focused on what everyone else had missed. Then again, this came naturally to Rugg: He has made a career out of studying how experts acquire knowledge yet screw up nevertheless. In 1996, he and his colleagues developed a rigorous method for peering over the shoulders of experts - doctors, software engineers, pilots, physicists - watching how they work and think, testing their logic, and uncovering ways to help them solve problems.
Joseph D'Agnese (See Below)

Overall, MSN Music is no match for iTunes -- yet. But if you don't have an iPod and want or need to buy music in Microsoft's format, it may be a good choice over time.
Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2004, Page B1

Everyone in our culture wants to win a prize. Perhaps that is the grand lesson we have taken with us from kindergarten in the age of perversions of Dewey-style education: everyone gets a ribbon, and praise becomes a meaningless narcotic to soothe the egoistic distemper.
Gerald Early as quoted by Mark Shapiro at 

The whole of e-commerce depends on prime numbers. I have described the primes as atoms: what mathematicians are missing is a kind of mathematical prime spectrometer. Chemists have a machine that, if you give it a molecule, will tell you the atoms that it is built from. Mathematicians haven't invented a mathematical version of this. That is what we are after. If the Riemann hypothesis is true, it won't produce a prime number spectrometer. But the proof should give us more understanding of how the primes work, and therefore the proof might be translated into something that might produce this prime spectrometer. If it does, it will bring the whole of e-commerce to its knees, overnight. So there are very big implications.
Louis de Branges as quoted by Tim Radford in The Guardian, September 7, 2004 ---,12597,1299014,00.html 
The hypothesis formulated by Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann in 1859, according to Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford University, is the holy grail of mathematics. Louis de Branges, a French-born mathematician now at Purdue University, is now claiming the $1 million prize for solving the Riemann hypothesis.  Whether or not there are "big implications" is still subject to debate among mathematicians.

Most of us come up with our best ideas when we are about to nod off, says a study. So is it time the boss put beds in the workplace?
Denise Winterman, BBC News, September 7, 2004 --- 

Try This Out for Mutual Fund Conflict of Interest:  Guess the Stance Taken by Fidelity's Board With Respect to Expensing of Corporate (read that Intel) Failure to Expense Employee Stock Options?
But while Fidelity funds hold almost 3 percent of Intel's shares for clients, Intel is also a big customer of Fidelity, creating the potential for a conflict at the fund giant. Fidelity is the recordkeeper for Intel's 401(k) plan, which held eight Fidelity funds worth $1 billion at the end of 2003.
Gretchen Morgenson, "A Door Opens The View Is Ugly Mutual Fund Board Voting," The New York Times,  September 12, 2004.
Bob Jensen's threads on the mutual fund scandals are at 

Some Argue That This Would Be a Good Thing
An Australian scientist claims that men could face extinction within ten million years.  Professor Jenny Graves, of Australian National University, believes two different species of human could emerge.  The scientist claims an important aspect of male genetic make-up is under threat, reports The Scotsman.
Ananova --- 

"Now it's about personal communication," says James Stewart, a senior research fellow at The Institute for Studies of Science, Technology and Innovation at the University of Edinburgh. "When you don't know where people are it becomes much more private."  Having a mobile means loved ones can reach you at any time. Text messages in particular are a way to regularly reach out to family and friends.  Often just the fact we are getting in touch is more important than what we communicate, says Prof Stewart.
Mark Ward, "The Future of Affection,", September 13, 2004 --- 

Bob Jensen's July-September 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Bob Jensen's April-June 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals ---

"Deloitte & Touche Launches DTect Financial Fraud Investigation Service," SmartPros, September 7, 2004 --- 

The Financial Advisory Services practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP has launched DTect, a proprietary fraud investigation service designed to help companies identify, track and analyze electronic and financial fraud indicators by sifting through large amounts of electronic data in a fraction of the time expended by using existing conventional methods.

“We involved forensic technology practitioners and forensic accountants from around the world in the development of the service. Many of these professionals are former law enforcement technologists with significant experience in the use of computers in economic crime investigations,” said Peter McLaughlin, DTect National Product Line Leader.

DTect is a procedural-driven service created to analyze mountains of historical financial transactional data such as sales, accounts payable, inventories and employee compensation. It is designed to utilize hundreds of analytical test algorithms, resulting in profiles that help identify anomalies that could indicate financial fraud. These test algorithms are executed against client-supplied data, which result in a series of profiles that are scored and ranked according to client-specific risk measurements. The higher ranking scores indicate the most probable occurrences of potential fraud, abuse, or collusion of employees and vendors.

The DTect service does not rely solely on traditional sampling techniques but enables comprehensive testing of multiple aspects of financial transactions. Anomalies and trends are identified through DTect’s unique scoring methodology, which is used to focus efforts on the highest risk transactions and entities. Other differentiators that set DTect apart from traditional software technology include the incorporation of third-party data sources, analysis of the total population of records rather than only a sampling and the ability to customize test scenarios to conform to specific client needs.

In developing DTect, Deloitte & Touche forensic professionals analyzed all types of fraud to identify distinguishing attributes. The investigators then created the tests, which can be applied to business processes such as vendor, payroll and expense disbursements, to detect the presence of fraud characteristics. Each test generates a risk score, which is assigned to each vendor, employee or job category, invoice, or transaction that fails a test. High risk scores indicate anomalies in vendors and transactions. Deloitte & Touche investigators then work with their clients to interpret and explain results, to investigate and resolve anomalies, and to identify potential incidents of fraud.

Continued in the article

"Trillion Dollar Bet"
Nobel Prize Winners (Myron Scholes from Stanford, Robert Merton from Harvard) Must Pay Millions Due to Tax Fraud (in Judge Janet Bond Arterton's 200-page ruling on August 27, 2004)

"Judge's Ruling In LTCM Case May Resonate," by Diya Gullapalli and Henny Sender, The Wall Street Journal, . August 30, 2004; Page C1 --- 

There is a tremendous (one of the best videos I've ever seen on the Black-Scholes Model) PBS Nova video called "Trillion Dollar Bet" explaining why LTCM collapsed.  Go to 
This video is in the media libraries on most college campuses.  I highly recommend showing this video to students.  It is extremely well done and exciting to watch.

One of the more interesting summaries is the Report of The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, April 1999 --- 

The principal policy issue arising out of the events surrounding the near collapse of LTCM is how to constrain excessive leverage. By increasing the chance that problems at one financial institution could be transmitted to other institutions, excessive leverage can increase the likelihood of a general breakdown in the functioning of financial markets. This issue is not limited to hedge funds; other financial institutions are often larger and more highly leveraged than most hedge funds.

What went wrong at Long Term Capital Management? --- 

The video and above reports, however, do not delve into the tax shelter pushed by Myron Scholes and his other LTCM partners. A nice summary of the tax shelter case with links to other documents can be found at 

The above August 27, 2004 ruling by Judge Janet Bond Arterton rounds out the "Trillion Dollar Bet."

You can read more about the rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management at

In 2003, occupational fraud is estimated at $660 billion.


2004 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners --- 


Occupational fraud and abuse is a widespread problem that affects every entity, regardless of size, location or industry. The ACFE has made it a goal to better educate the public and anti-fraud professionals about this threat.

The 2004 Report to the Nation is based on a survey that began in late 2003 and ran through the early months of 2004. Certified Fraud Examiners throughout the US were asked to provide detailed information on one fraud case he or she had personally investigated that met the following criteria:

  1. The case involved occupational fraud;
  2. The fraud occurred within the last two years;
  3. The investigation of the fraud was complete; and
  4. The CFE was reasonably sure that the perpetrator had been identified.

The end result is a comprehensive report that sheds light on occupational fraud and abuse while offering stark lessons and valuable insights about its prevention and detection.

Download the 2004 Report to the Nation * (564 kb)
Order a printed copy of the 2004 Report to the Nation
Download the 2002 Report to the Nation * (857 kb)
Download the 1996 Report to the Nation * (235 kb)


"University Students in California Warned of Possible Identity Theft," The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2004 ---,,SB109417629363709000,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

California university officials have warned nearly 600,000 students and faculty that they might be exposed to identity theft following incidents where computer hard drives loaded with their private information were lost or hacked into.

Since January, at least 580,000 people who had personal information about them stored in university computers received warnings they might be at risk.

The latest instance of missing equipment occurred in June at California State University, San Marcos.

An auditor lost a small external hard drive for a laptop computer. Personal data, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other identifiers for 23,500 students, faculty and staff in the California State University system were contained on the missing hard drive.

At the University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University, hackers broke into computers and obtained access to files of personal data for more than 500,000 current or former students, applicants, staff, faculty and alumni.

Officials from the Cal State system and UC San Diego said they have no evidence any personal data were stolen.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, a stolen laptop in June led officials to notify as many as 145,000 blood donors that their data might be in the open.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at --- 
The online guide for student affairs professionals.


Sharing Professor of the Week:  What He Shares is GREAT!


The Finance Professor (Jim Mahar from St. Bonaventure University) --- 


NEW!!!  Mini Summaries (glorified abstracts) from past newsletters!  GREAT for class.  Note some links are no longer valid as once the articles are publish in paper format, some journals remove the link.  However, that said, the links are still worth your time!  Great way to stay abreast of what is going on! --- 

Appeared in September 25th, 2003 newsletter

OUCH, This one is going to be controversial! Just don’t blame the messenger! ;) In a hard hitting article Kane looks at the accounting profession and does not like what he finds. After laying out “an unremitting flood of accounting scams” he “traces a major part of the problem to the flawed ethics of the accounting profession” Which he claims “by designing and certifying reporting options that help troubled firms and rouge managers to conceal adverse information from outside stakeholders, the highly concentrated accounting industry manages to insulate fro serious sanctions the economic rents it can earn from cleverly abetting deceitful behavior.” Wow. This one is definitely worth reading and discussing. 

Jim Mahar's best newsletter ever, August 17, 2004 
Best Newsletter Ever!, CAPM revisited, Pay Matters, New Blog, and much more --- 


Top Stories ********************************************************** 
1. Blog and New format 
2. Can your stock price be too high? YES 
3. A new look at Executive compensation 
4. CAPM Revisited and dead? (but the Nobel Prize will not be recalled)
5. Employees may make poor owners (pun intended) 
6. Loyalty and the conglomerate discount 
7. When a bubble is not a bubble 
8. You should worry about endorsee’s performance 
9. Retirement planning 
10. Return on equity may not be as reported

So what's so wrong with an accountancy career?


September 11, 2004 message from Denny Beresford (University of Georgia)

The latest issue of the Sporting News includes a story about professional football teams having to cut players at the end of training camp. It includes a short story about a receiver named Rich Musinski who was cut by the Tennessee Titans. Before he was cut he was asked what would happen next in that event.

"What will I do if it doesn't work out in football? I have a degree in accounting from William & Mary, but I'm not getting into that, that's for sure. It's awful. I think I'd like to take over my dad's business. He delivers lunch meat, cheese, salads and things like that to grocery stores and convenience stores."

Denny Beresford

The techniques vary: Camera phones can be used to create high-tech cheat sheets, letting students call up photos of key notes they took back in the dorm. A student also could surreptitiously send a photo of his answers to a friend sitting in the same classroom during an exam.
Marlon A. Walker (see below)


"High-Tech Cribbing: Camera Phones Boost Cheating," by Marlon A Walker, The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2004, Page B1 ---,,SB109477285622714263,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Flead%5Fstory%5Fcol 

Diann Baecker thought it was odd that a student in one of her language classes had left his cellphone flipped open during a test -- until she started grading the exams.

The assistant professor at Virginia State University in Petersburg noticed that the student, and his neighbor, had used identical language to answer an essay question. She deduced that one student must have taken a picture of his neighbor's essay with his camera-equipped phone and then copied the answer onto his own test using the image on the phone's screen.

These days, Prof. Baecker tells students to put their phones under their desks, along with their books and backpacks. "The picture phone is the new thing" for cheating, she says. "Technology just makes it a lot easier. They're not leaning over their neighbor's shoulders anymore."

A small but growing number of students are using camera phones to cheat, according to students and educators across the country. The techniques vary: Camera phones can be used to create high-tech cheat sheets, letting students call up photos of key notes they took back in the dorm. A student also could surreptitiously send a photo of his answers to a friend sitting in the same classroom during an exam.

Continued in the article.

September 10, 2004 reply from David Will

I may be a little off the wall on this, and I'm no professor, but why not allow a cheat sheet in exams? Especially accounting exams? Consider it like an open book exam. Then it ruins the incentive to cheat with a cell phone or fancy calculator. I got my MBA from Penn State and one of our profs allowed us a 1 page personal cheat sheet. It became an art to fit the most content on one piece of paper. People even went so far to shrink text down using a copier, but quite honestly, we didn't use half the information because we knew it already from attending classes and from creating the cheat sheet to begin with.

Besides, what's wrong with having to look something up? Don't we all look things up when we can't remember? I hated having to get used to a new calculator in an exam. I wanted MY calculator! If you're concerned about more advanced cheating, get a few grad students to monitor the hall, don't strip the students of the equipment they've been using all year.

Anyone have an idea what percentage of students cheat when given the opportunity? I suspect it's a very small percentage - but that's just a guess.

Dave Will

Principal Boston Conferencing, Inc. web conferencing services

September 11, 2004 Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

It all depends on the nature of the material and the design of the exam.

Take home exams are best individualized to make it harder for students to copy other students' answers. Of course it is still possible for a student to hire somebody to complete all or part of the examination.

Open-book and open-note exams are great when there are problems, essays, and cases, but they do not work well with terminology and concepts that can simply be copied from books and notes without having ever studied the material before the exam. I generally give open-note exams, but I insist that the notes be written individually by each student throughout the course. No photocopies or computer printouts are allowed except for those authorized in advance. This makes it more difficult for students to simply use another student's material for the exam. I might add that many students, often top students, hate this approach because risk-averse students sometimes take the hundreds of hours needed to compile note folders thicker than the Chicago telephone directory.

Closed book exams are better for terminology and concepts. They are also better for CPA examination preparation. However, the CPA examination now allows limited-function word processors and spreadsheet software on the computer. Hence, exams that do not allow computers are somewhat out of date. The problem is that it is too expensive to provide students with CPA-exam type computers rather than typical full-function computers. It is one thing to supply each student with a four-function calculator. It is quite another to supply each student with a CPA exam-type computer.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on education cheating are at 

Logical Positivism ---  

Keep Updated on the Latest Gadgets 
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, September 2004, Page 21 --- 

Research for Techies

At this Smart Stop CPAs and tech enthusiasts can read news and reviews of the latest technology products before buying that next peripheral. Categories include computers, mobile phones and personal digital assistants for the office. Users can scan headlines and summaries for links to reviews on digital and home entertainment products.

“Just the Good Stuff”

A new high-speed public dryer that sucks the water right off your hands? Mitsubishi Electric made it happen. Read all about it and other gadgets at this fun Web site. CPAs also can check out a computerized “smart shoe” from Adidas and T-Mobile’s answer to the Blackberry—Sidekick—which purportedly is a hit in Hollywood. Featured gadgets for the office include a travel power briefcase and an iceless can cooler.

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at 

What works in education?

September 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


The What Works Clearinghouse was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences with $18.5 million in funding to "provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education." The Clearinghouse reviews, according to relevance and validity, the "effectiveness of replicable educational interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies) that intend to improve student outcomes." This summer, the Clearinghouse released two of its planned reports: peer-assisted learning interventions and middle school math curricula. For more information about the What Works Clearinghouse and descriptions of all topics to be evaluated, go to 

See also:

"'What Works' Research Site Unveiled" by Debra Viadero EDUCATION WEEK, vol. 23, no. 42, pp. 1, 33, July 14, 2004 

"'What Works' Site Opens Dialogue on Research" Letter to Editor from Talbot Bielefeldt, Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology, International Society for Technology in Education EDUCATION WEEK, vol. 23, no. 44, p. 44, August 11, 2004 

Bob Jensen's threads on education resources are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at 

"E-learning and Language Change--Observations, Tendencies and Reflections" By Henrik Hansson and Sylvia van de Bunt-Kokhuis .First Monday, vol. 9, no. 8, August 2, 2004 

From the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Newsletter on September 2, 2004 

Business School Numbers Down: 
An improving economy or doubts about value? After a golden era from the MBA degree, new figures show demand for the traditional, two-year master's of business administration program is slumping.

For details see 

From the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Newsletter on September 2, 2004 

Life 101: Mothers of College Kids Create Product to Help Students Master Survival Skills Diane Brandt, MBA '78 and Susan Rothstein, MBA/PMP '78 founded a company to produce the CollegeCase--a sleek and easy-to-use binder--designed to be a compact and portable device for students to store important documents, record key information, and find tips on such topics as banking, bill-paying, health care and travel. 

Menlo Park Almanac, July 28, 2004 --- 

September 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


The Sloan Consortium's 2003 Survey of Online Learning wanted to know would students, faculty, and institutions embrace online education as a delivery method and would the quality of online education match that of face-to-face instruction. The survey found strong evidence that students are willing to sign up for online courses and that institutions consider online courses part of a "critical long-term strategy for their institution." It is less clear that faculty have embraced online teaching with the same degree of enthusiasm. The survey's findings are available in "Sizing the Opportunity: The Quality & Extent of Online Education in the U.S., 2002 and 2003" by I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, Sloan Center for Online Education at Olin and Babson Colleges. The complete report is online at 

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines." Sloan-C is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, see 

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance education are at 

September 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


"It has become increasingly clear that students cannot learn everything they need to know in their field of study in a few years of college. Information literacy equips them with the critical skills necessary to become independent lifelong learners." The ALA Association of College & Research Libraries' "Information Literacy" website provides resources for faculty and librarians to use in teaching and promoting information literacy. The site includes core readings, syllabi, tutorials, and workshop ideas. The website is available at 

ACRL, a division of the American Library Association, is a professional association of academic librarians and other interested individuals. It is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research. For more information, contact Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795 USA; tel: 800-545-2433; fax: 312-280-2520; email: ; Web:

Bob Jensen's threads on resources are at 

President Bush directly creates 500 new jobs.  The IRS is seeking 500 new agents and officers --- 

September 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


The Department of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota has created "Into the Blogsphere," a website to explore the "discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs." Educators and faculty can post, comment upon, and critique essays covering such areas as mass communication, pedagogy, and virtual community. The website is located at 

For more information on weblogs in academe, see also:

"Educational Blogging" By Stephen Downes EDUCAUSE REVIEW, vol. 9, no. 5, September/October 2004, pp. 14-16, 18, 20-22, 24, 26 

"The Educated Blogger" CIT INFOBITS, June 2004 

Bob Jensen's threads on blogs are at 


September 5, 2004 message from Rob Collyer - Dot Magic Solutions [

Dear Bob,

I am contacting you in the hope you consider listing our website as an additional resource of web design and development information for your students.

Our website consist of articles and tutorials on many aspects of design and development. The biggest part of our website is forums... a place where any of your students can go day or night, to ask questions and receive free help and advice, tips and tricks etc for any web design / development issues.

As our website also houses articles and tutorials, it is an excellent place for students to submit this type of resource. Authoring articles and tutorials is a great way for them to become known in their chosen area... a great thing to direct people to on a resume and of course they go some way to establishing the author as an expert in that area.

The address of our website is:  , I would be very grateful for you to include reference to it on your website as an additional source of help and information.

I would be happy to furnish you with more info should you so require and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Rob Collyer - 20 years experience of programming: 
VB, ASP, (X)HTML, SQL, ASP.NET, XML, COM, CSS, JavaScript, XSS, SOAP. Site Admin 

Bob Jensen's threads on Web publishing are at 

"The Myths Of Growing Up Online," by Henry Jenkins, MIT's Technology Review, September 3, 2004 --- 
Alarmist and polarized rhetoric is distorting important new findings about the risks and benefits of children's use of the Internet.

For almost a decade now, the debate about youth and new media technologies has been polarized around two conflicting myths—let's call them the Myth of the Columbine Generation and the Myth of the Digital Generation. The first is driven by fear, the other hope, but both distort the reality kids and parents must negotiate in the online world, and both exaggerate the centrality of digital media in children's lives.

Parents, educators, and policymakers can get whiplash trying to respond to the competing pull of these two myths. One pulls us toward wiring every classroom in the country so that kids may enjoy the benefits of digital access, the other mandates filtering programs in school and library computers since kids can't be trusted once they log on.

In a classic version of the Columbine Generation argument, Eugene Provenzo Jr., a professor of education at the University of Chicago, argues that recent school shootings are the "result" of a "social experiment" in giving children unfettered access to pornography and violence. By contrast, journalist Jon Katz, in his books Virtuous Reality and Geeks, offers a vivid version of the Digital Generation perspective, celebrating the ways that the online world has liberated children from the constraints of their own neighborhoods and the limitations of their narrow-minded parents.

Anyone who has read my column over the past few years knows I fall much closer to Katz than Provenzo. But if we are being honest, the truth lies somewhere in the huge space in between those two overstatements. When I went into schools around the country following the Columbine shootings, it was clear that teachers, parents, and students had heard plenty about the dangers of going online and little about the benefits. The case that growing up online was going to produce a more socially connected, better informed, and more creative generation was a perspective that was needed to counterbalance the hysteria being generated by the most sensationalistic news stories. I remember one student exclaiming, "Why haven't we be told this before?"

As time has passed, I have felt a greater need to pull back from such either-or arguments, yet to do so seems like unilateral disarmament as long as the culture warriors are ready to pounce on any concession. I have become increasingly concerned by the ways that television discussions, newspaper articles, and government hearings are structured around the assumption that this debate can be reduced to two opposing sides, usually pushed to their extremes—making it impossible for more moderate perspectives to be heard.

A case in point: a conference held this summer at the University of London brought together educators, activists, and scholars from more than 40 different countries to examine the research on the impact of new media on children's mental and social development, and on education, family, and community life. David Buckingham, one of the event's organizers, opened the sessions by challenging us to move beyond the easy answers and to acknowledge the complexities and contradictions our research was uncovering—good advice that was hard to follow.

A highlight of the conference was London School of Economics professor Sonia Livingstone's announcement of the preliminary findings of a major research initiative called UK Children Go Online. This project involved both quantitative and qualitative studies on the place of new media in the lives of some 1,500 British children (ages 9 to 19) and their parents. The study's goal was to provide data that policymakers and parents could draw on to make decisions about the benefits and risks of expanding youth access to new media. Remember that phrase—benefitsandrisks.

According to the study, children were neither as powerful nor as powerless as the two competing myths might suggest. As the Myth of the Digital Generation suggests, children and youth were using the Internet effectively as a resource for doing homework, connecting with friends, and seeking out news and entertainment. At the same time, as the Myth of the Columbine Generation might imply, the adults in these kids' lives tended to underestimate the problems their children encountered online, including the percentage who had unwanted access to pornography, had received harassing messages, or had given out personal information.

Livingstone’s report arrives at a pivotal moment: after decades of state-supported broadcasting, the British government is deregulating media content and opening the airwaves to greater commercial development. The number of media channels in British homes is expanding—and parents are being asked to play gatekeepers determining what media entered their home without being given the training or resources needed to do that job properly.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of technology are at 

September 2, 2004 message from  Carolyn Kotlas [


"[T]echnology also adds new vistas to in-class cheating. Cell phones and PDA's provide a platform to share real time text messaging, adding a new angle to a note tossed not only from one side of a room to another, but also from one side of the campus or further beyond. With programmable calculators, PDA's and other handheld intelligent devices, students can store notes, access websites, send e-mail, or grab ready-made formulas to ease calculations. Camera phones have also been reported as potential devices for cheating by scanning a test’s contents for later review. No gum wrapper or note tucked into a sleeve can compare to the storage and intelligence of these devices."

In the conference paper "Intellectual Honesty in the Electronic Age" (presented at the University of Calgary) John Iliff and Judy Xiao, College of Staten Island, CUNY, give an overview of why students cheat and provide several ways, including technological solutions, for preventing cheating. The paper is available online at 

See also:

"Combating Cheating in Online Student Assessment" CIT INFOBITS, July 2004 

For more information about the annual University of Calgary's Best Practices in e-Learning Online Conference, held August 23-27, 2004, go to 

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at 

Algorithms for Linear Algebra

The Matrix Market --- 

A visual repository of test data for use in comparative studies of algorithms for numerical linear algebra, featuring nearly 500 sparse matrices from a variety of applications, as well as matrix generation tools and services.

Commentary of the Day - September 9, 2004: The Eleventh Annual Emperor's Awards. Guest commentary by Poor Elijah (Peter Berger), Courtesy of Mark Shapiro --- 

The Ed Norton Academic Excellence Trophy salutes New York City's school chancellor for establishing rules that doubtless will lead the Big Apple to unprecedented levels of scholastic achievement.  The new regulations specifically prohibit correcting "errors with red ink" because it's an "aggressive" color," teaching grammar because it's "dull," and giving spelling tests because they "strike fear."

The Sisyphus Prize for Perpetual Research pays tribute to education's scientific endeavors.  Nominees included a high school survey that reported more sex, more driving under the influence, more hard-core drug use, and easier access to drug supplies.  On the brighter side, more students admitted to eating fruit.  This year's Sisyphus, however, belongs to Harvard researchers who uncovered the long sought connection between "diversity" and "binge drinking."  These scientists turned the world on its ear by discovering that "problem drinking" is more common among "white, underage male students" than it is among older students and females.  Their findings are expected to prompt colleges to "reconsider admissions policies."

In a related field the Archimedes Eureka Honorarium commends a Canadian study of 5,479 children, which suggests that "overweight adolescents are more likely" to be "victims of bullying."  The Canadian conclusions "echo data from British research" and "follow a U.S. study published last year."  Despite this investigative redundancy, the lead Canadian researcher modestly described his findings as what "anybody who's ever been on a playground would know."

No Child Left Behind mandates that each state identify its "persistently dangerous schools."  Last year's John Dillinger Medallion applauded California for finding no such schools within its borders, despite "twenty-eight incidents of battery, two assaults with a deadly weapon, one robbery, and three sex offenses" that non-persistently occurred at one Los Angeles high school.  This year's Dillinger travels cross country to New York City, where the school danger formula doesn't count any crime, including assault, rape, robbery, or drug trafficking, unless it involves a weapon.  A thousand-student Gotham school would need thirty weapons crimes per year two years in a row in order to qualify as "persistently dangerous."  Anything short of that apparently isn't dangerous enough.

The Horatio Alger Silver Bootstrap promotes effort as an essential component of learning.  The Academy lauds Duke University for eliminating eight o'clock classes so their "sleep deprived" collegians can get more shuteye.  However, this year's Bootstrap goes to the California statute, enacted to save students from "heavy backpacks," which established "maximum weight standards for textbooks."  The Golden State is arguably now the only jurisdiction in the world that sets school curriculum by weighing it.

Several strong nominees vied for this year's Phineas T. Barnum Citation.  Leading the pack was a "cash-strapped" West Coast school system that allowed students to improve their grades by donating school supplies.  A box of Kleenex, for example, raised a B+ to an A-.  Nonetheless, the growing trend among districts to set "automatic minimum grades" won the Barnum nod.  These schools, from Syracuse to South Carolina, have outlawed grades lower than their established minimums, which range from 50 all the way up to 62.  In other words, if you earn a 62 average, you get a 62.  If you earn a 20 average, you also get a 62.  Proponents intend to "send the message to students that we want them, number one, to be successful."

The Jerry Rubin Memorial Headband is shared by a cadre of activist students and their principal.  When the students threatened to sabotage a schoolwide standardized test unless officials reversed a decision to discontinue honors classes, one senior condemned them as "slimy" and "selfish."  Their principal, meanwhile, stalwartly described the plot as a "solid lesson in civics."

Competition for the coveted George Orwell Creative Use of Language Award is always fierce.  Runners-up included the American Dialect Society for lending its imprimatur to the newly coined "flexitarian."  Flexitarians are vegetarians who sometimes eat meat.  Then there was the innovative New England high school that overhauled its block scheduling system by dividing the cutting edge, ninety minute blocks into forty-five minute intervals called "split blocks."  Traditionalists may recall that these intervals were formerly called "class periods" until block schedulers banned them as educationally unsound.

This year's Orwell, however, pays homage to educators across the nation who are teaching their elementary students educational jargon.  Short paragraphs are "brief constructed responses."  Second graders learn to "model efficient subtraction strategies."  Fifth graders are warned, "You will have a formative assessment when this is over."  And first graders bask in these words of praise: "That was a good warm-up for showing our enduring understanding that a number represents a quantity."  Boosters believe they're "creating language that is more explicit and to the point than it is confusing."  Of course, they're talking about kids who don't know what "explicit" means.  Which leaves one important question: Will this be on the formative assessment?

If you think six-year-olds should know the answer, help yourself to an Emperor.  Poor Elijah figures we've each got at least one coming.

From Syllabus News on August 31, 2004

BlackBerry Becoming De Rigueur for Business School

The University of Maryland's Smith School of Business will equip each of its incoming full-time MBA students with Nextel BlackBerry wireless devices at the start of the fall 2004 semester. The plan is to encourage the MBAs to explore the “potential of the ‘always on’ technology in the educational experience,” according to the school.

About 400 BlackBerry’s will be distributed to first and second-year MBA students, and to some faculty and university staff. The Smith School will incorporate the use of the devices in select MBA courses during the fall 2004 semester. They may eventually be required in all core MBA courses.

The program includes a research component. In one case, the school's Center for Human Capital, Innovation, and Technology, will study team dynamics, virtual group behavior, and the creativity of community members who have the same technology available to them.

Cramer on Career Ed: Education Stocks Teach Only Pain

Financial analyst James Cramer, of the Kudlow & Cramer duo, has had it with the career education market. In his column on, Kramer writes: “Analysts trying to cover these stocks would do better to sit on a grand jury than to do traditional research. These stocks are just momentum stocks. Whatever the cause, once momentum is lost, buyers turn to sellers and the chart gets lost, too.” Any faith Kramer had in commercial higher ed apparently went south when just after the University of Phoenix Online announced better-than-expected earnings, the Justice Department opened an inquiry into alleged financial irregularities at Career Ed.

To read full column, please visit: 

ITT Tech accused of faking grades, enrollment Shareholders' lawsuit adds detail to federal and SEC investigations of private college system based in Carmel. — From The Indianapolis Star

Enrollment figures at ITT Educational Services Inc. were inflated by counting students who expressed an interest in taking classes, and students' grades and attendance were falsified or misrepresented, according to an amended shareholder lawsuit filed Thursday against the for-profit educator.

The suit also claims that staff at ITT Technical Institute campuses in California and Tennessee shredded documents or deleted files shortly before visits from government investigators…

For the full story, visit: 

From T.H.E Newsletter on September 1, 2004

More students go online for books Long lines, higher prices at traditional college textbook outlets drive trend — From The News & Observer

With the fall semester just getting started, there are likely to be long lines at Triangle university bookstores in the coming weeks.

But Brian Barr, a sophomore transfer student at UNC-Chapel Hill, has no plans to be among the masses.

The physics major did his textbook shopping online nearly a month ago. He went to, an eBay company, and searched for used books in decent condition. He had them all in hand before his classes started.

"I got a $105 book for $20, and it was in good condition," Barr said… 

For the full story, visit: 

The Sibelius Educational Suite ( ) is further enhanced with the introduction of Compass, a unique program designed to help students learn how to compose. The program covers all of the topics associated with successful music composition including melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, texture and form. It leads students on to complete composition projects and allows them to write and play back their own pieces. Compass, which also includes extensive lessons, worksheets and 33 built-in quizzes, features a unique educational sequencer called Tracker, which boasts more than 1,200 built- in chord sequences, rhythms, scales and motifs to help students build up compositions. The Tracker also complements the Sibelius 3 music program, allowing users to transfer their compositions to Sibelius 3 to print out as music notation. The program is designed for secondary schools and universities, and fully supports QCA standards. It is suitable for all kinds of music from classical to jazz, rock and pop.

The Shining Star in the Beleaguered World of  For-Profit Educational Corporations
"Will Apollo Hold On to Medals, by Jesse Eisinger, The Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2004, Page C1 ---,,long_and_short,00.html 
(Note that Among other schools, Apollo owns the University of Phoenix.)

Last week, Apollo Group saved the for-profit education sector. At least for the moment.

Other big companies in the group -- ITT Educational Services, Career Education and Corinthian Colleges -- have been battling lawsuits and dealing with various investigations into their recruitment and placement practices, sending their stocks plummeting. Apollo Group, which has skirted such problems thus far, has nevertheless skidded about 20% from a June high of $98.

But a week ago today, the company shined. It said online-enrollment growth for the fiscal year ending August 2005 would top 40%, relieving investors who had been worried the toll of the investigations and lawsuits were slowing growth across the sector.

The fight between the longs and the shorts in education stocks has been one of the market's fiercest, with some of the most influential and sophisticated investors taking opposing sides. Apollo hasn't been targeted by shorts as much -- until recently. Its short interest rose almost two million shares in the most recent month, but is still relatively low compared with other education stocks.

Apollo, which declined to make executives available to comment, has been a stunning success story. The stock is up 9,800% since December 1994 and now has just under a $14 billion market capitalization. It trades at a nosebleed 32.5 times next year's earnings estimate of $2.40 a share.

Apollo sells education at bricks-and-mortar campuses and online. To date, the company has mainly focused on thirty-somethings, most of whom already are earning salaries of around $55,000 to $60,000 a year. The compelling growth story is online, so enrollment figures are watched closely.

In giving its upbeat outlook last week, Apollo also completed the conversion of its online-division tracking stock, University of Phoenix Online, into parent company shares. The move, while welcome by good-governance types, could also obscure what the true growth rate for the University of Phoenix Online will be.

Apollo will report that UOP online had 118,000 students by the end of fiscal 2004, which ended yesterday, analysts forecast. The company, which often underpromises and overdelivers, said last week it expected "online degree enrollments to grow in excess of 40%" in fiscal 2005. At a 40% growth rate, the online enrollment would be 165,000 by the end of next August. However, that figure isn't only for UOP online. The company has launched a pilot effort to go after 18- to 21-year-olds through its Western International University online unit.

WIU online growth is included in that 40% growth figure, according to Credit Suisse analyst Greg Cappelli. Apollo declined to break out its expectations for WIU online enrollment.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen' threads on the dark side of distance education are at 


I attended the following CPE Workshop at the AAA Meetings in Orlando

CPE Session 3: Saturday, August 7, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM 
Value Measurement and Reporting—Moving toward Measuring and Reporting Value Creation Activities and Opportunities

Presenters: William J. L. Swirsky, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants  
Paul Herring, AICPA Director Business Reporting Assurance and Advisory Service 

Content – Presentations and dialogue about measuring the activities and opportunities that drive an entity’s value and, once measured, reporting these value creation prospects, in financial or nonfinancial terms, in addition to current financial information. The session will include information about research by the Value Measurement and Reporting Collaborative (VMRC) that will provide the foundation for the development of a framework of market-driven principles that characterize value measurement and reporting on a global basis.

Objectives – To continue the dialogue on more transparent, consistent, and reliable reporting of an entity’s value; to provide participants with information about the research being undertaken by VMRC; to talk about disclosure; and to solicit feedback from the attendees about where they see gaps in the current practices on value measurement and reporting.

Plan – To (1) provide context for value measurement and reporting; (2) describe research to date; and (3) describe reporting initiatives.

The above workshop focused mainly upon the early stages of the Value Measurement and Reporting Collaborative that evolved into the Enhanced Business Reporting (EBR) Consortium)  for providing more structure, uniformity, and measurement of non-financial information reported to managers and other stakeholders --- 
This initiative that began in 2002 with hope that a collaboration between the AICPA, the Canadian CICA, leading consulting firms, and others could initiate a new business reporting model as follows:

The Value Measurement and Reporting Collaborative, in which the AICPA is a participant, will play a crucial role in the new business reporting model. VMRC is a global effort of the accounting profession, along with corporate directors, businesses, business associations and organizations, institutional investors, investment analysts, software companies and academics. The key purpose of the collaborative is to help boards of directors and senior management make better strategic decisions using value measurement and reporting. It is anticipated that the current financial reporting model would, over time, migrate to this new model and would be used to communicate a more complete picture to stakeholders.

Also see Grant Thornton's summary in 2004
Grant Thornton in the US has posted a new publication of Directors Monthly, which focuses on "Business Reporting: New Initiative Will Guide Voluntary Enhancements." The publication discusses how non-financial information offers a better picture of corporate financial health. 
Double Entries, September 9, 2004 --- 

For years researchers and businesses have been attempting to find a better way to report on business performance beyond the traditional financial reporting effort.  Bob Jensen even wrote a 1976 book called Phantasmagoric Accounting --- See Volume 14 at 

Studies of reporting on non-financial business performance over the past 50 years have generally been disappointing.  Numbers attached to such things as cost of pollution and value of human capital were generally derived from overly-simplified models that really did not deal with externalities, interaction effects, nonstationarity, and important missing variables.  There is an immense need, especially by managers and lawmakers, for better business reporting that will help making tradeoffs between stakeholders.  At the Orlando workshop mentioned above, we heard a great deal about the need for a new business reporting model.  But when the presenters got down to what had been accomplished to date, I felt like the presentations lacked scholarship, especially in terms of the history of research on this topic over the past 50 years.  What was presented as "new" really had been hashed over many times in the past.  I left the Enhanced Business Reporting Consortium workshop feeling that this initiative is long on hype and short on hope.

But I do not want to give the impression that the EBR initiative is not important.  Little is gained by the traditional accounting research tradition, especially in academe, of ignoring huge and seemingly intractable problems that seem to defy all known research methodologies.  High on the list of intractable problems are problems of measuring intangibles and human/environmental performance.  If nothing else, the Value Measurement and Reporting Collaborative will help to keep researchers focused on the bigger problems rather than less relevant minutiae.  At a minimum some progress may be made toward standardization of non-financial reporting.  

You can track the progress of the Enhanced Business Reporting Consortium  at 

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at 

Business and Industry Sites from the Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, September 2004, Page 21 --- 

Plan for Change

CPAs, CEOs and CFOs can visit this business strategy consulting company’s Web site and download the “Ten Guiding Principles of Change Management” for strategies and tips on managing change within an organization. Users also can read free articles such as “Reducing Overhead Costs Is Still the Top Priority for Chief Financial Officers” and get a free issue with a subscription to the online version of Booz Allen’s monthly magazine, Strategy+Business.

Resources for Women

Female professionals who visit this e-stop will find helpful links to employment tax forms and tax tips from experts at the Department of Labor and the IRS, to name a couple. The site also features business development resources on expanding and financing a business, training and counseling.

Expert Advice

CPA firm owners looking to share advice about conferencing, Internet marketing and investment and financing matters with other practitioners can register for a free membership to this e-site. All visitors can find articles such as “Sarbanes-Oxley Requirements Remain a Wild Card for Outsourcers.”

Meet Ms. Sarbox

In addition to links to the full text of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and corporate governance e-stops, CPAs who visit this light-hearted Web site can find a compliance checklist for nonprofits and charitable foundations, read cartoons and jokes and play the Jeopardy-style Sarbanes-Oxley game with categories including new disclosure and officer certification. Users can read articles from Ms. Sarbox’s private collection on related topics including accounting, auditing and legal concerns.

Are You Ready Yet?

Compliance officers visiting this site can find an overview of Sarbanes-Oxley, definitions of related terms, a series of questions to assess clients’ compliance readiness and a best practices list. There also are white papers entitled, “Focus on Critical Business Processes to Drive Rapid Application Deployment” and “Uncovering Hidden Liabilities and Predicting Revenue Drag in Mergers and Acquisitions.”

Take a Tip

CPAs interested in information on streamlining office processes and meeting risk-management requirements can visit this Web site to read white papers such as “Establishing a Continuous Improvement Culture to Improve Project Results” and “The Sayings of Confucius and the Art of Project Management Processes” as well as current and archived tips of the week back to 2002.

Get on a Roll

This e-stop reminds U.S. wage earners that National Payroll Week begins September 6 with special sections on how to mark the occasion at your office and links to video clips and print files of media coverage. Regular site features include Managing and Maximizing Your Paycheck, with information on using direct deposit and on personal finance. Other areas offer retirement planning and savings calculators.

Smooth Office Relations
Do you work for a monster of a boss or have to share a project with a mean-spirited coworker? If so, register for free at these two Web sites and shore up interpersonal skills:

With more than 1,200 links to articles such as “Being Cool When the Boss Is Not” and “20 Ways to Deal With Difficult People,” as well as human resources survey results from the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., this stop offers a variety of information on handling problem personalities.

This site has entire sections devoted to “bad boss behaviors”—bullying, incompetence, harassment and discrimination, inadequate compensation, disrespect of rights and privacy invasion—and general solutions and advice for dealing with them.



Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, November 2003, Page 29 --- 

Research These Resources
The Brookings Institution’s spot on the Web includes links to articles, papers and transcripts on topics of interest to CPAs including business, domestic and global economics, education and governance. Users can read the articles “What’s Ahead After the GDP’s Big Surge” and “The Budget Outlook: Analysis and Implications,” to name a few.

Bob Jensen's helpers for small businesses are at 

A new program launched by the Institute of Management Accountants invites professional academics and industry practitioners to submit proposals for accounting and managerial finance research projects --- 

September 1, 2004 message from 

Dear Bob

I would like to submit for your consideration an English language learning web site which I believe would be of interest to users of your bookmarks web page. (Category: 'Education Resources').

The English Maze  is a web-based learning system for individuals and schools worldwide. It combines leading language learning theories with cutting edge technology to bring users a unique approach to learning English. With the English Maze, students can improve their pronunciation, speaking, reading, listening and writing skills. The site contains hundreds of hours of material, much of which is free.

Thanks in advance for your time in considering this link. We hope you find it useful and will be able to share it with your readers.

Daniel Robinson 
English Maze 

I added this to my threads on distance education alternatives at 

Is the Verifier Approach science or art?

When the news of Rugg's breakthrough was published last winter, everyone missed the bigger story. Rugg cracked the Voynich not because he was smarter, but because he focused on what everyone else had missed. Then again, this came naturally to Rugg: He has made a career out of studying how experts acquire knowledge yet screw up nevertheless. In 1996, he and his colleagues developed a rigorous method for peering over the shoulders of experts - doctors, software engineers, pilots, physicists - watching how they work and think, testing their logic, and uncovering ways to help them solve problems.
Joseph D'Agnese (See Below)

"Scientific Method Man," by Joseph D'Agnese, Wired Magazine, September 2004 --- 

Two years ago, an Englishman named Gordon Rugg slipped back in time. Night after night he spread his papers on the kitchen table once his children had gone to bed. Working on faux parchment with a steel-nibbed calligraphic pen, he scribbled a strange, unidentifiable, vaguely medieval script. Transliterated into the Roman alphabet, some of the words read: "qopchedy qokedydy qokoloky qokeedy qokedy shedy." As he wrote, he struggled to get inside the mind of the person who had first scrawled this incomprehensible text some 400 years ago.

By day, Rugg, a 48-year-old psychologist, teaches in the computer science department of Keele University, near Manchester, England. By night, as an intellectual exercise, he has been researching one of the world's great oddities: the Voynich manuscript, a hand-lettered book written in an unknown code that has frustrated cryptographers since its discovery in an Italian villa in 1912. How impregnable is the Voynich? During World War II, US Army code breakers - the guys who blew away Nazi ciphers - grappled with the manuscript in their spare time and came up empty. Since then, decoding the book's contents has become an obsession for geeks and puzzle nuts everywhere.

Then came Rugg. In three months, he cooked up the most persuasive explanation yet for the 234-page text: Sorry, folks, there is no code - it's a hoax! Lifelong Voynichologists were impressed with his reasoning and proofs, even if they were a little chagrined. "The Voynich is such a challenge," says Rugg, "such a social activity. But then along comes someone who says 'Oh, it's just a lot of meaningless gibberish.' It's as if we're all surfers, and the sea has dried up."

When the news of Rugg's breakthrough was published last winter, everyone missed the bigger story. Rugg cracked the Voynich not because he was smarter, but because he focused on what everyone else had missed. Then again, this came naturally to Rugg: He has made a career out of studying how experts acquire knowledge yet screw up nevertheless. In 1996, he and his colleagues developed a rigorous method for peering over the shoulders of experts - doctors, software engineers, pilots, physicists - watching how they work and think, testing their logic, and uncovering ways to help them solve problems.

Rugg calls it the verifier approach, and the Voynich was its first major test. If Rugg gets his way, verifiers will revolutionize the scientific method and help solve other seemingly unsolvable mysteries, such as the origins of the universe or the cause of Alzheimer's disease.

The text's author was long-dead. Rugg couldn't watch him work, but he could get inside his head by trying to replicate his pen-and-ink technique. The precision paid off. Once, when the ink blotched, Rugg swore aloud and thought about discarding the table. Then it struck him that the author must have experienced the same thing. What was the best solution? Toss it out? No. Paper was expensive. A new grid? No, too much work. Better to leave the blotch and work around it. That helped him realize that some of the cells in the original grids must have been left blank - the resulting missing syllables yielded a variety of word lengths, giving the faked language even more verisimilitude.

Rugg's prime suspect for the hoax is con artist Edward Kelley, a hanger-on in the court of Elizabeth I. Kelley insinuated himself into the household of the queen's astrologer, John Dee, and acted as a medium for angels. Modern scholars think Kelley was a fraud; apparently Dee did not, even when the angels suggested the two men swap wives. (Researchers believe they took the heavenly advice.)

Rugg published his hoax theory earlier this year in the journal Cryptologia. It was bolstered by Laura Aylward, one of his students, who used software to replicate his work. She found that the Voynich's well-known statistical anomalies - its unnatural repetition of certain words, a sudden dropoff in the use of previously common syllables - can all be accounted for if one uses structured tables and grilles. Still, many Voynich scholars remain unconvinced. "I know how they feel," Rugg says. "The rational part of me says it's a hoax; another part says, yes, but what if 10 percent of it is cipher text, a real message mixed in with all the wattle and padding? It's a lovely problem."

Continued in the article

How can you turn your PC into HD TV?

"HD PC: Cheaper Than High-Def TV," Wired News, September 4, 2004 ---,1412,64850,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

High-definition television can show the sweat beading on an athlete's brow, but the cost of all the necessary electronic equipment can get a shopper's own pulse racing.

Instead of dropping more than $1,000 for a new TV, set-top box and antenna to bring in the signals that dramatically improve TV picture quality, look not in the living room, but in the home office. A $200 upgrade can turn a personal computer into a "starter" high-definition television.

The new product from ATI Technologies puts high-definition versions of Law and Order, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and other hit TV shows within the budgets of far more households.

Indeed, the Markham, Ontario, company bills its HDTV Wonder as "the home's first HDTV device," able not only to show HD-video, but also to record scheduled programs onto a hard drive. Still, some experts say it may be better to start saving for the real thing.

"It's a tricycle with training wheels," said Gartner media analyst Laura Behrens. With the possible exception of college students and people living in cramped apartments, few households have any interest in watching television on a computer monitor, Behrens said. Moreover, a TV system designed for high-definition broadcasts would offer superior picture quality.

The ATI system uses the home PC's computing horsepower to process over-the-air high-definition signals and the monitor's high resolution to display them in vivid color. Although other cards have been available, ATI's offering puts nearly everything one needs into a single box and at a $200 price that reviewers say sets a new low bar.

The HDTV Wonder includes a remote control designed for use on a PC and an antenna to pick up the digital signals. By contrast, the MyHD from Korea's Macro Image Technology and the WinTV-HD from Hauppauge Computer Works cost $100 more and do not come with an antenna.

ATI says there are 1,129 digital television stations -- not all of them in high-definition -- sent over the airwaves in the United States, with at least one of those signals reaching almost every household.

All of the major networks are broadcasting much of their entire prime-time schedule in high-definition, Behrens said. On CBS, for instance, viewers can watch the Republican National Convention in all of its high-definition pomp or tune into an ultra-clear performance by Paulina Rubio on the Latin Grammy Awards in high-definition, for free. Many cable and satellite TV companies also offer additional HD programming, but at a monthly fee. Aside from HDTV, the ATI card can display regular cable television and record shows on hard drives. Consumer reaction to the product has been mixed. A review in PC World magazine said the device "severely taxed" a top-of-the-line computer that was decked out with a Pentium 4 microprocessor and a gigabyte of memory.

Another reviewer, on ExtremeTech, listed a 10-point wish list for the device -- including a simpler remote control and easier-to-use software -- but said prime-time TV and sports programming was "glorious to watch."

Loyd Case, ExtremeTech's technical director, said ATI's card and others like it may best serve the technologically savvy because, but may be too challenging for the novice user. The real advantage of choosing a PC card is the ability to turn a computer into a "media hub" for the home, holding music, pictures, movies, and television broadcasts, Case said.

"I think it's always going to be more of an enthusiast type of market," he said.

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at 

August 31, 2004 message from 

Dr. Gleim has just released our Elementary Financial Accounting Tutorial (E.F.A.T.), which is the latest in our series of innovative Knowledge Transfer Systems. This online tutorial is designed to help your students understand the basic bookkeeping process and double-entry system while increasing the student's level of comprehension and efficiency while studying.

E.F.A.T. consists of the following 10 lessons:

1. The Environment of Accounting 2. The Accounting Process 3. The Basic and Expanded Accounting Equations 4. Debits and Credits 5. Recording Transactions 6. Posting Journal Entries to Ledger Accounts 7. Deferrals, Accruals, and Adjusting Entries 8. Preparing Financial Statements 9. Financial Accounting Error Analysis 10. Financial Analysis

E.F.A.T. should be used by students taking introductory financial accounting courses and anyone else who does not grasp the basics of financial accounting. Gleim guarantees that users completing the course will be proficient in the double-entry system, as well as understand the financial accounting process at analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels.

To learn more about Gleim's new Elementary Financial Accounting Tutorial, please visit 

Here you will be able to create an account and complete Lesson 1 at no charge. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if I can be of further assistance. I look forward to working with you this semester!

Thank you and enjoy your day!

Charon Croft Benton 
Professor Relations Coordinator 

Gleim Publications, Inc. (800) 874-5346, ext. 138


Safe Shopping

Safe Shopping Network ---
Yahoo Consumer Information


From the Scout Report on August 25, 2004

Nostalgia Central

Started by nostalgia-hound (and Brit) David Turner in 1998, the Nostalgia Central website has attracted thousands of persons seeking to garner a bit of the past online over the past six years. The site currently receives over a million and a half visits each month, and features topical and fun material on various fads, fashions, movies, and musical movements that were representative of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Appropriately enough, visitors to the site can peruse these very topics on the site, along with a year-by-year rundown as well. The year-by-year synopses feature calendars that offer highlights of each month, including various political and cultural moments, such as the initiation of the United States' ban on trade with Cuba and the birth of future heavy-metal rocker Axl Rose. If that weren't enough, the site also includes an online forum where members can ask questions about locating various items of nostalgia, whether they be old broadcasts of Hee-Haw or those lovable Cabbage Patch dolls that swept through our lives beginning in 1983.



The Hans Christian Andersen Exhibit .---

Legends of America --- 

American History
Ghost Towns
Ghostly Legends
Historic People
Legendary Route 66
Old West Legends
Outlaw Legends
Treasure Tales
Photo Galleries

Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. --- 

UCLA Digital Library Sheet Music Project --- 

September 2, 2004 message from Mike Gasior [

--In 1900 world life expectancy was 30 years old. Today it is 67 years.

--In 1970, 35% of the people living in developing countries were starving. By 1996 that number had shrunk to 18% and the United Nations forecasts that the figure will fall to 12% by the year 2010.

--Also according the United Nations, we have reduced global poverty more in the last 50 years than in the previous 500 years.

--Life expectancy in the U.S. has increased significantly in all socio-economic categories, with black men making the largest gain from 60 years old in 1970 to 68.2 years old in 2000.

--Despite all the publicity about the failure of public education in the U.S., Americans have never been better educated. In 1960 only 7.7% of the population held college degrees. Today, 25% of the populations over 25 years old have earned their degree.

--Partially due to more women entering the workforce, real household incomes rose dramatically between 1980 and 2000. Median income for white families rose 19% during that period, and 39% for black families.

--Even with all the class warfare rhetoric in this years campaign, the fact is that 12.1% of American families are below the poverty line. In 1960 that number was 22.2%.

--Figures released by the FBI show the murder rate in the U.S. at 5.5 homicides per 100,000, down from a rate of 10.2 in 1980, almost a 50% decline in less than 25 years.

--Rates of teen suicide, teen pregnancy and youth violence have all shown steady decline during the past decade.

Overall, people are living longer, are safer, have more money to spend and having more fun then ever before.

So turn off the news and the politicians and go enjoy yourself. Life has never been better.


On the heels of my upbeat assessment of life today, there seems there might be truth many of us already knew about the job market. That it might be more important who you know, than what you know.

My background and basis for looking at many things is economics, and I have been often dismissed when presenting positions or ideas that might suggest that markets are inefficient.

But someone much brighter than me is suggesting, that in the employment markets, efficiency may not rule the day. Former Stanford professor, and Nobel laureate, Kenneth J. Arrow is now suggesting precisely that.

If the job market were truly efficient, than workers of similar skill and experience would earn very close to the same amount. Casual observation by anyone knows that this is not the case.

Some things are obvious and measurable, such as education, age, experience and intelligence, but these things only explain about 50% of the discrepancy in paychecks claims Dr. Arrow. To explain the remaining amount, one must look at the social and professional connections of the individuals.

For example, reading a resume gives a very shallow and limited view of an applicant's abilities. However, if the applicant used to work with a current employee of ours, or knows the applicant through a social, religious or other setting, we might be better able to judge other personal traits that a resume does not convey. These personal things might be dependability, teamwork or a person's sense of humor and they may cause a company to more aggressively pursue the applicant and pay more than it might for an unknown person. So, simply stated, the more connections you have to more companies through acquaintances, the more you can theoretically expect to earn.

Dr. Arrow, along with former Stanford colleague Ron Borzekowki created a mathematical model that tries to estimate how much these company connections might mean to ones earning potential.

In their model, a person having only one corporate connection had an expected income of $19,570. A person having connections with five companies would be expected to earn $30,410.

While none of this information is probably striking you as "news", it once again demonstrates the constant attempt by economists, mathematicians and scientists to explain everyday phenomenon. What might be the important lesson of this latest research is how their findings might be able to help individuals better utilize resources when looking for a new job. And it might also help other governmental and social agencies better serve the people they seek to help.


I've probably written too much about Social Security over the past five years, including just a few months ago, but now I find it back in the news thanks to Chairman Greenspan making comments out in Wyoming.

The fact of the matter is that neither presidential candidate, nor ANY of the people running for the House or Senate have made an earnest suggestion on how to fix the Social Security system. They are, by and large, an enormous group of cowards who are doing great harm to this important safety net by shirking responsibility they should be shouldering onto some future group of politicians who will be handed this gigantic bag of poop.

September 8, 2004 message from Don Mathis

Although the quiz is 10 years old, it is still interesting. I fall between Bill Clinton and Colin Powell. You will be surprised at your score. Perhaps our Political Science department can tell me if this has any validity. Take a few minutes – enjoy!

Click here: The Political Quiz Show 

Old age and treachery beats youth and skill

Forwarded by The Happy Lady

Old Rooster

A farmer goes out one day and buys a brand new stud rooster for his chicken coop. 

The new rooster struts over to the old rooster and says, "OK old fart, time for you to retire." 

The old rooster replies, "Come on, surely you cannot handle ALL of these chickens. Look what it has done to me. Can't you just let me have the two old hens over in the corner?" 

The young rooster says, "Beat it! You are washed up and I am taking over." 

The old rooster says, "I tell you what, young stud. I will race you around the farmhouse. Whoever wins gets the exclusive domain over the entire chicken coop." 

The young rooster laughs, "You know you don't stand a chance old man, so just to be fair I will give you a head start." 

The old rooster takes off running. About 15 seconds later the young rooster takes off running after him. They round the front porch of the farmhouse and the young rooster has closed the gap. He is already about 5 inches behind the old rooster and gaining fast. 

The farmer, meanwhile, is sitting in his usual spot on the front porch when he sees the roosters running by. He grabs up his shotgun and BOOM! He blows the young rooster to bits. 

The farmer sadly shakes his head and says, "Dangit... third gay rooster I bought this month."

Old Age Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Three old guys are out walking.

First one says, "Windy, isn't it?"

Second one says, "No, its Thursday!"

Third one says, "So am I. Lets go get a beer."



A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's perfect."

"Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?"

"Twelve thirty."



Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm.

A couple of days later the doctor spoke to Morris and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"

Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc:

'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.' "

The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You got a heart murmur. Be careful.'"



A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool.

After catching his breath he ordered a banana split.

The waitress asked kindly, "Crushed nuts?"

No," he replied, "arthritis".

Oft Repeated  Groaners from Paula

1. Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive..."

3. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

4. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4A. A sandwich walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry we don't serve food in here."

5. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

6. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

7. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

8. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green! Grass of Home.'" "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" "It's Not Unusual."

9. Two cows standing next to each other in a field, Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true, no bull!" exclaimed Daisy.

10. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

11. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

12 . I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

13. I went to a seafood disco last week... and pulled a mussel.

14 . Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly; but when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

15 . What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

16 . Two termites walk ! into a bar. One asks, "Is the bar tender here?"

Forwarded by Dick Haar

The blonde was attempting to clean and dust around her computer and while trying to figure out the maze of wires that were at different spots on the rear of her machine, referred constantly to the instruction book, seemingly without too much success.

Finally, in desparation, she phones the computer stores service department

Blonde:-"Hello-Service department? Can you please give me Jack's phone number? I can't find it anywhere in my manual".

Service Man: "Sorry, I don't quite understand....We have no Jack working here at this store".

Blonde: "I don't care where he is working, I just want his phone number".

Service Man: "Sorry lady, I Don't know any Jack! What are you talking about"?

Blonde: "On page 2, section 1 of the User's Guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the phone number for Jack?'


Forwarded by Dr. B

Bubba Joe's first military assignment was to a military induction center, and, because he was a good talker, they assigned him the duty of advising new recruits about the government benefits, especially the GI insurance to which they were entitled. Before long the Captain in charge of the induction center began noticing that Bubba was getting a 99% sign up for the top GI insurance. This was odd, because it would cost these poor inductees nearly $30.00 per month more for their higher coverage than what the government was already granting.

The Captain decided that he would not ask Bubba Joe about his selling techniques but that he would sit in the back of the room and observe Bubba's sales pitch.

Bubba Joe stood up before his latest group of inductees and stated, "If you have the normal GI insurance and go to Iraq and are killed, the government pays your beneficiary $6,000."

"If you take out the supplemental GI insurance (which will cost you an additional $30.00 per month), the government pays your beneficiary $200,000."

"NOW," Bubba concluded, "which bunch do you think they're gonna send into battle first?"

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, and Start All Over Again

Forwarded by Paula

A contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" had reached the final plateau. If she answered the next question correctly, she would win $1,000,000 If she answered incorrectly, she would pocket only the $32,000 milestone money.

And as she suspected it would be, the million-dollar question was no pushover. It was, "Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest, but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds?

Is it A) the condor; B) the buzzard; C) the cuckoo; or D) the vulture?"

The woman was on the spot. She did not know the answer. And she was Doubly on the spot because she had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her Audience Poll Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend Lifeline, and the Woman had hoped against hope that she would not have to use it. Mainly Because the only friend that she knew would be home happened to be a blonde.

But the contestant had no alternative. She called her friend and gave Her the question and the four choices.

The blonde responded unhesitatingly: "That's easy. The answer is C: The cuckoo."

The contestant had to make a decision and make it fast. She considered employing a reverse strategy and giving Regis any answer except the One that her friend had given her. And considering that her friend was a Blonde, that would seem to be the logical thing to do.

On the other hand - the blonde had responded with such confidence, Such certitude, that the contestant could not help but be persuaded.

"I need an answer," said Regis.

Crossing her fingers, the contestant said, "C: The cuckoo."

"Is that your final answer?" asked Regis.

"Yes, that is my final answer."

Two minutes later, Regis said, "I regret to inform you that that Answer is... absolutely correct. You are now a millionaire!"

Three days later, the contestant hosted a party for her family and friends - including the blonde who had helped her win the million dollars.

"Jenny, I just do not know how to thank you," said the contestant. "Because of your knowing the answer to that final question, I am now a millionaire. And do you want to know something? It was the assuredness with which You answered the question that convinced me to go with your choice. By the way... how did you happen to know the right answer?"

"Oh, come on," said the blonde. "Everybody knows that cuckoos don't build nests. They live in clocks."

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Here are some comments made by NBC sports commentators during the Summer Olympics that they would like to take back:

1. Weightlifting commentator: "This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing."

2. Dressage commentator: "This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother."

3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."

4. Boxing Analyst: "Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious."

5. Softball announcer: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."

6. Basketball analyst: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces."

7. At the rowing medal ceremony: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew."

Forwarded by Team Carper

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, "PULL OVER!" 

"NO!" the blonde yelled back, "IT'S A SCARF!"

Forwarded by Dick Haar

A woman and her son were taking a cab in New York City. It was raining and all the hookers were standing under the awnings.

"Mom," said the little boy, "what are all those women doing?"

"They're waiting for their husbands to get off work," she replied.

The cabbie turns around and says, "Geez lady, why don't you tell him the truth? They 're hookers, boy! They have sex with men for money."

The little boy's eyes get wide and he says, "Is that true, Mom?"

His mother, still glaring hard at the cabbie, answers in the affirmative.

After a few minutes, the kid asks, "Mom, what happens to the babies those women have?"

"Most of them become cab drivers," she replied.

Forwarded by Dr. B

A man died and went to heaven.

As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock will move."

"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's Senator Kerry's clock?" asked the man.

"Kerry's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."


Forwarded by Paula

An old farmer owned a large farm with a large pond in the back. It was fixed up nicely with picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over.

He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny dipping in his pond.

He made some noise so the women would be aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked."

Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."

Forwarded by Paula 

Warning: Political humor. This was sent to me by a cousin who lives in Australia!

George W.Bush is at the stadium and begins his speech to open the Olympic Games: "Ooooooo! Ooooooo! Ooooooo! Ooooooo! Ooooooo!"

An aide comes over and whispers: "Mr. President, those are the

Olympic rings, your speech is below!"

Forwarded by Paula --- 

My forgetter's getting better,  To you that may seem funny But, to me, that is no joke

For when I'm "here" I'm wondering If I really should be "there" And, when I try to think it through, I haven't got a prayer!

Oft times I walk into a room, Say "what am I here for?" I wrack my brain, but all in vain! A zero, is my score.

At times I put something away Where it is safe, but, Gee! The person it is safest from Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone, Say "Hi" and have a chat, Then, when the person walks away I ask myself, "who was that?"

Yes, my forgetter's getting better While! my rememberer is broke, And it's driving me plumb crazy And that isn't any joke.

Forwarded by Paula

Some "Senior" personal ads seen in Florida newspapers:
(Who says seniors don't have a sense of humor?)

: Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty, 80's, slim, 5'4"
(Used to be 5'6"), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion.
Matching white shoes and belt a plus.

LONG-TERM COMMITMENT: Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband, and am looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot.  Dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath not a problem.

SERENITY NOW: I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and meditation.  If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.

WINNING SMILE: Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flosser to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.

BEATLES OR STONES?  I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar.  If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my eight-track tapes.

MEMORIES: I can usually remember Monday through Thursday.  If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let's put our two heads together.

MINT CONDITION: Male, 1932, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves.  Isn't in running condition, but walks well.

Forwarded by Team Carper

This was written by an 83-year-old...The last line says it all.

Dear Bertha,

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries..

I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary; if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now

I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.

I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

If you received this, it is because someone cares for you.

If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn't do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won't be the last.

Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them.

"People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there."

I don't believe in miracles. I rely on them.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. 

.And that's the way it was on September 15, 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, Jim Mahar from St. Bonaventure University) --- 


Bob Jensen's bookmarks for accounting newsletters are at 

News Headlines for Accounting from --- 
An unbelievable number of other news headlines categories in are 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


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


How stuff works --- 


Household and Other Heloise-Style Hints --- 


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


Click on for a complete list of interviews with established leaders, creative thinkers and education technology experts in higher education from around the country.


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


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September 1, 2004

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on September 1, 2004
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

I am transitioning to the mountains of New Hampshire for an eight-month sabbatical leave.  Since this is a research leave, I'm not certain I will find the time to put out future editions of New Bookmarks until I return to teach at Trinity University in January 2005.

New:  Once again Trinity Receives a U.S. News Number 1 Ranking (for the 13th year in a row) 

Year 2004 92 Spring Pictures from the White Mountains --- 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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

Quotes of the Week

By now many of you will have seen the announcement that Trinity was ranked No. 1 for the 13th Straight Year in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges". Among other good things, this year's report singles out the Study Abroad program in "programs to look for" in the premium online edition.
Front portion of a message from  Nancy Ericksen
The press release is at 
The main links for the college rankings in general are at 

Manuel Llinas knew his career was at stake. The young scientist had just finished work on an eye-catching paper on the genome of a parasite that causes malaria. Now he and his lab director faced a critical decision: where to submit the article for publication. A prestigious journal such as Science would draw attention and help Llinas when he interviewed for faculty jobs at top research institutions. But Llinas and Joseph DeRisi, his mentor at the University of California at San Francisco, chose a once unthinkable journal. They submitted the paper to PLoS Biology, a free online journal that had yet to publish its first edition…
T.H.E Newsletter, August 25, 2004
For the full story, visit:   

Opponents of class size reduction call the past as a witness. They remind us that as recently as the 1950s, thirty students in a high school class was typical and viewed as educationally practical. They assert that reductions in class size over the past forty years have not yielded proportional improvements in student performance. They also cite schools in Japan and other industrialized nations where classes are larger and test scores are higher than ours. ...
Mark Shapiro when introducing and essay on class size by Peter Berger at 

It is not uncommon to meet thieves who sermonize against theft.
Miguel de Unamuno

But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.
Ronald quoted by Mark Shapiro --- 

Crimes committed with automobiles are called accidents.
Eduardo Galeano

The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a fraction of a second of reality.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Bear downs 36 beers, passes out at campground When state Fish and Wildlife agents in found a black bear passed out on the lawn of Baker Lake Resort in Washington state, there were some clues scattered nearby - dozens of empty cans of beer. 
  (forwarded by Debbie)

Even the most cursory glance at the economics literature will yield a perplexing cacophony of opinions - and, more invidious, contradictory "facts." Consider one example. Proposition: Share prices are dependent over (a) a day, (b) a quarter, (c) three years, (d) an infinite span, or (e) none of the above. All these views have been presented as unassailable in countless articles reviewed by countless worthy peers, and supported by countless computer runs, probability tables, and analytical charts. Wassily Leontief, a Harvard economist and 1973 Nobel winner in economic sciences, once observed: "In no field of empirical enquiry has so massive and sophisticated a statistical machinery been used with such indifferent results."
Benoît Mandelbrot, the father of the fractal, writes an open letter to the wizards of Wall Street, Wired Magazine, August 2004 --- 

Some investors and starry-eyed venture capitalists tout nanotech as the new biotech. Don't believe them. 
Michael S. Malone, "The Big Little Tease," Wired Magazine, August 2004 --- 

With fewer people applying to MBA programs everywhere, students at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania knew they had to take action. Even their own class of 2006 saw a 21% dip in applications. So a few MBAs agreed to help Wharton's admissions office host several rounds of early-admissions events this summer in places like New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico, and Moscow.
Business Week's MBA Express, August 18, 2004 --- 

In “Truth and Transparency: The Federal Government’s Financial Condition and Fiscal Outlook” (Journal of Accountancy, Apr.04, page 26), David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, sounded an alarming wake-up call indeed. He correctly noted that not only is our federal government’s financial condition poor, but it is getting worse. Furthermore, he stated that budgetary trickery and inadequate reporting practices mask the true seriousness of the situation. Most striking was his statement of fact that the federal accumulated deficit totals more than $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
Joseph Vap, Journal of Accountancy, August 2004, Page 11 --- 
Update from Bob Jensen:  In an August 10 plenary session at the American Accounting Association annual meetings in Orlando, David Walker claimed that on a net discounted present value basis, the amount of national debt for each U.S. man, woman, and child exceeds $330,000.  The overwhelming cause, far in excess of Social Security retirement costs, is the projected cause of Medicare and other health entitlements.  Promises (coming both major parties in the 2004 election campaigns) for increases to health care benefits are budgetary disasters.

Bankruptcy Isn't Cheap for MCI
Lawyers, advisers and accountants who worked for MCI as it went through the biggest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in U.S. history are seeking approval to collect about $600 million in fees, according to filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Ashburn, Va., telecommunications company, formerly known as WorldCom Inc., filed for bankruptcy-court protection in 2002 after an accounting fraud that ultimately totaled $11 billion. MCI emerged from Chapter 11 in April and the fees cover the entire period of the bankruptcy. Almost all the money has been paid, but the bills need final approval, according to a person familiar with the matter. MCI kept squads of lawyers from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and accountants from Deloitte & Touche LLP and KPMG LLP on duty as it hurried to emerge from bankruptcy protection as soon as possible. Company officials have said that they knew fees would run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Wall Street Journal,
August 17, 2004 ---,,SB109271165611793323,00.html?mod=technology%5Fmain%5Fwhats%5Fnews 

Several new services add a modern twist to the ancient art of rejection. People unable to say "no" personally to unwanted advances can now sign up for e-mails and phone messages that do the dirty work for them. 
Daniel Terdiman, "Rejection 2.0," Wired News, August 18, 2004 ---,1284,64612,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Some of these are slightly paraphrased answers to questions in a Q&A session following Mr. Copeland's Plenary Session address.

Copeland Quote 1
It is ethical for a CPA to help a client do anything within the law to minimize taxes.  It is not ethical for a CPA to help a client do anything permitted under GAAP if the net result is not a "fair presentation" of financial performance and condition.

James E. Copland, Jr., Retired Managing Partner of Big Four CPA Firm Deloitte & Touche, August 11, 2004, AAA Annual Meetings in Orlando
Mr. Copeland sidestepped the question about the ethics of CPA firm and AICPA lobbying efforts to build in tax code loopholes for corporations and wealthy clients.  Indirectly he seemed to disapprove of many of the corporate tax loopholes that have made a sham out of the corporate taxation.

Copeland Quote 2
In my opinion the U.S. Corporate Income Tax Code should be abolished.  Of course my former partners at Deloitte do not like me saying this in public.
James E. Copland, Jr., Retired Managing Partner of Big Four CPA Firm Deloitte & Touche, August 11, 2004, AAA Annual Meetings in Orlando
Bob Jensen's threads on the dwindling importance of corporate tax revenues and the wild avoidance antics of corporations and accounting firms are at 

Copeland Quote 3
In all the auditing scandals among the Big Five CPA firms, there have been too many instances of auditor negligence and incompetence.  But there are virtually no instances of auditor conspiracy to commit fraud.  In the past 100-year history of Deloitte, I only know of one partner who committed outright fraud.  When we discovered it, we turned him into the authorities. 
James E. Copland, Jr., Retired Managing Partner of Big Four CPA Firm Deloitte & Touche, August 11, 2004, AAA Annual Meetings in Orlando
Recall that David Duncan plead guilty to obstruction of justice but not to conspiracy to commit fraud on Enron creditors and investors.
Jim failed to mention the following:

When the Securities and Exchange Commission found evidence in e-mail messages that a senior partner at Andersen had participated in the fraud at Waste Management, Andersen did not fire him. Instead, it put him to work revising the firm's document-retention policy. Unsurprisingly, the new policy emphasized the need to destroy documents and did not specify that should stop if an S.E.C. investigation was threatened. It was that policy David Duncan, the Andersen partner in charge of Enron audits, claimed to be following when he shredded Andersen's reputation.

Floyd Norris, "Will Big Four Audit Firms Survive in a World of Unlimited Liability?," The New York Times, September 10, 2004 

Bob Jensen’s threads on the auditing scandals in the various large international CPA firms are at 

Copeland Quote 4
Among all the Big Five firms, auditing has always been a highly profitable (in aggregate) line of professional service even in the peak consulting years (1990s) when management consulting services sometimes had higher margins.  All Big Five accounting firms testified to this effect before the SEC.  I do not think that lack of audit profitability contributed significantly to alleged conflict of interest between audit versus consulting engagements.  
James E. Copland, Jr., Retired Managing Partner of Big Four CPA Firm Deloitte & Touche, August 11, 2004, AAA Annual Meetings in Orlando
He did not mention that some audit profitability may have been achieved by lowering the quality of audits by using risk-based procedures in place of substantive testing ---
His remarks about the profitability of audit services run counter to the 1990s audit "commodity pricing" claims of Bob Elliott when he was an Executive Partner at KPMG and President of the AICPA --- 

Bob Jensen's July-September 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Bob Jensen's April-June 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Consumer Reports (Since 1936) --- 

We may not be far away from this.
Forwarded by Auntie Bev 

August 18, 2004 reply from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, you are correct, we aren’t very far. Most people don’t know it, but (fortunately) we are already there in a lot of respects. And as the gopher said in Winnie the Pooh, I’m ding-dang glad of it. For example, about the first third of the movie is already available at your local library, the last third is available with a little bit more trouble. The medical stuff, though, is still behind wraps, but hey, maybe with time…

See “Programs Aim for Safer Travel and Shorter Lines: Tests use biometrics and smart cards for frequent travelers and transport workers”, on page 30 of the August 16-23 2004 issue of InformationWeek. It’s about time we started applying technology again to make our lives safer, more secure, and more convenient. Little by little, we are finally coming to our senses.

If you can’t tell, I disagree with the ACLU’s philosophy of letting people do as they please behind a curtain of secrecy. Secrecy is the nemesis of knowledge, and is generally the anti-thesis to “beneficial”. It is inarguable that fewer people would engage in detrimental (not only to themselves, but others) behavior if it could be widely known that they were engaging in the detrimental behavior. (Important note: it is the knowledge that becomes the governing device; no force or coercion or any other governmental power is necessary – people tend to govern themselves in a society where full and open knowledge is freely distributed! If we would eliminate the anti-civilization fools like the ACLU, and share knowledge (what academe is supposedly all about!), we could have a lot less physical government, the way the founding fathers originally intended. Less government is better government. People governing their own behavior is far superior to bigger police forces, more prisons, more laws, etc. I say, let’s open the gates of knowledge, and watch everyone start shaping up and doing what they already know is best for everybody.)

A study in Education Today provided evidence (which I’ve long suspected) that anonymity in large schools was the fundamental enabling agent in destructive behavior like vandalism, assaults, and the like. The low crime rate in small towns has long been attributed to lack of anonymity compared to the high crime rate in large cities.

As much as some (!) people object to me knowing that they eat pizza and subscribe to a gay magazine, I detest FAR more having to waste my employers’ time standing in lines, taking off my belt and emptying my pockets because those pizza-eaters and magazine subscribers are so paranoid that they object to society using a better technology to BETTER do what is ALREADY being done today with less-effective technology. I’m speaking of course about the current paper ID’s (drivers licenses, etc.) which everyone recognizes is flawed, but some (!) people are so “protective” of their “privacy” (hee,hee, I can’t help laughing) that they don’t want a better technology being used for exactly the same purpose. I put this ACLU film in the same category as the trash that Ned Ludd put out in 1779. (It is interesting that the dictionary today describes Ludd as “feebleminded”. Hmmmm. I can see the correlation…)

“Knowledge and openness are essential to the functioning of a society. … Withholding knowledge is a certain way to destroy civilization” – Thomas Jefferson, as quoted by E. C. Walls.

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

August 18, 2004 reply from Dave Will [dwill@BOSTONCONFERENCING.COM

David, I agree with much of what you say. But I wanted to add a couple points:

- one key to privacy is whether or not you opted in to share your information. For example, most of us use a frequent shopper or flyer card - or a loyalty card as the industry calls it. Basically, all their doing is paying you for your data. You get $0.30 off a 1/2 gallon of OJ and they get your demographics and the knowledge of what brand condoms you prefer. Although some of this is purely to get you to buy more stuff, it is also helpful because they start marketing things that you're actually interested in.

- another rather random point is that there is a lot of demographic data being tallied that is not specific to any individual. Companies like Nielsen and IRI have been doing this in the supermarkets for years. Even if you pay cash, your buying habits are being recorded based on what store you shopped at and what products you bought and at what time of day. All the better for the marketers if you used a loyalty card.

- "Less government is better government." - Couldn't agree more, especially when it comes to personal data. I don't want to be nursed by the Government. I don't even know if I want government sponsored warnings. For example, in China (I think) when you get off the subway, the government alerts you to the weather outside and suggests that you may want to break out your umbrella... For some reason, that bothers me. It makes me feel like the gov't is babysitting me. It's a completely separate thing if a private organization does that, because I can choose to or not to use their services.

- A very interesting article on Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFIDs) that Wal-Mart is pushing -  There is an interesting debate over the issues on privacy.

Dave Will
Principal Boston Conferencing, Inc. web conferencing services 

Upcoming Changes in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 --- 
(Walter Mossberg has his doubts --- see below)

Bridget Thomas of Prairieville, Louisiana, lobbied for a way to block access to credit reports in her state after she was badly burned by identity theft that destroyed her credit status. 

The Latest Pump and Dump

"Investor Scam; Con Artists Snaring Victims Across the Country," AccountingWeb, August 20, 2004 --- 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week issued an investor alert designed to warn Americans about a new scam sweeping the country-answering machine "wrong number" stock touts.

Voice mail messages are appearing on home answering machines from coast to coast saying that the stock price of certain small, thinly traded companies will soon shoot up. The breezy, intimate messages sound as if a female caller mistakenly believes she has dialed a girlfriend and is confiding inside information she has learned from "that hot stock exchange guy I'm dating."

Regulators believe these voice mails are part of a "pump and dump" stock manipulation scheme, whereby the people behind the messages intend to profit by driving up the price of their targeted stocks, then selling, and leaving victims with losses. The SEC has received hundreds of complaints from investors across the country about these misdirected voice mails in recent days.

"Investors should never buy stocks on the basis of ‘hot’ tips from strangers," said SEC Investor Education Director Susan Wyderko. "We are concerned because the stock prices of companies mentioned in these calls have gone up, presumably as people listen to the messages and buy. But in all 'pump and dump' schemes, as soon as the promoter stops touting a stock, the price plummets and other investors lose their money."

The SEC is asking investors who receive these kinds of calls to let them know the company being touted, the exact date and time the call was received, the number called, and the number from which the call was made, if available. E-mail the information to, or call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.

Yes. Someone has got to get paid somewhere along the line. If you don't Ponzi the scam, you won't be able to have references who can tell other investors, "Hey, this is great -- I got a check."
Eric Stein (see below)

"Confessions of a Scam Artist," By Glenn Ruffenach, The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2004, Page R1 ---,,SB109173761463584169,00.html 

Eric Stein once bilked almost 1,800 investors out of $34 million in a Ponzi scheme. Now Mr. Stein is incarcerated at a federal prison, but says he is now "focused on trying to make a bad situation better." He agreed to discuss his scam and its mechanics: how it started, why it worked and how it collapsed -- and why the over-50 set is more vulnerable to financial fraud than ever before.

"Unreliable websites put patients at risk," by Helen Pilcher,, August 2, 2004 --- 

One in ten websites offering information on alternative cancer therapies give advice that could harm patients, a recent study suggests.

People need to be aware that such websites are not necessarily benign and they should seek out responsible, independent advice about complementary medicines, warns Edzard Ernst of the Peninsula Medical School, run by the universities of Exeter and Plymouth, who led the study.

Up to 55% of the Internet's 600 million users gather medical information from it. Patients with life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, often use the web to seek out alternative therapies, but with over half a million sites offering advice, the quality of that information varies greatly.

To investigate the likely consequences of patients relying on such websites, Ernst's team surveyed the 32 most popular sites offering advice on 'alternative' or 'complementary' medicine and cancer. Their results can be found in the Annals of Oncology1.

In total, the sites touted 118 cancer 'cures', such as shark cartilage and mistletoe, and 59 cancer 'preventions', including green tea and flaxseed, also known as linseed. But none of these treatments have been scientifically proven to work, says Ernst.

Shark cartilage was the most recommended alternative cancer 'cure'. A preliminary human study has suggested that Neovastat, a product derived from cartilage, can lengthen the lives of patients with a type of kidney cancer2. But the research needs to be repeated with larger numbers, and the only published clinical study of a shark cartilage treatment for cancer failed to find any positive effects3.

Because such preparations have not been scientifically tested, their benefits are questionable and it is possible that they might interact adversely with conventional treatments.

Worse still, three of the websites (HEALL, HealthWorld Online and overtly discouraged patients from using conventional cancer care, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. One of the sites also dissuaded its readers from taking doctors' advice. "These websites are a risk to cancer patients," says Ernst.

Not all bad

Good websites do exist, and the majority of those tested provided useful and reliable information. Two sites, Quackwatch and Bandolier, stood out for the quality of the information they provide, says Ernst.

He hopes to raise public awareness about the usefulness of online information. He suggests that the major cancer organizations should investigate websites offering cancer-related information and issue a recognized 'seal of approval' to help patients sift good advice from bad.

In the meantime, Ernst stresses the need for patients to be vigilant, and to be aware that some websites may have a financial motive for promoting certain alternative therapies. "My basic advice is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true."

"There is a confusing amount of information about 'alternative' cancer cures available on the Internet," says cancer expert Julie Sharp of Cancer Research UK. "Many of these have no clinical or scientific basis and so it is vitally important that patients seek advice from their doctors."

August 14 message from Dave Will [dwill@BOSTONCONFERENCING.COM

Although, I think it is helpful to have an "expert's" opinion of what information is valuable, there are organizations that do that already by industry and charge a lot of money for it. For example, Cancersource is a company that sells "qualified" data on cancer to hospitals so that the hospital can release it to their cancer patients under the their private label. Cancersource has an excellent reputation for their experts in the industry that qualify their data before it is released.

It's easy to find info on the internet, but many times, the info is bad. Hence the value in a company like Cancersource. 

Dave Will
Principal Boston Conferencing, Inc. web conferencing services
w: 781 834 2095 c: 781 985 9455 f: 501 639 8835 

Bob Jensen's threads on medical and drug company frauds are at 

"Google queries provide stolen credit cards," by Robert Lemos, CNET News,  August 3, 2004 --- 

Simple queries using the Google search engine can turn up a handful of sites that have posted credit card information to the Web, CNET learned on Tuesday.

The lists of financial information include hundreds of card holders' names, addresses and phone numbers as well as their credit card data. Much of the credit card data that appears in the lists found by Google may no longer be valid, but called several people listed and verified that the credit card numbers were authentic. The query, the latest example of "Google hacking," highlights increasing concern that knowledgeable Web surfers can turn up sensitive information by mining the world's best-known search engine.

"It seems like everyone has their own trick," said Chris Wysopal, vice president of research and development for digital security firm @Stake. "This is really searching for data that should be secret but has been exposed either through misconfiguration or by someone who has stolen it."

There is no shortage of ways to search Google to find such data. Whole sites spell out how to search for financial information and describe software vulnerabilities and vulnerable configurations on Internet machines. Google is the tool of choice because its powerful search options, such as the ability to search for a range of numbers--useful in finding credit card data--is not present in other companies' search engines.

Google would not comment, citing the quiet period before the company's initial public offering. However, a company source did say that the search firm has a tool for Web masters to remove pages from the archive, if they find that parts of their site violate laws or regulations. Moreover, the company has decided to allow anyone to request the removal from search results of any document that includes a Social Security or credit card number--a note to  with a link to the page will suffice, the source said.

Continued in the article

Do-it-yourself phishing kits are freely available on the Internet, a security firm says, and they will lead to more scams sent to online consumers. "Until now, phishing attacks have been largely the work of organized crime gangs," says Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at U.K.-based security vendor Sophos.  "But the emergence of these 'build-your-own-phish' kits mean that any old Tom, Dick, or Harry can now mimic bona fide banking Web sites and convince customers to disclose sensitive information such as passwords, PIN numbers, and account details," he says.
Greg Keizer, Information Week, August 19, 2004 --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on phishing are at 

Spam and Spyware Blocker Software
All-in-One- Secretmaker (Free) --- 

All-in-One SECRETMAKER is designed for users who wish to:

● Keep their email box free of spam
● Avoid irritating pop-up and banner interruptions
● Protect their privacy and avoids profiling
● Use the Internet efficiently for private or business use



The Consumer Reports home page is at 


Consumer Reports Rankings of Antispam Software
September 2004, Page 17
E-MAIL ANTISPAM SOFTWARE (used in conjunction with e-mail programs)

Rank 1 Apple Mac X Mail 

Rank 2 Microsoft Outlook 

Rank 3 Microsoft Entourage 


ADD-ONS TO E-MAIL PROGRAMS (can filter spam without additional software)

Rank 1 MailFrontier 

Rank 2 Aladdin/Mailshell SpamCatcher Universal 

Rank 3 Symantic Norton AntiSpam 

Rank 4 Stata Labs SAproxy 

Rank 5 Blue Squirrel Spam Sleuth 

Rank  6 Sunbelt Software 

Rank 7 Codeode Cactus Spam Filter 


Consumer Reports Rankings of Antivirus Software
September 2004, Page 18
Rank 1 Trend Micro PC-cillin 

Rank 2 Norton AntiVirus 

Rank 3 Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal --- 

Rank 4 Panda Titanium Antivirus 

Rank 5 McAfee ViruScan 

Rank 6 Softwin BitDefender 

Rank 7 Computer Associates eTrust 



Consumer Reports Rankings of Antispyware Software
September 2004, Page 19
Rank 1 Lavasoft Ad-aware 

Rank 2 PestPatrol 

Rank 3 Spybot-Search & Destroy 

Rank 4 Webroot Spy Sweeper 

Rank 5 InterMute SpySubtract Pro 

Rank 6 FBM Software ZeroSpyware 

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and network security are at 

Finding Cheaper Prescription Drugs Without Fear of Fraud

Don't trust offers from cheap prescriptions that come via email.  Go the name of a trusted online pharmacy.

Time Magazine on August 30, 2004, Page 70 lists some good sites for Canadian, U.S., and various international sites.

Comparison shop at 

Comparison shop at 

Various states have started comparison shopping sites for within-state pharmacies.

Bob Jensen's threads on medical and drug frauds are at 

Evidence of Widespread Earnings Management Through Accounting Manipulation (many of the ploys are allowed under GAAP but are not necessarily in the spirit of fair presentation of earnings performance)

Double Congratulations to Mark, John, and Robin

Two very surprising announcements at the 2004 American Accounting Association Annual Meetings in Orlando were the announcements on separate days that a single paper had won both the 2004 Notable Contributions Award and the Wildman Award among highly qualified competitors for both awards.  I think this is the first time that a single paper ran away with both awards.

It's a good paper from both the standpoint of theory and practice.  It stands in the face of capital markets studies that could not find evidence of earnings management (read that manipulation) on the part of corporate managers.

"How Are Earnings Managed? Examples from Auditors," by Mark W. Nelson, John A. Elliott, and Robin L. Tarpley, Accounting Horizons, Quality of Earnings Supplement 2003 Issue May 20, 2003 ---

This paper reports descriptive evidence about how managers attempt to manage earnings, based on a sample of 515 earnings-management attempts obtained from a survey of 253 experienced auditors (and also analyzed by Nelson et al. 2002). We classify attempts first according to primary approach: expense recognition, revenue recognition, issues unique to business combinations, and other issues. Then, within each of those broad categories, we subclassify attempts by the particular approach used in the attempt. For each specific approach, we report the accounts involved, the frequency with which the approach increased or decreased current-period income (and the frequency of adjustments required by the auditor), and provide descriptions by auditors of income-increasing and income-decreasing examples of the more frequent approaches. We also link our findings to recent SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs) that illustrate extreme versions of the specific approaches identified by our participants. This experienced-based, example-rich framework and frequency data should assist investors, auditors, audit committees, and other participants in the financial reporting process who need to be vigilant for earnings-management approaches.

"The Relation between Incentives to Avoid Debt Covenant Default and Insider Trading," by Messod D. Beneish, Eric Press and Mark E. Vargus --- 

The paper uses a large sample of 488 firms that experience technical default between 1983 and 1997 to examine managers’ accrual strategies and their insider trading behavior in the period preceding the event of default. Our results are consistent with our conjecture that insider trading is informative about firms’ expected costs of default, and with our expectation that insider trading measures are related to both pre-default earnings management and post-default stock returns. We find that managers facing higher expected costs of default make income increasing accrual choices and that managers’ exercise of discretion is successful in staving-off default. We also find that although managers are ultimately unable to avoid default, by delaying both the violation and subsequent adverse stock-market response, managers benefit by selling their equitycontingent wealth at higher prices. To our knowledge, our paper is the first to show that upwardly managed accruals are successful in avoiding default, and to provide new evidence on how managers benefit from delaying default. Our results also suggest that investigating managers’ trading patterns is useful in determining the likelihood of pre-default earnings management.

Related to the above outcomes is the following module that I wrote in the May 10, 2004 edition of New Bookmarks --- 

Interest rate swap derivative instruments are widely used to manage interest rate risk, which is viewed as a perfectly legitimate use of these hedging instruments.  I stumbled on to a rather interesting doctoral dissertation which finds that firms, especially banks, use such swaps to manage earnings.  The dissertation from Michigan State University is by Chang Joon Song under Professor Thomas Linsmeier.

"Are Interest Rate Swaps Used to Manage Banks' Earnings," by Chang Joon Song, January 2004 --- 

This dissertation is quite clever and very well written.  

Previous research has shown that loan loss provisions and security gains and losses are used to manage banks’ net income. However, these income components are reported below banks largest operating component, net interest income (NII). This study extends the literature by examining whether banks exploit the accounting permitted under past and current hedge accounting standards to manage NII by entering into interest rate swaps. Specifically, I investigate whether banks enter into receive-fixed/pay-variable swaps to increase earnings when unmanaged NII is below management’s target for NII. In addition, I investigate whether banks enter into receive-variable/pay-fixed swaps to decrease earnings when unmanaged NII is above management’s target for NII. Swaps-based earnings management is possible because past and current hedge accounting standards allow receive-fixed/pay-variable swaps (receivevariable/ pay-fixed) to have known positive (negative) income effects in the first period of the swap contract. However, entering into swaps for NII management is not costless, because such swaps change the interest rate risk position throughout the swap period. Thus, I also examine whether banks find it cost-beneficial to enter into offsetting swap positions in the next period to mitigate interest rate risk caused by entering into earnings management swaps in the current period. Using 546 bank-year observations from 1995 to 2002, I find that swaps are used to manage NII. However, I do not find evidence that banks immediately enter into offsetting swap positions in the next period. In sum, this research demonstrates that banks exploit the accounting provided under past and current hedge accounting rules to manage NII. This NII management opportunity will disappear if the FASB implements full fair value accounting for financial instruments, as foreshadowed by FAS No. 133.

What is especially interesting is how Song demonstrates that such earnings management took place before FAS 133 and is still taking place after FAS 133 required the booking of swaps and adjustment to fair value on each reporting date.  It is also interesting how earnings management comes at the price of added risk.  Other derivative positions can be used to reduce the risk, but risks arising from such earnings management cannot be eliminated.

Bob Jensen's threads on FAS 133 and IAS 39 are at 

WordCount  is an interactive presentation of the 86,800 most frequently used English words --- 

You can slide along a slider beginning with the most frequent word (the) to the lowest frequent word (conquistador).

You can choose a word of interest to you and find its rank.

You may choose a rank number and find the word at that rank.

The Scout Report on August 19, 2004 states the following:

Words are used as invectives, toasts, and tirades, among other forms of human expression. As a type of artistic experiment, Jonathan Harris of Flaming Toast Productions decided to create this engaging website that documents the 86,000 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonality. Nay-sayers beware: This is no simple listing of the words, contained within a mundane series of connected web pages. As visitors quickly realize, this articulated end-to-end listing of these 86,000 words features scaled versions of each word, giving a "visual barometer of relevance." As the site notes, "The goal is for the user to feel embedded in the language, sifting through words like an archaeologist through sand, awaiting the unexpected find." Interestingly enough, the word "God" is one word from "began" (which is at number 375), and six words from "war." Budding urbanologists will find it interesting that the word "Chicago" is at number 6,692 and that "Shanghai" makes into the list at 18,242.

New Tax Helper Sites from Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, August 2004, Page 25 --- 

Strategies for Savings
CPAs and personal financial planners can enter this Web site through the back door to read guidance for clients on maximizing tax deductions such as travel and entertainment expenses and charitable contributions. Users also can find financial calculators, information on topics including annuities and mutual fund taxation, and due dates for filing tax returns and reporting tax information.

Fact or Fiction?
Tax advisers can look over the tax secrets and myths section of this e-stop on debunking falsehoods, such as the idea that not taking every possible deduction reduces a client’s chances for an audit, as well as learn about little-known strategies such as how to get an annual early tax refund. The site features links to more than 80 itemized deductions and a free monthly newsletter.

Resources and Tips
Tax specialist and author Gail Perry’s online compilation of her column “Fun With Taxes” includes links to articles from the New York Times such as “Beating the Tuition Blues and Earning Some Tax Breaks” and her own writings—such as the article “IRS Throws Foul Ball Into All American Pastime.” In addition, visitors can find daily tax tips from the IRS and the Tax Preparation Tool Box, which includes an IRA calculator to determine eligibility or compare Roth IRAs with traditional ones to see their worth at retirement.

For Filing and More
In addition to free registration, links to state and federal tax forms and electronic filing options, tax preparers who visit this Web stop can click on the Tax Center link at the bottom of the home page to find a tax glossary, the e-document “Seven Tax Return Mistakes to Avoid,” a W-4 calculator and a tax estimator.

Government Approved
Tax consultants and preparers with home-business-based clients can find tips here on tax breaks in compliance with congressional law, the tax code and tax court rulings such as “converting ‘commuting miles’ into tax-deductible business miles,” the benefits of obtaining an employer identification number and deductions for donations. Users also can sign up for a free subscription to the newsletter Tax Tips You Can Bank On.

Bob Jensen's taxation threads are at 

August 27, 2004 message from Jerry Trites

I thought this was interesting. This is the first I've seen of the Blackberry being handed out to students, even though they are very heavily used in business and their latest product with strong e-mail and internet capabilities has really caught on. I wonder how many business schools make such technology available to the students?  _____________________________________ 

Gerald Trites, FCA, CA·IT/CISA 
Website -  
The Trites E-Business Blog


David Fordham Calls Americans Noise Polluters

I am currently in Antwerp, Belgium, with our study-abroad program. We are issuing to students very advanced GSM cell phones (GSM is not available in most of America) which also has built-in WAP and Bluetooth capabilities. The students can surf the web, as well as use bluetooth headsets, upload and download pictures, send text messages, paging, and all kinds of other neat-o stuff. These phones are "checked out" to the student at the beginning of the semester for a $25 deposit, with $40 of calltime already programmed in (in Europe, you program a little card that fits into your phone... you can 'recharge' the card and put more time on it at any ATM ... and you can take the card out and move it to a different phone and presto- that phone now has your number, your paid minutes, your settings and preferences, etc!) At the end of the semester, if the students turn in their phone, they get their deposit back. Otherwise they pay $125 for the missing phone.

I had heard that Europe was ahead of USA in personal technology, but I was skeptical. I'm skeptical no more. Just spending a few minutes in an electronics store (the Belgian equivalent of Circuit City) made a believer out of me. The integration here is far beyond the USA. The standarization and interoperability would make even an OfficeXP junkie jealous.

Best of all, everyone here is quiet. Everywhere you go, you think you are in a library. Everyone is talking in low, quiet voices! You step onto a bus with 30 people on it, it is quiet even though half a dozen people are on the phone! Or you step into a cafe with 40 people in it, all carrying on conversations either in person or on the phone, yet you can hear a pin drop at the other end of the room! Sitting in a booth, you don't hear a thing either party on either side of you says. It is very obvious when an American walks in, talking loudly, laughing, etc.

Europeans have their faults, but they are way ahead of us (that's U.S.) in civility, standardization, and integration when it comes to personal technology.

David Fordham 
James Madison University 
Semester in Antwerp program


Helpers for Women at Work

Institute for Women's Policy Research --- 

The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) is a public policy research organization dedicated to informing and stimulating the debate on public policy issues of critical importance to women and their families. IWPR focuses on issues of poverty and welfare, employment and earnings, work and family issues, health and safety, and women's civic and political participation.

The Institute works with policymakers, scholars, and public interest groups around the country to design, execute, and disseminate research that illuminates economics and social policy issues affecting women and families, and to build a network of individuals and organizations that conduct and use women-oriented policy research. IWPR, an independent, non-profit, research organization also works in affiliation with the graduate programs in public policy and women's studies at The George Washington University.

IWPR's work is supported by foundation grants, government grants and contracts, donations from individuals, and contributions from organizations. Members and affiliates of IWPR's Information Network receive reports and information on a regular basis. IWPR is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Program Areas

  • Poverty and Welfare
    Welfare reform, low-wage workers, social security reform
  • Family and Work
    Paid and unpaid family leave, child care, flexible work arrangements, changing family and work structures
  • Employment and Earnings
    Pay equity, affirmative action, the wage gap, part-time and contingent work, women and unions, women in management, unemployment insurance
  • Health & Safety
    Women's access to health insurance, costs and benefits of preventative health services for women, costs of domestic violence
  • Democracy and Society
    Women's political participation, as activists, voters, candidates, and policy makers, the status of women in the states: and tax and budget policy
What Makes IWPR Special?

IWPR is special in several ways. First, the Institute specializes in the use of quantitative techniques and original research, interpreting the data through the lens of the special conditions of women's lives, paying close attention to gender and racial disparities. Second, IWPR works in partnership with women's advocacy groups and other public interest organizations to respond directly to the policy needs of their constituents by producing and disseminating research that supports specific policy initiatives.

Research dissemination and citizen education are critical components of our work, ensuring that the results of our research are used effectively to promote economic justice and structural change. Our research dissemination and citizen education activities include:

  • Briefing Congress and the Administration as well as women's and other public interest groups
  • Convening conferences, lectures, and a brown-bag lunch series (the joint IWPR and GWU Friday Forums) on policy issues affecting women and their families
  • Advising women's organizations and other public interest groups on specific policy issues
  • Organizing public relations campaigns and media events.

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting careers for women are at 

In a major setback for the music and movie industries, a federal appeals court upholds a lower court's decision in the infamous Grokster case, ruling peer-to-peer services Morpheus and Grokster are not liable for the copyright infringement of their users.
"P2P Services in the Clear," by Katie Dean, Wired News, August 19. 2004 ---,1412,64640,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P file sharing are at 

Upcoming Changes in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 --- 

On Friday, August 6, Microsoft announced the release of a significant update to the Windows XP operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). This security-focused update includes numerous changes, many of them transparent to end users, which aim to reduce the operating system's exposure to attacks from the Internet and protect users from predatory software like adware, spyware, and malware. The Windows XP operating system is installed on nearly 50% of net-connected computers worldwide—almost 250 million PCs, according to the Flash Player survey Macromedia conducts quarterly through NPD.

While targeted at abusers of the current Windows security model, the changes in SP2 also peripherally affect many safe and useful technologies, including, in some instances, Macromedia software. Microsoft and Macromedia have worked closely throughout the development of SP2 to ensure the best possible experience for customers of Macromedia Flash Player.

In this article I'll talk about areas of the service pack that web designers and developers, website owners, IT and MIS personnel, and Flash Player users might be concerned about, with the goal of outlining the impact SP2 will have on the user experience and the development process.

To get the most comprehensive and detailed information about the service pack, visit the Microsoft website, which includes the following:

What's New in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Microsoft Windows Service Pack 2 users will experience some changes in the way software behaves, including some minor changes when launching some Macromedia products. The most visible change is the presence of a new security warning dialog box, which asks users to confirm that they want to install or launch software.

Many of the new security dialog boxes appear if a particular piece of software does not have a digital signature. Digital signatures verify the authenticity of the software download. As software publishers get busy creating and filing their digital signatures, there will be a transitional period in which many reliable software applications will not yet have them. Even without a digital signature, users are able to click to confirm that they want to install their software and proceed with the installation. To find out more about the digital signatures, see the Enhanced Browser Security section of the Microsoft TechNet article, Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2.


From Syllabus News on August 24, 2004


Who’s On First: US News Computer Science Rankings Out

US News & World Report came out last week with its annual quality rankings of colleges and universities, with some of the usual suspects holding their own in the categories for top computer engineering departments. For schools offering doctorates in the field, the top three from US News are: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University. For schools offering only bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, the magazine put the top three departments at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Calif., and New York’s Cooper Union College.

The 2004 U.S. News College Rankings are at 


"Free Security Update To Windows XP Has Value but Falls Short," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2004, Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

Microsoft has paid so little attention to security over the years that consumers who use Windows have been forced to spend more and more of their time and money fending off viruses, hackers, spyware and spam. For this reason, the burden of using a Windows computer has grown immeasurably recently.

Now, under pressure from its customers and critics, the software giant is making a move toward undoing that damage. Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will be rolling out a major, free security update to Windows XP. It's called "Service Pack 2," or simply "SP2."

I've been testing SP2 on two Windows computers, and it seems to work fine. I recommend installing it, if only because of the under-the-hood security improvements Microsoft claims it contains.

But SP2 falls way short of what Microsoft could have done to fix the miserable state of security in Windows. While the update will make it harder for malicious software to enter your PC, SP2 doesn't detect or remove viruses or spyware or spam.

What's more, some of the key features of SP2 are inferior to those in third-party security software. In fact, even after you install SP2, you will still have to use add-on security programs, if you want to be reasonably safe.

Over the next month, SP2 will arrive at many PCs, unbidden, via the built-in Windows Update feature in Windows XP. It will also be available for downloading from Microsoft's Windows Update Web site. And Microsoft plans to mail it out, by request, on a free CD.

On my two test machines, an IBM laptop and a Dell desktop, installation went very smoothly. All my programs and data remained intact and functional. Microsoft concedes that SP2 does interfere with about 50 known programs. Most are corporate products, but the list also includes a few games and consumer utilities.

In addition to the under-the-hood changes, which are aimed at stopping several common intrusion techniques, SP2's main features are a new firewall, a new "Security Center" and new protections built into Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. SP2 also turns on the automatic-update feature in Windows, which allows Microsoft to transmit and install future patches without user intervention.

The firewall, which is designed to shield your PC from attacks over the Internet, is now turned on by default. Formerly, it was off by default. (You can still turn it off manually, along with the automatic update feature.) And it has a few new features, including one that warns you if a program running on your PC is seeking to open a "port" -- a conduit to the Internet -- so it can receive incoming data.

But the new firewall lacks a crucial component present in some third-party firewalls, like ZoneAlarm. It doesn't prevent rogue programs already on your PC from using the Internet to make outbound data transfers, such as the secret reports that spyware programs make on your activities, or instructions that Trojan horse programs send out to attack other computers.

Also, Microsoft has made it easy for other software programs to turn off the new firewall. This was done so competing firewalls like ZoneAlarm could turn off the Windows firewall during installation, to avoid having duplicate firewalls running. But Microsoft concedes that hackers can use the technique to shut down the firewall as well. So I recommend buying, or sticking with, a superior third-party firewall.

The Security Center is where you can determine whether your firewall, your automatic-update settings and your antivirus program are on or off. It doesn't actually add a layer of protection to your PC. It's just an information device.

Even in that role, it falls short. In my tests, it couldn't tell whether Symantec's Norton AntiVirus program was on or off, and it warned me that my PC might not be protected against viruses, even though my antivirus protection was definitely on. This is apparently because Symantec needs to patch its product so it can talk to the Security Center. And the center made no effort to monitor my antispyware or antispam programs.

The changes to the Internet Explorer browser include a long-overdue pop-up ad blocker, which many other browsers now include, and additional warnings and controls on software downloads, so users will think twice about installing programs that might be malicious. An "Information Bar" at the top of the browser screen warns about downloads and notes that pop-ups have been blocked.

Microsoft still hasn't devised a quick, easy way to thoroughly erase your browsing tracks in Explorer or added an antispam feature to its Outlook Express e-mail program. The company says that SP2 was all about security, and these things weren't viewed as core security features. But it somehow still managed to use this security update to jam an unsolicited new "Favorites" link into the browser, one that points to a Microsoft site where it wants to sell you software and hardware.

Overall, SP2 is worth installing and will definitely improve Windows security. But it's limited. You'll still need to look beyond Microsoft to really secure your Windows PC.

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and network security are at 

August 5, 2004 message from Walter Antoniotti [

Good day Bob!

I am a retired college teacher who builds internet libraries to help people learn. Please consider linking to my libraries.


Walter Antoniotti 
21st Century Learning Products\ 

Bob Jensen's threads on online materials can be found at 

From Syllabus News on August 17, 2004

USC Launches Research Center on Studies of Digital Future

Jeffrey Cole, head of the Center for Communication Policy, formerly based at UCLA, will lead the newly established USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future, a policy and research center for the study of new communication technology and its impact on persons, communities, and societies around the globe.

The new USC-based Center will continue the same research projects undertaken at UCLA, including the next phase of the Internet Project, Surveying the Digital Future, a comprehensive longitudinal study of the impact of the Internet on America. The Center will release the newest report, "10 Years, 10 Trends," on September 13, 2004.

In addition to the Internet Project, Cole created the World Internet Project, which has tracked use of the Internet around the globe since 1999. Before coming to USC, Cole served on the faculty of the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, where he directed the track on Entertainment, Media and Communication. Joining him at USC are colleagues from UCLA, including Phoebe Schramm, associate director, and Michael Suman, research director.

For more information visit: 

Vanderbuilt Installs “Visual Area Network” for Teaching Apps

Vanderbilt University installed a high performance data visualization system that enables researchers to drive multiple display devices simultaneously, each with its own dedicated large graphics pipeline. Vanderbuilt implemented the “visual area network,” based on Silicon Graphics Inc.’s Onyx4 visualization technology, for its Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education. The facility provides computing, storage, and visualization services campus-wide, and supports projects from the College of Arts and Science, Medical Center, and School of Engineering.

The Onyx4 system will be used in teaching and other presentation applications where, for example, an animation of a protein structure is being displayed in stereo to a room of students using a passive stereo projector, while at the same time there are two other CRT displays driving modeling applications in active stereo for one-to-one interaction with the system. Each application gets its own dedicated CPU and graphics pipe, all running from the same console controlled by a single operator.


Share Pictures With Your Friends

PHPQuickGallery --- 

PHPQuickGallery is the solution for those who want to have a simple, easy to manage web gallery. Adding new photos or galleries is as simple as creating directories and copying in the files (You could keep them there, but you do have backups of your photos right?). PHPQuickGallery doesn't require the user to add the photos to a database, go through some web form, or have a script run to create new web pages. PHPQuickGallery will automatically detect and display anything new that is added.

Television Slide Shows of Your Digital Photographs

"Since Keeping Photos In Shoeboxes Is Passé, Try Making Slideshows," by Thomas E. Weber, The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2004, Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

Recently I tested nine programs capable of turning snapshots into video presentations. I found that some work especially well for beginners -- or anyone who wants to whip up a slideshow without investing a lot of time.

The basic steps for creating a slideshow are pretty much the same regardless of which program you use. You start by selecting a group of digital photos and placing them in the order in which you want them to appear. (A rule of thumb says to show each photo for about five seconds, so 30 photos will give you a slideshow 2½ minutes long.) Next, if you like, you can add a soundtrack -- most programs will incorporate any MP3 file you want. Finally, you burn the slideshow onto a DVD.

Some slideshow programs are included as part of broader video-editing packages designed to produce DVDs from home movies shot with a camcorder. Others, which cater mainly to still-image photographers, focus primarily on slideshows. Among the dedicated slideshow programs, I prefer ArcSoft's DVD SlideShow ($50, ), which allowed me to put together a polished presentation in about 30 minutes.

DVD SlideShow's strength is its menus, which walk you through the process in clear, simple steps while still providing access to advanced options -- notably, "pan and zoom" tools that add motion to still images by zooming in on a portion of the image or moving it around the screen. Another worthwhile feature: the ability to archive the original digital-photo files on the DVD along with the slideshow. That makes each DVD a valuable backup copy of your images.

One downside to ArcSoft's program is its price. Considering that good video-editing packages don't cost a lot more, some consumers may not want to pay this much solely for slideshow production. And while DVD SlideShow's features help justify the price, they could go further. The program allows you to lighten or darken individual photos, for example, but it doesn't include a fix for redeye -- one of the most common snapshot problems.

If you plan on working with home videos as well as slideshows, it makes more sense to get a video-editing package. The good news here is that one of the most user-friendly editing programs includes a straightforward slideshow maker. It's called MyDVD 5.3 Deluxe from Sonic Solutions ($70,

Like DVD SlideShow, MyDVD has users follow a simple process, and the program will archive the original photos onto the DVD. However, MyDVD doesn't include pan-and-zoom features, and you'll need to lighten or darken poorly exposed images and fix red eye using another program, such as Adobe's Photoshop Elements, before importing them into MyDVD.

Those using an Apple computer won't need to agonize over which slideshow program to choose. Apple's excellent iLife package ($49; included with new Macs) is all they'll need. Users can construct slideshows in the package's easy-to-use iDVD program or move slideshows from iPhoto into iDVD for burning onto a disc. For more effects, the iMovie video-editing software can add panning and zooming motion.

No matter which software you try, there are tricks you can use to make better slideshows. The most important: When in doubt, go with an understated approach. Most programs offer a variety of exotic "transitions" that make the next photo in the sequence appear to explode out of the prior image or spin around the screen. Basic dissolve or fade-in/fade-out transitions show off photos best.

Similarly, pan-and-zoom tools -- dubbed "Ken Burns effects" by Apple because they evoke the documentary filmmaker's style -- can leave your audience dizzy unless applied judiciously. (Windows users who get serious about panning and zooming eventually may want to consider a $199 program called Imaginate from Canopus that gives you supreme control over these effects.)

One last tip: Keep the slideshow format in mind when you take pictures. Snap some images that help recall the details -- the sign outside a restaurant, for instance. They may not be worth printing, but they can help tell the story.

More in the article.

Blinkx finds links of possible interest to you based upon what you are reading.

Blinkx is free at 

Whenever you browse a website, read a news story, check your e-mail or write a document, blinkx automatically delivers suggestions from the Web, news or your local files; which you can view by simply clicking the links or rolling over to get a summary of the information found. If you want to search, blinkx understands your question and presents you with links as you search.

In every case, blinkx provides an answer that is appropriate, faster than using a search engine and personalized just for you.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

"Carry Your Office in the Palm of Your Hand," by David M. Cheslak and Matt Van Winkle, Journal of Accountancy, August 2004, pp. 52-56 --- 

WELCOME TO THE WORLD PDAs—personal digital assistants. These handheld devices can perform many of your computer tasks and some even do double-duty as cell phones.

THE PDA MARKET IS DIVIDED INTO FIVE GROUPS: Palm, Pocket PC, Blackberry, smartphones and combination devices (which function both as PDAs and cell phones).

IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING BUYING ONE of these devices, be aware of these advisories:

Most Palms and Pocket PCs use a stylus on a touch-screen to input data, although a few models have keypads. However, typing on such a keypad can be awkward because you can use only your thumbs. Palms’ Graffiti software recognizes your handwriting or a unique shorthand alphabet style. It takes a bit of practice to learn, but once mastered, it’s faster than traditional handwriting.

Pocket PCs use letter-recognition technology that allows users to write conventional letters and numbers on the screen. Rather than users’ having to train themselves to write a unique script, the Pocket PC must be trained to recognize individuals’ handwriting. Another option for Palms and Pocket PCs is a portable keyboard, which makes typing fast and easy.

Blackberries come with attached miniature keypads, but users still must type with their thumbs.

Smartphones allow users to input data via the phone key buttons—and therein lies a problem: Phone numbers are entered as they would be on a regular phone, but it’s harder to enter PDA data. Voice recognition technology, which is available for both Palm- and Pocket PC-based smartphones, may accelerate the widespread adoption of smartphones, however.

HUNDREDS OF ADD-ON PRODUCTS FOR PDAs are available. They include full-size folding keyboards, small thumb keyboards, multimedia cards and microdrives for additional data storage.

IT’S BEST TO FOCUS ON THE CORE FEATURES when shopping for a PDA. Begin by listing your needs; once you find the product that matches them, see what bells and whistles you would like to add.

DAVID M. CIESLAK, CPA/CITP, GSEC (GIAC security essentials certified), is principal of Information Technology Group Inc., Simi Valley, California. His e-mail address is MATT VAN WINKLE is programming director at Information Technology Group. His e-mail address is


August 16, 2004 message from Glen Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU

"Turning Jukeboxes Into Teaching Aids" News Observer (NC) (08/11/04); Cox, Jonathan B. Tracy Futhey, Duke University CIO and information technology VP, explains that the distribution of Apple iPod digital music players to freshmen this year is part of an experiment to see if IT can augment education. The iPod is particularly appealing for a number of reasons: It is already likely to be highly popular among students, it can function as both an audio player and a massive drive, and its storage capacity is formidable. Futhey says that the iPods will be preloaded with general campus information and content, and a Duke-specific iTunes Web site will be set up where students will be able to download additional material. Among the educational applications she foresees for the iPods is their use in language courses where students learn by listening to exercises, or songs in native dialects. Futhey reports that the iPod experiment will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis, and in general considers technology to be another weapon in the educator's arsenal rather than an all-in-one solution. "Technology is not going to take a mediocre teacher and make them a good teacher," she reflects. Futhey is not too worried about whether the iPod distribution could spur a rash of music piracy, because the device offers students a legal alternative to ripping off songs, and the administration makes it very clear to students that they are expected to use the iPods responsibly. The Duke CIO says her department is formally asking faculty what kind of projects involving the iPod they would like to do, and these proposals will be subjected to formal assessments. Click Here to View Full Article --- 

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems
College of Business & Economics
California State University, Northridge
Northridge, CA 91330-8372 

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at 

Educational Competency Assessment (ECA) Web Site ---
The AICPA recently won a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Excellence Award for Educational Programming for developing this ECA site to help accounting educators integrate the skill-based competencies needed by entry-level accounting professionals.

The AICPA provides this resource to help educators integrate the skills-based competencies needed by entry-level accounting professionals. These competencies, defined within the AICPA Core Competency Framework Project, have been derived from academic and professional competency models and have been widely endorsed within the academic community. Created by educators for educators, the evaluation and educational strategies resources on this site are offered for your use and adaptation.

The ECA site contains a LIBRARY that, in addition to the Core Competency Database and Education Strategies, provides information and guidance on Evaluating Competency Coverage and Assessing Student Performance.

To assist you as you assess student performance and evaluate competency coverage in your courses and programs, the ECA ORGANIZERS guide you through the process of gathering, compiling and analyzing evidence and data so that you may document your activities and progress in addressing the AICPA Core Competencies.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment in general are at 

August 16, 2004 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM

I am wondering if anyone is using or has installed Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley ( x)? I am planning to use this for a class exercise later in the semester and communicating with another faculty who has used is or is planning to use this tool would be helpful. Good news: the tool is free and seems pretty functional. Bad news: InfoPath, Outlook, SQL Server, 1Tb RAID and 700mFlops Supercomputer are required to run (only a slight overstatement).

Roger Debreceny
School of Accountancy 
University of Hawai'i at Manoa 
Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM



Congratulations to Tony Catanach and Noel Barsky from Villanova University

Tony and Noel were awarded the 2004 American Accounting Association Innovation in Accounting Education Award in Orlando on August 11, 2004.  The award is for their development of a simulation model for teaching management accounting.  The model is called the Business Planning Model and is available with the textbook Management Accounting , A Business Planning Approach (Houghton Mifflin) --- 

Designed for use in introductory or graduate-level managerial accounting courses, this text applies an objective-based approach to managerial accounting topics. Unlike traditional cost-accounting texts, Management Accounting emphasizes the critical role that information plays in decision making, strategy execution, and overall enhancement of a firm's value. This text meets the growing demand for an integrated, "survey of business" approach to managerial accounting.

Through problem-based learning and the business planning model (BPM), Management Accounting develops in students those competencies expected of today's business professionals. This innovative pedagogical approach stresses the understanding and application of the basic business process; risk assessment and its relation to business strategy; critical thinking, reasoning, and analysis; oral and written communication skills; and techniques for team building. Real-world business problems and simulations place students in the role of business consultant.

The authors presented a CPE workshop on the BPM in Orlando --- 

The Business Planning Model is an innovative extension of the Business Activity Model approach to teaching Intermediate Accounting without lectures (the students must learn on their own).  I wrote a paper about the BAM model at 
The BAM pedagogy was developed at the University of Virginia (when Tony was on the faculty at Virginia) as one of the Accounting Education Change Commission funded projects.

In both the BAM and the BPM pedadogy, the students take responsibility for their own learning and learn deeper due to metacognition that comes from deeper learning --- 

August 17, 2005 reply from Paul Polinski [pwp3@CASE.EDU

Tony and Noah also gave a CPE session Sunday afternoon about their management accounting course, and distributed class materials to those attending. I believe they make invited presentations (check with them) at schools interested in pilot testing the course.

"Link (Dynamically) a Word Document to Excel," by Stanley Zarowin, Journal of Accountancy, August 2004, Page 92 --- 

I often make presentations based on last-minute sales data. It gets really wild when I have to copy last-minute numbers from the spreadsheet and quickly drop them into a Word document for the presentation. I sure hope there’s a better way.

There is, and it’s fast and simple. I’ll show you how to dynamically link the Excel spreadsheet to your Word document so that when you make any change in the spreadsheet it instantly and automatically will appear in the document. Caveat: Both the spreadsheet and the document must be in the same folder (subdivision).

Go to the article for the remainder of the answer!

Bob Jensen's Excel tutorials are at 

"Stop Word from Turning Every URL and E-mail Address into a Hyperlink," by Stanley Zarowin, Journal of Accountancy, August 2004, Page 95 --- 

I know somewhere deep in Windows there’s a place where I can command Word to stop automatically turning every e-mail address and URL into a hyperlink, but I can’t find it. While on occasion I’d like to be able to make some addresses and URLs hyperlinks so I can easily access them, I alone want to make that decision; I don’t want Word to second-guess me. 

There is such a place, and it’s right at your fingertips.

Go to the article for the answer.

Sign of the Times?

Just 34 percent of the 35,000 financial industry professionals who took the first section of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam this spring passed, which represents the highest failure rate since the test began in 1963. 

Center on Reinventing Public Education --- 

Center for Higher Education Policy Studies --- 

CHEPS produces and disseminates knowledge with respect to higher education policy, especially at the system and institutional levels. CHEPS contributes to the advancement of the study of higher education as well as to the development of theory grounded in the disciplines as a means of increasing our understanding of institutional, national and international issues that bear upon higher education. CHEPS meets this objective by conducting research, both fundamental and applied, and by undertaking activities in education, training and consultancy that meets the needs of those concerned with the development of higher education.

CHEPS has a five year research programme, which guides its activities. The research programme for the period 2000 – 2005 carries the title “Higher education and the Stakeholders Society”. It evolves around the notion that present day higher education institutions are forced to be in constant dialogue with their stakeholders in society.

CHEPS strives to be relevant to societal needs and issues in its research and consulting activities. We contribute to the advancement of the study of higher education as well as the development of theory grounded in the disciplines. In doing so we help increase the understanding of institutional, national and international issues which are generated by higher education.

CHEPS combines practical advice with fundamental research, addressing key problems within the continuously changing world of higher education policy making, The following characteristics best describe the CHEPS approach:

· Inter-disciplinary perspectives

· Multi-level approaches to higher education

· Broad and comparative research interests

· Integrating research with education, training and consultancy

· International networks

Bob Jensen's education bookmarks are at 

August 9, 2004 message from Jonathan West [

We are creating a Science Directory -  - and we would like to include your website to our Anomalies and Alternative Science category - . Please submit your site's information here: .

A reciprocal link from your site would be appreciated. This is our linking code : <a href="http://www.the-science-lab.comAnomalies-and-Alternative-Science/">Anomalies and Alternative Science resources</a> - directory of Anomalies and Alternative Science related websites.

Thank you, 

Jonathan West, .


Now there are two Paint Shop Pros to choose from It's not easy pleasing all of the people all of the time but we're trying. Last year, we polled Paint Shop Pro users and asked them what they wanted in future versions --- 

National Biological Information Infrastructure: Botany --- 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Birds, Birds, Birds --- 

Museums Online 
Note that there are three main classifications:  Art, Science, and History.

Gardens of Japan

Zen Gardens --- 

"Poetry: American Pastoral," by Stephen Burt, The New York Times, August 15, 2004 --- 

Poets have long used imagined rural worlds as refuges from, and symbols for, our own: simplified, purposely unrealistic shepherds, gardeners and fishermen let writers from Theocritus to Milton weave pastorals whose forests, fields and brooks encode claims about politics, religion, dead friends, living rivals or difficult loves. Modern poets have made their own versions of pastoral: for some, it includes any poem about a way of life or a setting remote from poet and readers, any fictive site or imagined retreat older and simpler than the way we live now.

To the hills and gardens where earlier poets found calm, Brigit Pegeen Kelly's third collection, THE ORCHARD (Boa Editions, paper, $14.95), brings a shocked, shocking and unfamiliar ferocity. Kelly's visions and elegies portray her as the only live human being in a sanguinary landscape of dogs, deer, mythical monsters, cracked statuary and children's graves: ''I lost the power,'' the title poem says, ''to tell the figures / In my dreams from those we call real.'' Among those figures are ''a flock of dead birds,'' ''a headless goat man'' and a ''lion with four heads, who looks this morning / As he rises from the shadows, like the creature / Who carries on his back the flat and shining earth.'' For Kelly, fertility and loyalty are inseparable from predation and death, as when ''the dead sparrow's / Brother sticks its head in the mouth of the lion.'' At times the whole book seems to mourn, and to gain its power by mourning, the same dead child: relentless lines pray and shout, demanding answers, but find ''waterstained stone cupids'' and ''the black black earth'' instead.

Kelly locates her stags, satyrs and statues far from their European origins, in her own vividly invented place. Emily Fragos's LITTLE SAVAGE (Grove, paper, $13) instead pursues art and music -- and the grief they may embody -- to sources in artists' real lives. ''Il Maestro del Violino'' speaks for the terminally ill children who once played music in a Venetian cloister: ''Those of us still pretty enough / to leave give concerts / in the open air.'' Fragos's characters confine themselves to schematic, limited worlds -- a recital room, a museum, an insane asylum. Her prodigies, madmen and performers (Maria Callas, Emily Dickinson, Glenn Gould) choose art as a shelter, with melancholy results. Though these chilly poems can sound too much like their sources (Sylvia Plath, Louise Gluck), at its best Fragos's trepidation, her self-defeating withdrawal, is just what her ''spare melodies of the slender bone flute'' describe.

Much of John Taggart's beautiful PASTORELLES (Flood Editions, paper, $13.95) sketches his slice of rural Pennsylvania and its ''old stage coach route,'' stone walls and ''young copper beeches''; with understated, photographic accuracy he even shows us stream beds and swales ''in a time of drought.'' The flat repetitions on which his verse depends can mimic dryness and frustration (his own and that of the stunted leaves) or turn more hopeful poems into catchy, jazz-inflected, quasi-mystical chants.

As in the work of George Oppen (one of his likely models), Taggart's poetic symbols are always ''also fact.'' His terse poems frame, and therefore make resonant, things simply seen -- an Amish girl rollerskating, a ''broken garlic clove,'' a museum of antique cars, ''shadows of lindens on the surface'' of water. Because he often sounds so reportorial, so unembellished, Taggart can get away with unironic high style when he chooses. His pastoral even includes a magical beloved who presides over a ''grove or green place'' -- ''surely you are the lady and dame of valor / who saved me.''

Pastoral long ago begat antipastoral, down-to-earth poems that show how difficult farming and herding really are. Paul Hunter's BREAKING GROUND (Silverfish Review Press, paper, $12) makes a detail-filled and trustworthy, if often unsurprising, contribution to that sturdy genre. Hunter shows his command of a speech-based free verse learned from William Carlos Williams, using its accents in gritty accounts of determination and endurance, as shown by rural people and the animals they tend. A superb pagelong one-sentence poem (''Because for Once There Was Too Much'') puts a bountiful harvest in stoical perspective. Longer poems explain how to dig a well, spread manure or bring hogs to market, stressing the virtues such work promotes: a mismatched team of geldings, for example, labors ''as one / to back out of a tight spot.''

State Fair Recipes (Food) --- 

Smithsonian Institution-National Museum of Natural History: North American Mammals --- 

Journey Through the Galaxy --- 

Lewis Carroll Scrapbook (history, literature) --- 

Forwarded by Auntie Bev


A little house with three bedrooms and one car on the street, 
A mower that you had to push to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall we only had one phone, 
And no need for recording things, someone was always home.

We only had a living room where we would congregate, |
Unless it was at mealtime in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms or extra rooms to dine, 
When meeting as a family those two rooms would work out fine.

We only had one TV set, and channels maybe two, 
But always there was one of them with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips that tasted like a chip, 
And if you wanted flavor there was Lipton's onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because my mother liked to cook, 
And nothing can compare to snacks in Betty Crocker's book.

The snacks were even healthy with the best ingredients, 
No labels with a hundred things that make not a bit of sense.

Weekends were for family trips or staying home to play, 
We all did things together -- even go to church to pray.

When we did our weekend trips depending on the weather, 
No one stayed at home because we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate to do things on our own, 
But we knew where the others were without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies with your favorite movie star, 
And nothing can compare to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics at the peak of summer season, 
Pack a lunch and find some trees and never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together with all the friends you know, 
Have real action playing ball -- and no game video.

Remember when the doctor used to be the family friend, 
And didn't need insurance or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you or what he had to do, 
Because he took an oath and strived to do the best for you.

Remember going to the store and shopping casually, 
And when you went to pay for it you used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe or punch in some amount, 
Remember when the cashier person had to really count?

Remember when we breathed the air; it smelled so fresh and clean, 
And chemicals were not used on the grass to keep it green.

The milkman used to go from door to door, 
And it was just a few cents more than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters came right to your door, 
Without a lot of junk mail ads sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name and knew where it was sent; 
There were not loads of mail addressed to "present occupant."

Remember when the words "I do" meant that you really did, 
And not just temporarily 'til someone blows their lid.

T'was no such thing as "no one's fault; we just made a mistake," 
There was a time when married life was built on give and take.

There was a time when just one glance was all that it would take, 
And you would know the kind of car, the model and the make.

They didn't look like turtles trying to squeeze out every mile; 
They were streamlined, white walls, fins, and really had some style.


One time the music that you played whenever you would jive, 
Was from a vinyl, big-holed record called a forty-five.

The record player had a post to keep them all in line, 
And then the records would drop down and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then, just like we do today, 
And always we were striving, trying for a better way.

And every year that passed us by brought new and greater things, 
We now can even program phones with music or with rings.

Oh, the simple life we lived still seems like so much fun, 
How can you explain a game, just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards between bicycle spokes, 
And for a nickel red machines had little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier and slower in some ways, 
I love the new technology but I sure miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we, and nothing stays the same, 
But I sure love to reminisce and walk down memory lane.

True or False?

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs", therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression. "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."


As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year! (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. The wigs couldn't be washed, so to clean them they could carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig". Today we often use the term "here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board was folded down from the wall and used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Once in a while, a guest (who was almost always a man) would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. Sitting in the chair, one was called the "chair man". Today in business we use the expression or title "Chairman or Chairman of the Board".


Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile". Also, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt and therefore the expression "losing face".


Ladies wore corsets that were laced up in the front. A tightly tied lace was worn by a proper and dignified lady as in "straight laced."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "ace of Spades". To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck."


Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the people. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, And bars, who were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there". The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term "gossip".


At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts", hence the term "minding your "P's and Q's".


Also, bet you didn't know this!!!! In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon, but how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?

The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others.

The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations. But, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a Brass monkey". (And all this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you?)

You must send this fabulous bit of historic knowledge to at least ten unsuspecting friends. If you don't, your floppy is going to fall off your hard drive and kill your mouse.

Louise Browning
PO Box 178 Philo, CA 95466


Forwarded by Team Carper

Are you tired of all those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that really speaks to true friendship:

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

2. When you are blue - I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3 When you smile - I will know you finally got ____.

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

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

6. When you are confused - I will use little words.

7. When you are sick - Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

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

This is my oath. I pledge it till the end. Why?, you may ask. Because you are my friend.

And remember:

A good friend will help you move.

A really good friend will help you move a body.

Let me know if I ever need to bring a shovel.

Have a Blessed Day,

Forwarded by Auntie Bev (who lives in the deep south)

The South

The North has coffee houses, The South has Waffle Houses

The North has dating services, The South has family reunions.

The North has double last names, The South has double first names.

The North has Cream of Wheat, The South has grits.

The North has green salads, The South has collard greens

The North has lobsters, The South has crawdads.

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Farmer John lived on a quiet rural highway. But, as time went by, the traffic slowly built up at an alarming rate. The traffic was so heavy
and so fast that his chickens were being run over at a rate of three to six a day.

So one day Farmer John called the sheriff's office and said, "You've got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and
killing all of my chickens."

"What do you want me to do?" asked the sheriff.

"I don't care, just do something about those crazy drivers!"

So the next day he had the county workers go out and erected a sign that said: "SLOW: SCHOOL CROSSING".

Three days later Farmer John called the sheriff and said, "You've got to do something about these drivers. The 'school crossing' sign seems
to make them go even faster."

So, again, the sheriff sends out the county workers and they put up a new sign: "SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY".

That really sped them up. So Farmer John called and called and called every day for three weeks. Finally, he asked the sheriff, "Your signs
are doing no good. Can I put up my own sign?"

The sheriff told him, "Sure thing, put up your own sign. He was going to let the Farmer John do just about anything in order to get him to
stop calling everyday to complain.

Three weeks later, curiosity got the best of the sheriff and he decided to give Farmer John a call. "How's the problem with those drivers.
Did you put up your sign?"

"Oh, I sure did. And not one chicken has been killed since then. I've got to go. I'm very busy." He hung up the phone. The sheriff was really curious
now and he thought to himself, "I'd better go out there and take a look at that sign... it might be something that WE could use to slow down drivers..."

So the sheriff drove out to Farmer John's house, and his jaw dropped the moment he saw the sign. It was spray-painted on a sheet of wood:


Forwarded by Maria


1. .If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 38 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Wisconsin.  

2. .If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Park Falls is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Wisconsin. (Mom, he wrote this one for you! I wanted to change it to Medford, but decided to leave it as Jeff Foxworthy wrote it)  

3. If you have ever refused to buy something because it's "too spendy", you might live in Wisconsin.  

4. If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Wisconsin.  

5. If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Wisconsin.  

6. If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Wisconsin.  

7. If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Wisconsin.  

8. If you may not have actually eaten it, but you have heard of Head Cheese, you might live in Wisconsin.  

9. If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Wisconsin.  

10. If you have either a pet or a child named "Brett", you might live in Wisconsin.  

11. If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Wisconsin.  

12. If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Wisconsin.  

13. If you know how to say Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Menomonie & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.  

14. If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy, you might live in   Wisconsin. (What???????)  

15. If every time you see moonlight on a lake, you think of a dancing bear, and you sing gently, "From the land of sky-blue waters, you might live in Wisconsin.   ===============================================================   Series II. YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE WISCONSINITE WHEN: .....................  

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.  

2. "Vacation" means going up north past Hwy 8 for the weekend.  

3. You measure distance in hours.  

4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.  

5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.  

6. Your whole family wears Packer Green to church on Sunday.  

7. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.  

8. You see people wearing camouflage at social events. (Including weddings and funerals  

9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.  

10. You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.    

11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife or girlfriend knows how to use them.  

12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Mill's Fleet Farm at any given time.  

13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.  

14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled  with snow.  

15. You refer to the Packers as "we."  

16. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and  road construction.  

17. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.  

18. You have no problem pronouncing Lac Du Flambeau.  

19. You consider Minneapolis exotic.  

20. You know how to polka.  

21. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to  your blue spruce.  

22. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.  

23. Down South to you means Illinois.  

24. A brat is something you eat.  

25. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.  

26. You go out to fish fry every Friday  

27. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.  

28. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.  

29. You find minus twenty degrees "a little chilly."  

30. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all  your Wisconsin friends.      

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

We work like a horse. 
We eat like a pig. 
We like to play chicken. 
You can get someone's goat. 
We can be as slippery as a snake. 
We get dog tired. 
We can be as quiet as a mouse. 
We can be as quick as a cat. 
Some of us are as strong as an ox. 
People try to buffalo others. 
Some are as ugly as a toad. 
We can be as gentle as a lamb. 
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark. 
Some of us drink like a fish. 
We can be as proud as a peacock. 
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla. 
You can get a frog in your throat. 
We can be a lone wolf. 
But we're having a whale of a time!

Forwarded by Paula



You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the finance committee refuses to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the members knows how to play one.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

people ask, when they learn that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and what bait was used to catch 'em.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

when the pastor says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering," five guys and two women stand up.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday.


You Know Your Church Is  A Redneck Church if...

a member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of."


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

in a congregation of 352 members, there are only seven last names in the church directory.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

high notes on the organ set the dogs on the floor to howling.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

people think "rapture is what you get when you lift something too heavy.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the baptismal pool is a  # 2 galvanized washtub.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the choir robes were donated by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob's Barbecue.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the collection plates are really hub caps from a '56 Chevy.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

instead of a bell, you are called to service by a duck call.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the minister and his wife drive matching pickup trucks.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the communion wine is Boone's Farm "Tickled Pink".


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

"Thou shalt not covet" applies to hunting dogs, too.


You Know Your Church Is A Redneck Church if...

the final words of the benediction are, "Y'all come back now!! Ya Hear!"


Forwarded by Paula

A photographer from a well-known national magazine was assigned to cover Southern California's wildfires. The magazine wanted pictures of the heroic work the firefighters were doing as they battled the blazes.

When the photographer arrived on the scene he realized that the smoke was so thick that it would seriously impede, or even make impossible, his obtaining good photographs from ground-level.

He requested permission from his boss to rent a plane and take photos from the air. His request was approved, and via a cell phone call to the local county airport, necessary arrangements were made. He was told a single-engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport.

He arrived at the airfield and spotted a plane warming up outside a hangar. He jumped in with his bag, slammed the door shut, and shouted, "Let's go!"

The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind, and roared down the runway. Within just a minute or two of his arrival they were in the air.

The photographer requested the pilot to, "Fly over the valley and make two or three low passes so I can take some pictures of the fires on the hillsides."

"Why?" asked the pilot.

"Because I'm a photographer for a national magazine," he responded, "and I need to get some close-up shots."

The pilot was strangely silent for a moment; finally he stammered, "So, you're telling me you're not the flight instructor?"

Forwarded by Paula

Yesterday I decided to go to my first aerobics class. I bent and twisted, pushed and pulled, thrust my pelvis in and out, raised my arms and legs up and down, gyrated and contorted myself into all kinds of strange positions and exhausted myself jumping up and down for nearly an hour.

But by the time I got my leotard on, the class was over.

Forwarded by Dick Haar

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the family car.

His father took him into his study and said, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little, get your hair cut and then we'll talk about it."

After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. They again went into the father's study where the father said - "Son, I've been very proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied the Bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut."

The young man waited a moment and then replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair." The minister said, "Yes, and everywhere they went, they walked."

Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash with Wylie Post in 1935, was probably the greatest political sage this country has ever known.  Enjoy the following:

                  1.  Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

              2.  Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

                3.  There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.

            4.  Never miss a good chance to shut up.

                  5.  Always drink upstream from the herd.

                  6.  If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

                  7.  The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

                  8.  There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading.  The few who learn by observation.  The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

                  9.  Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

                  10.  If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

                  11.  Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

                  12.  After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.  He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.  The moral:
                  When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

                  ABOUT GROWING OLDER...

                  First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

                  Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

                  Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way.  I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

                  Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

                  Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

               Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

                 Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

            Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

                  Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

                  Tenth ~ Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft.  Today it's called golf.

                  And finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

From the pulpit of Reverend Tom Golden, Sugar Hill Community Church, August 15, 2004

An atheist was hunting deep in the Northwest mountains when he stumbled upon Big Foot.  When the atheist's gun jammed, the enraged beast raced in snarling fury toward the helpless man.

"Oh God!  Save me," prayed the atheist.

God stopped the beast in its tracks and said to the atheist:  "Until today you never believed in me."

"Until today I also did not believe in Big Foot," answered the hunter.

You can read about the legend of Big Foot at

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


Bob Jensen's bookmarks for accounting newsletters are at 

News Headlines for Accounting from --- 
An unbelievable number of other news headlines categories in are 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 --- 


Household and Other Heloise-Style Hints --- 


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


Click on for a complete list of interviews with established leaders, creative thinkers and education technology experts in higher education from around the country.


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


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August 14, 2004

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on August 14, 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.

Although he does not cite sources for some of the statistics provided in his letter, Ray does have first-hand experience.  His letter reads as follows:

A letter from Ray Reynolds, a medic in the Iowa Army National Guard, serving in Iraq. 
As I head off to Baghdad for the final weeks of my stay in Iraq, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who did not believe the media. They have done a very poor job of covering everything that has happened. I am sorry that I have not been able to visit all of you during my two week leave back home.

And just so you can rest at night knowing something is happening in Iraq that is noteworthy, I thought I would pass this on to you. This is the list of things that has happened in Iraq recently: (Please share it with your friends and compare it to the version that your paper is producing.) 

* Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.

* School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.

* Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored there so education can occur.

* The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster. * The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.

* Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.

* The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.

* 100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before the war.

* Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in place.

* Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.

* Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.

* Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.

* Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with US soldiers.

* Over 400! ,000 people have telephones for the first time ever

* Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.

* An interim constitution has been signed.

* Girls are allowed to attend school.

* Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.  

Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will! . We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts. If you are like me and very disgusted with how this period of rebuilding has been portrayed, email this to a friend and let them know there are good things happening. 

Ray Reynolds,
SFC Iowa Army National Guard
234th Signal Battalion

Quotes of the Week

That some bankers have ended up in prison is not a matter of scandal, but what is outrageous is the fact that all the others are free.
Honoré de Balzac

You don't translate what the author wrote, but what he meant to say, this is why computers will never be able to translate.
Author unknown

One section of the (Sarbanes-Oxley) act also provides federal protection to would-be whistleblowers. As a result, warnings about accounting problems are reaching boardrooms at an unprecedented rate.
"Accounting Leads Rise, Making Boards Edgy," SmartPros, July 30, 2004 --- 
Bob Jensen's threads on whistle blowing are at 

Dentists in Canada discover they have to pay fees to Canadian music publishers for the right to play copyright music in their offices. U.S. dentists may be surprised to find out that similar rules apply in their country.
Katie Dean, Wired News, August 2, 2004 ---,1412,64397,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 
Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at 

American Express CEO Ken Chenault is about to launch a huge credit-card war. Backed by an antitrust ruling, he's gunning for Visa and MasterCard. Let the fight begin.
BusinessWeek Online's Insider [] July 30, 2004

Create a free service on the Internet, and you can be sure someone will find a way to exploit it financially. Porn peddlers are using Blogspot to increase page ranks on Google.
"Porn Blogs Manipulate Google," Danel Terdiman, Wired News, August 3, 2004 ---,1367,64422,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

The U.S. will announce plans to purchase 20,000 high-tech educational toys called LeapPads to educate rural Afghan women about health maintenance.
Queena Sook Kim, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2004, Page B1 ---,,SB109149503340581281,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt 
Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at 

Computer and Networking Aids for Solving Cold Cases:  Finding Justice
Twenty years after he found the Tent Girl, Riddle told his story to a teenager named Todd Matthews. And Matthews, driven by tragedies of his own, would become compelled to connect a life to her death. By figuring out who she was - and it's not giving the end away to say that he did - Matthews sparked a movement that is redefining how Does (unkinow murder victims) are identified. The methods are painstaking but simple: By trawling idiosyncratic combinations of Google, Yahoo! Groups, and personal as well as official Web sites, online sleuths have helped crack more than 20 long-unsolved cases. Their success has changed the way law enforcement and desperate families come to grips with these mysteries.
"Raising the Dead," by Noah Shachtman, Wired Magazine, August 2004 --- 

But for What Reasons?
Have accountants finally shed their dry bean-counter image? Can accounting be viewed as a "sexy" career choice? Maybe so, if the number of new accounting majors among college freshmen is any indication. Academics say the seemingly never-ending series of corporate scandals over the last few years has piqued the interest of today's students.
"Corporate Scandals Attract Students to Accounting," AccounitngWeb, August 2, 2004 --

Bob Jensen's July-September 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Bob Jensen's April-June 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Without naming the organizations in question, the IRS's chief counsel has put credit-counseling agencies on notice saying most of them don't meet tax-exempt organization requirements. Currently, the IRS is auditing 50 credit-counseling agencies that account for nearly half the revenue within the $1 billion industry. 

There are many books banned in some schools and libraries (e.g., Huck Finn is the most widely banned book).    See 


And I suspect there are banned porn books that are illegal to publish and sell.  Some books banned at one time or another in the U.S. are listed at 

A New Banned Book (well not entirely)
Only the author is not allowed to sell the book.

A federal appeals court has ruled that a well-known tax protester cannot sell his book, "The Federal Mafia," because it encourages people to commit fraud.

A federal appeals court has ruled that a well-known tax protester cannot sell his book, The Federal Mafia, because it encourages people to commit fraud.

Irwin Schiff, 76, of Las Vegas, who authored the book and owns a book store, may be able to sell a new version of the book if he removes the parts that push his tax evasion products and services, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Anyone but Schiff and two of his associates can sell the $38 book, the court ruled.

Schiff has gone to federal prison twice for tax crimes. He was indicted in March for helping more than 3,600 people try to avoid $56 million in taxes by reporting zero income on tax returns. Schiff calls the strategy a legal way to escape taxes, but the courts have rejected that claim, the Times reported.

Under law, the government is allowed to ban commercial speech if it encourages people to commit crimes. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco contended that the book was a central part of Schiff’s marketing of tax-evasion schemes, therefore making it commercial in nature.

"The defendants have been selling products that help their customers engage in illegal activity," the decision said.

Chapter 1 is online at 

Used properly, credit cards offer significant safety and convenience benefits. But mistakes with credit can cost dearly; in time and money and in terms of credit rating. To help consumers avoid costly credit card errors, this article highlights the most common credit card mistakes and explains how to avoid them.
"The 10 Worst Credit Mistakes You Can Make," AccountingWeb, July 28, 2004 --- 

Used properly, credit cards offer significant safety and convenience benefits. But mistakes with credit can cost dearly -- in time and money and in terms of credit rating. To help consumers avoid costly credit card errors, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants highlights the most common credit card mistakes and explains how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Not shopping around for the best interest rate.

Credit card rates and terms vary greatly. Financial publications and the Internet are good sources to find the best credit card options. If you already have a major credit card, discuss rates with your card issuer. Customers in good standing can often negotiate lower rates.

Mistake 2: Choosing a card for the wrong reasons.

Some credit card holders choose a card to earn free airline miles or cash rebates -- without regard to the card's annual fee or interest rate. In the end, they may end up paying more in fees and interest than the value of the benefits they receive. Mileage and rebate cards might make sense for those who pay their balance in full each month, but if you don't, there's a good chance you're better off with a no-fee, low interest rate card.

Mistake 3: Being misled by introductory rates.

Watch out for credit cards with low initial "teaser" rates that increase significantly after a few months. Be aware, too, that sometimes the low initial rate applies only to balances you transfer from an existing card -- and not to new purchases.

Mistake 4: Not reading the small print.

Before you sign up, be sure you know the card's interest rate and how it is calculated, the grace period, fee schedule, and other terms. Once your card is activated, your credit card company is obligated to notify you of any changes in the terms of your account. Be sure to carefully read this information. If you don't like the terms, look for a new lender.

Mistake 5: Paying just the minimum payment due.

When you pay just the minimum due on your credit card, you're stretching out the repayment period and adding to your overall interest cost. Each month, you should allocate as much as you possibly can to more quickly pay down your credit card debt.

Mistake 6: Taking cash advances.

Plan ahead and avoid using your credit card for quick cash at a cash machine. Cash advances often come with high service fees and higher interest rates. To make matters worse, your payments may be applied first to your lower-interest balance.

Mistake 7: Being late with payments.

Credit card companies charge a late fee -- which could be as high as $30 - even if you're just one day late. To be sure your payment arrives on time, mail it at least 10 days in advance. Some issuers allow you to make last-minute credit card payments by phone or via overnight delivery service. You'll pay a fee, but it's likely to be considerably less than a late payment fee.

Mistake 8: Having too many credit cards.

There's little reason to have more than two national credit cards. If you have credit cards you no longer use, contact the issuer and arrange to close the account. Too many open credit cards -- even if they have zero balances - may cause a lender evaluating your mortgage or other loan application to question what would happen if you ran up balances on all of them.

Mistake 9: Not checking your monthly statement.

If you spot a problem, immediately notify your card issuer by phone and follow up with written correspondence. Be sure to send your note to the address for billing complaints, which may be different from the address to which you send your payments.

Mistake 10: Not valuing your credit.

A good credit rating is essential, and Texas CPAs say you should make every effort to keep your credit record clean.

Bob Jensen's threads on consumer and credit card fraud are at 

When a collection agency is involved, consumers should demand proof that a debt exists. The agency must note the dispute in any report to a credit bureau and must also establish the validity of the debt before continuing collection efforts.

Although Mr. Graham said he thought he had resolved the issue with AT&T, the debt was referred to a collection agency. After he sent proof that AT&T had accepted his final check, he thought the issue had been settled.

But in March, when Mr. Graham applied for a mortgage, he said he found that his credit score - a figure derived from credit accounts and bill-paying history, aimed at identifying who is most likely to repay debt - had dropped and he could not get the rate he wanted. This time, he sued NCO.

(Brian Callahan, a spokesman for NCO, said it did not comment on specific cases. He defended the company's practices, however, saying disputes were handled as required under federal law.)

"How to Mend a Credit Report That's Not Really Broken," by Barbara Whitaker, The New York Times, August 1, 2004 --- 

BRIAN GRAHAM prides himself on paying his bills on time. So after he applied for a mortgage earlier this year, it came as a surprise that he was unable to qualify for a low adjustable rate.

The culprit was a $72 bill for a cellphone service cancellation fee - one he had disputed with AT&T Wireless. Mr. Graham said he thought the matter had been resolved, but it had instead been placed on his credit report.

"Brian, this isn't good," Mr. Graham recalled the mortgage agent telling him. "I would do something about it if you can." He tried, but after months of letters and phone calls, he has hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit to try to clear his name.

Mr. Graham, 41, who lives in Oxford, Mich., and owns a business making foot and ankle braces, learned how hard it can be to clean up one's credit history, even when it is soiled in error.

Sometimes the dispute is over a small sum. Other cases may involve identity theft or something as ludicrous as being listed as dead. (It happens.) But once bad information is on file, removing it can be difficult.

"What we have is an industry that has completely run amok and is continuing to publish inaccurate information that harms consumers and does so without giving consumers an adequate remedy," said Ian Lyngklip, a lawyer in Detroit who is representing Mr. Graham. "Every one of these cases is like taking a little day excursion into the twilight zone."

Lawyers and consumer advocates say the system is overwhelmed. Rather than truly investigating complaints, they say, the big credit bureaus make only cursory checks.

Norm Magnuson, a spokesman for the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents the major reporting agencies, defended the system, saying it handles huge volumes of information and processes complaints efficiently. The industry is required to resolve disputes in 30 days, he said, but in 80 percent of cases it does so in 10 days.

In June, U.S. PIRG, the Washington lobbying office for state Public Interest Research Groups, released a survey showing that 80 percent of credit reports had mistakes; one in four had errors serious enough that credit could be denied.

Complicating matters, lawyers say, collection agencies increasingly place even questionable debts on credit reports.

Richard J. Rubin, a lawyer in Santa Fe, N.M., who has worked extensively in the area, said, "They use the pressure of the negative report to the credit bureau, that's the pressure point, to make people pay the disputed debt."

Rozanne Andersen, general counsel with the American Collectors Association International, said members of her trade group were well informed of their duties on debt reporting and handling disputes. "I strongly disagree with the statement that debt collectors, when acting as data furnishers, avoid their responsibilities to update those credit reports,'' she said.

She said, however, that debt collectors had been frustrated because credit reports were not being updated quickly enough after errors were reported to the credit bureaus.

What can consumers do? First, they should know their rights and keep a watch on their credit reports. Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at U.S. PIRG, recommends that consumers check their report months before applying for a car loan or mortgage. By law, the big three national reporting bureaus - TransUnion, Experian and Equifax - must provide consumers a report once a year for $9, and consumers will soon be able to get one free report annually upon request.

Six states, including New Jersey, already require free reports. The new requirement is being phased in by region for the rest - the West Coast in December, the Midwest in March 2005, the South in June 2005 and the East Coast in September 2005. The changes in the disclosure requirements were part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, which passed Congress in November.

But consumers still face a big challenge in fixing errors.

The place to start, lawyers say, is the credit reporting bureau. Under an older law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the bureaus must initiate an investigation after being notified by the consumer of a disputed entry. It is a good idea to notify the creditor, too. If the investigation does not resolve the dispute, consumers may ask the credit reporting agency to include a statement of the dispute in their files and in future reports.

But if the creditor says a debt should stay on a report, "the bureaus believe they are entitled to keep it on regardless of what the consumer says or provides," said Leonard Bennett, a lawyer in Newport News, Va., specializing in such cases.

Ultimately, the only recourse for consumers may be to sue the creditor or credit bureau for damages for not conducting a reasonable investigation.

When a collection agency is involved, consumers should demand proof that a debt exists. The agency must note the dispute in any report to a credit bureau and must also establish the validity of the debt before continuing collection efforts.

Although Mr. Graham said he thought he had resolved the issue with AT&T, the debt was referred to a collection agency. After he sent proof that AT&T had accepted his final check, he thought the issue had been settled.

But in March, when Mr. Graham applied for a mortgage, he said he found that his credit score - a figure derived from credit accounts and bill-paying history, aimed at identifying who is most likely to repay debt - had dropped and he could not get the rate he wanted. This time, he sued NCO.

(Brian Callahan, a spokesman for NCO, said it did not comment on specific cases. He defended the company's practices, however, saying disputes were handled as required under federal law.)

Denise Gohman, 54, of Clear Lake, Minn., had a similar experience when, in November 2002, she was denied credit to buy a wedding dress for her daughter because her credit report said she was dead. Wells Fargo, which had given Mrs. Gohman a loan to pay college tuition for another daughter, had erroneously listed her as dead after that daughter's death in 1998. Armed with documentation, Mrs. Gohman notified the bank's student loan division of the mistake and believed the matter to have been resolved.

BUT in August 2003, when she went to buy a truck, she was not only denied credit - Wells Fargo still listed her as dead - but, she said, she was taken into a back room of the dealership and accused of identity theft.

It was not until she hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit that her report was corrected.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at 

From the AACSB:  Comparison of U.S. versus Canada MBA Enrollments --- 

Note that only only 2.2% of U.S. MBA students are enrolled in full-time distance learning MBA programs verus 15.5% in Canada.  Bob Jensen's threads on MBA and Masters of Accounting distance learning programs are at 

The Gay MBA

"Schools Gain a Lavender Tinge," Business Week, August 14, 2004 --- 

With gay and lesbian students increasingly assertive, B-schools are working to be more inclusive and boost opportunities for them When Kenneth Sormani joined Lehman Brothers as an analyst in 1982, he was often guarded when he talked to co-workers about his personal life. That's because he didn't want to disclose that he was gay. "When I started...most people weren't really 'out' on Wall Street," he says. However, 22 years have gone by, and Sormani now talks openly about his weekends and personal life at conferences and work. A senior vice-president of fixed income, Sormani is also one of about 80 New York members of the two-year-old Lehman Brothers Gay and Lesbian Network.

Times have changed -- for the better -- for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) professionals. The 90s introduced improved diversity policies at many corporations, allowing gay employees to be more open about their sexual orientation. Corporate America has welcomed several openly gay leaders, including E*trade's (ET ) former president, Kathy Levinson, and Allan Gilmour, Ford's (F ) vice-chair.


Taking a cue from the business world and, increasingly, from students, lifestyle policies at B-schools are starting to change, too. Gay professionals are now more assertive at B-schools, encouraging schools to take their diversity needs more seriously. GLBT clubs have a more visible presence on more campuses, and members urge schools to reach out to more gay MBA hopefuls. There's better access to networking with gay MBAs at other schools, and some schools help fund trips to national gay conferences. In the classroom, students are also pressing for more business case studies to feature prominent gay issues, like whether a major network can air a talk show hosted by someone who's against gay rights.


This is fascinating with all sorts of implications for research and future communication!

"Animated face helps deaf with phone chat," by Will Knight,, August 4, 2004 --- 

Software that creates an animated face to match someone talking on the other end of a phone line can help people with hearing difficulties converse, suggests a new study.

The animated face provides a realistic impersonation of a person speaking, enabling lip-readers to follow the conversation visually as well as audibly.

The prototype system, called Synface, helped 84 percent of participants to recognise words and chat normally over the telephone in recently completed trials by the UK's Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID).

The RNID trials involved hard-of-hearing volunteers trying to decipher preset sentences and also taking part in real conversations.

Synface takes around 200 milliseconds - one fifth of a second - to generate the animated annunciations. But the system incorporates a fractional delay, so that the face is perfectly synchronised with the voice on the end of the line.

Regional dialects

Synface runs on an ordinary laptop and can be connected to any type of phone, including a cell phone. It uses a neural network to match voice to mouth movements. This mimics the way neurons operate inside the brain and can be trained to recognise patterns.

The neural network used by Synface identifies particular sounds, or "phonemes", rather than entire words. This has been shown to be a particularly fast way of matching words to animation. By concentrating on sounds the system can also represent words that it has not encountered previously.

The technology is not meant to assist people who are profoundly deaf, but rather those who have some hearing difficulties. Around one in seven people in western countries fall into this category. So far, Synface has been trained to work in English, Swedish and Dutch. It could also be fine-tuned to recognise different regional dialects.

"The accuracy still needs to be improved," admits Neil Thomas, head of product development at the RNID. But he says it could eventually make life easier for many people who have trouble hearing.

"There are a lot of people who struggle with using the telephone," Thomas told New Scientist. "It really gives them an added level of confidence."

The system was developed by researchers at Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, Sweden, University College London, UK as well as Dutch software company Viataal and Belgian voice analysis firm Babletech.

Bob Jensen's threads on text reading are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on technology aids for the handicapped and learning challenged are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on multivariate faces are at 

Double Congratulations to Mark, John, and Robin

Two very surprising announcements at the 2004 American Accounting Association Annual Meetings in Orlando were the announcements on separate days that a single paper had won both the 2004 Notable Contributions Award and the Wildman Award among highly qualified competitors for both awards.  I think this is the first time that a single paper ran away with both awards.

It's a good paper from both the standpoint of theory and practice.  It stands in the face of capital markets studies that could not find evidence of earnings management (read that manipulation) on the part of corporate managers.

"How Are Earnings Managed? Examples from Auditors," by Mark W. Nelson, John A. Elliott, and Robin L. Tarpley, Accounting Horizons, Quality of Earnings Supplement 2003 Issue May 20, 2003 --- 

This paper reports descriptive evidence about how managers attempt to manage earnings, based on a sample of 515 earnings-management attempts obtained from a survey of 253 experienced auditors (and also analyzed by Nelson et al. 2002). We classify attempts first according to primary approach: expense recognition, revenue recognition, issues unique to business combinations, and other issues. Then, within each of those broad categories, we subclassify attempts by the particular approach used in the attempt. For each specific approach, we report the accounts involved, the frequency with which the approach increased or decreased current-period income (and the frequency of adjustments required by the auditor), and provide descriptions by auditors of income-increasing and income-decreasing examples of the more frequent approaches. We also link our findings to recent SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs) that illustrate extreme versions of the specific approaches identified by our participants. This experienced-based, example-rich framework and frequency data should assist investors, auditors, audit committees, and other participants in the financial reporting process who need to be vigilant for earnings-management approaches.


What is phishing?


Phishing is a term standing for password harvesting fishing.


"Phishing Scams Just Keep Coming," by Greg Keizer, Information Week, August 3, 2004 --- 


Phishing attacks were back up in June, the Anti-Phishing Working Group said Tuesday, as the scams that continue to plague users and steal millions from financial institutions climbed to all-time records. The group, an association of more than 250 companies, tracked 1,422 new unique phishing attacks in June, an increase of 19% over May's 1,197, and more than 25% higher than the previous month's record.

The average number of attacks per day was up even more: 47.4 in June versus 38.6 a day in May. In an earlier report this summer, the group noted that while May's first few weeks were thick with phishing scams, schemers seemed to take a vacation around Memorial Day. That vacation, obviously, is over. For the year so far, phishing has been growing about 52% per month. No wonder the scams are getting the attention of users and the financial organizations victimized by the attacks.

The solution, said the group, lies in sender authentication, a scheme in which E-mail essentially "proves" to the recipient that it came from where it said it came from. "As phishing attacks continue to increase at a rate of more than 50%, enterprises must turn to authentication-based technologies," said Jeff Smith, CEO of Tumbleweed, the founding firm of the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

The Internet Engineering Task Force is meeting in San Diego this week and is expected to approve the Sender ID standard, a blending of Microsoft's Caller ID and the Sender Policy Framework protocol by Friday.

Shutting down address spoofing may be the best way to stop phishing, said the anti-phishing group's report, since 92% of all phishing E-mails use bogus addresses.

In other analysis of phishing figures, the APWG noted that the average "life span" for a phishing site is a mere 2.25 days, an indication of how fast scammers cut and run--and thus how difficult it is to track them down. And for the first time, the group also did an in-depth analysis of a single phishing attack.

Over a 12-day run during late June and early July, two banks were hit with identical attacks from a series of bogus sites hosted in multiple countries--including the United States, Uruguay, and South Korea--with the sites shifted daily during four of the days of the attack.

"This indicates the participation of at least one well-orchestrated, systematic criminal organization in the phishing world," the anti-phishing group's report concluded. The analysis backs up claims by state and federal law enforcement that phishing is linked to organized crime based in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The top phishing targets didn't change in June. Citibank again had the dubious honor of being the most hijacked brand, accounting for 36% of all attacks, while eBay, US Bank, PayPal, and Fleet retained their May spots as two through five, respectively.

Continued in the article


Bob Jensen's threads on computer and network security are at 


What is a PSM Masters Degree in Business?



"Science Master's For Business Draws Critics," by Nishad H. MaJmudar, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2004, Page B1 

Twyla Tiongson Pohar expected her bachelor's degree in molecular biology to help launch her career.

But employers told her she needed either a doctorate, requiring years of research, or business experience, which she didn't have, to land her ideal job as a biological information analyst.

She turned instead to a newly available alternative: a degree that combines science and business. In 2002, Ms. Tiongson Pohar earned a professional science master's, or PSM, in computational biology from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. She parlayed it into a $55,000-a-year job managing the development of software for researchers at Ohio State University's cancer center.

"I feel I've been given a tremendous opportunity," says the 26-year-old New York native.

Unknown as recently as seven years ago, the professional science master's degree has expanded rapidly. About 900 students are currently pursuing PSMs at 45 colleges and universities in 17 states, in fields including bioinformatics, biotechnology, financial mathematics and environmental sciences.

Unlike traditional graduate science programs, which concentrate on academics and research, the PSM programs have a strong real-world component. PSM students typically take many of the same courses as in traditional programs but instead of conducting research for a dissertation, as they would in a doctoral program, they embark on industry internships, learn business and patent law, and work with other students on business-oriented projects in the classroom.

PSM-granting schools say the programs will increase the number of students in the sciences, promote greater science literacy in business and government, and reduce the outsourcing of higher-skilled U.S. jobs abroad. But critics, particularly in the Ivy League and other top colleges, say the degree waters down standards in graduate science courses and accentuates textbook learning over independent thought.

Traditionally, top graduate programs in the sciences have enrolled only students who are capable of the independent research needed to receive a doctoral degree. At elite schools, would-be doctoral candidates who don't win that top degree usually end up with a master's of science degree as a consolation prize.

          Continued in the article

August 2, 2004 message from Ethical Performance [

Ford Motor Company's 2003-04 Corporate Citizenship Report - which covers a wide range of topics from the Escape Hybrid sports utility vehicle to human rights and HIV/AIDS prevention - is now available.

Organized once again around Ford's seven Business Principles, the new report provides data and a review of performance in each area.

A special section, entitled Feature Articles, examines areas where Ford believes it has made significant progress or faces particular challenges, including the Company's expanding investment in China and a look at the potential of hydrogen fuels and advanced technologies.

The report also has commentary from people inside and outside Ford on important issues such as climate change, vehicle safety and community engagement.

The full report and an opportunity for you to provide direct feedback can be viewed at

Printed hard copies of the report can be requested from

About 40% of workers now travel for business, and that figure will rise to two-thirds by the end of 2006, by some estimates. As the roster of road warriors grows, so will the demand for new gadgets to keep business running smoothly. Here are 10 technologies that companies are using to keep their mobile workers connected and productive.

"On the Road Again," The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2004 ---,,2_1097,00.html?mod=home_in_depth_reports 

Wi-Fi + VOIP = ?,,SB109051080284071051,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2

The ability to make wireless calls over the Internet is coming. But the combination of wireless calls and the Internet may unleash a whole new set of unpredictable changes in the telecommunications industry.

Getting Old Photos Onto Your PC,,SB109059952883672336,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 

The next time you have a few weeks with nothing to do, here's a project guaranteed to kill the time: Grab that old shoebox full of snapshots and scan them into your computer.

H-P Gets a Makeover,,SB109052778547671386,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
 Hewlett-Packard has long been known as one of Silicon Valley's old gray ladies, famous for dull products such as financial calculators and heavy-duty printers. But the company hopes a new design initiative can turn around its dull image.

Expanding Cells,,SB109059481168772289,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
What will your cellphone be able to do in the future? South Korea -- where residents already use their phones to watch movies, activate home appliances and post photos on Web sites -- offers some clues.

For consumers, call centers are often a descent into voice-mail hell. Maybe they don't have to be. Companies are starting to spend money on technology to revolutionize the way call centers operate, for a more efficient and friendly experience for customers.

Lost in Traffic,,SB109052982818971448,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
As the e-commerce boom snowballs, big retailers have begun piling into comparison sites -- and making life a lot tougher for their small competitors. Here's how the little guy can survive.

Videophones: The New Generation,,SB109051654537871156,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
Videophones have been promised as an everyday device for decades. But now, broadband connections are breathing new life into a technology that has never lived up to its potential.

Photo Ops,,SB109052470765771301,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
The problem: What do you do with all those pictures you can now take on your cellphone? The solution: moblogs.

Business Solutions: Protecting Your Network,,SB109059703283972319,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
Software makers try to stay ahead of attacks by issuing a steady stream of patches installed manually on each desktop. Now, better ways to manage patches are emerging -- and they promise to make the protection process faster and more efficient.

Web Watch,,SB109051200985071085,00.html?mod=2%5F1097%5F2 
From golf equipment to garden art -- see what's hot on the Web.


Bob Jensen's threads on technology gadgets are at 

UTOPIA  --- 

What if every Texan had access to the University of Texas’ vast reservoir of knowledge and cultural assets at the touch of a button? What if we said this was an achievable goal? The University of Texas at Austin has launched UTOPIA, an ambitious new initiative designed to open the University’s doors of knowledge, research, and information to the public. In the words of UT President Larry R. Faulkner, “We will provide access for every citizen, via a personalized Internet window, into the resources of our libraries, collections, museums, and much more. The University is a dynamo, now with the power to bring light into every home and business in Texas, and we mean to realize that potential.”

July 31, 2004 reply from Peter Kenyon [pbk1@HUMBOLDT.EDU

Some library resources (computer databases) are acquired under vendor contracts that include access restrictions to only "regular" university users.

We know that many business databases are provided to our libraries at reduced rates by vendors hoping to build future demand for full-fare business users.

Does anyone else see a problem here?

Peter Kenyon 
Humboldt State


Children's Books Online --- 

Safe Sites for Kids --- 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

American Family: Journey of Dreams (History) --- 

by Jan W Dash

This book is designed for scientists and engineers desiring to learn quantitative finance, and for quantitative analysts and finance graduate students. Parts will be of interest to research academics --- 
804pp Pub. date: Jul 2004
ISBN 981-238-712-9 US$98 / £73


Bob Jensen's links to tutorials on hedging and hedge accounting are at 

From Syllabus News on August 3, 2004

Product News Flash: Here Comes the Multimedia Blue Book

Testing and assessment software provider Questionmark has joined with Macromedia, creator of all things “Flash,” to release a software tool that enables authors of quizzes, tests, exams and surveys to incorporate Flash movies within questions.

The companies said that the Questionmark Perception Flash Connector works together with Macromedia’s Flash to provide “a high level of context within which a question can be answered.” For example, detecting a hazardous situation such as a chemical spill or an ignition source within the setting of a Flash movie can measure someone's sensitivity to hazards better than a multiple choice question. Now authors can use sound and videos and place measurable interactions within that context. Perception Flash Connector, which supports Flash 5, Flash MX and Flash MX 2004, makes it possible to evaluate and score an interaction and pass the information on to Perception for collation and reporting.

Bob Jensen's threads on resources are at 


Advances in Quantitative Analysis of Finance and Accounting, New Series (AQAFANS) is a continuation (with new features) of the similarly titled book series that was previously published by JAI Press from 1991. AQAFANS is an annual publication designed to disseminate developments in the quantitative analysis of finance and accounting. It is a forum for statistical and quantitative analyses of issues in finance and accounting, as well as applications of quantitative methods to problems in financial management, financial accounting, and business management. The objective is to promote interaction between academic research in finance and accounting, applied research in the financial community, and the accounting profession.


Inaugural issue out!!! View Free Online --- 

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: A Global Industry in the Making


A Theory of Debt Disorganization
Keiichiro Kobayashi

HIPC Debt Sustainability Thresholds: Revisiting the Case for a Uniform Formula for Debt Relief
Peter Hjertholm

Default Costs, Willingness to Pay, and Sovereign Debt Buybacks
Jonathan P. Thomas

Matthew R. Mcbrady and Mark S. Seasholes

Default Without Disruption: Simulation of a Sovereign Debt Restructuring
Adam Lerrick and Sanjay Srivastava

The Problem of Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Holdout Problem and Exit Consents
Kentaro Tamura

Subnational Debt Restructuring and the Rule of Law
Steven L. Schwarcz

Precedents in Sovereign Bond Default and Restructuring
Luisa Palacios

The Reform of the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Process: Problems, Proposed Solutions, and the Argentine Episode
Nouriel Roubini and Brad Setser

Turning Loans into Bonds: Lessons for East Asia from the Latin American Brady Plan
Ross P. Buckley

Tools for the Analysis of Debt Problems
Federico Sturzenegger

Industry Perspective

Who Are Those Guys? Answers from a Survey of the Turnaround Profession
Harlan D. Platt and Marjorie B. Platt

Book Review

Book Review: "Restructuring Sovereign Debt: The Case for Ad Hoc Machinery"
Lex Rieffel


But for What Reasons?
Have accountants finally shed their dry bean-counter image? Can accounting be viewed as a "sexy" career choice? Maybe so, if the number of new accounting majors among college freshmen is any indication. Academics say the seemingly never-ending series of corporate scandals over the last few years has piqued the interest of today's students.
"Corporate Scandals Attract Students to Accounting," AccounitngWeb, August 2, 2004 --

"Accounting Grads See Starting Salary Increase," SmartPros, July 27, 2004 --- 

Average starting salary offers to college graduates are on the rise, according to the Summer 2004 Salary Survey, which was recently published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).


Accounting graduates continue to see their average starting salary increase; they've posted gains in each of the 2004 Salary Survey reports. Currently, they are averaging $41,110, a 1.4 percent gain over last year at this time.

Similarly, graduates in economics/finance and marketing/marketing management saw their offers increase. The average starting salary for economics/finance graduates rose 2.1 percent to $40,906. Marketing/marketing management grads saw their average starting salary rise to $35,321, a 2 percent increase over last year.

Overall, almost all of the business disciplines continue to show increases in their average starting salaries. For example, business administration graduates saw their average starting salaries increase to $38,188, a 2.9 percent jump from last year at this time.

"There have been definite signs of improvement to average starting salary offers for the Class of 2004," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. "For instance, at the bachelor's degree level, two-thirds of the disciplines that reported a percentage change in salary over last year reported increases."

Management information systems (MIS) graduates are now averaging $42,098, up 2.9 percent over last year at this time.

The survey is a quarterly report of starting salary offers to new college graduates in 70 disciplines at the bachelor's degree level. The survey compiles data from college and university career services offices nationwide.

"New BLS Guide Outlines Accounting Trends and Job Outlook," SmartPros, April 21, 2004 --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on accountancy careers are at 

Deciding Not to Decide

August 2, 2004 message from Glen Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU

Sent: Monday, August 02, 2004 1:34 PM 
Subject: No decision is a decision

I'm sure somebody on this list has a good answer to my question.

I frequently tell students that making no decision is decision. Am I quoting somebody when I say that? If yes, who? If I'm not quoting somebody, can you recommend a quote that makes a similar point?

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA 
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems 
College of Business & Economics 
California State University, 
Northridge Northridge, CA 91330-8372 

August 2 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Glen,

There is a complicating issue of “not making a decision” among competing alternatives versus a decision to exclude all decision alternatives and criteria.  For example, an alcoholic’s decision not to become a bartender or be in situations where liquor is available is not the same as deciding not to consume any alcohol while tending bar.  (Actually, many bartenders are former alcoholics, including my friend at the inn down the road from where I live).

Decisions to avoid alternatives for “making a decision” go back to the earliest recorded history where all competing temptations are deliberately avoided   You should easily find ancient quotes on this.  Economists have been notorious in this regard.

It seems to me that the context of your quotation is much like agnosticism.  You're contending that the choice of not making a judgment is a decision among competing alternatives that include not deciding.  Some would argue that we face three choices:   1) choose to believe 2) choose to not believe or 3)choose to not make a judgment about the existence of a God.   But we also face a choice of not thinking about the alternatives one way or the other.

You would argue that an agnostic has made a decision of not making any judgment.  But others might argue that the agnostic has simply avoided competing alternatives.  This is especially the case for individuals to simply decide not to think about belief in God one way or the other.  My point is that rationally deciding to be an agnostic is not the same as avoidance of considering any alternatives of belief.  The happy idiots and animals other than humans never think any deep thoughts about which to cast judgments.

It seems to me that many examples can be found where “not making a decision” can be attributed to avoidance of alternatives rather than “deciding not to decide.”

Recall the highly emotional scene in Our Town by Thornton Wilder.  The spirit Emily breaks down into sobs, "I can't, I can't go on. It  goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another." Finding  the scene too painful, she wants to leave. She asks the Stage Manager to take her back "up the hill to my grave." As she bids farewell to Grover's Corners, she exclaims, "Oh earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize. . .Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?" ---

My point is that making choices not “to realize” is not the same is making choices to avoid that which is realized.  Is Emily making a decision not to decide or is Emily making a decision not to be confronted with any alternatives in life?

Something similar takes over in real life when we choose on the basis of a mathematically optimal solution in any model that has excluded many variables.  The decision to accept the model’s outcome is also a decision to not attempt to “realize” all of the implications of the missing variables in the model.  This is not the same as having one of the model’s choices be to postpone making a decision because there are too many important missing variables.  The latter choice is difficult to build into a model of the missing variables are important to that choice.

As another example, I recently sent out a message from a U.D. Department of Defense Auditor attempting to blow the whistle on defense contracting fraud using negative inventories and his alleged poor audit decision by PwC.  Some of you may have read Richard’s letter to me an then “made a decision” not to decide whether this is fraud or not.  Others will simply have not opened the message thereby avoiding thinking about the issue one way or the another.  This is a different type of decision not to decide.

The bottom line here is that “deciding not to decide” can be much more complicated that it appears at first blush.

Bob Jensen

August 2, 2004 reply from David Fordham

Glen, the Sci-Fi writer Isaac Asimov has provided a plethora of good quotes from the dialogs between the characters in his many books. One of them that I remember vividly is "If you've decided not to decide, then you've already decided", but I can't recall which book it is from. I'm pretty sure it is a line in one of the Foundation series, however. (Asimov did the first three Foundation books, later did a fourth by popular demand, and the Asimov foundation commissioned three more by other writers after his death. I'm pretty sure the quote is from one of the first three.)

David R. Fordham

August 2, 2004 reply from Randy Elder [rjelder@SYR.EDU

My response will not have quite the intellectual depth of the others you have received. A line from the song Freewill by the Canadian rock group Rush includes: "If you choose not to decide You still have made a choice"




July 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


"The Copyright Court," produced by the ResearchChannel at the University of Washington, is an entertaining new video on copyright issues relevant to university faculty and staff. This 13-minute video may be useful for anyone who is interested in the issue or who needs resources for educating faculty and staff. The copyright video can be viewed by going to and scrolling to the bottom of the screen. Several streaming options are available, including Windows Media and QuickTime.

ResearchChannel is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by a consortium of leading research universities, institutions, and corporate research centers dedicated to creating a widely accessible voice for research through video and Internet channels.

More Accounting Professors Needed


"Accounting in College Lures More Students," by Diya Gullappalli, The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2004, Page C1 ---,,SB109104541327776698,00.html

Poor Publicity Makes Field Seem Necessary, Perhaps Even Sexy; 

More Professors Needed

Here are some numbers that don't appear to add up. Even as the accounting profession has endured a torrent of negative publicity, more college students are enrolling in accounting programs.

The enrollments are so strong that some universities face a problem: a shortage of professors to teach these young bean-counters.

Some schools nationwide report record numbers of accounting applicants for the fall semester, on top of strong gains over the past year. Most of the students know all about the accounting blowups spanning the globe, from Enron Corp. in Houston to Parmalat SpA in Italy .

"What this tells us is there's no such thing as bad publicity," says Ira Solomon, head of the department of accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "All the focus on accounting created a perception to students that accounting matters and is perhaps even sexy."

College professors cite the Sarbanes-Oxley securities-reform act of 2002 as a factor: It has created new jobs in the industry by extending auditors' duties at many companies. In an uncertain economy, many students see an accounting job as one of the surest bets for employment upon graduation. The pay is relatively good, even as banking and consulting jobs have been tougher to come by.

However, the comeback of the accounting career occurs as the number of business doctorates produced is at a 17-year low and universities struggle to recruit new accounting professors. That leaves many wondering who will be left to teach all the new rules and regulations to the growing student pool. While many academic fields are suffering from professor shortages, the issue is more acute in accounting because of the pull toward high-paying public-accounting jobs.

The number of accounting degrees awarded nationwide in 2003 jumped 11% from the year before, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The University of Illinois , one of the nation's biggest producers of accountants, saw a 66% increase in undergraduate accounting majors from 2001 to 2004, to 379 students, and a surge to 93 graduate students, up from 11 in 2001. At Florida International University in Miami , which the AICPA says has the nation's largest accounting program, incoming student enrollment jumped 43% between 2000 and 2003. The University of Michigan , another big school, reports a 76% increase in accounting master's students over the past three years.

Academics say the accounting scandals piqued people's interest. They believe that Enron, for example, allowed accountants to shake their dry bean-counter stereotype and rise up as potential heroes.

"I don't want to go as far as comparing this to the FBI during the Depression, but students definitely now see an Eliot Ness-like quality to accounting," says J.B. Bird, director of communications at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, referring to the 1930s Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who nabbed Chicago crime boss Al Capone. The school runs the nation's second-largest accounting program.

Still, the nearly 50,000 accounting degrees awarded by all schools in spring 2003 is short of the peak of more than 60,000 for the 1994-95 academic year, the AICPA's figures show. Even before the most recent spate of accounting debacles, enrollment was slipping, as many potential auditors trained instead for finance jobs on Wall Street or in the technology sector. "I don't feel like we can just step back and say it's gotten better," says Brent Inman, partner in charge of recruiting at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. "We as a profession still have work to do."

And some students say that the post-Enron jitters haven't gone away. "Accountants are more behind the scenes and the only credit they do get is when something bad happens," says Elizabeth Murphy, who finished a master's in accounting this May from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . She "wavered back and forth on" entering the program. "I knew I had to think through putting my foot into this problem." She will be joining the international tax division of Big Four accounting firm KPMG LLP this fall.

But as accounting departments draw more students, consider the woes of San Diego State University 's School of Accountancy . While the school enjoyed a 27% increase in accounting enrollment between 2001 and this year, to 594 students, five of its 15 accounting professors are expected to retire in the next five years.

School officials say state budget cuts of 12% in each of the past two years have forced them to cancel two candidate searches since 2002. Last month, a state accounting organization, CalCPA, investigated the matter in an article entitled "Dude, Where's my Teacher?" The article lamented the difficulties California faces attracting professors, for reasons including its high costs. "The market is very thin in terms of entry-level Ph.D. candidates," says Andy Barnett, chair of the SDSU School of Accountancy.

Only 110 accounting Ph.D.s were awarded nationwide in 2002, down 4% from the previous year, according to the AICPA. As a result, the number of faculty openings is now more than twice the number of submitted resumes, the American Accounting Association says.

To combat the decreases, some schools have upped entry-level accounting-professor salaries to as much as $140,000, ranking them up there with many medical-school professors. The hope is to make accounting professorships competitive with positions at medium-size accounting firms, which on average offer $45,000 annual base salaries for entry-level employees and $135,000 for partners. (By contrast, liberal-arts professors earn as little as $30,000 at some public schools, even with tenure.)

Dick Dietrich, chair of the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems at the Ohio State University , says the program's 30% international student population finds it easy to obtain visas and teach right away due to the shortages, and the university also recently hired a former Arthur Andersen partner, among other practicing professionals .

Educators remain hopeful that the shortages won't slow down the growing interest in accounting. "People are now going in understanding that this is a high-risk profession that requires a lot of integrity and courage, but is an important part of the economy," says David Wright, head of the masters in accounting program at the University of Michigan, where master's enrollment has jumped to 60 from 34 students since 2001. "We are finding people who are truly passionate about accounting."

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting careers are at --- 

Accounting Roundup from Deloitte and Touche --- 

July 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


ELEMENTS OF QUALITY ONLINE EDUCATION: INTO THE MAINSTREAM, edited by John Bourne and Janet C. Moore, is the fifth and latest volume in the annual Sloan-C series of case studies on quality education online. Essays cover topics in the following areas: student satisfaction and student success, learning effectiveness, blended environments, and assessment. To order a copy of the book go to You can download a free 28-page summary of the book from

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines." Sloan-C is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, see


In "Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism" (ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION, vol. VII, no. II, Summer

2004) Neil C. Rowe identifies "three of the most serious problems involving cheating in online assessment that have not been sufficiently considered previously" and suggests countermeasures to combat them. The problems Rowe discusses are:

-- Getting assessment answers in advance

It is hard to ensure that all students will take an online test simultaneously, enabling students to supply questions and answers to those who take the test later.

-- Unfair retaking of assessments

While course management system servers can be configured to prevent taking a test multiple times, there can be ways to work around prevention measures.

-- Unauthorized help during the assessment

It may not be possible to confirm the identity of the person actually taking the online test.

You can read the entire article, including Rowe's suggestions to counteract the problems, at

The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is a free, peer-reviewed quarterly published by the Distance and Distributed Education Center, The State University of West Georgia, 1600 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118 USA; Web:


Among the reasons Rowe cites (in the aforementioned paper) for cheating on online tests is that "students often have less commitment to the integrity of distance-learning programs than traditional programs." This lack of commitment may be the result of the isolation inherent in distance education. In "Online Learning: Social Interaction and the Creation of a Sense of Community" (EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY, vol. 7, no. 3, July 2004, pp. 73-81), Joanne M. McInnerney and Tim S. Roberts, Central Queensland University, argue that an online learner's feeling a sense of isolation can affect the outcome of his or her learning experience. The authors recommend three protocols to aid social interaction and alleviate isolation among online learners:

1. The use of synchronous communication

"Chat-rooms and other such forums are an excellent way for students to socialize, to assist each other with study, or to learn as part of collaborative teams."

2. The introduction of a forming stage

"Discussion on almost any topics (the latest movies, sporting results,

etc.) can be utilized by the educator as a prelude to the building of trust and community that is essential to any successful online experience."

3. The adherence to effective communication guidelines "Foremost among these guidelines is the need for unambiguous instructions and communications from the educator to the students involved in the course. To this end instructions regarding both course requirements and communication protocols should be placed on the course web site."

The complete article is online at

Educational Technology & Society [ISSN 1436-4522] is a peer-reviewed quarterly online journal published by the International Forum of Educational Technology & Society and the IEEE Computer Society Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). It is available in HTML and PDF formats at no cost at

The International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS) is a subgroup of the IEEE Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). IFETS encourages discussions on the issues affecting the educational system developer (including AI) and education communities. For more information, link to



Two articles in the July/August 2005 issue of SYLLABUS address the often-asked questions on delivering online instruction: "How much will it cost?" and "How many students can we have in a class?"

In "Online Course Development: What Does It Cost?" (SYLLABUS, vol. 17, no. 12, July/August 2004, pp. 27-30) Judith V. Boettcher looks at where the costs of online course development have shifted in the past ten years. While the costs of course development are still significant, estimating them is not an exact science. Boettcher, however, does provide some rules of thumb that program planners can use to get more accurate estimates. The article is available online at


In "Online Course Caps: A Survey" (SYLLABUS, vol. 17, no. 12, July/August 2004, pp. 43-4) Boris Vilic reports on a survey of 101 institutions to determine their average course cap for online courses. The survey also tried to determine what influences differences in setting caps: Does the delivery method used make a difference? Are there differences if the course is taught by full-time faculty or by adjuncts? Or if given by experienced versus inexperienced providers? Or by the level (undergraduate or graduate) of the course? The article is available online at

Syllabus [ISSN 1089-5914] is published monthly by 101communications, LLC, 9121 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA; tel: 650-941-1765; fax: 650-941-1785; email:; Web: Annual subscriptions are free to individuals who work in colleges, universities, and high schools in the U.S.; go to for more information.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education in general are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance education are at 

Modern Language Association Language map --- 

Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America (History) 

Bob Jensen's threads on history are at 

July 30, 2004 message from 


Evolution of Competitiveness Theory

by Dong-Sung Cho & Hwy-Chang Moon (Seoul National University)


by Stephen Shmanske (California State University, Hayward, USA)

=== Online Sample Chapters Avaliable! ===


The Long Road Ahead

(Second Edition)

by Lim Chong Yah (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

=== Online Sample Chapters Avaliable! ===


July 30, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

It continues to astound me that seemingly-intelligent people can be so superstitious and paranoid as to have no objections to being given a name, having their photo on their drivers license, or having their fingerprints taken, (by a “government”, no less), but yet those same people can act so childish and immature when it comes to other, more practical and far more precise, more authenticable, less forgable, ways of achieving the exact same purpose with even fewer potential drawbacks and disadvantages. I’ll bet that a lot of cult worshippers of that purveyor of entertainment George Orwell will shed tears over the following article because of their paranoic fear of … well, I honestly don’t know what, but these same people would also scream and holler if the vastly-superior way of meeting the fundamental security need (e.g., biometrics) were to be introduced as an alternative.

“The problem with stupid people is that they are always the ones opposing change. Hello? Anybody see anything wrong with this picture?” – Louie Anderson

PS: You don’t need a subscription to read the article below.

David R. Fordham
PBGH Faculty Fellow
James Madison University

-----Original Message----- 
From: IMA Strategic Technotes []  
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2004 10:56 AM 
To: David R. Fordham Subject: Strategic TechNotes Vol 6 No 14

Greetings IMA TechNotes Readers,

Are you ready to trade the ID card that gets you in the building every day for a small chip that can be implanted in your arm? Some workers are not being given a choice. Law enforcement employees at the new anti-crime information center in Mexico City have been “chipped,” and there are Americans who are also being implanted with tiny radio devices that carry an identification number. You can read Wireless Humans by visiting .

Best wishes, 
Michael Castelluccio 
Technology Editor Strategic Finance

Update on Electronic Books


The U.S. will announce plans to purchase 20,000 high-tech educational toys called LeapPads to educate rural Afghan women about health maintenance.
Queena Sook Kim, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2004, Page B1 ---,,SB109149503340581281,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Fprimary%5Fhs%5Flt


When Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson visited Afghanistan at the end of 2002, he found not just wrecked hospitals and a scarcity of health-care workers.

He also found a pressing need for health education among Afghan women. But in a country where 80% of women are illiterate, the agency couldn't rely on the educational pamphlets commonly used elsewhere in the world.

So Mr. Thompson turned to an unlikely solution: the educational toy LeapPad, a product of LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. of Emeryville, Calif. The electronic book sells for around $40 and is a mainstay in suburban U.S. homes; it is designed to teach reading, and recites out loud to kids when they touch the words on the page.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to announce today that it is purchasing 20,000 LeapPads. Rather than featuring the likes of Dr. Seuss, these modified LeapPads will educate rural Afghan women about the benefits of immunization, the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the perils of some homespun remedies, such as rubbing dirt into cuts to heal them. The special LeapPads talk in either Pashto or Dari, Afghanistan's two most common languages.

Mr. Thompson says such education is sorely needed in a country where diarrhea or acute respiratory infections kills nearly 40% of all children, and where 1,600 out of every 100,000 women die in childbirth. (The U.S. rate is 7.5.) "If this works, we can make this a tool across the world," says Mr. Thompson. "We can use it for AIDS in Africa and for health care in Iraq."

The $1.25 million deal could also give a much-needed boost to LeapFrog, one of the country's top toy makers. Launched in 1995 as a technology-based education company, LeapFrog made its first big splash with the 1999 introduction of LeapPad. Such electronic learning toys are now one of the fastest-growing categories in the industry; from 1999 to 2003, LeapFrog's overall revenue jumped from $71.8 million to $680 million.

But lately, both the toy industry and LeapFrog have seen sales dip. In LeapFrog's case, analysts said the company shipped too much product last Christmas, resulting in soft demand after the holidays. Those inventory problems helped push the company's share price down to below $20 from a high last year of $47.30.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at 

Multinational corporations may be looking at a big increase in reported liabilities and a deep cut to profits if a change in deferred-tax accounting is adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. 

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on Junly 30, 2004

TITLE: FASB May Bite Into Overseas Profits 
REPORTER: Lingling Wei 
DATE: Jul 28, 2004 
LINK: Print Only 
TOPICS: Financial Accounting, Financial Accounting Standards Board, International Accounting Standards Board

SUMMARY: The FASB has voted 4-3 to instruct the staff to examine "whether it is practical to require companies to book a liability for taxes they potentially owe on profits earned and held overseas."

1.) What was the vote undertaken at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)? Did this vote actually establish a new accounting requirement? Explain, commenting on the FASB's process for establishing a new accounting standard.

2.) Why did the FASB undertake this step with respect to deferred taxes? How does it fit in with other work being undertaken in concert with the International Accounting Standards Board?

3.) FASB member Michael Crooch comments that "there is a fair amount of opposition to the change" proposed by the FASB. Do you think such opposition is unusual or common for FASB proposals? Support your answer.

4.) Define the term "deferred taxes". When must deferred taxes be recorded? Why do we bother to record them? That is, how does the process of reporting deferred taxes help to improve reporting in the balance sheet and income statement?

5.) What taxes currently are recorded on foreign earnings? Why do companies currently not calculate deferred taxes for profits on foreign earnings? Why then would any change in this area result in "a major hit to earnings"?

6.) Why do you think that companies might reconsider repatriating foreign earnings if they must begin to record deferred taxes on those amounts? What does your answer imply in regards to the economic consequences of accounting policies?

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

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at 

Forwarded by Debbie

Forwarded by Debbie

Retired attorney sends 'wakeup message' in letter to sons, U.S.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mike Probst
Editor & Publisher

Today's column is a complete email I received from my brother.  It's long, but a good read.  Your political preference matters not - but I hope you'll read this.  It's scary, but I believe there's truth in what he is saying.  We free Americans want to stay free - for our grandchildren and theirs.

The following was reportedly written by a retired attorney, to his sons, May 19, 2004:

A Letter to My Sons

Dear Tom, Kevin, Kirby and Ted,

As your father, I believe I owe it to you to share some thoughts on the present world situation.  We have over the years discussed a lot of important things, like going to college, jobs and so forth.  But this really takes precedence over any of those discussions.  I hope this might give you a longer-term perspective fewer and fewer of my generation are left to speak to.  To be sure you understand this is not politically flavored, I will tell you since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who led us through pre-WWII and WWII (1933 - 1945), up to and including our present President, I have, without exception, supported our Presidents on all matters of international conflict.  This would include just naming a few in addition to President Roosevelt; President Truman - Korean War (1950); President Kennedy - Bay of Pigs (1961); President Kennedy - Vietnam (1961); eight presidents (five Republican and four Democrat) during the cold war (1945 - 1991); President Clinton's strikes on Bosnia (1995) and on Iraq (1998).  So be sure you read this as completely non-political or otherwise you will miss the point.

Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WWII).  The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.

First, let's examine a few basics.

  • When did the threat to us start?
    Many will say September 11, 2001.  The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September, 2001, with the following attacks on us: Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979; Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983; Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983; Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988; First New York World Trade Center attack 1993; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996; Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998; Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000; New York World Trade Center 2001; Pentagon 2001.  (Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).

  • Why were we attacked?
    Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.  The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2.  We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were no provocations by any of the Presidents or their immediate predecessors, Presidents Ford or Carter.

  • Who were the attackers?
    In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.

  • What is the Muslim population of the World?
    Twenty-five percent.

  • Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?
    Hopefully, but that is really not material.  There is no doubt the predominantly Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference.  You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated.  There were five to six million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests).  Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis, as the six million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities.  Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world - German, Christian or any others.  Same with the Muslim terrorists.  They focus the world on the US, but kill all in the way - their own people or the Spanish, French or anyone else.

    The point here is that just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are fanatically bent on doing - by their own pronouncements - killing all of us infidels.  I don't blame the peaceful Muslims.  What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?

  • So who are we at war with?
    There is no way we can honestly respond it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists.  Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal.  There is no way to win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.

    So with that background, now to the two major questions: Can we lose this war?  What does losing really mean?

    If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions.

    We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question.

  • What does losing mean?
    It would appear a great many of us think losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business, like post-Vietnam.  This is as far from the truth as one can get.  What losing really means is:

    We would no longer be the premier country in the world.  The attacks will not subside, but rather will steadily increase.  Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet.  If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us over the past 18 years.  The plan is clearly to terrorist-attack us until we are neutered and submissive to them.

We would of course have no future support from other nations for fear of reprisals and for the reason they would see we are impotent and cannot help them.

They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time.  It will be increasingly easier for them.

They already hold Spain hostage.  It doesn't matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq.  Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops.  Anything else they want Spain to do, will be done.  Spain is finished.

The next will probably be France.  Our one hope about France is they might see the light and realize if we don't win, they are finished too, in that they can't resist the Muslim terrorists without us.  However, it may already be too late for France.  France is already 20 percent Muslim and fading fast.

If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish as we know it.  After losing, who would trade or deal with us if they were threatened by the Muslims?  If we can't stop the Muslims, how could anyone else?  The Muslims fully know what is riding on this war and therefore are completely committed to winning at any cost.

We better know it, too and be likewise committed to winning at any cost.

Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing?


Until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100 percent of our thoughts and efforts into winning.  And it is going to take that 100 percent effort to win.

So, how can we lose the war?  Again, the answer is simple.  We can lose the war by imploding.  That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort.  If we are united, there is no way we can lose.  If we continue to be divided, there is no way we can win.

Let me give you a few example of how we simply don't comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation.

President Bush selected Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation.  Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 and 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling.  Does that sound like we are taking this thing seriously?  This is war.  For the duration we are going to have to give up some of the civil rights we have become accustomed to.  We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil rights temporarily or we will most certainly lose all of them permanently.  And don't worry it is a slippery slope.  We gave up plenty of civil rights during WWII and immediately restored them after the victory and in fact added many more since then.  Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him?

No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our political correctness and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war.  None of those words apply to war.  Get them out of your head.

Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration, it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose.  I hasten to add this isn't because they are disloyal.  It is because they just don't recognize what losing means.  Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy we are divided and weakening, it concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.

Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media regarding the treatment of some prisoners of war perhaps exemplifies best what I am saying.  We have recently had an issue involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war by a small group of our military police.  These are the type prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein.  And just a few years ago these same type prisoners chemically killed 400,000 of their own people for the same reason.  They are also the same type enemy fighters who recently were burning Americans and dragging their charred corpses through the streets of Iraq.  And still more recently the same type enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally, of the beheading of an American prisoner they held.

Compare this with some of our press and politicians who for several days have thought and talked about nothing else but the "humiliating" of some Muslim prisoners - not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses though the streets, not beheading them, but "humiliating" them.  Can this be for real?  The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense.  If this doesn't show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can.  To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned - totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world.  Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife.  Again I say, this does not mean some of our politicians or media people are disloyal.  It simply means they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude of the situation we are in and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us for many years.  Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels.  That translates into all non-Muslims - not just in the United States, but throughout the world.  We are the last bastion of defense.

We have been criticized for many years as being arrogant.  That charge is valid in at least one respect.  We are arrogant in that we believe we are so good, powerful and smart, we can win the hearts and minds of all those who attack us, and with both hands tied behind our back, we can defeat anything bad in the world.

We can't.

If we don't recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.

And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal rights for anyone - let alone everyone, equal status or any status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the World.

This has been a long way of saying we must be united in this war or we will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire.  If, that is, the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written or read.

If we don't win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next five years or less.  They will continue to increase the Muslim population of France and continue to encroach little by little on the established French traditions.  The French will be fighting among themselves over what should or should not be done, which will continue to weaken them and keep them from any united resolve.  Doesn't that sound eerily familiar?

Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force.  Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically-correct piece by politically-correct piece.  And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide, they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves, once they are in power.

They have universally shown when they have taken over, they then start brutally killing each other over who will be the few who control the masses.  Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the "peaceful Muslims?"

I close on a hopeful note, by repeating what I said above.  If we are united, there is no way we can lose.  I believe after the election, the factions in our country will begin to focus on the critical situation we are in and will unite to save our country.  It is your future we are talking about.  Do whatever you can to preserve it.





Forwarded by Paula (written by George Carlin)

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all, mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to at least 8 people....who cares?

George Carlin

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Black and White (Under age 40?) You won't understand.

You could hardly see for all the snow,

Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.

Pull a chair up to the TV set,

"Good Night, David." "Good Night, Chet." )

Depending on the channel you tuned,

You got Rob and Laura - or Ward and June.

It felt so good. It felt so right.

Life looked better in black and white.

I Love Lucy, The Real McCoys,

Dennis the Menace, the Cleaver boys,

Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train,

Superman, Jimmy and Lois Lane.

Father Knows Best, Patty Duke,

Rin Tin Tin and Lassie too,

Donna Reed on Thursday night! --

Life looked better in black and white.

I wanna go back to black and white.

Everything always turned out right.

Simple people, simple lives...

Good guys always won the fights.

Now nothing is the way it seems,

In living color on the TV screen.

Too many murders, too many fights,

I wanna go back to black and white.

In God they trusted, alone in bed, they slept,

A promise made was a promise kept.

They never cussed or broke their vows.

They'd never make the network now.

But if I could, I'd rather be

In a TV town in '53.

It felt so good. It felt so right.

Life looked better in black and white.

I'd trade all the channels on the satellite,

If I could just turn back the clock tonight

To when everybody knew wrong from right.

Life was better in black and white!

And to think the U.S. became an independent nation due to a tax on tea!

Forwarded by Auntie Bev



Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines - (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax - (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax - (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Interest expense - (tax on the money)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges - (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties - (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes - (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax - (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone State and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines - (indirect taxation)
Trailer registration tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years go and our nation was
the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely NO national debt, had the
 largest middle class in the world... and Mom stayed home to raise the  kids!
 Whatever happened ???????

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman." The priest asks, "Is that you, little Dennis Reilly?"

"Yes, Father, it is."

"And, who was the woman you were with?"

"I can't be tellin' you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation."

"Well, Dennis, I'm sure to find out sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now. Was it Brenda O'Malley?"

"I cannot say."

"Was it Patricia Kelly?"

"I'll never tell."

"Was it Sheilah O'Brien?"

"I'm sorry, but I cannot name her."

"Was it Kathleen Morgan?"

"My lips are sealed."

"Was it Fiona Grogan, then?"

"Please, Father, I cannot tell you."

The priest sighs in frustration. "You're a steadfast lad, Dennis Reilly, and I admire that. But you've sinned, and you must atone. You cannot be an altar boy for three months. Be off with you now."

Dennis walks back to his pew. His friend Sean slides over and whispers,

"What'd you get?"

"Three month's vacation and five good leads!"

Forwarded by Maria

Many of us aging Boomers (hovering near 40, those over 40, or those WAY over 40) are quite confused about how we should present ourselves. We're unsure about the kind of image we are projecting and whether or not we are correct as we try to conform to current fashions.
Despite what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided:
01. A nose ring and bifocals
02. Spiked hair and bald spots
03. A pierced tongue and dentures
04. Miniskirts and support hose
05. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
06. Speedos and cellulite
07. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
08. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
09. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Bikinis and liver spots
11. Short shorts and varicose veins
12. In-line skates and a walker
13. Thongs and Depends

Forwarded by Dick Haar

THE DILLARD'S THIEF-- in San Antonio, Texas

Clutching their Dillard's shopping bags, Ellen and Kay woefully gazed down at a dead cat in the mall parking lot. Obviously a recent hit---no flies, no smell. "What business could that poor kitty have had here?" murmured Ellen. "Come on, Ellen, let's just go..." But Ellen had already grabbed her shopping bag and was explaining,"I'll just put my things in your bag, and then I'll take the tissue." She dumped her purchases into Kay's bag and then used the tissue paper to cradle and lower the former feline into her own Dillard's bag and cover it.

They continued the short trek to the car in silence, stashing their goods in the trunk. But it occurred to both of them that if they left Ellen's burial bag in the trunk, warmed by the Texas sunshine while they ate, Kay's Lumina would soon lose that new-car smell. They decided to leave the bag on top of the trunk, and they headed over to Luby's Cafeteria.

After they cleared the serving line and sat down at a window table, they had a view of Kay's Chevy with the Dillard's bag still on the trunk. BUT not for long. As they ate, they noticed a black-haired woman in a red gingham shirt stroll by their car, look quickly this way and that, and then hook the Dillard's bag without breaking stride. She quickly walked out of their line of vision. Kay and Ellen shot each other a wide-eyed look of amazement. It all happened so fast that neither of them could think how to respond. "Can you imagine?" sputtered Ellen. "The nerve of that woman!" Kay sympathized with Ellen, but inwardly a laugh was building as she thought about the grand surprise awaiting the red-gingham thief.

Just when she thought she'd have to giggle into her napkin, she noticed Ellen's eyes freeze in the direction of the serving line. Following her gaze, Kay recognized with a shock the black-haired woman with the Dillard's bag, THE Dillard's bag, hanging from her arm, brazenly pushing her tray toward the cashier.

Helplessly they watched the scene unfold: After clearing the register, the woman settled at a table across from theirs, put the bag on an empty chair and began to eat. After a few bites of baked whitefish and green beans, she casually lifted the bag into her lap to survey her treasure. Looking from side to side, but not far enough to notice her rapt audience three tables over, she pulled out the tissue paper and peered into the bag. Her eyes widened, and she began to make a sort of gasping noise. The noise grew. The bag slid from her lap as she sank to the floor, wheezing and clutching her upper chest. The beverage cart attendant quickly recognized a customer in trouble and sent the busboy to call 911, while she administered the Heimlich maneuver.

A crowd quickly gathered that did not include Ellen and Kay, who remained riveted to their chairs for seven whole minutes until the ambulance arrived. In a matter of minutes the curly-haired woman emerged from the crowd, still gasping, strapped securely on a gurney. Two well-trained EMS volunteers steered her to the waiting ambulance, while a third scooped up her belongings.

The last they saw of the distressed cat-burglar, she disappeared behind the ambulance doors, the Dillard's bag perched on her stomach.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

An elderly couple were on a cruise and it was really stormy. They were standing on the back of the boat watching the moon, when a wave came up and washed the old woman overboard. They searched for days and couldn't find her, so the captain sent the old man back to shore with the promise that he would notify him as soon as they found something. Three weeks went by and finally the old man got a fax from the boat. It read: "Sir, sorry to inform you, we found your wife dead at the bottom of the ocean. We hauled her up to the deck and attached to her butt was an oyster and in it was a pearl worth $50,000 . Please advise."

The old man faxed back: "Send me the pearl and re-bait the trap." 

A funeral service is being held for a woman who has just passed away. At the end of the service, the pall bearers are carrying the casket out when they accidentally bump into a wall, jarring the casket. They hear a faint moan. They open the casket and find that the woman is actually alive! She lives 10 more years, and dies. Once again, a ceremony is held, and at the end of it, the pall bearers are again carrying out the casket. As they carry the casket towards the door, the husband cries out: "Watch that wall!"

When I went to lunch today, I noticed an old lady sitting on a park bench sobbing her eyes out. I stopped and asked her what was wrong. She said, "I have a 22 year old husband at home. He makes love to me every morning and then gets up and makes me pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit and freshly ground coffee." I said, "Well, then why are you crying?" She said, "He makes me homemade soup for lunch and my favorite brownies and then makes love to me for half the afternoon. I said, "Well, why are you crying?" She said, "For dinner he makes me a gourmet meal with wine and my favorite dessert and then makes love to me until 2:00a.m." I said, "Well, why in the world would you be crying?" She said, "I can't remember where I live."

Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures.

Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. One day they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said "Now don't get mad at me….I know we've been friends for a long time…but I just can't think of your name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is." Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said "How soon do you need to know?"

~~~~~ THE SENILITY PRAYER: 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.


Forwarded by David Coy



In the wake of the Exxon/Mobile deal and the AOL/Time Warner implode, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks. Watch for these consolidations in 2004:

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

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

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

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

5. FedEx is expected to join its major competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

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

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

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

Forwarded by Dick Haar

SON SAYS: Daddy, how was I born? 

DAD SAYS: Ah, well, my son, one day you will need to find out anyway! Mom and Dad got together in a chat room on MSN. Dad set up a date via e-mail with your mom and we met at a cybercafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, and then your mother downloaded from dad's memory stick. As soon as dad was ready for an upload, it was discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall. Since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later the blessed little virus appeared. And that's the story.

That Texas Drawl

Forwarded by Paula

There was this fellow from East Texas who had a flat tire. He pulled off on the side of the road, jumped out of his car, walked down the hillside and picked a bunch of wildflowers, and proceeded to put one bouquet of the flowers in front of the car and one behind it. Then he got back in the car to wait.

A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was. The man replied, "I have a flat tarr."

In response the passerby asked, "But what's with the flowers?" The man responded, "When you break down they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back! I never did understand it neither."

Politics in This Land --- 

And that's the way it was on August 14, 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) --- 


Bob Jensen's bookmarks for accounting newsletters are at 

News Headlines for Accounting from --- 
An unbelievable number of other news headlines categories in are 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 --- 


Household and Other Heloise-Style Hints --- 


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


Click on for a complete list of interviews with established leaders, creative thinkers and education technology experts in higher education from around the country.


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


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August 1, 2004 

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on August 1, 2004
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

I am transitioning to the mountains of New Hampshire for an eight-month sabbatical leave.  Since this is a research leave, I'm not certain I will find the time to put out future editions of New Bookmarks until I return to teach at Trinity University in January 2005.

Year 2004 92 Spring Pictures from the White Mountains --- 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

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

Quotes of the Week

I believe that Saddam Hussein, if he were still in power, would be attempting to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction.
Senator John McCain, Time Magazine, July 26, 2004, Page 8

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
Actually Socrates had a very high tempered wife named Xanthippe who once dumped a full chamber pot over his head.

You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.
Joe E. Lewis

The Indiana legislature voted to simplify the value of Pi to 3.2 to make the life of schoolchildren easier.
(See below for details on this partly true urban legend.)

Legislators should remember that it is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.
Author Unknown but according to Jagdish Gangollgy it was perhaps it was paraphrased from a quote by Princeton statistics professor John Tukey --- 

SAP posted a 14% jump in second-quarter net profit, saying it had further improved its market share in the U.S., where its software sales soared 63%. 
The Wall Street Journal
, July 22, 2004 ---,,SB109049161288070819,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 
Bob Jensen's threads on SAP in accounting education are at 

AT&T'S PROFIT PLUNGED 80% as it continued to cope with pricing pressure and steep competition in local markets. The phone giant confirmed plans to stop investing in traditional consumer services.
The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2004 ---,,SB109043742340870004,00.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news 

The trauma of dirty loos could be a thing of the past for users of pPod, a guide to the best and worst of public toilets for iPod owners.
BBC News, July 23, 2004 --- 

Population growth and energy demand are exhausting the world's fossil energy supplies, some on the time scale of a single human lifespan.
Paul B. quoted in a recent message from Mark Shapiro
(See commentary below)

Fake Bin Laden File Harbors (Trojan Horse) Virus
Wired News, July 23, 2004 ---,1377,64333,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

He who knows how to laugh is master of the world.
Giacomo Leopardi

Amanda Cunningham started her daughter on computers at 2 1/2 with "Reader Rabbit" software and Web sites like Sesame Street. Like any parent, she was proud Madeline could master the mouse so young.  But Cunningham soon realized Madeline, now 4, wasn't really learning anything. She just kept clicking, dragging and playing the same games over and over. Now, she's in no rush to get her 1-year-old son, Liam, on computers or the Internet., July 28, 2004 --- 


Inspiration Quotations --- 

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. 
~ Jack London

Inspiration follows aspiration. 
~ Rabindranath Tagore

I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation. 
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration. 
~ Claude Monet

I think I'd like to be inspirational to anyone who has a dream, anyone who wants to make more of their life than maybe what is set out in front of them. And you can! 
~ Melissa Etheridge

I wake my wife up at 3 a.m. and say, "Listen to this!" 
~ Barry Hannah

The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation. 
~ Comer Cotrell

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others. 
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning. 
~ Igor Stravinsky

Love is a constant source of inspiration, surprise, and wonderment. 
~ Gloria Estefan

Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model. 
~ Vincent Van Gogh

If I think, everything is lost. 
~Paul Cézanne

Bob Jensen's July-September 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Bob Jensen's April-June 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

SOX is Deemed a Success by Deloitte's CEO 

"D&T Chief Tells Congress Sarbanes Is Working," SmartPros, July 23, 2004 --- 

New corporate reform regulations are working as intended, according to James Quigley, chief executive officer of Deloitte & Touche USA.

In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services Thursday, Quigley called on stakeholders in the capital markets to continue to work constructively to fully implement the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) to realize its objectives.

"The signing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act represented a landmark event for investors," he said. "the act is already having a significant impact and, over time, it should help in fulfilling its intended purpose of restoring investor confidence."

Citing the results of a Deloitte survey of Fortune 1000 Deloitte clients, Quigley said progress has been made in several key areas, including the focus and commitment of audit committees and corporations to transparent financial reporting. The survey found that the number of audit committee meetings held has increased by more than 50 percent since SOX was signed.

Quigley said that he has been impressed with the degree to which audit committees are meeting the new expectations that have been placed on them, saying that committee members have responded by increasing their time commitment to their responsibilities.

On the topic of tax services, he recommended that the authority of the audit committee to make decisions with respect to tax scope of services should be supported, and that further scope of services regulations were not warranted. He noted, however, that structured tax strategies with no business purpose should not be marketed by any service provider.

Continued in the testimony.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

A car company can move its factories to Mexico and claim it's a free market.

A toy company can outsource to a Chinese subcontractor and claim it's a free market.

A major bank can incorporate in Bermuda to avoid taxes and claim it's a free market.

We can buy HP Printers made in Mexico.

We can buy shirts made in Bangladesh.

We can purchase almost anything we want from many different countries.

BUT, heaven help the elderly who dare to buy their prescription drugs from a Canadian or Mexican pharmacy. That's called un-American! And you think the pharmaceutical companies don't have a powerful lobby? Think again!

He violated the spirit of the law, but not the letter of the law.  This is scary!
"E-mail Privacy is All the Rage A court ruling triggers an angry outcry, and the House of Representatives files for a legislative fix.," Deborah Asbrand, MIT Technology Review, JUly 28, 2004 --- 

Sparking the outcry was the appeals court's surprise ruling on the case of U.S. v. Councilman. The case dated to charges brought in 1998 against Bradford Councilman, an executive for Interloc, an online listing service for rare books. Among the services Interloc offered its customers was e-mail. Federal prosecutors charged that Councilman had violated the Wiretap Act by intercepting, copying and then reading all incoming mail that Interloc's subscribers received from According to the court panel's 2-1 ruling, that competitive strike wasn't a crime because e-mail's natural path along a series of servers makes it a "stored communication" and thus not covered by the Wiretap Act. In the court's view, Councilman hadn't intercepted the messages in transit, but instead swiped them during those fractions of seconds that they were "stored" on Interloc's server.

July 27, 2004 message from Richard Torian [

I like your website and the information that can be obtained from it that might be useful to management accountants.


In fact, I like it so much I have provided a link to your site from my website .  I hope you do not object to this link.  If you do, you can e-mail me from my website.


Thank your very much.


Richard Torian

Reply from Bob Jensen

In my August 12 edition of New Bookmarks you will be named Helper of the Week --- 

Thank you for providing a great free service to students, educators, and professional accountants.

I also added your link to 

You might consider following and adding to our great communications on the AECM ---

Bob Jensen

"Phone-PDA Combo That Works On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, 
July 29, 2004; Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

For people who rely on a smart phone or wireless PDA to do e-mail and access the Web, the Holy Grail has been to get a device that can work on both a cellphone network and on faster Wi-Fi wireless networks. The idea is that when you are near a Wi-Fi transmitter, your device will work at high speed, and when you're not, you still will be able to get online, albeit at slower speeds, via the much more widespread cellphone network.

The cellphone industry has been working on such combo devices, and Nokia and Motorola have announced specific models. But this week, Hewlett-Packard, the computer giant, and T-Mobile, the cellphone carrier, announced what they say will be the first combined Wi-Fi/cellphone to reach the public. A wireless PDA that can also make phone calls, rather than a traditional cellphone, it's called the HP iPAQ h6315.

The device is a Microsoft-based Pocket PC with an antenna on top. It goes on sale Aug. 26 for $499, plus either $79.99 or $89.99 a month, depending on which T-Mobile rate plan you choose.

I tested the 6315 over the past few days. It worked very well and was smart enough to switch smoothly between the Wi-Fi and cellphone networks for Internet access with little or no input from me.

In most respects, the iPAQ h6315 looks and works like any Pocket PC. It has a large, vivid color screen, and it synchronized contacts, appointments and files with my Windows PC just fine. It comes with 64 megabytes of memory, and it can accept SD memory cards for extra storage.

Continued in the article


What is a wiki and why is it becoming more important?

A wiki allows readers on a browser such as Internet Explorer to interact with and easily make changes in Websites provided the Webmasters agree to Wiki revisions.  One of the best known sites is Wikipedia that allows readers to add to, correct, and insert new entries into the free multilingual online Wikipedia encyclopedia --- 
For a short while some of my definitions in the accounting theory were in Wikipedia, but then the Webmaster decided that I was hogging too much space with hundreds of pages of detail so he shut me off.  I'm not angry, however, because I understand that Wikipedia cannot simply provide free gigabites of storage for each kook like me.

You can still look up my definition of "accounting reform" at 
I will perhaps update this someday if I can just find the time.  Any of you can update this definition from Internet Explorer or some other Web browser.   Simply click on the tab "Edit this Page" and type away.

"'Wiki' May Alter How Employees Work Together," by Kara Swisher, The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2004, Page 
B1 ---,,SB109105974578777189,00.html?mod=technology_main_promo_left 

Wiki is a Hawaiian word for "quick," and some say it has the potential to change how the Web is used.

A wiki is a type of Web site that many people can revise, update and append with new information. It's sort of like a giant bulletin board on an office wall to which employees can pin photos, articles, comments and other things.

A wiki can gather, in one place, the data, knowledge, insight and customer input that's floating around a company or other organization. And it's a living document, since workers who are given access to it can make changes constantly.

No elaborate programming skills are needed. Users can simply click an "edit" button to add comments or make changes.

Despite its speedy name, the wiki is not a new idea. It was pioneered in the mid-1990s by a programmer named Ward Cunningham, who wanted to create a platform for freewheeling collaboration in software development. He named his effort WikiWikiWeb. The idea first caught on among other techies, who used wikis to collectively work on engineering projects.

Now, venture capitalists are funding several startups that are attempting to take the idea to a bigger and more lucrative general-business audience. Their goal is to try to solve one of the workplace's most vexing problems: how to have employees collaborate and communicate better electronically.

Coming up with a good solution to this problem long has been a quest of the tech industry. Big tech companies have responded with heavy-duty collaborative software packages, such as Lotus Notes and Workplace from International Business Machines Corp. These products usually are expensive, controlled from the top and difficult to implement and use. And e-mail -- the most common way workers share information -- is hard to search, leaves important data deeply buried within it and is highly vulnerable to viruses. Some analysts have dubbed collaboration via e-mail "occupational spam" -- endless, time-consuming and often pointless.

Enter the wiki, which has aims to revive the idea of the "writable Web," which was how the medium itself was originally conceived by many of its earliest proponents. Using simple software, it allows anyone with Web access to post a page of information that is accessible to anyone else in the same group or organization. Others in the group can then modify, enhance or update it. To keep track of changes, old versions are retained. A wiki has been likened by some to a giant digital white board in a constant state of movement and creation.

Until now, most of the development of wiki software has been led by noncommercial, open-source efforts such as TWiki (, whose free software has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people, who then typically unleash it within companies on their own. "Of course it comes from the bottom, since information technology departments in companies don't naturally embrace things they perceive they can't control," says Peter Thoeny, Twiki's founder.

But they should, say entrepreneurs who are now trying to improve and streamline wiki software so they can sell it to companies as the collaboration silver bullet.

Continued in the article

You can read more about the wiki and Wikipedia at 

The results of the 15th annual salary survey for the nation's managerial accountants are in, and there is some good news and some bad news. 

The survey of more than 1,600 managerial accounting and finance professionals found that salaries increased by 4.7 percent to $87,108 and average total compensation increased 5.8 percent to $99,620. This is a significant change from previous studies. Other findings include:


"As managerial accounting and finance professionals take on increasing roles and responsibilities within corporations, it is important for employers to recognize their contribution and develop appropriate compensation packages," said Paul Sharman, interim executive director, Institute of Management Accountants.

July 28, 2008 reply from Paul Apodaca [paul@PAPODACA.COM

You can access the full 15 page article in the June 2004 issue of Strategic Finance ( Search for the author Karl E. Reichardt to find the article.

Or for those of us in a hurry,

Looks like I need a raise!

Paul Apodaca

"Less Lost in Translation Non-native English speakers attempting to express themselves in the global language of business and science get a software assist from Microsoft's Beijing lab," Patrick Hadenius, MIT Technology Review, July 26, 2004 --- 

A tool introduced recently in China by Microsoft helps writers who are not native in English to write better English. Called the English Writing Wizard, it is the first product that addresses the difficult task of giving suggestions to someone who has little or no ability to distinguish between good and bad advice. Although the wizard can help with translation, it is not, strictly speaking, a machine translation tool. It is more akin to the grammar checkers familiar to users of common word-processing programs—but enhanced to work with people not native in English. A writer uncertain about how to phrase an idea in English can type it directly in Chinese and get a high-quality translation. The wizard can also detect errors typical for Chinese speakers writing in English, such as forgotten or incorrect articles—a mistake made by few native English speakers.

You can read more about Microsoft's Advanced Technology Center at 

From FEI Express on July 28, 2004

2004 Global M&A Tax Handbook 
The 2004 edition of Taxation of Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions, developed by KPMG's Global Mergers and Acquisitions Tax practice, is now available. This Web-based guide provides an overview of the tax issues affecting mergers and acquisitions in 39 countries around the world. Each section describes the current M&A laws and regulations of a given country -- including deal structures, tax consequences.

The URL is 

"Cheating soars, but 'it's all right'," by Dave Newbart, The Chicago Sun Times, July 25, 2004 --- 

When Bill was unsure of the answer to a question in a finance exam last year, he sent a text message on his cell phone to a friend who was also taking the test. The friend sent him the correct answer.

When Lisa wasn't sure she could remember mathematical formulas for an accounting exam, she stored them in a calculator with its own memory, and then used them to help complete the test.

Bill, 21, and Lisa, 22, both of whom asked that their real names not be used, study business at DePaul University, which has seen a tenfold increase in reported cases of cheating in the past five years.

"We like to think our students are more committed than most, but they are not saints, either,'' said Charles Strain, the school's associate vice president for academic affairs.

Chicago area schools, from community colleges to universities such as Northwestern, are also concerned about an increase in cheating.

"It's rampant,'' said Peg Lee, president of Oakton Community College in the northern suburbs. "It's everywhere.''

Cheating these days comes with an added twist -- new technology, which in some cases makes it so easy that students don't even believe what they are doing is wrong. From cutting and pasting text from a Web site into a term paper to using cell phones or personal data assistants equipped with wireless Internet access to search for answers while taking a test, technology is becoming a partner in dishonesty.

And because of increased competition to get into top colleges and graduate schools, students say they are under more pressure than ever to get good grades, leading them to cheat more.

Nationally, more than one in five students admits to cheating on a test in the past year, according to a survey last year of 14,000 students at 23 schools (including one in Illinois) by the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University. More than half admit to cheating on a paper.

If you include minor forms of cheating -- such as working on an assignment with another student when that's not allowed or asking a student who already took a test what was on it -- three quarters of all students admit to doing so.

Don McCabe, the center's founder and a management and global business professor at Rutgers, said the actual number of cheaters is likely higher because his data is self-reported.

Every indication is that the problem is growing. Surveys of high school students by the Josephson Institute of Ethics in California found that 74 percent said they cheated on an exam in 2002, up from 61 percent a decade ago.

The fastest growing form of cheating, McCabe said, is taking information from the Internet and passing it off as the student's own work.

"Students are more liberal in their interpretation of what's permissible and what's not,'' he said.

Indeed, neither Bill nor Lisa felt bad about cheating. Lisa said she did it because professors put too much pressure on students by making some tests or assignments weigh too heavily on an overall grade.

Continued in the article

July 29, 2004 reply from Steve Curry

And why not? If “Man is the measure of all things” then what is to stop the individual from doing whatever is expedient or beneficial for that individual? As long as the message we give students is “do what is right for yourself” then we’ve degenerated into a simple matter of survival of the fittest. And the fittest survive by whatever resources they have even if the resources are obtained by less than honest means.

The definition of morality and ethics must reside outside of individual human interests. Right and wrong cannot be voted on but must be imposed by something beyond human selfishness, superior to human understanding, above human frailty, and wiser than the sum of human experience. But, of course, that would be God and we’ve decided He has no place in public discourse, especially in schools.

We find ourselves trying to instill values and virtues into our students without attributing those values to any absolute authority. We encourage inquisitiveness then are afraid to answer the question “why is that good or evil?” since the real answer (because God commanded it) would be insensitive, intolerant, bigoted, or politically incorrect leaving the student with the meaningless answer “it is because it is.”

We have not taken a stand for anything. We are reaping exactly what we have sown. Our children are living by the example we have set. We have not set any expectations and they are living up to them.

- Steve Curry


Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at 

How to Play the Game Using Statistics

Forwarded by Bob Blystone, Professor of Biology at Trinity University

Bob Jensen

Both of the below came across my mail reader today and I forward them with little comment.

The first was a response to the question, should an institution advertise its acceptance rate to medical school? The second is a bit tongue in cheek and I will leave it at that.

Bob Blystone

Item One:

Getting into Medical School Percentages

Some years ago a father and daughter showed up in myoffice and the only question was "what percentage of our applicants get into medical school". My first response was to tell him the question is meaningless. If all our applicants, however many there were, had high grades, high MCATs, applied to a reasonable mix of medical schools, applied in a timely fashion, had good recommendations, had whatever other qualities were valued, and interviewed well, we would have a 100% acceptance. If your daughter did not meet those standards the year she applied, she would not be accepted. If your daughter was the only one of our students in a particular year who met those standards, she would be accepted even if she represented only 1% of our applicants. I tried to explain to him some of the many other sources of distortion (other than outright puffery) in figures given by various colleges. I tried to explain to him that a more important question was to try to determine how well his daughter might function in different college environments. He kept harping on the one thing that interested him. Exasperated, I told him if he wanted to send her to a college with a high acceptance rate, send her to Harvard. I never saw them again.

My own college's PR office kept after me with that same question. I told them pick any percentage figure they liked, it was meaningless. I never looked to see what the brochure said. When a student asked me that question on acceptance rate, I explained how to be a good student, how to be a competitive candidate, and that if he/she did it all right, he/she would get into medical school.

Personally, I have always taken with a grain of salt the %acceptance reported by colleges. Part of the reason is that I am an insider and I learned how various colleges deal with applicants. Some of them, if the students do not measure up to some academic standard as almost the only criterion for recommendations, refuse recommendations and conveniently the expected losers don't appear in the denominator. Others use the AAMC report for their own college and will count in the numerator students who took only a summer course there and were accepted.

There are so many different variables that play roles in acceptance/non-acceptance that I believe the percentage figures should be somewhere near the bottom of the list when students consider where to attend college.

Deans have other pressures on them so that many are not interested in these nuances; just the statistics, and they damn well better be good; don't bother me with these details.

Dan Marien, New York

Item Two: Rhodes Scholar

Dear Coach Adams,

Remembering our discussion of your football men who are having trouble in English, I am writing to ask for your help in return.

We feel that Simon Lilly, one of our most promising students, has a chance for a Rhodes Scholarship, which would be a great honor both for him and for our college. Simon has the academic record needed for the award, but the applicant is also expected to have other areas of excellence, and ideally one of those should be athletics. The problem is that Simon is weak physically. He is a good young man, and he tries hard, but he has trouble with athletics.

We propose that you give Simon some special consideration as a varsity player, putting him in the backfield of the football team if possible. In this way, we can show a better college record to the committee awarding Rhodes Scholarships. We realize that Simon will be a problem on the field, but - as you have often said - cooperation between our departments is highly desirable, and we do expect Simon to try very hard, of course. During his intervals of study, we shall coach him as much as we can. His work in the English Club and on the debate team will force him to miss many practices early in the season, but we will see that he carries an old football around to bounce (or whatever one does with a football) during his work. We expect Simon to show entire good will during his work with you and, although he will not be able to start football practice until late in the season, he definitely will finish the season with good attendance.


Dr. Aethelstan Wilberforce Head, Department of English

P.S. We will delay our decision on your request regarding a passing grade for your fullback, Butch Johnson, until we receive your reply.


Want to start your own blog?

BlogBridge --- 

Also see 

Breaking the Rules: Beyond the Rhetoric of Academic Writing

Stanford University has a writing requirement for first year students that is cited below along with links to the Spring Semester topics.   

In particular, one topic that really caught my eye is entitled "Breaking the Rules: Beyond the Rhetoric of Academic Writing" --- I shortened the URL to 

When do you use "I" in your essays? Why do you use first person, and when and where did you learn the rules for how to use it in academic writing? What other writing "rules" are you bringing with you to Stanford? This class will engage you in a critical examination of yourself as a writer, with a particular focus on the assumptions students often bring to education and to writing. The first assignment will involve a rhetorical analysis of your own prose, illuminating how you work as a writer and how you might work more effectively. For example, how do you handle the complex pressures of audience that writing for a teacher imposes? How might you navigate these pressures more successfully? How can you give more attention to your own ideas and voice and less to "what the teacher wants to hear"? In the second assignment, we'll examine the contexts in which professionals write, asking similar kinds of questions: What rhetorical tools do they use to persuade their readers? How do they establish their own voices while still meeting the expectations of their audiences? What rules do they follow? Throughout the course, we will be reading critiques of education that will help us understand why and how you've become the kind of writer and student that you are. In Denise Pope's "Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students," for example, we'll read about the pressures students at competitive high schools face and how those pressures affect their learning and ability to think (and write) for themselves. In Bernard Lefkowitz's "Our Guys," a book about the rape of a teenage girl by a group of successful and popular high school boys, we'll explore the values high schools teach and consider ways to improve secondary education. These and other early reading and writing assignments will help you identify an educational issue of interest to you, one that can serve as the subject for your final course project, a research-based argument.

It seems that this topic could be approached at various levels from high school to undergraduate to graduate to professorial writing.  For example, in academic journals, the "rules" are the explicit guidelines set out by editors and referees.  In some sense the "rules" are what have been passed down from prior refereeing.  Faculty writing for such journals are have competitive publish or perish pressures that indeed may "affect their learning and ability to think (and write) for themselves."

I contend that both email and the Web have had dramatic impacts on the rules and norms for academic writing.  In traditional journals it's the editor and several referees who dictate the rules of polite society.  In contrast, the Web is the untamed Wild West for writers, including academic writers.  The Web allows "I" for example where "I" can now write free of the constraints of "journal norms."  Of course, whether "I" is read and accepted depends much upon the credibility that "I" have already established in prior publications, academic affiliations, diplomas, certifications, etc.  

By way of illustration, consider humor.  Most of us find humor to be extremely important in our teaching and in public lectures.  But when writing for academic journals, humor is virtually verboten.

As a second illustration consider feedback.  The policy of some journals such as American Accounting Association journals is not to publish feedback or replication studies.  This insulates authors from criticism and interactive dialog with readers.  I think it affects the way they write when building mountains out of mole hills.

A third illustration is a living document on the Web.  A living document is one in which new documents, references, and dialog can be added in real time, quite unlike organizing and writing for a living document.

What is the University of California's XLab?

From Syllabus News on July 27, 2004

Berkeley X-Lab to Test Social Science Theories in Biz-World

The University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business has opened the XLab –- short for Experimental Social Sciences Laboratory –- a high-tech facility to help economists, political scientists, and other social scientists test their theories to find whether they can be applied to real world problems in business and management.

Xlab is a part of the university’s Haas School of Business and uses the latest wireless and notebook computer technology. The facility, which can accommodate up to 40 participants as experimental subjects. consists of 50 battery-powered, wireless laptops that can be easily moved on mobile carts.

In one recent study, XLab director John Morgan, an economist and Haas School associate professor, used the facility to find out what produces greater revenue for sellers when a company is put up for sale - asking for payment in shares of stock, or in cash. The test supported the theory that shares bring in more revenue for the seller in a bidding contest. "This idea comes from the economics literature, but it hasn't really made its way out of the ivory tower," said Morgan. "With XLab, we assess whether the theory works in practice and whether it will have a big strategic payoff in the marketplace."

Read more: 

Bob Jensen's threads on technology are at 

What is a Professor of Thinking?

Answer from Syllabus News on July 27, 2004

University of Advancing Technology Appoints Professor of Thinking

The University of Advancing Technology (UAT), a Tempe, Ariz., for-profit
focusing on technology training, has appointed professor William Maxwell, Ed.D,
a Harvard University alumnus, as Professor of Thinking. UAT said Maxwell
would assist both students and faculty in all forms of thinking including
“inductive, deductive, lateral, divergent and creative.”

In making the appointment, UAT issued a mission statement for the new portfolio:
“Thinking includes educating the emotions and preparing the next generation
to assist the human species to continue to evolve in desirable directions,
in all aspects of life and being. In bringing these advanced thinking principles
to a university system, both students and faculty are better equipped to think
creatively and become life-long learners.

UAT said Maxwell began his career in 1954 at Chonnam National University in
Korea and has also held various professor and dean titles at the University
of Wisconsin, North Carolina State University, California State University,
Fresno. He is also the founder of the International Conference on Thinking
that began in 1982 at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, said UAT.

July 27, 2004 reply from Peter Kenyon [pbk1@HUMBOLDT.EDU

Wonder if the Professor of Thinking will have an office near the Professor of Doing?

Peter Kenyon 
Humboldt State


"Commentary of the Day - July 26, 2004: Environmental Education," The Irascible Professor, July 26, 2004 --- 

The July 2004 edition of Physics Today (the "trade" magazine for the physics community) included two articles that deserve a much wider audience than they are likely to receive in such a specialized journal. The first by Paul B. Weisz, emeritus professor of chemical and bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, addresses the constraints on the world's long-term energy supplies. The second by Albert A. Bartlett, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, looks at the pressure that an exponentially growing world population puts on limited supplies of energy.

Discussions of world energy usage usually are couched in terms of "quads". One quad (Q) is equal to 1015 BTU (British Thermal Units). To get things into perspective, the current US energy consumption is about 100 Q/year, and that is approximately one quarter of the world's total energy consumption. The central problem is that energy resources are limited while the demand for energy, driven mostly by an increasing population (both in the US and world wide), is increasing exponentially. Here in the US energy demand is growing at about 1.5% per year, while world wide the demand is estimated to be growing at somewhere between 1% and 2% per year owing both to population growth and industrial development.

The growth in world population in the last two centuries -- which coincides with the introduction of fossil fuels -- has been truly startling, as can be seen in Fig. 1.

Continued in the article

One of the Dumbest Bills in the History of the U.S. Congress (only not quite as dumb as a new law passed by the Indiana Legislature).
An obvious example of the junk compromises that lobbying money can buy.  Either stock options are booked as expenses or they are not booked as expenses.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on July 22, 2004 

TITLE: House Passes Curb on Expense Rules for Stock Options 
REPORTER: Michael Schroeder 
DATE: Jul 21, 2004 
TOPICS: Financial Accounting, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Stock Options

SUMMARY: The House approved legislation to limit expense treatment for stock options to only those granted to the top five officers of a company. This legislation responds to a standard proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) requiring expense treatment for the value of all employee stock compensation. "The House vote gives the tech lobby, led by Cisco Systems Inc. and Intel Corp., a significant victory over a weighty list of policy makers who argued against Congress intruding in standard-setting...."

QUESTIONS: 1.) Describe the current accounting and reporting requirements for employee stock options. What standard establishes these requirements?

2.) Describe the changes proposed by the FASB in this area of accounting. Hint: you may verify your understanding of the proposal by reading the document on the FASB's web site at 

3.) Again reference the FASB's exposure draft via the following link  What were the FASB's reasons for proposing this change? Why hasn't this required accounting been implemented before now?

4.) What are Congress's reasons for proposing this legislation? Who supports the legislation?

5.) As a professional accountant, are you concerned about Congress passing laws regarding the development of accounting standards? Why or why not?

6.) Refer to the related article. How are the companies who support this legislation in Congress described as 'irresponsible'? How is this issue of stock compensation tied to stock buy back programs?

The House, responding to lobbying by technology companies, overwhelmingly approved a bill that would limit the required "expensing" of stock options.

The bill overrides a proposal by a national accounting-standards panel that would have required companies to expense the value of all stock options. In their 312-111 vote, the lawmakers instead approved legislation to limit the expensing rule to options granted only to the top five officers of a company. The Financial Accounting Standards Board had proposed earlier this year that companies subtract the value of all employee stock compensation from company profits.

The House vote gives the tech lobby, led by Cisco Systems Inc. and Intel Corp., a significant victory over a weighty list of policy makers who argued against Congress intruding in standard-setting in the wake of major accounting-fraud scandals beginning with Enron Corp.

Among strong supporters of stock-option expensing as a means to improve the accuracy of financial statements are Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and Securities and Exchange Commission William Donaldson. Mr. Greenspan warned Congress earlier this year "it would be a bad mistake for the Congress to impede FASB," because the proposed accounting for stock options "strikes me as correct."

Still, the measure faces stiff opposition in the Senate. Even though a comparable bill is pending in the Senate with 25 co-sponsors, Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), who chairs the banking committee, has pledged to block any effort by Congress to meddle in rule-making by FASB, an independent accounting-standards body based in Norwalk, Conn.

Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald (R.,Ill.), joined by Sens. John McCain (R,., Ariz.), Carl Levin (D., Mich.) and Richard Durbin (D.,Ill), introduced a resolution to protect FASB's independence and integrity under its assault by the House. But critics of the bill say they are worried that House leadership may attempt to short-circuit the process by inserting an amendment in a must-pass appropriations bill that would derail FASB's stock-options proposal.

In approving the measure, a bipartisan roster of members argued that the proposal would cause hits to earnings, particularly for small technology companies, and hurt start-up companies that depend on stock options as an important compensation tool to attract talent. The accounting rule would mostly penalize the rank-and-file employees of small companies who depend on company stock for an important part of their compensation, bill supporters said.

TITLE: Microsoft Can Count. Intel Can't. 
REPORTER: Jesse Eisinger 
ISSUE: Jul 21, 2004 

Tech companies have a choice of two paths, and both were on display yesterday.

Microsoft Corp. -- long viewed by laymen, computer geeks and the feds as the Darth Vader of the technology world -- decided to do right by shareholders. After a long period of anticipation, the company finally figured out what it wants to do with its Olympian mound of green, and it chose wisely.

Microsoft decided to give back to shareholders even more cash than investors had been expecting. The company raised its ongoing dividend, giving the company about 1% dividend yield; said it would buy back $30 billion of stock over four years; and said it would issue a special $32 billion one-time payout. (See related article.)

And then there is the path of the irresponsible. It has been chosen by Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. and denizens of Silicon Valley. Nonetheless, these companies are celebrated by investors and accorded huge multiples. These are the companies that refuse to pay significant dividends, hoard cash and buy back stock merely to mask the massive dilution that comes from their shareholder-damaging stock-option programs.

As Microsoft was announcing its shareholder-friendly plan, Silicon Valley was sitting on the shoulders of members of Congress, whispering sweet nothings in their ears. As in, stock options cost nothing. And 312 members of the House listened.

That was the number of congressmen who voted for the Baker Bill, a measure that damages efforts of the Financial Accounting Standards Board to enact rules mandating the expensing of stock options. The bill violates FASB's independence and fights the inevitable. Hundreds of companies have moved to voluntarily expense stock options because compensation costs companies money -- no matter what Silicon Valley will have Congress believe.

Continued in the article

July 24, 2004 reply from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM

I prefer to think that the House was injecting a little sanity into the process. If the FASB would stop trying to accomplish social purposes with their rules, I'd be a lot happier.

To be sure, there is no actual dollar cost to the company when it issues stock options to employees. Hence, in my opinion, there should be no expensing (expense=the cost of doing business).

The option program must be ratified by elected representatives of the shareholders, so it is OK with that group. Why, oh why, does the FASB persist in promoting certain social agendas?

If there was to be any accounting for the stock options, then it should be through comprehensive income. However, the FASB has gutted that in its quest to be politically correct and try to limit an options practice that directly enriches the many (executives and stockholders) over the interests of the many (employees).

And Bob, I don't think I have an uneducated view, so don't persist in calling me dumb (a reasonable inference from the subject of your e-mail). I really don't like being called dumb. So knock it off!

David Albrecht

July 25, 2004 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

I think you missed the point David. Are you defending the legislation itself as being smart rather than dumb?

The DUMB part of the law passed by Congress is that it doesn't resolve anything in accounting. The bill would not be dumb if it banned all expensing of employee stock options. The bill would not be dumb if it required expensing of employee stock options. The magic number five is the DUMB part.

I did not say that expensing stock options is dumb. I did not say that NOT expensing stock options is dumb. What is dumb is the legal declaration of a magic bright line number five. The "top five" employee stock options are legally declared expenses and all other employee stock options are legally declared not expenses.

For example, if the fifth executive on the ladder at Cisco is awarded stock options having a value of $3.2 million, this becomes legally an expense under the new U.S. House legislation. Fifty three other executives at Cisco receiving options valued at $3.1415926535897932384626433832795 did not receive anything of worthwhile under this legislation and there is no expense.

This is a little like declaring Pi to be legally 3.20 for the first five years of school and a non-terminating decimal 3.1415926535897932384626433832795... after grade five (see Glen Gray's message on the Indiana Legislature's new definition of Pi). Following the new Indiana Law, a new chapter must now be added to the History of Pi --- 

In any case, when was David Albrecht ever associated (never by me) with a non-expensing stock option accounting theory? I assume you were being factitious. Just because you declare stock options not to be an expense in your email message is a religious argument. It won't sell unless you can back it by an argument that sells. At the moment arguments on both sides are selling, although I think Silicon Valley executives are selling for reasons of deceit rather than theory that I can buy into. And yes I am aware of some sound arguments for not expensing stock options, especially those of Walter Schuetze --- 

Do you think that Silicon Valley is spending millions on this lobbying effort to defend the pureness Walter Schuetzes' theoretical arguments or to defend a theory of deception that earnings are really higher because an employee receiving $3.1415926535897932384626433832795 million in stock options really did not cost anybody anything. Either the employee is being deceived or investors are being deceived by following this new bright line of five legislation.

Cisco argues out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to cash flow and stock options.  It argues that there is no expense for intrinsic value on the date of vesting since there is value granted but no cash flow.  Cisco argues that there is tax expense on the date of exercise even though there is never cash flowing out of the company for options at any time.  

When the options are exercised there is cash foregone rather than a cash outlay.  The company simply issues stock for cash at the exercise price and foregoes the intrinsic value (the difference between the market value and the exercise price).  In spite of fact that cash never flows for intrinsic value of employee stock options, Cisco has enjoyed a tremendous tax break (millions in some years and over a billion in at least one other year) in tax deductions for the cash foregone.

Given that there is cash foregone in the case of options, the apparently unresolvable accounting issue is whether to deduct the expense on the accrual basis (i.e., deduct the value on the date of vesting) or the cash basis (on the date of exercise).

However, if we follow David Albrecht's argument that cash must actually flow out of Cisco for there to be compensation expense, then we might also come to the conclusion that there is never to be recognized compensation expense since cash never actually flows even when options are exercised.  When employees exercise their options the company has simply sold them some stock. Would Cisco ever hate this if the U.S. Tax Code followed the same line of reasoning.

Of course cash can actually be made to flow since a company could issue stock at full price and simply give employees a cash "bonus" equal to intrinsic value.  In the end, the accounting issue really becomes one of accrual versus cash basis accounting.  Since we estimate bad debt and warranty expenses on an accrual basis before cash actually flows, it makes more sense to me to do the same thing with stock options since GAAP is rooted in the accrual basis for financial reporting.  

The tax code is more complex and inconsistent than GAAP since it has a greater cash flow orientation (e.g., for bad debts and warranty expenses) even though there are some accrual items as well (e.g., inventory buildup).

Thus I would argue that the question is not one of whether there is cash flow or no cash flow.  The question is whether one adopts an accrual accounting for options or the present cash foregone basis of accounting on the date of exercise.

Bob Jensen

July 25, 2004 reply from Dennis Beresford [DBeresfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU

I'd be interested in why you believe stock option expense should be included in comprehensive income rather than the income statement. Should the issuance of restricted stock be treated similarly? What principle or other guideline do you think should be used to determine what goes into one of these measures vs. the other? The FASB (along with the IASB) is in the process of reconsidering the notion of comprehensive income and I'm sure they would be interested in views on this topic.

I agree with Bob Jensen's assessment that the recently passed House of Representatives bill is one of the dumbest things that group has done. The House would have been more honest if it had simply passed a bill that said something like, "A lot of companies have told us that expensing options will hurt the economy and we believe them." Instead, they have characterized the bill as a "compromise" saying that it will deal with the "real problem" of certain executives receiving obscene amounts of total compensation (this may be the "social purpose" that you allude to). Thus, the bill calls for recording expense for only the five most highly compensated individuals and assuming no volatility in determining the value of the options for those individuals. If dumb isn't the right way to describe that approach, how about idiotic, insane, or similar terms?

It's been ten years since I had to deal with this issue at the FASB and I'm certainly glad that the target is on someone else's back this time around and not mine. However, I do have to say that it pains me to see that we are still not having what I would call a fully informed debate on this subject. I had fully expected the opponents to expensing stock options to dream up a number of new arguments this time around, but they are simply recycling the old ones. The House action can't be characterized as anything than the purchase of a position through political contributions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Senate won't be so dumb.

Denny Beresford 
University of Georgia

July 25, 2004 reply from Thomas Calderon [tcalder@UAKRON.EDU

Bob, Dave and Denny:

I don’t know if you have seen the following article by Warren Buffet, but it’s interesting and relates very much to what you are discussing. In the article, Buffet gives proponents of the bill an A for imagination and a flat-out F for logic.

Fuzzy Math And Stock Options 


Bob Jensen's threads on stock option accounting controversies are at 

Beware of Crossing Any New Bridges in Indiana
Pi is now legally 3.20000000000000000000000

July 24, 2004 reply from Glen Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU

In Wednesday's WSJ, Warren Buffett said passage of the bill "could cause the mathematical lunacy record to move east from Indiana."

Question: What is he referring to regarding Indiana?

Answer: The Indiana legislature voted to simplify the value of Pi to 3.2 to make the life of schoolchildren easier.

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA 
Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems 
College of Business & Economics 
California State University, Northridge Northridge, CA 91330-8372 818.677.3948 

July 25, 2004 reply from Bob Jensen

Did you also know that Pi was declared 3.3 by a 67 to zero vote. Not much margin for error on that count --- 

July 25, 2004 reply from Chuck Pier

I always enjoy reading Mr. Buffet's writiing. He really has a way to make his points without sounding like Alan Greenspan. I have always thought that his introduction to the SEC publication, "A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents" was one of the best introductions that I have read.

In this article I loved his line, "Legislators should remember that it is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong." I think I shall appropriate this line and use it in my financial accounting classes.

Charles A. Pier, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Accounting 
Walker College of Business 
Appalachian State University 
Boone, NC 28608 

July 26, 2004 reply from Murat N Tanju [Mtanju@UAB.EDU

Question to those scientifically inclined: If Pi is indivisible and circumference of a circle is 2XPiXr and we divide the face of a clock to get time measurements and then use it in all sorts of computations are we not also indirectly legislating the length of the circumference of a circle and making wrong scientific computations? Am I crazy? Murat

Murat N. Tanju 
Professor of Accounting 
UAB BEC 305 D 
1530 3rd Ave. S. Birmingham, AL. 35249-4460 


July 26, 2004 reply from Paul Krause [paul@PAULKRAUSE.COM

The face of a clock is not divided into distances along an arc of the circumference, which would, of course, be based on pi, and as you suggest not able to be precisely measured.

Think of the face of a clock as being divided into angles, i.e., 5 clock minutes equals 1/12 of the circumference in degrees, or 30 degrees of arc. The 30 degrees of arc will be constant for 5 minutes of time no matter how large or small the clock face is.

However, the distance along the arc formed by the 30 degree angle will vary, and cannot be measured precisely, even though we know the precise angle of arc.

No to worry. Based on another ongoing discussion, it is better to be approximately correct in arc distance, than precisely wrong.

Paul Krause 

Chico, CA, USA 

It's Mostly Urban Legend

July 27, 2004 message form 

According to Urban Legends Reference Pages, the story about the Alabama Legislature passing a pi law was a legend, but

Though the claim about the Alabama state legislature is pure nonsense, it is similar to an event that happened more than a century ago. In 1897 the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure redefining the area of a circle and the value of pi. (House Bill no. 246, introduced by Rep. Taylor I. Record.)   The bill died in the state Senate."

July 27, 2004 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi John,

Thanks for setting the record straight. Some argue that the law almost was enacted in Indiana --- 

Good to hear from you up in these cold and wet mountains.


July 28, 2004 reply from Bender, Ruth [r.bender@CRANFIELD.AC.UK

Purdue Universiry seem to teach it in a slightly different way, 

and give the text of the bill. 

Ruth Bender Cranfield


Show Your Students the Interactive and Creative Power of the Web

You begin with your own line drawing.

The Scribbler --- 

When a new scribble line is created it chooses a few numbers at random that eventually determine what sort of line it will draw. As it begins to draw it fine tunes those values to the type of drawing that you've made.

Ethics Question Forwarded by Aaron Konstam (slightly paraphrased by Bob Jensen)

NPR has an ethics program where people call in with an ethics question and the resident ethicist gives them advice.

One incident was described as follows. The caller’s brother obtained a job at a prestigious university as a professor, in part on the basis of a PhD from a fake diploma mill. The caller wanted to know if he had an obligation to notify the university that his brother’s PhD was a fake?

The resident ethicist’s answer came back that the brother need not be a tattle tale, because it was the job of the university to check the credentials of the people they hire. It was not the caller's job or obligation to blow the whistle on his brother.

This was contrasted to the blowing the whistle of the brother of the unibomber where human lives were at stake. Students and colleagues can seemingly survive a bad professor but not a bomb. We must assume, however, that we’re not talking about a medical professor.

What would be interesting is to track this guy’s career and see if he wins any teaching and research awards.

July 27, 2004 reply from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM

Interesting that the word "Tattletale" would come up again. Wasn't that part of the discussion on Enron and WorldCom and why some staffers in the know didn't blow the whistle, whether at all or earlier? How children are taught early on that being a "Tattletale" was not good, that to get along and play well with others they should turn a blind eye? And let someone else deal with it?

When does responsibility to self become responsibility to society? I'll stop there.

Scott Bonacker

July 27, 2004 replies from Bob Jensen and Thomas Calderon

Hi Thomas,

I guess I always assumed ethics covers behavior norms that are vague or missing in the law.

Do you mind if I quote you in the next edition of New Bookmarks?


Bob Jensen

Original Message----- 
From: Calderon,Thomas G [
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 3:59 PM To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: RE: Interesting Ethics Question


Several years ago, I read an article that described a very intuitive process for resolving ethical dilemmas. The process entails asking the question whether the dilemma involves a "moral rule" or a "moral ideal." A moral rule involves something that society would expect you to do (or not do) based on laws, customs, norms, mores, and professional obligations. It is all part of the social contract that we have with each other in a functioning, civil society-e.g., not cheating on exams and not helping others to cheat are rules that we emphasize in our classes. We rely on each other and sometimes on the state to ensure that parties to the contract never lose sight of the moral rules. When a dilemma is outside the scope of the law or the courts, we rely on "peer monitoring" and "peer pressure" to ensure that the moral rules are enforced. On the other hand, moral ideals involve behavior and action that go beyond society's expectations. People are called heroes for such behavior and action-e.g., saving a cat from a burning house, sacrificing your livelihood and personal reputation to expose a fraud. People are under no obligation whatsoever to engage in those actions and behaviors, but many do so because they are selfless or they are motivated by the praise that society as a whole or a segment of society bestows on them for pursuing a moral ideal.

The dilemma you describe is troubling because it is more analogous to an issue that deals with a moral rule than a moral ideal. If society elects not to monitor and abide by its moral rules, then the social contract that we all take for granted will eventually erode. Everyone creates his or her own moral rules with nothing to bind us together as a society.


January 27, 2004 message from Ethical Performance [

HBOS, the UK's fourth largest bank, formed in 2001 by the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has published its second annual corporate responsibility report.

This year, Chief Executive James Crosby introduces HBOS's new ethical statement, which is backed up by a set of 48 key performance indicators aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative's guidelines for sustainability reporting.

The bank says that from now on it will include the indicators in its annual reporting. This will enable stakeholders to assess HBOS's performance over time against the principles it has set out in the ethical statement.

Around a third of the independently verified report is taken up with "core marketplace issues" for the bank - responsible products and services, responsible lending, investor responsibility, and financial inclusion.

A box in each section highlights the actions that HBOS intends to take in the coming year to improve its corporate responsibility performance.

The report is available at: 

"Lawmakers Approve Bill to Let Parents Strip Smut from Movies," by Ted Bridis, MIT's Technology Review, July 22, 2004 --- 

Fledgling technology that helps parents prevent children from watching movie scenes depicting sex, violence or foul language got a boost Wednesday from the House Judiciary Subcommittee.

The panel voted 18-9 in favor of the Family Movie Act, which would assure manufacturers of DVD players and other devices using such technology that they would not be violating copyrights of the Hollywood producers of movies.

The full House still must approve the bill; no similar proposal has yet been introduced in the Senate.

Critics of the bill argued that it is aimed at helping one company, Utah-based ClearPlay Inc., whose technology is used in some DVD players to help parents filter inappropriate material by muting dialogue or skipping scenes. ClearPlay sells filters for hundreds of movies that can be added to such DVD players for $4.95 each month.

The measure's author, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said the legislation guarantees that parents will be free to use technology to protect what children watch. He compared skipping objectionable scenes in a movie to skipping paragraphs in a book.

"Parents should have a right to show any movie they want and skip or mute any content they find objectionable," Smith said.

Hollywood executives have complained that ClearPlay's technology represents unauthorized editing of their movies. They maintain that ClearPlay should pay them licensing fees for altering their creative efforts.

"You're getting a doctored, reinterpretation of the product," said Dan McGinn, a spokesman for the Directors Guild of America, which has sued ClearPlay in federal court in Colorado alleging copyright violations. "What they have is a new version of the product. It should be licensed."

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., said the bill "gives for-profit companies the right to commercially exploit the copyrights of movies without input from creators."

Berman said he also was concerned that the same technology could be adapted to automatically remove commercials from cable and network television programs.

The bill is House Resolution 4586.

Mozilla can help defend against some spyware invasions on your computer!

Forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly [JGangolly@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU

According to Rist (who is sitting behind me while I write this, just to make sure I don’t misquote him), the biggest problem is with Microsoft’s continued use of ActiveX, but that's by no means the only problem. In fact, it looks as if IE can’t be successfully patched, and what’s needed is a whole new version.

But what are you going to do if you don’t use IE? For most, IE is the default browser; they don’t have another choice that’s easy to implement. Does that mean that you should just grit your teeth and hope for the best? Not necessarily.

There are other browsers out there without IE’s security holes, most notably Mozilla. Getting Mozilla isn’t a problem -- just download it from the Web site <>

. The real problem is that you have to be sure that moving to Mozilla doesn’t introduce a new set of problems.

My own experience with Mozilla indicates that it works at least as well as IE and appears to be somewhat faster. I’ve already moved to Mozilla as my default browser because of the security issues with IE. As it happens, I'm also finding that I like it better than IE.

Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure whether Mozilla will work with the apps that require a browser is to test it. Download it to a few machines and see if anything breaks.

Testing Mozilla might be the first step on the path to IE separation, but the journey isn't over yet. Many companies who run Web sites tend to be kind of lazy and code their sites only for IE, because it’s the dominant browser. Sometimes they take shortcuts that keep other browsers from working properly.

The only way to know for sure if these shortcuts will shortcircuit a non-IE browser is to try potential replacement browsers to see if they work with the Web sites you absolutely depend on. If they do, you won’t need to worry as much about adopting them, although you’ll still have to install the new browser on every machine, and that’s not the world’s easiest task in a large enterprise.

But there’s another task you have to worry about. What are you using for your own Web server? Internet Information Server has its own set of vulnerabilities, after all. And what about the code running on your Web site? Have you avoided those programming practices that will lock your visitors into IE? After all, a lot of companies are now using machines that don’t run Windows (and therefore not IE), and a growing number are trying to avoid IE even if they do run Windows because of the security issues. You don’t want to discourage them from visiting your site, do you? I didn’t think so.

Unfortunately, you can’t drop IE from your Windows machines completely. You still need it for Windows Update alerts. But it is possible to use it sparingly, and until Microsoft issues a new release, that would be a good idea.

<;> Wayne Rash is a senior analyst at the InfoWorld Test Center.

• More of Wayne Rash's column <>

• Wayne Rash's forum <>

July 25, 2005 reply from John Schatzel [JSchatzel@STONEHILL.EDU

I also read this past week (I believe it was in eWeek) that CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) and the Department of Homeland Security have also declared IE to be unsafe.  There are apparently so many security flaws with IE that they can not be reliably patched.  For example, IE's ability to use ActiveX allows it to access low level features of your operating sytem that can allow trojans and key loggers to be placed on your computer.  These programs can and have collected personal bank account and credit card passwords that have led to significant losses recently.  This whole new Phishing scam used by hackers who exploit weaknesses in IE to get your personal information without you knowing it is the most dangerous thing I have ever seen.  They target your machine by sending you a regular email message (i.e., no attachments are involved) which drops an IE helper object on your computer which then downloads additional software to your computer capable of collecting and sending your personal information.

IE also has another feature called (among too many other problems to list in this message), which allows your computer to be compromised.  “ provides a method for reading and writing files on a hard drive,” according to Microsoft. “This by-design functionality is sometimes used by web applications. However, when combined with known security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer, it could allow an Internet web site to execute script from the Local Machine Zone (LMZ).” This is dangerous folks and allows hackers to really have a field day with your personal information.

To reduce your risk, security experts recommend using Mozilla ( or Opera (  I have used both of them and can say that they are both better featured browsers than IE (the experts say that they are safer).  The latest version of Mozilla (1.7.1) is open source; so it is free.  The basic version of Opera is free, but it displays ads. The no ad version costs $39 and was selected best browser of 2004 by PC World (and it really is the fastest). 

Wishing you all a safer browser,

John Schatzel

July 25, 2004 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

The primary drawback I've encountered with alternate browsers (and I've tried about half a dozen over the past few months and years) is that they aren't prepared to deal with all the various file extensions and file types today which IE handles so transparently.

I consider myself a "power web user", and I conduct a lot of business on-line, which means that my banks, credit card companies, hotels, vendors, university webmail, university tech-tools, etc. are sending me a lot of scripts, image/sound files, and executable code. For example, in the past hour, I've been sitting here in a hotel room in Charlotte looking for Fuddrucker, Krystals', Boston Markets, double-checking my next hotel reservation as well as my rewards points, checking the status of my on-line class recording in Centra, checking webmail, and checking the status of my shipment from the Palm store. All of this requires executable code, map images, animated logos, etc. on my computer. (And yes, before you hit the flame button, I realize that using IE for all this stuff exposes me to all kinds of hazards in spite of my plethora of antiadware, antispyware, antivirusware, high security settings, etc....)

But at least all the apps work in IE! When I get messages saying "this website is trying to execute something, do you trust them?" and when I hit "yes", the site runs and my transaction is completed.

When I use the alternate browsers, they were forever choking and giving me error messages saying "Unknown file type" and "Unknown file extension" and "unable to process such-and- such-a script" and so forth, and the transaction chokes and dies. Depending on the alternate browser, anywhere from 10% to 80% of my web attempts would not display or run. Mapquest, Citibank,, UPS, and even Google's advanced searches sometimes tripped on these. And our school uses Centra, Blackcboard, Tegrity, and a host of other tech tools which are certified and warrantied to run on IE, but not on most of the others. (And, surprise, they DON'T! Not reliably, not 100% of the time! I know. I tried! And yes, I spent hours tinkering with settings and security configurations and with tech-support people. The usual answer from the browser support people WHEN I COULD GET THEM TO RESPOND was "our product doesn't support that".)

Ergo, as is usually the case, security is a trade-off with convenience. (Been through an airport since 9/11/01?) If all you do is surf the web for pleasure ( or something) or if you are in the habit of inhabiting questionable websites, then perhaps one of the other browsers might work and be more secure. Or if you are the government security agency and your people are doing limited stuff on the government account, you can probabably find an alternate browser much more secure that will run your apps.

But as for me and my house, I sure hate getting 90% of the way into an on-line transaction, and the browser bombs out and says it encountered a problem processing, even if it only happens once every 10 times. (If your car failed to start once every 10 or so times, wouldn't it get irritating, especially if you had come to rely on your car for your day- to-day operations?)

So once again, until the rest of the world recognizes the emperor's lack of clothes, I'm afraid I'll have to avoid the little tailor shops, too. At least until they can handle the content a little more transparently. (pun intended)

Another devils-advocate contrarigram from you-know-who, although this time I'm sincere in my beliefs, having actually truly, been there and done that. Several times.

David Fordham 
James Madison University

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and network security are at --- 

K12 Education materials on Asia 

As an experiment in expanding the use of technology in learning, Duke University is giving a free iPod to each of its incoming freshmen. Oh, and the students can use 'em for digital music, too.
Katie Dean, Wired News, July 20, 2004 ---,1412,64282,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 


Duke University will give each of its 1,650 incoming freshmen a free iPod this fall as part of an initiative to foster innovative uses of technology in the classroom, the school said Monday.

IPods, of course, are better known for their use outside the classroom. The pocket-sized devices can store up to 10,000 songs on their hard drives and have helped fuel interest in digital music.

But Duke wants to experiment with creative academic uses for the devices. The school will preload the 20-GB iPods (retail price, $300) with freshman-orientation information, an academic calendar and even the Duke fight songs before handing them out to the incoming class Aug. 19.

Students also will be able to use the devices to download course content, recorded lectures, foreign language lessons, audio books and music from a special Duke website modeled after iTunes. The school will supply voice recorders for some classes, enabling students to record notes while working in the field.

Expanding the use of information both in the classroom and in the campus community is part of the school's overall goals, said Tracy Futhey, Duke's vice president of information technology. The school is looking forward to ideas from the faculty and students about additional uses for the devices, Futhey said. The student newspaper, for example, might use the iPods to distribute a daily audio editorial.

Continued in the article


Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at 


"AirPort Express Does What Apple Claims, But It Still Falls Short," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2004, Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

The race to help consumers wirelessly stream music from their computers to their stereos continues apace. And now it has been joined by a real heavy hitter: Apple Computer.

Apple is uniquely positioned to do this job right. It was the first computer maker to offer Wi-Fi networking widely, and its iconic iPod portable music player makes it the unquestioned leader in digital music. So I tried out Apple's new $129 streaming gadget, AirPort Express, which not only transfers music wirelessly around a house but is also a full-fledged Wi-Fi base station.

Alas, I found that while AirPort Express works as promised, it falls far short of being an ideal solution for listening to computer-based music in a distant room.

The first thing to know about AirPort Express is that, like the iPod and iTunes, it works just as well with Windows PCs as it does with Apple's own Macintosh computers. You can use it happily in a Windows-only home.

The second thing to know is that, unlike most other music-streaming products, AirPort Express is a triple threat. You can use it as a base station for creating a Wi-Fi network, even if you never intend to stream music. You can connect it to an existing Wi-Fi network, so that it can stream music around the house. And, finally, if you have one of Apple's earlier Wi-Fi base stations, you can use the AirPort Express as a repeater, to extend the range of your wireless network.

The third thing to know about AirPort Express is that it's very small -- about the size of an iPod, only thicker and a bit wider. And it is designed to plug directly into a wall electrical outlet, like a power adapter does. You can easily carry it to a friend's house, or a hotel room, or a temporary office or dwelling, where you can plug it into a wired broadband connection and create a wireless network in a matter of minutes.

Continued in the article

Update on the Fair Use Controversy in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law

Unlike many other countries such as Canada, educators have the luxury of "fair use" in copyright law, although some aspects of this safe harbor are in question under the "new" DMCA copyright law --- 

Under fair use provisions in the DMCA, educators can keep one photocopy of a journal article and large portions of a book even though they did not purchase those items. What I think is less clear is how to interpret the spontaneity test for sharings with other colleagues and students.  If three colleagues want to each have copy of an article from your private library, they can do so under the fair use safe harbor statutes provided there is not sufficient time to get the item from the publisher.  There is a spontaneity test discussed below.  Probably the most violated part of the fair use statute arises when educators share their photocopied journal articles, magazine articles, and multimedia files with other educators or place these items on library reserve or in Blackboard/WebCT online files for students without regard to the spontaneity test. 

You can read more about fair use and the spontaneity test at 

July14, 2004 Update
Colloquy Live from The Chronicle of Higher Education --- 

"Fair Use and Academic Publishing Wednesday, July 14, at 1 p.m., U.S. Eastern time

Indiana University Press's withdrawal of a scholarly book is just the latest example of copyright claims trumping scholarship. Just what use are "fair use" provisions in copyright law if presses lack the wherewithal to challenge such claims? What steps can be taken by scholars to protect fair use?

Richard Byrne (Moderator):
    Good afternoon. Welcome to this week's Colloquy Live. My name is Richard Byrne. I am the editor of the Chronicle's research and publication section. Our chat today concerns Fair Use and Academic Publishing.

Copyright laws protect the rights of authors, but at times they also have bedeviled scholars' research efforts. The "fair use" provisions of copyright law should provide scope for scholars to do their work and stay on the right side of the law, but changes to copyright law and strong challenges to fair use have made both scholars and academic presses skittish about asserting fair use.

Our guest today, Wendy Seltzer, is a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She will be answering questions today about the uses that fair use can be put to in an academic setting, and she will also discuss a few ideas that she has been kicking around about how scholars and academic presses might assert fair use provisions of copyright law in a more active fashion.

Thank you, Wendy, for agreeing to appear on our chat today. Welcome.

Wendy Seltzer:
    Thanks for inviting me to join you.

First let me give a few notes about fair use, an important part of the public-private balance of copyright. It is now codified at Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act as a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders. Fair uses are fair without the permission of the copyright holder, even against that permission.

The law sets out a four-factor test:
1) the purpose and character of the use (non-commercial or commercial; transformative or mere duplication)
2) the nature of the copyrighted work (fiction or nonfiction, published or unpublished)
3) the amount used in proportion to the whole
4) the effect on the market for the work
(See )

More factors in your favor makes a finding of fair use more likely, but the law gives us no bright lines or percentages. That's part of the reason why Lawrence Lessig has been saying that "fair use is merely the right to hire a lawyer."

I should also note that the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other public interest organizations do try to make it easier to hire a pro bono lawyer in fair use cases. We think it's critically important to preserve fair use as an actual, not merely hypothetical defense.

Continued in the Transcript

Bob Jensen's threads on the highly controversial DMCA and fair use are at 

Figure This

Treasury taps KPMG as auditors in controversial decision while at the same time the Justice Department has a criminal investigation of KPMG for selling nearly $2 billion in illegal tax shelters.  Will KPMG employees have to be paroled to conduct the Treasury audit?

This fits perfectly into Bob Jensen's earlier theme of The Two Faces of KPMG at 

"Treasury Taps KPMG as Auditors in Controversial Decision," The AccounitngWeb, July 20, 2004 --- 

The Treasury Department is simultaneously investigating KPMG’s tax shelter practice while hiring the firm to audit its own consolidated financial statements.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, was angered at the news, according to the Washington Post. He said Treasury is undercutting its own tax probe by awarding KPMG the contract to examine the books of Treasury’s 12 bureaus, which account for $6.9 trillion in assets and would be KPMG’s biggest audit ever.

"What signal does it send when the government is hauling one of the big accounting firms into the grand jury room over tax fraud while handing that same company millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded contracts?" Grassley asked.

Treasury Department spokesman Robert S. Nichols said the agency's independent inspector general picked KPMG. With 70 percent of the inspector general’s resources moved to the Department of Homeland Security, the office decided to seek private bids for the work.

"On the issue of tax shelters, let me affirm that the Bush administration has taken aggressive action to address the abusive tax shelter problem, more so than in any period in recent memory," he said.

KPMG said that it would not be auditing the books of the IRS, which has repeatedly demanded that the firm release the names of clients who use its tax shelters. The General Accounting Office, by statute, must conduct the IRS audit. Also, KPMG spokesman George Ledwith said that none of the firm’s employees involved in the federal investigation will be working on the Treasury audit.

The Senate Finance Committee pointed to the KPMG contract as one example of federal agencies overlooking tax abuses. The committee claims the Transportation Department has encouraged abusive leasing arrangements, the Patent and Trademark Office has issued patents for tax shelters and the Interior Department has engaged in inflating land swaps. The committee has set hearings for Wednesday on federal efforts to collect taxes owed.

"If we could just get federal agencies not to work at cross purposes, it would go a long way toward ensuring everybody pays their fair share of taxes," Grassley said. "The IRS's job would be a lot easier if other government agencies were part of the solution, not part of the problem."

This fits perfectly into Bob Jensen's earlier theme of The Two Faces of KPMG at 

Denny Beresford forwarded this link

"Accounting and Accountability," by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, July 23, 2004 --- 

Accountability is important. The nation will be ill served if officials who didn't do all they could to prevent a terrorist attack, or led the nation into an unnecessary war, manage to shift the blame to someone else.

But those weren't the only big mistakes of the last few years. Will anyone be held accountable for the mishandling of postwar Iraq?

But it creates another puzzle: given that the authority was spending Iraq's money, why wasn't it more careful in its accounting?

When a foreign power takes control of an oil-rich nation's resources, it inevitably faces suspicion about its motives. Fairly or not, the locals are all too ready to believe that the invaders came to steal their oil.

The way to deal with such suspicion is to let in as much sunlight as possible by appointing financial officials with strong reputations for independence, keeping meticulous books, and welcoming and cooperating with international audits.

What actually happened was just the opposite. Every important official with responsibility for Iraqi finances was a Bush administration loyalist. The occupying authority dragged its feet on an international audit, which didn't even begin until April 2004.

When KPMG auditors hired by an international advisory board finally got to work, they found that no effort had been made to keep an accurate record of oil sales, and that accounting for the $20 billion Development Fund for Iraq consisted of "spreadsheets and pivot tables maintained by a single accountant."

The auditors also faced a lack of cooperation. They were denied access to Iraqi ministries, which were reputed to be the locus of epic corruption on the part of Iraqis with connections to the occupiers. They were also denied access to reports concerning what they delicately describe as "sole-source contracts."

Translation: they were stonewalled when they tried to find out what Halliburton did with $1.4 billion.

By obstructing international auditors, by the way, the U.S. wasn't just fueling suspicion about the misappropriation of Iraqi oil money - it was also breaking its word. After Saddam's fall, the U.N. gave the U.S. the right to disburse Iraqi oil-for-food revenues, but only on the condition that this be accompanied by international auditing and oversight.

A digression: yes, oil-for-food is the U.N.-administered program from which Saddam undoubtedly siphoned off billions. But we expect America to be held to a higher standard.

There are also allegations that Saddam's revenue diversion was aided by corrupt U.N. officials. I think we should wait and see what Paul Volcker, the genuinely independent head of the U.N. inquiry - the sort of person the U.S. occupation should have employed - has to say. Meanwhile, it's worth noting that these accusations are entirely based on documents that are purported to be in the possession of none other than Ahmad Chalabi, who has himself been accused of corruption.

And there are a few curious side stories. On the day the U.S. raided Mr. Chalabi's offices, a British associate of Mr. Chalabi who had been promising to come out with a devastating report told London's Daily Telegraph that a remarkably effective hacker attack had destroyed all his computer files, including the backup copies.

After the United States's falling-out with Mr. Chalabi, the oil-for-food investigation was taken out of the hands of Mr. Chalabi's allies. But the new head of the investigation was assassinated on July 1.

Meanwhile, the war, fed by the failure of reconstruction, goes on. The transfer doesn't seem to have made any difference: more American soldiers were killed in the first three weeks of July than in all of June, even though Knight-Ridder reports that the U.S. military has stopped patrolling in much of Anbar Province, the heart of the insurgency.

And while the U.S. has yet to disburse any significant amount of aid, the Government Accountability Office says that war costs for this fiscal year alone will run $12.3 billion above Pentagon projections.

Will anyone be held accountable?

July 22, 2004 message from James Borden [


Thought you might like this look back at some of the critical developments in technology over the past 15 years.!OpenDocument 


I shortened the above URL to 

There is a PC History organization at 

"PC World at 15," by Chris Keall, PC World (New Zealand), July 23, 2004 ---  

PC World at 15
It was 5475 days ago today, or thereabouts, that your favourite computer magazine first hit newsstands. PC World lifer Chris Keall looks back on the laughter, the tears and the $24,000 386.

Since it first appeared as a standalone magazine in 1989 (having done time in the trenches as a Computerworld supplement), PC World has chronicled the highs, the lows and the sometimes keyboard-pounding agony that is the personal computer industry. As you follow me on our highlights tour of articles past (in our own – cringe – unedited words), you’ll find three themes emerge:

1. Star Trek references intrude with troubling frequency.
2. People always underestimate how quickly hardware will evolve.
3. People are constantly thumping said keyboards as promised usability breakthroughs never quite happen. Software developers just about get a handle on one trend and … then we’re off to the next. We’re living in beta, babies. Enjoy the ride.

June 1989
PS/2 luggable gains positive reception

“The PS/2 Model P70 is a high-functionality, 20MHz 386 portable ($16,425) that weighs in at 9kg (the lightest notebooks today are 1.2kg – CK). PC professionals are saying the VGA monitor and the 4MB of memory (expandable to 8MB), make it a powerful luggable."

July 1989
IBM’s 486 steals show

“The past 10 years have seen a dramatic increase in clock rates, from just under 5MHz for the original IBM PC to 33MHz for the latest 386 systems. This more than six-fold increase will not be repeated.”

Dec 1989/Jan 1990
Easy DOS it
“Processing speeds are now fast enough to satisfy all but the most exacting user.”

PC World Awards
Best desktop PC: Apple Macintosh IIcx
Best laptop: Compaq SLT/286
Best word processor: WordPerfect 5 for DOS

March 1990
WordPerfect 5.1
“With 11 5.25-inch floppy discs, installation may seem daunting, but there are many new features, with added commands including {FOR} and {WHILE} loops.”

May 1990
Could 1990 be the year of the LAN?
“The philosophical dividing line between the eras of standalone and networked PCs will be drawn in 1990. ... Despite the power of Microsoft’s OS/2 LAN Manager, it’s still a NetWare world. Novell’s 1989 introduction of its NetWare 386 network operating system more or less guaranteed that much of the world will stick with Netware.”

Word processors: Nine packages point for point
“Of these products, three – Samna Ami Professional, NBI Legend and Microsoft Word for Windows – exploit the new graphical tools provided for Windows-compatible products. The remaining six – IBM DisplayWrite, Lotus Manuscript, Microsoft Word for DOS, Aston-Tate’s Multimate, WordPerfect for DOS and WordStar – offer various levels of text-based word processing.”

June 1990
Has OS/2 version 2.1 got the right stuff?
“When Microsoft and IBM jointly announced OS/2 almost three years ago, many thought it would become the predominant operating system. That obviously hasn’t happened yet ... last year, DOS accounted for 70% of operating system units sold worldwide.”

July 1990
Return to the clone zone
“In this issue’s comparison of 33MHz 386 machines, we look at five well-known international brands with prices ranging from $17,000 to $24,000. But when we researched local assemblers like PC Direct, TL Systems and Ultra, we found equivalent machines for less than half that. Companies such as ALR, Compaq and HP will find it difficult to justify these differences in the face of cut-price clone competition.”

August 1990
At last, a true rival to DOS?
“Windows 3 is more than an update. In many respects it’s an entirely new environment ... To really take advantage of Windows, you’ll want either a fast 286 or a 386 machine, preferably with at least 2MB of RAM. Enhanced mode allows you to run multiple DOS applications.”

October 1990
Virus busters
“When a virus strikes, who ya gonna call? Against Italian, Israeli, Stoned, Friday the 13th and Weasel (yes, we could name every major virus in a single sentence back then – CK) these 24 antivirus packages aren’t much help.”

Dec 1990/Jan 1991
PS/2 gets 256 colours
“IBM’s new power offerings not only fill out its 486/PS2 range, but also set a new standard in monitor displays. Both models (the 25MHz, $26,270, and the 33MHz, $29,586) feature XGA with 16 colours standard, upgradeable to 256.”

February 1991
386SX: 16MHz or 20MHz?
“With their extra power, we feel that 20MHz PCs are better suited than their 16MHz counterparts to meet the user’s future needs.”

March 1991
“The personal laser printer is taking off as a replacement for 24-pin dot-matrix printers. With prices from $6000 to $10,000 for postscript models (for four-page-per-minute mono – CK) and $3000 for lower-end models, lasers can compete with $2000 24-pin dot-matrix printers
capable of near letter-quality output.”

April 1991
Bulletin boards: Online information out of control?
“New Zealand’s contribution to the global village, through the Fiodonet network, connects about 40 bulletin boards from Whangarei to Dunedin. A bulletin board mimics a conventional notice board, without the need for paper drawing pins. A telephone connection can transport you from one bulletin board to another. Many megabytes of information can, and do, move throughout New Zealand overseas every day. We were able to download an X-rated picture, no questions asked.”

Dec 1991/Jan 1992
PC World Awards
“The second trend is that the clones, or whatever you want to call them, are killing brand names. PC Direct has become the first local assembler to win Best Desktop PC.”

May 1992
Bulletin boards
“Graphics files are another mainstay. The most popular subjects are Bart Simpson, astronomy shots, Kelly Bundy and, on the less respectable boards, hardcore pornography … Telecom is a major player in the commercial bulletin board market with its StarNet and PacNet services.”

50MHz 486s: Pure testosterone
“Remember when top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art geek heaven was a 33MHz 386? If you bought a 25MHz 486 for $7000, don’t read any further. You don’t want to know ... Extra RAM is $120 a megabyte.”

WYSIWYG word processors
“In today’s rugged economic landscape, anything you can do to improve your image is not just a good idea – it’s critical. True, Windows word processors need a powerful 386 with 2MB of memory or more, while WordPerfect for DOS, which owns 60% of the market, will run on a 286 or XT.
"But you get accurate page layouts that you can see on your monitor ... and you no longer have to close your word processor before you can access your spreadsheet or another application.”

July 1992
Compaq calls the clones
“Sick of losing on price, Compaq and other big international brands are playing the low-cost local assemblers at their own game. The cute ’n’ little 25MHz 386SX that’s leading the charge comes in at $3040 with DOS, 2MB of RAM and a 40MB hard disk.”

Modem operandi
“Plug a 2.4kbit/s modem into your PC, jack into a telephone line and you’ve got access to Compuserve, the world’s largest online information service ... Compuserve’s $49 an hour is, after all, merely the cost of two large pizzas or a taxi ride to the airport. A free hour is provided with the $80 membership fee.”

October 1992
A buyer’s guide to email
“Email combines the precision of a typed letter with the immediacy of a phone call. Look for an email program that lets you read or send messages around your office without having to close your main application. Lotus CC:Mail is our postal service of choice.” (Runners up: Folio Mailbag and Micro Tex Postmaster – CK)

March 1993
DOS 6.0 – the beast is back
“DOS is far from dead. In fact, it looks like it’s here to stay.” (Don’t laugh, DOS’s last gasping remnants still lie buried deep within Windows XP – CK)

March 1993
Classic Dumb Terminal
Marketing speak: what they say and what they really mean …
All new: not compatible with previous versions.
New: different colour from previous version.
Design simplicity: developed on a shoestring budget.
Advanced design: advertising agency doesn’t understand it.
Leading-edge: will only run on a 486.
Revolutionary: goes round and round.

May 1993
Affordable inkjets
“Prices have fallen dramatically ... the HP PaintJet offers 300dpi colour for just $7395.”

Grid’s pen tablet computer
“Look Ma, no keyboard: the Grid Convertible’s conventional notebook design transforms into a tablet with the screen folded down over the keyboard.”

June 1993
Sizzling Pentium power
“Yes, Compaq is first to our shores with a Pentium-based PC – the $8750 ex GST 5/60M. The '5' is to remind a few of us that this is actually a 586 even if Intel insists we all speak Latin."

July 1993
Classic Dumb Terminal
Q: Why did it take God seven days to create the world?
A: No installed user base.

February 1994
“There are now three operating systems calling themselves DOS: Microsoft DOS, IBM PC DOS and Novell DOS. None break the 640KB memory barrier, but at least we’re getting closer to opening all 640KB to applications.”

Doom will blow you away
“We don’t know what’s behind the door, but after three hours of playing a networked game of Doom we’ve got a pretty good idea. I hit the space bar and the door slides up with a loud scraping sound. Immediately, my ears are assailed by demonic groans and growls, mixed with the boom of Roger’s shotgun and the measured bursts of Rob’s chaingun.”

April 1994
The internet is big
“What consists of 100,000 hosts and has an estimated 25 million users worldwide? The internet – it’s suddenly got big!”

Cyberspace cadet
“The Internet Connection Company of New Zealand (ICONZ) offers full internet access and charges $50 a megabyte for email, and $10 a megabyte for all other information sent or received.”

June 1994
The internet goes mainstream
“Suddenly, all manner of publications want to write about the internet, including those that usually do better with Rachel Hunter.
“I turned to IBM’s TCP/IP for DOS, which minimises the amount of time you need to spend at the internet’s Unix prompt. Your 2.4kbit/s modem that works fine for bulletin boards just won’t cut it on the net. Look for a speed monster that can pull 9.6kbit/s.”

July 1994
100MHz Pentiums: Power to burn
“Local assembler PC General was the first to land a 100MHz Pentium in our test centre. With 24MB or RAM, a 1GB hard drive, 2MB of video memory and a 15-inch monitor, it sells for $8990.”

Are office suites worth it?
“Microsoft, Lotus and Borland now offer aggressively-prices collections of their key applications – all yours if you’re willing to live and die with one vendor. Should you?”

Dec 1994/Jan 1995
Classic Dumb Terminal
How can I tell if I am a nerd?
“Subtract the number of girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands you’ve had from the number of computers you have owned. If the number is positive, you are a nerd.”

February 1995
Are you ready for OS/2 Warp?
“Can’t wait for Windows 95? Don’t have the hardware for Windows NT Workstation? IBM’s OS/2 Warp could be for you. You’ll need a 486 with at least 8MB of memory to hit full Warp speed.”

March 1995
“The most basic type of internet file access is via file transfer protocol or FTP. Of course, you need to find out which internet host has the files you want. For that you need a utility called Archie. The second way to get at files is with a Windows utility called Gopher. The third and hippest way is to cruise a sub-section of the internet known as the world wide web ... Mosiac isn’t the only web browser around. Alternatives include Cello, WinWeb, Netscape and Lynx, a non-graphical web browser.”

Full screen video at full-speed
“Thankfully, this year will bring improved video playback technology called MPEG that displays full-screen, full-motion video on your PC screen.”

Classic Dumb Terminal
Top 10 things that never happen on Star Trek:
1. McCoy says, “He’ll live, Jim.”
2. The deflector shields hold up for the duration of a battle.
3. The female alien leader declines to kiss Kirk before she sacrifices herself to save her civilisation.
4. A Starfleet emergency breaks out near the Enterprise, but fortunately some other ships in the area are able to deal with it to everyone’s satisfaction.
5. The Enterprise goes to visit a remote outpost of scientists, who are all perfectly alright.
6. The Enterprise crew are struck by a strange alien plague, for which the cure is found in the well-stocked sickbay.
7. Sulu and Chekov get to do something interesting.
8. A power surge on the bridge is rapidly and correctly diagnosed as a faulty capacitor.
9. The Enterprise is captured by a vastly superior alien intelligence which does not put the crew on trial.
10. The episode ends without Bones and Kirk laughing at Spock’s inability to understand a joke, and Spock raising his eyebrow.

May 1995
Classic Dumb Terminal
How many Apple Newton users does it take to change a lightbulb?
Fiv3 – tWO to fu%6~ th# jlwww aND three tO gurr%^ the laddEr.
(Handwriting recognition still had a way to go before hitting Tablet levels – CK)

July 1995
Mosaic: Killer app of the web?
“Having made the web accessible to a vast new audience, Mosaic is now just one of six Windows browsers. Our favourite is Netscape Navigator 1.0, which does a great job of making your browsing smooth and seamless (though even with a new 28.8kbit/s modem, cruising the web can seem like wading in quicksand). If you’re on a budget, try El Net’s free Win Web.”

September 1995
Are you ready for Windows 95?
“Windows 3 it’s not. Windows 95 is brimming with new features, from a redesigned interface to long file names. Click the Start button to launch applications ...
“ ... according to Microsoft, Windows 95 will run on a 386 with 4MB of RAM. Our verdict: don’t try this at home.”

August 1996
Netscape loses browser lead
“Not so long ago, almost a dozen browsers vied for the chance to take you to the hundreds of thousands of sites that make up the world wide web.
“But after a year of product shakeouts and some fast moves on Microsoft’s part, Netscape’s Navigator and Internet Explorer have emerged on top.
“Netscape still has the popular vote ... but not only can Microsoft’s IE 3 view frames, the company has also found ways to improve that technology.”

July 1997
The empire strikes back: IE 4.0
“Internet Explorer 4 promises a change that Netscape may be unable to match: it lets you integrate the browser directly into the operating system. A copy of IE 4 will be included in every copy of Memphis (Windows 98), the Windows 95 successor due in early next year.”

August 1997
Don’t let it happen again
“Best Buy closed the doors on its Auckland superstore on Saturday June 28. An angry mob of 40 soon gathered on the footpath – part of a total of 267 customers who had paid for PCs that Best Buy failed to deliver.”

August 1997
6x86: Cyrix’s Pentium II buster
“Cyrix 6x86-based PCs offer top performance for hundreds of dollars less than systems based on Pentium MMX-233, Pentium II or AMD’s K6.”

December 1997
Wireless LANs set to boom
“The market for wireless LANs is on the brink of a growth spurt, thanks to the creation of an interoperability standard, IEEE 802.11 standard (or Wireless Fidelity – WiFi).

February 1998
The great ISP census
“With 83,000 subscribers, Xtra is still the leading local internet service provider, followed by Clear Net and ihug.
“Ability to provide 56kbit/s access doesn’t seem to be a market differentiator. A lot of ISPs are sitting on the fence waiting for the new standard to be ratified.”

July 1998
Windows 98: Do you need it?
“If Windows 95 was a great leap forward, Windows 98 is a series of baby-steps.” (Ditto for Me and XP. Sigh – CK)

April 1999
Internet Explorer 5
“Microsoft leapfrogs Netscape with a faster, smarter Internet Explorer.”

July 1999
The world is flat
“Xtra and Clear Net are going head-to-head with ihug’s all-you-can-eat for $39.95 approach. Xtra’s 185,000 users are turning from hourly to flat rate plan en masse.”

August 1999
Bandwidth on demand
“If you’re still waiting for ISDN to come to your town, forget it. Telecom’s new superfast, always-on DSL internet offering, dubbed JetStream, costs from just $69 a month (plus ISP fees) – maybe a 10th of your 128kbit/s ISDN line – but provides more than 10 times the speed.”

May 2000
Is Linux just another fad?
“We put Linux on a test PC and in eight weeks it never crashed.”

1GHz: desktop speeds hit the stratosphere
“Intel now knows how the United States felt in 1957 when the Russians beat America into space with Sputnik. For years, Intel dominated the CPU race. But on March 6, AMD surprised the world and launched the first x86 CPU to require a whole new term for blazing speed: giga­hertz. Gateway’s Athlon 1000-based Select ($7873) is a sliver ahead of a Dell Dimension XPS with a 866MHz Pentium III ($6999) fully loaded with 128MB.”

June 2000
Classic Dumb Terminal
“Some people ask why I don’t use the Zoom feature in Photoshop. I just get closer.” (Occasional PC World contributor Kid Coleslaw parodies an ad you’ve all long since forgotten – CK)

July 2000
It’s official: Microsoft must split
“On June 8, US federal judge Thomas P Jackson ordered the break-up of the software giant Microsoft. One company will keep the Windows operating system, while a second will handle software apps such as Office and IE. Microsoft now has four months to submit a plan for ‘divestiture’, as the break-up is being called. Despite this ‘final’ decree, Microsoft has filed an application for appeal …” (George Bush’s November 2000 election saw a parallel change of guard at the US Department of Justice, and the end of any real political will to face down Bill Gates – CK)

September 2000
Learning to love Napster
“MP3 is here and there’s nothing the record companies can do about it. In six short months, Napster has attracted 20 million users.”

November 2000
Free internet!
“Born out of the 0867 dispute between Telecom and Clear, free ISPs have undergone explosive growth. Clear’s Zfree is now claiming 200,000 registered users. One ISP in the US is even offering free DSL.”

March 2001
Classic Dumb Terminal
“It’s ridiculous claiming that video games influence children. For instance, if Pac-man affected kids born in the 80s, we should by how have a bunch of teenagers who run around in darkened rooms and eat pills while listening to monotonous electronic music.”

April 2001
Cutting edge LCDs
“More flat panels are appearing, and the average price of a 15-inch LCD monitor these days has dipped to under $3000. Our editors’ choice: Philips’ 15-inch DesignLine 150X ($3261).”

September 2001
Wireless data to go
“Connecting your PDA or laptop to the world has never been easy, but now Telecom has announced the availability of its CDMA network … initially running at around 14.4kbit/s. Telecom is charging $5 a month for 1MB of data, and 3.5 cents per 5KB after that.”

October 2001
“I was a little dismayed with the cover of last month’s PC World. I realise that the model for these photos was probably merely centimetres off the ground and in no danger whatsoever, but these photos just rang alarm bells. The screw gate on the carabiner was not done up at all.”
– Name and address withheld by request

Stop searching and start finding
“Some search sites are returning to the basics. Google started the trend: its sleek home page consists of little more than the Google logo, the field where you type in your queries.”

First look at Internet Explorer 6
“The features battle between IE and Netscape continues to rage. Microsoft’s latest salvo occurred last month, with the release of Internet Explorer 6.”

November 2001
Windows XP: do you need it?
“Easier than Windows 2000 and less crash-prone than Windows 98/ME, XP is Microsoft’s biggest OS upgrade in years.”
(Yes, but at least we got major upgrades then. With Longhorn – or Longwait – now delayed until perhaps 2006, we’re looking at an unprecedented half decade between Windows upgrades. And while we’re on the subject, where’s IE 7? Talk about monopoly breeding complacency – CK)

Dec 2001/Jan 2002
Can’t stop the music
“The hot P2P networks at the moment (Grokster, KaZaA, Morpheus) all use a technology developed by a Dutch company called FastTrack. On the surface, a program like Morpheus functions similar to Napster, except you can share all types of files.”

May 2002
Next generation PDAs
“Aside from the Springboard expansion slot, the $999 Handspring Visor Pro’s standout features include an LED alarm option and a backlit, 16-greyshade screen.”

October 2003
Death of the local assembler?
“Does the PC Company’s demise signal the death of the local PC assembler? Not at all. There are many local assemblers who’ve been around for as long as this magazine, who keep their heads down and stick to a market they know.” (During April 2004, the Computer Manufacturers Association of New Zealand, or CMANZ, quietly dropped its guarantee to support members’ warranties in the event of a bankruptcy. The cost of the PC Company warranty bail-outs was cited as a factor. Now for the first time in a decade, there is no dominant local assembler – CK)

Well there you have it. Hopefully you can remember the rest. Now let’s check out what the next decade and a half hold in store.

Predicting the future is a risky business.
Even visionaries turn conservative when facing that challenge. But the four winners of this year’s Draper Prize from the US National Academy of Engineering are as qualified for the task as anyone.
Bob Taylor, Alan Kay, Charles “Chuck” Thacker and Butler Lampson were recently honoured for their groundbreaking research at Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre in California 30 years ago. Among their accomplishments: accurately envisioning the office of the future that most of us now use daily.
The four winners shared with PC World their views on the future of computing.

Only the beginning
“The computer revolution has only just begun,” Lampson says.
The four expect that several hot areas of research and innovation will become even more important when combined: wireless technologies, ever-higher-speed communications, speech recognition, improved search engines, and management of huge volumes of related information. These segments’ total impact could be much larger than the sum of their parts.
“I think wireless will make a fundamental difference in the way people use computers ... this will cause a wide variety of new devices to appear,” says Thacker, who worked with Lampson on Microsoft’s Tablet PC designs.
Tired of your PC’s messy, pesky cables? The solution may be wireless. “I think that short-range wireless will take over for nearly all connections between computers and peripherals, because it’s much more convenient,” Lampson says.

Next step: PCs fall apart
Look for the traditional PC – keyboard, screen, hard disk, network adapter — to become “disaggregated”. The pioneers expect that the components will become separated but will continue to work together. Many computer research groups at universities, and at private and corporate labs, are working on this assumption.
As wireless access becomes common and cheap, as chips and communications get faster, and as prices continue to drop, there is less reason to tie a disk to a keyboard and screen. The network will be everywhere, both wired and wireless.
A PC’s screen could also become whichever display device is closest. Current research includes such examples as flashing advertising panels in the supermarket checkout line. Or you may pause to check data on an office hallway’s video wall that displays a computer’s output using special electronic paints already in development. Another future display in the works is a laser-powered holographic system that shows text and video in the air using tiny programmable actuator chips called MEMS (micro electromechanical systems, already used in many commercial products). Or the display you use might be a piece of electronic paper that you crumple when you’re through.
Input and control could be via a wireless keyboard, a handwriting-recognition device, or an array of microphones embedded in the surface of your desk or your car’s dashboard. With voice recognition technology, such input devices are always listening for you to “wake up” the computer.

Embed and spread
Fundamentally, most computers may simply vanish from view, either through disaggregation or by becoming embedded into walls, appliances and even your clothes – or a combination.
“Although putting computers into things like toasters and refrigerators seems a little silly today, it is becoming increasingly less silly,” says Thacker. Indeed, some consumer electronics stores already sell early versions of computerised appliances.
Cars already have dozens or hundreds of computers built into them to control everything from the steering wheel’s angle to the DVD player, as well as to monitor petrol consumption or to power the wheels, brakes and suspension. Lampson wants to see that go a giant step further. He envisions cars that drive themselves, primarily for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, expect the way you get your telephone service to change, especially with the advent of voice over internet protocol (VoIP). The hold-up is the so-called last-mile problem: the expense of rewiring that last few hundred metres from the network in the street up to your door.

Qwerty talk
Also still early is speech-recognition technology. A number of products are out, but the technology is less effective when tasks are complex, such as correctly recognising and responding to voice commands. Even relatively simple speech dictation usually requires positioning a microphone near the mouth to cancel extraneous noise.
“The larger problem of speech [is that it] requires human-style commonsense reasoning to be pretty well done by machine,” Kay says. “I can’t think of any good reason why this won’t happen. It’s just a difficult problem to [deal with] outside of restricted contexts.”
Lampson concurs: “Getting the computer to understand what you say to it and behave intelligently is an entirely different matter” from speech recognition.

Self-aware computers
Even after 60 years of development, computers are still basically machines that can only crunch an endless stream of ones and zeros. Although several research projects are focusing on imbuing computers with reasoning and decision-making cognition – one has been under way for 20 years – that remains a holy grail for computer science.

I believe the children are the future
“I don’t think anything really important has happened yet,” Kay says. He predicts that changes will come as computing “co-evolves with the users, especially children, until a new kind of fluency will be able to happen. And then, those after us will see some big changes.”
Stuart Johnston


July 21, 2004 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM

Given the recent court ruling that email is not private, and the following snip from Compliance Headquarters: "We believe transmitting sensitive data via Internet email without any encryption may be inherently insecure and may put you in breach of the guidelines" I suppose this means that casual email with a client about tax estimates, cash available, loan draws, etc. is a definite no-no.

Scott Bonacker


July 23, 2004 message from John Gerace [benedocet@MSN.COM

I am in the curriculum planning process and working with our accounting instructors to determine the appropriate software and technology to be used in the class room. Currently some of our instructors are limiting the use of software to that which is included in the textbook, e.g., Peachtree. However, any information regarding previous surveys that may have been performed, specific software and applications, the use of simulations, etc., and all else you may be able to provide would be very much appreciated. 

John J. Gerace, Ph.D., PE

Bob Jensen's reply

There’s a nice summary article at

My somewhat dated bookmarks on this topic are at


"Thousands attempt to view child porn,", July 20, 2004 --- 

THOUSANDS of people are being prevented from accessing hardcore child pornography on the internet every day, it emerged today.

British Telecom has stopped 200,000 attempts to access such images in just three weeks by using new technology.

The exact number of people trying to look at the sites is unclear because some may be making repeated attempts.

But the real figure is likely to be far higher as BT is just one of a number of companies providing internet access.

BT said it was surprised at the high number of attempts to access sites. And it has offered to help other internet service providers block access.

Home Office minister Paul Goggins applauded BT’s efforts but said he was "deeply shocked" by the findings.

He urged other companies to take up BT’s offer of help.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he added: "Every image of a child that appears on the internet is a picture of a child that has been abused and that must remain firmly fixed in our minds as a key priority for taking the actions that we are determined to take."

It is depressing to speculate how much of the above innovation would have been stifled if Hollywood ran the show 15 years ago in a manner that it now wants to run the show.

A Senate committee will hear testimony on the controversial "Induce" copyright bill Thursday. Critics say the bill is the biggest threat to innovation in 20 years, letting Hollywood dictate what consumer electronics companies can do.
"Copyright Bill to Kill Tech?, by Katie Dean, Wired News, July 22, 2004 ---,1283,64297,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill Thursday that would hold technology companies liable for any product they make that encourages people to steal copyright materials

"We think this is a recipe for disaster for the Internet," said Markham Erickson, general counsel for NetCoalition, a public policy group that represents Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Internet service providers. "The bill as it is currently drafted is extremely broad and not entirely clear. It would, at a minimum, undermine the Sony Betamax decision."

In the Betamax decision, the Supreme Court ruled that any technology that people use for legal purposes would be legal -- even if the device could be used for illegal purposes, like content piracy. Because of the ruling, the consumer electronics industry and Hollywood went on to develop a thriving market in home video and DVDs.

"This takes an objective standard and replaces it with a subjective one that allows a copyright holder to try and determine the intent of a company when producing a product," Erickson said. "It's not outside the realm of possibility that you would be placing the entertainment industry in charge of technological innovation if this law were passed."

It's the biggest threat to technology in 20 years, said Jeff Joseph, a spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association. The organization's president will testify before the committee.

Continued in the article

The Health Consequences of Smoking 2004: A Report of the Surgeon General's --- 

Bohemian Opera --- 

Part of a July 22, 2004 email message from the University of Denver's Peter Firmin [

Professor Sorensen’s article on how Management Accountants may become Business Partners may be accessed at

Forwarded by Paula

Two Reasons Why It's So Hard To Solve A Redneck Murder:

(1) The DNA is the same.

(2) There are no dental records

Oxymorons --- 

An Oxymoron is a combination of contradictory or incongruous words, such as 'Cruel Kindness' or 'Jumbo Shrimp' (Jumbo means 'large' while Shrimp means 'small'). It is a literary figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory words, terms, phrases or ideas are combined to create a rhetorical effect by paradoxical means.

  • The 50-50-90 rule: Any time you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong. - Yogi Berra
  • The shortest distance between two points is how far apart they are. - Yogi Berra
  • There are only three kinds of people; people who can count and people who can't.
  • Why don't you pair ‘em up in threes? - Yogi Berra

Forwarded by Dr. B.

From George Carlin

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why do "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?

7. Why do "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?

8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing " Take me out to the ball game" when we are already there?

10. Why are they called "stands" when they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called "after dark" when it really is "after light"?

12. Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" make the unexpected expected?

13. Why are a "wise man" and a "wise guy" opposites?

14. Why do "overlook" and "oversee" mean opposite things?

15. Why is "phonics" not spelled the way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?

17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

18. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

19. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read alright?

20. Why is bra singular and panties plural?

21. Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?

22. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?

23. How come abbreviated is such along word?

24. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren't we clean when we use them?

25. Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

26. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?

27. Christmas is so weird. What other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?

Woman Speak forwarded by Paula




This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.


If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.


This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"


This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.


This is not actually a word, but is a nonverbal statement often misunderstood by men.  A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"


This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.


A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

Forwarded by Barb

Redneck Etiquette

1. Never take a beer to a job interview.
2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
3. It's considered tacky to take a cooler to church.
4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.
5. Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still rude to drive the U-Haul to the funeral home.
1. When pouring wine from the box, make sure that you tilt the paper
    cup and pour slowly so as not to "bruise" the fruit of the vine.
2. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your hands.

1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a
2. Do not allow the dog to eat at the table, no matter how good his
    manners are.

1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys.

DATING (Outside the Family):
1. Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date.
2. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some
    will say 10:00 PM. Others might say "Monday," If the latter is the
    answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.

1. Livestock, usually, is a poor choice for a wedding gift.
2. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create a tacky appearance.
3 Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.

1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded
    and the deer is in sight.
2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires
    does not always have the right of way.
3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.
4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to
    ask her to bring back beer too.

Presidential loyalty quiz forwarded by Paula 

Forwarded by Paula

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
Actually Socrates had a very high tempered wife named Xanthippe who once dumped a filled chamber pot over his head.

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
~Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
~Jimmy Durante

The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness and kindness, can be trained to do most things.
~Jilly Cooper

I never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
~Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat.
~Alex Levine

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
~Mark Twain

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
~Ed Furgol

Last week I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement.
~Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and have the two as close together as possible.
~George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea ...visit people only once a year.
~Victor Borge
And we might add --- stay about the same length of time.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
~Mark Twain

What would men be without women? “Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.”
~Mark Twain

My wife is a sex object. Every time I ask for sex, she objects.
~Les Dawson

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered but I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue:
"No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall".
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
~Spike Milligan

What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money.
~Henny Youngman

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
~Mark Twain

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was 'shut up.'
~Joe Namath

Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.
~Herbert Henry Asquith

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
~Bob Hope

A woman drove me to drink...and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her.
~W. C. Fields

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
~W. C. Fields

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
~George Burns

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.

Don't worry about avoiding temptation...As you grow older, it will avoid you.

Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But...everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.

The cardiologist's diet: if it tastes good, spit it out.

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.

It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything.

The Moles --- 

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman,
in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.  He stated
that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at
9:00 am.
I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over
an hour before someone would to able to see him.  I saw him looking at
his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I
would evaluate his wound.
On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the
needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation.  I
asked him if he had a doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in
such a hurry.
The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to
eat breakfast with his wife.
I then inquired as to her health.  He told me that she had been there
for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer Disease.  As we
talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be
worried if he was a bit late.  He replied that she no longer knew who he
was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.
I was surprised, and asked him.  "And you still go every morning, even
though she doesn't know who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and
said.  "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."
I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and
thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."
True love is neither physical, nor romantic.  True love is an acceptance
of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there are some
that come along that have an important message,and this is one of those
kind.  Just had to share it with you all.
Oh, by the way, peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank.
"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the best of everything that comes along their way."

Forwarded by Cindy


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar..and the coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your friends,and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else-the small stuff. "If you put the sand into

the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

And that's the way it was on August 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) --- 


Bob Jensen's bookmarks for accounting newsletters are at 

News Headlines for Accounting from --- 
An unbelievable number of other news headlines categories in are 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 --- 


Household and Other Heloise-Style Hints --- 


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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July 21, 2004

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on July 21, 2004
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

I am transitioning to the mountains of New Hampshire for an eight-month sabbatical leave.  Since this is a research leave, I'm not certain I will find the time to put out future editions of New Bookmarks until I return to teach at Trinity University in January 2005.

Year 2004 92 Spring Pictures from the White Mountains --- 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

Free Music from Russia --- 

American soldiers are taking abuse --- 

Of course the people don't want war. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Hermann Göring

Quotes of the Week

For your information, your Web site,  , was mentioned in the column, Smart Stops on the Web, which appears on page 31 of the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Accountancy.
Vince Nolan, Assistant Editor of the Journal of Accountancy.  Smart Stops on the Web is at 

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Of course the people don't want war. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Hermann Göring

The 30-year-old lifelong techno-tinkerer - he sounds a little like the former Dell dude - puts video ads on T-shirts equipped with speakers and the TV screens, which can also handle Flash animation or slides. It's the latest blast of what ad-watchers call ambient (all around you) or guerrilla (in your face) advertising. And it's meeting with mixed reviews.
Clayton Colli, " 'Billboards' that walk, talk, and even flirt a little," The Christian Science Monitor, July 8, 2004 --- 

Social Lives of a Cell Phone Say you’re young and single, and you’re out on the town one Saturday night. With a hot new service called Dodgeball, you take out your mobile phone and tap in the name of the restaurant where you are hanging out. You get a list of friends, and friends of friends, within 10 blocks. You can message each other about getting together, and maybe send a photo of yourself. Social connection services like this, based on mobile wireless devices, are about to radically changes how we communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. 
Eric Bender, MIT Technology Review, July 12, 2004 --- 

Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday language equivalent.
George Orwell

Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to.
Mark Twain

Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.
Anna Freud

Higher oil prices resulting from the present demand increase will exert a smaller drag on economic activity since we have become more efficient in using energy. Spending on energy now accounts for 4.9 percent of personal disposable income vs. 8.1 percent in 1980.
Mark Zupan, dean of the University of Rochester's William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, comments on the impact of oil prices --- 

Actually people in the cemetery vote in Texas, so what's to worry about?
Here in Texas, where early voting lasts maybe two weeks or so, I’ve learned that the poll workers take the machines home with them at night. Imagine the opportunity, in the comfort and privacy of your home, to ’upgrade’ the software on these machines. The tamper-resistance measures they take (special tape or numbered tie-wrap seals) can be easily gotten around if you’ve got the time and privacy to work on it. Some election officials require that their poll workers pass basic background checks (i.e., they have no felony convictions), but that’s hardly reassuring.

Dan Wallach as quoted by Erika Jonietz in "Texas (Voting) Two-step?" MIT's Technology Review, July 15, 2004 --- 

Many Americans, Campbell said, think there are too many lawsuits, that litigation costs jobs, that people file lawsuits instead of taking responsibility for their actions and that 'these characteristics come to the fore in the person of Sen. Edwards.' 
Tom Campbell, dean of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, on John Kerry’s selection of John Edwards as his running mate.--- 

The attorney general of Mexico and several of his staff implant microchips in their arms. The chips provide access to a crime database and track their bearers if they are kidnapped -- assuming their abductors don't slice out the chips.
Reuters, "Mexican Officials Get Chipped," Wired News, July 13, 2004 ---,1282,64194,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

A new world computer chess champion was crowned at the 2004 finals in Israel on Monday. The new champ is the latest version of a particularly aggressive and human-like software program called Junior.Unlike most leading chess programs, Junior places less emphasis on the value of individual pieces and more on factors such as mobility and positional advantage. The approach - known as "compensation" - gives the program the ability to find very unusual and daring moves. But it also makes it prone to blunders more reminiscent of human players.
Will Knight (See below)

That scenario isn't as farfetched as you might think. It's called a prediction market, based on the notion that a marketplace is a better organizer of insight and predictor of the future than individuals are. Once confined to research universities, the idea of markets working within companies has started to seep out into some of the nation's largest corporations. Companies from Microsoft to Eli Lilly and Hewlett-Packard are bringing the market inside, with workers trading futures contracts on such "commodities" as sales, product success and supplier behavior. The concept: a work force contains vast amounts of untapped, useful information that a market can unlock. "Markets are likely to revolutionize corporate forecasting and decision making," says Robin Hanson, an economist at George Mason University, in Virginia, who has researched and developed markets. "Strategic decisions, such as mergers, product introductions, regional expansions and changing CEOs, could be effectively delegated to people far down the corporate hierarchy, people not selected by or even known to top management."
Barbara Kiviat (See below)

Bob Jensen's July-September 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Bob Jensen's April-June 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

"No Wonder C.E.O.'s Love Those Mergers," by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, July 18, 2004 --- 

Shareholders like it when their companies are acquired, because their stocks rise in value. Chief executives like it, too, because their severance agreements kick in. And that means they can become truly, titanically, stupefyingly rich.

Wallace R. Barr, the chief executive of Caesars Entertainment, is the latest to line up for his barrel of bucks. Last week, Harrah's announced it would acquire Caesars for $5.2 billion. Thanks to accelerated vesting of options and stock awards, Mr. Barr stands to receive almost $20 million under so-called change-of-control provisions in his contract. And if Mr. Barr resigns from Caesars "for good reason," the contract says, he is entitled to an additional $6.6 million after the two companies merge.

A spokesman for Caesars did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Then there was Wachovia's proposed acquisition of the SouthTrust Corporation last month. Equilar Inc., a compensation analysis firm in San Mateo, Calif., said the terms of the deal would give Wallace D. Malone Jr., the chief executive of SouthTrust. $59 million in termination awards, stock awards and options over the next five years if he leaves the bank. He also appears to be entitled to an annual pension of about $3.8 million.

At least Mr. Malone has said he would donate some of this bounty to charity. A spokeswoman for SouthTrust did not return a phone call seeking comment.

"In theory, change-in-control provisions make sense," said Tim Ranzetta, the president of Equilar. "They encourage executives to act in the best interests of shareholders in transactions that they anticipate will increase shareholder value, which at the same time may harm their own careers. But empirical research seems to indicate that most companies underperform relative to the market after a merger while executives benefit from these large, one-time payouts."

Amazingly few shareholders have carped about these giveaways. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the big pension fund known as Calpers, voted against last month's merger of two health care companies, Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks, citing excessive pay. Executives stood to receive bonuses, severance payments and vested stock options totaling approximately $200 million in the deal. Leonard D. Schaeffer, WellPoint's chief executive, was entitled to $47 million in severance, stock options and enhanced retirement benefits, an Anthem spokesman said.

Nobody else seemed to mind. Shareholders approved the merger on June 28.

One reason that shareholder outrage has been muted may be that few people, beyond the executives themselves and maybe the company's compensation committee, know how costly these pay deals are. Even with all the scrutiny of corporate governance in recent years, a full tally of what executives will earn in retirement or under a change of control is simply not disclosed. Not anywhere.

Experts say that many compensation committees do not understand the size of these pay packages because they do not routinely ask their consultants for detailed lists of the various pay components.

And, my, how the list of goodies can go on. First comes the executives' severance pay, almost always nearly three times salary and bonus. Accelerated vesting of stock options and stock awards quickly follows; sometimes the options are granted with their full terms remaining - up to 10 years - giving them tremendous value.

Then there are the three additional years of pension credits that get tacked on to an executive's pay, as well as the 401(k) match, years of health care benefits and the cash value of perquisites at the time of termination - such as use of the corporate jet, country-club memberships, allowances for financial planning advice, office space and secretarial services. All in one delightfully fat lump sum.

AND don't forget that executives' pensions are often based on the unusually high severance pay, which ratchets the numbers way up.

Of course, one downside to these enormous payments is that they generate stunning tax bills for executives. Good thing their contracts almost always require the companies to pay. And how!

The so-called excise tax gross-up provisions can be so colossal that, according to one pay expert, a major merger was scuttled because the cost to cover executives' tax bills exceeded $100 million.

I view these executive compensation schemes as white collar crime, and white collar crime just does not get punished severely enough to stop the epidemic --- 

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization 

Forwarded by Paula Ward

Alaska…Faces of Life in the Far North --- 

Time Magazine's Choice for 50 Coolest Websites Launched Since 2002

"50 Coolest Websites," by Maryanne Murray Buechner, Time Magazine, July 2004 --- 

News and Information --- 

Lifestyle and Culture --- 

Communi9ties --- 

Just for Fun --- 

Bob Jensen's links to top news sites are at 

From Syllabus News on July 20, 2004

For-Profit Institution Popularity Slipping, Says Online Consortium

Job candidates from traditional universities with online programs are more likely to be hired and promoted by corporations than candidates from for-profit providers of online education and degree programs. That’s the conclusion of a study by the Online University Consortium, a group of traditional universities which describes its mission as providing “access to reputable universities that have online degree programs you can trust.”

The OUC looked at data compiled over a recent 12-month period, gathered through surveys of corporate decision-makers attending major trade events such as Society for Human Resource Management and American Society for Training & Development. When compared to the previous year's findings, OEC said it found the number of companies preferring traditional universities is up 15 percent, with 65 percent selecting traditional schools compared to 50 percent in 2003. OUC said it also found that the number of companies choosing for-profit businesses declined, with 14.3 percent now indicating they would select a for-profit compared to 22 percent in 2003.

Deborah Besemer, president and CEO of recruitment services provider BrassRing, said employers are avoiding schools that have flooded the market with online degree programs and which have questionable regard for quality. "We see this when they search for candidates and specifically eliminate certain schools from their search. Reputation of the educational institution is what matters the most," said Besemer. "Employers want to hire students who have a full college experience whether online or in the classroom. They are looking for well-educated individuals to join their companies."

For more information on the OUC’s findings, visit 

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of distance education are at 

July 20, 2004 message from Richard Newmark [richard.newmark@PHDUH.COM

I am considering adopting the Prentice Hall novella entitled “Movies Door to How Accounting Helped Make the Difference” in my Accounting Principles class this Fall. The book is about three entrepreneurs and takes them through a business life cycle (creating the business idea, pre start-up, running the business, and dissolving the business). Does anybody cover this type of material in their principles of financial or managerial accounting courses? If so, please let me know as I would like to build some materials around this book?





Richard Newmark
Associate Professor of Accounting
Monfort College of Business
Campus Box 128
Kepner Hall, 2085B
Greeley, Colorado 80639
(970) 351-1213
(801)858-9335 fax (free email fax @ efax .com) 

Interesting Article on Role of Market Watching and Market Hedging in Managing Business Transactions
(This should be of special interest to accountants since standards are moving toward more fair value-based accounting.)

That scenario isn't as farfetched as you might think. It's called a prediction market, based on the notion that a marketplace is a better organizer of insight and predictor of the future than individuals are. Once confined to research universities, the idea of markets working within companies has started to seep out into some of the nation's largest corporations. Companies from Microsoft to Eli Lilly and Hewlett-Packard are bringing the market inside, with workers trading futures contracts on such "commodities" as sales, product success and supplier behavior. The concept: a work force contains vast amounts of untapped, useful information that a market can unlock. "Markets are likely to revolutionize corporate forecasting and decision making," says Robin Hanson, an economist at George Mason University, in Virginia, who has researched and developed markets. "Strategic decisions, such as mergers, product introductions, regional expansions and changing CEOs, could be effectively delegated to people far down the corporate hierarchy, people not selected by or even known to top management."
Barbara Kiviat (See below)

"The End Of Management? by Barbara Kiviat, Time Magazine, July 12, 2004, pp. 88-92 ---,8816,1101040712-660965,00.html 

The end of management just might look something like this. You show up for work, boot up your computer and log onto your company's Intranet to make a few trades before getting down to work. You see how your stocks did the day before and then execute a few new orders. You think your company should step up production next month, and you trade on that thought. You sell stock for the production of 20,000 units and buy stock that represents an order for 30,000 instead. All around you, as co-workers arrive at their cubicles, they too flick on their computers and trade.

Together, you are buyers and sellers of your company's future. Through your trades, you determine what is going to happen and then decide how your company should respond. With employees in the trading pits betting on the future, who needs the manager in the corner office?

That scenario isn't as farfetched as you might think. It's called a prediction market, based on the notion that a marketplace is a better organizer of insight and predictor of the future than individuals are. Once confined to research universities, the idea of markets working within companies has started to seep out into some of the nation's largest corporations. Companies from Microsoft to Eli Lilly and Hewlett-Packard are bringing the market inside, with workers trading futures contracts on such "commodities" as sales, product success and supplier behavior. The concept: a work force contains vast amounts of untapped, useful information that a market can unlock. "Markets are likely to revolutionize corporate forecasting and decision making," says Robin Hanson, an economist at George Mason University, in Virginia, who has researched and developed markets. "Strategic decisions, such as mergers, product introductions, regional expansions and changing CEOs, could be effectively delegated to people far down the corporate hierarchy, people not selected by or even known to top management."

To understand the hype, take a look at Hewlett-Packard's experience with forecasting monthly sales. A few years back, HP commissioned Charles Plott, an economist from the California Institute of Technology, to set up a software trading platform. A few dozen employees, mostly product and finance managers, were each given about $50 in a trading account to bet on what they thought computer sales would be at the end of the month. If a salesman thought the company would sell between, say, $201 million and $210 million worth, he could buy a security — like a futures contract — for that prediction, signaling to the rest of the market that someone thought that was a probable scenario. If his opinion changed, he could buy again or sell.

When trading stopped, the scenario behind the highest-priced stock was the one the market deemed most likely. The traders got to keep their profits and won an additional dollar for every share of "stock" they owned that turned out to be the right sales range. Result: while HP's official forecast, which was generated by a marketing manager, was off 13%, the stock market was off only 6%. In further trials, the market beat official forecasts 75% of the time.

Intrigued by that success, HP's business-services division ran a pilot last year with 14 managers worldwide, trying to determine the group's monthly sales and profit. The market was so successful (in one case, improving the prediction 50%) that it has since been integrated into the division's regular forecasts. Another division is running a pilot to see if a market would be better at predicting the costs of certain components with volatile prices. And two other HP divisions hope to be using markets to answer similar questions by the end of the year. "You could do zillions of things with this," says Bernardo Huberman, director of the HP group that designs and coordinates the markets. "The idea of being able to forecast something allows you to prepare, plan and make decisions. It's potentially huge savings."

Eli Lilly, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, which routinely places multimillion-dollar bets on drug candidates that face overwhelming odds of failure, wanted to see if it could get a better idea of which compounds would succeed. So last year Lilly ran an experiment in which about 50 employees involved in drug development — chemists, biologists, project managers — traded six mock drug candidates through an internal market. "We wanted to look at the way scattered bits of information are processed in the course of drug development," says Alpheus Bingham, vice president for Lilly Research Laboratories strategy. The market brought together all the information, from toxicology reports to clinical results, and correctly predicted the three most successful drugs.

What's more, the market data revealed shades of opinion that never would have shown up if the traders were, say, responding to a poll. A willingness to pay $70 for a particular drug showed greater confidence than a bid at $60, a spread that wouldn't show if you simply asked, Will this drug succeed? "When we start trading stock, and I try buying your stock cheaper and cheaper, it forces us to a way of agreeing that never really occurs in any other kind of conversation," says Bingham. "That is the power of the market."

The current enthusiasm can be traced in part, oddly enough, to last summer's high-profile flop of a market that was supposed to help predict future terrorist attacks. A public backlash killed that Pentagon project a few months before its debut, but not before the media broadcast the notion that useful information embedded within a group of people could be drawn out and organized via a marketplace. Says George Mason's Hanson, who helped design the market: "People noticed." Another predictive market, the Iowa Electronic Markets at the University of Iowa, has been around since 1988. That bourse has accepted up to $500 from anyone wanting to wager on election results. Players buy and sell outcomes: Is Kerry a win or Bush a shoo-in? This is the same information that news organizations and pollsters chase in the run-up to election night. Yet Iowa outperforms them 75% of the time.

Inspired by such results, researchers at Microsoft started running trials of predictive markets in February, finding the system inexpensive to set up. Now they're shopping around for the market's first real use. An early candidate: predicting how long it will take software testers to adopt a new piece of technology. Todd Proebsting, who is spearheading the initiative, explains, "If the market says they're going to be behind schedule, executives can ask, What does the market know that we don't know?" Another option: predicting how many patches, or corrections, will be issued in the first six months of using a new piece of software. "The pilots worked great, but we had little to compare it to," he says. "You can reason that this would do a good job. But what you really want to show is that this works better than the alternative."

Ultimately, "you may someday see someone in a desk job or a manufacturing job doing day trading, knowing that's part of the job," says Thomas Malone, a management professor at M.I.T. who has written about markets. "I'm very optimistic about the long-term prospects."

But no market is perfect. Economists are still unsure of the human factor: how to get people to play and do their best. In the stock market or even the Iowa prediction market, people put up their own money and trade to make more. That incentive ensures that people trade on their best information. But a company that asks employees to risk their own money raises ethical questions, so most corporate markets use play money to trade and small bonuses or prizes for good traders. "Though this may look like God's gift to business, there are problems with it," says Plott, who ran the first HP experiments. Tokyo-based Dentsu, one of the world's largest advertising firms, is still grappling with incentives for an ad forecasting market it will launch later this year with the help of News Futures, a U.S. consultancy.

And even if companies can figure out how to make their internal markets totally efficient, there are plenty of reasons that corporate America isn't about to jump wholesale onto the markets bandwagon. For one thing, markets, based on individuals and individual interests, could threaten the kind of team spirit that many corporations have struggled to cultivate. Established hierarchies could be threatened too. After all, a market implies that the current data crunching and decision-making process may not be as good as a gamelike system that often includes lower-level employees. In a sense, an internal market's success suggests that if upper managers would just give up control, things would run better. Lilly, which is considering using a market to forecast actual drug success, is still grappling with the potential ramifications. "We already have a rigorous process," says Lilly's Bingham. "So what do you do if you use a market and get different data?" Throw it out? Or say that the market was smarter, impugning the tried-and-true system?

There could be risks to individual workers in an internal trading system as well. If you lose money in the market, does that mean you're not knowledgeable about something you should be? "You have to get people used to the idea of being accountable in a very different way," says Mary Murphy-Hoye, senior principal engineer at Intel, which has been experimenting with internal markets. "I can now tell if planners are any good, because they're making money or they're not making money."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on value accounting are at 


The 10 best tools to keep viruses, spyware and bad guys away
"Defensive Perimeter," by Gary Berline, PC Magazine, July 9, 2004  ---,1759,1621759,00.asp 

Detailed Checklist 
"Keep Your PC Safe," PC Magazine, August 3, 2004 ---,1759,1618797,00.asp 

Toolkit of Free Products
"Keep Your Friends Safe," by Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine, August 3, 2004 ---,1759,1618804,00.asp 

Security Watch Special Report ---,1738,12,00.asp 

My good friend Amy Dunbar at the University of Connecticut recommends the following spam blocker --- 
Bob Jensen's threads on spam blocking are at

Eileen Taylor from the University of South Florida recommends Cloudmark's SpamNet spam protection --- 

Puala Ward sent this link to a listing of spam fighters --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and networking security --- 

"Home Movies Go Straight to DVD," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2004 ---,,SB109035905524368956,00.html?mod=gadgets%5Flead%5Fstory%5Fcol 

Camcorder Skips Videotape And Records on Tiny Discs; Just 30 Minutes of Grandpa July 21, 2004; Page D4 Ah, summer. The perfect time for splashing in the ocean, embarking on cross-country road trips, and sticking one unlucky family member with the video camera and instructions to capture every memory along the way. If you happen to be that person and you're using a digital camcorder, you might also be strapped with the responsibility of editing and transferring the movie onto a disc when you get home.

To avoid this extra step, you may want to use one of the newer camcorders that record footage directly onto DVDs, instead of the tapes that are commonly used. With these models, you can just pop out the disc, slap it into any DVD player, or computer with a DVD drive, and watch your videos instantly.

This week, my assistant Katie Boehret and I returned from our own vacations to evaluate one of the leading direct-to-DVD models: Sony's DCR-DVD201 Handycam Camcorder. Sony also makes a 101 model, but we didn't test it. The 201, which sells for about $800 online and lists for $1,000, and the 101, which sells for around $700 online and lists for $900, are pricey enough to scare some customers away, but we gave the 201 a whirl to see how good it really was.

Katie took the 201 model along on vacation and used it primarily to record her grandfather telling stories of his experiences in World War II, something her family wanted preserved on DVD. The little DCR-DVD201, which measures about two inches by 3.5 inches by five inches, and weighs just a little more than a pound with the disc and battery, slipped easily into Katie's suitcase. Even the camera's battery-charging power brick is lightweight and small.

Sony's DCR-DVD201 Handycam Camcorder

The 201 looks sleek all over. Various connecting sockets, buttons, switches and other features are hidden in inconspicuous places or behind covers. The camera's 2.5-inch color LCD viewing screen folds out to reveal multiple buttons housed against the camera, but closing the LCD neatly covers the buttons and gives the device an uncomplicated look. On its side, a circular door pops open to hold your three-inch DVD-R or DVD-RW.

These discs are a definite downside to this video camera. Though they play in a standard DVD player, they are physically much smaller than a regular DVD and hold much less video. In fact, each mini-DVD holds only 20 minutes of footage at high recording quality, 30 minutes at standard quality, and 60 minutes at low quality. Katie shot her footage in standard quality and ran through two discs in no time.

The real kicker is that each DVD-R disc -- which can be recorded upon only once -- costs about $6.50. And the re-recordable DVD-RW discs cost $10 apiece. Some retailers sell these discs for less, but they're still costly. Sony probably figures that people who can buy $1,000 video cameras won't think twice about a $10 disc that holds just 30 minutes, but they seemed pricey to us. Sony has future plans for releasing "dual-layer" media, which can hold twice the data of regular single-layer discs, but isn't talking about pricing or availability dates.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on resources are at 

CIO Magazine's "Recipe for Good (IT) Governance"  which was authored by Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill

Accounting Student Resources ---

Accounting Software   (240)     
Accounting Standards   (263)     
Financial Accounting   (215)     
Accounting Jobs   (453)     
Accounting Studies   (248) 


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting educator resources are at 

Bob Jensen’s threads on accounting careers are at

New E-Services Tools for Tax Professionals --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on taxation and accounting software are at 

Just a couple of years ago, every major game company was developing a massively multiplayer online game, based on the attractive business premise. But after many disappointments in recent months, the industry is realizing these games can become tar pits.

"Online Games a Massive Pain," by Daniel Terdiman, Wired News, July 16, 2004 ---,2101,64153,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Electronic Arts' decision to shut down development of Ultima X: Odyssey -- the sequel to its long-running online game Ultima Online -- may force the game industry to re-examine what it takes to be a successful developer of massively multiplayer online games.

Electronic Arts joins a growing list of companies -- Cyan Worlds, Games Workshop, There Inc. -- that invested millions of dollars in online games, only to see disappointing sales or unfinished projects. But what's surprising about EA's setback is that it is the world's biggest video-game software company, with plenty of cash, talent, marketing muscle and patience to develop a franchise. Despite that, it pulled the plug on UXO.

What's more, over the past few years EA has pulled the plug, or announced plans to pull the plug, on a string of MMO games: Ultima Online II, Motor City Online, an online Harry Potter adventure game and Earth & Beyond. Most surprising of all, The Sims Online -- an online version of the biggest video-game franchise in history -- has been a disappointment for the company, by most accounts.

MMO games are notoriously hard to develop, much harder than traditional shrink-wrapped, single-player video games. Most MMOs create huge online worlds where thousands of players, each sitting in their homes, interact with each other -- exploring, trading and pillaging. The business premise to game companies is enticing: Players have to buy a copy of the game for about $50 at a retailer, then pay an additional monthly charge of $10 to $15 to gain entrance to the virtual world. But the companies have to pay a lot of attention to keep the online environments compelling and the players interested. And things that single-player games don't need as much -- like customer support and service -- are key to keeping subscriptions active.

"Maybe what we're learning is that (a traditional game company) is not going to be set up perfectly to run big online games," said Ed Castronova, an associate professor at Indiana University, and a moderator of Terra Nova, a blog that discusses virtual worlds.

In contrast to EA, Sony set up an independent division, Sony Online Entertainment, to focus exclusively on virtual worlds, Castronova pointed out. The result: Sony Online has had huge success with its EverQuest franchise, with at least half a million subscribers, and its Star Wars Galaxies world has had more than 300,000 players.

Of course, EA is not the only company that has had problems keeping MMOs afloat. For example, Games Workshop recently announced plans to close down Warhammer Online, as did Cyan Worlds with Uru Live. And There Inc. is on the verge of abandoning its metaverse in favor of becoming a platform builder, some speculate.

For its part, EA disputes the notion that it has had problems developing MMOs. Instead, it said the UXO move was a strategic realignment of resources.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games are at 

Bob Jensen's threads on the downside of technology for education are at 


Meet Junior:  He's Almost Human

A new world computer chess champion was crowned at the 2004 finals in Israel on Monday. The new champ is the latest version of a particularly aggressive and human-like software program called Junior.Unlike most leading chess programs, Junior places less emphasis on the value of individual pieces and more on factors such as mobility and positional advantage. The approach - known as "compensation" - gives the program the ability to find very unusual and daring moves. But it also makes it prone to blunders more reminiscent of human players.
Will Knight (See below)

"New world computer chess champ crowned," Will Knight,, July 13, 2004 --- 

A new world computer chess champion was crowned at the 2004 finals in Israel on Monday. The new champ is the latest version of a particularly aggressive and human-like software program called Junior.

Unlike most leading chess programs, Junior places less emphasis on the value of individual pieces and more on factors such as mobility and positional advantage. The approach - known as "compensation" - gives the program the ability to find very unusual and daring moves. But it also makes it prone to blunders more reminiscent of human players.

"Junior is very interesting," says Frederic Freidel, co-founder of the German company ChessBase, which publishes Junior and a number of other leading programs. "It finds brilliant ideas, but is sometimes also a little bit unsound. But Junior is very cleverly programmed and very fast."

The contest ended in a thrilling finale. Junior and the defending champion, a program called Shredder, both stood a chance of winning with just one game to play. But the title was handed to Junior when Shredder could only draw with a lower ranked program called Falcon while Junior demolished the program ParSOS.

Freidel says each competing program has its own character. He recounts a recent telephone call from Gary Kasparov, considered by many the greatest chess player of all time, who wondered why Junior was unable to predict the outcome of a particular end game move, while another popular program, Fritz, could. Freidel says emphasis on different factors in the program's algorithms result in these diverse "personalities".

Secret tweaks

The two Israeli programmers behind Junior, Amir Ban and Shay Bushinsky, finished developing the latest version of their program shortly before the world championships began.

The tweaks they applied to their latest incarnation of the program are a closely guarded secret, but the program will be released commercially by ChessBase in the next few months.

Chess programs have grown increasingly sophisticated in recent years. Older programs used to perform exhaustive analysis of potential moves, while today's leading software uses smarter algorithms to reduce the amount of positional searching needed.

As the number of possible positions grows exponentially with the consideration of each additional move, older programs required huge computing power. For example, Deep Blue, the IBM machine that famously defeated Kasparov in 1997, had scores of custom-built processors and was able to analyse about 200 million moves per second.

The knowledge

Programs such as Junior analyse far fewer moves per second – about three million - but streamline their work by quickly discounting certain search strategies. "We try to include as much 'chess knowledge' as possible," Freidel told New Scientist.

This allows current programs to perform more effectively on much more modest computer power. Running on a few desktop computers, programs like Junior and Shredder can compete with the world's leading human players. Kasparov was only able to draw with the older version of Junior in match played in 2003.

Continued in the article


Accounting Educator Doyle Williams is Chair of AACSB International for the 2004/2005 year --- 
Doyle is also a former Outstanding Educator and President of the American Accounting 
Association and an AIDPA Gold Medal Winner --- 
He is currently Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas 
and former Director of the School of Accountancy at the University of Southern California.

From the T.H.E. Newsletter on July 14, 2004

Students surf to class, but there's no online deluge — From the Los Angeles Daily News

Once expected to revolutionize higher education as the Internet transformed mass media, online education has disappointed its early enthusiasts but has found a valuable niche serving working adults, educators say.

"Once upon a time, in the go-go '90s, the thought was that online education would eventually supplant (traditional university education)," said David L. Kirp, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

"But it's hard to replicate some of the things a real classroom can offer -- those face-to-face interchanges that people often want."

Nearly a decade after the Internet became a household fixture, the University of California system does not offer a single online course for undergraduates during the regular school year… 

For the full story, visit:,1413,200~20954~2266845,00.html 

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology are at 

"Google Goes Browsing By Name:  Toolbar now lets users navigate the Web without 
using URLs," by Scarlet Pruitt, PCWorld, July 15, 2004 ---,aid,116910,00.asp 

Google Goes Browsing By Name

Toolbar now lets users navigate the Web without using URLs.

Scarlet Pruitt, IDG News Service Thursday, July 15, 2004 In its constant quest to court Web surfers, Google added a new feature to its toolbar this week that allows users to navigate the Web by typing in a name instead of a URL.

With the new Browse By Name feature, users of the Google's Toolbar can, for example, type "Grand Canyon" into their Internet Explorer browser window and land on the Grand Canyon homepage without having to type the somewhat cumbersome URL for the national park.

If users type in name that isn't specific or well recognized, the toolbar automatically performs a Google search on the subject, giving users a choice of destinations to choose from, the company says.

Typing "bicycles" in the browser window, for instance, brought up a litany of bicycle-related search results. Google says that the tool is aimed at helping users save time when browsing the Web.

Using the browser window as a convenient search bar may not always be the approach when searching for general terms, however, because the most specific or obvious destinations tend to appear first. Typing "apple" takes users directly to Apple Computer's homepage, for instance, and does not bring up results on the fruit.

Automatic Updates

Google's Toolbar automatically updates to include new features without users having to install new versions, though as of Thursday, not all users had received the update.

A spokesperson for the company in London says that it would take a few days for the update to be delivered to all toolbar users, and recommends that users hungry for the new feature uninstall their toolbar and reinstall the updated version for Google's site.

The new Browse By Name feature is available in 12 languages, including French, Russian, German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese, Google says.

The toolbar update is just the latest tool introduced by the Mountain View, California, search company, which has been rolling out new products and services at a clipped rate over the last year, as it prepares for a much anticipated IPO.

July 16, 2004 reply from David Tuttle

I assume you have typed "Miserable Faiure" into the Google search and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky." If not, you'd get a kick out of it.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

From Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, July 2004 --- 

Competency Assessment Sites

How Do You Measure Up?

Current and future CPAs can evaluate their proficiency levels with the AICPA’s competency self-assessment tool (CAT) at this section of the Institute’s Web site. All competency models—including ones for audit, business valuation, forensics and litigation services, ElderCare/PrimePlus and fraud—generate personalized analyses that suggest appropriate education resources.

A Historical Perspective

Michael Roberts, Joe Lane Professor of Accounting at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, wrote the paper “Prioritizing the Core Competencies”—at the American Accounting Association’s e-stop—in response to the AICPA’s Core Competency Framework for Entry Into the Accounting Profession ( Roberts’ paper, which CPAs can view here for free, provides detailed summaries of required competencies.

Education Assessments

CPAs with an interest in competencies for educators can read discussion threads at Bob Jensen’s Web site. Jensen is Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Users can click on links to accountability resources such as teacher assessment and management tools. The site also has categories such as Onsite Versus Online Education.

HR Competencies

Visitors here can find survey results on, for example, the focus of current human resources competencies and measurements of their effectiveness. Users also can tap into best practices and the latest trends in HR asset management, as well as read the article “Applying Technology to Maximize Human Assets.”

The Human Equation

This Web site offers CPAs who have employees white papers on topics such as implementing competency-based performance systems and HR competencies for the new century, to name a few. Other white paper subjects include applying technology to maximize human assets, career planning, hiring and selection.

Assess Yourself

CPAs who double as seminar leaders, meeting facilitators or trainers can find current and archived issues of the e-zine Master Facilitator Journal at this Web site. They also can use tools such as the “master facilitator competency self-assessment,” which includes checklists on intervention and presenting skills.

"Electronic Readers, Now on Sale in Japan, Still Don't Beat Paper," by Phred Dvorak, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2004, Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

Geeks the world over have long dreamed of the day when the content of books, magazines and newspapers will be downloaded digitally onto electronic readers. Yet despite an explosion of digital content and gadgets to read it on, paper still rules -- in part because nobody has yet been able to beat its portability and readability.

Now the world's two biggest consumer-electronics companies -- Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial, the maker of Panasonic devices -- are giving the digital book a whirl in Japan, though not yet anywhere else.

Both recently started selling electronic readers that let users view a variety of material downloaded from Internet sites. But despite some attractive services and compelling technology, a week of testing the Sony Librie and Panasonic SigmaBook reminded me how great paper still is.

The Sony Librie gets high marks for its svelte size: at 8.5 ounces and 5 inches by 7.5 inches by 0.5 inches, it's smaller and only a bit heavier than the 138-page instruction manual it ships with.

But its best feature by far is its display -- the first-ever consumer application of something called "electronic ink." The technology, developed by E Ink of Cambridge, Mass., forms images by electronically pulling around microscopic particles of black and white pigment that float in tiny capsules inside the screen. The result is a display that uses very little power and looks almost identical to black print on white paper. For reading, it's a vast improvement over the liquid-crystal displays common in notebook computers, PDAs and cellphones.

I took the Librie with me on a coffee run -- down a dim hallway, into the elevator and out into bright sunlight -- reading comfortably all the way. It also let me enlarge the text size up to 200%, and has a set of built-in dictionaries for easy reference.

But it didn't do as well on my graphics test, Vol. 1 of Shotaro Ishinomori's 1963 comic "Cyborg 009." The display left a faint afterimage of the previous page's lines on the black areas of the drawings. And with only four levels of gray shading, the images often looked rough. The Librie's relatively small screen was also a problem. Rather than shrinking the original page to fit the display, the publishers of "Cyborg 009" decided to put one frame on each page. The resulting story pace was so slow I got bored, even in the middle of a pitched battle between cyborgs and evil robots.

Part of the problem is that the Librie display's response is excruciatingly slow. "Turning" a page takes a full second, and using the jog wheel to move the cursor through menus is frustrating. It's still tolerable if you're chugging through a story from start to finish, but returning to a section you've read before is a real slog unless you've had the foresight to "bookmark" the page you want.

Where the Librie really fails is in its handling of digital content. It can only view content that comes from a site run by Publishing Link, a Sony-affiliated company with investments from most of Japan's big publishers. Users download digital books to their computers from there and then transfer them to the Librie, but only about 600 are available. What's more, your right to that content expires after 60 days. The only English-language books I saw being offered were textbooks.

The rental model keeps prices relatively low. I paid 315 yen ($2.89) to "rent" the autobiography of comic artist Shigeru Mizuki, which was selling for 609 yen ($5.60) new on Amazon Japan.

Though it costs the same hefty $370, Panasonic's SigmaBook reader gets right a lot of what Sony gets wrong. Although Panasonic's own online-content site, SigmaBook JP, has only a hundred titles, the SigmaBook can also handle content downloaded from an independent site called 10 Days Book, which mainly features comics but boasts around 5,400 titles.

The SigmaBook is also better suited to reading comics because it has two screens. At 7.2 inches they are bigger than the Librie's and capable of more tonal gradations. But the device is also twice as thick and almost twice as heavy as the Librie.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at 

What networks should the hard right and the hard left turn to for biased news?

Click Fox for the right way and CBS, ABC, PBS, and NBC for the left way.  

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: News Audiences Increasingly Politicized --- 

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on July 16, 2004

TITLE: Auditor Independence Gets Focus 
REPORTER: Phyllis Plitch 
DATE: Jul 14, 2004 
TOPICS: Audit Committee, Audit Quality, Auditing, Regulation, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Taxation, Accounting

SUMMARY: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) will be hosting a public roundtable on tax services and auditor independence. Questions focus on the importance of auditor independence and the role of the PCAOB.

1.) What is auditor independence? Be sure to distinguish between independence-in-fact and independence-in-appearance. Why is auditor independence important in the financial statement audit?

2.) What is the purpose of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act? What is the role of the PCAOB in financial reporting? What companies are under the jurisdiction of the PCAOB?

3.) Why are audit firms prohibited from providing certain services to their audit clients? Are any tax services currently included in the list of prohibited services?

4.) What is the role of the audit committee in financial reporting? How does the audit committee enhance auditor independence?

5.) Does providing tax services to audit clients impair auditor independence? Support your answer.

6.) What is the difference between a tax service designed to reduce tax liability and a tax service designed to achieve a financial statement result? How does each type of tax service impact auditor independence?

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

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Educators' Review on July 16, 2004

TITLE: Possible Accounting Change May Hurt Convertible Bonds 
REPORTER: Aaron Lucchetti 
DATE: Jul 08, 2004 
TOPICS: Bonds, Convertible bonds, Earnings per share, Emerging Issues Task Force, Financial Accounting, Financial Accounting Standards Board

SUMMARY: The Emerging Issues Task Force is considering changing the requirements for including in the EPS calculation the potentially dilutive shares issuable from so-called CoCo bonds. These bonds have an interest-payment coupon and are contingently convertible, typically depending upon a specified percentage increase in the stock price.


1.) Describe the terms of CoCo Bonds. What do you think the term "CoCo" means? How do they differ from typical convertible bonds? Why do investors find typical convertible bonds attractive? Why do companies find it attractive to offer typical convertible bonds?

2.) What is the Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF)? How can the organization of that task force help to resolve issues, such as the questions surrounding CoCo bonds, more rapidly than the issues can be addressed by the FASB itself?

3.) In general, what is the accounting issue being addressed by the EITF? What is the proposed change in accounting? Does any of this have to do with the actual accounting for the bonds and their associated interest expense?

4.) Explain in detail the effect of these bonds on companies' earnings per share (EPS) calculations. Will the amount of companies' net income change under the proposed EITF resolution of this accounting issue? What will change? Is it certain that the change in treatment of these bonds will have a dilutive effect on EPS? Explain.

5.) Why might an EITF ruling require retroactive restatement of earnings by companies issuing these bonds? How else could any change in treatment of these bonds be presented in the financial statements?

6.) One investment analyst states that "the new accounting doesn't change economics, but investors [are] still likely to care." Why is this the case?

7.) Why does one analyst describe CoCo bonds as a gimmick? Why then would we "probably be better off without it"?

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

Bob Jensen's threads on debt vs. equity are at

From the FASB in July 2004 "FASB Response to SEC Study on the Adoption of a Principles-Based Accounting System" --- 


In July 2003, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) submitted to Congress its Study Pursuant to Section 108(d) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on the Adoption by the United States Financial Reporting System of a Principles-Based Accounting System (the Study). The Study includes the following recommendations to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB or Board):

1. The FASB should issue objectives-oriented standards.

2. The FASB should address deficiencies in the conceptual framework.

3. The FASB should be the only organization setting authoritative accounting

guidance in the United States.

4. The FASB should continue its convergence efforts.

5. The FASB should work to redefine the GAAP hierarchy.

6. The FASB should increase access to authoritative literature.

7. The FASB should perform a comprehensive review of its literature to identify standards that are more rules-based and adopt a transition plan to change those standards.

The Board welcomes the SEC’s Study and agrees with the recommendations. Indeed, a number of those recommendations relate to initiatives the Board had under way at the time the Study was issued.1 The Board is committed to continuously improving its standard-setting process. The Board’s specific responses to the recommendations in the Study are described in the following sections of this paper.

Objectives-Oriented Standards

In the Study, the SEC staff recommends that "those involved in the standard-setting

process more consistently develop standards on a principles-based or objectives-oriented

basis" (page 4).2 According to the Study (page 4), an objectives-oriented standard would

have the following characteristics:

• Be based on an improved and consistently applied conceptual framework;

• Clearly state the accounting objective of the standard;

• Provide sufficient detail and structure so that the standard can be operationalized and applied on a consistent basis;1

• Minimize exceptions from the standard;

• Avoid use of percentage tests ("bright-lines") that allow financial engineers to achieve technical compliance with the standard while evading the intent of the standard.

The “objectives-oriented” approach to setting standards described above (and expanded
upon in the Study) is similar to the principles-based approach described in the Board’s
Proposal. After discussing the comments received on its Proposal, the Board agreed that
its conceptual framework needs to be improved. This is because an internally consistent
and complete conceptual framework is critical to a standard-setting approach that places
more emphasis on the underlying principles that are based on that framework. Pages 8
and 9 of this paper further describe the Board’s activities related to the conceptual
framework; the following sections address the other characteristics of an objectivesoriented
approach addressed in the Study.

Format and Content of Standards

The Board agrees with the Study’s recommendation to improve the format and content of its standards. In particular, The Board agrees that the objective and underlying principles  of a standard should be clearly articulated and prominently placed in FASB standards. In response to comments received on its Proposal, the Board agreed that although its existing standards are based on concepts and principles, the understandability of its standards could be improved by writing its standards in ways that (a) clearly state the accounting objective(s), (b) clearly articulate the underlying principles, and (c) improve the explanation of the rationale behind those principles and how they relate to the conceptual framework.

The Board is working on developing a format for its standards that will encompass the attributes of an objectives-oriented standard described in the Study, for example, describing the underlying objective of the standard in the introductory paragraphs, using bold type to set off the principles,3 and providing a glossary for defined terms.

In addition, the Board is working with a consultant to identify changes in the organization and exposition of its standards that will increase the understandability of those standards.  Accounting standards by their nature will include many specific technical terms; however, the Board believes it can do a better job simplifying the language used in its standards to describe how to account for complex transactions. In addition, the Board will strive to apply other effective writing techniques to enhance constituents’ understanding of FASB standards.

When discussing proposed accounting standards or specific provisions of a standard, many of the Board’s constituents comment on whether a standard is "operational."  Because that term can mean different things to different people, the Board decided to define the term operational for its purposes. The Board uses the term operational to mean the following:

• A provision/standard is comprehensible by a reader who has a reasonable level of knowledge and sophistication,

• The information needed to apply the provision/standard is currently available or can be created, and 

• The provision/standard can be applied in the manner in which it was intended. The Board believes that if its standards are more understandable, they also will be more operational.

Implementation Guidance

As noted in the Board’s Proposal, an approach to setting standards that places more emphasis on principles will not eliminate the need to provide interpretive and implementation guidance for applying those standards. Thus, the Board agrees that some amount of implementation guidance is needed in objectives-oriented standards in order for entities to apply those standards in a consistent manner. The Board uses the term implementation guidance to refer to all of the guidance necessary to explain and operationalize the principles (that is, the explanatory text in the standards section, the definitions in the glossary, and guidance and examples included in one or more appendices that help an entity apply the provisions in the standards section). The Board believes that the amount of necessary guidance will vary depending on the nature and complexity of the arrangements that are the subject of the standard. The Board believes that there should be enough guidance such that a principle is understandable, operational, and capable of being applied consistently in similar situations. Judgment is required to decide how much guidance is needed to achieve those objectives, without providing so much guidance that the overall standard combined with its implementation guidance becomes a collection of detailed rules. Therefore, the amount and nature of implementation guidance will vary from standard to standard. 

The Board believes that its primary focus should be providing broadly applicable implementation guidance, not providing guidance on relatively narrow and less pervasive issues, including, for example, issues that are specific to certain entities or industries. When developing that implementation guidance, the Board plans to apply the same guidelines that underpin objectives-oriented standards. For example, rather than consisting of a list of rules or bright lines, the implementation guidance would explain or expand on the principle(s) or objectives in the standard. 4.

Continued in the report

July 16, 2004 reply from Neal h=Hannon [nhannon@COX.NET

The transition to principles-based standards in US GAAP is bound to be difficult.  Yesterday, in an Accountant’s World story about SOX compliance issues, SOX Financial Reporting Standard: Finance Execs Urge SEC & PCAOB to Clarify New Rule
Source: IOMA's Report on Financial Analysis, Planning & Reporting 
Publication date: 2004-07-01)    Found at:  
the following complaint was registered, 
“The PCAOB's audit standard on internal controls defines a significant deficiency as "a control deficiency... that adversely affects the company's ability to initiate, authorize, record, process, or report external financial data reliably in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles," making it likely that the company or its auditors will not be able to prevent or detect a misstatement of the company's annual or interim financial statements. 
The audit standard defines a material weakness as a "significant deficiency . . . that results in a more than remote likelihood" that the company will not prevent or detect a material misstatement of its financial statements. 
It's too broad: The way it's written, the definition of a "significant deficiency" is so broad that it makes it difficult to distinguish more significant deficiencies from matters of far less importance and those unlikely to occur. This could lead to an inconsistency in financial reports, as companies grapple with interpreting the definition. 
Also, financial reports could end up with a lot of relatively immaterial matters. This could trigger some unfavorable consequences, such as an increase in corporate insurance premiums.”
The PCAOB’s definition of a control deficiency sounds to me to be “principle-based”, and yet the author of the article begs for more “guidance”, i.e. more rules.   
Neal J. Hannon, CMA
University of Hartford; 
Barney School of Business
XBRL Editor, Strategic Finance Magazine


Bob Jensen's threads on methods for setting accounting standards are at 

From FEI Express on July 15, 2004

IASB Issues 3 ED's to Amend IAS 39
On July 8, the IASB issued three Exposure Drafts (ED's) proposing "limited amendments" to IAS 39, Financial Instruments Recognition and Measurement. Two ED's provide implementation guidance, and one is intended to ensure that a guarantor's balance sheet includes all guarantees issued. To support IASB's desire to maintain a "stable platform" of unchanged Standards to 2005, only one of the proposed amendments, aimed at easing initial adoption of IAS 39, would apply for 2005; the other 2 amendments would be effective 1/1/06 although early adoption is permitted. These "limited amendment" EDs do not relate to IASB's ongoing broad examination of financial instruments accounting and interest margin hedging issues. The ED's will be publicly posted to the IASB's website beginning July 19 with comments due by Oct. 8, 2004.

The first ED, Transition and Initial Recognition of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities, would allow, but not require, entities to adopt an approach to transition that is easier to implement than that in the current version of IAS 39 and would enable entities to eliminate a difference between the IASB's Standards and US requirements. The proposed ED entitled Cash Flow Hedge Accounting of Forecast Intragroup Transaction clarifies the treatment in consolidated financial statements of a foreign currency cash flow hedge of a highly probable forecast external transaction denominated in the functional currency of the group entity (e.g., a subsidiary) entering into the transaction. Lastly, Financial Guarantee Contracts and Credit Insurance proposes that the issuer of a financial guarantee contract should measure the contract initially at fair value. If the financial guarantee contract was issued in a stand-alone arm's length transaction to an unrelated party, its fair value at inception is likely to equal the premium received. The Exposure Draft also addresses the subsequent measurement of those guarantees. The proposed requirements would apply even if the contract meets the definition of an insurance contract in IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts. Further information on the three ED's can be found at 

Milwaukee Neighborhoods: Photos and Maps, 1885-1992 

Bob Jensen's travel bookmarks are at 

Naval History

Bob Jensen's bookmarks on history are at 

Forwarded by Dr. Wolff --- 
(Dick and Sybil will be visiting us July 29-August 2)

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.

All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing,

I wanted just once to be wasteful.

Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away...

Meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my Father died, and on that clear summer's night,

In the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the

pain of learning that sometimes there isn't anymore.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets

All used up and goes away...never to return.

So...while we have's best we LOVE it...and care for it...

And fix it when it's broken...and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage and old cars...

And children with bad report cards...

And dogs with bad hips...

And aging parents...and grandparents.

We keep them because they are worth it,

Because we are worth it....some things we keep.

Like a best friend that moved away,

Or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important,

Like people we know who are SPECIAL...

And so, we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thought I was a KEEPER...

And then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way.

You're a Keeper!


Forwarded by Paula

I was testing the children in my Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.

I asked them, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?"

"NO!" the children answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, the answer was, "NO!"

By now I was starting to smile. Hey, this was fun!

"Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?" I asked them again.

Again, they all answered, "NO!"

I was just bursting with pride for them.

Well, I continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out,


Forwarded by Paula


"I don't care what color you paint the kitchen." Really means.... "As long as it's not blue, green, pink, red, yellow, lavender, gray, mauve, black, turquoise or any other color besides white."

"It's a guy thing." Really means.... There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical."

"Can I help with dinner?" Really means.... "Why isn't it already on the table?"

"Uh huh," "Sure, honey," or "Yes, dear." Really mean.... Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response like Pavlov's dog drooling.

"Good idea." Really means.... "It'll never work. And I'll spend the rest of the day gloating."

"Have you lost weight?" Really means.... "I've just spent our last $30 on a cordless drill."

"It would take too long to explain." Really means.... "I have no idea how it works."

"I'm getting more exercise lately." Really means.... "The batteries in the remote are dead."

"We're going to be late." Really means.... "Now I have a legitimate excuse to drive like a maniac."

SIGNS YOU'RE GETTING OLD (I think I'm gonna cry !! pebs)

The only reason you're still awake at 4am is indigestion.

Your arms are almost too short to read the newspaper.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

You no longer laugh at Preparation H commercials.

You're asleep but others worry that you're dead.

You start singing along with the elevator music.

An elderly lady offers you her seat on the bus.

Your car must have 4 doors.

The phone rings and you hope it's not for you.

You've owned clothes so long that they've come back into style...twice.

You consider coffee one of the most important things in life.

8 am is your idea of sleeping in.

Your biggest concern when dancing is falling.

People call you at 9 pm and ask "Did I wake you?"

You no longer answer "Fine" when people ask how you are.

The end of your tie doesn't come anywhere near your belt.

You don't like to drive after dark.

You begin a sentence by saying, "When I was your age..."

You know all the warning signs of a heart attack.

Nobody ever tells you to slow down.

Your eyebrows look like shrubbery and your wife's have disappeared.

You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

You have to get a permit to light the candles on your birthday cake.

Comfort takes the place of fashion.

You can't sit still without falling asleep.

Your idea of the perfect nightcap is Metamucil

You start believing that you really did walk five miles to school barefoot and in the snow.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Another has passed
and we're all a little older.
Last summer felt somewhat hotter
and winter's bite much colder.

I rack my brain for happy thoughts,
to put down on my pad,
But lots of things that come to mind
make me kind of sad.

There was a time not long ago
when life was quite a blast.
Now I fully understand
about "Living in the Past"

We used to go to weddings,
football games and lunches.
Now we go to funeral homes,
and after-funeral brunches.

We used to have hangovers,
from parties that were gay.
Now we suffer body aches
whiling the night away.

We used to go out dining,
and seemed not to get our fill.
Now we ask for doggie bags,
come home and take a pill.

We used to often travel
to places near and far.
Now we get sore rear ends
from riding in the car.

We used to go out dancing
and enjoyed a little booze.
Now we stay home evenings
to watch the evening news.

That, my friend is how life is,
and now my tale is told.
So, enjoy each day and live it up...
before you're too damned old!

Forwarded by Paula

An Irishman an Englishman and a Scot were sitting in a bar. The view was fantastic, the beer excellent, the food exceptional.

"Y'ken", said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. Why in Glasgow there's a wee bar called McTavish's. Now the landlord there goes out of his way for the locals so much that when you buy four drinks he will buy the fifth for you."

"Well", said the Englishman, "at my local, the Mason's Arms, the barman there will buy your third drink after you buy the first two."

"Ahhh, that's nuthin," said the Irishman. "Back home in Dublin, there's Ryan's Bar. Now the moment you set foot in the place they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like. Then when you've had enough drinks they'll take you upstairs and see that you get laid. All on the house!"

The Englishman and Scotsman immediately pour scorn on the Irishman's claims. But, the Irishman swears every word is true.

"Well," said the Englishman, "Did this actually happen to you?"

"Not meself, personally, no," said the Irishman. "But it did happen to me sister."

Forwarded by Paula

Famous Sexy Quotes ...

"Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand." Woody Allen

"Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night." Rodney Dangerfield

"There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL."

Lynn Lavner

"Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope." Camille Paglia

"Sex is one of the nine reasons for incarnation. The other eight are unimportant." George Burns

"Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship." Sharon Stone

"Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps." Tiger Woods

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch."

Jack Nicholson

"Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is." Barbara Bush (Former US First Lady, and you didn't think Barbara had a sense of humor)

"Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet." Robin Williams

"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place." Billy Crystal

"According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful." Robert De Niro

"There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what's the problem?" Dustin Hoffman

"There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, 'I know what I'm doing. Just show me somebody naked'." Jerry Seinfeld

"See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time." Robin Williams

" It's been so long since I've had sex, I've forgotten who ties up whom." Joan Rivers

" Sex is one of the most wholesome, beautiful and natural experiences money can buy." Steve Martin

" You don't appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman. Stuff you pay good money for in later life." Elmo Phillips

" Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same." Oscar Wilde

"A woman can do anything a man can do, backwards and in high heels." Ginger Rogers

" It isn't premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married." George Burns

Forwarded by Auntie Bev


First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.

And finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

Forwarded by Debbie

The following article was in the San Antonio Express-News on Sunday, July 18th. I believe it’s the perfect “You might be a Redneck…”

Forwarded by Mindy Brent

The poem to which you refer has appeared literally thousands of times on the Internet (via Web sites and e-mails), and also in several books on writing. I wrote it in 1992 and it has been published (twice; see below).

A great many of the Internet postings have shortened or otherwise mutilated the poem, and many of them attribute its creation to "Anonymous" or make no attempt at giving credit. "Owed to a Spelling Checker" is a cute title sometimes seen, but not the one I gave it.

The Reader's Digest published a few altered lines from the poem, indicating the author was unknown. An alert reader swiftly wrote a letter to the editor about its origin, an editorial person telephoned me, and a subsequent note was published to correct the record. I suggested that they include the location of my Web site, so interested readers could see the official version, but they did not do so.

Here is the original, authentic, correct version as I published it. It is also found at my Web site (along with a relevant newspaper article): 

Jerry Zar

July 19, 2004 reply from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM

I got one of those interminably forwarded emails from a client yesterday and looked for information to verify the statements that were made. I found more details at: 

And there are even more of the same at: 

Just as with the spell checker poem, the rest of the story often tells a different story.

Scott Bonacker



Port Orange, FL. – A man hit his girlfriend with a 3-foot alligator and threw beer bottles at her during an argument in the couple’s mobile home, authorities said.

David Havenner, 41, was ordered held without bond Saturday on misdemeanor charges of battery and possession of an alligator.

The alligator, which Havenner had been keeping in his bathtub, was turned over to Florida wildlife officials.

Nancy Monico, 39, told investigators that Havenner beat her with his fists then grabbed the alligator and swung it at her as she tried to escape, sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson said.

She said the animal hit her at least once. She also told authorities that Havenner threw empty beer bottles at her. Davidson said.

Havenner’s version of the story differed. He told investigators Monico bit his hand because she was upset that they had run out of alcohol.

Forwarded by a Blonde

I hate people who forward too many warnings as much as anyone, but this one is really important. Please do not delete until you have read it. Better yet, send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list!

If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take off your clothes and dance around, DO NOT DO IT! This is a SCAM! They only want to see you naked.

I wish I had gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid now...

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Beans One of the matrons of the church was cooking a pot of her famous beans for the church potluck dinner, and her son, Little Johnny, came running through the house, BB gun in one hand, and a handful of BBs in the other.

He tripped and the BBs, naturally, went right into the pot of beans. Thinking it over, Little Johnny could think of no reason why he should risk punishment, so he said nothing.

The dinner went well, and, as usual, the beans were one of the favorite dishes.

The next day, the church secretary, Mary, called Little Johnny's mother and said, "Jane, your beans were delicious as usual, but what did you put in them this time?"

Jane replied, "Nothing new, why do you ask?"

"Well," said Mary, "this morning I bent over to feed the cat and I shot the canary."

Forwarded by Barb

Bob, a 70 year old extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the Country Club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25 year-old blonde who knocks everyone's socks off with her youthful sex appeal and
 charm. She hangs on Bob's arm and listens intently to his every  word.

His buddies at the club are all envious. They corner him and ask, "Bob, how'd you get the trophy girlfriend?"

Bob replies, "Girlfriend? She's my wife!"

They're knocked over, but continue to ask. "So, how'd you persuade her to marry you?"

Bob says, "I lied about my age."

 His friends are fascinated, "What do you mean? Did you tell her you were only 50?"

Bob smiles and says, "No, I told her I was 90."

Forwarded by Dick and Cec



1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.

2) Wrinkles don't hurt.

3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.

4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.





1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.

3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.

4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.

5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.

6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.

7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.





1) You believe in Santa Claus.

2) You don't believe in Santa Claus.

3) You are Santa Claus.

4) You look like Santa Claus.


At age 4 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.

At age 12 success is . . . having friends.

At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.

At age 20 success is . . . having a girlfriend that thinks you a really good looking

At age 35 success is . . . having money.

At age 50 success is . . . having money.

At age 60 success is . . . having a girlfriend that thinks you are really good looking

At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.

At age 75 success is . . . having friends.

At age 80 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.

Auntie Bev forwarded this link for cat lovers --- 
Especially note the video technology.

One of the Hazards of Research at Texas A&M

Forwarded by Paula

A scientist from Texas A&M University has invented a bra that keeps women's breasts from jiggling and prevents the nipples from pushing through the fabric when cold weather sets in. At a news conference announcing the invention, a large group of men took the scientist outside and kicked the crap out of him.

Forwarded by The Happy Lady

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year old kids, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think.


"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it all the time for her, even when his hands got arthritis, too. That's love." - Rebecca, age 8.

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." - Billy, age 4.

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne, and they go out and smell each other." - Karl, age 5.

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." - Chrissy, age 6.

"Love is what makes you smile when you are tired." - Terri, age 4.

"Love is when my Mommy makes coffee for my Daddy, and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure the taste is OK." - Danny, age 7.

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then, when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss." - Emily, age 8.

"Love is what's in the room at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." - Bobby, age 7 (WOW!).

"If you want to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate." - Nikka - age 8.

"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them." - Jenny, age 8.

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, and he wears it every day." - Noelle, age 7.

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." - Tommy, age 6.

"During my piano recital, I was on stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me, and I saw my Daddy waving and smiling. I wasn't scared anymore." Cindy, age 8.

"My Mommy loves me more than anyone. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." - Claire, age 6.

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." - Elaine, age 5.

"Love is when Mom sees Dad smelly and sweaty, and still says he is

handsomer than Robert Redford." - Chris, age 7.

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." - Mary Ann, age 4.

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old

clothes and has to go out to buy new ones." - Lauren, age 4.

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." - Karen, age 7.

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and doesn't think it's gross." - Mark, age 6.

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you" unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." - Jessica, age 8.

And the final one -- author and lecturer, Leo Buscaglia, once talked about the contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner of the contest was a 4 year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the elderly gentleman's yard and climbed onto his lap and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

You knew these were coming soon after Clinton's book hit the market --- 

And that's the way it was on July 21, 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) --- 


Bob Jensen's bookmarks for accounting newsletters are at 

News Headlines for Accounting from --- 
An unbelievable number of other news headlines categories in are 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 --- 


Household and Other Heloise-Style Hints --- 


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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July 12, 2004

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on July 12, 2004
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

For my generation:  I especially remember "those?"  (Turn up your speakers full blast) --- 
The home page is at (with more songs)

26 Beautiful One Liners --- 

American soldiers are taking abuse --- 

Quotes of the Week

The authors say their study is first rigorous econometric analysis on the topic, and it that the received wisdom may require some revision. As the paper states: "Money does seem to seem to buy greater happiness. But it does not buy more sex."
Eric Dash, "Sex May Be Happiness, but Wealth Isn't Sexiness," The New York Times, July 11, 2004 --- 
The "authors" are David G. Blanchflower of Dartmouth College and Andrew J. Oswald of the University of Warwick in England, in a working paper called "Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study," to the National Bureau of Economic Research (see below).

The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence . It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and ten to crack the hub of the wheel.
Excerpts from Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1955 --- 
This is also on Page 29 of my version of the book.  The above Website has some nice selections of quotations but it makes quite a few spelling errors that are not in the original work.

Title of a forthcoming book by Edward Eugene Baskett --- 
The book describes the David and Goliath struggle between the largest corporation in the world, GE, and one of the most controversial religions in the world, Christian Science.
The following is a message from the author on July 8, 2004










Edward Eugene Baskett - Author

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
William Faulkner

Everyone smiles in the same language
Author unknown

Demonstrations in the Streets in Opposition to the FASB's Requirement to Expense Stock Option
Hardware engineers, software programmers and chirpy marketers carried placards with slogans like "Save Our Stock Options," and every person who was asked was able to offer a business card.
Gary Rivlin, The New York Times, June 25, 2004 --- 

The more intelligent one is the less one suspects an absurdity.
Joseph Conrad

The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
James Baldwin

The principle of education is to preach by example.
Anne Robert Jacques Turgot

Progress in this world is made by achieving things deemed impossible.
André Maurois

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
William Faulkner

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill (as quoted in a recent message from Richard Newmark)

Everyone smiles in the same language
Author unknown

Demonstrations in the Streets in Opposition to the FASB's Requirement to Expense Stock Option
Hardware engineers, software programmers and chirpy marketers carried placards with slogans like "Save Our Stock Options," and every person who was asked was able to offer a business card.
Gary Rivlin, The New York Times, June 25, 2004 --- 

"We think Tiger is going to catapult us even further ahead (of Microsoft) and drive the copycats crazy," Jobs told the crowd of about 3,000 cheering and whooping programmers.
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO (Tiger is the name of the Version 10.4 upgrade to Mac's OS X), Wired News, June 28, 2004 ---,2125,64024,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

The more intelligent one is the less one suspects an absurdity.
Joseph Conrad

But for too many of our American students the problem is far more serious. They don't have the vocabulary or language structures in their own language for thinking clearly and deeply about a subject, much less for expressing themselves with any sort of sophistication or precision. Heck, they can't even write competent sentences in their own language!  What we are faced with when we sit down to grade a set of essays is approximately twelve years of miseducation. That is why we find the task so desperately discouraging. A half hour per essay, an hour, or even longer will not suffice to address the faults in their writing or in their thinking -- or their astonishing lack of knowledge.
Tina Blue, "Amazing Grace?" June 30, 2004 --- 

Although death is terrifying, knowing that you are living to eternity without ever being able to die is even more terrifying.
Anton Chekhov

The accounting change also could expose another weakness: In the last four quarters, Apple earned $32 million after taxes from interest on its $4.6 billion cash horde. That's nearly twice as much as the $18.5 million in operating income it would have earned under the pending FASB rules, says Albert Meyer, principal of 2nd Opinion Research. "Is it a tech company or a credit union?" Meyer asks.  If stock options had been treated as a cost, Apple's $179 million in earnings over the last four quarters ended on Mar. 27 would have fallen 69% -- significantly more than the potential drops of under 50% for other tech companies such as Dell. Out of 86 tech companies, Apple was among the 12 with the biggest hit to estimated 2005 earnings, according to Merrill Lynch (MER ).
Alex Salkever, Business Week, July 12, 2004, Page 11 (See below)

Bob Jensen's July-September 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

Bob Jensen's April-June 2004 Updates on Frauds and the Accounting Scandals --- 

"The Women of Wall Street Get Their Day in Court," by Patrick McGeehan, The New York Times, July 11, 2004 --- 

Before Eliot Spitzer, the crusading attorney general of New York, became their main adversary, the firms were at war with large numbers of their own employees - specifically, women who had worked for them and, in some cases, still did. In 1996 and 1997, lawsuits against Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney cracked open a Pandora's box of complaints from female brokers about hostile and unfair environments they said they found at brokerage offices. Settling those suits has cost the firms more than $100 million.

Now, as they work to repair the self-inflicted damage to their reputations from the stock-analyst scandals of the last few years, Wall Street firms are girding for another round of attacks on their treatment of women.

The main event of the summer will be the trial in the federal government's discrimination suit against Morgan Stanley. The jury was selected on Friday afternoon.

In an opening argument scheduled to be heard tomorrow by Judge Richard M. Berman in United States District Court in Manhattan, a lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is expected to tell jurors that Morgan Stanley allowed managers and employees in one unit of its investment bank to mistreat their female colleagues, pay them less and promote them more slowly and less often than men. More than two dozen women who have worked there are expected to recount incidents of what they said was sexual harassment, including lurid details about their colleagues' entertaining clients at strip clubs.

Continued in the article

Frank Partnoy previously wrote about sexual degeneracy in investment banking in his various books --- 

The authors say their study is first rigorous econometric analysis on the topic, and it that the received wisdom may require some revision. As the paper states: "Money does seem to seem to buy greater happiness. But it does not buy more sex."
Eric Dash, "Sex May Be Happiness, but Wealth Isn't Sexiness," The New York Times, July 11, 2004 --- 

Proverbially, money buys neither love nor happiness, only sex. ("Success in the boardroom guarantees success in the bedroom.") But nobody ever tried to prove it.

Recently, however, two economists, David G. Blanchflower of Dartmouth College and Andrew J. Oswald of the University of Warwick in England, submitted a working paper called "Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study," to the National Bureau of Economic Research, one of the leading organizations in its field.

The authors say their study is first rigorous econometric analysis on the topic, and it that the received wisdom may require some revision. As the paper states: "Money does seem to seem to buy greater happiness. But it does not buy more sex."

Mr. Blanchflower and Mr. Oswald are among the leaders in the fast-growing field of "happiness economics," which applies econometric techniques, traditionally limited to quantifiable matters like wage rates, to the amorphous arena of human emotion. Areas of research include how happiness is affected by democracy (it increases individual happiness), or new cigarette taxes (smokers, oddly, become happier).

In their study, Mr. Oswald and Mr. Blanchflower analyzed the self-reported sexual activity and levels of happiness of more than 16,000 American adults who participated in a number of social surveys since the early 1990's. (Happiness is notoriously difficult to define, and the surveys make no attempt to do so; the respondents simply record how happy they believe themselves to be on a sliding scale.) By factoring out the measurable effects of other life events, the study revealed, to no one's surprise, that, "The more sex, the happier the person."

Furthermore, the economists compared the levels of happiness produced by a vigorous sex life with other activities whose economic values had been calculated in prior research, allowing them to impute, in dollars, how much happiness sex was worth. They also estimated that increasing the frequency of sexual intercourse from once a month to at least once a week provided as much happiness as putting $50,000 in the bank.

A lasting marriage, by comparison, offers about $100,000 worth of happiness a year - that is, on average, a single person would need to receive $100,000 annually to be as happy as a married person with the same education, job status and other characteristics. Divorce, on the other hand, imposes an emotional toll of about $66,000 a year, though there may be a short-term economic gain from the immediate relief provided by leaving your spouse.

Possibly the least expected finding of the paper, said Mr. Oswald, was that in general, "Greater income does not buy more sex, nor sexual partners."

"That was surprising to us as economists," Mr. Oswald added, "because by and large, we think money can buy anything." (The study found that men who paid a prostitute for sex reported they were considerably less happy.)

But the economists' study struck at a number of conventionally accepted notions. "The conservative, pro-marriage lobby will be delighted to read our paper," Mr. Oswald said. "The 'Sex and the City' view of the world is falsified by the data."

Married people, he said, were shown to have about 30 percent more sex than their single peers, and were found, at least statistically speaking, to be significantly happier.

Likewise, Mr. Oswald said, the gay and lesbian community would be happy with the work. The data showed that the amount of happiness obtained from "being in a gay relationship is almost identical to being in a heterosexual one" and that regardless of sexual orientation, the "happiness-maximizing" number of partners is one. Celibacy and very low levels of sexual activity, the study found, had a "statistically indistinguishable" effect on happiness.

Not everyone is convinced one can put an accurate price tag on sex - or at least its emotional payoff. "Does it matter if it is good sex or bad sex? To me that is of critical importance," said Leonore Tiefer, a clinical therapist and associate professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.

Then there is the problem of distinguishing cause from effect. "Is your sex life good because you are seeing life through rose-colored glasses?" asked Edward O. Laumann, a University of Chicago sociology professor who directed the 1994 National Health and Social Life Survey, a landmark study on sexual attitudes and behaviors in the United States. "Or is your happiness a result of your sex life?" And what about the lurking variable of love?

Continued in the article

Why Silicon Valley Hates the Impending FASB Rule to Expense Employee Stock Options
"What Could Crunch Apple Shares," by Alex Salkever, Business Week, July 12, 2004, Page 11 --- 

These are heady days for Apple (AAPL ) shareholders. Stoked in part by the success of the iPod music player, Apple shares have surged to nearly $34 recently -- the highest in four years. The runup would seem to validate a recent wave of bullish analyst reports. But Apple's earnings per share could fall dramatically if it's forced to expense stock options under new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules.

The accounting change also could expose another weakness: In the last four quarters, Apple earned $32 million after taxes from inter-est on its $4.6 billion cash horde. That's nearly twice as much as the $18.5 million in operating income it would have earned under the pending FASB rules, says Albert Meyer, principal of 2nd Opinion Research. "Is it a tech company or a credit union?" Meyer asks.

If stock options had been treated as a cost, Apple's $179 million in earnings over the last four quarters ended on Mar. 27 would have fallen 69% -- significantly more than the potential drops of under 50% for other tech companies such as Dell. Out of 86 tech companies, Apple was among the 12 with the biggest hit to estimated 2005 earnings, according to Merrill Lynch (MER ).

To match its interest profits, Apple would need to double earnings from operations in the next 12 months. That could be hard when Apple says margins on its iPods will drop in the coming year. Apple declined to comment.

Bob Jensen's threads on arguments for and against the impending revised FAS 123, see 

Scam o Rama --- 

The letters posted here illustrate attempts at ADVANCE FEE FRAUD. The sender claims to be a bureaucrat, banker or royal toadie, who wants to cut you, and only you, in on the financial deal of a lifetime.

In plain English, the writer claims to be in a position to skim public accounts. Hint: There is no money to be laundered - except yours. Palms must be greased. They ask for money with which to do the greasing. A few K here, a few K there... eventually you get wise, and retire to lick your wounds. Dead military officer, dead farmer, dead bank customer, reformed murderer, imaginary request for bid, lotto prize, different countries... same scam.

Setting aside the writer's attempt to rob you and (going through the mental contortions necessary to take the letter at face value) to steal from his own country, the letters are funny. Read them out loud at parties and see. The 100+ letters below introduce the literary genre of the Lads from Lagos. Some people write the scammers back. See right column.

Most readers say "what an obvious scam!".
Some say "I was almost fooled till I saw this site."
A handful say "couldn't mine be 'real'?"
Stay safe out there!

1    When not playing on your generosity or naivete, the Lads are asking you to steal. There is nothing to be stolen, except from you.
2     Nothing here should be taken as a criticism of any nation, nor do we suggest that there are no scam artists in other countries. There sure are.
3     So why "Lads from Lagos" ? Because most of these e-mails come from there. It's just like that. Africans hate getting them too.


You never forget your first 125.
Below each letter is a list of them all.

Request for Urgent Business Relationship
Son of Urgent Business Relationship
Urgent Business Execution
Trust Fund for Alms and Ammunition
We did over-inflate the contracts
My brother Maj. Hamza El-Mustapha and his mistress in Lebanon
Confidentiality is our watchword, mutual trust is our beacon
I was a moslem until a 18months ago when the master Jesus met me
I am only trying my best not to be noticed by my government
Ein Ausländer, Verstorbene Ingenieur Johnson Creek
Mrs. Abacha gets a PhD


SARCASTIC FAQ (updated mar 9 2004)

"As Doctors Write Prescriptions, Drug Company Writes a Check," by Gardner Harris, The New York Times, June 27, 2004 --- 

The check for $10,000 arrived in the mail unsolicited. The doctor who received it from the drug maker Schering-Plough said it was made out to him personally in exchange for an attached "consulting" agreement that required nothing other than his commitment to prescribe the company's medicines. Two other physicians said in separate interviews that they, too, received checks unbidden from Schering-Plough, one of the world's biggest drug companies.

"I threw mine away," said the first doctor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of concern about being drawn into a federal inquiry into the matter.

Those checks and others, some of them said to be for six-figure sums, are under investigation by federal prosecutors in Boston as part of a broad government crackdown on the drug industry's marketing tactics. Just about every big global drug company — including Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth and Bristol-Myers Squibb — has disclosed in securities filings that it has received a federal subpoena, and most are juggling subpoenas stemming from several investigations.

The details of the Schering-Plough tactics, gleaned from interviews with 20 doctors, as well as industry executives and people close to the investigation, shed light on the shadowy system of financial lures that pharmaceutical companies have used to persuade physicians to favor their drugs.

Schering-Plough's tactics, these people said, included paying doctors large sums to prescribe its drug for hepatitis C and to take part in company-sponsored clinical trials that were little more than thinly disguised marketing efforts that required little effort on the doctors' part. Doctors who demonstrated disloyalty by testing other company's drugs, or even talking favorably about them, risked being barred from the Schering-Plough money stream.

Continued in the article


Bob Jensen's threads on scams and scam protections are at 

Updates on the leading books on the business and accounting scandals --- 

I love Infectious Greed by Frank Partnoy --- 

Fraud Detection and Reporting ---

Charity Frauds --- Fraud Detection and Reporting --- 

History Detectives ---  

History Detectives is devoted to solving historical mysteries, searching out the true facts (and falsehoods) behind local folklore, family legends and interesting objects.

Using traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, and plenty of legwork, the History Detectives team of experts discovers that artifacts, buildings and stories can give us new (and sometimes shocking) insights into our national history.

On the Air

History Detectives, in its second season on PBS, consists of 12 captivating episodes, and each episode presents three intriguing mysteries to explore. The hosts of the program are a high-energy quartet of renowned experts in the world of historical investigations.

As each show unfolds, viewers may find themselves completely caught up in the search for clues that can solve the mystery - and perhaps reveal amazing facts about our nation's past.

Each investigation of these "puzzles from the past" could follow dozens of different paths. As the detectives work, they provide viewers with reasoned explanations for choosing specific avenues of research. When the detectives use scientific tests, both the purpose and the methods are described in detail.

Find out when History Detectives is airing on your local PBS station here.

On the Web

The History Detectives site includes highlights from the televised investigations. This year it will also feature one story per week in detail as a Case File. Visitors can study the techniques used by professional investigators; learn how to conduct their own historical investigation; or get to know the History Detectives' team of experts.

The site also provides a number of interactive features and learning activities. Classroom Resources include lesson plans and other tools to reinforce concepts from the programs, and develop student interest in the study of history, science, and other core subjects.


Many people put tremendous effort into creation of the History Detectives programs and Web site. The producers thank everyone who helped make this project a success, including: the people who gave us mysteries to solve; the "guest" experts who shared their time and expertise; and, the History Detectives broadcast and Web production teams.

From the Scout Report on June 29, 2004

Wisdom as Orchestration of Mind and Virtue [pdf] 

The Max Planck Institutes and associated research centers are one of the academic highlights of Germany's scholarly community and host scholars from all over the world in a number of disciplines. One such prominent organization within their number is the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Recently, the organization published the full-text version of Professor Paul B. Baltes work, "Wisdom as orchestration of mind and virtue," online at this site. Professor Baltes is an expert in the development of the human lifespan and the aging of the mind. In this 275-page work, visitors can browse through chapters titled Why Study Wisdom?, Ancient Conceptions of Wisdom, and Toward a Development Psychology of Wisdom. This rather intriguing and introspective work ends with a concluding overview of nine points that summarize (and somewhat tentatively) the extent of current understanding about wisdom and wise persons.


Women in Law
Woman's Legal History Biography Project --- 

Three New Inductees to OSU's Accounting Hall of Fame --- 

Congratulations to new Accounting Hall of Fame honorees Dennis Beresford (Georgia), Gerald Feltham (UBC), and William Vatter UC Berkeley Emeritus who died in 1990).  All three made (and in two cases still making) their contributions to education, research, and the profession in highly different ways that are bound together by common theme --- they earned this honor.

Jerry is our leading mathematician and analytical research accountant.  Denny is our leading professional educator who was a long-time Chairman of the FASB and former executive research partner for E&Y.  Bill Vatter was best known for directing doctoral studies at Berkeley.  Bill was also a professional musician:

Prior to 1932, he held various jobs, including turret-lathe operator, musician (he played violin, viola and French horn at the professional level), insurance agent, and regional auditor and branch manager for Singer Sewing Machine Company in Cincinnati. This diverse experience undoubtedly gave him a basic view of the world of work, as well as a firm foundation for his later contributions in both managerial and financial accounting.  

Bill is best known for The Fund Theory of Accounting and Its Implications for Financial Reports (1946), his doctoral dissertation, that progressed through several printings and was translated into Japanese.  Denny is best known for his ten-year direction of the FASB through the turbulent and politically-explosive adoption of FAS 123, FAS 133, and other  standards that riled industry feathers.  Jerry is best known for his theoretical research on Information in Accounting --- 


"How the Futures Market Can Miss the Mark on Rates," by Jonathan Fuerbringer, The New York Times, July 11, 2004 ---  

Fof weeks now, the financial question of the day has been this: How fast and how far will the Federal Reserve raise short-term interest rates?

For a clue, professional Fed watchers, journalists and even Fed policy makers often turn to the futures market, where monthly contracts for the federal funds rate provide an up-to-date indication of investor expectations. The Fed funds rate, charged on overnight loans of bank reserves, is the benchmark interest rate set by the Fed policy makers. On June 30, they raised it to 1.25 percent from 1 percent. And as of Friday, Fed funds futures contracts indicated that investors were betting that the rate would rise by 0.86 percentage points, to an average of 2.11 percent, in January.

Of course, this contract isn't a perfect predictor of what the Fed will do six months down the road.

Unfortunately, a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research casts doubt on its reliability even as a tool for gauging the views of investors. What's worse, because Fed policy makers review the contracts to assess market expectations about interest rates, the futures contracts may even be warping the decisions of the Fed itself.

In the study, Monika Piazzesi, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and Eric T. Swanson, an economist at the Federal Reserve Board, argue that the Fed funds futures contracts have a basic problem as an indicator: they are not a straightforward, unbiased measure of investor sentiment about the monetary policy outlook.

Instead of being a pure bet on what the Fed will do about rates, the authors say, the prices of these futures contracts include a premium to persuade investors to take the risk of buying them. This risk premium is often large enough, especially when the economy is in a recession or growing slowly, to attract buyers who have no particular view about where the Fed is heading, but who believe that they can nevertheless make a handsome profit by trading the contracts.

As a result, these traders skew the Fed funds futures as a gauge of investor sentiment, the authors conclude. When looking six months ahead, the researchers found, the risk premium accounts for an overestimation of a quarter of a percentage point, on average, of the Fed funds rate, according to data from futures contracts for the 15 years through 2003.

But the average doesn't tell the whole story. When rates are shifting, the distortion of investor expectations can be greater.

The problem is significant, the authors contend, because even the central bank assumes that the Fed funds futures rate actually reflects investor sentiment.

The study notes, for example, that the Fed's monetary report to Congress in February cited this futures rate several times as a proxy for investor sentiment. In the spring of 2003, the monetary report said, "data from the federal funds futures market suggested a significant probability of further easing of policy and did not imply any tightening before early 2004."

The paper says that the Fed policy makers adjust the futures rate only minimally to take the premium distortion into account, adding six basis points, or hundredths of a percentage point, to six-month Fed funds futures contracts. That is less than one-quarter of the distortion found by the two authors.

As a result, policy makers themselves may be misled about how well they are communicating their intentions to the financial markets.

"In making just a small adjustment, the Fed is misinterpreting the information contained in federal funds futures about investors' expectations," Ms. Piazzesi said in an interview.

Sometimes, the authors said, even the quarter-point figure understates the magnitude of errors because this average covers many months when the Fed funds rate is unchanged. When the Fed is at a policy turning point, as it was at the end of 2000, the error can be bigger.

In December 2000, just before the Fed started cutting its benchmark rate, the six-month Fed funds futures contract forecast a rate of 5.79 percent. Six months later, however, the actual rate was almost two points lower, averaging 3.97 percent for the month. About four-tenths of a point of that error, the researchers found, was because of the risk premium bias.

The report also includes a trading tip for speculators in Fed funds futures. It says that the risk premium, which can produce big profits if the contracts are bought at the right time, is greatest when the economy is slowing down or in a recession. During a recession, the premium on a Fed fund futures contract six months out swelled as much as five times the value in other periods.

"Futures Prices as Risk-adjusted Forecasts of Monetary Policy," by Monika Piazzesi and Eric Swanson, National Bureau of Economic Research --- 

Many researchers have used federal funds futures rates as measures of financial markets' expectations of future monetary policy. However, to the extent that federal funds futures reflect risk premia, these measures require some adjustment to account for these premia. In this paper, the authors document that excess returns on federal funds futures have been positive on average and strongly countercyclical. In particular, excess returns are surprisingly well predicted by macroeconomic indicators such as employment growth and financial business-cycle indicators such as Treasury yield spreads and corporate bond spreads. Excess returns on eurodollar futures display similar patterns. They document that simply ignoring these risk premia has important consequences for the expected future path of monetary policy. They also show that risk premia matter for some futures-based measures of monetary policy surprises used in the literature.

Bob Jensen's threads on derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting are at 

A "Cool" Way to Study Light and Space (Includes Games and a Video Gallery)

California Institute of Technology: Cool Cosmos --- 

Newsreaders Help You Locate and Store News of Interest to You

Blogs Help You Cope With Data Overload -- If You Manage Them," by Thomas E. Weber, The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2004, Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

If you're an information junkie, you've probably discovered the appeal of reading weblogs, those online journals that mix commentary with links to related sites. Obsessive blog creators scour the Internet for interesting tidbits in news stories, announcements and even other blogs, culling the best and posting links. A good blog is like the friend who always points out the best stories in the newspaper.

More and more, though, the growth of blogs is increasing rather than reducing information overload. By some estimates, the number of blogs out there is nearing three million. It isn't just amateurs either: Start-up media companies are creating blogs, too. Gawker, for example, publishes the gadgets journal Gizmodo ( ) and Wonkette ( ), devoted to inside-the-Beltway gossip.

To help juggle all those blogs, I've started playing around with a relatively new phenomenon called a newsreader. Rather than forcing you to jump from one blog to another to keep up with new entries, newsreaders bring together the latest postings from your favorite blogs in a single place.

That's possible because many blogs now publish their entries as news "feeds." These are Web formats that make it easy for a newsreader program (or another Web site) to grab and manipulate individual postings. For a blog publisher, it's like sending out entries on a news wire service. To tell whether a site offers a news feed, look for a small icon labeled "RSS" or "Atom."

I've tested a number of popular newsreaders. At their best, they give you a customized online newspaper that tracks the blogs you're interested in. But using them is only worthwhile if you're willing to invest some time upfront getting organized.

Newsreaders come in several varieties. One is a stand-alone software program you install on your PC. In that category, FeedDemon ($29.95 from Bradbury Software) is especially powerful, with extensive options for customizing the way news feeds appear on your screen.

Other newsreaders integrate news feeds into your e-mail on the theory that mail has become the catchall information center for many users. NewsGator ($29 from NewsGator Technologies) pulls feeds into Microsoft Outlook, while Oddpost ( combines blog feeds with an excellent Web-based e-mail service for $30 a year. For Mac users, Apple just announced it will include newsreader functions in the next version of its Safari Web browser -- a sign of how important the news-feed approach is becoming.

Overall, I had the best experience with a service called Bloglines, and I recommend it, especially for beginners. Bloglines ( works as a Web service, which means there's no software to install and you can catch up with your blogs from any Web browser. You're no longer tied to the bookmarks on a particular PC, so you can check postings from home, work or on the road. The service is also free. Mark Fletcher, CEO of Trustic Inc., which operates Bloglines, tells me the site will use unobtrusive Google-style ads to bring in revenue.

After starting an account, you enter the blogs you want to track. When you visit Bloglines, your blog list will appear on the left side of the screen, along with a notation telling the number of new postings since your last visit; clicking on a blog pulls the new postings into a right-side window. The beauty of this is that you don't waste time visiting blogs that haven't posted new entries.

Of course, it's all pointless without interesting blogs to read. The best way to find great blogs is to follow your curiosity, tracking back links on blogs you visit. Here are a few to get you started:

GENERAL INTEREST: Boing Boing ( is one of the Web's most established blogs, and one of its most popular, too. By "general interest," I mean of general interest to your average Internet-obsessed technophile. The focus isn't explicitly on technology, but expect it to skew in that direction -- over a recent week, posting topics included robots, comic books and a cool-looking electric plug.

ECONOMICS: EconLog ( offers a thoughtful and eclectic diary of economics, tackling both newsy developments (the real-estate market, taxes) and theory. It also includes a list of other good economics blogs -- there are more than you might think.

GADGETS: Engadget ( can be counted on for a good half-dozen or more news morsels each day on digital cameras, MP3 players, cellphones and more. When it isn't the first to stumble across something good, it isn't shy about linking to another blog with an interesting post, so it's usually pretty up to date.

POLITICS: WatchBlog ( has stuck with an interesting concept for more than a year now. It's actually three blogs in one: separate side-by-side journals tracking news on the 2004 elections from the perspective of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

TECHNOLOGY: Lessig Blog ( OK, this one's about politics too. More specifically, it covers the intersection between regulation and technology. Its author, Stanford law professor and author Lawrence Lessig, weighs in on copyright, privacy and other challenging topics in high-tech society.

Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs and Blogs are at 

The Controversy Over Accrual Accounting ---

I find this to be an enormous problem in scholarship and research.  I download and store almost any article that I deem important in my work and teaching.  For example, I have some really important FASB documents on FAS 133 that are no longer available at the FASB Website.  It becomes discouraging to quote and cite works that are not longer available to readers.  This is a real bummer modern scholarship.

"A crisis for Web preservation Fugitive documents published on the Web are not being preserved." by Florence Olsen,, June 21, 2004 --- 

A crisis for Web preservation Fugitive documents published on the Web are not being preserved — From The Federal Depository Library Program has fallen behind in cataloging and preserving access to government documents published only on the Web. As a result, public access to those publications is spotty at best.

"This is not a problem; this is a crisis," said Daniel Greenstein, head of the California Digital Library, which serves the 10 universities in the University of California system. He said information is disappearing from government Web sites at an alarming rate.

At the Government Printing Office, which runs the depository library program, officials are struggling with the problem, known as fugitive documents, said Judith Russell, superintendent of documents. Fugitive documents are electronic publications that remain outside the federal depository collections in 1,300 libraries nationwide.

To capture those publications automatically, GPO officials may turn to Web-harvesting technologies. In May, agency officials published a notice asking vendors to submit information about Web-crawler and data-mining technologies that could assist in locating fugitive government publications…

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of technology in education and research are at 

Microsoft and Ask Jeeves are dropping paid-inclusion links from their search engines, a move that's winning praise. Yahoo is the last major search engine that champions paid inclusion, but for how much longer?

"Paid Inclusion Losing Charm?" by Chris Ulbrich, Wired News, July 5, 2004 ---,1367,64092,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


"Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to E-learning and Why" presents the results of the Weatherstation Project of The Learning Alliance at the University of Pennsylvania. This study sought to answer the question "Why did the boom in e-learning go bust?" Over an eighteen-month period authors Robert Zemsky, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and William F. Massy, professor emeritus of education and business administration at Stanford University, tracked faculty and staff attitudes towards e-learning at six colleges and universities. Their findings challenged three prevalent e-learning assumptions:

-- If we build it they will come -- not so;

-- The kids will take to e-learning like ducks to water -- not quite;

-- E-learning will force a change in the way we teach -- not by a long shot.

The complete report is available online, at no cost, in PDF format at

The Learning Alliance is "a provider of educational research and leadership support services to presidents of accredited, non-profit

two- and four-year colleges and universities. The Learning Alliance serves the mission of higher education institutions by providing its senior administrators with timely access to expertise, current research, and market data." For more information, contact: The Learning Alliance, 1398 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382 USA; tel: 610-399-6601; fax: 815-550-8892; Web:

The Weatherstation Project was conceived as "an antidote to those first descriptions of the market for e-learning, which were often warped by missing data and overly hopeful assumptions about how quickly new products would come to market and how receptive learners and instructors were likely to be."

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side are at 

In my opinion, the Weatherstation Project is biased from the start by skeptics who do not balance the successes against the failures to date --- 
For example, the report fails to even mention one of the world's most successful e-Learning endeavors in his own institution, the Master's of Engineering (ADEPT) distance learning program at Stanford University even though one of the two authors is a long-time faculty member and top administrator at Stanford.

Here are some counter examples.

New and Expanding Market Motivations
Example 1 --- Stanford University --- 

Stanford University shook up the stuffy Ivy League and other prestigious schools such as Oxford and Cambridge when it demonstrated to the world that its online training programs and its online Masters of Engineering (ADEPT) asynchronous learning degree program became enormous cash cows with nearly infinite growth potentials relative to relatively fixed-size onsite programs.  In a few short years, revenues from online programs in engineering and computer science exploded to over $100 million per year.

The combined present value of the Stanford University logo and the logos of other highly prestigious universities are worth trillions.  Any prestigious university that ignores online growth opportunities is probably wasting billions of dollars of potential cash flow from its logo.  

Virtually all universities of highest prestige and name recognition are realizing this and now offer a vast array of online training and education courses directly or in partnership with corporations and government agencies seeking the mark of distinction on diplomas.

Example 2 --- University of Wisconsin --- 
Over 100,000 Registered Online Students in The University of Wisconsin System of State-Supported Universities

Having a long history of extension programs largely aimed at part-time adult learners, it made a lot of sense for the UW System to try to train and educate adult learners and other learners who were not likely to become onsite students.

The UW System is typical of many other large state-supported universities that have an established adult learning infrastructure and a long history of interactive television courses delivered to remote sites within the state.  Online Internet courses were a logical extension and in many instances a cost-efficient extension relative to televised delivery.

Example 3 --- Harvard University

In light of new online learning technologies, Harvard University changed its long-standing residency requirement in anticipation of expanding markets for "mid-career professionals" according to Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2002, Page 4.  Harvard has various distance education programs, including those in the Harvard Business School that currently cost over $4 million per year to maintain.

Example 4
From Syllabus News, Resources, and Trends on July 2, 2002

Babson Blends Online, Onsite MBA Program

Babson College said it will launch in Jan. a "fast track" MBA program that integrates traditional onsite classroom instruction with distance learning components. The program will enable students to obtain an MBA in 27 months, and is designed for executives struggling to balance work and personal demands in an economic recession. Intel Corp. sponsored the program as a complement to its corporate education package, and has modeled it with 33 employees. The blended MBA program calls for students to attend monthly two and-a-half days of face-to-face sessions with Babson's faculty on campus in Wellesley. During the rest of the time, students will take part in Internet-based distance learning sessions with their professors and access interactive multimedia course content.

For more information, visit:

Example 5 --- Texas A&M Online MBA Program in Mexico --- 

Some universities view online technologies as a tremendous opportunity to expand training and education courses into foreign countries.  One such effort was undertaken by the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University in partnership with Monterrey Tech in Mexico.  For example, Professor John Parnell at Texas A&M has been delivering a course for several semesters in which students in Mexico City take the online course in their homes.  However, once each month the students meet face-to-face on a weekend when Dr. Parnell travels to Mexico City to hold live classes and administer examinations.

You probably won't have much difficulty making a guess as to what many students say is the major reason they prefer online courses to onsite courses in Mexico City?

Example 6 --- The University of Phoenix --- 

The University of Phoenix became the largest private university in the world.  Growth came largely from adult learning onsite programs in urban centers across the U.S. and Canada.  

The popular CBS television show called Sixty Minutes ran a feature on the growth and future of the newer online training and education programs at the University of Phoenix. You can download this video from 

The University of Phoenix contends that online success in education depends upon intense communications day-to-day between instructors and students.  This, in turn, means that online classes must be relatively small and synchronized in terms of assignments and projects.

Example 7 --- Partnerships 
Lucrative partnerships between universities and corporations seeking to train and educate employees.

The highly successful Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University (formerly called GEMBA) where corporations from around the world pay nearly $100,000 for one or two employees to earn a prestigious online MBA degree ---

UNext Corporation has an exclusive partnership with General Motors Corporation that provides online executive training and education programs to 88,000 GM managers.  GM pays the fees.  See 

Army University Access Online --- 
This five-year $453 million initiative was completed by the consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  Twenty-four colleges are delivering training and education courses online through the U.S. Army's e-learning portal.  There are programs for varying levels of accomplishment, including specialty certificates, associates degrees, bachelor's degrees, and masters degrees.  All courses are free to soldiers.  By 2003, there is planned capacity is for 80,000 online students.   The PwC Program Director is Jill Kidwell --- 

Army Online University attracted 12,000 students during its first year of operation.  It plans to double its capacity and add 10,000 more students in 2002.  It is funded by the U.S. Army for all full time soldiers to take non-credit and credit courses from selected major universities.  The consulting arm of the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers manages the entire system. 

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a program for online training and education for all IRS employees.  The IRS pays the fees for all employees.  The IRS online accounting classes will be served up from Florida State University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville --- 

Deere & Company has an exclusive partnership with Indiana University to provide an online MBA program for Deere employees.  Deere pays the fees.  See "Deere & Company Turns to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business For Online MBA Degrees in Finance," Yahoo Press Release, October 8, 2001 --- 

The University of Georgia partnered with the consulting division of PwC to deliver a totally online MBA degree.  The program is only taken by PwC employees.  PwC paid the development and delivery fees.  See 

Bob Jensen's threads on the bright and the dark side of education technologies are at 

July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


In "Faculty Self-Study Research Project: Examining the Online Workload" (JOURNAL OF ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING NETWORKS, vol. 8, issue 3, June 2004), Melody M. Thompson, Director of the American Center for the Study of Distance Education at Penn State, reports on a workload study that was designed to go beyond anecdotal testimony. In the project six faculty who were teaching online courses "strove to identify those tasks that consumed a disproportionate amount of faculty time -- particularly time taken away from actual teaching/learning interactions with students." The study indicated that their workload "as measured by time on task, was comparable to or somewhat less than that for face-to-face courses." The article is available online at .

The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) [ISSN 1092-8235] is an electronic publication of The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C). Current and back issues are available at .

Accounting professors who teach online discuss their workloads at 

Bob Jensen's threads on online faculty workloads and burnout are at 

July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [


According to David Huffaker (in "The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in the Classroom," FIRST MONDAY, vol. 9, no. 6, June 2004), "blogs can be an important addition to educational technology initiatives because they promote literacy through storytelling, allow collaborative learning, provide anytime–anywhere access, and remain fungible across academic disciplines." In support of his position, Huffaker provides several examples of blogs being used in classroom settings. The paper is available online at

First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA; email:; Web:


Suzanne Cadwell and Chuck Gray of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Center for Instructional Technology have compiled two feature comparison tables that describe three blogging services and four blogging applications.

Blogging Services Feature Comparison

Using a blogging service generally doesn't require any software other than a web browser. Users have no administrative control over the software itself, but have some control over a blog's organization and appearance. Depending on the particular service, blogs can be hosted either on the service’s servers or on the server of one’s choice (e.g., Users purchasing a paid account with a service typically will have no banner ads on their blogs, more features at their disposal, and better customer support from the service. The Blogging Services Feature Comparison chart is available

Blogging Applications Comparison

Downloadable blogging applications require the user to have access to server space (e.g., Most of these applications are comprised of CGI scripts that must be installed and configured in a user’s cgi-bin folder. Although they are packaged with detailed instructions, applications can be difficult to install, prohibitively so for the novice. Blogging applications afford users fine-grained control over their blogs, and most applications are open-source or freeware. The Blogging Applications Comparison chart is available at

What services are available to help you create a blog?

Answer from Kevin Delaney

"Blogs Can Tie Families, And These Services Will Get You Started," by Kevin J. Delaney, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2004, Page B1 ---,,personal_technology,00.html 

Online Web logs, or blogs, have long been a bastion of techy types, those prone to political rants, and assorted gossips. But now they're making inroads among families who want to keep up on each other's doings.

Blogs are personal Web sites where you can post things, including photos, stories and links to other cool stuff online. They resemble a journal, with information arranged chronologically based on when you post it. The simple form is a major virtue -- you don't have to think too hard about how to organize your blog.

I've used a variety of Web sites in recent years to share photos of my children with their grandparents and other family far way. Lately, I've wondered if it wouldn't be better to put photos, digital videos and other links I want to share with my family on one Web site, making it easier to manage and access them from afar.

With this in mind, I've been testing three of the most popular blogging services, which are available free or for a small monthly fee.

Blogger, a free service from Google at, promises you can create a blog in "three easy steps." After selecting a user name and password, I chose a name and a custom Web address. Then I selected a graphic look -- "Dots," a simple design with a touch of fun that seemed right for a family site -- from 12 attractive templates. After that, Blogger created my blog. Within a few minutes, I was able to put a short text message on the site and have Blogger send e-mails to alert my wife and father of the blog's existence.

Blogger, like the other services, lets you further customize the organization and look of your site and put several types of information on it. Sending text to the blog is as easy as sending an e-mail. (In fact, Blogger and the other services I tested even let me post text to my blog using standard e-mail.) A Blogger button on Google's toolbar software, which must be downloaded and activated separately, offers the useful option of posting links to other Web sites on your blog as you surf the Web. Another nice feature lets you designate friends or family members who can post to the main blog.

To put photos on any blog hosted by Blogger, you have to download another free software package from Picasa called Hello. Hello blocks connections to computers operating behind what's known as a proxy server, which is a pretty typical corporate configuration. As a result, I couldn't upload photos from my work PC, though I was able to do so from home.

Blogger lacks some advanced features other services offer. But its main shortcoming is that it doesn't let you protect your site by requiring visitors to use a password to enter. I don't want strangers to look at photos of my kids or search notes I'm writing for family members. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any plans for such a feature, citing restrictions related to the company's planned initial public offering.

TypePad from Six Apart, at , provides a higher-powered service for creating blogs that does let you password protect your site. You can also upload a broader range of files, including video clips. But the tradeoff is a level of complexity that is unnecessarily frustrating.

The company offers three monthly subscription rates starting at $4.95. It costs $8.95 a month for the version that allows you to create photo albums, a feature that I consider essential for a family blog. Albums allow you to avoid filling up the main blog site with strings of photos. If you choose to password protect your blog, though, TypePad won't let you link your blog directly to photo albums. It's a surprising shortcoming, and Six Apart doesn't disclose it on its site. Its support staff gave me complicated instructions for another way to make such a link, but they never worked for me.

Six Apart Chief Executive Mena Trott says the photo-album-linking problem is a bug the company is working to fix. She acknowledges that parts of the service could be easier to use, and says improvements will be made. She also says that in practice Six Apart lets most users exceed the company's miserly limits on blog storage space, which are 100 megabytes for the $8.95-a-month plan.

AOL's Journals service, which requires an AOL subscription, is about as simple to use as Blogger. It allows you to restrict public access to your blog and provides nice albums for grouping photos. If you do decide to restrict access, your visitors will have to register with AOL. That registration is free, though, and many people already have an AOL "screen name" because they use the company's instant messaging service.

But other advanced features, such as the button in Blogger for easy linking to Web sites, are missing. In addition, the layout templates aren't nearly as attractive graphically as Blogger's and TypePad's. AOL says it's working on all of these issues, and expects to add a Web linking button and phase out the registration requirement later this year.

I'm not completely satisfied with Journals, and I would be happy to use Blogger or TypePad if they manage to work out their issues with photo albums and passwords. In the meantime, though, I've chosen AOL's Journals to create my family blog.

"WEBLOGS COME TO THE CLASSROOM," by Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 28, 2003, Page 33

They get used to supplement courses in writing, marketing, economics, and other subjects

Increasingly, private life is a public matter.  That seems especially true in the phenomenon known as blogging.  Weblogs, or blogs, are used by scores of online memoirists, editorialists, exhibitionists, and navel gazers, who post their daily thoughts on Web sites for all to read.

Now professors are starting to incorporate blogs into courses.  The potential for reaching an audience, they say, reshapes the way students approach writing assignments, journal entries, and online discussions.

Valerie M. Smith, an assistant professor of English at Quinnipiac University, is among the first faculty members there to use blogs.  She sets one up for each of her creative-writing students at the beginning of the semester.  The students are to add a new entry every Sunday at noon.  Then they read their peers' blogs and comment on them.  Parents or friends also occasionally read the blogs.

Blogging "raises issues with audience," Ms. Smith says, adding that the innovation has raised the quality of students' writing;

"They aren't just writing for me, which makes them think in terms of crafting their work for a bigger audience.  It gives them a bigger stake in what they are writing."

A Weblog can be public or available only to people selected by the blogger.  Many blogs serve as virtual loudspeakers or soapboxes.  Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential contender, has used a blog to debate and discuss issues with voters.  Some blogs have even earned their authors minor fame.  An Iraqi man--known only by a pseudonym, Salaam Pax--captured attention around the world when he used his blog to document daily life in Baghdad as American troops advanced on the city.

Continued in the article.

"Weblogs: a history and perspective," Rebecca Blood, Rebecca's Pocket, September 7, 2000 --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on blogging are at 

July 2, 2004 message from 

Hi Bob,

I started my Blog (referenced below) for educational purposes last year. I plan to get it linked to my textbook site and use it as a tool to enhance the book's usefulness. The publisher was quite enthusiastic about it. It only took a couple of hours to set up, and maintaining it takes virtually no time, as I have the Blogger buttons included in my browser and can easily link in news stories, etc. I'm not sure exactly how its going to work, but it seems to me it has a lot of potential in terms of providing current content that might help to keep students engaged in a topic.

Jerry _____________________________________ 
Gerald Trites, FCA, CA*IT, CA*CISA 
Website -  
The Trites E-Business Blog


David Fordham called my attention to the following article.

"Professors of the world, unite!," by Mike S. Adams, Townhall, June 23, 2004 --- 

Has anyone noticed that public universities everywhere seem to be running out of money? If you’re like me, you are under that impression because they keep calling and asking for more donations every week. Those of you who have responded to such calls by making donations probably did so because the administration convinced you that they don’t have enough funds to meet the basic educational needs of the university.

After reading this editorial, you may no longer feel inclined to dig deep into your pockets to help your local university or your alma mater.

A professor named Dan Embree at Mississippi State University recently published a courageous editorial for The Advocate, the local newsletter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).  In the editorial, Embree reports that between the academic years of 1999-2000 and 2003-2004, the top administrators at his university received some pretty generous pay-raises. For example:

President                                         $228,359 to $350,000 (53.3%)
Provost                                           $153,000 to $205,000 (34.0%)
Associate Provost                           $102,000 to $130,000 (27.5%)
VP of Finance and Administration   $138,000 to $190,000 (37.7%)
VP of Agriculture                            $118,965 to $205,000 (72.3%)
VP of Student Affairs                      $130,000 to $167,000 (28.5%)
Dean of Veterinary Medicine            $150,000 to $175,000 (16.7%)
Director of Aircraft Operations        $109,400 to $135,000 (23.4%)

By contrast, Embree reports that during the same time period, university plumbers received an average raise of 4%.  University professors fared even worse, with an average raise of 3.6%.

The situation that Embree describes is not a local problem. It is a national problem. I have written previously about the elitist mindset of administrators at my university.  For example, the position of Chancellor here at UNC-Wilmington has been blessed with a pay increase of well over 100% in the last decade. All this money goes to an administrator who doesn’t have to pay for a place to live. Worse still, her mansion is presently being renovated at a cost of $1.2 million.

By contrast, UNC professors have not had pay-raises in four years. They don’t get a free place to live. In fact, they don’t even get free parking at their place of employment.

So what do professors do to remedy such situations? Usually nothing.

Actually, some of them teach about Marxism in the classroom, despite their inability to detect “capitalist oppression” among the ranks of their own administrations. Or, perhaps they do detect these injustices but simply lack the courage to confront them. I guess they don’t make communists like they used to.

But what should professors do about such inequities?

It is easy for self-described radical professors to get a hold of the data on administrative salaries and pay-raises under state public record laws. And, of course, it is easy to compare them with the salaries and pay-raises of the faculty and staff at their university.

But once the information is gathered, the game gets a little more difficult. Professors must then emerge from the ranks with a willingness to confront the injustices that are affecting them as well as the quality of education at their institutions. Put simply, these administrators are bankrupting the system of higher education while they live like royalty.

By publishing the outrageous salaries and raises of administrators in the student newspaper, the local newspaper, and faculty newsletter, professors can begin to generate a backlash in the court of public opinion. Undoubtedly, local television and radio stations would also take the story and run with it. Abuses of taxpayer funds always make for popular news items.

Then, the professors could demand that the average pay-raise for administrators shall never again exceed the average pay-raise for professors and staffers.  If implemented, such a rule would make self-serving and corrupt administrators fight for the well-being of others just as they would for themselves.

Until then, things will n